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Hurricane Sandy vs. My Electronics!

Well...Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and she showed out! I knew that she was going to cause damage, but I certainly wasn't expecting all of this! I thought I was prepared...I wasn't. I was hoping that we would not lose power...we did. I was praying that there wouldn't be too much damage...I was wrong. All and all, Sandy showed her ass!

Photo Courtesy of Mother Jones
When I woke up yesterday morning, it was evident that Sandy was not playing. I was in the house alone with my dog because the Stud had been called to work the day before, and he was stuck in New York. As the wind whipped against my windows, I remember praying that they didn't come crashing in. Q was pissed because I wouldn't let him sit in the window like he normally does, so he had an attitude. All day I stayed and Q. And all day I made a point to keep my laptop, both cell phones, and my iPad charged just in case we lost power. And then the rain came...and it lasted all night.

I was sitting on my sofa blogging and watching DVR'd episodes of the Wendy Williams Show when the power went out at 8 PM....shit! But I was ready! I had all of my electronics charged and I had my flashlights within reach. I hopped in the bed, turned on my iPad, and started reading a book I had downloaded earlier in the day. I informed the Stud and my parents that we had lost power, and that I was going into electronic preservation mode. I was asleep by 10...and so was Q.

Photo Courtesy of
I woke up the next morning, and went outside to see what Sandy had done overnight. There were trees everywhere! Including on top of houses and cars. A mess! Fortunately, no one was injured in my immediate neighborhood. I went back inside and attempted to contact the Stud and my parents, but my cell phone had other plans. My phone was beeping red and only had about 10% battery life left. Not a problem! I hooked up my phone to my fully charged computer so I could get some more juice. After charging for about an hour, my parents called and urged me to find a way to their house in Brooklyn. The problem with that was that all of the combinations of bridges and tunnels that could get me to Brooklyn had been closed due to the weather conditions. I promised my parents that I would go out to my car to check the news to see when those crossings would be open. I let my cell phone charge for a little while longer, and then my computer died...great!

NYC Taxi Cabs Under Water...Sheesh!
Now that my cell phone was charged, I thought it would be a good idea to return some text messages to let folks know that I was dice! My cell phone refused to send the messages. So then I decided to make a few quick calls...nope! No calls would go through. Now what? Well, I grabbed my work cell phone and thought I would send! No service! I was I took a nap.

The Verrazano Bridge...My Ticket to Brooklyn
When I woke up I realized that I had not been in contact with my family in about 3 hours, which I knew would cause panic. Mainly because my family is the type that watches the news all day and night whenever something like this happens. As such, anything that was happening in any part of New Jersey was happening to me. All of it! It really wasn't...but if it's on the news, then my family thought it was happening to me! Just as I was about to call my parents to let them know that I was not buried under water or a tree, I realized that both of my cell phones were about to die. They had been roaming for three hours and, let's face it, the battery life on smart phones suck! So I went out to my car to charge my electronics.  While I was sitting in the car, I turned on the news to see if the bridges and tunnels heading into Brooklyn had reopened...epic fail! The news station was all static. I guess Sandy messed up 1010 WINS, too. So, I tried my work phone again, and I had service! I searched the Internet to see if any of the crossings had opened, specifically the Verrazano Bridge that connected Staten Island and Brooklyn...nope, still closed! Ugh!

Image of LaGuardia Airport...Courtesy of the Stud
I decided to drive around a little bit while my electronics were charging to see whether the streets were clear and to plot my exit route. It was then that I saw all of the damage. There wasn't much flooding in my neighborhood, but there were trees and damage everywhere. Also, all of the street lights were out, and the folks in New Jersey refused to drive properly. After driving around for about 45 minutes, I headed home. My electronics had been charged to at least 50%, but that didn't matter to me...I was getting out of New Jersey!

Q and I were out!
I ran in the house and haphazardly packed a suitcase, including all of my electronics that had been  failing me since last night. I used my work phone to check the crossings again...the Verrazano Bridge was open! I packed up Q's belongings and food, and we were out! As soon as I made it across the Goethals Bridge and crossed into Staten Island, all of my electronics started going off. My personal cell phone, my work phone, my iPad...with tons of messages! Including messages from the Stud and my parents trying to figure out why I hadn't answered my phone or returned any messages...they were worried (they love me!). I made it to my parents house in about 35, Q, and all of my electronics.

The moral of the story: Sandy - 1, My Electronics - 0!

Writers Note: While I may poke fun at my experience during Hurricane Sandy, I realize that this was a devastating storm that affected many people in a more serious way. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected in any way by Sandy.  

Hurricane Prep...and My Warped Thinking!

As many of you may know, the East Coast is bracing itself for Hurricane Sandy. The shelves in the supermarkets are empty. The gas stations are crowded. Both New York City Transit and New Jersey Transit plan to suspend service this evening, and the bridges and tunnels may be next. I've received email notifications from my electric, gas, and cable companies pretty much telling me that they are on the job in the event of power and system outages. There isn't a battery or flashlight in sight, and all of today's football games have been replaced by around-the-clock weather news. Like I said...bracing!

All the water is gone! (I didn't take this pic!)

 And of course, I've made a few preparations myself. I managed to find batteries for our flashlights, and I also purchased a few cases of water and extra dog treats for Q. I am charging up all of my electronics just in case we lose power, and I've already filled up my gas tank and gotten cash out of the ATM. I have checked in with my family in Brooklyn and Queens to make sure that they are ready for any potential foolishness that Sandy will bring. Again...bracing!

With all of this going on, is it weird that I am overly-concerned with work? As I write this post, I have no idea whether my office is going to be closed or not, and it's making my anxious. So anxious, in fact, that I still haven't decided how angry I'm going to be if the weather news interrupts the Giants game. Logically, it would make sense for the office to be closed. The area is prone to flooding and there are trees everywhere...trees that can potentially fall due to heavy winds. But, I haven't heard anything yet. So now I'm wondering if I am going to be able to work from home...but what if the power goes out. Then what? Why is this bothering me so much? Ugh!

So there you have it...the Professional Diva is a workaholic, and cannot let her mind focus on the weather or the Giants game because she's consumed with work. Go ahead...judge me! But as warped as my thinking may be, I'm not the only one. At least two of my fellow professional friends are struggling with the same thing. One of my friends works on Wall Street, and she is mulling over her work options for tomorrow morning. Since the trains and buses won't be running, she is considering whether she should drive to work. But is that the best thing to do since its supposed to be super windy and rainy tomorrow? She's nervous. And then I have another friend who's a consultant and needs to be in San Francisco for an important meeting tomorrow. Clearly that's not going to happen, and the folks he's supposed to meet with will completely understand why he is unable to meet, but guess what he's doing...he's planning to attend the meeting anyway via the Go-To-Webinar online meeting system. Clever, but he's been so consumed with setting up this meeting that he forgot to purchase water and batteries, and his gas tank is empty. As I write this post, he's waiting in line to get gas. He's not happy.

See, it's not just me! So now you all know a little bit more about me and my warped way of thinking. To recap...storm coming...I'm kind of ready...concerned about my work situation...and the Giants game is NOT on! Wait...I take that's on! Go Big Blue!

For those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy, how are you preparing for the storm? Are you thinking about work like I am? Am I completely nuts?!

Be safe!

Beyond the Pink Ribbon: Breast Cancer Awareness

Greetings Divas! As you all should be aware, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, and is one of the leading causes of cancer death among women of all races. In honor of this month, my good bloggy friend Fifi Buchanan (@divinehostess) has created a fabulous vlog to: (1) Encourage women to get to know their breasts so that they're aware when abnormal changes occur; and (2) Share 5 steps to equip our bodies to prevent cancer.

Fifi covers a lot of ground in less than 4 minutes. Do me a huge favor and check out her video below. She has a powerful message that I think you should hear!

Special thanks to Fifi for allowing me to spread her message on the Chronicles. Please be sure to stop by Fifi's blog, The Divine Hostess, and show her some love. Also, follow her on Twitter.

One more thing....check out these important breast cancer screening tips, courtesy of the American Cancer Society:

- Starting at the age of 40, women should have yearly mammograms so long as the woman is in good health; 

- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam about every 3 years; 

- Women should conduct regular breast self-exams starting in their 20s; 

- All women should know how their breast normally look and feel, and should immediately report any breast change to their health care provider. 

- Please note that there are different breast screening recommendations based on a woman’s family history, genetic tendencies, or other factors. These women should speak with their doctor about the need for additional tests.

Be well Divas!

Martini Thursday....Raspberry Peach Martini!!!

Raspberry Peach Martini

Greetings Divas and Gents! Can I take a brief moment to say that I am so happy to be back to blogging regularly! Life has been so busy over the past few months...both at work and at home. As a result, my blogging schedule has raggedy of me! But I'm back! And I have decided that I will be making a greater effort to be the blogger that you all have supported over the past (almost) two years.

Now that I've had my moment, I wanted to share a new martini recipe with you is, after all, Martini Thursday! This week, I present the Raspberry Peach Martini! This recipe started of as a smoothie, but I managed to turn it into a spirited drink for my Chronicle readers. I hope you like it!

2 oz of Your Favorite Vodka
2 oz of Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1 oz of Peach Schnapps
Fresh Raspberries for Garnish

1. In a shaker, combine Vodka, Chambord, Peach Schnapps, and Ice. Shake!
2. Drop a few raspberries into a chilled martini glass.
3. Strain mixture into martini glass.

Easy! Enjoy your Raspberry Peach Martini, and have a great weekend. Drink Responsibly!

Fall Makeup Inventory!

Greetings Divas! Summer has passed, and Fall has emerged. As the seasons change, I like to take an inventory of the items in my makeup bag and purge those products that have expired. I firmly believe that maintaining a fresh and clean makeup bag is a must. As such, knowing the shelf life of those products in our makeup bag is extremely important. Worst case scenario, old and expired makeup may have devastating effects on our skin and eyes (the worst offender by far is old mascara). 

In the spirit of maintaining our health and youth, we should all take regular inventory and toss out old makeup that may be damaging to our skin and eyes. I use the changing of the seasons as my reminder to look through my makeup, and I suggest you select a reminder point that works for you. Once you toss out your old makeup, make a list of the replacement products you need and head out to your favorite department store and/or pharmacy to snag them. Finally, make a note of when you purchased the new product and give it an expiration date based on its shelf life. Let's get to it Divas! 

For your convenience, I have listed the shelf lives of the most common types of makeup. Enjoy!
Foundation (Oil Free) – 1 Year
Foundation (Cream or Compact) – 1½ Years
Concealer – 1 Year
Powder – 1½ to 2 Years
Blush – 1½ to 2 Years
Eye Shadow – 1½ to 2 Years
Mascara – 3 Months
Eyeliner – 1½ to 2 Years
Lipstick – 1½ to 2 Years
Lip Liner – 1½ to 2 Years
Lip Gloss – 1½ Years

About GymPact...the Ultimate Workout Motivator!

How many times have you looked in the mirror and decided that it was time for you to get back in shape? How many Sunday nights have you said to yourself that starting Monday, you are going to get back in the gym and get your sexy back? And then by the following Wednesday, your workout plan and motivation to get back in shape is a distant memory. And then you start using the typical excuses that working professionals employ when they put working out on the back burner: “I had to work late”“I have to get home and make dinner”“I have to attend a networking event”“it’s Friday and I’ve had a rough week”“a client invited me to a happy hour”…blah, blah, blah! Does any of this sound familiar?

As many of you may know, I am always on the lookout for new smart phone apps that make my life easier…or those that are a fun distraction from what I’m really supposed to being doing…whatever!  In my never-ending search, I happen to come across the GymPact app for the iPhone. GymPact is the perfect app for those of us who constantly promise ourselves that we are going to work out regularly…starting Monday of course!

Here how GymPact works: every Sunday, you decide how many days you intend to work out during the upcoming week (Monday through Sunday) and you make a pact (at least one day). During the week, you use the GymPactapp to “check in” to your gym when you arrive and “check out” when you are done working out. If you choose to work out outdoors (i.e. running or cycling), you can use the RunKeeper app to record your work out…which will then sync to GymPact. If you successfully hit the gym for the amount of days you pledged to go, then GymPact will pay you. You read that right….GymPact will PAY YOU for successfully completing your pact. Nice, right?! Now on the other hand, if you fail to complete your pact for the week, you have to pay GymPact at least $5 per missed work out (you decide how much you pay per missed work out). That’s about it…really simple!

Before anyone gets excited, let me be clear that GymPactis not going to make you is merely a way to "incentivize your workout."  Last week, I made a pact to work out at least 5 days during the week. When I successfully completed my pact, I was paid $3.10…nothing earth-shattering, but knowing that I would be penalized for not completing my pact is an excellent motivator! I don’t know about any of you, but I am highly skilled in the art of talking myself out of going to the gym after a long day at work. Since starting with GymPact 4 weeks ago, however, I have successfully completely my pact 3 times (no judgment about that 4th week please!). And since GymPact only requires you to be at the gym for at least 30 minutes per check in, I really have no excuse as to why I can’t make it to the gym.

In sum, I really enjoy using GymPact as a motivational tool to get off my butt and work out…and everyone can use a little motivation, right? The one drawback is that the GymPact app is currently available only for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, so Android users are going to have to wait. But for those of you with Apple devices, check out the GymPact app on the iTunes store.

To learn more about GymPact, check out the website.

So, given my review of this app, would you try it? Let me know!

Purse Strings For My Girlfriends…800 Purses in 30 Days!

“To whom much is given, much is expected.” How many of you live by this mantra? In addition to excelling in the business world, I truly believe that Professional Divas should give back to their communities whenever possible. Well…I believe I have found a great opportunity for us to get involved and contribute to a worthy cause. A close friend of mine recently brought to my attention a wonderful organization with an equally wonderful mission. Check out the information below!

The Organization:My Girlfriend's House - a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower teenage girls and women living in poverty to break the cycle and maintain a positive understanding of self-worth, confidence, and professional advancement. My Girlfriend's House supports women living in the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas.

The Cause: Purse Strings for My Girlfriends is an annual donation initiative of My Girlfriend's House, which supports young ladies and women in 30-35 local group homes, homeless shelters, and domestic abuse centers. This initiative also supports the young women that participate in the organization's core mentoring program.

The Task: Starting Monday, October 1st and running through October 31st, Purse Strings for My Girlfriends seeks to collect 800 new and gently used purses in 30 days. The purses will be stuffed with up to 18 different personal hygiene necessities, including dental care, feminine care, nail care, and hair care products. Last year, My Girlfriend's House surpassed its goal of collecting 500 purses by collecting 1,200 purses in 30 days. This year, My Girlfriend's House seeks to collect 800 purses.

How You Can Help:Please consider making a donation of a purse. If you are in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area, you can contact Shara Chang via email to arrange for a pick up ( You may also make a monetary donation by going to the My Girlfriend’s House website  (please indicate in the note field that the donation is your personal pledge). The organization will use your donation to purchase various personal care items for the purses. If you would like to mail your purses, please send them to:

My Girlfriend's House, Inc
9244 East Hampton Drive
Suite 621
Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743

Are You In?: If so, head to your closet, gather your new and gently-used purses, and send them to My Girlfriend’s House. Also, share this information with you girlfriends, colleagues, church groups, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, etc., and get them involved as well.

Divas, are you ready? Awesome! Let’s rally around My Girlfriend’s House and help it exceed its goal!

Please be sure to stop by the My Girlfriend’s House website to learn more about this amazing organization.

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