Top Ten Tuesday: Which authors are auto-buy authors for you?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Which authors are auto-buy authors for you?

I just found this book blogger linky from That Artsy Reader Girl literally this morning. I am an avid reader(check out my bookstagram)but since having children, my reading life has slowed tremendously. Thanks to this link up, I’ve been revisiting old favorites and uts been working to get me ready for the #24in48 Readathon this weekend) I LOVE talking about my favorite authors and I hope your faves are on my list:

1) Anne Rice: Anytime I get a chance to praise Mrs.Rice, I take it! I started reading her work when I was 15 and got a brand new library card. I think I went looking for Stephen King and the cover of an edition of The Witching Hour stole my eye. I love a big book and this was beautiful! I was hooked after that book and The Mayfair Witches Chronicles is my favorite series by Rice. The Witching Hour is part one, Lasher is part two,and Taltos is part three. If you like gothic horror, start here.

2. Eric Jerome Dickey is another author I discovered right around the time I found Rice. I was a teenaged Blsck girl nerd growing up in NYC and his way of depicting the Black experience, even in a fictional way, was very relatable. The first book I read by him was Friends and Lovers. My favorite Dickey book I discovered as an adult, The Miseducation of Nia Simone Bijou. It was about a young black woman’s sexual awakening and I loved it. It wasn’t porn and it wasn’t tawdry,which I found respectful. Currently reading Before We Were Wicked, the 2nd in a series(this title being a prequel).

3. I don’t remember the name of the first book I read by Alice Hoffman, but I remember I found it at the library. My mother had just recently passed away and it was my first trip to the library to improve my mood. I took it home because my mother’s name is also Alice and she too was a voracious reader. I figured this was a book rec from her from beyond. Thanks to Net Galley, I’m fortunate enough to be reading The World That We Knew,which has a wonderful supernatural spin common to Hoffman’s work.

4. I haven’t read a Mary Monroe book since I was around 18. I love her tales of black Southern families from back in the day. However alot of the issues discussed in these novels can be triggering such as child molestation and abuse, kidnapping,and drug use. They often end sort of happy and you may be emotionally drained afterwards but the writing is soo good. I relate to these books Ive heard many stories of my own Southern family history and Monroe’s stories are eerily similar to theirs. I think they could be described as black Southern gothic novels. If that’s a thing. My favorite read by Monroe is her God Don’t Like Ugly series which follows two best friends throughout their friendship and the secrets they’ve kept for from one another.

5. I read alot of books that deal with family drama and sometimes it does take an emotional toll on me. So for comic relief,I turn to one of two humor faves: Samantha Irby. First of all, I will FOREVER stan for Irby because her book We are Never Meeting In Real Life stole my heart with its yellow back drop to stressed out looking kitten on the cover. Samantha is soooo funny you guys. The first chapter alone when she is filing out a Bachelorette application will keave you in stitches. I believe WANMIRL was her 2nd bestseller with her first one being Meaty. Anything she writes from this day forward, I’m buying.

6. I first discovered Jenny Lawson through her blog, The Bloggess. I admired the way she approached her mental health issues. She asks ridiculous but real questions about the mundane. She has a weird thing for taxidermy and she grew up witha pack of wild birds. All of these delightful but strange stories are in her book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. There is even a story about the taxidermied mouse featured on the cover. How can you go wrong? Did I mention she has also penned an adult coloring book featuring her own art?

7. Christina Henry is popular for her retellings. Although I was unable to finish it, The Red Queen was definitely my kind of retelling: dark. I read it 2 Halloweens ago and I plan to read it this Halloween as well as the first book in the series, Alice. I do believe is mentioned in both books so do be mindful of that.

8.Stephen King because…well, its Stephen King! Favorite read by King is definitely The Stand and Im currently working my way (slowly) through 11/22/63

9. I found a healthy sized book by Ken Follett while grocery shopping in Cosco. For those who don’t know, Cosco does have books. In my neighborhood, they’re piled up all willy nilly on tables so be warned. Rummaging through the endless amiunts of books, I found one of the books in his Century trilogy. I own 2 of the books but have read all three(out of order,which I don’t advise). This series is historical fiction and is responsible for my love of family saga historical fiction. Just recently, I finished The Island by Victoria Hislop, In The Name of Salomé by Julia Alvarez and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I do think it sort of slows down in all three parts but its worth it for the sweet ending.

10.Last but certainly not least is also an author who write historical stories as well. They are true stories based on research done by the author with pictures in the one I read, The Sweet Hell Inside which touches on colorism,classism, racism,and entrepreneurship in a family during pre and post slavery days. Ive read nothing else by the author although I did enjoy his work, but according to Goodreads, he has 21published works.

Alright fellow book nerds, that’s it for this week’ s TTT. Let’s talk books! Find all my bookish stuff on Goodreads Litsy, and my IG.

Make sure you head over to the original blog hosting the link up but I’d love to see you’re favorite authors too, so drop me your post links in the comments. Happy reading!

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Time Flies..

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Time Flies..

This is a writing prompt, compliments of Mama Kat’s Losin’ It. Make sure you check out her other writing prompts and link up your posts Thursday.
1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous June and write a poem or a blog post.

Time Flies…

In those brown eyes

Time Flies…

Running into my arms when she cries

Time Flies..

Throwing away the baby dolls her grandmother buys

Time Flies…

I remember her non stop questions, all the who’s? What’s? Why’s?

Time Flies…

Your becoming a teen soon, with your tiny white lies

Time Flies….

You’ve gotten quite bright, like the orange wings of monarch butterflies

Time Flies…

Sex and the Single Me

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Sex and the Single Me

I needs me a man! Things with Avery’s father fell apart fairly quickly after I became pregnant. We weren’t in a traditional relationship to begin with so I was not surprised when after I told him Avery was coming, he quickly exited the picture.

I was kind of bitter about the way thongs ended and even went into a mini man hating phase. Then my libido kicked back in. I had my first sexual experience 3 months after Avery was born. It was a casual thing with someone I know. There were no real feelings attached,it was just sex and we went back to our regular friendship.

I’m not good at picking men. I never have been and I’m not sure when or if I’ll be ready for a serious committed relationship. I think I want to be a wife but I’m not sure because I’ve never imagined myself as one. I knew I was going to be a mom and its what I wanted but wife just seems a little murky to me.

I don’t have any examples of healthy relationships in my family except for my brother. My biological mother was married at 17 to the love of her life but when drugs came into the picture, her marriage was ruined. She pined for that man until she passed away. It was sad to watch her go through that. My adopted was with a great guy and they also got married. But a week or two later, she kicked him out after realizing she sidnt want to be a wife. I loved her husband and was looking forward to him being my dad. So that hurt me that things didn’t work out. This is cliche, but I’m scared of commitment and getting my heart broken.

With the things going on in my life right now, I don’t have the attention to dedicate to a serious relationship. However, I enjoy being with someone but also like being left alone. I think I will date casually for awhile. My definition of casual is we go to the movies or dinner, we are intimate, we talk or text occasionally, and we have our lives. None of these casual acquaintances will be introduced to my kids because it’s inappropriate in my opinion.

I don’t feel any pressure to get down the aisle because I’m 30 or whatever nor do I feel pressure to marry because my kids should have a father. These sre reasons other people have given me for why I should be ready to marry. I DO feel pressure to find happiness for myself in whatever way I can and I’m not apologizing for that.

#MICSummer2019

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#MICSummer2019

Hey,everyone! I’m not one to celebrate our national holidays too much but I do like to find new and fun things for me and the kids to do in the Summer. There is no shortage of places to go,thongs to do,and people to see when you live in the BEST city: New York. Thanks to Mommy Poppins I know where,when,and how much events will be. My only job is to pack up the diaper bag. I am finding that my kids are at different stages of development so they like different things. Here are some events I will be attending for both of them. If you follow me on IG, I will be updating my feed with pictures of me and the kids enjoying our Summer.

1. Baby Story Time: This is a free event that runs every Tuesday at 10:30am. It’s for babies from birth to 18 months old. There’s music,rhymes,and music. It’s hosted at Aguilar Library. Limit 15 children w/caregiver. Check New York Public Library for more free events throughout all the libraries.

2. Throughout NYC parks there will be Movies Under The Stars. This past week Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse was shown. June 6th there will be a showing of Hotel Transylvania 3 and My Little Pony. The event starts at 7pm and is free. Check New York City Parks Department for movies and locations.

3.For the comic book lover in your family, on Wednesday July 10th at 12pm, Midtown Comics is hosting best-selling author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and fan-favorite artist Gabriel Picolol. They come together with Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries) and fellow DC author Danielle Paige to discuss reimagining superheroes and writing graphic novels, as well as sign copies of current and previous books for fans. This is going to be great for Amani because she has decided if professional wrestling doesn’t work out, she would like to be a graphic novel artist.

4. Bastille Day on East 60th Street-

Celebrate France’s national holiday at this annual street fair. Featuring French cuisine, music, dance, and myriad attractions for the whole family, this three-block fête populaire invites New Yorkers to revel in the flavors, sounds, and joie de vivre of France.

2019’s line-up includes talented performers making their Bastille Day debut on the main stage. Chow down on French delicacies like crêpes, éclairs, macarons, and more at booths along 60th street. Savor a great selection of wines, cheeses, beers, and cocktails at tastings at FIAF. And check out the kid-friendly activities, including arts and crafts, face painting, and mime.

This makes a great day trip because street fairs usually having something to please children of all ages so I’m covered there. Avery’s pediatrician wants me to allow him to try different kinds of food so it will be fun to see how he adjust to international cuisine. I think you will have to set a budget for this trip because I believe the food and activities have fees. Contact French Institute Alliance for further details.

NYC Mamas, I would love to know what you are doing with your babies this Summer. On Instagram, use the hashtag #MICSummer2019 and in September I will feature the best picture and send you a prize. Remember, no matter what you do, have fun with your children and make memories. Happy Summer!

MommyinColorCooks: Double Whammy- Crockpot Chicken Salad& Lava Cake

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MommyinColorCooks: Double Whammy- Crockpot Chicken Salad& Lava Cake

Happy unofficial Summer,everyone! I have a quick lunch option. All you need is:

3 chicken breast

1 cup and a half of water

chopped celery

chopped onion

1 cup of mayonnaise

All you do is cover the chicken breasts with the cup and a half of water.

Next, place on LOW for 4-6 hours. Then, shred chicken and after that add the celery,onion,salt,pepper,and mayonnaise.

Lastly, serve as you want.

*NOTES* I like ALOT of mayo in my chicken salad so a cup was definitely not enough. I added salt and pepper to the chicken breast before cooking but after it was done, I didn’t taste any of it. I added more after it was done and got a better taste. Recipe compliments of Repeat Crafter Me

Let’s move on to dessert. This is only the 2nd dessert I’m doing in Lucille and it was a hit. Recipe compliments of The Magical Slow Cooker

I had a craving for lava cake but didnt feel like going to Applebees to get it so Pinterest it was.

All you need is a package of semi sweet chocolate drops, a box of fudge cake mix, 2 boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix,and 1 cup and quarter of coffee 2 cups of milk.

1)Mix the cups of milk with the pudding mix and sit to the side for a minute

2)Add three eggs and half a cup of oil to the cake mix. Once it’s mixed all together add the coffee little by little.

3)After spraying the crockpot with nonstick spray pour the cake mix into bottom. Add pudding mix in dollop form on top of that then spread chocolate pieces over that.

Dollops of pudding on top of cake batter

Cake batter/coffee mix

4)Set to HIGH for 3 hours. Enjoy!

I added peanut butter pieces to the chocolate ones because I really wanted that combo

Finished Product

*NOTES*

I served with a side of ice cream. I may have overdone it because the texture of the “lava” turned really gummy.

It was still really good. Recipe compliments of The Magical Slow Cooker.Let me know if you try these or have tried them. Check out the other recipes I have pinned on my Pinterest board, Crock Pot Recipes. Enjoy your weekend!

Thoughts on 30

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I’m 30 years old now. I still can’t believe that. When you have what’s called a milestone birthday,it really makes you think. I let the Devil get in my head and tell me I was a failure at life. He played bsck to me the lives of those around me and pointrd out how I falk shorrt of that. I fell for it hook,line,and sinker instead of focusing on the good things. I’m alive,I have a home, I eat every day, my kids are healthy,I have no majot health issues. Thank you God for those blessings.

I do feel unfulfilled in my life, though. I don’t have money, a job, and cam BARELY feed my family. Plus, my mom is very sick and won’t seek medical treatment. She’s having kidney failure qnd heart problems and I think she’s given up fighting for her life. That troubles me more than anything. I’ve tried talking to her about going but all I get is the brush off. That makes me angry because I feel like her giving up is selfish.But maybe she’s scared because she knows it’s bad and it may be too late. If that is the case, I would rather face it head on than do nothing. I jave prayed yhat the Lord will move her to take care of herself but it’s out of my hands, isn’t it? Since that’s the case I have to focus on getting my own life together. I called my aunt to clme over and see if she can talk some sense into her. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just pray that Mom reconciles herself to God before it’s too late.

My prayers lately have been for God to show me what my next steps should be in order to get my life together. He seems to be pointing me in the direction of crochet. I wanted tp3 sell some of it last year but had to deal with issues with my pregnancy. But this time, He seems to be revealing the plan to me in small achievable steps. He’s an awesome God because while I’m crocheting,my mind and hands are busy,not idle.

Mind you, I don’t know the first thing about being in a self made business. But God will show me because HE is my business partner. There is a podcast, B. Hooked, that I listen to about crochet that has skme episodes about being a business. I can start there. I have a few sample stitches Ive done and I can post them for people to see. Last night, before I went to bed I got a message from the Lord to make a unisex baby blanket. I have the right yarn for it and I’ll just read a pattern. This plan CAN work.

I posted on social media that I aas moving in silence and right away one of my friends called me a dumb ass and another tried to guilt me into telling her. I told them that I’ll revealed everything when the time is right. I don’t know how they’ll feel about that but I’m not worried about it. I’m exercising my right to be quiet. If they are my friends,they’ll understand. If not,may the Lord remove them from my journey. I feel a little lighter already about things and I have to keep my focus on the Lord.

Spring

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Spring

It seems the Winter has finally lifted its foot off my little neck of the woods. Though the temperature is still a but touchy, it feels good to look forward to the sun blinding me with a cool,not cold, breeze on my back. I’m also looking forward to bringing Avery outside more. I have been itching to show the entire neighborhood the cause for my tired eyes and reflective smile.

But its not all sunshine and rainbows despite the rising temperatures. I dont know what to do with myself. Ive been going back in forth in my mind about whether I want to go back to work outside the house or make a real go of working from home. Both options scare me but for different reasons. Going back to work outside is fine but my mom would watch the children and her health is not the best. Daycare is not an option because I just don’t trust people. I have a friend who could maybe help me out but she has 7 children of her own.

On the flip side, I could make a go of being a work at home mom. I have affiliate links on here and I could stary reaching out to brands to work with. I have people in my online community who could help me figure out how to approach brands,come up wit a media kit,etc. The down side to that is I probably won’t be making much to start off with. However, my ideal situation is to work from home so I can take care of the kids and look after my mom.

I am really confused as to what my next steps are going to be. I know I need an income as soon as possible and I need to be proactive in making things happen. But while I’m praying and waiting on the Lord to order my steps, I’m going to enjoy this time of renewal,fresh starts, and beautiful tulips. Maybe the answer will reveal itself in the nature around me,who knows?

MommyInColorCooks: Stuffed Green Peppers

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MommyInColorCooks: Stuffed Green Peppers

9I first tried stuffed peppers while staying in a hotel during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. From then I promised to try making them myself one day. And thanks to Pinterest, that day came. I did a quick broadcast of it and you can find it here.

I got the recipe from Mommy Hates Cooking and I chose it for its simple ingredients. I did skip the green onion only because I am just unwilling to try it. Enjoy and let me know your own stuffed green peppers recipes in the comments.

Ingredients

  • 6 Green Bell Peppers
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef Uncooked
  • 1 Taco Seasoning Packet or Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Rice
  • 3 Green Onions sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Black Beans
  • Shredded Cheese

DIRECTIONS

1.Spray cooker with cooking spray.

2. Cut tops off peppers but keep then remove seeds.

3.Mix together all ingredients except cheese. Stuff peppers with mixture, replace pepper tops.

4. Put in 1/4 cup water at bottom of cooker. Cook on low 8 hours

5. Remove pepper tops,put cheese on top, allow it to melt and serve.

NOTES:

After plating, the pepper fell apart. The long cook time is at fault so next time I might cook the rice before hand,then lower cook time.

For 6 peppers to fit choose smaller peppers,I chose a couple large ones so I ciuld only fit 5. I had mixture left over.

It was a very hearty meal,despite not many ingredients. Was a hit with the family and I will make it again.

*AFFILIATE LINKS USED*

MommyinColorCooks: Chicken Parmesan Pasta

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MommyinColorCooks: Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Its been some time since I tried something new. I hate long drawn out explainations to recipes so I’ll be brief. I was bored with dinner, hit Pinterest for something new, Amani was next to me and pointed at the chicken parm pasta recipe from Damn Delicious. That’s it! Here is yhe recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

1) Salt and pepper your chicken.

2) Pour tomato sauce into crockpot as well as the spices and onion. Stir.

3) Place chicken into mixture and set pot to low 4 hours.

4) Cook pasta according to directions on package. Shred chicken then pour pasta on top. Add cheese.

5) Let cheese melt about 20 minutes or so and voila!

*VERDICT

I loved this recipe! It was filling and I had 2 days worth of leftovers. My family enjoyed the chicken with the pasta which is something we dont normally put together.I added an extra hour to cook time because I had HUGE pieces of chicken breast and I really wanted it to be tender.I accidentally use diced tomatoes instead of sauce, but once I realized my error, I added a jar of pasta sauce 3 hours in. I think I will keep the addition of the tomatoes because it was just sooo good! I will be adding this dish to the rotation. Id you are a visual learner, there is a video of the recipe being made and it really is simple. I wish I would have added a touch more salt. Gonna give this recipe 3/4 crockpots.

My Baby Development Series

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My Baby Development Series

For those of you who dont know, I have a monthly livestream series on Periscope. Its called Oh,Baby! and it follows the development of my son,Avery. I want to bring Avery live with me so you can all drool over him. He is in the first episode,though.You can catch it every 5th of the month at 10 am EST. THE next one airs this coming Tuesday. If you jave missed any episodes, here they are and I hope to see you live with any questions or comments you may have. If I cant answer your questions at that time, I will post the answers on my Facebook page. As always thanks for the likes,follows,and shares!

Episode 1- Introduction/Labor& Delivery:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0GjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWpNS2dPRExWdm1LTIwmjCsRiI323gRd37VS0Shed8-SKg8CDvbyp-YLDkfU

Episode 2- Routine:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k1VjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWdxeHZuUk1ibHF4QoVJGxyXQrOiSiwY2uCl9OaY2Y33DGGzhu36MEfsltiV?t=2s

Episode 3- Settled:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0vDFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MXlOeGFPa1pOcnZHartPIfmc6lpnX1A1UPJfPJNsnqRMVhqGGldAjrK-u5TX