My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Don’t Complain if You aren’t Doing Anything to Change

It’s thanksgiving break and all I can think about ishow happy I am to be at home and not at work. The only thing I’m happy about in my life right now is being a mom to my son. 

I don’t hate my job. I love my job, but it doesn’t make me happy. I’m tired of living in this apartment, throwing money away towards something I’ll never own ($1000 a month). 

I’m not happy that I haven’t been writing another novel, or finishing one I’ve already started. It’s just maddening how quickly I’ve lost motivation to continue writing novels. My last novel was published in 2016: two years ago! I’ve started several since then, but I haven’t even made it halfway through one. 

I thought of writing a novel based on my life, but have I sat down to write it? No. 

I’m unhappy with my postpartum body, and I go back and forth between loving it and not even wanting to look in the mirror.

I think about all of these things that I’m not happy about and how I’ve not done a single thing to change my circumstances. So how can I even complain?

My point is, and I should take this advice myself, don’t complain about your circumstances and not being happy if you aren’t doing anything about them. 

Don’t be like me and say I’m going to start making changes tomorrow or the next day, or the next day. Do it today. Do what makes you happy, but first, find happiness from within.

My Life

The World’s Greatest

Sometimes I sit back and think about where my life is and when I am going to get to where I want to be. I seem to not be able to appreciate where I am currently because this wasn’t what I saw when I saw my future.

So many people say, “Be grateful for where you are and what you have because not everybody can.” That sounds great, but can’t I for a second think about what I wanted my life to be like? Why is it so wrong to not be fully happy with all of the decisions I’ve made to land me where I am?

I think the only thing I’m happy about is my son. I’ve always said I wanted my first child at 30 and here I am, proof that you can speak things into existence. I knew that if I didn’t have my first child by 30, I would never have any kids. Now did I plan this, absolutely not. This wasn’t how I saw me having my first child, out of a committed relationship, but it is what it is.

My career was supposed to be me being a best-selling author or award-winning chef. Did I get either? No, but I am a self-proclaimed chef and I’m also an author. I became both of those things without the accolades and that’s okay. They will come. I’m claiming them both. I could be an award-winning chef with a best-selling recipe book next year. Don’t know what the future holds.

Definitely thought I’d have a house by now. I’m not sure why I set a timeline for things in my life, I just did and it’s crazy. I wanted all of the aforementioned before 30. I always wanted to be apart of that “30 Under 30” because it sounded cool, not realizing there were things I should’ve been doing in my early 20s to get there. The house is definitely on the horizon as soon as I get my finances straight.

Traveling has always been at the top of my list and even though I haven’t been to any of the places that I want to go, I know that I will go to these places. With hard work, dedication and severe budgeting, I will be a world traveler with my mini.

What are some things that you thought you would have or places you thought you would be by a certain age?

My Life

“Never give up, it’s such a wonderful life…”

Relationships end. That’s just how life goes. I feel like since I’ve turned 30, I’ve developed more of a “fuck it” attitude towards a myriad of things. Whether it be people or things, my tolerance level for “fuck shit” is nonexistent.

My life is amazing right now, and I honestly could not be happier (well, I kind of could but that’s beside the point). My son is healthy and thriving, hitting many milestones early. We’ve been spending every free moment together and there are so many more moments to come. The pumpkin patch last Saturday was absolutely joyous and it was a beautiful day outside.

I’m working on my health and the betterment of my livelihood. I’m not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I am trying to build my immune system and keep my stamina and energy up. My skin is clear and my head is even clearer when it comes to many things.

The relationship between my son’s father and I is getting better. We have actually been having civilized conversations. Are we friends? Of course not, but we are cordial for the sake of our child. That’s all that needs to happen: we have to be able to be a united front when it comes to Malakhai and his well being.

My family is stronger than ever, and I feel like the birth of my son brought us closer. As a single mom, and even as a married or in-a-relationship mom, it truly takes a village to raise children, and my village is built Ford tough (see what I did there? You’ll only get it if you live in Texas).

Work is work. I love teaching wholeheartedly, but I think it’s getting close to time to move elsewhere within the education system. I am working on some things behind the scenes that I am not quite ready to share yet, but I will soon. Sometime next year.

My bills are paid, my son is fed, there’s food in my fridge, we have clothes on our backs, and we are living life. So to those of you, and you know damn well who you are specifically, don’t try to ruin my joy with your bitterness and misery. My life is good, live yours and stay out of mine with your negativity. We are grown now and that childishness, you can miss me with that. It’s true that misery needs and loves company, but I’d rather stay to myself and be joyful and happy.

See, I’ve dealt with negativity from people for so long, from friends to even more so, family, but no longer. I have goals that I am trying to reach and anyone who knows what it’s like to be goal-oriented, knows that negative people will only bring you down and prolong reaching your success. I can see the peak of the mountain, and no one will be an obstacle on my way up. Stay at the bottom if you cannot be a positive rock in my life.

I say all this to say that, not everyone is going to be for you when it comes to your goals and being successful in whatever it is you are doing. Ctrl + Alt + del them with a quickness.

xoxo Moniqua Lashae

Boss Lady

Boss Lady: Debra Johnson

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I met Debra through Instagram about a year or so ago, and we finally met in person this year at the 2018 Houston Vegfest. Let’s get into this interview.
First, tell me a little bit about you and what it is you do.
Hello, My name is Debra and I’m a licensed attorney and a freelance writer and blogger. 
What inspired you to want to get into law?
I was initially inspired to go into the legal field because I wanted to understand how the law worked. I would watch political shows and I was active in my community, and I wanted to understand things better for myself. I didn’t know exactly what area I wanted to practice, but I knew that I wanted to make a difference in education, since I was a teacher before law school. 
What kind of attorney are you? Why did you choose that?
I’m an Assistant General Counsel, which means that I advise companies on internal issues. My focus is employment law. For the first 7 years of my legal career, I actually worked for a public school district, primarily working on Human Resources issues and policies. I enjoyed it because I wanted to make a difference in education. Over time, I developed an interest in working specifically on employment and HR issues instead of School Law, so I transitioned into my current position. 
Do you plan to open your own firm?
I did own my own firm for a while, and I did not enjoy it. I ran my firm while working my full time job, but I had a physical location and everything. There is a lot of liability and overhead with running a firm, and I didn’t feel fulfilled from that work. I find my freelance writing business to be much more satisfying, and it’s also more profitable with less liability. 
As a fellow blogger, tell me a little about what you blog about and why.
I currently blog about ways that people can overcome adversity and achieve their goals. I consider my blog to be a personal blog because I share a lot of my own story. I recently revamped it, and I plan to share a lot of what I’ve learned and how I’ve achieved my goals over the years. 
You’re a single mother like myself. What is it that you want to teach your son with all that you’re doing?
I want to teach my son to be a good person, to help others, and that he can do anything that he puts his mind to. He is a very creative and artistic person, and I encourage him to pursue his passion for the arts. 
Has it ever been or does it ever get tough being a single mom?
Yes, being a parent is tough. Being a single parent is tough mainly because of the stigma that society places on single mothers. But, it’s also tough because the financial, physical, and emotional obligations of parenting are primarily on me. I am blessed to have support from my family, but ultimately the parenting responsibility falls on me. 
 
In the last year or so, I sought out a parent support group and that has helped both me and my son a lot. We also go to family counseling now. I would tell single mothers to find a support group, and to seek family and individual counseling even before you think that you need it. 
What is your ultimate goal whether it be with your career or your blog, or both?
My ultimate goal is to write and blog full-time. I want to be financially free and have the luxury of location independence, so that I can travel the world once my son is older. 
What inspired you to become a writer and do you plan to ever write a book or solely keep your writing for your blog and legal work?
I always wanted to be a writer from the time that I was a young girl. I was an avid book reader, and I wrote a lot; I also majored in English in college. Before law school, I was an English teacher also. I do plan to write several self-help and motivational books in the near future. It was hard for me to write about my story for a long time, but going to counseling has helped me learn how to open up more. 
Where can people find you?


My blog is debrajohnson.com, and I’m active on Instagram @bydebrajohnson. I would love to start making videos on YouTube again. If your audience has any ideas for videos, send them my way! My YouTube channel is youtube.com/debrajohnson

Boss Lady, Guest Bloggers

Boss Lady: Chrystallynn Block from AllThingsChrys

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I met Chrys through Jazzie (yes, the one from Jazzzie By Nature). I can’t remember what it was for but I do remember we didn’t hit it off right away. After some time had passed and we kept running into each other, we formed a relationship over writing and our love for books. We are a lot a like, yet different. She is an amazing writer, but let me stop there so we can get into their interview.

Hey Chrys! So first things first, tell the readers a little about yourself.

I am a mother and a writer. I really love to read, exercise and cackle with my friends. lol…I’ve just realized that I am information driven, which for me looks like learning on a continuous basis. I’m that person that knows a little bit about a lot.
How long have you been writing and what made you want to be a writer? 
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since my 11th grade English teacher Mr. Fisher affirmed my writing ability. He helped me to believe in myself. He said I was one of the two best students in the class. That meant a lot to me. Graduation came the next year so I majored in Mass Communications with the dream of becoming an editor for a major magazine publication like Essence, Ebony or Jones Magazine. I’ve been writing professionally since 2009 and launched my magazine in 2010 called The BAR Mag. So, it’s been 9 years now.
What are some projects that you are currently working on? (If there are any that you want to disclose).
I’m working on my next book. I’m also doing more of my own writing now. I’ve been focused on my clients so much that I haven’t written much for me. So, I’m stepping away from my consultant business and getting my work out there more. I journal and share my entries on social media, and that’s been a beautiful experience. Because of that, a friend of mine reached out to collaborate for a journaling challenge, so we’ll be launching that later this month. My writing is becoming a healing practice. My life is becoming a healing practice. So aside from writing, I’m becoming a Birth worker which I’m really excited about!

What is a birth worker and when did you realize you wanted to do that?

There are different things that fall in line with birth work. I’m in training to become a Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula and in addition to that, I offer Placenta Encapsulation. I think there are a lot of women, specifically Black women who are unaware of their options when it comes to childbirth. The c-section rate is at an all-time high and I want to be the wild woman standing in the gap for them. I want to advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves in one of the most trying times of their lives.

What do you want other women to learn from you and your experiences?

I want for women to know that you can change your life at any moment, that you are the creator of your life. Put your goals in motion even when you don’t see it, do it anyway. The Universe will match your efforts. Go boldly into what fuels you. I hope that women will also learn that they are not what happens to them. They are not what other people say about them. I want women to see me and know that they too can take back their power.

How do you find inspiration for novels and/or ebooks?
I think most writers find inspiration in all things. Sometimes scenarios come up in my head and I just create from there. I use my own life as inspiration too. I could be sitting in a park or beauty salon and inspiration will find me. Even in my sleep, ideas will come to me and I won’t be able to sleep until I write them down. 
How do you balance everything along with being a single mother? Is it hard? Easy?
I don’t. I don’t believe in balance. I fail at something every day. My goal is for it not to be the same thing every day. Yes, it’s hard being a single mother. However, I am learning to look at the challenges in a positive way. Instead of focusing on what’s missing, I emphasize what’s available. I let my child be my guide. I also listen to my own inner guidance. That’s how I know when to do what. I may suck as a mother on Monday, and not meet a deadline for Tuesday, but on Wednesday I’m back rolling. If balance is a real thing, that’s what I think it would look like.
What are you wanting your daughter to learn from you?
I want her to just learn. My parenting style has evolved as I have. I leave room for her to be and do what she wants with guidance. As I introduce her to things, I ask what she feels instead of assuming that I know what’s best for her. She knows what’s best for her when it comes to her desires. My job is to expose her to as much as possible and to live my life in a way that she feels liberated. I tell her the truth about everything. I want her to learn the truth in all things. That’s major for me.
Where can people find you?
I am @AllThingsChrys across all social media platforms and my website is www.AllThingsChrys.com
 
Thank you for having me be a part of this series! It was awesome. 
Vegan Mommy Things

The Amazing Female Body

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It’s almost that time for boo’s arrival. Yesterday I had some cramping which was basically my uterus prepping for real contractions to begin. It’s funny because I am not the least bit nervous. I am more anxious than anything. As a first time mom, I am anxious and ready to meet my little mini. I have been growing him for 9 (in reality 10) months. I think it’s amazing to finally see what your body has done that is so amazing, beautiful and instinctual.

I think it’s beyond incredible that our bodies know what to do. They just know. I find it fascinating that our bodies know how to grow and nurture a baby, expand as baby grows bigger, create an embryonic sac and placenta, create an umbilical cord. How can anyone not think of how amazing that is. Not only that, but after all of those changes, our vaginas can then expand to push out something the size of a watermelon, though more cute, soft and cuddly.

I feel like women are the strongest creature on earth, especially with being able to withstand the pain of labor and childbirth. I think there is no greater pain than that. When it’s all said and done, our bodies miraculously heals itself and everything goes back to normal, well most of the time.

As baby grows, our milk changes to fit baby’s needs. Now that baby is on the outside, our bodies are still responding to this child that is no longer physically attached. Our bodies produce this milk that has protiens, nutrients and antibodies to help nourish and protect our baby, and then changes constantly. It literally blows my mind.

I learned something new today through the Ovia app (tells how baby os doing each day and also gives information as you get closer to birthing): let-down reflex. This is when your breasts leak milk anytime you hear a baby cry, and it doesn’t have to be your baby that is crying.

I know so many women who have had babies and I have seen the process, but to be experiencing it myself is overwhelming. I feel boo move often. He kicks, stretches, turns around, nestles, presses against my stomach with his butt, feet, or hands, and I just think to myself, “I grew him. This life inside me, I did that.”

I have been so conscious about what I consume because my body breaks down the food and gives boo his essential needs first and the rest is left to me. I have this internal pathway to get food to my child. Sometimes I think about what this process actually looks like. Call me weird, but I am just baffled and awestruck.

Do/did any of you mamas have/had the same thoughts about this? Let me know in the comments below.

My Life

Professional Quitter…

I’ve quit a great many things in my day. I would always get a great idea, start, get bored or become complacent, and then stop. That is what has happened with my journaling.

Growing up, I was an avid writer. I went through diaries like none other. I was an emotional kid who suffered from some trauma, and writing was my way of coping. As I got older, the writing became more intense. (Side note: I regret not keeping my diaries over the years.) It matured as I did. When I was in a dark place, which was often, I would write. It kept me from committing suicide several times.

Writing helps to keep me focused and allows me to pour out and dump my emotions on the page rather than in someone else. I hate dumping my emotions on others to where they now have to carry that package, passing off negative energy. Yes, it is true that there are people who get paid to be dumped on (no pun intended), but I just don’t feel that comfortable dumping on anything but a toilet.

Over the last few years I have started and stopped writing in my journal. I remember year before last that I wrote in it everyday. For some reason during my pregnancy, I just haven’t wanted to write in it and I think that may be because I’m actually happy. On the other hand, that’s no excuse to stop writing in it. I should write when I’m happy, mad, sad, depressed, etc. Why is it that we always nurse the bad moments and sonwuick to celebrate the good then move on? How backwards is that?

I’m not going to lie and say that I vow to write in my journal everyday, but I will be more consistent, even in my happy moments. Sometimes I may take to my blog for journaling sessions and that’s okay. It’s fine to want others to talk to that don’t know you but may somehow understand how you feel and what you’re going through.

Have you ever found that you start and stop something often? Or are you the type that others envy because you’re so damn consistent? Share you thoughts below!

xoxo,

Moniqua LaShae, aka the quitter

My Life

Thank You for 600+

When I started this blog back in college, it began as a news blog. Had you told me then that today it would be a thriving lifestyle and mommy blog, I would’ve told you that you’re crazy and to not wish that upon me. At one point I had over 2,000 followers, then I deleted that blog and all of my social media. I started over. I have actually started over numerous times over the years and have changed my blog name as many times as well. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I could no longer keep The Black Vegan Author. I knew my blog had to be more versatile.

As of today, I have 647 of you lovely people following, and counting. I am so appreciative and thrilled for all of my new followers and that you somehow found my blog. Many of you are email subscribers and how you found my blog, I have no idea but I am glad that you did. I hope that you find my up and coming content inspiring and helpful, as well as relatable to your own life. I want this blog to be about my experiences through life as a millennial mama, a vegan, an author, an editor, an entrepreneur, a debt crusher, an educator, a blogger, and a traveler.

My hope is that you will go on this journey with me and share anything that you think your loved ones, friends, family, or social media peeps need to see. Tell everyone you know about my blog and let’s keep the family growing.

When I continued to have my blog, I didn’t imagine that it would grow back to the 2k that I had before. I didn’t even think I would be as consistent about it. In all honesty, I didn’t even know why I had a blog until more people started reading posts, liking, sharing and even leaving feedback. It gave me even more reason to delete all my videos on YouTube and start putting them in posts on my site instead. Keeping my content in one place is easier for me and as many of you have mentioned, it is easier for you as well.

Let’s keep going and strive for 1K followers. Maybe I’ll even do a giveaway at that point. My first giveaway at that.

Thank you again for subscribing and following!

Moniqua LaShae

All Things Writing, Sneak Peeks

The Aftermath

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It has been a long while since I have released a book or even a sneak peek of something that I am working on. I am pleased to give you all a sneak peek into my next novel which will be released this summer/fall. I haven’t been excited about a project in so long, I can barely contain my excitement. I am not nearly done with this novel, but I can say it will be well worth the wait. Without further a do, click below to read the beginning of my next piece of work. I would greatly appreciate if you left a comment about what you think, below.

Prologue and chapter 1

All Things Writing

Writing a Book

I get asked all the time what kind of books I write and how to publish a book. Lately, I haven’t been writing and I actually feel bad because I am a damn good writer and I’m wasting my talent by not using it. People love my stories and what I have to say. I feel like I am letting people down. However, all of that will be changing soon, but I’ll save that info for another date.

You decided you want to write a book. You’re probably thinking about the title, the cover, the length of the book, if people will like it, how to market it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. None of this is important if you don’t have a book. Believe it or not, all of that stuff comes after the book is written. What you should be thinking about right now is actually writing the book.

I used to do outlines for my novels and it became hard because I would try my best to stick to the outline, never deviating. I found that if I had an idea and just began to write, it came easy. Planning out my writing has stopped working for me because I letting my fingers do all the magic on the keyboard has proven successful. That is not to say that planning won’t work for you. I am just saying it doesn’t work for me.

The first thing you need to have is a topic (nonfiction) or a plot (fiction). I dabble in both and find that neither is easier to write than the other. I can say that fiction is more enjoyable to write than nonfiction. So let’s talk about the process for each one, starting with fiction.

Fiction Books

  1. Fiction books require a plot, settings, characters, beginning, middle, end, rising action, climax, falling action, a genre and most importantly, an imagination, which is so much more than a nonfiction book. Usually an outline helps with this or some kind of graphic organizer/plot diagram. I do outline from time-to-time just to get the basics. An outline can be as in depth or surface level as you need it to be.
  2. Next, once you have all of your story elements, find a comfortable place to write that you know you won’t be interrupted. Make sure you have snacks and something to drink. Silence cell phones and maybe turn on some music if that helps. 
  3. Decide if you want a prologue or to just jump write in with chapter one. Regardless of which one you choose, make sure, and this is important, make sure that your first sentence, the topic sentence, is fire. If you don’t have a soul-snatching first sentence, your readers will stop reading. You want that first sentence to make your reader continue on. 
  4. Write the rest of the book. I honestly cannot tell you how to write a book. Many people go to college for creative writing to learn how to write a book, but in all honesty, you can’t teach someone to write a book. You can help someone to better their craft, but writing is something you’re either born with, or you’re not. I will do another post on how to develop storylines for fiction books, so stay tuned for that.
  5. After writing your book comes the most tedious part: editing. I swear this is not the part that I look forward to but it is just as important as writing the book. Editing is for fine tuning, making sure the story flows, there’s no grammar mistakes, spelling is on point, dialogue makes sense, and even though it’s fiction, it needs to have a real element to it. You can always pay someone to do it (yes, I offer book editing services) or you can do it yourself. I do all of my own editing.
  6. Then comes the task of deciding on a title and book cover. There are a number of websites that have premade book covers and I have used several. You can also create your own on Canva.
  7. Once it has been edited, get some beta readers, people who will read your book and give you honest feedback. This will also help when your book launches to have reviews that people can see so they know whether it’s worth a read or not. Don’t fret about negative reviews. Your book will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay.
  8. When you are ready to publish, decide if you want to go the traditional route (going through a publisher) or the indie route (publishing yourself). I will do a post on this later about the difference between the two.
  9. Last is promotion and there are different ways to promote your book: book promoting service, self promotion and word of mouth.

Nonfiction Books

Nonfictions books don’t require as much as a fiction book does but they can be harder to think of a topic for. There are so many nonfiction books out there that it’s hard to keep up and know whether or not your topic has been written about and how many times. this process requires research and reading other nonfiction books similar to whatever topic you are wanting to write about.

  1. Choose your topic and research that market. See what others have written, if it has been written, and if how yours will be different. Many people write about the same topics but each book is completely different.
  2. Once you have researched the topic, research if readers are interested and if so, what number (just a ballpark estimate). If it is not the number you were hoping to reach, choose another topic.
  3. For these types of books I do make an outline because each chapter is different. I have to plan out each chapter and what all I want to talk about. Length does not matter, but making sure I get all the information in does.
  4. If your book requires sources or for you to gather information from other places, make sure you have a works cited page, footnotes and you cite your sources within the sentences or paragraphs.
  5. Once you have finished your book, again, the editing process, title, book cover, publishing, etc.
  6. Marketing will be different than a fiction book because you will have to find the audience you are targeting. Most fiction books can be targeted towards anyone but when it comes to nonfiction, let’s just say there are more fiction readers than nonfiction readers.

I really hope these tips helped in some way. If you want me to elaborate on something, feel free to let me know. Also, click the services tab to check out my book editing/writing services.

Health + Wellness

Motivational Monday: Eating Breakfast at Home

In every job I’ve worked, people always eat breakfast at their desk, in the lounge or break room. I am one of those people. I was one of those people. Every morning, I would pack my lunch bag and walk out the door. Once I got to the school, I would sit at my desk and eat my breakfast as I tried to prepare for the day. Multitasking. However, eating breakfast did nothing but slow me down.

Now this will be a bit of TMI, but I normally have 3 bowel movements in the morning. The first one is once I get up, the second is once I start moving around and getting things ready for work, and the third time is after I eat breakfast. Since school started, I have not been on that schedule, but beginning this semester, now that I eat at home, I’m back on schedule. Getting ready in the morning and walking out the door with no bowel movement, meant I ended up having all 3 (and sometimes 4) at the school and that put a major dent into my preparation time as well.

When we eat, we tend to rush and not take our time chewing, which aids in the digestion process. Believe it or not, eating breakfast at home gives you time to slow down, fully wake up, enjoy your food and be in a better mood for the day.

America is the fattest country in the world and with breakfast being the most important meal of the day, then add in all these fast food restaurants claiming that their breakfast will “make your morning great”, I can see why so many people aren’t morning people. They are sluggish, don’t want to work and are feeling sick from their breakfast. What you have first thing in the morning can determine how the rest of your day goes.

Break + fast =breakfast: you’re breaking your fast. Consuming animal products, aka “death”, first thing in the morning, is going to make you feel like death the rest of the day, the you wonder why you are constipated. When first waking up, you should consume something that will be easily digestible: smoothie, fruit, oatmeal, quinoa porridge, protein shake, smoothie bowl, acai bowl, etc. All of these foods don’t take much for you body to digest, in fact, I normally end up having a bowel movement before I finish any of these foods. Sometimes I’ll have two.

Having a heavy breakfast causes your body to work too hard to early in the day. You don’t want to put you body in overdrive first thing in the morning, using up all of your energy. This goes back to eating breakfast at home. When you are on the go, eating walking out the door, eating on the way to work, eating while working, you aren’t focused on chewing your food to a pulp before swallowing, which slows down your digestion process.

Some tips to eat breakfast at home:

  • prepare the night before
    • overnight oats
    • chia pudding
    • smoothie ingredients
    • cook quinoa
  • Wake up earlier
    • finish preparing breakfast
    • eat breakfast
    • have some coffee or tea
    • read a blog post
    • enjoy your morning

These tips will help you to be able to eat your breakfast at home and have a better start to your day.

My Life

Goals for 2018

A new year means new goals. I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in goals, something to work towards. I do these posts every year on this day because it’s something to look back on. My goals for 2017, crushed majority of them. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store. Without further ado:

  1. Have a happy, healthy baby.
  2. Run a successful lifestyle and mom blog.
  3. Pay off half of my student loans.
  4. Put a down payment on a house.
  5. Have a fire post baby body.
  6. Continue to be a writing teacher or write full time.
  7. Featured in Black magazines/YT channels/blogs.
  8. Make Forbes list.
  9. Do more freelance work.
  10. Fall in love.
  11. Travel.
  12. Work from home.

These goals are very attainable (Forbes list is a stretch but dammit it will be one of my goals until I make it). I always tell people when setting goals, make sure they are logical and within reason (also have one or two that are a stretch, something to work harder towards).

What are your goals for 2018?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dear Bitter Moms

Since I’ve been pregnant, you have been projecting your opinions and oppositions at me. It’s like once women have had children, they always feel like experts, but that’s not the case. Not every woman is the same, nor is every birth or pregnancy. Just because I choose to have a different birthing experience than you, does not mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or that I’m young and dumb.

I made a post on Instagram about hospital births and one bitter mom said that us “young moms think (we) know it all.” She went in to say that she’s been a mom for 15 years and that “medications are in place for a reason.” Well, that’s how you feel but not how I feel. It’s almost as if it’s wrong to have a difference in opinion.

I feel like FTM are always getting attacked because we want something different for our experience. To be honest I don’t plan on having more kids, so I want this experience to be memorable. My age has nothing to do with my knowledge and I think that’s where you “bitter moms” get things twisted. Just because your birthing experience with medications and what not was great, that is not the case for everyone else.

Now before you get your panties in a twist and let your fingers pull the angrily typing trigger, I’m not saying that having babies in a hospital is bad, or makes you a bad parent, or that I’m better than you. What I’m saying is, not everyone wants that. If that’s what you felt was right for you, then by all means it was right for you. It’s just not right for me.

People tend to go along with what they’ve been taught, have always known/seen, or just with what society says. If you follow me on social media, you know I go against the so-called “norm”, especially in the black community. It’s not normal to be black and vegan, non-religious, having a midwife and water birth, and practicing natural remedies for healing.

Why should I conform to black societal norms when I can live my life the way I see fit for me and my baby?

In closing, to all you “bitter moms”, keep your opinions to yourself. Just because you have had experience being a mom and giving birth, does not mean shit to me. We are nothing alike; we aren’t even on the same damn frequency.

Signed,

A fed up FTM

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

A Vegan Baby, Arriving Soon!

You read that right. There’s a vegan bun in the oven and I couldn’t be more excited. As I finish up my first trimester, here’s how things went.


When I found out I was pregnant, I was numb. I did not want kids and finding out you’re pregnant and not married or in a relationship, pretty damn scary. I took two pregnancy tests (yes two because I thought the first one was lying), and then immediately went to my mom’s house. I cried as I told her and she jumped for joy (not because I was crying but because this is her first grandchild). As the days and weeks went on, I came to terms with it. 

At my first ultrasound, the doctor said that my baby was measuring rather small, that the heartbeat was on the low side of normal, and that there were several reasons it could be happening.

  1. My last period dates were wrong.
  2. My ovulation was late.
  3. It could be a slow pregnancy, which meant the baby could possibly not make it. 

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I was on edge thinking the worst. I didn’t want it to be the third reason and was so scared. Apparently my mom and grandmother were too, they just didn’t want to stress me even more. Fast forward to my second prenatal appointment, the baby’s heart rate was in the normal range, it had grown tremendously, it was kicking its little foot and waving its hand. I felt so much joy and excitement. I had felt flutters since the last appointment but paid them no mind. Little did I know, that was the baby moving. 

My doctor said everything was normal, the baby looked fine and was growing as it should. Turns out, my ovulation was a week late and I do remember not feeling myself ovulate (I have severely painful ovulations but the month of July, I didn’t feel it at all). I am so glad that my baby is doing well.

Symptoms

I really didn’t have anything to notify me I was pregnant other than the fact that I missed my period. I keep track of my period like a professional watchdog and when it didn’t come (like a few days past) I took the tests. Now at about 4 weeks I experienced cramping, really sore breasts and outrageous avocado and kale cravings. It was on a whole other level. The sore breasts is what bothered me the most.

I did start taking prenatal vitamins, but my doctor didn’t like the ones I had, so she prescribed me another vegan prenatal . They are horse pills (meaning that they are huge), but for the sake of my baby, I’ll do whatever I have to do. 

Diet

My eating has been all over the place. I have not cooked much if at all. All I want to eat are samosas, fries, donuts, ice cream, and everything not healthy (but still vegan). Sometimes I have no appetite and sometimes I can’t stop eating. It’s really weird and fluctuates often. I have gained weight since my first prenatal appointment, which is a good thing. 

I was told come the second trimester, my eating will go back to normal, and I cannot wait for that to happen. I can’t stand leafy greens right now and I miss them, yet I have no appetite for them. 

Mood Swings

I will say that my attitude is not the best right now and absolutely everything and everyone annoys me (sorry y’all, but it’s true). I feel more sensitive to things that people say and I hate that. Everything just gets on my last nerves and I feel so annoyed at that. Usually I can let things slide, but not so much now. 

Baby’s Gender

So I do not yet know the baby’s gender. I will find out on October 16, a week after my birthday. I don’t have a preference of the sex, just as long as the baby is healthy and has 5 toes, 5 or 6 fingers (6 fingers on each hand runs in my family), and has all the right body parts in the right place. My mom wants a gender reveal party, however, I am not keen on the idea because a gender reveal party just sounds stupid. Like no one can bring gifts if they don’t know, so then I have to have a baby shower on top of that. I am that odd child in the family where “normal societal behaviors” don’t interest nor impress me.

Final Thoughts

I am excited to be a mom. Though I will be a single mom, that is how I envisioned if I ever had kids. Do I want a husband and family? Of course, but I just never saw that when I saw myself having my first child. I know that’s really odd because most women envision being married and having a home and career when they have kids. For me, as long as I had my own place, my own car, and 2 careers, I’m set (yes, I have two careers: I’m a blogger and educator). As long as I could take care of myself and my baby financially (which is why I have been working my ass off to pay debts), then whether or not I was married or in a relationship, just didn’t matter. Did I plan to get pregnant? Not at all, but the universe doesn’t adhere to plans. The universe knows what you can and can’t handle and I guess this whole time I have been preparing myself to be a mother and I could not be more happier.

xoxo The Black Vegan Author

 

Product Reviews

Ruffles Green

Before I tell you about my experience here, let me just say that the best part of eating out as a vegan at a non vegan restaurant, is that your food comes out fast and is prepared fresh.

Now this restaurant is located in The Woodlands and if anyone knows the area, you know its bourgeoisie (that’s the correct way to spell the word, it’s not boujee or any other spelling), like for real for real. Walking up you see the outside area, and with the weather like it is in Texas, ain’t nobody sitting outside unless it’s night time, and even then, mosquitoes won’t let you be great and eat. 

Walking inside, they have a very sleek look. Lots of neural colors and white. It was pretty empty, guessing I beat the lunch hour rush, so there was no line. The lady who took my order was really nice and very patient.

I ordered as my appetizer the hummus with pita bread, which both are made in house, and as my meal I had the Veggie Nut Burger, 86 the cheese.

Both dishes were phenomenal. I would highly suggest them. The burger literally will melt in your mouth. The pita bread and hummus were the best I’ve had thus far.

What I also liked was it’s a self serve restaurant. You order and pay at the same time and then you get your own drink, silverware and napkins. You also can get your own to-go containers which is a plus because I feel waiters take entirely too long to bring the check and to-go containers. 

The only negative I have is that my appetizer and meal came at the same time. I would’ve preferred to get my appetizer before my meal. Not sure if that is something I should’ve requested, however, that’s the only negative I have. So, if you are ever in the Houston area, give them a try.

Health + Wellness, My Life, Product Reviews

Nourish Juice Bar


Located off W Gray, this juice bar is so amazing and I love the atmosphere. I had been there once before. I ordered the Pink Starbust juice and a Buddha bowl. Both were absolutely amazing. The juice really tasted like candy and the kick from the ginger was perfect. 


The Buddha bowl was a curry style bowl with kale, quinoa, carrots, chickpeas and so much more earthy goodness. The curry dressing added so much flavor. I definitely want to try to recreate something like this.

Sneak Peeks

Short Story Sunday 4/9/2017 Lost in Lust Sneak Peek

This is an excerpt from one of my upcoming novels, Lost in Lust.

She cleaned up the kitchen and her stomach growled, having not finished dinner at the restaurant and it was only eight forty-five, she heated up some left over pizza from a few days ago. She poured another glass of wine. Her phone beeped and it was Dre, asking to come over.

Maliyah: Are you at my front door again.

Dre: How’d you know? lol

Maliyah: It’s you, duh.

 She went to the door and he stared.

“What?”

“Um, don’t you want to change?”

“You’ve seen me in less.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Just come in.”

 He sat on the couch and watched her rummage around in the kitchen. The pizza was heated and she grabbed two plates and another glass, sitting them on the coffee table. When she leaned over, he could see her breast, down her neglige. His dick stirred and he crossed his hands in his lap.

 She went and got the pizza and bottle of wine, sitting next to him. She turned the television on and clicked on Netflix. She turned it to Breaking Bad.

“I love this show,” he said, refocusing his thoughts. 

“Yeah my brother told me about it,” she said while biting a slice of pizza and taking a sip of her wine.

 They watched a few episodes, laughing, eating and drinking. Before they knew it, it was one in the morning. They had polished two bottles of wine and were beyond tipsy. 

“Hey, Maliyah, I’m sorry about the other day. I was upset and took it out on you.”

“Dre, it’s in the past. We’re friends.”

 He leaned over and kissed her deeply. She pushed him back.

“Dre…”

“Shhh.”

 He kissed her again, falling backwards on the couch. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he moved his hands up her thighs. She moaned against his lips. Lifting her up, he carried her to the bed.

 Sitting her down, he lifted her top over her head and stared at how beautiful she was and how large her breasts were. He had a full hard on and she took him out of his pants, stroking him. He growled deeply at her hand going up and down his length.

 After a few more strokes, he nearly lost it. He quickly undressed and grabbed a condom out his pocket. Laying her down, he spread her legs and smelled her sweet, lavendar musk. He licked her and she gasped. She put her hands on his head to bring his mouth closer, tasting all of her. 

 He quickly slipped the condom on while pleasing her. He licked her up her stomach, ending at her mouth, letting her taste her own sweetness. He slammed in her, making her scream his name. He kept going like his life depended on it. He needed her to release before he met his own eruption.

“Dre, I’m coming!” she screamed, digging her nails into his back.

“Ahh, fuck!” he moaned, finally releasing. 

 When he sat up and looked at her, he saw the look on her face. The tears and feelings of regret filled her eyes.

“Dre, this was a mist…”

“Maliyah, please don’t say that.”

“Dre it was, and I think you should sleep on the couch.”

 He moved off of her and she ran to the bathroom. Holding back the sobs, she turned on the shower and sat in there, letting the hot water roll over her body. She cried until the tears were gone. Getting out and drying off, she looked in the mirror. She hated who she saw. Quickly turning away, she put on her robe and walked into her bedroom. Peeking out the bedroom door, she saw no sight of Dre. 

 Coming into the living room, he was nowhere to be found. She went out the front door and his car was gone. Going back inside, she locked the door and slid the chair under the knob. Her phone beeped and it was Tina. Sighing that it was not Dre, she put her phone on the charger and went to bed.6

Short Stories, Uncategorized

Short Story Sunday 2/12/2017 The Cable Guy

Janet heard the knock on the door and knew it was the cable guy. She opened it and welcomed him in. She showed him where the cable needed to be installed and which rooms. She yelled to her daughter, Maliyah, that the cable guy was there and that she was leaving to do some errands. When she left, the cable guy got to work in the living room. After about ten minutes, he felt someone grab his ass.

He turned around to see a woman who looked 25, but he knew she was younger. She smiled and licked her lips at him.

“I don’t think that this is appropriate,” he said, trying to sound like he meant it.

Looking at her all he could think about was his dick in her mouth and then bending her over.

“Why not? You don’t like pussy?” she teased, twirling her hair with her pointer finger.

“How old are you?”

“I’m 21.”

He thought about it and then turned to get back to work. She grabbed his dick from behind and he instantly got hard. He turned to look at her again.

“I can’t do this with you, you’re too young.”

“That’s not what your dick says,” she said and before he could protest, his pants were at his ankle and his dick in her mouth.

He thought about resisting but she was a pro at what she was doing. He gave in and let her suck his dick. Technically, this was okay because he wasn’t actually in her pussy. She grabbed his balls firmly and jiggled and pulled gently on them. He gasped while looking down at her looking up at him, sucking him hard. He put one hand on her head and pushed her head to him so he could go deeper.

“Yeah, just like that,” he growled.

He was about to release and grabbed her head with both hands. He thrusted faster in her mouth, causing her to gag. He was about to teach her a lesson about not fucking with a grown man dick. He released still fucking her mouth viciously. He pulled it out and watched her gag. She wasn’t ready but he was still going to show her.

He got out his shoes and took his pants all the way off. He picked her up and sat her on the couch. He lifted her skirt and saw she had no panties on. He spread her legs and ate her pussy. The way she squirmed, she wasn’t ready for that either. He continued attacking her clitoris and then put two fingers in her tight pussy. She screamed and moaned. Whether or not it was pain or pleasure, he didn’t care.

An orgasm ripped through her body and she convulsed, screaming. He wondered if the neighbors could hear her. He turned her so that she was now laying on the couch. He got between her legs and her eyes widened, as he slipped on a condom. He plunged in her making her scream. Tears came rolling out and he thrusted in her tight, wet pussy hard and fast. The tears stopped and she appeared to be enjoying it, though still screaming.

She knew he wasn’t going to stop. He had a better idea. He pulled out and told her to get on the floor on all fours. She did quickly and he squatted behind her. He entered her slowly, but fucked her hard. Her screams got him off quickly. He felt he was about to release and couldn’t control himself and fucked her a little to hard. He turned into a beast. When he was done he stood up and put his pants back on and his shoes.

He got back to work, ignoring her as she could barely walk straight. She sat back on the couch and watched him. When he was done with all the rooms he told her he was leaving.

“When will you come back?” she asked.

“Did you not learn your lesson?”

“What lesson?”

“Not to fuck with a grown man dick?”

“But I like grown man dicks,” she said, sauntering over to him. She gave him a little squeeze and fluttered her eyes at him. He smiled and left before his dick got too hard. When he got to his truck, Janet was pulling up.

“Did everything get installed?” she asked.

“Yes ma’am. It was kind of hard to get in at first but after a while everything went in easily,” he smiled, knowing she had no idea what he just did to her daughter.

He got in his truck and drove off to another appointment.

My Life

My 15 Expectations of 2017

I made a video on my goals for 2017-2019.  So now I want to go year by year and we are going to start with 2017, which begins tomorrow. With 2016 coming to an end, I’ve been reflecting on all of the things that the year has brought me. I got my first apartment and a damn nice one at that and I also became a teacher. Those were two very big steps I took in my adult life; getting my own place and starting a career.

These were things that I have been working on for years and I never thought that they would happen within months of each other. Now that I am settling into things, I do have some expectations of the upcoming year.

  1. To be a bestselling author by the end of the year. I know it’s possible.
  2. Be able to write full time.
  3. Be able to begin the process of building a tiny home.
  4. Connect with my soulmate, fall in love and get pregnant.
  5. I want yoga to become more proficient in my life.
  6. My passport needs some loving so I am definitely all for chances to travel.
  7. Blogging has been a passion the past few years so if that could take off, finally, I’m all for it.
  8. Be a brand ambassador for Black brands that are relevant to me and beneficial.
  9. Collaborative efforts with other like-minded individuals.
  10. Network with other Blackpreneurs such as poets, bloggers, writers and authors.
  11. Move to a more climate friendly place for melanin rich people.
  12. Financial stability is a huge one for me. That was something I began working on in 2015 and so far, I am doing very well with it. I have paid off so much debt in 2016, it’s ridiculous and I have a little way to go before I start working on my student loans.
  13. Save more money for emergencies. I have never been a good saver, but I am also not a huge spender. I spend most of my checks on debt and now that I am coming to a good place with that, I can save more money.
  14. Build friendships and better the ones that I already have.
  15. Lastly, to step out of my comfort zone and go for what I want. I’m specifically talking about my dreams. In order for me to achieve them I have to push myself to do things that make me feel uncomfortable like open mic night at the poetry lounge, telling whoever I am in a relationship with exactly how I feel, be more aggressive with my wants and needs and put forth more effort into things.

These things I want to achieve by the end of 2017 and I have created a checklist and will make a video/post as I accomplish them. I want to keep track and record my accomplishments so I can look back on them and see how far I have come. See you all in the new year.

xoxo, Afro Hippie Vegan, Last day of 2016

My Life

What I Learned in 2016

Here are some things I learned this past year:

  1. Good things take time. I got an apartment and a new job. I have been speaking these things into the universe for years and they came within two months of each other.
  2. I found out what friendship really meant. I have a handful of good friends and they have really shown what it means to have a friend.
  3. I took a nude photo and posted it on IG. The feed back was so amazing and I’ve really stepped out of my shell.
  4. I learned that not all men are the same.  I’ve met some amazing guys through IG who aren’t after nudes or just sex, they really stimulated my mind through great conversation.
  5. I learned that sometimes you have to make the first move when it comes to relationships, romantic and non. I created a post on IG about how I wanted to be friends with quite a few people and turns out they wanted to be friends too!
  6. Don’t judge people by their appearance, judge them on their actions. I’ve met quite a few people this year and their actions proved their looks wrong. This is something I’ve always done and people’s actions have always told a different story.
  7. The best time for me to write is between the months of October and February. So from around the time of my birthday (October 7) through the end of February is when I have written all of my books. Something I should’ve been paying attention to.
  8. Consistency is a major issue I have. I haven’t been consistent with my writing, videos, posts, blogs, anything. I want to improve on all of those things an become better at them.
  9. I can’t keep dwelling on the past. I have a tendency to see what my ex’s are doing and how their lives have been since we’ve broken up. Some are fairing well and others, not so much. The problem with me thinking about what could have been is hindering me from moving forward with someone who could be my present and future.
  10. I am standing in my own way from doing a great many things, such as becoming a best seller. I don’t advertise or promote as much as I should and I don’t take advantage of all the social media platforms that are at my fingertips. I will be taking great advantage of that when I finish this book.
  11. I need to be more open to the idea of having a publisher. I have been an indie author for four years and though book sales have done well, I still need to be open to getting a publisher and soon.
  12. Love still exists. I thought love was dead and the possibility of love for me was something that was like a fairytale; make believe. I am starting to realize that love is a lot closer than I think.
  13. Let things go. I learned that you can’t hold on to things that have angered you or brought negativity into your life. When you do that, you are letting people/things have power over you. You have to let things go.
  14. Laugh more. I think I have laughed more in this year than I ever have in my entire life and laughing is a form of therapy. I don’t laugh much, and it also doesn’t take much for me to laugh. I plan to do a lot more laughing in 2017.
  15. Only write when you feel like writing. I’ve forced my hand so many times to write but my mind was just not having it. I only write when I feel like writing and when I have something to write about.
  16. I write best at night, late at night too. I have found myself many times up at 2 or 3 in the morning, writing. Waking up from a crazy dream and I turn that dream into a story or poem.
  17. It’s okay to cry. I have also cried many times this year, more in the past four months than any time in my life. Finally being out on my own has brought so many emotions to me and being able to be alone and be in solitude, I have released many pent up emotions.
  18. Live in the moment. I was always a planner and still am, somewhat. But I learned that there is nothing like being present in the here and now. I learned to put my phone away and that everything doesn’t need to be captured and posted on social media.
  19. Talk more. I have always been a quiet person but I think I’ve done a lot of talking. I am building up my courage to be able to do public speaking so that I can do spoken word and book tours and signings.
  20. Everything happens for a reason and in due time. I think this was the biggest lesson I learned this year as far as my books, job, apartment, friends, romantic encounters. There are no coincidences in life.
  21. Don’t be so hard on myself. I am my toughest critic, fan, enemy, you name it. I get so down on myself when I don’t accomplish something or something doesn’t go the way that I expected it to. I have to remember that I can always try again and do it differently the next time around.

What are some things that you have learned in 2016?

Coming Soon..., Sneak Peeks

Below the Surface

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,

At least that’s what I’ve heard.

But is it really in the eye of the beholder?

For when we talk about beauty,

Isn’t it the outer appearance that we speak of?

That’s shallower than the morning

Tide of the ocean.

What about under the make up

She has caked on her face?

Under the bundles of weave that weigh

Her head down as if many burdens

Were placed upon it?

What about under the clothes that she

Wears to impress men who don’t notice her,

And women she can’t stand?

What about beneath the skin,

The blood that flows through her veins?

What about underneath her scalp,

The brain that has worked overtime

Through two degrees and a master’s?

What about behind those eyes that have

Seen such dark things that light

may never shine through them again?

What about under her large breasts,

A heart that has been broken many times?

Sneak Peeks

Acts of Emotions


I’m not the emotional type,But I wear my heart on my sleeves. There’s no guessing how I feel about you, though I’ll never say it with words. I let my actions speak for themselves because words are just words right? See I act like I’m this strong tough woman but when it comes to you, thinking about you, seeing your name pop up on my phone, I melt inside. Even though you’re not here, you do something to my body that not even the physical touch can compare to.

(Just a snippet of what you’ll see in my upcoming book, The Tangled Mind. Be on the look out.) 

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: Debt, Debt, Go Away!

As of today, I have paid off two debts. Wooohooo! That is a huge accomplishment. I have paid off the IRS and a personal loan. Two steps close to being debt free! Even though those are two milestones, I am not ready to celebrate just yet. When I pay off my two credit cards, I will really celebrate. Those are the most important things right now (other than moving out of my mother’s house).

I am so happy to no longer have these two debts hanging over my head. Now I can really focus and go for the gold. I am in the process of getting two new hustles so I can have more sources of income. Right now I have three sources of income and I am working on a fourth and fifth. My hustle game will be strong this summer.

I have so many goals that I want to accomplish on my vision board. Even though that’s only $3000 that I have paid off in three months, it is still an accomplishment. That extra money that was going towards those debts, will go towards these credit cards. I am so serious, like y’all don’t even know how hard I am about to hustle to get these debts paid off as quick as possible. Then to top it off, I still have student loans. This will be a summer of absolute grinding.

Let me know if you have paid off any debts and if you have some tips for paying them off faster.

Journey to Financial Freedom,

Afro Hippie Vegan