Ole’ Man Winter is Coming…..4 Budget Friendly Simple Winter Car Care Tips

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Ole’ Man Winter is Coming…..4 Budget Friendly Simple Winter Car Care Tips

Are you that driver that panics when any light on your dashboard of your vehicle comes on?

As the fierce winter weather is progressively approaches, making sure your vehicle is prepared for the unknown can make for a better winter season and prevent the panic attacks.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the winter of 2016–2017, we can expect temperatures to be much colder than last winter but still above normal.

We all depend on our car to get back and forth to work, chauffeur our children to their extracurricular activities, and take family trips. Therefore, it is best to keep up with the routine preventative maintenance of your car.

Owning a car can be expensive, however, it can become very expensive when the routine preventive maintenance is neglected.

According to the Tony Molla, Vice President of Communications at National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, “regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gasoline mileage, reduce pollution, and catch minor problems before they become big headaches.”

When the lights on the dashboard of your vehicle come on, do you call a mechanic?

It is a daunting task to get car repairs.

Do you feel that the auto mechanics, which are typically men, are always trying to get over on you.?

Do you find it hard to trust auto mechanics?

According to new study by AutoMD.com, women would rather go to the dentist than the auto repair service center.

In addition, at AutoMD.com they indicated that a whopping 83% of those surveyed say they have “felt” overcharged for vehicle service at the repair shop or dealership, a number that has remained stubbornly high over the past four years: in 2010, it was 88% and in 2012 85%.

How do you get over the feeling of being overcharged?

Well, knowledge is power!

Learn about the basic routine maintenance of your vehicle.

Bargain shop.

Ask questions.

Be willing to assert your authority as a consumer and walk away when you don’t feel confident about the services.

Vehicles repair cost can sink any budget. Knowing to routine maintenance of your vehicle can minimize some of your financial strain of repairing cost.

Here are 4 ways to keep your budget a float:

  1. Read your car manual – knowing what those pretty lights mean on the dashboard is very helpful. When you know what the lights mean it could save you time and money. Just recently, my tire pressure light came on. I immediately went to the tire shop. The auto mechanic checked the pressure in my tires. One of the tires pressure was below the range. He put some air in the tire for me. Once I realized how simple it was, I have not gone back.

 

  1. Routine Oil Changes– I have a 2013 model car and it requires that I get an oil change every 10,000 miles. When I get an oil change they put a sticker on my windshield and my maintenance required light comes on. Based on January 2014 data from AutoMD.com, routine oil changes cost on average $120. Oil changes help keep your engine clean. Skipping on routine oil changes can cause your engine to malfunction and cost you on average $4000 to replace your engine.

 

  1. Replace the Air Filter– having a clean air filter can improve gas mileage. According to CarsDirect.com, for each gallon of fuel the engine burns, it requires up to 10,000 gallons of clean air, therefore, the air filter is important to helping the engine work properly. When the air filter is dirty there will be a decrease in gas mileage, which means that you will be at the gas pump more. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like visiting the gas station frequently. Changing the air filter is easy and cheap, I have changed my air filter. I went to my local auto retail store and told them the make and model of my car and I paid no more than $17 including tax or check your owner’s manual. I searched on YouTube how to change the air filter for my make and model and I did it. My dealership wanted to charge me $75 for labor and $19 for parts for a total of $94. I saved $77. Also, if you are not comfortable with changing it ask the salesperson to change it for you, they are happy to help. Majority of the salesperson at the auto retail stores are auto mechanics by trade.

 

  1. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades – ice, slush, and salt go hand in hand with winter. All or one of them will be on the windshield of your car this winter. Using the same windshield wiper blades from the summer for the winter is not safe. The heat can damage the rubber on the blades. Therefore, replacing your windshield wiper blades before winter will be wise. In addition, the grit and salt used in cold climates can wear out the rubber on the wiper blades quickly, according to Autos.com and it would be best to start the winter with some new wiper blades. Replacing the wiper blades is simple and something you can do yourself. You can purchase the blades at the local auto retail store or retail store auto department. At the auto retail store, tell the salesperson the make and model of your car and they will get you the correct wiper blades. If you go to your local retail store auto department, they have a book and/or computer device to help you find it or check your owner manual. I have changed my windshield wipers myself. The package that the blades come it has pictures for each step on how to change them. It was done in less than 15 minutes. I spent on average $20.

How much money have you spent on routine maintenance that you could have done yourself?

Have you ignored any of these 4 simple steps?

Which one of these 4 simple steps will you do yourself?

Be Blessed,

Tawanna

 

 

Wimp or a Winner? Which one are you?

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We all have a “story.”

Some stories of a horrible family upbringing, horrific situations that happened beyond our control, or being bullied as a child.

Have you ever told your “story” as a way to receive sympathy?

Have you used your “story” as an excuse for your behavior?

Did you get gratification from the validation of the others when they heard your “story?”

I have to be transparent, I have told my “story” to people to feel the sympathy and receive the validation I needed to excuse my inappropriate behavior.

Yes, I was raised in a dysfunctional family, but I have learned that I can longer allow my past to define my future. I learned to take responsibility for my actions and stop blaming my family upbringing on my dysfunctional situation.

Victims are powerless. I was powerless and I wanted to be POWERFUL and in control of my life!

Please understand that I am very sensitive to situations that have happened and were out of peoples control. Some so unfortunate that they stick in your mind, causing emotions to arise beyond understanding. That pain is real and true; I know it all so well.

I also know the sweet feeling of making peace with my past. Making peace with my past has been a journey. A journey that is sometimes lonely and dark. It requires me to face some situations I had buried 6ft deep. Yet, I know and believe that making peace with my past is necessary for me to remain powerful and create the life that I deserve.

It was easy being the wimp. I was stuck in my own pity party. Sharing my “story” stroked my ego. I felt validated for being bitter, anger and resentful.

It was not easy changing from my wimpy mindset to a winner mindset.

Changing your mind is one that takes you intentionally being willing to look in the mirror and acknowledge what happened to you.

Yes, you were molested. Yes, you were raped. Yes, your husband cheated on me. Yes, your mother and/or father beat you. Yes, they bullied you.

Now that we have acknowledged what happened to you, you can move on to speaking who you are.

That horrible situation did happen to you, but that is not who you are!

YOU ARE UNIQUE! YOU ARE CREATIVE! YOU ARE TRIUMPHANT!

Being a wimp should be a temporary state of mind, some people have allowed the wimpy mentality to become their permanent way of thinking.

A person with a wimpy mindset:

  • Blame others
  • Have a negative perception of the future
  • Believes that everyone else is the problem beside themselves
  • Unable to adapt to adversity
  • Believe the world is against them
  • Constantly worrying about the future
  • Drifts along in life with lack of direction
  • Have negative inner chatter
  • Always take the easy route
  • Feels trapped by life

A person with a WINNER mindset:

  • Are quick to recognize their wrongs and apologize
  • Cheerful and positive about life
  • Maintain a teachable attitude
  • Always seeking opportunities for personal development
  • Face challenges head on
  • Plan for the future
  • Have a clear focus on what they want and how they will get it
  • Have powerful inner conversations
  • Take the road less traveled
  • Happy with their life

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

You have the strength, courage and wisdom inside of you to become whatever you choose to be.

What is your story?

What can you do to change your story from you being the wimp to the WINNER?

Journal your wimp “story” and allow the tears to flow.

Then write your WINNER “story” read it as often as  you need allowing your WINNER mindest to manifest!

Be Blessed,

Tawanna

Recovery from Depression is Probable………4 Essential Steps to Overcome the Darkness of Depression

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Depression is not about being sad. You can’t just snap out of depression. Depression consumes your mind and takes over your life. It is silent and sneaks into your life giving you a feeling of hopelessness, desperation, doubt, shame, and loneliness.

Depression does not come with warning signs. It stalks you every single day. Hovering over your mind turning everything black and leaving you to die. Depression puts you in a black hole. It is a consistent darkness despite a sunny forecast.

Depression is strong, it comes focused on taking your joy, your faith, and your hope. It has no mercy. It is very selfish and determined to succeed. It lurks in the background waiting for that prime opportunity to attack; the death of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a job, failing health, unrealized dreams.

Depression does not discriminate, it has no preference, young, old, rich, poor, black white, Mexican, Indian, Arab, etc.

Depression has no boundaries. It is constantly with you, attacking your family, finances, dreams, health and mind. It allows you to sleep all day, never wanting to face reality. Taking showers and eating are optional.

Depression sucks the life out of you, forcing you to surrender the activities you enjoy. Drowning you with guilt and fear.

Depression feeds the lies you tell yourself; I will never get out of debt, my life sucks, it was all his/her fault, I am so ugly no one will ever marry me, I will not be happy without them, they don’t understand or care about me, nobody loves me.

Depression will make you mute, unable to articulate your feelings and thoughts. Silencing the cry for help forcing some to die by suicide.

Depression ambushes you! Consuming every thought coercing you to live life filled with regrets constantly replaying the past, no hope for the future and ignoring the present.

Depression becomes your best friend!

Depression was my best friend. I had lost my zeal for life. I was just surviving.

Wake up late, get dressed, drop off my son and daughter, work, pick up my son and daughter, feed them, put on my pajamas, and sit on the couch!

That was my routine. I laid dormant for 2 years.

My heart was filled with bitterness, anger and resentment.

There I was, 35 years old, divorced twice, and a single mom.

This was not supposed to happen to me. I had dreams of becoming a successful business woman, marrying the man of my dreams, with the big house, two cars, two children and a dog.

My mind became stuck in the reality of where I was and where I thought I should have been.

My mind constantly played the painful past of my marriages like a movie trailer.

I would awake every morning hoping for the director to scream, CUT!

Yet, I faced shame, regret, and defeat every day.

One day my life was too heavy to carry and my mind shut down!

I was at ground zero.

My friend found me on the street corner rocking back and forth crying.

I was at the corner of broken and desperation.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression.

After about 6 months on medication and attending my weekly psychiatrist visit, I asked my doctor, “how do I remove the dark cloud of depression from my life?”

He gave me a stern look and said in a fatherly tone, “Tawanna, if you can change your mind, you can change your life!”

At the moment, I realized that I had a choice in recovering from depression.

Depression was my best friend; I had become comfortable with depression.

But it was up to me to disconnect myself from our friendship!

I decided to put on my big girl combat boots, burst all the balloons from my pity party, and change my mind.

Yes! You read that correctly, “Big Girl Combat Boots!”

It was a tug-of-war trying to erase my mind of my negative thoughts.

You’ll know some of those self-sabotaging thoughts:

“I am too fat!”

“I can’t do this!

“I am afraid!

One day while at the Botanical Gardens with my children, I was mesmerized by the lotus flower.

Unfamiliar with the lotus flower, I Googled the flower and I felt an immediate connection.

The lotus flower grows through muddy murky water and blossoms unstained.

The lotus flower and I are kindred spirits. The lotus infused me with hope!

The muddy murky water was the depression; the long stem of the lotus was my ability to persevere, and the beautifully shaped petals are ME TODAY!

I matured through mud and emerged unstained!

Recovery from depression is probable, I am an example of that!

Oh, don’t get it twisted it was not easy! I like to compare my recovery to open heart surgery with no anesthesia.

These 4 actions were essential to my recovery:

  • Taking responsibility for your life
  • Creating positive affirmations
  • Journaling
  • Forgiveness

Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Taking responsibility for the mess of a life that I had created was a sweet pill to swallow. It was a sweet pill for me because I took back my personal power. I was empowered and in control of the outcome of my life.

To be honest, I was not receptive of the idea of taking responsibility of my life. I struggled with the idea for about 3 months.  When my psychiatrist presented it to me, it was like kryptonite, I would break out into sweats and get a headache.

He asked me what are you afraid of? Are you afraid that you will lose your power? Are you afraid the you will no longer be the victim?

He taught me that as long as I blamed others and played the victim I was powerless.

Stopping the blame game, removing the excuses, and taking action to change my life was my responsibility. It was not easy, but necessary.  Taking responsibility for my life has allowed me create a life filled with love, joy and peace. No longer seeking permission and living life to the beat of my own drum!

Creating Positive Affirmations

Renewing your mind is a daily process, but you have to be willing work at it. I created positive affirmation that I read to myself every morning and night. I also recorded them to my phone and listened to them while I was driving to work and at work.

Erasing my mind of my negative inner chatter was not easy. It took consistency and repetition. Like lifting weights, building a strong minds takes the same effort, if not more! You have to be determined to change and aware of what you are speaking to yourself.

Having powerful positive inner conversations energizes your mind and give you the mental strength you need to overcome life challenges. When I began creating my affirmations, they were simple affirmations that boosted my confidence:

I AM BRAVE

I AM CREATIVE

I AM PATIENT

I AM DETERMINED

I AM TRIUMPHANT

As my confidence evolved, my affirmations evolved:

I AM DESTINED TO SUCCEED

I AM BEAUTIFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE DESPITE THE SIZE OF MY WAIST LINE.

I HAVE QUALITY PEOPLE AROUND ME THAT HAVE MY BEST INTEREST AT HEART.

Journaling

Writing my affirmations lead to me journaling. I write my affirmations in my journal and read them aloud. One day while writing my affirmations, I began to write my thoughts. Journaling gave me an opportunity to release the many thoughts swimming in my minds.

Journaling allows you to dump all those thoughts in your mind, awakening clarity to solve your problems and relief stress. Journaling allowed me to learn and appreciate myself. Sometimes I read over my journals and laugh and see how far I have come. It is always good to laugh at yourself and reflect on your personal development.

As I continued on my journey of renewing my mind, I ran into a wall. I was carrying anger and malice. They reared their ugly head and hit me head on like a Mack truck; forcing me to pull my car over and release a deep soul releasing cry.

While driving to work a song came on the radio.

These are the lyrics of the song that pierced my heart.

It’ll clear the bitterness away

It can even set a prisoner free

There is no end to what it’s power can do

So, let it go and be amazed

By what you see through eyes of grace

The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

The title of the song is “Forgiveness” by Matthew West.

Forgiving the Unforgiveable

I was not willing to forgive the people that I believed that hurt me. In my mind, forgiving meant I was letting the person that betrayed me off the hook. Well, this song truly proved me wrong.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiving the people that hurt me is something that I had to intentional want to do. When I made the conscious effort to walk in forgiveness, I made the decision to forgive the people of my past, present and future.

Changing your mind and healing your heart is journey not a destination. I make daily decisions to forgive. To be honest depending on the situation forgiveness it is not always my initial thought, but eventually I come to a place of forgiveness.

As I began to forgive my ex-husbands, there were other past offenses that would come to my mind and I would have to gradually process through the pain and come to a peace of forgiveness. One of my favorite quotes by  author Amara Honeck is “forgiveness is the gift of releasing yourself from the past and unclogging your barrier of joy.’   Make a decision today to forgive so that you can be free and fully embrace the present of life.

Yes, depression was my best friends. It showed me how strong I really am, motivated me to face my fears, and gave me the courage to heal. If it was not for depression I would still be living life based on the standards of others and walking in shame.

Yes, depression, controlled my life, quieted my dreams, and magnified my fears. But my ambition to overcome depression made me stronger, encouraged me to dream bigger, and forced me to face my fears!

So I say, THANK YOU, depression for showing me that despite any challenge I am more than a conqueror. The time has come for us to part ways.  This is not goodbye this is farewell!

If you are struggling with the darkness of depression, I ask that you seek help. Reach out to a professional that will guide you and give you sound advice. Take your prescribed medication. Seek out an in-person or online support group.

In your journey of recovery, be receptive to the reality of your life and take responsibility to change your life to what you want and deserve. You have the strength within to be more and have more.

Go to the local Dollar Tree and get you a journal and start getting those thoughts out of your head. Maybe you are not ready to join a group and share your thoughts, but you can still write them down.

Start renewing your mind with positive inner conversations by creating affirmations. Speak them to yourself daily. The more you speak to yourself in a positive tone the better your days we be.

Lastly, be willing to forgive. It is not an overnight process; it is a journey. I am on the journey of forgiveness; some days I get it and some days I don’t. Just trust yourself and the process; you have the strength, courage and wisdom within to overcome!

Be Blessed,

Tawanna