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?

Lifestyle

50 Songs/album that would make it If My Life Had a Playlist And It would go a little something like this DJ Bambino, Drop the beat

50 Songs/album that would make it If My Life Had a Playlist

And It would go a little something like this DJ Bambino, Drop the beat

I was born in the late 70’s, so I can’t say much for songs that I heard in those years. If there was a song that was hot, I wouldn’t have known about it until the 80’s, when it had some time to cool off. So, it’s necessary for me to jump right into the 80’s. Here we go.

In the 80’s of my life, I can remember quite a few songs… some appropriate and some, well not so appropriate. Nonetheless, they would make my life’s playlist. It would be the beginning of my love for lyrics.

While I was way too young to know anything about the ICON, Prince, I do remember Purple Rain. Shamelessly, because of the 1984 movie more so, than the song. Now, while we were not permitted to watch the movie… I remember my sister and I catching glimpses of it between the white fog on the Cinemax Channel that came I and out on the tube.

1. “Purple Rain” is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Prince, the first to feature his backing band The Revolution, and is the soundtrack album to the 1984 film of the same name. It was released on June 25, 1984 by Warner Bros. Records. To date, it has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth-best-selling soundtrack album of all time.

2. 1982-1985 NEW EDITION – New Edition is an American R&B Group from the Roxbury, MA formed in 1978 a list all by itself, to include: Candy Girl. Released in 1983: “Is This the End”, “Popcorn Love”, “Jealous Girl” “Mr. Telephone Man” “Cool it Now” and “Count Me Out” Then 1987-1989: “If It Isn’t Love,” “You’re Not My Kind of Girl,” “Can You Stand the Rain,”

3. “Rock the Bells” is the third single from LL Cool J’s debut album, “Radio”. It was released in 1985 for Def Jam Recordings

4. “My Adidas” is the first single from Run-D.M.C.’s third album Raising Hell

5. “I Need Love” is the second single from LL Cool J’s second album, Bigger and Deffer. 1987

6. “Self-Destruction” a song recorded between 1987-1989 during the Stop The Violence Movement. The Stop the Violence Movement was formed by rapper KRS-One in 1987 in response to violence in the hip hop and African American communities.

7. “I Like” is a song by American R&B group Guy recorded for their debut studio album Guy (1988). The song was released as the album’s fourth single in 1989

8. “Children’s Story” is a song recorded by hip hop artist Slick Rick.1989

9. “Nothing Compares 2 U” is a song written and composed by Prince for one of his side projects, The Family album by The Family band. It was later made famous by Irish recording artist Sinéad O’Connor

10. “U Can’t Touch This” is a song co-written, produced and performed by MC Hammer from his 1990 album Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em. The track is considered to be Hammer’s signature song and is his most successful single.

11.”The Ghetto” is a 1990 single by Oakland rapper Too Short from his album Short Dog’s in the House.

12 “Forever My Lady” is the debut studio album by American R&B quartet Jodeci, released May 28, 1991, by Uptown Records and MCA Records.

13. “End of the Road” is considered one of the most successful songs of all time. It was the #1 single of 1992 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1992. It is ranked by Billboard as the sixth most successful song of the decade 1990-1999.

14. “Before I Let You Go” is a song by American R&B group Blackstreet, recorded for the group’s self-titled debut album (1994).

15. “I Miss You” is a song performed and co-written by American R&B musician Aaron Hall, issued as the fourth single from his solo debut album The Truth 1994

16. “Juicy” is the debut single by American hip hop artist The Notorious B.I.G. and his first single from his 1994 debut album Ready to Die.

17. “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” is the debut single of the rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, from their debut EP Creepin on ah Come Up.

18. “I Never Seen a Man Die”, also known as “I Never Seen a Man Cry”, is the second single released from Scarface’s third album, The Diary 1994

19. “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” is the 1994 debut album of American hip hop duo OutKast.

20. “Me Against the World” is the third studio album by American hip hop artist 2Pac. 1995

21. 1993-1995: Mind of Mystical is a re-release of the debut studio album by American rapper and the New Orleans-based emcee Mystikal

22. “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” is a song by American hip hop recording artist DMX, released as the fourth single from his debut studio album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998). It ranks at #79 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. In the U.S.

23. 1998 Still Standing is the second studio album from the Dirty South, Dungeon Family-affiliated hip hop quartet Goodie Mob.

24. “No Scrubs” was met with international success. It became TLC’s third number-one single and eighth top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 “No Scrubs” is one of TLC’s signature songs and was the second-biggest Hot 100 single of 1999 in the U.S., only behind Cher’s “Believe

25. “Same Script, Different Cast” is a song performed as a duet by American and Canadian R&B singers Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox. Released as a single in 2000

26. “Who’s That Girl” is the first single taken from Eve’s second album Scorpion and her fifth U.S. single, 2001

27. “Ether” is a song by hip hop recording artist Nas, from his 2001 album Stillmatic. The song was a response to Jay-Z’s “Takeover”, a diss track directed towards Nas. Nas named the song Ether because “I was told a long time ago, ghosts and spirits don’t like the fumes from ether, and I just wanted to affect him with my weapon and get to his soul”.

28. The Diary of Alicia Keys is the second studio album by American recording artist Alicia Keys. It was released in the United States on December 2, 2003 “You Don’t Know My Name” “If I Ain’t Got You”

29. “Because of You” is a song recorded by American pop singer Kelly Clarkson for her second studio album, Breakaway (2004). It was released on August 16, 2005 by RCA Records, as the third single from Breakaway. Clarkson originally wrote “Because of You” when she was 16 years old to cope with the emotional distress caused by her parents’ divorce.

30. “Trill” is the debut studio album by American rapper Bun B. It was released on October 18, 2005

31. “Irreplaceable” is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her second studio album, B’Day (2006

32. “Put You Up On Game” is a duet recorded between R&B/soul singers Aretha Franklin and Fantasia. The song is the only single released from Aretha’s Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen. When released as a single on U.S. Urban AC radio on October 1, 2007, the song became the number one most added song for the week with 16 adds.

33. “I Look to You” is the seventh and final studio album by American singer Whitney Houston. It was first released on August 28, 2009

34. “Party” is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé for her fourth studio album, 4 (2011). It features guest vocals from American rapper André 3000 and uncredited vocals from Kanye West

35. “Beneath Your Beautiful” is a song by British musicians Labrinth and Emeli Sandé. 2012

36. “I Run” Jennifer Hudson Chi Raq Soundtrack 2015

37. From 2013-2015 “Trial Time” The Last  Mr. Big

38. “That’s What I like” Bruno Mars 2016 on 24k Magic

Other songs that would make the list:

39. 711 Beyoncé

40.Feeling Myself Beyoncé

41. On The Run Beyoncé and Jay-Z

42. Clown – Emeli Sande

43. Needed Me – Rihanna

44. Time’s A Wastin Erykah Badu

45. Get Down on It – Kool & The Gang

46. Above Water – KCamp

47. Confessions – Usher

48. Never Catch Me – Kendrick Lamar

49. Summer 16- Drake

50.Sail Out – Jhene Aiko

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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…

Uncategorized

Why The Pillow Of Health Will Help You Win Father’s Day And How I Have Determined That It’s The Best

Now that Mother’s Day is out of the way, it’s time to start thinking of Dad. Father’s Day is just around the bend, and it would be wise to start making a list to determine the most suitable gift for the man or men in your life; as well as to show appreciation and thanks for them being the man that you love, and/or look up to in life. In making this determination, I made a 3-bullet point check list, which includes dad, significant other and friends who are fathers; to ensure that I address their needs and wants: Benefits, Price, Give Back Initiative.

As a Single-Mom, I have to be mindful of my buying decisions. I have come to enjoy picking out and purchasing the ‘right gift’ for people, based on the economic and financial sense, that if you are going to spend money, that you should also make it count. As I have grown older, I have concluded that people love to be on the receiving end of something that required sentimental thought. Addressing that, has now become my objective around buying decisions. In doing so, I jotted down some questions for the person who remains on the top of my list in the Father category. This would be my dad.

  1. What exactly does dad want or need? I have found those answers by asking: What does he seem to enjoy or appreciate? What makes him smile? What brings him joy? When is he at his best? What does he complain about most? Since your father’s needs may vary quite a bit from the want and need of your significant other, the answers to the above questions may be different, and should be considered.
 

The objective should then be: Because I love you so much, I want to assist you in achieving something that brings you the greatest joy. I want to give you something that you can use that will mean the world to you. I want to have a part in your happiness. As for my dad, health, sleep, rest and relaxation would cut it, because it tackles his needs and wants. He is at his best when he is well rested. He complains about his neck, his back, and his head quite often and he loves it when he wakes refreshed and refined after a good night of sleep. He seems to be at his best at that point.

PILLOW OF HEALTH

PILLOW of HEALTH was developed by a leading manufacturer of medical equipment.

 

Among some of the other things that my dad may be receiving this Father’s Day, I could not think of a more perfect gift for him, other than the Pillow of Health; whose claim to fame is that they are born out of love. It is a product that is manufactured in the USA, with over 20-years experience in hospital pressure relief products. It has been tested and endorsed by professionals: Neurologist, Sleep Doctors who specialize in sleep science & Chiropractor recommended. Most importantly to me, it’s a product that gives back: PILLOW of HEALTH Kids Pillow™ For everyone sold, they give one to a child with cancer! So, what about this Pillow of Health? For starters:

  • It’s the most luxurious, customizable, therapeutic pillow! The PILLOW of HEALTH is the perfect combination of materials in an adjustable pillow, allowing you to experience the feel of a pillow that will adjust to your needs each night, providing you with the most incredible quality of sleep you have ever experienced*.

PILLOW of HEALTH is designed to provide the most restful and comfortable sleep of your life. It’s adjustable design and high quality materials make it one of the most luxurious pillows available today. Quality sleep can also benefit your immune system, heart, weight and mind.

The foam in Pillow of Health® products has earned the CertiPUR-US® seal from the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Inc. (AFPF). The company earned the designation for its foam by using only flexible polyurethane foam that has been approved by an independent laboratory where it was analyzed, tested and certified to meet specific criteria for physical performance, indoor emissions and environmental stewardship.

Pillow of Health® is an innovative, premium quality adjustable pillow that has a zipper opening on the side to allow users to add or remove the medical grade filling to achieve the desired level of comfort and support. Pillow of Health® is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant and machine washable and dryable. (www.pillowofhealth.com)

PILLOW OF HEALTH

PILLOW of HEALTH is proudly MADE IN AMERICA. It is designed to withstand regular machine washing and drying without losing shape or softness

The below BENEFITS are what makes this my personal choice, in achieving a Father’s Day Win-Win.

PILLOW of HEALTH is One-of-a-Kind – Offering combined benefits not provided by any other pillow!

PILLOW of HEALTH was developed by a leading manufacturer of medical equipment. This pillow is far superior to any other pillow on the market today. It is not only comfortable, cool and durable but also certified to contain the healthiest fill components available.

Adjustable Firmness for Your Unique Comfort Level

PILLOW of HEALTH is CUSTOMIZABLE; you can add or remove filling to fit your desired firmness level through our proprietary zipper opening to create the perfect level of comfort for your body. You’re in control.

Healthiest Pillow with Certified Medical Grade Foam

The pillow is constructed with a SCIENTIFICALLY ENGINEERED MEDICAL GRADE FILL specifically designed for pressure relief to provide optimal comfort and support. PILLOW of HEALTH is CertiPUR-US® certified and is ANTIMICROBIAL, HYPOALLERGENIC and DUST MITE RESISTANT so you can breathe easy. Moisture Wicking Cover Keeps You Cool and Dry

The outer layer is constructed from the most TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED MOISTURE WICKING FABRIC available to keep you cool and dry. Fabric is 40X MORE BREATHABLE than any other fabric providing a cooler and more comfortable temperature all night long, resulting in a better night’s rest. Luxurious, Durable and Washer/Dryer Safe

PILLOW of HEALTH is proudly MADE IN AMERICA. It is designed to withstand regular machine washing and drying without losing shape or softness. Premium-Quality Materials

PILLOW of HEALTH is made with only the SUPERIOR PROPRIETERY MATERIALS, guaranteed to last, ensuring the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had is the sleep you get to enjoy every night with PILLOW of HEALTH.

30 Day Sleep Trial Guarantee

Limited Lifetime Warranty

I do believe that I will once again nail Father’s Day with this perfect, hand selected and thought inspired gift; which my father will love and appreciate. So, to my sisters, I will say….. I WIN AGAIN!

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, Travel

What if The Word Why? Came With A Dollar? I would be rich off my one child alone.

One thing’s for sure, and that is, I am tired of hearing the word Why? So much, that I have considered telling my child that he has a one why maximum on the usage of the word why, per day. Or, if he uses it more than twice in a day, I am entitled to have the exclusive right to say, “I don’t know” even when I really do know. Plus, I should get to say, I don’t know, at least one time per every two why’s. Yea, that sounds like a plan. I think when you are over a certain age, your why’s should come with an Excel spreadsheet and payment on every third why in a day. Maybe, us parents can conduct a WHY Convention, where we answer all the children’s why’s in one day…. Headline: Bring your children on Friday to the Summit Beach House, and don’t ask us why. Boom! That’s it

Truth be told, I love my son’s thirst for knowledge, and the fact that he always asks me; even though it challenges me to channel my inner 6-year-old child, in which most cases, I find out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader. Juuuust kidding. But I really cannot remember anything from 5th grade. Does that make me less smart though? Hummm… I will have to think about that one before fully deflating my ego. At least when he asks why, I am forced to go into those rooms that have laid dormant in my body’s northern hemisphere, in the brain region. So, it’s not all bad. I do get a kick out of seeing if I can beat him to an explanation that will cancel all the following why’s. Just searching for something good enough for him, without having to tell a lie… and of course before resorting to saying that I don’t know. I think we should limit the times we tell our children that we don’t know something, to prevent them from growing up thinking we are dumb as a box of rocks. Or, to prevent them from asking other people and getting the wrong answers all together. I think if we do not know, we should try to find out WHY.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

As moms, we have all heard the expression that children are like sponges. All to say that they soak up a lot of knowledge as they grow into their personalities over the wonder years. It’s never a terrible thing that our children have so many questions about how things work, what they do and what they are used for. I am happy that my child wants to know if there are people in the back of the television. I am not so happy that he wants to take the TV apart just to find out. I am also happy that he wants to know exactly why he can jump up and down on the bed and bounce high. However, not too pleased when he tests just how high he can bounce, when it’s followed by a big fall off to the side of the bed.

I totally get it, that it’s extremely annoying to hear the word why, when it’s in response to something where the only answer is: Because I said so! Because there may not be an answer other than that to: Mom why can’t I go outside right now. Well, maybe it’s too late in the evening, maybe he’s already had his bath, maybe you are too tired to go outside with him and watch him, maybe you’re too busy to go out at that moment, maybe you don’t feel like getting him dressed appropriately to go out in certain weather conditions…. These reasons will still be responded to, with a why. Therefore, when he asks, why can’t I go outside, the answer is simply, Because I said so.

See, you must be smart about your response to the questions of why, because they have already planned their next why. You need to find ways to beat them to the punch and shut it down or it can go on for hours. Some children, like my own, will sit and deliberate on the answer, and use the Scientific Method without even being taught that in school just yet. He will began thinking it all the way through, forming a hypothesis, making an educated guess. And here we go again. Most recently, he asked to go outside and it was hi-noon in Houston. It was 58 degrees in the shade. It was a dry heat and no wind was blowing. Even your breath blew stifling air. If you saw anyone holding hands, it just made you hot because you are already sweating, shirt sticking to your back, your shades are even hot while they rest on your noses to see someone hugged up, was like scratching a chalk board. Yes, that hot. So, when he asked, I told him that it was ‘fainting weather” He asked what’s fainting weather. I explained and told him that it’s too hot, and it’s the kind of weather that you are liable to pass out in (faint) heat stroke. I told him that we needed to get some water so that we could stay hydrated while out in that kind of weather.

The next day, as a consolation prize for being indoors for the afternoon, on the day before; I took him to the park. It was just as hot. On the way, he asked, “Mom, is this fainting weather.” Me: Yes, baby. 40 Minutes later after silence in the car, he asked, “Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? Why would he want to kill the people he created?” I literally felt my mental elevator crash somewhere between my heart and head. I was totally defeated. I answered, He did not do it to kill anyone baby. He made it hot because the trees and grass need it. So, he asks, “Why?” By now, I am in the front seat banging on the dormant doors to my brain. No one would answer. I just told him that the trees and grass can take it. We can’t. But if we stay hydrated, we will be fine. He then asked, “Well, why can’t the trees and the grass stay hydrated?” All I know is, I was so happy to be pulling up to the park right around that time!