create an art gallery for your child

i’m sure the very last thing on your child’s Christmas list is art. in fact, it’s not there at all. i know, i know. but beau chic print shop has some pretty cool prints that i think would fit nicely in any child’s room.

this lion is my favorite of them all!

lionnamedparkerlimited edition “lion named parker” print, $19

dreambigdream big little one, $11

thinkandwonderthink and wonder, $11

tothemooni love  you to the moon, $11

youaremysunshineyou are my sunshine, $11.  i think this one is pretty special too! i remember singing this song to dutch in the hospital after he was born. awwwwwww!!! haha…




give a little love inspiration

i’ve been following black and married with kids‘ online and in social media for years. their website is chock full of good information and stories related to black marriage and families. if you’ve done the good deed by jumping the broom, you know how it is. you’ve said the vows, had the party, things are good and then you get to a space where you just plain ol’ don’t know what’s going on with your communication, you’re in a rut and you just can’t figure out how to get things on track again. well, bmwk has produced a few films that are focused on uplifting and inspiring folks to stay the course in marriage and commit to their spouses and children. there’s nothing like knowing someone else understands what you’re going through and got over it.

the black family 4-pack dvd package is now being offered at a discount ($60!) and includes: happily ever after: a positive image of black marriage, you saved me, men ain’t boys and still standing!

blackmarriedwkidsfilmshappily ever after: a positive image of black marriage takes a look at black marriage from inside and outside of the community.

you saved me is a collection of love stories that speak to marital challenges and triumphs.

still standing features kindred the family soul, arrested development’s speech, yolanda thomas and more and shows couples conversing on how they made it through when others have failed.

men ain’t boys offers a look at issues such as stereotypes surrounding manhood, the results of effective fatherhood and the requirements for maintaining lasting love, relationships and marriages.

also, in early 2014 bmwk is offering new year, new marriage, a dvd and workbook set that couples can use at home to strengthen their marriages.



forget bling, get some sparkle

so you want some bling, some shine, some ooooooo la la, but your pockets are screaming no, no, no?? how about settling for just a little sparkle? for now. and i’m imagining that if you’re a little stressed at this time of year (or know someone who is), banging on this baby will relieve a bit of tension.

crack me open geode by chaparral studio.

sparkleswould make a great stocking stuffer, no?

scarves, skirts and more…oh my!

as i’m sure you know, etsy is a great place to find awesome. sometimes it takes a little digging, but it’s there. and barkdecor is chock full of awesome. they offer everything from clothing and jewelry to art prints and home decor.

here are a few of my faves from their offerings.

impalatankimpala tank

mountainkaleidoscopemountain kaleidoscope cowl scarf

nazcalinesnazca lines

nyalahighwaistedskirtyaaaaaasssss!!! this one’s my ultimate favorite. nyala high waisted skirt

throughthesewoodsinfinityscarfthrough these words infinity scarf

for love and lemons skivves

i’ll never forget years ago when i was in college in nyc and my cousin tasia came to visit. we caught the train down to century 21. we strolled around the store being our normal extra silly selves and landed in the lingerie section. we were joking around, picking up thongs and bras like, “oooooo…girl, do you like this ling-er-eeeee??” and this older white woman stopped near us and said, “it’s pronounced lohn/zhu/ray.” ummmmm. okay. we fell out laughing!! did she really think we didn’t know? haha!! two snaps to the old chick trynna school two young black girls.

but anyhoo, that brings me to this post. ultra girly, ultra fem, for love and lemons skivves is super sexy and fab ling-er-eeeeeeee!!

let the dream wave continue.

forloveandlemons2 forloveandlemons3 forloveandlemons4 forloveandlemons5 forloveandlemons6forloveandlemons



love never fails by kent youngstrom

i have to admit that there have been times where i have spent a ridiculous amount of time on pinterest. now don’t get me wrong, i’m not on it daily or even once a week most weeks, but when i’m on it, i’m ON IT, ya heard? like a freakin’ pin binge.

it’s sick really. i’m finding recipes i’ll never cook and craft-y stuff i’ll probably never make, but there’s just something about collecting those pictures. strangely addictive.

but if it were not for one of those pin binges i would have probably never run across kent youngstrom and his awesome artwork. and by the way, kent pins too.

this is the first piece i stumbled across…

loveneverfailsfabso simple, right?? but so wonderfully fabulous all at the same time. i neeeeeeed this now. a bit dramatic, but i’d like to have it a whole, whole lot. the thing is it was selling on and as of this post is all sold out. bummer.

but alas, kent is an artist and offers a whole array of work. here are a few of my faves. if you’re stumped on Christmas gifts, give the gift of art!

kent4kent1 kent2 kent3kent5i can’t lie. his work has more than inspired me to pick up a brush and some paint and get busy again. painting is definitely one of my favorite things to do.

metalin’ with vanessa mooney

steps up to the mic *tap tap tap* hellooooooo, is anyone out there??

ahem… i know i’ve been gone quite some time. well, life happens and sometimes those happenings drain all of your inspiration and creativity and willingness to do any daggone thang.


i’m back. back-er than back. now usually during this time of year i’m busy making stuff to give folk for Christmas, but i just don’t have it in me to eek it out this year. so instead, i’m compiling a dream list of thangs. maybe it’ll inspire you and give an idea or two for that special someone in your life! or you can ride along with me on the dream wave. either/or.

so here to kick off the dream wave is vanessa mooney‘s lovely jewelry. i’ve been a fan of her work for quite some time because her creations are just soooo dope. no other way to describe it.

aloversembracebodychain2a lover’s embrace bodychain


inyourheartnecklace2_edited-1in your heart necklace


ridinghighcuff2riding high cuff

spellonyoucuff2spell on you cuff


thejanisring2the janis ring

whereveryouwandernecklace2wherever you wander necklace


10 ways to stand strong in your square

life is unpredictable. there’s no way around it. you can plan out what you’d like to happen: the places you’d like to go, the friends you will keep, the love you plan to nurture, the career path you’ll follow, but there’s always a chance that some humongous monkey wrench will be thrown right at your head and toss you off your square.

sky mama's got moxie

but you don’t have to be moved from your square, honey. oh noooooo, you can stand firm in your spot and deal with all of the mess with strength and courage to get through it!!

i know because i’m living it.

the past several months have been the roughest of my life, no doubt about that, but i’ve learned a lot about myself and gotten lessons throughout this season that i wouldn’t have acquired otherwise. so i ain’t mad. well, that ain’t true. i’ve been mad a bunch of times, but i absolutely refuse to moved from my square.

i’m immovable.



i always thought of myself as a pretty tough and strong chick, but now i know that without a doubt. there’s no question in my mind about being able to push through insane obstacles in my life. i know that i can, i will, and here’s why:

1. honey, my faith in the Lord is strong. i am not responsible for my strength, it all comes from the Lord. no doubt. i got to a point in my struggles where i just became tired of trying to do things my way. my way was not working and it caused a tremendous amount of frustration and stress. oh, the stress. the stress was thick and choking the very life out of me. it was time to let it go.

exodus 14:14 says, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

hello!! that was it for me. it was time to wipe off the war paint and put my guns down. this battle was not for me. i decided to give it up to the Lord. i’ve stayed in deep prayer over my life, started a prayer journal and the whole nine and guess what? although i wouldn’t say i’m stress-free, i have a sense of calm and peace that i haven’t felt ever during a time of heavy mess-ness.

2. i had to accept some things about myself. i am not perfect. i have said and done things that have caused pain to people i love and i had to recognize that. doing a self-examination is not comfortable. it ain’t fun. in fact, it’s pretty funky to look at yourself and say, you know that thing i do…it’s a pretty wack way to be, but it’s something that has to be done. self checks are important. but recognizing my ugly stuff was only half the story…

3. change. recognizing your ish is one thing, but changing how you move about life is necessary. especially if you know how you have behaved in the past had a negative impact on people and situations. own your mess and change it. simple as that. as an adult it can be difficult to change your ways because, well, you’re grown and you’ve been a certain way for a long time. but hey, it can be done. i’ve looked at some things in my life and said to myself, “now niki, you know, that wasn’t cool…next time, this is what we gon’ do. how we gon’ handle that type of situation.” and i’ve been doing it ever since, haven’t looked back once.

4. if your behavior has hurt anyone, apologize and ask for forgiveness. they may not be able to accept your apology or even offer you forgiveness, but at that point it’s out of your hands. ain’t a daggone thing you can do about that because it’s not on you. it’s on them. your part is to be honest about what you’ve done and sincerely ask to be forgiven in the situation.

5. forgive those who have offended you for whatever they’ve done to you. and i mean, whatever. this is a tough-y for a lot of people. but as i wrote on instagram a while ago we tend to think that forgiving a best friend, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, child, boss/coworker or whoever is about granting THEM a gift, but the true power in forgiveness is about YOU. it’s really not about the person who has offended you.

forgiveness allows you to kickstart the healing process of your heart and you grow as a person because of it. harboring hate and anger towards another person is stifling in our lives no matter what it is they’ve done to hurt you, but releasing those ill feelings is freeing.

mark 11:25 says, “and when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

6. know that forgiving and asking for forgiveness may not change a darn thing about your situation. if a person is unable to move past a negative situation, there’s nothing you can do to change their mind or heart. ya heard? nothing. you can apologize but what you can’t do is go back in time and erase whatever you’ve done. it just ain’t possible. you could offer them the moon on a platter with five unicorns with skittle necklaces dancing around it and it ain’t gonna change the past. and you can not change a person’s heart or what they feel about you or the situation, and if they choose to dwell on the negative then so be it. it’s okay. you’ve done your part.

7. understand that you can’t change people. you can only change yourself. there will be people in your life who will do or say things you may not like and it may cause you a lot of pain, but ultimately you have no control over what they do or say to you. but you can control your reaction to it. how you react is totally up to you. we all have the capability of making choices for ourselves and whether you choose to respond positively or negatively is something you have to weigh. and if it’s negative, just know there’s a great chance of you having to deal with the aftermath of the decision you made to respond in a non-healthy way.

what i’ve learned during this rough season in my life is to be still before reacting. be still and pray if necessary on what your response should be. whatever you do, don’t respond out of emotion. been there, done that a million times. it doesn’t work.

8. watch your words. you know the old saying, “if you don’t have nothin’ good to say, don’t say it?” yeah, pretty much. the Bible even speaks on the power of the tongue.

matthew 15:11 says, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

i’ve always been the type of person to say what’s on my mind, especially out of emotion and in a heated argument, but most of what is said in anger is not true for most. you’re coming from a place that’s heated and emotional and most of all, you’re trying to hurt the person who’s pissing you off. so don’t even go there because once it’s out there it’s a done deal. you can’t take your words back. choose your words wisely and watch yo’ mouth.

9. don’t dwell on the negative. look, we all go through tough times, it’s just a part of life but you can not sit in the muck of it all and bathe in every wrong thing that has gone wrong in your life. i’m not saying to thug it out and not be sad, but don’t let that sad feeling overtake you. there’s life to be lived, you can’t be under your comforter soothing yourself with pints of ice cream for weeks on end crying streams of tears and singing woe is me. child, please…

address the issue, give yourself a little time to cry it out or whatever, but brush yourself off and get back to business. ’cause you best believe, the world is not going to stop spinning because you’re going through some mess. and if you’re down because of a person, nine times out of ten, they’re not nearly as affected as you. they’re laughing and hahaha’ing and having a grand ol’ time in life. so why aren’t you, dear?

10. stop wasting time and brain space on the negative!! dig deep into your passions, travel, pick up a new hobby, ride a bike, take a class, play your favorite records, dance with your kids, go see a movie, take a walk, hang out with your girls, travel, read a book… set some goals for yourself. make some dreams come true. take the tags off that special dress you bought for some special occasion that never happened and rock it down to the coffee shop. buy a new lipgloss, dust off your heels and be as beautiful on the outside as you’re now feeling on the inside.

basically, don’t let your current situation bring your life to a halt. life is far too short to not be able to move through the bad times into the good days. your life may take some turns you hadn’t expected, but go with it. change can be good. choose happiness and rock it out.

only in dc :: go-go zumba

i saw someone post a pic about go-go zumba on instagram and i was all like, “weerrrrrrrdddd?? where?” if you are from (or have been to) the dc area and know anything about go-go it’s not hard to imagine how this idea would offer a great workout. in fact, the creator of this workout, dani tucker, said they burn 1,300 calories during each class!

i googled to get more info and found that go-go fitness’s z go-go holds classes all around the dc area and for just five bucks!! the schedule of classes can be found on their site. i also found this video on youtube to give you all a little peek at how it goes down during go-go zumba.

on failing challenges and passion

so how do you muck up a blogging challenge that calls for you to blog every day for a month? you don’t blog every day for a month. instead you post every 3 to 5 days because you’re a rebel who doesn’t like rules.

actually that last part isn’t totally true. i just got caught up and didn’t post. but hey, onward and forward with today’s post: dutch and wrestling and mama being bugged about wrestling by dutch night and day and day and night.

mama's got moxie

my dear loving child discovered the wwe several months ago and it’s been all about wrestling ever since. he has wrestling video games, watches matches on cable and pulls up old wwe/wwf matches up on youtube via his ipad.

he’s serious.

my child is very interactive with his newfound love too. he not only watches continuous streams of wrestling video, he mimics the moves on a large stuffed bunny that used to be mine. he jumps off the couch (all while i’m screaming in the background for him not to jump off the couch) and does all of the finisher moves he’s seen done by his favorite wrestlers. he has even written out his “special moves” that he has asked me to forward to the wwe. the “neck breaker” moves terrifies me, by the way.

mama's got moxie

as crazy as all his wrestling talk drives me at times (he has asked me several times a day for the past few weeks to sign him up for wrestling in our neighborhood) there is something to be said about his passion for this sport. if you wanna call what the wwe does a sport. to me, it’s more like an entertainment show, but whatever.

his passion is thick. he eats, sleeps, dreams, walks, talks wrestling. i get it though. i’ve been passionate about many, many things in my life. passionate about my family, passionate about my work, passionate about my creativity and artsy-craftiness. so all i can really do is smile through all his wrestling talk and be happy that at this young age he’s found something that he truly adores.