I Love a Happy Blending

These days, blended families are becoming the new normal. A woman, married or not, may live with a man and children where the children are a product of a previous relationship.

Some people manage it well. I remember reading in Vanessa Williams book that she has a big Thanksgiving dinner every year with all her ex-husbands and children–and it’s not awkward!

In this clip, former NFL player Deion Sanders has lunch with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. They talk about their children and their mutual respect for each other and their common denominator, Tracey Edmonds (Deion’s girlfriend and Babyface’s ex-wife and mother of their children).

But sometimes things don’t go quite as smoothly.  Continue reading here.


Back Seat Freak?

Bill O'Reilly Interviews Russell Simmons on March 12, 2014
Bill O’Reilly Interviews Russell Simmons on March 12, 2014

I was a guest on Real Talk with Michael McFadden this week to talk about my new book, Ending the Blame Game. One of the first things he asked is what I thought about Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Russell Simmons when he commented about Beyoncé’s Partition video (which, like so many others, has strong sexual content), saying that she was not a good role model for young girls.

Continue reading here.

Finishing the “Summer of Me”

Here goes my August 2013 recap. Enjoy!

On the Run

FEAR - Forget everything and runRan 65 miles this month, the most ever (including 4 long progressive long runs on the weekends from 6-10 miles). I actually ran the first half of my 8-miler nonstop! I’ve gotten in more days on the treadmill, and as a result I can feel myself getting faster and running longer intervals. Some of the ladies in my running group are training for half marathons this fall–I’m just working on conditioning and endurance, although I will be in another 5K race this coming weekend.  I use the great workout mixes at Steady 130 (130 bpm music mixes) and Rock My Run when I run (you can get one free download each month) . I rarely listen to the radio, so sometimes I listen to their mixes instead  (the mixes use clean versions of the songs).

Baby Girl

My daughter K is back! In the South, school begins in early August, but we didn’t have to. Since we homeschool and can start our school year when we want, I let her finish summer camp and travel with my family. She even visited the house I grew up in (to which we haven’t been since in 10 years, when she was just a few weeks old).  I wish I had a picture but my mom didn’t think to take one then. 😦


Finished judging 25 manuscripts for the Booklogix Young Writer’s Contest (ages 10-13). My own book project is coming along fine, and my anticipation continues to build as the interior layout has begun. Continue reading “Finishing the “Summer of Me””

Crossing the Blurred Line

I’ll admit, I missed it.

Source: Spin

I’m a Robin Thicke fan, and his hit Blurred Lines has been doubled the media as the song of the summer. Although I have heard of criticism that this was a “rapey” song,  I just couldn’t figure it outContinue reading “Crossing the Blurred Line”

Doing the Most: Who’s House? My House!

a.k.a. Camp Do More Recap, Part 1

I started planning my trip to the West Coast to attend Camp Do More (CDM) last fall.  I was sad to learn they ran out of room before I finished saving my money to register ($400). Then I got an email in December, saying the venue had changed and a link was provided to join the waiting list. I registered and secured my hotel room shortly after Christmas. Then you know the rest–I got my certifications to teach even though I prefer staying in the mix.  But you haven’t worked out until you’ve been in a grand ballroom doing new choreography with hundreds of others all around you. I could see that energy on YouTube video highlights of years past, but experiencing it in person is like nothing else. It’s like the difference between watching your favorite celebrity perform in concert on DVD or TV vs. being in the live audience.

Because I have so much to say about my experience (and the creator Chalene Johnson suggested first-timers reflect on video), I made a video about it (see below). Tomorrow I’ll share my notes from her motivational lectures (which she told us to share) since this blog is primarily on personal development.

I loved the opening performance…. the energy was crazy.

This year was the first time CDM was not held in Orange County, CA. It took place on 3 weekdays preceding the Beachbody Summit, not a weekend, and in June instead of August. For these reasons and perhaps others, attendance declined for the first time, where usually it doubled. If it had been the same as always, I would not have been eligible to register at all, because the CA venue sold out and the best I could do was add myself to a waiting list until they changed their site location.

My Wendy Fan Out

I don’t believe in gossip, but truth be told, we all do it at one time or another.  I admire radio and talk show host Wendy Williams for her hustle and for echoing the sentiments of our people in a “keeping it real” kind of way. Her personality is infectious, and even through the TV screen she makes you feel like you know her. Her 10th book was released this month and I had been anticipating getting to meet her for the past week or so at her book signing in Atlanta.

The Demand

My daughter and I arrived at Barnes & Noble 90 minutes early, and finding a place to park was a beast! When we got inside, I was shocked to learn that Ask Wendy was sold out! There were apologetic signs on the entry doors, too.

On her national talk show, Wendy has been telling folks that she’s coming to the Barnes & Noble store on Peachtree Rd in Buckhead all week. They didn’t think that would amount to much?

Continue reading “My Wendy Fan Out”

Passion Points with Nicci Gilbert

Last night I attended the SWEET Group Atlanta launch event last night to hear Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert talk about female entrepreneurship and her evolution from being a singer (in Michael Jackson’s 90’s trio Brownstone) to becoming a reality TV executive producer (TV One’s R&B Divas) and plus-size fashion designer (Curvato Clothing).  SWEET stands for Successful Women Entrepreneurs and the Extremely Talented, and has chapters in Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA. The event was sponsored by SMS Advisors in Charlotte (which Nicci uses).

Marshawn Evans, Esq., is an attorney, speaker, author, and former contestant on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice was the host and moderator. Lillian Lincoln Lambert was the first Black woman to graduate from Harvard Business School in 1969. She is a partner with SWEET and has a fascinating story.

The word of the evening was “passion.” Everyone who spoke agreed that when it comes to your business, you have to be passionate about what you do or it won’t work.


Having it All: How Does She Do It?

Brownston-originalNicci started off telling us that in the past, she hasn’t always trusted her gut, but we should. In several episodes of R&B Divas, she told people that she’s really not into singing anymore, even though that’s what she’s best known for and people always ask her to sing. She’s able to do all the things she does now because she’s passionate, so it never feels like work. She admitted her difficulties: “I’m hard-headed, I hate to be told ‘No,’ or that I don’t have enough money to execute my plans.” She described herself as ‘crazy’ and ‘a space cadet’ and that’s how she can juggle so many tasks.

Nicci said, “The barter routine is the best ever (exchanging services instead of money). I choose not to focus on what is not right.” Lillian added that every obstacle has an opportunity attached to it. “I don’t like when people tell me I can’t do things.”

“Reality is Ratchet!”

R&B Divas Cast

Nicci: “I don’t know if ‘ratchet’ is a really a word, but everybody knows what it means so I’m gonna use it. Reality TV is ratchet! I thought about Claire Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad’s character on The Cosby Show) and others that helped me develop as a person. I wondered, where is that kind of TV today? Black women fighting each other seems to be a ratings formula that the reality shows want to stick with, but I wanted to show images of positive Black women with solid marriages and businesses.” Nicci is an executive producer of the #1 rated show on TV One ever (R&B Divas, whose first season aired last fall), said that spinoffs are coming, including an L.A. cast. Season 2 begins shooting on MLK Day.

Love and Hip Hop Atlanta (on VH1) had 5 million viewers, and we had 1 million. I don’t think we can get to 5 million because more people want to watch what’s wrong with people than what’s right.” She also added that “Branding is the key for reality TV to make sense.”

Continue reading “Passion Points with Nicci Gilbert”