December 7, 2015

Recap of the Wintermarkt 2015

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in the Wintermarkt hosted by the Skinker-Debaliver Community Center. A friend of mine who happens to be a mentor to one of my students suggested the opportunity and I decided to give it a try and I am so happy that I did. I arrived around 9am to get my vendor area set up. I thought I was dressed pretty warmly for the weather but I will definitely remember next year to wear a pair of my UGGS.

November 29, 2015

Entreprenuer 101: Don't Steal

As an entrepreneur I've learned many things as I have gone through the journey of having a business, a small business, but a business none the less. Yet as much as I have learned throughout my experiences there is one thing that I have never done and I learned it way before starting my business. To me it should be a cardinal rule of doing business and that is NEVER STEAL SOMEONE ELSES SHIT. I don't mean doing a drive by getting out of your car bust into a store and take what you want. Yet that is also really bad too. What I mean by this is theft of property by stealing someone's pictures to pass off for your own business.

November 15, 2015

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen

A few days ago while eat my job I had a parent come in who I could tell was upset. She was trying her best to keep it together and asked for me to call her child down to the office so they could take their medication. They had jetted out of the house so quick to school they forgot to take it. So I call her child down and afterwards she asked if anyone could assist her with her car because she had accidentally locked her keys inside. I called maintenance to the office and they went outside with her to see if they could help. About five minutes later I informed my principal that I would go outside to see how they were doing and I if they weren't successful in helping that I was going to use a membership card that I had to assist and ask for car assistance.

November 9, 2015

#AllThatMsJazz Yummy Scents Collection Sale 15% off

All That MsJazz Hair & Body Products
Yummy Scents Collection Sale

November is the month of Thanksgiving and sweet treats, check out some of these sweet fragrances! The phrase, “You smell good enough to eat!” has never rang more true.  If anything you might have to refrain yourself from eating these particular whipped shea butters. Now you can finally enjoy your favorite treat without the extra calories.

October 30, 2015

Mad as hell -Fuck Adobe - Don't buy Photoshop/Premiere Elements 14

This past weekend I had been looking forward to purchasing Photoshop/Premiere Elements 14 from B&H Photo for $89.99. The regular price is normally $149.99 and since this new version was coming out October 25th I felt I definitely needed to take advantage of the sale since the sale was going to go away midnight on Oct. 24th. I made the purchase and then was informed Sunday morning that due to some technical error, my purchase was being put on hold and would not be filled immediately. So B&H emails me back with an apology and an option for a refund. I take the refund and scout out Best Buy's website to see if they have a sale going on. They have the software for $99.99.

October 29, 2015

Bloglovin test

October 26, 2015

Happy Anniversary to my Parents

I want to wish my parents a wonderful Happy Anniversary. I can't say enough about my parents. They are honestly a blessing to not only myself but both of my sisters as well as the rest of our extended family. Both of my parents have excelled and persevered with amazing odds stacked against them growing up. They continue to be amazing examples to those in our family and friends alike. Both of them are retired educators that have stressed the importance of having a good education to being the foundation for getting ahead in life and being successful in whatever endeavors you might pursue. To them I want to say thank you for being such a strong foundation for our family and not giving up in believing in me when I had given up on myself. Love you both. Happy Anniversary.

October 19, 2015

Love that Typewriter sound

Think I will try a different font. 

I used to love playing with typewriters. I loved hearing the sound that they would make and the feeling of the keys as you would push one and see the letter striking against the paper. 

Not to mention when you would push the lever back across and start all over again. Yes I do enjoy the sounds of a typewriter. I especially love this font. I think I will change up the font.

I even have the typewriter app on my Ipad, you know, the one Tom Hanks developed. It's called Hanx Writer. It's pretty cool.

Yes.....I think I will pretend I'm on a typewriter.

Self Reflect - Week 10/11/15

My mind is shitty. Not to mean I have shit for brains, but more to the point, I have issues remembering what I've done earlier in the week, hell sometimes what I did the day before. So I thought I might try this little exercise that will not only keep me HOPEFULLY on task with writing with my blog but to also keep my mind right. Will I remember everything? Nope! But what I will remember I will try to post.

Sooooooo..... Here we go.

October 1, 2015

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (The Kiddie Version)

I want you all to know I approve this message. Respect starts at home. Teachers can only do so much in a day of 8 hours, while parents have them the other 16 along with Saturday and Sunday, oh and don't forget holidays and vacations. Parents, If you can't instill respect in your children and make them understand that it carries on into school, you have a problem. I can't even begin to explain the level of disrespect I saw with some students at my previous and at my current job. To the point that I feel some of them need to be snatched up with the quickness. Yet heaven forbid you say something against their child some of the parents give the teachers a harder time than they do their children! I am left bewildered at times because I have to think who is controlling whom? 

September 25, 2015

No Pain No Gain

One of my goals in my life is to improve my overall health and fitness. A few years ago I had been doing boxing and kickboxing and I loved it but the distance was too much so I had to quit. I also had taken up a project back then to walk various parks throughout Saint Louis but eventually had to stop because of an injury and even when I thought about taking it back up I realized that unfortunately with the rise of foolishness with people trying to hurt and rob people I was like uh-uh, forget about it. So I felt I needed to find a personal trainer, one that would give me a workout I would enjoy but also push me to the point that I would possibly reconsider updating my WILL. I wanted that type of challenge.

September 17, 2015

To Be Priceless

This evening while on STLCC-FLO campus (STL heads know what I'm talking about) I came across this penny. Lord knows it had seen better days but it was facing heads up. Now I'm not the crazy superstitious type. If I see even a penny facing down I'm picking that sucka up. When they say every penny counts, they aren't lying, especially in this economy. As I was holding it in my palm I couldn't help but think how much of a beating it has taken and still it is ar...ound, it still has survived. It still has purpose. While on campus I was thinking about what I've been through and I'm still around. I've taken one hell of a mental and emotional beating and I still have survived. Don't get me wrong, I still have my battles, maybe not every day, but I have them. Yet I'm learning how to fight back. I might be rough around the edges, but I still have purpose.


(repost from my facebook page)

September 14, 2015

Turning over a new leaf

I told myself I wasn't going to write about it this because I just wanted to be done with this part of my life and just start a new chapter. Yet it's been nagging me for quite some time so I figured I needed to get my thoughts out onto the screen through my keyboard so it will stop bugging me. Hell that is what my blog is for.

August 13, 2015

How to overcome myself

I am my own worst enemy. How do you overcome the self-destructiveness of yourself? Every time I have a good or even great idea about something, my mind can come up with least twice as many reasons that my idea is not good enough and will fail.

My mind is like a prison that I just can't seem to break out of and my insecurities and self-doubts are the wardens.

August 6, 2015

18th Smith Family Reunion

This past weekend I was at the 18th Smith Family Reunion. The festivities started on Friday morning and concluded on Sunday afternoon. Had a great time overall just kicking it with family starting at my Aunt Mary's house out in Richmond Heights from 7pm until whenever:)

Saturday afternoon we met up at Tilles Park out in Brentwood, MO. I took my camera out there and couldn't believe all the shots I had taken over the course of the event. Over 400 and as you can see everyone had a great time.

Sunday morning our family reunion wrapped up with a prayer breakfast at the HeMan Commons Center in University City, MO. Had a great time with awards being handed out to musical performances from two of my cousins. In fact for a treat, google: Morgan Taylor Gospel. Oh and on this day, I took close to 700 pictures,

Afterwards I went home and crashed! The next Smith Family reunion is in Washington D.C. Until then!

July 22, 2015

God might be trying to tell me something

On Monday afternoon I decided to go to the Missouri Botanical Garden to take some pictures with my DSLR to try to become further acquainted with it and just take some time to relax. I was there for around 2 hours and really enjoyed myself even with a few rain showers that kept me inside a few buildings. Afterwards I was walking to my car and noticed something on the back of my trunk. It was a Praying Mantis and I just stared at it. Even told it shove off a few times. Finally I just ignored it and hopped in my car. Then I stopped at a Hardee's restaurant which was less than a mile away to chill for a little while and when I stepped out of the car I was impressed to still find the praying mantis still holding on but it had moved up to the roof of my car. I kept staring at the insect and told it to shove off again! At this point I just flicked it off my car. Afterwards I went home and just chilled out for the rest of the evening.

July 1, 2015

Midwest Natural Hair Expo 2015


This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a hair model for my beautician at the Midwest Natural hair expo downtown. So last weekend I did some preparations myself with my nails and face, and then met up with my beautician on Friday to have my hair prepped for Saturday morning. I've been going to Daisha since I went natural and was excited to help her out with modeling Design Essential hair products that were used on my hair.

June 21, 2015

Thomas siblings part 2

So this morning a wonderful breakfast was prepared and my mom's sibling came over for another great time. The food was great as usual and my Aunt Vi and Aunt Jackie left around a hour ago. My uncles are scheduled to leave tomorrow. Overall this has been great weekend seeing my mom's relatives. Of course I have pictures. Click on the link below.

Thomas sibling part 2

Thomas Siblings gathering part 1

Picture taken by me on 6/21/15

This past Monday my Aunt Ora came into town from California. We hadn't seen her in a while so this was a big treat for us. While I've been at work, she and my mother have been enjoying themselves with working out at Planet Fitness, shopping, and getting food together for the big gathering that was held yesterday. Yesterday around 4pm my mom's other siblings came into town and some other family members and friends were over as well. From the way my mom puts it, all seven siblings have not been together since my maternal grandfather passed away back in 1994. So this was definitely a special occasion. The food was wonderful, the company was excellent well into the night. Over all great times were had by all.

Follow the link below to see all the pictures.


Westport Plaza Vintage Bliss Market 2015

So yesterday I was running some errands and decided to checkout the Vintage Bliss market that was being held out at Westport Plaza. By the time I arrived around 11am the area was jammed packed with vendors and customers. Restaurants were in full swing producing mouth watering appetizers to entrees. I was walking around and was enjoying everything. Including the live music that was being provided by a jazz swing band called Miss Jubilee. Some of the vendors I recognized from other vintage market shows that I had previously attended. Yet majority of the vendors were brand new to me. I only stayed for a hour since I had to get back home for a big family and friend gathering going on that day. Overall it was awesome. Please check out the link below to pictures.

Westport Vintage Bliss Market

June 4, 2015

The frustrations with do-it-yourself e-commerce sites

For the past month I've been looking into alternative e-commerce sites to move my body products business, AllThatMsJazz, because with me adding more products to my line I want to be able to condense the options to make it better for my customers to search online. I also want other features such as drop down menus, a side blog, as well as some other features. I know that I want to be in control of my site and not depend on anyone else.

I've been with Big Cartel since I launched my business last year. I will say I enjoyed it at first because it was very easy to setup for myself. It was especially great when I only had a few fragrances that I offered with my whipped shea butters, and also in 4 different sizes. Yet now I've grown to over 40 fragrances and now offer my whipped butters in three different options. I want to simplify the process for my customers and want them to be able to shop by looking at the three different whipped butters first then click on their decision and then choose a drop down menu option for size and fragrance. Unfortunately Big Cartel doesn't offer these types of options. I have to do my options by fragrance first. I emailed them to confirm. So I decided I need to jump ship to something else.

Now at the time of me having my Big Cartel site, I also opened an Etsy website. So far it has been the best in regards to how I have control over displaying my products. Yet I still want a stand alone site, so I keep my Etsy website as a side store because I know some people feel more comfortable doing busy on Etsy and that's perfectly fine. Yet the disadvantage in my opinion is that it is a community website so your products can be easily compared to someone elses. I want a stand alone website so my products are the only focus, hence why I also used Big Cartel.

So I started looking into another site called SquareSpace. The website holds big promise but one of the main issues I have with it is that it does not have Paypal integrated into its system. It's go-to merchant is Stripe. Now one thing I do love about Big Cartel is that it provides two different options for merchant connection. You can either go with Paypal and/or with Stripe. I do have both activated on my Big Cartel site and both are used. I do realize also with Squarespace that even though it does look user-friendly as far as adding stuff, I realized that it needs someone who has knowledge of putting websites together. It tries to be not intimidating but after diving into for a few days, I realized that I would have to have someone with experience to set it up for me. So I abandoned that one and kept looking.

I also looked into Shopify to see if it could give me what I was looking for. Upon signing up for access I noticed that they offer themes for customer shop. Some are free and others are paid. I wasn't too impressed with them but decided to venture through. When I looked into inputting inventory I saw there were not any options for different pricing of products. It looks as though I would have to put them in based by size. Which would have been a nightmare for me. So I decided to keep trucking to another site.

Now we have WIX, I thought I finally had found my Holy Grail. I'm able to have drop down menus, have a side blog, I even have an event calender. The experience of setting up my site has been wonderful and I actually have it ready to go, expect for 3 HUGE things. Three things that I'm shocked that with them being an e-commerce site have not figured out and have not made available. So remember I said I currently in my product line offer 3 different type of whipped butters that I offer in over 45 different fragrances. Well apparently they only allow you to have up to 10 options under one product, so what am I suppose to do with the other 35? I emailed them to make sure there wasn't anyway around it. They told me at this time, they do not go beyond 10. So I had to redo my options and make it similar to how I have my Big Cartel site. I am not pleased with that at all. The next issue I have with them is with shipping. You can only offer flat shipping. That doesn't make sense if someone buys product and I'm not able to adjust shipping for the weight. I have control over shipping on my Big Cartel and Etsy websites. You would think ANY e-commerce site would make sure that this is an option, but no, WIX, drops the ball again. Now the third issue I have a problem with is with their coupons/discounts. You can't control if it's for a certain product in your line up. If you set up a coupon, it blankets the whole website. That is unacceptable. I should have control in regards to what products I want to give a discount on. As much promise WIX has to fall short on 3 major options such as these is just not acceptable. So now I'm stuck with a site that I can't make active because the shipping and coupon issue. So I'm still stuck with my Big Cartel site for now. Bravo WIX, Bravo.

I've had friends tell me that I should consider WordPress. It pretty much goes against what I'm trying to do in regards to handling my own website. Yet I know some of the best e-commerce websites are built with WordPress. I would definitely have to hire someone to set it up, but right now that is just not an option I want, at least for now.

So for right now until WIX decides to update it's features, I will stay with Big Cartel and see if I can just make adjustments to that website. I'm so not happy though, I feel like I had my favorite piece of candy just snatched from me. Ugh.........

May 27, 2015

It's official: 3yrs of kinks and coils

So today is my 3rd year anniversary of being natural. To say this has been a year of ups and downs with my hair is an understatement. In all honesty I feel that I have lost more hair than I have grown it. Yet as I look at it stretched out as much as possible I can see a little bit of difference. 

This is on average what I am losing when I wash

This past year I felt things were going down hill about six months after my 2 year anniversary. De-tangling has become a stronger foe as my hair has gotten longer and the hair that comes out is just astounding and frustrating at the same time. Oh and the knots in my hair are just insane! Just trying to keep up with them alone make me nuts. Moisture isn't an issue, I make sure to keep my hair well moisturized with my homemade products.

The following pics were taken this morning after undoing my three strand twists on my hair. My biggest issue is still trying to grow the hair on top of my head. For some reason THAT damn portion of hair doesn't seem to realize I want it to grow along with the rest. That has been one of my huge issues as far as hair maintenance in general.

It's still frustrating that my hair is thin. I can't really do any styles with it and I feel sorry for my stylist because any style she tries on me unfortunately especially with two strand or flat twists really shows how thin (in my opinion) my hair is. I forgot to take a picture of the end result of this style, but my stylist wasn't pleased and had me come back in the next week as a do over. She even did a trim about a inch to deal with my split ends. I normally see her only twice a year, but I'm thinking I might have to step it up with my hair getting longer. My last time seeing her was in March.

Rod sets are better but I realized that the texture of my hair (which feels like light cotton) will not allow for more versatile styles. This was the second hair appointment with two weeks since my stylist wasn't please with the result from when I went to see her the previous week (see pics right above).

Previous pictures from the past year.


January (now if I stretch my hair it comes to about my lip since my trim)





December - shrinkage still a bitch

November - just voted

I know there are some other factors that have probably contributed to my ongoing struggles with my hair. I've tried changing up my washing patterns, finger De-tangling instead of with a comb at first, stressed out and tired from my main job, side business, and also back in college.When I say I was stretched to the limit this past semester, I definitely was. My eating habits don't help the situation as well, I've heard people say that what you put inside your body reflects what comes out. I'm out of shape and that is putting it mildly. So that is something I'm going to have to tackle as well. At the beginning of the year I was taking Mane Choice vitamins and could definitely tell a difference with my nail growth, but ended up by March stop taking them because I was so busy I would forget to take them on a daily basis. So now with my job somewhat slowing down, I'm hoping I can get back to a routine where I start taking care of myself from head to toe.

Hell at one point I was just so frustrated with my hair and was going to say fuck it and just cut it off and keep it low as a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro). Yet I went to the African Arts festival this past weekend and fell in love with my damn crazy ass afro all over again. Ugh....the struggle. I'm not sure if I should change up the products I use for washing. If I could find a de-tangler that worked wonders I think that would help me out immensely. I've been using Design Essentials and AS I AM products since I became natural and wonder if I should look into something else.  Who knows.......I am open to suggestions so please don't hesitate with dropping any knowledge if you think I need to change up something.

The biggest thing I have to keep reminding myself is not to judge my progress with anyone else. It will get to where it's going when it gets there. It's going to have it's trials and setbacks, but hey, it's only hair:)

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