Category Archives: #NYC

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!

#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!

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?

Daddy’s New York

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I just found this half finished piece I wrote on Evernote. It was based on a dream I had about my father..or at least someone who represented my father. I stopped writing because the dream ended and I don’t remember the rest. Should I just leave it or use my imagination to finish it? Let me know in the comments.

I tapped his shoulder. He turned around and a grin so wide appeared on his face. I looked down and smiled, but he pulled my face back up with his hand.
“Never hide that smile. It’s like your mother’s. Its why I fell in love with her”.
“How are you, Dad?”
His face turns somber as he considers my question. I use the awkward pause to study his face. His eyes are hollow with gray-ish circles underneath. There’s still a dancing light in his eye. Probably the same one my mother says he got when his favorite baseball team played.
I can tell he isn’t well. A part of me wishes it was because of his Lupus but I know it isn’t. There is no secret about his drug use but we’ve never talked about it. He’s a Taurus like me so anything I say will just hit a brick wall. His lips are chapped and they were recently bleeding.
The hair that was once the talk of South Jamaica now resembles a black matter cap on his head. It’s grown out and stock a out on the sides. Reminds me of dirty straw. He cocks his head to the left.
” I’m fine,baby girl.
Baby girl. The sentiment hits me in the chest and I let out a deep breath. I’ve been called “baby girl ” by no good men I’ve dated. It always bought a smile to my face and a warmth in my groin,but this time it literally takes my breath away.
After all this time,I sill wanted to be Daddy’s Little Girl. I had pushes that idea out of my mind because I didn’t think I’d ever hear it from him. I grab his calluses but warm hand. I tug on it and we walk through the park.
I stop at a hot dog stand. I remember my great grandmother calling them “dirty Frank’s. Maybe she thought that the dogs somehow were sullied by the polluted New York air once they were transferred to the bun,then the customer. I start to tell the cart guy my order when Dad yells that I should let him guess what I like.
“Come on Dad, I’m hungry ” I protest. I shift my weight from my right foot to my left. It’s my tell tale of uncomfortability. Dad studies my face then looks down at my belly.
” You like it with ketchup and spicy mustard” he proclaims.
He is completely off. I hate spicy food and thanks to my younger brother, who drowned everything in ketchup,I hate that too. Do I tell him he’s way off? He nods his head eagerly,waiting my response.
“Good guess, Dad”
He gives me the thumbs up but I don’t offer to guess his favorite for fear of him lying to me the way I lied to him. He asks for a spicy sausage with onions. My stomach churns because that is actually my favorite thing to get. I pay for our food not bothering to wait for him to do it because I know any money he has is for his…vice. Maybe the ketchup and spicy mustard won’t be so bad. Before I could get in my third bite, Dad osis already balling up the aluminum foil wrapper his sausage was in. I grab the paper from him and he makes a hoop with his arms. I dunk and he cheers for me.
” You like basketball,kid?” He asks
“Sometimes. The last time I enjoyed it was when Dwayne Wade won his first championship. Mourning and Peyton were on his team then.
“Hmm…that was awhile ago,baby girl”
“Yeah,my brother taught me how basketball works that year and I liked it” I respond.
I immediately regret bringing up my brother. My father has always ignores the fact that I have a sibling through adoption. It leaves a bad taste in his mouth, akin to his many nights emptying his stomach of putrid bile. No one wants to be reminded of their failure as a parent,I suppose.
We walk along in silence. I love the biting chill a New York winter chill brings. People scatter like roaches to get away from it, but I embrace it. The mostly dreary days bring me peace. I wonder what brings Daddy peace. Is it a sound? A color? A taste? A season?
After a we are a block out of the block, I realize that we aren’t going anywhere. I look up at Dad and he smiles at me.
“Where are we going?”
We’re here” he responds
Does he not now I’ve lived here my whole life? Like,all 30 years of it.

10 Fall Activities in NYC

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10 Fall Activities in NYC

So, my favorite time of year is fast approaching: Autumn/Fall. I love everything about it…and yeah, I’m biased.Amani’s birthday is in November. I’m expecting Avery before the official start of Winter. So yeah, definitely biased.

NYC has a million activities going on everyday in every season in every borough. I may have to sit some of these out because I’ll be 7-8 months and I’ll be too paranoid to travel too far. However, that’s why I have you. I’m just going to live vicariously through you. Take pictures if you’re going to be partaking in anything I suggest. I will come up with a hashtag so I can see your pics on IG. I’ll let you know by the end of September. One more thing: I’m a frugalista mom,so a lot of these events are FREE 99. You’re welcome!

1)The Medieval Festival @Fort Tryon Park- Amani was just saying to me the other day that she wanted us to do more Fall themed  things this year and I’ve been to this festival as a kid. It screams Fall. First of all, you can dress as a medieval person. That’s a bonus for costume lovers like me and Amani. There is also period piece music for authenticity and magic( Amani loves the hidden camera magic TV show, The Carbonaro Effect). Plus,there is a joust! I think I may go back this year.

WHEN: September 30, 2018

WHERE: Fort Tryon Park

Riverside Drive

NY,NY

AGES: All

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT: (212)795-1600image

2)Harry Potter: A History of Magic- HP continues to have millions of hardcore even over a decade since it hit bookshelves. Although I have read every book in the series, it did not keep its magical hold on me. What turned my head to this event was the books, manuscripts, and other goodies from The British Library, NY Historical Society, Scholastic, and other sources. This event continues into the new year.

WHEN: 10/5/18-1/27/19

WHERE: New York Historical Society

170 Central Park West

NY,NY 10024

AGE:6+

PRICE: $21 adults, $16 seniors, $6 kids btwn 5&13,free 4&under,ticket includes admission to the museum

CONTACT: (212)873-3400nyhs-front-nyc-untapped-cities

3)Pumpkin Patch- We actually have a few farms throughout and right outside New York which is convenient. You need only pay for the pumpkin you choose, which varies by size. Pumpkin patches make great backdrops for baby pictures

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/27/18 @11AM-4PM

WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum

78-50 Little Neck Pkwy

Queens,NY

AGE: All

PRICE: FREE ADMISSION

CONTACT: (718)347-3276

PumpkinPatch.jpg

4)Annual Halloween Harvest @Luna Park- I love when there are activities that happen every year. It makes it easier to turn it into a family tradition. I was actually going to wait until Summer 2019 to take Avery for his first trip to a Powell family tradition, Luna Park(formerly Astro Land). But it still counts even if he’s not quite…here yet. I actually did not know that this existed but now I have an excuse to go to Coney Island Brooklyn twice a year.

WHEN:10/27/18

WHERE: Luna Park Coney Island

1000 Surf Avenue

Brooklyn, NY

PRICE: Free admission, fee for activities

CONTACT: (718)373-LUNA(5862)DSC_0208.JPG

5)Tours for Fours: People and Portraits- For my artsy fartsy types MOMA invites you to hear,see,and discuss ideas while admiring art in three dimensions.

WHEN: 10/6/18-10/28/18

WHERE:Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street

NY, NY 10019

AGES: 4 yr old and an adult

PRICE:FREE

CONTACT:(212)708-9400

picmain

6) Con Edison Second Saturday Science! Soaring to New Heights- Mary Golda Ross was the first Native American female aeronautical engineer. Now you can make a hovercraft inspired by this pioneer of her time

WHEN: 11/10/18 @12PM-1PM

WHERE: Staten Island Children’s Museum @ Snug Harbor

1000 Richmond Terrace

Staten Island, NY 10301

AGES:1-9

PRICE: Free w/ $8 admission; Free for members

CONTACT:(212)637-8029staten-island-children

7) Pay As You Wish Wednesdays- I love going to the zoo and the Bronx Zoo is the biggest in all of NYC. I haven’t been there in years but I do remember that it is an all day experience, so get there early.

WHEN: 6/20/18-12/12/18

WHERE: Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY 10460

AGES: All

PRICE: what ever you want,Wednesdays only

1200px-Bronx_Zoo_001.jpg

8) Brooklyn Bridge Park:Environmental Education Center- This one is great because it has a couple things. It’s an aquarium with local sea fare from the East River, craft spot, reading corn and more.

WHEN:6/23/18-12/16/18,Tues.+ Thurs 3-5pm,Sat+ Sun 1-5pm

WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park

99 Plymouth Street

Brooklyn, NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: FREE

CONTACT:(718)222-9939

BBP-Girl-Cartwheel-Optimized-r1_wdyg6l

9)Holiday Train Show @ New York Botanical Garden- It’s the train show’s 27th showing. This year the focus is Lower Manhattan where NYC started. Some new additions to look for are One World Trade Center, the Battery Maritime Building and a couple of old school Staten Island Ferry boats.

WHEN: 11/17/18-1/21/19 @ 10AM-6PM

WHERE: New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: TBA

nybg__card

10) Soweto Gospel Choir- Some inspirational music to start the winter holidays off right. These singers are from South Africa

WHEN: 12/4/18 @ 4PM

WHERE: Lehman College

250 Bedford Park Boulevard

Bronx,NY

AGES: ALL

PRICE: $25- $45; Children under 12, $10

CONTACT:(718)960-8025

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Which events will you be attending? Look out for the hashtag announcement!