Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Matinee "Middle of Nowhere "

I love movies. I have fond memories of going to the Saturday Matinee with my sister. Sometimes we would usually get "two for one"  and sneak in a neighboring theater after our movie was over LOL. It was a great way to spend hours and hours having fun on the weekends.  Now we can watch movies so many different ways through so many channels even on cell phones !  I ran across this link for an upcoming film that looks pretty good. I recognize a couple of the actors from other movies, but it looks there is some pretty good up and coming unknown talent as well.

I love independent films !

Watch the trailer below.....

Does this look like something you would watch ? I think the female lead is absolutely gorgeous !

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wise Words for your Wednesday

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from."  Seth Godin

Now that's a concept. I may not necessarily have my "dream job" and I know for sure that I am not "following my passion" as it pertains to my work, so this quote hits me square in the nose.  I do however, make it a point to enjoy my life as much as possible, find fun as often as possible, never miss an opportunity to indulge in simple pleasures and keep a positive mindset. Everyday is a possibility for the unexpected to happen. There really is no excuse for not attempting to live your best life and follow your dreams. In my perfect world, I would be a songwriter/lyricist/producer and be paid well to do it. LOL ! I know I have the talent to write poetry and lyrics. I love music. So what is the problem ? Simply put, my own issues. Practicality. How I was raised. Being a first generation college graduate. Being the oldest grandchild. Pressure to set an example. Stability. You know the drill. But at this point I am old enough to make my own choices, follow my own dreams,  take a leap of faith or just try. Hmmmmmm..........somethings to ponder on this wonderful Wednesday.

Are you living your best life ?  What is your dream job ? What could you do everyday for free ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Birthday Weekend The Finale

On Saturday my actual birthday, I had to get up & head BACK to the Salon to get my hair tightened up so I could hang out with my guy later that evening. My stylist was cracking up when I called her because one of my girlfriends who also goes to her too had already sent her a text trying to squeeze in too. She had been "patio parlaying" with all of us the night before and the Houston humidity did her in as well.  Luckily she did not charge me anything to basically re-curl my hair.

After leaving the Salon, I went and used a couple of gift cards I had received to pick up a few things & then spent the day hanging with Mr. Mixologist. He surprised me with the restaurant choice and he always makes the best decisions. We went to Backstreet Cafe  and I absolutely loved it !

Can I get a window seat ?

The restaurant looks like a converted two story house with lovely patios in the front and the back. We got to sit in the window seat with views of the outside and inside. I was not trying to be back in that humidity ! LOL

I started off with this refreshing libation........

Fresh Raspberry Mojito
It was really good. For an appetizer we decided to share the Lump Crab-cakes. Mr. Mixologist actually grew up in  Baltimore,  so he knows his way around a crab cake. He was thoroughly impressed and I was too. 

Delicious ! 

I decided to stick with seafood for my entree and selected the Shrimp and Stone Ground Cheese Grits.

Heaven in a bowl ! 

One word. Phenomenal.
For his choice, Mr. Mixologist decided to go with comfort food and ordered the Meatloaf Tower......

Nice presentation 

It was a simple dish but I tasted it and it was was very good. It had fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms in the gravy with mashed potatoes on top. We loved all the food, the drinks, the service, the ambiance. I looked at the Brunch Menu which was pretty extensive & determined that we will most definitely be back.

After dinner we headed over to one of my love's favorite places, Downing Street which is Bar/Cigar Lounge. He mainly likes it for the ambiance and the location because it sits in the heart of the city close to other places that we like to hang out. For any cigar aficionados reading this, if you ever come to Houston, just know that their prices are not that great and the selection is even worse. If you really want a great selection and price, you must go to Serious Cigars. My love never leaves the house without his traveling humidor so he was all good. We ordered some drinks and he smoked from his own private stash LOL.

After that we headed over to a new spot that one of his friends recommended for some live music, The Fedora Lounge. We stayed for a couple of hours. There were not a lot of people there, but they did have a live saxophonist, the place is very nice and the drinks were on point. Hopefully they can build a nice following.

Sunday was spent sleeping in during yet another rain storm & getting the best sleep ever !  Later after it cleared up, I did some grocery shopping, a few chores around the house and just lazed around recovering from an exciting weekend.  I had a wonderful Birthday weekend and am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. So thankful for another year of life.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Birthday Weekend Part 2 * Photo Heavy Post *

Friday night was spent having great drinks and conversation with friends. We decided to pick one of our tried and true favorite places and also a new spot to hang out. First up Mr. Mixologist picked out the new place called Absinthe Brasserie in Midtown. This was a nice, cozy lounge tucked out of the way. They had nice cocktails and a pretty creative drink menu and some good  small plates. We definitely will be back. Be advised this place has absolutely no signage outside. It seems they want to be "off the radar" which is kind of cool. Look for the big brown double doors under the black awning.

We polished off these plates !
The actual "Absinthe" drink is pretty potent according to the menfolk who attended. I personally was trying to pace myself for the evening so I did not partake in it but they did. Supposedly it has some hallucinogenic qualities LOL. I was trying to maintain my composure.

Me & my girls 

Mr Mixologist clowning with friends 

Me & my Sorors 

Great friends 

Of course they found a place to smoke Cigars ! LOL 

Next up, we headed over to one of our tried and true spots. Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar, also in Midtown. We love this place ! They have recently expanded what was already a really nice patio. There is plenty of seating & even though it gets crowded we were able to get seats together for the 15 or so people we had with us.

Me with friends Tarsha, TiffanyinHouston, CaligirlED
I appreciate my blog/twitter peeps who have become my good friends IRL for coming out to help me celebrate my Birthday! Thank you so much ladies :) 

Cutest couple ! 

Feeling really good ! LOL

Patio Parlayin ! 
I was having a great time at Boheme until the Houston humidity ruined my do' LOL ! I sobered up real quick after looking more closely at the pictures on my camera.  I won't post the pictures of me looking crazy about the head LMAO.  Needless to say, I had to get up & call my stylist with an SOS so that I could be cute for the Birthday dinner that Mr. Mixologist had planned for us on Saturday. 

It was a great evening " Birthday Bar Hopping " with my friends, with nice drinks, great ambiance and good weather (it had been pouring down raining the whole week).  Somebody was smiling on me ! 

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birthday Weekend Part 1

I had a lovely Birthday weekend which started early because I did not have to work on Friday. Thursday night I was hanging out with my girl Golden.  We had some girl bonding time & hit a nice jazz spot, enjoyed some great food and of course some good wine.

Girls Night Out ! 

I even got a special Birthday Serenade by my favorite saxophonist, Kyle Turner. He plays on Thursday's at Phil & Derek's 

Me with the Band 

Me & Kyle

We ordered a Seafood Pesto Pizza to share, that was really good. The music of course is always on point at this place. They have some great musicians and vocalists.

Seafood Pesto Pizza 

It was a great nice and nice kickoff to the weekend. I spent all day Friday doing some pampering, hair salon, pedicure and even managed to get in a massage, YES ! Then I spent the afternoon running a few errands and resting up so that I could hang tough Friday night.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Musical Monday - Mint Condition

Good Morning and Happy Monday !

I am a  certified Mint Condition fanatic. I  think these days its called a "stalker/fan = Stan" LOL They are the really the true definition of a band hence the title of one of their past projects.  Anyhoo. They have a new joint out right now, classic & true to form, with that deep grove, and of course Stokley's distinctive vocals. The single is called Believe in Us from their upcoming CD titled  The Speed of Life.  It will be out in September, so this will have to tide you over until then.  This is for all of my fellow Mint Condition fans in blogland, especially you Cassandra

Enjoy ! 

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Birthday to me......

Today is my birthday. I am 43. So very  thankful for another year of life, love, health, happiness and blessings !

I am going to do my best to enjoy myself this weekend. This life is precious. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of myself from my childhood. It was my very first school picture. I was in Kindergarten. I still remember picking out this outfit with my mom at JC Penney & getting ready for picture day LOL. I thought I was doing it !  I still love green. It's my favorite color.  Check out my turtle neck with my fly collar and my snaggle teeth :)

There are so many things, I wish the me today could have told this little girl about life, but that is another blog post in itself !

Enjoy your weekend !

Beautifully Complex

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Throwback Thursday .....

My sister and BIL just celebrated 17 years of marriage two weeks ago. I am so happy for them.  To celebrate their 10 th Wedding Anniversary we all went to Jamaica and they renewed their vows on the beach ! It was so beautiful. It is hard to believe that trip was 7 years ago in 2005. WOW. Time marches on.

For this weeks " Throwback Thursday " I thought I would share some pics from the trip....

It was a beautiful day for a wedding on the beach  ! 

We stayed at an all inclusive resort that was kid friendly, with lots of families and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Little sis giving her big sis some sugah  :)

Me, BIL & Little Sister

This was way before my 5 yr old nephew was born. He was just a twinkle in his daddy's eye as they say. The girls enjoyed themselves tremendously. They loved the long plane ride, the resort pools & activities geared towards the kids. They were in heaven ! They stayed in a room with me, so their parents could "Honeymoon" for the week that we were there.

Me and my girls hanging out in the room !

We played spades, and other games, had lots of parties on the beach sponsored by the Resort and of course the unlimited food and drinks were nice.

Playing spades 

Me & my oldest niece lounging. 

We went snorkeling and  para-sailing, I also tried to get up on a surfboard .....FAIL! LOL

I love the sound of the waves ! 

I ended up spending countless hours in the hammocks that were all around, especially in the late afternoons and  evenings. I promise you I fell asleep a few times. The sound of the waves crashing is like a lullaby to me.

Relaxing at its best ! 

I was a great family trip. I am so happy for my sister and BIL. The love and commitment they share, the family they have built and maintained and the dreams they have fulfilled just makes me extremely proud. They are truly a blessing to me.

Have you ever been to a destination wedding ?  A Vowel Renewal ? How about Jamaica ? What is your idea of a great vacation ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Musical Monday - Frankie Beverly & Maze

This past weekend was bittersweet for me. It was bitter because I was NOT at the Essence Festival as I have been continually for the last 12 years during the 4th of July holiday. Just in case you are new here, I blogged about it here and in the past. We both love New Orleans, however, Mr. Mixologist is not the Essence Veteran that I am, so it wasn't as big of a deal to him. LOL  However, it was sweet because we have made a conscious decision together to stay on a budget & savings plan for our wedding in New Orleans next year and the trip just did not make fiscal sense until we hit some of our savings targets. I am proud of deciding to be practical and not giving in to all my desires. As I get older I am having to learn that I must act like an adult cannot do everything LOL.

Several of my friends that I travel with every year were there, so vicariously through their many text messages,  tweets, FB updates and instagram pics, I got to somewhat experience it. Once of the advantages of having been to so many festivals is that I have seen it grow evolve and change in many ways. I have seen many of the artists that perform numerous times over the years.  Outside of just the music and parties, I love the empowerment seminars, the artwork, the celebrity meet and greets and of course the beauty of my people all in one place, a city that I love ! One thing that I do miss though is having Frankie Beverly & Maze close out the event each year. Up until like 2 years ago, you could always count on their performance the final night & they did not disappoint. However, Essence decided to change it up to appeal to a younger demographic and did not invite Frankie Beverly & Maze. That was a really big deal the first year that it happened and lots of fans were really upset. In time, Maze found a new home with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival held in April each year and Essence continues to bring more diverse Main stage artists.

While watching the BET Awards last week and the Frankie Beverly & Maze tribute. It did finally occur to me that I am getting OLD ! LOL. I say this because I noticed that the majority of the audience could not get into the music the way I would have thought. They do not know the words to the songs! And I think it's because they are too young to appreciate it. It makes sense when you think about it. The Essence Festival is 17 yrs and going. That is a really long time.Maze has been performing live shows for many years. The demographic that can really get into this groups music is getting older. Real musicians, real instruments, no auto-tune and can hold the attention of an arena full of people.  Frankie is still cool as hell and he is still fine. I think he is aging pretty well actually,  but his voice is failing him somewhat (he has has some throat problems in the past). But at their concerts we sing all the words anyway so, you are so busy jamming you don't notice it as much ! LOL I have so many fond memories of this music, this band, New Orleans and of course of Essence that will stand the test of time.

I found a great interview clip from a few years ago, an NPR interview with him and that fine ass Ed Gordon ! It has lots of musical clips inside and explains the Maze phenomenon. Take a listen and enjoy !

Frankie Beverly NPR Interview with Ed Gordon

And this is for all of my fellow Southern Girls out there !

Have you been to Essence ? Are you a Frankie Beverly and Maze Fan ?  What about New Orleans ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wise Words for your Wednesday

Pretty self explanatory. This same golden rule we learned in Kindergarten. Whenever something bad happens to me, my mind goes back to the last time I had the chance to be great & chose not to. I am glad I have a conscience that convicts me.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

The weekend was cool. In between lots of rain that came through, I got out a bit on Friday and spent the rest of the time lounging at home, getting some things done around the house and napping.

Friday I met Mr.Mixologist for lunch at Nundini Chef's Table an Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. The food was good. He picked the spot and we will definitely be back so I can try their gelato. Since I had to go back to work, I didn't have any wine, but they seem to have a nice selection. The dining area is surrounded by wine bottles and you can see into the kitchen. They also have a seperate store/deli counter area. From the outside it looks like a warehouse but the inside is very cozy. I had the Talapia Parmesan which was deelish I had never had it prepared that way and it was moist and very fresh. My honey had a Panini with pasta salad that he really enjoyed.  If you are ever in Houston in the area called The Heights, its a nice spot for lunch or dinner.
Talapia Parmesan with Asparagus

Fresh Garden Salad

Italian Panini with Pasta Salad

Friday night we ended up going to one of our favorite neighborhood places, Cellar 17 Wine Bar. When we don't feel like leaving the Suburbs to head to Midtown or Downtown, this is our go to spot. I have been coming here for several years even before we met. The lady who owns this place is married to the owner of Mr. Mixologist's favorite cigar lounge which is next door, Serious Cigars. The customer service is great, they have lots of by the glass choices & can always help you find something you like. They have nice cheese plates and pizza but they actually let you bring in your own takeout if you wish & will provide you with plates & utensils.  One plus is they allow cigar smokers. They evidently have a great ventilation system because it is never smoky in the Wine Bar. We literally spend several hours here (it takes the Mr. about 3 hours to smoke 2 nice sticks).

Awesome Cheese plate for snacking with my vino !

I am trying to increase my knowledge and expand my palate for different cheeses and this place does not disappoint. They have lots of options and you can mix and match and customize your plate the way you like. I try to stick with what I know I like and try something new also. I know that people with vastly more wine knowledge than I, eat certain cheeses with certain wines, but I typically just find cheeses that I like and eat it with whatever I'm drinking. This week I had Brie, Gruyere, Beemster and  tried Carmody for the first time. I really enjoyed the new selection it was creamy and buttery but somewhat firm. 

Saturday morning I slept in after having quite a bit of vino ( I'm such a Wineaux !) LOL.  I made it to the hair salon, ran a couple of errands and then did some things around the house before taking a nice long nap.

Sunday, I went to Bedside Baptist and watched service online. LOL We had a visiting Pastor Dr. Joel Gregory and I like him pretty well. He is very sharp and knows his scripture. Pastor West seems pretty confident in him as well.  It was just the rain and laziness that kept me at home. Later on I did  some laundry and a bit of cleaning. Overall it was a nice lazy weekend.

How was your weekend ?  What did you do ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ? 

Beautifully Complex