Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Recession Budget: Staying In is the New Going Out


A night out on the town with your girls can be tons of fun, but can also be very expensive. As it gets colder and money gets tighter during the holiday season, people are looking for ways to stay in. Good thing staying in is the new going out. Here's a few ideas for a fun night in:

Movie Night:
Have your girls bring over their favorite movies; pop some popcorn, get some beverages, and other light snacks like chips and pretzels.

Game Night:
At least one of your friends has some board games. Some of the best games are ones that work well with large groups like Taboo, Catch Phrase, or Battle of the Sexes. And you can never go wrong with a game of Spades. Luckily, during this time of year places like Toy R' Us, Target, and Walmart are having great sales on board games.

Pamper Party:
Spa sets are always on sales during the holiday season. Get a set, and have the girls over for facials, manicures, and pedicures. A good looking man providing massages would also be nice!

Just Invite People Over:
Bake some appetizers, have people bring some drinks, and turn on some music. Try to invite friends from different circles that you know would have a great time together.

Any other suggestions for staying in during the winter?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Real Housewives Reunion

What did you think about the reunion show?

ATL Housewives Reunion aka HotMess

I can't lie, this show was definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. In the midst of office conversations, I would always comment on how embarrasing and ridiculous this season was, but I would be the first one tuned into my TV on Tuesday at 10 PM. Which Housewife am I? I would have to say I cant enough of NeNe's bam in your face 'tude! DeShawns peacemaking- Kim lush cup of Dom Perignon- Lisa's socialness and quirkiness- and Sheree's impeccable fashion sense! And you know, I am all for the Honorable Housewife, Dwight-Celebrity Hairstylist, Keepin it real and always the most fabulously dressed man on that show! I am very sad to see this show end but what a way it went!
Theres rumors of a season 2....hmm.. Perhaps NeNe and Kim can patch up the rift between them. And whats up with Lisa threatening to hurt Kim? I must say, I was very disappointed in DeShawn during the reunion show. She wanted to be classy and keep it mum, but she came off as having no backbone in my opinon. Even Lisa put her on blast and said, "Crickets, Crickets" when DeShawn refused to answer a question.
Sheree talks a big talk when you push her far enough, but she also played it safe and just smiled through out the night.
I know one things for sure, I want to be an Atlanta Housewife when I grow up-Well atleast have their bank accounts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barbara, Barack, and Michelle




The Barbara Walters interview with Barack and Michelle airs tonight on ABC at 10pm Eastern Time and 9pm Central Time. Barack is really making use of the media and internet to let people know he means business. Is George Bush even still the President???

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Real Conversations

I think everyone is amped as they anxiously anticipate devouring free turkey and the other side dishes that Thanksgiving brings along with it!
I can't wait-- even if I don't do anything, I am thankful for the mercy and grace that God has bestowed upon myself and my family members throughout 2008 thus far. It's been one heck of a rollercoaster year, but God continues to show me his mercy and blessing.

I had a very influential discussion with my sister's church mentor. She's really trying to get me to go back to church and spend some time volunteering in a ministry where I can help the youth out. I was once a troubled youth and a lot of church members, including my pastor, are amazed by the transition I have made in my life thus far. It' funny, because some times I reflect on who I was several years ago and look at myself now. I know I am far from perfect, but at the end of the day I can honestly say that I have changed for the better. I still have a ways ahead of me, but it is safe to say that God has had a profound impact on my life thus far. It's kind of crazy because I don't think alot of people realize that I've endured an intense spiritual battle for almost 6-7 years. Contemplating on where I fit within the spiritual realm and finding out how to forgive myself for the activities I once indulged in during my teen years. I used to bed BAD! No, not bad in a good way. Bad in a way where I constantly had people asking: WTF? But you know, my life now testifies to the fact that God is the only author and finisher of my fate and a proclamation that I am a daughter of promise and Legacy & Success are my destiny. I'm trying to sound preachy, but you know, at some point, we have to self-reflect and attempt to track the progress in our life. This shouldn't only take place during the New Year. The conversation served as a stress-reliever. The goal is to attend church on a more consistent basis; I talk to God everyday but not being in church is starving your spirit. You know you what they say, if your spirit is starving then your flesh is rejoicing-- not a good imbalance, lol.

Food for thought.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Robin Thicke's "Sweetest Love"

This is Thicke's second video from his album "Something Else." I love this song! The video features Victoria Secret's model Jessica White. He sure does love some black women; there's nothing like a swagged out sexy white man that loves some black women.


Robin Thicke and his wife Paula Pattton



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Simply Stunning; Well Almost




Rihanna on the Red Carpet at the American Music Awards. She is a beautiful girl, the make-up was flawless, and the top half of the dress was beautiful. The color and the ruffles complemented her complexion, but that bottom half..... I don't really understand it.

Photos Courtesy of Just Jared

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton


President Elect Barack Obama plans to elect Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State after Thanksgiving. I heard the news on the radio this morning, stating that Barack has elected Clinton for Secretary of State. How excited was I? Barack is coming into this term with alot of heat under him i.e Republican foul left overs of an economy. However he is coming in with a "Dream Team" so to speak, So far I am very excited and proud of the current admin. Now once I'm in, then all will be well, YES-I am amongst the 8,000 folks that applied to the Barack/Biden admin. What can I say? Yes we can!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Recession Budget: Grocery Stores and Coupons are SO in!




Fade, Melissa, and I decided to have some posts about how to save money doing this mess of an economic down fall.

You have to eat everyday and saving money on food is really easy. Stop paying $5 to $7 dollars a day on lunch and bring your lunch during the week. Go to the grocery store and buy food that will last you for a week or two. Here's some tips:

• Before you go shopping, make a list and never go grocery shopping when your hungry

• Clipping Coupons is VERY in, there's tons of websites that offer coupons you can print out at home:
http://print.coupons.com/couponweb/Offers.aspx?pid=13306&zid=iq37&nid=10

http://www.coolsavings.com/printablecoupons.aspx?SessionID=1b98f7f2-912e-435c-ae07-feb1a471e3d2-2

• Try to go shopping during the weekday; some stores have double coupon days!

This website tells you which grocery stores in your state have double days:
http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/articles/double_coupon/

• Don’t just bring a sandwich everyday; get creative and try soups, wraps, a Panini, a homemade salad, pasta salad, or chili. Between Kraft, Campbell’s, Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, and Red Baron; you shouldn’t have a problem finding options.



Panera Bread sells a Smokehouse Turkey Panini, chips, and a drink for about $6.00. However, Stouffer's Corner Bistro microwavable Smoked Turkey Club Panini is $3.00, you can get a .30 cent bag of chips, and a drink from the vending machine for a dollar. Plus, you don't have to wait in line. Oh,treat yourself on Fridays, go ahead and buy lunch. Bon app├ętit!

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton????


Rumor around Capitol Hill is that Hillary is the favorite candidate for Secretary of State. No word on if she has accepted the job or not. Looks like Obama is trying to put together a political Dream Team and wants to keep his friends close and his enemies even closer.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rihanna- "Rehab"


I'm feeling it (the song, that is)-- enough said.
The jury is still out on the overall concept of the video....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Single Ladies Part 3: ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS

Beyonce performed on SNL last night and Justin Timberlake make a surprise appreance during a "Single Ladies" skit. Watch Justin get down with that body roll and clap! I still love my boy that I posted a few weeks back, but JT is a close second.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Black and Male in America

Wednesday, November 12 I attended the Black and Male in America: A town hall meeting

It was moderated by Soledad O'Brien and featured the contributors of The Black Male Handbook: Kevin Powell, the Editor, The Black Male Handbook; writer, activist, and recent Democratic candidate for Congress in Brooklyn-He's too fine
Lasana Hotep; Founder of Hotep Consultants
Byron Hurt; Award-winning filmmaker, writer, activist, lecturer
Ryan Mack; President of Optimum Capital Management
Kendrick B. Nathaniel; Mentor.Youth Advocate
Dr. Andrae L. Brown, Assistant Professor, Lewis & Clark College and Co-Director of Affinity Counseling Group
Dr. William Jelani Cobb; Associate Professor of History of Spelman College



This town hall was very riveting and I encourage those to attend any such meetings in their community. It was especially exciting to attend in the wake of the win for our new President-Elect Barack Obama.
Of course the significance of this win resonated in each of the panels views and points and instilled that Barack Obama is just the beginning. The change doesn't come from Barack Obama, but within the Black community.
Physical Health was the vocal point of view for Kendrick Nathaniel, he made an excellent point when he stated, Bodegas in every corner of our neighborhoods is one of the culprits in which we are eating trash that our bodies can not process.
The comical and long drawn Dr. Andrae Brown wanted to stress that Suicide is a major issue in our community that we sweep under the rug. Most recently, Def Jam Executive Shakir Stewart
committed suicide. He was an established, well known, successful man however that wasn't enough. Suicide is an extremist form of mental illness. Black men are living in a state of depression and its bottled up because its not usual, or cool to show weakness.
Dr. Jelani Cobb made an interesting point of President Elect Obama new point in power. What this creates for black men is now they have to step their game up. Barack Obama has successfully gone through all the steps of man hood. He uses his intellect over emotion, and he is confident of his wife.
Lasana Hotep focused on the spirituality of the black man. He expressed that everyone needs a time out in the day solely for prayer. We need to be internally motivated. This allows you to center yourself within this word.
While this was a town hall geared towards the issues in the black man's life, the panelists all stressed the severe issue of domestic violence against women. Black women are dying, Black women are getting beaten frequently and daily by men who hold the position of their man, husband, partner, etc. Its an epidemic that is getting sweeped under the rug and every man on that panel is sick and tired of it and encouraged the audience to take a stand and end it. Stop being quiet, if you know a woman that is being battered, or a man that is a wife beater, don't be silent STEP IN.
The message of the night occurred when an audience member asked, "how can we fix issues within our community, can we depend on President Elect Barack Obama or NY Governor David Patterson to fix it due to the color of their skin?" The answer was simply, we can not expect both men to fix 300+ years of oppression and violence that has been placed in our communities. We will set them both up to fail. We can not hold them responsible for the issues in our community. We need to attend town halls and bring these issues at the front. We need to attend schools and be a figure for young black boys and girls, we need to put ourselves out there to show that we care about changing the community for the best. It all starts-and ends with us.
I encourage all black men to read the Black Male Handbook. This book can be purchased in Bedstuy, Brooklyn Brownstone books, and amazon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Industry Party-Ursula Stephens Birthday

Ursula Stephens, noted hairstylist of Rihanna, Michelle Williams, and countless, nameless Essence Magazine models celebrated her Birthday Bash at the L'Oreal Products Institute. How fitting, a hairstylist throws a party at a hair salon. Ursula is down to earth, sweet, and funky. I just had to attend her birthday celebration. The crowd consisted of bougey black folks, and enough gay men to cover Peachtree Rd in Atlanta, GA. I was more excited to be at the hair salon then the actual celebration. After awhile, everyone was feeling them selves too hard for no reason. But I did appreciate Michelle Williams ear shattering rendition of "Happy Birthday".

Ursula working her magic-ONLY for Rihanna that is (inside Joke) Coutura from The Glamazons gets it. http://theglamazons.blogspot.com


AJ Crimson, Sam Fine, Ashunta Harris, and nameless America Top Model Rejects were there. Shout out to Daniellle er em, "DANI" She is too fierce in person. All I gotta say is, Hopefully Ursulas haircut magic and can rub success onto Michelles new 'd0.



Here's a throwback! I had to throw in this picture because I wouldn't have gotten it if it wasn't for Ursula remembering me from a past Essence shoot, Portia-I don't know where its at, so don't ask lol

Behind the Scenes on Election Night

I know I've been Obama posting like crazy, but I had to share this slide show. Fade emailed Melissa and I these photos from the Obama for America's offical photographer. He created a Flickr account with the photos; the images are amazing,click on the link and take a look.



The Link:

http://flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/sets/72157608716313371/show/

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Obamas Meet the Bushes


Barack and Michelle Obama visited George and Laura Bush at the White House today. Barack and George talked about the Presidential Transition and Laura gave Michelle a tour of the White House. Off topic, but Michelle Obama looks amazing in that dress; and Laura was pretty fly as well.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Commemoratives/Limited Edition Issues

President-Elect Barack Obama has been on the cover of almost every major print media outlet since Tuesday. Here are a few more issues for you to collect. And do not be fooled by the people on eBay selling the magazines for $25 plus. You can go to any grocery store, retail pharmacy store, book store, or mass merchandiser and pick a copy at regular price. If you can't find any there, the I saw plenty of copies at the newsstands stores at 3 different airports this weekend.







Thursday, November 6, 2008

WTF? Palin DID NOT know Africa Was a continent?


So Fox News released a report today discussing Palin's lack of knowledge concerning Africa as a continent. See the clip above.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Night


I spent Election Night at the Official Minnesota DFL Victory Party, and yes it was called a Victory party well before election day. Throughout the course of the day, I have replayed that moment when we saw the CNN projection that Barack Obama was president elect over and over again in my mind.

I will never forget the moment when the crowded erupted in a joyous cry, when people began dancing, screaming "We Won", and crying tears of pure hope for America's future. The memory of my mother calling me as I screamed and jumped up and down, and burst into tears because I knew she was in our living room jumping up for joy too, will remain etched in my mind for years to come. Even though we were hundreds of miles apart, it felt like she was standing right beside.

I can't put into to words the emotions I left that night, or the emotions I am still feeling right now, but I can say I was there when... Yes We Did!!!

She Makes it Look so Easy


Once again Michelle Obama had on her freakum dress and this time she showed the world that this First Lady has mastered the effortlessly elegant look. She wore a red and black Narciso Rodriguez dress from his Spring 2009 collection. I think Michelle look better in it than the model, not to mention her daughters coordinated with her and also wore red and black. I can't wait to see what she wears inauguration weekend.

California Voters Pass Ban on Gay Marriage

Voters in California pass Proposition 8, which overturns the state Supreme Court decision that granted same-sex couples marital rights.

Of course this legislation is an awful deafeat for gay right activitists who have fought effortlesslyy against public opinion.

Read more about the issue here.

Yes. I know, I can't believe I'm directing you to Fox News either.


*My Personal Opinion*I have mixed emotions about the outcome of the same-sex marriage. I'm an avid supporter of separation of church and state. So, my religion tells me the implementation of Proposition 8 is a good thing. However, as a liberal, I believe in civil rights and I believe in equality and I understand that imposing my religion on others is not a justification. Afterall, it was not too long ago when Whites used the bible as a justification for enslaving blacks and subjecting them to heinous physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. However, at the end of the day, I firmly believe that God's will has been done.

Rahm Emanuel Accepts 'Chief of Staff' Position for Obama White House


A senior Obama advisor has confirmed that Representative Rahm Emanuel, D-Illinois, has accepted the Chief of Staff position for the Obama White House.

Read more about it here.





*Update* for those wondering who will be among those leading Barack Obama's transition team, John Podesta, a former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton's administration, will be among those leading Obama's transition team. Valerie Jarrett(one of Obama's top advisors) and Peter Rouse, Obama's Senate chief of staff, are members of the transition team as well.




YES WE DID!



"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible."


Read the transcript from Obama's victory speech here.

Front Page News!









Barack Obama Declared President Elect


45 years Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke of his dream. His dream: His four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Dr. King had a dream, Barack Obama is the dream come true.



Photo courtesy of Time Magazine

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

iVOTED!



Melissa- 545 am. It takes a lot to get me out the bed prior to 7am moreso on the week days. It wasn't even the alarm that woke me up it was my spirit. I felt so excited just for the chance to give obama my time and vote. Luckily for me I live directly across the street from the voting polls so I literally rolled out of the bed did a quick brushing of the teeth and walked over. Surprisingly, there were about 100 people in the line. That's pretty phenomenal for the hood. I did find it odd that it was majority older black women. But I'm not too surprised as we are the breadwinners in our community, yeah I said it. I got through the line and some friendly loud people taught me how to use the machine and voila! Obama biden was the first option I hit. I had a simple and easy time at the polls but I'm more than sure everyone has a story and I'm excited to hear any conspiracies that may arise. Tell us your voting experience experience!

Fade to Black- 6:00 am. I was up at 6:00 AM! This isn't any different from the time I typically pry myself out of bed in preparation for work. But this morning's 6:00 AM was different. This morning's 6:00 am had no prying out of bed, no "coal" in the eye; this morning's 6:00 am was filled with excitement, positivity, and motivation! I woke up, took care of my hygenic duties, and put on my fly ninewest satin, skirt suit! It's essential that I cast my ballot for the Obama-Biden ticket in style :). 7:00 am I arrived at my designated poll center. The line was wrapped around the building-- people, young and old, all lined up to exercise their right to vote. I loved it-- I loved seeing my black folks come out! Not to mention, they did it in the cold weather and my girl Kirsten told me there were some droplets from the sky in her area! I cast my ballot electronically, but definitely made sure to review my ballot to make sure no errors were made! All in all, I'm so excited that I voted-- not only have I exercised my right, I can now go and get free Ben and Jerry's Ice cream along with a free tall cup of Starbucks Coffee! Woohoo!!

The Clintons:

Portia-

I woke up at 5am and it was not difficult for me to get out of bed; in fact I kept waking up in the night because I was so excited about casting my vote today. I was fired up and ready to vote! I wanted to be the first person inline at my polling place, but there were about 20 people ahead of me by the time I got there. After I casted my vote for the O'Biden team, I checked that ballot 3 times; I wanted to make absolutely sure my vote was counted. I am really excited for my brother, he just turned 18 and will vote for the first time today. Hopefully, we will all experience and witness history tonight.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Your Chance to Make History Tomorrow



Tomorrow is the big day, the day where we will witness a new historic frontier in America's history. Both parties have first time ground breaking candidates; Obama for the Democrats and Palin for the Republicans. Regardless of who you vote for, just vote. No choice, no voice.

RIP

Rest in peace to Barack Obama's grandmother-- she just passed away. No worries, she's watching out for us from heaven above; having a conversation with Jesus to ensure that Obama wins the election tomorrow. Yessir!

Read more about her passing here

A day before the presidential election, Barack Obama announced the death Monday of his grandmother, who helped raise him and who he praised as the cornerstone of his family.

The Democratic presidential candidate announced the news in a joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. He said his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had died peacefully after a battle with cancer.

He said: "She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances."

The candidate learned of her death Monday morning while he was campaigning in Jacksonville, Fla. He planned to go ahead with campaign appearances.

Late last month, Obama took a break from campaigning and flew to Hawaii to be with the 86-year-old Dunham.

Obama said the decision to go to Hawaii was easy to make, telling CBS that he "got there too late" when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at 53, and wanted to make sure "that I don't make the same mistake twice."

The Associated Press

November 5th Etiquette

An Email Forward my girl JClew sent me:

They'll be watching us on November 5th (the day after the election) for signs of the end times.

To keep the peace and keep a lot of folks from getting nervous, I think we should develop a list of acceptable celebrations and behaviors we should probably avoid – at least for the first few days:

1. No crying, hugging or shouting "Thank you Lord" – at least not in public

2 No high-fives – at least not unless the area is clear and there are no witnesses

3 No laughing at the McCain/Palin supporters

4 No calling in sick on November 5th. They'll get nervous if too many of us don't show up.

5 We're allowed to give each other knowing winks or nods in passing. Just try to keep from grinning too hard.

6. No singing loudly, We've come this Far By Faith (it will be acceptable to hum softly)

7. No bringing of barbeque ribs or fried chicken for lunch in the company lunchroom for at least a week (no chittlings at all) (this may make us seem too ethnic)

8. No leaving kool-aid packages at the water fountain (this might be a sign that poor folks might be getting a break through)

9. No Cupid Shuffle during breaks (this could indicate a little too much excitement)

10. Please no Moving on Up music (we are going to try to remain humble)

11. No doing the George Jefferson dance (unless you're in your office with the door closed)

12. Please try not to yell----BOOOO YAH!

13. Just in case you're wondering, Doing the Running Man, cabbage patch, or a backhand spring on the highway is 100% okay.

If I've missed anything feel free to add to the list. I just want to make sure we're all on the same page when Obama brings this thing home on November 5th.

Now go get your early vote on and let's make this thing happen!!!



Oh yeah, and don't let the folks at the polls tell you bull shit about your inability to vote. Apparently there have been rumors circulating about republicans putting in phony phone calls to people about their ability to vote over the phone or the possibility of being arrested due to prior criminal records. GET OUT and VOTE! Oh, and wear a plain t-shirt. Save the Obama 'nalia for November 5th when we CELEBRATE! AMEN!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Get FREE Coffee, Ice Cream, and Donuts After You Vote!!!


Election day is coming and it seems consumer retailers are even trying to get people to rock the vote. Here's some places where you can get free deals on November 4th; all you have to do is show them your "I Voted" sticker!

Krispy Kreme: Special Election Day Donut
http://www.krispykreme.com/

Starbucks: they're giving away TALL cups!
http://www.starbucks.com/

Ben & Jerry's: free scoop of ice cream
http://www.benandjerrys.com/features/i_voted/

Frugal Finds for Tough Times


Let's be honest the economy is a piece of trash and it will be a piece of trash for a long time. Being a recent college grad and trying to survive during this rough economic time is not an easy task. I am trying to save money anywhere I can; but I just can't resist the occasional shopping trip.

I went to the location Goodwill to see if I could find some decor for the apartment and saw a Marc Jacobs bag in the Goodwill auction. I got this bag for $32!!!!!!!!!!!! So if you want to find some authentic high-end designer duds on a low-end knock-off budget, check out your local Goodwill Auctions.

Store Locations:
http://locator.goodwill.org/

Online Auction:
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/

Saturday, November 1, 2008