Now Go Outside & Play!

How many of you remember your mom or grandma telling you to go outside and play after you had completed your Saturday chores? 


Last Sunday morning before heading to church, I heard the sounds of children’s laughter and looked out the window to see the neighbor’s kids jumping on their trampoline. 

Although it was a chilly 52 degrees and windy, I could only imagine hearing their mother’s voice yelling after breakfast, “now go outside and play!”  Mind you, on Sunday mornings my grandmother had us in church from sun up to sun down, but that’s a different blog post for another day. 



Most of the kids today are inside with an electronic device or watching television and unfortunately, the obesity rates are rising as we discussed in my Podcast interview with Queon Jackson, owner of Summer J Artesian Pops.


Did you have to go outside and play, and if so, what were your favorite games: 

  • Tag
  • Red Light Green Light 1 2 3
  • Hide Go Seek
  • Jump Roap (Double or Single Rope)
  • Basketball
  • Baseball

  • Box Ball
  • Hop Scotch
  • Bike Riding
  • Mother May I
  • Blowing Bubbles
  • Bean Toss
  • Horseshoes

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Entrepreneur of the Year Award

On Saturday, November 18th, I was honored and humbled to be presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Psi Iota Chapter in Dover, DE

Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to A.Blake Enterprises


In preparation for this event, I wanted to buy a new dress as I was tired of wearing the same black “Funeral Dress” which I had worn to every Black Tie Event that hubby and I had attended this year. 


I hit up my favorite discount stores, Ross and Burlington Coat Factory and found not only one, but 7 dresses that I thought would be perfect for the occasion.  I don’t know about you, but I hate trying on clothes in the dressing room, so I purchased all 7 and performed a mini fashion show for hubby at home.

We both agreed on this one so the others (except 4) were returned to the store.

A.Blake Enterprises


The 2017 Achievement Week Awards Brunch was held at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Dover, Delaware and it was a bitterly cold Saturday morning so I had to wear something warmer than my beige trench coat.  I decided to wear my full-length faux fur which was purchased about 10 years ago from Chadwicks of Boston and hubby and I were a picture of sophistication, what do you think?

Entrepreneur of the Year

Hubby and I


The southern style meal, complete with grits and fried chicken was catered by Cmoore’s Catering and BBQ and we were serenaded with music by the Born Again Gospel Jazz ensemble.  The Keynote speaker was Bishop George E. Gibson II, Pastor Christian Love Worship Cathedral who gave a rousing “sermon” that caused many to stop and pause.

2017 Achievement Awards Brunch


There was also representation from each of the Divine Nine Sororities and Fraternities and a group picture was taken in the lobby.


The 2017 Achievement Week Awards Brunch; awards were presented in the following categories:


  • Citizen of the Year – Dr. Amystique Church
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Antionette Blake
  • Religious Leader of the Year – Overseer Carol Harris
  • Educator of the Year – Dr. Tawanda Morgan
  • Law Enforcement Award – Sgt. Rodney Bond
  • Ernest E. Just Award – Evan Le’Mon
  • Difference Maker Award – Cpl. Stephen Ballard
  • Difference Maker Award – Kailyn Hampton
  • Military Leadership Award – SSgt. Casey Reed


It was a great morning and I was truly humbled and honored to be the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award and wish to thank the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Psi Iota Chapter, with a special thank you to Brother Greg Bunkley who nominated me and of course my husband who supports me.


Brother Greg Bunkley



Omega Psi Phi Awards Brunch

If you would like information on the services provided by A.Blake Enterprises, please head over to the website and schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation.


Slow Cooked Homemade Apple Butter

If you’ve never slow cooked homemade apple butter, you’re in for a treat – not only will your whole house or apartment smell amazing but it will be like having Autumn in a jar!


Homemade apple butter is not only great on toast or biscuits but it is good enough to eat by the spoonful, and it’s so easy to make!   Making apple butter is easy and the kids or grandkids can help with this sweet treat.

Depending on how many apples your slow cooker will hold, and how much apple butter you want to make, you can adjust the quantities to suit your needs.  This is perfect to make when you have too many apples that you either picked from the orchard OR in my case, the sale of $1.99 was too great to resist!



Homemade Apple Butter (No Sugar Added)
Makes 16-20 ounces


10-12 apples (I used Fuji)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups Apple Cider


  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker.
  2. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and pour Apple Cider into the crockpot. Mix well.
  3. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring every couple hours. The apple butter should be thick and dark brown.
  4. If desired, use a blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze in small containers.



Apples, Cider, and Seasoning

What Foods Did You Hate As A Child But Love To Eat Now?

Wayback Wednesday


What Foods Did You Hate As A Child But Love To Eat Now?



Tomorrow is the biggest eating day of the year, and if you are fortunate and blessed enough to have a warm meal on Thanksgiving, please stop and give thanks to whom it is that you serve and honor for those blessings. 


I don’t know about you, but I still remember the large Thanksgiving meals that we had growing up in New Rochelle, NY.  We lived in a housing project and my aunt lived in the apartment on the same 5th floor so we could run back and forth between kitchens to eat in excess, which most of us did.  




I loved it all….the turkey…the stuffing…the gravy…the ham..the sweet potatoes…the potato salad and of course the collard greens.  However, there was always that one food that I hated and would wrap it in a napkin and throw it out the window when it was added to my plate…SQUASH!


I don’t know what it was about squash that I hated as a kid, but now as an adult – I love it!  I especially love Spaghetti Squash, and here’s the link to a previous recipe which is a very healthy dish.


Yellow Squash



I can’t recall why or even if anyone else had a problem with eating it, but all I know is that I hated yellow squash on my plate – perhaps it was because my grandmother would boil it until it was slimy and I hated the texture.  


My cousins never had a problem with the sliminess, as a matter of fact, my cousin Belinda, God Rest Her Soul would slop up some chitterlings in a heartbeat, something else I would never have eaten then and definitely would not be eating now!!!!!!!!




So when you sit down tomorrow at a table full of family food traditions think back to the foods that you never ate as a child but love to eat today, then leave a comment below and share this post with a family member or friend for them to chime in.





BEWARE of Holiday Shopping Scams & Rip-Offs

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are the biggest retail and online shopping days of the year. In order to protect your holiday budget, you will need to do your homework and watch for scams. The following tips provided by Legal Shield will help ensure you are able to focus on holiday fun rather than legal disputes with retailers or losing money to scammers.


  • Beware of pricing that is too good to be true. Check reviews on greatly discounted items to make sure they do not have major problems. A $250 TV might not seem like such a great deal if it does not make it through 2018. Online scammers often set up dummy websites, auction listings or ads that offer popular items far below market value. These scammers will kick into high gear for Cyber Monday. Trust your instincts and beware of scam sales. 


  • Read and save a dated copy of the retailer’s return policy. Many sales disputes stem from misunderstandings over return or refund policies. Make sure you read and understand the return policies before making a purchase. Some returns will require costly restocking fees and some sale items may not be eligible for return. Also, find out if you are responsible for shipping costs on a return item, as larger items could be costly to ship.


  • Do your homework on extended warranties. Many products already come with a manufacturer’s warranty. In addition, your credit card company may already offer protection. Make sure you understand what the warranty covers and what is excluded. Consider the cost of the warranty versus the potential benefit.


  • When shopping online use trusted retailers. It is important to make sure you are on the correct website by checking the domain name in the browser. Sometimes emails or online ads promising great deals will direct you to scam sites designed to look like a trusted retailer. The domain name at the top of your browser should contain https://. Use unique and secure passwords when setting up online accounts. If you are also an IDShield member and feel you may have fallen victim to this type of attack, you may contact an IDShield licensed private investigator.


shopping online
  • Read online product reviews. Product reviews can be incredibly useful to help you avoid buying crummy products or buying the incorrect item. Some online sellers post intentionally misleading product descriptions. Negative reviews will often note the difference between the product and the description. Taking a moment to read the reviews will help you avoid disappointment or hassles with returning products. 


  • Review marketplace seller rating information and negative feedback from previous buyers. Marketplace websites allow a wide range of individual sellers to offer products to a large audience. Many of these sites allow previous customers to rate their experience with a particular seller. Does the seller ship slowly? Are they difficult to deal with? Exercise caution when dealing with sellers who have an excess of poor feedback. Check the specific feedback to see what those who complained had to say. Know what you are getting into before you make a purchase.


  • Beware shipping email scams. If you order a lot of your holiday gifts online, you know the influx of packages can be confusing. Phishing scams pretending to come from the shipping company are frequent and can be difficult to spot. Check the sender’s email address to make sure it matches the company or use the tracking info from the confirmation email you received directly from the seller. 


  • Check your bank account frequently. Incorrect or fraudulent charges are easier to miss when spending increases around the holidays. Save all of your receipts and review them along with your bank and credit card statements to make sure everything is accurate. Contact your bank or credit card company immediately if you notice any irregularities.


  • Keep payment information secure. Never pay for items purchased online with wire transfers, money orders or cash. These types of payment offer no tracking or protection in the event of a scam. When making an online payment for goods, use a credit card, PayPal, Google Checkout or another secure online payment system. Some payment systems offer additional dispute resolution options.


If you want to learn more about LegalShield and how they can help you stay safe by listening to my Podcast interview with Chenitta Crawford.


Be safe and Happy Holidays.

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