11 Women-Owned Businesses To Shop This Holiday Season

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The holidays are upon us, good people! And with the holiday season comes shopping. Today we celebrate Small Businesses but these are shops that should be on your list all the time! It's important. Let's get right to it!

Planners and Thangs by Yours Truly

I'm not even going to hold you up. Yeah, my planners are first on the list. You want them, you need them, I'd very much like you to buy them because 2018 cannot be LIT if you're not ORGANIZED! Trust me, I'm a Mami!

They keep your home, blog and business organized and keep you winning. With monthly planning, weekly task lists and so many other organizing tidbits, these are all the planners you'll need. You can thank me later.

If you need help or have thoughts/questions/comments or concerns, head on over to our little Planning Collective group on Facebook.

And because I love y'all, there's a 15% discount on all products until 12/2. Don't say I didn't give you anything! 


Manifesting what?!

This is a fun project for me so I am here to share it with you because, why not! You know I'm a positive thinker. I started using #ManifestingMofo a while back and I just thought it needed to be on a mug. So, here it is!


Addye B.: Art for the Spirit

I commissioned a painting from Addye earlier this year and I fall more and more in love with it with each passing day. It's my maternal line. Check it.

If you'd like to heal yourself and feed your soul or give that gift to someone else, look no further!


Homegirl Por Vida

If you need to getcho life right with a crystal prescription, a reading or just some cool gear to show that magical side then Xenia is the girl you've been looking for.

Check out my personal crystal collection all sourced from my homegirl (no, you can't have any of these!).

I may have added one (or 10) since I took this picture but, you get the drift. She is all the things and the reason why my #ManifestingMofo stays strong!


Stylin' and Wilin'

If you know Amber then you know that's like her life's tagline! Writer, mama, magical being and stylist extraordinaire, Amber is here to help you get styled, get comfortable and get it right. Check out her Suburban Gangster shop and get ready to roll into 2018 all legit and whatnot.


Prints and Petty

I love the hell out of Lucrecer Braxton! But, ever since she started putting out all of this new work in her shop, I'm liking her less. Why, you ask? Because I ain't hit the lotto yet and she keeps blessing us with gems like this one!

I mean, damn! She has so many other beautiful watercolors that the only problem you'll have is buying just one. I've made my list and will be shopping right along with you so, tell me what you pick up, okay?


Books Anyone?

You know I love me some books. So of course, books are on the list. Are they all written by women? Not really. But, my favorite children's books this year are from an imprint that's the brainchild of one of my most talented friends. Denene Millner Books is on the map in 2017 and you need to just go ahead and pick up any and all of the books in this collection (with more to come in 2018).

Not only is SHE a New York Times bestselling author, her books are gathering honors left and right. Don't be the whack person that gets hip to this imprint in 2018. Getcho life right and stock up on these gems!


Get LIT with Candles

I love ambiance. And I love supporting friends. So this is like the best of both worlds wrapped in some warmth and smelling like joy. Monticello Street Candle Co. is Yanira's new baby and I am here to tell you that we are fans.

You will be too once you grab these candles. Homemade with top of the line products, this is the gift that keeps on giving. I'm currently stuck on the 333 scent but, there's nothing in this collection that I don't like. Grab one for yourself and one to take to that holiday party as a gift to the hostess. You're welcome!


Natural Creativity

If you're looking to represent your natural hair or give that gift to others then, head on over to A Gullah Girl Marketplace. There's nothing like a handmade gift. Especially when they look like this:

Chandra will tell you that I basically jacked her for a keychain she made earlier in the year. In my defense, the girl had blue hair and it's Chandra's fault for thinking she could just set it in front of me and I wouldn't go home with it. Hey, a sale is a sale even if you get jacked first, right?


Essentials For You

I don't like buying these products. Because they disappear. Mainly because the Frog Princess uses up all my body wash and leaves nothing for me! But, I digress. I dig all things from KSE Spa Collections. The body wash, the foot balm, the "armpit lotion". No, Michelle doesn't call it that but I do! I'm thinking of trademarking it too. Enniweighs, there's a sale, so hurry up and get your skin together with everything in this shop!


Keep It...Transitioning

Xenia will tell you that I am terrible. Because when things are haywire, I'm in her DM's like YO! What kind of planetary transitions are happening today?! Well, Xenia, now you won't have to worry about me because I have one of these little bad boys coming to me from my friend Julie.

Isn't it cool? I can't imagine the level of attention and creativity that this took. I'm glad she did, though. And she has other amazing things in her shop


Lips and Thangs

My beauty blogger friends will tell you that I am a fail. Jai lost her damn mind when I told her I only had like 4 lipsticks. She proceeded to ship me an. entire. gallon. sized. zip. bag. full. of. lipsticks. I'm glad she did because I totally didn't care that she was making fun of me but it was nice to have new lippies.

Now, I just maintain it by buying some pretty and long-lasting Lipsense lippies from her. She thinks I'm learning because she has this awesome Facebook group where she tries to teach me her ways. It's anybody's guess whether I'm learning or not but, my lips appreciate it. 


There you have it, folks! Not a comprehensive list but I hope you found it helpful! Happy Holidays!

Photo Book for the Holidays

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and personal pride in finally getting vacation pictures together in a beautiful photo book are purely my own. We went on vacation in August. I just completed a post telling y'all about it. Imagine what happened to the pictures?! Nothing!

Has that ever happened to you? I have a million pictures and nowhere are they displayed except in the privacy of my own screen.

I'm happy to report that this stops NOW! There are times when I take on a campaign and then there are times when a campaign takes me on. This has been Shutterfly for me.

First, the stunning and beautifully done on-time holiday cards en español and now, I get to gift my Frog Princess with a photo book detailing our amazing crusero!

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As with the tarjetas, the photo book was super easy to create. I am an avid fan of ThisLife which is part of Shutterfly and it means that I can select my photos right from the app. Even if you don't have ThisLife, though. It's such a simple upload for photos. And then magic happens!

If you're not creative or lacking in time (errr, for those last minute gifts, folks) you can let Shutterfly lay out the pictures. I find this is not only super cool but take the burden of where to begin placing photos in your photo book. I went back and made some layout changes and background changes. 

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It doesn't get better than this! I love the personalized gift that keeps on giving. Shutterfly offers an easy, creative and convenient way to share family milestones. Cruises, birthdays, Thanksgiving. It's easy peasy lemon squeezy!

You can be the supah-star of the family and make your annoying cousin who is always trying to one-up you look bad (not that I have this problem, mind you). 

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Now, its even easier to share these creations with your abuelita, mother, neighbor, tía and other loved ones with Shutterfly’s new Spanish applications. Oh and with Spanish language customization, and a Spanish-language customer service, I can even share this with tía and she can do it on her own (without calling me 13 times!).

I'm over the moon at how this book came out and cannot wait to see the look on my girl's face when she opens this gift on Christmas morning!

As the person in charge of all of the photographs that my mother kept, I think it's so important to highlight all things family and together. I feel that photo books like this one will be treasured for years to come. It's more than an album, it's all about the stories that you can write beyond the photograph. And to me, that makes it even more special.

What treasures will you create?

Navidad Con Shutterfly

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and relief over being done with holiday cards are purely my own. I adore holiday cards. Christmas was Mami's favorite time of the year and it feels like I inherited not just her rich history but her love of Christmas.

Except that I can't, y'all. Every year I say I'll be sending cards and then  I either: 1. get completely overwhelmed and kick this idea to the curb or 2. end up sending New Year's cards instead.

Well this year I am ahead of the game! Can I get an amen? I'm excited that I found these amazing Shutterfly cards en español. I cannot express how much I love these!

Shutterfly cards.

It was super easy for me to create and I was able to pull my pictures out from This Life which I am a big fan of. Who has time to figure out pictures. Amirite? Check out how I did it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pG9AFtVBcQ

While my family speaks some English, I love having the option of ordering as many of these cards as I like in order to provide them with a better card they can connect to.

Connect to a card? Why yes! We get so little in the mail these days when it comes to truly personal mail that I think the idea of sending something out in my native tongue is genius.

Seriously, why hadn't I thought of this before? Enniweighs, Shutterfly had plenty of amazing selections. So much so that I had a very hard time selecting this one. Truth be told, though, I love that I can mix and match. Select a handful of one design and then see what else I fall in love with.

It's been a couple of years since I've dropped a great Christmas card for my peoples (both business and personal). I think Shutterfly Vida is the bestest way for me to bring it back.

Shutterfly in Spanish.

And because I love y'all and need you to get with the program so we can act like we are rocking our schedules and have it together, I have a $50 giveaway for you! Woohoo!

The 6 Mom Types You Might Know & Love #PutYourHeartToPaper

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hallmark. All thoughts, tears, laughter and warm happy thoughts are purely my own. Mother's Day has not gotten any easier as the years have moved on. I think back to that first Mother's Day of mine. It was...not good. Mami had been newly diagnosed and at home, trouble was brewing. I cried that day for a lot of different reasons but mainly because I felt deep down in my soul that this would be the last of these holidays with her.

I gave her a card from me and a card from the Frog Princess. Hallmark. Always Hallmark. The wording always seems to capture the feelings in my heart. And without having to work too hard at digging from deep down, I can easily put my heart to paper with their help.

Fast forward to today. It is difficult for me to send cards during this time. I still love cards though! I hoard collect them. I treasure them. In the same way that I treasure the women in my life. This year, I'm letting Hallmark soothe my soul and selecting just the right card for them. I have many different Mamis in my life and thankfully, Hallmark as a card for each and every one of them.6 Mom Types You Might Know & Love

Here are 6 types of women currently in my life.

The "I knew you before your boobs really came in" Mami

Hallmark helps us put your heart to paper with awesomeness like this!You've been through thick and thin with this one. You've known each other for half of your life or more. This is the chick you call when it gets rough. The one that remembers that one time 15 years ago when something similar happened. This Mami knows every inch of you in a way others never will. She's your superhero for so many reasons but mainly because she loves you unconditionally. In my life, this is Robiaun.

The "We have to stay best friends because you know too much about me" Mami

Good moms and batter! Hallmark helps us put your heart to paper with awesomeness like this!

She'll help you hide the body. She texts you randomly in the middle of the night because she's awake and she can. You want to beat her sometimes because she doesn't stay in touch the way you hope. But she knows too much about you. And thankfully, you know too much about her. Her humor and love has carried you through some things. And now you two have kids and can add some more adventures to your life. Sybil fills this role for me.

The "We are family but most importantly we are friends" Mami

Hallmark helps us put your heart to paper with awesomeness like this!

A member of your family (by blood or relation), this woman has gotten to know you fairly recently. You love her to pieces and hold her heart in a way that no one else is allowed to. You see all the wonderfulness in her spirit and surprising her and making her laugh is kind of your hobby. You know this woman in my life as Yery.

The "I just met her but dammit, we go together" Mami

Cards for moms-to-be on Mother's Day because guess what? They're already Mamis!

You might have just met her but you have a deep need to care for this one. Also, she's not a Mami yet in the "ohmaigaah I haven't gotten any sleep in 7 days". She's still in the "is this ligament supposed to hurt all night?" phase of Mamihood. This Mami needs a reminder of the awesomeness that's to come. Stacey has garnered this title (and look for her in the 'hood soon!).

The "We've gotten close thank to our kids" Mami

Amor de Madre. Loving the Spanish language cards. This one becomes a piece of art for your wall!

Your kids know each other and hallelujah! You two get along splendidly. You are like minded and in similar phases of life. This woman holds it down for you and you for her. You watch each other's kids, you go out for drinks, you worry about the same things and together, you solve the problems of the world. Well, at least the problems of your kids. Jess and I go together for this reason.

The "Hallmark still makes the perfect card for you" Mami

Tu Amor Es Unico. Me encanta esta tarjeta y me recuerda de Mami.

This woman taught you everything you know about being a Mami. She rocked Mamihood in a way that you can only hope that you do some day. This woman gave you strength, courage, wisdom and faith. Sometimes, it takes 3 Hallmark cards to cover all of the things that you feel. And whether she's still on this Earth or not, every year, you have the need to put your heart to paper for her. Do I have to tell you who fills these shoes for me?

Estas palabras me caen perfectamente.

As a writer, putting my heart to paper is something that I tend to do anyway. But the idea of helping you do the same is the reason I wrote this post today.

Will you be putting your heart to paper this Mother's Day? Here's a little something to inspire you (grab a hanky!). I watched all of these in one sitting. It was beautiful!

For more beautemous moments, check out Hallmark on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (this last one is my new addiction).

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A Lesson In Mistakes and Believing

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I never believed in Santa as a child. I moved to the States on my 5th year of life. I distinctly remember leaving water, a cigar and grass for the Three Kings and their camels in Dominican Republic. I would leave them under my bed where they would deposit gifts just like they had to the baby Jesus at the manger. The next year, it is cold and I am told of a fat man that's coming to my house. Which was cool. Except that my brain, even at 5, was a little on the analytical side. And I remember opening up my cookware set and suddenly seeing a void of the same size and proportion above the pantry. I realized then that the gift had been stored there and never really had a chance to believe in Santa.

My belief is an intentional one and has always been rooted in God. I do believe. As a teen and an adult I came to the realization that Santa does exist to me. I would write him letters as an adult and I still think that magical things happen during this special season.

I think Santa is an extension of God. And my prayer and wishes to him get to look like a jolly old man during the holidays.

I'm not sure how much longer the Frog Princess will believe. Like me, she is observant and has questions beyond her years. But today, we still believe and we are tracking Santa and I don't understand how my spirit can feel giddy seeing him fly around the world. I'm a grown up, people!

But I think it's because of the happiness and joy that others feel. We track Santa thanks to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command). And what I love about NORAD isn't the cool site that allows you to see Santa and learn about the places he's going to. It's the story of how the Santa tracker came to be.

In 1955, the Sears catalog had printed a phone number for kids to call to track Santa. Except that they misprinted the number and the calls went to the Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). Can you imagine getting calls from kids asking you about Santa when you're doing your job? Well, Colonel Harry Shoup told his staff to give the kids an update on Santa. And that's how the Santa Tracker was born.

I LOVE the story! Because it is a reminder that even when there's a mistake, amazing things can happen! Today, Santa is tracked via radar, satellite, Santa Cam and fighter jets. This is serious, folks!

I wanted to share that with you. To remind you that your mistakes can sometimes lead to amazing things. To warm you up to miracles and to get you ready for the blessings to come. Merry Christmas, my good people.

Are you tracking Santa?!

What The Elf?!

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I have this beautiful, intelligent and fantastic sorority sister. She is just everrathang and a bag of Godiva. We have conversations often via social media. We especially have conversations when I post pictures of Yandelina, the resident elf on a shelf at my house. Here she is riding in style.

It seems she is majorly creeped out by the elf. And so, a conversation ensued when she tagged me on a naughty elf picture. I promised her I'd do a recap of naughty and outrageous things the elf has been known to do. Mainly because I only think to do these things in my head and who has this kind of time? If you do, please make an appointment to come by my house.

Here are 5 hilarious elf pics courtesy of the interwebs:

I try y'all but, half the time I forget. There are so many cool things to do with the elf! All of which are completely inappropriate for the little ones. Do you do Elf on a Shelf? Show me your pics! You can find some of mine on Instagram.

14 Free Christmas Fonts

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I told you guys a little about Sway. Let's just say I can't stop creating in this cool new tool by Microsoft. So I thought I'd start a new Sway with some uber cool fonts. Why you ask? Because it's the holidays and I love creating little signs around the house and notes with festive fonts. I'll be adding to my Sway as the seasons change but here is my list of Christmas fonts and where you can get them for free!

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  1. Candy Cane
  2. Christmas
  3. Faux Snow
  4. Flakes
  5. Fontleroy Brown
  6. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
  7. Kingthings Christmas
  8. LMS Jolly Holiday
  9. Mickey’s Merry Christmas
  10. One Starry Night
  11. PW Christmas
  12. Reindeer Games
  13. Santa’s Sleigh
  14. Volutes

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cheesecake Delight

One of the things I love about the holidays is getting to spend time with my sister. We have been trading off holidays for well over 5 years now. Having a kid and having her in a relationship means that we have to do this dance of compromises with all those involved. But I think it's working. This year we got each other at Thanksgiving. Of course, ever since "the incident" we have settled into a routine of cooking together, which I love. For me, it's what defines our family, at least in part. During Thanksgiving, titi Q takes a hold of the Kitchen Aid and comes up with our pies and desserts for dinner.

This time around, pumpkin spice cheesecake delights were born and they weren't even on the menu.

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[yumprint-recipe id='9'] The best part was sitting around the kitchen table the next morning having a muffin and enjoying a cup of coffee (with pumpkin pie spice creamer) with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

Have you gotten your coupons for International Delight creamers? Join the community and enter some nifty giveaways (that you can share with me later).

Do you like sharing your kitchen?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.