Journal. Notebooks. Calligraphy. Doodles. Poems. Short Hand. Essays.

Happy #ILoveToWriteDay

Today, is a day devoted to anyone who loves to write. Whether you are a professional writer or someone who has discovered that doodling helps with your anxiety while sitting in a meeting. According to John Riddle, creator of I Love To Write Day, the day is meant to “have people of all ages spend the day writing.”

Your writing possibilities are endless. You just need some writing tools. Some prefer their computer or laptop and others are faithful to pen and paper. Personally, I am a fan of both new technology and a pretty pen and notebook. My preference is based on what I’m writing. Work and school related material that has to be submitted or shared professional, I prefer technology. Note taking, journal entries, and personal writing have to be by hand. And the tools have to be pretty and fancy. I love big and bulky pens. My journals and notebooks have to be unique and speak to my personality. Here are a few of my favorite journals that I would recommend to others or give as gifts:


  1. This antique handmade leather bound daily notepad with unlined paper is great for daily diary writers or free hand journal entries.
  2. These journal notebooks are colorful and great for daily diary entries, travel journal entries, or for college students’ notes.
  3. The Tree of Life Journal comes with a cord closure and hand itched design; which makes it perfect for those who want a very unique journal notebook.
  4. This faux letter journal notebook is refillable and comes in a variety of shades and cover designs.
  5. This leather journal set comes with a metallic pen, unlined paper, and wrapped in antique leather all in a beautiful gift box making it a great gift for a boss or seasoned writer.


  1. This luxury ballpoint pen writing set with genuine leather handmade pouch is elegant and makes a thoughtful gift for your serious writer and pen lover.
  2. The IdealPool Rosewood Writing Set is luxurious and elegant; making it a great gift for your executive or fancy writer.
  3. This set of refillable calligraphy pens for beginners comes with 4 different sizes of black ink pens with brush tip. It is a great starter set for calligraphy students!
  4. Journal writers will love this 10 color pen set that comes with drawing stencils that are perfect for planners and scrap-booking.
  5. This vintage Rosewood fountain pen will be a cherished pen of experienced and seasoned handwriting lovers.

As a current college student my writing skills have improved greatly. However, I am fully aware that I have room for improvement. I keep my library stocked with writing resources to reference to regularly. Writing, for many, does not come easy. For this reason, I keep a list of writing guides to share with new writers and students. These are great gift ideas during spring break, trunk parties, and winter holidays when students are home from school or for those interested in making writing part of their daily life or career:


  1. Elements of Style is a writer’s Bible! It is the classic style manual for every writer. Writers and students need this book in their personal library as a staple reference. This is a great gift for high school and college students and new bloggers.
  2. On Writing Well – The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction is a praised guide for proving sound advice with clarity and warmth that is meant for everyone who wants to learn how to write or who needs to write to get through the day.
  3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content is 4.6 rated instructional book that will guide any business owner or influencer in creating content that is eye catching and thought provoking.
  4. 7 Essential Writing Tools: That Will Absolutely Make Your Writing Better (And Enliven Your Soul) is a 5 star rated book that invites you to fall in love with the magic that is writing with writer-tested and approved tools on story structure, scene creation, plot, voice, and character presentation.
  5. The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the Write Side of Your Brain is an innovative kit that includes exercises and instructions that focus on the right-brain approach to writing and other tools that any aspiring writer can use to step into literary greatness.

Take on today’s charge and write something that makes you happy. Let’s make writing a part of our daily self-care routine. We will touch those feelings and thoughts that we keep deep within and so desperately want to release. Whether we share with the world or not is not the focus. We simply need to write to acknowledge what we carry in our heart.

Get your journal and pen and write!




*affiliate links have been used*

Survivor Love Letter 2018

Dear Survivor! We see you. We believe you. We celebrate your life.


Survivor Love Letter is a movement for survivors of sexual assault and their allies to publicly celebrate their lives. It was started by filmmaker and activist, Tani Ikeda in 2012 on the anniversary of her rape where she penned a letter to her younger self that ended with the words: “this is my survivor love letter.”

I am participating with my first public love letter to my most cherished survivor; myself. I am a survivor of multiple sexual abuses as well as physical, mental and emotional abuse that began early in my childhood; so early that I remember pieces of events. My abuse has carried and covered me for most of my life. It has given me a cover that is heavily filled with fear, anger, insecurity, shame and guilt. Through prayer, counseling, and spiritual deliverance I have found a new freedom that is continuing to spread through my life. I have found my voice. And I’m tip toeing from behind the veiled cover more and more. Here is my love letter.

I love you Lydia.

It’s a new love that is still very immature. It’s filled with pride and awe in you. It’s founded on hope and belief in you.

I’m committed to the maturity process and making the mark for each point of Love as its described in the Holy Scriptures. You deserve this level of love and commitment. I am excited to see your journey to completion. I will not abandon you and I will not hide from you along the way. Please forgive me for the times I hid from you. Forgive me for abandoning you as others have. I hurt you and I wronged you. For these wrongs, I apologize. You are worthy of me staying the course with you. And I owe you my very best. I commit to stick with you as you do the hard work to finish this journey.

I’m honored to journey with you. Let’s look ahead to new and amazing experiences that will come our way. You’ve done an amazing job of speaking your truth. You’re learning to care for and protect yourself. Your voice is strong in the love that your abuse was sent to destroy. You are safe to journey from behind the hard veil of fear and live a free life. The world as you knew it, no longer has that power over you.

I love you Lydia.

I love me, Lydia O. Boyd


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Are You Acknowledging Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses This Month?

August is National Breastfeeding Month and breastfeeding is getting a lot of buzz. The month started off with World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) and it will end with Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31). Families, women, community leaders, and lactavists (yes, that’s a word) will celebrate the wonders of lactation and its many benefits. Government agencies around the world are releasing proclamations in support of breastfeeding as a way to support their local families. Just before we entered August, here in the U.S., we celebrated all 50 states finally having laws that protect a family’s right to breastfeed in public.

But what about businesses? Whether small or large, mom and pop, and my personal favorite; Black owned businesses. Are they supporting breastfeeding and are we, breastfeeding advocates, celebrating with local businesses in our communities? Last year, I committed to hold an in-person event annually during Black Breastfeeding Week for families while recognizing the business for being Breastfeeding-Friendly. Awesome families from the Los Angeles area met at Juice-C-Juice in Carson, CA to discuss breastfeeding. The owner of Juice-C-Juice was given window cling to let customers know that this is a breastfeeding-friendly establishment. This distinction means that breastfeeding families are welcome, protected, and will not be harassed within the business’ walls. In recent years, social media has been filled with amateur videos of mothers being harassed, demeaned, and belittled while breastfeeding in a variety of businesses and locations. Rarely, do we see viral videos of businesses supporting breastfeeding families. We can highlight businesses in our celebrations this year and every year.

If you are celebrating breastfeeding this month you can do these things:

  1. Shout out a business on social media with a direct tag, include their website, and/or give their address in a worded or picture post and use the hashtag #breastfeedingfriendly
  2. Write a positive review and give the business a positive rating on Yelp, Facebook, or on the business’ website. Make sure you mention that you were welcomed while you, your friend/family, or another customer breast fed their baby.
  3. Hand out Breastfeeding Friendly Window Clings to businesses that you know who support breastfeeding families. Clings can be purchased and kept in your car or purse. When you encounter a business that is welcoming to breastfeeding families, you can give the owner or manager the cling. The cling will notify families that this business is welcoming to breastfeeding families. Here are a few suggestions:

Regardless of how you recognize breastfeeding this month be proud about it. Let the world know that you are a supporter of moms, babies and families and their right to breastfeed openly and freely.

To learn more about my lactation support services and resources go to Lydia’s Resources. 


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Common Milk Supply Concerns

“I don’t have any milk.”

“I couldn’t breastfeed because I didn’t have any milk.”

“My baby never gets full.”

These are some of the most common statements that moms make when we discuss breastfeeding. Have you had a friend who told you they tried breastfeeding, but they did not have enough milk or their milk ‘didn’t come in’? If so, you probably walked away with questions about your ability to make milk. Today, I am going to discuss these concerns. This information will give you a better understanding about breastfeeding.

 Colostrum – That’s Milk!

Colostrum is the first milk that mom has when she delivers her baby. This special milk begins production between 10-14 weeks of gestation. It is a thick, tan or yellow fluid that comes out in drops. This milk is suitable for the baby’s newly working tummy as the full digestive process starts when the baby suckles for the first time. The drops allow the baby to get used to the digestive process over the first few days of life. Normally, you will see 20-30 suckles to every swallow when mom still has colostrum. If there are no problems with latch the baby can empty the breasts of colostrum in 2-4 days. However, if mom and baby are having latch problems then this time can take longer. Because the baby is doing a lot of suckling, they will need to spend a lot of time at the breast. And this is where most people question if colostrum is sufficient. It is! For the first day of life, a healthy baby will take approximately 1 teaspoon at each feeding. This amount goes up to 1 tablespoon, the size of a walnut, and then an egg during the first week. The baby’s tummy is not big enough to take a full 2 ounces within the first 48 hours of life. While many will take 2 ounces, this is not advised because spitting up or vomiting usually follows. Keeping the baby to the breasts is the best method during this time if we are not having problems with latch. Of course, there are exceptions and those are not as common as most think they are.

That’s it! I’m Done!

How will your baby tell you that he/she is finished eating? They stop eating and will not go back to eating within a short period of time. Some feedings will end with the baby falling asleep, but if the baby wakes up after a short period of time that simply means the baby woke up. It does not mean that mom does not have enough milk or that the baby did not get enough. I advise moms to hold their baby for at least 10-20 minutes once the baby comes off of the breast. Do not put the sleeping baby down until their limbs are limp. If you touch the baby and the baby moves on their own then the baby is only in a light sleep. Wait until the baby is in a deep sleep (limp limbs) and then put the baby down or hand the baby over to Dad to do skin-to-skin or another person who is willing to hold the baby. Something to take note of is that the baby will have hands that are open and no longer in tight fists. When the baby is hungry their hands close into fists; sometimes with white knuckles. You may see a diaper (urine or bowel movement) between this feeding and the next feeding. If after a diaper or burping session the baby wants to go back to the breast that is okay. That does not mean the baby did not get enough. The space in the tummy has been freed up and the next feeding will fill that empty space; which is normal.

What is it? Issa Growth Spurt

Growth spurts are feeding developmental milestones that every baby goes through. Normally, they happen weekly for the first 8 weeks and then they happen monthly and quarterly. Humans continue to have growth spurts while we are growing beyond infancy. During the growth spurts the baby will be very hungry; eating every hour, multiple times in an hour, and/or have very long feedings. They will be fussy, sleepy, and starting at the second week the baby may have less or no bowel movements; but there will be plenty of wet diapers. Mom will feel the growth spurt in her body as well. She will be tired, sleepy, and very thirsty. About the third week postpartum, mom’s appetite will return. Her breasts will feel extremely soft and after a few days to a week her breasts may feel full, tender, and she may have some hard spots in her breasts. During the growth spurt, I encourage parents to keep the baby at the breast and get a lot of rest. Pumping output during growth spurts will most likely be low during this time. I only advise pumping if it is absolutely necessary. Keeping the baby to the breast during these times signals the body to produce more milk and milk with more calories and fat. We really do not want to miss these signals; which supplementing with formula will cause. For this reason, I do not recommend supplementation unless absolutely necessary. Families who are concerned about their milk supply should contact a lactation specialist. In most cases, your milk supply is fine.

Now That You Know

Concerns about your ability to make enough milk for your baby are normal. Hold onto this information and refer back to it as you start breastfeeding. Trust your body to do what it was made to do. Trust your baby to do what he/she was created to do. And enjoy breastfeeding.

If you are a breastfeeding mom who is concerned about their ability to make enough milk we should chat. I am only an email away. If you would like my support check out my list of services and pricing. In the meantime, check out my Periscope broadcast where I go into a deeper explanation of what I have discussed in this blog post.

What questions do you have about this information? Did it make sense to you?

Mom’s New Samsung – Galaxy J3 Eclipse

Yes! I said the Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse, for my 70-something years old mother.

*gives the “Mom, Really? look*

She was determined to come into the smart phone era, but with her very limited income she needed an inexpensive phone with a low monthly payment. After I gave her some suggestions, she decided on the Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse. Thankfully, the service rep at the Verizon store was able to transfer her contacts through a Bluetooth transfer. Unfortunately, he was unable to transfer her photos. We were advised to get an SD Card and download her photos from her LG Cosmos – oh I didn’t mention she had an even older phone *gives same daughter look* – and use that SD Card in her new phone so she can access her photos.

Mom felt some kind of way because she is hearing that her new phone is old and finding accessories might be challenging. Right now she needs a phone case and an SD card. She thinks she will be able to find inexpensive accessories at stores like Ross, DDs, or other discount big chain stores. While I’m not going to argue with my mother about her new old phone, I am going to be a helpful daughter. I put together a list of covers she can order at a reasonable price. Her little sassy self does know how to get online and place orders. I think she will enjoy looking at this list of covers!

If you have someone who is looking for covers for their ‘new’ Samsung Galaxy J3 Eclipse phone, share this list with them. I’m sure they will find something to meet their needs.

Protective Cases

Standard Black Cases

Kick Stand or View Stand Cases

Fancy Design Cases

Simple Cases

UBER Express Pool

Express Pool is here! Have you tried it?Drivers, what are your thoughts?Riders, what are your thoughts?Let me explain what Uber Pool Express is. It is an expansion of the Pool ride (Lyft has a Line ride). Uber Pool allow riders to share a ride with other riders for a discounted price. Riders are paired according to their pick up location and drop off destination. Riders are added to the ride throughout the trip. Pool rides have a longer ETA for drop offs and pick-ups depending on common factors such as traffic and the number riders in the que of that ride. Uber Express allows riders to take even cheaper rides while sharing a ride with other riders, but Express riders will have to walk to a designated area that Uber deems as a more convenient pick up or drop off for the route. The rider and driver have no say in the pick up or drop off location. These rides have been 35%-75% cheaper than UberX fares and are being marketed as a great way save money on riders’ next trip.What are riders and drivers saying?

Some riders are saying that Express has been their only option because the app is selecting it for them. When riders are opening their app they do not realize that Express Pool has been highlighted and they are selecting Express unaware of what it is. However, in Uber’s defense, the app takes you through a series of screens the first time you select Uber Express Pool. While the animated screens are not detailed explanations of the new ride-share program, they are informative enough that riders can select not to take this cheaper option. And some riders just see the cheaper fare regardless of what is required of them and go with that.

Many riders are surprised and confused by the distance between their pick up and/or drop off locations in comparison to their exact requested pick up and drop off destinations. Riders have asked and demanded drivers to take them to their exact location. I had a gentleman tell me I was dropping him off at a location he no longer knew where he was and wanted me to take him back to his exact location. Some riders sincerely do not know their whereabouts and it can be unsettling to be left somewhere you’re not familiar with. For other riders, this is a prime opportunity to get a cheaper (or no charge) ride while possibly putting a driver in jeopardy of being deactivated. And this causes conflict between riders and drivers. And we’re back to poor ratings for both drivers and riders. Not a win/win situation.

Drivers were told they would make the same amount of money as an Uber Pool; which is already extremely low. However, upon calculating their payouts some drivers are saying that their earnings are less than the regular Uber Pool. If this is true, it is not good and puts Uber is a bad light; again!

Also, drivers are reporting that riders are not well educated on Uber Pool Express. Riders see the cheaper fare and select it but don’t understand or are not complying with the new pick up and drop off requirements. Riders are demanding that drivers take them to their exact location. Some riders are calling drivers to request that they be picked up from their exact pick up location. When and if this doesn’t happen riders are rating drivers low. Uber told drivers that this would be adverted and precautions were in place to protect drivers’ ratings in cases of complaints about pick up and drop off locations. However, drivers are seeing an increase in lower ratings because of Uber Pool Express. And some drivers are following the Express Pool guidelines to the letter and canceling rides when riders are not at their pick up location. While drivers are well within their right and Uber Guidelines to do this, riders are left with a cancellation fee (which they can dispute) and waiting even longer for another ride.

What are my thoughts?

Uber Pool, regular and Express, need to be taken off of the table all together. Both are setup horribly. Riders take advantage of the flaws and drivers pay with low ratings, less earnings, and more wear and tear on their vehicles. Adding Express to a program that is this flawed is negligent on Uber’s side. They just came out of 180 Days of Improvement and gave us Express. This does not speak to a sincere concern about driver or riders. The planning lacks strategic oversight and forethought. The marketing to passengers is lacking. Where are the commercials, social media posts, rider emails and text messages?

Detailed explanations should be sent to riders every time a driver and/or rider complains about their experience with Uber Express Pool. Uber is known for their canned communications and this would have been a smart move to have a canned email sent to riders every time a complaint came through from either a rider or driver. The email should explain the Uber Pool and Uber Pool Express offerings and requirements for both driver and riders. And riders should be made to confirm that they have read and understood what was sent to them before they are allowed to take another Pool ride. Drivers should be notified that this message has been sent to their riders. Drivers receive far too many threatening emails from Uber Support. This would be a small validation to drivers that Uber acknowledges drivers’ concerns and experiences.

Until solid changes can be made to Uber Pool, Express Pool will be a problem. And for this reason many drivers are opting out of pool rides all together. Riders will wait much longer to get a ride when they request any form of a pool. Yes, there are several drivers who will take a pool. But what does that 1-3 minutes wait time mean when a rider is short on time? Again, it feeds into an experience with a frustrated rider who is probably uneducated about their ride requirements and a driver who is being required to service said rider while educating the rider for pennies. And Uber sits on the sidelines sending canned messages.

Check out these videos that explains Uber Express Pool from the drivers’ viewpoint. 

Videos that detail how the program works from the riders’ perspective.


No H&M! Just no!


Today’s ‘Happy Monday’ has been tainted with a slow eye-roll and huge side eye to H&M for its ad that included a young Black child wearing a green hooded sweatshirt that says, “the coolest monkey in the jungle.” Why o why must we have to be subjected to this continual evil and ignorance. And I say ignorance very loosely because I question if folks are really uninformed about things such as combining an image of a Black person with an animal, especially a monkey.

Today, H&M issued an apology that left room to question their sincerity.

“We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top,” H&M said in a statement. “The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States. We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”

You offended Black people, Black parents, and the Black community worldwide. And H&M executives want those of us who are offended to take solace in the fact that the image won’t be posted on the US H&M website or that the sweatshirt will not be sold within any of the US H&M stores or online here in the US. However, the sweatshirt is being sold abroad. I found the shirt on the Ireland H&M website; it is just the shirt pictured on that website. What is even more interesting is that the other versions of the sweatshirt had more positive messages and were coupled with white child models.

This is not H&M’s first time in this rodeo. Nor do I think this will be their last. What is so tiring is that with every incident where a corporate entity throws common sense to the wind and allows racism to reign unchecked, the Black community is left to educate people as to why this is truly evil. By now everyone should know that likening Black people to monkeys is a racial aggression and has been used as one since the world has defined race. A simple Google search will educate the average person quickly as to why this should not be done. However, an entire team of designers and executives overlooked the fact that this combination would offend an entire community of people. And this is pure evil with all of its blatant intentions.

Now let me do what I traditionally do; which is direct my community to turn inward and find resources within our kinfolks. Yes, we have Black owned business owners who have amazing and stylish children’s apparel that have positive messages and images. The following is a short list of brands that I have direct contact with or knowledge of through my network and they come highly recommended.

While the above list is very short there are other brands. Black Moms Blog has a listing of brands that you may find useful for your family’s needs.

We are a strong community that is not helpless and will not stand for the behavior of H&M and other entities that are careless and disrespectful of us and our dollars.