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?
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.
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?
On Sunday morning, I woke up and threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. I took my dog out for a walk. I met up with a friend and we adventured to East Atlanta for $9 bottomless mimosas. We talked about politics, relationships, and our weakness – planner supplies. We then leisurely strolled through Homegoods, willing ourselves not to buy anything – we bought stationery. We treated ourselves to Starbucks and doughnuts. We watched a few episodes of Young & Hungry. I meal prepped, snuggled with Sgt. Pepper and read a book. Overall, a great Sunday Funday.
But what I can’t get over is that Mercedez Marisol Flores,26; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero,26; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 and the 45 other victims of the Orlando shooting will never get to have a Sunday Funday – or any other day for that matter – like I did ever again.
On, April 16, 2007, a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech. I was a senior in high school and worried about how safe I would be at the University of South Carolina when I started in the fall.
We donned burnt orange and Chicago maroon and told the world that we were all Hokies. We prayed and nothing happened.
On December 14, 2012, I woke up super excited for my graduation from my master’s program at Florida State. I began making breakfast, but my appetite disappeared as the horrifying news of Sandy Hook began to emerge.
I knew then that something would be done. How could our country hear the story of those innocent children losing their lives and not want effect change? We grieved, we prayed for Newton and nothing happened.
Last year, on the evening of June 17, I texted family and friends and searched Facebook for posts about safety as I heard there had been a shooting in downtown Charleston.
A man, because of his hate for another race, took the lives of nine innocent people in a House of the Lord. Surely, I thought – this was it. Something will be done. We grieved. We called for the removal of the Confederate Flag. I wrote a blog post. We prayed for Charleston and nothing happened.
I could make a list of mass shootings, but you get the point. If you don’t Vox has an interactive map of all the mass shootings in the U.S. since Sandy Hook. It’s terrifying. To sum up their findings: there have been at least 1,000 mass shootings, with shooters killing at least 1,140 people and wounding 3,942 more.
We live in a world we we aren’t safe in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, churches, movie theaters, or clubs. We live in a world we we could be shot because we are black or because our love does not look like the love of the shooter.
I keep seeing tweets and statements from politicians that are also praying for Orlando and offering their condolences to the community. However, many of them are the same politicians voting against gun control reforms and voting against the rights of the LGBTQ community. I need action from these leaders. Until something is done, we’re stuck in a cycle. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the hashtag: #Prayfor(InsertCityHere).
I don’t have answers. I honestly don’t know what I wanted to get out of this post. I just knew that my original post (tips for relaxation in advance of International Panic Day) seemed trivial and stupid. I’m angry and sad. I know that I want to do something whether it’s writing to my lawmakers that change has to come or reminding people that hate never wins.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Did you do this as a child?” He continued to flip through the pages.
I replied with a question and confused grin, “Kind of?”
“I can tell.”
Is it because the character has hair like mine? Were the words on those pages that convincing?
Many moons ago, I wrote a children’s story for my 6th grade creative writing assignment. To compliment my obsession with Mariah Carey, I wrote about the rainbow. During this pre-teen stage, most of my peers were writing about their family vacations and first kisses. Nope, not I.
‘Meeting Roy’ by 12-year-old Me Charleston School of the Arts 2000
My story, ‘Meeting Roy’was about a young girl (whose name I’m almost certain was Mariah) running away from home. With a little help from her friend Roy G. Biv, (the rainbow) she realized how lucky she was. FYI for anyone who slept through elementary school ROY G. BIV stands for:
…the colors of the rainbow!
Thanks to the amazing humans of Enough Pie, and a woman who I’m sure is one of my Fairy Writing Mothers–I wrote another children’s story! Not just any story–one that was published as a coloring book!
Photo by: Enough Pie
‘Finding Indigo’ is the story of a cool kid, with a cool name, who’s having a bad day after realizing she doesn’t have new clothes to wear on picture day. With the help of her godmother and a little magic, Indigo learns a few lessons about nature and herself! She’s named after the indigo plant that makes the beautiful blue dye responsible for the jorts you’re probably rocking right now. Artists, including ones in Charleston, the Holy City, grow and dye with indigo.
So here I am, 10 years after publishing my first book and SIXTEEN years after my first children’s story, with a coloring book…about indigo! But not the 6th color in the rainbow indigo that was mentioned in my first children’s story; the magical indigo plant that I just learned about.
Original photo by Adam Chandler Photography
What did I notice while writing this post? ‘Meeting Roy’ and ‘Finding Indigo’ have the same plot. Naive, semi-selfish kids, possibly battling Middle Child Syndrome, get a lesson in gratitude. Even the titles are similar, and I didn’t even come up with the ‘Finding Indigo’. Was I the sensitive little girl who worries about the wrong things, gets in her feelings when life doesn’t go her way, and then learns a lesson with the help of a wise adult and magic? I might be.