What you see, is what you get

I’ve always taken pride in being a solid individual. A solid friend. A solid partner. A solid daughter. A solid sibling. A solid parent. I almost used “real”, but it’s a term used so loosely these days that it’s lost a bit of its je ne sais quoi.

There is so much pretending these days that it’s almost impossible to separate the real from the fake. How many people do you know act one way in one setting but are completely different in another? And you’re like, “sis/bro is that you?”

I used to adjust, and at times suppress the things I loved about myself to fit in. To gain access into the “in” crowd. Please hear me, if at anytime you have to change, adjust, or alter who you are to gain a “seat at the table”, sis, that ain’t your table! The day I stopped trying to change my quirks and the things that made me ME, was the day things began to change. Doors began to open. Opportunities presented themselves.

My unique blueprint looks something like this...I’m very strong willed with a hint of stubborn. I speak fluent sarcasm and don’t mind telling you exactly how I feel. I’m sensitive and passionate about things that matter. I love being black. I love being a woman. I love being a mother. I love being a committed partner. I don’t follow trends, nor do I follow crowds. I have a unique fashion sense, if I like it, I wear it. I’m frugal. I love my grey hair and I don’t dye it, and it’s not because I’m allergic. I’m awkward. I’m an introverted extrovert. I am organized chaos. I’m strong and sometimes I’m weak. I cuss, a lot. I’m somewhat of a freak, depending on the day of the week. I hold grudges (fight me). If it doesn’t interest me, I lose focus. I wear my hair natural because I want to and I love it. I don’t shave during the winter (it keeps me warm). I like sugar in my grits (fight me).

The day we accept individuals for who they are, without judgement is the day we open ourselves up to a whole new world. When it comes to Jazmine, what you see, is what you get!

Until next time…💛

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Tasty Thursday #9

On tonight’s episode of Tasty Thursday….it was a fail! I had a taste for peach cobbler so why not make one. My work day was a bit longer than usual and I got a late start on dinner. I initially had plans on using a different recipe I’d done in the beginning of the week, but life happens.

I had two pre-made deep dish pie crusts. Yeah yeah yeah I know it’s not the peach cobbler homemade crust but by this time I was aiming for peach pie. I had abandoned the peach cobbler idea all together. I had 4 large peaches that I picked up from the farmers market at my job yesterday. They were beautiful and slightly firm. I also know, most peach cobblers use jarred peaches, but I was trying to make this diabetic friendly and avoid a coma.

I noticed when I was peeling the peaches that something was different. They had no smell…odd I thought. So ate a piece and I’ll be damned, they had no taste either. It appeared that they had been previously frozen, but I didn’t care I still wanted it. I sliced them up, threw them in the bowl and started adding flavor. I threw in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, a splash of vanilla, needed some acidity (only had a lime), threw that in too. Threw it in the pie crust. Cut up the second crust and made a lattice. Baked it at 375 until it was golden brown. It smelled amazing!

I pulled it from the stove and it was beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) See below…

I even added cinnamon/sugar on the top.

Before I continue…I made what I call hood tacos for dinner. Ground beef, taco seasoning, crunchy shells, cheese, sour cream, the end. I made the kids my version of Taco Bell’s Mexi-melts and they devoured them. They even asked for more. I made a few more, then made my tacos. I bit into the first one and thought hmmm, something is off (but I ate the entire thing). Started eating the second one and I definitely knew something was off! The damn cheese tasted musty! The doggone cheese was spoiled. I asked the boys did their food tasted off…verbatim “yes, it did” ….I said, “and y’all ate it anyway?” They responded in unison, “yes”. I threw away the tacos I had left because now it was ruined.

But guess who had a peach pie? 🙋🏽‍♀️. I cut into it and put it on my plate. It even had the juice like my daddy’s peach cobbler. I sat down, tasted it, and it tasted like shit! Y’all I was so mad! 1) I ate old ass cheese and 2) nasty ass pie. As I’m typing this I’m hella hungry and now afraid I’m gonna have bubble guts shortly.

Not every Tasty Thursday will be a good one and I’ll be sharing the good and the bad. Tonight I’m taking my L like a champ!

Until next time…💛

Parenting in 2018

Parenting today looks much different from what I experienced growing up. My parents are part of the old school generation. They mirrored what they experienced, while unconsciously repeating patterns.

Parents of yesteryear lived by the “spare the rod spoil the child” philosophy. They also lived by the do as I say, not as I do teaching. Not all, but a large majority. They parented with ego creating resentful children who vowed that they would never raise their children the same way, welcome to New Age Parenting. Just because it worked 50 years ago, doesn’t mean it will work today. The same way some of the old ways still work.

What makes parenting in 2018 different? Simple, the children. It seems as if children of today are born different. It’s as if they have different wiring. There are a few outside factors which I believe influence how parenting today has changed.

1. Too much access…to everything.

2. Two words, SOCIAL MEDIA!

Parenting today requires a different level of discipline and an expert level of overseeing. I’m not a spanker and never have been. Fact is, I’ve never had to, not even when the did unbelievable ish. Not bragging, but there are alternatives. Understand, whoopings don’t always work! Fact: whoopings made me sneaky and rebellious. I learned nothing from being whooped with a belt, other than learning how not to get caught doing wrong.

How I parent in 2018:

Respect ~ I respect my children. Yes parents, you can respect your children and still maintain authority. Choosing to respect you child’s opinions, space, thoughts, feelings and ideas don’t make you any less of a parent.

Follow the Leader~ when parenting I lead by example. I try to always model behavior I want to see them to follow. I don’t require of my children what I don’t do myself. For example; how can I be on them about keeping their room clean and I don’t keep mine clean? How can I demand communication from them but poorly communicate? This is where I differ from several other parents that I know and that’s okay. My kids, my choice.

Discipline ~ I’ve been told that I’m not a huge disciplinarian 🤷🏽‍♀️, however, what I choose works.

Being Real ~ no sugarcoating anything. I talk about everything from politics to sex to drugs to black history to religion. No topic is off limits.

Paying Close Attention ~ there are very few things I miss. I pay attention to words (both spoken and unspoken), looks, body language, sleep habits to name a few.

I Love hard ~ each and everyday iI tell my children I love them. I don’t just tell them, I show them. I hug them. I kiss them. I want them to not only know what love feels like, but what it looks like when it’s genuine.

How do you parent in 2018? What works and what doesn’t? I’d love to know.

Until next time…💛

Today I Wrote My Two Week Notice

I finally did it y’all, I wrote my two week notice. No I haven’t found another job yet, but congratulate me anyway.

Me at work can be best described as Issa Rae’s character, on her YouTube series Awkward Black Girl. If you’ve ever seen the series, then you understand. If you haven’t, go watch it now! Thank me later.

(Photo Cred: Google)

For years I’ve wanted to see what else was out there, but paralyzed by fear and comfort I’ve stayed. Why do most people stay at jobs they don’t really care for? Two words, benefits and a paycheck. We rely on a paycheck as if there is no other way to obtain money. We work as if our job situations are rock solid. We also depend so heavily on something that’s not guaranteed and too often put our faith in the wrong thing.

I’ve applied for other jobs, but in the back of my mind lived doubt. The mind is a powerful manifesting tool. Yes, even your thoughts influence what’s manifested in your life.

Recently, I’ve become more intentional with my thoughts. I’ve written down exactly what I want in a job, from the salary to the scenery. Why? Because, write the vision and make it plain.

What I hear most often, “Girl, do you know where you work?” “You better not leave that job.” “People would trade places in a heartbeat.” Cool. Don’t let people push their fear of the unknown on you. Also, wanting more and wanting change does not = ungrateful.

Me writing my two week notice is another step toward my purpose. It’s part of my faith walk. I’ve decided to abandon comfort, release fear, and embrace growth.

Some things you just outgrow, even jobs.

(Photo Cred: Google)

Until next time…💛

Stress

Decided to change the name of this blog from “Stress- A Silent Killer” to just “Stress”. Reason being, the affects of stress aren’t always silent, but if not dealt with, can kill you.

Stress: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. ~ dictionary.com

I inherited several traits from my mother. My ability to stress like a professional is one of them.

As humans, I don’t care how much you pray, meditate, burn sage, or keep clear quartz in your pockets, experiencing some kind of stress will occur. How you choose to deal with it, is another story.

I discovered very young that my coping mechanism for dealing with stress was nonexistent. As a young teen I coped by drinking and smoking copious amounts of weed, most often alone. Yes, I the Pastor’s daughter was a smoker.

I stressed about everything…

School

Boys

Girls

Not fitting in

Not being black enough

Being pretty

Being too smart

And that was a short list. I learned how to stress, but never how to properly deal.

My inability to properly manage the stress in my life continued into adulthood and began to manifest as physical illness. I began with anxiety. Then panic attacks. Chest pain. Depression. Boils. Stomach issues. Then, in December of 2012, Diabetes. All of these, a result of stress with a side of genetics.

How does stress manifest in your life?

How do you cope with stress when it shows up?

Do you internalize?

Do you binge eat?

Emotional spending?

Sex?

Drinking?

Now that I’m an adult and I’ve learned how to better manage, it still doesn’t make me exempt.

Moment of transparency.

I’m everyone’s go to. I make sure everyone is okay. I’m also a sounding board and my body doesn’t always respond well.

“Stress is often self inflicted” ~ Jaz Recognizing this is the first step.

For several years I’ve had issues with my stomach and because I now recognize, I know that this is how stress shows in in my body.

I’ve made several trips to the Emergency Room only to be told that it’s acid reflux or something they just can’t pinpoint. They pump you full of Tagamet and pain killers then send you on your way. Lately, my stomach issues and flair ups have been more frequent so my doctor suggested an Endoscopy. In addition to learning how to stress like a professional, I also learned how to mask it and wear it like an extravagant accessory.

A few weeks ago I went in for the procedure, where they took tissue samples to be tested for everything from Helicobacter pylori to cancer. Can’t lie, I was terrified. As a parent, what’s the first thing you think about when faced with a possible serious illness? Your children! Well let me put it this way, I do.

I left that appointment groggy and concerned. The doctor called me a few days later to go over everything. Now check this, all of the test were clear. Great news right? No H Pylori and no cancer, but there was a diagnosis. “Huh?” I thought. I was given a diagnosis NOT associated with a disease. Root cause? Stress. My stress was causing symptoms that mimicked a disease that did not exist. You ever had a moment of clarity that brought you back to reality? This was that moment for me. I said to myself, “Girl, get your life together!”

Fact: I am one of the biggest advocates of self care. Positivity. Prayer. Therapy. Meditation. But even with all of that, I am still triggered and still human.

How I’m Coping Today:

• Paying attention to, and recognizing my triggers

• Making modifications to my diet

• Finding outlets that require physical activity

• Saying no to things I don’t want to do

• Not answering my phone when I don’t feel like talking

• Walking away from arguments

That, is my short list. How do you deal with stress? Please share in the comments.

Until next time…💛

Tasty Thursday #8

This Week on Tasty Thursday…ooey gooey Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, because who doesn’t like cinnamon rolls?

In one of my blogs I talk about being a Type 2 diabetic. Here’s the link https://talkingallthatjaz.net/2018/03/20/f-you-diabetes/ Simply put, it sucks. Prior to becoming a diabetic I wasn’t a huge fan of sweets. As soon as they said I was a diabetic I craved every sweet thing I had ever had and never had.

I was gestational diabetic all 4 pregnancies, but sure enough, as soon as I had my kids, I was back to normal. My craving during my 4th pregnancy was Cinnabon. I knew before my test that I was gestational but I couldn’t resist! Those damn things were like crack and I was an addict! I still love them, but can no longer have them. And today, I still believe that there are little Cinnabon fairies holding box fans in front of air vents in every mall around the country, luring every one to their lines to get a taste of their ooey gooey cinnamon rolls. Four words “I REBUKE THEE SATAN!”

Since my sweet list is restricted to the smallest amounts of everything, I searched the internet for a delicious copycat recipe. This recipe in particular was sent to me by my youngest son who told me to make them. The first time I tried them, he made them (with real sugar) of course so all I had was a mere morsel, BUT, it was delicious!…so I did what I do best, modified the recipe to be diabetic friendly.

*Disclaimer: Splenda was used in the making of this recipe. (Yeah yeah I know, not the healthiest choice) but I did use Splenda Naturals, does that count? I mean it has to be healthy if it says natural…Also, no children or small animals were harmed in the cooking process*

Side note: I think I’ve mentioned Splenda at least 5 times in this blog. Sponsor an upcoming video on my vlog @splenda? Holla at your girl.

Back to the recipe. Here’s the YouTube link to the recipe I followed https://youtu.be/tbLQSTL0Vjs.

Watch, make, devour REPEAT.

My modifications to the recipe:

I used Splenda Naturals wherever the recipe used white sugar since it measures cup for cup.

I used the Splenda brown sugar blend where it called for brown sugar *the Splenda brown sugar does not measure cup for cup so read the back of the bag for proper measurements*

For the Icing:

Most icings require powdered sugar. I make “powdered sugar” using the Splenda Naturals and cornstarch. Here’s the link https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/homemade-powdered-sugar-with-splenda-and-glazes-241843. I triple the amount of the recipe, then add room temperature milk until glaze like consistency.

One more time for your drooling pleasure 😋

Happy Baking and Until Next Time…💛

Three Easy Ways To Stay Motivated

Having a hard time staying motivated? I’m going to share three easy ways I stay motivated.

1. Affirmations

I use affirmations as gentle reminders of where to keep my focus! Losing focus is a motivation killer. I have my affirmations written on post it notes that I’ve hung on the wall. I try to read the aloud everyday. Even if I don’t read them aloud, I can see them.

Tip: Post them where you can see them. A wall. A mirror. In the car. You make the rules.

2. Plans not Problems

Problems don’t exist in my world. Yes, I have problems of course, but I choose to look at them in a different lights. I make plans for problems.

Budgeting? Create a plan and make that the focus. I love having a plan, checking things off a list. It makes me feel accomplished and motivates me to work on the next thing.

Parenting? Having a problem getting the kids to bed on time? Getting homework done? Getting them to do chores? (My real life y’all). Make a plan. We actually have a whiteboard where I write chores. Note to self: be more consistent.

Remember, plans not problems! Your results will be your motivation.

3. Podcasts

I listen to podcasts daily. I choose motivational and funny podcast. I listen to them while driving to work, while at work, and on the way home from work. It’s extremely motivating and a great way to start the day!

My favorites at the moment:

• The Potter’s Touch on Lightsource.com

• Ted Talks Daily

• Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

• Jesus and Jollof

How do you stay motivated? Share some of your tips. I’d love to hear them!

Until next time…💛

YouTube Channel?

So, word on the street is people don’t read anymore. Is this true? For years I’ve contemplated starting a YouTube channel but I’ve always found a reason not to. Fear being the biggest reason.

Will people watch?

Will they find me interesting?

Am I too old?

I love YouTube. I actually watch several YouTubers. It’s what I call my guilty pleasure.

Well, I’ve overcome my fear and I’ve created a channel! Here is the direct link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSYnij1EIkgwbNSmb-cgfDQ

Click the link and subscribe! First video will be posted Sunday October 7th! I’m starting off slow. I’ll be posting every Sunday for now. What about my blog you ask? Posting will continue every Tuesday and Thursday on talkingallthatjaz.net unless something happens like an unforeseen medical procedure, hence this blog going up after 9PM…oh, or a Beyonce concert!

Speaking of Beyonce, tune into my Vlog on October 7th where I’ll be sharing my very first Beyonce & Jay-Z concert experience. I’ll also be sharing how me and my son got lost after the concert.

Until next time…💛

Old Wives Tales

Who grew up with superstitious parents? Family members?

Growing up with parents from the south, one from Louisiana and the other from Texas, my parents always had some crazy old wives tales and stories they swore were true! I’m going to share a few I heard growing up! Some from my parents, and some from other people!

Here we go…

1. If you cross your eyes they will get stuck? (I’m not cockeyed yet 👀)

2. Sweeping over someone’s feet will bring them bad luck. (And who knows what to do if it happens? Leave your answer in the comments if you know)

3. Lying an umbrella on the bed is bad luck. (My mama would go crazy!)

4. Raising your hands above your head while pregnant will cause the cord to wrap around the baby’s neck.

5. No fishing on Sunday because you might catch the devil. (To this day, I have never fished on a Sunday! I’m not taking any chances lol)

6. Those little bumps you get on your gums are caused by lying. (As told by my father. He would put salt on them)

7. Eating beans, greens, and cornbread will make you thick. (this one might be true! Just sayin’. Your girl kinda thick out here in these streets! 🤷🏽‍♀️😂)

8. If a group of people hold hands, and the first person sticks scissors in an electrical socket, only the last person will get shocked. (No lie, my daddy told me this when I was young! Who does that? No, I never tried it, hence me being here to tell this story. I almost did though!)

9. Drinking castor oil while pregnant will send you into labor. (Can’t confirm this one. I wasn’t about that life!)

10. You can’t get pregnant while nursing.(Lies lies and more lies)

11. Labor pains feel like cramps (bish where. I legit thought I was dying all four times)

12. Don’t let babies look in mirrors because it will make it hard for them to cut teeth.

13. If someone dies in the house, you must cover the mirrors or caskets will appear. (Umm I didn’t know what it meant but when my granny died in the house,we covered the mirrors, no questions asked)

14. Tickling a baby will make them stutter.

15. You treat burns with butter. (Yes, I know for a fact this is not the proper way to treat a burn. I can’t tell you how many times my granny burned me pressing my hair and slapped butter on it! Umm it was cooking, not cooling!)

16. Black people don’t get sunburned. (Pride, 2009 or 2010, it was unusually hot in San Francisco. I wore a sleeveless dress and sandals…no sunscreen. The next day, I was blistered like a burn victim! My entire forehead peeled smooth off)

17. Hiccups mean you’re growing. (There is no truth here! Fact: I’ve been the same height since 4th grade 🤦🏾‍♀️)

What are some of the old wives tales you heard growing up? I know I’m not the only one! Share in the comments.

Until next time…💛