Tag: life

Three Shows Worth Watching, if You Haven’t Already

Season after season, networks introduce us to new characters and plots, gripping us to our screens with no point of return because we crave drama. Netflix and Amazon Studios have taken notice, and now they too, are getting in on the action!

Gone are the days when we passively sat in front of our television sets watching sports and soap operas. Now, we watch them on the go and with this new era of fictitious non-fiction dramas, we are engaged and active in our watching. Thanks to Netflix and Amazon, we no longer need to bury ourselves in cable contracts in order to properly entertain our families, instead, we hook up our internet, plug in our fire sticks and behold, a new luxurious watching experience awaits. Although I’m not a big fan of watching television, I do have a select number of shows I occasionally binge watch and I think you should too! We’ve all heard of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter and a host of other critically acclaimed dramas, and sadly all have since been canceled, however, with Netflix and Amazon you can continue reliving the experience, and it’s a wonderful one. Though these incredible shows are no longer on television, there are a wide variety of new shows that will quickly occupy your free time, as well as your heart. There’s a show for everyone and for every mood, so tread lightly if you still hate your ex and his or her new partner. Now that we’ve established boundaries, let’s take a look at the shows you should be watching right now.

Better Call Saul, AMC, Mondays @ 9 PM (Season 3 premiered April 10)

A spin-off prequel to Breaking Bad, created by Vince Gilligan and starring Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, America’s favorite criminal lawyer. This show is brilliant because it takes you on a journey through Jimmy’s life before he became Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. It focuses mainly on his struggles to become a successful lawyer and his relationship with his brother, Chuck McGill (Michael McKean). We all saw Saul become Walter White’s accomplice in his drug empire, but to get to that level, he went through many trials and tribulations. You see, Saul have always had a way with words and he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, so because of that his brother never trusted him. However, Saul was very motivated to get into law just like Chuck, except Chuck wasn’t flattered, instead, he became bitter and jealous. Throughout the first two seasons, Jimmy (Saul) tried mercilessly to make partner at Hamlin Hamlin and McGill (HHM), but with each attempt, Chuck found a way to sabotage his efforts. The show is incredibly well written and exquisitely performed, and I love the twists and turns that make up Jimmy’s life. Although he is a complicated man, he possesses a great deal of passion and drive to rise above his failures, and I think this is what makes Better Call Saul so engaging.

Bloodline, Netflix (Season 3 premiered May 26)

Bloodline takes you on an emotional thrill ride because it’s so good, you’ll easily forget that these characters are related. The show is set in the Florida Keys with the Rayburns, a prominent family of six, who owns a beachfront resort and is very respected in the community. Now, success doesn’t always come without problems and indeed this family has a lot to go around. As with most families, there’s a black sheep, but he quickly gets used to the notion that he’ll always be the outsider. The show is riveting and loaded with drama! Ben Mendelsohn’s character, Danny was severely beaten by his father as a boy because he was believed to have caused the death of his younger sister, Sarah, so he grew up being the designated black sheep. Kyle Chandler plays John, a detective with the local Sheriff’s office; he struggles with accepting Danny as part of the family. Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) owns a marina, also struggles with forgiving big brother Danny for causing Sarah’s death, quick-tempered and impulsive, he gives in to his vices. Meg, played by Linda Cardellini, is an attorney who uses her power for the greater good of the family, also dislikes her brother Danny. Their parents, played by Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard just want to forget about Danny and his drama because they’ve lost hope that he’ll change his self-destructive ways. Although they’ve taken some responsibility for the way he’s turned out, there’s still a part of them that think Danny just uses his sister’s death as a way to guilt them into fulfilling his wishes. The story gets even more intense when a death occurs and then Danny goes missing…It’s very entertaining and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Stranger Things, Netflix (Season 2 premieres October 31)

Set in the 1980’s in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, a young boy goes missing and the investigation is not only conducted by the local police, but also by the boy’s friends and family. Winona Ryder plays the young boy’s mother (Joyce Byers), and she’s every kind of mother combined. It’s easy to see her pain when she realizes that her boy is gone, but it’s also incredible watching her keep the faith that he is still alive. She utilizes every angle and outlet to prove to the police that her son is somewhere close, but not easily seen with the naked eye. The supernatural theme of the show leads you to believe in the impossible and I think this is why it’s such a hit. Stranger Things tell the story of how the U.S. Department of Energy conducted experiments using human subjects, which ultimately went awry after they decided to delve into paranormal and supernatural activities. Will Byers’ (Noah Schnapp) friends really came through for him, especially when they came across a psychokinetic girl, who takes them on the journey of their lives in an effort to find him. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) escaped the Hawkins National Laboratory, where she was born and experimented on after her mother became a test subject and due to the experimentation, she developed these psychokinetic abilities. She ultimately becomes a very friendly foe in the search for Mike. The excitement and fear from these characters make you want to continue watching, so give it a try.

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Minorities and the Mass Media

Mass Media has truly evolved into an incredible voice and community, opening its doors to minorities, who’s dreamt of entering this exclusive industry as much as their white peers have.

From Rev. Peter Williams, Jr, who founded the first African-American newspaper in 1827 to Connie Chung, a long time Asian American Journalist, who has worked with Walter Cronkite on the Watergate scandal in the 70’s to Francisco Cortes, who is the first Latino to hold a Vice President position in news media at Fox News Channel and whom I had the pleasure of meeting two years ago and to Hoda Kotb, an Egyptian-American television host, correspondent and New York Times Bestselling Author. Media has changed tremendously, but it still needs to do more.

I applaud the networks and publications, who make it their civic duty to employ more immigrants and minorities, but these few are just that, a few. More networks need to open their doors because every year there’s a new wave of hopefuls looking to make their mark in the field. Based on Graduate Surveys from Grady College, “Between 2004 and 2013, minorities accounted for approximately 21.4 percent of Journalism or Communications graduates, [but get this] only 49 percent of minority graduates that specialized in print or broadcasting found a full-time job, compared to 66 percent of white graduates.” According to a report by Alex T. Williams, a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, 13.34 percent of minorities are employed at a daily newspaper, 13 percent in radio and 22.4 percent in television. So if 37.4 percent of the population is comprised of minorities, why isn’t it necessary to employ more minority Journalists? News is constant and forever changing, the same goes for our communities, hence the reason we should be seeing and hearing from more minority reporters.

Like politics, mass media attract individuals with an agenda whether it’s to expose a corrupt government or to shed light on a community issue that has since been rectified and/or still needs attention. Journalism isn’t for the faint of heart though because there will be times when your character and motive will be questioned and attacked, nevertheless, it is a highly rewarding profession and absolutely necessary. It’s needed for spreading awareness and being able to communicate with people, who have a story to tell. More diversity is needed within the media industry, especially in urban areas. In minority communities where crime rates are soaring as a result of poverty and a lack of education, more minority Journalists would make a difference. Most people living in these communities would rather speak with someone more relatable and this is one of the many reasons why networks should exhibit more diligence into hiring a diverse staff. Given the current state of race relations in the country, especially amongst minorities and Police Officers; the distrust these communities have for law enforcement and the government is staggering, so by recruiting more minority Journalists to report on these issues will better assist in gathering unbiased and accurate accounts.

I think ABC, FOX, CW11 and NBC are doing their fair share with employing minorities, but I think CBS has done an even better job by hiring a brilliant plus-size African American Meteorologist, Elise Finch. It’s important to keep a diverse newscast and agency because it tells every little girl from all races and backgrounds that she too, can grow up and become a Journalist, and that there is a place for her within the industry. Keeping it homogeneous and unattainable for other races only perpetuates hate, greed and inequality in a society where there are enough hate and resentment to go around. Be more inclusive, open more doors for minority Journalists and banish the hierarchy in which you operate your news networks. From my Broadcast Journalism peers, only one of us made it as a television reporter and off course, he’s white. It’s an accurate assumption that mass media was really designed for white middle to upper-class individuals. Let’s change that!

 

History of the Dish-Oil Down

In my last article, I introduced you to the national dish of my birth country, Grenada. This time around, I’m taking the opportunity to give you a little history on where the dish, Oil Down, originated. Never mind that it’s loaded with flavor and nutrition, it has also brought people together and helped to pass on traditions to the young. The origins of the ingredients also show how diverse we are as a people.

Through research, I’ve realized the historical context on the process of making Oil Down. You see, slaves who were brought to the island to work on plantations also brought with them their culture and traditions. This is the typical meaning of the phrase “it takes a village,” and it definitely took a village to come together to create this delicious one-pot meal. Although we have evolved, there are still reminders of what used to be; such as the way people live, the music they create, the costumes they wear during carnivals and the plantations where some of the island’s cocoa and spices are still being harvested. These plantations around the island are commonly referred to as “estates.” In fact, my family still owns theirs. I’ve never visited its location and as far I know it’s being used to grow and harvest crops. My mother has shared her fond memories of spending time there. It’s one of those places that rarely gets talked about because of its historical significance, however, this estate known to my family as “Shadow,” bears little resemblance to slavery. In the mid to late 1800’s, my Scottish side of the family settled in Grenada just as slavery was abolished in 1834, and there my great grandfather met my great grandmother, who had immigrated to the island from St. Lucia. The rest was history.

The same way that the island is considered a melting pot with immigrants from all over, Oil Down too, is a melting pot. As a matter of fact, most of the ingredients used in Oil Down are also imported. With the combination of callaloo or dasheen leaves, which are “indigenous to the Caribbean and were cultivated by Grenada’s earliest Amerindian inhabitants,” green bananas, which were brought in by European settlers from Asia and salted pork tails and nose, which were also imported by European settlers, Oil Down has something for everyone. Back then on the plantations, slaves brought in from West Africa had one thing in common: passion for building their communities, even though life was still so very rough. Making Oil Down was not just a way of nourishment and saving time, but making sure that their neighbors were involved and also being fed. They would each bring something to add to the pot, ensuring that there would be their “piece of the pie,” and because of the sheer quantity of ingredients, no one person could collect it all. In other words, whatever they could salvage from their master’s home was what they brought to add to the pot. Anyway, once they each brought what was needed, they would begin the sometimes tedious process. When the food was cooked, everyone received his or her share and all was well. This tradition stayed in Grenada and became the country’s national dish. On most days, anywhere you go, there’s a high chance of passing by a family’s home and smelling the aroma of an Oil Down in progress. It gets its distinct smell from the mixture of spices along with the flavorful milk of dried coconuts. It’s vastly intoxicating.

According to my cousin and island native, Antonia Frederick, “no two oil downs are the same, everyone adds his or her own touch.” Antonia grew up making the dish with her maternal grandmother, who like everyone else, cooked for the entire family. When asked, most people are open to discussing the bonds and relationships they’ve developed all through cooking Oil Down with their neighbors and grandparents. I too, have very fond memories of cooking Oil Down with my mother and Grandmother, and I will cherish these memories as I plan on passing them on to my future children. In the end, it’s really all about families getting together to enjoy a delicious meal.

Bachelor en Paradise

Finally, I’m all caught up with ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise,” which makes me feel a little more qualified to talk about this week’s episodes.

If you haven’t seen any of the episodes, I recommend backing away from this blog post like, yesterday. Or continue reading for all the hot dets!

Anyway, I am saddened by Sarah’s departure on Monday night’s episode because I was actually looking forward to “Raniel.” She had a very interesting relation-ish going on with Daniel, the Canadian baconater. He tried so hard to get her to like him and when she did decide to give him a shot, he goes ahead and gives his rose to Haley the twin, who needed to be coerced by her other half, Emily, to lock lips with him. I guess it’s karma. Oh well, Sarah, you’re better off without Daniel.

Moving along…Bret from Andi’s season came on and managed to break up the first couple formed on this season’s “Bachelor in Paradise!” Yes, Izzy was so smitten or I should say “attracted” to Bret that she was willing to forgo her relationship with Vinny. Long story short, she approached Bret and told him that she was insanely attracted to him and wanted to let him know that because she wanted no regrets. Well, I’d say she should’ve thought about that before making it clear to Vinny that they shouldn’t go out with other people.

OMG, Caila is a flight risk, she’s so indecisive! Just before Bret caused the excommunication of Vinny and Izzy, he took Caila out on a double date with Emily and Carl, also from Andi’s season (I think). Anyway, they went on a booze cruise and Caila couldn’t handle it. When Bret first got to “Paradise,” he asked Caila out on the date and with Jared sitting next to her she accepted, but right after she said yes to him, she asked Jared to come have a talk with her. Maybe she finally remembered that she was dating Jared before Bret got there, IDK. Well, they did have the talk and after Jared expressed his anxieties about her going on that date, she told him she’d stay and then minutes later said she wanted to go. Being the supportive boyfriend, Jared assured her that it’s still all up to her to decide on what she wanted to do. After thinking it through on her way to speaking with Bret, Caila decided that she didn’t want to go on the date. The bantering and the convincing was so hard to watch that I felt the confusion going through Bret’s head trying to comprehend what Caila really wanted to do. She went back and forth with Bret for a while until she finally gathered up the strength to accept his date proposal.

Caila girl, get it together!!! That, however was the perfect opportunity for Ashley I. to spend some uninterrupted time with the object of her affection, Jared. Personally, I think they’d make a much better couple than him and Caila. Anyway, the point remains obvious, Caila is indecisive and insecure and she is quite easily mislead. Someone like that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, hence the reason Ashley I. makes a much better and stable (yes, I said it) partner for Jared.

On Tuesday night, Carly and Sir Evan went on a date to purify their union and ward off anything remotely related to negative energy. More than that, they solidified their relationship by telling each other how weirdly strong they both feel. Carly came around full circle because she now sees Evan’s sultry and worthy sides. I’m happy she came around, but it sucks that poor Evan had to get a needle in his arm to make her see that she’s missing out by not letting him in. I can hardly wait to see them progress because I really like Evan, he’s a great guy and I think it’s what Carly needs.

There’s some trouble in the water for Grant and Lace because with the ending of Vinny and Izzy, and the return of Jade and Tanner, who brought a date card to give to the most deserving couple, she’s having second thoughts about their relationship. So, Grant told her that he was in love with her and although she didn’t say it back to him, he knew that she also loved him. Regardless, she’s having cold feet. He was so romantic tonight when he took her on a couples massage retreat. I’d love to go on one…but I digress. Only next episode would bring clarity to their story, let’s stay tuned!

Overall, the show didn’t disappoint because hello, it’s “Bachelor in Paradise,” where the rejects of all “Bachelor [and] Bachelorette” shows go to frolic with each other in an attempt to find love. It’s cliched and cheesy, but you still have to show some “respeck” (as Birdman would say it). I was there from the beginning of the franchise with Alex Michelle, and more than 10 years later I will continue to love and support each contestant. So, there you have it, the most gossip-worthy highlights.

Until next time…

Thanks, Mom

As much as I hate to admit this, it takes a certain kind of man to date and be in a committed relationship with a motherless woman. Yes, we’d hope that you will be there for us as any boyfriend or partner would, however there are a few more things we secretly want from you. Personally, I don’t expect anything more or less from my mate, but the mere fact that he does things without my asking or alluding, makes me feel extra special like my mother would have.

My mother and I had a rare, yet special kind of relationship. I am a product of an ectopic pregnancy and for those of you who are unaware of this birth type, it’s where an egg gets fertilized outside of the uterus and instead, latches itself onto the fallopian tube making it an extremely difficult pregnancy. In most cases, the woman either has an abortion or she simply miscarries, and in other cases, the fetus gets removed surgically. I was lucky! For months my mother endured massive amounts of pain, bleed as though she was menstruating, got tested for pregnancy and even thought it was fibroids or cancer, but she continued to get negative results. None of the nurses or doctors she had seen knew what it was. Eventually, a visiting American doctor performed a blood pregnancy test on her and found out that she was in fact, six months pregnant. Medicine in the 80’s was no where as advanced as it is now and thank God for that! Anyway, her health deteriorated and quickly, too. She became temporarily blind, was in a coma, had issues from water retention and at risk of losing her life as well as her baby’s. Both my grandma and father lamented on possible funeral arrangements because my mom was in such bad shape. Although the doctors initially planned on performing a c-section, they eventually delivered a healthy baby girl, vaginally. As per my mom, I looked like a rabbit. After about two weeks she was out of her coma and visually paired, and when the nurse brought me in to see her, mom had no idea she had given birth to a little pink hairy baby. Long story short, her health progressed and she was able to take me home, but only after she turned down the adoption request from the doctor, who delivered me and saved her life.

I was loved. If there was such a thing as loving your kid too much then my mother would win every award. She cherished me and I think it really had to do with her struggles while being pregnant with me. She was by far the most over-protective, most over-bearing, most strict, most passionate, most emotional, most pathetic parent ever, but she was great! To this day, I strongly believe that my birth played a role in the way I responded to her demands. I was very willful. Yes, she is my mother, however I never understood where and why her passion toward me was so strong, so I became an unwilling participant in her charades. I grew up strong-willed; blame it on her uterus for not opening up to me, but I was defiant and that drove her mad! There were days when my mom and I would battled like we were opposing soldiers and no, I am not proud of that, in fact I wish I could go back in time to change it. With every demand I asked a question, with every question I made a statement, with every statement I gave a response and when I have had enough, I would run out of the backdoor and head straight up the hill to my grandmother’s house. No one understood how and why a three-year-old had so much grown-up qualities and traits. It was for that very same reason, my mom sent me to school at two years old. In the weirdness of it all, I was more well-behaved at school than I was at home, and this continued throughout my life. The battles never stopped because my mom was a militant, partly from her training in the militia in her native country, Grenada, and from her love and dedication as a mother. All of which I did not fully understand until my early to mid twenties. By that time my mother and I had began a mutually respectful mother-daughter relationship.

Although I was testy, I was still treated like her baby and I am, however she never stopped doing the little things she knew would bring a smile to my face. I admit that I was spoiled-rotten! My mom would prepare whatever I wanted, did most of what I had asked of her, and cradled me when I needed her to. Whenever I became ill, she’d treat me like I was her queen, and I loved it! Even after her health started to decline, my mom took the time to prepare dinner, she continued to hug me at nights and often expressed to me that I was the apple of her eyes. The best part of my days was waking up next to her and being greeted by the warmth of her hands on my back. It didn’t matter what time I came home from work or play, my mom waited up for me. I’d simply get into my pajamas and hop on in bed right next to her. I started out my life as a daddy’s girl and ended up a mommy’s girl. My mother was beautiful as the heart she was blessed with. I remember how she loved taking in and caring for other people’s children. Any child who passed by looking frumpy and untidy, she’d take him or her in and would feed, bathe, clothe and put that child to nap until the parent(s) came home (it’s very common to do this in the islands because of their “village” mentality). My mom was loved and revered, some might even say she was a force to be reckoned with. She cared a lot about people and based her life off of charity, a trait passed on from my grandma, and she used her sense of care as a vehicle to enter the nursing field. My mother was the greatest! She made a lot of sacrifices and instilled in me the value and importance of love and charity.

After reading the article, “What It Is Like to Date a Girl Without a Mother” from the Huffington Post, I felt compelled to share my own thoughts on the subject matter. You see, I lost my mom a few years ago to a massive stroke, which was brought on by her complicated medical history. It was the most traumatic time in my life and all of the previous moments where I felt as though life was unkind to me, simply vanished. That dreadful day surpasses every single hardship I have encountered so far. There is nothing more difficult than hearing a doctor say to you, “I’m sorry, but we’ve done everything we could to save her.” Excuse me, “no, you haven’t because she’s dead!” This was my initial reaction, which was followed by my bellowing and the entire 9th floor of the Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, stepping out of their rooms and nursing station to find out where the noise was coming from. Anyway, for the duration of that week and the better half of the year, I was tried and tested and all I wanted to do was give up because the closest person to me in this entire world was no longer here. I was alone and without guidance, and my life as I knew it no longer existed. I was hollowed and broken! My coworkers and close friends helped me to see and think straight again.

Many years prior to my world’s end, I met a boy back in college, who left a lasting impact on me and who I was to become. Neither of us was perfect for the other because of our differences in nationality, race, weight and the likes, but we had a connection that was proven and continued to be tested over time. Eventually, we went our separate ways. There was never a dull moment though because whenever I came home on breaks from college, somehow we found a way to get together (we each had a soft spot for the other) then we would go our separate ways again. Not until my mother’s death did we become a couple, a real couple. By the time my mom passed away, we had both matured, had steady jobs and I had started seeing the bigger picture of life after death. So, I made the decision to move on with my solo life. We took a chance and dated for what it’s worth and found out that we have always enjoyed each other’s company, and that was the thing that kept us coming back to each other. Although we still had our issues, like everyone else, we consciously made the decision to continue our courtship. This April marks our 4th anniversary.

I love and care about this man almost as much as I do my parents, which translates to a lot. Either way, we continue to further what we have due to our love, commitment and adoration for each other. Listed are a few things that every guy should consider when he enters into a relationship with a motherless woman.

  1. Do not get into a relationship with her if you are afraid of love or to love because it is all she knows at this point. Regardless of someone’s relationship with their mother before her passing, this person now understands loss and she knows the value of your relationship. She might even appear to be over-bearing, but it is all based on her level of commitment and admiration for you.
  2. She is not in a rush to become a mother because she still needs to reflect on the child she once was and the mother she would like to become one day. When one life ends, usually another begins, however this statement is not one size fits all. Most of us, motherless women, just need time to become a person separate from the one our deceased mothers created.
  3. Be kind and understand that our loss never goes away, no matter how great our strength. I cry and I even talk in my sleep sometimes and often enough, I respond to my partner as if it was my mother lying next to me. Weird, I know, but he has so much of her traits and that to me is incredibly comforting. On many occasions I’ve referred to him as “mom” and thankfully he has a sense of humor to laugh with me about it.
  4. Be generous with your love because unless we’ve told you, you wouldn’t know how close or distant we were with our mothers. Shower us with hugs and cuddles, but not too much because the last thing we want is you thinking we are broken.
  5. The sweet things we do for you is a direct indication of what our mothers were like. As much as we all hate to become them, we do tend to take after her in some ways, so pay extra attention.
  6. We are emotional and passionate beasts because we have had to toughen up and design a singular, more independent life before you came along. It has nothing to do with you, so no need to feel responsible or remotely sorry for our tears once it starts. Just support us and pass the “Kleenex,” thanks!
  7. We expect you to love and cherish your mother as much as possible because how else will you be able to understand us and be able to relate to your own daughter one day. Surreptitiously, although we’re not looking for a mother, we are hoping to conflate with your family. And no, I am not being naive. Be well and continue to love each other in this tumultuous time we are living in.

 

Tips and tricks for easy traveling

With my pending travel arrangements, I thought I’d share with you the system that I’ve created for myself to make the packing process much simpler. Now, I haven’t always been this creative, but after averaging five successful trips last year, I can confidently say that it works. If you’ve already discovered this, then carry on. Anyway, I grew up in a household where not much traveling happened so, whenever there was a trip, I remember how overworked and flustered my mother would get with having to go through everything she’d need for that trip. Over the years I’ve tried different ways of staying organized and getting all of my essentials ready for packing, but no matter what I did there’d always be a missing link. I’ve perfected this safe-proof way of ensuring that my needs and comfortability will be met no matter where I’m going, who I’m going with or how long the trip will last, and I hope it helps you too, to be more organized and less stressed. Here we go:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. We grew up hearing these two words from elementary all the way into adulthood, and yet we consciously engage in said act. Well traveling is not the time to procrastinate because nothing is worse than reaching your destination and then realizing that you switched purses the day before, so your wallet isn’t in the purse you brought with you. That’s a colossal damage! Anyway, take time to plan things out and I don’t mean to lose sleep over it, but make sure you allow yourself the extra time to decide on what you’ll be needing.
  2. Make sure all ID’s and passports are current. No one wants to book a flight, get to the airport and then find out that your passport has been expired two months ago. It’s imperative that before you decide on a trip, check to see if your credentials are up-to-date. I’m not just talking about passports, green cards, visas, etc, but also your state ID’s, both health and car insurance cards (in case of emergencies), credit cards, and the works. Check everything and never leave without it! IMG_2486.jpg
  3. Arrange for your pets and plants to be taken care of. Many flights allow you the luxury of bringing Sally and Penny with you for an extra fee, as well as with the paperwork to prove that they’ve been vaccinated and approved for flying. That’s all well and good. It’s easier to carry your babies if you’re traveling by bus or train, and off course by car, either way you still want to make sure that they too, will enjoy the trip as much as you will. As for your plants, simply get yourself some Aqua Globes and they’ll be fine. You can pick them up at any botanical or home improvement store, as well as Amazon.
  4. Gather necessities before packing. This is extremely important if you’re all about comfort and relaxation. Going back to my first tip, after deciding on what you’ll be needing, lay everything out in front of you just so you have a complete visual, and it’ll make the process a lot easier. After laying it all out, get a few Ziploc bags and then separate, separate. Put all of your medicines and first aid items together in one bag, then gather your shower, dental and hair products into another, then continue on with your after shower products, then move on with your makeup (I’m assuming you won’t be traveling with your entire makeup collection), then your cleaning agents (lysol is highly recommended if you’ll be staying at a hotel), and so forth. To maximize space, I usually use a bag for my undergarments just so I’d have enough space for my clothes and shoes. It really helps to have everything placed in bags because it’s far easier to take out and put back, plus if you’re a worrier like myself, it’ll be less hectic proving to yourself that you did bring your hair brush. Now, If you don’t mind spending extra money for toothpaste and toothbrushes if they’re left behind, go ahead and dismiss this entire list!

  5. Select clothing wisely. Plan out your outfits, so you don’t go over your 50lb limit. It’s much easier when traveling for business because you know you’ll need an extra suit, shirt, tie, necklace, a pair of shoes, an extra casual outfit, maybe a little black dress for after-meeting cocktails and another outfit for your return flight. Great! But if you’re traveling for vacation or honeymoon, you know you’ll be needing all sorts of clothing. This is why you should plan outfits based on your itinerary and/or destination. You’ll need outfits for the beach and pool, night(s) out, casual daytime outfits, lounge and sleepwear, workout gear, cold weather gear, and at least one business casual outfit. It all reflects back to where your priorities lie.
  6. Don’t neglect who you are. Have fun. Be out-going and explore the area because that’s the reason you went, right? So enjoy yourself, however, do not allow yourself to become an easy target for criminals. There’s a difference between having fun and enjoying yourself, and putting your life at danger. Spring break is approaching and as much as I’d like you to enjoy yourself, I also want you to remain safe and return home in one piece! It’s never wise to leave with someone you’ve just met no matter how charming or beautiful. Stay with your partners and mates, and always put together a plan in case you get separated. If you do, remain calm, seek out someone in authority to help you with your search or finding directions, go back to your hotel and wait. Keep your valuables close and out of sight, don’t be too eager to make friends, and remember to be respectful at all times. Without forgetting to mention, always visit the U.S Embassy in any foreign country as an added safety precaution to inform them of your stay. It helps in case something goes awry. Go out people and enjoy the wondrous life of travel.

 

 

Woman, 22, shoplifts with limo

Now that’s what you call, living above your means”! A 22-year-old Minnesota woman went shoplifting at the Apache mall with limo in tow. The woman managed to get away from security officers with $300 in stolen merchandise from a sporting goods store. Luckily the limo driver was in the area because after speaking to police, he identified the woman, who had just called him for her return trip back to the Kahler Grand Hotel. The woman was later arrested after police followed the driver to her pickup location.

http://news.yahoo.com/woman-takes-limo-shoplift-minnesota-mall-141454999.html