2-Day Grant Writing Course

I’ve had several people reach out to me and ask me why I haven’t started doing any grant writing classes. My schedule has been extremely busy lately (you can tell by the lack of posts that I’ve put up) and I have my kids on the weekends so scheduling something like this can be a little tricky. But I’ve pushed past all the muck and found the time to schedule the course. I am extremely proud of myself!

This course will be for any person in the non-profit sector. We will go over how to write a proposal, the different parts, budgets, research and statistics that will make your proposal solid, how to find and develop your writing style, and creating engaging content. The classes will be about 2-3 hours long and I will answer any and all questions to the best of my ability.

The only downfall of the course is that I have no idea how to stream this online, so the class will have to be remote- for now! I plan on figuring out how to record the session and upload it online for a small fee (I hope my students won’t be upset at the price difference! Lol!)

Being an entrepreneur- juggling a work life, a small business life, a parenting life, and having a relationship- can be super exhausting sometimes, but pushing through and making things work is always worth the hassle. I love what I do, and I love to teach others, so hopefully this will be a new venture for me!

Wish me luck guys!

Until next time….

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

I Failed At Parenting Today

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If you have children, you know that this picture accurately depicts how many parenting moments go in the household. Sometimes you have to just trust in the fact that you’ve done an amazing job at raising independent children (notice I didn’t say responsible! Lol!). This is the story of one of those days for me. I don’t need an introduction, let’s just get this started.

My daughter had a bad night. Every few hours, she would wake up calling for me. Which would wake me up out of my sleep. And anyone who knows me knows that I HATE being awakened from my sleep. She woke up the first time, I comforted her. She woke up the second time, and I cuddled her back to sleep. The third time, I told her if she didn’t stay asleep I was going to make her sleep on the floor with the cat. She stayed asleep. My alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to, so I woke up late, with a headache (here we go!). I take a shower, and I am now waking up the kids. My son starts crying. “Why you crying pop?” “I want my daddy!” “Why do you want daddy?” “Because. Because. Because. He gives me chips in the morning! Aaaahhhhhhh hhhhaaaaaaa!” I really wanted to just walk away at that point, but I sent him to go brush his teeth. As I’m getting dressed, I hear the water running and running and running. I peek into the bathroom and he’s filling up buckets of water and pouring it into the bathtub. There’s water all over my floor. I turned off the water (which startled him because he looked at me with fear in his eyes), and I went back into my room. I heard him brushing his teeth; I guess he got the point. He put on mix-matched socks, and I think he didn’t put on any underwear even though I laid out a complete outfit for him. My daughter didn’t want to get up, and didn’t want to get dressed so she literally just put on anything (including backwards shoes); she didn’t want to eat, drink, anything. She was a little terror. I dropped them off to school, thank God.

I had a bad work day. I still had my headache; the internet was down so I couldn’t get any work done, and the kids camp called and said my son pee’d his pants. By the time I picked them up from school (still with the headache), I was exhausted and done for the day. So- they found whatever they could in the fridge and ate it for dinner. Luckily, I had small water bottles, so they didn’t have to pour anything to drink. I was laying in bed. Under the covers. Trying to hide. I think (actually, I hope) that I raised them well enough that they could fend for themselves. My daughter knows how to navigate the tv, and my son will just play with his blocks when he doesn’t want to watch what she’s watching. Surprisingly, they only came to bother me twice- I told them I didn’t feel good which is why I was laying down and they let me be (they can actually be sweet when they want to). Bedtime came around- I didn’t do baths, I didn’t dress them, I barely got out the bed. They asked for a bedtime story. I didn’t want to read one so I told them that we were going to make one up (hey- I was winging it here). They loved it, and they each made up a bedtime story. I kissed them goodnight, and put them to sleep.

The next day, I woke up and said to myself “you failed at being a mom yesterday”. I walked down the steps to check my living room and kitchen, and I was amazed that it was still in tact. The pillows were missing, but that was all. I was extremely proud of them. So much so that I made their favorite breakfast and dinner, and took them to the park after camp.

Being a full-time parent is hard- couple that with working full-time, owning a small business, and trying to maintain my sanity, sometimes I just want to turn off being a mom and relax. As long as the kids don’t die, I’m ok with how things turn out. Lol. I have food available, they have access to drinks and water, and they can choose between watching tv, reading books, playing games, playing on their tablet, or playing in their room. One or two days of me checking out for an hour or 5 won’t kill them (insert emoji here).

Until next time….

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

How Do I Write This Grant?!

Being a grant writer was an easy transition for me; I was already a blogger, I loved writing, and I was constantly doing research for my job anyways. Becoming a grant writer just combined all of these things together. What I didn’t realize was all of the work and time that I would have to dedicate to the craft. Man, this thing definitely takes a lot of work and effort!
Because I had transitioned into a completely new territory, I had to figure out how to put this thing together. Where the heck was I supposed to start! The good thing is, I finally figured it out. And now, I would like to teach anyone working in the non-profit sector how to put together a simple proposal. It’s not as hard as you think.
1. Introduce your organization. Briefly give a synopsis of your what the organization is, what the mission is, and what the focus is. “Uniting Families, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focused on creating stronger relationships within the family structure. Our mission is to build a bridge within the family that creates long-lasting, generational bonds. The organization was founded in 2011 by Dr. Elizabeth Wright who is a family psychologist”, etc.
2. You need to create a name for your program. Identifying it makes it more relatable, and can get your reader to identify with your goal. For example, if my org’s name is Uniting Families, Inc., my program name could be “Mother-Daughter Connection”. This clearly tells the reader what the program is about, and can warrant an emotion from them.
3. Have a clear purpose for your program, as well as evidence that it can or does work. “Mother-Daughter Connection is a weekly workshop that has activities and classes that helps low-income and underserved mothers and daughters establish a closer relationship and helps build trust”. Why is this important, and what type of activities would help make this program plausible?
4. Create a reasonable budget for the program, SEPARATE from the organization’s budget. Think of it like this- the organization is the mother, and the program is the child. The mom has her own money that needs to be spent, but so does the child. It can be seen as 1 major budget, or 2 smaller ones. Being able to distinguish the 2 will, again, help make the program relatable.
5. Explain, briefly, what the money will go towards. It doesn’t have to be a full explanation of the funding; “if funded, the budget would cover the cost of materials, activities, food, and travel”. You’ve already described what the activities are which is why this section just reiterates that.
6. Lastly, as you close out the proposal, thank the funder. Let them know that their contribution to this program would benefit whoever your program targets. Your closing statement should be strong and engaging.
This proposal needs to engage the reader-they’re giving you money after all. The more compelling your “story” is, the more likely it is that you’ll get funded.
I hope this helped someone!

As always, be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

The Way He Treats You Is How He Feels About You

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*Before you read this post, please understand that nothing in this post is condoning domestic violence in any way, shape, or form. This post was written through the viewpoint of a healthy relationship. Also, it may be a little wordy. Thanks for reading!*

I based my life on this for such a long time. It wasn’t until I met with and dated Mr. Officer that I realized that this was nowhere near the truth! We are conditioned to think that if someone doesn’t give us or do for us what we want, then they don’t care about us. My children’s father beat that notion into my head- because he bought me cars and placed a roof over my head, and worked and gave me money that he loved and cared about me. Nevermind the fact that he was ripping away my self-worth, my dignity, and my sanity. He bought me stuff and made it seem like he was taking care of me so I should be happy. After I left that relationship, I was so conditioned and brainwashed to believe that if you don’t give me and show me what I want that you don’t care about me, and it almost ruined my next relationship. I didn’t even realize it.

When I met Mr. Officer, he worked 12-16 hours a day. Despite that, he always found a way to make time to spend with my kids and I. His schedule picked up more, and his free time lessened. So now only I was able to get him, but that was extremely limited. In my mind, because I couldn’t see him and spend time with him he didn’t love and care about me. I was used to equating one with the other. Nevermind the fact that he would go above and beyond for me and the kids, would sneak away from work just to see me (even if for only 5 minutes), encouraged and motivated me in all of my endeavors. I was focused on one thing and one thing only- the time (or the lack thereof) that he spent with me at the location I wanted. If that didn’t happen I was pissed! (I’m sure if he were right next to me he would type in that I was crazy). The arguments increased, I broke up with him every month or so, and he would just maintain that he loved me and he wasn’t going anywhere.

One day, after one of my rants and I broke up with him again (for the then 3,976th time), I laid in the bed and had a mild panick attack. I asked myself “what he hell are you doing?” Because I didn’t want to break up with him, I didn’t want to be apart from him, I didn’t want to fight with him. I just wanted him to spend more time with me. Like an oblivious man, instead of calling me or coming to the house and talking some sense into me, he let me cool off. (Guys- please take this advice: DO NOT GIVE US SPACE!!!!! WE DO NOT WANT SPACE! We want you in our face asking us to forgive you, stealing kisses on our foreheads, wrapping your arms around us and not letting go until we aren’t mad anymore. And probably food and sex. Take this advise. It will help you!) I was left in my bed in my feelings, in my thoughts. The worst place for me to be because I over think and over analyze everything! I finally couldn’t take it anymore and reached out to someone to talk to. And they kindly told me that I was an idiot. That the man I had checked off every box that I had on my list of wants and needs in a man, and that although he doesn’t have a lot of time, the time he does have he gives to me. That I needed to stop being so selfish and started to acknowledge and appreciate the selfless acts that he constantly did for me. You know what I did? Defended my position. Because I was right and they were wrong. I went and spoke to someone else, and they told me the same thing. I went and spoke to one more person and they told me I needed to leave him and be single. So, I had 2 against 1 in his favor. Now I needed to figure it out.

I went to church and told God “I am so confused! My spirit aches when I say I don’t want anything to do with him anymore, but he’s not doing what I want!” The pastor had a message that day on control and intimidation and allowing things that happened to and around you. But the way the message was worded, all I heard was “stop being so selfish and let that man love you!”. I couldn’t help but laugh. I was so conditioned to believe that the way he treated me- not having/making time to spend with me- meant that he didn’t love or care about me and that’s what I focused on. Being this new enlightened person, I had to do a self assessment, and I realized that I was wrong in how I was handling the situation. I had to apologize. I texted him and told him I missed him, and that I was sorry for everything. He said “it’s ok Cheri”. Just that simple. No argument, no “I told you so”, nothing. He said he loved me and resumed back to being my love like I wasn’t having an emotional breakdown for the last few days. (I swear- now that I think of it, he doesn’t pay me any mind when I go on my rants! Lol! He literally will just say “ok Cheri” and go back to minding his business! Lol!).

We need to be mindful of what we are conditioned to believe are acts of love. Just because we are used to someone doing or treating us a certain way doesn’t mean that it is the ONLY way for someone to show us that they love us. Mr. Officer made a promise to sell his home so that we could purchase one together. That’s a huge commitment that I was overlooking because he didn’t have the time to give me when I wanted it. Stop believing in what you’re used to, and start believing in what is. You’ll get a whole new perspective on life and love.

Until next time.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

Time Heals All Wounds- NOT!

In my 30 years of being on this earth (I’m super young, I know!) I always hear the saying “time heals all wounds”. I’m not sure where this saying originated from, but I believed it for such a long time- until I realized that time went by and my wounds were still as fresh as the day they were carved. Time certainly didn’t not heal my wounds!

Forgiveness heals wounds. Especially emotional ones. The hurt that someone caused you. The heartbreak from your ex leaving. The pain of losing a loved on. Time passing isn’t going to make these things any better or easier to deal with. Trust me, I’ve tried. But forgiving did. Myself especially. I forgave myself for blaming myself; forgave myself for making bad decision; forgave myself for holding on longer than I should’ve. And I forgave the person that I felt did me wrong. Even when I didn’t receive an apology for the slight. That healed my wounds and helped me to move on.

Love heals wounds. And to my defense, when I say love I am equating it to God. Because God is love and love is God. Love’s patience heals. Love’s understanding heals. Love’s acceptance heals. Love’s kindness heals. Because healing can sometimes be so deep that we don’t know how to tap into it. But the love (either from someone else or God himself) that we receive from a genuine spirit can help ease our anxiety and help us focus on where exactly our pain and hurt comes from so that we can start to mend the brokenness.

Therapy heals wounds. Because talking about the problem is the first step to fixing the problem or figuring out what the problem is. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge or know is broken. And we alone are not always able to see the issue objectively in order to fix it. I know I was a burier. I buried all of my issues somewhere deep down inside of me and tried as best as I could to forget about it. And now as an adult I have an extremely bad memory issue because of it. One that I cannot fix on my own and I probably need therapy for.

Acceptance heals wounds. Many people are walking around hurt and angry because they haven’t accepted a choice or decision that was made in their life. They feel slighted, betrayed, or used and they just cannot let go. Accepting those painful decisions can help with letting go of the hurt associated with it. It will not be easy, but for your emotional and psychological well being it is definitely worth it.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. And I wish people would stop saying that. There are many different ways to heal from something, and many people are willing and capable of helping. They won’t to school for it people! Lol. Find one that works the best FOR YOU and heal! You’ll thank yourself later for it. Because waiting around for it to happen on it’s own isn’t going to work.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS.

Until next time

-tootles!

xoxo

Love Is …

Every time I go over to my best friend’s house, she’s watching some sappy love show or movie. And I normally hate them because they’re unrealistic and don’t show what actual love and relationships look like. Until she put on “Love Is”. We started from the first episode, and I was hooked. To see a real, actual, screwed up relationship fight to make it work. It reminded me of myself and Mr. Officer. A little too much! This is what love is ….

Love is hard. AF! They say it isn’t supposed to be, but my experience has shown that it is. You are taking two completely different people and asking them to merge their lives, beliefs, backgrounds, religions, work ethics, parenting methods- EVERYTHING!!!- and figure out how to make it work together. Without a blueprint or a guide to show us the right way. But love is also beautiful, amazing, uplifting, freeing, passionate, and worth all of the headache. One thing that it took me too long to realize is when you decide to love someone and incorporate them into your life, that lane that you paved for yourself- it’s broken now. We like to control people and situations (at least, I do) and make them conform to what WE think is the best. And our mate is more than likely trying to do the same thing. When we make the conscious decision to love someone and merge their life with ours, we also need to merge our lane with theirs. Or create a whole new lane altogether. We cannot force people to love us how we want them to love us, or walk down the path that we create for them. Love is creating that path together the best way that you know how.

Love is scary. You are literally telling someone who you do not know “I am trusting you with my heart. Please don’t break it”. You are giving your life to someone in the hopes that they can bring fulfilment and peace into it. And it can work out bad, or it can be amazing. You can gain weight in all the right places, have your skin glowing, bring your anxiety down and give you more peace, have someone to help with your finances, have someone encouraging and motivating you. You can find your best friend in love. Love brings out the best in you.

Love is frustrating! Remember- there is no blueprint. But when your love doesn’t put down the toilet seat after he pee’s, or doesn’t take the trash out before he leaves for work on trash day, or didn’t prepare dinner for the kids even though he was home a lot earlier than you, when your love decides that them receiving an award of honor and merit wasn’t a big deal to tell you about because you were out-of-town, how do you still love? In my experience- FORGIVENESS. Love is saying “you made a mistake. It pissed me off. I want to punch you in the face, but instead I’ll kiss you and tell you why it bothered me and hopefully we can fix it so it doesn’t happen again in the future”. Every. Single. Time. EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! Remember I said it was frustrating? But when those quirks turn into coming home to a cooked meal for you and the kids, or the trash being taken out the night before trash morning, or those phone calls come in about awards and honors, dealing with those frustrating moments becomes worth it. I guess I should’ve thrown patient in there as well, huh? Love is patient, because no matter how many times you make a mistake love is right there to help you fix it. Love gives you advice and pointers on how to make it better. Love stays up with you the whole night to help you finish your paper for school or that huge project that you need for work. Love will never leave you or forsake you.

Love is stupid. Have you ever been the friend that always keeps hearing “why are you still with him? He doesn’t love you!” Or “you should’ve left him a long time ago”. Or “you deserve so much better!” The problem with confiding in your friends and family when things are bad is that they don’t know or see when things are good. For example? (He’s probably going to kill me for this! Lol!). Mr. Officer works. Which is normal, right? Wrong. He works 20 hours a day. And on the weekends he works 12-16 hours a day. Which means that we do not spend a lot of time together, and he’s cancelled more than a couple of dates and trips because of his schedule. Had you asked me 3-4 years ago, I would’ve told you that I would not be able to deal with a person who worked that much. But, here I am 2 years later, still dealing with the frustration of his schedule. Because when he does make the time, he is amazing with my children. My son wakes up everyday asking to speak to him and my daughter asked me yesterday when he and I were going to get married because she wanted him to be her step-dad. When he makes time, we laugh all day long. We talk, we share stories, we encourage and motivate each other. When he makes time, we go on dates. When he makes time, he comforts me when I am ready to pull my hair out or make a stupid decision that will affect my children. When he makes time he takes my son to the barbershop and pays for my car to get repaired. When he makes time, he is my best friend. It’s easy to say that I should leave because he doesn’t make the time for me, but he is love to me and my children. Let me repeat that- HE IS LOVE FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN! So love is stupid- it makes you go against yourself and your beliefs when the person shows you their love. It makes you trust when society tells you to doubt. It makes you hope when others tell you it’ll fail. Love doesn’t listen to society or others, love makes its own way. Love is consistent, even in the inconsistencies.

Love IS! Love is a being, an entity. Love is an action word- you are love and someone is love to you. Again, it took me way too long to realize that because I didn’t understand that concept until Mr. Officer. I’ve experienced it before in the past, but I wasn’t ready to understand it until now. My relationship with Mr. Officer showed me love through sacrifice, through forgiveness, through patience, through understanding, through trust. Truth be told, I think the only reason that I recognized and spotted what love is NOW is because of my children. I am love to them unconsciously- I exert no effort to be love to them because as a parent it comes naturally. But to be love to an adult requires a conscious effort. Because we both can get up and walk away at any point with no strings attached, so for me to make the choice to stay, I have to acknowledge the reasons and motivations why. I compare the love for an adult to the love to my children constantly- to be able to determine how it can be so easy to do certain things for my children yet I struggle to do them for an adult. Example? I trust my children. I know what they are capable of and what they will and won’t do. I am still building trust in Mr. Officer (which is probably why I put him through the stuff that I did). I can depend on my children. I know that they will always be there no matter what, even when they get older and decide to move out of my house and be on their own. I cannot fully give my dependency to an adult- because you can decide to leave today or tomorrow with no questions asked. But love is saying even though I think you can leave and hurt me, I will make the choice to trust and depend on you anyways. Love is choosing your mate over and over again. Even when you don’t want to. Love is knowing that you could be hurt yet again, but choosing to stick it out and working to make things different and better. Love is a choice, an action. Love is despite of. Love is!

I am no expert on love; obviously, right? I have 3.5 failed relationships under my belt (despite my frustrations, I’ll most likely be figuring out how to work things out with Mr. Officer- eventually). But I realize what Love Is. Because I am a mom, and because my heart is open to seeing it. And I am still learning.

Until next time.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

tootles!

-xoxo