LIL CHERIE IS HERE TO HELP YOU HOMESCHOOL YOUR KIDS

I see a lot of parents on social media worried about what they are going to do with their children now that school is out. Lil Cherie is here to help. As parents are becoming educators, if your goal is to help your child stay ahead of the curve, improve their reading comprehension and become bilingual in the process…You don’t want to miss this sale.

Bundle and save with this perfect companion to the Lil Cherie Dresses Herself book, this learning unit was developed by the Lil Cherie Educational Team to help children to recognize sight words as they cultivate a love for learning and reading. 

This is the perfect unit for children up to second grade. https://adviceformysistas.com/product/lil-cherie-dresses-herself-book-curriculum-bundle/

If you need advice on homeschooling, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help! LilCheriehelps@gmail.com

NEVER FIGHT A WOMAN OVER A MAN!

Ladies, please explain to me the logic of fighting another woman over a cheating man. I understand the logic of both of you fighting him. I will never embarrass myself fighting any woman over a cheating man. (Cherie Johnson Is 2 cool for that.) If women banned together, men would stop. Other women owe you nothing, baby. It’s that man who owes you the loyalty and respect! 

If he’s a cheater and dumb enough to get caught, he deserves to be single. People can only continue to do to you what you accept.

I don’t even care if the other woman is your friend! Ladies hear me out.  If she was willing to take it there, at least you know where your friendship stands. Trust me I’ve been through this one firsthand. Only thing is he was loyal and disgusted by her advancements. There was no need to even confront her, he set her straight. It’s been years and I’ve never felt the need to say anything. What’s the point?  She made it known where I stand in her life and knowing makes me smile. You don’t need to trip ladies. Trust if she got turned down, she will live with that guilt. It’s not up to you to correct another woman’s behavior.  Correct the one you’re claiming and love. 

Let me repeat, “People can only continue to do to you what you accept.” Even though she and I didn’t have it out, she’s no longer a fixture in my home. See I control the energy I keep around me. It’s that easy when people NO longer serve the purpose of making you happy, you change your environment. Karma is real you ain’t gotta fight nobody, let everyone live in their own universal Karma.

(BTW ladies, cheating men are laughing at you when you’re fighting the other woman. It takes the attention off of them.)

www.TeamCherieJ.com

I WAS RAISED TO BELIEVE I HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THINGS!

I was raised to believe that my voice is powerful. I was raised to believe to always stand up from whatever felt good in my soul. I was raised to believe that my voice, my opinions and my thoughts matter. I was told repeatedly from my mother,

“Cherie, there is nothing in this world that you cannot do.” 

Because of that I believe. Simply because she believed.

My confidence is often confused for cockiness. My intelligence is often confused for sassiness. My outspokenness is often confused for being an angry black woman.

Those are misconceptions and stereotypes that people who don’t believe in themselves like to put on others. Those people who are less confident or haven’t figured out their self-worth or have yet to find knowledge of self or their own power… Have problems understanding how one person could possibly make a difference.

One person walking through life simply being kind to every person they come in contact with can change many people’s lives. Positivity and kindness really go a long way. We all have power in us to change the course of human existence as we know it. 

Unfortunately, many of us end up walking through life with no idea of our power. Simply because we weren’t raised by people who believed in themselves.

The best gift we can give our children is to believe in their dreams. Thank you, Mommy, for always believing in mine. 

www.TeamCherieJ.com

ALL-NATURAL WASH FOR YOUR DELICATES

So, many of you know that I’ve been on this journey about all-natural products, right? I found this product called “Clean and Cute” and it’s a delicate wash formulated by gynecologist Dr. Rogers, who is a woman straight out of Philadelphia. P.A. is in the house!!  It’s a one-of-a-kind product that hypoallergenic, non-GMO, non-paraben and organic. I am one of those people who has really delicate skin. To this day I am still using baby products or Going2natural products, so I am uber excited to use this panty wash. 

Clean & Cute™ Is a hypoallergenic, organic, non-GMO, vegan, Paraben free, Sulfate free, Formaldehyde free, animal cruelty free panty wash, oh, and it smells great too. It consists of only 3 all-natural ingredients-one of which is an essential oil. The panty wash was designed for all women who wear panties. It was developed considering that women are treated for vaginal infections very often, and we never consider the panties which this infected discharge is spilling and depositing. Panties are being cleaned with harsh detergents that cannot removed the organisms (infection) from the panties, thereby leaving the panties “infected”. A lot of the vaginal itching, irritation, swelling and red and swollen hair follicles can be a consequence of an allergic reaction to the harsh, sometimes cancer-causing ingredients in the detergents that are used to clean the panties. Those chemicals then lay right against the skin and it causes all of the above. As Dr. Rogers says, “Everything that itches ain’t yeast”. Women are repeatedly treated for the infections, and then put on the same vaginitis or yeast and mold filled panties and expect not to be irritated or have an odor!! Not so!! 

To buy now https://www.cleanandcute.shop/shop


— 

www.TeamCherieJ.com

GUEST POST: HOW TO PAY FOR AN HBCU EDUCATION FROM A MOM WHO’S DOING IT

By Tauleece Thomas, Esq.

Financing a college education is often one of the most daunting tasks that parents face on their parenting journey. There are so many questions to ask and answer as our children approach that ultimate decision of where they will matriculate after high school: Do we take out loans? Do we do the community college route? How can we find enough scholarship money to meet the need? Along with these very real questions of finance, many parents are also struggling with questions about which type of university will best suit their children. Should they send them to a PWI (Predominantly White Institution) or an HBCU (Historically Black College or University)? In our community, the love for HBCUs is sometimes jaded by the belief that HBCUs are “too expensive”. This misguided premise truly amazes me because HBCUs were founded to provide educational opportunities to those with the most limited resources. Have costs increased over the years? Absolutely! But so have the offerings and opportunities that HBCUs make available to our community. So, let’s explore some options, ideas and avenues for removing the “too expensive” moniker from any conversation about our beloved HBCUs.

You might be wondering, “Who the heck is this chick?” Well, I am a proud HBCU graduate (Howard University Class of 1992). I am the wife of a proud HBCU master’s program graduate (Prairie View A&M University Class of 2013). I am the mother of a proud HBCU graduate (Prairie View A&M University Class of 2016). And I am the mother of two proud, current, HBCU students (Prairie View A&M University Classes of 2018 and 2020). Yes, I am ALL ABOUT the HBCU journey! I value it! I love it! I live it!

Even before we became parents, my husband and I made TWO decisions:

        1 – Our children would attend HBCUs for their undergraduate education.

        2 – Our children would NOT take out loans for their undergraduate education.                                                    

To make these decisions feasible and attainable, we decided to adopt several mantras…philosophies…or family premises:

A’s = MONEY                 You can pay for school with your MIND              You can GET PAID to go to school

Our family hashtag: #wedontpayfordegreesaroundhere

Our family hashtag is one that we take VERY seriously. Being able to “pay for school with your mind” is a very real and attainable goal. It does take a bit more of a concerted effort on the part of parents and students, but it is completely feasible to not pay one red cent for your child to attend some of the best institutions of higher learning that this country has to offer. Excuse my colloquialism for a moment, but “ain’t NO education like an HBCU education”!

By now, you’re thinking, “Ok, sista…I’m with you on this. But, HOW do I do it?” I’m glad you asked that question…. here we go:

THE INTERNET IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

There is this WONDERFUL thing called the internet….and with a search of the right terms, parents and students will find a whole world of obscure and unknown scholarships that are out there and available. Since we homeschool, we simply turned “Scholarship Search” into a required course in the 11th and 12th grade year for our students. The vast array of scholarship search websites that are available is astounding. And while much of the information will likely be duplicative from one site to the next, there is always the possibility of finding hidden gems on one site that aren’t available on all sites. Make your internet search relevant to the schools and areas of study that your student is interested in pursuing. Also, access experienced counseling for scholarship search assistance. If your student is in public or private school, consider requiring him/her to establish a regular meeting time with the school guidance counselor as a way of staying informed and aware of scholarship opportunities and deadlines. This should be done at the beginning of the high school career, NOT in the last year.

KNOW THE TYPE OF SCHOLARSHIP THAT YOUR STUDENT IS MOST LIKELY TO BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE

Understand the difference between merit-based scholarships, which are based on academic performance, and need based scholarships, which are based on financial need. For example, because of our family’s income level, my children have never qualified for many need-based scholarships. The couple of times that they did, it was because we had multiple students enrolled in college at one time, so our need was seen as greater for that reason. There are also scholarships that are specifically for students who plan to attend HBCUs. They are available via local alumni chapters, corporate alumni chapters and endowments set up by alumni that are administered by the university. Broaden your mind and thoughts about where scholarship money may be available and then tap those sources. Apply, apply, apply, apply, apply and apply some more! Consider creating a spreadsheet list with the scholarship name, application deadline, award amount, reference requirements, and notification date as a way of charting and tracking scholarship applications. Most applications are online now, but having this document is a great way to keep a personal eye on how your efforts are progressing.                        

NO SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL

A full ride academic scholarship does not always have to come from one funding source. If a student is able to aggregate scholarship awards and cover the entire cost of his or her education, then THAT is also considered being on full academic scholarship. Don’t shun those $250, $500 or $750 scholarships…they really do add up! The smaller dollar scholarships are sometimes the easiest to apply for and receive. A short essay, often no more than 500 words, is usually a standard requirement. So, if your student shuns writing, start working on improving his/her outlook on the power and purpose of being a good writer.

GET INVOLVED IN PRIVATE ACTIVITIES/GROUPS THAT OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS TO MEMBERS

Organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, Jack & Jill, Rotary Clubs, Masonic Lodges and other private membership entities regularly offer scholarships for students attending college who have participated in their organizations. These scholarships are often overlooked and go unclaimed as students don’t see the long-term value in joining and participating in these organizations. However, participation in these organizations often add value to a student’s resume, impart lifelong skills and create highly beneficial networking relationships that all can, and often do, lead to more scholarship opportunities. [Editor’s note: also consider athletic organizations and remember to apply for scholarships offered by local Black Greek-letter organizations (Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, etc.)]                         

ATTEND PRE-COLLEGE SUMMER PROGRAMS AT HBCUs

Most HBCUs have wonderful summer programs for students desiring to gain access and exposure to what that university has to offer. These summer opportunities often provide “insider information” about scholarships that students can apply for, when applications will be available and valuable mentoring experience with university students and staff. When a student attends and performs well in a summer program at an HBCU, he/she is seen as a valued future student for that institution. Some summer programs are free, and some have a cost. But no matter the cost, the value is in the fact that the student and his/her family have made a deliberate and substantial connection with that particular HBCU.                              

And finally… THE MOST IMPORTANT tip for funding an HBCU education is to change your mindset and improve your expectations! If you believe and expect to be able to afford an HBCU education for your student, you will make it happen!

My husband and I are now on our third student attending an HBCU, and we have yet to pay one penny for tuition, books, room and board or fees of any kind. Our oldest graduated in 2016….completely debt free. Our two current students have excess scholarship money EVERY semester such that they never have to ask us for money for anything. Heck, sometimes, I want to ask THEM to break me off a little piece of change! Our youngest two students are already primed and ready to find their niche and pay for school with their minds as well. 

WHAT WOULD KIDS BE DOING IF VIDEO GAMES WEREN’T EVER INVENTED?

I just saw a post on Facebook that said, “What would kids be doing if video games weren’t ever invented?”  I couldn’t help but laugh and then comment.

My Facebook comment…

“Actually, my kid just read a book on the history of Video Games and there was a Quiz

at the end. I made her do an oral book report. Not only did she ace the test (reading comprehension) but she read words way beyond what should be her reading level at 5 years old. She thinks Adventure Academy is a video game she’s now moved on from her old game ABCmouse.com. I call this parenting and Homeschool in 1! 

Regardless of their peers, kids live with us and we are the biggest influences in their lives. If you get outside, they will too.

As parents we still can control what our kids do. There’s a swing set outside, so we can go out there and play. I also connect her punching bag to it from time to time. I bought her a pogo stick. She can’t pogo stick inside.   She likes to go with me on my morning walk, but she wants to ride her scooter or her bike. She is also playing soccer and swims in the pool all summer. As a parent, I’ve made it my responsibility to make sure that she goes outside and get the proper exercise that kids should get. I don’t sit around and blame video games and TV. 

Go to the park

Take them on a walk

Go swimming 

Wash the car together

Trim bushes 

Play soccer with them

Play basketball 

Play catch and talk

Play frisbee

Fly a kite

If you stop making excuses, you being involved will get them away from the TV up and out. I’m just saying, can’t blame the video games you paid for!

www.TeamCherieJ.com

BENEFITS OF RED GRAPEFRUIT

If it is at all possible to be in love with the fruit, I have to admit I’m in love with red grapefruit. It all starts with the smell.  I can’t smell a red grapefruit without smiling. 

Eating grapefruit regularly may be beneficial for your immune system. They help break down calories and burn fat! That’s why they say it aids weight loss. 

Its high content of vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties known to protect your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses. Grapefruit also provides small amounts of B vitamins, zinc, copper and iron, which all work together in the body to promote immune system function.

Eating grapefruit may help control insulin levels and it has the ability to reduce your likelihood of becoming insulin resistant. Which coming from a family of diabetics, makes it 1 more reason I love to eat it! Prevention instead of treatment will be my choice every time. 

Ladies if I haven’t given you enough reasons to grab a grapefruit during your next shopping trip, research shows the smell of grapefruit on a woman makes them appear 5 years younger to men! 

*Be careful because when taking certain medications like the heart medicine Procardia, you cannot eat grapefruit. I learned that the hard way during my pregnancy. Grapefruit was my only craving and because I was put on Procardia, I could not eat it! 

Guest Blogger CiCi: Never Came

Never would I ever think that I would be the one telling the story from this side. 

But they told us never to say never anyways, so I guess that is where I first went wrong.

The second misstep happened when I slept with that dude without a condom.

This guy that I barely knew and probably didn’t have no business messing with in the first place had convinced me, through no major provoking, that I was safe with him.

And I believed it.

That was my bad. 

Many of us have done it though. 

You know, slipped up.

But this slip up was more like a punch to the throat. 

Sometimes, we get fortunate in these circumstances. 

We admit to our doctors a lapse in better judgment, anxiously succumb to a STI screening, pray extra hard and somehow all the results come back negative.

Whew!

We learn from our mistakes (hopefully) and then keep it moving.

But then sometimes, we test positive for something.

Most of the time, it’s something that can be treated and forgotten about.

I don’t know, something like chlamydia or trichomoniasis.

You know, something nobody ever has to know about. 

You take your treatment. It goes away. And you can act like it never happened. 

But then other times, that positive test result is heavy.

In my case, it was the HIV test that came back positive.

Heavy, heavy. 

Still a lesson. 

But definitely not one I thought I would ever have to learn.

NEVER did I ever think that it would be me.

Not that I thought I was special or nothing…

… but that was the thing – I wasn’t special at all.

I wasn’t doing anything different than anyone else around me.

Nothing that I thought would put me at risk of contracting HIV. 

I was just having sex.

Unprotected sex. 

Sex that rewarded me with a lifetime of medical treatment and regret. 

That was over a decade ago though.

Over ten years of me having to relive bad decisions I made so long ago. 

I’ve had to learn how to fight for Love of Self in a world that gives me so many reasons to be ashamed.

But I got it. 

And I’m holding on tight. 

Isn’t it beautiful how we still find a way to smile after all that we have gone through?

We all do. 

HIV doesn’t define me. 

Neither does the abuse. 

Or the depression. 

Rather, I see them as bruises that I wear boldly and proudly as they are pieces of what has molded me into the woman I am today. 

And for that, I am grateful. 

Of course, if I could go back and do it all over again, I would have done at least two things differently: 

I would have insisted that the guy wore a condom  

and refrained from sex with him until we had both been tested for HIV. 

But HIV was never gone catch me. 

Honey Child, 

When them folks tell you to, “Never say never” –

I would listen. 

Cus sometimes, never is closer than you think. 

+ Ci Ci + 

YOUR MENTAL HEALTH STATUS SHOULDN’T BE A SECRET

I just found out that one of my high school best friends is bipolar. Like diagnosed! The sad thing is his whole family knew…but none ever told me! I guess in high school they could help regulate him and keep him on his meds. “Back Story” ….so he was always a loose cannon, but he was pretty normal like any other teenager. After high school, things begin to change but I held onto my friendship into the middle of the 2000s. 

I remember going into an audition and seeing my friend walk down the street.  He looked homeless, I felt sad! I brought him home with me! I made him take a shower, wash his clothes and gave him something to eat but shortly after he began to act erratically, and I had to get him out of my house. I was sad because I never felt uncomfortable being alone with him until that day. He was screaming about how he could elevate things using his mind and he was angry I didn’t see it. I asked him if he was on drugs, he insisted things were floating around my house! (Yeah, he had to go, I dropped him off back where I found him Hollywood Blvd.)

We had always stayed in touch. Yes, he had called me a few times, yelled and said crazy things on the phone but I didn’t know the signs, so I missed it. 

A few years after high school, our contact dwindled down. It was no longer a day-to-day thing anymore. More like a once a month check in and that’s pretty natural. People grow up and go in different directions. We would lose touch but every once in a while, the universe brought us back together.

Around 2013, I worked for a magazine and my office was in Hollywood.  One day I got a great surprise my friend showed up to see me…so he was still hanging out in Hollywood area often. Someone had told him that my office was nearby. It actually overlooked Sunset Blvd. I was so excited to see him walk up in my office, it brought me so much joy! He looked good, he was clean, he had on nice clothes, but he had a lil beard. It was awesome to see him looking like an adult. We exchange numbers again…stayed in touch. Everything was pretty much back to normal, we reunited, and I felt like I had my homey back. 

Then 2014… Not sure if you know the details of my pregnancy but it was extremely high-risk! I had emergency surgery, was on heart meds, had gestational diabetes, contractions daily and hormone shots. I was on bed rest for seven months and was told no stress!  Anything that caused me stress, I had to let it go. Not only from my life but also for my child. At that point anything and everyone who caused drama I easily said goodbye too.

I got a phone call one afternoon from my friend, he was cussing me out! I mean BAD, he was saying all kinds of mean things to me and I didn’t understand what was going on or where it was coming from. I tried to calm him down and I explained to him the situation that I was in and how I could not do stress. He didn’t care, he screamed at me, “Bitch, I don’t care!”  I hung up the phone. Usually I would have cussed him out, but I was having contractions and couldn’t deal. He musta called me back 30 times. Finally, I answered again, and I said, “What is wrong with you? I told you I just can’t take the chaos right now.” His response was, “Fuck you, bitch. I hope you die. I hope you contract HIV and die of AIDS and I hope your sick mama dies.” 

I hung up the phone and I reached out to his brother and asked his brother was he on drugs because nothing else made sense. His brother told me there was nothing wrong with him. I didn’t accept that answer so then I called his mother and said, “I’m really really worried about him. I think he’s on crack because nothing else makes sense.” I was then sternly told, “He might smoke a little bit of weed but he’s not on crack.” I said, “He’s on something, he’s not OK.” Then his mother basically told me she didn’t know what I was talking about, he was grown and she didn’t have anything to do with it. I understand having loyalty to your child but clearly, he wasn’t getting the help he needed. For the life of me I can’t understand why she chose to still not tell me? This is a man I’ve known 30 years! 

At that moment I kissed him goodbye, in my mind of course, not physically! I prayed for him and I let the friendship go.  His mom is a really sweet lady, she calls and checks on me from time to time and we keep in touch mostly on social media. His sister also keeps in contact with me but my friend and his brother I don’t really deal with. 

My daughter is now five years old. I thank God daily she was born healthy and I am off heart meds. Well his brother reached out to me recently and asked me to call him. I declined, I told him I was very much at peace. My life is changed, I’ve changed completely and no longer can I do the chaos. I refuse to have that kind of energy in my life. His brother said he understands. It was pretty much left at that. 

Shortly after I got a call from another family member who decided to tell me he was not on drugs, but he is bipolar! He refuses to take his medicine sometimes and that’s why he acts the way he does. 

My heart broke.  I have been asking for years what was wrong with my friend. I thought he was on drugs I asked him repeatedly if he was on crack! I asked his mother repeatedly was he on crack because nothing else made sense! I’ve known this man since the ninth grade. I never knew that he had a mental health disorder. That piece of information is HUGE and was never disclosed to me. That in itself was a shock to my core, and it hurt my heart because had I known I could’ve handled the whole friendship differently. 

I could’ve been a support, I wouldn’t taken every bad thing so personally, I wouldn’t have been so offended every time he cussed me out and I wouldn’t been so stressed out or heartbroken by the thing that he had done.  The things he had said. Unfortunately, at this point the relationship is pretty much unrepairable but I do have the answers I’ve been looking for… for 20 years! My friend is bipolar. 

With that little bit of information, I can forgive him. I can pray for him in a different way now. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to be an assistant to helping him with his mental health but I simply didn’t know. Had I known things would be different…had I known he would know my daughter. He’s never even seen a picture.

I wish people with mental health issues would be open and honest about their status to the people close to them. 

www.TeamCherieJ.com

HOOP EARRINGS ORIGINATED IN AFRICA AROUND 2500 B.C.E.!

As a small child my idea of beauty was red lips and big hoop earrings. That was the idea I had in my head for my ideal look when I grew up. My mother would never let me wear large earrings as a child, but she always kept me in little hoops. I couldn’t wait for the day I was allowed to wear the big ones. 

Did you know hoop earrings date back to Nubia, a civilization that existed in the fourth century in what is now present-day Sudan?! In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore hoop earrings. Egyptian royalty including queens and pharaohs like Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen and Cleopatra wore gold hoops, but it was the style. For Egyptians, “earrings were seen as something that enhanced one’s beauty and sexuality.”  As a child, my mother told me earrings always make you look beautiful. I never leave the house without a pair on and the few times I have… I actually have stopped in the store and bought a pair, because I felt naked.

I grew up in a white neighborhood and they made sure to let me know my hoops were ghetto! Instead of it making me feel bad, I embraced it! After all, I am originally from Duquesne, PA… not Westlake Village, CA where I went to school. I had NO problem living my true-self and was always PROUD of exactly where I came from. My knowledge of self has always been STRONG even when my mother’s sisters tried their best to reprogram and whitewash me. I love my Blackness and I am proud of it! Some things are innate to who you are! Bamboo earrings are more than a L.L. Cool J song.

How refreshing it was to find out it’s in my blood! It’s a part of who I am… Egyptians that were not royalty were also buried wearing their hoop earrings, to enhance their beauty and appeal in their afterlife.

Hoop earrings are NOT a fashion trend but a fashion staple and a part of our history! 

Happy Black History Month, Sistas! Let’s keep passing our fashion staples down through generations. I will be putting some bigger hoops in my daughter’s ears this month thanks to Grandma! (She hooked her up.) Make it a “THANG” as you put those earrings in your daughters’ ears. Teach them it’s their history and to sport those earrings with pride!