Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 : lessons learned

As are the many years that have past, 2009 contained numerous life lessons. No matter which phase of life a person finds themselves in a lesson of some sort can always be learned.

I tried to think of the experiences that I went through in 2009 and decided that it was too emotional /dark to share in a way that my readers would appreciate. 2009 was not my best year, but it wasn't my worst year either. It was an emotional and mental roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Filled with highs and lows that are bound to change me for the better, in ways that I look forward to.

So instead of putting together my own list of lessons learned, I compiled a list from others. Friends and family and a couple of my own. I am thankful to those folks that participated in my little survey, it was a lot more interesting than my own.

9 Lessons learned/Realized in '09
#1 " I learned that finding a job ain't easy "- A.B.
#2 " Debt is a burden and a distraction, and rekindling old friendships make you realize how awesome friends can be" - N.H.
#3 " I learned that trying new and different things aren't as hard as you think once you make the first step toward it." - E.B.
#4 " True friends are REALLY true friends, the rest are just posers." - S.H.
#5 " Just because someone is talking to you about their problems doesn't mean they want help. Sometimes people just need to vent" - V.B.
#6 " Do what you believe and don't worry about other peoples oppinions! " - E.C.
#7 " Depression is real and can effect anyone, don't wait until it is too late to get help" - S.H.
#8 "Money doesn't always make you happy. It's essential but not worth sacrificing friends and family. Living simple will make you happy." - L.B.
#9 "This economy sucks!" - D.S.

So, that was what we learned in '09, could you relate? I'm wondering what lessons we will be blessed to learn in 2010?

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Simple Act


Walking into a store a man OR woman decides to hold the door open for you. An older woman is walking who needs assistance is approached by a young boy to steady her steps. Giving a listening ear to a friend in need. Providing a day of babysitting for a single parent or stay at home mom free of charge, so they can have a break. Giving a donation to someone in need. What do all of these situations have in common? They are all simple acts of kindness. Simple acts of thoughtfulness and generosity. Although simple, they are powerful.



It's all about paying it forward. We are living in a society where there is so much selfishness and individualism. Each one forgetting about the needs of their fellow man/woman, not realizing that kindness begets kindness and would really make the world a better place. Human lives are all intertwined where one good or bad deed can and will create a domino effect. However how much more fulfilling and satisfying is it when you know that YOUR good deed created a chain of happiness to others? Releasing wonderful endorphins into the atmosphere...sigh.



Recently I had the privilege of participating in the McHappy Day at McDonald's. This enlightening experience gave my children and I an opportunity to learn about McDonald's support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Along with other bloggers we were able to work behind the counter and the drive through of a Decatur, Ga McDonald's, owned and operated by a very enthusiastic and passionate Carrie Salone. While being McDonald's employees for a while we had the opportunity to ask the customers to give a hand by donating a $1.00 to the RMHC. One dollar is all that was asked of each customer, one SIMPLE dollar. Small, yet powerful because each dollar donated went to help a sick child in need at the Ronald McDonald House. Providing a comfortable, healthy, beautiful and often times FREE accommodations for those experiencing the hardship of treating a serious illness.



After we were done working we were taken on a tour of the actual Ronald McDonald house in Atlanta. Let me just say I was completely imressed and touched by the care, consideration and love that it took to build this wonderful facility. It is equipped with a state of the art kitchen area. Several living rooms, perfect for reflecting, reading playing games or watching television. I was excited to see a very large laundry area and a library equipped with Internet and computers to make the residents feel as if they were in the comforts of their own home. The design of each room was carefully thought through, each room has a special filtering system to keep the air as clean as possible to prevent further illness to the children with sensitive immune systems. In fact, this particular house is the only Eco friendly house available. Leading the way for more to come, I'm sure.



We were able to hear testimonies from a few families who have benefited from this charity and believe me when I say it was moving. My eyes were certainly opened and I have to admit that I inwardly felt shame. Shame, because I have been to McDonald's and seen the donation boxes for the RMHC and dismissed it as some sort of scam not really knowing or believing that my simple act of dropping in some change would really go to such a worthy cause. However, now that I have seen for myself first hand what those small donations can do for these children and their families I will be a supporter. Even in such a small way as dropping in a few coins when purchasing my meals.



How else can you and I help? I know you want to know... Well, other than dropping in a few coins, food can be donated to the RMHC as well as books, toys or games for the residents. So what simple acts can you do? Some one needs a hand...one day it may be you, it may be me.

Here is a link to the pictures that was taken of our enlightening day; http://picasaweb.google.com/marloherring/McDs_Bloggers?feat=email#


*To read more about doing simple acts read this great book by Debbie Macombes, One simple act.*



*For information about the Ronald McDonald House Charities go to http://www.rmhc.org/ and http://rmhc.org/how-you-can-help/donate

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Keep it moving people, theres nothing to see.

Picture this; you're in a local super store shopping with your husband and new baby. Little baby is beginning to get a little agitated, a little bit squirmy. Soon it turns into full blown frustration and screaming. Realizing it's nursing time, there is no seating for a nursing mother in the restrooms and you are not about to run through the store and parking lot to sit in the car. With no other options you DISCREETLY place the infant to your breast to satisfy it's hunger.

That should be the end of it right? Well this how things began in a Harper Woods, Detroit area Target. However it wasn't a nice ending. Mary Martinez and her husband Jose was told to leave the store by security because the act of breastfeading was against the law. Jose , who is a Detroit police officer refuted this allegation but it was not enough. The couple were escorted out of the store by the Police.

What a shame! Breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts of love and care beween a mother and her infant. Who should think it a crime? I have been in that womans shoes, it is not easy. I breastfed both of my babies. Sometimes not in the most desirous places, But I did what was very necessary, DISCREETLY of course. Is a mother to be blamed or even punished because there are not enough facilities created in public restrooms that cater to mothers. Trust me, No One wants to stand up nursing a crying baby in an aisle. But it sure beats standing in a stinky bathroom with no where to sit besides a germ infested toilet. Yuck!

Breastfeeding is not nasty, or pornographic and people should not feel as though they have to "protect" themselves. Come on people! There are more important things to "protect" ourselves and children from. So, if you happen to go down the aisle and see a woman nursing DISCREETLY, don't be disgusted. Show respect, turn your head and have empathy. She's doing what she has to do for her child. There are parents doing far worse things to their children in stores. Report a real crime...Breastfeeding isn't one of them.

I aint sceeeered

"Hey, check out CNN, those little toys you gave us are poisonous." That was how our Sunday morning began. A 8:00 a.m. distress phone call.

So naturally our curiosity was peaked. Of course, our children each owned a Zhu Zhu pet and we had given some as gifts to friends and family. We needed to see what this was all about. We read the article and basically felt that what was written by Good Guide regarding the pets containing a deadly metal called antimony was not enough to make me throw it out. Not yet. I decided to Wait it out, hear both sides of the story BEFORE formulating my oppinion. Therefore I can make an Informed decision as to what to do with Mr. Squiggles.

As it turned out, the toxicity accusations were false. Mr. Squiggles is completely safe. The U.S. Toy Industry criticised Good Guide for their reliance on XRF readings. Obviously there is a more complex procedure to follow in order to make an accurate conclusion. I was pleased to read the statement released by Cepia LLC regarding the beloved Zhu Zhu pets: " Our products not only meet but exceed all safety testing...we are a family owned business and always test to the most rigorous standards."

With that said, parents should rest a little easier knowing that Mr. Squiggles, Pipsqueak,NumNum, Chunk & Patches are not really disease carrying rodents. They are still the cute, cuddly motorized pets that children adore and parents like better than a REAL hampster. Currently, in stores there is even more variety, because four new pets have been released. Check your local Walmart or other retail store for the newest additions: Winkie, Jitty, Nuggut and Scoodles. Each one with it's own Bio.

So let this be a lesson, Dont jump on the bandwagon without all the facts. I have a feeling that plenty of good pets were thrown in the dumpster that Sunday morning...destroyed without even having a fair trial.

For more information go to www.zhuzhupets.com

*As a promoton for the new toys several months ago, I was provided with the pets to share with family and firends. However, the statements made in this post are srictly my own non-biased oppinion*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What once was, is no more

Well, well, here it is the end of week two. The first week of my recovery, as you may recall was blissful. The second week? Lets just say the first week has a level that is historic in my book.

This week I have a multitude of laundry scattered and stacked all over the place, although clean I may add. My husband does not seem to highly value the efficiency of putting the clothes away. My children's rooms are a complete disaster, & my dog is running a muck. My Hubby still gives me kisses, but my pillows have gone flat. My son still brews my coffee alongside my daughter who preps my breakfast. However, the hour that I have to wait for it, makes eating the cold meal less than desirable. I continue to eat my favorite snacks for comfort, which leads me fearful wondering if my designer jeans will fit later on.

Sigh! One more week to go. Will I make it? And if I do, will all my rest be in vain because of the exhausting work I may have to do to get my house back in order?

Any suggestions? Better yet...any volunteers?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Moms of Hue, an awesome collaboration

Often times as a woman of color, when surfing the web or reading blogs I come across topics that are thought provoking and heart stirring. Although well written it is not always written from the view of women like me. Although women in general share a certain commonality, one cannot deny the differences, viewpoints and oppinions shared by the various groups of women.

As an african american woman I face challenges in marriage, parenting, & education among others that are not the same as all of my professional or personal peers. Which is why I am happy to know that there is a new blogsite being launched today which focuses on the issues that matter the most to me. Discussed in a way that is most familiar to me. www.momsofhue.com

Moms of Hue is a collaborated site created by Renee J. Ross of www.cutiebootycakes.blogspot.com and Kristina of www.momontherise.com . These ladies are mothers, wives and entrepreneurs using their voices and skills to make a difference for all women of color. Please stop by the new site today, as today is it's official launch. Follow them on twitter @momsofhue and get invovled with their twitter party to celebrate their offical site launch. Prizes will be given away, so come on and join in the fun!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is that for me?

Any time I receive a gift I am always touched and warmed at the heart. So very pleased that the giver thought enough of me to provide it. Just about any gift is a cause for gratitude because it's the thought that counts right? Right. Well, except for that one time when I received...Oh, never mind! Like I said, I'm grateful no matter what.

As much as I enjoy being a receiver, I also like to be the giver of gifts. There is 100% truth in the memorable phrase "more happness in giving than receiving." I especially find joy in watching a person's facial expression as they are viewing their gift for the first time. Priceless.

It is my oppinion however, that the best gifts are the hand made or ones that have a personal touch. While in recovery I have been given several gifts. Each one meaningful in it's own way. Friends and family have given me homemade soups, made a pan of my favorite dish, babysitting, even some house cleaning. SO cool, I know.

But the one gift that goes to the top of my list is my B.G. Goody bag. aka the broke girlfriends goody bag. Hilariously sweet and good hearted. My bf came over and brought this to me. Obviously it is easy on the purse. But it was the personal touch and thoughtfulness that shot it to the top of my list. My B.G. Goody bag was full of things that I love. DVD's for me to watch, taken from her personal collection. All the great ones that I love. Two great novels, along with a variety of herbal teas and a new journal for my writing pleasure. She had to put some thought into what I liked in order to create a gift with such a personal touch. It meant so much to me. Simple yet personal, Hmmmmm... warm fuzzies.

The next time you have the privelege of bringing someone a gift, make it personal. Give it your special touch, it makes the biggest impression.
Here are a few tips:
* type or write a poem of your own or from a favorite poet. Apply it to nice paper and put it in a frame.
* Create your own bottle of body oil and spritzer complete with a personalized label.
* find websites that specialize in personal gifts, such as www.personalcreations.com or www.lillianvernon.com
*have fun, use your imagination.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just what the Doctor ordered

The Doctor gave strict orders as I was discharged from the hospital. No lifting, no pushing or pulling of any objects. Complete bedrest for about 2-3 weeks. How's that been going? Well, here's what I've been dealing with for the past 7 days.

In the a.m. my son brews my coffee just the way I like, while my daughter places frozen waffles in the toaster and cooks my bacon not too crispy. My Hubby comes home from work in the p.m., does the laundry, cleans the kitchen, puts dinner on and brings it to my bedside with a smile and a kiss. "Do you need anything else?" Once I have completed our homeschooling lessons for the day, my only care is: which of my favorite movies do I want to watch? Catching up on t.v. reruns, reading great books & journaling. At the end of the night my sheets get retucked, pillows are fluffed and comforter is smoothed out.
Mmmmmm, Mmmmmm!!
A sistah can get used to this. I wonder if I can get a Doctor's note for an extension on my recovery time? This is like the best staycation I ever had! Too bad I had to lose a body organ to experience it.

Just sayin'

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Honey, you're fired!

He says that he can do it all by himself, he no longer needs my assistance. After years of watching me, he is ready to experience it for his self. No I'm not talking about my son. He is not the one cutting the apron strings. The culprit in this case is my husband. For the 16 years that we have been married I have always been the accountant of our establishment. Using various budget systems & a little juggling to cover the bases. I cant say that I was perfect, but I did my job.

So imagine my shock when he approached me with his new idea. He might as well have handed me a pink slip, because I 'sho felt like I was fired! After I was done pouting, he assured me that the changes aren't "personal"...*insert eye roll*. He said it was apart of his growth and maturity as a man. Wow.

I continued to dwell on the heartfelt words he spoke to me & concluded that this may not be such a bad idea after all. I've heard the phrase "how you view a situation is how you react to it. " Perhaps I had a blurred view of the situation. I realized that in my own way I linked my responsibility of the finances with control. It's no wonder then, why I felt dethroned as he is reaching for greater responsibility. I began to view this new change in a positive light. Realizing that it could be a good thing.

I reminded myself that marraige is a partnership and no one should be in control of the other and certainly no one should be a servant. Good marraiges blossom under communication, cooperation and encouragement. There should be a balance.

Women (myself included) are often heard complaining about the irresponsibility in men. Wishing that a man would be a "real man". However, in some cases is it possible that today's modern women are actually preventing this ? For years, fighting for equal rights. Proving more and more that she can do the same jobs as he, and even better. I feel that this causes some men to sit back, leaving them unsure of how to fullfill their roles. Not wanting to appear non-progressive. Women want men to be men traditionally, but often try to controll the areas that they can do it.

Now I am aware that this not the case in every situation. Realisticly there are many women playing dual roles because they have to. So when a man who can and is willing to carry a heavier load gets involved , the woman continue to tightly hold the reigns. Because it may feel almost unnatural. This is the category that I find myself in. I come from a family, who for generations have been held together by women due to a lack of positive male headship. I've always seen women in charge, even in the presence of a man. These were unspoken lessons being taught, indeed.

As I reflect on the past I do not want to continue on in the pattern of the women before me. Carrying an unbalanced load, doing it all. As long as I have some one willing to share more of the responsibility I certainly don't need to block it. Marraige is about trust, not only in monagomy but also in money.

I've lived the first 16 years of my marraige with some control issues. For the next 16 I plan on letting them go. I'll admit there will be some bumpy roads ahead, but I'm looking forward to a great learning experience. I am offering up prayers as I type this...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saying goodbye

when something has been apart of a persons life for as long as they can remember, seperation is not an easy matter. Feelings of anxiety, lonliness and fear are hard to overcome, often resulting in tears.
Today, I will be experiencing a seperation of my own. Today, I will be detached from something that is very much apart of myself...my uterus. Although we have been together fo 37 years, through thick and thin. Good times and bad, it is time to say goodbye. As I reminice over our time together I can recall the feelings of fear as It gave it's evidance of maturity at the ripe age of 13. Oh! the merciless and seemingly endless displays of affection that was shown to me by way of cramps, bloating and back ache. My uterus was so gracious and givng. Every month it would surprise me with an overflow that was beyond measure, often on days that I least expected..:(
The best gift I have recieved from it though, is it's ability to carry and nurture my two unborn children. For nine months it provided a warm and safe place for them to grow. Providng me with a gift beyond compare.
So as one can see, my uterus has been both a negative and positive force in my life. With the negative being it's most dominant trait. It's no wonder then, after the doctors evaluation I felt no sadness. His conclusion and solution of the matter was to have a partial hysterectomy. A little snip, clip, and pull and it will be no more. How do I feel? ...hallelujah! Hit the road jack! Buh-bye and sianara! Each day on recovery is another celebration, which is even easier to do when I have a bottle full of percocet. I'm never tardy for the party!

Goodbye, dear uterus. Breaking up is so hard to do...NOT!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oooops! Did I say that?

Children are so impressionable. They hear everything, see everything and are THINKING about what they THINK they hear.
It seems that nothing escapes their vivid imaginations. Early on, parents are checking under the beds, peeping in closets and closing blinds to keep out the unwanted creepy things.
However as time rolls on I'm learning that a child's imagination is triggered not only by what is on T.V. . It is also stimulated by the words that come out of mom and dad's mouth. Innocently, I do not hide very much of my life from my children. I have been known to talk very casually in their presence regarding various opportunities, experiences or issues. Mind you, I live a clean life. So, much of what I have spoken of is nothing that causes shame, or what I personally considered innappropriate. Let's be clear...
However i've recently learned through an experience that regardless of how innocent, adults talking without proper discernment in front of little ones is not the best Idea. Primarily because children do not properly percieve adult concepts. Many words, phrases and situations can be misinterpreted and cause needless anxiety or insecurity.
I was approached by an older family friend about my unscrupulous talking within the children's earshot. I'll admit, I quickly blew it off. But later on I pondered over it. I REALLY thought about the true implications, the consequences of what this dear friend made me aware of.
So, in a divided effort to prove her wrong and soothe my ego, I had a very frank conversation with the children. I thought to myself, "my kids arent like that, they don't misunderstand what I say." The conclusion? The wise woman proved true! Now I know SOME may read this and think "well, DUH!" ....what can i say? It was a lesson learned, allbeit the hard way. We live in a free country and have the gift of free will. However freedom of speech is relative.

There is definately wisdom in "Big mama 'nems" words: "this is grown folks business...when grown folks are talkin' children need to get walkin'. "

I Get the point now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sugar-free


When I was a younger, I lost a very dear grandparent to the consequences of diabetes. It was painful to watch as the years rolled on and he would lose more and more parts of his body by amputation due to the spreading of gangrene. First it was a toe, then a leg, another leg and then the thighs. By the time of his death he was without lower limbs and had been in a coma for a length of time. Heart wrenching to say the least.




As I grew up I was always aware of the problems with "sugar" and was always on the look out for the tell tale signs. I would learn in my adult years through my own research of family history that diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure were the leading cause of death within that lineage. Once I got into my twenties and later on throughout my thirties I began to see them. Slowly but surely, the physical signs of diabetes crept up into my life.




I began to take matters more seriously and made big changes in my life regarding my diet and exercise. It all made a huge difference. I was never diagnosed with the illness but I was a close runner up to it. I display many of the signs of a diabetic but have yet to be called one. It is a struggle for me every day to stay on the right path with my health because, the truth of the matter is that I just wanna do what I wanna do and eat what I wanna eat. However that is not the choice of wisdom, considering what is up against me. So I press on!




Which is why I was delighted to find out about Divabetics, outreach for women. "It is a non profit organization that introduces diabetes education with a 'glam more, fear less' Philosophy to help women at risk and affected by diabetes to look at their diabetes in new ways" * from the site*


This organization was inspired by the late r&b legend Luther Vandross, founded and created by his assistant Max Szadak. Divabetics hosts Divabetic glam makeovers in various cities of the United States along with providing a encouraging programs on their website for all who are in need. They have great team of educators and health care professionals ready to assist you to be all that you can be whether you currently have diabetes or are looking for preventive care.




I think it is a wonderful concept and hope that more will look into this great resource. We each only have one body and unfortunately we are not always kind to it or vice versa. However, it is never too late to make changes. I will end with this great affirmation that I saw on the website, which by the way, they have several affirmations that are so inspiring.




"I AM A DIVA WHO KNOWS MY FIRST PRIORITY IS ME"




*November is national diabetes month. Help spread the word about prevention and treatment with someone you love*


Take care...

Monday, November 9, 2009

The switch-aroo

Well, as you guys may already know by now, I am without daily Internet service. We have one computer with a technician and two more waiting for their turn to see the "doc." This is torturous for me as I cannot do what I do when I do it. Which is everyday. As I type this, I am at the local library, which BTW only gives me one hour to do my business. I am very frustrated but, I'm doing what I gotta do. It's a provision that's better than nothing, so I am grateful.

I figured since I have so much down time at home these days, I will take advantage of it and catch up on the things I have been putting off. Perhaps doing more reading, spend more quality time with the family, getting organized and getting more sleep. Yeah, the sleep has been nice. Since I have not had Internet access, I am going to bed at a decent time...hubby loves that!

This situation is also forcing me to do things the way I used to before I found out about blogging. Journaling, I used to journal and have been since high school days. However I have gotten away from it and this is a perfect time to get back into the groove. It should make things easier for me too, when I come to the library. I can just bring my journal and type in my newest blog posts thereby saving myself some time.

so, that's all for now. I'll be back with a new post on Wednesday...I have so much that I want to share with you all.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm so old fashioned

Can this be happening? I used to wonder about how people functioned without a computer. I used to wonder how a person can go days without checking their emails. How can an able body actually be unplugged? Without the random 140 word tweets and facebook status updates, a person is actually forced to learn what is going on in the world the "old fashioned" way.

Well, I no longer have to wonder.

With three...yes, three computers in my house down at the same time. Each attacked by some cruel and heartless virus (even though I have virus protection on each computer). I now know what it is like.

This is so unfair.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When I'm bad, I'm really bad

I'm supposed to wake up at 7:30 a.m every weekday morning. Spring out of bed, bounce into the shower, dress, make my bed, get the coffee pot going and begin making breakfast for my zoo crew. With me taking the lead we are supposed to start our day on schedule, tackling our home school work bright eyed and bushy tailed. Ending our day with a smile because we accomplished our daily goals. Proudly checking off the items on our "to-do list."

THAT'S WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO
Waking up at 9:00 a.m , begrudgingly rolling out of bed, clutching my comforters for one last snuggle. Dragging into the shower...or not (don't judge me). Getting dressed. Maybe. Getting that coffee pot going. I have to, otherwise I suffer withdrawals, not a pretty sight. And school? not even starting until after 12 noon. Working on assignments with one eye open, a far cry from a bright eye. At the end of the day, there is no smile on my face because my "to-do" list is undone.
THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING FOR 2 WEEKS
Help me...
next week
;0

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Change is good

I recently went out on a limb and ventured off into unfamiliar territory. I did not go out of the country or into a bad neighborhood. I made a change in my makeup choice. oooohhhh, that is very scary for me. All of my close friends know that I am a M*A*C cosmetics kind of girl and on the occasions that I am wearing makeup, I rarely will use another brand with the exception of eyeliner, and mascara.


Recently, though I was involved in an event and I really wanted to look really pretty. I did not want my dark acne blemishes to be visible, I hate them. However, I had run out of my usual Studio fix powder foundation and was really freaking out. Freaking out because I did not want to spend $26 for a new compact, and I was unsure of where to turn for a comparable yet less expensive product.


I was searching high and low trying to find the right color match, texture and application style. For some people this is a simple task, but for me, it was a cause for much anxiety. I'm used to just walking up to the counter and having it all picked out for me. Walking away as a satisfied and confident customer. Having to pick out my own foundation color left me feeling anything but confident. I did not want to be one of those women that you see with two toned skin, their neck obviously lighter or darker than their face. Can you see my dilemma?


Eventually I just gave up, and enlisted the help of my cousin, a great makeup artist. We chose the Maybelline Dream Matte mousse foundation and I love it! It is so light and airy, and a little goes a long way. I was amazed at how well it covered my dark spots, giving me a beautiful even tone that looked natural. The best part of it all? It can be purchased for under $10. I am so happy that I have found something that provides me with the same quality, look and feel of my beloved M*A*C Studio fix. Needless to say, I attended my event with great pride and confidence and a little extra change in my pocket.


BYE-BYE M*A*C...HELLO MAYBELLINE!
*I am not in any partnership with Maybelline, to promote this product. I simply loved it and wanted to share my feelings about it*

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Therapeutic Thursdays : my cup o' tea



I love a good warm cup of tea. There are so many varieties to choose from for all purposes. A nice cup of tea is perfect when winding down after a long day. It is soothing when you are experiencing some anxiety and cozy when it's nippy outside. Most are familiar with the internal goodness of herbal teas in a cup but how many are aware of the herbal teas in the bath?

A few years ago I was introduced to the herbal bath teas and have been hooked ever since.
A Single or a group of healing herbs nestled in a muslin bag or cheesecloth and steeped in a hot bath can do wonders. I used a combination of lavender, chamomile, Valerian root and passion flower. It was a very sleep inducing concoction. Perfect for when I had a hard time sleeping or really needed to relax. Once the bag has been steeped for 10 minutes you will enjoy the aroma that fills your bathroom.

There are bath teas for all purposes and intents ; cold & flu, menopause relief, inflammation, pain relief and even romance. Herbal Bath Teas may also be used for facial steams: Add a tablespoon of Herbal Bath Tea to a bowl of boiling water to create an infusion. Using a soft towel to cover your head and the bowl, place your face over the bowl and relax allowing the tension to release as you breathe in the purifying steam.


Give it a try, grab your favorite herbs and have yourself a cup of tea..."ahem" or a tea BATH.

Don't get it twisted

I am the type of person that has deep emotion. I am a peacemaker and a peace lover. If I have a serious problem with someone or something, it is important for me to set matters straight by eventually making my feelings known. It helps me to move on from the situation and not hold on to it. Holding on to negative feelings often create a place of bitterness and resentment, hiding in small crevices of the heart and mind. It never really allows a person to be free, causing one to be stagnant in life. Some people get it and some do not. Those who don't, seem to misunderstand the whole point. Feeling as though talking about things is a waste of time and energy. However, If done properly it can create a bridge to better understanding and a strong foundation in all relationships.
Recently I was told that I was making myself a victim because I chose to discuss a situation that hurt me deeply. I had the impression that my choice to express myself gave the other person the perception of weakness. How untrue that perception is. In fact, it is because I try to think through various issues, getting to the root of them that I am NOT a victim. Of any given serious situation which involves me. In fact I consider myself a survivor, because I fight everyday to push myself ahead. Doing what I do in spite of my trials. Going through my thoughts, I was reminded of that song ; Survivor, by Destiny's Child. How appropriate to post it up here today. It goes right along with my feelings.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Give me some Mo'

I have liked the comedy style of Mo'nique, although she can be brash in her use of the four letter words, she does makes me laugh. The energy that she adds to a movie really keeps it rolling. She keeps it real, and I like what's REAL.


So I was excited to see that she had gotten her own late night talk show on BET . The sistah's are doing their thing, with the talk shows these days. We have Wendy Williams in the a.m., Tyra and Oprah in the afternoons and now Mo'nique late nights. How great is that!? The talk show business is getting it's swirl on!


I've eagerly watched the first couple of weeks episodes, cheering her on for coming this far. Her guest line up is refreshing, because she looks for the people and stories that are inspiring. She is all about giving people a chance to shine. I really was touched by her interview of the Ohio Wrestlers, two boys winning against the odds. Her interview of the cast from ABC FAMILY Lincoln Heights , was sweet and encouraging too. She appears to be so full of love, happiness and gratitude that you can't help but to feel it too and it is this exuberance that keeps me coming back.


Now, I'm all about the love too but I still have to keep it real for a minute. Monique's show would be even better if she would just. stop. screaming. From the time she steps off the elevator, throughout the interviews and all, she is talking at the top of her voice. Whew! Some nights I just turn the volume down, because at that time of the night I am winding down. But I'm not giving up on her, I'm going to continue to keep giving her the support in doing her thing. After all she does have a good show and it's better to support a good show than to keep putting up with the thousands of crappy ones out there.....Even if i do have to take an aspirin for my headache after her show.

;)



Yesterday, I took my children to see the new movie by Maurice Sendak, Where the wild things are. It was an interesting movie, but in similar style to the book it was not much dialogue. I felt that the movie was slow moving but left room for after thought.


It began with the young boy in movie troubled and confused. He had some anger issues, which made for good discussion later with my 8 and 10 yr old about what is and is not acceptable behavior. Once he arrives at the place where the wild things are, he meets these creatures. I certainly would not recommend viewing this movie with kids under the age of 7, because those creatures are kinda creepy! But It is adapted from the great illustrator Maurice Sendak, so it is, what it is. The creativity in the costume designs were phenomenal in my opinion. I was giving side glances at my 8 yr old the whole time wondering if we were going to be sharing a bed that night. She was cool with it, however if she had been slightly younger I don't think it would have been cool. Also, the language of the characters was more mature than I cared for in a child movie, but these days it seems like every movie G, PG or PG13 has to slip in adult language.


All in all, I felt that the movie was a good draw for those of us with fond childhood memories of the storybook written over 30 yrs ago. But, without that connection I'm not sure that it is a total blockbuster for kids this year. Nice try though.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gift set winner


...And the winner of the Reflexology and Aromatherapy gift set is




PETULA!!!




Thank you to ALL that participated in my first small giveaway. I hope to have more interesting and fun giveaways in the future.

Therapeutic Thursdays

I have something new that I want to start on my blog. Because I have an appreciation for holistic health I want to share it with my readers. One way that I have decided to do this is to begin a new series called Therapeutic Thursdays. Originally I was posting these on my Hippie Chicks fan page but figured it would be a good feature here too.


My first Therapeutic Thursdays post will be :
Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary is one of my favorite essential oils because it can do so much. Popularly known as a tasty addition to chicken, fish and vegetable dishes. Outside of its wonderful flavor however, it aids the digestive system when it is eaten.
As an essential oil it works as a stimulant to the body's central nervous system. Which is no wonder why it has been commonly called a "wake up" oil. When trying to get yourself in gear for the long day ahead incorporate a few drops in a natural shower gel. Or create a wake me up spray with Rosemary, peppermint and sweet orange. Spritz a little bit above the sleepy heads in your house. There will definitely be a sense of clarity in the air.

Along, with keeping you alert you can also count on Rosemary to soothe your aching muscles. It is an antiseptic oil, so it is great for conditions such as muscle sprains, arthritis, and rheumatism. I like to use it with Lavender, peppermint, and cypress for a good back rub.

With the cold and flu season upon us and everyone very concerned about the Swine flu, now would be a great time to pick up a bottle of Rosemary. It is good for the immune system, use up to 5 drops in a warm bath.

See what I mean? Variety. So, the next time you walk past a fragrant Rosemary bush and rub its leaves between your fingertips, remember all of its goodness. It is so much more than just a fragrant bush.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogalicious 09 part 2 - Who you callin' a princess?

Sometimes people say a lot of things without a lot of meaning behind their words. Shallow compliments, and empty promises.


During lunch, which was hosted by Disney ( totally scrumptious) we were able to listen to the toe tapping soundtrack and view a few clips of the new movie The Princess and The Frog, featuring the first African American princess, Tianna. A wonderful story about a young woman of color who dreamed of owning her own business.We watched and were inspired to live our dreams and realize the inner princess inside us all. I listened to and laughed with our Keynote speaker: Karen Walrond, who encouraged us to be beautifully different. I had so much to ponder over. So many possibilities, if only I would reach out for them. It is all at my fingertips...


To really drive home the point, we were all invited to a late night Princess party sponsored by the Blogrollers . And what a party it was! I stepped off the elevator and Bippitybopppityboo! I was transformed. I put on my tiara, my princess ring, grabbed my glass of champagne and thanks to the two DJ's, I danced the night away to my favorite jams. Overlooking a spectacular view of beautiful Hot'lanta under the sparkling city lights. It was refreshing to be among professional women, who did not let their titles hold them back from cuttin' a rug! It truly felt like a celebration.


Every woman there was called a princess and how special it was to feel that they really meant it. They said I was a princess and with the Royal treatment I received, I believed it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogalicious 09, Part 1 - My First Time

Every one has a first time for something or with someone that is forever ingrained in their heart and mind. I remember my...
first job,
first kiss
first pregnancy
first airplane ride
first blogging conference.
Hhhhmmmm, My First Blogging Conference. Please allow me to elaborate on Blogalicious 09. My goodness! what can I say? From the moment I stepped into the conference area I was in awe and knew that I was in for a treat. I eagerly received my badge and my sssswwweeeeeet Sssswaaaaaag bags then made a beeline for the wonderful breakfast buffet. Once in my seat my eyes were completely glued to the stage as I listened to words of inspiration and wisdom from the folks that know the bizzness about the business of blogging and social media. More interestingly to me was the fact that it was delivered from the perspective of women of color. The speakers shed light on the true affect and effect that we really have on this industry. The encouragement and education made it a little clearer for me to see myself with a place for creative & meaningful contributions in this realm. I mean, I knew....but now I REALLY KNOW.
I really appreciated the six breakout sessions, where we could get one on one tips from experienced blogger's. The sessions had something for everyone, I simply needed to pick which one to get in where I fit it. Here are a few of the session topics; Social Media Basics, Taking your Blog to The Next Level, Possibilities and Pitfalls of Having You on the Net, and The Art of Small Business Blogging. Later on I was very Impressed at the Town Hall & Plenary session which discussed Marketing to Women of Color and began with a conversation with Nelson George. There to share with us his new venture, BlackAtlas.com from American Airlines. More on that later, I promise. The dialogue that was created between the Marketers and the women blogger's on the panel was amazing and received several rounds of applause. It was through this panel I could hear the concerns and issues of women blogger's of color along with resolutions so that we all can have a win - win situation.
Sounds good right? I'm not gonna sugar coat it. It was good. Until this weekend I was a total virgin to blogging conferences. I had no clue of what to expect. I only imagined and hoped that it would be worth my time, energy and money. Thanks to Blogalicious 09, my "first time" was incredible and will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

THIS THING CALLED LOVE

Every year the last week in September is World Reflexology Week .

I first learned of Reflexology in 2002 at an Aromatherapy Conference in Seattle Washington. It was there that I learned of it's abilities, and was drawn in. I was amazed by the fact that there was an actual map of the human body on each and every persons feet (check out my cool reflexology widget on the side). That I could cause a beneficial reaction within the various systems in the body with a specified touch made me feel very useful. It all sounded so unreal but since I knew that our bodies are so wonderfully made, the potential was certainly there. So I set out to study it. Fortunately for me there was an actual Reflexology school right in the Atlanta area and as they say...the rest is history. Six years and many clients later I still love what I have learned.


There is much satisfaction in knowing that I have helped a person who has been suffering with a particular illness to gain relief. I feel good inside when it is through my skillful work that I have been able to give someone peaceful closure to a hectic day. I know the results from reflexology that I have seen with my own family, friends and clients. Which is why I try to help spread the word. Reflexology is the one therapy that works to heal the body from the inside out, opposite of massage therapy which works from the outside in. Although many of the results are the same. In one session a skilled reflexologist can cover all of your body systems, joints & muscles, providing your body what it needs to function optimally. In the past it was considered as a quack therapy, however more and more folks today are beginning to sing it's praises. The benefits of reflexology have become so widespread, that even those in the Medical profession such as Dr. Oz, are giving credit where credit is due.


So in honor of World Reflexology Week I decided to give a complimentary loving gift of touch to my friends and family. Especially the hubby and children. Often they see me working on others but have to take a back seat for their turn . So I'm giving them what they've been waiting for, and I'm promising to keep it regular.


Now, I know what you are thinking. You want something too right? Well, If I cant give you the loving gift of touch how about a Reflexology Decoder along with a 1 ounce bottle of lavender and peppermint massage oil to use on your feet or someone that you love?
This decoder supplies an instant introduction to the popular healing practices of reflexology. The reflexology decoder provides all the necessary maps for the hands and feet in considerable color coded detail. Accompanied with the aromatherapy massage oil, this package is a retail value of about $20.

To win this giveaway you must do two things.

  1. Become a follower of my blog : I'm the Mommy I'll Blog if I want to
  2. Leave a comment telling me one way that you give a loving gift to your friends and family.

*The giveaway ends on 10/02*

* the winner will be seleted and announced on my blogpost.*

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A tall glass of cool water

There is one thing that I like about myself. Well....there's more than one thing, but you know what I mean. Really though, the one thing that I am referring to is my appreciation for variety. I have always felt that variety is the spice of life. Never could I go through life as a dull dame. I enjoy new experiences, eagerly anticipating my reactions and responses. happy to add a new notch to my belt. And don't you agree that it adds to great conversation when a person is not one dimensional?


An area that I have always prided myself for having variety, is music. I have an appreciation for good music. Maybe it stems from fond memories of my father sitting late nights at his turntables spinning out the jams that made me shake a leg, swoon & croon. Or it could be the times that my mother took me to the theater and with wonderment I tuned into the orchestra as they used instruments to say what the characters were feeling. As I grew older I ventured into all types of music of various genres and it is this type of gift that I also give to my children.
Recently I had the privilege of listening to the new CD ; YOUR SONGS from HARRY CONNICK JR.. What a delightful treat, a collection of every one's favorites sung in classic Harry style. I popped this CD in while cooking dinner, my children and I began to snap our fingers and tap our toes. It was enjoyable from beginning to end. He added his own special touch to such songs that really are my favorites such as *JUST THE WAY YOUR ARE Billy Joel * THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT* SMILE Charlie Chaplin*THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE Roberta Flack*ANDI LOVE HER the beatles * MONA LISA Nat King Cole. You can expect these hits, plus eight more grooving tracks.

September 22 was the release date of his collection of Your favorite songs, available on itunes and everywhere. Although he is singing songs that he did not write, he still is the great music arranger, orchestrator, and conductor that made him who he is. Mr. Connick is in high demand not only because of his sultry, seductive voice but because he seems to be such an awesome guy. Click his picture to check out a video clip of Harry getting personal backstage on the Oprah show.
Wow, gotta love him!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A steamy situation

There are times when I hear about certain things and I say to myself "oh what a cool idea , I'm gonna try that one day". However Last week was not one of those times. I was actually a little caught off guard by my own quick and ardent reaction.

I was visiting a fellow bloggers site and I came across a post that really caught my attention:
"It was smoking hot and I was dripping wet"
...hmmmmm, really?
I know, catchy, right? So I proceed to read the post, and well, um, hehehe, it wasn't at all what I suspected. C'mon, you know you thought it too. Well, anyway she goes on to describe what I later called one of Atlanta's best kept secrets until now.

The JeJu Home of well being, a Korean style spa, sauna & bath house. She was so descriptive with the serenity and tranquility of the environment. Peace washed over me like I was there. She explained so perfectly how purifying and uninhibiting the total experience was. I was beginning to feel the rush of liberation. I just had to try it for myself. Right away. Seriously. Right away. Between homeschooling, being mommy, wifey, and trying to run a business, needless to say I was very anxious. So two days later I grabbed my # 1 home girl and we went to indulge ourselves.

It all played out just as Lisa so vividly described. We were given our supplies for the duration of our time there; an exfoliating wash cloth, a uniform, a toothbrush and keys for the lockers. Once in the women's area we had to remove our shoes, and our clothes, and then it was FREEDOM! Yep! In all our NATURAL BORN GLORY we were free to use the Korean bath house area of the facility. Mentally I was prepared for that because I had been forewarned, that was actually a bonus to me. It was sheer bliss immerging myself in the three mineral water tubs. Hot, warm and cold. There is a Shower and bath area, fa infrared lights, traditional dry and steam sauna's and an area for professional services such as polishing body scrubs. It was a requirement for all to shower before taking part in anything. VERY clean. I took my time and soaked it all in. Literally it was a pampering session to myself, for myself. I saw there, women of all races, several of which were non American. I was amazed to see small groups of women washing each other's back, and each other's hair , all with a sense of sincerity and a genuine reciprocity that is often lacking within the western culture. No one acted as if it was weird or as lesbianism. It was natural. It was an act that I viewed as a beautiful form of bonding, compassion, a loving act of kindness exchanged within the sisterhood. Those profound thoughts rang the bells of enlightenment within my mind.

Unbelievably we spent a couple of hours in that one area before we dressed in our scrubs and moved on to the unisex area where there are 6 therapeutic dry saunas. Each with it's own personality, unique and healing in it's own way. Available to all, are plump vinyl pillows and sleep mats to take to the room of your choice. I spent time and laid down in every sauna room and my favorites are ; the baked Korean clay sauna, the rock salt sauna, the jade sauna, and the charcoal sauna. I took the opportunity of the solace to reflect, ponder and appreciate. Oh, it was certainly soothing to my soul. Within those walls we felt no urgent needs, no schedules to keep up. Plain and simply no pressure. *Sigh* Honey, it was about this time you could've blown me over with a feather! Before we knew it, a total of eight hours had passed and that was all without even getting the luxurious spa services. Wow! what a night. When we finally left, our bodies felt like it had been thoroughly massaged and our skin felt velvety smooth.

With such a great experience, I am eagerly anticipating my return because at a cost of $25, why not? Check out the photos that I got from the website or better yet go there to see it for yourself. You will be thrilled. If you would like to read the very delicious post that sent me in search of my sanity, Check out LisaCwrite's blog.






Monday, September 21, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I have something I need to say.

I am concerned about some of the websites that are designed for young girls, specifically targeted at the age group of 7-17. Many, if not all of them seem to focus heavily on materialism and what I call the "Paris Hilton life style". These websites although designed with good intent to boost self esteem and stir up creativity, appear to also stimulate a sense of discontent. I say this because I have watched my 8 yr old on these sites. Generally I believed them to be cute and entertaining. My daughter received much joy from creating new hairstyles, designing fashionable outfits, and being a makeup artist. She really is a Fashionista in the making.

I never really thought too much into her time spent on these sites. I mean, I always checked to be sure they were sites suitable for children of course. And to be frank, I enjoyed the free time that it gave me when she was engrossed in "designing". However, it was not until recently that I began to think twice about what was really going on. How she was being affected on an emotional level.

Recently, my daughter came to me and asked if she could become a superstar. I did not know what she was talking about. I told her; "you're already a superstar honey." Her emphatic reply was that she wanted to be a REAL superstar and she needed my credit card to do it. Hold up! What? My credit card? OK, now she has my attention. She eventually was able to show me what she was talking about. On this site there is a lot of basic fashion pages, equiped for a paper doll type avatar that each girl can call her own. However, every girl can move on to superstar status if they pay $5.95 per month. "huh?" I questioned what was this fee for? Indya, went on to tell me that the fee will enable her to have bigger and better things. A nicer apartment, furniture, expensive clothes, a nice car etc. etc. As she was relaying this information to me, she appeared to be a little bit too desperate for my liking. Am I hearing this right? This is supposed to be child's play, right?

From my very core I was disturbed. What kind of message is this really sending to young girls? I asked a friend about my feelings and she understood my thoughts. I have always tried to help my daughter create a strong sense of self. And believe me she does have a strong sense for an 8 year old. But I do not care for the idea that she could possibly gauge her worth by the material things she possessed ( virtual or not). Too many girls today are growing up with the idea that more is better and bling is bliss. Focusing on the external and not enough time spent on developing the internal. Early on girls are forming cliques in schools based on status (believe me, I've seen it even in 1st grade), the mean girl mentality is evident. Remembering my days as a young girl/young adult with low self esteem, it just is not a path that I want to see my child going down. She needs to feel, know and believe that regardless of what she has, or what group she fits in with, she is still a superstar at all times. In real life, material things come and go. They can only carry a person to a point. However, strong character and inner beauty will never stop pushing a person ahead. Finding pleasure and happiness in the simple things that make life truly enjoyable and meaningful is priceless. Worth more than silver and gold. That is the area that I want her focus on.

I began thinking that maybe I'm taking this a little too serious. After all she is just a little girl having fun on a website that I allowed her to be on. But still I felt uneasy. So I pondered on that, but decided that a mother can't ever be too sure. sometimes the very simple signs are the very things we tend to take for granted and often can be what will snowball into something bigger later on. How many times has it been said "if I knew back then what I know now, I never would have allowed...". Yeah, I know I can't predict the future of my daughter, nor shield her from all the emotional curves she will encounter. However, what I do know is that I can be mindful of the example I set and the role that I play. Keeping an eye on how I feed into behavior patterns.


There for I decided I would not purchase the superstar status for her. For me, it just felt like going too far. I believe I would be contributing in some way to some unhealthy ideas. I recognize that perhaps I will even need to reevaluate some of the sites that she visits and set some new guidelines for her. None of which is limited to just the websites, but television, and music videos too. This will cause some upset, but this mom has got to do what she has to do. If my daughter wants to continue to play virtual dress up, makeup artist, etc. she will still have the freedom to do so. However it will have to be done within what I deem to be healthier parameter's.


With the increase of technology and media our children are being exposed to more and more ideas and values that are not our own. Those of which creep up into our lives oh so subtle. Which means we have to be that much more aggressive or quick to correct, encourage and refine the fibers that create a strong foundation. I don't know all the answers, but what I do know is that I want to build something more substantial within my little girl so that she can soar and be the woman that I know she can be. And I definitely don't think that buying her way to SUPER STARDOM is going help her to do that. I'm just saying...

Friday, September 18, 2009

If he told me once, he told me twice


Don't you hate when you have been told the right way to do something, and because of stubbornness, you find out the HARD WAY, why it was the RIGHT WAY in the first place?



You do?



Whew! Glad to see I'm not the only one!



My dilemma began on Tuesday night.



Convo recap:

Hubby- "are you driving on E? You really shouldn't do that"

Stubborn wife(THAT'S ME)- "oh, well, it'll be alright. The gas light should come on and tell me when I've gone too far right?"

Hubby- "um, maybe. you never know. what if it stops working. This is dangerous. You should always keep a good amount of gas in the car. You wont like to be stuck somewhere"

Stubborn wife- "I'm not worried, I'll get it tomorrow on my way out"



Wednesday, Mid morning, while schooling the kids I realized rather abruptly that there was an important matter that I needed to take care of. In haste I run out of the door...grab the keys...Grab the purse...Run out the door...jump in the car...crank up and pull out of the drive way...



NOT!

(oh no, not today!)



e-e-e-e-aaaa- e-e-e-e-aaaaaa! stupid car wont crank. I pump and pump the pedals to no avail. I try to do everything from "kick starting the car to getting a push from the kids.(yes, i had my kids pushing) We finally decided to get a gas can from the garage which had gasoline in it and pour it in. Oh hurray! we are on our way. The car cranks and we take off and then SCREEEECH! WHOMP! The car cuts off after moving about 3 feet.



OH WHY DIDN'T I LISTEN? WHHHYYYYYYY?!



I called a friend for a ride to run my errand and fill my gas can. Just shortly after this fiasco, I had to go back out. Frustration. Fear. Embarrassment. We put-put-ted, sputtered, cut-off, jumped & jerked all the way to our destination.



Reluctantly I called the hubby and gave him the 4-1-1.

I'll let you use your imagination as to how that conversation went.

You don't need a RECAP from me...

Hmph!**arms folded, eyes rollin'**








Monday, September 14, 2009

The Good, bad and just plain stinking ugly

My 2 cents on the VMA's. I just had to.

The GOOD: Beyonce, for stepping back and giving a young entertainer her chance to shine.
The BAD: KANYE WEST = Insensitive, immature, unprofessional. Need I say more? Well, I could but, I'll just leave it at that. You get the point.

The STINKING UGLY: Lady GaGa. Enough said....
dropping the mic and walking away.
*sigh*


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Theyyyyy'rrrrrrrrre Heeeerrrrrre!

No. No one scary. In fact they are completely sweet and lovable. At least my kids and their friends think so. Who am I talking about?
The Zhu Zhu Pets!
My Children and I were delighted when selected to host a Zhu Zhu pet party. These cute little toy pets are a much cleaner, and hassel free way to introduce a pet into your home. Each Zhu Zhu pet comes with a name, and rolls around by itself on a hard surface (we had to use our kitchen floor). They also make little noises, over 40 sounds varying from little chirps and beeps to actual cow and chicken sounds. I think I even heard a train sound one time. My kids thought they were really adorable. What I like is that unlike a REAL hamster, there is no mess to clean up and food to buy, and we certainly don't have to deal with it dying. My children had a real hamster once...So! like I said, these are so much easier to care for.

One of the Attachable accessories that the pets can play on. A ramp and twisty slide.It actually goes up the ramp and down the slide on it's own.

A activity center / habitat for the pets

The display of the Zhu Zhu pets


Once all of the party guests had arrived, the mayhem began! Every kid wanted one, and they all received a accessory for their pet. There was a car with a garage that the pet could ride in. A slide, A surf board, a Giant activity center and even a ball for the pet to roam around the house in! What's great is that the accessories are all attachable, which means each piece can connect to the other piece to create a very big activity center with plenty for a pet or two, to do. Some assembly is required and a little help is needed by an adult to put the accessories together, but it was not overly difficult. The children loved racing their pets too! I could tell that these pets would be a good way to keep the kids entertained.
At the end of the day, my children slept with their pet...Something I NEVER let them do when they had a real hamster.

That Says it all Folks!
**For more information about the Zhu Zhu pets go to www.zhuzhupets.com














Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Mozzarella cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives and white wine

A bouquet of Flowers that was given to me a couple of weeks ago.

I took a picture of these two items because looking at it made me feel happy. Feeling happy about this bouquet inspired other happy thoughts and so one happy thought turned into another and another. So I came up with ten things that made me happy.




  1. A lovely bouquet of flowers, given to me unexpectedly.

  2. A well balanced check book.

  3. A Freshly made bed, with 600 thread count linens.

  4. A Picnic in the park.

  5. To be wrapped in a warm embrace by the luvofmylife.

  6. Watching my children sleep peacefully in their own beds.

  7. Sharing happy memories of times past with my family.

  8. A hot cup of Caramel Machiato with heavy whipped cream and drizzles of caramel from Starbucks, as I curl up with a good book on a really cushy sofa.

  9. A clothing sale so good that I walk away from the register feeling like I stole something.

  10. Having good friends that see me for all that I am and love me anyway.
Happy thoughts beget happy thoughts and happy thoughts make life easier.
What spurs your happy thoughts?...




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Somebody should'a told me

Soooo, this holiday weekend I am on a very spur of the moment getaway. I drove up to Pennsylvania with my cousins. A long drive indeed. I took the first stretch of driving, because if I gotta drive long distance I gotta get to getting, while the getting is good. Basically...I have to drive while I am awake and alert otherwise I'm no help at all.
I drove from 7am to 3:30 pm, not too bad right? But what made it GREAT was having XM radio!

OMG

Very little DJ interruptions and no static when traveling from state to state. You know how it is when going out of a certain area. Constant fidgeting with the radio dial to pick up whatever the local station is, carrying a bunch of Cd's just to hear what you like. So frustrating. Well, when you have XM radio, all of that is eliminated! It was smooth sailing. We started off listening to Oprah radio and then moved on to some smooth r&b. When we didn't know the singer of a particular song, it was OK because with the press of a button my cousin could tell me the name of the singer and the title of the song. There were so many channels to choose from. Pretty much anything you want to hear. I really love the radio talk show feature. It sure beats listening to sports radio with my husband. of course xm has sports channels too, but it's nice to know I have such a good variety on talk radio. How awesome is that? I was thoroughly impressed. XM radio is available in your car, online,satellite cable and on your iphone. All of that for a very reasonable price too.

I know some folks out there may already be accustomed to this type of technology and are thinking that I am so late and living under a rock or something.

Well this is new to me. I'm just sayin'...someone should'a told me...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Divalicious!

I feel pretty! I feel pretty! Yeah, it's amazing what a simple change can do for a girl. I recently added some glam to my life and added extra lashes on my eyes. I know a few ladies that use them and I've always admired them.

What a difference they make...I asked my cousin to "install" the individual ones for me and I must say, "I have found my new obsession."

Like seriously, I don't think I'm gonna be able to do with out them for a while. I feel like I am always made up even when I don't have on any eye make up. I feel like at any moment I may break out into Beyonce's;
I'ma a DI - Vah, I'ma I'ma a DI -Vah!

I'm just giving you fair warning, if you see me walk past you and suddenly break out into my Tyra Banks strut don't be alarmed. Just know that I am feeling "FIERCE....really FIERCE"






Monday, August 31, 2009

Sandra, out of the box

The best part about life is that it is ever changing. At least it should be. No one person is forced to stay in one lane, drive the same speed, use the same colors or stay in one box. This ability is the spice of our life. The possibilities are always endless, because if you put your mind to it and you want it bad enough, it can and will be done.


Challenge.

As easy as it is to say those words, I'll admit that it is hard to put it into action. Not because of what we posses or lack within, but because of fear from those on the outside of ourselves; family, friends, Society in general.

Growth.


To be all that we can be, sometimes involves vulnerability and taking chances. We have to put ourselves to the test....physically, mentally, spiritually. So scary, yet fulfilling and exciting.


Bravery.


Stepping out of the comfort zone. Constructive criticism. Breaking out of a mold.


This weekend I stepped out of my box, I was apart of something wonderful and bigger than myself.


I was one of the cast members of THE GIFT. An encouraging stage play that is all about choices that are morally sound. Appreciating and recognizing the various gifts that a person can receive and even posses, however ultimately understanding the most important gift of all.


By trade, I am no Thespian, but I am endowed with a love of the arts and It was a wonderful experience that I was privileged to be apart of.
Very thankful to Wholesome Entertainment for stepping out of the norm, to get this small production with such a good message seen.

(a few of the cast members)

(One of the scenes I was in)

I pushed myself to try something new, and I liked it!

*Check out the review and more pictures www.NaneTTeiZms.com/2009/08/gift.html

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Forget what you planned

See this guy?

Hard working and industrious. Leaving before the sun rises each morning.
Each day begins the same, with the exception of today.
I turn over to greet Mr. Sunshine and This guy is laying next to me.
What?!
This doesn't happen on a weekday.
What is really going on?
Surprise...He decided to take the day off.
Yayyyy!!!!
Right?
Wrong!
Our carefully planned school schedule is a little more difficult to execute on this day. Everyone is up 30 minutes later, trying to get in extra cuddle time. Breakfast is late and school work started even later. And what ever I thought was on my agenda for today has been replaced with his agenda and mine is now rescheduled for tomorrow....
Yeah, so can you tell?
DADDY'S HOME

Monday, August 17, 2009

There is always two sides to a story.


A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to view the exhibit Presented by Tavis Smiley, America I am. Right away, I said Yes! I heard a little bit about it but really did not know anyone personally who actually attended.


Let me just tell you, I was moved from the very beginning to the very end. The exhibit began with the profound words of W.E B. Duboise. I felt eery, solemn and reflective as I went Walking through a simulation of the "Door of no return" at the Cape Coast Castle, viewed the personal diary of Malcolm X and the chair in which Martin Luther King sat in during his trial. And hurt at my heart upon viewing the savage and beastly items that were used to enslave many victims of the African slave trade.


Although, one cannot discuss or create an exhibit of the African in America without acknowledging the disgraceful and sad events that it involves, one also cannot omit the beauty, skill, craftsmanship and ingenuity that they have brought to America. Which is another reason that I appreciated the exhibit. I was able to see beautiful pieces of cookware, basketwork, and quilting that was crafted by the hands of slaves. The exhibit tactfully yet with boldness let it be known that the once great economy of this country was built upon the hard labor of the enslaved African men and women.


Towards the end of the exhibit we were brought right into our day and time, viewing photos, donated clothing, musical instruments, and sports memorabilia. All from the many African Americans who have played major roles in pop culture, education and basically all things "American".


What a great experience for all who wish to know more, to gain a deeper understanding and empathy for the other side of history.


I had some techical difficutlies posting the pictures. So if you would like to view pictures of the exhibit, click here.