Summer Weather Winter Skin

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Even sporting my staple protective style, box braids, I am discovering that in Albuquerque this summer the atmosphere is extra dry and some sort of moisture is needed daily instead of every other day or so.

Even my skin is super dry and I have to lotion-up two or three times a day. This is normal skin behavior for the fall and winter months, but not now.

What on earth is going on with the weather?

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Easy Breezie Sunday Afternoon

Monday, June 15th, 2015

On a quite and warm Sunday morning I took a ride to Chimayo, New Mexico to visit the holy grounds of El Santuario de Chimayo and attend church service. I drove to the church a couple of times before but this was the first time I noticed the scenery. I’m corny like that for natural beauty so I pulled over, took a few pictures, and was happy with my discovery. The things you take in when you are by yourself. Check it out.

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These are from the church grounds.

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I also want to share a quick, easy and tasty pasta dish I made for Sunday dinner. I was tired from all of the driving I had done and wanted to make something simple to eat. For me pasta is always trouble-free. I added a sauce and called it a day. Check it out.

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Vegan Rosemary Sauce:

I gathered rosemary sprigs (10 to 15) from my herb garden. You can purchase a bunch or two at the grocery store

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup water

1 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed (I like garlic so I used 3)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.

In a blender puree all the ingredients except the olive oil until completely smooth. With the blender running add the olive oil through the opening in the lid of the jar and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.

makes 1 cup.

Separately I sauteed a half red onion using organic Red Palm Oil (made in west Africa) for about 5 to 7 minutes.

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Then I combined and mixed thoroughly my pasta, rosemary sauce and onions in a bowl.

Five Tips to Help You Age Gracefully

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I think it is safe to say everyone wants to age gracefully. I know I do. I love it when people think I am in my mid 30s, when in actuality, I am much older than that. Looking youthful has a lot to do with genetics but there are steps to take to enhance those baby looks and one way is eating a healthy diet. You probably heard that before but it’s worth repeating. So below I provided five top tips anyone can use to age gorgeously for many years to come. Check it out.

Eat Healthy Fats

People tend to think that fat is the enemy however that isn’t fully true. There are bad fats such as lard and butter which are dangerous for the waistline and heart health, but there are also healthy fats such as those found in olive oil and avocado. Not only do they taste great, they possess properties which can help to keep anyone looking young and feeling great.

Give Your Body Lots of Hydration

The body needs water in order to perform even the most basic function. It also needs water to help it stay looking young. Have some fun with water. Infuse fruits such as watermelon, oranges, apples or pineapples to make it taste sweet naturally.

Eat Guava

Guava is very high in Vitamin C which is an important component of any anti-aging diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have been called the perfect food because they are low in calories but high in fiber. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and can assist in cell repair. Bake, boil or steam them and then add some cinnamon. Sweet potatoes can also be eaten mashed like white potatoes.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega Fatty Acids are a key part of any anti-aging diet not to mention any healthy lifestyle. You can get them from things like chia seeds, flax seeds or in whole grains. You can also take supplements to help boost your intake.

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Happy Anniversary

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

To My Husband -

I love you without knowing how or when or from where. This love comes without problems or pride. I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving you. And it is because of this love I have waited patiently in my past lives, to say to you in this life, come and grow old with me because the best is yet to be.

Happy Anniversary.

Where Did These Extra Pounds Come From???

Monday, June 1st, 2015

I cannot believe how much weight I have gained. I don’t even know where it came from. One day I weighed a certain amount and then, all of a sudden, I was 5, 8, 10 pounds heavier then when I first moved to New Mexico.

Could it be the slower paced lifestyle had an influence on my weight gain? I am more relaxed here. I do move slower. I have adopted the lifestyle of “manana” nicely.

Being married is also a factor. I eat everyday with my husband. I like to cook for him and he enjoys eating and he makes me eat with him because he doesn’t want to eat alone. So with all of that, I am certain that has caused extra pounds, flab and belly fat to stick to me.

I don’t walk as much either. Living in New York I walked a lot. I enjoyed it. When we first moved into our house I used to walk to the mall area where Target and other stores are located. It’s not far, maybe 15 minutes one way tops. My neighbors used to watch me.  When I returned with a Target bag they knew I had walked to the mall and would make comments like, “Wow you walked to Target?” and then just look at me like I was crazy.

I ordered Shaun T”s Hip Hop Abs video. It worked. I used it for a few months and then got bored of doing the same routines with the same music. I didn’t join a gym because I was sort of bored with that, too. I have always been the hyper-type who needs change all of the time.

But now I have to do something. This makes no sense. If I continue the lifestyle of “manana” soon I will be wearing a size larger and if that happens I will truly flip out because I am not buying new clothes for the larger me.

I like to walk and I still do that during my lunch break but it is not enough. So I signed up to take African Dance class on Fridays and I love it!!! I haven’t studied African Dance since I was in my twenties, and before that, when I was as a child in dancing school. So I had to get used to dancing again. I’m eating less too with an increase in green leafy vegetables – especially spinach because it’s the best!

I’m also thinking about incorporating pole classes into my work out regiment. Sexy right? The more I do the faster this weight will come off. I’m older now and I realized I have to work extra hard just to see a speck of change.

Some things are really just not fair.

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Happy and excited after African Dance class.

Our Hair History

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

I saw this video and just had to share it. It reveals our hair history starting in Africa before the slave trade and ending with today’s styles and trends.

Thank you Chime (HairCrush) for making this video.

ENJOY!!!

Does Poetry Still Matter?

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Does poetry still matter? Does it have a significant place in our everyday lives? Does it make us see the unseen and feel the unknown? How do you think most would answer?

I’ve always enjoyed poetry. In the beginning, because I was just a kid, words that rhymed were the best words to read. As I got older, and my thoughts wandered, words that made me feel something special became the best words to read.

Poetry has the power to change lives because it tells the story of the human heart. Poems are the kind of urgent and comforting storytelling we desire every day. Poetry matters to protestors in Ferguson, New York and now Baltimore, to name a few. It matters to survivors in Nepal trying to find new ways to express their frustrations and to the little girl in the Congo who discovered who she is and why her language sounds like a song. As humans we hunger for ways to express ourselves and we speak to our most human voice to create new shapes and sounds.

While at Morgan State I read Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Housecleaning” and realized I needed to clean my house too. At that moment poetry became very important to me and I started writing to find my voice and voice my frustrations about everything from school to friends to family. When Morgan gave me an honorable mention certificate at an award ceremony for a poem I wrote I realized someone eventually heard me.

Years later I would become book publicist, friend and sorority sister to Nikki Giovanni. Who knew I would take her career to a bright new level? I didn’t.

I missed National Poetry month. It was in April. But here are just a few of my favorite poems by poets you may or may not know. Enjoy!

 

Housecleaning

I always liked housecleaning

even as a child

I dug straightening cabinets

putting new paper on shelves

washing the refrigerator

inside out and unfortunately this habit

has carried over and I find

I must now remove you

from my life.

-Nikki Giovanni

 

We Real Cool

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

 

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

-William Carlos Williams

 

Madam and The Rent Man

The rent man knocked.
He said, Howdy-do?
I said, What
Can I do for you?
He said, You know
Your rent is due.

I said, Listen,
Before I’d pay
I’d go to Hades
And rot away!

The sink is broke,
The water don’t run,
And you ain’t done a thing
You promised to’ve done.

Back window’s cracked,
Kitchen floor squeaks,
There’s rats in the cellar,
And the attic leaks.

He said, Madam,
It’s not up to me.
I’m just the agent,
Don’t you see?

I said, Naturally,
You pass the buck.
If it’s money you want
You’re out of luck.

He said, Madam,
I ain’t pleased!
I said, Neither am I.
So we agrees!

-Langston Hughes

 

 

 

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With Nikki Giovanni during one of the many book tours I set up.

The Man From Essence

Friday, May 15th, 2015

I was happy to have met Edward Lewis co-founder of Essence Communications while on tour promoting his new book titled “The Man From Essence.”

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Edward is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and is from the Bronx, New York.

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I am showing Edward my feature story in Essence.

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All smiles with Edward. I asked him to autograph this page. I have additional copies in our wedding album.

 

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A fun evening with the girls.