All Articles Tagged "fun"

Summer Bucket List: Things To Accomplish Before The Season Ends

July 14th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

We all wish that summer would last forever, but it will be over before you know it. I mean, we’re almost halfway through July, folks. That means it’s time for everyone to get on top of their summer bucket list. From beauty musts to summer beach reads, these are the things and items everyone should have on their must-do summer lists to make the most of the great weather and countless activities available.

Work may be calling, and there are errands to run. But if there’s any time to give yourself a little leeway to celebrate the season, it’s now. So enjoy these things while the weather is warm and you will make sun-kissed memories that will last you through the cold-weather months.

Do you have any summer traditions that you would like to tackle while the weather is good? We’d love to hear about the things you are hoping to accomplish before fall in the comment section.

How To Do Summer Cheaper

July 4th, 2014 - By Dee Rene
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How To Do Summer Cheaper


Summer is fun but it seems the minute summer starts that your bank account gets slimmer and slimmer. There’s just more to do especially and it seems there’s an invitation waiting at every turn. So how do you do summer cheaper? Leave your comments below!

  1. Google “Free Activities to do in __(your city)__ today/this weekend”

Sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised how many people miss this simple trick to finding events. Your local newspaper’s web site is typically a good resource for this as well.

  1. Social Media is your friend

Hashtags are more than just a way to annoy or entertain your followers. You can often search a hashtag and find a free cool event going on in your city. Search your city’s name or look for twitter/IG accounts that specifically detail information about local events and activities. You’ll find movies in the park, groupon deals, and more online to save you money.

  1. Invest in a flask

Flasks are not just for old people. Get a cute flask and pack your drink with you. Try not to get in trouble at the bar but carrying your own flask vs buying drinks at a venue can save a lot of money.

  1. Avoid the temptation to break the budget

You could be tempted more to eat out at your favorite restaurant’s patio or rooftop with the warm weather. Set a strict budget for your food and drinks (yes, even brunch and happy hour). Opt for more budget friendly options like hosting/attending a potluck.

  1. Wait until the season ends

There’s pressure to go to amusement parks or similar activities while it’s super warm outside. However, you can often find discounted tickets after labor day when the season ends. You can still have fun and it’ll still be warm enough to enjoy.

  1. Search for last minute Vacation Deals or “Staycation”

Many places will book up for big summer holidays like Fourth of July but if you search Hotwire, Orbitz or Living Social escapes you can sometimes find deals for hotels that haven’t sold out yet. If you have the ability to get up and go you may find your best summer deals for a quick road trip at the last minute. If that doesn’t work, consider a “staycation” where you stay in a hotel and escape in your own city. Perhaps there’s a beautiful hotel on the water in a totally different part of town. Go spend a night escaping your own routine and enjoy a vacation close to home.

  1. Take advantage of summer flea markets

Farmer’s markets and flea markets are booming in the summer. You’ll often find fruits, vegetables, clothes and other items at the markets for much cheaper than you would in stores. Shave some money off your grocery bill and you may have a bit more to spend on something else!

How do you save money in the summer? What other tips can you offer? Comment below!


Serena Wants To Be A Champion, Not A Party Girl: “I’m Boring Now, I Used To Be Fun”

January 6th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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"Serena Williams pf"



When most celebrities were partying on New Year’s Eve, Serena Williams was in her hotel room resting. The 2012 tennis champion says she used to be that fun girl, but now calls herself “boring.”

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Williams was in Australia over the holiday for the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament and admitted her career goals are now her priority. “I’m really boring now,” Williams said. “I used to be fun. Now for a fun time do not call me. I think I just got older, and I realized I can’t be that fun girl for the rest of my life. I could be the oldest number one [tennis champion]. I don’t know how that goes with the funnest.”

At 31 years old and ranked third in the world, Williams accomplished quite a bit in 2012: She won Wimbledon (her fifth tittle), the U.S. Open, a gold medal at the Olympics and the WTA Championship for the third time in her career. Williams also became the second woman in history to earn a career Golden Slam.

Well, these things happen. See what else Serena had to say, including comments about her new “night time problem” over on ESSENCE.


Listen To My Heart: 15 Things I Learned About Love In 2012

December 22nd, 2012 - By Julia Austin
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Some lessons don’t come to you immediately—some come to you as a memory or a sudden understanding of an event from your past. Often, as you progress toward better relationships, things become clear to you about a relationship that took place five years ago! So, while not all of these things happened to me firsthand this year (I don’t get around the block that much!), some event or person came into my life in 2012 that shed light on events from my past, and finally showed me the lesson from experiences which until recently were just meaningless pain. Maybe as you go into the new year, you too can turn some of your painful memories into helpful lessons.

The Grammy’s Were “Thinkin’ Bout You”: Frank Ocean Leads The Pack With 6 Nominations, Miguel Gets 5

December 6th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Talk about #winning!

It has been a huge year for Frank Ocean, as he was finally able to release his first studio album, Channel Orange, to the huge legion of fans of his popular mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra; he came out as…something (he never really specified whether he was bisexual or gay, and we don’t need to know all that at this point), and he’s basically been all over the cover of magazines and blowing up the stage with his sold-out concerts and performances on the VMAs and Saturday Night Live. Now the Odd Future member can really close out 2012 with a bang, as he’s racked up a whopping six Grammy nominations for his work on Channel Orange, including a big nod for Album of the Year.

Ocean also picked up nominations in the Record of the Year category for “Thinkin’ Bout You,” the “Best New Artist” category, and was also nominated alongside Jay-Z and Kanye West for “No Church in the Wild” as Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Short Form Music Video.

In a surprisingly huge nomination, our main man Miguel picked up a Song of the Year nomination for “Adorn,” and even picked up one for Best Urban Contemporary Album, where he will battle Frank Ocean and Chris Brown for the W. Miguel actually walked away with an impressive five nominations.

And yes, if you were wondering, “The Throne” that is Jay-Z and Kanye West racked up a few nominations together and separately, as did Rihanna, but these big acts didn’t manage to score any nods in the elite categories they’re used to this time around.

Going up against huge mainstream acts like Mumford & Sons, Fun., Jack White and The Black Keys, it’s hard to say whether Ocean will come out a huge winner because the Grammys have a history of going the old, indie, unconventional route with their picks, but I’m just glad to see Franky and Miguel getting their just dues in general. Good luck boys!

Check out the full list of nominees at the Grammy website.

With Declining Viewership and Staged Storylines, Are Reality TV Shows Slowly But Surely Falling Off?

August 13th, 2012 - By Desire Thompson
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Infographic by Desire Thompson

Reality TV is something that people love in the comfort of their homes, ridicule on Twitter, and highly favor on the blogs and the tabloids. It’s something of an art (term used very loosely here) and while there are more than enough series to fill up your DVR for the entire year, it seems as though reality TV has hit a bump in the road both in terms of viewership and creativity.

Summer Bummers

It doesn’t come as a surprise that TV in general isn’t pulling in the ratings because of the summer. Most people are either working hard and sticking to DVR’ing their favorites or just soaking up the sun and staying away from the TV in general. This summer, ABC decided to join the singing contest bandwagon with “Duets” with successful judges like John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke. The season opened with okay numbers (six million viewers) in May, but quickly fell to less than four million viewers for its season finale in July. Another promising series for reality TV fanatics was Bristol Palin’s show entitled “Bristol Plain: Life’s a Tripp” on Lifetime. The show was focused on her new life in her old town (yawn) with her son and everyone’s favorite political punch bag, Sarah Palin. Not even her mom could help her ratings; the show tanked with just 726,000 viewers for its first episode, and dropping to a low 426,000 on its second.

The summer premieres of scripted shows like ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” TNT’s “The Closer” and the newly renovated “Dallas” are pulling in more viewers than reality favorites like “So You Think You Can Dance,” Jersey Shore girlies’ “Snooki & JWOWW,” and  VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” (although L&HH leads in the ratings for Monday Nights with almost two million viewers and is itself a hit for the network). But what’s popular among African-American viewers?

According to, last season, the top reality shows for black teens 12-17 included “Bad Girls Club,” adults 18-24, “T.I & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” and the 18-54 demographic closes the list with Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” With a combined total of over 1.19 million viewers, they haven’t raked in the largest numbers.

Black sitcoms/dramas are pulling in a lot more viewers. With just the encores of “Single Ladies,” “The Game” and “Let’s Stay Together” nearly doubling that average weekly, one would ask the question: Are we done with reality television? I wouldn’t put down the petitions just yet, but we may be getting there…

Haven’t We Seen This Before?

I sneaked a peak at the ninth (yes, ninth) season of “Bad Girls Club” during an episode that my cousin was watching the other day. Now, she absolutely loves everything drama filled and thinks it’s all “Amahhzing,” but even she was bored with the new season. “It’s more obvious that they [producers] are starting all the fights,” she finally realized.

There aren’t any secrets anymore when it comes to creating the story. We’re all able to spot out the villain, the victim, the b****, and the weakest link – and we all know the sob stories. Viewers are expecting something surprising when watching television, and even though I think we can all agree that a majority of it is scripted, it shouldn’t appear as such.

If it’s not enough that some shows are getting more and more predictable and fake, it doesn’t help that everyone is trying to do the same type of reality show. Need an example? How about the producers of “Big Brother” (CBS) who are suing the creator and producers of ABC’s new show “The Glass House.”  The shows are very similar: A bunch of randoms are stuck in a house with cameras all over to compete for money while dealing with the drama that they (or writers) create. And it doesn’t help that many of the former employees of “Big Brother” are now working for the “Glass House.”

“Duets” is like “The Voice,” and “The X Factor” is like “American Idol.” You can find a different rehab-meets-intervention show depending on what channel you choose, and we’re just waiting patiently for The Real Housewives of Alaska. And if you hadn’t also noticed, there’s a reality competition to get in damn near every occupation you want: modeling, cooking, acting, etc. and one for every hobby and job available (towing, working in pawn shops, fishing, being a hairstylist, a doctor, as well as a gypsy and a jailed mobster’s wife). We could be reaching reality TV overload.

The Bottom Line: Do We Care Anymore?

There are definitely a load of reality TV shows on now that we probably won’t see again (good luck “Duets”), but for every failure of one, there comes another to take its place. Another celeb ready to put their lives out there, another everyday Joe or Jane Schmo ready to become an overnight celebrity. Do we constantly complain and critique these people who put their lives out there for us to see? Yes. Do we have to watch these shows to live? No. At the end of the day, no one forces anyone to watch reality TV. While it may be on almost every blog and entertainment show, realize why it’s there–there is a general interest and a large audience for them. If we want to see more scripted television with smart plot lines and that give real hardworking actors jobs, the attention should be placed on Meagan Good and Laz Alonso’s new fall show, “Infamous,” Kerry Washington’s upcoming second season of “Scandal” or even Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith’s new comedy, “For Better or Worse.” Then we may see an even bigger change in the programming and the way our people are presented (since that’s what anti-reality TV folks have been calling for). But it all depends on the storylines we see. The more dull or ridiculous things get in a story, the less viewers you’ll see for scripted television and the more you’ll find for reality TV, talking over coffee in the morning about folks with names like Karlie Redd and Joseline. Why? Well, let’s keep it real. Sometimes it’s nice to see that in one hour, your life isn’t as much of a hot mess as someone else’s. So while it might have been a cruel summer for reality TV, once fall comes around, those barking about the options now will probably be circled around somebody’s computer talking about “Basketball Wives” and RHOA. So in the meantime, support what you want to see more of, and stop partaking in what you would like to see less of. Do your part and hope that the reality TV overload will die down (or die off completely) soon enough.

But don’t hold your breath…

More on Madame Noire!

That’s What BFFs Are For: 5 Friends Every Girl Needs In Her Circle

May 8th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: Essence

I think we could all run down a list of friends we don’t want nor need in our lives, but what about recognizing the great ones you have or want to have? It’s always nice to know what qualities are great to have in your girlfriends (and male friends) so that you can dismiss the users and abusers with the quickness. There isn’t one perfect friend, but there’s a few great ones you should try to keep an eye out for and add to your “team.”

  • The Ratchet But Lovable One: And by ratchet, I mean the friend who does a lot of questionable, crazy and just straight up stupid stuff from time to time. Whether it has to do with the men she messes with (that make you say to yourself, “Oh, girl…” *proceeds to shake head*), or the career choices she makes (she’s consistently undecided on what she wants to do with her future), she’s often calling you with a very interesting story to share. But outside of all that, she’s a great friend to help cheer you up. She (or he actually) has a lighthearted sense of humor and can make you chuckle like no other when you thought you were having the worst day ever. Yeah, she’s crazy, but she’s a loyal and lovable homie.
  • The Goal-Oriented And Understanding Friend: While being playful and fun is cool, you also need a friend who can understand your complaints about your career and life in general to give great advice. This lady is someone you can vent about your day to, talk about your aspirations with, and just get a second opinion from because they are going through the same stuff, or have in the past. You two are on the same wave-length and are accomplishing similar things in life. And this friend is helpful at also keeping you on your toes, and most importantly, on track, because she reminds you of the goals you want to reach, even when you’re ready to give up on them yourself.
  • The Girls Just Want to Have Fun BFF: A friend to listen to you and a friend to make you laugh is cool, but you can’t forget about the friend who helps pull you out of your shell. When you let yourself get swamped at work or held down by the everyday complications of life, this friend is trying to get you to take shots at the bar. She wants to go dancing with you, to check out that new movie, to go to that after work mixer, and to just keep your life a bit more spontaneous and fun. Who knew pottery could be such a stress reliever? She’s the one that will have you calling up your other friends with a cool (or crazy) story to tell the next day.
  • The Rational Homie: But after all the fun has been had, you need a friend who can help you make sense of your issues. Did your man really act like an a** at that party, or were you possibly overreacting? Do you really need another pair of those pumps, girl, or do you need to focus on trying to pay down those student loans finally? Does ‘ol boy deserve a second chance, or do you need to be reminded of the pain he put you in the last time? Rational homies aren’t really the most fun friends in the world, but they can keep your world from spinning off its axis from time to time.
  • The Reciprocating Buddy: MAN! Who doesn’t love a friend who appreciates the things you do for them, and is willing to do something for you in return? And without being asked!? Best. Friend. Ever. Too often you have those “friends” who ask you to drive places, jump in and out your car and never give gas. And did you have the “friend” who you gave some money to, but had to go to hell and back to get that money back from? Stingy and ungrateful friends are easy to find (sadly), but truly appreciative and giving friends are a gem to find. They offer you stuff and don’t make you feel like a burden, they help you with big tasks and are supportive, and they’re just overall good people that you don’t mind doing for. If you can find the friend who can give as much as they can receive, hold on to ’em!

What other kind of friends would you add to the list?

More on Madame Noire!

Page Pranks – The Best Online April Fool’s Day Jokes

April 1st, 2012 - By MN Editor
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"Google" "April Fool's Day" "prank"

It’s April Fool’s Day and the jokes are not only for the young and heart.  Respectable and successful companies like Facebook and Starbucks have taken a liking to the clever holiday and decided to join in on the fun using their digital platforms.

Appropriately titled page pranks these sites have “twisted” their brand around and let loose to give their audience something to laugh about. Take a  look at these hilarious jokes right here…


I’m a Big Kid Now: 10 Toys Every Woman Should Have Had as a Girl

February 15th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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As a kid, everyone had their favorite toys: whether it be a doll, a cool tea party set, a teddy bear–you name it, we claimed it, and when we got old enough to act like we didn’t care for toys anymore, we were still sad when mom decided to give our favorite toy to someone who needed it more. Yeah, childhood was great and simple, and our toys made it that much better. After seeing that there is a toy fair going on in NYC currently, it inspired me to create this ode to the dopest toys from our childhood. Time to walk down memory lane ladies!



Easy-Bake Oven

Born and bred in the 1960s, the Easy-Bake Oven was most young girls’ first real foray into cooking. While the boxed oven of goodness came with cake mix, if you were like me, once those sweet concoctions ran out, you were working with anything you had in the house. I can’t tell you how many Frosted Flakes and grape jelly cakes I was cooking for folks in my house (they weren’t too excited to eat them though…). Definitely a defining toy in many homes for the little gals and the hungry big brothers.

Courting In College: Tips On How To Balance Love While Learning

February 5th, 2012 - By Bianca Clendenin
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Dating in college is a slightly different ball game, especially nowadays with the saturation of technology. It seems like people are more connected yet further apart.

Currently I’m a junior in college and maneuvering around in the dating world can be a little stressful. College isn’t like high school. You’re dealing with a different group of people, hopefully a more mature group. A lot of the relationships people have in college end up being their first truly serious “adult” relationship. In many cases it could be the person they end up marrying and spending the rest of their lives with.

Yet at the same time, college (besides getting an education of course) is a time to have fun and live your life. You’re only 18, 19, 20, 21 so why try and settle down so early? You have the rest of your 20s and 30s to find a “soul mate”.

However dating can still be fun, so here are some tips for all you college readers out there…

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