When the New York Times lays down an entire article pegging you as the voice of a new literary generation, folks are bound to take notice. Uzoamaka Maduka, at only 25 is a woman to watch, and I completely admire her latest endeavor as Founder & Editor in Chief of The American Reader. Serving as both a print and digital literary journal, “it is committed to inspiring literary and critical conversation among a new generation of readers, and restoring literature to its proper place in the American cultural discourse. It seeks to be principled, but not dogmatic; discerning, but not cruel; popular, but not populist. It honors the dignity of the reading public and heralds the reemergence of a thriving and serious-minded national literary culture.”
I love everything about this fresh face & classic approach to telling stories, that at their core, need to be told, in print – and shared. For more on Maduka, check out her spotlight in Glamour’s Glamstarter Awards as one of 7 entrepreneurs you need to know.
I’ve been an avid Pinster for a bit over a year now and find that there is a a myriad of useful information geared for the DIY & natural hair masses. Heck, don’t have curls? Any which one of these recipes below would serve great in achieving a head full of healthy hair & skin. But with winter now past, a good many of us are heading outdoors and may find it a tad more difficult squeezing in those hardcore treatments (I was a MESS this past weekend…Hellluuuur outdoor festivals!!). So if you find yourself short on time but still want to treat your tresses & skin to something nourishing, jot down these easy recipes!
A few weeks ago, a couple of colleagues and I gathered in a car and made an escape to a quiet town in New York, called Saugerties. The Mission? A weekend away to play tennis, munch on well prepared grub and forget about the idea of work-related events spilling over into our days away. Now, even though we were well within the confines of New York, the air and smiles on the faces of strangers made your spirit blissfully aware that you were protected.
During our time away, we followed trails that lead to lighthouses and bed & breakfast hideaways so hypnotizing your heart would’ve surely been tempted to not just linger, but stay, stay stay. We ran into welcoming families grilling on a dock by the lake, snapping pictures and living! They were irresistibly full of life.
…and then it got me thinking. This is the kind of dinner party I’d say yes to attending. The kind where breezes flow freely, and the pace at which you eat is measured simply by when the sun comes up, not down.
And whether it’s official or not, the mere idea of gathering together for the sake of committing people and relationships to memory seems to be dwindling. Last Thanksgiving I hosted my first dinner & fully understood the truth behind this. A gathering of the more meaningful kind takes time. Amidst all that life offers to us via the news, social media, the grind of a normal day to day – time seems to be lost in it’s own complicated continuum. But this summer, we will take our troves of food & yum across a few waterfronts to picnic in the open, under the sun, but near the water…this time we will be pres de l’eau. I’m making lists.
I’ll admit, I’ve gradually morphed into a woman who watches much of the current music awards with eyes wide open. Meaning, to get through most of the show, I’d need my 16 year old cousin at my side to reference much of the ‘talent’ that comes across my screen. Alas, I’ve settled into this role (seriously, did you guys see the American Music Awards?!?!), and feel no qualms about returning to what I love. The good stuff to me lives in my current music rotation; here are a few selects that are getting the most play.
A random discovery while rifling through iTunes foreign market section – I downloaded immediately. I can easily run through this album while sitting down and twisting up FRO and watch as the time flies. It soothes, and calms and makes you glad for good music. Album Highlight: track # 12 Blowin in the Wind
I discovered Emele a wee bit before the States began to eat her musical goodness up. Another amazing british import singer song writer, I’m excited to hear her perform live at this year’s Essence Festival down in the NOLA. Album Highlight: track#4 Wonder
The Stuyvesants have released an amazing library of work since Brooklyn’s Finest, but this currently is a running favorite, and ongoing subway ride jam. Did I mention downloads for said library of work is free? Get it, enjoy and share. Album Highlight: track #9 Do Anything
I can sit anywhere, anytime and live within this album – have been doing so since it debuted a few years ago. I may listen to this 3 times in a day for 5 weeks straight, take a reprieve – but always return. How good? SOOOOO good, hard to choose a fav track.
I half expected not to take to Solange’s latest EP, simply because I had not been impressed with anything on the circuit lately. But this is holding steadfast as my in-office jam, morning wakkie wakkie ritual & even weekend washing the FRO music break. Album Highlight: track #4 Locked in Closets
It’s a long weekend, y’all – and if you can’t get excited over this mere fact, what are you waiting for? I’m getting a head start by finally treating the toes and digits to a much needed pamper & the brows to a well deserved shape-up. Then, we have fun! I’ve already talked enough about the BAM Dance Africa Festival, but know this – you will be missing out on the yummiest of foods (jerk chicken heeeeaven), entertainment, shopping, & just plain ‘ol enjoying the first unofficial start to the summer. So to kick things off….a few links!
In Search of the perfect Curl | An easy side swept style for natural hair
New Bag Love- (and pretty much everything in this shop)
A necessary reminder via Peace Love Free
“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.”
She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes
“…I’ve never been interested in the obvious. I want to be a slow-burn-sort-of-beautiful, a second-glance-kind-of-pretty. I want the kind of beauty that unravels with time and a little patience.”
& this my Introverts
Blackberry Pie Bars | Yummy Caprese Meatballs (& gluten free!) | Easy Parmassan Polenta Fries
An awesome freebie via Leo – The Little Book of Contentment
Vids of the week – Harnessing the power to tell stories | It’s unofficially BIG CHOP season, are you game? Don’t let fear stop you. Watch Maya’s story
Oh, Kerry…you’re so very awesome & an inspiration! Gladiator Takeover continues
The 20 Most Beautiful Libraries in television & film
This makes the prospect (and hopefully inevitable) fact of turning 32 later in the year ten folds easier. Happy Birthday, Joy!
Brooklyn Bridge Park is winning this Summer with it’s lineup of activities!
Fav Blog Pick of the Week >>> One Stylish Little Lady, Chandra
I’m kicking off my own personal Summer Reading Book Club & so excited to read my first pick! Do you guys want to join? No commitment, the only rule is that you READ!! Here’s an awesome list to get you started
I’ll be stopping in periodically this weekend to dish on FRO’s activities, but this is me saying…wherever you are, have a gloriously beautiful weekend.
I’ve been slightly obsessed with prints and pillows for what seems like a few years now. With the BAM Dance Africa Festival only two wondrous days away, seems as if it’s the only thing on the brain. That, and summer has me thinking pops of color and whimsy in my home would make for a very happy space. My list of to-do’s this season seems glamorously long – but kinda sorta thrilled to breathe in the newness of it all yet again.