Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 12th: Make Time for a Movie Break

Tuesday is the day when new video releases hit the shelves, so why not make time for a movie break tonight?

I know that the week is just beginning and you have got a million and one things on your agenda, but there's something refreshing about sitting on the couch with some popcorn (my new fave is Orville Redenbacher's Natural Buttery Salt and Cracked Pepper - Yum!), a few friends or family members and a good flick.

Stop by your favorite video store (Blockbuster recently reduced their rates) or visit your local Redbox. (Reserve your video at Redbox.com or become a Redbox fan on Facebook and get a free rental code.) Or you can stay at home and use your Netflix account to get a movie in an instant or rent one OnDemand.

Have fun tonight and don't stay up too late!

On This Date, April 12th

Brown Girl Birthday

Suzzanne Douglas, Actress ('The Parent Hood,' 'The Inkwell,' 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back')

Monday, April 11, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 11th: Fun in the Sun

There is no greater season than spring to get out of the house and move your body.

Whether you decide to walk around the high school track a few times a week, dust off your bike and ride through the neighborhood or join your company's softball team, look for
an activity that let's you have fun in the sun. Not will you reap the rewards of regular exercise, you will also benefit from being in the sunlight.

So put on your workout wear, grab a bottle of water and a bottle of sunscreen (learn more about African Americans and sunscreen here) and hit the bricks! After being inside all winter, it'll do your body and your spirit some good!!

On This Date, April 11th

Brown Girl 'Herstory'

1881: Spelman College opened in Atlanta, Georgia


Friday, April 8, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 8th: Get Connected to a Cause

Every where you turn, there are men, women, boys and girls who are in need of help. Whether they are looking for food, clothing, shelter, education, better health, support for a sports team or money for life-changing adventure: Somebody out there needs you!

Think about a cause or situation that stirs up passion within you and find a way to get connected, today. Commit to that cause for the remainder of 2011 by offering your time and resources to it. Here are a few  ways that you can help out:
  • Become a member of your favorite charity's speakers bureau and share its importance with others
  • Brown-Bag your lunch twice a week and donate your weekly surplus to a food bank
  • Host a garage sale and send the proceeds to the United Negro College Fund
  • Set up an automatic debit and give on a monthly basis
  • Sign up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day or raise funds for another participant
  • Join the Board of Directors for your local arts foundation
  • Go the extra mile by starting your own foundation
These are just a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing, so take some time and find the project and process that fits you. Just remember, it is always a blessing to be a blessing to someone else. Pass it on!

On This Date, April 8th

Brown Girl Birthday

Carmen McCrae, Jazz Singer


Thursday, April 7, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 7th: Get to Clippin', Girlfriend!

We are living in a day and time where just about every savvy sister is becoming more budget-conscious, regardless of her level of income. If you find yourself with more month left over after all of your money is spent, you are not alone. And if you are one of the few who don't need to pinch pennies, think about how much more money you will have to spend on luxuries if you can save on necessities, like food and grooming items?

Today is a good day to start clipping coupons in order to spend less on your next weekly grocery bill. Since many of you will be shopping over the next few days, take a few moments to search for cost-saving coupons for the items that you plan to purchase this weekend.

Get quick and easy access to dozens of name brand coupons at Coupons.com! Visit your local supermarket's website and print store coupons or download savings right onto your Frequent Shopper card. Or you can go old-school this Sunday and find coupons in your newspaper. Just make sure you don't leave your savings sitting on the kitchen table! (There are tons of nice organizers that will help you keep track of your coupons.)

For more on couponing, here are a few additional resources:

Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money & Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk! (Lakeland Fellranger)

How to Shop for Free: Shopping Secrets for Smart Women Who Love to Get Something for Nothing

The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half: The Strategic Shopping Method Proven to Slash Food and Drugstore Costs

Get more tips from the ladies of TLC's 'Extreme Couponing.'

On This Date, April 7th

Brown Girl Birthday

Billie Holiday, Jazz Singer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 6th: Attention Dreamers -- Don't Knock the Side Hustle!

When you sit back and dream about your future, what do you imagine yourself doing? Do you envision going to the same job and doing the same things that you are presently doing or can you see yourself walking a completely different path than the one you're on now?

If you wouldn't trade your present career for anything else, congratulations! You have been blessed to discover your purpose and walk in it daily! If you would drop your job in a heartbeat, it's time to start working on your exit strategy. Two of the best ways to move into a new career are to either find a part-time job in your area of interest or start your own home-based business.

I know that your schedule is already full, but I think that you deserve to spend your days doing something that you want to do versus doing something that you have to do. Just think, author Toni Morrison began her writing career while working a full time job and raising her children as a single mother. Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter, started making beauty products in her kitchen while she was working for 'The Cosby Show' and raising her family. They are living, breathing proof that a part-time gig can lead to full-time success. So what are you waiting on, Dreamgirl?

If you need a roadmap to help you making the transition, check out Delatorro McNeal's Caught Between a Dream and a Job: How to Leave the 9 to-5 Behind and Step Into the Life You've Always Wanted.

If you are already living your dream, please share your story and encourage others who are just beginning their journey towards career fulfillment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BBL Quick Tip for April 5th: Hug Somebody

Today is a good day to show your love for a friend or family member by giving him or her a gentle squeeze. I don't know about you, but the mere thought of getting a hug brings a smile to my face.

I know that you have heard that 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away,' but what about giving 'a hug a day'? Many of us greet folks with a hug when haven't seen them in a long time, but what about a dose of hugs for those that we see every day (especially the ones who live with us)? A University of North Carolina study shows that hugs increase levels of oxytocin, a "bonding" hormone, in addition to other health benefits.

So the next time you feel the urge to give someone a big squeeze, just do it! Not only will you make her day, you just might help prolong both of your lives.

Self: Mastering the Fine Art of Saying 'No!'

There are a couple of things that I find amusing about the word "no": To begin with, it is one of the first words that we figure out as we are learning how to vocalize our thoughts and feelings to the people around us. Tell any preschooler to put down her favorite toy and get ready for nap time and she may just respond with an emphatic, "No!" (Your reply is likely to cause an even bigger stir!)

The second thing about the word "no" that I find interesting is the fact that it means the same thing in several different languages. That being the case, whenever you utter "n-o," there is no need for interpretation or explanation.

Considering the fact that "no" is one of the first words that you and I learned as children and the fact that it is universally understood in a multitude of nations, why is it so difficult to tell someone "no" when he or she asks for more than we are able to give? Are the thoughts and feelings of another always more important than your own? I think not.