Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Christiana

It's something when you ask God for something specifically and he blesses you with something and someone even greater...

April 22, 2016 I was blessed in a way that only God knew...and I continue to thank him for this little life.







I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hello everyone!!!  I have not shared in a while…There are times when I feel I may be annoying.  Although we have had a very mild winter here in OHIO I have been in a mood boosting smoothie mood.  Today I am moved to share one of my new favorite spices, turmeric. 
Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family. I love ginger.  Now turmeric is native to India and often used in Indian cuisines, where it is a common ingredient in curry. You can buy it fresh, or dried and ground into a powder, the last being easy to find. It has an earthy, nearly gingery taste.
While all herbs and spices have some health advantages, turmeric really leads the way! Most of the health benefits stem from curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives it a bright yellow hue. It’s powerfully anti-inflammatory and has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack, diabetes, and cancer and may also be beneficial for arthritis pain.
One last thing – is you may find I have added avocado on this list, this helps the body absorb the curcumin in turmeric because avocados are full of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. Trust me you will not taste the avocado, so even if you’re a little weirded out, keep in it there!

TURMERIC SMOOTHIE

2 mangoes, peeled and chopped, preferably frozen
2 Cara cara oranges, peeled
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 ripe avocado
1 raw carrot, chopped
¼ cup raw cashews
¼ cup of shredded un-sulfured coconuts
3 fresh turmeric roots the size of your thumb in length
1 fresh lobe of ginger root

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Tumeric Smoothie


Here is another one of my favorites…be blessed.

Raw turmeric milk recipe:

Process the following ingredients in a blender:

2 cups of almond milk
2 dates, pitted
1 tbsp of raw honey
1 inch of fresh turmeric root (1/2 tsp. of powdered turmeric to substitute for 1/2 inch of fresh turmeric root)
1/4 tsp of Ceylon cinnamon
3 whole fresh cloves (3 whole cloves = 1/4 teaspoon ground)


Make sure ingredients are organic.  I drink this over a 3 day period usually...I like to make sure the turmeric has a chance to marinate.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Watermelon Strawberry Ginger Lime Smoothie Recipe



Watermelon Strawberry Ginger Lime Smoothie

2 cups fresh seeded watermelon
     1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 of whole lime
    1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
teaspoon of been pollen 
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds  

Place the ingredients into your high speed blender and blend for 30-40 seconds.  I actually blended minefor 60 seconds because of the hemp seeds...you may blend until you reach your desired consistency.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The BEST of BURLESQUE

Photo rights belong to Shadow Box Live--Columbus, Ohio
I am enjoying planned and spontaneous Date Nights with Jireh and Erik, whether it’s Netflix, salsa dancing and or taking a cooking class, it’s important to make time for one another.   My most recent date night with Erik was at our local Shadow Box Live where they self-produce a wide range of live shows.  The show we had the pleasure of seeing without charge was “The Best of Burlesque”.  We received complementary tickets for the opening show.  Now I must say I have been shielded from the world of burlesque so our venture to a live viewing left me with an open mental canvas.  Not everyone is privy to my narrow realm.  So I wrote this blog as an overview to those of you who may be slightly interested or fascinated or apprehensive.  This compilation isn’t intended to be “conclusive” about what to anticipate at a burlesque show.  As with all live performance, the best way to understand burlesque is to appreciate it in person.

In this show the acts were around three to five minutes, or the span of a pop song.  Each act was like a mini play with its own narrative, story, tone, and message.  There was finale of a striptease act but it was more about a resolution of the rigidity of the story, or the delivering of a punch line, than it is solely about physical exposure.  That being said, the exposure and the message were interwoven, and reliant on each other.  Burlesque acts, like other stories, take the audience on an excursion.  The makeup is extreme, hair is big (often a wig), and costumes are ostentatious.   We had a ball.  The show was definitely Broadway worthy.  In between every act there was a short movie clip showcasing some of the women behind burlesque.  Here is a link to some of the women that were showcased on the screen:  https://itssimplyburlesque.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/top-15-classic-burlesque-queens/

At our show it was socially acceptable for the audience to clap, howl, yell and scream of laughter and endorsement.  And it appeared as though the performers enjoyed every bit.  Jan 20, 2016 was opening night and shows will run on Wednesday, Thursdays and Sundays until April 2016.  Our audience was fairly mixed, mainly couples.  Heteronormativity is not the projected norm.

Our view


So what happens if you go to a burlesque show, and it was not what I have described?  Well, welcome to the world of burlesque.  With any kind of live performance, the best way to experience it is to go to a show.  Go with an open mind.  And expect to be entertained.  Check out a live show:  http://www.shadowboxlive.org/shows/the-best-of-burlesque  at the end of the show you will also get a discount coupon to present at The Gardens http://thegardencolumbus.net/  


Be sure to share your experience….

Monday, January 18, 2016

The DREAM!

My daughter living Dr. King's Dream


January 15, 2016 would have been the 87th birthday of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His legacy is memorialized with a federal holiday yearly on the third Monday of January. This merriment of his life has been considered as “a day on” and citizens are heartened to express their gratitude for Dr. King and his dream by partaking in service projects throughout their communities.

Dr. King’s pledge to peace, equality, and justice is more apparent than ever. This holiday is a reflection to me of just how far we have come.  It’s also a recap of what still needs to be done.  There is still a need to push for what’s right and just.  Because of Dr. King’s teachings, there are many divided groups that are working to set aside their dissimilarities, build strong bridges advance conglomerates and nurture relationships in ways that were certainly not possible before. His words still carry hope, strength, and reassurance to people here and abroad.


To me Dr. King despite the gruel some times in US History was a game changer who was led by God at such a time to take action to advance the cause of racial justice and equality in America. The loss of Dr. King, and countless others, have steered the reversal of unmerited laws and societal disorders premeditated to oppress African-Americans. When I think and compare my life to those of my ancestors, I am reminded that there is nothing out of my reach; I have innumerable opportunities to make progress.  In my gratitude this day my quest is to continue taking ownership of my own dreams, to push my daughter and the love of my life to seize opportunities, to love and build unpretentious relationships with persons of all races and above all, live with self-respect and self-control. Then, we will comprehend the completeness of Dr. King’s vision.  Make today a great day!  How do you live Dr. King's Dream?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Breakfast Date

Photo courtesy of William-Sonoma
In romantic relationships sparks can and will fizzle after a while when things begin to become monotonous. It’s good to be at ease with each other, meaning less scary and unknown dynamics to tackle with. In order to keep the sparks flying in our relationship, we have made it a rule to keep dating each other.  Not just Netflix and chill as that is quite easy to fall into, but really going out.  I will say I am more of the adventure seeker in the relationship.  Although my guy appeared as an extrovert when we met I will say he is definitely an introvert who does not care so much for crowds. 

Checking out inventory

For this weekend's date I preregistered for a cooking technique class at William-Sonoma's Polaris location. The class offered was on Crepes.  Erik is a highly skilled cook.  He can prepare almost any dish and full of flavor.  I struggle as I am a minimalist with ingredients and my food has to be "clean".  I wasn't sure this course would meet all of my eating woes but I was up for the venture.

Demonstrator
Crêpes are often thought of as the province of the French, similar pancakes abound in countries as diverse as Greece and Iceland.  Crêpes were the first breakfast food that Erik ever made for me. They were tasty!  It took me a while to eat them as I "needed" to know how he made them.  His family is a bunch of Norwegian Vikings and refers to them as pannekaker.  Unlike Erik's family, crêpes were never a staple in my household growing up. We were pancake eaters if ever we ate them. For the most part we ate porridge/cream of wheat/ oat meal. It is and has always been my goal to eat as healthy and whole as possible. Crepes do not come to mind as healthy choices however there are MANY different ways to learn. So this weekend we ventured to William-Sonoma for a primer on preparing lacy-thin crepes.

My hands on experience


Hands on

We arrived on time. Our class size was small. The class demonstrator prepared the dish. The class is FREE and it's an hour long. It also includes tastings the prepared dish. All participants get a 10% savings on select same-day purchases.

A success...
Overall we had a GREAT time meeting new people.  If you are up for a new venture and would like to learn some new cooking techniques at William-Sonoma...check out their next upcoming class... http://www.williams-sonoma.com/stores/us/oh/columbus-polaris-fashion-place/ be sure to share.  Now for the next outing....






Thursday, January 14, 2016

“Sometimes, you just need a break. In a beautiful place. Alone. To figure everything out.”

The first time I saw that quote was somewhere on Pinterest December 2013, during one of the most tumultuous moments I had ever experienced.  I had a lot of things I needed to work through.  I decided to book myself on a 10-day vacation to Wymyss Bight, Eluthera, Bahamas.  My former classmate Dani grew up on the Island and assured me the need to be free, creative and reflective could be found in Eluthera.   Slapping the monies down on my debit card was exactly what I needed during an uncertain chapter of my life, to retreat, to pull back, to: figure everything out.




Today, I’m ardent about honoring this ebb and flow. I have been blessed with wonderful friends in my life, a daughter who is wise beyond her years and a supportive boyfriend.  Lately it’s been my full intention to pray and meditate daily, tune into my own cycles for creativity and self-care, on my job AND in my life. Sometimes, this has meant re-evaluating goals and searching for ways to make what I NEED to happen.  Sometimes, this means pulling back, creating space, taking a break and retreating.

In fact, I’m actually giving myself the gift of space and time by taking the entire month of February off from the Internet to focus on two up upcoming certifications; American Society for Quality certification Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence examination March 2016 and The National Association for Healthcare Quality certification Professional in Healthcare Quality May 2016.  I haven’t really shut down my use of the internet since going to graduate school for my MBA and STRUGGLING through accounting and that Finance beast.  It definitely will feel a bit boring during the first few days to take a whole month away from the World Wide Web, but I know that I need a break in order to devote to bringing new possibilities and new creation to life. So much education in a web of what often times seems like ZERO "real" opportunities.  What I do know is to keep growing...Nothing ventured is NOTHING gained.  I am forever learning.  



But let’s be honest here: Most of us make this pledge to ourselves to take a full month off from the internet but seldom do we find success.  We get roped into social media.  I will add a disclaimer, I will have to log into the computer to take the simulated test from the test bank.  I will refrain from social medial and blogging.  Maybe I can then report back what that month was REALLY like. 
If only my preparation could encompass taking an entire paid month from work. At this time in my life I do not have the finances, luxury and opportunity to choose to ‘take off’ for weeks at a time, to pray and meditate to my heart’s content. 

For this I have decided to share a few tips on how to create your own mini retreat at home. For my retreat I will focus on my upcoming certification and less social media.  I am guilty I need to retreat more often.  In 2016 I will try to do this regularly – whether it’s a creative retreat (I love to draw/paint and work out (when I actually get up and moving)), a cleansing retreat or for just pure relaxation and restoration.

A quick note: For my retreat at home, I researched so many different sites and committed the ideas to my journal.  I will apologize early as I did not write down the site, I captured the ideas and paraphrased them within my journal. 

For Your Retreat at Home:

1.        Decide on your dates!

Take a look at your schedule NOW and pick a couple of days (or more) to devote to your retreat. I tend to do most of my retreating on Friday night to Saturday evening, because during the weekdays my house is much busier. The weekend may work better for you.  For my certification study schedule I will rise early and focus for an hour before bed.
2.        Then, block out the days you’ve chosen on your calendar and ensure you don’t have any appointments scheduled or potential commitments in that sacred time.

3.        Decide on the ‘vibe’ of your retreat.

Pay attention to how you feel before, during and after your retreat? Will this be a creative, ingenious retreat or simply cultivating and calming? What is a MUST on your retreat? What would you love to NOT DO on your retreat? What will you eat and drink? Will you be alone? With friends? Where would you love to go/not go?

Pinterest is the best online Magazine where I hoard all of my dreams!  It is sort of like my unconventional vision board.  With such a thought I would like to suggest creating a Pinterest board/mood board with magazine clippings that represent the essence of the experience you’ll be creating for yourself. This helps to affirm it and gives life to your vision.

4.       Plan ahead.

You will need to save some money or devote some of your savings/wage to this experience? Carve out some time to do some solid planning now and you’ll have a much more enjoyable and relaxing retreat.

Home Retreat Part II

1.       What will you need?

Books to read or watercolors to play with or new notepads to write on? How about some soy candles, body scrubs or essential oils?

2.       When the retreat comes around…

Turn off all technology if you can. Don’t be afraid of a social media detox.
This is your retreat and there are no rules, besides the ones you create for yourself. Do consider my suggestion for social media though – this time is about YOU – we’re not interested in what your pals on Facebook are doing.
For me it is all about preparing for the final month I have left for my CQM/OE exam. 

3.        And then: Enjoy yourself. 

Light a candle to signify the beginning of your retreat. Have a long bath. Brew a pot of tea. Whatever you need, just do it. This is your judgement-free zone.
See I have this inner critic.  I know during this time of preparing and revitalization there’s  a big chance that my inner critic might try to pop up with a heap of reasons why I/you shouldn’t be gifting yourself this experience.  Think to your future, you are 100% worthy of this space. We are not built to just fester and have no met dreams.  Plus, I believe that this time is going to help shed whatever is holding you back from being the best you/partner/friend/Mother/sister/coworker/human being that you know you can be. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Remember: it’s perfectly OK and normal and natural and wonderful to stop for a moment and say…
I need a break. Alone. In a beautiful place. To figure everything out.

Give yourself that gift.

I can’t wait to hear how things work out for you! Maybe you could share your retreat objective/ambiance/dates….