Redefining My Space

In honor of the relaunch of this blog, here is a “re-blog” explaining why I needed to regain my focus. Stay tuned for more soon!

savvymochamama

Yesterday, I wrote about how being plagiarized inspired me to shake off the dust from this blog and to record my thoughts in my own space. I have wanted to return to my work for a few months now, but I felt discouraged in terms of believing in the value of my ability to be an influence through my writing. Now that I am, once again, a believer in my own worth, I need to attend to a bit of housecleaning.

This summer, I witnessed just how deep the double standard is in terms of valuing the life and well-being of black women. It is truly an ugly, murky battlefield for the woman of African descent who desires to exercise her G-d-given right to “be”…to be feminine, to be loved, to be protected, to be desired, to be honored…to be a woman. Adding interracial marriage to the mix serves only to…

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Redefining My Space

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Yesterday, I wrote about how being plagiarized inspired me to shake off the dust from this blog and to record my thoughts in my own space. I have wanted to return to my work for a few months now, but I felt discouraged in terms of believing in the value of my ability to be an influence through my writing. Now that I am, once again, a believer in my own worth, I need to attend to a bit of housecleaning.

This summer, I witnessed just how deep the double standard is in terms of valuing the life and well-being of black women. It is truly an ugly, murky battlefield for the woman of African descent who desires to exercise her G-d-given right to “be”…to be feminine, to be loved, to be protected, to be desired, to be honored…to be a woman. Adding interracial marriage to the mix serves only to further challenge the black woman who desires to enjoy the beauty of womanhood and a peaceful life.

Nevertheless, all is not lost. It IS possible for a black woman to let her elegance shine through and to live the best life she can with a loving spouse and healthy children. This is what my life is about, and this is what my blog will focus on moving forward.

For my readers whose reality is not overtly nor directly reflected and uplifted in this blog, you are still very much welcome here as observers and supporters. I moderate my comments strictly (hence, very few of them appear), and I will continue to do so. I am first of all a wife, a mother, and I don a number of other hats on any given day, including that of grad student, business owner, gardener, etc. In short, I value my time and my peace. I will work hard to keep every space that is called “mine” free of toxicity. To be clear, if you don’t support the BWE movement, or if you believe in inclusion of any kind, please take this as my singular warning and encouragement to create your own space.

 I would like to take a moment to publicly thank one of my influences, the fabulous Ms. Dee Dee Russell, for demonstrating just how important it is to tend one’s own garden (and for influencing the verbiage used to communicate this message). Please pay her a visit: http://www.deedeerussell.com

I’m looking forward to getting back into the game.

Beijos,

Savvy Mocha Mama

I was plagiarized today

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Hello Swirling Beauties,

I’ve spent the past summer fulfilling my need to write by participating in several forums. The instant gratification of constant, daily interaction and feedback from women and men whom I respect deeply made it difficult to return to the often one-sided venture that is blogging. In the presence of so many seasoned individuals whose wisdom pored through the screen of my laptop, I also experienced a bit of a crisis. I began to experience a form of “blogger’s block” borne out of the idea that I simply had nothing to say that anyone else would deem worthy of their consideration. That all changed today when I discovered I had been plagiarized.

I do not wish to get into the details because when it’s all said and done, it was a silly thing to do. It did not damage me economically nor creatively, but it did alert me to the fact that I have more influence than I had previously believed. For that, and that alone, I am grateful.

I have witnessed a lot of ugly wars between bloggers in the BWE movement this summer, so I will stand by my commitment to do my best to avoid becoming entrenched in conflict on a personal level. However, should the offender come across this post (and it is likely you will), I have just one thing to say: Thank you for opening my eyes to my worth as a writer, but do yourself a favor and hone your craft rather than commandeering mine. Next time, I won’t take it so lightly.

For those who are concerned that I am not taking this offense seriously, not to worry: I have the screen shots to make my case, should I need to, in the future.

Beijos,

Savvy Mocha Mama

Dad’s Day Out, Girls’ Day In

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This past Sunday was my husband’s first all-day Guys Only Paintball Extravaganza of 2013. Being alone all day outside of the normal time I spend with our daughter is a challenge, especially whilst enrolled in a Masters Program, but I made the most of the situation. My husband could not sleep the night before the outing, perhaps due to the excitement of being able to get out his stress in a very extreme, testosterone filled activity. Consequently, I did not sleep, so I was looking forward to being able to spend a rare morning lazily drifting in and out of sleep following his departure. I did not wake to prepare his breakfast since he was not going to work and since he skipped his assigned day (Saturdays), so I thought I was in the clear for a luxurious morning spent in bed.

Wrong.

My daughter normally wakes up several times in the morning wanting to be nursed or to have her diaper changed. She typically (and very graciously) will go back to sleep so long as I pretend I am sill asleep.  This time she rolled over towards my husband’s side of the bed and began to talk to “Ah-bob-bob” (My husband a.k.a. Abba b.k.a. Ah-bob or Mo). When she realized the lump of blankets did not contain her daddy, she rolled over to face me. I attempted to ignore the incessant coos of “hi”, “eeeee-ma”, and “mum-mum”, but my fast-growing migraine would not permit it. I kissed my daughter several times on her big, round, rosy cheeks and pouty pink lips, and got up.

In a moment of sheer genius, I decided to treat myself to a shower. Not one of those 2 minute excuses of a washing that I normally go for, but an indulgent romp in a make believe waterfall where I could escape from all the demands on my spirit, soul, and body. I loaded my dolly into her bouncy chair, gave her a piece of toilet paper, a fluffy towel, and Eric Carle (the name of her favorite toy designed by the author for which it is named) before proceeding to jump into the shower.

I won’t disclose how long I stayed in the shower, but I had time to detangle my hair, give myself the best pedicure I could manage, and gave my skin a much needed exfoliation session. I also managed to get the candles going and to use a little lavender essential oil to really set the mood.

The best part of it all? My daughter fell asleep again! Pure bliss.

When I finally decided to leave the dreamland I had created in my bathroom, I treated my daughter to a little spa day of her own. She has had the misfortune of inheriting my sensitive skin, so I give her sponge baths more often than full dips in the tub. I treated her to a tea tree oil and castile soap cleansing session followed by a full body massage with coconut oil. She’s really been working hard at standing and walking lately (with help from Abba), so I gave special attention to her feet. She had a good time, and we both enjoyed the bonding.

I’m actually looking forward to my husband’s next day trip. What I thought was going to be an exercise in patience turned out to be one of the best days I’ve had since becoming a mother.

Finding My Voice

I have been lost for a long time.

Until I gave birth to my daughter, I always thought I was as confident and authentic as they come. Now I realize that I have lived far too long inside of a prison constructed by my inability to recognize that which is my responsibility versus the baggage of others. Thanks to the tough love of a dear friend, I realize that this is not the lesson I want to teach my daughter. I hope and pray she will be mature enough to admit her mistakes, to accept that failures are a part of life that serve to motivate us to become our best selves. What I do not want is to communicate the idea that she should be anyone’s doormat at any time. Repression of one’s authentic self is not an act of love, rather it is being fearful and dishonest. It is to cheat the world of the once in a lifetime opportunity to encounter a one of a kind individual. Not everyone will accept nor will they like who I really am, but living life as someone else is a heinous offense to my G-d who made me just as He pleased.

She is far too young to understand it now, but I owe my daughter my life. I may not matter to the world, but I mean everything to her, and my decisions as her parent will make all the difference in her world.

Baby B’s

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Announcement: I will be hosting an exploratory discussion series on the eight “Baby B’s” of Attachment Parenting beginning March 12th at various locations in Spokane. These sessions will focus on the work of Dr. William Sears and the practical application in the lives of families that wish to engage in this style of parenting. If you are local and would like more information, please contact me. A condensed version of the series will be made available online as the sessions occur. 

Introducing…

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Happy New Year! 2012 was an explosive year from start to finish for my family, culminating in the most exciting event of my entire life thus far, the birth of my gorgeous little girl. Hubby and I are a bit wary of putting personal photos online, especially of our children, so I’ll have to be taken at my word regarding her beauty 🙂 Now that I am officially a mother, I feel that my blog will have much more credibility. Today is just my Little One’s 14th day of life, so we’re in the trenches right now. Though my blog hiatus has come to an end, it is going to take some time to get back into the rhythm of things. Thanks to those who are taking the time to check-in with what is happening on this page. I am looking forward to sharing my parenting adventures as they unfold in 2013 and beyond!

The New Elegant Black Woman

I have always wanted to open a finishing school for young women of color, especially those in the African diaspora. I detest the stereotypical portrayal of women of African descent in the media, and it hurts my heart to see young women believing the lie that blackness equals a lack of class, lack of discipline, and lack of femininity. Whether or not my dream will see fruition, there are women who are hard at work championing the cause of redefining black femininity. Today I stumbled across The New Elegant Black Woman, and I can tell it’s going to become one of my favorite blogs. True style and beauty is timeless and cross cultural, so don’t be afraid to check if out if you’re not an individual of African descent.

Enjoy!

I’m still alive!

As of this post, I am 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant with just 3 weeks left to finish up my classes. I’m working hard to stay ahead since my Little One could appear at any moment. I did the smart thing and prepared some posts a little while ago with the intention of publishing a new one each week, but things have been too crazy to even do that.

For those who are still reading my blog, thank you. There will be much more to come when my child is on this side of the womb. In the meanwhile, say a prayer for me-there’s still the matter of getting through labor and delivery 🙂

Guacanana

This is an incredibly easy no-cook recipe created by my husband and me a couple of years ago. We were house sitting in the country one beautiful summer in a gorgeous (and huge!) home, complete with one of the best gardens I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. Every day we harvested fresh, delicious produce including some of the most fragrant cilantro we had ever tasted. One night, we decided to play around with the idea of a sweet guacamole, and Guacanana  (gwah-kah-NAH-nah) was born.

Ingredients

  • One medium ripe haas avocado
  • One medium ripe banana
  • ½ T Inglehoffer Honey Mustard
  • ½  cup sweet onion, minced
  • 2-3 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Tools

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Dinner fork

Instructions

  1. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Chop into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Peel banana and slice into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Place avocado and banana into bowl. Using a dinner fork, mash together to achieve desired consistency. For a chunkier dip, mash ingredients just until they are mixed evenly.
  4. Stir in the onion, cilantro, and honey mustard.
  5. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, pita, or with anything one would normally pair with guacamole.

Enjoy!

 

Recipe created by Casey W. and Tiffany A. Ingle