A Monday Kind of Love 4.4.16 Edition

Monday is here....As if this ever changes.  

Monday creeps up so quietly with this looming dread - at least it has for me lately.  I've been working on finding ways to inspire myself amidst the mundane work and hustle that's been my Monday over the last few months.  Even if that something is to get me out of my comfort zone.  And Lord have I been out of my comfort zone.   The reality is, I'm always searching for the good, for the beautiful.  I'm consistently looking for people who are living their lives and making a difference in a way I hope and believe is possible - it's just they've manifested it or are in process of manifesting it.  We all need to keep a reserve of the people and things that inspire us.  This series is a documentation of mine.  

Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems (Untitled, Man and Mirror, Gelatin Silver Print 28.5" x 28.5"

Carrie Mae Weems (Untitled, Man and Mirror, Gelatin Silver Print 28.5" x 28.5"

I've been a fangirl of Weems for some time now.  It's the way she photographs herself and stares into the camera.  A kind of daring and courage.   This is from the Kitchen series.  She's unapologetic and I'm here for it.  Most recently, she's won the MacArthur "Genius" Award in 2013 and won the National Artist Award this year.  She has a body of work spanning over 40 years.  Here are a couple of great interviews with BOMB Magazine and Corbis. 

Handmade Habitat Candles

Handmade Habitat.jpg

I love the "Soothe the Soul" Candle.  I bought it here while perusing another beloved shop and have been a fan ever since.  They currently have a pop up shop here in the city!  I still need to visit and cannot wait!!  

The Art of Organized Noize - A Documentary

 

I sat back trying to relax last weekend and watched this and it brought back some amazing memories of ATL.  All I can say is it's a good history lesson in southern hip hop with life lessons sprinkled in.  You've gotta see how they were hustling out these beats and lyrics in the Dungeon.  The interview with Fab 5 Freddy particularly warms my heart.   You can watch the trailer HERE. Good way to get your Netflix and chill on. 

Mama's Gun

 

I've been listening to music in a different way lately.  I've been looking for answers and healing, for inspiration and for a road map.  Music always loves me back in this way. Listening to it to bring me across the bridge. When this album came out in 2000 I'm not sure what the hell I was doing that I didn't listen to these other songs. Maybe I wasn't there spiritually yet to pay attention when Mama's Gun came out or my ears weren't ready.  I've been listening to this album interspersed with a few other albums on a single playlist over and over  again and it's been gathering me.  

Personal faves from this album: Orange Moon and Green Eyes 

Loza Maleombho

This Ivorian beauty's designs found their way to Bey's Formation video.  I mean - can we be the same after the video?  Of course not.  I love how candid she is and visuals of her shop, her shopping for fabrics.  Pay attention to the amount she began her business with - it's a good lesson that sometimes we need less than we think we do.  Where there's a will there's a way.  

 

 

Well, these are a few of the things I've seen that've gotten me through over the last few months.  I have so many little things that all add up to get to the next day or the next moment.  I can't stress enough that we need those things to carry us through.  I used to hold so much of the good in - but there's no need.  I still may keep a few secrets because we all need and have them right?  But for the most part, we also need to know we're not alone in needing inspiration and beauty.  Even if it's just good, entirely too expensive gelato or a wonderful bargain bottle of wine.... tacos.  Notice how food is always a part of this?  I'll have to post a few eats next week.  

Please also head to the home page and sign up for the email list.  Sooner rather than later, there are some good things happening and I'd like for you guys to be be the first to know.  

May your week be filled with the renewal of Spirit spring brings, with love, with courage and with the stamina to accomplish your most important tasks.  

With Love, 

Rae

 

A Monday Kind of Love 3.28.16

Happy Monday to All of You!

I'm not sure about you but I literally had to pray last night and then pray my way into work.  Maybe it's the Monday blues, the post-holiday drag, all of the things that I've had going on lately or all of the above combined.  

Here's the thing, for the last few months I've been meaning to send a post out featuring things I've found and loved over the weeks.  Things that have and are keeping me sustained.  I might as well put this out into the Universe.

Good juju, chi, love, blessings on a Monday.  I would send it out on Friday, but most of us are already thankful to have made it to the end of the week.  Monday seems to be the day we all need a moment and something good to get us through.  

For this week's Monday Kind of Love, I have to choose a few things that have been healing to me over the course of the last months.  FYI - these posts aren't sponsored.  These are just things I've come to love and wanted to return the love, spread the love.

Manduka Yoga Mat Pro

So in an effort to get me back on the mat, my father in all of his infinite wisdom gave me a Manduka Yoga Mat Pro.  I received it last year as an early Christmas present.  It couldn't have arrived at a better time.  It's thick, it's amazing and it makes you want to get to the mat and work your issues out.   Not to mention, I haven't been public about it, but I've been battling a pinched nerve and Sweet Merciful Lord - being able to stretch on this mat has been everything.  I'm looking forward to it warming up and being able to get outside with it.  If you're wondering if it's worth the cost - the answer is yes.

Anything Nayyirah Waheed

Salt and Nejma rest by my beside and I've read them many an evening.  The electronic versions rest on my iPad.  They will heal you.  Buy them.  Love them.  Read them.  Give them as gift.  

We Are King

This album - from the time I heard it on the road about a month and a half ago has been rotating regularly in the car and at home.  It's the sort of album you listen to, dreaming about love to come.  It's a wonderful find.  I was so upset I missed them when they were here in DC, but they're on my radar. 

Boomscat

Both of these albums are on a playlist.  I can't say enough about these sisters as well.  They're amazingly talented.  

I'll leave you with these for this week - instant love.  I have people standing over my desk and asking for shit....

Probably doesn't help that I decided this post needed to happen at 12:38.  At any rate, look for these new posts between Sunday and Monday.  

Sometimes we need things to get us through the week.  Things that are healing, beautiful and timely.  There's enough terror and mayhem in the world.  So much so that all the good should be featured, brought to the front. So, this is my little contribution to helping us all get our shit together. 

May your week be blessed.... may you finish strong and start strong. 

With love, 

Rae

A Note on Perspective and Comfort Zones

Happy Labor Day Weekend Everyone! 

EGW.jpg

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about lessons from the broken camera lens and it's last shoot. Well, this is one of my favorite outtakes and peeks from the day.   It's a photo of the reflection featuring clothes by Nicole and Madeline with @socamom modeling. Artwork is by the very talented Aniekan Udofia.

First, I have to thank the designer Cherry of  Nicole and Madeline and my good friend Eva aka @Socamom  for pushing me to work on this project.  Cherry asked if I would take the photos for her new line.  I was a bit hesitant because I wasn't quite sure I'd be able to take the photos and they'd be up to my OWN standards.  

You see, I'm picky as fuck.  To put it mildly.  If I can't get something to look a certain way, it's not going to be posted. I'm not displaying it.  I hate half-assed efforts.  However, these two sisters didn't really give me a choice in the matter.  When Eva and Cherry asked it was more along the lines of you're taking the pictures so you might as well deal.  There wasn't much else I could say about it. 

Good thing they believed in my creative vision....

Let me note, the clothes Cherry makes blew me away.  I was awe struck once Eva was dressed and we were out walking. Talk about show stoppers! I have my gorgeous friend, gorgeous clothes and a good location?  I really don't think I could've taken a bad photo.  At least not in my opinion.  

Here's what it taught me, here's what this year has been teaching me....

It's time to stretch and reach out of my comfort zone.  More proof that the presence of being nervous and not being sure all the time isn't necessarily and indicator of how good you can be at something.  

Sometimes all it takes is for people to believe in you.  Other times, if you're like me, you need friends who will FORCE you to be good.  That day they taught me so much about what's possible.  It gave me a much needed glimpse of things I didn't know I could knock out of the box.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity and to have spent the day with them.  

Here's to reaching and stretching, getting things done, getting good shit done, making good work, having the right people surrounding you and following your dreams.  

Have the best of weekends!

Love, 

Rae