IT’S COQUITO TIME!

As I walked through the grocery store, I got excited when I saw eggnog loaded on the shelves. Not to disrespect my beloved “coquito,” but America likes to compare it to eggnog. In my opinion, it is the much better tasting cousin! Coquito is a traditional food that all Puerto Ricans hold close to their hearts. Growing up, it is associated with Holidays, Love and Family. Coquito translated means “little coconut.” It is best enjoyed super cold. Here is how we make it in my house. If you are serving children or people who don’t drink, simply leave out the rum.

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (1 15 oz can) cream of coconut

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

**1 1/2 cup white rum (Must be white. I prefer Bacardi, of course)

cinnamon sticks for garnish

I suggest 1 1/2 cups of white rum. If that sounds like too much, start with 1 cup and add more to taste. I like to add just enough rum that it’s prickly on the back of your throat and warms you on the inside. It will be one of the few drinks you’ll have that is cold that warms you up. Just be careful because the flavor of the rum gets stronger the longer the drink “marinates.” LOL. If you have a family like mine, it could be the gift that keeps giving. Abuela once told me that egg yolk came from the white American tradition of eggnog, so some Rican’s have welcomed it into their coquito. I stick to my original roots, so I am part of the NO egg yolk camp! Debate amongst yourself and enjoy!

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE COUNTED A CALORIE!

I believe it’s more important to focus on the ingredients in your meal than the calories of your meal. Here is where my old Boss, Tyrone’s saying “KISS” comes into play. Keep It Simple Stupid! Quality over Quantity! 

Cutting out energy-dense, unhealthy items is crucial to weight loss. It’s more important to pay attention to what you’re eating! Watching the sugar grams and sodium intake, if you want to watch something.

The counting calories thing can throw you off because although avocados and nuts are high in calories, they are packed with nutrients like fiber and healthy fats that can promote weight loss. See how lines get blurred? Trusted Source

It’s all about having a healthy relationship with food! Make sure you are picking foods based on what nourishes your body rather than obsessing over which foods are “good” or “bad”. 

Rule of thumb if it says “Diet,” don’t touch it! The word diet within itself is a scam. Diet soda, salad dressings, and prepackaged meals are all full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. If you are interested in learning more about nutrition or simply refreshing your relationship with food, hit me up for a nutritional consultation. Check out my wellness programs at teamcheriej.com.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN IS ALWAYS AN INTERESTING ADVENTURE!

I used to have anxiety about traveling with my daughter but now I must say she has become my little road dog! Pausing to take deep breaths and meditation has always helped tremendously. I travel a lot for work and keep her in toe. I have always preferred taking the earliest flight out. Yes, that means very early mornings and often we are on our way to the airport while it’s still dark outside. She ends up being all sleepy on the flight and even when she doesn’t fall asleep, she’s mellow. When she’s able to get a nap in by the time we land, she’s ready to go. As long as we are traveling in the states, the whole day is not lost due to traveling. So, she is ready to hit the ground running.

I have been blessed with a child who loves to travel. Watching her gain her confidence while traveling has become an amazing experience for me. She loves pulling out her own ID, (Even though it’s not needed yet, she feels like she’s a big girl.) holding her own boarding pass and pulling her roller bag all by herself was the new thing on our latest trip. Even checking the scale to make sure her bag wasn’t overweight. Pulling out her iPad and putting it in a bin at security. I know these may sound like little things but she’s 5 years old already knowing how to basically get around an airport by herself. 

😂

This summer my mother started letting her order room service by herself, so this trip back to California she didn’t bother to tell you she was hungry for breakfast, she would go get out the menu and order her breakfast herself! Hahaahah, at 5 years old she’s even figured out she could buy things in the hotel and tell them to charge it to the room  LOL! 😂Thank God my mom didn’t allow her to do that while I was at work. I have a feeling strawberry shortcake ice creams from the gift shop would have been her everyday thing. I’ve noticed no matter how many toys she is given, she seems to talk about her experiences more than her things. While toys are nice, the gift of traveling and experiencing new things seems to be her favorite. Adventure over material…

She has definitely inherited that from me!

MOM, I DO LISTEN…

I am so grateful that sometimes I listen to my mother. One of the best lessons my mother taught me was before you go out of town, clean your house from top to bottom. Don’t leave any trash and wash all your clothes. I just got back home. I am jetlagged and tired as can be. One of the best feelings I got when I walked in my door was to walk into a clean house. I jumped in the shower, put on PJs, stuck my hair up in a bun and climbed into my crisp, clean sheets. My heater kicked on just at the right time and I snuggled up with my daughter and we went straight to sleep. 

I’m one of those people who don’t function well with clutter and chaos. I can’t stand looking around and seeing things everywhere, like piles of mail. The only piles I don’t mind are piles of books. To be able to come home and only have to worry about washing the clothes that we wore while we were gone is one of the biggest gifts I ever gave myself. So, this post is all about the best advice my mother has ever given me. Thanks, mom. See, sometimes I do listen!

MY DAUGHTER’S LATEST BOOK PICK

My baby girl is far from the princess type, so I was a little taken back at first when she picked out her latest book, The Duchess and Guy. Then I quickly realized my daughter has no idea who Meghan Markle is. She just picked a brown girl with a dog and a crown and I giggled, thankful she could see her own likeness on such a beautifully made book! 

I smiled because this was the opportunity for her to see mainstream royalty that looks like her. We talk about the royalty in Africa, but because of who owns the corporation of the United States, unfortunately those are not the images she gets to see on TV.  What a beautiful introduction to Mrs. Markle for her. 

The book is based upon the real-life story of Guy, a rescue beagle owned by the actress Meghan Markle, this picture-book from American author Nancy Furstinger and Spanish illustrator Julia Bereciartu imagines the process whereby the pooch makes himself at home with the British royal family, after Ms. Markle meets and eventually marries Prince Harry. Despite some initial mishaps, Guy eventually finds his place, much like his human, and all ends well…

The book is beautifully done and a reminder that unfortunately, there are many animals that deserve beautiful homes just waiting to be adopted. 

(This blog, I repeated the word beautiful a lot because Meghan is just that.)

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS

I live in the most incredible town. They always throw these “Events” for children in the neighborhood. I took my daughter to see Curious George for free at a book reading event. It was the cutest thing ever. Moving from California has groomed me to be everywhere early and thank God because when I say my town comes out to support, that is an understatement! My daughter and I were sitting in front of the stage and she was eating a blueberry muffin. All of a sudden, it turned 10 a.m.  I turned around and looked and out of nowhere there were 100 children behind us.  In no time, my baby girl had made friends with the boy on her left and the girl on her right. They were happily sitting there waiting. Watching her anticipation reminded me how important it is that children get experiences. In fact, I realize experience is more important than “things”. (She remembers the experiences and loves to talk about them.) 

With it being the last quarter of the year, I am going to remember this for Christmas time and try to figure out how to wrap up experiences instead of just gifts.

*Side note as beautiful as the event was, during the last book reading 3 kids approached the stage standing, screaming, and being unruly. A mother came to pull them back twice but wasn’t successful. Now they didn’t block my daughter’s vision because I told them to move but other children were blocked. They refused to sit down or be quiet, as not just me, but other parents in the front suggested! Now, none of us know what the last book was about, thanks to them. Even Curious George was curious about where their mother went. I need to know.

Momma, what were you thinking and why can’t you control your seeds? They were all under 5. The rest of us shouldn’t be punished because you gave up on parenting.

If nothing else at the end of the event, I was reminded my own child may be loud at times, but she is NOT bad, inconsiderate or rude! So, it brought me back to full circle appreciation. Thank you to my little city for all the cute things you put together for the youth! 

GRATEFUL

Never in a million years did I imagine me and this hottie would be working together again! What a complete gift from God! Thank you, Universe, and thank you All Of OUR PUNKY FRIENDS who have grown up with us! What an amazing opportunity you have given us…we are overwhelmed with emotions. I have cried 2 million happy tears. I am praying for at least 5 seasons and I know we can do it with your help. Punky became a culture for many, taught empathy and life lessons to all of us.

Soleil and I are both parents, so we are on a journey to give the same to our children, not in a corny way! Times have changed. I am so excited to embody the character of “Cherie!” I have faith you will love us as women. We are us; we are strong and powerful and we will make life happen in our own bubble. 

To be able to return to the BEST experience in my life is a true gift! I am treasuring every moment on the set. Soleil is the most pure, kind hearted person I’ve ever met in my life so to be able to hold my homie’s hand again at work is a true gift.

My have times changed. In the 80s, the network used to be 3-5 middle aged white men in suits who didn’t smile. UCP came down to watch our table reading and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Imagine around 40 people and 90 percent are women ages 20-50 and the room was All Diverse! It was the most amazingly beautiful “Girl Power” thing I’ve ever seen! Different walks of life, different ethnic backgrounds ALL POWERFUL women champion to get this Punky Pilot done! This is real PUNKY POWER! 

To be continued 2020…

GUEST BLOGGER RENEE – MY TRANSGENDER CHILD

On June 14, 1996 I had my first child, he was the perfect boy you can ever meet. Well raised by me only. I knew he was special at the age of 5. When they say mothers know first, yes they do. I knew at that age he was different but kept it to myself. 


His father only donated his sperm, he hated me because when I was pregnant I wouldn’t get an abortion. I remember going to a clinic doing an ultrasound and the doctor telling me I’m at the weeks where we need to talk about the procedure that will be done in 2 days, and you have to take 2 pills. One pill will open the cervix and the other pill will push the fetus down enough so the doctor can perform the procedure. I looked at my cousin and said, “I’m out of here.”  From that day on forward he never took care of his son financially, never given him a talk, never took him to a ball game, or hugged him. 


At the age of 6, I lost a custody battle to the father. He took me through hell and back. At age 11, I regained full custody. From this incident he refused to see or be a part of his life. During my son’s high school years he became more comfortable with himself, his father really stopped acknowledging him because he was gay. When my son was sent off to his prom, his father never came to see him off or attend his graduation. For some reason, I think that hurt me more than my son. After high school my son began taking hormone pills. It was hard for me at first, but I still stood by him. A year after my son graduated, his brother by another woman graduated from high school. My son and I went to see him off to the prom and their father was there as well. I watched and overheard their father discuss how expensive the prom was that he paid for it.  At that moment I was so hurt knowing he helped the other mother but not me. My son for the past 14-16 years will still go over his father’s family house but the father will never speak or acknowledge him. 
As of today, his father still doesn’t  accept the fact his son is a transgender and now he won’t acknowledge his other son who happens to be gay.  I’m doing my best to make this long story short, my life is like a book with my son. It has been a journey. Some times I beat myself up, and I still don’t know why it hurts me so bad that my son’s father won’t accept my son. He’s really a great person and I love him unconditionally.

MYSTERY SCIENCE

Mystery Science Halloween Project

As a homeschool momma, I love all the free resources I can find. Mystery Science gave us a year subscription for free. Mystery Science is used in 50% of elementary schools. They took 150 of the most asked questions to teachers by students ages 5-10 and turned them into science open and go lessons. 

We currently use it as a supplemental source of learning for my daughter and not primary. They send me cute emails of videos and projects on Sundays, so I plan it into her week. I find she enjoys the videos because it’s a nice way to break up bookwork during the week and something different than her hands-on science experiments.  I wanted to share an extension project that was offered by them because the skull is a perfect symbol of Halloween. It’s amazing how kids can be entertained by a simple piece of paper. 

(She was able to use scissors and tape, so she was happy. Science and Art all together. What’s better than that?)

If you are looking for something to boost your child’s knowledge of the world around them, check out www.Mystery.org

“TAKE THAT MAKEUP OFF, GIVE THE HORSE BACK ITS HAIR! “

I was told by men I looked up to and adore, “TAKE THAT MAKEUP OFFGIVE THE HORSE BACK ITS HAIR! “

I grew up in a time when men invested time loving women they weren’t trying to sleep with! I feel really sorry for a whole generation of young girls. Men no longer do that. They won’t tell you they aren’t into the lacefronts and fake eyelashes, instead they laugh at these young women behind their backs but pump them up in their faces and make them think they look good. They try to play hard and act like they don’t care but low-key get they’re dissing young girls after they use them at their convenience. 

I am very lucky and blessed. Men took time out of their day to let me know I was beautiful and “perfectly imperfect, but just the way GOD made me.” I was enough. They made sure I loved myself before I was thrown to the wolves of the dating pool where boys play on girls’ self-esteem every chance they get. I was told by men who supposedly loved me I needed my ass done and another offered to pay for me to have a boob job. But these fake loves were too late! I was already warned about their kind.

My first boyfriend, Victor Carrillo told me, “Stop flat ironing your hair, your curls are beautiful. Thank you, Mookie.

I already had a platonic, successful male friend who wrote me a 4-page letter about how I never needed to alter my body because I was perfect. Thank you, Najeh Davenport! It was a small gesture of love to him, but I’ve carried it with me through life!

“Take that dead puppy off your head!”, said Antwon Tanner about my fake bangs before we left the house. Thank you, Brother! LOL  

“You look like a geisha girl, take that shit off your face!” said Dr. Dre. LOL, I did have on a lot of makeup. I just got off work, LOL. Mel-Man then told me to go put some real clothes on. LOL, I was young and had too much hanging out, LOL. But I thought I was doing it. My body was banging.

Just thinking back at it makes me giggle! I love these men and hold them close to my heart. 

Luther Campbell confessed to me one night when I was about 18 years old that he wasn’t attracted to what he has built his character around. Look who he married, a conservative, beautiful lawyer…. I’m not name dropping, instead I’m sharing names of men who helped me become the woman I am now, who many of you admire as well. These men were real friends to me. Along with many others, they helped teach me I WAS ENOUGH. Once you love yourself, nobody can take that from you or have you thinking less of yourself and you damn sure won’t settle for less.

I hope some young men who read this are encouraged to take some young girls under their wings and show them genuine love before fake love is all in their faces.

This is what MEN LEAD THEIR FAMILIES means. It’s a man’s duty to PROVIDE, PROFESS and PROTECT! Provide isn’t always about money, it’s a safe place, it’s providing confidence and it’s about providing security of one’s heart! Profess that young men have some knowledge to offer. Protect isn’t about fighting but also about teaching to protect the heart. Love enough to protect women from you and themselves.

56% of women are dissatisfied with their overall appearance! That’s over half the women in this world. Ladies stop looking towards your female friends for advice and ask a male homie. If you don’t have platonic friendships with straight men, GO GET YOU A MANISH GAY BESTIE, he will get you right!

Advice I’ve gotten from women about my appearance was: change it up, get some tracks or a full weave, I should get a nose job, I should botox or laser the winkles in my forehead, my laugh lines should be filled in and put stuff in my hair to loosen my curls or make it straight chemically so it won’t curl anymore. I always was too skinny or too thick. (Imagine if I’da listened) This was advice from family members and people who supposedly love me! Not random friends.

We have to teach our daughters to LOVE THEMSELVES the way they are! I pray my daughter is surrounded with the genuine love and friendship I was blessed to encounter growing up. That positive male energy is needed! Mom & Dad’s word isn’t enough, it takes a village! I feel sad for every woman who didn’t grow up with it. It shows…