Showing posts from December, 2013

Fast, Pray, & Meditate

Creating a spiritual challenge to help lead others to a place of serenity in the new year was laid on my heart last night. This challenge will help guide you on your personal spiritual journey during the month of January. 
When seeking guidance from The Light of the world, one must first fast and give up something as a sacrifice of praise, pray and talk to Him about the issue, and finally, meditate and listen for His divine answers and signs.
Each day, I will post daily devotionals to help support you with this month long challenge. 
Remember, tomorrow is Day 1.  We will be fasting from all social networks.
Cease the day by getting out and enjoying yourself. Take pictures, laugh, read, watch the sunset, get some ice cream, have an hour long talk on the phone with your best friend!  Literally, do what ever you want... Do it for you! 
It's the first day of the year! Just enjoy yourself! Make it the best day ever!
Happy New Year!
PS: Please help me spread the word by using the hashtag #vale…

Surviving the Times

Here are the problems associated with seeking approval from others when in pursuit of your dreams:

The masses of our generation don't support small businesses enough. Most would chose to frequent the generic, more convenient source, rather than trying something fresh and new. Take a moment to think of a few times when you decided to get something from a name brand company, instead of experimenting with the family owned mom-and-pop-shop next door. We're all guilty of it. 
In addition, many people will wait until someone such as a celebrity or highly-influential person approves or endorses something, before they decide it's safe to back it too. 
Personally, I believe the worse type of support is that of the late-bandwagon hoppers. In my opinion, that type of love is fake. Far from genuine. I'm specifically speaking of folks who see what you're doing and don't give you the proper respect. I pointing my finger at those who would rather burn their lips than to give you…

Best of 2013

Best of 2013: Four books that changed my life this year. 
Words That Work by Frank Luntz Blink by Malcolm Gladwell Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin Mom, Me, and Mom by Maya Angelou

A Peony Prayer

14 fresh peonies for the new year.. 
A little known fact about peonies: 
Ancient Greek mythology tells us that the peony symbolizes riches, honor, and prosperity - I pray that The Creator gives you a clear vision to the pathway of finding each of those this year and every year after. 

Kaleidoscope Wings

soaring high  semi-introverted butterfly  kaleidoscope-patterned wings  singing winds  native fire  hidden light  floating threw the night 

Let's Aim High

I am going to stop procrastinating... 

I am going to maintain a healthy diet and fitness routine...

I am going to start believing in myself... 

I am going to work on being less critical of others... 

The last statement, about being less critical, was my personal goal that I chose to carry while climbing Georgia State's Stone Mountain. You see, we each decided that reaching the top of the mountain was more than just a physical challenge. The climbing of Stone Mountain also symbolized an individual goal that we would aspire to attain in the new year. 

After about forty-five minutes, we found ourselves at the top of the mountain, where we split up to meditate, reflect, and pray as we threw away all of the excuses and caveats that were preventing us from reaching our goals in the past. You may be reading this, wondering: How exactly did they throw their goal-barriers away? Well, Nikki and Joy came up with the idea to use symbolic things that we found in nature. For example, I threw a pine …

No Need for Validation

One of my friends always wanted to start her own denim company. I met her when I was finishing my undergraduate degree at Morgan State University, she was just beginning her first year in college as a Fashion-Merchandizing major. She learned the art of starting a successful business and was constantly improving the sketches of her different ideas. By the time she graduated, she had a portfolio full of unique designs that made her confident enough to move to the Big Apple and start her career in the fashion industry. 
She moved to New York and landed a job working for Elle Magazine, as a secretarial-assistant for an assistant-editor. Her own mother thought she was crazy for such an audacious move to New York. She would say things like, All of those years in school? Just for you to be a scretary?!You're wasting your time! It was like she dug into the deepest hole to find the lowest, most demeaning tone when talking to her daughter about what she considered a poor decision. Her mother…

My Christmas Blessing in Disguise

My bags were packed, my gifts were wrapped, and I was ready to head to Atlanta, Georgia on the morning of Christmas Eve.

I arrived at the Enterprise rental car spot, pulled out my license and debit card, ready to get my rental, and hit the road. 

In the most sympathetic tone, the desk attendant looked at my license and debit card and said, Ohhh.. I'm sorry Ms. Clay, we don't take debit cards if you have an out of state license. 
So... Because I have a New York license, I can't rent a car? Can I show you some mail to prove that I reside in Baltimore? 
No. We're really strict about this. The only other way is to use a major credit card, not a debit card. 
I don't believe in credit cards. After I paid off my card a few years ago, I never wanted another one. 
I'm sorry Ms. Clay. The only other thing I can do is call the Hertz company down the street and see if they have any cars available and ask if they accept debit cards for you. 
Okay. Thank you so much. 
When he got of…

Morning Meditation

Book: I Declare Author: Joel Osteen

God's Sun Eve

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine and man cannot live without love.. -Max Muller 

The sun shined straight through my crown this morning. I knew it was God's way of reminding me that I am blessed beyond measure. 
Love and light, V

Understanding Why I am Often Misunderstood

I was just meditating on being over-critical the other night (see the Critical Thinker post) and as soon as I opened my book today, the Creator led me to read exactly how I can avoid being that way. 
Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something, or to decide who is right or who is wrong. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting. 
Lord knows, I am striving to be this way but I will not be able to do this on my own. I have to pray daily about changing my thoughts so that my actions may reflect my heart. My heart is loving and understanding. However, my tongue is callous and disparaging. I don't want to be viewed as a heartless woman who doesn't care about the feelings of others. I don't want people to feel threatened by the underlying tone of my words. As unintentional as my tactlessness may be, I cannot make excuses for it. I must change. 
I am intelligent enough to articulate myself in much more re…

Love & Liberty

Dear Lover, 
For future references.. I mean, just so we're clear, there are going to be times when I'm going to need to do things that make me happy, independently... It doesn't mean that I love you any less. I know it sounds crazy but I got used to making myself happy ..and if I don't take the time for myself, to do the things that keep me content alone, I won't be able to be content in a relationship with you.  Do you add to my joy?  Yes! All of the time.. But I can't disregard my me-time just because I have you. ...Cause if I ever lose you, I don't want my happiness to go too.
                                                Sincerely, V
During my early twenties, I was the type to depend on the guy that I was dating to make me happy. Seriously! If I had a bad day, I would expect him to make it better. If I was feeling lonely, I would expect him to be right here for me. As independent as I was financially, I was totally dependent on my man - emotionally.
Being bo…

Critical Thinker

As an educator, I am constantly thinking of ways to engage my students with assignments that allow them to practice using critical thinking skills. 
The more I reflect, the more I realize that one of my biggest skills is being a critical thinker. In fact, I've gotten so good at critical thinking, I use it to analyze every experience in my life. Although, I don't know if my over-usage of this skill is necessarily a good thing. 
What I'm saying is: I'm an over-analytical, hyper-critical, I like what I like type of thinker! On one hand, this mentality is exactly what I need to drive my personal success. On the other hand, in certain situations, its not healthy or appropriate; especially when I begin directing such judgmental statements toward other people. But I'm not trying to be condescending. Honestly, I haven't figured out how to draw the line between correcting unwanted behavior and nit-picking. I'm also not even sure if what I dislike is actually wrong …


I'm not even close to flawless. I am who I am.. There are people who can say really bad things about me, there are things I could say that I don't like about myself .. There are things I am working on ..and then there are things that other ppl might not like about me, that I LOVE about myself.... My point is, I'm flawed and got damn! got damn! got damn! (Beyoncé voice) IM GOOD WITH THAT!

Books, Trees, and Laughs

Another Smile-Worthy Saturday... I spent time looking for classroom books for my upcoming unit.. I found other cool things along the way.. Check it out! 

Reading through the enclopedia of myths!

I found an old children's classic, which I can use for my middle schoolers as well for creative writing assignments.
..because we will be celebrating the Arts in February! 
Where would you wear this head piece?
If I had a daughter, she'd be rocking this forsure! 
How cool is it that this varsity has my grandmother's name on it?
This color blocked baby! 
Picked up a classic piece for someone's Christmas present! Shhh! Can't tell you who it's for!
Vintage pearl and ruby-pearl ring! $2 eeek! 
Then, I went to 34th St. (Baltimore) to see the Christmas lights! 
Tree made out of rims!
Record tree. 
Wine reef! 
Finally, to end it all, a movie outside under the stars... the weather was perfect for it too! 
xoxo, V

Friday Finds

Thrift Finds of Today!

Beaded Peacock ..handcrafted heaven. 

Oh the fun I would have in these babies!

Bedazzle me until it hurts!! 

A touch of gold to go with my suede, please and thanks! 


Tribal queen blazer!!! 

This. Feather. Is. Everything. 

But I think it's safe to say, this veil is my favorite find of all. 

Street Thoughts

the vision must be followed by the venture.. it's not enough to just stare at the steps, one must step up.

if you don't live to leave a legacy, you're not living at all.