sweet southern georgia jams for the soul.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's a personal thing of mine to make soundtracks to every season, location or vacation I'm on, to really feel the vibe of my surroundings and to dive into the feel of it all. Im currently and finally home sweet home in the deep deep south of Atlanta, Georgia. I love coming home, especially during the summertime. There is nothing in comparison to the South. The humidity, (which I happen to love) is a natural moisturizer, the magnolia trees are large and in charge, the oak trees bring a mysterious feel to the historic streets as they hang over you with their sweet southern comfort. The plantations make their grand statements of their beauty and memories of the past. The lightening bugs flicker in the night lighting up a path in the deep forrest of lush kudzu canopies. The southern fried chicken, grits & cajun creole fills the bellies of us southerners allowing us to sleep deep throughout the night. The home of classic coca cola, the perfect refreshment for the summertime. The Chattahoochee River floats silently through the rolling hills of Georgia while Atlanta, the Gate City of the House, the big peach, is alive at night with the southern drawl of the hustle and bustle. It's all just too good to be true.

The one highlight of the south, especially Atlanta, Georgia that I can't forget are the icons that made atlanta twist and shout ; the legendary Ray Charles, James Brown, Otis Redding and Gladys Knight and The Pips. The sounds of that good ol' southern soul music brings me back on that midnight train to Georgia. Every time I am home I surround myself with these artists and their music and I feel at peace. When I am away from home, I listen to my soulful friends on a regular basis and feel close to home. I have always wished that I lived back in the 50's and 60's in Georgia and twisted and shouted in the streets of Atlanta. Instead, I just dream, but still get that good ol' fashion feel with the kings & and queens of the south + some other mo-town friends, oh & johnny & june. So with further adieu, I give you my recipe of good ol' southern jams that make me feel at home : southern soul volume I.

1. Respect : Otis Redding
2. If You Were Mine : Ray Charles
3. Tuxedo Junction : The Andrews Sisters
4. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone : Aretha Franklin
5. Heat Wave : Martha Reeve & The Vandellas
6. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher : Jackie Wilson
7. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag : James Brown
8. What'd I Say : Etta James
9. Little Bitty Pretty One : Frankie Lymon
10. Right Back Where We Started From : Maxine Nightingale
11. But It's Allright : J.J. Jackson
12. Pennies From Heaven : Billie Holiday
13. Jackson : Johnny Cash & June Carter
14. Knock On Wood : Eddie Floyd
15. Mess Around : Ray Charles 
16. Midnight Train To Georgia : Gladys Knight & The Pips
17. Georgia On My Mind : Ray Charles
18. A Change Is Gonna Come : Otis Redding

have a blast ya'll.

definitely not motown or that of mr. james and mr. charles
but if you're really going to listen to something from georgia. get a load of this. we seriously do rock it out to this one.
+ The Devil Went Down To Georgia : Charlie Daniels Band + 

godfred, my lifelong pen-pal.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

so many updates, i know, what an awful overload. i just wanted to give everyone a quick update of my pen-pal 15 year old godfred who lives in ghana, africa. godfred and I met when he was 12 and i was 20 in july and august of 2009. i traveled to ghana, africa and came back with a life long friend who i feel is like my little brother. godfred and i became pals and my friends and i would take him and his friends to the movies, grab ice cream, hang out in the pink hostel, visit his mother and his baby brother junior from time to time. you know, do hood rat stuff cause we could. we took godfred to church numerous times and i gave him a copy of The Book Of Mormon to have and keep for himself. I told him to read it when he felt alone and lost.

since 2009, godfred has frequently called me for three years straight. and yes, i pick up. i pick up even though i know every conversation will be the exact same as the last. but i can't help it. it pains me to ignore a call from godfred. he's just so kind and loving and i really feel like he's a part of me. ive been left with this impression that i have some sort of responsibility over godfred. to make sure he is happy, safe and healthy. receiving these calls from godfred is more so comforting for me to know that he is still safe and well. he's just the sweetest boy and i so wish i could bring him to america so we could play all the live long day without a care in the world. I really miss the adventures we had together that summer. it was really like another life i was living.

interestingly enough, a friend of mine i met through selling a painting to her, commented on one of my instagrams months ago. i had posted a photo of myself and a friend of mine, cyrus, in ghana mentioning how i was missing my time being there. she had commented with excitement explaining that her in-laws were mission presidents in the accra, ghana mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. She exclaimed how if I needed any favors or need to contact anyone out there, to shoot her an email and she'd forward it along to her in-laws. I was shocked to say the least. There was no way that the world was this small. No way. If I had never sold a painting to her, I'd never have met her, and I'd never learn of her in-laws residing in Ghana. Long story short, I sent her an email which was forwarded to her in-laws. I sent photos of Godfred and I, the places we would hang out which luckily I remember the EXACT STREET NAMES, and so on so forth. Her mother-in-law thankfully knew of the exact streets and locations that I was referring to and with the help of my photos, her and I were on a search for Godfred so that he could be checked up on and know that he now has friends out there to take care of him and guide him through hardships and trials in his life.

Thank the heavens above for facebook. Godfreds got one. I was looking through mine and Godfreds history of messaging when I noticed he had given me his number. This was pure luck because the phone number Godfred calls me on is not his personal number. So I could never call Godfred, but he'd only be able to get ahold of me. So I forwarded the number to my new American friends in Ghana and they were able to find and contact him! The next thing I know, Godfred is calling me explaining to me that he found my friends and that they are so nice and he is ever so happy! He always calls me to inform me that he is meeting with them on such and such days and how excited he is. I now feel so comforted to know that my sweet little Godfred has angels watching over him while I physically cannot. I can't wait for that moment when I can go fly over seas and visit him once again. What a reunion that will be. I know that day will come eventually. Godfred and I talk about it all of the time. I just miss him. He brought so much happiness to me. When I look at this picture I see the pure light of Christ through his eyes. He is such a special boy and I pray that he is safe every day and is in good hands.

I am so blessed and thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord and I know that people are placed in my life in the most random ways ever for a purpose. I have such a testimony of that. Godfred truly is the little brother I never had, even if we are pen-pals we'll always stay friends and grow old together even if it must be over the phone. I truly love my little Godfred Odei.

my favorite things.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

i dont know about you, but there is something about beautiful, colorful, organized photos of things that i love and find beautiful when they are all layout in a neat format for me to view and just smile while looking at. so strange, i know. people dog on pinterest all of the time. you can dog on me all you want to, but im sorry. i am such a pinterest junkie. i guess you could say i've been pinning for ages now. i kick myself all of the time wondering how someone else could have beat me to the idea of creating a pinterest. when i graduated from high school and received my first laptop (mac), i not only had photo albums of my own photos on iphoto, but i also had photo albums titled "wedding" "home" "ideas." i had already begun my pinning. i didn't want to waste all of my parents colored ink by printing out pages and pages of photos found on google just to hang on my wall. and heaven forbid, i dont dare rip out the fashion editorials of my harpers bazaar magazines ive been collecting since freshmen year of high school. that would be the death of me. i sadly covet those mags, only because i get such a high off fashion and find the actual magazine as a whole from cover to cover a beautiful book and i hope that one day my daughters will wanna run through the pages and ooo and ahh just like i once did and still continue to do. i also know, that one sweet day, those are going to be history in fashion and will title themselves vintage.

either way, i had no other option but to create these albums within my iphoto. but now, with pinterest i can visually see everything that interests me. everything that i find beautiful. i now can visually see in an organized matter all the places i plan to travel to in my life time. i now have a visual way of seeing inside homes and floor plans of how i view my future dream home and would love to design the inside as well as the exterior of the house. you know im a teeny bopper and i sadly love beautiful photography of people i find beautiful, fascinating and inspiring when it comes to talent, fashion and beauty. im a sucker for fashion, and though i know and realize i have a style of my own, that doesn't stop me from viewing others ideas and styles and collaborating theirs with my own. recipes, how could i forget the recipes? living single right now is difficult when you wanna cook but im creating my visual cookbook on here for the day that i can finally whip something tasty out not just for myself but for my family! i could go on and on.

i just love to be surrounded my beautiful things. im an artist, and if you're an artist out there i think we can relate. we have the same eye sight in the sense that we get giddy over the littlest things. color, i die over color and prints. photography, fine arts, fashion, interior design, graphic design, everything i visually see and is pleasing to my eye, even my organized pinterest covers above fill me with joy and excitement. artists are a peculiar group of individuals. which is a good thing. im very well aware that im peculiar, but i dont mind one bit. i just simply love lovely things. i really can't explain myself. but man oh man, isn't that display up there just so pretty? what in the world is my deal? eh?

mexicana rivera on ze lido.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wowie-zowie. Lets just say, the cruise to the Mexican Rivera was quite the girls trip that I love looking back on now and just smiling over all of the memories and fun times we had both on land and sea. It was quite the adventure. For those of you who plan on trying a cruise some time in your life I suggest you don't quite jump on board of the Carnival. You pretty much pay for what you get, and for us college girls, we were pretty cheap. The ship was basically Vegas but on a boat. Now, secretly, I kind of liked the ship. It was pretty tacky, i'll admit to that. And compared to the Disney cruise I went on in high school, this boat was far from class, but for kicks and giggles I was kind of digging it.

Don't be dismayed, the food was ehh, questionable. We dodged the formal dinner nights and instead gorged on frozen soft served ice cream and paninis. We'd either take it back into our rooms and dish out them face cards for a meal & egyptian ratscrew, or we'd take our nightly meal out to the pool and stretch out on the pool chairs in our pjs & robes.

Big bonus' on the cruise. 1.) The people. My oh my were they such a grand surprise. We'd attend our nightly comedy club in the Moroccan Room just to witness the crazy surprises of those who were a bit tipsy throughout the night. What an honor it was to witness their exposure of all types of behaviors. Us four girls would get quite the kick out of it. 2.) We did in fact get a little greedy and had our fair share of bingo games. Guess what? All four of us won $600.00 total walking away with $150.00 each. Can you believe that? I've never won anything in my life like that before, so you can only imagine the excitement when we physcotically screamed BINGO. We were dying! We could not stop flashing our one hundreds the whole week.

I also finally lived a minor dream. I performed Tina Turners' "Proud Mary" on the ship in front of a live audience with a LIVE BAND. Unfortunately I couldn't hear a noise coming out of my mouth because the band was so dang loud, but I did bust out the "Proud Mary" dance and was awarded a badge saying "artist." Whoopie.

As for Mexico, Lovers Beach in Cabo was a dream. It was secluded on the tip of the coast located near Cabos famous arch. The water was perfect temperature and the sun was beating hot hot hot. We took a little sea ride on a banana and grabbed some down right homestyle mexican food at "The Office" right on the beach. Our toes were digging in the sand as we ate our tacos and sipped on ice cold coca cola from the glass. Puerto Vallarta was so-so, we didn't bring the proper shoes for an excursion up in the rain forest so we walked all over town and browsed through just about each and every flea market and shop there was. I bought zekey zoo a nice silver ring with turquoise. He drools over that kind of thing, so I was really excited to treat him to something nice. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit dreary while we were in Puerto Vallarta and so we decided to board the ship early and realized, Hurricane Bud was heading our way. Our ship was docked till about 9 pm and it was quite the tropical storm. That whole night, I was rocked fast fast asleep. Luckily, we made it out of there before we got caught up in the eye of the storm.

Overall the trip was a success and I  long to go back. Not so much for the food, and not so much for Mexico ( this trip confirmed that Im just meant to live for the Caribbean) not so much for the Lido Buffets, or the Splendor ship, but for the company of my sistas and the fun times we had. It really was a great escape and quite the adventure I was searching for. Can't wait to continue these sort of trips with my girls year after year after year.

Hope you all are able to spot yourself a vacation location and bask in the sun and take it easy this summer!

that face.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The many faces and outfits of grace kelly from my favorite movie of hers, "To Catch A Thief." I just can't get over Grace. Im a teeny bopper, I know and am so well aware of this. But really, how could you ever forget or look past someone who was so timeless and classic. I just adore her. This collage is for my own sake. What can I say, I just try to be like Grace Kelly. 

unpacking & unloading.

Friday, June 8, 2012

image via instagram

it's been about a week and a half since california and the mexican riviera. being back on dry land have its benefits but boy do i miss the open sea. pictures to come of my mexicana adventures in the riviera of cabo and puerto vallarta. i must say, traveling really sets me on a high. i currently can't stop day dreaming and googling photos, hotels and the history of havana, cuba. why cuba? i dont know... it's just been on my mind. 

luckily, though it ain't cuba, i leave in a week to bask in the love of my own home, atlanta, georgia. following the deep south ill be a whale on the beach in my childhood vacation spot, hilton head island, south carolina with a day trip to my mysterious city, savannah, georgia. i haven't been to savannah in a little over a year and i really have been craving it for some time now. i was fortunate enough to visit the charm of the south, charleston, south carolina three times last year! therefore, i need a fixin' from "the hostess city of the south" my sweet savannah. sure can't wait for the adventures ahead!

this might tickle your fancy

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