Self Care in Color

A few weeks ago, I attended a virtual self-care retreat for Black women (how cool is that!) It was an amazing experience. The only drawback, the daily videos were scheduled 8 am eastern time, which meant I had to be up by 5 am Pacific. Of course, it wasn’t that difficult for me to get up.  I have a toddler. Those with small children know kids are usually breathing in your face at the crack of dawn. So, I was semi-awake for this inspiring event.

I enjoyed all the guest speakers, but especially the conversations on what is self-care (Tara Pringle Jeffersonand Black motherhood and self-care (Danielle Faust).

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Bloom Beautifully Self-Care Box

Jefferson talked about the importance of thinking deeper about self-care practices. The rhetoric tends to be go get a manicure or go to the spa, and all will be well. Jefferson encouraged Black women to take a more holistic approach. It could mean getting rid of toxic people in our lives. Or cutting out destructive habits (overextending ourselves, smoking) etc.

Faust discussed the challenges of finding time for self-care, especially as  Black mothers. In/outside the Black community, there is expectation of Black women sacrificing themselves for everyone else. The pressures triple, once we have children. We are raising Black children in an anti-black world. We have to protect our children differently than non-Black mothers. How can Black mothers indulge in self-care without feeling guilty or judged?

Recently, I celebrated my birthday. A good friend gave me a gift card to one of my favorite stores. I had to force myself not to buy my son a new outfit. It was a struggle to only spend the card on myself. Honestly, I kind of failed. I did get him a t-shirt. It’s this dilemma as Black mothers of knowing it’s okay to self-indulge, sometimes.

The self-care retreat was interesting and fun. When the organizer asked about ideas for next year’s gathering, I suggested more interactive opportunities. But she did a wonderful job for her first time!

She sent a link of Black women owned businesses that include coaching, counseling, products, etc. Personally, I’ve got my eye on Jefferson’s self-care boxI will make self buy it. I will make myself buy it… 😉

Support Black businesses this holiday season!!

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The Black Girl Magic Lit Mag Horror Issue

One of my writing goals for 2016 was to do more fiction writing. I’ve been having several short stories swirling around in my head. I’ve received a lot of rejection emails. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Black Girl Magic Lit Magazine accepted one of my stories…this past summer. It was a dream come true. I tried again for their horror submissions call, but alas it was not meant to be. I’m not hurt, though. Reading some of the excerpts from the latest issue, I can tell the competition was stiff! So grab their first horror edition. It’s a great way to get some early Halloween scares in 🙂

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Spa.Con

I’m a bit late posting this, but thought I would share anyway. Last weekend, I attended Arkansas’s first comic/sci-fi/pop culture convention. Spa Con. Being a lover of science fiction, you know I had to go. I took my little one along for the ride. The event was decent. It will probably get better as the new convention gets more national attention, vendors, etc. They also need to upgrade their folks of color representation. We love alternative worlds too!! However, for the most part, I had a decent time. And the event was an appetizer for the celebration of Black Speculative Fiction Month…which is in October 🙂

summer eating #3

“this is only for the grown and sexy people…”

Well, you don’t necessarily need to be sexy, but you do need to be grown. This recipe combines two of my guilty pleasuresanything fried and tequila. I love the simplicity of the recipe. Perfect adult snack for a summer evening with friends or alone. heh.

Deep-fried tequila shots

“Only five steps separate you from deep-fried boozy bliss. First: make an angel food cake (or, you know, buy one). Next, cube it up into poppable bites. After that, soak each cake cube in tequila, then deep-fry the cubes in oil until they’re golden on all sides. Finally, sprinkle your shots with powdered sugar. Placing them all in an actual salt-rimmed shot glass is up to you, as is deep-frying the worm.”  Recipe from: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/deep-fried-tequila-shots-recipe-by-oh-bite-it

Wow. Life is good 🙂

 

summer eating #2

Funny enough, while I like to find recipes, I actually don’t like cooking all that much.  I guess I’m more into the eating part. However, now that I have a little one, I know I need to upgrade my cooking skills. Luckily, he is still in the formula/baby food stage, but I know the days of sizzling hot dishes and baked treats are fast approaching (yes, I’m pretending I will be doing this). So, I’ve been keeping recipes that are fun to make for/with kids. I came across these mouthwatering cookies.  I love sweets, so I may actually try to make this 🙂

White Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Ingredients

10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (zest from one orange), lightly packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 oz. bag white chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream the butter, both sugars, and orange zest until light and fluffy using an electric mixer (approximately 2 minutes on medium high speed). Add in the egg and vanilla on low speed until fully incorporated. Then add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Continue to gently mix on low speed until the flour is completely blended in.

Lastly, add the white chocolate chips and coconut and mix on low speed until both are evenly distributed. Using a medium scoop (approximately 1.5 tablespoons), scoop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the dough balls two inches apart from one another. *A standard baking sheet will hold a dozen cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned, making sure to rotate the baking sheet after the first five minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack.

Recipe from: http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2016/03/24/white-chocolate-coconut-cookies/

summer eating #1

It’s hard to believe it’s June. This year has flown by and I haven’t accomplished anything on my New Year’s list. Oh well…

I love summer. I like to walk and it’s so much more fun to be outside when it’s nice and not when it’s freezing. I also love to get my grub on at summer bbqs, parties, etc. I’m a recipe collector, although the truth is they are more likely to gather dust in a drawer than  be made. But I like to keep hope alive. This week, I’m going to share some new recipes I’ve come across recently, in honor of summertime eating!! 🙂

*a friend shared this on Facebook. yum.

Garlic Fried Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1 to 1½ lb. chicken, sliced into serving pieces
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 piece raw egg
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Combine salt, ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, Panko Bread crumbs, and all-purpose flour in a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Combine the egg and milk in another bowl, and whisk. Set aside.
  3. Dip the chicken slices in the egg and milk mixture, and then roll in the flour, bredcrumbs, salt, pepper, and paprika mixture until all the sides are evenly coated.
  4. Heat a deep cooking pot and pour-in the cooking oil.
  5. When the oil becomes hot, deep-fry the coated chicken in medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the color turns golden brown. Note: Do not use high heat as it will cook the outer part of the chicken right away while leaving the inside uncooked.
  6. Turn-off the heat, and then remove the garlic fried chicken from the pot. Let the excess oil drip.

Recipe from: http://panlasangpinoy.com/2011/06/01/garlic-fried-chicken/

Rachel Howzell Hall

I love a good mystery novel. However, I have a habit of reading the end of the book before reading the first page. A friend asked me once doesn’t that ruin the story for me, but I tend to lack patience. I want to know who the killer is… now! 🙂

It’s hard to find mystery novels written about black folks, by black folks. Especially, black women authors.  The only mystery series that comes to mind about/by a black woman is the Tamara Hayle adventures by Valerie Wilson WesleyI think she stopped writing the series a few years ago, though.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that a black mystery writer had fallen under my radar.  In the article, “Rachel Howzell Crafts a New Type of Hero in Her Detective Mystery,” I learned about newcomer Howzell. Well, actually she’s been around for a minute. Her debut novel “Land of Shadows,” featuring Detective Norton, came out in 2014.

It was exciting reading about the work of Howzell Hall. We need more black women writers across all genres of literature. With summer fast approaching, Howell’s latest novel Trail of Echoes should definitely be on folk’s reading list…

“On a rainy spring day in Los Angeles, homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is called away from a rare lunch date to Bonner Park, where the body of thirteen-year-old Chanita Lords has been discovered. When Lou and her partner, Colin Taggert, take on the sad task of informing Chanita’s mother, Lou is surprised to find herself in the apartment building she grew up in. Chanita was interested in photography and, much like Lou, a black girl destined to leave the housing projects behind. Her death fits a chilling pattern of exceptional African-American girls–dancers, artists, honors scholars-gone recently missing in the same school district, the one Lou attended not so long ago.” http://rachelhowzell.com/

Faints. Sounds so good 🙂

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