Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 90-Day Challenge


While surfing the net, I’d come across blog post by Dan & Jennifer- 10,000 Fist to Freedom. As a result the 90-Day Diva Challenge was created.
Are you committed to making your dreams come true in the next 90 days?

We challenge you to ask yourself if you truly have what it takes to make a commitment to attaining a challenging goal over the next 90 days. Often times we say that we are committed, and we may in fact actually be taking steps in the right direction, but in all actuality our own internal belief systems are keeping most of us from actually believing that success is possible sooner – not later!

However, here is the reality of the situation:
Most people don't have what it takes to make that kind of a commitment. Most people don't have the belief and confidence in themselves to make grandiose statements about the success that is already theirs, even if the evidence is not yet there to back it up.

However, I know you have what it takes to start living the best life you were created to live today!

And we're not talking about some weak. indecisive goals like losing 10 pounds, save 200 bucks, or cleaning out your garage.

No, we’re talking about hardcore, faith stirring, going to take everything you have to make it happen kind of goals.

Things more like this:
· Losing 20-30 pounds in 90 days
· Becoming financially independent in 90 days
· Moving to a new home in 90 days
· Starting a measurably profitable business in 90 days
· Volunteering 100 hours to local charitable organization
· Turning your life around 180-degrees in 90 days

Put your Smart (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timebound) goal in the comments section below.
The comment will be date-stamped, so in 90 days you will have the opportunity to come back here and post again about your victory. Post links to this website on Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, etc. to encourage and challenge family and friends to make their dreams a reality.

Where my Divas At? Enter you goals on THE DIVA SPOT, and win $100 bucks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Power of A Push

The Sower's Daily Devotional for November 13, 2009

Read Joshua 1:9 TLB

A man said to his guests, “I admire courage. It made me a billionaire.”
Pointing to a swimming pool, filled with alligators, he said, “I’ll give you anything, if you’ll jump in and swim to the other side.”

Suddenly he heard a splash. He saw a man swimming for his life. He made it to the other side unharmed.

“What do you want?” asked the billionaire.

“Just one thing." said the breathless man. "To know who pushed me into the pool!”

Moses died. He needed a successor. God gave Joshua a push, saying, “Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua became obedient to the Lord. He united a people, and his memory bears no stain.

Prayer: Father, we accept Thy divine leading with courage and confidence. Strengthen and sustain us with Thy counsel and companionship: through Christ. Amen.
-Michael Guido

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Its Ok To Quit!

I would like to thank Diamond Diva from The Diva Spot for this great blog post. Enjoy!

Motivational Speaker - Veraunda Jackson

1. Quit arguing with people about the same old foolishness! Respect their position and keep it moving!

2. Quit telling people your secrets when you know they are not going to keep them! And if you keep telling them, then quit getting mad when they tell your secrets!

3. Quit trying to pull people on your journey who don't want to travel with you. Either they believe in you and value you...or they don't!

4. Quit complaining about things you can't and won't change!

5. Quit gossiping about other people! Minding our own business should be a full time job!

6. Quit blaming each other for things that in the big picture aren't going to matter three weeks from now! Talk solutions...and then implement them!

7. Quit eating things you know are not good for you! If you can't smaller portions!

8. Quit buying things when we know we can't afford them! If you don't have self control, then quit going to the stores! Quit charging things, especially when you don't NEED them!

9. Quit staying in unhealthy relationships! It is not okay for people to verbally or physically abuse you! So quit lying to yourself! It is not okay to stay in the marriage for the children! Ask them and they will tell you that they really would prefer to see you happy and that the misery you and your spouse/partner are living with is affecting them!

10. Quit letting family members rope you into the drama! -Start telling them you don't want to hear it! Quit spreading the drama! Quit calling other relatives and telling them about your cousin or aunt! Go back to #5 minding your own business should be enough to keep you busy!

11. Quit trying to change people! IT DOESN'T WORK! Quit cussing people out when you know that they are just being the miserable and jealous people that they are!

12. Quit the job you hate! Start pursuing your passion. Find the job that fuels your passion BEFORE you quit!

13. Quit volunteering for things that you aren't getting any personal fulfillment from anymore! Quit volunteering for things and then failing to follow through with your commitment!

14. Quit listening to the naysayers! Quit watching the depressing news if you are going to live in the doom and gloom of it all!

15. Quit making excuses about why you are where you are or why you can't do what you want to do!

16. Quit waiting on others to give you the answers...and start finding the answers for yourself! If what you are doing isn't working for you...then quit it!

17. Quit settling and start making your dreams a reality!- Quit being afraid and START LIVING YOUR LIFE! CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT! If you want something different than what you have had in the must quit doing what you have done before and DO something different! JUST QUIT IT ...... and START DOING something to create the experience you want!

Motivational Speaker - Veraunda Jackson Tags:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Naturally Beautiful

Hi Ok readers! Sorry I haven't blogged in a while, Life has been really busy. I just embarked on this new journey of wearing my hair in its natural state, or also known as "going natural". This term describe wearing my hair in it's God given texture without permanently altering it with chemicals such as perms or texturizers. I decided to go natural because my hair was over processed, unhealthy, and damaged. I wanted a new beginning, a fresh start! I decided enough was enough and it was time to purge my head of this mangled mess. I did the Big Chop (BC) on September 5, 2009 and I love it. To take control of my hair and cut the damage away was painful at first but very liberating once complete. The pain was derived from not wanting to let go of my hair, the unknown state of my "natural hair", and the concern about how my hair was going to be perceived. As an African American female I was taught that nappy hair was "bad hair" and straight hair was "good hair". I've learned that "good hair" is healthy hair no matter the texture. Once I built the courage to proceed with cutting I felt a sense of control and I was no longer going to continue bad hair habits and be consumed about what others think. I'd accepted that my Kinky Healthy Hair was Good Happy Hair.

This journey of going natural went beyond my hair and our textured tresses can be symbolic of deeper life issues. In life we develop bad habits that ruin us mentally, physically, and spiritually. We make bad decision that are harmful but continue because we want to be accepted, or its what we're accustomed to doing.

We have allow toxic relationships to ruin our self-esteem and stunt our growth. We don't take care of our bodies, become inactive, and develop unhealthy eating habits that lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Unhealthy spending leads to debt that tear apart families. Immorality draws us away from God and leaves an unfulfilled void in our hearts.

Well just like my damaged, unhealthy hair, its time to cut away bad habits that are harmful and unfruitful. Its time to cut off toxic relationships that prevent you from growing as a person. And stir free from immorality that separates us from God and prevent us from living our full Potential.

Natural beauty comes from the inside out. As we address the innermost depths of our being true beauty will be reflective on the outside. Life isn't always going to be easy, but we must remain diligently focus on healthy productive relationships and habits in order to grow and be successful. Whatever is hindering your growth, Start today, Cut it off, and be free!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Be Bold!

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow
.--George Bernard Shaw

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Motivator-Are you striving for Excellence

Psychology professor Jon Johnston points out the difference between success and excellence:

"Success bases our worth on a comparison with others, excellence measures us against our own potential. Success grants its rewards to the few but is the dream of the multitudes. Excellence is available to all living beings, but is accepted only by the few."

source:Daily Devotion-The Word For You Today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Passing the Purple Hat to You: In Honor of Women's History Month

IN honor of woman's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer. Pass this on to five women that you want watched over. If you don't know five women to pass this on to, one will do just fine.

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it … live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happiness leads to greater success

Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained positive psychologist, says the same chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, that allow humans to experience the giddiness of love, also activate the learning centers of our brains. Achor continues, "Your happy and relaxed brain has more intellectual capacity than your brain under stress.” "Being positive actually helps us learn more."

Tips for Positive Thinking

Happy people tend to perform better on the job, have higher sales, cope with difficulties better, and avoid burnout. The great news about these various studies is that negative thinking can be learned, but so can positive thinking. Since our brains are flexible, take a look at the following tips you can try right now that will train your brain and start putting you on your path to positive thinking, happiness, and success.

1. Express three “gratitudes”
Are you thankful for a steady job? Your family? Your friends? Your health? By all means, express it. Write down your gratitude and/or say it out loud. Say them aloud to your significant other.

2. Keep a journal
Writing in a journal instills positive thinking. Just carry a small notepad or journal with you wherever you go.

3. Get physical
Exercise. Studies have shown that exercise reduced the relapse rate for depression by 9% for the study participants.

4. Meditate
Calm the brain by daily meditation - think about nothing, free up your mind of the usual clutter. If you focus on your breathing just five minutes a day, this will help you, even if you are not meditating.

5. Random acts of kindness
Think how you felt when someone gave you a random act of kindness. Just think how great the person must have felt. When was the last time you did something thoughtful for another person? When you did, how did you feel?

Create a happiness habit

Remember, the key to creating happiness is to train your brain. The research shows we can do it, so now it is up to you to get started.

Sources: Jennifer Openshaw, a nationally recognized entrepreneur and financial commentator, is author of " The Millionaire Zone ." Through , she offers a youth leadership program at the United Nations. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @jopenshaw or email at; Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). The value of positive emotions. American Scientist, 91, 330-335.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Motivator-Budget Your Money!

Budgeting is TELLING your money where to go instead of you WORRYING where it went!
-john maxwell

The rich rule over the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender
-proverbs 22:7

Friday, July 10, 2009

TGIF-Recipe for Detox Bath

Baths are wonderfully healing, and it is easy to make your own homemade, detox baths.
Hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin, according to Naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells. Epsom salts augment this detoxification by causing you to sweat. Other salts—all highly alkaline and cleansing—used in baths include sea salt, baking soda, clay, and Dead Sea salts.
Basic Salt Soak Bath Formula
Minerals and salts make the bath water feel silky and leave your skin cleansed and soft.

1 cup sea salts
2 cups baking soda
1 cup Epsom salts
1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin per bath

Combine the sea salts, baking soda, and Epsom salts in a bowl. Stir to blend. Pour 1/4 cup or so into the bath while the tub is filling. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons glycerin to keep your skin from drying out (more for dry skin, less for oily skin) and essential oils of choice.
Why it Works
According to The Epsom Salt Council, Epsom Salt is a pure mineral compound (magnesium sulfate) in crystal form that gently exfoliates skin and smoothes rough patches. Mixed with your favorite deep conditioner, Epsom Salt helps to add body to hair. Dissolved in a bath, Epsom Salt is absorbed through the skin to replenish the body's levels of magnesium. Studies indicate this may help to relieve stress in a number of ways, including:
Raising the body's level of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.

Offsetting excess levels of adrenaline generated by pressure and stress; magnesium ions relax and reduce irritability by lowering the affects of adrenaline.

Helping to regulate the electrical functions that spark through miles of nerves.

Lowering blood pressure.

Researchers have found that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts recommend soaking with Epsom Salt at least three times a week to look better, feel better, and have more energy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Leadership Tips

Seven Enduring Truths about Leadership During Crisis

In these uncertain times when the foundations of our global economic system are being challenged, we need to look beyond the pessimistic predictions, the fads, and the simplistic solutions to what's proven and what's real. It's critically important to remind ourselves of what the evidence tells about how leaders get extraordinary things done. We also need to understand the vital role credible leaders play in restoring confidence and in revitalizing organizations.

1. Challenge is the greatest opportunity for greatness! In these challenging and difficult times, we are likely to see some of the best leadership we've seen in the last two decades. The greatest leaders throughout history are remembered for how they dealt with change and adversity.

2. The most important leader role models are YOU, not "them". Thousands of young people and working professionals, in two separate surveys, were asked who the most important role models for leadership were. In both categories, most people chose family members, teachers, coaches, and community and business leaders. Very few choose politicians, entertainers, and athletes, the ones who seem to dominate our headlines. The leaders who have the most influence are the ones who are closest to us.

3. The one attribute that is the foundation of all leadership - something that has remained the same for that last 25 years and is not likely to change for the next 25 years - is credibility. That is, doing what you say you're going to do, walking the talk, keeping commitments, honesty, and trustworthiness.

4. Start learning how to look ahead, to be forward looking. Being forward-looking was selected as the one quality that most differentiated leaders from team members. It's also the most difficult aspect of leadership to learn and put into practice. So if you're an executive or aspiring leader, this needs to be the focus for your development

5. You can't change people's behaviors by telling them - you have to show them. The leadership quality that has the biggest impact on people's performance is modeling the way - setting a good example.

6. Personal values drive commitment. Helping leaders and employees get clarity on their own values - even if unclear on organizational values - have the greatest impact on commitment. We often put a lot of effort into defining organizational values, yet this has little impact on employee commitment.

7. The secret to success is to stay in love. U.S. Army Major General John H. Stanford was asked about how one becomes a leader. "When anyone asks me that question, I tell them I have the secret to success in life. The secret to success is to stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to really ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have greater desire to get things done than other people. A person who is not in love doesn't really feel the kind of excitement that helps him to get ahead and lead others and to achieve.”

Source: Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge

Monday Motivator-Adversity!

"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents whcih in prosperious circumstances would have lain dormant."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Money Matters-Feed The Pig!

So you can’t save money? It’s easy as pie! Brown bag your lunch instead of going out. 6 dollars saved times five days a week times ten years is 21,000 bucks!

I just found a really neat website, Feed The Pig that I want to share with you. The site helps people like you and me feed our piggy banks and save money, by understanding where and why we spend it.

Over the past several decades, Americans 25–34 years old experienced significant declines in net worth while increasing their debt. For every dollar worth of assets owned, this group carries 70 cents worth of debt.

The Feed The Pig campaign aims to reverse this trend by empowering younger Americans to take charge of their personal finances by living within their means and saving for long-term financial security.

Statistics demonstrate that this group’s financial behaviors, while less established, tend toward debt accumulation, and this is happening during a period of milestone events such as getting married, having children and caring for aging parents. But there is hope: more working time before retirement means that their current financial decisions have a greater impact (positive or negative) on their long-term financial security. With this campaign, AICPA and Ad Council hope to get younger Americans to establish better spending and saving habits.
The campaign draws upon a traditional savings symbol, the piggy bank, to encourage 25-34 year olds to find the benefits of saving for every stage of life.

Feed The Pig has lots of cool features—you can set up your own personality profile and make a savings plan customized to your day-to-day reality. You can project what you will save over time if you sock away up to 5% of your salary. You can get tons of tips, reminders, or even swap ideas with other savers to make Feeding the Pig easier.

Check it out!

Source: &

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Professional and Personal Etiquette Tips

A first impression is essential for professional and personal success. Its often the only opportunity you have to sell yourself to a potential employer or business partner. Here are a few tips to ensure that your first impression is your best impressions:

Appearance- No chewing gum in formal settings, good posture, and positive body language. Always be prepared to look and sound your best.

Business introduction- is based on rank not gender. Person with “higher” position is introduced to person in subordinate position. Only use first name when given permission.

Handshakes- Always give a firm handshake and make eye contact. When meeting a person of celebrity status (politicians, entertainers) you should never offer your hand first.

Attending meetings- Be punctual, well briefed on subject matter. You may not leave until senior executive has left a meeting or event. When traveling with other professionals always remember the LIFO (last-in, first-out) rule. The senior person enters the car last so they will be the first to exit.

Interviews- Dress to impress, smile, make eye contact, be on time, and do research on would-be employer.

Invited to an event- Respond. RSVP is a French term which means, please reply.

Business cards- When exchanging cards, its polite to look at the receiving business card and make comment to show acknowledgement.

Professional Etiquette when Dining

Knowing proper table manners is extremely important for job interviews and social occasions that you attend with a supervisor, client, or business associate. Knowledge of proper dining etiquette will help you avoid embarrassment and the possibility of offending someone. Here are some general tips for professional manners when dining:

Being Seated
Men precede women to the table.
Remain standing until the host or hostess has been seated.
When being seated, enter your chair from the left and rise from the right.

Napkins are place in your lap when seated; large napkins are folded in half with crease toward you and small napkin is completely unfolded.
If you leave the table, place napkin in chair
At the end of meal, place napkin to the left of your place setting, NEVER on your plate.

Table Setting
At fancy restaurants you may be presented with an array of silverware. As a rule-of- thumb, always use your utensils outside-in.

Wine Ritual & Beverages
Traditionally speaking, red wine is served with red meat and white wine with white meats.
If you are with a host/hostess who orders wine, it is proper for him/her to sample a small amount of wine, and either approve or disapprove of the wine. If approved, the waiter/waitress will then pour wine for the remainder of guest at the table.

Initial presentation- Take a quick glance to ensure it’s the wine that you ordered, simply look at name and vintage and nod.

Cork presentation- Waiter will hand you the cork to examine (improperly stored wines will allow the cork to dry out, resulting in an air-breach will cause the wine to turn to vinegar). Do a quick sniff and hand it back.

The sip test- At this point the waiter will place a small tasting amount o wine in wine glass and step back. Simply swirl the wine in your mouth to release its natural aroma and stick your nose into glass while inhaling deeply. Next, take a small sip, swishing wine evenly across your tongue. Then turn to waiter and nod for approval.

Grasp glasses by the stem, using thumb and first two fingers.
Coffee is consider an after dinner drink

Sit up straight
Don’t talk with food in your mouth
Don’t place elbows on table
Pass to the right.
Don’t automatically salt and pepper food. Take a small taste and then season.
Wait until all are served before eating
Eat in small bites slowly
When finish place utensils across the plate

Tips on Tipping!
Maitre d’- $5 for seating two (doubles for 5-star restaurants)
Waiter/waitress-15-20% of bill
Wine Steward-10% of wine bill
Bartender-15% of bill
Hat/Coat Check- $1 per coat
Door attendant-$1-2 for cabs
Parking Valet-$1-2 per use.

Source: University of Wisconsin-River Falls Career Services

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lemon-pepper nonsense

One day, I was watching “Divorce Court” and a lady was complaining about her husband because she felt they were too different. One complaint that stood out in my mind was the way he cooked his eggs. She was upset because he liked to season his scrambled eggs with lemon-pepper. Anyone with sense knows that divorcing someone because of the way they cook makes no sense at all. Yet, so many people divorce because of irreconcilable differences.

A lot of us go into relationships with unrealistic expectations. This happens in friendships as well as marriages. People fail to realize that if you want someone to change it begins with you. Have you ever heard of leading by example? If you want to see improvements in your relationships try looking in the mirror first. You might be the main one who needs to change. You know who I’m talking about-the loud talking woman; the man who has to be in control of everything. Now, I’m not ignorant to the fact that there are special cases where the other person really does need to change. In many cases, these tend to be abusive relationships. That’s another blog for another day.

None of us are perfect, but what makes relationships last is when we try to be better people and are willing to accept that we are different. Here’s something to think about: Who are you trying to change? What could you change about yourself? If you are willing to take an honest, unadulterated look at yourself, you may be surprised at what you find.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Hurricane Season; Be Prepared!

June 1st marks the first day of hurricane season. Officials from the National Hurricane Center urges you to take action and start getting prepared.

Below is a list of ways for you to be ready for this hurricane season:

Have a family disaster plan:

- Locate the safest areas in your house or community for each hurricane hazard
- Draw out an evacuation route
- Have an out-of-state Friend as a family contact so your family members have a single point of contact
- Have a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate
- Post emergency numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911
- Check your homeowners insurance to see what damages are covered
- Stock up on non-perishable emergency supplies and disaster supply kit-
Use a NOAA weather radio for weather updates (remember to replace the batteries every 6 months so it will work during an emergency)

Create a disaster supply kit:

- Water- at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days
- Food

- at least enough for three to seven days
o Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juice or Food for infants or the elderly
o Non-electric can opener
o Fuel
- Blankets and pillows
- Clothing- Seasonal, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
- First aid kit, medicines, and prescription drugs
- Flashlight and batteries
- Radio
- Cash and credit cards- Banks and ATM’s may not be available
- Toys, books, games
- Important documents in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag (Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, social security card, etc)
- Pet care items- proper identification, immunization records, medications, food and water, carrier, muzzle and leash

Secure your home:

- Secure gabled roofs- if you have a gabled roof, fasten eight-foot long braces to the bottom chord of the gable truss and the adjacent trusses with 16-penny nails. The braces should be perpendicular to the truss, spaced at a maximum of four feet on center. In addition, be sure to tie back the gable truss with at least one eight-foot long brace, along the ridge of the roof, to several of the interior trusses.
- To increase the wind resistance of your shingles, have a qualified person inspect several shingle tabs to see if the adhesive has engaged. If not, use a quick-setting asphalt cement to bond them together. To cement the shingle tabs to the underlying shingles, place two spots of quick-setting asphalt cement about the size of a quarter under each tab with a putty knife or caulking gun. Press the tab into the adhesive. Be sure to cement all the tabs throughout the roof, being careful not to bend them farther than necessary when applying the adhesive. Replace any damaged shingles immediately.
- Install impact resistance shutters over all large windows and glass doors

Info provided by NOAA

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Small Steps to Financial Freedom

Recently, my husband and I decided to come up with a new plan to get out of debt a little faster. When something works well for you I think you should share it with others. Here is a piece of the article we posted to our blog. Hope you all find it helpful.

...Our plan is to 1. write down all bills, 2. write down all expenses (groceries, eating out, gas, etc.), 3. pinpoint unnecessary expenses, 4. take the extra money from unnecessary expenses and have an automatic draft into another account. The goal is to minimize spending & maximize saving and investing. We've done steps 1, 2, & 3. Boy could we eat out less. If we stick to our plan maybe one day we'll be on the Dave Ramsey show yelling into the phone, "We're debt free!!!" (

The key to achieving anything is to write it down and begin envisioning yourself reaching that goal. Seeing your goals on paper does something mentally. It helps goals seem more real and helps you keep your focus.

Challenge: Take a goal, any goal, and write it down. Outline steps for reaching that goal and come up with a realistic timeline.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday Motivator!

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities disguised as impossible situations."
~Charles Swindoll

Six Tips to Put Your Financial House in Order

Six Tips to Put Your Financial House in Order
By Kim Lankford, Monster Contributing Writer

If you want to spend less time worrying about your money, then it’s time to get your financial act together. These six strategies can help improve your financial situation and simplify your life at the same time.

1. Put Your Savings on Autopilot

If you haven’t maxed out your 401k or other retirement plan at work, add an extra $50 or $100 every month. Increasing your contributions just a little can make a huge difference over time. By adding $100 per month when you’re 25, you’ll have an extra $330,000 in your 401k by the time you’re 65 if your investments return 8 percent annually, which is below the average long-term return for stocks. Since the investments are pretax, your $100 monthly investment will lower your paycheck by $75 if you’re in the 25 percent bracket. If your employer matches your contribution, you’ll get free money to help you save even more. And it’s the easiest way to save, since the money is automatically invested before you can touch it. If you’ve maxed out your 401k, invest $333 automatically every month in an IRA. Ask your IRA administrator to set up automatic payments.

2. Stop Worrying About Your Investments

Instead of poring over your investment options and wondering when -- and what -- you should buy and sell, have the experts do it for you. Most mutual fund companies, and quite a few 401k plans, now offer target funds that match your investments to your savings time frame. If you’re in your mid-30s, for example, you can invest your retirement money in a 2040 target date fund. This fund invests aggressively when you have more than a decade to go before retirement, then gradually gets more conservative as you approach retirement. These funds are diversified, so you don’t need to invest your retirement money anywhere else.

3. Pay Bills Automatically

Signing up to have your bills paid automatically from your bank account saves you monthly check-writing hassles and mail-delivery worries; it also protects you from costly missed deadlines. After one late payment, some credit-card companies boost interest rates beyond 31 percent and charge late fees of nearly $40. And some card companies raise your rate if you miss a deadline on another card, even if you have a spotless record with them.

4. Streamline Your Files

Go through your financial files and toss what you don’t need. In general, you should keep your tax returns forever, but you can get rid of supporting documents after three years (six years if you have self-employment income). You can also get rid of monthly investment statements after everything matches with your year-end summaries and ATM receipts as soon as the transactions appear on your monthly bank statement.

5. Protect Your Identity the Simple Way

Instead of signing up for expensive services that monitor your credit records for identity theft, do it yourself for free. You can now get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every 12 months ( Stagger your requests so you get one report every four months. Review each one carefully for errors or unauthorized charges.

6. Get Out of Debt

The best thing you can do to improve your financial health is eliminate high-interest debt. Try to use any bonus, raise or tax refund to pay off credit cards in full. Even adding a few hundred dollars to your payments can make a huge difference, especially if you can get your credit card company to lower your rate. If your minimum payment is 4 percent of your debt, a $5,000 balance with an 18 percent interest rate would start with a $200 monthly payment, which would take 32 months to pay off and cost $1,314 in interest. If you pay $500 per month on a 5 percent card, you’ll cut your interest charges to $118 and pay off the balance in just 11 months.

How does this simplify your life? Once you’re out of debt, you won’t have to juggle minimum payments, and you’ll save a ton in interest, which frees up extra cash to reach the rest of your financial goals.

National Women's Health WeeK

The Woman Challenge - May 10-July 4, 2009 - - Join

Friday, May 8, 2009

Phenomenal Woman-Happy Mother's Day!

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Motivator

“You will suddenly realize that the reason you never changed before was because you didn’t want to.”
-Robert H. Schuller

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Motivator-Enjoy Life!

There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.

-Logan Pearsall Smith

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fit & Fabulous Friday- Get In Shape At Any Age

Ernestine Shepherd is my new motivation for healthy and fit living. This 72-year-old, 5-foot-5, 125lb. retired schoolteacher decided to get in shape at age 56. She works out 5 days a week incorporating cardio and weight training into her routine and eats a diet high in protein, low fat, and balanced carbohydrates. Her favorite form of cardio is power walking, which she does two hours a day and four hours on Saturday. Mrs. Shepherd offers the follow tips for “Keeping Trim”:

Be determined, dedicated and disciplined to be fit. Do weight training and cardio at least three times a week.

Get plenty of rest and sleep.

Control weight by not eating fours hours before you go to bed .

Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Motivator-Leadership

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fit & Fabulous Friday- 5 Tips For Burning Body Fat

Burn Body Fat - 5 Simple Tips to Reducing Body Fat!
Author: Jason Oh

If you want to burn body fat, then you need to improve what you eat and increase daily physical activity. Below are 5 easy ways to reducing your body fat for good.

1. Strive for five ... fruit and veggie servings. Packing your plate with greens (as well as oranges, reds and blues) not only helps protect you from a variety of diseases, but also keeps extra pounds from sneaking back on. A study has found that women who consumed the highest number of fruit and vegetable servings (at least 5 per day, not including potatoes) were 60 percent more likely to ward off weight regain than those who got fewer servings. Experts say loading up on produce, which generally has a high fiber and water content, means you have less room for other, higher calorie foods.

2. Any foods that make you lose weight? There are good foods and there are bad foods. Although there are no miracle foods, good foods like fresh, natural foods can be your best friend. You see, by eating more nutritious foods over processed foods (that are stripped of any healthy nutrient), you can easily load your body with good energy, keep your metabolism revving, and burn body fat. Natural foods are simply the best foods to eat to lose weight. Reducing caloric intake by 15% will help reduce body weight.

3. Eat and lose weight by planning to consume 6 healthy meals a day. Do it this way, your body will be satisfied all day long, and will constantly be burning body fat. Now this is really how to lose weight naturally.

4. This is one the best ways to lose body fat - lose weight by walking. If you are new to the health regime - start walking daily, and aim to get in at least a 30 minute session. And as your fitness improves, ramp it up - and lose weight running.

5. An effective exercise to burn body fat - Interval Training plus Compound strength training. The high intensity workout involved ensures that your metabolism will keep burning long after a workouts ends - in other words, you will be reducing body fat more efficiently.

The following chart and Calculator are a basic guideling for measuring and monitoring body fat percentages.

Monday, March 23, 2009

40 Tips Toward A Healthy Mind, Body, & Spirit

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2008.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems Are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Innermost self is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:40. Live life fully and be Happy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Paying For College

The following link provides over 100 resources to pay for college that includes scholarships, graduate school scholarships, internships, fellowships, books, and websites. The Student Resource Guide was provided courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.


United States Department of Education
College is Possible
Financial Aid
Free Scholarships Search & Information Services
Scholarship Resource Network Express
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Minority Scholarship Resource Links

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Volunteering is an opportunity to make a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It’s a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in your community. Organization like Habitat For Humanity, American Red Cross, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps are driven by volunteers that offer help in times of need. Volunteering can offer leadership opportunities, personal development, professional development, and improved community relations.

During this economic downturn it may seem unconceivable to donate time and skills for free but the opportunities and benefits can be very rewarding. Volunteer benefits can include money for college, grants, loan repayment/forgiveness, job placement, cross cultural development and expanded knowledge of global markets and communities.

I learn the value of volunteering at an early age. My mother worked at the Savannah Association For Blind, Inc.—a non-profit organization that provides rehabilitation services designed to help blind and visually impaired individuals in all walks of life function independently in their homes and in the community. I would volunteer during my summer break and was responsible for setting up recreational supplies, preparing meals, and general office duties. This experience was very rewarding and instilled in me the compassion to help others that I value to date. Getting your kids involved at an early age to volunteer teaches them a valuable lesson of servitude, responsibility, builds self confidence, develop work ethics, and gain valuable job skills. Also, it provides a great opportunity to earn scholarships. Programs like Learn and Serve America offers a unique opportunity for youth to get involved by integrating community service projects with classroom learning. Learn and Serve America provides direct and indirect support to K-12 schools, community groups, and higher education institutions to facilitate service-learning projects and recognizes outstanding youth service through the Presidential Freedom Scholarship, Presidential Volunteer Service Award, and other programs.

Want to travel abroad? The Peace Corps, inpsired by John F. Kennedy in the 1960s, was created to offer individuals the opportunity to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. The peacecorps offer volunteers educational benefits, financial benefits and loan deferment, medical benefits, job placement support, and advantage for federal employment. If your unable to travel, AmeriCorps members address critical needs in communities all across America. Full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal Americorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial Award. Some AmeriCorps members also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.

These are just a few examples of volunteer opportunities available. You can also donate time to a local community group, shelter, non-profit organization, and your church.

-right Michelle Obama dishes out risotto and volunteer spirit at Washington D.C. homeless shelter Mar 05, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spiritual Appearance and Dress

Our life, character and self-image are reflected by our apparel and mode of dress. "Be not conformed to this world," reminds us that our manner of dress must be modest and decent (Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22, 23). It is not displeasing to God for us to dress well and be well groomed. However, above all we must seek spiritual beauty, which does not come from outward adornment with jewelry, expensive clothes or cosmetics, but from good works, chaste conversation, and a meek and quiet spirit (Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 3:3-5).

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 Summary

The recently enacted “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009″ (the 2009 economic stimulus act) contains a wide-ranging tax package that includes tax relief for low and moderate-income wage earners, individuals and families with college expenses, and home and car purchasers. This summary provides an overview of applicable tax changes affecting individuals and families in the new law.

“Making Work Pay” credit. The new law provides an individual tax credit in the amount of 6.2 percent of earned income not to exceed $400 for single returns and $800 for joint returns in 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out at adjusted gross income (AGI) in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly). The credit can be claimed as a reduction in the amount of income tax that is withheld from a paycheck, or through a credit on a tax return. Under the credit, workers can expect to see perhaps $13 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting around June. Next year, the extra take-home pay will go down to around $9 per week.

Economic recovery payment. The new law provides for a one-time payment of $250 to retirees, disabled individuals and Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, and to veterans receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the U.S.Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The one-time payment is a reduction to any allowable Making Work Pay credit.

Refundable credit for certain federal and state pensioners. The new law provides a one-time refundable tax credit of $250 in 2009 to certain government retirees who are not eligible for Social Security benefits. This one-time credit is a reduction to any allowable Making Work Pay credit.

Unemployment compensation exclusion. A provision temporarily suspends federal income tax on the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received by a recipient in 2009.

Expanded earned income tax credit. The new law provides tax relief to families with three or more children and increases marriage penalty relief. The changes apply for 2009 and 2010.
Expanded child tax credit. A measure increases the eligibility for the refundable child tax credit in 2009 and 2010 by lowering the threshold to $3,000 (from $8,500 in 2008).

Expanded and revised higher education tax credit. The new law creates a $2,500 higher education tax credit that is available for the first four years of college. The credit is based on 100% of the first $2,000 of tuition and related expenses (including books) paid during the tax year and 25% of the next $2,000 of tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year, subject to a phase-out for AGI in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing jointly). Forty percent of the credit is refundable. The new credit temporarily replaces the Hope credit.

Computers as an education expense. A provision permits computers and computer technology to qualify as qualified education expenses in 529 education plans for tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010.

Expanded first-time credit for first-time home buyers. Last year, Congress provided taxpayers with a refundable tax credit that was equivalent to an interest-free loan equal to 10% of the purchase of a home (up to $75,000) by first-time home buyers. The provision applied to homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. Taxpayers receiving this tax credit were required to repay any amount received under this provision back to the government over 15 years in equal installments (or earlier if the home was sold). The credit phases out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return). The new law enhances the credit by eliminating the repayment obligation for taxpayers that purchase homes on or after January 1, 2009. It also extends the credit through the end of November 2009, and bumps up the maximum value of the credit from $7,500 to $8,000.

Tax break for new car purchasers. The new law allows taxpayers to deduct State and local sales taxes paid on the purchase of a new automobile, including light trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and motor homes. The tax break phases out starting with taxpayers earning $125,000 per year ($250,000 for joint returns). The deduction is allowed to both those who itemize their deductions as well as to nonitemizers. However, the deduction cannot be taken by a taxpayer who elects to deduct State and local sales taxes in lieu of State and local income taxes.

Alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch. To hold the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT at bay, the new law increases the AMT exemption amounts for 2009 to $46,700 for individuals and $70,950 for joint returns, and allows the personal credits against the AMT.

For more Info go to

Monday Motivator-Live Your Dream!

The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a young man ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.
-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Quick Tip on Saving Money

The are many credit and financial agencies that are willing to help TEACH you how to maximize your saving, at a small fee of course. Now you can learn to save money, see your trends in spending, and review your checking account balance all in one spot, . I've been using Mint for almost a year now and shows me where I spend the most money, what bills increased form the month before, and the average amount I spend on my kids, gas, food, and restaurant dining. It's free to sign up so go give it a try.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Word for Today: Posturing

Do you ever really sit and think about the decisions you’ve made in life? Do you find yourself asking, “what if?” If you could turn back the hands of time, would you change anything? For many of us, there have been decisions and events that have taken place that we wish we could somehow change or take back. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. But, there is hope for the future. Now is the time where you can take a stand to posture yourself to being a better person. This means that from now on, you must be conscious of the decisions you make and be fully aware the consequences that may follow you. Not sure of where I’m going with this, let me paint you a portrait…..

You have a little boy who grew up not knowing his father and some would say at that point of his life, the odds have already been stacked against him. Well, God surely must work in mysterious ways because in spite of his father’s absence, his mother, grandmother, and grandfather step in to give him the best upbringing possible. Of course, there would be times when the rambunctious sides would come with raising a boy. But, the three most important people in his life would definitely make sure that he stayed on the right path and out of trouble. As time would go by, this boy would grow to become a man who attends one of the most prestigious universities in the country where he would be the first African-American leader of their law review. Continuing on this path, he decides that he wants to make a difference in the community where he works and ultimately meets his future wife, has two beautiful children, runs for the State Senate (losing the first time, but persevering on the second try), runs for the U.S. Senate, and finally running for President. People said that he wasn’t experienced and thought for sure that he would become an afterthought when Hillary Clinton became the presumed presidential candidate. I’ll bet they’re kicking themselves now because when he won the Iowa caucus, people began to change their minds about this little boy who grew up without a father. Every day, he worked tirelessly to spread his message of change and never once did he waver or tarry in doing good. Even when he was chosen as the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, his opposition clearly doubted him. They tried to do as much mudslinging as possible and you know what….those suckers couldn’t find a thing on him. Do you know why? Because the three most important people in his life began posturing him in the beginning to be the best man that he could possibly be. Think about it. Did you ever hear of any extramarital affairs throughout his campaign? Was there ever any mention of him not filing his taxes for any number of years? Did this man have any other children outside of his marriage? The answer is…! Where is this man today? Naturally, he’s our 44th President of the United States. And, I say naturally because that is what God and posturing will do for your life.

I know that you come from some of the toughest neighborhoods. You had a baby at a young age and now you feel like life is over. Other people are telling you that you can forget about college because your life is no longer your own. Your homegirls or homeboys are telling you that there are no good men, or women, out there and that you should use what you have to get what you want. And, some men have the nerve to tell you just settle on what you have because you’ll never get anything better. Do you know what I have to say to that? To hell with all of that!!!!! Yes, you’ve made some decisions that weren’t very sound in judgment at the time, but you can still posture yourself into the person you’ve always dreamed to be. All is not lost when it comes to your life. If you don’t have the support of your family or friends, that’s okay. Sometimes, the people that are closest to you won’t understand the changes that are taking place within you. Maybe, there’s a teacher, mentor, church member, or a family member that can help steer in the right direction and posture you into being an exemplary man or woman of God. The time is now to make a change, change that we dream of, and change we can most certainly believe in. Stand up tall, look yourself in the mirror, and revel in the beauty of what you’re seeing because today is the day that you get to know the person you are and let go of the person you used to be. Look into your eyes and see how they light up when you think of the possibility of actively pursuing your dreams. Who your family and friends thought you were is no more. Who you are in the future is just inches away from your grasp. Take hold because after today, you’ll never be the same again.

And thank you, Mr. Barack Obama, or shall I say, Mr. President, for showing all of us that we really can be anything that we want in this world. It’s no longer a cliché. It’s real and in the hands of God, it’s been written.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Word for Today: Pruning

It is a verb and its definition is to remove something considered unnecessary or unwanted. It’s also means to cut branches away from a plant to encourage fuller growth. You’re probably wondering exactly where I’m going with this and guess what; I’m taking you on the journey right now. So, strap on your seatbelts because it will definitely get bumpy and it might hurt a little.

While we’re almost three months into the year 2009, many of us have experienced a lot of things in the past year and like most of us, we’d prefer that all those negative things stay in the past. Unfortunately, life doesn’t seem to work that way. Whether you believe in God or not, everyone has their own predetermined path in life that includes many ups and downs, twists and turns, loves and heartbreaks, and laughter and sadness. Plus, while all of these events are taking place, you’re taking your own personal journey and discovering who you are, what you want out of life, and how you want to live. While the experience of life can be a great one, there will be bumps in the road and some of them might be bigger than others. Right now, you may have someone in your life that doesn’t support your dreams or they may criticize how you are because it doesn’t flow with the rest of the world. You’re probably in a relationship with a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife and it seems like ever since you’ve been with them, life hasn’t been the best that it could be. Or, maybe you’ve finally come to understand who you are but your friends or other people don’t like this “new” you. Well, now it’s time to become a gardener and to start some pruning.

Throughout our lives, we’ll meet people or go through situations for a reason or season. And, through those times, we’ll welcome the lifetime expectations. The first part that I mentioned is what I like to call the “pruning phase”. People or situations that come into your life for a reason are meant to teach you a lesson and once the lesson is learned, they’re no longer there. People or situations that come into your life for a season are there to instill values and wisdom within you to prepare you for your future. Lifetime expectations are the ones who’ll be there with you through everything, give you a shoulder to cry on, listen to your problems when you need someone to talk to, and make you laugh through your hard times. At first, it will be hard to recognize these people because some will try to manipulate and deceive you. But, the key to being a good gardener is knowing what to keep that will make you grow and what to prune away that will stunt your growth. This process is going to hurt because you’ll feel like you’re cutting away things that you need but know it’s not good for you and that’s okay. Life is too short to be compromising just to please someone else who doesn’t think you’re worthy. You have dreams and aspirations that drive you to wake up in the morning and make it hard to sleep because you’re so inspired and driven. But, when you don’t prune away the unwanted things, those dreams and aspirations will start to slip away day by day and you might lose parts of yourself. To the person that is reading this right now, don’t fret about the loves you lost in the past or friends who are no longer there. It’s all part of the pruning process to make you better. And you know what else, when you come to the place in your life when you feel your absolute best, you’ll be rewarded with your lifetime expectations. Anything you want out of life will require work, but the result will be a beautiful outcome and an overflow of blessings. Do yourself a favor, start pruning!!!!

Kisses and hugs,
Ms. Lakisah

Hello To The World!!!!!

Good evening to the Organize Kaos family,

I want to start off my thanking Sapphirestarr for inviting me to contribute to Organize Kaos. Through my contributions, I hope to inspire many people to be their absolute best and to touch as many lives as possible. For the person that's reading this post right now, you've probably had some pretty rough days recently. It seems like every time you take a step forward, there's someone or something there to push you two steps back and it's making you seriously frustrated. You've graduated college, but you're having a hard time finding a job, let alone a job in your field of study, and it's making you feel disillusioned because you're starting to question whether this is the right path for you. Or, you gotten out of a toxic relationship that stripped you of everything you deemed as precious or of worth to you. Guess what...I know exactly what you're feeling. I've been through some of the things you're going through now and I'm learning about life and all it's trials and tribuations with. Through our journey together, I'm here to let you know that you're not alone. With every setback, I hope to show you that you can find the setup. With every heartbreak, I hope to show you the lessons you can learn from it to apply in the future. For every time someone called you ugly or made you feel less than, I want to show you the beauty that lies inside of you and that you're worthy of life, pursuing your dreams, and being your authentic self that God has given to you. In 2009, I want us to shed our past as we give birth to all the hopes, dreams, and desires that we've planted so deep within us. It's time for us to live our dreams and through my posts, I want to help you get there. See you soon.

Kisses and hugs,
Ms. Lakisah

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Friday! Delicious Decision

Heart Healthy recipe for the heart and soul!Recapture Sunday lunches from the past by making this crispy-coated chicken and extra gravy to top low-fat mashed potatoes.

Crispy Chicken with Creamy Gravy
Serves 4; 3 ounces chicken and 1/4 cup gravy per serving


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat removed

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg, or 1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted cracker crumbs (about 7 crackers)

1 teaspoon salt-free all-purpose seasoning

Vegetable oil spray

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

1/2 cup bottled fat-free chicken gravy

1/2 cup fat-free milk

Cooking Instructions
Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put chicken smooth side up between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a tortilla press or smooth side of a meat mallet, lightly flatten chicken, being careful not to tear the meat.
Put 2 tablespoons flour in a large airtight plastic bag. Add chicken and shake to coat.
Pour egg substitute into bag and shake to coat.
Combine cracker crumbs and all-purpose seasoning in a shallow bowl. Roll chicken in mixture. Lightly spray both sides with vegetable oil spray.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Cook chicken, meaty side down, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned on bottom.Turn chicken over and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until no longer pink in center. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Put chicken gravy, milk, and 1 tablespoon flour in skillet; whisk thoroughly. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon over chicken.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving)
5.0 gTotal Fat
0.5 gSaturated Fat
0.0 gTrans Fat
1.5 gPolyunsaturated Fat
2.5 gMonounsaturated Fat
69 mgCholestrol
304 mgSodium
12 gCarbohydrates
0 gFiber
2 gSugar
30 gProtein
Dietary Exchanges
1 other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat

This recipe is reprinted with permission from the American Heart Association Meals in Minutes Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by the American Heart Association. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. Available from booksellers everywhere.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Motivator-Excellence

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
– Aristotle

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Too many times people let their dreams, aspirations, and hopes wither away in the night. But No Longer!! TODAY, I challenge you to break your regular chains of bondage and embrace the warmth of possibility. I push you to go beyond yesterday’s disposition of despair and complacent attitudes and into Today’s beauty of uncertainty. For if we do nothing our dreams will drown in a sea of apathy.

Here are six easy steps to grasp hold of a dream:

1. Write down your vision
2. Break your vision down into a workable yearly goal, and then that year down into monthly goals, followed by weekly goals, and lastly daily goals
3. Believe that you can accomplish your goals
4. Only tell those whom have faith that you can succeed
5. Find examples of those who have already made it
6. Move, ACT, Execute, Evaluate, and Improve

Those six steps should help you move forward. If you need any help with writing or publishing a book visit

When can no longer let our lives evaporate before our very eyes. TODAY IS OUR DAY!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease!

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. While some factors such as age and family history can’t be changed, there are several ways you can lower your risk for heart disease. The following are 8 ways you can get heart healthy:

Control Blood PressureMake sure your blood pressure is under 140/90 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure (the top number) is over 140, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.
Control Cholesterol: Saturated and Trans fat in your diet can raise cholesterol. Limit foods high in cholesterol. Have your cholesterol check at least annually and take medication if needed. Desirable total blood cholesterol level should be less than 200mg/dL; Borderline-High Risk is 200-239 mg/DL, and High Risk 240 mgdL. Furthermore, there’s good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). To reduce heart disease, maintain high levels of HDL (>40mg/dL men, >50mg/dL women) and low levels of LDL (<100mg aria-haspopup="true" class="goog-spellcheck-word" id=":z.10" role="menuitem" span="" style="background: yellow;" tabindex="-1">dl
="">Manage Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk of developing heart disease. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor's orders control and management.
Don't Smoke: Smoking more than doubles your risk for heart disease. For some this is easier said than done, but there are resources available at your doctor's office as well as the Internet. Sites like SmokeFree offers resources and a guide on how to quit smoking.

Get Active: Regular exercise 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day strengthens the heart, reduces stress, manage weight, and provides energy. Regular aerobic exercises can include walking, swimming, jogging, biking, housework, and gardening.

Maintain A Healthy Weight: Excess weight will strain the heart. Keep weight under control by getting active, healthy eating habits, and reducing stress (noticing a trend).
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Click on the link below to input your information to access your risk and determine a healthy weight goal for your body type.
BMI Calculator
Eat Healthy:Choose My Plate offers personalized eating plans, interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices, and advice to help you make smart choices from every food group, find your balance between food and physical activity, get the most nutrition out of your calories, and stay within your daily calorie needs.
Manage stress: Don't sweat the small stuff! Stress increases your blood pressure and heart rate.
Have a Cardiac Disease Risk Assessment: Consult your doctor about your personal risk for heart disease and stroke. Follow his/her advice for health test, lifestyle changes, medications, and other therapy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Motivator

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. - Helen Keller

Monday, February 2, 2009

National Heart Month

In an effort to raise awareness of heart disease, Feburary is National Heart Month. Heart disease is the #1 killer in women in the United States.

Some surprising facts:

  • One in 4 women in the United States dies of heart disease, while 1 in 30 dies of breast cancer.

  • Twenty-three precent of women will die within 1 year after having a heart attack

  • Within 6 years of having a heart attack, about 46 percent of women become disabled with heart failure. Two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.
    • February 6th is Wear Red Day! Take the opportunity to share any bit of heart prevention information with anyone who asks.

      For more information on prevention, awareness, and detection of Heart Disease go to

      Know the facts, because what you don't know can kill you.

      Thursday, January 22, 2009

      I Was There-Inaguration of President Barack Obama!

      Our President-Barack Obama

      Barack Obama Sworn in as the 44th President of the United States
      On January 20, 2009, it dawned cold but sunny in our nation's capital. It was a new day, a day of hope for millions attending the ceremony in Washington, DC and for those watching around the country and, indeed, the world.

      Monday, January 12, 2009


      Are we there yet?

      We made it to the ship!

      All you can eat 24-7? Bon appetite!

      R & R

      The Captain's Ball

      Awww, smooth sailing........

      I still gain 5lbs :(

      Having fun on Carnival

      Life's a Island, Literally!

      The Florida Keys

      Obama 08

      I like tall men, but i don't think this would work

      Welcome to the Bahamas, I think Im gonna stay!

      Hanging with the Locals......

      Atlantis Tour in Bahamas

      Last night, vacation's over :()!

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