Monday, October 31, 2016

I overheard a lady talking in Starbucks and she said she won’t wear anything but real jewelry.  “I won’t let that fake stuff touch my body”.  Her friend looked like she wanted to die.  Okay Kimora, nope I’m wrong Kimora wears costume jewelry.  Okay Kim Kardashian, Oops she wears costume jewelry too.  She must be Oprah, negative Oprah wears costume jewelry as well.  Millionaires wear costume jewelry.  Of course, it’s a preference, anyone can wear what they want.  But when you are standing in a public place denouncing costume jewelry and then you jump in a Nissan Sentra – I can’t, my latte nearly came through my nose that was too funny.

Listen fellow diva’s, I love costume jewelry.  To me, jewelry is like wearing a piece of art.  I like the basic bling, but it’s nice to see creativity, so the pieces that I tend to gravitate to tend to be unique a little different than the norm.  But I love big stones or small stones.  Pieces that make a bold statement and pieces that are famine and dainty.  Nothing is more delightful to me than to put on a black and white dress and wear a humongous ruby red ring.  That’s the wonderful thing about costume jewelry, it is fairly inexpensive so you can pretty much buy whatever you want.  I love mixing it up.  Bold necklaces next time a bold bunch of bangles – it is oh so much fun.  If you buy decent costume jewelry it will last for years.  My oldest piece of costume jewelry is a Monet broach, its 25 years old and still is just as beautiful as when I purchased it.   As far as I am concerned, you’re not completely dressed until you have accessorized.  There is so much absolutely fabulous stuff out there.  What I find is, if you are true to your fashion sense, when you pick a piece of costume jewelry, you’ll always have something to wear it with, because we tend to like certain colors etc.  What I have also noted is that if you pick something you absolutely love, you will love it 20 years later.  If you choose something fabu, it will certainly be a timeless piece – a treasure.

Of course I love gold jewelry, please believe me.  What diva doesn’t have a few trinkets honey?  But I’m rarely willing to spend that kind of money.  Besides, shopping for costume jewelry is so much fun and it can take that plain dress or pants suit and make it look like it just came off the runway for pennies on the dollar.  Okay, not exactly runway, but close enough.  People often get so caught up on status, but the smart person’s money is in their bank account, better yet invested.  They are not wearing their life savings on their finger.  Just a sip of tea for you diva.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The commitment to exercise regularly is such a difficult one to keep.  Not because exercise isn’t important, we know that it is.  The commitment to exercise is difficult because, you do what you practice.  Like brushing your teeth, if you have done it every day of your life, you have no problem.  If you haven’t exercised regularly, that is where the challenge is.  We have to change our brain.  Pushing yourself to exercise regularly will give you an opportunity to create a new normal.  The thing is, you have to get yourself on a schedule and stick to it.

As I’m struggling with consistency in this area, I had an epiphany after speaking to my sister about this subject yesterday.  No matter how early I need to get going or how late it is when I’m getting ready for bed, I brush my teeth and wash my face.  That is the consistency I must have with fighting the battle of the bulge,” as I am committed to good health.  So this weekend, I’m going to take some time to create a nice “do or die” exercise regimen for myself that has the proper mix of cardio, weight training etc.  I saw a plan that was entitled, “Abs on fire”.  I thought to myself, don’t hurt me.  Oh lord, I’m going to feel that in the morning.  But that is okay.  Once I break down those muscles and they are built up again, it’s going to be awesome. 

This area of my life is as good as fixed – oh yeah.  Diva, sometimes we have to take a stand and ensure we do and get what we need to be healthy and happy.  I’m putting my foot down.  It’s time for a change.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I live for a day at the spa.  This is what you do, call two girlfriends and set up a spa day.  I’m serious, it is the best thing you can do for yourself.  You will be so relaxed, I promise you, you will almost float out of there.  Sometimes work or life in general can be hectic – a little stressful.  One of the best ways to relax is a massage and facial.  These days everybody is so busy, if you do have a girl’s day, it is more like a girl’s hour.  You end up meeting your sisters at the spa.  Nope, that is not the way to start out the women’s rejuvenation session.  This is what you do:

1.       Meet at one person’s house for lunch and ride together.  The unwinding will begin as soon as everyone is catching up laughing and joking around.  Continue the conversation in the car – we do this over music – don’t ask, it just works.
2.       Choose your massage and facial. (Live a little, try something different each time.)
3.       Some girls love to take time while getting their massage to chat it up.  Me, this is where I say adios.  I love to Zen out alone.  The massage comes first for me then comes the facial.  It’s not so easy to stay awake with that music in the background.
4.       When it’s time to leave, listen to relaxing music all the way back home.  The only thing left to do is give your hugs and kisses goodbye.
5.       You have spent quality time with your girlfriends, you’re relaxed and ready for another productive week.

Now that I have shared this priceless secret with you, please make all checks payable to…=)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

There are so many ways to live your life.  I choose to live fabulous.  It really is okay to live your life the way you want to live.  We don’t need anyone’s permission on how we choose to live.  This is very important to note because there will be people who act as if you need to run any changes you make by them. You may choose as a courtesy, to share goals with family members or friends – that is your choice. Do you have to run things past your neighbor or colleagues – again your choice.  There is a difference between telling someone what I am going to do and asking them.  Sometimes that distinction is not realized.

There are some instances when you may need a conversation with a spouse about things simply because your life partners – hopefully he’ll be supportive.  I’m not talking about a new dress, or how you choose to wear your hair – I think every diva can handle that.  There will be situations as you pursue your fabulous lifestyle that may require a careful, agreed upon, thought-out plan. For example, going back to school if you have young children will require a meeting of the minds.  People that love you will help you make good decisions that keep you happy and help you reach your goals.

People who verbally or none verbally show their disapproval (disrespectfully) on how you live, what you choose to wear and other choices you may make, could easily end up in the non-factor category.  If you are making good choices for yourself and dressing well, you are in a good place – stay there.  The one thing you need to realize is, if you didn’t ask for an opinion, there really is no reason to care what they think, especially if they are showing their disapproval in a rude way.  People who are in your circle should be supportive.  What’s funny is, it usually is the person with no fashion sense, no sense at all that has the strongest negative opinion. We are so far away from the junior high school bullying situation of yesteryear.  It would be advantageous for this person to focus on her wonderful life and leave yours alone.  Unfortunately, this type of person never worries about themselves.  They are often too busy worrying about everyone else. When you improve your life and others refuse to, some folks may get annoyed by your growth and development.  This is their problem, not yours – don’t worry about it.  Live your life girl and if you choose to be fabulous you are in good company.  Do everything as much as is in your power to move forward in your life in a positive way – that is what divas do.

Girls just want to have fun is a true statement.  I love to joke and be silly – a good laugh is therapy for the soul.  Going on walks clears my head, nonsense is filed away and peace takes over.  I love music and writing go figure, I’m a blogger.  =)  I believe that there is a time and a place for everything.  I just love dressing for formal occasions.  When I’m at work I dress professionally.  I love clothes, bags, etc. So that’s an easy and fun move for me.  I focus on my job and do the best job that I can.  When I’m at home oh you know I throw the sweats on, but yes they're cute too. What’s fabulous about my life is, I choose to live it my way.  I’m the architect of this building and I definitely have plans.  

Living fabulous is living rich and I don’t mean with money, although currency has its benefits.  I’m speaking strictly about quality of life.  Make every moment count diva, we only get one life.  There is a big world to explore out there.  There are people we need to meet that we don’t know yet. There are friendships we need to form and experiences we need to have.  So yes, I choose to live fabulous, I choose to enjoy my life, and you should too.  I choose, and I make no apologies for that.  Can I get an amen!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How full is your happiness tank?  We can so easily go through life with our happiness tank almost on empty.  It’s called being preoccupied with everybody and everything. You deserve to be truly happy.  So if your happiness tank is on low, what can you do to fill it up?  Well, it all depends on what makes you happy.  What I find from speaking to people is, they either don’t know exactly what will make them happy or they are depending on other people to do it.  Let’s address the latter first.  If you are depending on anyone else to make you happy, and your happiness tank is on low, clearly that is not working for you.  No one is going to be more invested in your happiness than you are.  Diva you will have to take the lead on filling up that tank.  Now don’t get me wrong, our family and friends should definitely add to our happiness or at least they should be.  If they don’t, that is a whole other conversation.  But we have to get out of the habit of depending on people to do for us, what we could and should do for ourselves.  So, back to the first point of my prior statement, there are quite a few people that don’t know what will make them happy, so let’s talk about that shall we. If you can’t rattle it off, it just means you have not given it enough thought.

Happiness is a state of mind, so what will it take to get you there.  That is the question you will have to ask yourself before you can pursue happiness.  Oh, you thought it was just going to come to you – sorry, that’s not how it works.  Like everything good in life, if you want it, some level of pursuit is necessary.  I suggest you take the time to answer the question, “What will make me happy”?  Try to see if you can add at least 10 things to the list.  Once your list is compiled put your list in priority order.  Read it over – if you have been completely honest with yourself, you are on your way.  All you have to do now, is begin to work on you.  Begin to formulate a work plan, adding objectives to your happiness goals, and start the work.  What you will find is that sometimes the sheer initiation of the work, the fact that you are working to fill your happiness tank, will begin to add happiness to your life.  This will happen because you are finally working on doing something just for you. 

Although I can’t tell you exactly what will make you happy, that’s certainly your journey – I can tell you what makes me happy.  So here is my list:
1.     My faith in God
2.     Seeing my children succeed
3.     Spending time with my family & friends
4.     Self- improvement – working on me
5.     Working on my career
6.     Working on my businesses
7.     Creating a peaceful environment in my home
8.     Unleashing my inner diva
9.     Relaxing beachside
10.  Progressive family meetings
11.  Eating at the Olive Garden – luv it. I’m a cheap date, what can I say.
12.  Making sound decisions, living a life with no regrets.

Go for yours diva!  Make your life as wonderful as you want it to be.  I wish you peace and happiness.

Friday, October 21, 2016

When my dad passed away a few years ago, my world was shaken.  He was such a great man, a very generous person who dedicated his entire life to helping people live a better life.  When dad died, it was the worst pain I ever felt in my life, you can’t prepare for it.  It doesn’t matter if your parent was sick or if they died suddenly – they are still gone, and the pain is hard to manage. When my mom passed away, it was unbelievable.  I’m a rational individual.  I know people die, and I didn’t expect my parents to live forever, I would have liked them to though – but it’s okay.  I know that death is part of the cycle of life.  It is truly amazing what we can live through, we are resilient. It is true that every day gets easier, I’ve made my peace with the situation and I could just imagine how happy my parents must be, to be together again.

What I have come to realize, is that my parents’ live on through us.  My sisters and brothers, their children, my children and I imagine one day their children.  We talk like them, we think like them sometimes and it really gets quite funny when we begin to act like them.  Things that annoyed me to death as a child, like all my father’s sayings, I absolutely cherish and use over and over again often.  What I learned from the passing of my parents, is just how short our life cycle really is. 

We don’t have a minute to waste, but we have certainly all wasted precious time already.  Let’s agree no more wasted time, live life to the fullest starting right now.  Sometimes that may mean sitting in your most comfortable chair at home and getting your relax on.  Other times it may be getting that business started or perhaps going back to school.  Whatever “live life to the fullest” means to you right now, do it.  We have this precious opportunity to see our life through a brand new pair of lens – don’t let another minute pass you by.  Love like there is no tomorrow, make every day your best day.  So tomorrow when you wake up, it will be your best day ever.  Diva, what are you going to do?  I’d love to hear about it.  Whatever you decide to do, do it one hundred.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

If your husband is cheating on you, would you want to know?  I know this is a very direct question, but it’s worth it to investigate your answer.  No one really wants to think about that possibility, especially if you love your husband very much.  Some women have the mindset, what I don’t know can’t hurt me.  And although I emphatically disagree, I understand that once you know, everything will change.  I also understand that there is often more at stake than one would initially think, you have to enter these gates with caution but enter them you must.     

 While we are on the subject of the truth, another truth is that whatever is done in darkness will eventually come to light.  So, unless we want to intentionally ignore all the warning signs and kill all the messengers, we will eventually come face to face with our reality.  Oh, and yes, there will be messengers.  Some of your messengers will be people that are simply “messy boots”.  They will be very glad to be in your business sharing the bad news like Channel 9 News.  But, there may also be messengers that care about you and don’t want to see you placed in a compromised position, so don’t kill the messenger.

While it is important to determine whether you would want to know if your husband is cheating on you, I think the bigger question is, if he is, what are you going to do?  There is no quick one size fits all rule of how to handle such a situation.  No one can tell you what your next steps should be, the truth is, only you can make that decision when and if that time comes.  In most cases, women usually don’t know exactly what they will do until they are placed in that position.  I hope you never experience such a thing, but if you don’t, someone you know certainly will.  Having some idea of how things may go will be helpful towards your resolve.  You literally have to create a scientific equation to prepare yourself.  (i.e. If this happens, that I will do this, but if that happens, I  will have to do that…)  It could go on and on.  The best thing to do is to make sure your cash flow is right.  What if you know that your girlfriend’s husband is cheating on her?  Should you tell her, would you tell her?  Perhaps one day more women will talk about these matters and share their honest feelings.  I have asked a few of my girlfriends and all but one said they would want to know.  In my opinion all of those decisions should be respected.  Sometimes it’s best to let people work out their own situation, especially if they share with you they would not want to know.

I personally don’t believe that anyone should make a hasty decision when they are upset.  I believe that if it’s possible to save the marriage (meaning both parties are willing to do what is necessary to get back on track) then that should happen.  No one can be in a marriage alone, so unfortunately some marriages will come to an end – simply because, it takes two.  At the end of the day each woman has to make the hard decisions on what she wants to know and what she will do about it when she finds out.  What’s important here is that some thought on the subject is conducted.  Divas should know, where they would live and how the bills will be paid.  If you have that much figured out, the rest will be easier to deal with.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Are you ready for the winter?  If you’ve lived on the east coast long enough, you know cold weather is about ready to go down.  Because we have this spring like weather going on right now the flowers, bird and all bugs are so confused.  They don’t know whether they are coming or going.  So my little garden flowers were wilted a few weeks ago as we were down to about 45 degrees, now that it is 70 degrees, the plants are trying to make a comeback.  The problem with this is, the last time this happened some of them died.  A few weeks ago all the crickets and flies couldn’t be seen or heard outside, well guess what?  They’re back - but not for long.  Soon, they will be hiding underground to get away from the cold.  I see people too are just a bit confused, some people are walking around wearing long sleeved jackets while others are in tank tops, shorts and flip flops.  Seeing both types of clothing at the same time well - it’s a little weird.

There is no doubt that winter is coming, so we may as well go ahead and get prepared.  I don’t know about you, but I like to be toasty in bed at night, during the winter months.  All my comforters are laundered and ready for their keep me warm assignments.  And yes I sleep with multiple covers, hey when it hits 0 degrees out there - I don’t want to be one comforter short of warmth and coziness.

Things we should think about when preparing for the cold weather.

1.       Get your car checked out to ensure your fluids are topped off and switched over to the thicker fluids where it applies.  Who wants to get stranded in the snow – not any diva I know.
2.       Stock up on salt.  Your local stores may run out, but even if they don’t, who wants to go out in five inches of snow to purchase snow melt salt – not me that’s who.
3.       Stock up on detergents, toilet paper, water and canned items.  Trust me, there are times when the weather is really nasty, you’ll be glad to open a can of something and call it a night.
4.       Ensure your heating system is up and running.  The absolute worst thing that could happen is that you power up your heating system when it’s cold and it doesn’t work.
5.       Oh the gloves, scarfs and winter coats.  Make sure they are laundered.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people coming out of the cleaners in the dead of winter with 4 or 5 coats in their hands and not one on their backs.  I’m thinking pneumonia.
6.       Plan game night events.  It’s not like you’re going out in the snow to a movie.  Nice time to plan a game night and if the pizza guy makes it to your house in the snow – give him a nice tip.
7.       Last but not least, Diva get your clothes right.  Get those winter sweaters and winter suits ready to go.  If you care about circulation and the resistance of frost bite, get it ready now girl.

Prepare, stay warm – stay healthy and definitely stay fabulous.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Some women don’t have the first clue on how to be a good friend.  It’s unfortunate because how this world is set up, we need every good friend we can find.  The thing is, the only way to have a good friend is to be one.  It’s really hard on us girls who are die hard good friends, especially when it’s not reciprocated.  Truth is after a few selfish moves on your end, she will say “girl bye”.  So if you’re in the market for a good friend, I have a few ideas that will help you build that relationship into a lasting one.

1.      Treat others the way you would like to be treated.  It doesn’t always have to go your way, take interest in a friend’s choice and go with it. Tomorrow is another day, it’ll be your choice then.

2.     Be a shoulder to cry on and help when help is needed.  No one wants to be the one running to the rescue all the time, sometimes that person needs support too - be there.

3.     A conversation should be fifty- fifty.  A conversation is a two way street.  If you find yourself doing all the talking without even so much as a breath in between, girl you are doing too much.  Take a breath and listen to her opinion.

4.     Keep a secret, Diva everybody doesn’t have to know what you were told.  If it needs to be said, let your girlfriend be the one to say it, not you.

5.     Do something nice for your friend, just because.  Sometimes we have difficult days and taking your sister out to a girls night dinner or hanging out and watching a movie is nice, even when you have something to do.  You’ll always have something to do.  Besides, how strong can your relationship become if you only spend time once a year when you are free.

6.     Be appreciative.  If your friends do something nice for you, make sure you let her know just how much you appreciate the effort.

7.     Buy thoughtful gifts.  People tend to buy what they like and not give thought to the person they are shopping for.  Well diva, next time her birthday comes around focus on your sister’s preferences. 

8.     Watch what you say to your girl, even if you are mad.  Don’t bring weapons of mass destruction to a fist fight. It’s okay to be angry, but don’t be hateful.  Once the words are out there, you can’t take them back.

We can’t fly solo, we need our girls.  Divas know if you abuse people, you will lose people.  My dad always said, "you never miss the water until the well runs dry".   Nurture your relationships, that is the only way they will stay healthy and strong. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

It’s not unusual for anyone to make a mistake.  Sometimes we simply make poor decisions and those decisions have the potential to create lots of problems in our life.  What is worse than making a bad decision is allowing someone else to make it for you.  I honestly would rather make my own mistakes, than live with the outcome of someone else’s.  Perhaps silly, but I relish in the idea that if something is going wrong in my life, it’s my error and I am certainly invested in fixing it. 

First of all, we should/must make every effort to avoid mistakes in judgement, especially the ones that can be devastating to us or our loved ones.  We can’t control everything and sometimes no matter how hard you try, stuff happens.  However, it is definitely worth it to make an effort to get information prior to.  It is absolutely imperative that we do our due diligence, when and where possible. The more information we can gather prior to making a decision, the better our chances of making a good decision will be.  Don’t get pressured into making rash decision.  Take your time and process the information.  Ask your questions and get the answers you need to make an informed choice.  Whatever it is, if it is for you, it will still be for you when you finish thinking.

I’m not saying you should take a year to decide whether you want to purchase a particular house or not.  Yep, it will be sold to someone else.  I am saying if you met someone a day ago, cool your jets with, we’re getting married.  What could you possibly know about this guy in a few days? If you are in the market for a car, don’t fall in love with the first car you see and purchase it.  It’s a good idea not to buy a car the same day – even if you love it to death.  Shop around, it might be thousands of dollars cheaper somewhere else.  Leave room for negotiation.

Diva what I know for sure is, quick decisions are rarely good ones.  Anything worth doing, is worth doing well and that applies to relationships, large purchases and anything else that will affect your life in a major way.  The old saying, “Haste makes waste” couldn’t be more accurate”.  Don’t let anyone, not even yourself force you to make quick decisions, think it through and save yourself the headache and personal aggravation of finding out you made a choice that bites.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Walk like a giant girl.  Every morning when I wake up, I thank God for another day.  I am always cognizant of the fact, that there may be challenges and even annoyances that I may have to face today.  But, I will walk like a giant because, I know the challenges and the annoyances are not larger than my ability to handle them.  The same rule applies to every woman who understands that her strength comes from within.

We sometimes take for granted the shear strength, courage and determination that it takes to get through our life.  Let’s start with having a child, it is the most amazing thing in the world, but, any mother will tell you that it is also a little stressful. You worry about your health and the health of your unborn child for months and continue until the moment that child is born.  Once you’ve checked that all the fingers and toes are there, you take a small sigh of relief but worrying is far from over.  We won’t even get into the hours of unbearable pain that we endure during labor.  Anything can go wrong after conception.  Some woman don’t make it through childbirth, but that never, not for a minute, deters us from having children.  Did I mention that a large majority of women is also working during their pregnancy?  Wobbling to work with swollen feet, sleep deprived and exhausted.  We still manage to come home, cook and take care of our families.

 It takes guts and gumption to climb the corporate ladder and fight to break through that glass ceiling that prevents so many of us from obtaining the positions that we so rightfully deserve.  There are woman, sisters around the world, who fight every day for basic rights and still don’t have the right to vote or even share their opinion in public.  But Diva’s everywhere know that when they get up every morning, they must have a successful day and therefore, they must walk like a giant – stand tall.  Regardless of your location around the world or your circumstance, you must fill your day with positivity and you will get through it.  Why, because we understand the value and importance of our contribution, and we gladly rise to the challenge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It’s not always easy to get past a painful situation, whether it’s a death in the family, a divorce or that dream job you thought you’ll have forever.  Life marches on, people change, and things change as well.  To successfully get through this life, we have to be accepting of change because change is the only thing that is consistent.  I know I have said this in a previous blog post, but it is so worth repeating.  We have to be more like trees, which bend and shift in the storm.  The secret to successfully weathering the storm is being flexible and having that advance assurance that, this too will end. 

And so, what is left to do after the storm has ended?  Cry, yes certainly – free your soul.  A little discombobulation might be taking place?  Yes, take the time you need to settle down and regroup.  Somethings take a minute to work through.  The thing to understand is, you have to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to work through the situation and your emotions, but you must absolutely move forward - this is not an option.  It’s unhealthy to remain in a negative space for any length of time, why would you want to anyway, it only hurts you. 

What else must you do after that life crises have shocked you, hurt you, and broke you down to the core?  What you do is, treat your life like you would a weather beaten house, you access the damage, save what you can, throw away what is beyond repair and then…you rebuild.  Oh and if there are things you need to upgrade, yeah throw those away too.  This is a great time for a brand new start.  Okay being more practical, you can give stuff away to good will or sell.  Whatever, just get rid of the unnecessary weight/stuff and anything that is a regular reminder of what you need to close the door on.

So, now it’s time to do your life work.  I think it’s always smart to deal with your mental health first, so how are you?  Do you need therapy?  Diva don’t be afraid or feel uncomfortable about getting what you need to put you in a good head space.  If you need a pastor's counseling or a therapist to help you navigate your healing, so be it.  If a good sister or a few sisters can help you figure it out and unclog your drains, hey go with that.  Once you are thinking clearly unhampered by overflowing emotion, it is time to make some life changing decisions.  You must choose to be happy, choose to be healthy and choose to be wealthy.  Yep, they are all choices.  You can’t control everything (i.e. Acts of God) but you can control yourself.  It’s your life, it’s time for you to make the right choices and start the work.

Once you’ve decided what you want, there is only one thing left to do – go for it.  Take one step at a time and rebuild from the ground up.  Purchase yourself a fabulous journal and write out your plan.  Personally, once I write it down – it’s done.  It becomes real, a true measurable goal and I’m on it.  It’s really a fun process,  you may have never thought to undergo it had it not been for the crises.  It’s important to understand that all things work together for good.  Sometimes it’s the most negative things that are the catalyst for the most wonderful things in your life.  You are here, go ahead and enjoy your healing process.  Who says it has to be difficult and tumultuous?  It is what you make it. You have already gone through the difficult part, this step is easy - enjoy! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

I am so looking forward to the holidays.  Why, because it’s another wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with the people I love.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are a big deal in my home.   Like the department stores, I plan for these holidays way too early.  Unlike the department stores, the holidays are not a commercial event to me.  We actually give thanks for our friends, family and our life in general.  Christmas is very special to me because of my religious beliefs and it’s always lots of fun to cook with my girls and enjoy the evening with the fam.  I’m dreaming of a white Christmas sounds good in theory but actuality is another story.  Skip me with the snow and ice, being cold is enough – thank you. 

While I have my thoughts on the holiday season, I do realize though, that there are many people who have lost family members around the holidays and for them, this time of year could be extremely stressful.  There are elderly folks who seems to be forgotten and in general some people can’t afford the expense of gifts and the holiday turkey dinner, etc. 

Let’s remember these people, keeping them in our prayers this holiday season.  Let’s remember the reason for the season and share what we have with others.   Visiting the hospital, an elderly home or simply sending over a plate of food for an elderly neighbor, is sure to warm someone’s heart and put a smile on their face. 

One of the best lessons we can teach our children this holiday season is, there is more to life than getting everything they want for Christmas.  Dropping off gifts to children in homeless shelters or the cancer center is an experience your children will never forget.  It’s all about the memories so make wonderful memories this year, plan early and do some good in the world diva.  Don’t let the opportunity to make a difference pass you by this holiday season.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My father was a master carpenter and I remember his huge tool box full of tools and other equipment that he used to maintain my childhood home.  I was impressed with his ability to make his measurements and calculations - they had to be precise.  “Measure twice, cut once”, he always said.  I learned quite a bit about home repairs by tagging along sometimes, but clearly not nearly enough.  I can’t tell you the number of times that I wished I paid more attention to the steps and process of completing certain repairs.  Don’t think for a minute I’m interested in doing any of that stuff – I’m not.  But, I understand the importance of knowing how things should be done correctly – there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything, especially when it comes to home repairs.  Repairs could be a costly situation, especially if you have to correct an error that was made by the last contractor.  Just a few tips for the Diva who is contemplating getting home repairs done.

1.       Word of mouth is the best way to find a contractor.  Ask trusted neighbors, your friends or family members.  Someone may have used someone that did an excellent job for them. 

2.       Plumbers, electricians and every contractor in between can be costly.  It’s important to get bids on the job you need to complete.  Ask questions pertaining to how it will be done and the timeline.

3.       Make sure you get an itemized agreement.  Know what they are going to do, using what type of materials and when the job can be expected to be completed. 

4.       This should actually be first on the list.  Never pay up front.  Don’t take away the best incentive to get your job done timely and properly.  Pay by check never cash.

5.       Know who you’re doing business with and who will be coming into your home.  Nothing is more upsetting than to meet someone you feel you can trust to have him send back Pooky and his cousin to do the actual work. 

6.       Research the job you need done.  It’s important to be somewhat knowledgeable about the job you need to complete.  Using the wrong supplies or materials means what goes up easy will come down the same way.

7.       Choose your products where possible – you’ll know what the value and quality of it is.

8.       Someone needs to shadow your contractor.  It helps to ask questions (not too many though) along the way.  It's important to have the opportunity to stop the job if you don’t like something, before it gets done.  Also, every Diva knows, you trust no one with the run of your house.  Yep, got to know where they are and that the job is being completed in a timely manner, especially if you are paying by the hour.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Have you ever had to speak to someone who has a nasty disposition?  During your conversation, they are constantly throwing shade?  They are working off the assumption that you either don’t understand what they truly mean or you don’t know how to respond.  Bullies come in all shapes and forms, and sometimes they simply need to be ignored, sometimes not.  You decide.

I’m certain diva’s get this all the time, there is always someone who feels like they have to put you in your place.  After all, who do you think you are?  Well diva, apparently they know exactly who you are or they won’t be trying so hard to change who you are in their minds. 

Can I be frank, I have an urgent need to write a letter?  Dear Shady folks, Divas are educated, articulate and trust and believe nothing is going over their head.  I can bet you, for certain, they can more than respond.  Speaking on a personal note, I know of only a few people that can handle my mouth, but I chose to take the high road.  We have the potential to make your ears bleed, just so you know.  Trust me, you don’t want any of this.  Everybody can be nasty, curt, shady and downright disrespectful.  Being obnoxious is not a highly learned skill, we are all capable of it.  Diva’s chose not to negatively engage but don’t take our meekness for weakness - that can change without prior warning. Sincerely a diva that can't be so bothered with the junior high school shenanigans. 

There is a time and a place for everything.  Where, if or when we engage must always be our choice.  We can't let anyone control our behavior ever or cause us to act out of character.  We can chose to respond in like fashion or not – but we know that less is often more.  What we don’t say, is sometimes more powerful and to the point, than what we do.  So when possible, remain calm and smile.  Why, because that is what we choose to do, while we are thinking, "No energy worth wasting here Felica."  

Understand that it don’t make anyone a big person, because they have a big mouth.  Professionalism and self-control dictate that everything that someone thinks, does not have to come out of their mouth - so you would hope.  Someone else's opinion of a person does not change who that person truly is. My father always said, if you don’t have something good to say... don’t say anything.  People should speak to the point and when they think of something shady to say, they should do themselves a personal favor and simply zip the lip.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Have you ever worked somewhere and you couldn’t wait to leave every day?  There are so many people who absolutely hate their job.  In some cases, they don’t like what they are doing.  Perhaps it’s simply not a good fit with their skills and abilities.  In other cases, the boss may be a micro-manager who is clueless.  I’ve been in that position in my early career days.  There is nothing worse than someone who wants to tell you what to do when they don’t know what they are doing, never mind know what you are doing.  There are other cases where people are dissatisfied with their place of employment because they don’t really like the people or the culture/atmosphere at work.  When you find the right match, you will find that you enjoy it so much, it feels less like work and more like, well like fun.

I happen to be a very lucky person in this regard. I absolutely love my job.  I not only love what I do but more importantly, I love who I do it with.  I have the absolute best staff.  I’ve worked with some of these teachers for 16 years and some just a few months, but we have a good working relationship.  I think what’s important here is that I trust my staff to be professionals and to do an excellent job - they certainly do.  Is everything always perfect – no.  That is not the expectation.  The expectation is that we will do our best job every day and that happens.  The most favorite part of my job is teacher observations.  This is when I get to see the magic happen.  I get to watch teachers do a fabulous job of educating students in caring environments conducive to learning.  I know they work hard, but they make it look effortless.  Their efforts are genuine and natural and that is evident.  My teachers come in early at times, they leave late.  I know they take work home, they want the best for their students.  It’s a pleasure to work with these ladies.

If you are lucky enough to work with people who are passionate about their job, who get along well with each other and understand the big picture, you understand the value of excellent staff.  An import part of any leader’s job is to work with staff to create a work culture and then give them the leeway and support they need to accomplish the mission of doing their job.

These are just a few things I learned along the way:

1.       Trust people to do the right thing – they will.  And for the one or two that won’t, they now showed you how to work with them.
2.       Appreciate the talents and skill set that each person brings to the job.  Let people do what they do best.
3.       Celebrate diversity.  We are all different, yet we are so much alike.  Appreciate each person as their individual self.  This is not a one size fits all kind of thing.  Take the time to learn about other cultures and respect all of them.
4.       Fairness is the best policy.  You can’t supervise people who can’t trust you to be fair.
5.       Kindness is paramount.  Yes the work must get done, but respect and appreciate individual situations and help people work through personal difficulty.  In short, be supportive.
6.       Listen more, talk less – Director’s don’t always have the answers, I have so many staff that have skill
sets that enhance my own.  You can learn from your staff, respect that.
7.       Appreciate leadership.  You don’t have to be the only leader, provide opportunity for those who are interested to do so.
8.       Morality, ethics and work standards go a long way.  Be the first example of what you want to see in others.
9.       Support your staff.  If you are not prepared to support your staff, choose another field.  Teachers are as effective as their leaders.  If you don’t provide them with the assistance they need to do a good job, you’re the biggest part of the problem.
10.   If you are in a leadership position you don’t have to act like “the big boss”, it’s so last year.  If you’re the boss everybody already knows it.  Team work works.

Always stay “in the know”.  Study, research and investigate.  But above all, do a great job and support your staff, people work best when they know you care.