My Wordsmith Vantage Point

Archive for July, 2014


9 Must-Have Apps to Help You Weather Severe Storms

According to USAA, there are nine apps one should have on hand to help weather severe storms. After reading this article, I couldn’t agree more about having these apps on one of my electronic devices.

9 Must-Have Apps to Help You Weather Severe Storms

Dream Vacation: Destination #3

Hi there!
This week’s dream destination is Barbados. Fortunately, I visited this lovely, quaint island almost 13 years ago and I would love to go back. Initially a study abroad class, my three-week stay in paradise was more recreational than educational (but I thoroughly enjoyed my classes as well). It was my first taste of Caribbean culture and I soaked it up as much as possible. I was lucky enough tot experience a lot but my favorite were the Crop Over Festival, which is a celebration marking the end of the sugar cane season, and Kadooment Day (two words: music and dancing).
Third stop: Barbados!

Barbados map

This island is also known as 4×4 due to its size (it’s 21 miles in length and 14 miles wide). The food, music, history, and Bajans (the citizens of Barbadoes) are guaranteed to get any tourist involved in a little fun, sun, and relaxation.

Bridgetown: Not only is this Barbados’ capital city, it’s the largest city on the island. Among the colorful streets you will find the Cheapside Market, where you can discover an allotment of more color, fruits, vegetables, vendors, and tradespeople!


The Crop Over Festival and Grand Kadooment Carnival Parade is a must-do experience. The festival begins in late May and ends with the parade early August. With loads of performance artists at the Pic-O-De-Crop competition, parties, and fests, any visitor will find something exciting.

Dancing in the street

Dancing in the street


Oistins, Barbados: In the mood for some Flying Fish aka Barbados national fish? Or maybe your taste buds hanker for lobster, swordfish, tuna or marlin? Then you’ve found the place to have those good eats. On Friday nights–in particular–this is the spot of the famed Oistins Fish Fry. So don’t miss out on the food and entertainment!

Oistins Fish Fry every Friday

Oistins Fish Fry every Friday


Mount Gay Rum Distillery Tour. I’m not much of a rum drinker but after sampling this smooth spirit, I quickly became a fan. 45-minute tours are about $7 for adults and free for the kiddies.

Yum yum! I'll have some rum!

Yum yum! I’ll have some rum!


Sunbury Plantation House is located in the eastern parish of St. Philip at Oldbury. It is one of two sugar plantations that has been restored to its original style. A tourist will encounter plenty of history and culture here. Viewings of the hours are seven days a week between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.Sunbury Plantation Barbados


Follow Anita on Twitter and Bloglovin: @Emranija & Anita Young

Top 10 Reasons To Forgive

Greetings Everyone,

A few years ago, I found myself in a situation where someone I once cared about asked for my forgiveness. About 85% of me didn’t want to grant any pardon, but then I realized it would be more for me than that person. After a two days of reflection, I responded with the bible verse Matthew: 14-15. Instantly, I felt lighter as if a huge burden was lifted and I was glad for it.


Let's hug it out!

Let’s hug it out!

A segment on the D.L. Hughley Show inspired me to write today’s blog about forgiving. And for those of you who are having trouble absolving your fellow man, check out the following ten reasons to do it anyway:

10. It helps you avoid being a victim.

9. It helps you to be in the present, enjoying the now.

8. Holding onto it won’t make you feel better.

7. It lowers symptoms of depression.

6. It helps you stop punishing yourself.

5. It helps your regain your power.

4. It improves your health.

3. It decreases hostility.

2. It improves relationships with others.

1. It allows you to get your happiness back.


D.L. Hughley Show: The Top 10 Reasons to Forgive

I hope this benefits someone out there.



Follow Anita on Twitter and Bloglovin: @Emranija & Anita Young


James Garner Died Today, Age 86

I can’t believe it but James Garner dies (aka the old Ryan Gosling in The Notebook). Garner was such a great actor! I remember his roles in Maverick, The Great Escape, and Victor/Victoria.

NPR Article: James Garner Dies

Dream Vacation: Destination #2

G’Day Mate!

This week’s destination in the series is Sydney, Australia. I’ve always wanted to have an excursion in the Land Down Under. Not to mention, pay a visit to my long-time pen pal, Zoe, and Camp Kitty buddy, Jordie. I definitely don’t want to risk my life by having an Outback adventure, but I would be open to much safer alternatives. #LOL

Second stop: Sydney, Australia!


Other than kangaroos, koalas, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Sydney Opera House, I don’t know much about the place. Just like Japan, it’ll cost a grip to travel here. But in the meantime, here are some Aussie locations to daydream about:

The Sydney Opera House is unique in design and engineering that adds to the character of this international attraction.


Bondi Beach is Australia’s most famous beach and is close to Sydney. Not only goes it boast with great sand and clean waters, the beach has diligent lifeguards that’ll keep any tourist safe.


The Queen Victoria Building: Renownedfir it’s architectural marvel, this place is also a great shopping experience.


New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Fireworks over the famous Sydney Harbour, need I say more?


Sydney Aquarium is a great place to take the kids as it features five separate exhibitions focusing on Aussie ocean.



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My 10 Favorite Films

Hiya folks!

As long as I can remember movies have had a huge influence on my life. In fact, from ages 6 to 17 I wanted to be an actor badly–so much so that my first major in college was theater performance. That idea quickly kicked the bucket when my writing style began to develop. However, my love of motion pictures never flickered away.

Some will argue that movies are cultural artifacts that reflect the world around us, and others will debate that it’s all about Hollywood making a buck. More importantly, movies have a way of affecting us whether it is positive or negative (hopefully inspiring us for the better). My expectation and attitude vary depending upon the film. I’m no snob when it comes to the silver screen. I enjoy all types of cinema: romantic comedy, romance, thriller, horror, foreign, action, comedy, independent, and so on. I have only one goal in mind when it comes to watching movies: satisfaction.

With no further delay, here are my 10 favorite films over the span of my 33 years that I will happily re-watch any day of the week:

10. Any of the Twilight movies. I know it’s juvenile but I’m a sucker for the intertwining romance of humans, vampires, and werewolves.
My love for scary nocturnal creatures go way back to Dracula, A Werewolf in Paris, and Once Bitten.


9. Girlfight (2001) Michelle Rodriguez’s feature debut as Diana Guzman, a pugnacious teen who decides to become a professional boxer despite her misogynistic environment. You have this girl who doesn’t fit in anywhere and is without a mother. Diana’s jagged and lost, and I rooted for her in the ring, at home, at school, and to win the boy. Who can resist a female taking charge of her own destiny?

8. The NeverEnding Story (1984) If you’ve never seen this movie the you need to run–not walk–to your nearest Redbox or search Netflix for it because it’s worth the 107 minutes of viewing pleasure. It’s got a fantasy world (Fantasia), a young warrior (Atreyu), an assassin wolf (Gmork), a talking luck-dragon (Falkor), and child empress all rolled into one story. Can anyone say remake?


7. Wicker Park (2004) This remake of the 1996 French film L’Appartement is about a love triangle. I don’t know what’s up with me and twisted love stories but this one has me biting my nails every time. After two years away, will Matt find his one true live, Lisa, while following clues to her whereabouts in Chicago? How successful will Alex be in keeping them apart? I’m on the edge of my seat up til the very end at O’Hare Airport.

6. My Fair Lady (1964) Between the ages of 12 and 15 I was really into musicals, and this was my absolute favorite. I’d pretend to be Eliza Doolittle belting out Wouldn’t It Be Lovely and On the Street Where You Live. Thank goodness for George Bernard Shaw!

5. Shrek trilogy movies (excluding Shrek the Halls and Scared Shrekless) I got into this animated movie light years before my son was born, so I can’t blame it on him. What can I say? I enjoy being a kid at heart. 😊

4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) What would my childhood be without a classic 80s movie? Boring. My brother, cousin, and I would huddle around the TV with popcorn and Kool-Aid to watch this horror classic. We were deranged for watching it but we didn’t care.


3. Love the Hard Way (2001) Adrien Brody and Charlotte Ayanna play characters from different worlds–she’s an innocent student and he’s a petty thief, both living in NYC. While she shows him the joys of enjoying life and being loved, he darkens the relationship with his evolvement in con-artist crimes. It isn’t your typical boy-meets-girl love story. It’s dark and moody–that’s what I love about it! And the ending is also quite fitting.

2. Star Wars Trilogy (1979-1983) This epic film convinced me that I had to be an actor. It had everything: plot, action, romance, and great/memorable characters. I can’t say that for the prequels that came out in 1999-2005. But what I will say is this: Disney better get these next three sequels right or else!


1. To Die For (1989) Don’t get this movie confused with that skanky 1995 Gus Van Sant film of the same title, starring Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. I’m talking about the horror-romance film directed by Deran Sarafian, starring Brendan Hughes. Okay, so you don’t know who these people are and that’s not important. But what is important is that it started my obsession for the human-vampire relationship. If only I could purchase this on DVD then I’d be in heaven!

What are some of your favorite films?


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Want More Stress? Try Being a Parent to a Teen

So, I was listening to NPR this morning and heard the following piece about stress for parents of teenagers. Good lord I hope I don’t have an emo, disrespectful, or ungrateful teen.

What do you think about this article?

Stress of Parenting A Teen

10 Reasons Why I Adore My iPhone

Hi there fellow Earthlings!

I remember 2001 like it was yesterday. I’d bought my first PDA (personal digital assistant) made by Palm and I though it was the best thing since sliced bread. However, the newness wore off pretty quickly due to it being clunky, a pain to update, and not very compatible with other computer software that I used in college and at work. Fastfoward 13 years later…and you find that electronics have forever changed our day-to-day routine.

I can’t keep my present day straight without consulting my calendar, which is convinently located on one of three nifty devices: my Kindle tablet, iPod, and iPhone. Actually, I don’t know how I’d make it without any of them.

My Kindle Fire, courtesy of B. Payne.

My Kindle Fire, courtesy of B. Payne.

In honor of life with an electronic, I came up with the top 10 reasons why I adore having any of my devices.

10. I like the way my iPhone 5c looks

Mine is white, but you get the picture.

Mine is white, but you get the picture.

9. My Kindle Fire makes it easier to play game and stalk people on FB.

8. I can turn any of my devices in any direction and the screen will follow suit.

7. iTunes makes my music experience enjoyable and is very addictive. (I could literally spend hours searching for songs or artists and creating playlist that are soundtracks of my life)

6. I can customize my home and lock screens (only on my Apple devices) to whatever appeals to me at the moment.

5. Siri will be my friend and converse with me.

4. There are a multitude of great built-in applications that make my life easier (i.e. – email, calendar, weather, reminder and Google map apps).

3. There’s an app for just about anything (weirdest one I have: a prank calling app).

2. Everything syncs from my phone contacts to my email and calendar.

1. All of my devices are simple to use!

My iPod started it all.

My iPod started it all.

What are some of the reasons you adore your electronic devices?

Follow Anita on Twitter: @Emranija

Reasons Why I Love My Boyfriend

“You say goodbye, I say hello.” ~Beatles’ tune Hello, Goodbye.

A simple, kind act led me to pen this blog. Although my boyfriend and I have only been together for less than a year, it’s safe to say that my feelings grow stronger and deeper with each passing moment. There was a time where I doubted that I would ever feel this way again. However, he magically drew me into a world of ardor.

With no further ado, here are the reasons why I truly, madly, deeply love my boyfriend:

Hanging with the bf.

Hanging with the bf.

12. His eyes. There’s something about those hazel-green eyes that mesmerized me every time.

11. He calls me instead of texting for conversation. Nothing bothers me more than someone trying to converse via text, especially if we’re dating. Before I gave him my number, I specifically told him, “I don’t text. I prefer talking on the phone.” His initial text was to give me his number, after that the 1-3 hour phone conversations commenced. 🙂

10. He makes me laugh, even when I’m upset about something. When I’m having a bad day, my beau will say the most random/ridiculous thing that fills me with laughter. It’s definitely a needed highlight.

9. He’s a good cook. Besides grilling a mean steak, my man is pretty good with the sides as well. My favorite dishes of his are steak with sautéed veggies and baked chicken with squash casserole. #yum

8. He remembers just about everything. This can be bad but mostly it’s a good attribute. Even though I suffer from mommy brain syndrome (a condition that causes forgetfulness in mothers due to having children), he’ll remind me of what, when, where, and how. If he’s feeling rascally, he’ll use my lapse in memory to play a joke on me.

7. His patience and calmness. If the world had a rating for patience, my boyfriend and I would be at opposite ends of that spectrum. My patience is only good for children and rarely caters to adults. He’s most likely one of the top 100 understanding Virginians when it comes to family and friends.

Me & Brian

Sharing moments together is priceless.

6. He’s confident without being cocky. How he styles his hair, dresses up for special date nights, dances, smiles while laughing, opens every door for me, surprises me, behaves as a gentleman, and finds ways to be silly are all a part of his swagger. NOTE: Swag comes in all forms but should never be confused with conceit.

5. He’s always honest, even if it does hurt my feelings (I prefer it this way). This one is self-explanatory.

4. His selflessness and modesty. It amazes me how quick he thinks of others and seldom wants the spotlight in his direction. There was one time he went without sleep to help out with my son while I slept, after we’d both been up for more than 16 hours. Man, I’m lucky!

3. He accepts and interacts with my son. It’s hard dating as a single mother, for various reasons. When you find someone who’s willing to be in a committed relationship and they understand/accept that your child is included, then you have a rare partner. He’s supportive of my son, as well as proactive in his life. I couldn’t ask for anything more of him.

2. He makes ME a priority in his life. For the first time, I feel like I’m a true priority in my partner’s life. Not only do we share a healthy relationship, we talk about important things such as finances, life milestones, and the future. I never have to worry that he isn’t thinking of me.

1. He always puts down the toilet seat! And this here, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason for this blog. Ask most women what drives them insane about their boyfriends, husbands, or partners, I bet this is number one on this list. #LOL



Follow Anita on Twitter & Bloglovin’: @Emranija & Anita Young

Dream Vacation: Destination #1

Konnichiwa Everyone,


I hope you’re having a marvelous day because today I’m debuting my new blog series: Dream Vacation. Traveling is one of my all-time favorite pastimes, especially international. It’s been six years since I’ve set foot on foreign soil and I do miss it so! And to quench that thirst for travel, I’ve created this series.


First stop: Japan! Japan banner

Japan is one of those places that I’ve only dreamed about. I’ve gotten to taste the food (sushi), been influenced by the culture (manga, kanji) and awestruck by its picturesque scenery (Mt. Fuji and Mt. Kōya) on paper. A little more than 10 years ago I was first introduced to Anime and the Japanese language, and I found it to be very intriguing.

If I ever save up enough money, I’d like to go to the following Japanese locations:

Tokyo because it’s the NYC of the East. Enough said.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Kyoto is renowned for its traditional art and thriving culture of refined cuisine, famous gardens, and marvelous temples and palaces.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Hiroshima for obvious reasons: its history. The shattering effect of America dropping an atomic bomb on the city in August 1945 has made this city world-famous.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and its snow-capped peak is visible from Tokyo on any clear day. Did I forget to mention the eight Oshino Kakkai hot springs that are close by?

Hot springs with Mt. Fuji in the distance.

Hot springs with Mt. Fuji in the distance.

Kyūshū in late March through April is the best time for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Kyushu is widely known for its amazing cherry blossoms.

Kyushu is widely known for its amazing cherry blossoms.



Follow Anita on Twitter & Bloglovin’: @Emranija & Anita Young

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