Brunch: Samantha's Southern Cuisine

Monday, September 13, 2010

yum. Yum. YUM. So, so good.

This past weekend, after the Brooklyn Book Festival (check out Daniela's recap here), my other LitSnit cohort, Erin K, and I were starving and decided to check out Samantha's Southern Cuisine in Brooklyn, off the Clinton-Washington C-train stop.

All I can say is OMG. SO GOOD. SO CHEAP.

More often than not, I'm afraid to go into places claiming to serve 'authentic southern cuisine' because that usually means 'authentic salty, greasy cuisine'. I find that a lot of establisments assume that all food from the south is just an excuse to drench a bunch of food in butter.


Anyways, Samantha's hit the nail on the head. After we sat for several minutes just staring at the menu (there were so many good options) Erin chose the Eggs Bennetsville--scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, peppers& onions, laid upon a slice of brioche toast

And I had the Chicken Fried Steak...

Both were delicious….perfectly seasoned and very filling. Even while full we still managed to each squeeze in a serving of homemade, twice-baked Mac & cheese:

The best part?
Two brunch entrees + two sides of macaroni & cheese + coffee + Grandma's Punch = $32

Not bad at all! We left full & happy. Perfect weather for a chilly/rainy day! (My only gripe was that they didn't have sweet potato pie. I clearly didn't need it but I just felt like that would have been the icing on the cake!)

Samantha's Southern Cuisine: 980 Fulton Ave (Fulton & Grand), Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 780-3090

Award for worst blogger ever goes to...


Hands down, me.

I don't know how people post so often...I get caught up in work...LIFE, and I just forget. It's not just my blog, either. I haven't logged into Twitter forever. Thank God we have a schedule for LitSnit, otherwise I would have been bounced by now. I'm trying to be better but we'll see...

So, to update you on the weight loss challenge...I'm at Day 41 and I've only lost 4 pounds.


I'm not even gonna lie...I have completely fallen off the wagon. Between all of my friends' birthdays in August-September, boys and stress at work, I've been eating like I'm about to hibernate for the winter. To make matters worse, I've had no time for the gym (or at least very little time) so I haven't even burned off what I've been eating.


I think I'm going to join Weight Watchers. I think the idea of actually weighing myself in front of actual people will hold me accountable, because right now I'm not doing so well. With that being said, I'm not beating myself up about it. I'm going to get back on track and get focused. Plain and simple.

I have learned that I'm an emotional eater. I eat when I'm sad, depressed, stressed. Food makes it better. I need to figure out a way around that...

Either way...I'm back!

Georgia Nail Salon Charges More For Overweight Customers | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Monday, August 23, 2010

Georgia Nail Salon Charges More For Overweight Customers | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Are you kidding me?

Reading the comments on Erika's blog, I do see certain points. 1)If airlines can charge overweight people, then a nail salon owner can do the same. 2) The nail salon owner should have had the surcharge posted so that customers would know.

I understand these points. Fine.

Honestly, though? How can you say that it's SPECIFICALLY because of women over 200lbs that your chairs are damaged? If you had years of 150-175lb women or, heck, even years of 100lb women sitting in the chairs they would still wear out. Does she have a scale weighing these women when they come through the door? People carry weight in different ways. Someone can look like they weight 140 and actually weight 175-180. It's all about how the weight is distributed.

Do I think it's a protected class suit? No. Do I think it should be? Yes.

1) Weight is influenced by a number of issues, it isn't always as simple as one 'letting themselves go'. There are people that suffer from various physical/emotional issues where the result is weight gain.

2) While I SLIGHTLY see the airline reasoning, this woman is NOT paying for a seat. She's paying to get her nails done. I feel like the salon should have anticipated various sizes and ordered accordingly. I find the '200 lb.' capacity to be weak.

3) The owner didn't even inform the woman of the surcharge. The woman had to be overcharged and then ask before the salon owner would admit to why she charged extra. It's may be just me, but if you truly thought there was no problem with this practice then you wouldn't have any problem stating it upfront.
Am I missing something here??

Um, hello? McNuggets are NOT that good, lady!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ok. First things first.

Weigh-in: 168.6

I gained .6 of a lb?? REALLY?? Ugh. I'll work harder this week. Now on to important things!

Thanks to The Bitchy Waiter, I came across the following video. In it, the woman tries to order McNuggets before 10:30am and McD's isn't having it. Hot Cakes or nothing, ma'am. Check it out! (Heads up: there's no sound...make up your own dialogue!)

Now, Ms. Dushane of Toledo, Ohio? Was it really that serious? You couldn't go find something to do until it was time for McNuggets? Do you feel good about causing that scene at McDonald's over some chicken? I mean, I love chicken as much as the next person but let's be serious...chicken should not be the cause of jail time.


Weight Loss Challenge: Day #11

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm excited because my family has jumped on board of this Weight Loss Challenge! Starting Monday, my mom & dad are going to actively try to make healthier lifestyle choices and lose weight with me. It's nice to have a support system! :) We're using  Fat Bet, which allows you to set your own challenge up and keep track of your progress. You pick your own deadline and target weight, then you set up the prize. It's pretty awesome and it will allow us to keep track without having to chase each other down.

So far, I've worked out 3 times this week. Tonight's workout will be the 4th. I've started the Couch to 5K program because 1) I'm seriously out of running shape and 2) I'd like to start from scratch and establish a steady running pace because mine is all over the place. I guess I just gave up after last year's half-marathon. I'm paying for it now. Eh. Anyways, that along with Wii Fit is what I'm doing right now until I join Crunch! I super excited about that because I've loved their classes for EVER (check out that pic of the anti-gravity yoga. NO. JOKE). I'm now in a position to be able to afford it, so I'm going to bite the bullet and do it. Then I'm going to get my bhangra on. : D

I've maintained my calorie count. I realize, though, that I don't eat nearly enough fruits & vegetables and I need to drink more water. So starting next week I'll be taking a page out of Madame's book and itemize exactly what I'm eating. It'll help me to hold myself accountable.

(On a side should really check Madame's blog out. It's called Madame: The Journey of a Weight Loss*ista and it has a lot of really great content but it's not boring by any means. She's not preachin'...she's just inspiring.)

Also, those who are trying to lose weight should check out Healthy Dining Finder -- It seems to have just started but it gives some great options for who want to eat out but want to make healthy choices when doing so. Just enter your zip code and voila! It gives you restaurants in your area and tells you what their healthiest dishes are. Sweet, right?

Awesome Contest at Books Obsession!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Okay, it's very rare that you find a contest as fantastic as this one...

Books Obsession is sponsoring a contest where you can win 2-4 books in your preferred genre (Paranormal, Historical, Romance and Suspense) and cool swag to go along with it. How sweet is that??

See the blog for more info: Books Obsession

Get in it, folks!

Weigh In #1: Success! Also? Olive Oil can suck it!

Okay, so today's Day 6 of the WLC (Weight Loss Challenge. Also, because it's Monday, today's the first official Weigh-In of the WLC.

Original Weight:   170
Today's weight:    168

I know that's not a lot but I feel pretty good! I'm excited. I didn't cheat at ALL this weekend (and I won't lie, I really wanted to! This is why I didn't leave the house. One brunch would have ruined my momentum.) and I've been really good about what I've been eating so far. My goal for this week is to work in 3-4 servings of fruit/vegetables & to cut back on the carbs. (Not give them up, mind you...ya'll wouldn't like me if I gave them up.)

Tonight I'm working in the workout part of this challenge at the gym. The plan is to do 45 minutes worth of intervals on the treadmill and then weight lifting. Wish me luck!

On another note: this weekend, I decided to slice some zucchini and yellow squash, and drizzle it with olive oil. As I pick up the bottle of olive oil, I happen to glance at the back of it and OH MY GOSH. Do you know how many calories are in a serving (1 tbsp.) of olive oil??


Are you kidding me?? Do you know how often I've drizzled this over my salads? Ate at restaurants where I've constantly dipped bread in it? Arg!

Olive oil can suck it.

Ok, ok...I know. It's not it's fault that I never took the time to read the label but I feel like I've been betrayed! Oy! How do you use just 1tbsp a day? Can someone help me with this?

Blah. I didn't intend for this to become a weight loss blog. It's just my main focus for the moment. Things will shift shortly. :)

Lazy Summer Saturday...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This is my first complete lazy day this summer. I have nowhere to go, nothing to do.


The above isn’t completely true. I spent this morning taking those stupid kinky twists out of my hair (I WILL NEVER GET THEM AGAIN. ) and working on switching our book blog from one domain to the other (WP Support Staff, I’m still waiting on you!). I was successful with the first task. Not so successful with the second…yet.  Still, I don’t mind because I haven’t had to leave the house. I’ve been parked in the same spot since 8pm last night and it’s been lovely.

I won’t lie. Part of me is afraid to go out because I’m afraid to EAT. Not always, mind you, but starting this new Weight Loss Challenge has me a bit scared of veering off-track. If I screw up in the first week, I’m pretty much guaranteed to screw up several times later and I don’t want that. So I’m forcing myself to stay in the house for the moment until the cravings for the Fiery Buffalo Doritos, the large Arizona Iced Tea, and the plate of fried calamari go away. ( Still there…ugh.)

Next Saturday is cheat day #1. If I can just maintain until then, I’ll treat myself to pancakes and bacon in the morning. Fiery Buffalo Doritos in the afternoon (if you can’t tell, I LOVE them). A burger & fries for dinner. (I won’t be that extreme…I think.)

In the meantime, I’m going to sit here and deep condition my hair, read a few books (side note: all of you Harlequin romance lovers (and there are some of you out there!) they have 16 free romance novels to download! Click here.)  and wait for it to get dark, then go for a walk in the city.

Enjoy your Saturday!

100 Day Weight Loss Challenge: Days 1 & 2

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So, I didn't work out yesterday. Forgot my sneakers. Way to start it off, right? Ha.

Even so, I did well staying within my 1200 calorie limit. I didn't even cheat with serious junk food. (Pop Chips do not taste good enough to be considered serious junk food. Plus, they're only 100 calories! For a bag!)

Based on what I've eaten yesterday and today, I know I'm going to have to tweak the following:
   • I’m going to have to give up carbs in the evening
   • I’m going to have to find marinades with little to no sugar.
   • I’m going to have to have my last meal by 8pm

Other than that, I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to the calorie count for Day 1, ‘cause I was seriously craving a bag of the Fiery Buffalo Doritios (they are so good!). I had to force myself to pass by Duane Reade. I could taste them.

So far, so good.

I got up and cooked breakfast this morning and bought a cucumber and an orange. The orange for snacking. I got the cucumber to munch on when I just want something to eat, as I have the tendency to want to eat without being hungry just so I have something to do. Blah.

As of right now I’m in no danger of exceeding my calorie limit. Sweet. Now, tonight, I just need to maintain and gear up for Hip Hop Cardio, a dvd with the lovely Sarita Lou!

Getting My Beyonce On! 100 Day Weight Loss Challenge...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I feel like I try this once every 6 months but now I'm determined to lose weight! I'm at the heaviest I've EVER been and I'm tired of it. Now before, I was dedicating this to Jennifer Aniston for her Smart Water ad (which you can see here) but I need a model who has more in terms of curves.

Enter Beyonce.

Fitness role model for the following reasons:
• Um, look at her. DUH. The curvy and fit.
• She does 40 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of strength conditioning 4-5 days a week. Then chick dances for hours straight. INSANE.
• She eats. She eats! There’s never been any rumor about her eating baby food. She admitted to using the master cleanse when she needed to lose 20 lbs for Dreamgirls. She didn’t try to hide it and she didn’t encourage anyone else to do it either.

So, now that I have my role model set, I am embarking on a 100 day weight loss challenge starting TODAY and ending November 11, 2010. Starting today I will do the following:
• Count my calories
• Work out at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
• Avoid the junk as much as possible. (I’m not stupid. Sometimes, I just gotta have it.)
• Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.

I’m going to leave it at that for the moment. My immediate goal: 5 lbs. So:
• Height: 5’3 ½
• Weight: 170 lbs. (UGH.)
• BMI: 29.6 (this is considered overweight. Healthy BMI is between 18.5 & 24.9)

I’ll check in shortly with the progress of Day One!

Netflix Queue: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh, Aaron Sorkin, write a show just for me! Write a show for me where the dialogue is quick and witty. Where my leading man will be the Spencer Tracy to my Katherine Hepburn. Write me the part of a strong female character–clever, intelligent, classy. *sigh* Write me a role like the one you created for Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson. Give me my Matther Perry or Bradley Whitfield.

I promise you, I’d knock it out the park.

I wish this show would have been picked up for more than one season. It’s fantastic. Really smart. I could gush about this show all day. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitfield are fantastic as the executive producers to the late night show, Studio 60, each giving wonderfully layered performances. Sarah Paulson and Amanda Peet are equally brilliant in their roles as star of the show and president of the network, respectively. Backed up by a strong cast including D.L. Hughley (I love him in this show. This show only. Normally I hate him.) and Steven Weber, this whole show is a treat. A pure treat.

Book Binge: July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010


So once every two weeks I order about 3-4 books from Better World Books. The books are used and cost $3.98 per book, with their profits going to various literacy campaigns (Awesome, right?). Today I noticed for the first time that they have a Bargain Bin section, where you can buy 5 books for $15. I figured the books would be crap but, VOILA!, I was wrong and now I'm so stoked!!

Today's buy consisted of: (summaries are from Goodreads)

Love Walked In by Maria De Los Santos: When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. Charming and debonair, the spitting image of Cary Grant, Martin sweeps Cornelia off her feet, but, as it turns out, Martin Grace is more the harbinger of change than the change itself." Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. Taking inspiration from famous orphans (Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Mary Lennox, and even Harry Potter) Clare musters the courage to seek out her estranged father. When the two of them show up at Cornelia's cafe, Cornelia and Clare form a bond as unlikely as it is deep. Together, they face difficult choices and discover that knowing what you love and why is as real as life gets.

I've been wanting to pick this one up for a while. I used to look at it every shift I worked at Borders but never got around to actually reading it. I figured it's about time.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison: She has a precocious 3-year-old sister who tends to leave wet nappies at the foot of her bed, an insane cat who is prone to leg-shredding "Call of the Wild" episodes, and embarrassing parents who make her want to escape to Stonehenge and dance with the Druids. No wonder 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson laments, "Honestly, what is the point?" A Bridget Jones for the younger set, Georgia records the momentous events of her life--and they are all momentous--in her diary, which serves as a truly hilarious account of what it means to be a modern girl on the cusp of womanhood. No matter that her particular story takes place in England, the account of her experiences rings true across the ocean (and besides, "Georgia's Glossary" swiftly eradicates any language barriers).

I don't even have a reason for this one. I just bought it to buy it. *shrug* I remembered a former colleague arguing with someone about how this book was too racy for teenagers and that is shouldn't be sold in the children or YA section. Now I'm curious...

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Just because...

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner: For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

I like reading chick-lit about plus-size women as I am a...ahem...healthy girl myself. I read Best Friends by Jennifer Weiner and found it to be okay but everyone says this book is delightful so I, for $3, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Now those were my main choices for the week. However, I also snuck in Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Needless to say, I 'm covered for a while.

Have you read any of the aforementioned books? What are your thoughts? Any other recommendations? (Btw...check out the reviews for my books at LitSnit! )

Netflix Queue: He’s Just Not That Into You

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who knew Justin Long was HOT??

That's all I can say about this movie. Oh, wait...that's not true. I have something to say to the following people:

• Scarlett Johnanssen
• Kevin Connelly
• Bradley Cooper
• Jennifer Connelly
• Drew Barrymore
• Jennifer Aniston
• Ben Affleck

You ALL have more than enough money. Stop making crap movies just to get a paycheck. I’m not delivering this message to Justin long and Jennifer Goodwin because they were the highlights of this movie (although I hated, hated, hated Jennifer Goodwin’s character in the beginning. Hated her!)

I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt—it’s pretty impossible to base a movie on a self-help book. That’s why you DON’T DO IT. Instead of realizing that, they went forth and made a movie with a bunch of unlikeable characters, each beating their heads against a brick wall for 90 minutes until they discover that the object of their affection is JUST NOT INTO THEM.

I watched this movie several days ago and I’m still left cranky from it. This book, while not exactly introducing a brand new idea (the message is pretty basic), still manages to slap you in the face with a dose of reality. The movie? It makes you watch people, ridiculously pathetic people (yes, I’ll take my phone into yoga just in case he calls during my sun salutation; yes, it’s okay if I sleep with this married man because he might be the one, never mind the fact that if he cheats on her then he very well may cheat on me) struggle to figure it out for two hours. The message gets old after the first 30 minutes.

A complete waste of two hours. Ugh. Ooh…except for Justin Long. Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh. (In this movie ONLY.)

Quality of Life

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Saturday, June 12, 2010, I turn 29. I will be 29 and unemployed.

Yep, I'm a winner.

Okay, okay. There's the possibility of me being unemployed. In the final hours, my director came in with a plea designed to make me cry...and it actually did get me. (NOTE: I DID NOT CRY. I WAS MOVED. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE.) So now, needless to say, I'm a bit confused.

I had it all set. I was going to take a month off to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to find my purpose. My 'Corner of the Sky', if you will. (Pippin, anyone?) I feel that if I'm one year from 30 I should, at the very least. be in a career where I plan on making something of myself in some form or fashion. I'm in my 'chick-lit heroine' stage. I should be in somne fantastic media job, dating many a frog and eventually finding a prince. I should finally be getting my isht together in terms of apartments a la Gus in Frenemies (by Megan Crane...check it out, ya'll). My clothes should be awesome, my hair should be life should be glam.

Instead, I feel like this 5'4 (ok, 5'3 and a quarter) awkward afrogirl playing dress up in ratty clothes wondering if/when this will change.
Weirdly enough, it was my (possibly) soon to be former boss who said "Janelle, I'm 65 years old. I'm still growing up. I still don't feel like an adult. "
So this doesn't change? Great.

Anyways, I'm going to strive for optimism. I want to start this year on the right foot. So I'm just going to take it one day at a I'll decide whether I'll be employed tomorrow.
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