Jan 26, 2017

Love, Peace and Soul
Black History Month Party
via @HellaBlackHellaSeattle

The dope ladies of Hella Black Hella Seattle will be hosting a Black History month party on Saturday, February 4th -- right when we need more events to come together and partake in self-care and shenanigans, balancing out all the fuckshit Cheeto Satan is doing. The party will be held at LoveCityLove in Capitol Hill (14th and Pike) from 8p-Midnight. The cover is $2 and will feature moonshine by Dame The Bartender. If moonshine ain't for you, it's BYOB -- but drink responsibly. This event is FOR US BY US and we want to keep the foolishness to a minimum.

Click here for more info.

Jan 25, 2017

Valentine's Men's Hair Tailor

So, the world is officially going to shit faster than I can keep up, but while you're actively fighting against the injustices Cheeto Satan is implementing, self-care is a must! They say when you look good, it helps you to feel good and nobody is keeping men's vibes in order better than Thaddeus Valentine.

Valentine, owner of Valentine's Men's Hair Tailor, transforms hairlines, beards and lives in his North Seattle shop -- located in Greenwood on 80th Ave and Greenwood Ave North. I can honestly say I would've never ventured far enough North to discover this place... and it would've been my loss.

Valentine was one of the featured vendors at the Daybreak Pop-up Market I attended earlier this month and let me just start by saying I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the amount of time, technique and attention to detail he took doing my boyfriend's beard and hair cut. Y'all... it was seriously like watching an artist at work. I couldn't contain my excitement. Zero chill. All the way turnt up. I was so freaking happy.

The only downside to Valentine's that I could find is the price point. Looking at Valentine's pricing definitely made my jaw drop. Like, his prices are so damn high that my jaw not only dropped, but remained there for at least a solid 2 minutes. A traditional haircut with one of his stylists costs $80. That includes a shampoo, condition, and cut. A haircut with Valentine costs $160 and adds in a scalp massage. I'd liken it to seeing the master stylist/owner of a salon, which is understandably more expensive. Also keep in mind that Valentine has over 20 years of experience and is operating as a high-end "Men's Hair Tailor" and not your run of the mill barber shop. Still, this price point is high af and something I can easily see being a blocker to making Valentine's your go-to spot for regular hair cuts and beard maintenance, depending on budget.

Since my boyfriend was able to get his haircut and beard trim complimentary at the event (this is a huge value), he's going to use the next few weeks to see how the cut and beard grows out and how easily he can keep it up at home before needing to get it redone.

Beard service offered at Valentine's include Beard Maintenance ($25), Beard Shaping ($45), Beard Grooming ($65) and Beard Tailoring ($90). The website only breaks down what is included in the "Beard Maintenance" package, so you'd have to stop by the shop or give them a call to get the details on the other services.

Keeping it 100, I think a regular haircut with Valentine will be on the expensive side for my boyfriend, so it might be more of a special occasion situation, but I could see him regularly going for beard maintenance and learning how to maintain it in-between appointments. That's another highlight of Valentine's -- he's focused on educating his return clients on how to maintain their haircuts and beard shape-ups at home. We all know that 5 o'clock shadow gives no fucks about how high end of a fade you just got... it'll be growing out with a quickness.

Overall, I am happy I got to witness the technical magic of Valentine up close and personal. I can vouch for the quality of his work and the time he takes, and even with the high prices, I think it's a valuable splurge for the man who either has the coins or a special occasion. When my boyfriend first saw himself he goes, "My face has never looked this good..." and that's truly a testament to the magic Valentine is doing.

Valetine at work
A photo posted by Ishea (@sixtwentyseven) on

The first time he saw his haircut! He goes "Damn..." Watching his face light up was epic.
A video posted by Ishea (@sixtwentyseven) on

Bae admiring the "after" product of his haircut and beard trim with Valentine
A photo posted by Ishea (@sixtwentyseven) on

For more information check out his Website or Yelp Page for more reviews and pictures.

Jan 19, 2017

Night Shift Seattle
1/27 @ The Crocodile

One of my favorite Seattle dance parties is Night Shift SEA. They typically feature a rotating line-up of dope DJs and during their summer events (Day Shift) always have a bomb photo background. Good music and perfect selfies? What more could you ask for!

Well, this summer they moved their location from the easy-to-get-to Cap Hill, to the less poppin' Ciudad in Georgetown. While I'm not privy to what caused the change in scenery, it was a huge deterrence to going to their events. I know everyone isn't as OCD about location as I am, but Seattle traffic is gnarly, the public transit is still growing, and the further South you move your events, the less likely they are to have people attend. Again, this perspective is based on having most of my friends live close to Downtown (Belltown/Queen Anne/Cap Hill) or further North in Ballard or Fremont. Basically the opposite of out South lol.

When I saw the email go out saying Night Shift was launching again in Belltown it made me smile. They'll be at The Crocodile, which is a music venue I like in an accessible location, cheap Uber range, and surrounded by late night eateries (Rocco's for the win).

If you've never been to a Night Shift event, they feature a rotating line-up of DJs that range in sound from trap to house, but mainly having that hipster/hip-hop/alternative rap vibe that dominates the radio. The crowd is a mix of mostly 20- and early 30-somethings, artsy "cool kids" who usually post dope pics on Instagram and are mainstream, but in a rebel type of way. I've found the environment to be mainly inclusive, but there's definitely a strong "vibe" to the folks who regularly attend.

Advance tickets are currently $10 (not sure of the door price), but I'd suggest snagging a ticket if you wanna go. Their events tend to be very popular and with the move back to Belltown it's safe to assume they may sell out.

What: Night Shift
When: Friday, January 27th
Time: 9p - 2a
Where: The Crocodile / 2200 2nd Ave (Belltown)
Tickets: $10 Advance

Room 1 DJs (Showroom): Tony Snark, Emecks, HANSM JUSTIN, Stas THEE Boss, Young Strong.
Room 2 DJs (Back Bar): T.Wan B2B Hojo, Epaulets, DJ SJ, Max Taylor, Ratha

Jan 15, 2017

Pink Carpet Project III
A Planned Parenthood Benefit
(via @BadwillMarket)

My earliest memories related to sexual health and education came from Planned Parenthood in Chicago. I remember continuing on as an adult and visiting Planned Parenthood locations in South Carolina, Arizona, and Seattle. I actually still visit Planned Parenthood for all of my women's health needs -- Birth Control, Annual Exams, STD Testing... the center does everything. They're so much more than abortions (which is a valid and valuable service people need access too), but to think that's all they do is ridiculous and ignorant. The last time I was at the First Hill center in Seattle, I remember looking around the waiting room -- 4 men and 3 women, diverse backgrounds... all coming to the center to receive the services they need.

The fact that politicians are working so vehemently to defund the organization is sickening and mind-boggling. At the same time it's disappointing and not surprising that people would take a great thing that has REAL value and does amazing work for men and women each day, and try to shit on it with their out of touch views on women's reproductive rights and overall sexual health and access for men and women. This is some fucked up shit going on and we must band together and do the work to block the normalization of Trump, Pence and all these ignorant ass people.

One way to help is by supporting the #PinkCarpetProject event being hosted by Badwill Market at Rhino Room on Friday, January 20th from 7p to 10p. Sponsored by Seattle Magazine and The Stranger, the 21+ event will feature music, food, cocktails, art, and more!

"Burlesque performance by  the inimitable J Von Stratton, inspirational words from our keynote, Amelia Bonow from #ShoutYourAbortion, music by DJ Lady Coco, delicious appetizers from Madres Kitchen, cocktails by The Rhino Room, and booth installations of art, fashion, conversation curated by BadWill Market, featuring various woman owned businesses and artists. There will also be a silent auction where participating vendors will create and donate a one of a kind piece towards the cause."
Tickets are $25 and 100% of the proceeds (tickets sales + silent auction, plus a percentage of the bar sales) will be donated to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

For more information and tickets visit the event page.

Jan 14, 2017

Baked Kale Chips

Despite how many times I've made this recipe, it never fails that I forget the oven temp and bake time. It's actually comedic at this point, but maybe I can blame aging. Nevertheless, I always refer back to my Allrecipes account, which makes my life in the kitchen a million times easier when I'm using a recipe. Yes, I work for the brand. Yes, these opinions are authentically mine... and keeping it 100, it's the largest digital food brand in the world, so there's no need to fake the funk or draw in folks with inauthentic reviews.

My go-to Baked Kale Chips recipe has been made over 3k times, with over 1700 reviews! As the saying goes, there's no need to re-invent the wheel, so sometimes it's nice to hop on the site and find a recipe that's already been proven successful.

I've never tasted store bought kale chips, so I can't speak to how these would compare to what you can buy already made... but for me these are super easy to make and satisfy my craving for something crunchy (like a bag of chips).

Click Here for Recipe 

Recipe Tips:

1. I never have parchment paper in my house, but googled an alternative using foil rubbed down with butter. This is the way I do it each time and tend to go light on the butter... just enough to coat the foil.

2. If you don't have a salad spinner to dry your kale, do your best to make sure it's dry before throwing it in the oven. Having your kale as dry as possible to start is the key to getting crispy, not soggy kale chips.

3. If I use butter with salt, I go lighter on the sea salt and black pepper I top my kale with.

4. Don't drown your kale in olive oil -- this is another way you can end up with soggy kale chips. I think a light drizzle is just enough.

If you're on Allrecipes, feel free to add me as a friend! We've made the site more social and I'd love to stalk your recipes, reviews and food pics. Accounts are free to create.

Images via Allrecipes.com

Jan 13, 2017

Core Workshop w/ @KaisaFit

Kaisa Keranen (known simply as @KaisaFit online) is a Seattle-based fitness pro spreading the benefits of daily movement to her 300k+ followers. What first attracted me to Kaisa was how much power, energy and creativity she displayed in her Instagram fitness posts.

After meeting her in person, and having the pleasure of taking one of her FitBit Seattle classes as Zum Fitness, I was enamored with just how beautiful of a spirit she has in real life!

Kaisa not only has an enviable physique which promotes strong being beautiful, but when she jumps it's like she's weightless! The height she gets and her ability to seemingly have non-stop energy is really a source of motivation when you're taking her class.

There are so many "fitness chicks" on IG, many of whom seem to have gotten some surgery and are just half assing their way through workouts... or just pushing flat tummy tea lol... it's refreshing to have examples like Kaisa who are truly living a healthy lifestyle, encouraging people to achieve their fitness goals in a practical way (Daily Movement), and who promote body positivity. Kaisa is basically my Fitness Bae and someone you should know, especially if you're in Seattle.

This Saturday she'll be partnering with her mother Monique to teach a Core Workshop at Zum Fitness! This women's only workshop will be broken into 2 parts -- the first an hour long workout with Kaisa, followed by an hour-long discussion with her mother.

"One thing my mom and I often discuss is the concept of our core and what it means to be truly strong and grounded in who we are as human beings. We all know what our physical (external) core is but our internal core, the element that truly makes us who we are, is often neglected. Over the years my mom has taught me the importance of getting in touch with what lies underneath my skin and what it takes to be truly strong, bold and fearless in who I am as woman. Working on my internal core is a daily process but one that is often made easier with the support of my mother. She is truly the reason I am who I am today and I couldn't be more excited to have her come and share with you all."

This event has a suggested donation of $20. For tickets and more information click here.

A photo posted by Kaisa Keranen (@kaisafit) on

Images via FitBit Local and Shape

Jan 12, 2017

Seattle Twerkshop 1/20
The Boss Chick Dance Workout

Back in October a girlfriend gifted me a last minute ticket to a Seattle Twerkshop. Though I love to dance and am quite the dancing queen, I was on the fence about going to a Twerkshop... in Seattle.. and what that would actually be like. I was iffy on the flyer, didn't see much information online, but was down to be the guinea pig and see what the class had in store. Fast forward 90 mins later and I had experienced the most body positive, genuinely FUN, dance fitness class ever!

Created by classically trained dancer Simone Sobers, The Boss Chick Dance Workout is a "hardcore, hip hop, dancehall, reggaeton workout designed exclusively for women to feel sexy and get fit at the same time." What I enjoyed most about the class was coming together with women of all shapes, sizes, racial backgrounds and dance levels... getting in an intense, yet FUN workout, and burning an insane amount of calories. I think I topped out around 800-900 calories burned... it was epic and amazing.

The class includes a mix of twerk drills, twerk techniques, twerk cardio routines, floor work, isolations and a short choreo routine to end the class! Below is a video I took of the final choreo we did to close out the class back in October!

What: Seattle Twerkshop (Women Only)
When: Friday, January 20th
Time: 7p to 830p
Where: Mitchell Activity Center @ Seattle Central Community College (1718 Broadway)
Tickets: $24 in advance and $30 at the door (click here for tickets)

Note: There are no refunds, but you can transfer your ticket to someone else 

Jan 11, 2017

2017 Vibes...
Live the Life You Want

Being honest, I don't remember anything past like 1230a on NYE, so I truly woke up with a clear mind to start my 2017. My boyfriend hosted a NYE party, and after being sick for over  a week, I didn't keep in mind I'd barely been eating... so fast forward 3 Rum & Cokes later and I was entering the black out drunk club.

It's not a good look to be the drunk girl at the party, but it's even worse when you're the drunk girl in your 30s. Luckily, my boyfriend is an angel and ushered me into the bathroom when I started looking all "lights are on, but no one is home..." -- we've all been there.

So yeah... after waking up and having no recollection of getting sick, I got ready to spend time with my girlfriends at our 2nd Annual New Year's Day brunch! It was truly a joy to spend quality time with friends (nobody was on their phone for hours!!!!), cook together, speak about our goals for 2017 and create vision boards. Soak up all the black girl magic in the picture below! I love these ladies... and it truly is a blessing to be creating such wonderful friendships in my 30s. Another perk of living in Seattle and being in a city with so many adult transplants.

New Year's Day Brunch & Vision Boards with girlfriends

Despite all of the festivities, I'd have to say one of my highlights of the new year was spending time with my #BlackBroadCity boos, bonding over our shared love of Wendy's! Y'all, you already know the frosties are clutch. Or should I say Frostys? Fuck... you know what I mean. The snack size chocolate frosty is bae and makes my heart swoon. It was only made better indulging with 2 of my favorite people in the city of Seattle -- Tina and Nat steady stay clutching that MVP spot in my life.

We're nearly 2 weeks into the new year and I hope everyone is enjoying the time they have and living the life they want! That's my theme for the year -- living the life I want and "warmth". I want to strive to reduce the amount of time I spend consuming and participating in petty antics, become a warmer person, and spend my time being productive and focused on executing my own ideas. Small ways I'm starting to do this: Unfollowing some problematic or shade-driven media outlets, consuming less trash, starting my mornings with prayer and NPR while I get dressed for work (instead of a ratchet playlist), using my free time to do something productive and aligned with my hobbies and side hustles every day, and continuing to lead my interactions with warmth and ways to connect with people instead of finding ways to disqualify those around me.

Wishing everyone the best as they work on having a beautiful year!

Jan 10, 2017

The Best Nail Artist in Seattle
Peka "Impekable" Grayson

Professional. Personable. Prompt. Perfectionist. Oozing creativity and technique!!! Those are a few words that come to mind when I think of my nail artist, the BEST nail artist in Seattle, Peka "Impekable" Grayson.

Peka is not just a nail technician, but truly an artist and someone who is more than happy to collaborate with you on a design, or let her imagination run wild. She doesn't just lace Seattle nails with the dopest manis on the west coast, she also cares about nail health and takes her time with each mani. I've been rocking gel manis from Peka since last summer and my nails are the healthiest they've been since I opted for gel manicures.

Before finding Peka, I was someone who would visit my local nail shop of choice (Myano on 3rd downtown Seattle), but always wanted to find a true nail artist. I remember finding Peka on Instagram after doing a few hashtag searches and was instantly thinking, "how in the world is this talented chick in Seattle?" lol... I still have moments of shock and awe that Seattle is home to such talented creators -- but fast forward MONTHS later and Peka has done so many manicures for me.. it's turned into my monthly treat! I get excited coming up with designs and collaborating with her on what I'd like.

She works out of a solo studio space in West Seattle and is appointment only. Due to the intimate nature of her studio, no walk-ins are accepted and guests are encouraged to come alone. There is not space to bring the entire crew or kids, so go into your appointment with the expectation that this will be your solo time to treat yourself.

Oh yeah, also please do NOT be intimidated by the amount of nail extensions on her page. She is fully capable of slaying natural lines (like my manicures below) or giving you the dopest sculpted manicure you can think of. As someone who opts to rock their natural nails, I wasn't sure if she'd think my nails were boring lol... but she is such a beautiful spirit and dope chick -- she's down to transform anyone's basic nails into something they're ready to show off.

Some of the designs she's done for me:

Some of my favorite Impekable designs on other people:

To check out her work, visit her IG page, but be warned... you'll find yourself DEEP in her timeline ogling over all the bomb designs.

To book an appointment visit her GenBook Page.

1. Deposits are required when booking an appointment

2. She does not currently offer pedicure services

3. When booking your appointment online, adding nail art is a separate "a la carte" add-on. You will need to secure your regularl gel/sculpted nails appointment first (requires deposit) then go back and add-on your nail art service (does not require an additional deposit). This is a quirk with the GenBook platform and something Peka is trying to update to make booking both appointments easier.

4. Nail art is charged based on the level of intricacy of the designs and length of time. Her website has full details.

5. Clients who arrive late will be charged a late fee! Peka does a wonderful job spacing out her appointments and making sure enough time is allotted. She won't have you in there all day, so respect her time and your appointment... otherwise, you'll cough up some additional coins. Most people know I am NOT prompt, yet I'm always at least 5-10 mins early for my appointments and always finish on time.

6. Peka LOVES to collaborate! You can feel free to send her some ideas you have in  mind and give her time ahead of your appointment to put her creative spin on it.

Images via SixTwentySeven IG & ImpekableNails IG

Jan 9, 2017

Culturally Expressive Yoga
(via @YogabyBiola)

Inhale. Exhale. Throw that ass in a circle? There's something beautiful about combining the ancient practice of yoga with the modern influences of trap music that makes my little ratchet heart soar. What makes it even better is having an insanely dope black woman lead the movement and change the typical face of yoga in media.

The brainchild of Seattle yogi Biola Akanni (pronounced bee-AHH-luh), these new classes are aimed at "liberating your mind and body through culturally expressive yoga rooted in yogic philosophy infused with creative movement and music."

Through her business, Yoga by Biola, she's currently offering 3 Culturally Expressive Yoga classes: Zen Tea Gentle, Trap Vinyasa, and Divine Feminine Hatha. In addition to these classes, she also teaches more traditional yoga classes at 8 Limbs in West Seattle and Zum Fitness downtown Seattle.
Y'all know I have minimal chill when it comes to discovering dope women of color doing stuff in Seattle, so I was thrilled to connect with Biola last week for drinks and chit chat. Her spirit is such a beautiful balance of peaceful/zen yogi and quirky black girl magic -- consider her your guide in vibe alignment with a turnt twist! A perk of living in Seattle is having access to so many unique small business owners. I personally find it very rewarding genuinely support women of color and other small business owners in my everyday life.

I've always found regular (non-heated) yoga to be a bit boring... mainly because my mind wanders and I always struggled to focus on the practice. I'm excited to try Biola's Culturally Expressive Yoga classes, especially Trap Vinyasa... because, Trap Music is damn near the "bacon" of music... it makes everything better!

For more information check out Biola's website.

Images via YogabyBiola.com

Jan 4, 2017

Daybreak Pop-Up Market 1/8
(via @cedarroomseattle)

One of the perks of living in Seattle is having access to a plethora of locally owned, small business owners who create dope shit. I've been a huge fan of the Badwill Market monthly pop-up shop in Capitol Hill @ Rhino Room, so I was thrilled to discover another local market pop-up in Ballard this upcoming Sunday -- Daybreak

Presented in partnership with Cedar Room Seattle and Stash Pot Shop (with support from Lagunitas Brewing Co.), this quarterly pop-up market will feature local vendors, art, music, and food/drinks. Some of my favorite vendors who will be there include Plantuary (they have an amazing selection of plants and cute pottery), Genuine Gem Seattle (I've purchased some of my favorite chokers from them), and Top Coat Sea who will be doing complimentary nail art designs!! Yes... that's right... COMPLIMENTARY NAIL ART!! Free 99. If you need to refresh that holiday mani for the low, it doesn't get any lower in $$$ than this.

This will be my first time attending Daybreak, but I've purchased from some of the vendors before and always had a great experience. My advice would be to come on the earlier side and snag your favorite items. I've definitely missed out on some cool finds showing up later in the day.

For more info visit the Facebook Event page.

Where: Cedar Room Seattle / 4912 Leary Ave. NW / Seattle
Time: 1p to 7p
Cost: Free

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