Category Archives: Uncategorized

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 5- Permission 


It’s our last day of the #JumpstartYourJournal challenge
Today’s prompt is PERMISSION
What does your “dream life” look like? Are you currently living it? If not, what is holding you back from being there? Is there something standing in your way? Do you give yourself permission to be free in all possible ways?

HERE IS MY dream life

Picture it, New York 2020:

I live in a predominantly African American neighborhood, Addisleigh Park,in my native home of Queens,New York City. I just got my driver’s license(“Finally!”my mother says)and now I can drive Amani to her ballet class instead of schlepping her back and forth on the bus.

My (future) home in Addisleigh Park

During the day,I’m a school safety officer. I’ve been assigned to an elementary school in my neighborhood. I like that because it allows me to be at home when Amani arrives from her afterschool activities. I cook dinner twice a week and once a month we do a take out night. Usually that’s the day my mom visits. She’s so judgemental about my cooking, I rather eat out. She babysits for me 2x a month so that I can have a night out. Sometimes that’s date night,other times it’s girls’ night.

I have a boyfriend. We’ve been seriously dating for a year. He’s a city employee with aspirations of becoming a businessman in the music industry. I met him at a singles event a friend of mine hosted.

My blog is doing well. I’m starting to get a few paying gigs and more connections in the blogging/online media world. My current goal is to get a column in Ebony magazine. Not sure how I’m going to be able to handle work,Amailni and her activities,and a column when I start attending school to become a veterinarian next Fall. Well,I did make this far…


Victorian Reading Challenge


I’ve found another reading challenge on Books and Chocolate but I think it originated from Becky’s Book Reviews. This one is a Victorian Reading Challenge and I like it because it offers more classics to get into. Here are the categories and rules. Below that, will be my choices for the challenge.
_ 1. A book under 200 pages
_ 2. A book over 400 pages
_ 3. A book that REALLY intimidates you
_ 4. A book you REALLY want to reread
_ 5. A new-to-you book by a FAVORITE author
_ 6. A book with illustrations
_ 7. A book that was originally published serially
_ 8. A book published between 1837-1849
_ 9. A book published between 1850-1860
_ 10. A book published between 1861-1870
_ 11. A book published between 1871-1880
_ 12. A book published between 1881-1890
_ 13. A book published between 1891-1901
_ 14. A book published between 1902-1999 with a
Victorian setting
_ 15. A book published between 2000-2017 with a
Victorian setting
_ 16. A book by Charles Dickens
_ 17. A book by Wilkie Collins
_ 18. A book by Anthony Trollope
_ 19. A book by Elizabeth Gaskell
_ 20. A book by George Eliot
_ 21. A book by a new-to-you male author
_ 22. A book by a new-to-you female author
_ 23. A book translated into English
_ 24. A fiction or nonfiction book about Queen
_ 25. A book that has been filmed as movie,
miniseries, or television show
_ 26. A play OR a collection of short stories OR a
collection of poems
_ 27. Biography, Autobiography, or NONFICTION
book about the Victorian era
_ 28. Genre or Subgenre of your choice (mystery,
suspense, romance, gothic, adventure, western,
science fiction, fantasy)
_ 29. Book with a name as the title
_ 30. Book You’ve Started but Never Finished
_ 31. A Christian book fiction or nonfiction
_ 32. A children’s book


Fiction or nonfiction.
Books, e-books, audio books all are
Books and movies can be reviewed
together or separately.
You can create a reading list if you
want, but it’s not a requirement
If you do make a list, consider adding a
list of five books you’d recommend to
If possible try to try a new-to-you
author! I know it can be really tempting
to stick with familiar favorites.
Children’s books published during these
years should not be forgotten!
Rereads are definitely allowed if you
have favorites!
A blog is not required, a review is not
required, but, if you don’t review please
consider sharing what you read in a
comment with one or two sentences of
‘reaction’ or ‘response.’
Any qualifying book reviewed in 2017
counts towards the challenge. If you’re
like me, perhaps you try to schedule
posts a week ahead of time. So if it’s
reviewed in 2017, it counts. Even if you
finished the book the last week or two of

2) Tess of the D’ Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy


14) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte


5) Villette by Charlotte Bronte


19)Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell


17) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins


20) Romola by George Eliot


National Puppy Day or, My Puppies That Are Really Cats


I lllooovvee animals! I’m constantly watching all sorts of amazing animal documentaries and when Big Cat Week aired two weeks ago, I was in animal heaven. I’m also curious how people interact with their animals so I also enjoy shows like Too Cute and My Cat From Hell. I just love animals! So I’m excited for this week’s prompt from Mama Kat which involves puppies. March 23rd is National Puppy Day and even though I’m not a puppy owner,I do have two cats that I love.

I owned a kitten named Puma, 5 years ago and she was the first animal I ever owned. She contracted fleas from her mother and I had to give her up to my neighbor. That was a heartbreaking experience but I knew I would be an animal owner again.someday. Enter Tootie and Sanai. A relative moved in with us a winter and a half ago and she bought Tootie and Sanai with her.

I welcomed the chance to care for them because I felt like a failure with Puma. I knew I couldn’t go all out and raise them the way I wanted to because they weren’t mine,technically. But, I needed validation that I could be a good pet parent. My relative moved out almost three months later, but she didn’t have a place to lodge the cats. She entrusted them to me because she knew I had previously owned and loved a cat. I immediately set to work forming a relationship with both cats based on their individual personalities. Speaking of which:

This is Sanai. She is 4 years old and the expression on her face sums up jer personali. She is ornery, tempermental, and snobby. She was tough to get close to and it took about 6 months for her to trust me. She hates lots of people in the areas she considers hers and has NO problem letting you know she’s uncomfortable with a sassy hiss. I have to say that although her attitude may be off putting to some, it’s endearing to me. She comes to get me out of the living room when I haven’t gone to bed by 11pm and her favorite activity(aside from sleeping) is standing guard in the kitchen waiting on a mouse to appear. Little does she know, we don’t have mice.
This lean lady is Tootie. She is three years old and is the life of the party! Amani and her are bosom buddies who enjoy chasing each other around the house. Tootie is always looking for ways to entertain herself,which can land her in trouble. Unlike her sister, Tootie is very sweet natured and likes being held. Her lean stature allows her to run and jump to her heart’s content,much to the chagrin of her sister,Sanai.

Both cats are very dear to me and I enjoy watching them enjoy being with us. I know that my relative will be coming to get them soon,but for now they’re my girls and I love them!

Top 5 Favorite Songs As A Child


Growing up in my household there was really only one type of music allowed in my house: gospel. On the weekends,my mom would play gospel music all day while us kids formed a singing group and sang along with the music. My mom grew up in church and her grandparents owned their own church. Attendance was mandatory. Despite the ban on other music, I would hide out in my room with my Walkman and listen to Radio Disney. Radio Disney was a kid friendly music station that played popular hits but nothing vulgar or inappropriate. I was obsessed with it. Radio Disney was my introduction to N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Also,I was the ONLY black child in my group of friends that knew what Radio Disney was. Here are my top 5 favorite songs growing up:
1) Allstar by Smashmouth-Growing up,I wasn’t very popular and this song was my “You got this girl” anthem.
Favorite lyric-
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas,I need to get myself away from this place.
I said yep,what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we can all use a little change

2) Drowning by The Backstreet Boys-This song solidified the boys as one of the greatest boy bands ever. Kevin.was.the cutest,especially after he ket his hair grow long. No,this is not up for debate.

Favorite Lyric:
Maybe I’m a drifter
Maybe not
‘Cause I have known the safety
Of falling free into your arms

I don’t need another lifeline
It’s not for me
It’s only you can save me
Oh, can’t you see?

3)The Hamsterdance by Hampton the Hamster- This song was pure fun with a “hamster” squeaking out nonsensical lyrics. Its actually a song my daughter loves now.

Favorite Lyric:
Just tap your feet
And clap your hands
Come on everybody
It’s the hamster dance!

Take some time
Do the beat
You don’t even have to move your feet
Just shake your hand, I want to see you move
Now spin around and feel the groove

4) Rain In Your Life by Tommy Ellison and The Singing Stars- This is a beautiful gospel song that taught me a valuable lesson really early in life. I couldn’t find any lyrics so here’s the song(no video):

5) Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins- Who doesn’t have a favorite Disney movie song? This one is a favorite because my youngest brother is rrreeaalllyy into Phil Collins so Im always hearing it. I think the Tarzan movie soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever!

Favorite Lyric:
Every gesture
Every move that she makes
Makes me feel like never before
Why do I have this growing need to be beside her
There are some emotions that I never knew
Some for the world far beyond this place
Beyond the trees, above the clouds
I see before me a new horizon

This was a fun post to do and thanks to Mama Kat for hosting another awesome prompt. Head on over to her blog and join the fun!

A Memorable Date


I remember a beautiful date I went on. It was my first date with a man who reminded me of Prince with a similar swag and sex appeal. The day we met he had just threatened to beat up a fellow train rider who he felt was in his personal space. I remember catching his eye when I laughed and asking for his number.
Anyway, the date idea was his but I thought it would never happen because I had to wait about two hours for him to get off work,go home and change,and meet up with me. Strike One. We rode the A train out to Manhattan. There was a guy on the train selling some kind of drink called a nutcracker. Apparently its a mix of liquors and it sneaks up on you with its fruity taste.
We learned alot about each other and we sipped our nutcrackers…well, I sipped and he guzzled. By the time we got to our.stop, he was pretty buzzed. Strike two.

He didn’t want to tell me where we were going but I remember we had to walk quite.a distance from the train. He got confused about our direction so we had to turn around and walk even further to the mystery location. Strike three.

Just when I’m about to.pretend that I have some sort of emergency and I need to get home ASAP, we turn the corner and I see beautiful small yahts lit up like Christmas trees in what appears to be a cul de sac of sorts on the river. The water was a beautiful glistening black . In the backdrop were the mountainous skyscrapers that NYC is known for. It was breathtaking. My date knew from the look on my face, I had never been here before. “This is Battery Park ” he whispered in my ear.

( The view of the other side of Battery Park)

Battery Park is about 25 acres and is located on the southern end of NYC, facing The New York Harbor. Along that waterfront, ferries are offered to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There are gorgeous gazebos and as I’ve witnessed personally, is at its most beautiful on a balmy summer night. If you ever visit here, I STRONGLY suggest visiting yourself.

We walked down a cobblestone pathway under the watch of a full moon. There were canopies of branches and I imagine the Secret Garden looks jist like this. It was hot that night but not uncomfortably so. We strolled pass the yahts and watched people lay out on then, some holding champagne flutes. There was some kind of party on one.and a beautiful leggy blond winked at my date. I grabbed his hand and almost pulled it out the socket doing so. He laughed as did Blondie. I hoped he didn’t see me as jealous or possessive

He pulled me in close to him and that was our first kiss. We found a fountain to sit by and we made out a little. He’s a smoker and was the first smoker I ever kissed. It wasn’t bad. We walked all around the cul de sac of yahts and found ourselves walking down a really dark path with not enough street lights to give it life. To my amazement at the end of the path was the base of a winding staircase that led up to a fabulous gazebo. The darkness hid the staircase so the gazebo appeared to float all on its own. I shrieked with glee and ran(okay walked briskly) up the stairs with the date following close behind.

The view was even more amazi fromt up there, giving the illusion that I could touch the moon.I announced to the date,that this waa the place I will marry the love of my life. He gave a nervous laugh but put his hands around my waist while we let a surprising breeze blow harbor water on us.

Unfortunately, me and the date didn’ out. He moved out of NYC to take a job in Michigan and whenever he did visit,he spent all his time visiting his six children and breaking dates with me. I ran into him a couple of months ago and he asked if I jad found someone to touch the moon with

Classics Challenge 2017


I have been wanting to get into classic literature for about a year now. I hate that I call myself a avid reader but whenever Jeopardy has a question regarding a classic, I rarely guess correctly. So, Im going to remedy rhat and join a classics challenge.This one I stumbled on is hosted byBooks and Chocolate(had to stop at a blog with such a great title) I’m listing the category and the book I’ve chosen for that category. I will edit this post later to clean it up a bit but I need to get this post done but the entry deadline.of March 1.

1)A 19th century classic(any book published between 1800-1899)-Wuthering Heights

2)A 20th century classic(any book published between1900-1967)- Lady Chatterley’s Lover

3) A Classic by a Woman Author-Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston

4) A classic in translation(any book published in another language other than your native language)- The Phantom of The Opera

5)A classic
originally published before 1800- The Canterbury Tales(plays and epic poems are acceptable)

6)A romance classic-Emma

7)A Gothic or horror classic-Rebecca by Daphne


De Maurier

8) A Classic With A Number In The Title-A Tale of Two Cities (Examples include
Three Men in a Boat, The Nine Tailors, Henry V,
Fahrenheit 451, etc. An actual number is
required — for example, Agatha Christie’s And
Then There Were None would not qualify, but
The Seven Dials Mystery would.)


9) A Classic About An Animal or  includes the name of an animal in the title -White Fang by Jack Londor

(includes the name of an animal in the title. It
can be an actual animal or a metaphor, or just
the name in the title. Examples include To Kill a
Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The
Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc. If the animal is
not obvious, please clarify it in your post)


10) Classic set in a place you’d like to visit- (It
can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz,
Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the
Nile, etc. ) A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway(Paris setting)

11) An Award Winning Classic (It could be the
Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer
Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award,
just mention in your blog post what award your
choice received. It must be an actual award-winner; runners-up and nominees do not count) – A Wrinkle In Time

12) A Russian Classic (2017 will be the 100th
anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a
classic by any Russian author) – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Old School Blogging: The ABCs of Me


This is another OSB  from the fabulous Elaine from The Miss Elaineous Life. This is actually a draft of it that I never finished so while looking for some fresh ideas, I found it and finished it up.Enjoy!


Anyway, here are MY own ABCs! Link up yours below!

A- Age: 27

B-Biggest Fear: The cheesy 80s movie, Pumpkinhead…something about that monster thing freaks me out!

C- Current Time: 7;58pm, Thursday

D- Drink Last Had: Non alcoholic- Ssips strawberry kiwi juice Alcoholic- Sweet Bitch moscato

E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Next to God,my friend Bart

F- Favorite Song: That’s constantly changing from one Michael Jackson song to another because I’m always discovering old songs that I didn’t know and fall in love with them. Right now, my fave song is Get On The Floor from the Off The Wall album

G- Grossest Memory: When Amani was about 6 months old, she was constipated(yes,this is a poop story) and we didn’t know what to give her to ease her discomfort(when babies are that young you can’t give them anything,which sucks). My mom,who is a retired home health aide, came up with an idea. She had me bring Amani to her and take off her diaper. I didn’t know what she was going to do but I was desperate. She proceeded to put.on.a rubber glove, shove her gloved finger into a jar of Vaseline…and then put her finger in Amani’s butt. What followed her finger out was a HUGE pile of poop rocks. I was stunned,grateful,and then disgusted. My mom was my hero that day…probably Amani’s too.

H- Hometown: Queens,NYC. Born and raised in a few of the boroughs in NYC but all the significant events in my life happened in Queens.

I- In love with: Denzel Washington, Michael Jackson,corn starch(don’t ask),books,and coffee

J- Jealous Of: Pauletta Washington…the bane of my existence

K- Killed Someone? Does in my dreams count?

L- Longest Relationship: If we are talking romantically,then the is off and on for the last almost 9 years.

M- Middle Name: Lauren Marie. All of my siblings(except my oldest brother) have two middle names

N- Numberof Siblings: 5 brothers. Three biological and two by adoption. Two are older than me and three are younger

O- One Wish: That I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life.

P- Person who you last called: The guy at the store. He makes the best chicken.salad sandwhiches so I wanted it ready when I got there. #priveleges

Q- Question you’re always asked: Whenever I go take carenof any business, I always get.”How old are you?” I look like a teenager,so..

R- Reason to smile: Amani. Hands down,no contest.

S- Song you last sang: Follow Me by Uncle Kracker

Follow me everything is alright

I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night

And if you want to leave, I can gurantee

You won’t find nobody else like me


T- Time you woke up: 6:45am. Amani has to be in school at 8am and even though her school is a ten minute walk away,it takes a while to get her going (like warming up a car).

U- Underwear Color: What the hell is underwear?

V- Vacation Destination: never really thought about it…maybe Hawaii?

W- Worst Habit:smoking cigarettes. A close second is ripping out my cuticles.

X- X-rays you’ve had: teeth, shoulder. And if ultrasounds count, Ive had those too

Y- Your favorite food: I love pork(bacon,sausage,.ham, chitterlings, pork shoulder,pork ribs,etc…)

Z- Zodiac Sign: Taurus. Yes it’s true that we are stubborn. But its also a little known fact that we are very sensitive as well. I cry at the drop of a dime!

Denzealots Unite!!!


I’m really into Soundcloud’s podcasts right now. I got into it because of my brother, who is an aspiring artist. He has quite a few songs on Soundcloud and some are features with his best friend. As a big sister, I have to support but while I was doing that I stumbled across some real podcast gold! As I’m writng this I’m listening to a fave called The XD Experience Network.

However, before I found that I found one that I knew was created for me…Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor of All Time…Period. Yes, that’s the actual name of it and if you are a die hard fan of any and everything Denzel,then you are a Denzealot and you need this podcast in your life! I have been a fan of Mr. Washington’s since I was about six years old. I pride myself on having seen all of his films…until the podcast revealed that I’m missing about 4 or 5 films. But that’s soon to change with the Christmas vacation coming up. I can’t be out in these streets claiming super fandom if I haven’t seen all the Denzel movies. So, thanks to DWITGAOATP for setting me straight and giving me some Denzel homework!!!

Two comedians, W.Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery go through Denzel’s entire filmography in mostly alphabetical order and offer critique,insights and little facts about the movie. They are huge fans of Denzel (obviously) so their opinions and discussions are genuine and lots of fun. I’ve already spread the word among non Denzealot friends. They don’t care but maybe you will. Here is an episode to get you into the swing of things. Enjoy!

My Top 5…


Im three years away from my 30th birthday and I’m sure I have a million proud moments ahead of me. However, it couldn’t hurt to take a look at my top 5 favorite proud moments thus far:

5) In August,I got a new job and as excited as I was to be working, once school started,I quickly realized that my work schedule was not going to be beneficial to Amani mainly because she will be taking her state exams for the first time this year. I really want to have a prominent hand in getting her ready for it,so I quit my job. Admitting that I quit a well paying job to get my baby’s academic life together makes me proud of me!


4)Speaking of Amani, this past week she bought home her first reading assessment of the school year. I’m pleased to report that she is reading above grade level. Beingan obsessive reader myself,this makes me really proud!

3) My brother graduated from high school in June and then decided to take a year off. I was worried about what he would do in the mean time but he had his first job interview last week and I’m proud of him for taking control of his own life.

2) When she was in kindergarten,Amani was chosen to represent her class in the school’s “I Have A Dream” speech contest. For her grade it was only a couple of sentences from the speech but I practiced with her everyday and allowed her to watch the original speech on YouTube. The day of the speech,I was nervous about whether or not Amani would actually do it. Well, she stunned me abd her grandmother. She didn’t win but I was proud of her for being braver than I was at her age.

1) All through elementary school,  suffered with Math. I just wasn’t retaining anything I was learning. My 5th grade teacher sent me to Math Lab to get extra help, but I was already defeated. I was at risk for having to repeat 5th grade. I worked as hard as I could but I didnt have a good feeling. During graduation, medals were being given for outstanding achievements throughout the year. Two of my friends took home two a piece. The final category for medals was “Most Improved in Math”. I kind of tuned everything out until I heard my name being called.
I looked behind me and my mom was on her feet clapping and so were my teacher, ath Lab tutor, and my two best friends. After I got over the shock I walked across the stage where my tutuor was waiting to hand me my medal,certificate,and a case to hold the medal in. I had never been so proud of myself and on days when I doubt myself, I think of that special day and I’m right back on my grind!

The Ghost of Halloweens Past


Today’s post is inspired by one of Mama Kat’s fabulous prompts

  When I was 16,my brother and I picked out these great Roman inspires costumes. He took on the role of Roman King and even though I am his sister, I was the Roman Queen. We felt prettt damn good about our choice and I even took it a step further by adding makeup to give me a zombie effect. As soon as we stepped outside,we felt like ***holes. We turned to our mother and swore we were done with Halloween. I meant it…until Amani came along.

  For the last two Halloweens, I have gone back to getting a costume. It took a lot of coaxing and her big cheesy smiles but I eventually caved and bought…get ready for it…a “Sexy” Snow White costume. I waited too close to Halloween to but one so there were few options left. I settled for Snow White because I wanted go a more unexpected route for my return costume and everyone knows I dont care for princesses and Im usually reserved in the way I dress so…Snow White it was.

(Not me) as Sexy Snow White October ’14 and ’15

Anyway, Amani and I dont actually go trick or treating.In our neighborhood not too many people who celebrate it. A bigger part of our area is Jewish so they arent homes to go to for candy. And with this bizarre clowns in the woods thing that is happening, Im none too eager to change our tradition. My mom drops a load on candy and Amani and I eat ourselves sick while watching “scary movies.

Since she has started getting costumes, she has been a Monster High character.

This isnt Amani(obviously) but this is the costume she wore the first time she got one which was October ’12

I love Monster High and all but I’m trying to persuade her to do something new.

(Not Amani) as Abbey Bominable Oct ’14


(Not Amani) as Frankie Stein(Deluxe..whatever that means) October ’15

She recently acquired a pair of cute Batgirl sunglasses from.McDonalds. I love when their toys can actually serve a purpose. As for me, I dont want be “sexy three years in a row so I may try something more predictably me. As long as Im with my favorite girl, it really doesn’t matter what I wearing. Happy Halloween,everyone!