kindred the family soul :: everybody’s hustling

kindred the family soul released their latest project a couple friends today featuring the single “everybody’s hustling.” check out the video and go cop that!!!


press the restart button

2013 has been a whopper of a year for me. the worst ever, actually, but i refuse to dwell on the negative because so many other things went right in my life. as the saying goes, sometimes things have to fall apart so they can fall back together. and it may not look as you expected, but it will come back together in the end. be-lee-dat!!

so here’s the good side to my 2013 because the bad…well, it deserves absolutely no energy.



2013 kicked off with dutch playing sports…basketball!!! it’s always a good time watching him play. his game improves more and more each season and he really seems to enjoy himself out there on the court. and that’s what it’s all about.

and while most of the early year was devoted to the game, we took time out to celebrate my stepmama’s birthday down in old town alexandria, virginia. we walked and walked and walked for a few blocks and by the time we all arrived at the restaurant i was dizzy as all get out. it wasn’t the first time. i had a bad case of dizziness on the treadmill too. my husband blamed it on me being out of shape, but after an ekg and blood tests, i found out that my anemia had kicked in rather strongly. (and i have a heart murmur i never knew about too!!) so if you’re feeling dizzy and just plain ‘ol out of sorts, get your bloodwork done!!

in fact, there are a whole slew of symptoms tied to anemia that could be affecting your life: weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), irritability and other mood disturbances, pale skin (however, healthy-looking skin color does not rule out anemia if a patient has risk factors and other symptoms of anemia), mental confusion and loss of sexual drive. i have felt allllllll of those at one point or another throughout the years and although i’ve taken iron supplements before i never stayed on them long enough to feel the total effects. won’t be doing that again! having my blood iron back on track 100% improved my overall well-being tremendously. no more exhaustion, freaky anxiety attacks or nothing.

but anyway…enough of that and my oh-my-goodness-am-i-about-to-have-a-heart-attack scare.apr2013onto april!! it snowed during dutch‘s spring break! weird, but we rolled with it and dutch got to play in it for a bit. we spent loads of time playing outdoors and i finally landed a little job that drove me almost to the point of insanity. i blogged about it at one point, but then i deleted it. so, oh well… just know that it wasn’t a good look for your girl. or anybody for that matter. the job + trying to get my iron levels back on track + everything else going on in my world had my head spinning. but i’m a mama so i kept smiling and pressed forward.


and smile, i did!! next up was my cousin aliya’s baby shower. i love these chicks right here to pieces and it’s always a good time when we’re together. always. smack talking and drinks!!! laughing, joking and just utter silliness. no drinks for the pregnant chick of course, but you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen a woman with a preggo belly hit the hee-haw (dc, where you at??).

trust, you had to be there. it was a sight to behold. it was also nice to have my mama there to bestow her *ahem* wisdom on us youngins. mayjune2013

this is just a modge podge of 2013 randomness. a guitar i painted earlier in the year for my niece, a demin clutch i made from my husband’s old jeans, me and my mama hanging out in the backyard at a bridal shower cookout for my cousin imari, and me and my dutchie having a picnic at gravelly point park. to know my son is to know he never wants to go anywhere except toys r us. so i drug his behind out the house, grabbed a blanket and some food and we had a grand old time watching the planes take off and land. it’s a day i won’t soon forget because we had so much fun just being silly. mayjune2my sexy librarian look (as they called it on instagram!!). ha! well, i was going on a job interview and i got there a little early so why not selfie, right? well, i didn’t land the job, but daggone it, i looked good!!

and you just don’t even understand the level of excitement i felt when i was finally able to pull my curly bush back into a ponytail. oh yes, hunty was happy!!


my cousin imari jumped the broom!!! we had a great time celebrating with the new couple, but dutch was a little disappointed that we didn’t have a chance to dance at the reception. he wanted to get his party on!

shorthairremember that ponytail i was soooooo excited about having? well, i chopped that sucka right on off. not only was i just getting tired of all that hair and the heat of summer, but i needed change and i needed it fast!! not that short hair is that drastic of a change for me. i’ve been wearing my hair short like this for almost 20 years. at the beginning of the summer i began feeling more like the old me than i had felt in years so it time for the hair to go and for me to get back in my niki zone.


let me tell you about that skirt in the pic. just before summer i was seeing the weight i had held onto for years sorta melt away. but i didn’t realize just how much it melted away until i headed down old town in that skirt and had to hold the puppy up before it hit the bricks! haha… i did. so it didn’t.

music soothes me and i did a lot of record spinning over the summer to calm my thoughts. i also played music on my kindle, on pandora from my phone, cd’s and i kept vh-1 soul on most times. music all around me. that’s how i like it. hey, like bob marley said, “one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” unless the wrong song comes on, of course. but that’s another story. random_2see my baby complaining? it’s one of his most favorite-ist things to do in life. haha… we stopped thru eastern market on our way to my mama’s house to get her a bunch of flowers for her birthday. i also attended the wedding of an old friend over the summer and she had the cutest wedding and reception that included skits of her and her husband on a big screen. she was absolutely stunning! joy, joy, joy!!randomness3we attended a family member’s birthday party at a restaurant back in july and the guys were mostly bored, i suppose. but i got up danced because that’s what you do at a party with music, no? i’m all about making the most of any situation so if there’s music and a dancefloor that’s where i’ll be. thank you very much.

lemonade out of lemons, my friends.

that month a girlfriend and i also hung out at a little spot called puro lounge in georgetown. we sipped mojitos and had the most fabulous food! i hear the head chef has left the building so if you go there now i can’t stamp the new cook. sorry!


at the beginning of the summer we spent sooooooo much time at the pool. me and my boy…every day at the pool. worked fine for me, i got my tan on and dutch got his band-aid on from scraping those toes at the bottom of the pool. the upside is he became a much better swimmer and is absolutely fearless in the water. which scares me just a wee bit but we worked it out. perhaps next summer he’ll learn to dive off the diving board because the child begged me about doing that alllllll.summer.long.summer2013_2

and not just my tan, i got my workout on too!! i hit the gym when i could, walked a lot and changed up my diet. between that and my appetite decreasing (due too much daggone stress) i was getting right back down to my pre-dutch weight. well, helllllloooooooooo!! took long enough, huh? but remember what i said about the exhaustion from anemia?? i’d literally wake up every morning sleepy. hard to motivate yourself to workout when you’re dead tired all the time.

oh, and my fur baby charlie!! we bond over stare down contests. he likes to stare at you before he decides to attack your face and smother you with puppy love and kisses. he’s special.

pooltimemore pool time at my aunt jackie’s with the fam!! the kids had a great time dancing and swimming and so did the adults. these little people are amazing. smart. talented. just all around good kids. yeah, they can irk the nerves of their parents and all that, but we’re so blessed to have such cool kids.

summerwinddowndutch and i finally hit up a waterpark just before school started and before we knew it it was time for back-to-school with endless school supply lists and back-to-school nights. dutch went to school, we, the parents, went to the movies!!

but ooops!!! just realized i put the same pic up twice of me in a hippie rv at the gas station. i met an interesting trio at the gas station who were all about love and peace and happiness and hope. they coulda been high, who knows. haha… the chick offered me almonds, but i kindly declined. anyway, they invited me to sit in their rv and write a love msg on it. i did. why not? i love people. well, some of them anyway.

birthdaysbirthday time for me and the kid!! i made a birthday banner for my dutchie and then baked cupcakes for his class. the kids loved them!! then the following month i had the most awesome 40th birthday celebration ever!! definitely the highlight of my year. the love in that room for me that night was so thick and i needed it. i needed the laughs, the tears, the dancing, the shouting…the words. chiiiiiilllllld, that birthday will go down in the history books of birthdays for me.

funtimesmy fam… kindred the family soul! aja and fatin came in town for a show at the birchmere and it was a great show as usual. if you have not seen them perform live yet, please do! you won’t be disappointed.

a couple weeks later it was off to philly for fatin’s 40th birthday party at ms. tootsie’s. it was a quick trip but we packed in the fun…’cause that’s how we do it. good food, good drinks and GREAT music ’cause the dj was allllll the way on point! i woke up after 4 hours of sleep and it was just about time to hit the road again.

i also caught up with my girls and former sister 2 sister magazine coworkers for an open mic night at the legendary bohemian caverns. it always freaks me out a bit being down in the caverns, hadn’t been there in years, but it really is a cool spot. it’s been around since 1926 and hopefully will be around for many, many more years.Christmasand then came Christmas! dutch’s excitement over his mile-long wwe everything list rubbed off on me a bit. i couldn’t wait for him to see all that he had gotten. i fell asleep waaaaaay before him on Christmas eve (i’m talking 8:30pm, y’all) but was wide awake before him and ready to get crackin’ Christmas morn’! nothing like family love to bring a smile to your face.

so now that 2013 is over and done i’m ready to press the restart button and begin new again.

happy new year, everyone!!

how high?

so high that they can reach your thighs!! yes, ma’am. thigh high boots are hot, hot, hot and here are a few of my faves that i’ve run across recently.

gianmarcocollectorfound at far fetch

bcbgcopyfound at bcbg

jeffcampmikafound at karmaloop

balmainfound at balmain

jeffcampgashedluv luv luv!!! found at nasty gal

rickowensthighhighfound at far fetch

and okay, so this isn’t a thigh high boot… it’s not a boot at all, but daaaaaang, they’re hot!! just love ’em. and i told you all my attention span is super short and my mind is all over the place so with that said…

pierrelaceupwedgefound at far fetch yeah-er!!!

rings & things

a mixed bag of awesome randomness…because sometimes that’s how my mind works. ooooooo…a ring!! but wait, a journal!! i’m sure you’ll think these pickings are pretty sweet too!

galisflystackringboxgalisfly stack ring box, $99 knuckle rings

i’m a huge fan of rings and i own plenty, but what i don’t have is anything gold because i’m pretty much a silver kinda girl. i also don’t have any stacking or knuckle rings so hello!!! definitely on the dream wishlist!

celfieteesincerely, jules celfie t shirt, $39

a cute tee and beat up boyfriend jeans? yes, please & thank you.

makersgonnamakehandcrafted notebooks, $12.99 for three

i make stuff and i always keep a blank journal around. yeah-er!!

herringbone_papaya_grandeherringbone papaya scarf, $120

keep that neck warm and cute. who doesn’t love a great scarf?


el pozo de los deseos, $99

because i’m a sterling silver girl at heart and this baby is simple and solid. love.

freepeoplewe the free wonder woman top, $78

comfy, long and looks cute with leggings? sold! not to mention it’s called the wonder woman top. i’m wonder woman. i need this top.

mixedmetalstackingringsmixed metal stacking rings, $85

years ago i noticed that a friend had several bands on her ring finger and when i asked about it she told me the significance of each band. they were all given to her by her husband at different stages throughout their marriage. sweet, right?? the same look can be achieved by stacking rings that are sold in sets and there are so many to choose from these days.

ribbedupmaxicardiribbed up maxi cardigan, $78

i love a cardigan that i can just toss on and keep it moving and this particular is just too cute with its huge floppy pockets and dainty buttons.