O H M Y H E A R T

a life with style blog

The Pi(e) Maker

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Happy Pi Day!! And how else do you celebrate the world’s most famous number? With pie, of course!!

Friends, family and anyone unlucky enough to have a casual conversation with me about television knows that my most favorite show is Pushing Daisies. I’m still not over it’s untimely demise! One of my favorite parts of the show were the delicious and unusual flavor combinations of the pies offered by Ned, the pie maker. I couldn’t think of a better time to make my favorite inspired by Pushing Daisies Apple with Cheddar Cheese Crust pie! If you need me, I’ll be here watching my favorite show and eating pie for dinner! YOLO!

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recipe can be found here

Well Read|| A Quick Book Review

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These two books ended up on my reading list by accident! I’ve been reading some heavy things lately. And while well written, I needed a break from all of the intense emotions I was feeling as a result. I have been making a more conscious effort to read more books by POC, more specifically WOC, but I haven’t found anything comparable to a beach read by a black female author that interested me. One afternoon I googled “black chick lit” and Jasmine Guillory popped up! I had seen The Wedding Date in Target. I made a metal note to add it to my TBR but somehow in news that would shock no one it never made it to the list(because my memory is non existent!). I picked up both The Wedding Date and The Proposal and got to reading.

I loved them both! I actually finished reading both of them within three days. They are easy reads but that doesn’t mean they are fluff. Both novels feature accomplished, independent and witty black women. I appreciated that Guillory avoided the strong black woman trope by making them vulnerable as well. Both novels also feature interracial relationships and one that we don’t typically see featured- black women with men of different races. In the Wedding Date, the main character, Alexa strikes up a romance with a handsome white doctor, Drew. While, The Proposal focuses on the romance between Nik and Carlos, a swoon worthy latino pediatrician. I liked that the the complications of interracial dating weren’t glossed over. Ms. Guillory deftly crafted stories which touched on issues gentrification, the loss of a parent, abuse, and some of the challenges of being POC in all white spaces with a skilled hand. It never overwhelmed the story or made it feel out of place in the romance. I believe these are going to be series much like Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad(but, you know without the dead bodies). which feature a group of characters instead one main protagonist. The Wedding Date features a romance between Alexa and Drew but the romantic hero in the Proposal, Carlos first appears as Drew’s best friend. In the next book, The Wedding Party, to be released this summer, the story centers around Maddie and Theo. They are both friends of Alexa and had supporting roles in The Wedding Date. I can’t wait to pick it up next!

If you need a light read, a bibliophile palette cleanser of sorts, I highly suggest both of these books!

This or That || Skirted

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I found this skirt while thrifting last summer. I love the pleats and the chiffon. The $4.99 price tag meant my decision to buy and easy one. I wore it a few times mostly with oversized t-shirts and flat sandals. Like most of the country I’ve become a Marie Kondo fan girl and as I was cleaning out my closets I discovered not only does this little skirt spark joy, it’s perfect for early spring and the very first post in a series I’ve been wanting to do! I’m not sure which one I prefer….this or that…


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I added one of my favorite blouses and a mustard colored cardigan. Tights and suede wedge booties complete a look that would be great for anytime I want to feel slightly more put together than my usual jeans and a sweater.

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Going out at night, especially getting dressed up to go out at night, happens rarely these days. On the plus side, if we ever get a babysitter and manage to make it out, I have the perfect outfit to wear.

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Saturdays Are For Coffee

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Cold is not my favorite but I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee. So last Saturday we bundled up and headed to Wyoming Community Coffee!

This charming coffee shop is tucked into one of our favorite Cincinnati neighborhoods! As if the promise of a fantastic latte wasn’t enough, we got to check out the Book Bus while we were there.

The Book Bus is the cutest bookstore on wheels I’ve ever seen! It’s the only mobile bookstore I’ve ever seen but I challenge anyone to to find a cuter one than this!

We settled in for the hour with our delicious drinks- one caramel latte, one london fog and one chocolate milk- and spent some quality time together.

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We will definitely be making more regular visits to this little gem! Cincinnati friends if you are looking for a local cup of coffee, a yummy quick bite and comfortable and cozy atmosphere, check them out!




My Funny Valentine

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Earlier this month I had the brilliant idea of making valentines for Rowan’s class party. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Until last night, the night before the party to make them! Why make things simple when you can procrastinate and stress yourself out?!

With a little Pinterest inspiration and a quick run to the store for the cars, start to finish, these took a little over an hour to complete. I designed and cut them with my Silhouette. I attached the cars to the cardstock with the help of a little double sided tape. The cards didn’t need to have names but I loved the extra touch of printing all of the kiddos names on black cardstock with my white gelly roll pen. I’m so happy with how they turned out and Rowan was beyond excited to hand them out today to all of his classmates!

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Looking for a last minute DIY Valentine? Or getting a headstart for next year! Download here.

February. And, it's lit!

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This year I’ve set 45 books as my reading challenge. Last month I managed to read two books. Not as many as I hoped to finish but I enjoyed both of them!

That being said, I’m ready to dive into my February TBR(to be read)stack! Because this is black history month I’m focusing solely on reading black authors. I’m also broadening my horizon in terms of the kinds of books I’m reading. I tend to favor mysteries, non-fiction and as of late, historical fiction. This month I’ve added two YA novels to my list and one, while not technically science fiction-something I never read- per se, is set in the not so distant future with some sci-fi elements.

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead This novel won a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and was on the NYT best seller list for weeks! It’s also been on my TBR since it debuted in 2016. It twlls the story of Cora, a run away slave from Georgia and reimagines the Underground Railroad as more than a metaphor. It is an actual network of tracks and tunnels where engineers and conductors operate beneath the country’s soil.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi This is a Pride and Prejudice remix! The author balances “cultural identity, class and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic”

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo This one has received much critical praise and is a favorite new release among a lot of my favorite booktubers. A young girl discovers slam poetry as way to understand her mother’s deeply held religious beliefs and as a way to make sense of her own relationship to the world around her.

The Red Queen Dies By Frankie Y Bailey This is set in 2019 and there are pharmacutical advances that offer soldiers the ability to take a pill and erase PTSD. Murder and mayhem ensue as a detective races to make sense of clues linked to Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and the assassination of President Lincoln in order to stop a serial killer.

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke A thriller set in Houston during the 1980. Big oil, racism, politics and of course, murder. I can’t wait to dive into this one!

I’m currently on the wait list at the library for a few more novels authored by black writers and I’m not sure how soon I’ll move up the list. I’m excited to check out some new to me authors!

What are you reading this month? Have you read anything lately that I should add to my list?



Psstttt….join me over at Goodreads



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Art Play on a Snow Day

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Like most of the Midwest, we’ve spent the last week buried under the snow and frigid temperatures dished out by the polar vortex. The snow and lack of school for Rowan was starting to get to all of us a bit. So last Thursday we braved the cold and the ice and headed downtown for some fun. The Contemporary Arts Center has always been a favorite place for us to hang out with Ro but we have an appointment every Thursday that has kept us from going to Art Play the last few months. My husband was on vacation so we rescheduled our appointment to have some impromptu family fun. The fact that Dad got to join us made it extra special!

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During our last visit he was much more of an observer. This trip he had a ball interacting with all of the exhibits.

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After some quality time getting our culture on we headed across the street to one of our favorite restaurants, NADA, for tacos!

One of the things I’m committed to doing this year is journaling. So, when we got home I printed out a few photos of the day and had a little memory journal session.

{worn} Snow Leopard

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Yesterday it was almost 60 degrees. Today it’s not quite 40. So I guess we’re going to do this long gray January thing! Sigh.

Lately, I’ve been craving all of the neutrals. And because I’m a maximalist at heart I pile them on with reckless abandon! There is nothing particularly extraordinary about this outfit. And, during the cold months jeans, a cute sweater and boots-and all of its variations-become my uniform. But, the thing I love most about this look in particular is that it’s the perfect example of mom style on a budget.

The boots are the only relatively expensive thing I’m wearing. They were $120 and are at least 5 years old. I’m fairly certain these were a pre Rowan purchase so that would put them at closer to 6! The chunky and relatively low heel make them manageable for wearing when I’m out with him. At this point the cost per wear is down to a few cents! The cardigan and the jeans were thrifted and totaled $10. I scored the blouse on the Tj Maxx clearance rack for about $6 and the scarf was left behind by one of my daughters when they moved out so it was F R E E!!

Mom-ing is hard! I’m certainly not going to tell any one of us how we should or shouldn’t dress on any given day. My kid is almost 5 and there are still days when managing a shower requires a plan as detailed as a scene in Mission:Impossible. We struggle with taking time for ourselves or spending money on ourselves. This year I’m really focusing on putting together a closet that not only makes me feel good when I can grab a few minutes for myself but is also priced so that when the inevitable peanut butter fingerprints end up on my top I’m not too freaked out about it!

Do you have a winter “uniform”? How has motherhood changed the way you approach getting dressed?

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L I G H T

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And with the stroke of the clock another year begins and we think about all of the things we want to accomplish. Improvements we want to make. People we’d like to become. The older I get, the less likely I am to shit on proclamations of “New Year, New Me!” Perhaps getting old is enough to deal with. Do I really need to add cynic on top of it?!


I’m a champion self saboteur. So I’ve shied away from resolutions in an effort to keep from beating myself up when I inevitably fail. The last two years I’ve chosen a word to be my touchstone for the year. Plot twist: I failed at that too!

And here’s where that sliver of optimism comes into play, I’m trying it again! Unlike the past two years I didn’t struggle or labor over “my word”. It came so easily that I immediately dismissed it. I haven’t become so Suzy Sunshine that I’m not a little suspicious of things that are easy. But, the more I thought about the more i liked it!

My word for 2019 is L I G H T.

light

/līt/

noun

  1. the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

    synonyms:illumination, brightness, luminescence, luminosity, shining, gleaming, gleam, brilliance, radiance, luster, glowing, glow, blaze, glare, dazzle

  2. understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment. synonyms:aspect, angle, slant, approach, interpretation, viewpoint, standpoint, context, hue, complexion 


verb

1.

provide with light or lighting; illuminate.

synonyms:make bright, brighten, illuminate, lighten, throw/cast light on, shine on

adjective

  1. having a considerable or sufficient amount of natural light; not dark.

    "the bedrooms are light and airy"

    synonyms:bright, full of light, well lit, well illuminated, sunny"a light, cheerful room"


The last two years have been heavy. Emotionally draining. Physically exhausting. And it shows. I look back at photos from a few years ago and I see a person with a light in her eyes. A woman who was excited about life and its infinite possibilities. I don’t see that anymore. And, I want that back! I need it! This year I want to reclaim the things that inspired me, that sparked curiosity and self reflection or simply made me happy! I want to lighten myself emotionally by letting go of anger. SO MUCH ANGER. At life, the world, the politics of this country. I want to find a way to work for what I believe in without it consuming me. I want to lighten myself physically. This is the heaviest I’ve been, aside from pregnancy, in a decade. I hate it. It literally drags me down. My emotional health is suffering from it. I want the extra weight gone. But I want to lose it in a way that makes me feel good about myself. I want to be physically strong and capable. The effects of being sedentary are depressing. I have young child and I want to be strong and healthy so I can be better mom for him.

There will be more posts about how I want to apply my word to various aspects of life but for now let’s celebrate surviving the shitstorm that was 2018!

Cheers to 2019! Let’s live in the light!

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Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

The Girl With The Glasses

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Earlier in the year I went to have an eye exam. I was expecting to finally get the news that is another harbinger of middle age…bi-focals. Color me shocked that I was able to hold that one off!

Anyway, a few weeks ago I finally got my act together and ordered my new glasses. Since I discovered I could get stylish and affordable glasses online I cannot remember the last pair I purchased from a regular retailer. Zenni is bae! I’ve flirted with a few other websites but I always end up back where I started. I ordered 3 pair. A new pair of sunnies, a pair to wear around the house, and a new every day pair. Three pair of prescription glasses and shipping was a whopping $75! I couldn’t be happier.

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