Saturday, January 24

No-Bake Chewy Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars

Kamari and Auden love cereal bars but I hate to buy them because they're on the pricey side and my boys usually eat 2 at a time. A box from Sam's Club will last 2 weeks in our house. So I've been in search of a simple, No-Bake recipe and pinterest has come to the rescue yet again.

2c old fashioned oats
1/2c crispy rice cereal
3/4c raisins
1/4c coconut oil (or butter)
1/4c brown sugar
1/4c honey
1tsp vanilla
2tsp cinnamon

Combine honey, sugar, and coconut oil in small pot over medium heat.  
Allow to boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and combine well.
Pour mixture into 7x11 light greased pan with spatula.
Allow to cool for at least 20minutes before cutting.
(I placed mine in the refrigerator.)

The original recipe can be found on

Auden and the hubby love them. Kamari isn't a fan because he hates honey and noticed it was an ingredient lol. Although I'm sure the store bought bars are made with honey too. 
Oh well I can't argue with him.

Friday, January 23

My Favorite Southern Candied Yams Recipe

Made candied yams last night and had enough time to do a pictorial so now I can share one of my favorite side dishes here on the blog. It's simple and easy but full of southern goodness. Thank me later! Just promise me you won't cook these every week. I only make them when I'm showing off like the aunt that always make mac and cheese at every family gather. Yup, I'm going to be the candied yams aunt.

Full recipe can be found on

Melt butter then add sugar

Add heavy whipping cream (Guest Appearance: Kamari's hand)

Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove. (I usually double the cinnamon)

Pour in Maple...

...pure in vanilla

Once everything is well blended, pour over sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 40 minutes then uncover and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes. (I usually have chicken in the oven when making the potatoes so I cook them at 375 and uncovered for about an additional 40 minutes. Also, I cook a whole bag of potatoes so I make adjustments with the mixture amount and cook time.)

Final results!

I love this recipe and think I'll continue to stick with it and add it to my personal recipe cards soon. I'm still in the search for a sweet potatoes casserole recipe but in the meantime this is perfect.

Tuesday, January 20

Feelings Sparked by Selma

Last Thursday I shared this photo and caption on instagram and felt moved to share it on my blog.

"Went to see ‪#‎selma‬ last night. To see how passionate, self-sacrificing, restrained and purposeful people were despite physical and verbal opposition leaves me in awe. What hurts when reading, listening, or watching what many blacks had to encounter just to be treated equally is that the same hatred lives on today. 60 years ago activists were brutally assaulted and killed for standing up for equality. Today "equality" is the reason so many are victims of lurid crimes. Maybe it's not at the same magnitude but the same problem nonetheless. It eludes me how a race that makes up only about 12% of the population can cause so much hatred but it does; in America it's possible. And no it's not always about color. Along with the dreams advertised by America there's social barriers of all sorts. Barriers that stand regardless of your ambitions, desires and intent."

I was teeming with emotions after seeing the film and decided I'd share my thoughts I typed and stored in my phone a few weeks ago around the chaotic time of the Mike Brown verdict. Thoughts I didn't intent to share but had to jot down because the more I didn't express my feeling, the more I didn't try to make sense of them, they seemed to linger and grow.

"With so much in the media lately about Black Americans facing injustice it's been difficult not to be bombarded with subconscious feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness, and confusion. As a Black American I've come to realize that every black person in America faces prejudice differently. Which can be affected by their upbringing, where they live, their age, their skin tone, their education and the list goes on and on. I know people who feel discriminated against frequently and others who can't  recall an instance they felt mistreated because of their race. So naturally I've questioned where I fit in on the spectrum and I've always looked as myself being in the middle. Whether it be that I was stuck in the middle, lost in the middle or just truly neutral because of my own experiences......Being subjected to racism is, however, the dividing factor. I can't say there's a time I can recall when I felt discriminated against because of my race which may be because I don't dwell on negative treatment or because I consciously overlook the mistreatment. But there's moments where I step back and question the treatment I receive from others, almost daily. Sometimes I wonder if the history of slavery here in the United States that's ingrained in so many minds and hearts is also a contributor of my personal sensitivity to racism. No matter what it's a feeling that I encounter that sparks emotions I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I say this to say, so many people claim that blacks reactions to isolated acts of racism is an overreaction. I can agree that may be true in some cases. I can agree that people reasoning is distorted because of past mistreatment. But the hurt felt is not innate; it's something learned from experience. So regardless a person's feelings can not be viewed as invalid. When you have never experienced racism or felt that you were inferior to someone else because of your physical features your opinion is invalid considering this matter." (I lost a few pages of my note but hopefully it still flowed and made sense)

I'm making it a goal to write down my imitate feelings more often. Although it has been a slow progress I look at it as progress nonetheless. I've never been one to just freely share my thoughts with others whether it be a personal or general topic. Ever since I was a young girl writing in my diary, my outlet of choice to express myself has been writing. However, in 2009 I destroyed many intimate poems and excerpts of my life that I wrote over the course of 6 years and it haunts me everyday. All because the emotions it would rekindle in me and the fear of my innermost thoughts being exposed. So I'm starting over and with a new perspective. I remind myself of the stories told in movies, books, plays, poetry and movies and reason that if those writers didn't share pieces of themselves how emotionless and unfamiliar their art would be. I'm trying to learn that it's not taboo. I'm not the only one who may feel the way I do and in the course of sharing myself with others hopefully it will have a positive impact of some sort.

Wednesday, December 24

Tree Hut Italian Mocha Body Scrub

I love body scrubs and have been using Tree Hut for over a year now. I wrote a post on their Coconut Lime scrub earlier this year. It's my go to when I'm not in the mood to make my own scrub or if Target is out of my Shea Moisture's Olive and Green Tea Scrub. However, this past summer I noticed a lot of beauty bloggers mentioning and advertising different coffee scrubs. Why? When applied to the skin caffeine can decrease the appearance of cellulite and help promote the development of firmer skin. No wonder this ingredient is being incorporated in so many beauty products. One popular product in particular is Frank Coffee Scrub. I was going to order a pack to try out the product but thought it would be simple enough to make so I pinned a few coffee scrub recipes on Pinterest but never got around to making it. But I did find a cheap dupe while shopping for a new scrub at Walmart.
Firming Sugar Scrub

If you're a coffee lover not only will you enjoy the skin benefits but the rich, yet not overwhelming smell of coffee. The invigorating scent is a nice 'pick me up'. I love it!

One of the main ingredients in this scrub is coffee seed powder along with other skin enhancing oils to help replenish the skin, allowing all skin types to be able to use the product. So if you  want to a coffee scrub but don't want to splurge give Tree Hut Italian Mocha a try. You can also make your own using coffee grounds, olive or coconut oil and sugar. Click here for a simple recipe or browse Pinterest.

Saturday, December 20

Dinner and a Play

Theatre holds a special place in my heart. I was immensely involved in theater from the age of 10 to 15 (wow 10 years ago). Of course once I hit 16 I thought my free time was better spent with friends and not in play rehearsals after school, acting classes during the weekend or in theater school during the summer. Something I slightly regret today because it was always an outlet I found joy in but I'm not sure it could have ever been something I'd want to dedicate my life to. Don't get me wrong the minute I have time I'm sure I'll take an improv class here and there.
Although I can't be on the stage I've made it a goal to enjoy being a part of the audience as much as possible even more so now that Kamari has shown an interest in seeing plays. As a parent I'm constantly trying to uncover what we have in common so I can share a mutual love of something with him. So while looking for things to do this fall/winter going to a children's play was my main objective.
My dad, who introduced and nurtured my love of theater, always keeps me informed of plays going on in the city. He asked if Kamari would like to see Beauty and the Breast and of course by the time I could utter "Yes" he was a the box office getting tickets for us to go.
The play was based on the original Beauty and the Beast story which I appreciated. I thought Kamari would pick it apart because of only being familiar with the Disney version but he didn't. I was impressed with how observant he was even with his keen eye for detail. He was impressed with the stage props and loved the jokes (he loves comedy). I don't know if I enjoyed watching him or the play as I visualized myself on the stage as Belle's sister :).
Beauty and the Beast will be at the Arden Theatre through Feb. 1. If you're in area it's a great play with an amazing cast. A show for both young and old. 
Going downtown for anything is incentive for Antoine to eat out, hence we found ourselves at El Vez after the play.  Dinner and a play it is! While waiting Kamari pulled one of his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books from who knows where and found a corner.
Book > Mom

{The face you make after having the best salsa and chips}

Saturday, December 6

Travel Segment: Atlanta (Little Five Points)

A friend of mines suggested I go to Little Five Points. She said the neighborhood had a lot of shops and thrift stores I would like. I didn't think I'd have time to fit it into my schedule but added it to my foursquare list just in case.
While having brunch the day I was returning home I informed her that I didn't get a chance to go and  her another friend mentioned how much I would've enjoyed that particular section of Atlanta. It was heavy rain all day so they made it clear that it wouldn't be as enjoyable if I went that day so I concluded I missed out and would go see Underground Atlanta. But when my plans to go to Underground Atlanta changed I reluctantly headed over to Little Five Points just to check it out and kill an hour or two.
The first thrift store we went to was Rag-O-Rama. They had a variety of clothing from current trendy items to vintage pieces. Their clothing was priced moderately. I did find some pieces I felt were worth splurging on. Their sale section had a lot of nice scores for cheap prices.

They have a sign that said no pictures so I didn't take many.

Second shop, Clothing Warehouse.

When I say this is the cutest, most organized thrift store I've ever been to I'm far from exaggerating. Everything was organized by eras, style, color, pattern, etc. Their prices are a little on the pricey side but it's one of those stores that's a one stop shop.

We told the ladies at Clothing Warehouse we wanted pizza and they recommended Little 5 Points Pizza.

I'm starting to think pizza after thrifting is our tradition.

The two thrift shops and pizza joint was all we had time for, but I know next time I'm in the A to arrange my affairs so that I can spend a few hours in this part of town.

Friday, December 5


Went to the Mac counter inside Nordstrom at the Perimeter Mall to get my Make-up done by one of their lovely artist named Vanessa. If in need of a mua in Atlanta look her up @vanessa_mua @beatbeautyartistry

Pit stop at the Food Truck Park before the reception. The fish is that good.

A photographer for Jezebel Magazine captured this photo of us. The magazine was having a Girls Nite Out event that evening so I was able to grab a swag bag with some goodies. I guess us being greedy worked out in our favor in more than one way.

Peep their silhouettes up top. Best entrance ever!


He talks as if he can hang but really can't lol

After the short-lived after party