Technology: POP Phone

February 29, 2012

Some time ago, a fell upon an article about this POP Phone that you can plug into your 3.5 mm headphone jack on your phone to talk as you normally would on a house phone.  At first, i was a tad bit skeptical because i was uncertain of the clarity you would have hearing the caller on the line or vice versa.  Well recently, a girlfriend of mine happen to have one and told me how in love she was with it.  I’m stoked!  I ordered mine today in sky blue.  i’m super excited and can’t wait to get it in the mail! 

Some may question, why get it, but I guess i just hate having my touch screen on my face giving the opportunity to accidently hang up on someone or make any other kind of oops!  Furthermore, i really despise anything in my ears, meaning an earpiece of some sort.  Another added bonus to the POP Phone is you can use it on your laptop whenever you want to Skype, iChat or Google Talk.  Really?!?  Does it get any better?!?

Go to the Native Union site and check it out for yourself.  They are inexpensive, starting at $29.95 and where i live, the shipping is FREE.  Enjoy!

Quote of the Day

February 29, 2012

Food: Simple and Yummy

February 29, 2012

This is a favorite in my household!!!  It’s super easy to make, lots of flavor and plenty of leftovers if you follow this recipe.  If you’re a vegetarian, don’t runaway.  This can be prepared without meat and it’s just as good.  I PROMISE!

*Makes 6 wraps*

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup cooked rice, warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (optional)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced (i prefer the red for the color)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime (i save some to rub the tortilla after it has been cooked for extra zing)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)

6 burrito-sized flour tortillas

DIRECTIONS:
Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. (Optional: on some of the wraps, I dotted the cheese with about 1-2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center – it made the wraps delightfully creamy.) Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open. Spray the tortillas all over with cooking spray.

Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve.

I got this amazing recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  She has tons of other amazing must-try recipe’s!  Enjoy!

My ideal everyday look

Since i could remember, i have always been the little girl more into simplicity and comfort versus the glitz and glamour when it came to hair, makeup and my style of dress.  i’ve tried over the years as i have grown into an adult to spruce things up a bit, but if it’s not in me, i’m not willing to force it for the sake of what’s considered “fashion” or acceptible in the current social media’s to only be uncomfortable and lacking confidence.

Me in a nutshell:

MAKEUP:  consists of a concealer, tinted moisturizer, press powder, a natural tinted gloss [MAC Viva Glam V lipglass to be exact] mascara and a nice bronzer or soft blush [MAC Peachtwist] that gives me a little bit of a pop of color and that is it. 

STYLE:  well, i’m a lover of anything Vintage.  i remember as a young girl, rummaging through my mothers closet looking forward to including some of her pieces into my future wardrobe.  I love anything from a  high waisted pencil skirt or pleated skirt that goes past my knobby knees, a button up blouse with a big soft bow tie at the kneck and a nice pair of pumps.  Jewerly has never been my thing, so i have to try to embellish with my shoe game.  This is as good as it gets.

HAIR:  i’m even that much more simple when it comes to hair.  Because i am a new natural head [meaning, i shaved my hair off in March of last year] and my hair is finally at a nice 4 inches long, there is not much i can do with it.  the most courageous i’ve gotten was rocking a faux hawk on New Years Eve and for a friends birthday gathering recently, that actually turned out super cute and was a hit with everyone.  Even my sweetie!  However, as soon as it proves itself to be long enough, a high bun it is!  

This is as good as it gets and i love me just the way i am.  what’s your style?

Fashion: Sika Designs

February 29, 2012

Ever since i traveled to East Africa, i fell in love with their colorful and absolutely gorgeous prints!!!  I loved how they mixed and matched different patterns and colors to create beautiful garments.  It’s funny, because until visiting East Africa [Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Zanzibar], i never really noticed it here in the states.  Of course, i brought back many different yards of material in an array of colors and patterns as well as Kanga’s that are traditionally worn as a head wrap, around the waist or support to hold a baby in a sling fashion.  I also had a beautiful skirt made just to fit me while i was there.  Thankfully, i don’t have to travel across the world to get them made now.  Sika from Sika Designs has her very own collection that can be purchased online here

Her designs are perfect for a cocktail dinner, the workplace or something as extravegant as a wedding.  I look forward to my first purchase very soon.  Enjoy!

I confess…i have a healthy addiction to Pinterest and while venturing on there today, i noticed a moisturizer that i have seen on a couple of occasions but never tried.  So since this is my 3rd time seeing it, i’m going to view it as a sign and just try it already.  I’m all about DIY’s and saving money, so why not?!

Besides the fact that i’m sure it will smell extremely good, it seems perfect for these cold winter days.

The recipe calls for:

16 ounces baby lotion (some may prefer cocoa butter)
8 ounces coconut oil (solid form, not melted)
8 ounces vitamin E cream

Mix together with a handheld mixer until it resembles icing and store it in an air tight container like a Mason jar or a refurbished glass candle holder (which is what i will be doing.  🙂 ).

Wha-la!  3 ingrediets to make 1 amazing moisturizer.  Enjoy!

Book: The Hunger Games

February 14, 2012

normally, i am more of a romance with a little mystery novel kind of girl.  even some messy romantic novels are my thing, but i have never imagined reading something like The Hunger Games, a riveting futuristic type book and actually love it!

When i tell you, i literally read this book in less than 24 hours, i’m not kidding.  i couldn’t keep my nose out of this book long enough to eat, let alone sleep.  i say it is definitely a must read, even if you’re not a fan of fiction books or anything related to sci-fi or futuristic.  this book is sure to suck you in and hold you captive until the very end only wanting more of it.  speaking of more, this happens to be a trilogy and i’m currently reading book two by the name of Catching Fire.  It is also pretty amazing.

for every great book, there comes a good movie.  notice i said “good” movie and not great.  only because, i’m certain the movie will not be able to capture every single detail the book provides.  here is a short synopsis:

COULD YOU SURVIVE ON YOUR OWN, IN THE WILD, WITH EVERYONE FIGHTING AGAINST YOU?

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

what could i possibly say about this man but the obvious?!  he was a genius, a lover of music and of the black community!

born and raised on the southside of chicago, he was a couragious man who believed in his dreams and went for it with his then wife, and 2 sons.  after serving in the marines and being an officer with the chicago police department as well as working several jobs in the automotive field, Don had $400 to his name and a dream but still landed a job as an announcer and disk jockey for a local radio station. 

in 1967, Don later joined a local Chicago television station hosting a show by the name of A Black’s View of the News.  Little did anyone know, he would later create a show that would give the black community something they could relate to in music and in dance as well as televisions longest syndicated music program.  The Soul Train also known as The Sooooouuuullllll Train! 

how did this impact my childhood?!  in a major way!  every Saturday afternoon, my eyes were glued to the television trying to catch a glimpse at every soul train dancer and excited about what dance routine they would put on that day!  my all time favorite soul train dancer was the asian lady with the long hair [cheryl song].  i would wrap a towel or pillow case around my head and swing it back and forth imitating her dance moves.  i mean, homegirl could dance [atleast by 70’s and 80’s standards!]  Lol!  I later found out that not only was she a favorite amongst others, her fame got her a feature in Rick James video “Super Freak” and MJ’s “Beat it” video. 

besides the dancing, i looked forward to who would appear on the show weekly and was never disappointed.  during my time, that was everyone from Jody Watley and Luther Vandross to New Edition and Naughty By Nature.  For some like Rosie Perez, it was a launch pad for their career.   

Another element i loved about soul train and probably most importantly, was how Don made it his business to incorporate a little fun way of learning black history facts with the message board.  it was always exciting trying to figure it out before the people actually putting it together, even though recently i found out they were given the answers in advance to not look like complete idiots never figuring out the puzzle.  Lol!

I say all this to say, Don Cornelius was another gem amongst black americans.   a legend!  he made an unforgettable impression on lives and stamped the famous quote, “And You Can Bet Your Last Money, It’s Gonna Be A Stone Gas, Honey!” along with the soul train dance line that never misses a family reunion, birthday party, or just a social gathering amongst blacks.  i am blessed to be able to say, i lived in an era Soul Train was around and jammin’.  there was once an attempt to be replicate it but it can never be duplicated.

and with this all being said, Don Cornelius, “we wish you peace, love and soul.”

 

it took me some time to get myself together before giving my tribute for Whitney Houston because it totally caught me off guard like those who were huge fans of Michael Jackson.  Well, Whitney Houston was my Michael Jackson, so please bear with me.

like most artist, Whitney Houston started out singing in church as a child.  singing was in her blood line, from her mother Cissy Houston to her aunts Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick to her God-Mother Aretha Franklin.  Her talents didn’t stop there.  Whitney’s beautiful smile and her grace landed her a modeling gig in Seventeen magazine in the early 1980’s, being the first woman of color to ever grace the cover.  She later graced pages of Glamour magazine, Cosmopolitan and others as well as having a part in a Canada Dry soft drink commercial and Scope advertisement.  All of this only paved her way to acting later in life in movies such as, Preachers Wife, The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale, all in which i love, especially their soundtracks. 

speaking of her music, i can remember as far back to 1987, i was only 8 years old and jamming to my most favorite Whitney Houston songs, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, to “I’m Your Baby Tonight.”  And who knew at such a ripe young age of 9 / 10 years old, i would get emotional to her songs like, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, also favorites of mine.  Whitney had that effect on me as well as many others all over the world as her hit singles reached the top of Billboards for several weeks in a row.  She made me want to jump around with my brightest flourescent colored shirts and mini skirts [of course, when my mom wasn’t home.  LOL!] on to crying at thoughts of a potential love lost in the future of my teen years yet to come.

the most profound groundbreaking moment for me was when she sang “The Stars Spangled Banner” at Superbowl XXV in my hometown at the Tampa Bay stadium.  For the first time in my life, that song actually meant something to me.  That was the day, the United States stood still and there wasn’t a dry eye in the entire stadium, nor household that was tuned in.  Since then, no one has EVER been able to sing it the way she did on that day.  Her slight grin after she effortlessly finished the song was confirmation she knew the same.

unlike most, i will not focus on the downs of her life or how she passed.   To me, it’s irrelevant, useless and non of my business or others.  i could never imagine being scrutinized in front of the camera for the entirety of my life.  if someone had a flashlight on me at every single thing i did “wrong”, i would probably be shunned from this earth on the next space shuttle headed to the moon.  However, what i will remember is Whitney Houston left us all with a gift; a gift of song and i will always love her for the impression she left on my life.  i looked up to her as a young girl.  she made me feel okay about being skinny with short natural hair [as she sported at times] and my nobby knees.  i took in account her grace, her beauty and her class before the camera.  she is now at peace and i am happy for her.  I can only pray for her daughter Bobbi Christina, as i could never imagine enduring the pain of losing a mother. 

Whitney, you will always have a place in my heart and your music will always have a place in my home.  You’re legacy lives on.  xoxo!

p.s.  this should be a reminder to give your roses to those you love now before they are gone from this place called earth.

Book: Love, InshAllah

February 14, 2012

I thought nothing could be more appropriate for a day such as Valentine’s Day for this book to be debut.  No, i do not particulary “celebrate” this day, however, i do accept gifts if the king chooses to send them my way.  However, he is my Valentine 365 days of the year, 366 on leap year, so we show our love in more ways than flowers, candy and cards just for the sake of.

To the topic at hand, i read a little about a book that goes on sale today, particulary on this day because it touches into the love lives of muslim women.  I’m not Muslim, but i do respect some of their values and find their culture intriguing.  Nonetheless, i thought this book was very interesting considering how private the lives of Muslim women are.  It is and will definitely be a political statement and controversal, so take a peak and tell me what you think.

About the book:

 

Love, InshAllah ( Love, God Willing)

“Love Inshallah [goes] to a place where few, if any, books have gone before. Lesbians, co-wives, converts to Islam, Shia, Sunni, black, brown and white: every voice is unique. Collectively, they sing of strength, passion and love. One can’t help but to sit back and listen, captivated.

– Samina Ali, award winning author of Madras on Rainy Days

Romance, dating, sex and – Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, 25 writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love and speak openly for the first time about love, relationships, sexuality, gender, identity, homophobia, and racism.

These heartfelt narratives are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. An orthodox African-American woman must face her growing attraction to her female friend. A young girl defies her South Asian parents’ cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Muslim women, even (especially!) those who have never met one. Co-editors Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi thought it was about time we heard directly from Muslim women themselves. You’ll be captivated by these moving, funny, provocative and surprising stories, each as individual as the writers themselves.

A beautiful collection that reminds us all not only of the diversity of the American Muslim community, but the universality of the human condition, especially when it comes to something as magical and complicated as love.

– Reza Aslan, bestselling author of No god but God “