Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Can you say Fun!!!!


Greetings Family!!
It is really cold and I can’t take it.  It has not even gotten really cold or snowed and yet….I can’t take it!  As I mature my tolerance for cold leaves me.  I really could see living somewhere warm all year long.  Of course I would come “home” for the holidays.  Having a Peña Colada by the pool on Christmas day doesn’t work for me either.  Maybe all of this has to do with the fact that I have just returned from vacation.  It is really hard for me to return to the swing of things when I come back.  All that sun and fun clouds my judgment.  It makes me think that we can actually “live” on vacation.  I am still working on figuring that out family.  We went sailing again on the fabulous Capital Jazz Cruise. http://www.capitaljazz.com/supercruise/   You all might be familiar with the weekend concert held in Maryland every June.  The same organization charters a cruise ship and hosts the most fantastic party on the sea that you will ever attend!  You will never want to go on a regular cruise after attending this one.  How do you top midnight jam sessions with Najee, Alex Bugnon and Phil Perry, a dress up 80’s dance party (Madonna was my influence!), Anthony Hamilton and Uncle Charlie Wilson, line dancing, zumba and salsa classes, documentary and live performance by the original Sugar Hill Gang (what!!), Greek parties and card parties, loved Chrisette Michelle  and Stephanie Mills, seminars and workshops, football party, Dougie Fresh on the Lido deck, church on the boat family with Marvin Sapp!!….and you know how I feel about the spa!  And that was all the first day…lol!  Throw in stops at Curacao, Dominican Republic and Aruba and it was just too much.  I didn’t mention even half of the rest of the cruise.  I needed a vacation from vacation.  But family, that is all now a wonderful memory that I refer to often as I commute in to work.  I am grateful for the much needed break and look forward to the next one.  If you have a chance to check out this cruise …do it!  This is the 2
nd one for us.  Trust me; it will truly be one of the best vacations you have ever taken.  Just in case you don’t believe me here is a picture of me from the boat.

Peace Family!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday


Morning Pooka Family!!!! The holiday season is here!!! And with that comes another birthday for me.  Although this is not necessarily a milestone birthday, I have been thinking, reflecting and foreshadowing on my life.  I have a wonderful husband, a smart and beautiful daughter, and the best sistafriends in the world!  Truly God has blessed me!  The people in my life are the greatest gifts so there is nothing I "want" for my birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!!!
 Be Blessed!!!   

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time for a Pooka Body Party Workshop! #Pookabodyparty

The perfect gift!! An afternoon of fun, relaxation and getting your hands dirty! #Pookabodyparty


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pay Attention



For over 20 days now the New York police have been looking for 14 year old Avonte Oquendo, a mute autistic child who ran out of his school and hasn't been seen since. I can't even imagine the pain that his mother and father are going through, not being able to find your child, not knowing if they are hungry,cold or hurt. I work in the city and every day I get on the train and I walk past Avonte's picture with his large expressive eyes. Missing...............I look around like he might be somewhere in the vicinity, all I see are the majority of people on their phones with blank stares listening to music or texting. How can you help if your not paying attention? On the national center for missing and exploited children the most recent comprehensive national study for the number of missing children estimated in 1999, approximately 800,000,children younger that 18 were reported missing every year. Some are runaways, some have been kidnapped by relatives or strangers and some like Avonte are simply missing. It is our job as a society to make sure our children are safe so I'm asking everyone to take some time off from their phones, look around, be active in life for real not just on the screen. I pray that Avonte is found safe, I hope all of our children are safe.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Natural Days



Hey Family! 
I am sitting in the salon, MEKO NY getting my fro done as I write this blog. What a wonderful thing! Now  this is something I would never say when I was on the creamy crack.....I mean when I had a perm! When you HAVE to go to the salon no matter how fab it is .....sometimes the thrill is just gone!  I have been to more salons and have let more people perm cut wash dry and color my hair than I can count It is a wonder I have any hair on my head lol! But we have all been there and some still are I still love you my perm sisters! However now that I have been through the program I will never go back! Now natural hair is a lot of work but it is good work You have more style choices than you can imagine and I love the feel of my natural curls Yes sisters we all have curls under there I get more compliments and have more hair conversation with sisters than I ever did back on the perm Remember that feeling when you were little and your mother would let your hair out after she straightened it but before she braided it lol! You ran around because your hair was out and you felt free! My natural hair lets me feel free everyday So as I settle under the dryer on a low setting letting my chemical free henna do its work it is a lovely afternoon Meko is taking good care of me! I won't be back for a few months until she has to touch me up again which makes this a special being pampered occasion. So sisters stop hesitating and come and join me I have this wonderful Pooka hair butter and nectar that you can use as part of your regimen! 


Peace Family!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Season


Morning Pooka Family! As we embark upon the new season let us not forget the blessing we receive everyday..waking up!  God in his magnificent wisdom woke us up one more day to experience the joy of family, friends and the earth.  This is the time of year when we get very busy and caught up in planning and preparing for the holidays.  My counsel for you today is to remember that today is a gift.  I hope you appreciate the gift God has given you today.  I know I am!! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hey, Hey!


Well family I'm back! After living in isolation in North Carolina, (Ok its really not isolation if other people live with you, especially if they're your kids.) But we are back with a new appreciation of life and everything it has to offer. I'm seeing familiar people and places with new eyes, (If I don't remember your name its the new eyes!) I definitely missed all of my family and friends, its been an interesting journey these last couple of years. I've learned a lot about myself and my kids. ( I may have learned too much about them!)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kale Days!!!




Greetings Family!!
Hope all is well and that everyone is enjoying the start of this fall season.  As the weather changes so does my dinner menu.  I use the oven and slow cooker more for those cold weather meals.  One thing that I decided to keep with me through the fall and winter is Kale!!  Now we all know that Kale is one of the best super foods.  Dawn talks about it almost as much as her nurtribullet if that is possible lol!  So…I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe.  And here we go:
Heat some olive oil (can also use coconut oil if you prefer) in a pan.  I usually just break apart my washed and dried Kale leaves and add them to the oil.  Just like you would sautee spinach.  Add your seasoning of choice (for me salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder).  I add a few tablespoons of water and put top on to steam the Kale.  Only for a minute or two because I want the Kale to still be a little crunchy.  Don’t sautee all the vitamins out lol!  Then for me the most important ingredient…some red wine vinegar!  I usually put a lot because it gives it a great tart twang (say that fast!) but start out with a little to see how you like it.  And family…that is it!  It is such a great side dish for meat or fish and it takes 10 minutes to prepare.  When I cooked it last I made it with poached salmon which I put on top of some spicy grits with the Kale on the side!  Family, I am not a chef but pretend to be one at home.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My MS Testimony!


Some of you may or may not know that I have MS.  I’ve shared it in my book, Moving Through Opened Doors, but other than that I tell people If it “comes up”.  I’m not sensitive or private about it, its just not something that I let define me.  Today I just felt the need to share because I believe there is something in my testimony that may help you.  

I always talk about the Pooka story and how the business started because I got sick. Drs. couldn’t find anything wrong with me so, I decided to change my diet so that maybe I would feel better.  I started reading labels of everything I ate, then I started reading my body product labels.  I realized that I didn’t want those chemicals in my system, so I started making my own products and that’s how Pooka  began.  But after years of feeling sick on and off, I was diagnosed 7 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis.  A lot of people don’t know exactly what that is, so heres the quick definition. Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision.  

When I was first diagnosed the Drs. told me my best chance was to go on the medication right away!  But after research I learned that the medicine wouldn’t cure the disease, just possibly slow it down.  I couldn’t imagine filling my body with medication for the rest of my life so I decided instead to go the holistic route.  I have a great Dr, who treats me with supplements, vitamins, tonics, minerals along with nutrition, acupuncture and mind and body work.  I also do some yoga, meditation and positive affirmations. The main thing for me is my prayer and my faith. Now, I’ve had some struggles over the years, including some chronic paralysis. There are periods when I’m very sick, but I’m still here!  I try to stay upbeat and not let it get me down and any of you who know me know that I LOVE to laugh!  I believe laughter is medicine, so I get a lot of that :-)  

I visit my neurologist every 6 months and take my results to my holistic Dr. for treatment.  6 months ago, my MRI results were not good and the disease was progressing.  My neurologist told me without hesitation, that I NEEDED to go on the medication.  I admit, I was a upset but I took the results to my holistic Dr and we agreed that we’d change some things in my diet and become more aggressive with treatments and give it another 6 months.  We agreed that, in 6 months, if there is more progression that maybe, just maybe we’d consider the medication.  This last 6 months, I listened to what he told me to do and stayed in prayer.  

You know that nutrition is important to me, I’m always talking about what we should be eating, what things we shouldn’t be eating, why we should go organic, blah, blah, blah, LOL!  But it’s such an important part of my life and I believe that Good nutrition is powerful and consuming healthy, organic food can keep illness away.  You all know how much I LOVE my nutribullet @thenutribullet. So during this 6 months I’ve really been juicing lots of fruits and veggies, trying to stick to a healthy diet, reading my bible and praying without ceasing.

Last week I went for the results of my MRI, my neurologist always tells me that the reason that I need to be on the medication is once you get an MS scar, that’s it.  It can’t be reversed, so whatever damage is done by it is permanent.  He pulls out my MRI brain results and announces that in the last 6 months there is no progression.  I was very happy, but he said, “Although thats good, once you have scarring we can’t fix that, you should still go on the medication.”  So now he pulls out my neck and cervical spine results, for me this is where I’ve had most of my damage.  He stops and just looks at me and says, “Not only has it not progressed, but you’ve had improvement....that doesn’t happen...”  Then he got up and my neurologist said, “Wow...Give me a hug!”  

I know that this is a lifelong battle but I had to share this testimony because GOD IS GOOD! If I never got sick, I would have never started this business or had the Many, Many, Many blessings and opportunities that I’ve received!  Hey, I’ve gotten to be on TV, the Radio and on the cover of a magazine!  How can I ever be mad about my illness, when GOD has blessed me through it! And here is what I want you to take away. 
  1. There is a testimony in every test!  
  2. Prayer works!
  3. I believe there is always a silver lining you just have to look for it!
  4. NUTRITION is key!  Care about what you put in your body.
  5. Have Faith!
  6. Stay positive, I believe your thoughts will create your reality.
  7. Repeat positive affirmations every day! ( I always start my day stating that I am healthy and healed!)
  8. Laugh a lot!  
  9. Encourage someone every day, you never know what someone may be going through.
  10. Buy a Nutribullet, LOL!
  11. Laugh some more!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Drivin Miss Dawnie!!


Hey Pooka family!  I got a notice in the mail and realized it was time to renew my license.  Of course I thought, “Okay, I’ll mail this next week!”  Well next week turned into the next couple of weeks and when I went to drop it in the mail, I noticed there was no envelope.  After further inspection I realized I couldn’t renew by mail!  Ugh! So now it’s getting close to renewal time and I have to go to DMV.  After dropping off some Pooka I decide to drive over to DMV and get it done.  My renewal date was the 31st  and it was the 30th!  When I got to DMV,obviously I had a memory lapse and forgot that now you need 6 points of ID!  I had nothing, so I just got right off the line and decided to go in the morning.  Now, its the 31st last day to renew, so I packed my bag and set out to DMV.
The previous day I had seen people getting thrown off the line for have the wrong papers, or wrong this or wrong that!  I knew that wouldnt be me because I was prepared.  Besides my birth certificate, passport, pseg bill, credit card statements I ALSO HAD a picutre of my hand print that I made in kindergarten, the first tooth I ever lost, my high school year book, AND my 3rd grade report card!  That’s right DMV, I am DAWN FITCH and I have all the stuff to prove it.  Finally it was my turn and I went up to the counter with all of my items.  I was so nervous because the one thing I didn’t have was my social security card, I’d lost it years ago.  So I handed the woman all of my items and held my breath.  The wait was nerve wracking!  Would I be denied a license? would I have to take the test all over again? would I be resigned to taking the bus?! Finally she handed all of my paperwork back and told me to move on to section 2!! Yay!! I did it!  Now the funny part was when she handed back the pile of papers I gave her, she also gave me back my social security card!! I just looked at her!  Was this some kind of trick?  Where did she get that from?  I didn’t realize that my social security card had been inside my folded birth certificate for years!  Who goes to DMV and actually finds identification, LOL! 

I was so excited and moved on to...Uh Oh....THE PICTURE!! OMG, how could I forget the picture! In my haste to get all of my papers and to get there right when they opened I forgot that I would be taking a picture!  A picture that would be on my license for 4 more years!  Man!  I was wearing an old shirt, my hair wasnt done and no make up! 

I patted down my hair, smoothed down my eyebrows and stepped up to the camera. Click!  I was horrified!  First off it was a close head shot, I asked her If she could back up a little and take it again.  She just looked at me, “Ma’m this is how we take them now, close head shots”.  She looked at it and agreed it was bad enough to take another.  I tried to push myself so far back into the wall the I made an imprint and waited for the click.  “Click!”  She shook her head, handed me the print and I took my little mugshot and headed home vowing that in 4 more years I was gonna be ready!

So what did we learn from this?  Check your renewals in the mail and dont miss the dates!  Going to DMV is not all bad you might actually find some of your missing items! 3. Comb your hair...period!  The one plus about my renewal experience was that this year I finally decided to become an organ donor.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And You Have a Great Day!!!!!!


Greetings Pooka family!   I was heading to work after enjoying a great summer weekend. Not to Pooka but to my "other" job.  Snoozing on the train listening to Donnie Mcclurkin so he could give me some Monday morning inspiration.  We pulled into the station and everyone does their usual train dance of unplugging their technology, looking for their metro cards and making sure not to leave their lunch! The man in front of me turned around because he recognized the woman sitting next to me. He was very cheery and happy to see her. She on the other hand was just trying to make it through Monday morning. He kept being cheery and then asked her "Are you going to have a great day today!" She quietly replied" Happy Monday". He then noticed me and asked me, "And you. Are you going to have a great day today"! I quickly replied yes because I guess I was surprised he asked me!  I then told him that I wanted some of what he had for breakfast lol! He looked at me an said "I didn't have anything. I just woke up this morning! Wow Pooka family! Talk about a simple but profound statement!  That man then proceeded to ask all the strangers around him that same question and it changed everyone's state of mind, everyone's perspective. The whole mood changed and everyone was smiling and sharing the spirit of the great day they were going to have. I have repeated this story fifty times since Monday because it so effected me. You see after he asked that question I decided to actually have a great day....no matter what.  I always know in my head that we decide our mood or our reactions to whatever life brings. Family we all know that doesn't always work. For some reason though, that man's question, his enthusiasm, his contagious spirit and his answer to my question so touched me. I am living one day at a time but I truly am determined to have a great day every day! Pooka family I challenge you to do the same because life is to short. So... When you head out to work tomorrow decide to have a great  day no matter what.  Remember if you wake up you are more than half way there!
Peace and Blessings family!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Butler


Morning Pooka Family!  Hope everyone is enjoying these last few weeks of summer because fall is right around the corner!  So... we went to see The Butler yesterday.  Everyone has been saying how great a movie it is and I agree it is but I have to say that 2 minutes into the movie I was ready to walk out!  Dawn had to hold me back in my seat!  I won't give anything away to those who haven't seen it yet so I'll only say this.it was too soon after the Trayvon verdict for me to see this movie.  I still have a lot of anger inside of me and although the movie did come full circle from a race relations perspective (well, maybe not quite 360°) as you all know, we still have a long way to go in real life.  But family, I'll leave it at that.  Please go see the movie. Support our Black directors and actors and continue to fight for justice and educate your fellow White Americans because no matter how many Oprahs, Baracks, and Michael Jordans there are in this world, they still don't get it!   

Justice for Trayvon!!!!!
PS.pay attention to how many Black film trailers you see before the movie.  I wonder if they play those same trailers for Tom Hank's movies?  Hmmmm?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

This weeks' Throwback Post!!

Pooka family, I spent a great day at my local pool and it made me think of the first time I ever went there, so I dug up my vintage Pooka post.........Enjoy



My own little oasis! (yes Donna, I have one too!)

Well everyone I have discovered my local, neighborhood Pool! I AM AMAZED!! I had such a stigma about public pools, but I was told to try the one in my new neighborhood and can I tell you, FAB-U-LOUS!! You know I have to share my experience with you. I went and got my pool pass and decided the next day I was going to the Pool (that was probably the day you called and Pooka was closed!). I decided to put on my bathing suit and go to the pool by myself. Now first of all I haven’t had on my bathing suit in a while and it was not………CUTE! I used to wear a nice 2 piece but now I’ve moved into the 2 piece with the little skirt on the bottom! But so what, I packed my sunscreen, towel, ipod, magazine, water, snacks, sunglasses, phone(If I needed to bring all that stuff I should have stayed home!) When I got to the pool and dragged my suitcase in I was amazed! It was so nice, 3 pools, picnic area, beach chairs, concession stand, I thought I was in the Bahamas. It was so liberating setting up shop for the day and just relax. The best part was the summer pass was only $20! What was even better was I could bring guests for only $5 a day! Now you know me I had to tell everyone about my little nirvana and the words “You should come to my pool….” will forever haunt me! That’s when the “VISITS” began. I have become a local tour guide for my pool. I now have a schedule by my bed of who is coming to the pool and what time. I get many calls about what slots are available. I now wear a uniform, similar to a bus driver when I drop my groups off at the pool. I’ve even purchased a whistle for when my groups get a little disorderly. Last week my parents and aunts and uncle came for pool day and we had such a nice time. Since then, sometimes when I look into the crowd, I see them sitting in the corner with shades on! “How did they get in without me?” I wonder. They pretend not to see me but I know it’s them! And you know I get the very frequent, Auntie Dawn can we go back to the pool? (hhmmmmmmmmmm………..I remember seafood night kid!) So now my summer nirvana has changed, I wish I would have known I could have gotten a job at the pool and got paid! The lesson here, we have to start taking advantage of things that are available to us, you never know you may find your own little Bahamas!(just make sure you get a one way ticket! hahahaha)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Where are my Garanimals!!!


Well Pooka family, lately I’ve been doing a lot of speaking engagements.  I’ve been packing and unpacking and constantly trying to figure out what to wear.  I am not a big shopper, it’s really not one of my favorite things to do.  So, constantly trying to decide what to wear made me think that I miss Garanimals!  Do you remember them?  They were made for kids so that they could match any giraffe top with any giraffe pants!  This was an AMAZING discovery.  I have decided that at this age I need Business Giranimals! I could go in my closet and grab a ostrich top and pair it with an ostrich bottom and Voila! dressed for my meetings and ready to go!  If you’re down with business garanimals, let me know we can start a new business together, LOL!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Family Reuinions


Morning Pooka Family!!  Summer time is the season for family reunions.  It's a great time to get together with family for some fun in the sun!  This year our family reunion is in Orlando Florida.  I was excited to plan our reunion there because Taiye is at a good age to go to Disney World.  Unfortunately, after the Trayvon Martin verdict my enthusiasm for our trip decreased greatly.  If it wasn't for the all the paid airline tickets and family planning we would not be going to Florida.  Nevertheless, I will take this time to enjoy the family, educate my young male cousins on staying strong and vigilant on fighting the "black male stereotype" and enjoying Taiye's first experience in the land of princesses!

Stay strong Family and continue the fight..Justice for Trayvon!!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The best bullet!




Hey Pooka family!
I just want to briefly share my newest looooove!  Well it’s not tall dark and handsome but it does make me happy!  It’s my NUTRIBULLET!!  Yes family, I have found love in a kitchen appliance :-)  I’m always on a quest to be healthier and to make my loved ones healthier too.  I tried to get everyone into juicing, I told them what juicer to buy and what fruits and veggies to juice for a boost in their health. That was an unsuccessful attempt because one after the next the juicing stopped.  It was one thing, the CLEAN UP!  Juicers are messy and to me you’re throwing away a lot of the fruits and veggies skins and pulp which have all of the nutrients.  So then I moved to my blender but it just wouldn’t blend the ingredients up to liquid form and for me I didn’t love this clean up either.  So then one night, I’m up late watching an infomercial and its about the Nutribullet.  I LOVE THIS THING!  It comes with a cup and you load it full of vegetables, fruits, nuts, basically anything, then you twist the bottom on and put it right on the machince and voila! a delicious fruit veggy smoothie!  The best part is, no clean up, you can drink right from the mixing cup and then just rinse it out.  It’s a lazy girls dream!  Plus you aren’t throwing away of the good nutrients, you are drinking everything.  People, the nutribullet can really make a change in your health.  They're sold online for $99.00 or if you’re near a Bed Bath and Beyond they carry them as well and if you download the %20 off coupon you can get it for $80!! It will be the best money you’ve ever spent!!!!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Each One, Teach One

Hey Pooka Family!  Giving back to our community is so important.  Before I got married and had Taiye I was an avid volunteer.  I was on the board of directors for Jersey Cares, I volunteered frequently at the Boys & Girls club on Avon Ave in Newark, Hudson Cradle in Jersey City, NJ Seeds, and other organizations.  Many times I was the only person of color volunteering at these organizations and I could not understand why "we" did not make the time to give back to our kids.  Of course, now I can understand how challenging it can be to make time to volunteer but I still don't think that should give us a pass at not doing it.  It is so important for these kids to see our faces taking the time to give back too.  If you can't find the time to do at least 1 day of volunteering a month consider signing up to volunteer through your job.  Most companies have a philanthropic arm where they either donate money or organize volunteers for major non-profit organizations.  Do a little homework and see what your job offers with respect to donations/volunteering in "our" communities and sign up or sign on to help.  Many companies have a matching program so if you donate money then they will match your donation.  And though there are large organizations who are more visible with respect to their volunteer/donation efforts, don't forget about the smaller organizations in our communities.  Here are a couple:


Together as One Foundation, Plainfield NJ  http://togetherasonefoundation.org/
@togetherasonefd

S.O.F.I.A, Montclair, NJ   http://supportsofia.org/about-us/

The three Doctors, Newark, NJ http://www.threedoctors.com/
@Threedoctors


Be a Blessing to someone else!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

We won't go!



Okay so Jaden Smith, soon to be fifteen wants to be emancipated from his parents, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Really Jaden? That is SO OLD we all wanted that! Who wants to live with their parents when they are 11 much less almost 15? Nobody! I bet if we took a pole we would find out that more than half of the adult population wanted out of their parents house when they were teenagers, if fact some of them are adults right NOW and want out of their parents houses.When I was younger and living in my parents house (the first time) I remember wanting to do something but my parents told me I couldn't. I decided right then and there I was going to run away! I packed a bag (I think it was mostly food) declared to my parents that I wanted out of this relationship with them and that I was leaving. They said it was nice knowing you Goodbye and I marched out of the door. Now at 12 you don't really have a lot of options I couldn't go to a friends house because their parents would be there. I went to the park for a while but that was boring by myself. I then decided to sneak back home to see what everyone was doing. And do you know what they were doing?..... Just being a family without ME! While I was out there in the cold (just go with it) hungry world, they were in the house with my siblings just as content as they wanted to be. So after spying on them, then sitting behind the garage for an hour I decided to give my family another chance, so I went on in the house.( Little did I know they were watching me from the windows, but I didn't find out about that for years! ) So No Jaden you can't just leave even if you think you want to, the rest of your friends will be home with their families and you'll just wind up going back home anyway every night for food and company.......

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Power of the Spa


Greetings Family!
I just came back from a mini vacation, a short retreat, relaxation to the max!  Why…because I went to the Spa!  I love the Spa! Really family I do!  Everyone is so nice and speaks softly at the Spa.  Where else can you walk around in public in your robe and not get arrested lol!  I love that Spa music, the healthy snacks..this time I had walnuts and whole figs …with my lemon water.  I got a facial but they always through in an upper body massage and take extra care with my hands and arms.  Do you think it would be strange if I wore those warm mitts they put on your hands while at work?   After my fabulous facial I hung out in the Spa like I lived there.  I had more snacks and checked out the hot tube and sauna.  Ok so I kind of walked past the sauna because that steam is not fro friendly if you know what I am sayin!! Anyway, I found my way to the fabulous Spa pool.  It was there that I settled in to my wonderful lounge chair and proceeded to pass out like I was sleeping in my bed! Don’t worry there was no drooling.  I finally made my way back to the locker room where I started to wrap up my Spa experience.  As a left with a wistful look around I knew I would be back soon.  My goal is to visit every Spa everywhere! Family I will keep you posted.   Say it with me….ahhhhhhhh!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The New Generation of Single Woman


Morning Pooka Family!  So your Pookalitas were having another one of our insightful conversations about this new generation of single women i.e. women who for one reason or another are not married.  As you can imagine, our perspectives on this are very diverse.  One perspective is that the single woman is lagging behind in reaching "societal" goals be that marriage, children, and other responsibilities that come with family and age.  Another perspective is that this new single woman is a trailblazer by her mere confidence and acceptance of where she is in this stage of life.  This is another example of the diversity of our society and that everyone does not adhere to the so called traditional mold or path.  Notwithstanding that she may have desires to fulfill those traditional shoes at some point, in my opinion it does not mean you are falling behind, no matter what your age, it just means that God has taken you down an alternate path and that with each step you take you are gaining a richness that others may not have acquired in the same way you are.  In the end, it always seems to come down to, the grass always appears to be greener on the other side.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Would you?



Of course we all know the news by now, Oscar-winning film star, humanitarian and mother of 6 Angelina Jolie has undergone a double masectomy after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene that makes it extremely likely (an 87%) chance that she would get breast cancer or a (50% chance) ovarian cancer. She knew what she was facing if she didn't do it having lost her mother to cancer. To say that Jolie is a bigger person than her stardom is true, this is a woman who loves her children and her soon to be husband to the point that she will do and did do what is necessary for her and their survival. She is hoping that her story will inspire other women who are fighting this life-threatening disease. I am humbled by the fact that Jolie has chosen to share something so intimate with the world in the hope that it might help someone else. Thank you Angelina.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kale Days!

Greetings Family!
Hope all is well. I have been eagerly awaiting spring....no really. This weather is not cooperating. But before I begin to complain about the heat I wanted to share with you. I your foodie Pookalita have been on a Kale kick! Can't get enough of it, I didn't know! First of all it is the ultimate super food. It is low in calories and high in vitamin C, K and A. Benefits include healthy eyes, heart and lower cholesterol!  It fights fat and is high in fiber.  Sorry spinach!  So before we start using our sunscreen try this recipe for Kale soup. Let  me know what you think!

Sauté Carrots (i like the baby ones cut in half), celery and a bay leaf in olive oil. You can season to taste but always watch your salt! Once veggies start to get tender add about five cups of low or no salt chicken stock.  You can also use veggie. As stock starts to boil you can be creative. Add chopped white or sweet potatoes.  If you need meat you can add pre cooked grilled chicken. I usually make without the meat. Everything should be boiling. Once your potatoes get tender but not mushy add your Kale leaves. I cut big pieces. And that's it! This soup takes a total of about fifteen minutes. You are not boiling the good stuff out of your veggies. Don't cook the Kale like collard greens lol! They shouldn't be crunchy but just tender. Sometimes we will have before our meal  and I will  have the leftover soup for lunch. Family we are talking about an easy good for you bowl of goodness. If soup is not your thing then sauté the Kale with some garlic and onions...yummy!  So the next time you go to the veggie market pick up a huge bunch of Kale. Your body will be glad you did.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

50 years of Marriage



Good Morning Pooka Family!  I am just returning from Tucson Arizona where I went to celebrate my Uncle Joe & Aunt Marlene’s 50th wedding anniversary!  Fifty years of being married to the same person!!!  That is truly a testimony!!  I admire my Aunt and Uncle tremendously; they are true role models for marriage and family.  They never miss a family reunion, they come to everyone’s graduations, and they are world travelers! Last year they went to Corsica and Paris! Oh and they both are Greek (Kappa and Delta) so of course they never miss a convention either.  For those sisters who will be in DC this July for the Delta convention you may run into Aunt Marlene representing for her AZ chapter!  We are truly blessed to have role models like them representing our history and our family!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Take me out to the Ball Game!

My kids play a variety of sports, basketball, soccer, football, and I'm always there cheering them on, but when they decided to play baseball I was like" Boring!" Don't get me wrong I know Baseball is  "American's Pastime" "The All American Game" but it is just sooooooo boring to me! I would rather poke my eyes out! Lol! Growing up we only had one t.v. in our house(at least thats what my parents said until we found out they weren't talking when they went to bed they were watching t.v.!) and every sunday night we had to watch the Yankees, WPIX Channel 11(thanks Dad!) so of course I had to watch  or go to bed. Even though it was boring I was NOT going to bed! So when we went to Wesley first practice  I mentally prepared myself to be really bored,
 I packed a book and some snacks and settled in to read and eat. " Who threw that ball?" I heard the coach yell out. " Me!"  I heard my baby boy yell back. "Oh my goodness, what did that boy do now?" I look up to see the coach looking at Wesley, " Do it again" he says. So Wesley throws the ball again from short stop to first. "Thats great Wes!" So I'm really looking now and I'm thinking "Ok he does that all the time." I then notice the other kids are kind of throwing the ball like the dad teaching his son how to throw the ball in that Volkswagen Passat car commercia....., just all wrong.This might be a little interesting. Next they are at bat, lots of swings and misses, Wesley steps to the plate and he hits it into the outfield! What in the world!!! Did my baby just do that!!!! Is he turning out to be Jackie Robinson Jr.? After practice is over the coach tells me that Wesley has a great arm, (I know I taught him everything he knows!) Now of course I LOVE BASEBALL!  we watch any game we can on t.v., we go to the batting cages, I'm looking up catching techniques on line, obviously it takes one of my kids to be good at something and magically its not boring anymore! Lol! I know, I know.......

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Liar, Liar Pooka on fire!!



Well family of course you know, I have a story!! Now I’m sure April is going to KILL me but this story needs to be told, lol!!  I like to call this 5 minutes and 3 days of Will and Wes!  Last week April and the boys came home from NC to visit.  We were all excited to see them and couldn’t wait for a Pookalita fun week!  I was at Pooka and April told me she’d arrived at her moms the night before, so she and the boys were coming by Pooka to see us!  This is how the weekend went minute by minute, lol.....

Minute 1 - In they marched and we all hugged and talked about how tall the boys were and just had a good time seeing each other. 

Minute 2-3 - Will, “Auntie Dawn, I’m hungry, do you have any food here?”
Me, “I don’t think so Will”.   But you know how kids are, he found a bag of microwave popcorn buried behind the microwave and asked if he could have it.  Sure, I said and he popped it in.  Now the microwave is in the spare room, next to the office, so he put it in and shut the door to the room.

Minute 5 or 10?  What’s that smell?  As I open the door and watch the smoke pour out of the room, suddenly the blaring fire alarms go off in the entire building!  Pooka is a commercial space so there were lights and alarms all over and I didn’t realize it set off the entire building including the 2 tenants upstairs!  At this point we’re all running around like crazy people, screaming trying to figure out how to shut it off.  So that’s then I called the fire department and let them know that it wasn’t an emergency, just needed to know how to shut off the alarm......
Minute 12.....Woooooooooo, wooooooooo(my fire engine sounds)  Now I told the fire operator that it wasn’t an emergency but guess what showed up at Pooka?  The fire chief and 2 huge, shiny, blaring fire engines!  As they entered, we told them that it was just burnt popcorn, but they went through place with a fine tooth comb. Unfortunately the main fire panel was in the landlords basement, which I didn’t have a key for so...you guessed it the firemen had to get equipment and bust in the door!!!  So now that they are at the panel, they can’t turn the alarm off and put it on silence.  They told me to call the alarm company and have them send someone over to fix the alarm, unfortunately its 4 oclock on easter weekend!  They also said that we couldnt leave the alarm on silent that we had to get it fixed or it would go off again.  Before they left the told me to try to reset the alarm again before I left for the night.  

Minute 40  Well now April and the boys are hungry and go for pizza!  really?!

6:00pm  Before going home, I tried to reset the alarm, of course it didn’t work, so I shut it right off again and called the fire department to let them know that it didn’t work.  The operator said, okay ma’m we’ll send units over!  No!  I screamed, you told me to call If I couldn’t reset it and I’m telling you it didn’t work no need to send out units.  “Ma’m by law we have to come!!”

I have no idea what Minute ....Wooooooooooooo Wooooooooo(my fire engine sounds again)  Guess who arrived at Pooka again!  Yup 2 more fire trucks, at this point I’m totally frustrated and embaressed.  I can’t believe they sent more firemen, who came in and even after we told them the story asked to see the microwave again!  THERE IS NO FIRE!  So after they left I just went home.

Day 2:  Saturday at the Pooka boutique was great but at around 5:00 guess what happened, that darn alarm went off again!  I quickly put it on silence again and held my breath,  thank GOD no firemen.  So now, I’m totally stressed because If this thing goes off again the tenants upstairs are going to kill me.  Thank God it didn’t go off again.

Day 3:  Happy Easter!!  Enjoying a wonderful family easter dinner.  Our cleaning service was at Pooka cleaning the place when in the middle of my smoked salmon, I get a panicked phone call, “DAWN THE ALARM IS GOING OFF”  So Easter dinner is cut short, out the door I go to Pooka!  By the time I get there the cleaner is standing there pressing the reset button, every 5 minutes so the alarm doesn’t come on again.  I put it on silence and went home.

Day 4 MONDAY.  My landlord is back and fixes the alarm!!!  Wow, I can’t wait til those kids visit again!   >:(

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mommy Woods


Pooka family, it is with the deepest sadness that I write this blog as a remembrance to one of our Pooka Moms, Mommy Woods.  The Lord called her home last week after a fierce battle with cancer.  Mommy Woods was such a huge part of so many peoples’ lives. Although she gave birth to five beautiful daughters, between church, family and friends she had over 100 more daughters!!!  Our hearts are sooo heavy and words can’t express how difficult it is in dealing with her passing.  But we know one thing for sure….Mommy Wood was a true soldier for the Lord!  She instilled in all of us the love he has for us.  We take solace in knowing that she is free from pain and with our Lord and Saviour!  We love you Mommy Woods!!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pizza! Pizza!

I do my best to keep it healthy, I exercise, (somewhat) I eat right (most of the time, ok ok half of the time!) And I try to get plenty of rest (emphasis on TRY) I've given up red meat, pork and various other food items that are deemed unhealthy. Recently I was told that one of my sons needed to give up processed sugar, artificial flavoring and colorants, foods that are dairy based and foods that contain gluten. What's left huh? Bread and water? Oh no, can't have bread. Now I'm not one to lay down on a challenge so I go to my friendly neighborhood library and take out about 50 cookbooks on everything free food. I knew this was about to change all of our lives, so I had to get it right. Well I found a recipe for the one thing that my kids would never say no to: PIZZA! I ran to the store and brought everything I needed to make the best gluten,dairy free pizza ever! I raced home and put it all together it looked beautiful, the boys were so excited when I told them I had Made a special pizza for them! We all sat down and I cut the pizza giving everyone a healthy slice, we said our prayers and started eating.......it was disgusting! I tried not to let it show on my face, Will was like" Uh Mom, this doesn't taste like the pizza we usually have," Wes then said "This is nasty!" Its a good thing I have 49 other cookbooks, there has got to be a good pizza recipe in one of them! If anyone knows of a good Gluten free please let me know!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Spring Cleaning!



Well Pooka family,  Spring is here!!!! In my quest to get ready for spring I decided to do some spring cleaning!

I put on my flowered head scarf (like they do on TV) and grabbed my broom to get started. Now for those of you who know me I do not love cleaning up... let me clarify that before my momma gets to bloggin'... I was taught how to clean and keep things clean but... I can be a little, shall we say, "unorganized" at times.

As I stood in the middle of my apartment with my bucket and mop, I couldn't remember what to do next! I decided to do some dusting... what's the most obvious thing to start with? The TV, of course! I dusted the screen but since I really wanted to see if it was clean, I turned it on. I was so proud of myself! I made sure that I could see at least 3 shows on my new clean TV screen! This cleaning isn't so bad.

After I turned the TV off I figured I needed some motivation so I turned on the radio and blasted some music. While trying out some new dance steps, I got so tired I had to take a little break.

On to the kitchen. I decided to tackle the stove, but just to make sure it was working right I threw in a frozen pizza (soy, of course.) I was relieved to find out that the stove was working quite nicely but realized, "Hey, it's lunch time!" As I looked in the sink I decided to quickly wash the dishes, well, the dish and the glass I needed to drink some juice with my pizza. Okay, now lunch was over, time to get back to this cleanin'!

I went to the bathroom (always a good place to get started.) I knew I needed to tackle that tub and I did... spotless! But, as I did the gleam from my newly polished faucet glared in my eyes, so I decided to turn it on to get the light out of my eyes. Would you believe the water filled the whole tub? Now since I try to be environmentally correct I couldn't waste the water so... in I jumped for a nice mid-morning relaxing bath (with my Pooka of course!)

After an hour or so I was out of the tub and decided to change my linen (always a wonderful way to start spring cleaning.) My fresh new bed looked great but I noticed some bumps in the covers so I pulled them back to remake the bed but had to crawl around to smooth out all the bumps and you won't believe what happened!!! I fell right in the middle of my bed!! Now my window was open and there was a breeze comin' through and you know what happened... so let's just say 2 hours later I was rested, relaxed, cleaned and fed. I love spring cleaning!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

4 years old!


Morning Pooka Family!!!  Hope this post finds you in good health and spirit!  In exactly 17 days my baby will be 4 yrs old!!!!  Can you believe it?!  That little girl who was in my belly for nine months, in diapers for 2 ½ yrs, and in my bed for 3 yrs (well she’s still in my bed) LOL!  I can’t believe how time has gone by so quickly.  Next year she’ll be in kindergarten!!!  I can’t take it!!!  In honor of her birthday I just want to share some Taiye-isms we’ve enjoyed over her first 3 years and some pix:
  • Mommy, I’m being a genius right now (when I asked her what she was doing in my office)
  • Mommy, Can I talk to you (in the car after school when one of her friends was mean to her)
  • Mommy, I’m having a conversation (when I interrupted her while talking to Auntie Dawn)
  • Mommy, This is a little challenging (while she and a playdate were putting together a Dora puzzle)
  • Me:  Taiye do you know where babies come from?  Do you know where you came from? Taiye:  Newark, New Jersey
  • Me:  (while she is playing with my boobie in the bed watching DocMcStuffins) Taiye, you’re going to be 4 yrs old soon.  You have to stop playing with Mommy’s boobie.  Taiye: Mommy, I’m not 4 today; when I turn 4; I’ll stop.
  • Me:  (after her first child only swim lesson) Taiye, you were really great in the swimming pool!  You weren’t scared?  Taiye:  No, Mommy, I’m brave!
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watch your left, when your dealing with the right!

I'm left handed and all of my life my parents and teachers have tried to show me how to write properly( which they considered right handed) It never worked out my right hand writing was terrible so they let me go back to left hand writing which was slightly less terrible. I vowed that I would never put my kids through the pain and anguish I had to go through being left handed so when Will was starting to pick things up it was with his right hand, so I was like great! This should be a piece of cake, he's right handed! Well I obviously passed down the terrible handwriting to him, because he can't write worth a lick. I thought his handwriting was ok but his teachers tell me otherwise, " he really needs to practice more " his teacher tells me. So I have turned into my parents and all of old teachers. We practice, and practice and practice. We practice slow, fast,in between, I even made him change hands to see if the left one was better......nope. Then I decided that it must be the pencil sharpener, maybe if we had a new one his writing would be clearer because the point would be sharper which would inturn translate into clearer writing. I went out and brought a professional pencil sharpener, new number 2 pencils and clean sheets of paper. I had soft jazz playing in the background and incense burning. We did some deep breathing exercises and then we were ready to begin. It was going really well,(at least I thought so) when I noticed Wes was missing from the scene. "Wes where are you?" I called. Well good old Wes was upstairs sharpening all the pencils down to a nub, he was "helping." Thanks Wes, I guess I should be glad he didn't try the sharpener with pens!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

50 First Dates!


Well Pooka family!  This month I decided to do something different.  I work really hard and I work a lot and there isn’t a lot of time for dating.  So, of course my girls suggested online dating.......Not really a fan, but for the busy individual it’s an easier option.  So I went and created my little profile(don’t ask me where cause I’m not telling, LOL)  I thought I’d find a nice gentleman to take me to a movie or a nice dinner! WELL NICE MEN ARE NOT ON DATING SITES, lol!!!  Its been a little rough, first off you have to be quick at online dating!  If someone winks, you must wink back in at least 2 minutes or they’ve moved on!  I started having a conversation with a nice guy, so I quickly emailed his picture to the girls to see what they thought.  Well by the time they emailed me back that he was cute, me and the guy had had a fight and broken up already, LOL!!  I am not kidding this was in the span of a half hour!  I think I need to start working my reflexes so as soon as an email comes through I’m on it!  One guy asked me what I was looking for on the site, I emailed back, “To meet a nice friend and if it turns into something more then great!”  He promptly emailed me back and said, “Oh, well good luck!”  So now I’m pissed off and email him back and ask what he’s looking for.  He asks me If I read his profile and that he was looking for more than that he was looking for love.  So I guess my second email to him should have said, Hi I’m Dawn and I love you!!  I’m amazed at all of the hard work I’m putting in and still haven’t gotten my nice dinner yet!  So then I decide to go to the mixers that the site has (yeah I know you’re probably all figuring it out now)  Well I went with a friend and when I got there there were about 20-25 OLD guys there.  Not just OLD but big belly and comb over old!  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!!  So I asked the representative from the company and asked here where all of the guys my age were!! She asked me how I old I was and she was surprised!  But then she surprised me by saying, “Well you’re in the bottom of this age bracket but....THIS IS YOUR BRACKET!”  NO!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!  I couldn’t believe I had wasted good make up and painted on my best jeans, LOL!!  Needless to say I quit that site and I’m happily back on my couch and you know what??? I can take myself out to dinner!! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Am!!!


Greetings Family!!  Happy New Year!!  I can’t believe this January is almost half way through.  That is the same way last year flew by.  Because time does go by so quickly, especially as we get older, it is so important to live in the moment.   Tomorrow is not promised and we miss so much family, worrying about tomorrow.  Let’s try to be present in the moment for 2013!  Most important let’s be positive in those moments.  That is not always easy to do.  Life brings us all challenges so we must decide how to react to them.  I keep in my mind a quote from one of the Pookalita favorites Joel Osteen.  He said “Whatever follows I am will come looking for you”!  Pooka Family….that blows my mind whenever I say that!  It is so true!!  Our words and thoughts over ourselves have so much power!!  We all fall into that negative I Am category.  I Am fat, I Am unattractive. I Am not worthy.  Pooka family you know what I AM talking about!  You can all fill in after the blank with your own negative I Am statement!  And we say them so easily all the time and don’t even realize that we are asking for the negative we are complaining about.  Let’s all change our I Am statements for 2013 family!!  Let’s say I Am full of joy and positivity!! Let’s say I Am blessed and highly favored!   Let’s say all of the positive I Am statements we can think of whenever we open our mouths!  I Am glad to have you all as part of my family!!
Peace