March Book Reviews

Can you believe we are already in April? This is blowing my mind. I have a few things going on in April. I have a challenge with co workers to work out, I have a birthday at the end of this month, and I have a goal of reading 2 books. I know I will get it all done. So! What did I read in March?! See below!

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Good Reads Synopsis:

The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.”  At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.

Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.

With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother’s age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Jayne Allen kept my attention in this book. The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating family, friends, what she thinks is love, and fertility issues. Tabitha is at an all time high navigating becoming Senior reporter until she receives news that her egg reserve is diminishing. This causes her to evaluate her love interest Marc , who informs her he is not ready for marriage or kids.

We watch Tabby navigate her friendships, the in between of that as well as navigating her own family turbulence and coming to terms with her imperfectly perfect family. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The book kept my attention, and I was able to relate to some of the dilemmas the characters navigate through in this first installment Allen’s book series. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Do you plan on reading this book? Comment below and let me know!

Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen

Good Reads Synopsis:

In this highly anticipated second installment in the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series, Tabitha Walker copes with more of life’s challenges and a happy surprise–a baby–with a little help and lots of love from friends old and new.

For Tabitha Walker, her grandmother’s old adage, “Black girls must die exhausted” is becoming all too true. Discovering she’s pregnant–after she was told she may not be able to have biological children–Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of “single mothers by choice.” Between her job, doctor’s appointments, and preparing for the baby, she’s worn out. And that’s before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints from viewers about Tabitha’s natural hair.

When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc–her on and off-again ex-boyfriend–back into her world with surprising demands, and the situation at work begins to threaten her livelihood and her identity, Tabitha must make some tough decisions about her and her baby’s future. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha turns to the women who have always been there for her.

Bolstered by the fierce support of Ms. Gretchen, her grandmother’s best friend, the counsel of her closest friends Laila and Alexis, and the calming presence of her doula Andouele, Tabitha must find a way to navigate motherhood on her own terms. Will she harness the bravery, strength, and self-love she’ll need to keep “the village” together, find her voice at work, and settle things with Marc before the baby arrives?

Shoedooo’s Review:

This is book 2 in the series that Jayne Allen is writing. Once again she did not fail me! The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating pregnancy, family, friends, what she thinks is love, for herself and others. Tabitha is a new Senior reporter who is battling viewers who do not like her change in hair on TV. This causes her to evaluate her self, and if she should meet others standards of comfort.

We watch Tabby navigate her pregnancy, Marc her on and off again boyfriend, how he people pleases which brings to light how she does it in her life. Grandma Tabby’s friend who is in her 90’s is hilarious in this book and helps Tabby navigate finding the comfort in who she is no matter who feels uncomfortable about it. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Goodreads Synopsis:

A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Sally Hepworth did a great job on this book. It is a mystery book, but with a slow burn. The character development to me was good given the setting and circumstances.

We began with main character Lucy at her home with her husband and children being informed her mother -in – law, Diana, is dead. Things begin to unfold from there. As we glimpse from the present to the past from Lucy, and Diana’s view, we learn just how complicated, and secretive each of the characters are.

Lucy wants approval from her mother-in law, and it always out of reach. Nettie desperately wants children, and it affects her in surprising ways. Ollie has a business venture that he keeps hidden from his wife. Diana is rich and practical, which her children seem to despise.

As we untangle the present with the past, we learn who Diana is as well as who each of the characters are and how they play a role in her life. Hepworth did an great job of explaining who Diana is. Learning Diana’s point-of-view, helped me warm to her character and have empathy for her.

Overall, this one drew me in, and kept me engrossed throughout. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to a person who likes great multi-character development. 

So I have read 8/15 books. Can you say I am on a roll? Yes. Will I read more? Yes.

By the way, none of these books were purchased. I choose to read through my local Library on the Libby app within the Harris County Public Library Branches! Check them out!

February Book Reviews

Passing by Nella Larsen

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book was very thought provoking when it comes to the level of melanin and features we have. How some black people were able to pass for other or white and be racially ambiguous during a time of segregation. As a black woman, this gave me really mixed, thought provoking feelings.

Reading from Irene’s perspective of her frenemy, Clare, the book gives us a look into this world in between. Nella has us look into Irene, and how she navigated through her world as a black woman full and transparent. The life she lived was not as glamourous as she made it appear. She reconnected with a childhood friend, ironically in an all white section, and had to decide if she wanted a relationship or not. It seems she did. Irene had to also come to terms with Clare’s influence on her social life, her family life, her jealousy and her realization of her husbands affair with her friend. It is interesting that she also found a way to pass in the segregated world, but when her friend Clare did it, it was egregious. The ending is left open and I must say I love it. I highly recommend this read, if you are into historical fiction. It really makes me want to know more about the world of “passing”.

Honor by Thrity Umrigar

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Honor is a powerful book that will leave you with many feelings of empathy.

Smita, an Indian American journalist is asked a favor from another journalist friend to take over her story about a woman who was the victim of a tribal custom that was inhumane. The book will pul you in almost immediately. You have been warned. Thrity gives us a view from a Hindi – Indian perspective, as well as a perspective of how Muslim – Indians are treated. We are allowed to understand the views from modern India, and in villages. This story was deeply moving, and disturbing all at the same time. The scenes are worth reading through, and understanding what Honor or “Abru” means for Indians.
I was not expecting the twist about Smita, but the author Thrity was eloquent in unwrapping Smita’s past with India. Although unexpected for our main character Smita, this trip was both cleansing and full of love in spite of the anguish the characters witness and endure.

January Book Review

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get a Life Chole Brown, might have been one of the cutest stories I have read in a while. This book was the perfect mix of jokes, seriousness of a chronic illness, and dealing with mental health all in one package. I like that it gave a mental health perspective from a man enduring verbal and physical abuse. I would have liked more elaboration on that. It is important, that we see how love can bloom just when you think it won’t. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because of some of the overthinking the characters did, and how long it took them to get to the sex scenes, but it was cute nonetheless. I am interested in the other books and maybe they will make it to this years list. We shall see.

View all my reviews Hand Me DownsHand Me Downs by Michele Carter

Hand Me Downs was a book I could not out down. I got sucked into the characters and the life they lived. If you are looking for a twist and a turn fiction book, this is it. The book is set in the 50’s and follows the life of best friends that lives intertwine in interesting ways. The actions that are taken by the characters, affect not only the trajectory of their lives, but generational ones unintendedly. Michele E. Lovett-Carter opens or eyes to a perspective on how black families deal with mental health, gender roles, and walking the tightrope of perfection.
The book left me with wanting to see how some characters lives went on, and how things were resolved that were unspoken. For example how mother and daughter trauma is resolved in this families life would have been a touching point. I highly recommend this book to add to your to read list and give it 3 out of 4, mainly because the book was honestly hard to out down. I finished it in literally 3 days.

View all my reviews The Hunting PartyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book that almost is comparable to The Guest List. That book was most enjoyable. What I liked about this book, was the dysfunctional relationships and friendships that take place. The characters really kept the pages turning for me. Due to me reading her book the Guest List, it pretty much followed the same path but , the difference between the books, is this one felt a bit rushed at the end. I gave this book 3 stars out of 5, for simply being similar to her other book format. If this book would have been developed a little better at the end, I would have maybe given it more stars. Overall, if you want a good page turner or a great audio book, I recommend you read it.

View all my reviews

Book Reviews

I’ve always done book reviews, but never really for a group or anything. Well last year, I set an intention on joining a book club. You see I have always and I mean always loved reading. My amazon kindle has hoards of books that I need to read. My average book reads a year is 15-25. So you can say ,it was natural I wanted to find a place to discuss my book readings.

I secretly would follow the Oprah Book club. That led me to the B&N book club, which led me to Hello Sunshine Reads. These are all phenomenal read groups btw, and I still mostly follow a few of them. But I wanted a more melanated feel for my books, and I found Mocha Girls Read. AH! A place that not only read a vast genre of books like myself, but also readers looked like me! SUCESS! You guys know that wasn’t enough, I wanted a book club I could go to in Houston, and the ones that are out there were there, I just did not know how to find them. So alas! Mocha Girls Read created an online chapter! I am so happy I joined, not only have I found a home, I have found a place to do my reviews! I now have an Instagram page dedicated to my reads called @shoedooo.reads ! Feel free to follow me, I will use it to post reviews what I am reading and follow various readers/authors/lovers of books (not just the melanated ones). I also post my reviews on Goodreads as well. So stay tuned to me posting my reviews here!

Bookclubs I secretly and not so secretly follow:

  • Reese’s Book Club

If you read, what are some club or groups that you know of? Comment below!

Running after ACL Surgery


I have a very strong love/hate relationship with running. I love it for various reasons:

  • It’s a great cardio workout – I can really get a great sweat and work my legs as well as my stability for rehabbing my knee.
  • It is me vs myself – I am competitive and I love breaking my own personal records, or challenging myself to push out more.
  • The runners high – nothing like it.
  • The perks of toning! – I love having track legs. I want them and need them in my life for vanity reasons.

I dislike it for various reasons as well:

  • It is very uncomfortable when you first start – those first 2-3 minutes always get me.
  • It makes me make oo ahh sounds – When I am pushing myself hard, the sounds just come out. Ha! I pray everyone wears headphones
  • It makes me sweat – I dislike sweating, but there are worse things
  • It is me vs myself – that little voice that wants comfort, she talks to me on the loudest volume setting in my brain. Trap music usually helps soften her voice. If I pretend I am trapping, then I hear her less.
  • It takes up most of my gym time – I run on my lunch break, and I have 1 hour to do whatever it is I need to do in the gym. 30 minute runs are the max that I can get in.

So as my recovery continues, I try to put a day in between running due to it not being 100% the muscles around the knee have to be strengthened and it takes a long time for it to happen. I typically limp the following day after running, and I incorporate some deep stretching to assist with my recovery day. I still go to the gym and focus on other muscle groups for variety.

I will say that I get stronger each week, and I am happy that my therapy is working out. This journey has me questioning if it will ever be 100%. Maybe and maybe not. I am okay with whatever, but I know I am determined to remain active.

Things I do in my spare time

In the midst of being an ambitious 30 something, I tend to pile a lot on my plate. Maybe I am just used to it being full, but as I get older, I realize that there is a good cause for rest and recovery (You read that right). When I am not on the R&R treck, I enjoy doing a few things:

Home improvement: I am ambitious in this area thanks to Pinterest. I want to do all the things! The latest thing I have accomplished, is reupholstering my chairs for my dining table. I want a new dining set, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the current one I have in my breakfast area. I wanted to make it work with what my idea was. My chairs are in need of some repair, I have had the set for at least a decade and with that comes wear and tear. If you add my daughter into the mix, you get what you get. Let me show you my before picture.


As you can see, a travesty. I packed up my kiddo, strapped her in the car seat, made sure I had a full cup of coffee, and we made our way to Hobby Lobby. I found this material here and asked for two full yards of fabric.

When toddlers add sequin to your basket because it’s “pretty”

The fabric was 30% off. I paid 13.00 for my fabric! I then went to Home Depot and bought a good staple gun with staples. Hobby Lobby had staple guns, but I wanted one that would take universal staples, versus being very specific. I always analyze what’s best long term vs. availability. I went to work and followed this guide I pinned to my home-board on Pinterest and…..

Stapling is therapeutic. I’m proud of my recovery and plan to do more rehabbing to the entire set. In due time. The next project? Painting my living room walls.

Cooking – I enjoy cooking as much as I enjoy eating. I love going to restaurants, trying out the food, and then going home to try and re-create it. The whole challenge of trying to nail it gives me this thrill. My latest obsession. Mushroom risotto. A few years back I visited a restaurant that made a mushroom risotto that had shrimp, scallops and spinach. It was everything and more. Risotto is a creamy rice that is similar to grits. If you like grits, you will potentially enjoy the amazing-ness that is risotto. Here is my final outcome of it.

Dancing/Working out I am working out more often now that I have my mobility back to 80% I love pushing my body to grow stronger. I enjoy a challenge. I love to see where I can go! I think I may need to seek out a trainer, I need the extra push and structure that one provides. As far as dancing goes I will Milly rock on any block! I just love to move! Music touches me in a way that makes me want to express who I am and that is an upbeat fun tempo, happy person. So, if you dare, challenge me!

Spend Time with God – This is very important to me. I spend the first few moments of my day and moments before bed to worship, to pray and to seek God in all that I do. He has never steered me wrong. I promise if you have a good prayer life, peace hits you differently. Journaling my thoughts and desires also helps.

What do you do in your spare time?

Heels, Books, and Planners

I have worn heels! It was one of my goals for 2019 was to wear heels again and I did that.

Now, wearing heels after a knee surgery is an anxiety filled experience, but it can be done. I have been working very hard on rebuilding the muscles around my knee with a regimen of cardio intervals on the treadmill, leg press, and some lunges, and glute exercises. I have my lunch break to achieve all of these moves 3-4 times a week and so far, I have really committed myself to it.

So I am a Happy Planner girl and I enjoy decorating/filling my planner up with many things. I am a visual person and enjoy crafting and sprucing up my planner to make it unique.

I used a template made for an Erin Condren Planner from and made it my own!

I mainly use it to keep myself accountable for the goals I set out for the week as well as remember things when they need to be remembered. What is in my planner besides roses, dogs, or random themed stickers are:

  • Cleaning list – My house is a whole maintenance job within itself. I did not realize that there is more to a home than equity and paying the mortgage. LOL There is dusting, washing windows, changing out things, and making sure that it looks good. It is a full time job!
  • What’s for Dinner? – Guys I have a meal calendar for what I am cooking for the week. It really helps me in the store when I am grocery shopping and helps me save money through the week by packing my lunch.
  • Birthdays, Holidays, Doctor Appointments – Life SAVER. I mean, between the meetings and various projects I manage at work, my short term memory needs all the help it can get. It helps me stay on track.
  • Book List – I have a book list inside of my planner. I am an avid reader and I can read anywhere between 2-5 books in a month, depending on what is on my plate. I love using my imagination and books serve me well in that department. I decided I wanted to keep track of what I was reading just to get a tally of how many books I will read this year.

Planner template was brought to you by

Overall, I am a planner, but life will get in the way of your plans and you have to find a way to smile when things decide to rearranges the idea in your head. My goal is no matter how far off the path life decides to take me, by me writing down my goals and plans, it makes me intentional on achieving them REGARDLESS of any hurdles.

Do you have a planner? If you do please share? If not tell me how you do it all!

2018 Recap

2018 was interesting. I started it out with goals, hopes, and a list! Well, when God makes a move or a shift in your life, he makes a move! In 2018 I started out with a few goals let me give you an update on those items:

Create a Savings Plan

I stated in my previous post that I wanted to do a 52 week savings plan of 5,000.00 along with the Dave Ramsey savings tips, and I did that!  Mission accomplished. I am still following Ramesy’s baby steps and I encourage you to buy his book (audio, kindle, nook, hardcover, etc) and participate in one of his financial peace university courses. He is a wealth of resource!

Be more committed to fitness

I did just that.

I was working out 5 times a week, having lunch dates with friends to run hills, eating right, and then………I managed to tear my ACL and partially tear my meniscus in my knee. That had me set back most of  the end of 2018. It was one of the most trying injuries I have ever had. I had a full work load, a very busy 4 year old, and I was in grad school! I managed somehow to do all of it, with a strenuous physical therapy schedule in the mix!

Physical therapy is no fun, but the payoff in the end is worth all of the tears and pain. Also, guess what?! As of Monday, I am back running! This took 5 months to accomplish, and if it was not for my awesome physical therapist at Select Physical Therapy, I would not be as functional as I am today.

I plan on taking the running and getting back into my full blown workout schedule as my progress in physical therapy lets me. My goal? To walk in heels. All 6 ft of me needs to sashay through the Houston streets! Ha! I have also started my new year off with a very basic vegan diet. I am doing it more for spiritual reasons (The Daniels Fast) and, the fast is basically where you only consume, fruits and vegetables. For 21 days you are not to consume any dairy, breads that are not whole grain, sugars, etc. I paired this fast with a journal challenge and devoted time to God. I have lost some weight, and with me not being able to run up until this week, I was concerned that all my hard work in 2018 was being flushed down the drain.

I really enjoyed the fast and being vegan allowed me to try new recipes that brought about a lot of wonderful flavors. I highly recommend trying out black bean vegan enchiladas.


This was by far my favorite recipe during this fast. Click for the recipe here. I learned with this fast that the discipline of taking care of myself is as important as my relationship with God. I recommend giving your body a good break from meat if you can manage it.

Utilize my power in saying No

I said no to a lot in 2018 and I do not plan on stopping that this year. It is a powerful thing.

Graduate Grad School

I did it! In December of 2018, I walked across the stage with a Masters in Business Administration.

Had to add my own touch to my cap! Proverbs 16:3

You guys know I wasn’t paying for those expensive photos!

Me, Sharde, full time mom, full time employee, a woman with a torn acl, busy personal life, all the above, managed to make it through. I thank God for giving me the motivation and determination to push through all the trying times with a peaceful mindset. The reason I set out to accomplish this? To show my daughter what black girl magic looks like, to show her that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to despite the circumstances, and to finish what I had started.

So let’s see what 2019 has in store!

2018 So Far


There are a few things that I intended on accomplishing this year. I have a list! (The real question is, when do I not have a list?!)

  • Create a Savings Plan
    • I am using the Dave Ramsey methods, and I recommend his book Total Money Make over and the use of his envelope system. This is where you get your power back when it comes to spending and saving money! 51ayznq412bl


  • I also upped my 52 weeks savings plan from just saving by what week it was in the year to attempting to take the 5,000.00 52 week money challenge. We will see how this will work out this year. I have faith! If you want to follow it is never too late to save a dollar and some!



  • Be more committed to fitness
    • I now work out 4-5 times a week. I typically only can dedicate one hour to fitness in my day and I make sure It is worth it. I have a plan and a purpose. I just want to make sure that heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases are kept at bay. I also want legs like I had when I was in track. It is going to happen people! I joke with my friends all the time about how I want to look like edible arraignments LOL. Now even some of them are jumping on that whole snack bandwagon!
    • I follow some pretty inspiring people on the “Gram” @FitfoodieLe @FollowtheLita @MassyArias are a few people who I am truly inspired by. I feel like they offer something I can truly benefit and can learn from.
    • I plan to run 5 or more 5k runs this year as well.
  • Utilize my power in saying No
    • *big sigh* Hi, my name is Sharde and I am a person who seems to over commit myself to everything. I am the go – to in my family, friends, and many others because, well my heart is that big. I sometimes forget about myself in that equation like, how am I going to be at two birthday parties that start within 30 minutes of each other? I have learned to send a “I can’t make it” Or a firm no with zero explanations. I feel empowered and like I am taking care of myself when I use the word no. There has to be a recharge period for me and a reset. If I do not take care of me, how will I be useful to anyone else.
  • Graduate Grad School
    • I do not know if I have really mentioned to anyone BUT! I am in school. Inspiration behind is I intended on accomplishing this in 2014, but God had other plans for me that year. I had my daughter and put the degree on the back burner. I picked it up in the summer last year and I will complete the task this year! So far,  I have been doing great with my studies, and when the time is right, I will make moves that align with my career goals.

So far life has been great this year. I hope to cover some interesting topics on my blog, such as life or responsibility as a single mother, trying to have a fitness regimen while being a single mama, empowering yourself, and learning to go with the flow in those times that things do not go according to our plans.  Hope that someone can take my life lessons and apply them to their life.

Guess Who Is BACK?!




It is I. I went ghost there for a minute, but I really really enjoyed blogging about my life. What am I up to these days?

  1. Full Time Mom -I love every aspect of this job, it is purposed for me to do this. Who knew that when God had plans, he wanted me to do this?! God showed out and I have the best daughter in the world! She is sweet, smart, sassy, and she is my best friend and my heartbeat outside of my body! We dance, do arts and crafts, play, travel, have conversations about My little Ponies and so much more. For 3 she can really tell me how she wants things done.


  1. Part Time Grad Student – I decided to finish my Masters and show my daughter what black girl Magic looks like directly in her household. I only have 6 classes left!
  2. Traveling Often – I have been in and out the country like it was nothing. Flight sales have been ridiculous this year and I love a good sale!
  3. Cooking like Chef Curry – Ayesha Curry that is. I love to cook it gives me joy and I love to eat food. It is my love language TE AMO!
  4. I am a homeowner! Best moment EVARRRR! I mean the fact that I have an ability to provide a suburban lifestyle to my child is priceless. I always wanted to have a home with a deed restriction and HOA fee and look at God giving me my portion and so much more. I am currently obsessed with home improvement. I enjoy the labor intensiveness of it all.

That is the gist of it, and being that I love this time of year, I am knee deep into Elf on a Shelf, Having Christmas explode all over my home, presents galore, and projects with my daughter. We have played in the snow, had breakfast with Santa, built a GingerBread House, made an ugly sweater, took Holiday photos, went to look at lights. You name it we are doing it! This is the most cheerful time of the year for us!


I have been working out but for the Christmas holiday I have NOT been the most disciplined. So maybe I will lump myself in with the New Year New Me fitness group except, I love fitness and working out so I typically go for the gold when I go! I have been every size from skinny to slim thick, to thick! Either way I’m sexy sexy. It is a mindset!

But that is all for now I look forward to getting back to my blogging.