Archive for March, 2012

Cherry Blossom Time

The cherry blossoms are in bloom and the official National Cherry Blossom Centennial Festival is underway!  The celebration dates back to a relationship began in 1912 when the City of Tokyo, Japan gave the City of Washington, DC a gift of 3000 cherry blossom trees.  Annually Washington comes alive with international visitors, parades and events commemorating this special friendship.

Arts & Crafts with the Children's Museum during Family Days. Cherry Blossom Festival

Events are diverse, often free and in different parts of the city.  You can attend concerts, dinner cruises, films and lectures.  There are activities for foodies, for cyclists and  adventure seekers.  You can create crafts at area museums or enjoy flower arranging at the National Arboretum.

The pictures in this post are from the opening weekend.  I volunteered at the National Building Museum for Family Days. My station helped kids make paper cherry blossoms from tissue paper and pipe cleaners.   Admission was free and the day featured Taiko drummers, dancers and other creative activities.



Cheat Eats: Frozen Greek Yogurt from Ben & Jerry’s

I enjoy a variety of healthy foods, but I also indulge my sweet tooth.  I can eat tofu and salad all day long if it means a cupcake is coming my way in the evening.  This post is for those of you who need some alternatives to help you stay on track without too much deprivation.  I was delighted when I found the new Greek Frozen Yogurt in my Safeway.  While Ben & Jerry’s points out that this isn’t a healthy food, I agree that it can be a “reasonable reward.”  This new line of desserts that they rolled out last month have less fat and calories, but are full of great flavor.  I like the pint-sized containers  for portion control.  Each one gives me about four servings.

The Treat Experience

We eat first with our eyes.   I use these adorable ceramic bowls to keep my servings small, but appealing.  Use an ice cream scoop to further enhance the  look.  Use a real spoon and take your time eating.  Don’t talk on the phone, don’t mindlessly eat from the container.  You want to savor it so that you’re fully satisfied when you’re done eating.

The Treat Facts

Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt – Blueberry Vanilla Graham

It has 7 grams of fat, compared to the 15 grams in the regular, Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream.  The frozen Greek yogurt has 6 grams of protein, while the ice cream has 3 grams.

Enjoy and stay on the GFP -Get Fine Plan!


Justice Department to Investigate Trayvon Martin Shooting – National – The Atlantic Wire

For the past few weeks  Trayvon Martin’s family has pushed for an investigation into the details of his fatal shooting last month.  I cried as I learned more about the details of this senseless killing.  It scares me because my brothers, cousins or nephews could come to a similar fate because of racial profiling and flawed police work.  While there are no guarantees with DOJ’s involvement, I believe it is a step in the right direction.  My prayers continue for the family of this young man who we lost much too soon.

Here is an article from The Atlantic Wire written by Dasiell Bennett.  It details the events of the past month.

Justice Department to Investigate Trayvon Martin Shooting – National – The Atlantic Wire.

St. Patrick’s Day 2012: Facts, Myths, and Traditions

Hope everyone had a fun St. Patrick’s Day.  John Roach

wrote this article for National Geographic online.

St. Patrick’s Day 2012: Facts, Myths, and Traditions.




Categories: Uncategorized

The Skin You’re In: Part III – Winter Face Care

This post comes as we enjoy unseasonably warm weather this last week of Winter.  Caring for your face begins on the inside. Everything you eat and drink shows up on your lovely face.  Water is my friend.  I drink it morning, noon and night.  Sometimes I’ll have herbal tea or enjoy a cocktail, but most of the time you will see me sipping on water.

I use Oil of Olay products year-round  because they are effective, easy to find and reasonably priced.  In colder months I use the cream to moisturize my face and décolletage.  It is easily absorbed creating a great canvas for applying make-up.  It also has sun protection which is necessary for every season.  I buy the SPF 15 in either the original or sensitive skin formula.

Recently, I added Neutrogena Deep Clean Scrub to my beauty routine.  It’s good to exfoliate  once or twice weekly.  Put it on your calendar if  you’re anything like me  – I tend to forget.   The scrub is gentle and my face feels smooth and soft after each use.

Do these things to keep your skin beautiful – drink lots of water, exfoliate weekly and protect your skin with an SPF-infused moisturizer.


Are You Trustworthy?

Are you the person people tell something when they want it broadcast to the world?  Have you told just one person something you knew you shouldn’t share?  Well you’re not alone – we’ve all fallen short.  This is a refresher on how to be a worthy confidant and ultimately build better friendships.

I’ll start with something my dad loves to say – “Spend half the year staying out of other people’s business and the other half minding your own.” When I follow this bit of wisdom, my life is amazingly calm and drama-free.  This is classic advice for avoiding the perils of gossip.  It applies to personal relationships, professional networks and all the groups in between.  Don’t gossip about the things you saw, heard and experienced because someone trusted you enough to confide in you.

People share with you, but might not be comfortable sharing with the world.  Respect the personal and private nature of certain conversations.  If you wonder should I tell this, then you shouldn’t.  It is not acceptable to get in front of several people and say – “You don’t mind if I tell everyone about your cousin Dawn who stole $500,000 from her job do you?” That’s not cool.  Not ever.  No matter how close-knit the circle the person dealing with the situation should be able to decide with whom, when and if they will share it.  Even if Dawn’s arrest for embezzling half a million dollars will be a front-page story, respect your relationship with her cousin enough to be discreet.

Sensitivity and discretion are essential to building enduring friendships.  No one will trust you if you blab everything to everyone in the world.  You might be comfortable with everyone knowing the intimate details of your life, but most people are not.  In these days of reality TV and social media, we sometimes forget that there are still occasions for privacy.  If it is so juicy that you must share put it in your journal (using initials or nicknames.)  Writing it down will take it out of your mind and hopefully it won’t come tumbling out of your mouth!

Friends and family need you to respect their need for privacy. You must show them that you are trustworthy.  It will make all the difference – especially when you need a confidant.


Guest Blog: On Making Yourself Right – The Atlantic

This is a well-written piece on how Andrew Breitbart lied repeatedly to advance his political agenda.  While his death is not a celebratory event, it is important that we place his work in the proper context.  Particularly the damage he sought to inflict on Shirley Sherrod.  He intentionally lied about her life and work and there is no escaping that fact.  I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates in his analysis.  Breitbart used his extremism to inflict harm on innocent people.  That is reprehensible and should be acknowledged as his life is reviewed.  

Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic and his blog is reposted here:

On Making Yourself Right – The Atlantic.

Categories: Politics, Those Who Blog