Love. Laugh. Eat. Repeat. 

Everyone who knows me best, knows I have flare for the dramatic! So at end of the year, I can hear the cast from RENT singing those legendary words “how do you measure a year?” Undeniably this has been a tough year in a LOT of ways. Equally, in an attempt to offset some hard ships it has been a year of incredible experiences. Funny how life works that way …

All over facebook, Instagram, or your social media preference of choice people try to sum up the year in only 9 pictures. Think about it… how many pictures are currently in your camera roll? Mine has 723 pictures from this year alone (ok I’ll subtract out a few random selfies). The thought of my year summarized in ONLY 9 pictures was giving me anxiety and for good reason.

When I looked back on 2017, there were a few common threads that have over shadowed the weight of the world around me. Love, Laughter, & Food. I think you would have to agree, that the best times in your life this year revolved around these 3 things. So to close the door on 2017 and only carry the things that have brought me joy into 2018 … Ladies & Gentleman my top 9 -ish.


  • My grandmother is 96 and still wears red lipstick
  • My hubby is the strongest most sincere man I know
  • My mom is my rock! I’m talking Gibraltar
  • My Sisi is ride or die — She’s basically my Solange


As my Grandma Cox would say “my God we we’ve had some good times.”

2017 ran the spectrum from D.C. to Thailand, Janet Jackson to Bruno Mars, Ghost Tours to Arcades. I can honestly say I have shared some incredible laughs this year.

We were laughing so hysterically at the Brazilian steak house the table next to us gave the waiter $$ to but towards our meal because “we just looked like we were having a great time.”

Bar crawls to the blues, 2017 has taught me that a flexibility will always guarantee a great time.

“I’m here for a good time, not long time” – DRAKE


This will come as no surprise that the most interesting food I’ve eaten this year was in Thailand. I no longer feel like a complete alien in my local Asian market. Who know that you were suppose to leave the roots on the cilantro to use in your soup stock. While I’m at it, how come no one told me cilantro & coriander were the SAME THING!

And just as I expected Sushi is so must more amazing in SE Asia (duh) and Thai hot and regular hot are not the same thing!

So thank you Thailand you take the top 9 most delicious things I’ve eaten this year.



Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets

In midnights, in cups of coffee

In inches, in miles

In laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure a year in the life

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love

Seasons of love

Seasons of love


Southern Fried City Girl

Don’t Complain, You Brought This On Yourself”

Every spring since we’ve been married I get so excited about gardening. I love the thought of gardening, I’m just no good at it.

I have tried believe me!  I know what your thinking ….”Just ask someone to sell you the flowers anyone can grow.”  Let’s just say, I’ve tried that and those flowers have died under my care as well. I use to be really hard on myself about this shortcoming since I pride myself on being well rounded.

My Grandma and even my husband’s Grandma would go one and one about how every woman needed and should keep a garden. You know tomatoes, cucumbers, the whole nine yards. I on the other hand never saw this for myself. My mother worked 2 jobs most of my childhood. So while I can shop the deals like nobody’s business, but you will not find me digging in the soil.

None the less, I like the idea of gardening. So without fail when spring comes around I proclaim “this year I will have a garden!”

Last year after my proclamation, I think the whole tray of flowers died before I could plant them. Granted it took me two week to get around to it. So yeah, they died right there in the garage on top of the old speaker box in the corner.

Spring 2017, this was going to be my year. However, before I could make my annual edict to garden more. My husband kindly invites outside to see the work he had done in the yard all weekend. This is usually when he lectures me on not over feeding the plants with miracle grow, or take a conference call outside from time to time to give the plants water, or even moving the potted plants out of the sun so they don’t bake like cookies.

As I  prepared my head to nod in agreement with his laundry list of gardening 101reminders,  I turn around to find POTTED FAKE FLOWERS!!!

Not just any flowers or flowers that would actually grown in pots but absurdities like magnolias that don’t even grow in pots. I was horrified ….

Before I could protest, he looked at me with that adorable cute face and stern eyes and said “don’t complain because you brought this on yourself and when you can show me you can actual grow something, I’ll take them out.”

SMH, my Grandma is rolling over in her grave!

 In fact one day the wind was high and the flowers were in the middle of the yard like memorial.  So what’s the lesson here? I have yet to figure that out.

I still have no motivation to garden but I’m still horrified by these fake flowers. 

I brought this on myself.

The MAMEY Experience

I get a chance to go home to Miami at least once a year. Although I was raised in Miami there is no doubt that my family brought ever tradition, habit, & custom from the MS Delta with her to Sunny South Florida. For the most part, we never had a chance to really enjoy Florida cuisine until we much older.

Last summer during my annual visit, I had a chance to have dinner at a friends house. The kids got a chance to play  while we had dinner and chatted. The food was so good, but dessert blew my mind.

D explained that her husband made a special trip to a special market on the other side of town to get Mamey for us to enjoy.

mamey-fruit-stand photo credit


What’s amazing about this very rare fruit is not only the odd look but how sweet the delicate fruit is.

When he sliced it open you could smell the sweetness. The fruit itself looked , to me, much like a sweet potato but the creaminess reminded it me of avocado. and the taste like nothing I had ever had before. It was confusing and delicious…. All at the same time. My husband described the taste more like papaya.

It blew my mind that in all my years, a Florida native, that this fruit had never crossed my path. Its experiences like this that make think about all things I’ve overlooked in life. Has greatness been hiding in plain sight all this time? or has my life really been this vanilla?

Ok, ok… I know its just a fruit.

The suggested way to  enjoy Mamey with a group is as a shake.  Milk + Mamey = Heaven.


Get the recipe here




  1. Ella- Don’t wear your skirt so short. There’s a time and place for everything
  2. Catherine-Pull it together and don’t go in there acting a fool
  3. Dale- It’s been a long day at work and sometimes you need to unwind
  4. Don-Talk up, I can’t hear you. Have an opinion.
  5. The Twins (Venita & Veronica)- Be grateful for every experience.
  6. Pat- Eat Good FOOD! It takes a long time to make because its worth it.
  7. Ora-Take time to take care of yourself
  8. Marsha- Don’t be afraid to try something new
  9. Debra (my mama)-All you have is your name!
  10. Sandra-I have fun but I DO NOT PLAY!


I have 10 women who have impacted my life…Each one of them has made me into the Southern Fried City Girl I am today.

Inspired by the word of the day Ten

Chess Pie – A Southern Staple

To close out 2015 and make good use of my vacation time, I decided to bake  my friends & neighbors pies as Christmas gifts and a way to share some cheer.

Chess pie sometimes called buttermilk pie was on the list. Why? because sugar makes every one happy and any pie with 2 cups sugar is sure to make you happy!

This was my first attempt at it and I really thought I had failed. The color wasn’t perfect and my custard did not raise as high as I would have liked.

But my neighbor was so complimentary. In fact he told us he had been looking for this pie for years and no one new what it was called or where to find it. He had tried all the freezer sections looking for it.

Despite my own disappointment with my 1st attempt, I had the courage to share it anyway and the result was better than expected. 🙂




I Would Cry but I Can’t…

People don’t like to talk about crying but I need to from time to time. I use to be described as  a pretty emotional person, I mean cry at a drop at a hat. At the end of a Hallmark movie, tears. The part in the romantic comedy when they finally figure out the person they really loved was there all along, COMPLETE WATER WORKS.

But now I can’t cry, even when I want to cry…I Can’t. While it seems like I’m over reacting. I did cry once about a two months ago when my gall stones were giving problems….BUT an emotional cry, Not a single solitary tear.

As crazy as this whole thing seems, without my no cry – keep things level modifier, I don’t think I would be any good at this life at all.

It’s a sad reality. Most people in my life expect a certain upbeat person. From time to time… in fact most recently, I’m just not up to being upbeat. And because explaining why I’m not “feeling it” takes so much efffort, I much rather withdraw. 

5 things I learned in NOLA

I love New Orleans, LA.  I will go on a limb and say I have been there more than any other city. Quite arguably my favorite city on earth  (comparatively speaking, I haven’t seen a lot of earth).

I started visiting NOLA in college (17 years ago) and most recently visited in April to celebrate my sister’s graduation from college.

So here are 5 things NOLA has taught me over the years:

  1. LEAVE YOUR JUDGEMENTS AT HOME (or at least in your hotel room)- I don’t think this needs any explanation when walk the streets on NOLA on the weekend.
  2. TRAVEL AS A CLIQUE – Nothing ruins a great weekend in NOLA  like losing your friend who wondered off or was going to meet you at the corner of Iberville and she thought you said Bienville. This rule was paramount in the days prior to unlimited anytime calling.
  3. BRING AN ADVENTUROUS APPETITE – Many people know that the best part of NOLA is the food. Its simply amazing. By any means don’t take this trip to culinary paradise with your co-worker who only eats “chicken tenders” and openly proclaims Applebee’s as their favorite restaurant.
  4. MY MOM IS WAY MORE FUN THAN YOU THOUGHT SHE WAS– Because I love my mom & mom-in-law, Enough said…  🙂

Brutal Honesty

I don’t know if you have a mother from the south, but if you don’t you are welcomed to share mine. You can’t have her because she’s an integral part of life, but she is open to spread her motherly love & advise.

As I have mentioned before in several places around this blog, I have a 7 other aunts that also have no trepidation about telling you how they feel.

This weekend my mom kept my little guy so I could get some much needed rest. AND rest I did at least I thought I did. Until I saw my mom and she kindly ( I’m being sarcastic) “Did you get some rest you look tired!” I was shocked but then realized she was so right.

I laid in bed but my mind was thinking about what i should deb doing instead of laying around. I caught up on my DVR but stared with hatred at the laundry baskets of clean clothes on the love seat just waiting to be tackled.

Some people would resent brutal honesty but in my family we live by a key rule ” If I can’t tell you the truth, who will? If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t say anything at all”

What Brutal Honesty have you received that was tough to hear but exactly what you needed.


updated 2.9.17 Criticize Word prompt of the day

Above the Clouds

I’m most at peace in the Sky, on an airplane with no demands. Really nothing to do but wait on the next set of instructions. Now as look back, I kinda miss the days when electronics couldn’t be used in flight. It was the only time I had to read a book. You know the thing with pages of typed letters with decorative cover and a photo of a random person on the back. It was the time you could could actually read the article in the magazine instead of just looking at the info graphics or the photo spread.

I’ve been flying since I was a little girl. I had a handle on how it all works pretty well. Looking out the window above the clouds stills overwhelms me and forces me to think about how small we are in the world. Our problems and concerns are so small in the scope of the sky. The clouds seem to swallow you up consume all your worries.

I feel so free when I travel, despite the TSA lines crowds of people. They all seem to disappear for me. It’s as close as I can get to completely going off the map. That need to disconnect, no phones, no contact, be alone. Is a real longing I crave and don’t really talk about. Not sure why, maybe fear of being judged. I think I mentioned it once to my mom in passing, but that lead to a bunch of “is everything alright” type of questions.

Needless to say its been awhile since I’ve been above the clouds, in the sky, time to find my why.

I think I’m addicted to working

Growing up my mom always had multiple jobs, not for sport but because we were poor. At the time my husband proposed marriage i as working 2 jobs and in graduate school. Now I work  an average of about 50 hours a week and tend to the baby while my ol’ man is at work and somehow I think I have time to work a second job or pick up a side hustle.

What’s wrong with me, I have not time to do anything else. I wake up in the morning with the remarkable urge to go right back to bed. Like a car I have to take a vitamin supplements when my light comes on… by light I mean my 2pm conference call.

At some point i guess i will learn to just BE STILL and not just crave busy-ness I guess its a skill i have yet to acquire.