Friday, October 12, 2018

5 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM HOME



These are all legit ways that I have made money from home, 
and has allowed me to stay at home with my son. 

**Most of the links listed in this post do not benefit me in any way besides the Heartbeat and Stevie Style link.. If you use my link to download the app, I highly appreciate it. 

1. Upwork



This is how I have found both of my work from home jobs. {My first work from home job was back in 2015-2016, and my current job that I have now}.

Upwork is where you can create a profile with your work experience, and then search work from home jobs through their website. 

To create your profile you create a username/password, contact info/timezone, tax information, and bank information. Once you have found a job, the company pays you through Upwork. It will be direct deposited into your account. 

Now keep in mind if you create a profile with Upwork, you are a freelancer, meaning you have to pay your own taxes. They also takes fees out of your hourly pay. But you can submit your proposal of pay to the job you are applying for and then it will tell you want you actually will get paid (after fees) before actually submitting the proposal. For example: If you want to make $15 am hour propose $18.

How Upwork works is simple. You use the search jobs bar on website and literally can search in type of job you would like to do working from home. A huge list typically pops up, and the job will have a description of what it entails. You then will decide if you want to send in a proposal. (Majority of the job listings does not say what the company is.. only what the company does, and what the position you are applying for does essentially). If you have the freelancer basic (Which is what I have), you will have 64 connects a month. Each job listed will say how many connects you would have to use to apply. All jobs (at least all the ones I have seen..which is a lot) use 2 connects, meaning you can apply for 32 jobs a month. And to apply to the job listings are so simple. They usually ask you why you are the perfect fit for the job, if you have experience, you attach your resume, then decide what pay you would want, and hit submit proposal. So simple! 

Tips: I would only submit proposals to the jobs that have verified pay. It will show up for each job listing if the pay is verified or not. Also if the description is very vague about what you will be doing I wouldn't waste your time applying. Because most likely it isn't a real company or not a very good job. 

My current job is part time. So can choose if you are looking for part time or full time as well. 



Instacart is a grocery delivery service where people order their groceries online from their participating grocery store, and then you shop and deliver their groceries. Easy enough right?!?

I worked for Instacart only for a short time just because it didn't work with my availability with a newborn. My first day on the job, I took my son and my husband with me and it was very stressful. So the next time I did not take them, and it was a lot more enjoyable. The reason it was so stressful the first day is because you have a certain time to shop for the groceries and then deliver it to the customer. So I had no time to tend to my newborn's needs. 

But then every time there were high volume of groceries being ordered, I was unable to go do them because of my newborn. 

So if you are a college student, or somebody that has more open availability, this job is great for you. You do have to have a car for transportation, making this job not 100% work from home, but you don't have to report anywhere (besides an app). 

The application you use is where you will start your shift, and it will calculate your hours. Available grocery deliveries will be alerted to you through the app as well. You can accept or deny them. But I believe you can only deny a certain amount each shift. 

With this job, you can make your own hours and just wait at home until you are alerted of a new order. 

Your pay is also direct deposited into your account as well. Pay is typically between $15-$20 an hour. I averaged $18 an hour. 

Tips: If you are worried about your safety... 1. Once you know the address give it to someone you trust just in case. 2. Only accept deliveries in areas that you know 3. Only accept deliveries in daylight. 4. You can always take someone with you. 

Side note: Instacart gives you a debit card where the customer's order amount will be pre loaded before you check out. 

3. Facebook Marketplace

Some people reading this is thinking, WELL DUH! Or some people may not know about this feature on Facebook at all. But Facebook Marketplace is a great way to make money relatively quick. You can sell nearly anything on there, and it will post to your local area for people to see through Facebook Marketplace. 

If you want to make really good money doing this, I would recommend going through and seeing what sells really quick. That can allow you to know what you have will or will not sell. I have sold clothes, my son's bassinet, doors, Rae Dunn mugs, furniture, and a bunch of other things through the marketplace thus far. So as you can see, you can literally sell a wide variety of items on the marketplace. 

The great thing as the marketplace, compared to a consignment store or yard sale, is that you can make a good amount on what you are selling. When you sell your clothes through a consignment store, they will give you only a small price for a lot of items. I took one trash bag full of clothes to a consignment store one time, and they only wanted to give me $20 for it all. As selling it on marketplace, you can make at least $5 per item (but even more depending on the brand). I sold a higher end maxi dress the other day on marketplace for $30. Which compared to selling it in a yard sale, I would have never made nearly that much. Everyone at yard sales go on the hunt for the lowest prices possible. 



Heartbeat is the largest network of women on Earth who get paid to talk about stuff through Instagram and Snapchat. Apply, share, engage with brands you love, and get paid! Heartbeat is perfect for those who are trying to make money through social media. Now pay close attention to their campaigns, some will only be free items, and some will be free items + pay. Once you create an account and get approved to be apart of Heartbeat, it will automatically calculate your pay for you. It all depends on your following count and engagement. 

I have landed three campaigns thus far through Heartbeat! (as seen below)

Click here to join! 




5. Affiliate Programs (listed are my two favorites)


Lastly, Amazon Associates affiliate program is a great and super easy way to make some extra from home. Once signing up for Amazon Associates, you can literally search any item and will receive a specific link to share with others. If someone purchases the items from your link, then you will receive a small percentage of the sale. Easy peasy right? 

Everyone uses Amazon, so this is a great way to reach out to people, and just let them know you are now an Amazon Associate. Let them know that when they are wanting to purchase something through Amazon to contact you. You can be their personal Amazon shopper. You will search for their items, and send them the links for each item. 

Bloggers use Amazon Associates when they are linking items through their blogs. Which is great because everything will be linked in one post. But as I was saying above, you can use the other method as well (being a personal shopper). You do not have to be a blogger to become an Amazon Associate


Stevie Style is through the online boutique Shop Stevie. They carry women's, children's, and now men's clothing. Any and everybody can sign up to be affiliated with Stevie Style! You will instantly start receiving 40% off for yourself, and you can make 25% commission if someone shops through affiliate website link. How great right? Wear super cute clothes...MAKE MONEY!!!

I do work with this boutique, and have made quite a bit of money through the boutique. Stevie Henderson stated in one of her recent Instagram stories that some girls have been able to quit their regular jobs by doing this program. How cool right?!?

Click here to find out more and join.

**You do have to pay $12.99 a month with this program. But if you sale ONE item, your monthly payment will be paid for.  


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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What Makes My Heart Go Round!

Q&A


So I had y'all send in some questions through Instagram to do a Q&A this week. I thought it would be fun to answer some of y'all's questions. And hopefully it will help y'all get to know what makes my heart go round a little more. 

1. What inspires you the most?

This question if you asked me years ago, I honestly would have no idea and just respond with I don't know. But now, I honestly believe that my son inspires me the most. He is the main reason I work so hard, so I can provide him the best life possible (as his daddy works even harder for us). I look at him, and think wow... any doubts I have ever had are pointless now. My whole life I have always wanted to be a mommy, and now that I am.. My life just feels so complete. Like I have a purpose now, and all the missing puzzle pieces are all in place. 

Luca inspired me to start this blog in first place. Because now I feel like I have endless topics and subjects to talk about, and share with y'all. 

Even though he is still a little guy, just his sweet heart inspires me to be a better person, mommy to him, and wife to his daddy. 

2. What got you into blogging?

This relates to the first question's answer which was Luca. I have always wanted to blog. I even created a blog years ago but only did one blog post. And never did anything else with it after that. I figured my life is boring and no one wants to read what I have to say. But after Luca was born, I just told myself to go for it. Being a mommy blogger, I can talk about mommy and baby things which is my life all day everyday. 

Side note: I had no idea when I started blogging what it will all bring to me. I have met so many wonderful ladies through the blogging community. And they are all so sweet, which is so nice. I have even connected with girls in my area where I live that I did not know before this. How cool right?!?

3. How many kiddos do you want?

Well I asked y'all again after I got so many of these to guess... how many kids I want.. And well all of y'all guessed correctly.. Like what?!? Maybe I have talked about it before, or y'all are just really good at guesses. But I want 4 kids! Yes I still wanted 3 more. Even after how horrible my pregnancy was... I want lots of babies. The only thing holding us back at the moment is that we want to make sure we are financially able to provide for more babies. I would love to have our kiddos close in age though. My brother and I are five years apart, so I would rather my kiddos to be able to 1.5-3 years apart.  

4. Fave skincare product?

I got to be honest y'all. I don't wash my face or use lotion on it. I know I probably should, but don't. Just trying to be real. But please suggest your favorites below or on Instagram.

5. What makes you feel most confident?

Being a mom. Honestly this may be my answer to everything. But it's so true. My confidence has sky rocketed ever since becoming a mom. My body did something incredible, and created/carried a life.. And so even though it still isn't exactly where I want it, I still feel so confident. I have stretch marks on my hips and inner thighs but I see them as beautiful.

Also wearing clothing that fits my new mom bod well. And for all of you mamas out there, I would highly suggest Shop Stevie. I am a brand rep for them, but seriously the only place I have found where every single clothing item fits my body well. I am not super skinny so sometimes it is hard to find clothing that covers my mama pooch. And Shop Stevie does a very good at hiding it, and making me look smaller than I actually am. 

Click here to follow my link and check out our super cute clothing items. We carry women's, kids/babies, and will be carrying men's this thursday!! AHHHHH! 

6. What advice would you give yourself as teen?

My advice would be to spend more time with your family and friends. Rather than being wrapped up in a boy that didn't really care about you. 

7. How do you find instagrammable places in your city?

There are actually so many wonderful places to take pictures in Knoxville, Tennessee. I have honestly just drive around, and stumble upon the Instagram worthy places. 

But of course using hashtags or location on Instagram can help you find Instagrammable places. That is what I use when I go to an area/city I am visiting and unfamiliar with. You can never go wrong with coffee shops, white brick walls, beautiful scenery, and mural walls. I am thinking about doing a blog post on Instagram Worthy Spots in Knoxville.. Let me know if y'all would love to see that. And I will be obviously doing ones that others haven't talked about.

8. What's the best advice you have ever been given? 

To do what makes you happy, not what makes others happy. This is so true because we as individuals are the only ones who can decide on our true happiness. And most of use try our hardest to please others, and highly care what they think . I still do this, but I have gotten much better than I was in high school. 

9. Favorite Bible Verse 

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. We actually have this verse above our couch in our home. I bought them when I first diagnosed with unexplained infertility. I figured it is a bible verse that I could lean on, as I left it in God's hands. He had a plan for me, and I had to trust in him. 

Even though we had to have medications to intervene to help me get pregnant, God still had a plan. And his plan was truly beautiful. We had our miracle baby Luca. He is the greatest gift we have ever received. 

10. How did you get involved with the #imworthyproject?

 I got involved/designed the project by initially when my best friend and her ex broke up. I wanted to make her feel beautiful and confident again. So I texted her that I want to get her hair and make up done, and then have her pictures taken by a professional photographer. I told her I would call it a "happiness photoshoot" since the goal was to help her feel beautiful and confident again. I prayed about it, and then the thought hit me that I could help so many more women out there, and we can actually share our stories about being in toxic relationships as well. This would allow for even more women and men for that matter feel worthy again. 

11. How old is your little? So cute!

Thank you so much. He is seriously is the cutest thing I have ever laid my eyes on, and I honestly still can't fathom that my husband and I created him. Luca is 5 months old. 

12. What's your favorite thing about being a boy mom?

My little guy is still really young, so I don't feel like I have gotten the full "boy mom" experience. haha! But so far I love how he is a mama's boy, and his personality. He is so fun, can't sit still, and goofy. I love that one day him and I can share an obsession with dinosaurs. Or at least I hope so haha! He also loves fart noises and dinosaur rawrs... I can't wait to see him continue to bond with my husband ( I know this doesn't have to do with a mom) and watch them play catch together. Just so many things to look forward to being a boy mom. But hey that's being a mom in general, so many exciting things to come. 


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Sunday, October 7, 2018

“Comfortable” in Uncomfortable Situations.

Meet Whitney


This is her story...





Where to even begin with this? I want to start by saying that not every guy I have dated has been a complete nightmare. In fact, some of them have been pretty good and the same can and will be said for every girl out there. Not all men are pigs and I want to make it perfectly clear that I wholeheartedly believe that. Unfortunately, I can’t narrow down my bad dating experiences to just one relationship. I would love to be able to, but I can’t. Just as I believe there is not one person that you will love for the rest of your life (it’s scary to think about that I know) there isn’t just one relationship that will teach you things that only a bad experience can.

            I met a few guys here and there and went on a few dates with many of them. To this day, only one of them ended things in a decent manner. Yes, men are jerks. But so are women. The relationship world is hard, and there is a right and wrong way to handle things. You’ll learn that most people choose the wrong way. But that is just how dating is, it’s an ugly, cruel world. Really, it is. HThings didn’t get quite so bad until I had recently graduated from nursing school, was living in a new place, and was by many accounts, highly vulnerable. I met a certain guy through a friend (to protect the identity of these next two men I won’t go into too many details, so “through a friend” is how I will relate this meeting). He was charming as can be, everything about him. His face, his physique, his southern charm. I’m not sure what else a single 22-year-old would have wanted. We went out on a few dates and everything seemed like everything I had ever wanted.

 Until one day things all just sort of changed and I am not sure when they went south, but they did, and fast. He began telling me about all these “fetishes” he had and how he enjoyed women becoming submissive to him. The anxiety I struggle with is a beast and, especially when I was younger, I had this little voice in my head telling me “you better just do what he wants”. I found myself literally doing things I did not care to do but did them anyway with fears of losing him and never finding anyone else to love me. I want you to know that sexual abuse occurs even if you aren’t physically having intercourse. There are many different forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. If you don’t want to do it, if any ounce of you says it’s not right, don’t do it. Period. I wish I hadn’t, and that this time in my life didn’t exist. But it does. After this I thought I would never trust a man again. I didn’t for a while. But, I think this relationship sent me into a downward spiral. I didn’t know what a “good” man looked like anymore. I just knew I enjoyed the attention he gave me even if I didn’t enjoy what I had to do to get it. Anyone that came along to give me attention I flocked to and that is probably the most unfortunate thing I could have ever done.

            I was 25 the next time I met a love interest. While 22 and 25 may seem like a huge gap, I must tell you that within those three years the “man” mentioned above continued to try and weave his way back into my life, and I continued to let him. Between girlfriends of his, he would contact me. So, it was a continuous nightmare of a revolving door. (And also, some of the guys I dated between these were good and not worth mentioning here 😉). Anyway, the next guy knew all the right things to say. Again, he had a nice job and we knew a lot of the same people, so it was easy to be drawn to him. We went out on 2-3 dates, he talked about how I “seemed different”.  Before I knew it, we were sleeping over at each other’s places, and the next thing I knew, he moved in with me. I rearranged my whole life for him (literally) and it was a trap I could not get out of. I didn’t have time to develop real feelings for him because I had fallen in to that trap. I was always that girl that wasn’t keen on the idea of living with someone before marriage (still overrated in my opinion). But, everything he said had me believing it was ok. He talked about marriage. He talked about babies. Once we lived together, it’s like we stopped dating. This was one of those men that had the mindset of once he had you, he had you and there was no need to try anymore. I begged for us to go out, to take a vacation, there was always some excuse. It was in this relationship that I also learned all the multiple ways that cheating can occur. Again, it’s just about intercourse.

 Sister, you deserve to be respected and treated like you hung the moon. If you aren’t, then kick him to the curb. This is what I should have done. Instead, I allowed myself to get comfortable in a situation that wasn’t at all comfortable. 10 months after we started dating, he woke up one morning and decided he was going to leave, with very little warning. Let me say this a little louder for the girls in the back; YOU DESERVE SOMEONE THAT FIGHTS TO KEEP YOU. Unfortunately, we live in a generation where if things get broken we don’t fix them. But let me tell you something else, you are not just a “thing” and you are never broken or unfixable.

            I let this man convince me that it was all my fault. That even after I had given up my life as a 25-year-old single lady and given him what little was left of my moral value from the previous guy, it still wasn’t enough. Things were dark after this. Very dark. My depression was at an all-time high. I cried way too much. I even had to sign a safety contract that read “I will not harm myself”. Yes, that’s not a lie. I find it hard when you go through a breakup and have all these people who are happily married saying “there will be someone else”. 

This is your time to hear it from a girl who is yet to find her happily ever after, but still believes, KNOWS in fact that the pain doesn’t last forever. I hold firm in my belief that our pain has a purpose. Maybe God chose me to withstand those struggles because when I do find that real love that I have always laid in bed at night and dreamed about, I’ll know it without any doubt and will fight for it with every fiber of my being. Or maybe it is just to share my experience with other women and serve as proof that life does go on, and you will survive this pain. Remember everything thing in life is temporary, even that broken heart of yours. It really is, I promise.


Look at how much confidence, and self worth is radiating off of her face.. Her story is raw and uncensored, but truly hope it helps y'all relate in any way. So if this makes it to you, know you are not alone. You deserve to feel worthy again. 

If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 
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Saturday, October 6, 2018

I was "unlovable"

Meet Ashley 



Love is one of the most powerful emotions that we, as humans feel. This makes heartbreak one of the most painful emotions for us to feel. Growing up, I always dreamed of meeting my knight-in-shining armor (thanks Disney). I always heard about women in abusive relationships, but I never thought I would be one of those women. I thought that was just something that happened in movies. But I am one of those women. I am not ashamed about it, but I hope that my experience may provide support for others who have gone or are currently going through a toxic relationship.-Ashley

This is Ashley's story:


I was 21 years old, about to graduate from college, and was in Florida on a beach trip with my girlfriends for spring break when I fell in love for the first time. Since PCB is a major spring break destination for college kids, I wore an orange bathing suit with power T’s on it to support my school. My girls and I were walking along the beach when some guys hollered at us. My eyes immediately gravitated to one of the guys in the group, and I looked at my girl friends and silently called “dibs”. When I saw this guy, I felt like I understood the term “love at first sight”. He was everything I always dreamed of: handsome, successful, funny, charming, well dressed, and best of all, he lived in Knoxville!!!! I felt like “it always happens when you least expect it” was happening to me. We hit it off and hung out multiple times during that beach trip.

At the end of what I felt was the most perfect spring break ever, we went back to TN. I stayed in contact with him and a few weeks later, we were officially a couple. Let me tell you how he asked me out. We were walking home from the bars, quite intoxicated, and I told him if he wanted to continue seeing me, I needed more from him. Problem number one: I had to have the courage of alcohol to bring this up to him. Problem number two: he had to have me basically give him an ultimatum before he took the next step.

As a young college kid, dating during that phase of my life consisted of hanging out on the weekends, staying at his apartment, getting drunk, and going to the club - The recipe for success, I know. As time went on, I fell head over heels for this guy, deeper and deeper every day. He was my first true love, and I was convinced he was the one I was going to marry, even though there were red flags. I chose to ignore those red flags because I was young, he was handsome, and I was so obsessed with the thought of a happy ending that I thought he would be as well. I thought if I put in so much effort for this to be the perfect relationship, he would too. I also thought that if I just waited a little bit longer, things would get better. How far from the truth is that?

As time went on, things did not get better. I craved a deeper connection than what I was getting. Our relationship was physical only. There were no deep conversations. Anytime I tried to bring something up that was bothering me, he would stare at me with empty eyes and then get angry. Anytime I tried to talk about our future together, he would close off and I could tell he felt very uncomfortable. I did not like the fact that he never came to see me, I always had to come see him. His response? Tough luck. I did not like the fact that we always did what he wanted to do with his friends, and I felt as if I was pushing my friends away. I wanted him to spend time with me and my group of friends. His response? He didn’t want to. Well, I was terrified of losing him, because, I was in “love”, remember? So, I continued in this emotionless relationship, trying to convince myself that I was happy.

Eventually, the arguments went from him just avoiding the topic to the point that he would yell at me, ignore my phone calls and texts, call me names. Multiple times I cried in front of him. He didn’t care. It annoyed him. I became frightened to talk to him about anything because I was afraid he would leave me. I began having a lot of negative self-talk in my head and began blaming myself for what our relationship was lacking. This was the start of my depression and body image issues.

For Halloween one year, I made us matching Furbee costumes. We went out that night and got so many compliments! That night was the first time he got physically aggressive to me. While at the bar, I saw some people I went to high school with. One of the guys gave me a hug just as my boyfriend was walking by. He looked at me, grabbed my wrist, and screamed in my face that I was “being a whore”. He was so loud and intimidating that the bartender came over and threatened to kick him out. For the rest of the night, he was so hateful to me, was flirting with other girls to spite me, and was drinking way too much liquor. He eventually got kicked out of the bar because he kept spilling his drink and stumbling over himself. While being escorted out, he screamed at me and broke up with me. I was devasted, so I ran out of the bar to try to make amends. When I got outside, he looked at me with the most hatred in someone’s eyes I have ever seen, and began destroying the Halloween costume that I had worked so hard to make. He tore it in pieces and threw it on the ground. He told me not to come back to his apartment and to find my own way home, turned on his heel and began to leave me. I tried to stop him when he shoved me in the chest and I fell to the ground. I began sobbing and called my best friend (Megan, the blog creator actually), who left in the middle of a movie on a date to come get me.

If I had not been so afraid of being alone and so obsessed with the thought that he was the one, I would have left him that night. But I believed in my head that if he left me, my life was over. I went to my apartment and cried myself to sleep. The next day, I reached out to him and guess what? He didn’t even remember what had happened. Since he didn’t remember it, that made it OK, right? Wrong. It is never OK for a man to intimidate or yell at a woman. It is never OK for a man to aggressively lay hands on a woman.

Well, my naive little heart forgave him, and I continued on in this toxic relationship for a few months. I was so unhappy. I lost the sparkle that made me Ashley. We had dated almost a year and he hadn’t told me he loved me. This was so hard for me because I was completely in love with him. He never told me I was pretty, or smart or gave me any positive affirmation, to be honest. A few months later, I finally had enough and I gave him an ultimatum. I told him that I needed more out of the relationship: open lines of communication and needed to know this relationship wasn’t one-sided. His response when I asked if he loved me was no, he didn’t love me and would never love me. I was “unlovable”.
That was the relationship that wrecked me. I was beyond depressed. The only thing I did was go to work. Other than that, I laid in my bed with the door shut. I closed off on my family and I closed off on my friends. For 6 months, I did little more than simply exist. I lost so much weight that my PCP almost sent me to the hospital thinking I was either anorexic or suicidal. How did I heal from this experience? Well, it didn’t happen over night, that is for sure. To be honest, it sucked. For a long time, it sucked, it was painful. To this day, I still battle with the negative self-talk and body image issues, though I don’t punish myself anymore. Here is the thing, feeling pain when things don’t go the way you planned in your love life is not a bad thing. It is a good thing! It means you are human! If someone didn’t feel any pain after going through the story I just told, that is a bad sign. That means they have given up and are numb. Feeling pain means you still have hope, you are still an optimist. I had to make the conscious decision to change the way I viewed myself and viewed life in general. Initially, I thought the pain I was feeling was because I had lost my soul mate.

 Over time, I realized the pain was actually me being disappointed that that person didn’t turn out being my soul mate. By changing my thought process, although I was hurt, I realized that he wasn’t right for me. I realized it was OK for me to move on and try to find the person that is. I realized that I am the only person who is responsible about how happy I am and what I am going to do with my life to get where I want to be. I realized I can’t continue being dependent of positive affirmations from a man, or I will continue to fall for the wrong guys. I had to identify and destroy every lie that I was told, so I could let it go and become a better person. I needed to find myself again and regain my sparkle. I focused on rekindling my relationships with friends and family. I WENT TO THERAPY and I recommend everyone go to therapy at some point in their life. That was honestly the best thing I did. I scheduled a date twice a month with myself and for myself to do something for me, simply to get out of the house. I got my life together and followed my dreams. I traveled the world and applied to graduate school. I found joy in arts and crafts and other hobbies. I got out of the house, which honestly was the most important part. I realized that finding happiness begins with me, and me alone. It is a daily battle, but rather than it being the battle that controls every thought of every day, it is now something that just lies in the back of my mind. I know I am worthy of so much more, and so are you.



I want to end this by reaching out to those who are healing from a broken heart. The first thing you need to do is Cut. Him. Off. Completely. Delete him on every social media, delete his number. DO NOT TALK TO HIM. This is crucial for your healing. If you are afraid of hurting his feelings, don’t be. Real talk, he didn’t care enough about your feelings and has inflicted this pain on you. He does not deserve your attention! You are not doing this to send a message to him. You are doing this to heal yourself. Be selfish, you deserve it. Use this as an opportunity to see your life as a blank canvas and create whatever you want. Go on dates with yourself, go to the moves or out to eat, just do things that allow you to spend time with you. This may not be the most comfortable thing ever, but solitude is really important. It grows us as people and makes us realize that we can be good company to ourselves and we can be independent. This is how you learn to love yourself. This will be a time of trial an error. Give yourself the mission to find new things you enjoy doing. Or if there are old hobbies or activities that you stopped doing, you have the gift of time to revisit them!

When you start making progress on your hobbies, your passions, your knowledge, and learning about yourself, the progress will make you happy and get you excited about life again! That is a really great place to be. This is a time of growth and healing, and you sister, are one hell of a girl that deserves the world! Find yourself, love yourself, learn to enjoy your own company that way when you get to the next relationship or meet the next guy, you know that you will be selecting him for the right reasons because you know that you like him, not because you just need a companion. The journey you are on right now is not easy, but just know that it will be so worth it later on. I repeat, it is not easy now, but it will be easy later on. And when you do meet that special person in the future, you will be so happy that you took the time and effort to get strong on your own before you met him. You got this girl! Now get out there and own it! <3


This girl right here is my best friend. She is actually Luca's Godmother. I have been there for her through all of her relationships, and when they have ended. This one definitely took a tole on her. But she overcame it, found her self worth, and started doing things for herself. Fast forward to now, I have never seen her as happy and confident as she is now. She a NP, owns her own home, travels constantly, and is radiating happiness. Other relationships have come and gone since this relationship she was talking about. But, her worthiness has just amplified. Like she was saying, you don't need a man to determine your self worth, you are the one that decides that. You should always come first.

If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 
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Friday, October 5, 2018

Dominant Type Husband

Meet Laura



This is her story.... 

My marriage lasted 11 years, I had two step-children and 2 children. As a family, there were some really good times together, laughter and  fun, and I will always have good memories of the children together. For that, I am forever grateful... But, there was a lot of really bad stuff too, and that bad stuff muddied all the good things I can remember of my then husband, and quite honestly, it muddied how I saw myself. 

My God-given personality characteristics make up a lot of who I am, how I think, how I see people, how I treat others, and what I think about myself. I want peace for others and myself, I want to help, I want to make people’s lives easier, I want people to feel included and of worth... those truly are good and needed things. But, on the other hand, I don’t like conflict, I don’t like confrontation, I will quickly and easily stand down to a more dominant personality to avoid unpleasantries. 

My husband had a very dominant type personality. He liked always to be right and agreed with. His opinion was the only opinion. His needs were the only needs. Time rotated on his timetable. And as long as I went along with these things, all was well... But, it really wasn’t. The more life continued like this, the more I quietly shoved my anger further and further down inside me. I had become very unhealthy. 

Sometimes I would disagree with him, sometimes I tried to stand up for myself. That was never a good idea though. I was called ugly names, sometimes names I didn’t even know the meaning of. Sometimes I was given “lie-detector” tests because surely “I lied about most everything”. I was choked, I wore bruises that no one else saw. When trying to avoid another argument or being fussed at, I would quickly and quietly attempt to exit the room, only to be grabbed, pulled back in and pushed into my place. I was shoved across rooms into furniture; when I would fall, he would clap and praise my good “acting” skills (one of these happened in my son’s room while he was slept, all I could do is silently pray he would not wake up to witness it). I had multiple things thrown at me, there were shoe prints on doors that had been kicked open. Furniture kicked and dumped over. I specifically remember a day I sat on the couch holding our infant daughter, as he stood over me, finger outstretched toward my face ticking off all my short-comings. He stopped suddenly, called our son into the room and made him stand beside him while he continued to angrily and loudly berate me. Our son quietly stood there beside his father, starring at the floor while all I could do was silently cry and quietly beg him, “please stop”. That day was the worst. 

Sometimes though, he said he was sorry, sometimes he said it would never happen again. Sometimes I just made him so mad he couldn’t control himself. Things would get better, he said. He never meant to hurt me, he loved me. 
But it was always a lie.

 I would swing back and forth between anger and depression, until I just hung there in the middle, completely empty and hopeless. I was easily manipulated, I was used. And I deserved it. That’s what I was worth, I really believed that I was nothing. I wanted to die, I wanted to just “go away”, I hated myself, I literally loathed myself for my weakness. 

One day, 8 years ago after learning of his multiple affairs I had the resolve, courage and confidence to leave. I finally stood up for myself, I said “no more”, I said I wouldn’t let him dictate my life anymore or control me. I was not going to let him get in my head ever again. I was confident I was finally healthy and I would never let him manipulate or use me again. 
I was wrong. 

You can’t just leave a toxic relationship without open wounds, without anger, without resentment. And you cannot leave an abusive relationship (physically, verbally and emotionally) without continually trying to avoid further hurt.
I continued to try to play peacemaker, to validate his crazy ideas, and attend multiple “talks” so he could remind me that I had now messed up our children for life. I let him have whatever he wanted so there would be short-term peace. I did what he said so he wouldn’t make a scene in front of the kids. I have allowed him to be disrespectful to me, to verbally and emotionally abuse me just to keep him happy. Without really understanding or realizing it, I have continued to live in that same toxic environment. 

You might be there too. Trying to leave the place you are stuck, trying to become healthy, but relapsing into bouts of sickness. I understand, I do, I’ve been there, sometimes I’m still there. The damage the toxicity has caused takes a very long time to heal.  

Do this though, find someone who will speak truth into your life. Someone who can pull you back when you’re slipping down into that dark place. Don’t fight alone, find someone who has been where you have been or someone who is going where you are going, walk along side each other. Encourage each other, don’t wallow in the mud of what you are walking through. Understand and truly take to heart the truth that you are worthy of love, of being treated with kindness, and having a joyful and peaceful life. Let us not allow our children, our family members or our friends be treated in such a way they feel unworthy of a healthy, emotional life. Let us teach them and ingrain into their hearts that they are loved regardless of the negative things they may experience. 

If you don’t have someone to do this with, I will walk it with you. I’ve got a way to go myself, but encouragement and hearing the truth of who you are, helps all of us. We are created in Christ’s likeness, and in Him is the fullness of joy and love. We are worth more than we have believed, dear ones. You are worth more than you will ever know. 

 

Her testimony was so raw and vulnerable. I was crying while reading what she had to experience. Being a mama, I couldn't imagine going through what she did. So thankful she wanted to share her story! And I hope it helps someone out there. Also look how beautiful her and her daughter are in the picture to right. The sweetest souls even through everything she has experienced. 

If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 


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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Perfect Love Went South x2

Meet Jessie 

//This is her raw uncensored story//

Hey there everyone!

My name is Jessie Gault, I’m 21 years old and I wanted to share my journey to finding my self worth with you! Over the last year, I have fully recovered from two very toxic relationships.

 I was 16 years old, still in high school and about to homeschool for my junior year when I found my first love. It was your typical puppy love so obsessed with each other and inseparable, it was perfect. But at such a young age I didn’t realize how wrapped up in this guy I was. He was my first official boyfriend and I was over the moon about it and him. It seemed perfect! and a year later, three months before my 18th birthday, I found myself in market square with him down on one knee, my best friend beside me having known the whole time, and I said yes. 17 years old, not a clue as to what I was doing or where I was headed. Fast forward to my birthday when I move in with him. I went completely against my parents request, packed all my stuff up and moved in with my fiancĂ© barely working part time making $8 an hour. Everything about the scenario was headed south, but I was so blinded. Fast forward to me moving out and into my mamaws, because yes, he left me. Everyone was right, I was ashamed and at rock bottom. This boy I had made the center of my world broke my heart into thousands of little pieces. Now you guys, this is where it sucks to admit. I hit rock bottom, I was depressed and I was suicidal because I put all of my worth, every single ounce of myself into this guy that just walked away. There are many reasons as to why he left, some being actually my fault but all I told myself was that I wasn’t worthy enough and that’s why he didn’t stay. That’s why he didn’t look back. 

For a couple months I wasn’t eating or sleeping, I stopped showing up to my job I absolutely loved and worked for basically nothing because I loved it that much, I didn’t bathe cause I didn’t trust myself around a tub of water, I was having suicide nightmares and would go sit and look off bridges in the middle of the night. I had sincerely lost myself and the want to live. The want to be. Next thing I knew I had made friends with a girl who was the “it” girl, popular, partied and talked to all the guys. Soon enough alcohol and boys became my aid. I was heavily drinking while staying out until the wee hours of the morning, but mind you was on and off still sleeping with my ex fiancĂ© because I thought my body could win him back over when I see now he just used me to have his consistent sex. There were times I remember even being done and just laying there crying while he sat there because I knew he wasn’t going to take me back, but I refused to admit to myself the truth in that and told myself he could indeed want me back next time. After several blow out fights and begging to get back together I had my last straw, and I called the quits for good. The next morning I finally took the ring off, and I agreed to go out with a co worker that I had been obviously suggestive with in the midst of all the fighting with my fiancĂ©. I confided in this guy about our issues, even went to pick him up from a bar and went to his apartment and made mistakes I wish I could take back. 

But once I walked away from my fiancĂ© I had a fling already in the making the very next day. There were an unbelievable amount of red flags I saw from the get go but at the time I was just taking any attention I could get to distract me from what I was trying to get over. We “talked” for several weeks and next thing I knew we were dating and I had a new attachment. I took no time at all to make someone else my main focus. As time went on I noticed how much energy and effort I was putting into this guy to feel good enough for him. There was an almost 5 year age gap and I was trying so dang hard to be what he wanted. I did things sexually I would never again do in a million years which is really hard to admit, but when that stuff seems to make your significant other the happiest it’s what you do right? I only felt most wanted when I didn’t have any clothes on. I only felt pretty when I had on a full face of make up and hair done cause that was the only time he’d tell me. I busted my butt to keep his apartment clean, his dog taken care of, dinners cooked and keeping him pleased in bed because I knew I wasn’t like the other girls he saw in his life getting their college degrees, but maybe he’d see how good of a wife/mom I could be, because he knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom, yet I knew he wanted a wife with a degree. Soon I realized there was really no emotional or mental effort from him. He bought all the dinners, showered me with all the alcohol and sex I could take, heck he even helped me with rent once (only with much hesitation and making it very clear he wouldn’t do it again). It just took me several months to see that what he idolized was money and sex. 

I remember getting a message from one of his “best friends” girlfriend telling me I needed to get out of the relationship ASAP because he talked so much about me behind my back on how “annoying and childish” I was. And the crazy thing was he had warned me she specifically was going to try and make him look bad. So of course I told him everything she said to me, and he quickly and successfully convinced me she was wrong, just trying to manipulate us. I then changed everything about myself and silenced a huge part of me to be what he was okay with. All the little things about me that make me Jessie Gault he didn’t like. So I was always acting like someone I wasn’t. I even dyed my hair blonde because all he could talk about to was blondes were his favorite. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing with my life, and all of his mind games drove me crazy. The way he always hid his phone, the times I’d catch him looking at other girls or even the times he’d ask me if we could go to the joe to, and I quote “pick up a hot blonde”, the times he would delete my comments on his pictures or like girls pictures I didn’t feel comfortable with him associating with but he wasn’t even liking mine. He’d flip things on me it was my fault, and he would literally storm out of rooms and throw a fit and ignore me over minor things. It all made me feel so small. I was so wrapped up in impressing him that I failed to see for myself that there was nothing I could do to be enough.. for him! 

Both relationships though you guys, was it really all their fault that I was broken? Was it all their fault that I was lost and beaten down? Not entirely. They were indeed the creators of all the issues and the insecurities, but I struggled and I was beaten because I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know that I was worth more than to put my identity and happiness solely on someone else. I didn’t know I was worth more than a steady sex partner for someone. I didn’t know that I was worth more than the sexual favors I thought were what made me good enough. I was worth more than the dozens of nights crying myself to a sick short sleep. I was worth more than suicidal thoughts and empty screams into the dark. It’s been over two years since the second relationship ended and 11 months ago, I still didn’t know my worth. I was going from guy to guy, still thinking my body was what would get me a keeper, HA. I was still in a very intense battle with suicidal thoughts on top of major changes with our family in our home, I was very very ill from my anxiety and depression from a traumatic long lasting experience with my old best friend, I was still single when both of those guys had the girlfriends they got immediately after we fell off (karma) and I was then hating myself cause if they found something so fast why couldn’t I?

 Well on October 22, 2017 I was ready to cry out for help. I vividly remember being in the bathroom throwing up because my body was so used to throwing up every day from that traumatic experience I mentioned that it was still rejecting most everything I consumed. I remember punching the cabinet and crying asking God why my life was so sad, why was my life so messed up and why was I not enough for anyone. I just kept shaking, hyperventilating asking why why why why why when I immediately stopped. Instantly an old childhood church leader came to mind, and I went out on a limb and messaged her. I was honest that life had gotten the best of me and that I was beaten down, and so desperately wanted to find peace again. I knew Jesus gave peace, and after trying all the world had to offer in replacement of Him, I finally gave Him my attention. One of my greatest blessings in life was my sweet Lisa agreeing to meet with me and mentor me. From that day to today I can testify Jesus saves. After almost three and a half years of denying Him constantly for what the world had to offer, I finally decided to pursue Him. 

I wasn’t and still am not perfect but he so obviously placed an undeniable peace in my heart and soul. Sooner than later I noticed I was becoming internally happy and that I wasn’t really acting out anymore. The first step was finally deciding to respect my body and I wasn’t having toxic unhealthy hookups, which led to guys falling off quicker than usual so I always saw what their intentions were when I didn’t give them that, and ladies the confidence you gain from saying no is absolutely incredible, and gets easier as time goes on. I stopped drinking for a long time because I was at a point where I mentally had no limit and always went too far, so my body was thanking me more and more and now I have a whole lot of self control. But the best part of this whole journey is not only did I find peace and clarity in letting go from the past, but Jesus has so obviously shown me when He’s working in my life and shown me He is in control. 

The second I gave Him my heart again He immediately started to work in me a confidence and a peace that could only come from Him, and THAT is where I saw my worth. I felt His love surrounding me and I saw how many times He had carried me into the next day when I didn’t think I would or didn’t want to make it. He showed me how in control He had really been in all of my trials, but guys He didn’t intentionally put me through those things for a hard learned lesson, no. He allowed me to go through those trials so I would grow and become who I am today in Him because of those trials. He allowed me to go through those moments so I could look back and see that I made it through them when I didn’t think I could, and that He would indeed carry me through all the up coming moments life would for sure throw at me. Those nights I would cry myself to sleep, I wasn’t finding the peace I do now through prayer. The days I was ranting to the fake friends I had, I wasn’t getting the Godly, healthy advice I receive from Lisa who sincerely has MY best interest in heart, not hers. 

I look back on those days and see now only TWO of the couple dozen girls I associated with would be worth while, and those two friends gave me advice and answers I didn’t want to hear so I’d just let it blow right over my head. If it weren’t for reconnecting my relationship with Jesus I would still most likely be a heavy drinker and would not be committed to a full time job. Now I am able to bite my tongue when I used to let it attack people, I’m able to breathe through my anger instead of becoming violent, I am able to have a good relationship with my family members when I just kept them at a distance, I no longer have my reoccurring suicide dream, I am able to feel Jesus speaking life into me while I study His amazing word with Lisa, like y’all my life is completely different and I am a whole new person with a whole new spirit.


 I look at myself in the mirror now and I am proud when I used to not even look at myself because I would just stand there and cry. I am able to talk about my insecurities with my now AMAZING boyfriend who first listens to my wants/needs and then actually acts on them to keep me happy and feeling secure. There’s just so much change in me that I can’t even begin to shout loud enough the recognition of it being because of Jesus Christ mine and YOUR amazing Lord and savior. Anything that tears you down is simply the devils effort in trying to win you over. No relationship is perfect or easy whether it’s family, friends or significant others. But when you have a healthy relationship with Jesus and confide in Him about those struggles your relationship is having I promise He will either close the door to that person, or He will allow it to continue because there’s still more to take and learn from it. No relationship should ever hold you back from learning, maturing and becoming who He intended for you to be. But He is waiting for you. He is waiting for when you and your heart are ready to commit to Him, and then is when you will start to see Him working, see Him answering your prayers and weaving people in and out of your life. He will show you how much He loves you and how much he finds you worthy of His love. Peace He leaves with you, Peace He will give to you unlike the world does.

Her testimony was so raw and vulnerable. I just hope her story helps some many of you out there. Where she is in life now is truly amazing. Jesus has his hand on her, and it is so beautiful to watch. So thankful she wanted to share her story! 

If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Blinded by First Love

Meet Katherine


All of our stories are different, but we can all relate to how it is being in a toxic relationship. It takes every ounce of energy out of you, you don't feel like yourself anymore, and your happiness slowly fades away. My dear friend of 24 years, Katherine, has went through hard times but has pushed through. She truly is now radiating more confidence, and feeling worthy again. 



Here's her story....

As a child imagining what love was, I envisioned a beautiful connection full of respect and trust between two people. When I reached my twenties, this image became skewed as I found myself in a compromising situation. My first real relationship started off pretty magical. He was charming and seemed to say all of the right things. It was the first time I had received that kind of attention, which also blurred my rational thinking. It wasn’t long before the control began and his temper grew stronger. He became enraged when I was with friends or made any plans without telling him. He would say I didn’t care about him and I was being selfish, and unfortunately I believed him. He slowly isolated me from friends and later family. That was one of the worst parts because it was such a lonely place to be. 
            As time went on, nothing I did seemed to be right. He would put me down constantly, and everything was my fault. He took his insecurities, anger, and sadness out on me. He tore me down to build himself up, and he sucked the life out of me. It wasn’t long before he began to physically assault me. It started with pushing, shoving, and grabbing, which left bruising. I told everyone I bumped into tables or chairs. He had broken me down so much that I no longer felt I had a voice. He choked me a couple of times when he was really mad. I remember praying in those moments that he wouldn’t kill me. Sadly, I stayed with him through that and believed that he would change, that he didn’t mean to get so mad, and that he loved me. This relationship lasted about a year, and parts of it I cannot remember.
 I do remember leaving. It took a while for him to leave me alone, but eventually he was out of my life. Support from family and friends, therapy, and my faith have helped the healing process. A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have been able to write this, as it would have brought about too much sadness. But today, I’m thankful I can share my story. The process to leave was difficult, and it was hard to rebuild the confidence in myself. But it was worth it to stop living in the lonely and frightening world that had become my norm. The moment I left was the moment I regained my freedom. I hope my story can provide courage for another that may be struggling with an unhealthy relationship. 
To those of you out there, I hope you know you are loved and you are worthy. You deserve someone who treats you with respect and who cherishes the beautiful person that you are. Reach out to a friend, family member, behavioral health center, or anyone that you trust. You have a voice and you have the power to take control of your life. You are not alone. 



If any of y'all want to share your story please contact me through my email, or private message me on Instagram. And if you are in the Knoxville area, you are able to participate in the Happiness Photoshoot. 
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