change is on the horizon

I feel the winds of change blowing.  Can you?

Right now I am on the cusp of a breakthrough that has been years in the making.  
Did you see that word years?  
Yeah, it's been several. 
Several years.  
Waiting, hoping, pondering, crying, praying.  Waiting.  
Some more.

Today I know that this season is coming to a close.  
Yes in just a short spell, this season will change.  Morph.  
Shift and spiral up to the next level.  Greatness lies ahead.

So through the emotional upheaval, the questioning, the joy, sorrow and even the tears, hang on because your exit is just ahead.  These birthing pains can't last much longer... 

Winds of change, blow.  I am ready.

food, folks & fun...

Hey yall!  Still reveling in the joy of the holiday season... and gearing up for the new year! So excited!!! A tad disappointed that we are not riding around on hovercrafts like I thought we would be when I was a little girl... still excited nonetheless!

Today I was thinking about how sweet life is and how grateful I am... for love, joy, my family and friends.  I am also grateful for each one of you.  I cherish your visits, comments and support.  It makes my heart swell and feel a genuine connection to each one of you.  Thank you for cheering me on, laughing with me, crying with me and loving what I do in this corner of the world enough to keep coming back over and over again.  You know we're pretty much besties now, right? Right.  

I do hope your holiday has been full of merryjoylove, good times with the people you love and  delish eats.  The post below is an oldie but goodie that captured the essence of a perfect summer day... It makes me think of all the great things about the holidays.  Enjoy! And please check out a few of my favorite blogs...

Food, folks and fun... Remember that old school McDonald's jingle? 

As I was trying to summarize my feelings on the way home late last night, those four words came to mind.  Then I started singing a bunch of vintage Mickey D's tunes.  

Remember the MoonMan driving the car singing, "It's Mac toniiiiiiiiight!" 

I briefly attempted to sing the song with all the McDonald's food items... "... a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal, tasty golden french fries... and to drink a Coca Cola, diet coke or orange drink..." Lyrically speaking, it was pretty much an epic fail.  Not to worry, lack of lyrics has yet to deter me so I proceeded to have the time of my life humming, singing and making up words.  I was working with a tough crowd though.  No one in the car was moved to join in the reverie.  The driver was giving me the side eye and the other passenger was fast asleep.  I proceeded with my concerto nonetheless...

Now where was I?  

Yes... the plot for the story of yesterday... Food, folks and fun. I decided to rearrange the order of the words.  Even though it doesn't sound as catchy, fun, folks and food would be more apt.  Yesterday was one of those days where all the ingredients meshed perfectly.  You know those sweet memories where everything about every moment is special?  That perfectly describes yesterday. 

An entire day of leisure, good times with friends and fam.  

So fun. So edifying.  So long overdue.  

Swimming til sun drunk, water concerts, noodle cars and bikes, girl talk, guy talk, good eats, carefree conversation, watching kids romp for hours, holding hands, inside jokes, kindred spirits, divine connections, and lots of laughter culminating with fabulous fireworks lighting up the sky.  

I hope your holiday was just as enjoyable and sweet.  

These are a few of my favorite blogs...

1.  Annie's Eats
First of all, Annie is cute as a button.  Literally.  She can throw down in the kitch as evidenced by her delish recipes.  I have tried many of them.  Our favvvvv is this brazilian shrimp soup.  My fam DEVOURS it.  I really appreciate the fact that all her recipes are *truly* all natural, homemade goodness with minimal ingredients that I can actually pronounce.  Her recipes run a balanced gamut from healthy to decadent.  I can get my veggies in and occasionally have a sweet treat.  Annie is also an excellent and detailed teacher.  I've always felt a connection to her... I don't know if it's because my mom's given name is Annie or what, but for me that connection has intensified since we both had a loved one pass away Thanksgiving week of this year...  Do yourself a favor and pop over to her site ASAP!  You'll love Annie and her eats!!! She has her best recipes up for the entire year and it is drool-worthy.  

2.  Meal Planning 101
Another good-eats blog.  I lurve the tag line for this blog: this ain't your boring ol' meat and potatoes kinda meal planning.  My fav thing about this blog:  ethnic food.  Fabbbb Indian food and crock pot friendly recipes that are savory.  Second fav thing about this blog:  weekly menus with a printable grocery list.  Yes, you just read that right.  Weekly menus with a printable grocery list.  With 46 weeks of meal plans, your days of  writing out a grocery list could potentially be over, ya know? Third fav things about this blog, which is really synonymous with my fav thing: Chicken Tikka Masala... my absolute favorite dish of ALL time.  

I hope you find some good eats for your belly!  I'm over here singing the Golden Girls theme about cha because I love ya!!! 

XOXO ♥ Sharita

4 rooms

"There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms: a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”  -Rumer Godden

Isn't that a lovely quote?  I fell for it just as soon as I read it.  To me, it encapsulates all that makes us uniquely human beings.  I have yet to see a tree ponder the absurd heat that we are experiencing weather, taxes, fitness goals or the right to bear arms.  Trees don't seem to worry about going bald each Fall, the circumference of their trunk, old age or the new Maple next door.  No we are the only ones created to encompass aspects of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  In our soul resides the simple and the complex.  (Mostly the simple... because I think we tend to make things too complex at times, but that's another blog post...)  We are part of the Divine paradigm, which (if you will open your heart to it) is really such a beautiful thing.  

Rumer Godden reminds me how important it is to live a balanced life full of simplicity, love, enjoyment, discipline and moderation.  It is so easy to become preoccupied obsessed with managing one aspect of life.  Whether it's extreme workouts and compulsive calorie counting, searching for self esteem through the pursuit of knowledge, acting and reacting like a fool about everything anybody says or does, or operating like a zealot with a list of rules for yourself and others, I have found that attempting to manage (READ: control) one aspect of life is not the way we're supposed to live.  Balance, which is found through maturity and discipline, is key.  In regards to the examples above, balance may mean that exercise and healthy choices are important, yet I can eat cake once in awhile.  It may also mean that I quench my thirst for knowledge without attaching self worth to the pursuit or that I respond rather than react and mind my business (not so much God's or anyone else's...).  

I believe God takes us on an an individual journey towards Balance to give us a glimpse of Paradise.  The route, experience and the expedition itself are designed for us to fully live in the encounters of every day while we nurture our souls and tend to the rooms of our heart.  We are designed to be whole because a fragmented life will not suffice.  You know it and so do I.  So today let's clean house or at very least open the windows to let in some fresh air.  

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies...

Reveling in the joy of the Christmas season.  Love, peace and joy.  Surrounded by friends and family.  Nothing beats spending quality time with the ones you love.  Nothing.  As I look around our den... toys are everywhere, the Cosby Show just finished playing and the people I get to do life with literally bring me joy.  The holidays are a season of togetherness and rest.  A time to take into account what really matters and carry that awareness into the future.  Life is good and I am grateful.  Truly grateful.  

Here is another oldie but goodie post.  You might want to read this post first though... and be sure to check out a few of my favorite bloggers below.  

Now that you have a firm grasp on who you are at home and you've decided whether or not you like what you see, it's time to address your outlook towards change.  Whether or not you  need to make changes in your life right now, it is time to fully embrace the concept of change.  

Seasons change...
Relationships change...
You change...
I change... 

Claudia True's Art      
Change is an inevitable and constant catalyst throughout life.  So the question today is do you willingly embrace or willfully resist change?  Friends, I am learning to willingly embrace  it.  Once upon a time I viewed change as a bad thing; however, I now see that change is a positive, healthy and undeniably dynamic sign of growth.  I am reminded of this truth every time I see a butterfly.  

In the midst of change there are definitely uncomfortable moments and sometimes the process literally hurts; HOWEVER,  on the other side of change, the full beauty of the journey is on display as you are enveloped and forever transformed by the rich experience.  

My encouragement to you today is this: Do not underestimate an opportunity to experience positive change and transformation.  Change is synonymous with freedom. Just when the caterpillar thought it was all over, he became a butterfly.

These are a few of my favorite blogs...

My good friend, Holly's blog about raising girls in today's world.  Topics include healthy relationships, identity, mean girls, media, boys and real stories of moms and teens.  Every blog is a good read.  Her most recent blog about their stocking tradition is my fav.  

2.  Music Nerd Musings
Another good friend's blog.  She talks music, music, music and her posts make me laugh, smile or reminisce every time.  Her current series is entitled December Soul, which makes the musician in me swoon. 

Christmas love and holiday hugs from me to you!!! XOXO

wordle your holiday!

In the final days of the year, I will be re-posting some oldies but goodies AND sharing some of my fav blogs to read.  I'm re-posting this one because I thought it would be fabulous for the memories and meaning surrounding the holiday season.  Let me know if you make a Wordle creation and be sure to see two of my fav blogs below!
Friends!  Have you heard of Wordle?  It's a fabulous, fun online tool that you can use to create word clouds.  Wordle is a very fun way to commemorate a special person or event.  It's is super easy to use, can be used in a variety of ways, and best of all... it's free!  You can use Wordle personally or professionally.  I think it's especially neat to use in a classroom setting!  Today was such a special day for me and my fam that I decided to wordle it!  You can see mine below... What will you wordle?

Wordle: wordle ur day

p.s. Wordle did not pay me to say any of this... I just genuinely love using Wordle.  Holla!  

These are a few of my favorite blogs....

1.  Whatever...  
Meg D is fun & fab, creative and kind... I always find something inspiring over there and I love the reason why she named her blog "Whatever..." (be sure to look at the upper R corner of her home page.)

2.  Bless Your Heart
TonyaRohr (I always say her name as one word) is one fun, funny and classy lady.  She is a culinary genius, trust me.  Girl can throw down in the kitchen!  You can find laughter and good eats on her blog.  AND she's Southern, which = A+ in my book.  

4 more days...

must read monday

I told you last week that I was reading The Resolution for Women, Made to Crave and A Course in Weight Loss.  This past week I leaned heavily on Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst.  It has inspired and challenged me on many levels. I have highlighted and underlined the mess out of this book and I recommend it to like the thousandth power!!!  Right now I am reading Chapter 6.  Here are a few gems from the Introduction and the first two chapters.  

The Introduction is entitled "Finding Your Want To"

Dare to believe that this time will be different.  

I've even asked God if it would be such a terribly difficult thing to swap the molecular structure of Cheez-Its for carrot sticks.  They're both already orange.  (I have so prayed that sort of prayer about cake and salad! LOL)

Excuses always get me nowhere fast, especially when it comes to healthy eating.  

I don't want to spend a lifetime in this cycle.  (I call it the CRAZY cycle!!!)

...spiritual malnutrition.  We feel overweight physically but underweight spiritually.  

... Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.    

I had to ask God to give me the desire to be healthy.  

Chapter 1: What's Really Going On Here?

God made us to crave... the object of our craving was never supposed to be food or other things people find themselves consumed by, such as sex or money or chasing after significance.  

Truth is powerful.  The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we'll be in resisting our temptations.  

Everything is permissible--but not everything is beneficial.  1Corinthians 10:23 ... That thought empowered me to make a beneficial choice rather than wallowing in being deprived or (making) an unhealthy choice.  

Chapter 2: Replacing My Cravings

Really surrender.  

Is it possible that we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?

I used cravings as a prompt to pray.  I craved a lot.  So, I found myself praying a lot.  

Help me, God, to feel satisfied with healthier choices.  

Let me just tell you... Girlfriend is deep.  Deeeeep.  OK?  

In a very loving and beneficial way, she digs up and uncovers all the mess.  She exposes the lies we believe and then comes hard with the truth.  This has been so great for me because like I said... I ain't waiting til January!  I'm gettin er done rite now because I'm all the way in to be my best self in every way possible.  My brother's life inspires me.  

So far the information in this book has been powerful, life changing and pretty much... I'm diggin it!  According to a blurb at, "this book is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan.  Made to Crave is a helpful companion to use alongside whatever healthy eating approach you choose... to help you find the "want to" in how to make healthy lifestyle changes."

Visit for more information about or to purchase el libro.  

Be sweet!


jennifer is a party pooper

Yesterday I ran into a friend (Michelle!) and her darling kiddos at the mall.  I was on a mission to buy lemon scented hand soap and grab Chickfila for Wee Daddy (kiddo of the hubster and me).  Seeing Michelle and her fam = bonus.  Well, it turned out to be a triple bonus day because in addition to seeing Michelle, she hipped me to an AMAZING deal (WOOP WOOP!) ...and I saw another friend (Kristin!) with two of her adorable cutie pies.  

Last night when I went on Kristin's Facebook page to say so glad I saw yall, I saw the most hilarious video.  It made me laugh laugh laugh because I so appreciate languages, idioms, cliches, and all that gets lost in translation when it comes to national culture.  I watched the video and laughed until my side was (painfully) CRAMPING due to laughter.    Then I watched it some more.  

I hope it made you laugh too!

Laughter makes the heart merry!

25 ways to wear a scarf

A few winters ago, my good friend Jai introduced me to the fun-joy-love of wearing a scarf.  At the time, we were both focused on blasting our debt, so we had a tight bugdets that we were following.  Jai happened to come upon the cutest, softest scarves in a variety of designs and colors for the lovely price of five bucks!  At the time, that type of splurge was in the budget so I became her apprentice and she taught me everything she knew about rocking a scarf.  I soaked up her lessons and reveled in scarfdom.  

Just the other day, my friend, Kaysie posted a scarf tutorial on Facebook.  I watched it no less than three times and I was practically drooling the entire time.  Pretty much I was (and still am!) loving this tutorial.  I decided to research the chica in the video giving the lesson.  I found out her name is Wendy (how cute is that?!?!).  Homegirl is a fierce fashionista!  For reals.  Click here to visit her blog: Wendy's Lookbook.  She is a stunna! And when I read her about page, I realized that she is a true beauty (inside and out) with deep deep strength and resilience.  She seems to live her life above the fray, which means she's our sister!  ;)  

Wendy is doing her fashion thang and doin' it well!  She has a YouTube channel and she is also on Twitta! (Twitter) :)  Check her out!  You will love her sweet spirit as well as the material she shares.  Her tutorial below is visually appealing and it inspires me to break out of my conservative scarf-wearing box.  I always always always wear what Wendy calls "the European loop." I will continue to wear the European loop; however, I plan to incorporate these looks in the near future: the decoration, the braid, the hidden knot, the magic trick and the basic loop (I can't resist a sweet loop hahal!)  Check out the video and let me know which looks are your fav!

Be inspired!
Be sweet!

must read monday

Recently I started reading three books that are rocking my world in all the right ways.  I am reading them in tandem, slowly digesting the passages and incorporating the practices into my everyday life.  These are the three books:

The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer*

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Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

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and A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson

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Can you tell what I'm working on, Ladies and Gents?  The battle of the bulge.  Losing my baby weight (finally! Cause my baby is in PreK) and my happy married lady weight.  You know how you get married, you're happy and you put on a few pounds?  Yeah, I'm coming up on a decade of marriage.  Still happy.  It's just time to lose the fat.  Never to find it again!  

It's time for me to delve deeper into healthy eating habits.  Today I said to my good friend, HollyI'm finally facing, delving into, dealing with and kicking the crap out of my food issues.  I'm tired of the crazy cycle that leads to my fat pants!!!  

And with Christmas just around the corner, I do not/cannot/will not/am not in the mood to overindulge (because that always where indulgence leads me), gain 15 pounds and start the foolywank rigmarole of New Year's Resolutions.  I am dealing with the mess starting right now.  

I think my sister-in-law said it best: I'm not waiting till January.

So I do yoga, I shake my booty to Zumba and I deal with the heart of my cravings, desires and needs.  This is a really good thing and like I said, the books have been rocking my world in all the right ways.  So I'm taking notes, enjoying the reading and committing the truths to deep tissue memory.  Pun intended.  LOL!  I will share gems of truth with you as I continue to process through the material.  Hugs XOXO

What are you reading?

*Priscilla Shirer's book is not about weight loss, but it is about resolving to be your best self which flows in the same vein as health/wellness and fitness, ya dig?

an historic day

Recently I entered the 21st century by fully embracing technology and upgrading to a smartphone.  Why did I resist, you ask?  These were my two main reasons:
1.  I didn't want to become one of those people who lives to be on/with/near my phone. 
2. I was resisting the newfangled phone technology bandwagon.  Sometimes I'm old school like that. 
However, I finally realized that my phone just was not working.  My old phone was what I like to call a faux smartphone.  A first glance, it looked like a Blackberry and we all know how deceiving looks can be. Even though my old phone could surf the net, it was nearly impossible to decipher or navigate anything once you were actually on the net and the phone had zero app capabilities.  Basically, I could make calls and text like a champion.  

Here is a mug shot of my previous phone technically known by the name Pantech: 

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Isn't she faux lovely?  

Initially the phone met my needs, but later on as my needs changed, I pretended like the phone was still a good fit.  

One of my great friends from college, affectionately know as Momma Kelley, happened to have the same phone and we howled hysterically when we discovered this during her visit earlier this year.  We laughed at out technological tomfoolery.  

In non-cell phone news, The Star Wars saga came to a close today as Return of the Jedi finished playing not too long ago.  
Those Ewoks are so adorable, aren't they?!?!  I always wanted an Ewok, a koala, a kangaroo and a dolphin.  I'm over everything except the dolphin, really.  With the properly sized pool and a warm climate, I know that I could care for a dolphin in my own backyard.  He would be so loved and we I would swim with him everyday.  The hubster is not on Team Dolphin... yet.

With the finale of this particular Star Wars run, I thought it'd be nice to end with wisdom from the green Grandaddy of all Jedi, Yoda:

Luminous beings are we... You must feel the Force around you.

Do or do not.  There is no try.

Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering. 

Always in motion is the future.  

Death is a natural part of life.  Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.  Mourn them do not.  Miss them do not.  Attachment leads to jealousy.  The shadow of greed, that is.  

Named must your fear be before you can banish it.  

You will only find what you bring in.  

Luke: I can't believe it. 
Yoda: That is why you fail. 

If you choose the quick and easy path, you will become an agent of evil.

Honor life by living.  

Face the truth and choose.  Give off light or darkness.  Be a candle or the night.  Choose!

I sure wish I could interview him for Word with the Wise Wednesday!  

Oh and here's a pic of my new phone, iStella (instead of Estella, get it?!?!):

She's dreamy.  Especially because she only cost me 99 cents!  

Be open to the change that needs to take place in your life.  Today and always... 

...and please share your must-have apps!


home sweet home

It's so good to be home.  Back in my calming, enlightening and rejuvenating comfort zone.

While I thoroughly enjoyed being back East around family and friends, home just has a special vibe that cannot be replicated.  So I am soaking up the pleasure of mi casa today.  Piddling around (country term which means doing nothing), thinking about doing laundry, resting, unpacking very slowly, and putting up Christmas decorations while Star Wars-The Phantom Menace plays in the background. I really like the fight scene with Qui Gon Jinn, Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul.  Makes me wish I had a light saber.  I can see myself flipping, using the force and working my light saber like Obi Wan!  I want a cool Star Wars name too.  Something royal like Princess Leia...  Princess Shar!  Can you come help me wind my hair in two big circles on either side of my head, please? I found some Star Wars Random Name Generators, but their ideas were not as good as Princess Shar LOL!

In continued random news, I discovered my first gray hair. I found two, actually and I'm really excited about em!!!  You know, the whole wiser-better-stronger thing!

Have you heard about 25 Days of Free Holiday Music from Starting December 1st, every day through Christmas, Amazon unveils a new holiday song and you can download it for free!  Click here to check it out.  

Here are a few savory, sweet and hilarious spots from my travels:

Getting my hair cut (6 inches!) and flat ironed:

and then remembering why I rarely ever get my hair flat ironed:

Watching the little ones romp in the very place I romped as a child...  FUN times!

Dunkin' Donut Munchkins (chocolate and blueberry only) :)

Chicken Biscuits from Bojangles.  Bless your heart if you've never had one.  

Visiting with my great Aunt Lucy who is almost 104 years old and sharp as ever!

Eating @Chow Time in Memphis... giggles about the shenanigans between me and my mom

Cheering for my cousin, yelling at the ref and laughing hysterically @high school BB game

Great conversation with my Uncle John

The awesomeness that is Brooke, my sister-in-love

Getting to see my brother perform (singer/songwriter extraordinaire)

The sun shining brightly the day after we buried my brother Josh  

Attending a World Aids Day Awareness Event

The most darling turquoise shoes confiscated from the closet of my mother

Zaxby's vanilla milkshake

Remembering to give thanks each day

Riding home with my husband... that is when I realized that Dorothy had it right.  

Home: there's no place like it.  

Hugs, Love and Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!

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