Out and About

Event re-caps, New Places to try and some reviews

Starting Fresh #DearBlogalicious

This past year has been full of great learning experiences for me. Yes, my blog has been active for more than a year. But you didn’t see me celebrating any Blogaversary or poppin champagne, and I could have. But for me this is real. I somewhat was very disappointed in myself for not being able to accomplish some of the goals I set for myself. And we all have our moments but as I’ve realized, I’m a control freak. And I’m working on that. The past six months during my hiatus I’ve been apart of three great wedding parties, earned a new position at work, helped my baby girl get through her first year of Elementary school, helped my big boy transition to middle school, had a few friends transition to the next life, started creating new directions in my own life and really finding me.

It took me a long time to except my wonderfully kinky hair, my thick thighs, my double Ds, and this bout to be non existent kangaroo pouch. But it’s me, love me or leave me alone. I thought because my life revolves around my children that my life was over. NOT!
It’s something Amazing about hearing “‘Mommy you look Beautiful,” or “Mommy I Love your dress”. Me taking the time to put my makeup on and get back into my smell goods and fall in love with fashion again like a fairy tale romance. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned over the years and started focusing on my passion.

As most of you know this time last year, I was dealing with the loss of my job. I attended a women’s empowerment conference that weekend that brought me out of that rut. During that conference I was offered a scholarship to the Blogalicious Conference in Las Vegas. Needless to say due to other family issues I had to decline. It hurt my heart because I knew this was something I needed
, but I accepted that it wasn’t my time. This year when the conference was announced, I read that they were also looking for volunteers to work the conference. Now regardless, I knew this year I was going no matter what. But in my heart I immediately felt obligated to not only attend but give back what was extended to me. Nobody owed me anything, but God brought Stacey, Xina, Jazzy, and a few others into my life that weekend for a reason. I thought bigger, better, broader and because of them, I’m grateful.

In mid April in prepping for my sister’s big day, my mom and I were in the middle of Costco. My phone went off with an email alert. I looked down and literally started shouting in the store. My mom asked what happened and I started screaming “I was accepted in Blogalicious Social Squad!” I slowed my shouting and start looking around the store. She said ” shout if you have to shout cause you deserve it.” YES, I DO!!!!!!!!!

I’m not just building a brand or an empire. I’m rebuilding ME. ME is a mommy, a girlfriend, a sister, a lover, a teacher, a student, a proud thrifter, and a businesswoman. I can accomplish my goals. And there is more of me coming soon and in more ways than one.
This year my son and I are being challenged with the same task……ORGANIZATION. Thanks to BLMGirls, my Blogalicious family and other fellow bloggers in following them and reading more everyday, I’m learning more and more the best ways to organize me. Juggling motherhood, a 9-5, a blog and trying to build a business.

This year:
– I will celebrate a Blogaversary
– I will launch my business
– I will Make them proud

After my kids I turned into an introvert. I lost friends due to them not understanding the responsibility of motherhood. I felt betrayed, I was scared to trust people or get close to people. I became shy and quiet, which was never me. But it was not until I connected with soo many women that had similar stories that I realized it wasn’t just me. We are never alone in this world and for anyone that thinks you are the only one. Think again! This year, you will get to know ME. Jameelah and Jaye, the Gemini twins.

Thank you God for my growth. This year. And the fact that I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia to experience and participate in Blogalicious5! This weekend is the start of my New Year.

I will be posting all week.
Follow me on Twitter: JayeCarter
Follow me on Instagram: JayRy2

Let’s take this journey together.

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Categories: Out and About | Tags: | 9 Comments

Erykah, Erykah, Erykah

Last Friday I attended Erykah Badu’s “Mama’s Gun” concert at the Filmore. Tickets were sold out. I arrived in downtown Silver Spring at 6:00pm. The show started at 8:00pm. Upon arrival the lines were already formed. Then to ensure you were able to get in an area where u could see the performance you were encouraged to purchase a fast lane pass. Well we did that and still find out that after entering that to get a seat on the balcony they were charging an extra $40 per person. Regardless, I have to say whatever was spent up in there Friday night was WELL worth it. I have seen Ms. Badu in concert before performing Mama’s Gun (one of my favorite albums) and then was very impressed with her natural ability to own the stage. This time her spirit was shining bright, her aura danced around the room touching people like tentacles, and her voice was illuminating like no other. She free styled, free formed, played her beat pad and rocked the house. Even though 3/4 of the building were singing her songs with her, her voice resonated over it all. She made me feel like the first day I ever sat back and listened to every word, felt every mood, and the many times I said “YES” because I felt all that she created. “Mama’s Gun” is one album that I can put on shuffle because I Love every single song on that album. But from “Baduism” to “New Amerykah 2”, to whatever her next project will be I will always support Erykah Badu. I couldn’t get alot of great photos or video but what I did get was her showing DC Love as she performed “Danger” from her Worlwide Underground LP.

Categories: Music, Out and About | Leave a comment

Macy’s Celebrates Black History Month

Last Thursday I had the honor of attending Macy’s DC 2013 Black History Month Celebration, honoring the life work and celebrating 100 years of photographer/film maker Gordon Parks with the American Black Film Festival.

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This was one of those events I’m glad I did not miss. The setup was lovely with the beautifully soulful sounds of The Chelsey Green Project as guests arrived. This album is being added to my collection ASAP! She and her band are the bomb and she can do some amazing things with that violin. We were served ho’r derves and wine throughout the evening. The wine was courtesy of Esterlina Vineyards of California. This is the only black owned vineyard in the valleys of California, check them out.
When my sister IChooseTheSun and I arrived at Macy’s, Mr. Parks work was displayed throughout the main level of the store.

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But his story of dedication, hardwork, and resilience rang out through the crowd. And oh there was a crowd!
Once the panel discussion began there was standing room only. The panel was introduced and moderated by the lovely Jummy Olabanji of ABC7. The evening’s panel consisted of actor Malik Yoba, award winning cinematographer/film maker Hans Charles, and award winning writer/film director Cole Wiley.

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These gentlemen expressed what Gordon Parks meant to them as individuals and their careers. They discussed a man with a vision who took charge of his destiny. A black man who came from nothing, yet made the world see through his eyes. Gordon Parks became the first African American staff photographer for LIFE Magazine in 1948 and the first major african american film director in Hollywood for “The Learning Tree” in 1969. But for those of you that didn’t know Mr. Parks by those accomplishments, we all know him for being the creative force behind the 1971 film “Shaft”.
Per the panel discussion African Americans have come a long way in the film industry. On screen and even making their way to the executive offices behind the scenes. But there is still more work to be done. We all play a role in how much further we go as a people. We can stay complacent in where we are or we can strive for greatness. We have greatness in black film! Although it has not become a priority within the film industry, we as a people have to be willing to support it. The question was raised, “What does black film mean to you?” Wether defined yet or not, are you willing to support it? I know I am! Let’s keep the legacy going and support our black films, writers, and directors. Thank you Gordon Parks for paving the way and Macy’s for this extraordinary event!!

Checkout my sister’s IChooseTheSun post inclusive of a storify recap of our live coverage.

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Black History Month. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Categories: Holiday Edition, In the News, Out and About | Leave a comment

Did I Miss Something

In the past few weeks I have witnessed some very unsettling situations. Whether at a restaurant, out in public, doctors office, school and its sickens me. Some days I feel like I’m in another world. Manners are nonexistent, along with active/caring parents, and just having love for self. Why is it soo cool to show your ass? Why is it okay to be filthy and think you cute? And who is giving these kids the okay to cuss and talk to adults like they are grown. Don’t call me baby unless you are older than me. And don’t think I won’t open my mouth and ask you to say excuse me when you push pass my child in the store. What is our society turning into?
What are we teaching our children? As all this happens my kids look around shocked because they rarely have to interact with such foolishness. My son looks at me like, “I’m not doing anything, it ain’t me”.

It saddens me because its my people. We show our boys that its okay to walk around looking like you got out of jail. We are teaching our girls to lower their standards and not to set expectations. We are leaving a legacy with a don’t care attitude. And that gives me attitude.

I feel like I missed the announcement that this was cool and acceptable. I’m trying to remember when our world changed so much. And it seems like my generation is the cause. Are we that selfish, that nonchalant, that oblivious to how we are changing the course of history.

I pray that there are more of us putting a genuine effort into our children’s lives. I hope that our children get more out of the meaning of life, hope, peace, and love for themselves and others. Because right now, it’s scary to think of where we are headed. I missed something and I just keep praying my children miss it too.

Categories: Out and About, Parenting/The Kids | 1 Comment

Checklist for the 57th Presidential Inauguration Weekend

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As we all prepare and get ready to celebrate for this weekend full of events. How are you keeping up with everything going on? First time in DC? Trying to map out your daily transportation? Want to keep up with the days events? Here are a few tips for those new to our fabulous City of Washington, DC and ways you can stay in the know.

First things first. Transportation. The best way to get around town during this busy weekend will be the Metro. Parking and the thought of trying to drive through these streets with the overwhelming number of people flocking to the area this weekend is crazy. Make sure you map out your routes. Add an extra 30-45 minutes to your ride time because Metro will be packed. If you have a smartphone download the Metro Apps: Embark DC Metro, iTrans DC Metro and DC Metro Map. Also on twitter be sure to follow @SecretService, @metroinaug, and @ddotdc for up to date traffic information.

Most people will be following their friends or favorite celebrities on twitter and Facebook to stay in the know. But for a weekend like this weekend that may not be enough. For the first time the Presidential Inauguration has an App of its own. This is a must have to navigate your way through a calendar of events, balls, galas, parties, and special ceremonies as well as a live stream of the President’s swearing in. Get your 2013 Official Inaugural App here 57th Presidential Inaugural App.

Since you’ll be in the midst of our National monuments, museums, and tourists attractions. Why not see everything there is to see in this beautiful Capital of our Great United States. Especially when its fabulous an free. Download the Smithsonian Visitors Guide App. This app includes Maps/GPS, self guided tours, events calendar, a free presidential tour, and know before you go Inauguration information. Saturday, being the National Day of Service this will keep you abreast of all activities that you can be apart of as well. There are plenty of ways to get out and serve adult and kid friendly alike.

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If you have decided to just wing your visit and didn’t bother to find a place to stay. I’m pretty sure there are still ads on DC Craigslist but you can also check hotel availability on Washington DC Guide.

There is alot of walking to look forward to with large crowds hovering in every directions. If you are elderly, disabled, or in need of transportation assistance ScootAround offers daily scooter and wheelchair rentals so that you can navigate the city comfortably. You can even rent segways from SegsintheCity or BikeandRoll.

Also for all of you folks headed down to the U.S. Capitol to witness this historic event, here is the list of prohibited items within the ticket viewing area:

· Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
· Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
· Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length), including pocket or hand tools, such as the “Leatherman”
· Mace and/or pepper spray
· Sticks, poles, or sign supports
· Packages, backpacks, large bags, suitcases
· Thermoses or coolers
· Strollers
· Umbrellas
· Laser pointers
· Signs or posters
· Animals (other than service animals)
· Alcoholic beverages
· Aerosol sprays
· Glass containers
· Air horns
· Non-ADA portable chairs
· Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screeners.

Ladies clean out your purses, gentleman empty your pockets. If you are bringing small children be prepared to carry them and bundle them up. It’s going to be a long day. So keep your phones charged, apps ready, hands and feet warmers accessible. Arrive early due to various required security screenings and street closures. Be prepared to celebrate a man and his dream and a man who is helping us live out part of that dream!

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Happy Birthday Dr. King and Congratulations again Mr. President!!!

Categories: In the News, Out and About | 1 Comment

My New Black Friday

Soo the past few years, I have literally overwhelmed myself with the large retailer Black Friday frenzy. After getting a reality check last Holiday Season, I realized I AM NOT ABOUT THAT LIFE. Too much drama and too many attitudes. Last year my plan was to stand in the Toys R Us line in Clinton at 3am because they were opening at 5am. I got there and there was a double line wrapped around the store twice. I turned my car around so fast, then decided to check out the Walmart across the way. I walk in and the lines are to the back of the store. There were lines formed in every aisle of the store and a lot of the door busters were still wrapped and on pallets in bundles. I walked through and before exiting, I walked past the area where the 32″ flatscreen TV’s for $180. The manager came through at cut that tape and 2 women start pushing, shoving, cussing and fighting over grabbing a tv first. During this altercation small children were witnessing this poor behavior. Regardless I’m soo not doing the Black Friday thing anymore. Unless……………..
I’m Thrifting. I got my shop on with peace and quiet, inclusive of variety, brand names, and great sale prices. 40% off of $1-$8. 3 winter coats, 2 pair of jeans, 2 sweater dresses, 5 blouses, 2 hats, 3 pair kids jeans, 2 pair of work slacks, a scarf for $32. Then because I’m a regular, I received an extra 25% off which brought my total to $24. Some brands included in my buy are from The Limited, Moschino, Jones NewYork, Anne Klein, Worthington, The Gap, Torrid, INC, BCBGMaxazria.

This was also great retail therapy after getting out of the hospital. Plus it took me about 30 mins to get in and out. I could have done more but I was headed back home to meet up with my sister and my mom for a girls day while the kids were away. Just know from now on I will be Thrifting on Black Friday. NO CAMPING OUT, NO LINES, NO DRAMA.

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Categories: Holiday Edition, Out and About | Leave a comment

Recap: Yours/Mine Secondhand Shopping Soirée

About 3 weeks ago, I had the luxury of blogging from and attending the Yours/Mine Secondhand Shopping Soirée. My lovely sister Nae had the pleasure of covering this event last year, but she participated in the Autism walk this year and suggested the CEO/Founder Patrice Washington contact me. Y’all know I was excited, because this is right up my alley. Secondhand shopping inclusive of a blogging opportunity…I’m in. Patrice was so personable and excited about me joining the press team, she even created my very own press pass for the event.

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Too Cute, Right?

There were vintage, secondhand, and design inspired pop up shops. The best part is the place was filled with some of this years hottest trends. Sexy peplum dresses, sequence/rhinestones/all that shimmer, oxblood separates, sexy pumps, grand accessories and even an evening fur find or two. I think I ended up shopping as much as I snapped pictures because I left with a few new pieces to add to my wardrobe. There were stylist available in house, like Stania Romain. You could even sip on a Frugal Girl Tini while you shopped. Which was DeeLish!!

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I have added these great vendors to my address book because I will be keeping up with them as I search for future finds. Check out my photos and these chic vintage boutiques. Also the Yours/Mine Secondhand Shopping Soirée will be back hosting a Pre-Holiday event on December 8th. Be on the look out, because this is a shopping experience you don’t want to miss.

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Participating Vendors:

Krissy’s Klozet

Fia’s Fabulous Finds

Esther Woo Vintage

Consignment Diva

Classic Afrikan

Boozhee Couture

Whitney “Nic”James

Categories: Out and About | 1 Comment

Welcome to Sweetie Pies Meet and Greet Event

Earlier this week, my big sister ichoosethesun invited me to go with to the Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s Premiere Viewing And Cast Meet and Greet. The Event was hosted by Candice Mackel, Owner of CNPR at Indulj on 13th and U Street. I was excited because I really like the show and the fact that Miss Robbie keeps it real and believes in strong family values. And at the Meet and Greet you get that vibe in talking with Jenae and Charles. At first I was a little disappointed that Miss Robbie wasn’t able to make it, cause I sure wanted to discuss food and recipes.

Regardless, the space was nice and open,the event was full of networking and both cast members were pulled in by the positive energy of the attendees. Both very humble and personable. Even while holding Tim Jr, Jenae worked the room in heels. That handsome baby boy deserves an award for tolerating all of our mouths, the camera flashes, and all the access noise without one single tear. It was soo good to see how he has grown and his health issues are almost non existent. As we discussed family, men and new found fame, Janae made me feel like we had been girls for years. She talked about supporting your spouse, making it work and balancing hectic schedules. But as she explained even with the tv recognition, that they are regular people. They all still get up to go to work like the rest of us. Charles explained that he still can’t believe how big the show has become. And is amazed when he meets celebrities that recognize him. All this said, you are in for a treat this season.

With the opening of their new restaurant, The Upper Crust, taking on new staff, contemplating changes to the menu, and more issues arising between Miss Robbie and her son, Tim there is never a dull moment. So tune in tonight for the Season 3 Premiere of Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s on the OWN Network at 9pm.

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Thank you to Patricia McDougall Photography and Anwaa Kong for my photos.

Categories: Out and About | 2 Comments

Blog to Fight Childhood Hunger

In this day and age kids across America wake up hungry everyday. As a child even though times were tough my mom made sure we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I only viewed child hunger by the few infomercials that came on television. As an adult, child hunger is a lot closer to home than 25 years ago. But either way, we can do something about it. Share Our Strength , a campaign to end childhood hunger, has teamed up with Macaroni Grill giving bloggers and their subscribers a chance to make a difference during the Month of September. All you have to do is write about your favorite Italian style recipe and meals will be provided for those in need. Just 1 blog post through September 1st- September 30th can make a difference. Even though I am watching my figure, one thing I love is helping our children and this particular campaign is near and dear to my heart. And those that know me well……. know that me, kids, and food are a great combination.

My favorite Italian meal is a large pan of Lasagna. Which I usually make to last a few days. But with our hectic schedule I also like making sure I’m not preparing half the night. Thanks to one of my favorite television personalities, Giada, I have learned a great tip that will still keep the family happy. My family loved our new take on Lasagna and I still had time to spend on dessert. Try it and let me know what you think.

2 bags frozen 3 cheese tortellini

1bag fresh baby spinach

2 bags of italian style meatballs

2 cups of shredded Parmesan reggiano

2 bottles of your favorite tomato sauce (I prefer chunky)

1/3 cup olive oil

oregano

pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 garlic clove

Instead of your regular lasagna noodles, buy and keep packs of cheese tortellini in the freezer. No boiling involved. Cut your meatballs in half. Poor a surface layer of olive oil in your pan then start layering. Tortellini, meatballs, spinach, tomato sauce, and cheese. Keep layering and on your top layer of cheese, sprinkle oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. (I like adding fresh pressed garlic to my olive oil for pasta dishes)

All I can say is this came out delicious and took no more than 20 minutes."Tortellini Lasagna"
Share your favorite Italian dish and make a difference. Bloggers, write your post and send to macgrillgive@saegermediagroup.com. If you don’t blog, but want to support this magnificent campaign, head to your local Macaroni Grill or copy and paste the link into your browser http://www.macaronigrill.com/ and donate $2 and get $5 off your next meal. For my Tweeples and Instagrammers hashtag #macgrillgive to a message or photo of your favorite Macaroni Grill meal or share an artist inspired picture from the Mac Grill Give Facebook Gallery and another child in need will be connected to a meal. For every blog post Macaroni Grill will donate $50 to connect a child up to 500 meals. Everyone can get involved. Make sure you check the MacGrillGive site to find out the many ways you can help.

In this great country of ours no child should go hungry. Let’s make our voices heard ………”NO KID HUNGRY!!!!!!!!”

Categories: In the News, Out and About | 1 Comment

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