Dominque Morriseau’s Sunset Baby

I think about those in the middle of revolutions. What about their families? What about the people who they are tasking to uphold? It’s a catch 22. You can be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. How can one fight for what’s right and be there for their own family? Can you win both battles? Who wins?

Sunset Baby is about a daughter and father caught up in lost times and even more distraught relationships. They say political activist are the backbone of the Black fight? Who’s backing them? Who’s helping to keep their families together. Even in today’s terms we see those like Shaun King and the same has to be asked! We see this tortured relationship between Nina and her father Kenyatta. Nina’s mother has written letters upon letters to her father who spent a large part of his and Nina’s life in jail.

Nina has had enough of her ghost of a dad. He wants these letters as token pieces of what he left behind but with Nina’s mom deceased will Nina see the value in him having them. It’s a lot to be said about the relationship between a daughter and father. They choose to pick the men in their lives who in some regards mirror their dad. I watched the way Nina and her boyfriend, Damon interact. How Nina kind of goes through the motions of love but is missing the essence. How much of a hustler Damon seems to be but he’s just as marred. This is why Damon and Kenyatta “see” each other.

Oh and the definition or should I say the evolution of “Sunset Baby!” Nina’s chasing something she believes she’s ever had but she’s had a taste. She wants her life to evolve in such a way that she doesn’t realize its not a small stretch from reality!

This was powerful. There are a LOT of imagery that I took in. I could really write whole essays on them. Just in Nina’s name alone is strength!! Sunset Baby is a must see not just because it’s the perfect backdrop of what many face during the end of the Black Revolution but because it’s a pure blueprint on what’s happening now-political unrest, mass incarceration, and families torn apart. There’s nothing new under the sun and Sunset Baby opens a conversation that we need desperately today!

Azuka Theatre

They are in their 4th season of pay what you decide! It’s a wonderful way to make sure that amazing theatre can be seen by all! Also if you never been to Azuka Theatre located at the Louis Bluver Theatre At the Drake you are missing out. Sunset Baby will be in theaters until November 24th. The production is 90 minutes. Directed by Amina Robinson; playwright Dominque Morriseau -this is an all star cast; Victoria Aaliyah Goins who plays Nina, Steven Wright who plays Kenyatta, and Eric Carter who plays Damon!

Things to be aware:

  • It’s an intimate setting with that in mind, there may not be a chance to seat you after the show starts
  • There is strong language so be mindful
  • Be on time if you need to change your tickets contact the theatre as they can release your unclaimed tickets 15 minutes before the show!
  • There are amazing drinks and snacks/The sponsor for Azuka Theatre is Two Roads Brewing!

Tickets can be purchased here!

Thank you to Azuka Theatre for having me as always I love what you produce! Thank you to Aversa PR!!! Make sure you flood this production. FYI the night I went it was full to capacity don’t wait until last minute for your tickets!!

Advertisements

Blogher Biz 2019 LA

So much energy, truth, and business leveling up took place. As you know I attended the Blogher Biz LA experience and it was just that a worthy experience. I’m not a conference person. This means I don’t go from conference to conferences if I don’t feel like it’s going to benefit me to some degree.

How you start is How you Finish…

Who are you? Erica Williams Simon started the morning helping us reframe this answer. Are we what we do? Who are we? I was moved. I know she was talking to me. To have someone call you and your insecurities out was refreshing. It was at that moment I knew let me dig in! I wasn’t leaving with just a good time. I was leaving healed in some places and with a strategy to make it happen!

Why Blogher Biz?

The Blogher Biz conference was an intimate conference full of bloggers and influencers who are ready to level up. Everyone wants to level up now thanks to Ciara right?! Wrong. There’s a lot of folks who want to level up but don’t do the work and aren’t coachable. The women at Blogher came in with a purpose to level up and I believe it will happen!

What is leveling up with Blogher Biz?

This comes in the form of learning about SEO. If you’re a blogger and haven’t heard SEO than you need to take a step back. Having your blog go to the top of the search board is important. Leaving how to add more headers, have quality pictures, and making your blog more streamlined is important!

Oh and if you need a free plugin that I love use Ink! They are not sponsored by Blogher but I use them and they are great and works with WordPress and easy to use!! They help with SEO!!

Getting the Coins

Blogging can be for a number of reasons. You have me when I first began it was a great hobby and outlet. For some like myself we realize that we can create amazing content and turn it into a full budding business. You need coins to do so. We learned the art of negotiating. How to ask for what we what and not leave money on the table!

We also heard from an amazing panel of financial gurus. The notion that we can’t enjoy our lattes, save and make upward mobility and have the money we need was broken!

From left to right: Nicole Lapin, Sherita Janielle, and Dee McLaughlin; sponsored by Capital Group

Save me Complex

One of the best thing I loved was that the Blogher Biz was located at The Riverter LA. One of the first things you see in the beautiful creative space is this:

There’s no save me complex. Women have always been saving themselves the rest of the world is just catching on. With that in mind I loved Kate Somerville! Kate built her skincare line by the notion of saving herself. She took an idea; didn’t have a lot of capital and went to friends and family to help. Here’s the kicker…she came with a plan. She had it written her what, how, and when. She not only paid everyone back she did it earlier than she originally stated. None of that borrowing and dodging.

Justine Goodman and Kate Somerville

Women investing in other Women

I had no idea about women investing in other women was a thing until I started coming to the Blogher conferences this year. I was delighted to learn from Jesse Draper. Jesse is a venture capitalist of Halogen Ventures. She recalls seeing women owned businesses asking for way less than men would. Men have zero issues knowing what they want and asking and most times receiving it. We as women have to know what it takes. Jesse said the things that stick out to her is someone who knows what they want and is willing to challenge her.

Jesse Draper and Audrey Cleo Yap

Influece Unplugged

A lot of folks don’t want to hear it but sometimes you have to accept free merchandise before you can ask for a rate. It’s not totally unheard of. Once you get to a certain place it’s perfectly fine to know your rate and ask for it. Companies will negotiate with you. Have and make an investment into a great attorney to go over your contracts! Ask questions and know what you are doing and what is expected of you.

Pictured; Pia Baroncini, Lauren Perinchief, and Jennifer Powell

Let me say that Blogher always and I mean always gives the best treats both during and as take home by the wonderful sponsors!

Boost Friends

Hi Boost Friends! We all need Boost Friends! Thanks to Kwanza Jones curator, creator, and investor of IamSupercharged had us on our feet after lunch helping us resift our energy! Making sure we understand how we need people in our lives bringing positive vibes into our lives!!

Tika Sumpter and Karin Gist

We all should be familiar with the show Mixedish! This show follows a mixed couple and their family and the challenges that even in 2019 are prevalent when dealing with race and identity. Tika and Karin shared their passions on how they climbed and still climb in their professions!

One thing about Tika I didn’t know what she was set to go to college and unable to pay her bill she got a waitress job and found acting. Hearing her say that she was someone who wasn’t supposed to be where she was resonated with me. Sometimes life will carry us into our purpose!

Karin has to follow passion even after passion had lead her into some amazing circles! Knowing that success will be defined by you and not by others!

The Future is Female Founded

We learned that sometimes having a degree in finances isn’t always necessary. Shout out to those who do go to school because we need people on the front line too! Google should be your friend. No need to be in this world not asking questions and finding out what you need to make your business pop. Learning to take a chance on yourself is necessary!!! These ladies came with the goods. My notes section of my phone is dedicated to Blogher at this point! I needed my notes to be in retime!

Nicole Lapin, Christina Stembel, Sashee Chandran, AmyAnn Caldwell, Maggie Q

Molly Sims

We know Molly as a model, actress, and philanthropist, but Molly is a super hero to me. More than just the nostalgia of seeing her I resonated with the fact that she’s married and has kids and still killing it! I struggle since often times creatives are younger and younger and often times I’m the mom of the group! However mom or not Molly let it be known being relevant is in how you carry yourself! She’s a force and she encouraged us to take projects that speak to us! Go over contracts and have a plan!

Krista Smith and Molly Sims

I learned sooooo much! I made amazing connections!

Me pictured with Mschurchdress; give her a follow she’s amazing and stunning look at this beauty

Here are my tools for going to a conference like Blogher:

  • Get close-sitting in the back should be because you needed to for things like frequent bathroom breaks or you were late (always better late than not coming)
  • Get social (I connected with more than 30 people)
  • Take great notes (you ain’t come for nothing)
  • Use social media at the same time-this is a learned skill. It didn’t take away from me getting the information-you will be surprised of who notices!!! Trust me!
  • Don’t waste your time-go with intention

Realize when you’re in a Blogher conference the best thing is to smile and speak. I have yet to have a bad encounter with anyone including the organizers who I know by name at this point because I make it my business to make sure I’m seen!

LA owes me nothing. I had a great weekend and though I’m jet lagged at least I’m inspired! I stayed at the Holiday Inn which I will review them separately! Amazing time though and great service!

I also had a great time seeing my family while there! Can you look at this amazing sushi from Rok Sushi Kitchen!!

Here are a few goodies:

Mochi icecream by Bubbies

Amazing flavors and they had the best display! I need like a case for the holidays!!

These by Smart Sweets take my candy craving to a great high! I’m still learning about vegan options that taste great! This brand has ALL my favorites. I’ll be ordering soon!!

What I’m currently reading…

Thanks Nicole Lapin for my autographed copy!!! I’ll be gifting one to one lucky reader soon stay tuned!!

Blogher will always have my support for always supporting women!

Monday Motivation: Burn Out Time to Tap Out

Burn out is real. Its not just about always being on in in every arena of life Burn out can and will happen if you aren’t putting things on pause. By pausing it doesn’t mean you aren’t “adulting.” It simply meas you recognize what you need to make yourself a better adult.

How do you avoid Burn Out?

I wish I knew the secret. It doesn’t stop just because you went to the spa one day and got your favorite coffee. It doesn’t stop just because you landed a dream job or a dream mate. Burn out is sometimes a cycle that we get in when we are not conscientiously not looking inward. I think about the countless hours it takes to manage an online blog and it’s a lot. You don’t simply write a blog and walk away. You know post it on your social media channels, connect with your readers, get out and get in the community, have a “normal” life whatever that may mean. You can build for yourself and others and forget to hit the pause button.

In order to be the best you have to e 110% in. You are right and wrong. I have had some of my best moments where I felt like I was killing it in the game but losing it on the inside. I was tired angry. Tired angry is when even a leaf falling makes you curse because the amount of burn out has taken its toll.

It’s okay and beneficial to say NO! I looked at my calendar and had to say NO! I need down time. I need me time. I need family time. I need a nap. I needed quiet. I need to recharge. We are now not only waking up to a Monday, we are also about to dive into the holiday season. It’s okay to recognize your needs.

Ways I avoid Burnout:

  • I say NO at least 3 times a month. This is NO to a invite, family, friends, or even myself.
  • I am honest and listen to my intuition-she knows me better than I give her credit
  • I take breaks-I will purposely go to sleep early or end my day early
  • I am learning to take social media breaks
  • I don’t follow uninspiring people
  • I took a break on certain forms of entertainment

You have to listen to yourself and from listening to yourself tell yourself it’s okay to bow out gracefully on a few things. What’s for you isn’t going to roll if you take a break. It’s okay to step and allow others to handle things. You are not a failure or a disappointment if you allow yourself a break.


Do yourself a favor; take a break now. Do NOT say I will do it next week. Next week you won’t take one either. Don’t put it off. Its one of the causes of sickness and stress. It makes you feel little in your big world when you should feel empowered. You’re overdoing it and now it’s time to step back so you can come back and step up!

Moshulu Serves with Elegance

I had the opportunity to dine at the Moshulu. If you have been before they have newly renovated and the space is pure elegance. I love the menu as well so we are going to dive in!

If you caught my blog on The Deck back in the Summer than you know just how amazing the Moshulu really is. Their signature cocktails should definitely be on your list. I recommend the Moshulu for a great after work change of pace for happy hour. Nothing and I mean nothing beats seeing the skyline of the city while you dine. The Moshulu is also a great place to have a date night. The ambiance is a perfect backdrop to gaze into your lovers eye! No boo? No problem grab some friends or loved ones and make it as big or as small as you would like. Can we check out this scenery?

You and your guests will be mesmerized by the hand carved fish that floats almost on top of you…

Who doesn’t love a good bar? Whatever your poison you can find it here at the Moshulu! Your bartender will make you a request from the menu or they can work a special request as well!

Now let’s talk about food! I started my night by getting the Tempura Lobster Sushi Roll. The very first time I had sushi was at the Deck which is adjacent to the Moshulu. So to have the Lobster sushi roll was pure amazement!

My friend for the evening Josephine has the Lamb meatballs. I tried a piece of that as well. It was juicy and moist! It was paired with bread.

I love a great drink and the Moshulu didn’t disappoint! I had the Princess Peach which was made with faber citrus, vodka, St. Germain, cranberry, peach, lime and sparking wine! My girl has a Mangojito! The Mangojito is made with Bacardi lime Rum, mango, agave, lime, mint, and soda.

Don’t let these pretty drinks fool you! They come with a powerful punch!

For my entree I had the Salmon! It was super tender and delicious. I mean no knife needed! It was served with a sweet potato puree underneath with peas, carrots, and quinoa! The taste of all of it together was amazing! I’m talking about tap your toes good!!

My girl had the Roasted Chicken Breast. It’s normally served with a mushroom leek bread pudding, Brussels sprouts, golden raisins and apples. She substituted with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

If you can squeeze in dessert you should! I opted for the key lime cheesecake. It was decadent! It was flavorful but not too sweet. It was absolutely perfect!

My girl had a chocolate cake!! I wasn’t ready for the largeness of this slice I’m warning you this is a take home slice! It’s not for the faint of heart! When the Moshulu says chocolate cake they mean chocolate cake!

So we have great food, and amazing ambiance but what about service?

I have to shout out Emi! She by far made my night wonderful. Not only is she knowledgeable about the menu but she showed so much patience. No time did my water go low. When we went from each course they boxed our food immediately. I’m talking about you blink and the food came. We weren’t rushed! I was asked when I wanted my next course. If there is any other restaurants reading this-this is where customer service of Moshulu excels. I watched how every patron was handled and we were all handled with care. I would give them more than 2 thumbs up!! I would borrow some things it was that good!!

Thank you to Moshulu for hosting me and thank you to Jami for setting this up! I can’t wait to go back. I think a holiday gathering would be the move!! Consider hosting your next gathering at the Moshulu and have an experience of a lifetime!! See the Moshulu’s holiday schedule here! Also management is superior to none! They didn’t do a one time walk through asking about your time but I witnessed them stepping in and even serving. That means a lot. No one is above another and the emphasis being on the customer!!

Well if you attend make sure tag me as I would like to see the fun you’re having. The Moshulu also offers brunch so there’s no excuse not to come and enjoy and make memories!

Kurry Shack: Indian Food on the Go!

Now you know my first experience with Indian food ever was at Makhani! I am happy to say that Owner Shafi Gaffar has done it again with Kurry Shack!! All of the goodness you expected with Makhani has extended itself to Kurry Shack with Chef Abdur Masud! Kurry Shack is located at 2015 East Moyamensing Avenue; Philadelphia PA 19148. Their number is 267-761-5562!!

What I like about this BYOB dining area is that it’s also a great way to have Indian food on the go but keep with the same home style flavors. It’s causal demeanor is a great way to grab food with a friend or family. The indoors can seat up to 18 people or can be turned into an event space holding 30-40!

I enjoyed an amazing experience on this past Sunday. Here is what I observed:

  • The food was bomb-they have options for everyone! Vegans and vegetarians aren’t left off this menu and you know that made me super happy!
  • Their Uber Eats, Caviar, Grub Hub, and Door Dash was in full run. Every few minutes orders were running out the door-no lie! I was amazed.
  • They have amazing Indian ice creams, milkshakes, etc. Their take on tradition and flipping it in a great tasting way

Let’s start with my mango lassi! It’s a yogurt drink! If you never had it you will love it from first sip! I had two if I’m quite honest! They also have sweet or salt flavors too! Mango is my go to! The smoothest drink I’ve had in quite some time!

Mango Lassi

Appetizers

I started out with an appetizer of Mixed Pakora which is a selection of fried vegetables fritters. The sauces I had too were amazing!

Kurry Shack has vegetarian and non vegetarian appetizers by the way! They also have a great selections of soup!

Breads

I love Indian bread or Naan! They have an extensive selection. Some I had never even heard of! I chose the bread basket and that came with original, garlic, and onion Naan! Let me say they were exceptional! The crispy edges and hot fresh Naan made in their clay oven was pure bliss. I save my carbs for occasions such as this and I was in pure heaven!

Tandoori

I chose the Tandoori Shrimp! We are talking about shrimp sautéed in fresh spices and grilled in the tandoor! It was fresh and they asked me how spicy I wanted it! Since it was around 6 and I tend to stay up late if my food is super spicy I had them keep in the middle. Enough spicy to clear my palette but not enough to have me up all night! It was perfect!

A little birds told them how much I enjoyed the Chicken Tikka Masala and they brought some for me along with a fresh bowl of rice!

Oh and it was just me so now I have a table of food!! If that wasn’t enough I had ordered prior to the Chicken Masala the Chana Saag. The Chana Saag is spinach and chick peas cooked in a thick sauce. By the way I obviously took the leftovers home and it heated up super well! I finished it yesterday!

I had no room for dessert but that didn’t stop them from offering me! I had and enjoyed Kheer! Kheer is a fresh Indian style rice pudding. Rice pudding isn’t something I would eat on my own at all because of the texture but this rice pudding was great! It was creamy and tasted well. Anyone who knows me knows that textures make me normally skiddish! I ate it all!!

They also served me Gajar Hawal which is a sweet carrot almost like a purée. I ate that a lot quicker than I had imagined! It was that good!

All in all nothing I had was bad! It was down right so delicious that I can’t wait to have more! I like that it’s 15 minutes from my house which is now no excuse cause even on days I don’t feel like going in I can order it and have it delivered! The food is always hot and fresh and is the best! Shafi Gaffar you outdid yourself once again!

Thanks for having me and thanks to Aversa Pr!!

Make sure you give them a try for the best authentic Indian food with options for everyone from non vegetarian, vegan, and vegetarian options for the best you have ever had!

Bristol Riverside Theatre: Next To Normal

Explosive, twisted, heart wrenching, and purely dipped in the essence of human heart! Those are just a few words to describe my thoughts watching Next to Normal. Book and lyrics are by Brian Yorkey, and is directed by Keith Baker. Music is by Tom Kitt!

This play follows a family who is dealing with death and mental illness as it has brought a wave of change that can’t be denied. Grief changes you in many ways. God forbid the death of a baby. This baby is such a catalyst in how the whole family interacts, intertwines with one another, and lacks ability to see each other. I sat in the beginning just bopping around this musical until the twist came and grabbed me by my chest. By the end I sat there with tissues in my hand and the worse ugly cry!! It was that emotionally charged.

The crazy part and I use that term loosely is that she is me and she is you. No one couldn’t feel the pain or have experienced some level of sadness that could or had you at this point of despair. I had to call my family and check in on them. I’ve dealt with my own anxiety and if you have in some portions or major this will speak to your own healing. This can be triggering to anyone who has lost a child. It’s a dance of healing and anyone who has had to heal knows it’s not straight forward. It comes in waves. It’s debilitating at times. You will experience all of these emotions. I sat there taking to a woman who just couldn’t stop crying. I don’t know her story I never asked. We sat there seemingly from two different worlds comforting each other!

This is a must see! This one made me grateful, showed the mirror to my own healing, and challenged to see others around me in a different light. We don’t know what someone is dealing with. We have no idea of their struggles and inner demons. We got to find a way to handle ourselves and others around us with better care!

Can we talk about the fact that this is a musical and they are sanging! No I spelled that right. They were sanging meaning they took singing and upped it! I come from a singing family and been around music and theatre most of my life and the actors and actresses sang!! I appreciated the music so much more! The band is phenomenal. I love live music and Next to Normal wraps all of it well!!

Next to Normal will be showing until November 24, 2019!! That’s right you have time! This was a packed house performance! Bristol Riverside Theatre if you have never attended a show is a state of arts theatre nestled in Bristol. They have amazing staff to service you. I love coming and they have some amazing snacks if you need a snack or drink during the performances!

Monday Motivation: Prepare

Oh who else enjoyed that extra hour of sleep? I know I did. Having kids whenever the “extra” hour comes I usually never get to enjoy it. This time my kids seemed to give me and my husband a little rest.

As I went on my day crushing my Sunday routine I got excited about all of the things I needed to do. I went to the Production of Next to Normal. More on that later. As I exited the building immediately I remembered the only thing about gaining an hour and that it gets darker early. It came to mind how depression will escalate as Fall continues and Winter settles in. If you think seasonal depression isn’t real you don’t understand how people work. We have eaten candy and soon we will be gathering for Thanksgiving. Seasonal depression moves hard and fast if you’re ready it will take over!

This season is heavy. It doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate it. It does mean that there are a lot of people who suffer in silence during this time. You have loved ones who aren’t here to share these upcoming holidays. The darkness of the night and the change of the weather changes people’s motivation. We tend to get lazy. We don’t want to work as hard. We move with very little intentions. It’s I’ll get to it after the holidays. I’ll make it happen later. I’ll worry about that after awhile.

So preparation and acknowledging that this is real especially if you have a tendency to tilt to the seasonal depression side. How can you be aware and prepare?

  • Get great friends or family you can be authentic with about your struggle! I have a hotline with a small amount of friends who we check in all year around but we hit it hard in the seasonal depressive months.
  • Increase an activity of choice that is for you and about you. You will need a little selfishness while also helping others during this season of giving
  • Get active-I am intentional about movement regardless of cold
  • Find ways to build-what are your ways of increasing your dreams
  • Say no- I know we are going to give back and will be asked to do, to bring, to have and you need to exercise your no muscles
  • Since we are in a giving mode; find things that genuinely make you smile. Big or small smile!

Preparation is key. Walking into something telling yourself that things don’t matter will not help. Don’t let the cold come and leave you with limited ways of handing you!

Go and develop a plan of action! Make sure that you aren’t spreading yourself thin. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed to the point of no return! Know they it’s okay to keep your sanity this season and within that could mean a simple no will be you achieve it!