Ericka is a Kansas City, African-American blogger. Her favorite things are: tacos, watching "The Big Bang Theory," and spending time with her family.

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Sunflower Fields + Culturelle $100 Visa Giveaway


Thanks Culturelle for sponsoring this post 

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a city girl. I know most people not from the midwest would think (um, you’re from the midwest), but seriously Kansas City is a real city, like we have a downtown and lights, and a streetcar and highrises, etc. It’s not like New York or Chicago, but it’s definitely CITY life.

Lately, I’d seen everyone from the midwest on my social media timelines with these beautiful pictures in sunflower fields. I had a bright idea to take my nieces and nephew to experience something new and we’d go visit a farm.

So, we hopped in the car and drove an hour away to go on a farm tour. On the way to the farm we passed various (farms I assume) that had cows and horses. Every time we passed a farm the kids would point and say, “Look that’s a cow!” or “Look that’s a horse!”

As soon as we got to the farm we were greeted with a mixture of smells, my nieces and nephew being city kids yelled out, “Ewwww, it STINKS Ti-ti!” “OMG, what is that smell.” I’m like, ya’ll we’re on a farm it’s going to stink.

Needless to say, they didn’t like being on the farm too long. They pet a few animals but were intrigued by the huge sunflower field across the street. So we made our way over to the field and spent a long time walking through and exploring the field. I was half scared that the little one would get lost, but she was determined to keep up with her siblings.

Thank goodness no one had to use the restroom because we were at least 18 miles from the nearest rest stop or restaurant. Speaking of restrooms, did you know that sixty-one percent of moms cite occasional regularity issues in their children as a top concern?

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The kids had a great time, we all got to experience a taste of the country and afterwards enjoyed lunch at a restaurant in the nearest town. I guess our outing was a success. The next time maybe we’ll day trip to somewhere like St. Louis (non-midwesterners it’s also a real city 🙂 ).





You can find Culturelle® Kids Regularity Gentle-GoTM Formula at all major retailers, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.

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Also, enter for your chance to win a $100 Vis Gift Card from Culturelle!

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Back To School Shopping With Boys


This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and DICK’s Sporting Goods ®. All opinions are my own.

Back to school shopping can be chaotic, time-consuming and just plain out stressful. That’s why I’m glad I don’t have any children, lol I’m kidding, but I am in no hurry to have them.

I have been promising my nephew and little cousin a boys day out for the entire summer so my nephew called and I finally caved in and let them have their day. I had to take him back school shopping anyway so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Our first stop of the day was breakfast at a local restaurant and then we headed to DICK’s Sporting Goods ® to knock out some shopping. Dick’s Sporting Goods is a great one-stop shop for clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and more.

I’ve done a lot of shopping with my nieces over the years but this is my first time shopping with my nephew. Here are a few tips I came up with for shopping with boys. I can say that this experience was much easier than shopping with the girls :).


Boys are pretty simple, take them to a place they like:

At Dick’s Sporting Goods there is a plethora of things for them to do. They ran around and ooooooed and ahhhhed over shoes, and cleats, and slides (which are the sandals we wore growing up in the 90’s, those things never go out of style). They admired the exhibits and played golf.



Know their style:

Boys are just as picky as girls when it comes to what they wear, so it’s good to learn their style. Right now my nephew and cousin are in the stage of tee’s, sports shirts, and basketball shorts.



Choose Quality Items:

When shopping for boys you want to make sure to choose quality items. It makes no sense to spend money on items that will wear and tear quickly. Plus, I don’t know about your kids, but my nephew and cousin are not easy on their clothes. To me it’s worth the extra money to invest in quality items that will last.



Have Fun:

Now this one is self explanatory. Let them have fun choosing the clothes they want to wear for the school year. I love watching the different stages of my nephew. He’s now at an age where his personality is really starting to come out. He’s starting to be sure of what he wants and what he likes.

After shopping we had burgers and fries for lunch and I let them spend the rest of the day horse playing and playing video games. I can say we had an easy breezy day.

Lol, see I have this whole shopping for kids business down packed, j/k.

Do you love shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods? If so enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 $50 Dick’s Sporting Goods Gift Cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep Up On Social Media:

Twitter: @vocalpoint, @DICKS

Instagram: @vocalpoint, @dickssportinggoods



5 Summer Road Trip Tips For Your Car


Whether you’re heading out to your favorite local beach or heading on a cross-country road trip, there are a few things you need to do to your car before hitting the road.

From checking your tires to securing your luggage, Gary Flom, President & CEO of BNF Automotive has 5 road trip tips to ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable for your next summer vacation:

1. Perform Necessary Service:

Make sure all required service is performed for your vehicle – including:

  • Top off coolant
  • Refill windshield wiper fluid
  • Have engine drive belts checked
  • Be sure all of your lights work
  • Check tires for damage and load capacity
  • Do not overload your vehicle

2. Secure Luggage:

Make sure all suitcases are secured and that they leave room for you to see through the back windshield. Loose baggage can become dangerous projectiles in an emergency/panic stop or a crash.

3. Create an Emergency Backpack:

Keep an emergency backpack easily accessible. This backpack should include a flashlight, blanket, flares, extra coolant, oil and most importantly several bottles of water.

4. Map Out Your Route:

Map out your route prior to hitting the road and bring along the necessary maps to have for references throughout the trip. You never know when you will need to take an alternative route because of unforeseen road construction or an accident. With gas prices so high, it is very expensive to get lost!

5. Check Child Car Seats:

Have all car seats checked to make sure they are installed properly by your local police precinct or rescue squad.

The information in today’s post was provided by 5wpr, here is more information about the author.


Gary B. Flom, CEO and President, BNF Automotive 

About Gary B. Flom

With 25 years of experience in the automotive dealership industry, Gary Flom, a former financial analyst at Gulf & Western and decorated United States Marine, truly understands the role that strategy plays in the retail business. With an astute understanding of consumer driven operations, Flom has proven himself an expert in creating profitable businesses run by highly motivated well-trained personnel. Flom has an extensive background running automobile showrooms. In 2010 he opened Bay Ridge Ford, in 2012 he opened Kings County Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and he recently opened both Jaguar Land Rover Manhattan and White Plains Nissan to complete his portfolio of automotive brands.


Fathom Cruise Video Diaries

While on the Fathom Cruise I decided to do something I’ve always been afraid to do…..VIDEO. I made a video diary each day while on the ship. I had a wonderful time and learned so much about myself and the things I want to do in life.

If you want to vacation while also giving back to the local economy I highly suggest the Fathom Cruise. It’s affordable, laid back, diverse, and you leave feeling great about helping others. You also meet a plethora of amazing people who are fun, easy to get along with, and share the same cause. I’ll definitely be back!

**Note: A lot of the videos mention following our Snapchats and Instagram. We thought we’d be able to upload the videos daily but the internet was very slow and at sometimes very sketchy. I posted the Snaps to my FB page, and you can still check out the photos on Instagram.**

Video Diary 1

Video Diary 2

Video Diary 3

Video Diary 4

Video Diary 5

Video Diary 6


Facing Fear, Girlfriends Travel, Volunteering, and More Ramblings.


If you’re one of my Facebook friends you’d know that I’ll be travelling to the Dominican Republic with Fathom Cruise lines soon to learn more about impact travel.

I love to volunteer and participate in various activities to help others. When I was younger, my stepmom and I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help paint homes. My little body ached and my little arms hurt but I was proud to have helped multiple families. I’ve volunteered in soup kitchens, I’ve helped stock pantries, donated school supplies, and more.

I know a there is a lot of backlash out there about mission trips, and volunteering abroad but I personally feel that every little bit helps. No, I’m probably not going to save the entire world, but I might help at least one person, and that person might go on to help another and continue the cycle.

I’m really excited about teaming up with Fathom because I really want to learn more about impact travel and I’ve always wanted to visit the Dominican Republic. While there I’ll be helping community members with their English and working in the cacao fields.

I learned about the opportunity late Jan. from travel group I’m a part of. The rep stated Fathom was looking for bloggers to attend the trip and everything will be paid for except the travel to Miami. The rep told us to pitch and they’d be in contact if your blog was selected. Talking about FEAR. I screenshot the info then decided I wasn’t even going to try pitching because I saw the comments starting to pile up. People were replying to the post stating they pitched. It was a bunch of them, and some of the bloggers had a huge following, way more than me.

About a week later I was going through my phone and the image of the screenshot I took was the first thing that popped up (weird right). I thought to myself the worst they could say is no, so I went ahead and sent my pitch.

The very next day I received an email stating that I’m in. I was so excited I sat and watched all of the videos on their website about Impact Travel in the Dominican Republic. I learned a vital lesson, so what, face the fear and keep it moving, you never know, you might just get a free trip to the DR 😉 .

The original plan was for me and my boyfriend to travel there together after his graduation, but he ended up getting a position in California and would have to leave during the middle of the trip to start his job.

I was bummed, but the trip eventually ended up turning into a “girlfriends” getaway. I was telling my friend Mellissa about how bummed I was and asked if she had a passport and if she was interested. Guess what??? Lol, of course, she was. She’ll be blogging about the journey on her website “She Smiles Within.”

I’m going to try to do a blog post daily while there to share my experiences, but they did let us know the internet might be sketchy. I’ll definitely be posting everything on Instagram and Snapchat.

You can follow us at:

snapchat: randomericka
instagram: erickachatman
snapchat: lifestylencolor
instagram: shesmileswithin