Thursday, September 24, 2015

From Natural to Relaxed to Natural Again!

From Natural to Relaxed to Natural Again!

"I've been to the mountaintop!" These words were made famous by the ever so powerful leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Well, I wish I could say that my personal struggle was just as real and revolutionary, but unfortunately it pales in comparison.   My struggle began this past summer (July 2015).  I was busy running to and fro for my college class, planning a family reunion, and more--all while trying to squeeze in a vacation. In the midst of my hectically busy schedule, I decided that I needed a new hair style.  I wanted a hairstyle that would take less time styling.  At the time I had been in the midst of growing out my natural hair.

When I returned from my vacation and family reunion in Florida,  the first thing that I did was made an appointment with a local stylist (Erica at Salon Envy) that I had been going to off and on for several years.  When I booked the appointment, I knew in my heart that I really wanted a drastic change.  I was certain that the change would involve short hair.  

On the day of my hair appointment, I walked into the salon and quickly composed myself.  I took a seat in the waiting area and flicked through a few natural and relaxed hairstyle photos on Pinterest.  At this point my mind was made up.  I was open to getting a relaxer.  When my name was called, I sat down in the stylist's chair for my consultation.  At this point my stylist hadn't seen me in while, so she was curious as to what brought me in.  I told her that I was in need of something new and that she was the one that I knew could give me a style that I loved.  She asked me if I was open to getting a relaxer.  Before I knew it, I said "yes."  

At that point my stylist prepared the chemicals needed for the process.  I was in shock, actually, but knew that there was no turning back.  

Once my scalp was properly based, on went the relaxer.  Section by section, the product was applied.  I could not believe that I was actually going through with it.  One of the things that I was surprised most about was the fact that the relaxer DID NOT BURN MY SCALP!  It had been about 15 years since my last relaxer, so I was pleasantly surprised.  Of course the formulation of hair products has changed drastically since the early 2000's.  Also, my stylist focuses on healthy hair, so she made sure that the strength of the product was best suited for my hair type.  

After the relaxer had processed and my hair was properly neutralized and conditioned, It was time for the big reveal.  As you can see below, my hair had actually grown quite a bit.

At this time, the next step was making the final decision to cut and style my hair or to keep the length.  At this point, I knew that I wanted something short and pixie-ish.   I gave my stylist the green light on cutting my hair, and as you see below the results were fantastic!   I was absolutely in love with my hair! 

I went home and took selfie after selfie.  I sent selfies of my new hair style to a select few friends.  Okay, I sent the pictures to all of my relaxed friends knowing that they would be pleasantly surprised and supportive of my decision.  As I knew, I got complement after complement on my new style.

Time passed, and I began getting into a hair styling routine.  At night, I put on my hair wrap and bonnet.   In the mornings, I styled and moisturized my hair.  On the weekends, I washed, conditioned, and wrapped my hair.  On most days, my hair looked fine. 
Hair that I styled at home

There were days, admittedly, that I simply put gel in my hair and went on my way.  Over time, I fell into bad habits such as not wrapping my hair properly at night, not moisturizing daily, etc.  I had finally fizzled out.  I was plum lazy.  I was no longer excited about getting up and styling my hair for the day.  I painfully realized that I was not a hair person.  I could not get that fresh out of the salon look to linger.  I had often admired women that looked presentable and had neat relaxed hair EVERYDAY.  I wondered how they did it.  Honestly, some people have trained hands and more longevity in the relaxed hair game than I do.  My relaxed journey had quickly made me come to a stark realization.  Perhaps my ability to keep relaxed hair up was becoming too much of a burden.  After exactly 2 months, I went back natural.

I do not regret my decision to change my hair.  I really appreciate all of the options that women of color have in terms of hair styling.  I truly did not know what it felt like to get a relaxer, having not had one for so many years.  If I had the motivation and skill to keep relaxed hair up, I am sure I would have kept the style for a lot longer.  I realize, though, that I have to do what is best for me in terms of keeping up my personal style.  Currently, my personal goals and lifestyle requires quick and easy hair.   I am not able to maintain longer natural hair (longer than a twa), nor am I in the position to maintain a relaxed style.  For now, a cut and color is the order of the day.  And honestly, it is Natural to be Natural!  

Hair by Erica at Salon Envy


Monday, September 7, 2015

Is Work-Life Balance Really Possible?

Is Work-Life Balance Really Possible?

I have often wondered how women in my age group (35-40) fared when it came to Work-Life balance.  A few of my friends in my age group have decided to "settle down" and have children, while others have made the decision to get married but not to have children, others are single mothers, some are divorced, and the final group have remained single and childless.  As far as employment goes, several of my friends are educators, a few work in corporate America, some work contract jobs, others work part time, and a few are still looking for work in their degree field.  Of all the aforementioned situations, there is still a measure of planning and discipline to make life flow as smoothly as possible.

In today's society, women make up about 50% of the work force in the United States.  With that statistic in mind, it is important to consider ways to balance Work and Life.  Let's consider a few areas that might impact our ability to create a balanced life. 

One of the best pieces of advice that I received when I was going through my internship for my bachelor's degree was "Leave work at work.  You are not paid to work at home.  You are paid to work at work."  This was stern advice from an experienced 4th grade teacher who dissuaded me from taking papers home to grade.  What was so funny was that she would watch me as I prepared to leave home at the end of the day to make sure I did not have any of the student's work in my hands to grade.  She emphasized that I make the most of my time at work doing tasks such as grading papers and preparing lessons on my planning time vs. chatting with teachers on my planning.  That discipline was definitely something that I carried with me into my future as an educator.  

It is understood that various jobs require different things and there are times that work might have to be finished up at home, but for the most part with good discipline and planning, one can draw a line in the sand.   Make sure to schedule your day as best as possible to include utilizing work time to actually get as much done as possible and taking well needed breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.  Avoiding watercolor hangouts can aid in increasing productivity throughout the day.  If you are a social person, as I truly am, make sure to allow yourself a day of the week (perhaps Fridays) to idle down a tiny bit at work and chat with co-workers.  

Minimizing Distractions 
One thing that I have noticed is that having my cell phone on and all of the alerts chiming throughout the day can serve as a severe distractor.  I would often break my attention while working to look at my email (usually junk mail), a text, or to take a peek at Social Media.  What I have decided to do is to turn off all alerts to Social Media apps so that I can check any updates when I open the app itself.  As far as the random email alerts, call, and texts, I have decided to keep my phone on silent during the work day.  That does help improve my concentration about 25%.  Going forward though, I have decided to turn off mobile data on my cell phone until I really "need" it like when I need to check my bank account or to use the map for directions.  This way I can avoid tapping apps during the work day to see what I missed.

Having a desktop or laptop computer at work can also serve as a distraction.  Navigating to blogs, checking Social Media, or obsessively checking emails can also reduce productivity.  What I have decided to do to limit idle web browsing, is to use any additional time available at work to research topics that can help improve my job performance or looking for lesson plan ideas.  It is really interesting to see all of the current information available in my field and resources that allow me to improve my teaching style.  

Planning Out Your Week
I am a planner by nature.  I truly enjoy planning EVERYTHING!  Planning allows me to explore creative possibilities for things ahead as well as keep on schedule during the work week.  Knowing what is coming up next is the way a highly distractible person like myself keeps on task.  My low-tech solution to planning is simply writing out a to-do list on paper.  Having a visual reminder of the things that I need to accomplish helps me to complete tasks in a timely manner.  A higher tech option, is using my cell phone's calendar to enter obligations.  I typically enter future events into my calendar as I learn about them.  Having this as a visual aid as well as having alerts to the events (in the morning) helps me to know what is coming up for the day and helps me to stay on task a lot better.

Saying NO!
Saying 'No' to your boss might not be the best way to keep a job in a lot of instances, but saying no to additional obligations might.  In some cases, bosses might ask you for an after work hour favor that might cut into your personal time.  One thing to consider is the urgency of the favor.  Is it something that you can take care of first thing the next day?  If so, saying 'no' in a sense can aid you in creating boundaries and prioritizing your time.  Work has a time and place, and letting others know your boundaries is a good way to maintain Work-Life balance.  I once heard a blogger and entrepreneur say that her Business Hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  She explained that she only responded to emails, scheduled phone meetings, and took care of other work related tasks during these hours.  She said that she had to create this boundary in her life in order to keep a handle on Work-Life balance.  So in a sense, she was saying 'no' to any after work hour requests.    

The flip side of work nowadays is life.  After work is done, we try to cram in family obligations, shopping, exercise, religion, dieting, friends, vacation and sleep.  This often leaves us unable to fulfill all of the required obligations in one a day or evening.

One of the most important requirements for healthy work-Life balance is sleep.  The average healthy adult is built for about 16 hours of wakefulness and 8 hours of sleep.  A good sleep schedule is beneficial for good mental functioning and health throughout life.  This is an area that I have had challenges in throughout my life because I am a partial night owl and I am certainly not a morning person.  The logical reason for this is the fact that if I am staying up late daily, which directly affects my ability to rise early in the morning.  This along with reducing the amount of media that I consume before bed can have lasting benefits for me.  Here are a few tips for developing good sleeping habits:

1.  Go to bed on time nightly.

2.  Limit stimulants such as caffeine on a daily basis, especially right before bed.

3.  Get regular exercise daily.

4.  Reduce noise and excessive light in your bedroom.

5.  Avoid keeping the T.V. on all night.

6.  Discontinue use of technology a few hours before bed.

Exercise that is structured and planned has long lasting benefits.  Regular exercise not only has health benefits, but it correlates to overall life and professional balance.  Some of the known benefits of regular exercise include reduction of stress and stress management, lowering of disease risk, improved heart health, and improvement of emotional state.  Adding regular exercise to our daily routine can have major benefits in the area of Work-Life Balance.  I have been using the 7 Minute Workout app on a regular basis to get in daily exercise.  The body weight exercises can be adjusted to your needs.  I feel good at least getting some physical activity in daily.  It is way better than nothing and really only takes minimum of 7 minutes, which can be done at home.  

Limiting the amount of 'fast food' and bad carbs consumed can prove beneficial to individuals looking to gain Work-Life balance.  For one thing, healthier foods will give you more energy and will allow you to be present and able to perform better during the day.  Cooking at home whether with your family or alone will ensure you are accessing healthier dietary options and contributes to your goal of a more balanced life.

Whether single or married, the ability to balance time with family is important.  Having connections that include communication and bonding can contribute well to life balance.   Having good interpersonal relationships with family members can aid in better scheduling, time management, and communication which is essential to creating smoother family management.

Many times, life after 35 includes less time with your peers in casual settings.   Having to balance all of your obligations can impact the time that you have to spend with your friends.  Carving out some time to commune with friends, be it having dinner every other month or attending a concert, having those periodic meet-ups can prove beneficial for your mental and emotional health.  Maintaining friendships is yet another important area that can slip away if a proper balance is not in place.  One of my friends from college and I have made it a tradition to get together at least every 3 months to have a girls night which includes dinner, a concert, a museum, or we will plan an out of town vacation.

I am firm believer in travel and vacationing.  I am guilty, though, of allowing vacation time to slip away as a result of some "project" or some other non-vacation related obligation.  I am working on learning how to make the most of my vacation time and not bogging myself down with excessive obligations.  When I was in my 20's and single,  I used to look forward to vacation time and used it to go somewhere fun with friends or family.  After age 35, vacation time became more of a drag than something fun.  I am looking forward to getting that spark for traveling back even if it is to a nearby city.  It can prove beneficial to you to look into taking a staycation, mini vacation, or a nice long vacation to help balance out your obligations to other things and get the needed refreshment to help you to continue your goal of maintaining work-life balance.

Having a hobby that allows you to place attention on things other than your to-do list can prove beneficial.  I have been involved with blogging since 2009.  I began it to complement my online t-shirt business at the time.  Blogging and Social Media became a very large part of my non-work time and at a point began to overwhelm me and drain away a large majority of my time.  It even began to impact my ability to be effective at work.  Taking a step back in 2014 has helped me to reprioritize what was once my "hobby".  Social Media and Blogging are great activities, they too can impact your ability to maintain Work-Life balance, as there are no real clear cut boundaries.  Twitter parties, blogging events, and interacting online can take place at any time.  I really enjoy Blogging and Social media, and am looking forward to engaging in events and online activity again, but keeping Work-Life balance in mind, I will have a different perspective approaching it again.   So please keep in mind, a lot of people consider being online for hours a hobby,  but it can actually prove to be the opposite.  A better balance could be getting an actual offline hobby which could include sports, sewing, cooking, etc.

Too Much on Your Plate! 
Having too many obligations can affect our ability to maintain proper Work-Life balance.  I suffered from having too many obligations all at once.  Up until a few months ago, I had way too many irons in the fire.  I had a hard time saying "no" to people as well as having the bad habit of volunteering for unnecessary things.  I noticed that having too many things going on at one time made me feel burned out.  I also began to forget to take care of my own obligations which resulted in wasted time and money.  The closer I get to 40, I am realizing that obligations to other people and allowing things to pull me every which way is really not a priority for me.  I see how other people in my age group have already "got the memo" and have put their needs and their families needs ahead of everything else.  Is that selfish?  No!  Pre-flight instructions on a plane clearly state that in case of an emergency, you have to place an emergency mask on yourself first before you can help someone else.  It only makes sense!  If you are burned out and over scheduled, then you can't be effective to anyone else, most importantly yourself.

Using the tips above and analyzing your own personal situation can prove beneficial and can lead you on the road to achieving proper Work-Life balance!  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keeping Your Identity Safe While Traveling

Keeping Your Identity Safe While Traveling

I recently got a surprise phone call from a group of guys that called to inform me that my Debit Card had been hacked.  Not only that it had been hacked, but it had been hacked by them!  Shock and disgust came over me as I called my bank to inform them that my credit card and personal information had been compromised.  How did they get it?  What else did they have access to?  All of these questions ran through my mind quickly.  As I sat on hold with my bank, I saw transactions being posted to my account every minute.  Finally, my bank associate cancelled my debit card, just shy of the 3rd purchase.  Fortunately the hackers only got an average of $20.  My bank has since credited my funds and reissued a new card.  

One main question still remains, what did I do to expose my banking information?  Was it the purchase that I made a month before, a week before, or a day before?  Was it an online purchase or a purchase at a gas pump?  Well there are so many possibilities in this day and age, with online and mobile payment options increasing and the possibility of hackers to access major company information becoming increasingly possible.  

I set out to find ways to answer some of the questions that I had about my financial situation.  I was now a part of the millions of people that had been a victim of a cyber crime.  Some of the important options that I learned about included placing Credit Freezes and/or Fraud alerts on credit reports, utilizing credit protection programs, reporting the fraudulent activity to the authorities, and obtaining alternate forms of payment for online purchases.  Some of the aforementioned options require a form of payment, but can be a great tool in your arsenal of credit and identity protection.  

Here are a few suggestions for keeping your identity as safe as possible while traveling this summer:

1.  Download the Credit Karma app for your Android device.  The Credit Karma app is a fantastic way to easily, safely, and frequently access your credit information for free!  The app allows you to look at your credit report, positive payment options, credit history, credit inquiries, and more!  The Credit Karma website is also accessible on other devices.  Checking your credit information on the go is a great and convenient option for staying on top of what's going on while you are away.  

2.  Use secure web pages.  Make sure to look for the lock as well as the 'S' in HTTPS in the search bar at the top of a webpage when doing transactions online.  A lot of hackers have been able to redirect websites and have you to insert your precious information into their fraudulent website for easy picking.  Also, be mindful of any viruses on your devices and computers.  These are known as major ways for hackers to access your information while on the internet.  I, interestingly enough, also had a virus on my Safari browser a day before my debit card information was stolen.  This could possibly be a factor in my ordeal as well.  I had to buy software to remove this virus from my computer before being able to use it again.  Here is a video review if the software that I used:  Safari Browser Virus Remover App.

3.  Avoid using unsecured internet connections.  Make sure that you use secure internet while on the go.  It is so easy to hop onto "Free Wifi" while waiting for coffee at an internet cafe or staying online all evening while visiting in a hotel.  One of the better options is to use your own personal hotspot.  It is worth the investment for you and your family during travel season.   

4.  Use prepaid debit cards for purchases on the go.  Gas station gas pumps are notorious for having skimmers attached to them.  My advice is to use a prepaid card or better yet, cash to pay for gas.  If you have to use your personal debit card, then go inside to pay or use a pump that is closest to the cashier's window.  That way they have a less likely chance of being tampered with.   For online purchases, using a debit card is certainly a better option to avoid your personal information and account from being hacked.   

5.  Use a credit card instead of a debit card.  For the most part, most banks credit any missing debit card money within a few days, but who wants the headache of waiting for the process to take place while on vacation? Credit cards on the other hand is not your "personal money" so to speak, so the fortune of not having the burden of your personal funds wiped out is a better option.  Yet still a headache if accessed, credit card funds are insured and can be provided back to you with minimal hassle.  Mainly using a credit card for hotel and car reservations might allow you to keep up with your transactions a lot easier.  

There are so many ways to be safer while traveling this summer or during any family vacation time.    Keeping an eye on your finances by monitoring your purchases, paying more securely, and adding identity and credit protection can serve as a first line of defense against being a victim of fraud.  Although nothing is perfect, being more proactive can lead to less headache and more fun while traveling!  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Which Atlanta Metro Area School System is Best?

Which Atlanta Metro Area School System is Best?


I have been officially teaching in the Atlanta area for over 10 years.  I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a child.  After attending FAMU and FSU, I relocated to Georgia from Florida to snatch up one of the plentiful teaching jobs offered in the area.  I initially had no interest in moving to Georgia, but decided to try the move when I was unable to land a teaching job in my field (Special Education with a focus on Blindness) in Florida.  I attended a Teacher Recruiting fair at FAMU while I was working on my Graduate degree at FSU.  I spoke with representatives from counties in the Atlanta area.  Many in D.C., Virginia, Maryland, etc. were interested in hiring me right away, based on the need for the degree that I was working on.  Despite all of the interest, I decide to apply for teaching jobs in Florida for months, but was met with, "We already have a teacher in mind for the position." to "This is only a supply position." to, "We would love to hire you to work in a Behavior Disorder classroom."  The preceding made me decide to look outside of my preferred area.  I circled back and decided to look into the Atlanta area.  I started out by applying to two Metro Atlanta schools.  Out of both interviews, I was offered both jobs in my field. I decided to take the one that was just outside of the Atlanta area.

Since I have been working in the Atlanta area for years, I have come across the question, "Which Atlanta Metro Area School System is the Best?"  and " Which Metro Area School System Pays the most?"  Well as far as I know, based on hearsay, Gwinnett, Fulton, Atlanta Public Schools, and Cobb are among the top 50 school systems in the area.   The aforementioned school systems are among the larger counties in the area as well.  If you are interested in any of these school systems, ask teachers that work in the mentioned counties, look on the county's website, or do a Google search for more information.

If you are deciding on where to teach in the Atlanta Metro area, check out a few of the Salary Schedules below for the 2015-16 school year.

If you are using Salary, Location, or Programs to decide which school system to go with, do your research and see which option is best for you.  The information above is just for reference.  Have fun searching!

I Am Back!

I Am Back!

How time flies!  I have been away from my blog for 6 months.  Since my last post, I have officially started school at NCCU, am on the heels of the family reunion (July 2015) that I have been planning for over a year now.  I have been working on several family trees, a family website/blog, and several DNA tests.  Now what?  Well this blog is a great way for me to express my creativity and share valuable information.  My decision for this blog going forward is to use it as an outlet for my inspiration.  I will post on here when I am inspired or when I have a campaign to share, which means that it most likely won't be on a regular basis.  If you want to keep up with my posts, you can  sign up for email alerts ("Follow By Email") on the right side of this page or you can follow me on Twitter or any of my other Social Media outlets (see the "Swarthy Daisy Online" box on the right side of the page).  I thank you for your continued support!  See you next post!

Sunday, December 21, 2014



Yes, you read that correctly.  I will be taking a Blogging Hiatus for 6 months.  My hiatus will begin on January 1, 2015 and will continue until June 2015.  

I have a LOT of personal projects coming up in 2015.    Beginning January 2015, I will be starting college again.  My program will require a lot of studying, reading, and practice of learned skills.  Because my schooling will require a significant amount of travel, I will need time to focus and stay on track.  
I am also hosting a family reunion for my maternal side of the family.  With that, I have been coined the family historian and am working on an ongoing family genealogy project.  That too requires a lot of travel and research.  

I have been maintaining this blog and my other Social Media channels non stop since 2009.  Lately trying to manage my Blogging and Personal life has been like trying to herd cats!  

Since I have not "officially" had a break in all this time, I figure this break will allow me time to gather my thoughts on the future of this blog and my Social Media efforts.  

In the meantime, I will still update my Twitter and Instagram, pin Technology, Natural hairGenealogy, and Food on my Pinterest account, and post a video or two on my Youtube channel.  Also, I am contractually obligated to a few companies, as I am a Brand Ambassador for them.  Therefore  a post might pop up on here in-between time.  If so, I will post a link to the post on my Twitter account.  

Feel free to read some of my previous posts.  You might be interested in my 23andme Genealogy Journey...

Or you might be looking for some Work-at-home opportunities...

Or you too might be looking for ways to Unplug for a while...

Make sure to follow me on my Social Media Channels for periodic updates on what I am up to!

If you want to contact me or just say hello, check out the 'Contact Me' box on the right side of this post.  

Thank you all for being awesome supporters! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The 10 things that I love about Atlanta!

The 10 things that I love about Atlanta!

Small Businesses
Since living in the Atlanta area, I have easily started 3 small businesses.  I sold everything from Educational materials to t-shirts.  The ability to start and obtain a business license in Georgia was very easy.  There were also so many opportunities to market and sell my products.  

Social Media Events and Blogging
Since I am into Social Media, as you can see, I am really happy to be a part of the blogging community in Atlanta.  It is very easy to locate bloggers in the area because there are so many conferences and networking events held here on a regular basis.  A simple search on Google or Twitter search will reveal the vast community and opportunities.

I personally know over 5 local people that I have seen on T.V. lately as a result of opportunities for individuals to appear on game shows, reality shows, and news programs.  I have actually attended a few live tapings of shows such as Family Feud, and more. I have also met celebrities as a result of attending events in Atlanta.  The celebrities mix and mingle with guests with ease.  Over the years, I have met Malinda Williams, Kim Coles, and Nicci Gilbert to name a few.  

There are so many restaurants in the Atlanta area.  I have yet to try a fraction of them, but am looking forward to trying a lot more.  Some of my favorites include Two Urban Licks, Pure Taqueria, Jim N Nicks, Social Vinings, and The Vortex to name a mere fraction of them.  

The housing in the Atlanta area is very affordable.  I was able to buy a house at the tender age of 25.  Although I had to look into areas just outside of Atlanta, I was able to find something within a half hour or so from the city center.  The ability to find a brand new house that you can build to suit is one major perk of buying a house in the Atlanta area.  

There are several Outlet malls and mega malls in the Atlanta area.  The North Georgia, Tanger, and Woodstock Outlets are a few of the more popular Outlet malls in the Atlanta area.  Lenox, Perimeter, and the Mall of Georgia offer plenty of shopping options.   

Hair Salons
The women in Atlanta believe in beautiful hair.  There are hundreds of hair salons in the area.  There are even salons in malls, Walmart stores, etc.  You can throw a stone and find a hair salon within a short drive or even walking distance.  

Atlanta is home of several performance venues.  The Atlanta Symphony Hall, The Fabulous Fox theatre, and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre are a few of the most well known.  For individuals that enjoy Indie artists, places like Center Stage Live, The Tabernacle, and the Variety Playhouse have concerts all year long for lovers of underground and Indie music.  For even smaller venues, The Loft and Moods Music host up and coming artists and listening parties on a regular basis.  

Amusement Parks
The Atlanta area has plenty to do for families with children (or the kid in you).  The more popular amusement parks include Six Flags over Georgia and White Water.  There are also smaller attractions that include Lego Land and Stone Mountain Park.

There are abundant amounts of outdoor activities in the Atlanta area.  I particularly like Amicalola Falls,  apple picking at Mercier Farms, and the hiking trails at Kennesaw Mountain.  The summer time offers a wealth of options for things to do that really are not very expensive.

-In Conclusion 
If you are looking to live in the Atlanta area, or just plan to visit, make sure to take in one of the above attractions.  The reasons above, and more, make Atlanta a nice place to live!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This Goes Way Beyond Meat!

This Goes Way Beyond Meat!


When I attended the TechMunch conference here in Atlanta in September of this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the reps from Beyond Meat.  They had great samples of their food to share which included "Beef" Nachos and  Classic "Chicken" Salad   Beyond Meat gave attendees of the conference free coupons to try their products.  I decided to reach out to my Veggie Lovin' Social Media buddies to try Beyond Meat as well.

Here is what Dalia from Eating Beautiful had to say:

Dalia's Yummy Salad with Beyond Meat's "Chicken" Strips

"I made a grilled chicken salad using the Beyond Chicken Grilled Strips, a honey mustard dressing, and a romaine iceberg mix.  It was delicious.  I thought the beyond meat chicken actually tasted better than chicken. It had a savory kind of creamy texture.  It was very filling.  I'd definitely use it again to turn a salad into a main dish."

For more awesome meal ideas, visit Dalia's website at


My music lovin' Vegetarian friend Kenya shared the following photos of the meals that she made with Beyond Meat:

Veggie Chilli & Chicken Philly

Kenya mentioned that she was an avid Boca product customer, but mentioned that after experimenting with various seasonings, the Beyond Meat products made great meat alternatives.  


I also tried Beyond Meat and made baked potatoes.  I had to compare the Vegetarian product against actual chicken strips by Tyson.  Here is my creation:

Overall, I thought the product was very close to chicken.  The texture was similar and with some doctoring, the flavor was similar as well.  

If you are looking to try a meat substitute, I suggest Beyond meat.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Warby Parker Eyeglasses

Warby Parker Eyeglasses

I recently visited the Warby Parker Eyewear store in Buckhead (Atlanta).  I was amazed at how nicely the store was laid out.  There were so many trendy frames and the price was right on point!  

Here is a video of my find!