Friday, September 25, 2009

A Jamba A Day

Two weeks ago I got an email from Jamba Juice...I LOVE Jamba Juice. They were offering buy 1 smoothie get a 16oz smoothie for $1. So for the last two weeks I have been drinking Jamba Juice for lunch.

I know you are thinking, how could you drink smoothies for lunch for 10 days? Easy, Jamba has so many different options I used it as an opportunity to try ones I hadn't tried before along with my favorites.

Drinking Jamba Juice every day for lunch had to be expensive? Not at all. I spent $5 a day, $25 a week. That's the same amount I would have spent on lunch anyway.

Sadly the promotion has ended. But I did discover some new favorites and Jamba Juice is perfect as a meal replacement.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soup Season

With all the rain we got in June, summer has come and gone...already. Temperatures were in the low 80's at the beginning of the week and we are now in the mid 60's. It's starting to feel like soup season.

I had a gift certificate from Omaha Steaks so I decided to purchase some Lobster Bisque. They have a pretty good one. I also started planning when I'll make my first batch of gumbo (probably mid-October). For lunch I like to go to Hale & Hearty soup and I'm sure they will be bringing back some of my winter favorites like Tomato Cheddar.

I'm looking forward to going home after a long day of work, enjoying a bowl of soup, wrapped in my favorite blanket (because I don't have a Snuggie), cuddled on my couch, watching a movie. Only thing that would make it better is to have someone to cuddle with...maybe I'll get a pet...LOL.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Winter Workout Update

I finally cancelled my gym membership. It doesn't actually expire until October 31st so I have programmed in to my calendar the classes I like to take. I'm going to try and go to the gym as much as possible for the next month and a half and then I'm going on a winter hiatus. I still have my Wii Fit for a home yoga workout. And I think I'm going to buy a couple more fitness games but come November 1...I'm going in to hibernation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Winter Workout

I'll be honest, I didn't workout that much this summer. I seriously think I'm going to cancel my gym membership.

My job will reimburse for 50% of a 6 month gym membership. I could use the money I get back to keep the gym membership going OR to enroll in dance classes. I used to take dance classes through Broadway Dance Center and then my job stopped reiumbursing for dance classes. I could also take dance classes at Alvin Ailey. They have non-professional classes.

Working out at the gym has it's positives and negatives. The biggest positive was I noticed the muscle tone change in my body. But the negative was the physical/health problems working out exposed. I didn't have knee and hip flexor problems to this extent until I started working out regularly. Not being a member of Crunch, I would miss the anti-gravity yoga classes and teh urban rebounding classes. Those are my favorites.

What's your winter workout plans?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Natural Hair

There was a recent article in Time magazine about why people make such a big deal about Michelle Obama's hair and what it means for Black Women's hair. There is actually a documetary coming out from Chris Rock called "Good Hair."

What bothered me is that the article made mention that pressing or flat ironing your hair is not maintaining your natural hair. I beg to differ. For one, I'm not using a chemical to get my hair straight. AND if my hair is flat ironed or pressed and water touches any part of it, it will not remain straight. I don't think using a tool to straighten your hair temporarily is denying the natural state of your hair. Using a harsh chemical is not temporary. The process to grow out a relaxer takes a lot longer than me just wetting my hair and it not being straight anymore. But again, it's about finding a level of control and style.

For most of 2009 I have been wearing my hair in braids because I was experiencing some serious breakage. Not sure if the breakage was due to stress, hair coloring or a combination of both. But it's the end of the summer so I'm trying to decide what do to with my hair. I have a few options.

1. Get it rebraided.
2. Give the braids a break and get my natural hair flat ironed.
3. If I get my natural hair done, possibly cut it.
4. Get a full head weave.

I'm leaning towards keeping my hair braided and getting it rebraided. Braids are easier to maintain and I'm not happy with the length and condition of my natural hair. Maybe after my Columbus Day weekend vacation I'll take the braids out for a bit. But I definetely want braids when I go to Costa Rica at the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Joy of Reading

I think the thing I love most about New York City is that so many people read. Get on any subway or bus line during rush hour and you'll see people reading books, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, etc. The New York Times recently ran a story about the joys of subway reading. I do the majority of my reading on the subway. And there have been a few times that I have missed my stop because I lost track of where I was because I was so in to what I was reading. Despite the fact that there are all these people around me I am in my own zone.

One of my personal goals this year is to read 30 books. It hasn't been easy balancing magazine, newspaper and book reading when the majority of my reading is done on the subway. With my commute that's only 45-60 minutes a day of reading/commuting time. But I have read 20 books...10 more to go.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In Debt We Trust

This weekend I watched a documentary from 2006 that is still relevant to our current economic times. The documentary was In Debt We Trust. You can watch it on YouTube as well.

The movie talked about what would happen when the housing bubble burst...and exactly what they said in the movie would happen did. The movie talked about what would happen when there was a shortage of credit...and it happened.

To illustrate how not just poor people but rich people are affected, Lorraine Bracco from the Sopranos talked about how she had to file for bankruptcy in 1999. She said, "I was land-rich and cash-poor."

Then I watched The Debt Trap on Dateline NBC. It talked about where we are at now. Credit card debt is at an all time high because of unemployment. One couple featured use their credit cards to pay for groceries, car insurance, gas, etc. They aren't using credit cards for wants...they are using them for needs...they need them to survive day to day.

There are many people to blame for our current economic crisis but at the end of the day it's all about personal accountability. So you can blame the banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies, Wall Street...whoever...but look at yourself and how your own situation/spending behaviors may have contributed as well. I understand emergencies, unexpected things happen all the time. I understand losing a job. But part of personal accountability is having a plan. Plan to keep your credit card charging to a minimum, plan to live on less, have a plan to pay back what you charge.

Friday, September 04, 2009

At The End of the Reading Rainbow

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high
Take a look, it's in a book - Reading Rainbow.

I can go anywhere!
Friends to know and ways to grow - Reading Rainbow.

I can be anything!
Take a look, it's in a book - Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow!

I know a few of y'all were singing the theme song to Reading Rainbow with me. As they say, all good things must come to an end. And thus the 26 year run of the show has come to an end. I don't have any kids but I just can't imagine that when I do they won't be able to watch Reading Rainbow as I did as a child.

I remember keeping a notebook with the names of all the books that were featured on the show. That list was my reading list and anytime I went to the library I was in search of those specific books. Reading Rainbow gave me literary direction.

Luckily there is YouTube (which hopefully that will still exist when I have kids) so I can search the archives and find a few shows for them to enjoy. But for now, join me on a trip down Memory Lane and sing along with the show's theme song.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A New Moon For Wuthering Heights

I just finished reading "New Moon," book three in the Twilight Saga. The book makes several references to Wuthering Heights. I honestly don't remember reading Wuthering Heights in high school or any other time.

So as a regular user of I searched to see if the book was available. Not only are there several copies of the books available but the Cliffs Notes are also available. And for a moment I had a flashback to high school. I don't know how many times I used Cliffs Notes to help supplement the books I was reading because I didn't fully understand what I was reading and my teachers weren't doing a good job of explaining it. Classroom discussions based on the readings for some books got so off base that the discussion was sparked by the book but not about helping to understand the book.

I'm older now and it's not like reading Wuthering Heights is a requirement I have to should I order the book, should I order the Cliffs Notes, should I order both? I could read the book but not understand what I'm reading. I could read the Cliffs Notes but as people always like to say miss out on the literary experience. I could order both and use the Cliffs Notes as a supplement, only reading the Cliffs Notes after finishing a chapter I have read in the book.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Roxanne's Revenge Was A Lie

You may have read the story from the New York Daily News about how Roxanne Shante got her label to pay for her education. WELL IT WAS ALL A LIE!!! According to the entire story was false. I don't know who to be mad at more or mad at first. Should I be mad at the NY Daily News for not doing their research? Should I be mad at Roxanne Shante for LYING?

Everyone loves a rags to riches story especially in this current economic state. And we have all heard the stories of music artists getting jilted by the music labels and various people they worked with. It was nice to read about the little person getting the best of Goliath. So I'm just pissed and disappointed. Maybe it's just me. But I will apologize to anyone I forwarded the original story too. It's still a good story...too bad it was all fiction.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Most Relaxing Vacation Ever

It's 29 I'm OLD. Because only an old person would an enjoy a weekend in a cabin doing absolutely nothing. It was the best waste of time I can remember wasting in a long time.

Several months ago my girls and I started planning our annual girls trip. Every year we go on at least one trip together. I don't even remember how it came up but I suggested we rent a cabin in Asheville, NC. I went to school in North Carolina but I had never visited Asheville. All I knew about the city was that there was a UNC campus there and people liked to visit the Biltmore Estates (NOTE: we never made it to the Biltmore Estates so I will have to find my way back to Asheville).

My girls from college suggested the Cedar Creek Cabins as a good place to stay. We stayed in the Acorn cabin. It had 3 1/2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and a pool table. I think the most interesting feature was the stove. I'll link to a picture of it when B posts the pictures. The best part of the cabin...the cost. It is $175 per night + $45 Cleaning Fee. For 3 days and 2 nights the total cost for the cabin came to $411 (with taxes).

Although we did a lot of relaxing, reading, sleeping, eating and watching movies...we did actually leave the cabin. We went to a great spa, Sensibilities Day Spa, and the service was excellent. And coming from NYC, the price could not be beat. For a 60-minute European Facial and 60 minute massage it was $152 (plus tip). And we discovered Downtown Asheville (at the suggestion of the receptionist at the Spa). All the local businesses have maps of downtown Asheville and will point you to various places to try. We didn't get a chance to go everywhere but we did get some great homemade ice cream and my friends made personally scented lotions at Bath Junkie (they do have a location in New York City).

Will I go back to Asheville? Yes. Do I recommend Asheville for anyone looking for a relaxing, low-cost, inexpensive getaway? Yes.

Next Trip: Short Bahama Cruise Columbus Day Weekend