How Can You Not Appreciate a Madwoman?

No wallpaper, No red or yellow rooms. She thrives in her insanity, not limited by gatekeepers.  She bares no hat or thrives on tea. This madwoman is mental for she dare  push a Queen.  Not apologetic, doesn’t give a damn, mis-cite that source, Off goes your head! She will force you to read, which is a constant dread. Making you better is easier than said… Writing and fighting, this Madwoman with a laptop is something: Is she an inspiration or apparition, for in her post, she is never there. . . Drop the mad, just the woman all is done keep your spirits. you have taught, i have much to learn.Keep in touch

All that is left to say is thank you very much.

To the Underappreciated Black Man

I see you work hard,                                                                                         I worry for your wisdom untapped, battered.                                       I got your back,fight. ~ Me

This post is dedicated to the Black Men who have worked and are working hard to make a living for themselves and the others around them.  The men who are role models and teachers to youth and their peers, no matter class or intellect. This is definitely for the Black Men on university and college campuses who struggle for understanding, recognition, and opportunity. I am writing to the Black men  saturated with potential who are pushed aside and marginalized; unable to be seen past their inherit features that produced ongoing ridicule.  To the big brothers always taking care of their siblings being the keepers the country won’t be.  To the  passionately driven men,  who live for themselves and inspire others. The artists, bloggers, dances, photographers, musicians, doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, intellectuals… Thank you for working hard to build a strong foundation for the black community

This post was inspired by my close friends who are constantly sacrificing their lives to better the collective attitude of the community.

Dress for You and Others will Follow

This could be a fashion post about what celebrities wore to the Met Gala  but I don’t care for what they are wear. ( sorry for that corny rhyme there). I rather focus on what fashion means to an individual. How you dress as an extension of yourself and how you choose to express yourself on a day to day basis.

Personally, I have struggled with picking out what to wear for a good portion of my life especially in high school where life is just a maze, but once I started to grow and understand myself better, what I decided to wear became an outward expression of who I am.  Today people possibly title my style as: ethnic, unique, urban, earthy cool, and essence of the 90’s and more adjectives I cannot think of! But ultimately these words are indications of who I am and how I am.  I am a strong believer in striving to be different in all aspects of life. Especially in how a person dresses because before you interact with someone you see what the have on ( even though some days may just be a rushed outfit day) And who wants to dress like everyone else… Plus fashion and style are forms of art that I love with my whole being! Just like a person can be inspired by words and paintings. I am the same with clothes, accessorize, and shoes.  At the same time I can be uninspired, which makes me take longer to get dressed.It is all a matter of Inspiration.

As a fashionable individual and artist it is important to me to surround myself with friends who have a strong sense of personal style, so that I am always challenged and inspired. Here a few words from my style inclined friends:

“For a long time I’ve wondered why I was chosen to be in this body. Through self exploration I’ve learned to love myself genuinely and wear whatever I want. Bikinis and crop tops are not just for size 0 and I am not pretty for a big girl.                20140506-141312.jpg            I am Pretty Period. ” ~ Jasmine Everett  Instagram: @happilyeverettafter

“You have to choose to slay everyday. Dress for the life you Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetwant to live, the job you want to have, and the person you see yourself being. But don’t do think about it too much because then it doesn’t look natural, just have fun playing around with who you are. Be fierce.” ~ Darrin Von B.

Instagram: @_darrinvonb

 

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset“Fashion is about breaking the rules, what makes you, you. But all in good taste and that’s what’s really hard to find lol” -Maya Fletcher  Instagram: @milly_thekid

Fashion may seem like it is a simply superficial and archaic, but its not about the superficial things, but what is being expressed and what we can learn from a person through their style.

I have a fashion challenge for my readers: I challenge you to wear something that you normally wouldn’t wear and let me know how it goes! (Hopefully people read this and accept the challenge)

Happy Earth Day! Green and Fashionable it Can be Done!

Happy Earth Day  my fellow Earth inhabitants! In tribute to today I wanted to share some insight on being green and fashionable! Keeping in mind the sustainably mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

Of course I have to talk about thrifting because that is where I spend a good portion of my life these days ( and I recently discovered a new thrift store!), but also in the long run it reduces how much you emit into the environment. Have you ever thought of shopping at the Thrift store as an environmentally friendly practice? If you have then you are ahead of the game, but if not here are  a few reasons why it is:

  1. Thrift stores are generally closer than shopping malls and outlets etc.  So by venturing out to a thrift store you are saving gas reducing the amount of pollutants emitted into the environment
  2. When thrifting  you get a lot more for cheap prices and you can find most things you want or need in the thrift store. Plus you see how far your money is going.
  3. Thrift stores generally recycle themselves and they provide reusable bags  from grocery stores ( the plastic ones).  And even you can reuse the bag! Once all of your wonderful finds are home safe and sound.
  4. In relation to the “Reuse” aspect of the sustainability mantra, reusing and re-wearing clothes decreases waste and pollution. Constantly buying new items increases production cycle      (factory-> truck-> store) where a lot of time and energy is depleted. I am not saying never buy anything new, but be conscious of what you need to buy new and what you can  buy used.
  5. Thrift stores often help support churches and charities.
  6. The clothes you find are generally of good quality and can be easily altered to fit you better versus  buying an expensive item that  you wouldn’t even want to alter because of the price.
  7. Thrifting allows a lot of creative freedom, variety, and rare finds that will accent your wardrobe and your personal style.
  8. Plus thrift stores are forever having discount days  and sales, dependent on the day of the week it could be up to 50% off there are even sales  during holidays!

*If I haven’t gotten you to think about the possibilities of just thrifting or being green and fashionable then this is where you should be thinking about them :) .

My recent purchases from the thrift store last weekend
My recent purchases from the thrift store last weekend! 1.Chambray shirt 2. Coach purse I got for$ 3.95! 3.Printed floral button down 4. Gold earrings 5.Swimsuit/Bodysuit 6 Printed Jacket 7. Culottes

Even though thrifting has become a trend, its more than that under the surface it is an activity to do when you want to upgrade you wardrobe when you bank account is struggling. Plus It’s an unacknowledged opportunity to be green and still look like a Queen! ( I know that was super corny, but I had to do it)

Upcycling: Make it better than what it was before !                                   When you buy something without trying it on or can’t try it on and the fit is weird either donate it or convert the item into something more useful and beautiful! I practice this quite often especially with liquor bottles turned vases Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetand my pasta jars turned mason jars as seen in my  post Make Tea Not War and with t-shirts that need a little more character, I made the coolest  black bleached cut off v neck shirt, but then my friend stole it! ( insert tears), but  instead of throwing away clothes make it better: cut it, bleach it paint it, or make something new.

Here is a picture of a shirt that I made off the shoulder ( so I could show off my tattoos) after i went to a paint party. I got the shirt for aProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset dollar at the thrift store and pulled up a quick YouTube video to see how to cut it, and I will probably cut it more until it is perfect!

Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. – See more at: http://hipcycle.com/what-is-upcycling#sthash.p4IpJoxg.dpuf

 

 

 

Recycling and Fashion

No I don’t mean repeating outfits, but you could mix  up your style by mixing up what you wear together i.e. your favorite shirt with a different skirt with a blazer in closet that you never thought of…  Anywho isn’t a great feeling to go on a shopping spree and have all those bags feeling good about yourself and your  purchases? However, you get stuck with all those bags, tags, plastics, and pieces of paper after you home and your clothes are safe and sound in your closet. RECYCLE most and save the bags to be reused, but don’t keep so many bags you hoard.  Remember it is important to integrate recycling habits in aspects of your life especially, shopping because we shop for anything and everything.

Need some DIY inspiration Check out A Beautiful Mess or even ask me! I have so many ideas it would be selfish not to share! :). I hope I was able to provide some perspective of the greatness of being environmentally aware as you shop. And if you have any questions about fashion or sustainability because I am studying the latter, feel free to shoot me a line.

 

Make Tea Not War

On my ongoing adventures to  thrift stores  I make it a mission to search through the “dishes” section to see if I can  discover tea cups that possess a lot of character.  Is it weird that I think tea cups should have a special quality about them to make them worthy of tea? Perhaps, but I feel that the reason I search for interesting tea cups is because of my personal philosophy:  I rather be weird and random than the same and boring as everyone  else, because who wants to be around a boring person and life is  more fun when it is random and spontaneous. I apply this  logic to most aspects of my life, my clothes, my friends, and my tea cups.

Any who on one of my latest thrift adventures, I saw so  many tea cups overflowing with character ( see what I did there)! Now you are probably wondering how can you determine if a tea cup has character. Well, it is quite simple, actually. You just have to look and see if it has one or more of the following characteristics.

  • Funky color
  • Big or small (height and length)
  • Designs
  • Art
  • Shape
  • Handle width and shape
  • Clever sayings
  • Weight
  • Cool symbol(s)

Here are some of my pictures of tea cups with character that I found in the thrift store! Which cup do you think I bought?5 4 2 3 1 BeFunky_image4 BeFunky_image5.jpg BeFunky_image3.jpg BeFunky_image 2.jpg BeFunky_image1.jpg

 

It is also interesting to think of reasons why the tea cup ended up in the thrift store. Did someone move? Were new cups purchased? Were these neglected cups? Did someone hide something valuable in the cup when they were running away from 100 duck sizes horses? Who knows, but it is always fun to give your imagination a work out especially when things are so routine and hectic.

Tea and tea cups can be applied to life in cliche ways saying ” your cup is half full” But I rather associate tea cups with individuals. It is apparent  that not all tea cups are the same( I mean unless they are in a set but anyway) most people pick tea cups based on their individual preferences and what is a comfortable fit, just how they pick their friends.  I guess you can say I pick my cups the way I pick my friends!

My all time favorite applications of tea and tea cups is  in Alice in Wonderland  because the scene is rooted in “madness” and randomness even though the dialogue between Alice, the March Hare, and  the Mad Hatter hold some weight when applying that attitude to life.

“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Even though tea is a fairly simple topic when you connect tea to your  life, it can mean so many different things! Some days to me, tea equates to the possibilities that are in each day…

teaThis is a picture of my cold tea that I make weekly.

How I make my cold tea ( as seen in the picture)

What you need:

  • Mason jar with lid or an up-cycled jar with lid. Like mine in the picture above for it once was a pasta sauce jar.
  • Favorite tea or tea that you have been craving.  In the picture I used Tazo Green Tea, Zen
  • Agave ( I try to keep it healthy most days)
  • Water
  • Fridge
  • Whatever else you want to add

Now all you have to do is:

  • Place tea bag in jar
  • Pour boiling water over it
  • Add desired amount of agave/sweetener
  • The jar will be very hot at this point
  • Secure lid on top of the jar then put it in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
  • Once it is cold, shake it up add your additions and Enjoy!

I drink  tea hot, cold, with honey/agave, fruits,   just plain or whatever I feel it needs!

How do you create your tea?

 

Adding Thespian to My Repertoire

As a kid I did school plays and dance recitals, but mostly because it was required, well I love to dance. I remember one year in middle school, I was in Drama Club, the play that we were working on was doing Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare  and I was so over the play that I wanted to quit. Yet, the librarian who was in charge wouldn’t let me! I was acting out so much I had gone to the principal’s office! Anyway in that time of my life performing was fun when it was expressive and fluid instead of structural and dense (no offense Shakes!)

I since have learned that the way I live, create, and express myself needs to be very abstract so that I can thrive and being forced into a concrete lifestyle creates conflict.  I am a performer nonetheless, but in performing I need to connect to what I am conveying. In most performances I’ve been in it was a stifling experience. Yet, recently I was in a play rooted in culture and history and I was highly intrigued and moved…

For one of my classes this semester I had the opportunity to audition for a play or visual compilation to get extra credit. I was hesitant because I haven’t performed in such a long time, but I was open to it because who doesn’t want extra credit! The meat of the show was to celebrate Caribbean culture and women. I auditioned to dance but ended up with 3 speaking/ acting parts. Once I got the parts, I grew to further understand the purpose of the performance and the chosen pieces. My Professor Merle Collins choose excepts from well-known Caribbean literature such as Wide Sargasso Sea Weaving Water, and her own work The Ladies Are Upstairs   these contain women protagonist who endure the margins based on their gender and culture.  The chosen excerpts of these novels highlight instances of colonial and postcolonial impacts on women in the Caribbean alongside make social commentary on the conditions of that era. The name of the show was “Feast of Words and Movement”  ,the show line-up encompassed few of the many facets that celebrate the Caribbean such as dance, poetry, and music. I performed in two poetry pieces, and in the Wide Sargasso Sea except. In the poems I had to be a sister/daughter and a revolutionary escaped slave of Cuban bondage; I was the daughter of an ex-slave owner Antoinette in the novel excerpt. I enjoyed being part of all these pieces. However, I felt a great connection with being the revolutionary escaped slave because it was necessary for me to convey rage and depth to embody the woman who is ready for change, which I am too ready for.

The impactful poem is by Nancy Morejon called Black Woman:

     I still smell the foam of the seas they made me cross.  The night, I can’t remember it. The ocean itself could not remember that. But I can’t forget the first gull I made out in the distance. High, the clouds, like innocent eye-witnesses. Perhaps I haven’t forgotten my lost coast, nor my ancestral language. They left me here and here I’ve lived. And, because I worked like an animal, here I came to be born. How many Mandinga epics did I look to for strength.

I rebelled.

His Worship brought me in a public square. I embroidered His Worships coat and I bore him a male child. My son had no name.  And his worship died at the hands of an impeccable  English Lord.

I walked.

This is the land where I suffered mouth-in-the-dust and the lash. I rode the length of all its rivers. Under the sun I planted seeds, brought in the crops, but never ate those harvests. A slave barracks was my house, built with stones that I hauled myself . While I sang to the pure beat of native birds.

I rose up.

In this same land I touched the fresh blood and decayed bones of many others, brought to this land or not, the same as I. I no longer dreamt of the road to Guinea. Was it Guinea? Benin? To Madagascar? Or Cape Verde?

I walked on and on.

I strengthened the foundations of my millenary song and of my hope.

I left for the hills.

My real independence was the free slave fort and I rode with the troops of Maceo. Only a century later, together with my descendants, from a blue mountain

I came down from the Sierra.

to put an end to capital and usurer, to generals and to bourgeois. Now I exist: only today do we own, do we create. Nothing is foreign to us. The land is ours. Ours the sun and the sky, the magic and the vision. Compañeros, here I see you dance around the tree we are planting for communism. Its prodigal wood resounds.

I performed the last stanza while standing  on a block overlooking the audience. I was  told that I was captivating( even though I was super nervous because I was the last part of the play) while I hoping I did the poem justice.  This experience taught me a lot about working with others that it is crucial to  not butt-heads when working for a common goal, the methods of completion isn’t relevant when each person involved contributes a crucial part no one is more favored, there is no right or wrong way to reach the end goal. This also brought to light how people work as individuals vs. how they work in a team. I personally learned from this experience that I need to embrace my talents and connect more with my emotions since i consider myself an artist.

With all this said I can now say I dabble in most art mediums: painting, photography,music/singing, dance, poetry/writing, fashion, and THEATER.

Tell me what you do?

Finding A Voice: Part 2

I purposely took this long to do part 2 so that I could let everything settle and get my thoughts together.  I now have a better understanding of what has been holding me back and will work to embody my ideal voice, but won’t be confined to my own psychological barriers. I  am open to everything.  During my travels I came to about 3 conclusions to why I “lack” a voice during my introspective and adventurous  Spring Break. However, I will begin with the pivotal moment of my voice searching enlightenment.

photo 1

I recently started reading  Sula  by Toni Morrison and as I became more involved with the novel, the words I read  paralleled my journey during break:

“It had been an exhilarating trip but a fearful one… But she had gone on a real trip, and now she was different… I’m me. I’m not their daughter. I’m not Nel. I’m me. Me.”- Sula

As break approached I had no plans because I am in a play and thought that I had to stay home for rehearsal.  Even though I couldn’t jet set off somewhere I made the most of being home by going to the thrift store, eating at new places, and got a cool flashlight from a new friend.  Although, this was all fun and all that jazz, but  I noticed a lack of emails from the director of the play. So I decided to go to Boston, MA to visit my best friend who attends Northeastern University. Although I am old enough to make my own decisions and drink, I am the youngest of my brother and I feel a sense of responsibility when communicating with my mom. ( So I can stay the favorite haha) Yet, when I “asked” her to go to Boston, I hit myself on the head like “I should have had a V8″ because I know how she is. If I had just went without talking to her there would have been no problems. . . But I did and things  got real.

photo 4

The result of me “asking” her was yes, but then flooded me with questions: who you going with? how you getting there? am I or you paying for it? when are you going? etc. I answered all these questions with perfect answers and she was still being reluctant, not answering my phone calls/text, and providing me with irrational statements and reasons to why I should not go to Boston.  This  was her closing argument ” I don’t know his roommates so you can’t go, how about you come home for the rest of your break and hang out with so and so. I thought to myself I barely know my own roomies F that and most of my friends aren’t around.  Generally, in these types of situations with my mom  I back down and retreat, letting her have her way as I give her the satisfaction that she still controls me.  Yet, this time I was persistent, vocal, and not taking no for answer! Even though she said no  and I was sad and discouraged for an hour or so, I thought to myself I’m grown and I need to live  my life for myself and not for anyone else, including my mom.

Next thing you know I am impulse shopping and buying my bus tickets to Boston ( I bought my ticket packed my bag in the span of about maybe 15 hours until I had to be on a bus for 10 hours & I almost backed out a couple times) I told a few of my good friends where I was going just so that someone knew my whereabouts, I didn’t tell my mom.  Fast foreword living it up meeting new people and admiring the architecture in Boston. Next day my mom calls I was in shock and didn’t  answer (I die laughing) with my friends. Day after, she calls I answer she asks where I am, I say Boston and then she gives a few cold words and hangs up. I didn’t let that ruin my trip.After, four days I made it home safe and sound.

BeFunky_photo 5(1).jpg BeFunky_photo 3.jpg BeFunky_photo 2.jpg

In the end I went, I saw, and I conquered.

Yes, my behavior was quite rebellious, but I believe it the experience taught me a very important lessons that provided me with insight into myself. And what I have learned is relatable to others. These lessons are recycled and repeated everyday, but not until recently I have been able to apply them to myself.

Lesson 1: I need to live for myself.                                                                              I cannot live for my mom or anyone no matter how much I care for them. I cannot allow their own personal limitations to keep me from living and being happy. I have been given this life and I have to do what I feel is best for me and my well-being .

Lesson 2:  I shouldn’t  be afraid to experience the world alone.                I know that I am never alone, and I should welcome the opportunities  to try new things or visiting new places alone, even though it warrants to be more alert. It also builds character. lol

Lesson 3: I cannot allow fear to hold me back.                                                     I believe this speaks for itself.

With  this experience and insight newly in my mind, I am  excited for  the next adventures and learn opportunities. a little koiAll of the photos are from my adventures in Boston

Social and Cultural exploration. Journeying through people and events. Supporting those with passions and those still looking. Welcoming Inspiration. *All original photos unless stated otherwise

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