Thursday, December 31, 2009

mixing it up






my dad and i began creating bath and spa products together when i was pregnant with my daughter. we started in my grandmother's kitchen, playing around with glycerin and essential oils, shea butter and borax powder. we had some books from the library, and some recipes we had collected from different magazines. we made some lavender soap, and some yummy, lotion-like body cream, and we were so proud of ourselves. we so enjoyed mixing up simple ingredients and making such luxurious and delicious smelling treats that we both began doing our own research on the healing properties of different herbs, oils and other ingredients.



eight years later, we still get excited on the days we get together to create, and we are like excited little children when we open a new shipment of jars, or get to smell some new smells. my dad enjoys it so much that he actually takes the time to put every little bag or jar on the scale to make sure it has the exact amout it should, even though it's not very time-effecient, and EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEEN MEASURED OUT ALREADY.... i tease him all the time about this, but the excitement on his face...it's just too cute, so i just let him do it.



we have created dozens of products, together and seperately, over the years, given them as gifts, sold them to friends and neighbors, at festivals and in stores. we have made many changes over the years, tweaked lots of recipes, added and taken away different flavors, and enjoyed every moment in the process.



my dad has been trying to get me to be more dedicated to creating products all these years. he knew from the day we began that he loved it, and would love to do it full time. i knew i loved it too, but also loved managing art galleries, writing proposals, creating vegan food, being an artist, a jewelry maker, a wife and mother, and a homeschooler. and some other things. while i still enjoy and do all these things and more, i am now ready to focus on neema spa and take it to the next level. FINALLY! (i know that's what my dad is saying)...



my daddy has waited patiently for me to "come around" fine-tuning his skills, creating his own recipes and expanding his knowledge throughout the waiting period. i'm thankful that he didn't give up on me, even though i was all over the place!



so now with this new blog, we'll take you with us on our journey, through our learning process, and into our kitchen lab. enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

little revolutionaries




my 6 year old knows nothing about george washington. could give a damn about christopher columbus. i have not wasted her time (or intelligence) teaching her that watered-down and revised story of "american history," that we've allowed ourselves and our children to be bamboozled with for so many decades.

but ask her who harriet tubman is. ask her who malcom x is. marcus garvey. assata shakur. these are the people that are relevant to our lives and our history, and at this early age, when children are impressionable, and curious, and brilliant...it is imperative that we present them with figures who are proud, powerful, community-oriented, and intelligent.

in the future...when she learns about columbus, she will not hear the far-fetched story about how he sailed his ship to an "unknown" land, and discovered it (and the villages of people who were already on the land). she will know him as one of the many europeans who tricked, trapped, raped and killed millions of afrikan men, women and children.

because that's real.

my children will not have 13 years of bullshit to unlearn...my children will not be brainwashed...confined...lied to...institutionalized, and for that...i give thanks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

STUFFED ZUCCHINI


BEFORE


AFTER

i have been loving my dehydrator lately! my dad gave it to me 2 years ago, and i used it occasionally to dry fruits for teas, and to make live brownies. but lately, i have decided to use it for some of the dishes on my menu, and it is working out great! i am playing around in my kitchen lab...mixing up all kinds of delicious creations...trying hard to restrain from eating every last thing that comes off that dehydrator tray.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

inspired

i have set some challenging goals for myself this week. i am excited about next sundy evening, where i'll sit at my desk with a cup of tea and smile about things i've accomplished.

fast for 30 days
my friend kha'geeyah and i are fasting for 30 days. i am very excited about the fast, and it is definitely needed. i need more discipline in my life, and i want to be in my best shape. i want to cleanse my body of all the mucus forming foods i have been eating: rice, sugar, cheese, soy, etc.

we are doing a raw food fast. i'm so ready to try some of these raw 3-layer cakes and mouth-watering entrees i've been checking out for the past few years on the sunny raw kitchen...

make 10 phone calls/day
inspired by a facebook friend, kamau. he said he will make 120 phone calls this week. i told shared with him my struggle to keep in touch with many of the people i know (business and personal), and that if he makes all those phone calls he will be my HERO.

so i'm inspired. i will simply set a goal, and one action at a time, i will meet that goal. and each time, i will feel one step closer to the me i want to be...

Friday, July 3, 2009

studio surprise







this is the day i spent organizing our studio spaces. tj had been editing on the couch after work for the first couple weeks we lived in the loft, and i'd been working all over the place, as i do anyway.

i spoke to him on the phone in the middle of the day, and he asked me how my day was going, and what i was doing. i told him that i finished MY studio, because i wanted him to be surprised when he got home. he was so excited for me. "that's a big accomplishment, baby, i'm happy for you. i CAN'T WAIT to come home and start working on my studio."

his happiness for me made all the work WELL WORTH IT. i was so excited to see him excited. he came home to see his new space, all ready to fuse beats and samples and lyrics.

Thursday, June 11, 2009



searching the morning silence for answers
tuning in to soundless voices
ask guidance
give thanks

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

a relaxing day








yesterday was so relaxing. i woke up w/ plans to vend at an event, but really felt like just taking it easy before my trip to akron. i know i'm going to be busy there, as usual. i'll be squeezing a a month of meeting and gathering and thrifting into one tiny little week.

tj asked me if i wanted to grill, and i said yes. he washed some dishes and said he was going to get some fish. i went to sip some tea and get my facebook fix. a little while later, i walked into the kitchen, and this brotha had a pot on every eye, foil pans everywhere...cooking like we were having company. greens, green beans, yams, grilled shrimp kabobs, snapper, perch, he was NOT PLAYING AROUND. i assisted a little... i cut the veggies and poured the moscato.

i think he fixed all of this food to comfort himself while i'm gone... or i'd love to think that. the real truth is, though he will miss us, he's looking forward to solitude, which is something we offer each other on a regular basis, by removing the screaming children from the house...only then can work be done and relaxation take place.

and it's really nice to miss someone.

i'm sure he'll zone out in the studio...i'm looking forward to hearing what he creates when i get back. he's been recording with his cousins lately, and i love the song they are working on now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

sista friends






for the last few weeks, i have been meeting with a beautiful group of women on mondays at healthful essence, a caribbean-style vegetarian spot on the west end. this collective of women, the neema sistahood collective, gets together for the purposes of planning community events, providing community services and supporting each other in any way we can.

as women, it is important to have a network like this, and i am very excited about the new friendships and exciting plans we have for the future. we are a collective of mothers, healers, teachers, artists, activists and business owners. you can read more about the collective, and learn about our members and services on our blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

roots to fruits
























i love roots to fruits. it is a homeschol/cultural center that has brilliant beautiful children, delicious live and vegan food, and fun, enriching classes and events. last month we attended the storytime brunch, and next week there will be another one, which we are really looking forward to. the children maintain their own organic garden, and they do all the work. they are so good at explaining how to care for the garden, and why it is so important to grow your own food.

roots to fruits is located in lithonia, and they have a daily childcare and homeschool program, gardening workshops, french classes, and so much more. my children love it, and it is truly a gift to the community.

my little business owners








assata is a little business woman. people (myself included) are so impressed with the way she conducts her business, sweets. she is getting really good at counting her own change, and learning some great communication skills. she also is great at handling rejection, which is the aspect of sales that i hate. "would you like a cookie or brownie? no? okay! have a nice day!" she says it with her cheerful, high-pitched voice, and skips away.

now she's at a point where certain people are waiting for her, and if she skips a day, they're asking," girl, where you been? where's my brownie?"

dhani is the assistant that doesn't really assist. but he's fun to have around! every once in a while he'll take the money and put it in his pocket, or cut paper for the thankyou cards that assata gives clients. for the most part, he likes to be dropped off at the shop with his daddy.

i'm starting a blog that their clients can check out to see the events and experiences that they are supporting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

roaming







sometimes we just like to jump on the bus or the train and go somewhere. we kinda decide along the way. that's why i love atlanta...the transportation system makes it really easy to just roam the city aimlessly, without worrying about driving or parking.

with my children, simple everyday things are an adventure....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

the IKEA trap






we spent the day at IKEA. i absolutely love this store, though it does aMAZE me that once you start, you seem to get lost, trapped even, and it's totally against your will, but you don't put up a fight because everthing makes you say "oooooooooh!" or "i need that," so you grab strategically placed, fairly priced needs and wants along the way, and you gradually forget about your unexpected incarceration.

we had plans to get a potty and a plant, and came out with a few more things, but that was to be expected.

the kids enjoyed measuring the furniture and recording their findings with the measuring tapes, mini pencils and paper that the store has in little stations all throughout the store.