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My Dream City: CHI TOWN – Chicago (BLW Contributor)


5 Star hotel Deals! Get $95 off with Coupon Code HWIZ95*
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Every chance that I get to travel, I take it by the horns. Traveling is one of those things that really helps me ease my mind and relax me from the daily hustle.

Ever since I was a little girl I was very intrigued with Chicago. My parents actually worked there many years before I was born and the stories they told/tell me always intrigued me. It sounded so beautiful and like the perfect hub for all cultures. I especially used to love the fact that Lithuanians have a whole part of town where they group in order to keep our culture and customs alive, which can be hard when you move to a different country.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago. I am blessed to say the least. The weather was beyond beautiful and the activities were beyond exciting! The fall season is here…

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Motivation Monday!!! – Take Control of your Life by Anthony Robbins


Be Like Water

Boy on top of mountain enjoying the view

Anthony Robbins Motivation – Tony Robbins 5 Steps To Take Control Of Your Life Now

Tony Robbins has been an inspiration for millions. Love him and his philosophy or not, it is undeniable that he has had a positive impact on millions of people. He has sold over 30-million motivational tapes, published three best-selling self-help books, more than 2 million people attended his seminars and another 10,000 (including myself) have attended his mastery university in Hawaii. His core products include Get The Edge – Unlimited Power – Date with Destiny – Mastery University and more.
Here are the top 10 lessons that I learned from Tony Robbins:
1) By altering your body’s physiology, you can achieve an immediate change of your emotional state. The mind will follow whatever state your phsyical body is in and not vice-versa.

2) Ask specific questions of yourself (in your self-talk) to direct and control…

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Step into the Light by MLK (Peace in France)


Motivation Monday – “No” is just a word



Inside the Agora – What is Valuable? Matthew 6:19-21


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Friendship Break up (BLW Contributor)



Last week,  I was a part of a twitter chat on friendship and one of the last questions asked:

Q4 Have you ever had a friendship breakup?

Friendship breakups happen:

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Destroying Stereotypes of the African American Mother (BLW Contributor)



This is not information that’s not known about black women and mothers, but sometimes people need to be reminded on how great we are and what we have gone through and continue to face every day.  We are not perfect by any means, but the negative stereotypes that are attached to us needs to be dispelled and not used to form “uninformed” opinions about our sisters, aunts, and daughters who are mothers. – AcademicHustler1975

Black Families “Yet Holding On.”: The structure of black families changed from 1980 to 2000. Most noticeably the number of African American two-parent families decreased from 55 percent in 1982 to 48 percent in 2000. Moreover, African American female-headed families rose from 41 percent in 1982 to 44 percent in 2000. The percentage of African American male-headed families doubled, rising from 4 percent to 1982 to 8 percent in 2000.
Statistics reveal that the pressure continues…

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Viva La Video Store: why video stores are still relevant (part 1 of a 2-part series) (BLW Contribitor)


Toronto Film Files

I was perusing the shelves at Queen Video. That’s when I heard it. The phrase that made me cringe.

“I didn’t even know DVDs still existed!”

I clenched my jaw in exasperation. I discreetly craned my neck to glance behind me at the person who uttered such blasphemy. Of course it was a twenty-something man. My “peer” on paper, but hardly close.

You see, I know very well that DVDs exist.

I know it so well that I spend much of my time (and money) selecting just the right DVD when I crave a movie night. And when I crave a movie night, there is one place I always go: the video store.

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Yalla (Let’s Go!) by I Am Rey (BLW Contributor)



1) A very popular term originating from Arabic meaning “Hurry up” or “Come on”. 

2) Can also be used as “all right” in some cases (usually while coming to a mutual agreement). 

3) Pronunciation: the Y is said like any other Y. the two A’s are pronounced like the letter ‘U’ in the word “Blunt”. The L’s are prolonged and are said by placing the tip of the tongue on the middle of the roof of your mouth (Like the French ‘L’).


1) Yalla let’s go we’re late! 

2) Yalla bye.

OK so it was a Tuesday, probably around 8:30 am (Cairo time) I had to get my passport straightened out.. My tourist visa had expired, and I had waited long enough.. My cousin Craig and I decided that we would make a day out of our trip to Mogamma. We set out to catch a taxi on Rd. 90 in Kattameya which is one of the newly developed areas in Cairo, hence why they call it “New Cairo”. So we attempted to flag an approaching taxi, but they had a passenger inside already.. “GREAT!”.. At this point we’ve already been waiting for over 20 minutes and if you knew Craig you would know that he wasn’t one for waiting (haha, Oh Boy). We had a private driver named Mustafah who would take us around from time to time, but he had other clients as well.. This day he wasn’t available.

Typically we would try to get a modern taxi,  as some of the older taxi’s meter tend to be “rigged”, they’re usually smaller, and the driver can sense that you’re a foreigner from a mile away.. Finally we get a taxi. The driver’s name is Ahmed, he greets us with hellos and quickly test’s our Arabic. “Where you go?” Ahmed asks. “We want to go to Mogamma” Craig says. Ahmed and my cousin agree on a price, as we didn’t want to spend more than 35 EGP, which is about $4.50 Usd.

Ahmed is a tall, slender guy probably around the age of 21. He was fixated with my cousin’s hair, at the time he had Locs which usually was a conversation starter. The Egyptians loved this hairstyle, it was “trending” in Cairo at the time so Ahmed had loads of questions “Can you wash?” “Can I get this style?”. At this point  they’re pretty much  doing most of the talking, while I sight see from the back of the taxi.

We’re driving down the freeway, passing several stores as well as people selling bread,water and tissue on roadsides. I’m a city girl, so this isn’t out of the norm to see back in Baltimore, “Hustlers” as I like to call them. It goes to show that the world isn’t that different after all, some differences, but more often than not we share similar situations. We come up on a bridge and I can see the Nile River. I’m just in a daze.


I began to day dream about the history of Egypt, the Pyramids and how it must have been years ago before influenced by the Western world. I’m here miles and miles away from family and home, and its really starting to sink in..”THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID!!” Is all I hear from the front of the cab.

Now at this point I happen to glance at the meter and its already close to 30 EGP I start to get a little nervous as I hear my cousin and the driver getting into a little scuffle over the price. Ahmed is upset because there is a 30 minute traffic jam and thinks that we should pay more because of it..“YALLA!!! YALLA!!!” Ahmed yells out the window to the other drivers as it’s overly crowded in the street.

The heat is rising as the day goes as well as tempers. at this time there is no more pleasantries and small talk, just stone faces. We finally pick up some speed. We get to Mogamma around 11:00 am. The price was definitely over the previously negotiated amount, so I began to grab my things “with the quickness”. I can see the anxiety in Ahmed’s face as he’s waiting for his fare. “LA!.. LA!” (which means NO in Arabic). Craig handed him the 35 EGP despite what the meter said. 

Ahmed was understandably upset and in hindsight we probably would have given him what he asked, but we felt as though we were being taken advantage of because we’re “foreigners”. “Look, I’ll give you this” Craig says as he hands Ahmed some spare change. Ahmed glared and said “LA-AH!!”. So Craig and I were like “OK”(shrugs). As we began walking towards the Embassy, out of the corner of my eye, I see Ahmed running towards us…..

Check out other great articles from I Am Rey

Inside the Agora – The Book of Job