#TuesdayExchange Spotlight On…

wp_ss_20160223_0001

Today’s #TuesdayExchange is all about the fashion!

I am pleased to offer your fashionista taste buds the delightful, well thought out stylings of Renae Antoinette’s The Ultimate Style Diary. I’ve always known Renae to be stylish but when you read her style blog and see how she fuses pieces together -you’ll want to solicit her services.  Not everyone can take Chanel and mix it with JCP (JCPenney) and it all look so chic, polished and dare I say…affordable.  Affordability isn’t always associated with glam, but Renae does a fine job of giving you high end pieces methodically interwoven with great, affordable finds.  And this Restyled Mom, who just so happens to be a single mom, is always up for looking “datable” (lol) while still being able to pay for my child’s next extra-curricular activity.

Be Stylish and Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is stepping up her style game!

The Most Wonderful Break Up You Need to Experience

break upI have a wonderful, fashionably aware friend, whom we will refer to as Melissa. Melissa is aware of all the latest trends in beauty and fashion.  She seems to know a little bit about a lot, and I adore her style sense.  Unfortunately, my friend is not money aware.  Actually, let’s put it like this, she does not seem to be money aware until the money is almost gone.  Melissa was laid off from a well-paying contract job as a project manager.  Within the one year of her contract, Melissa earned close to six figures.  However, and I think you know where this is leading, Melissa was not saving at her maximum potential.

So what is this maximum potential? For a single woman, with no kids, no rent/mortgage to pay (the parents were accommodating), Melissa should have been saving at least half of her income and living off the rest.  Notice I said at least.  If Melissa could have factored in her bills (i.e. student loan, car note) and lived off a budget, she probably could have saved more than half her earnings.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have an emergency fund built with HALF your income?  Here’s where I get really real and sisterly with my good friend when I say…It’s time to break up.

Breaking up should not be hard to do when you’re broke or when you are trying to reach goals (no matter what your income level). Break up with the monthly beauty box, which ranges from $10-25 or more a month.  This equates to approximately $120-300 in savings for the year.  That $30/month gym membership, which truly is super modest, it is costing you $360/year.  Calculate just those two yearly totals and you get approximately $460 saved for the year.  How about putting that on the student loan, credit card and/or car payment?  Break Up…

If you are financially stuck, I strongly suggest you break up with some of your “stuff” you think you cannot live without. Break up with that gym membership, grab a resistance band from your local sporting goods store (usually about $5) and go online to find awesome workout plans.  Break up with that beauty box for a moment and apply those monthly payment as extra towards your debts.  Break up with that car if you must –downsizing may result in an upsize to your bank account!  I broke up with cable and opted for high-speed internet and streaming services.  This break up has allowed for an increase to debt reduction, as well as paid for the little ones extra curricular activities -without adding a strain on the budget.

I am not saying totally go cold turkey and have nothing, but I am saying begin investing in your financial future; invest in your debt freedom; invest in your financial legacy that will be passed to your kids.  Experience the Best Break Up Ever!

debt (money management international)

Picture: Money Management International

What are you willing to break up with? Share, share, share…let’s break up together!

Respectfully,

Your Restyled Mom…who is encouraging this break up

Downplay-itis…Effects & Cure…Because Love Awaits You

downplayitis

Within my circle, it has been discussed how men are intimidated by a strong woman who has herself together and sing Beyonce’ songs like “Who Run the World”. As the conversation looms on, I hear women with brains and beauty saying they will downplay their higher education and/or accomplishments (i.e. Master’s degrees, PhDs, CEOs, lead engineers, etc.)  I myself can say I am guilty of this awful disease; I will call Downplay-itis (an inflamed down play of yourself).  I have accomplished great things along life’s journey, but feel I must downplay myself so as to not be intimidating.

Here are the Top Side Effects and Cures for Downplay-itis AKA Downplaying Yourself:

  1. Side Effect: You are not offering your true self. You are constantly acting, rehearsing your lines and hoping to get it right. Cure: On a first date, maybe even a second date, don’t go into a whole resume submittal detailing all of your degrees and/or accomplishments. Though some dates are similar to an interview..the whole getting to know you thing, THIS IS NOT AN INTERVIEW! Yes. You are the bomb.com. But NO. Do not give it all away on the first date –intellectually or physically. While I am in no way saying be ashamed of all you’ve done, I am saying hit the highlights then allow your date to interject. If asked for further details, by all means expound and share. Allow it to all happen organically.
  2. Side Effect: Downplay-itis, while dating, will potentially carry over into your professional life as well. After an interview, how many times have you wished you would have mentioned all those great attributes you possess and accomplishments you have achieved? Well my friend, THIS IS THE TIME! Cure: Write out every magnificently awesome thing about yourself as well as the things you want to improve and/or achieve. Figure out which to offer up on a date and which are best for landing that job! Too much work? Well look at some of your past failed dates and past interviews then get back to me and tell me how it could have been better. Put in the time to knowing yourself better. This may be the very thing you need to lead you to your greatest opportunities to grow in various areas of your life. This is a great lead in for the third side effect.
  3. Side Effect: You stunt your own personal growth and you merely exist. For a butterfly to become the beautiful creature that is meant, it must go through stages (known as metamorphosis). Though there may be more for you to achieve, it may be hard to see the path to get there if you are downplaying the path you have already travelled for the sake of being “the right woman” for a gent. How can you go through the needed growth stages to become the woman you desire if you do not own the woman you presently are? Cure: Acknowledge and Accept that you are a woman of many accomplishments –some big, some not as big. Nevertheless, they are YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! For me, I worked two jobs and paid for grad school out of my own pockets. So when and if the topic comes up…uhhh yeah!..I’m gonna enthusiastically tell you about that experience, but will always remain humble (Also see the first side effect).
  4. Side Effect: You miss out on your gifts. Don’t mistake the companionship of a significant other as the main gift. Downplay-itis will cause you to miss out on the gift of being inspiring to yourself and most importantly –inspiring to others! There is someone needing to hear and know what and how you have achieved all that you have thus far. However, when one suffers from Downplay-itis, this person’s achievements will either be viewed as trivial and/or not worth obtaining. In turn, an additional side effect will ensue, where an onlooker may become deterred from his/her own path of greatness. Cure: Be true to who you are. You never know whose watching and taking notes.

Let’s enter this “Love Month” (aka February) with the mantra “The gent in my presence will choose to either be proud or intimidated. It is not for me to choose his degree of comfort within himself so as to accept the comfort I have with myself.”

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is applying The Cure

The Intense Facts Why Some Single Moms Don’t Want to be Married!

As we enter this month of love , my thoughts quickly turn to dating, being single and most importantly- being a mom (who just so happens to be single).

I have reached my thirties, have a beautiful daughter, a nice home and make a decent living. In comparing my life as a single woman without a kiddo to my current life as a single woman with a kid, I see the differences between what I want, what I need, and the healthy balance between the two.  However, I don’t have one thing -a husband.  Unfortunately, I have friends who tend to remind me about my non-husband factor. 

These friends feel with each closer move to the 40 club, there is an pressing need for me to be married -hence the dating game aka the “set up” commences.  Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to being set up on a blind date. What I am opposed to is the attempt to set me up based solely on a number soon approaching. I am opposed to comments such as, “You’re not getting any younger”; “You’re so picky and won’t ever get married”; or my favorite “He’s not all that attractive but no one is at your doorstep sooo…”. Yes, these are just a few of the insensitive lines I get to hear.  They even go so far as to say, “I thought you would’ve been married by now.” -as if they are questioning what I have done wrong along the way.  I have even found myself saying to one ‘friend’, “Excuse me, I didn’t know I should have kept entertaining the guy who failed to mention he had a wife!”  I presume since it wasn’t the air ripped from her lungs, it’s such a hard thing to remember.

This is what I want these “friends” to allow to resonate in their souls.

  1. I am not some desperate woman who will simply settle on a man with a pulse. I am first, a mom; and second to that is my being single.
  2. It is my daughter who is watching me and looking to me for guidance. It is my daughter whom I cherish and whom I will protect. To these ‘friends’ who think more of my age, I implore you to think less of my age and more of my child, myself, and OUR well being. Think of what will be in our best interest instead of the credit you want to take for setting the new Mr. & Mrs. ‘Us’ up or the speech you want to give at the wedding. wp_ss_20160121_0003
  3. Dig a little deeper in your little “Millionaire Matchmaker, Patty Stanger” set her up role and actually THINK of someone who is BEST for me and I for him.

To my friends who met their soul mates when you all were twelve years old and now are “living the dream”, I wish you the best. I sincerely do. I only ask one thing of you

When you think of me and the next blind date/set up/match making…whatever you want to call it, think about the fact that I have a daughter watching my every move. Think about my heart and how it has been broken so many times.  Now, think about the heart I have to protect (besides my own).  It’s not that I have no desire to be married, but tell me…should I wait or just go on your impulsive, “she needs to get married so let me set her up” …date?

Sincerely,

A Restyled Mom…who just so happens to be single…and willing to WAIT!