Monday, April 10, 2017

Money 101 | The Pilot

Sunday, April 9, 2017 | Bowie, MD

This Sunday, my brother Ashté and I hosted a Money 101 class, intended to teach teenagers about money, banking, credit, taxes, budgeting, and investing. All of the things that should be taught in school but inexplicably aren't. We want them to know what we didn't at that age.

But let me stress: we are by no means financial advisors or certified financial planners. We are just adults who, like most of us, learned about money the hard way.  We are striving for generational wealth and financial independence and this class is just the first step.

Parents brought their 17 and 19-year-olds to the pilot class and stayed the whole time.  We talked about different ways to acquire money, both good and bad, how most people start earning by trading time for wages and how there are better ways to earn. We talked about taxes, tax brackets and exemptions. We talked about spending, saving, donating and investing. We talked about building good credit.

It was awesome. The kids listened intently and were amazed at how much goes into budgeting. They asked questions about real estate, learned how to view finances on an annual basis and side-eyed credit card companies for wanting you to only pay the minimum balance. In addition, parents were given the opportunity to share what they wish they'd learned when they were teenagers as well. Everyone learned something new!

Money 101 was initially scheduled for 2 hours but ended up lasting 3 hours because of questions asked and the time it took to complete the budgeting exercise. The kids are already asking for Money 102. 

I'm so, so, so, so happy that we were able to do this and really can't wait to do it again.  People already seem to be interested in another so I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, what do you wish you knew about money when you were a teenager?


Lordy, Lordy, Angel's 40 | Montego Bay, Jamaica | Oct 2015

Celebrating Angel's 40th Birthday in Montego Bay, Jamaica - starring Angel, her cousin Melena, her sisters Felicia and Arianne, myself, and Shinavia.

We checked into the all-inclusive Royalton Sands Resort and seriously felt like royalty from the moment we arrived. Staff addressed us as "madame" and I could've sworn at least one female staff member curtsied to me.

First stop, lunch.

The next day, at the beach. Our rooms were only steps away from the pools, which were only a few more steps from the beach.

Here are our frozen drinks, melting fast. All-inclusive resorts are notoriously stingy on the alcohol, so we constantly asked for extra rum shots to add to our mixes.

I've been on a horse before, but never in my bikini. These guys strolled along the beach offering folks a ride.

We thought it would rain at any second, but it never did.

Looks like we're gonna have a hard time leaving this resort.

Today's a poolside day, for sure.

Chrissy's here!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Nice, France | Sept 2015

After spending three days in beautiful Marrakech, April and I headed to Nice, France for the last leg of our trip.

First thing we did: headed to the beach, of course. It was absolutely gorgeous and about 84 degrees in September.


But guess what? The beach in Nice is rocky. And by "rocks", I mean huge round stones that were probably used to kill people in the bible. Walking on these things was torture. So we stayed in our beach chairs. We met this cool chick from Chicago who tastes wine for a living. You read that right. Tastes wine. And gets paid for it.

 She was kind enough to take our picture.

By the way, we had to pay to use these beach chairs and the service and attitudes were really bad. Maybe it's always like this, maybe the manager had a bad day. Who knows? I was just happy to be alive.

The next day, we caught the tram around town. [Short story: Since I don't know French, I used the kiosk and accidentally bought about $130 worth of tram tickets. I'm writing this post one full year later and I guess I'll never get my money back after incessant emails. And yes, I reported it and turned in the tram tickets before leaving Nice, which was an ordeal in itself. Ever visited Metro headquarters in Washington, DC? Do you even know where it is? Try it in a foreign country.]

Anyway, we met up with our Chicago friend to see the flea market and get lunch. She and April saw puppies, literal puppies in a window, and were mesmerized.

My henna tattoo from Marrakech from the previous day was still going strong.

The market had all kinds of goods like fresh cotton, flowers, specialty jams, and of course, pastries.

Now to the best part: The French Riviera not only includes Nice, but also Cannes, the town of Eze, and Monaco. So we were able to take a 4-hour tour and see all of them in one afternoon.

The hillside village of Eze. 

We visited the Fragonard perfume factory and learned how perfume is made, and learned the difference between "a la toilette" and "a la parfum". Do you know?

Next we went to Monaco. You can see nearly the entire country in the photos below. It's small but gorgeous. The whole country is 499 acres. And guess what Monaco is preparing for? Yacht week, of course.

Monte Carlo Casino

Where the Grand Prix is run, right on the streets of Monaco. The entire country shuts down for the race, and locals leave during this time, to avoid the crowds. 

Next, we headed to Cannes. I've always wanted to go to the Cannes Film Festival, but sadly, I've never received an invitation (the only way to attend). So this is it for me. The main strip (below) was full of high end shops, museums, and 5-star hotels. It was very, very, very fancy.

Oh and guess what? Despite being about 30 minutes from Nice, Cannes has sandy beaches! What whuuuuuut

On our last day in Nice, we ventured out for breakfast. I got a Grand Marnier crepe. This isn't quite what I expected, but I went with it.

Nice--I would certainly return to. The entire French Riviera: there's so much to see and do, and lots and lots and lots of shopping (not pictured). :)  Until next time,