First blog post

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I can’t believe I’m finally doing this, sharing my life to a world of complete strangers. It didn’t come easy, but after my 2nd niece informed me that I was blogging on Facebook lol, I decided to give this a try.

I’m always asked why did I move back to my home town, my birth town, the city who made me, New Orleans… Why leave the security of Minnesota Nice with its wealth of family resources in addition to being one of the top states to raise a family in the nation. I just had to…

Hopefully as you walk with me on this journey of My Nola Life you will not only understand, but come to love my city as well with all her beautiful loving faults… We have soul ties….

Fyi I refer to New Orleans as She. I truely believe the intense magical intoxicating loving feeling that gets deep down in your soul and heart can only come from woman… plus the fact that the city continues to give life after she is deemed baren…

#NolaLife #NewOrleans #BlackGirlsRock #FromTheBottomUp #ImStillStanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter to My Princesses

To all my Princesses, Auntie Dee love y’all even when Im not around & haven’t heard from you! My niece Garyione & daughter Kendrayon  with their old selves were a great help to me with the generation, but wasn’t a part of the Princess Krewe, but more of their leaders, by my side helping me with my purpose. I love yall. I would say Princess, but yall are Queens now doing amazing things and are great mothers of your own now. 

My college Princesses are Kennesha Barber, she’s in Nursing School at MTC, Unique Paul, Sociology Major at Alabama and Alexis Simmons at Howard University!!! None of them were teen mom’s, they did the boy or girl thang, ya know what ever floats their boats, but they stayed the course and didn’t cause their mother’s or me too much of an issue. I’m now the proud great Auntie Dee of Nene’s son Lil Donovan aka Donnie Boy, but Im gonna call him Butterball. I’m also accepting of my niece’s sexuality. We as parents,  aunts and family members need not to judge or take away our love because of their choices on who to love. Alot of us choose to stay in unhealthy relationships dispite our mother’s advice. Love your kids regardless. 

My Nene has been by my side since she came out the womb. She always included herself in all that I do, in my business & at a young age was on me about my pricing vs cost, I was her employer, she was Nardie’s Cafe youngest employee. She was like our best, I think we owe her an award. Nene is the reason I’m blogging, well GoGo too but Garyione just wanted me off Facebook with my long stories. lol

I’m so proud of all of you and I have a set of girls just entering teenagehood and with me being in New Orleans, I worry, but I want yall to know that you are always a Princess and one-day soon you will be a Queen, like Auntie Dee. Enjoy this time being a teen, it goes by so fast then the next thing you know you praying to God to help you out of all kinds of adult situations.

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I love yall, but most importantly out of everyone in the world you chose to love me. My Princesses make me feel like I’m the Greatest Woman alive. Yall see my heart and soul, yall give me the courage to go out into the world to make it a better place. Yall make me who I am, the reason I do not give up on my own dreams. Yall the reason why I love myself and know who I am. Yall make me feel beautiful, always looking on when I get dressed. Yall, see me working hard and say ” I wanna be like you” when Im feeling like Im not doing enough. Yall, take yall time to watch all that I do and I didnt know it. I hope I been a good role model?

Thank you, my Princesses for being in my life and I hope I can make yall just as proud as I am of yall.

Here’s a list of just my Princesses from oldest to youngest. I love my boys and Ill spotlight yall later, but the stage belongs to my Princesses today.

I can’t add my foster children’s names due to privacy, but yall know who you are and I love you. 

  1. Kendrayon
  2. Garyione
  3. Kennesha
  4. Unique
  5. Deyja
  6. Precious 
  7. Alexis
  8. Triesha
  9. Trashel
  10. DaJauna
  11. Tiara
  12. Yameha
  13. Zakayla
  14. Shanice
  15. Honesty
  16. Olivia
  17. Rain
  18. Colby
  19. Ebony
  20. JahNiyah
  21. Jamiah

I love yall & always wear your crown/tiara, it’s on your head always, you or the rest of the world need not to see it, believe me its there. 👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑 ⚜💃🏽😍💖💕💗💞

    Boss of the Dough

    It’s that time of year for baking, especially cookies, well for my nieces and I. We would have our own cookie exchange. They didn’t compete with me as far as cakes go, but my niece GoGo would try pairing flavors like coconut cake with mango buttercream, but she did not mess with me as far as cake decorating.
    Today, I had a taste for a buttery almond cookie, so off I went into my kitchen to bake. I didn’t think about my wrist or decorating the cookie, because of my craving and the need to feel normal again. 

    There’s not much to making cookies, well the mixing & baking is the easiest part. It’s the decorating, squeezing the piping bag that’s my problem. I’m gonna just skip that step and just keep them undecorated. 

    I’m actually impressed with this recipe, I like the texture and flavor, but the best part is they didn’t spread. It’s hard finding a butter cookie recipe that doesn’t spread. This recipe has butter, shortening and cornstarch which may be the reasoning it kept it’s shape, but I’m not sure. Baking is a science, trial and error makes perfection. The best way to get the best cookie is to keep testing, trying different techniques. 

    I thought since I can’t make em look all pretty for yall the lest I can do is share the recipe. I may get mushy and share my Momo Sweet Potatoe Pie & Dana’s 7up Pound Cake recipes, so yall can try out for the holidays. I’m like my Daddy, I’m taking all my secrets to the grave 😂. Well, he did make me mad even in death after several attempts to make his famous Crawfish Pies. One thing, I’ll never share is My Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe 🤐.

    Surgery was pretty intense, I was cut in 3 places, one incision looked like my doctor could have cut my wrist off. I had a tendon & cysts removed and its been hard even turning a doorknob. #ouch 😣 . It’s swollen right now…Here’s pictures of my wrist, so you all will know I’m not just blowing yall orders off. 

    After I’m done with physical therapy & my wrist is completely healed I get back to work, but for now you all can follow my Nola Chic & Nola Life pages and I blog/write @ nolachic.blog

    Here’s the recipe:

    Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

    Ingredients:
    For cookies
    2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    3/4 cup (= 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    2 tsp almond extract (use what you like)

    Instructions :
    1. For cookies – In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar using an electric or stand mixer at medium speed until fluffy and pale, about 1-2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the egg and both extracts until combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed (or with a rubber spatula) just until incorporated.  Dough should be soft and pillowy and smooth.
    3.  Divide the dough into 2 balls and form each into a disk about 6 inches in diameter.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and chilled, about 1 hour.  You can refrigerate it for longer, but let it sit at room temperature for a bit until you can work with it.
    4.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or just lightly grease them.  When the dough is chilled, unwrap one disk at a time, leaving the other in the fridge.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the disk to a circle about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick, depending on personal preference.  (I like thick, soft sugar cookies.) Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out cookies, getting as many as possible from each rolling.  Use a thin metal spatula to transfer cut outs to baking sheets, placing about 1 inch apart.  Re-roll scraps and repeat cutting out cookies.  When the baking sheet is full, go ahead and put it in the oven for 11-13 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned on the edges.  (You can roll out the second disk, in the same way as the first, while the first batch is baking.)   Let baked cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.  If a cookie happens to break during transfer from sheet to rack, you can eat it. Don’t trip over broken or misshapen cookies, its still a delicious cookie 😂😋

    Feel free to use any type of cookie cutter, like make Turkey Cookies for Thanksgiving.

    Happy baking!
    I miss you all, thanks for the support & encouragement!
    Nola Chic ⚜

    My Mother’s Sacrifice for Me

    I’m like really on one this am, overwhelmed with thanks but I wanted to take this time to publicly tell My Mama Jean Hollins who does not understand the concept of social media & will tell me a lil something something for putting her out here like this, but I want to thank her for once again having my back, changing her mind a million times, but in the end the change results in a yes, always helping me to fulfill my dreams. 


    I was a teen mom & she helped me to the point that my daughter called her Mama and me, Dee til she was 5yrs old. I was able to attend college, work 2-3 jobs, run a restaurant, be a single foster & adoptive  mother and she was there by my dide in her guestroom, still being Auntie Jean Hollins but allowing me to be Me, the hustler, the go getter, the entrepreneur and The All I AM. Thanks Mama you are the realist woman & mother ever made. I appreciate your sacrifice for me. 

    I’m happy God blessed me to be able to give you a few diamonds & coins while you are here with us. My Mama will accept flowers but she like bling. 😂💕🤗💰🤔❤

    Family seeks Justice 

    http://sparkflow-a.akamaihd.net/spk/795/36303-1506957316/m153-0.html

    A photo of Brandon Roberts, who was fatally shot outside a bar on St. Paul's University Avenue, and a pair of shoes signed by family and friends are seen in the St. Paul home of his aunt on Nov. 1, 2017.  The case remains unsolved.  (Pioneer Press / Scott Takushi)

    A photo of Brandon Roberts, who was fatally shot outside a bar on St. Paul’s University Avenue, and a pair of shoes signed by family and friends are seen in the St. Paul home of his aunt on Nov. 1, 2017. The case remains unsolved. (Pioneer Press / Scott Takushi)

    After working back-to-back jobs from morning to night, Brandon Christopher Roberts headed out with his friends to unwind.

    But after he left a St. Paul bar, gunshots rang out and Roberts, 31, was struck. He died soon after at the hospital.

    It has been nearly two weeks since Roberts, a father of three, was killed, and his family is looking for answers. No one has been arrested in the shooting.

    Dana Roberts, whose son Brandon Roberts was fatally shot outside a bar on St. Paul's University Avenue in October, sits in her sister's St. Paul house, Nov. 1, 2017. The case remains unsolved. (Pioneer Press / Scott Takushi)
    Dana Roberts, whose son Brandon Roberts was fatally shot outside a bar on St. Paul’s University Avenue in October, sits in her sister’s St. Paul house, Nov. 1, 2017. The case remains unsolved. (Pioneer Press / Scott Takushi)

    “I want justice,” said Dana Roberts, Brandon’s mother. “I want to know who killed my son, and I want them to go to jail.”

    Roberts traveled to Minnesota from her New Orleans home last week and faced the task of planning a funeral, held Monday for her youngest son. She previously lived in the Twin Cities, having moved here when Brandon was 7.

    Brandon Roberts played football at St. Paul’s Arlington High School before they moved to Brooklyn Park and he transferred to Park Center Senior High.

    Roberts was handsome and loved looking good — even as a 7-year-old, he wanted silk shirts when he was shopping for school clothes, recalled his aunt, Robin Roberts. And his attention to detail carried over to taking care of his children, who are 2, 9 and 13. 

    Roberts lived wh his cousin in New Brighton, near his children and their mother, so he could get his kids to school in the morning, his family said.

    Roberts usually worked a couple of jobs at a time, and he dreamed of one day going to culinary school and starting a restaurant. He made his own “secret sauces” and was known for his potato salad, Jeanine Roberts said.

    HIS LAST DAY

    On Saturday, Oct. 21, Roberts worked at Finish Line at Southdale Center and then as a server at Dave & Buster’s, also at the Edina mall. He was still wearing his restaurant uniform when he went out for the night, his family said.

    “He didn’t mind the long hours,” said Dana Roberts. “He wanted to take care of his family.”

    A female friend picked up Brandon Roberts from work and dropped him off in St. Paul at Willard’s on Thomas Avenue and Grotto Street. Later, he and a male friend went to Johnny Baby’s.

    On the morning of Sunday, Oct. 22, Roberts’ female friend banged on Jeanine Roberts’ door.

    “I knew something was wrong when I looked at her,” she said. “She was crying. I said, ‘What happened?’ And she said, ‘Brandon got shot at Johnny Baby’s!’ ”

    The male friend who was with Brandon Roberts at the bar later told his family there had been “some friction” between two groups of men — not involving them — inside Johnny Baby’s and they decided it was time to go, Jeanine Roberts said.

    Brandon Roberts called his female friend to pick him up and, on the way to her vehicle, he was shot in the abdomen. Officers working off-duty at Johnny Baby’s bar reported hearing gunshots in the area about 2 a.m., according to police.

    “He said ‘I’m hit!’ and she said, ‘What? What do you mean?’” Jeanine Roberts recounted of what Brandon’s friend told her. Another shot shattered the back window of the woman’s vehicle and she sped out of the parking lot to get Roberts to Regions Hospital, where he died, according to the cousin.

    A cousin of Brandon Roberts, Melvin Paul Jr., was shot dead in Minneapolis in 2006, about six months after he moved to the Twin Cities following Hurricane Katrina, said Deatra Hollins, Melvin’s sister. No one was convicted in Paul’s killing, she said.

    “I cannot live through this once again knowing somebody’s not going to get caught,” Hollins said. “We need to push to get some answers.”

    St. Paul police said they continue to investigate Brandon Roberts’ killing and they ask anyone with information to call them at 651-266-5650.


    HOW TO HELP

    Brandon Roberts’ cousin has established an account at gofundme.com/murder-vicitms-family-travel-fund to raise money for his mother, so she can bury her youngest son in New OrleansOrleans.

    For You 

    I may cry without anyone knowing

    Lie in bed with worry

    I’ll go hungry so you can be full 

    Go through my day in pain

    But I do it all with a smile 

    I do it all for you

    Your precious young eyes 

    do not need see all that troubles me.

    The Reality of Death 

    Throughout the nights I find myself waking up trying to find something that will allow me believe that this can not be life, I must be dreaming some part of it, the bad part especially. 

    Tonight, I decided to go to Corey’s page to see if it’s really true, as you know he doesn’t post much, but when he does its either funny or some mind stimulating fact. I came across condolences from you all, no written post from stating his lost, only this picture. It’s real and its hard for Corey more than I can imagine. 

    I wish I could wake us all up from this life-mare, but we where chosen to bare this pain once again and there has to be a powerful reason why. We all hv to die, not sure why murdered has to fall on some of my family & friends, but… I just wish it cld be any form of death other than murdered, it burns in the heart and leaves you scars that still hurt as time passes.

    We can’t do this again, I beg of God for protection and favor on my family’s life, I also ask of it for your family, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel this pain.

    Rest in peace doesn’t seem to leave my tongue, because I know you are hurting to leave your Mom, children, brother and the rest of us, but I hope your soul is unaware of our mourning. We miss you, Brandon. 

    We gonna make it

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    Today, my cousin Dana told me she appreciates all that I’m doing & to do what I think is best in order to get Justice. It’s amazing though while grieving she wants others to feel ok. It meant so much to me to hear her say those words. At a time like this one does not know how to handle a parent, so we tiptoe around them, often times doing nothing or too much of something, not knowing how to balance exactly what to do.

    I remember after Mel was murdered, I just wanted to lay down and not do nothing. Not take a bath, not answer the phone, not care for my kids, not eat, I just wanted to do nothing and they let me. I do not remember how I got to his funeral or where my kids were. I floated in this terrible pain after he was murdered.

    Even after days, weeks, months and years went by I did nothing, but I felt so much. I honestly believe that I followed along with his mother. She like went away after he was killed, only coming out to attack the very people who loved her, but mostly me.

    She made it clear that we were not to go to court, not to talk to the news anymore, she basically just wanted me, us to just go on with no Justice, but she wanted us to remember Mel and to hurt from his murder. We never sat as Dana and the family did and spoke of our feelings as a family, we didn’t plan how to help her through the mourning process or anything. She pulled away. I actually told Dana that I was scared that history would repeat itself, that once again someone I am very close to has suffered a tragic loss and I would be the one to get hurt. I wondered if she would break my heart as Mel’s Mom did, but she told me they are different, she will not hold in her feelings and she wants JUSTICE. That’s what I love about having a real relationship, its awesome when you can share everything with that person, even your fears and they will receive you with love. I thought I had that relationship with Mel’s Mom, but her door was never open to me like that after he was murdered.

    After Mel was murdered I followed suit & remained silent, afraid to do anything because I didn’t want to hurt his mother. His death hardened and saddened me. I no longer trust had trust in people, especially after the witness recanted and the killer was never charge. I could have started an organization, pushed the detectives and the community, but I couldn’t. I spoke to his Mom about joining an organization, she never told me if she did or didn’t. It would have been nice to do things with her to celebrate and honor Mel’s death, but she rather do it alone.

    In honoring her feelings left me not honoring mines. I do not feel like I did enough to raise awareness or even speak to others, not even his kids, well recently I spoke to his older daughter. She welcomed to hear my stories of her Daddy and that made me feel like I gave him a voice. A voice to let her know how much she means to him, how much he loved her. I will always be in my nieces & nephews lives, but I always felt as though just sending the kids a few dollars and visiting with them wasn’t enough. There’s NO enough for those left behind.

    Mel and Brandon didn’t just suddenly die of an illness, they were MURDERED. A cruel person acted as if they were GOD and took their lives. It’s not fair. What did the MURDERER accomplish by KILLING them or anyone else? Let’s say someone was killed over beating someone up the day prior, then the person comes back and KILLS the winner, he is still the loser and the life he took died knowing he beat his azz. Like if you KILL someone who owes you money, you still owed the money. It just doesn’t make any sense. YOU MURDERER, KILLER, COWARD did not hurt the person whose life you took, you hurt us, the Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Sisters, Brothers, Children, Cousins and Friends, we are left with this unbearable pain.

    I’m thankful to my cousin Dana, for allowing me to finally free my voice from a prison of silence justice. I’m thankful that God allowed her to be a part of my life at a young age and equipping her with the knowledge to assist in molding me into the woman I am now. My heart aches for Dana, but I know God knows that if anyone can stand strong and help other victims it’s her. She’s hurting, but she knows the road to justice is by having faith.

    Please pray for her, please ask for comfort, strength, peace of mind, body and soul. It’s gonna, be hard, but as long as she is prayed up she can stay the course and fight a good fight for Justice.

    I’m in the process of researching on how to start and organization with Dana being the spokesperson. I have our mission written up already as well as our name, Moms Against Murder Awareness, M.A.M.A

    If you have any knowledge on how to start this, please help us, we really want to do this and will do it. If you would contact me or send me an email with tips, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks for your time. Nola Chic