Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Little Black Book of Success

This book is a compilation of advice from 3 Black businesswomen.  While I felt that most of this book was common sense stuff, it's nice to have it all written down in one place.  Not sure I would necessarily recommend it to women who are already assured in their careers and themselves.  However, I would definitely recommend this book as a college graduation gift tho...inspiring future Michelle Obama's everywhere.

On a personal note...This book was right on time for me.  I had been going through a lot of challenges & decisions in my work life.  This book was very reassuring and definitely helped me get through some thangs.

Next up: What do you guys suggest for the next Book Club book??

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blonde Bombshell

Yes, you read that right...I'm a blonde now.  Well, not entirely.  I am still an education professional by day.

So, as I told yall a while back, I LOVED the blonde streaks on A Belle in Brooklyn.  So I went to my local hair & wig shop on 125th St. (HARLEM!) and bought a pack of 613.  What, yall thought I was gonna dye my own hair?? Uhhhhhh, nah.  

When my stylist first put the blonde in, I had a slight heart attack ... cuz it was ... well, blonde.  But I love how it turned out!  Hey, it's something new & fresh for spring right.

This pic is courtesy of my fabulous co-worker!

Dress & Denim Jacket - Forever 21

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mini BBQ Meatloaf

As yall know I love to cook.  What you prolly didn't know was that I used to live in a shoebox. (More on this in a future post.)  This makes cooking difficult since you can't stock your kitchen full of cool kitchen gadgets.  One thing that makes this easier is making food mini.  I decided to take my favorite meatloaf recipe (it's BBQ!) and make Mini BBQ Meatloaf.

1 lb Meatloaf Mix (or you can use Ground Beef or Ground Turkey)
3 strips of cooked bacon (I guess you could use turkey bacon, but why would you)
1/4 c. of caramelized onions
3/4 c. of Italian Breadcrumbs
1/2 c. of BBQ sauce + 1/4 c. extra
1 egg

1. Mix together all of the ingredients except the bacon.

2. Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Separate out your meatloaf mix into 12 giant meatballs.

4. Press meatballs into mini loaves with a fork & top each mini meatloaf with some BBQ sauce.

5. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
6. Take out the oven & crumble bacon strips on top of each meatloaf.

7. Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

And there you have your mini meatloaves.  No need for a meatloaf pan AND they're portioned controlled! (+1 for weight loss).  Enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Warm Weather Rules

It's getting warmer outside so that means yall bout to come out the house looking a MESS.  Yall need some warm weather rules.

  1. No lacefronts.  It's too hot to be wearing full wigs.  Besides, doesn't your hair sweat under that thing?
  2. Get a pedicure.  The only thing worse than a naked toenail is an ashy foot.  Which leads me to number 3. 
  3. Lotion up.  You should have brown skin not gray.
  4. No cheeks.  I don't care how warm it is outside or how skinny you are, I shouldn't see butt cheeks.  Guys, this goes for yall as well.
  5. Fellas, no timbs in the summer time!  Those are boots...for snow...not sandy beaches. 
  6. Please don't have your babies running around in a pamper and no shirt.  Have some dignity, at least put a baby wife beater on them.
  7. My fellow big girls, I know we wanna look cute this summer as well BUT this weather is not an excuse to wear clothes 2 sizes too small.
  8. Deodorant.  If you don't do this every damn day, stop reading this blog NOW and run to your nearest Rite Aid.
  9. You know what ... no lacefronts, ever!
What are yalls Warm Weather Rules??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mid-March Resolution??

How's that New Year's Resolution working out for ya?  Kinda ehhh?  Yeah, I've found myself slipping A LOT recently.  So, here's a lil mid-March pick me up for all of us.

On a Cardio Day:
Depending on time and available machines, pick 3 or 4 machines and do equal time on each.  For example:

Elliptical (interval program): 10 min
Bike (Interval program): 10 min
Row Machine: 10 min
Treadmill (Walk, jog, or run): 10 min

On a Strength training day:
This website has a lot of different exercises and shows examples with both men and women.

For Lower Body (Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of each exercise):
BOSU Upside Down Squats
Forward & Backwards Walking Lunges
Leg Press
Leg Press Calf Raise
Leg Extension
Stability Ball Leg Curl
Lateral Band Walks

For Upper Body (Do 2 or 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of each exercise):
Dumbbell Chest Press
Seated Cable Row
Arnold Shoulder Press
Front Shoulder Raise
Lateral Shoulder Raise
Cable Tricep Pushdown
Standing Cable Bicep Curl

Take a Class:
Try something different. See what classes are offered at your gym or in the area. Try classes like Zumba, Yoga, Pilates or Bootcamp.  I recently went to a Soca dance class & had a blast!

Aight yall...let's do this together!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Landing Zone ... Stepping Stone

I was on the phone with my BFF late one night when I came up with this gem:

"This is not your LANDING ZONE but your STEPPING STONE"

Doesn't it seem like after we went through our quarter-life crisis, we got stuck in a pre-30s purgatory?  In our late-20s, it seems we're all trying to figure out who we are and where we're going.  Between grad school, changing careers, precarious relationships, and moving to new cities, this time in our lives is marred by change and uncertainty.  We want to be CEOs, run things, pay off them damn student loans and be independently wealthy right. now.  We feel like we don't have time to wait and get frustrated/depressed if all of those things don't come together.  Well, I'm here to tell you ... It's OK!  

Let me share my story with yall.  In the Summer of 2011, I felt like my life was so uncertain.  I had finished my Master's coursework, was nearly begging people for jobs, and my apartment building had just gone into foreclosure.  I was having panic attacks practically twice a week worrying about where I was going to lay my head & if I had a job.  By Fall 2011, I had found a job but was still unsure if I made the right choice AND the heat in my apartment building stopped working.  More panic attacks....and I was cold.  Fast forward to March 2012, I'm finally settling into my job (...even got a phat raise) and I moved into a beautiful new apartment that's 2x times the size of my old one.  

I say all that to say that (a) GOD IS GOOD (b) you have to understand that sometimes when you are going through hardships it's because you are being prepared for something greater and (3) all of these trials are the stepping stones on the path to your landing zone.

So take a step back, re-examine your current situation, and step into your greatness!   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oopsy Baby!

Is the world ready for this?

So the most recent celebrity reality TV news is that our favorite miniature Guidette is with child.  Well, the Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012, but I'm SURE they didn't see this coming.  Then again, how could we not.  Snooki has gotten famous (and I use that term loosely) for being...well, loose.  When you unapologetically get wasted and 'smush' with any buffed, tanned body you see, something is bound to happen.  Fortunately for Snooks it was a baby and not an STI.

Let's look on the bright side, hopefully this baby will force Snooki to settle down & grow up.  At least we might get a new MTV spin-off from this....

What would you call Snooki's new spin-off???

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: Random Family

This book was recommended to me by my girl Nay.  Random Family let's you in to the lives and thoughts of a large, extended Latino family living in The Bronx.  (It's a true story too.)  As the book progresses, you see the main characters go through so much.  At times you want to root for them, cry for them, and/or smack them.  The book begins by introducing you to a ton of characters, which did get overwhelming.  But as you continue reading, you see the inter-connectedness of everyone's lives and you understand why the author introduced you to everybody and they mama...literally.  Once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down.  However at just over 400 pages, it got a bit dense toward the end; around page 350 I was ready for the author to wrap up.

Next up: Snookie ~ Confessions of a Guidette. Nah, I'm playing. It's The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Best Baked Chicken ever!

When I was growing up, I would always ask my mother why we ate chicken so much.  Her answers were always (a) cuz chicken is cheap & you can do a lot of things with it and (b) we're Black (okay, she didn't really say this one).  This baked chicken is one of those recipes that's so easy to make AND you can make it in a ton of different ways.

Chicken thighs (could use wings or drum sticks...pretty much anything but boneless skinless breasts)
Olive Oil

1. Clean your thighs.  Then season BOTH SIDES with salt, pepper, and rosemary

2. Lay the chicken skin side up, brush with a little olive oil & sprinkle with just a little bit of flour.

3. Cook for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven.

4. Drain any excess grease once you take the chicken out the oven.

The flour gives you a nice crispy skin without the fat of fried chicken.  Next time, you can try different herbs (tarragon, basil, etc.).
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