Wanderlust: Chicago in Mid July

I had an amazing opportunity to visit Chicago on a multi-purpose trip. It was a weekend filled with love, laughter, food, logistical woes, shopping, reunions, career building, and new friends. Unfortunately I just learned the father of one of my closest friends from Chicago has passed away. I am deeply saddened by the loss. This blog is dedicated to RC Easley

millennium park

Michigan ave Chicago

tasteofchi

giant chia mich ave

art institute Chicago

view from bcg

petrillo

All photos were taken by me.

Thirsty Thursday: Ironbeer

Last week while strolling through my grocery store’s beverage aisle I stumbled upon Ironbeer. I don’t drink soda normally but my curiosity got the best of me. From what I understand this Cuban drink was created in 1917. The “strong man” imagery on the can is just as interesting as the taste. If half of Dr. Pepper’s 39 flavors divorced him and shacked up with Cheerwine it would taste like Ironbeer. However grab some for yourself and let me know if you agree.

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Youtube Tuesday: Hello Cupid

I really enjoy web series. Partially because I don’t have a television and partially because of the innovative and unorthodox content. One of my favorite channels, BlackandSexyTV, has a show called Hello Cupid. It’s refreshing, hilarious, and cringe worthy. If Girlfriends and Catfish had a love baby this would be it. We watch with bated breath as Whitney and her roommate Robyn navigate the dating scene with  hands clasped to our faces, peering through our fingers because their entire plan is always moments away from combustion. hellocupid Without giving too much away: the show begins with one of the characters bemoaning her lack of success with online dating.There is rarely a gathering of single friends in which the topic of dating doesn’t come up. We swap dating horror stories, give advice, and lend an ear to our friend’s frustrations. Some people are more positive than others:

but there are a lot of us with friends like Whitney- beautiful girls with dazzling personalities that feel like they are not “enough”. They feel that in order to find love they must become something other than who they truly are. In this era of gender politics, skinny vs curvy, light skin vs dark skin, class warfare, Photoshop, etc. it is very easy for someone to feel less than because he or she doesn’t fit what they presume “the mold” to be. Very rarely do people fit neatly into boxes. Many of us are just ellipses that managed to fall through the circle hole or rhombuses that squeezed our way through the square box. Somebody out there will appreciate your quirks and talents. It’s such a shame to see people on shows like Catfish and characters like Whitney waste their time hiding behind the façade when their true selves are equally or more lovable. Be authentic because someone out there is falling in love with your smile. If you are incapable of being genuine please videotape it, because it makes for great TV 🙂 Watch the show below:

Extravagantly Frugal: Club W and Garden and Gun magazine

I am really good at being fancy and frugal at the same time. If I could squeeze an extra bullet on my resume under the “Additional Information” section it would say in  8 pt font “Can make a dollar out of fifteen cents”.

One the ways I achieve this is through daily deal sites like Livingsocial. Today I scored one of my favorite magazines ever: Garden and Gun. it combines Southern charm, delicious food, and vibrant aesthetics.

Garden & Gun 1-year subscription for $10

and great deal on a wine club that I have been curious about joining. My inner oenophile rejoices

Club W Wine 6 bottles of Wine for $35

 

Get yours before the deal runs out:

Club W Wine

Garden & Gun

Save 20% with discount code: JULY20

Music Monday: Holy Ghost Party Mixtape

During study sessions in college my roommate Candice and I used to have a “Holy Ghost Party”. A long jam out session to gospel music to help inspire us to keep focused on our studies as we were determined to graduate in four years from our lovely Home by the Sea.Four years later I still utilize the term that Candice coined whenever I play inspirational music to help me focus on housework and other mundane tasks.

More recently my friend Emily was going through a tough time. I offhandedly mentioned that I listen to “Take Me to the King” on my  rough days. Emily is an adorable, blonde, super preppy Palm Beach girl and had never heard gospel music before and implored that I make her a mixtape. And thus I became: DJ Deliverance and appropriately named my mixtape “the Holy Ghost Party: a short primer on contemporary gospel music to get you through the blues. I have since shared it with several others with lots of positive feedback; alas, here it is my friends:

HOLY GHOST PARTY

  1.  Take Me to The King– Tamela Man
  2. No Weapon– Fred Hammond
  3. I Won’t Go Back-William McDowell
  4. How Great Is Our God– Chris Tomlin
  5. The Prayer– Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin
  6. We Fall Down, But We Get Up– Donnie McClurkin
  7. Never Would’ve Made It– Marvin Sapp
  8. Jehovah Knows– Lionel Peterson
  9. I Am Not Forgotten– Israel Houghton
  10. Put It On The Altar– Jessica Reedy
  11. You Don’t Know– Kiki Sheard
  12. Victory– Tye Tribbett

There are a lot of great songs missing. Perhaps I will put on my DJ Deliverance hat on and release Vol. 2 in the future.

Spiritual Sunday: You can do this!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Sometimes in life it feels like we are swimming against the current. At times it feels like the distance between where we are and where we want to be is enormous; however, with enough focus and dedication anything is possible.

I do a lot of yoga but I am not as physically fit as I would like to be. I can stretch but I can’t do sit-ups. I can bend but I am not very good at bicep curls :frown:. I want to change that so I joined a boot camp with 3 friends last week to jump start my journey. Throughout the class I thought I struggled but I made it through. The next 3 days were the real struggle.

How I was feeling on Friday Morning

I woke up on Thursday/Friday/Saturday feeling like my body hated me I was absolutely stiff and sore from head to toe. I could barely walk and attempting to sit down was a silent agony. It made me question whether I wanted to continue the boot camp but  I can’t I’m not in this alone, God is my biggest cheerleader and together we can do this.