Category Archives: Uncategorized

Today I’m Shifting Into…

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Today,I’m shifting into a place of thankfulness. Lately,I’ve been working with Shug on her spiritual life. Every night(almost) we read a story that teaches an important lesson from the Bible. She is also learning how To apply her lessons to real life. With all that going on, I have also been trying to reconnect with the Most High. Yesterday, I fasted from social media as a sign of good faith to God that I want to be obedient. In the past couple of days I noticed that because I’ve been preoccupied with trying to get close to the Creator,I haven’t had time to worry about the things that keep me up at night.

Today, I’m choosing to keep seeking God’s comfort and guidance because it is bringing me peace. I want Him to change some things in my life and I realize that I have to draw closer to Him. Don’t get me wrong,I’m not getting closer simply because I need something but because I know who I am to Him and it’s time for me to be the amazing woman that He knows I am. Can I get an amen?

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Lucille!!!

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Those of you who follow my Instagram account, know that this past weekend I was gifted with my very FIRST slow cooker.  I have decided to name it Lucille, a moniker I have to a favorite pen I had in 8th grade. Actually, I named the pen after the Little Richard song ‘Lucille’,after I watched the Little Richard biopic,starring a favorite of mine, Leon 😍😍😍. But, I digress.

I CAN’T WAIT to make my first slow cooker meal and so I got Pinterest and found quite a few I want to try. But one that stuck out to me was actually one I had seen done by my favorite television chef, Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman. It also just so happened that my mother mentioned that she had a taste for homemade lasagna,and then I got the slow cooker,all in the same week. Talk about fate,huh? Without further ado, here is the recipe for slow cooker lasagna. Enjoy!

   

Ingredients

Meat Mixture:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced 
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
Cheese Mixture:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
Lasagna:
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the slow cooker
  • 15 uncooked lasagna noodles 
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

ADD CHECKED ITEMS TO GROCERY LIST

Directions

For the meat mixture: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, sausage and garlic and cook until brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and some pepper and stir. Set aside.

For the cheese mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs and stir together well.

For the lasagna: Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Spoon in one-quarter of the meat mixture on the bottom and top with 5 lasagna noodles, broken to fit. Add a third of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat this layering twice, starting with the meat mixture and ending with the mozzarella, for 3 layers total.

For the fourth layer, top with the remaining meat mixture and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Turn off the heat and allow the lasagna to sit 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Show: The Pioneer Woman

Episode: Hay There!

Halloween This Or That Tag Questions

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1. Chocolate candy or fruity? I like a nice balance. NO CANDY CORN!!!

2. Witches or Vampires? Vampires!!!! That is why I am obsessed with Anne Rice’s classic The Vampire Chronicles


3. Trick or Treat? Treat. I hate being pranked. If you EVER prank me ,I will slowly get my revenge on you. AndI dont do revenge in a big way,nope, with me it will something small that will drive you mad. Ask my brothers. Two of them are still receiving their revenge from me and dont even know it…BWHAHAHA!!!

4. Halloween Party or Scary Movie?

I prefer getting a serious sugar rush at home with a  good scary movie!

5. Skeletons or Zombies?

Zombies. Who the hell is afraid of the foundation of the human anatomy?!


6. Trick-or-Treat or Hand Out Candy?

 How can I watch scary movies if I’m  out trick or treating…duh!

7. Hay Ride or Corn Maze?

Hay ride. I have this dream where I get stuck in a maze that has black panthers hiding through out the maze chasing me and snapping their huge vicious teeth at me…

8. Scary Costume or Funny Costume?

Depends on the mood I’m in that year. Like this year, I’m doing quirky,but last year I did sexy.

9. Pumpkin Seeds or Pumpkin Pie?

Pumpkin pie definitely! Think I’m going to attempt my first homemade  one this year.

10. Bottle Feed A Baby Zombie or Walk Alone Through A Dark Forest?

Compliments of the Twisted Beanstalk Nursery

Bottle feed a baby zombie of course. It’s a baby vs. the unknown. I choose the bay,because if it starts doing all that zombie shit, I could just kill it. Sorry, creepy cute baby. 

11. Bats or Black Cats?

I am a proud black cat owner!

12. Pumpkin Spice or hot Chocolate?

Pumpkin spice ALL.DAY. Check out my Instagram to see all my pumpkin goodness food!

13. Celebrate in your neighborhood or at the mall?

Neighborhood. In my house. Watching the scary movies…didnt we go over this,already?!

Free Fall Events in NYC

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One of the things I love most about living in NYC is for every holiday there are a million free or inexpensive events to participate in. All I ever have to do is make sure my Metro Card is loaded up and pack lunch for Shug and I. Many people don’t celebrate Halloween but there’s no reason they shouldn’t enjoy the Fall foliage as well as Fall activities. After doing a little digging, I’ve found a few FREE things to do with the kids in the 5 boroughs. Happy Autumn!

1. Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival

Admission is free however there is a $2 fee for the carousel as well as a fee for the pumpkins

Location:Willowbrook Park,Staten Island

Date: Saturday, October 7th

Time: 12PM- 5PM

2.Fall Harvest Festival

Live music,games, crafts,pumpkins,and more!
Location: Forest Park Victory Field, Forest Hills,Queens

Date: Saturday October 24

Time: 12PM-3PM

3. Children’s Harvest Festival

Children pick a pumpkin from the patch,decorste them,ride horse drawn carriages,and enjoy a concert

Location: Carl Schurz Park, Upper East Side,NYC

Date:Saturday, October 21

Time: 11AM-1PM

4.Autumn Moon Cultural Festival and Lantern Parade 

Part of the annual Chinese harvest season celebration, the festival includes cultural performances, traditional crafts,and a lantern Parade

Location: Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Date:Sunday, October 8

Time: 12PM- 5PM

5. Giant Pumpkin Weekend

Freakishly large pumpkins(some weigh over a ton) are on diplay during this fun weekend. The growers will be in attendance during a Q&A. You can also take pics with the pumpkins( I do believe they’re decorated/carved.

Location: New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx

Date: Saturday October 21-22

Time:10AM-6PM

The Mommy In Color Mission Statement

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My blog believes that underprivileged Black mothers are often silenced with no voice to let the world know about their voice because I AM an underprivileged Black mother.  I want people to see that although we don’t have much we are regular mom’s.

I lost about my experience as a Black mother. There is a stigma about us and we are shamed and told we aren’t good enough because we don’t have enough. I want attention and help for us. I don’t want anyone is to be ashamed.  We should be working together as a tribe to raise our children.  Over time, as I become more comfortable doing so, I will get into the real things I go through. I’m grateful to have an audience to hear me. My business goal is to take OUR message  to the forefront of discussions so that we can get what we need: support.  My hope is that you ,precious reader, will find understanding, non judgement,and safety here.

Now Is The Time of Year When…

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Now is the time of year when…

Sweaters become jackets 

Hoodies morph into hats

Now is the time of year when…

The Sun shines through the trees turning yellow leaves into the gold you know must be in Heaven

Leaves of bright red turn crimson with the setting Sun and dropping temperatures 

Now is the time of year when…

A daughter’s first decade is celebrated  with a store bought ice cream cake 

And a feast of thanks giving celebrated on the same day

Now is the time of year when…

You’re usually brisk walk to the train station or bus stop is made even quicker from the sting of the cold

Now is the time of year when…

You damn yourself for not  carrying the little packet of tissues you just bought 

As you hold your head skyward  to hold in the snot

And thank the Heavens for the Autumn you witness…

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 5- Permission 

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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…

AND YES, I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO BE THIS WOMAN IN THREE YEARS!!!

Victorian Reading Challenge

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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
Victoria
_ 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

Rules:

Fiction or nonfiction.
Books, e-books, audio books all are
fine.
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
others
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
2016!

MY PICKS:
2) Tess of the D’ Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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14) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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5) Villette by Charlotte Bronte

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19)Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

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17) The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

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20) Romola by George Eliot

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National Puppy Day or, My Puppies That Are Really Cats

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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:

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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.
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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

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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!