I had a realization recently about how much I listen to drake and partynextdoor and how often I try not to put them on my monthly playlists (cause I feel like drake is on every single one) but then I thought why run from what I love. So, this is a playlist made almost entirely from my fav drake and party songs and the & friends. Is other artists like the weekend, ari lennox and others.
If you love drake & party as much as I do and the particular vibe they have and seem to invoke from listening to them then play this playlist it might just be what you need to cure your withdrawals.
Summer Walker put out her debut album this past Friday and it’s an 90s R&B dream. It features Usher 90s early 2000s god. Party next door, who is my ultimate favorite of favorites 6lack, Jhene, Drake & Bryson Tiller to name a few. The album was mostly produced by London on da track.
I am a summer walker stan, fan girl whatever you wanna call it. I’ve been into her since she first came out before the girls need love remix with Drake. So, I’m hype her album is well received. I literally have had the album on repeat for days. Summer Walker is a complete vibe and I fuck with it.
My favorite song when I first listened to the album was “I’ll kill you” with Jhene. The hook “I’ve been waiting so long for a love like this” is catchy without being cheesy. Walker talks about her bf who also produced songs on her album London Holmes. Its a cool breezy love song with Summer and Jhene talking about how far they’ll go for their man.
After listening to the album a few times my favorite song now is “Come Thru” with Usher it definitely speaks to the middle/high school girl in me who would be in the mirror trying to dance and sing after school. (Also I definitely spelled thru like this in my teens in little notes) It has an early 2000s r&b vibe. It’s also just interesting (in a good way) that she sampled Ushers “Make Me Wanna” from ‘97 and he also has a new verse on the song. “You make me wanna come through/quarter after two/just to put it down on you/ you make me wanna replay/all the things” the chorus has been stuck in my head for days.
“Just Might” with Party which is one of the most relatable songs on the track list with the infectious hook “Keep playing/ love is a loosin game and I just can’t take no more, no more/ said love is a losin game, so I might just be a ho”. Party supplies a males a male perspective to the track and the beat to this one and how it syncs to the lyrics gives it a playful vibe.
Another relatable song I’ve seen a lot of people talking about and praising (including Drake) is “fun girl” this raw piece is a song that I know most women relate to as she talks about feelings about not being enough and being housewife material. The title also suggests that the guy Walker is messing with only sees her as a “Fun Girl” and not someone he can take seriously. She goes on to talk about how women who aren’t submissive and know exactly what they want and do whatever they want aren’t seen as desirable.
“Drunk Dialing” is a short little song on the album that speaks to the dating scene and how when you get a little liquid courage you start hitting up some old flames which we’ve all done.
Summer has a gritty r&b sound it’s not like your typical love songs which I think makes her more relatable. She talks about the ins and outs of dealing with someone and how its not always positive. It’s not always roses and candy. And she just has a distinct Atlanta feel to her cause we all know the dating scene in Atlanta can be a little crazy. The songs are more subdued love songs showing the real mixed emotions that come from relationships. R&B has been missing songs like these in recent years and Walker definitely took a page or two out of the nostalgic 90s r&b we all love and miss.
I was disappointed by my daughters lack of interest in this meal too. Out of the 3 meals I tried to introduce to her the cauliflower alfredo was the only meal she really liked. This orange cauliflower was actually really good. I didn’t even force my daughter to try it because she helped me bread the cauliflower and watched me put the sauce on them we assumed it was spicy because the sauce was dark. She doesn’t like spicy food and kept saying it was spicy.
My back-up for if the cauliflower failed was the orange Gardien brand nuggets (she loves this brand) but she complained about the sauce being salty (it wasn’t). She wouldn’t eat her rice and asked for chips. I understand that this introducing foods to her thing will be a process and I struggled when she asked for snacks in telling her she couldn’t have any cause she hadn’t ate her food.
Anyway, enough backstory so I did cut a whole head of cauliflower washed the florets and then dipped them in oat milk then in a flour and spice coating. I cooked the cauliflower on 400 F for 25 minutes. Then once done I coated them with the orange sauce and back in the oven they went for 25 minutes.
I had the orange cauliflower with basmati rice (follow cooking instructions on bag). Kimchi and cucumber. I also cooked spinach with lots of garlic, ginger, salt and paprika.
Just a little ode for my favorite jeans. These jeans are from American Apparel (where I get most of my jeans) they’re the mom jeans (high-waist jean on their site) in the classic light wash. As a woman with hips and a booty but a small waist I have a hard time finding jeans that fit how I want them to fit. Prior to finding American Apparel jeans from social media and stuff I didn’t wear a lot of jeans because they just didn’t fit how I wanted them to instead I wore a lot of leggings but I quickly got tired of that look. I bought my first pair of American Apparel jeans in college. The easy jean. In the dark blue rinse. This was probably in 2013-2014. So, this was before the company went bankrupt (living in the Atlanta area they had two stores one in lil 5 and another that came later in Atlantic station). Their jeans are perfect for the fit I want because they jean material stretches. The High-Waist Jean they sell is 100% cotton allowing the material to fit to your body and move with it in a flattering way. The Easy Jean is 76% cotton, 21% polyester and 3% spandex. This blend also makes wearing jeans all day really comfortable and flattering to curvier shapes. The material on both jeans is really soft and feels good against the skin.
I usually buy their jeans when they’re having some sort of deal or special on their site because they are on the pricey side but the only jeans I really like. The Easy Jean retails at $68 and the High-Waist Jean is $78. To get more wear out of these jeans if you can afford to dry clean do so. If not don’t dry the jeans especially the Easy-Jean either air dry or tumble dry on low. The pair of dark rinse wash I had of the Easy Jean in college ended up ripping in the middle thigh area towards my crotch after a few years and I’ve since taken extra care to preserve the jeans I do own from American Apparel because they are such an essential basic piece to own and style with multiple outfits.
I like creamy oats. Not super wet. Just thick and creamy. So, the idea of overnight oats never really intrigued me. But earlier this week I thought f it let’s give it a try cause most days I get up and breakfast is the last thing on my mind if I have to take the tome to prepare it. Overnight oats takes out the step of boiling water and cooking oats in a pot. At least it does for me. Because what I do is take 1/2 of old fashioned oats I pour over 1 cup of oat milk (or any plant based milk I have) I add cinnamon and nutmeg stir. I then cover the bowel with plastic wrap or foil and put it in the fridge over night.
In the morning all the milk or liquid (you can use water too) has been absorbed into the oats. So they aren’t dry but they aren’t wet they also aren’t mushy. I then add a splash of oat milk over top I don’t mix. I also add vegan butter (I’ve been using Miyokos lately) and warm it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add whatever toppings I have and there ya go. Creamy oats with minimal effort.
For lunch today I took another note out of Ellen Fisher’s YouTube videos. Her recipes are just simple and easy for a single mom like myself. As I’ve stated I’ve struggled getting my 3 year old to eat actual vegetables even though she’s vegetarian (moving her away from dairy now) I know this is partially because her dad (who she’s with half the week) isn’t vegan or vegetarian and eats a pretty meat centric diet. And also because my sister and live together with her 5 year old daughter and neither of them are vegan or vegetarian.
My daughter then isn’t seeing how normal eating plants would be if it was just the two of us. But anyways, so I made a simple lunch today of just sliced potatoes and a dipping sauce with cucumbers (cause I love them). Out of the vegan kid friendly meals I thought of making for the week this is the one I thought she’d like the most (because she loves French fries). I was actually super disappointed to realize though that my kid doesn’t like actual potatoes or maybe she doesn’t know what an actual potato tastes like – cause she didn’t like these and refused to eat them saying they weren’t fries.
I know this whole thing I’m doing of introducing her to new foods and expand her palette instead of just feeding her what she likes and knows cause I just want her to eat – isn’t going to be easy. But I was really frustrated that she didn’t like this meal cause …. potatoes are what fries are.
But I will just try and make more of these real potato fries for her tomorrow. Maybe seeing these “fries” more often will get her use to the idea that this is what real fries look like and actually are besides the fried fast food or frozen kind.
All I did to these potatoes was cut them up I kept some with the skin on and peeled others (just in case she complained about the skin). Added salt a little olive oil and put them in the oven for 30 mins on 350. I also made a dipping sauce that was 1 sweet potato, 2 carrots, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. I boiled the sweet potato and carrots first then through then in the blender when they were soft.
If any mothers out there have any tips for picky eaters who eat the same thing everyday please send those tips my way on how you got your kids to try other foods.
My brother gifted me We Are the One’s We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker a few years ago for Christmas and I’ve reread it 3 times already. It’s a book that continues to teach you lessons and gives you many “ah ha” moments no matter the amount of times you read it. Different lessons. Different words, thoughts, phrases that stand out depending on what I’m personally going through at the time. The book is set up in essays or talks that Walker has given.
One essay in particular chapter 4 titled “All Praises to the Pause; The Universal Moment of Reflection” stood out to me when I read it this time probably because right now my life is in a giant pause and I’ve been reflecting a lot on things. While also just being in the weird space of the middle. Walker says ” This is a time when a major transition from confusion to order has been completed.” “As a culture we are not in the habit of respecting, honoring, or even acknowledged the pause.” She goes on to talk about meno-pause which literally is a natural pause and shift for women which is quite often feared and talked about in a negative way.
“To me, truth, that is to say reality, is the only infallible guide. I would define Truth as God.” This quote has a whole backstory to it about censorship (but I want ya’ll to go buy the book and read it yourself). It is taken from chapter 10 How It Feels to Know Someone Died for You: Living with the Voice of the Beloved. There are gems like this one all throughout this book and she speaks on a wide variety of topics from 9/11, war, birth, blackness, her dog Marley, nature, the Earth like I said its a book that keeps on teaching and if you’re interested in growth at all. Read this book and other Alice Walker books.
I also read My Hero Academia Vol 1 , its a manga (which I’m gonna assume ya’ll all know what that is). I was into manga heavily in school as early as elementary. I remember reading all the manga that the little library had in Manassas, VA. I remember Ranma 1/2, Marmalade Boy, Fruits Basket, Inuyasha. I grew up watching Full Metal Alchemist and Sailor Moon. I had a full collection of manga and a full collection of Shojo Comic that my mom paid a subscription for me for years. I bought my first manga in years a month ago and I honestly don’t know why I ever stopped buying or reading them. My Hero Academia, is a really good anime that I recently started watching but I just wanted to buy a manga so I can start collecting them again – my daughter might find the same comfort in them as I did.
The Breakbeat Poets Vol 1 : New American Poetry in the Age of Hiphop, I’m currently in the process of reading this 350 page volume of poetry from writers born in the Hip-hop Age. All the poets in this book were born from 1961-1999. I recently found out about this newer version of the breakbeat poets and was interested. I decided to get Vol. 1 and not Vol. 2 (the black girl magic one even though I plan on purchasing it next month after I’ve digested this Vol.) because hip-hop and music has always been special to me. An avid Tupcac lover. And a writer that is sonically driven and always listening to how words flow and push against each other in my own writing I thought this volume would have a lot to teach me and I haven’t been wrong.
Here are a couple of my favorite lines so far from poems:
"she fast food she buy one get one free"
from Quraysh Ali Lansana “crack house” There is a line from Joel Dias-Porter aka Dj Renegade “Turning the Tables (for Eardrum) that I really fell in love with.
"Lower it slowly let it tongue the record's ear"
There are also poems by some of my favorites like Jamila Woods, Danez Smith, and Safia Elhillo that I haven’t gotten to since I want to read the poems in the order they’re presented first.
These 3 books I am in awe of. I am in awe of writers and illustrators and artists. I am excited to start reading more and taking the time and space to sit and read. I know with things like social media its easy to forget that an art and learning tool as old as reading can and should still be relevant and I’m making it a priority to be still and pick up a book everyday.
333. god energy. which to me is some real deep music that gets you feeling. I started seeing 333 everywhere last month when I was going through some really hard situations (I still am but thats neither here nor there). I wanted to curate a playlist that resembled what 333 energy feels like to me. And this is what I came up with. If you’re looking for some music that will get you feeling and maybe give you a little breakthrough a little reflection then this playlist is for you.