I cannot lie, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with fam last week on that one day. My dad surprised us by flying into town and we kept dinner small and intimate with my mom, sis, nephew, cousins and a couple family friends. I was invited to a “Feast of Gratitude” [basically a vegan potluck dinner to bring friends together that understand the crock that is Thanksgiving but still want to come together and enjoy some good eats] by a newfound friend here in the A, but you know. Mom. “Traditions.” Family time. Sigh. #sideeye.
I did whip up and deliver some peach cobbler cookies for my friend’s feast, but I would have much rather spent the day binging on documentaries and ordering some pizza in my pajamas.. No human contact would probably have been quite lovely. It was fun, but I’m glad it’s over. Now I’m impatiently waiting for Christmas to pass..
Anyway, my sister told me about this real holiday she discovered on the Black twitter [yea, she’s one of those] and I did a little research on it to find out more so I could share with you all:
Umoja Karamu [Unity Feast] is a holiday that is celebrated the fourth Sunday of November and symbolizes unity within the family, community, nation and race. Umoja Karamu is celebrated through the presentation of food with narratives of African-American historical periods.
The host can read about and serve foods representing those periods. The first period Black people in Africa before slavery represented by black foods like beans or blackberries. Second period Blacks in slavery represented by white foods. Third period Black people after emancipation represented by red foods. Fourth period The Black family’s struggle for liberation represented by green foods. And the fifth period The Black family and hopes for the future presented by orange or foods gold in color.
[read more about it here]
Umoja Kamaru is basically a holiday of our very own that wasn’t birthed from a fairytale, violence, disease, destruction, colonialism or genocide. Just a man who saw a need for his people to just say no to the misgivings of thanksgiving.
Like most holidays or anything truly amerikkkan, we’re usually only included and appreciated if it means spending our hard earned money, the permittance of wool being pulled over our eyes, getting killed or fitting a stereotype. None of that unity or happiness or empowerment or Black pride crap.
With this unity feast, we are not bogarting our way into something that clearly was not made for us. Implementing Umoja Karamu, holidays like it and rebuilding from within would be a great start to something bigger and better than all of us. And now that I think about it, I unknowingly celebrated by participating in another potluck last Sunday at the beautiful Nuba Palace Loft [with our famous vegan peach cobbler cookies in tow, of course]. It was with a fun group of Black vegetarians I’d never met in person, and although sis and I are not vegetarians, we were invited and warmly welcomed. And we fit right in. There were lots of laughs, good food and such a great atmosphere.
If I can’t find myself relaxing on the warm sand of a beach this time of year, I really want to make this a thing. I want to dress in ankara prints and cover my table with a kente cloth and have everyone bring a theme-fitting dish. No talk of a job we hate or neighbor we can’t stand, only real issues that will matter in five to ten years. Maybe a group meditation followed by a game of Scrabble or two. And there must be a drummer and/or guitarist. A little Erykah and incense and dancing. And a palm reader.
Black people do not need the approval of the white community to celebrate our holidays.. and even if those Black people who did not participate this time will think long and hard about not participating on future days. Black people have tremendous power when we act in unison. -Carlos Russell, professor and creator of Black Solidarity Day
We didn’t get anywhere near our kickstarter goal, but when you’re a bawse, you make things happen! Things work out in the end and we’ll still be debuting our all natural desserts at this year’s Simmer Down Picnic in Atlanta! Whoop! I’m geeked. It goes down this Sunday, September 13th at The Arts Exchange from 3-8p. It’s family friendly. Hence the picnic title, bring a blanket, some cash, your boo or/and your crew and be ready to chill. There will be nothing but good music, good eats and good vibes. If you or someone you know will be around, please join us!
the allevents.in description:
We are throwing a picnic! Sunday September 13. 3-8pm at The Arts Exchange
Bring yourself, a blanket and some friends and we have the rest covered! Simmer Down Picnic presented by Chop It Up x Good Hearts Win will be a Summer outdoor experience in creative company!
Free entry! Free entry! Free entry!
95th St Tacos
Two Dough Girls
Well Pressed Juice
*Live Music by:
Nino Augustine & O.P.E Band
Pre-feast bike ride by Clutch BMX and ChillyO! Meeting up at 3pm at the parking lot next to The Sound Table! Short sweet ride for all riders of all types of bikes!
*Clothing Swap hosted by Kiwi Vintage Market x Attic Noise
*Aubrey Astrology offering in-depth birth chart readings
*Food and drinks will be onsite to purchase and it’s free entry!
Sounds bomb to me! If I wasn’t involved, I’d still be going. Anyhoo, I really appreciate all the love I’ve received; if you took the time to even read my previous TDG posts, share our story or donate, you’ve contributed much more than you know; doing something we truly enjoy and sharing our dream is not the easiest undertaking. Advice and encouragement are invaluable so keep it coming!
tweet, gram and fb: twodoughgirls
I kinda hate egg nog. Always have. But as I was complaining about it in a Facebook group, a nice young lady inboxes me a recipe for something similar ..only better! I whipped some up this weekend for a New Year’s party and it came out yummamazing! It was really simple with inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients. I searched for the recipe online but the closest thing I found to it was Coquito [basically egg nog.] So since it doesn’t have an official name in my book, I’m calling it Holiday Cheer. Here’s the recipe:
1 can [15oz] cream of coconut [found with the drink mixes]
1 can [14oz] sweetened condensed milk
1 can [12oz] evaporated milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp vanilla extract
1-2c white rum
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Mix well. I used 1 1/2c rum and it was perfect. Use a little less if you’re a lightweight.
Make it a couple days in advance so the flavors can really set into each other. Give it a couple stirs before pouring because the cinnamon tends to settle at the bottom. It’s best super chilled, so I put mine in the freezer. Or blend with ice for a chunkier texture, like a pina colada. If you fancy huh, garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or crumbled Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
I dub it Holiday Cheer because it does have a similar texture to egg nog, but lacks the thick egginess, if that makes sense?? I think some pumpkin flavor would be a delicious addition too. Anyway, I love it and I’ll be making it around the holidays from now on.
Happy New Year!!
Even though it hasn’t officially began, winter is in full effect across most of the United States. It has no boundaries, reeking havoc on our skin every time we step out into a chilly breeze or return to the toasty comfort of our home. We all know that the mistreatment of dermis can result in tightness, make it appear scale-y and feel rough. I’ve had naturally dry skin for as long as I can remember and now I know what works well for my skin. So I’ll be sharing how to save your skin this winter to keep it soft and supple even when all the elements are against you. Best of all, most the remedies can be performed using ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen:
Put good in, get good out.
Water. It not only helps with digestion and blood flow, but keeps your entire body hydrated, from skin to hair and nails. If you’re not getting enough, it can show up as hair breakage, dull skin and brittle nails. So pay attention since some of these problems may only arise when the seasons change. Pure, plain water is best but if you’re one of those crazies who is not a fan, try adding a lemon wedge or tea or creating your own fruit-infused water. It’s as simple as adding your favorite fruit[s] to your water. You can drink it right away or let it sit overnight for a more flavorful taste.
Good fats also help in maintaining smooth, supple skin. Nosh on some some nuts [or their butter form], pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and add some fatty fish [like salmon or herring], olives, avocados and tofu to your menu. And sweet potatoes are basically a superfood. They contain vitamins A, C and E, help maintain skin elasticity and a ton of other great, yummy benefits! I knew there was a reason sweet potatoes are my favorite!
I don’t often wash my face, but when I do, I like cloths or cleansers by Yes to Carrots.
If you want to save money and experiment, try concocting your own in a cup. Allow 1 tablespoon of quick cooking oatmeal to soak in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Then add 2 tablespoons of honey and heat cup in microwave for about 15 seconds or until warm. Remove & stir. Once mixed, apply all over face and let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. I’ve attempted this facial [once] but it was a bit messy. I don’t know what I did wrong, but oats kept dropping off my face, so it didn’t last but a few seconds. I must say the warmth, smell and texture of the oats and honey was very sweet and soothing.
Another easy method is oil cleansing. It’s easy, fast and effective. Just mix your favorite oils, massage them into your face, and lay a hot towel over your entire face so your pores upon up. Once it cools, use the towel to wipe away the oil and voila! You will be glowing!
Out with the old.
I’ve never tried this trick for exfoliation, but please let me know if/how it works for you: Pour 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of your hand. Add enough lemon juice to make a smooth paste. Apply all over face in circular motions and then rinse with warm water. Pat face dry. [It just sounds a little harsh for my already dry, sometimes sensitive skin!]
For my lips, hands, feet and dry patches, I use granulated sugar and olive oil. I just mix a small amount in my palm, apply and work over the problem areas for 15-30 seconds. Rinse or remove with a wet towel. If your skin is still a little flaky, try again in a day or two; sometimes skin has a few dead layers to shed, so it may take a few attempts.
Moisture is my bff. I use raw shea butter whipped up with oil and fragrance by Jones&Rose. I works wonders for my face and I also like to use it on my feet and elbows. I absolutely love it but I just can’t get with rubbing it all over; the consistency of it is a little too pasty[a little goes a looooooong way] and I prefer more of the smooth, liquidyness of body lotion. Shea Moisture has a great shea butter-infused lotion and Alba Botanica has a delicious moisturizer that I’ve been using for years. [Hey, if it ain’t broke, right??] I’m on a mission, though, to find a less commercial lotion brand that won’t break my bank. [Please share if you know of any!!] Or hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to blog and brag about a lotion potion I whipped up on my own!!
For my lips, I like love Burt’s Bees. I’ve also learned to love raw coconut oil because it keeps my lips hydrated all night. You can easily scoop it into a small tin or container [like this] to take along in your purse or travel bag. Coconut oil has a ton of benefits and many, many other uses too, but I’ll write that book another day.
What I like most about these remedies is that they’re all natural [like 95%!!]; you know exactly what you’re putting in your skin. Plus they’re effective and inexpensive- so simple [and dare I say fun] to do in the privacy of your humble, heated abode.
With thirteen days and twelve shopping days left, Christmas is right around the corner so the heat is on to get those last few gifts in time for the holiday!! I’ve complied a little list of inexpensive, tangible gifts for the girly girls on your Christmas list:
I know jewelry seems like a romantic gift sometimes, but if it’s fun and cute, small and cheap, it will not be taken as such. I promise. Just watch how much you spend! [no diamonds!!] Even if it’s for a coworker, a simple beaded bracelet or a pair of wooden studs are cute, thoughtful tokens that will brighten the girly girl’s holiday. FYI, etsy.com has a ton of adorable pieces for every style.
hot chocolate.. or tea!
A gift set of hot chocolate, coffee or tea is an easy diy project. And they’re easy to snag every and anywhere this time of year. Most girly girls love at least one of the three, so satiate her hot liquid craving this holiday with a handmade or store-bought set. Godiva has an awesome [and, I’m sure, delicious] set of hot cocoa that I wouldn’t mind being gifted to me 🙂
a cool mug, or something like it
If the girl on your list is into hot liquids, support her habit with a cool mug. I got one that was so me for my birthday last year and I love it! She can take it to work or put it to use at home, or both. If she’s not that into mugs and the stuff that goes in them, try a cool paperweight or bookend that can be used as a cute, decorative element in her cubicle or home office. [A shot glass, bottle opener or beer mug fits in this category too, depending on your girl.]
Everyone loves music. It’s a universal form of expression that unites us all. I only recommend this gift if you have an idea of what she likes. Who are her favorite artists? What’s the last concert she went to? You can use this info to create a mix cd or purchase music from an artist that you think she’d love. Or if you know she loves house, look for a Christmas album with a house twist. iTunes money works too.
I know it sounds simple but most girly girls love nail polish! Trust. You can find a ton a sets online and in discount stores like Ross and TJMaxx. Or you can get creative and collect a handful of colors she likes, throw in a nail file, some acetone and an orange stick and boom! It’s a gift set.
Girly girls loooooove scarves and just layering in general. If you’re unsure on which direction to take, just ask her favorite color or stick with a solid that looks wonderful on everyone, like gray or teal, black or white. A scarf is is winning double time by being stylish and keeping her warm.
a tree ornament
What’s this girly girl into? Starbucks? Stilettos? Pink? There are so many tree ornaments to make her feel like they were made just for her. And if she is really into Christmas, she’ll be elated to have a special something to add to her tree this year and years to come.
a gift card
A gift card is the very last resort for a “gift.” Although they are very useful, they don’t any effort or thought, and the thought is what counts, right? But if you are at your absolute wits end trying to figure out what to get this girl who has everything or hates everything you’ve ever given her, a gift card is your saving grace. But you better at least know where she likes to shop if you’re going with a store card.
There is a plethora of of things you can buy for a girly girl, but I’d be careful with scented stuff [like candles, diffusers and body spray] unless you know for sure that she loves that exact smell. And don’t spend too much because you’ll make her feel guilty for spending only $20 on you. Be careful with regifting; us girly girls have a good eye for those kinds of gifts.
I hope this little list helps with your holiday shopping. People can really stress about finding the perfect gift, making it much more difficult than it has to be. Plus, shopping is supposed to be fun! So happy shopping and happy holidays!!
As summer drags on, so does the heat. That’s not much motivation for cooking an elaborate meal, but cooking and eating healthy and light goes beyond sandwiches and salads. Since fish has a plethora of nutrients and benefits, tastes magnifico and cooks fairly quickly, it’s been my go to this summer.
Broiled, baked, [occasionally fried] or sauteed, fish is a great, nutritional main to prepare and pairs well with many different sides. So put it at the top of your list for your next shopping trip and get ready for a quick fix of deliciousness!
[yummy and healthy do go together, nicely]
click below for fast fish recipes from Food & Wine