Erykah Badu’s “Twinkle”

There was much buzz about Erykah Badu’s new release “New AmErykah: World War Part 4.” I heard the first release Honey on 95.5 WPGC and wondered if Erykah had rolled over in bed and coughed a song into the mic. The song sounds lazy and underdeveloped. Good enough for the radio, but not good enough for her talents or her fans. Convinced the rest of “New AmErykah” would be the same, I passed on buying it. Later, I found my suspicions were only 90 percent accurate.

Family Relationships+ Family

Can Mom and Dad live under the same roof?

Feeling the ripple of effects of last week’s Father’s Day discussions, I’ve really been feeling a calling to this subject. I’m alarmed at what was a trend is now an expected norm—to be a single parent. Why can we get together long enough to conceive a child but cant be a cohesive unit under one roof?


A Valentine for Dad: Champagne Chocolate

With all the talk about Black fathers, I was reminded of a story written for National Public Radio (NPR) last year for Valentine’s Day. It is about my family, specifically my father and how he started a tradition in our family to enjoy Valentine’s Day with his daughters and his wife. The story includes two of ShoeBox Oven’s favored chocolates: Champagne Chocolate and Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. I hope you will also enjoy it and treasure the men in your life

Health + Wellness

Dating and Dieting: “Can I get a side of Dick Gregory instead of fries?”

In the middle of my journey to lose these last 20 lbs, I’ve come upon a dilemma…dating. The problem is not so much dating as it is keeping control when there is change.

Losing weight means a lot of planning for me make any significant gains in my weight loss. I plan my meals every day, counting every calorie, documenting every work out. Being a baker, I’m around rich and fattening foods daily. Walking into the kitchen is akin to walking into a land mine field. And I’m an emotional eater, so if its a bad day, some disruption or change, you will find me in the walk-in with my head in the Valrhona chocolate bag. It is important that I stay centered, I pray and I stick to the plan and life is quiet. I am in a safe bubble of controlled calories and “serenity now” chants. But throw a cute boy in there and a night out on the town and that bubble pops.

Food + Recipes

Hot Summer. Cool Beans. :: VanillaBean Lemonade

It’s hot y’all. And not just outside. All the RoundUps are on fire with heated debate, fiery discussions and spicy chit-chit-chatter. Before someone spontaneously combusts, lets chill out—physically, mentally, spiritually. This is the recipe to my bakery’s coveted VanillaBean Lemonade. Add whatever “grown up” you want to this lemonade, but it is delightful as-is.

ShoeBox Oven’s VanillaBean Lemonade
10 Lemons
2 Vanilla Bean pods
16 cups of water
Simple Syrup
Crushed Ice (as needed)

2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar

Squeeze lemons. Discard the seeds and keep as much pulp as you’d like.

Make the simple syrup.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add 2 cups of sugar.
Slit the vanilla beans down the center and scrape the seeds out.
Put the seeds and the scraped pods in the boiling water.


How do you make your “lemonade?”

What do you do with your lemons….

Life is full of lemon trees. At times it can seem like the journey is through a vast grove of lemon trees. Then the dusty axiom is quoted: “When life gives you lemons…make lemonade.” But sometimes I just want to say “Get the f*ck outta here with that dang cliché. Life is giving me so many lemons I got bruises!” But then I see or hear of something that gets me out of my funk, depression, stinking-thinking. I watched this clip and was amazed at what this man did with the lemons life threw at him. Gracias Papi! ¡Usted es el mejor! I’m inspired and ready to dance and make limoncello!

Tell me what do you do with your lemons?


Healthy Movies?

Do images of exercise and healthy eating in tv shows and movies affect your lifestyle?


Good Habits Die Easy

Can you get the weight off and keep it off?