Mar 31, 2010

word love: Sweet and Dandy

Eh-eh! Etty inna room a cry
Mama seh she mus' wipe 'er eye
Papa seh she no fi foolish like she neva been to school at all
It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin' in dat ballroom last night

Eh-eh! Johnson inna room a fret
Uncle seh 'im mus' wuol' up 'im head
Auntie seh 'e no fi foolish like is not time for his weddin' day
It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin' in dat ballroom last night

One poun' ten for de weddin' cake
Twenty bokkle of cola wine
All di people dem dress up inna white fi go eat off Johnson weddin' cake
It is no wonder
Is a perfect ponder
While they were dancin' in dat ballroom last night

But they were sweet an' dandy, sweet an' dandy
Sweet an' dandy, sweet an' dandy
They were sweet an' dan-deh... sweet an' dan-deh...

by: Toots & the Maytals, 1968 (Jamaican ska/rock steady band, 1964 to present)

Listen/watch: Video of song (also a clip of the movie, The Harder They Come)

"Toots portrays a couple on the verge of their wedding ceremony, having last-minute nerves and being both soothed and urged on by their older relatives, while the guests wait to celebrate. The language is vernacular, poetic, evocative and immediate; the music is both edgy and upbeat, falling in a long melodic curve through each scene-setting verse, and then rising with equal length and good humor through the chorus to the concluding image of the happy couple dancing."
--> More translation and interpretation....Source.

I absolutely am in love with this song. One of my all time favorites.

Mar 29, 2010

Road trip :)

Guess where I was this weekend? On a road trip to Washington, D.C. to see my mommy :) Was feeling so out of it...groggy, tired, stuffy, just a feeling of malaise. Dunno why. Anyhow, we got there (no thanks to me). Hugh co-piloted, Raf drove, and I slept in the back complaining of being cold (though the heat was cranked..think I had a low grade fever). Saturday was good. Drove out to Alexandria, VA for church, then had lunch at the food court adjacent to the hotel, walked about town a bit (snapped pics and such) then did a small bit of shopping (mom). We were supposed to then take advantage of the indoor pool but everyone fell off to sleep...we didn't enjoy the pool till the Sunday morning and only for a small bit. We also watched The Black Stallion, this 1980s movie about an Arabian horse and a young boy on Sunday. Not bad...we all liked it. Perfect Sunday morning entertainment. Then we were off (with a short stop at Ren's place). The ride back was much better. I was up most of the time but as we hit NJ, I couldn't keep my eyes open. Some co-pilot. I do much better when I'm driving. Promise.

The White House, March 27 2010

I got some good pics of the White House this time. Last time we went by here, it was dark and we were exhausted. Hugh got to see some of the nations capital. Not in much detail but he'll be back for Ren's graduation most likely. We walked by the National Monument and toward the Lincoln Memorial and through parts of the National Mall. Mom was appalled at the amount of dog feces on the grass lol.

Mom & 2 of her children - ya, she's sporting a kick ass fro :)

& last but not least...

Be still my beating heart! These cherry blossoms! They were all over and everyone was having their fill. This weekend happened to be the beginning of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The hotel had a bunch of arrangements in the lobby that smelled divine. I have so many pics of them, it is ridic!

Great weekend - thanks for reading!

Mar 28, 2010

sweet sundays: balm for the weary

Taking time out for friends & family - people you love and trust, people who love and trust you - is sweet relief in this world.

Our current society is such a dog eat dog world. You never know people's real motive, you're always going going going like an energizer bunny just to stay afloat, and no matter how many hours are in a day, you feel like nothing gets accomplished. Well, except exhaustion.


Drop the book or magazine, close the work or school document, drop the vacuum, turn off the computer. Give a friend or family member a call, snuggle up to your honey and watch a comedy, have dinner at the abandoned dining room table, or even send a "howdy" text message. Always make time for the people around you who mean the most to you. The ones who show up for you, not because they have something to gain or prove, but because they want to support you. Being around people you love & trust is the best food for the soul. These are the things that really matter in this crazy, messed up world. If you spend time doing that this week, you would have gained something invaluable - a connection with love - you would have gained a bout of good, positive energy that no amount of work, cleaning, school, or surfing the net could accomplish.

~Have a blessed week~

Mar 26, 2010

girly fridays: parting is such sweet sorrow

I am absocrazily in love with shoes.

So last night I was going through my closet looking for pairs of shoes I've bought, and never worn or wore once and will never wear again to give my mom this weekend. We wear the same size shoes and so she benefits from my fickle shopping habits. Besides, Raf seems to gain pleasure from me paring down my shoe collection (I know mom does). I wonder if men understand that our shoes are like food...essential. Anyhoo, I happened upon a pair of shoes I absolutely positively adore. I haven't worn them since 2005 but there is NO WAY I'd give them away. I just haven't found another perfect outfit for them. Just seeing them makes me smile.
Do you have any old favorites in your closet you just couldn't bear to part with??

Mar 25, 2010

I get to see my mommy soon!

What a balm for the weary soul haha

Mom will be in town (not my town but close enough) for a work related conference so we're all packing up and heading to hang with her on the weekend. Yipee!!! Can't wait for the end of the work day on Friday.

Mar 24, 2010

word love: The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

by: Robert Frost (American, 1874-1963)

Mar 21, 2010

sweet sundays: having faith

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

That is something I used to recite almost weekly at my home church. I thought I knew what faith was. Believing in God, an essence, a being I could not see. I mean, of course that is a part of having faith. But as I grew older and life seemed to slip more and more out of my control, I learned the true essence of faith. I learned that to have faith is to believe there is a divine plan for my life and that God was in charge of it, not me. The less of life we can control, the more of it we have to place in the hands of our Father.

Friends, family, and loved ones have disappointed me, I have times of self-doubt, and even the everyday motions of life sometimes are hard to handle. It is at these times in my life I see human limitations and God's amazing ability. I never knew I'd be one of those persons who could testify that I literally did not know how I'd survive the week or day, or a difficult life situation, but I learned to let go and I'm here aren't I? It is truly amazing what God can do and what he can take you through! Life's still not quite a walk in the park but I continue to rely on His plan for my life and worry no more.

I encourage you to leave the situations that distress you the most in God's hands, knowing that He will take care of you. I don't guarantee it'll be an answer you'll love, but I do guarantee that if you stick with Him, whatever He has in store for you will only make your life better. He knows what's best for you!

Sweet sundays will not always have a religious topic (but there's nothing sweeter than my daily decision to make Jesus my choice!)

Mar 20, 2010

word love: The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your heart melodies,
That I may wrap them in a blue cloud-cloth,
Away from the too rough fingers of the world.

By Langston Hughes (American, 1902-1967)

One of my very very favorite poems dedicated to my favored sister & friend. Happy Birthday Ren.

Mar 19, 2010

girly fridays: fountain of youth

I'm already letting it slip my mind that I'm all of 27 - the 30 side of 20 I call it. As I approach the big 3-0, I am trying to prep myself. I really want to embrace my age BUT not look it :)

I can be lazy about moisturizing, staying off those box/bottle juices, and keeping up with my diet (not weight loss diet - I don't do those, just my daily diet). But I really need to up my game. So, ladies (& gents) here goes healthy body 2010 & looking our best!

My most important concern right now is skin care. Right now, for my body I use Eucerin moisturizing cream, and for my face cetaphil to cleanse, and Natures Gate vitamin E oil to moisturize. On the rare days I do a mask I use a cucumber peel off mask. I love masks that peel off.
I want to really amp this regimen up. I want my skin to glow! I don't do foundations or concealers so these little things matter. So I've been on a little research expedition - I loooove researching hair and skin products :) I think I have found some tips that I'm gonna implement (there's a ton more out there, trust me) to help improve my should consider them:

1. ALOE VERA. I can hear my grandmother saying I told you so! This plant should be no stranger to many of us. In Ja we grew up drinking this, using it on burns, etc. I actually use 100% aloe vera gel in my hair vs the manufactured stuff (I recommend it!). Aloe Vera is moisturizing. You can use it in cream form, as a toner/astringent, a cleanser, or as a mask.

2. MINIMIZE CHEMICAL EXPOSURE. I know those anti-aging products look great and all the promises about looking younger faster sound tempting but you know what they say about short cuts...then we have all the canned food, bottled juices, etc...we can't hide from the preservatives and chemicals so as far as is possible we should try to infuse our diet with vegetables (the darker the color, the better), fruits, grains, natural juices, and natural fats/oils. Also, if you can make some of your facial masks/products, or purchase hypoallergenic or natural products for your skin do that also (see #5).

3. WATER. Need I say more? But seriously, water definitely keeps your skin healthy, and rids the body of toxins.

4. EXERCISE. This is not only to lose weight but also to keep your body limber, your muscles toned, and your heart healthy :)

5. NATURAL MASKS. There are a ton of natural products that can help our skin look great and stay healthy (& young looking). As I researched I became very interested in these natural diy facial masks. As a result, I have borrowed a few to try and use. So I don't get carried away, I'm gonna stick with a few basic ingredients and recipes and really see how they work with my skin.

>>lemon, grapefruit, and orange juices (citric acid) for oily skin
>>honey, milk, and coconut oil to energize your skin cells
>>avocado (vitamins, A, B, and E & more!) as an anti-oxidant
>>egg yolks contain lecithin which can combat dry skin and eczema
>>milk, blackberries, tomatoes (lactic acid), sugar cane (glycolic acid), apple and pears (malic acid), grapes (tartaric acid) , citric acid, and papaya all contain alpha hydroxy acids (used in chemical peels) and they help strip layers of dead skin cells, prevent spots, and rejuvenate the skin
>>honey is a humectant (traps & seals moisture) and will make your skin soft (I use it in all my conditioners)
>>oatmeal contains proteins, natural cleansers, and lubricating fats that rid the skin of dirt, dryness, and irritation

As I try different mask recipes, I'll share based on what works best for me.

Mar 17, 2010

the bandwagonist

Yup, me ::blush::

In the great blog tradition of wordless Wednesdays and Mcfatty Mondays I am starting a few blog series on here to highlight my interests:

word love - weekly window into an important piece of my heart. I love words: book excerpts, song lyrics, poetry, quotes, etc. This will really help me to reconnect with oldies but goodies, and expand my literary horizons. I can't wait! I plan to publish word love on Wednesdays but the first installation is coming out Saturday in honor of another word lover, my sister & friend, Renz.

sweet sundays - weekly inspiration, life lessons to encourage me & you throughout the week. Aim? To put a smile on your faces (& mine).

girly fridays - make-up, hair, shoes, clothes, relationships, the female body, all things girly.

I hope you check in on the series. I know I'm excited! & as always, I welcome suggestions. Email me :)

Mar 16, 2010

blog etiquette?

Something happened last week and I was a tiny bit affronted.

Here's a quick synopsis: while blog browsing a couple weeks ago I happened upon a blog that I liked and decided to follow. This week, I go back and check and the blog author has made it private. Now, I know it is always the author's decision whether to share or restrict their content (I have private and public blogs...private blog is defunct) & I realize that some followers are stranger-friends. But don't you think it's a little rude to just make your blog private without a word to your followers? All the public bloggers I know want people to read their blogs and most appreciate followers. So I think it's a tad out of order to just privatize without notice.

Don't worry faithful readers (lol, yes you lonely few) if I ever feel the need to privatize my blog, I will at a minimum let you know. I hereby do solemnly promise that I am aware this is a public blog & heretofore have authored my posts accordingly to prevent any such occurrence.

Anyhoo, point is, it got me thinking about a thing called blog etiquette...does it even exist and what is it? I didn't ever think too much about it till that day. Well, if there ever becomes a rule book on this blog thing, I have one to add to the list:

#1. Don't diss your followers. One day you have out the welcoming mat, and the next day, you pull it from under them without warning...not cool (though I must admit it gets the point across very clearly lol).

My fellow bloggers had a few more for my list:

#2. Anonymous/non-public rude comments (My take: I've seen mean verbal sparring on blogs. I don't like it. I'm from the school of say everything with respect. You can respectfully disagree without name calling and dooming people and their families to death or lifelong ugliness. I hope those less evolved folk stay away from these parts)
#3. Asking for comments, then not reading or replying to them (My take: a tad guilty but I try esp when a question is asked)
#4. Bloggers with blog ego...they don't need anymore plebeian followers since they're riding the 500+ wave and as such no longer feel the need to solicit readers/followers by faking interest in other blogs (My take: lol...I think we should give these bloggers a break because if they're collecting followers like people collect FB friends just for the heck of it, the net may be an ideal place for them...I love love love my followers but will take real friends over stranger-friend followers any day)

Is there any thing in the blogosphere that gets your goat?

*Since the contributing bloggers did not give me approval to name them (& they're from my alternate blog life), they shall remain nameless*

Mar 15, 2010

I survived a hurricane...

in Jersey this weekend & it was scary. Seriously.

Saturday, there were winds of up to 60 mph, and torrential downpours. We lost power for a bit, but luckily (unlike the rest of our town) we got it back...there was only one block of our town with electricity & thank God it was ours. Everywhere was pitch black, the wind was howling and shaking the windows, tree limbs were down, street signs were down, traffic lights were out, trash cans were banging, there was blue & red was really like something from the movies. I thought my car was going to get blown away (even checked if the hand brake was up). On Sunday I saw broken windows in buildings, entire trees downed, many places still didn't have electricity, and folks don't have running water.

I'll be glad to never experience the wrath of mother nature again anytime soon.

Checked the news this morning and 2 men died on Saturday a town over from me (literally about 5 minutes). They were killed by a falling tree as they walked home from a religious service. May their souls rest in peace.

Mar 12, 2010

Fashion critic strikes again...

I will first admit I was studying during the red carpet for the 2010 Academy Awards and slept through the show but as soon as exams, home work, and draft papers were handed in, I made sure to compile my favs. So this is a second hand review :) I'll try to do the gents next time.

I should do Fashion Fridays lol

I'm a Nicole Richie groupie (well, used to be when I had time)...I love her fashion choices and I love this too...beautiful!
Maggie, just looked too fab rocking exactly something I would wear. I mean, the accessories, the dress, I love it all.
I love to see the really fancy and just gorgeous stuff but as you can see, I'd rather wear simpler looks.

Sorry, Diane Kruger, but you're it. Even in Chanel (& I dream of Chanel).
OMG, Zoe, what happened? She usually looks great.
You look fab, Tina!
Mariah is clothed! I don't love the dress but we'll take what we can get. It's like she went from dressing like 15 to 55.
These 2 ladies are usually a steady thumbs up for me. What happened?
I would never wear this dress or recommend it for a friend but gee, doesn't she look fab in it? Jennifer Lopez is my DO for avant garde though some people didn't love it. I think the shape fits her well and doesn't overwhelm.
Vera Formiga is my DON'T for avant garde...too many ruffles. I'm not liking the shape though a lot of folks liked this look. I think pink looks good on most everyone...she must be in the minority. Plus the ruffles aren't very flattering.
But check the ruffles on this dress! Very hot, Elizabeth Banks looooved this!
How to do neutrals? Ask Anna Kendrick's cute!
Rachel McAdams and I have very similar dresses :) I love her dress...looks just like my dress from Niki's wedding. Need I say that she looks fab? And yes, the pattern on her dress is nicer than mine...I'd have gotten that one if I saw it (& could afford). But, I was like 8 months ahead of her in fashion teehee.
* I gave credit to all the photo owners. Click on the actress' names*

Mar 10, 2010

Let it go

Most of us have difficulty admitting true feelings, and expressing them to ourselves and to others. We hide our true feelings - sadness, anger, hurt, resentment - by joking, being snobbish, or introverted, or even just ignoring them. Although the defense may be successful at masking the emotions, the hurt and anger remains. Hiding our true feelings and emotions give them power. They are roadblocks to our true joy.

I encourage us all to deal with our feelings and not just lay them it out, meditate, pray, read an inspirational text, exercise. The solution depends on the depth and degree of the feelings, of course but whatever you do, deal with them. It is good to get rid of negative feelings that crowd your heart and mind. Fill that space with solutions, lessons, and positive behavior and attitudes. I feel there are too many external stressors in this world - work, finance, school, car, house, etc - for us not to have inner peace, and develop healthy mechanisms to cope.

Life is too lonely in a box with all that negative around you. Get rid of it and open up with a smile!

"Say you just can't live that negative way...make way for the positive day."
Bob Marley

Mar 9, 2010

pass it on...

...that's what they always say about good deeds. There's this commercial that illustrates this perfectly. A man holds a door for another person, and because of the impression that good deed has on that person, s/he helps another stranger out; someone sees this and is impressed to do likewise, and so on. You get the drift. Well I saw a kind deed today and though I am in general a kind person, it sorta reminded or nudged me to do something nice today. I hope sharing the small deed illicits a similar response in you.

This morning while walking in to work I saw a man come out of a coffee shop with 2 cups of coffee/something hot, and surprise the homeless guy laying on the street by handing him one. He looked so surprised and grateful. I can just imagine how much he needed something hot...some of us can't function without our morning coffee or tea. I think we all should try to do something kind anyway, but hopefully this encourages us to really make the effort to do a good deed. Even if it's just a smile...the person scowling next to you may need it :)
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

"If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." Bob Hope

Mar 3, 2010

My last whenever in review...

Consistency is overrated.

Anyhoo, after having the worst grapes and strawberries of my life from my new nearest supermarket which I will not name, I have gained a new respect for my Super Stop&Shop in Dumont. I don't get fruits there regularly - I use my local farmers market - but if I ever do, they are yummy. These were horrid. In addition, my Stop&Shop has better prices.
Made my hair appointment. The snowstorm of last week and my bum hip threw a wrench in my plans to spruce up my look, but nothing's stoppin me now!

Midterms are in the air. Tomorrow and next Thurs. I am afraid, very afraid.

Weigh in is coming up. I am going to start back my exercise, & eating right regimen.

If you are squeamish and hate talk about women's issues, go read about my newest fun neighbor in my previous post.

Don't let curiosity get the best of you

CAN I JUST SAY I AM HAVING THE WORST PAIN EVER???? Oh my ovaries! What did I do to you??????? *holds deathly still in hopes my body will forget I'm here* I think it is angry at me for taking those Tylenol. I absolutely cannot stand the pain associated with my monthly. It is so bad I think something has to be amiss. At the stern instruction of Nic, I'm off to the Dr. this month.

Although I can't laugh - too painful - here you go. You deserve to laugh at my current situation since you did read my vent:

Mar 2, 2010


There are levels of rudeness & my reaction varies based on source and intensity.

But let's begin with the positive. A well-mannered person will always get a pleasant response from me.

A rude stranger will almost always be ignored by me. There's a good chance I won't see or speak to you again so who cares? If I do have to speak to the person, it will be short and a mite cutting.

A rude aquaintance gets a biting response or a 'look.'

A rude friend, I'll call out in private. No agreement or response, then I adjust my interaction with that person.

A rude family member who isn't necessarily a friend, gets placed at arms length. Minimal interaction.

I never argue, yell, or go beserk unless the situation is dire. In that case, call the medics.

In all this I try to remember some people may be having a rough day or life though I'll admit I rarely do account for that. There is little excuse for being plain rude.

Current situation? We have a rude neighbor who threatened to call the police which in actuality became a call to some manager/superintendant (who we assume told her to shut up lol) because we were moving after 9 (for 50 minutes) despite this being the fault of the management AND this was explained to her in more detail than necessary. People move once a year at most and it wasn't our fault anyway as we took the day off to move but the management was delinquent and ill-prepared. My reaction to offense 1: I sent a letter to management describing the interaction. I remain open to affable communication in the future. I honestly think she blows hot air and is trying to waste my time. I am not the one to get started with, as she will soon gather. I am highly reactionary and can get cornstarch-y. I plan to wait her out (silent treatment). The other half, kinder half in this instance, plans to kill her with kindness...good mornings galore for the lady. This tickles me some. In truth he senses some lack of purpose and loneliness in an older lady. I empathize and so my letter to management isn't as harsh as it could be.

Anyone else with the consumate neighbor, office mate, or family member? Feel free to vent.