Sunday, December 21, 2014

Juicing: Taking You Along for the Journey

While everyone is making their New Year’s Resolutions for 2015, I’ve decided to get started a little early…2 weeks to be exact.  On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, juice cleanses are all the rage.  As a nutrition educator, I was skeptical of limiting myself to only one type of food.  As a food connoisseur, eating an all liquid diet didn’t excite me. 
Getting ready to make some juice
Let me just put it out there, I LOVE food.  By lunch time, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to cook for dinner.  It’s nothing for me to rummage through Pinterest for hours looking for new recipes.  I have numerous screen shots in my phone of recipes I find on Facebook.  The fat kid inside me gets excited about restaurant openings.  If there already wasn’t so many, I probably would have become a food blogger.

My last meal before the cleanse
Unfortunately, my love of food is also why I have gained more weight than I would like in the last couple of years.  At the beginning of 2014, my goal was to get out of the 200lb mark.  I work out and I do my best to eat right.  But sometimes McNuggets just be calling my name.  Sad to say, it’s the end of 2014 and I have yet to accomplish that goal.  Well, drastic times call for drastic measures. 

After talking to a couple of friends, I have decided to start a modified juice cleanse.  For me this will mean a juice in the morning, a light lunch, and juice for dinner.  I will also include snacks like raw vegetables, fruits, and boiled eggs and almonds for protein.  This isn’t a true cleanse.  A true cleanse would be a juice for all three meals, however, I ain’t bout that life.  It puts my mind at ease knowing that my body will still be getting a variety of nutrients from different sources. 

First 2 juices for Monday

Chicken for my light lunch

 I’m already nervous thinking about the hunger pains and headaches.  But like anything else, you can only take it a day at a time. My goal is to do this for 10 days.  Yes, 10 days.   In order to keep me on my toes, I will try to keep you all updated daily about my cleanse either here on my blog or on my Instagram account (@ebonymariere).  Be sure to follow to stay up-to-date with how I’m doing. 

 Have you ever done a juice cleanse?  How did you do? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sorority Sisters: A Review of the Criticism

Hey everybody!!! I am glad to be back for a minute to discuss the craziness going on in pop culture.  If you were on Twitter or Facebook on Monday night, you probably saw a lot conversations surrounding Sorority Sisters.  Sorority Sisters is a VH1 reality show following 9 women from each of the 4 historical black sororities.  Needless to say, Black Greek members and others in the black community were none too happy about the premiere of this show.

Let me go on the record by saying that I'm not a fan of the Mona Scott Young franchise.  Mostly because her shows bore me.  Every show (Love & Hip Hop ATL, Love & HIp Hop New York, Love & Hip Hop Hollyood) is about wannabes clubbing and fighting.  Ain't nobody got time for that. But when I heard she was going to do a show about sororities, I was like "Wow.  Mona Scott Young will stop it nothing to get these coins."  So yea, I already knew that I was going to watch the first episode at the very least.

The only review I have of this show is that if I had it on mute I couldn't tell the difference between this or Love & Hip Hop or Basketball Wives.  Same weaves, same over contouring make-up,  same Forever 21 outfits, same leopard pumps : the formula for showcasing basic chicks.  Honestly, I'm not sure I'm interested enough to tune in next week.

However, what I'm more interested in is the criticism the show is receiving.  Black Greek life can be a very touchy subject.  Mostly, Black Greeks don't like non-Greeks discussing it unless you are praising their organizations.  Don't discuss the at time tragic hazing incidents or the elitist attitudes that some of them  carry.  Just praise them for the good community service work they do.  Okay...

On Twitter, some tried to start a boycott of VH1 and the companies who advertised during the first episode of Sorority Sisters.  So I can't get my pasta bowl from Olive Garden because they had a commercial during Sorority Sisters?? Or I can't rock comfy Fruit of the Loom underwear because you mad that VH1 put your sorority on front street? Don't blame Fruit of the Loom cause your sister showed up to the auditions.  Not one gun was put to the head of these women to join the show.  The producers are not holding them hostage to show out in front of the cameras.  All 9 of them, willingly, chose to participate in this show.  It sounds like you need to be finding them on Facebook and giving them a stern, but respectful, DM and leave me to my never-ending pasta bowl.  

My face when people want me to boycott food and underwear
Another part of this criticism that is confusing to me is how people are acting like Black Greek Life is too sacred to be  showcased in this format.  Last year, I wrote a piece on my disgust of how Preachers of L.A. was turning Christianity into a cheap spectacle that was misleading people about what the Bible really teaches.  Even though I heard a few objections to the aforementioned show, it was nowhere near the belly aching I have heard about Sorority Sisters.  Am I to believe that people are more upset about their organization being embarrassed than at Oxygen for mocking God whom they claim to owe their life to?

I don't believe that some Black Greeks are mad that they are being exploited.  I believe they are more upset that they are being knocked off that high pedestal they have put themselves on for so long.  As I mention earlier, Black Greeks don't like you talking about them unless you are praising them.  This makes them feel special, like they are a special breed.  However, this show is doing every thing but praising them.  So now we are seeing that they can be just a loud and brash as the rest of us. Fancy that...

As a blogger and someone who will be starting another business soon, I get wanting to protect your brand or reputation.  I also understand that these organizaton have years of history of sisterhood and service.  But I have a feeling that this particular situation is more about keeping up appearances than brand protection.  

What were your thoughts about the first episode of Sorority Sisters?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Get Away with Murder: My Theories

Six weeks ago, we were introduced to TV's most addicting murder mystery.  How to Get Away with Murder(HTGAWM) has had me glued to my couch every Thursday.  It's also probably the only time my phone is not in my hand.  If you have ever seen this show you know that it needs your ENTIRE attention.

This Thursday we will find out who killed Sam Keating (and hopefully find out who killed Lila Stanguard).  Every week HTGAWM has flashbacks to the students trying to get rid of Sam's body.  We have been given little clues along the way as to how they got there.  Before tomorrow's episode, I would like to pitch a few of my own theories of #WhoKilledSam and #WhoKilledLila:

Rebecca killed Sam: Last week, Rebecca admitted to killing Sam.  However, I believe this solution is too obvious.  But for the sake of this post, I will entertain it.  Rebecca knows that Lila was having an affair with Sam.  If you recall, we found out the last 10 minutes of last week's episode
that Lila was pregnant when she was killed.  Rebecca finds out about the pregnancy and confronts Sam because as we know Rebecca has a mouth piece on her that she doesn't know how to control.  Sam becomes enraged and tries to kill Rebecca.  Rebecca wasn't going so she grabs the statue and kills him.

Wes Killed Sam: I'm willing to put money on this theory.  From the start, Wes has been the ultimate underdog.  Lost his mother to suicide at 11 years of age, went to a junior college, and was wait-listed for law school.  Wes also has this need to be Captain Save-A-Jezebel.  So when he sees Sam trying to kill Rebecca (killing her for confronting him), Wes comes to the rescue and kills Sam with the statue.

Sam killed Lila: This too is obvious.  Sam killed Lila because she was going to snitch to Annalise about the affair and also she was pregnant.

Bonnie killed Lila: I know this is a stretch because we really don't know Bonnie's angle but bear with me.  At first, I thought she had something for Sam.  Then I thought she had something for Annalise.  On the other hand, she got her panties all in the bunch with Laurel when she sensed her and Frank were getting naughty. Then out of no where we see her in bed with Asher so yea I haven't cracked her yet.  With that said, I believe she killed Lila to protect Sam and Annalise (maybe she has a thing for the both of them; I mean, she is always at that house).  Bonnie possibley overheard Sam on the phone with Lila discussing her unwanted pregnancy and took it upon herself to take care of it; killing Lila that is.

Questions I still haven't been able to answer:

  • How did the other students get involved with getting rid of Sam's body?
  • Why is Bonnie sleeping with Asher of all people?
  • How did Asher loose possession of the statue?
  • Why doesn't Annalise just wear her real hair rather than those homemade wig units?
I can't wait for this upcoming episode.  I'm so ready for my questions to be answered.  What are your #WhoKilledSam theories?

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Get Away with Murder: My Recap
At the request of my sister-in-law, Charlene, I’m coming back to my blog this week to do a recap of How to Get Away with Murder.  I had been anticipating this show ever sense I saw the preview for it over the summer.  So all day at work all I could think of was what the fierce Viola Davis had waiting for me.

As much as I respect Shonda Rhimes for her success in television I have to admit that I’m not that crazy about Grey’s Anatomy and no matter how much I try, I cannot get into Scandal.  With that being said I was willing to give this new show a chance.

My notes while watching the show
So here we go…

In true Shonda Rhimes fashion the show moves a mile a minute.  I mean you cannot take your eyes off the television or you will miss a vital clue.  And everyone talks so fast.  Like for a minute, I felt like a kid who should be in a remedial class but got stuck in an AP class by accident.  I had to use the commercial breaks to marinate on what happened.  Finally, I got into the flow of things and was able to catch on to most of what was going down.

The show starts off with students trying to figure out how to hide a body.  We are then introduced to Viola Davis playing the smart, no nonsense law professor, Annalise Keating.  She was basically that teacher you had in high school that you thought was mean but you actually learned the most from her.  She starts the class off with a case that her law firm is working on and asks the students to come up with a reason why her client is being accused.  Poor Wes Gibbins, played by Alfred Enoch, just got accepted two days before classes started so he didn’t have time to get caught up on the case.  This is brought to attention when Professor Keating asks him a question and he cannot answer.

Another student answers the question for Wes which prompts Professor Keating to say,

“Never take a learning opportunity from another student.  No matter how smart you think you are.”

From jump we know that we are going to get a special kind of life philosophy from Professor Keating.  She assigns the students to come up with a defense for her client whom has been accused of attempting to kill her boss who she was having an affair with.  Whoever comes up with the best defense gets a statue that will exempt them from one of her exams and the opportunity to work at her law firm along with other students that she picks. 

Now I’m far from a law student so I’m not even going to try to decipher the many different defenses the students came up with but let’s just say that Wes, Connor (Jack Falahee), Michaela (Aja Naomi King), Asher (Asher Millistone), and Laurel (Karla Souza) end up obtaining spots at her law firm.  These different ones get their spots because of their willing to go far and beyond to get more evidence to help win Keating’s case.  This includes invading people’s health records and hooking up with random people at bars. 

Keating let’s us know there are 3 ways you win a case

  •       Discredit the witness
  •       Introduce a new suspect
  •        Bury the evidence to create doubt

We see Professor Keating do this with elegance and grace while using her students as her henchmen to do the dirty work.  I have a feeling before it’s all said and done these students will be doing more than getting a law degree.  They will basically be Keating’s oompa-loompas (Oompa, doompa, doompa-dee-dee, what will you do to get your law degree?). 

Throughout the show we keep getting flashes to Wes and ‘em trying to figure out what to do with a dead body but we have no idea who the dead body is until the end.  We also keep hearing about a girl who has gone missing and you know the missing girl has to be connected with one of the main characters.  We also find out that Professor Keating is a THOT.  When Wes thinks he has found a break in the case he rushes over to her law firm to find her getting down with Billy Blanks’ twin brother.  He turns out to be Keating’s side boo thang(who happens to be a detective connected with the case she is working on) and that she is actually married to one of the professors at the college who wants kids but unfortunately Annalise is having a hard time getting pregnant.  Or at least that is the story that she tells Wes (he’s the only student that knows she’s having an affair).  At this point she can’t be trusted (most THOTS are untrustworthy). 

However, not only does Keating have THOT tendencies but she’s a true playa for real.  When it seems that she is about to lose her case, she gets her side boo thang to lie on the witness stand.  Now you know you a playa when you get can your side piece to commit perjury.  At the end, they find the missing girl floating in a water tower and the dead person the students have been toting around is actually…wait for it…Mr. Keating.  Things have gotten real and it’s just the first episode.

So here are my final thoughts and questions:

  • The show is most definitely not for the family: there were 2 steamy scenes within minutes of each other.
  • Michaela is going to get on my nerves (she is an obnoxious over achiever)
  • I'm scared of Connor Walsh because he seems like a man with no boundaries.
  • I think Mr. Keating was having an affair with the missing girl or Wes' next door neighbor or both.  You never know with Shonda Rhimes.
  • What happened to the law student that used to live in Wes' apartment who left the bite marks on the bed post and the scratching on the wall?
  • Lastly, who killed Mr. Keating???????
I’m looking forward to see where this series is going to go.  What did you think of the series premiere of How to Get Away with Murder?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sheryl Underwood Shares Her Truth and People Get Butthurt
Hey everyone!!! For my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you might remember I announced that I will be taking a break from blogging to work on another business venture.  I’m still working hard at it but something in my spirit told me to head over to my blog.

You might have seen the video of Sheryl Underwood on The Talk discussing her experience of fellow comedians talking about her without them knowing she was listening.  The gist of it is that she got on early to a conference call that was discussing a potential sequel to the Queens of Comedy.  Sheryl had put her phone on mute.  When the other ladies (Sommore, Adele Givens, and Ms. Laura Hayes) got on the conference call they started talking about Sheryl in a not so nice way unbeknownst to them that she was on the call.  Sheryl explained that instead of letting the women know that she could hear them, she instead chose to take notes and use their criticism to better herself.  She has since gone to work on other projects with the ladies and had never mentioned to them that she heard their comments.

Watch the rest here.

Now for the backlash…

Needless to say, the other women were none too happy that Sheryl blasted them on national television.  Adele responded with a tweet

“wow. The View must be pulling some really great ratings!”
And Laura Hayes responded with an Instagram pic of a wig, I guess implying that she is about the snatch wigs (an urban saying meaning she is about to go in on Sheryl.)  Sommore just retweeted some of her fans tweets about how jacked up Sheryl was for shading them.

Not one woman has denied the conversation took place or even offered an apology.
Even Rickey Smiley got in on the action by discussing some not so great things that he knew about Sheryl Underwood. 

It seems that the main problem that people had with Sheryl Underwood’s truth was that she named names.  Rather you agree or not that she should have kept the names secret that was not the point of her truth.  She explained that we do not often get to hear people’s real opinions of us.  We hear praises but not so much criticism.  She chose to take this negative and turn it into a positive.  She took note of what was being said about her and tried to improve herself.  How many of us would have reacted like that? 
I also commend Sheryl for not dogging the accused women.  She could have easily pointed out the fact that she is on a national TV program while the rest of the women are still on the comedy club circuit.  She could have even stated her relevance compared to the others but she didn’t.  She told her story, explained what she learned from it, and left it at that.  She called them out but she didn’t dog them out.

The fact that people have attacked Sheryl for sharing her story reiterates what I have said before: women are not allowed to discuss how they really feel about situations they have gone through in their lives.  The moment we open our mouths and share our story about how someone made us feel we are seen as bitter, jaded, or accused of not letting go of the past.  We are expected to keep things bottled up or when do speak them we have to walk on eggshells because God forbid we bother someone else with our story.

I know there are two sides to every story but I can't help but believe Sheryl's side of the story because what does she have to gain by lying.  And the other women have not denied it.  Yea, she could have kept the names secret, but whatever, her truth was told and sometimes we need to be blasted to remind us that we have something to work on.  So women, continue telling your truth and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Does Torrei Hart have to be Bitter?

I’m just going to get straight to the point: stop calling Torrei Hart bitter.  Reality TV have conditioned us to see all ex-wives as crazy and we start lumping them all into one group.  We have all seen the ex-wives who live lavish lives because of alimony and/or child support checks.  So we make quick judgments about all Hollywood ex’s and call them jaded and greedy.  However, I’m not going to put Torrie is this category because homegirl is just being honest. 

Torrei has made news throughout social media because of the uncanny way she speaks about her ex-husband, Kevin Hart.  Back in April 2014, she was asked about how she felt about Kevin calling his girlfriend “my rib”.  Ms. Hart kept it all the way real and responded with:

"It's easy to be somebody's rib when their millionaire."
Of course, the interwebs went crazy and went on a “she’s bitter female dog” campaign.  But let’s go on to what else she had to say after that comment:

“You’re working at City Sports and I’m taking you to your shows, you’re driving my car, you’re crashing my car several times, and I’m still there for you, supporting you, went out and got a job for the phone company and still making sure I got your back so you can pursue your dreams…That’s what ribs do!”

Some might say she is living in the past but what I hear is someone who is telling her truth.  Kanye said it best with this lyric in Gold Digger, “And when you get on he leave yo a—for white girl.” or in this case, mixed girl.  She was there when we didn’t know what a Kevin Hart was.  She made huge sacrifices so he could live out a dream that she probably doubted at times.  Why is it that when she tells her side of the story, she has to sugarcoat it and give old tired PR responses?
Just this past week, Kevin Hart proposed to girlfriend, Eniko Parish.  Because he did it on the night that Vh1’s Atlanta Exes premiered starring Torrei Hart, some said that it was a blow at her.  Kevin has said that he did it that night because it was Eniko’s birthday.  When asked if she thought if Kevin would cheat on Eniko, Torrei responded,Well he cheated on me..."  
I congratulate her for being honest.  We, as women, constantly put our feelings aside, heck, bury them 6 feet under.  We, too often, blame ourselves for every wrong thing in our past instead of placing blame where it needs to go.  We continue to put up a front when we are actually breaking down on the inside.  It’s almost like women aren’t allowed to be angry or hurt.  God forbid, we act like humans.  We are just supposed to suck it up, smile, and keep it moving.  But the moment we tell our truths, we are bitter, angry, or “stuck in the past.”  Torrei Hart isn’t stuck in the past, she is stuck on the truth.  He got on, cheated on her, and now gives new girl all the praise and glory. 
Before you start calling me a feminist Nazi, I know there are two sides to every story.  He has admitted to his wrong doings and constantly wishes Torrei well.   Torrei has even admitted to the part she played in their divorce.   In fact, I’m actually a huge fan of Kevin Hart.  My point is that being classy doesn’t mean that she has to hide her feelings about what she has gone through.  Anybody that has gone through a break-up will tell you that you may move forward but the scars are always there.  Unlike most ex-wives, Torrei has to constantly see her husband professing his love to new girl.  So the healing process is a bit different from the average ex-wife. 
Only time will tell how Torrei will continue to speak of Kevin and Eniko.  Since she is doing this reality show maybe interviewers will stop only asking her questions about Kevin and more about herself. 
How do you feel about how Torrei responds to Kevin’s new relationship?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams: Depression is Real and Riches are False

This past week we lost a comedian great, Academy Award winning, Robin Williams.  Rather you were a fan of his comedy or not, you have to admit that the man was successful at what he did.  When I first heard the news, the first movie I thought of was Nine Months.  Williams played the eccentric foreign doctor, Dr. Kosevich who had only assisted monkey births.  Even though I was nine when I first saw this movie (and probably shouldn't have been watching it) I knew then he was a genius at what he did.  And don't even get me started on Aladdin.  You can't call yourself a 90's kid unless you had the VHS where Robin Williams played one of the top 10 best Disney characters ever.

Aside from his untimely death, I was shock by the alleged cause of his death: suicide.  Who knew that one of film's funniest leading men was tackling inner demons such as depression and alcoholism so much so that he felt the only way out was to take his own life? It blows my mind how he could make millions of people laugh but only saw darkness in his own world.  It breaks my heart to know this man didn't know how much he touched people, young and old, with his talents.

Williams' situation makes me think of two things.  First, as my mother use to say, "You never know what's going on behind close doors."  We see people everyday on our way to work, at work, at a worship service, at the store, dining with friends and family and never truly know what that person is going through.  A lot of times we ask the question "How are you doing?" but mostly out of social norms and out of social norms the answer is usually "Fine".  End of conversation.   With so many anxieties that we all experience everyday, we forget to stop and ask our friends and families how they are really doing.  And something I'm guilty of and others probably are too is not telling the truth about how we are doing.  We must learn to let our loved ones help us.  This is one way we can stop our troubles from building inside causing sadness and despair.

Second, if we haven't learned yet we need to learn now: Money does not buy happiness.  We are constantly bombarded with the riches of celebrities.  We see the fancy clothes they wear and the big houses they occupy.  We at times start to think that if we had the money they had, our lives we would be a little easier.  However, with instances like Robin's we are reminded that money at times only complicates things (Remember the song, Mo' Money, Mo' Problems?).  What money doesn't do is help us get to the root of our problems.  Money doesn't get rid of depression.  Money doesn't mend broken marriages.  Money doesn't make our children act right.  One scripture I keep in mind is Hebrews 13:5:
"Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things.  For he has said: 'I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.'"
I'm not saying that Robin Williams was a person of greed but I'm speaking more to our desires to have what the rich have.  As the scripture says "be content with the present things."  Chasing after riches and material things can cause also depression.  Some of us will never get the white picket fence so that means we have to be content with having a roof at all.  So to look at yourself as a failure or disappointment for not having these grand things is pointless.  As we have seen over and over, riches do not bring joy, peace, or love.

I can't say enough that if you are experiencing a sadness that will not go away reach out to someone and get the help you need.  It's better to talk with someone than to decide upon a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

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