Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

6 Things A Writer Is More Than Likely To Have With Them At All Times

Note Pad / Journal and Pen: As a writer, I can attest to the fact that sometimes thoughts will hit you while standing in the crowded line at the neighborhood grocery store, while purchasing Broccoli for the evening, to cook along with fried corn and steak. Your inspiration can come from anything as small as seeing a toddler crying in the store, a customer dispute with the store manager, to the smell and aroma that’s chasing you down from the deli, all the way to the car that almost hit you, as you were leaving the store. People always ask me, where does my inspiration and ideas come from.

It’s really this simple: I am already inspired to write, I remain in a constant state of being inspired to write, because I love the art of expression. The only way that I know how to do that, is through writing. My ideas come from anywhere and from anything. Every day, there’s a story to be written. I keep my note pad ready for those moments. I jot down ideas as they come and even if they don’t make the final cut, I don’t throw them away. I save them, and often find myself back on that page, building from that thought when and if have a momentary block. I have been known to pull off the road, just to write an idea down or to complete notes and bullet points I want to cover once I begin to write about it.

Camera: They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I think they meant to say, photos can be worth a million bucks. Because sometimes that “money shot” is real! Aside from being in the right place at the right time and having the once or twice in a lifetime opportunity to be the author behind that money shot, having a camera allows you to capture moments that you will never be able to reproduce. That may be your child swinging on the swing, taking a leap into mid-air and landing on his feet. It could be your child taking on the monkey bars, backwards or making rocks jump across the lake. It could be spare of the moment, candid photos that will last a lifetime, in which you can share with readers, who are then able to see the event that you attended, as something worth attending for themselves next year.

It may be at an outing, where you’re having the time of your life and you want to share it the next day, but words could never describe the fabulous time that you had, whereas a photo, nails it. Candid photos also make great talking points and writing prompts. You can present a photo and ask readers to give you their rendition or version of events of what transpired that evening. In this, comes inspiration, because everyone’s answer may be different, and it may spark an entirely different article or blog post for you. Plus, it increases engagement.

A Snack: Because we all like a little protein snack while we are on the go. Truth is, while we are fed very well at events, sometimes we find ourselves talking the entire time and forget to eat. Between events, especially when you get to the point that you schedule yourself for 2-3 different appearances or editorial assignment, which are happening back to back, you don’t have time to stop for food. The lines are too long at the drive thru’, the traffic is too thick to get off the freeway and chance being late or even a no show, so you need to have something in your purse that will carry you from point A to point B.

Plus, it’s an excellent idea anyway to have an extra pick me up to rejuvenate yourself, refresh and hit the reset button before arriving at the next event. As a writer, you may end up at the park a little longer than planned because you found something inspiring to write about, after meeting a mommy of 6, who’s recently widowed or divorced, who just made a move to the city. And because you don’t want to interrupt that stream of thought, behind your belly rumbling, you will tank yourself that you had something right there to snack on. People always ask about writer’s block, and while I have only experienced it once or twice in the last 10 years, I can say that the reason I don’t deal with it now is because I never stop writing. My thoughts lead me. If something says write, right now, I don’t put it off.

Calendar/ Planner: Keeping a calendar and planner keeps you on point. It prevents you from double booking yourself at an event, or for any programs, tours, conferences or workshops that you have a desire to attend and take part in. If you have reached out to tourism bureaus and PR companies about events, it’s an innovative idea to write it down immediately, upon approval to attend, so that; Number 1. You don’t forget, and number 2. You don’t end up somewhere else, when you should have been at the event you obligated yourself to. A calendar and planner keeps you organized and if writing/ blogging is what you want to do, organization is a must when it comes to attending events or taking on press trips and Editorial assignments.

Plus, it puts things into perspective to where you’re able to see deadlines, to make good on your promise to companies to provide them with reviews and or ratings of their product and or services. It helps you plan accordingly, not to take on too much. You do not want to tarnish your rep, by forgetting or not delivering in a timely or promise, because the competition is thick. There are other writers out there waiting in the wing for an opportunity like that. Don’t mess it up, by not having logged it from the jump. Forgetting does not send the message that you take their brand serious or that you’re responsible enough to handle an assignment.

Cell Phone /Recorder: This is because sometimes it is not as convenient to pull off the road and jot things down. You may also be in a position where it’s better to record your own thoughts and ideas, versus writing them down for later review and consideration of a topic to write about. You can use a recorder as a sounding board Listening to yourself helps to break even with what deserves a title and what goes on the back-burner for a later date.

As a writer, there’s also many opportunities that may arise where you have either planned to interview someone or the impromptu opportunity arises, and you always want to be prepared! Cell phones also offer the option of easy posting. If you have something that is worth sharing in the moment, whether it’s in conclusive with an all-out article / post or the picture that’s worth a thousand words to let your audience to #StayTuned, A cell phone with wi-fi capabilities will help you achieve this.

Tablet/Laptop: There comes a time when you spend countless hours at your local coffee shop or lounge, conveniently located at the entrance of your subdivision; where all the notes that you’ve kept on your recorder or the notes that you’ve jotted down all week, in your journal will need to be transferred or transcribed into a post.

Everything you have done all week to accumulate thoughts and ideas, will not be front and center, ready for a place on your writing list. Is it a book, a chapter a book, an outline, a post, a blog, an article, a thought that will inspire an outline for a story? Whatever it is, you now are face to face with your tablet or laptop and it’s time to get to writing. What are you waiting for?

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Play Sudoku – Don’t sleep on Sudoku puzzles. It has become one of the games that I play, which makes the time go by fast. It really is a fun game, but I must warn you, you will get hooked.

Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time. The goal of Sudoku is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and 3×3 section contain all the digits between 1 and 9. As a logic puzzle, Sudoku is also an excellent brain game. If you play Sudoku daily, you will soon start to see improvements in your concentration and overall brain power

The popular Japanese puzzle game Sudoku is based on the logical placement of numbers. An online game of logic, Sudoku doesn’t require any calculation nor special math skills; all that is needed are brains and concentration.

If you have an iPhone, there are three games I would recommend when sitting in hospital waiting areas or hair and nail salons, waiting for your number to be called. 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Anagrams and Word Hunt. For the same reason of jump starting and getting that blood to flow, word hunt and anagram is great.

8-Ball is real entertaining, if you do not really know how to play pool. It’s an uncomplicated way to learn, as its electronic and allows you to line up your cue and bank any shot. Well, with a few misses of course, but after a few games, you’ll get the hang of it.

Send a Post Gram – Who doesn’t love a greeting card, just because. You can download the Postgram App  for convenience, and after creating and customizing a post card to send to family, friends, and/or business associates, to remind them that you are still in business, Post Grams by Sincerely Inc. sends to U.S. Canada and Europe.

I worked as a Realtor for 10 years in Texas. During this time and even today, post cards were the number one seller at the marketing company I worked for. That is because Realtors realized the importance of maintaining contact with prospects, future home buyers and even those whom they have sold a home to before. Postcards remind people of what you do. “I sell houses” “I am an Estate Manager” “I am a Loan Officer” “I am a Chef” “I am a Landscaper” “I’m an Interior Decorator” ETC., Except be creative in how you remind them: “Wanted to wish you a Happy Tuesday, from your local Real Estate Agent” …” Greetings, hope you enjoy the Spring ahead. Don’t forget to Spring forward” …” A little reminder from your local Bake Shop” …

Even if it is not a business that you are running, you can always send a greeting card to people for no reason at all, just to say hello. Postgram is something that you can do right from the comfort of your home, on your cell phone. You never have leave the house. It’s not an email greeting card. It’s an actual plastic post card that will be delivered by mail to the recipient. It takes 5 minutes or less.

Organize and Clean – I used to manage a retail store called Just for Feet, way back when they were opened of course. This was in the late 90’s. I remember overhearing my District Manager tell one of the associates that if there is time to lean, there is time to clean. That stuck with me over the years, and so I made use of all my idle time, just by thinking of him saying that.

If you are home, or work, bored with nothing to do (and you don’t need rest) waiminute, when don’t we need rest as mothers? Ok… anyway, when and if a time comes where you do not need another second of rest, and you need to do something; tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen. We all have one.

Organize the kitchen pantry so that you will stop buying things you already have but just couldn’t find it. Clean out the refrigerator, there’s no use for that 10-day old lasagna that you said you were going to eat, 9 days ago.

Tackle and declutter that closet that you have been telling yourself that you don’t have time to do. You’d be amazed how much you can get done and surprised at the fact that you got it done, once you get started and just take your time. Section it off so that it is not so overwhelming. Focus on one part at a time. It’s not a marathon, so if you get tired just take a break. Pop on some music to get you excited about completing a task around the house.

Fold those clothes that are in the wash room sitting in that basket. You’ve already taken them out of the dryer. Why are they still in the basket?

Wash your car – may be a little hot at hi-noon to do this one. However, if it is in the evening that you find yourself bored, this would be something to do. Even if you’re used to taking it to the car wash, or having the kids do it… try doing it yourself one that when you have nothing to do. If the kids are home, help them with it. It saves you the money of having to drive it to a hand wash and detail center. It’s really a fun thing to do in the summer time with the kids anyway. If you are a single mom, and there isn’t a man around, you’d really enjoy this with the kids. It’s a great bonding moment. My son loves to wash my car, even though he’s just 6- years old. When I help him, it becomes a game to him. We find ourselves in a water war and it has one of your most memorable moments for the scrapbook.

Learn something new – A moment to learn, is time well spent. If you want boredom to take a hike, get back to teaching yourself to be productive in the process. Utilize every moment to get back to yourself. If it is Law that you are interested in, or Baking, or Design, or even learning how to use social media for marketing your brand or product; use this time to get online to find all the answers to your questions. Maybe you have a relative that is facing some health issues. You can get online to research that and become informed on how to deal with it, or find ways of helping them deal with it. Knowledge never plays out.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

A Quick List Of All The Things That Makes This Mom Happy and Things I Enjoy Doing

A list of all the things that makes this mom happy and things I like to spend my time doing

Writing – Writing is my favorite pastime and it was an interest that developed in the 6th grade, while attending Shades Mountain Elementary, in Birmingham, Alabama. I had all these stories in my heart, but did not know what to do with them. They developed from my imagination and ability to turn a house into a mansion or to see the forest spite the trees. I was confused … but I learned that it was simply the mind of a story -teller… and aspiring Author. A novelist. I used to be afraid to keep a journal, however. But when I got used to listening to what my heart had to say, I became more comfortable with writing it down in story form or poetic expressions and essays.

Blogging – Blogging was an interest that stemmed from writing of course. After I’d written a few short stories, ventured through books and poems, as well as harnesses a love for literature, I put it into a book. Then I began writing for a newspaper and supplied content for newsletters and select online publications here and there. After-which, I decided to camp out in the arena of blog life in 2009. It was another way to “report” and combine that with “expression” keeping everything authentic and very close to my style. I could write more freely in a blog, versus a Newspaper, because papers had word limits, and a lot of times you are given a topic and restricted to only articles about that topic.

Researching – Researching kind of goes hand in hand with writing and blogging, in my book. But for me, research did not begin after I began writing and blogging. I had an ardent desire to research things. I loved to get lost in a philosophy or a method, and I wanted to understand theories and thought processes. I had a keen sense to understand the mind over matter concepts and science related to the human brain and psyche. So, when writing and blogging came along, research was already there. I did not mind having to research a topic or having to read more literature on subjects that were interesting to me, to provide the most accurate information about whatever I wrote.

Traveling– Traveling is said to be the sure tell sign of a writer. Writers travel between characters and stories on a daily, allowing them to live in multiple worlds and in many situations. Aside from the mental sense and ability to tap into the psyche of a character they are writing about, writers are usually recluse or travelers, also known as wonderers. We have thoroughly covered the wonders of the world and have traveled to the four corners. If we have yet to do so in our careers thus far, you best believe that it’s on the bucket list. Traveling is something I crave. When I am in one place too long, I feel homesick, because being on the road is where I am most at peace with channeling my thoughts.

Drinking Wine– I am starting to see some stars aligning here, or is it the wine… LOL. J/K… Wine! Being just one more thing that seems to blend with writing and blogging. A glass of wine has been known to get the engine going for me in the writing game. When I am chasing a thought, or can’t quite put my finger on it to tie it down, wine is the triple hitter that drives it on in. In blogging, well…. Haven’t you heard of “blogging events” where wine is consumed? Lol Wine tastings, food and wine festivals, wineries and oh, don’t forget Sip-n-Draw; which is the wonderfully made art studio that allows you to drink while you draw their subject, and then blog about the experience.

Dancing – This must be my destiny! The Wine told me that I could do it. In fact, I have a flask that says, “You can dance”, Sincerely Wine. Oh, wait! I think it says, Sincerely, Vodka. Anyway, all the same. Dancing is something that happy people do. Enough said. When I am in a good mood or a bad mood, music is something that can get me up out of my bed, off the couch, out of a funk and into a dance. Occasionally it will get me out of the house too but into a lot more. So, long as we are not mixing the wine with the dancing, were good. But I won’t deny it…it has happened.

Going to a hole in the wall, private, exclusive after-hours spots with my favorite people –I am not always a recluse. Remember, I said I do love to travel, and even though a lot of that travel is through stories and characters, I do love to get out every once, in a while to enjoy a glass of wine away from the house, with a very tight few. More like one or two. Ok, just one… but then me meet other people while we are out and have a wonderful time. We don’t go out with the intent of finding new friends or having a pow wow, that’s why it’s a hole in the wall, exclusive and very private spot that we end up at. Something quaint and off the beaten path is just enough to call it a great night.

When I am doing none of the above, I am more than likely doing my most favorite thing of all, and that is hanging out with my little Prince Cornelius. The world is endless in his eyes and so are my experiences with him. He is a little prankster and a jokester, with a phenomenal sense of humor, who keeps me laughing. He has some days when he challenges me, so no its not all peaches and cream, but I would not trade it for anything else. Even when it means sleepless nights and early morning cartoons…Which tells me that he is still Numeral Uno on my list of favorite things, and things that make me happy, which are sure to put a smile on my face. This little one has taught me how to practice what I preach when I say, Love Unconditional. My Love

Uncategorized

If you were looking for me— these are the words that would lead you to me: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting, Love…

If you were looking for me— these are the words that would lead you to me: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting, Love…

Google is a wonderful tool for not only looking up dates of past, present and future events, or finding the correct answer to some of our health-related questions. It’s a major source for locating people also. It’s as easy as plugging in a name and a few key words about the person, and you are then directed to their blogs, their newspaper clippings and even their company and affiliation with companies in a lot of cases. While google has been under scrutiny for the information that can be found, as it relates to privacy and security; it is not google who releases that information. Googled is like the holding cell, for all public information that was placed on line.

Do you remember the infamous line, “Google Me” said by Model Jessica White …on the once a hit reality show; The T.O. Show? The world fell out laughing, that someone said that out loud. We knew that we could just “Google’ someone, but it was not something that we wanted everyone to know that we were doing. However, the shame in that is a thing of the past. It is no secret that you will possibly be “Googled.” Employers do it now and so do potential suitors. Women have used it as much as Men, and it appears that men are leading the game in “googling” people. I am surprised at the amount of times a guy has mentioned, “Well, I saw on line that…” “I googled her and…such and such” Sorry to bust you guys, but it wasn’t a secret anyway. It’s ok. We know you want to know as well and you deserve to google us, just like we google you. Don’t be ashamed. It’s not really snooping when it’s all out there, right? Hummm…The Jury is still out on that.

Anyway, I became aware of the amount of times my name has been googled, as well as by who in some cases; with the help of sophisticated technology. It’s like LinkedIn. LinkedIn can tell you who’s viewed your profile, and so can Google, when plugged in to these pretty savvy apps and programs that allow for you to see this data. You are also able to gauge which words or phrases have been used to search for you, so that you can determine better usage of the tags you use for anything that you post online, you’re your intent is to drive traffic. It took some trial and error for me to learn all the ins and outs and it was a personal situation that drove me to become interested in finding out exactly how people were locating me and how they were finding certain things online. I had to self-teach myself a lot and it took a lot or reading and researching. It all paid off though, after about a year when I had everything I needed, to show that most of my traffic was driven from my Tumblr.

For no rhyme or reason, maybe the ghost followers thought it was the safest place to search and stay up to date, as Tumble lagged in providing their customers with this data. It’s not that it wasn’t available, it’s just that it had to be requested and there was a lot of red tape involved, for me to collect it from them.

I am a woman of many words and as described by Opposing Counsel once, “You do a great deal of writing, don’t you…” To which, I held my tongue for the sake of remaining in compliant with the court…but I wanted to say, “Yes, and you do a great deal of reading, don’t you?” The fact of the matter is, long as you are reading, I will be writing. I thank people like him, and other cyber bullies, ghost followers and stalkers; for driving traffic to my blogs, so I can’t be mad at him and I can’t help it that he stumbled upon some truths about himself, which he found to be offensive. It was something about the shoes he wore, which seemed to rattle his feathers and put his panties in a wad…I can’t really remember…

I’d say it today if it hadn’t already been said. And because I like to stay current, and avoid repeating the same things, and causing my audience to become board with redundant articles, I just wave at him from afar, as I see that he’s still reading. It’s nice to have fans.

I had to learn that over my 8 years in blogging. It really shouldn’t matter who’s viewing your public blog. That’s what you want, especially if it’s monetized. Views equal $$. So, I encourage you to keep reading. I encourage bloggers to keep blogging. I encourage writers to keep writing, and Journalist should keep reporting. You cannot worry about “being found” because “being found” is your best friend in the world of blogging, writing and reporting. Find your voice, so that they can find you.

With that, it has become ideal that I use the same tags and search words for all post and all articles I post anywhere, for easy finding, navigating and linking from site to site and blog to blog. It’s like a chain linked fence…the more links in your chain, the mo…. When I have special post like say, for Father’s Day, then of course I would add that tag, but I would still use all the other tags that I have been using that helps my audience and potential readers find me at any point online.

And last, the song “Here I go” by Mystikal comes to mind: “You looking for me” Well, some key words that are sure to lead you to my front door will be: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting and Love…

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Here’s My Highly Non-Recommended Diet And Exercise Plan Which Happens To, I Mean Which Use To Work For Me.

I’ve never been one to stick to a healthy diet or exercise program and I’m not a considered a healthy eater. I don’t consider myself to be in the best of shape, with regards to being able to run a mile without becoming winded quickly. With that said, It should be obvious that I am not fitness GURU. I just happen to know my body, and what works for me.

I remember being 30-years old, when I got away with eating little Debbie snack cakes every night, and a gallon of Gatorade. I’d exercise in the evenings, after work, doing a 3-5 mile run walk outside around the track, followed by a 2-3 mile run, on the treadmill. After that, another mile on the stationary bike. I was 5-feet 8-inches, weighing in at 115 lbs, at 30 years old. I gauged my size and growth by a pair of jeans that I wore in High School and College. If I could still fit them, I was doing good. If I couldn’t, then it was time to peel back. It was as simple as that. I was hell bent, on remaining the same size, and so when my eating sprees got out of control, my motivation was to get back into those jeans.

Yea, it’s true. I go on ice cream binges, fried food fiascos and red wine Soirees that will make the person standing next to me say WTF! And I’ve always been the topic of discussion when it came to eating unhealthy food and staying the same size.

UNTIL LATELY. This is what they mean when they say it will catch up with you. It tracked me down like an ex from college that I was hoping to never run into. It came to my front door, unannounced and was on my living room sofa before I could say Calgon take me away.

It happened so unexpectedly. 15 lbs in 5 months gripped my waist, hips and buttocks like the seat of a luxury vehicle does, when it locks you by the seat belt, after slamming on the brakes! What was I to do? Age 39, at my heaviest and biggest size in life. 145 lbs and rising….But I only weighed 150 at full term pregnancy, when I was 33-years old, just to put things into perspective. I was panicking now. Not because I was caught up in “image” and societal shaming of belly fat and love handles… but because I could not fit my 20-year old jeans, in a matter of 5 months.

Most importantly- it is you who must be O.K. with your size and weight, your image and your features. Your accents and all that make up the beautifulness that you behold. In my quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it had nothing to do with anyone’s idea of my body or their opinions… but it has everything to do with how I wanted to see myself and what I want to look at when I look at myself in my own mirror. It has everything to do with what I find pleasing in my eyes when it comes to my very own body, and that is not a reflection of how I see anyone else who choose to be big, small, thick or thin. Hopefully when you go on your quest, you’ll do it for yourself as well, and not for anyone else.

But understand, my issue wasn’t with weight gain altogether. It was with “rapid weight gain.” My size is still good, considering my height and age…. but at this rate of weight gain, I could easily become the poster kid for many health-related conditions.

Many things contributed to my weight gain. Being home, and not being as active as I was before. I spent less time traveling and being away from the comfort of my bed. I was stressed over many issues surrounding the custody of my child, which kept me inside the house. I was running to the refrigerator every chance I got, for “something sweet to eat” just to pass time. I wasn’t shopping for healthy food any longer, as I did not have my child at home with me full time anymore.

After a visit to the doctor, I discovered I had issues with thyroid. I experienced a brief bout with pressure and a heart related concern, in which medication prescribed had a side effect of weight gain on top of that fact that I was also given a new medication for severe migraines and anxiety; which contributed to weight gain and my hormones were completely out of whack.

This is also why I would recommend that the first thing you do when you decide on any dieting and exercise regiment, to tackle weight gain or rapid weight gain, that you consult with your doctor first. You want to check your health by doing a temp check of the state of your body, so that you know if you’re fighting against something other than the fact that you can’t stop eating ice cream. It could be more. Address those issues, then you can find a diet that works best while addressing real underlying health concerns.

I had to think about it. All these things that I had come face to face with at 38-years old was new to me, coupled with the things I was voluntarily doing, which aided in weight gain. I realized that many of these issues I never faced before the age of 38, which is why I could eat the way I was eating. I lived a more active lifestyle then as well. If your lifestyle isn’t the same with regards to activities and health- you need to make a shift that tailors to the changes. You won’t be able to eat as much on less activity- or eat all day without exercising or watching calorie and fat intake.

So, where am I now? Well, I watch what I eat and I exercise daily. I stay away from scales. Scales are discouraging. I just look at myself until I like what I see. That may be at the same weight, but in more of a tone package. Same weight, with a healthier eating plan and a suitable workout plan that maintains health, weight and fitness goals. I have a note on my mirror that says, “Stand here until you like what you see” It’s like a Mantra of some sort, because it applies to anything related to esteem. When you look better, you feel better. When you feel better, you do better.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

3 Of My Sons Favorite Things To Eat And What I am Doing About It Because Frankly, I am Tired Of The Repeat

Have you ever heard the sound of a broken record playing? And if so, do you remember how you couldn’t get into the room quick enough to take the needle off the record? That is how I feel at dinner time these days, when it comes to feeding my 6-year old son. He’s a growing child, who needs to eat and as much as I care about his nutrition, it’s a challenge some nights to win. To my surprise, he is the one who is the cause of this broken record getting air time at the house. I thought he would be as tired as I am, about re-runs and threepeat meals.

It has nothing to do with that fact that I grew up eating chicken on what seems like was every night of the week, even though it wasn’t every night. Ok… who am I fooling? Yes, Yes. It has everything to do with that. I became tired of chicken as a child, and so, I can’t understand this phenomenon at my dinner table. Why would a child want the same thing, night after night, when he has choices? I guess when you like what you like, you just like it. Of course, this is not what keeps me awake at night, but should I be concerned? It’s not that he doesn’t like anything else, because I have witnessed him indulge in everything from BBQ to Pasta. But he doesn’t seem to want it anymore. He doesn’t seem to want a variety. Which is why………………….

I am even more tired of the following 3 Things That My Son Loves To Eat. Those things are: Rice, Macaroni and Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes. All of which find their way to my dinner table at least 4 nights per week, during extended periods. There’s only so many ways I can cook and prepare rice, even with there being variations of rice, such as: Long-Grained, Brown-Rice, White Rice, Spanish Rice, Dirty Rice, and Jasmine Rice. I am all cooked out of rice! I like rice, I just don’t want to eat so much of it during one week time.

I remember when my son ate everything as an infant and toddler. It made my life and decisions on dinner so much easier, to be able to pick whatever I wanted, and to know that he would eat. I cannot explain how my son grew out of eating, rather than to have grown into eating more and more of it. Is this normal? I remember when people used to tell me how lucky I am that my child would eat anything that I put in his face, and that most children his age were so difficult when it came to finding something that they like to eat. I miss those days. I miss them because now, it’s more work involved and lots of food that goes to the trash. Well, unless it’s rice, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. rolls eyes because I do not want another grain of rice, nor another mac n cheese noodle and I could care less if I see another potato. Not to mention the amount of starch!

However, I did find some pretty awesome recipes online that made me second guess my decision to go on a rice, mashed potato and Mac n Cheese strike. See them below. Perhaps if you are in this dilemma as a mom, you can benefit in making something that you’ve never made before, with the food that your little one insist on having. Since rice is on the top of his list, I found a few recipes that were worth sharing- that I will try before giving it the final boot…..It’s coming though.

BAJA Black Beans, Corn and Rice: Serving size 6 Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients: 6 cups cooked brown rice 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 1⁄2 cup red onion, chopped 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 2 dashes hot sauce

Directions: Cook brown rice. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. To serve, Place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture. Stir together before eating.

Easy Fried Rice Ready in 30 Minutes, Serves 5

Ingredients: 3 cups cold leftover cooked rice 1⁄2-1 cup oleo (or butter) 1 medium onion (chopped) 2 stalks celery (chopped, or just use 3 cloves of garlic and) 2 carrots (diced) 1 cup frozen peas (or a small-medium part of ginger) 3 eggs (beaten, or 6) 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup soy sauce (to taste, and chicken msg) Pepper

Directions: Melt oleo in large non-stick skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until onions are transparent and carrots are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more until peas are thawed. Push veggies to one side of skillet. Scramble eggs in empty side of skillet after the oleo spreads from veggies. Mix eggs into veggies and season with pepper. then put in small amount of rice and then. Add soy sauce. Then slowly mix in rice by the spoonful until all rice is added and all ingredients are well blended. Fry until steamy hot stirring often.

Jamacain Rice and Peas cook time 2 hours serves 8

Ingredients: 8 ounces small dried red beans or 8 ounces red kidney beans 1 quart water 16 ounces chicken broth or 16 ounces chicken stock or 16 ounces water 1⁄2 cup coconut cream 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice 2 scallions, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped 2 minced garlic cloves 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 scotch bonnet pepper (left whole) 1 teaspoon brown sugar 2 1⁄4 cups uncooked long grain rice

Directions: Rinse and sort beans and place in a stockpot. Cover with several inches of water and soak overnight,-or- bring to a boil, boil gently for 3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Bring to a boil with chicken stock, water, and coconut cream. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy. Add the thyme, allspice, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, brown sugar, uncooked rice, salt and pepper. Check the level of liquid over the rice and make sure there is at least one inch of liquid (if not, you may add water or broth to cover). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve hot as a side dish, with Jamaican hot sauce as a condiment, if desired. For Vegetarian use water not the chicken broth or stock.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

What Makes This Mother’s Day As Special As It Was The Last Six Years

Throwback Thursday, I am in my closet, rummaging through some things and I found a Mother’s Day card that my son made for me last year. I had it hung up on our bedroom wall, until a few weeks ago when I decided to move out of our home. I came to it, while searching through a bag for something else, altogether. I stopped to reflect on the hand print that was within one of the cards, that he documented with finger paint. There was another one where he wrote, “I LOVE YOU” But, Love was in sign-language. On the inside, a special note: Happy Mother’s Day.

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I paused, yielding to a few tears of joy… lending my heart to some more than welcomed memories and thoughts that flickered through my mind, followed by revelations, of how I blessed I am to have someone call me MOM. It is such a wonderfully incredible and indescribable feeling all at once. What an Awe-Amazing place to be at 4 months before I turn 40! I am Mother. I am still Mother. And why in the world am I crying right now? LOL…. Those emotions are something that comes with being a mom. In fact, my best friend witnessed me cry once and I was 34 years old then… He starred at me, without saying a word. Then he finally said, I am trying to figure out what to say, because I have never seen you cry. LOL…. Anyway, in this most precious and beautiful moment of seeing these cards, feelings of joy rush in.

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So, when people ask the question, what do I want for Mother’s Day, I am still stuck in such a place, where my answer is, I already got it. My child. What do you give a woman who has everything she wants and everything she needs, loves and desires, whereas the answer is simply, love, love, love and love? I get it, and I understand that the entire world does not revolve around the happiness and joy that my son brings to me and that some people might argue that it could be unhealthy …. Please understand that I am truly just speaking about the overflowing love I have for my son and the gratefulness that I show to my creator for making it possible. I realize that a woman can find love and joy in many other things…but hey, for the record… I got that covered too – and everything is all good. But I am talking about the bean-misters right now. I don’t praise him, I just love him.

The last 3.5 years have been extremely bumpy…where my child was concerned, as his father and I, were in and out of court of some of the pettiest things you could ever think a pompous narcissistic and controlling father could do to the mother of his child. A 4-year cycle of erroneous motion after erroneous motion, which his father filed, almost made me throw in the towel.  However, when I look back on the fight that I put up, to save my son, I have no regrets. When I look back and see that I truly still came out on top- I am even more thankful that I could have had that kind of love in my heart to go as far as I did for my child. To look at him, is to see a reflection of me… and to know that it was all in the name of love, love, love love, and so, it was all worth it. Love is a language that stretches across barriers, breaking levies, steering through mountains, trudging through treacherous paths and untrodden territory; by which is only understood by people who have experienced motherhood… and people who have experiences true love, and for those who know what unconditional love is.

I was made for this. It only strengthened me and encouraged me, to be strong and to be here for my son. The struggle…It helped me survive. The sleepless nights…they are still here, and from what I hear, they will always be here, so long as I am a loving mother. With that, I rest in knowing that it’s only because I care so much and because I love him so much, that I want to make sure that he is ok, wherever he is and with every breath he takes.

I am happy today. I am happy knowing that I survived some of the worst times of my life. I survived some of the most devastating and heart breaking news, but I am still a Mother and I still have my child and that is the best Mother’s Day gift I could possibly ask for. When someone loves my child, and someone cares for my child and shows a vested interest in his well-being, that is the best gift I could receive as a mother. When someone ask, how my child is doing, and they call him by name or have been around long enough to know the nicknames I have given him (Prince Cornelius, Bambino, Bam-Bam) it makes me feel good all over again. When my friends ask, how’s Lil’ C doing, how’s Big C doing… my heart melts.

It is a pleasure and an honor to have been commissioned with the task of being a Mother. It is a Pleasure and an honor to have been assigned to this little boy. I could not imagine life without him. Even when I think about how much easier it would be, I reflect on the wonderful times we have shared over the years…I think of all the times that he has made me laugh, all the times he made me think outside the box, overcome some of my own fears as well as the times that he made me realize how much he needed me to survive….and nothing, not even peace, could replace that. I live for the chaos that the four- foot tornado brings. And though I cry a lot behind some of the things he does, this is my first stab at this parenting thing, so I can only imagine what he’s going through, taking his first stab at this co-parenting thing…So I have loosened the reigns a little. But what he doesn’t know is, my grip isn’t on the reign anyway. It’s on GOD, and GOD’s promises, to protect him, guide him and keep him safe. I am so fortunate. I am so thankful. And I am so blessed, to be celebrating my 7th Mother’s Day, as the mother to Deon Cornelius Kenny, AKA, Prince Cornelius …. Bam-Bam …My Bambino!