As painful as it is to see summer slip away, we are ready for a bit more order and structure to our days.  During the school year, time is limited to connect as a family.  The afterschool rush can be a real shit show.  I’m tasked to tackle homework assistance, transportation to lessons all while simultaneously preparing a nutritious meal.  Most days James will not make it home in time to tag in on these duties. This fall I hope to redeem myself with dinner prepping and planning.  At one point, I had that menu thing locked down then somehow I fell off.  

New Buffalo, Michigan
Shopping in New Buffalo

I’ve learned that when the kids get off the bus, I need to shift my attention from my business to them, at least for a transitional period.  Even if that means I’m tying up loose ends after bedtime, it will have to wait until I tend to them.  They need time to decompress and express the happenings of their day.  I recently attempted to take a business call with Macy’s after picking the girls up from summer camp.  I was livid that nine days after launching my pop-up shop, my mannequins had been displaced.  Over a week into my pop-up, with no testers for the Swurly sleep caps on my display for The Market at Macy’s.  

Shit Show

This was particularly irritating since they require so many steps to onboard. The brands are instructed to submit explicit depictions in their store directives on how the units are to be displayed.  I had trouble with the system and submitted the directives four times.  As I sat in the dining room on the phone with corporate, I hear the backboard of Giana’s bed banging against the wall, squeals and laughter as she is jumping on the bed enticing Irie (our Bernedoodle) to bark and leap at her.  Misha is belting out Hakuna Matata at a zealous pitch and I am beyond worried about my ability to be taken seriously and pull off this partnership with Macy’s with my bebe kids acting a fool in the background. So I’m questioning my ability to build an empire from home with no after school childcare!  It seems that no one is willing to follow my directives. 


Captain Mike's Fun Park
Captain Mike’s Fun Park

As we celebrate our second year anniversary of the blog and my passionate journey for fulfillment, I have to remind myself of my intentions..  Remember your Why Dione, remember your why.  I recognize the mistakes I made in my first company.  Being a people pleaser makes for a palletable leader.  You want to keep everyone happy; your staff, your customer and your friends looking to book a treatment or buy an item for a discounted price. 

It’s easy to be weighed down by everyone’s opinions, but it is your vision that drives the company.  I am determined to stay inspired and not let the distractions, logistics of the business negatively impact my mission.  All the while staying focused on the reason I launched the company and that is teaching these unruly kids that don’t seem to listen to my words that they can invent solutions.  That they can direct their own paths and that they innately possess valuable attributes that they can contribute to the world.

Finding Time

This after school hours will be hectic, but I am so grateful my schedule allows me to be home with them.  Giana’s homework requirements have intensified in the past couple years, and with Misha entering elementary school, she will also need my help with her assignments and reading.  I don’t know how full time working moms keep up with it all.  When I had a brick and mortar location for my business, I didn’t get home until 6pm.  That doesn’t allow for much interaction before a decent bedtime around 8pm.  This time crunch was a major motivator for me to seek a career that allowed me to work from home.

Family Vacation Michigan
Family First!

After the girls get their snack and decompress, we jump into their homework and reading.  In preparation for the school year I already have them doing a few workbook pages at the kitchen island while I prep dinner.  During this mock homework time, last week, we caught a snippet of the news that mentioned the spelling bee.  Although, the kids rarely pay attention to what David Muir is talking about, I noticed Giana’s ears perked up at the mention of the national spelling bee. 

Neurotic Momma

Spelling was a subject I pressed Giana to improve upon and a part of my writing that I need help with (thank god for Grammerly) In second and third grade, her classes took a weekly spelling test.  One of my intentions for being my own boss, is to allow for schedule flexibility. I have time to advocate for my child and be a visible participant in her education. To hold myself to that goal, I committed to volunteering weekly in her class.  I was to administer the spelling tests to a small rotating group of her peers. It was rewarding to see their progress and have faces to go with names.  Daily after school she practiced her words, sometimes I enforced this practice with great resistance.  We made flashcards, we made up songs, and I gave her pseudo test towards the end of the week until she proved herself ready to succeed.  

Silver Beach Pizza
Silver Beach Pizza, Saint Joseph MI

Even if we had to leave for various activities, I didn’t allow Giana to socialize until she completed the homework tasks and finished her reading time. We did it already in class” she complained.  “That’s great then it won’t take very long for you to spell them out for me.”  I needed to see for myself how prepared she was or wasn’t for her test. This media mention of the spelling bee reminded me that we never watched that movie Akeelah and the Bee.  Unable to source a free version on Netflix, Hulu or the Kodi, we rented the flick from Amazon Prime.  

The Stray Dog
The Stray Dog

The Quest of Fulfillment

Both girls loved the film, and I appreciated the inspiring message it gave to go after the ambitions that frighten you, challenge you and humble you.  I will be pushing them to be brave enough to fall short, driven enough to keep trying and curious enough to step out of their comfort zones.  Both girls have asked to watch the film again. Their enthusiasm grew as they witnessed Akeelah fight for an accomplishment she didn’t think she could achieve.  Their engagement is an indication of their own willingness to be inspired. We all want evidence that our dreams are achievable and often seeing someone else step into their purpose pushes us to pursue ours.

Black Female Entrepreneurs

Two years ago, I resigned from a marketing position that allowed me to travel, paid me a high hourly rate and gave me my ideal schedule in a vibrant work atmosphere. I left to launch Laufty Life and I decided to passionately pursue my quest for fulfillment and to work solely on the things that I felt passion for; curls, travel and party planning.  I’m not an English major, I never studied marketing, and though I have every other beauty school certification, I’m not a hair stylist.  What values do I have to contribute to the natural hair conversation?  Who gives me the authority to be an expert in travel when I stay in the Carribean?  The truth is I accredited myself.

Risky Business

There is risk of exposure in sharing your narrative, there is risk in loss when investing in your dreams and there are critics who are watching and waiting for you to fall short of your ambitions.  I stay inspired by watching those that have blazed the path in front of me.  This week I honed in on Lisa Nichols.  Her message spoke to me when she said you have to lose sight of what’s logical, practical and realistic when you are setting limitless goals.  She encourages us to dream big.

New Buffalo Beach
New Buffalo Beach

When I launched the blog, I set some specific goals that seemed Laufty at the time.  

~ I wanted to become a published writer but had never written for an audience before.  I now have two published pieces; one in The Umoja Magazine and a full chapter of the book Corners Voices of Change.  

~ I hoped to find an audience (gain 5k followers) and become a paid influencer with sponsored posts.  I have now collaborated with several companies including my dream excursion the Yacht tour.

~ Hoping to inspire other female entrepreneurs I set a goal to do a speaking engagement.  I was offered a position at Madison College Center for Entrepreneurs as an entrepreneur in residence.  You can attend my workshop on Overcoming Obstacles in Business on 10/30/19.

Affirmation and Validation

I wanted to rep a line of products as a curl ambassador.  My thought was it would be good to get behind a product line I believed in.  We tried lots of products, searching for something that worked to manage my daughter’s bounty of biracial curls.  That opportunity evaded me but what did happen instead was that I gave myself permission to create and SwurlyCo was born.  I never imagined that in two years I would go from wanting to endorse a product on the blog to founding my own product line and having it showcased in Macy’s at Lenox Square.

New Buffalo Beach
New Buffalo Beach

Validation comes from within, so don’t rely on anyone to dictate your path, your goals or your limits.  I tell you this like I tell my daughters, let the voices in your head and in your heart, be louder than the voices of your critics.

Feed My Soul

It is not all rainbows and unicorns, these dreams keep me up at night and there are roadblocks at every turn.  Still, I am working solely on the things that feed my soul.  I’m living in creative development, I’m investing in my dreams and I’m teaching my girls to validate themselves.  They can do anything they are willing to passionately pursue. 

Whirlpool Compass Fountain
Whirlpool Compass Fountain

This post was supposed to be about the places we loved on our visit to Michigan in Saint Joseph, New Buffalo, and Brigman, but my internal GPS and the writing took us elsewhere. Writing concisely is my next goal so enjoy these vacation pictures with links to our best of MI.

Saint Joseph MI
Saint Joseph MI

Thank you for all your likes, thank you for your encouragement, thank you for reading my thoughts and thank you for Living Laufty!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Susie Garcia