So I know I am often late to the party… it’s not because I don’t want to be there but sometimes I take the scenic route. That’s how I feel about queer artist Kelela and her song “Bank Head”
This is not new by any stretch of the imagination (it came out in 2013) but I heard it just a while ago on set for the first time. I didn’t know who sang it or even the name but it was a vibe that my spirit needed. A lightning speed download of Shazam later (which I didn’t even know was still around) and I was on it. Ever since I have listened to it no less that 50 times, each time vibing like it is brand new.
Chocolate City born, second-generation Ethiopian American, Kelela who was featured on Solange’s Scales, is the epitome of dope black queer everythingness. Her beauty alone is stark and stunning. Hard stop. But once I fell into the rabbit hole that is Al Gore’s internet, I realized her voice was strong and impactful even outside of the studio. She speaks vulnerably and honestly about her experiences in life, love and the black experience. *deep gutteral sigh*
When I close my eyes and hear this song, I picture a dark club where everyone is dancing in what seems like a blur except for me and HER. Lasers of different colors cascade over our glistening black bodies as we move slowly to the drop beat… yeah it is one of those songs. Sexuality in plain sight until… as the song goes “time goes by”
I have been really excited and in love with my morning routine for the last few weeks.
For those that know me, I have been on a whole life affirming journey. As I am working on my next upcoming chapter (more coming — stay tuned), I have realized that I need to be more diligent and deliberate in how I spend my time and reach my goals.
I am a creature of habit. Both good habits and bad, if I’m honest. When my life is a mess, it is a BIG MESS. When my life is on an upward trajectory, I am a whole mood. I have to be intentional about every aspect of my life so I decided the morning is the way to set the pace. Is it just me or if you have a great morning, your day goes better?
For the record, this post is for sure not trying to get you to do my routine. It is just a post to share how I figured out what works for me and hopefully it will give you a little zhuzh  …I know for ME my routine gets me feeling awake, productive and affirmed before the day starts going. Here goes…
I used to hate waking up. For some reason, my body knows exactly when my alarm is getting ready to go off, which coincidentally felt like 5 minutes before I was supposed to wake up. Every morning without fail l, I would hit the snooze button 3 times before I actually got up. By the last buzzer, I was jumping up and running around the house in order to get out of the house for work. It started my day feeling stressed out and rushed. And often my day would continue just like that.
I have now moved my charger and phone to the other side of the room so I have to physically get up and go turn it off. By the time I focus my eyes and make the first step, I am up. For full disclosure, I have been tempted to walk back over to the bed once or twice (I’m still growing) but for the most part I have kept it moving.
Set the mood.
Once I have my slippers on, I make my way to my half bathroom.
For the most part I am a night shower-er (unless I have gotten up super early or need a little extra), so my half bathroom is my zen place for my facial routine. The first thing that I do is light my candles. I have been in love with the candles I have been using from Queen Mary Candle, Co here in Miami. They are hand poured and smell amazing. I sent batches out in my birthday gift boxes this year. They were hit.
Next I activate the “Daily Affirmations” on my Amazon Fire dot. Today I was told that I am strong, healthy and powerful. I repeat my affirmation 4 or 5 times in a row while I am setting up my skincare.
Once I have gotten ready, I start my Anthony Hamilton Pandora channel. Aside from the fact that I love his music, the channel has a great mix of soulful tunes and spiritual music. It will go from Solange to Tamela Mann to Jaheim. It is a good time, and I can pretend I am on the newest episode of Sunday Morning Best or the Voice.
Wash On. Wash Off.
So I am trying to decide if I should make this part a separate blog post. I worked with April King of Glamour Impulse to create the best regimen for my daily skin care. I have added a few tweaks to it but it has definitely made my skin reach a new level of bombness. Between her blog, her Instagram and her YouTube channel, I am very excited about what she is going to introduce me to next .
Let’s just say, I do 7-10 steps every morning and a varied routine every night. Yes I will definitely do another post full of product links later. The response that I have gotten from those who have seen me has been so positive. I work in the fashion and beauty industry for my 9 to 5, so when a legit celebrity makeup artist  gives you a high five… you take it.
Most of the times I don’t wear makeup but definitely make sure my face is moisturized and the rest of my body is shea buttered up.
So after I have revived my skin, I take a moment and revive internally. Since I am doing intermittent fasting, I don’t have breakfast but I make sure to drink my first 8 oz of water before I get dressed.
I blow out my candle (because I don’t want to burn my house down) and say bye to Alexa. I am ready to go.
With everything going on, I was struggling to find my peace and my happy. I felt anxious about going to work, I felt guilty for having a job to go to. It was an odd mix of survivors’ guilt and feeling like a sacrificial lamb. With the help of loving friends and self reflection, I have gotten better at being ok. On the way to work, I text some of the most important people in my life. I chat with my friend Gennie, I send a daily check in on Mama K Word and have now introduced a new “love on y’all” text with my sisters. Everyone of them sow positivity and light into my life, so I want to start their days off with some too.
Now let’s keep it real. Does this routine happen perfectly every day? Nah. Nope. Chiiiiile. Do I feel bad when I miss a step or two? Only for a second. The best thing about the routine is that it has a lasting effect. If I mess up one day, the affirmation and love from the day before keeps me going until I get back on target the next day.
In general use, ‘zhuzh’ tends to mean “to improve in appearance by way of a slight adjustment.” Sidenote I legit that zhuzh was a Yiddish word that old Jewish mothers used over mahjong… Guess I was wrong. Shout out to Carson from Queer Eye.
I have purchased many high end candles in my day but I love these. They last 2 weeks and are fun to try out. (I have one fragrance for my morning routine and another for my evening routine).
Though my wallet is looking a little nervous. Beauty hurts… my bank account.
Celebrity artist like iconic, A lister, supermodel knowing celebrity artist. No shade to instagram celebs.
With all of the things going on last week, from the helicopter crash death of nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant to my super fun time at the Super Bowl opening night, I missed posting about the Grammys.
But I would be remiss to not give a super loud congratulations to South Beach’s own Tracy Young for being the first woman ever nominated in the Best Remixed Recording category… AND WINNING!
Tracy is a legend with over 25 years in the game. She has done remixes with LITERALLY every one of your faves. We are talking Beyoncé, Gaga, Rihanna, Britney, Madonna and other one name superstars. She even collabed with our forever FLOTUS, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama * consider my pearls clutched *.
She is a whole mood and a boss.
Congratulations to my Sappho sister (in case you had any question whether she rode the pink rainbow)!
Tiffany. Tiffany. Tiffany. Where have you been all my life?
* head shaking and mouth pursed *
You just spoke life into my whole existence… four years after this song released.
Cali native, Tiffany Gouché is a legit musical phenom. She has worked with a little bit of everyone from Ty Dolla $ign to Jill Scott to mutha Lauryn Hill.
And if you know you know her, but don’t know why you know her, she was a part of the Black and Sexy TV webseries back in the day as well.
But that is all very 2010s, let’s get into now.
When I started listening to this song today…and let the record show I have listened to it twice, I was shooketh. The visuals and movement took me to a place I needed to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the dance homage to the ORIGINAL She’s Got to Have It (intentional or not) that had me grooving at my desk.
The message was timeless. Haven’t we all had that friend that we know is just a friend… but you want to tell your fantasies to? Just me? shrugs
Jolene’s Bar and Restaurant
2700 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Cuisine: Brunch, Bar Food
Food: They have a really cute brunch menu. I can’t tell you what it takes like because I was too full to order food BUT the plates I saw people getting looked AMAZING! I would have definitely tried to grab a bite but I would have popped.
Drinks: While they have a full bar, I opted for the Think Pink. It is cocktail of St. Germain, Grey Goose, Vodka, Lemon and Grapefruit juice. The sugar on the rim was a good touch. Cheyenne the bartender did the damn thing!
Service: Ok so I will be honest, when I read the reviews of yelp I was concerned about the service. There were several comments about people receiving poor service and the bar staff being impolite. I had the absolute opposite experience. From the sweethearts behind the bar, to the amazing hostess who took the top off the pool table so we could play, the service was amazing.
Now granted you all know I will make a party wherever I go, but this was such a cool space. And crazy enough I ended up talking to Jolene and her crew, not even knowing who she was. We laughed and talked together until it was time to go to the airport. It was a great experience I would tell anyone and everyone to try it out.
The Show: Finally a burlesque show that is actually burlesque. Usually when people say burlesque, they mean a highly choreographed modern dance show … where the performers happen to be topless. Burlesque should have a little tease and a little fun. They were so amazing and lighthearted. Definitely a great time. I think the rotation changes weekly.
What to Wear: Very come as you are.
Overall: 5 out of 5. Great experience. Definitely worth the hype. Nothing else to say.
Book reviews are coming I promise. I reupped on my kindle credits and Mama Sew Right and I are back with our bi-monthly book club. Reading always makes things better.
First up is the selection from my 9 to 5 book club. Of all the book clubs that I have ever been in, I must say this one is the farthest out of my comfort zone. From the book selections to the life experiences of the members, I can say it is interesting to say the least every time we meet up. The last two books we read were deep, dark and slightly depressing. So for the third book we chose the best selling chick lit ,Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?