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We Don't All Play Basketball and Football

We Don't All Play Basketball and Football

How many times as a black woman have I heard the words, "does your sons play basketball or football?". Too many, and enough is enough!!

It's a general stereotype, however, you would never find me coming up to a Caucasian family asking "does your son play hockey or lacrosse?". I am a Caribbean-American mother, who grew up with the knowledge that an education comes first and sports was for fun. Sports have never been considered a career. Sure we played cricket and football (soccer for those not Caribbean), and I even played on the female soccer team in college. However, it was never a career that I envisioned for my children or myself. I am also not one of those parents who think that having an NBA or NFL career means that my kids have succeeded in life. However, getting a degree of higher education means just that for me.

You see, in the Caribbean education means the world to us. Our athletes are not paid millions of dollars to kick a ball or throw a ball into a hoop. Sure we have had a few of our Caribbean athletes make it onto the big scene, they've made it big in the NBA and we are extremely proud of them, but we are even more so when they get a degree. Children in the Caribbean aspire to be doctors and lawyers etc., not athletes.

And sure, my sons are tall, both my 16 and 12-year-old are 6 feet tall. Yes, you heard me right; my 12-year-old is 6 feet tall. However, I am not of average height for a female since I'm 5'10, while my husband is 6'5. Kyle, aged 16, loves basketball but doesn't want to make it a career, while Mikael the 12 year old couldn't be bothered with sports. He wants to be a scientist. There are quite a few parents who push their kids to play a sport that they don't love, or aren't interested in. There are also many parents who try and live vicariously through their children. Maybe they were great at football or basketball in high school, but didn't quite make the cut for college, so they try and encourage their children to play the game. However, I am not one of those parents. I give my kids free reign of choice in what they do. Kyle plays on his high school basketball team, but isn't interested in playing once he gets to college.

My eldest, Kristal, took up tennis, a sport I had absolute no interest in, but I supported her and went to every single game. I purchased the equipment and clothing that she needed, only to have her tell me a few months later that she didn't want to do it anymore. While I could tell you that Serena Williams dominates the women division, I couldn't in all honesty say who comes in second, and I sure as hell couldn't even begin to name one male tennis player. As for basketball, I only follow along because I live in a male dominated household where NBA 2K video games reign supreme. While my kids are amazing at playing basketball on a video game, playing amazing in real life is an entirely different story.

I know that African-Americans dominate the NBA and the NFL; however, they don't all play basketball or football. There has been exceptional doctors in their fields (Ben Carson), lawyers (Johnnie Cochran - deceased), and we recently had an African-American President of the USA (President Barack Obama). We can be anything that we want to be.

So before you step to a black parent and ask whether their child plays basketball or football, maybe you should think about it, because we all don't play sports. We also don't all live in the projects, love eating chicken and drinking Kool-Aid, are in gangs, and our names don't all end in "eisha or iqua".  Stop the stereotype today!

What stereotypes are you tired of? 

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Annmarie John
Select Walt Disney World Hotels Welcomes Guests and Their Dogs

Select Walt Disney World Hotels Welcomes Guests and Their Dogs

Do you love traveling to Walt Disney World, but hate leaving your four legged friend at home? Calling all labs and boxers, pugs and terriers, poodles and beagles. The welcome mutt is out!

As of Sunday, Oct. 15, Walt Disney World Resort will welcome guests – and their canine companions – to four resort hotels, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

The new service permits up to two dogs per guest room. Each resort also offers easy access to outdoor pet exercise areas and green spaces with pet relief areas.

Dog lovers will find plenty of Disney amenities and special touches for their four-legged friends.

  • At check-in, Pluto’s Welcome Kit includes a mat, bowls, a pet ID tag, courtesy plastic disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps. Also included: a Pluto “Do Not Disturb” door hanger indicating to hotel staff that a pet is in the room.
  • Day care and other pet services are offered nearby at Best Friends, an on-property full-service pet care facility. Fees apply.
  • Coming soon – select pet merchandise at the four resort properties.

The resorts’ per night/per room pet-cleaning rates are:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort $75/night
  • Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort $50/night

Dogs staying in a Disney resort Guest rooms must be well behaved, leashed in resort public areas and properly vaccinated. For more information about the new dog-friendly trial program, including other restrictions and policies, guests may contact 407 W-DISNEY. DVC Members should contact Member Services at 800-800-9800.
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Annmarie John
Apple Cider Sweet Tea ~ #OrganicStevia #InTheRaw

Apple Cider Sweet Tea ~ #OrganicStevia #InTheRaw

It's fall here in Colorado and the surrounding states.The leaves have changed colors and the air is crisp and clean. Fall has always been one of my favorite season. When I think fall, I think apple cider, but I love to bring a little bit of summer with me into the fall. See, I just love sweet tea and can never have enough of it. Today I want to share with you a way to combine the two compliments of Organic Stevia In The Raw®.

There's nothing quite like fall here in Colorado. A few weekends ago, Madison and I took a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa. Yes there is a North Pole where Santa resides, here in Colorado and you can meet with him all year long. It's a tradition that we've done yearly and one that she looks forward to. Once our visit was over, we then journeyed up to the mountains to watch the fall colors, which is called the changing of the leaves. It's quite a spectacle and one that's not to be missed when you live here in Colorado, or even when visiting. Fall is much more than pumpkin pie, apple cider and pumpkin spice latte's. So much more!

It's about spending quality time with your loves ones, and enjoying the things you love. Speaking about love, I love sugar and I use it in almost everything I make. I got my love of sugar from my dad, he made everything extra sweet and since then, that's just the way I like it. However, two teaspoons of sugar contains 32 calories, and I usually use more than that, so that's a lot for me. That's why I was happy to see that In The Raw introduced their Organic Stevia In The Raw to their family line up. What amazed me was that each packet is also the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar and is only 3 calories. They're available in a 40 packet convenient box and is only $3.19/box. You can purchase it online or at a local retailer.

They are also:

  • USDA Organic Certified
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Vegan Certified
  • Naturally Gluten-Free
  • Has a clean ingredient list

Since then, I've been using my Organic Stevia In The Raw in everything I've made. From my cupcakes, my coffee and every drink I have made. The kids and my husband can't even tell the difference. You can even use it to sprinkle on cereal and fruit. I recently made my famous Apple Cider Sweet Tea and everyone loved it, and I used my Organic Stevia In The Raw to sweeten it. So without further ado, let me share my recipe with you.

Apple Cider Sweet Tea

4 regular black tea bags
24pkts Organic Stevia In The Raw
4 cups of apple cider
6 cups of water


Tie the strings of 4 tea bags together in a knot.

Fill a large pitcher with the water, tea bags and Organic Stevia In The Raw

Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours

Wring out the tea bags and remove

Add your apple cider and stir to combine

Want a way to give Organic Stevia In The Raw a try? Well 4 lucky winners will have a chance to win  Organic Stevia In The Raw swag with a 1 month supply of Organic Stevia In The Raw, and 1 will win a $50 grocery gift card.  All you have to do is enter the She Speaks Organic Stevia In The Raw Giveaway.

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Annmarie John
Safety Tips for Your New Teen Driver ~ #LetsGoPlaces

Safety Tips for Your New Teen Driver ~ #LetsGoPlaces

Your baby has grown up and now is ready for his driver’s license; but first; let's get that permit. While it can be scary knowing that your teen is on the road, let's first say a prayer for the other drivers as well. They're just as scared of your teen driver on the road as you are. Today's post comes courtesy of Toyota and their 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, which I test drove for an entire week and almost didn't return.

I vividly remember when my son Kyle at the age of 15 asked if he could get his learners permit. My automatic response was, "Let's wait until you're 16", in the hope that he would forget. However, at the age of 16, he reminded me and I had no choice but to take him to the DMV to get his permit. After successfully passing his written and vision test, he was issued a drivers permit. It was then time to go out and purchase a car, which we did, and he's been successfully driving for almost a year, however, with someone going along for the ride, never by himself. In just a few months he will become a fully licensed driver and will be driving on his own. Driving on your own is quite different than having someone with you, so there are a few tips that I want to share with him and those other new teen drivers.

Adjust your car settings before you drive
Before you even move out of gear, make sure that your mirror, seats and anything else that you may need is adjusted before you start driving. Set your favorite radio station and your navigation before you leave. Always remember to keep your eyes on the road, and your hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Always Buckle Up
It's not only the law, but many lives have been saved through the proper use of safety belts. Not only should you be buckled up for safety but also require the other passengers to do so as well. There is a proper way to wear your seatbelt. Shoulder belts should be across the middle of your chest, away from your neck, while lap belts should be across your hips and below your stomach.

Don't text/talk/snap and drive
Distracted driving causes accidents. Do all of your talking, texting, snapchatting, generally anything related to your cellphone and social media BEFORE you start driving. Let calls go to voicemail if you don't have bluetooth connected service in your vehicle. If you must take a call, find a safe place to stop and pull over and answer or return the call.

Be mindful of road conditions
Always follow the speed limit, but adjust your speed when road conditions aren't optimal; that is, rain, snow, sleet, ice or fog. When visibility is poor, remember to double the required distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, and remember to never drive whilst tired, especially at night.

Practice situation awareness
Be mindful not only of other drivers around you, but also of pedestrians. Never assume that the drivers around you are paying attention. Remember your drivers training. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs, and look to your left and right before proceeding at intersections. Toyota cars such as the Prius comes standard with safety features such as blind spot monitoring and lane departure warnings, while it's ok to use them, they should not be a substitute for you not paying attention to your surroundings.

Keep your vehicle road ready
Always make sure that you keep up with your cars scheduled maintenance according to your owner's manual. Rotate your tires and make sure that they are properly inflated. Be sure to check your spare as well. Change your oil and air filter, replace wiper blades and check your battery. Don't forget to keep your vehicle insured and licensed in accordance with your state regulations.

If you're looking for a safe and reliable vehicle for your teen, then look no further than the new Toyota Prius Prime. I test drove this beauty for a week and I was pleasantly surprised. With standard safety features such as blindspot monitoring, lane departure alert with steering assist and much more, this will help keep your teenager safe and aware.

The Prius Prime had one of the biggest multimedia display that I have ever seen in any vehicle. At 11.6 inches, you can't miss a thing, and it acts just like your smart phone. Pinch and zoom in and out, tap and swipe, it's just so easy to use and all in full color.

Don't underestimate its size either. I was able to fit a full size car seat with still lots of room to spare.

What I especially loved about the new Prius Prime was their easy charging system, and the cable comes with your car. As a hybrid, you're able to use both gas and electricity. You can charge at any charging system that is compatible, and I was able to recharge at both my local Walmart and at IKEA. You're even able to charge at home using a standard electrical outlet. Your new Prius Prime however comes with 100 days or up to $100 of complimentary free charing (whichever comes first) at ChargePoint stations. You can learn more at

Hopefully with my tips your teenager will have a safe driving experience.

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Annmarie John
Quick & Easy: Honey Garlic Shrimp Noodles ~ #NoYolks #NoOtherNoodle

Quick & Easy: Honey Garlic Shrimp Noodles ~ #NoYolks #NoOtherNoodle

These past few weeks I've been feeling rather blah! I've disconnected from social media and am taking it easy on the home front. Its days like these that usually have me in the kitchen preparing meals for the family. With boys who can eat you out of house and home, it's always a good idea to have meals that they would love and devour, but meals that are easy to make as well. I want to thank No Yolks® for sponsoring this post today and for my kids asking "Can I have some more?”

Whilst growing up, my parents cooked a lot of noodle dishes. I remember my mother cooking noodles in soups and for the holidays, she would bake her famous macaroni and cheese pie, my dad's favorite. It seemed that noodles played a huge role in our menu preparations back then. Fast-forward to the present, I have my own family and we're all different, just like any other family. However, the one thing that we can all say that we love, are noodles. The brand No Yolks® have played an important part in my own family as well. It's the one brand that we consistently purchase for our noodle dinners, because it's a much healthier alternative to regular noodles since it is made from egg whites and has no cholesterol. It's also low in fat and sodium. I just love the way that they fluff up in all my recipes and they actually stay that way, compared to other noodles, which gets soggy and soft. Yuck!

When it comes to meal preparation for my family, I love meals that are quick and easy, doesn't take a long time to prepare, but are still delicious and nutritious. That's why I decided to make this honey garlic shrimp noodle dinner. It's one that we have made quite a number of times, and the kids just love it. Having a vegetarian in my home usually means lots of seafood, but I love to incorporate veggies to each dinner since they all love their veggies as well. While I would sometimes do my honey garlic shrimp with rice as well, the No Yolks® Broad Noodles are even better. No Yolks® is very versatile and is not just for stroganoff and casseroles as most people would think, you can also use it in soups, just like my mom used to.

Anyway, without further ado, here's my quick and easy honey garlic shrimp noodles dish.

Honey Garlic Shrimp Noodles


2/3 cup honey
2 tbsp minced garlic
½ cup soy sauce
2lbs medium pre-cooked shrimp
3 tbps extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
12oz No Yolks® Broad noodles
Broccoli or veggie of your choice


In a bowl, whisk your honey, soy sauce, and garlic together then set aside. (You may want to save some of the marinade for your veggies.)

In another bowl, add your shrimp, salt, pepper and oil and mix until coated.

While I used a wok for my shrimp, you can use a skillet as well. Add your shrimp and honey garlic marinade together in your pan or wok, on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes until the honey garlic marinade slightly thickens, then remove from heat.

Prepare noodles according to the package instructions. You should have the fluffiest noodles when you're done.

For my veggies, I microwaved my broccoli with some left over honey garlic marinade.

You can mix your shrimp with your noodles to give your noodles extra flavor, or serve separately for those who don’t like their food mixed together. Serve your shrimp with your noodles and desired veggies, and enjoy.

This easy to prepare meal is not only full of flavor, but will take you only 20 minutes from stove to table. While I love the No Yolks Broad noodles, you can find No Yolks in a variety of cuts including, Extra Broad, Fine, Kluski, Dumplings, and now even Stir-Fry. This makes it easy for all your different recipes, including this delicious one-pot concoction.

You can find more delicious No Yolks recipe videos on their website where you can also gather inspiration for your next meal. What will you cook up with No Yolks?

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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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