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Bridge To 10K...Week Two!

Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to Friday! Once again, I am grateful for yet another productive work week. I am also grateful, and excited, because I have completed Week Two of the Bridge To 10K program! Give me a second while I do the cabbage patch.......And I'm back! Back to tell you all how it all went down this week. Ready? Let's go!

This Week's Workouts: This week's three workouts consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk...followed by 3 repetitions of 15 minutes running and 1 minute of brisk walking...and concluding with a 5 minute cool down.

Average Workout Time: Each of the three workouts are identical, and take 57 minutes to complete...warm up and cool down included!

The Pro Diva's Reaction: Well...this week was definitely a challenge! I found myself having to play little games with myself while I was running in order to get through it. For example, I would tell myself that I would not look down at the time and distance on the treadmill until the end of each song. Or, I would take a sip of water after every five minutes. Anything to keep myself entertained and keep my mind off the fact that I am running, almost nonstop, for 45 minutes.

I completed the first workout on Sunday afternoon, and this time I did eat breakfast. I was exhausted when I was finished, but I was surprised that I was able to push myself to do it. Now, I can't lie, I was not looking forward to the second workout, but I did finish it on Tuesday after work. Again, this is always a little tough because I an usually exhausted from working all day...but I finished it! Unfortunately, I felt horrible afterwards. I honestly don't think I drank enough water throughout the day, and this contributed to the nausea. I went to the 7 Eleven and got some Gatorade, and I felt better. Finally, I finished the third workout on Thursday after work, and I nailed it! I don't know what it was, but I felt great throughout my run and afterwards. I had learned my lesson after Tuesday, and I was sure to drink a lot of fluids throughout the day. I also think I was fueled by the fact that it was the last workout of the week. Who cares what it was...I finished it!

In sum, Week Two was more challenging than Week One, but it is totally doable! Two weeks down, 4 to go! Also, I want to thank all of you who have decided to join me on this journey and offering words of support and motivation. I really do appreciate your comments! Keep 'em coming!

Next Week: Next week's three workouts will consist of a 5 minute warm up walk...followed by 3 repetitions of 17 minutes running and 1 minute of brisk walking...and concluding with a 5 minute cool down. If the good Lord sees fit,  I'll be back here next week to share my thoughts. I hope to see you back here too!

Quick question: How many of you have started your Couch To 5K or Bridge To 10K program? Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments below! Thanks in advance!

Martini Thursday!!!

The Perfect Pear Martini

 Picture it...I'm at the's after 6 present productivity level is, on a scale of 1 to 10, about a -3...I'm having a discussion about something completely unrelated to work with two of my colleagues...I mention that I have to post a martini recipe for of my colleagues tells me she has a fabulous recipe for me the post...I shriek "okay!"...she emails me the recipe...and now I present to you all the Perfect Pear Martini! Enjoy!

2 oz of Your Favorite Pear-Flavored Vodka
2 oz of St. Germain Liqueur
1 Splash of Pear Nectar
1 Splash of Champagne
Pear Slice (For Garnish)
1. In a shaker, combine Vodka, St. Germain, Pear Nectar, and Ice. Shake!
2. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
3. Top off with Champagne.
4. Garnish with a pear slice.

Wasn't that simple! I want to thank JB for passing on the recipe for the Perfect Pear are awesome! And if any of you have a recipe you would like to spotlight on the Chronicles, email me! It's! Enjoy your martini. And Drink Responsibly!

Buiding A Professional Wardrobe...Final Steps!!!

Greetings Divas! And welcome to what I hope will be another fabulously productive work week. As you may recall, the Chronicles has played host to a series of post designed to help Professional Divas build a professional wardrobe. In the first installment, I shared my suggestions for 10 basic staples that every professional woman should have in her closet. In the second installment, I added nine additional items which were meant to add to and complement the basics. In this final installment, I hope to add some more items to this list that will hopefully round out your professional wardrobe.

Before we get into these final steps, let’s take a look back at the items we previously added to our closets. The 10 basic items are:

(1) A complete suit in black, navy, or charcoal gray;
(2) A sheath dress;
(3) A black skirt;
(4) Black pants;
(5) A button-down white shirt;
(6) A black blazer;
(7) Quality blue jeans;
(8) A classic trench coat;
(9) Classic black pumps; and
(10) A set of pearls.

And the next items are:

(11) A second complete suit
(12) Cardigans
(13) Basic tank tops
(14) Button-down shirts
(15) Khaki pants
(16) Another sheath dress
(17) Navy blue and dark brown shoes
(18) Work bag
(19) Accessories

And now for the final list of items to round out your professional wardrobe:

 (20) A Third Complete Suit – By now you’ve already purchased two complete suits in black, navy, or charcoal gray (as suggested in the first two installments). This time, purchase another complete suit in the third, remaining color. Remember that a complete suit includes a blazer, matching pants, and a matching skirt. As I said before, score a suit in light wool material that would allow you to wear the skirt and pants as separates, which gives you more outfit options.

(21) A Patterned Pencil Skirt – What do I mean by patterned? Not solid! Think about it…you already have a black, charcoal gray, and navy blue skirt (which came with your suits). This time, pick up a skirt with a neat pattern on it. Something that can be worn with a solid button-down shirt, or a cardigan, or a blazer. Something funky, but not too distracting.

(22) Brown Pants – This is an easy piece to add to the items you have already purchased. Be sure to choose a classic cut that fits comfortably. As with other staple pieces, select a pair of pants made of light wool material. These pants would pair well with cardigans and button-down shirts.

(23) Another Blazer (Not Black) – In the first installment, I suggested that you purchase a black blazer, which would pair well with dresses, skirts, pants, and jeans. This time, score another blazer in a different color. Like the black blazer, this one should be versatile and comfortable, which would allow you to optimize it as an accessory. If you’re really feeling bold, get one in a bright color…just a thought!

 (24) Another Work Dress (Like the Sheath) – In the previous installments, I suggested that you have two sheath dresses in black, brown, or gray. This time, get yourself another work dress. It doesn’t have to be a sheath, but it should exude the same effect: classy and professional. Try to purchase a dress that is a different color than the previous dresses…we’re going for variety!

(25) Pin-striped Pants – Another easy piece to add to your wardrobe that would pair well with existing items. Again, classic cut…comfortable fit.

(26) A Variety Shirts – Now that you have your suits, skirts, and pants in your closet, try to find different tops that bring variety to your wardrobe. Maybe it’s a wrap shirt, or a turtleneck, or cashmere sweater…in any event, these shirts are a great way to bring some personality, and color, to your wardrobe.

(27) Red Pumps – So, you’ve already gotten the classic black pump, a navy blue shoe, and a brown shoe. Add some edge to your growing shoe closet by adding a red pump. There’s nothing like a red pump to give a professional outfit some kick! Red shoes look great with black, gray, navy, and brown, all of which are within the palette of your basic professional wardrobe. Like all other shoes, your red pumps should be high quality (which does not always mean expensive), and comfortable. And while you’re purchasing your red pumps…

(28) Black Knee-high Boots - …pick up a pair of black knee-high boots. Now, I know some of you are thinking that knee-high boots are completely inappropriate as career wear, but let me explain. Try pairing these boots with a knee-length pencil skirt and white blouse…not bad right? If you’re game, try to score plain, leather boots with a modest heel. Nothing gaudy!

(29) Belts – In 2012, belts do so much more than just hold up your pants. Belts can also make an outfit pop! The great thing is that you can score quality belts that are not too expensive, and that can work with a variety of different outfits. Try to get belts in different shapes, sizes, and colors to complement your outfits. For starters, be sure to get belts in black, brown, blue, red, and gray, which happen to be the same color as your basic shoes. Then, try to get belts that match your cardigans and dresses.

(30) A Nice Watch – Every Professional Diva should have a nice, basic watch that complements her wardrobe. And by nice I don’t mean expensive. The watch that I wear on a daily basis cost me $25, and it looks great with every outfit I wear. When looking for this watch, look to find one that is not distracting or gaudy….simple is better.

This concludes the Chronicles’  series on Building a Professional Wardrobe. Once you have compiled this basic wardrobe, continue to build upon it by purchasing items to enhance the basics. Additionally, you should start to add more color and variety as time goes by, like suits, skirts, dresses, and pants in different shapes and colors. You should also build on your footwear and accessories. In all instances, look for quality clothing and accessories. Finally, take care of your clothing…be sure to follow the cleaning instructions on the label.

Thank you all so much for following this series and participating in the discussion! Please feel free to add additional comments below regarding this installment and the previous post…I love to hear what you have to say! Have a great week!

Bridge To 10K...Week One!

Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to Thursday! Or as I like to call it, Almost Friday! Not only am I excited that the weekend is here, but I am pleased to report that I have completed Week One of the Bridge To 10K program! Yes, I know I have a long way to go, but I have decided that I am going to celebrate each week until I finish.

As you may recall, I completed the Couch To 5K program last week, and decided to continue on with the Bridge To 10K program. I received such positive feedback from you all last week, much of which came from those who are currently doing the either the Couch To 5K or the Bridge To 10K program or who are thinking of starting one of the programs. I also received an email from a long-time reader suggesting that I publish periodic updates as I progress through the Bridge To 10K program to serve as a forum for here I go! Week One is in the books, and here's what I have to say about it:

This Week's Workouts: This week's three workouts consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk...followed by 4 repetitions of 10 minutes running and 1 minute of brisk walking...and concluding with a 5 minute cool down.

Average Workout Time: Each of the three workouts are identical, and take 53 minutes to complete...warm up and cool down included!

The Pro Diva's Reaction: Well...I'm here to blog about it, so that means I haven't passed out from exhaustion! Honestly, the runs weren't that bad. The total workout is a bit longer than the C25K workouts, but it was totally doable! I did the first workout on Sunday morning on an empty stomach, which is never a great idea...but I finished it! I completed the second workout on Tuesday afternoon after work, which was a little tough because I was already exhausted from working all day...but I finished it! Finally, I finished the third workout this afternoon after work, which was dreadful because I did strength training yesterday. I'm a little irritated that my body hurts this bad...but I finished it! Barely!

In sum, Week One was okay. I kind of feel a little good about myself! There were plenty of times this week when I tried to talk myself out of going to the gym, but I guess I'm not as convincing as I once was. One week down, 5 to go!

Next Week: Next week's three workouts will consist of a 5 minute warm up walk...followed by 3 repetitions of 15 minutes running and 1 minute of brisk walking...and concluding with a 5 minute cool down. God willing, I'll be back here next Friday to share my thoughts. You come back too!

Don't Sleep On Healthy Options!!!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to the beginning of another productive work week. I usually don't start off the week with recipes, but I couldn't wait to share this one with you all. Over the past few years, I have developed somewhat of a sweet tooth. Every few days or so, I crave something sweet...cake, cookies, candy, anything with sugar in it! Obviously, partaking in this habit is never beneficial to my waistline...or my hips...or my know where I'm going with this!

As some of you may know from my previous posts, I am a big fan of Cooking Light Magazine. Their recipes always taste great, and they're healthier for you than their traditional counterparts. So when I started getting a craving for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, I immediately went to Cooking Light's website in search of a recipe...and I found one! The recipe looked easy and simple, and I already had many of the ingredients in my cabinets. I made a trip to the supermarket to retrieve the rest of the ingredients, and I was ready to make my cake.

As always, Professional Divas and Gents love numbers...they put everything in perspective. Check out these nutritional stats:

Classic Recipe
367 Calories Per Serving
367 Milligrams of Sodium
14 Grams of Fat

Cooking Light Recipe
264 Calories Per Serving
280 Milligrams of Sodium
7.9 Grams of Fat

- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices in juice, drained
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup fat-free caramel topping
- 9 maraschino cherries, drained
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Press 9 pineapple slices between paper towels until barely moist; set aside. Reserve the remaining pineapple for another use.

3. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; drizzle caramel topping over bottom of pan. 

4. Arrange prepared pineapple slices in a single layer over caramel; place 1 cherry in the center of each slice.

5. Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at high 1 minute or until the butter melts. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs, and stir well. Stir in low-fat buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (buttermilk through baking soda). Lightly spoon 1 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add flour, stirring just until blended (do not overstir). Pour the batter into prepared pan.

6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 1 minute in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of the cake, and invert onto plate. Cool completely. Cut cake into squares.

My next suggestion is to get a few of your friends to help you partake in the deliciousness that is the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. And make sure you enjoy it with the satisfaction of knowing you are eating a lower calorie, lower fat version of cake...and it takes good!

To view the Cooking Light recipe, Click Here!
For other delicious recipes courtesy of Cooking Light, check out its website at

Martini Thursday!!!

The Midori Martini

Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to another edition of Martini Thursday! Today's martini recipe is just in time for St. Patrick's Day this weekend. The Midori Martini comes courtesy of Midori Liqueur website. This recipe combines the smoothness of a Classic Martini with the sweet taste of melons. This, and its appropriate green color, is perfect for the Professional Diva or Gent looking for a great alternative to beer during St. Patrick's Day festivities. Just ask the bartender to make a Midori Martini...if he has no clue how to make it, teach him! The recipe, of course, is below and easy to follow. Enjoy!

½ oz of Midori Liqueur
1 1/3 oz of Your Favorite Gin or Vodka
1 Dash of Dry Vermouth
Maraschino Cherry for Garnish

1. In a shaker, combine Midori, Gin or Vodka, Vermouth, and Ice. Stir!
2. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
3. Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Voila! Now, toast to the weekend, and enjoy your Midori Martini! Be Safe and Drink Responsibly!

Couch To 5K....Done!!!

Greetings Divas and Gents! Today is a great day, as I am happy to report that I have completed the Couch to 5K Program!!! Over the past 9 weeks I have steadily worked at completing the program, and I finally completed the 5K run today...I am ridiculously proud of myself! I feel stronger, I can run faster and further, and I dropped 10 pounds! Pow!

For those of you who don't know, the Couch to 5K Program (C25K) is designed to help anyone go from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks. The programs starts you off with walking/running intervals, and slowly builds you up to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes. The program is designed to give you 3 great workouts per week over the 9 week period. The great thing about this program is that you do not have to be "in shape" to be successful. You can literally hop off the couch and start the program. Nine weeks later, you'll be running like you wouldn't believe...seriously!

Another great thing about this program is that there are tons of smart phone apps for the C25K program, which give you the benefit of a "personal coach" telling you when to walk and when to run. In between the coaching, the program plays music you have stored on your device. My program allowed me to create playlists...and you know I did! Overall, I love the C25K Program, and I highly recommend it to those of you looking for a way to get in shape and build endurance. 

Now that we've got the business out of the way, let me tell you all the real reason why I love this fits wonderfully into my busy schedule. The longest workout lasts 40 minutes, which didn't happen until Week 9. It's perfect for Professional Divas who have hectic schedule, but who still want to get a great workout.

Next up...Bridge to 10K! I'll let you all know how it 9 weeks!

Have any of you completed a C25K or similar running program? If you haven't, would you consider it?

Things You Should Never Ask Your Employees To Do

Greetings Divas and Gents! As we approach the beginning of yet another work week, I wanted to take a quick survey from my readers. How many of you are employed in a supervisory role where you are responsible for supervising and managing others? I suspect that there are many of you are. Well, a colleague of mine came across an article listing nine things you should never ask your employees to do (Click Here For Article). I thought this article was worth sharing with you all because it is informative, and it should remind you that one of the primary characteristics of leadership is influence. As a leader, you exert a certain level of influence over the individuals you supervise and/or manage. It is never a good idea as a leader to use your influence in a way that would alienate your employees, make them feel uncomfortable, or pressure then to participate in activities and events in a way that they ordinary would not. To this end, I am sharing this article with you!
Among others, the article lists the following things you should never ask your employees to do:

1. You Should Never Pressure Employees To Attend “Social” Events – If it’s not work-related, employees should not feel any obligation to attend. I feel like this item could use a little more discussion…look out for another post!

2. You Should Never Make Employees Go Without Food at Mealtime Hours – Now, I’m not an employment lawyer, but isn’t there a law out there that makes this type thing illegal? Law or no law, it is never good for employee morale to deprive them of food. My rule of thumb is that if you call a meeting between the hours of 7 AM – 9 AM, 12 PM – 2 PM, or 6 PM – 8 PM, you should be providing Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, respectively. Just my opinion though!

3. You Should Never Pressure Employees to Donate to a Charity – Yes, it’s always good to donate to charitable causes, but you should never use your influence to pressure an employee to do so. Also, you never want your employees to feel that their success is contingent on their charitable contributions…never a good thing!

4. You Should Never Pressure an Employee to Reveal Personal Information in the Interest of “Teambuilding” – I think that this item is self-explanatory. In fact, I know it is, so I won’t elaborate.

These are just a few of the items noted in the article; I encourage you all to check out the entire article to view the other nine items. Although I do not necessarily agree with all nine points, I think it is important for leaders to consider and evaluate different takes on leadership. It’s all part of what I like to call the leadership learning continuum! Again, check out the article and let me know what you think. Have a great week!

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