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I would normally have put up a post or two by now but your girl is getting her butt kicked. By derivatives. I'm working on a steep learning curve at my new desk and there is so much that I need to learn that I'm really feeling overwhelmed. So Alice Walker has been put on hold for a book far more interesting. Okay, I'm kidding. Exotic derivatives may sound sexy but reading about 'em doesn't make me feel like I'm in Barbados. *cough*

So if you're looking for me, you can find my head in this book to the left, a VBA manual (can I master excel first, geez), or the online training modules. If not, then I've probably kirked out on had a talk with the other intern who is in my group too. I was so through today after work. Thank God for the 7th floor gym and some running shoes. A hard run gets me through all levels of frustration and anger. How did I figure this out? I ran a lot during the last few months of my last relationship. I guess it was a sign. Let this girl see it as her sign. I'll tell you all about it later!

Oh and I'm moving to new housing tomorrow (half the price OK!) so I'm busy packing as well. No rest for the weary.

Tata, talk to you laterz
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Bon Voyage

I’m so sad ya’ll. I could cry. I mean, it’s just too much. Thought I could handle it but I’m not strong enough. *virtual tear*

All I ask of you is a quick moment of silence.

[[Cue silence and dramatic music fit for reminiscing...]]

[[...music lowers to a soft hum]]

On July 27, 2006 I had already successfully completed my internship in NY (meaning I received an offer for summer 2007) and was on a plane with Monsieur N to Barbados. It was just days away from the Crop Over season - similar to other countries' carnival seasons. You know... the time for Krosfyah, Allison Hinds/Square One, Peter Ram, Lil Rick aka Hypa Dog (you'll understand if you see him dance/wukk up), etc. But I’m here in London working and trying to be grateful for the sunny moments in the day and my parents have the nerve to celebrate this anniversary by getting on a plane to Barbados without me. I mean, they even told Monsieur N that he should come without me. This is the first time I haven't been able to go home* in forever (whether it be Trinidad or Barbados). Yet, I don’t see them trying to convince me to come! Hmph. As a matter of fact, they don’t even seem to notice that I’m in a state of mourning.

The sun

the favored Mr. N et Moi

The beach

the peeps at the beach and me -
20 min walk from my grandma's house

The sand

one of my little cousins

Oh it’s simply too much to bear.

My friends, it gets worse. My heart sulks not only for those superficial - yet important - reasons above. I’m also not going to see my family. For one, my partner in crime, Cousine S, will be home for her last summer break from Med school - in Jamaica - at the University of the West Indies (UWI). That means no more summers having a blast together until she’s done with school and I actually get vacation time while in the “real world” after college.

my partner-in-crime

Second, another close cousin of mine – Cousine M - had a baby last year whom I have yet to see and [dramatic pause...] she is getting married next week!! I mean, I was in her older sister’s wedding for crying out loud. She lived with us in PG Co while attending HU several years ago. It’s only natural that I should be present at the wedding of one of the few people on this earth who got pestered by me worse than my sisters did. Right? Plus, she just finished at UWI and is a real.life.doctor now people! I mean the girl went back to class the day after she had her baby. I should be celebrating with her.

*ouch* I think my heart just hurt.

What’s a girl to do? Maybe I’ll go shopping tomorrow *tear*

* While I was born in the US I still have many "homes" outside of my PG Co home, get me?

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Very Important and Relevant

Nobody should feel okay about this. If you are on Facebook, please go to this group. If not, go here to read about the Jena Six and sign here - the petition for justice.


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It's That Time

It's that time of the summer... Mid-Term Reviews. Mine is tomorrow morning. So wish me luck. As of Friday I will have officially completed my rotation in the Fixed Income Commercial Real Estate group. It was interesting but it's not something I see myself doing. I just hope that they were pleased and impressed with me. The guys in my group are definitely cool peoples. I'm ready to move on though. I'm too excited cuz my next rotation is on the sales "desk" in Equities Structured Retail (for derivatives). For those of you not familiar with investment banking don't worry. I don't really have clue what structured retail even means yet. I definitely look forward to learning, though. I hope this review goes well because it will give me an extra boost to finish off the next five weeks with a BANG.

Oh and does anyone pay attention to the foreign exchange markets? Well the US dollar has been doing pretty badly in the last several months - a couple years now if you are just comparing to the pound. So being that I'm getting paid in pounds, I've been cheering for it to keep rising *naturally*. Well today it was reported that the dollar is growing stronger against both the euro and the pound. What if this is the beginning of the end? Damn Damn Damn. I'm cashing in my paychecks into dollars ASAP cuz with my luck the dollar will raise to record highs against the pound by the time I get home.

I'm out,

*Update [Thurs 14:44]: Your girl got a glowing review! I guess they see how fabulous I am ya'll. Now I have work to do so I don't have time to share all the details now...
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Just as I thought people were beginning to realize that black is beautiful...

I've just heard that Vibe Vixen is done. No more. Goodbye. Kaput. This makes me sad because there are very few magazines for us beautiful women. I thought this one was gonna be the black Vogue. It had serious potential. I was envisioning the page numbers increasing over the years and everything! Poor me. A hopeless dreamer. Now the magazine will join the ranks of my beloved Suede magazine.

When will things change?

At least there is Essence. I'm still worried, though. It's amazing the magazine has been around and lasted for so long. Bless your heart Essence. But, for real, should I not get too attached anyway?

Ugh. A frustrating thought.

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More About Me Mondays

Christmas 2005

I have a large family. And within that large family there is my mom, her five girls (one not included in the pic cuz she hates pics), my two nieces, and my dad. Being that my two oldest sisters are 38 and 39, I practically grew up with 3 mothers. Not to mention, my birth was pretty special for them because they had just come to America. My third sister, 36, did her fair share of spoiling me too but she was never as matronly as the first two. Plus she wasn't there for my birth which apparently meant she wasn't as close to me (this is a long story... one day I will share this drama). Nonetheless I love each of them dearly. I wouldn't trade anyone in my family for the sunniest day in London.

Eldest sister, D; Third daughter, J; Second, L; et moi, the baby aka #5

Well, despite the fact that all three of them spoiled me, took care of me, and played a huge role in molding me into who I am today, my sister L - or Sisi (see-see) as I would call her because I couldn't pronounce her name as a child - did all of these things to the 100th degree. I don't think that many people would disagree either. I'm not lying when I say 90% of my memories relating to my childhood involved her. This is why it became known to everyone that L was my favorite sister and I was hers. It was never debated. It was just a fact that everyone in the family knew and accepted.

I'm convinced that L is the reason I am the fabulous young woman I am today, excuse my unhumbled opinion. But for real, she taught me things that I don't think young ladies learn anymore. I will admit she was a bit extreme sometimes but since I used to be shy everything turned out to be balanced. One of the best pieces of advice she ever gave me was, "when somebody tells you that you are pretty, say "I know, thank you." Of course this isn't a polite or lady-like response but it taught me that I shouldn't be easily swept-off my feet, so to speak, just because a guy tells me that I am beautiful. It is important that I know it for myself so that I don't need another man (or friend for that matter) to feed any insecurities. Nonetheless, I guess you can tell where my attitude and sass comes from.

Some of my favorite things she used to make me do was create a list of things that I wanted to do during the summer. This list could include absolutely everything from museums to restaurants to the roller skating rink. Anything was pretty much fair game. As the summer came to an end, we often had finished everything on the list. If we hadn't, we found a way to do it another weekend in the year when she wasn't busy studying (she went to HU Bschool like me and then went on to Law school).

My favorite times as a kid was hanging out with L. I always had fun. Even if she was in her room doing her studying, I was happy. If she was reading a book at her desk, I'd get a book and pull up to the desk. If she was reading upside down hanging off the bed, I'd read upside down hanging off the bed. Sisi was everything that I wanted to be.

Well finally she finished school and moved out. We were still close for many years - even somewhat through my high school years. We would still catch movies together, go out to eat, etc. I think things really started to change when I got to college. I began to feel like she was too motherly. I know I mentioned that my sisters were always matronly. But it was never in the sense that I wouldn't tell them most of the things I kept from mommy. When I did tell them more personal stuff about my life, they were never judgemental (like my mom) and never suggested what I had to do. But somehow along the way I began to feel uncomfortable talking to L. We stopped talking like we used to (which wasn't much b/c neither of us are the type to call people on the phone very often) and something simply began to change. You ever feel something but can't quite explain it? That's how this is.

The last few years she's joked a lot about how I don't love her anymore and how I don't call her. She's always made silly comments and jokes like this if we hadn't seen each other or spoken for a few weeks. Yet I know there are some feelings behind the comments now. I'm beginning to get frustrated because it's not like she doesn't have a working phone either, you know. Most recently, when I got back from France she mentioned that we had to go out before I left for my internship. One day she pops online on MSN. We talk briefly and I ask her what day works best since I wasn't working or anything thus was free all the time. She lets me know, and we set a date for a Wednesday.

Wednesday rolls around now. I haven't heard from her - which I presumed she would've called me to let me know what time she was picking me up - and I didn't call either. Maybe that was a stupid idea but I felt like she knew I was free all day so she should let me know what time she wanted to leave. It was probably even more stupid since I know her and I know she tends to forget things all the time. But I think in the back of my mind I was testing her since there was a time when people would bet their life that if there was one thing L would remember it would be something related to me. Growing up, never did L break a single promise to me and though she may have forgotten to feed me once or twice (i didn't like eating anyway) she always remembered everything she told me and planned with me.

That evening, I finally call. She doesn't pick up (which isn't extremely odd since she is known for not picking up her phone). I still find it odd though because we have plans and more often than not, if I'm calling or my mother is calling she picks up. I then leave a voicemail (which she doesn't check much) and decide that I will probably hear from her before I left on Saturday. To this day I haven't received a call from her.

Just a couple weeks ago my mother tells me that L says she thought I had forgotten about our date or that I was just busy hanging out with Monsieur N. I'm thinkin, What the... did she not check her missed calls or voicemail? Could she not call to find out if I had forgotten or if I was busy. Does she not know me well enough to know that I wouldn't put spending time with Mr. N over my fam, especially if I was able to see him everyday for a couple weeks before my trip and I hadn't spent any quality time with my sister.

Well, she left me a message on MSN not too long ago. It was an offline message she left while I was asleep saying that how she was sorry we didn't get to go out or something. I honestly don't remember what it said exactly. All I remember was thinkin, how the heck do I respond to this? I think I just said something like, it's fine... we can hang out when I get home.

It seems as though our relationship is slowly but surely spiraling down hill. I know the love is there between us, but things just aren't the same. I no longer even tell people this is my favorite sister. It just doesn't seem right because I don't even feel like we have a relationship anymore. Much of it I guess I could fix by calling and talking to her. But it all just feels forced and awkward.

I guess this whole thing just makes me sad. It's one of those things that makes me miss those good old days. But life doesn't give you the option of going back, only forward. The only thing is, I don't want to move forward with our relationship continuing on it's current path. I'd like to get behind the wheel and redirect it. I just don't know how.

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Grand Opening

I've remodeled. Spruced the place up a bit. And I've re-opened for business. The site is so adorable I just couldn't help myself. It's such a big deal, I've even invited Oprah. What better way to start off a fabulous Friday?

I mean, it was about that time... time for a change. For many people who know me, they know that I get tired of things easily: my hair color/style/cut, layout of my bedroom, … and -before Monsieur N – guys. I finally got tired of looking at the previous design of this site. It’s been a little over six months and how better to celebrate than with a fantastic change!?

I’m not one who is good with all this computer stuff like codes and html. But with the combination of fabulous template designers, Google, and my love for making things look pretty I know all of you will love it.

Don't get worried my dear friends. Despite the upgraded image, I'm still the same me! Isn't that great? So I hope you continue to enjoy the mere glimpses into my mind and life offered through this site.

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Dream Big

There are many things my dad told me as a kid. Most of the time he thought I was ignoring him (as he told me the other day) while I was thinking, "oh my gosh, I KNOW daddy!" Well as I grew older I learned to appreciate and cherish those words of advice. I would love to share one of his most recent additions:

Happy are those who dream dreams
and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
Leon J. Suenes

Have a beautiful day!

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Music Video of the Week

Like a Boy: Ciara

I like this video. I saw it this morning for the first time while doing my thing at the gym. Ironically, this was the song we danced to in the hip hop class at Ballys those weeks before I flew across the pond. It's a cute song cuz there were many times between high school and the beginning of frehman year @ HU (I have been bunned up most of college) when I felt like I should just do as guys do. I knew I was capable but I just didn't have the heart, you know!?

As my dad used to say, "[my nickname], doh hate de game, hate de playa" (in his 'rank' Trini accent). He tried ya'll. He may never be cool but you get the man's point.

Oh, and I'm getting ready for an image change on this site. I suggest you do too... Think flower, think classy, and - of course - think pink . I'm too excited!

Peace, xoxo

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I'd say it looks much better, don't you? Thanks for the suggestions ladies. I was trying to use the Queen's advice and get some albums or something like that to decorate.. but no luck with my minimal budget. I just bought another magazine. Anyway, I move in two weeks!

Click here to see the before shots.
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Calling All [Book] Readers

As all of you know, I’m an avid reader. But the world of books gets all lonely sometimes when you don’t have many to share it with. If it weren’t for my mother I don’t think I would have half the recommendations I receive. I’ve also found Elle who is a self-proclaimed book-worm as well. The girl even has a seperate site dedicated to her mission to finish billions of books in one year. But I need more people. Last year I desperately wanted to join a book club. A friend of mine, Whit, had told me about one she had started at HU called Teacakes. Well after my departure for France and then the graduation of the only member I knew at the time the group fell through. It was the closest I’ve ever gotten.

So I want to start my own club. I’m opening it up to all you lovely ladies (and guys too I guess) in the DC Metro urrea (aka PG and Mo county). I’m dedicating most of my reach out efforts to my fellow Howard peeps but I thought I would let you in, too. I mean, maybe… just maybe one out of my six readers will be interested!

Let me know if you’re down. HU people, look out for the FB group.
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A Mélange of a Post

There is just so much to talk about… lots of catching up to do! I’ve finished books, seen a movie and a musical, and fallen in love with a new store – all in one week.

Let’s start with the books. I’ve completed House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. It was excellent. The back of the book starts off with, “In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense…” I couldn’t have said it better. I don’t even want to tell you the plot, lol. I just want you to read it! I mean, this book constantly left me wanting more. The best part is that the ending is not cliché. It’s not very often that I read a book without sensing what the ending will be.

I also finished Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley, an African American. The book is about In post-war Los Angeles, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, an unemployed black WWII veteran doing his best to hold on to his only property – his house. Desperate for money, he agrees to do a little private snooping for this white man who is violent and good-for-nothing. Throughout the novel he is mostly tracking down this woman and he soon discovers that he has a knack for the work. The book was such a success that he created a series of which, according to Wikipedia, Bill Clinton is even a professed fan. It is definitely an engaging read. My eyes were glued to the book every morning and evening on the tube. Yet I’m not sure if I’m hooked enough to read the other nine left in the series. I suggest you check it out anyway. It’s a quick and fun read if you’re looking for one.

Ironically, both of these books have been made into movies (and yes that's Denzel in the pic because he plays Easy Rawlins). Interested in viewing the trailers? Here is Devil in A Blue Dress, and here is House of Sand and Fog.

Well I must be on a roll with books made into movies because I have decided to read the Harry Potter series. Mademoiselle Narcist got me thinking about it. Before you Potter fans start screaming at me, I have read the first three before! But that was SO long ago- as in when they first came out – that I decided that before I continue to read the last few in the series, I should restart. So Saturday morning I found myself at the local library signing up for a card. Man the libraries are so small here. Even my little suburban city in PG county has a bigger library but whatev. They had what I needed. I happily took my book.

On Thursday evening I went with a couple friends to see Shrek 3. I was slightly disappointed. There were several funny scenes - like this one YouTube won't let me embed - and there were a few adorable scenes; but there was a point when I thought it got a bit too cheesy. This film is not so much for young children as it is for the pre-teen age range in terms of the theme of the movie. Unlike the first two, I thought there was a lot more about the storyline that would go over their heads. Overall, I think you should wait till it comes out on DVD to watch it (and borrow it from somebody for free lol). Have I ever mentioned my love for Puss in Boots? Well, j'adore Monsieur Señor Puss in Boots.

On Friday night, a friend took me to one of her favorite stores in Covent Garden. First of all, if you haven’t been to London, Covent Garden is a must see stop on your list of places to go. Not only is there tons of shopping (not as much as Oxford St. but still…), there are lots of restaurants and most of the theaters are just a walk away. Plus this is the place where you will catch street performers' interesting acts like my friend above!

Well anyway, as many times as I’ve been to Covent Garden, I’ve never ventured into this lovely store. It’s a cosmetics store called Lush in which everything is handmade from natural ingredients. As you walk in your eyes are pleasantly bombarded with an array of colors (the google pics don't do it justice). AND everything smelled absolutely positively divine! I'm sayin, you could smell your way to the store ya'll. So you know that I wanted to buy everything. It didn't help that the adorable sales lady - Francesca who had a beautiful Italian accent - spent time explaining many of the products and letting me try some of the moisturizing bars. Oh my, everything was so fabulous. Fortunately I maintained my senses and stuck to purchases that I needed. For my hair, I purchased the hair moisturizers Jasmine And Henna Fluff-Eaze (which conditions your hair, tames frizz, and makes darker hues shine) and Recon (which is for dry scalp); a shampoo bar; and a face wash/gentle exfoliator called Angels On Bare Skin (that seems to get raving reviews). I wanted to purchase the conditioner too -I kind of forgot more than anthing else. I figure I will see how these products work over the next two weeks and depending on how satisfied I am, I will go back to get the conditioner, some facial moisturizer, and toner. Oh, and the prices are pretty high - compared to how much I normally purchase beauty products for - but I think it is worth it. For example, the shampoo bar is said to last over 60 washes if kept dry after each wash! There are Lush locations in the States and Canada too. Click here for more info.

Moving on... Saturday afternoon I went to see Fame. I’m gonna live forever…doo doo doo de doo doo...

The first half kind of had me wanting more, but it definitely got better during the second half. I think the thing that bothered me the most were the accents. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue for me but for some of the characters it was an important aspect of their “character” if you get me. Such as the latina mami and the boy from the hood. Their overall American accents were good (I don’t know if all of them were British anyway) but those two important characters failed to put on a convincing act in some scenes. Aside from that issue, I would say it’s worth seeing. Not the best show but very entertaining. There’s a really good review on this site of this British (aka West End instead of Broadway) showing. I plan on seeing many more shows while I’m here so I’ll keep you posted!

Got some time? Check out this cutie (Señor Puss in Boots, of course) perform These Boots Are Made for Walking:

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Be In The Know

1. How DARE the Pope say that I (and maybe you too) don't attend a true church. Despite attending Catholic schools all of my life, I have little respect for the Vatican - can you see why?
2. Study shows that men talk just as much as women!
3. Advertisers pull out of the premier episode of BET's new highly controvertial show. Ugh... (Can you sense my disgust for this network?)
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More Laughter for the Soul

Proof of what can happen if a wife or girlfriend drags her husband or boyfriend along shopping. This letter was recently sent by Tesco's Head Office to a customer in Oxford:

Dear Mrs. Murray,

While we thank you for your valued custom and use of the Tesco Loyalty Card, the Manager of our store in Banbury is considering banning you and your family from shopping with us, unless your husband stops his antics.

Below is a list of offences over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's trolleys when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to feminine products aisle.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, "Code 3" in housewares..... and watched what happened.

5. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

6. September 15: Set up a tent in the outdoor clothing department and told shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring sausages and a Calor gas stove.

7. September 23: When the Deputy Manager asked if she could help him, he began to cry and asked, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"

8. October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, picked his nose, and ate it.

9. November 10: While appearing to be choosing kitchen knives in the Housewares aisle asked an assistant if he knew where the antidepressants were.

10. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously, loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

11. December 6: In the kitchenware aisle, practised the "Madonna look" using different size funnels.

12. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

13. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, assumed the foetal position and screamed "NO! NO! It's those voices again."

And last, but not least:

14. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here."

Yours sincerely,

Charles Brown
Store Manager

Mademoiselle M. Disclaimer: I am not to be held liable for any boyfriends/"friends"/husbands' actions as a result of this post. Thank you.
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OH, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

It’s 15°C out here today folks. Do you know what that is? 59° freaking degrees Fahrenheit. HEL-LO. It’s July. I mean, women are still wearing knee-high boots with skirts to work (and some are too cute, but beside the point) and trench coats!! Scarves are often necessary as well my friends.

Silly me. Thinking, oh it’s summer but since it’s London I’ll pack stuff for more springy weather just in case. WRONG. I should’ve brought my winter trunk.

Despite the fact that I was born in the good old USofA in the height of Fall, I have too much Caribbean blood running through my veins. I detest winter. But I can live with it knowing that warmer days are soon-a-comin. But where’s my summer weather? Where? Yea, nobody seems to have the answer.

I’ve been left with no choice. I am submitting a letter of complaint to Monsieur London.

Dear Sir Lord London:

It is with pleasure that I have become a temporary resident of your humble abode. And while I appreciate both your hospitality and your fabulous shopping, I have some concerns that I would like to address. Well just one really. A really important one.

What’s up with your weather? Your weather system seems to have malfunctioned. You may be unaware of this so I believe it is my duty to bring it to your attention. I must first say that I do understand the atypical weather typical of your home: cloudy one minute, sunny the next, and pouring rains right after. I’ve also experienced the fierceness of your winter – even if it wasn’t at full intensity. This is by far not my first time here.

However, I do believe that the system running your weather has stopped working for a few months now. Similar to a watch, it is necessary to change the batteries every so often so that you aren’t confused why it’s always 3 o’clock. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s July. That usually means that one can walk around in shorts and flip flops. And, correct me if I’m wrong, I shouldn’t be freezing with a suit jacket on. Rather, I should be burning up.

Now, before you accuse me of addressing this matter without further research into the situation let me fill you in. My findings conclude that the last several summers have generally been pretty warm aside from last summer’s heat wave*.

With all due respect, Sir Lord London Sir, I’m not asking for much. I’m not asking for the sun to shine everyday, which would be divine. I’m not even asking for a heat wave like other countries (even Russia is having a freaking heat wave, RUSSIA!). I’m just asking you to fix your machine to today’s date and change the settings so that it will only rain when it is warm outside.

I appreciate your attention to this and I can be reached at +44 (0)01 2258 264515855** if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Mademoiselle M

P.S. I have neglected to tell you thank you for the two beautiful sunny and warm days this past weekend. Maybe there was a temporary glitch (to our advantage) in the system. Whatever the reason, please note that it has not been overlooked. Let's aim for more days like that.

*Sources: la internet & other residents (who are just as baffled as moi)
** Why do their phone numbers have like a hundred digits? I can never remember my phone number
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Music Video of the Week

Gangster's Paradise: Coolio

I'm taking you back again. What were you doing when Dangerous Minds came out in 1995? Well, I wasn't allowed to watch it at the time but there was no way momma could stop me from knowing all the words to the hit song (like every "cool" kid did at the time).

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The Weekend

How was my weekend? Oh, it was great. Nothing special but very well spent. Since I no longer write on my travel blog (cuz even tho I traveled to London, I'm not really travelling these days. Shoot, I can't leave the UK until I finish my internship due to work visa stipulations...) I'll tell you guys all about it. Sorry for that long thought.

Friday night after work, I went for drinks with two co-workers. These two guys basically demanded that me and the two other interns (one guy and one girl) join them. And anyone who has been preached to about internships/starting a new job knows that it isn’t really wise to say no if you don’t have plans (I was supposed to see Shrek with some other interns but we decided to go this Thursday instead so I was free as a bird). You know… you’re supposed to get to know the people you work with, saying no might make you seem unfriendly/stand-offish, yada yada. Plus, drinking is apparently a national past time here so going to the pub is simply nat.u.ral. Right.

Well, it was interesting, to say the least. Being that the only male I frequently hang around is Monsieur N, sometimes I forget how men can be. Despite the fact that me and the other female only wanted to have one quick drink and slip away politely to go home, we ended up sticking around the whole time. Up until 9 I was amused (and sometimes annoyed/appalled, if that describes it) by the stories I heard. If you are wondering, they were your typical how to survive the job and drunken nights type stories.

Saturday was shopping day. I haven't forgotten that I am on a budget as well as a severe return suitcase weight limit starting the day I head home. Nonetheless, I have allowed myself to purchase some necessities: a new suit or two… mine are kind.of.tight *cough*, new ballerina flats… mostly for the voyage to and from work cuz they are cuter than sneakers, a new purse or two… one needed wanted for work thus needing to be suit-friendly. That's fair right?

Well where better to start than Oxford street. For those of you unfamiliar with London it’s Europe’s largest shopping street with over 300 stores including Mango, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Topshop, Gap, Bershka, H&M, and United Colors of Benetton. After a couple hours and only a few stores I was pretty unsuccessful. I’d seen so many things I wanted to buy but nothing I needed. I did try on one suit and buy a pair of really cute sunglasses (that I did – cuz they’re black and I only have brown - but didn’t need). Finally my feet started killing me so I headed home.

Sunday I decided to start the day by visiting one of the most talked about markets in London, the Camden Town market. When I got off the bus, there were people everywhere. I’m still not really sure where the market really was supposed to be because there were stalls everywhere – outside of shops, in alleyways, under various market shelters, etc. In any case, it was great. I spent hours there and I still didn’t see everything. I did manage to buy a purse and those flats I wanted (and for half the price of other stores on Oxford St).

On my way back home I called Cousine L (see bottom of this post). She goes, “you know Cousine T [her sister] is having a BBQ today right?” Then she puts me on hold and I think, how in the world would I know that if you haven’t told me? When she comes back on the line she says she’ll call back later. But she never did.

Why am I not surprised? Maybe I’ll post about this another time.

Anyhow, I proceeded to enjoy the rest of my Sunday solo and in peace. I even cleaned my room! Now I’m ready for another week.

some of the funkiest things on sale:

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More About Me Mondays

What most people don’t know.

Some days I feel confident…

Some days I feel like a princess…

Some days I feel insecure…

Some days I feel like a queen…

Some days I feel so unsure...

Some days I feel like a model…

Some days my hair looks great…

Some days my hair looks like crap…

Some ...uh, I mean, all days my hair looks crazy when I’m not in public…

My friends can vouch for that…

Some days I feel like the intelligent young woman I am…

Some days I feel dumb, ignorant, and/or belittled

Some days I wish I didn’t need to wear clothes or shoes…

Some days I’m happy I do cuz I love shopping…

Some days I’m really immature…

Some days I surprise myself at how responsible I am…

Some days I despise the fact that with responsibility comes more responsibility…

Some days I’m silly…

Some days I’m serious..

Some days I’m too silly…

Some days I’m too serious…

Some days I’m mean…

Some days I just look mean…

Some days I wish others wouldn't judge me

Some days I remember that it's all in God's hands, yet...

Some days I’m surprised I made it through in one piece…

Some days I don’t love myself enough…

Some days I’m reminded how much I am loved by family and friends…

Those are the days when I realize how much I love life.
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Be In The Know

Some must sees of the day:
1. Humorous re-definitions of some words you may know!
2. Everyone is blessed. What does it take for you to remember that everyday? Read this article about a young girl who can still see the beauty of life.
3. The fight to keep our young black men in school.
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What I Love

Now I may not be a beauty product fanatic, but I love looking fabulous just as much as any another diva. Being that I am usually on a limited spending budget and most of that goes to clothes, shoes, and purses, I spend very little on beauty products. That means that I’m not one for trial and error. It also means that most of my beauty products (including face wash, moisturizer, makeup, etc) come from Wal-Mart. Man, do I love Wal-Mart.

So obviously, once I’ve found a product/brand that works for me, I stick to it. Well, the other day I got to thinking and I realized that there are already a few things that even at the young/hip age of 20 I’ve used for a long time.

I should so get paid for this. Then again, that would mean this list would be stuffed with “exaggerated truths.” I promise, I really do use all the products listed below! Ladies and (maybe just a few) gentlemen, I present to you....

Mademoiselle M's Beauty Brand Loyalty List

Special Formula Lotion by Fashion Fair
When I was younger, my skin had issues (note: not me, my skin). My mother went through several different products in order to determine what would be best for my skin. For a long time we used Esoterica. This is the kind that came in the tub, not the bottle. The former has the torturous consistency of clay while the latter is a liquid lotion. It was apparently an excellent moisturizer for my skin; yet, all I can remember are all of the mornings as a little girl when I struggled to keep my balance while one of my parents put it on me. It was oh so necessary but I eventually I outgrew that struggle. Finally my mother, who has used Fashion Fair makeup since I knew what makeup was, received a recommendation that she buy the brand’s lotion for me. It is a “super rich, luxurious treatment for hands and body” and of course for very dry skin. No, not your **I’m black so I’m ashy type dry skin**. I mean your **if I don’t put on lotion I leave the house with brown skin but came home with white skin**.

For over ten years, I have used this lotion and it has thankfully worked like a charm. I must admit though, I still use cocoa butter or vaseline in the winter in addition to the lotion. Yes, I’m that ashy! …and I’m not ashamed. Hmmph.

Going along with the topic of skin issues, another problem my mom had was finding a soap that didn’t irritate my skin since it was so sensitive. One day she started using Dove and I’ve used it everyday since. Even though I no longer have such sensitive skin issues, I find that if I use any other soaps/body washes for too long, my skin gets dryer, breaks out, or just isn’t as soft. I love practically all of Doves soaps and body washes. I obviously tend to buy the pink bar but if I buy a body wash it’s usually the exfoliating one.

Before I came to London I decided to try a new type - the Energy Glow bar - and it smells divine! If you come across it in the store the next time you are shopping, just pick up a box and smell. Then, tell me what you think!

CARMEX chapstick/ lipgloss/ everything my lips need
I’m a big bag kind of girl but for those dreadful days when I have to carry a small purse …or no purse at all, oh dear… this is one of those things that comes along. I have the habit of licking my lips when they start to get dry – which obviously only worsens the situation. Don’t let the “cold sores” label scare you off. I’ve never had a cold sore in my life. But I do know that my lips get chapped CARMEX works like a charm, leaving my lips tingly, moisturized, and fresh. I don’t even put on lip gloss without putting this on first.

Cover Girl Cosmetics
I grew up in a West Indian household. I went to a 90% white high school with rich so-called catholic girls. Put those together and it means there were a lot of things about my teenage years that were frustrating. For one, my mother didn’t believe a young girl should be allowed to wear makeup (along with many other things) otherwise she might think she was too grown too soon. Lord knows you couldn’t be “grown” while still living in “her house, her rules!” So the first time I started buying and wearing makeup was my senior year a couple months before prom. That way I would get the hang of applying makeup before prom rolled around.

We headed out to Wal-Mart and looked for the makeup that “that girl… that model… what’s her name? Yea, Tyra” promotes. Over 4 years later, I’m still in love with Cover Girl. Plus, who could switch after a beauty like Queen Latifah starts making her own line? I’m so gonna try it when I get home!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula
I don’t know too many people who didn’t grow up using or who doesn't currently use cocoa butter. Whether you use the lotion kind, the one in the tub, or the kind on the stick, if you’re anything like me then your winters are incomplete without this product. Well, I’ve become loyal to a particular brand of cocoa butter. Palmer’s seems to be the brand that is sold almost everywhere (well maybe just the Washington, DC region). I didn’t even realize this brand loyalty until I saw a cocoa butter stick – which is great for moisturizing lips and targeting scars btw – in CVS one day that didn’t look like the one I usually buy. I was confused and walked out the door without getting anything. Silly right? Who is loyal to a cocoa butter brand? Well, I am. That’s why I always buy cocoa butter at Wal-Mart even if I’m not out because they never let me down.

Bottled Water
I’d be lying if I say I only buy Evian water. I’d also be stupid to tell you that Evian is into the beauty business. Well, first off, even though I drink practically all types of bottled water I love to buy Evian bottles for its sleek and sophisticated look. It’s cute, lol. Second, while bottled water brands aren’t in the beauty business I don’t know anyone with beautiful skin that doesn’t drink water. It’s also necessary for your health. I always have a bottle of water in my purse. One thing I loved about where I lived in France was that the tap water was better than most bottled waters. That meant I only needed to purchase a bottle every once and a while and fill up with the sink! Free water was great water. But here I am not willing to do that – far less in DC! But whether or not it’s free, I do my best to drink water all day everyday.

Suggestion: in France I picked up the habit of drinking only water at meals. I suggest it. Try drinking less sodas and more natural juices if you need something else. Smoothies are even really easy to make and a healthier alternative to those juices from concentrate you may buy at the grocery store. Your skin (and your body) will thank you.
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Remember This?

Now who didn't love the Cosby show? This was one of the best scenes.

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Music Video of the Week

The Truth: India Arie

This one is dedicated to Mosieur N. It may seem pathetic but I feel like we've been apart for months.

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Rated G

I'm please to announce that:

Free Online Dating

Hehe. I found the link on the Everybody Hates Marcus blog on AOL Black Voices website. Check it out or even rate your blog. Tell me what you get.
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Land of the Free

As many of you may know, the immigration bill was not passed last week on Capital Hill thanks to the Senate. I don’t particularly care for politics, and I never would’ve thought I’d write a post on the subject. Unfortunately, it’s a part of our lives whether or not we like it. Furthermore, there have been some events that have gotten me pretty heated recently. This immigration issue is one of them.

Now I’m usually very idealistic in my beliefs. Deep down I think we can all get along one day and be happy and sing kumbaya around the campfire. It might never happen in my lifetime, yours, or my kids’ but that shouldn’t stop us from working toward it. Right?

Yea, but I think I’ve bout had it up to HERE with Bush and his stupid attempts to save his BS legacy. It comes down to this: I don’t care how long you have been in America or how poor your family is back home, if you are here illegally, DO NOT expect special privileges. I’m even more pissed off at our supposed representatives who supported this nonsense.

According to the Washington Post, the proposed bill would:

Allow nearly all of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who entered the country before 2007 to apply for a "Z visa" that would permit them to live and work in the country as long as they pay a series of fees and renew their visas every two years. Applicants must pass a background check, remain employed and receive a counterfeit-proof biometric card.

Granted, this is only one of the key provisions of the bill but it is the one that sent me over the edge. Why is it that somebody would be able to enter this country illegally, work illegally, yet legally become a citizen when there are so many others – many in situations as desperate as these suffering immigrants – who are waiting patiently to be blessed with the opportunity of touching American soil. I know I am not the most patriotic person but America is, without a doubt, a land of opportunity. The link above is to another Post article about a 31 year old Salvadorian man living in the DC area holding up three jobs to send money to his family back home. Like any other human being would, he dreams of being able to properly provide for his family and send for them one day.

Now that’s all good and gravy… but I ask, “What makes him so special!?” There are so many families out there in the world barely surviving. Why should he get into a special line just because he was here before 2007.

Then again, I think my anger is misplaced. You know what… if I were to put myself in his shoes, I can't say that I wouldn't do the same thing. Family is family. Sorry Mr. Ernesto. Don't worry, I won't call INS on you. That'd be malicious. Just don’t come to me expecting sympathy when you get deported.

The problem is clearly my representation in the government. The fact that a bill like this would even be considered is frustrating. They are basically saying… “No, don’t immigrate illegally. But if you do, fill out this paperwork. Don’t worry about the millions of people waiting to get their visa/green card/citizenship way before you!”

Maybe I’m wrong with that too. If I am, someone please school me.

Both of my parents came to this country from the Caribbean with little of their own. My dad looked forward to a brighter future and happily accepted his scholarship offer to play soccer for Howard University. My mom on the other hand was married and had three kids starting at the age of 17. When she separated from her husband in her late 20s, she decided that the best thing to do was to leave her kids behind and pursue an education in America. Now, they are both professionals as well as American citizens. I’ll spare you the details of how hard they worked. Just believe me when I say that they worked hard. What I do know is that they did it the right way. The fair way.

When reading about the bill, I felt as if access to American citizenship would suddenly become a free for all for the estimated 11-12 million illegal immigrants in this country.

Ok, I’m not so heated anymore. Maybe I’ve taken this issue too personally. But maybe the bill truly is stupid (and probably for more reasons than the one I’m focused on). Hey, maybe it doesn’t even matter since the bill is dead.

Anyhow, although my frustration clearly needed to be expressed on this topic, I am not oblivious to the bigger social ills and errors of America. But I’ve learned one thing over the last six months; it’s that there are problems everywhere. The question is, who is willing to make the changes? It’s not as easy as I thought it was in my “save the world” days.
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Be In The Know

Some must sees of the day:
1. Ladies: How high heels affect your body
2. I'm sure you know that the world doesn't like the US right now, but are you aware that they see America as the biggest threat to global stability?
3. For those in the DC urrea: bougie* Metro to make changes.

* Bougie (adj): anything that is percieved as "upscale" from a blue-collar point of view; a hacked truncation of the word Bourgeoisie, which refers to the middle-class in Europe, but refers to a more affluent class level in the United States (source).

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More About Me Mondays

I’m going to start something new. I’m going to call it More About Me Mondays. Part of it is for you all to get to know me better, not just what I like or what I'm up to. At the same time, I think it’s also for me to get to know myself better. Whatever the reason, I will attempt to do it every week or two. Enjoy…
Have you ever felt like not doing anything? Not going anywhere? Yea, well that’s how I felt on Saturday. I think that’s how I feel a lot of days. When I’m home (re: whatever my location is in the States), I’m content with being bunned up with Monsieur N inside all day. When he’s not around or when I’m gone, well, all I really need is a book, a magazine, or the internet – usually when I’m not home I catch up on shows and movies online.

Sidenote: I will admit that I LOVE being around my friends. Real friends. The friends that you pour your heart and soul out to and do stupid stuff around knowing that they aren’t laughing at you but with you. Those days are better than any days I spend alone but they’re not frequent because we all lead busy lives. Even when we are all back in DC together, it’s hard to find the time. Therefore you begin to cherish those random nights when you stop in someone’s room to borrow a book and you spend all night talking. But yea, that’s me just reminiscing b/c it’s been months since I’ve seen many of my friends.

When I became a Team Leader for the School of Business my sophomore year, we all did a personality test. You know, the Myers Briggs type test. Well for the E(xtroverted) vs. I(ntroverted) part of my personality type, I was 1% off the center but on the introverted side. At first that confused me. But this is why: “After prolonged socializing you feel you need to get away and be alone.” After reading that line, it all made sense.

The lady who came in to explain the results to us cleared up some misconceptions. She said one thing that really stuck with me. While we all think of an introverted person as someone who doesn’t enjoy being around people, quiet, aloof, non-communicative that is not always true. An introverted person may enjoy social interaction as much as the extrovert sitting next to them. The difference is that when the introverted person leaves, he/she needs downtime while the extrovert most likely feels invigorated. College made me realize how true that is. I love meeting people, but when I am done I sometimes feel like I’m drained of energy.

Well this is particularly true when I’m in a new place. I was like that in France and I am definitely feeling this way now that I’m in England. This entire week was one big social interaction in which I am “forced” so to speak to get to know all these new people. This often requires meeting people whom you immediately wish you’d never started a conversation with and leads to you asking questions that you really don’t want to know the answers to – far less remember since my memory is crap. But that’s how life goes. Eventually I’ll find co-workers that I genuinely enjoy being around but I will still have to deal interact with those that I don’t so much.

So after a whole week of “prolonged socializing,” I’m beat. But my cousin (my mom’s sister moved to England and had kids way before my mother even left for America, let’s call her Cousine L - pronounced coo-zine ehl) wanted to take me out and about and take me to meet family that I don't know. Now, I LOVE fam. Way more than friends, which is why I’m devastated that I won’t be going home to Barbados this summer for my cousin’s wedding since everyone will be there *tear*. Somehow I just didn’t feel up to it this weekend. On Friday night after work some of the other interns asked me my plans for the night. I told them the truth – nothing. That’s the best I could ask for after a week in a new city, with a new job, meeting new people. That’s all I really want. Peace and quiet. Is that so bad?

When I was a freshman in college, I did the whole partying Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday type thing. I’m over it. Every once and a while I may go to an HU party. But strangely enough, it’s not who I am anymore. I enjoy staying inside with my baby, my friends, or even just myself. Nonetheless, I still went out to meet my cousins (technically second cousins but they are my age). We met at a place call Nandos. I definitely enjoyed myself and I'm glad that I went.

Four of these ladies are my cousins, the others are their friends (I'm in white).
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Be Inspired

One of my homegirls sent me this. I think it's so real.

Everyone Can't Be in Your Front Row
Life is a theater - invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is
holy enough and healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives.
There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least
minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible,
not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships/fellowships!

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention to:
Which ones lift and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which
ones always have drama or don't really understand, know and appreciate
you and the gift that lies within you?

The more you seek God and the things of God -- the more you seek
quality, the more you seek not just the hand of God but the face of God
-- the more you seek things honorable -- the more you seek growth,
peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for
you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved
to the balcony of your life.

You cannot change the people around you... but you can change the
people you are around! Ask God for wisdom and discernment and choose
wisely the people who sit in the front row of your life.

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God
Every moment, thank God.
God Bless You

Be Blessed
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