When I Get Grown

Yesterday one of my fav people tweeted that she feels grown when she's cooking and enjoying a cocktail. So do I! It is interesting because I AM grown but I don't always feel that way. I guess it is because when I was younger I had all these things that I thought would happen when I was grown. I remember when I was a junior in college watching Love Jones, I just knew life would kind of be like that - you know hanging out w/your group, everyone having some super cool job and being all fashion forward-things like that. Life is sometimes like that but a lot of the it is very basic: feels like I'm going through the motions (I don't remember bills being a big focus on the movies). I never imagined going through the motions when I envisioned my life. I thought it would be one fab thing after another - like in the movies. I also thought people who went to college were going to have those richer experiences. Life has shown me I was a little off on some of my thoughts. But here's a list of things that make me feel grown. Some of them are still elusive but maybe one day ...

  • Meeting up for girls' weekends in exotic locations
  • Living in some cool space like a loft w/modern furniture and art filling the place
  • Holding a standing appointments at the hairdresser, waxer, facialist, nail lady and masseuse.
  • Meeting up for drinks after work at all the coolest spots.
  • Having dinner at all the exclusive restaurants-trying new spots all the time.
  • Having friends over for drinks and discussions.
  • Game nights!
  • Going to lectures, screenings, live music and poetry venues.
  • Being super creative and artsy.
  • Going out for dinner then dancing.
  • Super exciting dating life.
  • Taking cool classes (like spinning, pottery, painting, stuff like that - trying new stuff all the time).
  • Going to small theaters to see the art house films.
  • Being a part of some sort of mentoring program for kids.
  • Having a lot of shoes!
  • Getting dressed up a lot more often.
So that's my list of things that make me feel grown when I do them (or the thought of them make me think grown). What are some things that make you feel like a grown up?


Fitness Challenge

I have long struggled with my weight/body. When I was young my issue was feeling too thin. I was straight up and down-since I had a crap load of hair I felt like I looked like Diana Ross but not glamorous, just ridiculous. I remember a boy I liked told me I could get fine if I ate potatoes before bed-CRAZY I hate potatoes every night for a month NOTHING! I filled out more in college. In fact I think I was MOST happy with my body then. I was still on the thin size but a perfect size 6 (and I like thin so I was fresh in my opinion)! Everything was where it should be. I had a perfect sized butt, nice hips and it was all proportioned to each other. I did feel like I could have a better midsection if I worked out but I was satisfied. I even did pageants where I had to wear swimsuits in front of everyone w/no issue! Then something weird happened.It began when I graduated from college. I had this one boyfriend and all we did was go out to eat, watch movies and do it. I REALLY filled out. He would always tell me how fine I was then all of a sudden he wouldn't. My clothes fit tighter but they still fit so no big. I moved to Indiana and I still didn't work out much. My roommate was tiny but had a big appetite so we ate A LOT! We loved food!!! Then one day I went to put on a pair of pants (I'll never forget some grey Polo slacks). Those pants had always fit me rather baggy and I liked it that way. Well this particular day they were TIGHT! I mean can't sit down right tight!!! LOL! I was BIG! No more size 6 either. When I went to get new work pants I tried on an 8, then a 10 and finally FIT a size 12! I refused to buy them! That was big for me and I didn't not accept that! When I looked in the mirror all I noticed was how big my face was! How had this happened?!?!

Over the next few years, I became a bit compulsive about my weight. Obviously I couldn't depend on others' assessments - those were the people who were watching me blow up and weren't saying a word!!! Plus they didn't know my goals so it wasn't their responsibility. I did everything - you name a diet, I've tried it.

My biggest body break through came when I met Scott Parker in L.A. He changed my life. He taught me so much about how MY body works which is not always the same as the bodies of the women I read about (interestingly enough black and white women's bodies process food and fat differently and most fitness books at the time spoke only to white women). He got me set up on a plan that really worked. I HATE working out but he helped me get more focused on achieving my goals. The biggest thing he taught me was to stop comparing myself to others and do what works for me. Also in general, living in Los Angeles was better for my food related goals. There are a lot more affordable options for healthy food there and even when I went out to eat, I was rarely eating the type of stuff I indulge in here at home.

I moved back to Louisiana a year ago and have lost my "healthy" mind. I LOVE food and LOVE the food that my state is famous for. I've got to do better and as a part of my goals for Lent, I'm working on doing better for myself. I'm lucky because I still have Scott for help and now I'm doing a challenge my line sister, Erin has developed. I already know what to do and what to eat, and now I feel like by saying it on my blog, I'll be encouraged to really reach my goals - which unlike before aren't a passing thing. This goal is to become more healthy for a better quality of life. (And although I think Amber's ass is banging, I think this goal will garner the REAL results I seek-so no more Amber Rose Challenge for me...even though I think I can be THAT fine!)

So think you are up for Erin's challenge? Follow the Fit by Erin page on Facebook! When I reach my goals I'll post some before and after photos! Here's to a healthier lifestyle change

Just Fine

When I was in my funk, a friend suggested finding a song that can shake me out of it. At the time, I couldn't think of that one song that makes me be more positive. There are so many but to think of one I could use as a mantra was difficult. Well today I was reminded of a song that always makes me feel good! I always dance to this one and OMG don't let me be out w/my girls! OH LAWD!!! LOL! Me and my friend Chante' tore up several spots in L.A. on this one!!! LOL!!! So w/o further ado, please enjoy Mary J's "JUST FINE". No matter what is going on in your life, it is going to be JUST FINE! I wish you all a just fine day!!!


Giving Up Not Always Bad!

Ahhhh, Mardi Gras 2010 is over and today begins Lent. Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. They skip Sundays when counting the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. This year Lent begins today and ends April 3, which is the day before Easter.

Each year I talk crap about folk who participate in Lent. I mean what's the point of not doing you fill in the blank for 40 days if the other 325 days of the year you do? I am approaching it differently this year (New Orleans has a huge Catholic population and I'd like to be more respectful of their traditions. PLUS my revelation makes it a win for me.) This year did not get off to a great start for me. Most of all because of my attitude about certain things happening (rather not happening in my life). Well, I'm still alive, have not gone hungry yet and still have my apartment - all cause to be grateful. And what if instead of giving up something because I thought it was so horrible, what if I did it simply to get closer to my purpose (perspective is key in these type of situations!).

So with that said this year, I'm giving up something AND picking up something. Over the next 40 days I'm giving up activities that do not get me closer to my purpose. The first and biggest thing I'm giving up is sleeping late! It seems small but so not helpful. I slept til 11 so many days last month (oh and that one day I didn't get out of bed til 2:30 pm!!). I'm an early riser - always have been so I am getting back to that. I'll be up early during this 40 days! The second thing is poor eating. My life is so not aided by crappy food. It strips my energy, messes up my shape and skin and then screws w/my esteem bc I look crazy bc I ate crazy! LOL! When I lived in L.A. I developed some awesome eating habits-time to get back to those. Finally, the last thing I'm giving up is sex. Okay I know I said here that I'd give it up for 365 days but I've decided to start w/40. I don't think sex is bad but for me it can become all-consuming. I'm a passionate person who gets all caught up in the lovin' I can forget how to focus (I apologize for such blatant TMI). So no getting it in during Lent.

The good news I'll be picking up some good stuff during this time. First up exercise for the sake of getting moving. I don't like to work out but this weekend of Mardi Gras transpo by foot reminded me how much I love to walk. Instead of setting some random workout schedule that I find difficult to hold onto, I'll get walking 4 times a week. Simple because I walk around my neighborhood ALL THE TIME! Another is good ole' H2O. Water is so good for us and I don't hate it so over the next 40 days I'll be chugging the clear stuff in abundance. Another thing I'm picking up is MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS! LOL! I can get so into other people's stuff it is unbelievable! So instead of inquiring about people's stuff, I'm going to refrain from needing to know every detail and take what is given. Finally, I'm picking up affirmations. I'm a believer in the power of words so I'll be speaking some stuff into existence!

In conclusion, my good friend Winston shared w/me that someone shared w/him that in order to receive blessings you must give up something. It can't just be anything but something that the most high knows is hindering you. I believe that I've eliminated some key things that are hindering my success (or blessings if you will). What about you? Do you believe in or participate in Lent? What things are you giving up (or picking up) this season?


10 Things About Books

I'm overwhelmed with emotion regarding the New Orleans Saints winning the SuperBowl! So much so I can not write about it yet (so much more than a football win). Until my thoughts are formulated into words, I thought it would be a great idea to do some questionnaire type posts. My dear blogspiration *kay posted the following on her new Ice Cream and Peonies blog so I followed suit. I love books so this was a fun way to celebrate them! YAY! Enjoy ;)
  • Favorite books when you were a child and why? I've always loved to read since as far back as I can remember. I do not remember a kiddie book that I loved but I do remember around third grade going BANANAS over everything Judy Blume I touched. I do recall reading FRECKLE JUICE first but it was ARE YOU THERE GOD ITS ME MARGARET was THE book that made me a "reader". This book made me feel like I wasn't so alone in the world if that makes sense. Even at that young age, I realized that I had more in common with people I've never met than some people I saw everyday. I felt like I knew Margaret and I wanted to experience feelings of connecting with characters over and over again.
  • First "grown up" book you remember reading? Maya Angelou's I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS. I was still in third grade but to be honest I only read it then because this girl told me it had sex in it. I read the whole thing and was a bit overwhelmed. I revisited when I was older and understood it so much better.
  • Favorite movie that came from a book?
    Hmmmm I have so many but I'm going to go with COLOR PURPLE because its one of the few ones were I enjoyed the movie more than the book. I think they did an awesome job of determining what to include and what to eliminate. And it was aesthetically gorgeous.
  • Movie that you loved so much that you WISHED there was a book out so that you could find out more about the movie?
  • Worst book you've ever read? Hands down, MRS. PAINE'S GARAGE. Ok, I joined a book club randomly on Craigslist. In our first meeting one of the girl's had gotten several of these books donated to us. I soon saw why. IT SUCKS! It was literally like Mrs. Paine's attempt to say she had information so someone gave the ok for this book to be written only to find it was all crap! Horrid horrid book.
  • Book that everyone raves about that you either a)haven't read and feel slightly dumb for not having read or b)have tried to read and hated and so feel slightly dumb that everyone is getting something you don't?I'm going to go with B-I feel slightly off because EVERYONE raves about Toni Morrison books and I have trudged through several and just don't get the acclaim. BELOVED was torture to me but everyone raves about it. I. Just.Don't. Get.It.
  • If you were forced to choose only 3 books that you could read for the rest of your life, which ones would they be? Hmmmm, YOUR FAITH IS YOUR FORTUNE is super super great and inspiring. It is a "new age" spiritual book but it is so on point. It takes Bible verses and stories and breaks them down into practical applications that apply to everyone's individual life. SOUL CATCHER is a journal book I love and finally THE ALCHEMIST (see next question for reason).
  • Name one book that you would recommend everyone you know read.
    If I had money to spare I'd buy cases of THE ALCHEMIST and hand them out to anyone who has never read it. It is a a book I think ANYONE can relate to if they are open to it. The overall point of the book is that everyone has their own special and unique destiny. That destiny requires some effort on each of our parts though and that's why I'd share the book with the world - in hopes that everyone reaches their specific destiny.
  • What is your guilty pleasure reading? Anything by E. Lynn Harris. I have no idea why. Some strange fascination with the downlow brothers I guess ...
  • What book (excluding the Bible or other major major document of your religion/faith) has changed your outlook on life the most?
    Hands down TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! Where do I begin. This is my all time favorite book. I've read it over 100 times and every time I learn something else about myself or about mankind or about the characters or the town or the courtroom - simply put I learn something new each time. As simply as I can state, is the one that said people are all people no matter their color. You have to take folk as they come and I learned this lesson by reading this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK!


Black n Gold SuperBowl

I am so excited! This Sunday the Saints make their Super Bowl debut!!!!!!!! EXCITING!!! There are tons of local songs that are all about this Black and Gold pride! Turn on the radio at any given time and one is playing. My least fav is a take on Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA but hands down my favorite one is K. Gates' Black and Gold Superbowl. For those of you who don't live in New Orleans, check the video AWESOME! (It makes me CRUNK and now I'm moving just a little too much in a public place!)

Now that you are hype check out this email I got from a fellow member of the Who Dat Nation. It's a letter to Miami that might give you a little more insight into what its like here in N'awlins!

Dear Miami,

The Saints are coming. And so are we, their loyal, long-suffering and slightly discombobulated Super Bowl-bound fans.

While there's still time to prepare -- although a few hard-core Who Dats will begin trickling in Monday, most of us won't arrive until Thursday or Friday -- we thought we'd give you a heads-up about what you should expect.

First things first: You need more beer.

Yeah, we know. You ordered extra. You think you have more than any group of humans could possibly consume in one week. Trust us. You don't.

New Orleans was a drinking town long before the Saints drove us to drink. But it turns out beer tastes better when you're winning. (Who knew?) So let's just say we're thirsty for more than a championship; adjust your stockpiles accordingly.

And look. When we ask you for a go-cup, be nice to us. We don't even know what "open container law" means. Is that anything like "last call"?

It's Carnival season in New Orleans (that's Mardi Gras to you), and we'll be taking the celebration on the road. So don't be startled if you walk past us and we throw stuff at you; that's just our way of saying hello.

Oh, and sorry in advance about those beads we leave dangling from your palm trees. We just can't help ourselves.

February is also crawfish season, and you can be sure that more than one enterprising tailgater will figure out a way to transport a couple sacks of live mudbugs and a boiling pot to Miami.

When the dude in the 'Who Dat' T-shirt asks if you want to suck da head and pinch da tail, resist the urge to punch him. He's not propositioning you. He's inviting you to dinner.

And if you see a big Cajun guy who looks exactly like an old Saints quarterback walking around town in a dress ... don't ask. It's a long story.

We know that crowd control is a major concern for any Super Bowl host city. Our advice? Put away the riot gear.

Reason No. 1: Indianapolis is going to lose, and their fans are way too dull to start a riot.

Reason No. 2: New Orleans showed the world on Sunday that we know how to throw a victory party. We don't burn cars. We dance on them.

Reason No. 3: Even if we did lose, which we won't, leaving the stadium would be like leaving a funeral, and our typical response to that is to have a parade.

Speaking of which: If you happen to see a brass band roll by, followed by a line of folks waving their handkerchiefs, you're not supposed to just stand there and watch.. As our own Irma Thomas would say, get your backfield in motion.

And hey, Mister DJ! Yes, we know you've already played that stupid Ying Yang Twins song 10 times tonight, but indulge us just one more time.

To us, "
Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk)" isn't just a song; it's 576 points of good memories. It's the sound of a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Devery Henderson, a Pierre Thomas dive for first down on 4th-and-1, a Garrett Hartley field goal sailing through the uprights in overtime.

It's what a championship sounds like. You may get sick of hearing it. We won't. Encore, dammit.

Inside Sun Life Stadium, you may find your ears ringing more than usual. We're louder than other fans. Seven thousand of ours sound like 70,000 of theirs.

Don't believe us? Ask the 12th man in the Vikings huddle.

Some people think it's just the Dome that heightens our volume. But you're about to discover a little secret: We can scream loud enough to make your head explode, indoors or out.

It's not the roof. It's the heart.

Well, OK, and the beer.

Don't be surprised if there are more Saints fans outside the stadium than inside. A lot of us are coming just to say we were part of history, even if we can't witness it up close. The Saints are family to us, and you know how it is with family: We want to be there for them, whether they really need us or not. Because we know our presence will mean something to them, whether they can see us or not.

Come to think of it, seeing as how you're taking us in for the week, we pretty much regard you as family, too. So we're warning you now: If you're within hugging distance, you're fair game.

Hugging strangers is a proud Who Dat tradition, right up there with crying when we win.

Most sports fans cry when their teams lose. Not us. We've been losing gracefully and with good humor for 43 years. Tragedy and disappointment don't faze us. It's success that makes us go to pieces.

Hurricane Katrina? We got that under control. The Saints in the Super Bowl? SOMEBODY CALL A PARAMEDIC!!!

So anyway, don't let the tears of joy freak you out. We're just .... disoriented.

OK. Let's review:

Order more beer. Throw me something, mister. Suck da heads. Wear da dress. Stand up. Get crunk. Hug it out. Protect your eardrums. Pass the Kleenex. Hoist the trophy.

See you at the victory party.

Faithfully yours,

The Who Dat Nation

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