Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! This is a random post, but who cares. It's Christmas!

Just finished the little bit of Christmas shopping I had and managed to get all gifts $10 and under (patting myself on the back).

Bought some much needed maternity clothes. My bras and underwear were cutting off my circulation and something needed to be done (was that TMI?)!

I managed to almost give my husband a heart attack. How, you ask? I placed my laptop on the edge of my dresser (dumb, I know). Then instead of detaching the cord from the computer first, I picked it up by the other end. Suddenly the laptop began to spin off of the dresser. I rushed to catch it and...."HONEY, NO!!!!!!!!" screamed my husband. He scared me about half to to death because I'm not sure I've ever heard him scream that loud. The first scream was followed by a, "DAMN THE COMPUTER. LET IT FALL!" Well, I did end up dropping it anyway. I apologized and told my husband I was fine. It was just a reflex. You must understand his concern though. You see I don't have one of those cute 1/2 pound Macbooks. I have a 2003 Dell Inspiron 6000 which weighs almost as much as a desktop. Not to mention, I'm six months pregnant.

My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. Running a close second is Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli's rendition of What Child is This.

I hope you all have a very blessed holiday full of joy and new memories!



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Pajama Day

6 months!



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Feel Naked

My fingers are officially too fat for my wedding rings, and I feel completely naked. I put my rings on a chain, but it still doesn't feel right. I keep feeling my finger, and something is missing. Anybody else feel this way when you stop wearing something that you've been wearing for years?
I don't like the feeling :(



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: I Think I Put Too Much



Monday, December 14, 2009

And the Winner is...

From the desk of me... from How Full is Your Bucket?

Congrats on winning a wonderful Path to Peace Basket from Macy's.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Letter: There's Got to Be a Better Way

Dear Veteran Politicians, Athletes, Entertainers and other people of status who have managed to make it through this life without a whole lot of drama:

Is there any way you can develop some sort of a mentor program for these troubled fallen stars? For some reason this is weighing heavy on my heart today. I neither condone or condemn the actions of some of these troubled famous people. Let she who is without sin cast the first stone. However, it does seem like the success is a little too much for them to handle.

I'm not talking about folks who are destined to be a hot mess regardless. I'm talking about people who are very talented and have it in their spirits to be good people. But temptation is a mutha, isn't it?

I mean when you take a person who has never had a dime, and all of a sudden give him $100 million, do you expect that he will automatically know how to manage that much money and do the right things with it? Or a man who has never gotten any play his entire life all of a sudden has a billion dollars, he might just go buckwild with the ladies because now he's some how become soooo "hot." NOT! Take me for instance, I am very greedy. If all of a sudden I were able to have whatever food I wanted whenever I wanted it, I might be in big trouble--even develop an eating disorder.

Because of the spotlight and the microscope that they are under, it is impossible for these stars to have everyday people problems without being judged by their every move. Each decision they make could possible make or break their careers, and that's a lot of pressure. You have to admit that a lot of their pitfalls are directly attributed to the fame and fortune. If they didn't have the fame and fortune, the probably would do half of the things that ultimately end up ruining their lives and the lives of the people they care about. Quite frankly, their personal life is none of our business, and we should not have to depend on them to be our only role models. If a person professes to be a role model, then fine, we can hold her to that standard. But isn't unfair for us to put the pressure of being a role model on a person who is simply just trying to make a better life for their family and not necessarily trying to be America's hero?

I'm just saying, can we get these people some help before it's too late, and the media crucifies them? Some how they have to know that the very people who will build them up and portray them as golden boy and big stars will turn on them at the drop of a hat as soon as their indiscretions are exposed. It really breaks my heart to see talented influential people continue to go town the tubes over some bull. I'm not making excuses for them, I'm just saying...there's go to be a better way. I have a beautiful son growing inside of me that I know is destined for greatness. While I hope that my husband and I will be his main role models. I don't want him to have to constantly see these successful people that look like him continue to fall by the wayside, thus leaving him with a sense of hopelessness that deems him doomed to fail in the eyes of society. So to all my vets, I implore you to help these people battle the demons that are destroying them. Be their role models and don't let them drown in the media feeding frenzy cesspool.

(the second half of this video applies more to the letter than the first half does.)



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Seriously?

Maybe it's just me, but I always thought that "ashy" was synonymous with dry skin. Did they really need to put that on the bottle of lotion and did it need to be 3 times bigger than "dry?"



Friday, December 4, 2009

Funny Friday: Lessons Learned

So I'm a little late on my Funny Friday, but I have 2 funny stories to share.

Lessons learned this week...

1. When playing the name game, one should carefully choose the names.

Niece: Let's do Chuck!

Mom: Chuck Chuck bo Buck banana fanana fo....(voice trails off)

Niece: F@#$ Grammy!

My mother and I just had to look at each other and chuckle inside. My mom just moved on to the next name not making a big deal about the profanity that my 5 year old niece had no idea she just uttered.

2. Know where you shop...
A couple of weeks ago, I bought some reindeer antlers from Dollar General. One of them was broken so this week I decided to return it. So I walk into the dollar store back to the isle where I got the antlers from. Hmm that's strange the Christmas stuff isn't over her anymore. I ask the clerk where the antlers are and he directs me to the other side of the store. Hmph, guess they redecorated. I find the antlers, but they are not the same ones I bought before. These were much nicer and were 2 for a dollar. Oh well. I pick up a pair and proceed to check out.

Me: I'd like to exchange these because they are broken.

Clerk: These are not our product.

Me: Yes they are. I bought them from here.

Other Clerk: They're ours, we just don't sell them anymore.

Clerk: Okay, but they are not ours. (Scans item and it gets rejected) See.

Me: Yes they are. Look, I have the receipt right here! (getting a little belligerent and shoving the receipt in her face)

Clerk: Yes honey. That receipt says Dollar General. This is the Dollar Tree!

Me: This is not Dollar General?

Clerk: No ma'm. This is the D-o-l-l-a-r T-r-e-e.

Me: Oh. Oh, I'm so sorry. I really thought this was Dollar General. Sorry.

Clerk: That's okay. Have a nice day!

Dear Dollar Tree Lady,
I sincerely apologize for taking you on that unnecessary roller coaster ride. You see I am almost 6 months pregnant and my brain as I knew it is officially gone. You could have easily had a bad attitude, but you were so patient with me, and for that, I thank you. I am sorry I shoved that receipt in your face as if you were the idiot and not me. But I promise you, I really really thought I was in the Dollar General. Yes, I now know that the sign outside the store clear says Dollar Tree. However, I distinctly remember myself going into your store and getting the antlers so vividly that I couldn't even imagine getting them from somewhere else. I couldn't even tell you where the Dollar General is. Scary. I know, but this is my reality right now. Please pray for me.
A Deranged Pregnant Woman



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Past the Halfway Mark

This is me on October 11th.

Here I am in the same shirt this past Saturday at 21 weeks pregnant. What a difference a month can make!



Monday, November 30, 2009

Freckle Face

While viewing a commercial for ProActive:

My Niece: Ooo Grammy, that's what you need!

My Mom: Really? Why do you think I need ProActive?

My Niece: (pointing at my mom's freckles) Because of all of this on your face.

My Mom: Oh no honey, those are just freckles. Your mommy has them too and so does Auntie.

I just have a lot more. Does it look that bad?

My Niece: YES! You should get rid of it!

Ouch! At least she's honest...

Don't forget to enter the Path to Peace contest here.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 Things I'm Thankful for This Year

1. God's grace and mercy

2. My Husband

3. My baby boy

4. My family

5. Being employed




9. getting a break from work

10. Barack Obama

What are you thankful for this year? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving: Path to Peace Giveaway

As a kid growing up I always loved the holidays: spending time with extended family, playing games, and of course, EATING GREAT FOOD. As a young adult, holiday were not as much fun because my parents got divorced. I felt torn between the two families, so I would spend all of the holidays driving all over creation to please everyone except for myself. Now that I am older and wiser, I do the holidays my way. I go wherever I feel comfortable going, and I've learned how to say no. Surprisingly, no one's feelings are hurt.

This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving at my house. I think it's becoming a tradition. My husband's family came over last year for Thanksgiving and this year my family is coming over. One thing I really love about my family gatherings is the games. You'll find us singing karaoke, throwin' down on some spades or Phase 10, or wildin' out over Taboo or Scene It. If you have a problem with noise, steer clear of my family during the holidays. WE ARE LOUD!

I know you are thinking, okay on with the giveaway. A couple weeks ago I had a giveaway for the Macy's Path to Peace O Bracelet via The Blogrollers. This time I'll be giving away a Macy's Path 2 Peace Basket.

Here is the basket and placemats I received courtesy of the Macy's Path to Peace project.

Here are some links to more information about how the Path to Peace project is bringing together the women of Rwanda and New Orleans for the greater good of their respective communities.

Rwandan Textiles
The Origin of Path to Peace
Rwandan Recipes

Macy's In-Store Events for Path to Peace
Macy's is having a series of FREE in-store events for Path to Peace. There will be product discounts, door prizes, and special guests from Fair Winds Trading guessed it...Rwanda! Below are the dates and cities. Feel free to spread the word about these events on your blog, to your communities, and to your friends/family. Formal announcements will also be on The BlogRollers Blog prior to each one.

*Atlanta: Macy’s Lenox Square Thu, December 3 - 6:30pm
Washington DC: Macy’s Metro Center Fri, December 4 - 5:30pm
Brooklyn: Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn Sat, December 5 - 3:00pm
Miami: Macy’s Dadeland Home Store Sun, December 6 - 3:00pm
*New Orleans: Macy’s Lakeside Tues, December 8 - 6:00pm
Louisville: Macy’s Oxmoor Center Sat, December 12 - 3:00pm
*The BlogRollers will be live streaming from these events!

You can do any or all of the following to win a basket. The more you do, the more entries you get.
1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on twitter @joanofalltrades
3. Follow The Blogrollers blog
4. Follow The Blogrollers on twitter @theblogrollers
5. Tweet the contest (link to this post)
6. Post about the contest (link to this post)
*** Best of all, you do not need to write me individual comments for each one. Just leave me 1 comment saying, "I've done x, y, and, z and I would love to win a basket."***
The winner will be chosen by The contest ends on December 13th at 10pm EST. Good Luck!

Happy Thanksgiving! What are your holiday traditions?



Friday, November 20, 2009

Funny Friday: Weekend with the Peeps

Last weekend my dad and his wife came down for a visit. Here are a couple of the conversations that had me saying, WTH. Some of the best laughter I've had this year...

Conversation 1: While watching a tribute to Michael Jackson...
Dad's Wife: Who is Jamal?
Me, Hubs, & Sis: Huh?
Dad's Wife: He is always referring to somebody named Jamal in his songs and I wonder who this Jamal guy is.
Me: Do you mean when he says, "Shamon'?"
Sis: Yeah, you me "Shamon." It's like he is saying, "come on."
Everyone: laughter

Conversation 2: While watching a tribute to Michael Jackson (The Way You Make Me Feel video)...

Dad: Oh, isn't that Tavoy right there on the end?
Me, Hubs, & Sis: Tavoy?
Dad: Yeah! Look!
Me: You mean Latoya???
Dad: Oh yeah whatever...
Everyone: laughter

Conversation 3: Talking about the
Blogalicious 2009 Conference
Sis: India Arie even made a quick appearance at The Blogrollers' party.
Dad: Who's India Arie?
Everyone except Dad: OMG!!!!

Conversation 4: In car listening to India Arie...
Dad: I don't know if I like her?

Me: What do you mean? Why not?

Dad: Well, when we were watching her on TV it sounded like she was doing know...drug chants.

Me: Drug chants? What the heck is a drug chant?

Dad: You that rap stuff.

Me: OMG!!! Drug chants? Where did you even get that from? And India Arie is not a rap artist.

Dad: Was she the one with the short hair or the one with the big hair (
referring to Jill Scott)?

Me: She was the one with the short hair, but Jill Scott was the other one and she's not a rap artist either.

Dad: Well she sounded like she was doing drug chants.

Sigh. Shaking my head.
Hubs: So why are you calling it drug chanting?

Dad: Because all those rap guys do drugs.

Everyone except Dad: Big SIGH...laughter

Conversation #5: Talking about shooting guns
Hubs: We have plenty of deer out here.
Sis: They even have turkeys walking around.
Dad: Yeah. I remember riding bareback on a mule and shooting birds out of trees when I was a kid.
Me: WOW!
Everyone: laughter

I mean did he really say, "bareback on a mule?" What century was this man born in?

What is the funniest thing your parent has said to you in his/her old age?



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: It's a...




Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I Took For Granted

10 Things I took for granted before becoming pregnant:

1. Breathing: I have not been able to breath for 3 weeks. They say it could last for the rest of my pregnancy. WTH?! You mean I might not be able to breath for the next 5 months?!

2. Running: I think if I ran right now, I would definitely need a medic. Sometimes I forget and catch myself "running" up the stairs. By the time I reach the top, I am panting like a dog in heat.

3. Cleaning: So I had stop cleaning for a while because I just didn't feel like it. I recently got the bright idea to clean the whole house. Why do I feel like I've run a half marathon?

4. My Memory: Not that my memory was the greatest before pregnancy, but now I can't even remember what I was just about to type.

5. Patience: Again, not that my patience was the best before either, but slow and/or bad drivers are getting the horn a little bit quicker these days.

6. My Body: I have gained 14 pounds and it's kind of weird weighing more than I ever have in my life. I know it's normal, but still weird. I wonder what my body will look like post-pardum. Actually, I'm a little scared that my body as I once knew it will be gone forever. It also doesn't help when people say things like, "Dang girl! You gettin' big! Um, gee thanks...

7. Sleeping: I am used to sleeping on my back or my stomach. Yeah, great. Can't do either of those now.

8. Privacy/Personal Space: I normally keep to myself, especially at work. Now everyone is always in my business. Everyone has an opinion about what I eat and what I do. Everyone wants to touch my stomach. I am quite the showpiece right now. I'm not sure how I feel about all the attention. It's okay sometimes, but at times it can be a little annoying.

9. Grooming: Shaving and doing my hair is like asking me to perform surgery at this point, and I am no doctor. My hair takes 3 hours to do, and I just don't have the energy. I am close to giving up on shaving my legs. Can't see...can't reach...who cares...

10. Portion Control: I used to pride myself and attribute my girlish figure to exercising portion control when I ate. I have always loved food, but made it a point to never overeat. Well, that's all out the window. If I had a dollar for every time I used the old "baby has to eat" excuse every time I'm going up for my fourth or fifth helping of food, I'd be rich.

Just sharing. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying...



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spiritual Sunday: The Music That Moves Me

I'd like to share the concert I had with myself in the car the other day. As you know, my job is a hot mess! For some reason these songs just really spoke to me. Let go and let God. He is in control. Enjoy!



Friday, November 13, 2009

Funny Friday: Am I being Punk'd?

So I'm in the doctor's office for my monthly preggers check-up and I am sitting in the room with the door closed waiting for the doctor nursing student. I overhear someone talking on the phone outside of my room. Now mind you, I can only hear one side of the conversation. Lord only knows what was being said on the other end of the phone. So here's what I heard:

Oh, you get that if you go down on someone. You know like oral sex. Uh huh. Well, what were you doing? You can get it that way too. Well, what were you doing? Was it that boy you were with last week. Um hmm, uh huh.

Then she hung up the phone and I assume she began talking to someone else in the office. Remember I can't see anything. I can only hear her side of the conversation. She then says:

I know and whose fault do you think it is? Her mama! Can you believe she had those 13 year old girls up in a hotel room. I would nevah let my child be up in some hotel room with a group of kids by herself. Who knows what they were doing? They probably just had one big f*$@ fest and passed around all types of STDs.

At this point a small child's voice interjects:
What's an STD?

The loud talking woman responds:
It's a sexually transmitted disease and how old did I say you have to be before you can have sex?!

So you know at this point I'm thinking, WTH?!!! Are you kidding me? Am I being punk'd? What makes this story even more ridiculous is that I swear it was a nursing assistant who was having this loud obnoxious conversation. I really think I was the last patient, and the only other people there were the 5 or 6 people who were still working. I did hear a faint "shh" while she was yelling, but somebody really needed to tell her to shut up. How unprofessional for her to have that conversation in the office. She was soooooo loud! (in my best Dorothy voice) Oral sex, STDs, and f*$# fests, oh my!

On a different note...the nursing assistant who checked for the baby's heartbeat was having a heck of a time trying to find it. I tried to be patient, but it was hard. You see, I know my baby and the heartbeat is in the exact same place every time. I had to resist the urge to snatch the doppler out of her hand and say, "here, honey, it's right here." I have to remember that I am used to working with little people all day who I have to tell what to do and how to do it all day long, and I can't treat big people like little people. So I just waited and let the student have her glory when she finally found the heartbeat after like 5 minutes. If I didn't know my baby, I would have panicked, but I just waited. *Sigh* I'm growing.

I'm 19 weeks and hopefully I will find out the sex of the baby today. Keep your fingers crossed!



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Confession

My husband often calls me from work to ask me grammar and spelling questions because he has reports that he has to review. How do you embarrass your husband right after he has gotten a promotion on the job? Here's how:

Recent phone conversation between Hubs and me...

Ring Ring

Me: Hello
Hubs: Hey honey. How do you spell plaits like when you are talking about somebody's hair?
Me: Plaits? Why do you need to know how to spell that? White people don't use that word.
Unknown Man's Voice: Yeah. That's why we are asking.
Me: Huh? Oh, am I on speaker?!
Hubs: Yes! Honey, you are on speaker.
Me: Oh, well I was just saying I have really never heard White people use that word so maybe you should use a more universal word like braids.
Hubs: (Chuckling) Okay, thanks.

Background info: My husband explained later that a lady was giving a description of a suspect and described him as having "chunks" in his hair. So of course my husband had to try to come up with a more "hair related" word to describe the "chunks" that she was talking about. He came up with plaits. I told him that "chunks" sounds like the guy may have had little afro puffs. Who knows? I just know that I would not use the word plaits in this case, especially when people who are unfamiliar with the word might be reading the report.

So now I'm thinking, oh crap! Now everyone at his job is going to think he's married to a racist. I was really trying to help even though my attempt may have sounded a little ignorant. I asked my husband if I had embarrassed him and he said no. Only one guy heard me, and he was not offended because he had never heard the term plait used to describe braids. So inquiring minds want to know. Do you think that the word plaits is cultural or universal? Help a sista out White people? Black people? Anyone? Do you use the word plaits? Or was I completely out of line with my assumption.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Interview with Preggers

Since I've been quite the SLACKER in keeping you all abreast of what's going on with my pregnancy, I thought I'd answer some of the most frequently asked questions. Feel free to ask more questions in the comment section, and I'll be sure to answer them next week.

Q: Have you been sick?
A: I've actually been extremely blessed and I have not been sick at all. Just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have gas strong enough to destroy a small village. **Warning: Standing downwind from me is dangerous!**

Q: Do you have any cravings?
A: Yes. FOOD! I loved food before I got pregnant, and that love has only been enhanced since I've been pregnant. There's not a moment of the day when I am not thinking about food. Everything is fair game when it comes to food. I've been eating more chocolate than ever before and I've never been a real chocolate lover. I am scary around a bag of Hershey's Miniatures.

Q: Do you ever want a "drink?"
A: I rarely crave alcohol. However, I occasionally would not mind a bottle of Two Buck Chuck after hard week of work. Oh well, I'll have to wait a few more months for that.

Q: How far along are you?
A: I will be 18 weeks tomorrow.

Q: Are you having a boy or a girl?
A: I will hopefully find out next week. Stayed tuned!

Q: Have you thought about names?
A: Yes. We picked out names a long time ago. We have chosen a unisex name so the name will be the same if it is a girl or a boy. I've decided not to disclose the name of the baby, so I will refer to him/her as AV on my blog.

Q: Do you have a preference of sex?
A: I really just want a healthy baby, but I am secretly praying for a boy. I really will feel sorry for a girl because her hair will look a hot mess!

Q: Have you started a nursery?
A: No. We do have a room in the house, but we haven't thought about what to do with it. I was thinking about chocolate and blue or pink for colors depending on the sex.

Q: Have you been getting a lot of advice?
A: I have gotten tons of advice and most of it has been pretty positive. Some of the funniest advice I've gotten from people is about sex. I've heard candidly from several people that I should have sex every day so that the baby will come out easier. "Gurl, me and my huzbin had sex all throughout my pregnancy and my baby came out in two pushes." What makes this even more uncomfortable is that most of these conversations are taking place at work!

Q: Does anything annoy you?
A: Yes. Lots of things annoy me. This is yet something else that has been enhanced. Before I got pregnant, I had a bit of an attitude. Now my attitude is a bit more colorful. My lack of patience really shows. I try not to go off every day, but it is hard. People in general have just been getting on my nerves lately. I especially can't stand when people make smart comments about what I am eating. "Is that coffee you are drinking?" or "Is that a TV dinner? You should really only be eating fresh fruits and vegetables." MIND YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! This my body and if I want to drink a Coke every now and then, I will, and I don't want to hear advice from the peanut gallery. Unfortunately, my poor husband often gets the brunt of it. When he asks why I am yelling at him, I try to explain, "I'm yelling at the situation honey, not you. You see, when you leave boots at the bottom of the stairs, I just think about how I could have potentially broken my neck thus harming the baby, had I not been paying attention. That's all."

Until next week. Thank you for all of the well wishes!



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spiritual Sunday: In Pursuit of Positivity

To say that I dislike my job is an understatement. I am working in one of the worst possible places for a pregnant woman to be working right now, but somehow I have to find a way to find peace in this painful place. Every morning I pray the whole way to work, asking God to help me have a positive attitude and not to go off on anyone. However, each day it seems like the devil over takes my state of mind and I end up angry and stressed out. I know this is so unhealthy for me right now which is why I'm really trying to change. I think a lot of my negativity stems from frustration with my current situation. I would love to have the luxury to just say, "I quit. I don't need this stress, so I'm not going to work." Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury right now. I know I am not alone out here. I know there are other people out there who absolutely loathe their jobs. My question is: How do you remain positive in a sea of negativity? Thanks to a great friend that got my lazy butt up out of bed this morning, I tried out a new church today, and the message really moved me. One scripture in particular really spoke to me.

Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord...remembering that it is the Lord Christ who is going to pay you, giving you your full portion of all He owns. He is the one you are really working for. And if you don't do your best for Him, He will pay you in a way you won't like--for He has no special favorites who can get away with shirking.
Colossians 3:23-25 (TLB)

AMEN! If I have to read this 100 times a day, I will make it a point to remember who I am really working for.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

And the Winner is...

...Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) of Stacy's Random Thoughts !

Stacy is the winner of this fabulous O Bracelet courtesy of Macy's Path to Peace Campaign.

Congratulations to Stacy!
Thank you to all who entered the contest!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Go Christie, It's Your Birthday!

Today is my big sister Christie’s birthday! She’s 30-something today, and she deserves to be honored for the wonderful person she is. Please stop by her blogs today and show her some love. Also tune in to her radio show on Wednesday and Friday to play some fun trivia and win some cool prizes in honor of the 1 year anniversary of her show and her birthday.

**Insert sappy sigh with music here.**

She had the great responsibility of giving me a name. She took care of me and protected me as a kid. She spun me around by my two pigtails. She loathed my presence when her friends were around. She guided me into young adulthood. She supported me through tough times.

I annoyed the hell out of her. I watched her every move. I wanted to dance like her. I wanted to play the piano like her. I wanted her flawless cheekbones. I wanted her perfect hair (don’t listen to her fake complaints about her so-called horrible hair that she has to do absolutely nothing to except for wake up and go). I wanted to be just like her.

It may sound cliché, but she truly has been the wind beneath my wings. Whenever I hear this song, it makes me cry because I think about how selfless she has always been when it comes to me. For so many years she let me shine and be the golden child while she stood in the shadows as the outcast. But what I knew all along that most people did not know was that she was courageous and strong. She had the courage to stand up to our parents. She had the courage to leave home and never come back. She had the courage to go to school on her own terms. She had the courage to build her own businesses.

And look at her now…shining bright as ever. I am so proud of Christie for all of her accomplishments. She slayed those wretched fat pants. She is kicking butt in social media and taking names. She is doing the damn thang! I just want to say on your birthday and every day, Christie, you inspire me to be a better person. Thank you for your unconditional love and friendship. Happy Birthday!

(Dear Christie: I know I am going to be in for a good 'ol fashioned beat down for posting these pics. What can I say? The 80's were very cruel to us all! I had to supplement the sappiness with some laughter. Please forgive me! Blame it on your aunt and your cousin. They gave me the pics.)



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy 100th Post to Me

I can't believe I have finally made it to my 100th post! It seems like it has taken me forever to get here. I struggled with coming up with something clever to do in honor of this milestone and I had nuthin. BUT thanks to The Blogrollers, I have a fabulous giveaway that supports an excellent cause, and I know anyone would be happy to win.

The Blogrollers are currently working on a project called Rwanda Path to Peace. The project is kicking of with Macy's O Bracelet. Each bracelet is hand-made by two women -- a weaver in Rwanda and a jewelry artist in New Orleans. Each bracelet is unique and has a tag attached with the names of the women who made it. The purpose of this outreach campaign is to raise awareness and support these women as they work to rebuild and maintain their respective societies.

I am giving away a fabulous O Bracelet courtesy of Macy's via my girls Christie and Lorraine of The Blogrollers.

You can do any or all of the following to win. The more you do, the more entries you get.
1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on twitter @joanofalltrades
3. Follow The Blogrollers blog
4. Follow The Blogrollers on twitter @theblogrollers
5. Tweet the contest
6. Post about the contest
*** Best of all, you do not need to write me individual comments for each one. Just leave me 1 comment saying, "I've done x, y, and, z and I would love to win an O Bracelet."***
The winner will be chosen by The contest ends on October 29th at 10pm EST. Good Luck!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Blogalicious--Believe It!

Um....WOW! That's the only way I can sum it up--WOW! This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Blogalicious 2009 conference (social media conference for women of color and all who are interested) in Atlanta, GA. This is my first blogging conference, and it was truly awesome! Everyone who had been to other conferences said that Blogalicious was the best conference they had ever attended, from the camaraderie, to the swag, to the accommodations, to the sessions, to the food and entertainment. The fabulous Justices of the MamaLaw Media Group did it up big with style and class. I cried every time someone got up and gave a heartfelt speech (partly because they were moving and partly because my hormones are a mess due to the little person who has taken up residence inside of my body). We spent a jammed pack weekend full of networking, learning how to improve our blogs and social media presence, showing marketers that we do have a voice, partying, and connecting with some of the most inspirational women I have ever met in my life. Kudos to Nadia, Nyasha, and Stacie (MamaLaw Media Group)! You ladies have truly outdone yourselves. I can't wait until Blogalicious 2010 in Miami, FL!

Here are some pictures and highlights of the conference:

Disney Interactive's Luncheon on Saturday: We had a great New Orleans style lunch in honor of The Princess and the Frog which hits theaters November 25, 2009. Princess Tiana is Disney's first Black fairy tale princess. They also had the new Princess Tiana Wii game for us to test out.
Karen Walrond, author of The Beauty of Different. She's a dynamic and inspirational speaker who brought us all to our feet, and of course, me to tears.

Disney Interactive Luncheon

Marketing to women of color panelist discussion

Omanster and James Andrews aka KeyInfluencer djing The Blogrollers Party. It was off the hook! People are still talking about how fun it was. There were even some brief celebrity appearances. Congrats to Lorraine and Christie for throwing a fabulous party!

Justice Fergie on UStream at The Blogrollers' party.

The Chatterbox aka Christie aka 1/2 of The Blogrollers with Justice Fergie and Jonesie of Mamalaw.

The Justices of Mamlaw

Suave Brunch

The writing genius, Denene Millner of My Brown Baby brought the entire room to tears after hear heartfelt speech about her rise to fame and the loss of her beloved mother.

The new artist, Priscilla Renea put it down with 2 songs from her upcoming debut album Jukebox which drops on December 1, 2009.

Christie and Fiona of Bantering Blonde

Me and my big sis. We look a bit of a hot mess after crying our eyes out over Denene's speech and Priscilla's songs.

The Blogrollers with Gwen Peake of the Duck Walk.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Bun in the Oven

3 Month Belly
No morning sickness--just hunger and sleepiness!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

Disclaimer: If you are not into TMI, then you may want to skip this post.

Background info: A little over a year ago, I went off the pill and started a job where I traveled all the time. 8 months later, I was still not pregnant (I know you are saying, "duh! How can you get pregnant if you are never home?" Right! So anyway, my job had me so stressed that I decided I better get back on the pill because I didn't want to be pregnant under those conditions--not to mention I wanted to get rid of the horrible adult acne and the painfully heavy flow each month. Fast forward to July of this year. I quit my job and went off the pill for a month, and wallah, I'm preggers! It really is true that when you stop thinking so hard about it, it just happens.

How I Found Out: All of July of August I felt really depressed and tired. I actually thought I was losing my mind. I think I cried about MJ's death for 2 months straight. I was losing it! Then, the time rolled around for my cycle. I am like clockwork whether I'm on or off the pill. It always comes the same week by Thursday. It was Friday and it hadn't come yet. I was at my aunt's house with my mom and my sister. I explained to everyone how I was feeling and everyone told me I should take a pregnancy test. Being the frugal fannie that I am, I explained that every time I take a pregnancy test my period comes the next day and I'm pissed that I wasted the money. Well, Chrisite (my sister) told me that Baby Makin(g) Machine aka Futuremama was passing out dollar store pregnancy tests at BlogHer and apparently they are reliable. I said, "what the hell, I can spend a dollar, right?" I went to the dollar store and bought 3 tests just to be safe. Long story short, I peed on the stick and it was positive in like 2 seconds. I was definitely skeptical at first. I went home and took another one--positive again. I showed it to hubs and this convo followed:

Hubs: What's that?
Me: A pregnancy test.
Hubs: Uh huh. What's this mean?
Me: I'm pregnant!
Hubs: Stop playin! For real?!
Me: This is the second positive test.

He spent the next several weeks in shock. I don't think he really believed it until he saw the ultrasound last week. We both are very excited. Unfortunately, Hubs spends every waking moment worrying, and I spend every waking moment wishing I was eating or asleep. Do you think I was too harsh when Hubs was worrying last night and he told me he really needed someone to talk to and I said, "not me." I mean, I just can't go down the how-many-ways-can-the-baby-die path with him every day. Am I wrong?

Anyway, this story is way too long, so I'll write more later. BTW: Im 13 weeks today and I'm finally gettig back to my old self--a little. Don't let Hubs tell it though ;)



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Guess Who's Preggers!




Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Murphy Monday: Our Wedding Night

My family has nicknamed me and my hubby Mr. and Mrs. Murphy because of the random stuff that always seems to happen to us. You know Murphy's Law; "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way." I don't look at myself as cursed, but as someone who is very blessed. Weird things just happen to me; that's all.
This edition of Mr. and Mrs. Murphy is a throwback from 2006--my wedding night. Now before you go thinking that this is a story about how my wedding was a complete disaster, trust that it actually wasn't. My wedding day was probably the most fabulous day in my life. With that said, allow me to explain what happened after the wedding was over.

My uncle gave us a limo as a wedding present and my sister booked us a hotel room for our wedding night. Everything was planned and ready to go. When it was time to get in the limo, my husband realized that his best man left with his overnight bag in the trunk. We got married in my mom's backyard and our condo was only a couple minutes away so we asked the driver to stop by our house so Hubs could get some clothes.

When we arrived at the hotel, several teenie boppers were entering. We realized that a prom was going on in one of the ballrooms--great! We walked into the lobby still dressed in wedding dress and tuxedo. Hubs was wearing his baseball cap that said GROOM on the front. So we clearly looked like newlyweds, right? WRONG!

We maybe got 20 feet in the door when we heard, "hats off." We kept walking because clearly the hotel worker was not talking to us. Then the voice got louder and more obviously directed toward us. My husband continued to ignore him, but I was a little offended that this fool professional would put us in the category with the prom goers. I mean my dress WAS FABULOUS and my husband had on a hat that clearly said GROOM. I don't know. Maybe he couldn't read. So I just had to say:
"Dude! I'm wearing a fricken wedding dress and he is wearing a hat that says GROOM. We just got married, you idiot!"

He followed us a little after that because we weren't walking in the direction of the prom. DUH! At this point my husband stopped:

"Look man! Can't you see we just got married!"

We then walked to the front desk and this fool professional commenced to yell at us from the door which was like 500 feet away. He was screaming some garbage about us having an attitude and what not. This infuriated my husband and I literally had to hold him back. Heck yeah we had an attitude. He's lucky he didn't get injured. I mean really. He was completely out of control! The lady at the front desk apologized profusely, and we decided to let it go for the sake of the occasion. We did end up having a lovely wedding night. However, the next morning we had a lengthy conversation with the manager of the hotel.
Moral of the story: Some people take their jobs a little too seriously.



Sunday, August 2, 2009

My New Obsession

I recently discovered a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. It's a site where you can easily donate rice (for free) to people in need around the world. All you have to do is answer questions related to a subject matter of your choice, and for every correct answer you get, 10 grains of rice are automatically donated. I have really been brushing up on my Spanish vocabulary. I know 10 grains doesn't seem like much, but this is addictive. In 10 minutes I donated over 1,000 grains. It's totally worth it. You can't beat giving back and having fun while doing it. Please help feed the hungry and take time to visit .



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Moms Say the Darndest Things

Here are a couple of things my mom has said in the past couple of weeks that has cracked me up.

1. "Unfortunately, I'm not on twitter. I don't twit!" (yes twit rhymes with spit)

Me: I danced to Lollipop in my "modern" dance class tonight.
Mom: Oooo. Singing--Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolly lollipop......lollipop, (pop sound), ba bom bom bom
Me and Sister: Bursts of laughter

Guess she's never heard of Lil' Wayne, huh?

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Improving Money Managing Extrovert

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