Young People…. STOP F*ing up your life.

There is a young woman who is 23 years old. I’ve known her all of her life. Her sister is one of my Best Friends, and our families have been close since before I was born.

This young sista is beautiful and smart (or so I thought). She has not always made the right decisions but really who has? From the outside looking in, I thought she was trying. She had gone out of state for college, but a series of poor decisions brought her home to her sister’s couch without a degree. She ended up finding retail employment for about $12.00 per hour.

Me being the problem-solving diva that I am, I reached out to her to let her know about a free training program in her field of interest that could potentially double her income. This training program would be free to her for 5 to 6 hours a day for 16 weeks. Previous graduates of this program are making between $20.00 to $40.00 per hour.

She led me to believe she was really interested in this opportunity. She attended the orientation, completed the test, and participated in 3 interviews, just to not show up on the first day of class.

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This is a program that had over 100 applicants for 23 spaces. I spoke to the instructor and the counselors to ensure she got into this cohort. I feel like she slapped me in the face and F*d off an opportunity to change her life.

She’s standing still right now, with no direction as to where her life is going. She’s not thinking about her future and is consumed with getting her nails done and ordering the best hair for her sew-in. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with getting your hair and nails done, but that can’t be the purpose of your life.

I just want to yell, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re not living up to your potential and as an adult, it’s no ones fault but your own. Be accountable, be a woman of your word, and don’t drag other people down with you. I didn’t have to put my name on the line for you, I didn’t have to extend the olive branch to give you a life-changing opportunity, but I did because I love you, I respect you, and I know you could have a bright future if you apply yourself and commit to something.

What’s, even more, sad is the lack of accountability and the need to play the blame game instead of saying I F*d up. I took it back to our Shule Mandela Academy days and recited a portion of a pledge we recited daily that stated: “All learning is not fun, some learning is tedious, but we cannot be black and proud, and all so be dumb, therefore we must learn, we are the next generation.” I get crickets from her, so I’m done. I can no longer help people that don’t want to help themselves.

Fortunately, I don’t mind helping another young sista, I just can’t help her.

Call to Action: Young People, take control of your life and Live life to it’s fullest potential because we only get one. Take advantage of every opportunity and go for all of your dreams!

Teach.Inspire.Motivate.Empower

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Gratitude is a KEY to Success!

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“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see” – Dr. Robert Holden

 

No Discounts in 2016

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Often times with relationships, all relationships including friendships, romantic relationships, and relationships with family, we let other people treat us in a manner that doesn’t make us feel good. We allow them to lie to us (discount), make fools of us (discount), and not be people of their word (discount). When we allow people to treat us in this manner, we feel hurt, we feel unworthy, and we feel insignificant. When we let people do this to us time and time again, we are giving them discounts, which show how we feel about ourselves as oppose to how another person feels about us. When you know your value, you don’t give discounts.

When you think of High-end Luxury brands, you’ll notice that they don’t discount their prices, because they know their worth, and understand that people, who value their product, will pay what is asked. We need to know our worth, and when people don’t value and/or appreciate us, we need to let them go. In life, some people will be leaves, others will be branches, and it’s up to us to figure out who deserves to be permanent fixtures in our lives.

I’m not allowing people to treat me like I’m a fool in 2016, it is true that I don’t have control over their actions, but I do have control over who is a part of my life, and this year I’m moving forward to live Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy. I have no time for people seeking discounts, people who are constantly taking and never giving, people who are not equally yoked, and people that don’t appreciate the value I contribute.

I wish you all a Joyous, Prosperous, and Happy 2016!

Teach.Inspire.Motivate.Empower

Picture from the amazing artist Pienele Chill

LIVE YOUR LEGEND

LIVE YOUR LEGEND

I was home this weekend and decided to watch a few TED TALKS that my friend recommended. OMG, I felt so intrigued by the idea of LIVING YOUR LEGEND! As humans, we are often faced with decisions that will change our life, and we usually choose what is safe vs. what we truly desire. We choose what is safe because we don’t feel good enough to have what we really want. We let our feelings of inadequacy and insecurity prevent us from following our dreams and desires. Living Your Legend is about finding your passion and unapologetically going after what you want and the life you want.

This came to me at a perfect time in my life. I’m in a place of transition and right now I’m sitting in a parking lot trying to figure out what path I want to take. I often feel beaten up, discouraged, inadequate, and fearful, because I’ve faced rejection so many times. After while you start to believe that you’ll never have what you desire, because it’s so hard to attain. I’ve realized that I have to encourage myself! I have to know that what is meant for me is for me and if I don’t get what think I want, it may be for the best.

I wish all of you a happy and productive week and remember to LIVE YOUR LEGEND!

San Jose Juneteenth 2015

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Most recently it’s celebrated in a festival-like manner, where people celebrate black culture, with performances, vendors selling clothes, jewelry, food, non-profit organization giving out information, and now even service providers offering different services for the attendee’s at the event.
I try to make it out to several different Juneteenth celebrations, but this year I only made it to one, and that was the San Jose Juneteenth festival. Often this celebration is fun and has several people attending, but this year seemed a little off.
The celebration was at a new park this year. This park was bigger than the park it is normally at, and I think it worked against the organizers. They had Keke Wyatt perform and maybe anticipated a larger crowd, but it seemed like not very many people attended the celebration this year.
The event began in the late morning, I arrived around noon and got lost. I initially went to the original park, where another festival was taking place, and so an old family friend who pointed me in the direction of Juneteenth. I finally made it to the park, after getting lost on my journey. I made it in the gate, and it was hottttttttt, I probably guzzled down a gallon of water as the day progressed.
As soon as I got in the park, I had to feed my daughter and myself. I was looking for a #PointFriendly option and noticed, the food options were very few. There was a fried food vendor (chicken, fish, & fries), a Jamaican food vendor, and a sweets vendor. I was hoping for BBQ but settled for Jamaican. I got the Jerk chicken, which was grilled, with plantain, and rice and peas! It was very tasty and filling, and the #PointFriendly option.
After getting my food, I walked around to check out all the vendors. I supported all the vendors by purchasing something from their booth including books, t-shirts, and jewelry. I also stopped by the PG&E booth and the Comcast service booth. Though I didn’t need the service that PG&E or Comcast was giving away, I went by to hear their sales pitch. After checking out the vendors and getting food, we spent the majority of our day sitting with my dear friend at her booth. She was a vendor at the event! She had a prime location booth right near the front of the entrance. Well at least I thought it was the prime location, but I noticed that a lot of people opted out of supporting the vendors, not sure why, but I would assume because they had to pay an admission fee, they decided to just eat, socialize and watch the show.
Keke Wyatt’s performance was mediocre at best. Don’t get me wrong, that woman can SANG, but she kept giving excuses and talking in the middle of the song. She was shooting for her upcoming reality show, and maybe she was directing as she was performing, but I was disappointed in her performance and left in the middle.
Overall, I’m glad I was able to support at least 1 Juneteenth celebration this year, but I wish I would have gone to another. This year’s SJ Juneteenth seemed like a waste of time, energy, and money.

Concerts in the Bay: Summer Jam 2015

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BAYYY BAY (in my New Orleans accent voice), I had the best time at Summer Jam this year! First off, I’ve been hitting Summer Jam, since I was 12 or 13…..LOL, I’m an OG in this game. I’ve been to Summer Jam at The Shoreline Amphitheater, Concord Pavilion, Oracle Arena in the Suites, and regular seats at Oracle Arena, and to be honest the fun never depended on the location, but who I went with. It’s always fun doing things with fun people! There were no fun killers in our group!
This year I attended with a few friends and my sister. The show was really good and everybody around us (except the two miserable birds in front of us) was turnt up and having a great time. We were all dancing and singing along with the performers and/or the DJ during the intermission. It almost felt like club night with an awesome DJ. Everyone was dressed up, hair done, make-up done, nails done, real FANCY, and smelling good, especially the guys who set in the section behind us, but I’ll write a separate blog post for that tea. On behalf of my whole crew, we want to shout out KMEL for having a great line up this year!  (Emphasis on this year…..lol)

When I tell you Trey Songs put on a good show, he was absolutely great. He voice was beautiful! I love an artist that sounds as good in person as they do on the radio! This was my second time seeing him in concert! Though he performed well, I would rate his set a 9/10, minus one for his wack dancers. I’m like they are more of a distraction then entertaining. The outfits they wore didn’t compliment his at all, and it just seemed a little out of place to me. Other than making a bad choice on hiring dancers for his show, he had a good set, and shout out to him for paying homage to our home team #Warriors, while in their house! He is a classy man.

They saved the best for last. Weezy F. BABY! He really knows how to get the crowd pumped up! He was a one man army that night, and commanded the attention of thousands in the building. He didn’t have any gimmicks nor any distractions, just straight Tunchi! Not to mention, he spilled some ground breaking tea! He has really left Cash Money (I never saw that coming), signed a deal with his idol JAYZ, and his next album will be released on Tidal.  I’m like, make them moves baby! It is a beautiful thing to follow your dreams and maintain success, and it’s that much sweeter when you’re able to do things the way you want. Kudos to Lil Wayne, he really inspired me!

Overall, I really enjoyed myself at this concert!

Brunching in the Bay: Oakland Edition, CANA

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Sunday Brunch at Cana in Oakland started off a little uneasy. My BFF and I walked in for our 11am reservation and it was cold, and they wanted to give us a small table by the door, or sit somewhere that we would have to get up after a certain amount of time, so we decided to just sit at the bar. At this point I felt a little embarrassed because I invited her out, picked the restaurant and our experience started off wack. After taking our seats at the bar, we relaxed a little, got comfortable (FYI, I love that they have hooks for your purse at the bar), and looked over the menu.

I was a little overwhelmed with all off the selections that they had for brunch! Everything looked so tasty and exciting. I had only had Cuban cuisine once, so I was excited for this treat! As I’m looking over the menu, I tried to find something that was point (Weight Watchers Term) friendly, I got excited for the Ceviche Trio, with Plantain Chips.

We ordered the Ceviche Trio for our appetizer, and we both selected the American Choice Omelet for our entrée. The Ceviche was AMAZING, the flavors just danced on my taste buds. Each one having its own distinct flavor, yet all of them were good. This was my first time having ceviche made with halibut in addition to the traditional shrimp. They also used more than just lemon and lime for citrus, they used pineapple and orange citrus. We ordered the American Choice Omelet, but it definitely had a Cuban flair. I subbed the eggs for egg whites.

The service was interesting…… It started off with a take it or leave it attitude with the wack seats from the hostess, to a very helpful/service oriented attitude from all of the staff towards the end of our meal. Our waitress/bartender seemed a little overwhelmed, it was the beginning of the day, and she was putting things together, so she was very pushy for us to hurry up and order, and then was forgetful of our request. We would ask the other bartenders and even the hostess for certain items and they were very helpful and eager to assist us. We had hoped to stay for the music, but it had got packed by the time we finished eating and we were ready to go.

Sitting at the bar, we were tempted to take advantage of their bottomless mimosas, but because juice and alcohol are not point friendly, I opted out, and my BFF wanted to be supportive of me, so she opted out as well.

Note, during the week M – F, they charge all of the patrons a $2.00 minimum wage fee, because minimum was increased to $12.00 in the City of Oakland. On Sunday’s, there is no Minimum wage fee, but if you stay for the band (which is nice if you’re not there to socialize), they charge a $2.00 band fee.

Overall, I would rate the experience a 3/5, customer service is really important to me and first impressions are important as well.