Friday, November 15, 2013

Linden Avenue - My first eBook



It's been quite some time since I've posted on Her Perfect Black Dress. Over the summer, I created a new site that I felt would better represent my agenda; PoisedinPrint.com.

In the midst of all of the transition, I've penned my first eBook. It's set to come out on Black Friday via Amazon.

Since Google Reader is operation, I'd love for you guys to stay up to date with me via PoisedinPrint.com via Google Reader, Google +, FB, and Twitter.

Thanks for all of your support.



Tags: "blogs" "blogger" "writer" "eBooks" "Linden Avenue"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saying Good-Bye



Dear friends,

Her Perfect Black Dress is closing its doors. Since 2011, we've had a good run, met great people, and attended outstanding events. We've outgrown our britches within this arena and we're spreading our wings in other parts of the World Wide Web.

Starting July 29, 2013, the site should redirect to www.poisedinprint.com. If it does not, please click the link to explore the rebranded version of me; news, current events, travel, food, and editorials with a blurb of fashion here or there.

Upcoming stories on Poised in Print; More of Meatless Mondays, travel to Toronto, Canada and Niagara Falls, Back to School, and Arabian Tacos.



See you on the other side beginning July 29, 2013.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Wheels Up; Vacation Time

It seems like June and July have gone on forever. Between winding town the slowest close of the year that I've ever experienced, moving to a new apartment, leaving the island, and experiencing extreme temperatures, I'm overdue for a vacation. My July's vacation will be more of a weekend getaway.

I'm a bit too pooped to frolic properly through the South of France so a North American stop it is. It's a place that I've never been, so it will count towards my Twelve Countries in 12 Months Project. Thereafter, I'm going to spend a bit of time with my sister in DC. I can't wait to go to my favorite Ethiopian Restaurant on U Street and walk around National Mall for morning rejuvenation.

Before I leave Abu Dhabi, I need to pick up a few souvenirs for my family. I will probably stop by a few of the small souqs to get things unique to the UAE.

I'm looking forward to grilled dinners with my family. My step-dad thinks he's the grill master and I gracefully oblige. He's quite the cook and I'm ready to taste flavors from home.

Most importantly, I am going to get some much needed rest. World news has been heavy, local news unfair, my national news disappointing so it is time to take a media break.

In the meantime, the blog is getting its annual redesign, the professional site is underway, I've pitched a few mainstream publications and after break, I will be renewed.

Starting Monday July 29, Her Perfect Black Dress will be Poised in Print. The site should redirect but if does not, please visit www.poisedinprint.com. Changes will occur on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and everywhere we're connect.



Tags: "vacation" "mental break" "blog break" "travel" "PoisedinPrint" "media" "news"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday; a Place Called Home


Housing


Downtown Delma



Video of Delma Island

Etisalat Community

Standard housing for Arab Families on Delma Island

"The Mall" includes a restaurant (the only one on the island), grocery store, government municipalities, trinket store, perfume shop, mobile shop, nacho/corn stand, photo developing, ATM, and typing center. There's an ice cream and stationary shop on the exterior with a laundry and mail boxes in the back.


So long Delma Island



Tags: "Delma Island" "Delma" "Dalma" "UAE" "teaching in the UAE" "teaching in Abu Dhabi"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Travel Tuesday: iTravel - Solo

The cat is out of the bag and it is absolutely no secret that I am enjoying my time on this side of the world. Everything is closer, which gives me an opportunity to visit more places with minimal costs. With this in mind, many ask, "Do you travel alone because we don't see others in your pictures?" Yes I travel alone for the most part but I have companions sometimes; I prefer traveling alone.

Here's why:

Timing

Working in education and particularly education here, I know my days off in advance and can schedule trips around these times. Those who work in the private sector may not have times that align with mine. Therefore, if I align with their time off, it's most likely mid-year and taking time off during those times is frowned upon (it happens though).

Finances

I am no multi-millionaire but I'm not struggling either. During travels, I want to have comfortable lodging with stellar amenities. Many travel bloggers opt for hostels or economical hotels, this is something I just can't do. The thought of staying in a hostel doesn't excite me by any means and I've tried lower star hotels and was left disappointed.





Excursions

I'm still a bit of a brat and I want to do what I want to do. If I want a day of leisure versus pounding the pavement, that's what's going to happen. Newer travelers like to take in ALL that the city has to offer and I just don't have to do that. If I hit a few key spots, I'm OK.





The Solo Traveler

Traveling alone is a wonderful and enjoyable experience. It offers freedom, relaxation, and one-to-one time with the destination. Take care when traveling alone by:





  1. Giving detailed information to your loved ones at home. Keep in contact so they don't worry.
  2. DO NOT announce that you're traveling alone on social media or at your destination.
  3. Keep your personal items (ie passport, money, room key) on your person in a snug bag that's ALWAYS in front of you.
  4. Minimize time out at night or inviting "new friends" to your room.
  5. Meet "new friends" in public places and avoid getting intoxicated.

Plan ahead and enjoy your next trip solo.









Tags: "travel" "traveling alone" "women who travel alone" "travel tips" "teacher in Abu Dhabi" "working for ADEC"

Monday, July 15, 2013

In my news...


I'm finally back online after moving from the beloved Delma Island to Abu Dhabi City. It was more than a hassle to get the things off the island but I'm finally settled some. The most challenging part was getting the internet turned on because the company here makes Comcast seem highly organized and efficient; not. After that ordeal, I'll gladly call the oh so competent representatives of the low functioning Comcast. In other Abu Dhabi News, it's hot. OMG, it's super hot. Today, it was 117 at 11:50 AM. As I drove through the city my feet were on fire. Let's say that Old Navy Flip Flops + Abu Dhabi heat = feet on fire.


What's up with me...

Meatless Monday had meat. It was my intension to make cauliflower hash with red onions but our Iftar plans turned into a great meal at home. We had Tandoori Chicken, couscous, and green beans with a mango strawberry smoothie to break our fast. It was Ash's first time having couscous and he loved it. I loved that I only had to make the couscous and rested my apron for the evening.




.....

Like many, I am outraged by the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. There is absolutely no reason that George Zimmerman should be a free man. I encourage all residents to know the laws of your respective jurisdictions. Understand the wording and be abreast of elected officials. This trial was about prosecuting a defenseless dead teenager who wanted nothing but to visit with his dad. George Zimmerman not only provoked the altercation but escalated by introducing a weapon. The unnerving issue is that the clearly racist jurors seemed to have decided the case prior to hearing the evidence. The State of Florida failed Trayvon Martin. May karma due its diligence for all parties involved.

.....

I read a thought provoking article by Jai Stone of Essence.com about relationships among women. She outlined types of women who should be avoided and boy do I have a reaction and addition to her list. My time in Abu Dhabi has definitely highlighted a few things about women that are in desperate need of repair.

......

Finding a new web designer has proven to be harder than I thought. Some of you so called small business people need Small Business 101 and Business Etiquette 102. Stop guessing as to why your business is trudging along because the fault lies with you. Answering emails in a timely fashion and exercising courtesy goes a long way. Outside of the foolishness, I've narrowed my options to two.

.....

In a few days, I will be departing the oppressive oven and heading for cooler temps. I initially wanted to play in Monte Carlo and the South of France but my body is tired. I'm opting for a quick trip to Toronto then off to a fitness bootcamp in the states. The medicine I take for my heart makes me tired and grumpy. It's my goal to get fit and rid myself of these toxic but necessary (for the moment) pills.

.....

and that's all with me, what's up with you.



Tags: "news" "Trayvon Martin" "George Zimmerman" "Abu Dhabi heat" "Jai Stone" "essence.com" "Iftar" "Ramadan" "cauliflower hash" "teacher in Abu Dhabi"

Monday, July 8, 2013

Next Stop; The United States of America

Next stop; The United States of America.





I am more than ready to come home for a spell. I want to see my favorite things, people, and taste the foods that I enjoy. I want to drive on street in which laws are obeyed, courtesy is given, and embrace things that are normal to me. I can't wait to hear the American accents; ya'll, finna, 'posta, and OK. I want to look efficiency and organization square in the eye and say thank you.




I want a beef burger, golden crispy fries, skies without haze, and the riches of my suburban life.

I can't wait to attend blogger events, cuddle with the elite, rub elbows with the riches.


(oh wee).




Though expensive, I'm going to see my American doctor who listens to me, understands what I'm saying, and offers paths to wellness.

I want to shake hands with men and know that it's just a handshake or sit next to them at social events. I will attend a wedding that will have both men and women in attendance.

Going to my favorite salons in DC and Atlanta will excite me more than ever. I may even participate in Manicure Monday.





Most of all, I want to plant my feet on the soil that has been good to me. I am grateful to a mother that provided a lifestyle that many dream of and strive to have. I'm happy to have only known a life in the suburbs away from crime, misgivings, and despair.

I am who I am; that's Reginia the American.

See you soon my love.



Tags: "USA" "US" "America" "American" "The United States of America" "Air Asia" "travel"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My America is Great!

After living abroad almost one year, I've come to realize that my America is great. It affords opportunities unimaginable to others. I have liberties to speak and dream in the manner that I wish, I can chose or not chose my love, higher education is available as with clean drinking water, checks and balances, free public education, freedom of religion, and all of the graces between. America is not without flaw and has ample room for improvement but my America is great and there's no other place on Earth that I want to call home.



See you soon.

Happy Independence Day sisters, friends, lovers, and others....



Tags: "Happy 4th" "Independence Day" "4th of July" "July 4, 2013"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Condolences to Google Reader...


Dear Google Reader,



It was a great run. You provided updates to my favorite blogs. Daily, I would look to you for a detailed scroll of events, fashion, news, and whatever what nots. Your demise has caused a bit of chaos for those of us to depended on your services for our reading and posting pleasures.

Therefore, it is on the strength of your former presence that I extend a warm welcome to my sisters, friends, lovers, and others to meet me on Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.




Tags: "Google Reader" "Bloglovin" "Facebook" "Twitter" "Pinterest" "YouTube" "Instagram" "RIP Google Reader"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fashion Accents To Update Your Summer Style

Spend the warmest months of the year in fabulous fashions for every summer affair, whether you're strolling on the beach boardwalk or being romantic on an evening date. After inspecting your closet, do you realize it could use a makeover? If you're without funds for an entire wardrobe overhaul, focus on fashion accents. Accessories can act as small color contrast and provide pops of texture and dimension to any essential summer style, from bold and monochrome prints to pastel floral patterns.
Be fashionably daring this summer with any of these fashionable ideas:

Hair Ornaments

Adorn lengthy locks with a headpiece. Hair crowns are designed in a variety of styles and designs, such as crystals, beading and flowers suitable for a gypsy or summer wedding look. Bejeweled headpieces create that boho glam emulating cultural designs— dazzling beads and jewels woven into a series of chains worn delicately on the head. MrKate.com offers a handmade collection of versatile, Aura headpieces dipped in yellow or rose gold. Mimic the look of Aura, "the Greek mythological goddess of fresh and cool breezes," and radiate with beauty.



Photo by Flickr user Faylyne

Retro Flair

Ditch the contact lenses full-time and change your look completely with a pair of vintage-inspired Warby Parker eyeglasses. Go for a pair of translucent shades or round frames that will stylishly complement your favorite flirty frock or a high-waisted pair of cutoff denim shorts. Have a passion for anything retro? You'll die for a cat-eye silhouette or mirrored shades.



Photo by Wicker Paradise via Flickr

Luxe Locks

Make a fashion statement simply from the neck up. The fishtail braid is one hot plait and keeps you cool by exposing the neck. Master this en-vogue braid by separating your hair into two equal sections. Crisscross the sections outside the opposing section. Then crisscross inside the opposite section. Repeat on the other side, adding small sections to create your herringbone. Color your braid by tying colorful yarn into layers of hair at the root or dying tresses with hair chalk. Dampen your hair and rub those vibrant pastel chalks on your hair for a rainbow ombre look.



Photo by Maegan Tintari via Flickr

Haute Hats

Sun protection is sexy. So you can't bask on the beach and nestle into the sand without a wide-brimmed fedora or trendy panama. A curled brim or floppy hat is chic and protects against the sun’s harmful rays. Whether it’s to the beach or for a patio brunch— messily toss your hair into a hat and look smokin'.

Photo by Mike Monaghan via Flickr

Fun Footwear

Converse sneakers are timeless and versatile and a nice break from our favorite heels. From animal prints and florals to geometric patterns and custom designs, Chuck Taylors complement any outfit. The All Star Stonewashed Sneakers provide that vintage, faded look and Jack Purcell Sneakers carry on the Converse legacy with its classic silhouette and iconic toe. Graphic espadrilles also make fashion footwear statements. Before heading to the pool or beachy dive bar, slip on a pair of espadrilles in French nautical stripes or 80s floral print.



Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kris from Seattle, USA



Soak in the sun this summer with subtle style statements. From head to toe, you can make over your entire look with fashionable accents that will certainly turn heads.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Travel Tuesday; Madrid, Spain

On the heels of a relaxing weekend in Madrid, I'm able to pen a post that's fresh on my mind. Digging through 1000s of pictures and attempting to remember the intimates of a trip from yester-week is sometimes tough. Per my usual, I booked my trip through a discount travel site and did well on pricing. I initially booked a hotel near the airport because it was a 5-star that was dirt cheap but I cancelled and changed for a hotel in the city; my namesake, Hotel Regina (minus one 'i')

The hotel, Hotel Regina, is located city center and has all conveniences inside and nearby. Its interior is modern with touches of classic features, bar, restaurant with brunch, and fast room service.

However, I was a bit taken aback by the size of my tiny interior room.




European Hotels are duly known for their "quaint spaces" but this closet with a bed was not my speed; I stayed; it was OK. I don't think I would have made it longer than the few nights because it was an interior room with no natural light because the window faced another interior window. That was a drag. I asked for an upgrade but the lady acted as if she didn't understand. I didn't bother challenging her because I went there to relax.

Because the hotel was on the main drag I was able to do a lot of things by foot. I engaged in a lot of people watching, photography, small talk, and of course tapas tasting.





I did not visit any museums or historic areas because I simply was not in the mood for such. The weather was excellent so outdoor cafes and strolling through the various plaza were in order. I did one city tour with Madrid City Tours. It's a red double decker bus that circles the city stopping at preselected locations. Tourists are able to hop on and hop off at the stops of their choice and reenter at designated stops. The cost of the tour was 21 Euro. I enjoyed sitting on the top level and just taking it all in. The total trip was about 30 mins not including any stops.

In the city, I particularly liked the street performances and was able to catch some video of a young crew serving a splash of hip dancing. (loaded to my YouTube Channel)






Madrid is a quiet city during the day and quite bustling at night. I recommend Madrid for a quick getaway because an extended trip would have become a bore. A weekend with the girls or boys would also be well served because there are ample night spots. I did not see many activities for children but I didn't seek them either. Couples would definitely enjoy the area as love in always in the air.





I will visit Madrid again within a couple of years.

As always, there are more pictures here.





Tags: "ttot", "travel" "Madrid, Spain" "Madrid" "solo travel" "Hotel Regina Madrid"

Monday, June 24, 2013

In the News; Monday's Musings

Events of the past week have been quite newsworthy; Paula Dean casually uses the N-Word and publicly hoped that her staff would behave like Steppin' Fetchit, I enjoyed an extended weekend in Madrid, Full-figured fashion week in New York City, thoughts of re-branding, and the close of one year living abroad.

Let's begin:

Paula Dean - The butter queen knows better than to call someone the N-Word, that's never good for business and branding. However, she felt that "in good fun" her casual use of one of the world's most derogatory and oppressive word was OK. Welp, Food Network felt otherwise. Though many align themselves with the likes of the racist Paula Dean, the world of capitalism knows it's bad business therefore off their roster she went.

Safe move.

What bugs me in addition Paula's actions are a good number of blacks are pouring out loads of sympathy for Paula. It's quite disgusting at the amount of passes given by the doormat simps that accept her behavior because of her age and location. Perhaps because I was raised during the era of "Gangsta Rap" it is ok for me to shoot anyone who pisses me off and steps on my white sneaks; I think not. Thou shall not give a pass to Butter Dean either. Those who accept mediocrity are the weakest link in progression; I have more on that in a few. Either way, Paula will bounce back just like other poorly behaved celebrities.

Madrid, Spain

I had a pleasant extended weekend in Madrid. The weather was nice, my hotel was in the midst of everything, dining, activities, protests, and sight seeing. All stroked my need for a weekend away. There's not much day time bustle in Madrid, so I was able to casually stroll the streets while sipping on a ripe cafe' and enjoying a beauty of it all. Madrid is such a clean city with passionate residents. I didn't engage in any formalities other than a city tour. I opted out of museums and historic what nots because I simply was not there for that, I just wanted to relax uninterrupted.





The time in Madrid helped me to refocus and shed a bit of stress. Between completing my first year abroad in a location that I loathe, having a heart attack, and feeling smothered by nothingness, a change, though brief, in scenery was much needed.




Re-branding

I've tried to baby Her Perfect Black Dress for almost two years now (though I've blogged longer under a different name). The concept didn't quite go as I wanted as I am placed in the fashion/beauty category. Though I like my personal fashion, it's not something that I want to share daily or anything I think people would like. I get tons of emails to host giveaways or sponsored posts about fashion, but it's just not my thing. I'm in the process now of thinking of a name and redesign for what I want to do with blogging. I like news, conversations, reporting, current events; a CNN of the sorts. My blog friend Kita's is where I go daily because it's such a relaxed atmosphere that touches on many things, that's what I want to, a Huffington Post type of deal but commentary by me. It's in the works and I hope to make the transition over the summer.

If you have any references for an excellent designer who can set up the new blog, port from Blogger to Wordpress, and have this site redirect to the new one, send them my way. I want something sleek, modern, and attractive for news and commentary.



Living Abroad

July 4 marks the close of the school year. The students stopped coming at the beginning of June. My first year abroad was a bit disappointing. It was absolutely nothing like I imagined. I'm in a remote location, hours from the city and western amenities. I'm away from socialization and the ability to meet lots of people. My work situation was ok but professionally I didn't absorb much; there were far more withdraws than deposits. At this point in my career, I want to learn, be mentored, be a mentor, and have opportunities for intellectual stimulation. After 15.5 years in the industry, I have the art/craft of teaching and administration nearly perfected. I know SPED, ELL, CCC, and all the acronyms that education has to offer. I want to build upon that. Unfortunately my professional brand expansion has stalled because there isn't access to what I need.



As I mentioned, socialization and mediocrity. There's something about southern people (the ones that I encounter) and the acceptance of mediocrity. It's quite disturbing to think tank dwellers. Many try to color it as "thinking positive" but tap dancing with a noose around your neck is anything but that.

I said that to say, it is my hope that my next few years abroad will provide opportunities to meet new people, see other faces, and associate with those with those who are well traveled and can think beyond the fried pork chops.

On a lighter note:

Full-Figured Fashion Week

Some of my blog boos attended events during New York Fashion Week. I loved seeing the photos from all of the bloggers particularly my Atlanta love Oh Nikka, my mid-west girl Inez of StyleChic360,  Ty of Gorgeous in Grey, and lastly the belles of the ball Chasity of Garner Style and From the Rez to the City.



Inez of StyleChic360


Photo credits for this section belong to the individuals mentioned above.


What's on your plate this Monday?




Tags: "Paula Dean" "Paula Dean uses the N-Word" "Madrid" "ttot" "travel abroad" "travel in Europe" "living abroad" "teacher in Abu Dhabi" "heart disease" "exercise" "plant based diet"

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