Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

- It's been a while - my bad! I'll try to do better.

- Beautiful day in the NYC today! Love it!

- I'd better pop a good number when I weigh in tomorrow. I've been KILLING myself in the gym this week. Go team DAMM!!! (inside joke)

- I feel like all I've been watching on tv is the NBA Playoffs and SportsCenter. I might catch Wendy Williams during the day, but even that's background noise.

- Steve Harvey's "Strawberry Letters" this week have been CRAZY! Do these people really exist in the world? No wonder he has a best selling book - people aren't using the good sense God gave them.

- Can't wait to lay on the beach this summer. Why is it that all the 90 degree days fall on like...a Tuesday... and all the rainy days are on the weekend? That just means I have to get creative when playing hooky.

- I'm wearing white jeans today - just thought I'd throw that out there.

- I haven't been to see a play in a long time - have to remedy that. A Streetcar Named Desire might be one to see. Blair Underwood....nuff said.

- I love our First Lady. The Flotus is THE BOMB!

- School teachers are still having sex with students? Really? And how do you get seduced by an 18 year old?

- Do any of you pee in the pool? Don't lie...

- I would LOVE sushi for lunch - not sure it's good for my weight loss plan though for this week. I've been juicing all week...blah.

- Anyone have any ideas on what I can write about for Madame Noire this weekend? Relationship topics? Anyone???

- I posted "Money Monday" on Tuesday and no one corrected me :-)

- Sand between my toes would feel SO good right now.

- It's June tomorrow...the year is flying by so fast!

Let's go! Love Jigga's swag!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

Today is a rant day. Feel free to rant about whatever you want.

My rant for today? My hair.

Now before you all go in on me, trust me when I tell you that I know my hair and scalp are healthier now that I've decided to go natural. I know this.

I've been wanting to try to going natural for a long time, but I was hesitant for all the very reasons I'm about to rant about now.

I understand that anything worth doing will be challenging. I get that. But please allow me this indulgence. Just for today...then I'll be done.

I'm not loving my hair today. I didn't particularly care for it yesterday either...or the day before.


It's just not doing anything I want it to do. It doesn't curl up, it's frizzy and I don't find it to be cute at all.

I've been trying different products, none of which work. They make my hair look dull, and I have random strands that fly in different directions, while others coil up tight. I have 2 different hair textures on my head, so either the front looks great one day, or the back does....but they never look great at the same time.

Actually...that's not true. My hair looks nice when it's about a quarter to half an inch long. But now that it's growing, that inch and and half length seems to make a HUGE difference in how my hair behaves.

So it seems the solution would be to keep it short. But I don't want to keep it short. I know it's going to take a couple of years for it to get to a length where I can rock a great twist out, so I figured I'd better get started now. All of this means I'm about to enter into the dreaded "in between stage" - a stage I hated when my hair was relaxed as well. Not looking forward to it.

Then there's the gym. I've been going hard for a few weeks now, and while you'd think natural hair would be easier to manage as it pertains to working out, I feel like it's worse. I sweat my hair out, and my hair being wet isn't the issue. It's the sweat mixing with the 3 different hair products I have in my hair (that don't work) running down my face, making me feel greasy and breaking my skin out. I wash my face a lot more now because I constantly feel oily, which is making my skin dry out - or break out more.

Then, when I sweat out the product, my hair turns into a massive frizz ball. So I have a wet afro that looks crazy. All the product is on my hands (from putting them behind my head to do ab work) and none on my head. We won't even talk about the oil running down the back of my neck.

Then there's all the products I need to try just to make my fro look half way decent before I leave the house. I'm tired of running my ass back and forth to Target and beauty supply stores buying - and then RETURNING - products trying to find the perfect one for my ever changing mane. And NONE of these products are cheap. I've tried inexpensive products, expensive ones, homemade ones, pure olive oil from my kitchen...EVERYTHING. Nothing is working. All from having over an inch of hair on my head.

So I try to wear makeup and cute earrings to distract people from the fact that I look like I have a Scotchbrite Scrubber on my dome. People are sweet - they say things like, "Oh, now that you have short hair, I can see your facial features more." favorite..."At least you have a cute shaped head."

That's all code for, "Giirrrl, good thing you cute, cuz your hair is a hot ass mess!"

I know what it is.

I can see why sistas want to rock relaxed hair. When my hair was relaxed, it did what I wanted it to do - and it was the same texture all over. Granted, I've never been one of those women who sit in the salon all day every weekend. I didn't bump and curl it everyday. Being able to slick it back into a ponytail was enough for me. Now I actually have to "DO" something with my hair daily...and it takes longer than brushing it back and securing it with an elastic.

Again, I know my hair is healthier now...but damn if this isn't a process.

I'm simply hoping that I can deal with it until it grows. It's hard. No matter how many compliments I get, "I" am the one who has to look at it, live with it, and ultimately like it. Today...I don't like it. At all.

And that's okay...and don't worry - I'm not running back to the creamy crack any time soon. I just wanted to rant and get this off my chest. My sister told me she misses when I had hair. I do too. My mom said I looked "too natural." I know what that means....but whatever. It's a's a challenge. One I'm willing to keep trying...for now.

Maybe I'll braid it up once it grows another inch if I don't find the right concoction to curl it up and make it shiny. Maybe I'll just invest in some cute hats - who knows. All I know is, as of today, natural hair is not fun to me. Not even a little bit.

Well...that's it for today. I'm about to go to the gym, so I have extra towels to catch all the gook that's about to pour from my scalp. My healthy scalp. What joy.

But like going to the gym and eating healthy, anything worth doing is worth working (and suffering) for until it becomes second nature. I guess I'd rather be healthy inside and out with a fuzzy head then overweight and unhealthy with straight hair.

Okay, rant over. Your turn.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Renting: What You Should Austin the Realtor

Hello my good people!

Today we will discuss the rental market. If you are in the market for a new apartment to rent, let’s go over some of the pitfalls you can avoid with proper planning. I’ve heard horror stories from landlords and tenants on what they thought was a great situation that turned sour. Outside of the clash of personalities, knowing and understanding the agreement between the tenant and landlord can help avoid many misunderstandings and bad situations.

1. Read Your Lease. No matter how much you love the place, make sure the terms are something you are comfortable with. Do you hate taking the garbage to the curb? Well, did your lease stipulate it's “your” responsibility? Did you miss this when you signed? Are utilities included? Did the landlord say it is but the lease says it's not? If you signed it, then it’s your responsibility. Try to negotiate anything you do not totally agree with.

2. Sign a Lease That Fits Your Lifestyle. Are you considering a pet in the future? Do you have frequent visitors? Make sure your lease has provisions that work for you. Don’t compromise on a term in the lease that you think will be difficult to adhere to.

3. Take Pictures When You Move In. When it's time to move out, your landlord may try to stick it to you for your security deposit claiming something is broken or damaged. You can prove it’s not your responsibility with pictures showing the item or property was as-is when you moved in.

4. Check Out The Neighborhood. You may want to live in area because you “heard” it was nice. Go see for yourself. It may be nice and quiet during the day, but take a drive at night to see how the neighborhood is. How close is the nearest fire station? Will you hear sirens frequently? Check it out before you find out after you sign the lease.

5. Get Renters Insurance. The law mandates car insurance. When you need it, it’s a great feeling knowing you have it. The same goes for renters insurance. It’s not mandated, but you will sure wish you had it if a situation occurs that leaves your items damaged or missing!

What are some of your experiences that may have caused you to say, “I wish I would have...before I rented this place"?

- Austin

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Money Monday with Austin the Realtor - let's go!

Common Credit Austin the Realtor

Hello my good people. Today we will discuss your credit. To make just about any large purchase, your credit will be a factor. Unless you are buying using only cash, buying a new home, a car or even furniture will entail some credit review when a loan is requested. Many guard their credit with their life; others don’t feel it’s that important. To clear the air, if you want to spend the least amount to borrow money, it is very important to understand how credit works. You control what goes into your report, so it’s wise to think twice about opening that 6th department store credit card. I read a few articles and I want to talk today about some misconceptions some have about our credit report.

Myth #1. Too many inquiries will hurt my score.

This is not totally accurate. You as the consumer can check your score every day if you choose, and this will have no effect on your score. However, when you give permission to a lender to access your credit report, this can affect your score. This is considered a hard inquiry. The good thing is the credit agencies are aware you may be shopping for a mortgage or a car loan, so if there are multiple inquiries in 30 days, they will count this as 1 hard inquiry.

Myth #2. If a debt in arrears is paid off in full, the missed payments will be removed from my report.

This would be great if it was true. The credit company will be thankful to have you off their books - but your history stays. It takes up to seven years to have one missed payment disappear from your credit report. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this can take up to 7 years. Although you can dispute erroneous entries to have them removed, a valid negative entry will stay even if a credit repair company says they can get it removed.

Myth #3. When you get married, your credit report merges.

Thank goodness this one is not true. There would be a lot less marriages! Once you marry, your debt is still your debt. It's common practice to start opening credit cards together or applying for loans together, and this will appear on both reports. Both individuals will be equally responsible for the debt. Even in a divorce, unless the creditor agrees to remove one of the individuals, you are both still on the hook. The only time marriage gets you hooked is if you live in a community property state which will hold both spouses liable. States such as Idaho, California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Washington are community property states - so be careful!

Myth #4. I’m never late on my bills and my credit score is good, so I don’t have to check.

Although you may never be late does not mean the information being reported is correct. It's always good practice to check your report at least 2 times a year to ensure no erroneous information has been posted. You don’t want t to find out there is an error on your report when you are applying for a mortgage or car loan. You may not be happy with the rate you qualify for - if you qualify at all.

One Final Note: They advertise free credit reports all the time. This is true. You can get your report for free - but your score is not free.  The site: can provide your score for about $20. It's good to have both - so don’t get upset when you get your report and your score is “missing”!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Friday! And Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

In honor of Mother's Day, and this trailer from Jada Pinkett Smith, I'd like to pose this question: What is the greatest lesson you've learned from your mother? It may not be just one thing, so name them all if you want :-)



Monday, May 7, 2012

Dear Brookey,

I've been having a problem with my upstairs neighbors. I live in a 4 floor walk up, on the third floor. My new neighbors are newlyweds - great, fun couple, very nice. I like them...except for one thing. They have sex every night around 1am, sometimes again around 4, and it's VERY loud. I'm all for newlywed bliss, and I'm happy they're loving each other - but I need my sleep! Other than the marathon sex, I have no problem with them and really like them, so I'm having a hard time finding a way to tell them that their over zealous sex lives is ruining my sleep. Their sex lasts about 45 minutes, and even when they're finished, I can't fall back to sleep right away. And when I do, it's round 2 for them!

What can I say to them, in a nice way, to let them know that they're keeping me up at night? I don't want to be one of "those" neighbors who complains all the time, but it's really affecting me at work, and just making me a sleep deprived mess. Please help! Thanks!

- Need Some ZZZZ's!

Dear "Need Some ZZZZ's",

As a person who also lives in a communal space - aka...NYC apartment - I can TOTALLY sympathize with you and the noise thing. I had to move because my last upstairs neighbors had a child that ran wild all through the night, making it impossible for me to fall asleep at a decent hour. After numerous complaints to the mother, the building manager and finally the leasing company, the only thing I could do was move.

Now, I'm not telling you to move...just yet. If you're afraid to say something to them, I'd have a friendly talk with the landlord and let him or her do the dirty work for you. That may sound cowardly, but it's their job to maintain order in the building, so they should be trained to handle these situations - especially since most leases have a "quiet enjoyment" clause in them. Review your lease to see what your rights are and what actions you can take to ensure that your neighbors be compliant. 

Now, judging from your letter, your neighbors seem like they're nice, reasonable you may be able to handle this without going to your landlord. Going behind their back may create animosity, and since you think they're cool people, there's no need for that. Why not knock on the door or catch them going in or out and say, "Hey, there goes my favorite couple (if they're together). Do you guys have a few minutes? I wanted to talk to you as a friendly neighbor, but something is concerning me. Every night around 1 or 3 or so, I hear loud noises or thumping coming from your apartment. I hope everything is okay, but it's keeping me from sleeping at night. I know noise is the nature of the beast living in an apartment, so maybe we can figure out a way together to work through it, especially during the wee hours of the night. I just have the hardest time getting back to sleep, so this would help me so much. Honestly, I'd truly appreciate it."

You can also write that in a note if you're uncomfortable having this conversation face to face, or if you don't want them to blush and be embarrassed by their sexcapades. Hopefully that'll be enough for them to tone it down a bit. I know that would work for me...since I've been known to get..uh...excitable...myself a time or two.

Now, if they take offense to your request for more quiet, THEN you can go to the landlord, as well as document each time you hear the noise and how you handled it with your neighbors. This way you have a log as proof that they are indeed breaking a clause in their lease, or making it unbearable for you to have a good quality of life. That is what I did with my previous neighbors - and since the building didn't do anything about it, I was able to demand that they move me into a bigger, TOP FLOOR apartment, at the same rent! If they had refused my request, I had all the proof and ammunition needed to either sue them, or force them to pay for my move somewhere else. It seems extreme, but if your sleep is important to you, it's necessary.

Lastly, I have a question. Are you sure you're not just a TAD bit jealous that they're having awesome sex every night...and you aren't? LOL! I know...I'm kidding...kinda :-) There really is no easy way to approach neighbors about this, so just do it - in a friendly, respectful and direct way. But try to cut them a break - they ARE newlyweds. Maybe you can try earplugs first...or having loud sex yourself in order to counteract the noise. Might be fun!

Good luck!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hello everyone!

- I heard today is "National Day of Prayer" day. I thank God for all of you, my family, friends and loved ones!

- I'm going to win The Biggest Loser competition at my job. I've already claimed it. Time to go IN!

- RIP Junior Seau. So tragic.

- I have a fuzzy head. I think I need a trim I think.

- What do people do for Cinco de Mayo? Anything?

- I haven't been wearing my pop of red lipstick. I need to get back on that for the summer :-)

- Spinning tonight - gonna be a killer!

- Raw snap peas aren't that bad....kinda.

- I hope to be a tourist in NYC this summer. I've lived here 9 years...I think it's about time.

- May is going to be a busy month.

- Thunderstorms are so sexy.

- How important is sex in a relationship?

- I did my own toes - deep purple! Holla!

- I need to hit the lotto!

- Can anyone recommend a great fuchsia lipstick? Dying to try it!

- Almost time for sandals!

- I miss Left Eye :(



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

So I was having this discussion last night and wanted to put it out to the blog family to get your thoughts. We've all known a woman (or a man) who decided to stay with their significant other after they've discovered an infidelity. Some rationalize it by convincing themselves it was a one-time thing, others simply stayed because they love him or her and don't want to let them go.

I'm not saying once a cheater, always a cheater - or that giving someone another chance is necessarily a bad thing. But does forgiving someone who lied and cheated on you make you a strong person? A Pushover? Naive? I don't think there's a right or wrong answer per se, but I'm curious as to what your opinions are on this subject.

I'll go first.

It would be VERY hard for me to take back someone who has cheated on me. Why? Because trust is paramount to me in a relationship. Without it, you have no foundation - love would just crumble, my heart would fall apart. I would wonder what that person was REALLY doing when they said they had to work late, or were out with friends. I'd be nervous every time we had an argument, because I'd wonder if they would "solve it" by seeking sex or solace in another woman's arms. I'd suffer from anxiety wondering why his female friends are calling. And I'd never get the thought of them having sex with someone else out of my head - and I'd get sick thinking that they did the same thing to "her" that he does to me.

I just couldn't take it. I can't be with someone I don't trust.

But does that make me weak? Does that make me non-Christian because I wouldn't be able to stay in a union where such a betrayal took place? Or does that make me human?

Some women, on the other hand, feel that love can conquer all - and that the man they love deserves a chance to make it up to them. So they forgive him. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes not.

But what about women who forgive because they don't want to be alone? Or because they want to keep their family they stay for the kids? Are they strong for making that sacrifice? Or are they stupid for not being strong enough to leave?

I know some couples who have survived an infidelity, so it's not to say that forgiving someone you love for making a mistake is always a dumb thing to do. I don't think women who stay are strong, nor do I think women who leave are stronger than those who stay. It's an individual choice. So what say you? Would you be able to do it - or have you?

Let's hear it! Go!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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