Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Featured Model: Simone Small

Simone Small is a Canadian model of Guyanese and Barbadian descent. She is primarily represented by Elite Model Management in Cape Town, South Africa, Ice Model Management, and a few other agencies.









Images from: Fashion Model Directory, Ice Model Management, and Studio83

Featured Model: Oreintha Russell

Oreintha Russell is a beautiful Jamaican model. She is represented by Pulse Investments in Jamaica and D1 Models in London.

She has modeled for L'Oreal, Van P, Sado, Sorg, and PPQ.






Images and information from: Pulse Models and Pichaus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov: V4

Ok. My day just got brighter, since one of my favorite authors is back. I'm not complaining.

I completely empathize with writers, especially self-published authors because the process is more involved. 

Latrivia S. Nelson just released the fourth volume to The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov (The Medlov Crime Family Short Stories Series). This latest book follows the journey of the notorious mob boss on his way to power.

Synopsis:

-"Now a widower, Dmitry Medlov’s life has completely changed. Wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, his aspirations quickly move from more money to more power. Only the power he seeks is held by the commanding and elusive Czar of the underworld, Boss Smirnov.

When Dmitry successfully talks the underboss and the all-knowing eye of the underworld, Khalid, into arranging a meeting between he and Boss Smirnov, he has no idea what troubles he is about to face. There are secrets that will be exposed in Prague that will forever change his young life again, leading to a decision that will rock the underworld for good. 

Meanwhile, back in London, the city is buzzing about the deaths of the entire board of directors of Dmitry’s newly acquired business, Hutton Industries, minus the company’s former front man, who was involved in a gruesome home invasion that left him blind, deaf, mute and paralyzed. 

With no witnesses, leads or proof combined with the botched attempt on his own life during the horrid chain of events, Dmitry is looked over as a person of interest by Scotland Yard and is given carde blache to turn his new private company into his personal money laundering hub right under the public’s nose with the help of his Africa girlfriend, Oxford University senior and business genius, Elsa. And it’s just in time for his new secret alliance with the leaders of a powerful paramilitary sect led by Elsa’s father in Angola, Africa. 

Dmitry’s new found power creates a checkmate for his ambitions to be boss but puts a target squarely on his back by not only organized crime heads around the world but also by his own brother, Ivan. Secret alliances are formed. Money is exchanged, and a definite war is looming. Only no one is willing to give up as much as Dmitry is to be king.

Read the last volume of the first book, The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov and witness the heart stopping rise of a giant and everything that he’s willing to do to become the world’s most powerful and deadly boss. -"

Visit the author's website or Amazon.com to purchase the ebook.

You can also check out her other books. I'll work on doing a follow-up post to the books that I've read.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Being Non-Confrontational Isn't Necessarily Bad

I don't know about most people, but I prefer to stay well-grounded. Staying calm and maintaining a positive attitude is what I consider to be a daily goal.

I can admit that:

1.) I am introverted.
2.) I absolutely do not like confrontations.
3.) I view things as being "half-full" rather than being "half-empty."
4.) Whatever you do, whether good or bad, you will be rewarded according to your actions. This is also known as karma.
5.) If you piss me off, then it's on.

Just because you don't like confrontations, doesn't mean that you can't stand up for yourself or other people. It simply means that you are more level-headed, and willing to listen. You eventually learn that you can't save everyone or fix everything. You can't take everything seriously.

Sometimes when people consider you to be nice, meek, or humble, they take advantage of you. This is when you have to give them a reality check. Letting them know you are not their gofer, their doormat, or the toilet tissue that they wipe their asses with. Whether you are running a business, or trying to make it one day at a time, you realize that people will always try to get over on you.

Take this clip about Tyra Banks on "Dinner With The King" for example:



Now, I realize that some people may be passive-aggressive. How do you know if you are?

According to the Counselling Directory:

"Passive aggressive behaviour takes many forms but can generally be described as a non-verbal aggression that manifests in negative behavior. It is where you are angry with someone but do not or cannot tell them. Instead of communicating honestly when you feel upset, annoyed, irritated or disappointed you may instead bottle the feelings up, shut off verbally, give angry looks, make obvious changes in behaviour, be obstructive, sulky or put up a stone wall. It may also involve indirectly resisting requests from others by evading or creating confusion around the issue. Not going along with things. It can either be covert (concealed and hidden) or overt (blatant and obvious). "

-This is a whole other issue.

Getting back...

Sometimes, you will need to get stern, loud, angry, or downright ugly with some people in order for them to take you seriously. It's okay. Don't hold everything in.

From what I have learned it's essential to maintain a balance. If more people would actually listen, think, and demonstrate respect then a great deal of heated situations would be averted.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Episode 11: The Exes by The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Here is the latest episode for ABG!

This episode had me cracking up.

Synopsis:

J goes to see CeCe to mend their friendship after not showing up to a party in favor of going on a date with White Jay. The date didn't end well. While talking to CeCe, J reflects on her previous relationships/ dates.

**J's drunken version of A at 8:10 looked so fine. This series is the best! Too bad the season finale is January 12, 2012.

Episode 11: The Exes



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30% Off Ivolve Beauty Products- Jewelry & Mineral Eyeshadows


30% Off Ivolve Beauty Products!

Receive 30% off of your entire purchase. This includes mineral eyeshadows and jewelry. All quantities are limited.

Please note that this discount is only valid at ivolvebeauty.etsy.com.

Use coupon code: IBEAUTY30


Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Therapy: Shakira- Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)

This is absolutely one of my favorite music videos. The reason why I enjoy it is because of its simplicity, its pureness- you are able to focus on the subject and the surroundings, period. The lyrics really stand out. The video is in Spanish, but you can view the English version here.



Lyrics courtesy of Lyric Wikia

"Whenever, Wherever" by Shakira

Written by ShakiraGloria Estefan, and Tim Mitchell 

Lucky you were born that far away so
We could both make fun of distance
Lucky that I love a foreign land for
The lucky fact of your existence
Baby I would climb the Andes solely
To count the freckles on your body
Never could imagine there were only
Ten million ways to love somebody

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beautiful & Talented Black Women

When I really think about the subject of Black women, I realize that I'm in a unique position. I am a Black women and I appreciate who I am. This isn't to count other people out or to put anyone else down. I'm simply commenting on my experience.

We don't all fit into the same mold, so I don't claim to know every Black woman's experience.

I have learned to appreciate and see the beauty in all people- this is just a part of recognizing who you are, and having respect for other cultures.

So, today I decided to showcase a few amazingly talented and beautiful Black women. 

Teiko Dornor - International Model



Yaya DaCosta - American Actress & Model

                      

Naomi Campbell - British Supermodel

              

Tika Sumpter - Actress




    


Garcelle Beauvais - Haitian-American Actress & Former Model

           

   
Kenya Moore - American Actress, Producer, and Beauty Queen- Miss Michigan USA 1993, Miss USA 1993



Sade Adu (Helen Folasade Adu) - British Singer/ Songwriter, Composer & Producer


If I Could Move My Hips Like Shakira

Shakira is one of my favorite music artists. If you don't know her, then you will remember her from watching the videos below. She is a multi-talented, Columbian singer/ songwriter known for her strong vocals, and awe-inspiring, how-does-she-do-that, dance moves.

Shakira incorporates belly dancing in her performances in a way that is sensual, yet tasteful. I have never seen anyone move their body, particularly their stomach and hips, the way that she does when dancing. I don't know how she does this.



Well, practice makes perfect- or so they say. I think if I practice long enough, I'll at least be able to bust out a few moves whenever possible. My confidence will definitely be off the charts, but I'll try not to be conceited. Honestly, this will give me motive to work on toning my midsection.

I'll just need to prepare myself for the soreness later on.

Seven Blunders of the World- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

While reading some comments from an article concerning the unresolved debt agreement by the Super Committee, I came across an interesting quote. It's actually a list:

Seven Blunders of the World by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

1.) Wealth without work.
2.) Pleasure without conscience.
3.) Knowledge without character.
4.) Commerce without morality.
5.) Science without humanity.
6.) Worship without sacrifice.
7.) Politics without principle.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948), is also known as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma in Sanskrit means "Great Soul." He is known in India as Bapu, which means "Father."

His birthday, on October 2, is commemorated in India as a national holiday known as Gandhi Jayanti. This day is known worldwide as The International Day of Non-Violence.

Mohandas Gandhi was a prolific political leader and pioneer who utilized non-violent civil disobedience. Through his actions, he inspired worldwide civil rights movements, especially in America.

The Seven Blunders of the World is often referenced to the Seven Deadly Sins. This list was given from Gandhi to his grandson Arun Gandhi.

In his research to uncover the roots of violence, Gandhi believed that these mistakes inspired passive violence.

I just wanted to give you something to think about. I definitely learned something new.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The American Jobs Act: Priority or Passing Thought

This is definitely something to think about as in regards to our current society and the political games being played. This is serious. I won't get too far off into politics, but I just wanted to share these videos concerning the American Jobs Act. Essentially, this Act will help put people back back to work, allowing for business incentives, additional resources for entrepreneurial growth, and more.

The American Jobs Act Fact sheet.

What's going on with members in the Congress and Senate? Where are their priorities?



Further reading: We Can't Wait: Supporting Our Veterans | The White House

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel's National UnFriend Day Has Some Merit

After watching this episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, I gave some serious thought to the whole "friend" situation on Facebook. Honestly, it doesn't make sense to to call random people your friend- I know the difference. Do I call every person I meet my friend? Certainly no, these people are more like acquaintances. Most of the people that I know are my coworkers. If it wasn't for our work environment, then I wouldn't even talk to most of them.




Oprah & Gayle: True Friendship
For me, a friend is someone that has your back at all times. They are real with you at all times, not just telling you what you want to hear, but even telling you when you are full of yourself. I equate a true friendship to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, or Holly Robinson Peete and Terry Lynn Ellis.

I can admit that over half (actually it's more than this amount) of people that I am so called "friends" with, I do not know nor interact with. When I am on Facebook, it's to check the status of my other blog,  or to check the latest news from blogs or people that I actually want to view. The only reason as to why I even set up a Facebook page was to promote my Ivolve Beauty blog.

So, I have decided to take Jimmy Kimmel's advice, whether the show's intentions were genuine or not, and be a part of the National UnFriend Day.

I'm tired of the facade. I look forward to deleting quite a few people from my Facebook page.

Cheers!

Music Therapy: Alice Smith

I always like to search for new music. While browsing some music on Amazon.com a few years ago, I came across Alice Smith and decided to buy her album. I was taken aback (in a good way) by her eclectic sound- it's a blend of funk, rock, soul, and R&B.

Here's some info about Alice Smith:

She is a singer/ songwriter & producer based out of New York City. She was raised in Washington, D.C., and Augusta, GA.

Album(s): For Lovers, Dreamers, and Me (2006)

Collaborations: Sia Furler, Imani Coppola, and Aloe Blacc
She has performed with Black Rock Coalition and Tamar Kali.


Her song "Dream" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007 and was featured in one of the episodes of Entourage (Season 4), and The L Word (Season 5- "Let's Get This Party Started").

She has worked on and recorded new tracks for her sophomore album. Yet due to changes with her now former record label- Epic Records, the album was pushed back and not released. In the mean time she has continued to perform for her fans.



Recently, I replayed her album on my playlist, and "Do I" really stood out. The song is slow, so soothing and deep. It puts you in a reflective mood- at least for me.




Thanks to sofrito0602 for this video.

You can listen to some of her tracks here on Last.fm.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Music Therapy: Gnarls Barkley- Who's Gonna Save My Soul

Whoever said that music was universal was right.

The Odd Couple from Gnarls Barkley is one of my favorite albums that I enjoy listening to occasionally. Gnarls Barkley consists of  Cee Lo Green, who is the rapper/ vocalist, and producer Danger Mouse. The duo's sound is a fusion of alternative hip-hop, rock, and soul. The songs are full of meaning once you actually listen to the lyrics.

Check out "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" below, along with the lyrics.


Gnarls Barkley - "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?" by DowntownMusic

Lyrics from AZLyrics.com.

"Who's Gonna Save My Soul"


[Cee-Lo]
I got some bad news this morning
Which in turn made my day
When this someone spoke I listened
All of a sudden, has less and less to say
Ohhhhhh how could this be?
All this time, I've lived vicariously
Who's gonna save my soul now?
Who's gonna save my soul now?
How will my story ever be tollllld now?
How will my story be tollllld now?

Made me feel like somebody
Hmmm, like somebody else
Although he was imitated often
It felt like I was bein myself
Is it a shame that someone else's song
Was totally and completely dependant on
Who's gonna save my soul now?
Who's gonna save my soul now?
I wonder if I'll live to grow old now
Gettin high cause I feel so lowwwww down

And maybe it's a little selfish
All I have is the memory
Yet I never stopped to wonder-ahhhhh
Was it possible you were hurtin worse than me
Still my hunger turns to greeeeed
Cause what about what I neeeeeed?!
And OHHHH~! Who's gonna save my soul now?
Who's gonna save my soul now?
Ohhhh I know I'm out of control now
Oooh-oooh, tired enough to lay my own soul down

Lyrics from AZLyrics.com.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Favorite Shows: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

I'm actually new to watching this web drama, but I am officially hooked. I am so grateful to Hateya over at The Blasian Narrative for writing about The Misadventures of the Awkward Black Girl. I wanted to see what the hype was about, so I checked out the episodes.



I was completely captivated. I actually watched the ninth episode first, and was intrigued. Episode 01: 'The Stop Sign' had me laughing so hard, until I had tears in my eyes.

All in all, you must watch this series. It's a mixture of drama and comedy that has a wonderfully diverse and talented cast. It's really refreshing to view another side of Black women, because we are not one dimensional as it may seem.  Issa Rae, the shows creator, plays the main character.

For me the show is absolutely relatable. When something is meant to be funny, it's actually funny. The comedy is not dry like some of the shows on the major networks. The series has been able to keep its "realness" simply because it's not on television. It the networks had their way, the show wouldn't be original anymore.

For more episodes: Issa Rae on Youtube

The cast includes:

Issa Rae as "J"
Sujata Day as "CeCe"
Tracy Oliver as "Nina"
Madison T. Shockley III as "Fred"
Lyman Johnson as "White Jay"
Andrew Allan James as "A"
Tristan Winger as "Darius"
Kiki Harris as "Patti"
Hanna as "Boss Lady"
Fahad as "Amir"

Shea William Vanderpoort is the Cinematographer.

You can view full cast information here.

Seven Pounds

I don't go often to the movies, but when I do it's like an event. I actually get excited, and my interest is piqued. Lately I have not been dissatisfied my picks, although I have had my okay moments.

I remember when I went with my family a few years ago to see Will Smith's Seven Pounds because my brother was adamant about seeing it from a friend's recommendation. It wasn't exactly one of the films that I wanted to see, but I gave it a shot.



Directed by Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper, Michael Ealy, Elpidia Carrillo, Robinne Lee, Joe Nunez, Bill Smitrovich, Tim Kelleher, Gina Hecht, Andy Milder, Judyann Elder, Sarah Jane Morris, and Madison Pettis.

Plot Summary:
"-Haunted by a secret, Ben Thomas looks for redemption by radically transforming the lives of seven people he doesn't know. Once his plan is set, nothing will be able to stop him. At least that's what he thinks. But Ben hadn't planned on falling in love with one of these people and she's the one who will end up transforming him. Written by Happy_Evil_Dude -"





Let me tell you it was interesting, very emotional, and definitely thought-provoking. I probably wouldn't recommend watching it if you are seriously depressed. After watching you are either thankful for your circumstances in life, transformed and inspired, or utterly left feeling more depressed. You may ask even yourself what happened.

All I know is that two of my family members (both female) were crying during the movie, and when I happened to look over, my brother -the main person who wanted to see this film- managed to fall asleep.

This film, I believe, is definitely a classic. It was great, but I would only watch it certain times of the year. It leaves you thinking about not only yourself, but other people- people you know and don't know. 

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