Monthly Archives: January 2020

January Wrap Up/Reviews

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January Wrap Up/Reviews

I actually managed to finish 3 books this month! Due to my long commute during the week days, as long as Avery is napping I can read. I really enjoyed the books I read. They were all about women and the stories were all different and beautiful. So let’s get into it.

1) IT’S NOT ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE BY TERRY MCMILLAN-

really enjoyed this book! Its a great read about beauty supply store owner named Loretha who loses her husband unexpectedly. She sort of gives up on life after that because her husband’s death makes her think about her own mortality. She has a free spirited granddaughter who cant seem to settlw down, a daughter with an alcohol problem, and some friends who have their own issues. I liked it because I enjoy reading stories about senir citizens who are not not just waiting to die. Loretha reminds me of my mom when she finds out she has a health issue but refuses to take it seriously. I enjoyed how Loretha takes back her life and refuses to let the bad stuff that happens to her dictate how she’s going to spend her twilight yeats.Loretha was very open minded about homosexuality and mental health and that made her my favorite character. I thought the beginning dragged a little and that Loretha was a typical old lady at first, but it definitely picked up and ended on a high note.

2) SAY HER NAME BY ZETTA ELLIOT-

I’m not a huge fan of poetry but I really like this book because it drew from other poets both past and present and reminded us of all th brutality of Black men and women in the last 10 years or so. However it wasn’t overly sad and gave hope also by reminding Black women and girls of their power and magic. I really like the references to other poets like Angelou,Wheatley and Hughes as well as music by Nina Simone, and James Brown. It was very Black and I enjoyed it very much.Something that stood out about it is at the end of the book, there is an explanation for the inspiration for each of the poems,which gave great insight and inspiration.

3) A HUNDRED SUNS BY KARIN TANABE-

A Hundred Suns captivated me instantly because it was set in 1930s Indochine,a place and time I’ve never read about.A rich relative of the Michelin family(yes, the tires) moves his family from Paris, France to Indochine to run the family’s rubber plantation amd make some changes. It’s a whole different society than what the Michelins are used to but they are all drawn into the culture and society.There’s talk of alot of the native people being communist and the deaths and jailings of these communists as well as how workers are treted in the plantation.Jessie, the wife of the Michelin heir,(Victor) befriends Marcelle de Fabry,a mysterious carefree woman with a secret vendetta ahainst the Michelin family. Her lover and her plot the demise of Jessie’s sanity in an attempt to make her fo back to Paris.
What I loved about this story is how Marcelle despite being vengeful is really just a woman seeking justice for her friend who died. She faults Jessie’s family. Jessies was certainly underestimated by Marcelle and herself because of her proverty stricken upbringing and family history of mental illness that she hides from Victor. The The native people of Indochine,play an important role in both Jessie and Marcelle’s life despite seeming to be secondary. Both women have different motives that are driven by heartache and by the end you feel empathy for both of them in some way. Issues of class,sex and race are also prominent in the telling of this story and it’s a great ride.

Two of the books,It’s Not All Dowhill From Here and Say Her Name are categories #18 and 22 from The Reading Women Challenge

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and drop your links for your January reads. Stay tuned for my February TBR. Happy reading!

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!!!