Georgia on my mind

Hey all! How have you been? With the world opening back up are you ready to enjoy Summer 2021? I know I am. As someone born in the summertime, I love the sun, three day weekends, dining outdoors and the vacations I usually plan. I love almost everything summertime brings except the oppressive humidity and heat the season brings to Texas. I’ve managed to learn how to make the best of it by staying inside and taking two showers when I have to go outside, lol.

I kicked off my summer time travel on Memorial Day weekend when Jordy B, Mama B and I took a girls trip to Georgia.

We stayed with my best friend’s sister, Ayana and her family who welcomed us with open arms. On Saturday, we went to brunch at Tupelo Honey in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The menu consisted of delicious southern comfort food that I try not to eat often because after I eat it I usually want to take a nap. They had these biscuits with blueberry jam that made you wanna slap yo mama. In case you were wondering, I didn’t! I also had one mimosa and limited myself to just one because mini me was there and kids will kill your vibe real quick.

The only negative part about our experience was our food took a long time to come to the table because it was a holiday weekend and the restaurant was crowded so the kitchen was busy. But when you’re in the South, you do Southern things and eating some “stick your ribs food” was worth the wait. After brunch, we ventured out to do some light window shopping and then picked up my bestie and godson from the airport.

That evening we had a fish fry, played Spades and talked trash. The best part of the night was finding out there was no dessert. Have you ever been in a room full of black folk when they found out there was no dessert? Well let me tell you it wasn’t pretty until my bestie’s aunt whipped up one of THE “best box cakes you could have of ever had on short notice”. Let me tell you it was so good that we ate some that night and for breakfast the next morning.

The next day, we relaxed and prepped for the BBQ in celebration of my best friend’s cousins’ High School graduation. I was the sous chef and helped to create the best damn Pasta Salad eva made! And I’m not saying that because I helped make it but because it was made with love, lol.

I should also let you know that my bestie’s cousin and his parents didn’t know any of us were in Georgia to celebrate with them. So when we pulled up to the BBQ everyone’s mouth’s were wide open! It was so good to see framily members I hadn’t seen for almost two years and of course because of the pandemic. We hugged, laughed, danced, drank, ate and celebrated until the night fell. And then there were fireworks!

That night I hung out with an old friend and well, he showed me why they really call it HOTLANTA!!!

On our last day, we went to Ponce City Market, the previous home of City Hall East in Atlanta. They have shops, a food court and a rooftop that features games, putt putt, a restaurant overlooking the city and a three story slide. We enjoyed it until the sun came out from behind the clouds and sat on our foreheads. It’s something about being on a rooftop that made it feel like I was closer to the sun than I should have been.

JD and some rando riding on the one ride

After we left Ponce City Market, we ate dinner and watched the basketball game at Hampton + Hudson. The restaurant had a good vibe despite another patron accompanied by his dog that barked at everyone who passed by. By 9 pm, it was time to get back to the house to pack and get ready for our flight back to the H. I should tell you that we almost missed our flight the next morning because the airport was crazy busy. I was so nervous and anxious about missing our flight that I was sweating like a stripper who just got off the pole. Thankfully, we made it to the gate just in time to beg for two seats together for me and Jordy B on our Southwest flight back home (Mama B got stuck in a middle seat). Nonetheless, our time in Georgia was one for the books. We love hanging out with framily and of course creating new memories! Until next time…

Ayana, JD and Jordy B at Ponce City Market
Best friends

Time flies….

Hey friends, I know its been two almost three months since my last post but trying to grow a business, single momming and working full time has made it difficult to find the time to devote to blogging. I know what your thinking, that doesn’t sound like a lot, well feel free to walk a day in my shoes and then give me your opinion when your done, lol. But enough with the excuses, let me catch you up real quick. I got a breast reduction, we survived Winter Storm Uri in Houston, I applied for a Managerial position at my job which I didn’t get and I finally traveled to NJ to see my family (in that order). So now that you’re caught up let’s unpack all of it.

Where shall I start?

I guess with my breast reduction. I’ve been struggling with lower and upper back pain since being pregnant with Jordy B. It was exacerbated when Jordy B was a baby and I had to do alot of lifting, bending to change diapers, picking up toys and all of the other things you do as a Mom. So I saw a Chiropractor, went to Physical Therapy all to little avail. Then I went to a Plastic Surgeon who told me I would be a good candidate for a Mammoplasty reduction.

Can you tell that I’m itty bitty now?

The doctor’s office submitted a prior authorization to my insurance company to have them cover my procedure and it was initially denied. I was hurt, it was a few days before my scheduled surgery and I had already prepared myself mentally to go through with it. I called the doctor’s office when I found out and they said they would apply for the decision to be overturned but the day before I still hadn’t heard back. I told myself no matter what the outcome I would be ok. But your girl was still a bag of emotions. At 5:52 pm, the day before my scheduled surgery, I received a call saying the insurance company’s decision was overturned. Won’t he do it!

I had my surgery the next day and was on the road to recovery. Side note, after I had surgery, I realized that I looked twelve months pregnant so I began to cut back on Pepsi and portion control my meals because I can’t afford a tummy tuck just yet, lol. Unfortunately, three days after surgery Winter Storm Uri came barreling through Texas. Talk about bad timing! We house hopped a few times to stay warm because the electricity went out but we never went without water. During that time, I was popping pain pills, trying to rest and make sure Jordy B and I were warm and safe with help from my parents. I’ve been through Snowmaggedon and other Winter storms but I never lost electricity during them, I was outdone by the impact of such a small amount of snow but we made it through by the grace of God.

I’m not sure if I even want to mention the managerial position I applied for because I wasn’t sure I wanted to apply for it. I was on the fence about the position because I would have been responsible for others but who doesn’t want to make more money. So for the sake of transparency, I applied and had an interview via Microsoft Teams but my camera wouldn’t work. All in all, I thought it went well but I guess it didn’t. I didn’t receive feedback and I didn’t care for any at the time. The opportunity to make more money always peaks my interest but next time, I’ll do more careful consideration before applying.

I was semi ready for my interview, lol

So if you know me, you know I like to travel. I hadn’t been on a plane since November 2019 and I was itching for a vacation. I also hadn’t seen my East Coast family face to face since September 2018. My mom and I had been trying to go to NJ since April 2020 but the pandemic happened and we rescheduled our trip to December 2020. In December 2020, we still didn’t feel comfortable to travel so we rescheduled it to April 2021. After Mama B and I got our COVID 19 vaccine we felt better about traveling to NJ. The airport and the United Airlines took a lot of safety precautions and I had my own Clorox wipes, face masks and shields. I thought about buying Hazmat suits but I figured that was a bit much, lol.

Jordy B was ready to travel

Can I tell you that I was so happy to travel, I felt like a kid at a candy store in the airport! When I finally saw my family, I knew I made the right decision to travel. We ate, laughed, shopped, caught up and enjoyed each other’s company. My cousin Anthony and his wife, Kathy opened up their home to us and were very hospitable. They didn’t put us out, even though I broke a picture frame that fell down the steps the first day we got there and they fed us well.

My cousin, Anthony, Jordy B and I

While I was in NJ, my best friend had her grand opening for The Sistah Shop located in Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, NJ. I got to see my godson, Austin Ray and a few friends who attended the grand opening. It was the vacay I needed more than I knew. Even though, it wasn’t to a tropical island and I didn’t get to lay on anyone’s beach I was happy to be away from my home and my monotonous routine. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated when I got back. But most especially, ready for my next vacation! Until next time…

Aisha and I at The Sistah Shop’s grand opening

Whew Chile, January 2021….

Has been one for the books! I don’t know about you but the first month of this new year has been one that will go down in HERstory meaning MINE! From celebrating my baby’s third birthday, to watching domestic terrorists storm the Capitol, to breaking up with my man friend, to witnessing Madam Vice President Kamala Harris become the first Black woman to hold the 2nd highest office in the not so United States of America. Whew chile, I’m tired already!

I’ve experienced a lot of emotions during the last 30 days which range from anger, to sadness, to happiness, to heart break. On new year’s eve, I was hopeful about this year being a year in which I experience different things. The first day of the year, I celebrated my whole heart in human form’s 3rd birthday with family and a few friends. I don’t believe in having grand events every birthday and it’s a good thing since this pandemic seems like forever. But I wanted to do a little something special and we did that, with food, fellowship and laughter.

Jordy B

And then there was the insurrection at the Capitol. Need I say more? It was a display of what should’ve never been able to happen in this country by a group of people who were privileged and able to gain access to a place that should’ve been better guarded and protected. I can’t even explain how insurreal it felt to watch it happen in real time. And since we the people like to place blame on a source, I place it on Agent Orange and the bandits at the protest who incited and ignited the crowd to behave in that manner. All I can say is I hope the FBI finds every body responsible for the chaos that ensued which injured many and killed 5 people and put them under the jailhouse.

https://theweek.com/captured/959207/most-surreal-photos-storming-capitol

So I wasn’t going to talk about the end of my relationship with my man friend but for the sake of being transparent, here it is. If you never had the pleasure of experiencing a break up with a partner it’s like experiencing a significant loss. You go through five stages of grief and at times, they overlap. I know that sounds odd but it happens. I’m fortunate enough to have a great support system that allowed me to talk through it and I’m trying to focus on the positive take aways I gained from the relationship.

As a single mom, it took me awhile to start feeling like myself again. I didn’t feel desirable. I was uncertain about things and sometimes lonely. When my man friend and I got together, our relationship fostered and felt more like a friendship. He challenged me to start my business, he encouraged me to do things I had been hesitant about doing and I even invited him to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I let my guard down, allowed myself to be vulnerable and open to love and for that I have no regrets. But moving forward, I won’t be sharing pictures of any future men friends until someone puts a ring on it, lol.

I bought a little reminder to always believe in LOVE!

On the same day as my break up from my man friend, I was able to witness Madam Vice President Kamala D. Harris become the first black woman to hold the second highest ranking political office in these not so United States. I can’t say that I sat in my living room with my chucks and pearls on but I did watch the entire Inauguration and was most proud when she was sworn in. My sincerest hope is that she and President Joe Biden are able to restore and rebuild America to be a place where people can be SOMEWHAT united (just being realistic)!

My favorite picture from the Inauguration

An honorable mention moment for January was visiting a black owned winery in Katy, Texas called Erma Rose Winery. One of my long time college friend’s, her mom and my mom got together and sat outside (socially distanced from others, of course), drank wine, ate some BBQ, had some dessert and listened to good music played by a singer/guitarist who sang primarily Prince songs. It was everything I needed. I was able to reconnect with my friend and our mom’s connected, it was a moment I will never forget.

Me and Mama B
Tiff and Mama D
Tiff and Me

As I was writing this post, I found out Soror Cicely Tyson died. Oh lawd, I can’t take anymore! May she rest in eternal peace and I’ll be praying for her family and everyone affected by her death. I also pray January is not a precursor of what’s to come for the rest of this year. Until next time….

Cicely Tyson
http://www.vanityfair.com

Almost Christmas

Hey everyone, I’m sure you’re out doing your last minute shopping for Christmas even though you thought you had everything you needed already, lol. Well you can have all of that last minute crazy because I don’t have the bandwidth aka patience to deal with the traffic and the non social distancers’ out and about today!

Instead, I’m sitting at the house with Jordy B listening to my favorite Christmas songs. Here’s a list of my favorite Christmas songs below.

  • Fantasia -” What Christmas means to Me”
  • Chris Brown – “This Christmas”
  • Mariah Carey – “All I want for Christmas”
  • Eartha Kitt – “Santa Baby”
  • Boyz II Men – “Let it Snow’
  • Luther Vandross – “O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Whitney Houston – ” Joy to the World”
  • TLC – “Very Christmas”
  • Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song”
  • Mariah Carey – “O Holy Night”

I was going to binge watch Christmas movies while eating Christmas cookies because I read they cancel each other out but a friend of mine advised me against it. I guess you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, lol. I guess I should go finish wrapping gifts and make cookies with Jordy B for 🎅.

Before I go, I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2020 was a beast to many of us so don’t forget to check on those who lost loved ones and those who may not be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones due to the pandemic. Also, remember that Jesus is the REASON for the season. Until next time…..

Pandemic Socializin’

So I recently went out to dinner to celebrate a good friend’s birthday and let’s just say the place was very different from what I’m accustom to. I know what you’re thinking, you went out during the pandemic and the positivity rate is increasing? Yes I did. Everyone’s “risk comfortability” level is different and ya’ll know your girl has a few exceptions to pandemic socializin’.

First, I would prefer to eat outside when going out to eat. Second, I only go out to eat with people I trust. Third, there will be no hugging or touching while out and when I return I peel off my clothes and take a shower. And fourth, worry about yourself because I’m always going to do what’s best for me and Jordy B.

Now let’s set the birthday dinner scene, the area of Houston, the Galleria ($$$), the place MAD Houston and the type of place, a Spanish style tapas bar. If you don’t have the time to look it up, my description of it would be an uppity a** restaurant with overpriced lite bites and libations. But the ambiance was swanky and we sat outside (one of my exceptions) which made me feel like I was in Miami instead of the H. The group of women I was with were the women who wear jeans, heels and a cute top type. However, everyone else was the little black dress or men with tight pants and fitted shirts’ type.

Up first, we ordered drinks. A group of us ordered a pitcher of what we thought was Sangria. It was more like Liquor with 4 cups of cinnamon. I felt like I was drinking liquid Big Red gum. It wasn’t good to me but we drank it all and then ordered a different drink with a Basil ice cube which was blah to me. And for your information, everything we ordered from the menu had to be explained to us by our waiter, Guy because every item had some over the top name with some unnecessary and over the top ingredients.

Roja (Sangria Pitcher)
Basil Ice Cube drink

Up next, the Tapas. Now I don’t know about you but when I go out to eat, I want to be satisfied when I leave, not searching for something else to eat on the way home. I also don’t want to be so full I need to unbutton my pants or loosen my belt, that’s reserved for Thanksgiving. Well, let’s just say I decided not to do either of the above because it was to late to eat by the time I got home.

There was nothing on the menu that I felt like I had to have, but I did find two items that I thought would be good to try. The first dish was the Rabo de Toro that consisted of 3 Jordy B size oxtail sandwiches and the Empanadillas de Cochinillo that included 4 pocket size empanadas with apricot chutney which equaled NOT ENOUGH FOOD FOR ME!

Rabo de Toro
Empanadillas de Cochinillo

See below some of the other Tapas the ladies ordered.

Shisheido Peppers
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Mad Tomato

That mad tomato above was not yummy at all. So much so that my friend who ordered it compared the pumpernickel bread crumbs to plant soil. She then proceeded to return it and order something else. And yes the tomato was fake!

The ham and cheese sandwich shown above had another name but after seeing it I can’t even remember what it was called because the presentation of it was so lack luster that all you can call it is a ham and cheese sandwich. Everyone who had the shisheido peppers said they were good but I can’t comment on it because they must have been so good that they forgot to save me one when I went to the bathroom.

Now the bathroom, was my favorite part of the restaurant. The hallway leading up to it was like a runaway and inside the bathroom had a cute wall to pose next to. P.S.A., I only took my mask off to pose for the pictures near and in the bathroom. It was worn at all times while inside the restaurant.

Inside the bathroom
The hallway to the bathroom

On to the desserts, only one of us was brave enough to order Churros whic were actually delicious. And the birthday girl had some kinda sherbert, sorbet something that didn’t look good to me but she enjoyed it. The grand finale came when the bill came to the table and the total was $695. I could of slid off my chair and under the table when I heard the total. But instead I took out my card, paid for my meal (if you want to call it that) and walked out with my dignity and pride before the manager came to the table to kick us out because we had gone over our two and a half hour time limit.

So the moral of the story is, be careful of the uppity friends you hang out with because they will have you spending daycare money on cinnamon drinks and Tapas, lol. Now let me go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast that will hopefully last me to Thanksgiving! Until next time…

Niki, Seth and Tiffany
E and me
Me and Eboni

Why Now?

Hey Tishatographers! Not sure if I like that so I’m gonna hash that out better next time, lol.

I know it’s been awhile but I didn’t really feel like blogging because I felt like what I had to say was trivial in comparison to the pandemic, unemployment rate, election and especially the racial injustice happening all over the world. But then I decided every now and then we need to take a break from the seriousness of life so here are five updates about life through my literary lens.

5. I am working from home permanently and I am LOVING it! If I never have to go back to an overcrowded office building with dirty common areas, three week old food in refrigerators and floors filled with people who have meaningless small talk about their first world problems, I would be forever grateful. The biggest blessing of it all is not having to sit in Houston traffic which takes time away from my life (that I never get back) and it saves me from pulling out my hair everytime there is an accident on 610. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus!

4. I have had to do Jordy B’s hair since the pandemic and I’m over it. Let’s just say I secretly prayed for a little boy when I was preggers just so I didn’t have to comb hair. I know that sounds selfish but so what. She has so much hair (thankfully) and as soon as I look at her head she says, “No Mommy, don’t touch my hair.” Excuse me little girl is always my response, don’t you want your hair to look pretty? That usually does the trick but when it doesn’t I bribe her with lollipops, stickers and one time with pizza and ice cream.

One time, I was doing her hair around her nap time and she was tired and crying so I asked her, do you want Mommy to cut off your hair so she won’t have to do it? (I know that was mean) She thought about it and said, No Mommy. A few minutes later in between dramatic tears she said, Cut my hair off Mommy! Instead of laughing out loud (which is what I wanted to do) I picked her up, dried her tears, reassured her that I wasn’t cutting her hair, explained to her the importance of getting her hair combed, gave her some fruit snacks and rocked her to sleep. I finished her hair when she woke up. Let’s just say, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do! See Jordy B’s hair do’s and dont’s below.

Multiple pony tails
Butter fly Puff
PJ day pony tails
Corn rows and pony tails
Wash day hair
Individual braids
Poppy pony tails
One pony tail up top and Individual twists in the back
Struggle french braids
Individual twists
Jordy B finally got her hair braided 8 months later by Ms. Z!

3. So I still don’t like to cook. I only cook once a week. And I didn’t say I can’t cook either because I can. Jordy B and I go to my parents house to eat at times and I meal prep. My definition of meal prep consists of me going to my parents house twice a week and taking home left overs to last during the week because on the weekends we eat out. Please don’t judge me, try me or @ me any recipes on social media either because I’m capable of cooking if I want. Which leads me to next point, the man friend who wishes that I cooked more.

Baked Ziti

2. So I’m in a relationship and I know I haven’t had one in a while but my man friend makes comments about my cooking frequency. He knew I only cook on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I know that sounds crazy but the rationale is we have Sunday dinner at my parents house and by Tuesday we finish the left overs. Cooking happens on Thursdays if Tuesdays are busy. When Tuesdays are busy we we have quick meals until Thursdays. Hey now, different strokes for different folks and I don’t have to explain myself to anyone but in case you wanted to try it out, I wanted to give you all of Tisha’s guide to meal prep deets, lol.

Now man friend knew the deal prior to the relationship so I’m not sure why the commentary, but it is what it is. Other than “Cookinggate” if you must know, things are going well for us! We are getting to know one another in our own time on our own terms. But ya’ll, relationships are hard work. When two seasoned, stubborn, stuck in their single ways people come together there are a lot more DIScussions that take place. I see why women have situationships over relationships, lol!

1. So why did I decide to create a blog post now? During the pandemic, I had time for self reflection. It made me think about the future and my legacy. I’ve always been driven, motivated and career focused. One of my friends makes jokes about how fast I find a new job when I start complaining about my current job. To me it doesn’t seem like I’ve had a lot of places of employment but then I took inventory of my resume and realized the longest time I’ve worked for a company was five years and one month because I wanted to become vested in their pension, ha.

I’ve had supervisors that I call Stup- ervisors because I think they’re stupid. I’ve also had Supervisors that mentored me and we’ve become friends post employment. But I know ultimately I don’t like people telling me what to do and I want to beat to my own drum.

I also know that everyone’s reasons for leaving their places of employment are different but the next time I leave mine I want it to be because I started my own business. With taking all of that into consideration, I started my own counseling practice called LMB Wellness Services.

I’m providing individual and couples counseling to those who decide they need an unbiased listening ear to assist with whatever they may be going through at this stage in their life. I’m accepting new clients and will provide this service on a part time basis to eventually transition to full time. I’m already paneled to accept a few insurance providers also. I don’t take this calling lightly and I would appreciate all of your prayers. So if you would continue with me on this blogging journey I’ll promise to post more frequently. One last thing…

My honorable mention is I’m having travel/plane withdrawals so I may have to jump on a flight and take a vacay somewhere soon. But if this ‘rona don’t sit down and stop acting like the unwanted STI that won’t stop giving, I may have to quarantine again. Until next time….

Bad duck lip impression from Me and Jordy B

Booked, Busy and Blessed

Hey Everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. I spent mine with Jordy B and the couch! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been booked, busy but most of all Blessed. I attended a baby shower for my cousin and his fiancee who will be welcoming a new baby boy into the family.

Then Jordy B and I went to a kids birthday party where I found out about the helicopter crash which killed all of it’s passengers including Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. I wasn’t able to take any great pictures at the party because I was so devastated when I heard about the accident. I kept thinking to myself that Kobe Bryant had so much more life to live because we are around the same age. I feel like I’ve watched him grow to become the Legend that we all know him to be. May his legacy live on and the families of those who’ve lost loved ones finds peace that surpasses all understanding. I was deeply saddened by that headline.

The next Friday I went to a Retirement party on my lunch break for a woman who is like my Auntie. She has such a beautiful spirit and worked at my previous employer for 44 years! Can you believe that people still do that? I haven’t worked at one place of employment for more than 5 years and I’m not afraid to say that, lol. She is currently enjoying her retirement and I hope she continues to bask in all of the great relaxation retirement brings to her. I’m low key jealous tho.

The next day, I traveled with my former supervisor and coworker turned Auntie’s to High Hill, Texas for a wedding. Where in the heck is that you ask? Somewhere two hours away from Houston going West. The wedding ceremony was held in the most beautiful Catholic churches I’ve ever seen. It’s called St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Ok, let me be honest I’m Baptist so I haven’t been to many Catholic churches but this one is historic and people actually take tours to go there so it must be something spectacular. The pictures below don’t do it justice. But it was the perfect place for A squared (Ally and Alan) to get hitched, Congratulations!

Sidebar, the pews tho were THE HARDEST and SHORTEST THING I’VE EVER SAT ON (no pun intended and get your mind out of the gutter). See below.

The reception took place in Round Top, TX (Home of the antiques). For all of you Chip and Joanna Gaines, HGTV fans this is where they’ve been to snag some of their farmhouse antique decor. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to shop because we had a reception to attend at Henkel Hall which was very simple but charming.

The reception included a Grand March which I would describe as a more complicated type of line dance that I’ve never heard of before. I would try to explain it but I can’t. So here’s a good blog post I found about how it’s done: http://westtexasweddings.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-grand-march.html?m=1

After the Grand March, a few two steps, we came on back to Houston before it got late.

The weekend after that we celebrated the birth of my newest niece, Zamaya! And the best part about her is that when I’m tired of holding her I give her back to her mom and dad. I don’t have miss out on any sleep or change diapers if I don’t want.

That weekend we also attended a two year old extravaganza at a little Toddler gym! Jordy B celebrated with her friend, Elizabeth and others by jumping, running and playing lots of games until it was time for cake.

After all of our festivities, the God Lord felt we needed to get somewhere and sit down so last week and weekend we stayed home due to the FLU which was no joke. I don’t remember the last time I had the flu but I felt like I was hit by a MAC truck. I looked so bad at the doctor’s office the Nurse told me I look like I had a case of the Yucky’s. My fever was 102.8 and Jordy B’s was 101.4. We were prescribed Tamiflu.

But before I went home to quarantine ourselves, I stopped by the Holy Grail, Chic Fil A. The guy at Chic Fil A must have known I was sick because when I pulled out of the drive thru he told me, “God Bless You.”

Thankfully we are fully recovered and ready to take on Jordy B’s swim lessons in March. Please pray my strength and I’ll let you all know how it goes. Until next time.. .

I’M BACK

Hey hey hey, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted because life got in my way the last half of the year. I wasn’t able to share with you life through my literary lens because I did not find the time to set aside and post I wanted to. I let my blog fall by the wayside and for that I apologize. But after speaking with my coworker about the guilt I was experiencing, she encouraged me to dust myself off and try again. So, I’M BACK!!!!!!

First things first, let me catch you up on a few things that happened during the last half of 2019. I started a new job at the strangest place I’ve ever worked at. It’s so different from my previous places of employment which was initially a welcomed relief to this jaded, burned out Social Worker. But then I realized part of me thrived off of working in dysfunction. I had to understand that God has put me here for a reason and I will patiently wait to see what’s in store.

So I will come to work because it pays the bills and I won’t complain. I will hopefully be able to work from home full time in a few months which was the motivating factor for me accepting the position. So keep me in your prayers and I’ll keep you posted about my transition, fingers crossed.

In November 2019, I was blessed to be able to travel to Mexico twice. The first time was for a friend’s wedding which was probably the most ENERGETIC and LITT wedding reception I’ve ever attended. We partied so hard that it took me a few days to recover. Now stop right there, I know what you’re thinking, I wasn’t intoxicated with alcohol! My recovery time took so long because I danced like my name was Megan Thee Stallion that night. But the next morning I was sore like my name was Cicely Tyson. Moral of the story, I can’t party like I did in my glory days.

The second trip to Mexico was to celebrate my good friend’s 40th birthday. We stayed in the very sexy, beautifully tucked away paradise of Tulum. This place is a Millenials dream vacay. From the picturesque scenery, to the architectural structure of the resorts and housing, to the beaches and the food, Tulum owes me nothing! We snorkeled, ziplined, toured the ruins, sailed on a yacht, had a photo shoot and dined at the best places. We had such a good time that one of my friend’s lost her passport at the airport on the way back. She probably was secretly trying to stay in Mexico because of the great time we had, lol. Ok maybe not, thankfully she otained her passport right as the plane boarded and we all made it back safely to Tejas.

Then there was Thanksgiving, Christmas and Jordy B’s 2 nd Birthday. Each holiday was spent with family which is the most important thing to me about that time of the year. The quality time spent with loved ones outweighs the gifts, the food and the pounds I gained over the last few weeks of 2019.

So when my church fasted for the first ten days of the year, I gave it my best attempt. Ok, maybe not my best, but I did what I could and the Lord knows my heart. Which is why he allowed me to loose some inches over that short period of time. Now if I could only keep the momentum and incorporate regular exercises, I would be unstoppable. But who knows what the future holds, maybe I’ll buy a Peloton so I can look like the already skinny chic from the commercial. But I digress….It is my hope that you will continue with me on this blogging journey as I COMMIT (my word for the year) to being a better Mom, Christian, Daughter, Auntie, Sister, Cousin, Friend and Blogger. Until next time….

Adventures in the Spice Isle

Hey everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic start to the week. I am trying to get back in the swing of reality after being on vacation for 7 wonderful days in the Spice Isle aka Grenada. For those of you that don’t know my dad was born in Trinidad but was raised in Grenada. Some of you may be wondering where exactly is Grenada?

Jordy B and I at Belmont Estate

Grenada is located in the West Indies and is northwest of Trinidad and northeast of Venezuela. It’s not one of the more well known Caribbean islands which makes it exclusive and expensive to travel to. Grenada is known for exporting nutmeg, bananas and cocoa. It has become increasingly more popular since the last time I visited over twenty years ago.

Maurice Bishop Airport, St. George, Grenada

Last year, I attempted to organize a family reunion for my dad’s family which was to be held this summer in Grenada. When I didn’t receive much buy in or participation from other family members, my mom and I decided to plan a trip there anyway. Of course I planned to take Jordy B with us for her first international trip so I had to get my mind right to take her out of her normal habitat into a place that was totally different from what she was used to.

I began planning month’s in advance to make sure she would be as comfortable as possible. I also wanted to make sure she wouldn’t tap dance on my last nerve while I was on vacation. But that’s for another blog post.

Jordy B and I headed to Grenada from Miami

When we arrived we were picked up by my Aunt and Uncle and the weather was hot and humid similar to the weather in Texas. The difference there was even when you got in an air conditioned area it still didn’t feel like you were cooling off. But I knew that before going so I was prepared to sweat and take two showers a day. The first day we briefly toured St. George’s University, settled into our apartment and went to dinner with my cousin at a restaurant on Grand Anse beach called Umbrellas.

The food was delicious and they even had a band that played cover songs. On our first full day we went into town in St. George’s and visited the Spice Market which is where people go to buy fresh ingredients, vegetables and other items they use daily. We also visited the Esplanade mall and went to Diamond Chocolate Factory where they make Jouvay Chocolate to take a tour and taste some chocolate. Mmhmmm!

St. George’s Spice Market

The Esplanade Mall

Diamond Chocolate Factory

On our second full day, we spent time with family who took us to sightseeing at Annandale Waterfalls and Grand Etang Lake. While we were traveling on the roads of Grenada which were narrow and winding, I was overcome with motion sickness. So I opened the window and put my head back to take a nap. Here’s a tip, stick matches in your ears if you experience motion sickness. When I woke up we were at my aunt and uncle’s house to have Sunday dinner and I felt better.

Me at Annandale Falls

The view from the overlook at Grand Etang

Grand Etang Lake

House at Grand Etang where one of my aunt’s married her husband over 40 years ago

On our third day, we went to Grand Anse beach which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and I must agree it was picturesque!

The view from Grand Anse beach

Mama B, Jordy B and Me on the way to Grand Anse beach

Jordy B’s first time at the beach

We also had lunch with my aunt which consisted of Grenada’s national dish, Oil down. Oil down, is a pot of full of dumplings, carrots, pumpkin, breadfruit, callaloo, curry, other spices and any meat you would like to cook with it. I had oil down with chicken. My mom had some with crab. We both thought it was delicious and even Jordy B ate breadfruit which was something other than french fries which she had everyday while we were away.

That evening we met up with my cousin Rachael and her family. We tried to walk to the grocery store but found out it closed early. So we proceeded to walk on the beach and went to Umbrellas for dinner, again. Yes that place is that good!

On our fourth day, we planned to go to the beach but it rained most of the day so we relaxed, went to the grocery store and that evening, I went to Club Bananas with my cousins. Tuesday night at Club Bananas is called twofers because you can purchase two drinks for the price of one from 10 pm to 2 am. So you know we had a good time. The libations were flowing, the music was playing and the people were dancing. We walked back to my apartment at 3:30 AM and was up by 7 AM to enjoy our last few days.

When Cousins unite!

When Cousins unite!

On Day 5, we went to BBC beach. BBC beach is just as beautiful as Grand Anse but it’s secluded and the water was calmer which was better for Jordy B. After some coercion we even got her to get in the water. We spent a few hours there and had to pry Jordy B out of the water in order to leave. She was so tired after a beach day she slept for about three hours.

Day 6 was filled with an excursion to Belmont Estate. Belmont Estate is a plantation which offers tours to their organic farm, gardens, museum and cocoa processing facility. They also offer a 3 course lunch featuring Grenadian cuisine. One can also have their wedding and other events on the property. When you go to Grenada, this place is a must see. You’ll thank me later.

After lunch we went to Grenville in St. Andrew’s parish to visit with family and that evening we had dinner and drinks at the West Indies Beer Co. O yea, I also went to Lavo lanes and got my butt beat in bowling by my younger cousin who only bowled twice in her life.

All in all, our visit to Grenada was one of the most memorable vacations I’ve had ever. I hope this motivates you to want to visit this Caribbean Gem and when you do, please feel free to share your experience with me. Until next time…

Belmont Estate

The beer flights we demolished

Jordy B and I at the West Indies Beer Co.

West Indies Beer Co.

My favorite drink in Grenada, Lavo Lanes

Sunset from my Aunt and Uncle’s veranda (disregard my hair)

Essencefest and 10 things you need to know

Hey Everyone! I hope you enjoyed your weekend and you’re off to a great work week. I had the time of my life this past weekend in NOLA at the 25th Anniversary of the Essence festival. I had the pleasure of going with a group of ladies who were there for the first time also so none of us knew what to expect. It also helps when you go with patient, easy going, like minded people who go with the flow and believe in compromise.

The crew

While I was there I learned that not everyone in New Orleans go to partake in Essencefest activities. Some people go to attend other events like brunches, luncheons, day parties, night parties, you name it they had it. Along with the events came the heat and humidity. It was like a sauna out there with temps in the mid 90’s. I know what you’re thinking I should be use to that because I live in Houston. Well I’m not because I don’t do half as much walking here that I did there. On the first day I walked 19,000 plus steps. Where they do that at? But I digress….

My friends and I went to the convention center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to see the celebrities, get some freebies from sponsors and check out the vendors. We also went to the concerts on the Main stage at the Convention Center on Friday and Saturday where we saw Estelle and friends which included a whole Soca and Reggae set, RBRM (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike of New Edition), Missy Elliot, Monica, my forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama interviewed by Gayle King, Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige.

Aisha and I at the Missy Elliott concert

Mary J. Blige

The first concert was very unorganized, had long intermission breaks which included commercials and Loni Love who wasn’t the best host. She usually is very entertaining but she didn’t transition well when introducing each segment and she wasn’t able to stall and capture the audiences attention when Missy Elliot didn’t come on at the time she was suppose to. So they eventually had DJ D-Nice play music to get the crowd hype instead.

Overall, my first experience was Phenomenal! However, here are a few quick tips I wanted to share with you about Essencefest.

10. Just because neon green is the color for the summer and they make it in your size doesn’t mean you should buy it or wear it. I saw more hot mess lime green outfits than I care to see for the rest of my life.

When neon green goes wrong

9. This one is for the ladies. Wear a bra, preferably the right size bra. I saw more areolas than a Radiologist technician who does Mammograms on a daily basis. Please keep your areolas to yourself and those who want to see them.

8. Wear deodorant daily. Nobody wants to smell you on a hot summer day.

7. Wear comfortable shoes. It’s nothing like seeing women after a concert walking on the dirty floor or the nasty streets with no shoes on their feet.

6. If you see a celebrity don’t expect them to take a picture with you. They’re human and sometimes don’t want to be bumrushed. Talk to them and humbly ask them to take a picture with them. And if they say No, don’t get mad. Wish them well and go about your business.

Ava DuVernay, Niecey Nash and I

5. Don’t overbook yourself with things to do when you go to Essencefest. Just make a few plans, be flexible and open to do different things within reason.

4. Take enough money because you never know what merchandise you may want to purchase, food and drinks you want to consume or events you may want to attend.

Enjoying a Cocktail at Willie’s

3. Go with people who share the same interests as you to avoid conflict and issues.

2. Pack your patience. Every line, every where was looonnngggg!!

1. Enjoy yourself and make memories. Memories are PRICELESS and can never be taken away from you like material things.

If you keep these quick tips in mind you too can have an Epic experience next year at Essence festival. Until next time….

The crew with Lisa Wu