20 and Counting

20130626_105158The following is the transcript from my entry for “Thanks, Podcasting” over at Libsyn, which is my media host for my podcast, Kickin’ it with Daree. If you haven’t heard the show, what are you waiting for? Check it out!


You can also listen to the audio that goes with the transcript below.

Welcome to Thanks, Podcasting! where you’ll get to hear stories of inspiration, transformation and impact because of podcasting. My name is Daree Allen from Kickin’ it with Daree over at DareeAllen.com.
My first name is spelled DAREE, and that stands for Delivering A Rich, Empowering Experience. The way that I do that is being an authorpreneur–what I mean by that is, in addition to being a podcast host, I am also a blogger, writer, coach, speaker.  Running a show is a way for me to showcase my other talents, become more of an authority and thought leader, and develop my platform. Of course, I also started my show for the same reason I do all the other things I do as an authorpreneur: to help girls and women live their lives with more confidence and higher standards.

So, how has podcasting changed my life?  Well, it’s been less than 6 months since I launched my show, so I’ll just talk a little but about why I started, my goals, and what I’ve learned so far.

Continue reading “20 and Counting”

Fusion Teen Talk Show Forum

I was a part of a wonderful show last summer that reminds me a little bit of BET’s Teen Summit. We are screening the first episode this Saturday with a panel/forum to follow.

A Day in the Life of a Teen Forum



I got this nice email from the team at Fusion Teen Talk Show afterward.

Thank You Panel

They have a “All Things Fusion” campaign at Indiegogo, with a mission to raise $5,000 to help with the cost of production, distribution, etc. You may donate at the Fusion Teen Talk Show Indiegogo website, www.igg.me/at/FusionTeenTalkShow. You can also check out the Fusion Sizzle Reel  (you may see yourself!)

Reunions: My Life in July 2013

 July 2013 was the month of reunions: I reunited with a 15 people in 8 different scenarios–and I didn’t attend a family reunion to do it.
Source: Madame Noire

Reunited at Long Last

I wanted to take advantage of my mom time off but I did spend a couple of days being mom when I went to Virginia to celebrate my daughter’s 10th birthday with her.  She was also reunited with her father on her special day (whom we haven’t seen in 18 months) and her adult brother whom I’ve known about ever since I met her father but have never met before!

Source: The Gore Family

Of the 15 reunions I had this month, 6 of them were in town. 2 of the in- town reunions were with people who  were traveling to Atlanta and happened to tell me they were coming. That included a friend I have not seen since then since we graduated 19 years ago– we went to school together from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade! (Unfortunately my cousin came here the same weekend that I went to Virginia, so I couldn’t see her.)

Running Long and Strong

I completed my goal of running at least 60 miles this month. I decided to start running more in the mornings so that I can beat the sun, high temps and humidity that defines summer in Hotlanta. Getting up while it’s still dark is definitely a sacrifice because I work from home, but knowing I’ve done a hard workout early and got that out of the way is worth it. However, I ran my fastest and longest runs when it was over 90 degrees– so go figure.  I now do a run long every weekend (at least 5 miles) and recover well.

Me... then and now
Me… then and now

3 short months ago when I started running, I was afraid. I considered the average 5K/ 3 mile route to be a scary distance, and I’d modify the route or turn around a lot sooner than everyone else in my running group. Now I’m when I finish 3- or 4-mile runs, I feel like I could keep going even though it’s over. I think, “That’s it? I’m just getting started.” It’s not because the runs get easier, or that I’m that much faster than before. I must be getting stronger. So if you’re new like me and you don’t think you’re where you’re want to be with this running thing, don’t worry–just stick with it and for sure, running will stick with you.

In other news, editing is now complete for my new book and the layout phase has begun.  I also got a new phone–the Samsung Galaxy S4.

I think I want to take one more short trip in August before baby girl comes home. Any suggestions?

Goal Call: ’12 Birthday Edition

Source: Paperblog

…and another reason to be thankful.

How fitting that prompt #23 (love that number!) for personal branding at TheBloggingSchool during #NaBloPoMo  is Write about your latest accomplishment. In this birthday recap/annual review, I will mention quite a few of those!  I had so many proud, fun moments in the year of 35.
Continue reading “Goal Call: ’12 Birthday Edition”

Stressful: Highs and Lows in August ’12

I’ve mentioned my life-long practice of journaling many times and created one of my own. I came across life coach Rosetta’s post (on The Happy Black Woman blog) about how she does her monthly reviews. I decided that before the first week of September was over, I would reflect on my life in August and write a post about it.

How would I describe my life in August 2012 in one word? Stressful. (I wrote a full entry in my journal that mentions a lot more stressful things than I’m willing to write in this post, but trust me, I’m happy to see September.)

Moving on Up and Going Out

I moved into a new home and took a mini-vacation.

Technically the moving part was in July, but as of August 1, I had been in the house for 3 days so I’m counting it here. As with any move, it takes time to get settled, get repairs and utilities in working order, and establish routines from the new location.  I spent a weekend Savannah, GA perusing the tourist area around historic River St. and visited Tybee Island, Paula Deen’s restaurant Lady & Sons, and the highlight was a last-minute idea to her brother’s restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s. I will be back!

I Lightened Up

I performed in a local improv comedy show for the first time. Why improv?
Professional speakers Steve Berkun (author of Confessions of a Public Speaker) and Darren LaCroix have touted using improvisational techniques as a way to incorporate spontaneity and flexibility while doing public speaking. As a youth speaker, I have to not only educate and give information in a somewhat entertaining manner, but I don’t think of myself as being terribly humorous. The improv class proved to be a fun way to loosen up, trust myself onstage, and gain more self-confidence in extemporaneous speaking situations.

Continue reading “Stressful: Highs and Lows in August ’12”

Goal Call (May Edition)

Since my last goal call 2 months ago,  I’ve accomplished a lot.


I have submitted my book to a publisher and it was accepted! The editors at Brown Books Small Press were pleased with my manuscript and followed up with a publishing proposal, which I accepted. I have been requesting endorsements from friends, colleagues, and a few celebrities in the meantime. For those of you who don’t know, my book is a self-esteem/memoir book to empower teen girls to celebrate their uniqueness and use the good sense God gave them. It touches on aspects of every day life for them. Continue reading “Goal Call (May Edition)”

Teachings from the Temple of Tyrese

Tyrese Gibson's book cover

Yesterday, Spelman College and Written Magazine  presented “A Conversation with Tyrese” at the Sister’s Chapel at Spelman. Written’s publisher Michelle Gipson conducted the 80-min interview with singer/actor Tyrese Gibson about his new book, How to Get Out of Your Own Way (Grand Central Publishing, 2011), a memoir/self-help book. Journalist and CNN commentator Jack Johnson joined them onstage as well. Gipson encouraged audience members (Spelman students, grown women, and a few men!) to submit questions on notecards or tweet with the hashtag #WritMagAskTyrese.
Note: This post is written almost like a full-featured magazine article, except that I’ve also included my own thoughts and explanations to provide context. So it’s long, even though I left some things out. . . but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.

The Entrance

It’s no surprise that when the tall, dark, and dapper 32-year-old Tyrese appeared onstage, the girls went crazy with screams and frantic camera-phone picture-taking. It took awhile before he could speak–partly because of the love from the crowd, and partly because he was nervous. But after his initial “Hello,” the girls (and Tyrese) were able to collect themselves, and I was able to take more than three pages of notes to capture teachings from “The Temple of Tyrese,” as Jet magazine called it in their April 4, 2011 issue.
Continue reading “Teachings from the Temple of Tyrese”

I’m a Goal-Getter

As I mentioned recently, progress is the key to the goal, and as you’ll see in this post, I’m a goal-getter.

Thought I Told You… All I Do is WIN

I’ve already achieved one of the goals I mentioned this year, which is to win a Toastmasters contest. I won the International Speech contest this week at one of my clubs (I’m currently an active member of three clubs). In order to win the title of Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, you have to win 5 levels of competition:

  • Club
  • Area
  • Division (contestants come from several “Areas” of the state)
  • District (during a banquet at the District Spring Conference for your local district)
  • Finals (at the Annual Convention)

I’m really proud of this accomplishment because it’s a first for me, and a lot of hard work went into it since I started preparing for the contest 3 months ago. I applied several tips from a former World Champion of Public Speaking, studied pointers for this contest (including recommended  speech topics), committed my speech to memory for the first time EVER (I didn’t memorize it word-for-word after I wrote it), and most importantly, I visualized winning. I pictured my “stage time” in my mind and saw myself giving the speech onstage. I saw people’s reactions and felt myself connecting with them. I practiced at home multiple times with and without notes, and I told myself I was going to win.
I will compete in another club contest next week and then advance to the next level competition, the “Area” contest. (I am what Toastmasters considers a “dual member” and am allowed to compete in multiple club contests, but can only compete in one Area contest.)
That’s my biggest news for this week. In other news, I have been doing well with keeping a daily quiet time with God. Normally in the morning I wake up with just enough time to check email and dash off somewhere, but I have rearranged my priorities this month to keep first things first. I believe that staying committed to this alone time with Him will be the key to my success.
Also, I’m still doing well with Lexi’s 6-month Weight Loss Challenge on my goal to losing 25 pounds, and I purchased a set of dance classes at a discount but I have yet to go :S   I will do a more in-depth post on all that next week.


False Starts

In the meantime, there are some tasks I’ve pushed to the backburner. Things I still need to do are:

  • Move through the edits and rewrites on my book. I just paid the balance of my invoice, so the ball is in my court. Procrastination has reared its ugly head and I’ve been letting fear keep me from really digging in like I should. I have set a date to have all my rewrites, second round of edits done and sent to the publisher by Memorial Day. (It sounds like a long way off, but it’s not.)
  • Re-load my savings account. I tapped into it pretty heavily in December for gift-giving, but at least I won’t have any credit card statements coming to me. I’ve also been consistently tithing, so I haven’t slacked there.


Are you making headway in some areas and slipping back in some, like me? Let me know how your goal-getting is going.

Progress, Not Perfection… I Stay Winning

In work, love, and life I aim for progress, not perfection. And progress is a process.

Progress is the Key to the Goal

I’m taking baby steps to work on some of the things I mentioned in my new years post back in November 2010.


The three things that have my priority right now are:

  1. Plugging through the edits and rewrites on my book (my editor finished two weeks ago so it’s time to get started).
  2. Winning one of my Toastmasters club contests this month: I’ve been studying 1999 World Speaking Champion Craig Valentine’s 52 Speaking Tips, the last of which I received this week, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to compete in a long time since I couldn’t compete last year as a district officer.
  3. Lexi’s 6-month Weight Loss Challenge: Although I don’t look it, I weigh 192 pounds (size 16) and would like to lose about 25 (I’ll fit a size 14). I’ve stopped eating fast food, red meat, and desserts,  increased my green vegetable intake, and hope to get some kickboxing/dance workout DVDs soon (any suggestions?) so I can feel (and be) more energetic.

I’ll write more about these goals as I progress. I’ll also recount my Lasik enhancement experience that is happening this morning (my left eye has been blurry since having done Lasik the first time 4 months ago). Although I don’t want to endure this procedure again, at least I’m not scared.

I Will Stay Winning in 2011*

As a continuation of my 2011 theme, “All I Do is Win,” I’ve come up with my own affirmations/declarations. May they inspire you to make your own list, and be a big winner this year, too!

All I Do is Win a publishing contract.

All I Do is Win the heart of my Boaz.

All I Do is Win the “battle of the bulge.”

All I Do is Win a bigger and bigger savings account.

All I Do is Win Toastmasters contests.

All I Do is Win clients and speaking engagements.

All I Do is Win favor over haters.

All I Do is Win friends and influence people.

All I Do is Win satisfaction and happiness.

All I Do is Win WHATEVER I put my mind and hand to do.

Aim for progress, and stay winning!

*It’s not grammatically correct, but I like it.

My Birthday is Like New Year’s Day

If you read yesterday’s post, then you know today is, but I’m going to treat this day like New Year’s Day.

I’ve got a bunch of things I’m thankful for since my last birthday, and a bunch of things I want to accomplish before my next one. I started writing the following lists two months ago and managed to save my notes. These lists are in no particular order…

The Top 5 “Ballsy” Things I Did This Year

The Top 5 Things I Learned This Year

  • Just because someone isn’t there, doesn’t mean s/he doesn’t care.
  • I can handle single-parenting without “losing it.”
  • No one is inaccessible.
  • Stepping out on faith has its rewards.
  • Doing the right thing isn’t always the easy choice, but it’s always the best choice.

6 Things I Want to Do Next Year (That I Haven’t Done)

  • Publish my book.
  • Build a minimum 6-month emergency fund.
  • Get more paid writing and speaking gigs.
  • Join the NSA Academy (for aspiring professional speakers).
  • Attend a writer’s conference.
  • Earn another Toastmasters award, and get closer to Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM).

5 Things I’m Going to Keep Doing Next Year (Not Previously Mentioned)

  • Being straight-up and honest with people.
  • Paying for things without using credit cards or financing.
  • Driving my ’04 Mazda (I enjoy not having a car payment).
  • Guest blogging (thank you to all my subscribers and supporters!).
  • Trusting God.

I plan to reassess these goals of mine every month, and you’ll like see posts about my progress on them. I’m really excited about what the future holds– how about you?