Dealing With Criticism

In life, you are going to receive criticism (a lot) regardless of your age, gender, or accomplishments.

For me, when I became a mother that’s when I gained my most critics (Hey y’all). Everyone was giving me advice and sending me information. It became overwhelming. Especially, because all this advice was unsolicited. As someone who takes pride in making her own decisions (stubborn just a tad), I began to resent some people for trying to help me. I became defensive, which fostered stress over time.

I decided to take a step back and think about what was being said. This is what I came up with:

There are two types of criticism: positive and negative. Or I look at it as: helpful and hurtful criticism.

I want to address the fact that all criticism stings a bit. But, it’s important to recognized the difference between criticism that is genuine vs. insincere.

Typically, helpful criticism is designed to point out your flaws. But, it gives you a chance to be introspective. This enables you to see the “flaw” for what it really is. You have to determine if this is something detrimental to your life and worth changing in favor of something better. Helpful criticism promotes a healthy space for change.

Negative criticism is just the opposite. It is dismissive and off-putting. This type of criticism is an attempt to magnify your flaws.

When you receive negative criticism, it says more about a person’s own insecurities, than your own inadequacies.  Negative criticism has no constructive value. Some people live off of pointing out the faults of others. It makes them feel better about their own flaws. Do not entertain these people!

Don’t ever allow negativity to cause you to step out of you character.  There have been many times when I wanted to clapback and set a person straight for something they said to me (and I have), but I realized that doesn’t solve a thing. Here I am trying to work on myself, yet I still entertained people whose opinion didn’t matter. Backwards right? We all fall victim to negativity. It’s all about controlling how you react.

Look at criticism as a challenge. Either you can accept the challenge or let it defeat you. Red or Blue pill?

Accepting the challenge consist of internalizing the criticism and letting it shape you into a better person. On the other hand, allowing the challenge to defeat you means you let what was said knock you down.

Always accept the challenge. Whether the criticism be negative or positive you have the ability to perceive it how you want to!  Challenge yourself to channeling negativity energy into positive.  We can’t control what people say, but we can control how we internalize it. Learn to process your emotions more efficiently.

Remember that we are our own harshest critic. If someone says something to you that isn’t in alignment with how you perceive yourself, don’t let it affect you. Easier said than done. We’ve been conditioned are whole lives to think that words don’t hurt. When in reality, they do. You have to recondition yourself into learning how to process malign words.

At times, I struggle with it myself. It takes patience and discernment to decipher between positive and negative criticism.  Once you’re able to see the difference between the two, your whole perspective will change. You’ll be more open to personal growth and you won’t let the negative easily sway you. Criticism is a part of life. Learn to deal with it positively.

Take care of yourself love,

Ashley

 

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Firmoo: Glasses Review

Parenting requires us to make sacrifices, especially financially. Knowing exactly where your money goes is key. You have to learn how to spend money wisely, or budget.

Now with budgeting, there must be cutbacks to gain financial stability and see growth. These cutbacks can either be temporary or permanent. Examine your own financial situation to decide what works best.

For me, I knew that optical care has cost the most over the years. I’ve worn glasses 90% of my life. Most recently, I’ve transitioned into also wearing contacts. Both of these optical necessities can be a hefty expense. Typically, my glasses cost more than contacts. So, I was determined to cut that expense in half.

I opted to purchase glasses online and came across Firmoo.

Firmoo is an online eyeglass store. They offer a variety of glasses both prescription and non-prescription. I decided to purchase a pair and share my experience.

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Pros: By far, they are better than any pair of glasses I’ve paid for through my insurance. The frames are quality. They are composed of a mixture of sturdy materials. So they are sturdy, which is a promising sign of  longevity! If you’re a regular eyeglass wearer, you know the importance of  having a durable pair of glasses. Not only are the glasses well constructed, they frame my face beautifully. I love the fit of them! The glasses aren’t heavy, so no sliding.  Best of all they are CHEAP! Firmoo’s glasses range in price from $19-39.  The low prices don’t compromise the quality of the glasses by any means.

Cons: The amount of time it took my glasses to come.

It took 30 days (the maximum estimated arrival time) for them to come. I assume this had a lot to do with the fact that my glasses are prescription and not for fashion. According to Firmoo, there is a longer processing time for prescription orders.

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Maintenance essentials included with a purchase: case (hard and soft), cleaning cloth, keychain screwdriver, and two sets of replacement nose pads

Customer Service: Firmoo’s customer service was excellent. As stated on their website, they will get back to you within 24-hours of contacting them. There are email contact guidelines on their website. Firmoo suggests that you follow the guidelines in order to be contacted within the 24-hour period. However, I didn’t initially follow those guidelines and I was still contacted within 24 hours. Since my order took longer than expected, I contacted Firmoo multiple times. Each time a customer service representative reassured me with the status of my order. This was comforting especially with the lengthy wait period.

Verdict: Even though it took my glasses a long time to arrive, I am overall extremely content with my purchase. The glasses exceeded my expectations. They have an impeccable fit and are all around well-constructed. Firmoo also included maintenance essentials for upkeep, which was a nice added bonus. I am definitely going to purchase more glasses from Firmoo.

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The frames I have are #S8841 in the Tortoise print. These are unisex frames!

 

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Getting Name Brand Products for Less!

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I love keeping up with the latest hair products just like the next girl. But once motherhood called, those luxury items had to be put on hold. I still had desires to slay, so I had to figure out how to budget.

I turned to couponing! Every Sunday, I get the coupon ads from the paper and cut out items I plan to purchase. Sunday is when stores run their weekly ads, so it’s a perfect day to see what’s going to be on sale.

Now, with couponing manufactures don’t release the same coupons every week. This means you have to keep an eye out for “rare” coupons i.e. SheaMoisture. So, checking the paper weekly. There’s tons of websites that release the coupons that will be in the Sunday paper on Saturday. Just make sure you find a credible source.

How I got my products for the low low: I waited until they were on sale to use my coupons.  Research before making a purchase entails of waiting for sales.

Walgreens had all SheaMoisture Products on sale for BOGO (buy one, get one) half off. On top of that, some of the products were on clearance.

I chose to only purchase items that were on clearance in order to get the best bang for my buck.  The clearance price of these particular products was marked down to half of the original price. In addition to the store sale, I had SheaMoisture coupons I saved from the previous month. Then, I had a SheaMoisture coupon which I printed from Coupons.com #winning.  From two coupons, I had a total of 5$ to save off of my SheaMoisture purchase.

The OGX Argan Oil was marked half off of the original price. I didn’t have a coupon. But I like the product, a little goes a long way, so I decided to just make the purchase. For three SheaMoisture full-size products and the OGX Argan Oil my total came to 10.64$ (tax included)! Come through coupons!

  • A few tips: if you’re buying products that are significantly lower than the retail price, don’t only purchase one! Treat yoself Buy a few items at a time. Build up your supply when the price is low.
  • When you see a product on sale/ clearance, purchase it then. Don’t wait! Sometimes, items are only marked for quick sale.
  • After a sale or mark down occurs the item may be increased back to its original retail value. This could be over the span of a few days or a month. There is no way of deciphering this so make the purchase when you feel you’ve found the best deal.

Keep in mind coupons expire. Every expiration date is different. Be mindful while you wait for a sale or price reduction.

Couponing can be tedious *Kanye shrugs*, but it’s well worth your time. You’ll quickly notice money you save. Just do a little research.

 

 

 

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Stride Rite: Soft Motions Review

I received these shoes complimentary from Stride Rite for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Looking for shoes for toddlers can be strenuous. They aren’t quite able to fully express the comfort level of their shoes.  It’s hard to tell, judging by the looks of their tiny feet. Maybe I’m just suffering from new parent syndrome. But, picking shoes at this age isn’t easy.

It’s important to pick a comfortable pair of shoes for your little one. Why not chose a company that specifically caters to your toddlers needs? #stepyourchildsshoegameup

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Stride Rite shoes are designed with your little one in mind. Soft Motion shoes are specifically built for first steps. These shoes are perfect for littles ones who are just learning to walk. Although, my Luna Bug has been walking for a few months now she still hasn’t perfected quite the technique. Soft Motion shoes did her a great justice! The footpads of the shoe are made out of memory foam for targeted comfort while your little one explores. The sole of the shoe is flexible yet it still provides a perfect amount of traction. This makes it much easier for little toes grip which increases overall balance. Now, I’m not saying your child won’t fall wearing these shoes (they will), but having a good pair of shoes will help them on their walking journey.

Another thing I love about these shoes is: they are durable. Toddlers/ kids are rough on shoes! Who knew tiny humans could cause so much damage (new parents you gone learn #ilearnt). Getting a quality pair of shoes is a must. Luna Bug has worn these a few times and they are still up to par. She’s able to walk and run(she does more running than walking) with ease. Not to mention, she doesn’t look stiff in these shoes in comparison to other shoes I’ve purchased.  I love them!

The colors and sweater like texture of shoes were on point for fall.

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If you are a parent looking for a stylish pair of quality shoes for your little one, try a pair of the Soft Motion shoes by Stride Rite.

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I chose the Quinn suede booties!

 

 

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New Beginnings

Writing has become a thing I’ve grown to love. For a few years now, I’ve been writing in my leisure time. But I’ve never had the heart to share any of my work (besides articles I wrote for the university paper).

Motherhood has sparked a new space of creativity for me. Often I get asked questions in regards to motherhood, so I thought I’d share my journey on a larger platform. We are all natural born storytellers. It is one of our purposes in life; to share our struggles and experiences with others. This creates healthy space for healing and growth. You never know who you will help just by sharing your life’s journey

Naturally, I’m an introvert (so I’m good on people) and being in my own space is really where I thrive. Putting myself out there wasn’t appealing to me, it was never # goals. However, the dreams and visions I have imperatively require me to step out of my introverted being and into who I was created to be.

I kept coming up with reasons why didn’t put action to my goals. These reasons became nothing more than excuses because they carried no weight to them. Making excuses promotes a perpetual cycle of inaction. Falling into this cycle makes it harder for you to see your objectives.

Honestly, there is no perfect time to step out on your dreams. Stop waiting for an ideal circumstance to execute a dream. After a while you grow tired of watching everyone pursuing their dreams and you’re still waiting on the perfect condition to cultivate yours.  Just step out. Once you’re able to step out of your comfort zone and pursue one of your goals; the hard part is over. This me taking the first step.  So I give you: Mommy & Moon.

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