Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Future is HERE with Macy's Black History Month


*This post was sponspred by Everywhere Agency; however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.





It's that time of year again, where I get to work with Macy's and meet some of my favorite celebs and talk about style and the future of black women in the arts as it relates to fashion and history. I kind of love this about my job. I get to mix my favorites subjects, with my love of Black History and have the opportunity to hob-knob with women I've admired and watched grow up over the years. You may remember last year, I met June Ambrose and Johnetta Boone. I've continued to be inspired by both women ever since so I'm really looking forward to this year's event as well. 





 


Seriously, I remember seeing Jurnee on "The Cosby Show" and in "Eve's Bayou" and thought she was just the cutest. Having watched her grow into a young woman it's been fun to see her style evolve as she has. Monica will also be in the house and I'm SUPER geeked. I've been a LONG time fan of hers. "One of Dem Days" was my JAM.  But with her being a mother as well I'm interested to see how she's managed to maintain her personal style, celebrity persona and mom life while all in the public eye. Anywho - I'm excited to head back to Macy's in Baldwin Hills to hang out with these ladies for a conversation on all things African American and I can't wait to share it all with you. 




So if you're local come join  Jurnee, Monica (and me!) and celebrate Black History Month with Macy's as they salute these rising icons of African American culture at Baldwin Hills next Thursday February 18th at 6:30pm.  It's always fun to get to see actors in a more intimate element and hear their take on what's going on in the entertainment industry and how they manage so I do hope you'll come out and hang for a bit! 


You can check out all the details for this event here http://bit.ly/MacysBHM2016  and be sure to check out macys.com/celebrate to find out more about the Black History Month celebrations you can attend and what else they have on deck!!

Hope to see you there! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cuz I Slay, We Slay and the Badassery that is Beyonce

So this past weekend might have just been the blackest thing that has ever happened during Black History month. 
Friday night was the much anticipated NAACP Image Awards where EVERYBODY showed up and showed OUT , sans Stacey Dash of course. Anthony Anderson opened the show with a rap detailing WHY the awards are so dope while emulating N.W.A and it was dope. That pretty much kicked off my weekend feeling of slayage. 



And then - Beyonce went and dropped a video on a Saturday afternoon while most of us were still recovering from brunch or the night before. I didn't even find out about it until late Saturday afternoon, but was still in no rush to view it. While I enjoy Bey's music, I'm not a  card carrying member of the Beyhive but like Luvvie said, I'd like to come to this week's meeting.  After I kept seeing all my FAVES on FB talking about the video and highlighting specific portions I finally took a moment to view it. 
I wasn't ready. Formation is EVERYTHING. 
Bey woke the hell up and wanted everyone to know. And I am ALL THE WAY here for it. ALL. THE.WAY. 






Her use of symbolism, imagery and language is not lost on me or anyone else. Girlfriend knows exactly what she is doing and what message she was trying to convey. Some are only going to see her dancing in a (pseudo) body suit. The rest of us see a woman using her star power to call attention to the issues of the day. FINALLY.  
Paying homage to her creole and southern roots she spoke to my soul and I have not been right since. There was/is so much to process and I'm still working it all out in my head and with others on FB. Because damn Bey.



She sank a cop car. In New Orleans. In the heart of the city that was ravaged by water. Where no one came to their aid. She sunk it with the sheer force of her body. She sacrificed herself like the holy mother and went down with the ship. In the realest way.  She let it be known she's not here to play with y'all, your conspiracy theories and or what folks have to say about her baby and her man. 





Oh, and it was Super Bowl weekend. Knowing the world is watching and waiting for her to perform "with" Cold Play. - she WENT.THERE.  The way we all hoped she would. 
Across the bay from Oakland where they first launched their free lunch program, Bey's dancers paid homage to the Black Panthers with their berets and unabashedly black natural hair. And then she and Bruno had a dance battle dressed in all black like the omen and the undercurrents running through that stadium were PALPABLE. The symbolism y'all. It's so deep there will be discussions for months to come. 




And on top of ALL of that? She announced a freaking tour this summer. Right after the performance. Who does that?Beyonce. That's who.
Tickets to the Formation tour will go on pre-sale Tuesday. Regular tickets go on sale next Tuesday. 
She clearly gives no fucks about anyone's rent, bills, kids that need shoes or Valentine's plans. I have never been to a Beyonce concert and was side-eyeing the hell out of folks for spending so much for On The Run tickets but please believe I will be utilizing all of my resources to score a pair of tix to this show. Cuz damn. Game over.




Yeah,Luvvie took the words right out of my mouth calling her the Matron Saint of Fuck Your Feelings and I'm gonna nod my head furiously in agreement cuz yeah. Homegirl came all the way through. 



Have you seen the video yet? What are your thoughts on it?




Monday, February 1, 2016

Let's Fall In Love: 50 Dates Challenge







Last year I remember scrolling IG and seeing my blogging friend Ashlee post a Flipagram with the tag #50thomasdatesin2014 and throughout the year saw other blogging friends labeling photos "date 12/50" etc. Meanwhile, my name twin Talk to Amber and I had brunch and a long chat about being wives/mothers and having regular date nights and she told me how she and her husband had planned theirs out in advance  and I loved the idea. But then life happened and we just kept on doing what we had always been doing. Don't get me wrong, D and I do pretty well in the #datingyourspouse department but they have sort of become.....expected (?) dates. I.E. anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's etc with a few other miscellaneous nights thrown in for good measure. And they are for sure not planned out in advance. 


We used to do Wednesday night movie nights at home while I was postpartum but stopped as sleep patterns were put to the test and required multiple trips upstairs and pausing of said movies. So we put it on the back burner a bit. Because we were being held hostage by a tiny (albeit adorable) terrorist. But in the last year or so we really stepped our game up. Last year was the #dorseysummeroffood and we had many a date stuffing our faces and soaking up the California culture. This year, I want us to be more intentional with our dates so we decided to take on the 50 dates challenge.





Basically, it is what it says it is, a challenge to you and your significant other to get in 50 dates over the course of 2016. It doesn't sound like a lot right? Seems easy enough until you start to pull out your calendar to schedule them.  But the beauty of this challenge is that it's going to require some creativity as budgets are a real thing in my house and also because D is going to have to plan some of these dates as well. And by plan, I mean block out time on the calendar as well as coordinate a sitter and come up with the plan. I'm pretty excited about it. They don't have to be super extravagant because really it's about the experience, being intentional about spending time together and creating these new memories together. Also - I love a good challenge.


Naturally we decided to go big and have our first two dates of the year back to back.  That Saturday night was our "annual" January date for D's BFF's birthday (dinner & movie) and we made a whole night of it. It was like we were back in college again and we whooped it up big time. Sunday was date #2 and this time is was a retirement party/birthday dinner for MY BFF's mama. 




We had a GRAND time meeting the familia and cutting a rug with the more "seasoned" set. We got to to get dressed up (heyyy sequins) and it was kind of perfect as the next was MLK Day and we had the day off to reminisce about the fun we had, compare stories from moments we missed and recharge for the week ahead. We were off to a great start! 

But then the rest of the month went rushing by and because we didn't plan; we didn't get the other dates in. No worries, we'll just make it up elsewhere.

So here's the game plan:

  • 50 Dates in 2016 - That's roughly 4 dates a month which is totally do-able if planned properly. Also, dates can also include trips away just the two of us because heyy second honeymoon. 
  • At the end of each month we'll sit down and schedule out what dates we're planning, how much we'll need and also if a baby sitter is required. 
  • Think outside the box - get back to the "broke dating" we did in college.
  • Pics or it didn't happen! 




** there may be a caveat where a trip will count for a month of dates, my husband and all his friends turn 40 this year and I know someone is going to want to get out of town at some point.


We're both really excited for this challenge and know that we're going to have to step things up if we truly plan to meet our goal of all 50 dates (we've got 48 to go!) 

So, are you into it? Join us in the challenge and follow along the #50dorseydates16 and tag your own photos #C2C50dates and maybe you'll be entered to win a fun prize at the end of the challenge (wink, wink). I'd love to see what other couples are up to and steal your ideas! 

Happy dating! 






















Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gift Card Wish List

All year long I have a serious case of the "I wants". and sometimes I'm able to knock some of those items off of my, seemingly endless, list thanks to sales, good timing and socking away extra cash for those MUST HAVE NOW items. However, when it comes time for Christmas or my birthday and people ask me what I want; I can't seem to think of a thing. Not. one. thing. This, from a person who basically "shops" for a living (for other people) and has an extensive 'wish list' on Amazon. But nope. I got nothing. Which of course leaves gift cards as the only viable option for folks to go. I'm not mad about it. I appreciate the gift card. They are the gift that keeps on giving as I can use it for as long and as much or as little as I want until it runs out. This makes me happy. I'm able to purchase items across a variety of merchants and continue my love of supporting small businesses.



Gift Card Wish List


NIKE shoes / NIKE shoes / Cravings Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat / #Truthbomb Card Deck Volume 2 / I'll Never Write My Memoirs / Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg / You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living... / Dear Naturalista / Dear Naturalista / Pine cone home decor / Maven Brand Limited Edition "NSD GREY" Crewneck / Sip Champagne / Dear Naturalista


This year was no exception as I blanked on anything that really made my heart skip a beat until the last minute. I also have a hard time letting anyone purchase clothing for me unless I'm physically present. I don't know why, maybe it's a control thing or the fact that I'm sort of perpetually shopping my own closet while grabbing items here and there. But shoes I'm okay with. Weird. 
Anyway- I have a little extra cash on some gift cards I've been hoarding as well as a nice size one I got for Christmas from my dad. And because I'm visual, Polyvore is my jam. This helped me narrow things down a bit. 
Books are at the top of my list always and I've had my eye on "You're A Badass" for awhile but it got buried in my Amazon book list so I think it's time to go ahead and bring it on home. Particularly since badassery is kind of my theme this year. And  you know who else embodies BADASSERY? Grace Jones that's who. I've been intrigued by her since I first saw her in a James Bond film as a kid so I can't wait to dive in to her 'memoirs' also, I'm nosy as hell so I want to know the scoop on her. Same goes for RBG. Sing it with me...No-no-notorious!
My penchant for graphic tees and sweatshirts continues to grow out of control and I am hardcore in love with all of these. Quoting Biggie on a tee with gold lettering? Yes, please. Supporting my friend Keinon from The Maven Brand with this "Never Sold Dope" sweatshirt because, hey - NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE. So yeah. May even score one for the hubs too. Because statements.
And then, I recently discovered DearNaturlista and this sweatshirt is like whoa. I obviously need that. But then they also have really cute coffee mugs and I seem to be hell bent on garnering an epic collection of those as well so..... It seems silly to be so excited about a simple saying on a mug but it really does make a difference and I'm all about life's simple little pleasures whenever and wherever I can take them so I'm buying them ALL. Well not ALL. But you get it. 
And let's talk kicks now shall we? I'm kind of obsessed with both of these and a few others. I don't know what it is. The black & white ones are more "me" but are sold out everywhere. The black and grey ones aren't my usual steez but I dig them so hard I don't know what to do. I can see several ways I'd style them and since that's my usual rule (maybe I should do a few outfits on Polyvore?) I think it's a sign. Or maybe I just want it to be. Either way, I think they will be finding their way to my doorstep shortly. And the pinecone? That's just one of my all-time-favorite candles that smells amazing and lasts forever. 

How do you spend your holiday cash/gift cards?






Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Inked.

At some point last fall I put out into the universe that I wanted some new ink before the year was up.
I knew if I did that someone out there would ask me about it and I'd sort of be forced to follow through. So while I was sort of still on the fence about it, I put it out there to hold myself accountable. That turned out to be a really good thing.

Wanting another tattoo didn't just come out of nowhere, I've had it on my brain for quite some time. In fact my IG friend Heidi drew me up a design that I was smitten with about a year or so ago and it's been sitting on my Pinterest board ever since. My commitment phobia issues start to arise when I think about tattooing and even though I have four others, with the exception of the first two, they were years apart. But in my mind I have delusions? visions of being this tattooed writing mama and it kind of scares me because I don't know anybody personally like that but it also excites me. I like the idea of being 'other' a bit. Even though tattoos are more culturally normative now than they were years ago and you're more likely to find more than one mom with some hidden ink in the parking lot. Actually you're apt to find a LOT of mamas with visible ink these days. And I'm all for that.


carpl_2_cocktail

So here it was November and I was into my feelings and just typed it out before I even thought it through. And now that it was out there, I was going to be held to it. Before I could think on it too much on it my spiritual sista Michelle reminded me of her friend Sarah who does tattoos. A female tattoo artist? Yes please? I'm in a place of really wanting to be surrounded by positive female energy and Michelle is basically that personified, so when she said Sarah was cool, I was down. I already had an idea of the tattoo in my head. I was going through a thang and a phrase was turning over and over in my head and I knew without a doubt I had to make this happen. So I reached out to Sarah and immediately fell in love with her energy over IM. I sent her the rough ideas I had and she immediately responded with a date. WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK. Oh. Um. Wow. Okay. That was much sooner than expected. I was thinking I'd have at least a few weeks to hem and haw about it but nope. Sarah was just like, Let me know when you're ready. which was just what I needed. So I sat on it for a week and then set up the appointment.




I didn't say a word but to maybe three people. That was hard for me. But it was something I had to do and I didn't want anyone to try and talk me out of it or raise an eyebrow at my design idea.
The drive down was nerve wracking to say the least. I was a little bit scurred as it's been almost a decade since I got my last tattoo. And that hurt like a mother bear. So yeah. Nerves. But then I got to Sarah's shop and her vibe is so chill and inviting and it smelled nice and I immediately felt at ease.  We fell into easy conversation as I pulled up my inspiration images and she went to sketching out the design. Soon it was time and she set up all her equipment and explained everything she was doing and how she would be going about tattooing my skin. I was excited while my heart was beating out of my chest so naturally I took some pics and posted them because comfort.




_carpools2cocktails


The initial prick was painful but not more than I could handle, I've had two c-sections so this was not so bad but still. But after awhile the pain went away and I spent the rest of the time trying to text left handed and figure out what I was going to eat for lunch.



Before I knew it she was done and we were both admiring her handiwork. As she snapped a few photos for her portfolio she asked if she could add a little more detail and I said sure. It's her art after all. So she quickly set me back up and refined the feathers. We snapped a few more pics, she wrapped me up, we hugged and I went on about my day with a bit of a skip in my step.
I ran by my dad's house for paper towels (don't judge he over buys) and couldn't wait to show off my new ink. He didn't even bat an eye other than to ask what my husband thought. I replied I hadn't showed him yet.( he actually first laid eyes on it on Instagram) and then I went to pick up my kids from school. Typical Wednesday.




Except it wasn't. Everything about this experience was sort of magical in that it all just fell into place. I started thinking on my design and fell in love with the feather pen and the idea of it writing and it Sarah brought it to life. It's incredibly feminine and exactly what I had in mind. I already told her I want her to do my next one some time in the next month or so. Because yeah, they are addicting but I've had this on my brain for a long long time. It's finally time I started acting on the things I dream about.



How do you feel about moms with visible tattoos? Do you have any tattoos?
Also, if you're local to So Cal and looking to get inked do yourself a favor and check out Sarah at CareCosmedic. She truly is a talented soul. 
























Thursday, January 14, 2016

Black & Gray ALL Day




It's no secret that I love a graphic tee. Particularly those with catchy sayings on them as they relate to drinking or parenting. Ripped jeans and a graphic tee is pretty much my outfit of choice most days because it's really simple for me. I don't have to worry to much about accessorizing or add a 'pop of color' and on the days when I simply have no idea what to wear, they make my closet a less intimidating place to be. Last month I lucked up and scored a major haul at my brother in law's job. He's a graphic designer and works for the company that creates the designs on all my favorites tees/tanks and sweatshirts. Sweet Pea and I basically bought our weight in tees and have been rocking the crap out of them ever since. It's basically heaven. 



However, this sweatshirt was NOT part of that fabulous haul. No, like most of my favorite pieces, this sweatshirt has a story. See, I saw it in Target a few months back while I was literally SPRINTING through there to get a few things before grabbing the kids, and it caught my eye but I was like, 'mehhh rose is kind of trendy, so maybe no?' and kept it pushing. But it stuck with me, as certain pieces are want to do, and lo and behold it appeared on my IG explorer page one day. Styled in a way that made me look twice at it. And then again on Pinterest via someone's blog post. So I quickly went to that person's post looking for the link and found that the sweatshirt was from freaking Target but it was sold out! What the crap!? 



Oh well right? So a few days later, I'm making my usual weekly trip and scanning the racks for items to post cuz sharing is caring, and THERE.IT.IS. Tucked away at the back of a rack along the wall and I wouldn't have even seen it had I not been looking for something else. I quickly checked the sizes and found none in mine. Gah! What was the universe trying to tell me? No? Really? Ugghh. Okay fine.


Not even two days later I was back at the bulls-eye and found myself wandering over to the clothing section ( I went in for saline solution) and again there it was. I sighed and ran my hands over it as I just knew it was still the wrong size but then....but THEN IT WASN'T!!! It was just my size!! So I snatched it up and ran down toward the checkout with glee. Even though I hadn't planned on spending that money at the moment I am totally happy with my purchase.


 It's super soft inside and I'm obsessed with the fit. I was originally unsure of how warm it would be, being somewhat off -the-shoulder, but because it's so cozy inside it's kind of perfect. And obviously the color palette fits right in line with my preferred uniform of black, white and grey. I've worn the sweatshirt about half a dozen times since purchasing just before Christmas so I'd say I've gotten my money's worth and will continue to do so. Pairing it with all of my different hats from beanies to wide brimmed fedoras and my new bangs has been super fun as well. AND it also pairs well with my favorite "sweats" so that elevates my lounge lizard look as well. 



Also- at this point I think I'm holding it down in the "owns all the champagne related tanks/tops/sweatshirts/tees" department. Just saying. 


What's your go-to color combo? 

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