Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to you all!

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

~~~~ William Arthur Ward

Friday, December 30, 2011

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night

Ah the end of the year post! In 2010 I wrote a two part EOY post one about my personal life, the other about the world  and how I see things, this year it's all about me.

Professional: At the end of 2010 I started the balls moving on a new position at my current firm and guess what it's paying off. I've become a LOT more vocal even when the shy girl in me tells me not to and I see it taking root. We had two "conferences" this year and in both I was asked to share my ideas more often because of my unique prospective and that made me feel great. I have to admit that though I spoke up on occasion,  it wasn't as often as it should have been. I let the climate of my industry (which is quite scary and unstable) scare me into not always saying when things were not right. That time has changed, God willing it pays off.

The bigger part of all of this is that I decided that 14 years in this business has been great but I'm ready to give back my community. I've always said when CJ gets older I would volunteer, well I took my first steps towards that with the clothing/food drive I held and there is so much more to come.As much as I love finance and analytics I've decided that my passion for it is dwindling.I want more for me, for my community and in order to get it I have to be a part of the change not just sitting around waiting for the world to hand me something all wrapped in a pretty bow.

Self Revelation ALERT: 
 I'll admit it I'm pushy, I'm opinionated and if crossed I will be your worst enemy, but  if you know me then you know it's all done out of love. A few years back I made a promise to myself to keep a tight circle after a heart wrenching incident with a friend, and not to let people take me to that place again. Over the last year I let a few people in and one to my own detriment, but because of the personal growth here in my little cocoon, my anger with this person only lasted a moment and I was able to move on. I've realized I can't heal the world and honestly don't want to. A few minutes of meditating revealed the simplest principles to me, that no matter who the person is their anger, resentment and low self esteem is not my issue. I'm good and will be good long after I cut them off.

With that said I feel less crippled when it comes to this blog and what I write. Good Ole Smarty's consistently reminds me that YES others may have written about it, but not from my perspective, so here's to hoping that I can carve out the time to give you more of ME. I promise it will only sting a little bit.

Friends: This year I've established that my support system (outside of family) is AMAZING! They want for me things I didn't even know I wanted and that is awesome. Some of you are new to this lovely circle of trust but you've only made it better for me in here. A few of you are a testament to what should really come of Social Networking and I love ya.

Family: This year I've realized even more how strong my family is. I wouldn't change that for the world, what I will say is we need to get together more often. The holidays are just not enough! Christmas only solidified that for me with all the men in the basement talking and laughing and the women upstairs it just felt right, not the separation of the two but the warmth in the house. I want to feel that way more often. So I guess I'll be the one that initiates the getting together and I don't mean to EAT (mmhmm I know how y'all are).

Fitness: I have never struggled with my weight, nor have I ever not worked out but this year I took it to another level. For the last 12 years I've been practicing Yoga it is my first love. I can go on and on about the benefits from helping me through my labor and delivery, keeping me toned through the pregnancy and showing me how channel the negative energy in my world and turn it into positives. Hatha Vidya will always be a part of my regiment! But this year I wanted to focus on some good old strengthening enter Crossfit ( thanks to the Evil Terita) and Reformer Pilates (thanks to Jaded for the gift certificate) OH MY! I haven't felt this strong since I danced. So I'm promising myself to find a way to fit them in more regularly and by fit them in I mean financially, Pilates is quite pricey so it may come down to two classes a month.

I also started living a Paleo lifestyle introduced to me by Terita and The JadedNYer. I can proudly admit that for the majority of the time I've adapted this lifestyle I've been 100% Paleo, even with some of my sugary addictions (The Holidays and the week before my fast well yeah not so much). Eating clean has been good for me and for the Giants. The Mr. hasn't had a blood sugar reading over 100 since September and I found out this week, his Dr is thinking of cutting down his meds. AWESOME right?! I'm not waiting for an answer it is.

So that's my year in review, I don't make resolutions and I'm sure I forgot somethings but *throws confetti* who cares that's all in the past and I'm looking to the future!

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting on my rants and random thoughts!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Giving Thanks.

"Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.' ~Khalil Gibran

 A month ago I sent out an email to bloggers, friends and family asking them to donate to an amazing program that helps Girls escape sex trafficking and start a new life (GEMS). I thought it would be nice to just extend the invitation to share the many blessing that we've been given with others, but in all honesty I didn't expect many to help. I knew the handful of people that would and I was okay with that.  I was VERY wrong, of the 30+ people I sent the email to more than half responded and helped. I was blown away.

Let me explain, it's not that I think people are selfish and don't want to help but because I'm the kind of person that just doesn't depend on others to get things done. So even when I include others I will usually place that in the back of my mind and just take it all on myself. It took everything in my being to send emails with details, follow up emails with reminders of deadlines etc...but I did it and it paid off. With the help of so many of you, we were able to donate at least two of everything on their list and tons of clothes to help the girls transition. Here are a few snap shots (there was so much more my office mates can attest to how crazy it got).

A few of the things we collected.
First off I would like to thank the people that donated.

* Arie Rich of KMP, I've met a lot of bloggers but no one is as generous and kind hearted as you are. Many Thanks!

* My Girl BranBogs of The Chic Factory. I wish you had time to have brunch when we linked up but there are many days to come!

*Divas and Dorks, I know you're schedule is busy and I appreciate you taking the time to meet me.

* MissHartNYC of O So Chic You took time on your birthday to make sure I got your donations and I thank you. My biceps thank you to because I carried all of them into the city no need to work out. 

*Glennisha from Glennisha the writer I can't express how thankful I am to have met you. Too often you don't find people on the same page as you and when you do it's a great thing. the donation plus the conversation brightened my day. 

*OnlyoneDivaDee from Diva Dee's discussions The laughs, the donation all awesome. 

*TeritaTweets from  REAL LIFE! Next time we are having lunch and it will be an anti-paleo wonderful time. Damn meetings! Oh how could I forget how you have kept me from going off on others in this month. Thank You!  

*Julia from REAL LIFE! Not only did we have a hilarious conversation your donations were awesome. 

* Michele from REAL LIFE! I haven't seen you in almost a year but when I needed you, you were there. You're a great friend and I am lucky to have you in my life.

*Naimah2U Brooklyn's own and someone I consider a friend. You're one of the few that just get me. Thank You! 

*Two newbies the ladies of, Thank you for your donation.

And those of you that encouraged me through all of this.

* Coogie Cruz from "The Love of Art and War" Word can't express how much I love you. If it wasn't for you I might not have made it up there to deliver things. More importantly your constant words of encouragement kept me on course. Love ya Chi-Chi

*TheJadedNyer . A lot of people owe you their lives and they don't even know it. All the silly conversations, text messages and emails were blessings (even that old sappy one that made me cry on the street) and I thank you. The Empire will be great. 

*Smarty's World, That last conversation we had mannnnnn!! I can't explain how much your words meant to me that night, you're constant encouragement to be great (outside the office) means the world to me. 

*Bangs and a Bun, You only typed a few lines to address my moment of weakness but at that moment it felt like a novel. 

LASTLY my buddy Nadine from High school. It's been 19 years but when we met it felt like we were hanging out between classes. That's AMAZING, and I am so happy to have you back in my life. 

The entire project came together thanks to the ladies of GEMS, specifically this woman. I won't post her name because I wouldn't want my named posted just anywhere but she was the guiding light through it all. I hope the girls have an amazing Christmas party and I'll be in touch. 
Special shout outs to CleoSunshine and Shelly Shell, the Spring will be here before you know it and you're first on my contact list! 

GEMS accepts donations all year long so you don't have to wait for my next step to donate! Give of your heart!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas is in the air

So I thought with the holidays upon us I would keep the Monday post light. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is cleaning , prepping and cooking like a crazy person so here is a play list of songs that have kept me on my game and not in the loony bin :). There are a few Christmas songs because I have never been much of a jingle bells kind of gal but there are some songs that I love to hear this time of year. So here we go! 

This is my favorite clean the bathroom song. I can sing as loud as I want and my brushes are in there to double as a mic. Can you say winning?! 
Listen you all need to get into Switch. I think they made some of the best love songs, I'm not about their upbeat music.

What is Christmas without these songs? It's not Christmas without them.

I introduced CJ to Christmas in Hollis while we decorated the tree and he loved it! He loved it so much I had to hide the CD it was on so he would go to bed. 

I added this last night after it played on the radio last night. I now have it on my iPod so the Giants will eventually hate this song. hehehe

So what are your go to songs this time of year? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

She's making a list and checking it twice

YES it's that time again, Christmas shopping, Holidays stress and my two week vacation (4 days and counting). I've gotten through most of my shopping and a lot of it was done through sites having sales which was awesome. This evening as I went through my emails I couldn't help but laugh at some of these deals and to think who do I dislike enough to buy..... So here are some of the deals I would get for people I didn't like.

#5.Half off a Scandinavian Cozy! Can someone explain to me why my beer needs such a fancy cover?

#4.Custom made bobble head. UHM they are just scary to begin with but imagine if you got one of someone you hated.

#3. 2 poetry slam tickets.... Y'all already know how I feel about Poetry.

#2.50% off Mc.Donald's. This is just ridiculous! I know times are hard but if I'm going to spend $13 it's not going to be on Big Macs.

and the number one gift I would give someone I disliked (DRUM ROLL)
#1. 2 pairs of Pajama jeans for $19! YES kbg deals almost got blocked in my emails for this deal.
For the life of me I can't understand these. I just don't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Missing children


Here are the details of the missing girl. Please if you have any information call the police, call the news station let someone know what you've seen. These kids and their families need your help! I am a mom, an aunt and a sister I can't imagine what I would do if this was a member of my family.


This is Janice, a 17 year old autistic girl.  Yesterday around 2:15pm she boarded the Uptown bound D train and hasn't been seen since. She was last seen wearing  Her Brother is on twitter and is asking that if you see her to call the 44th precinct (718) 590-5511.  NYers keep your eyes and cellphone out.
Here is her picture: 

NY 12 is airing the story and ask that you call these numbers if you see anything 800-577-8477 or (718)590-5511.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New York New York a helluva town

Last week The Jaded NYer sent me a link to a blog written by yet another transplant (that's what I call all of you non-natives) complaining about all the things our beautiful city lacked.To say I was annoyed would be the understatement of the year. Not only because the writer was bashing my city but he/she was doing it unfairly. 

The complaints weren't about the normal things like how dirty it is (stay out of tourist traps) or about the overcrowding (don't live in Manhattan) but about nature.I was confused because the comments were all confirmation of this falsehood. All the yes NY doesn't have anything but concrete and rude people talk got me thinking if any of these people actually knew the city. The answer is NO, all they know is Manhattan. If you limit yourself those few little miles of land in my opinion you forfeit the right to hymn and haw about this city because you haven't explored it.

As a native Brooklynite I know that the book "A tree grows in Brooklyn" is not just a catchy title. There really are trees, grass and if you're lucky a friendly squirrel. The city is not some barren concrete place but a cluster of amazing boroughs that give you something different every visit. You want nature, go to Brooklyn or head out to where I live. This was my front yard a few days ago:
Nothing but nature surrounding me, the same day I took this picture I saw a rabbit run across my street. I love it. I like to think my home is a retreat from the hustle and bustle, but when I want to be in the thick of things  I jump the LIRR and head into the city.  Just one more beautiful thing about this city, you have options. In no other city can you experience so much culture by simply crossing the street or taking the train one stop. Only in the GREATEST city in the world.

My advice to all you transplants is get from behind your computers, grab your metro card and go explore. If you don't do that then I don't want to hear another bad word about it.

I never understood how people can complain about a place they are visiting, you would never hear me bashing you in your home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Mirrors in my Nana's house.

Last night when I got home after doing a million things I sat down to talk to CJ about his day. He started off with the regular conversation about his friends L and T and something about a Burping contest (boy humor escapes me). As he continued on and we giggled he got serious and said one of the boys said I'm a little brown boy. *sigh* I asked him why but he wouldn't tell me. He seems confused, he seemed angry, my heart broke. He didn't want to talk anymore, it didn't matter what we said, I suspect he saw the anger in our eyes.

This morning when he climbed into my bed I gave him a hug and kissed his forehead. He started talking. Mommy I'm proud to be a little brown boy and I told that boy so. But why does that matter? Fuuufcckkkkkk why now he's 5 years old!!!  I went through the speech I rehearsed from the time we decided to send him to this school.  He understood, and just like that the topic changed he was a power ranger again. It didn't change for me, I sat there angry. Hell I'm still angry.

The speech for 5 is different than the speech for 6, for 8, for 10 etc, but the thought of actually having to have the words prepared makes me want to spit fire. But after this morning I am confident that my words will guide him and he will be able to navigate this tricky world of Post Racial BS. I am sure he knew there was a difference in his skin and his best bud L's (he's no dummy) I want him to know that is the ONLY difference.

The title of this post is a book I read to CJ every night its a beautiful book and I read it to him this morning before he left.

Lyrics to the song by Ysay M. Barnwell 

There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
There were no mirrors in my Na's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
I never knew that my skin was too black.
I never knew that my nose was too flat.
I never knew that my clothes didn't fit.
I never knew there were things that I'd missed,
cause the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun);
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
I was intrigued by the cracks in the walls.
I tasted, with joy, the dust that would fall.
The noise in the hallway was music to me.
The trash and the rubbish just cushioned my feet.
And the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
The world outside was a magical place.
I only knew love.
I never knew hate,
and the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
"Chil', look deep into my eyes."
"Chil', look deep into my eyes."

*Writing a letter to the teacher now and fighting the urge to go to that school and get all Assata Shakur on these people*