My Secret Santa Arrived!!!!


YEAH!!!! My Secret Blog Santa arrived today!…and I love it. I received this beautiful handmade necklace and a book called “The Alchemist” which my Santa said was a “great story about the importance  of life’s journey.” The back of the book has a review that says the story contains “a bedrock of wisdom about following one’s heart.” PERFECT!


I received my gift after the Big Reveal, so it wasn’t a secret anymore. Turns out it is even more special for this year my Secret Blog Santa was the blogger I was the Secret Blog Santa to last year – Kaylyn from Pages from Our Book.


Kaylyn…thank you so much! For the effort, the thoughtfulness, the beauty of your gift. I sincerely appreciate it. May you and Brett have a blessed 2012.


Thank you, Pserendipity, for putting on another year of the Secret Blog Santa. It continues to be a great way of meeting new bloggers and getting to know better bloggers I already “know”.


Merry Christmas!


Christmas 2011 in Review

We here at True Blessings Estate pray that you had a joyous & blessed Holiday. To us, this is the MOST Wonderful Time of the Year. Love Ya!


Joy to the World!


Happy Christmas from True Blessings Estate


Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Christmas.

May all your days be Merry & Bright!

We Caught Santa!


Look who we caught putting presents around the tree. Thanks to an awesome website  - http://www.icaughtsanta.com/ – (and winning the giveaway from Average Mom’s Wear Capes) we were able to keep the magic alive for Princess Cara! Love it!


Merry Christmas!


Twas The Day Before Christmas…

…and we were busy, busy, busy! My Baby Maia came into town (yeah, yeah…her parents too) so her parents could go the Redskins/Vikings game, our annual Christmas Eve Party and leave out of BWI to fly to Val’s brother’s house in TX for Christmas.


While Manny & Val went to the game. Princess Cara, Princess Maia and I got busy making a Ginger Bread House & Christmas Bark (made famous by CreoleInDC). Princess Maia brought Princess Cara an apron for Christmas and once opened and attired, we got to cooking.

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These ladies were serious about that Ginger Bread House. Look at the intensity here as we decorate. What Fun!




After we got done with the Ginger Bread House, I had my helpers work on melting chocolate (under supervision) for the Christmas Bark. Let me tell you how hard it is to keep those little fingers out of the chocolate. They kept insisting on doing taste tests for the sake of the Kingdom. Wanted to make sure that the Bark was fit for consumption and distribution to friends & family. I let the Princess sprinkle the nuts and dried fruit on the chocolate to make their own versions. Interesting how they were very meticulous about nut placement.



What a lovely idea. I’m hoping they are ready in time for me to take to the parties I have to go to this evening.


I hope your Christmas Eve has been starry & bright. Have you been a busy bee today?


Epic Holiday Party!


This past Saturday was my Holiday Party & Cookie Exchange…and this picture above is just half of those in attendance. WE HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! Thank you to Nineteen69 who came down from Philly to help host this event.


EPIC. The Party started at 2pm and the last 6 or 7 guest rolled out at 11pm. We ate up everything during the party so about 8:30 pm, in order to not have a bunch of people driving home 3 sheets to the wind (that wasn’t going to happen no way-we would have been posted up in the theater watching movies and ish till ya’ll could drive), I whipped up a pan of lasagna. Funny how a bunch of people pulled up round the kitchen island and waited for it to be done. DELICIOUS!!!!

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DSC_0983 Party

We played Christmas Trivia, had an Christmas Ornament Hunt and everyone got a chance to make their own Ornament (which was judged for a prize). We sang Christmas songs off Pandora, drank pitchers of the two Signature Drinks (Sparking Sidecars and Bubbly Cosmos) & LOTS & LOTS OF WINE!

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We even had a gift exchange. The whole evening was filled with laughter and foolishness. It was definitely feeling like Christmas up in the crib Saturday night.


I love my friends & family. GREAT PARTY. GREAT FRIENDS. GREAT TIME!




Thursday (Holiday) Thoughts


My outdoor Christmas Tree has the serious gangster lean going on…yeah, and it will probably stay that way for a while. Not feeling like going out there and trying to straighten it up.


I mailed off my Secret Blog Santa gift today! I think I was very clever, but it is going to be real easy to figure out who it came from. Probably obvious.


Saturday is the Holiday Cookie Exchange Party. I’m so excited to see everyone. I’m thinking the Signature Cocktail is going to be Sparkling Cosmo’s. They look so delish & festive in the picture.


I’m done with all the Christmas Shopping. Finished today. If it ain’t got by now, well, you ain’t getting it. HUMPH.


Now to wrap it all up. Sigh.


The Queen Mum and I have movie night tomorrow night. Gonna see the new Mission Impossible in the IMAX theater. Hope she is springing for some pre-movie cocktails. Hint. Hint.


A new member of my TOP MAFIA shared some news with me today about an opportunity that could mean big things for their family. I have my whole family in prayer over this coming to fruition. We’ve claimed it. It is yours. I’m so happy for them.


I am also thankful, that at this age or time in my life, that I can make new friends that can go into the TOP MAFIA category. It is hard and rare. I am blessed.


The Prince, Heir to the Empire, Protector of the Realm is coming home this weekend for Winter break. You know I got that cheese eating Kool-Aid Momma grin on already.


Ms. Pattey & I best get off our azz and get to running. We done bit off a big ole chunk of running for next year. RUN, PATTEY & LISA, RUN.


Yeah…and that USAT Challenge…SWIM, LISA, SWIM!


Princess Charlee snuck up on me at the Mall today and tried to get all up in my bags. Naw player. Move along. Nuttin’ to see.


I’m going through some holiday TV withdrawal…what da hell I’m s’pose to do without The Walking Dead & Boss till 2012. When does Game of Thrones Season 2 come on?


Winter is Coming!


What you thinking bout?


Army-Navy Football 2011

We won the Tailgate, the March On and the Coin Toss…but we (Army) lost the game…AGAIN. A Decade of Depression. At least this game was respectable in that it was close. We just can’t seem to stop fumbling and making error after error after error. We just can’t seem to hold the line, to stay strong, to bring our A game. Sigh.


Despite another year of crushing disappointment, I had a wonderful time hanging with my friends & classmates at the game. Absolutely a BLAST! I’m still in recovery and probably need a detox session.


Enjoy the video of the day! BEAT NAVY 2012…please.

A Year of Cycling with the BMWCC

Friday night I went to the Baltimore Metro Wheelers Year End Happy Hour and I compiled, with the help of Rick, ReggieC, MikeD and others from the club, video and pictures from several of the rides & outings with the club.


I hooked up with BMWCC by random happenstance (although I don’t believe in just coincidence) one day out at Sandy Point after completing an open water swim practice and it has been an absolute joy ever since.


Becca and I walked back up to out bags and were trying to decide how far we were going to go when a group of about 8 cyclists from BMWCC – a predominantly Black Cycling Club (Baltimore Metro Wheelers Cycling Club) rode up. OMG! We struck up a conversation – they had already done the first half of their 50 mile and were about to turn around – DID WE WANT TO JOIN THEM? Hell yeah! One of the riders, Ken, was gracious enough to offer bringing us back to the park after riding 20 miles out to BWI. The game was on!

It was the best group ride I’ve been on to day…wait…it was the ONLY group ride I’ve been on. It was challenging (as they pushed me faster than I was used to going) and absolutely wonderful & fun to have people to ride with that watched out for you, talked & joked with you and were just all around supportive of you (not to mention also looked like you). Black Girls (& Boys) DO Bike, Swim, Run. YES!!!! I can’t wait to go again.

We did 20 miles from Sandy Point to BWI Observation Lot and I didn’t really know that I could go that fast. That last hill at the end whipped me out but I made it.

Shout out to Tania, Carol, Ken and all the other riders (I apologize for forgetting your names) for taking in two stragglers and making us feel right at home.

It was like this the rest of the season with the cyclists from BMWCC. Becca and I are certainly the weakest/slowest cyclists in the group…or perhaps we just ride different as we mostly train for triathlon’s and it is a lot different than group riding or when cycling is your primary focus; however, not once was I ever dropped (I may have been left behind, but I was never abandoned). The cyclists in the club are all the most helpful & encouraging bunch of of cyclists EVER. On every ride there was always some one sharing their knowledge, coaching through adversity & challenges and/or just encouraging to push through. They all inspired a trust & confidence (especially when drafting or in traffic) that I could and would get better & stronger.


Thanks for a great 1st year for me. I look forward to riding with you in 2012 & beyond.


So, fellow “elite” athletes…have you found a club (Tri, cycling etc) that has made all the training and “practicing” your sport fun? Do tell!


‘Twas the Night Before Army-Navy 2011

Santa and Rudolph are back at it, trying to ensure that Santa's beloved Black Knights will be victorious at this year's Army/Navy Game!!! On Brave Old Army Team...


Once again…grown folk talk. You’ve been warned.


‘Twas The Night Before Army-Navy

This is a repeat from 2010. Careful...grown folk ARMY talk here. You've been warned.



Holiday Party Time

It’s the season for holiday cheer and parties, parties, parties…and, of course, I have have every intention to get in on the festivities by throwing my Second Annual Holiday Party & Cookie Exchange. This year I am putting it on with my co-host (and fellow hostess with the mostest) – Nineteen69. While I thought it would be a lovely touch to send crafty invitations out this year, I just didn’t have the time so I went ahead and put out an Evite right after Thanksgiving.


However, 2 days after the Evite went out, I received an offer from Mixbook.com to try out their site and 30 premium, completely customizable 5x7 flat Mixbook Holiday Party invitations. BOOYA!



I went to their website and it is nicely laid out with lots of options, templates or even the ability to design you own. Editing templates or the design features are easy to use and intuitive. Here is the information about Mixbook:

Mixbook is a leading photo products company that helps people create custom photo books, cards, and calendars. Whether starting from scratch, or using one of our thousands of professionally designed templates, every Mixbook product is 100% customizable. With Mixbook, you can truly Make It Yours™

That last line is accurate. Even if you pick a template…you can truly edit it…even the pictures…and make it your own. I was impressed.


I really didn’t do anything earth shattering with my invite:



…but I was very impressed with the result and the quality of the invitation. If you have an event coming up or are still looking at a place to have your holiday photo cards done, then check out Mixbook.com.


You can also check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mixbook or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mixbook.


If you came last year to the Holiday Party & Cookie Exchange (link to last years party) or want to come this year and didn’t get an evite or mixbook invite then drop me a comment so I can get it out to you. We had a BLAST! Join us and…




I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Dear (Secret) Blog Santa

secret-santaI am so excited about the blogger secret Santa that Pserendipity set up again going on 3 years in a row! It has been great fun and I’ve participated every year. Each time I have met a bunch of wonderful bloggers, of course expanding my Google reader list.


I've got my secret blogger that I am to select a gift for and have started reading their blog - combing thru the archives trying to figure out the perfect gift. Since the person I selected is completely new to me, I'm having to learn about and infer stuff just by reading. I can't interact extensively with them right now (no commenting) as it would kill the secret. Sigh.

I'm hoping that they post a hint over the next few days so I can be about my mad hunt (just another excuse to shop) for my interpretation of said hint.

Since I'm soliciting a hint or two, I thought I'd post a little blurb about my preference (or proclivities) to help my Secret Santa out. It is pretty much the same as last year, but I've added a few updates.

- I have, on numerous occasions, been called out for my sparkly fabulousness and am easily distracted by shiny, sparkly, bedazzled things. OOOOHHHH SHINY!!!!

- I even bejewel my hair, my running shoes, my bike. Seriously. Don't judge me.
- I have a shoe fetish that is unrivaled with a closet to hold the in. DSW certificate?
- You can NEVER go wrong with anything related to red wine or martini's. I'm not an alcoholic...I'm a professional drinker.
- You can't go wrong with Cigar paraphernalia. My not so secret vice.
- I'm an "elite athlete" ya know. Triathlon training stuff or related in some way would be awesome . SWIM BIKE RUN.

- And if you just lurk around, I’m sure you’ll come up with something just fabulous. No worries.

Bottom line...if it screams DIVA, sparkles and/or is girly, I'm going to be ecstatic.
...and in actuality, any gift I receive that is from the heart and given with as much caring & thought as I know the people involved are (and have put over the past years) putting into this will be a blessing and greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Santa.


12 Days of Mayhem


The Holiday’s are Mayhem…are you in good hands?