fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘friends’

9 Nov…

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

blog

WHAT just happened?

All throughout the 2016 Presidential race, I was with her.  Never wavered… I was #imwither.  And, truth be told… being with her, meant I was 100% not with him.

Enter 9 Nov…

Heavily tuned in to watching the results be revealed, I had that feeling and I knew the imminent outcome.

That “ugly feeling” in my gut surfaced incredibly early and while I struggled to ignore… IT remained constant.

Throughout the primaries, throughout the state/city tours of the candidates, throughout the debates, throughout the media coverage and the venom written via social media platforms, throughout it all, that feeling was present… and, I knew.

So, while I had a sleepless night to begin processing the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, my 16 year old daughter did not.

Sound sleeping for her.  But… waking up on 9 Nov, her perception of the world shifted and now, healing beings.

This morning… as she stood in her bedroom door and I stood in the door of my bedroom, my daughter Zoe asked me did “he” really win…

I told her, “unfortunately yes”…

She quickly turned into her room, walked towards her closet and then I heard a thud.
As I entered her room, she was slumped in her closet door, head down, crying…
I kneeled down and started telling her that I understand her frustration and that we will get through this and be alright… she lifted her head, face drenched with tears, looked at me and said… “what is going to happen to Zack?!”
THAT statement…. it put a jolt into my heart.
My daughter, one who is of a liberal, encompassing spirit… one who strives to see the beauty and potential in situations, she automatically associated his win with a racist revolution and now worries about Zack… her black brother.
Her black brother who is away from home, for he is a Freshman in college.  Her kind, humble, intelligent and magnetic black brother, whose brown skin  — beautiful brown skin — could now make him more of a target… simply because HE won.
WHAT just happened?
And before you think otherwise, know that this is real talk. Real concerns.  Real discomfort.  Perhaps they are not your concerns… but they are real. Real. REAL.
Unprecedented.  Unsettling.  Device.  Malicious.  Uncomfortable.
All words that can be used to describe this most recent Presidential race.
And most unfortunate are the many, many, MANY conversations that families whose skin is brown are forced to have with their loved ones… especially their children. Conversations (repeated conversations) in which the message of being resilient, maintaining an optimistic spirit, and still displaying love for one another is paramount.
But,…the results are the results.
With any election, someone must rise as the victor. The voice of the people (or those who opted to show up and VOTE) has been confirmed.
Recorded… and delivered.  Many are elated with the results.
And… many are like me… thinking, who would have thought, eh?
More than ever it is obvious… #imwithher was trumped… literally!
And, as any day does, 9 Nov continues.
As I periodically shake my head, as if I were attempting to knock away a bad thought or wake from an awful dream…
as I wipe away the sporadic tears that my mind chatter seem to make appear out of nowhere…
as the reality of America’s new First Family becomes REALITY…
the, WHAT just happened?
Well… that must be replaced with…
WHAT now?
My reality is this…
Yes.. I have a black son.  A black son whose energy is so powerful, that his texts and comments have assured me (without him even realizing) that he will be alright.
I have a caring daughter.  And her father and I have reassured her that with God, faith, family and love, WE will be alright.
I have a supportive circle of family, siblings, and friends.  Their messages to me today and the love that has been displayed… I know that we will be alright.
For all of the above, the results will be accepted… and I will move forward in a manner to be supportive of  this new leadership.
FOUR years, eh?
Four years from now, I know that I will look back and read this cleansing blog.
But next election…
Well, lemme’ just keep my mouth shut…
cuz’ we are going to be alright!
Cheers!
-k

…so fresh. So clean.

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm

snowDid the title prompt an immediate humming of that ever so catchy OutKast tune?

“…ain’t nobody dope as me.  I’m just so fresh, so clean. So fresh and so clean clean.”

Haha — great tune, but that’s not the reference I’m making.  I’m talkin’ snow.  Yep… snow.  A blanket of snow that has freshly fallen onto the ground.  Clean and inviting in its appearance.  Crisp and invigorating to the touch.  Snow.

Today, after he shoveled the most recent wintery gift, I asked my husband what feelings the sight of snow evoke.  His immediate response was… “Fun.”  He spoke of his childhood, being outside and playing in the snow with friends… not what I was thinking, or the response I was looking for… so I cut him off and quickly rephrased the question.  Even quicker — completely ignoring my interruption — he responds, “Fun”… and proceeds to speak of his childhood, being outside and playing in the snow with friends.  I asked… right?!

What response was I anticipating?

Something more figurative.  Something more “right-brained”… something that made reference to a fresh and clean perspective of life.  Basically I was in search of a response that provided confirmation of my own quirky and abstract thinking.  Yet, I did ask my “left-brained” husband… and his response (I should have known)  came in true form.  The expected format; logical and precise.

22 days into a new year, I intentionally refrained from creating any resolutions.  Instead, I decided (and put it out into the universe) that this year, 2014, would be comprised of baby steps.  Daily small steps in which I was always true to myself.

You know, steps like… being appreciative of my daily blessing.  Being aware of any toxic surroundings and the what/who I allow to affect my temperament.  Being completely present in “the moment”…for my children, husband and for myself.  Continuing to love my unique imperfections and the beauty of age.  Haha — and probably most important (and my mother would MOST certainly agree) is to simply sloooooooooow down and clear my plate.  With the many hats that I wear, and with my many endeavors/goals/activities… I simply need to pace myself with baby steps.  The race need not be run so quickly, for the finish line will be there… when I get there.

Trust me, all of this is MUCH easier said that done!

Believe you me, there are a plethora of “things” and “goals” that could be spewed — the list that I could create would make you (and me) dizzy.  I have aspirations with my full-time interior design career, goals for my part-time job as stella & dot stylist, photography classes to take, paintings to be painted, more blogs to be written, new books to be read, experiences/travels and trips with my family;  and let’s not forget about me continuing to fine-tune my wine palate… all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both with food and exercise.  WHEW!

So instead, I decided… a new method is in order.  What is that old adage about insanity?  Doing that same thing over and over and expecting different results…  Ha!  Not me this year!  I’m sticking to that other old adage… the best way to eat an elephant, is one bite at a time.

So with the snow… and the question…

With my 2014 baby steps mindset, the snow seemed to represent so much more.  The site of  an untouched snowfall (free from footprints, dirt and yellow splotches) was a visual treat.  Pure.  So fresh.  So clean.  Actually, kinda dreamy… for you could easily get lost in thought staring at the crisp white planes or slopes.  Intoxicating, eh?

Lost in thought I was.  And the “ah-ha” moment was when I made this connection.  The sheer fact that the blanket of snow that surrounded my home consisted of billions and billions and BILLIONS of tiny snowflakes… it just seemed to add confirmation that small things/baby steps absolutely matter and can make one hell of an impact!  Too deep for ya?  Perhaps…

But remember… I’m “right-brained” and an artist.  Haha — I see “meaning” in practically everything!  Now that I think about it… I might have been a wee bit hard on my husband and his snow interpretation.  Maybe his notion of “Fun” has elements of fresh and clean intertwined?!  Could be…

At any rate… tomorrow is day 23 of the new year.

My plan…

Yep, you guessed it.  Continue my baby steps.

With the hopes of making my mother proud… here is one more old adage.  As for my baby steps…

Slow and steady wins the race.

Cheers!

-k

…things are never what they seem.

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

blogLooking out of my kitchen window while peeping at facebook, tunes from Pandora floating in the background (Beyonce today — don’t judge) and sippin’ on my favorite coffee with organic half and half, I saw my friend’s status… and it was like she read my mind.

Six simple words… “things are never what they seem.”

My shoulders twitch from an immediate chuckle and I’m now wearing a huge grin.  From over 8,000 miles and a different time zone away she always appears at the most appropriate moment.  Haha… I’m chalking it up to energy —  how in the world did she know that I was JUST about to write a blog on the very same subject?!

Don’t let me lose you… and please don’t wander off so quickly, for I am not about to blog about anything negative.

Her words, “things are never what they seem” are incredibly refreshing to me and embody one of the most important life lessons.  Simply put, we all have unique stories.  In turn… completely embracing this truth and refraining from applying your own perceptions to the life of another (I know… much easier said than done) is the key to finding that ethereal happiness we all desire.  Right?

Countless people seem to have contemplated this and figured it out.

How easily can one find quotations by Confucius stating “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” or Theodore Roosevelt saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy” … what about our very own “Live your best Life” Oprah Winfrey and her many mantras… “With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.”

Haha… calling Dr. Richards.  Dr. Richards?

Naaaaaaah.  I’m not a psychologist.

I’m creative.

I’m an artist, an interior designer… a stella & dot stylist.  Actually, “completely right-brained” might offer a more precise description.

Emotion, intuition and nonverbal communication steer my actions and furnish me with insight.  Couple that with over four decades of wisdom (in the form of life lessons) a splash of analytical tendencies and a wholesome love of self… I’m thinking that in itself could afford a figurative “Dr.” status!  Haha… just kidding!

Seriously though… I’m just like you.  Working hard, trying to be a productive member of society/my community, wanting each day to feel good and basically, be happy.  And of course…sometimes, lose sight, start glancing at that “greener grass” and make assumptions about what may or may not be in another’s world…  shit, I’m human, eh?!

But… I always come back to the notion and much-needed filter, “things are never what they seem”.  These words act as a refreshing reminder and enable me to completely appreciate what I have in my world.  Because the bottom line is, we ALL have unique stories… and discounting yours while elevating someone else’s will only generate for you, a long (actually, it should read: looooooooooooooooooog) road of internal discontentment.  Yep… I said it!

The past 54 days have been some of the most enlightening days in my lifetime and have fortified this belief.

Since shaving my head, the amount of feedback that has been forwarded my way has been incredibly humbling and at times surprising.

Without going into great detail… the feedback stems from being showered with complements, told that I was an inspiration/brave, asked if I was undergoing chemotherapy and even received an embarrassingly unwanted head-rubbing.  Some have revealed to me that they could never see themselves doing this and why they couldn’t… others told me that when my hair grows back I should think about wearing “this” type of style and they proceed to tell me what “this” should be… and others have simply embraced my new look… and left it at that.

Hey, I know why I shaved my head and I am still comfortable and delighted with my decision.

But, going back to… “things are not what they seem” — with each response, my “right-brained” self used the comments as a gauge. A dual-sided gauge no doubt, for surely those that decided to give me feedback had some sort of preconceived notion as to why I would or would not shave my head.  Sometimes what I thought an individual might say, they didn’t… or, what I thought they wouldn’t say, they did.

Can you imagine 54 days straight of “something that someone said or did” granting you with continuous “ah-ha” moments?

Well…welcome to my world… and I would NOT trade it for anything!

Surely my friend didn’t have my hair adventures on her mind when she posted her status… but I can guarantee you that in some way, shape or form… her reason for posting her statement directly relates to we ALL have a unique story.  AND simply… embrace it for what it is!

55Tomorrow is day 55…

with an open-mind, I enthusiastically await what comes my way.

Cheers!

-k

A vision… captured on a board.

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

After months of chatter with a select group of colleagues, it finally came to fruition – I had a vision board party.

Why?

I’d say  – why not?

The idea of making a collage or board via collected images that depict goals and aspirations isn’t new, it is a practice that stems from our elementary school days, eh?  In our current time — times pronounced by heightened self-awareness and a constant re-evaluation of self, these boards – vision boards – are being revived.  Adults making vision boards is experiencing a reawakening… especially gathering and sharing the experience with those who respect and appreciate the process.

Probably the 2006 release of Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book The Secret, best captures the board’s intent.  The book speaks on the law of attraction, the power of positive thinking, expressing gratitude and utilizing visualization to attain goals.  Simply put — a vision board acts as your channel.  A vehicle for your short-term and long-term goals.  An artistic daily reminder of your dreams and way of harnessing your energy so that your desires become reality.

Nice, eh?!  Refreshing, innovative… and actually when done as a group, the event can be incredibly insightful.

As planned, the group was small – both colleagues and friends.  Truly a quartet – for instead of song, our melody was the sound of magazine pages being torn, scissors cutting and the thump of glue sticks as they moved about the table.  Foam board, canvases, card stock, and a slew of magazines decorated the floor… some of the guests came prepared with several images to incorporate onto their board, others came simply driven by spontaneity – using the magazines I had on hand to interpret their vision.  Good times…and definitely more than just a night of sophisticated cut and paste/arts and crafts.

The party was a success!

We all were able to create a uniquely motivating vision board.  I’m thinking mission accomplished!  My favorite element — the party concluded with each guest having a platform to explain their board to the group and describe their vision.  How interesting it is to discover the dreams of another… and how humbling it is to see their passion as they share their desires.  At that point, the board takes flight, eh?!  We have given it breath – all that is left is to find a prominent spot in your home to keep the board in your constant sight and work towards your dreams!

Haha — and don’t think that we didn’t have treats!

Yes, appetizers, fresh fruits and sweets … but treats is also code for wine!

Of the several bottles that were on hand, two were a gift to me from my boss.  Two reds from the Tara Winery in Leesburg, VA – Nevaeh Red 2008 and Tranquility 2009.  Absolutely AMAZING!  Especially the Tranquility 2009.  Screaming with flavor and packed with structure, it was the  perfect mate for my “it’s so delicious that IF you ever taste it, you will crave it” spinach dip.  Haha – all jokes aside – SERIOUSLY, it is that damn good!  For me, there is more to learn about these well priced wines… this summer, I’m definitely committed to visiting this winery and scheduling a tasting.

So now perhaps you too are inspired about instituting a vision board in your life?

Take a peek at what our group created —

(a closer image of my board)

I am inspired… and I encourage you to get creative!

Cheers!

-k

Stumped by a rebus?

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Those darn tricky little rebus puzzles!

An entertaining word play, eh?

Cleverly arranged pictograms that denote a syllabic sound, combined with basic letters, create these hidden messages.  Messages that when revealed are incredibly simplistic but while deciphering – it can feel as if you are attempting to crack a top-secret cryptic code!

An intimate impromptu gathering at a relative’s picturesque row house was the catalyst for the night’s entertainment.  An early March crab feast.  5 dozen steamed crabs, an ample amount of crab legs, shrimp, scallops, homemade crab sauce and melted butter.  All positioned in the center of a grand dining room table that had been strategically lined with not one… but two disposable plastic table cloths AND at least a 1/2 inch layer of newspaper.  That’s right!  Gotta protect that investment!

While the children ate their grilled hot dogs and retreated to the basement for video games, the adults selected their drink of choice and took their places at the table… let the feast commence!  My drink?  Haha – surprise surprise – this time, not wine… a blue party cup filled with plenty of ice and refreshing ginger ale.  But for the men – two choices of beer; a tall and sleek Corona or a short and stumpy Mickey’s.  Yesssssss… I said it, Fine Malt Liquor Mickey’s!

Not being a beer drinker and quickly forming an opinion merely on my limited knowledge, my bet was on the Corona… especially for my “I don’t drink domestic beer” husband.  Certainly he wasn’t going to revert back to his penniless college days.  You know the days… days in which your drink of choice was regulated by coins.  Pretty much, you drank whatever you could afford — and it wasn’t often the good stuff!

I’m thinking that it was nostalgia that prevailed.  Or could it have been the taste?  At any rate, as we chatted, munched on seafood and cracked open crab shells, the 3 men at the table completely ignored the Corona and devoured 2 six-packs of Mickey’s.  Another surprise – Mickey’s was consumed and enjoyed.  It was a stimulus and truly… how the fun began.

Who knew that the gold cap that topped the barrel-shaped green bottle was a prize in itself?

Ok…maybe you did, but not me!

Well, these gold caps are home to a quirky rebus puzzle… and those rebus puzzles provided hours of entertainment!  Of course I had to do my research.  Mickey’s is one of 15 beers that hides rebus puzzles under the caps.  Did you know that these caps are called “crown ticklers”?  Funny little nickname – sounds a bit naughty, eh?!  Definitely brain teasers.  Mildly embarrassed to admit… but there were a few that I could not decipher!

Good times, eh?

Cap after cap, passed around the table by old bay covered fingers… each one of us infusing bit of our personality as we worked on solving the mystery.  We even created a quick competition for the kids… timing them to see how many that they could interpret.  Haha – they didn’t fare as well as expected… but it was humorous and yielded an enormous amount of laughter.

Good times, indeed!

Particularly for my husband’s cousin.  He lovingly teased me throughout the night… telling me I should leave my bourgeois wine speak alone and blog about “this right here” Mickey’s.  “$5.99 for a six-pack at your grocery store… great price and it get’s the party started.” – his script for me to write.

Consider it done.

SNJ – this post is dedicated to you.

Although I am not sippin’ on that Fine Malt Liquor, I will happily accept a gold cap and help you solve the rebus puzzle any day.

And by the way… did you know that if you click www.mickeys.com — ALL of the answers are there?!

Cheers!

-k