Category Archives: #NYC

February TBR

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February TBR

I am so proud of myself for finishing three books for January! According to Goodreads, if I keep up the pace I’ll hit my 35 book goal right on time. This month I want all my books to meet categories in either of the challenges I’ve chosen to participate in because I’m still missing a lot of chosen books for many of the categories so I don’t feel like I’m making much progress participating. So for this month’s reads I’ve chosen:

1) CUBBYHOLE KID BY C.E. JOSEPH

Reading Women Challenge category: A biography

Goodreads Description:Cubbyhole Kid tells a harrowing survival story of a young four-year-old boy as he recounts his days being raised in a strict Irish Catholic family while expressing his gratitude and love for two incredible women that saved his life—his protective fourteen-year-old sister, his godmother, and his beautiful, religious mother. Together, along with his other siblings, his brothers, they painfully navigated their abusive, alcoholic, ex-military father through the mid-1960s, Los Angeles. While dealing with a severe childhood anxiety, suicidal depression, physical and learning disabilities at such a young age, the boy traveled inside the cubbyhole, a small, two-by-four middle section of the family station wagon, unexpectedly experiencing his World War II veteran father’s life-threatening road rage.

With the fear of death always looming, the boy witnessed his father’s all too familiar, unpredictable violence, explosive temperament, and heavy drinking during our country’s escalating involvement in the Vietnam War, the hippie cultural movement, riots in the streets, and arguably the heyday of rock-and-roll music.

The story describes the boy’s fond memories and relationship with his older sister, who bravely kept him shielded from their father’s harsh punishments and became like a second mother to him. While he experienced the beauty of life outside the home during his sister’s “coming-of-age” teenage years, along with her friends who were part of the youth cultural shift that seemingly took place overnight. The nightly demonstration of violence and abuse, coupled with his father’s unwillingness to accept the generational changes taking place with society’s youth, and his mother’s unexpected illness, would seem too much and test the young boy’s faith.

2)THE SECOND HOME BY CHRISTINA CLANCY-

Reading this for The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challeng category: A Debut Novel

Netgalley Description:

After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.
Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn’t sure she knows how to stay in one place.
Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer. Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.
Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.

3) SISTERS BY RAINA TELGEMEIER

The Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge category: book recommended to you by trusted source( my daughter)

Amazon Description:

Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.

4) THE STORYTELLER’S SECRET BY SEJAL BADANI-

Reading this because I loved Badani’s last novel, Trail of Broken Wings

Amazon Description:

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

As always, leave me the links for your February TBR below. 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!!!

November Wrap Up& December TBR

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November Wrap Up& December TBR

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

WHAT I READ:

1) OLIVE, AGAIN BY ELIZABETH STROUT

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

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

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

3) DEAR GIRLS BY ALI WONG

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

DECEMBER TBR:

1) WHICKERING PLACE BY LONDON CLARKE

GoodReads Description:

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

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

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

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

2) YOUR BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD BY JOYCE MEYER

Goodreads Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Yell Fire…

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Don’t Yell Fire…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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!!!

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!