Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fishy business

My Husband with his trophy. BTW...I'm not cleaning or eating THAT.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Terrific Tuesday's Tasty Recipes: Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Okay, its that time of the year when the air is brisk and breezy. Most days you just wanna sit inside, on the couch in your snuggie with some good comfort food. Well, at least that's what I like to do. What's a better comfort food than some good homemade soup? One of my favorite recipes that I have been using for the past 5 years is Black Bean and Pumpkin soup. It was such an unusual combination, I just had to try it. I am so glad I did, what a treat for my palate! So if you are ready for something delicious print out this recipe and keep it with your favorites.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

3 (15 to 19 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14 1/2 oz) can chopped tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon butter

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 teaspoons cumin

4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 (16 oz) can pumpkin Reduced -fat sour cream for garnish

In a blender, puree beans and tomatoes in several batches. In a large pan, heat butter on medium. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin; cook 6 minutes or until onion is softened and light brown. Stir in bean - and - tomato puree. Add broth and pumpkin; mix well. Simmer 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Red, Orange, Pink or Blue, what aura color are you?

A few months ago a young man set up a little table and a couple of chairs in front of a Yoga and Pilate's studio. On his table was a bio feedback machine and he offered to do readings for $5.00. Initially I was apprehensive, because I don't do "readings." There are certain lines that I do not cross and readings are one of them. However, he explained that it was not a look into my future but it was a look at my Aura.

"Oh yeah! I've heard of that. I've read a little about it and talk to a couple of people about it. It's something that everyone has." "Wow, you can read mine with that machine?Interesting"...

And so that is how I learned about the colors of my aura. I placed my hands on the bio feed back machine, breathed in and out slowly, and relaxed. The result?- I am primarily Green & Yellow with a small area of Black. The area of Black is not really the best part of me, but it is there and I am very aware of the reasons for it and I'm working on them. *sigh, sistah got a few issues* chuckle chuckle.

Although I understand it, I do not think I can properly express how this works. So I went to this site to post the definitions and color meaning onto my blog post. Read below and don't forget to check out the interesting video at the end. It explains the scientific explanation behind it all.

What color is your aura?...


The aura is the electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body (Human Energy Field-HEF) and every organism and object in the Universe.
The Human Energy Field as a collection of electro - magnetic energies of varying densities that permeate through and emit or exit from the physical body of a living person. These particles of energy are suspended around the healthy human body in an oval shaped field. This "auric egg" emits out from the body approximately 2-3 feet (1 metre on average) on all sides. It extends above the head and below the feet into the ground.


The aura consist of seven levels/layers/auric bodies . Each one of the subtle bodies that exist around the physical body, has its own unique frequency. They are interrelated, and affect one another and the person's feelings, emotions, thinking, behaviour, and health as well. Therefore a state of imbalance in one of the bodies leads to a state of imbalance in the others.


RED AURA COLOR: Relates to the physical body, hart or circulation. The densest color, it creates the most friction. Friction attracts or repels; money worries or obsessions; anger or unforgiveness; anxiety or nervousness

Deep Red: Grounded, realistic, active, strong will-power, survival-oriented.

Muddied red: Anger (repelling)

Clear red: Powerful, energetic, competitive, sexual, passionate

Pink-bright and light: Loving, tender, sensitive, sensual, artistic, affection, purity, compassion; new or revived romantic relationship. Can indicate clairaudience.

Dark and murky pink: Immature and/or dishonest nature

Orange Red: Confidence, creative power
In a good, bright and pure state, red energy can serve as a healthy ego.

ORANGE AURA COLOR: Relates to reproductive organs and emotions. The color of vitality, vigor, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina, creative, productive, adventurous, courageous, outgoing social nature; currently experiencing stress related to appetites and addictions;

Orange-Yellow: Creative, intelligent, detail oriented, perfectionist, scientific.

YELLOW AURA COLOR: Relates to the spleen and life energy. It is the color of awakening, inspiration, intelligence and action shared, creative, playful, optimistic, easy-going.
Light or pale yellow: Emerging psychic and spiritual awareness; optimism and hopefulness; positive excitement about new ideas.

Bright lemon-yellow: Struggling to maintain power and control in a personal or business relationship; fear of losing control, prestige, respect, and/or power.
Clear gold metallic, shiny and bright: Spiritual energy and power activated and awakened; an inspired person.

Dark brownish yellow or gold: A student, or one who is straining at studying; overly analytical to the point of feeling fatigued or stressed; trying to make up for "lost time" by learning everything all at once.

GREEN AURA COLOR: Relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change. Love of people, animals, nature; teacher; social
Bright emerald green: A healer, also a love-centered person

Yellow-Green: Creative with heart, communicative

Dark or muddy forest green: Jealousy, resentment, feeling like a victim of the world; blaming self or others; insecurity and low self-esteem; lack of understanding personal responsibility; sensitive to perceived criticism

Turquoise: Relates to the immune system. Sensitive, compassionate, healer, therapist.

BLUE AURA COLOR: Relates to the throat, thyroid. Cool, calm, and collected. Caring, loving, love to help others, sensitive, intuitive.

Soft blue: Peacefulness, clarity and communication; truthful; intuitive

Bright royal blue: Clairvoyant; highly spiritual nature; generous; on the right path; new opportunities are coming

Dark or muddy blue: Fear of the future; fear of self-expression; fear of facing or speaking the truth

INDIGO AURA COLOR: Relates to the third eye, visual and pituitary gland. Intuitive, sensitive, deep feeling.

VIOLET AURA COLOR: Relates to crown, pineal gland and nervous system. The most sensitive and wisest of colors. This is the intuitive color in the aura, and reveals psychic power of attunement with self. Intuitive, visionary, futuristic, idealistic, artistic, magical.

LAVENDER AURA COLOR: Imagination, visionary, daydreamer, etheric.

SILVER AURA COLOR: This is the color of abundance, both spiritual and physical. Lots of bright silver can reflect to plenty of money, and/or awakening of the cosmic mind.

Bright metallic silver: Receptive to new ideas; intuitive; nurturing

Dark and muddy gray: Residue of fear is accumulating in the body, with a potential for health problems, especially if gray clusters seen in specific areas of the body

GOLD AURA COLOR: The color of enlightenment and divine protection. When seen within the aura, it says that the person is being guided by their highest good. It is divine guidance. Protection, wisdom, inner knowledge, spiritual mind, intuitive thinker.

BLACK AURA COLOR: Draws or pulls energy to it and in so doing, transforms it. It captures light and consumes it. Usually indicates long-term unforgiveness (toward others or another) collected in a specific area of the body, which can lead to health problems; also, entitities within a person's aura, chakras, or body; past life hurts; unreleased grief from abortions if it appears in the ovaries

WHITE AURA COLOR: Reflects other energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities.

White sparkles or flashes of white light: angels are nearby; can indicate that the person is pregnant or will be soon

EARTH AURA COLORS: Soil, wood, mineral, plant. These colors display a love of the Earth, of being grounded and is seen in those who live and work on the, farming, etc. These colors are important and are a good sign.

RAINBOWS: Rainbow-colored stripes, sticking out like sunbeams from the hand, head or body: A Reiki healer, or a starperson (someone who is in the first incarnation on Earth)

PASTELS: A sensitive blend of light and color, more so than basic colors. Shows sensitivity and a need for serenity.

DIRTY BROWN OVERLAY: Holding on to energies. Insecurity.

DIRTY GRAY OVERLY: Blocking energies. Guardedness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Girls Day Out with a Magical Beauty experience

Imagine my surprise and delight when my daughter and I were heading out the door for our day at the salon to find a package on our front step. I took a few minutes to open the box and was happy I did. Inside was some goodies from Carol's Daughter Magical Beauty Collection that we could take with us.

I immediately put the bottles into my purse and off we went to get beautified! When we arrived at Honeecomb our stylist Shaina was happy to use what we brought in to clean and condition our hair. Her immediate response to the shampoo was a big "LIKE". She said she loved the thick lather and the clean scent. As she washed she said that the shampoo had a nice conditioning effect as well. After rinsing and applying the conditioner however, she was not as impressed but nevertheless considered the conditioner a good product as well. It simply did what it's intended to do, soften and condition our hair.

As I sat in the salon, I began to look over the labeling of the bottles. The one thing that stood out as noteworthy to me was not the pictures of the cute characters from the Princess and the Frog movie, but the affirmations. Just as the movie held certain principals and encouraged noteworthy attributes for young girls, so did the wording on the labels. The phrases read; "The Beauty Within" "Inner Shine" and "Sharing Means Caring."....I love that! As a mother of a young, beautiful brown girl these are the characteristics that I try to instill in her. These are products with a great message to uplift and empower girls everywhere.

After our day at the salon we left even prettier than we arrived. We finished off our day by eating delicious cupcakes at CAMICAKES in the Atlanta Buckhead area. A great way for a queen and her princess to end their day.

Tonight, I think I'll let the princess use her new Princess and the Frog bubble bath...pampering is right up her alley. She's such a DIVA.

*I was not given financial compensation to do this review, although I did receive the products to use for free. My honest opinion was expressed about the products*


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Orange is the Color for January, Pt 3: A reflective interview

In my effort to encourage awareness and education for Cervical Cancer and HPV I have taken on the responsibility of researching and educating myself more on it. The things I have learned have really enlightened me.

Even more enlightening was my interview that I had with an endearing, bright and cheerful, young woman who I am so thankful for sharing her story of HPV with me openly, so that I may share it with you. Over a cup of Caramel Macchiatto and coffee cake in a local Starbucks here is our discussion:

girl talk...keeping it real

Q: What motivated you go to the Doctor to be checked out? Did you have symptoms?
A: I did not have any symptoms health wise. However, during intercourse it was brought to my attention that I had a few "razor bumps" on my genitals. My partner and I weren't sure what to think of it initially, so I did not do anything right away. However after a couple of weeks, I knew that I needed to have it checked and so I did.
Q: Once you had your exam, how long did it take to get your results back?
A: It took about a week for the results of the cervical biopsy to come back and to have my diagnosis of low risk HPV, the genital wart type.
Q: What were your initial thoughts upon learning the test results?
A: I cried many tears and had many thoughts; " are they going to go away?" "how will I explain this?" "will I have to give up sex?" (that bothered me) I wondered who I got it from, because I went through a reckless period in my life that resulted in several sex partners.
Q:Prior to diagnosis, did you know what HPV was? Or the dangers of it?
A: Well, yes and no. I knew of a friend that had contracted it, but did not know the depths of how serious it can be. Like I did not know people died from it because of the cervical cancer it causes.
Q: How old were you?
A: 20 years old
Q:How did you try to deal with the diagnosis? Did you seek counseling or a support group?
A: No, I did not seek any counseling. I just tried to come to terms with it on my own. I had to think about and come to terms with the decisions I've made and the consequences that go along with them. I had to deal with the emotional frustrations that come with accepting that I got this and that it is classified as an STD. It was not easy, but I was able to accept and move forward.
Q: Did you discuss this with future partners? When did you inform?
A: Once it was decided that my partner and I were going to be in a serious monogamous relationship, touching on the subject of sex without condoms. We were both getting tested to know our HIV status I thought it a good time to tell him then.
Q: What was his reaction?
A: Initially he was very upset. He was concerned about the future of our relationship. He wants to have a family and had feared that my having HPV would hinder those plans. He did his own research online and spoke to his Doctor about it. Having children and quality of life was not going to be affected by the type of HPV that I have, so he was relieved and became my supporter. It is no longer an issue in our relationship, he understands fully.
Q: How do you feel about counseling and organizations like Tamika and Friends? Would you recommend it?
A: If someone feels that they need someone to talk to in order to deal with their diagnosis and their future, then yes they should seek counseling. They should do the research and join organizations. The organizations provide wonderful outlets and support, they provide a voice and help to ease the anxiety, helping to see that you are not alone in your struggle.
Q: Did you get the HPV vaccination? And would you recommend it to other women?
A: Yes I did get vaccinated it is a series of three shots. One every three months, for six months. And ooooh! they hurt too! Those that are not diagnosed should do the research and make a personal choice based on what they have learned.
Q:Are you dealing with wart outbreaks?
A:I found a Natural healing Oils company online to treat the warts and I have not had a break out since. The company is
Q:Advice for other women, young girls?
A: Be smart. Be aware. Protect yourself and make good choices.
Wow, the time had come to end our lively conversation. Reluctantly, I departed from this chatty young lady, who obviously has matured in her own ways through life experience. She certainly is a tough cookie with a tender heart.
I enjoyed conducting this interview and I hope you were enlightened as you read it. Learn from this story and those of the many other women who have been diagnosed with this illness. Fortunately for this woman her diagnosis did not result in the removal of her reproductive organs, but not every woman with the disease can say the same. Every hour a woman is told that she has cervical cancer and every 2.5 hours a woman dies from it. Share this information with your sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins and friends. Get your exam and take the pledge
*Although information was shared from this interview on a product to use to remove genital warts, I do not endorse it. It has worked for this young woman but each person must check with their own physician before using anything. Removal of the warts does not mean that the illness is cured. There is no cure, only prevention. Go to for more information*

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sunkissed dreadlocks

I love my new highlights!

I kissed the sun and I like it! lol!

my golden backside

So whaddya think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Terrific Tuesdays Tasty recipe: Sassy Salmon burgers

Here is a great alternative to beef or turkey burgers. I have made these for my family & friends a couple of times in the past and it was a hit! I plan on making this again for dinner tonight, yummy!

Sassy Salmon Burgers

1 (14 3/4-oz) can salmon,drained,skin & bones removed

1 cup toasted wheat germ (such as Kretschmer), divided

1/3 cup sliced green onions

3 egg whites, divided

4 tbsp water, divided

2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 to 1/2 tsp hot sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

5 whole-wheat hamburger buns

1 medium sliced ripe avocado

1 medium sliced tomato

1 cup chopped lettuce

In medium bowl, combine salon, 1/2 cup wheat germ and green onions. In small bowl, beat together 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons water, mayonnaise, salt and hot sauce. Add to salmon mixture; mix well. Shape into 5 patties, each about 1 inch thick. In shallow dish, place remaining 1/2 cup wheat germ. In second shallow dish, beat remaining egg white with remaining 2 tablespoons water until frothy. Di each patty in wheat germ, then in egg white mixture, then again in wheat germ. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Cook patties over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden and heated through. Serve patties on toasted buns with avocado, tomatoes and lettuce.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Back in the Day, we handled things so differently

I have a dilemma, if some of you have been following my tweets you know that last night my son had to be taken to the ER. Yeah, on a Friday night the ER is not cool. I mean not that I had something cooler to do...I wish, but anyway! It's not the point! Whether I had something cool to do or not does not take away from the fact that sitting in the ER on a Friday night is not cool.

Why were we there? Because my children and the other neighborhood kids decided to play cops and robbers with the Nerf guns. As they are frolicking in the yard one overzealous boy began to shoot my son point blank range in the eye! Not once, Not twice, but several times. My son is telling him to stop, tries to run away but to no avail. The kid wont let up! And to make matters worse, he began to tease and bully him. Calling him "soft, a sissy, and a wuss." Let me just say for the record: My son is not a wuss! He's just sensitive ;-)...In the end my boy wound up with a corneal abrasion, requiring a topical antibacterial ointment to be applied 4 times a day.

My husband and I are old skool. We grew up in different states, He in the south and I in the north. However, when we were kids, playing with wild abandon on the streets of our neighborhoods we knew how to handle ourselves. If ever I was playing and somebody tried to get bad with me, I got badder. Even If scared I would not back down and run home. I stood my ground and was ready to scrap if I had to, and I still have the scars to prove it. ( really, I do) Growing up partly in Harlem and the Bronx NY, my parents did not take kindly to me coming home saying "I got beat up." That was NOT acceptable. They never encouraged me to fight recklessly, but they did expect me to protect my self if I had to. That's just the way it was.

harlem, circa 1970's
Here is my Dilemma: As we are raising our children in the 21st century, full of awareness of what is socially acceptable, appropriate and what is not, it is hard to turn aside those old school ways. I certainly don't want to encourage my son to use violence to solve his issues, or hold him accountable for not being able to "fight" , but at the same time, I do not want to see him getting his butt whooped in the neighborhood. This is the 3rd or fourth time, this other kid has fought my son.

What does a parent do when you are teaching your child to be loving, kind and respectable to others while other parents are not instilling the same values? We have taught our son to put on the Christlike personality and to turn the other cheek when situations get heated. Walk away, remove himself from the situation. However, unlike the times past kids today don't just slap you a couple of times or beat you up, leaving you with a simple bruise. Kids today are vicious, they will beat you within an inch of your life, sometimes actually taking another child's life. Other kids may join in or watch and cheer from the sidelines.( you've seen the news reports) This leaves me totally freaking out at the thought of the possibilities of what could happen to my children if they don't fight. It is what causes my husband and I go get straight old skool and start telling our kids to "go crazy on that fool, if he starts messin' with you again!" " Beat the crap outta him!" "if you go off on his butt one good time, I bet he'll leave you alone!"

This is just awful to me. I feel so trapped between a rock and a hard place with this situation. We live in the suburbs and are far removed from the city streets that we grew up in. So therefore our children do not have those same natural street smart skills. I never wanted to raise my children in "the hood", but there are times like this that I wish we did, in my own mind it seems that they would be a little tougher and more adept at dealing with bullies.

Goodness, I'm trying to raise these children right and get them to adulthood as decent moral citizens, but it is not easy is it?
Can't we all just get along?....kumbaya people, kumbaya.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What are the options when what is natural is not an option?

Some where along the way I picked up the habit of noticing labels, especially name brands. There was a time in my life in which I wouldn't be caught dead in public with an "off brand." I was like that with everything from clothing & personal items to food & appliances. I always felt that the name brand and the price determined the quality. When my son was born, I kept up this pattern of label watching, only the best for my baby, right?

So, when I had to decide how I will feed my newborn it was only natural that I chose breastfeeding. It was the best. We breastfed for 7 months and then needed to switch to formula. Once again....the best. So we bought the best name brand of infant formula that we could afford.

As I look back on my label watching patterns now, I feel so silly. I was focused on the wrong things, worrying more about the brand than the quality ingredients that were to provide needed nutrients to my child.

I recently read the Consumer Reports regarding the subject of buying formula and to my surprise I realized that I wasted a lot of money. How much? I really don't know the exact figures, but according to reports the average formula fed baby will drink about $2,000.00 worth by it's first birthday. I figure since I only breast fed thru 7 months, I didn't spend that much, but still...every dime counts. While I was watching the name brands I should have really been reading ingredient labels. If I had then I would have known that all of the baby formula sitting on the shelves had the same levels of nutrition. The formula's may be varied but the nutrition is the same, because the Food and Drug Administration set certain standards for all Formula manufacturers in the U.S. . As long as the formula was bought before the "use by " date, it was of acceptable quality.

Even more importantly to consider are the various features of the formula that is chosen. I remember times when I would spend seemingly hours in the baby aisle trying to figure out which added feature was "the best." It was confusing! A baby needs formula that is fortified with Iron, and probiotics are good for proper digestion and balancing of the flora in the intestines. Just about every type of formula nowadays contains DHA and ARA, both of which are synthetic versions of the natural fatty acids found in a woman's natural breast milk. This natural ingredient is supposed to assist in proper brain and eye development. However, the scientific evidence supporting whether or not the synthetic versions of these fatty acids that are added is beneficial in the long term is still on the fence. According to certain studies on this subject, the positive effects that come from this additional feature is short term, not long term. Which in my opinion means that if it costs more to have it, perhaps you don't need to buy it. Especially if it's synthetic and not proven to be beneficial in the long term. Save the money.

Seems to me that when looking to buy formula, today's modern mommy should still look at the label. Not for the name brand only, but for the things that matter the most. I am no longer in the baby aisle when shopping at the grocery store, but if I was I would not repeat that silly way of doing things. I would clip my coupons, sign up for savings and free products with my formula company of choice and most importantly I'd buy the store brand...proudly!

Reading the Consumer Report has certainly opened my eyes to labels and ingredients. It basically has proven what my husband (Mr. frugal himself) has been telling me all along: "The name brand doesn't always matter, it's the ingredients. Many products are made the same, the only thing different is the name."

For further information you can go to

*I have not been paid to do this review of formula manufacturing, however I was supplied with the book; Consumer Reports Best Baby Products the A to Z e verything you need for your baby. *

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lately, I havent been getting enough of it.

Ive been guilty of something, really guilty. I have not being doing what I know that I ought to do. I have not been drinking enough water. Which is pretty sad because I work in the holistic health field and promote healthy living. I tell my clients to drink a lot of water after each reflexology session, "It carries away the toxins." Yet, I am not heeding my own advice.

I don't know why I am being so rebellious. I know that water has many benefits such as:

  • supports the metabolism
  • supplies nutrients and oxygen into cells
  • healthier skin
  • aids digestion and constipation and
  • detoxifies

I've got to get better with this before I create a situation. Last year I was hospitalized due to serious kidney infection. Not. Fun. I certainly do not need a repeat of THAT. Besides, it's not cute to have dry cracked lips or wrinkly, flaky skin ( sure signs of dehydration).

I know that I need to drink 75ounces of water a day, as a rule- drink half your body weight in ounces. So I'm going full force with this. Again... Doing whatever it takes, adding lemon, mint leaves, cucumbers or limes to add flavor. Making my water consumption more palatable, because woman cannot live on coffee and wine alone. Although it makes life more interesting. haha!

What about you? Do you need to boost up your water intake?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where I wanna be...Wordless Wednsday

With all this cold weather, this is where I wanna be. Look at it and imagine...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Orange is the color for January part 2-Say something!

As you may know by now, January is national Cervical Cancer Awareness month. Why is this of importance to you? Well, because cervical cancer used to be the leading cause for cancer deaths in the united states. However due to increased awareness and yearly Pap tests, women are able to find cervical precancer before it actually develops into full blown cancer. Which results in fewer deaths. Regardless of your age, race, health or relationship (monogamous or not) you are still at risk. If you are a female, you need to be in the KNOW.

The main cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. It is passed on through sexual contact. This virus is very common, in fact according to the CDC most sexually active women at some point in their lives will have contracted the virus, the majority of which will not develop into cervical cancer. Although not all who contract HPV will develop cancer do not be fooled into thinking that cancer is the ONLY thing to worry about. Did you know that there are over 100 types of the virus? Of which there are various types of warts. There is low risk HPV and high risk HPV (30 of which are the cancerous type)

Here are some additional facts for you to consider:

  • During the the development of HPV you may not have symptoms.

  • Using condoms is not a sure protection against the virus.

  • HPV can be contracted by skin on skin contact and even anal sex.

  • Even if you have been married for years or only have one partner it is possible to have been infected. (that was a shocker for me)

  • HPV can be contracted in the mouth, tongue, throat and tonsils

Education is your best form of protection against HPV and cervical cancer. Share what you have learned with others. Say Something! Click this link to get your say something kit to help teach your friends and family about cervical cancer.

Terrific Tuesdays Tasty recipe's- Buffalo chicken strips with blue cheese salad

I was in the mood for some good food tonight, but certainly not in the mood for a mediocre meal. I needed it to be simple, yet fulfilling. So I thumbed through my stack of recipe's and found one that was right on the money. And since I am such a good friend I'll share it with you. I know...I'm so cool.

Buffalo chicken strips (serves 4)

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 1/2 cups all - purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 16 equal - size strips
4 cups vegetable oil

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in ketchup and hot sauce. Remove from heat; cover and reserve sauce.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper, Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tsp water.
  3. In small batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture shaking off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat, shaking off excess. Dredge chicken in flour again. Place on floured sheet.
  4. In a large (5-quart) saucepan, heat oil to 350 on a deep-fry-thermometer ( a pinch of flour should sizzle when dropped in the oil)
  5. Add half the chicken; cook until golden brown, 3-6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lines plate. Return oil to 350. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Toss chicken strips with reserved sauce (reheated if necessary) to coat. Serve with Blue Cheese Salad.

Blue cheese salad (serves 4)

3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons light mayonnaise

2 teaspoon each water and fresh lemon juice

3 dashes hot sauce

coarse salt

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 head romaine lettuce cored and chopped

4 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium celery stalks, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, hot sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold in blue cheese.
  2. Add romaine lettuce, carrots and celery; toss to combine. Serve immediately.
**This recipe was taken from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine; October 2005. You can search it and other great ones on

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I want to be brave, but it's kinda tough

As I have mentioned before, I am embarking on a new business venture. In addition to my Hippie Chicks bath and body line and Reflexology practice. Well, it is sort of a merge of my reflexology practice with the massage therapy practice of my cousin. We both have a love, actually a passion for our individual therapies and are thrilled that we have found a way to blend them and work together. Our name? Very simple, Be.Beautifully.Well. It is all about being beautiful inside and out, mind, body and soul.

Coming up with our concept seemed easy and very natural. We have some plans to host a few events in the months to come and can I just say "OVERWHELMED?" I feel so nervous about it. Nervous because I am having to really venture out of my comfort zone. We are pushing ourselves into arena's that are not really our own. Lots of networking, actually contacting people that I have met at these networking events and sharing our ideas. uuuggghhh! Do you know why that makes me nervous? One word....rejection. But I have heard and read enough motivational talk to know that I can't get to the acceptance without going through the rejection. So I keep on with eyes and head lifted upward, believing in my heart that we are on the right path. So far there hasn't been any rejection, but there are a few obstacles.

But, I can do this... right?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Orange is the color for January- Part 1

Last year, my cousin /business partner /best friend and I came up with the idea to merge our two passions; massage and reflexology to create one business. Our services are for everyone, but with a concentration on women. Helping women to create a healthy place within their own mind and body, remembering that beauty begins within. (more on that later, I promise.) Anyhow, as we were forming this venture I realized that I wanted to be more than just another "spa service", that I wanted to be one that was an advocate and supporter regarding health issues related to women. Not any random issue, but one that was of importance to me personally. One that has affected myself or those that I love. The first health issue I thought of was HPV and cervical cancer. Although I do not personally have either of these illnesses, I am related to women that do, and I would like to understand more about it so that I can be more of a support.
As I was pondering these thoughts, it occurred to me that I met some lovely ladies at Blogalicious who were representing Tamika and Friends. A wonderful organization dedicated to spreading the word about prevention , treatment and support for HPV and cervical cancer. I pulled out their brochure, and contacted them. Their website is full of advice and soul stirring personal stories of women, including Tamika Felder herself. They have great programs to fit every one's needs and an opportunity for all to get involved from a small to a large level.

I signed up to be a friend and I am so excited! My first chance to report for supporter duty will be on January 27Th for National Wear Orange Day. In a few days I will post more information about what this small event will entail and lead up to a larger event in the weeks to come. HPV and cervical cancer is PREVENTABLE AND TREATABLE . January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Take the first step and get educated on the subject. It could save your life or that of someone you love.

Until next time....


Friday, January 1, 2010

Somewhere along the way, I lost it.

I don't remember when I lost it. I'm thinking that it may have occurred somewhere within the last 10 years. It just slipped away from me.

I'm talking about my game- my shoe game to be more specific. By my own admission (and by a couple of snickering remarks from my homegirls) my
shoe game is wic wic wack!

I want to blame it on something, but I don't know what. Could it be bcause I've begun to choose comfort over fashion? Or is it my limited clothing budget? Or could it be... That I just don't have good shoe style? GASP!

I am so perplexed by this.

My "summertime" shoes are not as shameful as my closed toe "wintertime" shoes , but regardless....It's time for a makeover. So in 2010 I'm planning on stepping up my shoe game. I'm going to get my shoe mojoe back. I am stepping out of the box and putting my best fashion foot forward, literally.

I just hope that I don't break the bank doing it. The husband will not be pleased with that.

So this is my fashion resolution for 2010. I resolve to improve my shoe fashion, and unleash the DIVA that I am within. Do you have a fashion resolution? Or do you have a shoe fashion tip? Please a sistah out.

*for your chuckling pleasure here are my worst pairs of shoes*

The green bombers

The white wedges

The infamous Rocketdogs

The red pointed toe

My open toe metal strip, Sunday go to meeting shoes

My square toe, square heel sunday go to meeting shoes