Friday, October 26, 2012

A Royal Tea Party for our Little Princesses & Princes

A Message from our friends at Lola's Tea House.....

Hear ye, Hear Ye!
Calling all Princesses and Princes
(ages 5 and up)
Your presence is requested at
A Royal Tea Party
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Scones, tea sandwiches &desserts will be served
Princess dresses, pretty tea party clothes, or prince attire
Space is limited, so please call and make your reservations soon!
Price : $25.00 per Child
$20 each for 2 or more Children
(+ Tax)
Lola's Tea House at Chocolations
607 E. Boston Post Rd.
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
(914) 738-2100

Saturday, September 22, 2012

3rd Annual Independent School Recruitment Event by RIISE

Chocolate Chip supports parents in finding the best educational options for their children.  For some of us that may me going the independent school route.  If that applies to you then you won't want to miss this informative event from our friends at Resources In Independent School Education (RIISE):
What: 3rd Annual RIISE Fall Boutique Recruitment Event
When: Sunday, October 14, 2012, 2pm-6pm
Where: Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY - Heimbold Visual Arts Center
Why: Bridging the recruitment gaps between families of color and independent schools
Who: Meet admissions, diversity, financial teams and current families!
2:00-3:30 pm
Keynote - Clennon King, Broadcast Journalist, Independent School Alum & Parent
Panel Discussion - Parents, Students, Admissions, Financial Aid, Diversity
3:30-6:00 pm
Families Mix & Mingle with independent schools

Children Highlights:
Mindful Skills Children's Workshop - Mindful Meditation Practitioner, George Chen
Children's Book Reading- I Love The Skin I'm In, by Mayma Raphael
Chocolate Chip will be in the house!  Looking forward to seeing you then!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What Makes a Dad?

When my dad showed up at my doorstep at 7am this morning to deliver my husband's Father's day gift I was blown a way by his selflessness.  He sacrificed a day of fishing just to make sure that I could deliver my gift on time.  What a dad!

So many wonderful childhood memories flood my mind when I think of him....

My striped "Daddy's are a Girl's Best Friend" night gown that I wore so proudly...
Rides around the block on the back of his motorcyle...
Trips to the city with lunch at our favorite spot, Katz Delicatessen. Hot pastrami sandwhiches of course!  Ice skating on the pond, kite flying and trips to Disney.
Even as an adult I laugh when I remembered his words as we began to walk down the aisle as he gave me away, "If you cry I'm going to punch you in the nose", he said.

I remember the tough times as well...
The infamous lecture as my brother and I lowered our heads in shame...."You don't understand the value of the dollar", he said.
The night my dad moved out when my parents divorced.
Watching my pillar of strength lie in the hospital thinking what excruciating pain he must feel being flung from his motorcycle after being hit by an automobile.
The deep sadness watching him bury his younger sister and father.
The anguish of his cancer diagnosis and my prayers to God that he would live to see his first unborn grandchild.  Nine years later, I'm blessed that he's still here for us to create so many more memories with his children's children like The Fishing Trip with Pop-Pop the greatest fisherman in the world.......

There are so many great dads in our lives they are our fathers, grandfathers, husbands, uncles, brothers, cousins, God fathers, Pastors, teachers, neighbors, friends and even presidents. 

And for those dads who are no longer with us, they live in and through us.  We are their legacy.  Their blood runs through us.  Their memories live eternally in our hearts. 

So many men to honor and lift up not only today but everyday.  We salute and celebrate the Chocolate Chip dads everywhere for all you are to your families and communities.

Happy Father's Day!

What Makes A Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,
He called it ... Dad

- Author Unknown

From the Chocolate Chip Archives....

Brooke's Father's Day Serenade: Thanks for Being My Dad

In memory of a great dad and neighbor who inspired us,
Sean Kealy

Thinking of you today as you celebrate your first Father's Day in heaven.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

National Bar Association Crump Law Camp: Attention Parents of High School Students

Passing on valuable information to the Chocolate Chip family regarding the National Bar Association's Crump Law Camp. 

Please share widely.

Applications due April 13, 2012

Please call (202) 842-3900 if you have any questions

Camp Overview
With the beginning of the Millennium and a recognition that it must be in the forefront of positive change in the legal profession, the National Bar Association (“NBA”) established the National Bar Association Crump Law Camp (“Law Camp”). Since the first class of Law Campers convened at Howard University in July of 2001 for a life changing experience, the two-week residential camp has graduated more than 300 youth from over 40 states. The Law Camp, which is designed to provide high school students with an enjoyable and comprehensive introduction to the challenges of a legal education, attracts students throughout the United States from diverse backgrounds.

Since only 10 percent of the nation's lawyers are people of color, the primary goal of the Law Camp is to encourage young students of color to improve their grades in high school, attend college and enter law school. The NBA's partnership with Howard University School of Law reflects the school's mission of cultivating lawyers who will positively impact communities across the nation and the legal profession. According to the Law Camp’s founding members, "If America is to become a true melting pot, the legal system must lead the way. This can be done only when diverse groups of people bring their cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds into the equation. Therefore, although the camp has an open enrollment policy and is available to all students, its emphasis is on empowering students of color."

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation's oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys, judges, law students, and paralegals. It has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, to preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. By providing incentive, motivation, and direction to aspiring law students of color, the Law Camp will help prepare the nation's future lawyers, judges, and protectors of the judicial system.

Goal of The Camp

More than 90 percent of this nation's lawyers are Caucasian, as are more than 80 percent of the students enrolled in law school. Yet, more than 30 percent of the United States is comprised of people of color. Projections are that by the year 2050, more than half of the people of this country will no longer be Caucasian. It is imperative that we begin now to direct students of color, while they are young, to seek careers in the legal profession. Thus, there is need on the part of bar associations of color to "grow attorneys." If America is to become a true country of inclusion, the legal system must lead the way. This can be done only when diverse groups of people bring their culture, ethnic and social backgrounds into the equation. The Law Camp's director, a graduate of Howard University School of Law and a practicing attorney, refers to the Law Campers as "young advocates" who see the program as "a great opportunity to influence young people to get serious about school and to set goals toward completing college and perhaps law school."

Eligibility and Selection

All applications are reviewed at the same time and up to 36 participants are selected by the Law Camp Selection Committee. Law Camp participants must be at least 14 years of age by the first day of the Law Camp and must not be more than 17 years of age. Participants must be entering the 9th through 11th grades. In addition to a completed application, applicants must submit a one page hand-written (not typed) letter explaining why they would like to participate in the Law Camp; one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, minister, or any individual who can attest to the character of the applicant; and a copy of the applicant’s last Report Card or Progress Report. Official Transcripts are not required.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the Law Camp varies depending upon family income and the number of exemptions as defined by IRS regulations. (See Tuition Fee Schedule on Application) The tuition includes transportation to and from Washington, DC; housing; meals; educational materials; and field trips expenses. However, students who are required to pay full tuition must also pay for their transportation to and from Washington, DC. Participants are not selected based on their ability or inability to pay tuition.


Law Campers are housed on the campus of Howard University for the two-week residential experience and live in a protected campus environment with young attorneys, law students and college graduates serving as counselors and mentors. Participants attend law school classes at Howard University School of Law.

Faculty, Staff, Curriculum

The Law Camp's faculty and staff are comprised of members of the Howard University School of Law community, National Bar Association members, and guest lecturers. The curriculum includes guest lectures, field trips and a mock trial competition. The highlight of the academic component is the Evett L. Simmons Mock Trial Competition, which is held during the final week of the Law Camp. All Law Campers participate with the "Final Four" competing at the NBA's Annual Convention.


The NBA believes the NBA Crump Law Camp provides an extraordinary opportunity for an enriched experience to the targeted age group. In addition to individual donations, the Law Camp has received multiple year support from The Ford Motor Company Fund, Wal-Mart; Nike; BMW of North America, LLC; Microsoft; Ruden McClosky; The Groom Law Group; and the NBA Commercial Law Section.The NBA extends its sincere appreciation to sponsors for their support.


In 2003, the NBA was presented the American Bar Association's Partnership Award for exemplary efforts of a bar association to increase diversity in the legal profession.

Click on the link below for access to the application.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Will Love You Everywhere Always

Over the last week, I have witnessed the passing of two mothers.  While the world mourned the loss of the iconic Whitney Houston, locally we paid tribute to my dear soror and fellow Jack and Jill mom, Janifer Lighten. 

While we grieve, I can't help but think about the children who must now go on without their beloved mother.  Those who love her agreed that Janifer was an inspiration and a role model of motherhood.  She loved her children fiercely and without apology.  Their bond so close.  In her passing, a huge void now remains.  The children will need a lot of support as they learn to cope with life without their mother's physical presence in it.
After paying tribute to Janifer and spending the day watching Whitney's home going service, I Will Love You Everywhere Always, was brought back to my remembrance.  I learned about this beautiful book several months ago while listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show.  Written for children who have suffered from the loss of a loved one, it speaks straight to the heart and helps with the healing and grieving processes.  It provides comfort as the narrator reminds the child that although the loved one may have transitioned, they are ever present and will be found everywhere in everyday life. 

Thank you Renee Alexander Craft for penning such a beautiful and thoughtful book for our children young and old.  Unfortunately someone we know will need this book.  May it bring them comfort and peace as they cherish the memory of their loved one.

Targeted release date for I Will Love You Everywhere Always is October 2012.  Check out the link below for an update from the author.  Like them on Facebook to receive periodic updates on the status of the book.

In loving memory of the incomparable Janifer Lynn Lighten.  Our heart felt condolences to her husband Bill and her children Adrienne, Alexis, Christopher and Michael.

Great Cultural Activities for Winter Break: Freedom Sisters, Malcolm X and More

I love the community that exists between mothers.  Most often, I get my best leads on great family activities from chatting with other moms!  The sharing of information that mutually strengthens our families is AWESOME. 
Olive and Takisia so kindly shared these cultural events with me, so I'm playing it forward by passing them along to the Chocolate Chip family.  With winter break upon us, what a great way to keep those young minds stimulated while expanding their understanding of self.  Share widely.

Freedom Sisters
Now through April 22, 2012

Dare to Dream, Inspire Lives, Serve the Public, Look to the Future.  Theses phrases are the back drop to this cultural analysis of the impact of Black Women.  A collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute and the Cincinnati Museum Center, Freedom Sisters examines the significant, but often unrecognized contributions of women throughout the Civil Rights era.

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center
(formerly known as the Audubon Ballroom)
3940 Broadway, NYC
Monday thru Saturday 10am-5pm,

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture never disappoints with amazing cultural events.  I remember taking a group of 16 year olds from the ALPHA program to see Roger Guenveur Smith in Free Huey back in the 90's.  I digress...

Two exhibitions of note: 

Malcolm X: A Search for Truth 
Now through March 8, 2012

"Malcolm X: A Search for Truth will provide the general public an opportunity to examine materials from the Malcolm X collection. The Malcolm X collection is unique in that it contains a wide range of speeches, sermons, radio broadcasts, diaries, correspondence, and other documents handwritten by Malcolm X or typed and edited at his direction. Most significantly, Malcolm X: A Search for Truth will offer the public fresh new insights into the nature of his thoughts and development, as well as his multifaceted, at times seemingly contradictory, persona and personality."

The Obama Presidency A Look Behind the Scenes
Photographs by Pete Souza Chief Official White House Photographer
Now through June 2, 2012

"Souza’s work documents the Commander in Chief’s daily executive routine, which includes attending historic events and dealing with crises. Some of the images also offer glimpses of the lighter side of President Obama’s personality and reveal his sense of humor in views of his more private interactions with his staff, family, and friends."

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm

Personally, I'm really looking forward to sharing these events with my children.  As guardians of our history, let's make sure they learn and remember.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Encouragement for Today- Let's Make Time

I received this from a colleague today via email and couldn't wait to share it with you. I needed this badly and I figured you did too:)


"...for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."
Ecclesiastes 3:17b (NIV 1984)

I didn't want to...yet I did.
Hungry, cold and dirty, my daughter walked through the door, home from
softball practice. She wanted a snack, to talk and a hot shower, in that
order. I wanted to keep working. I was on a roll; walking away from my
computer was going to stop my progress.

But, I did. Putting my computer aside, I popped her favorite treat in the
microwave and sat down to hear about my daughter's day.
That's not so easy for me to do. Like many women, deadlines loom over my
mind. Work deadlines, volunteer deadlines, dinner and dirty clothes
deadlines all call me to make them my first priority. Sometimes I do, but
this day I didn't.

See, the day before, while in the process of making another time management
decision, I remembered something really important. And that "something"
brought tears to my eyes: my daughters will be gone all too soon.
These years they're in school will be mere memories before I know it. I
want me listening to them, giving them my full attention, to be a part of
these memories.
Ecclesiastes reminds me to keep a check on how my time is spent. "...for
there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed" (vs.
3:17b). The days of softball stories and tales of German class will not
wait. I have to strike a balance in how I use my time, not neglecting
people for tasks.

I want to conquer the temptation to let what seems urgent overtake what
truly matters to me every day. Most of us have to work, pay bills, answer
emails and do chores. But it's so important we also take time for talking,
listening and parenting well.

Investing in children, whether they are our own, nieces and nephews,
grandsons or granddaughters, neighborhood or church kids, is a privilege.
Whether they admit it or not, they want us to hear their stories and learn
about their days.

Will you join me today? Let's walk away from the computer. Set aside our
phones. Turn off the televisions. And let's make time to talk with and
listen to our children. One day, we'll look back and be glad we did.

Dear Lord, today I need to set aside what appears to be so important to
give to those around me what they need: affirmation, attention and
affection. Pour through me to love on them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Author/Source: Unknown