Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter/Spring Nail Art










Health benefits of drinking water




  1. regulate appetite

  2. increase metabolism

  3. boost energy levels

  4. less water retention

  5. alleviate some headaches

  6. help reduce blood pressure

  7. help reduce high cholesterol

  8. ease joint pain

  9. decrease in risk of some cancers

  10. less chance developing kidney stones

  11. release toxic waste products

  12. improves skin

Drinking water and losing weight!



"Drink 8 glasses of water each day" is what we hear all the time but what weight loss benefits do we get from drinking water?



All functions within the body require the presence of water. A well hydrated body enables these functions to occur quickly and efficiently. All chemical processes involve energy metabolism and drinking plenty of water will make us feel more energetic and boost our metabolic rate.


Water makes your metabolism burn calories 3% faster.



Drinking water is important if you're trying to lose weight, some studies have shown that thirst and hunger sensations are triggered together. If there is a slight dehydration the thirst mechanism may be mistaken for hunger and one may eat when the body is actually craving fluid. As most food contains some water, if one doesn't drink much they may be subconsciously driven to eat more to gain the necessary water supply however, you also gain the undesired effects of increased calorie consumption. Drinking more water can help to prevent overeating and benefit weight loss.

For more facts click link:::

SOURCE: http://www.weightlossforall.com/benefits-water-drinking.htm

13 ways to alleviate sniffling, sneezing and headaches



By Rachel Rabkin


Diet


It happens to an estimated 40 to 50 million Americans every year: the stuffy head, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing that signal seasonal allergies. The good news is that you don't always have to pop a pill to feel better. "Studies show that natural approaches are effective in improving allergy symptoms," says Robert Anderson, M.D., immediate past president of the American Board of Holistic Medicine. "The best part is that you can avoid the unwanted side effects of traditional medication such as drowsiness," he says. We asked top alternative-medicine experts for diet, body and mind strategies to deal with this allergy season drug-free.


Pick up some produce


"About 20 percent of our immune cells are in the intestines, so diet plays a big role in immune function," says Carolyn Dean, M.D., a naturopathic physician in City Island, New York. Fruits and vegetables with the deepest hues, such as berries, spinach and red grapes, are highest in antioxidants, which help prevent the free-radical damage to cells that weakens immunity. Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene (also found in brightly colored produce) have anti-inflammatory properties that may help decrease the swelling in the airways that causes congestion, says Mary L. Hardy, M.D., director of Integrative Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Quercitin, a plant compound found in apples and grapes, also inhibits inflammation in nasal passages.


Avoid dairy, sugar, wheat and food additives


These are known to produce excess mucus, which causes congestion and nasal irritation, according to Dr. Hardy. Cutting back will help make you less sensitive to pollens and other irritants.


Eat spicy foods


They can increase blood flow, which brings oxygen to the nasal passages and helps thin and eliminate mucus, says Dr. Hardy.


Drink water


Fluids help clear airways by hydrating mucous membranes: The wetter the membrane, the thinner the mucus and the more easily it can drain.


Choose foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.


Found in fish, almonds and flax seeds, omega-3's may help lessen respiratory symptoms by reducing inflammation, according to a study from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


Try herbs


Be sure to check product labels for dosages, and always talk to your doctor about possible interactions with other drugs before taking anything.
Stinging nettle is a natural antihistamine that relieves irritation in the nasal passages, according to Dr. Anderson.


Sodium selenite (a form of the antioxidant selenium) helps boost the immune system and neutralize free radicals, which can spur allergy attacks, says Dr. Anderson.
Aloe, when taken in supplement form or in a saline-based nasal spray, can also help heal irritated mucous membranes.


Fenugreek eases congestion by thinning mucus, says Dr. Hardy.

Next: Body
Next: Mind


SOURCE:: www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/.../natural-allergy-relief/

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The REAL Princess Tiana:: Leah Chase shares her wisdom and her yummy gumbo recipe!


Leah Chase’s philosophy is simple and delicious: “I always say we solve the problems of the world right here in this dining room over a bowl of gumbo.”

The 87-year-old Chase is a chef, author and TV personality nicknamed the Queen of Creole Cuisine whose popular New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase has served up fried chicken, jambalaya and gumbo for more than 50 years. She's also the real-life inspiration for the Disney animated film "The Princess and the Frog," which arrives on DVD this week.

During the 1960s, Dooky Chase was a gathering place for members of the civil rights movement. Celebrities also have flocked to her restaurant. Even President Obama has dropped by. “I served him gumbo, and the first thing Mr. Obama did was put hot sauce in my gumbo. I said, ‘Mr. Obama, you don’t put hot sauce in my gumbo.' ”











As you might imagine, the restaurant is more than just a restaurant. After it was destroyed during flooding from Hurricane Katrina, the community came together and held fundraisers for the rebuilding. She reopened the restaurant two years ago -- but is only serving lunch. (More on that below.)

Before the lunch crowd was about to descend on Dooky Chase, the imitable Chase chatted on the phone about her favorite subject — food.

Q: So what did you think of “Princess and the Frog”?
Leah Chase: I thought it was so beautiful, and everybody who knows me says I can see you in the character.

Q: I’ve caught you right before lunch.

LC: Yes. We do a lunch buffet today. We have fried chicken, jambalaya, smothered pork chops and greens, string beans and whatever.

Q: Are your lunches always served buffet-style?

LC: I hate it, but it is. I don’t like buffets. I rather you order what you want and I serve it nice on a plate for you. I like that better.

Q: So why do you do buffet?

LC: For the lunch customer, it is a quick thing. They can come in and we give them a cup of soup first and then they can go to the line leisurely or if they have a short time, they can get there in a hurry. The food is already prepared. It is better for lunch people because they get choices for one thing. We also have tuna salad, potato salad.

Q: Do you plan to eventually reopen for dinner?

LC: I am trying to open for dinner. Dinner is what I truly love. I wish I could serve breakfast and dinner. It is hard to do breakfast when you come against McDonald’s. I like leisurely breakfast. I am trying to do dinner ... I need more staff. I can produce this food between my grandson and me, but I need more staff.

Q: You married your husband in 1945 and his family owned the restaurant.

LC: My mother-in-law, she was a dynamo here. She was very unique. It is marvelous what she did here with no restaurant knowledge at all. She knew how to reach that bottom line. She knew how to make money, and she was a good cook. I worked in the French Quarter from 1942-45. I was a waitress. I loved waiting tables. I always wanted my own restaurant. Then I got married to Dooky. He had a big band then.

Q: Though there was segregation in New Orleans, I read that both blacks and whites ate at Dooky Chase.

LC: We had a strange place here. It was absolutely illegal for whites and blacks to eat together outside or entertain together. It sounds funny now. It was the law then and we just did it. But for some uncanny reason we always had whites come here. For political reasons this was the only place besides the churches they could meet with black people. If you were running for something and you were white and wanted to talk to black people, they would come here.

Q: How did the restaurant get to become a hangout for those in the civil rights movement in the 1960s?

LC: We were trying to integrate things through the NAACP. It was too slow and young people come with all kind of ideas. That is the good thing about young people — they have vision. They have very little to lose. So they would meet here and plan all of that over gumbo and fried chicken.

Q: Speaking of gumbo and fried chicken, are your patrons worried about cholesterol these days eating such heavy foods?

LC: No. People eat what they have to eat and then back off the next meal. That’s what you should do in life. For instance, growing up, we didn’t have fried chicken every day. We ate it only on Sunday so you would look forward to Sunday. You didn’t eat baked macaroni in the middle of the week — you would eat greens, rice and string beans, so you looked forward to Sunday when you had all the fancy extras. You got to do things in moderation.

Q: So I gather no one has asked you about cutting out trans fats?

LC: I go to the grocery, and if I see no fats on the label, I leave it on the shelf. I don’t know what the devil they did to take the fat out.
-- Susan King

Dooky Chase's Creole Gumbo
Note: This recipe has not been tested by The Times' Test Kitchen. Recipe from Chef Leah Chase

Ingredients
4 hard-shell crabs
1/2 pound chicken necks
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 pound chicken gizzard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons flour
6 chicken wings
1/2 pound Creole hot sausage
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound boneless veal stew meat
1 pound shrimp1 cup chopped onion
24 oysters in their liquid
4 quarts water1 1/2 pounds smoked ham
1 tablespoon file powder

Directions:
Place crabs, sausage cut into bite-sized pieces, stew meat and gizzards in a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Cover and let cook in own fat and juices for 30 minutes. Heat oil in skillet and add flour to make roux. Stir constantly until very brown. Lower heat, add onion and cook over low heat until onions wilt. Pour onion mixture over meat in pot. Slowly add water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Add chicken wings cut in half, necks skinned and cut, ham cubed, shrimp peeled and deveined, paprika, salt, garlic, parsley and thyme. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add oysters and liquid and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add file powder and stir well. Serve over rice.

Photo and Image : Walt Disney Co.


When the creators of Disney's 'Princess and the Frog' came to New Orleans in search of inspiration for their character Princess Tiana, locals pointed them into the direction of 87-year-old Leah Chase. The Creole chef known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine got to talking about her Louisiana upbringing, love for cooking and aspirations as a child to own her own restaurant. Never did she imagine that her life story would go on to inspire Disney to base their first black princess character on her; yet it did just that.

As hundreds of thousands of little girls poured out of movie theaters across the country, they walked away uplifted by a belief lived by her whole life, 'You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.' Chase may not be a household name outside of New Orleans, but her real life dreams, passions and accomplishments are in the hearts of any person who watches the film or buys 'Princess and the Frog: Tiana's Cookbook,' which Chase contributed to. After getting the chance to catch up with the fun spirited chef, it was easy to see why Disney became enamored with her real life Princess Tiana story and it's clear that when it comes to inspiring others, Chase is nowhere close to being finished.

How do you feel about being the inspiration behind this character?

I feel so grateful for that because I thought that was the nicest thing I've ever heard of. We've had these characters before and people like them but you can always feel good about yourself when you see somebody like you sometimes. That's what little black girls can see now; they can see a little black princess and that's uplifting for them. I have little girls who come and say "I want to be a cook just like you." It's beautiful how it has inspired a lot of little African-American girls. It got them thinking, "If I want a restaurant, if I want to cook, I can do that and I will do that." They know it's hard work and they know it's what you have to do to accomplish goals. I'm happy for that little movie. It really inspired a whole lot of people and it uplifted people-that is the most important thing to me-it uplifts people. It's just so beautiful.

Did the movie inspire you to create the recipes for the 'Princess and the Frog: Tiana's Cookbook'?
The movie inspired me to do more things, but I had all the recipes before. You know when you've been working in the kitchen as long as I've been-60 some years-you learn new things all the time and start from scratch. You start from what your mother teaches you and then if you like something you say you tweak it. Like if you meet people with other cultures and they talk about their food then you get ideas and you say, "That's nice but I'll do it my way." We call it 'Creolizing" everybody's idea. It's fun doing that.

Who has influenced your cooking the most?

I'll tell you that when I went to go work in this restaurant I knew how to cook because everyone that comes up in a home like I do is going to learn to cook whatever their mother cooks. So it was my mother and my mother-in-law was a good cook so you learn all kinds of things from the
people around you.
How would you describe your cooking?

For any chef, you cook the food that is you and what you're all about, and if people want to eat what I'm all about they come to me. If they want to eat Italian food and what other people are all about they go to other restaurants. I do down home cooking and just cooking that you would find in any kitchen and any home and people like that, so they come and eat it and enjoy it. It's good comfort food.

You've accomplished so much so far, what are your future goals?

You accomplish whatever you set your goals to. I never said I want to be this or I want to be that. Everyday I just do the things I like to do. I like to cook, I like to create new foods, I like to meet people and I like to feed people so that's what I do. If you do what you like and you do it well and you always have other people in mind, then you can succeed. It's never about you; it's about what you can do for somebody else. When I was coming up we were poor and didn't have much, but my Daddy gave us three things to live by: pray, work and do for others, but you had to do those three things in that order according to him. I found that all my life those three principles worked for me and I think it can work for anybody.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Retro Vintage 40's, 50's and 60's Plus Size Dresses!!









Its something so classic about a vintage dress. Its flirty, fun and feminie usually made with premium quality unlike the fashions of today. I love thrifting and hopping from one garage sale to another. I love the rush of finding treasure among "rubbish"...I also can appreciate the history associated with vintage. It tells a story, a symbol of that particular era. Ebay is a one stop shop to all things vintage and retro. These are a few faves, they are all offered in plus sizes. Some of these are actually vintage and some are vintage-inspired.

















You can find these sellers (the-collezioni ,hellodollee, bearflag135 ) and many others on eBay...



Friday, March 19, 2010

NY Giant Aaron Ross & Olympic Medalist Sanya Richards Get Married!

It’s a match made in championship history. Former Superbowl Champ Aaron Ross of the NY Giants and Olympic Gold Medalist in Track and Field Sanya Richards tied the knot recently in Austin, TX.
How cute is this???


For more pics and the details of their fabulous wedding click here:::

Thursday, March 18, 2010

House of Dereon Spring 2010...Finally threads for curvy girls!



These beautiful threads are from Beyonce's Spring 2010 House of Dereon line. I love how beautiful and breezy these pieces are...I love the background. I'd love to escape to wherever she took these photos. The view is breathtakingly gorgeous!!






I probably couldn't afford it but where can one purchase these?









Not a part of the Spring line, I just think this pic is hot!


~~~~~~~~
HOUSE OF DEREON:: CURVELICIOUS
Womens Plus Size Line
She finally has a line for real curvy/plus size women! YAY! After looking at the selections for "us" I wasn't impressed. Everything looks cheap and skankish, not classy and fabulous like some of the upscale stuff she has for the smaller chics...I probably wouldn't wear this dress. Beyonce I'm still a fan, but I think they can do better for the big girls. I'm just sayin'...
See for yourself curvy girls:::::

Monday, March 15, 2010

FEATURED CURVY GIRL:::Anansa Sims











Singersroom recently sat down with Anansa Sims, daughter of Supermodel Beverly Johnson and upcoming model in her own right. The ingĂ©nue has appeared in Essence Magazine and in an ad campaign for Ashley Stewart. She also bares all as a model for Curvation, a line of sexy and functional under-things. Anansa has modeling in her genes but she’s more than just a pretty face. Before she set her sights on taking the full figured modeling industry by storm, she earned her MBA and worked briefly as a financial analyst. The versatile beauty is taking the full-figured modeling industry by storm and intends to use her fame to be a positive role model to young women.

SR: Despite being the offspring of super-modeling royalty, you seem to be as humble as they come. How do you stay grounded?

Anansa: I’ve been fortunate because I haven’t really encountered any drama on set. I am a Christian so I always put God first and make important decisions with the help of family. I look up to my Mom as an example.

SR: What do you enjoy about modeling? Anansa: It’s a fun creative job and I really like the flexibility that you have in terms of your schedule. It’s also fun getting all glam and having your hair and makeup done. SR: Your mother was the first African-American model to grace the cover of American Vogue. Did she encourage you to follow in her footsteps?

Anansa: No she definitely discouraged it at first, before I had completed my education. Once I had that under my belt, she became very supportive of my decision to go into modeling. She’s happy for me now.

SR: You earned your MBA. Do you ever think about going into the corporate arena?

Anansa: I actually worked in a corporate position for a while as a financial analyst. Math has always come very easily to me ever since I was a kid. I consider going back to it in the future. It’s a good feeling to have something so solid to fall back on. For now I want to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to me as a plus sized model.

SR: What do you think about the term “plus sized?”

Anansa: I don’t think it’s offensive at all. I feel like it’s a positive sign that full figured modeling is taking off the way that it is. I’m glad that models with curves are gaining exposure.

SR: Which brands would you recommend for real women with real curves?

Anansa: I really love Ashley Stewart. They have cute, trendy pieces. The fit is always great and I feel confident, sexy and classy in their clothes.

SR: Are you involved in any charitable endeavors?

Anansa: Right now I’m getting involved with young women to encourage positive body image, safe sex and healthy eating and lifestyle choices. I also want to promote the importance of education to the next generation.

SR: What do you see in your future personally as well as professionally?

Anansa: I see myself married with a family in the future. I want to continue to grow in my career as a model and take on more projects and do magazine covers. I want to break barriers for full figured women of color. I’m also working on fashion and accessory lines.

SR: Anansa, you have brains, beauty and incredible lineage. How does it feel to be young, black and fabulous? Anansa: Oh, well first of all thank you. It feels great! Life is short. You have to enjoy it while you’re here. Keep God as the main focus and try not to sweat the small stuff.

http://www.singersroom.com/lifestyle/171/Anansa-Sims-Beauty-and-Brains


For Sims, the concern that plus-sized beauties lead unhealthy lives and contribute to obesity in our society is the exact type of mentality she hopes to change. She believes it’s this thought process that leads young women to eating disorders and unnecessary fixations with unattainable body types. To be “plus-size” in the modeling industry is everything over size 6. The average American woman wears a size 14.


Anansa’s favorite beauty products are:

Palmer’s Coco ButterYon-ka Cleansing facial

Carmex

Studio Tech Foundation – MAC

Woodwinked Eyeshadow-MAC

Sunbasque Sheertone Powder Blush-MAC

Buy all her favorites at The Beauty Beat Store
I love this look!!

Anansa Sims, daughter of Supermodel Beverly Johnson



(SORRY FOR THE BLURRY PIC:: I enlarged a thumbnail sized pic)

HOME-MADE HAIR CONDITIONERS



Avocado & Egg Yolk
Mash a small avocado and combine with an egg yolk. Apply to hair for 15 minutes, then rinse and wash your hair as usual. This is a great moisturizing mask for your hair.

Castor Oil & Egg Yolk
Mix an egg yolk with 2 teaspoons of castor oil and massage into your hair. Rinse and wash your hair as usual afterwards.

Sunflower & Wheatgerm Oil
Mix 1 cup of sunflower oil and 1 cup of wheat germ oil. Warm the mixture and massage it on the head and hair. Wash off with lukewarm water in which one tablespoon of lemon juice has been added.

Mayonnaise Conditioner
Apply 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to damp hair. Work into hair and then cover with a shower cap or towel for up to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo as usual.


Hair Care Tips - A guide to treating your hair right, handling it with care.
Common Hair Mistakes - Mistakes most people make, that can damage your hair condition.
How To Avoid Split Ends - How to treat and prevent your hair's worst enemy- Split Ends!
Hair Growing Tips - Want long hair in a hurry? The truth about instant hair growth.
Home Hair Care Tips - Save money, make your own homemade hair care treatments.
Diet And Healthy Hair - Eat your way to beautiful healthy hair.
Causes of Hair Damage - What causes damaged hair and how to avoid it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Savor chocolate. Save our planet.


CONSERVATION - THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE Who thought that chocolate would be healthy? There are constant studies being done all over the world that says just that. Dark Chocolate contains flavanoids that help blood vessels work more smoothly, perhaps reducing the risk of heart disease. Chocolate also acts as a powerful antioxidant, reducing dangerous free radicals at a higher rate than vitamin C or green tea.

FOR THE BODY

Chocolate contains antioxidants known as flavonoids which help protect against free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage.

Chocolate contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, including copper, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate contains minimal caffeine – a fraction of that in a cup of coffee.

70% cocoa or higher dark chocolate has a low glycemic index, meaning a smaller fluctuation in blood glucose and insulin levels than with other sweet foods. Be sure to read labels for other added sugars.

Endangered Species Chocolate is all-natural, meaning it contains no additives like chemical preservatives or artificial coloring and flavoring. Our organic-certified products are made using ingredients with no pesticides, growth hormones or other chemicals, maximizing the benefits of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

FOR THE SOUL

Eating chocolate releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical.
Chocolate is known as an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac. It contains a phenylethylamine, which can cause feelings similar to being “in love.”
Our own health can be connected to our compassion and generosity toward others. Feel good about indulging in Endangered Species Chocolate knowing that it helps support sustainable forest farming practices and gives back to conservation organizations.


10% of Net Profits, Donated to help support species, Habitat and Humanity!!

Visit the website::: http://www.chocolatebar.com/

REAL TALK::: Follow your heart...


Frank Morrison picture "Proud Divas"


If they talk about other people around you, they will also talk to other people about you. That is a fact.





I was blown away at a co-worker of mine who talked about someone who I thought was really her friend, like a dog. I couldn't believe how bad she was talking about her friend! I'm like yall just came back from a road trip and now you are calling her out of her name!! I was taken back a while ago, I've been giving her the side eye for a minute because she seems so phony. It really bothered me because she always has something negative to say about somebody. Something about her is different, I can't put my finger on it. She brings a different vibe to the room that I can't explain. I don't consider her a bestie because I only have two of those. My cousin BFF/ and my sister. We can chop it up and occasionally crack a joke but I never gave her my complete trust...I have decided to dissolve the ties. My gut is telling me to run. One thing about me is that when I am through with you its over! I will forgive you, pray for you but I will delete you like a Magic Eraser and NEVER look back! You better ask somebody!! Humph!! You will think everything is all good and you'll look up and my number has changed.



Ladies and gents don't subject yourself and your other "friends" to toxic people. Check them out and listen to your heart. Good people don't talk bad about their friends and then you look up and they are shopping and having lunch together. Quality not Quanity. I've had long friendships for a reason. I'm very loyal and will do anything for my friends. I take the bonds and memories we share very seriously. I expect the same in return. I don't have any actual factuals that suggest that I have been the topic of discussion...but when I get that feeling, I'm usually right.

Be good to those you love and cherish...or...you may look up and they will be gone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Congrats Monique!!




This picture speaks for itself!! You make us proud!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!


Dr. Seuss is a childhood favorite of mine. I love Dr. Seuss because he is a weirdo, like ME!! LOL!! Just kidding...he was a literary genius. His animated fictitious characters are awesome!! Have a bar-ba-loot-y day!! :)



Eggs with 2 drops of blue food coloring...yellow+blue=green.. Incorporates primary & secondary colors!! :)

Green Eggs..I have a few students who don't eat pork so no HAM... but they loved the eggs!!


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!! 3/2/2010 WE LOVE YOU!!!






Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Product Review::: Smart Balance


The essence of Smart Balance is its unique (in fact, patented) blend of natural vegetable oils. This blend doesn’t just avoid "bad" things like dietary cholesterol and trans fatty acids. It also works proactively, to provide your diet with the right balance of natural fats: a balance that can help you improve your blood cholesterol ratio. Our signature product, Smart Balance Buttery Spread (Regular and Light) brings this remarkable formula together with delicious buttery flavor and a wonderfully creamy texture.



Sunday Dinner...Fried Catfish....we cut out fried foods for a long time. After trying Smart Balance we don't feel so guilty if we want to fry something every once in a while. Everything in moderation.

Visit the website to see all of the many products they have. I love them all!!

http://www.smartbalance.com/SBNutFAQ.aspx

Monday, March 1, 2010

Curvy Girls UNITE!!


Jilly from Philly! Jill Scott
Monique




Whether you consider these ladies Plus Size, Curvy, Phat, Thick etc. they are all Beautiful!! If you have a little extra junk in the trunk ...thick in the waist and pretty in the face.... WERK what you got!! Keep it fabulous ladies!!


Mary Mary



Natasha Eubanks, founder of YBF









Raven Symone





Jasmine Sullivan






Angie Beyince (Beyonce's cousin/Assistant)






Chrisette Michele