Friday, November 30, 2012

Food - Pinto Beans with Ground Beef

Most people eat beans when the seasons change and it becomes cold outside.  I can eat it all year long.  The benefits of beans are the amount of protein and fiber you get for your body, and the biotin for your hair.  My favorite part of beans is the price.  You just can't be it.  And for this I'm thankful.
Today, I made some chili and it turned out just like I like it - POPPIN' with color.

I don't measure when I cook but I can tell you what it consist of:

  • ground meat (depending if it's just me I'll use veggie crumbles, if I share I use real meat)
  • pinto beans
  • whole grain rotini pasta
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • red, green, and orange peppers
  • mixture of different seasonings from cupboard

I always serve with a pan of cornbread.
Making you hungry?  Let me know how yours turn out.

What is one of your favorite food you're thankful for?  Leave comment below.

Much love,

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Warning:  This is my family.  This is NOT how we have fun.  This is how we live........

I don't know about you, but I do believe I have the most fun family there is.  And for this I am very thankful.  No matter what trials, tribulations, sorrow, or pain, we still have the most fun.  The picture below is from last year.  I decided I wanted the family to go to church '70s style for my birthday.  It seems I'm stuck in that era for some reason.  I love those days!!!  We were amazed Mama went along with it. We believe she had more fun with it than we did.  The Pastor got the biggest kick out of it as well.  He had us to stand up and introduced us as Foxy Brown, Cleopatra Jones, Christie Love, etc....

The Real Get Fresh Crew.  Me in the plaid coat.

The following picture is of my other mother and her sisters.  We have a birthday celebration for all of them on the same day due to everyone's birthday falling within 2 weeks of each other at the beginning of the year.  The theme for the party that year was '50s, '60s, and '70s.  Aren't they cute?!

Ma in center as Don King
 Looking forward to fun next year.  I hope you are with your family.

Much love, 

What are some things your family do together for fun?  Share with us in comment section.


There's one thing in this life I know for certain; you don't get to pick your parents.  For this, I am thankful.  My parents did not have the best of everything to give us, but they gave us everything with the best they had.  We were blessed to have three parents in our lives that we care about and they care about us.
My father c. at his ordination service

My father spent a great portion of his life working hard, being involved in sports (he coached a lot), and teaching Sunday school.  As I remember, his favorite job was during the time he was trucking for Allied.  He always came back home bragging what stars he ran into while delivering cargo in California.  The thing I remember about him the most, he stressed a scripture from the bible that will never leave me - "If a man don't work, he don't eat." (2Thessalonians 3:10).  He was not playing either.  Every child, at any age was required to do something around the house.  If you were able to communicate you were hungry effectively, verbal or not, you had to work for it.  Because of this virtue, I learned to never to depend on anyone for anything when I am well able to get up and do for myself.  Thanks Daddy!!  Here's a post I did in memory of my father earlier this year:

This is Mama (Nah Nah) dressed for Sunday service
My mother was the one that provided a lot of lung exercises for us.  While growing up, my sisters and I were known as The Braxton Girls.  We were a singing group that had some place to service people in song every Sunday (or so it seemed every Sunday).  It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun.  During the summer, Mama would sell dinner plates for school supplies and school clothes for the upcoming school year.  Because of these two ventures, I learned how to use every stream God has given me to pool income for my household.  Thanks Mama!!  Here's a post I did of Mama earlier this year:

Here's a picture of Ma with her winning smile
My step-mother has been the greatest support system for us all.  She was always there for us as the sounding board for anything.  What I remember of her most as a child, is her love for people.  There is never anyone going into lack around her.  If you don't know how to do, she will teach you if you allow her to.  Because of her, I understand the value of giving back to my community.  Thanks Ma!!  Here's a post I did of Ma earlier this year:

All three parents have served God and their children well.  I appreciate them, and I'm sure God does too.

Much love,

What values do you treasure most form your parents?  Leave comments below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


There are events that take place in your life when you will need assistance from others.  Friends are one of the great gifts from God that come few and far between.  Everyone has their definition for what a friend is. 

Here is what Granny looks for in a friend:
  • someone who can accept you just as you are, faults and all
  • someone who is not afraid to tell you the truth - whether you want to hear it or not
  • someone who has YOUR best interest at heart
  • someone who is not afraid of letting you grow into something beyond the relationship you have with them
  • someone who is willing to promote your growth
  • someone who will keep you before God in their prayers
  • someone willing to forgive you because they love you with their WHOLE heart 
  • someone who will keep the most inner part of you, the most inner part of them - they aren't willing to share your secrets with anyone no matter how angry you make them sometimes
I don't have many friends, but the ones I have, I cherish with my whole heart.

Much love,

What is your definition of a friend?  Leave comments below.


By my judging stick, my life has been hard, but it's been good.  It has afforded me the opportunities of loving with my whole heart, the ability to stand up on my own two feet, and a determination to continue making myself and assisting others to become the best we all can possibly be.

Loving with my whole heart gives the opportunity to show others how God loves them through me.  Being able to stand on my own two feet was the result of not having things handed to me.  I had to learn either from others or from trial and error how to get things done.  This put me at an advantage to not give up in adverse situations.  A determination to continue making myself and assisting others to become the best we can possibly be goes back to loving with my whole heart.  When you love yourself, you want the best for yourself.  When you love others, you want the best for them.

My life has been so good I can't tell it all.  There is a synopsis of my life on the Bio tab above.

Much love,

What events in your life has caused you to be thankful regardless the situation?  Share in comment section below.

At This Moment

Photo courtesy of
At this moment, I am thankful I am able to back track and complete what I started.  A few weeks ago, I took on the challenge of writing everyday this month of things I'm thankful for according to the list provided by  I was introduced to the list on day 4, so only days 4-10 are completed.  But a Granny is bound and determined to get the others done.  I fell off the wagon transitioning to new schedules at work and at school.  This caused me to have to reschedule how I do things for Elegant Granny as well.

The list is causing me to go back and thank God for everything He has already done in my life.  Performing this action causes me to be quite free to thank Him for everything He is about to do.

Now that my new schedule is set, I have more than enough time to get all post in for all 31 days, get homework done, and still get ready for work.  God is good!!! 

So Granny, GET TO IT!!

Much love,

What are you thankful for at this moment?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Salad Sandwiches

Growing up, my sisters and I use to play "Old Sisters."  It was a day we use to dress up in hats, gloves, and purses pretending what we would be doing when we get old.  Our bedroom was the house of one sister, the other two sisters, one lived in the living room while the other in our parents bedroom.  We would pretend to call each other on the phone to make a "sister lunch date" at our favorite restaurant (the kitchen).  The meeting place would be at one of the sisters pretend house which was usually our bedroom or our parents room - that's where the lip gloss or Vaseline was for our pretend lip sticks.

When Mama called to let us know when it was time for lunch, we would commence to the kitchen - our favorite restaurant - for our food.  When we were the age of depending on Mama for lunch, we ate what she gave us.  As we got older and were allowed to prepare our own lunch, we decided as a tradition to have salad sandwiches for lunch.  It only consisted of lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise but it was a favorite lunch for "Old Sisters Day."

Now that I'm in my 40s, I often wonder about that play date we use to have.  Sometimes I wonder if we prophesied happy living in our years of retirement.  The three of us have our own lives living in different places and doing different things.  It will be a pleasure to see and to live life as the real "Old Sisters" enjoying that season of our lives.  The only difference, we have a younger sister, and she will be included.  Here's to happy memories with my sisters.

What fond memories do you have of you and your siblings?  Leave story in comment section below.

Much love,

Friday, November 9, 2012


There is not enough time to explain how grateful to God I am how my life turned out.  Growing up, I had no reason to believe how poor I was until I was in Junior High, and girls were comparing their brand name clothes to my hand me downs from either my younger sisters (I was smaller), or other relatives.

This is a picture of my sisters and I taking a shot with the sun shining bright in our face at Granddaddy's house.  Our favorite place to be.

I didn't have the opportunity of having children of my own, due to medical reasons.  But the fact that I have raised other children has more than made up for it.  They call me Granny.  Not a lot of people understand why.  It doesn't matter to me if they get it or not.  When I hear my children - and grandchildren - call "Granny", I also hear God say, "Blessed woman of wisdom."

Although I haven't began making money for my business, I am so grateful that I have made so many new connections.  People are more than ready to allow me to come speak (when I finish school).  I have turned down some engagements for now because of school.  I also do guest writing for other companies.  Any opportunity to write or speak is such a pleasure for me.  They are my loves.

If it weren't for the fact that I grew up without a lot of money, I would not have the opportunity to appreciate how good life can be while journeying through it, learning how to grow into a beautiful human being.

There are so many reasons why we should show our gratitude for being alive no matter what state we are in.  Not having the best of everything is not one of them.

What are you grateful for?  Share in with the rest of us in the comment section.

Much love,

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Generosity is normally defined by society as being liberal with your giving.  A definition I found on has become a favorite:  freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.  There should be at no time, where any human is mean to another human being.  We are all created by the same Creator, in His likeness, and should be treated as such.

It is being free from meanness and smallness of mind or character that we are enabled to freely give.  I remember growing up, how my Grandfather use to always say, "Think about somebody else besides yourself."  He instilled in us how important it was to always share what you had.  No matter how small.  Earlier this year I wrote a post on him giving me $5 to feed over 20 people and how I was able to do it.  More on this story can be found here.

We are also free to give words of encouragement .  It is something everyone could use.  Especially those transitioning from one lifestyle to another.  Transition of any form is never easy. It is when we are at one of the most vulnerable moments in our lives.  There will be people who will be our cheerleaders, and those who will be our opposition.  When we encounter those who oppose our better life, we should be generous enough to tell them thank you.  We can use every negative dart as a tool to catapult us to our next level sooner than expected.  For those who are in our corner, we should never forget to say thank you.  Because of them, we are able to keep our heads held high and march forward.   

We must always remember to choose to be generous in our giving, be it money, words, or deed(s).  When we do, it must be done with a cheerful heart.  The only way to do it with a cheerful heart, is to be free of meanness or smallness of mind or character.

Much love,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Photo courtesy of Google Images
There is never a bad time to give or receive encouragement.  It is the state of being in a place where someone or something gives you hope.  It reminds me of faith (state of hoping for something that has not manifested yet).  Before my Grandfather passed, I was in his bedroom talking to him one day.  We were talking about things that happened in our lives and things that were going on in our lives at the time.  At some point during the conversation, he said, "My life was hard, but it was good."

Granddaddy only had a third grade education.  He came up in a time when children were taking from school to work to help support the family.  As we were conversing one day, he inquired about my classes.  I was in Junior College at the time and I told him how rough it was especially while having to work a full-time job at the same time.  He gave me so many words of encouragement that night, I just couldn't post them all.  The one thing that stood out to me was the summation of his life.  It has become one of my famous quotes during one of my motivational engagements:
 "Man is only as strong as his faith.  The more it is exercised, the stronger he becomes."  ~ Elegant Granny

During my Grandfathers life, he had to endure so many things to overcome not only to help himself, but to assist his family members to have a better life.  As the patriarch in the family, there was always a word of encouragement coming from this man.  He also encouraged us to do the same with each other, and others we come into contact with.

My Grandfather never saw me graduate from college, but there was a surety within him that said I was going to make it.  Today, I am working on my MBA, and still working full-time (plus up to 32hrs of overtime during the week).  I am also working on publishing other work besides my three blogs.  I am so grateful to God for the times we shared.  Those words he gave me were always the best pick me up I needed.

Encouragement is one of the greatest gifts you can give.  My gift to you, is to always believe you're going to make it no matter how hard it becomes.  Whenever you feel as if you won't, remember why you started on your journey in the first place.  Once you realize how far you've come, you won't want to turn around.

Much love,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Writing has always been one of my favorite things to do (coupled with reading).  It started when I was a little girl growing up in the hills of Virginia.  Writing has been rewarding, therapeutic, and gratifying, and has become the expression of the settlement of my existence.

At the end of writing, I look back at what I published, and am able to envision with others the heart and the experiences of the writer.  The reward is wanting to connect with the writer and comment to the post as if I were a follower of my own writing  (I really enjoy reading and writing).

How therapeutic is the journey of writing?  During the process, I began to see how all the negatives of what I'm saying become positive.  When I was a little girl, I use to have a problem with anger.  To keep from being disrespectful to anyone, instead of performing the wrath of Danielle on them, I would grab a pencil and a piece of paper and write about everything:  what they did, how it made me feel, and what I wanted done to them.  By the end of the writing, I felt better because I was able to get everything I felt out on paper instead of the person(s) that caused the anger.  For more of this story click here.

Once I sit at the computer at night, I began writing as if it were a full-time job.  Gratifying as it is, it never feels as if it is a job, but a love I can't wait to come home to from work at night. I am reminded of how great it is to be able to get involved with something I enjoy so much.  It is because of this I always say, "Much love, Granny" at the end of every post.

As I embark on the next career of my life, writing appears to be the one thing I really want to do (other than motivational speaking).  Be that as it may, there is so much to prepare for my next career move:  school, managing blogs, learning how to publish, etc...  So I'll end this post with - until next time, good-night.

Much love,

Monday, November 5, 2012


It takes some people time to learn who they are.  At times, they don't like who they are and venture out being something/someone else they're not.  By the time they get through making things harder for themselves and everyone else by doing so, they come full circle realizing they have to accept who they are, where they come from, and who they are becoming.

Who you are begins in your genetic makeup.  There are some things that are just inevitable.  For instance, my parents enjoyed cooking and feeding people.  I do also.  Unlike them, I do not care how much everyone enjoys my cooking, I do not plan to start a catering business or open a restaurant.  My love for cooking stems from both parents.  My two sisters and I were always around food.  No microwave nor instant food for us.  Just home cooked meals.  I want good cooking and good conversation for everyone just like my parents did.  Although I don't have the heart for starting a business cooking like my parents and one of my sisters, I accept the fact that I will not make plenty of money cooking for people, but I can make something out of writing a cook book with our recipes.  I accept that I am different in a lot of ways.  I am a writer.  Always have been.  Always will be.  My other sister just rather serve the food and converse with the people.  My sisters and I are all different in relation to cooking and serving.

It's OK to be different.  Learn how to accept and appreciate what separates you from others.  It will make a difference in your happiness.  It has with us.

Much love,

Sunday, November 4, 2012


There are so many ways I could talk about love.  Today, I choose to discuss how I believe as a Christian God intended me to love His people.  I'll discuss why He chose me to love the way He did, why He chose you for me to love, and the benefit of me loving you the way He told me to.

God chose me to love you because just like Him, He knew I would look pass your faults and see your need.  There should never be a time where we, as Christians, should focus on the faults of our sisters and brothers.  Doing so would be a misrepresentation of Him and cause shame for the reason Christ died on Calvary.  Your faults are none of my business.  That is Jesus' business to handle.

God chose you for me to love because loving you shows how valuable you are to Him.  Know your worth.  He created you in His image.  When you look in the mirror, you are looking at a piece of Him.  No matter how flawed, He loves you anyway.  He loved you so much, He sent Christ to take care of your faults.  When Christ ascended back to heaven, He sent people like me to love you with the same measure.  Don't worry about those who don't, God gave you just who you need in your life.

The benefit of me loving you the way He told me to is, He is sterilizing you to love others with the same measure.  We should always choose love when it comes to others; faults and all.  To do the opposite, would be a disservice not only to Him, but also to ourselves. 

Love one another.  As I have loved you, so must you love one another.  - John 13:34 

Much love,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beware: It's Be My Boo Season - Part 2

While going over some of the statuses in my Facebook news feed, I came across one that went well with my Be My Boo series.  This lady stated, "Not interested in men who aren't business minded.  Why would a man think that if he has no goal he's aiming for, he will get a woman who is about having a vision?"

Photo courtesy of Google Images
My response to her status was:
Exactly....some come to perform the will of the enemy: to kill the desire God placed within you; to steal any progression (tools given by God) moving you in the direction God is guiding you in; and to destroy the work of God using you to bless those around you by trying to bless themselves with the fruit of your labor.

Of course, this status and response applies to both male and female.  I have seen countless men dealing with the women in their lives with the same mentality.

So how do I deal with them Granny?  So glad you asked.

1) Keep the vision in plain site - create vision boards, get out materials that will assist you in aiming for the goals related to the vision.
2)  Affirm who you are to yourself - the more you remind yourself of how valuable you are, the less you are reminded how valuable you are not by this person.  I learned one one from an event I attended last weekend:
     "I am the most important person I will ever meet"  - Marcia A. Paige
3)  Remember, the desire that was put inside you for greatness was place there by God.  If He didn't think you were the one for the job, He would have never placed that desire in you.
4)  Don't tell them anything - sometimes you have to do as Mary did in the Bible and just ponder on what you are going to do and how you're going to do it.  This person wants you to make it, but only on the terms of how they can benefit from it.

There are other things I'm sure you could do to prevent the negatives of this person to deter you from your goals.  This post would be too long and boring if I put them all in one post.  Feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other suggestions that would help.

Much love,

For part 1 of this series, click the link below