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About Conquering Fears...

Greetings Divas and Gents! And Happy Hump Day! Tonight, I would like to briefly share with you all a lesson I learned on this Hump Day. Today, my 72-year-old grandfather took his very first flight on an airplane…you heard me right! My grandfather who swore that he would never ever step foot on an airplane got on one today. From the very beginning, I was against it. I was worried that he would totally freak out once he got on a plane. I was concerned about high levels of anxiety and skyrocketing blood pressure. And I wasn’t alone!

My mother called me several times today to talk about Grandaddy’s impending flight…I can tell she was nervous too. My aunt, who took Grandaddy to the airport, packed his carry-on bag, complete with a newspaper, chewing gum, and crackers. She also stood at the security gate until he made it through the metal detectors, and disappeared from her view….she was nervous too. Everyone was nervous for him! Aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins alike. But the one person who was not nervous was Grandaddy! I don’t know what made him change his mind about flying, but he was so cool about it. He was ready, so the rest of us had to get on board.

Cut to 5:30 this afternoon…Grandaddy landed safely in Charlotte, and I rushed to call him to get the scoop on his flight. The verdict: the airplane was too small; he left his gum in the car so his ears are clogged; the airplane taxied to the runway forever; he’s not getting on the plane anymore. And there you have it!

So what did I learn today? It is actually a really simple lesson. Today I learned that you are never too old to conquer your fears. Let that marinate for a second….I’ll wait….

Courtesy of
How many times have you encountered a situation, both professionally and personally, when you have taken a step back out of fear? I have some fears that I have carried with me for most, if not all, of my life. When it comes to those fears, I share Grandaddy’s previous sentiment regarding flying: I will never ever do it! But how awesome would it be for us to face our fears? Now, I’m not saying that I will be making an appointment to go skydiving anytime soon, but I feel like I should never say “never”…after all, my 72-year-old grandfather took his very first flight on an airplane today!

Grandaddy is so amazing to me for conquering his life-long fear, and I am so proud of him for telling me and my other family members to chill out, and let him fly! Grandaddy has no clue how inspirational his decision was to me. You Go Boy!

So…there’s my lesson for today. What is one of your major fears in life? Do you think that you will ever conquer this fear? Let me know!

Disclaimer: Although I used the word "old" when discussing my lesson learned, please note that Grandaddy is not old...he is aged like fine wine...his words...thanks! 

Don't Sleep On Healthy Options!

Courtesy of
Happy Sunday Divas and Gents! Today I want to share a new recipe with you all. No, it’s not a new martini recipe (tune in on Thursday for those). It’s actually a really tasty and healthy recipe for macaroni and cheese. What! Where did that come from? I know that’s what some of you may be asking. But there’s a really good explanation for discussing my inkling for domestication.

Last week, I posted 3 Steps to a Healthier Diva, which was my attempt to give tips on how professional and busy women can incorporate healthy options into their busy lifestyles. One of my tips involved pre-planning healthy meals at the beginning of the week, and executing throughout the week. Today, I planned to make baked macaroni and cheese using a recipe I found in the September 2011 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. FYI, Cooking Light always publishes easy-to-make low-fat and/or low-calorie meals that are delicious. Its recipes often serve as the inspiration for my weekly meals. Today was no different.

I was excited about this mac and cheese recipe because it promised to shed almost 550 calories per serving from the traditional mac and cheese recipe. How you ask? Instead of using butter, eggs, and full-fat milk, this recipe uses……butternut squash, skim milk, and non-fat Greek yogurt. I too was skeptical as to how this recipe would taste, but I was pleasantly surprised! The result was creamy, flavorful, and much healthier than the traditional option. I had a great meal without the guilt!

Cooking Light Magazine September 2011
The moral of the story is that you should never disregard healthier options. If I would have followed my first thought, I would have never attempted this recipe. I decided to step out on foodie faith and try something new…and I’m WINNING! In the spirit of sharing, check out Cooking Light’s Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. Try it now, and thank me later!

- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
- 1 ¼ cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked cavatappi (pasta)
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

The Numbers (Because Professional Divas Love Numbers!)

The Classic Recipe
908 Calories Per Serving
963 Milligrams of Sodium
36 Grams of Saturated Fat

Cooking Light's Recipe 
390 Calories Per Serving
589 Milligrams of Sodium
6.1 Grams of Saturated Fat

Check out this recipe at Cooking Light Online -> Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese.

For other delicious recipes courtesy of Cooking Light, check them out at

All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You!

Am I the only one who still gets goose bumps whenever I see this episode of the Cosby Show? Are you familiar? It’s the episode when Cliff and Claire Huxtable bring their children to their alma mater, Hillman College. In this episode, Cliff is participating in a ceremony honoring the retiring President of Hillman, and Claire leads the Hillman Glee Club in a soul-stirring rendition of “All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You.” 

I don’t know what it is, but since I was a child, this episode has always moved me. Is the fact that I absolutely love and admire the characters that are the Huxtables? Is it the fact that Mrs. Huxtable is singing in historic Sister’s Chapel at Spelman College, which would inevitably become my beloved alma mater? Is it the song’s lyrics? I don’t know what it is, but every time I see this episode, I get a little misty-eyed. I can’t help but share this with you all. 

For your convenience, I have added the lyrics to this song below…extremely powerful! Have a great Saturday!

All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You - by Shelton Becton

Seek ye first the kingdom of His love
Make Him first in everything you do
If you'll just trust and never doubt what He said
All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You.

He's got everything you need
All He ask is that you heed
And be faithful till the very end
When that judgment day has come
Don't you want to be the one
Just to see his face and call him friend

Seek ye first the kingdom of His love
Make Him first in everything you do
If you'll just trust and never doubt what He said
All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You

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