Friday Four-Finding Childcare Alone

Mainstream childcare is expensive! The good news is that help is out there! You just have to know where to find it. You have to open not only your mouth to ask, but your home to give back as well.

Queen City Stay At Home Moms are open to watching each other children when needed. They work as a team. Every mom in the group understands what each one is going through and the obstacles to finding  suitable work, and affordable yet adequate childcare. They also offer their members  a discounted childcare service rate through The Big Sister.

Not everyone is in Charlotte, but the concept could work ANYWHERE. Here’s what I would do as a parent without local/ willing relatives or other support:

  • While out with the kids, observe the other moms. Notice if they would be someone you would want your child around. If so make a connection with them. If your child naturally navigate toward their child encourage them to introduce themselves….make friends. Then dive in on the parent. Go on exchange mommy cards.(Create your own mommy cards here)- please 🙂
  • Look for mom groups that match your lifestyle. A good moms group will make your journey in motherhood much more blissful. Of course you get what you you put in it, but building your mom tribe is never a bad idea. If you are active within the group, (keyword is active) you pretty much have created your own childcare system, especially if they have teen children… (In Charlotte? Click Here)
  • Speaking of teens- HIRE ONE! Retired women maybe an option too.Right now in Charlotte, are non certified sitter can get at least $9/hr. Add CPR beatification, more experience and other professional training and your rate goes up even more. If promise to feed them well , you may save even more. But don’t assume.it will happen with “busy-hard to listen little ones” No one wants to watch brats ..not even family members.
  • Find a job that offers free child care benefits. They are out there. Try FlexJobs.com.

big BROTHER little.jpgI will tell you this, the better behaved your child is, the least they have to do, the easier you are to work with, the better your chances are for securing both affordable and adequate childcare.

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Sweet Minions: A Magical Moment in February

The room was filled with blue and yellow. These”Sweet Minions” didn’t have a clue of the night of treats they were in for. It was the 3rd annual Family Valentine’s Day Party in the QC! There was a live DJ, a vegan dessert bar, vendors selling goods for no more then $5 an items and a real magician!

minion fammLast Saturday was cold but a few of the families from Queen City Stay At Home Moms ventured out to celebrated the sweetest week end with their tin-inset heart.

Houdini must have performed 6 or more magic tricks. All Of Them Were Amazing! I shared one here,but you can swing over to my YouTube channel to see more.

 

To see more from the celebration, click here.

Queen City Stay At Home Moms is the leading mom group in Charlotte. They attract a certain type of mom. Those that want to be celebrated ans not degraded for choosing to put their family first. They host weekly gatherings that meets a few goals.

Moms can make mom friends like them that understand the challenges that come with being a mom, wife, work from home mom, new mom, older mom, homeschooling mom and everything in between. Because moms come from all types of background, they are encouraged to bring their skills to a group that will help her prepare for when* she returns to the corporate world, should she choose too.

The group provides resources for moms to grow from where they are by offering product review opportunities,  group discounts, women only workshops, job placement, member only discounts on perks like doula, wedding officiants, child care, lactation support and priority opportunities to vend at the yearly Total children’s Wellness Fair. (You can join here)

 

QueenCity Stay At Home Moms

Charlotte, NC
19 Super Moms

Meet nearby Queen City Stay at Home Moms! Come to a local Stay at Home Moms Meetup for friendship, reassurance, and parenting advice, excerising with baby and lots of great in…

Next Meetup

Discovery Place Kids

Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016, 12:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

One last gift from that night! If you have a vegan high school senior looking for college money, you may want to check this one out.

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Sponsor: Vegetarian Resource Group
Amount: Up to $10,000
Deadline: Feb. 20, 2016
Description: Applicant must be a U.S. high school senior graduating in the spring of 2016. Applicant must be a vegetarian and have promoted vegetarianism in their school and/or community.

 

See you next time!

Jabela

Wednesday Wow: Sister SoulJah in the QC

Happy Black History Month people! My month of reflection began last week when Sister SoulJah visited the Beatties Ford Rd. library in Charlotte NC. It was like a dream come true. I now have one less thing to accomplish on my Bucket List!

I believe in divine interventions. I believe that you are where you are, sent elsewhere, drawn toward something or some one beyond your conscious efforts. It’s like the minute you intentional strive to be a certain way, your path opens up! The I decided that I would be the best mom I could be. So I sought support. I know I wanted  to connect with people who have taken various paths in life to become the incredible leaders they are today.  (In this video, it’s another great woman, Cheryl LittleJohn of Gastonnia)

During a recent visit to my local library, I seen a flyer saying Sister Souljah was coming to Charlotte for a book signing of her book The Coldest Winter Ever  (you can buy it on Amazon via the high light link)

This was perfect because I had just received her first book from my daughters. They found it in a bin at a local book store for free!

It’s called, No DISRESPECT.  It took me 3 weeks to read it. Not that it’s a hard read or anything, it’s just that I wanted to break it up in sections to use as a conversation piece while taking my girls to school across town in the mornings. It proved to be an asset. Our conversations were deeper. They opened up about the peers and day environment more easily. It’s because she is so relative, approachable, and in sync, I know her books will always  have a place within my family’s book shelf.

ss1

It was a honor to be in her presence with my teen daughters.  Sometimes when we tell our children things, they don’t always “get it!” Even if you experience it and crying your eyes out to warn them. But when it comes from another person. that speaks to them on their level. Spitting out a”  MF*”  here and there….. they tend to get it!

Here’s my short handed-cliff notes. I wrote them on the back of the paper I had signed for two mama friends. I wrote what she said. Do not let your child read it before you.

Sister SoulJahsister Soulajah.jpg

 

It’s been a long time. I haven’t wasted even a second. Been writing, editing, learning, teaching, and traveling the globe. This year, from 11/11 onward, is for the readers and book buyers. We will meet face to face. Share thoughts and converse meaningfully, and become better than we were before, each and all of us, InshaAllah.

If you want to sing your book and listen to her in person, meet her at her next book signing: click below!

http://www.sistersouljah.com/tour/

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The Muslim-African Wedding

If you are ever invited to and African wedding and it says the ceremony will begin at 3pm, show up at 5pm and you may beat the bride and groom there.

Over the weekend I attended a African-Muslim wedding and was honored for the experience. I didn’t know what to expect from an Muslim-African infused ceremony, so I did a little research before attending.

Although many Muslims stage a multiday celebration to mark a wedding, the traditional marriage ritual itself, called a nikah in Arabic, is simple and brief. It generally follows these steps:

At the wedding, which can take place pretty much anywhere, the bride and groom are separated in different rooms. They may or may not be able to see each other, depending on how conservative the families are.

An officiant, who can be any man familiar with Islamic law, heads to each room separately. There he asks the spouses-to-be if they consent to the marriage and if they are marrying of their own free will (a representative called a wali answers the officiant’s questions on the bride’s behalf).

The couple signs the marriage contract or license, with witnesses observing.

The officiant brings the pair together and pronounces them husband and wife.

The first thing I noticed  at the mosque was that the women and men sat separate from each other. Even the engage couple.  There was no wedding party and everything was pleasantly different than anything else I’ve ever seen before.  There was no solos, flowers girls, no bridal party walking in. As a matter of fact the engaged couple was seated for the entire ceremony until the dowry part. They did kiss at the end.

IMG_20151121_202932.jpg

I took my daughter with me. 

Now can we talk about the reception. More importantly the food! It was everything I ever hope for in a African reception. Joloff, spicy meats, crisp salads…..even the drinks were amazing. I loved the African Ginger beer. (Click here for the recipe1448154690709

Ok, ok, ok, I won’t show my love of African food before I give you more details. –The reception included a very lively African dance by a all female group. I didn’t know  one word that was said, but their movement was very much so lovely and graceful!  Now when the families got on the floor, it was a wrap! I took off my shoes and got down with them! They know how to parrrrr-ty!  Line dances, couple dances, man dances…… it was amazing! Little did I know, Mrs Bride is a Delta. One of her sisters gave her the sweetest token of love in song (lip syncing)1448232600830

As the night progressed I seen first hand why this marriage will work. The families are loving.PURELY LOVING. The husband LOVES his new daughters. The husbands family LOVES their new daughter.AND THE NEW COUPLE adores each other.  I’m so glad I brought my daughter with me.

What I was most impressed with is how they spent their money. Nothing was over the top except for those dresses the bride wore. They were incredibly beautiful. Nothing was lacking. I think they did a great job  on the ceremony. I am so elated to have been a part of it ,and wish them nothing but the very best. Sorry, I haven’t shared any videos or closer photos. I haven’t received permission to release wedding details as of posting date. Once received, I’ll share them on our Facebook page (click here to go there now.)1448154689495

Here’s more on

The Sweetheart Song by DELTA’s

another tear jerking Sweetheart song by the Deltas

Islamic weddings

African Weddings

African Wedding Food

Liberian Pineapple Ginger Beer

Operation Scarf Bombing In The QC!

It’s sweeping the country! Now it’s here in the Queen City! Scarf Bombing! Yes Charlotte, it’s our time to pay it forward with a good deed.

A few weeks ago, I had to pick my oldest daughter up from the transit around 9:30pm. My younger daughter was riding with me and she said “Ma, that guy is shivering on the bench. What do we have in here to give him?” Well, we didn’t have anything. But I promised her that  after we got her older sister back home, we would find him something to keep him warm. Once there, we picked up  that we use when we sit outdoors . It was one of our most compact blankets. We then zoomed back down Beatties Ford Rd. to give it to him. We were happy to see that he was still there and alive. He graciously accepted. No questions were asked or any words spoken during the warm, cozy ride back home. I was happy that she had a heart to care for someone else and I think she was happy to be a giver of something of value and much needed. Yet we knew there were others like him. Balled up in tents-cities’ and benches throughout the Queens City.

If you see a scarf wrapped around a tree nearby, here’s one possible explanation.

It’s called scarf bombing, similar to yarn bombing and it’s basically placing scarves or other knitted clothing around the city. Most have cards saying that the scarves aren’t trash, but instead donations for those who need them.  Scarf Bombing

There are reports from all around the nation including these from Oklahoma City to Jacksonville to Fort Wayne, Raleigh, NC. even in Ottawa, Canada and now Charlotte NC!

We even a Facebook event! Gloves, hats, and other warm items are also welcome for our operation on  December 14th. Our goal for the 1st year here in Charlotte is 100 scarfs*!  We will accept donations at 4 different locations in Charlotte if you can not attend. Those locations will be listed on the Facebook page. You may also contact me,directly at (704)756 9947 or message me at QCSuperMomInfo@Gmail.com

Pioneer Square at night with downtown city lights with a homeless man sleeping on a park bench Seattle Washington State USA

Pioneer Square at night with downtown city lights with a homeless man sleeping on a park bench Seattle Washington State USA

It’s not exactly clear when the whole practice got started, but some sites suggest the scarves first started popping up in 2010. See how Michelle Chance-Sangthong Warms The Needy With Free Scarves. Now it’s on us!

We already have “Hallie” an awesome teen coordinator anxious to get started at her high school. Her mom shared: ” She’s excited and so am I. THANK YOU! You have no idea what a blessing this is for her right now.”

Come on Queen City, let’s show our  Southern Hospitality in the most meaningful way. Everyone that can help is encourage to do so in their own special way! Thanks in advance.

Jabela, QC Supermom

Chase the Chill of Central GA tied 144 scarves to trees for the taking.

Chase the Chill of Central GA tied 144 scarves to trees for the taking.

Wednesday Wow: My Candidate did NOT WIN last night!

The votes have been counted. All the wings and spicy shrimp and chips are all eaten, and the “Vote For Me” street signs have all gone and I’m left wondering how such a great guy miss the mark.

You gotta see his video—>  Ramuntu For Mayor  <—–Click there!

I voted for this guy BECAUSE:

  • Proven record of leadership
  • He thinks before he speaks
  • He does what he says he’ll do. I don’t always like it but I know what to expect.
  • Great line up of supporters
  • He LOVES Charlotte

As a back up, I had just two other candidates I considered voting for the mayor seat. It was DAVID Howard and Jennifer Roberts. Here’s what news since last night election.

David L. Howard
Good morning,

Exhausted, emotional, tired, disappointed are all words that could describe how I feel this morning…..and to some extent, I have felt them all. However the overriding feeling I have this morning is one of PRIDE! My campaign was counted out so many times since we started in January, and yet we raised over $250,000 and came so close to forcing a run-off. We also introduced and shared a progressive and pragmatic vision for moving Charlotte, a city I love with all my heart – forward.

I have received dozens of well wishes and thoughts since last night…..and will respond to every one of them. I just wanted to say that Mary and I could not be more appreciative of the hard work everyone put into making the ‘HOWARD FOR MAYOR’ campaign one we can all be proud of. It was based on real ideas for real people. One of integrity, dedication, compassion and focused on keeping Charlotte competitive for decades to come.

I’m not sure what comes next, but am excited about having that conversation with God. Stay tuned, and again THANK YOU everyone that volunteered, worked and/or that prayed for the ‘HOWARD FOR MAYOR’ campaign.

Thank you!
David

And my other is favorite: Jennifer Roberts.

jennShe is could very well be our next mayor ! She has proven to be friend to environment, business and education alike!

Good luck to whom ever wins the Mayor of Charlotte race.

The 2016 presidential election is still several months away from now. We can still make further and deeper research to know who really is the one who will become the best president for our country.

Let us vote based on the capability, effectiveness and efficiency of the person, not on his or her popularity. Let’s vote for a president who will develop, not only our own province, but our whole country. Let’s support leaders, not because we are their solid loyalists, but because they can provide solid services.

Let’s elect leaders who will transform our nation into progress, not leaders who will transport our money to their pockets.

Ooh, and if you ever run into Cornell West, tell him he’s the greatest!!! He’s been traveling with Bernie. I met him at Winthrop the other Sunday. See how it went! (Click here)

See you later, Jabela, QC Supermom
Bernie not trump

Friday Four: Picking Your Hard

It’s no question that life can be hard! In a perfect world we could just wake up thin, with a stacked bank account in awesome health among a happy family answering to awesome friends. But that’s not the case. The truth is, you HAVE TO Work —- HARD. You have to pick which hard you want.

dependant child

I told her to pick her hard. If she stays there and continue to do her best in each class, in spite of the fact that she’s not popular there with the students or teachers, she would graduate with a quality education and also come out with a skill set many lack today. And that’s awareness of ‘color braveness.’

https://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=vJRoN5lTnYU&u=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DoKtALHe3Y9Q%26feature%3Dplayer_embedded

One of my friends studied nonprofit management and African American studies. Today she works at a highly regarded women advocacy nonprofit that identifies and injustices for all colors. I don’t think she had an easy time during her college years, but I know that she is enjoying the fruits of her labor now.  I still wonder why would a white woman choose to  go that path, but obviously it was in her to be a source of refuge.

life tips

I maybe wrong but I see many adults today, take can not handle emotional pressures or extreme life challenges because they never had to face any growing up. I don’t want to be that mom. I want to provide a “Ring Pass Not”. A controlled study for better words. Right now, they feel isolated, ignored and degraded for 7 hours five days a week.

When they get home, they are so grateful to be among their family and back in their comfort zone. I loathe hearing the stories they share.  But I will send them both back the next day. Mostly because it’s two of them there and I know nothing will happen that I haven’t prepared them for already. They both are articulate and self empowered enough to report any significant abuse,have cell phones and know simple self defense moves.

advice life test I believe that she will be a better person for it. Standing through diversity, educational, social and  challenges will give her the refinement she needs to handle larger obstacles in life. My husband noted “Do your work. So what if you are not popular with the other students or helped by the teachers there. You’ll be okay, as long as they don’t touch you.”

sheros never quit

Life can be  hard.  When you read the press you only read the glamorous bits.  You read about Oprah Winfrey or the Williams tennis sisters, Shonda Rhimes, or the BET company,  .  But that’s a bit like reading about your state lottery winner and feeling bummed out because you haven’t won despite years of trying.  The reality is that most of you will never hit it BIG yet you’ll lead fulfilled and productive lives. But you have to get up every day and make an effort  EVERYDAY.

Pick your hard! If you fall along the way, get back up again! It’s NOT TOO LATE!

Have more brain candy before you leave- Read this!  This one here, I will share with my daughters. I want them to see more woman that look like them progressing.

Have A Great Weekend, Jabela, QC Supermom

THiS DAY IN HISTORY:
#NeverForget: Sept. 11 Marks 14th Anniversary of Terrorist Attacks in US
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Penn., resulting in 2,996 deaths.
I remember where I was. I had my baby daughters with me in East Charlotte in strip mall. I heard about it from the radio announcer & thought it was a joke. Some one mentioned that the attack might include Charlotte and I panicked.  I grabbed my daughters up in one arm and jumped back in the car away from the downtown area.

I Will Now Pronounce You Husband & Wife…SELECTING A WEDDING OFFICIANT

Before you say “I do”, do a little homework on who you select to marry you. The right marriage officiant can make a world of difference in your wedding, marriage and entire life.

A religious ceremony, performed by an ordained officiant such as a priest, rabbi, or minister, is recognized not only by the state, but also by the affiliated religion. 

A civil ceremony is performed by an officiant who has been certified in accordance with state laws — a county clerk, justice of the peace, mayor, or celebrant affiliated with a nonreligious organization.

wedding party in Charlotte

The officiant you choose can enrich your overall wedding experience and help you prepare for married life. Getting to know your officiant and discussing what you can expect from each other will help eliminate unnecessary anxiety on your wedding day.

Planning my wedding was one of the most empowering things I have ever done. I loved everything about it. Our wedding was a love story. I’ve learned that every couple has one. As a recent Universal Unitarian Wedding Officiant I love helping couples share their story. Being a wedding officiant as I’ve learned is much different than planning a wedding.  Learning on the job has been a blast. I’ve put together a few things that should be covered by both the couple to be wed and the officiant. This is kinda large in volume so I broke it up in two blog post. 

wedding cake After the date has been confirmed, find out: 

  1. What is your main responsibility as an officiant?
  2. Can you recommend other wedding vendors?
  3. How much interaction can we expect leading up to the wedding? Are you available for questions?
  4. What is your biggest challenge when officiating a wedding?
  5. What is the funniest or oddest moment in a wedding you celebrated? 
  6. What is your wedding officiant attire?
  7. What is your rock bottom wish for every couple?
  8. Will you be responsible for mailing the license to the state after the ceremony? 
  9. Can you do personalized rituals within the ceremony, e.g, Hand Blessing, Rose Ceremony, Unity Candle, or Sand (uniting of your two families) Ceremony? 
  10. Do you require any pre-marital counseling or religious class?
  11. Do you have a written agreement or contract?
  12. Would you like to join us at the reception? 

What are your credentials? charlotte Marriage offiiant

Ensure that the officiant is licensed or registered to perform a wedding in your state by contacting the city clerk. You can also ask the officiant which seminary he or she was ordained through, then contact that seminary. Years down the road, you wouldn’t want to discover that your marriage is not legal.

How much do you charge?

Know what, exactly, you will be paying for. Talk about deposits and types of payment, as well as cancellation and refund policies. Inquire about fees for traveling out of town, which include transportation costs, hotels and meals, and costs of (commuting) time. The wedding officiant is the person who must fill out the wedding certificate and send it in. Wedding Vendors in Charlotte

Here are a few important questions to ask yourselves:

  • Do we feel comfortable in the presence of this officiant? Does he or she seem flexible?
  • Does he or she seem genuinely interested in us as a couple, and honor our spiritual beliefs?
  • Do we intuitively feel we can entrust ourselves to this person for this important and tender part of our wedding?

More great information here- —->CLICK here <—

Looking to get married in the Charlotte are? Click Here for more information on our newest service from QC supermom!

LOVE, Jabela

Wednesday Wow: Beavers booty is in our food! The Food Babe Book Review

ashleyQCSAHM assist Organizer on Food Bade BookWe recently enjoyed a Varni Hari “Food Babe Party.” That’s Ashley, my assistant organizer for Queen City Stay At Home Moms. Our son’s came along for the party as well. After all, they are the reason for wanting to learn more about selecting and serving healthy food via The Food Babe, Varni Hari way.

Just in case you don’t know, Varni is been a busy young lady. She’s been able to do things like encouraging Kraft to stop using food dye in their American Mac and Cheese.  (Not that we even eat that)

Hari has done research on several foods, collected evidence that the chemicals could be dangerous and she’s put fire under companies like Chick-fil-A, Subway, Chipotle, and Starbucks to CHANGE!

That’s pretty impressive work for “just a regular person” wouldn’t you say?

Vari Hari  is brave. She’s been attacked in the news for not being a scientist. Again, she never said she was, but do you have to be a scientist to do extensive research, compile data, and present facts? Is that a job relegated only to scientists? I fear that the reason she is being attacked may be more for the message than it is for the messenger. Food companies are starting to notice Hari. If she runs a campaign against them, they would have to respond and either change their food or lose customers. They are smarter than that…… we hope!

What I Think of the Book

The Food Babe Way is very well written and thorough – complete with 9 pages of references in the back! Vani calls herself a consumer investigator and citizen journalist, and she communicates her findings with an impeccable level of detail. For that reason, I do think Part I is a lot to absorb for newbies,” but the overall message (to not trust Big Food) is not lost. They’re pretty much in it for the bottom line after all, and I love how Vani reinforces what I already know to be true – you must be the one to take charge of your own health. And she gives you the resources to do just that.

For example, in this picture, we slipped chia seeds in the boys yogurt. They didn’t even care!QCSAHM boys day with FoodBabe

I love how Vani’s new book not only tells you what food additives and products to avoid, but also leaves you with a solid plan of what you can eat (recipes included). The Food Babe Way is broken down into these sections:

Note: I was sent an advance copy of the Food Babe Way to review. I am not being compensated for my review, my opinions are my own.

DSCF9016

Chima Brazilian Steakhouse; The Review

chimChimas Brazilian Steakhouse  DSCI0073

  • Address: 139 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Phone:(704) 601-4141
    Prices:$$$
    Hours:
    Monday 5:30–9:30 pm
    Tuesday 5:30–9:30 pm
    Wednesday 5:30–9:30 pm
    Thursday 5:30–9:30 pm
    Friday 3:30–10:00 pm
    Saturday 5:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Sunday 4:00–9:00 pm
    Reservations: opentable.com
    Menu: chima.cc

I have never been to a steakhouse before. Much less an Brazilian one. So when the opportunity came up to dine there, I jumped all on it.

chima

I was able to bring along my daughter.( She was surprised when I handed her home school assignment as a cultural tie in.)

Best Waitress in the QC award.

Best Waitress in the QC award.

The minute you walk into Chimas , you immediately know that you are not at in ‘Kansas’ anymore. It’s different.

Once seated you’ll see this-

yes

YES, you want more meat!

After taking our seat, we went to the Salad /Appetizer…(the have salads, smoked salmon, cheeses, soups, rice, beans, hearts of palm, waldorf salad, fruit, and more)

Once your plate hits the table the fun begins.

The waiters keep walking around waiting for empty space on your plate to bring more meat till you say “when.” That’s done by turning your token over like this-

No more please.

No more please.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with the supervisor. He wasn’t expecting to be on camera, but he did a stunning job explaining the complete dining experience and the difference between in the Americans and  Brazilian way of eating.

 

 

Here’s a tip for you:

Try everything! If you need help, the staff will gladly makes recommendations.

Do not go there with $20. It would only cover gratuity and tips.

Dress up a little. It’s a treat to dine there.

Don’t stress about parking, They have valet service.(nice)

Would I go back again? Oh yes, I can see a nice Moms Night Out in the future. Thanks to Gracie Barra for the invite! DSCI0064

More pictures of the food, service and venue over on Facebook at The QC Supermom. See you over there!