Monday, December 20, 2010

Ruckert Annual Holiday Concert

This weekend I performed at Ann Ruckert's Annual Holiday Concert. As my aunt Sherry said "it puts you in that festive mood for the holidays".

Here's a clip of the finale, courtesy my sister Mel. This was a really fun part of the concert for me because everyone participated. I'm singing along with the talented Regi Ransdell, the Ann Ruckert Choir and a fantastic audience...I know I've said it before, but I REALLY love NY! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I survived the Christmas Concert!!

Some really maternal moms (you know, the soccer mom type) probably think I'm horrible for saying this but hey I gotta be honest, I am not the sappy Christmas concert kinda mom...sorry!
Of course I attend to support my child, and yes I do get emotional because he's growing up before my very eyes, but it's a CHORE for me to attend the holiday concert. Some people hate going to the dentist or the doctor, well I DREAD the Christmas concert.
This year was GREAT because my son did not want to stay through the play. That part of the program is usually the most laborious. Each grade sings Christmas carols, and that's usually okay, then comes the "slicing-wrists-with-plastic-knife" part...the play!!!
The production is usually long and drawn out and quite frankly YAWN! My son usually wants to stay with his class to watch it, but this year he opted out...YAY!!! It wasn't "Charlie Brown Christmas" (which they do eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevery year) so he was quite content to leave, and I'm SURE I left skid marks in their parking lot.
If you're offended by this, chances are you wear holiday sweaters and spend hours decorating little gingerbread men and christmas cookies. WHATEVER! I don't tell you to get a life (although I highly recommend therapy) so leave me be...
After the concert I tried to take some "nice" pics in the spirit of the holiday. See? I'm not THAT bad...there's some hope for me after all right?
...(rolling my eyes)

Holiday Pic - Take 1

Holiday Pic - Take 2 !

Let's try this again, Holiday Pic - Take 3!
Yup, I'm now convinced they didn't make a mistake at the hospital...he's DEFINITELY my child!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My 12 (step) days of Christmas...

Some people think that today begins the "Twelve days of Christmas" while others believe the twelve days start on Christmas day through January 5th. There's a commercial explanation, there's the religious explanation, but whatever it is we all know the "Twelve days of Christmas" song right? (if you don't know it you were robbed as a child so go slap somebody).
Anyway I'm a Trini at heart so Christmas to us means paranging and relapsing, I mean RELAXING for the holidays, so here goes (ahem...clearing throat):

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love sent to me
a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me
2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love sent to me
3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's, (Alize)

4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
8 flasks of sorrel, 7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
9 winos wining, 8 flasks of sorrel, 7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
10 bad rat fighting, 9 winos wining, 8 flasks of sorrel, 7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
11 pipers piping, 10 bad rat fighting, 9 winos wining, 8 flasks of sorrel, 7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs and a big bottle of Black Hennessy

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me
12 bags o' pastelle, 11 pipers piping, 10 bad rat fighting, 9 winos wining, 8 flasks of sorrel, 7 kegs of Carib, 6 Panadol, 5 Alizaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay's,
4 calling cards, 3 bags of ganga, 2 fat spluffs
and a biiiiiiiiiiig botttttttttle of Black Hennessyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!

(This song is dedicated to my DIE-HARD Trini bestie, Michelle, who keeps me "Trinified" lol)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Holidays !

2 weeks to Christmas, my tree's not up yet, I HAVE started gift-shopping though (patting myself on the back).
I have NO ZEAL otherwise to be out doing anything lately...I feel like a shaved Polar Bear....this cold weather is just not normal!! (Global Warming anyone)
Holiday concerts (I'm one of the performers on Dec 18th at Ruckert's Holiday Concert in the city), spending time with fam and friends, and enjoying the season is my m.o. right now.
Will check back in here soooooooooooooon!
Much Love and Happy Holidays
from who else? ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010

How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was sweet!!! It started with treats...
The holiday felt fine, as I sipped on my wine...

it was absolutely GREAT, as I ate...

and I ate...

Meals were prepared and my fam told me "try it"
I realize now that I really must diet.
I ate with reckless abandon, simply without a care,
Hey the Thanksgiving holiday's only once a year.
I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends,
and can't wait to do it next year all over again!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ~ from Mandy and fam !

Key Lime Cheesecake
(one of our Thanksgiving treats this year!)

This year I am not hosting the Thanksgiving festivities, instead we have a chance to enjoy all the invitations. I don't know bout you, but I am so ready to grub it up!
Spandex pants? check!...loose fitting top? check!
I wish all the best for everyone out there, especially today. I hope you enjoy this time with family, friends and loved ones, or however you choose to spend the day. I pray that you are safe in your travels, that noone is lonely, and that you have peace and happiness in your hearts.
While I get ready to hit the streets, I am listening to 4 ridiculously talented women...they can SAAAAAANG!!!! Listen for on the video below!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from my family to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Volcano !

My son and I worked on a volcano was a lot of fun, especially seeing his face light up when it erupted. He posted the process on his blog, click here to check it out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buzz...the hottest Toy!

Friday night I headed out with the fam to see Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3. (That IS what you thought when you read the title of this blog post right? Sarcastic smile)
The show was cute to me; it was CONCERT OF THE YEAR to the kids! As the characters emerged from the curtains one by one, the screams were progressively louder, but Buzz Lightyear was the Jay-Z of the show. He came out and the kids...went...wild!
The celebs with Buzz in the spotlight

Morphing into an alien right before I did the "hoedown throwdown"
(I'd been doing it for years and didn't even know it was a hit... lol)

Here I am with my date...he said "you could have as much popcorn as you want sweetie pie"
(notice he's clutching the popcorn though lol)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The holidays are quickly approaching and people are already talking about Thanksgiving sale etc. It seems like not too long ago I dismantled my Christmas tree (yeah I do the fake trees lol) and already I'm thinking about decorating it again!
So what's associated with Thanksgiving and the holidays besides the food? SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now some of my friends have said to me that "Santa" might be on a budget this year due to the recession, BUT if you still want to do a lil shopping; perhaps treat yourself or a loved one (me), here's one of my favorite things: Silpada jewelry!

(The ring is not from Silpada)

I always get compliments on this bracelet

I went to my friend's (Karen's) jewelry party, just to support, and that started my love affair with Silpada. They have the cutest things (for you too fellas), see for yourself => Click here and if you need any assistance, my friend/silpada representative Jeanine Simonson will be more than happy to hook you up.
For the record, I am not on commission, I'm just a fan!...and I hope Santa's reading my blog!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy bday Mom!

Dedication to my mom...Happy bday Mommy! Click here

Also happy birthday to Rhondon, Justin (Shatarra's son),  Princess, Pennie, Kacie and anyone sharing this special birthday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"There is no greater gift..."

“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It's why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” ~ Oprah

Diamond Isis and I
at my birthday party this past Summer

Last week I sang at Diamond Isis' Surprise Birthday Party. She had commented on one of my previous blog posts saying that she hadn't heard me sing (apart from the "Disturbia" parody I did of and she would like to one day.
I had written a song called "Your Love is Enough" and thought that would be perfect to sing at the party. The song is about my own heartache and struggles, and how beautiful it is to discover other facets of myself.
Working on my musicianship has not been an easy road, but it has been personally gratifying. It takes dedication, committment, focus and as Kathy Baylor was once quoted "courage" which "is the ability to be scared but keep going anyway". Thankfully I have the love and support of core people...Ann Ruckert and my peers in the music workshop, and some family and friends.
When I sing and someone is moved to tears, it means that person has connected with me in some way. When someone says "I love your song!", that just reinforces the fact that I am on the right path of not only living my dream, but also living with purpose.
When I sang that song for Diamond, she said to me "Mandy, that song was written for me...that song was and is my life story".  She was then inspired to do this spoken word video:

Diamond continues to work on her first book, (spoken word) cd and her blog.
I am Blessed to have unearthed my true calling and I hope everyone finds that joy in their own lives as well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"We get to build bridges with music" - Dan Zanes

Little Airplane Productions, NYC
Tonight I visited Little Airplane Productions to hear panelists discuss children's music. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect but I'm certainly thrilled I attended. The panel included Chris Cerf, Tom Chapin, Jeffrey Lesser, Dan Zanes (fellow Brooklynite) and moderated by Mindy Thomas.
It was very informative and there's a whole untapped market (the pre-tweens group) just waiting to be developed. 

Grammy Award (and Emmy Award winner by the way) Chris Cerf was on hand to discuss one of my favorite childhood shows (and I'm sure one of yours too) SESAME STREET! Remember the song "Letter B"? Well you can thank Chris for that and many more.

Tom Chapin, who's been in the business for over 30 years, explained that although the business has changed and is changing, one thing remains the same: children! They all have the same basic needs and have been pretty consistent as an audience. Children loved to be entertained!

As an added bonus, I was able to meet Jeffrey Lesser and Josh Selig after the Q&A. Why an added bonus? Because they are part of the creative team of "The Wonder Pets!". Now if you have no clue who "The Wonder Pets!" are don't feel bad, I had NO IDEA who they were either until my goddaughter, Z, visited one day. As soooooon as the theme song came on, she automatically gravitated towards the television.
Move over Charlie's Angels...the Wonder Pets are in town!

Surprisingly enough a bird, a hamster and a turtle teach children about teamwork and helping other animals in distress, and before you know it, I too was watching the show.
Here I am with Josh Selig.
He's the reason everytime I hear the phone ring I have the urge to sing:
"The phone, the phone is ringing..." lol

Jeffrey Lesser, Music Director for "The Wonder Pets!"
His credits include Barbra Streisand, Sting...
 and me (but he doesn't know about the "me" part yet...shhh lol)

And you never know who you might run into in NYC:
Carol Maillard from "Sweet Honey in the Rock"

Here I am with my first Emmy!
Ok so it's Jeffrey's, but hey a girl could dream!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did YOU rock the vote?

After we voted today!

I took my son with me when I went to vote today because I want him to know the importance of exercising his right.
When I left work, OF COURSE I would have preferred to go home and crawl into bed...after all brisk weather is not my thing, but THIS had to be taken care of FIRST.

I vote because I am an American, because I have a voice, because I am black, because I am a woman and because I can.

Here are some facts to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to vote:
  • Technically free blacks had the right to vote from the first US Election in 1789, but it was not until the 15th Amendment in 1870 guaranteed their right to vote that they got the franchise. Even then there were many attempts to limit or discourage them from voting up until the 1960s.
  • Blacks were given the right to vote in 1870, but women were not given the right to vote until 1920. So 1920 is the first time a black woman would have been allowed to vote
  • Finally, despite President Woodrow Wilson's opposition, Congress passed what became, when it was ratified in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment which prohibited state and federal agencies from gender-based restrictions on voting.

For the history of voting and ballots check:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun!

I didn't party this Halloween and I certainly missed my partner in crime, my cousin Jamella, but it was still a lot of fun.
Here are some pics...enjoy!
My god-daughter and I at a costume party

This genie also moonlights as a model...check da pose!

The winner of the Halloween contest at my job

One of the people I voted for...her teeth freaked me out!

2nd place in the job contest

I voted for her too...funny!

And Marie Antoinette came in 3rd place

My beautiful cousins picked up a ninja

Cupcakes that a co-worker promised to make over a year ago...
...FINALLY rose from the dead... lol

Ok now THIS is just wrong!
A dog dressed as a hotdog? smh!

And in the end, what was I for Halloween this year?...

I cheated and dressed up as a "rockstar" lol

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This was one of the BEST surprises ever! My friend, Sheila, decided to have a surprise birthday party for her sister, Felicia (a.k.a. Diamond).
I LOVE surprising people so I enjoyed being a part of it. The challenge of course is to pull off the entire thing without the person knowing.
Felicia is an avid facebooker, plus visits Sheila regularly so EVERYTHING had to be super discreet! 
Sheila recruited her family and friends, and OPERATION DIAMOND was in full force!

Next, how do you get the birthday girl to her OWN party, have her wear her favorite color and still not suspect a thing? You invite her to a "jewelry party" so she could order some 'bling bling'.
There were a few hiccups along the way but eventually it was a success...


 Totally shocked!

Her nephew Justin is an amazing dancer
and KILLED it on the dance floor !

Her sister Kesha, and one of her best friends Tara

And her sister Sheila...
the mastermind behind OPERATION DIAMOND

It'll take a while for Felicia to recover or to even "get back" at everyone of us as she has threatened (insert snickering here) so while she's planning (bwahahahahahahaha)...

By the way, my sister (who must be training for a new position as papparazzi) caught me on tape singing a song I wrote called "Your Love is Enough" (click here ...and if you look somewhere around the 2:40 mark on the video you'll see the birthday girl crying ...just in case she tries to deny it ! )

Thursday, October 28, 2010

# 1 Priority in my life right now!

What should I be for Halloween this year????

I wasn't big on Halloween until a few yrs ago. Actually I'm still not big on Halloween but I DO have tons of fun dressing up, going to the parties with my cousin, being goofy with co-workers, and my son gets a kick out of it. (good thing I'm not big on Halloween huh?)
This year I have NO IDEA what I'm going to be! Tomorrow the parties pop off and I have no costume yet!! EEEEEK!
So today guess where I'll be....

.........yup, somewhere organizing a costume!

Here are a few blasts from my spooky past...

"Cal meh now fuh yuh free readin!" lol

Moulin Rouge one year
(thankfully there was no PTA meeting that day) 

Hippie Dippie


Roman Empress at work...
then at a party with my cousin, the sexy crooked cop :) 

Mile High Club

So the question remains,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hey baby I'm a rockstar!

So I made it home not too long ago (almost 1am) and I really should be getting MUCH needed beauty sleep but instead I'm up blogging. Yup, I'm living the life of Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll......minus the drugs, and oh yeah the sex.
Today I received an unexpected message to head over to the city to sing. I happily traded in my "to-do" list for my "set list" because I had no idea what was going to transpire and I wanted to be prepared.
When I arrived at The Red Lion, I found out I was going to sing a capella.
If you've read my previous blog entries (hint hint) you'd know that a very talented group of singer/songwriters/musicians grace that stage every month, so it was my absolute honor to share the stage with them.

Here's Markeisha
(avid Star Wars fan by the way...she gave my son homework...on Star Wars!)

Here's part of the group from left to right: 
 Markeisha, Kirsten, Bruce and Skip Brevis (who is MEAN on the keys!)

And as a special treat, Genie "Pepper" Swinson was not only in da building,
 but sang "God Bless The Child"

I was so busy singing and shaking my tuckus in front of Jake Holmes (devishly handsome and ridiculously talented man) that I forgot to assign someone for camera duty to take pics of ME!!!.... but that's ok.
The highlight of my night was when my son said that I "did a great job" and was "terrific".  Not even Clive Davis or Quincy Jones could top that (although it wouldn't hurt if they said it too :)