Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun
Layovers can be annoying, but not if you use them to your advantage. On a flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, I was stuck with a 13-hour layover in Dublin, Ireland. Instead of sitting in an airport for a very long day, I bought a day pass and hopped on a double-decker bus for some exploring (looking like Dora with my backpack). Embracing this adventurous and independent side of myself set the tone for an AMAZING trip. Also, on a recent trip to Minneapolis I chose a flight with an extended layover in Atlanta and met up with my college roommate for dinner, which was a great BONUS to my trip.
You can go as far as planning an overnight layover for a quick night out with friends in that city. For the price of one flight, a layover can upgrade your trip into a multicity journey.
I also wanted to share this e-mail I just received from a friend:
You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. When checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for all the charges for your room). You get to your room and settle in.
Someone calls the front desk and asked for (example) Room 620 (which happens to be your room). Your phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following, “This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card.”
Not thinking anything you might give this person your information, since the call seems to come from the front desk. But actually, it could be a scam of someone calling from outside the hotel/front desk. They ask for a random room number. Then, ask you for credit card information and address information. Sounding so professional that you do think you are talking to the front desk.
If you ever encounter this problem on your vacation, tell the caller that you will be down at the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone called to scam you of your credit card information acting like a front desk employee.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I discovered this great Blog It Forward movement over at Fabulous Doodles (who might I add really does have some oh-so-fabulous doodles). Initiated and organized by sfgirlbybay, this brought bloggers together and allowed each to share personal inspirations. I definitely think that she deserves the Inspirational Blog Award for this major movement. Even though I’m not officially a part of this movement, I really wanted to take part and share it with you too.
God- One of my all time favorite quotes is “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) My life’s journey is definitely a testament to that. Not only have my prayers been answered, but my life has unfolded in a way that I could not have planned, and I have been blessed beyond my own imagination. Because of that I continue to be forever grateful and think it imperative to fully appreciate and savor every moment of life I’ve been granted.
People around me- Family, friends and even some great people I’ve only met in passing. From the support they extend to me to the example that they each live, the people around me continue to be a huge source of inspiration.
Passion- I love to witness moments when people exhibit the fullness of their passion: like when a singer sings her story in every note, a dancer who extends every move all the way through ever her fingernails, an athlete who performs with every fiber of her being, even someone who tells a story more through her eyes than her mouth. That energy is contagious, and just seeing it fuels my own passion.
Music- I love that music can match whatever mood you’re in and allow you to saturate in it. It can communicate messages filled with feelings and emotions. I recently discovered my true love for music and continue to use it as a muse.
Ms. Fabulous Doodles’ list was so in sync with things that I love, and her pictures are such a great touch. I hope she doesn’t mind if I consider her post an unofficial addendum to my own. (Insert 1-3 of Fabulous doodles’ list here)
What I love about this Blog It Forward movement is that it is spreading inspiration through the blogosphere. Please do share, what inspires you?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Groupon.com is currently offering a deal (HALF OFF!) on S. Factor classes here in New York. A friend and I checked out one of the classes recently and had a great time. Despite misconceptions that most people have about pole dancing, nothing about the class was offensive, inappropriate or raunchy. It was all about embracing your inner sexy, nothing wrong with that. AND it's a great workout!
The offer ends today, but the coupon is good until September. If you are in New York or plan to be soon, you should definitely take advantage of this. It could also be a great gift for a friend or a girls' night gathering.
The image used in this post is originally from S. Factor's site but was used in this article (just in case you need more convincing about the hype around the classes.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Cue music: “These are a few of my favorite things…”
This post is definitely inspired by one of my new favorite shows “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” where a bunch of everyone’s favorite chefs and Food Network food experts (Duff is my fave!) rave and practically salivate over their all time favorite dishes. They share stories seasoned with nostalgia, marinated with utter satisfaction and garnished with the individual pow that makes each of them our favorite food stars.
So I’d like to share a few of my all time favorite food spots right here in New York:
First stop, Cake Man Confectionary in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, which happens to be the home of the BEST red velvet cake I’ve ever tasted. The first time I stepped in there, the sweet smell of the cake filled the place, and combined with the warm of the summer air, I felt like I walked right into the oven. About three times a week that summer, my mother and I took a 30-minute trip for our quick fix. Now that the cakes are made off site, it’s not quite the same experience but it is still the best that I’ve tasted.
Next stop, Max Brenner in Union Square. You may have heard me talk about this one before. Even though this place is a chocolate heaven, they do offer real food, like the spicy chicken and black bean pizza that I’ve fallen in love with. But my reason for going to Max Brenner is the Tutti Frutti Waffles: Belgian Waffles, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (you can add the toffee bananas that it used to come with too), when all combined into one forkful and topped with chocolate crunchies and drizzled with the vial of chocolate hits you right in your gut (not in that part of your stomach that you feel when your full or hungry) but that part of your gut you feel when something strikes an emotional nerve. It takes your breath away for a second, the world around you stops, makes you close your eyes and let out an involuntary “mmmmmm.” Slowly savoring every bite is the only way to eat it.
Next, Flamingo Tropicale Restaurant in Rockaway, Queens. Everyone already knows that Trinidad and Tobago has held a special place in my heart since I fell truly in love with it in my last few trips (that’s a post for another day). Going to Flamingo gives me a little taste of T & T when I can’t be there. My favorite dish is the Trini style Chinese fried chicken and pepper shrimp dish served with fried rice. Sometimes it’s so spicy that I break out in a sweat while eating but never stop because it’s just too good. Surrounded by the new and old Trini tunes, Flamingo recreates a nostalgic experience.
Let’s take a trip up to the top floor for our last stop, 230-Fifth Penthouse Lounge and Rooftop Garden in the Flatiron District. For the purpose of this post, I’ll withhold my issues with the security at the door because I do love this place that much. When looking for a venue for the launch of Her Journey, 230-Fifth literally took my breath away and trumped every other venue I had in mind. Down to the detail of the heliconia flower (that I had fallen in love with in TnT) at the entrance, let me know that this place was for me. Beyond being the chic and swanky after-work hangout it’s known for, 230-Fifth also offers weekend brunches year-round. Sitting on top of the world with an up-close and personal view of the Empire State Building with Grand Marnier and Bailey’s soaked French toast and succulent sausage is a great way to start off any day.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I found extra delight in this because just yesterday I sent out an e-mail to my closest girlfriends telling them that I loved them, am thankful for having them in my life, am proud of how they have grown into and am excited to see the women they will continue to grow into. It was short and sweet and from their responses, it got my point across. Even though we don't get to see or speak to each other as much as we'd like to, I feel that much closer to them.
And in honor of Happy Black Girl Day, I'd like to share this song that always makes me smile:
And check out the Beautiful Struggler's Happy Black Girl Day post. Because today is also National Women and Girls' HIV Awareness Day, she is highlighting women who are spreading awareness.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Aw man, I lucked out! I could not ask for a better pic to be chosen because this is one of my all time favorite photos. lol.
In the summer of 2006, I studied abroad: 2 weeks in Dundee, Scotland and 3 weeks in London, England, with a bonus: a weekend in Paris (a dream come true!). This picture was taken on 4th of July on the train in London. Even though we were MILES away from home, my friends and I felt it necessary to celebrate our country's holiday. On our way to an American hangout that we discovered we were more than excited, which is obvious from this pic. And this is only the beginning of the night...
And now I'm tagging:
Teljer in Malaga
Life After College
Here are the rules:
1. Open your 1st photo folder
2. Scroll to the 10th photo
3. Post the photo (no cheating) and the story behind it
4. Tag 5 or more people
Monday, March 8, 2010
JetBlue is having a CRAZY SALE for their 10th Birthday! One-way flights to and from NYC for ONLY $10! With taxes and fees, the flight is ONLY $40 ROUND TRIP! PLEASE take advantage of this or share it with someone who can.
Not only is it Monday, it is ALSO International Women's Day. I found a Huffington Post article about "Women Who are Changing the World" and I just had to share it.
I am SO EXCITED to share the Spring 2010 Issue with you, and I would LOVE to know what you think.
PLUS! Please enjoy a look behind the scenes with Leah Smith!
I invite you to stay in touch with us on HerJourneyMag.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to see what other great things we have in store.
Monday, March 1, 2010
As much as I enjoy the luxury of travel, I understand that one of the main obstacles of traveling is money. After reading Glinda Bridgforth’s Girl Get Your Money Straight, I realized that it just would not be right for me to promote traveling and living lavishly at the (literal) expense of your financial well being. From here on out it is my mission to also share ways to enjoy the joys of travel in a financially responsible way.
- Take advantage of rewards programs on debit and credit cards but don’t let them take advantage of you. Even though Bridgforth encourages them, she warns to not let the reward of a free flight lure you into a credit card agreement you can’t keep up with. It would be wiser to set up a rewards program with debit cards and get rewards for what you’re already doing without taking the on the risk of creating more debt.
-Being loyal can pay off, literally. Using frequent flier programs, you can earn free flights. A free flight made my most recent trip to Chicago that much sweeter. It’s a good idea to sign up with a few different airlines to give yourself options when looking for flights.
-Saving makes cents. Keeping your leftover change can really add up, and instead of the old school way of wrapping coins, TD Bank’s Penny Arcade is a fun little treat (you don't even have to have an account with them!). Bank of America’s Keep the Change program also allows you to do the same thing with debit card purchases. You can even take your savings strategy a step further, and make it a personal challenge like The Glam Globetrotter's $20-A-Day Vacay. If you need a little extra help, look into vacation savings accounts that only allow deposits.
-Give a little, get a little. With voluntourism on the rise, travel can be even more rewarding. For example, Sage Hospitality’s Give a Day, Get a Night promotion: “Give 8 hours of community service and get a complimentary night stay or 50% discount on hotel rooms at all 53 Sage hotels across the country; AND Disney's Give a Day, Get A Day promotion. You can even get paid to work abroad (more on that later).
Give me your two cents. What other ways do you overcome the financial obstacle of travel?
Image found at The Fabulous Giver, a great philanthropic blog. Check them out!