Brief Update + Shit I’m Digging: Volume Eleven

*Takes a deep breath*

Hey Peeps,  

I started and stopped working on this blog post numerous times within the last couple of months. I wrote a lot, but I think it was more of a brain dump. You know, working through my feelings and emotions? After all was said and done, it wasn’t anything I wanted to share publicly. If you don’t follow me on social media, you likely missed the news. My sister, Denise, my only sibling, passed away suddenly a week after Mother’s Day. These past few months have been full of grief, anger, and enlightenment. It’s a weird combination for sure, but death is unpredictable, leading to a lot of complicated feelings. Anyhow, emotionally, mentally, and physically I’m doing okay. I’m still finding my footing navigating this new normal. Denise’s death has caused me to have a different outlook on how I live my life. It’s hard to explain, but I’m in a perfect place, heavily focused on myself and dispersing good energy into the world. I’m not interested in engaging in anything and anyone that doesn’t contribute to my individual growth. If it ain’t enhancing me in some form, it has to go. I refuse to waste time on non-factors. Time is our most precious commodity and we have to learn to use it more wisely.

This Tina Turner quote is a whole mood and also my road map moving forward. I’m all about stockpiling good karma, drowning out negativity, and contributing to humanity. I strive to become a better person every day.

So, there you have it. That’s why I’ve been silent and under the radar. In other news, before Denise’s passing, I was working on getting this sorta secret project out into the world. Well, that’s still progressing. I haven’t wanted to touch my manuscript because I needed to be in the right headspace. And also, with the new job promotion, I spend entirely too much time at my computer. When I get home after a long day, the last thing I want is to spend more time staring at a screen. My editor suggested I write longhand, and that idea has me like…🙄 GIRL BYE, but maybe I will. I’m soooo close to finishing, and honestly, I’d like to end the third quarter with a bang. I’d also like to get a product out to my audience soon. I value everyone who’s been waiting with bated breath (for years), and it’s about time you get something in return for your patience.
In any case, I’ve been fueling my well of creativity as usual. 

Check out the shit I’ve been digging:

Watch 📺

I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel is a goddess. 😍😍😍 I’ve posted here about Chewing Gum, but this series is different. And dark. And wow. Also, can we acknowledge that this show has a predominantly Black cast and highlights millennials who are not only heterosexual but queer? Because of it, IMDY is out here scooping up Emmy nominations like they’re candy. You love to see it. So, the premise? 

Via HBO Max

Set in London, this series centers on Arabella (Coel), whose raw and personal experience of consent is at the heart of the story.

I wouldn’t steer you wrong, peeps, but major trigger warning: Rape is at the forefront of this series. It’s a stellar show, but tune in only if you feel you can handle the difficult subject matter. You can watch it on HBO and HBO Max. 

The Informer 

I love seeing Joel Kinnaman on my TV screen. You know what I love even more? Seeing Joel Kinnaman shirtless on my TV screen. He plays an ex-con recently released from prison but intentionally goes back as part of an undercover operation. If you like action and a good storyline, give this movie a watch. The Informer is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.


I had to watch this because Richard Madden stars in the lead role. ROBB STARK FANS STAND UP! 🙌🏾 (I’m still gonna remember the beginning seasons of Game of Thrones fondly, even if the series ended up being trash). I’m of the mindset if you can’t hook me by the first episode, I’m going to tap out of your series. Unfortunately, this series starts off sloooow. I pressed pause mid-episode and didn’t think about it for weeks, but eventually, I came back. I’M SO GLAD I DID!!! If you like action, intrigue, and glorious British accents, this series is right up your alley. Bodyguard is currently streaming on Netflix.

Hit & Run

I finished this series last night after a day of binge watching. I adore Sanaa Lathan. I also adore profound and complex storylines, and this saga takes us from Israel to NYC. And thanks to subtitles, you may end up learning a bit of Hebrew. Segev is a tour guide in Israel. His wife, Danielle (Dani), is a dancer. She leaves for a trip to New York to audition for a dance company, but before she can make it to the airport, she is struck by a car and dies. Segev is stunned, but what’s even more shocking is what he learns about his wife, her death, and the secrets she kept. Warning: the series ends on a cliffhanger (which I despise), but let’s hope that Netflix gives Season Two a green light.

Read 📚

I blew past my Goodreads Challenge for 2021. My goal was to read 15 books and as of typing this blog post, I’ve read 65. I’ve been concentrating a lot on personal growth which leads me to my first book rec:

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

I’ve wanted to read this book (it’s about 40ish pages) for the longest time. It puts a lot into perspective and reinforces the idea that individuals are responsible for their actions, and if you focus on your purpose, you can do anything your heart desires. 

Heated Rivalry: A Gay Sports Romance (Game Changers Book 2) by Rachel Reid

This book was recommended to me by an author friend, and it hit the spot! LISTEN, IT ISMASTERPIECE ON CRAFTING ENEMIES TO LOVERS. Rachel Reid made me care about hockey, a sport I have never watched in my entire life. I was in it to win it, and I highly recommend you dive in.

Homie by Danez Smith 

I listened to this audiobook, and it is Blackity, Black, Black, Black! Danez has a way with words, and he holds nothing back. You will appreciate the material, or you won’t. But I promise you won’t be bored. Pinky swear.

The End Game by Riley Hart (Atlanta Lightning #1)

I love a good gay romance, but I am putty if you throw football into the mix. The key players involved? We have Anson, a closeted football player, and Weston, a young senator. I loved how gentle and supportive West was with Anson. It was delightful reading these two!

The End Zone by Riley Hart (Atlanta Lightning #2)

In book 1, readers were introduced to Darren (Anson’s best friend) and Jeremy (West’s friend and former fuck buddy). I was slightly intrigued by these two, but I I wouldn’t say I was deeply invested in a relationship between them until Riley Hart threw me for a loop. I DID NOT EXPECT TO LIKE DARREN AND JEREMY SO MUCH!!! West and Anson took a backseat to these two. I truly enjoyed this series.

For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes (out August 31st)

I received an ARC of this book, and even with the underlying BDSM theme, it was so charming! April French is a transwoman, and she meets Dennis at one of the local fetish clubs. They spark up a flirtatious banter, and things take off from there. I loved this book’s authentic trans rep. Also, Black men written by white women are rarely depicted well in romance. Most characterization is rife with ridiculous stereotypes. It’s rare to see a transwoman writing romance, but Penny went all out. I loved this debut, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Listen 🎧

These singles and albums have been in heavy rotation. They’ve provided me with solace and excellent writing material.

Wild Side by Normani ft Cardi B.

The Aaliyah sample had me from the very beginning. The single art is gorge, but you need to jump into this music video because it is 🔥🔥🔥

Rumors by Lizzo ft Cardi B.

Cardi is cashing some checks this summer! The song is growing on me, but goodness, I’ve missed Lizzo! I adore the injection of humor into her lyrics and her entire IDGAF attitude. If the execs at Disney haven’t started drafting a contract to cast Lizzo in the live-action version of Hercules, someone needs to lose their job. Like, come on. The Muses aren’t Muses without Lizzo, and this video proves it.

Tragic by Jazmine Sullivan

Not gonna lie; the Maxine Waters “Reclaiming My Time” soundbite is amazeballs! Also, Heaux Tales is one of my favorite albums of 2021. Jazmine never fails to deliver.

ANTI by Rihanna

I listen to this album at least once a week. Correction, I listen to the Deluxe Edition at least once a week. Rihanna hasn’t put out an album since 2016, but it’s cool. No big. I know she’s busy building a fashion and skincare empire. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Who isn’t?  I know whatever she releases; next, it will be brutal because ANTI was top-tier Rihanna. Every song hits just right.

Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin

You can’t go wrong with the Queen of Soul, but listening to this album has helped me with the grieving process. I cry, I sing. I process the moment.

Drink 🍺

A few weeks ago, my sorority sister invited me to stay with her and her husband at their home in Morristown, New Jersey. They spoiled me the entire weekend. It was amazing! I ate many delicious feasts, hung out with friends I haven’t seen in years, visited local breweries. I cracked open some of my brewery purchases this weekend. Many of you know I’m vegan. However, you might not know many vegans don’t eat honey. I’ve recently decided to loosen my no honey restrictions since most wines aren’t vegan anyway due to the bottling process. I never give it a second thought and drink with abandon. Long story short, The Swarm beer is made with local bee honey, and it is hands down the BEST INDIA PALE ALE I HAVE EVER TASTED IN MY LIFE! I’ve had a lot of beers, y’all, but this beer is magnificent. I will have to get back to that brewery somehow because I can’t buy the beer online. Also, the cider is tasty as heck. I tried one with ginger and turmeric. It opened up my nasal passages and changed my life. 😂🤣

And this concludes the shit I’ve been diggin’ these last few weeks, folks. 

I wish I could definitively announce when I’ll have another update for you all, but at this point, I’m keeping my head down and working through my to-do list with intention. Things come as they come. I hope by the time my birthday rolls around in October, the secret thing I’m working on will have been released, and I’ll have a few other things to report. 

Take care of yourselves and remember to tell the people who are important to you how much they matter. We say we’ll do it later, tomorrow, soon, but we never know if we’ll get the opportunity. So there’s no better time than the present to express your love and admiration for those closest to you. 

Stay safe! 💕

Shit I’m Digging This Week: Volume Ten

Hey Party People! *waves enthusiastically*

I’m sure everyone has been wondering what the heck happened to my April blog post, especially since I said I would update the blog more frequently. Then I dropped a selfie on IG and Facebook encouraging everyone to sign up for my newsletter and stay tuned for an announcement, and POOF I went silent. I swear it wasn’t a ploy! I had the best intentions. Allow me to elaborate…

Almost everyone knows I don’t write full-time, and my day job is in the medical field—more specifically, medical research. I received a promotion (YAY!!!) at the end of February, and I hit the ground running with the transition in March, which made March and April a blur. As a result, day job responsibilities have taken center stage and essentially threw a wrench into my end-of-first quarter writing plans and my impending announcement. Not to worry though, I’m still working on getting those plans finalized, and I’ve completed a good portion of the work, but there’s still much left to do. I’m adjusting while trying to find my new normal.

The good news is although I’m in the midst of redefining normal, I’m chugging along, and I FEEL AMAZING! My extended social media hiatus has been fantastic for my health. I don’t know if I will ever return to social media regularly, but I won’t say it’s off the table forever. All the petty bullshit within the genre coupled with the worrisome news cycles is draining, and I choose to concentrate on being productive and focus on what’s important: my family, my friends, my career, and my self-care. Health is wealth. Priorities, amirite?

In any case, I’ve been reading quite a bit. I’m active on Goodreads. Follow me there if you’re interested in what tickles my fancy as of late. I’ve also been streaming quality television which brings me to all the shit I’m digging:

Watch 📺

The Undoing 

WHEW, CHILE! I had no idea what I was in for. I have never been a Nicole Kidman fan, but she won me over with Big Little Lies, and The Undoing continues her streak of incredible roles. I am officially a Nicole Kidman mega fan! She picks impressive projects. The premise? Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are a well-to-do couple living in Manhattan. He’s a pediatric oncologist, and she’s a psychologist. On the outside, their marriage looks picture-perfect; it’s anything but. I blew through this series in a day. A DAY. It’s addictive. The Undoing is now streaming on HBO and HBO Max. Check out the teaser trailer:


I’m a documentary junkie, and this one left me in tears. Humans are incredibly destructive and unnecessarily so. Climate change is the biggest threat of our lifetime. So many things are considered pressing issues, but without a planet, none of them are relevant. If we care about future generations and sustainability, we have to reverse a lot of our actions. We make contributions to society every day via individual choices. Being mindful of those choices goes a long way, and I believe when people are well-informed, newly obtained knowledge can influence their behavior. With that said, Seaspiracy is now streaming on Netflix. Bring some Kleenex.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

LISTEN!!! THIS MOVIE WAS FOUR HOURS OF WONDERFUL. I loathed the Joss Whedon version of the Justice League. I remember leaving the theater angry as heck because I paid fifteen dollars for that trash. Movies in New York City are pretty expensive, and if I’m paying to see something in the theater, it’s because I’m super excited, and I wholeheartedly believe I’m going to get my money’s worth. Not so folks, not so. Warner Bros fumbled the bag by not letting Snyder finish his vision and round out the final installments of the franchise. This is why DC will never truly rival Marvel. I highly suggest watching Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice the Ultimate Edition before jumping into the Justice League. They are badass. You can stream all the titles on HBO Max.


Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab 

Earlier in my post, I mentioned focusing on what’s important. This book is a blueprint on handling difficult situations and advocating for yourself when people drain your energy and attempt to block you from achieving greatness.

Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan 

It’s no secret I’m a huge Reese Ryan fan, and when she releases a Harlequin Desire, I’m all over it. Waking Up Married includes my favorite trope of all time, friends to lovers. Reese continues to make me fall in love with her characters, and Zora and Dallas were no different. WUM is a super quick and super cute read!

On Managing Yourself from the Harvard Business Review

With my plate overflowing with tasks  due to the promotion, I needed to figure out how to keep my head above water without feeling overwhelmed, and the Harvard Business Review came through. My Goodreads review states I’ll never view monkeys the same again. I’m sure that confused quite a bit of folk, but here’s the article my comment was referencing: Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey? 

Listen 🎧

These classic songs have been in constant rotation and giving me all the feels.

Love’s In Need of Love Today by Stevie Wonder 

Between the rise in COVID cases in India, the coup in Myanmar, police raids in Brazil, the GOP continuing to eat their own (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I digress), Lorne Michaels thinking Elon Musk hosting Saturday Night Live is a good idea; the world continues to feel like a giant dumpster fire. One day last week, I put this song on and cried. I mean, ugly cried. A fair amount of snot was involved. But, sometimes, you have to let it out, and Stevie was the artist I wanted to share the moment with. Songs in the Key of Life is also one of his best albums. Give it a listen in its entirety. 

Just Another Dream 7” US Mix by Cathy Dennis ft D-Mob

Cathy Dennis’ Move to This album (in cassette form) was one I had on constant rotation back in the day. FUN FACT: Did you know Cathy Dennis co-wrote Britney Spears’ Toxic? OH, YES, SHE DID. After crying, I wanted to restore my happiness. So, of course, the quickest way to regain happiness is to get a 90s dance party going in your living room. This brings me to my next song…

Sexual (Li Da Di) - Thunderpuss Remix by Amber

I was a club kid in the 90s. Limelight, Tunnel and Exit were a significant part of my youth. In college, I attended a lot of frat parties, and this song was HOT. While writing this, I had a flashback to all those dance compilation CDs advertised on TV: Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 2,431 😂😂😂 Amber was on virtually every single one. Good times y’all, good times. I’m not going to link the music video because it’s so damn awful. The inclusion of the chihuahua still boggles my mind. Here’s the audio instead: Sexual

Lastly, Phil “I’ve got more soul in my pinky toe than most people have in their entire body” Collins’ Sussudio

I’ve had Phil’s greatest hits on rotation a lot. In particular, Sussudio. It’s my favorite song of his. Did you know the horns are courtesy of Earth Wind and Fire’s Phenix horn section? And Phil was influenced by Prince’s 1999 when he wrote it? People said it sounded too much like 1999, and Phil made changes in the studio. The guy said he didn’t want to rip off Black music. He was very aware of his limitations and acknowledged them. You have to respect artists who know where to draw the line between influence, imitation, and theft. 

I love watching this video. You see this bland British guy in a suit talking, and when he opens his mouth, you’re like meh, “What a wanker.” Then the music starts, he sings, and the whole vibe changes. 😯 MY DUDE IS SANGIN’. I don’t know how all those people continue to sit while the man’s jammin’. They only get up halfway through the performance! 

And that concludes the shit I’m digging this week, folks! I’ll be back toward the end of the month with an update on the status of my announcement.

Ohhh… one last thing worth sharing. On April 9th, my parents celebrated 55 years of marriage. LOL, I can’t say wedded bliss because my Dad is a handful, but 55 years?! That’s pretty freaking amazing. 🥰

Take care of yourselves and Happy early Mother’s Day to all the mom’s and mom figures reading. If Mother’s Day is a challenging day for you, I wish you peace, love, and light. 💕

Shit I’m Digging This Week: Volume Nine

Hey Peeps!

Can you believe it’s March already? Happy Women’s History Month! We also have the spring equinox making a guest appearance in two weeks. I don’t know about you, but I’m so over cold temperatures and snow. Yesterday’s weather was bananas—a low of 21 and a high of 32 degrees in NYC. I thought we were turning the tide! I’m desperate for Mother Nature to step out from the shadows and get her glow on. BRING ITMUTHA! I feel like I blinked, and February flew by, but these last two months have been SUPER productive for me. I’m on track to completing my first quarter goals, and I’m excited to share all the things I’ve been working on. 😊

If you aren’t subscribed to my newsletter, now is the time to sign up! You don’t want to miss the announcement when it drops! 

Now, without further ado, here’s the shit I’ve been digging:

Read 📚

This book is full of practical advice when it comes to (in the words of Congresswoman Maxine Waters) reclaiming your time. I’m guilty of saying, “I don’t have enough hours in the day to do XYZ.” Well, this book made me think long and hard about why. When you focus on how you spend your time, you can accomplish more than you ever imagined. Time blocking has become my jam, y’all! Downward spirals happen, procrastination happens, but this book helps steer the reader in a positive direction. Dive in and get ready to conquer your to-do list! 

An article worthy of your time: Poet Danez Smith shares his experience on dating and being HIV+

Listen 🎧

The classical genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I promise you’ll quickly become a fan once you find artists you like. I dig Bach. I also adore violin concertos. Mash ‘em up with modern artists, and you get Hilary Hahn + the LA Orchestra alongside Jeffrey Kahane. I bought this CD years ago, but lately, I’ve been streaming the album on Spotify when I want to get into the zone and concentrate on tasks with minimal distractions (it’s PERFECT to listen to while writing). I also recommend listening after a long day. It’s a fantastic way to relax and unwind. #decompressyoself

NPR is heavenly! They offer superb podcasts, but I really love Life Kit because who doesn’t want to learn how to hack life? I suggest listening to the episodes back to back to get the full effect. The links will take you to Spotify, but you can also find the episodes on Apple Podcasts.

The Smart Way to Fall in Love

Description: You might remember Mandy Len Catron from her hit Modern Love essay about going through 36 questions to fall in love. You might have even tried those questions yourself. Catron’s book is called How to Fall in Love With Anyone, and Vice’s Rachel Wilkerson Miller spoke with her about it.

Getting Comfortable with Self-Pleasure 

Description: Human touch is essential. But in a socially distanced world, lots of people are starved for it. Figuring out what feels good to you, from a long hot bath to something more intimate, can be the first step to getting that much-needed touch. (Yes, this episode includes discussions of sex and sexuality.)

Download 📱

It’s natural to want to stay in the know, but being too plugged in can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. The news is often overwhelming. Doomscrolling through your social media feeds can needlessly increase anxiety levels. We all should incorporate digital detoxes into our lives, but if you’re going to spend time scrolling on your phone, why not make it productive? This lil app feeds you THEE BEST information in five-minute segments. It’s a gamechanger! Uptime is available for download via the Apple App Store. iPhone user here, but Android users of the world, I hope you’re able to get in on the fun too!

Watch 📺

I ❤ SAM TRAMMELL! I’ve been a stan since True Blood. I also felt like there was no way in hell he could handle Sookie *spoiler alert*, which is why the ending of the Sookie Stackhouse series annoys me to this day, but I digress. Reckoning is a great way to pass the time if you’re into darker shows. I blew through the episodes in a week! Reckoning is currently streaming on Netflix.

And that’s all, folks. I hope the shit I’ve been digging brings you some joy! Till next time…💕

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