the life of martin luther king, jr.

it’s awesome to reflect on all of the wonderful things that martin luther king, jr. did for this country and its people, but to see a visual…a timeline of his life really puts this day in perspective. he had accomplished so much by the young age of 39 (the same age as me!! my goodness!!). it’s beyond amazing.

i salute you on this day, dr. king.

MLK Infographic

graphic created by allison morris for onlinecollegecourses.com

basketball is his favorite sport…for now

i used to joke with my husband when i was pregnant and say, “watch, i’m going to be that mama involved in everything!!! i’ll be the pta mom, the soccer mom…” i just rolled off a million things that seemed simple to do to a mom who hadn’t yet given birth.

well, i’m not a pta mom. and so far, i haven’t been a soccer mom either. not for a team anyway. we enrolled dutch in a soccer basics activity when he was three, but he was kinda young quite to get the gist of it. first of all, i signed his up for british soccer complete with british coaches. dutch could barely understand them.

we tried tennis too and tee ball, but he really has a passion for football and basketball. he played basketball last spring and we’re seeing lots of improvement in his game already. my husband and i weren’t too sure if he’d want to play again after the last season because soon after his last season he announced, “i’m never playing basketball again. i retired!!!”

but oh…after football season ended, he was ready to play again.

basketball booyahhis team lost their first game of the season by quite a few points, but the next game they came back stronger and it was pretty intense. who knew basketball with a bunch of seven-year-olds could be intense?!!

the game went into overtime and then one of dutch’s teammates scored two points and after that dutch came with another two points to seal the win. there’s nothing like watching your child doing something that he loves, and doing it well to boot!

quite exciting indeed.

 

5 sweet thangs i want but can’t have

if i could, i would, but i can’t so i’ll post.

here are 5 things i’d love to be eating right now instead of sippin’ water and eating a banana while acting like it’s a pineapple soda and laffy taffy.

coconut cake

via momofukufor2

see this right here. this is my absolute FAVE!! you hear me?? MY FAVE!!!! and i know you’re not supposed to deprive yourself of your favorites when living a healthier lifestyle, but you just don’t understand how hard i would go on this coconut cake with coconut swiss meringue buttercream.

yep, all that.

it wouldn’t even be right. in fact, let’s get on with the next thing before i get tempted to run out and purchase the ingredients.

 

creme brulee ice cream

via cafe johnsonia

and here comes another fave taken to a whole ‘nother level. get this, creme brulee ICE CREAM!!! now i’m sure that lindsey over at cafe johnsonia isn’t the first who’s ever done it and i’m sure there’s been plenty since (this post was published in 2007), but she sure takes a pretty picture. don’t you just wanna lick the screen right now?

i do.

next!!!

 

dark chocolate lace cookiesvia my jerusalem kitchen

ummmmmm…YUM!!!! i love a thin crispy cookie. forget those soft, gooey things. i like my cookie with a crunch. and these dark chocolate almond & orange lace cookies to me look like they are right down my cookie alley. yep-per!!

 

toffee vanilla bean bundt cakevia week of menus

see this beauty? it’s a toffee vanilla bean bundt cake with caramel glaze and sea salt. i won’t pretend like i’ve ever had anything even similar to this cake, but just the name of it has me reaching for a fork. i didn’t even need to see a pic. but ohhhhhhh, the pic. that beautiful caramel glaze…

maybe i really don’t wanna be fit. maybe i should just toffee vanilla bean bundt cakes with caramel glaze and sea salt my life away.

yeah, i’m trippin’.

last but not least…

 

salty chocolate chunk cookiesvia bon appetit

now you know life ain’t quite right without a chocolate chip cookie around every now and then. these here are salty chocolate chunk cookies. see, those crumbs up there? that means they’re crunchy, just like i like ’em.

make yo’ own :: giant tissue paper flowers

okay, i know it seems like i’m on this ginormous kick after last week’s big ol’ pom pom how-to vid, but this might actually come in handy for that wedding i’m planning. and since it might be useful to me, i figured it might be useful for someone else too!

i remember when i was a little girl my pop would let me get a gigantic paper tissue flower whenever we went to king’s dominion. i doubt if they still sell them, but i thought they were the most wonderful things back then. now i can make my own! woot! woot!

here goes…

let your creative side fly

the thing about letting your creativity fly is that all you need is an idea, a few materials and a little space to make it happen.

bowl of glass beadsi’m a maker. i dig making things. i love painting, crafting, doodling, making jewelry…creating stuff. if i could sing i’d make a record, but that ain’t my talent.

but anyway, it’s sooooo important for me to go off of my own creative vibes. it’s so easy to look at something that someone else has created and say, “hey, i can do that!!” but why would you want to? just grab your tool of choice (paintbrush, pen, pencil, camera, sewing machine, needle, etc.) and get busy doing the best to creatively express…you!

my process usually works like this: good music + a glass of wine + table space = creative zone awesomeness. just ask my little family. i zonessssss out!!

and i.need.that. like air, for real.

i’m sure you creatives dig where i’m coming from.

glass charmsometimes my ideas come out great. sometimes not so much. but it’s not always about the end product (and i say “product” loosely, it’s rare that i sell a thing), a lot of times for me it’s the process. seeing what works and what doesn’t. what i enjoy putting together and what i don’t.

and a lot of times your creation is really only a fail because it doesn’t come out the way you had envisioned. and you know, there aren’t really a lot of wrongs in being creative (unless you’re trinidad james, but that’s another story) and that’s what’s so fly about it.

so when a piece doesn’t come out the way i dreamed it up in mind, i usually take off in another direction to create something else. or trash it.

whatever works.

spottedi have tons of ideas. an overwhelming amount of them. sometimes i think/dream up so many things that i can do that i get exhausted. for real!! then i end up doing nothing.

painted thingsbut i’m learning to do what i can, when i can and not pressure myself to do everything at once. i jot down my thoughts then take my time creating them.

let the creativity flow naturally.

more painted thingsand every once in a while, i’ll create a thing that i absolutely love.

purple curly locs

i remember telling one of my girlfriends last year that i wanted to dye my hair purple. she thought i was nuts. her reaction wasn’t a huge deterrent because right off the bat i realized that she’s a bit more conservative than me so i understood why she wasn’t really seeing my purple hued vision.

it’s cool. everythang ain’t for everybody.

the only reason i decided not to dye my hair is because i’ve been on a gig hunt since i was laid off and my guess is that purple hair isn’t that widely accepted in the office place.

conformity sucks.

my purple urge came back strong the other day when i saw tarenguy’s pic on instagram. her purple super curly hair is gorgeous!! i just LOVE how it looks on her!!! i’ll have to live vicariously through her until i safely land in a place of employment. then i can put them in a state of shock and awe when i dye my hair purple my second week there.

here’s taren’s youtube vid of her dying her hair using manic panic.

workouts will make her dizzy

so…new year, new body, right? even if you didn’t make the official resolution to lose weight or work out chances are being physically fit is on your mind. and if it ain’t on your mind it’s on your best girlfriend/coworker/mama/cousin/aunt’s mind. you or someone you know wants to lose this or tighten that. i know i do. not worrying about suckin’ in my tummy if i’m wearing a fitted shirt would be pretty nice and i’m sad to report that the days of eating what i want without exercising have long gone.

*enter cry here*

that doesn’t necessarily mean that i woke up at 6am on 1/1/13 to get my fitness on. nope, sure didn’t. it wasn’t until yesterday morning (on a tuesday no less, who starts ish on a tuesday?? niki does…) that i woke up with a huge “W” on my chest.

W” is for wonder woman in case you’re wondering.

i was finally ready to kick off this fitness routine and bang it on out. to be completely honest, i felt as if i had no choice. my sister does almost daily twitter check-ins with me and a few of her girlfriends asking how our workouts went and well, i beginning to feel a bit lame that i hadn’t even started. she sent me an email last week about these fitness chicks over at tone it up who have crafted a plan, called love your body, to be fit by valentine’s day. silly me, said, okay, i’ll do it!! and then i didn’t.

truthfully, after checking out the tone it up app/site my excitement waned a little. helloooooo, these girls are clearly a good decade (maybe a decade and a half) younger than me!

see what i mean? they look so good ’cause daggoneit, they’re supposed to, right?! give me someone who has experienced the dreaded metabolism slow down after 30, who’s had a kid or two…something. has nicole murphy released a workout video yet? that’s what i’m talking about.

but since i wasn’t doing anything to kick off this fitness thing myself, i figured, well, why not go with this thing she suggested? and who knows, those tone it up chicks could very well be over-30 mamas.

and so i started with the tone it up itty bitty bikini workout. it was the first thing i stumbled across on their app (which is not very user-friendly, in my opinion).

yoga mat

i locked my charlie pup up (’cause he always gets in the way during floor exercises like he’s my personal trainer or something), threw on a tee and some sweats, rolled out my mat, and for the next several minutes i cursed every cheeseburger/french fry/krispy kreme donut/chocolate-y thing/salt ‘n vinegar potato chip/tall glass of simply lemonade with raspberry/bowl of mac ‘n cheese and candied yams/slice of pizza/strawberry shortcake/strawberry daiquiri/strawberry milkshake/strawberry flavored now & later that EVER passed my freakin’ lips!!

i cursed it all.

i really wanted to cry long streams of hot, burning tears because that. ish. HURT!! it hurt so bad that once i was done i wanted to reward myself with two big ol’ scoops of haagen dazs coffee ice cream with extra whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles (’cause yes, i have all that here in my home) just to ease the pain, but i figured that would be…well, dumb. but i didn’t. i pulled my aching body up off of the floor and plotted my next move.

must’ve been because of that “W” on my chest.

i was pumped!! ready!! sore but ready!! i decided i’d hit the gym. yeah!!! walk (briskly!!) on the treadmill for two miles or more!! woohoooooo!!

treadmill

okay, two miles is quite a distance. did you know that? you probably do. you’re probably the type that runs like 15 miles a day. well, i’m not talking to you. i’m talking to the person who is pretty sedentary. the one who, like me, counts scrubbing the tub, walking up the steps at home, strolling around target and even having sex as exercise. and it is, sorta, but it ain’t like getting on the treadmill.

i jumped on that sucka with my mp3 player plugged into my ears, music bumpin’ and my bottle of water right at hand. i started off slow. like, real slow, with my incline low. i’m a lightweight on the treadmill and i’m not afraid to admit it. then i bumped up the speed a couple notches, raised the incline. 20 minutes later i finally got to the one-mile mark.

i was tired and sweaty and looking a hot mess i’m sure but i was glad that i had made it that far. it was more than i did the day before so yaaaayyyyyyyyyy, me!!

i hear you sucking your teeth. whatever.

my doc said exercise for 20 minutes a day and i did. so yaaaayyyyyyyyyy me!

i punched in the cool down mode and started bringing it on home, but when i got off the treadmill i had this wobbly leg thing going on and i felt dizzy as all get out! you know the feeling you get after exiting a roller coaster ride? yep, it was pretty much like that.

thank goodness no one was in the gym at that time to witness the dizzy chick trying to make it over to a chair to get her bearings. or notice that even once the dizzy girl stood up she was still kinda…well, dizzy.

i don’t know exactly where that feeling came from…maybe the big ol’ cup of extra strong coffee i had just before? or perhaps my body was trippin’ like girrrrrrrllllll, you know we’re supposed to be home on the couch right now web surfin’ for jobs. or it could be an inner ear thing. i hear that causes dizziness. whatever it was, and i’ve been to the doctor recently so it’s not a blood issue, it wasn’t right so i’m thinking today i’ll be hitting the sidewalk.

will i ever have a ponytail? geesh!!

curly hairso here i am, still on my little hair growing journey hoping to have my full, sorta longish, luxurious ponytail someday. as you can see, my hair ain’t quite there yet. it’s heck-a full, but just long enough for a ponytail. an itty bitty, pulled back so tight ponytail that only lasts about five minutes before the sides begin to ache for freedom and bust loose leaving me looking like a frizzy dandelion.

oh, the frustration of growing hair. the in-between phase just utterly sucks. there just isn’t much i can do with it. it’s just kinda there. sticking up in every direction, looking nuts. a lot of days i cover it with a beanie.

beanies are my best friends.

i’m fighting hard against chopping it all off and getting back into my short-do comfy zone. i’m holding tight and envisioning that hopefully one day sorta soon my hair will look something like this…

 

this woman’s hair is gorgeous!! curls are healthy and poppin’ and flowing in the wind. i luv it!

and if i’m really patient enough maybe one day i can go back to this…

Source: tumblr.com via niki on Pinterest

 

a girl can dream, right?