Empire vs. Scandal: Primetime’s Heavyweight Bout

I casually scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed as I waited for Shonda Rhimes night to begin. I realized that there was an Empire vs. Scandal battle going on that I was unaware of. This is nothing like the upcoming Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, but the interwebs is trying to pretend it is.

Empire vs. Scandal: Primetime's Heavyweight Bout - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Empire

If you’ve been living under a rock or are allergic to FOX, you may not know that Empire has quickly become the number one new series of the season in all the key demographics. According to Nielsen, 61% of the show’s audience is African-American. A figure that no other prime time show, new or old, even comes close to matching. Additionally, Empire is shattering Nielsen records as the only series to rise in the ratings for seven consecutive weeks since its premiere, climbing steadily from 9.9 million same-day viewers for its Jan. 7 opener to 13.9 million last week.

Scandal

In comparison, Scandal first landed on ABC with eight episodes and the ratings were okay, but nothing like the Empire phenomenon. However, because of Scandal‘s ridiculous Twitter engagement, ABC saw its potential. Shonda Rhimes has since become Thursday night’s queen.

Empire vs. Scandal

The basic argument was that Empire is led by an all-black cast (Andre’s wife is a minor character) and has continued to break Nielsen records. Beyond this, the show addresses issues that plague the African American community, but are sometimes ignored (e.g. homophobia and mental illness). In addition, the show is ultimately a celebration of a family rising from poverty to an – for lack of a better word – “empire”.

Empire vs. Scandal -- The Palmetto Peaches

ADDRESSING the issues

Pro-Empire viewers chastised Scandal for not addressing serious issues and basically saying it was a dramatic story of who “other woman/ sidepiece” Olivia  should be with. (For the record, I’m #TeamJake whom, I refer to as Pillow Lips). Don’t get me wrong, I roll my eyes and sip my wine whenever the Olitz music plays and they have a brief and highly dramatic encounter. However, Scandal, in fact, has taken up an insane number of social issues. Abby’s storyline that raised awareness about domestic violence. The issue of gun control was weaved into the storyline via a speech by Fitz. Who can forget the end of Season 3 when Daddy Pope called Fitz a “boy” reading him to filth with the eloquence and dynamics of a preacher giving a sermon on First Sunday. This wasn’t just about Fitz’s rude and childish comment, but about the achievements and struggles of the black community and a commentary on white privilege. Also, we can’t leave out Rowan’s “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have” speech.

I also can’t address that criticism without talking about last night’s episode “The Lawn Chair,”  which echoed what occurred with Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and other countless incidents across the country. (P.S. Can we have a round of applause for Courtney B. Vance?) While the protesters weren’t chanting “black lives matter,” Shonda Rhimes and co. had them chant “Stand up, fight back, no more black men under attack”. Still effective in my opinion. I’m usually pretty active on Twitter during episodes, but last night I was pretty quiet. I stayed engaged with the characters and I may have cried a little because the episode was just that powerful.

Empire vs. Scandal

My question is why do we have to choose?

I think both shows play an important role in today’s TV landscape. Scandal is the kind of show that will have Olivia Pope kidnapped one day and then take on institutionalized racism the next. Empire is opening people’s eyes to taboo topics like mental illness. Both are showing Hollywood the power of not only Black actors and actresses (and producers), but black audiences. Shonda Rhimes tweeted about the importance of Empire’s record-breaking numbers:

If boss lady Shonda can dance for joy about Empire’s success, why do we have to be Team Empire or Team Scandal?

Tweet me your thoughts. Do you watch both? Are you a Cookie Monster (Team Empire) or a Gladiator (Team Scandal)? Or are you just sipping your tea while on Team Mary Jane Paul? (FYI – I love them all and equally on their corresponding nights!)

donni-siggy

 

MARTA Survival Kit

MARTA’s service population is 1.7 million in the City of Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb Counties. (MARTA) Not gonna lie, I just found out the exact numbers, but I knew it had to be huge. Before I moved to the Big Peach, someone told me “MARTA is smarta”. I probably trusted that opinion too much, because it helped with my decision to move as soon as I could–without a car.

The Palmetto Peaches -- MARTA Survival Kit

Public transportation is my lifeline. If a MARTA bus or rail line can’t get me there, I’m probably not going. Yes, it’s prevented me from some experiences and opportunities–but my has it given me plenty of stories. Like the one time a paraplegic creepishly scooted towards me while singing “If This World Were Mine”, or when I almost died crossing the street trying to catch the bus that was 2 minutes early. And it doesn’t stop there, even when I’m not pretending to listen to music so no one will talk to me–I’m a magnetic force for strange conversations. My plan is to use this blog to share my sketchy, yet eye-opening public transportation stories with you. But before that day comes, I’d like to share the things I’ve learned to never leave the house without before starting my MARTA adventures.

The Palmetto Peaches -- MARTA Survival Kit

MARTA Survival Kit

  1. Headphones: Even if I’m not listening to anything, they’re great for pretending like I don’t hear the cat calls. On a good day, I like to listen to what my fellow MARTA riders are talking about: politics, trap music, TV shows etc.
  2. An entertaining text thread, or a book to keep you occupied.
  3. Fully charged cell phone/tablet battery, and if it isn’t fully charged–make sure you pack the chargers for those devices. (I’ve only had to use the train station’s outlets twice. I wasn’t electrocuted, so that’s a plus.)
  4. Water/snack: For me, this depends on the length of my trip–mainly because I don’t want to have to use the little girl’s room until I’ve reached my destination. I packed a PB&J for my trip to the Mardi Gras Bar Crawl, because, reasons. If you forget a snack, there are a few vending machines at the MARTA train stations, and if you’re lucky the credit card option will be working.
  5. Transit app on your smartphone. I use it to map my routes, regardless if it’s 15 minutes away or 2 hours away. The app lets me know which bus to take and when to take it, to get me to my destination on time. If you want to save your smart phone’s battery, there are maps on the bus and at the rail stations.
  6. Most importantly, your Breeze Card. If your bank account allows, keep this thing loaded. The last thing you want is to be cashless with an empty Breeze Card. I’ve missed a few trains reloading my card outside the gate, and I’ve almost missed a few buses forgetting I didn’t have cash on me.

There are a few other things I left off the list, so I may have to write a MARTA Survival Kit 2.0. I hope this makes your public transportation trips a little easier. Do you have anything to add to this list, or have you ever seen me during your MARTA troop?! If so, tweet me @TheAceAlexa to say “whaddup?”

Coming soon: MARTA etiquette. I could probably write an entire book on that subject, so give me some time to get my thoughts together

acesiggy

Whisper Challenge

The Palmetto Peaches heard about the Whisper Challenge that people are doing and thought it would be fun to give it a try.

Hey little mama, let me whisper in your ear…

No, no, Palmettos and Peaches, that’s the Whisper Song…not quite the same thing. The Whisper Challenge works like this: One person wears headphones blaring loud music and tries to lip-read the phrase spoken by the other person. Blake Shelton and Jimmy Fallon were our inspirations, but there are so many funny videos out there.

How did I interpret the phrase: “The bigger the hoop the bigger the ho”? Where did Mary Poppins come from? The things Ace thinks I’m saying by far takes the cake. Do you want to build a snowman turned into “crystal meth” wait what?! Expect barking (not from my puppy), dancing and a lot of laughter. I’m pretty sure Ace cheated, but enough spoilers, here’s our attempt at the whisper challenge:

 

We want to see you join in on the fun! Complete your own whisper challenge and use the hashtag #PalmsInATL to share it with us. Or feel free to just tweet us and tell us how ridiculous we are. We won’t mind!

donni-siggy

Jamberry Jammy Jam!

So the title of this post is a little obnoxious, but it’s all I’ve been saying since Donni told me about Jamberry Nails! I worked in the restaurant/hospitality industry for about 5 years, so nail polish was usually a big NO for me. The last thing I needed was chipped nail polish in my guests’ sweet potato. (I also keep the chip nailed look way longer than allowed.) Other than that, I’m not very crafty or DIY savvy–so I usually stick to the basics: a black, blue or red color.

Jamberry and Katie Galligan: Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant are here to change all of that. As you may (or may not) know, The Palmetto Peaches launched on February 13th. We’ve had an amazing amount of support from our family, friends and fellow bloggers. What better way to celebrate than with a giveaway? A Jamberry giveaway! Entering is simple: all you gotta do is like, follow and/or tweet us! Details are below!

Get those entries in, because the contest ends on Friday, March 6th! For more details of our Jamberry adventure, check out “And We’re Jammin”!

Snow Day Essentials

Last year, Atlanta experienced a “Snowpocalypse” and the city looked like the title card from The Walking Dead.

The Palmetto Peaches - Snow Day

For any readers up north, don’t laugh too hard at us Southerners. We’re not built for snow and neither is our city.

 

Welp, it’s officially another snow day here, although I haven’t seen snow fall (and almost immediately melt) on my side of town since yesterday morning. Basically, a snow day for me means I get to work from the comfort of my couch (in my jammies). I’m actually writing this blog curled up on my couch in my Gamecock onesie and sipping a mint hot chocolate out of my favorite mug.  While I may not be able to build a snowman, it doesn’t look like Elsa and the cold weather are headed anywhere any time soon, so I thought I’d share some of my snow day essentials.

The Palmetto Peaches - Snow Day Essentials

Sweater | Mug | Socks |  Slippers | Candle | Blanket

  1. Sweater –  An oversized hoodie is usually my go to, but this year I am trying to up my style game. This batwing cardigan is perfect for a lazy day in the house or for quick errands around town.
  2. Mug – Whether you’re a tea, hot cocoa or coffee drinker, pour yourself something delicious in your favorite mug and turn on some Netflix. I fully support a good binge watching session.
  3. Fuzzy socks – I don’t think any explanation is necessary. Keep your toesies warm, people!
  4. Slippers – If you aren’t a fuzzy sock lover, I would suggest a fantastic pair of slippers. I love these Minnetonka faux fur-lined moccasin slippers.
  5. Candle –  Snow days are the perfect excuse to light a few candles. Bath & Body Works has the yummiest scents, but I’m a fan of canvassing the shelves of Ross or Marshall’s for candles that are super marked down. A few days ago, I scored an awesome Yankee Candle for about $3.
  6. Sherpa Throw Blanket –  I went sports-themed here, but find a super soft sherpa throw blanket that matches your décor/ team preference for the ultimate level of snow day coziness.

Basically comfort is the name of the game. What are some of your favorite items for cozying up at home? Tweet me at @donnicakelsey.

Stay warm and safe, Palmettos and Peaches!

donni-siggy

And We’re Jammin’ (Giveaway)

Next month, I will officially have been an ATLien for two years. Although, one can argue that I wasn’t really official until I got my GA drivers license (December 2014). One of the things I love about this city is there is always something to do. However, sometimes you just need a girls night in with some wine/beer and ice cream, or if you’re like the Palmetto Peaches, sometimes you combine the two and treat yourself to Frozen Pints — the Honey IPA is my personal favorite.

For a recent girls night in, we decided to a little jammin’ with Jamberry Nail Wraps, a DIY, at-home application, vinyl nail product. Jamberry nail wraps last up to two weeks on fingers and six weeks on toes. They have over 350 designs that won’t chip and require no drying time.

And We're Jammin' - Jamberry Nail Wraps -- The Palmetto Peaches

My good friend and fellow Seminole, Katie, is a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant, and provided Ace and I each a set of nail wraps to try.  I opted for Mixed Signals (left) and Ace chose Over It (right).Jamberry Nail Wraps - The Palmetto Peaches

How cool are they? While I consider myself pretty crafty, my nail painting process goes something like this:

  1. Look at nails in horror.
  2. Decide whether or not to use a base coat (or if I have time/patience).
  3. Apply one coat before bed. Try to sleep with my hands hanging off the bed.
  4. Wake up in the morning to find nail polish on my face and sheets.
  5. Try to fix all the nails I messed up while sleeping with a  2nd coat, all while eating grits and watching the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on my DVR.
  6. End up with 2 -3 super thick and janky looking nails.

 Final Results

Donni Jamberry Nail Wraps --- The Palmetto Peaches

Ace Jamberry Nail Wraps - The Palmetto Peaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

All things considered, this was substantially easier with a much better outcome. To apply you just need: rubbing alcohol, a nail file, manicure scissors (we used some regular scissors), a cuticle pusher (we suck at directions and didn’t use it) and a hair dryer. These are great anytime, but I forsee myself ordering them for vacations or busy weeks when I can’t paint my nails, and need them to still look nice.

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the one week-a-versary of our launch, The Palmetto Peaches and Katie are giving away a set of Jamberry Nail wraps to one of our readers. Find a pair you like or give them as a gift to your friend/ significant other. Contest instructions are below:

 

Want to order your own?

Please check out Katie’s Jamberry site. She’s been a consultant since September, but has been a fan of having cute nails for forever. She’s super friendly and can answer all of your Jamberry questions. Also, you can try a sample by filling out this form. Bonus: Katie’s using the commission on her sales to pay for her upcoming wedding! So let’s help her out!! Please note the current catalog is retiring several designs effective March 1st, so any current designs you see will only be there through the end of the month. Additionally, anyone who orders during the time the retiring wraps are still active is eligible to win a $25 Jamberry gift certificate.

Good luck to all of our Palmettos and Peaches!

 

donni-siggy