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Hey everyone! Hope you’re staying warm on this super chilly day today! (However, if you’re in a warmer region right now…I envy you. Not really. Okay, maybe a tiny bit).
I wanted to let you all know that I’ve decided to leave the Etsy platform, and will now be selling any merchandise, product, etc. DIRECTLY from this website now. EXCITING, I KNOW.
Head on over to the new Shop tab! There’s already a few pieces of merch you can purchase that will directly benefit Blankets of Blessings. Other products from AncaLogy will be added at a later date.
I hope you enjoy the new changes, there are more to come! God Bless!
Greetings once again, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Have you taken the time to get registered for this AWESOME support group yet? You might want to jump to it, because space is limited! There are only 12 spots available! If you do register, but you register after the 12th spot has already been taken, you will automatically be wait-listed for the next session.
If you register, and you are apart of the first 12 individuals to attend, you will be notified of your secured place for the meeting.
I absolutely cannot wait to see everyone there! Looking forward to making new connections and educating the community about IBD!
God Bless! 💖
Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to starting the new year and decade off with big dreams and goals!
Speaking of big dreams and goals, Blankets of Blessings will be headed in a new direction for 2020 and beyond. In preparation for this, custom orders for blankets will no longer be accepted. I am also excited to share that AncaLogy and Blankets of Blessings will also be leaving the Etsy platform and migrating any remaining products to this site! Blankets that are made in the future will be donated to efforts that are focused on improving and enriching the lives of the people in their surrounding communities. More information on this is soon to come. If you’ve already placed a custom order before this announcement, your order will be fulfilled by January 10th, 2020.
While I’m still absolutely working on incorporating Blankets of Blessings as a Nonprofit, I realized that I may have haphazardly started this project. As a result, I am taking a step back and revamping to learn more about various resources that I can utilize to have my project finally come into fruition. This will look like: partnering/volunteering with other Nonprofits that have already been operating, so that I can get a first hand look at how things should be done. It is vital to have a solid foundation when embarking on something like this, and I want to ensure that I am prepared.
On occasion, it is necessary to press pause and/or start over. There’s nothing wrong with starting over (and getting help), especially if it means you’ll be more successful the next time around. The most important thing is to not give up, even more so when you’re passionate about what you’re planning.
Be encouraged, be blessed and don’t stress!
Also, don’t forget, registration for the Confab of Respite opens tomorrow on the site. Looking forward to new connections!
Good morning everyone! I have some GREAT news!
Starting on January 23rd, Blankets of Blessings will be hosting its very first IBD Support Group called the “Confab of Respite”
Registration opens up December 28th! Space will be limited to about 10-12 people, so I highly encourage you to register ASAP, especially if you are living with an IBD condition like myself, you’re friends with someone or have someone in your family that has an IBD condition, or you’re taking care of someone with an IBD condition.
This will be a chance to not only learn more about what we experience on a daily basis, as IBD can sometimes be an invisible illness, but also a chance to learn more about how you can become a part of the “CoR” of Blankets of Blessings!
I’m looking forward to seeing new faces and seeing some familiar ones as well. God Bless and Happy Holidays!
I want to start this post off with a definition today:
House Poor – Being able to pay rent, mortgage, bill payments, etc., but unable to purchase basic necessities such as groceries, fuel, clothing, etc. and/or live a happy life due to financial strife.
As we begin making preparations to head into the new, grand year of 2020 (a whole new decade!), I wanted to take some time to impart the knowledge that I acquired this year regarding Fiscal Responsibility. I’m doing this because I want those around me that I have the ability to impact, to financially start their year off right. If I can help it, I would like to prevent anyone from dealing with what I dealt with this year.
Many of you already know that I struggled a lot with my finances this year.
However, in the midst of a struggle, you learn, you change and most importantly you (hopefully) grow.
If you’re still reading, there’s a few steps I want you to take as soon as you can. No, actually, do it now. Enough fooling around.
Step One – Control Yourself: Open up an INTEREST BEARING SAVINGS ACCOUNT at ANOTHER BANK (preferably a credit union). Do NOT by any means, order a debit card for this account. If you get one by default, hide it from yourself, cut it up, give it to someone you trust, but you better not use it unless it’s for emergencies.
Step Two – Automate EVERYTHING: This part is really important. Take 7% of your paycheck (or whatever you can afford to do), and set up AUTOMATIC TRANSFERS TO THIS SAVINGS ACCOUNT AT THE OTHER BANK. Set it up for every time that you get paid, whether it be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Why? When you are moving money automatically from one bank to another, it’s in process for 3-4 days. It’s up in the ether, and you can’t touch it. Therefore you can’t spend it. Once it arrives at the other bank, it’ll take the same amount of time to transfer it back, once again inhibiting you from unnecessarily spending that money you’re supposed to be saving.
Also, the way my bank is set up, there’s a $3 transfer fee to an external account for the 3-4 day transfer. I never notice those missing $3 dollars. If I’m feeling spicy, I can immediately transfer the funds the same or next day for $25, but ain’t nobody got time for all that.
I would also suggest that if you can, set up auto pay on bills that are easily manageable. Sometimes you get a discount for doing so!
Step Three – Tame your Money: Download these Monthly Budgeting and Bill Tracking Excel Spreadsheets from my Google Drive.
Budgeting has a bad rap. Budgeting is not something that’s supposed to give you restrictions, it’s something that’s supposed to liberate you and make you aware of how you’re utilizing your income. We use budgeting sheets to see where our money is going and to tell our money where to go. It helps us identify if we’re spending money on things that we don’t need and can do without. When you’re filling out the sheet, make sure that you…LIST EVERYTHING YOU SPEND MONEY ON. Including all your lil’ subscriptions to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Discord, Apple Music, alladat.
If you want tips on budgeting per paycheck, check out The Honest Plan on YouTube.
Once you’ve completed your monthly budget sheet, the Bill Tracking sheet will be your best friend. You’ll use this to list everything you pay a monthly bill for, see if you’re staying on top of your bill payments, observe to see if there are any fluctuations in bill amounts and overall be absolutely sure that you’re paying things on time (especially when the collectors attempt to call you and tell you that you’re behind).
Not only do these two tools give you peace of mind, but you’ll also feel like you’re doing a lil’ sumn sumn as a money managing guru.
Step Four – Side Hustlin’ (Optional): Find a side hustle you wouldn’t mind doing. If you’re good at something, you might as well get paid for it. There’s nothing wrong with a little extra income! While you’re at it…check out Blankets of Blessings 🌚
Step Five – Trading & Investing: It would be worthwhile to hop onto YouTube and watch some videos on Trading vs. Investing. It’s never too late to start, and besides, if it goes well, it’s something you can set aside and “forget about” while your money grows. I’ve recently started using the Robinhood and Stash apps. If you’re interested in Robinhood, use my link here to get a free stock! Disclaimer: You should already know this is not a quick way to increase your income (unless you get the blessing of a lifetime and have an incredibly successful day trade).
Step Six – The Snowball Effect: I’m sure many of you have heard of this. …No? Okay, my bad for the assumption. Allow me to enlighten you: The Snowball Effect is something that one of my mentors shared with me, and it involves paying off looming bills. Essentially, all you are doing is paying off the small bills first so that you can launch a full, head on attack on the larger bills and aggressively pay those down. It’s effective, it works, do it.
Step Seven – “It is Finished.”: God rested on the seventh day, so we shall rest on the seventh step. Put this cycle in motion and you’ll be taking your first steps on your path to Fiscal Responsibility.
These things I mentioned above will take time to get going, and this blog post is not the end all to education about Fiscal Responsibility. This is just what I’ve learned from my experiences and those around me. You have to ask questions, you have to be attentive to what’s going on with your wallet. It’s up to you to take control, and use money as the tool it was intended to be used as. I do care to mention that, be careful you don’t become obsessed with money. Money isn’t everything, but how we use it determines how we live our lives.
Here are a few things to take away from today:
- Wherever you put your value, that’s where your money is going.
- Don’t go after things that have no eternal value.
- You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24
- Figure out what your definition of money is – this will help you determine if you’re using money as a tool or a toy.
- Don’t forget to pay your tithes.
Happy Holidays! 🎄💖
I know lately, it’s been pretty quiet around here. More is explained in my other blog post Season of Sacrifice.
There are several changes occurring, including going back to the basics of the original location of my initial website on WordPress. Here I will have separate locations for AncaLogy and Blankets of Blessings. These separate pages will house updates for both entities.
In other more exciting news…
I wanted to officially announce the plans I have for Blankets of Blessings! I have been making preparations to transform Blankets of Blessings into a Non-Profit. My original plan was to have this part completed by the end of the year, and there may still be time God willing, but everything happens in its own time, so I am not rushing anything.
Starting a Non-Profit does of course require the payment of several fees, etc. This is the main reason I’ve been on hold for the past month, especially with just having moved into my new, incredibly humble, but extremely cozy, apartment. Most of my finances had to be diverted to that. I was also dealing with a few, minor health issues, but I am feeling better now!
This grant has served to help many outstanding Black Women kick-start their dreams and propel them to success while making a difference in their communities. I couldn’t have been happier to come across it and apply for it. Whoever receives this grant coming up on the 19th, their Buy From a Black Woman Awareness Day, I pray for prosperity in your endeavors!
Please, please check out Buy From a Black Woman and support them as well!
As I gear back up for the holiday season, please remember that every blanket that is purchased helps to fund Blankets of Blessings’ startup fees, while also supporting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
Surprise someone with a nice, cozy and warm blanket, the weather is starting to get colder for sure!
Each blanket comes with an optional prayer request should you need prayer for anything. This is indicated by a different color yarn embedded in the blanket.
For the past few weeks…No, actually, for the past few months, there’s been a resounding theme in my mind: Sacrifice.
Sacrifice is never something that we want to readily do, or ever do, though often times it is necessary to get to the next step in our goals/life. A lot of times, we sacrifice things we want to do for the sake of others, unbeknownst to them.
My Season of Sacrifice, however, was more involved, and is STILL involved, with my finances. Even though other parts of my life have been flourishing this year, my finances have been severely fluctuating, more so than I cared to admit. I found myself asking others for help with bills and such, something I never thought I’d have to do. Though half of my financial position wasn’t all my fault, I did unfortunately contribute to it. Now, with it being November 12th, 2019, I’m still fighting this uphill battle to get out of it.
“You gotta do what you gotta do, but you also gotta take care of yourself in the process. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do, what you gotta do.”
Are things turning around? Yes, of course, slowly, but surely. Do I wish it would get better faster? Absolutely. However, God knows that I won’t learn what I need to learn if everything suddenly got better tomorrow, and this is the part I’m struggling with the most.
My Season of Sacrifice looked like this:
- Moving out of my 1st real apartment, and back in with my parents
- Asking for some financial assistance to help pay off some bills
- Getting a second job that ultimately kept me exhausted 100% of the time
- Canceling my Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription & Website
- Moving into a much, much smaller apartment
I’m sure there’s more, but these were the most prevalent events.
The two events that stood out the most and really in a sense, hurt the most, was having to cancel my Creative Cloud and getting a second job. I’m a Graphic Designer (that does a plethora of other things), and the Creative Cloud was the main thing allowing me to do this. Yes, I am aware of the copious amount of free programs out there, HOWEVER. It was convenient for me to have access to that specific software, especially since a lot of bigger companies use the same software for their businesses.
Getting a second job meant I had to sacrifice my social life. I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “oh, you pooooor thing, boo hoo.” Listen. Here’s the thing about that: I struggled with this a lot too because I am the type of person that likes to be around my friends and family as much as I can (one of my love languages is definitely Quality Time). That’s just something I need that helps with my sanity. On top of the obliteration of my social life, my health got roped into the equation because a month and a half later, I ended up in the hospital. Now, I’m not complaining. The extra money did help, so it did what it was supposed to do. However, I was entirely too exhausted and I didn’t even have time for myself.
I’m not giving up though. To offset having to quit the second job I obtained, I am currently looking into jobs I can do from home part time, as well as tutoring (more to come on the tutoring). I still need a supplemental stream of income, until my main income increases.
In closing, like I mentioned before, sacrifice is sometimes necessary. I’m grateful for the sacrifice, because in that period of time, in that time of adversity, it caused me to very carefully weigh all of my options and lean on God for even more guidance and understanding that I was lacking. Money isn’t everything, but how we spend our money, how we define it, plays a big role in how our lives will operate. In other words, don’t work yourself to death because society is out here telling you, “you gotta do what you gotta do.” While this is true, that statement needs to be expanded to: “You gotta do what you gotta do, but you also gotta take care of yourself in the process. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do, what you gotta do.”
Thoughts to Think On:
Money is a tool.
No job is worth your mental, physical and spiritual health.
Work smart, and work hard, but not too hard.
YER. I see you made it to Part Two. Clearly that means you enjoyed Part One 👀. Welcome back, my dedicated reading friend.
Well, since Part One was mostly comprised of the activities I took part in while at the convention, you already know that the second part is going to be about…THE COOKOUT FAM, AYYYYY.
Every convention I go to, just expect me to mention the litty litness of The Cookout. Cookout Fam Chronicles if you will, haha. There’s a lot of pictures that I took of us, so please, enjoy this lovely slideshow:
I already learn so much from everyone day to day in Discord, but it’s on a different level when you see your fam in person actually speaking on their personal experiences, etc. with a passionate tone in their voices. Many of the panels I went to, we mostly ventured
to together and it was astounding to hear everyone’s perspectives up close concerning stories and occurrences happening in our communities.
We basically traveled together in one big and various group pods the entire time, and let me tell you, it was the best thing ever. Sure it’s nice to enjoy something alone, but it’s even better to be able to share a moment with someone and laugh, cry and yes, even debate with them about what you all just witnessed (or overheard, LOL).
My most favorite moments occurred when we were all chilling upstairs in @Genesis_0109 hotel room, just hanging out, playing a card game he introduced us to, and just voicing our different opinions on a myriad of topics. If you fell asleep and got caught slipping, best believe you got sleep cammed by yours truly, LOL.
Yes, I have this thing I do called Sleep Cam: if you fall asleep around me while we are all being extremely loud and having fun, your picture will be taken and most likely with people doing random funny things in the background behind you.
I definitely can’t forget the after parties. WHEW CHILLEEEE. We danced and danced and danced, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The fam gets super hype okay, that’s all I’m going to say on that.
So, about this COSPLAY.
Last but not least: I cosplayed for the first time in my entire life and let me tell you, that was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences I have had in a while. I’m actually getting emotional as I reflect on getting everything together for it. I’m even more emotional because I cosplayed a character of my own original design.
Realizing the fact that I was able to bring her to life, and it wasn’t too shabby looking either? I WAS SHOOK. What made it even better was that a couple people actually chased me down to take a picture with me! I definitely wasn’t expecting that because, even though I was happy that I cosplayed, I was thinking that my cosplay wasn’t as great as some of the others I saw. I honestly had to keep reminding myself that none of that mattered and that I needed to stop comparing myself. At the end of the day, all that mattered was that I cosplayed, I did my best with what I had, I had fun and freaking I enjoyed it! Now I just have to work on my posing, LOL. (Solo photos of me courtesy of @Tru1p)
Right now, I’m tearing up because, this is my family, and in such a short time, these phenomenal individuals have become incredibly important to me and I care about each and every one of them. It’s such a blessing to be able to serve the community as an Admin staff member because I really get a chance to see how our efforts are helping those that come into the community from a granular perspective. Like I mentioned earlier, I learn so much from being around them and hearing their stories. Even though they roast the heck out of me (out of love, LOL), the out pouring of help, support and love I and everyone else receives is incredible. These are some of the most talented, driven, intelligent, hard-working and dedicated people that I’ve come to meet so far in my life. I hate that we all live so far away from each other, but it’s comforting to know that we are all just a Discord message, Voice Chat, Stream or Game Lobby away.
If you’re a PoC Content Creator looking for a group like The Cookout, I definitely recommend you check us out. The group is only accessible through an application, and that is temporarily closed while we process the huge number of applications we’ve received in the past month or so. However, keep up with us on Twitch, Instagram and Twitter!
Special Shout Out to the Cookout Fam I was able to hang with at this convention, y’all are top tier ❤
@blisscreates, @stellyblanca, @SpoonGodTitan, @willthegreatest, @therealrapcritic @LilaBoBina, @Tru1p, @JermainePlays, @vickibewicked, @_LadyKayLee, @DippedNV8Splash, @007Steeze, @_kingether, @DJ_Cocoa_Butter, @CSamSim, @ProdigyDaPrince, @JediOso, @Leesh_Capeesh, @Nizzy917, @Bball4Life35, @frenchiefied, @unicorninthekitchen, @RobRegalGxC, @Genesis_0109, @Son_of_a_yellow, @shinageeeexpress, @TheRetroAstro, @dream_killa22, @xStill_Infamous, @skool_the_otaku and @kendallxanime
(Everyone above isn’t necessarily in the Cookout) If I missed you, it wasn’t on purpose. There was a lot of y’all in two days LOL.
Thank you again for reading Part Two of my BlerDCon Recap! There will be an actual vlog of the activities coming soon, once I find time to sit down and edit!
Not that I don’t mind blowing up everyone’s Twitter and/or Instagram mentions with tags, replies, etc., AND WOULD DEFINITELY DO IT WITHOUT HESITATION… I figured I’d type up an article (paired with a vlog, soon come) of my experience at my first Blerdcon this past weekend instead, because, whew chile I have a lot to say.
I truly don’t even know where to begin. I suppose I’ll first talk about the activities I attended! I probably am going to split this into two parts.
Aside from the blazing heat at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City (LOL), I was in AWE from the moment I walked into the hotel.
This time, having my sister (@Bball4Life35) AND brother (@dream_killa22) in tow, we not only went on our first “family” road trip, but we also got to experience a world that we really are mostly cut off from back in our hometowns. I’m glad that I was able to take them with me, and that we were immersed in this adventure together. It’s definitely a memory we will always cherish!
BlerDCon was nothing short of magical. It was a multi-level, action packed weekend, with everyone absolutely living their best lives with no ragrets (not even one letter). I was able to participate in my first Maid Cafe!
That food was AMAZING. It was just as fun as it’s portrayed in Anime, haha. For the first time in my life I tried soba noodles. Not to mention, one of my good friends from college (@treezyspeakeasy) was actually a maid (Her maid name was Michiko)! It was super awesome to see another one of my friends enjoying the same type of interest as myself. The rest of the Maid Cafe staff were super hospitable too. Since I went to the Cafe alone (I high key was wandering and forgot to tell my fam that I ended up there, LOL), they sat and talked with me the entire time which I really appreciated.
We also visited a few panels. To name a few: It Really Be Your Own People: Gatekeeping the Black Experience, D.I.Y. Sci-Fi Filmmaking and discussion on the Culture of Black Twitter.
It Really Be Your Own People: Gatekeeping the Black Experience was an insightful discussion because it drew light to the fact that, whether we mean to or not…we all gatekeep at some point.
- If you’re unsure of what “Gatekeeping” means, it’s referring to making someone feel as though they can’t enjoy a hobby, show, book, series, etc. because they don’t necessarily have as much knowledge as you do on the respective topic. Basically making them feel as though they don’t have a right to enjoy whatever it is they’re trying to enjoy because they don’t know all the backstories. Miss me with that.
I, along with many other people, have witnessed this happening on various social medias, and it’s honestly disgusting and pointless. Just let someone enjoy whatever it is they’re trying to enjoy (as long as it’s not illegal or very wrong, yikes).
The D.I.Y. Sci-Fi Filmmaking panel I came in at the end of (because I was putting on my cosplay, huehuehue). However, for the little bit that I could listen in on, I thoroughly enjoyed it and probably will soon be getting back into learning more about Premiere Pro and After Effects since I have access to them for now! My takeaway from this panel was that you can do a lot with a little, and you’re really only limited by your imagination.
The discussion on the Culture of Black Twitter, led by one of my super totally awesome brilliant friends Lila (@LilaBoBina), and two other women making some power moves outchea, Tanya (@cypheroftyr) and Shonté (@ShonteWrites),
highlighted how Black Twitter means a lot of different things for everyone. They also discussed how much society takes ideas from Black Twitter and tries to market it back to the rest of the world as if it was their original idea. They especially are privy to doing this without giving credit to the people that they stole from.
Quirktastic, the group who hosted Quirkcon back in June, also collaborated on a video with another group called TeamRedPro to make a live action short film called Afro Samurai Champloo. Y’all. This had to be one of the best and most hilarious short films I’ve seen in a while! The blooper reel definitely had me rolling at the end, ahaha.
Among the other things, I was able to attend a little bit of the comedy show and peek in on some of the table top gaming they had going on as well. I can’t forget the PLETHORA of extraordinary vendors that seemed to never end! Oh, and don’t get me started on the Food Trucks, WHEW CHILE.
I also SHOOK ESTELLE’S HAND, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Haha, well, I think this is a good stopping point for BlerDCon the Recap: Part One. If you would like to read Part Two, stay tuned. If not, that ain’t no problem! I definitely do appreciate you taking the time to read Part One! Be Blessed fam!
Also, I want to just say that everyone, no matter which con you go to…everyone should experience a con. More specifically a comic, gaming, anime, etc. type con. It’s an incredible adventure that I believe would bring out the inner kid in all of us.
More pics from the convention: