Alicia Harper, Creator of Mommy Delicious

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If superwoman was a real life character, Alicia Harper would be her. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, just like Jay- Z, Alicia “bleeds blue” but for a different reason. Receiving undergraduate and Masters’ degrees from Columbia University in the City of New York – she’s True Blue. Being educated at one of the premiere universities is just the tip of the ice burg for this phenomenal woman. Her feats also include being a dean of students at a charter elementary school, creator of her own blog, Mommy Delicious, featured writer with magazines and online publications, and of course a mommy. Alicia proves that nothing is two great for a visionary woman who has drive and determination.

Excellence was always the standard for Alicia. Being involved in foster care as a child may not have been easy but Alicia grew tough skin to manage the difficulties of life. At a young age she learned not to fail and that if she wanted more in life she would have to work hard to get it. She knew that she would have to become the author of her own destiny. And she did nothing short of it. As a high school student she was awarded a Times Scholarship recognizing her ability to overcome adversities and successfully manage hardships in life. Though she was accepted to many universities, she experienced the greatest feeling of pride when she received her final acceptance letter – from Columbia. This was her top choice and for Alicia a life changing experience.

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As a Columbia student she realized the stark differences in academic preparation when she went from being the top student at her own high school to struggling with the academic rigor of an Ivy league university. Like the Superwoman she is, she worked hard to excel at Columbia – and of course she did. Beyond the academic differences Alicia was able to learn first hand the social inequalities within the city she had grown up in. Though she was from New York City she soon realized the many cultural and social experiences in Manhattan that her friends were afforded growing up and she was not.  She took it upon herself to be reintroduced to her hometown and enjoyed city life with a new lens.

A woman whose personal and professional are connected – her formative experiences at Columbia would later inform her professional pursuits. As a college student Alicia had completed several independent studies working with schools in Harlem and Brooklyn. She realized that she was not alone in her own academic experiences and become interested in the achievement gap. She wondered why some students have more resources and better schools than others.

After graduating from Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in psychology she decided to pursue a career in education. Alicia became a part of the NYC teaching fellows program where she taught third and fifth grade. Observing her classroom, Alicia became aware that her students had little interest in learning until their psychological needs were met. She built rapport with them and learned that they did want to learn and had big dreams – only they had personal issues that needed to be dealt with before they could focus in school. From these experiences Alicia felt that she could be more effective if she tackled the achievement gap from a different perspective.Alicia4

Alicia chose to pursue her Masters degrees in psychological counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University. She was not only a loyal Columbian and New Yorker, but was also drawn to the program for its commitment to multiculturalism and premiere faculty with which she would have an opportunity to learn from.

All of Alicia’s educational and life experiences connected to make her the perfect candidate for the Dean of Students at a local elementary charter school that services students in grades K-4. Alicia works directly under her principle to manage teachers and help them to help their students. Her work includes collaborating with teachers to develop lesson plans using multiple instruction methods and effectively managing student behaviors. Her job is to bridge the gap between passing state mandated tests, supporting the psychological and emotional development of children and staff, maintaining a positive school environment, and developing programs to sustain these efforts. Alicia asserts that the most rewarding aspect of her job is that she gets to help so many students directly and indirectly through consulting with teachers, staff, and parents.

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As if that wasn’t enough, Alicia is also Mommy Number 1 to a “rambunctious” 6-year-old son – Aiden. Life as a single mom may not be easy but Alicia manages it with style, grace, and a whole lot of love. Alicia is able to manage mommydom in addition to her professional obligations by prioritizing – a method that has admittedly kept her sane. She describes having a routing for both her and Aiden that supports his growth and development including participation in activities of his choice and also allows her to be a successful career woman and person! Of course she always makes time for mommy-son time including fun weekend activities exploring New York City together and awesome vacation getaways. Alicia enjoys the opportunity for them both to enjoy first time experiences with each other. She also acknowledges how her and Aiden have grown together – a blessing for them both.

Alicia has become more comfortable in her role as mommy, some of which might be attributed to her decision a few years ago to give her own life new meaning. She had always dreamed of becoming a freelance writer and as a new mom actively began to think about how she might do this. While in the gym she decided to create her own blog as a way to express herself. Though mommydom was an experience that she knew first hand she did not want that to be the sole focus. Motherhood was one of her roles but not her only one, so she used her blog to be more interpersonal.

Alicia created Mommy Delicious – a coming of age blog about her life including mommydom and womanhood. Alicia uses this space to honestly share her life and experiences from multiple angles – highlighting herself as a well-rounded woman. There is not a topic that is off limits as long as she has had enough time to mature and grow from it and can effectively tell her story with clarity and purpose. Interestingly, what started off as an opportunity to emote and share her story turned into a delicious cult following. Alicia knew she had something special after being invited to exciting events not only in New York City but also on vacations across the country. Her passion turned into even bigger opportunities where she is now able to run a successful blogging business as well as lend her writing chops to other celebrated publications – an experience she could have only dreamed of several years prior. Despite her writing success, the best part of her blog is when she receives positive feedback from readers who share her experience or feel inspired by her story.

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At Dirty Thirty Alicia’s accomplishments are nothing shy of phenomenal. Describing herself as strong, sensitive, and sweet she has overcome many obstacles to reach her goals  – making her the ultimate U Blush Woman. And it ain’t over yet. In the next ten years Alicia hopes to continue to be a blessing to other people by doing her current work but on a larger scale. These goals include writing a regular column on a larger platform, publishing her own book, teaching as an adjunct college instructor, and opening her own school.

Alicia’s source of inspiration is her faith and knowing that “God will never leave or forsake me.” Aiden, the special boy in her life, always motivates her that anything is possible and keeps her striving for better. She reminds readers that “overnight success” is rarely over night. You have to work hard even when no one is looking; your day will come. In pursuit of excellence Alicia asserts, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” A method that has brought her to the level of success she stands at now by never giving up even when the odds were stacked against her. For her, empowerment means “unapologetically going after what you want and know is right even if you are the only person doing it” – a quote with which she obviously lives by.

The Happenings: 12/01/2013-12/08/2013

Los Angeles

Weihnachtsmarkt an der Berliner Gedächtniskirche

What: Christmas Market – Holiday Bazar-Experience German culture!

Description: In Huntington Beach Old World Village there will be a festive celebration of German culture. A large selection of fun activities will take place revolving around arts and crafts. This is a free event and great for the family. Many German style dishes will be served. For the adults, German red wine can be enjoyed with these dishes. Santa Claus will be greeting the family and children will get to partake in face painting.

When: Sunday, December 8, 2013 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Where: Old World Village, 7561 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Cost: Free

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What: Divine Design 2013– Update your wardrobe and save a life!

Description: Interested buyers will be able to choose from designer clothing and items for the house. All of the money earned will be payed to Project Angel Food. Project Angel Food is an agency that is non-profit, and provides healthy food options for all (men, women, children) who are suffering from HIV/Aids, cancer, and other life threatening diseases. Such designer names as Kenneth Cole, Guess, Marc Jacobs, will be found at this event.

When: Thursday, December 5, 2013 6:00 pm-Sunday, December 8, 2013 8:00 pm

Where: 2nd Floor, 8767 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. CA 90211

Cost: $25.00 (per day) – $150.00 (ticket purchase)

San Francisco

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What: California Academy of Sciences Free Day- Education is key!

Description: Experience the four story rainforest exhibit where there are birds and butterflies. Nature is very beautiful, so why not take the time to appreciate it and learn from it. Not to mention, the experience is open to everyone on this day. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, you never know, your children may just be inspired and discover their career path!

When: Sunday, December 8, 2013 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118

Cost: Free!

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What: Increase Your Social Skills for the Holidays! [Workshop]—Develop a new you!

Description:  In a day and age where technology is dominating our everyday lives, this workshop could prove to be beneficial to many. Family is everything for many during the holidays, and reconnecting or getting to know our families is usually very comforting. Developing and working on ourselves makes us feel good, and family will notice the change during the holidays. There are so many of us who feel isolated and want to be more open and less fearful of holding a conversation or socializing. This is the workshop for those who want to work on themselves. Topics to be discussed: the law of attraction, how to manifest our own reality, how to be happy being you. You never know, trying new things could just change your life!

When: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Where: WeWork Golden Gate, 25 Taylor St., San Francisco, CA 94102

Cost: Free!

Houston

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What: Tequila Wednesdays-Be social and have fun!

Description: Who would pass up on $5 tequila shots? Not just one type of tequila either, try a variety! Many of us will want to have some fun after slaving away at our jobs, or maybe to celebrate our accomplishments and be grateful for our hard work? You never know. This could be a new get together area for friends and family! Girl’s Night Out!!

When: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:00 pm

Where: Emmit’s Place, 4852 Benning Dr., Houston, TX 77035

Cost: $5 per shot + have fun

happpontoonboat3What: Buffalo Bayou Christmas Cruises-Holiday Cruise!

Description: Celebrate with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership on a thirty minute boat ride. The boat can hold up to twenty one people, so act fast and get yourself and your family on the boat! Meet at Allen’s Landing.

When: Friday, December 6, 2013 5:00 pm – Saturday, December 21, 2013 7:30 pm

Where: Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce St., Houston, TX 77002

Cost: $5.00 – $7.00

New York City

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What: 14th Annual Winters Eve at Lincoln Square

Description: Lincoln Square Business Improvement District and sponsor Time Warner are having a festive celebration that is part of NYC history! There will be free jazz performances, dance exclusives, circus events, and all around fun! Not to mention diverse food options.

When: Monday, December 2, 2013 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Where: Lincoln Square Winters Eve, 1841 Broadway Ste 1112, New York, NY 10023

Cost: Free, aside from food expenses

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What: Columbus Circle Holiday Market 2013-Shopping Galore!

Description: Event will take place at Columbus Circle Holiday Market, located in Central Park. This market has lots of food choices, gifts, clothes, and jewelry.  Bring your family and friends! There will be a lot of vintage items, and the food choices range from Hispanic dishes to Turkish food.

When: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 10:00 am – Tuesday, December 24, 2013 10:00 pm

Where: Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Cost: Free!

Atlanta

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What: Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker- Experience a timeless masterpiece!

Description: Atlanta Ballet is presenting…The Nutcracker! Families alike have loved this musical and work of art for many years, so why not come to experience Atlanta’s rendition? Music and dance are a great way to ground the soul and to bond with family and friends. Get lost in this winter wonderland play.

When: Friday, December 6, 2013 7:30 pm – Sunday, December 29, 2013 7:30 pm

Where: The Fabulous Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303

Cost: Price ranges from $20.00 – $120.00

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What: Sweet Dreams Couture Charity Fashion Show-Fashion is now! Fashion is you!

Description: The “Sweet Dreams Couture.” What is this exactly? This is a fashion event that exposes us, the audience, to the newest fashion designs and styles that are coming up this season. Be an insider to where the fashion industry is heading. Even students will get to express their talent and eye for fashion. Runway performances will take place and live music. Let’s encourage our youth, they are the gateway to the future!

When: Saturday, December 7, 2013 6:00 pm

Where: Colony Square Mall, 1197 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30361

Cost: Free! Bring an open mind!

Top 3 Cupcakes Shops in NYC

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If you’re like me you love a great cupcake, or two! New York City is the land of everything, and it has the reputation of being a “concrete jungle,” two characteristics that may make it sometimes that difficult to navigate. There’s a sweeter side to the Big Apple and U Blush is your guide! The top three bakeries serving some of the best cupcakes The City has to offer.

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Magnolia

This classic American bakery offers cupcakes that pack a punch! Topped with rich frosting, moist cake, and delicious sprinkles or candy atop, these delights are a just what you need after a long day in Manhattan. Classic flavors such as vanilla or chocolate  are better than ever, plus additional tastes including German Chocolate, Banana, and Devil’s Food. Perfect for a family outing, this quaint bakery reminds you of vacations at your grandma’s house – tasty treats with milk, in a cozy atmosphere. With a flagship store on the Upper West Side, shops in major U.S. cities and the world, everyone can try this great American tradition – and now online orders mean these cupcakes are really just a click away.

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Crumbs

A nod to the modern age – nothing is average about this New York bakery. With signature cupcakes you won’t find anywhere else, you get a unique blend of fine taste with flavors you don’t typically find in cake form. Try such blends as Girl Scout Thin Mints, Ultimate S’mores, and Milkshake. Even traditional cupcakes flavors such as Red Velvet and Vanilla/Chocolate Sprinkles, are remixed! Special flavors make it a must go for every season. For October, try Halloween’s Candy Corn or Jack O’Lantern and Breast Cancer Awareness month’s cupcake of choice,  Pink Ribbon. From its first store opening on the Upper West Side to its dozens of franchises across Manhattan and  nationwide, every cupcake is a treat! After a trip to this shop, the only thing left will be crumbs.

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Sweet Revenge

The West Village is sweeter than ever thanks to this bakery!  This shop offers the best of cupcakes with a twist!  With a slogan of Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, you can enjoy your favorite cupcakes and wine – a combination that will lift the spirit of any contemporary, professional stylista. Restaurant suggested cupcake/wine pairings such as Dirty & Sweet Smaak Rose Moscato, Pure & Principato Pinot Noir, or Crimson and Cream & Raspberry Bellini are sure to satiate your sweet tooth. If you’re a renegade make your own from a host of Artisan cake flavors including Dulce de Leche, Mayan Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice and beer, wine, cocktail, and non alcoholic drinks of your preference! With special menus ranging from breakfast to happy hour, come at anytime of the day! Escaping the limitations of corporate America, the success of this shop, really is a Sweet Revenge.

The Best of New York Fashion Week Spring 2014

During the month of September countless designers emptied their studios to exhibit their works of art down runways and atop podiums across Manhattan. New York Fashion Week had arrived and as the streets filled with 5’10 beauties, celebs and fashionista’s, patience wore thin as the industries who’s who anxiously took their seats to marvel at what some would describe as living, breathing art.

Check out our favorite designers and favorites looks from the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week Spring 2014:

Badgley Mischka

Badgley Mischka

BCBG

BCBG Max Azria

Brandon Sun

Brandon Sun

DKNY

DKNY

Herve Leger by Max Azria

Herve Leger by Max Azria

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J. Mendel

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

Micheal Kors

Michael Kors

Milly

Milly by Michelle Smith

Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan

Nenette Lepore

Nanette Lepore

Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Pamella Roland

Pamella Roland

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Zac Posen

Zac Posen

Any idea spewing for your Spring wardrobe, Lovelies?

Jamiese Price, Television News Reporter, Blogger

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Childhood dreams become reality. Jamiese Price, television news reporter, is a one-stop shop in journalism. From securing interviews, to filming, and editing her own pieces, this Jane of all trades is a forced to be reckoned with. Her journalism career started with a mock news cast in the fourth grade. At 9, she wasn’t a polished newscaster but she didn’t let failure stop her.  “I was horrible, but I wanted to be great so bad.” The following year Jamiese had the opportunity to “redeem” herself and from then on she knew she had found her calling. Attending college on a full ride scholarship to Tuskegee University in her home state of Alabama, Jamiese was an English major who sought out opportunities to hone her journalism skills. Her junior year she secured an internship in Detroit where she met a young newscaster who rocked the news station. Jamiese described her admiration for this young woman. “I want that” she told herself and quickly decided that she needed to pursue graduate training at Syracuse University.

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July 2006, Jamiese and her mother made the 18-hour trek from Alabama to Syracuse, which marked the beginning of her bourgeoning reporting career. She described the move as “emotional” with accompanying feelings of self-doubt. “What am I doing? Am I making a mistake?” she asked herself. Jamiese used her fear, anxiety, and excitement to push her to courageously face her dreams. Though Syracuse was a very intense and demanding yearlong program, Jamiese learned the essentials of the profession. Using this journalism boot camp to force her into reporting shape, she bested taking criticism and using it to enhance her skills. The long hours she spent in class and on the job, coming home to a few hours of sleep in the brutal upstate New York cold, all while being away from her family prepared her for a grueling career as a reporter.  During these testing times Jamiese turned to a group a classmates who became her family and helped each other get through the process. She also had the support of her family and friends back home that constantly motivated her to succeed.

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In August 2007 Jamiese’s hard work paid off when she graduated from her program and six months later secured her first job with a station in Huntsville Alabama! Though her first job differed from what she learned in school, Syracuse provided Jamiese a solid foundation for her employment. This “one man band” was able to successfully shoot and edit her own video, set up her own interviews and write her own stories. As a general assignment reporter she covered an array of stories including tornadoes, crime, and everyday feel good pieces.  After a year and a half, Jamiese decided to take a break from reporting by teaching at a community college and working as a policy coordinator for the American Lung Association.

 

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During an almost 2 year hiatus from broadcast journalism, Jamiese felt a burning desire to stay abreast of the happenings in media, fashion, and popular culture. In August 2010 she decided to add blogging to her resume. Jamiese started Ooh La La blog where, “fashion never looked so sweet.” On this platform she lets her personality come out discussing the hottest fashion, celebrity trends, and affordable pieces for the frugalista in all of us. Ooh La La is where sexy meets excitement! The blog invigorated Jamiese but there was still one thing missing. She began to miss the television industry and decided to continue her pursuits to become a premiere journalist. Securing another position with a local Alabama news station, Jamiese is mastering the mix of both her passions in blogging and reporting. A long but fulfilling workday, starts with blogging at 6AM, several hours reporting, and ends with blogging. She might spend her day reporting on a gun trial and come home and blog about Solange’s estillo. Her ability to switch between the two is predicated on her being her authentic self and remembering who her audience is – the perfect combination.

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Jamiese’s future goals include more fully integrating her two passions by becoming an entertainment reporter. Her dream job would be a red carpet correspondent for E news. In this way she can merge both worlds as a multi media journalist – all things pop culture, fashion, entertainment but still using journalism skills. As she pursues her career goals she knows that she must work hard now to play harder later. She often misses being away from her family and friends but uses them as her motivation to succeed. Her mother is her biggest inspiration who taught her the value of hard work and dedication. With a supportive family and solid foundation, Jamiese is empowered to pursue her dreams in order to make them proud and act as a role model to her nieces and nephews. She believes that if they see her achieving they will inevitably know they can too make their dreams a reality. In true U Blush Woman spirit Jamiese encourages others to believe in yourself enough to stand-alone. “Don’t let someone else dictate your dream.” Sometimes people won’t understand your vision because it was given to you. Nonetheless she challenges each person to pursue your passions and eventually success and happiness will ensue.

See Jamiese Price’s electrifying on screen personality!

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