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#MotownMom: It’s time to work on brotherhood (YOUR STORIES ARE REQUESTED!)

There are 323.8 million people in the United States. Does it surprise you that 47% of Americans feel like strangers in their own country? My guess is that if you’re an American, you’re not surprised.

Americans aren’t known for taking vacations generally because they don’t get much vacation time, or even expect it for that matter. Americans do, however, create “exit plans” usually every 4 – 8 years around every presidential election.

We show indifference, frustration, and a lack of responsibility for the people who are supposed to be representing us in our own government and see them as “in power” and us as “following.” The general consensus is that “someone in charge will handle that.”

Americans don’t feel connected to America. Even my 17 year old daughter said she wasn’t proud to be an American, and that she was “proud that she was not proud.” Talk about heartbreak for all the tenants of being in this country that she doesn’t understand!

History has it’s place…

However, before I bring up our sorted, dysfunctional, horrific, embarrassing, and unsurprising past as a country, let me tell you a story about Coca Cola.

Coca Cola also has a dysfunctional, horrific, embarrassing, and sorted past that is unsurprising to most – meaning, most people know about it. The famed, dark, caffeinated drink, before it became the famous icon it is today – had actual cocaine in it and wasn’t a soda at all, but an alcoholic beverage of wine.

You heard me. Coca Cola mixed alcohol and hard drugs in a drink that – get this – only affluent white people were allowed to drink in the 1880s and 1890s.

The addictive qualities of the cocaine in Coca Cola made people not only crave the soft drink, but become addicted to drinking it. This was actually seen as OKAY medically. At some point, the wine was seen as unhealthy, and it was replaced with sugar syrup. This was much less expensive to make, and everyone could afford it, however, segregated America was not ready to share the privilege of drinking the tasty addictive beverage with Black people, and laws were passed to remove the cocaine from the soft drink with a high racial motivation, even accusing Black men of raping white women if they had access to cocaine in the soft drink!

Even with this past, today, Coca Cola is celebrated for the future they’re a part of.

They’ve been around for 129 years. They reinvented themselves and made their future more important than their past. And even though people know their history, the history doesn’t stand in the way of the inclusive future they built.

Today, Coca Cola can put your name on one of their cans or bottles, and whether you drink Coca Cola or not, you buy one because you see yourself in it.

Not because of who they used to be in the past, but because who you can be as a part of where they’re going.

And you can walk away not being associated with that past but as part of their future. Remembering the past, but the importance of the future being the focus.

Interesting, right?

Now let’s talk about America.

America is the birthplace of the Transamerican Slave Trade experiment in action, first tested in Haiti and put into action in the United States. The Middle East had been enslaving Africans for at least 1,400 years before that, but it was never done as brutally, as horrendously, as disgusting, or as devastating as it was done in the United States. At the same time, socially and economically, slavery marked a time of prosperity for people who got the privilege of being seen as human.

Human experimentation was performed on my ancestors. From medical advancements in gynecology, to seeing how diseases like polio and syphillis advanced and affected the human body, to the use of self-replicating cells that didn’t belong to the lab that stole them, but have saved millions upon millions of lives without supporting Henrietta Lacks (He-La cells) or her family…

Despite the numerous, uncountable offenses and crimes against humanity America has been the stage for, black people, my ancestors, dreamed of being seen as Americans and being acknowledged for the tremendous contributions they’ve made to American society.

They dream of their children being educated in American schools without worrying about racism. Having professional careers in American companies without being paid less for being black. Starting their own Black owned American businesses and getting the same lending support that their white counterparts receive. Shining in a country they once couldn’t even be seen as human in.

And my people are still celebrating “firsts” in industries and sectors where they once were unable to participate.

America is also the birthplace of the genocide of the America Indians, thanks to Christopher Columbus.

America is one of the largest centers of sex-trafficking in the world.

And one of the biggest harbingers of war.

And one of the biggest supporters of poverty.

And. And. And.

Because the people in “power” don’t represent our values.

The foreseeable future is not only political party continuing to be the single largest divider, with the values gap between Democrats and Republicans even larger than race, sex, or class…

But our youth will continue to become disconnected from what makes this the land of opportunity – the sense of self, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – with the mental illnesses to match having a lack of self-awareness, lack of self-expression, lack of personal power, and a lack of personal freedom as a result of trauma trauma being the fissure that keeps us from truly getting to know ourselves and others outside of the stories we create to figure ourselves out without the proper scaffolding.

Our children and grandchildren will completely lose touch of the personal freedoms, self-expression, sense of civil liberties, and personal power that make our country the land of opportunity for the other 53% of the population that feels close and connected.

This country has been balancing awkwardly on the pseudo idea that this country has always been “great” when it really hasn’t been that great socially or in justice.

But it can be if we focus on the future.

Introducing the We Are The People Project

The We Are The People Project is a platform to collect American stories in a digital quilt, to celebrate your differences as a part of the Great Mixing Pot this country was intended to be, of all nations coming together in one place to create opportunity for all, and to share your history as an American with other Americans so that we can unite in brotherhood.

By sharing our stories and putting our values in the forefront, we will change our relationship to other countries that are greatly dependent on our economic wellbeing, making us a more responsible country not only in our own neighborhoods and communities, but on the world stage.

Hate and ignorance come from what we don’t know about one another, and the things that we just don’t know that we don’t know about who we share this country with. For hundreds of years there have been efforts to divide us as people in local, state, and federal law, in institutions, and even politically. We don’t need those entities to tell us what country and brotherhood are or to create commonality with our American brothers and sisters.

Now is the time to tell your own story and what you want this country to be for yourself and your neighbors today forward.

This Google Doc provides more information on the project as well as three steps you can take to participate:

Do you want to help get the word out about this project on social media? Do you have skills that would help us to create a visually appealing website? Do you want to volunteer your time by collecting stories of people in your community and posting them to the digital quilt?

The We Are The People Project is looking to create state specific groups in all 50 states. If you’re interested in leading a project in your state, send an email to Tamara Rasheed at

EVENT: Real Moms of Detroit-Brightmoor SEPT 14TH 1PM @WNNDetroit

Event Details

Real Moms of Detroit Expo: Brightmoor


WIN Network: Detroit wants to celebrate you! Join us this summer for the Real Moms of Detroit Expo!

Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Real Moms of Detroit, check out what we have in store for you at the Expos:

  • Vendors with local resources in your neighborhood
  • Giveaways!
  • Beauty pampering and massages
  • A cooking demonstration
  • Refreshments
  • Special session for men
  • Games and crafts for kids

Bring the whole family! It’s the summer event that everyone will be talking about!

Rosedale Park Baptist Church
14179 Evergreen Rd
Detroit, MI 48223

Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

Please register by clicking here and share this post with other metro Detroit moms!


GARDEN DESIGN ON A DIME via @moneywisdoms

I’m always looking for great ways for my house to look good without breaking the bank and I’m loving the tips from Samirian Hill’s newsletter and knew I needed to share with you!

June 2012
Greetings s! 

We are at the halfway point for 2012!  How are you coming with your financial goals?  I hope that you are on track. If not, pull out the list from January and keep pressing forward.  Start over, if you must.  It is an ongoing process.   If you are on track, congratulations!  To everyone:  this is your year!  Stay committed and stay focused!
This month’s Women of Wisdom Circle Chat will feature Gabriella Barthlow, Senior Counselor at Alpha Advisory Group.  We will discuss The Truth about Bankruptcy!  I call Gabriella, The REAL DEAL.  She tells it like it is – straight, no chaser!
The Money Wisdom Book Club will resume in September, as I spend the summer months penning my own book to be released later this year.  Knowledge is Power and Wisdom Lingers!
As always, thank you for your support as we continue on this mission to elevate the collective money wisdom of all, so that we all can live lives of freedom and purpose!
To your prosperity!


Summer is in full bloom!  Have you completed your summer garden yet?  I’m guilty, I have not.  Below are a few tips on how to exercise your green thumb, while keeping more green in your pocket.

1. Set a spending limit. No one plans to spend a lot of money on flowers and plants, but it sure is easy to do. Decide how much you plan to spend, set your spending limit and stick to it.

2.  Start plants from seed. Growing perennials from seed may come with some trial and error, and it can take several years before the plants become the brilliant array of color you’re going for. The payoff is, though, you can grow lots of flowers for a fraction of what you’d pay for a flat at the store. Then, you can spend that money on buying something else for your garden.

3.  Start with smaller plants. It’s great to have a wonderful looking garden the first day you plant, but if saving money is your goal, you can cut your bill by 60-70 percent just by buying smaller plants.


For more tips, check out my article, Garden Design on a Dime, on B.L.A.C. Detroit Magazine Blog.

B.L.A.C. Magazine is a premier publication on black arts, lifestyle, culture, and events in Detroit.


Fr$ee Teleconference


 The Truth About Bankruptcy!!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

8:00pm – 9:00pm

Gabriella Barthlow, CFC, CITRMS, CCRR
“Credit Specialist, Educator, Advocate

Gabriella has helped scores of people restore their credit and help them achieve their financial goals. She is a Consumer Law Advocate with over 20 years of experience in mortgage banking, sales, human resources, and financial and consumer law. Gabriella has taught consumer rights classes throughout the United States for organizations ranging from local civic groups to the United Auto Workers. She has provided credit consultations nationally and internationally, as well as appeared on various radio stations and on public television. Gabriella is passionate about helping people restore and maintain good credit throughout their lifetime.

Gabriella is an AFCPE Certified Financial Counselor, an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, ICFE Certified Credit Report Reviewer, and ICFE Certified Medical Billing Advocate.

   Click here to register for the teleconference:

If you are a registered recipient of our eNewsletter, register for the telecall by updating your profile to include the WOMEN OF WISDOM CIRCLE.

During the call, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER #WOWChat

Money Wisdom Book Club
The Money Wisdom Book Club will resume in September.


This summer, I’ll be working on my first book, due out this fall:  “Money Wisdom for the Soul”.  Stay tuned for more details.

What book is on your summer reading list?   

I’m checking out:

Thou Shall Prosper (Ten Commandments and for Making Money) by Daniel Lapin 


Click here to check out our Amazon Store.

We are associates of amazon, so if you are ordering the book,   please support us for your Money Wisdom Reading!  We will receive a nominal referral fee. This small token will help us continue to bring fresh, lively and fr$ee content.

What you focus on expands! Knowledge is power!

Money Wisdom for the Month

  “I have everything I need in this moment.”

 I know that I have everything I truly need at this moment. I allow myself to relish the satisfaction of my current achievements.

Prosperously Yours!
Samirian Hill
BudgetWise Financial Solutions

BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC is a premier financial education and consulting firm, where we teach people to manage money wisely.
Please share this newsletter with a friend or on your social media pages. Thank you for your support!
©2012 Copyright BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC.  All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the author.
BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC | P.O. Box 361 | Southfield | MI | 48075
Samirian Hill, MBA, CRPC
“The MoneyWise Teacher”
Samirian is Founder and President of BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC, a financial education and consulting firm.
We teach people to manage money wisely.
Our process is to engage, to educate, and to empower!
Our mission is to help people to conquer their money issues, enabling them to live lives of freedom and purpose.
Like me on FacebookFollow me on Twitter
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Visit my blog

BudgetWise Financial Solutions, LLC | P.O. Box 361 | Southfield | MI | 48075

Wednesday @Wisebread: 6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi via @onefinewriter

(This commentary is in no way sponsored by Aldi)

I am an Aldi nut! Ever since I found this store in my search of Detroit for quality without breaking the budget, Aldi has been a wonderful friend of mine.

Having food in the household is like a comforting blanket for parents because food not only bonds the family, but shuts up the kids when they are cranky and starving – trust me. LOL

I thank Aldi for all the years I thought I couldn’t provide and helping me to achieve that goal each and every month!

Some people have complained:

You have to pay for a basket.” But you get your money back when you return it.

You have to bring or buy your own bags.” I don’t mind because this keeps the cost down for them. Tip: Keep recycled bags in your trunk for quite jaunts without going out the way to go home and getting some or paying for some.

Now don’t take my word for the benefits of shopping at Aldi’s, listen to

6 Awesome Reasons to Shop at Aldi

by Tisha Tolar

Man outside Aldi

Since the price of groceries has been steadily rising and my only local grocery store went bankrupt, I have been trying better food budgeting with a monthly trip to Aldi for the essentials. My grandmother was always a big proponent of Aldi, but that was back in the day before the retail chain really stepped up their game.

As a frequent Aldi shopper, I have discovered that the years have been kind, and the store has really become an asset to our small area where unemployment rates are high and dollar stores are seeing more business than ever. If you have never shopped at an Aldi, I want to provide you some incentive by listing the things I love about the discount store and its offerings, as well as a few minor complaints about the store I frequent. (See also: 5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi)



Take pride in our culture of giving via @ACCESS1971 #motownmom

Cultures of Giving kids
What’s more rewarding than making a donation that will grow smart, healthy kids? Making one that’s matched dollar for dollar!

During the 10-day Cultures of Giving Challenge, online donations to ACCESS will be matched dollar for dollar by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation!

This 10-day challenge will take place April 17-26

As one of 22 participating organizations – and the only Arab American organization in the challenge – ACCESS will compete for another $25,000 per project if we raise the most money on two program-specific days – April 19th for Educated Kids and April 24th for Healthy Kids.

And it gets even better! If ACCESS raises the most money overall during the full 10-day challenge we’ll get an additional gift of $100,000!

That’s $150,000 in free money to support programs that help our kids!

So get ready to give online April 17-26 to help ACCESS win the Kellogg Cultures of Giving Challenge!

Click here to learn more, and get ready to donate
April 17-26

ACCESS logo w tagline transparent

Article: How to Live a Stress Free Life via @ebony_12

Home and Family: Motherhood


Expert Author Ebele Agu

These days, it is hard to find someone who is not living under pressure or stress from one thing or the other. Most people are under various types of stress and increasingly, more people are not handling stress properly, which leads to health related issues and depression.

The state of the world’s economy has become a major contributor to many stressed individuals across the globe. In the United States, unemployment rate is about 9.4 percent. The number of people without health insurance is about 49.9 million according to the Census Bureau and the percentage in 2010 of uninsured people is about 16 percent. These are discouraging numbers and understandably why so many people are in fear and under stress of losing their jobs, getting a pay cut, worried about their health, their future and indeed for parents the future of their kids.

Some of the effects of stress are:

  1. Health related issues – high blood pressure, heart disease, fatigues and low immune system.
  2. Depression – stress leads a lot of individuals to depression, some without a way out of it.
  3. Loneliness – most stressed or depressed people usually suffer from loneliness, which in itself can be a stress contributor.

How does one combat or reduce the effect of stress? How does one live a stress free life? How does one go through life with so much uncertainties without worrying too much and risk living an unhealthy life?

To avoid or combat stress or the state of being stressed, some of the actions one can take are:

    1. Exercise – taking walks and regular medium to high level activities is an excellent way of reducing stress or the effects of stress.
    1. Weight loss – this will improve your brain functions and ultimately help in reducing your stress.
    1. Healthy living – the better types of food you consume, you increase your immunity, combating any stress related factors.
    1. Support group – family, friends and co-workers are very good for your health, as long as you have a healthy relationship with them. Spending time with loved ones ensures that you get the sense of belonging to a select group of wonderful people you want to spend quality time with.
    1. Laughter – the best medicine is no joke. Laughing has been known to improve brain function.
    1. Meditation – a great stress relief activity. Studies have stressed the importance of taking a few minutes: 10-15 minutes of quiet time to reflect and clear your mind and reboot.
  1. Faith – depending on your beliefs, using your faith to your advantage helps you feel better about yourself.

There are so many reasons to wan

Article: Making the Most of Motherhood – Tips For New Moms

Expert Author Ebele Agu

Some women become mothers without the realization of the mixed blessings or the responsibilities of the role they just got into. While motherhood brings joy to those who want it and understand what goes with it, it can bring depression to a lot of other women hence the term postpartum depression which occurs in about 10% of pregnancies within a few days or even month after delivery. Its prevalence rate is approximately 1 in 679 or 0.15% or 400,000 people in USA (Source: Postpartum Depression Fact Sheet).

Becoming a mother is a role that one should be mentally and psychologically prepared for. Unfortunately no matter how one prepares for motherhood, we are not always ready for the relentless crying, sleepless nights, unknown ailments etc that comes with the baby package. Some of us develop coping mechanisms, others research to be better informed, and others have a great support system. Whatever you have, some of the tips below will ensure that you understand what to expect as a new mother:


    1. Arm yourself with information: with many resources out there, it is not difficult to find the issues you may be dealing with. While scouring the pages of books or website, remember you may be inundated with information overload. This can be contradictory and confusing, make sure that any information you receive and you want to try out is verified.
    1. Do not compare yourself to the mother next door: you want your baby to have the best of toys/gadgets imaginable. Note that too much stuff does not result to the smartest kid on the block. Focus on the love and attention that your baby craves from only you and give that. Most of the toys will not be used and you will end up spending money unnecessary. Another area of worry for most new mothers is that the mother next door lost all baby weight within two months and you after six months post delivery are still struggling. Realize that all bodies are different; doing such comparison will only leave you more upset.
    1. Comparing your baby to other babies: there is a reason that milestones are given a time frame. If your child does not walk at 10 months like your sister’s son did, wait till at least 15 to 18 months before you hit the panic button. If your child did not talk at 18 months wait till at least two before you seek a speech therapist. I know more than one kid including mine that didn’t really speak a lot till four years old and they are all doing well no.
    1. Give yourself a break: you are not a supermom, and there is no award for that yet, till then you need to ensure that you not only take care of the baby, you also need to take care of yourself. Consider this, if you do not take care of your health or well being, who will take care of your family if something happens to you? To avoid being unhappy, make sure you schedule ‘me times’ for yourself.
    1. Have a support group: when I had my second son, my support group which consists of a group of wonderful women helped me through the first month and above. I did not have family around me, these ladies ensured that I didn’t have to worry about feeding my immediate family and concentrate on taking care of the baby. Your support group could be your family or your friends; they are also the people that can help you babysit so you can have time for yourself.
  1. Prepare meals ahead: one tip that I learned and will definitely use if number three shows up is making meals ahead that will come in handy for 2-4 weeks after the birth of your child. If you have a large freezer, this is a great strategy to use. It frees your time to do other things and the rest of your family can just heat and serve without needing you. If you have to go back to work, preparing meals ahead and freezing ensures you eat homemade meals more often than processed or dining out. It is also okay to prepare baby food in batches and freeze to safe time when you need it most.


Whatever is the case, motherhood comes with a certain delight that is better experienced than told. There is no one size fits all method, do what you believe is best for your baby, you and your family.

Ebele Agu is a mom to two energetic and adorable boys ages 4 and 19mths. I am always searching for ways to improve the lives of my family and those around me.

She is a teacher, who wants the best for the kids she teaches. I have a passion for education and to do what is right for everyone.

To read my musings, find me at

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Article: 5 Housing Cleaning Tips for the Busy Mom #mmm via @ebony_12

Expert Author Ebele Agu

Most of us run pillar to post daily to coordinate our lives from family to work to friends and for some people like me, throw in studies and other side gigs. Like this isn’t enough, we have to keep our house clean, no excuses. How can we achieve that? Some of you at one point or another have wondered and pondered on what you need to do to maintain a well balanced life, which includes and well-kept home.

A clean home is the pride of any one most especially moms. You want to be able to entertain without the embarrassment of having a not so clean home. You want to be able to keep your house germ free and your children healthy. You want to be in a very relaxed and comfortable home after the day’s hustle and bustle. First things first, clean your house a bit each day so as not to be daunted with a huge mess you will have to work extra hard to clean. Some of the other things to consider for a clean home are:

    1. Set up a schedule: there will always be crucial jobs like cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming. Have a schedule to help you focus on what you need to do each day of the week. Break the schedule into daily, weekly, monthly, annual and seasonal tasks. Remember having chunks of work to do at a time makes the job feel less daunting.
    1. Set a timer: everyday set a timer to tackle 10 or 15 minutes of work. If your kitchen counter top is messy and you figure it will take you about 10 minutes to wipe it down, set your timer, and do the job. When the timer goes off walk away. You would have done something for the day, instead of worrying and wondering when and how you will get it done.
    1. Delegate: if you have a family with children, engage them and assign chores to them keeping in mind their age and what they are capable of doing. You not only get the house clean, you are teaching them life long lessons on collaborating and cleaning habits. They also learn the lesson of teamwork. It seems like a win-win to me.
    1. Avoid Procrastination: this is the number one mistake most of us fall into. We look at the mess and decide we are not up to it, afterall we just came back from work, have a report to type, have a paper to submit, have to make dinner. The list goes on and on and the home is neglected. Attending to spills and stains as soon as they occur ensures that you stop a bigger problem from occurring in the future and the job is done right away. Remember first things first clean up in bits and the tasks will not feel so profound that they can’t be tackled.
  1. The power of multitasking: examples will be, while you are making dinner, clean the counter top as you go along or clean out the refrigerator. While the clothes are in the washing machine, pick up and tidy up the rooms or fold previously washed clothes. If you are able to juggle a few tasks at a time, you will able to prune your list and help you get a cleaner house faster.

Applying these tips will ensure your house is clean most of the time, you have more time for yourself and family and it will contribute to your inner peace and self-worth. Best of all, cleaning will be stress free, straight forward and easy.

Ebele Agu is a mom to two energetic and adorable boys ages 4 and 19mths. I am always searching for ways to improve the lives of my family and those around me.
She is a teacher, who wants the best for the kids she teaches. I have a passion for education and to do what is right for everyone.

To read my musings, find me at

Article Source: