Tag Archives: love

Best Wishes, Ciara & Russ! I’m Still Smiling

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Last Minute Luxe: Valentine’s Day Gift Flip

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Holiday Sanity in Five

Holiday Sanity in Five

Holiday Sanity in Five

The holidays haven’t always been happy for me. It’s the stress, man! My wallet and I are pulled in so many directions. Thanksgiving groceries. Décor. Cleaning service. Number one daughter’s birthday (and you know children are never inexpensive no matter how old). Christmas gifts. Tree. Ornaments. And lest I forget, I have to purchase plane tickets for myself, my daughter…and my dog. See what I mean? Stress, man!

I know you can’t combat it by saying “f@#$ this” and sit on your ass sipping Bailey’s until January 4, but there are definite ways you can significantly reduce stress and its SOB cousins—headache, anxiety attacks and back pain. I tried all of them and they really work. It all begins with an attitude adjustment.

  1. Focus on the reason for the season. No, seriously. Hear me out. Thanksgiving is a holiday developed for us to give thanks for our blessings. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. That’s it. Nothing more. Nowhere in those two descriptions is the crafting of the perfect tablescape or getting your kid’s teacher a gift that puts all other parents’ gifts to shame. Have you ever really shed a tear (thug or otherwise) because you didn’t get a scarf from your Aunt Sylvia? I doubt it and if the recipients/guests/whomever don’t give a damn just like you didn’t, why should you as the giver? Tell somebody you love ‘em. Go to church and bring someone with you. Volunteer your time. Change your focus and get your merry back.
  2. Between November 1 and January 3, plan some out-of-the-home activities that are purely for your enjoyment. It can’t be a service project, a “required” holiday party or involve people under 21. This Thanksgiving Eve, I went to City Winery for a performance by Musiq Soulchild. It was only a couple of hours away from the kitchen but it felt like I was miles away. I’m not a super fan but I love live music and I felt the weight lifting off my shoulders as he sang some of his old hits and transported me to back in the day. Whether it is a concert, ice-skating at the park or a night at the movies, do something selfishly fun outside.
  3. If you work a corporate gig, under no circumstances should you use your vacation time for the holidays. Work straight through and schedule off time after the holidays when all of the relatives are gone. While everyone else is back at the grind on Monday, you’ll be walking through your house buck naked and fancy free. But how do I get everything cooked/bought/done? Go back and read number one. Anything that can’t be cooked or picked up the week before, after work or before a reasonable bedtime, doesn’t need to be. I stuck by this rule this Thanksgiving, despite my propensity to always do way too much. My blood pressure thanks me.
  4. Take care of yourself. Get a massage or mani/pedi. Gift yourself some lash extensions. You don’t have a lot of cash? Take a bath with pretty, smell goods at least twice a month then. Give yourself a facial while listening to the music you like. Actually read your fashion magazines that are collecting dust. Self-care is how you ensure that you are around to take care of others. Find a way.
  5. Say no. I know it’s popular nowadays to say yes. I love Shonda Rhimes and I get it, but I would adjust her Year of Yes to Ten Months of Yes. “Say yes” January through October and then “shout no” for November throughout December. No, I can’t make it to your party. No, I’m not buying everyone with a pulse a gift. No, I’m not cooking a turkey, a ham, a duck and lamb chops. No, no, no. Say yes to self-care. Say yes to your sanity. Say yes to your savings account.

Implement these tips and watch your holiday cheer return. That usual harried pace will be transformed into a very zen stroll. Last, but never least, champagne!

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A Successful Relationship in Four Easy Steps

Relationship advice springs eternal. Almost anyone (well, actually any man) has a platform from which to pontificate. Most of this advice is aimed at teaching women how to behave in order to garner the attention of a worthy mate (surprise, surprise). This strategy of dropping unwelcome counsel into women’s laps like an unwanted dick pic has launched careers and built multi-media fortunes.

As I surveyed the landscape, I realized that I’ve got shit to say and I want some money too. So, I am jumping into the fray and offering my own gems. I’m dropping this science on you because I couldn’t possibly be any less qualified than let’s say…a couple of comedians.

My philosophy is based upon the age-old tenets of “hear, see, and speak no evil” with one important addition – “think no evil.”

  1. Hear no evil. Do not listen to ANYONE, including you.
  2. See no evil. Why waste your time trying to unlock his iPhone? Stalk his social media? For what? Summer is fast approaching. Your time will be better spent pinning that hot, new pair of Brian Atwood sandals.
  3. Speak no evil. Don’t argue with your man about what you’ve heard from this one or that one. Don’t say a thing about that girl’s comment on his Instagram post. If you feel yourself needing to speak, go back and refer to #1 and #2.
  4. Think no evil. This is by far the most important of all the commandments. If you allow your mind to be as empty as the size 9½ rack at the Nordstrom shoe sale, you have absolutely NO material to use to break #1, #2 or #3. Mental laziness saves relationships.

Before you start with all your judgment and questions, like…

dd-infographic-3-30-15-699x654“This is ridiculous!”

“I have my own mind!”

“Does she know about the prevalence of STDs?”

“This is America! I have freedom of speech!”

“Is she even in a relationship?”

 

You should take a long, introspective look back at your own dating and relationship history. Where has all that sight, sound, speech and thought really gotten you? It didn’t stop him from cheating. It didn’t save the relationship. Did it?

Most women can think of at least 20 things that they can do right now with the time spent obsessing over some perceived wrong. Notice that I didn’t say productive things. Being productive is irrelevant. I’m just saying that I’d rather go old school and contemplate my navel or maybe peruse coveteur.com ad nauseum before I waste a single second of my precious life wondering if my sig O is cheating. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn’t. But you know what? If you weren’t so busy seeing, hearing, speaking and thinking, you wouldn’t even know or care.

My friend and I were chatting one day about men and cheating and relationships and whatnot. Of course, I blessed her with my keys to relationship success.

Friend:   I’m the opposite. If I think I know something, I need to try my best confirm it and prove I’m not crazy.

Me:    (with a knowing, supportive smile) But if you’re not thinking, you know nothing and thereby have nothing to prove.”

I already know I’m not crazy. There’s nothing to prove.

Let me know what you think. If I disagree, I’ll let you know. 😉 dd.

 

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Last Minute Vacation Planning Tips for Procrastinators and Everyone Else

Him:         Hey Babes.Keisha's roadside spot

Me:           Yeah Babes?

(Yeah, we call each other Babes with an ‘s.’)

Him:         I think we should get outta town for New Year, maybe something tropical.

Me:           Babes, do you know it’s December 18?

Him:         Yeah.

Me:           Do you know people usually book New Year’s eve vacays a year ahead?

Him:         You can do it.

Planet-tails!Him was right. I can and I did. I’m an odd combination of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and anal-retentive-nosey AF-planner-extraordinaire. So although I found this task to be daunting, I was up for the challenge.

As I spent every waking moment between December 18 and the day we booked our accommodations searching and planning, I couldn’t help but learn a few things:

1) Bring sand to the beach. Or nah. I prefer to know the person I’m going to kiss at midnight. I don’t want to share my hope and plans for the new year with a random. I enjoy the excited usies and bottomless champagne on the flights. I love basking in the shared afterglow on the flight home. But hell, if you like strange, you know I won’t judge you.

2) Don’t get stuck on a certain location. If you only have two weeks tops to make a New Year vacation come true, you can’t afford to be rigid. Expand your horizons. Watch Anthony Bourdain. To be perfectly clear, read on for #3.

3) Think outside the Caribbean. Like I said, don’t get stuck on a location. Americans often act as if the world just drops off after the Caribbean islands. It doesn’t. I know the islands are close and that you won’t have to use as much vacation time from work to travel there. When I began my hunt for vacancies, I started in the Caribbean for that very reason. I got lucky and found a lovely ocean front condo in Jamaica. However, it was the ONLY accommodation I could find that was up to my standards on the entire island. Repeat. The ONLY. I just got lucky. Don’t rely on luck though. I was open to Colombia, Argentina, and I’m always open to Thailand, but like I said… I. Just. Got. Lucky.

4) No room at ANY of the inns? Go rogue. An alternative to the resort is the vacation rental market. Websites like homeaway.com allow you to rent beach houses, condos or whatever you require all over the world. The site has photos, reviews, maps and more – everything you need for due diligence. My accommodations were in theory part of a resort with its own private beach. In reality, it was just an upscale condo that we rented from the owner. I used the site for the first time for this trip and it was a lifesaver.Michelle!

5) When you snooze, you sometimes lose. So you are successful with lodging, but what about the rest? Anybody who’s ever waited until the last minute to try to make NYE party or dinner reservations, even in your own town, knows it can be close to not happening never. Try booking a local chef. I employed the services of a true gem of a lady, Michelle. She cooked a couple of meals per day while I gallivanted on the beach. I’d come home to authentic Jamaican food and a clean condo. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

6) Lounge. Thank me later. Holiday travel is too unbelievably exhausting and the entire airline industry hates you. Seek comforts wherever you can even if you have to just throw money at it. If you aren’t already a member of some airline’s lounge club thing, entry is usually extended with the purchase of a business or first class ticket. You can also buy one-day passes. Do whatever you can. Did I mention the “free” drinks?

Since you’re reading this, I know you’re in a hurry and have no time to waste. Let me know if any of this helped. Also, do you have any tips? I’m sure this last minute trip won’t be my last.

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