First blog post


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







Mom Against Murder Alliance M.A.M.A 

I decided to create this group after my family suffered the loss of another loved one by the hands of someone I do not want to call human. I made this page in hopes of coming together with other homicide victim suvivors, who know what it feels like to be angry, sad, broken, lost, hopeless and the list goes on.

 I am not the mother of a homicide vicitim, but I am a sister, cousin and friend. My heart hurts for the mother’s, the mama’s, the women in my family, my friends and the women in the world  who loved their babies before laying eyes on them, the mama’s who nurtured  and cared for their children, the mama’s who did their best to raise their children to be the best version of their adult selves, these mama’s had a part of them ripped away from them in an instant by the hands of evil. 
M.A.M.A  is  place where homicide victim survivors can find solace, courage, peace, love and commonality at the most horrific time of your life.
 My hope is that we all can come together to stop and educate the community on murder by allowing the world to see the side effects of it. I want us to let the killers, the evil that walk the earth to know what they did to us. I want that thing to know that his goal to destroy was only done in the physical realm, we love with our hearts and soul and he did not kill that.
Typically, the world , the news, the community and sometimes, I’m sorry to say even our very own family and friends mourn with us for awhile, until their life happens, while yours/ours has completely stopped, broken, crushed and torn apart with us having little hope on repair. We need to make the world aware of what happens after the funeral is over and everyone is gone on with their lives. You are left with a womb that now feels barren, a broken heart, a crushed soul; your child was aborted from your life, killed and it’s not simple to just go back to living a normal life..
Please share your feelings, regardless to what other’s think. Please know it’s OK to feel, don’t let the killer keep you from feeling, from living and honoring your loved one. 
 Keep your loved one’s spirit alive by always  sharing, always talking and always remembering them. 
We can’t bring our loved one back, but we can make a difference in each other’s lives. There is someone who may need a friend like you, someone needs someone who walked this walk, let’s help them, let’s help each other. We can show the murderers that they did not kill our love for each other.
Take back what the devil stole, take your joy back and share it with someone.
I look forward to healing with you. Please feel free to post your stories, pictures, advice, post and share any thing your heart desires. Let’s stand together and make a change. Let’s put a stop to murder together.

This page is dedicated to Brandon Roberts and Melvin Paul Jr, both lives were taken by the selfish act of murderer and to all the homicide victims and their families, this page is dedicated to you as well.

Living To Love Only To Die?

I can’t sleep tonight. My mind, heart and soul filled with worry, hurt and anger. I been trying to manage with things by staying busy but between Mel son sending me a msg just saying “Auntie Dee ” and my heart sank  because he was a baby when Mel was killed and haven’t ever called out to his Daddy and received a response.I’m so angry that  no one helping with solving  Brandon’s murder and thinking of Dana, who will never see her baby boy again. I see my Noelle post a picture of her unborn baby, I try to be happy looking at a new life, but am quickly reminded Darel is gone and she’s a young widow and  its Thanksgiving and even though she wasn’t the same from dementia, she was with us and this will be our 1st year without Momo….my heart just hurts and I’m mad at the same time…

 We go on with life, half way fucked up from just being alive dealing with death of a loved one. We are born, we develop bonds and love for our family and friends, we grow up to go live on our own, add more relationships to our lives and during living we have to say goodbye to all these people we love…… It just doesn’t seem fair. 

The realization of it all has me worried about my family, my children and grandchildren. I don’t want them to feel this pain, this hurt so deep in my soul, the madness in my mind trying to make sense of it. I don’t want this for them. I buried my baby, she was a month old and would be 27yrs old on Aug. 10th.. It took the breathe from me.  I didn’t want to live with that pain that imagine of my tiny baby, laying in a white coffin with satin lining looking like a baby doll. Lord, please understand this pain.

When my Daddy died of lung cancer, I heard the news of him having cancer at the same time hearing he was gonna die. It was days before Christmas 2003 and I had to leave my young children behind, taking back some of their toys to go say goodbye. He died the 29th of December, not giving me any time to process his illness. I was broken for years even now I have my days. I get angry, because he said he was taking me,  my sister and our children to Disney the following month… I was so angry at him and at God. 

I’m angry now, because my family has two unsolved murder victims, they, we have no JUSTICE and I know the people don’t care, but what about God?

I can get on my knees and beg, make promises to God to be the best person ever, but that won’t keep the pain of death away. It won’t keep me or my family members from suffering. I’m not sure what to ask God. Should I pray that He let the next death be from illness, because murder and accidents kill our souls. It hurts and I hope God can feel our pain and cover us, cover you and your family. 

My Momo said to me since I was a lil girl and especially when I was going thru trials she would say “Deatra, you have favor with the Lord my child, you are so special to Him, just call Him, He will answer.” I’m so unsure right now and I hope He can hear me even while Im silent, because my soul can’t utter a word, but pain…. Maybe this favor she saw in me is still in me after her death. Maybe, a prayer, just maybe He will hear me and help my family. 

Do we live only to die? How is that living? How is it fair? 

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.

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 @

    Here’s the recipe:

    Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

    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

    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.


    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.


    Brandon Roberts’ cousin has established an account at 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.