As you know, I love Charlotte. I’m pretty sure I say that in every blog I write. Well, here it is again. One of the other reasons I love Charlotte, besides the weather and lovely summer activities, is because of my friends. When the pandemic first began, we were all stuck in the house. WhileContinue reading “We Lit”
When I initially decided to blog this trip, I was torn between focusing on the destination itself, or putting together a girl’s trip. So, I decided to do a little bit of both. Plus, my twitter fam did not help me specifically choose which one to focus on when I asked. Yes, I’m judging youContinue reading “Girl’s Trip: Destin, FL”
Tell Us About Yourself I’m Bailey. I wrote poetry based on my experience living with mental health issues. I have been writing since I was a small child. Writing has always been an escape for me. I fell in love with poetry in high school. What accomplishment are you most proud of? The accomplishment I’mContinue reading “Author Spotlight: Author Bailey Gee”
As you know, I love Charlotte. I’m pretty sure I say that in every blog I write. Well, here it is again. One of the other reasons I love Charlotte, besides the weather and lovely summer activities, is because of my friends.
When the pandemic first began, we were all stuck in the house. While we were stuck, a new movement began on social media. We all began joining groups. I joined several “Charlotte women looking for friends” groups; probably about three or four. When I tell you this has given me life!! I’m not exaggerating.
These groups offered activities every week for girls to participate in and meet new people. I’ve developed so many wonderful friendships and created so many networking opportunities through them.
Previously, we’ve participated in tailgating, horseback riding, a winery tour, and most recently a girls’ trip to Destin. So, last night, we participated in a completely new experience (for most of us). This was definitely my first time. We made candles.
The event was posted a few weeks ago. Included was a candle making kit, wine, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and of course laughter with friends. The activity was held at Lit Lash Lounge. Lit Lash Lounge was founded in 2021 and is located off of E. W. T. Harris BLVD. Lit Lash Lounge is a candle, lash bar, and boutique. They sell lashes, candles, and everything ladies love. As a candle bar, you can create your own custom candles right in the store!
We began the event by networking. Most of the women in these groups own businesses or have side hustles. I love how everyone has created a business for themselves or are going back to school to advance their careers. Dynamic women.
Then, our host came around and explained the directions. One the table, there were several fragrances to choose from. Or, you could pick one from the shelf on the back wall. I chose Lemon Pound Cake. We did 1 part fragrance, two parts wax. The weird part was how warm it was to the touch. I guess that makes sense, so you can pour it. We had a cute little tin, black on the outside and gold on the inside. The wick was long and it had to be held by a bar to stay upright. Unfortunately, it takes over 45 minutes for the wax to solidify, so I had to leave it. She said we could pick it up in a day or two.
Overall, the experience was excellent. I loved the vittles and the ambiance.
Please check out Lit Lash Lounge when you have some time!
When I initially decided to blog this trip, I was torn between focusing on the destination itself, or putting together a girl’s trip. So, I decided to do a little bit of both. Plus, my twitter fam did not help me specifically choose which one to focus on when I asked. Yes, I’m judging you Twitter fam. Follow me on TikTok too!
I am a part of multiple friend groups in Charlotte, both online and in person. Different groups of friends serve for different purposes. For all intents and purposes, this group’s, the one I traveled with, primary focus is a fun group. Some of my friend groups are conservative or business related. This, however, is not that group. Now, I will not be a bone collector (see Sheree Whitfield on RHOA), but I will cover things you can do on a girl’s trip to Destin, Florida.
First things first, a few months ago, one of my homegirls messaged everyone to set up a girl’s trip. She gave us a few choices and dates. We agreed on Destin in November. Hindsight being 20/20, we should have chosen a warmer location. Who knew Destin would be cold in November?!?! I had flashbacks to last year when I went to Vegas in November. I froze my butt off. Literally.
Moving forward, I will not do a US trip in November. Invite me to Mexico, South America or an island, perhaps. US after October, nope!
Back to my main point, if you decide to plan a girl’s trip, please do it how my homegirl did it. This was probably the most thought-out girl’s trip I’ve been on, which I did not have to plan myself. I must say, I’m a decent planner. But, it was nice to not have to plan.
The destination was beautiful. Destin, Florida is located on the panhandle in Northwest Florida. From Charlotte, the flight was about an hour and a half. Not too expensive either. However, the price may differ in the summer, since this was considered the “off season”. The airport is very small. Also, Uber is unreliable in Destin, so please pre-arrange pick up with a taxi service before you arrive. We stayed in an airbnb in walking distance to the beach and Waffle House.
If you ever decide to visit Destin, there are a few activities you should definitely participate in. You should head to Harbor Landing where a plethora of things are available. They have restaurants, shopping, and outdoor activities. Some ladies went ziplining. Others went jet skiing. We decided to do a sunset tiki cruise. It was so beautiful, and we saw dolphins! You pack your own drinks and food and head to the boat. The driver will play any music you like and let you ride throughout the harbor to Crab Island. Crab Island is where everyone hangs out. You park your boat, play in the water, and drink/eat all day.
Back at the house, our itinerary had some structure as well. The girl’s trip house events included:
Back at the house, our itinerary had some structure as well. The girl’s trip house events included:
Pajama party with games
Summer Dress Brunch
All Black swimsuit photoshoot
All Black Dinner
Rep your team photoshoot
During the day, we walked over to the beach and chilled. Some participated in beach karaoke, while others read or just relaxed. We were so fortunate to see two weddings being set up on the beach. Adorable. I wish I had done a beach wedding. The only scary part was the freaking birds. A group beside us decided to feed the seagulls. It felt like I was in a scary movie. The birds started swarming everywhere. No snacks for you!
We ended our last night at Coyote Ugly. It was even better than the movie. Plus, they had heaters! As the girls danced the night away, I stood by the heater the entire time. I’m sorry but if I am cold, I am miserable. They looked cute though! In addition, a few of the girls were celebrating birthdays, so the environment was perfect!
Now, if you decide to plan a girl’s trip, there are a few things I think you should consider. One, make sure everyone who asks to go can actually afford to go. It’s no fun going with someone who is penny pinching. Next, make sure the group either signs a waiver or discloses any possible health issues. We can’t help you if something goes wrong. Also, buy trip insurance in case of an emergency. Bring your actual insurance card in case you need a doctor and an emergency credit card for crazy expenses. If you’re cold like me, pack a coat or fuzzy blanket. Keep your phone charged and tell the group who your emergency contact person is. Don’t drink too much! Be responsible!
I hope you enjoyed this read. Where are you and your friends planning to go?
I’m Bailey. I wrote poetry based on my experience living with mental health issues. I have been writing since I was a small child. Writing has always been an escape for me. I fell in love with poetry in high school.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The accomplishment I’m most proud of is publishing my first book, “The Many Personalities of Me” because it was a dream of mine since childhood. I have two published books currently. I love that I can share my experiences with living with mental health issues and a physical disability. I’ve worked and grown through all of my obstacles.
How did you discover your talent?
I have been writing since a young child. It’s something that always came naturally to me. Writing helped me cope with the issues I was dealing with. I started by writing letters to the editor of chicken soup for the soul as a kid, and didn’t start writing poetry until high school.
What goals do you hope to accomplish?
I just hope to change someone’s life with my book. If one person can feel like someone understands, then I’ve met my goal.
Where can your poetry books be found?
I have two books on Amazon and other platforms. One is The Many Personalities of Me and my newest one is LINEAR. Both are poetry books. You can also find more information about me here.
Would you like to be featured on the blog? Visit the contact page and let me know!
If someone asked me what I think about the difference between my culture and America’s culture at this moment, I would probably cry.
In Brazil, my country, we usually take care of our parents when they are not able to take care of themselves anymore. I wrote about this before, but today I’m honestly struggling with the subject and you might wonder why.
I’m not going to talk about it because I believe this is a very private subject and let me just say that someone dear to me have decided to go that route and I’m a little sad about it and I wish I didn’t have these feelings. Perhaps I’m being selfish… I just can’t believe an elderly have to struggle to have to make a decision like this if they wish they could stay in their own home. Again, perhaps they don’t feel this way and it might be just me.
I agree that having the parents on a retirement community can be very easy for the family, especially if they have a family on their own, but are the elder really happy in those places? Would they tell their kids if they weren’t?
I guess I’ll never know the real answer to those questions… unless I lived in those places myself. And even then, it would probably be all about my own experience. We all see things differently, feel things differently, so it’s all about self.
Let’s talk. Let me know in the comments what’s your thoughts on this.
* I don’t condone having or being a side piece, but it makes the article funny.
I love my main guy, Charlotte, but ba-by [insert head nod and finger snaps], my side boo keeps me going. LOL!!
Anyone who is from Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina will tell you that their favorite weekend spot for a quick getaway is Atlanta. Typically, you can get there within three to four hours. I love it so much that all of my novels are based out of Atlanta.
I love ATL dearly because it’s dope, whether you’re single, married, or hanging with your kids. There are so many wonderful things to do. Now, conversely, I’d never want to actually move there. Ironically enough. Like I said, Charlotte is my main boo. I’d never leave him.
I remember my first time visiting in middle school. We took a church trip one Saturday to see the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was so cool to be walking around the city and admiring all of the different people who wanted to see the same things as you. Now, since this was a church youth group trip, we didn’t do much outside of that besides eat. Then, we headed back to South Carolina.
However, my next visit was when I fell in love with the city. I visited as my senior trip in high school. It was not an official school trip, but a trip my mom let me take semi-alone for the first time in my whole life. Because I was young, I stayed with my cousin. OMG!! The fun we had! That was my first time eating at Waffle House! To this day, I still order the same thing! Grits, eggs, bacon, and coffee. I think it’s the All-Star breakfast. It was also the first time I visited Stone Mountain, when we went for a morning hike. She made us smoothies afterward, yum!
After high school, I didn’t get down there much. I moved to Charlotte after finishing up at College of Charleston. I fell in love hard. I love the skyline, the people, the activities. But something still drew me to Atlanta.
My first few years here, and during my pregnancy, and after having my two kids, I didn’t do much traveling. I was tied to the babies. So much so, that I had developed mild depression. I lost who I was. While on FB one day, I saw an ad for a women’s retreat hosted in Atlanta. It was just what I needed: girl time, spa day, food, and adventure. This was the first time I went to the movies with adults since leaving college. I had kids young, don’t judge.
Ever since then, I’ve been visiting Atlanta nearly every month or every other month for years.
Some of my favorite activities include: the Aquarium, the Battle of the Bands, the Botanical Garden (I actually have a membership), shopping, eating at several restaurants, the Reggae Festival, the Trap Museum, Carnival on Memorial weekend, and the concerts/ live shows.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the A? Like, comment, share!
This is the most exhausted I’ve been in my entire life. Why, you ask? It’s because I just left Miami Carnival, where I played Mas.
Let me explain what all that means. According to amplifyafrica, ” Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago originated in the late-eighteenth century and was born out of resistance. French planters, slaves, and freed people of color from neighboring islands immigrated to Trinidad following the Spanish Cedula of Population Edict of 1783. Shortly after immigration, the French settlers, and freed people of color alike held annual masquerade balls. The slaves, who were excluded from the masquerades, decided to enact their own form of Carnival in the slave quarters where they were allowed a modicum of freedom. Their merriments came to be known as ‘Canboulay’ or ‘Cannes Bruleés’ since they were held at the same time as the burning and harvesting period for sugar cane.”
So, major cities around the world celebrate Carnival annually. The dates vary, however. Miami’s Carnival takes place the second weekend in October.
If you ever decide to attend, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of.
What to expect, when you’re expecting to go to Carnival:
First, you’ll need to plan it out months in advance. You’ll need to decide if you’re playing Mas or just watching the festivities. Playing Mas means you are wearing a costume and walking in the parade. Typically, bands (groups in the parade) announce costume sales nearly 6 months before the event. Yes, the costumes are expensive. However, they come with food, drink, and party tickets. I usually play with One Island Band.
Next, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Some of the parties/ events are held in Fort Lauderdale, while others are in Miami. I guess your preference probably depends on cost and your willingness to drive/Uber. There are also deals with bus transportation companies to pick you up for these events. The major events, Jouvert and Carnival, take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Miami Fairgrounds.
Lastly, are you taking friends? I think you should. You could go solo, but that could be cumbersome and dangerous. Most of the events end late and typically involve a whole lot of whining. People can get too handsy at times. Also, the costumes are sort of tough to put on alone. You’ll definitely need assistance with all the tying and hooking things up. Plus, going with a group is more fun. Make sure to follow my Instagram for up to date postings!
What to bring:
Each party usually has a theme. Dress accordingly. Party in flats or sneakers because your feet will hurt.
Your country’s flag
Sneakers you plan to throw away or water shoes
Paint, chalk, and possibly water guns
Jouvert tshirt (if you’re playing Mas)
Baby wipes (the portable restrooms run out of tissue)
Head covering (to protect your hair from water and paint)
Plenty of water
Safety pins, just in case
Your bracelets: to ensure you get your food and alcohol
Lysol and baby wipes
Have you been to Carnival? What was your experience?
I won’t bore you by telling you how much I enjoy traveling. You can tell from my Instagram pages and Tiktok. I prefer beaches to cities, but I’d do either or. So, this adventure takes place in the beautiful city of San Diego. The plus is, it also comes with a beach. Win, win.
I began planning my trip a few months ago after seeing one of my homegirls post some dope pics. I had never even thought of visiting San Diego before. I began researching things to do. Boy, was I amazed.
San Diego is known for its beauty and its architecture.
I hopped onto my Expedia app and searched away. I didn’t want to copycat her trip, so I made sure to not book anything she already did. I booked my flight with American Airlines. It was only a 4.5 hour flight. FYI, you better pack a meal. They only give you some pretzels, unless you’re in first class. The jet lag will get you though. California is 3 hours behind North Carolina.
I found the most gorgeous resort. Plus, it’s super affordable. I stayed at Bahia Resort near Mission Beach. It’s in the heart of everything! At the resort, there are 3 restaurants, a pool, a private beach with cabanas (free of charge), tennis courts, shuffleboard, and a seal sanctuary. My room overlooked the bay. Gorgeous!
The meals at the restaurants on the property were great. They have a variety of menu options filled with many different cultural fares. The hummus…OMG!!! The drinks at the bar are strong, so you may want to just limit yourself to 1.
Now, usually, I just Uber in cities. But I do not suggest that. I suggest you rent a car here. The Uber ride from the airport was $25. And, the uber ride from the resort to the Gaslight district was $46. After the first day, we decided to rent a Jeep. I’ll explain why later.
We got in Friday afternoon. We used that time to familiarize ourselves with the resort. However, the next day, we decided to explore the Mission Beach area. We rented Birds, the electric scooter, and rode around. There are beaches that line either side of the main highway, Mission Blvd. I’m proud to say that I did not fall off.
Later that day, we took the most fabulous tour offered in San Diego. Let me backtrack. So, before coming out here, I asked all of my friends for suggestions. They mentioned the GasLamp District, La Jolla, Balboa Park, Coronado, etc. However, I did not know specifically what to do in those areas. So, I found this hop on, hop off City Lights tour that goes through all the major tourist areas. That way, I became more familiar with what’s offered in those areas without needing an Uber or driving. The tour was super affordable and had the best guide, Susie. Susie has won San Diego’s tour guide of the year award three times! She explained the history of San Diego and showed the beautiful architecture. She’s hilarious and plays a cool track (music) that matches every area she goes into. If you decide to do this tour, please tell her I said hello!
For the final day of our trip, we decided to explore the coastal highway. We rented a Jeep and drove an hour down the coast. The towns on Route 101, or Coast HWY, were absolutely adorable. We passed through Encinitas, Carlsbad, and La Jolla. We ended the first part of our drive in Dana Point, where we ate at Salt Creek Grille. The food is excellent and the portions are huge! After lunch, we headed back to San Diego, following our same path. We stopped at some of the beaches along the way to take pictures. We passed the Marine training facility. FYI, the seagulls are huge.
Once we made it back to San Diego, we visited Sunset Cliffs Beach. Yes, it’s a legit cliff and there are no guardrails. So, be careful. I would not advise letting kids go up there. California, I think you may want to put something up there besides just a sign. Just saying.
For our final night in San Diego, we did a sunset cruise on Mission Bay offered by our hotel. It was only $10. I was like, wow, that’s super affordable. Then, I realized why. They legit just took you out onto the water for 45 minutes and brought you back. No music, no history, nada. Just a boat ride. The plus, however, is they did have snacks. Alcohol and chips. Not dinner, but enough to hold you over.
Overall, this was a great trip! I would highly recommend visiting San Diego. I plan to come back and bring my children. With the kids, I’d probably rent an Airbnb on the beach. They’re getting big and I need some space. I’d love for them to visit Sea World and the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.
When I first began writing my books, I didn’t have a clue of how to market them. I assumed if I wrote it, people would just randomly buy it. Wrong. You have to spread the word. So, after exhausting my family members, I decided to branch out. Initially, my family were the only ones purchasing my books. That’s because others didn’t know I existed.
So, I began reaching out to people with large followings and to local bookstores for ideas on how to market my books. And, boy, did they deliver.
In order to establish yourself with a bookstore, you must reach out to them. Otherwise, they do not know you exist. Each bookstore does things differently. So, you’ll have to contact them directly to see how they do business. Some charge a consignment fee, while others will just order a few of your books offline.
As far as a book signing, many bookstores are open to it. When I initially published my first book, everything was still closed because of the pandemic. Now that things are back open, they are open to book signings at their stores.
Literally, all you have to do is call the bookstore and discuss a date. They typically have a table. So, you’ll just have to bring copies of your book. I usually bring between 25 and 30 books. Bring a tablecloth, table décor, and some goodies to give away. I usually bring bookmarks. I have a table topper that shows my Cashapp and Paypal, if they would like to purchase something directly from me.
My first book signing was in Wilmington, Delaware at Books & Bagels. It is a black owned bookstore, situated on 7th street in downtown Wilmington. The owner, Ellen, and I spoke months ago about scheduling a book signing. Her bookstore is very new, so this was a great experience for both of us. I was so nervous.
Our deal was, Ellen, the bookstore owner, set everything up. I just needed to be there with my books. She had music, décor, and a photographer. The vibe was lit. I love that all ethnicities came by. Someone even brought their puppy. So cute! We have a deal where we split the profits of the sales. To advertise, I created a flyer on Canva with all of our information. I shared it to her. We both promoted the event, leading up to it.
The nice thing about book signings, despite how many people come, others learn about you as an author. I was able to meet a variety of people and they shared my work with others. It was a fantastic experience.
If you’d like to meet me and possible purchase a copy (or copies) of my book, I’ll be in Atlanta on December 19th at Nubian Books. Stop by and check me out!
Cymone, the owner of a popular bookstore in Atlanta, thinks she has her entire life together. She has a great circle of friends, a sexy man in her life, and a booming business.
Suddenly, everything begins to fall apart. She visits her dad and realizes that she has blocked all of the memories of her sister. What happened to her? The man she was so in love with has a secret of his own.
She must learn to love again, forgive herself, and live through the past traumas to heal.
She stood there facing the crowd. She had a large typed printed page in front of her to cue her lines. Her hands were sweaty and her pulse was racing. She readjusted the papers to ensure she began on the correct page. The papers sat properly between her perfectly polished black gel nails. She inhaled deeply to calm her nerves before she began. In the audience, she saw her dear friends, her handsome nephew, and her father sitting beside his caretaker. She knew the essence of her words would change everyone’s world.
“Many years ago, a life was taken and it changed everything.
The life belonged to my dear sister.
For the past few years, my brain couldn’t figure out
how to put her transition into words.
I couldn’t remember.
But now, I remember what happened.
I have to correct a wrong and tell the truth.
Dear sister, I miss you.
This book is dedicated to you.
I love you!”
The chilly afternoon made the day feel better. It was the perfect day for a long wool winter coat, paired with a cozy scarf. Boots compliment the look and provide additional warmth, especially when there is nothing else under the coat. Cymone sat in her cherry red Land Rover with tan leather seats comfy, cruising down Peach Tree. She felt warm with excitement as she decided to surprise him. She turned into a small community of townhomes, admiring how statuesque the bare trees stood in front of the homes.
Cymone felt a bit nervous, but determined to create a scene. She turned into the narrow driveway and parked, turning off the ignition. She pulled down her mirror and checked to make sure she looked the part. Her curls were dancing all over her head. Red lipstick, black eyeliner, and glitter shimmered on her face. Cymone closed the mirror and grabbed her purse, walking to the front door. The door was cracked open. Through the sliver, she could see him sitting in the middle of the kitchen, next to the island.
Cymone opened the front door and quietly sauntered in. James turned and stared at her. She paused. He placed his pointer finger over his lips, “Shhh”. He was on a conference call. Cymone quietly turned the handle of the door to ensure it made as little noise as possible as she closed it. She placed her purse on the sofa closest to the door, then walked over to the island. She stood opposite of him, staring and trying to read his body language.
“So, the reports for this quarter are looking positive,” the voice on the computer spoke. James was listening, but stared at Cymone. She stood at the edge of the island noticing how James stared at her like she was a tasty meal. She slowly untied her belted wool coat and allowed it to hang open, revealing her midnight black lingerie. James’ mouth dropped open in surprise. Cymone leaned on top of the island seductively, not wanting to be accidentally seen. She picked up her cellphone to text James.
“Can they see you?”
“No. Come here.” James looked at Cymone as she placed her phone down and reached to untie her belt.
As you know, I’m a fitness connoisseur. Not because I’m trying to be fancy, but because I have terrible genes. My family easily gains weight. We’ve noticed this from the time we were born. All of us were born large and continued to get bigger as we aged. So, in middle school, my mom bought me my first gym membership and the rest is history. You can read about my weight loss journey here.
Now, I work out frequently here in Charlotte at Planet Fitness. I’m at the weight I love and am not trying to lose anymore weight. I love my curves. However, every once in a while I like to spice things up. So, I try different group fitness classes to give me a little jolt. Out of all the group fitness classes I’ve taken, these have been my favorite. Please check them out!
Led by the incredible Maxie Williams, Body Party Fitness is a fun and dynamic disguise of cardio that will usher you into an electrifying, high-energy dance fitness experience that you will never forget! Dance to classic and contemporary Hip Hop and R&B music that will be sure to get your heart rate up and break a sweat.
Thomas Funderburk, a personal trainer, nutritionist, and exercise therapist in the Charlotte area. He is typically known for high energy fitness classes, catchy motivational sayings and more importantly, dedication to others during their health and fitness journeys. He has been in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years. Most systems of exercise has a high rate of injuries which is why he decided to launch Alpha Funderburk Exercise Therapy (AFET)
The E2M 8-Week Challenge is a virtual weight loss-based program for adults.
The program provides you with a workout and meal plan that changes weekly. The workouts are designed to challenge all fitness levels and can be done at home or in the gym whenever is convenient for you. The meal plan is supplement-free and consists of whole food options you can choose from.
The ever popular genre of Soca is a combination of Caribbean soul music and calypso. The strong drums, horns, and steel pan give the feel of being at the Carnival celebrations of the West Indies and you cannot help but move your body.
These up tempo beats and rhythms from the many island of the Caribbean, have been synchronized with exercise to form a fresh new way to get fit called “SocaFit USA®”.formally known as “Socacise”. Her studio is located off of Albermarle Rd. here in Charlotte.