Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wishing you all -  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Stay safe, well-fed and if you decide to participate in Black Friday shopping (which I will NOT be)... BE CAREFUL!!! There are some crazies out there. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my husband, my family, my dear friends and the ability to learn.
XOXO

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Mommy!



Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom. One of the things I love about her is how funny she is. She breaks into crazy characters in the grocery store, she starts walking funny in the middle of the sidewalk and when she laughs, she laughs loud and doesn't care who's around. For sure, I've inherited that from her because people say they can hear my laugh from a mile away!

The depth of her humor has taught me that when life gets serious and we feel like there is no hope--that all can change with a good laugh. Laughter is the cure for all things gloomy. My mom instilled this in me at an early age and it is what has carried us through the tough moments in our lives.

The laughs I love the most are the ones that make your stomach hurt and tears roll down your eyes. When we're together, we have at least one of these and it feels so therapeutic. Laughter is love.

So Happy Birthday to my Human Band-Aid or "Band-Dabe" like I use to say when I was little.  

I love you Mommy!




Monday, October 14, 2013

My First Whole30


The

Last week I celebrated my completion of the Whole30 challenge. It was an experience I will never forget and while I had my share of ups and downs, my body has never felt so "awakened". The Whole30 is a strict Paleo diet that eliminates processed sugar, legumes, rice, gluten, dairy and a few other hidden foods like soybean oil for 30 days. For me, it was about ridding myself of my addiction to bread and processed sugar while also seeing if my diet could lessen my headaches. Losing eleven pounds was nice too:)

I can't remember everything I ate on this diet but some key staples for me were: sweet potatoes, turkey burgers, avocados, coconut aminos, tomato paste, marinated chicken, eggs (I'm sick of them now unfortunately), almond flour, sparkling water with lemon and green tea.

When I was forced to eat out, I had In-N-Out (protein style with no cheese, sauce or ketchup - add grilled onions, mustard wrapped in lettuce) or Chipotle - Carnitas on lettuce with pico de gallo and guacamole - which was weird to me because I don't normally eat pork. The vampire in me somehow blossomed and Brian marinated and grilled some awesome steak a couple of times. It was a real treat but also weird because I don't normally eat red meat.

I ate at an Italian restaurant once with Brian and the waitress was soooo patient with me. I ordered the steam mussels and asked her everything about the sauce. I even asked her if there was sugar in it (it was marinara) and she said, "Oh no! No way, we don't add sugar to our sauces." It was hilarious.

A struggle that I had on this diet which I attribute to my lifestyle was the amount of food I cooked seemed like it was never enough. The only exception was when I slaved on Sunday to make a ton of food and even that seemed to go fast. I think I need to get better at planning meals and buckling down on Sunday to cook. There were times when I did not eat until I was able to make something Whole30 approved and even though I notice that I'm able to go longer without eating, it still can be mentally frustrating.

Another struggle was having a performance and not using cough drops or honey. My throat was really dry and got really scratchy. For my second performance, I decided to use sugar free cough drops. I read so many forums about this but in the end, I decided that for my situation, cough drops were a must. Protecting my throat was a huge priority for me.

Now that I'm off, I've decided to follow a modified Paleo Diet. I understand that some people don't believe in the reward system but I think it works for me to have something to look forward to, something memorable. I like the idea of eating healthily for 30 days and then rewarding myself for it. That's my plan for now. The way I celebrated my Whole30 was drinking a little bit of champagne and eating from my favorite sushi restaurant. I treasured every bite and the meal was memorable.

The next day I was back on Paleo and have decided to follow a modified Paleo. I will include every once in awhile wine (Even though my tolerance has changed, the lush in me will never be silenced) hummus, possibly brown rice (I'm still in debate mode on that one) and honey. Certain things that have stuck with me are looking for no added sugar products such as ketchup, or salad dressing--mostly condiments that don't really need to have added sugar to taste good. Also, since I will allow myself every 30 days a meal of my choice, I'm sure chocolate's going to find itself in there sooner or later, so for me--my balance is modified Paleo.

I'm so excited to explore the different versions of foods that I enjoy in Paleo mode--I was doing a search on nachos and found so many recipes that looked delicious and easy to make. I found a recipe for Sweet Potato pancakes and made that for breakfast yesterday--Brian thought it was really tasty and that's saying a lot since he is "The Human Garbage Disposal", lol. I love pancakes but there was a freshness to these--they were so light and I didn't have food coma after I ate them.

So anyway, to wrap up this encyclopedia post--if any of you are looking to change your relationship with food - the Whole30 is the way to go. The first week, I cried because I honestly felt like for years, I've been killing myself with food. I wrote in my journal that this was the beginning of so many possibilities.

A new lens, a new light, a new idea, and a new me. 









Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rusty's Show on 9/13

Here's a of couple of photos Brian captured from the show we played Friday, September 13 (ooh spooky) at Rusty's Surf Ranch in Santa Monica. It was a fun show. We have another one coming up on October 5 at Molly Malone's which I'm sure will have some more photos to share. Rock out!




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Invisible Armour

I may not be one of the Knights of the Round Table but I wear invisible armor everyday. My armor protects me from the dangers that appear on my path. It prevents people and their negative projections from penetrating me. Everyday I use it to maintain the integrity, strength and compassion my parents instilled in me.


Then there are those beautiful moments when I am with the people I love deeply and I am bare, happy, open and pure. Armor off, love on. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Football Season Has Taken Over Again


Our Fantasy Football draft was this Monday and my guy made sure no monitor was spared in our house. I have to admit, I'm not as into football as he is, I just had fun playing in a FF league last year and decided to do it again. I like the competition aspect and watching my players rack up points.

It is fun to delve into one of Brian's interests--he's so intense and watches each game with his laptop right under his fingertips. If the Internet connection's a little slow during a game, all hell breaks loose, lol.

One thing I love about Brian is that although he appears to be quiet and reserved, once he's in a competitive environment, the beast emerges. He is cut-throat, loud and takes no prisoners. When we're on opposing teams, we have to break up first because our competitive natures clash and games can get heated. We take our rings off and act like we don't know each other. When we're on the same team, we become an obsessive, fanatical force that's unstoppable.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens when our teams battle each other during FF.




Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grand-Père

At the brink of revolution, I can only imagine what I would give to see your face just one more time. To place you and her next to each other looking at the similarities of the noses, the cheekbones...

And knowing what we do now and feeling like it is bittersweet fills me with a knife I cannot remove. The bitter is that you are not here but the sweet is what you have achieved and your legend. 

In my memory, you were always gentle and soft-spoken. Always making your "Baby girls" feel special. 

Trying to uncover everything is like wandering around in a house without doors. There is no closure--just an endless maze of rooms and compartments. 

The only way to know you now is to look at your children's faces and listen to their recollections. It is for me to sing and for my fingers to touch the black and white keys. 

For those you left behind, we all carry a piece of you within ourselves.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Half Year

Half of 2013 has passed and I find myself finally feeling like I've settled into the year. This first month of Inward Growth was tough. I had to get the Hepatitis Vaccine due to purchasing the Townsend Farms Organic Berry Blend. Luckily, my blood test came out negative and once I receive the second shot in the series, I'll be protected for life!

My car broke down last month but I was able to get another one. Cursed and blessed at the same time, eh? My mood changes much like the weather but when I get my rest, I feel at ease. I glance around my woman cave and have this urge to rearrange things. We'll see if Brian can offer some of that manly strength.

Can you believe ten years ago I walked across the stage at UCLA? These past ten years have taught me so much about what it means to be employed in America. What was promised to our parents and grandparents has somehow diminished and transformed. In my eyes, there is no such thing as job security but I have a secure belief that nothing lasts so you must roll with the punches if you're to make ends meet. Entrepreneurship is a must!

On that note, I bow out and look forward to the fireworks that will light up the sky tomorrow.





Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Glowing Within

The weekend before last, I got to hang out with my bestie, Stephanie, who was visiting from Texas. She has a blog called Food Gossip where she posts recipes and cooking tips. We ate yummy food doused in garlic at The Stinking Rose (delish mussels and shrimp) and attended an art show, FotoSensori, with Brian where two of our friends Kevin Vu (he beautifully shot our wedding) and Lauren Devon (we snagged two of her timeless pieces) displayed their photographs. It was a fun weekend and I never wanted it to end.

I'm dedicating this summer to my Inward Growth movement. While this is the time to be outside, baking in the sun, attending pool parties, barbecues and all that good stuff, I am embarking on an internal movement. That's the only way I can describe it. I think a conscientious withdrawal from things is what I need right now.

Of course, I will occasionally see my lovelies (my friends) but for this summer, the sunshine must glow from within.





Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pinch Me

**Photo by Brian**

Sometimes when I look at my life, I want to cry. It isn't out of sadness--it's more of an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and reflection. I see my little face in pictures when I was a little girl and I see my young mom with her baby. I remember the people who lifted us up and those who let us down. I count the blessings and try to forget the blows. Our family was once five then we became four, then three, then two and when I went off to college, she was one.

Now I have my own family and when I look at him everyday, I am filled with infinite love.  

Strange this thing they call time, eh?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Year Two


I did it again. I continued my tradition of putting on my wedding dress on our anniversary - May 1: Year Two Babies! - to get my money's worth. Brian was such a sweetheart. He woke up early to make me breakfast (since I go to work before he does) and had a cute menu printed out for me to choose my items from. He also met me at my lunch break to hang out and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at the restaurant we went to last year (The Odyssey) then relaxed at home. I enjoyed prancing around in my dress and reliving the moment. My anniversary was beautiful, lovely and even though I had to work, it didn't feel like a regular work day because my "cutie pie, reasons why" came to see me.



When we have around twenty anniversaries under our belt, I'll make a book, photo album or something cool with the photos.




On another note - the order of the songs has been chosen for my album! Hurray! We are still working on the one song and although I don't have an ETA, I do know that it will be finished sometime this year. Until then, here's a little sneak peak of my elevenset:

1. No More Fear
2. Inside of You
3. Just Say
4. That's How I Feel
5. In My Evolution
6. Delusional
7. Life Between living
8. Why Do I
9. One
10. What Must It Take
11. Union Station



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Real Life


There's nothing like removing one's self from the hustle and bustle of things.

I've found myself trying to shut off the noise and in this day and age, it is so hard.

It is so hard to disconnect, turn off, dodge, silence, or walk away.

It is so difficult to ignore the constant influx of emails, tweets, comments, texts, social media messages, etc...

I have to remind myself that even though the digital world is here, it is not real life.

Real life is sitting at a table with a friend and engaging in a conversation.

Real life is watching the sunset or spending time with your family.  

It is a baby being born or an old person passing on to the next life. 

It is being in the kitchen with my mom laughing and exchanging recipe secrets.

Reality is traveling and exploring the earth by foot, bicycle, train, car, plane or spaceship and learning about how the world and universe live firsthand. 



**My second or third year at UCLA, an English professor asked the class to gaze into the window. The sun was setting and there were beautiful hues of red, orange, and blue decorating the sky. She asked us, "What do you see? You see the past and you see the future." I took that as since the sky was in between day and night, I was seeing what the day was and was it was to become. Next she asked, "What else do you see in the window? You see yourself." 

When she said that, my eyes fixated on my reflection and I felt infinite.
 




Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Brian!


A special birthday wish for my husband, Brian! He is truly an amazing human to share life with. He is just an all-around beautiful person. Today is for you, babe! I love you sooo much!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Almost April!

Can you believe it is almost April? Geez, this year is speeding by. April's going to be a great month - Brian's birthday on the 1st, a show on the 5th, the-day-we-met-each-other anniversary on the 16th (7 years ago!), our friends' little girls' birthdays and just the fact that it's getting darker later and my winter rut is lifting.

I am looking forward to being more positive in April and trying not let the everyday bs bring me down. I'm also working on establishing a Circadian rhythm which has been my goal for some years now. Luckily, we have a three-day weekend next week. I am looking forward to using it to get caught up and do my taxes. Yikes!

Anyhow, I've missed this space and I've missed blogging. xoxo

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just. Relax. Breathe.


I'm in my head again and need to get out. Days have been bleeding into one another. The only things that have me smelling the roses are music and laughter. We had a show last weekend at TRiP in Santa Monica that was exhilarating. Some artists say that when they're on stage, a feeling of euphoria sweeps over them or that performing is an out-of-body experience. I feel it too although I feel it even when I'm alone writing on the piano or when I'm penning lyrics in my car. I feel that feeling when my family is around and we are laughing. I feel it when I'm taking off on a plane and discovering a new place.

I know this little rough spot will pass. 
I just need to relax. breathe.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

VDay Bday


My birthday last week was splendid! I enjoyed a lovely Valentine's/Birthday with Brian at Universal Studios which is ten minutes away from our house and then we went to dinner and a movie at Citywalk afterward. I just wanted to act like a tourist in my hometown and scream at the top of my lung which I did on the Mummy Ride!


Too bad it was so short but we'll be back because we got Buy One, Get a Year Free so we plan on hitting it up sometime again this year. I'm just gonna ride The Mummy three times in a row to get my fix.


We had some yummy food at Bubba Gump Shrimp. We'd never been there so it was nice to explore a new restaurant and eat some yummy shrimp or "strimps" like we jokingly call them.


The next night, our good friends made us dinner and had game night at their place. We had a blast. I'm really into playing Apples to Apples these days.



My mom and Stan visited during the weekend. We ended up going to The Stinking Rose which is an everything garlic restaurant. They have roasted garlic as an appetizer and we chowed down on them so much that we smelled like garlic for two days. Nice way to plant one on someone, right?

The thing about birthdays is that I feel blessed to be alive. I don't expect people to do anything for me, I just get excited that it's my day. I was so happy to receive some beautiful roses from Brian and a lovely bouquet from my dad. I also had some extremely beautiful cards with the loveliest words from my grandmother, mom and dad in-law, grandparents in-law, dad and hubby. I love getting cards, letters or anything written in the mail. It makes me so happy! Emails are great because they are fast but there is nothing like walking to the mailbox, shuffling through the bills and junk to find a lovely handwritten card from a loved one.

I hope you all had a lovely VDay and continue to celebrate Black History Month!

"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits."- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monday, February 4, 2013

The Only One on the Fourteenth


My birthday is in ten days (Valentine's Day) and I am looking forward to having a few days off from work and having fun with Brian.

When I was in elementary school, I had a hard time fitting in. I never wanted to believe it was because I was black but girls I played with would remind me of that fact periodically. Occasionally, I'd get the "I can't play with you anymore because you're black." So I'd go about my business for a couple of days until the girl who said it would start playing with me again. I just wanted things to remain normal. (Shoot! If someone said that to me now. I'd be like "Peace out! Go suck a hole!")

I was teased a lot and looking back, even though it made me sad, there was a level of toughness that I acquired from those incidents. The people close to me may define me as sensitive but I like to believe that these days on the surface, I am the type of person who can make witty comebacks if put in a teasing situation again. I only share my deepest thoughts and vulnerabilities with those that are close. For more info, read every Aquarius Sun Sign description, Lmao!

Anyhow, so back to elementary school and fitting in...the principal gave every kid a pencil for their birthday. Our principals were something like mini-Presidents--you only saw them every once in a blue moon and when you did, you treated them with the utmost respect and awe. For him to come to your classroom and acknowledge your birthday was a HUGE deal. The other kids in class would be in shock and that child had a moment in the spotlight.

On my birthday, I knew he was coming but I didn't know when. I was fiddling around with something in my desk and suddenly he appeared out of smoke (Not really, but from a kid's point of view, it seemed like it). He walked up to my desk and handed me a pink pencil. I was so proud with joy. He said, "Happy Birthday Shaharoh. You're the only one in the entire school that I'm visiting today." All of the kids around me watched intently and I felt so special inside.

What I've learned is that even though every child is special, sometimes it's the little, big moments that give them that extra push and build confidence. In the middle of a crowd, there's always a lonely, lost one that needs a hug, a kiss or some words of encouragement. Even though I was reminded that I was different than the other kids, sometimes being different wasn't such a bad thing.

**My mom posted this as her cover photo on her Facebook page - AWWW***


Monday, January 28, 2013

It's One of Those Days...

where traffic sucked, I was late to work and everything seems to hit me like a ton of bricks.

It is during these times, I remember that I live with this amazing guy who I can come home to and ask for a thousand hugs.

(Sighs)




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

XX

Today's a day where being a woman just isn't meshing with me. Of course, I wouldn't trade it for the world but cramps are no joke when they're bad. I used to have a blog titled "The Crimson Clock" and it was all about womens' troubles but I couldn't keep up with it, so it's on hiatus for now.

Some women are lucky enough to never really go through this pain and some have it worse then me. Some have to stay home because it's impossible to move. I was almost at this point today at work. I was at the point where I felt like I couldn't see straight, stand up straight and at the verge of tears. It was horrible!

Luckily I took three ibuprofen, drank some tea and read some horror and funny stories online about how women deal with menstrual cramps at work. I love the internet! You can always find a thread where there's this huge sense of community. People genuinely offer advice and discuss their experiences because they want to find or help others who are going through the same things.

I can't wait until this passes. Until then, it's day by day, tea, baths and heating pads.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My New Woman Cave

I don't have pics yet, but my new Woman Cave is almost completely setup in our new place. The room is also our guest room but it is primarily a space where cavedom is the norm. Cavedom consists of less fun stuff like: organizing and paying bills, paperwork and planning.

It also consists of fun things like: listening and buying music, making awesome playlists, listening to my upcoming album, writing, poetry, journal entries, contemplation, laughing, rug-making, book reading, singing, just being, watching movies and dreaming.


I hope everyone who visits this blog has there own little nook, corner, cave where they can be creative without any distractions. Without mine, I'd simply die!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Carpe Annum

It's time to seize this year by the...bells!

I have resolutions but will not be jumping into them gung ho-ishly. Instead I'll ease into them and not kill myself if I don't complete half of the list by June 2013.  A few goals I have are:

-Believe in myself, my potential and reach for my dreams
-Reduce debt and save money
-Be better than last year's self and ONLY compete and compare me with me. My good friend Cindy inspired this one. We were engaged in a deep conversation about life. She mentioned this idea to me and a spark ignited in my brain. I surveyed all of the times throughout my life in these recent years when I've compare myself to other people or just felt less productive in certain areas. She told me that the only person I can be in competition with is myself. I must outdo what I did last year. This is a lesson I will never forget.
-Stress less (Or rather resume my morning yoga)

What are some of your resolutions/plans/goals for this New Year? Get off the couch and stop engaging in beach whaledom? Stop picking your nose while driving? Speed less?

Inquiring minds need to know!

New Years Eve - December 31, 2012