My favorite TV Shows

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My favorite TV Shows

I watch alot more tv than I care to admit but I love a unique and good story with great acting. I like drama and reality tv.Here are a few of my favorites, in no specific order

1) THE L WORD:GENERATION Q- I started watching the original L Word series after it had already gone off the air and quickly fell in love with Shane played by the stunning Kate Moennig. The current spin off stars Moennig in her original role as well as original faves Alice and Bette. The newbies include a Latina couple, a transgender Asian man,and a stud lesbian. Bette is running for mayor, Alice has a hit talk show, and Shane is desling with parenthood when her estranged wife shows up pregnant.

2) RAY DONOVAN- I once met Liev Shriver in the airport and he is GORGEOUS and smells amazing. No, I didnt sniff him but his cologne was perfect. He stars in this show that centers around Ray, a fixer with serious family issues. Ray has alot of trauma stemming from being molested by a priest as a child. He aint no saint as he carries on several extramarital affairs. His brother Terry has Parkinson’s and his brother, Bunchy is a severe alcoholic as a coping mechanism from also being molested by the same priest. Their father, Mickey is a life long criminal and ne’er do well whose attempts at making things right always make things worse. Its interesting to watch Ray juggle being a father and husband in his dangerous and deadly business.

3)HARLOTS- This show technically is on Hulu but I am obsessed with it so it had to gonon the list. It tells the story of a madam, Margaret Wells and her two daughters, Charlotte and Lucy. Margaret has only ever known prostitution as a way of living and has groomed her daughters in the same business. Her rival, Lydia Quigley goes to extreme measures to stop Margaret from thriving and by the end of the first season a prostitute and a “john”are dead. What I love about this show is no matter what your view are on prostitution, you csnt help but celebrate these women for not letting men push them around. They choose their own family and stick together no matter what.

4) THE AFFAIR- Dominic West is Noah Solloway,a struggling writer amd father of 4 living in Brooklyn. While on a vist to his wife’s family’s estate in Montauk, he meets Alison, a married waitress who is still mourning the drowning death of her 4 year old. So begins a whirlwind affair with consequences that affect bith Alison and Noah’s family for years to come. In the final season, the show takes a good look at issues of race and class while still telling the story of how everyone is affected by Noah and Alison’s affair. Ruth Wilson does an amazing job as Alison and Maura Tierney executes the jilted wife of Noah very well. Its a very emotionally heavy show and it does wear on your own feelings but it’s worth it.

5) SHAMELESS- William H. Macy os Frank Gallagher, the drug and alcohol addicted patriarch of a poor family in Chicago’s South Side. His oldest daughter, Fiona basically raises the other 5 kids in Frank’s absence. The whole family has different ways of scheming to support the fsmily while dealing with their own stuff. Lip struggles with alcohol addiction, Ian struggles with being gay and bipolar and Debbie eventually becomes a teen mom. Once again this is a story about how a poor white family stick together in some very bizzare and comedic ways.

6) 90 DAY FIANCE- This show follows several Americans who have found love overseas. Some are able to bring their significant other to America and have 90 days to marry if that person is going to become a U.S. citizen. What’s interesting is watching the couple handle cultural and familial differences and in some cases, being denied the opportunity for their true love to come to America. Its total chaos at times but is relatable in showing the struggles most couples have when deciding if they’re ready to get married.

7) LOVE AFTER LOCKUP- This show is similar to 90 Day Fiance but insyead follows the journey of people who are in a relationship with inmates. Their crimes vary and the harship comes once the criminal is released from prison. Many of the inmates have been in jail for years and upon their release have to handle being back in regular society and a relationship started in prison.

8) THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF… I actually watch ALL of the Real Housewives franchises but I do have my favorite housewives. They are Margaret, Bethenny, Dorinda, Ashley, Monique, Kyle, Brandi, Kandi, and Porsha. Its about rich/well to do women and their lives. The drama presents itself in their friendships and there are quite a few physical altercations. I heard their adding a new city soon, Salt Lake City.

9) LOVE AND HIP HOP: NY- This show is where Cardi B was first introduced to the world before her rise to hip hop stardom. It features hip hop artist up and comers as well as has beens trying to make it in the music industry while having love lives. Most of the men are cheating trash and the women are catty but I do love the drama and pettiness.

10)THE DEUCE- I love period dramas set in NY and this one portrays The Big Apple in the ’70s. Twins Frankie and Vincent are bar owners whose clientele include pimps, prostitutes, and the mob. One prostitute, Candi, gets out of the life and becomes a porn film director. Fron her perspective we get a look at the porn industry and how the majority of people thought it exploited women. It also shines a light on drug use among pimps and prostitutes and how it was a pretty normal thing.

Those are just some of the shows I love.There are quite a few more. I would love to know what you fellow SAHMs are watching. Leave your faves in the comments👇🏽

4 Tips on Traveling on the Subway with A Toddler

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4 Tips on Traveling on the Subway with A Toddler

I have a 4 hour commute (going and coming back)Monday through Friday to get Amani to and from school. Most of those days I have to bring Avery with me unless his grandma babysits. I’ve been doing this for a few months now and I’ve learned a couple of things during that time. I hope these tips help and if you have any more,drop them in the comments.

1) BRING SNACKS. I’m up at 4:30 am and Avery is up at that time as well. I feed him breakfast but by the time I’ve dropped Amani off, its around 8:30 and he starts getting a little cranky and peckish. I pack dry cereal and orange juice or water and he eats and takes a nap. I suggest a healthy snack that isnt messy but if you forget, there are newsstands in most of the train stations.

2) ASK FOR HELP. One of the train stations I use to travel doesn’t have elevators or escalators,which means stairs are the only option. I usually lug the stroller up and down the stairs myself but not anymore.A young woman fell down the stairs and broke her neck while taking her stroller down the stairs. That really scared me so now if Amani isn’t with me to help, I don’t mind asking. I very rarely have to ask and it’s usually a gentleman who helps. But sometimes people act like they don’t see you and on those occasions,I ask. Don’t be afraid, remember it takes a village and who can say no to a woman with a baby?Oh, and I’ve been harassing the MTA on Twitter about putting elevators in ALL the subway stations. Might even start a petition. If they want to raise the fare, they have to make it worth it.

Lomg train rides require a nap

3) TALK TO YOUR TODDLER. Avery is in his pointing phase and he wants to know what everything is by pointing and saying “that”. Being a city baby provides LOTS of opportunities for learning. For example, here in NY the trains have letters or numbers to identify them. We take the ‘A train’ and whenever it pulls into the station,Avery will point and say ‘A’. When other trains pull in, i repeat the letter for him in an attempt to get him to recognize and remember it. Also, read the name of the stops to your toddler as well as signs and the subway maps. You may not think they are paying attention or understand but repetition is key. It alo distracts from tantrums and restlessness.

4) ENCOURAGE TALKING TO STRANGERS. As I said in #3, Avery is in a pointing phase and he loves to also point at people. People usually smile, wave, and talk to him and he ‘talks’ back. This is a great way to encourage and practice socialization skills. Avery LOVES people and is starting to understand how conversation works. Thankfully, no one talks to him in “baby talk”. A few people even shake hands with Avery which is another way he’s learning how to greet people. And just like #3, it distracts him from being restless and having a tantrum.

Traveling with a baby used to really make me nervous mbut now that I have been using these tips, its much smoother sailing. There can be annoying delays and rerouting of train lines(mostly weekends) but remember babies/toddlers thrive on consistency so no matter how the travel changes stick to the routine as much as possible. And if all else fails stick a tablet in their face. Good luck, city moms!

January 2020 Goals

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January 2020 Goals

I know I’m about two weeks late with this post but I had to really think about what my goals are for this month. I wanted to wait until I got into the groove of yet another new routine where I’m at 4:30 in the morning. This last week proved very exhausting physically but I can get things done if I use the time wisely…but I REALLY want to sleep

My personal goals are really simple. I just want to go back to my Miracle Morning routine. It was very helpful in getting me in a positive mood for the day and I enjoyed having that me time before the chaos of the kids. I’m crabby and all over the place in the morning and I sometimes take it out on the kids which I don’t like at all. So, here’s to a more calm me. Also, I’m looking for a new apartment for me,my mom,and the kids.The Girl wants to go back to Far Rockaway which I don’t really mind. My mom wants Manhattan which I do mind. It’s the most expensive borough and I’m already stretching our dollars as far as they can go. I don’t mind Brooklyn or Queens. As long as the area is decent, the home is up to code,and I can picture raising the kids there for years to come, I’m sold.

Avery’s father has come back into the picture and wants to help me raise Avery and start over with me as well. I have no issue with him being a dad and I’m cautiously optimistic about it. So far, he’s been seeing Avery once or twice week. He had a minor setback when he fell off a ladder at work and fractured his ankle but he’s recovering well. Not sure how I feel about us getting back together but I won’t completely dismiss it.

As for the blog, I have been challenged to do a schedule of posts for they entire year. That scares me because I never really plan ahead. I just write the post and publish. Even this one is unplanned and I’m doing it while holding a sleeping Avery.

I see the point of a schedule and I understand how I could benefit from one so I’m going to try it. Instead of doing it a whole year in advance I’ll break it down to scheduling a month or two in advance. If any of you have any tips on scheduling posts, drop them in my comment section because I could use the help. I’ve also started a You Tube channel. Last year, I barely watched You Tube but many of my favorite book bloggers have accompanying channels and I do enjoy visuals of them and their gorgeous bookshelves. I warn you now, I have no cute lighting, no makeup,and I’m wearing my headscarf in all the videos. This is more of an experiment right now and I don’t know if I want to do book stuff or mom stuff or both. Definitely gonna pray about that.

My reading goals are pretty overconfident to say the least. I have decided to participate in two challenge, The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge and the Reading Women Challenge. Oh,and I’m participating in Dewey’s Readathon in April. My book goal for the year is 35 books and between the MMD Challenge and the Reading Women Challenge, I think that’s 34 books. Some of the categories are going to be a little difficult for me but I’m up for it.

I’m looking forward to another blessed year even if I’m unable to reach all my goals. For me the purpose of them is not about completion but about the growth I will get from pursuing them. Wishing you all a prosperous, healthy new year!!!

November Wrap Up& December TBR

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November Wrap Up& December TBR

Hey, bookworms! Despite an event filled month, I actually did finish 3 books. The last two I finished during my now longer commute to school drop off for my oldest. Once Ive dropped her off, Avery usually naps on the ride back home which gives me about an hour to read. There’s a silver lining in a rough situation. So here are the books Ive read as well ss their reviews. I want to know what you’ve read and what you’re looking for ward to reading in December. Drop it in the comments.

WHAT I READ:

1) OLIVE, AGAIN BY ELIZABETH STROUT

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There weren’t huge events that happened,it was more of a quiet read. I love Olive and I hope to kond of be like her in my golden years. She isn’t fake to me and she’s also blunt but not overly rude. I read this book before the first one and I look forward to seeing what Olive was like as a young woman. 4/5 ⭐

2) ) THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY BY ALIX E. HARROW

This book was unique in how it used time travel to tell the story of January. She finds a Door one day that leads to a different time and a different wirld and decides to pursue finding more as a way to deal with her father’s constant absence and the death of her mother. January grows up with a rich benefactor who is her father’s employer and even though on the surface he seems like a great guy, January doesn’t tell him about the Door or the book she found about Doors. There are characters that are clearly the bad guys but I enjoy how Mr. Locke., January’s guardian, is walking a thin line between a greedy bad guy and a parent who was too overprotective and misguided. January’s own father was not honest with her either and it drives a wedge between her dad and her. Overall, this book was beautifully written and the characters well developed. The on thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is the ending felt a little confusing and I’ll definitely have to read the book again to properly understand how Locke became Locke and his motives for closing Doors but other than that, I loved it. I could see there being a 2nd part,perhaps a prequel to delve into Locke and if so I’d read it. 5/5⭐

3) DEAR GIRLS BY ALI WONG

I never heard of Ali Wong before reading this book. From chapter one I was sold. I immensely appreciated her honesty about failing at comedy before she broke through. I enjoyed listening to how she handle being a minority woman in comedy. Because of her, I’ve decided a majority of white people should just stop talking. My favorite chapters are Mr. Wong and the chapter about wedding planning… To sum it up, just do city hall, which is my intention anyway. Ali discussed the differences between her mother’s generation living in America and her generation living in America beautifully. She discusses the tough relationship she had with her parents because of their generational differences which I related with because I also have a difficult relationship with my mom. I now see that it has alot to do with the different times we came of age. All in all, I think Ali’s stories were funny as hell, captivating, and honest,which is what I appreciate most from a memoir of any kind. Favorite thing was that this book is for her two daughters. I have diaries that Ive dedicated to my daughter so I appreciate Ali’s approach as a mom. I wish it was a longer book and I’m crossing my fingers for more. 4/5 ⭐

DECEMBER TBR:

1) WHICKERING PLACE BY LONDON CLARKE

GoodReads Description:

this gripping follow-up to The Meadows, a woman trapped by her own fears inherits a house haunted by a legacy of darkness and a history of ritual sacrifices.

A violent attack that happened nearly a decade ago has left twenty-seven-year-old Avery Tullinger barely able to walk outside. Following her estranged father’s death, she inherits Whickering Place, a historic mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, currently occupied by two tenants: Colin Gallagher, a young doctor, and his mysterious brother, Pearse. Soon after moving in, Avery learns that her father’s life in the house was consumed by the supernatural … and the activity appears to be starting again.

As paranormal events within the house escalate, so does Avery’s attraction for Pearse, even though Colin warns her that his younger brother is involved in a dangerous cult called The Colony. Faced with losing Whickering Place, her heart, and even her life, Avery is forced to make unimaginable choices. And as Whickering Place becomes the focal point for The Colony’s bloody rituals, the house’s dark history threatens to repeat itself.

At turns a novel of terror and a story of love, Whickering Place is a paranormal thriller of nonstop suspense about the risks of living and loving outside safe boundaries and the relationships that change, motivate, and sustain us.

2) YOUR BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD BY JOYCE MEYER

Goodreads Description:

Have you ever felt you tried every solution on earth to solve a problem, but nothing worked? Have you ever wondered where the difficulties you face are coming from? Joyce Meyer has answers.

In Your Battles Belong to the Lord, Meyer explains that while some problems may result from a person’s choices or circumstances, others are rooted in the spiritual realm. Once you recognize the devil–who is real and active in the world today–as your true enemy and the source of many of your struggles, you can overcome them and live a life of peace, freedom, faith and victory. When facing life’s battles, there are certain things you must do for yourself, such as:

Diligently studying and applying God’s Word
Trusting Him
Praying
Maintaining a positive attitude and thankful heart

But there are other things only God can do. When you do your part, God does His-and He is always ready and eager to defend you and help you.

Each chapter of the book helps you understand how the enemy operates and learn to counter his schemes and strategies so you can live at a new level of strength. Chapter titles include: “Know Your Enemy,” “Eliminate Fear,” “How the Devil Tries to Deceive People,” “Hold Your Peace,” “The Power of a Thankful Life,” and “Internal Rest.”

In this fresh approach to the subject of spiritual warfare, Meyer focuses not only on the nature and strategies of the enemy, but also on the power and love of God, who always defeats the enemy and leads you to triumph. No matter how difficult your challenges are, if you have God with you, you have all you need to win every battle.

3)IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH BY BIANCA MARAIS

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life.

Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it’s what she can’t have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to lick their wounds, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.

As the mystery surrounding the infant grows, the complicated lives of Zodwa, Ruth, and Delilah become inextricably linked. What follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves?

Don’t Yell Fire…

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Don’t Yell Fire…

Hey everyone!!! I know, I’ve been ghost for a minute but there has been some drama in my life. Let me explain.

About 2 weeks ago, my house caught on fire. Me, Avery and my mom were home. It started outside at the bottom of my porch steps. My mkm and I were face timing with my brother and she starts saying she smells smoke. I had just finished heating up something. So, I make sure the stove isn’t on. I start to ser a little smoke but I ignore it and keep talking to my brother. Then I get a phone call from my girlfriend who lives across the Street from me. She asks if my house is on fire because her mom who lives on the other side of her building with a view of ky house told her it is. I laugh and say “Girl,no”. Then I look at my front door and see thick black smoke seeping in. I yell for my mom to dress as I get me and Avery dressed. My mom is freaking out and yelling “Wheres the baby?! Get the baby!!!” I’m yelling back that I’m dressing him and for her to just get dressed. She keeps yelling about the baby’s whereabouts and I’m ignoring her. Meanwhile the fire department is busting down my door as I’m naked holding a half naked baby. My mom runs out of the house with them and yelling for me to hurry up. I still don’t know who called the firemen because it definitely wasn’t us. Finally I hit the door and all I can see is smoke and the fire men. Avery’s face is covered with a blanket. There are like 10 more fire men waiting outside to come in. They keep asking if anyone else is inside and I keep yelling ” The cat!!!! Where tf is the cat?!?!?!” No one answers me. My mom and I head through the alley way that leads to the house in front of mine( I live on a poorly built block.) Almost all of my neighbors are standing and watching.

For some reason, I feel embarrassed that they’re all watching me yell for my mom to follow me to the front. She was about to get arrested because she refused to move from the house and the killer black smoke.They all looked at Avery who had no coat or shoes on. I’m in shock. I just stand there while Avery squirms in my arms. My mom sees him and she loses her shit about him not wearing a coat or shoes. Then we fight about it. My neighbor’s husband brings me a blanket for Avery. And then I don’t remember a whole lot after that. Again…shock.

The next thing we were on our way to a hotel paid for by the Red Cross. Amani wasn’t home when the fire happened and the worst thing was having to tell her that the only home she’s ever known was no more. She took it fine at first but once we got on the van and started driving away she broke down. I couldn’t do anything but hold her. We spent that weekend in a hotel in the neighborhood my mom grew up in. Then we went to our housing program’s offices and we alwere put in a different hotel. Because my mom has a housing program, we can move once we find a place. Then social services will pay for the first and last month’s rent as well as security.

In retrospect, I’m kind of sad about losing the house. Over the almost decade we’ve been there alot of sad and awful things have happened. My biological mother and my cat died in my living room, Hurricane Sandy left me with a little PTSD and just a string of other ” Good Times”-esque events. It is not lost on my part that we are still very blessed that we are comfortable and doing life as normal as possible. But, we needed a change. Since my mom has been better, she’s been wanting a fresh start in a new home. I also know she procrastinates on major things so maybe this was the little push we needed. Amani is still in the same school though now I have to get her via MTA. We wake at 5 and the ride is an hour and a half,split between two trains. Avery comes with me both taking Amani to school and picking her up. Mom still has dialysis at the hospital 3x a week but she has transportation provided to her.

This was a terrible time for a fire. Amani turned twelve years old o. The 23rd and Avery will be a year on the 5th. Plus, Thanksgiving and Christmas . I was stoked about Avery’s first winter holidays and now it’s the furthest thing from my mind. I’m kind of bummed that it’s not gonna pan out the way I planned it in my head. But what’s that saying? When you make plans, God laughs? Wel, He’s getting quite the chuckle off of me. Friends, I have a request of you. Amani’s school provides her with a free MetroCard to get back and forth to school. I am not afforded that luxury and have had to schlep me and Avery on my dime…or nickel? I would appreciate it if you all would donate some change our way to be used on Metro Cards for me. I realize its the holidays but you could donate as little as $2.75, which is the cost of one fare. I have both PayPal and Cash App for your convenience. Just DM me so I know where to look and confirm I received it. Thank you jn advance and happy holidays!!!

My Hair Regimen 2019

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My Hair Regimen 2019

Hey, natural moms!! Raise your hand if you’re like me and neglect your hair because you’re a mom…I’ll wait…………Uh huh, exactly as I thought, most of you put all your energy into child rearing and forget about you. I’m with you,girl.

With Amani self care went out the window. I was raised by a single mom who worked and neglected her social life a lot. So to prove I was a good mom, I did the same. A year into that, I was like “Nah, I have to breathe. So I started figuring out how to make myself feel better when I can’t go out. So I went natural in 2013. I started off really strong dedicating alot of money and time to getting my hair in check.

Fast forward and I have Avery,who is a HANDFUL and I don’t have time for hair. But when I do try to tame the bird’s nest on my head, I keep the same regimen as I did 6 years ago. As tight as my budget for myself is, I managed to get a couple new hair products,some I’ve used faithfully and a couple new things. I’m a product junkie, so definitely tell me what you’re using on your and how you use it.

Pre poo(prepping the hair with product before wash. This step makes the hair more pliable for washing.

I usually use use a cheap conditioner by VO5 for pre poo but I think I have found a holy grail with Creme of Nature’s Clay and Charcoal prepp treatment. I’ve heard good things about the detoxifying benefits of charcoal so I wanted in. OMG, it immediately softens the curls before the hair is even clean. It goes on smooth and has a slight detergent smell but I loved it. I section my hair into six and apply the product generously to each section.

Then I cover with a plastic cap and headscarf for ten minutes. Enough time to make sure Avery isn’t destroying something or annoying his sister.

Washing:

I rinse out the pre poo, then apply a shampoo. I love ORS’s Monoi Oil Anti Breakage Leave In cream. It doubles as a deep conditioner, which is the next step. I never used the shampoo or conditioner that’s in the same product line. I like good slip in my shampoo and this shampoo has meh slip. It is sooo hard to squeeze out the conditioner from the bottle because it’s really thick. It should have been in a jar. But just after shampooing, I noticed less breakage as promised. Because of my neglect I had a lot of breakage. Yes, I’d use this shampoo and conditioner again.

Conditioning:

Because of aforementioned breakage, I needed a protein conditioner. It helps with breakage by strengthening the hair shaft. I normally use ORS Hair Mayo but I needed something powerful so I turned to Aphogee’s 2 Step Protein Treatment. It’s watery in consistency which apparently is good for my low porosity hair but ut hardens in the hair fast so apply quick ly. I left it on for 10 minutes and it took quite a bit of rinsing to make sure it was out. I don’t think I’ll use it again, the hardening of my hair was not cool.

I applied the ORS Monoi Oil Anti Breakage conditioner(see previous picture)because protein conditioners really dry your hair out and you need to replace that moisture. Im not going to lie, I love this line because the packaging is my favorite color but the products are very good. I love that there are no overwhelming scents and it’s not expensive. I use a lot of products on my hair and I don’t want competing smells on it.

I usually leave conditioner on my hair for around 30 minutes. Its covered in a plastic cap and head scarf. More time to check in with kids, scroll Twitter, or look up new Pinterest crockpot recipes. I have this multi tasking thing IN.THE.BAG.

The Big Finish:

After I rinse out conditioner, i add a leave in conditioner. Creme of Nature Argain Oil line is primo. Ive used the shampoo, intense conditioner,and curlxl creme but the leave in is my favorite. It makes the hair shiny, has a clean scent and the oil keeps it moisturized. It’s a liquid spray that yoh must shake to activate.

After that, I apply my oils which is usually Jamaican Black castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil. The blend I’m currently using is JBCO, EVOO,and tea tree. All of them have excellent hair benefits including thickening of hair, antifungal properties, and moisture retention. If I’m not going to twist my hair right away, then I make six large cornrows and cover in my headscarf when I sleep.

I know this routine seems like a lot but your hair needs love and time and patience, just like your kids. If you have other methods of hair care, I’m all ears. Find me on IG, Facebook, and Twitter.Until next week!!

October Reads and November TBR

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October Reads and November TBR

Hey,bookworms! We are in one of my favorite months. Why is it my favorite month,you ask? Well, Amani will be 12 years old on the 23rd nd my closest friend’s son will be turning 4 years old. He and my daughter are birthday twins. Plus, on Thanksgiving Day, that same friend’s other son will be 8 years old. That means lots of celebrating and plenty of food and desserts. Now, let’s talk books.

My Fall reading TBR is pretty ambitious. Especially since, I threw in a+700 page behemoth that I started like a year ago. I still haven’t gotten a quarter of a way through it. I LOVE a big book and it irks me that I haven’t finished this one yet. Here’s what I did finish in October:

THE WATER DANCER BY TANEHISI COATES

This book was sooo good!!! It follows a slave named Hi(ram) whose mother is taken away from him as a child. Hi has a special ability to remember every thing down to the smallest detail. This journey takes him to the Underground where he works with Harriet Tubman herself. She also possesses the unique gift Hi has. She helps aid in his getaway but the journey takes him back to his owner who is also his father. Through his trials Hi learns to hone his gift and use it to reconnect people while trying to remember his own mother.

There are sooo many gems in this book. Coates brings a unique perspective on slavery by adding a magical realism twist. Not only does Hi witness classism among white people but he gets a glimpse at women’s suffrage and the plight of Native American people as well. Though the story of slavery has been told MANY times, Coates holds his own fresh take on a dark time that we are still dealing with today.

THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY BY ALIX E. HARROW

This book was unique in how it used time travel to tell the story of January. She finds a Door one day that leads to a different time and a different wirld and decides to pursue finding more as a way to deal with her father’s constant absence and the death of her mother. January grows up with a rich benefactor who is her father’s employer and even though on the surface he seems like a great guy, January doesn’t tell him about the Door or the book she found about Doors. There are characters that are clearly the bad guys but I enjoy how Mr. Locke., January’s guardian, is walking a thin line between a greedy bad guy and a parent who was too overprotective and misguided. January’s own father was not honest with her either and it drives a wedge between her dad and her. Overall, this book was beautifully written and the characters well developed. The on thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is the ending felt a little confusing and I’ll definitely have to read the book again to properly understand how Locke became Locke and his motives for closing Doors but other than that, I loved it. I could see there being a 2nd part,perhaps a prequel to delve into Locke and if so I’d read it.

What I noticed about both reads is that they both discuss subjects that hav been written about a million times. However, they both provide a unique story with characters that show real growth and are relatable. These were both e ARCs but because I really enjoyed them so much,I will be purchasing physical copies.

NOVEMBER TBR:

Olive,Again by Elizabeth Strout

If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

A Man In Full by Tom Tom Wolfe (that +700 page behemoth I mentioned earlier)

Tell me, what are your November TBRs? Have you read any of these? Happy reading!!!

The Mystery Blogger Award- My First Nomination for Anything!!!

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The Mystery Blogger Award- My First Nomination for Anything!!!

I’m sooo late with this but I’ve been hanging out with my mama so…Anyway, I have been nominated by All Moms Blog. Thanks!!! I’ve never been nominated for anything so I’m very honored. This award was created by Okoto Enigma.It’s a way for all of us bloggers to get the recognition they deserve. I think that is amazing!

The Mystery Blogger Award rules:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers three facts about yourself
  6. Nominate between ten and twenty bloggers
  7. Notify your nominees
  8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice (with one weird or funny question)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Facts About Myself:

1. I’m adopted into my own biological family. Huh?! I know but let me explain. My brith mother was unable to raise because of drug andd alcohol addiction. Her ilder sister,my aunt, took me into her home when I was 7 years old. She legally adopted me when I was 14 years old. Legally, she is my mother.

2. I once stuck my hand down a bowlig ball return. I thought my ball was taking too long to come back to me, so I went in sfter it. The ball did return and got stuck on top of my hand. I uellled for help, my camp counelors ran over and freaked out. Th owner was there and took the machine apart,freed my hand, and bought me and my brother nachos. I was good but my mom was PISSED…at me. She knew the only.one to blame was me becausd I alway did ridiculous things like that.

3. I am NOT a Beyonce fan. I was actually scared to say that because those BEYhive people are crazy! They really out here threatening peoplenwith physical harm. But my blok and delete game is strong, bring it on! When I was a teenager Beyonce’ solo career was just taking off. I was a fsn like all my friends Bs even had a poster of her in this pretty leopard print dress. My favorite songs from her first solo album were Baby Boy. Me,Myself,and I, and Naughty Girl. But as I got older my music tastes changed. I respect her for her contributions to music and Black culture,but I’m good on Sis.

MY NOMINEES FOR THIS AWARD(no specific order):

1.Transcribing Memory

2.Caffeine and Composition

3.Bing Writes Content

4.Entertainingly Nerdy

5.Nerds of Color

6.Significant Encounters

7.HeARTtalk- Healing Through Art and Story

8.Mother Jones

9.Bitches Gotta Eat

10. The Bloggess

Answer to All Moms Blog’s Questions:

Do you write/blog as a hobby or career? What is the most consistent topic to write about?

I do it as a hobby currently but hope to one day make an income blogging for brands.

You can live anywhere in the world. Which place will you choose to live and why?

Aside from my hometown where I currently live, I think I would.like to live in Paris. I think I’d enjoy spending the. rest of my life enjoying Parisian art,music,and history.

What’s a holiday that doesn’t exist that you’d like to create?

Hmm…one to celebrate Black nerds and bookworms.

What advice from your experience would you give to someone on their journey to achieving their dreams?

There’s no time limit on when you should have achieved your dreams.

How would you describe your life today?

Im in a regenerative phase in my life. Attitudes,behaviors,and ways of thinking have died and a new me is emerging.

5 Questions for the Nominees:

1. If you could be any animal what would it be?

2. Do you cook? What’s your favorite dish?

3. If you could meet any musician,living or dead, who would it be?

4. What do you do for fun?

5.What does your life look like in 5 years?

NOMINEES, DROP ME THE LINKS TO YOUR POST IN THE COMMENTS!!!

Falling Into Gratitude

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Falling Into Gratitude

With Fall upon us,I’m feeling pretty grateful for the change in season and the celebration of life that will be happening for my family. My daughter will be twelve years old on 11/23 and my son will be 1 on 12/5. Yes,that is technically still Fall. I’m ready to celebrate life. But let me rewind a little bit.

A couple of weeks after I gave birth to Avery, I noticed some changes in my mother. She was supposed to take Amani to and from school for me for th two weeks following my discharge from the hospital while I healed. Two days into that,Mom tells me she can’t take Amani to school anymore because she’s having trouble breathing. I thought it was an excuse to just not walk Amani for me, so I resumed pickin her up myself 4 days post partum. But Amani confirmed that her grandmother was having trouble breathing. Then my mother went to a new doctor which was odd because she had been with her previous one for ten years. She offered no explanation and I didn’t go with her fo her initial visit. However, Mom did tell me that the doctor was concerned about her kidney health and warned her if she didn’t do something about it soon,she wouldn’t see the end of 2019. Tht freaked me out but Mom didnt seem to take it seriously. She continued to treat her body like a garbage dump and didn’t go back to see her doctor until April 2019.

The news she gave me did remind me of when another doctor 5 years or so prior told her she has thirty something percent kidney damage. So,I start paying closer attention to Mom. She’s already stopped going clothes shopping, grocery shopping, and no longer wants the landlord or our upstairs neighbors to see her. That was weird because aside from spoiling the kids, she LOVES to shop til she drops. We used to hit Macy’s clearance rack regularly then spend an hour in the home department looking at Martha Stewart sheets. She didn’t even want a Christmas tree for Avery’s first official Christmas. We always argue about putting up decorations and she always win. This time I won. Red flag number 2.

Her appetite diminished pretty rapidly and I noticed she was losing weight. I cried when I found an entire pot of cooked but barely eaten ox tails in the refrigerator. I cried myslef to sleep that night. She NEVER leaves an oxtail uneaten.When I asked Mom abou her health,she’d say she was fine and she promised to reschedule the doctor’s appointment she broken several times. I stopped believing her. As Winter turned to Spring, mom’s attitude changed and she became very mean and callous. She picked silly and meaningless arguments with me, my brother,and Amani. I took the brunt of her anger to deflect from Amani. She seemed to become jealous whenever I took the children out or whenever my brother went out with hs girlfriend. Amani started complaining of the mean things her Granny said to her when I was out of ear shot. I said nothing to my mom about it most of the time because I knew she was sick but twice I couldn’t let it go. She missed Amani’s 5th grade graduation, which was so heart breaking to deal with.

I started telling close family members that I suspected Mom was gravely ill and I didn’t know how to help. They offered no real help or moral support,not even when I assured them she was letting herself die. I turned to a close friend and a woman who I knew as my aunt although she was no blood relation. They encouraged me to cease trying to get help for Mom,who made it clear she didn’t want help. So, I started preparing myself for life without Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I kept the faith that God would intervene but I came to a peace that maybe this was His answer.

By the time school started, Mom looked gaunt with dark circles under her eyes and her pupils were looking yellowish. I knew she was dying and I hated her for making me and the kids watch it happen. How could she proclaim to love us but act as if we don’t know what’s happening to her?! The Lord jumped into action just as I was about to give up. My mom wound up in the hospital emergency room and stayed there for 6 days.

She had to start life saving dialysis immediately. At first she refused but I finally spoke to her about how everything looked through my eyes since she had gotten worse. I told her we were already living without her and I could see how that made her feel. She relented. I was so relieved that she wasn’t going to die but I was still angry about what she put us through. But that was another conversation for another time, I got to keep my mama.

Mom has been on dialysis for about 3 weeks now. She must have treatment three times a week. I’m happy to say that she is sticking with it and her disposition has improved. She wants to enjoy life and people again. Her appetite has returned and she’s looking forward to a trip to Macy’s to find new duds for her smaller frame. She even has a crush on another dialysis patient but won’t tak to him until she’s “looking good”(her words). I’m in eternal debt to God for extending mercy and grace to her.

My faith was definitely tested this year. I wanted some things in my life changed and this was a test of how bad I wanted it. I learned alot about myself and my mom. Both mom and I have emerged from this closer to each other,but more importantly closer to God. I know her perspective of this is different from mine but our conclusion is the same…God is REAL!

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO:

My mom had a pretty hefty hospital bil that her insurance covered most of. There was a $300 balance that thanks to your donations has dropped to $80. Sounds like nothing but its a big deal for us because we just can’t afford it. So, help a fellow mom, blogger, and human out. You can donate to my Cash app or Pay Pal. Thanks to all of you who donated, it was a big load off getting the amount down. See you all soon!

Top 5 Books Over 500 Pages

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Top 5 Books Over 500 Pages

Fall is UPON US!!! I don’t know why but something about this time of year just reverberates through my soul and leaves me all cozy and warm. Yes, I am one of those pumpkin spice lovers and I make NO apologies for it. Besides, I need my pumpkin spice flavored treats for these massive books I’m going to attempt to read. I predict I can finish maybe two. Fingers crossed.

1)The Witness by Nora Roberts- page count:530

Summary via Goodreads:

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems — and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something — and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller — and will leave people hungering for more.

2)A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe- page count: 742

Book Description via Goodreads:

The setting is Atlanta, Georgia — a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta conglomerate king whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 29,000 acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife, and a half-empty office complex with a staggering load of debt.

Meanwhile, Conrad Hensley, idealistic young father of two, is laid off from his job at the Croker Global Foods warehouse near Oakland and finds himself spiraling into the lower depths of the American legal system.

And back in Atlanta, when star Georgia Tech running back Fareek “the Canon” Fanon, a homegrown product of the city’s slums, is accused of date-raping the daughter of a pillar of the white establishment, upscale black lawyer Roger White II is asked to represent Fanon and help keep the city’s delicate racial balance from blowing sky-high.

Networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real estate syndicates — Wolfe shows us contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made him our most admired novelist. Charlie Croker’s deliverance from his tribulations provides an unforgettable denouement to the most widely awaited, hilarious and telling novel America has seen in ages — Tom Wolfe’s most outstanding achievement to date.

3) The Story of Danny Dunne by Bryce Courtenay- page count: 610

Description via Goodreads:

In the aftermath of the Great Depression few opportunities existed for working-class boys, but at just eighteen Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brain, looks, sporting ability – and an easy charm. His parents run The Hero, a neighbourhood pub, and Danny is a local hero.

Luck changes for Danny when he signs up to go to war. He returns home a physically broken man, to a life that will be changed for ever. Together with Helen, the woman who becomes his wife, he sets about rebuilding his life.

Set against a backdrop of Australian pubs and politics, The Story of Danny Dunn is an Australian family saga spanning three generations. It is a compelling tale of love, ambition and the destructive power of obsession.

4) 11/22/63 by Stephen King- page count: 847

Description via Goodreads:

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

5) The Corrections by Johnathan Franzen- page count 567

Jonathan Franzen’s third novel, The Corrections, is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy. With The Corrections, Franzen emerges as one of our premier interpreters of American society and the American soul.

Enid Lambert is terribly, terribly anxious. Although she would never admit it to her neighbors or her three grown children, her husband, Alfred, is losing his grip on reality. Maybe it’s the medication that Alfred takes for his Parkinson’s disease, or maybe it’s his negative attitude, but he spends his days brooding in the basement and committing shadowy, unspeakable acts. More and more often, he doesn’t seem to understand a word Enid says.

Trouble is also brewing in the lives of Enid’s children. Her older son, Gary, a banker in Philadelphia, has turned cruel and materialistic and is trying to force his parents out of their old house and into a tiny apartment. The middle child, Chip, has suddenly and for no good reason quit his exciting job as a professor at D—— College and moved to New York City, where he seems to be pursuing a “transgressive” lifestyle and writing some sort of screenplay. Meanwhile the baby of the family, Denise, has escaped her disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man–or so Gary hints.

Enid, who loves to have fun, can still look forward to a final family Christmas and to the ten-day Nordic Pleasurelines Luxury Fall Color Cruise that she and Alfred are about to embark on. But even these few remaining joys are threatened by her husband’s growing confusion and unsteadiness. As Alfred enters his final decline, the Lamberts must face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs.

I don’t havemany 500+ page books. That’s not aacceptable at all. So drop me your top 5 in the comments.

I tag:

Confessions of A YA Reader

Millie Bot Reads

Entertainingly Nerdy

Reading With My Eyes

Catarina @ Pages & Plots