Punch Party in a Bowl

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Make. Sip. Enjoy and Repeat.


Nothing quenches a summer thirst like a cool, refreshing, liquid party in a bowl. It’s been 100 degrees here in the south which means any opportunity for something cold and sugary dancing on my tongue and moonwalking down my throat is a welcomed delight. Because I’m from the south, I fully buy into the notion that the sweeter, the better. So yes, these beverages are not for the sugar shy. Because I’m from the south, I also fully buy into the notion that anytime is the right time to break out a big, ol’ fancy glass bowl borrowed from a dear relative or from ones starter marriage wedding registry and host a shindig.

Below are two family friendly punch recipes that are sure to get a party started right. Make them. Chill them. Pass out the red cups and enjoy! (And if you don’t want them “family friendly” by all means, do…

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Nobody’s Perfect and That’s Perfectly Okay

Here’s a secret that’s been silent too long. Nobody’s perfect.

No person is perfect. No job is perfect. No organization is perfect. No group of friends is perfect. No church is perfect. No family is perfect. No school is perfect. No marriage is perfect. No civic or social setting is perfect. Plain and simple, nobody’s perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.

So, with that said we have to decide to allow imperfect people, places and things to be just that and not place expectations on them which are impossible to fulfill. We have to continue to look for the good in humans, even the fake, flawed, phony, misguided, messed up, hurting and discombobulated ones, who are sometimes and often not too unlike us. We have to cut slack, operate in forgiveness, take the pressure off and allow room to grow just like God does for us daily. Not that all people are meant to be in our lives. Some clearly are not, but some are, which means we can’t always cry foul and choose to remove ourselves from others at the whisking of the wind. Whether through example near or not as near we have to continue to learn from them, engage with them (if that’s God’s will), be open to others who may not or may be like them, and live life fully vested and invested in the notions that:

  1. We can’t always shut down and shut off from people.
  2. We can’t do life alone.
  3. We can’t hold on to the bad of one and place it on others.
  4. We can’t expect people to be, do and think as we are and do.
  5. We can’t always take things so personally and/or hold it permanently.
  6. We can’t isolate everyone and everything at the sign of unmet expectations.
  7. We can’t let the fear of being hurt stop us from being helped.
  8. And nobody’s perfect and that’s perfectly okay.



I’m Re-Building My Blessings List

Life Gets Better

I love the thought of a bucket list. I think there’s nothing more rewarding than comprising lists of things that I want to do, see, experience and gain on God’s great earth before I leave it. However, I don’t plan on leaving here anytime soon, so I think I’ll change the name from a “bucket list” to my “blessings list”.


I certainly have come to realize that life is too short to squander and too long not to be lived. That makes building my “blessings list” even more important. Different than how it possibly would have been in my 30’s and definitely different from it would have been in my 20’s, I’m starting to pay closer attention to who and what should go on my “blessings list”. My list has grown from, and grown into more than things about big houses, fancy cars, some money and a man. My list has morphed into something so much…

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That’s a WHOLE Lotta Chicken

I’m a huge fan of southern soul food. That means I love fried chicken! The sweet tea-brined fried chicken sandwich from Whole Foods made this Bama Belle happy, y’all!


Whole Foods is known for a lot of things. All kinds of food, organic foods, gluten free foods, a great atmosphere, upscale shopping, crazy good pizza, a hot bar with great lunch and dinner options, fresh baked desserts, assorted fresh seafood, and pastries and amazing fruit and cheese samples (of which I partake a plenty). For me, Whole Foods in Birmingham, Alabama is also known for the little “restaurant” in the middle of the prepared food section where a chef with a big smile and fierce culinary skills cooks up all kinds of delights right before your eyes.

I’ve sampled a few items on their menu. Trust me. They do not disappoint. My favorite by far is their fried chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries. As I type this blog post I realize it’s been far too long since I’ve treated myself to this treat. The first thing that drew me in…

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So You Wanna Be on TV? Part 1

Years ago in a far, far away land called the 1990s I was on television. Don’t believe me? Just check with Sallie Mae (I refuse to call her Navient) and the remaining bill I owe on my student loan for a degree from the illustrious University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Anywho, from age eight I’ve known I wanted to be on television as a reporter or anchor. And I was. It was wild and crazy, productively fun ride.

Now I’ve moved on to other ventures, but the television bug still bites me a time or two, especially when I see an athelete, politician, spiritual leader, event host or random eye witness unaware of the power of the big screen, and they say something, do something or wear something which takes away from his/her intended message. (i.e. some of our favorite infamous social media clips).

Anywho again, I decided several years ago to help people who want or need help getting on television or preparing to be on television. So I offer these tips to help you during live or taped television interviews…


Dress appropriately.

  • Be stylish, but simple. Shy away from busy patterns (flashy colors, houndstooth and stripes especially).
  • Dress neatly, professionally or in a manner that’s appropriate for what you are being interviewed on.
  • Don’t wear jewelry and accessories that make noise.

Watch your face.

  • Studio lights can be cruel. Take care of the shine on your cheeks, nose and forehead.
  • Do a double check in the mirror for little unsightly nuggets nestled between your teeth, or other facial features.
  • Men, don’t be afraid to powder your nose or balding head.

Less is more, more or less.

  • Make sure you answer questions in complete sentences, passionately and thoroughly, but keep answers short enough to make the cut.
  • The average sound bite is 12-15 seconds.

Be yourself. Be your best.

  • Relax, speaking naturally, clearly and authentically.
  • Use correct grammar, watching for the “uummms”, “you know?” and other things you know you do (or others know you do and need to tell you that you do so you won’t do them.)

Look at me.

  • Never look into the camera unless specifically asked to do so.
  • Look at the reporter or anchor when responding to questions.
  • Be mindful of frowning, squinting, and looking into the wrong camera or wrong direction.

If you don’t know don’t say.

  • If you don’t have the answer to a question it’s acceptable to say so.

Don’t forget your business.

  • Be sure to make mention of any needed dates, times, phone numbers or contact information during the interview.
  • Mention your organization’s name as often, and appropriately as possible.

Don’t ask to see a copy of the tape after you’re done, and try to avoid asking for a list of the questions just prior to the interview.

Stay away from acronyms, spiritual catch phrases and colloquialisms only known to or understood by you and yours.

Silence all electronic gadgets.

Be careful of live mics. Don’t speak unless asked to do so.

Don’t take too many people with you to the interview.

Come dressed for the interview unless it has been expressed that you may get ready at the studio.

Take a deep breath…and get ready for Lights, Camera, Action!



Goodness Gracious, It’s Collard Greens!

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An impromptu girls get together on a lazy Sunday afternoon actually started the Saturday prior when my sister announced she was having a play date for her girls. Being the aunt that I am, I invited myself and asked what she was preparing to eat, assuming that food would be an invited guest. She informed me that she was putting two beef roasts (as some people call them) in the crock pot. She mentioned some other tasty sounding items and I was hooked! I offered to make collard greens, and prepared my palate for a feast!

I’m a southern-belle, born and bred, but by no means am I a chef or fancy-smancy cook. After all, the whole premise of this blog site is about dining out, not cooking. However, the things I do prepare I take delight in preparing them well. One of them is collard greens. I’m a fan of…

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Girl, Somebody Lied to You!

Washing my hands in the restroom at work, gazing in the hazy mirror at my newly cut bangs (from a less than new sew-in) the words, “Girl, somebody lied to you” crossed my mind. I was shocked initially, almost wondering where this inner, loud whisper derived. As women, too many times than not, we have listened to lies from others about ourselves, lives from ourselves regarding others and even from ourselves regarding ourselves. Before you hop on an “all men are dogs” channel that I simply do not and will not ever subscribe to do know that I’m not referring to the “player, cheater or not quite mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a relationship” kind of man we might have knowingly entertained or naively encountered. I’m talking about the bold face lies society, unwise influencers, and our own misguided hopes and dreams might have told us. (BTW…is a bold face lie different from a scared face lie? #ija) I digress.


I started thinking of a list of a lot of lies we, as incomparably beautiful, God-created, life-giving, purpose-overflowing, love-filled, spiritually gifted women, need to know longer believe about us if we’re going to be the fabulous, fabulous women we were all created to be. I’m not listing lies, as I prefer truth. So below I offer you a sampling of seeing yourself from a different point of view.

  1. A man or marriage won’t make you happy. (Ask a bunch of other married, dating and no longer married women how we know. Happiness is an exclusive right. No help is needed. I promise this one is true so if you were clinging to it like a newborn to its milk machine please let it go.)
  2. Marriage won’t cure your ills. (If struggling with financial mismanagement, loneliness, fornication, low self-esteem or any other issues before marriage, and not taking steps to be healed from it, an “I Do” doesn’t take it away. It just shifts it into another gear.)
  3. You really don’t need makeup. (I “heart” make up. I really, really do, but I know that it is strictly an enhancement to all the goodness, flaws and all, about us which already exist, but it is not a necessity. We’re fine with or without it. Literally, and figuratively.)
  4. Your voice is important. (Often as women we feel our voice, opinion, thoughts, ideas or histories aren’t embraced so they must not be important. They are and must be heard. Ya heard?)
  5. Women can be friends. (Forget the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night reality show and social media fighting. Women are social creatures by Godly design. More importantly, we’re communicators, which means we are equipped to get along, stay together, talk it out, establish trust and enjoy the love, support and influence of other women meant to walk this amazing journey called life with us.)
  6. Your hips are hot. (Don’t be fooled. Those areas in which you carry as a testament to your DNA, your life’s struggles, your overcome medical obstacles…childbirth included, or whatever is behind the story of your behind and its less than perfect body buddies is beautiful. As is. No pun intended.)
  7. Being spiritual, smart, sincere and sophisticated is haute. (It is absolutely popular and eternally trending to have a relationship with God and show it, speak properly, use correct spelling and grammar in formal and less than formal writings, be kind, be generous, showcase your knowledge in all types of settings, pursue higher education, be classy, carry poise, and take the lead as lead in areas of which you know you are gifted.)
  8. Your spiritual Father has the first and final say-so. (For those who have bore the pain of the lack of presence from an earthly father or a proper one, do know that your real Daddy is the MAN! He loves you, won’t leave you, is trustworthy, will show up when He promised, won’t forget a birthday, has you on His mind all the time and loves you. Yes, I said He loves you twice just so it can settle in.)
  9. Pouty mouths, duck lips, and frowny faces can’t compete with a smile. (I don’t know who hijacked the smile, but I demand a swift return. Ladies, nothing says “confident, sexy, approachable, mature, friendly, or comfortable in the skin I’m in” like a good, old-fashion smile. Try it. Often. Please.)
  10. Gaining a new job, new house, new body, new man, new car, new degree, and/or new circle of influence is a blessing, but it won’t build you… and guess what, should you lose one, any or all of it, it won’t break you either. (Ask me how I know.)