To the New Year- What, What

Every year I like to think that things will be different than the prior year. That this year will be my year. Often, I get disappointed. Then again, I have to remind myself that things can only change if I do things differently. A simple feeling that 2014 will be an awesome year for me isn’t enough. I must put actions into place that will make the difference. In other words, I need a game plan and I need to follow it. So in 2014 what do I want to happen? Whats my game plan?

  • Publish my novel- I have two novels I completed and  I want to start with one and get it out there as an ebook (for now). I have my publishing/editing/marketing plan already written out. I have the money saved. I will start with sending my work to an editing group I found in January. I will have my book epublished in 2014 then paperback
  • Run a 5k straight through- I am always close but no cigar. Right now I had to take a break because my knee joints are killing me but if I-
  • Lose 10-15 pounds- perhaps the lighter weight will make it easier on my joints when I jog. I will reduce my calorie intake and increase my weight usage to get toned up and speed up my metabolism
  • Move- I already put my notice in. I’ve been in my apartment for almost three years. Not to fond of it any more. Ready to move on. Maybe even to getting my first property. I have an agent in mind and I set a date for when I will make the decision to buy or just move on to another rental. Of course this is all affected by the fact that I also must-
  • Get a new car- my old reliable, barely over 6 years old keeps costing me money. My latest estimate for repairs is 1400. *insert curse word* I’ve already had to pay $1000 in repairs and $500 when my car was broken in to this year alone and now to end off the year folks want more! I’ve known people who have had cars for 10-20 years and I can’t believe they are paying this kind of money back to back. So far I am underwhelmed with Nissans so I’ll be looking for a new make of car for 2014.
  • Travel- I can’t go a year without traveling even if it’s local. I already have my Jamaica trip set now I am trying to decide between Essence Music Festival or Caribana but as I have just said above, traveling more maybe an extra goal because getting a car, moving and publishing my book are first but if there is any cash left, I’m going somewhere else in 2014 even if its another road trip to NYC.

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    My Year in Pictures

    Well the good, fun part of my year in pictures. This has actually been a less than stellar year for me but I am trying not to focus on that and instead present a recap of the fun things I did this year. Here we go, in no order at all (#lazygal):

    I went to Brussels!

     and Amsterdam

     I finally saw the Cherry Blossoms
     Got some new glasses cause my vision is trying to act out

    Hung out with my closest pals for my bday

    Joined Instagram and have become a selfie addict

    Rung in the new year with my gals

     went to Miami

     with my sissy!

     got furloughed (yeah this isn’t so good but we got our money back so in the end it was a nice time off)
     cooked and baked a lot (gingerbread iced cookies)

     finally got to dress as Lt. Uhura for Halloween

    Met new friends this year and am having a blast out in DC

     Saw Jesse Jackson speak

    hung out with pals for my sissy’s bday

    went to NYC (again, love it)

    made a great seafood pasta

     and candied pecans

     and fried scallops and spinach

     out for a thanksgiving party feeling fabulous.
     
    I had some bad times this year but 2013 wasn’t too bad. Nice to have some memories in pictures!

    Tis the Season…Dang it!

    Not sure why but this gal is not as in the Christmas spirit as she usually is (perhaps its because I am talking about myself in the third person- let’s stop that). I have some suspicions regarding why I am feeling more Grinch than Whovian but I will fight it and get myself together. I have only a few days and I will think of the things that put me in the sprit so I have a list (yes, another list). Follow me now:

    1. Fruitcake- yes most folk don’t care for this dessert but I actually really love it. I haven’t had any this year  so perhaps this is why my spirit hasn’t hit yet
    2. Christmas lights- they set a special mood for me and I’m like a kid again
    3. Baking- nuff said, let me add- and eating what I bake
    4. Giving- Around Christmas I am like the Godfather on the day of his daughter’s wedding and will pretty much say yes to anything you ask for (within reason) with regard to a charity. So if someone is asking for money to help those in need, I’m like okay! I have given to St. Judes so many times this past month that I lost count
    5. Getting sparkly- I love all the holiday parties and gatherings with friends. And I love getting fancied up (yes I made it into a verb) to get out and about, sip cute drinks and take an annoying amount of selfies
    6. Going to the movies- every year I go see a movie on Christmas day with some of my family. I so want to see the new Hobbit movie but I can’t trick anyone into going with me this year like I did in previous years with the Lord of the Rings movies. Le sigh
    7. Christmas music- It just gives me the warm and fuzzies all over. Especially Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas
    8. Mac and Cheese- (the baked kind) yes I know I can eat it any time but my mom only makes it during the holiday and that’s the best kind, period. She has told me that she will not be making it this Christmas because she made it for Thanksgiving. The sadness of it all.
    9. Snow-  I love it. As long as I don’t have to drive in it. Then I hate it.
    10. Gifts- No list would be right without it. Now that I am an adult I am not as huge on receiving gifts (let me clarify- I want gifts but I’m not picky on what it is, just something thoughtful). I no longer have a Christmas list. What I do like now, and have always liked really ever since I would go shopping to Rite Aid as a 10 year old to get my parents their gifts with my little piece of allowance, is shopping for others. I love getting family, friends and charity gifts. I really just love shopping- for myself, for others. In another life I could be a personal shopper/stylist.

    Okay good people. I hope you’re in the Christmas spirit and I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Tis the season for holiday movies

    So when it comes to the Christmas spirit outside of the all important religious story/message, the holiday lights (oh how I love me some Christmas lights), the warm drinks and food, songs and of course presents what else does a gal like to do to put her in the holiday spirit? Watch holiday movies of course! I love em even the corny Hallmark/Lifetime/ABCfamily ones. I also love the cartoons, especially the old stop motion ones. Here is my list of m favorite holiday movies/cartoons that I must watch each and every Christmas to put me in the spirit:

    • Love Actually– Although it seems move like a Valentine movie, it is set around Christmas. I found the intertwining love stories realistic and touching. And a gal loves a British accent. It’s also fun seeing some of the stars in it before they made it big (check out dudes from Walking Dead and Twelve years a Slave)
    • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas- the cartoon, not the movie, sorry, I love Dr. Seuss and I love the message it gives- it’s not about the decorations and presents, it’s about being together and celebrating the bigger message.
    • Scrooged- I could watch a Christmas Carol told in 10, 000 different ways but somehow this version always entertains me the most. Bill Murray is a hoot and the future ghost is the scariest one I’ve ever seen which feeds my horror fan need.
    • Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer/Santa Claus is Coming to Town/The Year Without a Santa Claus- Pretty much any stop motion cartoon (except Nestor the Christmas donkey- that was just unnecessary)
    • Scrooge- I am referring to the 1970s musical version. This is one of my fav songs from the movie.  Granted they are singing this in the future version at Scrooge’s death while they dance and sing on his coffin but the song is too catchy!

    So not Top 40

    Inspired by deep honey’s blog post I decided to do a list of my own of songs that I really like (not just out this year) that you just don’t hear on your top 40 radios. Hey, alternative, neo soul and so forth need love too!

    1. K-OS- He’s one of those rap artist/singers that you’ve heard in the background of commercials and tv shows/movies but didn’t know who it was. Some of my favs from him are Crabbuckit, Sunday Morning, Man I Used to Be
    2. Lykki Li- It’s hard to describe her music, it can be random. Sometimes Pop, RnBish. Some of my favorites are,  I Follow Rivers, Little Bit (with Drake), Get Some
    3. The Heavy- How You Like Me Now– You have heard this song everywhere except the radio. Why? This song is awesome! Feel like doing a James Brown dance to this…but I won’t.
    4. Santigold- This girl right chere, she is crazy and by crazy I mean good. Alternative pop artist. Love it! My favs- L.e.s ArtistesLights Out, Go
    5. Goldfrapp- Best way to describe her- alternative, pop, dance and another artist you hear in commercials- favs-O0h La La, Strict Machine
    6. Frou Frou- cool breezy, alternative/adult contemporary type- my favs- Breathe In, Let Go
    7. Noisettes- Rock/Pop, usually upbeat and fast- Favs- Don’t Upset the Rhythm, Sister Rosetta
    8. Ray Lamontange- Soulful/Folk, old school- Best Thing and Trouble
    9. VV Brown- Pop/RnB sound with a little retro to it. Favs- Shark in the Water, L.O.V.E
    10. ZZ Ward- RnB/Pop- Put the Gun Down, Till the Casket Drops

    I think I have a pattern in that I am appreciating foreign artist more (especially British and the old school/retro sound). I think I am rebelling against the factory sound coming out of America lately. Radio, artists and record companies are too afraid to take chances. I was excited to finally hear Fitz and the Tantrums out now (although my fav is Moneygrabber) get some attention, maybe a change will happen. Till then, main radio- ZZZ