Friday, December 31, 2010

So Cool ->Black Eyed Peas - I got a feeling on Oprah Chicago Flashmob 24th season...

Gallery | World rings in New Year | accessatlanta.com

Happy New Year ->Gallery | World rings in New Year | accessatlanta.com

New Year's Eve 2010

So here we are on New Year's Eve and the weather did not disappoint in Atlanta, GA. It's going to be mild temps near 60 degrees and plenty of sunshine. All the right stuff to make this last day of the new year delightful.

I want to extend my deepest thanks to all the readers who have visited my blog this year. Since launching my blog in 2010, I have enjoyed a wonderful time posting my own writings along with stories I find around the web that I think would be of interest. I appreciate the comments received from many readers. I have met other bloggers and enjoy following their blogs too.

I look forward to good things happening in the coming year 2011. I plan to keep my blog postings fresh and interesting. I especially hope you will continue to stop by and read along.

Have a safe time ringing in the New Year and celebrate responsibly. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gallery | My Style: Kate Boccia | accessatlanta.com

She's Got Style ->Gallery | My Style: Kate Boccia | accessatlanta.com

Healthy Tip ->Ring in the New Year

Many people will be attending New Year's Eve parties and having fun ringing in the new year. Keep in mind the cold and flu season is here. The kisses and hand shakes will be plentiful as people move about the party spreading new year cheer. I know it will be hard to wash your hands often, but some hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket will help. A quick hug instead of smooches is a safe bet too. Just a few things to keep in mind when the ball/peach drops!

Multi Purpose Furniture

Great uses for more space ->Multi Purpose Furniture, home-designing.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

Video: The Best of Joan Crawford

My Fave Actress ->Video: The Best of Joan Crawford, Newyorker.com

To Do ->Last Week of 2010

Hello Everyone, I hope the Christmas weekend was enjoyable. Now we look ahead to the last week of 2010. I often will start a list of some tasks to wrap up before the end of the year. The items on the list aren't anything that's going to be stressful (who needs that right), but just a few things that I really would like to finish up before the end of the year.

Some of you may do the same and I think it's a neat way to bring about positivity and a sense of accomplishment in life. Don't fret that it took until the last week of the year to accomplish them. Just know that you can place a DONE check mark by it for 2010. Have a great week!

Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' dies

RIP for a Soulful Singer ->Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' dies via accessAtlanta

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh What Fun ->Glee Cast - Jingle Bells

Lauren Hill to Stage Comeback with 2011 Tour

Wonderful News ->Lauryn Hill to Stage Comeback with 2011 Tour, Essence.com

Healthy Holiday Tip

This is the time of the year to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Don't fret over the extra helpings or sweet desserts you will probably eat. One thing you can do is to use a salad size plate for the meals to help control portions. If you do use a dinner size plate, don't fill it with food. You can always go back for yummy seconds. If the weather permits, plan walks in the neighborhood with some of your house guests. Think of the lovely chats you will have during these walks. If you plan to do some after Christmas shopping at the mall, you will get plenty of exercise as you walk around shopping for bargains. Also, play some of the games on the Wii too.

We are days away from Christmas and I imagine the aroma of good food cooking and sweets baking has begun in many homes. Enjoy yourself and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gallery | Stars share Christmas memories | accessatlanta.com

Good Memories ->Gallery | Stars share Christmas memories | accessatlanta.com

Gift Cards Rock!

I used to hear that people who were given gift cards would let them expire or never use them. Go Figure! The key in gift card giving is to tailor the cards to their likes such as food, clothes, books, coffee, or pets just to name a few interests. The gift card business has grown over the years and you can find just about every major retailer or restaurant that has one. The cards are a happy reminder of the person who gave it to you when you are about to make a purchase. I think gift cards rock and are especially good for that person who is hard to buy for on your Christmas list. Shop On!

Gallery | Shaq conducts Boston Pops' holiday concert | accessatlanta.com

See the Pics ->Gallery | Shaq conducts Boston Pops' holiday concert | accessatlanta.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gallery | Rachael Ray book signing in Buckhead | accessatlanta.com

A Cooking Dynamo ->Gallery | Rachael Ray book signing in Buckhead | accessatlanta.com

Coke Commercial Gets 'Inception' Makeover

Holiday To-Do List

Hello to the start of a busy holiday week for many of you. Have your out-of-town guests arrived yet? I am sure the to-do list this week will be filled with lots of things including shopping for gifts, cooking and baking, cleaning the house, and more. Try to keep your daily to-do list manageable by listing the top five items you would like to get done. If you have to move items to the next day, don't worry about it. Also, delegate some to-do items to your family especially the kids since they are probably out of school and home from college for the long holiday break. You might think that keeping them 'out of your hair' by not giving them tasks to-do is good, but it's better to include them. It could be something simple as bringing in firewood to have on hand by the fireplace. I think everyone will feel they played a role in getting the home ready for the holidays.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gallery | Obama reads to 2nd graders | ajc.com

I bet the kids were surprised ->Gallery | Obama reads to 2nd graders | ajc.com

Weekend Shopping Tip

Before you head out and about on the last weekend of holiday shopping before Christmas, remember to make a list and check it twice for gifts you have already purchased. In the hustle and bustle of it all, stick to your holiday budget and don't overspend. Keep in mind that there will be plenty of deals after Christmas where lots of stuff will be 50% off. So, save some cash for more good bargains later. Frugal, that's You!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gallery | Gifts for 'Tween' girls | accessatlanta.com

Good Gift Ideas ->Gallery | Gifts for 'Tween' girls | accessatlanta.com

Digital Pick: Juke Joint

Something New ->Digital Pick: Juke Joint, Newyorker.com

Stay on Track with Exercise during the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing and all things that go along with preparing for it. It's very easy for your exercise routine to take a backseat with all that you have to do. Here are some ways to stay on track with exercise during the holidays:

1. Use your lunch hour at work to take a walk. There may be school plays to attend, cookies to bake, or potluck meals to prepare for events. You may not have time for your normal evening walk once you get home, but at least you made time for a good walk earlier in the day.
2. There are lots of ways to sneak in a few exercises while you cook or bake. While waiting for the oven to warm, do 2-3 sets of squats, lunges, arm & ab twists or any exercise that you can perform in a standing position. Just before you open the canned foods, use them as weights and do a few arm curls with them.
3. If your wrapping items are spread out on the living room floor for ease, take a break in between gift wrapping and do a few sets of push ups and abdominal exercises.

Keep the stress away and don't fret the small stuff. Be Merry!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Magical Starlightz from Artecnica

These are Stunning ->The Magical Starlightz from Artecnica, fokal.com

Saving on Holiday Cards

'Tis the season for sending and receiving holiday cards. Save a little money on cards and stamps by sending e-cards. There are plenty of websites across the internet to choose an e-card. I get a kick out of sending them for any occasion and especially like the one's that play music. I know family and friends will receive a card through the mail, but e-cards are just as merry. Put a smile on someone's face this holiday season when they check their email and open your e-card. I bet they replay the e-card again and again!

Gallery | Reindog Parade at Botanical Garden | accessatlanta.com

Pooch Fun ->Gallery | Reindog Parade at Botanical Garden | accessatlanta.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Amazing ->Metrodome Roof Collapse Video From the Inside Metrodome

Helping Others this Holiday Season

As we check our to-do lists for the holiday season, keep in mind those families, friends, or neighbors who may be struggling financially this holiday season. They may not speak out that times are hard and simply buying food for the holidays will be tough let alone gifts.

Here are some ways you can help others during the holiday season:
--->Buy extra non-perishable foods while your shopping
--->Purchase a gift card in any monetary amount you can afford
--->Give cash in a holiday card
--->Fill up the gas tank in their car
--->Purchase a book of stamps
--->Bake some homemade treats and put in decorative tin
--->Buy a rotiserrie chicken that will make a variety of meals. My favorite!

These next few weeks leading up to Christmas will get even busier. Any help you can provide for someone else will be appreciated more than you can ever imagine.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Classic Clip ->John Lennon on Monday Night Football 1974

Hump Day Tip

Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your desk, bag, car, or anywhere you can easily get to it in order to cleanse your hands until you are able to wash them thoroughly. Our hands touch a lot of things throughout the day especially when shaking someone's hand during an introduction. I'm not a big fan of shaking hands and try to avoid it. The cold and flu season is here, be ready!

Not Your Typical Holiday Movie Guide

Good Picks Here ->Not Your Typical Holiday Movie Guide, Goodhousekeeping.com

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

An arctic blast has hit Atlanta with temps in the 20's and blustery winds. Of course, it feels like it's in the teens when you factor in the wind chill. I'm glad that my home has a garage for my car. It's always a good idea to allow your car plenty of time to warm up before driving off. Just in case your car stalls or there is a traffic backup due to weather, be prepared with these tips in mind:
  • Gas tank ->keep full or at least half a tank, never on "E"
  • Flashlight ->make sure the batteries work
  • Ice/Snow Scraper ->keep in car to remove from windows
  • Blanket ->stay warm while you wait
  • Gloves ->keep an extra pair in the glove box
  • Water ->good idea to have some bottles of water in the car
  • Food ->keep some peanut butter crackers or granola bars for snacking

Gallery | HGTV's holiday decorating tips | accessatlanta.com

These tips are great ->Gallery | HGTV's holiday decorating tips | accessatlanta.com

3D Interior Design Inspiration

Awesome & Hip ->3D Interior Design Inspiration, Home-designing.com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gallery | Children's Healthcare of Atlanta parade | ajc.com

Fun for Kids ->Gallery | Children's Healthcare of Atlanta parade | ajc.com

Eco-Friendly Tip

If you will be hosting a small dinner party this holiday season, try to cut down on using so many paper products. Instead, use real dinnerware, glasses, and silverware. I realize everyone wants cleanup to be snap after the party is over and paper products are an easy toss in the trash. But using the dishwasher is better and more energy-efficient when fully loaded.

The less paper products in the landfills is so much better. Let's all continue to do our part for the environment by becoming more Green!

Gallery | New at the zoo? Animal babies! | ajc.com

Real Cuties ->Gallery | New at the zoo? Animal babies! | ajc.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gallery | 'Simple Gifts' fill White House at Christmas | accessatlanta.com

I Like this Theme ->Gallery | 'Simple Gifts' fill White House at Christmas | accessatlanta.com

Photo: Taking a stand by sitting down | Need to Know

Courageous Woman, Rosa Parks ->Photo: Taking a stand by sitting down | Need to Know, PBS.org

Gift Ideas for Holiday Host

It's the first day of December and the holiday season is truly in gear. As the holiday party invites begin to come in, keep in mind that a gift for the host/hostess of the party is always a lovely way of saying thanks for their hospitality. Here are a few ideas:

--->Holiday fragrance candle
--->Bottle of wine in holiday wine bag
--->Small box of chocolates like Godiva or Russell Stover
--->Homemade treats in a holiday container
--->Can of Planters Cocktail peanuts
--->Holiday music CD
--->Poinsettia plant for added pop of color around the house
--->Ornament for the Christmas tree

When you arrive at the party, the host will probably say "Oh, you didn't have to bring anything." But the gesture will truly be appreciated.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gallery | My Style: Santa Claus | accessatlanta.com

This Santa has Style ->Gallery | My Style: Santa Claus | accessatlanta.com

Monday Groove

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I am sure lots of you have worked up your to-do list for the day and week ahead. After a long holiday break, you may feel a bit sluggish as you get back into the groove of work and projects. Stay focused with the easier tasks first and work your way up to those that require lots of time. If weather permits, take a walk during lunch to get energized. You will be back into the groove in no time. Have a great week everyone!

Gallery | Couple enjoys home on the water | ajchomefinder.com

Take a Look, it's a Beauty ->Gallery | Couple enjoys home on the water | ajchomefinder.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gallery | Christmas comes early in some Atlanta homes | accessatlanta.com

Nice Holiday Decor ->Gallery | Christmas comes early in some Atlanta homes | accessatlanta.com

Starbucks VIA® Christmas Blend | Starbucks Coffee Company

Just in Time for the Holidays ->Starbucks VIA® Christmas Blend | Starbucks Coffee Company

Weekend with House Guests

I'm guessing many of you may still have house guests until tomorrow as they begin to travel back home. There is plenty of college football on television today, but some may be on sports overload.

While out and about yesterday, I stopped by Home Depot for a few poinsettias that were .99 cents for one day only. I did not get up at 5 a.m. during their early morning hours in order to buy them and really thought they would all be gone at that price. My luck was on and they still had plenty. I noticed that people were starting to buy Christmas trees and this got me thinking about a fun activity this weekend with your house guests.

Plan a tree trimming party with your guests this evening. Pull out the Christmas decorations and have everyone help decorate the tree. I bet you will have ornaments that family and friends have given you over the years. How nice will it be to reminisce as you hang them on the tree.

I know there probably are leftovers from Thanksgiving that can be served as everyone works up an appetite. Check out some of the recipes at Good Housekeeping to jazz them up. To get even more into the holiday spirit and cheer, serve some eggnog or warm apple cider. Have Fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gallery | Trains in the garden | ajchomefinder.com

Choo Choo Cool ->Gallery | Trains in the garden | ajchomefinder.com

3 Budget-Savvy Black Friday Tips

The retailers are running television ads and the newspapers are filled with fliers for upcoming deals on Black Friday. I am sure lots of you are ready to shop and catch some of those deals. Here are 3 budget-savvy Black Friday Tips to keep in mind as you head out to shop.

1. Make a List & Budget ->This is truly #1. Plan ahead in the next several days for those on your gift-buying list. If you know what gift you are looking for, jot it down by their name. Listen for hints that your family and friends tend to throw out in hopes you are listening. You are, of course. Write out a budget that truly reflects just how much money you can spend on gifts. More importantly, stick to that budget. Here's a Biggie ->Leave the credit cards at home and use cash.
2. Check Online & Store Fliers ->Spend time checking online for the deals at the places you plan to shop. Also, store fliers are filled with coupons and deals too so don't skip clipping those too. Pick up an in-store flier and double check it as you shop around.
3. Pull Names ->Take the pressure off gift-buying for every family member especially if you have a large family. On Thanksgiving when everyone is together, put all the names in a container and have everyone pull a name. You can spend a bit more on that person when you are not trying to divvy up your money for everybody. Ask them to write down 3 wish list gifts and pick from their list. This tip is good for workplace gift exchanges with co-workers and gal/guy pals too.

As you shop around town on Black Friday, remember to stay hydrated by drinking water and to take breaks to eat. Pack on-the-go snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, boxes of raisins, bananas, or nuts. Any of these can help tie you over until you get home to enjoy more of the leftovers from the Thanksgiving dinner. Think of the money you will save by not buying food from the mall food court. Use the savings for stocking stuffers!

Put a sharpie pen in your bag to check off the gift once it's purchased. Talk about organized, that's you! Have lots of fun as you look ahead to shopping on Black Friday and remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seasonal Storage Tip

In case you have yet to organize and put away your spring & summer clothes for the season, here is a quick tip to keep in mind -->Make sure the clothes are laundered or dry cleaned before storing them away. You don't want perspiration or any other stains to persist on a garment that will be stored away for months.

Gallery | Atlantic Station Christmas tree lighting | accessatlanta.com

Fun for All ->Gallery | Atlantic Station Christmas tree lighting | accessatlanta.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do-It-Yourself Place Cards

Easy to Make ->Do-It-Yourself Place Cards, Goodhousekeeping.com

Gallery | Elegant comfort | ajchomefinder.com

See Inside this Elegant Home ->Gallery | Elegant comfort | ajchomefinder.com

I'm a Bird Watcher

Only a few leaves remain on the front yard tree. I am going to miss the beauty of the fall colors that were changing as the season began. An empty birds nest remains in the tree. Long gone are the family of birds that once called this nest home. I have been throwing old bread out in my backyard for the birds who fly in and nibble on it. I remember in my youth doing a class project on birds. I did not win for best project, but was proud of my display. When I am working at the laptop, I glance out the back door and watch the birds. I recently saw a Cardinal bird which is one of my favorites. It's bright red color really pops on a gloomy day. I find bird watching very relaxing and it helps me gather my thoughts when writing. I'm a Bird Watcher, now back to work!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stars Behind the Commercials

Some Surprised Me ->Stars Behind the Commercials, The Daily Beast

Frugal to a New Level

I was about to make a batch of peanut butter crackers to take along with me while running errands today. It turns out that the new box of saltine crackers I just bought the other day were stale and fell apart instantly. I decided to return them and use the money to purchase another brand that I've had before, but from a different grocery store. Upon entering the store for the return, the lady who checks your bag and receipt commented, "You came back to return these when they were only $1.18." I responded "Yes" and proceeded to the Customer Service desk.

I guess my point is that maybe I could have just not bothered to return the stale crackers and get my money back seeing that they were only $1.18. But, why keep the crackers when I have no plans to eat them. I can use that money for a fresh box. I just may have taken Frugal to a New Level!

6 Easy Ways to Protect the Environment and Your Family

Good Eco-Friendly Read ->6 Easy Ways to Protect the Environment and Your Family, Goodhousekeeping.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

40th Anniversary: 40 Most Beautiful ESSENCE Covers

See Them ->40th Anniversary: 40 Most Beautiful ESSENCE Covers, Essence.com

Stock Up the Pantry!

One of my friends makes the most delicious fudge during the holiday season. She recently mentioned that she has already started to stock up on the ingredients needed for the fudge when she found them on sale. This got me to thinking about today's blog post.

If you have plans to cook or bake your favorite dishes for the holidays, stock up the pantry now when you find any of the ingredients on sale. I am seeing lots of Buy 1 Get 1 Free items in the grocery store ads and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. You will be all ready to bake those sweet potato pies and more for family, friends, and co-workers.

Gallery | 2010 Soul Train Awards Show | accessatlanta.com

Nice Photos from Event ->Gallery | 2010 Soul Train Awards Show | accessatlanta.com

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gallery | Mustache Party at the High | accessatlanta.com

Hairy Fun ->Gallery | Mustache Party at the High | accessatlanta.com

Delightful Saturday

I enjoyed all the sunshine that poured in when I twisted the blinds this morning. It was a very cold and frosty night in Atlanta and all over the state of Georgia. I'm drinking my second cup of coffee as I type this blog post and listening to local radio program that spins old school jams on Saturday morning. I enjoy hearing the likes of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and others. The music from back in the day is simply spectacular and you just never tire of hearing it. Here's an idea ->Put on some old school music while doing Saturday household chores. You will be amazed at how much you get done while bouncing to your favorite tunes.

As you may have discovered, I always like to have one day out of the week where I spend no money. It turns out I had two days this week ->Tuesday and Friday. I am trying to reflect for just a bit on how yesterday got a free pass. What does this say about my social life :-) Did you have a day this past week where you didn't spend any money? Just asking!

I'm thinking that some chili would be a yummy Saturday dinner tonight. Let me check the pantry to see what ingredients I already have for the chili and make a list of what I might need. Here's a Tip ->Always check the pantry and refrigerator before heading out to the grocery store to see exactly what you need. Don't forget the coupons!

It's time to make moves in my day and grab my sunglasses. I will need them on this Delightful Saturday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hump Day Tip

OK this tip may be a bit out there, but I'm offering it up anyway because it has helped me in a pinch:

Keep several sewing needles threaded with clothing colors like white, black, blue & brown. In case you need to make a quick mend to a button, hem, etc. especially in morning as you prepare for work, the sewing needle will be ready to go. Have you tried to thread a needle in a hurry, it's hard and who needs that frustration.

My Country: Portraits of Country Music's Top Stars

Nice Photos w/Q&A ->My Country: Portraits of Country Music's Top Stars, Time.com

Zoo Atlanta panda Lun Lun has baby  | accessAtlanta

So Sweet ->Zoo Atlanta panda Lun Lun has baby | accessAtlanta

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Month, More Savings

It's a new month today, the 1st of November. Do a review of your spending from last month to see how well you budgeted. Yes, you are on a budget! The store retailers are already holding some Black Friday sales and we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. Stay on track and keep building your savings as much as possible. Remember, the days of living paycheck to paycheck are over. At least they should be!

High Speed Internet Debuts Atop Mount Everest

No Excuse not to Climb Now :-) ->High Speed Internet Debuts Atop Mount Everest, TIMENewsFeed

Gallery | A new-old house for a modern family | ajchomefinder.com

Take a Look Inside ->Gallery | A new-old house for a modern family | ajchomefinder.com

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Don't forget to wash the mattress pads, dust ruffles, and pillow shams that are part of your bedding. These items attract dirt and dust and may not be washed every week with your bed sheets. Do routinely take them off for a fresh washing. Also, use the attachments on your vacuum to clean any dust that has settled behind the headboard. We don't want the bed bugs to bite!

Gallery | Macy Gray rewards her Atlanta fans | accessatlanta.com

She does Indeed ->Gallery | Macy Gray rewards her Atlanta fans | accessatlanta.com

Haute Halloween: Iconic Diva Costumes

I Like these Divas ->Haute Halloween: Iconic Diva Costumes, Essence.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clothes Shopping Tip

Try to avoid buying clothes that are Dry Clean Only. Instead, purchase clothes that you can machine wash. The cost of dry cleaning can be expensive and really put a dent in your wallet. I think you get more wear from your wardrobe when you can easily machine wash them. Simply check the clothing label for proper washing. You may find that you don't wear certain clothes in your wardrobe often because you don't want to spend money dry cleaning them. Trust me, your wallet will thank you for it!

Video: 'For Colored Girls' New York Premiere - Essence.com

Watch it Here ->Video: 'For Colored Girls' New York Premiere - Essence.com

Five Gadgets Ahead of Their Time

Check them Out ->Five Gadgets Ahead of Their Time, Time.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

TV Weekend: PBS's Sherlock and the Case of Mr. Baggins

It's Elementary ->TV Weekend: PBS's Sherlock and the Case of Mr. Baggins, Time.com

Halftime Exercises

Hey There, will you be watching football today? If so, how about doing some exercises during the halftime shows. Yeah I know you'd like to watch the recaps on the games, but some of these can be done while watching the halftime commentary. You will be finished exercising just in time to watch the second half of the games. Pick one:

-->Do 2-3 sets of push ups, sit ups, lunges/squats
-->Lift free weights
-->Take a walk

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" Soundtrack Exclusive

Listen to Full Tracks & Snippets ->"For Colored Girls" Soundtrack Exclusive, Essence.com

Young & Frugal

It's never too early to start on the path to saving money. In these tough economic times, families are tightening their budgets like never before. With unemployment being so high, there is probably one parent in the household who is not working. I am sure parents are explaining to their children that the family has to cut back on some of the extras such as expanded cable to basic.

If you are able to give your children an allowance, ask them to pitch in some of their money to buy the new video game, music CD, clothing item, etc. they want to purchase. I believe that when kids contribute to their must-haves, they appreciate the item more. Remember, Frugal Rocks!

Gallery | Greek Revival home suits Peachtree City family | ajchomefinder.com

Lots of Natural Light ->Gallery | Greek Revival home suits Peachtree City family | ajchomefinder.com