Beg, borrow, or steal (well maybe not steal), a Netflix password because Orange Is The New Black is back. Released early last night, there are now 13 new episodes for us to enjoy. Now I know my last post was TV-related, but I’ve had this date marked on my Google calendar and in my planner since it was first announced. Below are ten reasons why you should binge-watch tune in to the new season of OINTB.
First, in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock or prison just isn’t your thing (actual excuse I’ve heard for not watching). OINTB is the story of Piper Chapman, a woman who is sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend. The series chronicles the lives of Piper and her fellow inmates at the Litchfield Penitentiary.
First of all look at this cover! Laverne Cox, Samira Wiley, Danielle Brooks, Vicki Jeudy, Adrienne C. Moore and Uzo Adubo are SLAYING on the July 2015 cover of Essence magazine!!
This season, we’ll get to watch Daya and prison guard Bennett figure out what to do as her pregnancy comes to an end. Don’t forget, “Pornstache”, who she framed as the father of her baby, was arrested. Even though Pornstache is locked up (and on a new HBO show), I’ve read that his mother will be making an appearance this season. She may try to claim the baby once it’s born / until Daya finishes her sentence. Will Bennett man up and confess (technically, confess again)or will Pornstache’s mom get the baby?
Speaking of Officer Bennett. I recently fell in love with Matt McGorry. Yes, he’s cute. Yes, I love him in How to Get Away With Murder, but this Hollywood cutie takes some awesome stands on social justice issues. If you follow him at all on social media you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t. Shame one you. Back in March, Matt took to Facebook to say: “I’m embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of ‘feminism. I believe in gender equality. Being a feminist is for both women AND men. I AM A FEMINIST.” Then on Equal Pay Day he drafted a great response to the wage gap:
We need to create a society where girls and women are getting the same encouragement and support to build their careers as the boys and men are. From the start.
Is Vee really dead? I saw her get hit by Rosa’s getaway van, but I’m almost 100% positive I saw her in a trailer. Maybe it was just a flashback?
Alex is back! And it was ol’ shady ass Piper who got her there. I’m just excited to see Lauren Prepon, but also curious about how her character will respond to Piper’s whistle-blowing.
There’s a new girl coming to Litchfield – Stella. Oh hey girl hey!!!
Larry is nowhere to be found. Jason Biggs is not on the list of actors I loathe (Morgan Freeman, Nicholas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson), but I could not stand his character Larry. Thankfully, Larry and Polly have run off to have a happily ever after with Polly’s baby. Bye, Felecia!
Taystee and Poussey. They are by far my favorite duo on the show. I could share a bunch of clips below, but it would be too hard to choose my favorites. Just know they are awesome!
Do you plan to binge watch the season? Have you already started? Let me know your spoilerless thoughts in a comment below or tweet me @donnicakelsey.
Happy Friday, Palmettos and Peaches fam! While you’re munching on your free doughnut in honor of National Doughnut Day, I thought I’d share some art with you. One of my favorite dance quotes is:
To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking. – Agnes de Mille
I may not always dance, but I’ll always be a dancer. On Monday, the premiere episode of So You Think You Can Dance’s 12th season aired. For a decade, the routines on SYTYCD have made me laugh and cry and just feel. A lot of people say they don’t “get art”. I would say that dance is one of the art forms that can make you feel things – even if you don’t have a connection to dance itself. I love SYTYCD because you don’t have to be a dancer to respond emotionally to the amazing choreography that is showcased week after week. I know plenty of people who have never stepped foot into a dance studio (unless to perhaps, drop a little sister), who enjoy watching the show.
I’ve picked 12 of my favorite routines (plus a bonus because it was hard even editing this list down to 12), for you to take a look at.
Honorable Mention: Jasmine & Comfort, “Girls“ - Season 10
Style: Hip Hop Song: “Run the World (Girls) (Nappytabs Remix)” by Beyoncé Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon
My list would not be complete without the Queen Bee. That is all.
Style: Hip Hop Song: “Outta Your Mind” by Lil Jon Choreographer: Tabitha & Napoleon
Now before you hit play, you must know that Alex (the guy in the vest on the therapist’s chair) is a classically trained ballet dancer. Prepare for your mind to be blown. Also, the fact that the choreographers are a married couple is so super cute to me. After watching Center Stage for the first time, that’s all I wanted.
Style: Contemporary Song: “If It Kills Me” by Jason Mraz Choreographer: Travis Wall
You're going to see Travis Wall's name a lot. He's my favorite SYTYCD dancer turned choreographer and I'm still salty he didn't win season 2.
Style: Bollywood Song: "Dhoom Taana" from Om Shanti Om Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
SYTYCD first introduced its audience to Bollywood with this dance in season 4. It was the first time SYTYCD audience members got to experience the vibrant and energetic dance style. I don't know a lot about Bollywood, but Katee and Joshua really nailed the details and excitement of the technique.
Style: Tap Song: "Piano Man" by Billy Joel Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
My mom's favorite style of dance is tap. Tap was the class that frustrated me the most. Sometimes my feet, just wouldn't cooperate. However, when they did it was glorious!!
Style: Hip Hop Song: "Make it Work" by Ne-Yo Choreographer: Shane Sparks
Before NappyTabs hit the SYTYCD scene, Shane Sparks was making us feel things with his hip hop routines. Plus season 4 is one of my favorites and Dominic kind of looks like Sid from Ice Age -- which you have to love.
Style: Samba Song: "Hip Hip Chin Chin" by Club Des Belugas Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
One semester in undergrad, I enrolled in a Thursday evening Latin ballroom class. I eventually dropped the class because we never got out on time and I was missing Grey’s Anatomy and my ritual Thursday night pregames. However, from the four classes I took (hey, they were two hour classes) I decided samba and rumba were my favorites. Anyways these to are hot, hot, hot!
Style: Contemporary Song: “Fix You” by Coldplay Choreographer: Travis Wall
Did I mention I love Travis Wall? This is another tear-jerker. In this emotional piece Travis choreographs a routine about his mother’s surgery and the journey to help her through it. I was sobbing by the ending walk.
Style: Hip Hop Song: “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore Choreographer: Christopher Scott
I’ve loved Stephen "Twitch" Boss since his audition. Happily and unfortunately for me he’s married now. But he’s still one of my favorite dancers. Christopher Scott made this so sexy. I would not be mad if breakfast was like this every morning!
2) Jaimie & Hok, “The Hummingbird Dance“ – Season 3
Style: Jazz Song: “The Chairman’s Waltz” from the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack by John Williams Choreographer: Wade Robson
This is an iconic SYTYCD number. Break dancer Hok just kills this contemporary piece.
Style: Contemporary Song: “Calling You” by Celine Dion Choreographer: Mia Michaels
This gives me chills every time I watch it. By the time Heidi and Travis are face to face laying on top and under the bench — my goosebumps are on overdrive. Then Travis collapses on the bench like a rag doll and I lose it. They recreated this dance in season 9 and the original is still my all-time favorite. This dance was so good, it won choreographer Mia Michaels an Emmy.
Officially, Memorial Day is the federal holiday in which we remember the people who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Unofficially, it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season and the day of the cookout. Today your social media timelines will be full of people asking to “save them a plate”.
In honor of cookout season, I’ve put together a summertime flavor or cookout playlist, if you will. Now there are a lot of super throwback songs on this because when I first started curating the playlist, I thought off all the songs an uncle (in a white tee and leather sandals) would jam to as he’s making his famous barbecue (Frankie Beverly and Maze, Earth, Wind and Fire), but then there’s some classic rap songs (hello, Summertime by the Fresh Prince) that have to be included. And then personally, I love to dance, so I had to throw in a few dance jams.
I hope you all enjoy your day off and enjoy the flavor of the playlist. There are a few songs that Spotify didn’t have that are linked below.
Every couple of weeks, I scan my Pinterest boards for projects or recipes that I want to attempt. Honestly, this has led to a number of Pinterest fails, but also to a lot of really cool gifts, projects and yummy new dished. In my second spring cleaning post I showed ya’ll a jewelry stand that I made to clean up my bathroom counter. In this blog post I’ll walk you through this project – in what I’m calling a Pinterest 101. I find that when I start with some fail-proof projects, I have confidence to try those larger, somewhat overwhelming projects. When all else fails, sip a little wine (or the drink of your choice) as you work and the final outcome will always look a little better.
Pinterest 101: Tiered Stand
While I’m using my stand to hold odds and ends and jewelry in my bathroom. This DIY project can be used in a number of different ways. Hello cupcake stand or cake stand. Perhaps it’s a place to hold make-up or nail polish or miscellaneous things on your desk. Make it work for you!
3 plates (One should be smaller than the other or you could use a bowl)
Two candlesticks E6000 Craft Glue
I bought these melamine plates at Target for $1.29. The small appetizer plate was only .99. Feel free to hit thrift store for vintage plates as well. The candlesticks were from the Dollar Tree. You could use gold or silver spray to add something special to your candle sticks. This project would also be fun with terracotta pots and holders. Again, customize your materials list to make it your own.
With a damp cloth clean wipe down the plates and candle sticks and let them dry completely. If you plan on painting your candlesticks I would do that first, letting them dry completely before moving forward. My candlesticks were a little dusty so I grabbed some rubbing alcohol and cotton squares to give them a good cleaning.
With the design of the plates I purchased, it was easy to find the center, but you may need to measure your plate to accurately find the center. I applied the E6000 glue liberally on the bottom edge of the candlestick and set it on the plate. You still have some time to move it if it isn’t quite centered, but then firmly press down.
Next apply glue to the bottom of the second plate and the top of the first candlestick to add the next tier. The trick with the E6000 is to apply the glue to both surfaces and wait a couple of minutes before sticking together. Two tiers may be enough for you, I but I wanted a third, so I repeated the process and applied glue to the top of the second candlestick and the bottom of the third plate.
Voila! That’s all she wrote folks. You now have a tiered stand. Leave to dry overnight before you begin adding your items. Also I would lift the stand from the bottom. While the glue should keep it together, it never hurts to go easy on your new stand.
Do you have any projects you’ve been wanting to try? Any Pinterest fail stories or great successes? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @donnicakelsey.
Confession: I spend an unusual amount of time watching family and beauty bloggers on YouTube. It’s like my second Netflix. I look forward to my favorite ladies’ Get Ready With Me and monthly favorites videos. It’s becoming a problem, but
I like what I like.
I by no means think of myself as a beauty expert or a beauty blogger, but I thought it would be cool to do do an unboxing video for you guys. I recently signed up for a Julep Maven box and was gifted a Birchbox subscription and it’s been on my to-do list to record and upload these for awhile and I’ve finally completed one.
For those of you subscription box lovers out there tell me which are your favorites. Are you a Birchbox fan? Ipsy fan? Also, I’d love to hear who your favorite YouTube beauty vloggers are. Leave me a comment or tweet me at @donnicakelsey.
I’m the queen of playlists. For example, when I workout I need music to keep me moving. Otherwise, I’ll just wander from machine to machine in my apartment’s gym, pausing to take the obligatory #blackgirlsworkouttoo picture. When I’m cleaning (especially spring cleaning), I need a great playlist to keep me on task. So I’ve been inspired to share my personal productivity playlist that keeps me motivated throughout the work week. I try to update it at least every other week with some new songs or revamp it completely.
Music & Productivity
Music while working is a great idea, but I’ve read that different types of music affects our productivity in a number of ways.
– When the task is clearly defined and is repetitive in nature, the research seems to suggest that music is definitely useful.
– It may be beneficial to listen to music you are familiar with if you need to intensely focus for a project.
– For some lyrics, can be distracting.
With all that being said, everyone is different. I can’t promise you that you’ll accomplish all of your daily tasks listening to this playlist, but I know it makes me feel like a #girlboss and I get stuff done. Enjoy!
Productivity Playlist #1
Dunes by The Alabama Shakes
Standing On The Sun Remix by Beyoncé (ft. Mr Vegas)
Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
FourFiveSeconds by Rhianna, Kayne West and Paul McCartney
I See Fire (live) by Ed Sheeran
Riptide by Vance Joy
I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen
Everlasting Light by The Black Keys
Trap Queen by Fetty Wap
Homegrown Honey by Darius Rucker
Drip Drop by Empire Cast (feat. Yazz and Serayah McNeill)
Little Red Corvette by Prince
That’s Not My Name by The TIng Tings
Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
I Don’t Mind by Usher (feat. Juicy J)
What songs are you playing on repeat right now? Tweet me or comment below! I’m always looking for suggestions for my next playlist.