Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Recipe of the Week....

I know I'm a little late with this,but school is kicking my butt this week. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe from none other than Rachael Ray. I promise I'll start using different cooks, but for now, it's all about RR. If you want, you can send me your recipes, and I'll try them out. Who knows? Maybe your world-famous ribs or cheesy mac will make it on the site? Email me your recipes at

Meatloaf Muffins with Barbecue Sauce
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 2/3 to 1 3/4 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper
1 large egg plus a splash of milk, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 cup smoky barbecue sauce
1/2 cup tomato salsa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil
Micro-way-cool Bacon and Green Beans, recipe follows
Smashed potatoes and cream cheese, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Put ground beef into a big bowl. Put onion and celery into a food processor. Cut the bell pepper in half, rip out the seeds and throw them into your garbage bowl. Cut the pepper into a few pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse the processor blades to finely chop the vegetables into very small pieces then add them to the meat bowl. Add egg, beaten with milk, bread crumbs and grill seasoning to the bowl. Next, mix together the smoky barbecue sauce, the salsa and the Worcestershire sauce. Pour half the sauce mixture into the bowl with the meatloaf mix. Mix the meatloaf together with your hands. Wash up. Brush a 12-muffin tin (1/2-cup each) with vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil. Use an ice cream scoop to help you fill meat into a each tin. Top each meat loaf with a spoonful of extra sauce. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut open 1 muffin to test that the middle is cooked through. While meatloaf muffins bake, make green beans in the microwave. Serve meatloaf with Smashed Potatoes and Cream Cheese on the side, too.

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's about time...

Everyone knows that I am a journalism major. I subscribe to all things media related and I came across this little story today in my email inbox.

"Ebony pushes for a new edge"

All I can say is, thank God. I always thought Ebony had so much potential. I believe Ebony has fallen off in recent years. The quality of writing has gone down, and it reads like a fifth-grader wrote the cover stories. They rarely cover anything of much importance and their interviews with celebrities just rehash information that's common knowledge to anyone with a TV or high-speed internet.

Not to say that Ebony hasn't made some good moves. That recent Barack Obama cover was a good look. So was this one a few years ago:

Also, did you see that American Greetings partnered with Ebony to create cards based on some of their most famous covers? You can check out the pictures
here . Be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Excuse me Ms. Banks, but you are not fat, just to let you know...

I just picked up the newest issue of People, where none other than Ms. Tyra Banks is the cover girl, not discussing the newest cycle of America's Next Top Model, but her recent and highly-publicized weight gain. Now, Tyra Banks, to me, has never been the skinniest moodel. I admired her for flaunting her curves, and making the decision to switch over to print modeling rather than starve herself.

Now that she's retired, she isn't worried about sticking to the industry standard and I say more power to ya! She's currently weighing in at about 160 lbs, but we can't forget that Tyra is almost six feet tall! I weigh about 130, 135, and I'm only five feet tall. So who's really chubby?

Now granted, she doesn't look like this anymore...

But she sure isn't a whale.

I think our society is too focused on being thin, which is ironic when we're dealing with an obesity epidemic. I noticed stores are now carrying size 00 (yes, that's smaller than zero). That shouldn't be possible. I remember when I was about 14 or 15, I used to wear a size 2. Now I wear a size 6 or 8, which is okay with me. I have no desire to be as thin as I used to be. I had no boobs and no butt (okay, I still have a flat butt) and I was missing all those womanly curves I so proudly own now. And that's what I loved me some Tyra. She had booty and made it okay.

And speaking of Tyra Banks, you know how hard it is to find pictures of her fully clothed??? I tried to get some pictures for this post and all I could find were swimsuit/lingerie shots.

Remember this shot? I wanted that bra so bad until I found out it cost $10 million or so. Crazy.

And speaking of hit ABC shows... know who I think is pretty?

Sara Ramirez.

Recognize her? Well, maybe you need to see her in her scrubs.

Yes, she is from Grey's Anatomy, and Broadway, among other things.

I think she is goregous. Plus, she gets bonus points for being bigger than a size 2 in Hollywood. (I think she carries it well. I wanna look like her!)

It sure didn't hurt her career to be a series regular on one of the hottest shows on television, Grey's Anatomy.

I watched my first episode last year around this time. Remember the huge episode they had after the Super Bowl? I got hooked then.

Grey's Anatomy is wonderfully written, with an amazing cast who seem to know just what to do with the script and make it their own. Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, T.R. Knight, Isiah Washington, and the rest of the crew make Thursday nights at 9 the place to be. I love how the show is based on the personal lives of these surgeons, but how often your personal life will get mixed up with your career whether you want it to or not.

The show is sad at times, it's funny, it's wild, but at no point am I ever bored. I attempted to interview Shonda Rhimes, the super-successful creator of Grey's Anatomy, but am still trying to get past ABC publicity to get a chance with her. It's hard as I'm sure she's super busy, being so high-demand and all.

So you're listening Ms. Rhimes, I'd love to get the chance to interview you! Your show is amazing!

Why don't you all check it out so you can tell me how you like it?

Friday, January 26, 2007

I Can't Get Into Ugly Betty...

...Yet I love America Ferrera. She is so pretty! Plus she's a great actress.
But last night, as I was sitting on the couch nursing the little one, I was trying to watch Ugly Betty, especially after Ms. Ferrera won at the Golden Globes. I wanted to show her some support.

But I just had to turn. Not that it's not a good show, it's just that it reminded me too much of myself and my story.

You see, for most of my life I've suffered from a lack of self-esteem. I wouldn't say I had low self-esteem, because it wasn't low, it was non-existent. I remember one day in seventh grade (the grade where you start to care how boys view you and you start wearing jewelry and lip gloss) when school pictures came out. This boy looked over my shoulder at my packet and said, "You look like an ugly boy."

Can you imagine how that made me feel? Not only did he think I was ugly, but he thought I looked like a BOY. That comment has permanently scarred me. And the fact that he said it so casually, so matter-of-fact, haunted me for years after.

I mean, I know I'm not the prettiest woman alive. You won't catch me on the cover of People's Most Beautiful People issue. I think on a good day, when I'm well rested and managed to find my way into the salon, I'm pretty cute. But every day? An average day? I'm just an average chick.

I wear glasses. Society would have us believe sexy women don't suffer from astigmatism or near-sightedness.

This brings me back to Ugly Betty. She wears glasses, braces and has a, ahem, odd sense of fashion. She works at a high fashion magazine and the other staff members look down at her.

Sometimes I feel like that would be me if I moved to New York and worked at, say, Vogue. I'm not the most glamourous woman, but I long to be.

Watching Ugly Betty just takes me back to that day in seventh grade, when I wanted nothing more than just be pretty.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Who Needs AAA when you have God on your side?

I was leaving class today, muttering to myself that I should've worn my hat and bought that cute scarf I saw at Target because it was cold. I found my car in the crowded parking lot and opened the car and let myself in. I was instantly relieved that it wasn't as cold inside the car as it was outside.

The heater in my car, a trusty '97 Buick LaSabre, heats quickly and I was looking forward to getting that first blast of heat so I could unthaw. Key goes in the ignition, hand turns key, car no start-y. I frowned. I turned the key again. Nope. Doesn't want to start.

I turn the key five more times. The car is teasing me, giving me a steady wheeze, but it's not turning over. I lean my forehead against the steering wheel, accidentally hitting the horn, which scares the bejesus out of me.

I panicked. I have little desire to spend money to get this car fixed, especially when my bank account is shrinking so quickly it's like there's a leak in my pocket.

I pulled out my cell phone and called my dad, who was watching my daughter while my husband was at work. He didn't answer.

I called my husband. He was in a meeting, I knew, and I thought he might answer the phone. He didn't answer.

"Please Lord," I whispered. "Please let this car start, let someone answer the phone, let someone come by, anything."

I called my dad again but no answer this time either.

I leaned forward again and began to cry. I've been an emotional wreck this week and this was all I needed to put me over the edge.

As soon as I felt that first tear roll down my cheek, my phone rings. It's my dad.

I'm saved.

What I typed all this to say is that God answers our prayers. I can't count how many times when I felt like giving up and then bam! Something great happens and it turns my whole outlook around.

I forget what song it was, but the lyrics stayed with me:
He may not come when you want Him, but He'll be there right on time

Ain't that the truth.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Need A Vacation....

I'm kind of sad today.

Usually when I'm sad I try to think of all the good things in my life and that'll get me out of my funk. I mean, I'm thisclose to graduating from college, I have a beautiful, beautiful daughter, I've got a man who really loves me, great family and friends, etc. So why should I be sad?

I just...can't put my finger on it. I feel restless, like I'm chained to something I don't want to be chained to. I want to DO something, I want to GO somewhere. With our financial situation, we can't really afford childcare and I'm not really too thrilled about someone else watching her while she's this young, so I watch my daughter while my husband is at work, and he watches her while I'm in class.

It's been working out so far, but I just feel like I'm in a rut. I do the same thing every day. I wake up, feed the baby, go to class, come home, eat lunch, feed the baby, do some homework, feed the baby, make dinner, eat dinner, feed the baby, bedtime. My mom takes her every few weekends, which gives me a little free time, but I just feel stuck.

I need a vacation, I think. A nice trip somewhere will do me good. I need a Bahamavention...has anyone seen those ads? That's where I need to go.

Can you think of anything more romantic?

I love this magazine!
Granted, I might be younger than the average Essence reader, but I've always liked the way they tried to uplift Black women and inform us about the most pressing issues in our community.

Last night I spent a half hour on Essence's website to follow up on a special feature they had in the magazine. Six men were selected to appear in a multi page spread to propose to their girlfriends. The men were of all ages, and had different stories about how they met their girlfriend, how long they had been dating, why they wanted to get married, etc. Each man had a section where they wrote the proposal and then we had to log on to to see the girlfriend's reaction when they saw the magazine. All the women said yes of course - it would have been tragic if they didn't.

Let me tell you if my husband had proposed to me in Essence, oh Lord! I would have been so thrilled! For my husband to propose to me in my favorite magazine, it would be the greatest day of my life. Now, my proposal was wonderful, don't get me wrong. I just admire these men for taking a chance of a lifetime to make their future wives happy.

Check it out here .

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dreamgirls Get Eight Nominations!

Oh I'm so excited I can't even put an coherent post together. Today starts my official campaign - "Jennifer Hudson Deserves an Oscar..."

Check out the complete list of nomineees here .

Monday, January 22, 2007

Recipe of the Week

I have to declare my love for Rachael Ray. I was watching her show today and she had Jennifer Hudson on talking about her prospects of being nominated for an Oscar tomorrow. You could tell JHud was so nervous about being nominated - Bless her heart!

But I love Rachael Ray because she got me out of the habit of simply popping a Lean Cuisine in the microwave for dinner, like most college students do. I tell ya, freshman year, I was the only freshman that had a full set of pans and was in the community kitchen making dinner.

So I've been trying different recipes and I came across Rachael Ray's recipe for Jambasta, a combination of jambalaya and pasta. I personally can't eat my jambalaya with anything but rice, but try it with the pasta and see how you like it.

1 pound penne rigate, pasta with lines
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound andouille sausage, any brand, casing removed and diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced (1 large jalapeno my be substituted)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart with greens, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beer, 1/2 bottle
1 cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Franks Red Hot or Tabasco) eyeball it
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 pound chicken breast, diced into small pieces
1/2 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
1/4 cup heavy cream, eyeball it
2 scallions, sliced

Heat a pot of water to a boil for pasta and add salt to it then pasta. Cook to al dente and drain.
While pasta works, heat a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, butter and andouille. Brown the sausage 2 to 3 minutes to render the fat. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add garlic, peppers, celery and onions. Saute the veggies for 5 to 6minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add flour to the pan. Cook flour with veggies 2 minutes more then whisk in beer. Cook beer out, 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, hot sauce and thyme. Bring liquid to a bubble and add chicken and shrimp. Cook 6 to 7 minutes until chicken is firm and shrimp are opaque and firm. Stir to mix in cooking juices then add in cream. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Ladle up the jambasta and top with chopped scallions and reserved crispy andouille.

I think I'm going to post recipes I find that are particularly good. I love food and I love eating and nothing makes me happier than eating food I cooked. Something about chopping an onion relaxes me and I've turned into one of those people who don't even cry when they cut an onion. (Actually, the trick I've found to cutting an onion is to put the onion in the fridge for about an hour before you cut it. And use a really sharp knife so you can go quickly).

So try this recipe and let me know what you think!

It's awards season!

Tomorrow morning, Oscar nominations will be announced! I'm predicting that Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and maybe Jamie Foxx will all get nods. But if I had my way, I would nominate Keith Robinson, who played C.C. White, Effie White's songwriter brother. He's been overlooked and I think his performance, along with Jennifer and Jamie, really made the movie what it was. Anika Noni Rose who played Lorrell also had a great performance as well. Keep your fingers crossed for them tomorrow!

I eat too much...

I'm trying to lose weight and actually maintain it this time. I currently weigh about 135 lbs, with a goal wieght of 125. Not too bad, right? I certainly could have more weight to lose, but you'd be surprised how fast I lost my baby weight. At my heaviest during the pregnancy, I was about 158 lbs, and within 6 weeks after delivery I was at 134 lbs. Considering that pre-baby, I was 140 lbs, I think I'm doing good.

But my whole problem is that I eat too much. I don't eat extremely unhealthy food. I don't eat donuts, or chips, or candy. I love vegetables and baked chicken and rice (oh I could eat that every day). But I just eat too much! I've been reading up on portion sizes and I'm realizing now that my portions are just way too big. A portion of meat is supposed to be about the size of a deck of cards. I know I eat about twice that. Maybe I'll use smaller plates so I'll eat less. But will I really be full?? Maybe I just have to get used to it. Here's the website I was looking at that shows how portion sizes have changed over the years.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Be My Valentine

Ever since I have been part of a couple (3 years and counting), I have looked forward to Valentine's Day with the enthusiasm of a five-year old on Christmas Eve. I start dropping hints about it around Christmas, and continue all the way up to the special day. This year, with a two-month-old, classes, work, and a bank account that's stretched like a rubber band, it'll be amazing if we even do anything.

But then I remembered that Tyler Perry's new movie, Daddy's Little Girls comes out on Valentine's Day.
I'm glad to see him continue his success and to do something other than a Madea movie. I enjoy his Madea plays and that's definitely what brought him the most success, but to branch out and change it up is a part of life.

It looks to be a good movie, with Idris Elba (the sexiest man alive other than my husband) and Gabrielle Union (such a cutie pie) in the leads. The movie centers around Elba, a single father of three in a blue collar job, who meets Union, a successful attorney. You can check out the trailer

So whatever you do, make sure you show your special someone that you love them, not just February 14, but every day.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm trying something a little different...

If you come to my blog often you might notice something new. I add a radio station over there to the right, just to give you something to listen to while you read (if you're not just here for the video clips I post). Enjoy it! I'll be adding new songs occasionally, but right not it's mainly R&B.

Family Guy is one of my favorite TV shows. It's funny and so socially irresponsible that it's pure comedic gold. My favorite character has to be Stewie. That baby cracks me up! Someone was nice enough to compile some of his best moments in a 7-minute clip on YouTube. Here it is:



As a new mom, I kind of knew that when my daughter cried, it meant she was hungry. Any other time, she was content to just look at me or stay in my arms or on my lap quietly. But for other moms whose babies might cry a little more often, it's not always easy to know what it is sthat your child needs.

Now on the market is a high tech "cry analyzer" that boasts a 90% success rate to determine why your baby is crying. It's a small hand held device that you hold close to your baby's face when he or she is crying and it analyzes the pitch to give you some idea what the problem is.

It sounds like a great idea, but at $170, it'll be cheaper just to trust your instincts. Here is the site where you can get more information.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Date night!!

Since I had my daughter, I find myself chained to the house more and more. Which is okay with me. Now, had she been born in the summer, I'd be saying something else entirely. But I hate cold weather and there's nothing better than cuddling up in bed with your hubby and the little one.

So instead of going out like we used to, I will cook dinner during our "date nights." Well, I cook dinner every night, but I try to make it extra special on those nights. I experiment with different recipes and flavors, and I don't know if hubby even notices the extra effort, but I enjoy cooking anyway. I love cookbooks and the Food Network. Something about it just relaxes me. Whenever I get a free moment, I'm all about whipping up something special.

So, I came up with this fool-proof recipe for a simple dinner for two (with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day!) Try this out the next time you want something nice and easy.

One 8-10 lb chicken, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 gloves finely minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Mix Old Bay, oil garlic and cayenne pepper until it forms a paste. If it's too thick, add a little water. Spread evenly all over the chicken and cover the chicken loosely with some foil. Cook in the oven for about 1 hour. Then, baste the chicken, take the foil off and cook for another 45 minutes, or until the chicken is 180 degrees. Cut chicken into pieces and serve. The mix is great on turkey, too!

And p.s. it's the juiciest chicken you will ever eat!! Try it and thank me later!

Is she insecure or is it a match made in heaven?

I used to be a super jealous girlfriend. I mean, if his phone rang and I was closest to it, I couldn't pass it to him without looking at the number first. I used to be the type to check email and missed calls and received calls. I'd look at phone bill records and see who was on his Buddy List. I'd look at the websites he'd visited, just to see what he was up to.

Don't ask me why I did it. My husband has never given me any reason to suspect him of anything the whole time we were dating. It was like something I couldn't control. But he let me know that that sort of behavior wouldn't be tolerated. He told me he had nothing to hide and I believed him. I never found anything, not even an innocent "hello" from a platonic friend. So I changed my ways and became the woman I am today. Now, if he answers his phone and goes in the other room, I will say something, but I won't trip.

I said all that to say this: you know I love me some black couples in love. There's nothing stronger than sincere true love. I love Will and Jada, Denzel and Pauletta, Mary J. and her husband Kendu, etc.

So when I heard about the reality show, The Christies, starting former NBA star Doug Christie and his super-protective wife, Jackie I knew I wanted to watch. It debuted on BET J (I've never heard of that channel) back in October, but I hadn't heard too much about it. All I know is that many people would classify their relationship as odd.

Jackie would travel to his away games, staking her claim, rarely, if ever, leaving her husband's side. Doug doesn't do interviews with female reporters out of respect for her, and he rarely makes eye contact with other women in general. Check out this promotional picture for the show: . I don't know any man who would pose like that. After viewing some of their interactions, I think they really are in love, but it's strange love at best. I don't know if I could even place all these restrictions on my man. In an interview, Jackie said she trusted Doug, but she didn't trust other females. Which, to me anyway, means she could trust Doug not to make the first move, but if someone put the sex on a platter for him, she's not sure he'd be able to resist.

They've been together for years now, so I guess it works for them, but I know I wouldn't be able to sustain a relationship with someone who had all these restrictions on what I could say or do with the opposite sex. Here's a short clip of Jackie and Doug if you'd like to see what I mean...

Chris Gardner to appear at Kent State Stark campus

Chris Gardner, the millionaire investment broker who spent the early years of his career homeless and a single father (you might also know him as the inspiration for the hit film, The Pursuit of Happyness, currently in theatres now), will be in Northeast Ohio February 1st to speak about his life experiences. Here's an excerpt from the Kent State site:

Christopher Gardner explores “The Pursuit of Happyness” on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007.
A series of unfortunate circumstances left Christopher Gardner homeless in San Francisco and the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up his son or his dream of financial independence, he started at the bottom of the financial industry and worked his way up. Gardner, who is now the president and CEO of his own brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Company Inc., donates 10 percent or more of his company’s earnings toward school and educational projects in his community. The Pursuit of Happyness, his amazing life story of struggle, faith, entrepreneurialism and fatherly devotion was recently published and has been made into a movie starring Will Smith.

Please support this event! It is part of the Kent State Stark Featured Speakers Series. More from Kent State's site:
Each program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Professional Education and Conference Center’s Timken Great Hall, located at 6000 Frank Avenue NW in Jackson Township. All lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. No tickets are necessary and groups are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Know I'm A Little Late With This...

...but classes started yesterday and this ALREADY looks to be a difficult semester. I had to stop myself from crying!

Yes, the Golden Globes were Monday night and of course I watched to see if Jennifer Hudson won for Best Supporting Actress. And she did! I was so happy for her because it just shows how fierce she is, how incredibly determined she was to be successful. After Simon's comments to her on American Idol, about how she wasn't right for the competition, she could've taken that to heart and given up on her dreams. But instead she kept on pushing, landed a role of a lifetime and now will probably be nominated for an Oscar. Amazing how things work out! (I keep telling myself that as I get deeper and deeper into my classwork...somebody help me!)

Here's a clip of her acceptance speech:

Did I mention she looked amazing too?! Also, check out this interview she did back in December where she says she only watched Jennifer Holliday's performance on YouTube, the same clip I posted last week!

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm From Ohio and Proud!

I get daily emails from Daily Candy, a site that sends you information about the latest trends and fun sites. I came across this site that sells very cute T-shirts, ones that Midwestern girls will really appreciate...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Devil Wears Prada?

As I'm nearing the end of my college career, beginning my job search, I often wonder what it's like to work for a major magazine in New York. (Of course, I did work for Reader's Digest, but that was in Pleasantville, NY, not Manhattan.) While a lowly intern at RD this past summer, I read The Devil Wears Prada during my horrific two-hour commute every day.

It was scary. The author, Lauren Wisenberger, is rumored to have based the novel on her tenure as an assistant under Anna Wintour, the famed fur-lovingVogue editor. So the fact that the novel might have some truth to it scared me beyond belief. In the novel, the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, a fictional version of Vogue, is Miranda Priestly, a silver-haired monarch of the fashion world. She severely berates her assistant, bright-eyed Andy, for everything - for her lack of fashion sense, to her inability to deliver the new (and unpublished) Harry Potter manuscript.

So when I got a chance to see it this past summer, I was ready. The movie didn't get into all the different trials Miranda put Andy through, but it did get the point across - Miranda was definitely the boss from hell.

Still, I'd recommend it anyone who ever had to deal with an unrelentingly awful superior. Maybe you'll see that you really didn't have it that bad...

The Devil Wears Prada (Widescreen Edition)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Looking for a "Bride" like me

As a young woman of color who is engaged and deep in the midst of wedding planning, I find it disheartening that whenever I open up bridal magazines or go on wedding planning websites, I rarely see any of the brides that look like me. As in, the ethnic flavor of these sites is really lacking. Every bride is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty with creamy skin. No one that really resembles me.

That is, until I stumbled across a new site, World Bride magazine. This new bridal magazine says it caters to women of all colors, races and religions, which is somewhat refreshing to see. The site is pretty typical, with links to vendors and articles. The models are simply beautiful. Check out one of the covers below.

One gripe I have about this magazine, and bridal magazines in general, is that they seem to operate under the belief that everyone has $100,000 to spend on their wedding. They have ads for Tiffany diamond rings, $3000 dresses, honeymoon packages in South Africa - all things that I can't afford. I would like for magazines to acknowledge the brides that not be able to - or even have the desire - to spend an obscene amount of money on a wedding. Show me how to do flower arrangements for under $100, show me the best times of year to shop for a wedding dress on sale, or how to buy a cake that won't break the bank. If I ever am in a position to start my own magazine, I might have to consider creating one for the budget-minded bride.

And I Am Telling You...Jennifer Hudson Better Win!

I saw Dreamgirls the day after Christmas and have to say that it quickly became one of my favorite movies of all time. A top-ten movie at least. I (obviously) didn't see the original Broadway play, outside of a few clips on YouTube. Now that awards season is here, I'm pulling out the popcorn and getting ready to root for Jennifer Hudson to sweep every category she's nominated in. I could hardly believe it's her first movie role! She was so convincing as Effie, so full of soul. And her voice - unbelievable that she didn't win American Idol. She sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" like her life depended on it. I never heard the original version, but I think JHud is on par with Jennifer Holliday, who sang the original. Check out the clip below and let me know what you think...

Friday, January 12, 2007

On December 3, 2006, the Museum of the Moving Image honored Will Smith with a star-studded gala for his impressive body of work. From his role as the goofy sidekick Tea Cake in Made in America to his Oscar-nominated performance as “The Greatest” in Ali, his work has spanned all genres and he has been a success in everything he has touched. Some of his career highlights include winning the first Grammy awarded to a rap artist, a six-year stint as the Fresh Prince, roles in multiple blockbuster movies, and a transition behind the scenes as executive producer of “All of Us.” King Midas indeed.

The tribute to Mr. Smith was well-timed and well orchestrated. Some of Will’s co-stars, including Queen Latifah and Alfonso Riberio (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Jamie Foxx (Ali), Eva Mendes (Hitch) and Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot) were on hand to give thanks to the man who has enhanced their careers and shown them more love. “You inspire me…you are a role model, I love you, thank you,” Moynahan said. Clips of Will’s best films were displayed on the big screen, and Will, forever humble, displayed ultimate grace and sophistication.

Will is in great company, as the Museum of the Moving Image has also honored Hollywood heavyweights Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, among others.

Catch reruns of the show tonight at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, January 14 at 10:00 a.m. & 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 16 at 12:30 a.m. and Thursday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m.

While watching MMI’s salute to Will Smith, I experienced a newfound respect for the man. After viewing the work he’s done, the decisions he’s made, the awards he’s won, the life he’s led, I just sat there in awe.

The life he’s made for himself is incredible. After looking at his page, he’s only made less than 20 movies, which is amazing considering the amount of fame and success he’s had. If it’s a Will Smith movie, regardless of who else is in it or what the plot is, it’ll be huge. I know if I see Will in a movie trailer, I’m already thinking about when I’m going to see it. He’s simply incredible. I don’t know him but if I did, I have the feeling he would be one of my best friends. He just gets “it.” He gets what is really important in life. I remember when I really truly fell in love with Will. During the Oscars, the year he was nominated for his role in Ali, his daughter was sick and the babysitter called to let them know. Will and Jada left the Oscars to be with her, making it clear that the priority was family that night.

I just…admire him so much. And Jada too. I know I’m rambling here, but I want to wake up at 40 and have that: career success, a wonderful husband, great, talented children, financial security, etc. It must be good to be Will.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tag! You're It!

Okay, so if I'm understanding this right, there's a new game floating around the 'net where people tag you and you have to reveal 5 things that people may not know about you. I consider myself pretty open, but here's my crack at it:

1) I want to be a chef. And the idea is more and more appealing to me every day, especially as the journalism industry seems to be shrinking and I'm trying to keep my hopes up that I will ever land my dream job. I LOVE to cook, which is why I get offended when people tell me, "Young girls your age can't cook." Well, I might not be able to throw down as well as my grandma, but my food is on point. Come by my house sometime and find out.

2) I'm scared of failing as a mother. These first few weeks have been challenging for me, I'm not gonna lie. I'm still adjusting to the fact that I'm no longer the person I once was: I don't act like my old self, nor do I really look like my old self. I'm scared that my anxieties about my looks and my independence (or lack thereof) will interfere with my role as a mother. I only hope and pray that this will pass.

3) I'm really really really scared of clowns. Why do you think I don't eat at McDonalds? That Ronald McDonald is a scary looking mofo.

4) I can spend hours, if not days at a time, sitting on the couch, glued to the Food Network. Actually, this ties into #1.

5) I've always had this strange feeling that I was gonna die young. Like, before I turned 30. Which might explain why I've always rushed to do things, and why patience has never been my strong point. I really hope to God I'm wrong on this point....

Well, those are my 5 things. Hope it was interesting!

Monday, January 08, 2007

An oldie but goodie....


I have this friend.

We have known each other for a while and were best friends at one point. We keep drifting in and out of each others lives, popping up occasionally to update the other on new developments in our lives.

But now I have a problem.

It always happens to me, maybe because I'm too nice and I like to listen to people hash out their frustrations. I like being that friend that people know they can count on for sound advice, support and understanding.

However, now this friend feels more like a weight on my shoulders than a friend I can count on. Whenever I see that person's name on my caller ID I don't want to answer because I know that person is calling with whatever drama/BS/issues are most important in their life. And they expect me to sit there and listen to them for 30 minutes while they complain about how such-and-such is getting on their nerves.

I don't mind when my friends have problems. I don't. What I DO mind is when people just use you for a sounding board but never have any real interest in what you have to say. I have too many people in my life whose favorite phrase to start a conversation is, "Guess what happened to me?"

Going back to my one friend. I consider this person a real friend, but I haven't even told that person about my internship. I was SOOOOOO excited when I got the news, but I haven't been able to tell her because I haven't been able to get a word in edgewise. It's all about her problems and why she has soooo much drama in her life. She hasn't asked me if I've heard back from anywhere about my internships, nor has she asked me what I'm doing this summer. All she's asked me is if I'll be able to see her this summer.

But really, I'm tired. I need REAL friends, friends who share in my successes and root for me as hard as I cheer for myself. I am ALWAYS my friends greatest cheerleader, but when the ball is in my court, my cheerleaders are sitting on the sideline somewhere eating popcorn.

So I think I'm going to do some spring cleaning, starting with my friends. As I've stated on my Facebook page, if you are not in my life to help me be a better person, or to encourage and nuture me, then you need to faze yourself out of my life. I mean it. I'm done being the great friend with the broad shoulders to cry on. When my eyes well up with tears, you know who I turn to? Myself.

So many days I've longed for that "Sex and the City" friendship. Did you see the episode where Charlotte was having a hard time conceiving and Miranda wound up pregnant? (If not, it was "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" episode 11, season 4...and no, I didn't have to look that up) Charlotte was walking home from the doctor with the news that she might never get pregnant and she ran into Miranda. After telling Miranda she just wanted to be alone, Miranda followed Charlotte ALL THE WAY home just IN CASE she wanted to talk. Do they even make friends like that anymore?

I think that's the main reason I enjoyed the show so much. Four women, despite their different views on love and sex, managed to remain friends through marriage, babies, infidelity, divorce, etc. The other three women never judged Carrie for sleeping with a married man, nor did they look down on Samantha for being sexually adventurous. They accepted each other as they were, flaws and all.

I want that. I want that from another woman. I believe I've found that in my boyfriend, who loves me no matter what I do, but sometimes you need your best girlfriend to share in your joys also.

Sometimes I look at pictures on Facebook and see groups of women who are happy together, taking pics of vacations they've taken together, or cruises they recently got back from. I wonder why I don't have that. Sometimes I do feel alone. I have some close friends, but we don't talk as much as we used to. Time and different schedules have claimed our friendship. It's hard for me to make friends here because I'm just scared someone will use me like others have before. But I'm done. I'm making some changes in my life starting now. No longer will I be the friend to everyone but myself. No longer will I just smile and mod politely when I am dying to blurt out some good news but my "friend" is still talking about HER issues. No longer will I accept one-sided relationships.

They say if you have one true friend, you are lucky.

We shall see how many of my friends are left after I clean house.

Do they have "mom jeans" in my size?

My whole pregnancy I was struggling with the idea of my body looking different than it did pre-baby. As fewer and fewer items fit me and I couldn't wear any of my old pants, I had to give in a buy maternity clothes, which didn't sit well with me. I could no longer walk into any store and fit clothes that fit. Now all of a sudden I had to look for shirts with an empire waist and if the pants didn't have a drawstring around the waist then forget it.

Now that my daughter is almost two months old, I thought I would be closer to my pre-baby size. Now, I know I probably shouldn't be complaining, but I'm barely squeezing into my size 6 Express jeans. I want to be back to my normal size! I'm tired of wearing my maternity jeans (although they are REALLY REALLY comfortable) and I want to wear my cute Isaac Mizrahi Mary Jane pumps!

I used to look at moms before and wonder why they let themselves go. Why didn't they simply eat better, work out more, wear cuter clothes? Well, I'll tell you why: it's soo damn hard!

Since I'm breastfeeding, I have to eat about 500 extra calories to make sure I produce enough milk, which means I'll probably stay a little chubbier than if I chose not to breastfeed. And that's fine with me. I just want to get my old self back. The semi-stylish, shoe fiend who could usually fit the clothes in any clothing store in the mall.

Now, as long as I don't wind up in some "mom jeans" (you know the kind - your mom probably wears them), I'll be fine.

Things are going my way...

I didn't include this on my New Year's Resolutions list, but one of my goals for 2007 is to make $60,000, or at least be on pace to make $60,000 by the end of the year. This means I need to hustle. I've been working on a few things which look to bring me some more income, but I'm motivated now more than ever.

Before, when I was broke college student, it was okay, because I only had one person to take care of. Now, I have my daughter to think about, and not being able to pay the bills is not an option. This semester looks to be one of my most trying ones yet, with classes, my jobs, writing and taking care of my daughter and trying to be a good wife. It won't be easy, and I know occasionally, I'm not gonna be the best mother, or the best student or the best wife. I know I'll probably fall short in one of those areas every once in awhile. I just hope my daughter knows how much I sacrificed to give her all the things that she needs and that shows how much I love her and would do anything for her.

So wish me luck as I embark on this new journey...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Is football romantic?

What's the most romantic proposal you've ever heard of? Was it a guy purchasing a billboard, or putting the ring inside a fancy-schmancy dessert at a restaurant where dinner can easily run into triple-digits?

Well, one guy (I think) is planning the ultimate proposal. Picture this if you will: A man and his girlfriend are sitting on the couch, watching TV, (oh, let's say a football game) perhaps nibbling on some chicken wings and potato skins. Then the game cuts to a commercial and in the midst of advertisers begging them to stop at Wendy's or to purchase car insurance, the man's face appears in one of the ads. "Honey," he starts. "I love you more than anything. Will you marry me?"

Pretty creative, right? Except it's not just any football game. It's the Superbowl.

A guy (his identity hasn't been revealed, because then of course it would ruin the surprise) is trying to raise $2.5 million to buy an ad during the Superbowl so he can propose to his girlfriend. You can track his progress on So far he has $85,000-plus raised, but he might still be able to do it. Media outlets are picking up on his story and bloggers like me are writing about it.

Some people say they won't donate because it's a stupid idea or they don't know if the guy is for real. I say, donate anyway. That's what's wrong with the world today. Everyone's too skeptical or too cold-hearted.

But imagine...there's really no way to know who this guy is. So it could be your boyfriend who's planning the proposal of a lifetime. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? (At least until after the Superbowl, when you didn't get a proposal after all...)

Do I have love for New York? Eh, not really.

As a new mother, I spend a lot of my time on the couch, feeding the little one and watching TV. All this week vh1 had a mega marathon of America's Next Top Model and every so often they'd show a premiere of their newest show, "I love New York," featuring the loud-mouthed, bossy-as-all-get-out, Flavor of Love 1 and 2 runner-up Tiffany Patterson, aka New York.

Now I admit I didn't watch Flavor of Love 1, but I was glued to the TV for the last half of Flavor of Love 2. Why, I couldn't tell you. As much as I am opposed to seeing black women made to look like fools on national television, there I was, sitting on the couch, trying my darnest to smirk when inside I felt like laughing out loud. The whole premise of the show (20 women angling to get next to Flavor Flav, who at best, can be considered decent-looking) baffles my mind, yet I watched anyway.

I saw New York get sent home for the second time after showing Flav how much she could resemble her mother and I almost felt sorry for the woman. Then I heard vh1 was giving her a show of her own, allowing the foolishness I saw to continue.

What is going on? I remember when vh1 was the "old people's network," and no one under 30 even dared to watch it. But now vh1 has some of the most risque programming on television (and, dare I say it, some of the most entertaining).

The main problem I have with this show is the guaranteed foolishness and ignorance sure to appear. New York is a bossy woman. Period. There's a REASON why Flav didn't pick her and it's a reason why she's still single. I've never met her, but she seems impossible to get along with. The men in the house must be missing some screws if they seriously want to get with her. Even if they don't really want "the chance of a lifetime" to be Mr. New York and are just on the show to be on TV, the chances of them acting a fool are even greater.

Now, with all that said, I probably will check out an episode or two. Let's hope that I'm wrong about all this.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Let the job search begin!!

Senior year is almost over. One more semester and I will officially be a college graduate. So now the tough job search. I've decided to look for a job in NE Ohio for the time being, seeing as how the cost of living in most big cities isn't really in my budget right now. And with a little one on my hip, it will be that much more difficult. Right now, my plan is to live a little in Ohio, learn more about the journalism industry and let my daughter have a few years where mommy and daddy aren't struggling to pay the bills because we moved to a city where the cheapest rents are at least four-figures.

My only hope is that the jobs that actually are available here open up at the right time and for that, I'm leaning on prayer to make happen. Right around April, I need that magical opening so I can get in and secure myself a job.

So will I miss college at all? No, not really. It didn't really even feel like college since I was so busy working and writing and trying to do everything on campus that I could. I was so busy in meetings that I never really had time to do those "time-honored" college traditions like your first hangover, or the first time you win at beer pong. (I think you can win a game of beer pong, but I've never played, don't know the rules, so who knows?) I've never stayed out until 6 a.m. and then slept in, consequently missing my 12:30 class. I've never even got a C when it was time for grades to come out!

I don't really feel like I had the typical "college" experience. I don't like drinking, which is something college students seem to plan their whole lives around, so I was left out of that. I hate going to clubs, which in a city like Kent, means there's nothing really left to do on a Saturday night but sit in your room and watch DVDs that you've seen over and over.

But I did some amazing things. Like I met my husband for one. I don't think it would've happened if I had been out doing all those things "typical" college students do. I went to NYC for a summer and worked for one of the largest magazines in the world, Reader's Digest. Not only did I work there, but I got published! Then I had my beautiful daughter making my life complete. So I can't say I have any regrets.

Watch out for more updates as I try to land that perfect job in a not-too-perfect job market!