Hello, July!

Lately, I’ve been very attracted to the color orange. I take advantage of every opportunity to brighten my day with a splash of orange, whether its a pumpkin colored mani-pedi, an orange flavored treat or enjoying the sunrise and set from the deck outside my bedroom. I even listed orange as my favorite color on a personality quiz recently, surprising myself when I skipped over my tried-and-true favorite, red and runner up, pink. But when I looked up the psychology of the color orange, it really was no surprise at all. Orange, a combination of happy yellow and powerful red, is said to represent enthusiasm, joy, creativity, determination, rejuvenation, courage, vitality and success. Or, in other words, the very intentions I set for the summer. Every time I see the color orange, I’m reminded that my intentions are manifesting and that I’m closer to achieving my goals now than ever before.

Avon and I officially moved in together last month, completing one of many goals we set for our relationship this year. Last week, we started on our second goal: finding a relationship counselor. No, not because living together turned out worse than we imagined. We started seeing a counselor to help us prepare for the next step in our relationship: marriage. We think we know what we’re getting into, but we’re absolutely certain that we have no idea. Our goal for counseling is to have open and honest conversations about everything we know, don’t know and need to know before we get married. Sure, we know when we want to have children, but we don’t know whose family we’ll spend which holidays with. Judging by the confusion such a seemingly simple question caused, that’s something we need to discuss. The good news is, our counselor already thinks we’re on the right track. Siri, play “I Can Hear the Bells.”

By the end of this month, I will have completed the first half of my 90 day lifestyle design challenge. I’m looking forward to sharing my progress, including how Avon and I budget our money now that we share some major responsibilities, the Caribbean dance class that’s helping me rack up steps on my FitBit and the must read books that ooze Black Girl Magic from cover to cover. Here’s what else I’m looking forward to in July:

Explore CLT Neighborhood Ambassador

This just in: I’ve been selected to be an Explore CLT Neighborhood Ambassador! As a Neighborhood Ambassador, I’ll be a regular contributor on exploreclt.com and their social media sites, sharing my take on the Queen City social scene. I’ll also have opportunities to win products, gift cards and tickets to some of the most popular events in Charlotte, so expect a giveaway or two in the near future.

Essence Fest

Inspired by last summers instant hit Girls Trip, I’m meeting some of my sorority sisters in New Orleans, LA for a jam packed, star-studded weekend. It won’t be my first time to the Big Easy, but it will be my first time attending Essence Fest. There will be plenty to see and do between the conferences and expos and the all-star performances, but I would like to squeeze in some exploring around the city too.

Queen’s Fest: Charlotte Restaurant Week

How hard do you imagine it would be to convince Avon to blow our grocery budget — er, maybe just half of our grocery budget — on restaurant week? Charlotte Restaurant Week is back and with over 125 Charlotte restaurants offering three course meals at $30 or $35 over 10 days this month, I think I have a solid argument.

Ready, Set, Charlotte TV

I just discovered family vloggers on YouTube (don’t ask) and now, I’m obsessed (again, don’t ask). Watching my favorite YouTube families, like The Ellises, Kaelin and Kyrah and Nikki and Jamie, and the  recent launch of IGTV, have inspired me to give vlogging a try (as if I needed yet another distraction from blogging). Spoiler alert: much like blogging, vlogging is not as easy as it looks. Still, I’m committed to sharing at least four vlogs on our new-ish YouTube channel this month. In the meantime, tell us what kind of content you want to watch!

What are you looking forward to in July? Want to recommend an event or activity for us to see and do in Charlotte this month? Let me know in the comments below or tag #ReadySetCLT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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