Supporting Obsidian and Black Theatre in Detroit (a childhood dream!)

Hey Everyone!

Life has been busy busy these days... but really... how is that new....?

I turned 40 two days ago... (Stay Tuned for that full newsletter).  It was a beautiful day, and if you follow me on social media or receive my newsletter - you will get the full update!

In this moment, I'm posting to share the GoFundMe Campaign that we just launched for the Obsidian Theatre Festival.  

When I was a kid, I always knew that I wanted to be part of a theatre community in Detroit.  I didn't know exactly that looked like... but over the last few years, I have been able to be part of some fantastic projects that do just that.

Since that first season in 2021, OTF has created a space for Black artists in the city of Detroit, and across the country. Based in Detroit, a cradle of Artistic creativity, Obsidian builds an innovative space – one that allows for audiences and artists alike to celebrate the diversity of Blackness.  

There is no “singular, monolithic Black experience”. Every story deserves to be told.  And the barriers we break down from learning about each other create new pathways – ones where compassion meets understanding, and “community” becomes more than a buzzword. 

Over the course of one weekend we present original plays, musicals, cabaret performances, and panel discussions.  All of this is done at no cost to the artists or audience.  

That’s right.  Once accepted, the new pieces are produced entirely by OTF.  We hire the directors and the actors, build the sets, and everything in between.  From Thursday through Sunday, there are 12 individual performances, multiple opportunities for audience participation.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, each and every piece we produce is filmed and streamed on our website.  So, just in case you can’t make it to Detroit, you can still participate and catch all of this amazing work.

And, we don’t charge the audiences anything either.  Our gift to the community.

But free to the community, isn’t cheap for us.  

Each year we hire over 100 artists (90%+ identify as BIPOC), and we need your help to make sure we can continue to support this community.  

We are so close to our goal, and this last $25k is vital to making sure we can produce our 3rd Annual season. 

In 2021, we were doing something new at a time when gathering for the theatre in person was nearly impossible.  Now, we need your help to make sure we can continue to overcome impossibility.  

Check out the video for a message from our Producing AD, John Sloan III.  Give what you can and then share this campaign with your friends, family, frenemies, …the guy at your corner store.  

Thank you for helping us bring Black Stories to this New Stage.  



School’s Out for Summer… And Camp Garlia is in!

On Friday, my 4year old “graduated” from Pre-school, and as this is our first summer as Westchester residents, I have decided to really give the county a chance.  That and the $400-$500 a week for day camps is currently not in the budget.

So what is better than “Camp Mommy” as my friend, Alissa calls it.  We’ll call this “Camp Garlia”.

One of the first publications I picked up when we moved here was both a  “Westchester Parent” and a “Westchester Family
There was even a copy of each in my daughter’s backpack from school.  So this summer I will truly take them up on their bucket lists adding my own finds around the county.
Many of the events and activities are in the city and we have some serious museum mileage to make, so I’m looking forward this exciting adventure and hope I can figure out a few camps in between “Camp Garlia”, so I can get a little more done. If not, as always I’ll figure it out because as my friend, Rosalind says, I’m “scrappy”!  
What are your summer plans?  Do you find camps to be overpriced or about right?  Are you doing your own “Camp Mommy”?

Why I’m #dyeingtomatch…

I know what you’re going to say…

I don’t even know how long it’s been since my last blog post… but here’s another.  No promises on frequency (which hopefully means I’ll be back more frequently).


After my Washington Post “On Parenting” article last month, I was floored by the response from dancers, especially dancers of color and former dancers who related to my words.

One of the people who contacted me was Denise from The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD).  IABD was interested in my taking part in #dyeingtomatch, their campaign to raise awareness around the lack of appropriately colored dance wear for dancers of color.

So this week, I am behind the scenes on their social media and the most exciting part is that I have been interviewing dancers and black dance wear companies for the last two weeks.  There wasn’t as much time as I hoped, but I have a good feeling that this could expand… who knows.

I am giddy doing this work because I am doing what I have always done – I am telling stories.  This time, a visual story and doing work that makes you feel good and helps others is vital in my book.

Follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @iabdinc or using #dyeingtomatch.

My first intro clip is below: 

I feel proud of this work and hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and spread the word if you feel so inclined! 🙂

Syncopated Breaths: My Literary Mama Writing Prompt

Today, free write about what you are holding on to and what you wish to let go. At this time of new beginnings, what will you cast away? What will you keep? – 

4:15 am
Awake, I listen to their breaths — peaceful in the dead of night, their bodies finally listless.
I snuggle close to her, my mini me, as they say.  
Does our resemblance push me away? 
Do I have what it takes?
I take a deep breath and let go of the doubt.  Let go of the questions.
My insecurities are running my mind – crippling my hand – my pen held just over the paper… ready to explode.
I breathe in the courage to speak my mind… Write my mind.
Letting go of the fear and facing the truth that my words have weight for others.
Women like me, listening to the syncopated breaths from their nurseries or in their rooms. 
Wanting to change, feeling a change and having the courage to put that pen to paper and just write.

Oh NO They didn’t … Bashing America’s Working Mother

Since becoming a mother in 2012, my life  has been one of balance.  From moments of chaos to moments of zen, the day to day realities of becoming a parent are those that I have dealt with both privately and publicly.

This added texture of becoming a parent and being an artist is also a balancing act that I continue to deal with in my writing.

So when the ad below was posted through my Real Estate Agency, with quite a few parents and a few new working mothers and fathers, one might understand the outrage…

Ironically, in my last post, I specifically touched on this struggle of working motherhood…and in a piece for Brain, Child earlier in the summer, I discussed the economic difficulties that made me even consider Real Estate in the first place.  
It was actually an ideal move for me, I love people, love helping people and love homes – their details and history.  Give me some crown molding, stained glass windows or a grand staircase and I’m set!
This ad just hit – right in the gut.  Not only as a working mother, but specifically in real estate and even more specifically in New York, I have faced my own up-hill battle over the past couple months with children and justifying childcare and previewing, putting the client first and running myself ragged.
It is not easy and while mentally, I might feel like the woman on the left, it is so important to not resemble that with my clients.
The physical and emotional drain of motherhood is one that knocks me out in the evening – it also keeps me up, working for my clients just a little bit harder because I want to be sharp … efficient.
Surely this ad was not created by one person.  Multiple eyes had to see it and so I question when someone thought it was a bad idea, was their voice overlooked? 
How did bad judgement get so far in a nation of working mothers?
The social media accounts for Costello and Costello Realty Group seem to all be disabled.  
Their yelp page is full of comments from dissatisfied mothers, and so it should be.  There are just too many hard working women (and men) who juggle home life and parenting.  While some, like my husband, seem to handle both with ease, it is still a delicate dance a balance of life that allows the focus on the work to be even more precise.
So to answer the ad, Who would you rather represent you? 
I would rather the agent on the left who can empathize with my life and laugh with me about the crazy things our kids did.  The agent who juggles and gets my needs and not two wise guys who are anything but professional.

My welcome to working motherhood…

If you are reading this, then it is possible that you have read my piece that was published this morning on Brain, Child.

A few things have changed since I wrote that piece.  For one, I am working… But not just any job. I am a Real Estate Salesperson with Bohemia Realty Group

There is a framed quote at Bohemia that embodies my MO in this real estate business I have chosen.

Having worked at Gap Inc (Gap,Banana Republic and Old Navy) for nearly 10 years, I was trained in the best Customer  Service around.  
I can help my customers translates to I can help my clients in Real Estate, where articles of clothing and opening a store credit card to save you 15% is now hunting up, down and all around Manhattan for your ideal home and my 15%.
When I left Gap in 2009 to focus on theatre, I had no clue what was next in my life.  I had recently met a man that I had imagined marrying and we did a few years later, although a city hall wedding was not what either of us had expected, and the daughter we had the next year thrust us into parenthood at a time neither of us had expected (me anyways). 
Our life has been a list of unexpected events, which in telling other people is exciting and in living can be frightening.
Now a mother of two and back in a service position, I am floored by the exhaustion, both mental and physical, that has taken over my body.  
On any given day I want to give up – curl into a ball and just pretend it all doesn’t exist or just wait until catastrophe happens!
Real Estate with kids is a new adventure for me!  I am literally starting a new life and with dependents…
In a career built on speed, the first thing I note is that Everything takes longer, but I am held to the same standards.  It is exhilarating and super scary!
There have been so many times where I have been pushed to my limits and filled with rage over uncontrollable circumstances.
But I have been inspired by the little things to push through, which is what I would tell any mom in my situation and so should YOU!  I look forward to enjoying life the way I once did, because let’s be honest – I love this city and would really rather live no place else!  

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 (
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 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?