Category Archives: Uncategorized

Life Redux

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It’s been a heck of a month y’all!!! Life sure has been different since 2019 hit. Even though Avery arrived a few weeks before the new year, the change until a fresh start really helped my family settle into welcoming a new member. Okay this is the part where I gush all over him. If that’s not for you, leave now. I’m kidding, I.NEED.ADULT.COMPANY.

Avery, weeks 1-5

I took on quite a few brand goals for myself. If I want to be tween serious and do this for real,I have to start thinking of myself as a brand. I’m a PeriGirl and we have a broadcasting/live streaming challenge called #JanuWantIt where we go live everyday through the month of January. I’ve fused that with doing social media prompts(#MDGBIZBOOST)created by my Peri sister, Michelle D. Garrett. I use her prompts as topics for my broadcasts. Two birds, one stone.

I have a Periscope goal if getting to one million hearts,I’ve restarted my book review series, The First 100. Its a mini review of whatever book I’m currently reading. It will air Mondays at 10a.m. EST. There is also a new series, also on Periscope, called Oh, Baby! Every 5th of the month for the next year I will be doing updates on Avery’s development. I will have him as a cohost so if you’re into cute babies, join us on February 5th at 10 a.m. EST

Lastly this space is back with new content every Saturday. I’m pursuing some coin with blogging so I’m doing Amazon Affiliates. I finally figured out how to add the links just this past week so I’ve been updating older posts that I’m going to be sharing with you via Twitter.

With all these goals, I have to admit it’s not so easy with the addition of Pops. As soon as I sit down to take a half a breath, he is screeching at the top of his lungs for attention. It’s like he knows I need to do other things. I drag myself to the bathroom,Pops in tow because leaving him alone for a half a second causes meltdowns. At 3 a.m. you can literally find me peeing with a screechy newborn in my arms. Don’t get me wrong, I have the luxury of having my mom right across the hallway to pitch in and help whenever I need. However, I miss being able to roam around my neighborhood while Amani is in school during the week. Or not roam around and sleep until noon. Those days are gone and sometimes I feel pulled in many different directions trying to be a mom to a preteen,a mom to a newborn,and a novice entrepreneur. What the heck am I thinking?!

But I do kind of thrive on the constant busyness. It feels good to know that I’m tired at night because I’m working towards a better future for me and the kids.

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Recap: Quarter 3 Goals Twitter Chat

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All over my Twitter feed, Facebook timeline,and even on Instagram everyone is talking about their Quarter 3 Goals. I decided to join a Twitter chat to get some tips on keeping the momentum going for my own goals. So, I found Create Lounge on Twitter (#createlounge) . It’s a weekly chat for creatives hosted by Douglas Humphries (@Douglas_AmongUs) every Wednesday at 9pm EST. Six questions are asked and Douglas gives some really good tips for you to implement. Take a look:

Question 1: What is your theme for this quarter? It could be a word,a mantra,a direction. Whatever you want to define the next season.

Tip: It can be very inspiring to have a theme or word to set your intention,but it can also be anxiety producing to find just the right one. Don’t stress. Go with what feels good.

As always, the biggest thing to remember is that it’s probably going to change. That’s just life. We plan and then have to let it all unfold before us. This is just step one.

Q2: What’s a business goal you have that you want to complete in Quarter 3?

Tip: It’s easy to want to plan out our whole quarter,or year,and,hey, if you can do that,awesome! But don’t feel like you have to. Some things you just don’t know yet. Again,step 1.

That’s why it’s important to keep our intentions,our CDF’s, our why,in front of us. Once we set our intention then we’ll have the direction we need when we have to make that choice we don’t know about yet.

Q3: What’s a personal goal you have or another way you’d like to expand  serious this season?

 

Tip: Remember, goals don’t all have to be business/serious. Creativity is our whole lives, that means what we do for others, for our business/projects,and what we do just for us.

Time management, as always, is an important skill and one we will continue to need. But that means not only making time for our business but for what really matters as well.

Q4: What’s a short term goal you have,say for this month, or even this week?

Tip: Keep in mind, the best way to hit our long term goals is split them up into workable short term steps. Even the smallest goal can lead us to that big dreamt horizon.

Q5: What’s something you could really use this quarter? What’s a way we can help you accomplish your goals?

Tip: Community is the biggest tool we have. It can not only provide encouragement and accountability but inspiration.  When we create together,we foster creativity in each other and ourselves.

Q6: What’s one thing you’d like to end 2018 with that you didn’t start with?

Tip: Dream big people! The more incredible, the better. You wouldn’t believe where you are now a year ago(or even last quarter) why should it be impossible to be where you want to be a year from now?

Great tips,right?! I encourage you all to answer these questions for yourselves and see where you bare in your 2018 goals. I know I definitely have some reconfiguring to do. Join the #createlounge chat Wednesday s at 9pm EST. I will be there!

Musings on the Age Gap Between My Children

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Last week, my friend and I took the kids to the park. They hadn’t seen each other since school ended 3 weeks ago and I wanted to talk to an adult other than my mom. It was a nice little time despite a couple of get aways and meltdowns by her youngest son, who I adore!

As we were heading out of the park,my friend starts telling me what a difficult time I’m going to have with Amani once Avery comes. I say to her that Amani understands that Avery will require more of my time because he can’t do anything on his own. My friend says” You spoil her with your affection and after the baby,you will be so exhausted from caring for Avery you wont be kissing on her so much. Plus,she is hitting those puberty years and there will be way more attitude from her. Girl, I know what I’m talking about,I have 7 children”

My friend does have seven kids ranging from 2 years old to 20 years old. Which means there are a few age gaps between her oldest ones(17 and 20) and her youngest ones (4 and 2). I thought about how much extra affection I have been showing Amani since telling her about Avery’s arrival. I waa doing that because I want to constantly remind her that she is my firstborn,she holds a special place in my heart,and that I will love her the same no matter how many more children I have. It really broke my heart to consider that she would ever think I don’t live her as much because I have other babies. Im sure my friend was simply trying to prepare me for the reality of the dynamic between Amani and Avery but she just made me scared and sad.

Amani and I have discussed what a healthy sibling relationship is and she has witnessed it between myself and my youngest brother,who is 20 years old. My friend’s comment made me recall qhen I initially told Amani I was pregnant, she waa very upset and cried. It took me some time to convince her that this was a blessing. She is excited now and enjoys hearinf how Avery is developing month by month. She is also looking forward to the gender reveal at the end of the month.

I’m appealing to you,dear readers with more than one child and significant age gaps between children, how do you handle the gap and keep your relationships with the older children healthy? How do you remind your firstborn that they are still important to you?

When I Create With Passionate Loving Action,I Notice…

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My words come with a quickening. O don’t have to think about what I want to say, I just say it. I hate days when I want to write but don’t know what to say. On those days, I sxribble hoping for clarity but nothing happens.

But then,when I doing something else in my day,the words come. That’s frustrating too because my pen is always in another room. Don’t you hate that? But at least I knowy creativity os not gone. Grateful for those ‘AHA’ moments

Forget Me Not

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Forget Me Not

Every now and then, I wake up with a song in my head. This morning it was an old disco song called Forget Me Not. I can’t think of the artist right now but I do love the song. I have no clue why that song is on my mind. It doesnt hold any significant value for me. I not a fan of the flower (it’s blue,right?) I only remember that my father once sent me a birthday card and when I looked at the back of it, the card company was called Forgete Not.

I guess if I’m being honest, I have beem thinking of my dad a lot, especially around Father’s Day. I felt sadness and guilt that I didnt make more of an effort to be in his life. I wrote hom letters but never heard back. When I called, my grandmother would assure me that he received the letters. But why wasn’t he writing me back? I was starting to feel rejected. The purpose of the letters qere to accommodate the fact that he was 90% deaf. So, I stopped sending them.

I had felt rejected a lot by my biological mother and I wasnt going to deal with that with Daddy too. I also stopped calling him after my mom died because I didnt want ro go through the pain of losing another someone I was close too. If I kept my distance, I wouldn’t be hurt twice over by the same person. My mom and I were rebuilding our relationship and then she died. It was awful and I didnt know if I would come back from it. So I guess when it’s all said and done, I’m just an abandoned, rejected, hurt little girl. I think I just figured out why that song popped in my mind thos morning. Maybe to force me to deal with my true feelings about Daddy and maybe to remind me that I do have a holy father thay that won’t ever make me feel rejected or abandoned. I am rejecting and abandoning those negative feelings and giving them to my heavenly Father. What a revelation!

Quarter 1 Wrap Up and Quarter 2 Goals

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I would not have realized it was the end of the quarter of the year if not for my periscope community.Most of my tribe were sharing their accomplishments thus far in 2018 and there goals for the 2nd quarter. Which led me to think about what I have gotten done and want to get done.

Q1 Accomplishments:

  1. revamped look for FB Page, Mommy In Color
  2. decided to open Etsy shop(not officially opened yet) and have named it Harmani Hook’d.
  3. made Periscope heart goal of 500,000 hearts
  4. started looking for new job
  5. started a Periscope series, The First 100

Q2 Goals:

  1. 1.create at least 20 -30 different projects to sell on Harmani Hook’d.
  2. guest post on fellow single mom blog or get a guest blogger to post here
  3. sell at least $500 in product for Harmani Hook’d
  4. start a new job
  5. figure out what to do for my birthday in May
  6. make myself a blogging schedule as well as a crocheting schedule( is that an editorial calendar, I feel like I need one of those?)

I must admit that I am a little anxious about completing some of these goals but I’m going to continue in my faith walk because so far I have been pretty blessed. I would love to hear some of your business goals for Q2! Drop me a line!

A Few Secrets To Succeeding As A Creative Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner

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I recently attended a great webinar hosted by Hilary Rushford,a personal stylistbusiness coach,and founder of Dean Street Society. In this webinar, Hilary gives some tips on how to make your business dreams work for you. I have here the first three and will share the rest soon(TBA)

1) You need a map

Things to consider:

Whats my next map?

How did I learn how to run a business?

How an I learning to scale/take to the next level?

Have I slowed down to learn from an expert so I can speed up and implement?

2)Choose a Business Model as Opposed to A Brand Model

Things to consider:

-Be more inspired by a business model than a brand model

-Make sure understand how the business/person you want to be like makes money

-Know IF the business/person makes money

Q’s To Consider:

What do you need to quit?

-a revenue stream that isnt profitable?

– a revenue that you don’t really love?

– setting your goals and dreams around what someone’s IG life looks like?

-Following a certain person you’re too effected by?

3) The Secret of Your DNA

Know thyself. Understand that who you are needs to be considered in your businessmodel,your schedule,and your team.

Things To Consider

What work rhythms make me happiest?

Prioritize your planning!

For those of you who are entrepreneurs of any kind, what are some of your secrets to success?

How To Build Authority, Influence, and Trust When Nobody Knows You

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I have been working on improving things here at Mommy In Color. To that end, I have been reading a lot of blogs full of tips on how to improve the look, content, and promotion of my blog. I didn’t stop to think about how I can get folks to listen to anything I say. How do I prove I know what I’m talking about? Enter The Pro Blogger Podcast to the rescue.

I enjoy much of the content on the Pro Blogger website,but today was the first time I listened to the podcast. The host, Darren Rowse shares a few tips on becoming a reliable authority when you’re not exactly well know. Here’s what I learned:

1) Being an authority is not just about what you know,but you should also share what you know. Even the Bible speaks about sharing.Beginners, you know a little something something as well. Share it!

2) Don’t just share what you know,talk a little about what you don’t know. Transparency is relatable.

3) Learn in public. Interviews are a good way to show others that you are learning all you can about the field/subject in which you want to be the authority Showing the journey,once again, is relatable.

4) Use case studies. Showing the numbers and proven facts helps you gain credibilty.

5) Show vulnerability. You don’t want to lose your humanity or intimidate the audience into thinking you know it all and never slip or struggle.

6) Share transformations and conversion. People like to hear about the beginning of your journey because it makes them comfortable to know that you were a newbie as well.

7) Have a positive and constructive outlook. It’s okay to talk about when you make mistakes but dont dwell on it. Instead,share how you intend to improve.

8) Build a platform of giving and generosity before asking or promoting. Of course your goal is to profit or gain additional followers but people respond better when there is an offer on the table for them in exchange for what you want from them.

9) Be reliable and consistent. If you put it out there, back it up when you say you will. If you’re telling folks you’re posting 3x a week,or you’re hosting a raffle or giveaway, DO IT!

10) Keep messaging clear and simple. You don’t have to use large words or complicated formulas. Being an authority means making your customer/follower/reader feel smarter,not just you being a smarty pants.K.I.S.S.= Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

11)Use your influence for the benefit of others,not just yourself. What can you do with your power to make things better for those who are loyal to your product or brand?

12) Don’t just seek to be known,liked,or trusted. Let your audience know that you know,like,and trust them as well. Research who they are,what their niche or business is. Tall to them directly. Comment,repost/retweet,respind to questions,and ask questions. Show that you trust them by sharing things about yourself as well.

13) Take your time. Becoming the authority in your field takes time. How much time? That’s up to you and whether or not you’re willing to do the work and have the patience to stick it out.

I hope these tips have helped you because they definitely helped me. Make sure you check out the podcast, Pro Blogger for more tips on blogging and social media. Be blessed and be a blessing, y’all!!!

5 Things I Love About My Cats

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In the two years that I’ve had Tootie and Sanai, I have gotten to know their individual personalities quite well. I love them both fiercely but for different reasons.

Sanai(grey and white, approx 5 years old,breed: unknown)

1. The first time I met Sanai,she hissed at me and I immediately backed off. She hated me from the get go and it’s probably because I mistook her for Tootie. She demanded my respect that first day and put me on notice that she had boundaries. I love her for that.

2. I am a proud thicky thick and so I have a soft spot for Sanai’s girth. She is pretty heavy but she is also solid and carries herself with a bit of a snooty air which has earned her the AKA of The Duchess Sanai

3. On the occasions when Sanai will allow you the honor of touching her, she directs EXACTLY where your hands go. No sudden movements which can earn you a swipe from her lethal claws. But you can rub the sides of her mouth,her neck,and ever so gently tug on her ears. If you think that you’ll get tired and stop, think again. She will use that bulldozer of a head to not-so- gently nudge you back to the task at hand. And once she’s started drooling,you’ll be there for AT LEAST half an hour. I love how she controls love and affection, can easily reject you and then turn it around and become putty in your lap.

4. Her eyes. They are so intimidating in the shadows of the night. They look like two bright soulless orbs watching your every move. During the day,they are an almost transluscent shade of green that suck you right into her world.

5. Her run. When she runs away from approaching feet,it looks almost like a gallop but instead of a dainty noise,it makes a thump. And she has to turn her entire body in the direction she wants to go in(because of her long legs)and then gallop away.

Tootie(all black, approx 3 years old,breed: American Short Hair)

1. Tootie has a very playful and mishievous spirit. Her favorite naughty things to do is pluck the side of the litter box until she gets chased out of the bathroom, throwing up food she’s binged then hiding, jumping on tables,counters,and stoves. When Amani is in school, I still don’t get a break because Tootie is basically a toddler. I love her little girl ways.

2. Tootie is completely free with her affection…as long as you have snacks.She has special affections for my brother and licks his head on his days off from work. She will come when you make kissy noises and shows her love by gently headbutting you and rubbing her face against your cheek. Adorable!

3. She is tough. Tootie recently became sick with carbon monoxide poison and she got so sick that she actually suffered a seizure. She lost a lot of weight,was pretty lethargic and I thought she was going to die. But she fought for her life day by day and even showed her regaining strength by hissing at one of my outdoor cats when he tried to come into the house. In fact, she is very protective of her home and will hiss at all outsiders though she never actually attacks them. She is a feisty girl,just like the other women in our family.

4. She loves to eat. Tootie loves meat but after her illness, I discovered she has a wide range of foods she loves. Some include, ice cream, blue cheese dressing, cream cheese and jelly on a kaiser roll, and grits and cheese.

5. Being an introvert, I can appreciate Tootie’s love of solitude. Amani can sometimes overwhelm her with affection,so to escape she will blend into the nearest shadow she finds. Without a flashlight, she is impossible to find and I love her ability to become invisible.

Two peas in a pod…

We All Fall Down…

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Write about a time you fell down.

When I was 5 years old,I was living in Brooklyn with my foster brother and great aunt. We were well taken care of and life was good. On rare occassions in the Summer, my great aunt would close down her daycare ( she was a Black business owner for 30 years) and take my brother and I to the park. This day we went to Prospect Park. On our way there, we ran into our sometimea baby sitter, Trina. She wasn’t doing anything that day and tagged along.

When we got to the park,my brother took off for the jungle gym and I made a bee line for th slide. Trina followed us to keep an eye on us while my aunt sat down and chatted with a long time girl friend(I forgot to mention she was there as well)

I climb the somewhat intimidating rungs leading to the to top of the slide. As I’m preparing to sit and slide down,a little girl around my age sqyeezes herself next to me. Before I could utter a word of protedt,she knocks me from my seat and I kand with a thud to the pavement. I scream even though I feel no pain at first. Trina, rubs over and helps me up. She looks concerned but not panicked. She knows how clumsy I was prone to be. I relieve ger concern by insisting I’m okay. I feel a small pang in my collarbone but ignore it. I want to go on the see saw immediately to avoid further embarrassment. After looking up to sneer at the jerk who pushed me, I walk to the see saw.

As soon as i put my hands on the handle bars if the see saw, a sharp pain shoots up my right arm and it literally takes my breathe away. I pull my hand off the handle as if it had burned me. That gesture is met witha pain worse than the one before. I cry out and jump off the see saw. Trina is there in a flash asking me what’s wrong while looking around for the culprit she thought was responsible for my outburst. Tears well up in my eyes and I start sobbing uncontrollably. Trina has given up trting to understand my nonsense and leads me to my aunt and her friend.

My aunt jumps up and holds her hand out to me while asking what happened. Between breaths, I tell her that something is very wrong. I motion towards my shoulder with my head,she furrows her brow, looks and puts her hand on her hip. “It’s broken”, she says matter of factly. Before owning a daycare,she was a pediatric nurse for many years. She was known throughout the maternity ward for her distinct…sashay. I cry even harder as we head for the hospital.

I remember the smell of some strong cleaner with a tinge of medicinal something in the air of the hospital.I also recall finding out I had broken my shoulder. But that’s all I remember. The next memories are of the awful hard cast and sling I had to wear for 3 months. After it came off, I had to do rehabilitative exercises that my aunt made sure I did. The worst thing about it was I was a hard core thumb sucker and could not enjoy my precious “lovie” for 3.MONTHS.

That was 23 years ago and the only lasting result of that incident is my permanent crookedness. My right arm droops just a little and that causes my glasses to also appear crooked on my face. Sigh.