Web Toolbar by Wibiya


Black History Month In Focus: Tray Chaney

As much as Black History Month has been about those who have broken down barriers and created things that have made the world a better place it is also about those who are alive and well and securing their places in history. That being said I'd like to shine my light on actor/musician Tray Chaney, a dedicated Dad and an advocate for reading and early education. He is using Hip Hop and social media to promote positive living and thinking about things that normally aren't discussed for fear that "it won't sell."

Well Tray is making it sell.

The Radical Readers single is available now for download on iTunes.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.


Monday's with Michelle: TGIM?

Happy Monday good people, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! I've got another "in case you missed it" today.... I posted this last week on my Foodie Blog and it is alllllll about Potatoes. Yes. Potatoes, the most beloved starch on planet earth. Well, at least at my house. In case you are wondering, "Why all the repeats?" Well, I am training for my first Half Marathon and we are down to crunch time, so all I have time to do is run, stretch, eat clean and drink water... and sleep and work too. That being said I'll be re-posting some of my favorite and most popular posts over the next few weeks as I continue to prepare for those 13.1 miles. Wish me luck! Now on to the Potatoes!!

Kartoffeln. Patatas. Aardappelen. ΠΑΤΑΤΕΣ. pommes de terre.

They are awesome  in any language.


O, Featherbed! A Full Night's Sleep

I am obsessed with getting a good night's sleep as is my wife, but for whatever reason we seem to be at war as to how to actually accomplish this.

The opening salvo was fired two years ago by my wife bought a more accommodating queen-size bed. However it is hard as a rock. What she calls firm is brick and hasn't allowed me to enjoy a full night's uninterrupted sleep not even once. I hated that bed.

Until now.


Black History Month In Focus: Madame C.J. Walker - Entrepreneur Extrodinaire

What do you know about Madame C.J. Walker? Not Mary K., Madame C.J. Walker.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.


Black History Month In Focus: Duke Ellington

The Duke. Enough said.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.

Mondays with Michelle: 30 Minute Meal - Chicken Fajita Tacos

In case you missed it... here is my latest "Midweek Healthy Eats"  post featured on Space and Silence...

When it comes to eating healthy, there always some excuse. "It's more expensive"... "It takes too much time to prepare".... "I'm too tired after work to come home and find something healthy to eat". The list of excuses can go on and I've  been guilty of it too. The reality is, you can eat healthy and you can do it quickly and for a reasonable cost. To prove it, I'm going to walk you through a yummy recipe and break down the cost and time...

Chicken Fajita Tacos in 30 minutes or less for $15 or less:


Black History Month In Focus: Aurthur Ashe

Besides being a neighbor (well he owned a home on the next block) while growing up, tennis star, Authur Ashe was ahead of the curve. He is a classic example of grace and showmanship on and off the court.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story. Follow me on Twitter @EPayneTheDad.


Happy Valentine's Day - Occupy Love

This past Sunday while exiting a Krispy Kreme (an after-church ritual here at Casa de Payne) my daughter noticed an ad for a doughnut that said something like,"Now, I know what love looks like!" She read it aloud and immediately remarked, "You can't see love, you do love!"

Ain't that the truth.

Photos courtesy of OMG Booth

Happy Valentines Day! Occupy Love. Do Love...

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story. Follow me on Twitter @EPayneTheDad


Mondays with Michelle: Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day quite often revolves around food... chocolates, lavish dinners and other sweet treats. If you aren't taking your loved one out for a night on the town, dinner for two at home is always a wonderful way to celebrate the love holiday. Spend some time in the kitchen and cook together... and maybe even enjoy a nice bottle of wine (or two) while you are preparing it. *wink*

Here are a few, great dinner menus to try this valentine's day:


Remembering Whitney Houston

The awards, achievements and album sales of this singer are too numerous to reprint here. But just to give you an idea...Whitney Houston's career lasted nearly 30 years before her untimely passing yesterday evening and she sold more than 55 million albums in the U.S. Her worldwide sales top out beyond 300 million.

I first heard her voice in high school and couldn't believe the high note she hit at the end of The Greatest Love of All. I remember scrambling to find her album covering and saying to myself, "She fine!" I didn't know back then that she was a mere 8 years older than me.

She seemed to soar above all the rest with her incredibly strong voice, so strong that I used to turn her music down if not off (especially once I hit my Hip Hop phase). But there is no denying that her voice was the soundtrack of the 80's and a better part of the 90's along with Michael and Madonna and a handful of other pop superstars.

Yes, there is the current mystery surrounding her cause of death. Yes, there was Bobby Brown. Yes, there were the drugs. Yes, there were all those bizarre news stories and celebrity sightings that caused me to shake my head and feel pure sorrow for her. And yes, there were all those MAD TV skits which had me rolling on the floor with laughter.

All of the above are just footnotes, albeit important and cautionary ones, that cannot silence a voice that reigns supreme, now and forever more. I will choose to remember this classic and timeless Whitney, pictured above.

Rest In Peace, Whitney (1963-2012). May your restored voice keep the angels jammin'.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.


Macy's Celebrates Romare Bearden's Centennial Birthday

The Lamp, Romare Bearden
I come from a family of artists and I am overjoyed to see that my daughter has embraced the arts, naturally.

Macy's at Lenox Square as a part of their Black History Month activities is commemorating what would be the 100th Birthday of Romare Bearden with a satellite exhibition. Running in Atlanta from 2/9 - 2/12, 2012, it features watercolors, prints, oil on paper and dramatic black and white photostats that date from 1964 to 1984 when Romare Bearden was at the peak of his artistic power. In addition to works on loan from the Romare Bearden Foundation are new works by artists inspired and influenced by his life and legacy.

Romare Bearden is recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the 20th century. He had a prolific and distinguished career. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent in a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art.

My personal study of this man is one that reveals an artist who was incredibly industrious for the age and time in which he lived and the particularly, the age that he was when he began his career. Being in New York viewing Romare Bearden's works was easy, but never anything I've taken for granted, now a slice of his genius is available in Atlanta. To learn more about this amazing man, visit the Romare Bearden Foundation, one of the oldest foundations established by an African American visual artist.

Disclosure: I attend a preview showing of Romare Bearden's work at Macy's at Lenox Square Mall and received compensation for writing this post, but the opinions and attitudes expressed within are wholly my own.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.


Sons Versus Daughters

This is my daughter attending an awards ceremony for a piece of art she created. Bright. Focused. Driven. Poised.

and........this is my son.


Decompressing When The Parents Are In Town

My folks in town for a few days. On Monday I had a rare opportunity to do something wonderful --- decompress. After a very long day on my wonderful new job. The wife and I made plans to fend for ourselves for dinner. She was taking care of the boy. So there I was at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, just me, one other person, the staff and my deliciously warm cup of Joe. No wife, no baby girl (my parents had her) and no son. Pure bliss for nearly 90 minutes before I had to resume my responsibilities as Husband and Dad. Responsibilities I am honored to have.

Everyone needs a break, no matter how short. When's the last time you took one?

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.


Mondays with Michelle: 30-Minute Meal

In case you missed it.... here is another great, quick go to meal that I posted on my foodie blog a couple of weeks ago. You can have it whipped up for your family in 30 minutes or less and it is a well rounded healthy meal that everyone will love... Enjoy!

Shrimp, brown rice, black beans and broccoli
Instead of just listing the recipes (or lack there of), I'm going to try something new and give you a step by step on how to get this meal to your dinner table in 30 minutes or less.

On your mark... get set.... goooooooo!


Things That Make You Go Hmm....

  • My wife wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me I'm breathing heavy (not snoring). But she doesn't ask if I'm okay.
  • We have a standing "last one up" rule. The last one up shuts everything down. My wife will sometimes come upstairs after watching television and wake me up to tell me to turn the light off on my side of the bed...because it's on my side.
  • My wife gets up to use the restroom in the middle of the night jumps back into bed and throws herself across three quarters of it and wakes me up to tell me I'm hogging up most of the bed. I often wake up to find myself staring at the floor from the sliver of mattress I'm sleeping on. And what she believes is me is typically a pillow or the comforter.
But I'm the bad guy...