Still I Rise

Seems like these days, in my life, there’s been a lot going on… and nothing going on… simultaneously. Oh, excuse me, do I sound crazy? Ha! You should see the stuff that are really going thru my mind and body right now…pure insanity… and yet there’s always this quiet presence in the background peacefully watching it all (I call it my consciousness… or simply “the observer”).

Still, times like this require some self-soothing, and I’ve been doing that by listening to my collection of 100 Greatest Classical Masterpieces of All Time. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Schubert, Vivaldi, among many others, are all included. They truly do a superb job at soothing my soul. They also really, really make me miss my piano. You see, I played piano growing up, for about 7 years, and though I wish I could say I’ve played all the aforementioned names, I mostly remember playing some Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, maybe some Schubert. I stopped playing when I was 13 years old, which I really regret now. But some day, when I can both afford a piano and fit it into my space, I’ll go back to playing it seriously again, because listening to music can soothe me, but playing it totally transports me.

 Something else I do with the purpose of self-soothing is read some of my favorite poems. Isn’t art something? Whether is poetry, music, a sculpture or painting,  and for me sometimes even fashion, but there’s something about creative people turning whatever thoughts and emotions, whatever state of being they are in, into a beautiful and timeless piece of art that really connects with me. I would even say some of these pieces open me up and allow my own thoughts and emotions, my own state of being to flow and transform. What a powerful thing art can do!

So here I leave you with two pieces that have been particularly alleviating for me the past couple of days: first, the song Nocturne No. 2 by Chopin, and then the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou . Both I’ve been listening to and reading , respectively, over and over again in the past 36 hours. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Now, what do you do to sooth your soul?

 

Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Look of the Day: Fancy Date Night

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Between having my sweetheart gone on a business trip for about 5 weeks and me spending the weekend he came back in bed with a cold, we hadn’t had a proper date night in too long. So I was more than happy to realize the weekend we will finally be able to have one was during Restaurant Week. What better way to reinstate date night than with a fancy date night!
For those of you who don’t know about Restaurant Week, it’s an event where many local restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe menu for a very reasonable price. Many cities nationwide celebrate Restaurant Week, and here in the Phoenix area they’ve been doing it for several years. It’s a great way to get around and try some of the upscale (and pricier!) restaurants without breaking the bank.
We’ve been doing Restaurant Week for a few years now, and this time we decided to try The Capital Grille. It’s a very nice steakhouse and as most in that category they also offer some great seafood choices. The first two courses were delicious, from the french onion soup and salad to the steak & lobster, the seared citrus salmon, even the mashed potatoes and green beans were extraordinary; the desserts were good but didn’t really impress me, the dark cholocate espresso cake was a bit too rich for me, and the creme brulee was good but I’ve had better. All in all a great meal and a great deal.
Now, one of my favorite things about fancy date nights is of course the opportunity to dress up! It seems like here in Arizona there really aren’t very many opportunities to do so. I don’t know if it’s the weather or just a cultural thing, but most people here are very casual in their dressing, sometimes too casual I would say. I mean, I understand that the weather really does require wearing shorts and flip flops most of the time, but that doesn’t automatically make jeans fancy attire!
Anyway, I decided a long time ago to dress for myself and wear what I like even if that makes me overdressed in other people’s eyes. No more saving my nice clothes and favorite outfits for special occasions because those don’t come around often enough for me. At the end of the day, what’s so bad about being “overdressed”? That I might be the best dressed person there? Better to be overdressed than underdressed, that’s for sure.
So, this time I wore an LBD I scored at the Good Will Store for $10, can’t beat that! I love this dress, the skirt is especially flattering on me, but I hadn’t realized until looking at these pics, that I probably need to have the top part tailor a bit. I think it’s supposed to be slightly loose on top, which it’s why it didn’t bother me that it was, but seeing it in the photos I think it’s too loose on the sleeves and waist for me. The dress came with a belt, but this time I switched it for a sequined belt from H&M. I added gold accesories, and voilà, ready for fancy date night!
What would you wear for a fancy date night?

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What I wore
Black dress: Good Will Store
Black sequined belt: H&M
Statement necklace: Bebe
Black clutch: vintage (my mom's from the early 90's!)
Chain bracelet: from Macy's
Gold sparkly shoes: Guess

Newbies

I know I’ve been kind of absent from the blog this week, but things have been a little crazy (as in psycho-crazy!) for me lately. However, I’m ecstatic that it’s finally Friday, and I promise to try really hard to work on some new content this weekend.
I am also very excited to start receiving some packages with a few items I purchased online this week. I’ve been on a real shopping craze for the past 6 weeks or so, and besides waiting to receive some new things in the mail, I have a few new things at home I bought weeks ago that I haven’t worn yet.
So stay tuned to find out how I’ll be styling some of this new babies soon. I won’t show you everything I’ve bought… There is one item in particular I am dyyyyyiiing to show you, but I’ll wait until it’s properly styled to make its debut on the blog (it happens to be a fall item and it’s still too damn hot to wear in this city, so bear with me on the wait)… But here are a few I can share with you for now. I am really excited about the cognac crossbody bag, I had been searching for one for a while; the black shoes are practically flats, and I would’ve liked them to be a little higher, but still happy with them; the two pair of heels are waiting for me at home right now and I can’t wait to get home and greet them; the skirt and nude clutch should be in next week, and the statement necklace may have to wait a couple of weeks to be in my hands. The best part is I got excellent deals on all the items. What do you think? Do you have a favorite item from this list?

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Metallic strappy sandals: Aldo
 Red statement necklace: ILY Couture
 Cognac crossbody bag: Lauren Ralph Lauren via TJ Maxx
 Taupe wedges: Aldo
 Striped skirt: The Limited
 Black low heel wedges: Shoedazzle
 Nude clutch: The Limited
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