Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Christmas decorations


We hope that everyone has a safe and happy holidays!

See you in the New Year!! Xo

Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Celebrate the Holidays Alone

Holiday Happiness 
With all the season of giving and cheer in full swing, it might be hard to be "merry" when you're solo this holiday season. Don't get down about it though because there is plenty you can do to still enjoy yourself.

1) Go to holiday parties! Make sure that you mix and mingle at social gatherings. It's possible that you'll meet other singles there who are looking to meet someone like you. Just watch out for that mistletoe :)

2) Enjoy spending time with loved ones and dear friends! You don't have to be alone on the holidays if you don't want to. Make your rounds in visiting those you who care about you the most. As long as there is hot coco, movies and food, you're bound to have a good time! Don't forget to take pictures!

3) Host a Friendsmas! You may not be the only one alone on the holidays so if you have friends or close coworkers who aren't going home for the holidays, why not create some memories with them. Make it fun too! You can have an ugly Christmas sweater party and/or white elephant gift exchange. Bake cookies, drink yummy booze and dine on some delish dishes potluck style and you're sure to have a blast.

4) Travel! Why not travel to an exotic place for a change? Nothing says "me" time like a warm and tropical environment to just decompress from your day to day hustle and bustle. Splurge a bit too! Book an appointment for a mini-makeover, a massage on the beach and enjoy paradise. If not tropical, try Europe! I've always heard one of the best times to travel to Europe is during the winter months.

I hope these ideas lifted your spirits! Xo

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com/By Dave Smith

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday Jam: Janet Jackson

I am a HUGE Janet Damita Jo Jackson fan and I've been jamming all day to her station on Pandora. Whoo hoo! It just so happens "That's the Way Love Goes" filled my speakers so I just had to make her my throwback Thursday Jam of the Day! She's a BILLIONAIRE BOSS and I love her all day for her sultry voice, creativity, mystery, and sensuality. She's a fearless gem and she can do NO wrong in my book. I love you Mrs. Jackson-Al Mana.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Enjoy Your Relationship Offline

Relationship Status Series 
With technology ruling most of our lives, it's very easy for it to also interfere with the relationships we have with each other. We've all either seen, witnessed or experienced relationships be torn a part by a split second decision to post our thoughts and emotions for everyone to see. In most cases, we aren't thinking with a clear head when we feel someone has done us wrong in the relationship without even thinking about the repercussions of our actions.

With all of this in mind, I believe the best way (and most healthy way) to have a relationship is to live it offline. Personally, I've always valued being a private person and to those I care about deeply, I value them too much to put all of our information out there (even if it's a break up because at some point in the past we meant something to each other!). In the digital age, we are EXPECTED to share everything that we do every waking second and when you don't, you're ridiculed for it.

:Sidebar:  No shade but can you believe since the inception of Instagram, I've managed to NEVER activate an account??? I would only consider it for business terms but never for personal reasons.

As a result, I've never been a firm believer of sharing matters of the heart with everybody and honestly, I prefer the less you know about me the better. You've got to save certain aspects of your life for yourself!! When you start sharing information with the world, you give people free access to comment (I'll never understand why people get upset about comments from people when YOU put it out there first) or judge your situation. If you don't want opinions/comments/judgments, don't put your business out there. Also, it also invites people into your relationship that really have no business being apart of it, so again, less is better.

Some may argue that social media gives them a place to "keep it real" because they have nothing to hide and while we all welcome transparency, it leaves some to think about the authenticity or genuineness of your approach. Also, it might come off as opportunity to put on a show for people or humiliate the other person so you just have to tread lightly on your deliverance.

It's okay to be a little selfish in how you share information when it comes to matters of your heart because once you open that door, you're more susceptible to drama when you share it with the world.

Enjoy your privacy people! Privacy = Peace.

Xo

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com/By Tony Stalres

Monday, December 8, 2014

And the 2015 Color of the Year is....

pantone 2015 marsala

MARSALA!

In case you missed it, Pantone the makers of living fashionably in color, has declared this THE color of 2015. It's a warm color, slightly "seductive" yet classic at the same time. While this color is a cousin of the red family, it has hints of a more warm berry tone if you ask me. Hmmm...the crazy thing is I recently purchased a pair of heels that matches this color without even knowing that this would be THE color. I've never been a fan of the color red but it's not red red (no typo!) so I'm confident I can rock this color.

What do you guys think?

Photo Courtesy of Pantone.com via Flickr.com by Scott Lewis

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The “American Dream” Feels more like a Nightmare

I never thought in my twenty-something years of life that I would witness so much division in my own country. This has made me feel all types of emotions: angry, disgusted, sad, and confused. Each day it gets harder to face the world with a smile knowing deep down inside, you’re fearful if this could be the day that you’ll take your last breath.

You wake up in the morning knowing in the back of your mind that there are some people in this world who resent you for the way you look, the color of your skin, the way your dressed, your sexual preference, your religious denomination etc. and each day, you’re supposed to carry on without apology for who you are but it is SO HARD y’all.

Today, I was apprehensive of writing this on my blog because I’d like to think of my blog as light-hearted and safe place to reflect on matters that mean something to me and I find this matter to be extremely personal to me. In particular, I am an educated Black woman who understands how hard it is to live and earn the respect of others in this country. Being Black in America is not easy because in OUR world (yes, there are two worlds), I’m considered to already have three strikes against me: 1) Being educated 2) being Black and 3) being a woman—therefore, I’m not only seen as inferior but I’m threat.

This is because society already had a preconceived future planned for me when my mother birthed me into the world. There was already statistical data and a stereotype placed on me before I could even walk or talk and it’s sad, this still exist today. Today, I feel like the “American Dream” feels more like a never-ending nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Then again, I’m not even sure if people like me were even considered a part of that dream in the first place.

It’s troubling to know that for years the justice systems and law enforcement that was designed to “protect and serve the people” or promote “justice for all” have become corrupt and unstable. How can people like me put their trust in the law when it doesn’t serve ALL people?

You can’t put your trust in mankind because we are all flawed. Instead, I’ve chosen to put my trust in God! He’s the only one that has remained steadfast in His love for ALL people and He is the only one I can lean on times of strife. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a commitment to put my faith FIRST and keep my opinions/emotions last. But don’t get it twisted, it’s hard every day to hold your peace but I’m doing the best that I can in this quick sand of turmoil. I have to believe in something and if I can’t always believe in myself every day, then I have to put all my trust in God. He is the only way!

I say all of this to say that we’ve got to band together for change! It’s no excuse that it is 2014 and it feels like we are reliving the 50s and 60s!! We’ve got to do better and it begins with each of us because we are all accountable for how this country operates. If you are a registered voter and a tax payer, you should be actively exercising this right anytime there is a state or local election…period. Everyone seems to come out for the Presidential elections but not enough of us are showing up to local/state polls where it equally matters! And to those who believe that voting isn’t going to change anything, think about running for office in your locality/state! If you don’t like the way something is being done than be the change! We all play a part in this so find your voice and exercise it (peacefully!). Protests and boycotts are great too but the real work happens on the Hill. 

We’ve come this far by faith; let us not grow weary in this fight for equality for all guys.

Stay prayed up people! Xo

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Made w/ Code Google Fun!


You never know what Google is going to come up with next but the "Made w/ Code Google" activity is lighting up the way for girls around the nation to enjoy the art of coding! Google takes you step by step to create a "Holiday Lights" tree (as you see above) that will light up with other trees during the Nation's Capital tree lighting ceremony Dec. 4th.

It's more than building a tree GIF. on your own but it's the first step in getting more young girls into coding. There is such a great need to get young girls and women exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (better known as STEM) and Google has been a huge advocate in leading the charge. The fun doesn't stop there either! There are plenty other activities and resources available. This is a super cool effort and I'm here for it! Go Google Go!

Want to make your own tree? Check out "Made w/ Code" Google now to make your own.

Happy coding everyone!

GIF created by yours truly via Google "Made w/ Code" 

Eat, drink and be safe!

Christmas  
This might seem petty or childish to some but I'm just being REAL, you can't eat every one's food this holiday season (or EVER actually)! With the holiday party invitations rolling in, it might put some of you (like me) in a compromising position on WTH are you going to eat at these parties???

I've never been a fan of eating other people's food unless I really know the person and how they live. The truth of the matter is I've seen and heard of some outlandish things happen to people when they've tried to eat someone else's food  that they "know" (i.e. food poisoning, animal hair, human hair etc.). Honestly, we all take a risk everyday when we dine outside of our homes but the difference is you could actually sue an establishment, right a bad review (Thank God for Yelp!) and report them for not being sanitary but how do you sue a friend or coworker? You can't really without it getting messy and awkward.

Here are some survival tips for any occasion where questionable food is served:

1) Eat something before you go. If  you have to "question" the menu of this invitation, then eat a nice meal or heavy snack before you go. This way, you aren't obligated to full out dine when you get there and you can always use the excuse, "I had a big lunch," take the food to-go and toss it when you get home! Keep snacks in the car or in your purse in case you get hungry.

2) Listen to your gut.- If you have to play a guessing game of "what is that?" or if the label doesn't match the visual presentation of the food, don't do it! Save yourself and your stomach the agony and walk away. You'll thank me later.

3) Follow your nose.- Again, if it doesn't smell appetizing to you than you are better off skipping it all together. There is no sense in wasting food that someone else could enjoy.

4) Look at what's been eaten the most.- If you notice something that a lot of folks are digging, it could be an indicator that this is something safe to eat. However, there is always a chance of disappointment so don't pile it on your plate until you've sampled it. If you like it, come back for more while supplies last.

5) When it doubt, fruit, cheese and veggie it out. People really CAN'T mess up a veggie/fruit/cheese tray especially if they were prepared by the grocery store. These are always safe staples at any holiday party so load up on those if you find yourself challenged. Crackers are good too! They'll hold you over until you make your escape.

6) Volunteer to bring something! If nothing else seems appetizing to you, at least you'll know you can eat on whatever you bought. I'm sure the host will appreciate the gesture. After all, this is the season of giving and cheer right? This goes for drinks as well. If you're not a fan of eggnog (I hate EGGNOG with a passion), you could always bring your own booze or sip on something non-alcoholic like soda or water.

I hope these tips were helpful! Have fun folks.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com/By Guowen Wang