You all know I like reading. I miss my book club. Real Readers gave me an opportunity to keep a book in my hands and discuss the piece with others to gather a different perspective. For over 6 years this has been a missing component in my life – until this past summer.  After an exciting start, some things prevented me from joining on the regular. I’m elated to have an end to that piece of my life and add this one on permanently.

During casual conversation, a coworker asked if I liked books – of course, I do.  She then invited me to the meeting for “Writing My Wrongs” I’m sure you know I’ve read that selection.  I was eager to join because I was interested in seeing what others had to say about my friend and checking out the demographic of the group.  It was everything I had been looking for: mature conversation, food & drink with a special guest author. This was my kinda event. They added me to the group with open arms.


We had several great selections during the second half of the year.


I enjoyed reading on the regular again.  Between the football games and life, I wasn’t able to make it to all of the meetings.  Words really can’t express my happiness but I’ll be here silently reading.  During the holiday session, I learned how they decide on the rotation.  I volunteered for the month of March and I’m going to do it the same way I use to do Real Readers. Hopefully, I’m moved and settled before the time gets here.

img_2783

Do you have any suggestions for a good reading selection?  Please share!

Everybody in Detroit knows the best place to get your fruits, vegetables and flowers is Eastern Market on Saturday.  America’s oldest open air market and I’ve been going since I was a kid.  It’s a great way to stretch your grocery dollars.  The has been my only reason to go to this location, until now.  My director asked if I’d be interested in attending a charity event here one day after work.  I said, ‘sure.’  I had one of the best nights of my life.

It was a fundraiser for the Rising Stars Academy.  I was excited, the ticket mention food and I love any event that brings your attention to the food.  In an effort to be prepared, I texted the kid and told him to get ready because we were going out.  I clad in my color-block fit and cork shoes.  Number 80 in his highlighter kicks and all black.  We hit the streets to enjoy the eats.  As we walked in, there was a calm over the event.  It wasn’t stuffy.  People were having a good time and enjoying the food and we jumped right in on the scene.  He started with pizza and I started with the Detroit Distillery Vodka.

img_1077

We walked that pavement with no abandon as we tried all the different dishes out palates found intriguing.  There was so much to choose from and a cooking competition going on.  We stopped and talked with my host, his wife, and son ( who was a pure joy to talk to).  There were sweets, pulled pork, popcorn and so much more.  The event had the Bravo Bravo feel with the strict dress code.  Could this possibly be the alternative to a summer staple?  The kid got a kick out of BWW being there and I think they knew.  🙂

In all of the cards I collected, I found out I won something and I need to call and redeem it. The biggest winner was the academy.  I’ve made it part of my business to help get the word out to increase the profits and awareness of this awesome event being held right in Detroit.  All in all, we had a great time and I’ll definitely be back next year.

 

I’m sure many of you have heard of the crisis of the Detroit Public School system.  If not, catch up on part of the story.  As a parent of a current student, I was trying to find out what I could do to help.  This lead me to meet up with several people and resources to gain more information.  I was always concerned – I learned where to go for assistance.  

During the reporting of the crisis,  DPS opened their ears to the parents at several town hall meetings.  It was in these meetings that we were given information about the current state of the system, what it meant for the students and what we could do to help.  The school system set up several committees to address common concerns of the parents. These included Nutrition, Safety, Facilities, Customer Service, Supplies, Curriculum and other.  These were composed to address the complaints/concerns efficiently.  Those town hall meetings were brutal. Not because there was no order but because there was a lack parent participation.  There were parents there that knew all the ends and outs of the school system over the last 20 years.  I felt so far behind and out of the loop.  Moreover, I was determined to learn more and become active.

This lead me to the MLK PTSA meeting.  This was an experience for me. In a school that boasted some of the most successful students in Detroit, the parents were missing from this meeting as well.  It was here that I learned, my son’s school has a surplus of 400 students, has the highest man population in the state and that’s including the all boys institutions and they are trying to maintain during these difficult times.  The part that disturbed me the most about this meeting was the lack of parent participants.  Not more that six months before – I sat in this room with the parents of the football team and it was packed.  Have we systematically placed our children in one or two boxes? Sports or education.  Here is a recent meeting we had with the football team. Notice the change in attendance. I literally had to stand up after turning down a seat offer. The place was packed.


On April 14th, Detroit Public Schools Office of Parent and Community Engagement held a one day seminar and I was eager to attend.  Not to mention, I was the chair for the Customer Service Committee.  I had to be there to learn more, engage the parents and be supportive in their efforts.  Here we met the new interim superintendent, Alycia Meriweather.  I took several sessions during the day while linking up with several other parents of high school age students.  This was a very good exercise and I learned a great deal.  It felt like things were going to be moving in the right direction.  I had a good feeling about the steps they were taking. 

In the following days, there was more disturbing info coming out.  The teachers were on the verge of a strike after being told they would not be getting paid as agreed upon in their contracts.  “Working for Free!”  No way – we were back on the sick outs and who could blame them.  The teachers, parents and students were rallying for the right thing to be done to help this struggling district.  After 2 days, students returned to the classrooms with hopes of finishing the school year and looking forward to the summer vacation.

I’ve said my piece about DPS.  They have done a disservice to some of the students and failed the community.  A very valuable take away from the seminar was “trying to regain the trust of parents.”  This is the cornerstone of this districts revitalization.  I don’t trust them but I’m willing to fight for what is rightfully all childrens – a sufficient education, no matter where the call home.  I heart DPS because I am a product, these teachers are the soul of the city (they have not abandoned us) and the system will have to get better to draw more families and individuals into the city boundaries.  This fight won’t be over in the next 15 months – but I’m dedicated to the idea of fighting for the education of all Detroit children.

What would my spring, summer and fall be without the Slow Roll?  This past year I found out.  It was almost out of my control.  I missed it terribly and only got out for a few times this year.  However, I did purchase a membership.

The notice came prior to the season starting that all participants needed to purchase a membership to ride in 2015.  I bought my membership and was eager to ride.  The Mondays came and went, I just wasn’t riding with the tours.  Between nurturing a relationship and being overwhelmed with the size of the crowd, I was NOT participating.  I wanted to be there but I couldn’t escape my frustration with some of the horrible music choices, sporadic weed smokers and occasional under prepared children.  My first ride of the season didn’t happen until mid June with some co-workers.

Slowroll15

I went out again a few weeks later and ran into a few familiar faces.  It’s nothing against the event.  I miss sharing this with my people as a group.  Generally I do things on my own because I don’t want others to stop me but I’ve come to a place where I’d like to share the experiences of my life.  This is a new revelation for me as well.  This is still a must-do in Detroit if you visit during the season.  Maybe I’ll be out a little more next year but I’ll always be a member.

EasternMRide

 

Rent is a concept that many of us are aware of in lieu of ownership.  The official definition is to pay someone for the use of (something, typically property, land, or a car).  What they didn’t mention were high fashion garments for special occasions.  This is my newest best friend- respectfully after music, books, google and carryout, LOL.  The program is affordable and convenient.  Here is just a little insight I have on Rent the Runway and some fashion friendly options for our pocketbooks.

I don’t claim to know everything.  So, when my friend Tony was getting married, I realized I needed a great dress for this event.  Let me add that my ex would be there in all of his – hell I don’t know what to call the momma’s boy.  My co-workers had mentioned Rent the Runway before in conversation.  One for her own personal use and the other for the girls going to prom from her non-profit.  After scrolling the selection of several stores and factoring in the cost of the ticket with hotel, renting was a feasible option for me.  I checked it out and was amazed by the selection and prices. There is a little something for everybody.  Dresses from $30 and up.  This was a match made in the stars – more like my favorites on the task bar.

IMG_9673

I’ve used their service a total of three (3) times in the past 2 years.  It’s very easy to use.  Give them the date of your event, place your order and ship it back.  Other women who have wore the garments post their reviews of the item and give details about their size and shape.  I have found this to help a great deal in picking out the right size for myself.  The dresses I have ordered fit perfect and the compliments were never ending at the events.  As you can see I’ve worn dresses from some of the top designers in the business and a new collection I had never heard of in my life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pay attention to the cost of renting the dress for one event to the price to hang it in your closet and pray for the day you can wear it again.  Yeah – that’s what I said!  They also send you a second dress in another size to ensure you have a comfortable fit.  In my initial test run for New Year’s Eve, you can see the size 0 dress hanging on the closet door.  They ask that you order items to be shipped one full day before just in case you need to make a change.  The dresses are packed to prevent any additional need for irons, steamers and whatever else we use to knock out wrinkles.  And the real brilliance of the program is the prepaid shipping materials for returning your purchase. Drama free – Gotta Love it!!

IMG_8089

I’d advise all of my fashionable followers and family to give this program a try.  They also have an app available on Android and iOS.  This may not be for some of you rich folks but for all of us on a TIGHT budget, it’s s godsend. Here I am in all the garments.  There’s also an opportunity to buy some dresses during the clearance event.  One of these dresses I truly wouldn’t mind owning. Can you guess which one? 🙂

There’s nothing more gratifying than giving back to a worthy cause and I believe music culture including fine arts is a great program to invest in – especially in Detroit.  Bravo Bravo has come an gone and in true Beau Miss style, I’m going to tell you a little more about the evening’s events.  This year MaShawn joined me again and Eva made her debut!  You’ll notice a few familiar faces from the pics but the night was totally original.

This is an event you don’t want to miss.  It’s like the MET Gala on a Detroit scale.  High fashion, charity, celebrities and plenty of networking mixed with a whole lotta liquor.  In the name of fashion I decided to use my new go to find for all the special events in my life.  Rent the Runway or RTR allows ladies to lease high fashion garments at a small fraction on the retail cost of owning them.  This totally cut down my shopping time for this event.  I selected a NHA KAHNH dress and decided to wear the shoes I wore last year with the same bag.  Who goin check me?  Lol


This was the 1st choice of my quasi-stylist.  It fit like a glove and complimented my slim hourglass frame perfectly.  The next move was in the hair department.  This dress was so beautiful I wanted my hair to compliment instead of compete.  My newest weapon again blending with the rest of the attendees – Cold Wave Rods.  My go to hair styler.  So I got my hair pressed by my OG gangsta on these locks, Fred Converse of Dolce International Salon.  This man only did my hair for 11 years and knows my hair.  A quick ride home and setting the rollers in my hair had me riding around town like THIS.


Hunty, I had bought lashes and everything for this event and didn’t put them on Lawd Geezus.  When Eva showed up it was time or me to pull all my “S” together.  Makeup on soft and simple, nails on a clean clear coat and fragrance is The One by Dolce & Gabanna.  The completed look – elegant. A quick ride up the block to get MaShawn and let the party begin!


The food was fab as always and of course I found another little drank that was totally delicious. You already know   NOTHING is replacing my day one Belvedere. However, I’ve never let that ruin my night.  The drink I really liked was at the station next to the Rum Chata and I don’t even know the name.  😦

In true style and expectation, I ran into a few familiar faces.


  
What can I say, it’s BRAVO BRAVO.  It’s always a good time capped with a great grab bag at the end of the night.


Until next… Party less and impact your community through charity.  I mean they really know how to throw a party.

Great night as always!

It’s been a while since I chatted with you guys about my journey to happiness.  Somewhere between the spring and the upcoming summer I became lost in living and not telling my story.  I’m not going to hold you up as I get you caught up on all the details.  There’s a bridal shower, new business growth, Beau Miss Home additions, a house guest, Victoria’s Secrets, beautifully tressed, Poshmark, his super 16 birthday, the garden and Oscar (my bike).  Seems like a lot!  It probably is but I won’t drag it all out in this post.  Let’s dig right into it in chronological order.

The last time I spoke with you all was on an “Oprah Says” post.  What I didn’t tell you was I was playing host to a house guest better yet recognized as the man I love.  These were unfamiliar waters for me as I have kept individuals away from this level of intimacy with me.  We’re talking about sharing my space with another adult and a teenager.  I was slightly uncomfortable about it at first because we had just finished arguing about something.  Then the more he was here I relaxed but I had to wrap my mind around the “TEMPORARY” sign that hung over the matter.  This was not the way my life would be always, things would go back to normal for all of us soon enough.  It was fun and very insightful.  I learned more about myself and the intricate nature of our relationship.  Thanks to some unconventional guidelines and very open communication, we made it!

20131225-185955.jpgThe older I get get the more people I know entering into the martial stage of their lives.  Some of you might remember this picture when I announced my current place of employment.  All of us ladies, started this journey together with hope of making strides in our careers and lives.  Two of them have went on to pursue other positions within the organization.  The other has begun the walk into holy matrimony within the next several weeks.  We’ve enjoyed the bridal shower and keeping a far from “Bridezilla” engaged in enjoying the moment before she gets her MRS degree.  I’m sure we’ll all meet again at this gorgeous occasion.  Can you guess which lady is making the leap?  Well it sure as hell ain’t me!SoMe 3

A while back, I told you all about me making extra money through Poshmark.  Since that post I deactivated my account and settled for taking my garments to local secondhand stores for profit.  I opened an account again – not to sell but to purchase whatever I had been looking for and couldn’t find at the stores.  So far, I’ve scored a coat, sweater and my favorite Zara tunic that I was swooning over after my one night stand in Chicago last year.  It has been a godsend to me as I’ve become over exhausted with traditional shopping.  Whenever I think of something specific I want, I click on the app and search through hundreds of offerings until I discover the exact item I’m looking to buy.  Try it out!

In the process of all of this happening, my number one guy turned 16.  That’s right, in 1999 I gave birth to a little baby that has grown into a young man.  We didn’t do much in the terms of celebration.  Partially on the terms of the kid’s procrastination and indecisive ways.  We just couldn’t reach a conclusion for the party.  It came and went but I was still excited to witness it.  We’ve been through a lot.My Duke

I’m going to stop right here.  There has to be a reason for you to come back and visit with me once more.  We’ll get into some of the other topics, in their own post or a remix version.  In the meantime, keep a smile on your face and offer one to someone in need.