Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-Bye 2012


Good-bye 2012, hello 2013.


Two-thousand twelve was good to me. 

There were so many things that went well.



 

I've made new friends, have a new job, a loving fiancé, and have traveled to some amazing places.

I want to continue to grow as a person, a soon-to-be wife, friend, sister, and daughter.

I will continue to travel, build my business, blog better, and become a mom.




So long 2012, thanks for being a fantastic year.



Tags: "2012" "good-bye"

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reality Check: The Fake Side of So-Called 'Reality' TV (Guest Post)



It may not come as a surprise to find out that some of what you watch on reality TV isn't always true reality. A lot of sections are staged, re-shot or cut to change the original meaning of the footage. Despite slight modification being a fairly standard practice in the reality TV world, sometimes it can get producers in big trouble.


There's a constant demand for more and more reality shows and channels, which is good news for digital entertainment providers such as Cable.tv. But, the desire for producers to come up with interesting ideas, and as the pressure to create “teasable moments,” or moments that editors can use in the previews to tease the show, increases, so does the level of doctoring that occurs to footage.

Can't Handle the Truth?

According to eonline.com, “Storage Wars” star David Hester was fired for raising concerns about the show's non-fiction billing. He is now in the process of filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination against A&E, the company that produces the show.
TLC has also faced allegations as to its truthful portrayal of characters in its show “Breaking Amish.” According to The Huffington Post, there are several records that show several of the cast members living outside the Amish community prior to the show's airing. Some of the cast members were even married, divorced and with children, despite the show's claim that they were all young Amish people venturing out in the modern world for the first time.

Some Reality is Real

There are obviously lots of reality TV shows that do show the real truth. Shows like "Intervention" go out of their way to accurately portray the struggles of addicts and their families.
However, much of the editing and reshaping that goes on in reality TV doesn't have a whole lot to do with actually scripting anything. There are several tricks of the trade that are used to show viewers what the producers want them to see.


The most obvious is creating a situation to see what happens. When Hulk Hogan's wife adopted a chimpanzee, that was probably not entirely a decision of her own making. These types of created scenarios are one of the best ways for producers to create interesting content involving people who may not be particularly interesting themselves.


There is also the audio that gets inserted into videos post production. Like reality TV's version of a laugh track, there are subtle clicks, music and sound effects to “enhance” what would otherwise be an incredibly boring conversation. The people in reality TV shows are not trained actors, they don't always know how to make a scene engaging or interesting to an outside audience. These subtle sound additions help the audience along. Listen to the extra clicks and beeps in the reality show about a gym, “Wicked Fit."



So, although much of reality TV is actually real, a lot of it comes with little enhancements, subtle changes and sometimes, in cases like “Breaking Amish,” outright lies. So, take your reality TV with a grain of salt, and enjoy.

Kitty Stephens Once a dancer at Vegas, Kitty now writes about trends in dance and reviews music and film.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Back to the Future; Low Carb Me




Hey Black Dressies,

In a few days, 2012 will be just a memory and 2013 will be in full swing. Many of us are assessing our wants, needs, and achievements as well as determining our best steps for 2013. For me, I am going back to the low carb lifestyle. Low carb eating works well for me because I have PCOS and very sensitive to sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, to have optimal health, low carb eating is an absolute must. It's difficult when I live in a country that LOVES bread, rice, and pasta, but in 2013, I just can't.



Photo credit: Jeffery Zalesny


I initially became interested in blogging because of the low carb lifestyle and PCOS. I was on every low carb message board and found a lot of great resources that put me on the right track by using food and exercise versus medicine. One thing that helps "low carbers" stay on track is access to the right foods. Many things can be found in your local grocery, but I also found that online grocers are quite helpful. Between the local grocery and The Low Carb Grocery, planning meals is easy. Proper  planning keeps me on track while on the go as well. The Low Carb Grocery offers an array of low carb friendly foods and supplements. An interesting product that I found is powdered peanut butter. Powdered peanut butter can be constructed to make traditional peanut butter by adding water and it can also be used during baking and flavoring smoothies.

There are so many options to keep me on track to my tried and trusted low lifestyle. I can't wait to show you guys my progress as well as the recipes that I'm going to try.





This is a sponsored post. All views are unique to me.

Tags: "The Low Carb Grocery" "powered peanut butter" "2013" "low carb lifestyle"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Little House Meets Little Rock




Hey loves,

The universe felt that on this past Christmas evening, I should play the part of Laura Ingalls. That's right, the universe turned Little Rock, AR into Little Houses on the Prairies. My goodness, someone wished for a white Christmas and that's exactly what they received.



It was shortly after 5:30 PM and the sun began to fall and the temperatures fell as well. Because my mother had to endure the torture of her job, we didn't have dinner until 6. The darker it became, the colder it got, then the lights begin to flicker. BOOOOOOO

The storm had arrived.



The snow fell faster than we expected but there weren't any worries because typically snow doesn't last long in LR.

Boy, we were wrong.







The storm caused trees to fall, major power outages (including us), stores were closed, gas tanks were empty, and all the hotels were filled to capacity.



It was miserable.

We have power now and all is well. Now onward to Paris in two days.



Tags: "snow storm" "little rock snow storm" "entergy" "little house on the prairie" 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas to all of you. Wishing you good health, good food, and lots of love.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reginia does Rome (Day 2)


Hey Loves,

My time in Rome has been amazing. This city has an energy like no other. The people are full of good spirits and intensity which drew me in to their realm of greatness.

I went to the Vatican, saw where The Pope lives, saw St. Peters, the Sistine Chapel, and Michaelangelo's masterpieces. Unfortunately, you can't take pics of the Sistine Chapel or of Michaelangelo's work, but I have some great shots of outside.




I used Green Line Tours to get around Rome. It's a double-decker bus with panoramic views. Tourists may hop-on and hop-off the bus at various stops around the city. There are 10 stops total and it runs from 9am to 6:30 pm daily. The brochure states that the bus runs every 20 minutes but Green Line Tour bus did not. ALL of the other tour buses ran on time so I am not sure why this company had issues. Overall, it's a great service for a great price. Trip advisor only lends 1.5 stars for this company; it could be due to the tardiness or less than enthusiastic bus announcers. I didn't care to listen to the chatter so getting me to all points between A - Z was good enough.





Rome is a busy city. It's full of people and cars. There is a huge parking issue but it's solved by most people driving tiny cars. Smart Cars and Fiats are everywhere. I don't know the name of the tiny car posted above, but people drove those as well. Too cute.






This hotel is absolutely adorable. Excellent customer service. Good size rooms.  Complementary wine and breakfast. Close to the Colosseum. Outstanding price. 






Greatness from Day 3 coming up next....

As always, more pics are on FB and Instagram.



Tags: "Green Line Tours" "Rome" "Vatican" "travel alone" "St. Peter's" "Sistine Chapel" "The Pope" "trip advisor" "hotel capo d'africa" "travel"

Monday, December 17, 2012

Reginia Does Rome (Day 1)



Good morning from Rome, Italy,

If you guys follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I am having the time of my life in Rome. This city is absolutely amazing. There is so much to see and the stimulation is abundant. The city has such a romantic feeling as there are couples everywhere. After living in the Middle East for the past few months, I find such joy in people being able to openly express their admiration for one another. There are couples embracing, holding hands, and exchanging romantic energy.




In addition, the ancient architecture in the city is so dynamic. It's amazing to see the things that I learned about in grade school come to life. All of the structures are so grand. There are tourists from every walk of life enjoying the scenery and capturing lifetime moments.




Seeing the Colosseum for the first time was breathtaking. The structure is massive. The intimate details had to have taken more than skill to create. I can't wait to see the other landmarks and structures in the city. Because it's so much to absorb, I don't think I can take it all in during one visit. I will definitely be back and my Mr. is coming with me. As I said before, this is a city for lovers... and lovers we are.




I can't wait to share my views from Day 2. See you guys tomorrow.

I will be adding new photos on Instragram daily as well as my FaceBook Page.




Tags: "Rome" "Italy" "teachers traveling" "travel" "blacks in Rome" "Roman Colosseum" 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Review Monday - "Whatever" - Jill Scott


Hey Loves,

I hadn't written a Music Review Monday post in a while and thought that it was time to get back on schedule.

Without a doubt, Jill Scott is a musical icon and a permanent imprint in genres of Neosoul and R & B. Jill is also one of my favorite entertainers. In every city that I reside, I always make the Jill's concerts and appearances. I have all of her CD's and her book of poetry. I am and will always be a Jill Scott fan.

Her song "Whatever"rings pretty potent to me right now. Before, I thought it was a lovely song, but now it holds a bit of personal truth.

As some may noticed, I made a sly announcement of my engagement. I didn't want to make to much of a deal of it on my blog or Facebook, but there's no denying how wildly I am in love. Since we've met, he's made my transition to Abu Dhabi seem like second nature. His presence has been a gift to me in every way imaginable.




The thought of him stimulates desires that I didn't know I had. He is so caring, supportive, attentive, loving, and absolutely gorgeous. He is aligned with my spirit and keen on my feelings. His intuition invites a call at just the right time, or a touch on the hand so we are connected.

Every moment that I think of him, my face displays sincere fondness, admiration, and a love like no other.

Y'all, I love him!

Jill Scott's "Whatever" lends a peek into what I'm feeling right now.



Tags: "Jill Scott" "Whatever" "love" 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear Shonda Rhimes,




Dear Shonda,

I know this letter comes as a bit of a surprise, it's a bit random, but I have to get this off my chest. You see, I am in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, with a lot of time on my hands, a new engagement, and I finally got adjusted to my new environment... and now this - Scandal. Scandal is new to me so please bear with me while I get adjusted to this phenomena. 

Scandal is a weapon of emotional distruction and I can't take it. iCant 

Sigh.

Initially, I didn't jump on the Scandal wave and only heard of it via Thursday night Facebook posts and Twitter. As you know, people all over the world are fainting and selling their first born for a glimpse of this series because it's nothing less than stellar.


via CNN Entertainment

For weeks upon weeks, Facebook post after post, all I read was Scandal this and Scandal that. Then, I noticed women all over America standing in line at the best boutiques trying to get their "Olivia Pope" on. I was bewildered. I didn't know "Olivia Pope" and the urgency that these women had to become her. On top of that, there was a surge in higher education, fitness, and the appeal to be this outstanding picture of shero - Olivia Pope. It was and continues to be outstanding and sheer madness gleaming as a dysfunctional marriage. iKid

Finally, I sat down by force with B, A, R, and M and watched season 1, episode 1 of Scandal. May I be honest? I wasn't quite hooked and didn't get the appeal, however since we were having a viewing party, I kept watching. Shonda, by the end of the night, I was Huck's best girl, a Gladiator for the team, and on every website trying to get my "Olivia Pope" on. Most of all, the fire between Olivia and Fitz...OMG, the passion, the organic love, and intensity are all at levels never explored. They have a love that tips beyond present boundaries. I know I shouldn't cheer for them but I do, we all do. We should really say... "hey wait, Fitz is forbidden, he's married, what about Melli" but we don't.

Sigh

iCant with Melli. I just can't. 




Shonda it's so much I want to say but words can't express the genius that you've poured into this series. I love the historic parallels. I love the connections from the headlines. I can see a bit of Bill, Hillary, George W, Condi, Laura, and the rest of the gang and it tickles me to no end. I and millions of others appreciate your words, your creativity, and your willingness to revive prime time television. We love you for this.

Thanks Shonda!!

Call me sometimes, I'll send you my Google Voice number so you can call for free.




Tags: "Scandal" "Shonda Rhimes" "Olivia Pope" "ABC" "Fitz" "Huck"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh 2012!!


via Google Images


Two-thousand twelve has been quite the year. I've grown, quit a job, sold a house, sold most of my possessions, moved to the Middle East, got engaged, and traveled to foreign lands....and it's been quite a whirlwind as my blog buddy Amber said.


Typically these types of posts arise towards the end of December but I'm in a reflective mood, so here it is.

January -  January is my birthday month and celebrating my birthday is a national holiday in my eyes. I didn't do it big in 2012 but I did take a trip to see my friend in Miami. We had a ball as usual. I hate that he moved from the area because I loved going there on a moments notice since the tickets were so inexpensive from Atlanta.

My 2009-2011 was a complete mess personally, therefore for 2012, I armed myself with specific goals and resolutions. My main goal was to find a new job. I wanted a job that I enjoyed and one that spoke to and utilized my talents. I wanted to work outside of K-12 Education and explore opportunities in media, corporate curriculum, and individualized business english classes. During January, I applied to at least 3 jobs a day until I landed a new job. 

February - By February, I was exhausted from job hunting but I wanted a change, so I pressed on. Finally during the last days of February, a colleague told me about a recruitment company for international teaching and administration. I listen, applied, and landed a telephone interview.

March - I believe I had a phone interview on March 4th or so maybe later because it only gave me a week to prepare for the in-person interview in Houston on March 12. The interview was like no other. It was challenging, unconventional, and slightly odd. After the interview, they stated it would be four weeks or so before I knew if I had the position.





April - The beginning of April signals spring break for most educational institutions. My mom visited as usual. As we prepared for our annual landscape extravaganza in my yard, I received a call from the recruiter stating that I was selected for a position in Abu Dhabi. 

May - Quit my job of six years. (Scary stuff). Began preparing for my move abroad. I also put my house on the market. (more scary stuff)

June - Leased/Sold my house. My aunt and cousin came to visit.... and packing my house for the move abroad.  (Random) I also had surgery on my toes. Ooo la la




July - Count down. Nervous, scared, anxious and my mom and step-dad came back to Atlanta to help me pack my final things. My sister also came at the end of the month to help with the final move.

August - Moved to DC with my sister for two weeks then left for Abu Dhabi on August 7. I arrived on August 8 to the unexpected. Most of August, I felt some kind of way. I didn't like Abu Dhabi at first. I hated the hotel, the people, and everything. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. 

September - After five weeks in Abu Dhabi, moved out the hotel, moved to the island, I finally started work, moved into my new apartment, and began to "settle in" to my new environment. I still didn't like it much. I thought it was the ugliest place on Earth. There just had to be a lesson or a gem somewhere..... AND




October - "We" went out on our first "date". We actually met in September but being in such a conservative area, the exchange took some time. In the midst of all of this, my new colleagues became friends, and we now have a bond and imprint in each other's lives.

November - My first Thanksgiving without my sister since we started our tradition of celebrating together. She tried to make my dressing but um, YEAH... I can only make that dress.... and I got engaged. Kinda fast but well ...life.

December - End of the trimester, going to Rome, the US, Paris, and London. 2012 was such an eventful year and I can't wait to see what 2013 has to offer.



Tags: "life" "travel" "Abu Dhabi" "teaching in Abu Dhabi" "life abroad" "life in Abu Dhabi" "Paris" "London" "Rome" "Reginia"

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