Sep 25, 2013

In Love We All Have a Story #TheTequilaTales

"In love we all have a story..." and if you're looking to share your thoughts on love, lust and the misadventures of cuffing season, join The Tequila Tales tomorrow night (9/26) at Red Kiva.

You know the routine - - RSVP by clicking here and watch the video below to get a taste.

Follow the new YouTube page to see more of The Tequila Tale crew in action!!!

Movie Review: Baggage Claim

When I accepted an invite to pre-screen Baggage Claim, admittedly I wasn't expecting much. I had seen the previews and written it off as one of those "black movies" that crams in a bunch of talent, has a shoddy story line and sub par acting. So, last night I blew the dust off my social life and attended the pre-screening with some of the ladies in the Seattle meetup group I joined.

In short, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the plot was predictable... very typical of most romantic comedies. However, the acting was pretty good and Jill Scott definitely stole the show. Both her and Jennifer Lewis were funny and great co-stars. Being honest, the only acting that was blatantly "off" was that of Paula Patton.

I don't know if I'm alone in this... but Hollywood is really trying hard to cram Paula Patton down our throats as the "silly, hopelessly in love, black romantic comedy" chick. I'm sorry. I can't drink the tea. She's not a good actress. She comes off as very airhead/ditzy in most of her roles... and I can't tell if she's acting or if that's just her. #KanyeShrug

Some of the ladies from the Seattle meetup group
Anyways, the movie was decent. I'd recommend seeing it with your girlfriends this weekend. This isn't something you'll get dolled up to see at night. Save your night and either see it as a matinee or before 6p, so you can grab drinks/dinner/etc afterwards. It's only about 100 mins run time... give or take, so you'll still have most of your night to yourself.

Sidebar: Why wasn't Adam Brody included in the movie poster? Him and Jill Scott were the main co-stars for Paula Patton's character. This just felt strange to me... plus Tia Mowry and Lala had such small roles, they could've been left out.

Sep 19, 2013

Brazilian Blowout on Natural Hair (Seattle)

It had been about a year since my last Brazilian Blowout treatment, and I couldn't wait to get another! Being in Seattle it took a bit of digging and research to find a salon that could do both my natural, curly hair... and the original Brazilian Blowout treatment. I struck gold when I came across multiple Yelp reviews for Vasuda Salon located in downtown Seattle. I worked with a stylist by the name of Erica, and she rocked it out with my treatment.

I'll be doing a full review with before/after pics, but in the meantime here is a quick video showing the movement of the hair. If you're interested in a consultation or learning more about the treatment with the Vasuda Salon, leave your email in the comments section! I can send you a code for 10% off!! Who doesn't love free stuff lol.

Sep 18, 2013

Taren Guy's #LLYHtour hits Chicago (Event Recap)

Popular YouTuber Taren Guy (Taren916) rolled through the Windy City last week for the Luv and Learn Your Hair Tour, sponsored by Motions. While I was unable to attend the event myself, my always fabulous friend Cathy of the blog Sexy and the Chi, went out and rubbed elbows with Chicago's natural hair community in my place. Below is her recap of the event!

Taren Guy (black dress, center) and Cathy (far right)

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hitting up the Chicago stop of the Luv + Learn Your Hair Tour sponsored by Motions and hosted by Taren Guy. I've been to numerous hair shows so I was curious about what this one would bring to the table.  Also, although I don't subscribe to Taren Guy's YouTube channel, I've seen her videos and find her a likable hair celebrity, so I was curious to see how that translated in real life.
The event took place at the Palladium (formerly known as Excalibur) in downtown and consisted of a live presentation with stylist Jennifer-Rose and a panel discussion with Himay10nence (of Natural Hair Girls Make Me Sick fame) and Chicago bloggers Ms Vaughn and Meechy Monroe (known as The Monroe Sisters).  There was also a pre and post presentation cocktail hour and plenty of time to mix and mingle. 
With more and more black women going natural, these hair shows are becoming commonplace, but I feel that they offer very little to keep long-term naturals engaged.  Most of them start off with what I call Natural 101 where they talk about big chopping, moisturizing, sealing and growing hair. The subject matter always ventures into topics that deal with the deep-seated issues that we black women have with our hair and ourselves.  This hair show stuck to the established script by having natural hair bloggers, but I appreciated that they brought in a hair stylist who could offer advice about different types of black hair and not just what has worked for her.  Most of the women in attendance had beautiful natural hair, so in my opinion we could have skipped the Natural 101 portion.
The biggest draw of the night was the host Taren Guy. When she came out on the stage for the first time, the crowd roared with applause and it nearly brought her to tears.  Taren is definitely a fab chick that connects well with her audience.  I figured she would have a bigger role in the panel discussion, but in this situation she mostly played the role of the host. 
For her part, she was trying to start a dialogue in order to get us to realize that we need to embrace our hair and it’s beauty, but I don’t know if many got that message.  Although I love Taren as a personality, I’ve always felt a slight disconnect with her on a natural hair level.  I guess I’ve also viewed her as someone who prefers her hair straight, which is fine.  Also, I tend to gravitate to women who have 4A hair like myself.  I definitely came away from this event with a style crush on Ms Vaughn and I will start following Jennifer-Rose on Twitter
 Did any of you attend?  Let me know your thoughts! 
- Cathy

Sep 15, 2013

"Do I look like I'm 38?"

Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.

My first inclination is so say that blogging hasn't changed me. I've always been a vibrant light, full of personality and conversation. A motor mouth that can talk anyone under the table, my blog has served as my outlet to have diarrhea of the mouth... or fingers? Anyways...  It's just been my outlet.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same..." It's such a cliche quote, but when asked to think about the impact blogging and social media has had on my life, it rings very true. Over the years I have blogged about ups, downs, rants, raves... anything and everything that crosses my mind. I've grown throughout the years, but one thing that has always remained is my candor.

In one of my first blog posts I remember crushing on this guy that worked out at my gym. He was somewhat of an Aztec warrior god... or at least that's how I described him to my friends... but mind you, I'd never seen him up close. From a distance he was winning in life, but once I got up close I instantly knew he was older... MUCH older than me. During that time I was maybe 23, so anything over the age of 27 felt ancient. Below is a post I wrote during that time lol...

Sep 14, 2013

"Rock Forever21 but just turned 30..."

Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop. (Yes... I'm still playing catch-up with #Blogtember)

Oh, shopping... one of my favorite things to do alone. I could spend hours on end walking through stores or browsing online. My favorite place to look is Forever21. Yes, I'm 29 and still shopping at Forever21. As my bff said, "they have what I want within my budget so fuck it..." #WiseWords

Below is my latest find... a Tribal Print t-shirt dress. This is pretty much my favorite go-to dress style. You can find me in Tribal Print anything OR rocking black like my survival depends on it. Black is my favorite color... and to those people that think it's not a color... yes, black is a color you freak. Anything black, gold, or tribal print makes my life force thrive.

Also, random sidebar... the sandals I'm rocking in the below pic were originally purchased back in March at Forever21 for $26.80 - - hands down the best fashion purchase I made this year. I've rocked these shoes NON STOP and they've held up so well. I wish I bought 2 pairs in black and another in tan. Hmmm... maybe I should start looking online? Is the thirst too real? lol...

Tribal Print T-Shirt Dress - $17.80 (Forever21)

Bitching Doesn't Burn Calories

Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

I'm emotional.

I'm sure the people that know me best are probably smirking right now ... Like, You... emotional? No shit lol... But when forced to think of a distinct moment when my life took a turn, my initial response is ... well, shit... tell me a moment when life hasn't thrown me a curve ball.

As I've gotten older I've not so much learned, but started to accept that the only constant in life is change. When it rains, it pours and due to my emotional nature I tend to make things seem a million times worse than they actually are... oh, to be a dramatic, emotional cancer! A positive spin? I think I'm full of passion and can inject that into whatever I'm experiencing... good, bad, amazeballs... I just like feeling and tend to feel whatever it is quite strongly.

My boyfriend actually asked me the other day if I was bi-polar? Like, naw... I'm just vocal about almost everything that crosses my mind... which admittedly is probably quite annoying. So, yeah... I'm unable to pin point one specific moment that was more impacting than the next. Each time I'm faced with change it can feel monumental and very challenging... hindsight is 20/20 and I'm striving to face change with the optimism that "in 6 months I will look back on this and have learned ______" ... so I try to look at a situation in that way and see what I can gain from it in the moment... during the storm... and not only in hindsight once the rainbows are back out and unicorns are running around.

Life will always throw shit your way. My glass is half full and I'm on the grind to get that other 50%.... what about you?

This is me...

Friday, September 13: A self portrait

I don't know if this can be considered fashionably late, but I took this picture yesterday as we were in the car headed to see Elysium.

I was having a good hair day and feeling my cheap LA sunglasses ($8 - - broke my Ray Bans) and tribal print dress from Forever21. Although my favorite color is black, I LIVE for a great print.

Tribal prints have been in heavy life force rotation for quite a few years now. Thank you Forever21 for allowing me to keep a printed dress on deck.

Sep 9, 2013

Walking Ball of Emo

Oh, Blogtember... I'm still cranking out these posts, even if I'm currently writing this with heavy eyes. The sunshine is streaming into our apartment, and I could really use a nap. However, I'm hoping to drag out the weekend for as long as possible and enjoy the sunshine because you know, I'm in Seattle so this is liable to disappear at any moment.

Today's Blogtember post called for participants to do the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test.

The results summed up what I already knew - - I'm a walking ball of emo. 75% emo to be exact. Something that's actually funny is that a million years ago when I first started blogging, I originally called my blog "Emotional Rollercoaster" lol... I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sep 6, 2013

Doors Shouldn't Close By Themselves...

As an adult when I think of fear, I think of the type that can paralyze you, stop you in your tracks and wreak havoc on your life. There is also the type of fear unrelated to life changes, but the spooky kind... you know, lights turning off and on, footsteps when nobody is there, shadows, whispers... oh, and doors closing by themselves.

Day 4 of Blogtember asked us to describe a time when we were very afraid.

I can remember being in Jr. High and having a sleepover at a friend's house. Keep in mind this friend was notorious for having the haunted house... and no, it wasn't pretend haunted, it was legit haunted lol. The type of house you don't even want to go over because of all the stories you've heard.

So, said friend was having a sleepover and it was basically a bunch of us bubbly pre-teens. I remember being in the bedroom changing my clothes when the door, which had been wide open, suddenly started to close... by itself. No windows were open. No fans were on. There was not a single iota of wind/air to encourage the door to close. So, there I was with my pants around my ankles and watching in disbelief as the bedroom door slowly closed on me. I remember my heart feeling as if it'd beat outside my chest... I lunged for the door and grabbed the handle just as the door was itself.


I high tailed it down the stairs screaming and beyond freaked out. It's one thing to hear all the stories, but to experience it yourself? Hell no. That's for the birds. I never went back to her house.

Opinions are like buttholes...

I can't recall the year Salt N Pepa's "None of Your Business" came out, but I do remember casually telling my mother in a conversation that "opinions were like buttholes and everybody's got one." Yes, I was a very precocious child lol. Just to think that this was one of the raciest songs out during the time... oh, how things have changed.

Anyways, day 3 of Blogtember asked for us to "pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered."

As I type this there are a million things running through my mind. I'm full of unsolicited information and probably the walking epitome of someone that's never short of an opinion. True to that statement, the best advice that I've actually remembered throughout my 29 years of life is to remember that opinions are truly like buttholes and everybody's got one... including me.

Sep 4, 2013

3 Months Off? Let the Travel begin!

Day 2 of the Blogtember challenge posed the question:

If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

I have often dreamed of being able to take 6 months to a year off from my regular day to day life, so if I had the opportunity to take off for 3 months I'd be elated. So, what to do with all that time... of course I would LOVE to travel and that would be my first priority.

I have always had this dream of going to live in Paris... a quaint pied-a-terre in the heart of the city... gorging myself on croissants while perfecting my French. My days would be spent exploring and riding a charming bicycle with a basket. Drinking lattes. Wearing all black and maybe even smoking a cigarette lol. That would be month 1.

Month 2 would be spent collecting passport stamps to all of the cities I've wanted to visit, but never imagined staying long term. I'd deem it: Operation 'Get my Passport Stamp Weight up' lol. Countries like Egypt, Australia, Greece... I would take in all the sights.

My final month would consist of me indulging my inner cancerian water baby at the beach. I've always said that if I wasn't living the extreme city life (high rise condo, fast paced city, go go go lifestyle) I'd want to live on a beach, on an island. I absolutely adore the relaxed vibe of beach living. I would spend my days scuba diving, eating fresh fruit, perfecting my tan... wearing no shoes, tons of sun dresses... just the epitome of a beach babe.

The more I look at this post, the more I get inspired to actually take strides to do this. One of my favorite bloggers, Happy Black Woman, actually blogged about her travels overseas and I found it to be very inspiring. It's so easy to get caught up in our day to day life and forget that we were meant to do more than work for a company and a bottomline. By all means, please love your job... but don't forget to love your life and LIVE it to the fullest.

Sep 3, 2013

Paying for Instagram Followers?

It's safe to say the world is coming to an end... I can actually say I know someone that paid for thousands of Instagram followers.


In general, the concept of paying for followers on any social media site is nuts... completely beyond me! I mean, who wants to pay for stuff in general... let alone pretend people online. I just can't imagine doing this and find it pathetic it would ever be necessary to stoop to this level. So, have you ever known someone to pay for followers on social media sites?

It takes a village...

The first blog topic for Blogtember is to describe where or what you come from. So, let's see... the first thing that comes to mind is something I was recently told, "It takes a village to raise an Ishea." I'd have to share those sentiments. Where do I come from ... that can technically be answered by saying "Chicago," but there's more to the story.

I'm emotionally demanding and have recently realized how much I lean on those closest to me for support -- friends, family, romantic partners. It really does take a village to support me and I don't think that's a bad thing. I don't knock individuals whom have mastered the art of self-soothing, learning to take their struggles in stride and keep a stone cold poker face. I think anyone that has found a way to manage their emotions should be commended. For me, that emotional support has always come from the people around me. I view it as an extreme blessing to have a group of girlfriends I can come to at any hour of the night... that will embrace me in my failures, rejoice in my successes, and give it to me straight when I need to hear it. I thank God for parents that support me with an unconditional love, always ready to tell me the brutal truth, but love me through it all.

I guess I should say that I come not just from Chicago, but from a village of amazing people that are rooting for me to succeed. Whenever I get down, I try to remember to thank God for all of the real blessings that I can sometimes take for granted.

Part of my Village...

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