Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – January Edition 

Happy New Year! I have not been consistent in blogging the past couple years and  I don’t know that there is a particular reason.  I decided in 2017, I wanted to get back to it and will also have some guest bloggers again as in previous years. 

One of the regular monthly blogs I will be posting is from The Simple Woman’s Daybook…where every day is a blank page.

Here is my January edition…
Looking out my window…I see an array of clouds moving beautifully as if they are doing a beautiful ballet. 
I am thinking…Of the historic numbers for the Women’s March in D.C. and the sister marches all over the world that spanned all 7 continents.

I am thankful…For the experience of the Obama presidency.

One of my favorite things…The look my dog, Maliki gives me when he wants cuddle time.

I am creating…A blueprint for my most adventurous year yet!

I am wearing…My favorite cozy slippers. 

I am reading…As it is in Heaven.

I am hoping…Our new president is led by wisdom and the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

I am learning…to accept the things and people I can not change.

In the kitchen…I am making new salads regularly.

In the board room…I am working on launching Phaeth Place EmPOWERment Center in April. 

A favorite link…

A favorite quote…When people show you who they are, believe them.

A moment from my day…Hidden Figures selfie at a photobooth the movie theater.

Closing Notes…I enjoyed writing this blog and using The Simple Woman’s Daybook template. It’a given be the motivation to get back to blogging on a regular basis. Women, I invite you to try this template and enjoy the simplicity of it.



Hello April

April is among us once again. It is my favorite month for a few reasons: It’s my birthday month, it’s my favorite season of spring and it’s harvest time….time to plant!  


I’m expecting this to be and AWESOME April! I have some AWESOME goals that I have set for this month, so I am expecting AWESOME results! 
I love surprises! I love giving and receiving them!  This morning I have spoken things into the atmosphere and am waiting in expectation to be surprised by how many of those things manifest this month. 

These next 30 days…

I am expecting greatness!

I am speaking greatness! 

I am walking in greatness!

I am surrounding myself with greatness! 

I am made in the image of the great!

Giving Thanks For…


This year started off rough health wise, which was a carry over issue from last year and years ago. After much consulting and prayer, I made the decision to have the major surgery of a hysterectomy. It was a 6 week recovery but I am 100% and haven’t felt this way since 2004.  My Doctor, Dr. Scott Hite, was amazing throughout the whole journey. I see him next week for my 6 month check up.   


Just 2 weeks ago, I move 3 blocks away from where I was living.   I loved where I was but it was time for a change.   The new place is an upgrade for less rent. So now I am blessed to see this view every day.


I can’t say enough about family.  Had our largest family reunion on my father’s side this year.  Just about everyone was there, so there was about 60 of us. We committed to getting together every 2 years for this large reunion but on the off years smaller groups would connect. Well 5 of the 6 girls cousins I grew up with connected just this month for the first time as adults and it was so good.



I’ve always been blessed to have incredible friendships in my life.  This year, I’m especially thankful for Suzzette, Terrell, Tina, Lacie and Cathy.



Food is the ultimate gatherer of people.  No matter age, race, gender, economic status, it brings people together.  I’ve had some great memories this year around food. And today, on this Thanksgiving, I hosted dinner at my house with some amazing people.

 Happy Thanksgiving from my home & heart to yours!

Yesterday, I Cried…

…because I was heartbroken at the uprise in Ferguson surrounding the 1 year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.

…because I was really missing my best friend, Anita, that I lost to cancer on January 10, 2003.

…because I long for marriage.

…because I long for motherhood.

…because so many in my inner circle are going through major life challenges.

…because I was deeply hurt by the words of a loved one.

…because I felt overwhelmed with what I’m purposed to do.


…but Today was a new day, a better day and Today…I smiled.

A Stormy Season

Though June is upon us, in Chicago we have been experiencing abnormal weather. It’s been very up and down, cold one day and hot the next! The past couple weeks and week to come, there has been daily downpour of rain and some severe storms. 

The weather outside in many ways has been a metaphor for some storms in my life.   In the past few weeks there has been a whirlwind of events that have affected close people in my life. One of my BFFs lost a stepson, another BFF is coming to terms with the decision to end her marriage, while a very close family member is also dealing with her divorce being finalized.   

2 days ago, our country faced a major trajedy when 9 people were massacred by a gunman who walked into a church bible study in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Like most around the world that have heard this news, I am in shock. I am also angry that we live in a country where people are  being murdered for the mere color of their skin.  There are so many layers to this particular hate crime, but at the end of the day, the family and friends of 9 people have been devastated by a major storm personally, and as a nation, as a black race, we face this storm together.


In the midst of this stormy season, there has been rays of sunshine. I had the honor of coordinating a 50th Birthday celebration for another BFF.  It’s been 3 weeks and she hasn’t stopped thanking me. For me, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing I honored someone and left them feeling like royalty. 

Yeaterday, I had my 6 week post-op appointment and my Dr. gave me a clean bill of health. This has been another ray of sunshine. The physical pain I endured for the past 10 months is gone…for good. 

Storms don’t last always…thank God, but when you’re in the midst of one, it’s scary, especially with the extra factors like lightening and thunder.  The storms in life are the same way…they are momentary and there is always sunshine.


 A Final Goodbye 

2 weeks ago today, I woke up to the dawn of a new day and a final goodbye. The day before, I had undergone major surgery…a hysterectomy.  This was of course a hard and emotional decision to come to after many other treatments had failed.  

As I layed in the hospital bed that day, I was overwhelmed with a range of emotions…

Physically – I felt a sense of emptiness. My uterus and other female organs had been removed.

Emotionally – I was dealing with the loss of what was once a dream…giving birth.

Mentally – I was fighting the thoughts of feeling less than as a woman.

I can’t say enough about the medical team that I had.  From day 1, my Dr. was a gem. 


I also had an incredible nurse, that really went the extra mile.

More than anything though, when you are going through something like this, it is family (blood or inherited) that make all the difference.  


Though, I have 4 more weeks until full physical recovery and who knows how long until the emotional recovery, I’m thankful to be healthy and to be able to fully pursue my purpose.  

Dear Future Valentine,

As this day greeted me, I couldn’t help but greet you, my future Valentine. “How are you greeting this Valentine morning?” As I went about this day, bombarded by Valentine wishes from friends and strangers alike, I imagined what our first Valentine together will be like. When I look down the road to our 10th, 25th Valentine together, I imagine they will be greeted with the same authentic excitement of the first one we will share.

So wherever you may be today, I am holding on to the promise of you. Are you holding on to the promise of me? I believe that we are being prepared for each other and at the perfect time, the seed of faith that has been planted is us will be watered with an outrageous love and will grow into a garden of dreams come true.

Until the Valentine’s Day that I wake up in your arms, know that on this Valentine’s Day…I saw you, I felt you, I am holding on to the promise of you.

My Friend, My Sister, Forever Remembered

12 years ago today, January 10, 2003, my life would forever be changed when my best friend of 10 years took her last breath in her battle with Cancer.

Anita Burden Johnson was the greatest friend you could ask for. She was intelligent, witty, ambitious, resilient, loyal and honest to the core!


The 1 and a half years of her illness taught me so much. Often times, you never know how strong someone is until you are facing a life and death circumstance. I never knew how much fight and backbone she had until I saw her in this battle. He biggest motivation was her 2 year old daughter, Atina, my godchild.


A mother will do all she can for her children. The hardest part was knowing that she would not see Atina and her 16 year old stepdaughter, Brittany, grow up and do amazing things. It was especially hard for her knowing that this would be he 2nd mom that Brittany would lose. The comfort to her and the revelation to me was that I would be able to walk them through the journey of being motherless. Sometimes we question the hardest challenges in our lives and question, “why?” I learned that every major trial and tragedy is to teach me, to strengthen me, to grown me and ultimately, to prepare me to help someone else along the way.


It has been such a blessing to be able to be a steady and constant in the life of Atina and Brittany, now 15 and 28, with Brittany being a mother of two girls.




Life is so very short…so love hard, love without regret, love till the end. If you have 1 person in your lifetime that you can call a true friend, you have been abundantly blessed.

I miss you daily, my dear Anita. You will always be the standard for what true friendship looks and feels like.

What if…everyday was Valentine’s Day?

What if everyday we showed kindness instead of bitterness.

What if everyday we allowed forgiveness to outweigh anger.

What if everyday we chose not to judge by the color of ones skin but by their character

What if everyday we made the decision to let love reign.

What if everyday was Valentine’s Day!


40 years later…miss you, dad.



The saying goes, things get easier over time.  I don’t know that I feel that way today.  I kept saying to myself at the cemetery today thinking, “i can’t believe it’s been 40 years.”

My heart always hurts during the season for those who have lost family around the holidays.  Not that there is ever an ideal time to lose a loved one, but the holidays has an extra sting because suddenly it is not ” the most wonderful time of the year.”

We hold on to the good memories of those we have lost and the impact that they have left on out lives.  Though I don’t have any personal memories of my father, I hold on to the stories that I have been shared from my aunts and uncles.  We only had 2 years together and I have only images from photographs that will forever be imbedded in my heart.

RIP, Dad.  Forever Loved, Forever Missed.





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