Music Monday: zambra gitana by paco de lucia

Melodic guitar rifts, classic flamenco rhythms… These are the words to describe Paco de Lucia. His death in Feb 2014 was a tragic one as he was “one of the most celebrated flamenco guitarists”. He is the ambassador of flamenco to the world. His music is also perfect for this fall season in DC.

Do you like flamenco?

1. Because Blackness, in its essence, is about innovation and creativity born out of circumstance. It’s assigning practical solutions to less than ideal situations. It’s how soul food was created…on How to Get Away With Murder last night, Blackness allowed Shonda Rhimes to create a 120 second-long scene unlike anything we’ve ever seen on television before.

My American Culture: The VSB blog, WHY THE “UNMASKING” OF VIOLA DAVIS ON HTGAWM IS THE BLACKEST THING WE’VE EVER SEEN THIS WEEK

One of my favorite African American social commentary blogs, Very Smart Brothers hit a home run today on their blog. To read the rest of the opinion piece and the equally amazing commentary, read on here: http://goo.gl/ONKXeO

My Life: Accepting Love, Support, and Finding a Partner to Help Take Down Your Braids

Never did I think that I would find someone that would enhance my life like Marco does. While we may not come from the same background, we share so many of the same goals, aspirations, etc. We also support each other through everything. No relationship is perfect but if you can find a man who will put cream in your hair to stop your braids from itching and to take your braids down, that’s amazing shit.

My Life: Accepting Love, Support, and Finding a Partner to Help Take Down Your Braids

Never did I think that I would find someone that would enhance my life like Marco does. While we may not come from the same background, we share so many of the same goals, aspirations, etc. We also support each other through everything. No relationship is perfect but if you can find a man who will put cream in your hair to stop your braids from itching and to take your braids down, that’s amazing shit.

Beefing Up Your Social Calendar: W Hotel DC presents The Factory Party

"Ever wondered where Andy Warhol conceptualized and made his iconic Pop art masterpieces? Allow us to take you back in time and into The Factory, Warhol’s New York City studio and hip haven where all the action happened and his so-called Superstars inspired him…

"The Factory was more than just the place where Warhol worked; it was also his breeding ground of ideas, where he surrounded himself with a menagerie of people who served as his inspirations, collaborators, and movie stars: fellow artists, musicians, actresses, socialites, drug addicts, drag queens, free thinkers, and many others. All of them later came to be known as Warhol’s Superstars."-lomography.com

Come out and experience a fab event in your best warhol inspired ensemble.

Recipes: Celebrating Fall with Simplicity, An Apple Chip Recipe

This weekend I headed to Homestead Farm in Virginia with friends. I picked close to fifteen pounds of apples. That means i will be sting apples all autumn and until the beginning of winter. This weekend I made an apple cake, apple cinnamon topping for my Greek yogurt, and apple chips. The apple chips are a great alternative to regular potato chips. I call this a fall simplicity recipe.

Ingredients
1-2 apples (use a crisp apple like honey crisp)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of sugar (I used baking stevia)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Use a sharp knife or mandolin to slice the apples thinly. Discard seeds. Prepare a baking sheet, spray with a little oil and arrange apple slices on it without overlapping. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the apples.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, then flip. Continue baking for 1-2 hours, flipping occasionally, until the apple slices are no longer moist. Store in airtight container.

My International Culture: Exploring the Concept of Blackness with Tavis Smiley and Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi

Two days ago, I watched this interview with two of America’s most intriguing black figures, Tavis Smiley and Chimamanda Ngozi. I knew the interview would tackle difficult subjects regarding race relations in the United States.

The conversation between the two reminded me that I need to have more uncomfortable conversations about race with some people. I’m confronted with predjuidce statements by people who are often well-intentioned but are not sensitive or willing to confront there propensity to avoid discussions about race.

What did you think of the interview? What does blackness mean to you as an American or as a foreigner?

fitness to the test: basically, i am a ballerina.

(I am whatever I say I am, thank you.)

Okay, I’m not a ballerina but I did take my first barre class in Clarendon’s own barre tech studio. Barre “is a one hour full body workout that fuses the best elements of ballet, pilates, sports conditioning and stretching for a truly unique and fun experience. The moves are low impact but high intensity intervals of strength training followed immediately by deep recovery stretching.”

The class was hosted by Clarendon Mom’s blog complete with giveaways, my reintroduction into the DC blogosphere, and mocktails. The class was challenging and a great total body workout. I love powerlifting so I laughed at the thought one one pound weights. At the end of the class the weights felt like they weighed a million pounds!

As I said last week, every week I’m going to try something new. Last week, it was bare fitness. Who knows what it will be this week…

Music Monday : Marcia Aitken “I’m Still In Love With You”

My mantra as of last week was to wake up grateful everyday and start the day with a positive attitude. Today, I woke up with a major belly ache because of take out I ate last night. However, a nap and some home cooking made me feel better. This song popped into my head a minute ago after working out. Just hearing the hook made me feel even more alive.

What’s your favorite reggae classic?

My Life: Exploring a Washington DC Treasure, the Kennedy Center

I am a history buff. While in DC, I am consistently surrounded by the rich, sometimes tragic, and complex aspects of my country’s past.

This past weekend I headed to an event at the Center. I enjoyed taking a break from my intense studies and introvert tendencies to explore. Even though I have lived in DC multiple times, I always find something new to love about my life here. I will make it a point to participate in some new activity every week.

What is your favorite aspect of living in your current city?

Music Monday: The Roots “Star”

Yesterday, I attended a free concert/spoken word/NPR podcast taping at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center. DJ Questlove and lyricist Black Thought of the Roots crew performed a compilation of some of there greatest hits. I left inspired and reminded of why I became a fan. Today, I present to you one of my favorite tracks.

Happy Monday!

My Life: Reasons Why I Love Fall

The Fall season celebrates the part of my personality that isn’t very apparent, my proclivity for being an introvert. To me, Fall signifies curling up on the couch in a big fluffy sweater and wool socks. Fall means hot, creamy soups with warm crusty bread for lunch and dinner. Fall means spending time in the park with my pups while they play in the freshly fallen leaves.

While I am not a fan of the cold, I do love the smell of the air during fall. It smells wet, new, and earthy. My last two falls were in Mexico and it never truly felt like fall. Now, I’m back in DC. That means I can hike in the beautiful Virginia parks, go apple picking with my beau, and visit a winery while stopping to admire the fall foliage.

What are you favorite things about fall?

Pictures via google images

My Life: Finding Motivation or Riding the Nope Train

Learning a new language full time comes with certain challenges that I have forgotten (Example learning Spanish two years ago). The biggest issue is self-motivation. Yes, learning French is useful for my upcoming work assignment in Brussels but it is also going to be necessary to make friends, go grocery shopping, getting around, hosting events, etc.

The best advice I received to reach my French learning goal is to take breaks. After five hours of class I can not come home and launch into my three hours of homework nor play on my other French practice apps I downloaded on my IPad. I need to workout, eat, clean, talk to my partner, or take my dogs on a walk.

I think the infographic on productivity will give me the push I need to make it through my French training. However, sometimes I just need to ride the nope train.

How do you keep yourself motivated to complete a long-term goal?

Music Monday: “Nah” by Jungleussy

At 22 years old, this woman has had multiple career changes, realized the direction she wanted to take her life, and is more confident than most people who are twice her age. Her name stage name is Junglepussy.

Get in to it.

My Life: Back to Living in the Washington, DC Area

I’m in flux. I didn’t think moving back would be so difficult. I am without my partner, (for the time being, the fact that I will be dedicating my life to learning a new language again is just hitting me again, and I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since I lived in the DC area.

I am extremely fortunate to be able to dedicate eight months of my life to learning the French language without the burden of another career, raising children, or having to pay for language lessons. However, the work I was doing prior to learning French, was relatively easier. In order to learn French, I have to relearn how to study. I’m also dealing with learner’s guilt. Learner’s guilt means that outside of my five hours of class time, one hour of time in a computer lab, and two hours of homework, and then still practice. If I’m not studying I feel like I will fall behind my two classmates. This maybe internal pressure taken to the next level.

I’m also a new person compared to two years ago. Two years ago I was a girl starting her career. I was unhappy in my romantic relationship, I was more focused on developing my social life and knowing the right clubs and parties, and I was insecure. My insecurities manifested themselves in buying as many shoes and items of clothes I could fit in my closet.

I am now on my third week of living in DC. I realize that it will take time to get a routine down. I am not using this post to complain but to shine light on the blessings I have even though I am struggling right now.

Which difficulties are you blessed to have right now?

Fashion to the Test: The Limited’s Scandal Inspired Clothing Collection.

Scandal fans rejoice! If you are like me, you spend the majority of time watching Scandal lusting after Olivia Pope’s clothing (and her amazing apartment). You may never have her apartment but you can dress like Ms. Pope, thanks to The Limited,

On September 23rd the limited will debut the 78-piece with a price range of $49 to $250.

Watch a promo video for the collection here.

information via Dynamic Africa