Weekly Wrap Up: 8/6-8/13

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Hey, there!!! Thanks for stopping in for my first EVER weekly round up!!! I read so may articles, watch a lot of videos,and look at beautiful images every day for research. I’ve come across some stuff I think you guys might like so every Sunday at 10pm EST, I’m going to share my favorites from around the web. Enjoy!!!
Amani will be going back to school in a little less than a month’s time and I want to start making her lunch myself so I looked around for some ways I can make things easier. Here’s what I dug up:

Tasty Junior- Hacks To Make Packing Lunches Easier 

Mama Kat- 7 Steps To Lunchbox Joy!

The Pioneer Woman- How To Prep Veggies for The Week

The Young Mommy Life- 6 Tips To Wean Your Kids off Sugar

I recently started an Instagram account featuring my favorite things,books! I follow MANY bookstagram accounts and here are a few of my fave images this week:

The Roaming Reader

Concrete Rose Reads

Blue Eyes Biblio

Book Briefs

I seemed to have turned into a podcast junkie. I have a ton of favorites but here are the ones that stuck in my head:

The Arkham Sessions- The Pyschology of Batman: The Animated Series at SAN Diego Comic Con

The NoSleep Podcast-Season 9,episode 14

PRINCE: Dig If You Will The Podcast- Baby,He’s A Star:A Snapshot of Fandom

My Miracle Morning

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I’m not usually one for self help books. In fact, I think they’re mostly a load of crap. I can count on less than five fingers how many I’ve actually read cover to cover. They just aren’t my thing. 

However,  I stumbled upon a Facebook page called Ditch the Diet,Find JOY in fitness and LIVE A F*UCK YES LIFE which is run by Amanda Katherine Loy . I listened to a live feed she did where she discussed her new book club pick, The Miracle Morning: THE NOT-SO OBVIOUS SECRET GUARANTEED TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE BEFORE 8AM. She talks about how the book has helped her get some self care done before she starts her own day. THAT peaked my interest.
As a SAHM, I always have felt like I had no reason for self care because I’m home all day. I only have one child and she doesn’t stir up a fuss so why do I need time for self care? The answer: because not taking care of myself mentally or emotionally has taken away my motivation and confidence. I’m taking an exam for a job soon and although I’ve been studying, I have already defeated myself about it in my head.

I don’t like that feeling so I figured that I have  to change something. During the school year,from the time I wake up I’m rushing to get my daughter out of the door. I snap at her when its5not necessary and I really don’t like that. I started wondering if there isnt a way for me to start the day off right before I engage with anyone. And then I found The Miracle Morning.

I just got my hands on my copy Tuesday evening but I did attempt it (using Amanda’s guidelines) that morning and yesterday as well. Mentally, I feel better but physically,not so much. From what I understand if the Life S.A.V.E.R.S method used,there is an exercise component to the Miracle Morning. That’s an issue for me because I can’t afford a gym membership…AT ALL.So to compensate I will be doing yoga via YouTube. I haven’t done yoga since high school so twisting my body around feels awkward and unnatural. But I’m going to stick with it.

Selecting a journal and writing my affirmations

My goal is to become a happier,calmer,more energized and driven woman by the time Amani goes back to school next month. I do have things I need to take care of career wise and personally and my hope is that the Miracle Morning will help. Have any of you tried the Miracle Morning? Did it help? If you haven’t tried it, do you have a solid morning routine?

Tales of A Fourth Grader…

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Amani will be going to 4th grade come September.  I am very proud of her accomplishment because 3rd grade was her first year having to take the state exams for reading and math. I knew she had some areas she struggled in and I just prayed everything would work out. And it did. Not only will she be going to 4th grade,she got this as a memento of the third grade:

Most Likely to Excel in Life

Not to mention the two medals she won on Field Day. How could I not be proud?

When I was in 4th grade, I had a strict teacher,Mrs.Rios. I remember she wore this monochromatic pink lipstick that would slide into the corners of her mouth. She had a thick Spanish accent and even thicker black hair. She always had this uninterested scowl on her face but she knew everything that went on in class 401. I was a good student  but my Math suffered and it made me hate Math. I would always let my mind wander during our multiplication drills and I paid for it by having to write the table 1-12 twenty five times each. 

I also kept a juny desk in fourth grade. Every week, Mrs.Rios made me clean out all the junk in front of the entire class. It embarrassed me the first couple of times,which was probably the intent, but then it just became routine. She eventually gave up and let me clean out my desk in my normal spot.  She wasn’t my favorite teacher because she tried to break my hard headed nature. Even now, I still resent her. Here’s to Amani having a better experience!

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 5- Permission 

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It’s our last day of the #JumpstartYourJournal challenge
Today’s prompt is PERMISSION
What does your “dream life” look like? Are you currently living it? If not, what is holding you back from being there? Is there something standing in your way? Do you give yourself permission to be free in all possible ways?

HERE IS MY dream life

Picture it, New York 2020:

I live in a predominantly African American neighborhood, Addisleigh Park,in my native home of Queens,New York City. I just got my driver’s license(“Finally!”my mother says)and now I can drive Amani to her ballet class instead of schlepping her back and forth on the bus.


My (future) home in Addisleigh Park

During the day,I’m a school safety officer. I’ve been assigned to an elementary school in my neighborhood. I like that because it allows me to be at home when Amani arrives from her afterschool activities. I cook dinner twice a week and once a month we do a take out night. Usually that’s the day my mom visits. She’s so judgemental about my cooking, I rather eat out. She babysits for me 2x a month so that I can have a night out. Sometimes that’s date night,other times it’s girls’ night.

I have a boyfriend. We’ve been seriously dating for a year. He’s a city employee with aspirations of becoming a businessman in the music industry. I met him at a singles event a friend of mine hosted.

My blog is doing well. I’m starting to get a few paying gigs and more connections in the blogging/online media world. My current goal is to get a column in Ebony magazine. Not sure how I’m going to be able to handle work,Amailni and her activities,and a column when I start attending school to become a veterinarian next Fall. Well,I did make this far…

AND YES, I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO BE THIS WOMAN IN THREE YEARS!!!

#JumpstartYourJournal Day4- Create

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It’s Day 4 of the #JumpstartYourJournal challenge. How is it going so far? If you’ve been meaning to jump in but haven’t yet, don’t stress. Just grab a pen and paper (or open the Notes app on your phone) and start today. 
Today’s prompt is CREATE. Some questions to get you started: 
What has been your greatest creation? What have you created lately that fills you up with joy? What are those things you long to create that are on your list of possibilities? 

Whenever I think of ways to describe myself, I always say creative. That means that I love to create…in different mediums. I love to write but I also love to crochet,color,scrapbook, and most recently make slime. Growing up, I loved trying different arts and crafts activities and couldn’t wait to see the new sets the toy store had. Btw, Toys R Us’ Imaginarium section is great for those of you who have little creators of your own.

My greatest creation (aside from Amani) is this here blog. I started it in 2012 after making the decision to go natural. I really wanted to somehow intertwine natural hair care and motherhood.Well, Mommy In Color has gone through a few changes in my quest to find my niche. As a matter of fcat,fact I’m still looking for it. I’m sure most experienced bloggers balk at the idea that I don’t know/have my niche yet. However, I like that I dabble in different subjects,challenges,and prompts. That just means I have something for everyone who visits this space.  Hence the name of my blog. I want to explore all the colors of life.

Mommy In Color is an extension of myself. When I have visitors,I want them to feel like they’re meeting me in the flesh. I want my readers to get a friendly and relaxed vibe and to understand that I’m an open minded person who enjoys writing. Admittedly, I am a lazy writer but I’m always drafting posts and thinking of ways to revamp Mommy In Color. 

 I promise to post more often. I have a small readership and I want to keep them. Starting in September,I will be posting 2x a week and I hope to take my blog to a new level in some way. I started a Instagram account for my books, and I’m thinking I would like to start reviewing books either here or maybe a new blog. I’m not sure what the future holds but I will ALWAYS have Mommy In Color !

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 3-Refuge

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Welcome to day 3 of our #JumpstartYourJournal challenge, where we commit to journaling 5-10 minutes a day to help clear our mind and get clarity on where we’re headed. 
Today’s prompt is REFUGE. Spend a few minutes considering:
Where do you feel safe? When faced with challenges or stress, who or what do you turn to first? How do those safe spaces serve you? 

This one is easy. I have always found solace in libraries. Like, I love books and just reading itself reduces stress levels. But more often than not,I’m still at the place where I’m feeling the most stress(home). So when I want to completely shut out all the noise in my head,I go to the library. It’s number one rule:quiet. I’m not fond if the small one a few blocks from my home,  it it serves it’s purpose. It stops the noise.

Libraries give me a chance to be someone else,somewhere else,and in another time.  A chance to take a little vacation.  I started cutting class i n high school.  As soon as I started perfecting how to do it and not get caught, I spent my time at the huge library a few blocks away from my high school.  My mom were butting heads a lot at home  I was a “loser” at school,and I was sad all the time.  But not at the library.

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 2-Belonging

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For me,today’s prompt is pretty short and sweet. I kept having block and then a few lines came to me and I went with it. As I said before, this journaling activity is hosted by Tara of The Young Mommy Life and you can find all prompts on her FB page, The Renaissance Suite.

​Welcome to day 2 of our #JumpstartYourJournal challenge, where we commit to journaling 5-10 minutes a day to help clear our mind and get clarity on where we’re headed. 
Today’s prompt is BELONGING. 
Where do you fit in? What people/spaces make you feel like you belong? Have you outgrown any people/spaces in the past year? If so, how do you feel about that?
Where should I belong?

How do you know when you have arrived at the place you belong?

Is it a feeling? 

Can you hear your belonging? 

Perhaps you feel longing and hear others belonging

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 1- Identity

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I am four days behind on this activity, so I’ll just start at day one and shout out to Tara of The Young Mommy Life for hosting this on her FB page, The  Renaissance Suite

Our Day 1 prompt of our #JumpstartYourJournal challenge is Identity. 
Who are you? How do you define yourself? Are you comfortable with who you are and where you are? What aspects of your personality/character are you working on? 
Spend 5-10 minutes reflecting on these questions and jot down your thoughts. 

I don’t know how I define myself. I know how I see myself as a person. To me,I am a sensitive free spirit who has more book smarts than I do street smarts. I don’t care for conflict but of provoked,my words can sting. I’m stubborn to a fault but I think it just adds to my charm!

I don’t like where I am in life.  It’s a million miles away from where I thought I’d be,even with the added hardships of having been a teen mom. I’m disappointed and ashamed every time I think about being on the bottom rung if the adulthood ladder. I’m sick and tired of being stagnant and I’m starting to make small changes.

Someone from my past recently told me that over the past 6 years that he’s known ne,my style had not changed. Those words were not the ones he used,but they made me go on the defensive.  I went on an Instagram rampage  about how “I don’t need to change” and “Physical appearance doesn’t mean anything to me. After calming down,this “blast from my past”and I had a follow up conversation.  He explained that he simply meant  that the growing up I have done as a person isnt reflected in my style. Simply put, I still look like a high school girl(complete with glasses and braces). I asked other friends how they felt about my look,they told me their honest opinions(which stung a little), and went on to explain that they hadnt said anything because they thought they would offend me and they know how defensive I can get. I said all that to point out that I’m working on my defensiveness and my dismissive attitude when I think someone is being mean to me or not accepting of me.

And although I’m saying all these good things, I’m still peeved about the critiques I got. They shouldn’t bother me,they should be taken as advice and not critiques,but…IT’S.KILLING.ME. TO. NOT. BE.DEFENSIVE. Eh,baby steps right?

Victorian Reading Challenge

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I’ve found another reading challenge on Books and Chocolate but I think it originated from Becky’s Book Reviews. This one is a Victorian Reading Challenge and I like it because it offers more classics to get into. Here are the categories and rules. Below that, will be my choices for the challenge.
_ 1. A book under 200 pages
_ 2. A book over 400 pages
_ 3. A book that REALLY intimidates you
_ 4. A book you REALLY want to reread
_ 5. A new-to-you book by a FAVORITE author
_ 6. A book with illustrations
_ 7. A book that was originally published serially
_ 8. A book published between 1837-1849
_ 9. A book published between 1850-1860
_ 10. A book published between 1861-1870
_ 11. A book published between 1871-1880
_ 12. A book published between 1881-1890
_ 13. A book published between 1891-1901
_ 14. A book published between 1902-1999 with a
Victorian setting
_ 15. A book published between 2000-2017 with a
Victorian setting
_ 16. A book by Charles Dickens
_ 17. A book by Wilkie Collins
_ 18. A book by Anthony Trollope
_ 19. A book by Elizabeth Gaskell
_ 20. A book by George Eliot
_ 21. A book by a new-to-you male author
_ 22. A book by a new-to-you female author
_ 23. A book translated into English
_ 24. A fiction or nonfiction book about Queen
Victoria
_ 25. A book that has been filmed as movie,
miniseries, or television show
_ 26. A play OR a collection of short stories OR a
collection of poems
_ 27. Biography, Autobiography, or NONFICTION
book about the Victorian era
_ 28. Genre or Subgenre of your choice (mystery,
suspense, romance, gothic, adventure, western,
science fiction, fantasy)
_ 29. Book with a name as the title
_ 30. Book You’ve Started but Never Finished
_ 31. A Christian book fiction or nonfiction
_ 32. A children’s book

Rules:

Fiction or nonfiction.
Books, e-books, audio books all are
fine.
Books and movies can be reviewed
together or separately.
You can create a reading list if you
want, but it’s not a requirement
If you do make a list, consider adding a
list of five books you’d recommend to
others
If possible try to try a new-to-you
author! I know it can be really tempting
to stick with familiar favorites.
Children’s books published during these
years should not be forgotten!
Rereads are definitely allowed if you
have favorites!
A blog is not required, a review is not
required, but, if you don’t review please
consider sharing what you read in a
comment with one or two sentences of
‘reaction’ or ‘response.’
Any qualifying book reviewed in 2017
counts towards the challenge. If you’re
like me, perhaps you try to schedule
posts a week ahead of time. So if it’s
reviewed in 2017, it counts. Even if you
finished the book the last week or two of
2016!

MY PICKS:
2) Tess of the D’ Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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14) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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5) Villette by Charlotte Bronte

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19)Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

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17) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

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20) Romola by George Eliot

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National Puppy Day or, My Puppies That Are Really Cats

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I lllooovvee animals! I’m constantly watching all sorts of amazing animal documentaries and when Big Cat Week aired two weeks ago, I was in animal heaven. I’m also curious how people interact with their animals so I also enjoy shows like Too Cute and My Cat From Hell. I just love animals! So I’m excited for this week’s prompt from Mama Kat which involves puppies. March 23rd is National Puppy Day and even though I’m not a puppy owner,I do have two cats that I love.

I owned a kitten named Puma, 5 years ago and she was the first animal I ever owned. She contracted fleas from her mother and I had to give her up to my neighbor. That was a heartbreaking experience but I knew I would be an animal owner again.someday. Enter Tootie and Sanai. A relative moved in with us a winter and a half ago and she bought Tootie and Sanai with her.

I welcomed the chance to care for them because I felt like a failure with Puma. I knew I couldn’t go all out and raise them the way I wanted to because they weren’t mine,technically. But, I needed validation that I could be a good pet parent. My relative moved out almost three months later, but she didn’t have a place to lodge the cats. She entrusted them to me because she knew I had previously owned and loved a cat. I immediately set to work forming a relationship with both cats based on their individual personalities. Speaking of which:

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This is Sanai. She is 4 years old and the expression on her face sums up jer personali. She is ornery, tempermental, and snobby. She was tough to get close to and it took about 6 months for her to trust me. She hates lots of people in the areas she considers hers and has NO problem letting you know she’s uncomfortable with a sassy hiss. I have to say that although her attitude may be off putting to some, it’s endearing to me. She comes to get me out of the living room when I haven’t gone to bed by 11pm and her favorite activity(aside from sleeping) is standing guard in the kitchen waiting on a mouse to appear. Little does she know, we don’t have mice.
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This lean lady is Tootie. She is three years old and is the life of the party! Amani and her are bosom buddies who enjoy chasing each other around the house. Tootie is always looking for ways to entertain herself,which can land her in trouble. Unlike her sister, Tootie is very sweet natured and likes being held. Her lean stature allows her to run and jump to her heart’s content,much to the chagrin of her sister,Sanai.

Both cats are very dear to me and I enjoy watching them enjoy being with us. I know that my relative will be coming to get them soon,but for now they’re my girls and I love them!