Blogalicious was the first blogging conference I ever attended. At the time, SocaMom.com was nothing more than an idea and a parked domain name, but in addition to having an amazing time, I finally realized that I was ready to commit the time and energy that it would take to start this website.
Here we are three years later and here I am in the author spotlight on the Blogalicious website for my book, Anancy's Family Reunion! I honestly can say that when I was trying to navigate that first conference in Miami, I didn't see myself right here right now. I'm truly grateful for the kick start that I got at the Blogalicious conference. This year it is going to be in San Antonio, Texas November 6th - 8th. For bloggers or those who are thinking about blogging, this is a great first conference to attend. If you go, make sure you tell them that SocaMom sent you!
Thanks @JazzyJ0nez for the great write up!Add a comment
I had the pleasure of talking with Bunny Rugs at the 2012 Caribbean American Heritage Awards in Washington, DC. He was gracious, kind, and very encouraging to my son, as this was the very first interview that he filmed for me. He told him he was doing a great thing by helping out "mom" and to keep up the good work. The boy was so nervous, he got him to calm down some, and shook his hand. The encounter was brief, but meaningful.
Bunny Ruggs, leader of the legendary reggae band, Third World, passed away in a Miami hospital just four days shy of his 66th birthday after battling cancer.
Socamom: What are one or two [pieces of] advice that you can give to a mom or a dad who lives in America that wants to make sure that their kids stay connected to culture?
William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke: I think that they should expose them to what they were exposed to as far as food is concerned. I think they should introduce them to the Caribbean type of eating and constantly remind them of who you are, and where you’re from, and how it took a journey to make that transition here, so that they could have a better life or a better future…. more access to education. I think that by showing them that they’ll appreciate it much more, and probably much more cooperative to mom.Add a comment
My cousin is a genius in the kitchen. She teaches me so much stuff every time I visit. When I was over at Christmas time, the food was taking a while (good food always does), and in the midst of the Christmas cooking madness, she made everyone some wontons in just a few minutes.
Today, I was in the kitchen looking for a snack for the kids. They must be tired of granola bars and gummy fruit - cause I am. I figured I'd try to make her wontons with a little twist - jerk seasoning. This really only took 10 minutes... maybe even less.
1. If you have egg roll wrappers, cut them into quarters and set aside. You can put them in a zipper bag so that the edges don't dry out.
2. Take the lean ground turkey (or chicken) breast and add jerk seasoning, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Mix well. Nobody wants a bite that is all jerk seasoning.
3. Mince the green onions and add them to the ground turkey breast. Some people like more onions, some like less, so you can choose how much. Mix with a fork.Add a comment Read more...
My three little moths... always drawn to "the Glow"...
Them: May I hold your phone, please Mommy?
Them: What about your tablet?
Them: Did you bring your laptop?
Them: Can I use it, please?
This is how the conversation always goes, so I have no idea why they even ask me anymore. I have no games on my phone or tablet, so they are no fun at all - this is totally on purpose - but they still ask. It is like kids these days can't survive without "the Glow". Kids are plugged in from the time they can sit up, sometimes earlier, and in many cases, that's not a terrible thing.
For families like ours whose visits to see family members are few and far between for various reasons (distance, cost, time), the technology allows us to come face to face with them more often than we would if we didn't have things like Skype and Google Hangout. Facebook makes me feel like I see my cousins all the time, when in fact I rarely do.
Even though the technology pulls us closer to our family around the world, we do step back from technology when we can to spend time with each other.
As a homeschooling family, we spend a lot of time in the car on the way to music lessons, enrichment activities, and field trips. My kids don't have iPads or their own tablets, so we have to find other ways to keep them from annoying one another... and eventually annoying me. Here are five things that we do to keep the kids minds moving while we are on the move.
1. Flash cards - True story. I STILL don't know my multiplication facts. I have all sorts of tricks, but are the memorized? Nope. I am starting to think I am too old to learn. My middle son is (as I was told) a "reluctant learner", so I have been tempted to teach him all my tricks instead of making him memorize them. We have flash cards that the kids use in the car to quiz one another, and he is almost done memorizing them... painlessly. Baby girl enjoys making the "aaaaaaaaaa" buzzer sound when he gets it wrong, and he loves impressing his dad with his "12 times". Everyone wins.
2. Old School Music - We take it all the way back to the 50's and up to the 90's when we say "old school".
The kids sing just about anything from Belinda Carlisle to the Bee Gees... Byron Lee soca covers to Van Morrison's 'Brown Eyed Girl'. They have a near encyclopedic knowledge of Motown greats, and have almost learned all the words to Double Dutch bus. We'll call that music appreciation.
3. Silly "I Spy" - I spy, with my little eye... a purple hippopotamus in a straw hat doing the worm! I'm pretty sure that teaches creativity or something - but really, it is just fun, and usually ends in one of them spying something that farted. Nice.
4. Mommy Can't Sing - I can't carry a tune in a bucket. So the kids pick songs for me to sing, and I belt it out in my BEST, WORST voice. They fall out laughing every time. Each time I say I'll do better, clear my throat, maybe drink some water... do some 'do-ra-me-fa-so-lalalalalalalala.....' and then I belt it out again - even worse than the last time. They find it funny each and every time. I love hearing them laugh.
5. Read until you get sick - I used to hate when my mom would tell me to pack up my books for a long trip. I'd take out a book to read, and before we got to the interstate, my mouth was watery and I was ready to pass out... Mine read right up until "I don't feel so good" and then they take a break, sleep it off, and start back again. It is a vicious cycle, but the conversations we have in between the reading and retching are worth the queasy belly.
So that's what we do! What do they do to those tablets, phones, and things so that they can stare at them for hours, read, play games, and text, but never get motion sickness? Must be something about "the Glow".
What do you do to keep the kids engaged without "the Glow" when you are in the car?Add a comment
I am a virgin. If my dad asks? That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I can't say that my mom and dad hid much from us. Honestly, I don't know where my prudish attitude towards sex in the media and on television came from. My mom took me to my first Carnival in America when I was a teenager - the skimpy costumes, the gyrating, the wining, the back back, and the push back, had my jaw sitting squarely on the pavement. "Gyahl... if yuh cyan handle dat? Yuh cyan handle Trinidad!" After a few Carnivals in America, I thought I was ready... I mean if my MOM can do Eastern Parkway AND Trinidad at her age? Surely I could too.
I had my son at Carnival in Atlanta and DC in his stroller, and thought nothing of it... but now that he knows what he's looking at, I'm not so quick to pack the cooler and take him. Why does it seem like Caribbean people let their guard down in certain situations, but remain very guarded in others. How does the buttoned up doctor end up wining on the equally buttoned up lawyer at Carnival time, but their kids better not get caught with today's soca in their iPods?
We're going to talk about all that and then some. We are back for another Google Hangout! We will be talking about the hypocrisy in the Caribbean community when it comes to sex, and how we deal with it as Caribbean moms raising children in America.
Join us for this very special chat by going to http://www.youtube.com/socamomusa and watching us talk live online. You can ask questions and share your own experiences with us on Twitter by tweeting us and using the hashtags #caribbeanmomchat or #mamalime.
Your co-hosts for this live event are Eva Greene Wilson (@socamomdc on Twitter) from SocaMom.com, AlysiaSimone (@alysiasimone on Twitter) from Rewind and Come Again, author/blogger Onika Pascal(@onikapascal on Twitter), and fitness blogger and instructor Nellie Acevedo from Brooklyn Active Mama (@BklynActiveMama on Twitter).
Eva Greene Wilson aka "SocaMom" is the editor of SocaMom.com and Author of Anancy's Family Reunion. Her blog posts have been featured on BlogHer.com, and republished in b3 Caribbean Magazine (print and online) and Outlish Magazine (online). She has interviewed soca artists Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, former Essence Editor in chief Constance White, fashion trailblazer Anya Ayoung-Chee, Jamaican TV personality and beauty queen, Kamila McDonald Alcock, Trinidadian stage and screen actress Hazelle Goodman, and other leaders in the Caribbean community about connecting children to Caribbean culture and balancing motherhood, higher education, and career. She was most recently honored with two Black Weblog Awards - Best New Blog and Best Parenting Blog.
Pascalle Onika Goddard aka “Onika Pascal” is a career savvy supermom-certified Sagittarian-professional introvert-with a funny bone, born in Trinidad, raised in Brooklyn, NY and now residing in Maryland with her 16 year old son. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Medgar Evers College and her Masters of Professional Studies at The George Washington University. In 2008 she self-published a book of poetry entitled, “Collections of a See Through Soul - Portraits,” written under the pen name Onika Pascal. Shortly after, in 2009, she released a second volume of poetry titled, “Collections of a See Through Soul – Bardvillian Symphonies”. She has contributed to Outlish Magazine (online) and eWoman Magazine (online). She hopes to release more literary works in the future.
AlysiaSimone is the founding editor of RewindAndComeAgain.com an online exploration of the Caribbean-American experience. She is also project
manger for Witness Project, an arts based youth initiative that is working to change the culture of violence in Guyana, South America - but her most important role is that of mom. Addressing a roomful of poker-faced Caribbean ministers is a walk in the park compared to the work of raising her two amazingly intelligent yet "headbangingly" frustrating teenage boys in their home in Brooklyn, New York.
How to participate: Watch the LIVE Google Hangout at Youtube.com/socamomusa or right here on the front page of SocaMom.com. You can also answer questions with us or ask us questions on Twitter. Follow the hashtags #caribbeanmomchat or #mamalime to get in on the conversation!Add a comment
I really do love this group! Check them out at this concert in Washington DC. This is part of the Atlas Intersections Festival.
Location : Atlas Performing Arts Center 1333 H St NE Washington, DC 20002
Contact : email@example.com
From the CafeYouth.org website: With the relative youth of steel band, this instrument family commonly falls into a prescribed position within the broad spectrum of new music. Pigeonholed as “Island Music,” the true capabilities of the instrument are often overshadowed by preconceived notions and widely accepted stereotypes. We look to present the diversity of expressions the steel band is capable of by mirroring the depth of human emotion. As many consider this the youngest instrument family and steel bands worldwide are overwhelmingly dominated by younger generations, our expressions will be that of youth. Just as a child’s range of expression is a broadly varied and diverse one, so too will be this concert.Add a comment
On February 18th, we will be talking about children's books with Caribbean children's book authors (and mothers) Nerissa Golden, Carol Ottley-Mitchell, Stacey Alfonso Mills about writing literature for and/or about the Caribbean for children.
Nerissa Golden (Montserrat) released her first children’s book, Island Days , a collection of illustrated poems about growing up in the Caribbean in November of 2013. She is the CEO of goldenmedia, a publicity and brand development company serving public, private and non-profit clients across the Caribbean and North America. Nerissa was named one of TechLink’s 2013 Caribbean Innovators for her work at a community level in technology advocacy, education, public awareness and innovative solution implementation. She has also written The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth , as well as Truly Caribbean Woman's Guide to Good Love.
Carol Ottley-Mitchell (St. Kitts and Nevis) is the self-published author of nine children’s books. Eight of the books are based in the Caribbean and children reading these books get an engaging peek into the culture, history, and geography of the Caribbean. Now a stay-at-home mom, Carol has turned her attention to promoting literacy and a love of reading among Caribbean children. She has volunteered on projects on literacy and education in St. Kitts and in Ghana where she lived for three years. Carol’s books have been nominated for the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children’s Literature.
Stacey Alfonso-Mills (Trinidad) is the self-published author of two early-reader books: The Boys of Sinclair Hills - Fun in the Backyard and The Boys of Sinclair Hill - The Princess, The Treasure and The Blue Dragon, which are written and illustrated with a Caribbean cultural influence. Both books are currently available in Trinidad and Tobago and are also part of a primary school literacy programme in Trinidad and Tobago, called ‘Read to Rise,’ established by The Bridge Foundation in 2013. Stacey is currently preparing to launch her third children’s book “Manatee Has a Question” along with a colouring book, which has a Caribbean wildlife/environmental awareness theme. Stacey is also the Managing Director of MAALAN Resources Limited, which offers project support services in the oil and gas industry.
Eva Greene Wilson (Trinidad) aka "SocaMom" is the editor of SocaMom.com and Author of Anancy's Family Reunion, published in 2013. Her blog posts have been featured on BlogHer.com, and republished in b3 Caribbean Magazine (print and online) and Outlish Magazine (online). She has interviewed soca artists Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, former Essence Editor in chief Constance White, fashion trailblazer Anya Ayoung-Chee, Jamaican TV personality and beauty queen, Kamila McDonald Alcock, Trinidadian stage and screen actress Hazelle Goodman, and other leaders in the Caribbean community about connecting children to Caribbean culture and balancing motherhood, higher education, and career. She was most recently honored with two Black Weblog Awards - Best New Blog and Best Parenting Blog.
Join us on Youtube.com/socamomusa to watch the live chat on Tuesday February 18th at 8:30 PM EST. Participate on Twitter with the hashtag #caribbeanmomswrite! If you miss it, subscribe to the SocaMom youtube channel and watch it any time. - Watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpGodX8zqYIAdd a comment
We just took the kids on their first trip to Trinidad and Tobago, and they are already begging to go back - to stay! This cold weather we are having is certainly not helping me to get the kids to want to stay put.
Khamini Leston, author of " Grandpa Take Me To T&T, a "fun rhyming educational story about a little boy who lives in Brooklyn whose desire is to go to his grandfather's home country," will be chatting with me live on February 20th about her book, and what it means to be Trinidadian mom in America.
Khamini Leston is a 26 year old Trinidadian writer/poet. She has been living in New York since 2008. "Grandpa Take Me T&T" is her first published children's book, released in December 2013. She is currently promoting her book and raising her son Joshua.
Participate on Twitter using the hashtag #TakeMe2TT, talk with us on the Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/416137315188841/) and Google+ event page (https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cqg6i0ab1bhikh9t7ctv9mmcv5g), and watch on Youtube.com/socamomusa.Add a comment
The great folks over at Disney parks have sent some wonderful things for our #DisneySide party. We are ready to show our Disney Side - Caribbean Style! Keep an eye on this page for videos, downloads, and craft tutorials to help you show your Disney Side.
If you are in the DC area, join us for our Disney Side Arts and Crafts Party! Click here for details... DisneySide.Eventbrite.com.
Instant Download - Mickey Mouse/Minnie Mouse Ears TemplateAdd a comment
At the end of every school year, before the school doors could even close, my mother had my brother and me with luggage packed, sunglasses on, and boarding passes in hand, destined to Antigua to stay in my father’s father, Raymond “Power” Stevens. Grandpa Stevens was a pharmacist. He opened up his own pharmacy after of being one of the lead government pharmacists for Antigua until his retirement.
From a kid’s perspective, Grandpa was a cross between a giant and a super hero. He was well over six-feet tall. His super hero uniform: tight high-water, bell-bottom pants, pointy shoes, crooked spectacles, and shirt jackets. His super powers: speed; he drove super fast, especially when we had to go to church, and parked anywhere.he.darn.well. pleased. I mean, anywhere: thanks to his front and back bummer.
His other super power: The yell. From what I remember, he always seemed to be quarreling about something or telling somebody what to do.
He never scared me because I knew he loved me. He would call me his little vagabond and every night, when he came home from the pharmacy, I would help him count all of money that he had earned that day.
Without realizing it, my grandfather became one of my earliest and most influential financial and business mentors. Here are five of the life and money lessons that he instilled in me during my summer visits to Antigua.Add a comment Read more...
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