Holiday Edition

Macy’s Celebrates Black History Month

Last Thursday I had the honor of attending Macy’s DC 2013 Black History Month Celebration, honoring the life work and celebrating 100 years of photographer/film maker Gordon Parks with the American Black Film Festival.

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This was one of those events I’m glad I did not miss. The setup was lovely with the beautifully soulful sounds of The Chelsey Green Project as guests arrived. This album is being added to my collection ASAP! She and her band are the bomb and she can do some amazing things with that violin. We were served ho’r derves and wine throughout the evening. The wine was courtesy of Esterlina Vineyards of California. This is the only black owned vineyard in the valleys of California, check them out.
When my sister IChooseTheSun and I arrived at Macy’s, Mr. Parks work was displayed throughout the main level of the store.

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But his story of dedication, hardwork, and resilience rang out through the crowd. And oh there was a crowd!
Once the panel discussion began there was standing room only. The panel was introduced and moderated by the lovely Jummy Olabanji of ABC7. The evening’s panel consisted of actor Malik Yoba, award winning cinematographer/film maker Hans Charles, and award winning writer/film director Cole Wiley.

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These gentlemen expressed what Gordon Parks meant to them as individuals and their careers. They discussed a man with a vision who took charge of his destiny. A black man who came from nothing, yet made the world see through his eyes. Gordon Parks became the first African American staff photographer for LIFE Magazine in 1948 and the first major african american film director in Hollywood for “The Learning Tree” in 1969. But for those of you that didn’t know Mr. Parks by those accomplishments, we all know him for being the creative force behind the 1971 film “Shaft”.
Per the panel discussion African Americans have come a long way in the film industry. On screen and even making their way to the executive offices behind the scenes. But there is still more work to be done. We all play a role in how much further we go as a people. We can stay complacent in where we are or we can strive for greatness. We have greatness in black film! Although it has not become a priority within the film industry, we as a people have to be willing to support it. The question was raised, “What does black film mean to you?” Wether defined yet or not, are you willing to support it? I know I am! Let’s keep the legacy going and support our black films, writers, and directors. Thank you Gordon Parks for paving the way and Macy’s for this extraordinary event!!

Checkout my sister’s IChooseTheSun post inclusive of a storify recap of our live coverage.

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Black History Month. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Categories: Holiday Edition, In the News, Out and About | Leave a comment

Spread LOVE

I am a lover of all things Love! I Love Kisses, Hugs, compliments, love games, love songs, poems, and small actions of affection. My babe says “Valentines Day is a woman’s holiday.” I beg to differ! A Valentine can be any and everybody. I have never been one to focus on just my significant other for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day to me is a day to spread Love to everyone. My kids took their treats and Valentine’s for their teachers and classmates.

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I did Cupcakes for the office.

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All because you never know who is lacking love on this special day. So I’m sharing the wealth. My Love is not limited.
I wish you all LOVE on good and bad days. Here is a Hug from me if nobody else hugs you.

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Here’s a kiss for just being you

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If we spread more love there will be more peace! I Thank God for showing me how to love unconditionally. To all of you be loved, accept love, show love, LIVE LOVE!!!!

I’m surrounded by Love, covered in Love and making my Love Work!!! Look at me glowing because I’m covered in it. Have a LOVELY day!!!

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SPREAD LOVE! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Categories: Couples Session, Holiday Edition | 1 Comment

Habari Gani- Kuumba and Imani

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Kuumba, Creativity lives in all of us. No matter how great or how small. I have always been a jack of all trades. Sometimes people around me can’t believe the different types of work I’ve done or experiences I have had in my life. But these things are all apart of what made me. I love trying new things, making new things, brainstorming ideas, and seeing the final result. I decided to blog to share my stories with others. Writing has been a passion since I was 7 and even though I’m a performer and usually loud, when it comes to my craft, I’m shy. Not only has my blogging journey in 2012 helped me work through my shyness, it has also helped me understand that my writing is an important part of me. Writing has been my passion since i was 7, but due to life’s circumstances I locked my creative side up so that my business side could thrive. But that’s cheating myself of the talent God has given me. Plus my BLMSisters have been teaching me how to mix business with pleasure. Pull out your creativity and WERK, because its yours.

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This brings me to IMANI, Faith. Faith in God, Faith in your Abilities, Faith in Yourself. We all come to grips with Faith when things are going wrong but often forget to be thankful for the blessings we have received. Your Faith should be High when things are up or down. It’s never as bad as it seems and He always makes a way. Keeping your Faith through the storm, shows that your spirit cannot be broken. Don’t let anyone or anything break your spirit, keep your faith. Where there is faith, there is hope, where there is hope there is growth, where there’s growth there is life. So Live By Faith, not by Sight because there is more to life than just what you see.

Happy Kwanzaa and May You All Be Blessed with a Prosperous NEW YEAR!!!!

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Habari Gani-Kwanzaa days 4 and 5

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UJAMAA, Cooperative Economics
I was taught to always give back to my community and minority small businesses. Growing up during this time of year any money spent was at small black businesses or vendor(now called pop-up shop)events. My mother always emphasized supporting our own black businesses. This is something that we have decided to start doing much more of again. This past year, I have had several friends, family members, and acquaintances leap out on faith to start their own businesses in and around my community. I plan on showing more support this year and beyond. Who doesn’t want the support of close friends and family when you make a life changing decision? We all do! If you have anyone in your circle that has done this, wether this year, last year, even ten years ago, it’s never too late to show your support!

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NIA, Purpose
When I was little, I had friends named Nia. Because I knew the meaning from the Kwanzaa Symbols, I used to think wow she knows she has a purpose because its in the meaning of her name. But as I grew I realized that your purpose isn’t spelled out in the meaning of your name. It’s in your actions! We all get so wrapped up in what other people are doing we forget to focus on self. Have you asked yourself “What Am I Doing?” We ALL are born with a purpose, we live to define our purpose. To accept, to grow, to master the divine being in ourselves. If you haven’t found your purpose yet, just know you wouldn’t be here without one. Work on defining yours in 2013. I KNOW I AM!

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Kwanzaa- Principles 2 and 3 “Habari Gani”

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KujichaguliaSelf Determination. This is the second principal of Kwanzaa. Start putting together a list of goals you want to reach for yourself this year and ways to reach them. All it takes is baby steps. But remember acting on them will determine your outcome. Be diligent, be steadfast, be your own best ally. I plan on focusing on this a lot in 2013.

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Along with the 3rd principle Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility. This year starting my blog has taught me so much about the blogosphere. Most of that knowledge has come from networking, the will to listen, advice from my blogging community inclusive of my BLMGirls, BeBlogalicious,BlogFrog ,BlogLovin. Thank you for being my teachers this year and embracing me with open arms. As I grow my vision and work on giving you more of myself in 2013, I’m focused on my responsibility to my readers and any branding/ blogging partners. I have a goal to live my passion. Like my mom says,”we are not born into this world alone, there is always help around each corner. It’s what you do with it that counts”.

How will you incorporate self determination and collective work and responsibility in your New Year?

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Habari Gani

Today was the first day of Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African Holiday celebrated around the world rooted in community, family, heritage, and foundation. Kwanzaa was created in the 1960s by Dr. Maulana Karenga. It was created to reinforce The Nguzo Saba principles that contribute to building family, community and culture among African Americans. The Nguzo Saba or Seven Principals are followed, and recited each day during Kwanzaa. The last day of Kwanzaa is New Years Day, so for me these Seven Days have always been my chance to focus and start the ground work for my plans in the New Year.

This morning I woke up texting my mom and sisters with “Habari Gani”, in Swahili means, “what’s the news”. The responses started coming in. Today is UMOJA! UMOJA means Unity. Today we strive to keep unity in our These are the days that we tighten our daily lives and jn our community. We work on tightening our bonds by reflecting on what we can do better in Supporting one another. Tonight we light the first candle for UMOJA. For more information checkout Official Kwanzaa Website

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Categories: Holiday Edition | 1 Comment

The Joy of Christmas

Last night the kids played. They ran through their grandparents house with excitement and full of energy. We watched movies in the theatre room, we read stories, laughed, drank wine and of course the kids HAD to make cookies for Santa. My son is still straddling the fence on whether Santa is real or not but he’s still in the spirit. Although I am missing being with my family, I am in good hands with my in-laws. Since our immediate family on both sides is scattered, it’s great for the kids to see their cousins from out of town. But just everyone coming together, working together, laughing, hugging, talking, breaking bread and praying together. The ripping of wrapping paper, the smiles of the children, the Christmas specials all are apart of the joys of Christmas. As I’ve gotten older I love the joy of giving and don’t really worry about receiving. But everything I have gotten I Love, Cherish, and Appreciate. Enjoy this day that we have been given with Love, Family, and Friends. Tomorrow is the start of Kwanzaa, the holiday we were raised celebrating. I will post Kwanzaa information over the next seven days to share with you some of our family traditions. To all my readers, friends, and family God Bless and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Holidays to you and yours from my family to yours!

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Categories: Holiday Edition | 1 Comment

Christmas Spirit

It’s soo funny that before December hit, my son was talking about being grateful and that Christmas is about giving. All his discussions about not wanting anything for Christmas and speeches to his sister about them giving their toys to kids less fortunate. Then Saturday night we put up our tree and decorated it. He chose a white tree this year because he says we always do a traditional green tree. Well to my surprise this child started losing his mind yesterday as he was explaining to his sister why he loves Christmas time. In his words:

– You get to spend time with our whole family

– You celebrate baby Jesus

– All the good Cartoon Movies Come on

– There is lots of food, cakes, cookies, and pies with delicious egg nog

– You get to stay up longer

– There are lots of presents

Here is where (as he says) he went HAM, like HAMMY from “Over The Hedge”.

“I Love Presents, the way they look, how the wrapping paper feels in your hands, ripping the paper in excitement not knowing what could be in there. Then your presents are different sizes and in different style boxes or wrapping paper and your mind is going crazy of what it could be. The Fun, The Mystery, The Excitement!”

And while his rant continues his little sister is looking at him with her mouth wide open and busts out laughing. I couldn’t help but laugh either as he was going on 70 mph.

He turns to her and says “You’re Getting Coal”. “But its okay because I wouldn’t mind coal, we can use it to keep the house warm. Lol”

Lord, putting that tree up really sparked the spirit in our house. I guess I can say they are ready for Christmas.

Are you in the Christmas Spirit or trying to get there? What gets you in the holiday spirit.

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Categories: Holiday Edition, Parenting/The Kids | 2 Comments

My New Black Friday

Soo the past few years, I have literally overwhelmed myself with the large retailer Black Friday frenzy. After getting a reality check last Holiday Season, I realized I AM NOT ABOUT THAT LIFE. Too much drama and too many attitudes. Last year my plan was to stand in the Toys R Us line in Clinton at 3am because they were opening at 5am. I got there and there was a double line wrapped around the store twice. I turned my car around so fast, then decided to check out the Walmart across the way. I walk in and the lines are to the back of the store. There were lines formed in every aisle of the store and a lot of the door busters were still wrapped and on pallets in bundles. I walked through and before exiting, I walked past the area where the 32″ flatscreen TV’s for $180. The manager came through at cut that tape and 2 women start pushing, shoving, cussing and fighting over grabbing a tv first. During this altercation small children were witnessing this poor behavior. Regardless I’m soo not doing the Black Friday thing anymore. Unless……………..
I’m Thrifting. I got my shop on with peace and quiet, inclusive of variety, brand names, and great sale prices. 40% off of $1-$8. 3 winter coats, 2 pair of jeans, 2 sweater dresses, 5 blouses, 2 hats, 3 pair kids jeans, 2 pair of work slacks, a scarf for $32. Then because I’m a regular, I received an extra 25% off which brought my total to $24. Some brands included in my buy are from The Limited, Moschino, Jones NewYork, Anne Klein, Worthington, The Gap, Torrid, INC, BCBGMaxazria.

This was also great retail therapy after getting out of the hospital. Plus it took me about 30 mins to get in and out. I could have done more but I was headed back home to meet up with my sister and my mom for a girls day while the kids were away. Just know from now on I will be Thrifting on Black Friday. NO CAMPING OUT, NO LINES, NO DRAMA.

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Categories: Holiday Edition, Out and About | Leave a comment

Appreciation- Happy Father’s Day

As you all know from my previous post I was not raised by my father. But there are so many men that played a role in my life to help me be who I am today. My grandfather, friends dads, godfathers, uncles, cousins, play big brothers, and friends. I have to give a special shout out to my god-brother who mentored me through those difficult teenage years. To All these men I will forever remain thankful. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am so thankful for the village of men that supported me. To my partner in life, thank you for being a wonderful father to our children. Sometimes I know I could say thank you a little more often and that’s something I’m working on. I appreciate your support, your willingness to listen, and your undying love.

Let the men in your life know you appreciate them. Tell them and show them in good and bad times. To All the great fathers out there, From me to you on this Father’s Day ,”I Appreciate You”!

What is a father?
A father is a man that lets the kids stay up and wonders why they can’t get up in the morning
A father says “You’re Okay” after every scrape and bruise
A man who says “fix your face”, ” go to your room”,”did u hear your mother”, “don’t make me get my belt”
A father is the same man that passes out on the floor fully clothed with his kids
A man who drinks the juice out the bottle and eats half of the kids snacks
A man who thinks candy or ice cream makes everything better
A father is a man who tests all the kids video games like he really didn’t buy them for himself
He makes you laugh when you cry, makes you feel safe when you’re scared
Makes you feel like you run the house until Mommy says different
A father is a man that accepts the fact that they are your biggest kid.
A father proclaims what his son will do and what his daughter won’t
A father is much more than a dad
A father sacrifices it all for his future by making the most of his present
A man who stands for his children
A man that teaches his children
A man whose there for his children
A Father Is…….
Everything I see in you

Happy Fathers Day!

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