Archive for September 2013

Photo of the Week: Appreciation

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I hope you feel better than you did before reading this. Please know that your giving is not in vain.

Video: Keep Pushing!

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Happy Friday! Are you tired from pushing (to get ahead) and pulling (back to avoid overdoing it) all week? Please remember that someone probably has it harder than you. Some people do not have a job, a place to live, or transportation. You’re probably familiar with “The Pursuit of Happyness” trailer video. The best part is it’s based on a true story! I am always touched by it, and I wanted to share it.

Christopher Gardner’s life story can serve as a reminder for us to keep pushing! Mr. Gardner said, “Baby steps count, as long as you are going forward. You add them all up, and one day you look back and you’ll be surprised at where you might get to.” If you need more motivation, read his book. I hope you will enjoy the video and keep pushing after a long week. Please comment to let me know if the video was helpful. Thank you.

Finding the Perfect Auto

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According to a study by Lab42, fifty-two percent of customers “don’t know what make or model they intend to buy before arriving at the dealership.” The study also reported that forty-eight percent of “buyers are spending 1-3 months shopping before making their purchase.” So, tell me: Is it really that difficult for you to decide what automobile you want to purchase? I don’t know about you, but I spent months reading reviews/comparing prices each time I purchased a vehicle!

During my first “purchase,” I was a teenager in high school. I actually only had to select the make and model, and my father purchased it. I have always been frugal; so, I spent months trying to find the perfect auto for me. I considered price, gas mileage, and performance reviews. I finally decided on a BMW 318i, and I loved my selection! “The Ultimate Driving Machine” was the perfect auto for me! I was able to drive my car for 20 years until I had a major accident in it!

I did not estimate the cost of repairs during my research, which was a mistake. I learned my lesson on that, and I made sure that was also a consideration during my next purchase. I also considered brand loyalty; repeat buyers can usually give you a better picture. Since Toyota has consistently ranked as the #1 brand with loyal buyers, I selected a Toyota Camry! I loved my Camry so much that my next purchase was a Toyota Camry Solara! Although Toyota no longer makes the Solara, it was the perfect auto for me.

One key thing that I have learned is shopping at the right time! The fall is considered the perfect time to purchase a new auto. September, in particular, is the time that most experts recommend. It is when the next year’s autos arrive; so, sales efforts are high to make room for the new vehicles. To improve sales, many dealers offer no (or low) interest rates on the current year’s autos. If you want some additional tips on finding the perfect auto, read this article. Enjoy!

Are you looking for the perfect auto? What factors are you considering? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Define True Worth

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What is worth more than silver and gold (other than Jesus)? Read about Clara Brown and leave a comment.

Poll #1: Cell Phones

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I am interested in starting a campaign; so, please vote. Read this if you are not sure. Thank you.

5 Reasons You Should Eat Breakfast

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Pancakes, bacon, biscuits, and grits! I also enjoy waffles, and I can eat breakfast foods any time of day! Clearly, breakfast is my favorite meal! I even enjoy cereal and pop tarts when I don’t have time for a cooked meal. As I ate my breakfast this morning, I remembered that National Breakfast Month is observed in September. Some people skimp on breakfast because they are counting calories, and they have misperceptions about eating breakfast.

Others simply don’t like breakfast foods, but I don’t understand that! Research has proven that breakfast is a crucial meal that people should not avoid. Eating breakfast can help you start your day with energy. It can also improve your concentration and job performance. Here are 3 more reasons you should eat breakfast: to avoid feeling starved which often leads to snacking on unhealthy foods, to avoid gaining weight, and to save money (on coffee, etc.).

With all of the benefits, eating breakfast is a win-win situation! If you’re tired of the same foods, If you’re tired of the same foods, celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and create excitement for your family with some Latin-inspired breakfast recipes. If you have been avoiding breakfast, start eating this month and make it a habit. I have made it a habit, and I plan to continue making breakfast a priority!

I won’t skip breakfast simply because I don’t have time; I just go to one of my favorite restaurants. One day, I plan to visit some of the best breakfast places in America. Until then, I will continue eating at my favorite spots! What do you when you are hungry but you don’t have time to eat a cooked meal? When I can’t get a cooked meal, I love to eat breakfast at the following places:

1. IHOP-Two x Two x Two
2. Cracker Barrel-Momma’s Pancake Breakfast
3. McDonald’s-hotcakes
4. Waffle House-Grand Slam with waffles
5. Big Momma’s Fine Foods-like grandma’s cooking
6. Copeland’s of New Orleans-brunch
7. Grandy’s-pancakes
8. Burger King-croissants
9. Comfort Inn (I look for this hotel because breakfast is complimentary.)
10. The New Hollywood Snack Bar and Catering-like a home cooked meal

If you don’t eat breakfast, please share your reasons for not eating this important meal.

Photo of the Week: Celebrate Others!

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Do you celebrate the talents and accomplishments of others?

a) Yes. I am convinced that this is how I am blessed.
b) No. The rat race does not allow it!
c) Sometimes. I struggle with selfishness.

If you understand this principle, feel free to share how you celebrate others.

Trendsetter of the Month (series 2 of 2)

Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest.-Christian Dior

With amazing enthusiasm and energy, Ms. Venus Hylton continues to create beauty! As founder of Maji Designs, Venus is an ever-learning artist who blends the old with the new to create pieces of lasting value. She juxtaposes the natural roughness of freeform gems with delicate Tahitian or Japanese keishe pearls, and often integrates stones with high karat gold or sterling in unexpected ways. Her work is a synthesis of contrasting aesthetics- refined yet bohemian, sophisticated yet fun, organic yet elegantly crafted.

Venus’s creative talent was honed during her study of design and painting at Georgia State University, after she earned a master’s degree in education. She taught herself the basics of beading and wirework, and then moved on to metalsmithing. She soon found that the transformation of metal in the process of design fuels her inspiration. It allows her to use the fluidity of heated metal with the textures and subtle luminations of gems, as if working the line of color of paint on canvas. The results are unique three-dimensional, wearable works of art.

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It seems that her B.S. degree in History from Grambling State University prepared her to be the student she has become of the history of design and contemporary trends. And perhaps her eclectic life experiences have attracted her to the possibilities of attractive oppositions. Notable clients have worn her jewelry, such as Monica Kaufman–WSB TV anchor, Atlanta, Jacquie Reid–BET anchor, and Gail O’Neill– host of HGTV’s Public Places Private Spaces…, and appreciate the beauty of her creations.-Source: venushylton.com

What do you think about Mrs. Hylton’s amazing talent and success? Please comment.

7 Significant Questions to Ask about War

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It’s impossible to forget what you were doing on that tragic day! It was my planning period, but I never could have prepared for what happened on 9/11! I had my television on to watch the news, but I could not believe what I saw! I realized that tragedy was occurring, but it felt like my eyes were betraying me. It was real in the worst possible way, and America has not recovered (twelve years after 9/11).

Life, as we knew it, will never be the same! This country will always remain a target, and Americans must be conscious of active threats. All threats cannot be reported because that would lead to panic and chaos. However, we must pay attention to the decisions that are being made by our politicians. Their actions have the potential to put us in harm’s way, or their conscientious reactions can protect us.

Other than voting for politicians who are responsible leaders, there is more that we can do. We must reflect on the lessons that we should’ve learned and apply them. During this tragedy, we came together! We learned a lot about ourselves & others. Consequently, I believe that many people broadened their horizons. I pray that another major crisis does not force more of us to act civil towards each other.

We must reject war and promote peace! The cost of war is always a debt that can’t be paid in full because the casualties of war extend beyond the battlefield! The casualties typically reflect the military’s dead, wounded, and missing. Yet, families suffer tremendously! Some are left with enormous wounds, struggle with misplaced anger, or remain lifeless. So, we must ask questions and demand answers.

Here are seven significant questions that we must ask about war:
1. Why are we fighting this war?
2. Who are our “real” enemies?
3. Who are our allies?
4. What do our allies gain by supporting us?
5. What is the estimated outcome (cost, lives lost, etc.)?
6. How long will it take us to “rebound” from this war?
7. What are our options before taking this action?

What were you doing on 9/11? What should we do after 12 years? Please comment.

Video: Fantastic Way to Detox

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How do you detox after the weekend? Getting extra sleep would be ideal because it is the best way to invigorate your body. However, most of us would have to take off work to get “extra” sleep. Many people are exercising before work, and it gives them extra energy! Other options include taking vitamin supplements, meditating, or eating healthier. A video on this site (“Relax with a Cup of Tea” at the bottom right) shares a different way to get rid of all the unhealthy foods/drinks that your body doesn’t need.

The “Black Enterprise” video is extremely interesting, and it will also show you how to unwind! Drinking tea is recommended by many health experts. Patricia Bannan wrote, “Since Ancient times, tea has been touted to help with everything from headaches to depression.” If you are in doubt, read her article on the benefits of drinking tea. I hope you will enjoy the video and consider drinking tea as a fantastic way to detox after a long weekend. Please comment to let me know if you plan to drink more tea. Thank you.