Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Woman Crush Wednesday: Lupita Nyong'o - Tia

There are two types of movies that I usually shy away from: movies with sexual assault scenes and movies with slavery themes that contain brutal beating sequences. I still get an awful feeling if I see Sally Field somewhere because of the scene from Eye for an Eye. And any movie containing abuse and oppression of black people, well, I don't even have to tell you how that makes me feel sickened and disgusted. The atrocities of slavery actually happened…to people related to me. As such, it's hard, bordering on impossible, for me to watch certain slavery based movies. And from what I've read, 12 Years a Slave contains everything that I try to avoid in movies. 

When the movie first debuted I did some research on my own on Solomon Northup. I even downloaded the book 12 Years a Slave. (Side note: When did I embrace e-books like this? *sigh* I miss actual books.) Although the story is remarkable, I still couldn't bring myself to see the film. And that's why I had no idea who Lupita was until award season started. But thank you Internets for giving this woman the shine she deserves.

By all accounts, Lupita gives a stunning performance in the movie. But not only is she an amazing actress, she's freaking GORGEOUS!!!

I mean, MY GOD!!! Look at this woman. Her style is sickening. And her face is EVERYTHING!! Of course, I would never want to reduce someone to just a pretty face. So I'll mention that Lupita graduated from Yale. An impressive feat by anyone's standards. But…I mean…can we go back to how gorgeous she is?!?!?

I must confess, every time I see this woman I'm enthralled by her. I find myself wanting to know more about her. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in a "this woman is amazing, tell me more about her awesomeness" kind of way. I mean seriously, doesn't this picture with Angela Bassett just make you want to sit down with both of them and pick their brains (and ask about their upper arm workouts because you know Angela got them guns too.)

I sincerely hope that this is just the beginning for Lupita. She seems to be on a trajectory that will put her smack dab in the middle of superstardom. And I for one am SO FOR IT! We need more talent and faces like hers in Hollywood. BGLU is on Lupita's cheering squad. Yes ma'am…do your thang!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Hot Mess Championships- Toya's Rundown of The 2014 Grammy Awards

I am STILL drained from last night's show. How can something put you to sleep and make you need more sleep at the exact same time?   However, there were a few really good performances and other things of note. So without further adieu, here is my annual wrap up the Grammys. Sorry there aren't more pictures but I am in a rush this morning. 
  1. Because of how I feel about the state of the music industry right now, I have very little expectations for tonight’s show besides Justin Timberlake’s “Pusher Love Girl” getting a Grammy. It got one. I'm happy. Let's go. 
  2. Beyonce’ and Jay Z’s opening performance: I’m about to show my age right now.  There used to be a time when artists performed on the Grammys that they wanted to do their classiest performances; they displayed more of their artistic side if you will.  I could understand this performance being on the AMAs, VMAs, or BET Awards but to open up the GRAMMYS with a chair strip tease performed to a song that has to be censored just doesn’t seem apropos to me.  We couldn’t have gotten a crowd rousing performance of “XO”?  I'm not into this at all.
  3. I love Pastor LL Cool J and his speeches! I always want him to end it with “I’m LL Cool J and that’s one to grow on.”
  4. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won again and some people are mad. I have never heard their record and again I have zero expectations when it comes to who the industry votes for. I’m pretty indifferent about this.
  5. Lorde is about to do “Royals” and give y’all a word for the nations if you would just receive it.  Can she please deliver this word at the VMAs and the Source Awards?  Yes she is awkward but I dig this three-piece set she’s got going on. No not the career separates she is wearing. The band.
  6. Hunter Hayes…meant…well?  Maybe…could not…hear?  Maybe….doesn’t sing live…well?  Good message though.
  7. “Stay” by Rihanna and Nashville’sown Mikky Ekko is up for an award and listen: If Mikky Ekko wins, I will jump up and do a praise run down the street in the bitter cold.
  8. Awww they didn’t win.  Oh well. I’m just glad they got nominated.
  9. Katy Perry’s performance: I like plenty of Katy Perry’s songs but have been pretty underwhelmed with her last three award show performances.  Are those pole dancing witches? Katy! It’s not even close to Halloween! This is silly.  I’m going to go load the dishwasher and this isn’t even my house. I’m also going to see if I can dust, put some blinds up, something.  I not into this performance at all.
  10. Robin Thicke has been getting "The Miss Celie from The Color Purple -2 fingers crooked 'Until your music starts doing right by me again, everything you think about’s gon’ fail!'-curse" from me since early last year .  So I really don’t know what to expect with this Robin Thicke and Chicago matchup because lately he has….waaaaaaaait a minute. Did they just go into “Does Anybody Know What Time ItIs”???? *Carlton Banks dance* This is my JAM!!!!! “I was walking down the street one day…” Get into this!
  11. Okay I really like this. I forgot Robin Thicke can really sing and Chicago’s horn section is giving me life. Can we go on and take this to Vegas already?
  12. Aaaaaaaaand now of course we go into “Blurred Lines”, the one one song that will most likely keep me from ever seeing Robin Thicke live.  I just can't anymore.
  13. Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. shred!!!!!! This is a really good performance and my favorite one so far. Who would’ve thought that?
  14. These jokes about Pharrell’s hat? Y’all. I can’t. From “Only Pharrell can prevent forest fires” to “Pharrell is wearing a hat that stores all his money”,  I am cracking up!
  15. Aaaw Dave Grohl! I remember when Kurt Cobain died & I said "What's going to happen to the drummer?! He's my favorite!!!" I love me some Dave Grohl.
  16.  Y’all clown Taylor Swift playing her heart out on this piano but two things:  1) some of y’all are going to be drinking brown liquor to some of these heartbreak songs one day and 2) regarding the hair flipping, y’all know growing your bangs out is a real struggle! Y'all know this! I’m not going to go into another one of my defending Taylor Swift rants so let’s just move on.
  17. Oooh P!nk’s next and she and the lead singer of fun. are about to perform together. Are they going to do a flying trapeze act?
  18.  P!nk is once again hanging from the ceiling giving us Cirque De Soleil realness. If this woman is singing live through all of this (and it sounds like it) and y'all still wanna talk to me about how hard it is to sing live while bundled up in the cold? Just…you know what? Not today. 
  19. Daggonit P!nk! I really don’t like“Give Me the Reason” and I feel like I just got duped with her performance of “Try” to sit through this.
  20. Regarding the lead singer of fun. sounding like Pitchy McPitcherson tonight – Sir, did you really just hit a note sideways like that and then throw the mic to yourself? You know what? Encourage yourself in this moment. We should all have such confidence.
  21. Lorde won for “Royals”!!! Am I the only one that wants her to get on stage and Fiona Apple us right now? Okay maybe that’s not a good idea. She’s only 17. She has a lifetime to offend people.
  22. I understand that Ringo Starr is musical royalty and all but can we just have a come to Jesus moment about his solo performance right now? Y’all. They need to be doing this at someone's backyard picnic, bonfire, Gaither Homecoming, something. I cannot! Ringo was the DRUMMER of The Beatles and unlike Dave Grohl, Jeffrey Osborne, and Phil Collins, this just isn’t quite his…I mean….I’m gonna go get more pizza.
  23. Look at Jay Z being all tender during his acceptance speech! As Tia pointed out, I don’t think he meant that he was going to thank God a little bit. I think he meant more than for the award he was thankful for his wife and that’s sweet.
  24. I feel like this Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar collaboration is going to slay.
  25. Oh I AM HERE FOR THIS!!!!!!! *Headbanging*  *Throwing bows* Joe Carroll, I think this is where we turn up.  Okay seriously, let’s take this thing on the road. If Linkin Park and Jay Z can do it then why on earth not? Best performance of the night. Hands down. Don’t even worry about.
  26. So Paul McCartney and Ringo are performing now. Sooo why did they let Ringo…you know, never mind. fact: Sir Paul is playing the same piano from the Magical Mystery Tour.
  27. Bruno Mars won Best Pop Vocal Album!!!! 
  28. There’s so much of this show left! 

  29. FINALLY the Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, Pharrell, and Daft Punk performance! I love that everyone in this room respects Stevie Wonder so much that no one will even acknowledge the bewilderment on my face about what’s happening to the second verse of this song. Aaaw there it is. Stevie’s going into it again. This is so fun!
  30. Wait…I feel like I am hearing the beginning of “Another Star”. Is that “Another Star”? Are they about to… 

    fosdkfnknjonfjnkjdf vngjkenrgjan rgvjka; jdkf fkdmfokasmaksfmvajnrjgnfjkra nvkja vkanvka kjnre vjankv  

    *Comes up for air* Just end it! Just end the Grammys now!!!! That’s a wrap!!!  Seriously why is there more of this show after this?!
  31. I want to move to New York City,live next door to Cyndi Lauper and have her be my auntie. That is all.
  32. I am seriously so happy for Sarah Bareilles and Pharrell right now getting to play along legends that I don’t doubt they dreamed about as kids. I love seeing this happen for them. I really like this about the Grammys.
  33. *Waves shyly* Heeeey....heeey Jared Leto. Heeeeey....
  34. Okay I got distracted by Jared Leto and also I think I dozed off. Why is Metallica on the GRAMMYsdoing "One"? I'm not against it but are we commemorating something?  If I remember correctly, this song is long and I don't know if I can take this show much longer. 
  35. Oh this a new artists/legendary artist collaboration! Sorry y'all. I'm fighting sleep at this point.
  36. And then it happened: Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson get up to present an award and completely going off script, Steven Tyler goes into “You Really Got a Hold On Me” in tribute to Smokey.  Recognize a G, Steven Tyler! Yaaaassssss!!!!! This was so awkwardly sweet! This has got to be my favorite moment of the night. That’s not hard to be right now but it was great.
  37. *Target Commercial featuring Janelle Monae comes on* We want Grammy reparations for Janelle Monae and we want them NOW!!!!! Now I say!!!!
  38. So I just heard that during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ performance, Queen Latifah is doing a mass wedding ceremony of gay and straight couples and Madonna is going to join her. Seriously how long is this show going to be?!?!?!?!?
  39. About Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’performance : One thing that I am going to work on as I approach 40 is not being afraid to give unpopular opinions so here are my two cents: 1 cent- Some people really have aproblem with them doing this but some of those same people think that anything and everything Beyonce’ and Jay Z do is flawless and sheer perfection. Sometimes I don’t know if these people are reading from the King James Bible or the King Bey Bible. It’s confusing. 2 cents- I also find it confusing how some of the same people on my timeline that want to go off about how no one is to judge, we should all love everyone, and how God loves everyone the same are some of the same people that will drag Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Kanye West through the mud on a continuous basis. They can’t even bend over to tie their shoelaces without some of y’all having something terribly judgmental and downright mean to say. My thing is this: judgments are one thing, opinions are another. Not everyone is going to agree with everything.  We’re not supposed to! Because if we were then let’s just all delete everything from our timeline, go back and watch the Grammys again and try our best not to say anything about Ringo Starr’s performance or what exactly is going on with Stevie Wonder’s hair.
  40. The Memorial section always does me in. It just seems like it is getting longer and longer every year. George Duke! Ugh!
  41. I’m too worn out for this finale of Trent Reznor, Lindsay Buckingham, and Queens of the Stone Age.  On a regular day I’d be down but this show has worn me all the way down in three plus hours.
  42. I’ll say this: one thing I have noticed about the Grammys is that they are really good about every other year.  Last year was fantastic. Maybe next year will be better. 
Well that's my wrap up.  The floor is open for respectful commentary. What were your thoughts about last night's show?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Have a Happy Friday on Pharrell- Toya

It took me a little bit to get into this song because well let's be honest, everyone's not happy all of the time and I've had some rough days recently (more on that soon, I promise). But when I finally got to the website of this brilliant 24 hour video, it was at 4 PM and I am so glad I did.

At the 4 PM mark, Pharrell walks into a building and he seems a bit distraught for someone singing about being happy. It's as if he's heard some bad news and he is still singing this song declaring that "happiness is the truth". He's saying it even though that's not what he feels, as if by singing this out loud he will be fighting what he is feeling.

I tried this. It worked.

To see the rest of this brilliant and groundbreaking video, go to  No matter how you feel today, I hope that happiness will too be your truth. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I did it! - Tia

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was thinking about chopping off my hair. Well, as you can see, I did it.

You may have noticed that we haven't posted a lot in the last several weeks. We have both been going through a lot personally, professionally and emotionally. (I'll let Toya tell you about her stuff in due time.)

Since moving to Atlanta I've been dealing with a lot of changes at work. I found the loneliness of the job and a new city becoming too much for me. My personal relationships were suffering. I was spiraling. I was depressed, plain and simple. Things came to a head on Thanksgiving. I bawled the entire weekend. Once the tears stopped, I realized something had to change.

Without going into too much detail, I decided that I had to change my life. I realized that I have to take care of me. That meant investing less in certain relationships and making others a priority. It meant changing my thoughts, which I'm learning is a daily process. It meant getting serious about my physical and mental health.

When a person decides to change, a lot of things aren't immediate. Certain aspects take work and dedication. I realized that I probably needed to talk to someone professionally. That's a process. I realized that I would have to consistently go to the gym and workout. That's a process. I realized that I would have to invest in the relationships that mattered and fed my soul. THAT'S A PROCESS. But cutting my hair…that was quick. It was change that I could see immediately.

I'd been on the fence about cutting my hair for a while. Going to the gym on a regular basis meant my pressed hair game was pretty much non-existent. And too many Senegalese twists installations had made my edges absent and uncounted for. I had to make a choice.

And I won't even lie, I partly cut my hair out of emotion. After a particularly rough week, I was darn near running to my stylist to chop my locks. I was afraid I was going to be super emotional about my hair. Everything else was sending me into a waterfall of tears, so I assumed chopping my hair would be no different. But it was actually the opposite. Cutting my hair was the most liberating thing that I've most recently done. It may have been the most liberating thing I've EVER done. Changing your life takes time. And often you don't immediately see the results. But cutting your hair is immediate. There are no take backs. Once that hair hits the floor it's a wrap. So for me, the haircut was the catalyst for change that I desperately needed.

I'm still learning a lot about myself and my hair. If you remember my initial post about my thoughts on a big chop, I never wanted to have to become a chemist just to wear short hair. But since I didn't buzz it all off, the reality is when you go short and natural it's going to be trial and error for a while. It hasn't been as hard as I thought but it hasn't been a cake walk either. It's the natural hair journey and I'm on it. But I don't regret it.

While my hair has been the physical change that I needed, I have by no means reached the end of my journey. I'm still working on a lot of things on the inside. And I encourage you to do the same. Life can be overwhelming sometimes. There are days that I swear are designed to beat the ever-loving crap out of me. And I sometimes feel I have NOTHING more to give. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment of my day is getting out of bed and showering. And THAT'S OKAY!!! We are created in God's image but we are NOT God. We are not perfect. We are flawed and living in a broken world. So we have to do the very best that we can each and every day. There will be good days and there will be bad days. There will be days when we go to the salon and chop off all of our hair. There will be days when we have wine and cookies for dinner. There will be days when we stay up late with our friends listening to 80s music, drinking wine and realizing, "Today is a good day." So be encouraged. Some days will be awesome. Some days will suck. But we do the very best that we can each and every day. And remember even on your worst day, your best is good enough.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You Gon' Learn Today: Theo James - Tia

There have been a few times when we have tried to hip you, dear readers, to the new hotness. We want you to be ahead of the curve. This post is partly to school the uninformed and partly to remind those who already know that Theo James is everything.

Remember over two years ago when I told you to get on board with Theo? No…well click here for a refresher.

I've been on board with Theo for a while now. I first stumbled across his fineness on Bedlam. He has his shirt off a good deal on the show. But that's not the only reason I watched. (That didn't hurt anything, though.)

But shirtlessness aside, I am super excited about Theo being cast in the new Divergent movies. The series is one of my favorites. And while physically he isn't what I pictured Four looking like, I will gladly take 2 hours of him running, punching, shooting and the like.

So ladies and gentlemen, get on board now with Theo James now. Don't wait until March. Be a trendsetter and start stalking admiring him now. And if you need further urging:

Now go read the Divergent books and then go see the movie in March. You can thank me later.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy MLK Day!!!

Today I (Tia) had a stark lesson in what unkindness looks like and unfortunately it was me who was unkind.  Something happened and I realized how flawed and truly mean that I can be.  And at the end of it all I began to think about what it might have been like to be confronted day after day with hate, vitriol, unkindness for no other reason than someone didn't like the color of your skin.

Many times I have taken Martin Luther King Jr. Day for granted. I've slept in. I've not given back. I've all but forgotten that I shouldn't play on the holiday (watch the video for the reference) but should do something that matters. Plus, I LIVE IN ATLANTA!!! There are no shortage of opportunities to do something worthwhile.

Going forward I will remember to be kind. I remember to give back to others. I will remember to honor the work and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spotify has some of Dr. King's most famous speeches available. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!!

Hey y'all. It's Tia. It's been a while. Both Toya and I have been going through some life changes and hopefully we'll be able to write about them soon. One of our main goals for this blog is that by sharing our life experiences we can help our readers be encouraged. So keep an eye out for things to come.

In the mean time, I wanted to share my feelings on how I felt when I got the email this morning about electronic w-2s being available.

I kid. (mostly) Being a new homeowner, my tax refund is already spent on a new hot water heater and possibly a new refrigerator. But I still get excited knowing I don't have to tap into the reserves for home repairs.

Remember when your tax refund meant new shoes and cds? Yeah, being an adult can really take the fun out tax season.

Happy Friday Y'all!!