Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Noerdlinger Syndrome

For those of you outside of NYC, you've probably not heard of Rachel Noerdlinger. Let me give you a little history. Rachel is the chief of staff for the wife of the mayor of NYC. So, here in Gotham city, it's kind of a big deal. And Rachel has a boyfriend, Hassaun. And Hassuan has a rap sheet. Recently, Hassan was in court fighting parking tickets & actually name dropped the First Lady of NYC. Bad move Hassaun. Many in NYC are calling for Rachel to lose her $170K/yr job due to her boyfriend's nefarious behavior.

While I think it is a bit unfair to fire someone over something their partner has done (although the name dropping was waaaayyy outta line Hassaun), I just want to talk to Rachel woman to woman.

Rachel girl. The hell you thinking? You've got a great job, making good money, raising your 17 year old son. The hell you need with Hassaun's ass? Girl, you can do bad all by yourself. 

You see, Rachel suffers from a form of Single Woman's Disease known as Successful & Black aka Noerdlinger Syndrome. You might know others with this condition, namely everyone's favorite mistress, Olivia Pope. (Yes, I know she's a character, just go with it.) These women with Noerdlinger Syndrome are beautiful, intelligent, smart, well respected, educated, and career-oriented but make horrible decisions in men. Specifically, settling for no good, half of, or a piece of a man. 

Noerdlinger Syndrome is very pervasive and the only known cure is kicking that no good, half of, or piece of a man to the curb. While the remedy may seem simple, it's actually very hard to do.  Women with Noerdlinger Syndrome know they should want better for themselves but keep getting pulled into the matrix of their feelings. Well ladies, feelings lie! Ok, that was a bit harsh. But sometimes your feelings will take you to a place your common sense is begging you to stay out of.

Exhibit A: Rachel & Hassaun

Monday, August 25, 2014

Parenting Advice from a Teacher

It's back to school time again!  Time for my annual advice to parents of school age children.  As someone with no children, I feel fully entitled to give parenting advice...because I'm an educator.  I've interacted with hundreds of children and their families and these are the problems I see year after year.

  1. Put the iPads down.  I know it's free babysitting and free entertainment but you know how your eyes feel after staring at a computer screen all day? Why would you do that to your children.  Also, kids these days aren't developing the fine motor skills of children of yesteryear.  Why? Because swiping an iPad left or right doesn't require dexterity.  And they'll need that one day to, oh I dunno, tie their shoes.
  2. Bedtime is important. Putting your children on a routine is paramount.  All kids crave structure.  And, did you know children's bodies require 10-12 hours of sleep? So, this going to bed at 10 PM and waking up at 6 AM nonsense might work for you, but not for them. Also, kids with bags under their eyes are statistically less cute than kids without.
  3. Turn the cell phones off and talk to your kids. Most schools have a NO PHONE ZONE at school and lemme tell you why.  Too often, parents come to pick their kids up from school all with a phone attached to their ears.  They don't speak to or acknowledge the child, the teacher, or anyone else in the building.  Put your cell phone away and spend that quality time with your child.  You can get back on Twitter and talk to your friends at 7 PM, when your kids go to bed. (See what I did there...)
  4. If you feed your kids McDonald's, they will crave McDonald's. Basically, you have to watch what your children eat.  I know parents who make separate meals for all of their children.  Who got time for that? I also know kids who refuse to eat green vegetables but will only eat McDonald's french fries.  As the parent, you set the tone for what your children will and won't eat.
Ok...go forth and have a wonderful school year!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quiz Master

By now, I'm sure you're all familiar with Buzzfeed and it's inane and insane quizzes. Some of the quizzes are fun...some are asinine.  Since I too am fun and asinine, I decided to do a list of Buzzfeed quizzes I'd like to see. 
  • Which Clark sister are you?
  • In which city will you meet your husband?
  • Should you have that piece of cake for dessert?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you look better with long or short hair?
  • Which Dugger are you?
  • Bae or not bae?

What Buzzfeed quiz would you like to see?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

I know chicken pot pie is probably a winter dish but I DO WHAT I WANT!  And I felt like chicken pot pie this weekend.  I decided to make my own, lightened up version.  After all, I'm still on my quest lose approximately 300 pounds.  Anyways, the great thing about this recipe, is you can use whatever you have in your refrigerator or freezer.

Refrigerated biscuits
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - diced and seasoned
1/4 c. Mirepoix (diced carrots, onions, celery)
1 TB butter or olive oil
1 TB flour
1/4 c. chicken stock
1/8 c. milk
Any vegetables you want
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Flatten each refrigerated biscuit and place in bottom of lightly greased ramekin.
2. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
3. On stove top, heat 1 TB butter or olive oil and cook chicken and mirepoix
4. Once chicken is browned and vegetables have caramelized, dust with flour.  Mix until flour is incorporated.
5. Deglaze pan with chicken stock and milk.  Your chicken mixture should be nice and thick.  (If you have any other vegetables you want to incorporate, now is the time.) Season your mixture one more time.
6. Spoon chicken mixture into ramekins with half-baked biscuits.  Place another flattened biscuit on top of chicken pot pie mixture.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Secret

Now that I'm 30 (I'm gonna start all my blog posts like this from now on), I have learned the #1 secret about men. Ladies, throw out your Steve Harvey books, stop reading all those relationship blogs...I know the secret. 

The secret is: A man will wife you/commit to you/marry you when HE is ready. Nothing you can do, say, look like, dress like, or act like is going to speed up this process. 

It doesn't matter if all his friends are married. 
It doesn't matter if you can cook. 
It doesn't matter if you're a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed. 
It doesn't matter if he's 40. 
It doesn't matter what Cosmo says are the Top 1000 ways to get a man.  
It doesn't matter if he loves his momma. 
It doesn't matter if he thinks you're amazing. 

If he ain't ready, he ain't doing it. 

Now that we've cleared that up, let's find that missing plane. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Single Woman's Disease

Single Woman's Disease is the mental condition of being perpetually single while approaching or in your 30s.

How Common is it 
Scholars debate this number, but Single Woman's Disease is said to affect between 30-80% of Black women. Onset is typically after the age of 27.


  • You've been on more bad dates than good dates
  • You haven't been on a date in more than a year
  • Every time you see an engagement, birth, or wedding announcement you want to barf
  • You're parents speculate that you are a lesbian on the low
  • You decide to get another degree since you've got nothing better to do
  • You dip back to your ex 
  • Checking your online dating app is the highlight of your Friday night 
  • You've deduced that you will have to meet your husband on your living room couch, since you don't leave it on the weekends
  • If one more person says "You'll find the right one when you least expect it" you're gonna go AWF!

How is it Diagnosed
If at any time you've been out with your girlfriends and uttered the phrase "N*66as ain't sh*t" ... you've got SWD

How is it Treated
Step into your amazing.  Live your life. Be the woman you always dreamed you would be right now.  Or, you know, that whole Prince Charming thing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Countdown to 30!

So it's my birthday month...15 days til my 30th birthday and I am freaking...out.

I guess I always assumed that by my 30th birthday I'd be a bit more...hmmm...accomplished.  (As I sit here and write this, it's a Saturday night and I'm sitting alone, pants-less, on the couch.)  More accomplished in my personal life and professional life.  I assumed by 30 I would have had a husband, a baby, a Grammy.  I'm 0 for 3.

When I turned 25, I was in the thick of my quarter-life crisis and was all about life changes.  I quit my job as a teacher, moved to NYC, and went into debt started grad school.  As I approach 30, I'm beginning to realize that all I really want is to be...sure. Does that make sense?

So, to all my 30-somethings, what's the one piece of advice you wish someone told you when you turned 30? 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Party harder. Sleep Tomorrow.

Y'all have missed me...I know.  I promise I'm trying to do better.  But it's so hard being fabulous every weekend AND writing a blog. *sigh*

One thing you should know about me is I DO summer.  I'm a summer baby and a teacher, so summer has always equaled freedom.  

Last weekend, my girls and I went to a huge party in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn, while trendy and poppin in the summer, is light years away from me in Harlem.  So going there is always a trek treat.  

When in Brooklyn, you gotta bring your A-game outfit wise.  So, when I saw this t-shirt at H&M, I knew it would be perfect.  The best part about this shirt...I got it from the Men's Department. Ha! 


I thought this shirt perfect described my summer motto.  #PartyHarderSleepTomorrow

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Aight. Y'all made me do it. I can't take it anymore. I can't take people fake caring about issues anymore.

Fake caring is when you tweet or share a tidbit of news and consider yourself an activist for your part in the upcoming revolution.

Lemme just break it down for you:

  • Tweeting about something doesn't raise your social consciousness. 
  • Making a hashtag doesn't mean you are making a change. 
  • Sharing an article on your Facebook wall doesn't mean you are an intellectual.
In this culture of social media, 24-hour scrolling news, and 'just read the headline not the article' philosophers, people have gotten lazy. People aren't actually going out and fighting for a cause, they are sitting on their couch and retweeting their support. 

What if Malcolm X didn't fight for the people, he just tweeted #byanymeansnecessary? What if Huey P. Newton didn't found the Black Panther Party but just retweeted an article about poor Black kids in Oakland? What if instead of voting drives during Freedom Summer, everyone just wore a T-shirt saying Vote or Die? None of those would have been effective. 

I understand the power of social media as evidenced by the uprisings in Egypt & Ukraine. But that wouldn't have worked in the good ol USA; in between the tweets about revolution would have been social commentary about the latest Real Housewives Reunion brawl. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't care about issues. Racism is prevalent; social injustices exist everywhere; the cycle of poverty still grips families for generations.  And the list goes on. But stop TWEETING about it and get off your ass and DO something. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are We?

Three. Dreaded. Words.  (Every guy who just read the title of this post just cringed and exited the browser.)

These three words usually come between the 3-6 month dating mark.  It's the time when women want to define the relationship (DTR) and men want to, well, not.  Okay, maybe it's not as simple as they don't want to DTR, but they're definitely not jumping at the possibility of only dating you for an indefinite amount of time.

There are a couple of reasons why men scurry from this question:

  • They don't want to give up all the women in the world to settle down with one woman.  After all, they  might still have a chance with Rihanna.
  • They like being single and not having to answer to anyone
  • They've heard/seen horror stories from their married friends and are in no rush to walk down that aisle.
  • They're just not that into you. Period.

I know this conversation is a difficult one to have, ladies, but it's necessary.  Otherwise you'll find yourself in an unending situationship with a guy you're head over heels for.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Book Review: The Poisonwood Bible

Before I start, lemme just say this book is thick as hell. Ok. Now we may continue.

Poisonwood Bible is about a family of White missionaries, Southern Baptist holy rollers, living in the Congo in 1960.  It started out reeaaaall slow.  Then picked up in the middle.  The ended reaaalll slow.  An interesting aspect of the book is that the author incorporates historical figures and events into the book.  Since I have a degree in history you would have thought I enjoyed that part but it made the book feel textbook-y at times.

Overall, this book is too thick to have only enjoyed 1/3 of it.  I think you can pass.

Monday, March 24, 2014


I know what you're thinking...overalls? You? They're hot?

And the answers are yes, yes, and yes.

So we finally had a hint of spring in NYC.  It lasted for about 36 hours, but at this point, we'll take what we can get.  My friends and I decided to meet up for brunch (cuz that's what nearly 30 year olds do) and I KNEW I had to debut my overalls.  I know what you're thinking...overalls are for farmers and TLC.  But no, they're so hot for Spring 2014.

I paired my overalls with my favorite black T-shirt and sneaker wedges.

We basically had a mini photo shoot after our brunch.  But who wouldn't when your backdrop is Central Park!

Shout out to my personal photographer Kaligraphy...she's the hottest thing coming outta Brooklyn!

Overalls ~ Ashley Stewart
T-Shirt ~ H&M
Shoes ~ Can't remember

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carmelo Anthony: The Decision

Well sports fans, unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you know that the New York knickerbockers suck. I mean they reaaaally stink. So, I decided to write this blog post to Carmelo Anthony, their star (and virtually only) player. I present, Carmelo Anthony: The Decision.

Chicago Bulls - It's a big city and a good team. He wants a team to himself and hell get it; Derrick Rose hasn't played in 13 years. Check!

LA Lakers - The lights don't shine any brighter than in Los Angeles! Carmelo loves the LA lights but he and Kobe would literally be fighting on the court for the ball. Ok, maybe this is not a good idea after all.

Miami Heat - If LeBron leaves (which is highly doubtful), Melo would try to take his place....but he'd fail miserably! He's no LeBron!! And I feel like D-Wade and Chris Bosh would be like Mean Girls...you can't sit here!

Washington Wizards - He spent his childhood in Maryland so maybe he wants to come back home.  Add him with John Wall and Bradley Beal...this actually sounds like a pretty good team. All that being said, can LaLa and little Kiyan really fulfill their showbiz careers there? Prolly not.

Well ladies and gentleman, the time has come for Carmelo Anthony: The Decision. Carmelo will be taking his talents to............

John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Hey, even they gotta better record than the Knicks. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book Review: Defending Jacob

This book was recommended to me by a co-worker. She said if I loved Gone Girl then I would love Defending Jacob. Well she was pretty much right.

Defending Jacob is about an Assistant District Attorney who is investigating the murder of a teenage boy in his quiet suburban town. Oh, and his son is the accused murderer. You follow the family through the investigation, the trial, and afterward.  While the middle of the book begins to drag a bit, the author does keep you guessing and wondering up until the last few pages, just like my beloved Gone Girl. The book leaves you with quite a bit of unanswered questions but I would definitely add this one to your reading lists. 

Monday, March 3, 2014


I've been wanting to get this one off my chest for a long time.

I think people have been misusing the Lenten season.
Lent is not the time for you to diet.  It's time to remove distractors and refocus on your relationship with God.  Can alcohol be something that is taking away from your relationship with God? Sure.  McDonald's french fries? Ehhh, I dunno.  Not to say that food is not a distractor in your life, but using God as an excuse to cut out chocolate...only to pick it back up 40 days later...what you really learn from that?

Now, there are Lenten fasts in which you could partake.

Go look em up.  

Ok...now I'm done.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spinning Out of Control

In honor of Black History Month, I would like to bring awareness to issues in the Black community.  Today I'd like to shed light on healthy living and working out, especially for Black women.  Well, there is one workout that many Black women don't participate in. No, not yoga.  Spinning. You know why? Cuz the seats are made for women who are not as *clears throat* blessed.

Look, I've tried to do spinning with all this wagon I'm draggin, and it just don't work.  For the first 5 minutes you're fine but the more you get into the workout, the more the seat gets into your...well, you know.

So for Black History Month, I would like to start a petition to expand the size of the seats on spinning machines. I'm taking this one all the way to the White House, to Michelle Obama herself!  I know she feels my pain....

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Curious Case of Marcus Smart

If you haven't heard, Marcus Smart, is a sophomore guard for the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. He also happens to be a projected Top 5 NBA Draft pick for the upcoming 2014-2015 season.  And in a recent game, he was ejected for shoving a fan.  Marcus shoved this after the fan yelled something at him.  Because of this, Marcus was suspended for 3 games by the Big 12.  Never mind that no one knows WHAT this fan said to Marcus.  Never mind that numerous college basketball players throughout the years remember this same 'fan' talking crap.  Never mind that he's never had any other disciplinary issues.  Marcus was culpable.

Three weeks prior to this, Richard Sherman, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks was interviewed by a (White female) sideline reporter after his team advanced to the Superbowl. The reporter asked him a question to which he replied that the wide receiver was wack and that indeed he, Sherman, was the greatest cornerback of all time.  Is it true? Maybe not, but I respect his bravado.  I guess I was the only one. Nevermind that Sherman has a degree from Stanford.  Nevermind that he's a member of a respected Black fraternity. Sherman was crucified in the media for being thuggish and brash.

Both of these incidents happened with young Black men against 'innocent' White people.  I guess the archaic notion of Mandingo isn't as irrelevant as we thought.  Is this the post-racial society we were hoping for?  Where racial microaggressions go unchecked?

Marcus Smart.
       Richard Sherman.
             Trayvon Martin.

All of these young Black men regarded as thugs.

Reacted to disrespectful fan. 
      Pumped up after making play to advance his team to the Superbowl. 
             Wearing a hoodie in the wrong neighborhood. 

Happy Black History Month.

Friday, February 7, 2014


For those of you tired of the bacon recipes, I bring you a pork recipe!  (See what I did there.)

For my Latino friends, pernil is nothing new.  However to my circle of friends and family, pernil was a life-altering addition to our holiday dinner tables.  Pernil is a slow roasted cut of delicious fatty and marbled pork shoulder.  Although the recipe and the cut of meat may look intimidating, it is very easy to make.  And trust me, people will be talking about this dish for years to come.  


1 pork shoulder arm picnic (preferably more than 10 lbs)
1 t. of salt per lb.
1 packet of Sazon
12 minced garlic cloves
3 T. olive oil
3 T. vinegar
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 roasting pan (like what you use for turkeys)

1. Wash your pork shoulder and place skin side up in roasting pan.  Slice 1 inch deep holes all over pork shoulder.

2. In food processor or blender, mix together salt, sazon, garlic cloves, olive oil, vinegar, and oregano.

3. Take your herb mix and lather up that pork shoulder.  Make sure you get the herb mixture deep into the cuts on the pork.

4. Wrap the pork tightly in foil and let it marinate for at least 8 hours. (You can do this up to 2 days.)

5. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 6 hours.

6. Unwrap the foil to expose the skin.  Bake for another hour at 375 degrees to allow the skin to get crispy.

Make sure you serve the pernil in all of it's juices.  Also, if you think it's amazing the first day, it's even better as leftovers.

Seriously, you're GOING to thank me later.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: How to Be Black

What better way to celebrate Black History Month than with a Black reviewing How to Be Black.  This book is satirical and autobiographical.  The satirical part was way better than the autobiographical.  The author is a comedy writer who takes you through the hilarious trials and tribulations of being Black (well, sans slavery and stop and frisk.)

The book is decently funny and a quick read.  It's probably more of a conversation starter than anything else.  Imagine buying this book for your office's annual Christmas gift exchange??  THAT would make the $21.95 totally worth it!

Friday, January 24, 2014


I'm sure many of you have heard the news by now of 14 year old Avonte Oquendo.  Avonte was a young boy with autism who went missing from his Queens, NYC school in early October and a few days ago, his body was discovered in a Queens river.

Y'all know autism has a special place in my heart so news stories like these always make my heart skip a beat.  Some children with autism are wanderers, have little to no fear and do not have the ability to make judgement calls or read social cues.  All of these things combined with some children not having the ability to communicate has the potential for disastrous consequences such as the one that befell Avonte.  But, maybe something could have been done?

When I was teaching students with autism, our local police department partnered with children and families to provide GPS trackers to students.  With Project Lifesaver, children wore GPS trackers on their wrists that looked like bracelets.  In the event that a child went missing, police would be able to find them quickly.  I don't know if a GPS tracker would have saved Avonte's life, but it's certainly time to bring the discussion to the forefront.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Girl, you are BEAUTY-FULL

You might be asking yourself, "Div, were you always this fine?" And my answer would be a resounding "Yes!" I guess it's time I let y'all in on my secret mission: to make the world a more fashionable & confident place; one big girl at a time.

I've been pleasantly plump most of my life, except those first 2 months when I was able to fit into preemie clothes. Being chubby as a 9 year old in dance class is not fun. While everyone else looks cute in their recital costumes, you look like an Italian sausage, waiting to break out of its casing. And being fluffy as a teenager is awkward.  But being a weird looking teenager is a rite of passage!

I say all this to say, everyone has struggled with their weight, self-confidence, and feeling beautiful.  It's up to you whether or not you let that define who you are. Life is too short to feel bad about yourself. Look in the mirror and own what you got. I promise, other people will respond in kind.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Complete vs. Complement

Tom Cruise got it wrong. I mean, besides the whole Scientologist thing.  His famous line from Jerry Maguire was "You Complete Me." He said it to some woman and she swooned and they lived happily ever after.  But, he was wrong.

The problem with looking for someone to complete you is that it implies that you aren't 100% unless this person is in your life.  And that is a problem.  You should be fulfilled in your life, your career, your friends, your family, and your God (sha-tah) without the aid of a significant other.  Besides, why would God bless you with a husband/wife if you aren't a whole person?

Instead, you should look for a life mate who complements you.  No, not compliments (although that is important); your partner should support you, make you better, and make positive additions to your life.  Just like a belt complements a dress or a glass of wine complements a meal; it ain't necessary, but it makes it that much better.

I know dating can sometimes suck, but you've probably been going after the wrong partners.  Change your search from one of completion to complementary.  I think you'll be amazed at what you find.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bird Behavior

You ever meet a girl that's a bird but don't think she a bird?  I like to think of these ladies as Swans on the outside, but Pigeons on the inside.  Basically, they're Swigeons.  Here are the Top Ten ways to tell that you are a Swigeon:

1. You always talk about how bad men are but you're in the club every weekend suckling at the VIP teet?

2. You post pictures of Beyonce & Jay Z and say "I want a love like this." (How you know? Did you give the toast at their wedding?)

3. You use words like conversate in casual conversations but don't know it's wrong?

4. You post pictures of yourself like this?

5. You narrate TV shows on your Facebook/Twitter timeline even tho no one is listening to you?

6. You spell words such as IS and WAS like IZ and WUZ?

7. You've been to one or more NBA All-Star weekend?

8. You only date men who can buy you expensive things/take you to exotic places?

9. You ever taken a selfie and captioned it "bored" even though you're in a full face of makeup?

10. You read this list and STILL don't think you're a swigeon?

Have you done at least 1 thing on this list?  Sorry, you a swigeon, boo.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Review: Where We Belong

This book is like a Lifetime movie: the premise is kinda tired & cliche, but you still sit through the whole two hours. Where We Belong is about a 30-something woman who, in her teens, secretly gave a child up for adoption and now the child comes to find her.  The book was just aight; I wasn't on the edge of my seat the whole time.  I will say the author writes very descriptively and did a good job with character development.

One of my friends told me that another book written by the author was a very good read AND I discovered that the author was a UVA alumnus (WaHOOwa), so I'll give her one more chance.
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