Girls Night Out with Reggie Hines at Cafe 290

>> Saturday, February 27

Serendipity -
Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.”

Last night my good friend Joyce and I decided we wanted to hang out to get our minds off of the long week we both had. Our night started as usual, when we hang out, we had dinner and cocktails at home while listening to some great music and having good conversation. We decided we would go to a club in Atlanta and headed out after we were full on cocktails, more like I was full on cocktails, since she drove.

We arrived at the club and we were disappointed, it was the first time either one of us had been to this club. We were looking to go some place different than our usual spot. We could tell the moment we stepped foot in the door that this was not our scene. After doing a quick scan of the club, we decided to head to our regular hang out spot and just chill. We got there and the party atmosphere was definitely in full effect and it was the same as usual. We ordered are regular cocktails at the bar and settled in for what was to be one of our expected crazy nights that ended in both of us having way too much too drink, feet hurting because we have worn them out dancing all night and hair smelling smoke from the smokers. For some reason, we just weren’t feeling it last night so after finishing our drinks we decided to leave the 2nd club we had been to in under an hour and head up the street to this jazz club/ sports bar called CafĂ© 290.


Living Like We Bulletproof

Trini GRITS is sooooo excited about Raheem DeVaughn's The Love & War Masterpiece album dropping March 2nd and that he is one of the new bloggers on Yeah!. I cannot wait to check out his new album and read his posts. To read his first posting click here. Raheem posted on Essence that this album, The Love & War Masterpiece, "is a mix of half socially conscious, and half love songs that will hopefully touch the masses both mentally and emotionally". Oooooh, back to real music - my spirit has been craving real artists and real music, not this other fluff they try to package as real music, so I'm ready for Love & War

I love the lead single Bulletproof from his soon to drop album. It highlights the social and political issues we face as a nation today. It gives me a Curtis Mayfield vibe (and I love me some Curtis Mayfield), especially since the song sample's Mayfield's song The Other Side Of Town. If there is to be a revolution in our community and we do need one, I'm claiming Bulletproof to be the new battle cry just like Marvin Gaye's What's Going On? was for the previous generation. 


How To Love A Black Man or Any Man Biblically: Part 2

Are You Riding Me?

Luke 10
In our theology, we believe Jesus is all-human and all-divine. What becomes interesting is that Jesus has to make a decision between two women. One owned a house; the other had no available address. One had a strong work ethic; we don’t know how long the other held a job. One sent an invitation; the other just happens to be in the right place. Jesus, in the midst of two women, gave a clear distinction of who He leaned towards.

Martha was in the kitchen doing all of the things she thought made a “good” woman. She was from the old school paradigm that believes a way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. On the other hand, Mary focused on Jesus’ feet. Feet are the most sensitive part of the body. They are open to bacteria, disease, injury and wounds. Mary focused on ministering to Jesus’ most sensitive side, not His most human side. 


How To Love A Black Man or Any Man Biblically: Part 1

How To Love A Black Man Biblically: Part 1

By Dr. Jamal Harrison-Bryant 

Song of Solomon 1:2
Matthew 26:47-48
One of my dear friends sent me an email from a poll that was taken on a statistical study. (As a disclaimer, the poll was not taken from our church and I do not defend, uplift, or protect the data that was given).

The Ten Problems that Black Men have with Black Women:

~Black Women make Black men feel unappreciated, unwanted, irresponsible, and regressive.
~Black Women are too aggressive, and are impatient when it comes to waiting on a man to pursue them.
~Black Women are too strong-headed and independent, which presents great challenges in relationships.
~Black Women are masculine in that they are controlling and like to “run” the relationship.
~Black Women expect too much. They are gold diggers who will not look twice at a blue-collar black man.
~Black Women are hot-headed and have bad attitudes.
~Black Women stop caring about their appearance once they are in a relationship.
~Black Women are not open to other areas of intimacy. (paraphrased)
~Black Women’s tolerance is far too low; they are not empathetic to the Black Man’s struggle in a racist society.
~Black Women do not cater to their man as much as they cater to themselves and their child.


White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers Resigning

>> Friday, February 26

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers will leave her post next month, according to a White House source, months after she drew criticism for a major security breach at a state dinner in November. The leading candidate to replace Rogers is Julianna Smoot, currently chief of staff for U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Rogers, who plans to return to the corporate world, became one of the administration’s most high-profile staffers. A friend of both Obamas dating back to Chicago, she appeared in the pages of Vogue, on the cover of the Wall Street Journal magazine and was in the front row during last year’s New York Fashion Week.

But it was a blast of unwelcome publicity — the gate-crashers at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner — that put Rogers into the national spotlight. After Tareq and Michaele Salahi got into the dinner and shook hands with the president, all apparently without an invitation, Rogers’s handling of security for the event came under fire. When asked if she was hit hard by the resignation, longtime friend and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told POLITICO in an e-mail: "No, it didn't hit me hard. Desiree never intended to stay more than about a year."

"She has made a tremendous contribution, and I completely respect her decision to return to the private sector," Jarrett added. To read the rest, click here. First Van Jones, now this......

People who know me, know that I would probably give my first and second unborn children to work one of three jobs, even if for a short period of time: A lead star in a Broadway musical production, White House Floral Designer and White House Social Secretary. One of the most well-known, in recent times, White House Social Secretaries is Desiree Rogers and she is resigning. Let me get my resume ready so I can forward it to the White House ASAP. Today, Ms. Rogers announced her resignation from her position to focus on other corporate ventures (Hmmmm? Not sure I'm buying this). I can't say that I am surprised to hear of this story. This sounds more of a forced resignation so she could save face and not have to be fired.  


Absence Definitely Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

"Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires." ~Francois de La Rouchefoucauld

I am soooooo missing BD this week. He is working very hard and I am so proud of him. He has been so sweet to call me after his shift so we can talk - thank you BD, I love hearing your voice. I must say, those calls are the highlights of my day and I wait for them so I can go to bed peacefully thinking of him. I know that there will be times when he can't call and I understand, because he'll be working a case, but for now it's all good in the hood.


Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant Speaks On Getting Your Man

>> Thursday, February 25

"A Woman's Heart Should Be So Hidden In Christ, That A Man Has To Seek Him Just To Find Her"
~Max Lucado

Please take time to meditate on these words.
To the sisters: be/stay strong
To the brothers: learn something

For those of us who are single or married -- be blessed by this word!  I often warn women who are contemplating marriage to marry someone who can take care of them. 

When a woman marries, it ought to be to someone who is capable of taking her to the next level. If she comes from poverty, there is no reason for her to get married and still be impoverished. The role of the man is to take her to another place. When she gets married, she ought to dress better, drive better, live better, and eat better, not constantly be in a struggle over where her next meal is coming from. My grandmother used to say, 'I can do bad all by myself'. 


Song Of The Week - Jean Baylor (formerly of Zhane') - Morning Time B Side Live

It's another edition of song of the week and I very much needed to hear this song again today. It is one of my personal favorites. The passion behind Jean Baylor's vocals and the pure love weaved into the lyrics is simply divine, truly inspirational and angelic. Every time I listen to it brings tears to my eyes. You can't help but be caught up in the love and joy expressed in this song. Just when I think I'm not capable or strong enough to endure something, my mind quickly goes to this song. When I think that the dark clouds are never going away, the lyrics remind that: 

You never know what you can do
Until you have His love
All of a sudden, you open your eyes
You begin to see yourself alive
You fly, you fly, you fly, you fly
You’ll have this joy
Coming in the morning …

... Only I can tell you why, why my life is beautiful 
... Everything I be, is not because of me, it's because He loves me so
...There is something inside of you....just gotta keep walking strong, just gotta keep holding on

I needed to hear this song to remind myself that where I am right now in my life is not permanent, it's not my purpose, and that if I continue living and walking the way God wants me to, I'll get there. This song has gotten me through so many days and nights. It will continue to do so, because I know that staying strong and focused will get me through whatever storms my arise and remind me that everything I am, will ever be, is because He loves me so.


1940's Vintage/ The Notebook Inspired Photo Session

Oh My Gracious!!!!!! Sqquuuuueeeeee!!!!!!! That is the sound of my heart screaming for joy. I cannot express my sheer joy and love for the photos I just ran across over on the Ruffled blog. I even found video of the couple's Perfect Catch wedding video and blog too. Do you understand how IN LOVE I am with these photos? LOVE IT!!!!!! The clothes, the styling, the couple, everything!!!!!!!!! I absolutely adore the film The Notebook and all things vintage, especially the romantic looks of the 1940's, so this has earned a special place in my heart. 


First Lady Michelle Obama at the Governor's Ball 2010.....FINALLY!!!!!!!!!

FINALLY!!!!! The White House via photographer Pete Souza have released the photos from the Governor's Ball . The First lady looks absolutely beautiful and stunning in the black ruffled layer dress by Thakoon. This is a gorgeous dress, simple and classic but definitely makes a statement. By far, one of my favorite looks of the First Lady.


Monica - Everything To Me - Official Video

>> Wednesday, February 24

R&B artist Monica, recently debuted her new video for her amazing new single, Everything To Me, which samples Deniece Williams 80's hit Silly. The video features Chad Ochocinco and has some of the most stunning designs (the houndstooth pattern top in the court scene - OMG!!! I had to clutch my pearls on that one, just FIERCE!!) from the late Alexander McQueen (RIP, you were one the BEST!). I'm not sure I'm really feeling the story line (Obsessed part II?), maybe because I hated Obsessed, but I won't hold it against Monica. She looks absolutely stunning and I love the classic feel and tone of this song. I look forward to seeing what she presents when her album drops.


Melanie Fiona - Bang Bang - Official Video

Over here, at the Trini GRITS compound, we love REAL artists who have REAL talent and make REAL music. One of my new favorite artists and rising star is Melanie Fiona. The Bridge, Melanie's debut album has been in heavy rotation on my play list and Bang Bang is one of my favorite cuts. I thought I would share this beautiful shot video (LOVE the smoking microphone) of Bang Bang. All I have to say is, Black Girls Can Rock, too.


I Am A Proud and Happy Woman Today

>> Tuesday, February 23

I am a very proud and happy woman today, it's BD's first day as Detective. Yeah!!!! I am so happy for him and I know that he is going to do very well. I don't know how we'll work out his new schedule and my schedule, but we'll figure it out, I hope so (keeping my fingers and toes crossed). I am so excited and happy for him. He is very good cop and I know that he'll be a great detective. On Friday, as a congratulations and good luck gift, I presented him with silver monogrammed cufflinks in an engraved silver box (it had Detective "First and Last Name" etched on top) from Things Remembered. I just wanted him to have a keepsake so that he will remember this moment in his life and career. I just wanted to give him something to show him how proud I was of him and how much I love him. He wasn't expecting it and I think he was shocked by my gesture. Wear them in good health, honey. You deserve it.


Things That Make You Go HMMM pt5.........

>> Monday, February 22

  • If the FBI breaks your door down do they have to pay for it?

  • In some books, why do they have blank pages at the very end?

  • Why can't donuts be square? 

  • Why put a towel in the dirty clothes basket if when you get out of the shower you are clean?
  • What happens to an irresistible force when it hits an immovable object?

  • If there's a speed of sound and a speed of light is there a speed of smell?

  • Why do overalls have belt loops, since they are held up at the top by the straps?
  • Do people in prison celebrate halloween.... if so how?
  • Do the security guards at airports have to go through airport security when they get to work?

  • What do Greeks say when they don't understand something?
  • What happens if a queen gives birth to a pair of siamese twins? Who gets to be king?

  • Do all-boys schools have girls bathrooms? Conversely, do all-girls schools have boys bathrooms?
  • Are children who act in rated 'R' movies allowed to see them?

  • Do the English people eat English muffins, or are they just called muffins?
  • Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors?
  • Why does Jello have a smell when you add the powder in the water, but when it "gels" the smell is gone?
  • Why are dogs noses always wet?
  • If a bee is allergic to pollen would it get the hives?
  • Why do people say "heads up" when you should duck?

  • Why is it OK for dudes to slap other dudes' asses in football, but not in any other situation?


First Lady Fierce!!!

>> Sunday, February 21

Just had to share the fierceness that is First Lady Michelle Obama as she previewed tonight's Governor's Ball. Be back later to share pictures of the gorgeous gown I'm sure she will be wearing tonight. In the meantime, enjoy this fabulous fashion moment of our First Lady. I see you Michelle, you better get it!!!!!


Here's a sneak peek of First Lady Michelle Obama at the Governor's Ball:


Trinidad and Tobago Carnival - Palance - So Hot Even Beyonce, Couldn't Help But Palance

>> Saturday, February 20

JW & Blaze - PALANCE

Yuh dun know I'm palancing, mashin up de place and so is Beyonce....... Check Ms. Beyonce out palancing during her concert in Trinidad. Boy, when the soca riddim get good, you can't help but feel it and Beyonce was feelin Sweet T&T and JW & Blaze's Palance. Below are videos of the concert and Beyonce's visit to Club Zen (still not a fan of her music but big ups B for respecting the music and the people). I LOVE MY PEOPLE AND MY CULTURE!!!!! 


BOGO Value Passes to Fernbank Museum of Natural History

For anyone in the Atlanta Area, this is something fun to do. I've lived in Atlanta for 6 years and have not been to the Fernbank Museum once, so I will definitely be going with this deal. Maybe, I can convince Detective Big Daddy to go with me - it shouldn't be too hard, he likes history and museums. The films showing on IMAX are all really cool, I want see them ALL:

Forces of Nature - through May 27, 2010
Wild Ocean - through March 11, 2010
Van Gogh: Brush with Genius - through March 26, 2010
The Old Man and the Sea - through March 26, 2010

So, go get your tickets and explore.....

Came across this deal on Facebook, and it’s awesome: Through April 4, 2010, you can buy one value pass ticket to Fernbank Museum of Natural History & get one free.

Value pass tickets include museum admission + IMAX admission, and they’re regularly $23 for adults, $21 for students & seniors, and $19 for children 12 & under. To get the deal, mention BOGO Value Pass at the box office or use promo code “BOGO-B1G1ValuePass-Free”. The free ticket must be of equal or lesser value, and there’s a limit of one per person (not sure what this means—per order? Per person in the party? If it’s per order, my oldest is about to learn how to buy tickets for herself & her sister).

I’m looking forward to seeing the “Forces of Nature” IMAX movie & seeing the temporary exhibition: “Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters.” I’ve been known to let my kids see a bit too much of the after-effects of natural disasters on the news, so I should probably spend a little time educating them about why those events happen (with emphasis on the fact that it’s highly unlikely that they’ll happen here…).
Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta.

–Jennifer Maciejewski


I Got 99 Problems and Tiger Woods Ain't One.....

>> Friday, February 19

Raise your hands if you are tired of this whole Tiger Woods debacle. ***Standing up from my desk and placing both hands high in the air (I'd put both legs up in the air too if it wouldn't look inappropriate at work).***

Who cares if Tiger is a freak and likes to sex down everything, ahem, white with a vagina? Excuse me, white people but Tiger, for damn sure is not checking for me or any of my kind. We just not his flavor.

Who cares if his wife turned from Elin, the beautiful and dutiful nordic wife to Elquisha, the angry black woman scorned, and had a straight up N!@#A moment; to try and knock his head off his shoulders? 

Who cares that Tiger is publicly apologizing today, he doesn't owe me a damn thing? The only people who need his apology are his wife and kids.

I am so utterly sick of this mess; I can't believe the people I work with are camped out in front of the television like the health community was about to make an announcement that they found a cure for cancer. People are so messy and are quick to build you up only to tear you down when you don't fit into their standards of living. I tell you, people love to tell you that your morals don't fit in with their morals, when they don't even have any they damn selves. As long as their sins are not being exposed they will talk mad shit about you, and kick you when you are down.


Why Can't Hollywood Let Us Be Great? - Love Jones: 13 Years Later

I was over on The Root and noticed this article about one of my favorite movies, Love Jones. I had no idea it was 13 years old. That movie never gets old, I could watch it over and over.

Here's a snippet of the article: To read the article in it's entirety, click here
Forget that it was released 13 years ago. Forget the striking cinematography, the star cast and the bomb-ass soundtrack. Forget that this was an artsy film that was accessible. Forget memorable scenes like when Darius tells Nina, “I just want to come up and talk.” Even if you forget all that, you still have to admit that no film in recent memory has come close to showcasing the struggles of black love--a film that’s unsentimental and breathtaking all the same.

So much is right with this movie. The chemistry of Nia Long and Lorentz Tate is remarkable. So much that we watch this film and begrudge the fact that this film represented the zenith of her career (and Larenz Tate’s for that matter). We even forgive the fact that Larenz Tate needs a haircut in this film. The characters hang out in smoky spots where men and women dress up and wear nice clothes. Not one gun in the entire film.

And when was the last time you saw a black film where the main characters quote George Bernard Shaw, invoke Gordon Parks, and play Charlie Parker? And whether you liked the poetry or not, you have to admit, it was sexy: ”Who am I? It doesn’t matter. I’m the blues in your left thigh, trying to be the funk in your right.” 

Why, oh, why Hollywood can't you let us be great? Why Hollywood can you not make good black movies like this anymore? Why Hollywood, why? I know this was an independent film but where are these black actors and actresses (Will Smith, Denzel Washington, etc.) that can use their influence to write, produce, direct films of such a caliber as Love Jones? Are we too caught up the box office numbers to care that our community needs to see more movies like this? I love the work that Tyler Perry brings forth, but I need to see a black romantic comedy/ film that has some substance where the two leads are not in need of salvation in order to find their love. I would spend my money to see such a film, even if starred Beyonce and we all know that Beyonce can't act herself out of a paper bag if it meant it would save her life. BTW, who the HELL keeps casting her in films and who keeps going to see said films in the movie theaters? 


Happy 80th Birthday Granny T!!!!

I just want send one of my favorite ladies in Trinidad a very special birthday wish.

Grandma T, 

Thank you so much for being an inspiration on living life without limits and living it out loud. To the Queen Mother, the Grand Duchess - I salute you on your 80th birthday: 

Gran, you ROCK!!!!  

Love always,

Your Princess 

Famous Quote from Grandma T on cooking: 

"If it ain't 'bun (burnt) it ain't done."

How can you not love Grand's cooking advice? She's Awesome!!!!


Put On Your Big Girl Panties And Deal With It

>> Thursday, February 18

Someone will always be prettier.
Someone will always be smarter.
Some of their houses will be bigger…
Some will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go, and love you and your circumstances.
Think about it!
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
The most highly favored woman on your job may be unable to have children.
The richest woman you know, she's got the car, the house, the clothes~ might be lonely.
And the Word says, 'If I have not Love, I am nothing.' So, again, love you.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say,
'I am too Blessed to be Stressed and too Anointed, to be Disappointed!'
'Winners make things happen~~ Losers let things happen.'
Be 'Blessed' Ladies and pass this on to encourage another woman.
'To the world you might be one person, to me you are special!


Date Night Ideas

In case you haven't heard or been under a rock for the past year or so but our president, The President of the United States of America, President Barack Obama is black and so is his beautiful wife, First Lady Michelle Obama. Guess what, people? They love each other. GASP!!!!!! The world is going to stop spinning now because two black people actually love each other and are raising gorgeous daughters with iron fists and loving arms (btw, have you seen Michelle's arms - FABULOUS!!!!!!)

How can this black couple continue to look like they exude the sexy in every photo of them taken together? 1. They don't allow the capacity of their current roles to define who they are. They knew who they were before they went into the White House and will still know whom they are when they leave. 2. They go on special date nights to keep their marriage fresh and exciting. More people should follow suit, marriage and/or relationships is only as strong as the two people involved and the influences they allow in their relationship.

I know an older couple that has a date night once a month and have been doing so for the past 15 years, so they don't forget how to connect with one another, and don’t forget the love they share. I think it's great and also beautiful to see a couple still in love with each other and still invested in their relationship. I hope that I can use them as inspiration to influence my own relationship so that I stay grounded, connected and always in love.

Relationships are hard work and it takes a toll on a person sometimes that’s why it’s important to step outside of the comfort zone and just explore each other again, like it’s the first time, every time. Dates are not only essential to getting to know a person when you first start dating but they are important in strengthening the bond after the walk down the aisle.  


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