We’ve all lip-synced for our lives pretending to be in a music video, but the Bridgeview Babies did the real deal! If you didn’t know — I hosted an arts summer camp for about 15 kids in Bridgeview Village, and apartment complex I lived in over 10 years ago. Our final project was to shoot a music video featuring a song we wrote, and dance we learned.
The title “I Am” came from a list of affirmations we said together as a class every morning. My mission for the Arts Center of Engagement (A.C.E) summer camp, was to encourage self-love and acceptance through the arts. In addition to signs with quotes from Kid President, the motivational words prepped the squad for a great day! Right before dancing it out, the campers would say the following affirmations:
Sometimes they even added extra affirmations like, “I am beautiful”, and “I am unique”, but you’ll hear which ones meant the most to the campers in the song! Check it out below, and share it with all the kiddos you know!
“I Am” Music Video featuring the Bridgeview Babies
What do you think about our music video? Will you sing these mantras every morning to start the day?
I’ve spent approximately 25 hours in the past few months watching Rachel Lindsay as The Bachelorette. I avoided every spoiler and blocked any mention of Reality Steve from popping up on any of my social media feeds or Google cards the entire season, but had my guess which man would get the final rose.
The final episode aired what Chris Harrison would say was one of the most dramatic breakups in Bachelor history. I haven’t seen every season but it was pretty emotional and I think there are some real world takeaways regarding breakups. Okay, but before I get to the real world application I have to admit I was #TeamPeter.
The entire season I fell for what the producers wanted America to see of Peter: perfection. Perfection that came in the form of a former model, with the cutest gapped-tooth smile, salt-and-pepper hair, and swoon worthy moments. Please see the evidence of my infatuation:
And even watching Monday night’s finale, I was all the way here for him making breakfast shirtless and giving Rachel forehead kisses for the rest of their lives. Alas, Peter would not be the last man standing/kneeling and Twitter was outraged.
However, I think Rachel made the right choice. Through editing we only saw them swapping kisses, but it was clear she lit up around Bryan. We’ll have to see if they will be one of the few Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise couples to make it, but I’m rooting for them.
Many people were calling Peter reasonable for not wanting to propose after a short amount of time. I applaud him, but I think people are forgetting he was completely aware of how the show works. I saw tweet after tweet and many articles calling Rachel a ring-chaser or claiming she was just after a proposal. It was more than that. Peter’s reluctance wasn’t just about not wanting to rush things. He was actually saying, “I’m not sure I will ever be ready to marry you.”
Rachel had every right to be frustrated that after being very clear of what she wanted, and not wanting to peer pressure him into proposing. That was her decision people. Homegirl, said I’m 32 and I’m over being someone’s girlfriend with no promise that they’ll ever want to commit to me.
Yes, sis!! She asked for what she wanted and would not be persuaded of otherwise.
PETER THE PETTY
After a lot of back and forth about this process ending in an engagement and what the future would like, Peter hurled one of the cruelest, f*ckboy statements out at Rachel: “Go find someone to have a mediocre life with.” My immediate thought was how could Perfect Peter say something so mean to the woman he’s allegedly in love with. It also took reminded me of a breakup where I was lashed out at. Instead of telling me to go have a mediocre life, I was told I would never find love. Anyways, the format of the show is obviously not made for someone like Peter. So if he’s the next Bachelor, I call shenanigans and will be convinced he used Rachel. Compare Peter to Eric (who was rocking a sexy revenge beard), who struggled at the beginning with the format of the show, but eventually came around and took a leap of faith.
The Bachelorette and Breakups: Real World Application
In Rachel’s post-finale interviews she mentions of how she felt manipulated by Peter. He would give her just enough to keep investing in him and then pull away. I’ve been Rachel. Maybe you’ve been Rachel. Not arguing over a proposal, but commitment. Peter is the guy who talks about your future together, but still has Tinder on his phone. Peter is the type of guy that will stay with you for seven years and make a statement like: Why do we need a paper/ring, I already feel like I’m married to you. To be fair, this could be a guy or girl, purposefully stringing you along or saying just enough to keep you. The argument is that Rachel settled for Bryan (for a ring). I think she was always ready and willing to be with Bryan.
So take Rachel’s lead: Be firm in your expectations in a relationship. Don’t settle for the emotionally unavailable man or woman you have to work for.
Any advice on The Bachelorette or breakups? Leave a comment below!
I recently learned that the first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week. Now I know there are national days and weeks for just about everything, but a little late-summer simplifying will be a great excuse to declutter as fall approaches. However, as I talked about in the minimalism challenge simplifying your life isn’t just about removing the physical clutter out of your closets and cabinets. Minimalism pushes us to examine our lifestyle and eliminate the things that keep us from truly enjoying life.
While there isn’t just one way to simplify your life, I’ve pulled together a list of blogs that may help you in a pursuit for a simpler lifestyle. First up are a few of my blog posts to get you started:
If you’re going to start anywhere, I would suggest The Minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. They’ve got books, a podcast, and a documentary that will help you understand what minimalism is all about.
Un-Fancy was one of the first blogs I found on the topic of simplifying your wardrobe. I’m still battling with this because I love clothes. However, if you’re interested in capsule wardrobes – this is the blogger for you.
Ok, one other area to consider simplifying – finances. Sherry, of Save. Spend. Splurge , managed to pay off $60,000 in just 18 months. So if you’re looking to live more minimally when it comes to financial aspects this is the blog for you.
Lavendaire is a lifestyle youtuber and podcast host. She writes and vlogs about ways millennials can embrace their true potential and create their dream life. She has some great organization and minimalism videos that I love.
29 / Twenty-Fine / 21 + 8… whatever you want to call it, will go down as one of my favorite years. July 19th marked the halfway mark of the last year of my 20s. If you’ve been around since January, you know my birthday hashtag was #TwentyWineSavage, and this year has indeed been the year of the savage.
Halfway Through 29: Year of the Savage
I’ve Learned that…
The smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. About a week ago at work, I waited on 2 men. They were my last table of the night, which means if they would close out and go home, so could I. Instead of rushing or being short, I gave the same ol’ Ace service. After about 2 hours, the older gentlemen complimented me on my smile and service. It turns out he came out to his son 5 years ago, and it put a strain on their relationship.
Rumple Minze is not my friend. If I have more than 2 of them, it’s going to a night fam. That’s all that needs to be said about that.
Not to apologize for the brightness of my light. The only thing worse than constantly bragging about your accomplishments, is not acknowledging them at all. Everyone deserves to get their flowers while they’re here. Don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself or stand-up for your beliefs, because how you think it will make others feel.
What I’ve Done
Executed my arts summer camp. My first adventure with the Arts Center of Engagement (A.C.E) was a success! We went to an art gallery, painted self-portraits, recorded a song and even made a music video! The support from my friends, family and community means the world to me; and I’m excited to share what A.C.E has in store with them.
Supported local businesses and organizations. As much as I shouldn’t be spending any money, when I do spend it’s usually at local businesses. My camp also allowed me to connect with local artists and community leaders.
Made the best memories with people I didn’t even know last year. Watching the sunrise, litty lunches, short day trips to Savannah – the list goes on and on. Even though our #BestLifeSummer17 will end soon, the adventures will continue throughout year 29 and beyond.
How is this year treating you so far? What have you learned and/or done?
What is Kanye West? An asshole, a genius, a victim of the Kardashian curse — probably all of the above. I put on a random workout mix the other day and there were so many throwback Yeezy songs. It was fantastic and I started thinking about all the hits Yeezy has that I still love.
The Ultimate I Miss Kanye Playlist
“Through the Wire” — The College Dropout (2003)
I cannot start an I miss (the old) Kanye playlist without the song that started it all. Do not forget ‘Ye recorded the original version while his mouth was still wired shut. In comparison, I don’t want to move when I have a headache.
Favorite Lines: Good dude, bad night, right place, wrong time
In the blink of a eye, his whole life changed
If you could feel how my face felt, you would know how Mase felt
Thank God I ain’t too cool for the safe belt!
“Flashing Lights” — Album: Graduation (2007)
Favorite Lines:In my past, you on the other side of the glass
Of my memory’s museum
I’m just saying, Hey Mona Lisa
Come home you know you can’t Rome without Caesar
“Can’t Tell me Nothing” — Album: Graduation (2007)
I pretty much know this entire song by heart and when I stroll into anything late I’m basically humming the line: Class started 2 hours ago, oh am I late?
Favorite Lines:Man it’s so hard not to act reckless
To whom much is given, much is tested
“The New Workout Plan” — Album: The College Dropout (2004)
Kanye is funny or he can be when he wants to and this song is testament to that.
Favorite Lines: Ooh girl your breath is harsh!
Cover your mouth up like you got SARS
Off them tracks yea I bought them cars
“Otis” — Album: Watch the Throne (2011)
This sample of Otis Redding?! IS. EVERYTHING.
Favorite Lines:Luxury rap, the Hermes of verses
Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive
“Jesus Walks” — Album: The College Dropout (2004)
C’mon, this video was everything (both versions). I specifically remember ‘Ye preforming this at the BET Awards with Yolanda Adams.
Favorite Line:I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just tryna say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus
“Gold Digger” — Album: Late Registration (2005)
This song broke all kinds of chart records and it most importantly it still rocks when it comes on at a party. It’s like the real response to No Scrubs. If you’re about to comment about the tragedy that is called No Pigeons, please exit immediately.
Favorite Lines: You will see him on TV any given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
“Stronger” — Album: Graduation (2007)
Did you have a pair of those damn shutter shades? I had like seven pairs, but trends come an go.
Favorite Lines: Bow in the presence of greatness
‘Cause right now thou hast forsaken us
You should be honored by my lateness
That I would even show up to this fake shit
“All Of the Lights” — Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Did you know that 14 artists lent their voices as background vocals to this song: Alicia Keys, John Legend, The-Dream, Drake, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Tony Williams, Elly Jackson, Alvin Fields, Ken Lewis, and Rihanna. This was basically the Golden State Warriors all-star championship team.
Favorite Lines:Restraining order
Can’t see my daughter
Her mother, brother, Grandmother hate me in that order
“Monster” — Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Not going to lie Nicki Minaj stole this for me, but still speaks to Ye’s genius. I mean how else do you get Bon Iver, Jay Z, Rick Ross and Nicki on one track.
Favorite Lines: Please see Nicki’s whole verse.
“Touch The Sky” — Album: Late Registration (2005)
The horns — a sample from Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up — are a standout.
Favorite Lines:Now let’s go, take ’em back to the plan
Me and my momma hopped in that U-Haul van
Any pessimists, I ain’t talk to them
Plus I ain’t have no phone in my apart-a-ment
“All Falls Down” — The College Dropout (2004)
R.I.P. Stacy Dash. I know she’s still alive, but this her appearance in this video one of the last times the black delegation claimed her.
Favorite Lines: The prettiest people do the ugliest things
For the road to riches and the diamond rings
“Heartless” — Album: 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
Ok, there are a lot of people who hated 808s and Heartbreak. I was not one of the those people.
Favorite Lines: Talk and talk and talk and talk
Baby, let’s just knock it off
They don’t know what we been through
They don’t know about me and you
“Hey Mama” — Album: Late Registration
If you didn’t cry or feel something after Ye performed this song at the Grammys in 2008 aftter Donda passed, you have no soul.
Favorite Lines: As we knelt on the kitchen floor
I said mommy I’mma love you till you don’t hurt no more
And when I’m older, you ain’t gotta work no more
And I’mma get you that mansion that we couldn’t afford
“N****s in Paris” — Album: Watch the Throne (2011)
I basically put this next because we need a spirit lifter after “Hey Mama”. Plus, it gets the people going. 🙂
She said ‘Ye can we get married at the mall?
I said look you need to crawl ‘fore you ball
“Runaway” — My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Favorite Lines: Never was much of a romantic
I could never take the intimacy
And I know I did damage
Cause the look in your eyes is killing me
I kept seeing posts on Instagram like the one below. Who is this Rupi Kaur I would say? making a mental note to look up the poet. I would forget until another poem would appear on my feed. When I finally did my homework, I immediate ordered Milk and Honey, Kaur’s first collection of poems.
Milk and Honey…that sounds nice
this is the journey of
surviving through poetry
this is the blood sweat tears
of twenty-one years
this is my heart
in your hands
– rupi kaur
The poem above is featured on the back of the book and is a brief synopsis of the book. Do not let the brevity of the poems fool you. Rupi’s poems are experiences. They are honest. Kaur breaks her book into four parts: thehurting, the loving, thebreakingand thehealing.
Review: Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
The hurting touches on topics of rape, sexual abuse, and abusive parenting. It describes feelings of emptiness and suppression, however, also the ability to transcend the hurt with kindness. It describes the fractured relationship left as a result of abuse.
you have sadness
living in places
sadness shouldn’t live
The loving section of Milk and Honey is about love, hope, sex, intimacy, women’s bodies and being consumed by a relationship.
you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves
The breaking is about heartbreak, the bitter aspects of relationships, and relationships that break you down or cause to be someone you aren’t.
i am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes shut
The healing is about loving yourself, openness and kindness. It’s about celebrating and supporting other women’s successes and celebrating feminine beauty in all its different colors, shapes and sizes.