Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DIVA HEROES










Want to plan a fun and relaxing getaway on a small budget, allow the DIVA HEROES to show you how. Recently my cousin, Angel, and I decided to take a girlfriend getaway to Virginia Beach, VA. It was the perfect opportunity to relieve stress and escape from life's everyday worries. The DIVA HEROES dynamic trio- Sapphire (Sexy Diva), Angel (Comfy Diva), and Niece (Super Diva)-would like to guide you on a journey to Planet Havefunspendless while fighting evil forces of Mr.Testosterone, Highgas Man, and Sir. Stressalot.


1.Plan Ahead- The Internet is filled with travel sites that can help you plan your next trip at discount prices. Now, to avoid spending too much time wandering the Web, head for http://www.kayak.com/, which fetches fares from more than 140 sources. Looking for ways to find affordable airline tickets checkoutYAPTA, which finds flights, track prices on trips, and send email alerts when prices drop. Some of our other personal favorites are Travelocity, Priceline, and Cheap Tickets.

2.Vacation Close to Home- The high cost of airfare is enough to eat up any budget. If flying is not an option, consider destination where you can drive. We decided to gas up my cousin's 4-Cylinder KIA and hit 95 north. It only cost $30 bucks to fill up! Save on gas prices, by visiting http://www.gasbuddy.com/ a price monitoring site. Go online to find the best deal on your route.


3.Have fun, be spontaneous!-Pick up a city guide and explore budget friendly activities. Grab your camera and take a walk on the beach, pack a lunch and visit the state park, or go roller skating. Yes, I said roller skating! It rained the entire time we were in Virginia. Roller skating is a great way for amateurs or pros to have fun and burn calories for less than $10 bucks. Not to mention we stayed dry! We also saved money by renting a movie, popping popcorn, and drooled over hot lead guy in the movie 300 .


4.Shopping- Ladies a vacation would not be complete without shopping. Its possible to get great items and spend sensibly. Shop at the local outlet stores where you can find brand name, quality items for half the price of the mall. Before you splurge on the first item you spot go check out the clearance section. You may see something similar if not better than what you saw in the store window and at 50% less. Lastly set a predetermine shopping budget and leave credit card at home. If you plan to spend only 100.00, take cash out the bank and place money in a envelope.


5.Dining-Before going out to your favorite restaurant check out their website for discounts and coupons, also at http://www.retailmenot.com/ you can find printable coupons and codes for dozens of eateries. Pick up a restaurant guide for budget-friendly suggestions. At http://www.restaurant.com/ you can get a 25 gift card certificate to local restaurants for only $10.


6.Relax! Remember the purpose of the getaway is to unwind. Get a massage to relax muscles from driving, shopping, and the reality of returning home. I got a wonderful 1hr Swedish massage from Zen Massage for only $39.95! Check out their website for a location near you at http://www.zenmassageusa.com/








OK ladies, DIVA HEROES saves the day! We've given you power to take over stress and defeat the evil forces of life challenges. Stay tuned for more DIVA HEROES Adventures..................


Monday, July 28, 2008

The Seven Habits of Happy People



Your happiness is tied to your faith and your attitude. You have the ability to determine how you react and respond when life challenges are thrown your way, literally! I reflect on the old adage,"When life gives your lemons, you make lemonade." You possess the tools necessary to live a fulfilled life. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, use what you have to your advantage. Life is like a card game, you can't control the cards you are dealt, but you can control how you play with what you have and win. Despite hardship, pain, affliction, suffering, declare today that you are going to live your life to the fullest! I was reading an article in the July issue of Essence magazine (Gabrielle Union on the cover), Your pursuit of happiness by Michelle Burford. Listed below is the seven habits of happy people highlighted in article. It is definitely a start to living your life to its full capacity.
1.Hang out with joyful people.
2.Move consistently toward your goals.
3.Meditate on your blessings.
4.Be good to yourself.
5.Connect,connect,connect.
6.Go to church-any church.
7.Give-and forgive.

For the complete article go to http://www.essence.com/



Sunday, July 27, 2008

FaithFul Sunday-"Listening to the Word"




The Audio Bible


If you continue in my word . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
-- Jesus (John 8:31-32 RSV)
Have you wanted to read through the entire Bible cover to cover, but felt it was just to big of a task to undertake. Or have you started reading, only to find yourself without the time necessary to sit and read. Maybe your eyes are too weak, or you just tire easily. The audio Bible solves may of these problems for you. It even allows you to listen to the Bible while your are working around the house, driving in your car, or working out at the gym. You will find there are many times during your week when your hands are busy, but your mind can be fed spiritually. I find it very useful on my 1hr commute to and from work. What better way to take advantage of the 2hrs I spend in my car while avoiding road rage. You can check out Audio books from your local library, or purchase audio bibles such as The Bible Experience, an audio performance of 80 African American celebrities (such as Denzel Washington & Blair Underwood) reading, singing, and playing music inspired by the bible experience from Genesis to Revelation. To listen to the bible on your PC, check out http://www.biblegateway.com/.

Knowledge is Power and Love Conquers All!



Friday, July 25, 2008

Fit Friday- "Confessions of a Fast Food Addict"






Before 160lbs/After 135lbs. Last year I lost 25lbs, lowered my cholesterol
below 200, decreased my body mass index BMI from 30 to 25, and went from size 14-16 to a size 7. No gimmicks, no tricks! I had to make a decision to take charge of my life and make a lifestyle change which included exercise and healthy eating habits. However, before last year I was addicted to fast food. If I had a good day, I ate. If I had a bad day, I ate. McDonald was my lover. I would have late night rendezvous with The Burger King. There was also the occasional fling with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Wendy's. I was in love and emotionally dependent on the fast life and they did not love me. McDonald's was a player, always bragging, "over one million served"! I gained weight, nothing fit, my cholesterol was high putting me at risk for heart disease, and I was always tired. I woke up one day and decided to take charge of my life. I had to end my love affair with fast food. I made a choice to take care of my body so I would not have to pay a deadly price later. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. My father died of a Heart Attack in 2001 at 55 and my aunt died from diabetic complications. Today through healthy eating habits, increase physical activities, and being aware of my health, I've lost the weight and plan to keep it off. I joined http://www.calorie-count.com/ and http://www.sparkpeople.com/ (free online weight loss programs), maintain a 1200 calorie-a-day diet, and joined the YMCA (workout 3-5 times a week). If we plan to be successful and live out our dreams we need to be healthy to enjoy the fruits of our labor, not to mention pass on our legacy to the next generation. Know your facts.....Stay Tuned I will give you healthy lifestyle and weight loss tips every Friday.
Check out http://organizekaos.blogspot.com/2008/07/fit-friday-super-size-me.html

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WorkPlace Blues


Please allow me to vent. I loathe my job! I'm underpaid, not appreciated, overlooked, not recognized for my contribution to the company. The more I give, the more they take. I'm tired of the cat fights and the backbiting. But at the end of the day this job pays my bills, it allows me to be home with my daughter, I have nights, weekends, and 12 paid holidays off. I love what I do, I just don't like the people. What do you do? Bill Duke made a profound statement that stuck with me. What you blame, you empower. I will not give them chicks power over my life. I'm too blessed to be stressed. I'm a Shining Star, Philippians 2:14-15 it says Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. The New Hood Translation, "Haters are my Motivators". OK, what frustrates you at your job and how do you overcome the workplace blues?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Faithful Sunday-"Never Would Have Made It"



When I think about the goodness of God and how he has brought me through the storm and rain, my aching heart fills with joy! Through teenage pregnancy, abuse, divorce, heartache, economic struggles, living in the projects....I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm better! I'm blessed! Know that whatever you are going through, no matter what you have done in your life, God loves you! "He will never leave you, nor forsake you"......... I never would have made if it had not been for God's grace and mercy in my life. His love is like the rainbow that illuminates after the storm.

No Greater Love
No greater love I know
than the love from thee
When I got down on my knee
thy heard my plea
No greater love I know
than the love from thee
That have set me free
from the bondage of sin that torment me
No greater love I know
than the love from thee
That would love a wrench like me
Than Jesus Christ my Savior who died for me.
-sapphire starr

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fit Friday-Think Twice Before you "Super Size"



In SUPER SIZE ME, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock unravels the American obesity epidemic by interviewing experts nationwide and by subjecting himself to a “McDonald’s only” diet for thirty days straight. His Sundance award-winning feature is as entertaining as it is horrifying as it dives into corporate responsibility, nutritional education, school lunch programs and how we as a nation are eating ourselves to death. He consumed an average of 5,000 cal (the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs) per day during the experiment.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Biz Buzz Thursday- "Starting a Business"

Start-up Business Basics
Step 1: Is My Business Idea Feasible?
Ask Yourself Some Tough Questions.......

Do you have what it takes to start your own business? Many people feel that they only lack the money to start or only need help with the legal and tax issues, but these are just a few of the considerations entrepreneurs need to address. The following are a few questions every new entrepreneur should consider. When answering these questions, think of an example.

Do I have confidence and optimism about my ability to overcome obstacles?
Do I accept responsibility for my actions?
Do I like being in charge?
Am I able to function in an environment of uncertainty?
Am I able to motivate and inspire people?
Am I an effective salesperson?
Am I a fair negotiator?
Do I understand my own limitations and know when I need to ask for help?
Am I easily discouraged?
Am I willing to devote whatever time and energy it takes to be successful?
Is the risk of my financial assets worth the expected rewards?
Do I have a history of success at things to which I am committed?
Do I have a strong support group of family and friends?


Next Week-" Researching Your Market"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Wednesday-2008 Sales Tax Free Holiday

Its that time of year again! With the price of gas and food rising practically everyday, here's your opportunity to save cash as you shop this back-to-school season. Click on the link to find your state below to find out when the tax-free shopping days are scheduled, and which items will qualify for the savings.

http://singleparents.about.com/od/cuttingcosts/qt/TaxFreeHoliday.htm

Next Family Wednesday: National Scholarships for Single Parents

Monday, July 14, 2008

Motivational Monday-Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough,
and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Obama "We are the Ones" Video

The Worth of a Mom

A study recently conducted by Edelman Financial Services tried to identify the many occupations that a typical mother might be said to hold over the course of a year. The researcher also examined salary data supplied by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, trade groups, and human resource and staffing firms. Putting all the information together, Edelman estimated that a mother's worth is approximately $507,000 per year! Here is a breakdown of the various tasks typically performed by a mother and the corresponding median salaries:

Animal Caretaker....$17,500
Executive Chef....$40,000
Computer Systems Analyst....$44,000
Financial Manager....$39,000
Food/Beverage Service Worker....$20,000
General Office Clerk....$19,000
Registered Nurse....35,000
Management Analyst....$41,000
Childcare Worker....$13,000
Housekeeper....$9,000
Psychologist....$29,000
Bus Driver....$32,400
Elementary School Principal....$58,600
Dietitian/Nutritionist....$41,600
Property Manager....$22,600
Social Worker....$30,000
Recreation Worker....$15,500
Baking warm cookies for an after-school snack.....Priceless
Giving a hug, a smile, a word of encouragement....Priceless

There are some things money just can't buy! While Edelman's research may have been on the right track, the truth is that a mother's worth is incalculable.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Healthy Friday- Delicious BBQ Chicken! Happy 4th!

Heart Healthy Recipes

Barbecued Chicken-Spicy Southern Style

5Tbsp (3 oz)tomato paste
1tsp ketchup
2tsp honey
1tsp molasses
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
4tsp white vinegar
3/4tsp cayenne pepper
1/8tsp black pepper
1/4tsp onion powder
2cloves garlic,minced
1/8tsp ginger,grated
1/1/2lb chicken(breast,drumsticks), skinless
Combine all ingredients except chicken in saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Wash chicken and pat dry. Place it on large platter and brush with half of sauce mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Place chicken on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil for 10 minutes on each side to seal in juices. Turn oven to 350F and add remaining sauce to chicken. Cover chicken with aluminum foil and continue baking for 30 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1/2 breast or 2 small drumsticks
Each serving provides:
Calories: 176
Total fat: 4g
Saturated fat: less than 1g
Cholesterol: 81mg
Sodium: 199mg
Total fiber: 1g
Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 7g
Potassium: 392mg

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Family Wednesday-"Building a Family Mission Statement"

Building a family mission statement is a great family project. Use it as an opportunity to build family time together. Make sure that everyone has the opportunity to offer their opinions and values.
Here are the key components of a family mission statement:

It should include several goals that will anchor your family. You might want to incorporate a favorite family scripture verse. Make it flexible enough so that it can change over the years as your family's dynamics change, but keep it strong enough so that it does not dilute away. You can look at the example below for some ideas.

Fold in some goals that address how the family will treat each member. Create a family forum in which each member can bring up problems and praises.

Develop a list of annual goals that your family will mutually work on.

Involving your family in regular community service is a great habit to teach your kids. Be creative! Most communities have charitable networks.

Make sure that you review your statement each week. Remind your family the value of shared goals and ideas. They will take this with them to their own families.

My Family Missions Statement
The mission of our family is to create a nurturing place of godliness, order, truth, love, happiness and relaxation; and to provide opportunities for each person to become responsibly independent and effectively interdependent in order to achieve worthy life purpose.
"Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. The you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8
We will treat each other with respect and honor and:
To love each other no matter what..
To help each other no matter what..
To believe in each other.
To wisely use our time, talents and resources to bless others.
To worship God together
We will spend one day each month (or parts of one day) volunteering in church ministry, serving the residents; investigate other charitable options in Savannah,GA.
We will plan out an annual family vacation plus other fun family trips.(To Summer Waves, Six Flags, White Waters,and Wild Adventures)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Talk Money Tuesday- Setting Goals

Be careful what you wish for and how you plan to get it, or you won't. You can succeed in reaching your goals for building wealth for your lifetime use and passing it along to your heirs. But, in order to do it, you'll need to do things a bit differently from most people. Don't sit and wait for opportunity to come knocking, go look for Mr.Opportunity or create your own. If you ask wealthy people how they got that way, "They were determined to meet their financial goals". In order to direct your determination where it will help you the most, you must first identify what you have now. Assuming you've done that, the next step is to set your goals for the future.

Visualizing the Goal
What's the best way to set goals that will help motivate you to achieve your personal financial wants and needs? A purely monetary goal may not be a very powerful motivator: Most of us need to focus on tangible items or tangible benefits. One of thee first steps in goal setting is finding a concrete goal or goals that motivate us emotionally. How about that classic black Mercedes Benz, a brand new home, Cruise around the world. Spend a day or two making up a list of the things you've always wanted, and prioritize them. You'll probably find that you have some short-terms goals and some long-term goals. An example of a short-term goal might be creating a vacation fund to support your vacation plans for the next year. Example of long-term goals would include retirement planning objectives. Whatever it is, make sure these are your goals, not someone else. Once you have come up with the goals, do enough research on your goal so that you know it "inside and out". Imagine at least once a day how it would be to have your goal, and how your life would be improved by having it. If the goal can be represented by a picture, keep one or more pictures where you're bound to notice them.

Measuring the Goal
How to make your goal measurable, you need resources. How close you are to having the money to pay this price is a convenient way to measure your progress toward reaching your actual goal. In order to make your goals measurable, we suggest two steps: reducing your goals to a monetary amount and setting a deadline to reach the goal. Put it in writing. Be sure to keep your written goal somewhere where your are sure to see it. What will it take to reach your savings goal? Clink the link below and use the Savings Goal Calculator to help you find out. Enter in your savings plan and view graphically your financial results.

http://www.finance.cch.com/sohoApplets/Savings.asp
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