• Tips for Making and Building a Strong Support Network of Friends

    Support Network of Friends mommyrandr valerie pierre

    When it comes to life, having a strong support network of friends helps make everything a little easier to tolerate. Many people say you’re the company that you keep, but what if you’re struggling trying to find company. It ain’t easy to make friends as an adult. So that begs the question, how does build a network of friends to ensure you always have people surrounding you who care about your well being?!

    The easy and hard answer is, you gotta get your ass out there. Getting out there may sound easy but it’s definitely a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. So how do you get out there? You can start small by attending meetups with other moms at your kid’s school or other local mom groups. Search for local events that speak to your spirit. There’s nothing wrong with going to an event alone as you never know who you’re gonna meet. If going out is too much you can join online Facebook groups. I’m a member of a number of local Brooklyn mom/women’s groups. You can also find virtual friends through activities clubs or groups which will ensure you’re meeting like-minded people who have a common interest with you.

    But before you get out there you need to do a few other things to make sure your support network of friends will be solid.

    Determine What You Need

    Before you even get out there you need to determine what you’ll need from your new group of friends. Perhaps you’re going through trauma, recovering from something major or just want to know you have people by your side no matter what life throws at you.

    Make time to develop your new friendships

    Now that you’ve met new people you need to make the time to develop these new relationships. No one likes or wants a friend who’s always missing in action, especially one they’ve just met. You have to show people you’re genuine and truly care about them. Make the time to send words of encouragement to start off the day, ask them how they’re doing or follow up on how a presentation or a meeting went. Showing people you actually care goes a very long way.

    Don’t force relationships

    No one wants to be in a forced friendship. If you don’t feel a connection with someone after hanging out a few times that’s okay. Remember, you’re not gonna mesh with everyone you meet. Don’t give up so easily. Keeping putting yourself out there cause remember the glue that holds solid friendships together is being into people who will be into you.

    Support Network of Friends mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Listen to your friends

    The relationships you’re trying to build aren’t one-sided. These people aren’t here just for you to dump your problems on. The key to stable long-lasting friendship is listening to others as they listen to you. Hear them in their time of need and share with them practical solutions to their problems. This is how relationships work.

    Reconnect with your current/old friends

    I know this is about making new friends but if you have friends whom you haven’t connected with in a long time reaching out to them is like starting all over again. Talk and be honest about what may have caused a breakdown in communication and try to work through it. Maybe you were a bad friend, and they didn’t know how to tell you or maybe they said something that offended you. Now is the time to air out your grievances and work towards a solution to try and mend the friendship, if it can be mended. It will be hard and it will feel awkward as hell but if the goal is to have your old friend back then it’s worth it.

    Bring your friends together

    Now that you’ve determined who will be a part of your strong support network of friends, it’s time to bring everyone together so that you all can meet each other. Hosting some sort of dinner or happy hour with this support network of friends will help build the bond between all of you so that you all can be a positive part of each other’s life.

    I hope these tips will ensure that you have a strong support network of friends to be there, by your side through the ups and downs in life.
  • Confession: I’ve Been a Bad Friend. Here’s How I’m Working to Fix That

    bad friend valerie pierre mommyrandr

    I have a confession to make – I’ve been a bad friend. This is really embarrassing to admit cause I like to think of myself as someone who cares about my friends. So it was quite the shock to me when I started to feel left out when my friends would hang out. I would be home in my pj’s trolling social and see them all dressed up having a blast and I would think, why didn’t I get invited? After a while, I allowed my wonder, anger, and disappointment to take control and convince me it was them and not me.

    This is where I fucked up, cause the problem was me. It had always been me and I was oblivious to that shit. You see, my problem was that I was always on my phone. Like, nonstop. As a blogger, my phone is attached my palm like secondary growth and my laptop is never too far away. While my friends and I would be out my phone would chime away. They would always find my head down thumbs typing as they spoke. The straw that broke the camels back was when one friend really needed me during a devastating time I was unavailable to her despite standing right next to her. I was offering condolences while composing witty tweets. To say I was a self-absorbed bitch is truly an understatement. My actions that day were gross and I will always regret them.

    As I reflect back this is when my friendship with this group of women deteriorated. So you see, it shouldn’t have been a shock that I wasn’t included in their outings or that the group chat didn’t include me in it. I had my head so far up my own ass in my own shit that I lost care and concern for the shit my friends were going through. This is how you know you’re being a bad friend. But, I didn’t want to be that person any longer. These were long vested friendships and there was one thing I knew I had to do, fix what I broke.

    What are the steps to fixing broken friendships?

    bad friend valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Reach out. Despite how much I didn’t wanna make the first move I knew that I had to be the one. I sent a text asking to meet up and waited to see what the response would be. If they wanted to go great and if not then I would have to accept that. And by accept, I mean I would think of other means to try and build back the trust that was lost. They accepted.

    Meet face to face. Talking on the phone or texting is easy but when you’re trying to mend a relationship its best to meet in person. You want to be able to look into each other’s eyes as everyone shares the anger, sadness, and pain they’ve been feeling.

    Show emotion. This wasn’t a day for keeping my emotions locked up, which I often do. These women were my friends for 20+ years and they’ve never seen me shed a tear. How crazy is that? But on this day I uncontrollably wept on my friend’s shoulder as soon as I saw her. I think they appreciated seeing me with my guard fully down. It let them know Val isn’t a robot after all.

    Take responsibility.  This is not the time for excuses, not that I had any. I acted pretty badly and now was the time to own up to that. I laid out all my fuckery and how it took me a while to recognize how my actions, no matter how well intended were ultimately hurt their feelings.

    Listen. I sat and listened as each shared how my actions made them feel. There was no debating their feelings. The point was to digest and process their words and pain so I don’t hurt them again.

    Be truly sorry. If I wasn’t going to be truly apologetic for hurting the people I care about then I had no business reaching out.

    The night of our reunion was a long meaningful one. There were hugs and tears, but most of all forgiveness.

    How are we moving forward from almost falling apart?

    Communication. Talk and listen. We chat a few times a week via group chat. There are meme shares to keep the laughter going and convos about how everyone is doing. Open and honest lines of communication are truly the only way to move forward.

    Be present. While we were out I was not on my phone. I’m sure that was a shock to them. I only pulled it out to talk to Jeff about when I was coming home. I was fully engaged and in the moment which is how it ought to be. Nothing is that important where I need to work as often as I was.

    It’s been about three months since we’ve started the process of getting back to where we once were. It’s not an easy road, not that I expected it to be. I personally feel an awkwardness that never once existed, but those are the breaks when you fuck up and gotta earn your place back into the circle of trust. But, I know time heals wounds and there’ll come a time where the awkwardness will fade and this moment, while a low point in our relationship will only be a blip in a long list of happy memories.

    Have you ever been a bad friend at one point or another? Any friendships that were on the brink of ending but you came together to work it out? Or are you going through a difficult moment now and you don’t know what to do? Share in the comments.
  • #MCM: Women Are Joining ‘Beard Game Matters’ Facebook Group To Salivate Over Men With Beards!

    beard game matters

    My Friday started out as any other day when a Huff Post article caught my attention. It was about a Facebook group called, Beard Game Matters created by Mike McMillan that is dedicated to the appreciation of men’s beards.

    Beards you say?

    As someone who can appreciate finely coiffed facial hair I immediately requested to join. The 10 minutes I waited felt like ages. When I finally got in I felt like the gates of heaven had opened up. These men were beautiful. This is no exaggeration. Which is why the group has since gone viral.

    When I first joined the group was already at 190+k and by the time Sunday afternoon had rolled around the group had swelled to over 530+k!!! Errybody and they mama and even grandmama was joining simply to partake in bearded eye candy.

    So, how fine are the men in Beard Game Matters? This fine…

    Photo Credit: Tim Cleveland (with permission).

    Y’all see Tim?

    His image was the first one that greeted me upon group entry. He wanted to know which beard looked better. I couldn’t answer him cause all my knees could do was buckle like a damn belt. And to (finally) answer Tim’s question….both boo. Both are beautiful on you.

    And this is just a taste…a TASTE.

    I spent all Friday in this group. I never spent so much time in one place on Facebook in all the years I been on there. My own page has never gotten this much attention. I couldn’t help myself. The images were flowing nonstop one after the other.

    beard game matters
    Photo Credit: Afsheen Bahrehmand‎ (with permission).

    Look at Afsheen. Look at him. A sin to look this good.

    And to think there’s more of that in there, which makes it so easy to not notice the hours fly by. One scroll turns to two, two to four and the next thing you know BOOM it’s bedtime. I’m glad I wasn’t the only woman who fell into the trap of this group.

    beard game matters

    This group is like a real life Ben & Jerry’s. So whether you join to ???? for pure entertainment or looking for  ???? since cuffing season is coming, there is truly a flavor for everyone.

    So why should you join? Why shouldn’t you? Shit. It’s got hot men with facial hair. I assure you, you don’t need any other reason other than that. So here’s the link….. Beard Game Matters for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome. And don’t say I didn’t warn you. Tell your friends. Sharing IS caring.

    *Update: Because the group has gone viral Mike has officially launched a dating website Beard Game But now I think about it, what if that was his plan all along? Get women hot and bothered for his start-up bearded men singles site.

    [bctt tweet=”Wanna drool over hot men w/beards? Join #BeardGameMatters on FB. It’s ? af in there. #MCM” username=”MommyRandR”]

    Are you in the #BeardGameMatters group? How long did you spend in there? Are you gonna sign up for the dating service?

    *Thank you to Tim and Afsheen for allowing me to use their images for our drooling pleasure.


    Let’s talk about sex –  You don’t have to tell me but answer to yourself. How is your sex life? Are you having it enough? Is there any interest in having it? And when you do, is it good? If you answered no to at least two of those questions then it might be time for you to spice it up a little bit.

    I cannot  tell a lie after being with my husband for almost 20 years things can get a little stale. And you know what that’s okay. It happens. With work, kids and life’s stresses sometimes it’s hard to 1. find the time, 2. have the energy and 3. really be in the moment. And by that I mean, not just going through the motions like…


    But what’s not okay is allowing it to go on without a solution. I knew if I felt this way Jeff had to be feeling the same. I knew where I needed to go in order to bring the heat back between our sheets.

    finding a solution

    babeland brooklyn

    Babeland is one of New York City’s most popular sex shops. Founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning, they opened the first Babeland store in 1993 in response to the lack of women-friendly sex shops in Seattle. Babeland offers its customers top quality products, a pleasant place to shop, and most of all provides a wealth of information and encouragement to people who want to explore their sexuality. It wasn’t too long afterward where the demand grew and led to three more stores in New York would follow, plus an educational website coupled with in-house events. It would be here where Babeland would teach me Hot Tips For Bedroom Bliss.

    Let me start of by saying, Babeland is one of the most comfortable sex shops I have ever been in – and I’ve been in a few. From the moment you walk in you are welcomed by a brightly lit store and friendly atmosphere. The ladies who work here quite knowledgeable, and coupled with the lack of judgement it makes asking questions that much easier.

    That said, it still didn’t stop me from being a little nervous about going. Would I really be the only one in Brooklyn suffering from a case of the chilly sheets? I’m not. The event was sold out. Don’t get more worried than me now. These are intimate events. There were no more than 20 people there, as we were all there for different reasons but looking to achieve the same overall goal.

    Running for an hour the class, which was totally laid back and fun, the instructor taught us the following:

    Communication is key

    If you wanna get what you’re missing from your partner then you gotta talk. It’s as simple as that. If there is something new that you would like to try then bring it up. Be clear about what you want. Repeat your partner to confirm their words. And if something is brought up that one of you is uncomfortable with then that’s fine too. They recommend coming up with a YES/NO/MAYBE List. This will help unlock self discovery between the two of you. If there is something in the maybe box then look into it further together. And respect your partners ‘no list’. Don’t force or question it.

     Additional tip: Talk about your YES/NO/Maybe List outside of the bedroom in a non-sexy environment this will remove any uncomfortable feelings you may have.

    Dirty talk

    This is taking your communication to a whole new level. Now that you’ve ironed out your list now it’s time to partake in some of it. Don’t be shy about whispering in your partners ear about what you want them to do to you. Or what they should expect once the kids are asleep. This 1. let’s your partner know it’s gonna be on an popping later and 2. (and this is key) it builds excitement. That bedtime routine and get those dishes done a little bit faster if you knew what was in store for later on.

    Additional tip: Tips on how to talk dirty – say what you’re gonna do, then do it and finally, say what you did. That’s it! Don’t trust your voice to be sexy. Talk to yourself in the mirror until you feel more comfortable saying certain words and phrases. But if you never master your sexy voice then text it. Sending a flirty message or a picture during the day is a great starting point and just as effective with building excitement. 


    The sheets aren’t the only thing you have to warm up. Foreplay gets the party started. Use your hands, mouth, arms, face, body weight to arouse your partner. And for the love of humanity don’t just go downtown. Take the .5 cent tour of your partners body and allow them to do the same with yours. Tell them what turns you on and what doesn’t. Unless it’s a quickie enjoy reconnecting with one another’s bodies, take your time and don’t worry about the pressure of orgasm. You’re not even at the finish line so there’s plenty of time for that.

    Additional tip: Keep the rhythm. If someone likes something tell them. Your pleasure is their happiness therefore you shouldn’t feel shy about saying it.

    just do it

    Now that you’ve talked about expectation, wants and needs; built up the excitement and anticipation the last thing is to just do it.

    Remember sex shouldn’t be considered a chore. The both of you can tell when it is. Be spontaneous and do what feels right for the two of you. And if you need more help that’s okay. Babeland has a tons of events on a number of topics that take place month. CLICK HERE for a listing based on each location.

    Did these tips help me and Jeff? They did! We already knew these things but sometimes you forget and you fall into a routine that can become monotonous. But I’ve been reminded of things we haven’t done in a while, and that has most definitely allowed us to  naturally bring the sexual bliss back into our bedroom.

    FYI: Babeland provided me with a complimentary ticket to this event for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.