The first time I read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, was in high school. I didn’t fully understand it but I knew it was profound. I came back to it again in college with a little more understanding after studying metaphors in poetry. I knew this book was for black girls like me who had struggled with being dark. Who had struggled with not being what society defined as beautiful.
I read Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, for the first time in high school as well. It was a book I constantly reread in college. Picking at it. Dissecting it. Googling others responses to it. If anything Toni Morrison’s writing has intrigued me for years.
When I learned of her death it felt like I’d lost a friend. Because I’m away her words her books had been my friends. They had taken root in my mind for years coming back to its forefront again and again. At first I wasn’t sure what to feel (reasons why this tribute is weeks after her death) I hadn’t revisited her words since having my daughter (I haven’t done much reading honestly in years which is a shame seeing how in high school books were my closest friends) in her passing I realized I’m in a new stage in my life – and I haven’t read a Toni Morrison book or reread one for new meaning and lessons. I felt like I’d betrayed her. I felt like I’d betrayed myself for not continuing to read her words when they’d done so much for me.
I made a silent vow to start rebuying her books (I’ve since lost both my high school copies from constant moving). To start rereading her words. To help keep her legacy alive.
Thank you Toni Morrison, the woman in me thanks you. The dark skinned woman in me thanks you. The mother in me thanks you. The writer in me thanks you. The reader in me thanks you. The student in me thanks you.
My hope is that my own words will touch as many as yours have one day.
I don’t remember how I first heard about this soulfoul woman. I remember listening to her first album “FEELS” her intro “All I Have” was featured on my April 2018 playlist.
Okay, so I’m a sucker for a good intro a short little sweet song. And she does just that with “Here Now” I think if done well intros set the whole tone for an album and the high pitch of Aalegra’s voice on this is bomb. In “Find Someone Like You” when the chorus starts it sounds holy – honestly I don’t know how else to describe it. The harmony. The melody everything. The way the song ends on the last “oh woo” The whole album just sounded like heaven. Like healing. Like a warm hug. It feels like a song I’d sing if I was in some real ass love.
“Situationship” is the single that Snoh released on this project and I like how catchy yet relatable to the actual dating scene it’s lyrics are. “Whoa” is a song I would play all day if I was really feelin someone. It feels like a summer breeze off the ocean. Snoh’s raspy but soft angelic voice is like brandy smooth and full. It’s a song about the chemistry two people can have. It’s a more upbeat tempo than some of the other songs.
“Toronto” is probably my favorite song on this project. I really dig the background vocals and beat on this one. It’s a little jazzy and just so effortless. I swear if sound could be the equivalent of touch this is velvety. It’s just smooth as butter.
“Nothing to Me” is a song where you’re feeling someone and you’re giving 100% and they’re giving 50%. It’s a real ass song that made me think about my own relationship history. It’s a relationship, situationship, self love song all in one.
“I Want You Around” is a song about literally wanting someone you’re feeling around.
“You” is a song that got me in my feelings. And if you know me I’m usually already in my feelings. This song is about liking someone but knowing it’s wrong.
There wasn’t a song on this album that I didn’t like I didn’t have to skip any songs or anything. This is a solid project. From the lyrics, melodies, production. It’s just good. It’s soulful and introspective. Even if you’re not a fan of r&b or slow songs try this album out. It’s 14 songs and 40 minutes less time than a marvel movie.
“Gold” is the name for my August playlist thought it was fitting with Leo’s and gold and the sun and all. This visual I struggled with cause I feel like I’m in a weird space emotionally right now. But I like the final product. Movies are The Wood, House Party and The Best Man. Butterfly scene is off YouTube. I had fun with it when I wasn’t stuck thinking about what would fit with the song (Solange Stay Flo) and the overall theme of this playlist which when I started it was meant to be a fun chill playlist with more up tempo songs.
For August’s playlist I wanted something a little bit more fun. Something I could dance and chill to. I always feel like August is more of a transitional month. For me it kind of feels like the end of summer. It feels a little bittersweet.
I threw it back with some of the songs this month and I wanted a heavy female lineup this month and found it really hard to find songs but girls I really liked.
Not even gonna fake it this summer was nothing I expected it was rough. But I do feel like the hardest parts may be over and there’s a little bit of a glimmer of something left that’s not so hard to get through.
Hope y’all enjoy this one. And please recommend me new artists to listen to if you listen to any of my playlists y’all should know what kinda artists I dig. But surprise me.
My birthday was last month and the freebie for it from Sephora was two Drunk Elephant minis. This is a brand that I was continuously seeing on social media and YouTube and even my best friend had splurged on their T.L.C Sakuri Babyfacial product. I had seen so many people raving about the skincare line how it had given them the best skin of their lives and I too wanted to try it. However, if you’re unfamiliar with this skincare brand (and if you’re into skincare you probably aren’t) then you know these are not drugstore priced products. And I just couldn’t rationalize spending $60 on one product when I could spend that same amount on three products. Or an outfit or a new toy and an outfit for my three year old daughter. It just wasn’t in my budget and part of me being a responsible adult. So, when I saw that it was a mini for my month I felt like it was fate and jumped on the chance to finally try the brand out.
What came in the birthday mini box was the Protini Polypeptide Cream and the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser.
The Jelly Cleanser with cantaloupe glycerin honestly changed my life and mind about cleansers. I’m not gonna lie in my life of 27 years most of the cleansers I’ve used have been drugstore ones that were harsh and left my skin feeling dry. This is not that. Even after cleansing my skin didn’t feel dry but it did feel clean. I use the 60 second method and rub the cleanser for atleast 60 seconds into my skin paying close attention to my problem areas.
Besides the product being a game changer the packaging is really smart with a twist on and off top that keeps the jelly in the tube. I also got a months use out of this mini and was pleasantly surprised by this. I do plan on buying a full size of this next month. Plus the cleanser isn’t sticky like I find almost cleansers being. I can kinda be weird about textures so this cleanser is a good one if texture in skincare products is important to you. The jelly isn’t as expensive as some of their other products so I think I can swing it into my budget. It’s retailed at $32 at Sephora.
The cream which is a really light feeling but rich moisturizer. This product I used all of twice before I realized this is not something I need to use in this hot humid Atlanta weather. When I used it I instantly started sweating so I’m waiting to use it once the seasons change and am looking forward to the benefits. I’ve never really used a moisturizer and having one makes me feel even more like I care about my skin. I usually use almond oil or rose hip oil as my moisturizer but I know a cream will have many benefits in the fall/winter months.
Overall I would recommend Drunk Elephant to both my mom, sister, friends and my little cousins who don’t even have age concerns yet. The packaging the ingredients everything about this brand makes me want to give them my coins even on a budget.
I’ve been craving banana pudding lately so I decided to make it the vegan way of course. I used a instant vanilla pudding mix, vanilla shortbread cookies, bananas (ofc) and dairy free whipped cream.
I made the pudding first. Following the directions on the back of the mix – using organic almond milk in place of the whole milk the recipe called for. For the pudding mix to not stick I stirred it the whole time it was on the heat, which was for probably a total of 5 minutes.
2 cups of almond milk
Omit the egg (or you could add a vegan egg sub)
I poured in the 2 cups of milk first then the powder while it was on medium heat. Stirring constantly then bringing the mixture to a boil and stirring again for 1 minute while boiling then taking it off the heat.
I poured the pudding into 2 ramekins and into 1 smaller mason jar.
I let them cool for 10 minutes on the counter then put them in the fridge for 90 minutes.
after the 90 minutes I poured all the pudding mix into a blender with vanilla wafers about 2 handfuls and 2 bananas and a little bit of milk.
blended it all together and poured them back into the containers and let them sit in the fridge for a little bit longer.
The banana pudding mix was actually way better than I expected and I’m already wishing I had bought more than 1 mix.