About Donnica Smalls

http://www.donnicakelsey.com

Resident Palmetto Peach expert on glitter, baking and why football is the 5th season. Pragmatic dreamer. "I might bend a little bit, but I don't fold."

Posts by Donnica Smalls:

Summer Essentials

Summer is definitely my favorite season. Despite the almost unbearable heat – summer brings pool parties, cookouts, fireworks, and my birthday!! We’re about 10 days into summer and I wanted to bring you some of my summer essentials.

Summer Essentials - The Palmetto Peaches

Summer Essentials

1. Floppy Hat – I’m all about protecting my face from the sun and looking cute while doing it. Go simple or monogram it, but get yourself a floppy hat.

2. Sunscreen – After my first Bonnaroo, I learned that even my melanin rich skin could be burnt. I started to peel and I thought I was dying. So now summer days are not complete without sunscreen. Most days, I’ll mix a little drop of Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 110 with my primer. Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Tint is also a really good choice. My daily foundation, COVERGIRL Queen Collection All Day Flawless, has an SPF of 20, so I don’t feel too bad if I skip this step.  As far as the pool, Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray, SPF 85+ is my go-to sunscreen.  Don’t forget to reapply.

3. Blotting Sheets — I don’t know about you, but in the summer no matter how excellent my mattifying primer is I get a little oily. So I always keep some Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing sheets in my bag. 

4. Dry Shampoo – Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo is a great hair pick me up during the summer. 

5. Denim Cutoffs –  Five days out of the week, I’m relegated to pencil skirts and cardigans. Because of this I basically live in denim shorts on the weekends during summer. Find yourself one or two pair you love and pair with sandals or sneakers and a tee for relaxed look.

6. Fun Pool Float – Whether you’re at the pool at your apartment complex or floating a river in your city you could probably benefit from a cool float. Look at this awesome doughnut float  and this amazing pizza float.

7. Bathing Suits and Sunglasses – Every summer I tell myself that I don’t need a new bathing suit and inevitably I find myself pursuing the racks for some pieces I can mix and match with. I’m finally jumping on the American trend this summer and found some cute stars and stripes bikinis at Target. Ruffle bandeau tops are my go to and I found some nice ones at H&M. As far as sunglasses, I lose/break at least 3 pair every summer, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to drop $200 on some Ray-bans. I stick to selections at Target or hit up Marshall’s and TJ Maxx for my sunnies. This summer I’m loving mirrored aviators and wayfarers.

8. Treats – Frozen watermelon pops (add coconut rum if you’re 21+) are the perfect summer treat. Simply cut a watermelon into triangle slices, add a wooden popsicle stick and let them sit in the freezer for at least four hours. White Sangria – I don’t think I really need to explain. Sipping white sangria poolside is heaven on earth. This recipe over DamnDelicious.net is so yummy.

Mix these with good music and good weather and you’ve got a perfect summer day. What are your summer essentials? Leave a comment below or tweet me @donnicakelsey.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Charleston Shooting: Stop Telling Me How To Feel

This is probably my third attempt at writing this blog post. My blog calendar says I was supposed to write about summer essentials,  but how could I pull together a post about my favorite sandals and summer drink recipes when my heart is aching. On Wednesday night, a young white man sat in the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal for an hour before murdering nine African American men and women who were in this house of worship.

I joined the hoodie movement for Trayvon Martin. Ferguson and Baltimore rocked my soul. I couldn’t believe Anthony Hill was killed. I felt for the young girl in McKinney who was mistreated by a cop. All of these stories hit home,but this was different. This wasn’t police brutality. This was a hate crime – an act of terrorism. In. MY. Hometown. I was born in Charleston. I was raised in Charleston. I love the city of Charleston. I would eventually love to raise my children there. To see such a horrific thing happen because of one person’s hate was too much.

Let me be clear. I know not all cops and specifically white cops are bad. I know not all white people are racists. And I’m not being divisive by saying #BlackLivesMatter.

I’m asking people to stop telling me how to feel when people that look like me are being shot down out of hate and fear. I’m asking people to stop comparing Charleston’s reaction to the events in Baltimore and Ferguson – these are completely different situations. I’m asking for people to stop saying “not everything is about race”.

My home state still flies the Confederate Flag on Capitol grounds. After President Obama was elected I was spit on by a young white guy on the campus of my beloved University of South Carolina. He said I was ruining the country. Me, the girl who had a 3.8 GPA, was ruining the country. OK. I’ve been followed in stores — owners looking for me to steal. I’ve been told I’d be prettier if my skin wasn’t so dark. The Dylan’s of this world are mad because I support #BlackGirlsRock and they’re mad because I know I rock.  I watch people who look like me get killed a lot. So again stop telling me how to to feel.

As I mentioned I’ve tried writing this post three times. I couldn’t eloquently express how I was truly feeling. Each post just made me seem angry or just extremely sad (both of which are true). However, I knew that anyone who would read either version wouldn’t take anything away from it. So I decided to round-up some of the really eye-opening articles/videos I’ve come across in the past few days.

I’m not sure how many views this post will get. I’m sure I’ll offend someone, but I don’t care. I just hope this will make at least one person understand the larger issue at hand.

Racism is not a mental illness. Unlike actual mental illnesses, it is taught and instilled. Mental illness was not the state policy of South Carolina, or any state for that matter, for hundreds of years — racism was. Assuming actions grounded in racial biases are irrational not only neutralizes their impact, it also paints the perpetrator as a victim.

The Confederate flag’s defenders often claim it represents “heritage not hate.” I agree—the heritage of White Supremacy was not so much birthed by hate as by the impulse toward plunder. Dylann Roof plundered nine different bodies last night, plundered nine different families of an original member, plundered nine different communities of a singular member. An entire people are poorer for his action. The flag that Roof embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace, does not stand in opposition to this act—it endorses it. That the Confederate flag is the symbol of of white supremacists is evidenced by the very words of those who birthed it:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…
Take down the flag. Take it down now.

Put it in a museum. Inscribe beneath it the years 1861-2015. Move forward. Abandon this charlatanism. Drive out this cult of death and chains. Save your lovely souls. Move forward. Do it now.

 Charleston Shooting
I’d love to add to this list of articles. Send me a link to any other great coverage you think could add to this post. Leave a comment below or tweet me @donnicakelsey.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

OITNB is Back.

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.

  1. 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!!Orange Is The New Black - The Palmetto PeachesOrange Is the New Black - The Palmetto Peaches
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

    That’s just my #78cents.

    *SWOON* and then to top it off, this happened:

  4. Mmk, not impressed by Matt. How about all of the other cast members making some amazing comments in media interviews. My favorite may be from Uzo Aduba.
    OITNB
  5. The show has already been renewed for season four. Yes, that’s right, before it was made available. Also, a half dozen Marriott hotels have added Netflix to guest rooms just in time for OITNB premiere. The hype is real, people.
  6. 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?
  7.  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.
  8. There’s a new girl coming to Litchfield – Stella. Oh hey girl hey!!!
    Orange Is the New Black - The Palmetto Peaches
  9. 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!
  10. 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.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Dance, Dance

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.

So what did you think? Did a few of the dances make you smile? Dance? Cry? You can catch So You Think You Can Dance, Monday’s on FOX.

Any readers out there SYTYCD fans? What are some of your favorite dances from past seasons? Leave a comment or tweet me at @donnicakelsey.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Summertime Flavor: Cookout Playlist

Summertime Flavor: Cookout Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comOfficially, 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.

Summertime Flavor: Cookout Playlist

  1. Lil Wayne – Mrs. Officer
  2. The Notorious B.I.G. – Going Back to Cali (Viceroy “Jet Life” Remix)
  3. Jennifer Lopez feat Fabolous – Get Right
  4. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime
  5. Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly – Before I Let Go
  6. Tupac Ft. Shock G & Money B – I Get Around
  7. Kanye West Ft. T-Pain – Good Life
  8. Nelly – Hot In Herre
  9. Carl Carlton – She’s a Bad Mama Jama
  10. UGK – Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)
  11. Cameo – Candy
  12. Brick – Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody
  13. Lorde –  Royals (Magnifik Remix)
  14. Le Roux – Bulletproof
  15. Bob Marley – Stir it Up (STYTE DUBSTEP RMX)
  16. Kool & The Gang – Get Down On It
  17. Isley Brothers- For the Love of You Pt 1 and 2
  18. Earth, Wind and Fire – September
  19. Justin Timberlake – Let The Groove Get In

What songs will you spin at your cookout? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @donnicakelsey.

donni-siggy

Pinterest 101

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!

Materials

3 plates (One should be smaller than the other or you could use a bowl)
Two candlesticks
E6000 Craft Glue

Pinterest 101 - The Palmetto Peaches

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.

Pinterest 101 - Tiered Stand - The Palmetto Peaches

  • 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.Pinterest 101 - Tiered Stand - The Palmetto Peaches
  • 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.

Pinterest 101 - Tiered Stand - The Palmetto Peaches

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

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