Friday, October 20, 2017

Forward Fridays - Mr. Armani Valentino

This Friday segment is dedicated to everyday people doing everyday things in our community. By recognizing these extraordinary people, we are looking to highlight their gifts, talents, contributions, and services available as well as encourage you to support, uplift and patronize them when you can. And maybe, it will inspire some, light a fire in others, to begin, step up and/or continue your own journeys to serve your community. 

Reach One. Teach One. Each One.

Mr. Armani Valentino

"You matter and you count! Otherwise, you wouldn't still be here on Earth.
The moment you can Allow YOUR GOOD and EMBRACE the UNKNOWN, your life changes!" 

~Armani Valentino~

According to his website, he is: 

National Bestselling Author, Speaker Publisher, Certified Relationship & Communication Specialist
Emotional Health & Wellness Life Coach
Small Business/Marketing Consultant
Director, Producer, Playwright, Actor

Before I saw Renaissance Man, I had made up my mind that I was going to use that to describe him anyway. I met Mr. Valentino, late 90s? Early 2000's? It's been so long ago, I can't even remember. On Black Planet no less. He was singing in a group named BWP - Brothers With Potential. I listened, loved it, got an autographed pic and got on the street team to promote them. Now 20+ years later, we are still connected. He is still doing great things and awesome is an understatement.

What the website doesn't tell you is that he has a heart of gold. It also doesn't mention in the very first part that he is buying back the block in his hometown. Buying houses, rehabbing them and selling them. This is something I would love to get into and see more of us do. I am inspired by his strength and resolve to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. 

What it does tell you is:

Armani is a visionary. He has a resilience that's unmistakable. If you know him personally, you know he will always find a way to help people and create win-win situations for all parties involved with him.  He uses his writings, movies, blogs, videos, and plays as a means of promoting:

          1. Better communication skills in relationships
          2. Healthy relationships
          3. Prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs/STIs
          4. Domestic Violence Prevention for Both                             Females/Males
          5. Literacy and Education
          6. Prevention of Teen Pregnancy

Because of these core goals, Armani Valentino has been a featured lecturer and workshop presenter at colleges and universities nationwide (Jackson State University, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University, Arkansas State University and more).  He has also been a guest on the nationally syndicated "Rickey Smiley Morning Show," Dallas' K104fm and has had numerous television, radio, internet, podcast, and newspaper appearances.  What started as one book (99 Questions)  has now turned into a brand.  

As long as I've known him, he's never shied away from a challenge, he rolls his sleeves up and gets his hands dirty AND you can disagree with him. What I mean by that is, he's not one of those people that needs everyone to agree with whatever he's saying. He is open to the opinions and experiences of others without judgment and if he can help, he will. If not, he will point you in the direction of those that can. 

I am also the owner of a few books that Armani has written. Two of them were damaged recently but I plan to re-purchase them. He is serious about getting the love back into the microwave relationship cliff that society is headed towards. I hope it's not too late. 

He's not one of those people that has his hand in everything and gets so overwhelmed that nothing gets accomplished (Jack of All Trades, Master of None). He is saying, doing and following through. He will do his due diligence before presenting anything to his followers. He is learning and growing and I am so proud of him and to be able to witness the transformation over the years. I am a huge fan.

He's serious about love y'all.

You don't have to take my word for it though, you're welcome to check him out for yourselves.

Mr. Armani Valentino, Renaissance Man, we salute you. #KeepGoing #KeepGrowing

To nominate someone to be featured on Forward Fridays, please email us at along with a write-up letting us know why you would like us to recognize this person and include 4 pictures. And stay tuned for a new person featured every Friday!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Promo Thursdays - All Hallows Eve Edition

Don't miss out!! 
Get your tickets today before it's too late!! Contact Tameka or Kahlia

Mark your calendars District One! Want to know what's going on in D1? What has been done? What's in the works? Re-development plans? Do you have suggestions? Please come out and make your voices & concerns heard by the people that have the power to effect change.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Forward Fridays - Rodney Smith, Jr.

This Friday segment is dedicated to everyday people doing everyday things in our community. By recognizing these extraordinary people, we are looking to highlight their gifts, talents, contributions, and services available as well as encourage you to support, uplift and patronize them when you can. And maybe, it will inspire some, light a fire in others, to begin, step up and/or continue your own journeys to serve your community. 

Reach One. Teach One. Each One.
“We Are Constantly Growing” – Founder Rodney A. Smith Jr
This Forward Friday segment is dedicated to Rodney Smith, Jr. of Huntsville, AL by way of Bermuda. I began following Rodney some time ago on Instagram. It has been a pleasure to watch his business grow, the people he has helped, the places that he has been and all of the people that he has influenced along the way. He has been able to do all that he has done while enrolled into Alabama A&M University. He also finds time to do mission work for the homeless that he comes across. He sees a need and he is trying to fill it. I am in awe. Because I don't know him personally, I can only give you my impression from his social media presence and let me tell you, I'm a fan.

(Pictured: Officer Tommy Norman and Rodney Smith, Jr.)

Who is Rodney Smith and what does he do? How can I get involved? How can I accept the challenge? How can I start a local chapter? I've included the information from his website that will answer all of these questions and more. There's a link to the website at the end of this article, as well as a link to his IG and Facebook page.

Who Is R.M.L.C.S (Raising Men Lawn Care Service)

Raising Men Lawn Care Service is designed to promote awareness for the youth of the future. It is a platform where the younger members of the community can give back to the community. This includes veterans, the elderly, the disabled and even single mothers. They get the chance to offer services such as mowing lawns, shoveling snow, raking leaves and more, free of charge. The youths who we work with are able to experience a great sense of achievement while also developing their social skills and lawn care experience.

Our Mission

We want to unite the extraordinary community that is present in our local area. We are completely confident in the fact that we can provide a very inspirational program that focuses on channeling the energy that youths have in a positive way as well as helping those who need it the most. We know that sometimes youth want to help the community and sometimes people need it, but it can be hard to know who, why and where. We focus on getting all of this sorted out while also helping people around the area to care for and maintain their lawns.

If you know someone who is elderly, a single mom or even a veteran that is in need of some help with their lawn then you can easily fill out this form. The service we provide them is completely free. Please allow us up to 6-8 days to get to your lawn due to the increase in the amount of lawns we have received. 
Our Services
We know that your home is your investment. You’re proud of it and you want to do everything you can to maintain it to the highest possible level. This can be hard work when you have difficulty with your mobility or even don’t have the funds to pay someone to do it. No need to worry anymore, Raising Men Lawn Care Service will take care of all of that for you for FREE . We take pride in every single lawn we tend to and make sure once we are done with it you are left with a smile on your face.
The services that we offer you include:
  • Lawn Mowing (includes weed eating and blowing)
  • Snow-Shoveling
  • Leaf Raking
  • Be elderly, disabled, a single mom or a veteran
  • Be able to take photo after we do your lawn

Do you know someone in need of help ?

We often get asked to help out people in other states where we do not have any chapters or kids taking part in the 50 Yard Challenge. This has happened on many occasions. So we have decided to do something about it. If you know of anyone who is elderly, disabled, a single mom or veteran in need of their lawn done badly because they are on a fixed income & can’t afford to pay anyone , cant do it themselves and/or got a citation, please fill out the form so we can share their story with our family on our social media pages. Each time we have shared a story, someone in the family stepped out to help. We are firm believers in Love Thy Neighbor.

To Kids Worldwide:

(Would you like a copy. If you would like a copy go to ->

We challenge you to cut 50 lawns FREE for the elderly, disabled, single mothers, and the veterans in your town. If you accept this challenge, all you need to do is send us a photo of you holding a sign saying “I accept the 50 Yard Challenge”, and in return, we’ll send you your white RMLCS shirt along with shades & ear protection to get you started. For every 10 lawns cut, you will get a new color shirt.
• Once you cut 10 lawns you get an orange shirt
• 20 lawns earn a green shirt
• 30 lawns earn a blue shirt
• 40 lawns earn a red shirt
• 50 lawns earn a black shirt.

Once you reach 50 lawns, we will come visit you, cut a few lawns with you, and give you different color Raising Men Lawn Care Service shirts. We will also give you a brand new lawn mower! Let’s make a difference together by mowing one yard at a time!

I think I saw a photo of young men as far as the UK that have taken his "50 Lawns, 50 States" Challenge!! Congratulations to you and your team! We need more of this!! So much more of this! Take the challenge! Start a chapter! Support a current chapter!! Let's get the young men & women involved!!


To Rodney Smith, Jr, your team members, your supporters and all participants, we salute you!! God bless you all and we pray that you continue to see an increase of volunteers and supporters that will enable you to become a worldwide name. And most importantly, your kindness, good deeds, and generosity catch on worldwide.

Click Here For Rodney Smith's IG Page
Link to Rodney's Facebook Page
Click Here For The Website: We Are Raising Men

* * * * * * * * *

To nominate someone to be featured on Forward Fridays, please email us at along with a write-up letting us know why you would like us to recognize this person and include 4 pictures. And stay tuned for a new person featured every Friday!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I don't need to "pray about it", I need therapy

I came across this article last year and it spoke to my soul. *The link is above the picture* Prayer does not fix everything. Yea I said does not fix everything. Mental illness is real! People are fighting unseen battles every day and need more than prayer. If someone comes to you and tell you they have thought about hurting themselves please encourage them to seek professional help and you pray for them. Unless you have some form of training or a degree to help with the mentally ill, please keep your advice to yourself and help them get the help they need. Do not tell them, "It’s all in your head. God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” 

We need to be encouraging our friends and family to get the help they need. Uncle Raymond been scratching a hole in his scalp with his finger since he was 10 when he gets agitated and you think that's cool? Nah son that ain't right. We all have grown up around someone that was described as off in the head. That description just meant to let them be and to be on the look out for strange behavior. No explanation of their condition or ways to help them or communicate with them, just isolate them and let them be. SMH. We just go on with life and let our loved ones suffer because they are "different". No solutions sought, no help provided. Getting them help may have changed their quality of life. Maybe not but doing nothing shole did not do a thing.

What about those issues we do not see though? What about those of us that suffer in silence? So many of us do not want to bother anyone that we will be dying on the inside yet smiling and saying, "I'm OK." Well dammit we need to stop that shit. No I am not ok, I am coping but I am not ok all the time. Every one should be allowed to say exactly how they feel without judgement.  A lot of people do not have that. They are left to deal with those thoughts alone. They are left to let those feelings well up and cause depression. Depression is more common than you think. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the 2nd highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, 2nd only to HIV/AIDS. That's in 13 years people...

Depression can not be pinpointed to one particular thing and is a complex disease. Being diagnosed with a serious illness can cause depression. Losing a loved one, major life changes, abuse, certain medications,  and conflict can also bring on depression. Some just have a chemical imbalance that cause the illness. Depression is described as feeling overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no known reason. One in four adults will deal with depression at some point in their life and women are twice than likely to go through it than men. Again its ok not to be ok and is more common than you think. Not saying because you are having a moment of sadness that you are depressed but here is a list of symptoms that need to alert you to seek professional help:
  • Appetite changes, or weight gain or loss
  • Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or withdrawn
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, discouraged, or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, doing daily tasks, or making decisions
  • Thoughts about hurting or killing yourself

Nothing wrong with needing help!

Contact your physician, your EAP at your job, your Passa if he knows that it takes more than prayer to solve your problems, Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance (205)737-3642, and if you feel like you want to harm yourself dial 911 or contact the Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

Always remember your problems are just as important as anyone else's and deserves attention as well. Find you someone to talk to and that will help you cope and better your quality of life.

Harvey Weinsteining

First of all let me tell you who Harvey Weinstin is for those that do not know. Per Wikipedia,  Harvey is an American film producer and former film studio executive. He co-founded Miramax, which produced several popular independent films including Pulp Fiction, Clerks, The Crying Game, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape.[1] He won an Academy Award for producing Shakespeare in Love, and garnered seven Tony Awards for producing a variety of winning plays and musicals, including The Producers, Billy Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.[2]    

Harvey is also a pervert. Harvey likes to touch women without their consent and take their cookies. Harvey was able to get away with this for decades. Decades y'all! The New York Times wrote an article and exposed him this week and now old Harvey has entered a treatment facility. I guess getting away with sexual assault all these years is stressful.

His list of transgressions is like the who's who of Hollywood Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino just to name a few. More women are coming forward since the article was published. Brad Pitt acknowledged that he contacted Harvey about his inappropriate behavior concerning Gwyneth at the time because they were dating. They dated in 1996, 21 years ago. WTF?! This is what happens when we are worried about the backlash more than the safety of others. Worried about never working in Hollywood again let him get away with this shit for years. We all know Harv the Perv is not alone in this egregious behavior. Some of us are walking around here holding on to secrets protecting men in our neighborhoods and family right now. This has to stop! We have to start promoting a better culture of respect for the victim. Right now an accusation comes out and you will see comments and hear whispers of things "she" did or things "she" should have not done. Really?!!!! So some bastard attacks me and I am the one that should have done something to prevent it? How about his ass should know that he shouldn't be out here being a damn predator and learn how to control his urges. Oh and Lord forbid a male comes out and says he has been abused. He is made to feel inferior and less than. Let the gay jokes begin...

What are we doing wrong? What are we not teaching our children? What do we need to do? Whatever it is, we need to start doing something about it now. We need to be letting our children know its okay to tell someone when they are feeling uncomfortable with something. Its ok to tell someone no or don't touch me. Stop making kids hug people. Hugs should be natural and forcing them on people to be polite isn't polite to the one being made to do the hugging. Oh and please stop telling them to give folks sugar. Stop it! Affection should be natural and making them give affection ain't natural. Listen to your kids when they are telling you they do not want to go over someone's house for whatever reason. If they used to beat you to the car to go to Uncle June Bug house before and now they cry when you mention his name...

We just have to do better, We have to start having these conversations more. Have you spoke to your kids about these things? Have you told your kids its safe to talk to you about anything? I started talking to my kids at a very young age. I never want my kids to go through what I went through. I did not feel like I could tell anyone and I carried that secret with me into adulthood so I know that burden. I know that fear and I wish that on no one. We have to make our kids way more comfortable and fearless than we were. We have to also teach our boys to keep their hands to themselves. We forever harping at girls about lady like behavior but are we teaching our boys to be gentlemen. Are we? Are we telling them how uncomfortable we are when men are catcalling and grabbing us in public? Are we telling them that when a girl says no, it means no? Or are we letting Future raise them?

I know we can't stop sexual abuse but we can decrease the number of victims by exposing the victimizers and supporting the victims. We can not let men nor women be out here Harvey Weinsteining....

Monday, October 2, 2017


A couple of months ago, I found out that I would have a new house guest in February.

Let's just say I was not thrilled and leave it at that. Ok?

Finding out I was going to be gra...a glam...ummmm lets just call me Me Me or in my Clare Huxatable voice Mother the Sequel...

Hell I know what I am going to be, I just don't want to be called it. As the weeks go by, I am softening and getting just a tad excited. Found out the due date was in February and my heart fluttered. February is significant because my mom's, mine and my daughter's birthdays are all in February. My mom also passed in February so this gives me something to focus on other than that death date. My deductive reasoning led me to it definitely being a girl because we are all girls...duh! Everything I have looked at was for girls. I saw a set of pearls that I just knew I was going to buy as soon as my prediction was confirmed. Well today was the ultrasound and guess what...


I was so

Everybody say hello to my favorite grandson.