12.30.2009

Highlights of the Decade

WTH!!!! Not only is New Year's upon us but the end of the decade is here. WOW!!! I guess I hadn't quite realized that. The last turn of the decade found me on the sofa at my Granny's house fearing Y2K instead of out somewhere partying like it was 1999! LOL! Let's see back then I had just completed my first few months as assistant sports information director at Purdue. I didn't know for sure what I wanted to do with my life but I didn't think Indiana was the place I'd spend my life (maybe being stuck in the snow one too many times confirmed that). Over the last 10 years I've grown a ton, experienced a lot, racked up a lot of debt and had a ball. So today I want to take a look back at the decade. Here are the things that stand out the most for me as I think back ...

A look back at 2000-2009

2000 - I moved to Indiana in August of 1999 to work at Purdue and only knew my roommate who was my line sister from college (who just so happened to have gotten accepted to grad school there). In 2000, I stepped out of my comfort zone and attempted to make friends. It was a great decision. My strongest connection was to one of my best friends Karla. She's awesome - since she was in grad school as well as my roommate, through the two of them I began to connect with their friends (Josey and Lorna soon followed and the four of us became The Hot Girls - literally got a shot named after us! LOL!). Then there's Kendra (remember her She Makes Me Wanna?). Hanging w/K and her crew (her now hubby Pleas, BFFs Brandon, Tricey and Kristen) made me feel like I was experiencing undergrad all over again. Then I had awesome co-workers. So the highlight of '00 was really connecting with the folk in my new community.More...


2001 - September 11. The biggest change I saw in myself as a result was no longer being comfortable. It created an urgency inside of me. It also made me really REALLY want to be in love. When I'd hear the calls from the plane it made me feel so lonely. If I had been in that position,who would I have called?
2002 - Still unsettled from 9-11 I figured I'd make a move. I applied to law schools and was accepted to Thurgood Marshall in Houston. I really wanted to go to IU but I was wait listed. While waiting I moved to Chicago and stayed with my cousin. One night I went out with my "boo" who worked in a suburb near by. We drank too much and for some reason I let him drive. We ended up crashed into a light pole. That sobered me up and I happily went to school in Houston.
2003 - I was convinced my future was in entertainment so I vowed to be as active as I could wherever I lived en route to L.A. (I'd always wanted to live in 'Cali so my goal was to be as prepped as I possibly could be.) I got an intern at Music World Entertainment, home of Ms. Beyonce Knowles! It was a great experience but the fact I got "fired" because I said I knew someone that used to work there let me know this business will go on with or w/o you! That experience spurred me to learn as much as I could about the inside biz of Hollywood. I read every book written on the subject and devised a plan. I developed CHUTZPAH!
2004 - 10 years following my high school graduation and I can't remember the highlight of that year ...
2005 -
I moved to L.A.! I was living my dream. After crashing at Mistie's for a month or so, I got my first place in Koreatown (not quite my dream but it was perfect!). I LIVED in L.A. I bartended until September when my friend Brandi introduced me to Vincent Cirrincione ... and the rest is history! I was traveling like crazy in '05- fav spot Miami. I got to go to the VMAs there in Aug of that year. My flight was the last one let into the city b/c of Hurricane Katrina. My friends and I KICKED it and made jokes that we partied through a hurricane. But on Monday when I woke up back in L.A. it was horrific to see the devastation. CRAZY!
2006 -
The big 3.0.!
In celebration a host of my friends and I went back to Miami! I was surrounded by laughs and love! Later in December my friend Kendra took me and Brandon to London to see Jay-Z!!! CRAZY! (I think it was the highlight of the decade for me!)



2007 - I got my first movie credit!!! YAY! I started working for my former boss David at Brillstein during July of 2007. He was producing FIRST SUNDAY and my first day of work was the first day of shooting. I assisted him throughout filming but didn't think about credits, I was just doing my job. Well the next January I invited my little cousin Ashley as my plus one. At the end when everyone is sitting there during the credits my name popped up on the screen as assistant to the producer!!
2008 - My 22 year old cousin lost her 3 1/2 month battle with cancer. This made me really evaluate what was going on in my life. I was not happy and moving closer to my Granny was the objective. However, when I lost my job that Oct., I was not sure New Orleans was the place for me. Luckily I came anyway.
2009 - My first year in da N.O. (ya heard me!). So many memories but I guess the highlight was working my first physical production job

What are some of your personal highlights of the decade?

12.23.2009

Avatar 3D



I saw Avatar on Sunday and it was so awesome I must must must blog about it. This one has many spoilers so if you haven't seen it, don't click more!!!


This movie is AMAZING! I've heard some say the story was basic and predictable and at some points it is - you know the guy and girl are going to end up together you just don't know how. While I find the story to be well written - I mean its a James Cameron love story of course it is (remember Titanic!) - the visuals make it come alive. (The 3D is highly necessary for this one!) I felt like I was out of space. It also contained so many subliminal messages - well let me say I got some cool messages from it!
The first and biggest message was that when our national resources get low, we will go to other places and wage war to get what we need. In this film, the bounds of Earth weren't enough to stop us. MESSAGE! Going to fight a war on someone else's territory doesn't always work! But going to someone else's territory and really learning/understanding their culture and assimilating to it does.
Group prayer can really change things. In the movie the people of Pandora lived life by going with the flow of life. When things got really REALLY bad the whole village sat down and began to meditate in a sacred place. Hmmm, what would happen if everyone in America sat down with one common thought and began to meditate on it? (NOTE: This kind of happens now except we tend to focus on things like recession, war, lack...)
When you are really REALLY in love, you SEE the person for who they really heart at the core of their being. When Neytiri finally saw Sam as the mere human he was it didn't matter - she still saw HIM. The real us lies at our core and when it love (mutual, reciprocated love) that reality clearly shines through.
Awww that's it for now although I could go on. I loved that movie!

12.12.2009

My Thoughts on Infidelity

Deep breath.

Ok, I can do this. I am officially making a statement about infidelity.

This one is tough as I don't know that many people will agree with me. (People usually get where I'm coming from but this is topic I can't quite get people to see my way.)

In light of all that is going on in the world, does it really matter that the husband of a woman I don't know really affect my life? Does it affect yours?

I'm sooooo so so soooo tired of the media covering the Tiger Woods situation. I obviously know who the man is and I applaud his professional accomplishments, but at the end of the day he is simply a man married to a woman and I don't know either one of them. I don't know his true character, his likes/dislikes or what he needs in a relationship. I never heard of her except the fact they were married. So who am I to judge what they decide to do at home or in the streets?

This situation has brought up many issues for me. I have always believed that marital issues should be resolved by the two people in the marriage. I would hope that people would be more compassionate to others. We've all screwed up before but when it comes to infidelity, people say the most "holier than though" things ever! This lady on CNN said the other night that Tiger should lose every endorsement and never be allowed to make money playing golf again. Really? In "real" life, I've heard women tell other women that they'd be stupid to stay with their husband who cheated. Craziest thing ever to me! Why would I (someone without a man)tell a woman with a man to leave especially if it was an issue they are working to resolve?!?!

I've never been married and have not been in a serious relationship for some time. But I've been cheated on and lied to by people I loved. Those experiences have molded me and shaped me into the person I am today. It hurt like hell at the time but I obviously made it through and am here today. When its all said and done, if a man left me, that meant he wasn't for me and with time, I moved on (and am currently not concerned with ANY of my ex-loves). I simply wish that in matters of infidelity people would allow the two people who are married and in the relationship to move on.

11.29.2009

Are You Not Entertained?!?!?!

I promised myself that on this weekend I would save money by staying in, cleaning my place and getting some rest by laying up watching TV. There was some great things on my regular cable and I got to catch "Gladiator". I've seen this movie a gazillion times but something about when Maximus says, "Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?," always gets me going (I guess it got JayZ crunk too but I digress)! And since I'm working on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, I decided to share some of the many ways I've been being entertained lately!

SPORTS: Ummm, I live in New Orleans and the Saints are undefeated! Even when I lived in Indiana, the Colts were great but not 10 games undefeated!

MOVIES: Holiday movie times are my favorite. I'll never forget during the first year of law school I couldn't go home during the holiday b/c I was trying to make as much money as I could during the break (you're not allowed to work when class is in session during the first year. I spent my entire Christmas Day movie hopping. I've gotten to see some cool movies lately. First, I went to the New Orleans International Film Fest one Friday and caught this cool thriller TRAPPED IN KATRINA.

It was not the usual take on the Katrina tragedy nor what I anticipated to see from local independent filmmakers. I was beyond impressed and the cinematography was awesome. I'd been on the edge of my seat since October to see PRECIOUS. FINALLY it came to New Orleans. My new friend got closer to being my new boo when he got me tickets for the midnight show on the night it came out. It was so riveting. Monique was AMAZING! This movie is a must see and was well worth the wait. Finally on Thanksgiving night, I took my sister, niece and cousin (watch out for him on that Saints EA Sports commercial) to see New Moon. We had a blast although we'd all read the books so were well aware of what would happen.

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MUSIC: It goes w/o saying how I feel about Lil'Wayne since I blog about him so much. I got the NO CEILINGS mixtape and LOVE it! He used some beats of songs I don't really like and now I love 'em. My favs are probably "Let's Do It" and "Poke Her Face". I just got Lupe Fiasco's new mixtape too. (Although a virus that I just paid DELL $120 to rid me of is making me scared to download it!)

BOOKS: I'm a huge fan of Esther and Jerry Hicks after reading "Ask and It Shall Be Given." They are great authors/teachers and I'm a big fan. I got THE ASTONISHING POWER OF EMOTIONS for only $4! at Borders and I'm definitely enjoying it!


PLAYS: I got to see BADUIZMS at the Fringe Fest and it really inspired me to work on my own project for stage (details to come). BADUIZMS was a cute play inspired by the lyrics of Erykah Badu. I went with a couple of my friends and we had a blast (only in NO can you get hammered at a play!).

I HAVE been truly entertained these last few weeks. And to answer Maximus' question, this is exactly what I came for! Have you gotten into anything cool recently?

11.25.2009

Don't Forget the F

Because I'm aspiring to do my own documentary, I'm very excited to watch docs these days - ANY docs I can get my hands on. Well this one makes me very VERY excited! Its about WEEZY!!!! (I'd only be more happy to see a rapper documentary IF it were Kanye!)

Enjoy

11.24.2009

The Attitude of Gratitude


"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."

Thanksgiving time: turkey, family, football - good times! This year I've decided to build my attitude of gratitude! I'm ready to celebrate the people in my life! During the 29 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, I'm going to be contacting 29 people that I'm grateful for. Some of them know (like my mentor/old boss VC-I tell him all the time; or like my girl Erin - we end every call w/acknowledgements of how grateful we are to be in each other's lives). Some people may not know - like this lady in my building who is always so kind. I'm going to contact folk and let them know just how grateful I am for their presence in my life. I'm also looking forward to upping my meditation practice. 15 minutes a day just contemplate all the things I have to be grateful for. I'm going to pull out my gratitude journal too! YES! I'm ready for this time!

How can you be more grateful? Any plans to show gratitude?

11.17.2009

Oooohhhhweeee

Yall know I love me some Ms. Beyonce!!! I am a growing fan of Lady Gaga. So w/o further ado - my new fav video! BEYONCE AND LADY GAGA VIDEO PHONE!

Oh Well ...

Yesterday I had an epiphany.

I started a new job being an assistant to a director, producer and head writers on a TV pilot. I LOVE IT! This type of work invigorates and motivates me. I always feel great in these situations. BUT I messed up my scheduling. I thought I was coming in to just fill out start paperwork but when I arrived I ended up staying on until 9pm. Problem was I was supposed to go to my waitress job at 5:30. I called and tried to get off the schedule but management couldn't help. So I did the unthinkable (well for me that is) ... I no called/no showed. I felt really bad for a while (afterall, this tv job is only throughout the end of the year). I also felt super scared (what if I don't get a gig in January?) Money and security issues began to cloud my head.

Then I realized that this is my time - I made a decision that from my last birthday until my 35th bday I'd really pursue what I loved. Working in film, tv and entertainment as a whole MOVES me. It always has. So with that, I'm done with that particular restaurant (lol! and now I can't go to that location anymore). Over the last month, I've been working on a plethora of creative projects. One is my documentary and the second is a new stage play I'm writing. I'm very excited and really pursuing the things that drive me. I also got a great new hairstylist! She shaped up my inverted bob and it is pretty fab (pics to come).

The thing is that I know I'm creative and have some great ideas. I also realize that my goals and dreams are non-traditional so I may have to do things differently to achieve those dreams. I have been blessed that whenever I "need" a job, I get a job. I've always had one. It is just difficult sometimes to let go and let things manifest - I can be controlling. Well now is the time to just let things be. My job now is to really dedicate myself to my desire and let the Universe take care of the details. So no more being sad over that waitress job - that was never my destiny.

It is funny how things work out and happen. I got a text from my friend late last night that the new moon was in Scorpio. This is what that astrological occurrence has in store for me (Click here to see what it means for you.) Interesting huh?

New Moon in the 1st House
A new moon in the 1st house bestows a renewal within the self. Reinvent yourself. Try new things. Be bolder, more confident. Start new projects. Begin walking, talking, thinking, acting, and being the version of yourself you envision. Go on, try it out; see how it feels.

11.10.2009

She Makes Me Wanna - Pursue My Passion

I'm a firm believer that you can make friends online. I've found Twitter to be instrumental in helping me meet great, like minded people in New Orleans and one of my most inspiring connections is with Holly Hobbs. Our "introduction" proves my theory on how social networking sites help to foster friendships. I found through Twitter that we have a ton in common - we both like Mojo's Coffee on Magazine, are into supporting local artists and most importantly, we both have a HUGE crush on Harry Connick, Jr. and frequently say "fabulousness"!!!!

After initially meeting Holly on Twitter, I've found her to be highly intelligent and extremely passionate about using her talents to help make stronger communities. Like me, she's an artist. Unlike me, she's not a frustrated one trying to figure out how to let her talent be used. It seems as though this isn't a problem for Holly because she appears to let her passion guide her. Confucius said, "Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Well while Holly works extremely hard, it seems as though she's chosen great places to focus her energy and efforts. With completed documentaries under her belt, she currently works as managing director of the Patios film festival and as co-director of HipHop for Hope. Her passion is contagious and inspires me to really go after the deepest desires of my heart! Read more to see why Holly Hobbs makes me wanna pursue my passion!

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NAME: Holly Hobbs
AGE: 31 (aaaa, do I have to put that?LOL!)
HOMETOWN: Columbia, Missouri
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: New Orleans, Louisiana



EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: BA from University of Wisconsin (Gender Studies, African Studies), MA from Indiana University (Ethnomusicology), PhD coursework at University of Missouri (Folklore), finishing proposal to finish PhD at Tulane right now (Ethnomusicology).

OCCUPATION: Hmm. The general term for my field is “cultural development,” using the arts as a resource for community and economic development. And technically by training I’m an ethnomusicologist—the best term for that would be “public sector ethnomusicologist.” But I do film, and I’m a musician, and I’m the managing director of the Patois film festival here and co-direct the nonprofit Hiphop for Hope.


AS A CHILD WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: a zoologist!

DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: I love doing a thousand things and being involved in things I’m most passionate about, so yes, I do.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: School was always the best of both worlds for me—graduate school provided a creative environment, time to write and create, money to travel and research, etc. So much of my career has been in graduate school. But I started my music career by playing jazz in piano bars.

ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: Not quite yet but I’m on my way!

WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: There are so so many, and they cross the board from political figures to writers and musicians. I love Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN recently appointed by Obama. I love Lucinda Williams—I feel like she writes for me. I’m always in awe of Zora Neale Hurston’s life and work, and the work Alice Walker did to recover it. I love Dorothy Parker in all her fabulousness. Toni Morrison does it for me. So does Arundhati Roy. Wangari Maathai, who recently won the Nobel. There was a New York Times interview with Chan Marshall not too long ago where she talked about Mary J. Blige as her inspiration, and I agreed with so much of what she said. And, as always, my mom.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I’ve been so busy/stressed/etc since I moved to New Orleans that I haven’t done as much of what I love as I should. Playing & writing music is #1 for me. Other than that, I love my group of girls here. I love walks in Audubon. Coffee already made when I get up in the morning. A good book and a sunny day.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAM: Don’t ever give up!

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR MOTTO: “Good behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity.”

You can find Holly on the web at www.myspace.com/hollyvioletproductions www.patoisfilmfest.org www.hiphopforhope.org
You can also follow her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/holl_x ).
And to see the efforts of her labor live, come check out the HipHopforHope annual benefit concert this Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at Tippitina's Uptown featuring MiaX, Mannie Fresh, RajSmoove and a host of other talented artists!





11.06.2009

Month In Review

I'm watching "The View" and Joy is doing the month in review. It inspired me to do my own October month in review!

Let's see ....

10.2 - I got to shoot a PSA. My friend Tyron was working on a PSA project and I got to participate. Later that night we celebrated my friend's (Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon as she'd like to be called) birthday. We went out to dinner, First Friday's then Frenchmen - cool night. I ran into an old friend at First Friday's ...
10.9 - The plan was to go out to the Soundclash event. I was super pumped because all week on Twitter it had been super hyped/promoted. It was on Frenchmen and when I stepped onto the street, ALL the lights went out - BLACKOUT! Crazy! So I went to my favorite Bridge Lounge w/a couple of friends and ... the old friend from FF met me out.
10.10 - I got to see "Tetro" at the New Orleans Film Fest. It was amazing! I've known about this movie for some time so to finally see it was like WOW!!! After I went to Monkey Hill Bar for the LSU game. GOOD TIMES!
10.11 - I started the day by going see an indy film, "SunDogs" at the NOLA Film Fest. I then met my power women's group for beignets. The plan was to then go to see "Precious," but unfortunately, it was WAY oversold.
10.12 - I got to celebrate my new friend Holly's bday with her. It was super fun - we went to Mimi's on the Marigny and they had a special Columbus Day Sangria - YUM!
10.14 - I started a FinalCutPro workshop at NOVAC. I love learning new things - especially computer programs. The first day was extremely interesting and exciting.
10.15 - This day was AMAZING! I got to see the President of the UNITED STATES!! AND I got to ask him a question. Later that evening, I hosted my first event in New Orleans - "Tweet n' Greet". It didn't go quite as planned and I think I found I need to make a lot of money to do the type of events I want to do. Nonetheless, it was a good learning experience. (And the "old friend" came so that was good.)
10.21 - Had a date night w/the "old friend" from FF. Very nice-complete with flowers and dinner. We shall see how this one goes ...
10.26 - Went to a Reggie Bush/RedBull magazine party. It was really cool. It reminded me of corporate events in L.A. Rebirth played and there was a cool DJ. Free drinks, free food ... OH and I got to hang w/my boy Justin who is back from Hawaii.
10.29 - My friend Cristin's bday! We had dessert at Sucre and drinks at Parasol's in the afternoon! Good stuff!
10.30 - I completed my FinalCutPro workshop!!!!!
10.31 - Happy Halloween! I was a great 80's glam goddess EXCEPT no one saw me :( My plan to meet friends at Frenchmen didn't go so well. It was cool though, decided to hang out alone on my side of town ...

And that's what happened during my October. How was your month?

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am doing okay - I had a really bad cold thing this week but I think I'm over it. I feel much better and don't have a fever anymore.

I'm writing to let you know my request for this year. While I want a lot of stuff (thigh high boots, gym membership, Amazon Kindle, a Snuggie, etc) I decided to ask you for what I NEED. Santa, I NEED a MAC and a video camera. I just completed a class where I learned FinalCutPro and I think it is a necessity for me to complete my film making goals. I think that this package would really help me to complete some of the goals I have set for myself.

I've been a pretty good girl this year ... well there's those three things BUT I'm working really hard to stop doing not so good stuff. BUT I have been extra good in most areas of my life this year. I think it would be a great gift and if you could make it possible for me to receive these gifts, I would be ever so grateful.



Thank you,

DaVida Chanel

11.04.2009

Confession Time

I have a confession. Today was a rough day. I didn't sleep well last night because I had this nagging cough. I was super cold so I'd bundle up and turn on the heater only to become super hot. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for today for some time so that worked out perfectly. She gave me an exam and decided that I needed a cortisone shot and mucinexD to break up an upper respiratory infection I'm developing. But I think something bigger is going on.

I'm a firm believer that physical ailments manifest from emotional or subconscious thought patterns that literally make us sick. One of my favorite authors, Louise Hay has written many a book on the subject, my favorite being "You Can Heal Your Life." She breaks down many common illnesses and their root problem. The root problem of respiratory illness deals with not being seen in the world or the fear of taking in life fully. I believe my lack of dealing with my issues head on has made me sick.
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I'm simply not fully happy. I'm not depressed - I love most aspects of my life. New Orleans has been wonderful as far as exploring my creativity. I thoroughly enjoy the city and all it has to offer EXCEPT in one area: my career. I feel that my career is stagnant (actually regressing) and it makes me mad, sad, hurt, confused, stressed, scared and of now SICK! I hate not having a "real" job. Yes I enjoy waiting tables and my teaching thing with the girls, but I strive in environments where my work is more purposeful. I enjoy being in charge of things, people and schedules. I found my "thing" as an assistant. I was really great at running the lives of others - I always made sure my bosses were where they needed to be, prepared for their day and aware of all that was going on. Their clients loved me (and I them) and I was very well regarded. Even before then when I was a sports information director I felt the same way. I feel like I was able to really leave my mark in the places I worked and with the people I worked with. Now I do not have that same umph about life, goals and the like. While I do enjoy a lot more time on my hands, I am bored. I've tried very hard to really focus that energy on myself and my goals but it is difficult because I miss the invigoration I felt when working. I felt like I was on a path - now I feel like I'm floating aimlessly.

I need to figure out what is next for me. My biggest fear has always been to wake up on my 40th birthday and really hate my life. I'm getting a lot closer to that point and I believe I have to make moves to prepare me for what is to come. I feel like since I've been out of full-time work (Oct. 2008), I do not know how to adequately get it together. Its almost a year since I've been back South and while I've done a lot that I'm proud of, I need a job! I need to make money. I need to get it together. I thought that my time of assisting others was done and it was time to focus on my goals but now I'm not so sure. The truth is I'm not sure of anything anymore except that for the first time in forever I'm really sick. I rarely say this, but I just don't know what to do. And that admission of utter "I don't knowness" is my confession.

11.02.2009

My Lenny Experience

I'm a huge fan of live music. I love to go to shows and will go see artists I'm not very familiar with to experience their sound. For a long time, my favorite would be to see artists in small venues. (I always felt like you could really connect with their energy in a small, confined space). This changed when I lived in Indiana. They would always have these concerts at Purdue on Slater Hill and it would be amazing. Nice weather, good music, and tons of people out just to have a good time. Since I've moved to New Orleans, my outside music experiences have definitely increased (there are a ton of music festivals here and this year I got to see Ms. Badu and the Dave Matthews Band). Last night I saw Lenny Kravitz at Voodoo fest. I am holding back nothing when I say it was the single best concert I've been to in my life.


First, let me discuss the synchronicity of events. I've been wanting to go to this show since I heard he'd be here in say August. I never bought tickets because right now money is tight. I asked everyone I could about passes or "hookups" and no one could come through. One day I got an email from an old friend in L.A. who said he was coming for the show. I thought he was just coming to go to the fest. Turns out he was working and got me two VIP passes (what an amazing friend!!!)!!! Because of my work schedule, I decided I'd go in the evening to catch Trombone Shorty, Flaming Lips and Lenny Kravitz. At 11 am the girl that was supposed to go with me let me know she wasn't and I called my friend Selam because I knew she wanted to go as well. She was free so we decided to go around 5. When we arrived the sun began to set and it was dark. I realized I'd never gone to an outside show at night. At first I was super nervous - the grounds were really wet and muddy and I can be a bit clumsy. We stopped by Trombone Shorty - good stuff! We made our way over to the LOA Lounge that our VIP status got us. We got a round of drinks and then I say my friend who had some amazing "treats". We sat by the lake and chatted a bit with Flaming Lips playing in the background. As Flaming Lips closed, my anticipation for Lenny was CRAZY!


More...So I've never been to a show with Selam so I was happy to know that she wanted to try to get closer to Lenny as well! Our VIP passes got us close to the front and with a little bit of maneuvering, we managed to get very close. His music was amazing. He played so strong and had amazing swagger.
And the lyrics! It felt like church and Lenny Kravitz was the pastor. Over and over he gave us commandments to live by like, "You are a child of the most high. There's nothing you can't do and that's no lie." I was feeling the music and really resonating with his lyrics. He ended the show with the crowd chanting, "Let love rule." And during his encore, he brought out Trombone Shorty!!!! (Trombone used to play with Lenny on tour so it was great to see them on stage together.) Oh and at the end of the encore the drummer threw his stick into the crowd and Selam caught it!!

During the show he spoke alot about living in New Orleans. He said he came to see Aretha at Jazzfest for one night but just stayed because it felt so right. I can see exactly what he means - there is something about this place that just feels good! I feel like I witnessed someone who really gets it - he plays great music but his songs are full of words of hope. I left feeling lighter and more energized. I'll be carrying his message, "It's time to take a stand. Brothers and sisters join hands. We've got to let love rule."

10.28.2009

My First "Movie"

As you know I have a ton of creative ambitions. I want to make films - I want to tell stories that affect change and make people really think (and by make I want to produce, write, edit, all of it). It is of extreme importance to me to become abreast of the process of being a filmmaker. I want to learn everything I can. While in L.A., I worked with so many talented writers and saw how the story came together on the page. I decided that at this stage in my career, it was time to learn how to "show" the story. I am seeking all I can about the various programs to make films. A friend of mine shared his Adobe Premiere package (I can go to his office and practice). I was extremely fortunate that a workshop was being offered her in Final Cut Pro. I've learned so much in my time here! So I wanted to share with you my first ever "movie". It is a two minute story. Take a look and let me know your thoughts. (I know some of the transitions are cheesy but I had to for class!)

10.26.2009

She Makes Me Wanna - Be a Mom (Eventually!)

I don't talk much about motherhood. I know it is an amazing thing but its never been at the top of my priority list. I pride myself in being a bit of a gypsy, free spirit girl (my motto, I need to be able to fit my life into my car just in case I have to move around really quickly!). Kenya was one of those people I saw as the same way. In college she was super "dope" - she had an original style of dress and she was genuinely a sweet girl. Something about her didn't translate Baton Rouge (not that anything is wrong about BTR natives, she just seemed more worldly). Although we never discussed her future plans I just assumed she'd become some world traveler who lived a unique, non traditional life. Well even though we haven't lived in the same place in forever, Kenya and I keep in touch often and she's living a very traditional existence in a very unique way. I also am a huge fan of the outward show of love she displays for her husband - it is so common for women to talk about what men aren't doing; Kenya takes time to say be uber supportive of her hubby. She's the hip, cool type of wife and mother (she gave birth some beautiful babies!) that makes me consider EVENTUALLY becoming a mother (eventually not any time soon!). Take a second to get to know Kenya Afumi Lewis - see what she makes you wanna do!


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NAME:KENYA AFUMI LEWIS
AGE: 33
HOMETOWN: BATON ROUGE, LA
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: ATLANTA, GA


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: SOME COLLEGE
OCCUPATION: SAHM/DESIGNER
AS A CHILD WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: AN ACTRESS. I WAS ALWAYS REENACTING SOMETHING I SAW ON TELEVISION. I'VE ALWAYS HAD A VERY VIVID IMAGINATION. I'M STILL PRETTY ANIMATED, OR SO I HEAR.
DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: YES. I'VE ALWAYS KNOWN I WANTED TO STAY HOME WITH MY CHILDREN. I REALLY ENJOY WATCHING THEM GROW. I ACTUALLY TAKE PICTURES OF NEARLY EVERYTHING THEY DO AND TRY TO CHRONICLE THEIR YOUTH THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY. I KNOW THESE MOMENTS ARE FLEETING.
HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: I STOPPED WORKING FULL-TIME 5 YEARS AGO (JUST BEFORE MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN). AS FOR DESIGN, I'VE ALWAYS BEEN ARTISTIC, BUT IT WAS DIFFICULT TO FIND OUTLETS TO CULTIVATE MY CREATIVE TALENTS INTO MARKETABLE SKILLS. SO SOMEHOW, I CONVINCED MYSELF TO BECOME A NURSE. I STILL WONDER WHAT I WAS THINKING. THANKFULLY, I HAD A REALLY CLOSE FRIEND WHO ENCOURAGED ME TO BECOME MORE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT MY DREAMS. SO, I MOVED TO ATLANTA FOR A MORE AMBITIOUS APPROACH TO LIFE-AN ORDAINED MOVE. SOON AFTER, I ENROLLED IN FASHION DESIGN AND MARKETING CLASSES AT NIGHT WHILE I WORKED FULL-TIME. I'M STILL VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT DESIGN. MY HUSBAND AND I STARTED A T-SHIRT LINE LAST YEAR AND ARE PLANNING TO LAUNCH A CHILDREN'S LINE EARLY NEXT YEAR.
ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: YES. IN SO MANY WAYS. I REALLY LOVE BEING MARRIED. MY HUSBAND IS TRULY A GODSEND. IT'S ENCOURAGING THAT MY DREAMS AND GOALS ARE HIS, AS WELL. HE'S SUCH AN INSPIRATION.
AND, OH MY BABIES! I'VE ALWAYS WANTED A BIG FAMILY, AND PARENTING IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME. I CONSTANTLY ASK GOD TO MAKE ME A BETTER WIFE AND MOTHER. I TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN BEING BOTH.
WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: MY MOTHERS, KATHI NEWTON AND RUBY LEWIS. BOTH VERY STRONG WOMEN.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I REALLY LOVE TRAVELING WITH MY HUSBAND.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAM: MAKE SURE YOUR DREAMS AND GOD'S WILL FOR YOU ARE INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM ONE ANOTHER.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR MOTTO:
FAITH WITHOUT WORK IS NULL.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN. GEORGE ELIOT (MARY ANNE EVANS)

10.23.2009

Samantha Jones - Friend in My Head

As I've said tons of times before, I didn't get into Sex and the City until way later than everyone else. Once I did I was hooked. I gain new insight into myself all the time from this show. My latest friend in my head is none other than Samantha Jones from the show.

On first glance it may appear that Carrie is my prototype - she's a great writer, fashion forward, and seeks to be in love. Well, what I've recently discovered (well more like accepted about myself) is that I have much more to learn from Samantha. Its easy to say that Samantha is a just some cougar in heat. That is so not the case! Samantha Jones is so much more.

She is a consummate business woman. Throughout the course of the show we saw her build her business into a power PR firm and she put her boo on the map by constructing a PR campaign revolving around some silly play he was in! Episode after episode, we see her set her sights on something (more often someone) and by the end of the show she lands her conquests. In my head I see us discussing strategies for promoting my business and building it as she did hers.

Samantha is not the typical prototype for a "lady", but she's all woman! There's a quote that says, "Well-behaved women rarely make history.” I've been trying to follow so many self imposed rules for so long that if having a friend like Samantha in my head is totally necessary. Samantha is always confident and projects that confidence into everything she does - a quality I definitely need to develop! Also she's not afraid of admitting what she truly wants. Sometimes I feel like a "bad girl" because at my age marriage is the farthest thing from my thoughts (and because I feel that way I tend to attract others who do as well). I'm really just trying to enjoy myself, date and have a good time. Samantha would be a friend that would encourage that type of behavior. We'd sit and share our exploits of whatever the new fab-o cocktail is at the new fab-o spot, while meeting and attracting new "boos".

Samantha Jones is a friend in my head because I respect her authenticity and self acceptance. She's obviously a fictional character but when there's a quality in someone else you truly admire, then you embody that quality yourself. Inside of me lives a ball-sy, vibrant chick like a Samantha with enough confidence to achieve anything I set my mind to. I'm ready to let that woman come out and play. Only rule? There are no rules!

10.20.2009

I Want To Be Recognized

As you know I love love love Oprah. What you may not know is that I'm fanatical over personality tests. What better than a test from Oprah!?! Its like the best of both worlds. This month the Oprah magazine asks, "Who Are You Meant to Be?". Its filled with information to help you realize your potential and help you discover the path to your destiny. She offers a great quiz to help you determine who it is you are striving to be (you can click here to take the test).

More...I was excited to take the test and felt a huge "a-ha" moment when I got the results. According to the test, I'm most striving to be recognized. The explanation for that answer was very revealing. It says "You are an achiever: Ambitious, competitive, and hardworking: That's you. With a clear image of who you are, you work tirelessly to make sure your accomplishments are recognized. Your drive for success extends to your family, and you invest a lot of energy in helping them live up to your expectations. Thanks to your knack for diplomacy and abundant charisma, you often inspire others."


WOW! Such a huge insight. Of course I want to be recognized - let's review: My huge part of me wants to become a reality TV star. I come alive in front of cameras. I've had a personal website since the days of geocities. Now that I have a blog, its entire focus is to share stories about my life and my pursuit to become the person I desire to be! The fact that I have a blog (and Twitter and Facebook accounts) all point to my desire to share my life with people. This desire has been longstanding - I've always enjoyed doing things in such a way that others would be able to see and recognize. I'm moved by living aloud - I don't consider my "accomplishments" to be so great if they aren't big enough to make people take notice. I do well in jobs where my contributions clearly make a difference (that's why being a good Hollywood assistant was right up my alley-if you assist your boss well, everyone they work with will know! And just to take it a step further, this desire to be recognized is even visible in my astrological chart - my chart is ruled by the sign Leo (all about recognition). Want one more illustration? If you take a look at some of my idols, they are a group that has no problem being seen (Presidnt Obama, Victoria Beckham, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, to name a few).

So what's the problem? Well behavior that brought focus to self was not really encouraged in my home growing up. It was ingrained in me that no one likes people who stand out too much or that really like being seen (look at my idol list - those folk don't always get portrayed in the best light). In my house it was encouraged to be more modest. I was taught that it was better to let go of the desire to be recognized and be more subdued. At school, I seemed to always be in trouble when I was bold or outspoken. I learned to simply tone it down and be a "good, nice" girl. Now as a woman, I often find myself playing it cool, being good and doing "right". But what I realize is that the desire to be recognized hasn't gone away simply because I've repressed it! It won't ever go away, it is a part of who I am.

I'm grateful to live in a city like New Orleans where creativity, spontaneity and simply being yourself are encouraged. I think here more than anywhere else I'm able to fully be myself (trust me my boldest doesn't hold a candle to the many people I meet here!). I'm clearly see that I want to be seen and that is just fine! I accept my desire for recognition and unlike the past, I'm ready to move into that space!

10.16.2009

The Day I Met the President ... of the United States!

Yesterday I had a life changing experience - I got to ask the President of the United States a question ... in REAL LIFE - not just in my head!

I've been in a beef w/my bestie and in an attempt to make up, he invited me to go to the President's Town Hall meeting here in New Orleans. I was stoked! Around 1500 tickets were available for the general public and they were given away in a lottery style. My bestie won and I was elated that he took me. We went to hear the President speak about what's happening in his administration right now. It was amazing! During one part of his speech I was moved to tears. He spoke about the how students who had come to New Orleans after Katrina were to be commended because they came after the storm and had seen what had happened. He said people in New Orleans were true believers and that's what the country needs. (Of course I was in tears at that point. That's exactly what I feel about being here - that I believe in what this city has to offer so the fact the leader of the free world agreed was enough to move me to tears!)

So after his speech he opened the floor for questions. I generally have questions - when I go to events where the floor is open for comments I generally ask. I raised my hand with no idea if he'd call on me. The people he called on had great questions so I was a little intimidated but I kept trying. My bestie said if you are trying to ask a question you are going to have to really want it. So when President Obama looked my way I sent all of my energy his way. I didn't scream or wave my hands, I simply focused on making contact with him. (I've been working on directing my energy in meditation but I digress.) He looked my way and then directly at me and said you young lady. I was DONE! I was so nervous and I said, "Good afternoon President Obama." I must have melted right then and there. I could hear the crowd laughing and then I grabbed my chest area (I guess my friends are right when they say I'm animated in my speaking). He said OMG I broke her heart. I began my question but he stopped me and said, "What's your name?" Now if you know me, you know I've been working on this DaVida Chanel brand. I always always say I'm DaVida Chanel because I want people to associate me with my first and middle name. For the life of me when that man asked my name I could not remember it! He asked again and I was able to mutter, "DaVida". I began my question which was involving environmental issues (I wanted to know where providing more energy efficient standards is on his administration's agenda; the crowd felt me because I apparently got an ovation of applause). He looked me directly in the face and answered my question.

When it was over, I was amazed at what had just happened. I've always had a thing about Presidents and the election proces (since the first time I read about President Kennedy I was hooked). The Reagan years were of particular interest and of course, I was into President Clinton. This past year's race was full of people I resonated with (I love Hillary Clinton and was a fan of John Edwards pre-baby mama drama). But when Senator Obama stepped on the scene, I was ON IT! I felt like he had the potential to be a great leader and I really got into him and his story. I also find it interesting that the majority of Americans will never see the current President while in office. Until yesterday I never thought I'd be fortunate enough to see a President (unless of course I made a lot of money or got famous enough one day). I'm still in awe of what happened.

In short, it was simply a question I got to ask and that was answered but something about that moment confirmed that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. I think my question got local officials thinking about an area they were not and it allowed me to really get involved in something I believe in here in the city (a representative from the mayor's office gave me her contact info to become involved and tonight I was invited to a mixer for people interested in turning our city green). I'm a person that is moved by the synchronistic events of life and talking to the President was a huge event in my life.

NOTE: I JUST FOUND THE LINK: http://www.wdsu.com/video/21308126/
Now that I can mark President Obama off my list of people I want to meet, Oprah moves to the top of the list. At the rate things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if I see her soon!

10.13.2009

She Makes Me Wanna - Be Fly

I love meeting people online, especially new female friends. I think connecting with people through social networking allows you to really see if you have things in common. And there's a certain level of authenticity that you feel from reading the blogs and online posts of others. When I saw Princess Dominique on Twitter, I had a feeling she was my type of woman! She is this great writer with a mean shoe game and is really into supporting the efforts of other women attempting to follow their dreams! Additionally and equally important, she has a sense of wanting to do her part to make this world a better place. She is extremely passionate about domestic abuse and doesn't make any qualms about it throughout her blog. She offers numerous tips, giveaways and other fashion advice that make me stop and take notice. I was even fortunate enough to be featured as a Stylista of the Week on her site! Princess Dominique makes me want to be fly, check out her story to see why!


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NAME: Linda "Princess Dominique" Grosvenor
AGE: 40something
HOMETOWN: Bronx, New York


CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Cliffwood, New Jersey

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling

OCCUPATION: My job is two fold, I am a full time writer who is also in ministry with my husband who teaches singles and married people how to love better via our website www.ThePluralThing.com and I also split my time with keeping hundreds of thousands and soon prayerfully millions of people how to have style without breaking the bank via my website www.PrincessDominique.com. The website caters to both men and women and dabbles in fashion, beauty as well as home decor.

AS A CHILD WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: When I was a child I wanted to be a stewardess. I think that's what they called them back then. That's what I wanted to be because they wore the flyest uniforms and I figured if I got to wear that every day, then I'd have a job that I simply loved, but before I got a chance to grow up, I fell in love with poetry and the love of writing got its hooks into me good. I've published poetry, fiction and now that I'm writing strictly books that assist people with having better relationships and satisfying my love of fashion via my website, I've never been happier.

DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: I am absolutely thrilled by what I do. They say if you do what you love it will never feel like work, and it doesn't. I find myself looking up at the clock and it's 4pm. My only down days are days when my Internet signal acts funny, other than that I enjoy discovering really beautiful things and helping people.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: My career started accidentally. I thought I was writing a letter to a magazine editor and it ended up becoming a novel. It just kept getting longer and longer and longer and took on a life of it's own. It because my first self-published novel and sold 13,000 copies without me leaving New York City. All I had was a website and a pesky attitude, if I must say so myself--and mind you, I'm the first person to tell you, I'm "no" sales person.

ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: Yes, I am. I dabble in a little consulting too. I am in love with life and I love teaching other people how to get there and do what they love for a living too, be it interior design, fashion, being an author or a stylist. I run a fashion website and I get to meet people who create a myriad of products. I enjoy helping people and watching the look on people's faces when they finally see their dream come to fruition even though for years they've wrestled with the notion that maybe they couldn't do something.

WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: I am inspired by all women, in all cultures, of all races and all ages. I think that there are women in some parts of the world that still don't have rights and still cannot walk with their heads held high. Those of us who can, must do that for them. There is no reason for us to be downtrodden. If we have the freedom to live our dreams, then we must. We have no time for jealousy, envy and tearing each other down over trivial matters. We are individuals, we aren't here to outdo each other. Life isn't a popularity contest. When I see a woman doing what she was born to do, I smile, because I simply love that!

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I am totally and completely enamored with the beach. I walk hand in hand with my honey. We love to sample Spanish and Portuguese foods and just relax--no crowds. Just give us a patch of sand, a tropical breeze and a crush of waves and we're all set.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAM: I say hit the ground running and don't stop. Be friendly. Don't be afraid to smile and meet people and ask questions, that's what it's all about. If I happen upon someone's website and I'm curious about what they do I don't just skip off into the sunset, I shoot them an email, send them a congrats, you never know what can come out of that.

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR MOTTO:

When it comes to relationships I always say, "Avoid Counterfeits, Love Better and Marry Well."

When it comes to style I always say, "Fashion isn’t about buying the most expensive designers, it’s about learning the difference between overpriced items and quality products and then discovering your own style.”

For Relationships you can find Princess Dom here and sign up for free.
For Fashion you can find her here and subscribe for free update and free giveaways.

My First Event!

I am over the top excited! I'm hosting my first event in the city of New Orleans! I can't believe it is just a couple days away. I love hosting events - I like setting a tone and having people come and experience a particular vibe. Since I'm so into social media networking, this event is aimed at people who enjoy Twitter and Facebook. The aim is for people who connect in virtual reality to connect one on one! I'm so excited. I'm not sure if anyone will come but I sure hope they do! I can't wait to let you know how it goes!

10.08.2009

She Makes Me Wanna - Be a Boss

For the most part, I'm older than all of my friends (for the most part, taller too but I digress). It has worked out that the people I'm closest to are younger than me (there are exceptions but for the most part, I'm older). When I meet women I generally feel like a kid. It is my insecurities over what I've accomplished and it has nothing to do with them - it is all me. When I met Davina Douthard, her confidence and poise demanded me to shine and allow myself to be me.

Davina is an image consultant and when an old boss of mine decided to work with an up and coming singer, he called her in for her expertise. She and I worked closely with the artist and I was able to really see how she made her vision come forth when working with an artist. It was ironic because it appeared that she was just helping the singer become more of who she was inside. That intrigued me about her, I wanted to get to know her better and really become friends with this woman (so funny because she's just a couple years older than me but I see her as a woman and me as a girl!). As I got to know Davina more, I realized she was a juggernaut when it came to her career. I met her as an image consultant but learned that she wore many different hats and held many different titles but they were all under HER company. She worked for herself and she did work that benefitted others. She was stylish, chic and kind. She was a lot of what I wanted to be but most of all she was a BOSS! Someone who ran a business in which she founded (sound familiar? She's my mentor and inspiration behind DaVida Chanel Productions!). And that is what she makes me wanna do ... Be a Boss (in my Kelis voice!).

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NAME: Davina Douthard
AGE: Old enough to know better & young enough to still learn something new!
HOMETOWN: Inglewood CA
CURRENT CITY OF RESIDENCE: Los Angeles, CA

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Public Relations, UCLA & Organizational Leadership, Chapman University
OCCUPATION: Image Consultant
AS A CHILD WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: An Image Consultant (I didn’t know that is what I would call it, but I knew that is what it was).
DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: Yes!!!
HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: While being raised in Inglewood, a working class community in Southern California, I unknowingly started my career at the tender age of eight (8) years, when my mother enrolled me in a local program to provide the neighborhood children with a positive outlet. The program called Itty Bitty City was an organization which taught children self-esteem, confidence and etiquette through modeling and personal development training. The program held many events including fashion shows, dances and social activities to allow youth to interact in a positive and nurturing environment. The program proved stimulating for me as I participated year after year.
My fascination with image began to emerge as a youth as I would find myself spending countless hours watching programs related to image. At the time, I did not define it as image, but looking back I understand that my fascination was about image and the value of how others perceive us. The programs I watched varied in nature from fashion programs such as Elsa Klench’s style to biographies on movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and presidential figures like John F. Kennedy or simply watching old Hollywood movies. I am really influenced by the Golden Years of Hollywood. The men and women of that era were phenomenal. They were always polished dressers, excellent orators and remarkable entertainers.
I took a significant interest in the training I received at Itty Bitty City. While in college, at the age of sixteen (16) years, she became a certified teacher at one the most prestigious modeling and personal development schools in the nation. My goal was to teach other students the valuable lessons I learned as a child. I continued on to represent that organization as a public speaker to promote self-esteem and confidence at many seminars throughout Arizona and California. I continue public speaking today.
My attraction to image led me to pursue a certificate in Public Relations with an emphasis in entertainment careers from UCLA extension. I believed this education would prove valuable as I guided my clients in shaping their image before their publics. My desire to continue my educational pursuits led me to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree from Chapman University in Organizational Leadership. With this education, I have helped many professionals and leaders become better presenters before their colleagues and constituents. I have worked with many prestigious organizations including Arista Records, Capital Records, RCA Records, Cirrincione Associates, Silverbird Entertainment of West Africa, the State of California Regional Centers and many others.
ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: Yes, but I am far from finished. I have a lot of goals to still reach.
WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: My mother and all women! They all have life stories and experiences that can or have inspired me!
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I love to travel! I love to hear music and watch people, so I will attend parties. I love to cook and bake and that is fun to me.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAM: Stick to it. Don’t let people distract you from your purpose. People will try to tell you what you are doing is foolish or does not make sense. Maintain your relationship with the Lord and when you have a question or doubt, ask the Lord for guidance. His way is always the right direction. People usually don’t know the right answer for you. When I first started doing image consulting, many people did not know what it was and many thought it was a cute idea, but not a viable business. Look at me now! Your purpose is defined before you arrive and sometimes it is something new! The other thing I want to say to women is STOP tearing other women down. When another woman is doing something positive, congratulate and support her. Don’t try to sabotage her success.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR MOTTO: “The impossible is that which has never been done, until someone else does it,” which means basically that nothing is impossible.
Visit Davina at www.davinadouthard.com


10.02.2009

My Hair-story

This week Chris Rock was on Oprah discussing his new documentary "Good Hair" that is coming out later this month. It was quite interesting and reminded me that I have quite the hair-story myself! And since this is where I share my stories ...
  • 1976 - the year of my birth! My aunt took me to the grocery store (back in the day, photographers would set up at the grocery store for photo shoots). I was so bald that when he saw me he said what a beautiful little boy! She got so mad, she immediately took me to get my ears pierced then brought me back later.
  • Me around 4 or 5 - my hair started to grow but not really long, more like out.
    It was a thick, massive mess and I'd get it combed once a week and it would pretty much stay (here's the end of the week so it is ratty). I hated HATED to get my hair washed and combed. My family's hair is not as thick as mine so no one was used to it. It would hurt soooo bad.
  • When I was around 7, I met Ms. Boogie. She pressed my hair from that point until like junior high. It would look really pretty after but the process was OMG! ALL DAY LONG! I'd literally get dropped off around 8ish and get picked up around 4! She baked pies as well so it wasn't ALL bad! (LOL! I fell in love w/lemon meringue pie getting my hair pressed).
  • I always had alot of hair but the pressing made it LONG! I mean LONG! From that point people began to associate me w/long hair. But, because it used to hurt so much and take so much time, I hated doing my hair. I lived with my Granny who was anti most things (gel, curling irons, water in your hair not to mention the phone but I digress) - she was just old school so I never really put much care into my hair when it wasn't time to get it done. I'd wear ponytails a lot! But my ends would always stick out b/c I couldn't get them back!
  • 8th grade - HAIR DRAMA! More...
    As I've said before I'm from a small town so my peer group was pretty much the same from 1st grade on. Around the 8th grade, everyone started getting new hairstyles. The Wave Nouveau was in and the most popular girl had one and it was growing out quite well! Most people were getting that one style with the short hair up top and long in the back. Literally EVERYONE got a haircut in the 8th grade except me and the second most popular girl. My world crumbled when she came to school with a nice shoulder length cut w/bangs. ARGH! I HAD to get a haircut but my folks weren't hearing it. I thought about it all day at school and when I got home, I took matters into my own hands and decided to cut my own hair. I knew no one would be home when I got there and I went to work. The plan was to just make it a little shorter ... that plan went awry because I had no idea how to cut hair! I put it all in a ponytail and would snip at the ponytail. It was bad (real bad Michael Jackson!). When I saw it would get no better I decided to roll my hair up on rollers in an attempt to hide it from my Granny. I hid all the cut hair so they wouldn't see it. I had to come clean so I waited until there were a lot of people over and went into the kitchen and plead my case (I figured she wouldn't kill me in front of folk). It was soooooooooo ugly! I had like a bob but it looked like ^^^^ on the ends! A MESS! My family's punishment...they didn't take me to get it fixed for like months!
  • Luckily my hair grows fast so by the graduation it had grown back and then some.
    I had gotten a relaxer after the cut incident and it was beautiful. I wore it straight, super curly or deep waved. I got a new cut (professional cut) before graduation and thus began my infatuation with the even bob. I would wear that style all the time (it happens to be my current style!)
  • When I moved to Indiana I was fortunate to find an amazing hair dresser that kept my mane WHIPPED! It was super long (back to high school long) and growing well but ... I was really convinced that if I went natural I'd have curly locks. He refused to cut it (I wanted a BIG CHOP), so I found some lady in Indianapolis to release me from my hair (so funny that Solange just did that-girl I had that epiphany in 2002 when the big push for natural was going down! You are late!). My dear friend Kendra came to the salon when she was done. I knew from her expression it was bad so I began to bawl! I looked in the mirror and I looked a HOT MESS! I had to go back to Denzel who cut it correctly and I had a TWA (teeny weeny afro). He dyed it some awesome shade of red but it was a disaster - my head is REALLY small w/no hair! Only one picture of this exists and the one person I trust with my life has it! (Karla, you have my permission to sell it if I ever make it big enough that people would care - those funds can go to the Kennedy college fund!). As it grew out, it became more of a mess and I generally wore my hair covered with colorful head scarves. As it grew, it grew out not down so it never seemed to grow.
  • I went to Houston for law school and this hairdresser suggested a light relaxer to get the hair growing down and then I could get the natural I desired. I took her advice and rocked a cute pixie-like cut for a while.
    As it grew I got it pressed (at no other than Headliners Salon - Mrs. Knowles shop!) instead of relaxed and when it was the optimal length I found a natural hair guru who got me right. I had a REAL fro/natural!
    I experimented with different looks (twist outs, cornrows, roller sets) and really enjoyed it!
  • During this time of being natural I also started to experiment with full head weaves. The first was a disaster. It was super cute BUT I didn't know how to care for it. I'll never forget my friend Kacy came over and was like girl, have you combed it! (I hadn't which explains why it was matted!) I got better with the weaves and this became the most versatile hair time of my life.
  • I moved to L.A. after school and was lucky enough to find an amazing stylist, Ms. Amber.
    Amber didn't like relaxers at all and she pressed in such a way that wasn't greasy and my hair moved and flowed. She liked cool cuts so we did quite a few fun styles.
  • I decided that I wanted a texturizer so I went to . She was amazing too!
    It grew out and I got a free style, cut and color at the Kimble salon. I rocked that look until I moved back South. I got back to Louisiana in Nov of '08 and it was clear my current hair which I got texturized once a year in Cali' was not going to work here. I went to Houston for the holidays and let Kimberly work her magic. It was clear I'd need my texturizer more often and so I found a guy here that does that just fine. Problem is my hair is nothing special so I'm seeking a fire colorist to bring my new vision to light. So for now the hair-story has halted but I'm sure it shall continue.

So as my hair-story continues, I'm sure you have one as well! What's your hair-story?

Oh and here's the Good Hair trailer ENJOY!



9.30.2009

Clearing Out the Old for the New

So ... my blog goes live RIGHT NOW! YAY!!!!! I'm really excited. I need to learn editing but I'm excited to share a little of me with you. I'm learning the editing software but in the meantime ... enjoy!

9.26.2009

What I'm On Now ...

I always like to share when I'm loving new products, places or people - here's what I'm on now:

  • Oprah's New Season - Talk about starting off with a bang! Oprah's season premiere was a two day interview with Whitney Houston. Since then she's done a show reviewing her interview w/Micheal Jackson at Neverland Ranch, has had Nick and Mariah on, interviewed Jay Z and had an explosive interview with Mackenzie Phillips who revealed a consensual sexual relationship with her dad - DAYUM Oprah!
  • Social Media Networking - I have always loved meeting people on the web, but it seems like lately it has been in overtime. Twitter has become my fav way to keep up w/friends as well as meet new people. I also find daily inspiration, fashion advice and astrological news all in one spot. The most popular sites change often but for right now I'm all about Twitter!
  • Yerba Mate - As you know I love love love Mojo coffee shop. But since I'm trying to lose weight, I'm staying away from caffeine (caffeine helps you lose weight but causes cellulite). My barista at the coffee shop suggested yerba mate. Yerba Mate is a South American herb (and you know I want to get to South America) that has tremendous health benefits including: boosting immunity, cleansing and detoxifying the blood, toning the nervous system, restoring youthful hair color, retarding aging, combating fatigue, stimulating the mind, controlling the appetite, reducing the effects of debilitating disease, reducing stress, and eliminating insomnia. And it tastes good too!
  • Jay Electronica - He's AMAZING! Originally from New Orleans, his sound is so original and unique. He doesn't have a CD yet but apparently has been a hit online for some time. (Oh yeah, and he's Erykah Badu's daugther's father so ... you know she likes musically gifted men). Do yourself a favor and google Jay Electronica!
  • Over the Knee Boots - These speak for themselves

  • Wednesday night TV - I love love love premiere week. Normally I have a DVR and record all of my favs, but this year I was forced to sit down and fit them all in. Wednesday is my new favorite TV night. ABC has Modern Family, Cougartown and Eastwick; I like Glee on Fox (time conflicts w/Modern Family but luckily it repeats on Fridays) and Top Model on UPN. Great great TV night. Here's a glimpse of why I love Glee (its campy but I don't care, I love singing, dancing and teen drama!).


    What are you feeling these days?



      9.17.2009

      That's My Sis


      I came home from high school one day and my mother had been rushed to the hospital. She was super sick but the doctor's could not determine what the issue was. After days of tests and still no prognosis, they decided they'd put her on some medication. In order to receive this prescription, a pregnancy test had to be run. Come to find out she was pregnant and she and my stepdad were going to have a baby in two months! All my life I'd dreamed of having a REAL sister (I have a stepsister by my assumed dad and my stepdad had a daughter who is like blood but I wanted my own REAL sister growing up). I really desired this when I was like 7, but instead I got one the year before I was about to graduate high school!

      Leanna was a peculiar baby-she made weird associations. For instance since she called our mom mom and her dad dad, she called everyone else their relation to her. She'd call me sister (she only says it now when she wants something). I loved that little girl and spent a crapload of time with her. She was ridiculously cute and I could teach her to say stuff from movies and TV (My favorite was when mom tried to take her bike and she said, "That's my bike Punk," like D-Bo on Friday!). But since I was off to college shortly after she was born, my relationship with my sister was hard to really establish. They moved to Texas, then I started my gypsy migration so I moved all the time. When I moved to Houston for law school, I lived at home, giving me time to reconnect with my sis. BUT she was no longer this cute lil' baby that called me sistah, she was a DIVA! LOL! She was a fashionista-LOVES clothes- and her personality is totally opposite of mine. (For her 11th birthday she described this outfit she wanted in such detail that my friend Kacy and I still laugh about it!).

      I don't know if I have done a great job of letting her know how much I love her. I don't do that as well as you'd think since I'm such an expressive writer. One thing I admire most about my sister is her ability to speak her mind. When I was her age, More...I never really said what I felt or thought-I said what I knew would keep me out of trouble. She doesn't have a censor, she says what she feels. I'm not saying that is always best, she is still a kid, but she has healthy a self expression and a ton of confidence. She has the ability to be herself ... really be herself. She is an Aquarius and lives up to that sign (ironically she was born the day before the Aquarius/Pisces cusp and I'm a Cancer/Leo cusper). We are both different than most folk, but she LOVES it and embraces it (I don't enjoy being different although I'm at the point where I've got to accept it). I remember when my Granny turned 65 we had a big party for her with a band. Usher's "You've Got It Bad" was out and when the band played that song, she jumped on stage and started belting it out! I was in tears! (I cry a lot when I'm moved by other's talent.) Another example, this school year, she joined wrestling team - she's a DIVA not an athlete but she's committing to it because it is simply something different than the other girls do (and she apparently likes to fight!). This is a girl who will not leave the house with her hair out of place but she wrestles!

      My sister is a manifestor. I'm not sure if she even knows it but she speaks things into existence. For as long as I can remember, she would say I am going to get a car when I turn 16. Since I've had a job since I was 14 and didn't get a car until I GRADUATED from college and I bought that myself, I would be like whatever. BUT wouldn't you know it, somebody GAVE her a car! She was always so confident in her belief she'd get a car and now before she's even able to drive it, she's got a car sitting outside. Talk about name it and claim it. I'll admit, even though I'm exhibiting some hater like tendencies right now (I'm VERY jealous), I do think it is pretty neat that she spoke that up. Now if she could just speak on her career and goals in life ...

      So today, in honor of her FAB-O progress report, I celebrate my little sister for all that she is right now and all she decides to become. Love you LeeLee!


      9.11.2009

      On To The Next One


      JayZ came out with the Blueprint 3, once again that hip hop is trying to save my life. How can I be discouraged with lyrics like this?!?!?

      "I move forward the only direction, cant be scared to fail Search and perfection."
      "...and n-ggas don’t be mad cause it’s all about progression, loiterers should be arrested."
      "Baby i’m a boss, i dunno what they do,I don’t get dropped, I dropped the label."
      "World can’t hold me, too much ambition,always knew it’d be like this when I was in the kitchen."

      WOW! The lessons are numerous! So my favorite lyric in some time is the one where he says he knew it'd be like this when he was in the kitchen! WOW! So when he was a crack dealer, he knew that he'd find a way out of his situation, use his talent and become the man he saw himself being. I feel like I'm in the kitchen now - true enough I'm no drug dealer but I am working in jobs that I do not feel use my full potential. I do know in my heart of hearts that the day is coming where I will be the woman I dream of now. Seems to me that Jay is saying that he used the image of where he wanted to be to get him to that point when he was in a less desirable situation. My message from hiphop today is to stay focused on the end goal. Keep it moving and move on to the next one that will help me move from right here to over there. WORD!

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