Blaaack Peeoppllle!

Hi there!
Ok, so, I’m getting my cardio in, I’m sweating good, heart rate up, feeling my endorphins flow, when a family member walks by and says to me “gonna have to take more than that!” BRICK MUTHFUCKIN WALL! Lol. WHY ARE WE SO NEGATIVE AND CONDESCENDING TO ONE ANOTHER!?!! I’m not mad at all and I can sometimes be sensitive, but since my birthday I vowed to myself to do what makes ME happy EVERYDAY and not worry about anybody’s opinion. But you never know how words can help or hurt someone. My only issue is i see this a lot in the black household, we tend to discourage more than encourage. We tend to, for lack of better cliches…hate….instead of congratulate! lol, Luckily I’m super happy with my body seeing as tho I had a child not too long ago, I got some places to go and sexy dresses to buy. So yeah im working on me, So then I beg to ask….what is your excuse for a pop belly? oh and not to mention the array of medication that sits beside your bed? See, my motivation is a healthy active LIFESTYLE. I don’t want to be and I will not be a women who has to take a cocktail of man made drugs. Worrying about other people mostly likely got you right where you are! Look, all I’m saying is don’t kill my vibe, I don’t wanna end up looking like…THAT, it’s clear our family has a history, walk on by, I’m not worried about you, enlighten yourself, miss me with it all…sips fresh juice still on my high!

StayConscious!

Seriously

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Ishtar

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I saw this meme today, and it reminded me of how pagan these holidays truly are! This meme is not completely accurate, however how many Christians actually know they celebrate pagan holidays? What do you think?

Here is a great link to some info on the goddess Ishtar though, she has many good attributes, enjoy. http://www.pyramidcompany.com/CJT/index_Page3983.htm

What is a doula?

What is a doula?.

“There is no Orisha (deity) like Mother, it is mother that is worthy to be praised.”

 

What is LOVE Exactly?

I am sure many of you have asked yourselves “What is love?” or “What does it mean to be in love?” Love, in the dictionary is defined as “1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.” There are movies, television shows, and especially songs that give us examples of interesting relationships based off of what they call “love”. In these movies people date, hold hands, whisper sweet nothings in each others ear, and go to the ends of the earth to fight for their undying “love”. In love songs we hear men and women singing about how “love” makes them weak in the knees, they can hardly speak or eat or sleep, and drive u crazy insane with euphoric highs and suicidal lows. But what if I told you those aren’t

examples of real love at all? Better yet what if I told you, that real love is not nor should it ever be based on feelings and emotions, and that we’ve been conditioned to believe and experience it as such. Well let me introduce you to a lecture given by Dr. Amos Wilson.

When I watched the lecture by Dr. Amos Wilson on the topic, I had never heard love broke down and explained in that fashion before.  He explains why we must love ourselves first, then we can love others, and also we must learn to love and express love in more ways than just elation, which is generally what we see and hear on television and in the movies. Which made me feel like I was not crazy for never believing in the love that media,society, and friends were telling me I was missing out on. Dr. Wilson feels that we are being programmed to experience and share love like we do, through the television, movies, and music. I agree, with his theory. Very seldom do I hear people say they love their boyfriend/girlfriend because he/she respects them or that person encourages them to be better people. Generally I hear how the other person “makes them feel” or its based off of physical attributes. According to Dr. Wilson feelings, emotions and appearances change too much to entirely base a marriage and raise a family on. Don’t get me wrong, attraction is important, but unfortunately what people are attracted to, a lot of times, isn’t very good for them, and Dr. Wilson touches on that aspect as well. He explains how often times we don’t even love ourselves, so the mates we choose reflect that, and we will consistently choose a person who perpetuates the self hate we have for ourselves. For example, if you like to smoke crack, knowing its bad for you, you will not choose to be with a person who doesn’t allow you to smoke crack. Instead you want someone who will support your habit. He further explains the love shared between the black family has been “shaped and maintained by political, social, circumstances, the love we share with each other is based on our past and present experiences”, and due to the unique experience/history of blacks, it affects the way we love. Therefore history must be understood, and he gave an awesome example. He said, “Psychologist require you to give them your past history before you talk about what’s going on in your present, so why wouldn’t you want to know the history of your black people to understand the present  day black people?” Too often in the black community children are left fatherless, and the mother is left to pick up the pieces, and be that “strong black woman” who is spoken of today.

“When you want to destroy a community, you destroy their ability to love one another” -Dr. Wilson

Then you have mothers who make babies, but never really make their children or themselves a priority, therefore they become stuck in a vicious cycle of never truly knowing how to love themselves or their children properly and there the cycle persists. One of my favorite points he makes is when he discusses how the child is born into the community, therefore the love shared or not shared in the family will influence the nature of the community. So you see romantic love will influence more than just the man/woman involved.  He explains all of this and more in the video below, so I encourage you to take some time out to really watch this video, and please share with your loved ones.

I was raised by my father, and he always told me he loved me, but he also did things, like make sure I ate nutritious food, made sure I stayed in extra curricular activities, he showed me affection, and sacrificed to show how much he truly loved me. So the love I learned from my father, I never could connect it to the so called love my friends were experiencing nor the love guys told me they felt for me. When I started dating and seeking male companionship, I always referred back to the love my father taught me.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs

Like Dr. Wilson says, love is learned. So you see, my thinking of love is a direct line to how my father loved me. If you have never experienced your mother or father (or whoever raised you) loving you, by providing for you, making education a priority, making sure you have healthy well balanced meals, supporting and respecting your ideas, and just overall respecting you as a person, well then how would you know how to receive or give that kind of love back? The answer is you would not! It would take many trial and errors to gain that understanding. Looking back at the men and women in my life who were struggling with relationships amongst their family, and their romantic relationships with men/women, I would see them fighting/arguing/depressed all for someone who never truly loved them in the first place! I recognize now that they did not know any better, because they never experienced that true first love and acceptance from their mother, father, family unit. And that’s why Dr. Wilson says a lot of the love issues blacks have ends up being generational, because it takes time to work out these kinks and for people to get over the hurt from never truly being loved.

Now think back to when blacks in this country were enslaved in the African Holocaust. We were not allowed to marry, and when it was allowed it wasn’t recognized legally. Women and men were breeded, children and babies were torn from their mothers arms and sold to other plantations, where most often they had NO contact with their children. Women were raped by their master’s, men were held back or threatened with death if they tried to save their women. Black men were treated as breeding studs, and fathered many children, and were hardly ever allowed to really be a father to any of his children. Which after many years of being indoctrinated in this lifestyle, left the black men, out of emotional necessity,  to distance themself from the family that he was not allowed to protect. It left black women to bear all their burdens on their own. Although all that and more happened to slaves on a day-to-day basis, slaves were still able to love and accept each other as best they could. In my opinion many black men and women have not been released mentally from slavery. For example some scientist attribute fears of snakes, spiders, and wolves to our human history of surviving when we lived close to nature. So I don’t think it is far-fetched to say, that black people’s relationships with each other are still suffering, due to being enslaved over four hundred years. However if we all take the time to conscientiously work on loving each other in more ways than one, starting with yourself, I think further generations will not have to suffer like so many do today.

STAY AT HOME MOM 101

Annie Lee ‘Spin Cycle’

Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts in no particular order….

1. Unless you’re up and dressed for the day, try not to let your man come home seeing you in the same clothes, especially your night-clothes! I’m not saying beat your face and get fly. But at least put on a fresh shirt (spit-up and cooking stains are not sexy lol). Even if you haven’t had a chance to shower yet, make your stress look sexy. Easy fix…buy cute lounge wear, like comfy dresses, or if you have sweat pants opt for a fitted shirt or tank top. Try Gap Body.

2. Throw on a pair of heels/wedges and style your hair at least once a week when the family goes out. Not only will it be refreshing to your mans eyes, but it’ll help you feel good as well.

3. Cook a meal AT LEAST twice a week. Casserole dishes are simple and delicious if you’re pressed for time or the baby is hanging on your leg. Ex. A can of soup(like cream of mushroom/chicken), rice, chicken, and veggies. Or Veggies (zucchini/tomato/spinach), pasta and cheese. My favorite go to is baked chicken with a side and salad, because its prep and go.

4. Keep your toes right and lips moisturized! Just do it! If you don’t have the money or time to get a pedi do it yourself! 2min pedi!

Annie Lee ‘Full Set or Fill’

5. Make time for yourself. I can not stress this enough. If not a whole day, at least 2 or 3 hrs once or twice a week. How you feel personally is vital when taking care of the family.

6. Nurture your relationship FIRST.  If mommy and daddy are good, baby will inevitably be too. It’s so easy to put the kids first and neglect your partners needs, but trust me, children benefit from the love  and strong bond between their parents.

Annie Lee ‘Love Song’

7. Deep clean the house once a week with your significant other, that way the only thing you’ll have to do  is put baby’s stuff away toward the end of the day. If you have older children 3 and up they should be able to pick up after themselves.

8. If you’re not too tired try waking up at least 1 hour before everyone else. This gives you some uninterrupted “me time” to sip some tea or coffee, sort some laundry, work out and shower.

9. Don’t try and be like the other moms on the block by comparing your day/schedule/routine or lack there of to their’s. Do what works for you and your family.

10. Eat clean to stay energized and keep your body and mind active! If you have things to do around the house, strap that baby on and get to it! Also stimulate your brain with a good book. Reading baby books and watching ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ can take a toll on you.

Did we leave anything out?? We wanna hear from you!

Annie Lee ‘Steeping and Soaking’

LIQUID GOLD: Reap the Benefits of Your Breastmilk!

Breastmilk is one of Gods greatest gifts. He made us perfectly and with no mistakes! Not only does it provide the perfect nourishment for our babies, but it also has MANY alternative uses that benefit Mommy as well. When it was too early to bath my son, I’d wipe him down with expressed milk every other day, It works better than any over the counter decongestion meds, and I even use it to clean my face!  Take a peek.

Medicinal

For Babies Only

    1. Get Rid of Diaper Rash: Breastmilk can help heal diaper rash, so squirt some on, allow it to dry in the air, and watch the rash disappear.
    2. Prevent Diaper Rash: If your little one is prone to diaper rash, go ahead and put breastmilk on her diaper area daily as a preventative measure.
    3. Clear Up Baby Acne and Eczema: Massage breastmilk onto your baby’s face to clear up baby acne.
    4. Cradle Cap: Conventional mama wisdom says to massage breastmilk onto baby’s scalp to get rid of cradle cap.
    5. Donate It: If you have breastmilk in abundant supply, consider donating your milk, either to a friend or acquaintance or through a milk bank

For Everyone

“Madonna and Child Project ” by Kate Hansen

    1. Pain Relief: The endorphins in breastmilk can actually reduce pain felt by your child, so nurse away anytime your little one gets hurt.2
    2. Ear InfectionsDr. Mercola says that there is a simple solution for childhood ear infections: just “put a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. This usually works to clear up the infection within 24-48 hours and is far safer, less expensive and a better solution than putting the child on antibiotics. If the mother is not breastfeeding, it is likely she knows someone who is. All that is required for the treatment is about one half ounce of breast milk . . . .” Mothering suggests following the breastmilk with “warm (not hot) olive oil and garlic, or bottled garlic mullein oil.”
    3. Prevent Childhood Illnesses: Because your baby’s immune system is not mature, theantibodies present in breastmilk can help protect him against a variety of childhood illnesses, including “ear infections, upper and lower respiratory ailments, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS),” asthma, and more.3
    4. Chicken Pox: Relieve the itch and heal any sores from chicken pox.
    5. Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac: Try dabbing at the itchy spots with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk.
    6. Prevent Adult Illnesses: Research has also shown that breastfeeding can help give “lifetime protection from Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, . . . breast and ovarian cancer[,]” osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and others.4
    7. Prevent Illnesses in the Breastfeeding Mother: Breastfeeding reduces the nursing mother’s risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, protects mothers against anemia, and can stabilize the progress of endometriosis.5
    8. Cuts and Scrapes: Breastmilk is actually a natural antiseptic, and it can be used to soothe and promote healing of cuts and scrapes.
    9. Insect Bites and Stings: The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of breastmilk can reduce itching and promote healing of insect bites and stings.
    10. Clogged Tear Ducts: Tons of anecdotal evidence (that is, motherly wisdom) has it that breastmilk can help unclog clogged/blocked tear ducts. Science of Mom took a look at some of the studies behind this cure, and found that breastmilk is indeed safe – and potentially healing – for clogged tear ducts.
    11. Conjunctivitis/Stys: While there have been no studies (to my knowledge) that prove whether breastmilk can help get rid of conjunctivitis or stys, many breastfeeding mothers have found it helpful. And from the research on clogged tear ducts, it may follow that breastmilk – especially colostrum – could be beneficial.
    12. Sleep Aid for Baby/ChildNucleotides in breastmilk actually help babies go to sleep.
    13. Tranquilizer for Mom: Hormones released in mamas while breastfeeding decrease blood pressure and act to calm and soothe mothers, helping them sleep.6
    14. Congestion in Infants/Children: Breastmilk’s antimicrobial properties can also help babies and children when you squirt it into little noses.
    15. Neti Pot (Congestion in Older Children/Adults): For congestion in adults, try putting breastmilk in a neti pot to flush your nasal passages. If you don’t have a neti pot, just put a few drops of expressed milk in the nose like you would saline.
    16. Sore Throat: Gargle with breastmilk to help fight off a sore throat.
    17. Cold/Flu: Boost your body’s immune system and stay hydrated with breastmilk.

      “Madonna and Child Project ” by Kate Hansen

    18. Heal Sore NipplesResearch has actually proven that rubbing breastmilk on sore, cracked nipples leads to shorter healing times than using lanolin.
    19. Cure Cancer: Scientists have found that “[a] substance found in breast milk can killcancer cells.” Patients have been drinking breastmilk to treat their cancer with successful results.
    20. Cough in Infants/Children: Little ones with a cough need to stay hydrated – give them fluids and environmental-specific antibodies by nursing or expressing breastmilk.
    21. Birth Control: “Lactational amenorrhea is the natural postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic and fully breastfeeding.” In other words, exclusive breastfeeding can help with child spacing.7
    22. Fever in Infants/Children: For a child with a fever, you want to keep him hydrated. Let him nurse or drink expressed breastmilk – it will quench thirst and provide antibodies.
    23. Cold Sores and Fever Blisters: Pat a cold sore or fever blister with a cotton ball soaked in breastmilk to help promote healing and relieve pain.
    24. BurnsMothering shares that a burn treated with a mixture of breastmilk and smashed up blueberries will heal more quickly.
    25. Infected Wounds: Apply breastmilk to the infected area to take advantage of its antiseptic properties.
    26. Boost Your Immune SystemAntibodies in breastmilk are environment-specific, so drinking breastmilk from a mother in close proximity can help boost an ill person’s – such as a chemo or organ transplant patient’s – immune system.
    27. Skin Rashes and Contact DermatitisBreastmilk’s antimicrobial and antiseptic properties can be used to help heal and relieve pain and itchiness of rashes and contact dermatitis.
    28. Sunburn: Gently pat expressed breastmilk onto a sunburn to help ease pain and heal the skin.
    29. Wound Cleaning: If you are out and about and someone gets hurt, use breastmilk to clean out the wound if you do not have access to another cleansing agent.
    30. Warts: According to Mothering, put “a breastmilk-saturated cotton ball on the wart for a few minutes twice a day. Continue for several days until the wart dries up.”

Cosmetic and Practical Uses

    1. Clear Up Teen/Adult Acne: Use a mixture of breastmilk and coconut oil on a cotton ball to help clear up acne in teens and adults.8
    2. Contact Lens Solution: Did you get something on your contact, but you don’t have saline solution handy? Clean it with some expressed breastmilk!
    3. Soap: “Milk is touted as an ideal ingredient for skin care products because it contains essential proteins, amino acids, and vitamin A, which nourishes skin. Milk is also rich in lactic acid, which cleanses and softens.” Check out two recipes for breastmilk soap and one Etsy shop that sells breastmilk soap.
    4. Make-up Removal: Use breastmilk on a cotton ball or pad to remove make-up and soften skin.
    5. Red or Puffy Eyes: If you don’t have cucumber slices for your puffy eyes, saturate two cotton balls with cold breastmilk.
    6. Moisten Chapped Lips: If you run out of lip balm and need instant relief, rub some breastmilk on your lips.
    7. Deodorant: One of my readers shares that she uses breastmilk as deodorant. Just rub some milk on your clean underarms and let dry.
    8. Lotion: One resourceful mama has published a recipe for a homemade breastmilk, oats, and honey lotion.

For Consumption

    1. Ice Cream: Many kids say thatbreastmilk tastes like melted ice cream, so making ice cream out of breastmilk only make sense.
    2. Cupcakes: Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite actually made and ate cupcakes made with breastmilk. She kind of rocks.
    3. Popsicles: Either freeze plain old breastmilk into those little plastic popsicle forms, or jazz it up with some green smoothie add-ins. Let teething toddlers have healthy, cold relief.
    4. Mesh Feeder: If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can also freeze breastmilk into ice cube trays, then put some in a mesh feeder for teething toddlers.
    5. Baby Food: If you are making your little one fresh baby food, add some breastmilk to the mix!
    6. CheeseChef Daniel Angerer offers a breastmilk cheese recipe, if you have some milk to spare.
    7. Coffee Creamer: It’s milk. It’s sweet. It’s sweet milk for your coffee!
    8. Butter: I really want to try this easy recipe.
    9. Yogurt: Mmm yogurt! Here’s a recipe for yogurt made from breastmilk.
    10. Sherbet: What a great way to help a little one with a fever or a sore throat – sherbet made from mama milk!
    11. Bread: Create your own breastmilk bread starter with this recipe.
    12. Soup: Mothers can replace cow milk with breastmilk in cream soups. This mama tried it with Cream of Carrot soup and proclaimed it “not bad.”
    13. Anything that Calls for Milk: You can use breastmilk in just about any recipe that calls for milk; this site has recipes for everything from macaroni and cheese to french toast.

For Everything Else

  1. Necklaces: Memorialize your nursing years into a necklace. Here is one where the milk has been made into a plastic-like substance by solidifying the casein contentHollyday Designs makes beautiful necklaces with “milk beads” in different shapes.
  2. Sexual Lubricant: Express breastmilk and use it as you would any lubricant.

Emancipate Your Mind

Independence day is coming up, but what did you do for Juneteenth??? Remember, it’s up to us teach our children and community about our history. There is so much strength and power in knowing our REAL history. “But what’s a couple weeks?” you ask. Well, it means nearly 89 years between what we celebrate on the 4th of July and the beginning (and only the beginning) of true independence for African Americans. What does July 4th mean to you as an African American? TAKE our POLL!!

And then there’s THIS

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