Lavender Lemonade

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Hey Girls Hey!!! Lavender Lemonade will be available SO soon! I’m so excited I wanted to share a sneak preview with you today. Meet Deja, Nia, and Tish–three friends who are hungry for love.  The friends find themselves desperately desiring and willing to do anything for love, as many (Shiiiiid! ALL ) of us can relate to. But as we all know, that shit gets real tricky, can be quite disappointing, and is oftentimes an open invitation for settling. Tish, Deja, and Nia learn the hard way that something as precious as real love and true commitment cant be forced, rushed, or mocked. However, the most meaningful lesson these three friends learn is that loving yourself first is the golden key that unlocks the door to living your biggest, fullest, and happiest life.

Deja…

But Tage wasn’t just any man to Deja. She genuinely wanted him to be her man. She saw herself marrying and carrying babies for him. And although their “connection-ship” provided her plenty of room for desire, Deja was too wrapped up in the moment, too wrapped up in the possibilities, too wrapped up in being someone special to someone (to anyone), too wrapped up in maybe one day, too wrapped up into him to demand (gently request) more. Deep down she knew she wanted more (exclusivity, commitment, a title), figured she probably deserved more out of a “relationship” but fear of losing the little she did have with Tage paralyzed her from rocking the boat. So for the last two years (and counting), she settled (slummed) for their bi-monthly Netflix and Chill themed play dates.

Nia…

During their last talk, Raheem fed Nia enough lines to keep her in tow for another year and a half, sans proposal and ring. And considering all the time already invested, her cake candles count, the dismal dating scene her single girlfriends were always crying over, Nia elected to hang in there a little longer, hoping that one day, one month, one year this man would finally stop hazing her and officially initiate her into The First Wives Club. During that year and a half, Nia remained hopeful. She also put her desires on the backburner, bit her tongue, refused to make mention of anything related to marriage. She consoled herself by focusing on how lucky she was to even have a man at all with all these single girls out here trying to get what she already had. Things may not be perfect. He may not be forthcoming with his intentions to marry me (or not), but at least I have a man, she would tell herself (while trying to convince herself).

However, Nia started to notice a recent shift in her attitude toward Raheem and their relationship. The closer she got to 35, the less lucky, the less satisfied she found herself feeling about her role as The Possible Forever Girlfriend. It was becoming more and more difficult to convince herself that she wasn’t being strung along, that she should just be happy with what she had (even though she wanted more).   Nia was growing tired of the same-old-same-old. She was ready for a change.

Tish…

Their arrangement was quite exhilarating for Tish in the beginning. She was single. Had no one to answer to. Wasn’t in need of being taken care of financially. Could do whatever she pleased. And at the time, unattached, casual, fun sex with a guy who knew his way around the bedroom was exactly what she pleased. But of late, she honestly didn’t know how much longer she’d be able to play the Young, Wild, Free, and Having Way Too Much Fun card. It was increasingly becoming less and less thrilling. Tish found herself trying to calculate, exactly, what was so exciting about a man only enjoying and appreciating her for her physical offerings quite often lately.

Tish wasn’t particularly interested in a relationship with Dray, to be honest. He didn’t seem to possess the qualities she deemed admirable in a man, like trustworthiness, loyalty, self-discipline, honesty, reliability, and selflessness.Nonetheless, she was secretly becoming more and more irritated by the fact Dray could lay up with her week after week, month after month, and not see her, really see her. That he could not take notice of and appreciate all the many things she had to offer besides sex. Their sexual trysts were becoming emotionally and spiritually draining.   Their “arrangement” was starting to no longer align with her spirit and thinking–I am so much more than this. I deserve more than this.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next with Deja, Nia, and Tish…

As always, thank you so kindly for  stopping by and taking a sneak peek into my first novelette. More information on its release date, availability, and sneak peeks coming soon (like next week soon)!

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Fun Fact! My friends and I are the cover models for Lavender Lemonade. After the artist flaked my friends came to the rescue.

 

 

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                                                        After the City Center “photo shoot” we got our passports stamped…

 

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Then we enjoyed sweet, cold, and tasty treats.    

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Self Care

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My definition of self care is pretty simple. Self care is simply loving on yourself, showing care and concern for your mind, body, and soul.  Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. In our homes and on our jobs we’re constantly considering and taking care of everything and everyone.  While caught up in all the hustle and bustle it’s so easy to neglect our needs and desires. Amongst many things, self care is a defense against being taking over (or under) by the many  stressors of simply living life. Self care allows us to slow down, take a breath, redirect our thinking, re-channel our attention away from fear and worry, and focus on the positive.  For these reasons alone, self care is essential for all of us.

Self-Care Favorites:

  1. Exercise : It just feels good! Well…let me clarify. Dance fitness feels really good. Twerking and whining while clearing my head and releasing the day’s stressors,  in a Zumba or Just Dance class is so refreshing! I leave feeling light and encouraged. The health and fitness benefits are just a bonuses. Then there’s the not so fun exercise–toning, strength training, wogging (walk-jog). In the moment, it rarely feels like self care. More like self torture. In the moment, I’m focused on pacing myself and breathing properly, lifting a weight effectively, stretching; not a to do or to pay or to call list. I’m on break and for that I’m grateful. Plus, afterwards, I find myself feeling stronger and more confident. As a result, I keep these not so fun activities in rotation. They’re worth the torture.
  2. Reading: Leisure reading. Diving into well written stories, connecting with characters, eagerly waiting to learn how their stories will unfold is pure joy.  Reading a good book is like going on a mini vacation without the hassle of packing. And it truly feels like a get away.  It also feels like I’m turning the hustle and bustle button off and freezing time when I’m curled up with a good book.

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    Yes, some are library books. I love visiting libraries and signing out books.

  3. Plants: This summer plants have definitely been placed in my Self Care rotation. Why? Simply put, they make me smile. This may also be a sign that I’m getting old–er. I love how beautiful and resilient plants are. I wake up each morning, check their leaves and the soil, water them if need be, place some outside a couple days a week, move the curtains aside so the others can get the sunlight they need. Then I take a step back, admire my efforts, and… feeling like the king of this house I think, “It is good”. I also think, Girl…you’re about to turn into The Plant Lady!      
  4. Inspirational Messages: Listening to words that inspire me is definitely a part of self care for me. Whether it’s an audio book like The Four Agreements or Devon Franklin or T.D. Jakes or Oprah Winfrey. Their words, messages, and advice inspire and uplift my soul. Such a welcoming shift from the negativity we’re constantly bombarded with on a daily basis.
  5. Music: In the mornings, or when I’m cleaning the house, or while taking a walk, or driving to work, or on lunch breaks, or whenever, I’m usually tuned in and dancing along to one of my favorite Pandora stations. Music just makes me feel happy and free and light.
  6. Alone Time: Being alone is so essential for my overall well being and happiness. I need time, on a daily basis, to just be–whether it’s to  be quite and still, dancing around the house being goofy (“Keke, do you love me?” ),  being contemplative, or whatever. Alone time is golden.
  7. Tea: The day can’t  start without a cup of tea. Turmeric, chamomile, sweet rose,  yerba matte, green…you name it. I love hot tea with agave.  I’m certain I’m probably overdoing it on the agave. I’m also certain I don’t care. Lol. Sipping tea is so relaxing, kind of like a mediation of its own.
  8. Looking My Best: This may be shallow and superficial to some, but I don’t care. Lol. Looking my best–soft/healthy skin, healthy/fit weight, healthy and fluffy twists, eyebrows drawn on to precision, clean/well put together fits–brings so much joy to my heart. When I look my best I feel like what I am…a well taken care of and loved soul.
  9. Laughing and Spending Time With My Peeps : I need laughter like I need air. I  crack my own jokes (corny jokes but jokes nonetheless) and make myself laugh.I watch silly shows and funny movies, listen to comedians, spend time with people who make me laugh.  It is not lost on me that every time I’m in the presence of those who love and care about me (family/friends/tribe) laughter is inevitable. For that I am extremely grateful.

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    I love laughing!

  10. Spending Time With God: Praying. Showing gratitude. Asking for help/guidance/strength. Venting. Crying. Confiding in. This summer I decided to be way more intentional about praying, spending time with God, and writing in a gratitude journal. I’ve noticed feeling even lighter and freer. I have a little area I like to call our Kick It room. There have been some mornings where I don’t say anything. I just sit in the Kick It room and I can feel the comfort of His presence. It’s wild…in a good way.

Well enough about me!  I’d love to learn about some of your self care favorites! How often do you engage in self care? How do you benefit from self care?

“I Choose My Motherfucking Self”

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E-V-E-R-Y- thing seems to revolve around being “chosen” ( I’ve grown to hate this term btw). Getting your ass chose is put on the highest of pedestals, viewed as the end all be all, it’s the winning lottery ticket, the golden egg, the only real purpose for our existence. Duh! (I’m being sarcastic). It’s as if society is saying, and on a very frequent basis, “Darling, I know you got interests and ideas and I see you got your little hobbies; I see you in all those organizations giving back to your community; And I really like how you’re all creative and talented and smart and shit; and look at you hitting all your life goals and targets and what not; you just doing all types of dope shit. (Long pause) But…(another long pause)…have you managed to get your ass chose yet??? I mean, all that other stuff is cool and all but it don’t really mean shit if you ain’t out in these streets getting chose.” How ludicrous! (This word still makes me chuckle) I’m saddened when I engage, directly and indirectly, with women who are clinging on to The “Get Chose” Narrative. This narrative is such a Basic B#*tch. Overbearing and a bully, preying on and harassing women all over the world. Recruiting friends, family, media, anything and anyone to do its dirty work—nag the hell out of “unchosen” and unfortunately chosen women alike, causing them to question their worth and doubt their dopeness. This narrative convinces single women to settle (slum) just so they can be on the other side of the conversation and it encourages unhappily involved women to endure and stick in out just to avoid taking the long road back to Single City.

Women are pressured to leap over hurdles and jump through hoops just to be noticed. And then there’s pressure to master a series of mazes to be deemed “The Chosen One”. Be appealing. Stand out. Don’t ask that too soon. Don’t share how you really feel. Just shut your mouth for now.  Be a good girl in public and a freak in private. Be smart but don’t be a know it all. Be stylish and sassy…but not too sexy. Be ambitious but not intimidating, adventurous but not too wild, full of thought but not too talkative.  Be a “Pick Me” kind of girl. Just do whatever you gotta do–even if it’s not you–to be selected. Do whatEVER you have to do to get to Chosenville. Understand?  Hitch a ride with whomever’s going that way. Just get there!  Never mind compatibility, if values and principles align, or said person’s capacity to bring joy, happiness, and added peace to your  life. (Girl you asking for too much! And you’re too damn selective! Who told you were entitled to peace and happiness?  Ummm…my creator did. It’s like my birthright. Just take what’s readily and easily available and  be happy your ass “finally got chose”.)  I’m sorry. Say what now?

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No! I will the fuck not. Just be happy to be “chose”.  (And you better not either.) I will the fuck not take whosoever will have me. I will not contribute to the antiquated  narrative that a women’s worth is solely measured by who deems her want-able, who invites her to sit at the “cool table”.  I will not participate in the bullying of single women. I will not encourage women to simply take any man just so she can say she has a man. I will not encourage (ever) any woman to be so preoccupied with being chosen that she neglects to do her own choosing.  I choose not to idolize being chosen to the point I neglect common sense. I choose not to be a slave to other people’s opinion of me. I choose to protect my peace even if that means extending my stay in Single City a bit longer (I got time).   And lastly, I refuse to play this game called Life from the bench, desperately waiting for someone to pick and put me in the game.   I have (And so do you!) way too much energy, zest, and sparkle to live life like that.  I choose to enjoy life today.  I choose to get in the game today…and everyday (regardless of status).  I choose a NEW narrative. IDGAFWDFWM. I fux with me. Which basically means, I choose not to wait for someone else to choose me. I’m choosing “my motherfucking self.” So move.  I’m up next…

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Note: I’m quoting Gabrielle Union from her latest book We’re Going to Need More Wine in blogpost title. Her book is a must read by the way! I’m loving it!

Pretty Girl Keri

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Tracie Ellis Ross, with her confident and badass self, secured the last #WCW spot but this  week, Pretty Girl Keri is in First Place. While reading her most recent IG post my main sentiment was “You go girl!”. Following is a breakdown of my favorite lines from said post.

“I’m single by choice.”  It’s often assumed that all single women are sad and lonely and agonizing over being chosen (or not). It’s hard for folk to understand that being single can be a choice and that not all women view a single season as a punishment or curse.

“I believe in reflecting, growing, & healing in between relationships.”    Racing from relationship to relationship as if we’re trying to get to some imaginary finish can’t be healthy.  I once believed the reward after heartbreak and recovery was meeting someone finer, richer, and more awesome than the former beau. And the possibility of meeting someone who meets that criteria is certainly one of the perks of giving love another chance. However, I no longer believe that’s the sole reward or treat. I strongly feel the true reward is in your growing–growing smarter, stronger, more confident, growing spiritually, growing creatively, etc. Some may contest this but I believe this type of  growth and growing happens best when a woman is in her single season. She has time to reflect, get in tune with who she is again, determine who she wants to be moving forward. She’s more intentional  about connecting with her source.  During the in between (single season)  she refuses to crumble and a stubborn refusal to crumble does wonders for a women’s self confidence. That’s why you see women, who take the time needed to heal and grow, all glow’d the fuck up when they’re in between relationships. Glow ups are simply outward expressions of healing and growth. But when we jump too quickly into new relationships, fail to take advantage of being all about us AF, we short change ourselves.

“I don’t Tarzan swing from vine to vine out of fear, loneliness, ego, or validation..” 

I hate that we live in a world where a woman is made to feel worthy or unworthy based on who loves her. Society tries to force feed us all these silly snacks (You’re worth is based on who chooses you.). We then spend way too much time searching for validation in the form of love and relationships (often times the wrong relationships).   I love interacting with fearless women, directly and indirectly, who simply don’t subscribe, who don’t rely on men/relationships to validate who they are as women.

“…cuz I truly enjoy my life by myself, too. I’m not waiting or looking.”

There’s SO much life to be lived and enjoyed. It saddens me when women refuse to partake in life’s festivities, to taste its sweetness, because they feel the party can’t start until their single status changes. My hope for all of us is that we  create lives for ourselves that are full of enjoyment,  that we truly enjoy our lives so much so that we’re “not waiting or looking”. We’re just out here living (“We living B.”).

 

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Keri Hilson’s IG Post/Caption

 

 

 

Black.Girl.Magic

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“Black Girl Magic”. It’s evident our magic exists well beyond graphic tees and social media hash tags. When we see fellow black girls making moves, stepping into entrepreneurship, uplifting communities, creating, speaking out against injustice, demonstrating resourcefulness, living fearlessly, and more we swiftly and proudly exclaim, “That’s that black girl magic right there!” I have a pretty clear understanding of our magic as a collective. Simply put, WE LIT. We have a certain swag, a particular élan about us. And that’s not to say others don’t have swag, style, grace. But…ours…is just different. I have to credit a significant portion of the magic oozing through our veins to the women who came before us. Those we’ve had the pleasure and honor of knowing as well as those who laid the foundation for us many moons before our births. The Black Girl Magic torch has been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning. I’m forever indebted to all those who came before me. Additionally, I’m eternally grateful to be a member of such a premiere squad of collective magical-ness.

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As mentioned earlier, I know what makes OUR squad magical but I had a little extra time this weekend to consider my own, unique magic, to consider what and how I’m contributing to the team? What’s my magic exactly?

My MAGIC: MY magic exists in my grateful spirit, and in my zest for life. It rests in my understanding and appreciating that my being alone is a gift. I see it in my ability to love…even still. My magic is in my giving and in my willingness to help others. It exists in my inclination to see the glass as half full, in my preference to make sweet tasting lemonade instead of sucking on sour lemons. My magic exists in my quiet strength and will. If I get knocked down 99 times, I’ll stand up 100. My magic finds residence in the principles I hold dear to my heart. Be trustworthy. Be loyal. Do the right thing. Be kind. Be good to people. My magic’s in my confidence, in my belief that no matter what…I’m gonna be good. It’s in my belief that God is bigger than the box many try to hold Him captive in. My magic’s in my smile, a smile that brightens moods. It’s in my laughter and in my kindness. It’s in my creativity. I see my magic every time I put pieces from the Goodwill together and still manage to look like something. My magic exists in my curiosity and willingness to learn new things. It’s in my genuine appreciation for Black culture (cultures), my desire to connect with my folk. Lastly, my magic is how I can navigate between soft, sweet and girly but you’ll regret crossing me and back to soft, sweet and girly effortlessly. And there you have it. My magic summed up in a paragraph. (Insert smile and a sense of pride here)

I really enjoyed this exercise in self-awareness. I’m confident you will too. I’d like to encourage you all to take a moment, or two, and reflect on the question: What’s my magic? If you’re up for sharing, I’d love that! I always love hearing from you. If you opt to keep your findings to yourself that is totally understandable as well.

Signing off here Ladies. Until next time…

Peace. Love. And Magic. Black Girl Magic.

Gentleman

I had at least 3 weeks to prepare for Cupid’s Journal. All I had to do was create a poem about the ‘L’ word. There were no guidelines requiring our poems be centered on a particular love type. I could’ve easily focused on the  love shown to me by doting parents or a caring and protective brother or the cousin who’s really like a sister or the girlfriends turned sisters or my M-F children or God of course.  But no. That would’ve been way too easy for me and because I thought I was up for a challenge, I committed myself to creating a poem centered around romantic love. Why would I consider that a slight challenge you ask? Well…if I’m being honest, my Romantic Love track history is some trash. (Pause). Well…maybe I’m being a little too harsh. I have met and experienced really fun, smart, goal oriented, caring, (accentuating the possitive) humorous, good hearted, thoughtful guys. And truth be told, I have more memories of happy times shared than jacked up times. (Insert long sigh)…but the jacked up times have left such a lasting impression.

So there I was (It’s like 2:15pm and the event was slated to begin at 3:00pm.), seated in my little girly nook with my girly pink pen in hand and my journal opened to a fresh page. I was ready! Let’s knock this poem out in 10 minutes, refresh make-up, get dressed, and be on the road by 2:50pm. (It sounded like a solid plan). But nothing was happening. I stared at the page. The page stared back at me. 10 minutes pass. Another 5 expire. (Shit! I’m gonna be late.) Hmmm. What can I say about that kind of love being that I might be a tad bit (just a tad)  jaded right now?  Experience (experiences) can jade you, jade your perspective, quell your optimism.  Nonetheless,  I refused to show up to a Love Fest with a jaded ass poem talking about,  “Ya’ll  lovely ladies wanna hear a poem? Well here it go”:

She So Jaded

All ya’ll *bleep lie

And make all the good girls cry

Start off all nice and kind

But it’s only a matter of time

All ya”ll *bleep cheat

Frontin like you so fuckin sweet

To save your life, you couldn’t tell the truth

and that’s exactly why…

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Instead, I thought about qualities I loved and really appreciated in past people, what I’d like to see in my next person. I thought about Ric Hassani’s music (which is actually playing right now), how refreshing it is, how it makes me smile, and how it helps to restore my faith in the opposite sex. (I actually borrowed one of his titles and I hope he won’t mind. Lol.)

   Gentleman

You’re a gentle man. An honorable man, whose love is pure and true

You’re a loving man, a loyal man. One who always comes through

You’re an intelligent man, loaded with all things knowledge, at your feet I’m honored to learn

And because you’re genuinely trustworthy, my trust you’ve definitely earned

You’re a genuine man. Generous and loving too. You love God, your family, your communities too

You got so much confidence and swag. It’s just oozing all over you

Note: I couldn’t help but laugh when someone blurted out “Yaaaassss! Where he at tho?”

Said I was over the fellas. I’d had my fair share

Felt you all played too many games, broke too many hearts, and it just seemed so unfair

But you came through and showed me something different. You came through and you showed me the truth

Now I need my jersey back so I can get on loves court again. I’m inspired to put my fears aside and watch God love me through you

In other words, you got this girl coming out of retirement

And she’s doing it just for you…

                            Note: I know this poem is cute-corny  but I like it!  (Insert smiley face)

We all enjoyed sharing and listening to one another’s hearts by way of words.  Cupid’s Journal was absolutely perfect!  Food. Wine. Sisterhood. Love. Openness. Encouragement. Laughs. Music. And more. I can’t wait for Cupid’s Journal: Spring Edition.  Hmmm. I should probably start working on something now…

 

You can see more pictures and videos from Cupid’s Journal on my IG page. My handle is @girltalkwithrhondamarcelle. And as always, thank you so kindly for your time. I truly appreciate it.

Peace and love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confidence On Fleek

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It is believed that intuition is a woman’s greatest gift. Although I’ve  chosen to ignore it at the most opportune times I will not beg to differ. I will, however, like to add on. I think a woman’s next most powerful gift is self confidence. For me, confidence means always believing in yourself, always trusting in your dopeness.  It’s feeling good about yourself. It’s knowing that whatever happens, whoever goes, I’m always gonna bounce back. It’s trusting I’ll always be good. Most importantly, it’s agreeing with my creator that I’m special and  that I have something unique to offer this world.

I believe building or boosting confidence is an inside job for the most part. You have to put in the work, ensuring you’re not agreeing with and entertaining debilitating thoughts and notions of who you are.   YOU have to believe in your gift. Unfortunately, it seems our confidence, often times,  stems from who we’re physically connected to, who validates us, who gives us the green light to shine. And please don’t get me wrong. It’s an honor and a privilege to be connected to someone, to be and feel loved by someone. But if the sole reason, the only time you feel badass is due to a particular connection, you’ve placed yourself in a scary and tricky position where you’re now codependent on someone else to make you feel amazing about who you are as a woman.

I understand we all have unique backgrounds and may have experienced unfortunate circumstances, beyond our control, that speak to our levels of confidence. For today, I would like to focus on what’s currently within in our control and what we can do as adult women to help boost our confidence moving forward. And I believe that if we are intentional about getting this right, we can impact our lives and the lives of younger women and girls who are watching, studying us. We can help to give ourselves and our girls the gift of empowerment.

Get Connected To Your Source

Being connected to a source is the base, the foundation of confidence for me. I’m a believer and God happens to be my source. I actually believe all that mushy stuff–God loves me. He’ll never leave or forsake me. He spoke my name. He knows every hair on my head. I could go on and on but I think you get where I’m coming from. If my creator thinks I’m all magical and what not who am I to disagree?  This is not an attempt to convert anyone. I’m not certain who/what your source is. You’d have to determine that for yourself. All I’m simply saying is believing in something greater than myself, having a connection/relationship, believing I’m loved, cared for, kept, covered by my source has been instrumental in my life and in confidence building. It changes the inner dialogue. My connection and belief serve as ammunition. When the world tries to tell me “You’re not good enough” I don’t believe that shit. My rebuttal is swift and prepared…”But God thinks I’m dope so clearly the world don’t know what the fuck they talking about.”

Learn/Try Something New 

Valorie Burton, the author of Happy Women Live Better, asserts that trying /learning new things boost confidence. And guess what? She’s right! It can be something as simple as attending a flower grooming class. Yes, they have these classes and yes I attended one years ago. It was super cool learning how to arrange and groom flower bouquets. Something I’d never even considered or much cared about previously. Thankfully a friend invited me along. Occasionally,  I’ll  stop by the grocery story and pick up a bouquet of something or another. I still remember what I was taught so after a little time and effort I get the bouquet looking right, place it on the table in a pretty vase, stand back and admire  my work like…Yeah…I did that. That’s good work right there.  End result? Instant confidence boost (insert smile). I’m left feeling good about myself, feeling accomplished. And I didn’t need anyone to co-sign.

 

Unfortunately, I’ve gotta wrap this up for now. I’ve talked your head off enough  for one post but please stay tuned!  Next time I’ll talk more about trying new things, getting cute, and more. Wishing you all awesome days. Until next time…stay sweet.

Peace and love…