Thursday, January 28, 2010

Motivational Monday! Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration

You all already know that I LOVE MONDAYS! There's nothing like a cup of inspiration to get me started in the morning. And of course I want to share my inspiration with you.

I love love love to see women doing their thing, and Honey Magazine's Females Freakin' the Industry article highlights a few women, some we know and some we should get to know, making major moves in their respective fields.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chi Town Blew Me Away

Seeing the skyline from the plane (see pics 1-3), I was immediately excited about my first visit to Chicago. Driving through the city, I could definitely feel the old soul of the city and a sense of its rich history. With names like Oprah, Bernie Mac, R. Kelly and Kanye West associated with Chicago, I was excited to see firsthand what’s so special about Chi Town.

What captivated me most was the musical energy. Maybe I was on a high from Jade’s performance (pic 8), but it is undeniable that music runs through the veins of Chi town. I got a chance to see just how serious stepping is when we caught a steppers party letting out_with couples dressed to the nines, fully decked out in furs and hats. After catching a quick glimpse during one of our nights out, I’m slightly obsessed with footworking. Going along with specific footworking songs or house remixes of popular songs, the dancers move so fast it looks like they’re in fast forward. It looks unreal. Even thought I won’t be attempting that anytime soon, I did pick up a little two step.

Like the Waffle House in Atlanta or a diner in New York, Taco Burrito King served as the perfect after party meal. One chicken and one steak (the better of the two) taco was all it took to fill me before collapsing into bed and convert me into TBK fan. Next was FlatTop, my first build-your-own-stir-fry experience (pics 9-15). After conquering an overwhelming selection of sauces and veggies to add, I was more than happy with my creation: brown and white rice, noodles, bean sprouts, one edamame (out of curiosity), red and green peppers, chopped jalapenos, soy sauce, chili sauce, Asian BBQ sauce, FlatTop sauce and chicken, all topped with the most delicious pita bread. And I can’t forget my yummy Lava Colada. Of course no visit to Chicago is complete with trying the deep dish pizza, and I think we had one of the best. Our experience at Giordano’s was unforgettable (pics 35-43). Our waiter Leo was great, the pizza was delicious, and I fell in love with my drink, The Chocolate Runway. I also finished my trip with a chicken salad sandwich from Potbelly’s, which was like all the toasted goodness of Quizno’s mixed with the personalized deli touch of peppers and seasonings added to my liking.

As a wide-eyed tourist, I got to see the Sears Tower (which is now the Willis Tower), The Bean at Millennium Park (pics 20-29) and the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue (pics 33-34). Because of the fog that covered the top of the tower (pic 31), we weren’t able to go up to the Sky Deck…next time! I also saw Navy Pier from a distance, got a recommendation for Garrett popcorn and heard good things about Flirty Girls. Of course the Oprah Store is a must see; all things on the to-do list for my next visit because this was definitely not my last.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foodie Friday: NYC Restaurant Week

It's that time again.

It's NYC Restaurant Week! (January 25- February7, 2010)

This is the time when you can enjoy finer dining at a discount. Yup, you heard me. Participating restaurants are offering three-course dinners for ONLY $35 (and lunch for less than $25). Also, this year is the first time we'll be seeing the Restaurant Week Truck, which will be offering lunch time specials on soups on street corners around the city.

Which restaurants are you looking forward to trying?

P.S. Food Network is back! After a few weeks without Food Network (and HGTV) because of some squabble between Scripps Network and CableVision, I am so happy to have Food Network back in my life. Oh, how I missed it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Have a Dream Too

Please forgive this post for being a few days late.

Although Martin Luther King Day has passed, his legacy continues to live on and inspire. In 2009, we saw some of his dreams come true.

In 2010, it is up to us to make our own dreams come true. Jill at the Life After College blog shared a link about actually living Your Dream Life. I thought it was so appropriate that I had to share it. Reading this will bring you one step closer. What other steps have you taken towards living your dream life?

(Click HERE to read the article)

Photo credit (respectively):


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Heart Hurts for Haiti

I still have not fully wrapped my head around everything going on in Haiti. The whole thing has been unsettling and a bit overwhelming to comprehend. Although I have Haitian parentage, the Haitian culture has not been dominant in my life. But in these past few days, my heart has been hurting, and there is no way I can ignore the responsibility I feel for the people I'm connected to in some way.

I haven't yet figured out the ways I'm going to offer my support, but I am doing some research and will continue to spread the word.

I encourage you to text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun (Foto) Friday: Where in the World is Miss Journey?

Do you know where this is? Look out for a post about my latest adventure!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Get Cute Quick

Even though I don't really do resolutions, I do like to set goals for myself. One of my goals for 2010 is to step up my swagger. In the spirit of the Get Cute Quick, I've taken a few steps to enhance my style. Here are the results of my Get Cute Quick experiment:

I started with the hair. My hair journey has been an interesting one, and I'm finally learning new, fun ways to tame (or not to tame) my mane. Inspired by this PrettyDimples hair tutorial, I tried a new and simple style. I started with Mixed Chicks' shampoo, deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner, which makes my hair really soft and really defines my curls. Just a few minutes after washing it, I had a style that I was happy with. Definitely, a get cute quick victory!

Next, were the nails. I was reunited with my love for painting my nails and inspired to try something new and funky when I found the Fifty-Two (52) Flavors blog. This girl has creativity, serious patience and a steady hand to create some of the looks I've seen. I'm not quite ready for that yet, but I did try a trend that I've been seeing: accentuating the manicure by painting one or two nails with a complimentary color. I still don't know exactly how I feel about it, but it's something fun and funky and because I used two of my favorite colors, it tickles me on the inside every time I look at my hand.
I haven't accomplished the wardrobe makeover yet, but I got some great ideas from the fashionable Midtown Girl that I will keep in mind on my next shopping trip.

And I'm always open to other Get Cute Quick tips you have. Please do share!

Motivational Monday! A New Journey

It’s a new year, and I am oh-so-excited about this new phase of my journey. I don’t really do resolutions, but I do have some goals for this upcoming year. Even though I haven’t written out my list yet, I will definitely be talking about my goals and, more importantly, the steps I’m taking towards those goals as the year goes on.

As you all already know, I LOVE Mondays. Every Monday feels like New Years Day to me: another opportunity to start fresh, and a whole week ahead of me filled with unlimited possibilities. Still bursting with that new year excitement, I’m feeling especially motivated and I want to share some motivation with you.

For me, one of the greatest motivators is positive feedback. During the Best of 2009 Blog challenge, one of the Her Journey team members wrote an entry that really touched my heart and reminded me that what I do every day is not in vain, and that motivated me to do even MORE and be even GREATER in 2010:

December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Hmmmm..... My unsung hero will have to be Danielle “Miss Journey”. She has pushed me, in her sweet suggestive way, to open up and direct my talents in productive ventures while I'm still waiting to land an internship in my preferred field. She is a mature and driven 23 year old with a vision and a drive taking risks that most people are just scared to take. Some people are just all talk and no action, but Danielle turns hypotheticals into reality. I know that this is just the beginning for Her Journey and Danielle's blossoming career.

I also got an extra dose of motivation from the Motivation Mama’s post on the Her Journey blog today. “…Never practice positive thinking without the positive action of application…” Check out the rest of the post.