Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Money-saving July 4th Cookout

If you are planning to host a July 4th cookout this upcoming weekend, plan to make it potluck to cut some of your costs.

There is nothing wrong with asking your friends to bring a dish, dessert, drink, or snack to the cookout. I am sure they won't mind helping out. I find that people have a favorite dish that they love to prepare and would be happy to bring it to the cookout. For some, it might mean stopping by the grocery store and picking something up to bring and that's fine too. The cost of meats alone is an expensive buy so a little help with the other menu items will come in handy.

In these tough economic times, trying to cover all the expenses yourself may be difficult, but you still would like to have a nice time on the 4th. It takes a lot of work to host a party at your home and this money-saving potluck cookout won't empty your wallet.

Don't forget the sparklers!

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta  |

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta |

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals |

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals |

Healthy Eating Tip

Take along at least two pieces of fruit for the day. For a mid-morning snack, eat a banana. When that mid-afternoon drag creeps in, eat an apple. Switch up the fruit varieties so you won't get bored. Also, cut up the fruits ahead of time for easy snacking at your desk or on the go. Stay Healthy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gallery | Family homestead a treasure trove |

Gallery | Family homestead a treasure trove |

5 TGIF Fun Things

Let's have some TGIF Fun Today!

  • Enjoy your brown bag lunch in the park with co-workers
  • Call your pals to meet for coffee or cocktails
  • Stop by your favorite consignment shop and buy a new outfit
  • Order take-out tonight for dinner ->check the frig magnets for coupons
  • Load the CD player in your car with some jams and Rock On!

Simply Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day Trip on a Budget

Here is great day trip idea that won't break the budget:

Plan to take the family out to visit a State Park. Check your state's website for a list of parks and the activities offered there such as hiking trails, lakes for swimming, and other sightseeing fun. Most state parks have a parking fee, but it's usually nominal. Pack a picnic lunch with a variety of eats for the entire family. Take a break at one of the picnic tables and talk about what sights you will see after lunch. Bring along the cooler packed with plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Gas up the car the night before the trip and you will be ready to roll out the next morning.

Have a fun day!

US library to save recordings from Tupac, Cosby  | accessAtlanta

US library to save recordings from Tupac, Cosby | accessAtlanta

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Video: Jada Pinkett Smith Talks 'HawthoRNe' -

Video: Jada Pinkett Smith Talks 'HawthoRNe' -


I would have to say one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing litter thrown out along streets, highways, neighborhoods, stop lights and signs. My community does a very good job with keeping litter picked up. Also, the city uses people who need to fulfill their community service hours and inmates from the local jail to pick up the trash.

I often wonder what people must be thinking when they throw litter into the street. I guess they figure someone will come along at some point and pick it up. They clearly don't want to keep the trash in their car for another minute, heaven forbid. However, it makes more sense to wait and throw out the contents at the next destination or when you arrive home. I simply can't see myself tossing trash out my car window onto the street.

Here's an idea: Keep plastic bags in your car to use for your throwaway items and toss the entire bag in the trash container at your stops. Let's all do our part to be more eco-friendly. Please stop littering!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gallery | Mystical Texas lake fascinates visitors |

Gallery | Mystical Texas lake fascinates visitors |

Workday Tip

Allow yourself to take a 10-15 minute break away from your desk during the workday. If you can, skip the elevator and take the stairs to get a bit of exercise. When you return, drink plenty of water to replenish yourself. I bet you will feel rejuvenated in no time flat!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Wishing Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Brother, and Uncles today. This is such a special day to celebrate and to thank our Dad's for all they have done to help shape our lives. I know some Father's may have passed on, but the memories always live on in our hearts.

Today is the perfect day to remember those special times, conversations, and gatherings that meant so much in our lives. Here are a few I can recall with my Dad:

-->Attending and cheering me on at my school track events
-->Riding the snowmobile after lots of snow had fallen
-->Our summer vacation to Minnesota and eating fresh fish
-->Taking the pontoon boat out on the lake and relaxing
-->Listening ear and providing sound advice just when I needed it

Have a great day Dad!

Friday, June 18, 2010

How to adapt eating habits to your vacation  |

How to adapt eating habits to your vacation |

Dining Out with Coupons

In my mail this week was a restaurant coupon for 25% off the entire check. I have also received buy-one-get-one-free entree meals as well. This got me thinking about my blog post for today as we head into the weekend.

Don't be ashamed to use coupons you receive in the mail for dining out. In these tough economic times, we have to be more money-savvy. Yet we don't have to sacrifice a nice time out with family and friends.

So save those restaurant coupons for a night on the town and share a dessert for added pleasure. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Top 5 Picks of Actors to Play Tupac in Biopic

Our Top 5 Picks of Actors to Play Tupac in Biopic

Remembering My Furry Friend

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my beloved cocker spaniel Coale. I recall that the weather was just like today ->warm and sunny. I knew the decision had to be made to put him down due to a recent illness that he just could not shake. He was 14 years old and had slowed down quite a bit.

I know there are plenty of people who have made this decision as well. Our pets are just like a family member and some consider them their children. I surely did! The thriving pet industry shows just how much we love our pets and the lengths we go through to make sure of their well-being.

My family and friends would always say that my dog is truly living a dog's life. I miss our walks, playtime, car rides and cuddling. I have given thoughts of adopting a dog, maybe two from my local shelter. For now, the memories live on of our time together. I know he is resting and enjoying doggy heaven. RIP my sweet Coale!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cool Tips ->No Cooking Required

Check out these cool tips that don't require turning on the stove:

-->Cut up seasonal fruit and place in refrigerator. Grab some for snacking and to cool off
-->Pick up a rotisserie chicken for days of meal planning
-->Prepare a cool salad with lots of greens for lunch or dinner
-->Fix a veggie sandwich topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and slice of cheese
-->Satisfy your sweet tooth with store bought apple pie, no baking required

Along with these cool tips, always drink plenty of water.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gallery | Hydrangeas star on garden tour |

Gallery | Hydrangeas star on garden tour |

TGIF Tip: Stay Hydrated

As the temperatures rise across the country, plan to keep water with you at all times. There are lots of festivals, outside concerts, baseball games, and more happening around town. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you plan to be out and about for a long time, take along a small cooler filled with bottled water to carry with you or keep in the car to grab and go. Buy ice packs that you can freeze ahead of time to keep contents cool. The heat is on!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Organizing Your Closet

OK, I will admit that I am obsessed with the organization of my closet. My family and friends have seen it and are pretty taken aback with the way everything is neat and orderly. This past Sunday, I noticed I still had some long sleeved blouses from the fall. I was like, how did I miss moving them to the other closet until next season. It's done now!

As I was thinking of my blog post for today, I decided on organizing which is one of my favorite topics. Of course, the closet is one of those cumbersome areas in the house that most of us would like to organize and more importantly, keep it that way.

Here are 3 easy ways:

1. Use clear storage boxes: The uses for these storage boxes are endless. They are easy to stack on either the floor or shelves. Use them for your scarves, socks, belts, chunky jewelry, etc. Label each box with the contents inside for easy access to what you need.
2. Jeans: Do you have lots of jeans? If so, fold and stack them on a shelf. Go a step further and stack them by color ->dark blue, black, light blue, and embellished ones.
3. Tops/Shirts: Hang them according to the type of sleeves they have such as sleeveless, short or long sleeves. Keep each style organized down the row so you can easily scan the closet and grab from that particular section.

Alright, I bet you are probably thinking this will take a lot of work, but it really won't once you start organizing and arranging your closet this way. As you add more clothes to your closet, you will see how organized and functional your closet has become. Will this be on your weekend to-do list :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Frugal Tip of the Day

If you have to drive out of your way to get that sale item, you will end up using more gas in the long run. Purchase nearby and save yourself time and money!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Community Freebies

This summer, take advantage of free events in your community. In my city, we receive a local magazine that is filled with various events not only in the community, but in neighboring areas. I look forward to reading what events will be coming up and mark the calendar so I don't miss one. Also, most cities and towns have their own websites where you can check online for what's happening in the area.

Some events that are popular and free include:

-->Free Summer Concerts
-->Free Movies in the Park
-->Classic/Antique Car Shows
-->Community Festivals

Gather the family, friends, and neighbors and head out to some of these events. It's a great way to save money and to spend time outside. You can pack a picnic basket or patronize the local restaurants and vendors especially since you saved on the entry fee. Have Fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Exercise During Commercials

One of my favorite directors was Alfred Hitchcock. I am a huge fan of his movies and television series. I watch episodes of the series on Hulu. I noticed that Mr. Hitchcock was not a fan of commercials and would make comments when it was time to cut to them. I know just how he feels because I hate to sit through commercials and have noticed that they seem to be longer. I always turn to other channels until the show I'm watching comes back on.

For some time now, I have been exercising during the commercials. I place a set of free weights beside the couch and do several sets of arm exercises with them. I also do crunches, obliques, squats, and leg work until the show resumes. It's a fun and easy way to exercise during the day especially if you didn't make it to the gym.

I am always looking for sneaky ways to add exercise throughout my day and this will surely do it. Give it a try and I know you will see results. Why sit through boring commercials when you can exercise instead. Get started today!