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Our First Five Years in Tampa! Highlights and Lowlights

August 8, 2016

Eight means new beginning (August)
Sixteen mean love (Year)
I am confessing that today starts a new beginning that I will love.

When they say time flies, it really does. It has really been five years since we’ve move to Tampa and oh what an experience it has been for us.

We decided to move to Tampa from Atlanta so I our children could enjoy growing up with their extended family. My husband’s parents are both 1 of 10 and of course they have many many aunts, uncles and cousins. Well, five years later we’re no closer to his family than before we moved here. In the beginning, it just seems like we were trying so hard to be around them but it wasn’t being reciprocated. Have you ever had a friendship where you stopped communicating and realized that you were the one doing all the communication in the first place? That was us. We were doing the most and when we stopped trying to be “apart” of the family and get to know them better – crickets.

The blessing has been that we do live just 6 minutes from my inlaws. I’m happy that my husband is now so close to his parents and 1 hour from his brother. It’s been a great having them up the street and it’s also strengthened the relationships between them and the kids.

When we moved my babies were 3, 8 and 11. They are now 8, 13 and 16! 



  • Lived in a suite for [the first] 2 years while paying off debt. I didn’t know it would be that long.
  • Trying to make new friends as an adult can be … interesting. Some flourished, some didn’t. Life.
  • My dad died.
  • Covid
  • Finding new doctors for family and type 1. We’ve always loved the kids doctors, but ours … whew! 

I’m sure I’m missing a few things here and there but overall, it’s been a blessed experience. I miss my friends from Atlanta the most. I also miss the culture in Atlanta. Atlanta’s atmosphere is definitely unmatched. I’m just happy, that since my mom lives there, it always gives me a great reason to go back and visit.

I do not have any regrets about moving to Tampa. We actually don’t live in “Tampa” but a smaller city right outside of it. We can get to Tampa in 15 minutes without getting on the highway. We can cruise out of Tampa and because it’s a city on the water, there are always amazing things we can do on the water. It’s a beautiful city with beautiful weather and I always feel like I’m living in a vacation. I love our neighborhood and we have great neighbors.

I look forward to seeing what the next five years have in store.


My 2016 Mid Year Recap Shared through 21 Instagram Pics

disney_chewbacca dsmm

I started this year out believing it would be an amazing year. I wrote my list of things I wanted to happen and have a big smile on my face as many of those have things come to pass plus a few unexpected surprises!

First, let me share with you my post from earlier this year where I explain 6 big things I am doing for ME in 2016

  1. Consistent exercise
  2. Regular facials
  3. Saying YES to amazing Opportunities
  4. Believing 2016 will be my most successful year to date
  5. Opening myself up to more genuine friends
  6. Saying NO and not feeling guilty

Now this list above is what I was doing for ME. I had a separate list of goals which is too much to write here. However, I will share some highlights of 2016 below.

Many people do an end of the year review, but when I sit back at the mid point of 2016 – I am grateful for how this year is going. Let’s look at my year in terms of Instagram:

I brought in the year with my husband and children at church.

A photo posted by Bernetta Style (@bernettastyle) on

My birthday is not far behind New Years Eve, so I was so grateful my husband planned a dinner party with my friends! 

I launched a T-Shirt Company (One Dream Tees) and this is my best seller, but I will be selling it on a new site soon.

My first speaking opportunity in 2016 was for a Virtual Conference. 

My wish came true when my husband got me a physical trainer! I loved every minute of it! I worked with him for 4 months. #bodytight

This is a picture of my father, brother & I. We haven’t been in the same place in about 15 years. We all got together for lunch in Chicago. My dad thought he would never have that experience. 

I was a featured front runner for a local event (The Beautiful Mile) here in Atlanta supporting women of all shapes and sizes.

A photo posted by Bernetta Style (@bernettastyle) on

My second speaking opportunity for 2016 was the HerStory Empowerment.

And here comes snapchat! Do you snap? I love it! So much fun!

I met the living legend herself, MC Lyte, at the Hispanicize Conference in Miami in April. This conference was also a game changer! 

My first on screen news presentation. I spoke about how to keep your car clean on road trips.

I was featured in Ebony magazine (May Edition) on a Family Dollar ad!! 

My first article on Huffington Post was published! It was about my talk with my daughter regarding men and what’s not appropriate.

We were invited to our first Disney Social Media Moms conference! Talk about being treated like VIP! I won two big contest while I was there too! 

I met JUDY at Disney! She was an attendee at the same conference. Judy is a big deal on Youtube and she was so down to earth. She put me on her youtube channel too! Yayyy Judy!! (press play)

I was given an opportunity to be a social media correspondent for Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Success conference in Atlanta.

A photo posted by Bernetta Style (@bernettastyle) on

Oh! And I met Steve Harvey for a 2nd time!

My 3rd speaking opportunity allowed me to be on a parent panel for the season premier of Growing Up McGee with some great people.

I was given an opportunity to try alternative skin care options outside of creams and massages. I love my results. (press play)

A video posted by Bernetta Style (@bernettastyle) on

I am always open to trying new things, so we took a 2 day trip to the cabins and did some white water rafting & horseback riding.

Featured in another magazine!! July’s issue of Hype Hair for a Family Dollar ad.

My 4th and biggest speaking engagement to day was this past weekend. I was a workshop speaker for their Pay if Forward Academy. My topic was beauty from the inside out. (press play)

As I was writing this post and going through these Instagram pictures, I realized I forgot about some of these things. I also didn’t share everything.

*One other thing that happened was I received my Life Coach Certification. I am so excited about what’s to come in that area of my life. I’ve started working with clients and it’s amazing the feeling you get when you help someone go from where they are, to where they desire to be.

The first part of 2016 has been amazing, I can’t deny that. The second part of 2016, I will be living in a new state, so I am looking forward to how life will be. A new state means new friends, experiences, schools, doctors and basically everything that comes with a new move.

Outside of the move to a new state, I do have some new things coming out that I plan to share soon. So stay tuned!

How is your 2016 going so far? 

Event Recap

Cirque du Soleil KURIOS Atlanta Review


Have you ever seen a performance that left you breathless? That what the Cirque du Soleil Kurios event was like last Sunday in Atlanta.

My husband and I enjoyed this Cirque du Soleil performance but really wished our children could have experienced it.

This was a great show for the entire family.

The show involved amazing acrobats, crowd participation with humor mixed in.

The show started at 5pm and ended around 7:30pm. There were a lot of children in the audience and you could tell by the giggles, they were enjoying every minute of it.

After the show, we were able to have a one-on-one with one of the performers to find out what really happens to make the show work.

Kurios is about a mad scientist who defies the laws of physics, visuals, and perspectives.


These contortionist have been together since they were young. These ladies twisted and turned into shapes I could only dream of.



Being able to speak to one of the performers after the show really gave the show life for me. He actually had his two young sons on tour with him because his wife works for Cirque du Soleil too – she just happens to be on another tour.

  • All of the performers are required to do their own makeup, which is amazing!
  • It takes about 6 days to set up the complete show and  2 days to break it down.
  • Many of the performers are related via marriage and/or siblings. There are also many relationships that form while on tour.
  • The performers started training at a very young age with their talents but practiced for about 6 months for this particular show.

Here are some Additional Discount Links:

Step into the Cirque du Soleil experience with Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities and purchase three tickets and get one FREE!  Click here to take advantage of this offer:

Step into the Cirque du Soleil experience with Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities and purchase two tickets starting at $99. Click here to take advantage of this offer:

**Offer Disclaimers:  Offer valid on select show dates and times while supplies last.  This offer may not be combined with other offers or applied to previously purchased tickets. 


Motherhood Monday

8 Tips on How to Create a Family Motto | Motherhood Monday

Guest post by: Toiia L. Rukuni How to Create a Family Motto

A family motto is used to promote unity and focus on a mutual philosophy. Many families adopt mottos or slogans as a guiding principal. Good family mottos should be powerful, short, and clear. The slogans are usually short so young children can understand remember and to encourage good behavior and choices. I decided to introduce the concept of a family to my family at the beginning of the school year. I thought that it would be a good way to motivate everyone as we were transitioning from summer back into the school routine.


I feel that a family motto helps to motivate parents, children, and the overall mission of the family. We decided as a family that our family motto is “Get ahead or Get Left Behind,” we decided on this motto based on all the different milestones that are family began to achieve; including the first year of Elementary starting kindergarten, making career changes, my thirteen month old daughter learning how to walk and talk, eating healthy as a family, making fitness and wellness goals, and striving to communicate and pray together daily to reach our spiritual goals.

We are determined to have a family motto in our family to start a tradition and create a legacy. We use “Never give up,” as another family motto to stay motivated in all things we do and to remember to walk by faith and not by sight. I believe that these family mottos help to instill a sense of pride and purpose in my children. They help to keep us connected as a family and to know our mission for the week, year, and for life.

Choosing a Family Motto

  • Sit down with family with writing pens, and distribute them to each member of the family giving them the opportunity to share their ideas with the family.
  • Schedule a meeting that everyone can attend parents, children, grandparents if they reside with you, and close family friends that help in the daily life of your family.
  • Explain what a family motto is and its purpose. Keep it simple so the younger children can grasp the concept.
  • Give examples of commercial mottos like “Just Do it,” and “Have it your way.”
  • Write down the suggestions and ask for feedback.
  • Ask each member of the family to write their idea down on paper and share with each other verbally and on paper.
  • Once the family selects a motto, print out a few copies.
  • Use the slogan as often as possible, and agree to meet once or twice a year with the family to discuss the slogan and entertain suggestions for revision.

What is your family motto?



Toiia L. Rukuni is a writer, poet, teacher, wife, mother, entrepreneur, and community activist residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently she is working on a travel memoir about her travels to Harare, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and hopes to complete it by mid-to late 2016. Her first book of poetry “Daughter of the Diaspora Freedom from Within,” was completed in 2010.  She plans on creating an ebook of the same title. She recently started her own blog World of the Net in August 2013. She has contributed to other blogs such as Empress Chronicle and Bernetta Style. She recently received the Leibster Blog Award. She enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and practicing yoga.  In the future she plans on writing her second book of poetry and a children’s book. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with minors in English and History. She completed her Master’s degree in Family Studies and minored in African Studies.

Living Simple Product Reviews

(Pinterest Contest) Gifts + Pinning = #UPSHappy #NotABox

“This is a sponsored post with UPS and the Social Media Chicks. All opinions are my own.”

What do you like about this time of year? Is it the time you get to spend with family eating and reliving memories? Is it time off work, (as I raise my hand!)? Is it shopping for family and friends? When I shop for friends and family, I try to put a lot into the gift. I don’t necessarily mean spending tons of money, but a lot of thought behind it. I try to imagine their reaction when they open my gift. I want them to love it and think of me when they use it. Which brings me to creative shopping. I like Pinterest!

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My appearance on Iyanla Vanzants "Fix My Life!"

Iyanla fix my

June 2012 we (my granny, my mom and I) appeared as guest on the new Iyanla Vanzant show, “Fix My Life”, on the OWN network. The show was about the dynamics of my relationship with my mother & grandmother. Did you see it? What did you really think? Well I wasn’t able to view it because I was in Las Vegas with my husband on a business trip, but believe me I got the calls, text, fb, twitter and more! I went online when I got back to the resort but they still didn’t have the show on in it’s entirety. I was able to see about 5 clips. I then went to Iyanla’s, OWN & Oprah’s facebook and twitter page to read the comments, bracing myself for what I was about to see. And to be quite honest 97% of what I read was positive. There are a few things I would like to set straight though….. Continue Reading