Showing posts from 2017

Let's talk turkey.

I recently mastered the art of cooking a whole turkey. "What's the big deal?", you might ask. For me, A LOT. Growing up, I always WATCHED the women in my family prepare a beautiful turkey under a watchful eye. I have vivid memories of my mother waking up throughout the night to check on the turkey in the oven every few hours. I also recall my grandmother carefully monitoring the turkey and prized dressing every holiday. Turkey and dressing were always the best part of my childhood holiday meals.
I remember the first attempt at cooking a turkey around the time my daughter was 10 years old. I had no clue what I was doing and left the giblet bag in, didn't season it good nor did it cook up well. It was such a mess! I never attempted to cook one again.
Fast forward to 2017. My employer gave me a beautiful 13 lb. turkey for the holiday. I didn't want it to go to waste so I decided to tackle the task at hand. With the help of some facebook friends, running into Barb …

It really is a wonderful life!

I saw the classic movie"It's A Wonderful Life" this past Friday for the first time and wondered how did such a masterpiece manage to escape my viewing eyes all these years! It's a wonderful tale of living a humble and selfless life.

I don't remember which friend it was who suggested I see it around 15 years ago. I was going through a very difficult time and major depression. This friend suggested I see the film because I reminded her of the main character. Having seen the film, I am flattered that someone saw George Bailey in me.

We could all learn a lot from George Bailey; a man that was actually good to a flaw. He selflessly gave of himself to others to a fault. He never sat back and took inventory of his character and life until a little angel forced him to see what the world would be like without his contributions.

It's so easy to take our lives for granted especially in the age of social media. We see other people crafting the narrative they want others …

Strong Women Empower Themselves and Others

This morning, I attended a public fitness class for the 4th time ever. I've always been reluctant to attend these classes out of fear or feeling embarrassed at my endurance or fitness level. After all, I was the kid with asthma sitting against the wall at recess.

A local MMA facility hosted a Muscles and Mimosa free event that I saw on facebook and they had me at mimosas. (I know-my tank says you had me at pumpkin spice. I can't turn down delicious things!) I've been taking a mental beating at work; being overlooked, minimized and undervalued as a woman on my team. Working out is the only time I truly feel strong and in control these days.

From the moment I hit the door, I was met with inviting, physically fit and strong women who greeted me with friendly smiles and warm greetings. There was a healthy sense of competition and camaraderie in the room. It was positively contagious! I'd be remiss if I didn't add how beautiful everyone was without makeup.

The boot cam…

To the women behind the Hall of Fame Induction

My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful weekend experience in Canton, Ohio for the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction. I had never traveled to Ohio before so it was fun to visit a new state. The cooler temperatures were a welcomed touch as well.

Seeing all the football legends, learning about the history of the game and simply being within an arm's reach of the greatest players to ever play the game was simply amazing. Whether you love football or not, a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is inspiring and motivating. Themes like teamwork, endurance, perseverance and resilience ring throughout the walls.

I had watched the induction on television at least a handful of times and every year, I find myself getting teary eyed or crying at seeing these strong big men cry. What really stands out to me is that behind every man being honored is an amazing woman who has contributed to their growth and success. Whether it was a single mother who worked three jobs (Jason …

Corporate Mental Health Days are Life Savers

No, you're not crazy. Or weak. Or incompetent. Your job or managers just try to make you feel that way from time to time. What you are is tired, worn out or simply stressed. Work related stress can take a toll on your well being and wellness and can impact the important relationships in your life. Take the initiative and escape for a day.
I recently took a Wednesday off to regroup. Having suffered from migraines two days in a row, I owed it to myself to unplug and unwind and guess what? No Wednesday migraine! I was happy and healthy all day.
I encourage everyone to take a personal day from work and truly make it personal. Do something that you enjoy and UNPLUG from work. Day in and day out job stress is not healthy and has to be consciously managed. You aren't doing yourself any favors staying late and putting in overtime if your work isn't going to be applauded anyway. There is not a price tag on your overall well-being.
You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself and yo…

Why Option B is so important

It's not easy for me to admit this but sometimes I get way too comfortable. I let my guard down and settle for things because they feel comfortable......or I don't want to put in extra effort despite knowing I am worth and entitled to so much more.

Going back to work after being self employed for ten years was not an easy transition. Having experienced career highs and several prestigious accolades, breast cancer reared its ugly head and forced me to make a life change. Entering the workforce seemed like a good know that is what responsible adults with college degrees do, right?

Here is the Catch can secure a role in an organization, earn a decent paycheck and have stability but then you will hit a brick wall or a glass ceiling. If you are a woman, particularly a woman of color, you will speed up in hitting those objects.

Corporate women of color will be disrespected, undermined and subjected to conversations and behavior that have no place in the workp…

10 Years a Survivor

I recently reached my ten year milestone as a stage 3A triple-negative breast cancer survivor. When I think back to how the oncologist gave me "three years at best WITH treatment", I am beyond grateful to experience this moment.

Battling cancer has changed my outlook on life forever. While overall I know it made me a better person,it also revealed some painful truths about cancer and life in general. Everyone who battles cancer wants to win but sadly many will not. Survivor guilt is very real and is a heavy burden to bear. Attending a funeral of a fallen sister is one of the darkest moments in my life. I've attended far too many of them.

I'd like to think that all the suffering and sadness has not been in vain. I've reflected long and hard on what I have learned since 2007 and came up with a list of ten things breast cancer taught me in ten years. I hope it is useful to anyone battling the disease or finding themselves in a dark place.

1) You will and can get th…

The Park Bench-Inspiration from Strangers


Stretching outside of your comfort zone

I recently checked something off my bucket list. After battling aggressive breast cancer, I decided to list some things that I have always wanted to do or dreamed of and began the check off process. My list isn't that grand or expensive but rather a compilation of things that once paralyzed me with fear.

I've dabbled with yoga off and on for years. Many of the poses help my asthma by forcing me to focus on breathing and calming techniques. During radiation, yoga was helpful in managing the side effects of skin discomfort and scar tissue build up as well as regaining the limited mobility of my right arm.

Television and movies always made public yoga look so interesting but the thought of taking a class in public was intimidating to me. What if I fell over or couldn't do the poses as well as the person next to me? What if everyone else was limber and I was barely touching my ankles?

This past week, I was casually slipping through the Weekend Guide as I normally do and saw a…

Thank You Mr. President!

I can't imagine how it feels to want to champion for the people and also be enemy #1 for those same people. I can't imagine what it must be like to be under constant scrutiny for every move you make, subjected to daily criticism, be labeled with racial slurs and likened to animals, have your wife and children degraded all while running a country and never lashing out or completely losing your cool. But that is exactly what you have managed to eloquently endure for the past 8 years.

Before you even had an opportunity to make a mistake or a misstep, people were against you from election night. "But I'm not racist", they said. Then they could offer no logic or policy or fundamental belief why they weren't willing to give you a chance. Now their "give him a chance" pleas fall on my deaf ears.

I've watched you deliver a Presidential address only to be met with disrespectful remarks and applause at inappropriate times. I've seen your very named m…

9 Lives

I'm sitting here in a very somber mood. While many will celebrate the death sentence of Dylann Roof, I find myself mournful remembering the 9 church parishioners who were murdered in what should have been the safest place to be. People worshiping in a religious building should not pose a threat to someone that warrants intruding into their space and coldly executing them. Their crime: being born Black.

I want the world to know that I didn't see the outrage and outcry for these 9 victims like I do for one or even 3 victims in senseless killings. In fact, the murder of one police officer will flood my timeline with cries of swift justice but when these 9 were murdered, the outcries were in Black and White-literally.

I can't smile and pretend not to notice when black lives don't matter to my friends. 

Susie, Clementa, Sharonda, Cynthia, Depayne, Daniel, Ethel , Myra and Tywanza. You have never been forgotten. I choose to speak YOUR names and breathe  life into the beautif…

2017 is a milestone year!

10. It's always been a good number. God willing, in just a few months, I will not only celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary but my 10 year cancerversary from stage IIIA triple negative breast cancer. I will never forget the doctor giving me a few years "at best" to survive.

2016 seemed to be an aggressive death year for many celebrities and well known people and many of my social media connections deemed it as awful. Despite what obstacles and hurdles we faced in 2016, we should hold our heads up high that we survived it.

Every year will present tragedies, heartache, setbacks and misses but we can't let those define how the whole year went. Between the tears, there were lots of smiles and successes; we just tend to focus on what hurt us over what helped us.

I find myself saying this every year but I am always thankful for the bad things that happened because they reveal things to me such as what I need to improve, eliminate or focus on. The people that exited in 2…