Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Available - Use Me Lord!

 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.   
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:1-8, New King James Version)

God has given us all gifts, and we should humbly use our spiritual gifts to glorify Him. These verses bring to mind one of my favorite songs. This is "Lord I'm Available To You" by Rev. Milton Brunson & The Thompson Community Choir.

I've also included the lyrics, if you would like to sing along.

Verse 1
You gave me my hands to reach out to man,
to show him Your love and Your perfect plan.
You gave me my ears, I can hear Your voice so clear;
I can hear the cries of sinners,
but can I wipe away their tears?

Verse 2
You gave me my voice to speak Your word,
to sing all Your praises to those who never heard;
but with my eyes I can see
a need for more availability,
I've seen hearts that have been broken,
so many people to be free.

Lord, I'm available to You.
My will I give to You,

I'll do what You say do,
use me Lord to show someone the way
and enable me to say,
my storage is empty and I am available to You.

Verse 3
Now I'm giving back to You
all the tools You gave to me
my hands, my ears, my voice, my eyes,
so You can use them as You please.
I have emptied out my cup
so that you can fill me up.
Now I'm free, I just want to be more available to You.


Use me Lord to show someone the way
and enable me to say,
my storage is empty and I am available to You.

I hope enjoy the song as much as I do. Have a blessed weekend.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Twins Can Be Fun!

I think it is so much fun seeing little girls and their dolls dressed alike! It doesn't matter if the outfits are exactly the same, or even if they are the same color. I thought I would post some pictures of my Lil Mama and her dolls. I hope you enjoy them!


Swingtime Serenade

My first Violet Waters doll from the Gene doll line swings into my collection this year. This is Swingtime Serenade by Ashton Drake. She is a beautiful doll and one that I don't feel the need to redress. It's nice being able to find good bargains on eBay.


Common's "Testify" Short Film Music Video

This is one of the songs that I really enjoyed at the concert. The video has some well known actors including Taraji Henson. Here is the longer version of the video:

If you are short on time you can just watch the music portion of the video here:

Let me know what you think!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Great Find in 2009

I had been wanting this little girl for awhile, but U.S. doll stores didn't carry her. I also didn't want to pay high shipping charges if she was sent from overseas. As luck would have it, I was able to find a doll shop in the UK that was selling Nora. The company's name is Nubidollz, and their shipping price wasn't bad. Their website doesn't seem to be functional, otherwise I would share it with you. Here is a link to her ebay store though.

Well the doll is Nora by Ruth Treffeisen. I love everything about this little girl. She is made of vinyl and is absolutely adorable.

I would love for Ruth Treffeisen to make another black doll this size.


You've Already Paid For The Tickets!

This is what my Lil Mama told me this morning when I said I didn't feel like going to Disney On Ice tonight. I try to get tickets at least once a year. They come to the Baltimore area twice a year. I really enjoy it once I get there, but I am tired and don't feel like going. Nobody told Lil Mama to be so smart and to point out that I would be wasting money if I didn't go!

What am I going to do with her?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Organization Is Key To Lots of Activities

This fall Lil Mama is involved in three activities. Awana(a Christ-centered youth program), gymnastics and swimming. All three of these activities were to start upon the return from Hawaii. She has been to two Awana meetings and has earned the right to buy her vest and handbook by reciting John 3:16. We missed the first gymnastics class because there was an accident and I didn't pick up Lil Mama until the start time of the class. Gymnastics is 25 minutes away, so she didn't start that until last week. Swimming started this past weekend....or so I thought. When I looked at the schedule of the class, I had it in my mind that this past weekend was the start date. It didn't matter that the dates didn't coincide with that. So we arrived at swimming at the YMCA. Her old camp counselor was at the front desk and I asked her where did we need to go. She said it doesn't start til next weekend. The light bulb goes on, and I let out a groan. A groan not only because I was there on the wrong day, but because I had gone early to pick Lil Mama up from my sister's where she had spent the night. Lil Mama was not ready to leave and she could have actually stayed there longer. At that point her old counselor said to just go into the class, and that the instructor wouldn't mind. Thank God!! Lil Mama was thrilled that she got a ribbon for completing the class, even though she was only there one day.

After all of that Lil Mama's day was not done. She had to go home and then get ready to go to a Zeta Phi Beta function with my girlfriend and her daughter. My mother told me that Lil Mama has a better social life than I do. LOL!

She may possibly be in four activities for a short time in the spring. Pray for me please!! As you can see organization is certainly needed to keep track of all the activities.


Another Special Doll For 2009

I have always admired Goldie Wilson's dolls from afar. Well at the Philadelphia Black Show this year, I decided to take the plunge. This doll was small enough for me to display without the fear of it getting broken and having to have a curio cabinet for it. She is also wearing my favorite color of pink. Well here she is!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

This is another recipe that I had found on It has become a favorite of both Lil Mama and I. I'll post below the recipe, what changes I normally make.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1/8 cup margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

Here is a link to the recipe.

This is an easy recipe to play around with. I typically don't cube my chicken ahead of time. In fact I normally put frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot. If your chicken is already cleaned, then there is no need to thaw it out. The chicken comes out great. Also, I don't wait to put the soup in. I put it in at the beginning. I use 2 cans of soup though. One can cream of chicken and one can cream of mushroom. If you have extra cans of mushrooms, I would throw that in the beginning too. I also like to throw some extra seasoning in there like garlic powder and pepper. If you have some onions, you can throw that in there as well. You may even want to add a dash or two of worcester sauce. You see how easy it is to get carried away with adding ingredients. At the end I not only put in the cream cheese but also a container of sour cream. The end result is soooooooooo worth it. The reason I throw in the extra can of soup because I LOVE the sauce that this makes. In fact each time I make this, I say I am going to make it without the chicken and just have a nice, rich soup.

I made this dish last night for our dinner this evening. We are going to have it served over fresh whole wheat pasta. This dish is also great over brown rice(I'll share in another blog how to make some yummy brown rice that isn't instant). If you want to cut calories, you can use reduced fat or reduced sodium soups. You can also use the reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream. You can easily make this dish your own with your changes, but I thought I would share how I make it!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bargain Price - Barbie Loves stila Paint Can

These barbie make-up sets were once $40 and are now $13.98 at HSN.

1980 Foxy Doll Palette

2000 Jewel Palette

Don't forget to use ebates, when purchasing them.

I ordered one just to test it out. I'll let you know how I like it once I receive it.


Back to School/Work Music Mondays(posting early)

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" is another old school jam that I love. Of course there are several people that sing this song. I thought I would share four. You let me know which one is your favorite. I may actually test out the poll feature on the website.

#1 Aretha Franklin

#2 Whitney Houston and Cece Winans

#3 Anita Baker

#4 Simon and Garfunkel


Another Favorite For 2009

This is the 2008 Annette Himstedt Club Doll. She is Kleine Leleti. She looks so real, and this is another one that I couldn't stop staring at when I got her. I love her expression since it reminds me of Lil Mama when she tries to give me this "doe eyes," when she is not happy. Can you tell I just love my dolls??


Center of My Joy

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
(1 Peter 1:3-9, New King James Version)

What an awesome thing to know that Jesus Christ died so that we could live. Whenever you are going through trials just remember what Jesus endured for us. We need to be rejoicing in the midst of our trials knowing, that your faith is being tested. What a wonderful way to glorify God by enduring our trials and keeping our faith in Him. I am sharing with you a song that I love by Richard Smallwood. "Center Of My Joy." It is a beautiful song that honors and glorifies God. Enjoy!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, October 23, 2009

We Are on the Move to End Alzheimers

Both my grandmother and great grandmother had alzheimer's. I want to do something to help them find a cure for this terrible disease. Please support me in my efforts as I walk on October 31st. Thanks in advance for your support.


The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I recently watched the first season of this series on DVD. I had to say that I fell in love with the two lead characters played by Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose. The story is based on the book series which I had never heard of. After watching the first series I also plan on reading the books. The story takes place in Botswana, where Jill Scott's character's father dies and she inherits cows. She sells these cows to start a dective agency. She hires Anika Noni Rose's character as her secretary. You feel several different emotions when watching these stories. I can't wait til the second season comes out on DVD.


Waiting For Their Sister

I am waiting for a special doll, and I am hoping to receive her at the end of this year. Here are her sisters. They are ready for her to arrive.

Where oh where could our sister be?
Oh where oh where could she be?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Late Mothers Day Present

My Lil Mama had picked out this doll for me for Mothers Day. Well they kept pushing back her release date and she just arrived. This is the Integrity Toys Basic Edition "Go" by Jason Wu. Pink is one of Lil Mama's favorite colors which is why she chose her.

She has the ability to do bend backwards, so you can pose her a little different than the standard dolls with no articulation. She'll be fun to play with!

Lil Mama couldn't believe she took this long to arrive. Better late than never.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

(picture from

Well not my grandmother's...but somebody's. I figured I would post every now and again, a recipe that I have found and absolutely loved. I passed it on to family and friends and they love it too. I found the recipe at Here it is:

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Here is a link to the recipe.

I generally will add or change things to recipes that I've found, but there was no need with this one. Lil Mama and I even have it for dessert with lots of butter.

Let me know what you think if you try it!


Hard to Choose a Favorite

This has been a good doll year, in that I have received several dolls that I have been smitten with. Anisha by Heidi Plusczok is one of them. She has such a sweet and innocent face that you can't help but be taken by her.

You can check out Heidi's dolls here. I can't wait to see what dolls she has in store for us in 2010.


Thanksgiving Menu

Well it will be that time again in a little over a month. It's usually around this time that I send out a spreadsheet to my family, so people can write in what item they will be responsible for. Our menu can be quite extensive, which is why we need the spreadsheet. We will have a smaller crowd this year, so my suggestion was instead of sending out the list, that if you want it, then you make it. We typically have over 30 people. I thought I would share what our menu looks like. Feel free to share your Thanksgiving menus.

Beef Wellington
2 Turkeys
Whole Fried Chickens
Macaroni & Cheese
Gourmet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes(2 different kinds)
Homeade Stuffing
Stove Top Stuffing
Collard Greens
Turnip Greens
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Candied Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Corn Pudding
Cranberry Sauce
Peas & Rice
Corn Bread
Deviled Eggs
Apple Cobbler
Peach Cobbler
Chess Pie
Grandaddy's Cake
Chocolate Cake
Keylime Cake
Pecan Pie
Cake with 1/2 Coconut 1/2 Chocolate
German Chocolate Cake
Tunnel of Fudge Cake
Pound Cake

I am getting hungry just looking at!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Experiences

This past weekend I attended the Lady Baltimore Doll Show. I was accompanied by my daughter, Lil Mama, and her "little sister," Corey. They have been classmates for the past three years. Lil Mama has been to several doll shows, but this was Corey's first time. The girls were treated like royalty since they happened to be the only kids there. They were each given a doll and Lil Mama also received a bear from a vendor. They also got to load up on lots of candy at the different tables. I even won a door prize!

Both girls were very excited in viewing each table. They would ooooooohhhhhh and ahhhhhhhh each time they saw a doll that they liked. I think Corey's excitement rubbed off on Lil Mama, and they just had a ball together. Corey has told her mother in the past that she needs to have a wall of dolls like I do. Well the day after the show she was still telling her mother that she needed dolls, and talking excitedly about the doll show.

It's a wonderful thing to expose kids to new experiences. They may not love every event you go to, but you never know til you try. So why not try taking your kids or even grandkids to a new place or an event. Whether it's a museum, an off broadway or broadway show, a new park, the lake or beach, or even something as simple as trying a new restaurant. Those experiences will help encourage them to try new things.

Keep trying new things and have fun!


A Breath of Fresh Air

One of the activities I was determined to do while in Hawaii is parasailing. The last time I did it was in the Bahamas, 15 years ago. I enjoyed it so much then, that I wanted to do it at least one more time before my time here on earth was over. Five of my family members participated in the event. My sister, brother and twin nephews all enjoyed the experience. You feel like you are floating on air. It's wonderful to be able to look down and see the beautiful landscapes and scenery. I went up with my brother just so I could have more time in the air. If you've never done it before, I highly recommend it. I plan on trying to parasail at least one more time.

Here is a link to the pictures taken by the man on the boat.

Enjoy life!


"Christmas Time Is Here"

"Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year"

Remember when I talked about getting a doll in the mail, that it feels like Christmas. Well it felt like Christmas the day after I arrived back from Hawaii and received my Aboriginal doll by Wendy Frank. I had a few packages waiting for me and this was the most exciting. The anticipation was great in opening the package, but this doll didn't disappoint. I love her. She is very unique, and is a great addition to my collection. I've named her Janiah.

Here are Janiah's pictures:

She is very nice indeed! I may need at least one more of her dolls. What's a doll collector to do?


No Weapon.....

Isaiah 54:17 (New King James Version) -
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the LORD.

Satan has many weapons that he uses against God's children. Sickness, debt, depression, bad relationships and so on. What God has promised us is that that no matter what Satan uses to attack us, he will not suceed. How awesome is it that we serve such a wonderful God, knowing that He always has our back. He is always there, even in the midst of our troubles. Victory is always on the side of our Heavenly Father.

Just remember when Satan is using those weapons against us, to stand on God's promise. God will always prevail!

Have a blessed day and enjoy Fred Hammond's "No Weapon!"


"Basketball Jones" by E. Lynn Harris

I can't believe it, but I've actually finished another book this month. Of course E. Lynn Harris' books are always a breeze for me to get through because they are so entertaining. Now this book wasn't a five star one for me but four stars. While it was entertaining, it was slightly predictable. If you want a light and easy read though. Check it out.

Now what should I read next?


"The Element of Freedom" by Alicia Keys

Her new album will be out this year on December 1st. Have you heard her new song "Doesn't Mean Anything?" I love it. Check it out!

I look forward to hearing the whole CD.


Monday, October 19, 2009

A Dream Realized

In the world of doll collecting you hear a lot of collectors say I wish I had this doll(fill in the blank), if I only I had the money. It's generally a dream to find the doll at a price we can afford or are willing to pay. Well recently, I was able to fulfill a dream to own a doll by Sarah Niemela. Her dolls were generally not at a price I wanted to pay - too expensive. Well I was able to find one on the secondary market at a reasonable price. This is an one-of-a-kind doll sculpted of polymer clay and her name is Keisha. She actually attaches to a walnut base, but I found her pictures were better without it. She had a little mishap in transit, and her toe was broken. I glued it back on, and the seller is hoping to get a partial refund through the shipping company. Regardless, I am in love with this little girl, and hope to realize more dreams of owning more Sarah Niemela dolls. Here are her pics.

I hope you enjoyed the pics!


Princess Tiana Watch

You can create your own Princess Tiana Watch for your little girls. This is one of the neatest gifts I've seen so far. You can choose the band, the character face(I think from a total of 18), and also have it engraved. My Lil Mama will love this and it will go well with her Princess Tiana birthday theme. Check them out here.

I love these watches.


A Very Special Doll

Once a year I typically try to get a special doll done for my birthday. Well this year was an OOAK by Ping Lau. You can view her work here.

My little girl is around 12 inches tall and wearing my favorite color. She didn't come with shoes, but I found some sandals that would fit her. Another request was that she would be holding a doll. Here are some pictures of her. Can you see any resemblance to my daughter?

I belong to an online doll club called We Love Black Dolls. Our club doll for 2008 just happened to be one from Ping Lau but done in resin. My special girl this year was done in clay. They display really well together. Here is my girl displayed with our club doll Zahara.

Stay tuned to see what my special doll will be for next year. I think I already have in mind what she will be.


"Number Ones"

I've been to a few....okay maybe more than a few concerts. One of the concerts that I rate in my top five was the Velvet Rope Tour by Janet Jackson. I would love to be able to see her live again.

She has a compilation of her number one hits coming out on November 17th. It will be nice being able to have all her great music on one CD. You can pre-order at Amazon.


Prodigyrls Now Available For Pre-Order

Nicole and Janelle are now available for pre-roder at $49.99. Check them out here. Nicole would make a great gift for Lil Mama, since we've pretty much determined that she has asthma. Let me know what you think of them if you decide to pre-order.

Also, make sure you vote for which one will be next here.

Design your own here.


Back to School/Work Music Mondays

Well last week I mentioned one of my father's favorite singers. This week I thought I would post one of the favorite duos of my mother. In fact somebody sang a Carpenters song during my parents wedding. This happens to be one of my favorite Carpenters' songs.



"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole

I heard this song a few times while in Hawaii. I really do enjoy this song. May he R.I.P.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cirque Polynesia

I saw my first Cirque du Soleil(French for Circus of the Sun), Mystère, in Las Vegas earlier this year. I truly enjoyed the show, and had decided, given the opportunity, I would see as many of them as I could. Well the opportunity arose while I was in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. Cirque Polynesia was showing at the Hyatt. While the show was much smaller than the venues in Vegas, the show did not disappoint. I wasn't able to take pictures during the show, but I did take some before and after.

Here is the stage:

Some of the instruments:

Here are some pics after the show. First the cast:

The drummer:

My brother and one of the members of the cast:

Finally a pic of of the MC and me:

It was a great time had by all. Check it out if you get a chance.