Everything was a struggle today, guys. Everything. I struggled to get out of bed, I’m having one of those days where I felt like I didn’t have anything to wear, thus I’m sure my work attire is chock full of struggle. My commute was a struggle (per usual, Metro-North was late). Even through all of this, in the interest of remaining honest, as promised, here is my latest picture. Considering the weekend I had, I’m not mad. I didn’t gain any weight and as a matter of fact, I lost some! Yay me! Additionally, I know I said I’d be giving you all the real numbers, so here they are….. (I still can’t believe I’m doing this…*gulp*)
Starting weight: 135. Current weight: 132
Also, part of my struggle today is the fact that my half-marathon training officially officially begins today. This might be a terrible idea, because I told one of my good friends I’d go to Zumba with her today also. Which might not be too terrible since today is just 3 miles. Speaking of which, shout out to Pumps and Iron for my half-marathon 9 week training schedule. I figure between the training and Zumba, and the Electric Run in BK, I’ll be fine for this half coming up…I hope.
As a bit of background for those who are looking to face this challenge with me, I want you to know that I was never a distance runner growing up. I was a sprinter, so distance running doesn’t come easily to me. I have had to learn how to pace myself, which really has more to do with discipline than how good of a runner you are. That said, while distance running is still a struggle for me, and probably always will be, few things come close to that high that you get while running or after finishing a long race. So if you’re in this with me and you’re feeling like things are overwhelming, think about the end result. That helps me keep my focus 🙂
Hey guys! So, as you can see I’m a little behind on the posts. In my defense, I may or may not have fallen victim to friendly bartenders with Jameson on one night and some good friends with ice luges and fireball whiskey on another.
So, while I did work out, I most certainly was NOT eating (or drinking) healthy. That said, I’m clearly two posts behind. But I promised to stay honest and…believe it or not, I’ve already lost a pound. Hooray! And I promise to step my game up. Pictures and updates to come tomorrow 🙂 #31WriteNow
So, as some of you may know, I used to blog quite a bit. But then life got in the way; in a good way, but got in the way nonetheless, and because of that, I hadn’t blogged in about 3 months. But now with a little prodding from Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie fame, I’m getting back on track. I’ve taken the challenge that she set forth, and I’ve pledged to write a blog post every day for 31 days. This is Day 1.
I’m really not sure how this is going to go since I’m so rusty right now, but hopefully it’s like riding a bike….which is kind of a bad example since I fell off a bike last summer (on the way home from what may or may not have been a boozy brunch) and really hurt myself. No, really…it was bad…
So maybe “like riding a bike” wasn’t a good example, but I digress.
What I’ve decided to do for these 31 days is chronicle my weight loss/training for a half marathon. I’ve run one in the past, as well as several 5Ks, but I figured it was time again. I’m going to be completely honest with this weight loss/marathon training chronicle too. How honest, you ask? There will be numbers…and pictures. I’m going to weigh myself weekly and post it as well as post pictures of myself daily…*gulp* I’m going to put it all out there, so to speak…so stay tuned….and I hope I don’t regret this….
“…Concert of the century. So. Excited!!!!! Not sure who I’m more excited to see… my friends or the epic men… but this one might have to go to Jay Z and Coldplay. I’m Brooklyn born and bred” C.K.
“It’s like Christmas!” C.Y.
“This concert was legend…wait for it….DARY!” K.S.
“…like we were in some bubble out there in Brooklyn surrounded by a group of people who got it; like we were inside a giant ball of ecstasy, receiving a great big hug from Chris Martin in the form of music and lights and confetti.” B.C.
“Oh my God. This concert is f*cking awesome” ~ H.Y.
“When did you guys get all these beers?” ~ T.S.
In the days leading up to the concert, concert goers were buzzing at the prospect of seeing Jay-Z in his hometown of Brooklyn for New Year’s Eve. As the crowd started to swell outside of the Barclays Center, the crowd knew it was in for something great. There was a sense of camaraderie in the air. No pushing…no fighting…no cussing.
The group I was with looked up to the sign on our left. As we walk in, I smile at the guy that’s supposed to check my handbag. He looks me up and down. “Nice shoes.” He says as he waves me in.
As we walk into the arena, we were handed bracelets. “What are these for?” we ask.
“Put them on. You’ll see”, we were told.
As we walk in, we’re directed to our seats by the friendliest, most professional ushers ever. I look to my right and I see some of my friends that I haven’t seen in months. Turns out they had actually traded their tickets in for new ones so that they could sit closer to us. The air is electric. The crowd can’t wait for the show to begin. There are signs everywhere instructing the crowd on how to wear their bracelets and informed them that they would be part of the show.
The DJ plays a myriad of classic cuts to entertain the crowd before the show starts. We enjoy the music and dance along with the excited patrons, but the crowd was all too ready for the show at hand.
Suddenly, the lights go down, and the theme to Back to the Future started playing. Soon thereafter, Coldplay breaks into “Hurts Like Heaven” and every audience members’ bracelet lights up in sync with the music. The bracelets glow in the dark and the LED lights in them pulsate to the beat of the music. As one concert-goer remarked, “It was like I was inside a giant ball of ecstasy!”
During “Lovers in Japan” they not only had the bracelets glowing, but confetti was swirling all around us, creating an amazing audio-visual memory for all in attendance.
After pretending the set was over, in true Coldplay fashion, Chris and the guys perform an encore on a tiny stage further back in the audience. You could tell the band really appreciated the fans and wanted to give a good show and show everyone a good time, no matter how much they paid for their tickets.
After Coldplay’s set, the DJ played some more classic songs to keep the crowd stimulated, but then the lights went back down and it was show time once again.
Jay came out and launched into hit after hit. He went through his entire catalog of music from Reasonable Doubt to Watch The Throne. “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)”, “Hard Knock Life”, “Where I’m From” “Big Pimpin’” He performed his verse from “Clique”. When the synth came in for “Young Forever” Chris Martin from Coldplay came out onto the stage to perform with Jay. Even though the people in my section didn’t even know each other, they were singing along, hi-fiving, and dancing with each other like they had been friends for years. As an added bonus, we even caught a glimpse of Gwyneth Paltrow standing at what looked like a tiny bar by the stage. And Jay must have been in a generous mood, because he gave a bottle of Ace of Spades to a lucky couple in the front row.
As we began the countdown for the New Year, Jay told the crowd that there was no place he’d rather be to perform on New Year’s than in his hometown of Brooklyn. Jay’s band was outstanding and when the ball dropped at midnight, his guitarist performed a guitar solo of “Auld Lang Syne” Jimi Hendrix’s style, while Chris Martin sang along.
After the ball dropped, Jay went right into “Run This Town” with the help of Chris; much to the delight of the crowd. He told the crowd that he wasn’t sure how he would top 2012 since it was the year of Blue (paying homage to his baby daughter Blue Ivy Carter). As we looked off to the side, we could see Gwyneth urging Apple and Moses to dance with Jay and their father, Chris.
As a final tune, Jay performed the iconic “Empire State of Mind”. You could tell from the crowd’s reaction, that no matter where anyone was from, EVERYONE was from New York that night.
As all of the patrons filed out of the Barclays Center, we knew we had experienced something magical. One patron ever remarked that he wasn’t sure that there would ever be any New Year’s Eve concert that would top this one, but other artists were welcome to try.
I was lucky enough to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event, and if I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have spent my New Year’s Eve any other way.
Hey everybody! So, I’ll make this post quick. I don’t normally pitch from this page, but I loved, loved, loved Afro Blue Vocal Band from this past season of The Sing Off. I think they did remarkably well, and, in my opinion (as well as the opinions of many others) they should have won the competition.
With that being said, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, they are working on a new project. They’re currently raising money to help fund their first EP. We can help, too. If you click this link, you’ll be taken to their fundraising page. If you all love them as much as I did, please help out. Give a little; give a lot, but they need our help and we need good music. It’s a win-win situation!
In case you’re new to my blog and haven’t read my previous entries on Afro Blue or if you weren’t watching The Sing Off last season, take a look at the video below. This group is beyond amaze-balls!
This story is not about me, but is about how the events of December 14th, 2012 will forever affect not only me, but all of us in these United States. I got to work on December 14th of 2012, craving my morning coffee as I do most days, but when I sat down at my desk and logged into Twitter, things looked quite different, to say the least.
A friend who is a journalist for a local Connecticut newspaper posted a concerning, but seemingly innocuous tweet.
One shooter is dead at Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, school is now cleared of shooters.
“Thank God”, I thought to myself. “Thank God a shooter went to an elementary school and only shot himself. Think of how horrible it would have been had he shot others, and, God forbid, some students.”
But then the details began to emerge.
First we heard: 1 dead. Only the gunman. Then we heard: 2 dead; the gunman and the school’s principal was killed. But, by the end of the day, all innocence would be destroyed and we would learn that not only did 7 adults die in this senseless massacre, but 20 children died as well…children in kindergarten. 6-year olds; children that had their entire lives yet to live.
As the death toll began to rise on the 14th, I hoped, prayed even, that children wouldn’t be among the dead, but, somewhere inside of me, I knew that wasn’t the case. Turns out, I was right. 27 dead; 6 adults, the gunman, and…20 children. 20. No first dates, no proms, no graduations, no waiting for college acceptance letters with bated breath, no marriages. 20 lives ripped away from their families before they had even had the opportunity to really live. I cried for the families, I cried for the children. I cried for the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. I cried for the entire town. Tragedies such as this are always hard to cope with, but this one happened in practically in my back yard.
As details began to emerge about the shooter and his mental health, the political debates also began to emerge. Gun control or the lack thereof; Healthcare, Health Care reform, and the gaping holes in the mental health care system here in the US, the argument of people over the age of 18 being able to decide whether or not they wanted to take their meds; the very issue of civilians being able to purchase assault rifles. Almost instantly, my friends from other countries began to weigh in as well, mostly on gun control issues. All these conversations were important, and needed to be had, but all I could think about were those 20 children who saw the barrel of a gun instead of Christmas presents. Children who had done nothing wrong, but somehow incurred the wrath of this deranged gunman. Children who had to see something that no-one should ever have to see, much less, a child.
I had to shut the door to my office, because, by 4:30pm, I was openly crying at my desk. No, I didn’t know these children or their families personally, no, didn’t have children of my own, but this massacre was unfathomable. How could this happen? Why did this happen?
Many questions are still unanswered. We know the gunman’s mother was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. We know she didn’t make it to work that day, because her son took her life that morning before he traveled to the school to take the lives of many others. We know that the mother was a gun enthusiast, who collected guns and brought her children to the gun range. We know that the gunman had a history of mental illness. We know that he was a child of divorce. We know that he shot and killed himself before the authorities could get to him. What we don’t know, is what motivated his murderous rampage.
In heart wrenching situations such as this, we are often left with more questions than answers, but there are several shining beacons of hope. The city of Sandy Hook came together like never before. They are continuing to hold each other up, and are still working toward getting through this, one step at a time. Churches of various faiths have had their doors open and clergy members were and still are ready and willing to lend a hand, an ear, or a shoulder to cry on. The Hudson Valley Golden Retriever Club even sent several dogs down to help with the healing process, but this process will, no doubt, take months, if not years.
One sign in downtown Sandy Hook read “Love will get us through”. The lives of those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary will never be the same, that is for certain, but the outpouring of love, support and kindness can at least help restore their faith in humanity.
God bless those affected by this terrible event, and I will continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.
Amethyst Amelia Kelly, better known as Iggy Azalea, is one of hip hop’s newest rising stars. Born in New South Wales, Australia, Iggy has always had a love for hip hop and started rapping at the age of 14. She cites Tupac Shakur, Andre 3000, Missy Elliot and Eve as some of her greatest influences.
In the Beginning
At the age of 16, Iggy decided that if she wanted to make it as a rapper, she would have to move to the U.S. She told her mother she was going on vacation in Miami, but she had no intentions of returning to Australia.
I was there for two weeks when I called home and said, ‘I don’t want to come home yet. I want to stay longer.’ So I stayed another three weeks. I was there for like a month and then I called again and said, ‘I’m not coming back.
Putting In Work
After spending a few months in Miami, Iggy decided to move on to Houston, Texas. Before moving to the US, Iggy had been in contact with Houston-based producer Mr. Lee, who’d heard some of Iggy’s work through her MySpace page. Once in Houston, Iggy said Mr. Lee taught her how to “rap like a girl”.
Houston is where I started getting good at rapping. I had to have someone tell me, “You’re still imitating what you think it’s supposed to be, but it doesn’t have to be that. Just be who you are and sound like a girl.”
Rapper Vs. Model
After a few months in Houston, Iggy moved on to Atlanta where she attempted to pursue modeling as a way to pay for her burgeoning rap career. She sent photos to Elite Models but, despite being a size two, she was told she was needed to lose 4 inches off of her hips and two inches off of her thighs if she wanted them to represent her. In the end, Iggy chose not to purse modeling with Elite because she didn’t want to become so focused on losing weight and cause her rap career to suffer.
Interscope Comes Calling
While in Atlanta, Iggy uploaded a music video to YouTube, piquing the interest of Neil Jacobson and George Robertson of Interscope Records. After attempting to contact her for several weeks, she finally flew out to L.A. to meet with them. Much to her dismay, they tried to mold her into a crossover artist. Determined to do things her way, Iggy initially decided not to work with Neil and George. After returning to Atlanta, she uploaded two freestyle videos to You Tube “Two Times” and “Hell of a Life”. After viewing the videos, Jacobson and Robertson finally got on board with Iggy’s vision. They told her they now understood what she was trying to do as an artist, and would allow her to have creative control of her image and sound. They have managed her career ever since.
Earlier in 2012, Iggy was featured on XXL’s Top 10 Freshman List, solidifying her spot as an artist to be reckoned with. 2012 continued to be a good year for the budding artist, as she joined forces with T.I. and became one of several artists on his Grand Hustle record label. This summer she released two singles “Murda Bizness” and “Flash”. Her debut album “The New Classic” is set to be released in 2013.
A little nervous about making a great first impression? Worry no more. I’ve got you covered on the perfect outfits for that first date.
Whether you’re a man or woman, the prospect of a first date can often be high pressure. With so many thoughts going through your head, the last thing you should have to worry about is how you look. Your good friend Tee is here with advice on what to wear for a first date, from fine dining to bowling and everything in between.
Dinner at a 5 Star Restaurant
Ladies: The LBD never goes out of style, so you can’t go wrong in that regard. Make sure to stay on trend by adding a pop of color, whether you add a colorful pair of shoes or a handbag in a bright, juicy hue. Keep jewelry simple; think diamond or pearl studs and chandelier earrings. Although the statement necklace is hot this season, I would avoid it for this occasion. Elegant simplicity is always best at a fine dining restaurant. You don’t want the clanging of your jewelry to overpower your conversation!
Men: Dressing for this sort of date will usually be easier for you. Jackets, and occasionally ties are a requirement at most high-end restaurants. Given the warm weather we’ve had lately, I suggest jackets and slacks in light materials such as silk, wool crepe, linen and cotton. Whether or not you wear a full suit or choose to do separates is up to you. Being that this is spring going into summer, there are numerous colors you can choose from, but depending on how traditional the restaurant is you may want to stick to darker colors for your suits, slacks, and sport coats. A crisp button down or polo shirt is always in order and unless otherwise specified, you can go with or without a tie. Dress shoes and loafers will do nicely, whether you chose to wear a full suit, or mix it up. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum; I would limit it to a watch, at most.
Bowling Alley Date
Probably one of the most casual of all first dates, this one is probably the easiest to dress for. The only wild card will be if you’re going to your local bowling alley versus hitting up a spot like Lucky Strike. (See Dinner and a Movie for Lucky Strike tips)
Ladies: Cute graphic t-shirts, tank tops, jeans, and shorts are all okay for this date. Don’t pay TOO much attention to your shoes since you’ll be wearing those AWESOME bowling alley shows, but bring a pair that’s easy to slip into after bowling. Honestly, there’s not a whole lot you can’t wear to the bowling alley, but I’d avoid too short shorts, tube tops, and heels for obvious reasons.
Men: Like with the ladies, feel free to pull out graphic tees, shorts and jeans. Sneakers are a good shoe choice, but, as with the ladies, don’t focus too much on the shoe, since you’ll be wearing bowling shoes for the majority of the night. You can also throw on a hat, if that’s your style.
Dress for this type of date calls for casual wear, whether it’s bohemian, preppy, or sporty. The key is to wear light fabrics so you don’t look sweaty if it gets too warm outside.
Ladies: You’ll be sitting on the ground, so you don’t want something too short or too tight. Shorts, sundresses, maxi dresses, floral, gingham, seersucker, wedge sandals, flats; it’s all up to you and your style personality. If you’re a hat person, a straw fedora or floppy sun hat will help to complete the look. Jewelry, in this case, is also up to you. My handbag pick for an outdoor adventure would be a large tote; you’ll have somewhere to stash your jacket or cardigan if it gets chilly.
Men: Polo shirts, linen pants, and anything seersucker, or cotton. You’re going to be outside, so you don’t want to wear anything too heavy. Throw on a pair of aviator sunglasses to complete the look.
Dinner and a Movie
The dinner and a movie date is more casual for both men and women, but not as casual as the bowling date. The key is finding the balance because if this date goes well, it can turn into a drink or two at a bar, so you want an outfit that is appropriate in several settings.
Ladies: I’m going to put a little bit of a spin on “What to Wear” for this one. For this particular date, you can basically wear whatever you want (a dress, jeans, heels, flats, a cute top) but the key thing you’ll want to wear is a memorable FRAGRANCE. You’ll be sitting next to him in the movie theater, not talking, but you still want him to be thinking about you. Fresh and fruity or sweet and floral are the way to go. You won’t overpower him, but he’ll remember how you smelled when he goes home that night.
Men: Whether you choose jeans with a dress shirt, or button down, a V-Neck T-Shirt and a Blazer or a cashmere hoodie, you can’t go wrong. Plus, if all goes well, you’ll be able to lend her your jacket if she gets cold during the movie (You’ll get major points for that!)
A final word of advice to the ladies: The great Edith Head once said, “Your dress should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman, but loose enough to show that you’re a lady.” The last thing you want to do is go out there in your freakum dress and get em girl heels on the very first date. You have GOT to leave something to the imagination and give him a reason to call you for a second date.
A final word of advice for the guys: Ladies will look at your shoes and your nails, not necessarily in that order. Make sure your nails are clean, neat and trimmed, and be sure that your shoes are nice because women gauge your attention to detail based on these qualifiers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
I hope this has helped you with your fashion choices, but of all the fashion advice I have given today, this next piece of advice is the most important. When choosing what to wear on a first date there is really only one rule: Be yourself. No matter what you’re wearing, remember to be confident and genuine. Those are the most fashionable accessories you can wear and they never go out of style.
Just like the ladies version, last winter I wrote an article on men’s spring and summer fashions. Stay tuned for this year’s article coming soon!
Okay, Fellas. Don’t feel left out. I know I wrote about what the ladies should have on this spring and summer, but I’ve got the inside scoop on what items you all should be wearing as well. There’s nothing sexier to a woman than a well-dressed man, so here are my picks to make sure you look dapper all season.
In the world of high fashion, the past few seasons have been all about slim-cut suits for men. Well this season, slim pants and fitted jackets are getting phased out, and designers are returning to boxier cuts. Jackets are getting longer and pants are getting looser, but at the same time, with some designs, the pants are getting shorter. That’s right, fellas, some designers are encouraging you to show a little skin…in the ankle region. Although grey, black and navy blue will forever be staples, for spring into summer, suits are showing up in electric blues and checkered patterns as well.
Man vs. Wild
Much like ladies fashion this season, mens fashion is going back to nature. Tribal and animal prints, camouflage shorts, safari jackets and eco-conscious accessories are showing up all over the runway and beyond. Usher, Justin Bieber and Carmelo Anthony have been seen rocking YSL’s Mohave leopard sneakers and Meek Mill has been spotted wearing Duckie’s Confetti leopard hoodie. For the fashionably adventurous gent, McKenzie Liautaud designs boast eco-friendly bowties, neckties, and pocket squares from recycled fabrics, metals, and swarovski crystals.
Graphic print t-shirts are still going strong for Spring/Summer 2012. Belchez, a somewhat underground designer out of Harlem, designed these graphic-print shirts. Givenchy’s Birds of Paradise t-shirt has been seen on Waka Flocka Flame and Theophilus London. Graphic print t-shirts are great because of their versatility. They can be combined with jeans, shorts, and even blazers or summer suits. Feel free to mix it up with this trend.
Taking a page from the 1980’s classic book “The Official Preppy Handbook”, everything preppy is in this summer. Take the summer’s hottest hues, such as pastels, bright primary colors, oranges, mint greens and bright blues and apply them to polo shirts, button ups, shorts and pants, in both prints and solids. Fedoras in light summer materials are also around for another summer. Can you feel the summer breeze yet?
A Man’s Right to Shoes
The great thing about men’s shoe fashions this season is the sheer breadth of choices.
Loafers, oxfords, sneakers, deck shoes, the possibilities are endless. Bright colors and interesting textures are also a plus. Kanye West and Drake have both been spotted wearing Balenciaga’s Arena Sneakers. The only rule for this trend is “If the shoes fits, wear it.”