The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Let me lick you up and down til you say stop. – Silk

Check out 5 different ways to use coconut oil here.

I love me some coconut oil. You can use it for practically anything I swear! My top daily uses are:

  1. Oil pulling!This 3,000ish year old practice comes from Ayurvedic medicine. You swish coconut oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes to release the demons! and to pull toxins out. Spit it out when done, do NOT swallow (that’s what she said!). “Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath.”
  2. Moisturizer!– Raw shea butter is hella hard, so I add coconut oil to it and blend it up together to make a creamy and luscious body butter. I use it on my hands, my feet and for my abdominal womb massage nightly.
  3. Hair growth!– My main squeeze is trying to grow his hair out and Southern California is hella dry, so I mix Tea Tree Oil in a glass container with coconut oil to massage into his scalp, this stimulates hair growth and combats the dry flakies! It’s a 2fer! 2 treatments in 1 mixture!
  4. Cooking!– I love the taste of coconut, it makes me feel like I’m in the tropics somewhere. Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures like other oils so it’s good for high temp cooking, especially rice dishes (mmmmm!). Now I know some people don’t prefer the taste of coconuts (like how?) but Trader Joe’s got ya covered, they make a triple filtered coconut oil that takes most if not all of the wonderful coconut flavor out. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, you can also get it here!
  5. LUBE!– yes honey! Lubrication for sexy time! Coconut oil is naturally antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, isn’t that amazing?! It got me smellin like a damn summer paradise between the legs and between the sheets! I used to work in sex retail and I’ve used a plethora of lubes from silicone, to water and all those in between and coconut oil is by far my fave! It works for partner use and solo play either with or without your adult toys. Side note: Make sure all your toys are high grade silicone, glass, metal or crystals! 🙂 Those are the only materials I recommend to go into your body, this goes for men, women and non binary!
  6. Baby’s Bum and other skin irritations!– This wasn’t in the original video, but coconut oil is a daggone miracle worker! Anytime my son has a small skin irritation, whether that be in his diaper area or under his armpit or some other roll that’s not being clean properly b/c babies stay sweatin, I clean it and then put a little coconut oil on it and BAM! it’s gone by the next day if not in a matter of hours!

I’ve listed my top 6 daily uses here, but there’s so many more!! Here’s an article from another awesome mama with 101+ uses and benefits for home AND beauty! That’s so many!!

So what are you waiting for? Go get some right now!

– xOx

Ciao Ciao Vices!

Ciao, adios, sayonara my dear friends // Jose, Grey and Henny, you been with me through thick and thin // We’ve had some fun nights with the ladies and the mens // but now it’s time to say goodbye to day drinking, hangovers, recapping in the AM // I’m starting a new chapter, a new life, so that’s it, I’m fin // Cleansing my temple from years and years of sin // Bringing new life & adding wealth to my kin. // I’ll think back on our time together with mixed feelings and a grin // maybe one day I’ll revisit, but for now, I gotta go hard for the win. 

A rare look into one of my last drunk nights captured on video.

So as you know, we’ve been working on an ongoing preconception plan for a minute and one of the ways to really get prepared is to cleanse our bodies through our food choices, adding vitamins to our daily regimen and cutting out all of our vices! Yikes! In preparation for alla that, we decided to spend our last pre-baby summer micro-dosing on shrooms, going on DMT journeys, road trippin, nude beachin and we were even lucky enough to be able to take a work/pleasure trip to Spoleto, Italy for a month to macro-dose on red wine and theatah! I will say once we got home from Italy, weening off the vino was not easy, especially since we were hosting my sister from Amsterdam who had a bottle waiting for us upon US arrival! Even with all the temptations, I knew I would put in the hard work to clean out this temporary home for my future bambinx. With a party night here and a party night there, I began the process as you’ve seen in several of my previous v/blogs. This video is def not about the cleansing, but one of my last crazy nights in the streets of Italy! I hope you laugh as much as I did when I found it the next morning!

– xOx

PS. At the beginning of the insert video, I say “where Josh and I are walking”, I was trying to say “staying” cuz I was def walking home solo. D-ruuuuunk!

 

Fertility Smoothie

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Making my daily fertility smoothie here!

Mmmm fruit smoothies and preventative food medicine that packs a nutritional punch! POW! There’s a number of things that make a smoothie great and if you’re a little veggie-lover like me, one of the major things is making sure I’m getting the right fats and PROOOOOTEIN! I’m all about that protein life and it’s the annoying question every carnivore will ask, “how do you get your protein?” “Umm there’s a rack of sources, oh limited thinker that’s been conditioned by our meat industry.” Each of my protein shakes typically has 30+ grams of protein per serving. Now, let me hurry up and write this post so I can go make one!

My typical daily smoooovie!

Almond Milk. 8-12oz. I’m not that intense yet that I make my own almond milk and I tend to lean towards the unsweetened option of the Trader Joe’s brand.

Juice, *optional* If I happen to have some delish fresh juice in the house, I’ll add a few ounces up in the mix for flavor and to thin it out a bit.

– H2o. I always add a couple ounces of water because my smoothies tend to come out on the thick side and Mama likes to be able to actually drink them sans a spoon!

Coconut Oil. 1-2TB. Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat! We need fat, point blank period and this is coming from a pretty vain Queen, but our bodies need the good fat to function properly. The fat that comes from coco oil helps balance our hormones, gives our body the fat it needs to use and store as well as giving us healthy fat for pregnancy, our future babies’ brains and has been shown to increase the Laurie acid content in breast milk! BOOM! Not to mention it’s great lube too ;)~ don’t worry, that will be a whole ‘nother post in itself! Trader Joe’s has a pretty good variety of coco oil to choose from these days.

Flax Seed Oil. 2TB. Hands down if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you need Omega 3s, it’s a must for us! Flax seed is a great source of omega 3s and fiber, but it’s not the only way to get them now. We also have the option of chia seeds and walnuts, but they don’t go down as smoothly in a smoothie without additional prep work, so I opt for the Snappie way and oil it is! I eat chia on my oatmeal, cereal and salads and snack on walnuts on their own! You can find it in the vitamin section of Trader Joe’s!

Vegan Protein. 1 scoop. I try to only buy protein that has multiple protein sources and at least 20 grams of protein. My FAVORITE brand, again, is Garden of Life specifically their RAW Organic Protein, “Raw Organic Protein is a Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified RAW Vegan Protein powder made with 13 Raw sprouted proteins delivering 22 grams of protein that is dairy free with a complete profile of all the essential amino acids along with added whole food fat-soluble vitamins, probiotics and enzymes.” (lifted directly from their site!) and I mean really do I need to write or sell it anymore?

Peanut Butter. 1-2TB. Legit, I go through about a jar of PB a week, forreals, in my smoothies, cereal, oatmeal and sometimes just on a spoon with a glass of almond milk. It’s got more FAT, the good kind, it’s a great source of protein and the kind I buy, again from Trader Joe’s, has no other ingredients other than peanuts! GASP!?! We don’t need all those other added ingredients says I? It’s true.

Shatavari Root Powder. 1/2 tsp. Go here for a full spread on the Shatavari Root, but if you’re just gonna stick to this page, here’s a real quick rundown of Shatavari. It’s an Aryurvedic herb known as “woman with 100 husbands” okay?! It’s a great herb for ampin’ up that libido, fertility and even lactation…pump, pump it up, in all the ways.

Las fruttas. I eye this out, but if you want measurements, like 1/2 of each piece of fruit I have and I have my faves naturally. Bananas blend hella well, so does papaya and it seems I also use a lot of mango and pineapple (if the latter 2 aren’t in season, I usually buy the bag of chopped and frozen from TJ’s). I love me some avocado too, it makes the smoothie creamy delish and of course adds more of that good fat! Of course if I don’t have any of those, I just use whatever fruit is in the house, apples, pears, melons, blueberries, whatever’s in season and in my fridge. Chop it and screw it!

Now, mix all these ingredients up in whatever blender you have, I use a Ninja, which works totally fine, but am suuuper pressed to get a Vitamix! There’s gotta be a raffle or something somewhere! Let me know!

PS. Do I sound like a Trader Joe’s junkie or like I’m getting a kickback from TJ’s? I wish I was!! Hey TJ, send a gift card this way!

– xOx

Not Pregs Yet

My timing is not your timing and so the story goes // To invite you in, I must learn // it’s about relinquishing control // To my Spirit, lover, ancestor and friend // the meeting of old souls // Sacred forces of love // waiting for you to unfold // We’ll dance again, we’ll pirouette // sashay around the sun // trip and twirl with Mother Moon // feeling our hearts beating inside my one.

A clip into my feels.

So 2 cycles of “intentionally” trying to get pregs and it hasn’t happened yet. I know that this can take some time, in fact, I’ve googled it now, of course, and there’s only a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. Which means, years ago, I was hitting that 20% like a muthafuckin bullseye! I very much believed that the first time me and my sperm-totin, chromosome-slingin partner had unprotected sex that that would be it! We’d totally be pregs on the first try. I wasn’t even putting that much pressure on us, at all, we were like whatever about it. We agreed that after we paid off our consumer debt, we’d just be less safe in the lovemaking arena and see what happened, whenever it happened, and it hasn’t happened. Okay, not gonna lie, I was also trying to have a Cancer baby, because we’ll be TWINS and BFFs!!!, but that dream is gone for now and I’m trying not to micromanage what my baby’s zodiac sign will be (*please let it be a water sign, please let it be a water sign*).

I guess I was also thrown off because I had started my preconception plan; my body, mind and spirit work 6-10 months before our projected “unsafe sex” zone! Then having lots and lots of boning in as many crazy places and positions as possible so we could have a fun conception story and then I wake up to the crimson tide, again. It’s a shock and it sucks, especially when I’ve now deemed myself “ready”. Are we ever really ready though? I’m hopeful and faithful that we have a purpose and a place in the continued creation of beautiful humans that will be part of the good in the world. I know that it could take us up to 12 months to get pregnant and after that we can seek even more expert help.

Today, I let myself be sad, mourn with the first day of my cycle and then I’ll feel the blessing and cleansing that it is and I’ll honor it while dancing with the phases of the moon. To be continued…

– xOx

IUDs & other BCs

When we’re ready for each other // that’s the moment we’ll meet. // Arm in neck, hips on feet // The nectar from your body // is the most syrupy sweet. 

“Well we’re movin on doooown (the list) to the Southside, I finally have some peace of miiiind!” (to the tune of Good Times, naturally!)

Here’s a quick vid about my various birth control experiences!

Oh birth control, how much I owe you for keeping me free from unwanted pregnancies for the last 10+ years. Also shout out to Planned Parenthood for helping me plan and keepin it safe fo free.99! I have tried a variety of birth control methods in this lifetime, including the pullout method. PS. it doesn’t work. PPS. You can get pregnant off pre-cum, I have a teenage daughter that proves this theory. Sooooo after becoming a teen mom and to keep it really real, (because that’s how I likes to keep it) a miscarriage, 2 abortions and a couple of Plan Bs later I got my shit together and started some damn consistent birth control using.

First for me was, the pill, and for me, was #theworst, I could never remember to take it, let alone at the same time everyday. I don’t even remember what pill(s) I took, I tried a variation of at least 4-5 different ones over the years, I sucked at taking them all. Add to that lots of hormones and breakouts. Ugh. I am not even going to pretend to be an expert on the pill, so HERE is an amazing link with more details then I will ever know!

NEXT…The patch was cool for the duration of which I endured it. It did it’s thing and made my period hella predictable, and I only had to think about it 1x a week when I switched out the sticky patch, but then Moms called and told me about women getting blood clots from using it and asked me to stop, I willingly obliged. I also had to frequently scrub around it, because it got that gross band-aid gunk around the edges. I typically wore it in my bikini line area, but I saw girls with them on their arm like a damn nicotine patch…I never got that one. “…chicks with birth control stuck to they arm like Nicorette // You really fuckin’ that much or trying to get off cigarettes?” – Talib Kweli

NEXT…The NuvaRing was my thing thing! I loved it, it was like hear no evil see no evil. I didn’t have to think about it but 1x a MONTH! You wear it for 3 weeks and take it out for 1 to get your menstrual cycle OR you can put in another one to skip your period! I did that for the Bahamas and was stoked that it worked! Many months later I started realizing that I was becoming a psycho with crazy moodswings…well like more than normal anyway and I told my partner I didn’t want to use any hormonal birth control anymore because I wanted some semblance of sanity, they of course were totally cool with that idea and we said adios to the ring!

  • Oh GAWD- side story: My homegirl took the bartender home from the club one night and as he was fingering her, he felt her NuvaRing, freaked, pulled it out and chucked it across the room in the dark! She promptly turned on the lights and made him help her find it before they proceeded!

NEXT…Condoms are pretty classic. If you use them right and there’s no accidents, they definitely do the job. Just make sure that they fit your mate accurately, not everyone needs a magnum no matter how big their ego is, trust and make sure that they’re rolled down all the way with space at the tip for that precious cum or it definitely can/will bust. You can tell it’s on upside down if it doesn’t easily roll down and the slack is on the other side. With condoms, you do give up the skin to skin contact, which is the best when you’re with a partner you know and trust! Expert tip: every now and then, especially when you’re having a real intense sesh, reach down and make sure that the condom is still up to the base of the penis!  I can tell you from personal experience, that they can slide off and get pushed up and stuck inside the vaginal canal. That was 2 embarrassing trips to the health-center on campus during college.

NEXT…The ParaGuard IUD was my faaaaaaaaave! This was the shiznittal bang for me. Once you set it, you can forget it! I got it and kept it in for 6 years without one scare or one problem, minus getting the strings trimmed when my partner said he could feel them at first. After that, it was easy peasy. The IUD I chose is good for 12 years (previously 10 years), is made of copper, absolutely no hormones and immediately reversible upon removal. I’m a huge fan and will sell the IUD to anyone who is even thinking about getting it! (not literally selling it!) The “negatives”, the insertion and removal, neither are comfortable. The first, you have to be on your menstrual cycle so that you cervix is slightly dilated, breathe through it girl, it only lasts a few seconds with some cramping to follow for a couple of hours, it was by far the worst day of the IUD. “Supposedly”, what they tell you is that it can lengthen your cycle, make it heavier and you could have more cramps. None of that happened for me, but I also have always had a longer and heavier period then most and no cramps. The removal, you can get at any time of the month, not the chillest feeling when they pull it out, but it’s seriously it’s like 2 seconds and you’re done! No cramps, no bleeding and they asked me if I wanted to see it…I did and gave thanks and a heartfelt goodbye to my little kung fu karate-chopping sperm killer!

I also tried a female condom once and only once…idk if I wasn’t using it right or what, but they (scientists) have a long way to go until that thing is comfortable or usefully wearable.

Spermicide was a thought at one point, nothing says sexy time like shooting foam up your vagina and then asking your partner to wait 15 minutes before getting it on. It stayed in the paper sack from whence it came.

So what does this tell you about me and people like me? That the best form of birth control, for us, is something we don’t have to think about, ever. Now I see it, now I don’t! There are at least 7 other forms of birth control that I didn’t try and that you can check them out at this snazzy site with a pretty extensive list here.

I’m an advocate for safe sex, duh! I think teaching abstinence is dumb (does that sound judge-y?) and especially dumb with the exclusion of birth control education. That being said, I do think everyone should wait to have sex until they’re ready, which is different from person to person. We each need to respect our partner’s or want-to-be partner’s choices. Sex is AHH-MAZING when enjoyed by all those involved, which means consent is mandatory! Remember, yes means yes and the absence of a “no” is not a yes! This goes for all genders, sexual identities and preferences. If someone seems iffy, don’t push them, thank them for taking care of themselves and when you get some alone time, pleasure yourself if you want to. Solo-play is actually the safest sex possible! Mutual respect, safety and trust are the only way to go in Sex Land!

– xOx

Fertility Altars

My body itself is an altar, a sacred space, a religious place. 

Here’s a quick tour of my fertility altar.

We have altars set up throughout our home, 4 to be exact. I would even go as far as saying our home is an altar in itself as are the two humans who currently occupy space here. I love me some rituals and altars are all about rituals and purposeful places of worship. My home is definitely full of devotion as well as praise! So as I prepared to call our little spirit baby to join us in this life, I created an altar with all my fave fertility relics and some schweet treats! Here’s the objects I chose to put on my fertility/welcome bambinx altar! 🙂

  • Coconut Oil: Good for just about everything, but my new fave…lube honey! It’s like a tropical paradise down under! Good for solo play, w/toys, and with ya partna!
  • Food: an apple, an orange and my favorite chocolate mints. I think every altar should have things that are living (need to add a plant to this one!) and things that are being sacrificed, the fruit. I’m blessing them and asking for blessings as I add them to the spread. At the point I do become pregnant, I’m plan on eating the fruit that’s present.
  • Fertility Portion:
    • My favorite vibrator, the Lelo Ina Wave. I def wanted something on there that was fallic and that brings me joy and since I can’t put my lover up there, the next best thing will have to do. *side note* 3 words: full body orgasm!
    • Viva La Vulva! It’s a vulva pin that I picked up at 2016’s Amber Rose’s Slut Walk and met the cutest pair of feminist, sex-positive entrepreneur artist gal partners! I love their pins and stickers and am sad I can’t find any contact page to tag.
    • Ganesh who was actually a wedding present from my spouse’s childhood friend that she bought while traveling in South Asia. Ganesh represents fertility and is the destroyer of obstacles! So having her aboard the altar was a no-brainer!
    • Venus of Willendorf c. 25,000 B.C.. obvi I don’t have the original, in fact mine is carved from wood not limestone. There’s a bunch of theories on her,  but like who do we ask to know for sure, right? This is even before Jesus’s time! Some theories are; she was used as a symbol of fertility, represented procreativity, could have been a good luck charm, a deity or mother goddess! My fave theory about the red ochre pigment covering her is that it’s thought to symbolize menstrual blood which was seen as a life giving agent. Yay!! Ahh pre-patriarchy and hate of all women things, let’s get back there, shall we?
    • Moonstone, the stone of fertility, the love stone and it connects us to the goddess and the moon! Plus it’s the stone for my birth time and is said to accelerate psychic abilities!
    • Yoni Eggs: Holistic vaginal weights made of precious healing crystals. This link will take you to my other v/blog I created on my favorite vaginal inserts! 🙂
  • Hopeful baby daddy’s crystals, although I joke in the video that he didn’t want to be left off of the altar, it is important for him to have a stake and a presence in all aspects of baby consciousness and I’m very grateful that he’s into all the same hippie spiritual ways. I tease and call him my monk.
  • BOOKS!: We are big readers individually and collectively, we read as much as we can together, like legit read out loud together from the same book like some nerds. Lots of relationships books, finance books, plays, anything that is going to continue to help us grow and develop into better versions of ourselves! I think it’s SO important that a couple read together and continue to work on the relationship. Time changes, we change, reading together, for us, has helped us to stay on equal footing.
  • Incense: I typically light one every day, especially during yoga and meditation times. My favorite scent is so cliche I feel like, nag champa. I could smell it all day!
  • Above the altar
    • Erotic art! I’m so into it and I want more! Right now I have a Kama Sutra basic position piece from The World Erotic Art Museum in Miami, Florida. Please go if you’re ever there, it’s incredible, they have everything and I don’t want to spoil it for you! We have a couple making love that was spray-painted on black canvas for us in the streets of Barcelona, Spain! Lastly, I have a abstract piece from an artist in Joshua Tree, California.
    • Dreamcatchers: We made at a Native American site and event at Kuruvungna Springs. We were actually really proud of how they turned out even though they look like a child made them!
    • Our vows!! Bae and I were up ’til the wee hours of the morning the night before our wedding (separately!) finishing up our vows, in fact I was still cleaning them up in the space a couple hours before the ceremony. I’m happy that we wrote our own vows and what’s hilarious is we both open on almost the exact same line. We are the same human sometimes! 🙂

Our altars will continue to shift and breathe with me and the changes that I go through, just like it will modify once I’m in pregnancy mode then into postnatal! It’s probably why I have 4 of them throughout the house. We live, we grow, we add, we purge and we pray.

– xOx

Saying goodbye…

FullSizeRender 2
Seeing love & inspiration in all things today.

Heart bleeding, beeting, bleating.

Red eye to the east side for a ritual to say goodbye,

collectively we’ll inhale-exhale as the spirit ascends,

passed the limit of sky lines,

to a place not tied by earthly binds …’til we meet again on the other side.

 

 

No v/blog this week. My boo’s grandfather, a man who lived, what I’m learning was, a rich colorful life, passed away last week and we’ll be flying 3,000 miles away to be with our ginormous family and to be a part of the homecoming and grieving rituals. Let death remind us to not take these breaths for granted.

– xOx

Yoni Eggs I

God lives within me and she is a fierce lover. She is spiritual, she is sexual, she is confirmations and contradictions. She is the living well of life. 

Ahhh one of my favorite topics! Mainly because I get to talk about vaginas, spirituality and self-love with a big ole heapin tablespoon of solo play!

A quick sneak peak into my personal yoni egg collection and practice!

Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning “source, sacred temple, womb” in other words…our VAGINAAAAAAAA! Yoni eggs are holistic vaginal weights, used to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles, aka “Kegel” muscles which most people are familiar with, but Kegel was a dude gynecologist and I’d like to keep the man and his name off my vag and the internal practice we were already doing before he stuck his pole on our property! (All puns intended).

I’ve been using yoni eggs almost daily for over a year now, but it def wasn’t my first rodeo with putting weights in my vajajay. I’ve worked in the sex retail industry for over 2 years, I’ve used my own muscles, metal ben wa balls, glass and silicone weights, but when I found yoni eggs on a late-night internet rabbit hole as I was looking for more ways to aid in my recovery, I knew I needed them stat! So here’s ALL the reasons I fell into yoni eggs and why I stick with my daily practice!

  • 1. Physically/Sexually: the actual mechanics and strength building of having something weighted in your vagina and what that can do for sex, for giving birth which I’m in prep to conceive, for solo play, to prevent incontinence. You can totes do vaginal strengthening sans weights, but it’s just like working out at the gym with and without weights, you’ll get more results and quicker! Plus it’s fun to grip up on things with your partner to show off your strength! Can you feel me now?!
  • 2. Holistically: I’m a hippie. I love rocks and crystals. Yoni eggs are made from precious stones from the earth, I just intuitively trust them more plus they carry their own healing energy.
  • 3. Emotionally: Emotions are energy in motion and the stones really do hold and share energy with us, letting us release blocked emotions and as a sexual trauma survivor they’ve been very powerful as a tool in my own recovery and healing. I wear one or a combo of 2 to therapy quite often.
  • 4. Spiritually/Ritualistically: I feel very connected to ancestral healing, so I was drawn to the history, sisterhood and feminine spirit within the practice. I love the feeling of oneness and connectedness with a generational tradition that I can learn from and carry on to other women, like maybe my own daughters one day! *Yoni eggs were used by Taoist royalty thousands of years ago, this is not a new practice.*

Anyhoo…in a nutshell, yoni eggs, for me: turn me on, amp up my orgasms, connect me to my body, to the Feminine Divine, other vagina owners throughout herstory and on a practical level they keep my chocha lubed up and tight a’ight!

I’m trying to keep these v/blogs Snappie, but dangit if there’s not soooooo much yoni goodness! I used to host 1 hour yoni egg conference calls with newbies all over the world just to guide them into their practice! It was the bees knees and I miss it, so I could legit talk about this topic all day, like how to insert them, how to release them, how to clean them, when not to wear them and YONI BREATHING, omGAWD yoni breathing…oh and having sex with them in and vaginal reflexology being a thing, and, and, and! So much, too much for 1 post….so you know what that means, there’ll have to be a Yoni Eggs II in our future!

– xOx

Financial Freedom

Money is a useful tool and I am the craftsman. 

 A micro slice of my journey towards Financial Freedom!

Everything I learned about the almighty dollar, I learned at home, like most of us. There were no personal finance classes in school (though there totally needs to be!), no one to teach us about debt and credit or how at 18 I would get those oh so tempting credit card lures in the mail, which I would totally bite, hook, line and SINK! I bought 3 fresh to death leather jackets at 18 which I’m pretty sure I paid on for years after. Although my father was good with money, he was an accountant for the military, I didn’t grow up with him and he was more or less a bit of hoarding Scrooge McDuck when it came to money anyway. My super loving generous mother was at the opposite side of the spectrum, holding the belief that you can’t be buried with your money (kind of true, but I mean have you seen the Egyptian tombs?!) She taught me that you might as well spend your money now, enjoy yourself, treat yourself, treat your friends. It’s a fine concept for living in the present that unfortunately doesn’t roll over into any type of savings account. With that philosophy, I grew up living check to check with bill-paying days being pretty tense times to say the least. Sometimes we had to wait for payday to turn on the heat or the AC and there were times we had to go without things that we wanted. Now, I never starved or went naked (though fine with it now, I would’ve mortified me back in the day!) and my mother spoiled me when and where she could. I reflect on the above not to shit talk my parents, they did what they could as young divorcees and probably didn’t have a whole lotta formal financial training themselves, but I’m sharing to say, I didn’t know what the F I was doing when it came to money. I loaded up my credit card(s) and then when I couldn’t pay da bills…I just stopped. Just like that. Stopped paying, stopped answering phone calls, moved. PS. Don’t do that. I never even had a savings account, I mean I had one, but there was never any money in it. When I started dating my boo thang, It was a huge turn-on for me that he had a savings account AND he had money in it!! Like more than $100! His savings game was strong and it was important to him. However, I would say some of my bad money habits rubbed off on him over the years, using credit cards for things we didn’t need, not paying bills on time, etc. When the inkling of thinking about the potential of a starting a family came to mind, I knew that I didn’t want to continue the cycle of money like water especially when I was living in a draught! And I wasn’t in a draught because I wasn’t working, I was in a draught because I didn’t know how to manage my dinero. Something needed to change.

I heard about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) through a friend years before and how she had been able to pay off SO much debt so quickly, she shared with me the steps that I tried to incorporate without having to actually invest time, money and accountability into the class! Basically…you get what you pay for, believe that. So finally, last year, I was like “Bae, we takin this class and we taking it together!” After a little convincing on why we were going to pay for a class to learn about saving money, he was down. I’m not even doing this class justice when I say, it’s the ish, but it is! FPU completely revolutionized how we handle and think about moolah. The #1 thing we wanted to do before we even attempted on gettin it on (baby-making) was to pay off all of our consumer debt, aka credit cards, we had 3 between us. FPU, legit has the simplest most practical steps to follow, in fact they’re so simple, they’re called “Baby Steps”. I’ll say the one piece of advice I have if you take this class is just listen to Dave, don’t do things your way, this man is pure financial genius and the steps are in an order for a reason. Having debt is normal, not having debt is WEIRD! Let’s be weird!

SO, long story short, in less than a year we saved up our emergency fund and paid off all 3 of our credit cards! Paid off, cut up and CLOSED OUT homie! Neva eva to be used again. We now cash flow every big purchase, meaning, we save up for that shit or we don’t get it. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes we have to say no to eating out with friends, going to concerts, vacays, you know fun life stuff, but it’s temporary, “you’ve got to live like no one else, so you can live like no one else” – directly from Dave. We had to save up our emergency fund twice, because we had a freakin random, he’s too old to be gettin wisdom teeth emergency extraction. We used cash, paid for those suckers and it only took us 2 pay periods to get our fund back in place!

In closing, (don’t I sound all lawyer-y?!) One of the most useful tools FPU teaches is the envelope system. You budget for everything, groceries, gas, entertainment, clothing, pocket money and you withdraw cash and put it in envelopes. Once those envelopes are empty, that’s it, you’re done, and let me tell you watching that beautiful green bill leave your hand never to return the same is a lot harder than mindlessly swiping right or left…oh wait, that’s tinder ;)~ but you get me, with swiping you don’t see the money go, go, gooooo until the day you get declined!

Caveat: this class, as wonderful and beneficial as it’s been for me is very heteronormative, focused on couples and has a lot of Christian scripture references. I happened to be married to a man and I was raised Christian, but I also identify as a member of the LGBTQ family as well as have many different spiritual beliefs outside of the Christian faith as do many of my framily. One of my besties who does not identify as Christian also took the class with us and we both believe that anyone regardless of religious, sexual orientation or relationship background can benefit from the practical steps outlined in this class. I say all this because I don’t want anyone to be deprived of these super simple steps to live in financial freedom! Dave is a devout Christian (hence the Biblical references) and he’s also a practical money man, it’s worth checking out however you identify!

The Baby Steps:

  1. Save $1,000
  2. Pay off debt
  3. 3-6 month fund
  4. Invest 15%
  5. Step 5 college
  6. Pay off home
  7. Give!

Listen to *Dave’s 3 daily podcasts* OR *Watch him live on youtube*

And remember in times of financial temptation...WWDD (what would Dave do?)

– xOx

Couples Counseling

And it is messy // But it is a blessing // Because when it’s open and exposed // There’s no more throwin ‘bows // Waving white flags to foes // The wounds are scabbing up // Small scars I’ll bare // To live the life I dare. [excerpt from My Muse]. 

About a year and some change ago, the boo and I started couples counseling. We both wanted to be committed to this marriage, but to be honest we were in a pretty rough and tumble place resulting from the deep dark dank hole I seemed to be stuck in. It was a pretty scary time for the both of us as we had no idea what was to become of us, individually and collectively. We were on the verge of separation, I even hesitantly threw the word divorce out into the ring. I’m a product of parents who have both been through multiple divorces, I never really had an example of a healthy relationship that made it through hard times. On the hub’s hand though, his parents have been together for 35+ years, so there was never even a consideration for divorce on his end. To this day, I am so unbelievably grateful that I have a life partner who checks his ego for the good of the whole and isn’t too “manly” (whatever the F that means) to go to counseling or read books on issues that deal directly with what we’re going through and to better himself. Because of our commitment and super duper freakin hard work and a whole lotta tears later, we are now in a place that I never dreamed that we could be. We are closer, more in love, better at communicating and I have experienced true intimacy for the first time in my life. Wow! It’s pretty mind-blowing. Without pursuing counseling, we would never be in a mentally and emotionally stable place to bring a child into this world, thus continuing cycles that were meant to be stopped not recycled! We broke them invisible chains baby!!!

And oh how I love that he humors me by being in my silly Snappie Hippie vlog!

Love me some he.

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RESOURCE: If you’re a sexual trauma survivor and you’re in a relationship, one of the #1 books that really helped us; him understand my behavior and me start to recognize my learned coping patterns was, When a Woman You Love Was Abused. It’s a great couples read, eye opening and healing.

– xOx