Dec 31, 2013

Cash Money Taking Over for the '99 and 2014

Many people have been writing insightful posts reflecting on the past year and what they have learned. I, however, decided that I should probably look back on my reflection post from last year before I penned a new one proclaiming all this fantastical shit for 2014.
"Your life and the current state of everything in it is a reflection of the choices you've made. It's up to you, and you alone, to create your own happiness. I believe God has a plan for all of us, but we're charged with making sure we wake up each day and are proactively taking steps towards getting closer to our dreams."                                                                                       -Ishea
This year has been a lot of change for me. I moved in with my boyfriend, moved across the country, started a new job, got a new puppy... decided I wanted to long term transition again lol. I've also learned to be accountable for how outrageously emotional I am, have more intention with my prayers, be grateful for the small things, appreciate my friends, value being on time (this was a hard one lol), and enjoy the moment!

As I sit here waiting to pop a bottle of Champagne and do the official countdown (gotta love West Coast living lol... it's only 11:36p), I'm faced with another year and verbalizing what I'd like to accomplish in the next 365 days.

1) In 2013 I lost 15lbs and was extremely proud of myself. In 2014 I want to continue focusing on my health, and challenging myself to be the best version of myself now. I am adopting the mindset of having a year round body and not being one of those people that fall off during the winter and lose my damn mind trying to "get right" for a vacation or summer season. Health is a 24/7 thing, not just a long weekend in the tropics or 3 months in the summer.

2) Have more intention with my prayers. God answers prayers, but I've learned that when I have vague prayers I received vague answers. Have you ever been like, Thanks God... but dang, that's not how I imagined XYZ happening? Me too! I know that life happens and God doesn't always answer prayers in the exact way we've imagined, so I have learned to become more intentional with my vision and prayers.

3) Dental insurance is a blessing!! I know this may seem trivial, but I've maxed out my dental insurance every year for the past few years. Something I'm focused on in 2014 is continuing to take care of my dental health and finally get my wisdom teeth pulled! I am SO excited about this...y'all have no idea. I tried to get it done last week, but the dentist's office was closed for the holiday.

4) Travel. I am focusing on investing money into making memories, not material things. I'd like to take at least 3-4 trips a year, 2 of which I would like to be International. I turn 30 in 6 months and have my eyes set on celebrating in a tropical locale. Operation passport stamps is in full effect. Another minor goal is finding another couple to travel with. This may seem silly, but I seriously want to have another couple that can take trips with my boyfriend and I. Ideally they'd be in their early 30s, no kids, enjoy water sports, light-hearted... do you know anyone? lol...

Amy Adam in American Hustle
5) Discipline! This is something I started working on towards the end of 2013 and I want to continue working on this in 2014. I have a lot of ideas. I know I'm amazeballs... but without discipline, nothing matters. There are so many things I could name, but I realized that everything falls underneath the umbrella of discipline. So yeah, it's a goal in 2014.

6) Goals! I've always been a goal setter, but I think I need to revamp the way I set my goals in order to more realistically achieve them.

7) Dripping Swagu. Yeah, using the term "swagu" might be a bit lame, but I still like the word. I saw American Hustle the other day and Amy Adams slayed in the movie!!! She was oozing sex appeal and drip dropping swagu across the entire screen. I want to make it a priority to cultivate a personal style and not be scared to wear whatever I like. One minute I want to be boho. The next I want to be a glamour puss! The next I look like a yoga instructor. Whatever floats my boat... I want to set sail.

Dec 30, 2013

Growing out Straight Ends on Natural Hair

While D. Wade was out knocking up old putang, I was at home trying to make sense of this random straight piece of hair lol! Yes, gotta love First World Problems.

Somewhere between excessive heat and color, my hair texture changed. Thus, I've been in the process of growing out my damaged ends, usually using perm rods to get a universal curl at the bottom.

Last night I noticed this rogue strand of hair and rolled my eyes into the back of my head. It's beyond annoying. I debated cutting it off, but I'm trying really hard to be one of those awesome naturals that can long term transition their straighter ends away! Let's see how this goes...

Dec 29, 2013

Beyonce Spends $6k on Sex Toys?

When news broke of Beyonce and Jay-Z having a $6k "Drunk in Love" shopping spree in a sex shop, it got me to thinking... how does one actually drop $6k in a sex shop?

Babeland Official Store, Jimmyjane Little Steel Tonight Eternity, Vibrators, 01 625 00
Jimmyjane Little Steel Tonight
Well, first my boyfriend asked the question... let me give him some credit, but then it got me to thinking... what in the world can someone spend $6k worth of coins on? Gold plated butt plugs, sex swings covered in Swarvoski Crystals, a fancy dildo for each day of the week?

Well, I did a little research (because I live in Seattle and I actually DO have that type of free time lol) and if you're in the market to drop thousands of dollars on sex toys, there IS an actual market for you!

Retailer 'Babeland' (the store Beyonce and Jay-Z were at), has a host of items to tickle your fancy.  I did a little research and discovered the Jimmyjane Little Steel Tonight Eternity vibrator retails for $2k.

Yes!! You read that correctly. 2 Thousand dollars. Why? Well, one end is covered in 28 round cut, black diamonds. If diamonds are a girl's best friend, this vibrator takes things to the next level! Yowzers.

Babeland Official Store, Lelo Yva, Vibrators, 01 043 00
Lelo Yva Vibrator
Or you could buy the Lelo Yva, an 18-karat gold plated vibrator for $3,900!! Those are a lot of coins to drop on sexual pleasure.

Just looking at the prices on these items had my eyes bulging out of my head. Yes, this is probably chump change to the Carters, but all I could think about was: 1) buying a vibrator for $4k OR 2) hopping a flight to Thailand and luxuriating for a week or two. Hmmmm... that's an easy decision to make lol.

So, my question to you: What's the most you've ever dropped on sex toys?

Dec 28, 2013

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Bellari VP130 Preamp

For Christmas I bought my BF a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon record player and Bellari VP130 Preamp. Once we got everything hooked up, we let it spin... and let me tell you, there's something so nostalgic about letting a record play! And not just any record... Marvin Gaye! Ooh-wee... no wonder so many babies were made back in the day.

Take a listen to the sound!!

** A full review will come once we've had it for a month or two **

Dec 27, 2013

Merry Christmas from Seattle

Hola from Seattle! I meant to post this 2 days ago, but the turn down has been real y'all. Being able to enjoy a few days without the obligation to do anything has been pure bliss! As for Christmas, it was full of love, laughs, and relaxation! Oh, and presents! Black Santa brought me a snazzy new laptop (touchscreen!!! Praise him....), Garrett's popcorn (instant Chicago fix), a NutriBullet (obsessed!!!! *in my Oprah voice*), and a cool water filter for my hikes.

I haven't been festive about Christmas in years, so this was the first time in a long I got into things (as evidenced by my Mrs. Clause outfit to the left lol).  We did a mini-throw down for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner, but have been avoiding food comas and just chilling out.

I hope your holiday was amazeballs (or as my BF has started saying, "Elite Juice" -_- )

Dec 17, 2013

The Best Bra for Large Breasts (via @SomaIntimates)

It took many years and honestly I never thought it'd actually happen, but I finally found the perfect bra for large breasts! Hallelujah... Praise Jesus!

A few months ago I went to Soma Intimates for the first time, and got a fitting. I had lost weight and reached a point where I needed new bras. I had never heard of them before, but it seemed like a nice, mature store for bras. Let's keep it real... when you're over a DD, you can't just go anywhere.

So, after getting my new size (34DDD) I proceeded to try on a few styles. When all was said and done I walked out of there with 4 different styles, but the one that has proven to be the biggest win was their Vanishing Back Unlined Front Close Bra.

I don't know how to accurately put into words how truly amazing this bra has been. My life will never be the same. Seriously... The back of the bra works to smooth out all of the lines and bulges you can get from straps. One of the pet peeves I have is that some companies assume if you have large breasts you have a large body. Petite women with large breasts can sometimes pull their straps so tight it causes you to look like you have back fat that doesn't exist. Now, if you actually have a lot of back fat, this won't replace working out lol. This isn't shapewear, but for me this has done a phenomenal job at smoothing everything out. I have never felt so confident wearing t-shirts. The front-hook closure is easy to use and the straps adjust with ease. My only con is that this bra doesn't come in a wide range of colors. Like many bras for larger sizes, it's only available in black, tan, or a light nude.

I've had the bra for about 3-4 months and have definitely put it through its paces. It's phenomenal! If you're someone with large breasts and searching for the perfect t-shirt bra, please find your nearest Soma Intimates Boutique and give this a try. I promise your life force will cry out unicorn tears.

To find your nearest Soma Intimates Boutique click here.

Dec 16, 2013

My First Real Christmas Tree

'Twas the week before Christmas and this Seattle transplant couple finally decided to get festive and buy a tree! Whole Foods was selling 6-7 ft Fir trees for $40, which I considered a great deal for a luscious, full and REAL tree.

I know this might be basic holiday fare for most, but it's a new thing for me as I've never had a real tree in my life, and hadn't done the holiday decorating thing as an adult.

Now, we have a beautiful tree, ornaments for days, and even stockings with bells! It's a Christmas explosion (by my terms) in our house. As we trimmed the tree, sipped on wine, and listened to holiday music it instantly spread holiday cheer. I was like, oh... NOW I get it lol.

How do you celebrate the holidays?

Dec 12, 2013

Thick Neck Thursday: Beard Season

Here Is a Jason Momoa Appreciation Gif Wall Because Jason Momoa
'Tis the season to turn all the way up and praise the lord for beards! Yes, that glorious, downward growing crown of jewels only a lucky few are able to grow.

There's just something so sexy about a man that can grow a beard. A nice full beard. Not a struggle beard. Let's keep it 100 -- we ALL know someone that has that odd patchy looking beard. Why? I don't know... like a guy going bald yet trying to hang on to those few strands... just let it go!

Anyways, who better to kick off Beard Season than the ultimate thick neck Jason Momoa. Can we take a moment of silence for the fine specimen of man that is Jason Momoa... and the church said Amen!!! So, yeah... in honor of beard season (my favorite season), I'm going to dedicate every thick neck Thursday to our bearded beauties!

Come join me for this exciting ride using the hashtag #TNTBeardSeason

Photo: Source

Dec 9, 2013

Seattle Public Transit (via @KCMetroBus)

Guess who's back riding the bus!! I'm probably the only person that actually gets excited about a commute on public transit, but it's mainly for the blog fodder. I wasn't sure if Seattle would bring the crazy shenanigans I was accustomed to seeing on the CTA (i.e. Adventures on the CTA), but after my first week riding the bus it's safe to say Seattle has its own type of crazy.

Being new to the city I had no clue how the public transit worked out here. I took to the King County Metro Bus website in order to map out my trip and see which bus route worked best for me.

After I figured that out, I downloaded the "One Bus Away" app to figure out the schedule. Seattle has been rather cold this week and I'm not about that waiting at the bus stop indefinitely life. "One Bus Away" has been pretty good at letting me know up to the minute schedules, including delays and if the bus is running ahead of time. If you're using public transportation in Seattle this app is a must!

So, the most important thing: Shenanigans! Yes, there are still shenanigans going on with the public transit system. During my first day I saw a man stumbling off the bus so drunk, he almost face planted on the pavement. I also saw a lady rocking a Dereon-type jacket with bright orange hair and a fur hood. Ghetto chic.

Well-behaved commuters
As for what I've found to be the most odd part of my particular bus route, it'd have to be how well-behaved everyone is! Yes, the people in Seattle that ride my line are for the most part quiet, well-mannered, and very ho hum. Luckily I work downtown and get to see some action from the other ratchet lines, but I might as well be riding Chicago's Brown Line or like the 151 lol... which is a HUGE change for me. Y'all know I was on the #3, #4, or god forbid #29.

Anyways, this is a pic I took the other night during my commute home. Observe the people sitting orderly, feet right in front of them, staring straight ahead or into their phones. Yes, this is what I experienced and it was quite nice. Almost like being on the Metra "quiet car." On top of that, the bus was actually clean. You mean to tell me I won't have to avoid empty bottles, sunflower seeds or piles of newspapers? Winning.

Please join me on my new adventure taking Seattle's public transit: #OrcaTales

Dec 7, 2013

Sephora Holiday Haul + Healthy Hair Update (video)

When I got to the register the lady asked if I was doing holiday shopping for anyone in particular. I said yes, myself! Ha!

I might sound cynical, but I don't really believe in having to shower others with gifts during Christmas, nor do I believe in sitting back and getting showered with gifts. My rationale? We're all working adults and usually just buy for ourselves what we want. I'm also a sentimental person and don't need one day out of the year to get someone a gift. I'm more so the type to grab something randomly because I was thinking about you or I saw it and knew you'd love it.

With that said, when I got home I was still high on endorphins and decided to film a quick haul video. I don't usually do hauls, well... I don't normally ball out in stores, thus there aren't many hauls in my life in general. It's a bit lengthy, but feel free to take a look at the things I snagged.

Dec 6, 2013

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Movie Screening (via @CocaCola)

Tomorrow night come out and honor the great life and memory of Nelson Mandela as Coca-Cola presents the screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

This event will feature a red carpet kick-off along with refreshments and prizes! Doors open at 6p, with the movie starting at 7p. While admission is complimentary a RSVP is required. Space is limited so early arrival is strongly encouraged.

To RSVP click here.

Nike Dunk Sky Hi Sneakers

I'm the furthest thing from a sneaker head, but life in Seattle has been making me feel a bit more hipster. Seattle has this extremely relaxed vibe that has been inspiring me to add a bit more comfort to my style. Of course this comfort is not going to come at the expense of having actual style... don't get it twisted, some Seattle folks take their comfortable style and look a bit too boho (read: homeless) and that's NOT what's up. I'm back commuting to work and I promised to never be one of those chicks on public transit rocking hideous gymshoes as I come and go. No way, Jose.

In an effort to have comfort and shoes that make my eyes twinkle, I thought the Nike Dunk Sky Hi line of sneakers would be the answer to my commuter shoes prayer. The 3 styles I'm currently googly eyed over are the Nike Dunk Sky Hi, Nike Dunk Sky Hi Paris, and Nike Dunk Sky Hi Sneakerboot. As of right now I'm telling myself to just pick one (the sneakerboot is in first place)... but if my money is looking right I just MIGHT snag all 3.

For all of my commuters, what's your shoe of choice for the Fall/Winter?

These shoes are absolutely gorgeous and speak to my soul! The army green and black leather make my life force delight... I can already imagine rocking these with leggings and a bold, red lip! Winter uniform.

When I initially saw these shoes I could only see the Gold. That alone was enough for me to buy them... let's be honest, my inner Persian was doing a 2-step. The quilted print is giving me a Chanel vibe, and although I'm not obsessed with the brand I do love the hints of black in the print. Black is my favorite color and these would be a dope way to add some pop to an all black get up.

These shoes make my heart sing. They were divinely made for the soles of my feet to survive my first winter in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe "survive" is a dramatic word since the winters are much more mild than Chicago... but I am beyond thrilled to welcome these sneakerboots into my wardrobe. I'm still on the fence about which color to get, but seriously... you can't go wrong with either.

Nov 30, 2013

My version of #CookingForBae (Thanksgiving 2013)

Photo: Our Thanksgiving setup... No filter lol.When I heard about the site @CookingForBae I thought it was classic! It should've been called "misadventures of trying to throw down in the kitchen"... but you know, #CookingForBae is rather catchy too lol.

Anyways,  I'm not of the mindset that you have to eat Turkey on Thanksgiving. With that said, my boyfriend and I teamed up to make the holiday dinner we wanted. He tackled his fried chicken breast (which is amazeballs) and I did the ham, greens (kale, not collard), sweet potato casserole, and cheddar garlic biscuits. For dessert I kept it simple and made a yellow cake.

It feels like all the cool kids were posting pics of their Thanksgiving meals, so I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Here is our little creation! Hope everyone had a fab holiday.

Nov 27, 2013

The Best Dog Park in Seattle

Sometimes I like Seattle. Yes, you read that right. When the sun is shining, I'm in nature, and taking in the views... Seattle is actually quite beautiful! Yesterday I had the chance to go to one of my favorite places in Seattle - - Magnuson Dog Park -- and spend some time with my puppy.

Water views at Magnuson Dog Park

Many people recommended Magnuson Dog Park and after finally realizing they weren't mispronouncing "Madison," I discovered the little slice of dog heaven! The park sits on 9 acres of land, is completely fenced in, has a special section for small dogs, multiple areas for your dog to explore and even water access! Yes, your pooch can go balls out in the lake if they'd like. It's pretty much everything any dog owner could dream of!

It's become a routine to take Khaleesi to the park at least once a week (if not more) and let her socialize, learn to be a dog, and most importantly stretch those legs and tire herself out! Lord... can we take a moment to give some praise for a tired puppy.

For any dog owners looking to give their dog a treat, I'd highly recommend a visit to Magnuson Dog Park. I promise you'll be thrilled to discover this gem and enjoy your time in nature while your puppy goes bizzerk.

Magnuson Dog Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE
(click here for the website)

Nov 25, 2013

Charlie Murphy Performing in Seattle 1/11/14

Mark your calendars: Charlie Murphy is coming to Seattle! After the Wayne Brady show fell through, I'm excited to finally see one of my favorite Chappelle Show alums perform live. I'm sure it's a bit of a stretch, but I'd love to hear at least 1 Rick James joke (yes, it's old lol...), but who knows if he'll actually do it. Anyone plan on going?

When: Saturday January 11th, 2014
Where: The Neptune Theatre
Time: 8p (Doors Open at 7p)
Cost: $30 General Admission (click here)

Also... just because Mr.Murphy (aka one-half of "Twin Brother Darkness") was feeling my post...

Nov 21, 2013

Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23

"Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23" - - such a cute, quirky show that was full of humor and cast members I wanted to know in real life. I hate when I get sucked into a show via Netflix, only to realize that it's been cancelled.

There I was deep into season 2 and then BAM. Nothing. It's all gone. No smooth ending. No story lines coming full circle. I'm just sitting here, waiting to learn what else happens... but nothing else does happen.

Most of all I'll miss Luther - - full of wit and sass! I loved him. Oh, Luther... come be my real life gay bff! I'm in dire need.

Anyways, I've accepted that had I (and others) actually tuned in WHILE it was airing, the ratings would've been solid, and then we'd have a show to still watch. I'm going to start paying closer attention to scripted shows (Lord knows I have my fill of reality shows... I need a break from the contrived drama).

What shows are you watching and loving?

** I can admit that I've only made it through the first 5 episodes of Season 1 in Scandal. I started watching Chicago Fire too, but the episodes felt so long and I fell behind before the Season 2 premiere. What else? Prior to moving to Seattle I was on a nice stretch with Pretty Little Liars. My boyfriend, however, accused me of becoming WAY too emo (more than my usual amount lol) and was concerned about how into the teen drama I was. **

Nov 20, 2013

Marc Jacobs Gold Silk Dress
This entire look is everything to me! I wish I could not only slink around the house, but saunter around all of Seattle in this fabulous dress!!! I want to live out the rest of my days in this get up. Complete with a fierce updo and bold, dark lip! Yes...

My inner Egyptian delights whenever I see Gold, and my force is jumping up and down at this very moment. How amazeballs does she look?

Okay, I'm off to go dream about this outfit lol...

Nov 18, 2013

White Collar Brawlers: Office Rivals Settle it in the Ring (via @WCBrawlers)

Embedded image permalinkMost people have experienced at least 1 or 2 annoying co-workers in their professional life. Some keep it professional and don't say anything, some secretly vent to others, and there are some that send a mass email to the team telling them to kick rocks!

Adding some flavor to the typical fighting reality shows (i.e. The Ultimate Fighter), Esquire Network is allowing corporate Joe Blows to get in the ring and fight it out! Getting the chance to kick your co-workers ass in an HR friendly way? Umm... I think they've struck corporate TV gold! lol...

White Collar Brawlers premieres tonight at 10/9c. Feel free to live tweet the show @WCBrawlers or using the hashtag #WCBrawlers.

Nov 13, 2013

Sam Edelman "Louie" Black Fringe Booties

One of the perks of living in Seattle this time of year is the lack of extreme winter weather. While it's already started snowing back in Chicago and on the East Coast, Seattle is still in the 50s and very "sometimesy" (if that's even a word). Sometimes there's rain. Sometimes sun. Sometimes clouds. It all varies.

So, without the need to buy any snow friendly boots, I've been eyeing this dope pair booties to add to my growing Sam Edelman collection. His name was never on my radar before, but I slowly realized that all of the boots I gravitated towards were made by him. These are the latest in a growing collection.

The "Louie" boots come in a few colors and can be found on his site retailing for $160. I'm smitten with the black leather with black fringe! I am already shimmy shaking all around in my head lol.

Now, I don't have a problem dropping the money for his shoes, BUT I do know that I can usually find his shoes at Nordstrom Rack for a bit cheaper. I need to be on the hunt for these... but don't be surprised if I cop them for full price. Sometimes you just pay for what you want lol.

Nov 12, 2013

Race in America: A Conversation (via @TougoCoffee)

As a follow-up to the KUOW #BlackInSeattle series, Tougo Coffee is keeping the conversation going with a progressive talk on race in America.

Being a transplant to the Seattle area I'm always on the hunt for new places, faces, and events to explore. I look forward to meeting other people and running my mouth. Oh, and listening too lol.

When: 11/14/13
Where: Tougo Coffee 1410 18th Ave., Seattle 98122
Time: 6p - 8p

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