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

NetGalley Reviewathon

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NetGalley Reviewathon

Summmer is winding down and though I didn’t get to do all the things I planned for me and the kids, I did get alot of reading done. I participated in a readathon jn July and that jumpstarted my bump in finished books. I already spoke on the the details of the NetGalley Reviewathon here so Im just going to jump right into the books I completed. I have actually struggled for a few months trying to finish these books so a few are a rollover from the other Readathon. I’m happy to report I finally finished and reviewedthem.

1) Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage

I really enjoyed this book! It discusses an Australian woman,Meg’s deciding to use a surrogate from Thailand when IVF fails multiple times. What I found interesting was that surrogacy is somewhat looked down upon in some parts of the world. The surrogate, Mod,already has a son, but needs the surrogacy money to support herself,her mom,and her son. Mod struggles with carrying a baby that she will be giving away. Meg’s sister,Anna, plays an important part because she becomes the go between her sister who is unable to travel to where Mod is and forms a bond with Mod which stirs jealousy in Meg. Anna is a kittle over bearing but it’s only because she feels like she failed Meg in some ways as a sister. Anna goes so far as to terminate a pregnancy because she knows it would hurt Meg that she can’t conceive but Anna unintentionally became pregnant. It was an honest look into how surrogacy affects families and makes women question their womanhood when they can’t conceive (Meg) or choose not to (Anna) 3/5 stars

2) The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman-

Wow! Hoffman has managed to take my breath away once again. As is common with Hoffman’s work, there is a supernatural spin on this tale of survival. Hanni is a woman hiding from Nazis in 1944 Berlin. She kills a German soldier to save her 12 year old daughter,Lea, from rape and murder. Hanni then decides to send her daughter away without her. There is a Jewish legend that a creature called a golem can be made from clay and water to do its creator’s bidding. Hanni first appeals to a fellow Jews known to have successfully create the golem. They refuse her so she desperately makes Ava herself. She sends Ava and Lea away to safety but not before telling Ava her only goal is to protect and love Lea the way Hanni no longer can. The journey that follows for Ava, Hanni,and Lea is a discovery of humanity even in an entity that is not supposed to be human. I think the fact that rights as actual humans have been taken a way,the cast of characters are forced to find humanity among each other in unusual ways. I loved how Ava goes from an unfeeling, strictly by the book guardian to a parent. Lea rejects Ava at first because she is scared,I think, and doesn’t want to accept what’s happening. She definitely rebels as teenagers do but as she becomes a witness to death and love and war,she matures and makes a sacrifice for Ava that reflects that. I love animals and Ava forms a bond with a heron who plays an important role as a messenger for both Ava and Lea. The story of the Holocaust and Auschwitz,although told by many authors over the years, has a fresh heartwrenching spin that is relatable to us all in some way. 4/5 stars

3)Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer-

This book was not bad. It definitely pit me in the mind of The Handmaid’s Tale. The government is policing women’s bodies and controlling how many babies they can have. Alice works for the Genetics and Reproduction Department of government. This Department requires women to have 2 children, give them to assigned Maters and Paters, who are trained parents, and move on their lives. Alice’s son died but she has a living daughter, Monica. Monica annoys me because she is petulant at times. She has a son and at first she’s eager to go back to her life and give Oscar up but then changes her mind and decides to keep him. I felt for her because I could not imagine giving up my children because the government says I wont be able to parent them as efficiently as Maters and Paters. Monica makes the decision to jeep Oscar and run away with him. Alice doesnt care for the idea until she forms an attachment to her own soon to arrive baby. The pregnancy comes a s a shock to her husband, a Pater, and her job. Her job wants her to terminate the pregnancy and when she doesn’t they seem to get a little nasty with her. Alice starts to rethink the purpose of the GRD. Is it really helpful to society? She starts to dig into her own background and digs into the death of her son as well as her mother’s mental health issues.There’s a couple of conspiracy theories but I find that they weren’t thoroughly flushed out and things wrapped up too quickly. I did like the relationship between Monica and her husband, Ollie. He was supportive of Alice keeping her pregnancy. I loved Alice’s brother,Pete. He was like a 007 type who also had his sister’s back while keeping her grounded in her thinking about dismantling this government program that may be doing more harm than good. Overall, not a bad read,but not as fleshed out as I would have liked. I think maybe there should be a part two to see how the GRD is destroyed, as it should be.3/5 stars

4) A Death in Harlem by Karla Holloway-

I really enjoyed this book! I’m not too much of a who done it girl but this drew me in because it take place in Harlem. I grew up near Spanish Harlem in the 90s and Harlem was a mecca for Black people in NYC. This story is during the Harlem Renaissance era. Harlem’s first Blsck police officer is roped into Black high society when a seemingly white woman falls to her death during a party. The police officer uses Sherlock Holmes methods to try to figure iut what happened to this woman. At first it seems like she was killed over an alleged affair but when the officer digs deepers,he uncovers a couple skeletons in the the closet of the victim and her social circle. I enjoyed seeing how Officer Weldon Thomas asked carefully thought out questions of potential suspects. I enjoyed the explanation of how the Black elite became the Black elite. I would never have guessed who the killer was and to me that was the best part! Would definitely read this author again. 4/5 stars

5)The Watanabe Name by Sakura Nobeyama-

This was a real treat. I thought it was a typical “rich- patriarch-is- murdered- by-bitter-child”plot but there are many layers to the Watanabe family and their story is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It definitely satisfied my love of family drama. The Watanabe Family is steeped in military and high society which means there are certain expectations of them. They wear the facade of perfect for everyone but there are secrets in their closet that both tear them apart as a family and hold them together. World War 2 is the historical background for this story but was very essential to the character development of everyone. I think you’ll walk away feeling pity for everyone. I loved it! 4/5 stars

6) Bethlehem by Karen Kelly-

Karen Kelly really sucked me into this read. It’s a family saga filled with secrets. The real message for me was all about forgiveness and healing. It was about understanding how keeping a secret helped a relationship heal. Fave line: “Just because skin doesn’t show scars does not mean there haven’t been wounds”. It did drag a little in the beginning but the story is definitely worth reading the little details. 3/5 stars

I would love to know if you participated in this Reviewathon. Do drop your links to your posts in the comments. School is starting up in a week here which means Fall is back! Stay tuned for my Autumn TBR post. Happy reading!

What Is A Single Mom?

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What Is A Single Mom?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Spawned, and the topic was Who Can Be Called A Single Mom? The hosts described how they define a single mom. I believe one of the hosts’ husband has passed away so she considers herself single. After hearing their perspective, I started thinking what “single mom” means to me. So let me back up a bit.

My grandmother became a widow in 1970 after 10 years of marriage and 5 children with my grandfather. She did not date much, deciding instesd to work and raise the children. It wasnt so hard for her to do this because she had plenty of family to look after the kids while she worked. She didnt start dating until all the children were grown. According to my mom she dated a couple losers before finding a good guy and giving birth to a 6th child. She didn’t marry my uncle’s dad but they were a couple until his sudden death. He did provide financially for my uncle through his retirement benefits and there were also death benefits my uncle received as well.

To me,the fact that my grandma had a romantic partner that loved with her means she was not single. Here’s another example. My biological mother was married when she was 17 to a much older man she hsd known since childhood. They had a son a few years into marriage and then my mom left her husband. She started an affair with another married man which resulted in a baby. The married man stayed with his wife but his wife got even with him by giving my mother his social security number to claim child support for the baby. My mom went on to have 2 more children while still legally married. My youngest brother’s father was her domestic partner for around 20 years,outlasting her actual marriage. However, I considered her single because she was married through her last 3 pregnancies and her husband and her were estranged.

I consider myself single for the same reason,kind of. I’ve never been married and I’m not in a commited relationship with someone who helps take care of my kids.

Here’s a last example for you before you decide what you think single is. My adopted mom was married to a man 20 years ago. She split up with him a month or two into their marriage and they have not seen or spoken to each other since 2000. In 2006,Mom got baptized into out faith, Pentecostal Christian. In our beliefs,divorce although recognized legally is not recognized by the church. You can not date anyone until your spouse has passed. If you do legally divorce, you still can not date or remarry until your spouse has died. So according to the church, my mom was not single until her husband died a few months ago.

So,whenever a mom tells you she’s single,think about what that means for you (if you’re pursuing a mom) and ask her what that means to and for her. Tell me,moms, how do you define being a single mom?

Let’s Talk About Sex(Briefly)

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Let’s Talk About Sex(Briefly)

It has come to my attention that although we mom bloggers are expected to be honest about our lives, we are still viewed as non sexual in some respects. I was talking to a friend and she alerted me that she could see a tweet of mine discussing a sex act in detail. To myself I’m like “So what? I’m grown and so aremy followers. She then explained to me how readers view mom bloggers and moms in general.I’m like ” I have two kids, it should be obvious that I have sex”. But, in case it isn’t…I HAVE SEX. Here’s an even bigger news break: I ENJOY SEX.

Now, I know that statement is contradictory to my Christian beliefs but I’m not a hypocrite. I believe that we were created to be sexual for procreation but not solely for procreation. If that were the case, why do we get satisfaction from having sex? Why not just have sex be a thing we do to make babies with no emotional stuff attached? Sure, Im having sex without the benefit of marriage and sure it’s a sin. But I feel like Christians take it to the extreme when criticizing what is in our nature to do. If children are a blessing, then why try to shame the way in which the blessing was delivered.

This is not a discussion about religion, by the way. This is just me talking about myself as a sexual being. For you out there who just see a book nerd single pious mom, I’m far from that. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

ARC Book Challenge

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ARC Book Challenge

Hey, bookworms!!! Even though the 24in48 Readathon is over, my zest for reading has returned. So lucky for me, Net Galley has another book challenge! From July 22nd through August 30th, every week on Instagram, readers are being called to get through that very large ARC pile they have. I am new to Net Galley and I went over board asking for ARC. In the 24in48 Readathon I finished one book and so far for this challenge I have finished another. It’s been hard getting reading done with Avery around. But now that he is more settled into a nap routine, I know when I can get some reading done. It’s awkward holding a sleeping baby and a physical book, so using my Kindle app has been a game changer.

So the books I started with are

1) Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer

2) My Wild and Precious Life by Susie Rheault

3) The Watanabe Name by Sakura Nobeyama

4) A Death in Harlem by Karla Holloway

A Death in Harlem is a roll over read that I started from 24in48 and I’m half way through it and I really like it. I have reviewed Before We Were Wicked by Eric Jerome Dickey and Mother of Pearl by Angela Savage. Although, I did post it my reviews on Net Galley, it is linked to me on Goodreads. If you are not joining Net Galley Reviewathon, what book challenges are you involved in? Drop your links to book challenges in the comments.

By the way, I have 200 followers!! I never thought I would get to this point and I’m honored that you guys care what I have to say. Thanks for the advice, the laughs and the thought provoking conversation. Here’s to 200 more new friends!!!

The 24in48 Readathon

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Hey there, bookworms!!! Its a SUPER hot weekend here in NYC (temps at 100) so it’s a perfect excuse to read. Thank goodness for the 24in48 Readathon. What is that, you ask? Well, for the 48 hours in the weekend readers have 24 hours to read as many books as possible. The ultimate goal is 24 hours but at the heart of this challenQge is to get you through thst loooong TBR lost. Head to 24in48 for details. Oh yeah, and there are prizes as you hit hours.Lots of encouragement by other book obsessed folk too.

Anyway, if you follow me on Instagram, then you saw the to start me off. They are compliments of Net Galley. You see, I’m new to Net Galley and I MAY have gone a little crazy requesting books. Then the Readathon came up and it was a perfect way to knock some of these puppies out. So,let me update you a little. I started the challenge with:

I haven’t read enough of it to make a judgement but so far there’s a wife moves into the large family home where her husband’s and grandma live. She finds it difficult to make herself st home at parent her two children without nosy grandparents to make it harder. She starts digging into her husband’s lineage and comes up with some MESS,chile. Sadly, I’ve only read about 3% of the book, but so far so good.

This book I consider a bit of a cheat because I was 78% into it. Also, I chose to finish it today and threw it on my list this morning. Its3by a long time favorite author of mine,Eric Jerome Dickey. I’ve talked about him incessantly since I started sharing my reading life a few years ago. This novel is a part 2 but I didnt know that until I did a little research. It’s a prequel so you can read it as a stand alon. I really enjoy Dickey’s take on Black life in America. In this one,he gives the experience of a couple: Ken and Jimi Lee. Jimi Lee is an Ethiopian college student from a well to do family that lives in the Diamond Bar district of California. Ken is an enforcer/kinda college student born and raised here in the U.S. to poor parents. They try to have a casual Summer fling but Jimi Lee winds up pregnant. Ken does his best to support her financially but Jimi Lee just wants too damn much…ugh. I have to admit, J really enjoy how Dickey writes sex scenes. They’re raunchy,sure, but the words he chooses to describe them classes it up a bit. This was everything I expected from Dickey and reaffirm my stanning.

I chose this book because again its one of my gazillion Net Galley reads. Also, I spent a lot of time hanging out in Harlem as a child. My mom loved spending her money on the predominantly Black owned businesses and there was a rawness about I just loved. This novel takes us back to the 1920s where a NYC precinct hires it first African American police officer. His first assignment is the death of a white woman in Harlem. You see where this is going? Good. I really enjoy reading or watching stories about Harlem during that Renaissance time. Sure, this book is a few years before,but the vibe is there.

Last but certainly not least is a book I chose for the cover. There was a melancholy feel I got from it and I was drawn to it so…

I actually don’t remember what it’s about so here’s what Net Galley describes it as:

A Kitchen in the Corner of the House collects twenty-five gem-like stories on motherhood, sexuality, and the body from the innovative and perceptive Tamil writer Ambai.

There are my picks for the 24in48 Readathon. If you are participating, let me know what you’re reading. Drop your links to blog posts or IG posts. Good luck,everyone!!!