Man, this has been some week! I was off for three days due to getting a cold completely out of nowhere. Vegetarian or not, I can get sick but just so very rarely that it feels like forever to get better. But I'm almost back to normal after three days of hiding out and doing nothing but hugging bathroom tissue, my bed, my couch and watching a helluva lot of TV. I caught up on some library books, too. And speaking of books, let's get to my head nods of approval for three weeks (last week, this week and next week).1. Half Price Books: I used to work at Border's on the Magnificent Mile and remember many many days going downtown to a few African-American bookstores in my teenage years. I buy books online but I still support the remaining chains like Barnes & Noble. I am aware that supporting chains hurt smaller bookstores, such as Heritage Books (a store in Edgewater I liked to frequent) but I want books for my best buck. Today I found another bookstore while shopping called Half Price Books. I was impressed after walking around for only a few minutes.2. Party City: I never thought I'd be into party planning but this place can be as much of a candy store for adults as it is for kids. I have enjoyed browsing this store for party ideas and designs.3. VistaPrint: I've used them for business cards and promotional postcards for years. However, with the amount of internet technology that people rely on, business cards seem like a waste of money and even more pointless if you work for an organization and no longer need to promote yourself as a freelancer. However, for a recent party planning event I ordered photo pens and notebooks and they turned out great.
Standard shipping is a give or take. Sometimes it does take longer for VistaPrint to ship but I expected my package to come in 14 days and it came 6 days later. Can't beat that!4. CafePress: I purchased photo water bottles to go with the VistaPrint grab bag gifts and they also turned out to be a treat. I hate it when I go to parties and I get gifts full of stuff I never use. Everyone has gotten a keychain from a networking event and thought, "I'll never put this with my keys. This is a waste of money." But who do you know who can't make use of a water bottle, a pen or paper?
They deliver in 24 hours and it's quality material.
It's that time again. So what am I giving the head nod of approval?
1. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries: I can't stand cooking. I've bought cookbooks and lost interest before I left the bookstore. Cooking shows make me sleepy. And I'm uninspired to cook even when I go to great restaurants. But for some bizarre reason I always want to cook something new when browsing Pinterest. I've made more new meals from perusing that site this year than I did in my entire 20s (I'm 31). Some recipes are losers and others are winners. My most recent is this strawberry recipe, and these things are delicious. Check out my version below. (Click the photo for the recipe.)
I don't know how I managed to watch all of "Roots
" but then missed out on this miniseries entirely. There were so many big stars in it (i.e., Halle Berry,
Raven Symone, Jasmine Guy, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, etc.). It took me
awhile to watch this miniseries because you have to be still long enough to
follow the plot. There were countless cringeworthy moments, but in true Alex
Haley form, he stayed true to his family roots and history. I have always
admired the amount of depth he went into to portray his ancestors. I wish more
movies (not necessarily about slavery) were out that showcased so many
African-American stars at their best all at once. 2. Sample day at Whole Foods Market:
I'd been to Soul Vegetarian East restaurant and I'd had Soul Vegan at different vegan events, but I never really paid attention to the fact that the products are sold at Whole Foods Market. I went into one location today to grab a few items, and it was sample day. Not only was I impressed by Soul Vegan products
, but I had a nice time checking out some other new foods, too.
Been a minute but the past few weeks have been a few hair-pullers and a lot of laughs. This time around I could probably fill up 15 LOL moments but I'll stick to "head nods of approval." Let's go. 1. My godsister getting married:
I won't say her name on this blog, but I almost ended up in another lane of traffic while I was on the phone and found out she sent a photo wearing a wedding ring. I saw her wedding photos this week on Facebook and stole plenty of them. Is it stealing if you let the bride know you did it? Probably not. She got married in the Bahamas, and the background was beautiful. It was great seeing my godsisters all dressed up and watching the bride-to-be seal the deal with her boyfriend (now husband). I'm extremely happy for her and looking forward to her party next month. 2. "G.I. Joe Retaliation":
I loved that movie. Click here
to read my movie review.3. "Tyler Perry's Temptation":
Folks were mad about this movie. I was not. Click here
to read my review.4. Cracking jokes with Mom at a movie theater:
This is one of those had-to-be-there stories, but she asked me for some lotion while we were sitting in a movie theater. I gave her a high-five instead and she started rubbing her hands together. It took her a minute to realize that I gave her a high-five with the hand with no lotion on it. We both laughed way too loud and long. We ended up with the giggles so bad I thought the guy behind us was going to move into another row, but eventually we got ourselves under control before the previews started.5. Watching my grandfather do the Truckin' dance:
I would say he's got that Denzel/Sam Jackson swag, but he's 89 so his cool was around before they were even born! And whenever he is in a dancing mood, it's a treat. I've got a couple videos of him dancing with my father and one he recently did on his own while we were in his living room. He gets it in! I love it. I know he was never on the dance floor alone during his pre-married days.
It never fails. Every year when I participate in Earth Hour
, I always end up doing it longer than an hour. I'm considering making Earth Hour monthly instead of annually because it's an opportunity for me to get a bunch of writing and reading done without the electronic distractions I usually zone in on (TIVO, notebook computer, Smartphone, etc.). I could spend hours on end messing around with my Web site and if I ever open my work e-mail on the weekends, that's my day...gone. With that said:1. Earth Hour 2013:
I love participating. I enjoy going green, recycling and participating in organizations that help with the environment. I haven't totally given up on purchasing a hybrid car, but I love my ride too much to give it up.2. Paying off my car note:
Speaking of cars, clicking on the "Payoff Quote" and paying off my car note in full made me want to scream to the top of my lungs at 3 a.m. While running errands this weekend, I got my car washed and just stared at it. Paying off a note for a new car is an expensive task. Once you do it, you'll either think: "Is it worth all this? Do I even still like this car?" or "Hallelujah, finally money to set aside for other stuff." I thought the latter, and looking at my shiny car made me love it more!
Hello! How are you? Time for round 3 (and 10 since I missed last week).1. Justin Timberlake's vegetarian skit:
I'm already a vegetarian so seeing Mr. Sexy Back in a tofu outfit was going to catch my attention regardless. He's funny, but this was absolutely hilarious. By the time he got to the Trinidad James remix ("veggie, veggie, veggie") part of the song, I was crying laughing. So glad to see him back on the scene. Click here
to get to the video.2. George Lopez on Big Boy's Neighborhood:
I wish Big Boy had full-length versions of his interviews online
. I think he's an excellent interviewer. But George Lopez took the cake with this one. I wish I'd heard it in my ceramic painting days. "You're just using me for my arts and crafts!" Click here
to get to the video.3. Compiling 50 Sexiest Men:
I just couldn't agree with most of the guys VH1 chose for their countdown. I cheated and used some actors and comedians, but those two professions are "artistic," too, so I'm rolling with it. Click here to see who I think are the 50 Sexiest Men
I understand that reality television can be a bit ratchet and sometimes the bad guy (or girl) pull in the best ratings, but I was very disappointed in the reunion episode of "Vanderpump Rules." Stassi admitted she was abusive to Jax, and instead of Bravo's Andy Cohen focusing on that, they focused on Jax's "chunky sweater" and a double standard about cheating. While Stassi wagged her finger at Jax for seeing someone else after they broke up (before the pregnancy news came out) although she'd slept with Frank two days later, the bigger picture was not only the cyber bullying Stassi did to Laura-Leigh (congrats on your new movie!) but the unapologetic way she talked about hitting Jax.
Andy: It seems like there was a lot of fighting in your relationship. Yes?
Andy: Did things ever get physical?
Jax: No. Never got punching.
Andy: You never got punched?
Andy: Did you? Did you ever want to hit him?
Stassi: Uh. Yeah.
Lisa: You probably did.
Stassi: I have. Okay. I said it. (Laughs)
Lisa: You know it. Look at her face.
Andy: Did you do any damage?
Jax: Yeah. In Chicago, she busted my nose. Blood everywhere. It was crazy.
Stassi: And did you deserve that though?
Jax: Yes. Everything. I'm going to be honest. Everything that she's saying, yeah, I deserved it all.
Unless this was self-defense, no man or woman deserves to have someone put his or her hands on the other.
1. Fight on "Vanderpump Rules": When women have beef, the tension lasts for weeks before, during and after the fight (watch any female-dominated reality show to prove this or walk into a random high school). But when men fight (as long as it doesn't end up on the news), the commentary is funny as ever. A fight broke out on this show on one of the cast member's birthdays and one of the guys took off his shirt ready to box.
The next day his friend goes: "My only problem was you should've done a few push-ups before you took your shirt off. You jumped the gun on that, dude."
2. Wyclef Jean "getting respect": People are asking Wyclef about the chapter on Lauryn Hill, but I haven't gotten to that part yet. What I am finding out is "An Immigrant's Story" could've been a comedic memoir. I was repulsed by the Haitian Day issues at his school, but the way he made light of some fights cracked me up. Some guy slapped his brother and Wyclef decided to play into the Haitian stereotypes and came out wearing a fur squirrel accessory (his mother's), a machete on his waist and throwing salt. Imagining a young Wyclef do this made me crack up laughing on my way home from work while reading that part.
I missed last week's top five countdown so there will be 10 this time around. (Updated on 1/27/2013 at 4:57 a.m.)
1. Vice President Joe Biden at the Inauguration Parade: I mean this with no disrespect, but I can guarantee you that Biden must be the most entertaining person at the White House. He was totally wearing out Secret Service running from one spot to the next, hugging people and greeting people behind the gate, jumping out of the limo. That man is fit! He was having the time of his life on that parade. I would love to be a fly on the wall when he's unleashed and having a conversation with two-term president Barack Hussein Obama. I know it's got to be funny.
2. Underpaid assistant on "Real Husbands of Hollywood": The entire cast is funny, and I wish Nelly was a regular but my favorite episode on last night's episode was the assistant saying, "Honestly that's my jam. I got it on my iPod." No apology. He was serious about that Robin Thicke song. BTW, "Pretty Little Heart" is my jam, too. Kevin Hart makes me laugh until my face hurts, but I love that the rest of the cast gets it in, too.
3. My co-worker Darcel doing the Charlie Brown dance: She's the second person I knew who could do those shoulder dances without thinking about it. (My father is the first person.) I know we had to look like complete goofies by her desk imitating the Peanuts gang while they danced, but I loved that she knew how to do it. Hilarious!
1. "Ally McBeal" with the Barry White dance trio: Watching Ling and Nel do the Barry White dance with John was funny enough, but watching Robert Downey Jr. and Taye Diggs do it on Season 4 Disc 5 sent me over the edge. I put all of the "Ally McBeal" episodes in my queue because I forgot how funny this show is and most of the episodes. Every time I get a CD I remember why I loved this show much and man she had some gorgeous boyfriends (and co-workers). Taye Diggs drinking water in front of the fridge made me stop and just gaze at the television. My gawd!
To be continued with four more as I find them in the upcoming week from Sat., Jan. 12 to Sat. Jan 19.