Sweet Potato, Squash and Kidney Bean Salad…?

As a lover of sweet potatoes and squash, and a lover of trying new things, I made this dish the other night from pure inspiration.  I’m sure it has a proper name, but I’m calling it “Sweet Potato, Squash and Kidney Bean…Salad ?”

It is great the next day and possibly a little chilled, if that is your preference.

You will need…
One Sweet Potato
Half of an Acorn Squash
1/4 to 1/2 a can of Red Kidney Beans
A drizzle of Olive Oil

1) Preheat oven to 350F

2) Peel your sweet potato and acorn squash.

3) Cube the sweet potato, squash  and mix in the Red Kidney Beans.

4) Drizzle Olive Oil and stir lightly
5) Cover with Foil and Bake for at least 1hour.



I left mine in the oven for over in hour, but they were very soft, which was great to mash a bit for the baby. 


My Battery Exploded

Have you ever seen an exploded battery?

Well neither had I until a few weeks ago…
Just when life is going haywire 
To give you some context, my computer troubles began long before this.  Back track to November 2013.  My then almost 2 year old (21 month) daughter and I were watching a movie on my MacBook Pro in bed.  I then allowed her to have a yogurt…  MOM FAIL (don’t worry about judging me, I’m very good at doing that myself)

then it spilled… it only took a split second and yogurt everywhere!  
I flipped the computer over and cleaned it out as best I could. 
The next day, after a visit to the Genius Bar with my daughter, I was given the verdict… $1200 to be sent out and cleaned.  There was also likely a problem with the power button.  
I sobbed at the Genius Bar, hoping for some sort of miracle.  Hoping the bad dream would be over.  At the time, I was jobless, having just finished interning (yes…at 30) for this great organization, but they couldn’t afford to hire me, so after finding out I was pregnant, it was time to part ways.  Fortunately, my old job re-hired me in December of that year, however a new computer or repairs was still not in the future. The screen was black and didn’t turn on until a little over a year later.

Since then, as I awaited a financial miracle, I have been fortunate enough to have two older generations of Mac laptops passed on to me.  One of them, due to the type of design work I was doing, became the more prevalent of the two, but they both came in handy.
In December 2014, the older MacBook Pro, a first generation of the model I had that still sat yogurt filled a year later, which had been in excellent shape and very well taken care of began to act-up.  The trackpad was not working.  It was on and off for a few minutes and then nothing.
For weeks I was once again, computer-less, stressed about Real Estate Licensing and our pending move… doing everything on my iPhone6.
It was fitting that everything in my life and most of my technology decided to implode at the same time.  My iPad Mini decided to join the club, but I suspected what the problem was with it, so I visited the Genius Bar for my iPad that was so overloaded (much like my life) that it had to be re-booted…
I was accompanied by my just-turned-3-year-old, who understood what was going on enough and clung to Mama during the entire visit.  This time, I left smiling with a successful (and free) repair, yet I did not bring my computer.  The thought of $1000 or more that I knew I could not conjure up was enough to make me panic.  I needed to get things done on a laptop especially now that I finally had a working space after years of trying to carve out a space I shared with a toddler in the end.
Even the external mice (a Mac and non-Mac version) were not working after a few minutes of being connected.
I fiddled and fiddled until one morning I walked into the office and found the computer elevated.  I slid my hand underneath to find the expanded battery pictured above.
It was grotesque, yet intriguing and after a quick google search, I found the answer I had been looking for…the trackpad had been malfunctioning due to the swollen battery (http://www.tekrevue.com/swollen-battery/)
The battery had long needed consistent charging.  A loss of power meant an instantaneous re-boot.
Thanks to Amazon Prime, I found an inexpensive ($20) plastic replacement and was all set to go in two days time!
The new battery, while not perfect, runs for at least an hour, before needing a charge, but most importantly I have a computer again, at least until the next implosion.
Needless to say, when I can, a new computer is in my future 🙂
What is your relationship with technology?  Any major faux pas…?

Egg muffins (with leftovers)

The weekend is upon us, so I’m sharing something a little lighter today (well in this post)… EGG BITES or EGG MUFFINS!

I figured it out one morning when I had leftover dinner sauce and veggies but didn’t want to throw it away (because if you haven’t figured it out yet, I have a hard time letting go of anything… Food included …does that make me a Food Hoarder?!?!?)


I have a mini cupcake pan that I am obsessed with.  It makes everything bite size, so it’s fun to experiment with what to make in them.
I found a couple recipes on one of my go-to recipe sites allrecipes.com and I just went with it.  I mainly needed it for oven temp and how long to bake.

Gather your …
3-4 eggs (usually fills a 24 mini cupcake pan)
Seasonings (optional)
Low-sodium Soy Sauce (optional)

1) Spray / Grease your mini muffin tin and set your oven to 350˚F

2) Take your left-over veggies and sauce, say from a stir-fry and wisk together with 3-4 eggs. I have also used kofta meatballs and cut them into tiny bits along with the onion…

3) Add your seasonings (if any) into the bowl and whisk some more. I never use salt in my baking/cooking, but I do add a dash of low-sodium soy sauce.  A little thing I learned from my husband.

4) When transferring the egg batter to the muffin tins, the best way for me to make it as neat as possible is to us a pitcher…something with a spout.  Spoons work as well, but again, this method creates less mess. 

4) After poured into your oiled or buttered pan, Bake for 20-23 minutes.
Happy Brunching!
Bon Week-end!
What are your favorite brunch dishes?

Bye Bye ZipCar

In July, after a couple months of struggling with two kids in the city we finally got a car.

It had been a long time comin’…
I definitely did my fair share of trains and cabs with carriers and strollers and all the rest of it. 
But I never canceled my ZipCar.
Since the last thing I need is another extraneous expense, I cancelled ZipCar last weekend.
It was bittersweet, but it felt good to finally make a decision around something.  I am usually indecisive, and when I found myself going into the “Well maybe I’ll need it… if I…”  I stopped myself and said “You have a car.  It’s a waste”.

Sure, these may seem like silly discussions for people who don’t keep everything in site or hold onto all parts of their past, but as I try to get out of these habits, I have to be very conscious of them.

Hoarding sounds like a dirty word… it sort of is, but what is behind it is often dirtier.

So canceling ZipCar is more than what it seems.

It is my letting go of something I do not need.

Our move brought that up for me, time and time again  Why was I holding onto this… I’ll never use this broken […] or this old […] so why keep it..?

It is a process, but the new home has been the key to unlocking these bad habits and letting them go.

I am ready to let go. 

What do you hold on to?  
How did you let it go?

Sunday Self Care

The thing about being depressed is that your self-care goes to hell in a handbasket.  So for the past few years I have looked a hot mess.

A mess enough that close friends / some family might comment or make judgements (you know who you are), but not enough that outside people might make too much of a fuss (at least to my face).
Since the move last month, things have really been going well for me mentally and spiritually. I am much more at peace and even the “bad days” are nothing compared to what they were in the old apartment.
The one thing I hadn’t yet tackled was my hair… I hid it well (or not so well), under an array of scarves or pulled back styles, but it needed some TLC and I hadn’t built up the courage to face it yet.
When I first went natural in 2004, the natural community seemed a minuscule portion of what it is now, so searching for what to do had a very underground feel.  Now that natural is in, tutorials are everywhere and my friends have been my window to the world on this one as I have felt trapped in a time capsule or a closet with the kids since 2012.
My search for what to do with my locs led me to YouTube and with the help of a friend, I was turned on to Chescaleigh!

She was the breath of fresh air my hair needed to make a come back!
So last week was the first of many “Chesca-inspired” posts on instagram.  
The first thing I needed to work on was my build-up issue.  When I began my locs from two-strand twists during the Fall / Winter of 2007, I used Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk… 

… I’ll say it for you, WHAT WAS I THINKING.

Nothing against Carol’s Daughter, but Hair Milk is not designed to leave in your hair for say… Years…like most products it should be washed out.

So the biggest issue my locs had was…is… buildup at the bottom.  A loctician who used to come to my home and do my hair after I had my daughter was the first person who pointed it out to me.  She began using her homemade products which did not leave a residue and smelled great.  But, when things began to get tighter, my hair / self-care was the first thing to be sacrificed and I went back to a loc creme that I liked, but that my former loctician was convinced was the cause of my buildup.

The more financial stress and overall strain I felt being home with my daughter and then with another baby on the way, which was certainly a surprise as well, the less I bothered with my hair.  It felt long and heavy, literally weighing me down…

But moving has been my saving grace.  After a month in a better physical space, my mental space was definitely heading in the right direction.

Before diving into the cute styles Chescaleigh has on her channel, I needed a cleanse (which I also saw on Chescaleigh’s channel). 

My new hair transformation took a few weeks…

I washed it the Sunday before the deep cleanse and spent most of that week un marrying sections of my hair!!!  I could not believe (or could I), how much they were all loc-ing…in large families.

I carefully thought about what I needed next and watched the cleanse video in utter horror and delight, imagining all that awful build-up leaving my locs.

Post-cleanse, I decided that I was going to do a hot oil treatment and pipe cleaner curls!  I had never heard of such a thing, but my new hair guru, Chescaleigh had a tutorial and the one time I had my locs curled at a professional salon (RIP: Turning Heads in Harlem), I LOVED THEM.

After my Amazon order of 350 pipe-cleaners arrived the next day (Thank You Amazon, Prime), I was ready for a new look and a new lease on life!


The cleanse was amazing and check-out my “murky water”.

After my hot oil treatment it was time for the curls.  I followed most of Chescaleigh’s advice, but sitting down and pre-twisting the pipe-cleaners was not realistic on a Saturday night with my two little ones.  I usually crash at the end of the night, so I twisted the pipe cleaners as I went along AND I used the loop made when twisting the pipe cleaners in half to hook the other end of the pipe cleaner because my locs are SOOOOO long and SOOOOO thick (not necessarily the girth of each loc, but I have A LOT of hair).  

My curls looked more like balls than the thin rod-type set I have seen on most tutorials.

Also as I went along, my daughter had some fun with the pipe cleaners! I definitely did not use all 350, so I anticipate some crafts later!

I will also note that I twisted my hair WITHOUT PRODUCT and I couldn’t be happier!  I used oil, but no loc creme.  I will continue on this path as much as possible so that my future locs will be build-up free or at least have less build-up.

For now, I am not going to cut it, my hair feels lighter and I can’t wait to try more styles from Chescaleigh’s channel.

What are your favorite loc styles?

Why you need IDNYC before the Summer begins!

Living in New York when finances are tight is no fun.  Living anywhere when finances are tight is no fun, but since this is New York, the cultural opportunities are world-renowned and as a parent, one of the best things for me to do is expose my children to museums and anything else I can get their hands on!

So with activities adding up for my 1 and 3 year old for example, I was looking forward to something like IDNYC to come along!  

IDNYC is an exciting new ID card for NYC Residents that boasts discounted memberships across many (seems like most) cultural institutions in the city! 
There are FREE things to do around the city, but the thing about IDNYC is that the non-free things will now be accessible to me without my having to make an excuse as to why I cannot go.
A list of the benefits are available here!
If you are a New Yorker and you do not have the ID yet, then book your appointment today!  Seriously… They are filling up fast!
I made a trip out it, going with one of my “Sister-Friends”, Ayo.  We made our appointments online and chose the earliest appointment we could find (which was about 10 days out… In Brooklyn (we both live in Manhattan).
The wait seemed non-existent and the staff was amazing! We were in and out in one hour (with a toddler and a baby).
The KEY is having the appointment!  All appointments are honored before non-appointments!  I came from work and by the time the car was loaded with everyone and we made it through a drive to Brooklyn, we were a little late, but because we had appointments, we were mixed in with the other appointments.  
I should also note that Sunset Park is a new location.
Another friend I encouraged to apply went to the Mid-Manhattan Library with a wait under an hour as well.
You better believe I will be sharing the adventures we have as soon as my card arrives!  
Not to mention, if you ever wanted to join a credit union, that is now a possibility with IDNYC!
Stay Tuned…