Socamom.com is celebrating 5 years of blogging!
Here's to many more...
I don’t think we formally went back to school shopping this year. We got new books, some binders, and some folders, but we already had crayons, pencils, paper, notebooks, markers, glue, paint, construction paper, and other supplies, left over from last year. That is the great thing about homeschooling. Whatever you don’t use – is still on the shelf. When it comes to clothes, the kids really don’t have anyone to impress. We aren’t so much concerned about being seen in a certain brand or style, but more about finding out if pants and jeans are going to be high waters because of summer growth spurts that went unnoticed during a summer of wearing shorts. We don’t get to backpacks, lunch boxes, or any of that, because as long as it still works, they’ll use it.Add a comment Read more...
Photo credit: Eva Wilson
Smooth. Sleek. Straight. Edges must be controlled. Flyaways must be tamed. Seems like as a woman with curly hair only thing you have freedom to do when it comes to your hair is it choose what products you will buy to beat it into submission. For most of my life, this is what hair care boiled down to – fixing what was wrong with my hair. Apparently, nothing about my hair in its natural state was good. My edges definitely defied control, and my whole head was a fly away. The thick curls didn’t lend themselves to smoothness, were the antithesis of straight, and as far as anything being sleek – not happening. I accepted that my hair NEEDED to be FIXED. It had to lie down. Problem is – my hair wasn’t meant to lie down.
My mom’s cabinet had all kinds of things to “fix” my hair. Hot afro pick, hot comb, hot oil (looks like “hot” was important in the fixing process) were all front and center. Then there was the blow dryer, various brushes, combs, detanglers, sprays, lotions, creams, rubber bands, and clips, and I was convinced that my hair was something to be conquered on a bi weekly basis. My hair was an ordeal.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a child of Caribbean heritage who has not had plaits so tight that they had difficulty sleeping or even blinking for at least a day after getting their hair “done.” The control exercised in the house over a child’s behavior certainly extended to each and every follicle on a girl’s head as well.Add a comment Read more...
My little one's (@paceofspace) first Howard football game... Photo credit: E. Graham
This weekend some of us will don our sandals, linen, and white for the last time, pull out our favorite boots (or go shopping for some new ones) and get ready for… football! Now you all know that to my family, “football” was soccer. The one and only time my Tobagonian dad made it out onto a football field, that I know of, was when I was up for homecoming queen in high school. My Trini mom? Forget about it. They made it back to a field just one more time to watch me as a cheerleader in my first homecoming game in college. They had no idea what was going on. It was really kind of funny to hear their game summary… which had nothing to do with the actual game. They are both Howard University graduates – I don’t think they attended any football games.
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Everybody must know by now that I am already packing for Social Media on the Sand in Turks and Caicos. I had such a great time last year, I can't wait to head back this year to see what the team at Beaches Resort has in store for us.
I just got back from Turks and Caicos last month, and I made sure that everyone had a rash guard... except me. Allyuh know that the Caribbean sun is no joke, so I'm not even sure what I was thinking. I buy them for everyone else because maintaining healthy, burn free skin is important - whoever told you that brown people don't get sunburn... lied. I was so focused on the kids, I didn't even think about my back and shoulders, and what the sun could do to them.
When the fine folks at MomSelect asked me to try out an item from Lands' End, I went straight for their famously fashionable swim shirts, and found one that I loved. When I think of a swim shirt, I think of that surfer style that is only flattering on... well... surfers. I found the perfect top that is great for not only the beach, but if I add jeans and some jewelry - lunch in one of the many restaurants at at the resort. If I add a pretty skirt and some makeup, I'm ready for dinner. Versatility is important when I need everything to fit in my carry on.
Check out the video and tell me what you think. Here's the link to order your own - Lands' End is having a great sale, so you should run by and check out the site to see if this one is still on sale: http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-adjustable-tunic-swim-rash-guard---embroidered/id_277093_59
This post is sponsored. I was compensated for making this video. As always my opinions are my own.Add a comment
June was one heck of a month for me. I had major lows like the Charleston shooting, church burnings, and the passing of my father in law, but also great highs like landmark Supreme Court decisions, traveling to Turks and Caicos with my family, and hearing Lecrae speak at the Blogging While Brown Conference in Austin, Texas.
Through it all, I stayed connected to my family, friends, and faith using technology. We shared news and updates on Charleston on Twitter and celebrated milestones and personal triumphs on Facebook. I used apps like Pandora to provide an inspirational soundtrack, and my Bible app to find comforting passages while traveling from Washington, DC to Turks and Caicos, Texas to Delaware, and back again.
The way people are experiencing inspiration, at home or on the go, is changing dramatically. More and more of us are looking to technology and mobile devices to keep ourselves motivated and uplifted. Often, our devices are the bearers of devastating news that points to everything evil, corrupt, and morally bankrupt in the world. It can feel like our newsfeeds are constantly trying to make us lose faith and lose focus on what is good, what is right, and what inspired us to do better, be better, and live better, for our families, our families, friends, local and global communities.
That is why it is always an honor and a privilege to work with AT&T’s Inspired Mobility program. AT&T Inspired Mobility is a conversation about how people are using Internet and mobile technology to enhance their inspirational experience.
The program focuses on highlighting the ways we use mobile technology to stay inspired and uplifted, which is especially important in these turbulent times. These days our mobile decides can deliver so many disappointing messages that it can become overwhelming. To counter those messages, people are using Twitter to share sermon notes and scriptures, live streaming worship services, accessing apps for personal study, and making virtual contributions.
Check out how some of last year's Blogging While Brown attendees stayed inspired using mobile technology.
In a survey sponsored by AT&T*, 41% respondents said they use a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to connect to faith-based organizations or inspirational websites. About 32% of respondents said they regularly attend worship services, and of those, 32% said they use mobile devices during those services. Mobile technology has truly become part of our daily lives, not just six days a week for work, school, and leisure time, but on all seven days, including days of worship.
This year at Blogging While Brown, AT&T’s special guest was Lecrae, who shared so many meme worthy quotes that the attendees had Twitter abuzz with his words of wisdom.
He gave social media a much needed inspirational, motivational interlude, when so many have had their faith shaken. Lecrae is recording artist who is inspired by his faith to share uplifting and inspirational music. True to his beliefs, Lecrae is an artist that infuses his music, which has become part of mainstream popular culture, with themes such as inspiration, faith and honesty.
Check out these pinnable, tweetable, quotable, memeable, and shareable messages from Lecrae from Blogging While Brown in Austin Texas. Feel free to inspire your friends, family, co-workers, fans and followers using your tablet, computer, smart phone, or mobile device. These inspirational messages can help to keep them uplifted. You can print them for your cubicle at work, your refrigerator at home, or your vision board.
To continue the conversation, AT&T will host three Google+ Hangouts, each Hangout featuring a different technology and inspiration themed topic. Check this page again soon for information on the upcoming Google Hangout where panelists will discuss the future of faith and mobile technology.
Also, keep an eye out for Social Media Sunday, a day for people across the country to use their mobile devices to share words and visuals of hope and inspiration, hosted by AT&T.
Learn more about the Inspired Mobility campaign from the perspectives of AT&T's Blogger Correspondents at Blogging While Brown: Black Girl Nerds, BrothaTech, Brown Girl Gumbo, Jason Caston, Tech Guy Smart Buy, Nikki and the City
Join the conversation on Twitter. Follow @att and tweet using the hashtag #InspiredMobility.
*To learn more about Inspired Mobility and the research behind the program, visit http://tinyurl.com/InspiredMobility.Add a comment
I don’t think anyone was more excited to see Disney Pixar’s Inside Out than my youngest. She is by far my most emotional kid, so she really looked forward to experiencing Disney Pixar’s take on the emotions of a young girl like her. I took it as a chance to see what a whole team of writers could come up with to explain the perplexing mind of a pre-tween girl. The night of the screening, she changed into a bright, dressy top. She told me she did it in honor of the Inside Out character, “Joy.”
“Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.”
- Disney Pixar
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that the characters were cute, and the trailer was funny. The kids had been watching trailers, so they were much closer to the edge of their seats with anticipation than I. From start to finish, Inside Out took us on an emotional roller coaster – should we have expected anything different?Add a comment Read more...
I have been a blogger for four years as of this month and in the last several weeks I have had the pleasure of watching my son become a micro blogger in his own right on Instagram. I knew that my son was a wonderful artist with a big heart, but was unprepared for just how creative he could be. He was chosen to represent a major resort brand as a teen advisor, and the whole family went to Turks and Caicos with him to enjoy the sun and sand, get a much needed vacation from a stressful homeschool/law school year, and of course, support him on his first major project.
Making sandcastles at sunset with the kids. Photo credit: Don Wilson
Whenever I thought about how blessed we were, I quietly thanked God for everything that he had done for him and for us. It wasn’t hard to stay inspired in the breathtakingly beautiful Turks and Caicos. You could look around you at the wonders of nature, the friendly resort guests and staff from all over the world, and the crystal clear turquoise ocean water and find plenty to reinforce your faith without even opening the Bible (we still brought one just in case). But when the trip drew to a close, and we headed to the airport, we found ourselves dragging ourselves through check in, eventually joining the slow line of forlorn travelers who were headed back to homelands not nearly as heavenly as Turks and Caicos. We were among those travelers no eager to leave paradise.
As soon as we boarded the plane, I heard it…. the screech that would cause a three hour flight to feel like an eternity. As much as I hoped that the scream’s origin was further up in the aisle, and we only heard it so vividly because baby cries in an airplane tend to have a surround sound effect, alas… I was wrong… My seat 33A… his seat 33B… oh… the baby is across the aisle with her dad… still screaming, but not right here. *Ding*… “Please fasten your seatbelt, put your tray tables and chairs in their upright positions, and prepare for departure.” Overlay that announcement with continuous screams and screeches mixed in with a splash of wailing for variety, but still, at least across the aisle. Wait. Is he passing this baby to…. No. No! Nooooooooooooooo! 33C. @#$%.Add a comment Read more...
Photo credit: Eva Greene Wilson
They say to never work with family. I have learned this the hard way more than once, but when it comes to my little ones, it has brought me so much joy and has made this blogging adventure so much more fun.
The kids have worked on projects with me ever since the blog started, and I am grateful for their willingness to help (for a fee of course). The dutifully pose for pictures, record videos, test out products, go to the movies (they kinda love that part) and give me their honest feedback.
My youngest son was the first one to really get started when he did some work with me for Dodge, and started his own blog, Dave’s Car Show. Now my oldest is jumping onto the social media scene as a Teen Advisory Panelist for Beaches Resorts (#beachesteens). He is now officially joining the Socamom.com team as a blogger, and will be using his skills as an illustrator (and now animator) to entertain you and help educate your kids on the Caribbean.
From the Beaches Resorts Website
Please join me in welcoming my son by following him on Twitter and Instagram at @paceofspace. He has new content coming soon, but here’s a little sneak peek. Enjoy this quick Instagram video featuring “Joe” and Bob Marley’s classic tune “One Cup of Coffee.” Enjoy!
Follow @paceofspace on Twitter
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I honestly walked into this movie with no idea what to expect. With all of the extended trailers and spoilers for movies out there these days, that isn't something that happens very often. The marketing team for this film did a great job of making you want to see the film without having a real idea of what it was actually about. Tomorrowland is one of those films that is easy to give spoilers for, even if you don't intend to. If someone asked me what the movie was about, I'd have to really work not to give all the best part away. I was going to get my kids to participate in this review, but they don't really get that they can't give away every single detail of the film. They were so excited about it, I am pretty sure that anything they came up with would be a real spoiler.
There's only a few things that I can tell you without ruining it for you. First, George Clooney was fun to watch! No matter what you may thing of how long he held onto his bachelor status, he is really an incredible actor. The young people in the film did an amazing job as well. I remember thinking that it really is a skill to be so young and able to emote so that it comes off believable on screen. The special effects? Top Notch. Remember all those people who were experiencing depression after watching Avatar because they couldn't actually go to Pandora? This glimpse of the future that we see in Tomorrowland could very well bring up those same feelings. You want to go there and be a part of it. Okay - no more - I'm on the edge of giving it all away. What I can tell you is this. This film is about the past, the present, and a pretty awesome future (For the most part? This is an easy movie to give spoilers for - ugh!) and it will leave you hopeful, inspired, motivated, and ready for the days and years ahead.
From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever. “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of. ~ Walt Disney Pictures
My 9 year old said loved the architecture in the film. My 10 year old was mesmerized by the different modes of transportation in the movie, of course, and the 15 year old, who enjoys writing, said that he noticed how well written the dialogue was. The kids chattered about the movie all the way home until they fell asleep one by one. You would think they were part of the action in the film.
Ready to check it out? It opens nationwide today, May 22nd - after you see it, come back and let me know what you thought...
Now what you come to this website for!
Did it earn the PG Rating? Definitely. There's a lot of action, and there's actual killing... of actual people. The language isn't more intense than your kids might hear at a multigenerational family event, so don't worry - your little sweetheart won't come out of the movie cussing like a sailor. I think it is fine for about 8 and up. Not because of the violence, and there were no sexual situations, but it isn't the easiest movie for a little kid to follow and appreciate what's going on. There's plenty of special effects to keep them watching, but don't expect really young kids to be able to tell you exactly what the movie was about.
Bottom line. Should you go see it? Yes! The themes are those that adults would be very much concerned with, and the action scenes are amazing. You really should see it in IMAX. This was my first IMAX movie, and it literally was like watching the movie in 3D, but without the glasses.
Should I take the kids to see it? Yes! My children had a blast, the contest winners had a ball, and the moms from the SocaMom DC area meetup enjoyed it as well. Kids who don't like loud noises, are easily frightened, or are especially sensitive to death scenes should probably steer clear. Average kid, over 8? Go for it. Here are some fun activity pages that they can check out based on the movie - Disneys Tomorrowland Activity Sheets
Twitter: twitter.com/DisneyPictures #TOMORROWLAND
Disclosure: I was given passes for my family, meetup group members, and contest winners. As always my opinions are my own.Add a comment
The first time that I realized that my kids had no idea what jumbies and the like were, my youngest son 6 or 7 and was going to be in a pan concert There was a play included with a little part about douen. I didn't go to the rehearsal, and my Christian American husband called me... confused. They had explained it all to him, but he still didn't love the idea.
In America there are plenty of fairy tales that keep kids and teens from doing certain things... How do you keep kids from being vain and spending too much time in the bathroom? Bloody Mary. Well, maybe that's not the point of that one, but either way, the husband wasn't having any of it. He could play in the concert, but that part of the story was off limits. Dead kids with their feet on backwards? Nope. He wasn't going for that - no sir. I didn't argue. I have to admit, like any Caribbean kid, these stories freak me out.
So enter Tracey Baptiste's new book, "The Jumbies ." I wasn't sure that I was ready to revisit any of those stories. My parents didn't spend much time on them really, but I knew enough to be scared as a kid. This book was hard to pick up, bringing back that fearful little kid who preferred a night light, but even harder to put down once I got started. The foreshadowing is masterfully done, the descriptions are vivid, and when it’s scary? It’s scary. When I think about it, it probably isn’t too much more frightening than the American fairy tales that I grew up with… I mean… some woman lured kids to a candy house and tried to eat them, or something right? If you really think about it, that’s some pretty scary stuff too.
Recently, I will had the pleasure of talking with Tracey Baptiste, author of book for young readers, “The Jumbies”
Watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8rpxrVCLs
Socamom Caribbean Book Club:https://www.facebook.com/groups/caribbeanbookclub/
Buy the book: On Amazon - The Jumbies
Here’s some more information about her latest book, published by Algonquin Young Readers - http://algonquinyoungreaders.com/book/jumbies/
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