Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Year in abridged review

What a year it's been! You know how I do, time to reflect on all the highlights of the year in preparation for the next. The cities I visit, addresses I reside in and bottom lines I possess may change, but God's goodness and love has been there the whole time and will continue to be and for that, I am grateful.

Let's have a look at my 2010, shall we?

January
- Brought in the new year at a south side basement party. Wouldn't have had it any other way. Did NYC and Dallas back-to-back (for work).

February - Hit Superbowl wknd in Miami (for work). Hit All-Star wknd in Dallas (for work), stayed for play... ah, the Rock Star Lifestyle. LOL! Splurged on restaurant week in the Chi & 2 of my best friends got new gigs. I love being surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, ambitious women.

March - Went to New York again (for work). Went on an impromptu trip to LA (for work).

April - Went back to LA (for work). Was the on-site day-of wedding coordinator for a co-worker/friend. (YAY!)

May - Sam graduated from college. Who has two thumbs and is the proudest big sister in the world? *this girl* I planned another successful girls trip, this time in Miami: to celebrate my & JP's belated bdays. Went to Orlando for my cousin's wedding a family vacation.

June - Chia's weddding in Chicago. Sam's 70's theme graduation party. Chill weekend with the Jones' in PawPaw, MI. Mo money @ the gig!

July - Family-focused-fourth of July in the Chi. NYC for work. Moved into a new apartment. Decorated said apartment. LOL!

August - Next-level KICKED it at my HS reunion. Ayanna's wedding in Homer Glen. New York (twice) for work. Las Vegas for work.

September - 5-day much-needed staycation over Labor Day weekend. LA for work.

October - My sister's mom lost her battle with cancer. May she rest in peace. And while God could have let my sister be unbearingly distraught, he instead provided us with a funeral entitled: When keeping it real goes wrong. God's got JOKES.

November - A Republican senator got elected to represent Illinois while our democratic President FROM ILLINOIS is in office (looked for Jesus in the Eastern sky). Celebrated 6 years with the gig. Went to LA for work. Did day-of coordinating for my second wedding. LOVED IT!!! Booked my 3rd wedding based off a referral from wedding number 2. (*drama voice* they love me. They really love me!)

December -Went to my first drag show for big sis's bday. Antithesis came to Chicago. YAY!!! Went to Memphis for work. Took the last week in December off work. Woot Woot!

2010 Donations

These are the organizations I've donated to in 2010. This post is not really for y'all, but more a note to self for when I do taxes.

1. Apostolic Faith Church
2. New Life Covenant Ministries
3. WY c/o 2000 Reunion Committee
4. Yele Haiti
5. American Cancer Society
6. Lupis Foundation
7. AIDS Foudation of Chicago
8. A friend's political campaign (is that tax deductible?)
9. Big Brothers Big Sisters
10. The Salvation Army (Ok, I just ran out of stuff to get to 10, but I'm not going to claim that $0.83 on my taxes. LOL!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tea's Top 10: Off Work Edition

I have 12 days off work. WOO HOO! Now you know I can't just ever saddown somewhere, so here are the Top 10 12 things I'm going to do while I'm at home. (No talk about me needing to relax. This stuff IS relaxing and I need lists, they make me feel better. I'm too old to fight it.)

I'll cross things out after I do them.

12. Do some service. (This could be #11, but if it's not, then yeah, I gotta get a volunteer project under my belt right quick)

11. (bonus) Rally the troops of orgs I sit on the board of to have clear goals, objectives, mtg times and event schedules

10. Cook and bake. It's so much easier to be domestic when you don't have to go to work

9. Go to the gym 2 lose these five lbs I've gained since the summer and all the cooking and baking I'll be indulging in.

8. Transfer all this dang music to my iTunes.

7. Have a dumb long conversation on the phone. You know those 2, 3 hr, hold on let me put my phone on the charger conversations? yeah, 1 of those

6. Brunch (or drinks or something) with my bff.

5. Write about a month's worth of blogs

4. Figure out when I'm taking this ski trip. WHERE I'm taking this ski trip and with whom the ski trip shall be taken. :-)

3. Bring the New Year in with my fam and faves (+ @thewholehood who'll be at the Kevin Hart show. LOL!)

2. Write 2011's goals.

1. SPEND TIME WITH THE FAM!!!!!! Baby brother's home & I should probbly scoop my baby niece one of these days.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oopsie

I forgot to plan blog posts for the rest of the year. If you hadn't noticed I've finally caught up from doing the 30 day posts. I'm also stupid busy, so no time to think, proof or post.

Sorry to leave you hanging, but my end of year recap will be coming up soon, followed by some money updates for the year 2010. Other than that, my lack of posts is in no way related to how much I love you all. I love you lots!!! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

She Got Raheem DeVaughn'd

Since we're already talking about sex, let's just keep the party going, shall we? Raheem DeVaughn has a new video out [about cheating] where it shows him getting busy with a pretty voluptuous sister all over his hotel room.

I thought it was a hot little video. I also think if I have children, they won't be using the TV OR internet without adult supervision since there's soft pr0n on Youtube now. But nevermind what I think, apparently women are going ape shit over it. Saying things like I miss I was getting it like that (Why aren't you?) and Wow, I never looked at Raheem like that before (and you shouldn't have, he's not attractive).

Folks are asking WHY he did the video (why does anyone do anything?), why women are going gaga over it (Why wouldn't they, people went crazy over the Single Ladies video and that was basic, super duper easy choreography from the '60s)

Again, because of the internet, blogs, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook we now know how everyone feels about EVERY single thing and some people are confused about the love for this video. To that, I say, get over it and who cares?

Can you imagine if social media was created when Pleasure Principle came out. Folks would have lost their minds.

Another pointless post brought to you by well... nothing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The "P" Word

Lord knows I hate that word, but let's talk about it, shall we.

Missy came out with a song talmbout P**** don't fail me now and it was like the summer anthem of whatever summer that was. And even now when it comes on late in the club, hotel rooms keys are exchanged and bbm messages are sent. That song is a banger, no pun intended.

So Ms. Keri BABY comes out with a song dropping the P word and the F word all over the place and gyrating her woman parts all over the place and everyone is mad at her. She said something like she has the kind of good-good that'll keep a man out of the streets and folks are really going hard saying it takes more than that to keep a man. I'm pretty sure it's a 5-minute song about sex, not a dissertation on keeping your man. Again, Missy said "I gotta turn this brother out, so he don't want nobody else" and there were minimal to no complaints.

Let me also point out, Beyonce hasn't worn pants in 5 years and no one's mad at that. Missy had the don't fail me now song and no one's mad at that. Tweet had a song about pleasuring one's self (Ooops, oh my) and no one's mad at that?

Why are we so angry at Keri Hilson? I mean, if we want to be mad at her it should be for the blond hair that looks like she let KiKi from off the block do it, not because she's talking about sex and humping a bank volt.

The same way the 24-hr news cycle makes CNN talk about dumb stuff, the popularity of blogging is making us discuss things that really don't matter atall. Hence all the blogs and comments I've seen about Keri Hilson AND my blog post in response to it.

If Keri wants to be nasty out loud, I say more power to her.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Impasse

Christmas is stressing me out. No, not the birth of Jesus, the gift-giving. I don't recall ever considering NOT getting people Christmas gifts. I usually just fork up the credit card (CC) and keep the party going.

This year, as I took a realistic look at my finances (thanks for taking this journey with me), I saved more than I ever had before and I don't mean saved like the dress was 40% off. I mean saved like put money in an account and didn't touch it. I also sacrificed good times more than ever before and paid more on my CC than ever before.

Side note: the fact that I sacrificed good times is really funny because I had SO many good times. Let that be a note to self when I have to skip something. There will be other fun stuff (unless I die).

I digress.

I won't make my goal of paying my cards down to 0-20% in 2010, but I'm crazy proud of the strides I've made and the social and financial discipline I've built up to make 2011 even better at the bank.

Logical Tea Says:
"Forget buying all these presents. Even if you spend cash, you'll be taking it away from saving. You sacrificed all year skipping bday parties and Monday Night Football just to be Santa frickin' Claus on December 25th. Plus, Christmas isn't even about gifts. It's about Jesus, the birth of the Savior of your faith. It's about praising him, celebrating his birth and celebrating that time with friends and loved ones.

While it may seem selfish to not buy gifts, you have to start being disciplined somewhere. You have to put your foot down and make a decision to do better. And if you don't do it going into 2011, when will you do it. Your family will understand. You have to put yourself first. You're going to regret not saving for yourself more than you'll regret not buying gifts for your family."

Emotional Tea Says
"You make more money this year than you ever have before. If ever there was a time to be frivolous on gifts, this is the time. You put the "t" in Santa Claus. Of course, the holiday is about Jesus, which is why we sing happy birthday to him before we open OUR gifts. You know everyone else in the family is struggling with finances, why not help make their holiday bright? Everyone is counting on YOU to come through. You ALWAYS come through. Plus, it's not like I'm asking you to use a CC, just grab some money out of your savings, no big deal.

You're going to feel like boo-boo the fool on Christmas morning if you haven't bought gifts for people. Especially, the kids. The kids don't understand "recession" and they shouldn't have to because you're extremely blessed and you should bless others. The recession skipped your door. Plus this is the season of giving, it's not about you and your CC debt. It's about others. Spend money on others. You're going to regret not buying gifts for your family more than you would not saving for yourself."


So two questions.
1. What do you think I SHOULD do?
2. What do you think I am GOING to do? (These could be different)

And final note there is a reason logical is in black and emotional is in red. It looks like my damn balance sheet.

Friday, December 10, 2010

T & A Do Chicago

Antithesis is visiting Chicago this weekend and I'm hosting. YAY!!! She's never been to the Chi, so she was like *cue Drake* Show Me a Good Time. LOL! Here's what's on the docket

Friday
Portillo's (lunch)
Speed Dating This only happens on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Womp.
Giordano's (dinner)
Mass pre-gaming at my crib (or the crib of a homie)
Steph's bday party at Wells on Wells #northside
Clubbing at The Shrine #southside
Harold's Chicken (late night)

Saturday
Brunch with the boos at Feast
Sprinkles cupcakes
The Magnificent Mile
Macy's on State Street
Garrett's Popcorn on State Street
WHERE SHOULD WE GO FOR LUNCH/DINNER?
Club Target
Shedd Acquarium
Brit's Comedy Show

Sunday
Ann Sathers for breakfast
Church at New Life Covenant
Lunch
Bears Game at a bar somewhere (for me)
Home (maybe)
Cowboys Game at a bar somewhere (for antithesis *eyeroll*)

Sears Tower Skydeck
The Baking Lab in Ukranian Village
Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo


There's not enough time for all the sights of my glorious city... Especially during football season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

You, Yes You



OMG! I just had the best idea in life. YOU, my blog readers are all going to hook me up on a date. You read this blog every day (or you know, every once in a while). You know my dating woes, you know what I'm looking for. You know single men.

YES! YES! YES! This is genius. If I don't have a man by the time this posts (UPDATE: I don't) YOU are in charge of hooking me up on a blind date. The only rule is that he has to have a job and you have to KNOW him and think that he's a good match for me.

He can be in any city, any state. Hell he could be in another country and I'll make it happen if you think it's a match. He can be any body type and any height. I'm SO serious. If you want you can even write a guest blog post about the experience. Please? Please? Please? (This is me begging, take a picture, it doesn't happen often) So... (in alphabetical order)

Antithesis
B
Kidd
Lauren
Nerdgirl
PJD &
South Loop Social Light

What say you?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Randomness

I was consulting a friend one day. I had professional info for her and she had dating info for me. Here's some tidbits she dropped on me.

- Volunteer to meet men. That's where she met her boo. (Real talk, I really need to just join a church and get involved in ministry and stop playing, but that's another post. I just joined New Life Covenant on Sunday. YAY!)
- Take my list of standards, then cross something off of it and see if that opens up the pool. Not a non-negotiable, just a preference
- Dating sites and matchmakers and speeddating and the like are investments into my happiness (at this point I was basically screaming "preach youngin!!!")
- Your strength is what makes you you. Don't downplay that, we just have to find someone who is stronger than you
- (My favorite thing she said) I'm going to keep my eye open for you.

Anyone drop any good dating knowledge on you that was like an aha moment?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can I Get a Break?

Ok, married, engaged and boo-up friends, can I ask y'all for a favor? Countless non-single friends will be out with me and say, "there are a lot of single men here you should go talk to some of them." This would be fine at a bbq or get together, but out at a club or bar, it just makes me look thirsty.

These same friends have men who picked them out of millions of other women and their men think they are the best thing since sliced bread (and I love every minute of that). How did I become handicapped to the point that I'm expected to not have that same luxury (of a man picking me)?

Let's take a look at everything I've done in recent history to make myself open and available for a meaningful relationship:

10. Worked continuously on making myself a better person (gotta bring a whole person to a relationship, not a broken one)
9. Consulted Big T
8. Harassed my married friend about their husbands brothers and groomsmen
7. Read countless worthless books
6. Match.com
5. The Essence Blind Date Challenge
4. Dated ugly, fat and dumb men b/c all their other characteristics lined up (never again)
3. Reached back to men I KNOW I don't get along with hoping it was ME and not them (it wasn't me)
2. Kept in touch with known assholes thinking maybe it's the best I can do (it's not, I can do better) Side note: I also think every asshole I ever dated might have a cute friend who could work out some years down the line after folks are "over it," so I'm keeping in touch for that reason as well
1. Flirted with every attractive man I see without a ring (seriously, every single one)

I feel like when dudes don't approach me when we're out they either have girlfriends, aren't interested or have some other problem/issue that prevented them from approaching me. Also, if they don't think I'm the belle of the ball, it's probably not going to work anyway.

I love y'all. I'm just want to make a little deal with you lest you continue unknowingly hurting my feelings and constantly reminding me how single I am.

So how about, you all don't push me to be thirsty at the club, at weddings, at Home Depot, Borders, the grocery store and on the CTA and I won't ask when you're getting married, having kids, off birth control, or other uber-personal and off-putting questions. Cool? Cool!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What Does Beauty Mean To You

Someone asked me "How important is beauty to you?" I said something like "very" or "extremely" and left it at that.

It immediately occurred to me after the conversation, that I didn't speak about any of the sappy crap they teach you in school and at church and on Disney movies about how beauty comes from within.

I didn't think about people's hearts and spirits.

Nope, I was thinking about MAC make-up and long flowy hair and pointy toe pumps and frilly summer dresses. I thought about how my auntie calls me pretty girl and my uncle calls me glamour girl and I thought about how my mom flipped her lid when she found out I'd blown up to a size 6 in college.

I thought about how my grandma is SO into photos. And how the whole rest of the family will crowd around a digital camera to make sure just they look right, nevermind everyone else.

I thought about pretty body parts, calves and stomachs and pedicured toes (and y'all know I hate feet).

I thought about diamonds and Harleys and what the kids will look like. He has to be fine (and his parents should be fine too). Think about the kids.

Looking back, even though I gave an honest answer, I don't know that I gave the best answer and to that I say: Ooh wee. I have a lot of growing to do, but I'm working on it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Call Me Program

I got this information from a brochure at the CWAP annual conference. This is for teens and young adults who have questions about sex and the like. Pass it on to a young person (or if you're a teen, this is for you.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you have questions about your sexual health or HIV? Get help from a young adult just like you.

About the Call Me Program
The Call Me program is committed to providing peer support that educates and empowers young adults in South Chicagoland and NW Indiana areas to acquire accurate information about sexual wellness and testing for HIV and sexually tranmitted infections. We also aim to provide peer support and accurate information about treatment option to HIV positive persons and those with sexually transmitted infections.

Services provided by Peer Advocates
One on one mentoring whether you are newly diagnosed with HIV, don't know your status, or have had HIV for a long time.

Our peer advocates will help you to understand everything that you need to know about a diagnosis of HIV including transmission, where to seek treatment, medications, and how to tell family and sexual partners about a new diagnosis.

Finally, our peer advocates will help you realize the goal of "Living Positively." Living Positively means accepting an HIV positive status, keeping us with your treatment plan, and forming relationship relationships and community with other young people who are living are HIV.

To connect with a Peer Advocate or to learn more call:

773-702-6176

presented by
Comer Children's Hospital and the University of Chicago
Pediatric & Adolescent HIV/AIDS Care Team

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Don't Wanna Go!!!!

Ah, the winter months. My bed is more comfortable and the descent to work is more painful. Do you procrastinate in the morning doing things that need to be done, but that could definitely happen at another time to keep the journey to work as far away as possible. I do. Here are the top 10 things I do to slow down in the morning

10. Clean (washing dishes, sorting laundry, actually making up my bed, deep cleaning the bathroom, reorganizing my closet, anything to not go to work)
9. Take an extra long time with devotion. I mess around and print off names of Congress and pray for everyone and their family individually (ok, I've never done this, but you get the point, extra long devotion)
8. Balance my checkbook
7. Deep condition my hair
6. Check flight costs for my next vacation
5. Sort through my e-mail
4. Check Facebook, Twitter and read blogs
3. Cook breakfast
2. Watch the news for an extended amount of time
1. Write blog posts

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Hair is Finnicky

Is finnicky a word? Doesn't matter, you know what I mean. I don't think we've talked about hair in a while, but at the onset of fall my hair started to get really dry. What I hadn't realized is that I also stopped using my Burts Bees Raspberry & Brazil nut conditioner around that time because it's so hard to find in stores.

I tried larger 2-strand twists for a different, more manageable look. Then I tried other products that my friends suggeted and that I could actually find in stores. (I always forget to go to the beauty supply store when I'm in a black neighborhood. Sad.)

Here's some stuff I tried.
Motion's Leave-In Conditioner - Wack
Carol's Daugher Black Vanilla Leave-In - Extra wack (but it smells great)

Here's my no-fail routine as of late.
Deep condition with a homemade mix of eggs, melted honey and olive oil. Rinse. Comb through with Trader Joe's Nourish Spa conditioner. Rinse. Wash with Raspberry & Brazil Nut Shampoo. Rinse. Pre-condition with olive oil (to seal in moisture), do not rinse out. Condition with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo, do not rinse out. Two strand twist hair, add Fantasia IC Gel to each twist to hold it in place.

A friend told me that the only difference between conditioner and leave-in conditioner is the concentration. So when my hair gets dry I should just leave regular conditioner in it. This has worked well for me. I also straightened my hair this weekend so I could get my ends clipped and I think this will help with dry ends.

What's your hair care regimen? What products can your hair not live without?