#sponsored This post is sponsored by @OptumPerks, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.In a climate where health is a priority, it only seems natural that access to prescription savings should be easy and affordable as well. While this isn’t always the case, I’ve discovered Optum Perks. It’s a game changing app that provides lots of savings, giving you low cost on prescriptions for you and your loved ones.Optum Perks can be downloaded through iOS or Android platforms, and in 3 easy steps, you can save money. First, you search for the prescription you want. With prescription choices ranging from Vitamin D to Amoxicillin, the possibilities are virtually endless. Next, you find a coupon. Optum Perks works with over 64,000 pharmacies including Kroger, Publix, and Walmart to ensure that your needs are met. With an easy to use map feature, you can determine which location is most suitable for you and your family. Lastly, you save! Save your coupon and present it when picking up your prescription. Easy as pie! Optum Perks App coupons can be redeemed at drive-through pharmacies or on pick-up orders, as well as used on 3-month-supply prescriptions if you are stocking up. Besides saving money, one benefit of this app is that it is absolutely free! With no membership necessary you can begin using coupons immediately, and will find that you’ll save more than other prescription saving methods. Anyone can use Optum Perks – regardless if you are insured, or not. If you have insurance, Optum Perks is perfect for prescriptions that are not covered by your insurance, or those times when using your deductible would be more expensive!What would you do with an extra few dollars that you saved on prescriptions? Check out Optum Perks to save, and when you fall in love with it, be sure to leave a review on the app store to encourage others to try it!
Having consistently high quality content will always be essential as an influencer. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to create content that attracts your target audience, and ideal brands you’d like to work with. Today I’m sharing 7 essential tools every Instagram content creator needs! Camera (or Phone) When I first started out as an influencer, I solely used my iPhone to create content at home. Familiarize yourself with camera settings and tricks for high quality images.When you’re ready to purchase a camera for more advanced photography, here are a few of my favorites:-Beginner Camera: Canon M50-Intermediate: Canon 90D-Lens: 50mm Photo Inspiration Before you begin shooting content, have a gallery of photos to draw inspiration from. Use Pinterest or save photos directly from Instagram and recreate components as you shoot your own content. Tripod + Remote Clicker I utilize a wonderful photographer for my outdoor and family shoots, but otherwise I self shoot. In order to do this a tripod and remote clicker are must haves. I position my tripod where I’m shooting, and use the remote (connected to my camera or phone via bluetooth) to snap my shots. Extra tip: Easily hide your remote by holding something in your hands. Ring Light When shooting outdoors, natural light is always the best way to capture high quality content. When indoors, influencers often use tools that mimic natural light for a brighter, more airy feel to their photography. The Ring Light is the perfect beginner tool to do so. Easy to use and fairly affordable, it allows you to have great lighting no matter where you are. Props As an influencer, your goal is to tell a story through your images and captions. Adding simple props helps to easily do so. Plants, books or magazines, phones, computers, pillows, or flowers are all great starter props that you probably already have at home. Think about what you’re trying to portray, and choose props that align to the overall vision and aesthetic of your platform. Editing Apps Very rarely will content go live immediately after it’s snapped. In order to take it to the next level, most influencers use a variety of editing apps. From applying presets, smoothing, adding text and music, or removing objects, editing apps make content look and feel more professional. Here are a few of my favorites:-Canva-FaceTune-Adobe Lightroom-VSCO-Impresso-Retouch Share with me, what are some essential tools you use as an influencer?
As I continue to grow my brand as an influencer, one of the top questions I get is how did I start monetizing my content. Let it be known that monetizing comes with producing quality content, engaging consistently with your audience, and building a community of trust to use your influence successfully. Looking to begin monetizing your social media content through influencer marketing but you aren’t sure where to begin? I’m sharing TEN influencer marketing platforms that I used as a beginning influencer. Please note that the following platforms do not guarantee success in working with brands and simply serve as guidance in getting started. For more information on how to monetize your content, please feel free to reach out to me directly via XoCryssy. 1. Aspire IQ2. Cohley3. Heartbeat4. Social Native5. Octoly6. Massive Sway7. Popular Pays8. Influenster9. Influence10. Social Fabric Things To Consider:-Some influencer marketing platforms have a follower requirement. Do not be discouraged by this. Continue to engage, post quality content, and work your way up to this count. -Do not shy away from campaigns that offer exchange for product if the product is beneficial to you. I personally still take exchange for product for clothes, toys for my daughter, and electronics. Consider what is mutually beneficial and go for it!-Review the scope of work closely. Don’t overwhelm yourself just to say you’ve monetized. Know your value and stick to it! -Read the fine print. Not all deals are created equal. Know exactly what the brand expects of you and be sure you can and are willing to follow through before committing. Are you ready to dive into monetizing your brand? What further questions do you have about influencer marketing?
If you’re like me, fashion is all about taking risks and changing things up every chance you get. Still, there’s something about having essential pieces that help you easily style a look and transition well from season to season. Today I’m sharing three of my favorite Fall fashion essentials for every closet! Essential 1: Teddy Coat Every woman should own a teddy coat for two reasons: style plus warmth! As the temperatures drop, layering becomes an important part of the outfits I select each day. Throwing on a teddy coat provides instant warmth. I generally order mine a size up so that I can fit a heavy sweater underneath if needed. In addition to warmth, teddy coats are ridiculously stylish! They come in a variety of colors and lengths, making them easy to pair and dress up or down. Essential 2: Leather I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t call myself a fashionista if I didn’t own at least one leather garment. Though I wearing pants in my look, leather can be worn as a jacket, a skirt, shorts with thigh high boots, or even a full on dress. Leather comes in so many colors: I opt for blacks, olives, or rich wines for Fall pieces. Leather also offers warmth as it is a thicker material. Lastly, leather can be paired with virtually any print or texture, so your possibilities are endless! Essential 3: Leopard Print Of all the prints in the world, nothing makes my heart happier than leopard print. For me, it serves as a neutral that easily ties other pieces in a wardrobe together. For Fall fashion, my leopard print pieces are usually found in belts, boots, sweaters, and heavy cardigans. I pair them other solid garments to add a pop of fun to an otherwise boring look. If you’re here playing “I Spy”, did you guess correctly? Share some of your favorite Fall fashion pieces with me!
A few days shy of my 34th birthday, I became a first time homeowner! My journey began a little over two years ago when a close friend inspired me to begin thinking about home ownership. After a lot a blood, sweat, and tears I’m glad to have a place that my family calls home! If you’re in the market to purchase a home for the first time, here’s a few things you should know! CLEAN UP YOUR CREDIT! The first step in home ownership is making sure your finances are in order. Simply put, every detail of your financial history and profile will be combed through by lenders, so ensure that you are financially fit prior to applying for any type of approval. Remove derogatory items from your credit report, pay down debts, pay ON TIME, and save as much as possible. Though there are programs that will accept scores starting at 580, I highly suggest securing a 640 or above to get the best rates, access to additional programs, and the best bang for your buck overall. Once approved, it’s time to move on to the next step! YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SECURE A TRUSTWORTHY REALTOR I cannot stress this enough. My realtor is the reason I was able to secure my home! Although she is a close friend, our relationship became strictly business as I became her client. Having a realtor in place afforded me knowledge on the best lenders, current programs to assist with down-payment and closing costs, and negotiations on my behalf up until we reached the closing table. I never felt alone during this process because my realtor was proactive through every step, ensuring that I was on top of the process. An added bonus was her continuous encouragement for me to “keep going” and see this journey through to the end. If you are in the Atlanta area, I HIGHLY recommend Shanterius Churn of Churn Real Estate. If you’re not, be sure to secure a trustworthy agent who can provide guidance. SAVE, AND THEN SAVE SOME MORE I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always been an amazing steward of my finances. Pursuing home ownership definitely changed that! While I was fortunate enough to find a program that covered my down payment, closing costs were still needed to seal the deal. Having a stable savings and building it consistently was key to being able to get in the home I desired. I was suggest saving at least $10,000 if you are serious about buying in the near future! SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS, BUT BE REALISTIC When I started searching for homes, I initially wanted a property near the city of Atlanta that had been recently renovated. As I began looking I quickly realized I wouldn’t find EXACTLY what I was I looking for. I wrote down my non negotiables, my wish list features, and things I absolutely could not live with it. I used this as my guide to keep me in check when touring homes. I finally found a new construction home in the suburbs, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice! GET THE INSPECTIONThis seems like a no-brainer, but because an inspection isn’t always required, some homeowners skip this crucial step. A home inspection is your safe guard against future issues, and gives you the opportunity to ensure the home is up to standards prior to moving in. A few hundred dollars can save you thousands in the long run! REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED THE PROCESSWith everything, you should have a reason why. My reason for wanting to become a home owner stemmed from breaking generational curses, and my desire to leave a legacy for my daughter. When the process got hard or seemed impossible, remembering my why pushed me to keep going until I reached the finish line! Home ownership is a true blessing that comes with so much privilege. If you’re in the market, don’t be afraid to questions and seek out assistance. If I can do it, you can too!
While moving into a new home can be a very exciting time for parents, it can feel very overwhelming and scary for young children. I’m sharing five tips that helped make our recent move a smooth transition for my young daughter. TIP 1: INVOLVE YOUR CHILD IN THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS. Without a doubt, this has been the most crucial part of ensuring a smooth transition for Kalyn as we moved from the only home she knew, to a brand new space! I promised her in January of 2019 that I would get her a home, and as I hit each milestone, I reminded her that a new home was coming. Not only did it build excitement for her, it kept me accountable of the goal I had set out to reach. As we looked at homes, I made sure to always have Kalyn present to get a sense of her opinion on the space (yes, I care about my kid’s opinions) and to make sure that her first time walking in wasn’t to a strange place. TIP 2: ALLOW YOUR CHILD SOME VOICE AND CHOICE. Though the selection of our home was ultimately me and my husband’s, we allowed Kalyn to choose her room and playroom in the house. In addition, she chose new furniture to help her feel like a big girl! Giving your child some space to make decisions helps them feel invested and valued. TIP 3: CONSIDER YOUR CHILDREN WHEN PACKING. I tried to be proactive when packing, but wanted to make sure that Kalyn had plenty of her favorite toys and clothes left out so that she didn’t relate moving to having her things taken away. Up until the day we moved out, she had a reasonable amount of toys and activities to keep her company and I allowed her to select her own outfits (as crazy as they looked) so that she had plenty of things to choose from. When we moved in, her room and play room were the first spaces in the home to be set up, so that she could gain a sense of normalcy right away. TIP 4: SET ROUTINES RIGHT AWAY! We’ve always had a pretty consistent morning and bedtime routine, and I didn’t want a move to change that. I decided that on night one, Kalyn would sleep in HER room. I kept our normal bedtime routine: bath, two quick videos, books, prayers, and lights out. In full transparency, Kalyn was hesitant about sleeping in her new room alone. After a few tears and reminders that Jesus is protecting her, she went to sleep with no problem. The next morning she followed her normal morning routine! TIP 5: CELEBRATE YOUR CHILD’S SUCCESSES! Moving to a new place is a big task for a little person! To celebrate a smooth transition and reinforce positive behaviors, we offered Kalyn some positive incentives. We ate our first meal picnic style (really because we didn’t have furniture yet, but you get the point)and Kalyn loved it! She also got a couple of playdates to show her friends her new home (building more excitement) and enjoy the new space. Lastly, we’re planning a sleepover with her favorite cousin to really reward her for her awesome transition during this time! Moving with a little one has surprisingly been a breeze with these simple tips! Are you moving with children? Share a tip with me that might help them transition!
Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by 2020. Between being quarantined, having to work from home, and learning to be a full time virtual learning supervisor, I’ve had my fair share of adjustment this year. Add on the social climate of America, and death within my family and it’s enough to overwhelm even the most composed person. We’ve put a lot of procedures in place to help us tackle new schedules, education, and safety. On the contrary, not much has been put in place to help us maintain peace and sanity through all of these changes. Today, I’m sharing with you some tips that have helped me stay focused, positive, and grateful during a challenging year. 1. Start Your Morning With Prayer I find that when I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed” prayer is the easiest way to turn my mood around. A simple prayer upon waking has the power to set the tone for the whole day. 2. Set a Morning Routine – And Stick To It! I’m still a work in progress on this one because I love my sleep, but getting up just a little earlier and setting a consistent routine is a great way to protect your mental health. Not only does it give us moms some much needed alone time, it allows us to knock a few tasks off of our to-do lists, leaving us feeling productive and empowered! So instead of hitting the snooze button, hop up! Make that coffee. Get the workout in. Blog a bit. Do what inspires you to feel good! 3. Girl, Read Your Bible. When I was younger, I found reading the bible to be very boring. Now, I love it! I find that when I read intentionally, I easily connect the word to current situations in my life, and find God’s continued promises to love and take care of me. What better peace is there?! 4. Therapy is Your Friend. I grew up thinking therapy was taboo. My family communicated often, but never did I hear about seeking professional help for the issues women face on a daily basis. When life hit me harder than ever, it was Jesus and therapy that literally saved my life. When your challenges or feelings become too much to handle alone, seek help to get the support you need to thrive. There is NO shame in taking care of your mind. Do what’s best for YOU! 5. Connection is Key. I’ve said it a thousand times. I can’t picture life without my girlfriends. Being quarantined and not able to see them has been extremely difficult for me. To keep from falling into the depression of isolation, connecting with your loved ones is key. Here are some great ways to connect virtually: -Zoom Wine Tasting -Virtual Sip & Paint -Book Clubs -Virtual Movie Night! 6. Go Outside! Outside has become such a luxury. We want to protect ourselves and families, but it’s so important to get outside! Take a moment each day to catch some sunlight via a walk around your neighborhood, enjoy coffee/tea on your front porch, or just play a fun game with your children in the yard. Sunlight will always be a quick remedy for a gloomy mood. 7. Get Moving! An idle mind can often be an overthinking one. Get moving! Whether that means a workout, organizing, or running an errand, staying productive can help combat feelings of hopelessness or boredom. Take 30 minutes each day to be active and watch how it impacts your overall mood. 8. Journal Anyone else feel better when they reflect on all they have to be thankful for? Instead of keeping a to-do list, I’ve started writing a list of things I’ve accomplished each day. After what seems like a hard day, when you write down your accomplishments, it makes even the challenges seem like blessings because you made it through! 9. Put the Phone DOWN! Hey, it’s me: GUILTY. Scrolling through social media is all fun and games until you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of comparison. Sometimes, putting the phone down to enjoy your own reality is just what you need. When we remove distractions to be present in the moment, we can often find happiness in our own homes, families, and lives in general. Set aside time to turn off the phone and be present! 10. Be Patient With Yourself. As we all adjust, grieve, laugh, have successes, and make mistakes, remember to be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace and space to feel everything, but don’t let feelings consume you. Know that you aren’t alone, and we are all just trying our very best. I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Share with me some tips that you’ve used to protect your mental health this year.
When you support a small business, you are supporting a dream! If you’re anything like me, it’s been pretty tricky to stay away from online shopping while being quarantined for an extended period of time. As you order, I encourage you to shop with small businesses to support those living out their dreams. In the spirit of uplifting the Black community, I’m sharing 5 Black-Owned Businesses that suit the whole family. Izzy & LivLadies, this is for you! If you’re looking for affordable clothing, accessories, and jewelry, I’ve found the perfect place to shop! Izzy and Liv offers all of the above with a dash of cultural flare to each product. An added bonus is that you can grab items for the kiddos while you’re at it! Savoir FaireIf you’re searching for the perfect gift for your lover, friend, or family member, Savoir Faire fragrances are always a win. In addition to offering a reasonable price point, the scent is potent without being overwhelming. He’ll thank you later! Just Like MeDo your children have literature that accurately represents who THEY are? If not, the Just Like Me Subscription box has you covered. Each month, your little ones receive 2-3 new books from award winning authors. A great way to entertain and educate, Just Like Me certainly won’t disappoint your little readers. Juvia’s PlaceBeauty addicts, look no further! If you’ve not yet heard of Juvia’s Place, get ready to be BLOWN away! Juvia’s Place offers all of your essential makeup products at prices that are incredibly affordable. I most enjoy the quality of their products and the vibrant colors that represent black culture. Be sure to check them out! La Bougie Parfait“The Perfect Candle” is an accurate way to describe these products. As an avid user of these candles and room mists, I’m in love with the beautiful packaging, the scents that fill an entire room, and the length in which they last. Another plus is the amazing customer service provided by this brand. Happy Shopping! Drop some of your favorite Black-Owned Businesses below!
Turn on the news, and what you’ll see is a country that is bleeding from...
Summer break is here, which means my little beauty has made it through Pre-K. While I’m so excited that she gets to enjoy some downtime, the other part of me is freaking out because I know Kindergarten is quickly approaching. Like most children, Kalyn’s school year was cut short due to school closings. We’ve spent countless hours homeschooling, but the mama bear in me constantly questions if we’ve done ENOUGH to ensure that she is ahead of the game for the next school year. Today, I’m sharing my version of a Kindergarten Readiness Checklist along with a few of my favorite home-school tips to continue learning even over summer break. Tip 1: Read Daily Did you know that children who read daily have bigger vocabularies, score higher on tests, and have better focus?These are a few of the many reasons we incorporate reading into our daily learning. We opt for reading before bedtime, and now that Kalyn is starting to read with my support, I use this as a time to reinforce practice of sight words or word families that she has learned. Tip 2: “Write Daily” Kalyn can’t quite sit down and write story yet, but she can draw a picture and tell a story of what’s happening in the picture. This is the start of a strong writer! Incorporating daily drawing gives children a change to put their imaginations to work, as well as to practice story telling, sequencing, and identifying main characters. Tip 3: Numbers Are Everywhere We generally play a math related game each day. Hopscotch has become Kalyn’s new favorite. It’s a wonderful to master counting and recognizing numbers 1-10, and and added bonus is that it gets your children moving and practicing some serious balance! Tip 4: Social Skills Go A Long Way The transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten is a HUGE one. Many times, children can feel overwhelmed with all of the new rules of a “big kid” school. It’s critical to begin teaching your children routines and rituals such as waiting their turn, using manners, knowing when/how to ask for help, and showing kindness/empathy to others. These simple skills will help your child transition smoothly into a new role as a student. Tip 5: Have Fun Learning should be something that every child LOVES! Don’t be afraid to incorporate games, music, and creativity to master skills and to have an enjoyable experience. Pull out that shaving cream for sight words, mix up some frosting with food coloring to learn colors, go on a walk to recognize shapes! Make learning memorable through play and loads of fun. Your children (and their teachers) will thank you later! Do you have young children? What are some ways you are helping them learn at home?