Keep Going

I said it once (let’s be real I have said it a million times) and I will say it again…but 2020 is a big, ugly, bitter bitch, with no edges, and no chill. This year has just been one thing after another! I walked into this year dead set on really pushing Lola’s Kisses, but after Covid 19 and protest due to the police killing black people over and over I started to think that now is not this time. Who the hell cares about lip balm and body butta when people are dying form a virus and the police? I just did not feel right to try and sell folks stuff I times like this.  

That feeling was short lived when I realized that pushing Lola’s Kisses right now was actually what I needed to do. It is so many folks out of work so finding a job is going to be tough plus the plan was for me to branch out on my own, so I needed to stick to my guns. I want to show my children that you always keep going no matter what is going on around you.  Also, to quote Jay-Z “I can’t help the poor if I am one of them. So I get rich and give back to them” if I want to help my people, I need to get my money right and my voice heard.  

I got busy making product, designing new labels, promoting, and networking (networking is soooooooooo key I should do piece on it) everyday no matter what…and sure enough orders starting coming in as well as new IG followers. I even walked into a few beauty supplies to hand out samples. I was so nervous and had literality cuss myself out to man up, but it worked out I got some great feedback and am I now working on getting Lola’s Kisses in a few stores. Everything just started coming together, which shows me I am on the right path.  

Painful times give birth to beauty…I have seen so many different people coming together during these times and shift in how Americans think. We have more to do but I feel a change coming and I for one plan on being a part of it. I plan on growing Lola’s Kisses in to a successful brand for my daughters and all girls of color. To show them and motivate them to follow their dreams and be owners not just buyers.   

Boy Mom

I am a proud mom to five smart, kind, and loving children! Out of my 5 children 3 of those are boys. I was blessed with a bonus son Walter who is 14 and then I had my twins Achilles and Maximus who are 4. Being a boy mom has been an amazing experience! I love my boys with every inch of my being, and the love they pour into me in return is pure and unconditional. Their smiles light up the darkest days, their eyes are full of joy, and their laughs sound like the sweetest music I have ever heard. My boys are happy and full of life.

Like every other boy mom they keep me busy and on my toes. They eat like crazy…and don’t get me started on the juice they cannot possibly be drinking all that juice!! Keeping their room clean is next to impossible and they wake up early as hell with a ton of energy. Walter is girl crazy and the twins think they are Avengers, so it is truly never a dull moment in my house. That is what is to be expected when you are a boy mom. Boys will be boys, but when you have black boys it is not that simple.

We live in a day and time where black boy’s days are numbered. It is count down from when they stop being moma’s baby into America’s enemy. Why???? My boys are good children with genuinely good hearts, who will grow into educated, hardworking, honest, and loving men. I can say this because I am busting my ass every day to make sure of it. I am not alone! It is so many mothers of color who are going the extra mile to raise kings, but sadly never get to see the fruit of their labor because society has already deiced our babies are wild criminals. Our boys are not giving the chance to truly let their lights shine. Our boys are not allowed to hang with to wrong crowd, draw to much attention to themselves, or make silly juvenile mistakes because they pay for it with their lives.

As a mother of black sons my heart is broke when I see innocent unarmed black men being killed time after time. Ours sons cannot walk with their hoods on (Trayvon Martin), ride the train on New Year Eve (Oscar Grant), go for a jog (Ahmaud Arbery), or eat ice cream in their own home (Botham Jean) without the fear of being killed in cold blood and the murderer walk away free. My babies can be killed for no reason just because of their beautiful black skin and curly hair.

 I am teaching my sons to move in love, but don’t trip we will knuck if you buck! I pray that my fellow white mothers teach their sons to move in love and give my sons the opportunity to live life. Please teach your sons to not fear fine and assume they are something are not. I will do the same because I believe that true change has to start with us mothers. We are the ones who teach love and acceptance. I understand that people grow up and become who they chose, but we must give our children of foundation of love to build on.   

2020 Made Me Unplug

Growing up I never understood how people could be depressed during the holidays. How could someone not like Christmas? It was when I became an adult who is responsible for creating the magical holiday experience for my family, then I could understand how the pressure of the holiday season can make you a little sad. This past Christmas was somewhat stressful. With unexpected bills, horrible communication with my partner, and a silly desire to give my kids the perfect Christmas made me almost lose my mind. I was excited for a fresh year and a new start.

Here came 2020!!! I was so excited for a new start, but 2020 had very different plans. She came in straight up kicking ass. Unresolved stress form the holidays spilled over into the New Year, which gave me a bumpy start. A week into 2020 for really no reason my mother and I had a nasty argument and said very hurtful things to each. Having such an ugly exchange with my mother put me in a very bad mood and head space. Then Kobe Bryant died and no I did not know the man nor have I ever been a big basketball fan but, being from LA I felt the lost and it was a blanket of sadness that covered the city. My bad luck continued from business plans falling through to me feeling overwhelmed by motherhood. I was feeling like nothing was going right and it beginning to affect my behavior ad attitude.

Then Covid-19 hit…and the only thing I was reading, seeing and hearing was about death and coughing.  To make everything even worse everything closed down, which equaled no me time at the nail salon and five kids home all day. My boo is a truck driver and does a lot of moving and staging so his work actually picked up so, it was me vs. the kids (at times they totally won). Then one of my close friends mother died, followed by the passing of a second very close friend’s mom. Friends and family were getting laid off and losing their homes. With all this going on with friends, family, and the world I had to take a step back and be grateful. Although I felt like nothing was going right, I came to realize that shit could be worse.   

I decided enough off feeling sorry for myself and time to make changes…since we are on lockdown I decided to make the most of my time. The first thing I did was make a list of everything I wanted to do no matter how big or small. Then I made myself and the kids a schedule. Lastly I unplugged from social media and anything else that did not add to my growth or make me happy. I took on my list and tried to do something off of it every day, and the days I couldn’t I didn’t trip…just made sure I did the following day. Reading was on my list so I cracked open some books I have been trying to read forever. One was “Unlearn” by Humble the Poet and it was such a pleasant read. This book helped me to slow down and change my perspective, and happiness is all about your perspective.

Keeping this in mind I really dove into my list!! Business plans that I thought had died…I made changes to them and decided to keep going. After all I am the only one who needs to understand the vision and to quote the late Nipsey Hussle “Nah, I just don’t quit. That’s the only distinguishing quality from me and probably whoever else goin’ through this. Or went through this, or is gonna go through this is that I ain’t quit”. I have to keep going that is the only way to achieve success! I looked at this time with the kids as a chance to create awesome memories and strengthen our family bond. I reached out to my mom and we got back on good terms (no love lost at all).  Happies is my choice and I chose to be happy through COVID-19 and anything else 2020 has to bring.  

Boy oh Boy

Soooo, before I was a mother I was very critical of people’s parenting style (so not cool). I was quick to say what I would do as a parent and what my children would or would not do. One time I remember watching the news and it was a report on a toddler who got out the house. I thought what the hell how can you let your child get out the house and not notice? Well now I can answer that question! Enough time has passed so I can write this without have a meltdown.

One day a few months ago it was just a regular weekday and the little kids and I were doing our normal thing but this day the twins were full of energy and fighting like UFC Fighters. I have to be honest I was tired and a little frustrated so I gave them a nice bath, a big lunch, and laid them down for an early nap. We were still potty training, so I laid them down with just PJ mask undies and Hulk t-shirts (please keep that in mind). They fell asleep pretty fast and I also fell asleep. I was sleeping soooo good…too good! I woke up and my home was quite, which is never a good thing when you have twin sons. I jumped out of the bed ran into the boys room it was empty, ran into the girls room Lola was sleep but no twins, I then checked the kitchen and livingroom both were empty. My heart dropped and tears filled my eyes. My babies were gone.

I called their dad, which was not a good idea I thought he might have got home early and took the twins for a walk. Well he didn’t and hearing that his 3 year old sons were missing did not make him too happy. I kept searching the house. Thinking maybe they were hiding, but no they were gone. I felt like shit how could I let this happen and where were they?!?! I did notice their potties that I had empty before naptime were full. I went outside and ask my neighbors if they saw the twins and they said that they had seen them standing on the porch a few minutes ago. That made me even more scared! My older bonus son Lil Walt was walking up from school and I yelled out the twins are gone. He threw off his backpack and took off running, and by this time all of my neighbors were out looking for the twins.

I called 911 to tell them what was going while running down the street yelling out the twin’s name. I was starting to feel like I couldn’t breathe, when I heard someone yell my name. The twins had been found, I ran back home to find the twins standing with Lil Walt, downstairs neighbor/babysitter, and two police officers. The twins were standing there fully dressed. They had put on sweats, shoes, and a jacket! Lil Walt said he found them at the Pizza shop which is at the corner eating a pizza and drinking soda. The twins were smiling from ear to ear, the police officers asked me what happened and I told them. One officer was younger and gave me a dirty look and said be more careful, the other officer was older and just laughed and said “oh boys have a good evening”

I thanked my neighbors for showing such love and support it was really heartwarming to see how everyone came together, then called the twins dad to let him know that they were home in one piece. I was so happy that they were back and safe I couldn’t be mad, but we did have a long conversation on opening the door and on leaving the house without mommy or daddy. After my nevus settled I could not help but laugh…and wonder did they plan this and what in the hell is their next adventure going to be?!?!

Can Women Have It All?

THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, Oprah Winfrey, 1986-present copyright © courtesy everett collection / everett collection

I remember being about 10 years old and watching this episode of Oprah (side note I watched a lot of Oprah as a child lol) it was working moms vs stay at home moms and they were arguing like cats and dogs. Both sides were completely judging the other side. Working moms felt as if the at home mom were just kicking it at home all day and the at home moms felt like the working moms were selfish. They asked if women can be both a great mothers and a successful career woman. Can women truly have it all? Watching this as a child I thought without a doubt yes, and not understanding why this was even a question.

Fast forward a lot of years and a ton of kids I know understand why this was question, but my answer remains the same. I feel like hell yes women can be bosses and great mothers. I have been both the working mother and the stay at home mother, and to be honest they both have moments where they suck ass! When at work I miss them sooooooo much and when at home with them every day I just want to get away! Don’t get me wrong I love my children with every part of me but their life should not equal the death of my dreams. One day our babies will grow up and go out into the world and create their own lives. Then where does that leave us mothers?? We have to not lose ourselves in motherhood, and how can you tell your child to follow their dreams when you abandoned your own!?!?

Yes we can absolutely have it all! You first have to define what is a great mother and a successful career woman to you, and stay true to that. Then you must let go of each and every fuck you give about what others think and say. Now create your own path and walk it proudly. We can have everything we want but it takes hard work and balance. Once I had children my dreams grew and now I feel more determined to achieve my goals because I have an audience. My dreams will create a lifestyle for my children that will afford them opportunities to excel in ways I can only imagine.

Yoni Goddess Pamper Party

I am so excited!! I am hosting a women’s event in Compton this weekend September 14th 2019. The “Yoni Goddess Pamper Party” is a day all about sisterhood created for women by women. The cover charge is $10 in advance and $15 at the door which includes your entry, gift bag, free wine, and food. We will have live poetry, live painting, Yoni education, $40 Yoni Steams, and $20 massages. This is a day for women to relax and truly connect with other women. I am inviting all women of all colors, shapes, and sizes to come out and enjoy. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com search Yoni Goddess Pamper Party.

Community Garden Update

Please excuse the tardiness in this post. I do still want and plan to build a community garden but to be honest it is way more red tape and paperwork then I thought. First of all to conduct business in the city of Compton the fees are double what they are in most cities and they make jump through a ton of hoops.  Few weeks ago I took a trip to the Compton City Hall. Luckily I was able to meet with Dean Jones the Manger of Economic Service and he was extremely helpful and told me it would be easier and less hoops to jump through if I did this as a nonprofit. He also gave me the names and contact information to some people I could reach out to for assistance. Although I did not walk out ready to break ground I got some solid leads and awesome information.

Doing the community garden under my own non-profit is a wonderful idea. Part of my mission is to create events that enrich and benefit my community and culture. Having my own non-profit would allow me to do wonderful things in my community and other inner city communities. Just imagine every hood having art galleries, community gardens, yoga studios, and informative events. Now imagine the impact it could have on inner city youth to see and experience these things in their own communities. With that said I need to create a non-profit…any advice?!?! Stay tuned.

Raising a Girl Boss Update

I am so happy to announce that Lola’s Kisses now has an online boutique!!! We had a little set back with our Etsy store being shut down for selling products infused with CBD oil, which is completely confusing to me because I see tons of CBD and Hemp products on Etsy for sale. To be honest it kind of bummed me out after I spent so much time building and promoting the shop. I thought it would cost me an arm and a leg to get someone to build me a website, and it was no way I could build the site myself because technology and I have a bitter sweet relationship. I spoke with a friend who suggested I use Wix.com to build my site, she told me how simple it was so I gave it a try. Now it wasn’t that easy but I took my time and worked on it at night after the kids went to bed so I could focus. It still needs some adjustments but I am happy with the website, but even happier to get to selling.

This is just the beginning!!! My girls and I have been discussing new products and testing out different recipes. We are creating some awesome items that will be added to the store soon. Our first vendor event will be October 5th and I am looking for other vendor events to participate in. I am also seeking stores that would like to carry Lola’s Kisses and trying to build a social media presence. Thanks for being a part of the journey and I can’t wait to update you guys!!! Until the next time please check out www.lolaskissesshop.com  and follow us on Instagram @lolaskisseslipbalm

Hub City Kicking Fired Green Tomatoes

It is official I am a gardener! My tomatoes are growing really good. I decided to make some fried green tomatoes. Here is my recipe with pictures.

Ingredients

  • 2 Green Tomatoes
  • ½ Cup of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup of Flour
  • ½ Cup of Cornmeal
  • ½ Cup of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Paprika

Slice Tomatoes about 1/4 inch

Combine egg and milk in small bowl mix well then put to the side.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well then put to the side.

Dunk tomatoes in egg and milk mixture then cover well with dry mixture.

Fry on high for 4 – 6 minutes on each side.

Drain oil let cool and serve with ranch and enjoy!!!

Real Men Do Not Hit Women!!

Art by Kirzart

About two weeks ago I found out a very good friend of mine has been the victim of domestic violence. I won’t dare say her name because I would never want to put her on blast. She is a single mother and all she wanted was someone to love. She meet a guy who seemed like he could be the one. They moved in together and he began to isolate my dear friend from her family and friends. He started to fill her head with garbage, telling her she was worthless and a bad mother. After he pushed away the people who really loved her he began to become violent. The abuse became a daily routine, and spilled over to her children. One day she had enough and broke free. She called me via facetime, it was the first time I had heard or seen from her in months. My heart broke when I saw she had two black eyes, coved in bruises, and about 50 pounds thinner. Although she been through hell it was a mini celebration because I had my friend back or so I thought.

For the past few days I had this unsettling feeling but could not put my finger on what it really was. I spoke to a mutual friend and she told me that she thought our friend was back with abuser. I told her that was absolutely false and she would never do that. The next day I literally get all of these text messages from her phone, but they were all from him. I won’t get into details about what they said, but it was the confirmation I never wanted. To know she went back to the man who hurt not just her but her babies made me real life sick. I grew up with the women we were friends since grade school. We were friends before we were moms, before we were interested in boys, and before we even had boobs.

Sadly she is not the first woman I know to be a victim of domestic violence and she won’t be the last. I wish I could save her and hurts because I want to help her so bad but my hands are tied. She left him and went back so I cannot kidnap her, plus I have five children to protect and I don’t know the true extent of this man evil. All I can do is pray for her and be here when she is ready to truly be free. With open arms and no judgment because I have been in her shoes, I just thank God it was before I had children. My biggest fear is that one day she won’t survive the abuse and I will never see her smile or hear her laugh again. I am writing an open letter to her and all other women in that situation right now. I hope to send you love and strength.   

My open letter