All Black Everything

Why do Black Men feel so entitled?

I already know I’m going to catch heat behind this, but I don’t care. I’m only speaking from personal experience so clearly I don’t men all black men. I’m going to preface this article by giving a little back story.

This guy I went to school with has been after me for years, roughly 17 years to be exact. I was never interested in him and once we graduated high school, we parted ways. Thank goodness. However, it seems year after year he seeks me out on social media (not that I’m hard to find).

So about 2-3 years ago, I made the stupid mistake of finally sleeping with him. He’s been hounding me ever since, wanting to be with me. He’s a very aggressive person and I honestly didn’t and don’t feel safe in his presence because he tries to pressure me to have sex.

The last time I saw him was in 2017 at my ten year class reunion. We said “hey” in passing and of course he later on hit me up wanting to come over and I said “no”. We had a huge argument and again, parted ways. He hit me up last year and I was still not interested because I had just had a baby.

Let’s go back a couple of days and he messages me asking did I miss him. I was honest and said I hadn’t thought about him and I hadn’t. I have a child. I’m not thinking about any past men at this moment.

So then he asked why I didn’t want to “fuck with” him. That is where the conversation took a turn for the worst. As a grown ass man, that is not something you should be asking a woman and for certain not in that manner. I explained to him that he wasn’t the kind of man I wanted around my son, nor the kind of man I would want my son to look up to.

He of course was offended and said he’ll talk to me again when my son is old enough to understand what a role model is. I told him don’t bother. So he proceeds to comment on my breasts and I asked him to refrain from that. He asked why and I asked him if I told him to not touch me, would he ask the same question. He said since we had already slept together that would be weird for me to say no.

Pause. Only a rapist would say that because that’s rapist mentality. How dare you tell me that if I tell you not to touch me, that you should still be able to? What right do you have? You still have to have my permission rah and every time you want to touch me. I am not your possession. He then told me to grow up and I blocked him.

Now to my point. What is it that makes some black men feel entitled to do as they want to black men? What makes you entitled to date me, touch me, make me talk to you? Since when do you own women? Like the man who killed the woman because she didn’t want to dance with him, or men who call women “stuck up bitches” when they cat call and a woman turns her nose up, or say that she’s “ugly anyway?”

Where does this sense of entitlement come from? I’ll be damned if Malakhai grows up and thinks that he’s entitled to any woman he wants and she has to submit. Fuck that. If a woman says no then dammit she means no and vice versa. There are women too who feel entitled to men.

This topic also comes in loo of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly. He is the largest entitled piece of shit excuse of a man and I feel like some other black men are taking after him, thinking it’ll work for them.

Could it come from past sexual abuse? Lack of a father figure? How they grew up and seeing their father’s or, mother’s boyfriends, doing the same thing? Past relationships with submissive women?

If you are a black man reading this post, please give me some insight as to where some of your fellow specimen get this notion that every woman has to be with them. Also, why aren’t we holding these men accountable?

Vegan Mommy Things

MyGym @ Atascocita

Saturday, Malakhai and I went to a class at MyGym. It’s a little gym for our tiny humans. There were about six other little tykes there. We began with some warm ups then stretches with out minis. Afterwards, we had free time to roam around the gym and enjoy all that they had. There were slides, a ball pit, a parachute ride down a ramp, swings and so much more. Towards the end, there’s what’s called separation time where the parents leave the kids in the circle to play with toys and each other. Malakhai did so well!

I’m going to see if I can work MyGym into my budget. It’s only $82 a month which is awesome and we would be going every week. It’s worth the investment. I bonded with two other moms there and it’s a great way for Malakhai to meet other kiddos outside of daycare. If you have a MyGym near you, I highly suggest it. The first class is always free.

Playing in the circus!
Doing a flip on the bar. Of course he cried.
He didn’t too much like the ball pit.
He seemed to like one of the teachers.
Clearly he loved the swing.
He did not like the parachute ride lol.
Separation time.
He did amazingly well!
Just chillin!
Vegan Mommy Things

Sensory Time: DIY Paint

So, Malakhai has reached that age that he wants to touch any and everything. I open the fridge, he has to touch everything in the door. Anything I have in my hand, he has to touch. I figured it was time to start some sensory activities, and I can’t wait to continue this series.

I wanted to start with painting but I didn’t want to use actual paint because it’s toxic and he’s at that age where everything goes in his mouth. I wanted to make something that I knew I wouldn’t care if he ate it. I chose vegan vanilla yogurt. I got just a small cup and I split it between two containers: one for red and one for blue, although they came out a pinkish red and purple.

1 container of vegan vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, clothes you don’t mind messing up, and a fun attitude

I squeezed 3 strawberries in one container and stirred it with a spoon. In the other, I tried mashing blueberries, but they weren’t juicy like I expected. So, I took a handful and put them in a small pot. I added water just to cover and let them boil until they popped. This made the water a dark blue. I poured that in the other container of yogurt. It actually turned out purple but oh well.

I tried getting Malakhai to paint on paper but he just wanted to rip it up, so I poured some paint on the towel between his legs and let him have at it. He rubbed his hands and feet in it. It was a new feeling for him and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He even decided to paint me as well. Here are some pictures from our painting session.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Daycare

Today my son started daycare. He was supposed tos tart awhile ago, but I wasn’t ready. I never wanted him to go to daycare, but he needs social skills now that he’s getting older. He’s becoming more mobile and talkative (baby talk that is). Luckily, his daycare is owned by a friend of the family (it’s a long story but there’s much history).

My mom drops him off and picks him up since I work late and have to be at work early. I also work clear across town, so her doing that for me helps a ton.

He had a good time and I received a great report. He refused to eat his baby food, only drank the breast milk. He just doesn’t like food which is fine by me. He gets all he needs from me anyway.

Today was only the first day so I’m not exactly sire how to feel just yet. Of course, I was a nervous wreck all day, but he adjusted fairly quickly. Actually, there weren’t any adjustments for him. He took to the daycare owner very well.

How did you feel about your child(ren) attending daycare for the first time? Any tips to combat this “mommy worry?”

My Life

I’m a YouTuber

Well, kind of. I quit YouTube a while ago and it was for necessary reasons. Many of my followers are on IG and it seemed better that since IGTV came out, I’d just upload videos there. Now, I’m highly considering going back to YouTube and doing IGTV.

Youtube allows me to edit videos and upload videos longer than 10 minutes. IGTV has too many restrictions for me and sometimes I ramble for 10 minutes before I even get to the good stuff (not really, it just sounded like I should say that).

So if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube, click on the “videos” tab in the menu. I’m thinking I’ll have a video up by the weekend or over the weekend. Maybe even the beginning of next week. Who knows?

All Black Everything

Stigmas Surrounding Black Families

The recent ad by Macy’s really struck a nerve. I already know how “other” people see us (Black people) and I don’t too much care, but to blatantly through it in our face, well that was unsettling.

On television, you see black people in interracial relationships, same sex, or single mother. Rarely do you see a Black family if it’s not an all Black show. Why can’t there be Black families portrayed on White shows? Oh, that’s right: the dynamic of a black family scares White people. Yes, I said it. A Black family with a mother, father, and children is powerful. It shows unity and solidarity. A black man and a black woman together are unstoppable and indivisible. That’s more dangerous than an educated Black man or woman. 

Also, a Black married couple is more likely to procreate, making more Black people. That kills the White supremaciat agenda of population control in the Black community. More married couples means more children, which means more Black people, and we can’t have that now can we? (Sarcasm)

But why is a Black married couple so dangerous? Well when we are single, it seems we are more easily manipulated into thinking that we need a partner of another race, especially Black women. With our men being shot or incarcerated, there is purportedly a shortage of Black men, leaving us to White men. We are made to believe that’s our men are gay, in jail, or dead. 

When it comes to Black men, and this goes back to slavery, White women are a step up. They bring money and opportunities that allegedly Black women can’t. Black women are painted as ghetto, dramatic, uneducated, broke, jobless, and the list goes on, so I’ll digress.

By taking fathers out of the home either by murder or prison, young boys are left with only a mother. This makes it easy for the White agenda to turn them gay. If they have no male figure, they take it upon themselves to maneuver these young boys. Now I’m not saying this is always the case. I’m not saying that at all. You do have Black boys who grow up in twonparent households, but for the sake of this argument, and this ad that doesn’t portray that, I said what I said.

Feel free to debate with me on this topic, but I feel like too many of our people are “missing the mark” when it comes to spending our dollars and raising our children.

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.

All Black Everything

Top U. S. Cities for Human Trafficking

I was listening to Mahogany Momology podcast and something they mentioned really stuck in my head. One of them said the reason that they don’t let their child run around or pick up stuff or stop paying attention is because Dallas is the 3 largest city for human trafficking (Houston is actually number 3). They also mentioned little black boys being a target for organ harvesting.

I never thought of why black parents are so adamant about children sticking close or paying attention, or not being distracted by touching things. I really never thought of any of that until I became a parent, and even though Malakhai is not old enough to roam around, it’s still something that I will keep in mind once he gets older.

I wanted to share the top cities in the U. S. for human trafficking from lowest to highest.

15. Orlando

14. Baltimore

13. New York

12. Chicago

11. Los Angeles 

10. Dallas

9. San Francisco 

8. San Diego

7. Las Vegas 

6. Sacramento

5. Columbus

4. Miami

3. Houston 

2. Atlanta

  1. Washington D. C.

As you can see that California has the most cities on the lit, being that they have the highest issue with human trafficking. Being that I live in Houston and it’s number 3, that’s scary. Be sure, especially if you are a POC, that you are watching your children when you are out. 

Source:https://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/15-top-us-cities-for-human-trafficking-in-2018-651630/?singlepage=1

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?

Product Reviews

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow

*DISCLAIMER: I received this as a complimentary gift in exchange for my honest opinion. All views are those of my own and no one else’s.

So, I am very particular about products that I use, especially on my face. When Influenster sent me this nighttime serum, I was instantly skeptical. I did some research and found that this is actually a brand that I could stand by.

I’ve never had a nighttime routine, well when it comes to washing my face that is. The first time I used this serum, I was instantly taken aback because it tingles. Silly me didn’t read on the bottle that it will tingle. I immediately wiped it off and was about to through it away until I read the label.

For the last month or so, I’ve been using it either every night or every other night and I absolutely love it. I first wash my face with Dr. Bronner’s soap, then I smooth on the serum. It isn’t strong smelling and doesn’t smell chemical filled or perfumeish. I wake up in the morning and my face feels and looks brighter and tighter.

I highly recommend this product if you haven’t tried it. I will also definitely be buying more items from this brand.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bedtime with Khai

Each night, I make it my mission to ensure Khai gets an excellent night’s slumber. I give him a bath in his new tub. He’s in a big boy tub now (cue the water works). I bathe him, wash his hair, let the water out and then fill it with clean water up to his waist. I let him play with his toys and I stand back and admire how much he has grown in the past six months.

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When we’re all done, I pat him dry. His hair is so curly and silky, that I have to make sure it stays healthy, as well as his scalp. I use either mineral oil or grapeseed oil in his hair. I rake it through with my fingers and then comb small sections at a time. Next, I lotion him up and put his footie pjs on. He either sleeps in a silk bonnet or one of his hats so his pores can close.

 

Now is my favorite part: bedtime stories. He loves for me to read to him, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I think he likes all of the colors and my animated voices.

By story’s end, he’s sleepy. I lay him down to nurse until he falls asleep. Once he’s sound asleep, it’s me time. I tend to clean up from his bath time and clean whatever else I need to. I also spend this time writing and scheduling blogs, journaling, meditating, taking long baths, or reading. Bedtime for Khai is usually around 7 o’clock, so I start getting him ready for a bath around 6 or 6:30. During the time from when I get off work until bath time, we are playing, watching Puppy Dog Pals, or singing.

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What is your night time routine with your little one(s)?

xoxo Moniqua LaShae and Malakhai Lee

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. 
Health + Wellness

Forgiveness

People y’all about forgiveness like it’s easy as pie. We’re always quick to say forgive and forget, but how can we forgive and forget something someone did to us that put us in a depression? Hurt people hurt people, but we don’t talk about the severness of the hurt.

I was journaling about the people in my life I need to forgive and the unforgivable things they did to me. Do I forgive all of them? No, but I’m working on it. But what does forgiveness actually do? It allows the other person to no longer have any control over you. You relinquish that hurt and pain and you are able to move on.

Harboring past experiences blocks you from future opportunities in more ways than one. Sometimes we lose trust because of someone breaking their trust with us, then we no longer can trust anyone and say no to everyone and everything. We live a life of suspicion of everyone and that’s no way to live.

I know some people forgive someone over and over again, allowing that person to still stay in their life, when the best option is to let them go. Just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean you need to continue to associate yourself with them. I recently disassociated myself from someone who was using me, causing me pain, dragging me into their drama, lying to me and sending me into a depression.

Keeping these toxic people in your life makes your forgiving them null and void because you are allowing more chances of them doing the same thing that you keep forgiving them for. People throw forgiveness around like they do love and that’s detrimental to your mental health.

Forgiveness should not be taken lightly and should be thought out. When you forgive someone, it’s not for that person, it’s for you. You’re letting what they did go, but you’re not forgetting. When you forgive someone, it makes that person feel small because they don’t have you in the palm of their hand like they thought they did. They can no longer control and manipulate the narrative.

Think about who in your life you need to forgive, why you need to forgive them and what will come of it.

My Life

Closure

Closure is the closing of one chapter and beginning of another. Close one door, another opens. However, don’t mistake closure as burning bridges because it is not, well, depending upon how you go about getting closure.

Closure is more than just relationships. You can get closure from a job, career, friendship, a car, partnership, college, you name it. It’s not just for one specific thing. It can even be closure from a fight or situation. It’s basically you saying that you’re ready to move on from something or someone: letting them/it go.

Closure is single handedly how I’ve come to be where I am. It’s really therapeutic and saves on going to therapy. I see closure as being the final “hoorah” in a sense.

I wrote a letter to my biological father, who is in every sense of the word, a deadbeat black father. I won’t get into details of the letter but I want to talk about how I felt after writing it and sending it to him.

The letter was sent through FB Messenger, only because I don’t have his number or any other way to contact him. I saw that he read the letter but he didn’t respond, and that’s totally okay. See, closure for me is getting everything off my chest: saying what I need to say and being done. Getting everything out in the open is freeing to me, whether the other person responds back or not.

Now, do I think he’ll ever respond? Probably not, but I put it out there for him to should he decided to do so. Am I open to building a relationship? Absolutely not. He’s had 30 years to build one and numerous opportunities to take with me trying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to build a relationship with him and writing that letter to let him know that I’m done trying and not willing to try in the future, was the closure I needed.

I don’t want to keep hanging on to hoping that one day he’ll come around. I have a son now who has an amazing father. I don’t want to harp on the past or have any resentment. I don’t want Boo to see that. I want him to see the relationship I have with my stepfather and know that mommy has a father figure.

Hatred is something that requires a lot of energy, energy that I am not willing to give anyone. It’s also negative energy. I have never hated him, mainly because I don’t even know him. I don’t know his age, birthday, favorite color, choice of music, nothing. The one thing I do know is he wants nothing to do with me. In essence, he’s not worth any of my energy anymore.

It’s always said to write someone a letter expressing your feelings, but never give it to them. Burn it or keep it and revisit it later and see if you still feel the same. I call horse shit. Write that letter, and as my mother said, “Push the got damn button!” What’s the purpose of writing a letter, expressing your feelings and never letting the person know? What does that solve? Not a damn thing. You can’t have closure by just washing your hands of someone without a word. You’ll then always think about what you should’ve said or what you wanted to say.

I have no regrets in writing nor sending that letter. I felt like he needed to know how I’ve felt over the years and what I’ve dealt with with him being absent. I swore to myself that from this day forward, I won’t let his absence ruin my present and future when it comes to relationships and when it comes to my son and his father. I really pushed for his father to be around and he’s come through every single time. I hope and pray that it stays that way.

Was your father absent in your life? How did it make you feel? Have you let him know? Gotten closure? If it wasn’t your father, but your mother, same questions. Let’s get the conversation going.

 

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

Apesh*t & Black Panther

No shade, but black women are the most diverse group of women on this planet. It’s true.  We are the only group of women who come in a wide variety of shades and we have a wide variety of hair textures. But the one thing that bothers me is the misrepresentation of the different shades of black women and the unfortunate favoritism of certain shades. Not to mention the treatment of different shades.

I am not a Beyoncé fan (Beyhive do not come for me unless I send for you), but I have a great respect for her latest video, Apesh*t. It is an extremely inclusive video, with black women of shades across the entire spectrum. That made me feel amazing that she did that. In today’s time, women of my skin tone or darker are underrepresented in music videos and all other aspects of media (commercials, billboards, ads, etc.).

Beyoncé is all about the empowerment of black women, just look at her Formation music video. Her live performances always have only black women doing background and the instrumentals. There aren’t too many women with large platforms and popularity as her, advocating for black women in their entirety.

Black women from lightest to darkest have many adversities against them. Light skinned women are always asked if they’re mixed because they’re too light to just be black. They have to have something else in them. They are also seen as stuck up, yet the most sought after from dark skinned black men. Then you have the women of my color who also aren’t seen as just black. Speaking from personal experience, I am always asked where I am from. Many people think that I am from the islands because of my hair texture and my complexion. I’ve been told I’m too pretty to just be black, and believe it or not, that is an insult to my heritage. I am just black. Period.

I’ve also been told that I must be mixed. Well I’ve never seen a biracial black woman as dark as I am. I’m never seen as just a black woman in America. Also, because I speak proper English (thanks to those years spent living in England), I have been bullied and astrocized by black men but more so black women, speaking as if I’m better than them, that’s what they tell me. Not all black women are loud, uneducated, petty, mad, and belligerent.

Then you have those who are in the range in between light and dark who are often left in the abyss. Nobody really talks about them. Most other ethnicities don’t know but there is a rift amongst black women due to the varying shades. The lighter skinned sisters tend to feel like they’re better than the darker skinned and also look down on us. I’m not saying all, but most, and I think they feel like the have a sense of entitlement because society sees them as more favorable.

I am the type of person who looks deeper into everything I see, especially commercials. Rarely will you ever see a darker skinned woman. They are always of light complexion or biracial. Women of my skin tone aren’t seen as pretty.

I also want to take note of Black Panther. A YouTuber that I watch brought up a good point. She said a friend of hers felt slighted because the representation in Black Panther was limited to women of my color and darker. I hadn’t actually paid attention to that during the numerous times that I’ve seen it. After watching the video, I went back and watched it again and realized that she was right. The thing is, in much of Africa, where Wakanda is, there aren’t really any lighter skinned women. Africa is mainly of people my color and darker.

So, with Black Panther not having any lighter skinned women, it was a true representation, not to mention, all the women in the movie aside from Lupita, Sury, and T’Challa’s mother, were bald. This movie really was for our culture despite the representation, or underrepresentation.

A lot of this rift, again, goes back to slavery. Lighter skinned women were favored mainly because they were a product of a slave woman being raped by a slave master, or a white woman manipulating a black slave male into sleeping with her. These children ended up being house negroes. Granted there treatment was still bad but not considerably as bad as field negroes (I don’t use the other “n” word). We are all still experiencing PTSD (post traumatic slave disorder).

I hope that one day, collectively, we can put colorism aside. We are all black and descendants of Africans and African slaves.

recipes

Healthy Diet #FOTD: Vegan Juevos Rancheros

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As a breastfeeding mother, I am adamant about breakfast. Actually, as a person period. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and it’s also when I’m the most creative. I start my day with a large protein smoothie. Then I have oatmeal by itself, with toast, or like in the photo, a breakfast platter.

I loved omelettes before I was vegan and I was happy to learn I can still have them, minus the cholesterol, abuse, and consumption of another animal. For the omelette, I used 1/4 c garbanzo bean flour, 1/3 c water, mushrooms, Field Roast tomato cayenne chao cheese, pink salt, nutritional yeast, and fresh basil. I mix all of those together in a bowl and then poured it into a skillet with hot grape seed oil (oil is important or it will stick). I then topped it with avocado, salsa, and vegan ranch (I use the Hampton Creek Just brand). For a full meal, I added power greens, Sweet Earth hickory and sage bacon, and oatmeal (great for breastfeeding so I have it every morning).

So, there you have it. What’s your breakfast go to?

Vegan Mommy Things

Exercising for fitness postpartum

Since giving birth to my son, working or has been the hardest to get back into. I lack the motivation to do so. I was stoked that I got back down to my prepregnancy weight, however, I have put on about 5 lbs since then and I am not happy about that. It’s weird because I exercised my entire second and third trimester to prepare for birth and now that I’m no longer pregnant, I find it a struggle to workout.

Beginning last Thursday, I started back doing yoga and I’ve also been taking Boo on my walks. When it comes to yoga and walking, for whatever reason they both don’t seem like exercise to me. I see them both as ways to relax, keep calm, selfcare and bonding time with Boo.

This past weekend, I went to Baby and ame yoga (pics soon to come, will probably be in a separate post giving a review of the yoga class). It made me want to start incorporating him more in my home practice of yoga. Though he slept most of the class, it was nice having him there, comforting in a way.

I ended up having to purchase a new carrier to wear him due to me being top heavy and he was adding extra weight with dangling from the previous one (will give details in another post). So now with this carrier, it’s less stress in my back. I can go for long walks when I don’t feel like fooling with the stroller.

Another way I exercise is by strapping him to me and doing house work: laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cooking, dusting, etc. Having to squat with him is like squatting with dumbbells: gives that extra weight to make you work harder and use your muscles as well as building them.

Once I am completely healed, I’ll be getting back into kickboxing, but right now, I am just keeping it low impact and easing back into my workout routine. What motivates me is the fact that I have a son and they tend to be more rambunctious than girls, as well as adventurous and require more endurance and strength.

What are some ways you workout as a mom after having your kid(s)?

confessions, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #5: Co-parenting

Co-parenting is not always something that just works. You have to work at it. I know that I never thought I would have a child, and on top of that, if I did have a child, co-parenting was never a thought in my mind. I for sure thought I would be married if I ever had a child. Funny how the universe throws a wrench in your plans.

When I first found out I was pregnant, my son’s father as not onboard. He wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy or the baby after birth. Was I devastated? Shit yeah! I had just given up my career in China to stay in the US and be a mother. I felt it was selfish of him that I had to completely change my life and he was just going to go on about his as if nothing happened. I was pissed and heartbroken. Did I want to be in a relationship with him? Absolutely not, but I did want to have some sort of relationship when it came to our child. When I found out Boo was a boy, I knew that he needed to have his father, but I wasn’t going to press the matter.

We went my entire first trimester without speaking and that went well into my second. Midway through my second trimester, he suddenly had a change of heart. He came around more and was helping me out. He always asked if I needed anything. I was grateful, but leery of accepting that he was being genuine. I felt deeply that he had an ulterior motive. In the beginning he wanted a DNA test, but after Boo was born, he wasn’t as adamant about it. He still wants one but isn’t pressing it like he was. After all, Boo is the spitting image of him, just a lighter, cuter version, and he’s not denying that. Boo also looks like his father’s late sister, who was also a childhood friend of mine.

Co-parenting so far has been so-so. There have been phone hangups and heated conversations that lead to some days without speaking. With me being hormonal and he being the person he is, sometimes it’s like vinegar and water: we just don’t mix. He and I were never in a relationship, just physical. Now that we have a son, we are trying to at least be friendly for Boo’s sake. I know that not all co-parenting situations are like mine, some being better and some being the pits of hell, but for now, it’s somewhat working. I can only speak for seven weeks of co-parenting, for that’s how old Boo is. As he gets older, I’ll speak more on it.

One thing that motivates me to make this work is that I grew up with a father who didn’t want to be a father. He took care of me out of obligation, aka child support, and even then, he tried to weasel his way out of it any way that he could. I didn’t want that for my son. I don’t want that for my son. In some aspects, his father is a great role model and I know he’s going to be an amazing father. I love the way he loves our son and seeing them together warms my heart. I can’t wait to see their relationship grow, something that I will never understand with having an absent father. I guess that’s why it means so much to me that he’s around and is there for our son.

Now, granted, Boo is definitely not his father’s top priority and I won’t get into too much detail about that, but that is something that puts a strain on our relationship as his parents. It’s something that gravely pisses me off and I’m hoping one day his father will change that about him. As for me, being the primary parent, Boo is my top priority above any and everything else. I always think of him first, and if his father did the same, I think our relationship would be much better.

If you are co-parenting, what is your relationship like with the other parent? How is their relationship with your child?

Breastfeeding, Vegan Mommy Things

Breastfeeding Series: How does breastfeeding work?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lactation consultant. I am also not trying to shame mothers who don’t/didn’t and/or can’t/couldn’t breastfeed. I am just sharing information and my experience.

Over the next few weeks, I will be running a series about breastfeeding. It is something that I can’t stop talking about and can’t talk enough about. As many of you know, I am a new mom and my son is exclusively breastfed.

The purpose of this post is to educate you on how breastfeeding works. I think that it is a magical thing to breastfeed and the way the woman’s body works to produce breastmilk, and change to fit the baby’s needs, is incredible. In today’s society, a woman’s breasts are oversexualized and that is not what their purpose is. Our breasts are to nourish our babies, it’s just that over time, they became something sexual and for men to ogle over.

The areola around the nipple, the darker skin, is what babies use to find the nipple. When I am feeding my son, I notice that first he feels my breast against his cheek and then turns his head and finds the nipple himself. There is little effort on my part other than holding my breasts for him since they are quite large. Latching is one deterrent of breastfeeding for many moms. When a baby doesn’t latch properly, it is quite painful and many women think that it is just painful and quit instead of realizing that the baby is just not latching correctly.

I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t hurt because in the beginning it did, a lot. I would pump just to keep from having to nurse. After about a couple of weeks, it’s not painful. That pain is not long lasting. What pushed me to continue was I knew that this was best for my baby. Another kind of pain is when the baby sucks, your uterus contracts and it feels like period cramps. Soon after birth, this pain is unbearable, but as your body heals and your organs return to their homes, the pain goes away.

When the baby sucks, two hormones are released: prolactin, which stimulates milk production and oxytocin, which causes the contraction of the lobules that hold the milk inside. All of that just from the saliva of our baby on our nipple. Our babies tell the milk to come down just be sucking. Isn’t that amazing? This entire process is called the let-down reflex. I know when my son cries, I get a let-down reflex and begin to leak.

Breast milk is then produced as your baby grows, as a response. The saliva from the baby tells your body how much milk the baby needs and what it should consist of. For example, if your baby is sick or getting sick, your baby’s saliva let’s your body know and then you body takes more of your antibodies to produce in the breastmilk in order to give to your baby. Mind blown.

I also found out that in other countries, babies aren’t even given milk first. They’re given other liquids or solids like water, sugar water, or traditional medicines, before being breastfed. I have to do more research as to why they do that because that is mind boggling to think to give a baby anything other than breastmilk. It is called prelactyl feeding, basically before breastfeeding feeding, which is especially dangerous because it can lead to internal diseases of the intestines, as well as diarrhea, dehydration and even death.

I plan to breastfeed my baby for at least a year.

Check back next Monday for the next installment of this series, Benefits and Challenges of Breastfeeding.

For more information on breastfeeding,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breastfeeding

https://www.parents.com/baby/breastfeeding/

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

My Reason Why

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“Mom” is the best and most important title that I hold. It’s more than a job: it’s a lifetime of love, tears, trials and triumphs. When I became pregnant, I didn’t know how drastically my mindset would change. I think so much differently now. I don’t only think about myself, I think about my child first.

1. Malakhai is the reason I am on this debt free  journey. Getting out of debt has never been more important to me than it is now. I began budgeting towards the end of last year and I was even able to get my savings to 4 digits, which is something I have never been able to do before.

I’ve always been a spender instead of a saver, but now I think long and hard about purchases I make. I have a complete list I run through before I make a purchase, which I will share in another post.

I’m also doing this debt Free Journey so that he and I can travel. By the time he is school age, I want to be able to work part time in order to spend more time with him, teaching and traveling the world. I feel the best kind of education is done outside of the classroom. I want him to be well-traveled and know that America is not the only place there is.

2. Malakhai is the reason I eat healthier than I do prior to becoming pregnant. I now have to decide if what I’m about to consume is going to benefit him. It’s no longer about just benefiting me, but him as well. Since I’m breastfeeding, he consumes what I do.

3. Malakhai is the reason I want to work for myself so that he can see that he doesn’t have to punch in for anybody but himself, hence why I want to be debt free so I can focus more on my business and become a certified health consultant. I want him to be as open minded as I am and to think outside the box.

4. Malakhai is the reason I haven’t lost my shit after giving birth. He’s how I’ve been keeping it together as far as adjusting to motherhood. Looking at his sweet face and holding him, makes me feel like we’re going to be okay, that everything is going to be fine. I am an awesome mother and he is an awesome child. He is why I know I am going to be the best parent I can be for him.

5. Malakhai is the reason I want to better myself: mentally, physically and emotionally. Since he’s a boy, I’m going to have to be in the best shape physically in order to run around and play with him. He’s also more than likely going to want to play sports and go on adventures and I need to be fit to be there for every single thing. Raising a boy into a man, I am going to have to be emotionally and mentally stable to show him that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help or talking your feelings out. I don’t want him to hold anything in. If he’s having a hard time, I don’t want him to hesitate coming to me.

Malakhai is my reason for working towards living the best life I can. He makes me want to do better and be better. It’s amazing how having a child can make you see the world through different lenses.

If you have a child, how did they change you?

Health + Wellness, My Life

Fast Food for Standardized Testing? Nah.

Yesterday my students took their standardized test for the subject I teach (writing). Every year on standardized testing day, some fast food restaurant gives free breakfast. Now I’m all for free, however, the restaurants giving the free breakfast are terrible. This year, it happened to be the worst fast food place of all: McDeath…I mean McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has to be the worst fast food place of all fast food places. Their food is fake, full of chemicals, MSG, and a host of other things that should not be ingested. Everyone knows that they should not go there. Not only that, because everyone was waiting in line for their free meal, kids ended up being late.

Another reason I hate that these places give free fast food on testing day is that the parents will take their kids and give them this terrible food, which causes them to be sluggish, unfocused and sick. They won’t perform as well on their test because of the chemicals affecting their brain and ability to concentrate.

I really wish parents would stop giving their kids fast food. I have a student who gets donuts every morning for breakfast and for lunch they have some kind of animal on steroids because I have never seen meat that big. Then the parent wonders why this child is always sleep. The shit you’re feeding them is slowing them down and shutting their system down. To me, giving your child fast food is child abuse. People never think about what they’re feeding their child is child abuse. Child abuse comes in different forms but that’s a topic for another post.

How do you feel about children eating fast food? If you feed your child fast food, why? Would love to get a healthy discussion going.

Book Reviews

Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby

I just happened to be in Walmart one day and needed some new books to read. I stumbled across this one and thought it’d be intriguing. Little did I know that I was in for a real juicy treat. If I tell you this book was beyond scandalous. You hear about pastors in these mega churches and the sins they commit, but this one takes the cake. Let’s get into it. I’m going to start with the discussion questions first.

1. What do you think was the most important lesson learned in the story for Tanya? Curtis? Adrienne?

Tanya – She was holding on to something that didn’t want to be held on to. She tried really hard to keep her marriage for the sake of her vows and her daughter. I think she learned that sometimes, it’s best to let things go when there’s no way that things will work out.

Curtis – Greed will cause you to lose absolutely everything. Greed as far as money, power, and sex. He learned the absolute hard way.

Adrienne – A man will never leave his wife for you, no matter how many times he says it. She should’ve known that they weren’t going to be together when he made her get that abortion.

2. Why do you think Tanya went out of her way, trying to make things work with  Curtis?

She believed in the vows that they took. Also, she didn’t have real proof that Curtis was sleeping around. Alicia, their daughter, was her main focus. Despite him hitting and choking her out, she stayed because I think deep down, she thought that maybe things would get better.

3. Do you believe that’s Curtis’s corrupt way of living was a result of some childhood situation?

It’s possible, however, he did mention that what changed was when they moved from Atlanta to Chicago, the temptation became overwhelming. Had it been a childhood situation, I think he would have been reckless before then.

4. What are your feelings on Tanya’s reaction after finding such disturbing information in Curtis’s office? Would you have reacted the same?

I think her reaction was too calm and unrealistic of how a woman would’ve reacted. Had I found a lease for an apt my husband was renting with another woman, receipts from things he bought her and a receipt for an abortion, I would’ve lost my entire shit and somebody would be dead. That’s a lot to take in to not be outraged. How dare I let someone embarrass me in that manner and I not become psychotic. I mean I guess she handled it well, but it was too calm for my liking.

5. Do you agree with Nicole’s decision in terms of not wanting to advise Tanya about her marital situation, even though they are best friends? Why or why not?

I agree because it’s really not her place to say anything. Also, given that she’s not in Tanya’s shoes, she can’t advise on something she knows nothing about. She doesn’t even know the whole situation because Tanya didn’t tell her everything.

6. Do you think Curtis genuinely loved Alicia, and that deep down he wanted to be a good father to her?

Uh, hell no. As often as he cancelled on her, laid hands on her mother, and did all his dirt, his daughter was the last thing on his mind. Any man who loves his daughter, would be showing her the kind of man she should be looking for when it comes to dating and finding a mate. If he really wanted to be a good father, he wouldn’t have done what he did to her mother.

7. Why do you think Curtis became so consumed with money, power, and women?

Just like anyone who becomes consumed with these things, adjusting to things you’ve never had before can be hard for some people. He never had any of that before and now that he does, he’s letting it all go to his head. He’s letting it drive him.

8. Do you think Curtis is an example of many pastors throughout this country? Is Tanya typical of the pastors’ wives? Is Adrienne an example of many women in the church?

Hell yes, hell yes and hell yes.

9. Prior to reading Casting the First Stone, had you ever experienced a similar situation wth your own pastor?

Before I stopped attending church, there was a church that we fellowshipped with that had a similar incidence, which caused the church to dissolve and many members to come to my former church.

10. What do you think is happening to the moral values of Christian leaders in the country and why?

To be honest, I think it has a lot to do with appearances now. They are more concerned with how they are perceived. They are also in competition with other pastors. Another thing is because they are pastors and purportedly closer to God, many people put their faith in them and believe they can do no wrong. Many pastors take advantage of this feat. They know as long as they have followers, they can do as they please and no one will bat an eye.

11. Do you believe Curtis wanted to do the right thing, but really couldn’t help doing the things he did? Did he have a problem with sexual addictions, or was it that he simply just wanted more than one woman in his life?

I don’t think he wanted to do the right thing. He was very manipulative for example when he wanted Tanya to vouch for them to get more money from the church. He was playing nice with her to get on her good side so she could do something for him to help get him out of a sticky situation. I don’t think he had a sexual problem, I think that he just wanted someone to dominate and since Tanya wasn’t having it, he had to look elsewhere. I do believe he wanted more women which was part of his greed.

12. What do you think is the most serious problem in the church today?

Hypocrisy. Many pastors are preaching about what you shouldn’t do as they are doing it. There’s a lot of gossiping and people are attending church for all the wrong reasons. There’s adultery, infidelity, money laundering, hypocrisy, fake fellowship, etc.

Final thoughts:

This book was a lot more than I thought it would be. Did I think it was right for Tanya to be having an affair even though Curtis had his dirt? No. I feel she should’ve filed for divorce when she found all of those receipts.

Curtis is a lowdown piece of shit. He was cheating with a married woman and an 18-year-old girl who he got pregnant. He also had a threesome and was being blackmailed for it. He is greedy and deserved everything he got. When his daughter fell down the stairs, that should’ve been his wake up call and all the more reason for Tanya to have taken her and left.

The book started off dreadfully slow, but when it got to the good stuff, it became fast paced, one incident after the other. It was a really good read.

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

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 Black Everything, My Life

#BWWPCHOU Meetup

A few weeks ago I attended a planner meetup with my mom. We had an amazing time in this room full of black women who plan their lives to keep it together. Some of these women were hardcore planners while we also had some that just started. As for me, I’m in between, with only 3 planners.

I stumbled upon this group when I found the main Facebook page for the entire country and didn’t realize there were smaller city chapters. Now I don’t feel so alone. I used to think planning and planners were for white women but now I see it’s for every woman, especially those of us who are mothers. How else are we going to keep from losing our shit?

Planning has helped me in more ways than one. Being pregnant, I forget things often. It can be something that was said less than a minute ago and already I have forgotten. I’ve found that with writing things down, I can go back and remember important information.

Budget planning helps to keep money in the bank. I have never budgeted j til now and when I sit down at the end of each month, I see where my money is going (mainly to food, shh).

I also have a teacher planner because, well, I’m a teacher and we have all sorts of dates and deadlines for things. I can’t keep up with all of that so what I do is take the district calendar and write down all the dates as well as my school’s calendar.

Below are some pics from the festivities. Definitely cannot wait until the next planner meetup.