My Mama Thinks Facebook Is the Devil: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


Photo courtesy of  Saturday Night Live

I watched a Periscope last night from a young lady who talked about how it was very hard to explain to her family what she actually did for a living because she was a blogger and entrepreneur. It was especially hard for her parents to understand how she made money being behind a keyboard all day. The scope was so real and funny at the same time.

In the vain of Usher Raymond this blog is my confession. I like many others initially used Facebook as a way to connect with people from my past, keep up on the latest happenings in the lives of others and look at foolishness. I reposted, shared and liked anything from the insane to the absurd. This was before memes, gifs and word swagg made their appearances on the scene. Because neither of my parents have Facebook, I would share these insane things with them. I still do, just not as much. Well, my mother is known for her views on Facebook. Her famous quote is “Facebook is the devil!”. ALL of my close friends and family know that if we bring up Facebook around my mom that will be her first reaction. And might I add it is hilarious!

However, on this new found road to living out my God-given purpose and pursuit of happiness I have come to use Facebook and all social media for that matter, in a way that is productive and positive. My circle of support and influence has blossomed because of social media. I have been the most productive in my personal goals since using social media in a way that expands my knowledge base. It has also helped me reframe how I see my life because I have been exposed to others who are doing some of the same things I aspire to do. Social media allows me to have a captive audience for this blog. It has exposed me to people, places and things beyond my local community. So although I do think “the Facebook” (that’s what old folks call it) can turn into the devil when used the wrong way, I also understand that it has its proper place when used correctly.

Let me give you a road map to how social media has helped me create the life I want instead of a life that is dictated to me:

  • Finally set down and read an email from Aprille Franks-Hunt who is the founder of Coach, Speak and Serve Lounge on Facebook this group confirmed my calling to be a life coach, write a blog and books and tell others about my journey. Aprille is a servant leader. I get mentored in an informal way by her knowledge and transparency.
  • Met a CSS member in real life. Coach Char and I clicked immediately. And I crowned her my formal mentor (Panera Bread will never be the same). She has encouraged me, lit a fire under my behind and confirmed that I am a great writer.
  • Met “The Message Midwife” Je Tuan Jones in CSS but now I am a part of her community in The Writing Delivery Center. She has helped me put legs to my vision of putting my blogs into a book. And might I add her own writings make me fall in love with black love stories all over again.
  • Reconnected with Raquelle Harris and Shelonda Sims whom I have known since high school. They are a part of my Facebook Gifted Visions Unlimited: Dreamers Circle Group. Raquelle is my sister in writing and Shelonda is my sister in coaching.
  • I found out on Facebook that my sister Chloe Cedrea has the gift of administration so she is helping me navigate that part of my dream. She is also living out her dreams on Facebook with The Biggest Heart, Inc.

I can go on and on all day telling you about the AWESOME, LOVING and SUPPORTIVE people that social media has exposed me to. Social media has the capability to bridge the digital divide in business. We now have more access to knowledge, content and information than ever before. Let’s do more positive things with social media.

Hell who knows, my mama just may decide to get her a Facebook page. Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen. Jesus in the flesh would have to come back and take a selfie with her before she did that!

I love you mama! LOL!



Everybody Could Use a Patti LaBelle Floor Roll: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


The day I fully understood the distinct difference between grace and mercy my whole life changed. How I experienced situations and the people in them changed. I was a full fledged, full-figured adult when I realized it. I grew up most of my life going to church and never understood the fullness of God’s grace and mercy. I don’t know how many times I have mumbled “Lord, have mercy!” when faced with adversity, trouble or trials.  I thank God that he is generous with both.

When I look back over my life I realize that God has provided me with an abundance of grace that surpasses understanding. I have been blessed in many areas of my life when really my actions have not always been deserving of the grace. But He provides it anyway!

Lord, have mercy has a new meaning for me. When I think about how many times I have fallen short, operated in disobedience and ignored the still small voice, I really could do a Patti LaBelle roll on the floor. God has always been there to cover my mess and turn it into a message.


God is providing me with opportunities on a daily basis to provide people with the same level of grace that I want extended to me. The old me was quick to judge or assume and slow to hear and listen with intent. I am learning that grace is about assuming the best and looking for the better no matter how bad the situation or person may seem.

For example, as I am trying to complete this blog post at Starbucks, there is an older couple arguing (really the wife is arguing with herself) about getting additional life insurance and not wanting a physical done by a doctor she doesn’t know (I told y’all I can do 2 things at one time). She is VERY LOUD and it’s irritating me. Like I want them to discuss this at home. BUT, grace says “Vanita, you and your future husband could potentially have the same argument so get over your annoyance and stop ear hustlin'”.


See the everyday simple situations always provide you with a platform to extend a level of grace that is beyond comprehension.

Be Grateful and Be Graceful!

Observations From the Other Side of the Table: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


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Inquisitive, analytical, knowledge seeker or observant are all words that I have come to embrace about myself. Now as a child this was called nosey. I was one of those little kids who would pretend like I was cleaning up or watching tv while my Mama was on the phone talking to whomever, about whatever. I can still remember her saying to one of her friends “see girl, she is not going to pump me for information”. In my child like mind I imagined someone hooking up a tire pump to my Mama and with every push of the lever information would just spew out of her mouth. HILARIOUS, right! See that was me being nosey. I also realized being inquisitive is an inherited trait that all my children have. My daughters run on the nosey side of the spectrum. And my son is more on the analytical side. And yes, we get it from my Mama (See Mama I gave you your propers. In writing).

As an adult, being super observant/analytical is a gift and a curse. I watch people. I notice changes in their body language, tone inflections, eye contact, what is and what is not being said. It is very helpful in the field of Social Work and Education. But, it can at times drive me crazy. Sometimes I feel like I have adult ADD because so much is going on in my head. Again the gift and the curse. Now most people who know me will say I have the gift of discernment. I can spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing immediately. This was not always the case in my romantic life, check the receipts from my last divorce. However, when I really tune in and use the gift it never fails.

As I embark on this continuous journey of trying my hand at writing a blog, a book, selling So Yummy Products, starting my own life coaching business, working for my investor, being a Mama and just living, I have made some observations that I would like to share with you:

  • All people and situations have some good in them. It just depends on the day.
  • At times you can get more support from strangers than from family.
  • Everyone has the desire to make their dreams come true. It just takes the right confluence of people, places and things to tap into them.
  • Always check your motives before you put a plan into action.
  • We tend to provide people with a lower level of grace than we expect.
  • Pay attention to how God is trying to connect the dots in your life. No one dot is insignificant.
  • People are shocked when you give and not expect anything in return.
  • It is hard for many to ask and accept help.
  • Negative self talk will destroy you quicker than other people’s words.
  • There are more people who will support you than are against you.
  • Quality will beat quantity any day of the week.
  • Ask others how you can support them. Then do it.
  • Being honest, authentic and kind will get you farther than your connections.

I have observed many other things, but I am trying to build an empire like Oprah so I have to stop there.

Shirts courtesy of

So in the vain of supporting others please check out these small businesses this holiday season:

So Yummy Products

Hire Level Coaching

Hampton Consulting

Clutch By IndieNicole

A-Team Designs and Printing

HeavenlyEyez By Shonda Love

Exclusive Credit Repair and Education


Aisha Tiffany Skin Studios 

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Exhale Worldwide

United Sonz Business Solutions

Officially Crowned Travel

Kingdom Culture Consulting

Math Expansion

M. Dawn Floral

CDR Consulting 

Rivers Realty

NaomiCam Nails

NaomiCam Salon

DBTS Skin Bar

BEAN, Inc Wellness Vacation Retreat

B Young B Fit

Gifted By Ingrid

Kahtie Cooks

N. Sala Wholistic Center

The Wellness Partner

Dress To Kill

Ladi Lyke 

Do You See What I See

Dirrty Glamour

Divine Epicurean

LoneStar Catering

LavishSwagg Fashions

Je Tuan Jones: The Message Midwife

75 Black Women Owned Brands


Gobble, Gobble.

P.S. If you are reading this and don’t see your business or a small or minority owned business you know and loved please drop the contact information in the comments section.


What About that Dodge Omni Parenting?: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


This is a picture of my very first car.


At the tender age of 17, my father matched the $1000 I saved working at Taco Bell and took me to buy a Dodge Omni. Guess who also had a car note? This chick! Yes, my car note was about $100 a month. I drove that little machine any and everywhere. $20.00 on pump 5 would last me for a good two weeks.

I was in the kitchen this morning thinking about my children and how my parenting style has changed over the years. My mother told me long ago that because I was the oldest “you were my guinea pig for parenting”. The guinea pig child is the one that parents experiment on. The crash test dummy used to see if certain techniques will stick and stay.

Well, I have come to realize that my oldest child received the Dodge Omni parent. She was my guinea pig 19 years ago. I was young, naive, and like my Omni I was clean on the outside, but a mess on the inside. We listened to rap music, ate McDonald’s on a regular basis and didn’t focus on readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic the way we should have. All. While. Riding. In. The. Omni.

My son who came 4 years later received the Ford Focus of parenting. I leased the Focus when it first came out. It was affordable, compact and new. Inside and out. But like any leased car, you keep it for a certain period of time and give it back. I had the car for 5 years and my son lived with me for 5 years until my husband and I divorced and he lived with his dad full time. (Check out this link for more information on that journey). My son just like the new car taught me about being more responsible and to cherish the people and things that God entrusts to you.

Then, last but not least, 8 years later here comes my youngest. She is the brand new Kia Soul of the group. This was my first time having a foreign made car. I paid careful attention to the interest rate, mileage, safety features, and all of the extra amenities when buying the car. My Kia Soul benefited greatly from my experiences with my other cars. And just like the Kia Soul my 6 year old has benefited tremendously from the mistakes, challenges and mishaps of my Omni and Ford Focus style parenting.

But the beauty in being a Kia Soul Parent is that ALL of them get to share in this moment. As parents we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday responsibilities. We forget about the little people who are watching us do what we do. We need to have parenting goals as well as business, romantic and health goals.

I am declaring that as I work on upgrading my car to Mercedes Benz status that my parenting style supersedes it…Then my children can wake up everyday like this.



Sleeping with the Enemy: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


Did you wake up this morning and feel like you were sleeping with the enemy? Did you get up, brush your teeth, wash your face and look in the mirror and feel like the enemy was staring you in the face? On your back, your neck. Choking the life out of your dreams. The enemy is not a person but rather a mindset. The enemy is FAILURE.

Many people are scared of it. Most people don’t deal with it well. And even more people squander their gifts and talents because of it. FAILURE. You can’t live with it. You can’t get through life without it.

What most do not realize is that failure does not define you and it shouldn’t silence you. You must face your fears and your failures with the same gumption that you face your successes. It doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good but in the end failing at some things in life is good for you. It builds character. It teaches you lessons. It shifts your mindset. However, never let it consume you. You are not your failure. Don’t let it define you. Again, you are not your failure.

Stop going to bed every night with failure. When your head hits the cool side of the pillow failure should be nowhere to be found. Let the disappoints of the day go. Once you close your eyes let the dreams of a fabulous life engulf your mind. We all fail at something in life. The trick is not to allow failure to have the title of “cuddle buddy”. Don’t get too comfortable with it. Make wise, calculated, sound, God-inspired decisions. Once this is done, you will begin to see failure as more of an occurrence that has to happen to get you to your next destination.

Things That Make Me Go Ziggity Boom: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


My personality is one that is sweet, sassy, sarcastic, humorous, and analytical all rolled into a short ball of energy (I’m only 5’4). I talk fast, I laugh loud (especially at myself) and I try to find the humor in most situations. Except death. I don’t play with death. However, every now and then there are some things that just get under my relacore. That’s the nickname for the fat around my stomach. We all have pet peeves that make us go Ziggity Boom!  My good friend Shelonda told me she missed my lists of Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed on Facebook. So I decided to grant her wish. Here’s your list boo enjoy!

The Top Five Pet Peeves that make me go Ziggity Boom:

  1. Repeating myself more than one time. I cannot stand repeating myself more than one time. I have been practicing giving people a certain level of grace recently because I would want the same thing. BUT, I cannot stand repeating myself more than one time. Especially when I know you weren’t paying attention and the information is important. This usually rears it’s ugly head at work with college students. My response after the first time is this major-payne-original.jpg
  2. Being played like I am boo-boo the fool. See this is how my mind works when I feel like I am being played like a bad hand of spades (click on the link, AwesomelyLuvie will bless your life baby). I ask a question that I already have the answer to but I pretend  I don’t know the answer so that I can hear you say the truth out loud. Then I begin to nonchalantly continue to ask you questions until the truth is uttered by the person I am interrogating. I am a critical thinker and I am quick on my feet. I already have my questions lined up from the beginning of the conversation. Ok, let me stop there. I am giving away too many honeycomb hideout secrets LOL!you-tried-it-tamar.gif
  3. People who are mean to youth and elderly for no reason. I was in the airport over the summer waiting to pick up my son. I sat next to a woman who traveling with her elderly mother (who was in a wheelchair by the way) and let me just say the daughter was meaner than a rattlesnake. I felt so sorry for her mother. The way she spoke to her mother about giving a tip to the assistant and being cheap was appalling. Now the Good Book says: Exodus 20:12 (TLB)12 “Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you.

    In my mind I was thinking “your mama probably labored for 50-11 hours pushing your ungrateful self out of her womb, fed, bathe and clothe your behind and this is how you treat her?” I gave her the meanest stank eye ever created and started talking to her mama like she was my grandma. Sometimes you have to slap the devil to sleep with kindness.tumblr_inline_msw0ewXOZ51qz4rgp.gif 

  4. Folks who are always negative. Everything is not always rainbows and sunshine. However, everything is not clouds, rain and silent tears. Negative Nouns (persons, places and things) that never see the opportunities in their obstacles irritate my soul. Is everyday a bad day? All of us have our days, especially if we live long enough to have a mate, children, a job, a side hustle, church….. life (you can see where I’m going with this). Having a bad day is just a part of our journey. But if everyday is a bad day and you can’t find a small ray of joy then I need you to seek help outside of yourself. Life ain’t that bad and being negative all of the time ain’t that good. images-4.jpg
  5. Folks who feel like they have arrived. I work in an industry where everyone likes to signify, pontificate and dogmatize every chance they get. In the words of Kanye West (who knew him and his wife would be written about in my blog?) you ain’t got the answers!  It is one thing to have a dialogue or discussion of diverse views. It’s another thing to feel like you have degrees, you made it out the ‘hood and somehow you have arrived to this place of knowledge and revelation that others are beneath you. I’m not saying you have to carry the whole ‘hood on your back as you walk across the stage to receive your degree, but what I am saying is that all of us are fighting a silent battle that no one knows about. Be sensitive to that. You really don’t know fully why people make the decisions/choices that they do. In the words of one of my BFF’s “never say never”. The only place you need to arrive to is church on Sunday morning so you can lay that double-minded brain on the altar. Okay, that was a bit harsh even for me, but I’m trying to make a point people. 08-NeNe-Spotlight1.gif

So there you have it My Top 5 Pet Peeves that Make Me Go Ziggity Boom! Share with me in the comments section your Top 5 Ziggity Boom Peeve Moments!

As always, Thanks for coming out, God Bless and Goodnight!

Protect The Dream:Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


I was listening to one of my sisters-in-Christ on Periscope Pastor Rochelle White (yes, please go follow her, she is the triple truth) and she spoke of how her sister Rev. Talisha Belk (yes, please follow her also, I call her the Mary J. Blige of the women’s ministry) told her at the TOP of the year that 2015 was the year of the DREAMER! Now, I don’t know about you but I have been living my life this year with expectancy that God will blow my mind in ways that I could not even fathom. And even though we only have 44 days until 2016, I know for sure that God’s time is infinite.

Because I like to coin myself as Transparent Trudy, I can say that I did not always have that expectancy nor was I intentional about protecting my dreams. See, there was a time in my life where I leaned to my own understanding about what my life should look and feel like. I made decisions that yielded bad consequences, I chose people who were no good for me and I suffered. Why? Because I did not protect the dream that God gave me long ago while I was sitting on a bus skipping school with one of my best friend’s (check out her blog A Real Housewife by Q.Jackson, yes I show no shame when it comes to supporting my friends). God told me that all of the mistakes, mishaps and skipping school would push us to go back to that very same school and talk to girls about what NOT to do. This was given to me at the age of 16.

But I did not protect the dream. I allowed the voices and choices of myself and others to dictate my dream trajectory. I did not protect the dream. Or was it that I did not accept the dream? Did I think that I had done too much, fell off too far and was not worthy of the dream on a large scale. Yes, I could offer guidance, words of encouragement and informal mentorship to others but did I really understand these were all things leading up to the dream? Or was I just living life, not being intentional or strategic about my dreams?

Let me show you how careless I was about my dreams. My second husband was a piece of work honey, ok. And I am not just saying that because we are divorced. He was the epitome of being a Unicorn (if you want to know what that is click the link, it will bless you and make you laugh). He was a thief. He stole my dreams.

I have been journaling since elementary school. I kept a diary, journal or dream book beside my bed for as long as I can remember. Well, Mr. Snoopy decided to go through my things and read my journals and within the blink of an eye the dreams from the past 2-3 years of my life were GONE. SEE YA LATER. BYE. ADIOS. GONE. He tore the book to shreds. I had full workshops, seminars, summer programs for girls and outlines for books in that journal. They were now gone. Why? Because I didn’t protect the dream from the dream theft. But guess whose fault it was? Mine. I did not protect the dream because as crazy as he was I chose him.

Oh, but this is what I LOVE about the God I serve. I was told by my old pastor Gregory Cannon that you cannot out dream God. When I finally let that marinate in my spirit and accepted it as fact, that’s where the abundance of the God-given dream began to manifest again in my life. No longer would I allow any person, place or thing to rob me of my joy or my dreams. No longer would I be held captive by my past, hide in my present or be scared of my future. I now understand that THIS DREAM, at THIS TIME has to be protected. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

And this is why I love this song. Dream on Dreamer!

An Open Letter To the Mama of Mental Illness: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Have Your Say on Youth Mental Health

I have been reading the book 72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell for the last two weeks. This compelling story of a mother who is desperately trying to live and thrive with her young adult daughter who is struggling with a severe mental health illness is eye opening. Dealing with the everyday struggles of trying to protect and love her daughter in spite of her erratic behavior and mood swings is commendable. A mother’s love is tested most in times of adversity when it comes to dealing with their child. Years after the book was released the world found out that the book was written about the beautifully talented Maia Campbell. Mental illness stole her shine and created a women who struggled on the streets of Los Angeles smoking and joking….in the worst way.

I have been working with adolescents and young adults for the majority of my life. I like to say that I was a Social Worker before I received the degrees. This book resonated with me on many levels, because I have seen the behaviors, attitudes and actions portrayed in the book in youth as well as people in my own family. Because I read the book through the lens of being a mother, my heart ached for BeBe Moore Campbell. Her pain, anger and sadness are all emotions that most parents experience on a certain level. However, for parents with children not effected by mental illness those emotions do not dominate most of their waking hours.

Tonight’s Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed is an Open Letter To The Mama of Mental Illness:

Dear Mama,

How are you doing today? I mean how you really doing? I know most times when people ask you this you say “fine” with a smile on your face and keep it pushing. But I want to know the truth. Tell me how you didn’t go to bed until after midnight because your mind is racing about how to balance loving your child who has a mental illness with protecting your other children in the house.

How are you feeling today? I mean how do you really feel? Are you sick of asking God why? Has your cup runneth over with guilt, shame and disappointment? Mama you need self care that helps you take care of your needs while you try to figure this thing out. Stop beating yourself up because you feel like your child doesn’t measure up to your friend’s children. Everyone is fighting a silent battle that we can’t see. Guilt, shame and disappointment are the anti-Christ. Praying will help, but it won’t fix what’s broken. God created mental health therapists. So while you are trying to get your child to take that Xanax, Zoloft, and go to therapy, find a therapist for yourself. Find a support group for YOURSELF. Don’t hide. Don’t avoid.

Hey mama. I know being a black mama with a black child with a so-called “white folks” illness is hard. It’s tough hearing family members question your parenting style, tell you how you should whoop your child more or put them on punishment. It’s hard sitting in on family holiday conversations and hearing Big Mama say “only white folks go to see a shrink”. Especially when you just came back from a family therapy session the day before. I know you get tired of counting pills, paying missed appointment fees when your child lies about showing up for therapy and thinking of ways you can run away for just a few brief seconds to get some clarity and peace of mind.

Yes, Mama. I know you try to be as compassionate as possible but there are just some moments where that child gets on your last nerve and you really want to cuss them out and cut them off. But you don’t, you try to keep calm, breathe, and walk away before you treat your child like someone on the street. It’s not them talking, it’s the illness. Their brain is not well. Walk away. Go exercise. Phone a friend. Do what you need to do for your sanity. It’s scary to explain to a potential suitor the nature of your relationship with your child, so you stay isolated. You don’t let many get too close. You want to stop heartache before it even has a chance to fester.

Mama, let’s be real. We all hope that the right mixture of medication and therapy will work. That someone somewhere will find a cure for this genetic and environmental hiccup. But the reality is that this illness will probably stay with your child in some way, shape or form all of their life. The real prayer is that as they get older they learn how to manage it better and we learn how to cope. The real prayer is for them to lead as much of a normal life as possible without walking around like a zombie because of the medication and not causing  hurt, harm or danger to themselves or others.

Yeah Mama. You, yes you! I see you. I salute you. I pray for you. In some ways I am you. We both have the same hopes, worries and fears because we are Mamas. We love our children and only want the best for them. Take care of yourself. This road will be long, arduous and taxing.

The scripture 1Corinthians 10:13 says “But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it.”

Stand on God’s Word, but go to therapy. Stand on His Word, but practice self care. Hold on to God’s never changing hand, but find an outlet for your feelings.

God hasn’t forgotten about you and neither have we.

What Is That, Velvet? :Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed


The clothes we wear are made of various fabrics and materials. We all have that smooth cat of an uncle who likes to wear linen suits and gator sandals. Or that auntie who loves silk/satin pajamas. Occasionally, we may give birth to a daughter who thinks glitter belongs on every stitch of clothing. We may even run across a great-aunt who is stuck in the 70’s with velvet covered furniture (it probably still has that thick plastic on it, but we LOVE her anyway).

Many times we worry more about the clothes we wear more than the fabric, material or cloth that a potential mate is cut from. BOOM! Yeah, that just happened! Let that marinate in ya spirit. Then we have the audacity to get mad when we figure out that we have been duped. People, we need to start checking the tags of potential suitors or sweet thangs. Is she a polyester imposter? Is he a velvet villain?  You need to find out the morals, ethics and standards of your potential boo thangs. Is it congruent with your brand? Is it the real thing or is it more like a knockoff Coach purse or some inauthentic Nike Airs? Will they stand the test of time? Or will they buckle like a pair of pumpkin seed shoes worn too long?

In the words of my mama, “let me get down to where you live and breath”.  The most important time to take stock of the fabric of a potential mate is before having children or walking down the aisle. Hear me clearly, parenting and making a baby are two totally different functions. One is for a lifetime, the other can at times only take 5 minutes. Before you decide to procreate consider many factors; the most important being “what type of cloth is your child’s potential family cut from?” 1000 thread count Egyptian sheets feel very different than 180 thread count sheets from Walmart, so you do the math on that one.

But guess what? If you chose the wrong type of cloth, it’s okay. Pick better next time. If you didn’t get glitter and stardust, choose different. Learn from the lesson and move on. Next time remember to stop and ask whatisthatvelvet