The Week of Firsts

As someone born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, I am not a super adventurous person.  I’m also finding that as I get older, I’m less willing to take risks and this is holding me back from a lot of things.  There was a time back in the day when I thought nothing of packing all of my stuff and moving across country (sending my boxes there for free using a hijacked shipping account from a record label, but I digress…). Because the tedium of my life is really starting to f**k with me, I find myself longing for those days. Now, I’m not packing up and moving across country (really tempting, though), but I am making do with small changes.

For the first time ever, I made the perfect pot of brown rice. I found the recipe here at and I tell you it worked great.  The secret is to treat the rice like it is pasta.  You boil it in large amounts of water, strain it, return it to the pot and just let it steam for 10 minutes.  There was no clumping (Deanna) and every grain was separate and perfect.

This morning, for the first time, I used an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse on my locs.  I’m not sure why I’ve never done this before.  The vinegar acts like an astringent and clears out all of the product buildup and flaking from your hair. I’ve been having some problems with dry scalp and itching, so I tried it out.  You’ll have to check with me later for the results, because my hair is still wet and up in a towel as I type this! 🙂

So, its only Wednesday (I think. Working in retail messes up your sense of days.), and I’ve tried two new, albeit small, things and will hopefully fit in some more before the week is over.

Oh, last week I tried something new, too.  I turned 45 years old for the very first time! And now I plan on aging backwards….

Fabric Purchases

A few posts ago, I talked about creating a core wardrobe including some nice boring pieces for work.
Right after that had an incredible sale and it just so happens that it was my payday as well.
This is what I got:

Nice and plain, right? The top piece is 5 yds of black wool stretch suiting material that I think was about $5 a yard.  The second piece is 5 yards of a Ralph Lauren chino fabric that I have been stalking since they got it in a few months ago. It had been marked down to $1.95/yd! There is still some left, but don’t everybody take it all!  The third piece is about 2 1/2 yds charcoal grey wool stretch suiting – same as the first piece.  The last piece is a couple yards of black poplin probably for a button down shirt.  I only wanted to spend $40 and with a 30% off coupon and free shipping under $35, I was able to stay within budget!  I ordered it on Friday and received it on Tuesday – even with that Monday being a holiday.  Plus they send you some motivation:


Yesterday I was on LinkedIn scrolling through the profiles of some of my college classmates (maybe found an ex, too. Not really sure if it is him, because I can’t remember his last name. So bad!).
Anyway, occupation-wise, they are an accomplished group holding various impressive sounding titles. Looking at where I was in comparison made me a little depressed.
Then this morning I awoke to this horoscope from DailyOm:

March 4, 2009
The Right Pace
Cancer Daily Horoscope

Your impatience can interfere with your progress today, leaving you feeling blocked and unsure of yourself. You may believe that you should be farther along in your journey of personal or professional achievement, but it is likely that your existence is unfolding at the pace it was meant to. Easing your frustrations will likely be a matter of looking critically at your pace to determine whether it is indeed lagging. Be aware that you may discover today that you precisely where you need to be at this point in your life as there are no doubt many lessons you can learn from your current circumstances.

Perfect timing!

Proud or Fortunate?

I make a point to never say that I am proud to be an American.

I believe that pride is something that comes from accomplishment.
You can be proud that you finished college, raised children, ran a marathon, didn’t kill the rude clerk at the drugstore.
Immigrants who risk their lives to get here and become U.S. citizens should be proud to be American, they worked for it and earned it.
I, on the other hand, am fortunate to be an American.
I am fortunate to live somewhere that affords me the freedom to criticize it and hold it’s leaders accountable.
I am fortunate to live in a country that continually re-invents itself and rights itself when it starts to fall.
I am fortunate to have been born in America.


So, I have seen this meme on a few blogs and since I love the thought of random visual images I decided to do it.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image.

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Toni

2. What is your favorite food? Crab Cakes

3. What high school did you go to? H.D. Woodson Sr. High (the photo is an aerial shot of my school!)

4. What is your favorite color? Loden green

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Duh, Jesse L. Martin

6. Favorite drink? Acai Juice

7. Dream vacation? Morocco

8. Favorite dessert? Apple pie

9. What you want to be when you grow up? Retired

10. What do you love most in life? Myself

11. One Word to describe you. Smart

12. Your flickr name Mshoni

You can find other mosaics here:

The Grass is Greener….

Living in the ‘hood has many benefits:

  • Every fast food chain is available. I can get to McDonald’s, Popeyes, Church’s, Captain D’s and Krispy Kreme in less than 5 minutes….on foot.
  • If your radio breaks down your neighbors cars will provide all the music you need. Unfortunately, you can’t pick the songs, shawty.
  • You will never sleep through New Year’s Eve because the celebratory gunfire starts early so you won’t forget. This year the first shots in my neighborhood started around 8pm this year.

And best of all:

On a random Wednesday morning, the daycare centers in the area will put on a parade, just because.

Including a princess and a marching band playing a Nelly Furtado song.

All at 10 o’clock in the morning.

We may not have a viable grocery store, but we love our children!

Sorry for the bad pictures. I was getting dressed to go to the movies and couldn’t run outside.

Girl Crushes

Those of you who know me are aware of my many celebrity crushes. The collection of photos (some would call it a shrine; but I don’t light candles by it or nothin‘) of Jesse L. Martin that I have at work can attest to the seriousness of my crushes. I also have posters of Maxwell and Roosevelt Franklin. This is all just fun and fantasy.
My girl crushes, however, are more important. I have two primary ones: Jada Pinkett Smith and Erykah Badu.
A girl crush by definition (whose originally, I don’t know; but my former co-worker Jamie told me this) is someone who you don’t want to have sex with (that would be a regular crush), but you think that if you met them the two of you would be best friends. In essence, you just wanna hang out with them. In my case, I draw inspiration from them and their art. If they mention a book in an interview, I go out and buy it (although usually I already have it; see, we are already on the same wavelength!).
So, this week Erykah Badu released her latest CD, New Amerykah, Part One (4Th World War). Now, normally I would buy it on the day of release, but this week funds were tight and I had to wait until today before I could get it.
Well, after the pants debacle of yesterday and blogging about it today, I wanted to lie on the couch and deal with it some other time. Instead I remembered that I bought the CD and had to load it onto my i-pod and then I listened to it. It is going to take me a few more listens to really immerse myself in it, but I am loving it. Next thing I know, I started looking through my patterns again and then I went back to the fabric stash and found some upholstery fabric that may work for an idea that came to me.
Things are starting to look a little brighter and I credit Ms. Badu. Give thanks.