Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot."-Michael Altshule
  • I started a new beauty routine.
  • I started to get back in shape.
  • I celebrated the birthdays of my three wonderful sons, my husband, my parents, my sister, and myself.
  • I visited the Atlanta area and spent time with family I hadn't seen in years.
  • I published three short stories this year.
  • I started screenwriting. 
  • I was a Top 10 Finalist for the Go Into the Story Quest Initiative.
  • Wrote a short film script.
  • Wrote a television sitcom pilot script.
  • I tried to be the best mom and wife I could be!  

My Three Published Short Stories:

Love, Lust, and Letters (An Erotic Romance)
Available at the following retailers:

The Big Payback: A Kyra Walker Mystery
Available at the following retailers:
This was an Amazon exclusive, but will be released in other formats in January 2014!
 
Do For Love (A Virginia Bridgeforth Ghost Mystery #1)
Available at the following retailers:




If you want to know more about my fiction writing, you can check out my other site - Glint of Light

If you want to know more about my screenwriting, you can check out my other, other site - K. Nicole Williams 


2013 Intentions, How'd I do?


 Last year around this time I wrote a post entitled, New Year, New Intentions.

Let's see how I did:
  1. Make your bed. - NOPE!
  2. Bring every room back to “ready.” - NOPE!
  3. Display sentimental items around your home. YES!
  4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal. NOPE!
  5. If you can’t get out of it, get into it. SORTA...
  6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. SORTA...
  7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!). NOPE!
  8. Call at least one friend or family member a day. Does FB msgs count?
  9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. SORTA...
  10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. SORTA...
Tomorrow I'll post on my changes I did make during 2013 and what I intend to do in 2014.
 
 

My Off-Duty Uniform: Jeans & a Tee-Shirt

In my off-duty life, I'm a jeans and tee girl. But I'm not the tomboy jeans and tee type girl, I like a littel flare and panache with my jeans. Lately, I've been favoring my Gap Boyfriend Jeans with my go to Tee (Target Mossimo Boyfriend Tee). Much to my father's chagrin (yes even while I'm in my 30s), the boyfriend jeans that I love have holes in them. Here's a little jeans and tee inspiration for those who love this off-duty uniform as much as I do.

UpclosebyMima

ChloeMorello
SindyStylz

SuburbanFauxPas

Monday, December 30, 2013

Post First Birthday Haiku

Last baby kiss
Winter snow melts
Crawl, walk, run


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veteran's Day and Our Black Soldiers


on Amazon

When my grandfather died I was 8 years old and I still remember vividly the sounds of gunshots that rang out at his funeral, I remember the folded American flag given to my grandmother. My grandfather was a solider, as was my father, and his father, and his father before that. I have uncles and cousins that have also served or currently serve in our United States military. Which is why Veteran's Day is an important day to me and my family. The opportunity to honor the great men and women who sometimes have given their lives to fight for our freedoms is an opportunity that every American should cherish.
 
11.3% of American Veterans are black men and women and we make up 13% of Americans overall. Which means that an overwhelming number of the population of black men and women have at one time in their life served in the United States military. Black men and women have served this country in times when our country wouldn't serve us.   For further reading on the treatment of black veterans, this is a good book Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

   

World War I Soldiers

I cannot commend too highly the spirit shown among the colored combat troops, who exhibit fine capacity for quick training and eagerness for the most dangerous work. —General John J. Pershing, in Scott’s Official History of the American Negro in the World War (Preface) on the EDSITEment reviewed resource Great War Primary Documents Archive

For this reason when I see vitriol like this, spread on the Internet it both angers and saddens me. Note: Because I'm a PI I found the school district that this person is in. And the school district doesn't have either holiday off. Rather for Veterans Day they had a parade to honor the veterans of their community. (Don't fuck with me fellas, this ain't my first time at the rodeo!).

If you ask a black veteran to choose which holiday is more important to him, I don't know if they'd be able to choose. But what I do know is that Martin Luther King Jr. is the person that challenged America to uphold the values that it claims it stands for.  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.". - Martin Luther King Jr.

Today patriotism has become a shield for bigots a banner to wave to say that they're more American than you are. Those who claim to uphold the Constitution can't even tell you what it says other than they have the right to bear arms. To quote King again, When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
~ Full Speech
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

30 Days of Thanks: Days 1 - 12

 
I'm making up for lost time so here are 1 - 12:

  1. My wonderful family.
  2. My good health.
  3. Gainful employment.
  4. Good friends.
  5. Kisses & hugs from my favorite little people.
  6. HUMP DAY!
  7. Talking to my mom & sharing our triumphs and troubles.
  8.  Good health for my sons (they had great Dr. Appts that day)!
  9. A group of writer friends to fellowship with.
  10. Baby naps that I can partake in.
  11.  A friend to talk with, watch movies with, and bandy around story ideas with aka LaMishia!
  12. A patient husband when I'm freaking out over small things.



 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Confederate Flag, my son, and Kanye West


We were at the carnival in my South of the Mason-Dixon Line town and we were playing games. My son won at shooting a stream of water through a bull’s-eye and being the first person to reach their thingy to the top. The man asked him what prize did he want and he pointed to an inflatable toy that had the Confederate flag on it. The man looked at me askance as if asking my permission for him to have it.

You see the Confederate flag flies around my town a lot. They’re visible on the back of cars in the form of bumper stickers. And the guy around the corner and down the street flies two of them on his property, just in case you missed the first one. I've run into women at Wal-Mart with it tattooed proudly on their arms. I've even seen ones that proclaim, "Heritage Not Hate”. But my son at four didn't know about any of that, he just saw a toy that was red, white, and blue like the American flag.

His grandfather said to him, "Naw, you don't want that", but he insisted without the heavy baggage of history informing his purchase. And right then at that time, I just wanted my son to be happy. My black son who I knew would one day know exactly what that flag symbolizes, but that day he just wanted a toy. I told my father to let him have it and nodded to the man running the game to acquiesce with his request. My son proudly held his toy and walked around the carnival with it for the rest of the day.

My son at four knew nothing of that flag, but Kanye West does. Kanye claims that he's making the Confederate flag his own in homage to his single "New Slaves", but I don't buy it. I think he sees the money in it and like he and Jay said on N***as in Paris, "It gets the people going". 

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Passion for (Cheap) Fashion

I love clothes in fact I'm buying a new dresser for all the clothes that I have. But with my passion for fashion comes with a downside and that's money. Yes, clothes cost money and the money that I have goes to pesky little things like a roof over my head, water, electricity, you know those little things. The other thing my money goes to is food, another of my passions. I have a $500/mth fun money budget and believe it or not most of that ends up going to food. This is because if I buy food that's not a part of the family groceries it has to come from my purse. This should make me curb my eating out habit and it has, a bit. But clothes still cost money and I only have a set amount to spend a month, so what's a clothes horse girl to do?
 

#1: Never Buy Retail

That's right buy things on sale if you can. Shop at 'discount stores' like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. And lastly, but most importantly shop online (Ebay, Coupon Codes,etc).  

In the last month I've found a new (to me) online clothing shop where women sell their clothes...POSHMARK! OMG, why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner. I hate when you guys keep secrets for me. Poshmark is like Ebay mixed with Facebook, you get to browse Poshmarkers 'closets' and shop. Not only are the prices greatly reduced (even on some NWT items), but a lot of the women are down for trades and/ or bundling items for lower prices. So far I've already bought THREE dresses on Poshmark, one I'll be wearing for my Birthday so check Instagram for pics next wknd.
*You can check out My Poshmark Closet (more to come)

#2: Give Back 

I try to live by the philosophy of giving (at least) as much as I spend. Lately, I've been donating my clothes to ReThreads Textile Recycling Program. Materials collected through ReThreads are shipped to those in need in West Africa. And last week my friend LaMishia (awesome photographer) told me about Freecycle. Seriously have I had my head buried in the sand, first Poshmark and now Freecycle.  The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,116 groups with 5,347,383 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

I have a life philosophy in which I believe by giving back, I too will reap rewards. It's a good philosophy, go with it. And even if you don't reap a 'tangible' reward isn't doing something good its own reward?


 





Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mommy Tummy and Monitoring Calories with MyNetDiary

My bambino turned 8 mths yesterday, but I'm still battling some "Mommy Tummy".  With my first two my weight came off easy with breastfeeding and being home and active with them for the first nine months of their lives kept the weight off. But, with Baby Z, I had to go back to work after three months and in a sedentary job and a town where I drive more than walk, the "Mommy Tummy" is still here. I'm only five pounds heavier than before I became pregnant, but it seems like all five pounds want to stay in my stomach. 

For that reason, I decided I really needed to make an effort to eat better to counteract my less active lifestyle. Weight gain or loss is simple math, calories in - calories out. So, I was on the hunt for an app to track what I was eating which lead me to the app MyNetDiary (you can use the website instead of the app, too). It's a food diary and it compiles your daily calories, exercise, and  it also makes recommendations based on your food intake, i.e. need to eat more fiber, not enough vitamin C, etc. You program your weight into the app and what your goal weight is (lose, maintain, or gain) and it tells you how many calories per day you should consume. Just by monitoring my recommended daily caloric intake has made me more mindful of what I eat. Although I sometimes exceed my daily caloric intake goals, there are also days when I eat less.

Using this app has helped me to lose two pounds last week and I am now three pounds away from my goal weight. I definitely recommend using this app or something like it to reach your weight loss/maintenance/gain goals. 


I'm not getting paid to say so. I just think it's a really neat app.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Pursuing Your Dreams

I've been busy pursuing my dreams so I haven't had much time for blogging. So, for everyone who is attempting to do the same here's a little advice from Ava DuVernay

For so long I felt like, “I’m never going to be able to be a screenwriter, because I have this other job, or I have this other thing that I’m doing to make a living.” Really, my lesson was — and it’s helped me in a lot of other ways — that to do something, to be something, you don’t have to be all in right away. Writing at night, writing on the weekends, dipping your toe into something is okay! You go on a hike and you explore, doesn’t mean you have to build a house there. You’re just going and walking around. Do that with your dreams. I think that for me if there’s any lesson, especially for folks that are looking to maybe switch from one career to another, or to dip their toe in directing, writing or film making, is that it’s not all or nothing. That you can explore, that you can figure out if it works for you, that you can take risks that are not as risky. You don’t need to walk away from your life in order to follow your dream right away. That was something that was a big, big lesson. For so long, I felt really trapped in publicity, or “This is my job,” or “I can’t risk not having my health insurance,” or “How am I going to live”? My mind immediately went to an all or nothing scenario to pursue a dream. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. You can dream a bit at a time. - Ava DuVernay


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Defense & The Law of Least Effort

Reading Britni Danielle's blog post yesterday, Stop Playing Defense, was really enlightening. My biggest takeaway was from Depak Chopra's 7 Spiritual Laws of Success:

The Law of Least Effort
If you observe people around you, you’ll see that they spend ninety-nine percent of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.

When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Any time you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.

Completely desist from defending your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you do not allow the birth of an argument. If you do this consistently — if you stop fighting and resisting — you will fully experience the present, which is a gift. Someone once told me, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.’

If you embrace the present and become one with it, and merge with it, you will experience a fire, a glow, a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every living sentient being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens and encumbrances of defensiveness, resentment, and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Hey Guys!

I've been busy following my dreams, but I wanted to drop a little Wednesday Wisdom on you!



If you need some more inspiration, visit my Pinterest board, Words Have Power.

 



Friday, April 26, 2013

This Week in Review (April 22-26)





*  Switched all my blogs from Google Reader to Bloglovin. Still on the fence about it, because I can only read a paragraph from the platform and then it takes me directly to the blog. I like being able to read the entire blogpost in the feed reader.

* Started eating "clean" thought about going Paleo, but I like my dairy.

* I'm trying to get like Monica and be a lean, mean, planking machine, but right now I can only do the basic one for 30 seconds.

* Read about The Dailey Method and I'm really intrigued, might have to buy the video.

* Learned some great life affirming things from:
* That along with this quote , led me to break my yelling habit.

* I laughed like a crazy person at this sorority girl's letter. *she's from my alma mater.

* Found out about free resources for learning and business, from my fellow GOALDigger, Britni.

* And found another reason to limit screen time and encourage face-to-face interactions. 

* Lastly, this weekend is going to be Aca-Mazing because I'll be having dinner and movie night with my Writer's Group!

Friday, April 19, 2013

This Week in Review (April 15-19)


  • Living with less with a baby, it's a philosophy I rely on. Although, I've had to buy some things over again. I've bought less with each subsequent child realizing what's a need and what's a want.
  • Thinking about redesigning and maybe moving my office space, so I've been pinning a couple of inspiring ones and I love this re-design of an office space.
  • Business cards, might need some new ones with some new endeavors, I love this biz card makeover.
  • Wise words.
  • Bacon. This will be my lunch this weekend.


Friday, April 12, 2013

This Mom's Week in Review (April 8-12, 2013)


  • Well, this week has been very hectic, but exciting for me, I published an erotic romance short story, Love, Lust, and Letters.
Amazon

  • I read an interview of my fave style blogger Natalie from the Tiny Closet on another style blog I read.
  • I got inspired to redecorate the boys' playroom, based on this lovely one.
  • Found out about a natural protein straightener, that I want to try.
  • Two words: BACON JAM!
  • And I found out how Natalie gets her pretty natural glow through her makeup & skincare routine.
  • Lastly, I found another inspiration for my Chambray Day with denim on denim.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Mom Cooks Shrimp Burritos

Yesterday the weather took a turn for the better and it was eighty degrees in my little city in Virginia. So, I knew that I wanted something light, easy to make, and quick for dinner. SOmething in the back of my mind was saying SHRIMP! SHRIMP! and then it dawned on me Shrimp Burritos. I love latin food and more specifically dishes from El Mar (the sea) so I knew this would be a perfect dinner. I went to Pinterest and searched for Shrimp Burritos and founds a few recipes. I ended up using a pinterest recipe as inspiration for my own recipe. But, I didn't have any of the ingredients except tortillas at home. I schleped the boys to the grocery store and bought my ingredients and fixed us some yummy shrimp burritos.

This Mom's Shrimp Burritos

Ingredients
  • 30 Small Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • Pico De Gallo (Mild or Hot based on preference)
  • Olive Oil
  • Brown Rice (Steam in the Microwave kind)
  • Goya Black Beans
  • Guacamole or Avocado
  • Salt/Pepper (or your favorite seasonings - I use Krazy Salt)
  • Menudo Mix (or Chilli Powder)
  • Cheese (any kind you like, I used a Cheddar/Monteray Jack)
Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet on medium and add the shrimp.
  2. Sprinkle your salt/pepper/seasonings on the shrimp.
  3. Cook for one minute and add the menudo or chilli powder.
  4. Cook for one minute and add the pico de gallo.
  5. Cook until shrimp are pink and curl inward and tighter.
  6. While Shrimp is cooking put the steam rice in the microwave and put the black beans on simmer in a pot.
  7. Once everything is done assemble your burritos - tortilla, rice, black beans, cheese, shrimp mixture, avocado or guacamole.
ENJOY!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

This Mom Wore What? Pinterest Edition!




Okay this outfit combines so much awesomeness #1 It's Pinterest Inspired & #2 My Chambray Shirt that I love! There's this awesome style blog called Pinterst Told Me To where the blogger styles herself based on pinterest pins and this outfit is inspired by a pin and then recreated by the style blogger from Penny Pincher Fashion. When I saw the guest post yesterday I knew it was an outfit I wanted to recreate as I had most of the elements.  So, here's my version with a cream blazer and pants that are more of a coraly red.



Excuse the wonkiness of the pic on the left, I had to adjust the brightness manually.

  
Blazer - Cynthia Rowley
Shirt - (old, forgot where I got it)
Pants - Gap
Shoes - Bandolino
Necklace - Target

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This Mom Wore What? April 1st


So, I've finally gotten around to posting an outfit pic. The weather had not been inspiring me to dress cute, but this Monday was the first day of April and I said dammit I'm going to dress like Spring (although it was only in the low 50s).


Blazer - Cynthia Rowley
Shirt - Target (I also have it in black)
Pants - Gap
Shoes - Boutique 9 (old)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Mom's Got a New Beauty Routine (Reviews)


One of the things I said I was going to do to get out of my style rut, was to add to my "beauty routine". I'm using quotes because previously my routine consisted of not forgetting to wash my face at night! Well, this mom's got a new beauty routine and it consists of:

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleaning gel: This non-foaming, gel cleanser thoroughly removes the day’s make-up, dirt and oil without drying the skin. Papaya and Grapefruit Extracts are exfoliating Alpha Hydroxy Acids that help prevent dulling build-up that can cause blackheads and pimples. 

Mario Badescu AHA & Ceramide Moisturizer: Oil-free, gentle, AHA daily moisturizer is formulated with Lemon Extract and soothing Aloe. Revive and rejuvenate dull, congested skin. Helps reduce sun spots and skin pigmentation conditions. Non-greasy, absorbent and very lightweight.

I specifically chose a moisturizer without SPF because my next step is to use Maybeline's Dream Fresh Beauty Balm (Medium/Deep 130): BB creams combine skincare + makeup in 1 simple step; 8-in-1 Skin Perfector:
• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients


I'm loving my new beauty routine, the cleansing gel does it's job and doesn't strip my face nor make it feel oily. The moisturizer is perfect and the BB cream does the job well and matches my skintone with no chalky residue (which happened with another BB cream, which shall not be named).

The other day I bought the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, but I haven't used it yet to give it a review.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Mom is Getting Back in Shape

MY GOAL BODY - Source: instagram.com viaK. Nicole on Pinterest

I have a new body and it’s not just thanks to my newest bundle of joy. Before I got pregnant I had gained weight. Now, those who know me know that I have always been really slim in high school I barely broke through to one hundred pounds and my previous highest weight was about 115. Then in the spring of 2011 I started to gain weight. I don’t really know if I started eating more or if it was just a result of my metabolism slowing down because I was settling into my 30s. What I do know is that before I got pregnant I had reached about 130 pounds.

Now, I know that 130 pounds is not fat or overweight or anything like that. In fact I wanted to gain weight and get to 135, I have a friend that is that weight and I think her figure is DY-NO-MITE! But, now that I am in the 130s I find myself feeling uncomfortable at this weight or more to the point uncomfortable dressing myself. Not only do I need to buy new clothes, but I find myself getting frustrated when I buy clothes and cannot fit them. So, at this point in the post you’re probably saying, “boo-hoo-hoo, cry me a river”. And if you are I get it, there are other people who have “real” weight issues.

Well, here’s the point of this post. I am getting back into shape and for me that means staying at my current weight of 130 pounds, but toning up my "mommy tummy" and getting my endurance back with some cardio. One of the things that I learned about "mommy tummy" is that most women post-partum have a separation in their abdominal muscles called Diastasis Recti  that can give that dreaded lower pooch look. And what's worse is that traditional abdominal exercises can make it WORSE not better. So for all of the mommies, here's what exercises you SHOULD do.



Friday, March 15, 2013

This Mom's Week in Review...

Besides this being my first week back to work since I had my bambino (more on that later), I also had a lot of lightbulb moments thanks to other blogs.

Rocking my hair like Nat from The Tiny Closet
Here's the rundown:

I read an inspiring piece on SXSW this week, main takeaway: There are SO many opportunities to be had, but are not available to those who don't reach for them. Life is magical, we just have to harness that magic and allow it to propel us forward.

Thought about how my choices were impacting my goals thanks to this.

Found out more about my newest favorite fashion blogger. LOVE HER HAIR!

After weeping about the imminent demise of Google Reader, found some new options.

And lastly, saw a living room that my living room wants to be when it grows up!

How was your week?


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