Cruel Summer

Bananarama unleashed their top ten, international hit, Cruel Summer, in the U.S. in 1984.  From London to Belfast, Paris to Brazil, Singapore to Springfield, aka, Anytown U.S.A., they had the whole world dreaming about hot summer escapades every time it played into the next decade.   Fourteen years later (September of 1998)… Swedish band, Ace of Base, wouldn’t let the sizzle fizzle and revived Cruel Summer in Europe with their up tempo, dance friendly remix.  Sadly, not enough Americans got to hear that jammin’ Ace of Base version so I was pumped to find it on YouTube.  Grab a cold one (see below) and crank it up!

Cruel Summer Refreshment Smarts

Sugar Madness

I’m dubbing the McDonald’s Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie a real summer misfire for those who are working hard to get or keep their summer bod in shape.  At a whopping 49 grams of sugar, 22o calories, and 3 grams of protein in a 12 oz drink, it’s a cruel hit to your waistline, thighs, bottom, etc., in my “point” book.  And, good luck trying to stay cool and collected with the kids or focus at work after one of these sugar rushes.  I think I’ll pour myself a cup of Tropicana’s, Trop50, over ice and call it a brighter day with 50 calories, 10 grams of sugar, 120% vitamin C, 35% calcium, and 450mg of potassium (the equivalent potassium of one banana)

Sweet Success

. . . and if anyone wants to make it a double (16 oz of juice), do it!  I love the added value of Stevia, a completely natural sweetener that comes from the Chrysanthemum plant.  Stevia is also linked to lowering your blood pressure. Like anything else you ingest, I strongly recommend you research Stevia and determine if it is right for you.  I enjoyed reading more about it on WebMD (Google Stevia WebMD).  I would greatly prefer Stevia over NutraSweet, Aspartame, and Sucralose in my food and beverages.

Cruel Summer Survival Tip

. . . for your best summer hair!  I tried this.  I’m in love with it.  The Summer sun, swimming, surfing, and outdoor life can make your hair look more like a scarecrow in the Fall.  I couldn’t believe how this product had an immediate impact on my seriously dry, damaged hair.  For less than $5?  I couldn’t wait to tell somebody!  It smells really nice and I applaud Garnier Fructis for developing a truly effective and affordable product that works better than many high end hair elixirs.  If I hadn’t tried it myself, I’d never recommend it.  This stuff works!

Sagacious Summer

Everyone needs a team!  You need a team! Don’t be a solo act because you’re afraid of what others may think of you.  Not having a team actually slows us down because of our innate capacity to stumble into trouble.   No one is above it.

Photo by Kim Anderson

This past year, both new and old friends have been indispensable cheer leaders and advice givers when I’ve needed to bounce my needs or apprehensions off of someone.  Friends illuminate the things we need to see even if we cringe over the harsh light beaming on our hidden truth.  A great friend will remind you that you are amazing and bigger than your shortcomings.  With the news and entertainment media promoting condemnation and ridicule of others, we need the seeds of friendship to restore balance and keep our humanity rich with humility.  Networking in a professional, educational, health, hobby, and spiritual environment is simply good for you and others.  Friends are patrons of strength, courage, resources, and love in its variety of forms.  Wise friends help you focus.  They push you toward the direction you need to go and pull you out of foolish or paralyzing places.  Being the friend that you want others to be (faithful, generous, bottomless grace and love) has a hundredfold return.   It can alter the course of history in someone’s world for the better; save a life; or enrich it beyond what was imagined.   One of my best friends is always introducing me to her “power” friends.  That says a lot about her beautiful, trusting soul.  Picking up the phone and calling an old friend is like shipping them a truckload of flowers.  Recently, a cherished friend shared this quote with her social network:

“When you believe that nothing significant can happen through you, you have said more about your belief in God than you have said about yourself.” – Henry Blackaby

Let the riches of friendship happen through you and to you!

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About Light Stream

Casandra Moreno Lombera is an author, blogger, and Emmy nominated television producer who grew up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver communities. In junior high school, she promised her single mother that she would get straight A’s in order to graduate early and help her relocate to Aurora, Colorado. She did… and though women and Latinas were scarcely visible in television, she dreamed of a future in broadcast journalism. From an early age, Casandra wanted children and loved to write. She began her career in television (writing and reporting on camera) at the age of 18. She also began raising two very successful children as a single mom. Throughout her career, she became an award winning, television producer/program creator (receiving both the Imagen and Golden Eagle Awards); was executive producer of both public affairs and children’s programming at KWHY-TV, Channel 22; and worked on camera hosting public affairs talk shows for many years. More distinctive opportunities came her way, however her desire to write children’s books and to blaze new trails in the publishing world became irrepressible. Her dreams today focus on empowering youth, writing (particularly about God’s love for them), and raising money for the impoverished through organizations like Hope Worldwide https://www.hopeww.org/sslpage.aspx. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about hands-on giving to the community and has received many forms of appreciation (including a congressional commendation) for her efforts. She has served on several boards including Communications Bridge Institute, training disadvantaged youth in television production; St. Anne’s, building futures for at risk teens and unwed mothers; HOPE, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality; the American Diabetes Association fund raising committee; and the Consumer Advisory Committee for the California Contractors State Licensing Board. Casandra is also a recipient of La Opinion’s 2012 Mujeres Destacadas (Exceptional Women) Award. She is completely smitten with her husband, two children, and four grand babies who inspired Light Riders. Follow her @casandratweets and @Lightersbook on Twitter. Her blog is at http://www.shewentthere.wordpress.com. Direct Contact: Lightridersbook@gmail.com
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40 Responses to Cruel Summer

  1. Aurora says:

    Thanks for the tip on the fruit smoothie. Whenever I would see the commercials, I would say to myself, “I wonder how many calories and sugar that has?” I knew better than to run and get one, although it does look so good on tv. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ace of Base remake. Your too cool. Thanks.

    • Thanks so much Aurora! I love finding out when we have things in common and I’m so happy to rescue you from those crazy temptations out there : ) Love and hugs to you and your family!!!

  2. Laura says:

    Great addition lovely Casi! Loved reading every minute of it. You’re a phenomenal communicator, such God given talent! Love you!

    • Oooo! I can just see us bobbing our heads to Cruel Summer together maybe as early as Sunday my Lola! Thank you so much for keeping me inspired with your support. Love you!!! XOXOXO
      P.S. Thank YOU for the fantastic quote I included in this post!!!

  3. Mary J Wardell says:

    Cassandra,

    I was getting ready to graduate from high school and launch into life when that first version of “Cruel Summer” came out in the summer of 1984. I remember it well and listening to the European ‘Ace of Base’ version brought back those youthful memories of hanging out in the local park on a hot and sweaty, yet music, food, and friends-filled day riding our bikes around town in what is now my economically challenged, yet beloved childhood city of Stockton. I really had a great up-bringing there when I really think back and reflect on the experiences that parallel that song now – long summers full of ease, freedom, and possibility. Today my adopted cities of Los Angeles and now San Francisco have also been a joy and blessing. All of your ‘Cruel Summer’ writings were on point with usefulness and information, thoughtful engagement, and the all important entertainment factor – content that your blog has now become known for.

    I actually went out and bought the Garnier product on your suggestion when I was at Target a couple of nights ago and guess what? My dark tresses are soft and silky and my fingers feel great when I run them through my hair. I should do a commercial or something for them. Imagine all the women (particularly women of color) with texturized hair and the markets Garnier could tap in because of your post and our testimonials? Thanks for that tip sis – absolutely fantastic conditioner at the best price (i.e. affordable yet great quality).

    Last comment I have for you beautiful Cassie is that your commentary on how much we need a personal team was phenomenally articulated. People understand the ‘team concept’ cognitively yet we so often forsake our potential by not actualizing this critical concept for life and success. I am thinking now about not only how to apply this in my own life, yet also how I can help others that I have influence with, including the graduate business students that I will be teaching a leadership course this fall at USF. I’m working on the syllabus this summer and I’m going to include and develop the ‘team concept’ as a lecture for core competency in personal leadership. I know for sure no other professors are talking about this – at USF or any business schools domestically or globally.

    Keep writing. If only, to solely inspire others.

    Love you sis,

    Mary

    • Mary, I LOVE your post on my post! You had me right there with you on a bicycle in the park! I’m going to make you start blogging too because your students, your girls, your friends, your colleagues, and your fans like me would enjoy it so much. I’m thrilled that you plan to work the team concept into your lectures at USF woohoo! Can I come? I’m also giggling thinking about your girls taking the Garnier conditioner away from you so I hope you get two bottles next time : ) Thank you for all your support. It means so much to me! Please consider starting Dr. Mary’s Blog and we can talk to your students about starting their own and how to include videos. Fun! Love you Sis!
      Casandra

  4. love the blog! You amaze me. Thanks for the info. Love it!

    • Thank you so much Priscilla! It’s the greatest compliment when you can impress your daughters xoxo! Especially want to keep you and baby smiling thru December. Hope Noey likes the song too : )

  5. charlene says:

    Loved the song!! it put a smile on my face! ur awesome!!

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