Wednesday was a day like any other. I woke to the cats scratching on the door and meowing as if they were trying to alert me to an intruder, a missed early morning Amazon delivery, or maybe just to hop on the bed to show me their loving affection as their trusted caretaker. Their automated food bowl turned and there was nothing in it. Oh, the joy! My life has equated to falling into the demands of my hairy children.
Life goes on...
I digress. Now, where was I? Oh, Wednesday. So the day progressed, I worked, had a little water, not nearly enough food, and developed this banger of a hunger headache. You know, the kind that says drop any plans you had for the remainder of the day and just relax. So I listened to my body. I ate dinner, talked to a friend, and poured myself a glass of champagne. When it didn't help my headache I thought for a second I should have another glass, but I opted for a little murder mystery to soothe me right on to sleep. I am different, this I know.
Waking early is part of my routine. I hopped out of bed before it was safe to text anyone WYD, so I decided to get a good workout in. I could feel reminders of my headache from the night before but I ignored it and surprisingly it went away. I knew that today I would be on a mission and would need a colorful day. I've acknowledged the chapters in my life because they have perfectly shaped the way I view and feel things. This chapter, this amazing place I have found myself in is called, 'COLOR'
I name things as I see fit. The blonde-haired squirrel that visits in the spring, I've named Blondie. The exquisitely dressed porcelain frog that sits on my patio at the first hint of summer, his name is Ferdinand. My chapters, in all of their glory, are no exception.
Color enhances my already exuberant mood. It just makes me feel so damn good. The colors of light, the way it feels when they glow perfectly onto a canvas. The color of my shoes that are so amazingly bright I can't stop looking at them. And I surely cannot forget the many colors that have found their way onto the walls in my home. They all make me feel bright and vibrant.
And then there are the colors in this early morning bowl of oatmeal. I wanted and needed something that looked as good as I knew it was going to taste. I needed subtle yet invigorating excitement to set the tone for my day. Exploring and diving into what feels and looks good is a personal journey. I mean look at that drizzle of honey that has created an almost dew-drop-like essence! Yes, I am serious about my creations even if they are in a paper bowl.
I encourage you to find simple happiness, choose your color palette and allow those tastes and feels to come to life.
Now... What'll it be for lunch?! 🎨
I've always been intrigued by the notion of a booth that offers kisses for only a quarter. Is this just a peck on the lips, a sweet and sincere kiss on the cheek, or a weird yet effective kiss in the air? Either way, I give props to the person behind and in front of the booth.
It's love day! A special day set aside to celebrate the passion and beauty of love. The gift of its existence and the sexiness behind this man made national holiday that we all love so much. Flowers are ordered, gifts have been shipped, and special nights are brewing for that special someone. If it seems appropriate to raise both eyebrows in a rapid motion, now would be the time.
What does love mean to you? It could be many things, but I do know it is different for everyone and that is what makes it so unique.
The feelings you have when you spend time with your family. A racing heartbeat when a certain someone comes around, or the way you feel about your little 4 legged friends. The feeling of being connected to someone in ways that speak to the love language you two have created together. Just as good as this day can feel, there are some who can't wait for this celebration of sorts to end. Perhaps you have gone through a failed relationship, or maybe you are grieving over the loss of your loved one. It is safe to say most of us have experienced both at some point in our lives. There is also a strong possibility you simply don't get into the fluff and hoopla of it!
I get into the festivities as much as I feel the need to. It's fun for me, however I am also a hopeless romantic. I'm a sucker for a sappy love story on screen and in real life. I believe in love at first sight and all things that are of this perfect gift from God. Love is expressed daily, not just when the world says we should show it the most. As fortune would have it, I found love within myself, for without it, I wouldn't know what true love should feel like, or more importantly, how to express it.
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day and all days are amazing, full of love and happiness from the inside out. My curiosity has gotten the best of me, so I'm headed out in search of this kissing booth. I want to make sure I'm first in line!
"Love thy neighbor- and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier." -Mae West
In all things great, one never seems to be enough. Aja Graydon and Fatin Danztler are the Philly-based dynamic duo you all know and love as Kindred the Family Soul. Their voices marry together in a way that has created a dynamic vibe you want to hear over and over again. As we listen to music we pay close attention to the lyrics, but we also want to feel the songs and have a true connection. The authenticity of the music they have created over the years allows the listener to relate and groove at the same time. Celebrating 20 years since the release of their debut album, Surrender To love, this married duo gives us an inside view to the start of their careers, the importance of maintaining the love, their latest and 7th album release, what they are working on next, and much more.
This year marks 20 years since the release of your debut album, ‘Surrender to Love’ which received a Soul Train Award and BET Award nomination. What was it like to release your first album and were you nervous about how the world would receive your music?
AJA - It was very exciting because both of us had been in some facet of the business since we were teenagers, trying to find our identity and our place in the business. Finally, we'd reached the point where our art would be presented and so we naturally felt nervous and relieved. We had 2 small children by then and much was riding on the success of it. I also remember a great sense of accomplishment, it made us that much closer.
FATIN - Surrender to love turning twenty makes me think back to a much simpler time in our lives but one that was full of a lot of great creative energy. We were overwhelmed with gratitude and joy to release a record that was literally born out of the live performances we put on weekly in a small club. So to try to translate that LIVE energy and bottle it up for sale was difficult and challenging but has been a true blessing to our lives. It stands as a time capsule to a milestone period in our lives. We certainly were nervous as to how it would be received, but also confident in the ways the material had resonated with the audience we had earned early on.
Music is a soulful feeling that tells a story in the most unique ways. The way that your lyrics and voices come together is always a head-shaking, and vibe-induced moment. When you are writing the lyrics to your songs, how do you know once you have created something magical?
AJA - We just listen for what clicks. No matter who takes the lead on an idea, it's about a vibe. When it connects authentically to us, we feel pretty confident it will resonate with someone else.
FATIN - I wouldn’t say you know lyrics are magical but you do know when they speak to you and that’s the first step of being confident enough to record them. You hear it back many times before anyone else does so you begin to believe in it before it’s critiqued. Sometimes it’s golden and sometimes not so much, but it always comes from the heart.
I remember with great certainty that history class was by far the subject I truly disliked studying the most. Reason being, I never felt a connection with any of the stories I read in the provided textbooks. What was deemed by the school board as standard for teaching guidelines, left the students lacking and void of their history which is rich in culture and holds centuries of legacy.
James Baldwin stated, “I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history, because it seemed that history had been taught without cognizance of my presence.”
The thoughts of Baldwin would be echoed by many before and after him. Half a century earlier, when Carter G. Woodson, a scholar whose dedication to celebrating the historic contributions of Black people led to the establishment of Black History Month, set the foundation in 1976 for what would become today’s national Black History Month, observed each February.
History has said to have a bad habit of repeating itself. The good, the bad, and often times the ugly. Rewriting the past is impossible, however, helping shape the future is a task we are all faced with and should be concerned with. As times continue to pass me by, the importance of Black history is forever in my mind in hopes that it is never lost.
Knowledge is one of the keys to life, and with it comes a treasure far more precious than any rare gem you could ever find. As we enter into this month long celebration of Black history we are in no way shape or form saying that the other 11 months of the year shouldn’t reflect on the history lessons that are forever there, it is just giving our culture a special moment in time to celebrate and add to the legacies before and long after us.
There are many ways to celebrate Black History month and learn more about the culture, life and legacy of those past and present. A history lesson is not just taught in class, it extends far beyond into your home life, the work that is done in the community, and the ways you can help to continue adding to our rich history.
The more you get involved, the more you know. The more you understand, the more you are able to teach and share. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, it takes time and patience to truly educate yourself on the important facts of our culture. The beautiful thing about history is, once you know more about the past your eyes are now opened to the possibilities of the future. Keeping the stories alive, sharing our life experiences, learning more of our heritage, are all reasons this month is so important and will always be.
“With our future ahead of us and the ancestors beside us, THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN’T DO!”
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman