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Monday, April 30, 2012

Inspiration Mondays: The David Bing Academy-The Thought Campaign

It's always inspiring when one wants to promote education. Especially when the education centers around finance which can lead to entrepreneurial greatness and community building!!!

Howard University(my Alma Mater) Alum, Omar McGee, owner of The David Bing Academy has a vision to "close the financial literacy gap within the minority community-at-large through education by providing a world-class environment for their students''. Set to open in Fall 2013 in South Central Los Angeles, California, the DBA public charter high school aim's to raise 5 million dollars to complete the school. As with anything every penny counts and you can DONATE HERE!!

Check out THE THOUGHT CAMPAIGN video now:

Let's not leave ANY child behind-BE INSPIRED!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blogilates 90 Day Challenge 5 Day check-in!

End of the first day: I'm feeling light and clean! I was able to eat all of the meals except one today. Unfortunately I didn't do the workout today because I felt like crap from traveling and whatnot...but I'm going to bed extra early to do the workout tomorrow!

End of second day: I don't know if it's the coffee(with soymilk) I had this morning or the workout but I was super psyched and pumped up today! I even came home and made all of my meals for tomorrow(because it's going to be very busy).....

And after shopping at three stores, I finally have everything I need. I like that the meal plan is vegetarian and vegan friendly, but next week I'm going to go totally dairy free-no eggs or yogurt. And I'm happy that I'm involuntarily removing sugar, bread, and cheese from my diet; something that I keep failing to do on my own....!

End of third day I'm sore to say the least, but am enjoying every minute of it! I had temptations of cake, cheese, and rolls-but I overcame them :) I'm most proud that I was able to compactly fit all of my meals for tomorrow(when I'll be traveling to Barcelona) into my bag! I'll just have to make smart choices for the other days while I'm there.-Great Workout!

End of four day(traveling): I was still sore and it felt so good, lol! I ate all of my food for the day, except one meal.Thanks to my Ipod and wifi, I was able to do my entire workout in my hotel room :)

End of fifth day(traveling): I ate almonds, fruit and yogurt throughout the day and my two large meals were salads-kinds sad and hungry today...But in 36 hours I'll be home and back to my normal routine!-didn't workout, will definitely go for a run tomorrow.

Meal Pics-forgive the pic quality, they were taken quickly using Photobooth...
Protein Pancakes-delish!!

Garbanzos and Fish-a spinach/tomato salad will accompany this

Quinoa, red peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blessed By the Blogosphere!

Last Tuesday at approximately 1am I was checking my blog and chatting with a friend on Skype when all of a sudden I saw the words: FREE 3 NIGHTS IN BARCELONA. Of course I almost fell out of my I quickly clicked on the title to the latest blog post by Addicted2etsy(posted 28 minutes prior) and found out that she'd booked 3 nights on Barcelona for the following weekend and ultimately was not going to be able to go NOR get her money back. As I read on I found out that Addicted2etsy was offering her 3 Nights in Barcelona to the first person to email reaction: o_O "wha, wha, what??!!"

Long story short: I emailed her and my mother(who just celebrated her 50th BIRTHDAY!!) and I will be enjoying the sun and sights of Barcelona this weekend thanks to the gracious offer made by Addicted2etsy. I'm so excited and feel extremely blessed. I'll be back in a few days with pics and commentary!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cleaning from the Inside Out with Blogilates-Inspiration Mondays

Today I'm embarking on a 90 Day Challenge(will start with 6 weeks-from now until I return home) to eat cleanly and workout on a daily basis. I've been working out on and off for the last 6 months and eating pastries consistently! I thought it was funny until I ripped my THIRD pair of jeans(Levi's Capital E-not cheap & my favs!!) last week in the butt area....Luckily I've been following Blogilates on Facebook and can do her fun workouts on YouTube at home(because it's cold and rainy out now) and follow her meal plan(vegetarian). I'm super excited! And I guess I have to stick with it since I just announced it to the world....Be INSPIRED!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Auxiliares de Conversación-My ticket to living in Spain

I remembered the other day that I have been blogging about my travels around Europe but have failed to write a post about how I arrived at the decision to come here and how I eventually got here! For starters, I've been learning Spanish for 16 years! Unfortunately while taking a break from college I didn't use any of the Spanish I'd learned and lost a lot of it. And for the past four years I've been trying to improve and learn Spanish all over again.
During the summer of 2010 I went to Middlebury College's Intensive 7 Week Language Course(more on that in another post). While I was there the director of my program suggested that I apply for North American Cultural Language Ambassadors. After much deliberation I applied, was accepted, and here I am! 
Program Details:
The online application is open from November-March each year. 
You must submit a list of documents including, but not limited to: Police background check, Health Clearance, Letters of Recommendation, etc.
You must be a native English speaker and are in or have finished college.
You are responsible for purchasing your own ticket to and from North America.
You are responsible for finding your own living quarters.
You should bring enough money to cover your first two months living expenses.
You receive a stipend of 700-1000 euros/month(deposited into your Spanish bank account).
Job Responsibilities:
You are an assistant NOT the main teacher.
You are responsible for creating English based cultural activities for your students.
These activities can range from listening to and translating a song in English to preparing restaurant role-play dialogues.
100% FREE HEALTHCARE: General, Optical, & Dental
You are in Europe-so TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL!!
You are in a position to learn or improve your Spanish.
You will meet and become lifelong friends with people from ALL over the world.

**I hope this little summary helps anyone interested in taking a break from their routine lives in order to travel and live abroad. If you have any questions, just contact me!**

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Black Gold as told by Mimi Fresh and Esperanza Spalding-More Inspiration!

Mimi Fresh posted about the men of Morocco as being Black Gold after her first trip there in March(when I met her). And coincidentally I just discovered the uplifting song, Black Gold, about Black(people of African descent) people by Esperanza Spalding. These two references reaffirm the importance of knowing where you came from and appreciating your rich ancestry. BE INSPIRED to look back in order to move forward!

Monday, April 16, 2012


This commercial is so good that I didn't realize that it was a commercial. I saw this on MimiFresh's Tumblr page. I swear it spoke to my soul....And after finding out that it was a commercial, I contemplated buying a pair of Nike's, lol! Then I realized that I could spend that money on a bus, plane, or train ticket! Enjoy!

Weekend Food-Berenjena Quemada(Burnt Eggplant)

Thanks to my friend, Camila(who has been to the Dominican Republic multiple times), we ate one of the most delicious, but messy, dishes that I've eaten in my life! The RECIPE is easy but takes time and patience. We started with rice, three small eggplants, and our homemade broth(onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and seasonings). After burning the eggplant over a live fire, we peeled it, added it to the broth, mashed it, and served it over rice with cornbread and salad on the side. Truly culinary perfection!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I was quoted on one of my fav fashion blogs!!!!-Addicted2Etsy

Last week, Addicted2Etsy had a giveaway contest and asked her readers to answer the question, "What would you rather spend your money on?". I don't normally enter these blog contests because the bloggers want you to follow them on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc...(it's too much work). But I entered this contest because of her question. You can read my answer in the picture above!

Also check out Addicted2Etsy for cool Etsy(online marketplace) finds!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vintage Shops-Madrid, Spain-Malasaña Neighborhood(Tribunal Metro)

What a wonderful find! I met this gorgeously dressed woman in the Sol neighborhood who, after a quick convo and photo shoot, directed me to the best neighborhood in Madrid, Malasaña, with streets lined with little boutiques and vintage shops! Note: most shops are closed during siesta(2-5:30).  I bought a several things for 5 euros in La Mona Checa-my favorite!!! I'll definitely be back. Check out THIS ARTICLE from a Spanish blogger. She interviewed the owners of Biba Vintage and The The Storage!
The List(Calle Velarde) 
1. Biba Vintage- Online Store
2. The The Storage
3. La Mona Checa-Blog
4. Miss Vintage-Blog
5. Magpie Vintage-Blog

My gracious guide to Madrid Vintageland!

Lense-less Glasses-9 euros

1930's war jacket-NOT FOR SALE

Magpie Vintage: Funky Jacket-dress thingy-19 euros

Calle Velarde, 2
Long, shimmery, button back skirt-5 euros!!

Long, hippy, halter dress-5 euros!!!

Poncho-25 euros; SOLD

Poncho 25 euros; Left in store....
Awesome painting of Spike Lee in a sneaker shop!

Monday, April 9, 2012

After the Rain SPRINGS Creativity!-Inspiration Monday

This weekend I finally finished making my first crochet bow tie! And my first curried lentil veggie patties. Also, I took a long walk around town soaking up the sun! What a relaxing way to end my Spring Break.

"After the rain we forget
We make sure we gain then we leave it
‘Cause were a nation of forgetters
Oh after the rain we pretend
It’s easier to begin without looking back"
After The Rain by Little Dragon

April 5th was my two month marker for my departure date from Spain; the countdown begins.....Bittersweet indeed

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Coachella-I'm coming for YA!

Honestly I've only known about the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California for the last two years....BUT, now that I know about it I MUST attend at least once in my life. Since I was a little girl I have been obsessed with Woodstock and more recently, Wattstax, and have always wanted to travel back in time to attend a multiple day concert(in the 60's and 70's). Besides the obvious appeal of seeing live music, the people are great subjects for photographic opportunities! I'm in Spain this April, but I have a date with Coachella 2013.....
photo credit

Friday, April 6, 2012

How I Feel Right Now.......Time Traveling(Inspiration)

Living in Europe has given me the fortunate opportunity to travel(a lot!!); with friends, family, and of course, by myself. I like to call it "Time Traveling". In four days I have spent 18 hours on a bus-alone, not speaking, only listening to Alice Coltrane to help me sleep.

Some of my relationships with my traveling partners have blossomed and some have diminished, but I'm embracing it all because "you live and learn" AND "you win some and you lose some", yadda, yadda, blah, blah...but I'm taking it all in and making sure that I manifest growth and positivity for the future.

 I haven't slept all day, awake with my thoughts of yesterday. Thinking about how being emotionally drained and freed at the same is mind-boggling....The last 24 hours have been time well spent reflecting on SELF, shedding layers, and polishing new ones. BE RENEWED-BE INSPIRED!!