A YeYo’s Letter: Footsteps and Imprints

Dear C.C.,

As I sit here thinking about how quickly you are growing up right before my eyes, I also think about my influence in your life as your mommy. I hope that you come to admire the path in life I’ve chosen to take, which included getting an education. I was the first in our family to graduate from college and I want you to continue that trend. I want you to be self confident and know that true beauty comes from within. I want you to treat others with respect and kindness. And when it comes to men…I want you to know your worth! Oh sweetie, there are so many things I want for you in life. More than anything, I just want you to be happy. I pray that as we all grow together through life, you’ll be pleased with, and desire to follow the path I’ve laid out for you. It’s a big job for me, but one that proudly take on.

But there’s one thing I want you to remember…

With Endless Love,

Mommy

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How We Make This Work: The Karim-Kinceys

With the How We Make This Work series, I’m giving  married couples a chance to give insight into how they work out common issues we all face on the other side of “I Do.” The goal is to show that despite what marriage may look like in the mainstream, there are many couples that are willing to put the work in to maintain happy, healthy relationships with their spouses!

Let’s meet The Karim-Kinceys!

Sabur and Ashley Karim-Kincey have been married for a few months shy of two years. They live in Sacramento, CA, where she works in advertising and he’s an Audio/Visual Engineer.

1) We make communication work by having the courage to be extremely honest with one another about any and everything. In a marriage. more often than not, couples confide in their friends as opposed to their mates. This lack of communication can create a rift in your relationship; and can ultimately be the demise. We take the time to think before we speak and allow one another to do the same.

2) We make our finances work by first giving our tithes and offering. Putting God first in our finances enables to make wiser decisions. We make sure to sit down together and develop our list of needs, wants, priorities and goals as a family; because our individual desires may not be in line with what God has for us at that time.

3) We make child rearing work by…There aren’t any little Karim-Kinceys at the moment. For now we are the proud parents of our fur baby – a dog named Steve. 🙂

4)  We make romance work by trying to keep things exciting and fun. One tool we use (that I borrowed from my girlfriend ;-)) is alternating planning date night, where one week I plan and surprise our date, and the other week Sabur does. Romance and intimacy is not all about sex. Some of the most amazing nights we spend together are us, just sharing and laughing about our day.

5) What advice would you give to newlyweds (or even oldyweds!) on how to make marriage work?

The advice we would give is to be willing to compromise, to listen to one another and to have fun. We believe marriage is forever, so it’s important to put in the work, but also reap the benefits of a healthy, loving relationship. As long as you keep God first and put your mates needs above your own, you will have a fruitful and enjoyable marriage.

Got some tips you’d like to share? Send a request to be featured to theyeyodiaries@gmail.com and include “How We Make This Work” in the subject line!

Basketball Wives and other VH1 Blaxploitation Foolishness

With its ever growing lineup of reality shows that feature African American celebrities, athletes, and entertainers, VH1 is becoming the modern, cable version of Blaxploitation films from the 70s.

Watch the video to hear my thoughts on Basketball Wives and other foolishness that keeps me from barely turning the television on at all these days!

Natural Hair and My Beautiful Brown Baby Girl

So much of who we are as Brown women and how we’re seen, is tied to our hair.  As moms we have so many things we want to teach our children, such as manners, the importance of an education, and respecting others. One thing I desire to teach my daughter is how to embrace and love her natural hair.

Right now, natural hair is an exciting topic among brown women everywhere.  The term natural is defined by most as hair that has not been chemically altered, but worn in its natural state.

I’ve been relaxer free for ten years, but a press-n-curl was my primary styling choice. I recently made the decision to embrace my natural curls and back away from the hot comb! I have had so much fun getting to know my hair! I love the versatility of being able to wear a bun, a puff, or twist out. The options are endless!

What I love most about being natural is this…I’ll be able to teach my baby girl how to love all of who she is, from the top of her head to the bottom of her cute little feet. She’s eight months old now and I love having her sit in the bathroom with me while I condition and twist my tresses. I want her to grow up seeing me wear my hair in a variety of different styles while, most importantly, taking care of my hair. I hope to teach her not only to care for her hair, but to love her whole self as a natural, beautiful, brown girl!

Let’s discuss!

How does hair play a role in your relationship with your children?

*Note: This post was originally ran on the lovely e-magazine, Beautiful Brown Girls that I’m a guest blogger for, on 8/24/11. Visit the site and show them some love!

How We Make This Work: The Goshas

The Romance Wednesday feature of the blog is evolving! I am excited to present a new series on marriage entitled, “How We Make This Work!”

With the How We Make This Work series, I’m giving  married couples a chance to give insight into how they work out common issues we all face on the other side of “I Do.” The goal is to show that despite what marriage may look like in the mainstream, there are many couples that are willing to put the work in to maintain happy, healthy relationships with their spouses!

Let’s meet The Goshas!

Cam and Lamar Gosha have spent four years on the other side of “I Do.” He’s an engineer and she’s a television writer-producer. They reside in the Los Angeles area with their adorable little boy named, LJ.

1)  We make communication work by… talking everything out and really listening. My husband turned me into a better communicator. He likes to nip things in the bud and talk it out! I’m thankful for that in him. I didn’t always appreciate it.

2) We make child rearing work by… We discussed how we wanted to raise a child before we had a child. By the time our son came we had some basics of how we wanted to raise a child were covered. The nitty gritty of parenting is a day by day process of listening to each other and listening to our child. We have made the conscious effort to treat him like a person who has an opinion and a voice that we value. I’ve seen to many cases of kids just being along for the ride and we want our child to be an integral part of the ride of our lives.

3) We make our finances work by…being open about everything. If there’s a purchase that exceeds a certain amount, we need to talk about it. It’s a matter of respect for each other as well as respect for what we’re trying to build together.

4) We make romance work by…by flirting!! We are always flirting with each other. I text my husband just to tell him he’s cute and he texts me just to say he loves me. It’s the little things that keep romance alive and well in our house.

5) What advice would you give to a newlyweds (or even oldyweds!) on how to make marriage work?

The advice I would give anyone is know that marriage isn’t easy. People say that all the time but you don’t really know until you’re in it. When you are as mad as you can be at your spouse, stop and try to think of the last thing they did that made you smile. Remember the reasons why you said “I do”. It’s not always easy but it helps me to put things in perspective. Also, when you take vows there are three of you up there. You, God and your spouse. Keep it that way.

Visit Cam’s blog Bibs & Baubles to get the scoop on her daily life as a wife, mommy, and super fab chick!

Got some tips you’d like to share? Send a request to be featured to theyeyodiaries@gmail.com and include “How We Make This Work” in the subject line!

Birthday Reflections of a 31 Year Old Me

Today is my birthday and I’m so thankful to have made it to see another year! As I mentioned in my vlog post from yesterday, the age of 30 was good to me. So much about my life is completely different than it was a year ago. The last twelve months have been full of incredible highs and some unforgettable lows, but I made it through it all! All thanks and praise go to God!

If I had to sum up how it feels for me to be turning 31, I couldn’t say it any better than Taraji P. Henson did in describing her life during a recent interview:

“I’ve experienced things. I’ve had a child. I gave life. I’m confident in who I am. I make no excuses about my butt, my breasts, my stomach; whatever it is, I love it, I’m comfortable. And that comes with growing up.”

Indeed.

Love & Hugs,

Amber

The letter “V” isn’t just for Virgo, it’s for VLOGGER!

Yep, that’s right! I hope you enjoy my first attempt at doing a vlog. Stay tuned for much more to come!

Fighting a Case of the Mommy Life Lonelies

Motherhood is a beautiful journey. But it can also be very lonely at times and right now happens to be one of those times for me. My closest friends are loving and supportive, but almost all of them are single and none of them are moms. There’s so much about  my life that they can’t relate to now that I have a child. And when you become a mom, what you crave most is for someone that simply “gets” what your new life is all about.

To read more, head on over to The Young Mommy Life!

Easy Eats: Prosciutto and Carmelized Onion Pizza

I’ve never made a homemade pizza before in my life! Nope, not even when I was a kid. So I was max excited to try this recipe out because it looked super easy but sounded so gourmet! It came out really delicious. So much so that my Suggestion Chef was silenced! LOL #winning

I found the recipe here. Try it and let me know how it worked for you. It’s a great combination subtle sweet and salty flavors!

What you’ll need:

1 pizza dough (Trader Joe’s whole wheat or whatever your favorite is)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 whole red onion halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar

Sea salt

1/4 cup asiago or parmesan cheese*

1 cup grated mozzarella or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella*

2-3 oz. prosciutto*

*Purchased from Costco

What to do:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet.  Add onions and brown sugar and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until onions are cooked and become sort of caramely.

Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness.

Brush dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and asiago or parmesan cheese.  Top with mozzarella and then caramelized onions.

Bake about 15 minutes in the oven at the lowest rack, until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven, top with prosciutto, slice, and prepare to be dazzled.

Mommy's Little Sous Chef!

Prepped...

Prepared...

Adding the prosciutto = perfect!

Yum. Enjoy!

Happy cooking!

Romance Wednesday: The Meaning of True Love

I saw this video on Tiffany & Co.’s Facebook page and had to share!

It’s absolutely darling and perfect for Romance Wednesday. Enjoy!