If you’re like myself and millions of other people around the world you are a fan of Starbucks. Well, at least one item on the Starbucks menu. I wouldn’t consider myself addicted like some people, but there is always one item on the menu drawing me in year round. Fall it’s the Pumpkin Spice latte or Frappuccino. Christmas season it’s the Cremé Brûlée latte or the Egg nog Frappuccino. Spring and summer it’s the Caramel Frappuccino. However, the one drink I love no matter the season is the Mango Drangonfruit Refresher. My sister got me hooked to it a little while back and it’s become one, of if not my absolutely favorite drink, on the Starbucks menu. It is for this reason I decided to create my own spin off of the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher. I used a few more tropical fruits and call it the Tropical Mango Refresher.Read More
Happy first week of March! Spring is right around the corner and I can’t wait. It was a high of -12 this past Saturday here in Montana. Yes, you read that correctly. The HIGH was a negative temperature. Yikes! Warmer weather may seem far away still but it’ll be here before we know it. I love when the seasons change and with the seasonal change comes some eating changes. The lighter fresher air makes me what to eat lighter fresher foods. One of my favorite snack foods is my sweet chili snap peas recipe. It’s easy to whip up, it tastes delicious, and it’s a guilt free snack.Read More
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and one of my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day desserts are chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate plus strawberry equals a match made in heaven. It feels good not feeling too guilty about eating a dozen all by yourself. You know since it’s fruit underneath the chocolate LOL. Read More
Making painted pumpkins for Halloween has become a yearly tradition for me. Each year I try to find a theme with three to four printable characters for my pumpkins. In past years I’ve done Nightmare Before Christmas, Ninja Turtles, classic monsters etc.
This year I turned to my Facebook family and friends for ideas on pumpkins this year. A few people mentioned the movie “Coco” and I realized as much as I love the movie this would be the perfect craft. I also knew it would be a challenge for freehand drawing to make the characters look like exact like movie.Read More
September 27th, 1988 is the day and year a star was born.
OK, now that I got that out of the way I can be serious now hahaha.
Today is my 30th birthday and I couldn’t be more grateful or full of love. I’m grateful to have made it to see the age of 30. There are many who never did, or will, and for this I am forever thankful each year God allows me to grow a year older.
I decided to take a break from blogging earlier this year due to my pregnancy. It was an exhausting pregnancy and I struggled with staying awake the entire day let alone run a blog in the process. I’ve had plenty of time to plan and have some quality blog posts coming your way soon. From recipes to personal stories to DIY projects. They’re all coming soon.Read More
Riley loves fruits and vegetables. If you’re wondering “who is Riley?” the answer to your question is, my unborn very picky child. I am currently eight months pregnant and have plenty of vegetable cravings. Especially this delicious honey lemon green beans recipe I created on Valentine’s Day. I made a surf n’ turf type Valentine’s Day meal that called for a vegetable side dish of some sort. I bought green beans at the store earlier that day so I decided to “wing it” and throw some flavors together that complimented the dish. It was delicious and I’ve made this recipe multiple times since then simply because of how much I loved it.Read More
Happy 5 year anniversary to us! On this day five years ago my husband and I said “I do”. Here we are two baby girls later and still finding ways to connection with one another. We often talk about how well we work because we’re a team. With each passing day and year we are able to go to the drawing board and be better than we were before.
This year will consist of so many changes for our family. Great changes but plenty of them. The biggest change of all: waiting for our second baby girl to make her entrance into this world. Unfortunately, this is the first wedding anniversary we will spend apart. Considering we’re a military family we should be counting our blessings that this is the first anniversary we’re spending away from one another. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially when I’d love to simply be in the presence of my favorite human being.Read More
Jordyn and I traveled to California last week. My husband was in California for a month and a half for work. Jordyn and I met him there towards the end of his work commitment. We flew there and road tripped back with him to Montana. Going to California is always a good time because we get to see so many of our loved ones when we’re there. My father in law even flew into town from Florida for a few days so we could spend some much-needed time with him. Although Jordyn and I ended up catching colds the last week of the trip, we had an amazing time, and can’t wait to see everyone again.Read More
Happy Black history month! This year my family and I made the decision to celebrate more Black holidays. For example Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. This also means Black history month and finding ways to honor what this month is about. I sat down and came up with a personal list of ways to celebrate Black history month this year, and realized there are more than likely many more people wondering the exact same thing. This decision lead me to do this post and share with all of my readers.
It’s also important for everyone reading this post to understand you don’t have to be Black to celebrate Black holidays. You don’t have to be Black to learn Black history because Black history is American history. It’s no different than when people of all backgrounds and ethnicities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc. (Although Mexican people don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo like you’d think) However, when we celebrate days and/or holidays specifically dedicated to our own culture we take immense pride in it. Especially as Black people where so much of our history has been erased or silenced, it’s important for us to take this time to learn about and take pride in ourselves. Here are five ways you can celebrate Black History Month this year.
We’ve all received the very watered down white washed version of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks in grade school, but have you taken the time to really learn about these individuals and their fight in the struggle? They don’t even bother to teach us about the importance of individuals such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn about them on our own. I recommend each of you to learn, in detail, about a prominent black historical figure. You can even step it up a notch and challenge yourself to research the name and background of a Black historical figure you’ve never heard of before. In this day and age of technology these names are no longer hard to find. 🙂
This may seem trivial to some but there are many of us who understand the importance this simple task. It is important we support each other when we finally receive the movie roles and portrayals we deserve. It is important we see Black excellence in the form of actors, creators, directors, writers etc. Year after year we hear the argument of there not being enough roles for Black people in all areas of film so when we are in them it’s important we support them. I’m not talking about supporting any films with Black people in them (or written by them) either. Movie roles that stereotype type us or make us out to be less than who we are and what we are should never be supported in my opinion.
Look at the success of the Marvel movie, Black Panther, a year later. We were able to see ourselves as the Kings and Queens we know we are. See ourselves as the intelligent and thoughtful people we know we are. We simply saw ourselves. To continue to see ourselves we have to support Black film and film makers.
Black people may be a minority in population but we are the majority in spending. Our buying power is unbelievable but we tend to put our dollars into businesses and systems that don’t support us. Seems counter productive, right? This month, but preferably this year, buy at least one item from a Black owned business. I have a list in my phone of items I want to buy from small Black businesses and plan on buying most if not all of them by the end of this year. For my bank account and husband’s sake I won’t buy them all this month. HA! These are a few of the businesses on my “Black owned to buy” list: Hillman Bookstore, Mahogany Cheers, and African Ancestry. Go check them out!
I touched on this subject at the beginning of this piece. We need to celebrate Juneteenth the same way we celebrate the 4th of July. We need to take the time to learn about Black history the same way we learn other’s history. It is important we celebrate and remember our ancestors and their accomplishments by celebrating their lives. Which means celebrating the days that aren’t marked on the calendar. The same way we celebrate Dr. King we should celebrate brother Malcolm on his birthday. Make sure to mark your calendars for these important days and make it a tradition to so every year. It’ll pass down from generation to generation until it becomes the new norm.
We need to give back. It’s that simple yet we make it so much harder than it needs to be. You do not need to be rich to give back to your community. You need to be caring and determined. Giving back doesn’t always have monetary attachment to it. What God-given talent are you sharing in this life? If you are an artist, volunteer some time to teach children in your local community about art. If you’re good with numbers, teach someone who lacks such knowledge how to balance their finances etc. However, for those of you who prefer to donate money find local organizations that directly benefit a large number of Black people and their advancement. Even if it’s a $10 donation, it’s $10 that will directly benefit the community. I will personally be donating to one of Colin Kaepernick’s #10For10 charities.
*Here’s an added bonus for celebrating Black History Month*
If you have not gotten the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. I highly recommend you do. It is such a transformative emotional rollercoaster that leaves you with the idea of exactly how magical we are as a people. The things we have been through as a people yet how we continue to fight and come out on top is nothing short of the magic that is Black people. The museum is 7 floors so be sure you wear your walking shoes and dedicate an entire day to seeing all of the exhibits. We can’t wait to go back and visit ourselves!
It is so important to recycle. One of my personal goals this year is to recycle. Yes, this may seem like a minor goal, but it’s an important one. It’s also a more than attainable goal because recycle centers are not hard to find. Obviously, this will take a little more effort of consciousness on my part, but it’s an effort which helps our planet and will teach my children to do the same. When we moved into our house on base we never received a cycle bin. They had apparently ran out of recycle bins for any new residents moving in. Long story short, recycle bins are an easy way to keep recycling items organized. I thought to myself “why not make your own recycle bins?”
I wish I could say there was a lot of thought that went into this project but I was honestly going for easy and simple. Easy because the bins need to be functional for easy transportation to and from the recycle center. Simple because the bins need to not be an eye sore in my dining room/kitchen area. Oh, and I forgot to mention I wanted something frugal which means I naturally thought of the clear storage bins at Wal-Mart. They cost less than $5 each and can be reused for storage purposes when we move. (Being a military family means you’re always thinking about the future a.k.a. moving)
First, I looked up what categories recycling centers separate their items by. This helped me figure out how many containers I needed to buy and how they would fit into my kitchen area. My recycle bins are for: glass, metal, paper, and plastic. My glass recycle bin container is the smallest because we don’t use many glass products to recycle. To create my recycle bins I bought my 4 containers, a large black poster board paper, and a pack of metallic sharpie markers. I already had both tape and a hot glue gun at home to paste the designs on the containers. I took my items home and got to work! To create your own recycle bins you will need:
– Four 58 quart containers
– One 22×28 poster board
– tape and/or glue gun
– 2-3 marker colors
Once you have you necessary items for your project you will:
1) Measure and cut your poster board paper into what ever design or shape you want displayed on the front of your bins.
2) Write your recycle bin category on each of the poster board cut outs using your bold marker colors. (Try using marker colors that will stand out on whatever color poster board you are using)
3) Using your hot glue gun and/or tape, individually attach your poster board cut out label to the front of each of your containers.
4) Place your containers in whatever section of your home you want them and you’re finished!
If you would like to take the project up a notch: line your containers with a plastic or paper that can be recycled as well for easy clean up. You can also decorate the containers themselves with additional colors and designs if they are too plain for your personal liking.
I told you guys this is an easy project! Not only is it easy to do, but we get to help play an important role in saving the planet too. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. If you make your own DIY recycle bins please drop a picture in the comment section below!