Web Round-up

Here are some links from around the web that I’ve found that may be useful or interesting to you.

1. 150 + Lunch Ideas – great for yourself or your children. Step outside of the sandwich box! With photos and everything! http://easylunchboxes.smugmug.com/The-Best-Lunchbox-System/Yummy-Lunch-Ideas/10136835_YSuyb#!i=696914291&k=YxmUd

2. How to Create An Organized Linen Closet – I’m not even going to discuss the shape my linen closet is in right now. So much stuff! http://honeywerehome.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-create-organized-linen-closet.html

3. 4 Essential Tips for Managing the Family Calendar – my current weapon of choice is iCal and color-coding each family member so that we can quickly know who is doing what each day. The calendar syncs to both my husband’s phone and my phone so we’re always on the same page. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/4-essential-tips-for-managing-the-family-calendar.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeHack+%28lifehack.org%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

4. 35 Quick & Simple Tips for Better Productivity – There is definitely a theme this week with the links. Can you tell I’m going back to work soon lol? http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/35-quick-and-simple-tips-for-better-productivity.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeHack+%28lifehack.org%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

5. Free Home Management Printables – Do you have a home or family organization binder? Mine has been a lifesaver. http://home.yourway.net/new-home-management-printables-one-page-calendar-bill-pay-tracking-home-inventory-more/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-home-management-printables-one-page-calendar-bill-pay-tracking-home-inventory-more

If you don’t have a home organization binder you can read more about creating one here: https://donnienicole.com/2010/06/27/project-organization-home-management-binderfamily-binder/

In response to the escalating violence my husband, along with the Black Youth Project created a CD Called “The Pledge” Mixtape. The goal is to highlight artists (mostly youth) who AREN’T glorifying violence, sex and drugs. There are artists that you’d recognize like my husband Rhymefest, Lupe Fiasco and Mikkey Halsted + others. Download the project for free here: http://action.blackyouthproject.com/pledge-mixtape/. My favorite tracks are “Pain” (Track 8), “Letter” (Track 10) and R.O.A.R. (Track 11).

Hope you enjoy the links this week!

Let Me Introduce You To Two Amazing Artists!!!

This is not a music blog, but sometimes I come across music that moves my soul and I can’t help but share. Today, Tuesday, August 7, 2012 is a wonderful day. TWO divas are releasing full albums that you must buy!!!! These women have incredible voices, inspiring and touching lyrics and they’re both beautiful.

I discovered Lianne La Havas thanks to my dear husband who played a song called “Night School” for me. I’ve been stalking the internet to find more music by her and out of nowhere her album Is Your Love Big Enough pops up next to the album I was looking for on I-tunes. It was released in the UK on July 6th (my boo’s birthday) and is probably just now seeing a US release. If you like Adele, you will LOVE her! Her lyrics are incredible:

I’ve loved Elle Varner every since I heard her jamming “Can I get a re-fill?” Her music is fun and like Lianne, she has a great voice with superior range. Her full album Perfectly Imperfect dropped today and it’s only $7.99! Seriously?!

Thank me later and go buy both albums now!!!!!

Web Roundup

Every now and then I like to share some of the more interesting links and articles I come across on the web. All five of these are very interesting and helpful reads!

1. Pack A To-Go Bag for Easy Outings (great tip for parents!): http://home.yourway.net/quick-tip-pack-a-to-go-bag-for-easy-outings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=quick-tip-pack-a-to-go-bag-for-easy-outings

2. Dreadlocks are Unacceptable for Employees At Six Flags? Word?! http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/07/dreadlocks-are-unacceptable-for-employment-at-six-flags-and-many-other-companies/

3. The Number One Reason Blogs & Businesses Fail (the answer may surprise you!) http://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/the-1-reason-why-most-blogs-and-businesses-fail-and-the-3-questions-you-need-to-answer-to-save-yours.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeHack+%28lifehack.org%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

4. Muhammads Mistresses – a great read for women who practice or are interested in practicing Islam: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/06/muhammads-mistresses/

5. 10 Lessons Every Woman Should Know to Get Through Life –http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/06/10-lessons-every-woman-should-know-to-get-through-life/

How To Scrapbook (Free E-Book)

As a reward for completing my first semester final grades I decided to finally put together my free Guide for Scrapbooking: How to Scrapbook. Here is a screenshot of the cover:


Over the last few months I’ve come across so many women who ask me “How can I get started?” “Where can I shop for supplies?” or “What do I need to get started?” This free e-book is designed for the novice who’d like to finally take that box of photos and put something together. It is the first of many to come and some of the chapters are entitled:

1. Basic Supply List

2. Advanced Supply List

3. Places to Shop

4. Where To Look For Inspiration

at only 11 pages it’s a quick read loaded with photos from my own collection. Please download it and share it with others and most of all, let me know what you think about it!

To get your free copy of How to Scrapbook click here: https://donnienicole.com/for-sale/

Friday Five: Around The Web

Here are some interesting links around the web:

1. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) Diet voted best overall compared to 25 of the most popular diet plans for 2012. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/01/dash-diet-named-best-overall-could-it-work-for-you/. I have high blood pressure, so I’m going to be working on this for the upcoming year!

2. Breast Feeding & Pumping At Work Now Protected By Federal Law http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/01/breast-feeding-and-pumping-at-work-now-protected-by-federal-law/ – Huge SCORE for moms!

3. Scott Dinsmore’s FREE 2012 Goal Setting & Action Workbook: http://liveyourlegend.net/free-2012-goal-setting-guide/ <—— Scott gives wonderful, practical & inspiring advice. I’ve been using his tools for the last two years!

4. Black Church owns a KKK Store in South Carolina? Would you call that poetic justice? http://www.christianpost.com/news/black-southern-church-claims-kkk-building-as-their-own-66307/ (I wish I was making that up)

5. Gangs & Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/. During our city council campaign, my husband was falsely called a gang member – almost one year later we find out the truth. This is indicative of many of the issues in the African American community! We need to clean up our own houses before we start parting the finger toward others…

Summer Manifesto!

In about 2 1/2 hours I will be off for the next 12 weeks! I’m celebrating with my Summer Manifesto (a list of things I plan to do/accomplish over the summer).

For those who can’t view the image here is the list (not necessarily in order of priority).

  1. Finish Campaign Scrapbook
  2. Finish Mom’s Scrapbook
  3. Finish Websites (DonnieNicole.Com LINKS, Launch Site For Teachers, Launch DearLittleSis.Com)
  4. Find Latino Novel for 9th Graders
  5. Plan for National Boards
  6. Plan A.P. Comp Curriculum
  7. Get a Sephora Makeover
  8. Get a MAC Makeover
  9. Take a trip to Kalahari Water Park w/ Fam
  10. GO to the top of the Sear’s Tower (for the first time 🙂
  11. Take a Navy Pier Boat Cruise
  12. Organize Contacts (Google Vs. Address Book)
  13. Clean out e-mail inboxes
  14. Update Teaching Certification
  15. CLean out/organize home office
  16. Get new eyeglasses
  17. Dentist Appt.
  18. Annual Physical & Gynecologist Visit
  19. Update passport
  20. Get an I-Pad

And although it’s not on the notepad I also plan to:

– Blog Weekly (every other day or so for DonnieNicole.Com, every Monday for DearLittleSis.com and every Thursday for ThinkLikeATeacher.Wordpress.Com)

For my fellow teachers, what are you planning to do this summer? For my nonteachers what are you most looking forward to this summer?


Introducing – The Weekly Well!!!

There is so much information out in the world, that we never really have time to find the “good” stuff. If you ask any woman does she want to improve her relationship with herself and others she will say “Yes!” Thousands of songs are released each week online and mixtapes drop every hour, but who ever has the time to search through that sea of sound? Most people shop at the same stores (Tar-Jay, Express, Fill In The Blank) What if you could find an exclusive online spot that sells affordable, high quality clothing? My newsletter, The Weekly Well is your “quality filter” and an easy way for you to take 10 minutes per week to do something for yourself.
This newsletter will include:
1. A short article about relationships, (love, marriage, dating etc.), organization, productivity or an inspirational piece. (It will take about 3 – 5 minutes to read).
2. The WELL (Watch, Exhale, Listen, Link) List.
For the “Watch” category I will recommend TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc. for you to watch.
For the “Exhale” I will provide lifestyle and self-care tips/resources.
For the “Listen” section, I will recommend two songs either new, underground or classic music for you to add to your music collection.
For the “Link” area, I will share an interesting article or website (including some of the affordable high quality clothing you can find on the internet).
Your subscription will be FREE of charge, and I promise that you will be inspired, motivated and informed.
Write “YAY!” or “BOO!” in the subject line if I can add you to my mailing list.
E-mail donnienicolesmith@gmail.com or weeklywell@gmail.com if you’re interested in being added!
Please copy & paste and forward this to five more women!

How To Travel In Style

I’m blogging from the airport in Tennessee right now and thought it was appropriate to write this post. Shout out to the Knoxville, Tennessee airport that has free wifi!

CAPTION: LC rocks the large scarf and oversized bag.

The Night Before Your Flight

  1. Charge all electronics (phone, laptop, MP3 and camera)
  2. Check In online & print Your travel documents
  3. Check the weather at your destination
  4. Pack Your Bags
    1. Roll don’t fold your clothes. It makes more room.
    2. Shoes take up a lot of space. Build your outfits around your shoes.
    3. Color coordinate your separates – go crazy with accessories.
    4. Use a passport holder or small wallet to carry your essentials.
  5. Review your itinerary.
    1. What are you doing/when?

CAPTION: Bey looks flawless in her all black. Sleek and sexy!!! The different shades of black also work very well and peep the “studs” on the shoes with the silver toe.

What Should you Pack?

–       Think layers (white tee, camisole, cardigan, etc.)

–       Black blazer. Can be dressed up or down & is ready to go when you land.

–       Consider a black palette. Black is flattering and can be dressed up or down.

–       Oversized shades (sunglasses are a must!)

–       Petite perfume roll-on (anything larger than 3 oz. cannot be carried on to the plane)

–       Petite makeup brushes (great to have to save space).

–       Maxi Dress (can easily be styled with a cute cardigan, vest, or belt).

–       Think about fabrics that don’t easily wrinkle like jersey.

CAPTION: A beautiful jacket is all you need to dress up denim, plus the sunglasses. HOT!

The Day Of Your Flight

  1. Leave in enough time to get through airport security. Try to avoid checking baggage if you have a short flight. You’ll save money & force yourself to “edit” your outfits.
  2. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on & off (e.g. avoid excessive lacing).
  3. Noise canceling headphones (to drown out the loud sound of the plane).
  4. Consider an eye mask (for long flights).
  5. Carry a large bag – to hold all of your essentials, entertainment plus a clutch inside.
  6. Wear a large scarf or wrap. This functions as a shawl, blanket, or pillow). Plus a scarf makes you look pulled together.
  7. Let someone know where you’re going and when (especially if you’re single).

CAPTION: Another fierce oversized scarf and large bag. Don’t forget the shades!


Prayer Works…

I just have to thank my creator and the universe for an amazing week!!!!


I believe that when you are moving and walking in divine order – everything works out for the good.

I had a minor issue at work, where someone else had to make a decision regarding something that impacted me. Not only did the individual make the decision that I wanted, but it ultimately benefits me in the end, AND it means that said issue will no longer be a problem. I thank God for softening that person’s heart, and for showing me that I initially made the right decision. I can move forward in peace.

I did two things to move me closer to the life of my dreams and both worked out. I’ve been praying for direction and God delivered. I will continue down that path!

While I’ve been reflecting on the year, one of things that I need to do more of in 2011 is to pray. In the morning when I wake up and at night before I go to bed… like I used to do as a little girl. I would also like to start writing letters to God, which is another thing I did as a teenager that brought an incredible amount of peace and gratitude into my life.