Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chris Brown vs. Rhianna; Forgiveness or Foolish

The rekindling friendship between Chris Brown and his former sweetheart Rhianna is the colorful topic of conversation among bloggers and pop culture analysts. The pair finally made a public reunion because their new release "Birthday Cake". It is thought that the two "subtweets" regularly and Rhianna's vocals can be heard on Chris Brown's track, "Turn Up The Music".

Rihanna's decision to rekindle the friendship after the controversial break up has many proclaiming foul and denouncing anything remotely related to Chris Brown. Rihanna's mentor Jay-Z stated that he was "deeply disappointed" with their decision to collaborate and dissolve their differences. On several occasions, country singer, Miranda Lambert gives heated rhetoric regarding her refusal to support the troubled pop star - Chris Brown. Jay-Z and Lambert aren't the only pair to share their "disappointment" regarding the reunion, others within the industry and media gave similar sentiments of disappointment and confusion.

Here's where things get a bit fuzzy for me; there's this huge movement within pop culture called forgiveness. The queen of daytime television, Oprah Winfrey, dedicated a major portion of her Life Classes to the "power of forgiveness". She, as well as a host of spiritual leaders, life coaches, and Twitter Prophets give credence to the importance of forgiveness.

Picture it, American culture 1981-2012:

Ronald Reagan creates the "Trickle Down Theory" in which he suggested that a padding of rich pockets would create wealth for the poor because the financial remnants from the rich would trickle down to those in need. Didn't happen, in turn, one of the biggest recessions in US History occurred. 

"WE" forgave! and now he is touted as the best president in American History.

In 1991, Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas was appointed. The bitter confirmation hearings were a result of Thomas' unwelcomed sexual advances to Anita Hill.

"WE" forgave! and now he has a lifelong job as a supreme court justice.

In 1995, the black community celebrated in streets nationwide when the courts announced the acquittal of OJ Simpson.

"WE" forgave!! and O J had a bit of freedom and
 messed it up by being stupid but "WE" forgave.

Around 2002, R. Kelly was indicted for child pornography.

"WE" forgave!! He has gone to sell millions of hit records, sold out concerts, 
and was selected to sing at the funeral of Pop Icon - Whitney Houston.

From 2001-2009, 43rd President George W. Bush swore that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. None were found. 

"WE" forgave! and saluted him for catching Saddam Hussein 
who DID NOT have weapons of mass destruction but he was killed anyway.

Former President Bill Clinton reported by pop culture as the "first black president" was known as an adulterous philanderer and lied under oath.

"WE" forgave! but he's no longer the "first black president" 
but he did go on to a successful career as a consultant of the sorts.

Jay-Z former drug dealer, stabbed former business partner Un Rivera, SLAPPED a woman....

"WE" forgave! and he went on to become a mainstream 
music mogul and husband of Pop Princess Beyonce.


What's the barrier between Chris Brown and forgiveness?

My opinion: 

Chris Brown is challenging to like. He has public temper tantrums, is reckless during interviews and in public, and he beat up his former girlfriend once. However, what he did is not any worse than the aforementioned. No I do not support domestic violence but I do say this; the "Forgiveness Movement" is a bunch of BS. Authentic orgiveness is global and doesn't have limited access or availability. Yes, Chris Brown needs some spiritual advisement and a life coach but he should not be barred from forgiveness. Most importantly, the pair are young, immature and experiencing the pitfalls of life in the public eye. Again I ask, "What's the barrier between Chris Brown and forgiveness?"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"American Idol" - Love On Top - Cover Contest

Superstar Pop Icon Beyonce released the chart topping hit "Love of Top" late last year. Since then, songbirds across the world shared their renditions of the magical upbeat love song via Youtube. Because it is one of my favorite Beyonce songs and there are so many outstanding covers for it, I decided to have an "American Idol" Love On Top - Cover Contest.

Below are three of my favorite covers. Listen to each rendition in its entirety, then in the comment section, vote for your favorite version. 

Version 1 - Syesha from season 7 of American Idol

Version 2 - Chloe and Halle - Child sensations. Featured in various movies since the early ages of three. Now  ages 13 and 10 respectively.

Version 3 - Kris Collins - Singer/Songwriter, YouTube Sensation (Skuby08)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Alcohol Sales

Sunday Alcohol? Yay or Nay

Do you think it's an issue of Church vs State?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Brazilian - The New Standard of Beauty

Our love affair with Brazilian Beauty is quente e intensa (hot and intense). Our culture has subscribed to the Brazilian Wax, Brazilian Blowouts/Straightening Systems, and most eye-catching, the Brazilian Butt Lift.

There are numerous points of conception regarding our love affair with the exotic, sensual beauty of Brazilian women, however are there any in particular that you've come to enjoy.

Most notable are:

Brazilian Wax is the complete removal of hair in the pelvic area from front to back.

Brazilian is a keratin (protein) treatment meant to temporarily straighten the hair.

Brazilian But Lift is taking exiting fat from the patient and injecting it in the buttock area to create a rounder appearance. (different than butt implants)

Are any of these beauty treatments in your routine?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day - Friends and Lovers

Happy Valentine's Day Friends and Lovers

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Self Promotion; Why it's Imperative! - Guest Blogger - Dr. DeShawndre Bridley

Social Media is one of the greatest vehicles for driving your brand. Social media connects people to people, people to business, and people to ideas. Therefore, it is no surprise that many use social media as the primary source of advertisement, promotion, and brand building.

For years, I've frequented message boards for information on hair care, news, entertainment, and peer interactions. I happened upon one of the biggest brands in social media last year (Twitter -late I know). Since then, I am forever changed. I've had the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the world's biggest celebrities, obtain freelance opportunities, attend A-list events, and connect with people near and far. It is on Twitter that I met Dr. DeShawndre Bridley affectionately known as Shawn.

Shawn and I have a few common Twitter pals, and coincidentally one real life pal, so of course, I had to follow her. She is the culmination of wit, humor, intellect, and common sense. She gives lessons of life within 140 characters. By trade, she's a pharmacist, by day a pharmacy administrator, and by social media, an unconventional personality that engages the masses for hours. On her blog, she gives pertinent information on the diversification of your brand, free entrepreneurial eCourses - GoalDiggger,  and creating multiple streams of income.

Below is Dr. Bridley's article on Self Promotion. I find that it is extremely relevant to bloggers, small businesses, and those who wish to montenize their brand.

To many of you, self promotion can seem narcissistic. However, I am here to argue that self promotion is not only effective but IMPERATIVE.  If you follow me on twitter you may know that I received a promotion (from staff pharmacist to pharmacist in charge) within my professional career about a month ago. I attribute it largely to my knack for keen and calculated self promotion. Self promotion is likely THE MOST important tool in both your business and your career. It is simply not enough to sit back and wait for a client or boss to notice a job well done.  In order to succeed in your career and/or business you must be comfortable with talking about your accomplishments and positive characteristics.  There are many reasons to be a self promoter, but in my case, I faced a partner within the company I work for who was bad mouthing me and even went as far as to give me a mediocre performance review.  Most of my colleagues may have been okay with receiving an “average” performance rating but for the work I do I simply was not willing to take a mediocre review lying down.  To make a VERY long and convoluted story short, this individual had been “throwing me under the bus” in an effort to draw attention away from his own shortcomings.  By being a “self promoter” I was able to counter his negativity and show my boss that I was indeed deserving of an above average rating which resulted in me receiving a promotion despite the negative efforts of my former colleague who was later let go from the company.
Self promotion is directly linked to your advancement within your profession, your growth as a small business owner and frankly it is linked to your MONEY.  By knowing when and HOW to effectively “brag” about your strong suits, accomplishments or why someone should choose your company over a competitor, you have the ability to add to your bottom-line.

The KEYS to self promotion are a) actually be GREAT (not just good) at something and b) be comfortable with telling others (in a non pushy or non arrogant manner) that you are GREAT at it.  Over time this builds credibility and piques interest from superiors and potential clients.  Even if people do not believe you, they are more likely to pay attention to you just to see if you really ARE who you say you are. It’s up to you to prove that you are.
A couple of  great, FREE self promotion platforms for your business:
  • A targeted personal or business blog – WordPress is an awesome choice if I do say so myself.  By targeted I mean that you stick to a core theme within your niche not just blogging about what you did over the weekend (unless your niche is tied into that).  I recommend getting into the habit of blogging at least twice per week.
  • Social media (Google +, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter) are awesome free platforms to engage potential clients within your niche and promote your business, services and products.
Self promotion tips for those climbing the career ladder:
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID OF YOUR BOSS. I find that many of my colleagues avoid the district managers and other executives like the plague and only approach them when there is a problem. This is the WRONG approach. Establish a working relationship with your superiors.  Get to know the traits they find favorable in their subordinates. Do a great job and be able to discuss what it is you bring to their table.
  • Review and update your resume and CV quarterly as a reminder to yourself of all of the knowledge and skills you have attained. This is the ultimate confidence booster.  It felt awesome to add “Certified Immunizing Pharmacist” to my resume a while back, yet another skill that I’ve acquired in my career that can influence my pay and promotions.
  • Keep a “brag file.” Not every manager or team member is going to notice your abilities. In my case someone noticed my abilities, grew intimidated by them and attempted to sabotage me because of them.  Starting today, keep a file of any projects you headed, any ideas you shared that became policy or resulted in a change in policy or resulted in increased sales.  If you work in a service industry like I do, when a patient or customer gives you a stellar review encourage them to communicate that to your superiors, by filling out a comment card or sending an email to your superiors.
Gone are the days where you could sit back, do a great job and be noticed. Now, you MUST be comfortable with tooting your own horn from time to time. Go ahead, try it!  If you have any stories of how self promotion helped you grow your business or advance in your career, please share!!!!
Many thanks to Dr. Deshawndre Bridley for sharing her wisdom.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Powerball - The Lottery

Tomorrow's Powerball is at $325 million.

I haven't played the Powerball Lottery since 2004. I wanted to win then and I want to win now. 

Have you ever played?

If you won, what are three top three things that you would buy?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jason Wu for Target (Review)

It's no secret that Jason Wu for Target was all the buzz in recent fashion news. He, like many couture designers, are making a second mark in the fabrics of fashion with their options for the fashionable girl next door. These affordable options are slated to have the same finesse and flair the original designs. 

The Jason Wu for Target line photographs exceptionally well. As with his original designs, the lines are simple and the details are feminine. Without a doubt, this option was quite anticipated.

My opinion....

The Jason Wu for Target line looks like an "affordable option". The quality is vastly different than his original line. The clothing shows well however I would handle with extreme care. The dresses are cute yet short, colorful, feminine, and fashionable. I would gather that the target audience is the 20 something professional; a recent college graduate, or the thrify fashionista who mixes trends with classic pieces.

Has the Jason Wu for Target line captured your fashionable heart?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Conversation with R & B Hit-maker - Daron Jones (formally of 112)

Daron Jones - Producer, Songwriter, Artist, and R & B Legend 

Daron Jones is R & B royalty. He is best known as a member of the Grammy Award winning group 112. During the 90s, the group sold out stadiums worldwide receiving platinum success. The group's successes were attributed to the powerhouse backing of music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, stellar presentation, and groundbreaking vocals.

Since the group's hiatus, individual members embarked upon solo projects. 

I had an opportunity to chat with Daron Jones about his solo career, upcoming projects, and his roots in the music industry.

A Conversation with Daron Jones

With the upcoming release of your sophomore album, the energy around you is high. How did you create such a buzz as an independent artist?

Being humble and consistently interacting with my fans, they create the buzz. I try to keep them happy, respond to them and give them the music they anticipate.

I’ve noticed a sense of evolution since your days with the award winning group, 112. What stimulated such an engaging transformation and independence?

Life in general, growing up. Being a solo artist and having a sense of independence means I don’t have to censor what I want to say, that helped me grow up and redefine myself.

What are the major differences between being a solo artist as opposed to being a member of a group?

Creative freedom, that’s the main difference.

You have strong roots in R&B, is it fair to expect more of the signature R&B sound or will there be differentiation in regards to sound and presentation?

It’s going to be the same, but there is going to be some versatility. Traditional R&B but more versatile.

There are a ton of new artists on the scene, who would you most like to collaborate with?

Alicia Keys because we both play the keys.

Your lists of production are absolutely phenomenal, are you still making hits for others or is the focus primarily on your “reinvention”?

I haven’t worked with any artists lately, but I may be working with Jennifer Hudson soon.

Speaking of “Reinvention”. This is your next album. Tell us the background and motivation for this album.

Reinvention is actually giving more. The motivation is wanting to improve, wanting to do better. I wanted to grow as a singer, songwriter and performer, just continue growing.

You know, 112 was the fire to the flames of many. You have a huge female fan base, is this CD and future efforts for the ladies or should the fellas expect a banger?

This album is for everybody really. It’s about love, life, relationships and wisdom. It’s an album everybody can enjoy.  

Lastly, envisioning 2012, what should we expect to see from Daron Jones?
In a word “Excellence” That is what I try to seek every day.

I enjoyed my conversation with Daron. He's such a talented individual with a wealth of creativity and wisdom. He has two singles out, "Baby Let Me Prove It" and "Safe with Me". Both can be found on iTunes.

Photo credits: Wil Law

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl 2012 - My Playlist - Giants vs. Patriots

Dear Football Fans and Stans,

The day is upon us; the meat and potatoes of the season - Super Bowl XLVI. Though I wished for my dear sweetheart, Ray Lewis and the Ravens to be among the football kings, I'll participate in the hoorah regardless of my broken heart.

Like any great Super Bowl Party, the food, drinks, and spirits must be in abundance.

We are having :

(my absolute favorite)


...and whatever else the attendees are bringing.

Because my pals and I love music, we'll have a bit of high energy tunes playing in the background.

My list includes:

I'm Flexin ft. Big K.R.I.T, Country Sh*t (Remix), I Do - Jezzy, Jay-Z and Andre 3000, and Tony Montana.

What are you doing for Super Bowl 2012?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hair Extensions - Yay or Nay

Hair extensions are a staple in beauty industry. Women, and men as well, spend millions of dollars each year on hair extensions. These extensions may come in the form of clip ins, sew ins, traditional wigs and lacefront wigs.

The biggest names in entertainment have worn hair extensions. Celebrities such as Oprah, Beyonce, Brittany Spears, Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, John Travolta, and Steven Harvey have all worn a form of hair extension.

Hair extensions are a fun way to add variety to your hair. You can change your color, length, or texture. Hair extensions are also used a method of hair protection, sometimes referred to as protective styling. A busy lifestyle may require a quick yet glamorous style which requires excessive heat. Therefore some select hair extensions as a way to protect their natural tresses. Some extension wearers, braid their natural textures in a flat pattern, then sew the extensions on top. There are a variety of hair extension installation techniques.

 Hair extensions often create a beautiful transformation and change in appearance. A proper installation of a hair extension, weave, can last up to 3 months with the proper care.

The expense of hair extensions can become quite costly as the quality and brands differ. There are affordable options in many local beauty supply stores.

Do you favor hair extensions? Are hair extensions a beauty option for you?

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