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Martini Thursday!!!

Raspberry Bellini Martini

Well Divas and Gents, we are counting down the last few days of 2011, and I'm excited to see what the new year will hold for me, my family, my friends, and the Martini Chronicles. My hope is that the new year will bring you all good health, peace, prosperity, and martini recipes every Thursday! 

Today I bring you all the last martini recipe of 2011. It only seems right that this recipe incorporates the official drink of New Year's Eve....Champagne! The Raspberry Bellini Martini brings together the sparkle of champagne and the sweetness of raspberries. I am more than confident the Raspberry Bellini Martini is a bona fide New Year's Eve party crowd pleaser. Just be sure to enjoy your martinis and all other spirits responsibly. And now.......I present to you the Raspberry Bellini Martini!

2 oz of Your Favorite Vodka
2 oz of Champagne (Preferably Asti)
2 oz of Chambord Liqueur
1 oz of Peach Schnapps
Fresh Raspberries (For Garnish)

1. In a shaker, combine Vodka, Champagne, Chambord, Peach Schnapps, and Ice. Stir!
2. Drop a few raspberries in the bottom of a chilled martini glass.
3. Strain mixture into waiting martini glass.

Easy right!? Mix up a few on New Year's Eve for your guest. Enjoy! And Drink Responsibly! Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions...Remix!!!

Greetings Divas and Gents! As we creep towards 2012, I'm sure many of you are in the process of finalizing your New Year’s resolutions. Before you do so, may I make a quick suggestion? Or maybe this should be considered a challenge. I challenge you to remix your resolutions to maximize your chances of achieving your goal…in fact, remixing your resolutions may help you achieve a bigger goal. Instead of focusing on the usual resolutions, set your sights on the big picture. Here are a few examples:

Instead of Resolving to Lose Weight…Resolve to Get Healthier!
How many Decembers have you promised yourself that you were going to lose weight in the new year? How many times have you actually done it? Losing weight is one of the most common resolutions made before the new year; I am willing to bet, however, that the success rate in achieving this goal is not that great. My guess is that resolving to lose weight is short-sighted, thereby increasing the rate of failure. My suggestion is to set your sights on a more rewarding goal: resolve to get healthier. This remix allows you to focus on eating better foods and getting more exercise in order to improve your health. It also allows you to reduce or nix other vices that may be damaging your health, like habitual smoking and excessive drinking (both are also common resolutions!).  Placing a numeric value on weight loss can turn it into a daunting task; but resolving to get healthier by changing your diet and getting regular exercise is an attainable goal that can lead to weight loss. Look at the bigger picture!

Instead of Resolving to Get Out Of Debt…Resolve to Improve Your Overall Financial Fitness!
This is another example of a short-sighted goal. Remix it! Resolving to get out of debt is a great goal to set for the new year…resolving to improve your overall financial situation is a better goal. In addition to managing your personal spending habits and paying off outstanding debt, you should also work on creating a personal and household budget, padding your emergency fund, contributing to your retirement plan, saving, and investing. You should also review and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage (life, disability, health, etc.). Again, getting out of debt is just one part of the plan…think bigger!

Instead of Resolving to Take A Vacation…Resolve to Take Several Vacations!
I know this sounds a little crazy and a lot expensive, but follow me for just a second will you? At the beginning of the year many people resolve to take a vacation…I agree! Taking a vacation away from the work place is an excellent and necessary goal. But what about taking smaller vacations in addition to the main one? How about a day trip to an amusement park…or a three-day weekend to a ski resort…or a one-day sightseeing tour of a nearby city…or a spa weekend with your friends. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, but if you spread these “fun” events throughout the calendar year it gives you something to look forward to. And, like the big vacation you resolved to take, these short breaks will also serve as instant stress relievers, which are always welcomed! See, the goal in taking a vacation is to reward yourself…think bigger and reward yourself often!

So, do you get what I’m saying about remixing your resolution? Think bigger!

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Good for you! Now, how do you plan to remix it? Leave a comment and let me know…Go!

Happy 1st Anniversary to the Martini Chronicles!!!

Greetings Divas and Gents! Today is a very special and joyful day for me. Why you ask? Well, a year ago today I launched the Martini Chronicles! I remember that it was the day after Christmas, and I was stuck in the house due to a terrible winter storm that had dumped several inches of snow along the east coast. I had spent quite a bit of time in the previous months learning how to create a blog design, adding widgets, signing up for Twitter and Facebook accounts for the blog, and writing several posts in anticipation of that which would become the Martini Chronicles. On December 26, 2010, in the wake of a snow storm, I decided I was going to publish my first post....and I did! (See my inaugural post here!)

I started this blog to share the various lessons I have learned since entering Corporate America; lessons that I have learned through fellowship with the dynamic professional women that I have become acquainted with over the past few years. One year later, I am happy to have shared some of the lessons that have shaped many areas of my life, including my relationships, career, style, health, etc. Over the past year you have joined me on this journey, and have helped to shape the Chronicles into a popular blog for professional women. Here are a few of the posts that you all seemed to really enjoy:

1. Many of you thoroughly enjoyed the Open Letter to My Loan Company. I'm sure many of us can relate to the burden of paying back student loans. This letter was an expression the frustration I feel every month when my student loan company comes acalling.

 2. A great number of you chimed in to add to my list of the 10 Basic Staples Every Professional Woman Should Have In Her Closet. I appreciated your comments an suggestions so much that I incorporated them into the second installment of the Building a Professional Wardrobe series. Stay tuned!

3. One of the many challenges that Professional Divas face is Balancing Their Professional and Social Lives. Here is my take on how to achieve a better balance.

4. Finally, one of the most popular post this year was one discussing Stress and the Professional Woman. Stress is another obstacle that Professional Divas often face. In this post, I offer a few suggestions on how to combat inevitable stress.

In addition to these posts, I have had the pleasure to share weekly martini recipes with you. Please take a moment and check out the Martini Roll Call for some awesome martini recipes to responsibly enjoy with your friends!

Additionally, I have met some amazingly supportive individuals over the past year...individuals who have been going through this journey with me while embarking on their own blogging journey. I am overwhelmingly appreciative of the support I have received from these individuals over the past year, and I hope that we continue to support each other in the future. As such, I want to thank my fellow bloggers, Professional Divas, friends, and family: , , , , , , , and !

Finally, I want to thank the Stud, Boss Lady, Elder Lewis (My Dad), Aunt Landa, my Roomie, Demishia, Charli Penn Watkins, Anita J., Jen A., and anyone who has ever read one of my blog posts, who has commented, who has offered encouragement, who has provided constructive criticism, or who has supported my little blog. Thank you! And if I missed anyone, please blame my mind and not my heart!

For Unto Us A Child Is Born!!!

 On behalf of The Pro Diva and the Martini Chronicles, I would like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! I hope that on this day we are all reminded of the true reason for this holiday. Isaiah 9:6 reads:

For unto us a child is born, 
unto us a son is given: 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder: 
and his name shall be called 
The mighty God
The everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace.

I pray that your Christmas is filled with joy, peace, love, and happiness. I also pray that while you fellowship with your loved ones, you take a moment to reflect on the real reason for this season. Have a safe and wonderful day!

My 10 Favorite Holiday Songs!

Greetings Divas and Gents! And Merry Christmas Eve! A few days ago I decided that I was not going to post until after Christmas, but I couldn't help myself! One of the things I absolutely love about the Christmas holiday is holiday music. And by holiday music I am not talking about traditional Christmas carols. I'm talking about those songs that are only played on the radio during the holidays. Those songs that immediately remind you of the days of Christmas past. Those songs that instantly make you anxious for Christmas whenever you hear them. You all know the songs I'm talking about don't you? Well, in the spirit of Christmas Eve, I wanted to share my 10 Favorite Holiday Songs of All Time! Let me know how you like my list!

10. The Christmas Song by Nat "King" Cole - No holiday season is complete with the sultry, timeless vocals of Nat "King" Cole. I am quite certain that The Christmas Song was designed to warm anyone's heart who hears it. From the very first note, to the final message, "Merry Christmas to you," this song will always have a special place in my heart.

9. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey - Mariah definitely did her thing with this one. In fact, I have heard this song more than any other this holiday season. This song is a favorite across generations, and has cemented itself as a modern-day holiday classic.

8. Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt - Opulence at its finest! No one did this song better than the late, great Ms. Eartha Kitt. This song will forever be one of my guilty pleasures.

7. It's Christmas (All Over the World) by New Edition - I bet many of you are surprised to see this song on my list! I am a huge New Edition fan, and I have been for most of my life. This song, which appeared on their Christmas album back in the 80's, has always been one of my favorites. In fact, last week I found myself listening to it on my iPod on repeat!

6. Christmas In the City by Mary J. Blige - Back when I was in college and working at Express, this song was part of the holiday music CD that would play in the store....all day long! I must say, however, that I definitely found myself feeling quite festive whenever the CD wrapped around to Mary's Christmas In the City...another track that reminded me of Christmas in NYC!

5. Christmas In Hollis by Run D.M.C. - I'm a NYC girl...born and raised! So Christmas in Hollis is always at the top of my holiday playlist. Big shout out to Reverend Run, D.M.C., and the late Jam Master Jay for creating this lasting hip-hop masterpiece.

4. Let It Snow by Boyz II Men - These guys make four-part harmony seem effortless. Let It Snow is a modern day holiday classic from the quartet from Philly. Another track to get your holiday spirit moving in the right direction!

3. This Christmas by Donny Hathaway - Arguably the most popular and soul-stirring holiday song of my generation, the late, great Donny Hathaway really gave us a great song sure to put anyone in the holiday spirit. This Christmas has resonated with so many different cultures and age groups, and is always at the top of any holiday music playlist... or any playlist for that matter!

2. Silent Night by The Temptations - I remember listening to this version of Silent Night while riding in the car with my grandfather as a child. He had the single on a cassette tape, and he played it all the time...even when it wasn't holiday time! We would listen to it in the Spring while driving to Coney Island...we would listen to it in the Summer while driving to Rye Playland....we would listen to it in the Fall while driving to church on Sundays. Needless to say, I associate a lot of great childhood memories with this song, which is why it has always been one of my favorite. And the Temptations sound so good singing it!

1. Give Love On Christmas Day by the Jackson 5 or New Edition - I love, love, LOVE this song!  I still have the New Edition record stored away somewhere at my parents' house. You heard me right....the RECORD! Real old school!  Both the Jackson 5 and New Edition versions automatically and instantly put me in the holiday spirit. Cue the eggnog!

Merry Christmas!

Martini Thursday!!!

Frozen Mint Chocolate Martini

Everywhere I turn I see advertisements for mint-flavored hot chocolate. Dunkin Donuts has one it…Starbucks has it…even Tim Horton’s has it! During this time of year, both mint and chocolate appear to be the winning combination of holiday beverages…right up there with eggnog! Needless to say, I was not surprised when a colleague of mine suggested that I post a recipe for a mint chocolate martini. Game on! Since this is the last martini before Christmas, I wanted this recipe to be extraordinary…and I think I’ve done it! Break out your blender, as this will be a wonderful martini to share with your family and friends over Christmas dinner. So without further adieu, I present the Frozen Mint Chocolate Martini! You can thank me later!

(Yields 2 Martinis)
3 oz of Vanilla Flavored Vodka
2 oz of Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz of Crème de Cacao
1 oz of Peppermint Schnapps
2 cups of Chocolate Ice Cream
Mini Candy Canes (For Garnish)

1. Crush a few candy canes into itsy bitsy pieces.
2. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until mixture is thick, yet pourable.
3. Pour mixture into a chilled martini glass, and sprinkle candy cane pieces on top.
4. Garnish with mini candy cane.
5. Pour your friend a drink with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle and garnish as well!
6. Make a toast, and enjoy!
7. Repeat as necessary!

And there you have it! Please have a safe and Merry Christmas! And Drink Responsibly!

Chronicle Quickie.......Great Holiday Gifts For The Professional Diva!
Greetings Divas! The holiday season is in full swing, and I assume many of you are finishing up your shopping. I also assume that your gift list includes presents for your family, friends, and coworkers. But here’s a quick question…Have you picked up a gift for yourself? If the answer to this question is “no,” stop reading this post, check out my take on Rewarding Yourself, and then look at the following list of gift items that are perfect for the Professional Diva that is YOU! Or, if you are looking for something to get a fellow Professional Diva, this list may be helpful. Just a few suggestions!

Tablet PC – Apple really had the right idea when it pioneered the iPad…it is an awesome product! But the iPad isn’t your only option. Many of the electronics industry giants have released their version of the tablet PC in various shapes, sizes, and prices. Each boast scores of capabilities, including touch screen technology, internet access, and video streaming. Additionally, a tablet PC can serve as an integral office companion for Professional Divas with their note taking and calendaring features. Also, there are plenty of apps that can make a Diva’s life so much easier. Need to do some research on tablet PC options? Check out!


Work Bag or Briefcase – Every Professional Diva needs a reliable, sturdy work bag or briefcase. Invest in a dependable, stylish one that has plenty of compartments for various uses. Be sure to find one that is versatile enough to complement your work apparel.

Carry-on Luggage – Do you travel often for business? If so, professional looking carry-on luggage is in order. Try to find mid-priced, good quality, carry-on rolling luggage that can easily fit into an airplane’s overhead bin. Go for a dark color like black or navy blue, and try to find luggage with an outside pocket…it’s perfect to store your magazines and/or tablet PC for easy removal before stowing your luggage.

Starbucks Gift Card – Why would you give yourself a gift card? Wouldn’t it make sense to just purchase coffee with your own money? Not when it comes to a Starbucks Gift Card! When you purchase and register a Starbucks Gift Card, you are enrolled in the My Starbucks Rewards Program. Each time you go to Starbucks to purchase coffee, swipe the card to accumulate rewards, which include free refills on coffee and tea, free select syrups and milk, and exclusive offers and coupons. If you’re going to drink the coffee anyway, you might as well get something back. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Wardrobe Essentials – A few weeks back, I posted a list of 10 basic clothing staples that every professional woman should have in her closet. If by chance you are missing any of these items, or if you want to build on these items, use the holiday season to gift yourself a few of these staples. You owe it to yourself to look good when you are out in the world making money and making a difference!

These are just a few items. What are some other items that are perfect gifts for Professional Divas?

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