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?
As most of you know, I launched my first ever arts summer camp in Charleston, SC! With the love and support of family, friends, community and even strangers–my dreams became a reality.
What have we done so far?
Summer camp is only 6 days long, but it’s been nothing short of amazing. During week 1, we painted portraits, recited mantras, wrote in our journals and recorded a song. Super casual.
What’s next for A.C.E Summer Camp?
The kids are heading back to school in less than a month. I’d like to help them start the year off with something, even if it’s a few words of motivation. After that, I’d like to host an arts related event in the fall, and get the ball rolling for an arts after school program. This week we’re learning a dance to our song, visiting an art gallery and shooting a music video. Again, super casual.
What I’ve learned so far?
Regardless of how ready you think you are, be prepared for the unexpected.
Get ready. Stay ready.
Don’t underestimate the power of strangers.
I received donations from people who have no idea who I was. Although I’m grateful for any donation, it’s humbling to come across people who truly believe in me.
A little bit of support goes a long way.
Regardless if it was a ReTweet or Facebook status like, the support of my community meant the world to me. A.C.E Summer Camp would’ve happened regardless, but the feeling of having a squad behind me gives me so much life!
I can’t pretend like there weren’t a few bumps in the road, but what’s a good success story with one one or two? Needless to say, I’m ready to finish week 2 with a bang. Hopefully the kids will walk away with as many lessons as the adults will.
Did you ever attend an arts summer camp? What was it like for you?
My Saturdays usually consist of a 3-hour long Litty Lunch with my work family. Our go-to meal includes Mexican food or sandwiches, and a few cocktails. This time I took a different route by visiting a local brewery, Charles Towne Fermentory and The Castejons. What’s a Best Life Summer without trying new things?
Saturday Snacks at Charles Towne Fermentory
I’m not a beer expert, so I typically order a PBR or Miller High Life when necessary (don’t judge). The Dutchman’s Breeches Belgian Strong Dark Ale was a pleasant surprise to my taste buds. Oak aged on fruit and 9.5% ABV–um yes please!
Now let’s talk about this delicious champinones I had: garlic sautéed mushrooms, with goat cheese and crostini. I’m a sucker for cheese in general, but goat cheese gives me so much life. Mushrooms and bread are also on the “things I love” list. I can’t get too addicted to having this snack at Charles Towne Fermentory, because it’s a pop-up kitchen. The menu changes on a daily basis.
If you’re ever in Charleston, drop on by Charles Town Fermentory! Tell them Ace sent ya! What snacks and drinks do you like to enjoy on a Saturday?
With the help of Enough Pie, local artists and businesses — I will bring the kids of Bridgeview Village together through storytelling, song and dance. Bridgeview, my old stomping grounds, is an affordable housing community in the Upper Peninsula of Charleston, SC. I know first-hand that there’s a need for more activities for the youth who live there, especially ones that don’t involve running outside in 100 degree weather. My mission is to change the game by encouraging them through creativity.
Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall! In June, Donni and I shared our Summer Bucket Lists with you. I’m back to share what I actually checked off my list, and what I have planned for the fall.
Summer 2016 Bucket List
It wasn’t the outdoor meditation like I hoped for, but I did manage to wake up and meditate before and during sunrise–from the comfort of my bed.
Make S’mores at a bonfire.
Nah. Summer 2016 was so hot, I barely attended anything that didn’t involve air conditioning or a paycheck. I don’t know why I thought I’d be sitting in front of anyone’s fire.
Go to a baseball game.
I went to 2 Charleston Riverdogs game this summer! At the first game, I tried a Palmetto Espresso Porter beer milkshake for the first time. About a month later, I enjoyed $1 beer during a Thirsty Thursday game. The games and drinks were both great. Felt like college.
I didn’t make it to New Orleans, but I did make it to Savannah for a Bachelorette weekend, and Atlanta to see Beyoncé for the SECOND time this year. A trip to New Orleans is very high the list for my solo travel birthday trip.
Build a fort.
I watched my nephew build a fort. Does that count? He even had me test his entrance, which had a sign that read, “Please knock”. Knock on what though? The fort didn’t have a door. Yep, I’m checking this off my list.
Drink out of a coconut.
Nah, again. Guess I’ll put this back on the list for Spring/Summer 2017.
I didn’t do too bad checking things off my Summer Bucket List, but Fall is here and it’s time for new adventures! Here are some things I’d like to do this season.
Goodbye Summer Bucket List
Daylight Savings Time will be here soon. It’s easier for me to meditate at 7am instead of 6am, that’s for sure.
Make S’mores at a bonfire.
I will give this another try in October or November when it’s not 90 degrees.
Because beer love is true love. Charleston has a few of it’s own Oktoberfest celebrations, and I’d love to attend one for the first time.
Fall is my favorite season, but the weather can get a little gloomy as winter approaches. I love waking up early, simply to stay snuggled up in bed for a few extra hours (or the entire day). Brunch is great year-round, but it’s not as tempting when outs looks like a scene from Twilight. My plan is to have at least 4 “Sleep-in Sundays” this season.
Visit a pumpkin patch with my nephews.
If we miss that chance, they will have to settle for Disney on Ice or a visit to the aquarium.
What did you check of your bucket list this summer? What’s on your Fall Bucket List?
Tea time can mean a few different things when you’re from the south: time to make sweet tea, time for a tea party on the porch or time to spill the tea (also known as a serious gossip session). Imaginary tea parties are basically a childhood necessity, which is why I was so excited to receive a Tea Time invitation from Johnny Caldwell & Taneka Reeves, also known as, Cocktail Bandits. It was my first tea party that involved real tea, real food and real people.
If you don’t recognize the duo from your own Instagram feed, you probably recognize them from mine. The curly ladies who talk cocktails daily give an urban, feminine perspective on wine, spirits, cigars and the good life (cocktailbandits.com). Taneka is actually responsible for convincing me to give tequila another try; and I don’t have any regrets…yet.
Left to right: Taneka, me & Johnny
The boozy besties combined a southern tradition with two of my favorite things: alcohol and food.
Tea Time Snacks:
I can’t decide which snack from Hamby Catering I loved more: the cucumber tea sandwich, shrimp sandwich or mini pecan pie. Thanks to martinis, green olives have not been on my favorites list, however, I put that behind me for this cucumber sandwich. I survived, and went back for more.
Tea Time Sips:
After returning from my first trip to the food table, I snuck the rest of that Firefly shot into my Earl Grey Charleston Plantation Tea. Fun facts: Charleston Tea Plantation is the only tea plantation in North America “where you can see hundreds of thousands of tea bushes stretching out acre after acre for almost as far as the eye can see” (charlestonteaplantation.com)! It has been the official tea of the White House since 1987.
The traditional tea and Charleston Single recipes were great, but the Cocktail Bandits’ Peninsula Tea stole the show. The taste was even better than the presentation. If you love sweet tea and/or ginger, be careful with this recipe. It might sneak up on you.
The classic tea sets, great people and good vibes were perfect for an early Saturday afternoon. So yaaaaas, Cocktail Bandits for making adulthood a little easier.
I have lots of cute pictures to share, but I didn’t want to turn this post into a photo album. I plan on sharing them soon. Now is the time for you to subscribe to the blog, so you don’t miss the post! For more Tea Time pictures, delicious recipes and future events– follow the Cocktail Bandits on Instagram: @CocktailBandits
Are you a tea lover? What are your favorite ways to shake up traditional recipes?