Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Russell said DO YOU!

In Book, Communication, Griot, Music, Self Improvement on October 31, 2012 at 10:35 am

When I need extra motivation, I just lean back on my trusty bookshelf and any book on the top shelf is an encouraging self improvement winner. That’s where I rediscovered Russell Simmons DO YOU! 12 Laws to Access The Power in YOU to Achieve Happiness and Success. Have you read it before? Maybe you haven’t and maybe you have – regardless, it’s still good, reaffirming and uplifting information. Today I want to go back through the book and share the Law Number One to access the power in you to achieve happiness and success. Are you down for the 4-1-1? Great! Let’s peep the game of a game winner: Russell Simmons. And it goes a little something like this:

Pursue and execute knowledge whether or not you went to college.

Law #1:
See your vision and stick with it

Being an entrepreneur can be nerve-wracking, largely because there’s no by the book way to do it. Some people think they’ll get the blueprint at business school, but that degree alone definitely won’t guarantee success. In fact, out of all the degrees you can get, a business degree might be the least valuable.

Think about it — if you go to medical school, when you come out, you’ll know how to help sick people. Just like when you get out of law school, you’ll know how to sue people. But an MBA doesn’t mean you’ll have the skills to actually run a business. They probably don’t want to hear that up at Wharton or Harvard, but it’s the truth. And I’m a living example. I might run multimillion dollar companies, but I didn’t graduate from college, let alone get an MBA. I don’t know how to write a business plan. Truth is, I’ve never even read the ones I pay people with MBA’s to write for me. Now, don’t get me wrong — a business degree can open up a lot of doors for you. But it should always complement, instead of compensate for, an entrepreneurial spirit that’s born in your imagination. That’s because, in my experience, there’s only one thing that will always steer you toward success: That’s to have a vision and to stick with it.

“Degrees are helpful, but they won’t guarantee you success in the business world. 

Only faith and dedication to your vision can do that.”


Once I have a vision for a new venture, I’m going to ride that vision until the wheels come off. There are always going to be bumps in the road, but I try not to let them faze me. In fact, my greatest successes started as visions that very few other people believed in. No one in the music industry, and I mean no one, believed in Def Jam Records at first. Just like how fifteen years later, no one thought a hip hop clothing company called Phat Fashions would be able to make it. But in both cases, I was able to ignore naysayers because my vision for those companies was so strong. And it’s not just me. From Microsoft to CNN to Roc-A-Fella Records, many successful businesses started as a vision in the mind of a dreamer. Of course we all have dreams. The difference is that Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Jay-Z and Dame Dash believed in their dreams so strongly that they refused to quit until those dreams became reality. Those guys didn’t win because they had an MBA, or wrote the best business plan, or read The Wall Street Journal with their coffee every morning. They won because they had the strongest visions. I’m not going to make too many absolute statements in this book, but I will promise you that following your vision will always lead to success.

When sailors used to get lost in a storm, they’d always look to the North Star for guidance. They could use that star to help them get their bearings because it never moved in the sky. You have to use your vision the same way. Whenever you face obstacles or hurdles in life, look to your vision. As long as you’ve frozen it in your mind and it never moves, you’ll know which direction to go in. As long as you never lose sight of your vision,l you’ll never lose sight of success either. [page 13-14]


Don’t ever lose sight of your vision.
Don’t ever look away and put it in remission.

Stay focused like Jay-Z, or Stacey’s cousin Dame.
Always be guilty of moving forward to build your own thang.

Russell Simmons isn’t a college graduate nor does he have an MBA.
Does any of that matter, when his clothing like is PHAT’er and his big money is made?

Imagination is everything. Even Albert Einstein was quoted saying so.
Thus when it comes to making your mark – follow your vision, YO!

Life is to be lived and the more rewarding the better,
I’m Qui
Happy Hump Day to thee – Let us always be go-getters.

Russell said to do it and I believe him, YO!
This is only the first excerpt, I will follow up with mo’.

In the meantime,
follow your vision and shine!


I got mine

In Communication, Griot, Networking, Self Improvement on October 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

Amy DuBois Barnett,(Ebony Magazine Editor-in-Chief) published a book five years ago, Get Yours! How to Have Everything You Dreamed of and More. Amy is amazing woman, mom and editor in chief who has been through a lot, and I’m thrilled that she was moved to bind a book that would spread the wisdom that she’s gained along her lifes journey. This month in Ebony Magazine Amy decided to run an editorial feature specifically for Black woman on 100 ways to live your dreams. Here are seven rules (Amy lives by) for getting yours that she wrote about:

Embrace fear as growth. The more you challenge yourself and reach outside of your comfort zone the more you are growing as a person and becoming who you are meant to be. Open your mind to new ideas and your eyes to new sights. Believe that you can do anything.

Be true to yourself. Never let anyone else tell you what to do, with whom to hang out, what to wear, how to think. You know yourself best; this is your life. Identify your passions, embrace who you are and get comfortable in your own skin.

Realize your value and demand the best. No one will treat you properly or give you the opportunities you seek unless he or she feels your confidence. Expect your dreams to become reality and they will!

“Be true to yourself.
Never let anyone else tell you what to do,
with whom to hang out, what to wear, how to think.


Put into the universe what you want to get back.  Make people feel your positive energy. Be generous and loving. Try to help others be all they can be. Contribute to your community. Obnoxious, petty, greedy people will never feel as fulfilled as people who strive to make the world a better place.

Have integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do. It’s as simple as that. Whether it’s your friend, your brother, your boss or your neighbor, make good on your commitments. Most important, keep your promises to yourself. Identify your dreams and list what steps you take today, this year and forever to make them a reality. Then do it!

Stay independent. This is your life; no one can live it for you. Be your won person — even as a spouse, parent, significant other, daughter, son or friend. When you create the life you want, love and protect it as your most valuable asset. Don’t let anyone — under the guise of “taking care of you” — convince you to give up something that make you feel good. Take care of yourself.

Do something meaningful everyday. Your life is happening right now, as you read this. Yes, I want you to dream big and work toward your goals. But please remember that nothing is worth more than today. And this day will never happen again. Make it count!

By following these rules, I have managed to carve out a wonderful life for myself, even through the inevitable ups and downs — and, like so many of us, I have had a lot: I’ve been through divorce, relocation, illness in the family and more. But I also have an incredible job I’m passionate about; I have awesome friends and an amazing son; and I prioritize new and exciting experiences so my life is filled with adventure. What else could I ask for? Check out our 100 ways list, then e-mail me or hit me on Twitter to let me know how you’re going to get yours! @AmydBarnett


While Amy’s going for hers, I had to get mine.
Affirming the seven rules, has me feeling just fine.

Stella isn’t the only one whose got her groove,
it’s important we keep productive agendas then stick and move.

Today is Monday and I’m up for renewing,
so a 60 minute boot camp – is what I’ll be doing.

I’m mindful that I’m a mom, a daughter and a loving partner too.
I can’t be consumed by the lives of others; to me – I must stay true.

You must do same. Think of self, every now and then,
I’m Qui
Happy Monday to thee – let’s follow the seven rules and WIN!

Look out for thyself. Anytime is a good time.
And always go for yours — because I’m sho’ going for mine!

Doing it in the kitchen

In Communication, Griot, Networking on October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am

As scary as Halloween can be, it wouldn’t be the same without the sweets. The sweets aspect is a traditional Halloween staple. And while I’m not giving away chocolates, this year, I am still sweet on the date.


My doorbell rings quite a lot on October 31st so but still I have a lot of free time on my hands in between guest spurts. This year I’ve decided to dress in costume BAKE OUT in the in between. How about chocolate spiders (gremlins), spooky strawberries, or maybe some Reese’s chcolate & peanut butter cupcakes?

#Sweets4TheSweets are imperative and I think you will agree – fiber never tasted so good:

Click here to enlarge view of Chocolate SPIDERS [Gremlins]


1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups Fiber One® original bran cereal
48 miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits

In 2-quart saucepan, heat butterscotch chips and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. click here for full directions

Click the pic to enlarge the view of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Who can resist the blended goodness of Reese’s peanut butter cups and cupcakes? I can’t. Try doing this:


2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s “Special Dark” Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee
– Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
…click here to get the full recipe

Click pic to enlarge view of Spooky Strawberry Ghosts


The only scary thing I can say about these chocolate covered strawberries is that the chocolate appears to have vitiligo. However, the white yields the fright! Perhaps I’ll make these on Halloween night. Click here to get to 2 step process…


This is my first Halloween holiday living in ‘the Zone
I plan on keeping with tradition & putting a costume on.

I’ll be a version of cat woman: in corset leotard, short A-frame skirt and boots,
wearing cat head gear, MAC lipstick and a baking apron too. Ooo! lol!

I’m watching my waist line, though for baking – I am itchin’,
I’m Qui
Wishing you a HAPPY HalloWEEKEND and bid you consider Doing it in the kitchen.