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Hot Tips: Supporters of The Single Moms Conference Cleveland

Thank  you! 1Shout Out to all the Individuals and companies that participated in this remarkable event.  If you missed out, please visit them:

Cleveland Young Lives: There are more than 1 million teenage girls who become pregnant every year, and more than 500,000 of them become mothers.  This makes YoungLives mission one that is ripe for harvest.  We believe that we have an incredible opportunity to have a generational impact not only on the lives of teen girls facing the challenges of parenthood but on their children as well.  Younglives is a life-on-life ministry that allows us to come alongside teen mom and their babies to offer acceptance, counsel, friendship, hope and love.  https://clevelandyounglives.younglife.org/Pages/default.aspx

From Lemons to Lemonade is a support group of and for single mothers. Founded in January of 2010, FL2L began as a support group of 5 single mothers who met in each other’s living room once a month. It soon grew in popularity because the need was great, and FL2L hosted its first seminar catered to single mothers in August of 2010. One year after its inception, FL2L became an incorporated non-profit recognized by the State of Ohio, and the support group meetings spread across two counties. Since then, FL2L has been featured in The Plain Dealer (4x), The News-Herald, and The Cleveland State Cauldron. We are committed to providing an excellent and unique resource to single mothers across Northeast Ohio and beyond through social media and face-to-face interactions.  http://fromlemons2lemonade.com/

Books@Work Books@Work develops critical thinkers by offering literature seminars at the workplace. We benefit society by creating a broad network of lifelong learners; we partner with employers to inspire their employees to collaborate, communicate, and engage. https://www.booksatwork.org/program/

United Healthcare: If you’re looking for health insurance that’s low cost or no cost to you, you’ve come to the right place. We’re UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. We offer Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans and more. Find the plan you’re looking for today. http://www.uhccommunityplan.com/

Thyme and Sage is a beautifully unique company! 🍴🍢🍤🍝 “Thyme and Sage is specialty spice shop waiting to take your taste buds on a journey!”  https://www.facebook.com/Thymeandsage/timeline

One More Bite is a baking company started by Christine Sanders.  Contact them for all your flavorful delectable clam1015@yahoo.com.

Help Me Grow is a statewide program for expectant parents, infants, and toddlers that provides health and developmental services so that children start school healthy and ready to learn.” http://www.helpmegrow.ohio.gov/

Top Tier Contractors is a local company. They live here with our families and understand the uniqueness of northeast Ohio. They work hard and place a high premium on integrity, honesty and hard work.  http://toptiercontractors.com/

Pretty Doll Luxury Hair:  Enjoys seeing women being themselves, being confident and just being simply beautiful. Wearing Pretty Doll will save you time on those hectic days with the kids. Pretty Doll will embrace your natural beauty. Their hair is 💯% virgin human hair. Their hair is incredibly soft and beautiful, matte & tangle-free, none to minimal shedding & can be bleached and dyed & will last 2 years with proper care.  They have 3.5 ounce bundles.  They have 6 curl patterns of #BrazilianHair.  They have Brazilian body wave, Brazilian straight, Brazilian deep curl, Brazilian loose body and Brazilian little curly!!! Come get Pretty dolled up with #PrettyDollLuxuryHair. They have bundles on sale starting at $69 dollars. Pretty Doll is helping women share their beauty inside and out providing luxury hair at a quality price. PrettydollLuxuryhair@gmail.com

Latisha Taylor wrote and published her own book. She is from Cleveland Ohio. This book is very inspirational and not only will it help women, but also men.  The book speaks about her upbringing in poverty while in a household of 9 children. This book speaks about abuse, and how she had to make a choice when it came to life or death! This book highlights how she was a single parent while trying to go to nursing school. This book also accounts how she caught a case, overcame jail and lack of financial means. It Is A Guide To Show You How Perseverance and Your Relationship With God Can Get You Through!”  http://www.jjtycyw.com/1/

Living Rich” Sharia and her daughter created a clothing line called “Living Rich”. Named after themselves (Livingston & Richardson), they created fashionable t-shirt designs strictly for women and young ladies. Some of which conveying a positive message.  Her daughter also runs a monthly blog called “Living Rich Girlz” for young lady readers. Living Rich is not only a clothing line but a way of life which they express with our slogan “Be Happy, Be You, Live Free, Live Rich”! “- Sharia Livingston  http://www.livingrichss.com/

Love M.O.M is here to encourage, inspire and empower mothers, young and old, with the necessary education, resources and tools to be the best mothers they can be for their children and be the best versions of themselves as women. They are the backbone of women in their time of need and consistently reminding them that they are not alone.  They provide an environment where women are able to express themselves freely about their day to day ventures of being a mother.  They understand the importance of the role women are placed in for our younger generation, fellow mothers, mothers to be and take it very seriously. The information that they instill in women today will be beneficial for their interaction with their children and family in the future.  http://www.lovemominc.org/

Breakthrough Schools are a tuition-free, non-profit public charter schools.  They are recognized nationally as the best charter schools in Cleveland. Their public charter schools have high expectations for everyone – children and adults – and believe in every student. Like all the best public charter schools, they do what’s best for their students, and make sure every child receives a high-quality education to prepare them for success in college and in life.  https://www.breakthroughschools.org/

Warrior Princess symbolizes the strength and beauty that every woman possesses. No matter how young or how old, we have all faced challenges in our lives. Whether you are dealing with a difficult breakup, an illness, or loss of any sort. Whether you have been let down, pushed down, looked over or passed up. Whether you are in gym and trying to get through your last difficult set or outside running your last mile.  Warrior Princess wear represents your strength, determination, and willpower to overcome any obstacle and never give up. A warrior princess makes no apologies or excuses for being strong. Rather she wears her power proudly.  http://www.warriorprincesswear.com/index.php/

The Lorelle F.A.I.T.H Foundation was founded after the birth Lorelle Faith Pride who has the chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 13. After a prognosis of a month to live, hospice and several surgeries, Lorelle’s life has demonstrated God’s miraculous ability and His grace. Her life is the testimony behind the foundation, and our faith is the core. The foundation has one sole purpose and that is to bless others. Our motto is “we bless those who bless others”. For that reason alone, we donate to deserving organizations all year. Donations include but are not limited to books, clothes, and monetary donations. In just two short years, our annual Total Healing F.A.I.T.H. Walk has raised close to three thousand dollars each year for deserving organizations such Matthews’ Lending Library. We believe in Total Healing and together we can make a difference!  https://www.facebook.com/LorelleFAITH/timeline

Fatima Family Center, located in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, provides programs and services for all ages, including an early learning center, Head Start, cultural, leadership and development activities for children and youth, homework assistance, summer camp, field trips and recreational programs. Fatima also provides adult services including parenting classes, computer lab, health screenings and food pantry. Older adults can benefit from socialization activities designed specifically for them.

Originally established in 1973 as a pastoral counseling and outreach ministry of Our Lady of Fatima parish, Fatima Family Center prominently anchors the Hough community with a 26,000 square foot facility developed by Catholic Charities and dedicated in 2000. In 2002 Fatima was recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as one of the top five family centers in the United States.  http://ccdocle.org/facility/fatima-family-center

Life Skills operates centers in Ohio, Arizona and Colorado and offers an alternative high school education to students between the ages of 16 – 21. Class hours and curriculum are designed to be flexible enough to fit each individual’s needs. In addition to computer based learning and highly qualified teachers available for one-on-one attention, Life Skills assists students outside of the classroom with job placement and counseling for higher education.  http://www.lifeskillshs.com/Home

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Hot Mom, Hot Topics: The Single Mom’s Conference is OVER, Now What?!

praying momsLast weekend was one of the most exciting weekends I’ve had. Watching and being a part of this production was eye-opening, encouraging and re-affirming for me.  So many moms from all over Cleveland were able to get together and enjoy each other.  The number of hugs I received that day was unbelievable.  We were all excited to be in the presence of each other to enrich each other’s lives, to learn from each other, and of course to have a great time.  The Single Moms Conference was a platform to open eyes and doors for those moms in attendance and I am sure for those who wanted to be there.  These conferences are great for jump starting the passion people already possess to want to change and improve their environments.  But how long will that passion last, what will people do now that the conference is over, how do we keep that fire burning bright to want to do better?

Now that this wonderful event has wrapped what do we do? I know I’m not the only person who goes to an event, gets excited and for the next few weeks remains on fire about what I’ve learned.  Then as time goes on and life happens the fire tends to fizzle and I forget part of what I learned and then the day comes when I’m back to my usual pre-event routine.  How can we keep our interest peaked and have a true effect on our community?  I believe what we need to realize is that the zeal we find at these events have been dormant in us and that once ignited it is our job to continue the work started.  You have to keep the fire burning.  So, how do we do that?  I’ll suggest a couple of things I plan to do and hopefully it will help you as we start to change our city for the better.  SINGLE MOMS, MOMS UNITE!!

  1.  Start a mommy group.  It’s not as hard as it sounds.  I’m sure we all have friends who are going through the same stuff we are going through.  It may not be easy for everyone to open up so be the first to start.  Share your story in hopes of getting more moms to share theirs and BOOM, you have your mommy group.  Now this shouldn’t become a place where all you do is get together and complain, but a place where you strengthen and encourage each other.
  2. If you can’t start a group that can physically meet, start a group call.  You can use the services of, http://www.freeconferencecalling.com/, to plan a “free” (financially savvy moms) conference call.  Catch up with each other, check in on the kids and just have a conversation.  Like I said before we don’t talk anymore.  I have to hear my friend’s voices, you can tell a lot by hearing the tone of someone’s voice.
  3. Join an already established mommy group.  Don’t be afraid to be the new kid on the block.  Everybody has to start somewhere.  Check with your churches, schools, or search online.  You have to find the right fit for you.
  4. Attend events with your children.  Guess who will be at these events?  OTHER PARENTS!  You don’t just have to only hang with other single moms.  There’s a large community of parents waiting to embrace you, but you have to make yourself available.
  5. Research, Research, Research!!!!  I truly believe that whatever you are truly passionate about you will spend time with.  If you want to become a Spiritually Fit Mom research and develop your spiritual intelligence and your relationship with God.  If you want to become a Financially Savvy mom, research how to better understand your finances.  If you want to have a better relationship with your child(ren’s) other parent research co-parenting.  Whatever you want to do spend time developing a plan on how to do it and then initiate that plan.

In order to see change in our communities and to ensure that the tools we learned at the conference or other events are not lost, we have to get out there and teach others. You have an arsenal, a treasure chest of information that you may not be aware of.  This is your time to shine.  Moms it’s our time like never before to take back our communities, it starts with us.

My challenge to you is to do one of the five suggestions above. If those don’t work for you then come up with something that does and post it to https://www.facebook.com/Just-One-Hot-Mom-1681518135414787/, I’ll share it and hopefully this will start a chain reaction of people helping people.  It takes a village and if you don’t have one, build one!

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Ways to Co-parent

support 2

  1. Sit down and have a conversation with your co-parent about future arrangements involving the child(ren) and have a set plan.
  2. DO NOT use the child as a defense mechanism against your co-parent.
  3. Do not force your child to choose sides if a disagreement with your co-parent arises.
  4. Be understanding if a previous arrangement may have to be changed due to the schedule of your co-parent.
  5. Do not allow your child to talk badly about your co-parent even though it may not sound so bad. Co-parenting should consist of respect on both ends.
  6. Do not talk badly about your co-parent in front of your children.
  7. Don’t burden your child with the problems between you and your co-parent, it is not their fault and they should not be forced to be on anyone’s side.
  8. Be able to communicate directly to your co-parent, don’t use your children as messengers.
  9. Be boring. Children need to be able to do normal things with one parent just as they do with the other not just fun things all the time.
  10. Be present with your kids. When it is your turn to spend time with them be sure YOU are doing the time spending, not other family members etc.
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We Need you!

This week I decided to ask some kids about their future goals and how we as a community can help them. Each provided some feedback.  If you or someone you know can answer the call to encourage or mentor them, please email jsutonehotmom@gmail.com so that you may connect.  (I love these babies so I will be verifying you are on the up and up, PS. It is jsutonehotmom@gmail.com no spelling error)

Jayda Nix

jayda nixMy name is Jayda Nix and I am a junior in high school. I am 16 years old. When I graduate high school my goal is to attend a HBCU of my choice, preferably Tennessee State University or North Carolina A&T University. I want to enter into the medical field and either become a labor and delivery nurse or a neonatal nurse. My goal in life is to help people. Someone could offer me support by accepting what I want to do with my future plans and encouraging me to stay on a positive path to get there.

Tania Clark

tania clarkHello, my name is Tania Clark. I am 17 years old and I am a senior in high school. After, I graduate in the spring of 2016 I plan to further my education. I plan on going away to school to either study forensics accounting or business marketing. I may go on to study both. I want to pursue a career were I am financially comfortable. I do not wish to stay in Cleveland so I will probably live in Canada somewhere family oriented and cozy. All my life I have had support behind me telling me I will succeed, and go far but support from the outside world would be just motivation and positive thoughts. Negative thoughts and energy have always made me feel negative. I cannot stand a person that always points out the negative in hopes of failure. I have always had a positive heart and tried to see the bright side in every occasion. I am that friend that everyone can depend on to lift their spirits and I feel as if everyone should have some sort of support behind them whether its family, friends or strangers from the outside looking in.

Jamiel Ford

jamiel fordI’m Jamiel and I am 11 years old in the 6th grade.  In the future I plan on going to college and culinary arts school.  I plan to open my own bakery someday.  People can help me achieve my future plans by helping me raise the money to take cooking classes and helping me learn new techniques.

Morgan Nance

morgan nanceMy name is Morgan and I am 14 years old and a freshman. My future goal is to become a music producer.  I am studying music now and plan to study music in college.  People can help me achieve my goals by taking me to concerts and investing in the tools I need.

Trinity Harrison

trinity harrisonI’m Trinity a 15-year-old sophomore. I have not narrowed down my career path yet, but I know I want to attend Cleveland State University.  I would appreciate advice on different careers to help me make a decision.

Anthony Oliver, Jr.

AJ

I’m AJ. I’m in the 6th grade and I’m 11 years old.  I plan on becoming a professional football player.  To help me achieve my goal, I need people to support me at my games and help cheer me on.

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Child SUPPORT!

Child maintenanceWriting this I could not come up with a catchy title that would help me express what I truly want to say. I am going to be as transparent as I can without jabbing, so bear with me.  Every time I hear those words together child “support” I cringe.  The thought that financing a child is in any way “support” bothers my spirit.  Okay, so financially it may be support but I wish I could change the word support because I think that once people hear it they feel as though that’s enough I’ve fulfilled my child support obligation by mailing in the court ordered amount, I’m done.  Who’s to say that what you give financially is the only support that child needs or deserves.  Allow me to explain further…..

First, it takes more than finances to truly support a child. Children need to be nurtured, loved, cuddled, disciplined, encouraged, taught, the list goes on and on, in order to truly be supported.  Why is it that this one factor “money” is so heavily weighed upon when it comes to talking about supporting a child?  Why does one parent get to throw money at the situation as support and neglect all other responsibilities?  (Note:  if this does not apply to you, then skip this part, but since this is reality for some, I’m speaking on it.)  The system appears to review your finances and determines that this is the role this person should play.  They are told to pay an amount per month, and that’s it, they’ve supported the child and should feel good and accomplished, BS!  Our support system is so racked with issues; I can’t even begin to cover them all.  True child support would be the two people who created the child coming together to say we take responsibility for this life we created and will equally support this being, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, and so forth and so on.  In a perfect world these individuals would work it out together.  In a not so perfect word, the individuals would work with a third-party to assist in their situation.  BOOM- support!  Everything the child would need given equally by the parents and the only reason the third-party is present is to keep the peace if the situation gets rocky.  But we live in a messy destitute child support land, where parents run from responsibility, the system fails, and families are distraught and discouraged.

We create a child, we can’t be in a relationship, but still we have this beautiful person what next? Are you only obligated to financially support or should other support be mandated as well?  Who should go to doctor appointments, school conferences, games, and ect.  Who is responsible for this support?  Where are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, where’s both families?  I know I personally would appreciate this type of support.  Don’t get me wrong, money pays its role, but come on; it truly takes a village to raise a child.  The parents must put their feelings to the side and focus on being supportive to the child becoming the best person they can be.  This my friends would be the perfect child support to me.

In order to fix the system it’s going to take a lot more parents going above and beyond to ensure their child’s future is bright. You may think you’re doing enough, do more.  For those who have a partner that has children from another relationship, hold them accountable to do more and hold yourself accountable as well.  I personally want to offer my children the world, doing just enough is not going to get them where they need to be.  We as a society have failed the village children and it’s up to us to make things right.  Put your feelings to the side, compromises will have to be made, pride broken, to make sure the next generation has more than enough opportunities to fulfill their dreams.   That they too will be great parents and an even greater village.  We have to stop being politically correct and call parents we know are not holding their end of the bargain when it comes to their children to the carpet and demand that they do better.  Stop making excuses, “his baby mama crazy” “her boyfriend taking care of the kids”, start encouraging healing in this process.  For the greater good of our children and our community.

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Hot Tips: Let’s Chill!

cross roadThere are so many ways people can reduce stress.  I found these two links to be extremely helpful:

Stress Management for Parents:  http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/family-living/stress/
(out of the 52 proven ways to reduce stress, I find #12 to be unreasonable, just my opinion, lol)

10 Ways to Reduce Single Parent Stress:  http://www.parents.com/parenting/dynamics/single-parenting/how-to-reduce-single-parent-stress/
(found these to be more helpful)

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Hot Kids Crew: Mom, Are you okay?!

busy mom(Featuring Jayda Nix, a junior in high school currently working with me as a mentoree in my office and Tania Clark, a senior in high school, currently working with my sister as a mentoree.  These two give you something to think about when handling your stress with your child(ren))

  1. What is your define of stress?

Anything that causes a person to worry if your life is not smooth sailing then you’re stressed about something.(TC)

Not being in your normal state of mind, not being able to focus. Overwhelmed.(JN)

  1. How do you handle your own stress?

I  just simply sleep it off.(TC)

Personally I always isolate myself and listen to music, it seems to calm me down.(JN)

  1. Are you stressed?

Yes I worry about college and where I’ll be going to school in the fall and it’s a lot to think about.(TC)

Yes. Sometimes school and my relationship can stress me out.(JN) (I sent her the video of FLOTUS and what she had to say about boys and school, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uivxlviobU4)

  1. How can you tell your mom is stressed?

I can tell because of her facial expressions.(TC)

I can tell when my mom is stressed out when she yells at me for the smallest things and tells me to leave her alone.(JN)

  1. How do you feel when you see your mom stressing?

I feel like I want to help her, like take some of the weight off her shoulders.(TC)

I feel like I need to stay far away from her until she is in a better mood, but then again I wonder why she is stressing and how I can help.(JN)

  1. What do you think stresses your mom out the most?

The fact that she’s responsible for another life and making sure her kids are taking care of.(TC)

Her job.(JN)

  1. How do you help your mom when she’s stressed?

I just try and do things she would normally ask me to do like washing the dishes after dinner, making sure my siblings are doing what they need to be doing.(TC)

When my mom is stressed I try to help more around the house so it is one less thing she has to worry about.(JN)

  1. Do you talk to your mom about how her makes you feel?

No that might make things worst especially since it doesn’t really affect me in the worst way.(TC)

Yes I talked to her and told her it wasn’t fair to me if I hadn’t contributed to her stress. She usually tells me I am partially the cause and if I did better she wouldn’t be so stressed.(JN)

  1. What advice would you give to a kid that is stressed

I would just say look it’s going to be ok nothing last forever.(TC)

Don’t come off as being rude, try to get down to the actual root of the problems so she might open up to talk about it.(JN)

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Hot Mom, Hot Topics: The Wine Down

To DoHow many times do you find yourself flipping out, and then apologizing for your actions?  Life happens, as much as we try to plan and prepare, life hits us and we must learn to prepare for these moments.  We all suffer from various forms of stress, children’s other parents, parent’s health, our health, employment, finances, and the list can go on and on.  At some point in time, as organized as all moms are, stress rears its ugly head and we must deal with it.  Stress- that dreaded moment life catches up to you or catches you off guard and you are forced to deal with your issues.  At least that’s my definition of stress.  But, if you want to get all technical about it here’s what dictionary.com suggest stress is:  (noun) the physical pressure, pull or other force exerted on one thing by another; physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.  What does dictionary.com know?!  None of those definitions describe clearly the stress I’ve been trying to manage.  But, someone somewhere decided this was enough to determine what stress really is.  WHATEVER!!!

Why do I stress?  There are a few reasons:  1. I want to appear to have it all together, 2. I need more money and time, 3. Fear of screwing up one of my kids, and 4. worrying about my family’s future, oh and life, just plain old everyday life.  Now let me tell you, I’m not of the edge everyday about stress, I don’t allow it to consume me, but there are times however where I become overwhelmed and stress creeps in.  I use to be ashamed to admit I was stressed.  The world tells us that moms know how to deal with everything and that’s why we are so heavily relied on.  If I can’t deal then I must suck as a mom.  THE DEVIL IS A LIE!  I’m a great mom, at least I try my best to be every day.  I may not cure world hunger, but I’ve fed my family.  I’ve learned to appreciate and deal with my stress.  What stresses one person out may not stress another person out, there’s nothing wrong with that.  We all handle life differently.   While the relationship between stress and I remains lopsided, I’m clearly standing my ground rebuking stress.

Again, what stresses you may not stress another.  No judgements, we all have triggers, no one person’s stress matters more than someone else’s.  So, all I can do is offer to you what I do to relieve stress:

  1. PRAY!  My connection to God through prayer is my safe place.  Some people won’t understand what you go through and how it affects you.  But knowing that I have a connection to a higher power that hears and cares for me always calms my mind.
  2. My Village. I love the people I have invited into my life and the lives of my family.  We can eat, laugh, cry, fight, and most importantly talk/comfort.  Getting things out in the open always helps. (if you see me stressing offer some chocolate, I’ll be alright)
  3. This is why my water bill is so high or because the city hasn’t figured out the benefits of water, either way water helps and cost me.  I can go in the bathroom, close the door and let the steam clouds have their way.  I can also sink into a steamy hot bath and dream of drifting off to an island where my favorite drink is always ready.  (I’m sure drinking water helps as well)
  4. Looking good. I don’t know what is it about dressing up and getting my hair done, but this does the trick for me.  TRUTH (for me at least) if I look good I feel good and that helps to relax me.
  5. WINE!!! You read the title, so of course wine was going to make an appearance.  A nice glass of red wine (Dornfelder, if you’d like to gift), my journal/pen, and a quiet night and the stress just melts away.  I’m not saying overdo it and develop a problem (I’d be writing another blog to help you), but for me it loosens me up and the writing allows my emotions to flow and I feel better.  (PSA:  If you or someone you know has a problem with wine being their sole source of stress relief contact http://www.aa.org/.)

At the end of the day life will happen.  Sometimes we will be prepared and sometimes we won’t.  The important thing to remember is to not stress.  What will stressing add to your days anyway?!  So my suggestions, sit back, say your prayers, make your peace, and pour a glass.

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Hot Tips: Be Encouraged

friend quote

Here are a few sites that help you figure out ways to encourage others:

http://thelife.com/challenges/19-ways-to-encourage-others
(#2 I’ll text you in a heartbeat, #9 I love a party and what better reason than to celebrate each other, #12 If I can make it, I’m there, and #19 I’m working on becoming better at this.)

http://rachelwojo.com/things-to-say-to-encourage-a-friend/
(don’t be surprised if you hear me use #2, 5, 7, 11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20(20 is my favorite))

http://liveboldandbloom.com/07/quotes/words-of-encouragement
(and if all else fails, people smarter than I have said great things, personal # 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 29(this has to be my favorite on this list), 48)

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Hot Kids Crew: Friends, How Many of Us Have Them?!

  1. friendsHow many best friends do you have and why do you consider them your best friends?

We both have one real best friend which is each other. I consider Swazy my only best friend because she has been there through every trial and/or tribulation I’ve had in the past 3 years, no matter what it’s been and every good time I’ve had she made it better I can always talk to her about whatever subject that crosses my mind and I am completely myself around her she accepts that self no matter how deep stuff gets and vice versa.

  1. Have you ever felt like you and a friend are growing apart, what did you decide to do about it?

Yes friendships fall apart all the time. We’ve grown apart from multiple people who weren’t trying to progress in life. We grew to have different interests and whatever other reasons people fall apart. Sometimes trying to rekindle the friendship isn’t a good idea. So instead of trying to stay in contact, I just let them go.

  1. How do you celebrate your friends achieving a goal or something good happening to them?

With plenty of praise and some turn up lol. Because accomplishments matter to people and everyone wants to make somebody proud (even if it’s themselves) or be acknowledged in some way for the work they put in.

  1. As a young lady do you find that we as ladies tend to be catty towards one another even if we say we are friends?

Not I. Sometimes I observe females who are on the defense or catty around females they don’t know or feel a slight competition toward. Personally I’m the same all the time unless I have a reason to not want to associate or be around a person.

  1. What qualities do you look for in friends?

Besides the regular qualities you would look for in anyone you decide to associate with like honesty, compassion, humor etc. I like friends who have goals and ambitions that want to be better in life or at least have a plan and don’t want to be in the same spot 15 years from now. I look for people who are creative, open to learn, talk and be aware of the world around us. (Removed this sentence and I’m thinking about calling her mama) I could go on but those are a few basics.

  1. Do you pick your friends based on the advice of your parents or have relationships just developed and turned into friendships?

I actually don’t pick friends. I don’t base any of my decisions on anyone’s advice. If I vibe with someone then we’re cool. If they show their qualities and I’m interested then cool.

  1. At your age (how old are you) Do you believe these friendships will last a lifetime?

I am 19 years old and I honestly don’t think anything will last a lifetime besides Swazy and I. I’m not just saying that because I’m young and in love I’m saying that because even if we are not in a romantic relationship we will always have an unbreakable bond.

  1. If you could go back in time and give 13 year old Kacie advice about friends what would the advice be?

I would say find people who are your friends even when everyone else doesn’t want to be. Don’t follow behind anyone and always be honest with the people you want to stick around.

  1. How do you handle when your parents don’t like one of your friends?

It doesn’t really matter but I always keep good company and I have great judgement of character so there shouldn’t be any reason that my parents don’t like anyone I hang around.

  1. Define loyalty, not from the dictionary but from your own perspective.

Loyalty is everything. Loyalty is no switching up, no lying, no cheating, no deception of any kind no associating with someone I find disloyal. Loyalty is everything.