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3.10.2011

MJ MJ MJ Fever---Speed Demon

I loveeee me some MJ :)...my favorite artist of all time (and Sade:)

1.12.2011

In Lieu of a "Happy Bday Post"....

I love this song, "Let it be Me" by Ray LaMontagne....absolutely love it! I think about God and just what it means to have a real support system in one's life. He's all the support I need.

"I will be your God throughout your lifetime. Until your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you."
-Isaiah 46:4

So in lieu of a b-day post of all my "goals" for 2011...Enjoy a lovely, inspirational song ...Happy Jan. 12th! :-)

Find more artists like Ray LaMontagne at Myspace Music

12.27.2010

The V- word: Vulnerability

Vulnerable: capable of being wounded or hurt; susceptibility to injury or attack; state of being exposed.
I am exploring this word, a word that often sends chills down my spine. Vulnerability. Boy does it hurt just typing it. I recently shared at a church event that "I don't like people." Sounds a bit disturbing coming from a loud mouth, Christian woman, who's extremely personable and incredibly outgoing, right? If that thought did in fact cross your mind, imagine how it sounded to a bunch of devout Christians in a small room? But as people laughed and others waited to see what's coming next, I explained that the reason I don't like people is because of the fact that my greatest fear, when it comes to building relationships, is being open and being hurt. 
"I don't mind accumulating a lot of acquaintances, I mind being open and vulnerable."
I often consider Mtt.22:39 when my palms begin to sweat, my stomach turns, and my haughty and entitled  attitude starts creeping out from within my fearful heart: Love your neighbor as yourself. And boy oh boy, do I love myself. I think I've mastered the art. I mean I got it down to a science. So it is a call that always raises the bar in my life. I do it, only because I believe this stuff, only because God is real to me, only because he committed to unconditionally loving a jacked-up person such as myself through thick and thin. I don't think I could do it any other way.

I am learning the value of soul-searching and being vulnerable in relationships...all relationships: It really benefits all involved. I know the desire to default to "self-protective" ways can often be tempting, but I am ready to brave this journey and dive into the ugly. I am writing this in hope to inspire, and that someone out there is wishing me the best of luck in this, and sending up a little prayer for me. I think it can be good.
"It will be good. "
Image: 
truewhisper.com

12.20.2010

Book Review: Choosing God's Best


I've been kind of by the way, maybe slightly haphazardly, making a conscious effort to build some sort of foundational beliefs and convictions on Christian dating, and what the Bible says. My conclusion: While anything, when misused, misunderstood, and ill-represented, can be a matter of salvation, dating in and of itself, doesn't quite fall into that category for me. However, because I really do believe the Bible and the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing God, with deep, intense, concrete conviction, its important for me to lay a foundation for what matters to me and my God in matters of the heart.

I've read a few books, so over the next few weeks I hope to share my reviews with you....succinctly, 'cause Lord knows I can ramble ya'll. :) The first book was "Choosing God's Best" by Don Ranikaur. The book has a few things I agree with and some I disagree with. But the overall gist is that the Bible promotes "courtship"  over dating, when it comes to relationships. Ranikaur talks about various stages of friendship: acquaintance, casual, close, and then intimate as a foundation that forces people to develop patience and time to really build something worth standing on. I agree with that because once the looks fade, and all you're left with is a flabby, saggy, baggy ex-supermodel, you'll really wish you had something more substantial to stand on (and maybe something better to look at, or at least some sunglasses). The Proverbs actually mention this reality: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting.." (Prv.31:30a).

Ranikaur then goes on discuss the stages following intimate friendship, the next being courtship, where one's church family and physical family (given that they are righteously minded, or void of detrimental relational issues) are involved in the entire process. Courtship is a public affair, think of your favorite Jane Austen book, where everyone is made aware of the interest between the couple and nothing is hidden, no seclusion, nor any excessive one-on-on interactions. The courtship process is short and is time for building strong ties with family, friends, and strengthening bonds with each other. Courtship is then followed by engagement which is also short, basically enough time to plan a wedding and develop a deeper emotional oneness. And then comes the wedding union and physical oneness. The premise of Ranikaur's suggestions assumes that you are a Christian who is wholehearted about following God and the bible and that you have your spiritual, emotional, relational, and vocational foundation laid and solid before considering a spouse. Ranikaur also presents the fact that God gives us free will, but wants us to wait on Him to bring us the best choice, in oppose to simply settling for a "good" choice. God will never make the decision for you, but He will expect you to seek him and advisers, wait on Him, and trust Him through the entire process.

How do I feel about this?

I think that aside from a solid and secure relationship with God, a great friendship is the second best foundation of anything worth having, especially male- female relationships. I also believe that if Jacob had the love, patience, and trust to wait 14 years for the woman he loved (Gen.29), what are we rushing for? I desire the next man I date to be the man I marry, so I'd rather someone know me and all my jacked-up flaws and exactly what they're getting, instead of dating for 3mos and realizing they rushed into it...or worse get married and divorce because they didn't count the costs of making the commitment (Lk.14:28).

God made a commitment to unconditionally love a jacked-up person, faithfully and flawlessly, no matter what...shouldn't we also hold ourselves to that same standard in friendships and relationships (Jn.13:34)?

11.22.2010

Clueless & a Google random question...

GOOGLE:  

Come up with some possible band names for your group that features a washboard and a styrofoam tuba.

ME:
Wash-a-foam-bubba and the Styrettes; )

This question reminded me of Clueless...Oh my gosh Cher...! Lol.I was totally a fan. I wanted to be Dionne. I think I begged for the Clueless lunch box and the dolls. I watched the t.v. episodes too. Had no business watching them, but I sure did. And then the  sequel came out: Mean Girls. Lol. Oh come on, you know when you first saw Mean Girls with Lindsey Lohan, you thought the same thing I did, "Isn't it a bit late to have a Clueless 2?" But they tapped into the materialistic, egotistical, consumerist nature of teens everywhere...and they had a cool $56K revenue, tv series, dolls, and other little spin-offs and spoofs to prove it.

"W" Whatever!

*Rest in Peace Brittany Murphy...one of the many Hollywood tragedies:(

11.19.2010

Officially a Size 3/4! Word.

Today on my lunch break I decided to go buy some work pants. I've been wearing jeans, slacks, and pants that are held up only by the saving grace of a belt. Not to mention my skinny jeans now fashion straight leg or boy-cut jeans. But anyhow, I ran into the most awesome problem ever: all the small pants were still too BIG for me! I was slightly agitated at first because I really have to let go of the leggings...I mean, I could wear them long after they go out of style, but come on. I'm an adult with a real job. Then it hit me, the realization of the fact that I am officially a "skinny mini", a "lepa" as is the term in my native tongue. I was thrilled. I ran through the store searching for size 6, then a 4, then a 2. A size 2...and it fit, a bit tighter than I prefer, but it fit!

What was my plan of action you ask? Simple: in February 2010 I decided that being overweight really is a problem...I even went as far as to call it a sin due to the greed and gluttony that I so easily gave in to. I just no longer desired to be a woman who lacked discipline and self-control, and I could see it in other areas of my life. So I got a trainer and changed my eating habits. I worked out 2 days a week, then 4- 5 days when I picked up momentum. I kept a food journal and counted calories daily. I lost 20 lbs in 4 months and then kept it up on my own. I had to learn to love working out so I could be motivated. And the best motivation is RESULTS. I also get a gym "fee reimbursement", every 6 months, from my job, and I've decided to use it to buy new clothes for my newly svelte physique. I'm glad that I became radical about my health and I'm really grateful for the men and women God put in my life to help me.

Now...I ....must...go...extinguish...the...kryptonite...the evil evil strawberry cheescake. Lol, I still have a ways to go. But glad to have gotten this far. :)

What helped me:
Image: 
grandmary.org

11.17.2010

If anyone is thirsty...


What does it mean to be "thirsty"? How do you know? What does it feel like? How does your body react? I think we often wait until we are completely dehydrated before we even consider drinking water. And contrary to popular belief, sodas and juices have significant amounts of sugar and so they are not sufficient sources of the 8-10oz of water we are to get on a daily basis. 

How do you know when you are physically dehydrated? Well you experience fatigue, dry mouth and skin, chills, and a host of other symptoms. But symptoms of severe dehydration can include confusion, dim vision, vomiting, seizures, and muscle spasms.

How do you know when you are spiritually dehydrated? 

I was thinking about this earlier today in relation to my own personal relationship with God. I think I can often wait till I am dehydrated, and in my own self-deceit, I am completely unaware of it. I think the symptoms vary, but it will often include some confusion and dim vision, as well as spiritual seizures. Did you know that one of the definitions of "seizure" is an "occurrence, or recurrence of sudden attack from a disease"? In this case, the disease is sin. And each man's "reoccurring" sin is personal and specific to him. How do we overcome this type of dehydration? Maybe a gallon at the bedside? Or as my friend Nick said, "A gospel I.V. drip" ? Perhaps. But inevitably the only way to avoid being dragged away by our own passions and desires is indeed preventative measures. I think Jesus is the answer...and his word provides step by step directions to "prevent dehydration".
 "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. Jn 7:37-38
Don't take it lightly...drink up.



Images: 
Naturetech.ca

11.14.2010

Food Time: Patty and Bun

Patty and Bun
61 W 8th St
Manhattan, NY 10011
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Third times a charm. So I went here again this weekend and I went with the women in the young leaders group at my church. All I had this time was a soda, but I love this place. The ambiance is cozy, with wooden tables, newspaper print walls, dim lighting, and one long marble bar counter. And they're all burgers, all the time (and an occasional "other" here and there). 

So can I just shout out my friend Rach, who thought it was a Jamaican spot with beef patties, cheese and bun. Ha! Love that girl! 

Anyhow, I love the french toast with drunken bananas, peaches, and walnuts. It was totally drenched in blueberry port maple syrup. The challah bread is crisp on the edges and incredibly soft on the inside, the peaches seem to be coated in a light sugar syrup and the walnuts give just the right amount of crunch! Then the fluffy ricotta pancakes simply melt in your mouth, and the raspberry quince sauce has a tangy-sweetness that compliments the ricotta's smooth and creamy after-taste. And can I just say that the havoc burger with its 3 meats and chimichurri sauce is like the 21st century rendition of a barbarian dinner! Just barbaric! Yes! As for you more proper individuals who prefer small bites and knives and forks, go in and try the sliders...always a classic. Bon appetit!

Images: 

10.16.2010

What in the World Moment- Facebook Status


I totally should've taken a screen shot of this, but one of my facebook friends had a "what in the world" status message the other day.

It said: "Money is power. Sex is power. So money for sex is an exchange of power".

What in the world?! That gets a head down and a hand to the lip...courtesy of my friend Mel...and a Miranda of Devil Wears Prada "That's all."

For real.

Image:

9.08.2010

Love....Danny and Annie

I hope to catch a glimpse of this in my lifetime...in my own life. :)

8.02.2010

Chelsea and Vera: Match made in Heaven

If I've ever seen a more beautiful dress...I'd be lying. Vera Wang did a number, as usual. Clinton's dress was a full silk organza ball skirt complete with train. And the rosette-like detailing proved to  actually be a raw-edged, laser cut swirl pattern. The skirt flowed from a diagonally draped bodice of silk tulle, and was accented by a swarovski embellished belt. I think it was a simple, yet elegant update on classic. And while I personally adore the birdcage veils, I think Clinton's veil choice perfectly compliments the strapless Wang number to a tee!

US Weekly reports that "for her reception, she changed into a silk tulle Grecian Vera Wang gown with criss-cross back and narrow grosgrain black belt".

Mind you my own cool mom of a mom, watched it on you tube and read that the wedding was reportedly over $5 million.What a wedding!

 Image: US Weekly

7.20.2010

I'm in a Lenny K. Mood...word?

Lenny Kravitz and his American women.

The Man: 

















The "Ex" (Lisa Bonnet):

The Offspring (Zoe Kravitz):




For your listening pleasure:



Images:
Daily.co.uk
NewYorkTimes.com

7.12.2010

What's all the Hoopla About SPF?


The Issue: Sunburn

So I figured since I do not have a shortage of skin pigment, I don't need sunscreen in the summer. Then I read an article about a woman who got skin cancer on one side of her face because that side faced the window in her office. She never used sunscreen because she was an African- American woman and felt that black women don’t get sunburn or skin cancer. After reading that, I decided, its time to get some year-round sunscreen. I opted for SPF 30 winter, spring, and fall, and I recently just bought SPF 100+ for summer and beach protection. No skin cancer here! 


The Stats: (From The Skin Cancer Foundation)
  •  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases in two million people are diagnosed annually.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • More than 20 Americans die each day from skin cancer, primarily melanoma. One person dies of melanoma every 62 minutes.
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • First exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent
  • Asian American and African American melanoma patients have a greater tendency than Caucasians to present with advanced disease at time of diagnosis.
  • Melanomas in African Americans, Asians, Filipinos, Indonesians, and native Hawaiians most often occur on non-exposed skin with less pigment, with up to 60-75 percent of tumors arising on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.
Well if I have to be so careful in the sun, how do I tan? I’m sure you’ve noticed the orange-yellow lizard skin of some older women who tan frequently. Well most people don’t think about it, but tanning is basically voluntary perpetuation of skin cancer. The reason is because Ultra Violet (UV) rays penetrate the skin causing DNA and cell damage, and then melanin (skin pigment) is produced as a response to the damage. This is similar to the formation of scabs after an injury. Increased exposure to UV rays, whether indoor or outdoor, results in age spots, altered skin texture, wrinkling, eye damage, and immune suppression. Long story short, tanning is bad news.


The Solution: 
 
Get some Sunscreen. I’ve been hearing different things about sunscreen, like the higher SPF means the amount of time it takes before wearing off, or it doesn’t matter how high the SPF is because its all the same after SPF 30. Well what’s true? 


Everyone needs sunscreen, and the best ones are water-resistant, with UVA and UVB protection and minimal of SPF 30. SPF stands for Sun Protecting Factor, and it refers to the product's ability to deflect the sun's burning rays, or UVB. How does it work? Well based on the information from the American Academy of Dermatology, the SPF rating shows the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on sunscreen-protected skin to the amount of time needed to cause a sunburn on unprotected skin. In laymen terms that means, multiply the SPF times the amount of time it takes you to burn. So if you have SPF 30 and it takes you 10 minutes to burn regularly, then 10x30= 300, so it will take 300 minutes to burn in oppose to 10.  No SPF provides 100% protection, in fact SPF 15 provides 94%, SPF 30 provides 97%, and SPF 100 provides 99% against harmful UV rays. And even with this protection, all sunscreen breaks down and rubs off with normal wear, sweat, and swimming, so its best to reapply every two hours.

So go ahead and get your sunscreen on, and stay protected all year long! 




6.15.2010

Restaurant Review: Paesano (Little Italy)

Paesano of Mulberry Street
136 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: Little Italy

I went to Paesano's for one of my best friend's birthdays and I got to taste a lot of little things at this place. I went to the gym first so I wouldn't feel guilty for all the rich sauces and fatty fried things I ate. The space is small, but spacious enough for expanding tummies. The calamari was tasty and crunchy, not soggy or heavily breaded like it sometimes is. I hate it when its like that too. Not appetizing. I also tasted some of the fried zucchini, which was a bit salty to me. The Joey's special salad was sooo yummy! I mean I genuinely love salads, but the zucchini and fresh mozzarella really made this bed o' greens worthwhile. I ordered cheese ravioli with meat, in a vodka sauce. The ravioli seemed to be filled with a mixture of ricotta and some other cheese, so you ravioli purists may not approve. I also had some of the birthday girl's veal, it was succulent, but I can't quite remember the name. All of it is relatively inexpensive in my opinion. But go and decide for yourself. Happy eating!

Image Courtesy of: 
everythingaboutfood.net

What's $15 and Chic All Over?

So, my co-worker ran into the $15 store, where everything is literally $15, marked down from $30-$100 per piece.Its a steal. From browsing the site, I can say that some things are not quite worth 15 bucks, but the things that are are really fab! I made myself a little shopping cart of seevral goodies and didn't even break $150. Sweet, right! Anyhow, check it out: http://15dollarstore.com/

Jeffrey Campbell = Dope Shoe Love

Jeffrey Campbell packs a dope shoe game. In laymen terms that translates as, “The renowned shoe designer, Jeffrey Campbell, designs some incredible footwear.” I could easily own 12 shoes in his lookbook, without hesitation. (Well if money were no object of course). I ran across a few pieces that in the initial viewing, I was utterly perplexed by, but later on I realized I could totally make it work. They're like "chic chaps". I feel like styling a photoshoot right about now.  Anyhow, enjoy the images.



Images:
www.solestruck.com

6.10.2010

Restaurant Review: BLT Burger

BLT Burger
470 6th Ave
New York, NY 10010
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Gimme ma' burgah! That's what BLT Burger brought out of me the other day. They have a variety of burgers on their menu, and since I love to get more bang for my buck, I got the sliders. You can pick from a black burger, bbq pulled pork, buffalo chicken, and crispy cod. Can I just say that if the mini-burgers were that tasty, I can just imagine what the full size burgers taste like. I think one day I just might be a complete burger beast and eat a few sliders for an appetizer, and then a heavy-duty burger for the main course. Why haven't I considered this brilliant idea before? Because I'm a whack. Anyhow, I also had a fabulously rich, creamy, cookie monster milkshake with cookie dough bits, loads of chips ahoy cookies, and whipped cream....mmmm whipped cream. I think next time I will try the twinkie boy milkshake with twinkies and caramel syrup. Do you think I could ask them to fry the twinkies first? Why don't you check it out and ask them...let me know the verdict! Happy eating!


6.05.2010

Restaurant Review: Tue

 Tue
3 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014

Tue rocks Thai! And for all the food you get (cuz this homegirl can eat!), its surprisingly inexpensive. $10 brunch specials till 4pm. I am the biggest fan of red, white and black decor, so I love the walls here. And the menu has the same "hand-drawn" design  as the walls. There's also a cute little sun-roof in the middle for some au naturale sunlight. 

As for food, well I generally love Thai food, so its all good in my book. But my favorite here is the massaman curry with the hot and spicy curry sauce, peanuts, veggies, and chicken breast pieces...yummy! However, I come here most often for the pomegranate ginger honey iced tea. Its made with pomegranate tea, sweet honey and real ginger for a nice kick...to the throat! Don't believe me? Go try it!


Images: 

Travel: Jet Blue $20 Roundtrip- Happy Jetting

Again, my awesome co-worker put me on! Jet Blue has a twitter page and they run promotions for super- cheap flights within the U.S. and overseas. Its all part of a marketing strategy to not only stay current and relevant in the travel industry, but to use social networking to their advantage. You can even re-tweet the deals to your friends and on your blog. Well look Jet Blue, its working, I blogged it! With their awesome ads and quirky tag-lines, it seems as if Jet Blue is quickly becoming the new cool.

Buy tickets here: http://www.jetblue.com/deals/twitter/default.asp

5.14.2010

Restaurant Review: Cafeteria

Cafeteria
119 7th Ave
New York, NY 10021
Neighborhood: Chelsea

I love me some Mac and Cheese and red velvet cake (not together though)! On my birthday I went to Cafeteria for the first time, and then I went again in the summer. Its a trendy little restaurant in Chelsea. Its a 2 level space and upstairs the decor is that of an upgraded posh cafeteria, and more like a private lounge downstairs. I especially love the booths and leather seats.

I had a decadently moist red velvet cake. When I first had red velvet, I was repulsed just by the color. I always felt like it would be dry and weird tasting. I was a yellow and chocolate cake girl. Pound cake, angel food, marble, lemon, devil's food...all was a plus, but red velvet: ewww and double ewww. Now red velvet and carrot cake, once my most hated desserts, are total favorites. I think my taste has matured over the years. I also had a nice toasted pecan- crusted salmon, buttermilk fried chicken, waffles, pesto polenta, and rich macaroni and cheese. The mac and cheese comes on a tray in sets of 3, one with cheddar and fontina, another with smoked gouda and bacon, and the last with truffle oil. 

Did I already say I love mac and cheese?

Well the one here is one of the best in my book. Un-trusting? Go taste it. Happy Eating!