Wednesday, February 28, 2007

YouTube is for the people!

I read an article today in Variety about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (you know, the people who bring you the Oscars every year) giving orders to YouTube to shut down all unauthorized clips from Sunday's telecast on their site. Some of the most popular were Beyonce's and JHud's performance, the Jack Black/Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly song and dance number, and host Ellen DeGeneres' opening monologue.

I'm all about copyrights. As a writer, I understand. But I think YouTube is a great tool.

Let me explain.

So the Oscars this year were about seven years too long. Who could sit through all that? I tried to hang in there as best I could, but I went to bed sometime after Jennifer Hudson won (which was the primary reason I watched) so I missed the Dreamgirls performance.

I went to YouTube the next day and watched it. It was good.

Which brings me to my point: just because I watched it on YouTube doesn't mean it diminishes anything about the Oscars. YouTube is great because it fits in with the "I can get it when I want it" attitude that we seem to have about news and entertainment. I don't think unauthorized clips should be plastered all over YouTube, though. I think more organizations should join forces with YouTube. Can you imagine what YouTube would be like if you could go there for sports highlights (as the NBA is trying to do), Oscar speeches, MTV performances, etc? It'd be great.

Of course, the only other option in this day and age is to have these individual websites (I'm looking at you Oscar) beef up their content. Does it hurt them to put acceptance speeches on the site? Or all the performances? I don't think so.

Besides, if YouTube gets rid of all its unauthorized clips, what am I supposed to use for my blog? LOL.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

4 Reasons Why I Blog:

After reading Paula's blog the other day where she detailed the five reasons why she blogged, it made me think. Why am I doing this? What do I hope to get out of it? Why do I attempt to post something new just so people I don't know can read it?

Here's my shot at the truth:

1)So I can write. This seems to be an obvious reason, but no matter how many things I write, it feels like I can never write enough. I like the way the keys feel underneath my fingers and the tap-tap-tap sound is so soothing I don't need to meditate.

2)To become a better wife. This blog helps me analyze my feelings, much like having a journal. On here, since my husband doesn't read the blog, I can vent about what scares me, what frustrates me, and then when I talk to him, I know what I want to say and then I am free to just speak. Since I started blogging daily (well, almost daily) I have to say that I don't harbor so much resentment anymore. I can articulate my feelings with much more certainty.

3)Because it's popular. Yes, I could write in a journal, but that doesn't necessary give you fans, now does it? Now don't get me wrong, I definitely don't do this for the fame (Do you see any paparazzi stalking me? No, I didn't think so....) but it's nice to get compliments on my writing from people I don't neccesarily know. The fact that blogs are the new way to communicate, share ideas and meet people really appeals to me.

4)To practice for the day when my writings will actually mean something to people. From a young age, I've felt that I was destined to be super-successful. When I was around 13, 14, I used to write interviews where I'm pretend to interview myself, where I was a mega-celebrity hanging out with Diddy and Usher. I loved it. I'd pretend to be a rapper, a chef, a singer, a writer, whatever. In those fake interviews, I was fierce. These interviews were really long too. I'm talking like 10-11 pages of a Word document. One day I'll BE that supersuccessful writer and these blog posts will be like a "Before I was Famous..." piece....

Monday, February 26, 2007


This is why I don't eat at fast food restaurants anymore...

This was right up the street from me this past summer when I lived in the NYU dorms. I'm so glad I didn't eat there. Just gross....


I called it and then it came true....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Megachurch, megamessage...

Watched Joel Osteen this morning, the charming pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, the megachurch of megachurches. I don't normally watch pastors on TV, but something about his message shook me. "How to handle criticism" was the message, and it was something I needed to hear.

"Not everybody is going to be your cheerleader," Osteen said. "You have to learn how to shake it off."

He quoted a verse from Matthew (sorry I couldn't remember the exact verse or phrasing), but basically it said "If you are in a place where you encounter criticism, shake the dust off your feet when you leave."

It's a simple concept, but I needed to hear something like this at this time in my life. I'm trying to make something of myself and everywhere I turn I hear people judging me or saying I can't do it. I hear people say, "Oh, that's difficult, are you sure you are up for it?"

I got the perfect approach from Osteen today. He said: "No matter what you do or don't do, somebody is going to be critical. So you might as well do what you need to do and let God handle the critics."


Friday, February 23, 2007

"I have always dreamed, but never this big..." said Ms. Jennifer Hudson when accepting her Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for her show-stopping role Dreamgirls. Well, you better get your acceptance speech ready, JHud, 'cause this weekend I'm predicting you are going to win an Oscar, my dear.

I spent some time today at JHud's official website, and listened to some tracks of hers. I think she might have a few hits on her hands. Her voice is more powerful than any I've heard in a long time. I think her website design could use a little work. Although I'm not an award-winning graphic designer, I know her site isn't up to par with what a future Oscar-winner's site should be.

So let me be the first to congratulate Ms. Hudson on all her success so far. And if for some reason the Academy decides not to give JHud the honor of an Oscar with her first movie role, you still are blessed.

Keep your fingers crossed people!

It's time to be a professional...

I've had a particularly rough week covering a story. Y'all know I never go into specifics, but here's the gist: I've been interviewing people who aren't quite used to being interviewed. It's hard. I've gotten cursed out for calling and one person hung up on me in mid-sentence. I almost cried. I gotta get a thicker skin. This is crazy.

I've never had such a hard time getting people to talk to me. I'm nice when I call to try to set up an interview. It's not a controversial topic: so why am I having so much difficulty?

I'm just trying to keep my head up and plow ahead. This has to work out. It just has to.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Finally Get It...

It took me a while, but I finally understand:

I'm a mommy now.

After I came home from class today, I peeked in at my daughter sleeping in her crib. There is absolutely nothing that will make your heart melt as much as watching an infant sleep. They are so peaceful. It's all I can do not to cry as I watch her.

I wasn't always this mushy. I have to admit, when I first held my daughter after a long labor and an impersonal C-section, I didn't feel that rush of joy many mothers claim they felt. I didn't feel that special connection. You know what I felt?


Fear that I wouldn't be a good mom. That I wouldn't be up for the biggest responsibility of my life. That I had just made a mistake and I didn't know how to tell my daughter that her mother just wasn't ready to be a mother.

I was too scared to be happy. All I could think about is how I should've taken that breastfeeding class. Now I didn't and my baby is going to starve. I should've watched my hubby when he installed the car seat. Now I don't know how to do it - how do I know if it's secure? I should've, I should've, I should've...

But now the time is here where I don't worry as much as I used to. It took a while, but I am definitely more confident than I used to be. I actually feel like a mom.

As I watch my daughter sleep, all I can think about is how I want the world for her. How much I want her to be happy. That is all I care about now. If she's happy, I'm happy. I wish everything else was so simple.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

5 Weird Things About Me...

1) I can (and have) sit on the floor at Barnes & Noble or Borders or whatever bookstore happens to be around and read an actual book cover to cover. Yes I can. I read Karrine Stephans Confessions of a Video Vixen at Borders in about an hour and a half. Yes, I can read that fast.

2) I'm addicted to chewing ice. No. Seriously. I have about 5 ice trays in the freezer 'cause we can't ever seem to have enough for me. I've joined online support groups for the hope that I could figure out why I'm doing it and try to stop, but instead I just found people just like me who are addicted and have no intention to stop. They even post recipes for ice. ICE. As in, frozen water. But apparently there's a science to the temperature and things like that. I'm so addicted that I actually tried it. If you need someone to make slushy ice cubes, I'm your girl. It's a wonder I don't have dentures already.

3) I pick my lips all the time. Used to be just when I was nervous, now I do it when I'm uncomfortable, bored, hungry, stressed, etc. My lips are gonna fall off one day.

4) I can remember just about anything and therefore I don't really "study" for tests. I never have. I can remember lectures verbatim and never really realized how great this skill is until I became a journalist. When I'm taking a test, I just replay lectures over in my head. Weird, right? Yeah I know.

5) I'm nominating myself for TLC's What Not to Wear. I don't think I look that, but my wardrobe has seen better days. I need a new look, new clothes. I'm a new mom, a soon to be college graduate and I need to look the part. Boy, I hate wearing jeans every day with a different shirt. I want to look stylish and pulled together every day, instead of looking like I still shop at the Junior's department. I don't I swear!

Tony Parker and Eva Longoria do everything together....

Let's try an experiment. Head over to Google and do a image search for either Tony Parker or Eva Longoria. How many pictures on the first results page features a picture of BOTH of them? Quite a few, right?

It's not like they aren't an attractive couple. I mean, look at them....

It's almost too perfect, almost too cute. They're getting married in France!!! I mean, come on. On their invitation were the words "Please remember passports are required for international travel...." You know what my wedding invitations say? "Eat before you come, 'cause we're only having cake..." LOL.

My hubby is the biggest ESPN fan and he watches EVERY NBA game. For some reason, the Spurs are ALWAYS on TV, which means every time Tony Parker scores a basket, there's a shot of Eva on the sidelines standing up and cheering. I swear she should win an award for Sixth Man of the Year or something.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Don't Know What The Future Holds...

I can't believe I am thisclose to graduating. It seems like these past three and a half years have flown by. I've done everything I wanted to and then some. When I was a naive little freshman, I had no idea that by the time I was finished I would have been editor in chief of TWO publications, been an intern at one of the largest magazines in the world, Reader's Digest, had a wonderful daughter and found my soul mate.

Nope, I don't think I could have predicted this...

But now the question is, "What's next?" What's next for me? Until this point, my next step was always plotted out for me. After elementary school, I knew I had to go to middle school, and after that it was high school and then college. But after college, what am I supposed to do?

Last summer when I was in New York doing my internship I hated it. "Why?" you ask. Well, for one thing I was pregnant and homesick and it just wasn't a good time to be stuck in a city that never freakin' sleeps when all you want to do is go home, put your feet up and relax until your due date. Now that I have my daughter, I'm actually considering moving there.

I don't really want to raise a child in New York. I know I could wait until she's a little older, but I do plan on having more kids eventually so at least one of them would be considered a New Yorker. The idea of raising kids there frightens me.

I mean, from the time you are pregnant its a logistical nightmare. I mean, if you go into labor, what - do you call a cab? When you go home from the hospital, do you call a cab? What about car seats? Strollers? I looked at amazement at moms struggling down the steps to the subway with strollers, diaper bags, shopping bags and kids hanging from their arms. It was like I was looking at a Supermom convention. I saw little kids every day catching the subway to and from school. Little kids. Like eight years old carrying Dora the Explorer lunch boxes. I don't want my daughter riding the subway where God only knows what could happen to her.

So what do I do? Do I move to New York and let my daughter turn into a New Yorker, or do I stay in a fairly large city that's not the Big Apple and pursue my dreams there?

I really don't know, although I wish I had some answers.

Britney Spears - Back in rehab?

How did this girl....

...turn into this woman?

Britney Spears has checked herself into a treatment facility. Wow.

After a few months of bizarre behavior, including last weekend when the Britster shaved her head completely bald, many have spectulated that Ms. Spears was having some sort of mental breakdown. Try as I might to defend her, I have come to the point where I have just decided to pray for her and her kids.

I mean, I remember running home after school to see the "Oops I Did It Again" video, featuring Britney as the provocative schoolgirl. I watched her progression from the former Mickey Mouse club member to the sultry pop starlet who landed more half-naked magazine covers than anyone except Ms. Jackson If You're Nasty, including this Esquire cover, which I felt was actually kind of classy.

I mean, I would have killed for Britney's abs, which she maintained by doing a rumored 500-1000 crunches a day. She seemed to have it all. A great career, relationships, what happened? Was it K-Fed? The Madonna kiss? Hanging with Paris and Lindsey?

But perhaps the better question is: Why do we care so much?

Is chivalry dead?

I've been investing a lot of time trying to put some of the "spark" back into my marriage. You know how it gets after a while: the same things your partner did at the beginning of the relationship that you found oh-so-adorable suddenly become the things that you abhor the most. The wining and dining stops. Your conversations revolve around baby poop and "Guess what Junior did today?!" At night you collapse into bed, too exhausted to do anything but dream.

One of the things I told my husband was that he should open the car door for me. This was one of the reasons I fell for him. He was the first guy (besides my father) to do those things for me. When we were first dating, he would open the door for me, walk next to me when we went somewhere, and when we went out to dinner, he would grab the check and refused to let me see how much the tab was because "a woman shouldn't worry about those things." Can you see why I fell hard for this man?

Now? Oh boy. He'll walk in the door ahead of me and 6 times out of ten I have to scurry before the door hits me. Ha. He walks ahead of me now, complaining that I "walk too slow." And now when we go out to dinner, the check will just sit there and we'll have the ultimate Stare-Down to see who reaches for it first. (I don't know why he bothers 'cause he pays all the time anyway. Love you honey!)

So is chivalry dead? Do men do these things throughout all the stages of the relationship?

And is it important? I laugh about the fact that my hubby used to try to impress me with all these gestures. Are we headed for divorce court because he doesn't hold the door? I don't think so.

So I'm asking: Is chivalry dead?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Same sex marriages - too hot to touch

I don't judge people. I refuse to. Even when I hear some outlandish things people have done, I try to refrain from saying, "What were they thinking???"

The most judgmental thing I think you can say to someone is, "You're going straight to hell." Yet, those words slip from people's mouths everyday as they condemn the actions of another.

When I opened my MSN home page today, I saw this headline, "Civil unions for gays now available in N.J."

New Jersey is now the third state in the U.S. to offer civil unions, which gives same-sex partners the legal benefits of marriage without the actual title.

I don't keep up with the status of same sex marriages in this country and I tune people out when they bring up the topic of homosexuality in the realm of politics. But something caught my eye and made me read the article, perhaps because just yesterday I was asking how young is too young to be married.

How do you feel about same-sex marriages? To me, I don't believe God hates gay people. Nope, not at all. God made us all. Why would He hate what He created?

Feel free to debate amongst yourselves...Leave me comments, even if you disagree! ESPECIALLY if you disagree. Debate is nothing without opposite opinions.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How young is too young to get married?

Got up early today to feed my daughter, and as I always do, I turned on the TV to see what could possibly be on TV at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. I stumbled across MTV's "Engaged and Underage." I had heard of this show, but my first impression was that MTV was following around a couple that was under 18 and headed for the altar. Then I watch today and find out the couple, Josh and Bre, I believe, are 21 and 20, respectively. They're my age.


MTV shows them picking up a marriage license, buying a house, planning the wedding and lets Bre discuss why she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex: "I was a huge Jessica Simpson fan...."

They don't seem to be the most mature couple, but perhaps it's the editing, which purposely altered the footage to make it look like Josh is a goofball and Bre is a tad naive.

But I think the key to a good marriage is when you marry your best friend.

I'm fortunate in that I met my husband my first day of college when I was moving into my dorm. I thought to myself (and later told my roommate), "I'm gonna marry that man and give him a bunch of babies..."

Fast-forward four years later and here we are with a little one in tow. (By the way, that is a much cleaner version of my ring up there...) Over the years, my husband became my everything. He was the one that made me laugh, made me think for more than just today, made me appreciate what a good man was. He taught me everything I know about football (blech), made me an authority on ESPN (I watch, or rather sleep through, SportsCenter every night), and helped me appreciate saving money.

I tell him anything and he won't judge me. In fact, I have told him everything and he hasn't judged me. And I don't judge him.

So does that mean we shouldn't be married because I'm 21 and he's 26? I like to think we're not your average young couple, because, well, he's not that young to me. He has his Master's degree and a full-time job and I'm 10 weeks away from getting my degree (magna cum laude in four years, thank you very much!) So what's too young to get married?

I remember when we were about to get engaged and my husband gave me a bridal magazine to look through. My dad saw it and flipped out, saying, "You don't need to look at that," like it was a porn magazine or something. He was just saying that I was too young. Of course, I was 19 then and my hubby was 24.

So maybe I was too young. But I don't regret being an "old married lady" at the ripe old age of 21. We're happy. Isn't that what counts?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sweet Gyrl - helping "gyrls" live their dreams since 2005

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Kimberly, founder of SweetGyrl, Inc. I found her on MyBlogLog and was intrigued by the organization she had on her site, so I asked if she would mind if I put her interview on my site. Fast forward two weeks and here it is! Read on to find out more about SweetGyrl and how you can help!

What exactly is SweetGyrl?
SweetGyrl Inc, is an organization that promotes health lifestyle and living for young women. It's a venue that really gets them steered away from the grown up stuff that so many of our young women get caught up in.

For example, often times gyrls have hidden gifts like playing the flute, singing, gymnastics, acting. They have dreams, however they may live in an enviroment or go to a school enviroment that does not support that. Your friends are all having sex, your friends are all in juvenile detention, your freinds are all haters and fight another group of girls, your mom was a teenage mom and is now living a life of struggle.

That becomes your reality, that becomes your way of living and being. Your best friend just brought home a new baby and she is beefing with the baby's father cause he is messing with another girl and she wants to fight her. All of this happening at 16!! Whew, how can you even begin to really dream or want more out of life. What you see is who you become - it's unfortunate but it's true. It happened to me, it's my story. SweetGyrl is my story to simply put. Having worked as a Psychotherapist and in the school setting, I see it over and over and over again. It breaks my heart it really does. SweetGyrl is about dreams, helping gyrls live their dreams, keeping their dreams alive. So therefore, I created SweetGyrl Inc.

Is it mainly online?
SweetGyrl is all over the US online, its a forum for gyrls to have healthy chats and read about the struggles of other young women and be able to ask "Wow, I am going through that, how do you cope with that?" We are also working to make SweetGyrl more like an after school program or to go even further more like an affordable Sylvan Learning Center but for gyrls, that is our long term vision.

So basically someone could buy the SweetGyrl product, logo, curriculum, etc, and set up shop and service youth in their community. All of this is in the works now, I have been looking to reach out to celebrities that believe in the idea for support, endorsement, and possibly sponsoring gyrls for the program. It's huge and I love it, it takes time thought, but I really have vision for this program.

When was it founded?
SweetGyr was founded by me in 2005 at home in Maryland.

Did you come up with the idea by yourself?
Yes I did, I woke up one morning really early and it was put on my heart to create SweetGyrl, I wanted something that was really gyrlie and really fun, something I could dive into, something that felt soft and giggly and sweet. So I used the name SweetGyrl. I was working as a Psychotherapist for a wrap around company (social services) keeps youth in the home by giving them home services.
I woke up and said I want to create a training company that caters to gyrls only right now. So I hired an assitant and I told her what I wanted and we got to writing and thus SweetGyrl was born. Please check out for updates, I am also writing a book called "The Truth behind SweetGyrl" and also the website,

What type of promotion are you doing to spread the word?
Well since its only me, I have been doing blogging, and joining online forums. I also contacted Eva Longoria's publicist Liza Anderson, and we tried to get Eva, but her schedule did not permit. So now we are basicially trying to revamp and restructure our marketing approach.

What do you hope to accomplish with this?
I am hoping that young women will see this program as their way of saying, "Yes, I can still live my dreams!" We offer assessments that help gyrls get to the core of what they really want and dream big dreams. We help them set up goals that bring the dream alive! We help them stay focused, no matter what it is they want, and we point out to them that what they see right now does not negate their future at all. I want gyrls to dream and enjoy this time with themselves! They only get to be gyrls once, enjoy it RIGHT NOW! See for updates and ongoing information on the meat and potatoes of how SweetGyrl came about and what's happening.

Go to for more information!

6 Tips for Surviving the First Six Weeks of Motherhood....

  • When your child cries and you find yourself getting frustrated, just remember that your child is not crying just to aggravate you, but because, well, babies cry. They cry when they're hungry, when they're tired, when they have gas, or just because they feel like it. They can't cry forever. They'll get tired. If all else fails, put them in their crib and go outside. They'll be okay.
  • You know that age old advice new mothers always get, "Nap when the baby naps?" Ha! That is the funniest thing I've ever heard. Chances are, when the baby is awake, you are either feeding or burping or changing him or her, which doesn't leave much time to other things you need to accomplish. So when the baby does go to sleep, you feel like THIS is the time to get all that stuff done, right? Right.
  • This one is pretty basic but it's sooo true. ACCEPT ALL THE HELP YOU CAN! If someone offers to hold the baby, unless they are suffering from leprosy, LET THEM! It'll give you a chance to do whatever you need to.
  • Accept the fact that you will not look like or feel like your old self for a while. You will not fit into your old jeans right after having a baby, your boobs won't look the same (sigh), and if you get in a shower every day, well, I just plain envy you. In the first couple weeks of motherhood, I took a shower TWICE. I knew it was time to put the baby down and hop in the shower when I went to feed my daughter and she wrinkled up her nose at me as if to say, "Mom, you smell." I wanted to be cute and put together like those moms on the cover of the pregnancy mags, but it.just.wasn't.happening.
  • Water is your friend. The more water I drank, the more I felt refreshed and ready to go. It just made me feel healthier and more energized. I also had to pee a lot, but my skin has never looked better!
  • Take lots of pictures, even if you don't feel like it. You'll be so tired and drained those first weeks, but looking at pictures will make you think, Hey, that wasn't so bad. My daughter and I had "photo shoots" where I'd be the photographer and she'd be the model and I'd pull an Austin Powers-type shoot. "Yes! That's it! Goregous! Work it!" She laughed and it made me feel better....

Basically, do whatever you need to do to feel happy. The first few weeks are the roughest. You don't know what you're doing, you feel like crap, you're sleep deprived, recovering from childbirth, etc. I think all mothers are troupers for getting through it alive. I have a newfound respect for my mother for going through it three times.

Anyone else have any suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments below!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who's your "person"?

I cried while watching Grey's Anatomy tonight.

When Cristina told Burke she wanted to tell Meredith about her engagement, because Meredith was her "person."

"If I murdered somebody, Meredith is the one I would call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor," Christina said. "She's my person."

Who is your person? Who do you call first when you have great news? Who do you count on when you're sad? When you want to do something fun? When you want to celebrate? When you just want to be yourself?

I'm fortunate because I have a "person." In fact, I have a few. My husband is always there when I need him, whether it's giving me a hug after I feel overwhelmed on my first day of classes or digging my car out of the 4-foot snow drift. He's my "person." I know no matter what I do, or what I say, he'll be there and that means a lot. Like my sister said, my husband is not obligated to love me. He chooses to love me. He chooses to be there for me. Just like I choose to be there for him.

So who is your "person"?

America's Next Top Model Cycle 8...

It's hard to believe there have been 7 cycles of ANTM. I never really watched the show until Season 3 (or whatever season it was that Eva the Diva won). I actually cried when Tyra named her the winner, and the first time I saw her Cover Girl ad I was so proud it was like her victory was my victory.

But like my friend Bob has pointed out again and again, ANTM has gone downhill in recent years. He has made some excellent points about the show. Here's my take on what can be done to make ANTM better:

*Tyra tone it down - A big part of this show is Tyra's credibility. She's BEEN a top model, she knows the business, she is arguably one of the hottest models ever. So we all know how great she is, and it's time for her to tone it down a little. I used to love the episodes where Tyra would come to the photo shoots and give advice, but know I feel like now it's about her too much.

* Better photo shoots. Some of the photo shoots from last season were a bit too out in left field. The one in Barcelona where they had to pose in a bull ring? Totally stupid. They had a live bull in there, but they Photoshopped in the cape? Why couldn't they have Photoshopped in the bull? Why risk their safety like that?

The new cycle starts Wednesday, February 28 with a two-hour premiere on the CW network.

Here are the girls....Who do you think will win?

Tyra marks 10th anniversary of her SI cover on Monday's show

Remember this photo?

Tyra looks so fierce on this cover! Can you believe it was 10 years ago that she landed the cover, becoming the first African-American woman to get a solo cover?

Tyra will mark the 10th anniversary of her solo Sports Illstrated cover by wearing the same bikini, with a little fabric added, instead of going on a crash diet. Amen! Work with what you have now!

Here's the article from MSN:

LOS ANGELES -- Tyra Banks marks a modeling milestone next week, and is donning a decade-old bikini to celebrate the special anniversary.

Ten years ago, Banks became the first black supermodel to appear alone on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. The 2007 edition features 25-year-old singer-actress Beyonce on the cover wearing a yellow-and-pink bikini.

Banks, 33, recently returned to the Bahamas to recreate the shoot that landed her on the coveted cover, even wearing the same red polka dot bikini — with a few adjustments.

"I was about 140 pounds on that cover ... and I'm 161 now," the 5-foot-10 TV host told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I'd say I looked like a stripper when I put it on."

Banks said some extra fabric was added to make the bikini a little less itsy-bitsy.

"They covered the sides of my chest so that it wasn't so much hangin' out. And they put some extenders on the sides of the bikini bottom so it fit," she said.

Last month, Banks, who hosts the syndicated "The Tyra Banks Show" and the CW network's "America's Next Top Model," was mocked on the Internet for unflattering photos showing her in a one-piece bathing suit.

In the AP Radio interview, Banks said she considered going on a crash diet before the Bahamas shoot to look the same as she did 10 years ago, but then thought better of it.

"I think there's more power in embracing what I am now and showcasing that," she said.

"I'm thinking that I should probably do this every 10 years," she continued. "So, in 2017 maybe I'll get in the swimsuit again and I'll have to get them to add a little more fabric."

Banks will show the results on Monday's episode of her talk show.

Maybe I should take a cue from Ms. Banks. Instead of fighting my natural body shape I should accept the fact that I will never ever be 125 lbs unless I starve myself. 130, maybe. But definitely not 125. I love cupcakes too much.

Jennifer Hudson strikes again....

Yes! Go JHud!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Dreamgirls are IT right now....Beyonce lands the cover of SI

first JHud on the cover of Vogue, and now Beyonce on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Here's the story from MSN:

NEW YORK -- Beyonce has hit another high note, claiming the coveted cover shot of this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in a yellow-and-pink bikini.

"The Dreamgirl As You've Never Seen Her," a cover headline teases. There's also a photo spread inside the magazine.

The 25-year-old singer-actress ("Dreamgirls") posed on a Florida beach in the bikini designed by House of Dereon, the fashion label she started with her mother, Tina Knowles.

The 2007 swimsuit edition continues with a music theme inside, featuring scantily clad models posing with Kanye West, Aerosmith, Kenny Chesney, Gnarls Barkley and Panic! At the Disco.

All I can say now is: where's the shine for Anika Noni Rose? She held her own as Lorell in Dreamgirls and her voice is just as powerful as JHud and Bee. I wanna see some covers for her too!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another day, another cover - Jennifer Hudson on the cover of Vogue?

Oh my goodness...this can't be real. I heard the rumblings around the Internet, but when I finally found a picture of the illustrious singer, Miss Jennifer Hudson herself, gracing the cover of Vogue, my jaw dropped.

Miss Jennifer is amazing. Is there anyone who is living bigger dreams right now? I think not. I am so proud.


Funny how three months ago, this was my reality....

and now she is....

Life is really amazing...

Let It Snow!

Even though I'm a winter baby, I hate snow.

But I get giddy as a little kid when I see tons of snow piled up outside. They just announced that Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning classes are cancelled. I don't have class until 11 a.m. tomorrow, but maybe those classes will get cancelled too. I have a ton of work and it would be nice to catch up, sit inside with my daughter sipping hot cocoa.

But I guess I better hope I don't wake up tomorrow and look outside and see something like this....

My grandmother used to live in Buffalo, New York and she would regularly send me pictures like this. Once she couldn't barely open her side door to her house because five feet of snow had fallen overnight.

I can't wait until summer!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oprah's "Building A Dream" to air on ABC

Mark your calendars. ABC will air "Building A Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy" Monday, February 26 at 10 p.m. It will highlight the journey Oprah went on to found this school for economically disadvantaged girls in South Africa.

When it opened, a lot of people tried to criticize Oprah for building the school in South Africa, instead of here in America. But you know what? It's her money, her prerogative. I personally can not find fault with someone who is only trying to make the world a better place and find it intriguing that people will continue to find things to complain about. These are the same people who, if she had chose to build the school here, would have complained that she didn't do enough for the people in Africa.

I say, do your thing Oprah. You inspire me.

So make sure you check it out and as always, let me know what you think.

Jennifer Hudson on the cover of GIANT magazine...

Now it's no secret I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Hudson and I will be on the couch dressed up on February 25 watching the Oscars waiting for them to announce Ms. Hudson's name for Best Supporting Actress.

JHud is on the cover of the February issue of GIANT magazine, where she talks about (what else?) her newfound success, Beyonce and Dreamgirls. Here's the link to the article.

Jennifer Hudson looks amazing in these pictures. Just goregous. I don't read GIANT magazine all that often, but I might have to go out and pick up this issue. I'm loving all this black star power right about now...

But what I really love about Jennifer Hudson is that she seems so down to earth. I know all this fame is new to her, but she seems like a genuinely nice person. I wouldn't mind hanging with her. But I think I love Jennifer 'cause she shows what can happen if you don't give up. I can't wait for her album to come out. I believe she said on Rachael Ray's show that she starts working on it in March and it would be out in the fall.

I hope she doesn't go the route of another American Idol, Fantasia. I used to be a big fan of Fantasia and I think with the right management her career could skyrocket, but I think she needs better material to fit her voice. Fantasia doesn't do anything to make herself stand out in terms of song material. I hope Jennifer has the songwriters behind her to give enough more weight to her powerhouse voice.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Am I a serious blogger or am I just playin'?

I've been updating almost daily for about a month now. Why? What am I hoping to accomplish from this? I have to admit, I do enjoy writing on a regular basis, writing things that won't be graded or judged too harshly. I like writing about what I think is interesting, and sharing my opinions with others.

At the beginning of this year, I made a vow that THIS would be the year that I elevate my financial status - in other words, I'm trying to get paid! I love writing, so I figured this is the way to do it. I'm blogging, writing for a couple of sites, trying to land a steady writing gig somewhere, just trying to get my name OUT THERE.

It's hard though and I find myself getting discouraged. My page views are much much lower than I would like them to be. I'm praying on it and trying to be patient but anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows that patience isn't my strong point. I want success so bad I can taste it, I can hear it, I can feel it and it isn't enough for me to sit back and wait.

I see successful people and I study their stories and their background and I try to see what they did to get to where they are. What books do they read? What do they believe? What are their prinicples for success? How did they do it?

I believe this is just who I am. I'm always striving to improve. Like that Toyota motto, I'll move in any direction, as long as it's forward.

I have to be successful. I come from a long line of people who are just full of potential but one roadblock or another kept them from achieving greatness.

I don't want to be like that.

I WANT a better life.

I NEED to be successful.

I WILL be successful.

Recipe of the Week - You Won't Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta

I finally feel caught up with my schoolwork and what do I do? I load my Recipe of the Week a day early for you. Yes, I love my readers. I'll also try to put pictures with the recipes from now on so you can actually SEE what it is I'm talking about...Next week I promise I'll use a different person's recipes....

Here is Rachael Ray's You Won't Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta. Try it and let me know how it is!

This recipe will make enough for 2 couples. If you plan a romantic evening where more than two's a crowd, reserve half the sauce to freeze for another supper before the addition of basil, and only cook 1/2 to 2/3 pound of penne.

Courtesy Rachael Ray and Food Network
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
Coarse salt and pepper
16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Crusty bread, for passing

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.

Heart-to-heart with Essence Editor in Chief Angela Burt-Murray

This past summer I had the pleasure of meeting my idol, Angela Burt-Murray, EIC of Essence magazine, the magazine that I've read since I was a little preteen. THIS is the magazine that made me say I wanted to be a journalist. To see my name in print in Essence would be beyond amazing (I see you, Charreah!)

While I was there, I made sure to put my time to good use, because who knows if I'll ever get a chance like that again. I interviewed Ms. Burt-Murray about everything: her job, her friends, her family, etc. Here's the interview. Hope you enjoy it!

For more than 35 years, Essence magazine has brought black women the latest in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and personal finance. In its storied history, only four people have held the title of editor-in-chief. Its newest editor is Angela Burt-Murray, former executive editor of Teen People. The wife and mother of two is also an author, having written a couple books with friends Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller, the latest of which is “The Vow.” Read on as Ms. Burt-Murray shares her views on making it work.

You have two sons. Does being a mom influence your work at Essence?
Angela Burt-Murray: I think the idea of what we want to put together at Essence is a magazine that reflects the breadth of our community. Something that shows us in a positive and beautiful light. So I hope that is the content we’re creating. That not only feeds the soul of our 7.7 million readers, but also it impacts my children by seeing these beautiful and positive images. When they’re ready to read Essence, they’ll get information that’s accurate and fairly portrays our community and covers the issues that the mainstream media doesn’t necessarily find is newsworthy.

How have you changed since you’ve had children?
ABM: Having children definitely changes you. You definitely become less selfish. It’s less about you and more about them, making sure that they’re happy, healthy and safe. Even though I’m editor in chief of Essence, I’m very clear about what the priority is and that’s the well-being of my family. I’m fortunate to work at a company that supports that. The president of Essence, Michele Ebanks, also has two small children. As mothers with very busy careers, we both know the priority is the children.

How do you manage to find time for your side projects, like your books?
ABM: It can be challenging. With the book projects, luckily our deadlines were prior to me taking this position so I had time to write the book. This job can be very demanding. I work about 60 hours a week. I try not to work on the weekends and have that be totally family time. But you know, if you’re passionate about something, you’ll find time to do it. When I wrote my last novel with Mitzi Miller and Denene Millner, we had a very tight schedule that we put together so that we could get the project done in time. We basically had the summer to do it so I would write mostly on the weekends to get it done. It’s all about putting together a schedule together that works for you.

Do you have any special routines with your children or husband?
ABM: We try to make sure that the time that we have together we make it count. We go to church together on Sunday. On Saturdays, it’s mostly spent at their activities because they’re involved – they have sports and birthday parties. On the weekends, its full-on “mommy mode.”
So what do you do, aside from the kids and the husband, to try to relax and take a moment for yourself?
ABM: It’s hard to carve out time for yourself. Because obviously, when you spend so much time at work, any down time you do have, you feel like you should be focused on your family and your spouse. I try to plan little trips with my girlfriends when I can. I try to get an hour on the weekends to get my nails done and flip through magazines and completely zone out. But other than that, it’s difficult to find those pockets of time. But it’s important that women try to do that.

Sometimes when you talk to women about balancing everything, it seems like their role as a mother overshadows their role as a wife. How do you make sure you still have time for your husband while you’re trying to give 100 percent to your kids?
ABM: I think it’s important that you focus on your spouse and make sure the two of you still have a relationship beyond the children. Whether it’s having a date night every week or if that’s planning trips away or quiet time after the children go to bed. I think it’s important that you plan to have that time together.

How do you make time for your friends? I know you mentioned in a previous issue of Essence in your editor’s letter that you plan trips with your girlfriends.
ABM: We try to plan a trip at least twice a year. But we’re constantly on email with each other, which is fun, because it gives you a break in the day. It’s good to have those connections with people. Most of my friends also have children so we’ll get the kids together for birthday parties and play dates.

Do you have any advice for new mothers who are nervous about working?
ABM: My only advice would be, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of any one else. So, as difficult as it may seem to find the time to relax and reflect and schedule that annual doctor’s appointment, you have to take care of yourself before you can run 100 miles an hour, trying to manage your career and keep the family going. It’s just really important to take time for yourself.

Tara Pringle is associate editor of and a freelance writer living in Kent, Ohio.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

MySuperProposal Guy Finally Popped the Question

With all the work I had to do this week, I forgot about the guy, the one who was trying to raise $2.5 million to buy an ad to play during the Super Bowl so he could propose to his girlfriend.

Well, obviously he didn't raise the money and no advertiser was willing to give up their spot for him, so he had to settle for proposing during an episode of Veronica Mars, his girlfriend's favorite TV show.

I thought it was a great idea and had he pulled it off, there is no way he'd ever be in the doghouse with her about anything! He would've gotten cool points for life! But anyway, below is the clip of him proposing. He did manage to raise over $80,000, which I believe is going to charity. I wish I could've seen the ring though...

Here's the clip of the proposal...Tell me if you think she's happy?

Friday, February 09, 2007

THIS is how you follow an Oscar-nominated performance?

Eddie Murphy's performance in Dreamgirls was great, perhaps even worthy of his Best Supporting Actor nod.

But then I see this.


What in the world is going on here?
I can't get too upset, 'cause Eddie helped write the script, but come on....This is potentially the least funniest movie I'll never see.

If someone does go out and see Norbit, let me know what you think. Maybe I'm wrong.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Now THIS is a good look!

I just wrote about Ebony the other day and now I stumble upon this.....

She looks so cute and she is all about her business. I may be older than her, but I still say she makes me so proud!

Kudos to Ebony for recognizing her talent and putting her right where she needs to be: front and center on the newsstands!

What's your biggest weakness?


So I had the interview.

I really don't know how it went. In my opinion, I'm not good at interviewing, yet I've managed to get almost every job I've ever applied for, ESPECIALLY the ones I was recommended for.

But I still get nervous and I start stammering, even though I've read a thousand of those "How to Ace Every Interview" articles that are floating around the internet. I guess I just need more practice.

Oh! I didn't tell you the worst part! I brought my portfolio with me, with ALL the writing I've ever done catalogued in chronological order. So the interviewer looks at it, and actually READS WHAT I'VE WRITTEN. I've never had anyone who was in a position to give me a job actually read my stuff while I'm sitting there.

I had just gotten to the point where I was secure with myself and I didn't question that I was a good writer, and now all that sense of security went out the window.

"Oh my God, is there a spelling error in that story? Did I cite everything properly? Does she really want to read my story on interracial dating where I quoted a man who said black men have big penises? Did I even have to include that? Arrgggh!"

But she seemed to like me. Maybe not enough to give me a job, but enough for the interview to last an hour and a half.

So, I don't know. I'll let you know as soon as I know. Wish me luck!

Tavis Smiley, Cornel West to speak at KSU

I don't know what the programming board was doing this year, but I like it. First Chris Gardner, now this!

On February 24, Tavis Smiley AND Cornel West will be speaking at Kent State University's main campus. Tickets are free for students AND the general public.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

I talked to my friend Morality today. She's in New York, persuing her goals of being an award-winning Broadway actress. When she left Cleveland after our high school graduation, all of her friends wondered how she would do. Would she like NYC? Would she be a struggling artist? How long before her big break would come?

I'm happy to say she is still in NY four years later, still persuing her dream. She told me that she was reevaluting some things in her life, trying to decide the best path for her to follow. I told her that she was already successful in my eyes, because she knew what she wanted to do and went for it.

I know what I want to do: I want to write. For as long as I could remember, that was my gift. I was always a talented writer. I can write anything: essays, newspaper articles, reviews, research papers, etc. Heck, I got my ex-boyfriend through high school by writing all his essays senior year. (I was a fool in "love," what could I say?)

But now, I'm three months away from college graduation. I've got my resume critiqued and ready to go, my cover letter is perfection, and I'm anxiously searching for a job. So imagine my surprise when my professor approaches me during a break in class and tells me a colleague of hers is looking for a student who can write to work with her. My professor tells me, "I think the job is yours for the taking."

A week later, I get a call and set up an interview.

It's tomorrow.

I don't really know if I want it. I mean, I love the organization and think it would be a great experience, but with my schedule as hectic as it is, and the added pain of finding childcare when I don't really trust anyone to watch my daughter, I don't know if it's feasible.

I need some guidance and I already prayed about it, so I'm just waiting for an answer.

Is this position going to lead to something better? The pay offer is already better than most of the jobs I've ever had, which is nice especially with the little one.

Is this job going to help me reach my goals? My primary duties would be writing (I'm guessing) materials for the VP of marketing. Press releases, things like that.

If I take this job, will my schoolwork suffer? Probably. Will it matter so much now that I'm in my final semester and I already have a 3.7 GPA? Not so much.

I guess I'm just searching for answers to a question that I'm scared of: Am I ready to reach my goals?

Quick meal tips,,,,

My new favorite blog, Everything Rachael Ray , inspired me for this post. Here's some of my tricks to making dinner fast! (Boy, I tell ya, spend a few months at home with a newborn and I've turned into a bona-fide

  • Sharp knives make chopping a lot faster.
  • Buy in bulk when certain foods go on sale. My hubby and I buy tons of chicken breasts when they're on sale, so we never run out. Also, separate the chicken breasts into plastic baggies and put a spice rub on them so when you take them out of the freezer, all you have to do is bake them or fry them or whatever.
  • Always, always, always make your rice in the microwave. It's easier and you don't have to babysit it all the time.
  • Mix whatever spice rub you're using with a teaspoon or so of olive oil. It makes the meat extra tender faster.
  • Italian salad dressing is a great marinade.

Anyone have any other suggestions??

Super bowl ads...

I thought the Super Bowl ads this year were kind of...well, average. Nothing really said, "We've been working on these for months for the biggest television event of the year." It was more like these ad executives woke up on Friday and discovered that the big game was a few days away. Here's one I found to be the funniest:


Which one did you all like?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Help a sista out!

I'm a college student. I've been there. Even with a set of parents who worked hard to give me a good education, at the end of the day (or more precisely, the beginning of the semester) the money for my tuition simply wasn't there. So I had to talk with the Financial Aid office over and over and over again to assure them that yes, the money was on the way, and no, I wasn't BSing them.

So when my friend Kevin told me about his friend Danya's situation, I felt for her. Wanting that college degree and not having a way to pay for it is something I can relate to. Sophomore year, that was me and only by the grace of God did the money appear.

So Danya (that's her in the picture below) needs your help. Saunter on over to her website and see her progress as she tries to raise enough funds to go back to school. I recently talked with Danya to see how I could help and therefore, how YOU could help. Here's some of her comments.

"People should give 10 bucks towards my education because kids like me are worth it and I represent something that is bigger than me: I am championing a cause that impacts so many people. I am one of the small number of people in our country right now advocating for higher retention in college campuses across the nation by creating programs that provide alternative funding means for students who'd otherwise have difficulty doing this because of the families into which they've been born. And this actually matters, because the more college educated people we have in our country, the more likely we are to have higher, taxable incomes, higher property values, more jobs, more businesses created, etc. This hits everyone's pocket at the end of the day.

This question seems so obvious. Why WOULDN'T you want to help someone who is already clearly a leader and is already clearly working to change things? Why wouldn't you want to help someone who is working to make it easier for your own child to just afford college in the future?

And beyond all of that, I think my leadership has been pretty obvious. I not only have potential, but I have real results. I've led actual organizations that literally change people's lives; *created* programs that literally change people's lives; taught workshops that have left people changed, forever.

The evidence is there, and society directly benefits from people like me in the world. The sooner I get to finish a formal education, the sooner I can augment my current level of performance to deliver even more results to people throughout this nation and beyond."

Head on over to her website and see what you can do. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your co-workers...Spread the word!

So I've been working out, right?

I've gone to the gym four times in the past week and a half. I think I might stick with it this time, which would be the first time I ever got on a serious workout schedule. I used to be one of those, "If I make it there, fine..." type of people. But now I'm cutting back on the fat (oh, how I love butter) and trying to exercise and drink more water. I just hope it continues and I don't get bored.....

Oh yeah, and GO COLTS!!! I love Peyton Manning :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

What irks you about your significant other?

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the book Babyproofing Your Marriage from my friend Paula. It's been one day and I'm already halfway through it. I read it at the gym, on the bed, while feeding the baby, etc. I just couldn't put it down because it seemed to speak to me and let me know that what I was feeling was common. I was able to pinpoint all the things that bugged me as a new mom.

If my hubby reads this, (and I'm not sure that he does) he would find it no surprise that my biggest gripe with him is that he refuses to put the diaper in the Diaper Genie correctly. He will just stuff it in there and walk away. We've had full arguments about it, but he'll just insist that he doesn't know how to use it, even though I've showed him at least 5 times.

So my question of the day is: What irks you about your significant other?

Please leave comments. Comments make me happy :)