Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Woman and Her Hair

Hola, everyone!

It's been quite awhile since I've updated my blog. I've been mad busy with some serious life adjustments...but it's all good! I did find time to make this super short, short digital film titled "A Woman and Her Hair." I decided to share it here...I hope you enjoy! Ms. Jas

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Are You Living Your Life Like it's Golden?

Tonight I was in some kind of mood and I started listening to some music. I love music I can sing along to…so it should come as no surprise that Jill Scott is one of my favorite artists. I remember when I discovered her. I was maybe 15 or 16 and while all of my friends were listening to the typical Hip-Hop and R & B songs, I thought I had uncovered a gem in Scott. I guess perhaps that was a few seconds before neo-soul had become popular and was awarded the label “neo-soul.” Since my treasured discovery, I have bought and sung along to every CD she has released.

As the songs rolled from one to another, the feel good tune “Golden” came on.  If I had to choose a song to describe this stage in my life at this very second, this would most certainly be the one. I forgot how wonderful this song was and ended up putting it on repeat. Throughout the song she sings about her "freedom.”

I'm taking my freedom,
Pulling it off the shelf,
Putting it on my chain,
Wearing it around my neck,
I'm taking my freedom,
Putting it in my car,
Wherever I choose to go,
It will take me far

Shamefully I have sung this song a million times and glossed over how powerful those words are. Essentially what she is doing is taking ownership of her freedom. How many of us know what it’s like to be free? How many people own their freedom? Living in the “land of the free,” that word is tossed around frequently without much thought. We are free to own land; free to practice whatever religion we would like to and we have freedom of speech. The list of the many freedoms we have goes on and on.

But when I speak of freedom, I’m talking about the freedom of your spirit, your mind…an unbinding freedom. Hell, some people won’t even pick out what clothes to wear without considering someone else’s opinion.

Let’s take a closer look at her words. In the first verse, she says she is “taking” her freedom. She is pulling it “off of the shelf.” She is “wearing it around her neck.”  So many of us have given our freedom away or neglected our freedom. You can give your freedom away to that 80 hour per week job or that person you’re won’t stand up to. Or you can simply disregard the fact you have the freedom to be you and attempt to be someone else.

In the same verse, she goes on to say that wherever she chooses to go; it will take her far. She is not being held hostage by the expectations of others or society. She is being true to herself. And speaking for myself as I always do, I noticed that when I’m true to myself, I manage to go further than I ever expected to go and places I never expected to go.

So to you my friends, I ask the questions: How many of you are living your life like it’s golden? Like it's important? Like it's valuable? How many of you are taking your freedom?

Ms. Jas

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wanna Get Away

I’ve been in need of a change of scenery for such a long time. I truly cannot remember my last vacation. And I’m not talking about those trips that I take to visit my family that usually take place  during the holidays. Although I love my family, that doesn't count as a vacation…it just doesn’t .What I am talking about is taking a trip somewhere…anywhere for no apparent reason other than to just get away and experience something new.

I finally got my chance to do just that. I have never considered visiting Arizona…it really never crossed my mind. Arizona typically (at least in my social circles) doesn’t come up as place to visit. However, one of my longtime friends recently began working in Phoenix and I thought to myself “Self, you’ve never been to Arizona, now would be a great time to take that much needed vacation.” So I purchased one of those Southwest “Wanna Get Away” tickets and a hopped a plane headed to Phoenix.

Since I’ve been stuck inside a cubicle for the last few years, I’ve had this crazy desire to be outdoors, when the weather permits it, of course. There is nothing like feeling the sun on your skin after you’ve been indoors all day. But, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that it gets pretty hot in Phoenix and you’re right, this is not the sun I was talking about. The temperature reached 105 degrees daily, even the breezes I look forward to were hot and cutting. In order to beat the heat, most of my outdoor activities were reserved for the early mornings or late evenings. However, despite this my friend and I ended up at the Desert Botanical Garden in the middle of the damn day and it was horribly hot! We still walked around and were able to take in some sights of the desert, but eventually we had to do like the animals were doing and retreat to the shade.

One of the highlights of my trip ended up being saved for the end…the Grand Canyon. I never imagined visiting the Grand Canyon. I just happened to be surfing the internet for things to do in Arizona and I had another thought, “Isn’t the Grand Canyon in Arizona?” It is and instantly I became determined to go. So this past weekend, my friend and I made the 4 hour drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon National Park.

First off let me say, even the drive on the way to park was amazing. Being from Florida and living in Texas, it’s not every day that I get to see mountains. I have to say if I had to choose between the beach (and I do love the beach) and mountains…I would choose to go see mountains every time. There is just something so majestic about them.

Anywho, we finally arrive, park our car, and begin our walk to the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t believe how anxious and excited I was, especially since visiting the Grand Canyon was a recent idea. I don’t know what I was expecting, but when we finally arrived to the canyon I was struck with a speechless smile. It was simply amazing. It felt like I was witnessing one of the many instances of God’s love and existence…even the air was clean and crisp. I honestly could have stayed there forever or at least all day.

While I was standing there taking in the view, I began to reflect on my life and where I came from. I grew up in a working class neighborhood. My family worked extremely hard for what we had which is why I have such a strong work ethic. Our yearly vacations consisted of places like Universal Studios and Bush Gardens. This was truly a treat because some of my friends didn’t have vacations and never visited a theme park much less the Grand Canyon National Park. It was in that moment that I felt truly blessed and my heart was open.

So I had to share my experience because so often people don’t get a chance to experience moments like this. I also decided that I need to take more moments like these for myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutia of everyday life because most people are just trying to survive. Needless to say I can’t wait to go back and when I do I plan on hiking into the Grand Canyon.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend Getaway Inspired

Weekend Getaway

Working a "9-5" for a lot of people can mean complete boredom, stress and so on and so forth. With the summer coming up you might find yourself a little envious of the kiddies who are able to get the entire season off. So I always recommend a weekend rendevous out of town. This outfit is inspired for those who punch the clock everyday and leave work on Friday ready to hit the highway for some weekend fun. This dress is professional enough for work, yet comfortable and chic enough to transition you into a weekend of work-less bliss. Take care!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Warrior: Pasadena Strawberry Festival

It’s rare that I have a free weekend, but when I do I hate to spend it in the house. Whenever I have a chance I like to explore my backyard.

This weekend was the Pasadena Strawberry Festival in Pasadena, TX. The only Strawberry Festival I’ve heard of was the much talked about festival in the film, “Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” So I guess I was expecting something similar. Although, the festival was nothing like the film, I was still pleasantly surprised.

Experimenting with Instagram...ha!
I entered the convention center and was greeted by the world’s largest strawberry shortcake.
World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake
So you know I had to have my share, right?

It tasted as good as it looked!
I spent the rest of the festival taking in the sights of the carnival rides, the live music, and trying to eat myself into a food coma.

For my weekend adventure, I rocked a “Nola Darling” inspired ensemble. I purchased this skirt from Old Navy because it reminded me of the skirt Nola Darling wore in the first few scenes of Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.”

Me rocking my "Nola Darling" skirt with my Strawberry Shortcake in hand!
All in all, I have to say today was a good day and I didn't even have to use my AK...

Ms. Jas

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Inspired by Scandal Television Show

Inspired by Scandal Television Show
The highly anticipated television show, Scandal, featuring Kerry Washington debuted a couple of weeks ago. I think Washington is an excellent actress, so needless to say I was looking forward to the show's debut. I don't know what everyone else thinks, but so far I'm enjoying the show and I can't wait to see how it develops. Naturally, I couldn't help but to notice Olivia Pope's, Washington's character, wardrobe. She makes me want to step my work game up. Elements of her style that I have observed are: she is always wearing very light-colored or white pieces which can be indicative of her "save the day" reputation. Also, the show takes place in high-powered Washington, DC, so she is very tailored, everything fits perfectly and nothing is ever out of place no matter how uncomfortable the situation gets. This is an ensemble that I have put together inspired by Washington's character, Olivia Pope.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Reminisce...

So today is Easter. While I was sitting in church observing all of the families and kids running around in their brightly colored Easter dresses, suits, pressed and curled hair and fresh haircuts, I begin to think about the time I was once that little kid. As the days of our lives speed by, it’s easy to feel like we were born an adult. But on days like today, I miss those simpler times when the biggest challenge I had to look forward to was finding the golden egg during the Easter Egg hunt.

Other things I miss from my childhood are:
Family cookouts: Whether they were in someone’s backyard, the beach, or my personal favorite, Hannah Park, family cookouts were and are the best. My fondest memory would be my dad and uncles on the grill while my mom, grandma, and aunts were in the kitchen making the sides. My cousins and I would run around outside and with the boom box blasting someone would eventually start a dance contest. The grown-ups would try to get all of the kids to do the latest dance moves, and then my Uncle Bruce would jump into the Georgia Slop while Uncle Daryl would hit a split. Those were good times.
Short sets: Okay so if you grew up in the South, you know about short sets, you probably owned a couple. They were basically automatic outfits that you could get from the mall or more than likely the flea market. Maybe I don’t miss those as much lol.
Honey drippers: These were the bomb during hot, summer days. You can make them yourself or go to the nearest candy lady. They were simply frozen juice in a cup and on a good day they would have fruit at the bottom.
The candy lady: Speaking of honey drippers, as I mentioned your neighborhood candy lady probably had an assortment of these. Back during simpler times, a candy lady was a woman who sold candy, cookies, chips, sodas and pickles to the all of the kids in the neighborhood. Our candy lady was Ms. Jones. She was so old she was the candy lady even when my mom was a little girl. After a day of playing, my cousins and I would walk to her house and purchase all of the above. It’s amazing how much stuff we could get with just a couple of dollars back then.
Wood Stock Park: This park was around the corner from my grandma’s house. It was like any old park except maybe it was in the hood, but it didn’t matter because we would have a good time. Men would play basketball while women watched and the kids would see who could touch the sky on the swings. Some of my best memories were when my grandma would take us to the park and buy us ice cream, the kind that came in a plastic cup and had a wooden stick for a spoon or my Uncle Robert would fix all of the kids lunch, then we would all pile on the back of his pick-up truck and he would drive us to the park.
Free summer lunches: Since school was out during the summer, neighborhood associations would gather at parks and pass out free lunches to all of the kids. The lunches were so good. They were just sandwiches, fruit and chocolate milk.

Kick ball, freeze tag, hide and seek, etc.: Back before Wii and PSP, we would stay outside ALL DAY. It didn’t matter if we had the latest toys and gadgets because we would manage to make up a game that was just as fun. We would play kick ball in the middle of the street and freeze tag, since I was the youngest I was always “It.”
Man, those were the days. I can go on and on. Thanks for coming along with me on my time machine to the past. What are things you miss from your childhood?
Ms. Jas