Juneteenth Recipes for our Soul! – The Urban Martha Stewart

Growing up in Los Angeles, My parents were very involved in the Black movement but I didn’t really learn and absorb Black history until I went away to college at UC Berkeley and enrolled into an African American Studies classes with the infamous Dr. Harry Edwards. He rocked my world on African American Studies and I remember calling my mom crying asking her why she didn’t teach about our Black history?
For the full story and recipes please visit Ali in the Valley!

New Habits: Should They Be Left In Lockdown?

We had a lot of time to learn and perfect new habits over the last year, and many people are keen to continue taking the time to do them even as life goes back to normal. Of course, there may be some habits that are better left, but there have been many great habits people have formed that have really made a difference in their lives and allowed them to find a new passion in life. However, just what are these, why are they worth keeping onto, and could it provide you with inspiration to try it yourself? Keep reading to find out more.

Featured Photo from Vuelio

The Lockdown Kitchen

It was prime time to start getting creative in the kitchen. With so much time at home, people uncovered a love for cooking and baking in the kitchen. From having different themes to using new ingredients and learning new skills, many felt inspired by television shows such as The Great British Bake Off or Masterchef, while others may have been gifted the present of time and were finally able to start testing out recipes from a forgotten cookbook. Not only was there more time for cooking, but everyone had longer to take a moment to plan out a week of eating. To the foodies who never had enough time, this was heaven.

Not only were people more likely to use their stock in the cupboards (because of the essential-only shopping trips), but they had a knock-on effect of a better quality and healthier diet. Overall, this habit should definitely be taken out of lockdown and carried on into post-lockdown life.

The Lockdown Garden

Many were lucky enough in lockdown to have a space, big or small, outside of their four walls in the form of a garden. With so much time spent out there, it got many people thinking more creatively and making the most of their time outside. A survey from Squire Garden Centres concluded that 77% of people did more gardening during lockdown than they would normally do.

From gardening, the same respondents of the survey said it gave them a sense of achievement but also an outlet for stress and a source of much-needed happiness. This kind of positivity should be taken with everyone who found comfort in it from lockdown.

The Lockdown Knitting

Knitting may not have appealed to the masses, to begin with, but once gifted with time, many tried their hand at the skill, and so lockdown provided a lifeline for many wool stores in London. Knitting, obviously, creates a beautiful piece of art, a wooly hat or a newborns’ first blanket, but it has the added bonus of stimulating the mind. Knitting has proven to mimic the rhythmic repetition of mediation, thereby calming those who ‘practice’ the skill and is well worth continuing long after lockdown. You find all your essentials online from wool stores and take guidance from online resources.

The Lockdown Decorating

Interestingly, homeware brand Habitat announced that what consumers watched (or binged) on the television influenced the decoration of their homes. This is a dangerous game, as what could be deemed as stylish in the 1900s period drama may not sit so nicely in a modern home.

This trend should definitely be used sparingly. Otherwise, the front room may look like the set studio for a production company!

Throughout the global pandemic, everyone needed to seek comfort in their home, whether that meant small home improvement projects, getting your fingers green, smelling out the kitchen with delicious cooking or baking, or getting stuck into a challenging skill like knitting, They all brought a sense of calmness and relaxation. As a society, these skills should be taken back into reality, where new skills can flourish in classes, groups, or even to show off your new dish at a dinner party.

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WAFF48 Lifestyle Segment: National Hot Breakfast Month Blueberry Brie Melt

February was National Hot Breakfast Month.  Nationwide, food retailers were encouraging everyone to start their day with a warm meal.  I couldn’t agree more because there are so many benefits to eating a hot breakfast.  Number one, breakfast foods help fuel the body and provide a sharper focus while boosting the metabolism.

In support of this initiative, I hosted a lifestyle segment live from my kitchen!  It was a lot of fun because I was able to inspire the local Huntsville audience with a delicious meal.

Julian’s Recipe Blueberry & Brie Melt

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 Julian’s Recipe Wafels
  • 4 ounces of brie cheese, thinly sliced

 

Directions:

Combine the blueberries, lemon zest and sugar in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

Place the butter in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Then place your wafels into the pan.

Add 4-5 slices of brie cheese on top followed by a generous scoop of the blueberry compote.

Add the second wafel on top and then flip! Allow 2-3 minutes per side or until golden.

Serve while hot and enjoy!

Click on the link to watch the segment:  WAFF48

Check Out These Delicious Super Bowl Snack Recipes

To celebrate, TheSoul Publishing — the publisher behind one of the top five YouTube channels, 5-Minute Crafts – has provided some delicious treats to keep the fun going at your Super Bowl party.

Featured Photo from Simply Home Cooked

    • Easy Oreo Cake Pops – Crush a bag of Oreos and combine with cream cheese. Roll into balls and insert a toothpick; then, dip into melted white chocolate and freeze. Yum! (Instructions here)
    • Elegant Chocolate Rose Cookies – Combine melted chocolate and flour, and then add to a piping bag. Create small spirals on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then bake. These elevated cookies will add a touch of glamour to watching football at home! (Instructions here)
    • Colorful Popcorn! – Add oil and popcorn kernels to a deep pot, as if you’re making stovetop popcorn. Then, add a secret ingredient…skittles! As the kernels pop, they will become bright, colorful, and the perfect combination of salty and sweet. (Instructions here)
    • Avocado Fries – What’s better than guacamole and chips? How about frying avocado for a delicious snack! Dredge avocado slices in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then add to hot oil to fry until golden brown. (Instructions here)
  • Pull Apart Mozzarella Sticks – Slice a block of mozzarella into pieces (without slicing all the way through); add to hot frying oil, then serve with marinara sauce for a savory snack. (Instructions here)

Lifestyle Alert: Insider Tips On Taking Holiday Hosting To The Next Level

Whether you’re planning to host a casual night in or get creative with some holiday cheer, the nation’s most elite event planners, founder of Bluebird Productions, serial mompreneur Virginia Frischkorn and her expert team have the answers to make your hosting a whole lot easier.

Taking everything they know about successful hosting and delivering it straight to consumers through all you need to know digital boxes at bluebirdinabox.com.

Here’s a look inside this fall and winter’s most sought after online secrets:
  • Trick or Treat (Kids Halloween): Inspired by sweet tooths and pumpkin patches, this curated box reminds party-goers that Halloween is about more than dressing up and eating candy – it’s about creating an atmosphere of whimsy and true connection among both children and parents. Bluebird In A Box provides entertainment go-to’s that guarantee a day of loud laughter, creativity, and memories, with original activities like Mummy Racing, Pumpkin Patch Stomp, and Spaghetti Search. Serve up ghostly delights like Mummy Meatballs, Grapefruit “Pumpkins,” or Monster Pizzas. Whip up delectably ghastly drinks like Boo-Nilla Ice Cream Floats, Goosebumps Punch, or Vampire Juice. Plus, get costume ideas and tips for easy post-party cleanup.
  • Spooky Supper (Adult Halloween): This Bluebird box gives adults the excuse they need to revisit childhood costumes and experience that scary-movie-adrenaline-rush in the eerie glow of dramatic candlelight. Roll out the red carpet with horror flick recommendations, along with suggestions for spooktastic touches like bat sculptures. Enjoy killer cuisine like Black Magic Cake, Cider-Glazed Chicken Breast, or Taste of Fall Salad. Create creepy cocktails like The Cauldron, The Spooky Negroni, or Hocus Pocus Punch. Discover how to craft a scream-worthy centerpiece with tapered candles, pumpkins, pomegranates, figs, and cobwebs. Plus, get 2020’s best costume ideas (remember Tiger King and murder hornets?)
  • Friendsgiving: Create a new tradition, gathering with your besties and brothers-from-another-mother to give thanks without the obligatory side hugs and awkward conversations. Get the party started with movie recommendations and links to activities like Thanksgiving Bingo or Family Gathering Table Topics. Bring people together around delectable dishes inspired by Martha Stewart, Chrissy Tiegen, Ina Garten, and David Lebovitz. Browse wine pairings and soul-warming cocktail recipes like the classic Apple Toddy, Maple Manhattan, Hot Mulled Cider. Plus, get inventive decor ideas that set the scene for gratitude and sharing.
  • Pumpkin Spice: Settle in for a spirited event inspired by warm cider, crackling fireplaces, crisp autumn air, flannels, and cozy candlelit meals. Kick things off with our classic fall film recommendations and soulful guest gift ideas. Encourage collaboration and laughter with fun-filled activities like a murder mystery dinner or pumpkin carving kit, plus creative conversation starters. Enjoy mouthwatering delights inspired by culinary greats like Julia Child and Massimo Battura, including sweet and savory Fig Prosciutto Bites, Harvest Salad, Beef Bourguignon, and Pumpkin Coffee Cake. Set the mood with signature sips such as Fall Sangria, a Ginger Pear Snap, or Caramel Apple Pie Mocktail. Plus, get styling accents, wardrobe ideas, and more!

How to Take Control of Your Life Once and For All

Taking control of your life might sound like a luxury with so much going on in the world. But if you take the time to change your approach for life and put yourself in the driver’s seat for a change, your life will improve in a variety of ways. There are many ways to do this and we’re about to touch on a range of different topics, so read on to find out more about getting this right.

Control Your Surroundings and Potential Distractions

If you’re going to take better control of your life, you first need to do what you can to take control of your surroundings. If you’re the kind of person who has their plans and intentions derailed by a lack of control and not really being able to commit to things, you should control your surroundings better. For example, working from home means having to cut out distractions and create surroundings that are conducive to work.

Featured Photo from Awed by Monica

Make a Habit of Thinking Before You Act, Not the Other Way Round

You should also do what you can to make a habit of thinking before you act. When you don’t think through your actions and decisions in life, you simply end up taking the wrong route and that’s obviously not what you want to habit. Make it the norm for you to stop and think before making any significant decision.

Become a Learner

If you want to get ahead in life and feel more like you’re in control of your own destiny, you should do what you can to become a better learner. If there are gaps in your knowledge in particular areas that are important to you or that might be important in your career going forward, make an effort to learn and better yourself.

Pay More Attention to Your Financial Life

Paying a little more attention to your finances will be a big part of taking back control for you. If you’re not able to control your finances, you’re going to struggle to get to where you want to be. A lot of people feel a loss of control in their lives because they aren’t in control of their money. Head to https://www.dtss.us/ to find out more about these issues.

Manage Your Emotions and Long-Held Beliefs

Managing your emotions is something that all of us should try to get better at doing. And sometimes you also need to question your emotions and your long-held beliefs. Be open to change and open to changing your mind. That’s what learning and improving in life should be all about after all. None of us get it all right.

There’s no reason why you can’t start feeling more in control of your life and destiny, and with the help of the advice above it’ll be a whole lot easier to achieve. Be sure to find ways in which these tips can be made to fit the needs and realities of your life; after all, everyone’s in a different place.

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#JetOff 6 Fun (And Unusual) Things to Do in Singapore: Travel Attractions

Millions of people make their way to Singapore each year to see the sights and have some fun.

If you are looking for fun things to do in Singapore, but you need some ideas, we are here to help! After all, there are plenty of activities, events, and other fun happenings that you don’t want to miss.

Continue reading this article to learn the best things to do in Singapore.

1. Universal Studios

Singapore’s version of Universal Studios is a great place to visit. They have a mix of attractions that make it a good spot for families with kids young and old.

The Puss In Boots’ Giant Journey in Far Far Away is a good ride to check out for younger kids and for those of you that want to do something more excited you should head to the Battlestar Galactica.

2. Butterfly Park

If you love butterflies and you’re looking for an educational experience, the butterfly park is the perfect place for you.

You can book a guided tour for the educational experience, or you can walk around the park yourself and look at the different types of exotic insects and butterflies.

3. Singapore Flyer

The massive Ferris wheel overlooking the water at Marina Bay is one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels. Looking at the Ferris wheel from the ground is an especially beautiful sight at night with all of the lights.

The ride on the Singapore Flyer takes 30 minutes and lets you take in the amazing sights of the city slowly from up above.

4. Visit Chinatown

Chinatown is filled with plenty of souvenir shops if you’re looking for something to take home. There are also lots of places to get a massage or to grab a bite to eat. Don’t forget the temples you’ll see as you continue walking through Chinatown.

5. National Museum of Singapore

If you want to learn more about the history of Singapore, head over to the National Museum of Singapore. You’ll be able to get a true feel of the history and feel like you were there to experience it with the unique and interesting exhibits.

Living Galleries are especially interesting and will allow you to learn more about Singapore fashion, food, photography, and more.

6. Marina Bay Sands

While this might not be an unknown thing to see while in Singapore, it is one you must see. You’ll be able to shop at the trendiest stores, stay at the hotel and swim in the fantastic pool at the top of the hotel.

Enjoying the Fun Things to Do In Singapore

Now you know more about Singapore and you can start planning some fun things to do in Singapore. Planning your trip well before you go can help you keep from missing some of the coolest things you might have otherwise overlooked.

Do you want to know more about what to do in Singapore and other areas? Our site is full of articles to help you as you’re planning your travels.

Browse through our travel articles, pick some that look good to you, and drop a bookmark to come back a

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Talk of Alabama Fashion Segment: Closet Organization and Budget-Friendly Products under $25

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Talk of Alabama:  ABC 3340 and share budget-friendly closet organization tips.

Kimberly West, Style Expert

One way to boost your overall mood is with an organized closet.  There are so many benefits to managing your clothing and accessories:

  1. Save money on your wardrobe without re-buying the same items.
  2. Reduce the clutter with visually seen items.
  3. You will dress better because items are at your fingertips.
  4. It creates more space in your home.

Organizing your closet can be overwhelming but with the right set of tools, this can be a fun project!  Grab your best girlfriends or Fashion Stylist and start sorting those shirts and accessories.

While on-air, I showcased products that can be purchased from Target and Amazon.  The list included non slip hangers, cascading hooks, plastic baskets, over-the-door hook, shoe bag, and wall-mounted jewelry canvas.

 

Budget-Friendly Solutions
Nonslip Hangers

 

Click on the link to view the segment: Talk of Alabama | Closet Organization | Kim West

 

BLOOM: Faith, Fashion, and Business Empowerment Series Spotlight: Dr. JeFreda R. Brown

Style + Life + Fashion has launched a new empowerment series!  Titled, BLOOM focuses on faith, fashion, and business; spotlighting dynamic women that are movers and shakers in the community.

Today’s feature will spotlight Financial Literacy Educator, and Business Consultant, DrJeFreda R. Brown.

BLOOM SPOTLIGHT:  Dr.  JeFreda R. Brown

  • Explain why Financial Literacy is such an important topic for women of all ages.

     Financial literacy is competence in personal financial skills and financial education to make effective decisions concerning family, goals, lifestyle, and desires. In many families, women handle the finances. It is important that women be good stewards of what God has entrusted to them. This is why it is vital that young girls receive a strong financial foundation at a young age. The first teachers of finance affect the future financial decisions that young girls will make.

  • How can women empower themselves (or bloom) in the areas of personal finance, budgeting, and credit?

        Women first need to ask themselves if they need to change their financial behavior. If you have trouble making money last for an entire month, that is a clear indication that you need to change your financial behavior. Also, it is so important for women to realize that everything we do revolves around finances. Therefore, a strong financial foundation needs to be in place. Getting financial literacy education is the first step to blooming in all areas of personal finance.

  • What is the biggest misconception about repairing your credit?

         The biggest misconception about repairing your credit is that you have to pay someone to do it for you. You can repair your own credit. I recommend doing it yourself because it helps you to gain a better understanding of how the credit system works. I also want to stress that repairing credit doesn’t help if you haven’t first changed your mindset about finances. Repairing your credit but continuing the same cycles doesn’t solve the problem. I am a featured contributor in a book called, “I Didn’t Learn That in High School: 199 Facts About Credit Scores“, which is available on Amazon. This book is full of details about credit, how it works, how to use it, how not to use it, how to repair your own credit, and much more. I recommend that women get this book to help learn more about credit.

  • What are some of the specific financial obstacles that women are facing?

            There was a sample conducted with 7,000 men and women. They were given a 5-question basic financial literacy test. Only 29% of the women were able to pass the test. That means 71% of the women were unable to answer 5 questions about finances. Also, there are a lot of single women raising children. These women have to take care of their households. Most of them only have one source of income, which still may not cover all the necessary expenses each month. These are critical financial obstacles for women. These are also more reasons why getting financial literacy education is so vital for women.

  • What financial advice would you tell your 20-year-old self?

            If I knew at 21 what I know now about compounding interest, whole life insurance, investing in real estate, etc., I would have really focused on making sure my credit was good. I would have started putting all these things in place then.  I would have start building wealth then. 22 years later at 43, I would definitely be set financially. Thinking about how much interest would have compounded over 22 years! Jesus!

  •  How does faith have an impact as it relates to your personal finances?

          I believe that trying to manage finances without faith will never work. There are over 2,000 scriptures in the Bible about finances. This tells us that God wants us to have the proper guidance in managing finances. Another reason that faith is important is that we must realize that it is not “our” money; it’s God’s. He owns it, and we are just stewards of what He entrusts us with. If someone puts something they own into your care, wouldn’t you take good care of it? Most importantly, we are required to pay tithes. It’s a command, not a choice. I’m a witness to how God has provided for me in tough times because I have been obedient to paying tithes. Tithes are paid on gross income, not net income. Tithes are paid on any money you receive from others, even if it’s $1.

  •  Tell us more about your platform and Provision Financial Education? 

          It is my mission to educate people about finances and help people develop financial health and wellness. My goal is for Xaris Financial Enterprises to be the preferred financial literacy education company in the world. I want to get financial literacy curriculum into schools for grades K-12 and colleges. It needs to be a required curriculum. I want to go into companies and organizations to provide financial education to their employees. It saddens me when I read statistics about how people are developing health problems because they are stressed about their finances. People have to work past age 70 because they haven’t properly prepared for retirement. If people would get rid of their pride and seek help, they can solve their financial problems. It first requires a mindset change. Realize there is a problem first and then make an effort to resolve the problem. Action is required for change. That action is getting financial literacy education. God, Himself said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge“. There is nothing to be ashamed of in getting help and letting someone know your situation. Many of us have had financial hardship; myself included. I’m not here to judge; I’m here to tear down the systems that have kept people in financial bondage. I have the compassion to help you because I have been through financial hardship.

  •  What’s the most important concept that we can take away from this interview?

           A problem is no longer a problem once you take care of it. Financial literacy is the key to having a better, stress-free life. Financial literacy is the key to having the lifestyle that you desire. Nothing happens until you first take action. Provision Financial Education is here and ready to help.

Follow Dr.  JeFreda R. Brown and join her Financial Literacy community on social media:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

“EMPOWERED WOMEN, empower women!”