Alignment

HASTY, CRAZY, PRECIPITOUS…🤷🏽‍♀️meh who cares!

July 12, 2021, GOD TOLD ME TO JUMP and on the way up, I asked how high!  I didn’t question the thought or feeling, I knew to go with it!  As I stated in “I’m a Survivor” (if you haven’t read it, check it out), I resigned from my career of 21 looonnng years! People looked at me crazy when I told them I resigned without another job lined up! But by the end of the 2021 School Year, I knew that was the end of the education system FOR ME!!!

I have trust issues

But one thing I trusted in July 2021 was my intuition! BOOM! Here I am, months later still unemployed but receiving ABUNDANCE left and right!  I actually trusted God to take care of me and he continues to BLESS and SHOW OFF!

Background knowledge

Now that I have the time, I am always creating content to post on social media. I created a post using a video of Rihanna accidentally going live on TikTok, which went “viral”. I posted this TikTok/reel on all social platforms and it went crazy on Facebook. 3.5 Million views 😱 (this means that 3.5 million people have seen my face?!) OMG! I was just having fun and “paying homage” to The Queen…Rihanna! Y’all know how I feel about her!

Content creation

Anyway, one day I was scrolling on IG, saw an ad and without a second thought, I filled out and submitted my information.  Thereafter, I totally forgot about the submission until I received an email stating that my application had been received and I would be notified in another email, if my application was accepted.

February 7th, my application was accepted!  Let me just tell you how the tears welled up in my eyes! 

Okay, enough suspense!  I have the opportunity to bring awareness to mental health conditions and suicide prevention by creating content!  Those of you that know me KNOW how near and dear this is to my heart!  With that being said, with YOUR VOTES I will have the opportunity to advance to the next round and appear on a reality show with @InfluenceMe TV who is working in coordination with The JED Foundation.  The JED Foundation changes and saves lives by providing support to assist teenagers and young adults making it less likely for them to participate in unhealthy behaviors.

Voting begins on March 8 and runs through May 6 (my birthday)! This is going to be the greatest birthday gift ever! I CAN FEEL IT! Please look for my link on all social media platforms and THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for your donation/birthday gift!

Had I not listened to my intuition, made that TikTok dueting Rihanna, and not believed that God would take care of me…I would not be where I am now!

Alignment – a position of agreement or alliance

Follow me on ~ Facebook: M. Elle Carter | Instagram: @emme_elle_cee and @ellestake | TikTok: @ellestake

To vote for free: Go to orbiiit.com to create an account and then click on this link to go to my profile. https://orbiiit.com/contest/34/entry/25077. Donations are also accepted in increments of $1/vote! Thank you and let’s help people heal!

I’m a Survivor

Survivor ~ a person who copes well with difficulties in their life

Hello Everyone,

Allow me to properly introduce myself…my name is Elle and I have been an educator for 21 years. Never have I EVER imagined that our world would come to a halt due to a virus. However, the world is full of nasty people so here we are. Never have I EVER envisioned teaching during a pandemic but March 2020 was the beginning of a new era…Pandemic Teaching! (YUCK)

Teaching is difficult on its own, as you have students with various learning styles, disabilities, personalities, and upbringings.  Now let’s incorporate teaching children online due to being quarantined! Teachers had to quickly switch gears from brick and mortar to online teaching via Zoom or Google Meet. This adjustment proved to be difficult for veteran teachers that were not tech savvy but also a challenge for those that were.  Many new applications and software were being introduced to educators to “make learning” accessible and interactive for our students.  However, the training/professional developments were inadequate and rushed.

We made it through from March 16, 2020 to the end of the school year, sometime in June.  Educators all over the world greatly appreciated our MUCH needed summer break which was unconventional due to the Pandemic.  Many of us were not able to go on our usual summer vacations, couldn’t visit our families, and we were just stuck in the house with nowhere to go. Extremely difficult for extroverts!

It seemed the summer arrived and departed so quickly!  The 2020-2021 School Year began with teachers and students remaining at home.  The good thing is that we felt safe at home! Yet, more responsibilities were placed upon the teachers due to virtual learning. Not only did we have to plan lessons, teach our students, navigate and utilize technology; now we had to learn new programs that allowed us to monitor students interactions online.  SMH!   Oh I forgot! We also had to cultivate relationships with these new students and their parents virtually (not a simple task but we made it happen).

I enjoyed being at home and teaching until I didn’t!  LOL!  As soon as it became burdensome, the governor said it was time for teachers and students to return to the building! SIGH!  I was not ready to be put on the frontlines, but I didn’t have a choice.  I must admit, it was great to be back in the building to see the eyes of some of my students.  MASKS UP! 

A new set of responsibilities and challenges came with hybrid teaching! UGH!  Teachers were urged to be kind and understanding towards our students and their parents. But who was our advocate for kindness and understanding? HA…a joke! This was also OUR FIRST PANDEMIC! 

The workload was ridiculous to say the least. Trying to test students in person and virtually to maintain state funding, analyzing skewed data, teaching in person and online, and maintaining a pleasant disposition! Needless to say, a complete and utter SH*T SHOW! But it was either adhere to the mandates or lose your much needed job! WE WERE STRESSED OUT TOO! Many of us had our own children at home, husbands, grandchildren, elderly parents, and/or pets to tend to after school.  But we weren’t important enough to receive such consideration.  

I could feel myself losing it…patience, zeal, motivation you name it.  I became extremely tired, mean, nonchalant, and my children (the ones I birthed) were getting the brunt of my frustrations.   I wasn’t the greatest Mom.

All of the sudden, I got this feeling (my intuition kicked in). I’ve had this feeling before so I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. I confided in two friends/colleagues and let them know what I was thinking/planning. They were saddened by but supportive of my decision.

I began discarding 21 years of educational materials slowly but surely. I knew this was the end for me. I could sense that the 2021-2022 school year was going to be a mess and my mental health couldn’t sustain what was about to go down.

After much thought, prayer, and a phone call (I received two days before the last day to resign without prejudice), I resigned!  There are no coincidences and it was my time.  God knew what was about to occur, he told me to take that leap, and I listened!  

Since my resignation, I have been denied unemployment due to voluntary resignation.  I haven’t received any type of financial assistance from anywhere, lost health insurance, and a nice paycheck!  I had just received a $20,000 salary increase, but I did not lose my sanity! MY MENTAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS WAS WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN A PAYCHECK!!! Who would  take care of me if I lost my sanity?  

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE! Well, I was strong enough to say that I had enough and stepped away at the right time. Now, I have to sit back and watch my friends/colleagues dealing with the abuse that is “OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.  It hurts my heart to read and hear the horror stories that I knew were coming but couldn’t save my friends from. SIGH!  It is NOT going to get better.  I just hope they get out in time.    

I AM VERY PROUD OF MYSELF…I completed my 21st year of teaching with 18 months of virtual teaching without adequate training.  I cultivated relationships with my students and their parents.  My students loved me and we all survived a very difficult year.

My heart is full!  I did my best for 21 years and now I begin a new chapter!  

Sincerely,

Elle ~ A Survivor of Pandemic Teaching

P.S. This is a current depiction of the education system 2021-2022

BE KIND TO OUR TEACHERS!

Moanick

Three deep breaths

Ten steps backwards

Going backwards

Now I’m switching lanes

Tyre marks

On my heart

It don’t beat the same

Rest your weary heart

Dry your teary eyes

~ Jhene Aiko (Born Tired)

I’m so tired of losing loved ones.  August 1, 2011, I lost my brother to suicide. Losing my brother caused me to go numb and then death just hit different. November 22,  2016, I lost my favorite student! That really took a toll on me. Now, here I am facing the death of his mother, MY FRIEND, Moanick Fenner. SIGH!

My heart is heavy, VERY HEAVY!  I cry myself to sleep every night.  I wake up with sad swollen eyes that can only be semi-tamed by applying ice. I don’t feel like myself, as I’ve lost a very important part of me.  So, to comfort myself (because I don’t talk about what I am going through with anyone cuz I can handle this…just like I‘ve handled all the other deaths that were sudden and beyond my control), I scroll through our text messages so I can laugh and cry, while replaying Jhene Aiko’s Picture Perfect or just fall asleep with tears in my eyes. I MISS MY FRIEND! 

I always stay in contact with her, especially around Benjy’s birthday. I sent her a text in October with no reply. I figured she was just going through the motions, but was confident that I’d hear from her soon. Life happens and me being the understanding friend that I am, just allowed her time to respond because she ALWAYS  texts or calls me back.  But I won’t be getting that text or call back this time. UGH!  NOT MY FRIEND! I’m gonna miss her laugh, hearing her call me her Lite Bright, and her strut.  Moanick was short but she walked HELLA tall!  There was nobody bold enough to test her and I ADMIRED THAT ABOUT HER!  I could confide in her and she in me.  The unselfish side of me is happy that she’s not going to be sad anymore.  She hasn’t been herself since she lost both of her son’s suddenly. But the selfish side of me wants her here. I’m gonna miss my short feisty friend! 

Picture Perfect

You are

Picture perfect to me

So I keep you in a frame

Keep that frame in my brain

When I don’t want to see

What is in front of me.

~Jhene Aiko (Picture Perfect)

I will forever miss you, Moanick!  Rest well my dear friend!

Love,

Your “Lite Bright”

JUST BE

I’m gettin’ on my way

‘Cause these days I ain’t tryna complicate things

My heart’s in the right place

I’m setting intentions, manifestin’ good change

And life gets hard, but a purpose

It’s gotta make the bad days worth the tears

So, I’ll just be still, be still

‘Cause things are happening that I can’t see

And if I got patience, then I got peace

I have to let go, let go, let go of everything

And watch what happens when I break free

AND JUST BE

Justin Timberlake ~ Just Be via Khaled Khaled

April 29, 2021 my “relationship” came to an abrupt E

                                                                                                N

                                                                                                         D!

The reasoning was rather confusing especially since we weren’t experiencing any issues.  We had just come back from an extraordinary trip to Mexico.  No arguments were had and nothing indicated that a breakup was imminent.  However, I received a text message asking me to check my email.  I sent a text back informing him that I was driving and would check later but my intuition told me to check it IMMEDIATELY and I did just that!

This guy sent an email that insinuated a break up…first thing in the morning. 😱 On my way to work and got hit with that mess!  Thankfully, I didn’t dismiss my intuition and checked it before I got to work.  I shed a few tears but was able to gather my thoughts and emotions before I went into the building.  I made it through the day!  YAY ME!

The following day hit like a ton of bricks! My emotions were on 1,000!  He broke up with me 7 days before my birthday!  😂🤣😂…I am laughing cuz I just looked at the calendar to confirm if it was a week or more before my birthday. It was exactly 7 days before LMAO!  7 has always been a significant number for me but DAYUM!  I’m still laughing cuz there’s so much more to this story. 

Anyway…

April 30, I received the best gift ever!  DJ Khaled dropped Khaled Khaled! I had NO idea that he was gonna drop an album 🤷🏽‍♀️ but as he said on his April 26th TikTok, “To make this album was God’s hands all over it! Be great but be grateful!” Maaannn, if only he knew how much this album helped me get through a very dark and confusing time.

I wrote the words from Just Be” on post-its and put them on my mirror to read as I listened to the song…EVERY DAY.  

Music is a Love Language for me and this album was God’s way of letting me know I am covered and can get through ANYTHING!

So…I’ma CHILL and JUST BE!!!

 

 

Unwanted Packages

I had recently been trying to find an app that pushes bible verses to your phone but I wasn’t quite pleased with what I was seeing in the app store. I can be pretty picky when it comes to aesthetics. Anyway, I was longing for something more than just prayer every morning with my significant other.

Some time last week, I received an “unwanted” package in the mail. I didn’t pay attention to the sender but I definitely noticed it was addressed using my divorced last name. Of course, I was immediately turned off and set the package on the table. Typically, I would have thrown it in the trash but I was impressed to hold onto it.

One day, I got tired of looking at the “unwanted” package that was STILL sitting on my table. I peeled back the plastic covering and saw, “2021 Year of the Bible”. My interest was immediately piqued! 

Mind you, I had been looking for Bible verse apps.

As I flipped the book over, the color scheme warmed my soul, I read the title…“words of life”, and said to myself, ”This book is the answer to my prayers! God knew exactly what I needed!”

Across town (most likely on the same day), my significant other also received an “unwanted” package.  Now, he is more attentive than I am so HE noticed the sender…Columbia Union Conference.  Typically, he too would have thrown the contents in the trash.  However, he too was impressed to hold onto it.  He kept the “unwanted” package in the plastic covering for a few days, as well.  One day he finally decided to check out the contents in the plastic covering.  He also received the “words of life” devotional from the Columbia Union Conference.  His response to receiving the devotional was different from mine but he still decided to hold onto it.

A little background…

As a couple, we agreed to have dinner and “Wednesday Night Prayer Sessions”. So, January 6th, I arrived at his house, walked upstairs, and placed my things on the barstool. I glanced at the counter and saw the devotional and immediately had to gather my thoughts because I didn’t recall bringing mine. So, I inquired about the devotional and he told me the story above.

For the past few years, I have been anti-religion, anti-prayer, anti-Jesus…just keeping it 100 (but that’s another story). But 2020 taught me that I must rely on GOD not religion. 

Growing up Adventist we were taught that during the last days we would be worshipping in our homes because our churches would be closed.  HA! We never thought that the churches would be closed due to a pandemic. Columbia Union Conference was proactive by publishing and distributing a timely “unwanted” package has been a blessing to me and my relationship. It is amazing to sit back and contemplate how God is guiding two different people, on opposite ends of the beltway, opposite genders yet are simultaneously experiencing God working in the same manner.  God knew before I began my search for the perfect bible app that a tiny “unwanted package” would provide the “extra quality time” that I was longing for. Thank you, Columbia Union Conference for my timely and MUCH NEEDED PACKAGE! 

~ Elle

Prelude to an Empty Nest

December 26, 2020 was a LONG day! It all began at 2:00am when my daughter and her boyfriend, my son (11), and I jumped into a minivan to head to Tampa. My first born (22) is truly ready to enter adulthood by moving to Tampa with her boyfriend. Exciting!

We jumped on 295 South, Sean (bf) entered their address into my GPS, and it said it would take 12 hours 51 minutes😳but I had been mentally preparing myself for this drive for weeks. The challenge was to complete it ON👏🏽MY👏🏽OWN👏🏽!

Driving in the dark, while everyone else was KNOCKED out was daunting. However, I was prepared with various playlists that I’ve created on Spotify over the years! Jay-Z, Rihanna, Jhene, Big Sean, Drake, and Cardi were just a few of the artists that accompanied me along that drive.

For some strange reason it seemed like the sun didn’t want to rise Saturday morning! During the work week it seems like it’s up and ready to start the day at 5-6 o’clock but not on December 26th. Not when I needed it to come out! I was getting extremely tired and found it VERY necessary to pull over and sleep for at least an hour. Sean offered to drive but I turned him down. This was possibly my last road trip with my baby and I trust ME with my children. So, I slept for about an hour or at least til the sun came up, drank some more coconut RedBull, and got back on the road! It was important to make good time, as the rental needed to be returned by 8pm.

Thankfully we didn’t run into any major traffic and we didn’t have any mechanical difficulties! God is GOOD! We made it to Tampa around 4:30pm with at least 5-6 stops along the way! Not bad at all and I completed the drive SOLO! I knew I could do it.

As I drove through Tarese’s new neighborhood, I began to get teary-eyed. It was hard to believe that my baby was not gonna return home with us after this short vacay was over. I was trying my best to hide my tears as we got closer to their house. I had to use my sleeve to wipe my tears so nobody would notice that I was crying.

We finally got to their house, I backed into the driveway, and tried to maintain my composure. I did pretty well until all of her belongings were out of the van and in the house. I didn’t want to linger around cuz I had another two hour drive to Gainesville to see my cousin. I grabbed my baby, started crying, let her know that I love her very much, and told her I was proud of her! I was excited about her moving out but I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to leave her. We’ve been together for 22 years and now she’s on her own. I can’t wait to see and hear about all of her successes!

Nope…this story isn’t over yet! Desi and I jumped back into the minivan and headed to Tampa International to return the van and get a smaller vehicle for our three day stay in Gainesville. My mind was so wrapped up in missing my baby that I forgot to fill up the tank. Y’all know that car rental companies charge an arm and a leg if they have to fill up the tank. Luckily, the attendant quoted the price for them to fill up the vehicle 😱$46 and then told me that I could take the vehicle back out to fill up. That’s just what I did cuz what do I look like paying $46 for a half tank of gas? Of course, what was supposed to take 10 minutes turned into 30 because I’m not familiar with the area and my GPS loves to update slowly. So yeah, I missed several important turns to get to the gas station that was quoted to be 5 minutes away! Anyway, I filled up the tank and headed back to the airport. Of course, checking back in couldn’t be simple! There were three cars that pulled in ahead of me😩. Those of you that KNOW me know that…”I have no patience and I HATE waiting!” (Jay-Z ~ Big Pimpin’) But I had no choice! Once the attendant finished checking my vehicle BACK in, I asked for directions to the next car rental company.

Maaaannnn, we got to the 4th floor where the car rental companies are located. There were people upon people upon people getting off of the train to get a rental. I panicked cuz as I said before…I have no patience! I began to speed walk through all the people that refused to social distance! We finally found the rental company I used and ran smack dab into another line! At first, I was cool until I noticed there was only ONE agent and five people ahead of me. I quickly had to change my mindset and prepare for the wait, as this was beyond my control! I didn’t even keep track of the wait time because it would have triggered my impatience!

It was FINALLY my turn! I had my license and credit card in hand, gave it right to the agent, but he looked straight in my eyes and said he couldn’t find my name in the system. I couldn’t believe my ears and began to look for the reservation on my phone but before I could pull it up, he found my reservation! I immediately whispered a prayer of thanks. Then he tells me they only have minivans left but could switch me to their sister company for a smaller vehicle. I agreed cuz who wants to fill up a minivan again? NOT I! *HUGE SIGH* The agent then asked me to follow him to a different counter so I could rent the vehicle from their sister company. **SMH…One agent with at least ten customers between two separate counters trying to keep all of his customers happy 🤦🏽‍♀️ Praise God for helping me maintain my mindset because looking back I’m surprised I didn’t freak out!

Everything worked out, I got the papers for the new vehicle, and we headed to get the keys. We ended up with a janky Nissan Versa but whatever…we have our means of transportation for the next couple of days. Now to get BACK on the road to head to Gainesville. I’m so ready to get in any bed but first food so we aren’t famished on the way. At approximately 8:20pm we got on the road for our 2 hour ride to Gainesville. We arrived at our hotel at 10:01pm, checked into the hotel without a hitch! December 26th was the longest day EVER! And I’d do it again in a heartbeat because…ANYTHING for MY CHILDREN! When they need me I will always be there!

I’m getting teary-eyed as I think about going back home without my baby. I know she will come back to visit but it’s going to be different. It is going to take a lot of getting used to and I know I’m going to get sad for weeks if not months knowing that she no longer lives with us. We are all going to miss her! The only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that she is with a young man that I trust. He’s ALWAYS been a great young man! Anyway, I’m on my way to being an empty nester! Kinda exciting and scary at the same time! I’m nervicited (nervous + excited…yes I created my own compound word) but I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for Tarese. God’s got her!

Desi and I ~ Dec. 27th after getting some much needed rest.

What Pandemic?

Summer 2020 has almost come to a close. Due to Covid-19, the world has been SHUT DOWN! Maryland has been under quarantine since the beginning of March but the rest of the world went under lockdown mid/end of January. The United States was hit harder than other countries due to negligence but this is not a political blog.

Life as we KNEW it had changed in the blink of an eye and we were due for a much needed quiet but fun getaway. 2020 has been quite stressful, as mentioned above. However, my window was closing due to the beginning of the 20-21 school year…albeit virtual for the first semester.

Soooooo…

The researching began! I started looking at Jamaica, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Aruba. The prices were okay, but for an 11th hour trip…a little on the pricey side. The search continued…Breathless, Secrets you know all the well known resorts. One day I received an email notification to read the reviews on The Reef 28. I immediately clicked on the link and my jaw dropped! This adults only, all inclusive resort with a rooftop also had an infinity pool and two jacuzzis. The price was right with flight, and private transportation included. Now, don’t get all excited the private transportation is just a white van that only has one stop…YOURS! Perks…TRUST!

We flew United from DCA, which had a short layover in Newark, New Jersey. United was really good about sending out documentation that was necessary for the trip, however most of those papers are still in my possession. I would fill out and print everything, just in case! Things are changing day by day and you don’t want to get caught without important documents.

Be mindful…

We are still in a pandemic and there are some people out there that do not like to abide by the rules and guidelines set forth by the CDC, airlines, restaurants etc. There were a few times I had to stick my foot out to the side, give the death stare, and say, “GIVE ME MY 6 FEET!” I had my mask, gloves, face shield, and wipes ready to go. I was prepared!!!

Once we arrived in Cancun, we had to battle the vendors to get to our transportation. Keep your eyes straight until you see your transportation company. Otherwise, you may end up being scammed! We made it to our transportation without any issues, got right into the van, after they sprayed our shoes and bags down with some type of solution, and we were OFF to our hotel.

Rooftop

This boutique hotel is not on the beach but is a short 5 minute drive to The CoCo Reef or a 10-15 minute drive to The Reef Playacar, both sister resorts. The Reef 28 offers shuttle service throughout the day, but we really weren’t trying to be on anyone’s schedule because…vacation! All inclusive visitors are able to visit the other two resorts, participate in activities, eat, and drink any time during their stay. Each resort has a spa. 👇🏽

Hydrotherapy at The Reef 28

FOOD

If you’re a Taurus the most important part of LIFE period is FOOD! Yes, FOOD! The Reef 28 has two restaurants. Veinti8cho, formerly a buffet and the other I don’t recall the cuisine…it was decent but the portions were rather small. However, we happened upon three really great restaurants in Playa del Carmen. The first was La Parrilla, which is on 5th Avenue right across from Forever 21. The second restaurant is Rockas Jamaican Kitchen. It is a very small restaurant but the food is amazing! As I placed and waited for my order, the aroma smelled authentic and I began to wonder how in the world Mexicans were able to season the food like Jamaicans. I was a little confused but intrigued. A few minutes had passed, then this van pulled up, and a tall Jamaican man walked into the restaurant…it all made sense now! Needless to say, the food was OUTSTANDING!

Veinti8cho

Our last dinner in Playa del Carmen was extra special because he wanted to make sure we ate somewhere new. So, we walked down to Ictio, which was no more than a five minute walk. The sun was going down, there was a nice breeze, and we were seated at a table near the road, in this quaint restaurant that certainly didn’t look like much. We placed our orders! I got an appetizer which easily could’ve been my meal…battered fish over cabbage, he ordered octopus (YUCK), and for my entree I ordered the Pesca del dia (catch of the day) red snapper. Of course, I had to have the head removed because my food can’t be staring back at me. NOPE! Due to the pesca del dia being rather popular that day, I had to wait for 30 minutes to get my entree. LINDA LISTEN!!! The aroma of that fish was EVERYTHING but I was full from my appetizer. How could I not eat it, after he planned our last vacay supper? I had to eat it because I am NOT one to waste food…it’s against my religion LOL! I have NEVER tasted any fish made by anyone that tasted that good. I had mine baked with lemon garlic seasoning on top. I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of it, it was THAT good!!!

comida magnífica
Pulpo
fin

5th Avenue

This is where the vultures play! LOL! If you don’t like being bombarded by people trying to get you to spend your money, you may want to avoid this area. However, it is part of the experience. Just keep your eyes straight and have a firm NO resting on your tongue! I highly encourage that you walk down 5th Avenue, as it’s great to be amongst the natives and to see all of the souvenirs they had to offer.

5th Avenue

TEQUILA

If you like Tequila you want to try to find Crema de Almendrado con Tequila. I am not a drinker but let me tell you something…this is the tastiest tequila out there. It is not at all easy to find but if you can find Mom’s jewelry shop (which is to the right as you come out of the hotel, left at the very first street…walk past the building, and you will see two small jewelry stores) they may offer you a taste and then ask to buy a bottle or two! Thank me later!

delicioso

ATMs

The absolute worst thing you can do when you are traveling outside of your country is not have any small bills. Luckily, I went to the ATM at the airport and had a decent amount of money for spending and tips BUT I didn’t get small bills. If you forget to get money before you leave there is only ONE ATM that I suggest you use. You can find these ATMs near the Avis car rental on…I believe it was Constitution (which is parallel to 5th Avenue but the main street). We also found a location that changed out our large bills for smaller ones for free! I however gave the guy a tip just because!

EXCURSIONS

We did not get sucked into the excursion abyss leaving the airport! Nor did we attend the timeshare trap which is offered at EVERY hotel. However, we were approached by a gentlemen on our CoCo Reef beach day…he offered jetskiing, parasailing, and snorkeling. We weren’t prepared to put any money down that day but we surely went back the next day for our adventure!

Parasailing
True blue

DEALS and DISCOUNTS

If you aren’t afraid to travel, now is the time to look into staying at The Reef 28! This was the best trip EVER! Playa del Carmen is a scale down from Cancun, in that the pace is slower and more family oriented. It was also nice being amongst the natives with no fear!

The Reef 28 is still offering amazing deals so check it out TODAY! The cost was less than $1500 for two adults, all inclusive, flight, transportation to and from the hotel, and insurance. Don’t hesitate and book your next vacation at THE REEF 28! Tell them we sent you. LOL

MASK

Mask – a covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or terrify other people.

Growing up my eyes were wide SHUT!  They are wide open after tonight!  You never truly know what someone is dealing with on the other side of their mask. Many of us wear masks.  Some of us wear our masks…to disguise the pain, to avoid the truth, to destroy, to draw in those that we wouldn’t normally attract, for gain, and so much more.

Wearing a mask to hide the pain and truth can weigh on an individual. Removing the mask is not an easy task.  After years of hiding behind it, it may be very hard to be vulnerable enough to open up to someone or something that has the potential to hurt you but not the intentions.

~Written November 2019~

Chilombo 3/6 🌋🌋🌋

February 21st sparked my countdown frenzy thanks to Jhené Aiko announcing that she was releasing her third album entitled Chilombo (her last name). She had JUST released a new single P*$$Y Fairy on January 17, along with a video! P*$$Y Fairy is the New Women’s Anthem!!!  Many men are benefitting from P*$$Y Fairy on the daily…TRUST!!!

Not only that, on February 26, she dropped yet another single “Happiness Over Everything” (H.O.E.) featuring Future & Miguel, accompanied by a video.

Jhené DID NOT COME TO PLAY with y’all H.O.E.’s!!!

       Cuz, the very next day, we got yet another announcement about The Magic Hour Tour and yours truly couldn’t wait for those presale tickets to DROP!!!

Let me line this up for y’all, she drops an album exactly 2 months before my birthday, announces a tour where she will be in DC 3 days before my birthday, and YOU KNOW I’m going, right?!!!

Jhené isn’t just a musical genius but a mogul!!! I’m so moved by her growth vocally and spiritually. You can sense the growth throughout Chilombo!!! I’m impressed and in tears. I’m so glad that I became a fan years ago cuz to see her on this side of her journey is everything. But more than that, I’m going to meet her three days before my birthday!!! Here’s to maintaining my composure!!!

Make sure you listen to the album!  I’ll be back to talk about my favorite songs. I’ve been listening to the album since it dropped at midnight! I’m gonna be hella tired…no I’m not thanks to Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s Avocolada with double energizer 🤷🏽‍♀️

#333

Much love and respect

~ Elle