Insight News

Jul 03rd


Thanksgiving and Christmas Together

Thanksgiving and Christmas Together
Leaving church this past Sunday, I stopped to hug Nicole and wish her a happy thanksgiving.  “You cooking, right?” I asked.  I’ve been told by many church-folks that she “throws down” in the kitchen, although I have yet to find out first-hand. In her usual, tell-it-like-it- is style, she responded, “Yes, girl, and I’m making enough for Christmas, too! There’s no sense of doing all that work twice!”  She explained how she doubles up on her dressing and sweet potato recipes, sticks half, uncooked, in the freezer and the other half in the oven. Then for Christmas, two of the main essentials are oven-ready. Sounds great, right? Although I’m a little too far into my Thanksgiving 2010 planning to double up, it definitely will be on my to-do list for Thanksgiving/Christmas ’11.

Want to save cooking time and stress during the holidays, or any other time of year? Be like Nicole and tackle two (or more) meals at once by planning menus in advance and preparing certain items to go right into the freezer. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Holiday entertaining made simple (and cheap)

Holiday entertaining made simple (and cheap)‘Tis the season to throw a party! Do you thoroughly enjoy a great holiday party, complete with jolly folk; smiling faces, joy-filled hearts, red sweaters, and lots of sequins (they’re really hot right now)?

Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, everyone should host at least one festive gathering of family and friends to celebrate something- thankfulness, Christ’s birth, a new year, a new love, a lasting love, etc... In our house, there is much to celebrate between November and January; thanksgiving, day-after-thanksgiving-sales (no, really), Christmas, our wedding anniversary, New Year’s day-which also doubles as my birthday, and two days later, my youngest daughter’s birthday! We squeeze in a lot of partying. Are you always the one waiting for an invitation to the parties, but never hosting one of your own? What are you waiting for? Stop worrying about all the excuses that you have been using for not having people over. Here’s the deal: If you invite them, they will come. Just keep it simple, do a bit of preplanning, stick to your budget, and let the good times roll!

Making a good Thanksgiving impression

Making a good Thanksgiving impressionMy girlfriend, who’s more of a sister, recently called from Atlanta in a frenzy. I could hear it in her voice. “Missy, what you doing?” she asked. She went on to tell me that she was just leaving the furniture store, where she’d been shopping for the perfect new family-room sectional that would comfortably seat all the out-of-town in-laws expected for Thanksgiving. She wanted to get a second opinion about her choice, so I went online to the store’s website.

While the sectional was nice, it really seemed too big for her space, so I gave her my honest opinion. Over the next couple of days, I provided my long distance decorating consultation, and then my sister had a sudden epiphany; all the stress about the seating was self-imposed and unnecessary. The sofa she already owned, although well used by her family of six, was still in good shape; it just needed cleaning. It even had removable, washable covers on the cushions. In addition, she concluded that instead of making a rash decision under pressure, it would be much wiser to work with what she already had. She decided to take her time, save up, and buy the sofa she really wanted.

Time to winterize: Proper care for winter wear

Time to winterize: Proper care for winter wear
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with one of my closet childhood girlfriends. Having just had a baby, she was lamenting about how her visiting Jamaican mother-in-law was stressing her out. When I pressed for details, I learned that my girlfriend had a problem with the fact that her mother-in-law did not wash her own pants after every single wear. It drove my girlfriend crazy, so her solution, between frequent nursing sessions, was to wash grandma’s clothes every night for her. Really?! I had to keep it real, “Girl, I don’t wash my pants after every wear either-you better leave grandma alone and let her help you with that baby!”

Based on that conversation, I started taking an informal poll among friends and researched “rules” on frequency of washing and wearing clothing. Of course, we all must use our common sense-if it stinks or it’s dirty, wash it-but I thought it might be helpful to consider a few helpful guidelines for caring for clothing, especially winter wear. These tips are sure to save you time and money, which you should never wash.

Forbes: World's most powerful women 2010

(TEWire) - Congratulations to Michelle Obama who ranks #1 as the world's most powerful woman.  Among the Forbes Top 10 most powerful women in the world are two other sisters: Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles. Wow!  That should make you proud to be a Black woman.  Sisters are incredible!

Three out of ten!  That's awesome when you think about the One Nation March  (10-2-10) held recently - and many of the programs we often attend - where not even one Black women's organization that works for the rights of women and their families had a slot to speak on behalf of Black women at an event billed as "most diverse". 

Perpetuating Hope- Exploring Urban Homeworks

Perpetuating Hope- Exploring Urban HomeworksHope is contagious. That is the first sentence that appears inside of the Urban Homeworks (UHW) brochure. Usually, you hear about the spread of a contagious condition, people start running away and it produces fear and panic. There is no need to worry this time-you’ll want to catch this. Hope is at the heart of this community development ministry that provides dignified housing for lower-income families. Not only that, but Urban Homeworks helps to rebuild neighborhoods, reconnect people, and reweave a sense of community that has gone missing in many of our neighborhoods. It’s done through partnerships with other concerned community members and organizations.

Children’s Theater celebrates 45th anniversary

Children’s Theater celebrates 45th anniversaryLast week I arrived at home around 3:30pm after a long, busy day.  A message was on my voicemail from my friend, Harvey, telling me about a special one-day-only deal at the Children’s Theatre for the performance of Robin Hood.  My heart rate sped up (one-day-only deals get me very excited) and I quickly called him to get the juicy details.   Harvey explained that he had just snagged tickets to Robin Hood for his family of four for only $28!  What?!  Normal ticket prices are $20-$40 each.  He said that I should call right away, because when he called to make his purchase there was a long hold time, and the special was over at 4pm.  Click!  I don’t even think I said thank you or goodbye to my friend, because my whole focus was on securing this deal before it ended and I only had about 20 minutes!  I raced to the computer, googled , quickly found the phone number, and started dialing. 
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