Stepping Into My Season

Someone asked me the other day if I missed teaching.
Not a whole lot.
I don't miss the stress. The anxiety attacks. The not feeling like I am not getting support from parents and administrators.
But that doesn't mean I'm not a teacher at heart.
When you pull back all the layers, I'm still a teacher.
A few recent experiences have helped me see that it's just a part of my nature.

I have been going to different schools lately for Career Day on the behalf of my business, God's Favorite Surprises.
I have been conducting Thank You Card etiquette classes.
Because when was the last time you got a thank you card from a kid?

I'm so H-town. You can find me throwing the H sign in almost every selfie on my phone. LOL! #sophistiratchet
 Each time, I go for  Career Day, I think that I'm just going to speak about being an entrepreneur and about the importance of college.
But it never goes down like that.
I seem to always go into "teacher mode."
After 10 minutes of standing in front of kids from kindergarten to 8th grade, they have to actually do something with their hands. (In teacher speak, that means "manipulatives")
That's when the teacher comes out. 
I have to get my teacher voice on to facilitate a Thank You card writing lesson and become a major multi-tasker.
And guess what...I DO miss that.
I miss that part.
Facilitating actual learning.
And maybe I enjoy it a whole lot more because I'm in the classroom on my own terms.
Teaching about something that I am passionate.
Because again, when was the last time you got a handwritten note from a kid saying thank you.
Heck, even from an adult?

I think this season of my life is all about perspective.
I could scoff at my past profession and run from it like the plague.
Or I can embrace what I loved about it and make it a part of my new life.
It makes my life feel a lot more cohesive if I take that approach.

And this way of thinking, is what you call GROWTH.
Give it up for your girl!  
(P.S. I almost hate to give a disclaimer. I almost didn't post these pics because of that gut. Black doesn't hide everything. But I bet you know someone who didn't wake up this morning. Yeah. So, I'm good. I was tripping with myself for a hot second.)
Hat: Forever 21
Jeans: ASOS here
Body Suit: ASOS here
Shoes: Zara (I picked them up in the store, I don't see them online.)
Bag: Gifted by Juanette from Zara (It's literally my favorite bag, I want to buy a back up) here
Photography: Lacoste Photography


Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed

Lately, I've been really benefiting from simply opening my mouth. 
I tend to filter what I tell people about by myself...specifically, my projects, my dreams, my goals. 
I think maybe it's because I have experienced people who nod their heads when they say they get you, but really they don't. 
Otherwise known as dreamkillers.
The doubters. 
The never did nothing so they don't understand someone like me who truly tries to go for it in all aspects of life. 

For example, I have a personal Facebook page and a business Facebook page. 
I never share what I'm doing professionally on my personal page because it seems to me like that Facebook is the land of "visible likes" and secret screenshots. 
So, I would just post an occasional pic of the kids or an occasional selfie but never promoted my multiple streams of creativity. 

Then one day, a few weeks ago, I just had a moment and decided that if I don't tell people that I have a business and a blog then they won't know. 
I'm so brilliant. (sarcasm)
I think maybe  because I've heard a few people say things like "what does she do again?" and "She left her stable job to do what?"
Mind you that these are people that I know. That have access to me outside of Facebook. 
That can literally dial my number and ask me any question they want. 
So I held back. 
Held it in. 
Thinking that networking could take place outside of my "inner" circle. 
Social media wise that is.
Daishiki Dress/Top by Eldior Sodeck via Zuvaa
I think technically it's a top but you know I'm fast! 

Well, a few weeks ago, I simply posted the link to my business site, God's Favorite Surprises and basically wrote, "You know me. Support my business before you support a stranger's."
And guess what, I've gotten a great response every since. That post led to a few people reaching out to me to work with them in some capacity. 
And guess what, it didn't hurt me one bit to do it. 

The moral? 
Actually, there are several...
1. Closed mouths don't get fed. 
2. It's not your business what other people think of you. 
3. Chances are they ain't thinking about you anyway. 
4. Stop having invisible wars. You can have a whole fight with yourself based on what you think might happen and it could all be just your imagination working against you. 

Open your mouth, and watch things move for you. 
Can I get an amen!?!?

*Photos by Lacoste Photography


Mother's Day...The Aftermath

How was everyone's Mother's Day!?!? 
My Mother's Day was great! 
I actually spent the day recuperating from the night before at Queen Bey's concert. 
Can I just say that LIFE WAS GIVEN! 
I'm a part of the Beyhive but only a general member.
I'm not one of her Worker Bees.
They do way too much! 
Dress by Aakasha on Etsy
Shoes: Aldo (got them last year)
Necklace: Frugalfinds NYC

I promised you a style post didn't I!?! 
Well here it is! 
You have been reading about me trying to build a wardrobe I love and this one certainly makes the cut! 
I tend to use this as my "work dress." 
I wear it to meetings on the behalf of my business or networking events. 
I just switch up the hair and accessories. 
It's black, It's stretchy. It's chic. 
Done and done. 

Thank you to all who ordered from God's Favorite Surprises this weekend! 
It's after Mother's Day but you still can still use MOMFRIEND2016 as a code to get 20% off products and services until May 14. 
Remember, it's for you to buy someone else in your life who is dope! 
Don't be selfish! Share the love! 

(I'm holding one of our limited edition "You Are So Dope" mugs in the shots above! This one is selling out! EEK! )


A Treat for That MomFriend In Your Life!

Mother's Day is in just a few days!

God's Favorite Surprises has the perfect personalized cards and mugs for the favorite mom in your life.
Did you know my line of cards and mugs were exclusively designed by Pardon My Fro!?!
They will only be available for limited time! 

Photos by Pinwheel Portrait
Styled by me!
Look at my mini-me!

Remember, God's Favorite Surprises is not a card company. We are a concierge service. Your Concierge of Kindness to be specific. 

We hand write cards on your behalf to encourage someone, to say thank you or to stay connected. The catch is that we ALSO ship the card to the person for you! One less thing you have to worry about forgetting! 

Thanks for the support in advance! 
And here is a gift! Use code MOMFRIEND2016 to get 20 % off services and products until May 14!

Next week, I will have a style post! I've been feeling inspired and stylish and I have a lot to say these days! 

Oh! And while you are at it, click this link to hear my podcast interview with Womaneur Crush Wednesday where I talk about the spirit behind my brand! 
If you have Itunes, click here and click on the podcast released on 4/19/2016. 

This all ain't for nothing honey! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! and tell me what you think! 


Can't Keep This Girl Down!

What is happening!
So much has had happened since the last time I posted (*cough* in November 2015)
Let's just get started, shall we!
Shirt from Thug Life Shirts
Skirt from ASOS here
Shoes from Nine West
Scarf from Target
Clutch gifted by this chick from Zara
I am at home with the 8 month old.
He. Is. So. Yummy!
He is starting to scoot around and he certainly has an opinion about what he wants to eat everyday.
He has perfected the art of gagging on his food to let you know that he doesn't want to swallow it.
It works every time too.
I just scrape the food he hates off his tongue and go find something else.
Who am I?!?
When did he become the boss of me!?!

I have purged my closet twice.
And guess what.
I seriously don't miss a thing.
I am SUPER particular about what I buy now.
The quest to own only the things you love is an going journey.

In the last 6 months, I have truly experienced people at their worst. I mean at their ABSOLUTE ugliest.
And believe it or not, it's been family that has been doing the DAMN fool lately.
I have witnessed EXTREME selfishness but on the other hand, I have been on the receiving end of amazing acts of SELFLESSNESS.
One act is that my in- laws are literally flying into Houston from Atlanta this summer JUST TO BABYSIT my kids while hubby and I take a trip!
Can you say AMAZING!?!
Who does that!?!?
An awesome mother in law, father in law and sissy n law, that's who!
I love that my children have so many grandmothers and grandpas, aunties and uncles that want to be in their life. It's an absolute blessing.
I do not take it lightly.
The hubby and I finally found a church we love near our new neighborhood and it's been cleansing to have a church home.
We both have been listening to God as he reveals to us how you can be surrounded by toxic people or in toxic situations and not even know it.
It's amazing the older you get how things that's been in front of you all of this time and could have been holding you back are revealed.
Hashtag Growth!
Here are some updates:
Next Sunday, April 24th, I will be a guest speaker at the 'You Are Beautiful" Symposium in Houston! I will specifically speak about Dressing Your Body At Any Size! Can we say AMEN!
I can't thank Kendra of Kendra's Beauty Corner enough! I'm so nervous yet so excited!
Here is the link for more info!
My "Concierge of Kindness" business, God's Favorite Surprises, will also be a vendor at the "You Are Beautiful" Symposium!
We will have limited edition cards and mugs that you can buy for yourself or buy for someone else and we will surprise them with it!
And look at who might be working my booth! (Not really but if it makes you go to www.godsfavoritesurprises.com and place an order, maybe I will make it happen!)
I also am still blogging over at Invisible Crowns (Click here) and loving it! It's the perfect space where I get to share my musings about being a mom with my buddy Nicky.
Today we were actually interviewed for Feature Friday here!
Check it out!
And just because they are so cute, here is a shot of my kiddos at our first family photo shoot together.
Can't wait to get the pics from Pinwheel Portrait!
(Yep, that's her real hair. She will be 3 in a few weeks! Wow!)
What have you guys have been doing since the last time we connected!?
Did you get married?
Get pregnant?
Quit a job?
Got a new job?
Kicked out a boyfriend?
Finally told somebody that they are selfish, judgmental and manipulative?
Got a new car?
Bought a cute skirt?
TELL ME in the comments! I'm NOSEY!
P.S., You can always look for me on social media, mainly Instagram.
@godsfavoritesurprises (My concierge business)

(These are all IPhone pics. I need to get my life in order)


No Sugar, No Cream...

Random tank top (to cover the "I had a baby three months ago belly"...keeping it real)
Super old Target skirt
Boots from Steve Madden (2 years ago but they still have similar ones here)
Bag from H&M ( 2 years ago)

The moral of this post could be "wear what's already in your closet because you really need to spend your money on things like shelves from Ikea for the baby's room."

And Thank you so much AGAIN for supporting me as I try new things like Invisible Crowns and God's Favorite Surprises! I can't thank you enough. And more often than not, your kind words of confidence come on days when I'm not that confident! So thank you! 

And because I'm so corny....Enjoy this! 
(P.S., I don't even drink coffee lol! ) 


An Ode To My Favorites

 Hey! Did you give up on me, yet!?!?
I'm still around.
Still being a mama.
Still being an entrepreneur.
Still being a creative. 
Still here!

I joined the land of the living this weekend and went to a few events. When I got in the car, I was looking at the jean jacket that I am wearing in the first pic.
I straight up had a whole conversation with myself about how much I love this jacket!
I've had it for about 10 years.
Nothing special about it.
It's from the Gap.
But I love it!
It's perfectly broken in.
I've literally worn holes into each of the elbows (which I love).
There is a huge rip in the back of the collar.
But I'm obsessed with it still.
Like if I had to save ONE piece of clothing from a burning house, this jacket would get rescued.

Then I focused on this dress.
Then the necklace.
Then the combat boots.
And the bag that I've had for about 4 years now.
And I realized that my wardrobe is starting to become one that I've been wanting.
Where things are simple but speak to me when I wear them.
I'm very picky about the clothes I buy now.
They have to speak to me.
Because I just don't have the energy or space for things that don't inspire me. 
(That goes for people too)
This is getting way too deep of a post about a jean jacket and my favorite dress and favorite boots and favorite purse and favorite necklace, huh?!?

Boots from Ross (last year)
Bag from Zara (super old)
Necklace here (got it last year though)
Jacket from The Gap (at least ten years old)
I have worn this dress running  daytine errands and for date nights. Same dress, different ways.

How are you guys doing!?! I've missed you!
I'm still working to grow God's Favorite Surprises every day.
So hop on over there and spread kindness.
And if that's not enough of Reiko on these internets,
I've started another blog.
I fought so hard to not turn GFS into a mommy blog but it's such a huge part of my life now.
So I partnered with my friend and we created Invisible Crowns.
( @invisiblecrownsblog on Instagram here )
We noticed that there are so many mommy blogs that get so much attention but they all look alike. And none of them look like me.
None of them live like me.
Nobody ever really talks about deciding to start a family after the age of 35 and celebrating that.
So, we decided to create that space for ourselves!
Check us out!


He's Here!

This may come as late news to most of you if you follow me on social media but I still want to announce that the baby is here!

Zavier Sean was born healthy at 7 lbs, 2 ounces and growing every single day. He certainly is demanding and making his presence known in the house. He is a little over 3 weeks old now. Zara is a little slow on the "welcome the baby" train but she is getting there.
I only have a few minutes before he wakes up from one of his fake naps but I wanted to let you take a peek at Zavier Sean.
Also, as I continue to grow in my purpose and grow my business, God's Favorite Surprises, I will be taking you along as I grow as an entrepreneur. Right now, I'm focused on defining multiple streams of income. Gotta get my COIN game up!
Don't forget to order something nice for someone! Is it just me or does watching the news lately make you feel like the dark ages are upon us!?!? People are losing their minds for no reason. That's one of the reasons I started God's Favorite Surprises, to make a positive dent in the world!
See you soon!


The Calm Before The Storm


This will likely be the last post I do for a few weeks.
I will be actually delivering a few weeks early (which is finnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeee by me!)
I'm sure I'll be able to catch you guys up on Instagram and Facebook so make sure you follow me there! (There are also outfits on Instagram that never make it to the blog)
Wish me luck!
I am so ready to be un-pregnant!

Tank Dress worn as Shirt: H&M
Shoes: Nine West
As far as the outfit, I have to shout out Chastity of Garner Style because it is from her limited capsule collection with Rebdolls! When a buddy launches a collection, you find something to buy!
Everything sold out so fast that I was only able to grab this skirt. I hope they restock soon!
I intended to save this for post-pregnancy but I was too impatient...plus it has an ecstatic waist!
The material is fabulous, the color is vibrant and it has pockets!
It will most certainly be in rotation!
Congratulations Chastity on a job well done!




This weekend I hosted the GF Surprises Presents "Inspire Me" Brunch.
I wanted to simply gather like minded women who are established entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs. I wanted to back out several times but I am a big believer in doing what I say I am going to do. Nothing irks my soul more than a person who doesn't follow through.
I'm so glad I followed through. It was exactly what I wanted. A room of women sharing stories on how they plan to or how they started their businesses. I am at that exact cross path between mommyhood and transitioning careers so being surrounded by people who have already done it is exactly what my spirit needed.
Now that the brunch has been checked off my to do list, I'm officially sitting down until the baby is born. I have a few more weeks to go so now I'm just going to focus on GF Surprises and nesting.

Dress from ASOS (Here)
P.S. Get used to Zara in my pics, she is my shadow. LOL

To see more pics from my networking brunch, check GF Surprises Instagram here
Thank you to everyone who came to share and to those who texted me their support.
I am considering doing a follow up social in December. I'm not sure yet.

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