Monday, December 27, 2010

Room Transformation: Phase 4

Here's a quick update on the latest progress in my bedroom. Let's remember how it all started:

And now:
I'm really excited about my new comforter. And check out the wall decals I discovered a few weeks ago. I should add that some of the decals fell off within 24 hours. It may have to do with the surface. I used some Handi Tak that they recommended at Michael's, and they've stayed on since.

I still have some more things to add, but I am definitely happy with how it is coming along so far.

'Tis the Season to Cook: Corn Soup

As I promised in a previous post, I'm going to share my attempt at corn soup. My uncle usually makes it for the holidays, but this year he is in Trinidad. I love corn and crave this soup so much that I took a shot at it with a recipe from my Naparima Girls' Cookbook.

It was pretty good for a first attempt. It was certainly the perfect snack for a snow day like today. Next time around, I would prefer it to be a little thicker. So I'll make sure to make mental notes for my next attempt.

Fun Find: Whipped Lightning

Anyone who knows me knows that I think the fusion of dessert and alcohol is like the most brilliant collaboration ever. Doesn't liquor infused whipped cream sound like a GREAT idea? Like why hasn't someone done this yet? Oh but they have! Whipped Lightning is the "world's first alcohol-infused whipped cream." With flavors like Amaretto Whipahol and Strawberry Colada Whipahol, this fun find is not for the kiddies. It is 36.5 proof with over 15% alc/vol. Whether it's used to top a dessert, cocktail or hot beverage, this sounds like the perfect bonus to a sweet treat.

Can you handle another twist? Pinnacle Vodka has a whipped cream flavored vodka. Wait a minute! I just discovered a Chocolate Whipped flavor. Shut the front door!

Needless to say that these are both at the top of my todo list!

Photo credit: http://theloveinbetween.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/whip-cream.jpg

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vamos Comemos!

As if the girls getaway wasn't enough, the topped off with an impromptu dinner at Cabana. I have been to the South Street Seaport location before, but this time was a trip to Austin Street (which I just found out is actually the original one).

It all started with A Brazilian Wax, which was a concoction of rum, passion fruit juice and pineapple juice. It was dee-licious!
Bocadillos (the sampler) which included shrimp fritters (I really liked those) veggie fritters (I wasn't crazy about them), jerk chicken wings (they had an interesting twist to them), and empanadas (I ate it but could have lived without it).

It got serious when my Pollo con Camarones arrived. It was a tower of rice, tostones, chicken, topped with shrimp and surrounded by a moat of gravy. It was accompanied by a small bowl of black beans. Each bite was savory and delicious.




The deal was sealed with the Tres Leches Cake. It was saturated with sweet goodness that melted in my mouth with each bite.

After that, all I can say is mmmmm with pure satisfaction.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Girls Getaway: Westchester


I have to say that this weekend was exactly what I needed. One of my friends takes her birthday so seriously that she goes to great lengths to orchestrate elaborate celebrations. This year she planned a mini girlfriend getaway to Westchester. After a quick hour long road trip, we arrived at the Ritz Carlton Westchester, where we were greeted not only by the friendly hotel staff but also by the ladies of My Nails at V, who were there for our spa services for the evening. (I was shocked to find out that they traveled as far as we did.)

Once we were escorted to our suite, complete with a living area, we spent the next several hours snuggled in our robes getting pampered, drinking wine, eating Buffalo Wild Wings, playing Taboo and watching movies. It was the perfect girls night. We did not have to worry about setting alarms, going to work the next day, driving home or anything else, and it felt amazing. The next morning our only concern was to try out the rain shower head before heading out to the mall.

From what I saw of Mamaroneck Village, relaxation is a priority. Spas dominated the strip we drove along. With a number of dining and shopping options, Mamaroneck served as the perfect quick getaway for us. I would definitely love to go back to explore it even more.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

#Reverb10: Body Integration

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

I think my recent experience with IntenSati is the best example of this. IntenSati is all about combining the intensity of a cardio workout with the mental energy of positive affirmations. Although it was physical challenging at times during the workout, in the end I felt physically stronger and mentally empowered. It was a great experience that I would definitely do again.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

#Reverb10: 11 Things

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

  1. Fear
  2. Doubt
  3. Procrastination
  4. Insecurity
  5. Nonsense
  6. Drama
  7. Negativity
  8. Limits
  9. Anxiety
  10. Bad habits
  11. Regrets
I have been practicing taking each moment one at a time. I am learning to fully commit to each moment and am allowing myself to feel more deeply within that moment. I have learned to identify my feelings within each given moment and choose the feelings I enjoy and proceed from there.

In 2011, I will continue to take in each moment and eliminate whatever it is I don't want from it. In making these better decisions, it's my intention to establish better thoughts, actions and habits. I know that doing so will open me up to a world of opportunities that will unfold in a way beyond my own imagination. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out in 2011.

Photo courtesy of http://zezu.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Calendar-2011.jpg

Friday, December 10, 2010

#Reverb10: Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

My wisest decisions have been within the theme of letting go. I can proudly say that I've become more clear on certain things that I want for my life, certain things I do not want. I've grown to understand what I have little to no tolerance for and a certain standard that I hold for certain things. While it may sound like a limiting perspective, I'd like to defend myself by saying that I approach each situation with an open and fair chance, but I have learned to make quicker and wiser decisions when I know what decision to make. My wisest decisions have been letting go of things that I know do not fall in line with what I want for myself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#Reverb10: Party

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I have to say Her Journey's 2nd Anniversary Celebration at Ravel Hotel. Of course, I planned every single detail and stressed during the weeks prior, but the actual day of the event was pretty perfect. There were a few snafus that every event presents, but I honestly couldn't have asked for a better turn out.


August 8th was a beautiful day. The atmosphere on the rooftop of Ravel Hotel (Penthouse 808) is absolutely amazing. The day started with a private brunch with the Her Journey team, family and close friends. I had the honor of introducing Suparna Bhasin from She Creates Change as our special guest. During my speech when I thanked everyone for coming and told everyone what to expect from Her Journey, I honestly felt at that moment that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. I felt passionate and confident. I recognized the growth I'd made from just a year before, and I felt perfectly aligned with my purpose. It was an amazing feeling.

The day continued with a cocktail party open to all Her Journey supporters. The support was ovewhelming (in the best way possible). As the sun set and provided the perfect backdrop for some photos, the day came to a perfect ending.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Like Me

A while ago I saw this post on Single Mama NYC's blog about National Like Yourself Day, and I kept saying I was going to do one but never actually did it. Today's #Reverb10 prompt is perfect because it allows me to do the post I've been putting off for so long.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

I have always been one to go against the grain, whether by choice or not. And I will admit that I used to hate it. Always being the youngest in my class, the last to do everything like getting a bra, my period, driver's license and sweet 16, the only one without a relaxer, among the few lefties, I used to think my life was so hard because I was so different.

I've grown to not only accept my differences but I now love my unique qualities because I know that I am out of the box.
-Passionate- Sometimes my energy is so much that I feel like it's going to burst out of my skin. It is with that passion that I live each day like my life is a never ending adventure.
Fearless-I love those moments when I jump for whatever it is in front of me with no thoughts of consequences.
-Undying determination- I go beyond the point where other people give up because I do not comprehend any option other than accomplishing the task at hand.
-Funny- I crack myself up and others seem to get a kick out of it too.

All of this is what makes me me and gives me my glow. When I'm at my highest, it's contagious. I want to continue to share my overflowing energy with others.

Me, myself and I have our moments where we pick on each other's faults, but when it comes down to it I really do love who I am and wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I am exactly this way because I have a very specific purpose to fulfill in a way that only I can.

What makes you different?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec 13: A FAB Night Out!

#Reverb10: Community

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I've said it enough times since joining, but I'll say it again for the purpose of this prompt. Joining the She Creates Change community was the best decision I could have made. I am in constantly in awe of how when this group of individually amazing women comes together, something phenomenal happens. The energy is electrifying.

I also love the Her Journey community that is budding. There is a great feeling that is buzzing, and it is my intention to further develop it and allow it to grow into something beyond my own imagination. The community is primarily online right now, and I know that bringing the women together for personal interactions is going to magnify the impact of it tremendously. I look forward to seeing how it unfolds in 2011.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#Reverb10: Make

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made a vision board. I used my vision to cut specific images of my life to come, and I used my imagination to paste my dreams onto the reality of my present and my future.

Fun Find: The Original Soup Man

With my new dedication to diversifying my diet, I've been researching foods to enhance my nutritional intake. I'd been craving lentil soup for quite a while now, and it wasn't until my friend told me that lentils are a good source of iron that it made sense. I am anemic, and every so often I have strong cravings for burgers, but this time was an interesting twist.

On a chilly day in New York City, I found the perfect answer to both the cold weather and my craving. On 55th and 8th I discovered The Original SoupMan who did in fact have lentil soup. For exactly $5 I got my soup, a piece of bread, an apple, and a Lindt Chocolate for dessert. It was like the perfect snack pack, and I was just as happy as I used to be when I had a lunchables in my lunchbox.

I will also be attempting to make a corn soup for the holidays. I'll report the results if it goes well.

Work It Out: IntenSati

What happens when you mix the intensity of kickboxing and martial arts, the focus of yoga and meditation, the radiant energy of affirmations and throw in some dance moves? You get IntenSati.

As it says on satilife.com:
"IntenSati is a revolutionary high-energy cardio workout created by Patricia Moreno, author of The intenSati Method, 7 Principles to Thinner Peace. This method of training is based on the teachings of mindfulness, positive psychology and the law of attraction. She has radically combined aerobics, martial arts and endurance principles with positive affirmations. The result is an unprecedented practice which is empowering physically and mentally."

She Creates Change partnered up with Erin Stutland for a night to "Workout your Body and Workout Your Dreams." It sounded like an amazing event, but the name should have warned me for what I was getting myself into. Everything about the experience was intense, but in the best way possible. I will admit that it was a challenge, but it pushed me to a new level. Using the idea that one cannot think a positive and negative thought at the same time, the IntenSati workout includes positive affirmations to be said throughout the workout. Anyone saying and truly believing the affirmations will not have the mental space to think weak thoughts.

My challenge was both physical and mental as I allowed the physical pain and those thoughts to prevail for part of the workout. However, there was a point when we affirmed "I am strong," and that was the turning point for me. Focusing on my inner strength really fueled my energy for the workout. Pushing through the challenge and conquering that workout was an amazing feeling that was amplified by the affirmations. There is no doubt that the room was filled with an energy that was purely electrifying. I know that I felt unstoppable at that moment.

IntenSati is an amazing way to kick off a new year and get fired up about new goals. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. I encourage you to watch the video of Erin Stutland and IntenSati in action.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

#Reverb10: Let Go

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

I have learned to let go of things that are not working for me. Instead of trying to change them or waiting for them to change, if it is not what I want, I've learned to let it go and walk away. I am now secure in the idea that what I want will come, and it will be even better than I imagine.

Friday, December 3, 2010

#Reverb10: Moment



December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

One word: Abaco

Although there is still some debate as to which was the actually the best day ever, the moment that often comes to my mind was from our day on the fishing boat. After an exciting day of seeking birds and catching fish, it was time to reap the rewards of our labor.

The fresh cobia fish stew, which was so good I licked the juices off of my hand, with some wine was amazing all by itself. But what was spectacular about that moment was that it was set in the middle of the ocean off of the Bahamian shore, against the backdrop of the most perfect sunset, which happened to be graced with a rainbow just moments before. As if perfectly orchestrated, a dolphin swam by to top off the surreal experience. It was almost as if nature was smiling on us and giving us its nod of approval.

This moment was so absolutely perfect that it felt unreal. One might be tempted to compare it to something seen on TV or in a movie, but then that's when you realize that these are exactly the moments that TV and movies are made from.

I can sincerely say that I've been to paradise.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

#Reverb10: Writing

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

Watch TV. I know that I can waste several hours watching TV. And it's not that I'm even enjoying it all of the time, it's just there, and it's something to do.

HOWEVER, I am creating a new habit: It starts by setting the timer at night as soon as I feel sleepy so that the TV turns itself off soon after I fall asleep. Instead of waking up to the TV and just staying in bed for hours, I now read, journal, and meditate for a little bit, and that is the perfect state of mind to get writing done. I've noticed that when I check my e-mails before writing, it puts me in a different state of mind that stifles my creative juices. So I've learned to alter that and focus on my writing first. Starting my day off expressing some creativity feels really good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#Reverb10: Reflect on this Year & Manifest What's Next

Thanks to my blogging buddy Tracey (aka Tica), I am participating in Reverb 10, which is an end of the year exercise that allows one to not only reflect on this past year but to also think about and manifest her desires for the year to come. This is perfect timing. I am already in this season of change and life planning, and this daily exercise will encourage me to write on a regular basis, which is one of my goals. Thanks Tracey!

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Stretch.

I was originally going to use "growth" but as I thought about the events of this year, I feel like I have stretched my boundaries. I was fortunate enough to visit new places on my travel to do list. I survived a car accident and endured the character building experience of buying a new one. This year's Her Journey Anniversary Celebration is certainly one of my proudest moments. It was a perfect day that really made me feel like "Yes, this is exactly what I want to do with my life." I had a few brief but refreshingly fulfilling summer flings, one of which really allowed me to open my heart. I have joined the She Creates Change Community, which has undoubtedly pushed me beyond my comfort zone into a whole new level of comfort and confidence. With all that has happened this year, I think "open" is an equally appropriate word for this latter part of 2010. Moving into 2011, I want the word to be "change" because 1. I am consciously making changes in my own life. 2. I will follow Mahatma Gandhi's wisdom to "be the change [I] want to see in the world."

What's your word? Post a link to your post in the comments!

Fun Find: Wall Decals

Now that I'm obsessed with HGTV and this room transformation project, I've come across some really interesting things. Recently on HGTV, I discovered the idea of using letter decals to decorate walls. I've always loved words. So I immediately loved this idea. I've seen the decals at WalMart, Target and at HomeGoods. The one I liked most were mirror decals (these at Target are $19.99, and I got them at HomeGoods for $9.99). I got some fun words like "dream" "imagine" and shapes that I've been drawn to like butterflies and hummingbirds. I can't wait to put them up.

Yay for fun finds!

Millionaire Matchmaker comes to New York

I was so excited about Millionaire Matchmaker coming to NY that I originally planned to blog about each episode, recapping the NY hot spots and Patti Stanger's tips. I must admit though, that I was disappointed with the first few episodes. The millionaires and millionairesses were difficult, some impossible even, and none of the pairings seemed to work. I was starting to worry that this season of Millionaire Matchmaker was a little too real and was going to be a victim of the reality of dating in NYC. But I really wanted to hold on to the hope of some happy endings, at least some fun dates. I was willing to accept that New Yorkers may not be ready for relationships, but they could certainly play the dating game.

Thankfully, the last few episodes have delivered some happy endings. I enjoyed the chemistry between the Albie Manzo and his date. I thought it was really cute how flustered the guy was when he was on his mini date with the Cindy, romance novel millionairess. I also loved the chill yet fun vibe that PJ, the Bahamas millionaire, had with Patti's friend.

On last night's episode, the mixer was at Carnival. I already wanted to go there, and now I want to go even more to see what it's like for myself. I was also excited about the helicopter ride to the winery date. I've done a helicopter ride once and would LOVE to do it again, and I would love to go to a winery as well. The other date to Coney Island was fun as well.

Also, on last night's episode, Patti advised the millionaire to leave his BlackBerry and all other devices at home when on dates and to focus on the present moment with the woman he is with. She also recommended that the millionairess turn down the masculine energy when interacting with men. As a person who is building a business and strives to be a superwoman who can do it all, I can certainly relate to both situations and could definitely benefit from both tips. I also love the tips from Dr. Lillian Glass, the body language expert. The things she says make so much sense, and now I am more conscious of body language, mine and others.

Now I can be excited about future episodes. If you've been missing out on the fun, you can catch up on the old episodes here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Aaahhhh.....Me Time


I have grown to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy my me time.


Today I treated myself for the excessive hours I've been putting in at work with a massage, which is exactly what I needed, even more than I knew. As she kneaded the knots out of my back, the massage therapist suggested that I get a massage every other week, or at least once a month, especially because of physical toll waitressing takes on the body.


This new dedication to regular pampering got me thinking of my all time favorite massage experiences, and they were too good to not share:


  • Jason Grae of Healing Hands Event Mobile Spa used to give chair massages at happy hours in the city, and I had the extreme pleasure of enjoying his magical touch. In only a matter of minutes, those healing hands sought out and tackled problem spots and maneuvered the muscles for ultimate relaxation. It felt so good, it almost felt wrong.
  • The same can be said for Robert Ballat of Just 1 Touch Massage Therapy, which I experienced at a Pretty Hot Chick luncheon. This is certainly one touch that everyone should experience on a regular basis.
  • The massage from Orange Skye left quite an impression on me. Not only was the massage amazing, but their staff was also very welcoming. I have to try their Choclolate Indulgence Body Treatment.
  • Dashing Diva offers budget friendly chair massages that are always great for a quick fix. With great customer service and a fun atmosphere for time with the girls, I always enjoy my Dashing Diva experience.
  • I just love the idea of SPArties. For groups and individuals, they'll bring the spa to you. Complete with a massage table, candles, and music, they set up everything necessary to create a full spa experience right in your home.
  • Spa Castle will certainly make you feel like royalty. This facility offers pools, saunas, numerous treatments, a food court, and workout space. A personal day may be necessary because the Spa Castle is like a quick getaway that can take the entire day to enjoy.

Now that I can justify regular massages to my overall well-being, here is my To Spa List (which I'm sure will grow quickly):

  • Yelo Spa offers powernaps! Maybe it seems silly to pay to take a nap, but when added onto a massage treatment, it is brilliant!
  • Body by Brooklyn combines the massage and martini. The lounge meets spa. Enough said.
  • Wink Eco Beauty Bar is dedicated to creating a pure experience for both their clients and the environment.
I am now so excited about this that I will certainly make sure to incorporate my massages into my schedule and budget. Is it too much to say that it's more of a necessity than a luxury?

I hope you treat yourself with some me time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Vision Board

Here it is. My vision board!


I had so much fun making this vision board that I want to do one every month. This one sums up all of my current major goals, short term and long term. I think it would be fun to dedicate a smaller one to my month's short term goals and create a little notebook or collection of them. That would be so fun to look back through and see progress.

Sometimes I get so excited about the future that I want to stay up for 24 hours just to get the next day started!

What about your future excites you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm a Rockstar!

After watching the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show last night, I am still so pumped up that my song of the day has been Rihanna's Rockstar 101.



What's funny is that after an interesting set of events throughout the course of the day, Jill Scott's Hate on Me became the new song of the day:






Both show undeniable confidence and BAM that's how I'm feeling right now.

I'm a Black Girl and I ROCK!

I am so full of inspiration from the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show that I truly believe in this moment that "I am a Black girl and I ROCK!"

This is the perfect time to share this interview I had the opportunity to do with Red Rover Style.

Gotta keep on rockin'!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BLACK GIRLS ROCK!

I am so overwhelmed with inspiration from the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show! Starting with Jill Scott rocking a performance of "Golden," there were several moments that gave me chills, including Anika Noni Rose explaining why she rocked and the "Four Women" performance. I imagine that the energy in the room was electrifying. My 13-year-old cousin said that I will be there one day, and it brought tears to my eyes. I too was imagining being a part of something as phenomenal as that. The thought alone excited every cell in my body.

I think of the black girls that rock in my life:

My mom- Anyone who knows me knows how fierce my mother is. Her strength continues to inspire me, and I know that I am who I am largely because of her.

B Smith- She is such a phenomenal woman that wears so many hats gracefully.

Alicia Keys- I love her spirit, her vibe and her dedication to the causes she believes in.

Thinking of all of the Black Girls that Rock in my life, there are so many women that I have met and had the pleasure of working with since starting Her Journey that the list goes on and on.

My heart is full of pride to be a Black Girl that Rocks!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Got Morning Practice? Feed Your Soul

At She Creates Change, we've learned to implement a morning practice into our daily routine. Although we've been given a specific structure, the general purpose is to do something that feeds your soul and makes you feel good.

India Arie's Beautiful Flower is one of my FAVORITE songs. It makes me feel good and has been incorporated into today's morning practice as I continue to work on my vision board, which is also making me feel great. (I'll share it when I'm done.)

I share this with you with the intention that it makes you feel good as well:




What do you do to feed your soul?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Life To Do List

On a recent trip to the library I picked up a fun find based on the title: You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls. In preparing for this post, I discovered that this book was produced in honor of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, who was, as her sisters say, a "heroine of United Flight 93" to San Francisco on September 11th. This touched me in an extra special way because those who know me know that I also lost a loved one on September 11th. My grandfather, who worked in the World Trade Center with AON Corporation, like Lauren, was one who inspired others, especially me, simply through the way he lived his life. The message of the book, much like the one my grandfather inspired in me, is to dare to dream.

What better time to share my (ever-growing) Life To Do List:

All Part of my Journey
  • write a book
  • start a scholarship program
  • buy a house (BONUS buy multiple in various cities; EXTRA BONUS Circle House)
  • be a mentor
  • get a PsyD
  • receive an award
For the Fun of It (to make the journey even sweeter)
  • be a waitress DONE!
  • be a bartender DONE!
  • develop photography skills (BONUS work in a dark room)
  • do a cartoon voiceover
Be a Better Me
  • become fluent in another language
  • learn sign language
Where in the World is Miss Journey?
  • travel to every continent (I'll save my Travel To Do List for another post)
  • cross country road trip
  • Trinidad Carnival DONE!
  • go on a cruise
Go to New Heights
  • sky dive
  • ride in a hot air balloon
  • fly first class DONE!
  • fly in a helicopter DONE!
  • fly in a private plane (BONUS learn to fly a plane)
  • bungie jumping
I'm a Bad Chick
  • shooting range DONE!
  • learn to play the drums
  • learn to ride a motorcycle (BONUS buy a motorcycle)
  • learn to drive a manual car
  • drive on the Autobahn
Bare It All
  • get a tattoo (still debating)
  • go skinny dipping
  • go streaking
  • go to a nude beach

Living on the Wild Side
  • ride a camel
  • ride a horse
  • ride an elephant
  • swim with dolphins
Dare to Dream
  • work with Alicia Keys, B. Smith and Russell Simmons
  • meet Diddy, President Obama and Tyra
  • open a restaurant

Why Not?
  • hair highlights DONE!
  • ride a mechanical bull DONE!
  • Dinner in the Sky
  • date other races
  • vanity plate DONE!
  • 25th Birthday multi-city celebration
I'm excited just thinking about it!

What's on your Life To Do List?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Golden

For some reason it feels like November is going to be an amazing month. I felt like I was playing catch up in September, I was able to get my head above water in October and now November is my time to really fly. I don't quite know how it will unfold, but I'm excited to see it.

As I woke up and saw tree outside my window and noticed how the leaves have turned golden in this new season, I have decided that my song of the day (and more than likely this entire month) is Golden by Jill Scott. I hope it gets your as excited about life as it does for me every time I listen to it.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm a Rover!


I am now officially a contributor to Red Rover Style. They bring the worlds of fashion and charity together is such a sophisticated way. They support a number of charities and do amazing work for each one. And they look great doing it! I am extremely excited to be part of their team and look forward to the great things I'll have the opportunity to contribute to!

YAY for this opportunity!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Journey to Greatness

Oftentimes, I imagine myself doing something great and amazing like speaking in front of a room full of women or leading a youth group on a volunteer trip in another country, and then almost immediately I start to feel anxious. I start thinking of my insecurities, doubts and fears and quickly abandon the original thought to relieve the anxiety. What I've grown to understand is that anxiety is what it is but how you perceive it and interpret it makes a difference. While the physical reaction might be very similar, we view excitement and nervousness as two different things. It may be true that the anxiety has some nervousness in the mix because of the fear of something new and/or unknown, but I find it so much easier to tackle new and challenging situations when I think of that anxiety as excitement and use it my fuel.

Even though I now know this, I still have moments when I go from thinking I want to set a goal of positively affecting the lives of 1 million children in my lifetime to maybe I'll just focus on my cousins and help them do better in school. While both are important, I know that the second statement comes out of fear of the first. My mom tells me often that I do not yet fully understand my greatness. Although I've accepted myself as someone who is intelligent among other positive qualities, I am now catching glimpses of what she means. I know that it is my calling to do something phenomenal, as it is for all of us no matter how we choose to do it.

When I start slipping into those moments of doubt, I now remember the words from Marianne Williamson: "Your playing small does not serve the world...we are all meant to shine..." (which comes from the popular passage "Our Deepest Fear" from one of her bestsellers A Return to Love.

So when I think about backing down from the challenge of pursuing my calling, I remember that that will not have the impact I want to have. And ultimately, I will be very unhappy if I went with that decision.

Have you ever felt like that? Had an idea of something great you wanted to do and almost immediately talked (or thought) yourself out of it? How do you motivate yourself?

I thought I'd share the entire passage because it is powerful.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

A Return to Love: Reflections on the
Principles of "A Course in Miracles"


This image is the me that is able and will do everything she has been called to do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Hour: Agozar

So I didn't make it to FOUR last night, but I did make it to Agozar Cuban Restaurant tonight. I met some fabulous ladies, including Danielle Fabulosity herself. It was so uncanny that a friend suggested that I join her meetup group, only to find that my namesake is quite like myself. An adventurous traveler and social organizer, just fabulous all around, she was more than a pleasure and a wonderful host for tonight's event.

Happy hour offered two-for-one tapas and drinks. After the mariquitas (plantain chips with yummy guacamole and black bean hummus), cubanito (a cuban sandwich slider), Pasion a Agozar (that had passion fruit juice!) and a Cubano Colada, I certainly had a happy hour.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Room Transformation: Phase 3

As I mentioned before, I'm in the midst of a bedroom transformation. I've finally reached a point where I feel I can share my progress.

Exhibit A: The To Do List

I believe I'm more than half way through it. I've done the major changes:

  • I've cleansed the room of excess papers, magazines, miscellaneous trash and clothes (which I decided that I'm going to donate to GEMS and possibly Bottomless Closet).
  • I went with three gray walls to create a calming atmosphere and one purple wall to inspire some creativity and incorporate my favorite color!
  • After some paint research, I went with Sherwin Williams because I felt most comfortable with their sales representative. She was so helpful. I'm such a sucker for good customer service. (I will mention that the odor was a bit strong and lingered for several days afterward. Next time I will make sure to add that as a factor in my paint research as well.)
  • I moved the bed, dresser and desk, trying to incorporate some feng shui tips

Now it is more about customization and decorating. There is more to come...time to add some more personal flair.


Before


















After

Craving a Yummy Cocktail

T.G.I.F. Oy vey!

It has gotten to the point where I lose track of the days and honestly cannot remember what my week consisted of. My body is telling me that I'm tired from something, but without some serious conscious effort I do not know what from. And quite frankly, I'm not willing to use the mental energy to figure it out right now.

Between working at the restaurant, where I'm now training to be a bartender (woop woop!), and networking events, meetings, and other obligations, all usually in the city, my calendar is pretty packed. It has just become the nature of my life at this point that I am most busy during the evenings into the night (or even early morning). My mornings are then dedicated to writing, planning and things of that nature. A day off for me does not mean the same thing as it does for most people. My day off usually involves a to do list of writing assignments and/or errands to catch up on.

The craziest part about it is that I LOVE IT! I sometimes stop and realize, I am living the life I want! That is an AMAZING realization. I have a flexible schedule at my "day job," which allows me to pursue my passion as I please, and in the process I have come across some amazing people and experiences. It is not all peaches and roses. There are times when I come home numbly exhausted from a double shift, or when a clone of myself is the only way I can really be at all of my simultaneous obligations, or when the one, sometimes two, hour travel time from the city seems daunting. However, I have accepted that these are the choices I've made to have the life that I want, and I am OKAY with that. Honestly, I could not imagine it any other way.

With that said, this was one of those weeks when I am tired and honestly don't know why. What I do know is that I am craving a yummy cocktail, and I know exactly which one. It is from Harlem Lanes. I believe it is a Passion Fruit Martini rimmed with brown sugar. I may not remember the details of the drink, but I do remember how I felt when I tasted it and savored each sip. It was fruity, which always sends my mind to a tropical island, and the sweet crunch of the sugar was the bonus that I loved most.

It was such a pleasant surprise because I did not expect such a cocktail at a bowling alley, but it is clear that they take their cocktails seriously. For example, the Yin Yang Martini. Many of us have seen different versions of a Chocolate Martini (which is probably my favorite drink), but THIS one is extra cute. They garnish it with cookie crumbs in the shape of the yin yang.

Next week's agenda includes a friend's birthday outing to FOUR, and I'm so excited because I've wanted to go there for a long time. I plan to try a fun, new cocktail.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bloggers Social


Yay for another great event. Despite the rain, the Bloggers Social at Stitch went well. It turned out to be an intimate gathering. There were some great people in the room and even greater connections made.

Of course, it is always pleasure working with Desiree and Rachel from Red Rover Style (as pictured). I finally met Lauren Fairbanks of LifeStlyer Magazine, which was such a pleasant surprise. The person that made an extra special impression on me was Rachel from CatchAFire.org. Catch A Fire is an organization that connects professionals with non-profits that can use the skills that the professionals have to offer. I was so surprised to hear how low volunteerism is in New York. Rachel's presentation lit a fire under my butt to get going on my volunteer efforts. I caught the fire (Sorry, I had to say it.)

Here are some pictures from the event.

OMG! I'm gonna be on TV!

Hopefully you'll see me.


A few weeks ago I went to a taping of the Rachael Ray show! (Now I can cross that off my Life To Do List. YES!) And yes it was as cool as I'd hoped it would be.

The experience was great from the beginning: I was comforted to see such a friendly staff. The opening comedian/show hype man (I wish I wrote his name down. I'm going to do some research to find it) was hilarious and set a great tone for the show.

I remember how excited I was when Rachael first introduced her rotating set, and experiencing it was even cooler than I imagined. I was so happy to find out that Rachael Ray is just as personable as she seems. In some dead time in between the taping, the audience got the opportunity to ask her questions, which she was more than happy to answer candidly. Although she did admit that she was tired (I can't even imagine what her schedule is like), she quickly got into the swing of things. PLUS, she had on some really cute peep-toe booties that are on now on my wish list.

No visit to the Rachael Ray Show would make sense without a tasty treat. We got some cupcakes from Butch Bakery. The owner is a former Wall Street executive, who reinvented himself with a mission to also transform cupcakes into a manly snack. With unique, masculine flavors, like Rum & Coke and Beer Run, the cupcakes are so big that I felt like I was eating a cheeseburger.

There was a fun segment with Ted Danson, who was there to talk about his show Bored To Death. There was also a brief segment on the Jonas Brothers' Day Made Better Campaign, in which they collaborated with Office Max to donate school supplies to a school in California. (For some reason, that segment aired on September 29th.)

With a Bored to Death DVD, a Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam DVD, a copy of Rachael Ray Magazine, and some more snacks to show for it, I must say that I had a GREAT time.

The show is airing on Tuesday, October 19th. My DVR is already set. I hope you can catch it. Look for me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day: Water Solutions

I also wanted to share these practical solutions that the Blog Action Day team sent:

Water solutions:

The good news is that there are great organizations working on solutions and new tools that empower people to do their part to address the water crisis.

  • Building Wells: Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.
  • Technology for Good: Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There's an app for that. More Info »
  • Conservation Starts at Home: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use and challenge your readers to do that same. More Info »
  • Keeping Rivers Clean: We can all take small steps to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes. More Info »
  • Drop the Bottle: Communities around the world are taking steps to reduce water bottle waste by eliminating bottled water.More Info »

Blog Action Day: Water

When I first registered for Blog Action Day 2010, I had no idea what to write about. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this great effort, but I didn't know what I could say about the issue of clean water. I could not think of a way that I am personally connected to this issue. It wasn't until watching the first of the Chilean miners rescue that I remembered that feeling of worldwide unity that I felt during September 11th, the Haitian earthquake and other tragedies. During these times of extreme tragedy we come together for an immediate response, and we remember how we are in some way connected.

It was then that I realized that I am in some way connected to this issue of clean water and I just have to figure out how. After reading some of the startling statistics about the effects of the lack of clean water, I became overwhelmed with gratitude that I live in a place where clean water is accessible. I couldn't even imagine a life without clean water. I immediately thought of all the things I use water for. That was it. That is how I (and everyone who is fortunate enough to have access to clean water) am connected to this issue.

I learned about the idea of "water footprint," which pretty much refers to our water consumption. Waterfootprint.org gives a more thorough explanation of what the water footprint and how it varies in different regions. From what I gathered, we (especially in the United States) consume too much water and it would be helpful if we reduce our water footprint. I was most excited about the page that gave specific ways to reduce your individual water footprint, including:
  • using water-saving appliances, like toilet and showerhead
  • turning water off while brushing teeth
I also thought about how I could conserve water when washing dishes by turning down the water pressure or soaping all of the dishes while the water is off and then rinsing them all at the same time.

There are certainly ways to conserve water when it comes to laundry as well. It could help to only wash clothes when there is a substantial load as opposed to washing just a few things.

Limiting shower time is another great way to use less water.
Waterfootprint.org also shares ways to reduce water footprint through the types of food that we eat, things we buy in the supermarket, etc. It's so interesting how everything we do has an impact on our environment, and with a few conscious decisions we could make some changes.

How are you connected to this issue of clean water? What can you do to help?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Buddy and Me


I just had to participate in New York Chica's Wordless Wednesday.

This is one of my all time favorite photos because it turned out way better than planned. I posed but the little boy (who I met that day) is what makes this picture so special. Isn't he precious?