“She's Gotta Have It” season two is Beautiful Trash

I am actually disappointed in season two of She’s Gotta Have It; the entire season is beautiful trash, it is beautiful to look at yet cringe worthy to actually watch. I love the artistry and creativity of the characters, I love the filmography, and music shared throughout the series. But this season lacks good writing, and character development, where was the growth. We know nothing more about the characters in the second season. They had a great opportunity to dive into Nola and Opal relationship especially in regards to the boundaries Opal has towards her daughter. How do you have the nerve to question how someone chooses to raise a child you did not help birth. Secondly, how do you get beside yourself to authorize any form of body modification. Thirdly, the writers just abruptly ended it there. They broke up and Nola justified her selfishness and SCENE.

side note: Nola was completely wrong, and in my opinion Opal was generous. I don’t think I would have been poised.

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Another missed opportunity was Shemekka, first, the butt blow up in season one was dramatic and unnecessary and instead of seriously addressing body image in the black community they made a mockery of it. Nothing led up to Shemekka gaining the courage to complete the police sting because you can clearly sense her regret and insecurity with her body, but there was no dialogue leading up to it and her relationship with Fat Joe’s character is just weird.

Also what was the purpose of the trip to Puerto Rico, outside of Mars and his sister getting their lease agreement situated with their mom it was stretched out. They had beautiful imagery while commercially shedding light to Santeria but again all the extra was fluff that could have been used to actually tell a story.

Moving on to the British African artist Olu, whose medium of choice is cow shit. Then there is a scene with Nola walking toward his bungalow as she gets turned on while peeping on him creating his cow shit masterpiece butt ass naked. really sis.

Then we have the whole blow up scene at the final dinner which is uncomfortable, and again made parody of white people inappropriately moving through black art spaces. While I love that they introduced so many black artist, I feel like if you are not already invested in black art, by familiarizing yourself with the artists you would have thought the artists were as fictional as Nola which defeats the purpose of highlighting them.

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I could keep going on and on about all the missed opportunities that could have made season two really resonate. Jamie’s petty ass, was not needed this season. Clo’s character was briefly addressed yet they could have tie it together better. Mars, some what got his shit together but that fake dyslexia “Baby, Baby, Please Baby” is annoying and distracting. Nola art showcase was cute, but the ground breaking controversial art piece was not shocking to me at all, but as a person I don’t think she showed any personal growth from last season to now. If anything I’m more aware of how self-centered she is.

The writers tried to “start a conversation” about so many current topics but they only glazed over the surface and ended up falling short everything single time. The series jumped around a lot and it was not cohesive, making it hard to follow along. Lastly the “twitter talk” was a reach. They tried so hard to be relatable that it came off disingenuous.

I’m curious if the goal was to make your skin crawl, lol. Regardless, I love, the visuals, the actors and actresses are talented but the lack of character development in the writing did them an injustice. I only watched this season once, and I probably won’t watch it again, unless I need background noise with beautiful black visuals while I am doing house chores.

For People Who Feel Behind In Life

Evelyn is literally one of my best-friends in my head. When she posted this video she was talking to me... and I said to her "Girl I just had this same conversation in my head the other day!" 

Growing up in sports, I developed a competitive spirit which comes with its pros and cons. One of its flaws that I will admit to is creating a competition in my head with my peers.  Unconsciously stacking myself up against others to gauge my position and where I was in the race I made up in my head.  As I embrace self-love I've learned through self-awareness how that process it not helpful or productive by any means.  At the end of the day, you are not truly winning because the race doesn't really exist.  Society has done its due diligence in aiding us to stay in a rat race that again doesn't truly exist.  Therefore we look for meaning, substance, and validation in material things and people to uplift ourselves because we don't believe we are where we should be in life. 

Graduating from college was supposed to be the come up, the ultimate glory. And it was for a very brief moment because there is high.  A moment of eureka, because you made you it, you complete your bachelors degree.  Which has been ingrained in you since grade school will be the ultimate factor that alters your life and open doors of wonders. They didn't lie, attending college does provide life lessons and relationships both personal and professional. Yet, it only really matters in the realm of "college".  The rush to graduate and enter the "Real World" is a set up for failure. There is a structure that exists in higher education that doesn't exist in the real world. From my experience, once I was released from that structure I felt completely lost because I had nothing to gauge myself against, nothing to tell me whether or not I was succeeding.  Therefore, I hit an all time low that took almost 2 years to get out of because I was looking for something to do that would provide that structure. 

The lesson is the realization and acceptance that everyone path is different, and you aren't behind or ahead of anybody else. It is, what it is. What is yours will always be yours and what belongs to someone else belongs to them. Create your our structure and define what success is for you by your own standards. 

And just live.

The Best Brunch is with your Girls | Ft. Earls Kitchen

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Brunch is literally my favorite meal and if I could have brunch every day and not just on the weekends that would be absolutely amazing.  I recently went to a new restaurant I've been dying to go to for a while with my friend Trish.  Per usual we met up at peak brunch hour and order our first round of mimosas and cocktails. 

Earls has a great brunch specials, $8 entrees during brunch hour and bottomless mimosas. I ordered the Chorizo + Mushrooms Hash with Coconut Mint Mojito and Trish orderd the Avocado  Super Brunch.  The food was delicious and the ambiance is luxurious and chill simultaneously.

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Brunch with my girls never falls short, our conversations start with catching up then shifts into what is truly on our minds and in our hearts. We talk about work, relationships, finances, and our goals. The entire time we are listening and lifting each other up, affirming one another and giving sound advice or a difference perspective. 

It is crucial to have an amazing support system of women in your circle.  They help you stay motivated and challenge you in ways that will push you further. Good girlfriends challenge you to challenge yourself. 

  

Catch and Release

In such a society driven by materialism, titles, numbers of like and follows, it can be debilitating to discover there are people that catch you only to release you.

There is a viral video of Lauryn Hill speaking at a college and she says something that unfortunately 17 years later still rings true. " Love is an incredible thing and we don't know it like we should cause if a person stops stimulating us we stop loving them".

With such access and the advancement of social media, it is extremely easy to fall victim and idolize false realities. It is too easy to scrolls through your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feed and succumbs to feeling inadequate in yourself and or what you posses.  You can falsy read into manicured posts and Snapchat stories and believe the relationship you hold with your partner is not "right" in comparison. 

It truly displays a strong sense that we all suffer from but refuse to admit. Simply, we all desire to be liked and admire. But to reach this admiration we pretend to be what we believe others will like, more than not leaving our truest self at bay. 

This same conscience or unconscious behavior travels with us into our relationships at work, friendships, partnership and any type of “ship”.  Many people blame social media, but I beg to differ, social media just so happened to show us who we really are.

Triggers | Why You Aren't Accomplishing Your Goals & Ways to Get Better

Triggers by Goldsmith

We are almost into the third month of the New Year. Have you fallen off track already? If so, did you already give up on yourself? Do you believe you gave yourself a fair chance? 

I randomly picked up a book at my sister -in-law house called Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith, literally on the first of January.  Which is ironic because the book is about factors that debilitate us from making positives behaviors we seek to change in ourselves. The perfect book to read at the beginning of the New Year right? 

I wanted to touch on some of the take-aways in hopes that you can apply them to the goals you have set for yourself this year. 

Your Environment Will Not Cater to You!

Unfortunately, we do not have control over our environment as much as we may like to. Not to say that the Universe is actually out to get us, but rather the environment doesn't know your goals. The environment doesn't pick you out of the bunch and decides to cater to your needs, and your needs only.  Instead you have control over how to respond to your environment. 

We are Superior Planner and Inferior Doers

We tend to plan for the future with so much detail and precision yet not follow throught, even when the instructional manual is handed to us.  For example, losing weight and getting fit. We alrealdy know what to do, eat healthier and exercise. Simple! But yet we fall short and skip out on going to the gym, and choose to buy not-so healthy lunches even when we packed our lunch for the day.

Identify Your Triggers

Self-discipline refer to achieving desirable behaviors and self-control refers to avoiding undesirable behaviors.  We are good at making the nessecarry steps to achieve a goal, but it is hard not to submit to temptations. Learning your triggers will help you build your self-control.

You Need Rules

Quoted from the book, "We do not get better without structure." A major key to building structure is repetition.  Structure is helpfull because it limits your options so that you are not thrown off track. This is how we can take control of the otherwise uncontrollable environment. 

Overall, the book is great and it goes into details of strategies and reflections activities that you can use to fianlly make the postive changes to become the person you want to be. 

Let me know in the comments if you read this book and your thoughts about it. 

She's Gotta Have It | Nola Vs. Nola

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

So I finally finished watching Netflix's Series of "She Gotta Have It", well actually I finished it a while ago and decided to watch it again. If you haven't seen it I would recommend you indulge but only after you watch the original She Gotta Have It (1986).  

I watch the film a long time ago probably before I was of age to grasp the message but I've seen many times and it is one of my favorite Spike Lee movies.  I love that majority of the movie is in black and white except for Jamie's birthday gift to Nola which was the only scene in color.  I honestly don't think the movies would have registered the same way in full color. 

Photo Courtesy Everett Collection

Photo Courtesy Everett Collection

I love the series thus far and I am thrilled it got picked up for a second season.  I enjoyed the musical scores and the placement of the album cover throughout. While it may be distracting to some, I was ecstatic to update my music library.  Also, I hollered in agreement with every anti-trump, anti-gentrification, anti-misogyny, feminist monologue, and dialogue. 

Given I had some exceptions when I heard that the movies would be turned into a series.   The only hard negative I have so far is that I wished they would have explored more into the realities of black polygamous relationships. Nola quotes "I am a sex-positive, polyamorous pansexual".  When I compare the original film and the series Nola (1986) didn't hide Jamie, Mars, and Grier from each other, they all knew they had a separate relationship with Nola and they stayed regardless of their destain for her choice. She was straightforward in her actions, firm and true to herself.

While Nola (2017) wasn't as forthcoming, yes she spoke boldly in her monologues, her actions did not portray the same message. She contradicted herself, a lot!  Each guy suspected Nola was dating other men, but she didn't confirm or denied instead she floated around and deflected with sugarcoated responses. Nola (2017) was avoiding commitment altogether. 

Nola (1986) and Nola (2017) are two different women in my opinion and it didn't sit well with me. But I get it, Nola 2017, is more relatable, maybe not in the sense of dating three men at the same time (for me at least) but a young black woman coming into her own and getting her shit together. Thanks to the series you can watch and learn from her trials and triumphs and find pieces of yourself in the modern version of Nola Darling as compared to Nola 1986 where there isn't much backstory so you are forced accept her as is. 

Photo Courtesy Netflix

Photo Courtesy Netflix

Just like any book turned movie scenes will be missing an or not fully captured. But I get that also, you gotta stretch it out and create a storyline for seasons to come.  But I question if the rape scene with Jamie and Nola(1986) was completely replaced by the sexual assault scene in the series.  Regardless it serves itself as a catalyst into the important topic of sexual assault/harassment. Maybe the writers decided the rape scene would be insensitive and gory and played it safe, maybe they are saving it. What do I know? I'm anticipating the turn of events that will take place next season. Will Nola ditch all three men, and date Opal? Will new suitors come into her life? Or will we get more of the same run around between Jamie, Grier, and Mars. 

Overall, the show is great in my opinion and I will probably watch it again for the third time. I would like to share two articles, one an interview with Spike Lee about the creation of the series and an academic article I randomly found.

Let me know your thought on the series or the original film in the comments. Also, what are you watching on Netflix currently?

 

Vulture - Spike Lee on She's Gotta Have It (Interview)

Happy Birthday Nola Essay Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Spike Lee's She Gotta Have It.

Foote, Thelma Wills. “Happy Birthday, Nola Darling! An Essay Commemorating the Twentieth Anniversary of Spike Lee's ‘She's Gotta Have It.’” Women's Studies Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 1/2, 2007, pp. 212–233. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27649662.

 

Why Wait Till January, When You Can Start Now.

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There are two months until the new year and I've already started working on my goals for 2018.  Last year I decided to start on my New Years resolutions early and it honestly was a major key and and helped me accomplish nearly all my goals. If you can get a head start on building new positive habits  before the new year begins,  you will be on the road to accomplish your goals sooner than you think. So with two months left I'm trying to end off with a bang!

"You will never change your life until you change something you so daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. " - John Maxwell

Discipline and consistency are critical to success, yet it is the most challenging and where my flaw tend to surface. When temptation presents itself, motivation is not enough. Motivation gets you excited, motivation gets you planning and motivation helps you start. Unfortunately motivation doesn't keep you on track. 

"Either you run the day, or the day runs you" - Jim Rohn

I recently found a journal called Self Journal created by a Best Self. It is a 3 month productivity daily organizer. It provides prompts that allow you to break down your goals into manageable tasks that you can visually track daily, which will ultimately lead you to reach your goal in a matter of three months. In addition, it includes daily morning and evening reflections that give you a minute with yourself to ponder on our successes and setbacks, so you can make changes to do better the next day.  

"Nothing will work unless you do" - Maya Angelou

I've been using this journal for a week, and so far so good. I really like the daily reflections an the visual tracker. I like the feeling I get when I check tasks off knowing that it helping me get closer to my goal.  To keep myself accountable I keep my journal on my dresser so I can't miss it.  If discipline is something you want to work on I suggest getting this book or anything similar to it and start early. Comment below and share some goals you have for the remainder of 2017, or for 2018. 

5 Interior Design Style Tips for your Bedroom.

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Earlier this year I moved into a new apartment and I was adamant about having the bedroom of my dreams. Therefore, I literally became obsessive watching non-stop youtube videos of bedroom makeovers, HGTV, and saving photos online to my Pinterest account.  I learned a tremendous amount of style tips which all worked in my favor, that a few of my friends have volunteered me to help them design their bedroom in the coming months. 

Decide On A Style

This is the first and most important tip.  Picking out your theme or rather style will help move you in the right direction and creating a cohesive look. There are many styles to choose from a great resource I stumbled upon is DwellCandy.com. There you can find a list of over 20 styles along with their characteristics that make them unique. The style of my room is transitional, which is a mixture traditional and contemporary.

Choose Your Color Scheme

Depending on your style there may or may not be popular color schemes you want to stick to. I used neutral colors as a base. My headboard and frame are gray, while my dresser and bookcase is pure white color. This allows me to switch my accent colors fairly easily. Currently, my accent color is gold and because my bed is the focal point I can easily add color by changing my bedding.  

Incorporate Patterns and Textures

Patterns and textures help catch your eyes attention and create depth into your space. Patterns can be incorporated in your bedding, curtains, and decorative items. Textures can be either visual or textile and and relates to actual feeling or perception of what a texture could feel like. I incorporated patterns with my golden geometric nightstands which also added a glam touch and a classic black and white vertical striped accent chair. 

Decorate Your Walls

Grab a couple of nails and a hammer and add art to your walls. You can hang framed pieces, canvases, or a collage of family photos. You can even paint an accent wall. Just do not leave your walls bare. 

Know Where to Splurge and Save

You don't have to spend a lot of money to decorate your bedroom, but be realistic with your budget and yourself. If you want quality be willing to spend that cash. The only item I splurged or rather invested was my headboard and frame because I knew I was going to keep it for a couple of years.  I purchased my dresser and mirror from LetGo App for $100 which is a steal. I found my nightstands at ROSS for less than $60 total. You can find a lot of great inexpensive home decor at ROSS and T.J Maxx. You don't need to purchase everything from a typical furniture store.