LaShunta’s Newsletter (substack)

Hey There!

I hate to load your inbox with something new 🙂 but… I am doing just that. Y’all know writing/blogging is something I enjoy. I still have the intentions to keep My Haute Talk active for a long time but the reality of it is when blogging there is a ton of behind the scenes work, techy stuff and time consuming stuff.

So with a push from some writing friends I am giving substack a try. This will allow me to write something and publish it and send it to your inboxes without me having to stress over the techy part. It has taken me a while (too long) to come to the realization that with my schedule right now I just do not have the time it takes to manage the blog and tech stuff right now. I hate that because I have so much I want to do on the blog but it will have to wait a bit. What can not wait longer is me working on becoming a better writer. I am grateful for my writing network for the encouragement and helping me to realize that the “getting it just right” and waiting too long to get to writing on my blog could no longer be a choice.

So here we go you will get some emails from me. You will need to hit subscribe. I appreciate you following this journey of mine. Just hitting publish on this email is hard but also freeing beause I have no techy stuff to do. Big sigh of relief 🙂

Thank you again and I will be sure to let you know when you should stop by myhautetalk.com to check out some posts. In the meantime be subscribe and make sure I do not land in your spam folder.

I APPRECIATE you!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE https://lashuntahoover.substack.com/

Podcasts-That Make My Ears Happy

As I mentioned before I am a podcast junkie. I am so glad podcasts  continue to be a thing. Podcasts are on my playlist at least 4 days a week if not more.

I am always up for checking out new shows or continuing to listen to some of my favorites.  So let me tell you what a few of my favorites are at the moment:

Raising  A Pro– Hosted by Annie Apple who is a journalist, storyteller, and NFL mom. I love this podcast for so many reasons. First off Annie the host is so dang funny. She is always dropping knowledge and humor. On the show Annie interviews families of NFL players and talks about their journey growing up.

It is always  fun to hear the different paths these athletes experienced from the young pop warner pee-wee football days all the way to the NFL.  When they discuss the high school and college years I really enjoy it. So many of these players have had to overcome some sort of obstacle. Whether it be coaches who did not believe in them, family struggles, injuries etc. Hearing a comeback story or an underdog proving doubters wrong always makes me happy. No matter what level of an athlete you have in your family if you tune into Raising A Pro you will be entertained.

Gettin’ Grown–  This is a newer podcast for me and I LOVE it. The hosts Jade and Keia are great  and when you listen to them chat it up it is like you’re chatting with friends. Jade and Keia talk about all sorts of things that we as adults have to deal with. They love to cut up and laugh. They have interviewed some awesome folks and you will walk away from their kitchen table feeling like you just had coffee, a meal and a good talk with friends. If you’re looking for a new good listen definitely check them out.

The Morgan Harper Nichols Show– I found this podcast at the right time. Let me tell you it soothes my mind. Morgan has such a comforting voice.    Morgan is an artist and poet.  Her words will make your heart smile and she will make you think. If you’re on instagram check her page out.

I could go on and on about podcasts so let me just mention a few more and if you are not already listening to them go give them a listen: The Read not rated E for everyone but if you like hip-hop and pop culture check it out. The Friend Zone they talk about everything from politics, current events, culture, you name it and they are talking about it also not rated E for everyone.  Last but not least In the Light with Dr. Anita Phillps is a good one that talks alot about mental health situations. I love In the Light because Dr. Anita is a religious person but she KNOWS the importance of counseling and does not just say to folks to “just pray about it”. 

Is there a podcast that you enjoy if so please let me know so that I can check it out.

Poem of Hope

I decided to write a little poem for National Poetry Month.

The dictionary definiton of hope is: to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true.

Most of us are hoping for something, right?

Hope is there

Hope is here

Hope is for me

Hope is for you

Hope is for:

the strong

the timid

the lost

the character

the confident one

the meek

the shy

the one who has been found

the one who is waiting

the one who cares too much

the one who cares too little

The search for hope will go on and on

When hope is found will we : keep seeking? be satisfied?

How will one know if the hope found is the right hope?

Is there a right hope? A wrong hope?

What are you hoping for?

April, National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. During the month of April I will share some of my favorite poems with you.

First here is a little background about National Poetry Month:

Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996. The academy enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help. April was selected because emed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.

The Academy of American Poets states the purpose of National Poetry Month is to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
  • encourage the reading of poems
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and 
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.

Langston Hughes is a poet that makes my heart smile. I am so grateful that Mr. Hughes shared his words with us. Here are a few poems of his that I love:

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

This poem is one I think all parents can relate to. Life gets tough for our kids at times but we need to encourage them to keep on working on those things that may be challenging. Yes it is tough to see our kids struggle. Being realistic and encouraging is needed to help them get through those tough times.

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

It is always important to keep dreaming. I think too often especially as we get older we tend to forget to keep on dreaming and working on making some of those dreams a reality. Please keep dreaming and no matter how wild, goofy or out of reach you think your dream may be keep working at it.

My Loves

I love to see the big white moon,
A-shining in the sky;
I love to see the little stars,
When the shadow clouds go by.

I love the rain drops falling
On my roof-top in the night;
I love the soft wind’s sighing,
Before the dawn’s gray light.

I love the deepness of the blue,
In my Lord’s heaven above;
But better than all these things I think,
I love my lady love.

Who doesn’t like a poem about love. Poems about love remind us that love is not a one size fits all. We all tend to describe our love in different ways. Love is beautiful.

Reading poetry is like reading lyrics to a song you love and just vibing out. I hope you enjoyed these Langstong Hughes poems. The collection of works Mr. Hughes has is beautiful if you have time to do so please check out some of his works. Do you have a favorite poem or poet?

My Word Of The Year For 2021

My word for 2021 is “Thrive” I always wrestle with myself when it comes to my word for the year. For the past few weeks I’ve journaled and prayed about the goals I have for 2021 and this word “thrive” has just kept coming back to me.

As the adventures of 2021 kick in I hope to thrive in all I do  .Even through the obstacles and bumps in the road that are sure to come.

This was posted to my instagram at the start of the year but I wanted to make sure to share my word of the year with you all.

Do you pick a word or phrase for the year? If so what is yours for this year.

Hello, Long Time No Talk

Hello There!

My goodness it has been some time since I have checked in and chatted with you guys. I have no real big excuse or exciting reason why. All I can say is: 2020 craziness, life, trying to find balance and all that good stuff. Yes good stuff because I think along the way f all the chaos we can learn a little something. Right now if you were to ask me what I have learned in 2020 and the first few months of this year it would all be jibberish. There has just been too much going on to latch on to a big “learning lesson” or aha moment to share with you all.

With that being said my plan now is to make sure I am writing at least once a week. What will I be writing about? Heck right now I do not know, but I am getting my pen, I mean keyboard ready to go and will write about whatever comes to my mind and my heart.

I hope you are doing well. I look forward to catching up with you all.

Make Time For Fun In The Midst Of The Chaos

The other day I was listening to a podcast and they were discussing the importance of making time for fun and rest. When I heard the first few opening words I was kind of like “hmmm this will be interesting”. Don’t get me wrong I am all for fun. I try to make as much time for fun and rest as I can. However sometimes when someone else is telling me ” Make Time For Fun”. I can not help but think, “Do you want to take a look at my calendar and schedule it for me.”

Honestly I was kind of prepared to not really tune in 100% and then the host explained they were going to discuss:

  • Why fun feels far away
  • How to make time and schedule fun
  • How Sabbath can lead to healthy fun.(Don’t let the word sabbath scare you, I don’t plan on starting an alter call).

After the craziness of the last year it seems many of us struggle with making time for fun. Having yours and almost everyone you know lives get flipped upside down all at once has been heavy at times. Why do we feel guilty for having fun? Even in pre-pandemic times many of us struggled with the balance of fun and our daily duties.

We need to have more fun daily. Fun can help reduce stress. Laughter is fun. For me lately I scroll tiktok and I crack up a few times a week (if you have not taken some time to scroll tiktok you need to do so today). Getting outside to excercise a bit can be fun as well. Find what brings fun to you and do it.Time for fun is needed and refreshing.

What are some things that you like to do for fun? How often are you making time for fun?

Oops I almost forgot to let you know what podcast I was listening to. The podcast is called “We Are Going There” be sure to check it out.

Doing The Best We Can

In March when COVID-19 sent people home I thought it would just be a few weeks of staying home. Here we are in August and for many folks things have not gone back to the way we are used to.Honestly this entire situation with COVID has overwhelming moments. Many of us are doing the best we can with all of this.

For many families the biggest obstacle right now is in regard to how the upcoming school year will be. How will parents manage work and online learning. Others are wondering how bills we be paid since they have been laid off. The level of uncertainty can be overwhelming. Sadly I do not think we will have many answers for a very long time.

Depending on where you live things can change daily.The best reminder right about now is that the only thing that will be consistent is change. Most folks have had a tough time with all that’s happening. Having a tough time is okay, we gotta keep going and do the best we can. If you feel overwhelmed please give yourself some grace.

Keep doing the best you can each minute, each hour, each day. Be patient with yourself and with others.If you need to take a moment for yourself please do so. If you feel overwhelmed to a point where it is affecting your daily routines please reach out to someone for help. Remember it is fine to ask for help and let people know how you are feeling. We have all had moments of being overwhelmed with all that’s going on.

Take time to relax, know that it is okay to be be doing the best we can for the moment.Hopefully soon we will be back to how we are used to things being.

How have you been doing with the changes COVID has brought into your life.

Celebrate Diversity {It’s Not A Bad Word}

Diversity: the condition of having, or being composed of, differing elements; the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.

I’m sure that some people hear the word diversity and roll their eyes while thinking: “Here we go with this topic.” Why does the word diversity make some folks uncomfortable? When you read the definition above, it doesn’t sound like a “bad word” or a topic that you wouldn’t want to discuss. However, there are still many who do not have discussions about diversity.

Being “color blind” is a term some use to explain that they are not prejudiced or racist. We should celebrate the reality that we are all different. People are comprised of lighter skin, white skin, brown skin, dark brown skin, and black skin. Some people have different hair, eyes, and may wear different styles of clothes and eat different types of foods.

Teaching children about diversity is extremely necessary and important. Children are curious about diversity. Small children do not judge the other kids they play with based on skin color unless someone has taught them to do so. Children may ask you why their friend is a different color than them, they are asking out of curiosity. When that question is asked most parents tend to give the stock answer: “We’re all different” and move on.

celebrate diversity hands joined

Teaching children about diversity and learning to celebrate diversity is a necessary thing to do.

Here are a few things you can do to get the discussion going with your children:

(Some of these things may not be able to be done until the current COVID-19 situation improves)

When your child asks a question about a person’s skin tone or culture, take time to answer them. Let your child know that you are glad they are asking questions. Explain to them in simple terms why people are different colors or why some people wear certain clothing.

 When events are going on in your area that celebrate other cultures, take your children to these events.Enjoy the food, dancing, language, and education about a different culture.

Visit museums with your child.If you live in an area that’s not very diverse, try to take day trips to nearby cities and/or museums. Make diversity fun to learn about. Celebrating others should not be a chore.When your child asks a question about a different race or culture that you cannot confidently answer, be honest. Let them know that you do not know, but you will look it up and find out for them. These days we have so many resources available to us online that can help us have the talk about diversity.

Diversity is good. Inclusion is good. Our world is filled with many different cultures, races, religions, etc. Let’s celebrate diversity and be willing to learn about those who are different than us. Please do not worry about getting everything right, the important thing is to start having the conversations and being willing to learn.

I’d love to hear how you’re having conversations about diversity with your children.

Life Is A Journey Enjoy The Ride


Years ago at work I was having a conversation with an older co-worker. We were talking about the company we worked for, life, family and future plans. She mentioned to me that one regret she had was staying with the same company for so long. She was nearing retirement and would receive a great retirement and pension but she still wished she had tried other things career wise. When we were done talking she said sweetie “Life is a journey enjoy the ride”.

After that I would always say that same phrase to her in a joking way. When she retired I got her a mug with that phrase on it. Her words have always stuck with me. At the time my 20 year old self thought there is no way I’m not retiring from this company. Little did I know my journey would change direction. Yes it was a bit scary but I’m grateful for the change. Being able to try a few different career paths before moving from California to the Carolina’s was beneficial not only career wise but also with a huge cross country move.

I had no idea that at the time her advice would stick with me. As I try to figure out certain things in life I keep reminding myself: this is all part of my journey and I need to enjoy the process. The journey may not always be sunshine and roses but that is how life is. Not all can be glitz and glamour. Has someone ever dropped a gem of wisdom your way and at the time you had no idea how it would help you later on? What is the best advice someone has shared with you?