Photo Op Challenge

So today begins my Photo Op Challenge and I’m not exactly excited about it … but then again, very few things excite me. Anyway, as I was looking up photo challenges NOT associated with instagram, Facebook, or pinterest as I have no instagram or pinterest and I use Facebook only every red moon. While “doing my research” [browsing], I came across a couple sites that inspired this challenge of mine. I first came upon a self-portrait challenge & giveaway which led to another self-portrait challenge and then to this Currently post. I just adore that post for some reason & it will force a post for each day - you think y'all would like that? I, of course, have to ensure it's challenging enough and keeps with the spirit of self-reflection and exhibiting Love. So here goes the challenge:

Each day, I must take 1 photo of myself, 1 with/of my loves, and 1 random. For each combination of pics, I must sit down and write blurbs about the day. These blurbs are liken unto the Currently post, but past tense since I really probably write them at the end of the day.

Today I ...
Obsessed over:
Worked on:
Thought about:
Listened to:
Wished that:
Loved that:
Prayed for:

I will most likely adjust the meaning behind those from time to time, but y’all know how I am. After writing this post, I am kinda interested in what will be revealed through this photo journaling experience. So maybe I should call it a Photo Journaling Challenge. Whatevs …


Free & Flowing

If you haven't been keeping up, this post is a follow-up (of sorts) to my 30 Years in Review post.

This challenge has been real interesting and boring all in the same. I realize that I do enjoy wearing my skirts & dresses, but they’re limiting. With all that I have, you’d think it’d be a daily reward to change it up. However, all of them aren’t made for everyday wearing. I don’t even have shoes that match some. I don’t have the jewelry to complement others. It’s pretty crazy what I go through to put together an outfit.

Well, because of the challenge, I had to just get over it sometimes. Some days I left the house feeling like blah cause my shoes didn’t match my dress nor did my accessories, but the day never ended that way. Somebody always seemed to compliment me on those days. From a simple, “I like that dress/skirt/color” to my husband and his elaborate “Love, you are beautiful today”, I always came home feeling better than I left about my outfit.

Thank you to those who didn’t even realize that they were a sparkle in my day on those days. Your compliments definitely helped me through this slight struggle of 30 Days for the Dresses & Skirts. On to the next …

Coming up: 30 Days of Photo Ops (or something like that) :)


Gummy Yummy

Father’s Day Reflections placed me in a space that I’m so often in these days. I almost forgot to let y’all know the actual highlight of this Father’s Day 2013. The highlight of my day was the look on my husband, my son’s father’s face when I presented his gift to him. That look was the look that said “My wife is the absolute greatest!!” I got that look all day because I gave him the gift of his favorite sweet … HOMEMADE y’all. Yup, ya girl made some homemade gummies (they would have been bears had I found the bear candy molds). Not only did I do that, but I made him lil individual bags representative of him. My bags were as following: 
  • Our #1 Super Star (Jason)
  • Tribute to Moore
  • Our Love Bag (full of hearts and our anniversary #, and 2 for well - you know)
  • Dad taking pics as the lil person ate breakfast.
    Awesome card, dad!
  • Bouquet of Flowers

Anyway, here’s the recipe for y’all that keep telling me to finally write these things down. I got it from a conglomeration of sites, but here’s the one I used:

  • ⅓ cup of COLD water (up to ½ cup)
  • 2 bags of unflavored gelatin (bags are ¼ oz each)
  • 3 oz of flavored gelatin

I did not take pics as I made it because my phone was probably charging somewhere. {You can get pics from my links below.} I didn’t take pics at the end either because it was a rush to get them in the fridge from lil 2 year old eyes who can’t keep a secret. But daddy got a few pics when he was presented with them so enjoy those.

Here’s what I did with that recipe. I made 2 batches; the recipe covers only 1. I tried 2 different methods just because.

Method 1:
Put ⅓ cup of cold water in a measuring glass. Sprinkle … SPRINKLE the unflavored gelatin on top of the water. {It immediately begins to thicken and look like you’ve made a mistake.} Then SPRINKLE the flavored gelatin. {Looks even worse, but keep going.} I stirred just enough to pull some water from the bottom of the glass and I may have added a few drops of water cause I was paranoid that it was too dry. Let it sit for 10 minutes while the gelatin “blooms”, takes shape, thickens the mixture more. Meanwhile boil some water (enough to reach up the sides of your measuring cup) in a pot big enough to hold your measuring cup. Once your 10 minutes is up, place the measuring cup in the boiling water and let it dissolve. {I stirred a bit cause I really thought I had messed it up.} Once ALL of the gelatin has dissolved, take the measuring cup out of the pot.

Method 2:
Put ⅓ cup of cold water in a small pot. Sprinkle … SPRINKLE the unflavored gelatin on top of the water. Then SPRINKLE the flavored gelatin. I stirred just enough to pull some water from the bottom of the pot and I may have added a few drops of water cause I was paranoid that it was too dry. Let it sit for 10 minutes while the gelatin “blooms”, takes shape, thickens the mixture more. Turn the heat under the pot on to medium heat. You don’t want to boil it; you just want to dissolve the gelatin. Once ALL of the gelatin has dissolved, pour mixture into a measuring cup for easy pouring.

… Pour liquid into molds. Let molds sit until firm enough to transport with no spills. Once firm, place molds in the freezer for 10 minutes, then the fridge for 5 minutes. After the sit in the fridge, remove them from the molds and bag ‘em up. Place in the fridge for them to last the longest. It’s only day 3 in here so we’ll see how long they last.

He's our #1 Super Star!
Welp, folks I hope you try it yourself. Or you are welcome to bring over some gelatin and I’ll whip you up some real quick at the house. I’m looking for some citric acid to try and embark upon some sour gummies. I’ll also be adjusting my gelatin to play around with the chewiness.

Now since, I like to give credit where credit is due. Check out the links below for my research. They are in no order.

Bag labels came from here: Dad's Stash & No. 1 Dad

As you see, I’m BIG on researching before I embark upon my homemade stuff. I hope I didn’t miss any link. If I come across one I didn’t put on here, I’ll update.

I’m out now. Later, y’all.


Father's Day: My Reflection

Yesterday was Father’s Day and it was unusual in the sense that I did not call my father. I feel no guilt about it. Judge me if you want to! It wasn’t because of any anger. I just didn’t call, didn’t feel the urge, forgot really - until it was too late for me to be talking to anyone on the phone.

Anyway, most of my recent folk don’t even know him. A lot of my past folk don’t know him. I don’t talk about my father a lot. Let me stop calling him that! I don’t talk about my daddy a lot, but it doesn’t mean a thing. See, I don’t talk because you may judge. No, I’m not proud, but I love him anyway. And I know he loves me too. The problem is that he doesn’t know what that really means and I completely understand … now. Now that I realize that I don’t know what that really looks like. And as awkward as it is, it works some days. Other days, it doesn’t. Those other days are hard days on my heart. Real hard, but I make it through.

Now, I could tell you a pity story so you could have pity on us. I don’t have one though unless I just force the drama and stretch what really happened. I just know that we’ve kind of always been this way. And no, I haven’t been out here like others searching for what I didn’t have. Matter of fact, I did just the opposite. I didn’t search cause I had and for those that questioned (or tried overstepping their boundary), I definitely let them know that *ahem* “I already have a daddy … several father figures actually!” I didn’t even know I didn’t have it until others brought it to my attention. By that point, it was my norm and I just didn’t question it. Now, I see that we both could have done better. Oh well.

Now, I will probably call my daddy at some point today because well it’s been awhile. I may or may not actually get in contact with him. That’s life. I may or may not tell him Happy Belated Father’s Day. That’s okay too - I’m not sure he even knows that it was yesterday. Should I do better? Yeah, probably. Will I do better? No, probably not. Do I feel guilt over this? Not today. Will I feel guilt some day? Yup, every other day.


Jairus Interlude - I'm 2

SO we know y’all love hearing from and about lil man. He’s a mess & a half, but we love that kid to pieces. Here’s a lil interlude for ya.

Lil Man
I don’t want mom close to me.
*Mom proceeds to pester him by standing close to him and blocking him from dad. This goes on for a minute or so. Whining ensues, but it is what it is.*

Jairus, mom and I are a team. She is my rib so when you’re mean to mom, you’re being mean to dad. You don’t want to be mean to dad do you?
Lil Man
No dad.
Well, don’t be mean to mom. Mom and I are a team. You can’t be mean to her and then try to ask me for something. We don't work like that. We’re one.
Lil Man
I’m 2. 

I imagined him dropping the mic & not even walking away. In actuality, he said that and kept it moving as though that was the end of the conversation. And it was too! Dad and mom were attempting not to laugh while being in shock that that was what he took from the discussion. Also, for those who don’t know lil man, he knows that 2 comes after 1 and that 2 is more.


30 Years In Review

I recently entered into my 3rd decade of life. It was just another day. It was not bitter. It was not sweet. It didn't mark the beginning or end of anything. However, the weeks leading up to it stirred up a lot of self-reflection. My self-reflection included looking at those in my life now and who've been in my life’s past. It especially has included a lot of seeking for spiritual guidance. So I've decided that in this quest to be more like Jesus, I’d better get to gettin’. Instead of requesting a big bash or anything, I decided to write letters - love letters to some of my loved ones. I began writing them and then was sidetracked so no one has received them just yet, but they are coming. Everyone won’t get one, but it is just a start. See, I've decided to write love letters for every birthday of mine and hopefully increase the number each year. And while this year, I didn't quite make my goal of having them delivered on (or by) my birthday, I am determined to get them out before my Anniversary. See, my goal is to love more people each year than I loved the year before. That for me is being more like Jesus. I’m being more like the love I want. I’m attempting to align my spirit so that when you see me, you see the love I have for you instead of the scowl on my face from whatever foolishness life just threw at me.

My self-reflection also took into account my outward appearance. I haven’t been concerned with that probably since I was a kid (not even a teenager). It was my claim to just not giving a care about anything including myself. Oh, I loved myself enough to keep myself up & a sista can pull out the stops from time to time when I FEEL like it. However, I reflected upon the fact that that’s not fair. My husband is constantly doing things to ensure that he’s ALWAYS attractive to me so why should I not try at least for him. Then you add on the fact that I have a son who may someday bring a lucky young lady into our family folds, I’d better get to gettin’. I don’t want him thinking that women should be placed in any box not even the one I created for myself. So with that, I added on an extra challenge of challenging myself on that level. My first challenge began on my birthday (or rather the day after since I was a lazy bone on the actual day) and I pray it is pleasing the one I pledged my love to almost 4 years ago. I know the 2 year old lil person is having a time figuring out these new wardrobe items appearing on mom.

Now, these are only two of the reflective discussions that I've had with myself over the past few months, but there are plenty more. As I gather the urge or need or whatever to write about them, I’ll hit y’all up. Until then, love yo peeps! And remember I love y’all!


Alex Cross (Movie) Review

What up people?!

Today, The Table TalkN Review Board has the pleasure to review the movie Alex Cross, starring Tyler Perry as Detective Dr Alex Cross.  I know this movie came out in theaters last fall, but when you have a little one, you don’t always get a chance to make it to the movies.  As a matter of fact some our best “Date Hours” are movie nights where we put the child to bed and get a glass of wine and a DVD or two.  

Now onto the review.  There are a couple of points to remember when looking at this movie.
  1. {As mentioned before} it was out in theaters last fall.  Many people wrote their personal feelings on it.  They have their own reviews and opinions - that is fine.  This is mine.
  2. This movie is based off a book - I’ve learned that the book is ALWAYS better.  You can say so much more, be more descriptive, and overall just be more detailed in a 400 page novel than you can in an hour & 1/2.
  3. They switched up lead actors.  Morgan Freeman originally donned the role of Alex Cross when the other movies came out (Along Came a Spider & Kiss the Girls), but now the torch was passed to Tyler Perry.

To address the biggest issue that people have mentioned with this movie first, the main character.  If you ever read the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, you will know that cross is a 6 foot 4 Black Man, that has been accused of favoring Muhammad Ali.  Perry, is taller and bigger than Freemon so he at least looks the part.  As for acting - Perry has been the main character in many of his plays and movies (mainly as Madea) that has helped to pigeonhole him in a certain type of actor.  Madea movies are funny, and deal with other type of issues.  Perry has been accused of not being able to act, but his past roles have not really called for him to “act” persay, just be funny and hit the public with some good timing and catch phrases.  I enjoyed him as Madea, and guess what, when given the opportunity, I enjoyed him as Alex Cross.

If we only looked at actors and actresses as their first characters, then we would lose out on some good performances, some even great.  Michael Keaton - played Mr. Mom - was a great Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Bruce Willis - played in Moonlighting back in the mid to late 80’s, now, I love his Die Hard Movies - all 57 of them...  Adam Sandler is another one.  That’s why people are actors, they play different roles.  

Another issue is that fact that this movie series (there are 3 of them, making it an official series by my standards) is that the hero is played by a different actor.  There comes a point in time where a person gets older and cannot portray the identity of that hero anymore.  Anyone ever heard of a super spy secret agent that has a license to kill, that has Double 0 status? (James Bond for those that didn’t follow that.)

Ok, NOW - on to the movie review. (sorry for the rantings, but some of people’s arguments kinda “irked” me.)  First the obvious.  I actually liked the movie.  It was a pretty good adaptation of a book, that I would think of as very complex.  The Alex Cross series are generally filled with twists and turns, along with 2, 3 (sometimes 4) storylines that all end up being connected in the end.  This movie focused on just 1.  I can understand that because you only have so much time to keep an audience captive.  And with this being the first Alex Cross movie in over a decade, I can see why the studio would want to limit the time for this first film.  Cross attempts to capture the psychopathic killer in this movie that is targeting a multi-billion dollar foreign company.  Through his chase, his personal life becomes highly involved and intermingled with his career.  Most of us can relate to this, (career interfering with personal life) just this time his career happens to be dealing with crazies that want to kill people.

I felt that the story was believable.  The acting was really good.  The plot made sense.  While it was not a blockbuster in my book.  It turned in a solid performance.  I’m glad that I watched it for myself.  I rate this one a B.  It was a solid movie, I wouldn’t have called in sick to work to see it, but it was worth viewing.  I recommend, that if you like action films, this one is not a bad way to go.

Share with us your thoughts and comments.  Also let us know what other things you would want us to consider reviewing.

Table TalkN Review Board signing off...