April 18, 2014

In the Spotlight: T. Allen-Mercado

T. Allen Mercado is a mixed media artist, msn.com award winning essayist, wife and un/homeschooling mother of two.

A native of Queens, New York, Tameka attended St. John’s University and later NYU where she majored in Psychology. She concedes to a near unhealthy fascination with the human condition and writes about it often from the perspective of a “neurotic humanist, womanist, pacifist, socialist? Perhaps. Communist? No, a philosophical anarchist? Okay, that’s better”. She is also the occasional pessimist and a full time artist.

Tameka has been at the helm of the oft-riotous, always insightful Tea & Honey Bread blog since the summer of 2007. Her tagline and mission is to share “sweet-sometimes bittersweet, morsels for your mind body and spirit”. And, nearly 200 public followers stop in regularly to get their fill.

Her readers have described Tameka as, “Beautifully human” and her writing as, “a slice of life” from which she “is not afraid to share the big piece”. And, she isn’t.

She currently resides in the beautiful Sonoran desert with her homeschool sweetheart, their two children and a menagerie of rescued animals. It is there she can be found heavily caffeinated and pondering the penning of her first non-fiction work.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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In the Spotlight: Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is a former New York City free bird who leaped into Mid-Atlantic domestication with her wonderful southern husband, super-hero two year old son and most recently, the mystery child brewing in her belly.  She re-discovered her passion for writing after starting her blog, Then Came Isaiah about the ups, downs and all-arounds her life has taken since the birth of her son in 2007.  As a recovering Type-A personality, Tiara has been struggling to find her happiness along the way rather than finding her happiness at her destination.  This enlightenment came to her in the form of a refrigerator magnet and subsequently became the byline to her blog.

Tiara and Family

Born in Queens, NY, Tiara is the youngest of three and only daughter to her amazingly strong single mother and former NYPD Police Inspector father.  Her brothers, ten and twelve years her senior, taught her to punch like a boy, always expect the best and to have an unnatural fondness for the eighties glam artist, Prince.

Pre-Mommy, Tiara attained her Bachelor’s degree in English from Binghamton University, Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law and became a practicing member of the New York State Bar.  She has also studied feminism at the University of Dakar in Senegal, West Africa.  Aside from mom, wife and blogger, her definitions include full-time attorney, poet and aspiring novelist.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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In the Spotlight: Kimberly Coleman

I met Kimberly Coleman while we were both attending the 1st Disney African-American Mom Blogger’s Mixer in 2008. She was one of the first bloggers that I got to meet in real life. What amazed me the most about Kimberly was her sensitivity. When Disney assumed that we would all enjoy going to a Gospel Concert (assumptions are such awful things), she was concerned about how I felt in light of my religious beliefs. She was worried that I was uncomfortable even when most people would not have cared.

Kimberly is also very intelligent and approaches much of her online life from a business background. She writes, speaks and consults about parenting in the NYC Metro area. A graduate of Columbia College, Kimberly worked in various research and finance positions in corporate America for eight years. She left Time Inc. when she had her first son in 2004 and began working in the parenting field. Currently, Kimberly writes for Harlem Community Newspapers (Former Family Editor, current Freelance Columnist) in addition to being the lead blogger at Mom in the City. She recently moved to Forest Hills (Queens) where she lives with her amazing husband and their two wonderful, energetic sons.

Moms of Hue (MOH): What keeps you motivated?

Kimberly: Gratitude. I have a life that I didn’t see too often growing up. I’m married to an amazing, loving man. I am fortunate enough to have attended an excellent college (Columbia) and worked for some of the most respected companies (Smith Barney, Time Inc., etc.). Then, I was able to be a stay at home mom with my kids. Now, I am a work at home mom merging my passions for business and parenting.

Moms of Hue (MOH): How do you organize your life so that you ensure that you get it all done?

Kimberly: I’m a planner by nature and I thrive on order. The night before, I make plans for the next day. I try to stick to them, but I realize that life doesn’t always go according to plan (especially with kids in the mix). I am a lot more gracious with myself now – I don’t expect to get it ALL done. I primarily focus on getting what is most important done!

Moms of Hue (MOH): What lessons do you hope your kids will learn from you as they watch you work?

Kimberly: I hope that my kids will see that you can (and should) enjoy your work. My oldest son decided that he wanted his own blog this year – focused on his favorite thing, video games. He is only five, so it’s a vlog (gamerkidvlog.com). He has totally taken ownership of it and hounds me to post more frequently! I love that the seeds of entrepreneurship are already planted in his mind.

Moms of Hue (MOH): Who is your biggest supporter and why?

Kimberly: My husband is my biggest supporter. He used to do the html for my website before it was a blog. He encouraged me to keep my blog going even when I was getting paid by another company to do parenting writing for three years. (It’s good to “have your own”, he would always say.) He is my biggest fan (and I am his)!

Moms of Hue (MOH): What advice do you have for other moms of hue trying to raise children and maintain positive values?

Kimberly: Be clear on your priorities and make a focused effort to live them out. Relationships are my priority – God, husband and kids – before anyone/anything else. As such, I say “no” to some opportunities. I decided at the beginning of the year that I would not go on any unpaid (as in not paid for my time) trips away from home during school sessions since my husband is a teacher and my oldest son is in school. In the last couple of months alone, I have said “no” to three great different trips in sunny locations. It’s fine though, because that frees me up to say “yes” to other opportunities that work better for this point in my life. In sum, my favorite quote (that I try to live by) is William Shakespeare’s “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Photo credit: Jade Albert (www.jadealbert.com)

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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In the Spotlight: Carol Cain aka NYCityMama

Carol and I met for the first time at a Build-A-Bear event last year but I was already a long time fan. She has a unique voice- one that she shares as the Managing Editor of NY Metropolista and as a freelance Travel Writer for TravelingMom.com, Uptake.com’s Attraction Blog and Lodging Blog, and Trekaroo. She shares her adventures in the hopes of helping other families discover all the food, fun, and activities this wonderful city has to offer.

She agreed to share herself with Moms of Hue and I know you will find what she has to say as interesting as I do.

Moms of Hue (MOH):  What keeps you motivated?

Carol: I love what I do. I have always enjoyed going to new places, seeing new things, and sharing with others when I find something great that they would enjoy too. However, I have the fortunate of being motivated even further by my family. Seeing things with my kids, even things I’ve seen many times before on my own, is always a different experience. Kids are awesome like that. They have such a wonderful way of seeing things and they are always honest about whether they liked the experience or didn’t. I refer a lot to my family not only for new ideas and inspiration, but also for feedback.

MOH: How do you organize your life so that you ensure that you get it all done?

Carol: This has been a bit of a challenge. When you work from home that line between non-working hours and working hours becomes blurry at times. When you have 3 kids, those lines become even blurrier. What I do is visit my calendar/organizer regularly and try to always set appointments or deadlines putting my kids and family first. I select projects and events that won’t conflict too much with my time with them and if I know I will be doing a lot of traveling on a particular month, I decrease the amount of events I attend while at home.

I can’t say that I have mastered the balance completely, and I still sacrifice lots of hours of sleep, but I also select projects that are worth the time I am investing on them, and I remind myself over and over that my kids come first and plan from there.

MOH: What lessons do you hope your kids will learn from you as they watch you work?

Carol: I want my children to lean from my ambition and strong work ethic. I want to teach them to see past the stereotypes of a place or a group of people. I want to teach them to look deeper and see further and to not be afraid to go anywhere their traveling little heart wants to take them. I want them to know that they themselves might suffer through injustices, but I want them to not let the hurt or anger of that moment stifle their ability to overcome it. I want them to see more of the world and know that a person or even a group of people don’t define the world we live in. I want them to know that nothing done or spoken in anger or with hate is spoken or done intelligently or positively.

They should know that there is a whole world outside of their apartment or school, or block or neighborhood, a whole world outside of New York where people think and act differently. I want to teach them to have the courage to walk into new experiences and to do so with an open mind and heart. Traveling with me will hopefully teach them that it’s ok to have your ideas challenged and your beliefs questioned. It’s good for us to be tested sometimes and be forced to evaluated ourselves, because, I want them to know, sometimes we find out that we’ve been wrong all along…or right, as the case may be.

MOH: Who is your biggest supporter and why?

Carol: My biggest supporter without a doubt is my husband, Travis. He was the one that encouraged me to start writing. He saw my potential before I even accepted it. And though my schedule now can sometimes be something he isn’t completely happy with, especially when it requires me to travel without him, he is steadfast in his support of my work and is my biggest fan.

MOH: What advice do you have for other Moms of Hue trying to raise children and maintain positive values?

Carol: Remember that our children develop the core of who they will become from the things we teach them, our judgements, our words, and the way we react to the world. As a mom of hue to biracial children, I don’t want my children to be “color blind”, because that is a part of who I am, who they are, and the beautiful make up of our colorful family. Plus it’s unrealistic. I do teach my children to see more than just the color, and to make the determination of who a person is by their actions and by how they treat others. But that is something only we can teach them and will stay with them through out their lives. So my advice is to be mindful of this, even when we ourselves are tested. There is no greater enemy in the challenges that we may face as women of color than the barriers and walls we set up for ourselves, and in turn, for our children.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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In the Spotlight: Ana Hodges-Gazawi

I was introduced to Ana Gazawi (aka Quiskaeya) by former Moms of Hue author, Onica, and we quickly hit it off. She and I have a lot in common- parenting multiracial children, crocheting, writing, and more. Having recently found herself being hurdled in the “jobless” sector, she decided that this was the push she need to make become a bona fided work at home mom. She forewent the need to look for another job and instead dove head first into making working at home a reality.

She writes, blogs and is aspiring to be an entrepreneur of an online boutique of handmade fabric embellishments. You can find her rambling about the daily, quirky, cute things her 2 boys do at www.quiskaeya.com. In addition, to her dictations about family life, she also shares about her passion for Green Living,  anthropology, and her efforts to develop strong multicultural/multiracial identity in her children. In the summer of 2009 she was chosen to attend the Disney’s African American Mom Blogger Mixer. Ana also holds a bachelors degree in the Business field and Public Relations.

Learn more about Ana from our interview below.

Moms of Hue (MOH): What keeps you motivated?

Ana: First and foremost it’s my faith and spiritual belief that keep me motivated. These two things alone keep me grounded. Secondly, my children are the center of my world and everyday I am grateful for another chance to be their mother. They are my ultimate inspiration.

MOH: Who is your biggest supporter and why?

My kids and my husband are my biggest supporters. They have so much faith in my ability to accomplish my dreams. I am inspired by their support.

MOH: How do you organize your life so that you ensure that you get it all done?

Ana: Organization isn’t one of my strongest qualities. I’m a procrastinator and I know this full well. I attribute motherhood as the reason I am getting better at organization. I realize there are two little people that desperately need me to set up some sort of structure in their lives so they can thrive. My organization has a reciprocal effect on lives of my children.

Prioritization is key for me in getting organized. Everyday I know there will be more things to accomplish than the amount of hours in the day. I commit to completing a certain amount of tasks. As long as I know that I have given it my very best shot, then there is nothing else I can do. I love the fact that every morning I wake to a new day that gives me a fresh start. Each day I resolve to be better and more organized than the day before. Sometimes it happens, a lot of time it doesn’t. Ultimately it’s about the journey and how I handle the challenges along the way, therefore, I take each experience with it’s growing pains knowing it’s making me a better person.

MOH: What advice do you have for other moms of hue trying to raise children and maintain positive values?

Ana: My greatest piece of advice for other moms of hue is to always stay true to themselves and what values they hold dear. Surround yourself with a community of people who have an unwavering support for your family’s well-being. Be ready to be a support to other mothers that might be struggling in motherhood. When we empower each other with encouragement then unwavering support, then we are better equipped raise our children with a positive view of the world.

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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In the Spotlight: Mommy Niri

Nirasha Jaganath, guest columnist for Moms of Hue, is a mom to 2 little girls, exchanged her rat race life as a software engineer for her rug rats. Having had a love for journalism forever but not daring to pursue it in the turbulent South Africa (where she was born and bred), she is now writing to her heart’s content from her current hometown of Boston. She has worked with campaigns from iRobot, Office Max and Macy’s. She is also part of the Sprout Band of Bloggers and works with Hooked on Phonics. She has been featured in several newspapers including Parent’s And Kids Magazine. Most recently, she was a speaker at the Blogalicious conference. Her writing has gained her popularity as Mommy Niri has been nominated for the Nickelodeon Parent’s Pick Award. She does not do anything she is not passionate about (except maybe diapers)!

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

More Posts - Website