New York City Scenes

I am absolutely in love with my new Canon Rebel T2i that I received for Christmas. It came with a free introduction course which I took earlier this month. I will NEVER go back to just using the camera on the “Basic Shooting” mode ever again. I plan on signing up for some more courses or “photo safari’s” to learn as much as I can.


I LOVE this camera. Here are just a smattering of the pictures I took out and about in Manhattan and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Not too shabby for a complete amateur.





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American Girl Birthday 2012

If you didn’t already know, Princess Cara is a HUGE fan of The American Girl. Last year, instead of a party, we went to NYC and did “A Day at The American Girl Store” package. I got broke down then…and this year…I got broke down, bamboozled & suckered by an 8 year old – and LOVED it.


This time we just went to spend the weekend with my girlfriend, Val, and celebrated all our birthday’s (Lisa 21st, Cara 22nd Val 26th) by shopping, dining and hanging out.

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…And the most fabulous Daddy in the whole wide world, carries all the bags home for his Princess.


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It Was The Best of Runs, Worst of Runs


The long run scheduled for this weekend was 8 miles on Saturday, but I was going to be in NYC for the weekend and The FireMarshall was not feeling me run in Central Park by myself…and NO…he was not running with me. Punk. Thus, I got up this morning – a little later than planned to try and negate the headache I had – to put in those 8 before we left for NY.


I got out there and was feeling great, chest all puffed out cause I was avg a 11:30-12 min pace (not bad for a slow as cold molasses plump girl) and then all hell broke loose at the 4 mile mark. There was construction on the path I was on and a detour that took me in a different direction than in the direction of where my car was. Well, I didn’t want to go on a 20 mile loop so, I improvised, adapted, overcame…yeah, right. I utilized my land nav skills, resorted to using goo.gl.e maps and orienteering to plot a course back.  I decided to keep running in the direction of my car continuing to make a loop…on the road outlined by the map. Ummm…well, er…the back road turned into a 3 lane fast moving road and got a tad dangerous. I then decided it would be best until the traffic calmed to run on the grass.…and then…


DEBRIS!…and I busted my ass. I executed a pretty good PLF, jumped up, did a system check – ouch, my knee hurts – and kept moving.


The next 4 miles was a combination of dodging cars, jogging & walking – jogging & walking…until I got within a 1/2mile of my car and I WALKED. You know you’ve been out there a while when the FireMarshall calls me and asks if I need assistance. BWAAAHAAAHAAHAA!!!


I got in 8.3 miles. I got her done. Despite all the mishaps, dodgecars, falls…I kept moving forward.


Whatever doesn’t kill me…had BEST start running.


A Birthday Message–You’ve Got What It Takes!


My friend & swimming buddy, Misty, gave me a lovely bag full of surprises this morning before we got in the pool…yes, at 5:30 AM…for my birthday. I LOVED the card that was inside! Just spoke volumes about this journey to 70.3 I’m on.


YES!!! I have what it takes. That sticker WILL go on my car immediately after the race on Aug 5th.


IM70.3 National Harbor–Make No Excuses

What’s the reason…What’s the excuse you are using to hold you back from doing the things you have always wanted to do? If not NOW, WHEN?


Come on team…remember – Do or Do Not, There is No Try….Just Triathlon.


SkateZone–Princess Cara’s 8th Birthday Party


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Princess Cara had her 8th Birthday Party yesterday at SkateZone and we ALL had a blast. We are off to have an even mo’ betta time this weekend as Princess Cara and I celebrate both of our birthday’s (21st Feb – Empress Lisa; 22nd Feb – Princess Cara) in The Big Apple. You know the American Girl Store is on the agenda! Perhaps even the Apple Store 5th Ave, which, of course, is next door to FAO Schwartz. Happy Birthday to US!


Party Rock is in the house…this week! Everybody’s gonna have a good time.


Cooking with Love–Taco Bowls

The other day I read an interesting article on LifeHacker about making your own Taco Bowls by pulling out your muffin pans, turning them upside down, heating up the oven and forming bowls with some tortilla’s. Well, we gave them a whirl tonight and they were a BIG HIT!


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Take your tortilla, brush it with a little olive oil, sprinkle some kosher salt on them OR whatever seasoning you want for your shells, heat oven to 375-400 and bake for about 15 min.


One tip…make sure that you create a good flat base in the pans so the bowls will stand up when done. Just down right tasty. Fill with whatever you’d like for taco night and you have a quick, easy, family favorite. Princess Cara was the biggest fan with 3 fills of her bowl (they are small so calm your nerves) AND ate the shell afterwards. GO CARA.

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What you got good cookin’?




What Would YOU Do during your workout if you had a major Wardrobe Malfunction?

Happy Valentines Day!

This is a big year for the Empire. Twenty Fifth Wedding Anniversary & our 25th Class Reunion from West Point. How did we get to our Silver Anniversary…It’s Valentines Day every day.




May ALL your days be filled with love & happiness. Choose LOVE – in your heart, in your daily activities/dealings/interactions, with your friends & family.


Happy Valentines Day.


A Good Cup of Joe

I LUVS me a great cup of coffee. LUVS. Yeah, I hear bout all ya’ll giving it up and whatnot – NOT ME! NOPE. NEGATIVE. Can’t Stop – Won’t Stop.

So, imagine my excitement when the good people over at MyBlogSpark and Kraft asked me to give some Gevalia Kaffe a try and that it would now be available at my local Safeway store. BET. SEND IT!

Let me tell you something…this coffee is GOOD!!!! Damn good I say.

PrintGevalia Kaffe is much more than your average ‘cup of joe.’ It’s a Swedish-style break from the usual coffee grind. Perfected by the Swedes’ passion for quality coffee for more than 150 years, Gevalia is an exquisitely rich smooth coffee experience that is never bitter…and it hasn’t been as I drink my way through two bags that they sent. Mmmmm….mmmmm.

 Gevalia is a luxurious departure from the everyday, an escape from the routine cup of coffee. Whether it’s a morning ritual made just for you, or the finishing touch at a dinner party, it brings the taste of Swedish-style luxury into your home.

And guess what! Gevalia, is now available at Safeway, bringing that oh so 37011_FULL_LINE_UP_082411smooth taste right to your local Safeway grocery aisle. 

Previously available online only, Gevalia is now offering its top-ten varieties in U.S. coffee supermarket aisles nationwide in 10 varieties, including roast and ground, whole bean, flavored and decaffeinated varieties:

  • Gevalia Traditional Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia Traditional Roast provides a perfectly balanced taste every time. Our most beloved blend – made of choice, mountain-grown Arabica beans – this coffee has a distinctive body and flavor with a lighter intensity. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia House Blend:
    A Gevalia favorite, House Blend is a robust yet never bitter coffee. This roast has a captivating aroma that is only matched by its exceptional flavor. (Medium/Dark Roast)
  • Gevalia House Blend Decaf :
    Delivering the same rich, never bitter flavor, House Blend Decaf has the same robust taste without all the caffeine. (Medium/Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia French Roast (ground and whole bean):
    Gevalia French Roast is a coffee of impressive richness and dimension, expertly crafted from prized Arabica beans grown in Colombia and Brazil. Hints of aromatic smoke give this dark-roasted French Roast blend an intense, yet uniquely satisfying flavor. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Colombia:
    Grown high in the Colombian Andes, these beans produce a rich, bright and well-bodied Colombian coffee. This single origin classic is world-renowned, which is why we have sourced these beans for decades. (Medium Roast).
  • Gevalia Espresso Roast:
    Gevalia Espresso Roast is made of premium, mountain-grown Arabica beans from East Africa and Central and South America. This roast is bold and full-bodied with a hint of caramel undertones. (Dark Roast).
  • Gevalia Vanilla:
    This rich blend with vanilla flavor notes is crafted from choice mountain-grown Arabica beans, then roasted for exceptional body and flavor. Gevalia Vanilla is a flavorful and balanced experience with a heavenly aroma.
  • Gevalia Chocolate Mocha:
    Gevalia Chocolate Mocha allows you to indulge your passion for decadent flavor. Rich, velvety chocolate flavor is blended with mountain-grown Arabica beans for a sweetly satisfying experience.
With its Swedish heritage and rich, never bitter taste, Gevalia is a premium coffee unlike any other.37011_FULL_LINE_UP_082411
  • Having Gevalia in your kitchen means you care about the quality of the coffee you consume and enjoy rich, authentic flavors.
  • Gevalia offers a variety of authentic rich flavors that are perfect for everything from a relaxing morning cup of coffee to an indulgent after dinner compliment.

Well, I’m gonna make you happy. If you would like to give this delicious Gevalia coffee a try (I am thoroughly enjoying the House Blend right now) leave me a comment on which of the Gevalia Kaffe varieties are you most looking forward to picking up at Safeway to try? Use the rafflecopter thingy to get more entries.

Here is what one lucky coffee aficionado will get:
Gevalia Prize Pack
Kraft Foods has provided sample product to me and is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Stories of a Traveling Diva.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


IM70.3 National Harbor–Guess It’s For Real, Huh?



As you already know, I registered for the Ironman 70.2 National Harbor on August 5th. Turns out I was one of the 1st 500 that registered and I got me a free Headsweats hat for being an early bird.


OMG! When I saw that package with the IM70.3 logo on the outside, the hat, the note, the postcard…WHAM!…this ish is FOR REAL, FOR REAL.




Here I come.  TravelDiva…YOU ARE AN IRONWOMAN!!!! (at least half of one…LOL)

IM70.3–Purpose Driven Training


I’m 3 weeks into my training plan with Coach Lionheart and last Saturday after a grueling brick workout, that there is a method to his madness. The first two weeks were pretty much a constant of me debating, arguing, fussing & fighting over each workout, frequency, timing, duration.


I believe that both of us (Coach & I) have evolved. Tarus in how he coaches me – me in how I accept and execute the information.  When Tarus started explaining to me the “WHY” behind whatever I was supposed to do that day/week…it started to make sense and in just this short period of time, I was feeling like the Six Million Dollar Man – better, stronger, faster.


With a PLAN & a PURPOSE, I have absolutely no fear that I can and WILL achieve all of my goals this season – especially FINISH STRONG in my 1st IM70.3 race. With my Coach & training plan…we have the technology, we can rebuild her…she will be better, stronger, faster.


I highly recommend that if you are taking on a big goal/race for the 1st time that you get and follow a plan. Train with a purpose. If you can’t afford a coach for your
event(s), there are SO MANY virtual, online, books, videos, youtube training plans, clubs, workshops etc. that you can use. I HIGHLY recommend that you follow some kind of plan. If your training is all over the place and you are just doing stuff to be doing it, then expect your results to be, well, all over the place.


So, you want to increase your run pace? Are you just running or are you putting in some intervals, speed work, hills etc.? You want to do a tri and you are sure that because you know you can frolic in the water at the beach swim…mmmm okay. Have you done any open water swims, practice swimming over a mile in the pool, come up with a game plan for when there are 300 other people in the water with you? How about that bike? Are you practicing specific skills, cadence drills, hill work?




Last year, I completed all those races. Yeah, I finished, but I didn’t get better, faster, stronger over time. My finish times were about the same. Yes, I got better from my very first tri, but then I was flat. Finished and that was all. This year, I want to be better, get better, look better. I still may not age group place, but I WILL improve. And that Ironman 70.3 – STRONG!!!!



Tell me, friends…are you Training with a Purpose? Share with us what you got going on.


IM70.3–Ballin’ (Fitness Equipment) on a Budget

Here is an update/excerpt to Gear, Gear & Pocket Book Tears. You CAN Ball (I WORKOUT!) on a Budget.

Vintage Black Glamour

February is Black History Month and if you haven’t discovered Vintage Black Glamour on the Book of the Face, then you need to click on over there and check it out. The images & stories are just amazing:

Vintage Black Glamour is a forthcoming book and visual tribute to some of the glamorous, accomplished and often groundbreaking black women - legendary and obscure - of the 20th century.

While  I was perusing all the pictures and the tumbler page, I kept thinking that the very title described my GMa Willie…perhaps obscure, but pure VINTAGE BLACK GLAMOUR


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WillieB, Cabaret singer, Astor Club, London, England

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