As I listen to stories of from women in EXTREMELY unhealthy relationships, I can’t help but to think, how did we get here? Was it watching our parents in unhealthy dysfunctional relationships, being abused emotionally and physically as an adolescent, or was it too much coddling and babying of sorts that ruined you? I have to SMH, not only at the stories I hear, but even at my own. Now at 32, almost 33, I am very true to myself. I know that a lot that happened to me as a child has now surfaced as an adult and yes, it can ruin me if I let it. I didn’t grow up with my mother and father and though my childhood was a “difficult” one, I am grateful for who and what it has made me into… but did it fuck me up?
This is my favorite season of year: fun, food and festivities! However, it can be a stressful time as well. There are so many reasons to spend the holidays with the ones you love. But sometimes, those same loved ones are nowhere near you and the logistics to get together are difficult. With that said, here are 5 reasons to stay put for Thanksgiving:
- Creating new memories and traditions: It’s easy to do what you’ve always done for the holidays, right? No major planning and you know what to expect. For me, the routine gets boring. With my husband and daughter, we have an opportunity to try new activities together. For example, no Black Friday shopping but instead head to a museum or other cultural institution.
- Traveling: Packing for 3 people, wrangling an active toddler and traffic= STRESS! Driving over 300 miles is a lot of work. We’ll save lots of time and energy simply by staying home.
- Funds: Along with traveling the expenses of gas, toll and rest stops all add up. Giving our pockets a break is another major factor in the decision to stay put for the holiday.
- Considering your spouse: My husband’s family lives in Georgia- way down south and we live in Rhode Island- way up north. So, most holidays are spent with my family in New York- within driving distance. This year, my husband proposed the idea first that we don’t go to New York for Thanksgiving. And in the spirit of balance and peace, I considered him and agreed. We will, however, spend Christmas with my family.
- Community: We’ve lived away from our family and friends for over 2 years now. We have yet to spend any major holiday in our new state, Rhode Island. In efforts to put down roots and build our community/village, we accepted a good friend’s offer to spend Thanksgiving with her. Our kids get along well and she’s been extremely supportive since we moved, so why not share in this holiday together.
We are defining HOME for Thanksgiving where we ARE not where we’re FROM.
Besides eating whatever I wanted and being doted on by family and friends, my favorite part of being pregnant was super cute and stylish maternity clothes. I couldn’t bear living in leggings and oversized shirts for 9 months! While maternity items tend to cost more than standard sizes, here are some brands with affordable prices and options to suit any style:
Old Navy Maternity– With staples from outerwear, tops and accessories you can’t lose. Most regular sized items are also available in maternity sizes. Always a good deal to be had with rolling discounts, sales and clearances.
I, like many people in my bubble of the country in New York, assumed this race wouldn’t even be close, let alone favoring Donald Trump. President Donald Trump, let’s think about that for a second. I was first exposed to Trump like many people in NY from his hotels and his businesses and the always hilarious coverage of his hairpieces. I was later of course reintroduced to him as a loud mouth reality TV star – a D rate celebrity at best. And then there was his run for election. I thought it was a joke we all thought it was a joke, but then he won as the Republican nominee. Even then it was still just a joke to me. No way could a racist, classist, sexist, homophobic bigot win the highest position in the greatest nation in the world.
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gear up to face off, I can’t help but to think, how will this affect black folk? With a rise on racial tension in America and police slaughtering and killing black men in our streets, I wondered, where will this election leave us and what will this do for our community?
Almost 8 years ago Sean (P Diddy) Combs encouraged us all to “Vote or Die”, it’s 2016 and choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the presidential election, the option to just DIE doesn’t sound that bad after all. We are less than 30 days away from the Presidential election and the tone of black celebrities and black businesses have become a bit mum. I see a lot of “Black lives matter” paraphernalia and I hear a lot about the “black dollars mattering and being circulated within our community”, but is this enough? It frightens me that more African Americans are not being vocal about the upcoming elections or maybe they are just as lost and confused as I am. In 2006 when the Citizen Change campaign was formed, it was encouraging and patriotic to see artist like P Diddy, Mary J. Blidge, Mariah Carey and 50 Cent urge the young black community to vote. According to Electproject.org, demographically, age groups 18-29 and minorities have a lower turnout rate at the polls; hence my concerns.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Blogalicious 8 in Atlanta, Georgia and it was nothing short of AH-MAZING! Like Bomb. Like, so good. Like YASSSSSSS! Blogalicious has been happening for a couple years and clearly I have been on the outs or under a rock and not privy to all the dopeness that happens at these conferences. I am fairly new to the blogging world (mommy blogging and cocreator of twobrooklynbabes.com) and I am now entering the “conference world”. I had the pleasure of attending Blogging while Brown (my very first conference this year) and Rise Empowerment this summer and they all have lead to such wonderful opportunities and networking connections.
I wanted to create something creative for Halloween. Kaiden and his bestie Mario love each other and I figured making them something cool, matching and unique for Halloween. I wanted to also create something that was in expensive as well. I felt like store bought costumes where so costly. In walmart all the ugly, cheesy, regular costumes were $20+. I thought long and hard and as I ate a candy bar, I say AH-HA! “Twix” bars it is! I figured it was super cute and hopefully easy to make. I wanted to go to Home Depot and get those emergency big blankets… but I was told they were seasonal… and plus they didn’t have the shiny gold/ bronze color sheet for the overall makeup of the costume. So I gave up on Home Depot and headed to JoAnn Fabrics and these items jumped out at me. I found this great sequins material that was close to the reflective bronze material of the twix wrapper and then this felt material (the red and white) for the letter and the brown was suppose to be for a chocolate hat. With coupons (JoAnn fabrics always has coupons) i spent $18 on all that fabric. I was able to make 4 costumes. I ended up rushing at the end and not making the hats, but check out how it all came together. They were a BIG HIT! Everyone loved their costumes! The costumes were very easy to make. I dont have much sewing experience; I hand sewed up the sides and made it like a dress/ sack. Gathered the top of the costumes at the shoulders and then cut out the letters in felt. I
We saw super cute pics of one of our Mommy Group moms making pizza bagels with her daughter and thought it would be perfect for our Foodie Friday recipe!
Pregnancy can be an amazing experience. Just knowing that somehow a life is forming within your womb let’s us know the undeniable power that a woman possesses. But there can also be a dark side to that experience, and though 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage this topic is taboo and is rarely discussed. When a pregnancy ends prematurely and without warning it is devastating and can lead to depression especially when hormones are a major factor . Sometimes the doctors don’t have an explanation and the woman wants to know why she wonders what did she do wrong? Did she eat the right foods? Was she under stress? Did she forget to take her prenatal vitamins? Her brain searches for answers and the emptiness of her womb is a constant reminder that her pregnancy did not give her a baby. Miscarriage does not only affect the woman, it is also very hard for the father however he might deal with the loss differently which sometimes creates tension between the two. Women who have experienced miscarriage need time to heal physically as well as emotionally, her body will recover quicker than her emotions, it is imperative to take as much time as needed. While some mothers may want to try right away doctors suggest to have at least two menstrual cycles before trying again. However some moms develop fear and would prefer to wait a little longer. Losing a baby is a big deal and a woman needs as much love and support at this time because it is something that she will never forget!
Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month
In 1988 President Regan declared October as Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. There isn’t anything that can prepare a woman, man or family for that matter on the loss of a pregnancy. It’s a devastating blow that is very difficult to deal with emotionally, mentally and physically.
I write this piece not as a mother who suffered from the loss of a pregnancy but as a sibling who dealt with the many losses. My mom is the epitome of strength and I’m in awe of all she has endured. Eight… that number represents how many miscarriages my mom had after having me. Some pregnancies I don’t really remember because I was so young at the time and some I do. I can recall seeing her belly grow and watching the babies move then NOTHING. I now realized that growing up my parents really shielded me from that pain that we went through. I wanted younger siblings so badly because I had this fascination with babies. Out of the eight miscarriages there were two sets of twins and 6 single pregnancies and only one that made it to birth, a baby girl. Sadly she died shortly after birth. I asked my mom how she dealt with all the losses, she said she put her faith in her God the Almighty. Yes it was painful to lose babies you wanted to bring into this world but she held on to her faith.
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