God might be trying to tell me something

On Monday afternoon I decided to go to the Missouri Botanical Garden to take some pictures with my DSLR to try to become further acquainted with it and just take some time to relax. I was there for around 2 hours and really enjoyed myself even with a few rain showers that kept me inside a few buildings. Afterwards I was walking to my car and noticed something on the back of my trunk. It was a Praying Mantis and I just stared at it. Even told it shove off a few times. Finally I just ignored it and hopped in my car. Then I stopped at a Hardee's restaurant which was less than a mile away to chill for a little while and when I stepped out of the car I was impressed to still find the praying mantis still holding on but it had moved up to the roof of my car. I kept staring at the insect and told it to shove off again! At this point I just flicked it off my car. Afterwards I went home and just chilled out for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday morning comes around I make my way to my car I go to my trunk to put something away and as I am about to open my trunk I notice another Praying Mantis off the side of my trunk just chilling. I'm staring at it like what in the world is going on...So I stare at for a few minutes and think flick it off and get in my car to make my way to the airport to pick up one of my best friends. I drop her off and then make my way to the gas station because my car is needing gas. I get out and start pumping and go around to my passenger door and open the door. What is waiting on the window on the INSIDE of my door? Another Praying Mantis. I just smiled and thought, maybe God is trying to tell me something. I looked back at the Praying Mantis and told the messenger, 'I think I get it now, you can go on.' Sure enough the bug took off and hopped out of my car.

I couldn't help but think about all those different interactions with a Praying Mantis out of all insects for the past two days. Sometimes things happen and you brush them off and think, 'nah, it's nothing special.' But sometimes it takes more than one time to try and get the message. Maybe it's a signal that I need to stop myself and just pray. My mind has become seriously troubled this past year and I find it harder to just try to empty my mind and find peace. Maybe I just need to find a quiet place and just pray.

Midwest Natural Hair Expo 2015


This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a hair model for my beautician at the Midwest Natural hair expo downtown. So last weekend I did some preparations myself with my nails and face, and then met up with my beautician on Friday to have my hair prepped for Saturday morning. I've been going to Daisha since I went natural and was excited to help her out with modeling Design Essential hair products that were used on my hair.

shrinkage is a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So after my hair was prepped I went to have my face prepped by Sid's Eyebrow Threading shop off of Delmar and Skinker. They did a great job and I was very pleased. Then I went to the nail salon and had my nails done. As long as I've been going there you would think I remember the name, but nope, I only remember it is directly across the street from the old Walmart off of Saint Charles Rock Road in St. Ann.

Afterwards I went to the Galleria and found a nice black top at New York and Company since I already had some black pallazzo pants. So fast forward to Saturday morning. I wake up and run a few errands before making my way to my destination. The Expo was held at the downtown Holiday Inn in the conference room area.  I made sure to get there about 15 minutes early and decided to check out some of the vendors in the big conference area. Overall there around 20+ vendors but unfortunately I saw that some vendors had not shown up even by the time we left around 5pm.

Huge advantage of getting there early...seeing everything the vendors have to offer with minimum activity. So throughout the event that started at 11am I found some great items.

gift bags for attendees

what to do when you are waiting? Take a selfie of course.
Once Daisha arrived she got to work on her models. There were four of us for Saturday and she had different ones for Sunday.

finished look

While we were there, Daisha was nice enough to treat us to lunch in the hotel and that was a hoot. We had such a great time I told her I would love to model for her again. Oh and I cannot forget my girl Thisha who met me up there and took pictures and videos of me.


Afterwards I went home and thought I would take a quick nap before trying to head out to Chesterfield to enjoy the Jazz and wine Festival........yea that nap quickly turned into a coma and I didn't wake up until 11:30pm. So yea....lolol.

So I decided I would take pictures of my treasures from the expo. Sorry pics look like they are in the shadows.

I so have a badass headwrap that will compliment this set.

This awesome lady made the jewelry above

This amazing artist made the jewelry in the two pics right above this one.

This lady was amazing to talk to. She not only makes items for your body but she also makes them for your home. She is awesome!

Overall I had a great time!!!! and I can't wait to check out future events.

with Daisha aka the kinky kologist

closeup of my crazy koils

Thomas siblings part 2

So this morning a wonderful breakfast was prepared and my mom's sibling came over for another great time. The food was great as usual and my Aunt Vi and Aunt Jackie left around a hour ago. My uncles are scheduled to leave tomorrow. Overall this has been great weekend seeing my mom's relatives. Of course I have pictures. Click on the link below.

Thomas sibling part 2

Thomas Siblings gathering part 1

Picture taken by me on 6/21/15

This past Monday my Aunt Ora came into town from California. We hadn't seen her in a while so this was a big treat for us. While I've been at work, she and my mother have been enjoying themselves with working out at Planet Fitness, shopping, and getting food together for the big gathering that was held yesterday. Yesterday around 4pm my mom's other siblings came into town and some other family members and friends were over as well. From the way my mom puts it, all seven siblings have not been together since my maternal grandfather passed away back in 1994. So this was definitely a special occasion. The food was wonderful, the company was excellent well into the night. Over all great times were had by all.

Follow the link below to see all the pictures.


Westport Plaza Vintage Bliss Market 2015

So yesterday I was running some errands and decided to checkout the Vintage Bliss market that was being held out at Westport Plaza. By the time I arrived around 11am the area was jammed packed with vendors and customers. Restaurants were in full swing producing mouth watering appetizers to entrees. I was walking around and was enjoying everything. Including the live music that was being provided by a jazz swing band called Miss Jubilee. Some of the vendors I recognized from other vintage market shows that I had previously attended. Yet majority of the vendors were brand new to me. I only stayed for a hour since I had to get back home for a big family and friend gathering going on that day. Overall it was awesome. Please check out the link below to pictures.

Westport Vintage Bliss Market

The frustrations with do-it-yourself e-commerce sites

For the past month I've been looking into alternative e-commerce sites to move my body products business, AllThatMsJazz, because with me adding more products to my line I want to be able to condense the options to make it better for my customers to search online. I also want other features such as drop down menus, a side blog, as well as some other features. I know that I want to be in control of my site and not depend on anyone else.

I've been with Big Cartel since I launched my business last year. I will say I enjoyed it at first because it was very easy to setup for myself. It was especially great when I only had a few fragrances that I offered with my whipped shea butters, and also in 4 different sizes. Yet now I've grown to over 40 fragrances and now offer my whipped butters in three different options. I want to simplify the process for my customers and want them to be able to shop by looking at the three different whipped butters first then click on their decision and then choose a drop down menu option for size and fragrance. Unfortunately Big Cartel doesn't offer these types of options. I have to do my options by fragrance first. I emailed them to confirm. So I decided I need to jump ship to something else.

Now at the time of me having my Big Cartel site, I also opened an Etsy website. So far it has been the best in regards to how I have control over displaying my products. Yet I still want a stand alone site, so I keep my Etsy website as a side store because I know some people feel more comfortable doing busy on Etsy and that's perfectly fine. Yet the disadvantage in my opinion is that it is a community website so your products can be easily compared to someone elses. I want a stand alone website so my products are the only focus, hence why I also used Big Cartel.

So I started looking into another site called SquareSpace. The website holds big promise but one of the main issues I have with it is that it does not have Paypal integrated into its system. It's go-to merchant is Stripe. Now one thing I do love about Big Cartel is that it provides two different options for merchant connection. You can either go with Paypal and/or with Stripe. I do have both activated on my Big Cartel site and both are used. I do realize also with Squarespace that even though it does look user-friendly as far as adding stuff, I realized that it needs someone who has knowledge of putting websites together. It tries to be not intimidating but after diving into for a few days, I realized that I would have to have someone with experience to set it up for me. So I abandoned that one and kept looking.

I also looked into Shopify to see if it could give me what I was looking for. Upon signing up for access I noticed that they offer themes for customer shop. Some are free and others are paid. I wasn't too impressed with them but decided to venture through. When I looked into inputting inventory I saw there were not any options for different pricing of products. It looks as though I would have to put them in based by size. Which would have been a nightmare for me. So I decided to keep trucking to another site.

Now we have WIX, I thought I finally had found my Holy Grail. I'm able to have drop down menus, have a side blog, I even have an event calender. The experience of setting up my site has been wonderful and I actually have it ready to go, expect for 3 HUGE things. Three things that I'm shocked that with them being an e-commerce site have not figured out and have not made available. So remember I said I currently in my product line offer 3 different type of whipped butters that I offer in over 45 different fragrances. Well apparently they only allow you to have up to 10 options under one product, so what am I suppose to do with the other 35? I emailed them to make sure there wasn't anyway around it. They told me at this time, they do not go beyond 10. So I had to redo my options and make it similar to how I have my Big Cartel site. I am not pleased with that at all. The next issue I have with them is with shipping. You can only offer flat shipping. That doesn't make sense if someone buys product and I'm not able to adjust shipping for the weight. I have control over shipping on my Big Cartel and Etsy websites. You would think ANY e-commerce site would make sure that this is an option, but no, WIX, drops the ball again. Now the third issue I have a problem with is with their coupons/discounts. You can't control if it's for a certain product in your line up. If you set up a coupon, it blankets the whole website. That is unacceptable. I should have control in regards to what products I want to give a discount on. As much promise WIX has to fall short on 3 major options such as these is just not acceptable. So now I'm stuck with a site that I can't make active because the shipping and coupon issue. So I'm still stuck with my Big Cartel site for now. Bravo WIX, Bravo.

I've had friends tell me that I should consider WordPress. It pretty much goes against what I'm trying to do in regards to handling my own website. Yet I know some of the best e-commerce websites are built with WordPress. I would definitely have to hire someone to set it up, but right now that is just not an option I want, at least for now.

So for right now until WIX decides to update it's features, I will stay with Big Cartel and see if I can just make adjustments to that website. I'm so not happy though, I feel like I had my favorite piece of candy just snatched from me. Ugh.........