Archive for January, 2012

Drinks for (Getting) Skinny Girls

It can be hard to stay social and stick to your fitness goals.  Until now ladies and gents, until now. Bethenny Frankel has come to our rescue with her Skinnygirl cocktails.  While looking for stores that carry the beverages I ran across a nice review – complete with pictures. I’ve tried the Margarita and still need to taste the Sangria and White Cosmo.  Heather Dale is the writer who penned this for FitSugar. I think a party is on the horizon!!!

Check out @FitSugar on Twitter for even more tips on enjoying a fit lifestyle.


Cooking at Home

Trader Joe’s can be your most reliable friend at dinner time. Last night, I made Lemon Pepper Pappardelle and Shrimp.  Used the recipe from the pasta package and it was beautiful and tasty.  My modifications include using fresh shrimp and infusing the oil with a couple garlic cloves.  I chopped the garlic, added it to the warm olive oil and let it cook for a few minutes.  I removed the garlic and discarded it before sautéing the shrimp.

Dinner Solution

I’ve bought the pasta before – it is so flavorful that you can just add a drizzle of olive oil and it’s ready.  Well adding the shrimp, fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley took it up a notch as Emeril Lagasse would say.  Love the elegance of the pappardelle – beautiful color that looked great on the plate.  Peeling and deveining the shrimp was the most time consuming step.  I steamed broccoli for a side dish and that was dinner.

Put Me On ‘The Black List’ Please

The weekend of the King Holiday a friend and I made it out to the National Portrait Gallery to see ‘The Black List’ exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.  It’s a collection of photos challenging our usual perception of the term “black list.”  Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders takes away the negative connotation and gives us a new way to think about it.  For this black list he organized a group of 50 African Americans with careers in business, politics, sports, music, the arts and more.

It featured details about education, upbringing and accomplishments.  I learned that Debra L. Lee – Chairman & CEO of  BET Holdings,  is originally from my home state – South Carolina.  The sheer joy on Suzan-Lori Parks’ face put a smile on my own.  She seems truly at home in her skin and I love the way they captured her.  She was one (of at least two) MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient featured in the exhibit.

Power couple Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson were individually featured.  I was reminded of her earliest work as a teen and her varied career as an actress.  I’m always moved by stories about people who’ve been focused from an early age. I admire that quality. When we viewed the picture of Samuel Jackson I was surprised when the wall notes mentioned his many successes as well as his drug addiction.  Now that was keeping it real.

There were other surprises along the way.  I’m a Wu-Tang fan, but didn’t expect to see RZA in the exhibit.  Having seen them perform at Rock the Bells last summer I was delighted!  They also got a shot of Guns N Roses legend Slash.  I had to add him to my Pandora playlist so I can hear him rip that guitar.

I enjoyed the loop of interviews and we watched several them – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Al Sharpton, Zane, Thelma Golden.  Throughout our visit we scanned birthdates and marveled at the beauty, health and overall attractiveness of people 20 and 30 years our senior.  A visual lesson on living well.

‘The Black List’ honored excellence, but made no judgments on who deserved to be on the walls.  There was respect for Colin Powell and Toni Morrison, as well as for Tyler Perry and Sean ”Puffy” Combs. That distinguished this exhibit.  This accomplished group consists of people who took chances and succeeded despite their challenges.

I will head back to the exhibit to catch more of the video footage and to take in the crowd.  It was well attended the day we toured and I hope the traffic remains steady.  I appreciate the reality of the exhibit – not just feel good moments, but capturing whole lives.

You have plenty of time to plan a visit.  It’s in DC until April 22, 2012.

Must See Movie: RED TAILS via Blogs | Black America Web

Kudos to the folks at Black America Web and the Tom Joyner Morning Show for promoting the movie ‘Red Tails.’  It’s a historically-influenced film about the African American World War II fighter pilots trained at Tuskegee.  Here’s an insightful piece by Nikki Woods on the powerful story.

Blogs | Black America Web.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15th is my favorite day of the year.  It’s my birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and the day that my sorority – Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded.  This post will focus on the power of Dr. King and the need to celebrate his legacy.  This year for the King Holiday I read some of his speeches, listened to a sermon and shared quotes on my Facebook page and Twitter time line.  There is much to learn from his life and we must continue to work towards his vision for social justice, economic empowerment and racial equality.

Dr. King was on the right track, particularly in the months before his assassination.  His focus on economic empowerment was logical and wise.  Things are markedly better for those with wealth in the United States.  The system works well for those with the means to demand respect.  We should collectively strive for economic success for everyone.  Our commitment to expanded access to education and job training is imperative.  It is essential that we support and maintain our middle class.  There must be greater focus on the working poor.  On providing support because they have the work ethic, but not always the support needed to reach the next level.  I’m hopeful for our country’s future.  There are many ways to be successful and I believe there is room at the top for everyone.

Here is a link to some of Dr. King’s speeches – courtesy of NPR:

Categories: Uncategorized

Modern Etiquette for Work and Home

January 11, 2012 1 comment

Is 2012 going to be your best year ever?  Do you want to improve your life and be even more amazing than you are right now?   Are you committed to taking it all to the next level? If any of these questions mean anything to you I’ve got two books to get you started.

The first is for those focused on expanding professional circles,  reaching out to new people or just trying to improve their Klout score.

Jacqueline Whitmore’s new book “Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals” is my latest etiquette resource.  Published November 2011, it’s just in time for stepping into 2012 on the right foot.  I borrowed a copy from the library this week and I’m enjoying every page.  She shares stories about her growth in protocol and how this training has shaped her career.   I’m purchasing my own copy from Barnes and Noble.  (It’s also available on and Books-A-Million.) You can also follow her on Twitter – her username is @etiquetteexpert.  You’ll enjoy Jacqueline’s timeline –  it is filled with great tips on being appropriate.

My next recommendation is one of the first etiquette books in my library – “The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times — Revised Edition.”  Updated in 2005, it’s a tried and true guide to all things manners.  This book answers questions about situations that could arise and prepares you for the inevitable.  If anyone in your family or friend circle needs a bit of polish this is also a perfect gift.  The Karens (co-authors Grigsby Bates and Hudson) have a gentle, honest style that’s easy to read and straight to the point.  It includes specifics about African American culture, but the overall message is universal.

Take time to assess your professional goals this month and think about your personal ones as well.  Don’t be afraid to learn what you need to be more polished.  The goal of etiquette is being comfortable in any environment.

Happy Reading!!

Creating a Vision Board

January 5, 2012 2 comments

This is the third year I’ve done a vision board and I enjoy the process.  I like to think about my goals and priorities for the new year, then find images that meet those expectations.  I choose a theme and put that on my board as a guiding principle.  For 2011 I used Emily Dickinson for inspiration. My theme was “Dwell in Possibility.”  My board included reading, romance, fitness, finances and style. I also put pictures of women whose lives I admire including journalist Ida B. Wells Barnett  and actress Gloria Stuart.

Here is last year’s board:

I’m still refining the 2012 board but right now focusing on 1)Finding a church home; 2) Growing my new tech business – Money Rules Class 3) Dating more 4) More pampering.

Are any of you working on vision boards?  Other ideas for goal-setting??