All Work & No Play Makes Anyone Dull 😴

One of my favorite idioms state:

All work and no play makes Johnny a dull  boy

I believe strongly in it and I have been a victim of over work by choice. In the following video I brush on three topics

  1. Don’t Work too Hard
  2. Dont Play to Hard
  3. Make the most out of a situation, specifically vacations

look out for images from the trip via Facebook: Amoni AB B or Instagram: @amonib1

QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: Have you experienced over working or over playing? | How do you make the most out of your vacations? | If you went to California before, tell me where I should go.


Views From The Tram

As you all know I have a Phobia for heights. When I started taking photography seriously two years ago, I decided that one of my many goals was to conquer my phobia for heights. So far I’ve been on a few rooftops; ‘the view is to die for’. The tram, I’ve been on many times. Although I still get a bit nervous, the amazing views help get rid of that and of course taking pictures.

The Tram is an aerial tramway that began operation in 1976. It spans in the east river and connects Roosevelt Island to the upper east side of Manhattan. Not run by the MTA but by LPOA (Leitner-Poma of America) . However it’s uses the MetroCard system. If you’re wondering whether it’s the only way to the Island, no it’s not. Mass transit can be used and also other vehicles but why? When you can have fun using the tram.

city buildings

” An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”  8:00am

-Mahatma Gandhi

city buildings and rooftops

“Sometimes you don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.”  8:25am


city buildings on water

“Resist tour fear; fear will never lead you to a positive end.”  8:27am

-T.d Jakes

a city bridge

“Happiness is not absence of problems. It’s the ability to deal with them.” 3:17pm


cars on a city street at night

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”  7:17pm

-George S. Patton

How To Develop Leadership Skills Starting With You


Image Credit

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell.

Have you ever thought about being a leader? To be an effective leader, you must have “soft skills”. That’s what will set you apart from other leaders. But maybe you feel you can’t develop your leadership skills because you are not in a position of leadership. So how you can improve without practice? Well, there are plenty of ways to practice leadership and it starts with you.

How can this be?” you may ask. It starts by you leading yourself. In fact, I am a believer that in order to be a good leader, you have to lead yourself first. A definition of a leader is someone with the ability to make sound decisions and inspire others to perform well. But, how do you expect to inspire others if you can’t even control your own actions? Say you set goals and you know they are important to complete. Yet every attempt, you end up postponing them. If you can commit to doing something for yourself, how do you expect others to commit to you? Ask yourself, “What are the outcomes that I have set for myself?” Do you even know what they are? You see, leadership starts much earlier than when we get into a leadership position at work or school.

Light box Leadership has listed the following 7 simple yet powerful core principles to effective self-leadership:

  1. Know your personal mission, values and vision
  2. Be responsible and accountable for your actions and reactions
  3. Develop self-awareness in all areas of your life
  4. Cultivate EQ Emotional Intelligence
  5. Be financially responsible
  6. Be physically healthy
  7. Create goals, systems and habits to succeed

Practice responding to the following:

I intend to:


How will I do it?

How will I know it worked?

What will I do next?

Next week’s blog: The fact is that we all have opportunities to lead. Let’s discuss more about leadership skills. Seizeing Opportunities

Week 1: Introduction: The Softer Side

Week 2: What are the Most Important Soft Skills?

Week 3: Five Key Principles of Successful Connection



Time is not important

a card that says "Time is not important when you are pursuing a passion"

“I became a music and dance teacher because of a breakthrough when I was younger. Loved video games but unlike many of my peers and friends, I loved them mainly because of their music.

I played Final Fantasy since age 12 but at age 20 I learned about Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu and how much of the music I had lifted for ages was composed by him. I set out on a mission to somehow meet him and ask him some very important questions. My dream came true in 2012, I saw him live and got a chance to sit and chat with him.

That moment I felt a rush inside and I became urgent about my future and I explained a little about my life and my aspirations. He noticed a sense of urgency with me and my goals and how I’ve treated time as a sort of enemy. Always felt too old for what I wanted to accomplish or like time is running out till he said those words that put it all into perspective for me. It hit me like a lightening strike. Since then I set out to manifest my dreams and today I’m more than content that I have been living my dream and will continue for as long as I can take breaths.”


The Best Things I’ve Ate In 2015

Hi everyone! I am happy to say that I have returned back to The Buzz for this semester and will be continuing sharing my food adventures and food blogging tips with you.

I would like to start off by sharing a list I’ve compiled of the best things I’ve ate in 2015 and where you can find it. 2015 was really an amazing year and I had a great opportunity to try a lot of different foods and cuisines. Here’s my list and I hope it’ll inspire you try to these dishes and drinks –

*Note these dishes and drinks aren’t arrange in any specific order*

a glass of sangria

Red Sangria

15. I typically don’t drink Sangria during brunch, but since it was offered during the brunch weekend special if you order a brunch, eggs, or omelets. I really liked Parigot‘s Sangria because it was refreshing, fruity, and had floral and plum aromas. I also liked that were chunks of apples, pears, and oranges.

a takeout container of ravioli

Wild Mushroom Ravioli

14. Last September, my boyfriend and I went to the NYC Dumpling festival and one of the dumplings we tried was the wild mushroom ravioli and oh boy, was it mushroom heaven! I really love mushrooms, so discovering a creamy mushroom-filled ravioli was like a treasure. I’ve never had ravioli quite like this one before.

a slice of Caesar Salad Pizza

Caesar Salad Pizza

13. Who knew that a salad pizza could taste so good? During my first visit to Luigi Pizza, I ordered a Caesar Salad slice and man, was it one of the best slice of pizza I’ve had so far! The Caesar salad slice had a nice crunch to it and it had crispy chicken, romaine lettuce, cheese, and Caesar dressing around the slice. It was mouth-watering delicious!

Affugazi Affogato dessert

Affugazi Affogato

12.  The first I stepped into Brooklyn Farmacy, I was excited and hooked! The sundaes at Brooklyn Farmacy are awesome. The first sundae I ordered was the Affugazi Affogato. It’s really a great combination of chocolate and espresso! I enjoyed the large scoop of vanilla ice cream encased in a hardened chocolate shell which was almost impossible to break through.

a glass dish of Homemade Grass Jelly with Mixed Fruits & Ice Cream

Homemade Grass Jelly with Mixed Fruits & Ice Cream

11. Last Summer, I discovered this dessert during a trip to Toronto, Canada from Tracy Dessert. The homemade grass jelly with mixed fruits & ice cream was the absolute perfect solution to a hot, summery day and man was it hot the day I had this dessert. Everything tasted fresh from top to bottom. The grass jelly tasted really fresh and yummy, compared to the ones I’ve tried in New York.

a Roast Pork Taco

Roast Pork Taco

10. I typically don’t eat tacos, but when my friends brought me and my boyfriend to Tacos El Bronco I was excited to try something different for once. I tried the roast pork taco and it was absolutely delightful! It was warm, vibrant, and delicious! The guacamole had a nice and rich creaminess to it. The taco wasn’t spicy at all which I liked. The roast pork was really tender and moist. This taco was screaming and bursting with deliciousness!

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

9. I’ve had different versions of Linguine with White Clam Sauce, but the best one I’ve had so far was from Mussels & More. Their version was on point! There wasn’t too much sauce and the sauce was just the right thickness. I also liked that it wasn’t too garlicky and you get a combination of clams in a shell and chopped clams.

Breaded Baked Clams

Breaded Baked Clams

8. Another dish I tried from Mussels & More that was different and that I truly enjoyed was the breaded baked clams. The staff here highly recommends ordering the clams breaded because it tastes a lot better and they were right! The breaded baked clams had a crisp and crunchiness to it, but also tender.

Bisque Mussels

Bisque Mussels

7. I think it’s pretty apparent that 2015 was the year I went crazy for mussels and seafood. A meal at Mussels & More wouldn’t be complete without some… mussels and so far my favorite one is the bisque mussels. They were soaked and tossed with lobster, brand, tomato, garlic and cream. Yum! Doesn’t that sound good? It’s truly a pot of lobster and mussel goodness. The mussels are cooked to perfection at Mussels & More!

Spam Fries

Spam Fries

6. I tried out Manila Social Club with my boyfriend and friends and one of the menu items we tried was their Spam fries. I have had Spam fries at a different Filipino restaurant before, but the ones from Manila Social Club were unique in terms of taste, presentation, and creativity. I think it’s adorable how they set the Spam fries in the famous Spam can itself. The Spam fries were crispy on the outside and moist like Spam should be on the inside. I also found it interesting that the Spam fries weren’t overly salty.

crab dip with crostini

Crab Dip with Crostini

5. Last Labor day weekend, I went to Ocean City, MD with my boyfriend and friends and one of the restaurant we visited was called Hooked and we tried an appetizer that I was completely “hooked” on called: Crab Dip with Crostini. This was one of the best appetizers I’ve had so far. The crostini was toasted, fresh, and crunchy. The crab dip was amazingly delicious with just the right amount of cheese to make it gooey and delicious.

a white dish of macaroni

Chessie’s Crab Mac-n-Cheese

4. While we were on vacation at Ocean City, MD – my boyfriend and I also tried out Shenanigan’s Irish Pub & Grille and I ordered their famous Chessie’s Crab Mac-n-Cheese which sounded and looked divine! The Chessie’s Crab Mac-n-Cheese consisted of twisted Cavatappi pasta with their Harp® lager and white Irish Cheddar sauce loaded with lumps of yummy crab meat and topped with Old Bay bread crumbs. The lumps of crab meat was really fresh and was no joke!

Crabmeat Salad

Crabmeat Salad

3.  I typically don’t order salads at Asian restaurants and Prince Tea House isn’t known for their sandwiches or savory menu items, but I really enjoyed their Crabmeat Salad. I really liked the salad because it was very simple and tasty at the same time. It tastes similar to kani salad, but with greens and tomato to mix in. They provided a serving of ranch dressing for me, but it wasn’t necessary.

a lobster salad

Lobster with Assorted Seafood on Yee Mein

2.  My family and I were having dim sum at Golden Bay Restaurant one weekend and my dad ordered the Lobster with Assorted Seafood on Yee Mein. This was probably one of the most interesting Lobster dishes and with an assortment of seafood. I really liked the noodles, creativity and presentation of this dish. It is expensive, but well worth it.

Lobster Salad

Lobster Salad

1.My boyfriend and I went to a friend’s wedding banquet at Royal Queen in Flushing, Queens last year. The dishes we had that night were extremely unique. One of the dishes we had that I really liked was the lobster salad because it was served individually and the lobster meat was covered in mayonnaise and served with melons in the center.

So this list covers the best eats I’ve enjoyed in 2015. I am looking forward to more eats this year.

What are some of the best things you’ve ate or done in 2015?

Virtues from Motherhood: Forgiveness

Learning to forgive is something that is instilled in us from childhood. We’re told to “forgive and forget” in order to come to terms with the blemishes others may leave on your life. Though I don’t personally believe in the forget aspect because to me every hardship or set back you experience allows us to learn something by forgiving. And why would you want to forget a lesson learned?

Forgiveness is a double-sided arrow as it is something you grant others as well as something you grant yourself. Learning to forgive yourself is as crucial to your personal growth as forgiving others is. It’s not always easy to forgive yourself because it’s not always easy to admit you gave it your best and it still was not enough.

I learned to forgive myself after I realized I had brought a child into this world who would never have that chance at normalcy that most other kids are born with. She would never have that Mom, Dad family or that two-parent household because Ava was being raised by a single mom. Ava’s father and I split when she was two years old after realizing we had ended up on different paths in life. At first the reality didn’t phase me much because I felt that all the love and support I was giving her was more than enough. It wasn’t until she began school and there was “parents night” and “fathers day lunch” that I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt.

It occurred to me that if I noticed these things other people, mainly other kids, would as well. I wondered what would happen when kids asked her where her dad was or why she didn’t see him often. My biggest fear however is that she would in some way be mad at me for the life she was born into. I constantly over compensated to try and ease my mind; the guilt would keep me up at night. It wasn’t that I felt I was a bad mom or I wasn’t capable, it was that I had her while I was still young myself and she would have to grow with me instead of just reaping the rewards of it later in life.

It took me a long time to grant myself that sense of forgiveness I needed to keep progressing. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a family friend who asked me would it have been fair to Ava to let her grow up seeing me settle? Seeing me settle for a relationship that was toxic to me, settle for not graduating college and then in turn have Ava feel that I was unhappy because I gave up everything for her. I had never thought of it that way and it made me realize several things about the people around me who had in the past admitted they’d settled for things. I didn’t want Ava to feel settling was okay or that you had to give up on yourself when you felt the slightest bit of defeat.

I forgave myself for not giving Ava that “cookie cutter” family and for having her walk with me along my journey to success. It occurred to me for the first time that maybe her seeing me reach my goals despite the obstacles I faced would be motivation for her that I would be able to show her and not just tell her in the future. Finally I forgave myself because I knew I was capable of more and that no matter what hand I was dealt, I would let the cards fall where they may. Instead of accepting defeat or succumbing to my own guilt, I powered through it because your past does not define your future it is merely another brick in the foundation of your life.

Chinatown, A Place To Visit

Right by the Manhattan Bridge in lower Manhattan, Chinatown is one of the most cultural and distinctive part of New York City. Some even say that if you visit Chinatown it is like you had a glance at China. Although I’m not sure how accurate that is, but it is true that Chinatown has a real Chinese vibe about it.

Things like culture, art and writings are preserved and one can clearly see that by just a quick visit to Chinatown. Each year people of Chinatown celebrates  Chinese cultural festivals. They are Chinese people and descendants after all, so of course they will certainly preserve their heritage. For outsiders who have not been to China for whatever reasons and want to have a feel of Chinese culture, people and traditions,  Chinatown is definitely the place to go to explore such experiences. 

Life is not just about reaching success, but it also about enjoying the journey and learning from the hardships along the way.

a colorful city streetPhoto taken at Chinatown


Be the change that you want to see in the world.

aerial view of a colorful city streetPhoto taken in Chinatown


“Beauty is the eye of the beholder”

high view of colorful city buldingsPhoto taken at Chinatown


Live life enjoying seconds because every seconds counts

aerial view of a colorful city streetPhoto taken at Chinatown

The Honest Truth about Ice Cream

Image by: edavidove

Image by: edavidove

About a week ago, which was also one of the coldest weeks this winter, my family decided that it was the perfect time to get ice cream. Although it sounds insane, we enjoy eating ice cream all year long but mostly in the winter despite the frigid weather conditions. Anyway, my mother was sorely disappointed after we decided to purchase a few flavors from Breyer’s as there was a sale at our local supermarket. She began a huge dispute about how she didn’t like the flavor of the ice cream, she also complained about how her ice cream craving wasn’t satisfied by eating a bowl of this particular brand. This eventually led to my explaining the variance of ice cream to my mother and I began to wonder how many people do not know the true behind this frozen treat that many of us enjoy. I wanted to share my knowledge on ice cream to educate others on ice cream before they make their next purchase.

Before, I get started, I first need to tell you that not all ice cream is created equally especially with brands like Breyer’s which is sometimes advertised as frozen dairy dessert not ice cream. This begs the question, “What constitutes as ice cream?” because there are so many derivatives. But I’m getting ahead of myself; there is one word that should come to mind when hearing about ice cream, overrun. Overrun refers to the total volume of air incorporated in an ice cream base during the freezing process in which it is being churned. For the United States, the maximum amount of overrun allowed is 100% to be considered as ice cream but in other countries, it can be as high as 120%. An example of overrun is an ice cream base that is one gallon; if 100% of overrun is incorporated then the final frozen product will be two gallons. And for that reason, Breyer’s is listed as a frozen dairy dessert is because it exceeds the one hundred percent limit and because of this air the gallon weighs less than 4.5 pounds which also does not allow it to be labeled as ice cream. (“Did You Know? Why Some Ice Cream Is a “Frozen Dairy Dessert” | Brand Eating”, 2015) This will also affect the melting rates of ice cream based on brand as each company has their own precise percentage of overrun that they will use as a guide for each of their products.

This will usually affect the cost of ice cream as well; a pint of ice cream with a lower overrun will cost more than one with a higher overrun because you are paying extra for the additional ingredients use instead of the air incorporated into the cheaper one. It all comes down to quality so ice creams like Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs have lower overruns so it is considered premium ice cream. However, Edy’s Grand Vanilla has a 97 percent overrun, and Ben & Jerry’s which has the fewest additives and the lowest overrun percentage of 24 percent. (Osborne, “The Real Scoop on How to Choose Quality Ice Cream”, 2012)

What are your favorite ice cream brands and/or flavors? What makes it so delicious to you? Comment below about your experience.

Timing is Everything – 5 Steps To Be On Time

You are told that unless you arrive at a location by 6:00 am on the dot, and not a minute more, your favorite person will be slaughtered. You arrive at 6:01 running in to find a pool of blood and no one in sight. Is it your fault?a pool of blood on a wood floorimage credit

I know the scenario is dramatic, but timing can be sensitive. I’ve had my times where I double booked, cut things close, or arrived late due to outside sources. How ever, I still consider it my fault. Maybe blogging can help me outline some problems. There must be a way to assure timing. Let’s see…

  1. When setting appointments make room for any occurrences. You never know if the train will mess up, which usually happens because the universe is messing with you for not being prepared.
  2. Yes, being prepared will definitely aid to timing. Days before figure out your route and possible complications, know your attire, set out prepped clothing, add the appointment to your agenda, and what ever else.
  3. Maybe it’s timing on when telling someone something, like a giving a heads up to your life partner about coming home late or going out. If that’s the case don’t wait till the last-minute or after the event happens. This will cause the other person to feel duped or unimportant. This also goes for being a no-show at work or school.
  4. When you have little time and a group project must get done, for example two cousins preparing for an event, remembering TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK. Having someone to help means you can be two places at ones and divide tasks. Looking back on a recent event, while Indiyah, my sister-cousin, was getting her makeup done I could have gotten the shoes to save time.
  5. And always understand “Early is on time and on time is late.” A saying I learned while in my NEW training. Which means, if you have to be somewhere at 6:00 am, act like you really have to be there 5:45 or earlier. Sometimes I trick myself when setting appointments and alarms by putting an earlier time.

QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: how do you stay on time/ early? | How does it make you feel when someone tell you news in an untimely fashion? | As an employer how do you feel about lateness and absences?

I post every Monday. In the meantime check out these post:

5 Steps to Start A Business 

7 Steps to Run a Marathon 

8 Steps Towards a Happy Life

Five Key Principles of Successful Connection

a skeleton key on top of a scrap of paper that says "COMMUNICATION"

                                Image Credit

“Any message you try to convey must contain a piece of you. You can’t just deliver words. You can’t merely convey information. You need to be more than just a messenger. You must be the message you want to deliver. Otherwise, you won’t have credibility and you won’t connect.”

John Maxwell

The first key principle is the spoken word.  I‘ve heard many people say that they’re an introvert and don’t like to talk much. While that may be true, if you want to get ahead and be influential as a leader, you will have to communicate with others. You don’t need to be a great communicator to be influential—just sincere and genuine. In fact, some of the most influential people are not good speakers, but they show that they really care.

The second key principle is giving your point of view. You have to believe what you are saying is important to be said. If you believe it, then others will also believe it. But you have to know what that is. Ask yourself, “What is it that I am saying and why am I saying it?” I had a professor who would always ask, “So what?” Only we can answer that question.

The third key principle is how you deliver your message. Communication goes beyond mere words. By this I mean your physical demeanor. This ranges from paying attention while communicating and eliminating distractions to wearing appropriate clothing and being well groomed. This may seem simple, but so many people, unintentionally, let these issues get in the way of their connection with others. Even your facial expressions matter.

The fourth key principle is to be authentic and have integrity. Don’t just say things because you want to appear in a certain likeness. People can often read though that and see when you are not being real. To make sincere connections, you have to be trustworthy because it not just what you say but it’s how you say it. If you speak with passion and energy, people will remember it.

The fifth key principle is to always find a connection with others. This is more of a learned skill and comes from your ability to find a way to connect with the subject. You don’t have to be a genius or have experience but just find common ground.

a cartoon of a green face talking to a blue face

Image Credit

Experiment and Practice:

A good idea is to videotape yourself having a conversation and play it back to see how you perform. It may seem strange but it can help to see how others see you.

Also it is important to observe others. Who do you feel has good communication skills and what do they do? Try to identify some of the things that they do and then try doing those things yourself.

Next Post: How you can be a leader