Blogging about Random Thoughts, Rants, and Expressing my General Opinions

Every Wednesday evening, after Lily has gone to sleep and I finally have some quiet moments to myself, I ask the same question. What subject should I start blogging about for next week? Thus starts the laborious process of giving birth to a new blog post. That’s how I affectionately describe it because that’s what it feels like mentally.

At first I’m super excited with the idea of exploring the city and experiencing so much I can share with others, just like a couple who begins to contemplate having a baby. Just picture it! Won’t it be so wonderful! Next I go through the stages of searching, finding, and doing interesting things around the city much like women going through her 10 months of pregnancy. Did you think it was 9 months? No, it’s 10! 40 weeks = 10 months. For me it was actually 41.5 weeks.

 

Anyway, here I am simply glowing! I’m on a fantastic adventure and life is just plain amazing! Then the pains start. Uh oh! The weekend is over. Now is the time for me to buckle down, get to work, and push this blog post out. As I wheel myself into the blogging (labor) room I know what’s coming and yet I’m not ready. Come on, Kiara! Push! This post has to done by Monday night! Ugh! What did I do last week? How can I turn it into a story? Did I take enough decent photos?

Finally after hours and hours of battling through SEO, grammar checks, and photo editing I’m ready for one last push. The publish button. With sheer happiness I sit back for a moment and cherish all the hard work I just endured. As I look at my brand new beautiful blog post a sense of pride washes over me. I did it! Here’s my wonderful new story for the world to see. Then, as with all parents who have a slight degree of insanity, I think, “How about going on another adventure?” So the cycle begins again.

Back to what I was talking about at the beginning. Every Wednesday I start to think about what my next blog post will be about. This week I had nothing. Not exactly nothing. I did plenty. I just had nothing I wanted to write about. If you were hoping this story would be about my latest adventure simply head over to My City Adventures on Instagram. That’s where I share all our explorations everyday. While you’re there hit that good old follow button! 👍

When I got serious about blogging the focus of my several of my first posts was restaurant reviews. In trying to describe the foods I ate with more words than delicious and tasty I searched online for synonyms. These are my favorites. Ambrosial. Delectable. Gratifying. Luscious. Mouth-watering. Nectarous. Palatable. Piquant. Sapid. Scrumptious. Toothsome. I must use those words more often. Or rather, I should utilize such vernacular in my vocabulary at a greater frequency. See what I did there?

Please excuse me now. This exhausted mama of 133 is about to birth 134. Thank you for reading! Did you enjoy my random thoughts on blogging? Subscribe to My City Adventures so you won’t miss next Monday’s post. I’m sure you’ll find it most toothsome!

Don't Await It Create It is a leadership retreat which focuses on providing tools for women to invest in themselves for a more authentic work life.

Don’t Await It, Create It Women’s Retreat for Successful Life and Leadership Skills

Don’t Await It Create It is a leadership retreat which focuses on providing tools for women to invest in themselves for a more authentic work life. The retreat takes place March 24-26, 2017 at the Hotel Sorella on the Country Club Plaza. During the three-day event attendees will receive intimate training, coaching, learning, and reflection to plan personal, effective leadership strategies for their careers and lives.

Don't Await It Create It is a leadership retreat which focuses on providing tools for women to invest in themselves for a more authentic work life.

The Don’t Await, Create It retreat is for women who are ready to take the next step in their personal or professional leadership journeys. Now is the time to stop looking to others for permission to shine! The world needs strong, bold, beautiful women to share their authentic leadership from the inside out. This is for you if you want success AND a life you love but you often feel overwhelmed and undervalued. This is for you if you feel stressed and isolated with too much to do and too many people to please with no clear path forward.

What Can You Expect from Don’t Await It Create It?

The structure of Don’t Await It Create It is around the Planning for Results process to craft a plan for you to have the most productive year of your life. By day three, you’ll be able to clearly express what you will be accomplishing within 30 days of this retreat. You’ll have chances to build relationships with other creative successful women. You’ll learn new skills in resilient leadership, presence, and persuasion.

Goals of Don’t Await It, Create It:

Don't Await It Create It is a leadership retreat which focuses on providing tools for women to invest in themselves for a more authentic work life.

  • A clear vision for your work and your life
  • A concrete actionable plan for achieving your most important goals
  • A list of resources that you can carry out immediately
  • New communication skills to become a team builder and leader
  • Knowledge about your leadership strengths and how to put them to use
  • Specific strategies to battle fatigue and burn out
  • A new network of colleagues, and a mediated group follow-up process for the year following Don’t Await It Create It.
  • The Create It Construct, and an exclusive planner valued at $75

What Makes Don’t Await It Create It Different?

You may have attended leadership events that were bombastic OR lacking content for tangible results. Don’t Await It Create It is different. Their mission is to help you define, measure, and celebrate success YOUR way. You will come away from this retreat knowing what to do next.

Don’t Await It Create It pieces together eight training and coaching modules in two-hour sessions along with plenty of time for reflection and review. Registration is $397 with My City Adventures promo code: KC365. In addition to the transformational Don’t Await It, Create It content, registration includes two breakfasts, a lunch, and two receptions. This event is an investment in yourself that will pay dividends for years to come. Visit DontAwaitCreate.com to register.

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

Increase Your Blog Income with Book Wright

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, sponsored by Blurb’s BookWright. It contains affiliate links featuring products I think you’ll love. I will also receive compensation from any purchases made from clicking through these links. Thank you for supporting My City Adventures.

What is BookWright?

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

Just in case you don’t know what BookWright is, I’ll explain. It’s a free desktop software you can use to create beautiful books, magazines, and ebooks. The software contains high quality design templates found in the most popular books and layouts to start fresh with your own ideas. There are also videos, instructions, and tips built right into the application so you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips. Once your project is finished, one file makes print ready books, ebooks, and PDF output. BookWright also has printers with a custom built color profile to produce your book at the best quality.

How Can I Make Money from BookWright as a Blogger?

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

Blurb has created an exciting feature that is a game changer for bloggers! You can now use their new blog import tool in BookWright to turn digital content (such as your fantastic website) into a beautiful book. This new feature accepts just about any blog building tool, including Blogger, Squarespace, and WordPress to name a few. It easily pulls text and images directly into any project you want to create.

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

I’m sure that you as a blogger always work hard to do what you love and earn a living while doing it. Right? Well, with the help of BookWright you can convert blog pages into your own ready to print layouts. This new tool is a great opportunity to create a revenue stream from content you already have by making a digital or print book to sell. This is also a great opportunity to increase your brand. Hey, all you food bloggers out there! Imagine taking your most delicious blog posts and converting them into a one of a kind cookbook. Or if you’re a fashion blogger, creating a collection of your best outfits for a highly stylized look book.

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

Here’s how it works. First, download and install BookWright on your desktop computer. Next, start a new book project in your desired size and format. After that click on the site import icon inside the software. This will pull up a series of prompts to take content from any public website. Finally, get ready to let your creative juices flow! Find your content under the text files and photos tabs. Then choose from read page layouts or create your own. Last, auto create your book, or drag-and-drop to place content in layouts.

Blurb believes in the power of books: making, reading, sharing and selling them. Learn how their new BookWright tool can increase your blog income.

BookWright is an amazing tool to create your self published works. To learn more, please visit www.blurb.com/blurbbookwright. Thank you for reading!

What God taught me in 2016 is that faith in Him brings light to the darkest of days. Here's how God's extraordinary love and grace carried me through 2016. - Kiara Watts, My City Adventures

How God Carried Me Through 2016 with Extraordinary Love and Grace

Cheers to 2017! Also, as of January 1st, I’ve been a blogger for three years! Everyday I am so amazed and excited at all the richness that blogging brings to my life. What amazes me even more is how blessed I am, by God, to do what I love. Last year was full of growth, challenges, love, and lots of beautiful moments. It seems like a cliché to say that 2016 had its ups and downs, but it did. However, with the roller coaster that it was, I learned that faith in God can bring light on the darkest of days. Here’s how God’s extraordinary love and grace carried me through 2016.

Out with the Old

The year started off with me seeking a new church to call home. After moving across town in 2014, it became a struggle to keep up regular attendance at my former church. I choose to use public transportation so the commute was increasingly hard to keep up. Sadly I realized it was time to move on. Leaving the church I loved and all the meaningful relationships I had formed with fellow brothers and sisters in God was heartbreaking. The time I spent there was a groundbreaking part of my life as a bible based follower of Jesus Christ. I miss them.

Without the security blanket of constant love and fellowship from my old church, feelings of loneliness, resentment, and anger began to form. Loneliness because I needed people in my life who I felt truly loved and cared about me but had lost that. Anger because I thought that it should have been easier to keep up those connections when it wasn’t. Resentment because of the season of life I was in at the time which caused to have to move. In 2014, I separated from my husband of four years.

Terry and I got married in 2010. The foundation for our marriage wasn’t as good and strong as it should have been but we managed to make it work. I gave birth to Lilyanna in 2012, which, as it should have, completely changed my life. And my way of thinking. Terry and I both had fierce tempers. Our arguments were mentally and physically abusive. Eventually we sought counseling and things got better. But not for long. After Lily was born I began to think about how I conducted myself as a woman, wife, and mother would affect her.

Then, with the fighting already too much to handle, Terry told me he had cheated on me. This revelation left me devastated. We ended up separating that spring. It just so happened that the lease for the house we were living in was also set to end that summer. At the time I was a stay at home wife and mother. I had no income of my own. I no longer had a husband to support me. And soon I and my daughter would have no place to live.

Finding Comfort in the Word of God

Matthew 6:31-33. Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Those words had never rang truer for me. My church family really came through during that extremely difficult time. They rallied behind me, helped me get a job, provided counseling, and were just plain and simple a wonderful support system. Not to say that I didn’t worry because I did. But God certainly used all that to show me that everything in my life works according to His will and in His time. I started my new job just in time to afford a deposit and first month’s rent. In August of 2014, I became a full-time working mom with a job outside of the home for the first time in a little over two years. 

Fast forward to 2015. After several months of still being married yet living life as a single parent I learned a few things. I learned that the fear of being stigmatized as a “divorced Christian” was not worth the trauma I had subjected myself to. I learned that in order for me to really be committed to having a successful marriage I would have to let go of demanding that things go my way. (This may seem like a forgone conclusion but you’d be surprised at the things that being married will show about your natural inclinations.)

I learned that through God, I can do amazing things. I went into marriage with the belief that I would fight and stick it out, no matter what. Marriage is for life. Period. However, as I grew a woman, I realized that the circumstances rendered me unable to thrive as the wife and mother. I know I could have stayed. God had certainly given me enough strength to endure. But what existence would it have been to merely survive being married? Instead, I had to let go of my ideals of what marriage should look like and trust God in leaving a broken and abusive relationship. I had to trust God that I would be okay even though I had no idea how.

Starting a New Chapter

I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I got plenty of experience at learning the art of contentment with where I was in life. Not just content, as in satisfied, but happy. Back then, I felt as though I shouldn’t feel happiness considering what I was going through. Being Happy is still a situational juxtaposition I grapple with at times. But I didn’t wallow in self-pity. Instead I sought the good out of my circumstances. I found joy and peace in living in a home where I was safe. My daughter now had a mother who was able to live out the best her possible everyday. I continued to take pride and excitement in my hometown.

Thankfully I had moved to a wonderful neighborhood in which I slowly began to grow new roots. For the first time in my life, I became friends with my neighbors! And I found a new church body of believers. Most important of all, I received continuous lessons in trusting God for everything that I needed.

The change of atmosphere in my home was immediate. The air of tension and anxiety was gone. My focus shifted from being ready for whatever battle might arise to enjoying my home life. Lilyanna may not have known exactly what was going on between Terry and me but I could tell she noticed the change too. She adjusted well to life without a two parent household. Our relationship as mother and daughter was also refined as I became the sole provider of the household. Being responsible for the first and most important example Lilyanna has of womanhood is something I take quite seriously.

Terry and I managed to get on good terms with each other for Lilyanna’s sake. Which was and is a huge blessing. I was also in counseling for guidance on this transitional phase. On one hand, divorce was a serious consideration. On the other hand, reconciliation with my husband wasn’t out of the question. My former beliefs on an ideal marriage still had a strong place in my heart. After time in prayer and meditation, bible studies, and counsel; I reconnected with my husband.

Change Is Good

Unfortunately neither of us could have foreseen how much we would change and grow in opposite directions during our time apart. I wasn’t the same person as a year earlier. I had come to a place in which I knew that my life could still be meaningful, valid, and fruitful without the coveted titles that society made me believe I should work to keep. Wife. Stay at Home Mother. I knew that God wouldn’t cast me away if I wasn’t married to Terry. Our life as husband and wife went downhill once again. The old yet familiar destructive patterns resurfaced and I discovered he had been unfaithful again. The difference this time was that there would be no period of reconciling our marriage. I am no longer the kind of woman who will accept being abused, cheated on, and undervalued.

Throughout my days of being a blogger I have always loved sharing my stories of adventures in Kansas City. Hence, the name Kiara Loves KC. However I began to long for exploration outside of the norm. Halfway through 2016, I started thinking of ways I could join writing about other cities and places with a blog dedicated to Kansas City. The answer was I could but it wouldn’t make much sense. In November of 2016, I re-branded as My City Adventures.

Blogging is a great passion of mine but it isn’t always easy. I sometimes struggle with comparing my blogging to someone else’s who I admire. But again, as with many areas of my life, I have learned that I am enough. There are and will always be bloggers who could be deemed better than me. I can’t blog with them in mind. Comparing myself to others won’t do anything except cause me to downgrade my ability as a writer and photographer. All I can do is produce the best work I possibly can.

One fact remained constant in 2016. My life would not be what it is without God. In all the good, bad, and ugly that transpired God showed me that my life is in His control. I am so appreciative of who I am and how God is transforming me. I love the new friendships that are forming at my new church. I’m grateful for the relationship Lilyanna has with her father and I cherish every single special moment I have with her. The opportunities that blogging and photography will bring in 2017 are thrilling. Through God’s amazing love and grace I can and will thrive!

Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to My City Adventures for adventure stories, special giveaways, and more!

Welcome to My City Adventures. I'm Kiara Watts and my daughter is Lilyanna Watts. My City Adventures is about our explorations as we live our everyday life.

Welcome to My City Adventures!

Greetings, fellow explorer! Welcome to My City Adventures. I’m Kiara Watts and my daughter is Lilyanna Watts. My City Adventures is about our explorations as we live our everyday life. Below are examples of what you’ll read about here.

  • special events like festivals, performing arts, and concerts
  • reviews of delicious restaurants
  • my tales of being a parent
  • how I navigate being Black in America
  • stories of people we meet
  • historic landmarks and city attractions
  • fun discoveries from our “walking tours”
  • blogging tips and tricks that work for me
  • how faith in God shapes our days

Greetings, fellow explorer! Welcome to My City Adventures. I'm Kiara Watts and my daughter is Lilyanna Watts. My City Adventures is about our explorations as we live our everyday life.

The foundation for My City Adventures was laid early in my childhood. My mother frequently traveled for work and would often take my younger sister and me with her. Seeing so many places and cultures was such a thrilling part of growing up. With my sense of adventure already developing, I began seeking ways to express myself creatively. I started writing short stories, taking photographs, and even painting. Although, my painting is another creature, entirely. As you can see, My City Adventures features my stories and photography. Not my paintings.

Everyone you ask will say that having children will change your life. And everyone is right. Once Lilyanna was born in 2012, my eyes were opened to what it is to raise a child in the (urban) city. I searched for activities and events that could be considered more “kid friendly”. What I found was a ton of awesome ways to experience my hometown and beyond in a new light. Each day I am amazed at the things/places/people we encounter simply by looking for stuff that I think Lilyanna will like and I will enjoy as well.

Lilyanna Watts about me photo for My City Adventures

Lilyanna is such a wonderful, sassy, beautiful, intelligent little girl to be around. I definitely give credit to part of what makes her so special to the environment where she’s being raised. There is something undeniably unique about life in the city, in comparison to living in the suburbs, or country. Even at four years old, Lilyanna has a certain awareness to how the world around her works that I didn’t have when I grew up in suburban Raytown, MO.

Inspiration for My City Adventures comes from some of my favorite bible verses, Philippians 4:10-13. Through all the blessings that God has brought me I have learned to love where I am from (Kansas City, MO) and appreciate what other cities have to offer. All in a way that I’m able to glorify God. I hope you enjoy My City Adventures! Also, don’t be a stranger. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@MyCityAdventures).

My City Adventures is about the stories of me, Kiara Watts, and my daughter, Lilyanna Watts as we explore in our everyday life.