Archive | March, 2010

Why I Love Black Women–book review

30 Mar

Whether they are academics, cultural critics, educated folk who talk a lot or all of the above, most are looking for meaning from behavior and situations in one or more predetermined contexts. In his latest offering, Michael Eric Dyson presents his findings in an engaging and practical way for an audience beyond the college classroom. Why I Love Black Women does just that. Being a fan of all of his other books (Debating Race & Can You Hear Me Now) I truly think this one is my fave!

Dyson, who is also a minister, writes an extensive love letter to black women through anecdotes that trace his life, from his childhood in Detroit to his days as a fledgling preacher to his current status as an author, professor and minister. He hails the virtues of us “sisters” with our unique dialects and inflections, the care and guidance we provide children, the clever ways in which we inspire black men, and of course our anatomical gifts (lets just say he truly appreciates hips). It makes you wonder why such a book has never been written before. For this alone Dyson deserves sole credit for stepping outside of the box and rather than writing another Black Woman’s self help book (Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man) he truly praises black women for being the wonderful gifts from God that we are.

For readers browsing through bookstores, Why I Love Black Women is an entertaining book, lighthearted at times, but not lightweight. Dyson gives praise to women who don’t receive enough recognition, such as gospel great Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (who stood up to President Bush’s war demand after 9/11) and countless others, including every day women whose challenges inspired Dyson to document parts of their lives. The author also devotes time to edify older black women, who in this age of pop culture are often socially discarded along with the rest of their generation. The positive tone of the work comes across throughout, which implies the best of intentions on Dyson’s part.

THIS BOOK GETS A DOUBLE STAMP OF APPROVAL FROM THE GOODWIVES! Pick it up, read it, and contribute to books that highlight african american women in a positive light!

Cross Your Legs–The Art of Being a Lady

30 Mar

We all know THAT GIRL. That girl who is extra all the time and everywhere, that girl who swears she’s down with the “n*ggas”. That girl who “doesn’t get along with other girls”. That girl that you don’t invite out because she doesn’t know how to act. Yeah,THAT GIRL!

This past weekend I got to spend an evening with that girl. Being extra loud cursing at the waitress in an upscale establishment, standing on top of tables at an upscale after party talking loud and acting more drunk than her alcohol consumption would’ve allowed. Bending over, offering free lap dances and waving around her stripper leg. I watched as she actually cursed out one of her female friends and then had the nerve to take the disrespect farther on a social networking site, completely destroying the friendship. And she behaves in this manner for what you might ask–to be down with the boys.

The phrase “you don’t have to lie to kick it” applies to this same situation. You don’t have to be rambunctious ratchet buffoon to hang with men and earn their respect. Whatever happened to being a true lady?

I know for a fact that men truly respect women that carry themselves as ladies. There is a difference between being snotty/stuck up and being a lady, being a lady doesn’t mean you turn up your nose to people and act too good.  Being a lady means carrying yourself like the world is your debutante. A lady does not swear loudly in public (if she swears at all), a lady can be elegant and humorous without acting a fool, a lady can gain a man’s attention and earn his respect without uttering a word. The way she carries herself is how she EARNS respect, she doesn’t earn respect by swinging around her proverbial balls acting like one of the boys. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to take off the dress and put on the overalls BUT not behaving like a lady is never an option.

I thank God that I am surrounded by girls that can be platonic friends with men and still carry themselves like TRUE LADIES. There is nothing worse than seeing THAT GIRL in a public arena and watching the train wreck caused by her behavior. Know how to cross your legs, be seen and not always heard, and to simply sit down somewhere without having to be in every dudes face trying to get his attention. Let a man be a man and you be the lady. Some might say its all in good fun but at what expense? A woman acting like an utter fool gives her a bad reputation that will always precede her. Its all fun and games until someone gets embarrassed. DON’T BE THE ONE DOING THE EMBARRASSMING!

The GWC is all about having fun but yet knowing your boundaries so the men you associate yourself with hold you in the highest regard…remember respect is not given, its earned and the wrong way to earn it is to act easy, common, and like you are the ’round the way girl’.

So ladies, girls and future good wives-lets take a lesson out of the Carrie Bradshaw book and learn to be the Catie girl and NOT the SIMPLE GIRL!!! (Sex and the City, Season 3 Episode 17-Big Marries Natasha)

**this clip is only somewhat relevant BUT Then GWC loves Sex and the City**

Add this one to your bag of tricks

28 Mar

Knowing how to cook is a great attribute.  However, if you have no interest and choose not to pursue it, that is your call.

For the ladies that do not want to touch the stove merely because they can not boil water, get over it!  Everyone has to start somewhere.  We learn through trial and error and are led by recipes.  Do not be defeated.

I had to do a post because I am having Sunday family dinner and thought about my beloved  Mac and cheese,  by far, one the best foods introduced to man kind.  I love cheese and if you love it the way I do, then, you know some good mac and cheese contains multiple cheeses.  If you are still making mac and cheese with only sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack, then, “chil’ you doin’ it wrong.”

Check out these mac and cheese recipes below.  I stand by them because I have cooked them and made them countless times.  Oh….and you can add some turkey bacon bits for added flavor.

Happy cooking!

5 Cheese Mac

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/12/Patti_LaBelles_Mac_and_Cheese13543.shtml

4 Cheese Mac

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/macaroni-with-4-cheeses-recipe/index.html

C.R.E.A.M. Well…It should be

27 Mar

Geico Kash

Guys are not the only ones that need to be concerned with their long-term beyond kids and a family.  We have to have a prize and keep our eye on it and C.R.E.A.M. should be your theme music.  Our grind should be as vicious as our dude’s.  Our goals are our first love.  It is not until we have begun achieving and aligning our goals that we know what we are made of.  This is the only way we can truly know what to expect and deserve from someone else.   Please keep in mind that potential should be minutely considered.  I no longer believe in investing in someone’s potential.  MISTAKE.  Everyone has potential.  I need to see productivity from now on.  Expect it from me.

I was so lazy and passive, until I recently changed things.  However, I wanted someone else’s best (in more ways than one).  My dreams are as close to me as I make them.  We have to put ourselves out there and work ourselves into fatigue to reach the peak and stay there.  LIFE IS NOT EASIER CHASING OUR DREAMS.  Life is fulfilling chasing your dreams, but definitely comes with long hours and commitment.  I am ALWAYS tired.  The Blackberry calendar, soon to be an Iphone calendar, is used daily.  Now, it contains activities that promote ME.  Advice: If it’s not hard, you are NOT doing it right.  I am still developing my craft in Interior Design and Event Planning.  But I know I am going in the right direction because people are beginning to associate me with interior design and event planning —- BRANDING.  Yes, I still do accounting for a living and it is not my dream job, but I have realized that quitting right now is not the best decision. That profession is providing me income to further my business and affording me amenities.  I am partner in Transformations Events, LLC and looking to begin Interior Design consulting.

Fight that desire to melt into your mate.  Fight it hard.  It happens unintentionally, at times.  Yes, it feels great to love and be loved.  However, in our early 20’s and probably well into the late 20’s our focus should be stacking and molding our future based upon where we want to be 5, 10, 15 etc years from now.

Ambition and results are attractive and loved.  Two things —- focus on YOU and YOUR BRANDING.  The person that is intended for us will come when we are ready to give and they are ready to give.

What do people know you for? Is that making you money?

Doughboy’s Cafe = Yummy Goodness

22 Mar

Do you see this breakfast?!!!!  Frittata, Scrapple, and French Toast.

WARNING…If you refer to pigs as swine, you probably will not like the original Scrapple recipe.  I have something for you, though.

Today, I had breakfast with my dear Booski at Doughboy’s in Los Angeles on 3rd Street.

http://www.doughboyscafe.com

Normally, I do not give shoutouts.  Why?  First, if it’s really good, I want it all to myself.  Invite only (you know you’ve done this, too)  Second, I do not believe in doing free advertising for anyone.  You should not either, but Doughboy’s is definitely worth it.  Check them out.  Their menu should have you drooling.  Booski had this amazing scrapple.  I found recipes.  Try out these Pennsylvanian recipes.

Vegetarian Recipe recipe courtesy of http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/video/Mondays_Menu_Vegetarian_Scrapple_01_18_10

Non-Vegetarian Recipe courtesy of http://video.about.com/americanfood/Modern-Scrapple.htm

Advice: Always try something once, unless you are allergic.

THE FORMULA

19 Mar

This past weekend, I hung out with my other half of the Good Wives Club and two guys of The League of Extraordinary Men.  I presented an idea that my co-workers and I birthed during one our many ratchet conversations, which answers the question of financial responsibility in a marriage.  I have poured over this topic so many times, but it is always interesting, especially in speaking with the opposite sex.

Disclaimer: I DO NOT believe in having financially 50/50 marriages.  However, each relationship’s dynamic is different, which may cause slight changes to The Formula.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Financially, a man should be able to support his family by covering at least 75% of the total expenses, not including vacationing and extras, with his salary/wage alone.

The woman may cover up to 25% of financial costs.  Yes! The woman is allowed to spend her money as she wishes, if she works.  Don’t get upset.  If you married a smart woman, she will use it wisely to grow the family financially and add to the value of her family’s life.  But let’s not forget that, like me, she will be buying that drawstring shoulder strap Louis – Noe –  for the summer.  Yep.

This is the science: Live off of 60% – 75% of the highest paid salary, depending on stability.  Save and invest the rest.  No taxes have been included in the example below.  But stick with the thinking here…

Scenario:

Total expenses per month are $7,000Husband should be paying $5,250 and the wife should be paying $1,750.

Husband makes $80,000 * 75% = $60,000 in expenses.

$60,000/12 months = $5,000 (maximum expenses covered by the husband.  There is some overage, but it will be made)

According to the monthly expenses budgeted above, the $17,000 that was not used should be saved annually.

Wife makes $50,000 and only has to come up with $1,750 for expenses.  She can save $48,250.

Together the husband and wife save a total of $65,250 per year.  The money she did spend can be allotted to vacation, investments, or anything extra.

Rules: 1) budget should be agreed upon and 2) large expenses are agreed upon

The idea here is that families do not stretch themselves financially.  Bad finances is at the root of many unhappy marriages and divorces.

Men should be able to take care of their families and want to do it.  Security puts a smile on my face and enforces my faith in you.  I look up to a man, not down or at him.  I should not have to worry about how my family is going to meet the monthly, unless several unfortunate events happen to my husband that I must do so.  I will stick by the man that I love and use my strength to uplift and support him, if he has done so in the past and in his present, if he has not lost sight of that in his actions.

This applies to future husbands, not boyfriends.  Boyfriends, do not ask her to go dutch, unless you have been dating for a while and you truly can not afford to pay for the date.  Please let her know you can not afford the date before going out.  Then, work something out.  Do not surprise her with a bill.  There will be no second date.

Home, No House: How-to

17 Mar

Okay.  All that know me know that I love love love interior design.  It, like fashion design, has a science, but allows for individuality in how it is presented and combined to create a look.

This  transitional room, traditional with contemporary elements, may not be one of my favorites, but I would like to point out why this room was arranged as it is and remains easy on the eye, although there are different patterns and textures.  By the way, this is a room designed by Elaine Griffin.  You may also view her portfolio at www.elainegriffin.com/portfolio.html.

First things first, I look at color — the palette; it is what most of us are attracted to and see first.

Color

This room uses sooooo many neutrals, earth tones (brown, orange, olive-green, beige, tan, gold, mahogany).  When we are talking design, many designers deem a neutral color one that can be combined with more than any one color of the color wheel.  I use this methodology in how I dress day-to-day.  Think about it.  You can pair navy, olive-green, brown, beige, black, and gray with any other color on the color wheel and you will have built a palette (of course you will need to consider the saturation of colors, but nonetheless it is a palette).

Oh…do not fret about the color of the accessories.  Accessories follow their own rules.

I have been wanting to take the color wheel in the Home Depot Paint Department for years.  I guess that would not be Good Wife behavior. ; )  However, someone else…

If you would like to, you could say this room consist of all brown with the exception of orange and olive-green.  This leads back to my point about saturation.  In having a monochromatic palette to begin, Griffin was able to go back in and add color to make the room a tad bit unexpected.  The walls are beige.  The sofa is beige, quite similar to the wall color, but a tad bit lighter.  Also, the lamps are lighter than the sofa.  Notice the carpet is darker than the wall, sofa, and lamp, but they are all in the same color family.

Furniture

Arrangement

The furniture is arranged for conversation.  This is to be a mingling room.  Why? All seating faces others in the room.  You can view and talk to anyone sitting.  Whatever the focal point of your room is the seating will be directed toward it.  In movie theaters everyone faces the screen, so if you would like people to be social, direct the seating toward one another instead of a TV or random item.

Size

Most of the pieces are bulky.  Look at the sofa, chairs, and coffee table.  Although you notice their size after reviewing them, the room does not feel bogged down with furniture.  Aha momentthere is trick here!  The sofa, the largest piece of seating, is light in color and close to the wall color.  Therefore it recesses and blends.  The patterned chairs, closest to whomever took the picture and probably where you would enter the room, open the room.  Imagine those chairs had arms.  You would not see the bottom of the sofa, nor would you see the top of the coffee table.  Lastly, you would have to walk all the way around just to sit in them.

Coffee Table

The color and shape of the coffee table was a great choice in that the sofa and chairs are all round; none of them are modern and sleek with clean lines.  So the coffee table is square and dark brown, which allows the coffee table color to ground the room.

Side/End Tables

I like the idea of the lighter (by lighter I mean in color, size, and bulk) side tables, since all the other furniture is bulky.  Had they been dark in color like the coffee table, the room would feel overcrowded, but they almost disappear with their thin brass frame.  This also goes for the white, what looks like a wicker basket, that is being used between the olive-green chairs.  However, I disagree with their scale.  Imagine having to reach over the arm of that sofa to put something down.  You would not be able to see it, unless you leaned over before picking it up.  With the basket, you would be afraid something fell off of it. Sigh.

Accessories

I consider accessories anything that is not furniture.  I am throwing everything else in the room in this section.

Lamps/Lighting

Because none of her furniture is a set she adds symmetry and consistency by using identical lamps and tables.  All lamp shades are white for consistency, since there are several patterns and existing colors.

Picture

I can not see the picture on the wall because of the glare, but I am sure that it is also neutral.

Window Coverings

The striped window covering has a bit of pop with what looks like an orange and gold but remain sophisticated because they are striped.  The window panels, the vertical window hangings, like the sofa blend and recesses into the wall making the striped window covering take center stage. The orange is the pop.  The gold is the neutral.

Flowers and other table accessories

The flowers are a POW in the earth tone color scheme because they are red and yellow, energetic colors.  The blue, if you put your finger over the flowers, very much goes.  Literally, the blue is a tiny bit of surprise.  Had it been navy, it would have disappeared.  If you are on the safe ones, you would have used the same color pillows, which is okay, but add surprise someone like the flowers and the blue.

Misch’s quick tips/rules on decorating Living Spaces

  1. STAY AWAY from all black unless it is a theater room, even then you can use burgundy/wine and black.  Nothing says blah and boredom better than all black.
  2. Determine the purpose of your room.  Then, arrange furniture.
  3. Make sure it fits in your door frame.  If you can’t bring it in the house, there is no point. Measure!
  4. Pay attention to scale.  Do not buy something that is too big or too small. Measure!
  5. Start with a monochromatic color scheme, if this is your first time out.  Any color!  Just make sure they are all in the same color family.  I guarantee great results.   Take a look at the color wheel above for help.
  6. Afraid of color?  Add small amounts of pizzazz with the opposite color of your color palette using the color wheel.
  7. Take window coverings up to the ceiling; they make the room look taller.
  8. Spend more money on furniture that you would like to transition into a house.  Well, then it should be comfortable and user-friendly.  If you would leave it behind, go cheap.
  9. STAY AWAY from saturated colors for walls.  Yes, that True Blue looks great on a swatch, but your room will look like a daycare, once it’s on the walls.  Always choose a color with some gray in it to make it sophisticated.  Make it a blue-gray or a slate-gray

10.   Do not be so matchy matchy.  Allow your side tables to match, but choose a different material for your coffee table.  Choose two matching chairs that are unlike the couch.  Do not buy the accessory set; make your own with things you love.

11.  Mix patterns on fabric and the type of fabric.  I am going to say at most 3 to begin, until you are comfortable.  Make sure they are all within the same color family.  Mix a large print with a subtle weave like linen.  Then, go for a bold stripe.

Have to stick this in here, although it make my list uneven…

12.  Only buy what you LOVE.