Today I’m Shifting Into…

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Today,I’m shifting into a place of thankfulness. Lately,I’ve been working with Shug on her spiritual life. Every night(almost) we read a story that teaches an important lesson from the Bible. She is also learning how To apply her lessons to real life. With all that going on, I have also been trying to reconnect with the Most High. Yesterday, I fasted from social media as a sign of good faith to God that I want to be obedient. In the past couple of days I noticed that because I’ve been preoccupied with trying to get close to the Creator,I haven’t had time to worry about the things that keep me up at night.

Today, I’m choosing to keep seeking God’s comfort and guidance because it is bringing me peace. I want Him to change some things in my life and I realize that I have to draw closer to Him. Don’t get me wrong,I’m not getting closer simply because I need something but because I know who I am to Him and it’s time for me to be the amazing woman that He knows I am. Can I get an amen?

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Lucille!!!

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Those of you who follow my Instagram account, know that this past weekend I was gifted with my very FIRST slow cooker.  I have decided to name it Lucille, a moniker I have to a favorite pen I had in 8th grade. Actually, I named the pen after the Little Richard song ‘Lucille’,after I watched the Little Richard biopic,starring a favorite of mine, Leon 😍😍😍. But, I digress.

I CAN’T WAIT to make my first slow cooker meal and so I got Pinterest and found quite a few I want to try. But one that stuck out to me was actually one I had seen done by my favorite television chef, Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. It also just so happened that my mother mentioned that she had a taste for homemade lasagna,and then I got the slow cooker,all in the same week. Talk about fate,huh? Without further ado, here is the recipe for slow cooker lasagna. Enjoy!

   

Ingredients

Meat Mixture:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced 
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
Cheese Mixture:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
Lasagna:
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the slow cooker
  • 15 uncooked lasagna noodles 
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

ADD CHECKED ITEMS TO GROCERY LIST

Directions

For the meat mixture: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, sausage and garlic and cook until brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and some pepper and stir. Set aside.

For the cheese mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs and stir together well.

For the lasagna: Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Spoon in one-quarter of the meat mixture on the bottom and top with 5 lasagna noodles, broken to fit. Add a third of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat this layering twice, starting with the meat mixture and ending with the mozzarella, for 3 layers total.

For the fourth layer, top with the remaining meat mixture and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Turn off the heat and allow the lasagna to sit 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Show: The Pioneer Woman

Episode: Hay There!

Halloween This Or That Tag Questions

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1. Chocolate candy or fruity? I like a nice balance. NO CANDY CORN!!!

2. Witches or Vampires? Vampires!!!! That is why I am obsessed with Anne Rice’s classic The Vampire Chronicles


3. Trick or Treat? Treat. I hate being pranked. If you EVER prank me ,I will slowly get my revenge on you. AndI dont do revenge in a big way,nope, with me it will something small that will drive you mad. Ask my brothers. Two of them are still receiving their revenge from me and dont even know it…BWHAHAHA!!!

4. Halloween Party or Scary Movie?

I prefer getting a serious sugar rush at home with a  good scary movie!

5. Skeletons or Zombies?

Zombies. Who the hell is afraid of the foundation of the human anatomy?!


6. Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy?

 How can I watch scary movies if I’m  out trick or treating…duh!

7. Hay Ride or Corn Maze?

Hay ride. I have this dream where I get stuck in a maze that has black panthers hiding through out the maze chasing me and snapping their huge vicious teeth at me…

8. Scary Costume or Funny Costume?

Depends on the mood I’m in that year. Like this year, I’m doing quirky,but last year I did sexy.

9. Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie?

Pumpkin pie definitely! Think I’m going to attempt my first homemade  one this year.

10. Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest?

Compliments of the Twisted Beanstalk Nursery

Bottle feed a baby zombie of course. It’s a baby vs. the unknown. I choose the bay,because if it starts doing all that zombie shit, I could just kill it. Sorry, creepy cute baby. 

11. Bats or Black Cats?

I am a proud black cat owner!

12. Pumpkin Spice or hot Chocolate?

Pumpkin spice ALL.DAY. Check out my Instagram to see all my pumpkin goodness food!

13. Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall?

Neighborhood. In my house. Watching the scary movies…didnt we go over this,already?!

My Fall Favorites

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What is your favorite Halloween candy?



Hmm… I love anything except candy corn.

 

What is one of the worst β€œtreats” you ever received in your candy bag? 

See number 1.

 

What was one of your favorite costumes you wore when you were a kid?

Darn, I wish I had a picture of it. I got my first costume when I was 11 years old and it was a teeny bopper outfit. Complete with poodle on skirt and saddle shoes! I was too embarrassed to tell my classmates what it was because I felt like they would call me a nerd. My teacher explained my costume and everyone complimented the poodle on my skirt.

 

 

How about your favorite costume as an adult?

As adult I’ve only ever been SEXY Snow White

 

What scares you most on Halloween? Spiders? Zombies? Axe murderers? Eyeballs in a jar… 

This is Pumpkinhead and he scares the shit out of me! Bleh…


 

So then, what is your favorite scary movie??

Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978)

The Fly (198?) It was gross and I loved it! Plus…Jeff Goldblum naked!!!

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

What is you favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?

Hmm… well this year it will be celebrating my daughter’s first decade on Thanksgiving Day!

 What is your favorite piece of clothing or accessory to wear in the Fall?

Scarves are my favorite thing to wear.  And the best part is,I make my own!

 

What is your favorite pie?  If you do not like pie I will forgive you but then what is your favorite Fall dessert?

Lately, it’s a pumpkin pie cheesecake that I found in my local supermarket

The cheesecake is underneath the bagel covered in pumpkin spice cream cheese as seen on my 

bookstagram

 

Do you live where there are four seasons? If so, where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?

There is beautiful foliage on the walk to my daughter’s school. As soon as it’s in full effect, I will post pictures!

 

This is the above mentioned area pre Fall foliage

What is your favorite fall tradition?

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year I try to catch a picture of the Spongebob balloon as he floats by because he’s one of my favorite cartoon characters. It’s become my own quirky tradition!

 

Is there anything else special about the Fall to you?

 Some close relatives of mine that have passed away have birthdays in November so I like to remember them by picking leaves of different colors,saying a prayer,and watching the leaves float away out to sea. I also have a two nieces with birthdays and a couple of friends with birthdays as well! So I guess I’m celebrating all through November!!!

Time and Balance

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I notice I use my time best when I’ve done my morning routine to completion.  This past week, I’ve been bullshitting and not doing it. What’s my excuse? Aside from a couple famioly hiccups this weeks,I’ve been truly tired. Like almost-miss-my-Allstar-by-Smashmouth-custom-morning-alarm tired.

I enjoy spending time to myself before I have any other roles to take on at 6:30am. I take my silent walk around the block. I get to admire my dreary little piece of NYC. I get to have witty musings and observations about life and motherhood when I take my walks. During my meditation I visualize the life I’m headed to. That in turn inspired me to read,which inspires me to come up with new content. Full circle,y’all!

With that being said, I don’t feel all that guilty about missing my routine sometimes. I don’t always want to be alone with myself. Sometimes I wan to jist stay busy in my other roles. Nothing wrong with trying to find a balance. Isn’t that what life is? 

Free Fall Events in NYC

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One of the things I love most about living in NYC is for every holiday there are a million free or inexpensive events to participate in. All I ever have to do is make sure my Metro Card is loaded up and pack lunch for Shug and I. Many people don’t celebrate Halloween but there’s no reason they shouldn’t enjoy the Fall foliage as well as Fall activities. After doing a little digging, I’ve found a few FREE things to do with the kids in the 5 boroughs. Happy Autumn!

1. Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival

Admission is free however there is a $2 fee for the carousel as well as a fee for the pumpkins

Location:Willowbrook Park,Staten Island

Date: Saturday, October 7th

Time: 12PM- 5PM

2.Fall Harvest Festival

Live music,games, crafts,pumpkins,and more!
Location: Forest Park Victory Field, Forest Hills,Queens

Date: Saturday October 24

Time: 12PM-3PM

3. Children’s Harvest Festival

Children pick a pumpkin from the patch,decorste them,ride horse drawn carriages,and enjoy a concert

Location: Carl Schurz Park, Upper East Side,NYC

Date:Saturday, October 21

Time: 11AM-1PM

4.Autumn Moon Cultural Festival and Lantern Parade 

Part of the annual Chinese harvest season celebration, the festival includes cultural performances, traditional crafts,and a lantern Parade

Location: Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Date:Sunday, October 8

Time: 12PM- 5PM

5. Giant Pumpkin Weekend

Freakishly large pumpkins(some weigh over a ton) are on diplay during this fun weekend. The growers will be in attendance during a Q&A. You can also take pics with the pumpkins( I do believe they’re decorated/carved.

Location: New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx

Date: Saturday October 21-22

Time:10AM-6PM

The Mommy In Color Mission Statement

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My blog believes that underprivileged Black mothers are often silenced with no voice to let the world know about their voice because I AM an underprivileged Black mother.  I want people to see that although we don’t have much we are regular mom’s.

I lost about my experience as a Black mother. There is a stigma about us and we are shamed and told we aren’t good enough because we don’t have enough. I want attention and help for us. I don’t want anyone is to be ashamed.  We should be working together as a tribe to raise our children.  Over time, as I become more comfortable doing so, I will get into the real things I go through. I’m grateful to have an audience to hear me. My business goal is to take OUR message  to the forefront of discussions so that we can get what we need: support.  My hope is that you ,precious reader, will find understanding, non judgement,and safety here.

Hair Care Routine/Products Β 2017

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I just got back into my hair after neglecting it for so long. A friend of mine is having some hair care struggles of her own and we talked about different products she could try. It reminded me of how much I love my hair and how I used to go broke  using all the latest products just to keep it looking good. Not anymore. My routine is not only simple, it’s pretty affordable. Gone are the days where I will spend $36 on a curl creme. Now, I’m outchea being cute on a budget. 

First, obviously, your hair has to be clean. I tried co washing for awhile but I didn’t like it,so I went back to shampoo. I usually use Alberto VO5 Moisture Milks Strawberry Milkshake moisturizing shampoo but if I want to spare another $1.50, I will buy this:

It feels like you’re washing your hair with silk. I feel like a Queen using this shampoo. It has a lot of suds,which I like in my cleaner.

After washing, I have to deep condition my strands.I do it every two weeks. It’s important to hold on to the moisture from the shampoo and the added moisturizing ingredients from the conditioner. So my go to right now is:

It smells like lemons and it’s a protein conditioner,which means it helps strengthen the hair which in turn helps with breakage.  I section my hair in four, apply large amounts on my hair,wrap my bonnet around it,then my silk scarf for added heat so the product can penetrate. I leave it for 45 minutes and wash it out.

You could do a hot oil treatment after that step, I’m too lazy to do it. If you’re not going to do this,then I suggest following up with a moisturizing conditioner because protein conditioners are a bit drying. We want to keep as much moisture in the hair as possible,so try not to skip this step. However,  for those of you who cheat like I do and go straight to your leave in conditioner, here’s what I like to use:

Not gonna lie, I originally chose this simply for its bright yellow container. But it smell so good,y’all!!!  It can also double as a moisturizing conditioner and it works well for anti breakage protection.  I section my hair in six for this because the product seems to penetrate better when my hair is in smaller sections . I make sure I get the ends first and work my way up with my fingers. I let it dry for a minute or two then I apply:

 

I don’t use hair grease at all and if you do I STRONGLY suggest you stop now. It has petroleum in it which blocks the pores,cutting off hair growth. Bye bye to Dax and Sulfur 8. I use Jamaican Black castor oil with coconut oil. The castor oil helps the hair grow, thicken,and seal in  moisture  and the coconut oil helps strengthen the hair. I put some on my fingers and massage it into my scalp. I put a bit on the ends. It’s a heavy consistency so I use it sparingly. I don’t like my hair feeling weighed down. I leave the hair to air dry for about an hour before I’m ready to style and right now my favorite styler is:

 Black Castor Oil/Flaxseed

Coconut Oil

I have always loved ECO Styler Gel and I’m so glad they added these as options. They’re heavy like most gels but not quite as transparent. The gel actually sparkles like it has glitter in it,but when I’ve applied it, there was no sign of glitter.  After letting my hair dry for a bit, I start twisting it using the gel to hold the twist. I apply gel at the base of each twist so that it will lay down and at the end to keep the twist from unraveling.

And that’s  it! I wrap my hair up at night with a bonnet or silk scarf and in the morning I shake my head out and go. I try to stick to this routine every two weeks and I think I have found what works for me…for now. How do you take care of your tresses? What are you using?

Now Is The Time of Year When…

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Now is the time of year when…

Sweaters become jackets 

Hoodies morph into hats

Now is the time of year when…

The Sun shines through the trees turning yellow leaves into the gold you know must be in Heaven

Leaves of bright red turn crimson with the setting Sun and dropping temperatures 

Now is the time of year when…

A daughter’s first decade is celebrated  with a store bought ice cream cake 

And a feast of thanks giving celebrated on the same day

Now is the time of year when…

You’re usually brisk walk to the train station or bus stop is made even quicker from the sting of the cold

Now is the time of year when…

You damn yourself for not  carrying the little packet of tissues you just bought 

As you hold your head skyward  to hold in the snot

And thank the Heavens for the Autumn you witness…

Namaste…ish

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Just wanted to drop in and update you guys on my morning routine. Full disclosure: I have stopped and started this routine 2 times already. Third time’s the charm,they say. This go round I’ve stuck with it for almost a week. That’s a record for me because I drop out of self care things within a couple of days. This is different.  Why, you ask?

About two months ago, an ex of mine and so were catching up and he said “You haven’t changed at all in the said years I’ve known you. Don’t you want to try something different?” He was referring to my hair and clothing style,such earned him an onslaught of words that would make a sailor blush. However,he did implant in my mind that there  are  changes I’d like to make to my life style and well being and the way I approach it. Enter The Miracle Morning(TMM). I figure that a change in me will start when from when I wake up in the morning.

TMM follows a formula created by the author of the book called Life S.A.V.E.R.S. They are the steps you take during the routine. You can switch the order around if you want but here is what the routine consists of:

Silence. You can take a silent walk(sans phone), meditate,oeay,do breathing exercises,etc. Whatever you choose,do it in silence. This gives you a chance to get dome mental clarity,focus on the goals ahead if you, and it’s strss relieving.

Affirmations. Oprah does affirmations. That’s good enough for me.

A few of my affirmations. I have night time ones as well.

Visualization. Vision boards help to keep you motivated on where your trying to go and what you’re trying to do. You can choose to have a physical one where you can see it every day or an online one. Here is mine.

Exercise. This one is my least favorite   I HATE working out but I do love yoga.  I have a serious internal battle every day to get it together and hit the mat. Once I do, I feel better. This is my favorite workout (cuz it’s easy)

Reading. Obvi, this one is my favorite.  It’s suggested that you read something motivational or self help related. After I’m done with TMM,  I’ll be reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. 

Scribing. This is a journaling exercise. I use the journaling to summarize my thoughts and feelings about what I’ve learned during my MM that morning. I jot down how I’ve improved that day,changes I want to make,and one thing I’m grateful for that morning. 

I feel a lot more energized,motivated,and positive since starting TMM. Im moving forward career wise because I have the confidence in my abilities now. I’d say that’s a big win!