Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year in Review - 2009

As we rapidly approach the year 2010, I am forced to look back on '09.  What a year!  I think about, not only what has happened to me this year, but what has happened in the world.  History was made - the first black president of the United States was inaugurated in 2009.   Michael Jackson died.  Kanye West versus Taylor Swift.  H1N1 caused an uproar.  In the famous words of Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Personally, I had a great year.  I took some risks.  I quit my job to further pursue my dream of being a business-owner.  That decision was a tough one.  It was scary, but I haven't looked back.  I have grown my business this year.  I have increased my online presence and I have acquired local clients.  As I move into 2010, I look forward to continued growth.

I want to thank everyone that has made this year so wonderful.  I appreciate all the support I have received from family and friends.  To all of my customers - thank you for your business and I look forward to working with you in 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vacation to Hawaii

My husband and I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Hawaii this month.  We had an absolutely amazing time.  Hawaii is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.  From watching the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala to watching the sunset over the Pacific, Hawaii was breathtaking.  I just had to share some of the stunning views we especially appreciated.  Enjoy the show!

Julie & Julia

I just watched the movie, "Julie & Julia."  I loved it!  Who would've thought that?  I certainly didn't.  I was in no hurry to see this movie.  I did not go see it in the theatre and I rented it simply as an afterthought.  In fact, we just purchased a Blu-Ray player and "Julie & Julia" was one of the few movies the local Blockbuster had on Blu-Ray disc.  So, I decided to rent it.  I'm so glad that I did.

I can't say that I am a fan of Julia Child.  Of course, I heard of her before.  I knew that she cooked.  That was about it.  So, when I heard about the movie, it didn't interest me.  I thought that it was kinda weird that someone would want to cook all of her recipes in a year.  It turns out that it was far from weird.  It was inspiring.

I remember the year that I turned 29.  What a pivotal year!  I thought...what am I doing with my life?  What do I want to do?  Have I accomplished the things that I want to or am I even close?  Julie Powell asked herself the same things.  She decided that she needed to do something.  She wanted to be a writer and she liked to cook.  Voila - write about cooking!  It worked for her and it has worked for me, too.

When I did my soul-searching at age 29, I liked what I saw.  However, there were some voids I needed to fill.  I thought about what I like to do.  I like to read.  I have always wanted to be my own boss.  Voila - I opened an online bookstore.  I love my store.  I have had various ups and downs, but who doesn't??  I'm glad that I took charge of my life just like Julie.

This movie spoke to me in ways that I never imagined.  Besides the deeper meaning, I found it quite entertaining.  Definitely a chick flick, though.  I'm glad I didn't rent it for movie night with hubby. : )  Now I am inspired to do greater things.  I can't wait to read the books that this movie was based on - "My Life in France" by Julia Child and "Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell.  Both boks are on sale at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"I Can Do Anything" by Carolyn Mattocks

What career should I choose? What skills are needed for the careers I am interested in? Can I really do anything? These are common questions posed by young people. Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions a person will make in life. Guidance is needed to make a wise decision. Carolyn Mattocks has provided this much-needed guidance in her book “I Can Do Anything.”

Ms. Mattocks is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in History. She also has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University. Ms. Mattocks has taught African American History, American History, World History, and European History at both the community college and college levels. Based on her education and experience, Ms. Mattocks is well-qualified to help youths to decide on a career path.

Carolyn Mattocks has a love and passion for history, as shown by this book. She has researched seventeen different career options and the skills needed to be successful in each field. Each section is outlined in a very simple manner so that children of various grade levels can easily understand the information. A brief synopsis is given of each career, followed by historical references. At the end of each section, there are activities that help the student to retain the information. The student is encouraged to do additional research and write a paper.

My favorite part of the book is the profiles of successful African Americans in each field. There is a description of several blacks in every field, including pictures of each one. This gives black students a reason for pride and aspiration. If they can do it, you can too! That message is powerfully driven home throughout this whole book.

After reading each section, students can assess themselves. They can consider the skills needed for each career and decide whether they can or cannot be successful in that field. The student learns how to use the information in a practical way. The end of the book provides additional resources so that the student can find more information on a career that interests him/her.

This book is an extremely valuable tool for young people. It can also be used by parents and counselors to help guide young people to the proper career. I would recommend this book to anyone.