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Black History Month: Revisit the Little Girl Who Dressed Like Historic Black Women

Because we’re in the middle of Black History month, now is a great time to revisit this creative photo series that Seattle mom Cristi Smith-Jones shared on Twitter and Facebook of her daughter Lola dressed up as a different famous black woman.

The photos, taken by her friend Kayleigh Stefanko started when Lola came home from school after a classroom discussion on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the January of that year.

“She seemed to understand where we were coming from,” Cristi told CNN, then added: “Since it’s a heavy topic, we wanted to find a way to make learning about black history fun for her.”

Smith-Jones took an epic and extreme cool approach by coming up with a list of historic women and allowing her daughter to pick which ones to dress up as, complete with expressive wigs, head wraps and suits.

This  year, Smith-Jones promises something more but has since been sharing information on other hidden figures and not so famous figures in black history. Check it out on her account HERE!

 

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Court: Woman Can’t Use, Must Donate Her Fertilized Embryos After Divorce

An Arizona woman cannot use frozen embryos fertilized by her ex-husband to have children and has to donate them, according to a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.

Ruby Torres had her eggs fertilized before undergoing cancer treatment in 2014, court documents say. At the time, she and her then-boyfriend, John Joseph Terrell, signed an agreement at the fertility clinic that said if they split up the embryos could either be donated to another couple or used by one of them to have children — but only with the “express, written consent of both parties.”

The couple married days later and underwent in vitro fertilization, court documents state. The viable embryos were frozen and stored away. Torres’ chemotherapy caused a “significant drop in her reproductive function,” the documents say.

They divorced in 2017, kicking off a court battle. On one side is Torres, who wants to keep the embryos. On the other is Terrell, who doesn’t want to father any children with his ex-wife and wants the embryos to be donated.

A family court initially ruled in Terrell’s favor, saying his “right to not be compelled to be a parent outweighs (Torres’) right to procreate and desire to have a biologically related child.” An appeals court then overturned the family court’s decision and ruled in Torres’ favor.

In its ruling Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court pointed to the contract and the condition that said the embryos “cannot be used to produce pregnancy against the wishes of the partner.”

The court said it was “cognizant of the unavoidable emotional fallout” that could come from the decision. But because the couple couldn’t come to an agreement, the court said, under the contract, “the court could only direct donation of the embryos.”

“These are extremely difficult and emotional issues, so it’s best for couples to make decisions ahead of time,” and that was what happened in this case, said Eric M. Fraser, Terrell’s attorney, in a statement to CNN.

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Inside Malika Haqq’s Bear-Themed Baby Shower {PHOTOS}

Malika Haqq baby shower collage

Malika Haqq baby shower collage

Entrepreneur and Reality Tv star Khloe Kardashian threw a lavish neutral-colored bear themed baby shower for her BFF, actress and model Malika Haqq, over the weekend.

The event was held at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss organized the luxe celebration.

The mom-to-be wore a muted strappy floor length fish tail, bump-hugging jersey dress with her hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail and subtle and soft makeup.

Guests included family and friends and fellow celebs like Kylie Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Tamar Braxton, Don’t Be Tardy’s Brielle Biermann and her mom Kim Zolciak-Biermann and others. Haqq’s twin sister Khadijah Haqq was also on hand.

Attendees were treated to goodies like sweet honey tea in adorable bear jars,petite pastries, a multi-tiered cake  and cereal because according to Khloe in an insta story video, Malika craved cereal for most of her pregnancy.

They also played typical baby shower games like the “can’t say ‘baby’” game, the guess Malika’s baby belly girth and the guess the baby’s delivery date and guess the number of cookies in the jar game.

They went home with cute favors like baby bottle shaped bottle openers.

Malika is expecting a baby boy, the first child with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, rapper O.T. Genasis.

“A BEARy beautiful Baby Shower!!” Khloe captioned a series of photos of the event. “I have been planning Malika’s baby shower in my head for quite some time. Malika was very specific with not wanting color. So this was the only color we were able to get away with LOL It turned out beautifully!”

Everyone wore brown, white and other muted and neutral colors to the event to accommodate Malika’s request.

“I could not thank @mindyweiss @andrew_mindyweiss @jeffleatham enough!!” Khloe added thanking the event planning staff. “I know I’m a lot at times because I’m so specific and I love to micro manage but you guys always go over the top. You surpass any dream that I have ever conjured up in my head as to how I want something to look. Every time I am WOWED by your work and perfection! Thank you guys for being the best! You literally are my dream team! Thank to everyone who helped put this spectacular shower together!”

Here are some videos and photos of the fun event that the  host, guests and vendors posted on their respective social media pages



 

Valentine’s Day Meal Deals for Couples and Singles



Valentine’s Day
is one week away and if you still haven’t made plans, you can take advantage of some deals out there that won’t break the bank and keep more of your coins in your pocket.

Here’s a rundown of a bunch of deals from big chain restaurants . . .

1. Chick-fil-A is selling an entire Valentine’s Day dinner with 30 nuggets, six chocolate chunk cookies, and 10 Chick-N-Minis, all served in heart-shaped tins.

The offer is good the entire month of February, or while supplies last.

2. Hooters is bringing back the “Shred Your Ex” promotion this year.

Destroy a photo of your ex either in theue restaurant or on its website and get a BIGO coupon for 10 free boneless wings when you buy 10 wings.

3. Qdoba is also reviving its “Qdoba for a Kiss”dealwhich gets you a free entrée when you buy and share a kiss with someone on Valentine’s Day.

And if you’re single it still works . . . kissing your dog or even a photo on your phone counts.

4. Olive Garden. has a deal for those who want to avoid the hassle of going to a restaurant next weekend. Olive Garden is offering a three-course meal called the Valentine’s Day ToGo Dinner for Two.

 It comes with soup or salad, dipping sauce for breadsticks, a sharable entree, and a dessert, starting at $35.

And you can get a breadstick bouquet too.

5. California Pizza Kitchen is also doing a $35 dinner-for-two promo as well.

And you can also get a heart shaped pizza for no additional charge for that special crust.

You can also take advantage of its buy one pizza get a gift card for one pizza on a return visit deal.

6. Burger King will give you a free Whopper just for bringing in a photo of your ex to stuff in a box.

How to Host (Or Enjoy) a Parents Night Out: Valentine’s Day Edition

couples wearing wedding ringsout at date night

There is nothing like having your spouse lose his wedding ring while on vacation. We’d go out to bars on the weekend and young women would hit on him the minute I was out his sight, perhaps because he wouldn’t have a ring on.

Frustrating! A replacement has been ordered and in the meantime, we’re preparing to enjoy this upcoming Valentine’s Day at a Parents Night Out event.

What is “Parents Night Out”: It’s an organized day or nighttime event usually among parents in one social circle, neighborhood block, or your church, civic or other local community organized  which hosts a social event for kids and allow the parents to drop off the kids and have an adult day (or night) out alone.

The day care center I used to send my kids to when they were younger had such an event each quarter.

It’s perfect for young families, new parents and for those who do not live near extended family who can give them a break and let them get out alone once in awhile.

If you’ve ever gone to a movie theater and seen a couple with a baby, toddler or young child at night,  you know the importance of these events like these. They are also sometimes cheaper than a baby sitter.

Right now, if you Google the term “Parents Night out near me ” {<—Click this link}, you’ll get a listing of local events near you to sign up for and ideally, there may still be one available for Valentine’s Day for you and  your significant other to partake in.

And if you love the idea and would like to host one for the parents in your circle or community, here are the steps to get it done:

Step one: pick a theme: Movie Night, Arts and Crafts, Paint party, game night;

Step two: pick a venue: host it at the home of someone with a large basement, a church community room, a civic hall;

Step three: ascertain the cost of purchasing food, supplies, renting space;

Step three: determine how many couples would need to say yes to offset the cost of the supplies and select a price;

Step four: send out invitations or make informal calls, decide a modest fee for the event per child, then collect payment via Venmo, Paypal, Stripe or Zelle;

Step five: hire local teens or solicit some to get school volunteer hours to be chaperone;

Step six: confirm attendees and create an emergency contact sheet with allergy info, doctor’s number, insurance info, permission to administer medicine or transport in case of emergency and send out form to parents;

Step seven: On night of, decorate, set up and accept kids;

Step eight: If you are not going out and on the team to host the night, enjoy the fun with the children participating.

If you are like me, who would likely be the one doing the dropping off of my teens to help out,  and head out with with your husband to the movies, dinner and dancing.

Also, if you’re me and have grown frustrated with your spouse going out at social events without his wedding ring, you will be excited to see him wear the gorgeous Infinity wedding ring you got him from AU-Rate to replace the one lost or stolen last Christmas season and enjoy the fact he won’t be hit on by all the hot young girls looking for a sugar daddy at the bar. ha!

However, you do it! Enjoy the night out!

This post was published in partnership with Nakturnal but all content and opinion are mine.

The Best And Worst Super Bowl Cities

Tonight is Super Bowl LIV.

HPersonal finance website WalletHub recently released its report on 2020’s Best & Worst Cities for Football Fans.

To determine the best places for loving on America’s favorite sport, WalletHub compared more than 240 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional football team based on 21 key metrics.

The data set ranges from number of NFL and college football teams to average ticket prices.

Best Cities for Football Fans Worst Cities for Football Fans
1. Pittsburgh, PA 236. El Paso, TX
2. Boston, MA 237. Lawrence, KS
3. Dallas, TX 238. Louisville, KY
4. Green Bay, WI 239. New Britain, CT
5. New York, NY 240. Columbia, SC
6. New Orleans, LA 241. Ithaca, NY
7. Miami, FL 242. Davidson, NC
8. San Francisco, CA 243. Providence, RI
9. Philadelphia, PA 244. Valparaiso, IN
10. Oakland, CA 245. Brookville, NY

Here is the breakdown:

Best vs. Worst

  • The New Orleans Saints’ performance level, 77.10 percent, is 3.1 times better than the New York Giants’ 25.00 percent.
  • Dallas has the highest NFL team popularity ranking, 1st, while Kansas has the lowest at 31st.
  • Buffalo, New York, has the lowest average ticket price for an NFL game, $71.08, which is two times less expensive than in Los Angeles, the city with the highest at $141.93.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-football-fans/9691/

Ciara and Russell Wilson are Expecting Another Child



Ciara
announced that she is expecting her third child!

On Thursday, the “Level Up” singer posted a photo of herself in Turks and Caicos sporting a large baby bump with the  caption, “Number 3.”

View this post on Instagram

Number 3. 📸: @DangeRussWilson

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

Congrats!

This will be the singer’s second child with her husband NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson.

The football star shared his own version of the photo from a selfie perspective and the same caption.

View this post on Instagram

Number 3. @Ciara

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

She gave birth to their first daughter Sienna in 2017 and has a 5-year-old son Future from a previous relationship with Hip Hop artist Future.

Congrats!

Trump’s New Policies Target Pregnant Women from Non European Nations

The Trump Administration has instituted a new policy that essentially instructs airlines to assume heavily pregnant women from mainly non-European nations are coming to the US for the purpose of giving  birth and having a US citizen child, according to a new policy directive from the US State Department.

It also appears that airlines that fly into the United States are being threatened with a fine for allowing inadmissible people on flights to America.

According to unclassified but not yet public State Department cables obtained by media outlets, US  consular offices abroad to demand women meet the burden  of proving they are not traveling to America to have a baby.

Only women who provide additional evidence to rebut that presumption they are going to the US to give birth will be granted visas to travel here.

The new policy applies to B1/B2 visas, which are for tourism and business travel.

Recall that last November, a Japanese woman who airline workers thought looked pregnant was prohibited from boarding a plane in Hong Kong to a US property land until she took a pregnancy test.

The policy is to head off “birth tourism” and a belief that citizens of other nations are using babies to anchor themselves to the US.

The pejorative and highly divisive terms “anchor babies” and “chain migration” come to mind.

The former refers to the knowledge that a baby born on US soil is a US Citizen, under the US Constitution, and the latter term refers to the concept that said baby could later petition his or her non-citizen parents, who, when they become a citizen, can then later file and get other foreign  relatives to join them in America and eventually be permanent residents or citizens themselves.

Hence the term “chain” migration.

There is a fear among “nativists” that the growing diversity and multiculturalism or  “browning of America” over the years is due partially to chain migration by immigrants from Asian, African, South and Central American countries.

The policy seems to anchor on this fear.

Consider the fact that the new policy only applies to B-visas, therefore, the 22 visa waiver countries, whose citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit, and who are also more often North European and wealthy, are not to be screened.

Nations that do not require Visas to visit the US

If the concern really was about birth tourism, there should be a policy to stop any and all foreign pregnant women not just those from non European and a few Asian nations (South Korea, Singapore and Japan) and one South American country (Chile).

On the fear of “anchor babies” from brown and black nations, there is a flaw because a baby cannot petition for a parent until that baby grows to be 21-years old.

Therefore, the process of anchoring oneself to the US via a baby is a long and arduous one that would take decades.

It is easier for an adult like First Lady Melania Trump to have gotten US Citizenship to her parents following Melania’s marriage and naturalization via her husband Donald J. Trump than a baby born in America to foreign parentage today.

The new policy opens the door for racial profiling on the level seen before in the past when a lawsuit claimed that consular  officers used racial and economic profiling to refuse visas, asserting  that an applicant “looks poor,” as well as “talks poor” and “looks scary,” and on this basis alone would deny a visa applicant

The lawsuit revealed that consular officers regularly engaged in “gut assessments” when denying visas. They made a subjective judgment about applicants based on their appearance, employing letters to indicate their findings.

Finally, as New England Law professor Dina Francesca Hayne writes in a recent opinion piece in The Hill, the new policy targets one gender, women and subjects them to heightened scrutiny, and potential embarrassment and possible harassment.

Hayne writes:

A male visa holder would never bear this burden; even though, as was proven by the story leading off this opinion piece, it is apparently easy to guess incorrectly about whether or not a woman is pregnant.

One of the first rules of etiquette is to never ask a woman if she is pregnant, because the likelihood of being wrong is both so high, and so traumatizing, as the Japanese woman at the outset of this piece stated.

Troubling.

Work Ethic is Hard to Teach So Let’s Try Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’

I am a novice basketball fan and know the game well and vaguely follow the NBA and college basketball (moreso during March Madness) but like a lot of people, I am deeply moved and saddened over the recent passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash with his 13-year old daughter Gianna and 7 others.

Today, there are moving tributes in social and traditional media.

TNT‘s NBA on TNT has an excellent one airing that my husband watched last night and urged me to do the same.

I am struggling with it because each video, image and tweet devastate me even more. The extreme visceral reaction from a lot of us who never knew him personally says something about a person, you know, that even casual observers can be so affected by their loss.

While Bryant is probably best known for his records and uber competitive spirit, the one thing that I, personally, admired Bryant for was his very strong work ethic which is the basis for his success and ability to be on top.

When you can, head over to Business Insider and read a recent article about 24 examples of Bryant’s impeccable work ethic HERE!

As a parent and parenting blogger and expert, I am always working on, reading about and discussing the challenge teaching  work ethic to children.

It is my opinion that either you have that drive to succeed and complete any task presented to you (be in in school, on the field, in work or wherever)  or you do not.

Some kids will assess a goal and put in the work to get it done, with varying level of tenacity and some will not, unless pushed, bribed, cajoled or directed to with painstaking detail and instructions. Those in the latter group do not necessarily have strong work ethic.

I’ve long believed that  those in the category that some parents may call “lazy” have to be drilled and drilled until the method of accomplishing a task becomes a habit.

At that point, they will finally be able handle the task automatically.

Examples include the process of undertaking the precise steps to craft a well-researched term paper, or execute an Algebraic equation or increase execution of a skill or athletic drill.

With habit and repeated action, the task eventually will become second nature.

The problem with this method is that there is a risk that the child will not necessarily know how to readjust and create similar formula for another task on their own, or in college or at work, when there is not a parent, coach or other adult figure in their lives to show and guide them.

Like I said, it’s one of my most difficult challenges as a parent.

We just have to keep experimenting and trying like this morning, motivated by the stories he heard from Bryant’s coaches, mentors, fellow players and friends my husband called our two boys to the dining room to explain that although Kobe Bryant was already excellent and one of the greatest NBA players around, he still worked harder and trained more than his co-horts at the top.

We are working on getting our boys especially to try harder at the things they are not good at, using Kobe Bryant’s work ethic as an example.

I hope it sinks in, but even if it doesn’t I hope they still can still have the Bryant benchmark in mind as they move forward in school, work and life.

 

Baby Bumps at Grammy Night When Moms Got Shut Out

Other than Beyonce who was nominated in but did not win two  Grammy Awards categories (Best Solo Pop Son for “Spirit” and “Best Pop Vocal Album” for “The Lion King)  moms got shut out of awards Sunday night.

But a couple of bumps did show up on the Red Carpet.

Australian model Nicole Trufino arrived in an elegant black gown to root on her husband Gary Clark Jr who won Best Rock, Best Rock Performance and Best Contemporary Blues Album.

The couple have two children with 5-year old son  Zion and 1-year old daughter Gia.

She announced she was expecting her third child in the October 2019 issue of Elle Australia and is due to give birth any day now.

Meanwhile, 3rd-time mom-to-be, accountability coach and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp attended Steven Tyler‘s annual Grammy watch party with her husband Edwin Arroyava.

First-time mom-to-be Marren Morris skipped the pomp and circumstance alogether selecting instead to babymoon with her husband at the lake.

She captioned the post on her Instagram feed, “Back at the farm. #babymoon 🌙.”

The singer was nominated Sunday evening for best country duo/group performance with fellow Highwomen band member Brandi Carlile. (Dan + Shay took home the honor.) Morris previously won a Grammy for best country solo performance for “My Church” in 2017, and performed at last year’s awards show.