Paint and Sip

I went to a Paint and Sip for the first time last night with my girlfriend. We got tickets for $15 on Groupon…..it doesn’t get much better than that.

Hosted by Paint Boire (you can look them up at paintboire.com) at Rocky’s Bar and Restaurant, located at 460 West 34th Street, was Paints, Pints and Pizza. There was approximately 35-40 people at the event and I must say, I would definitely want to attend another event.

The instructor was very funny, witty and personable. He came around to check on everyone and offered to touch up any mistakes on the canvas that would have otherwise been difficult for the patron to mend. One woman actually wrote “Help Me!” on her canvas and he was able to transform it.

As you can see, my friend took a different route with her painting and the instructor totally encouraged it. In fact, several people ended up with paintings nothing similar to what was being taught.

I am someone who has zero drawing/painting skills. I am one step above drawing stick figures for people. If I can walk out with my painting looking as decent as it did, anyone can!

If you’ve never participated in a paint and sip, I recommend it. It is perfect for girls night out, guys night out or a date. You’d be surprised how fluid your brush skills start getting with a glass of wine and music. (S/N: they offered a special of happy hour priced drinks for anyone at the event)

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Netflix: Room

If you’re looking for something to watch on Netflix, I recommend Room.

Room is about a young lady who is being held in captivity in a shes located behind her kidnapper’s house. Not only is she in the room, but so is her five year old son who was fathered by her kidnapper.

This young woman has been living in the room for seven years. It is a single room that has a bed, a wardrobe, a bathtub, a hotplate and a television. There is also a skylight.

The young boy is told that the people on television are not real. He is led to believe that there is not a world beyond the four walls he is living in. His mother does this, of course, so that he does not yearn for more than what he has.

Old Nick, the man holding them captive, comes to the room in the evening, at which point the young boy has to spend the night in the wardrobe. He has no interaction with his father.

Old Nick tells the mother that he has been out of work and is low on money. Fearful that he will eventually kill them due to not being able to sustain them any longer, the mother becomes desperate and formulates a plan to escape. She convinces her son to play dead so that Old Nick will take him outside and leave him somewhere to get rid of his body. At this point, he is supposed to run and go for help. His mother gives him a piece of paper to put in his pocket with a message asking for help. The young boy played sick at first in an attempt to have Old Nick take him to a hospital but Old Nick refuses to take him and just gets antibiotics. This is when Plan B came into effect.

I will not describe Room any further and I won’t reveal what transpires after this point. Check it out and see for yourself.

It is amazing how this young mother kept her sanity for seven years in a confined room and no doubt her son is where she drew her strength to push through. Room was the only life he ever knew and because of this and being sheltered from any knowledge of the world that existed outside of the room, he was able to be a pretty “normal” and even minded young boy.

The City that Never Sleeps

It’s amazing how you can live in a city your whole life and still not have experienced all that it has to offer. I live in New York City, which is made up of five boroughs: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. I was born in Brooklyn and lived there until my freshman year of high school. We then moved to Staten Island where I lived for another 9 years. At this point, I moved on to Yonkers, which is the very beginning of Westchester County and borders the Bronx (you can literally walk from the Bronx to Yonkers). I then returned to Staten Island years later and have been living here again for the last six years, while working in Brooklyn.

So my entire life I have lived and worked in New York and for some parts, right next to it, and still there are so many hidden gems that have yet to be discovered. There are tourists that have seen more of New York City than I have.

The thing is, there is literally so much to do here that even when you do get out, there is still so much more to see. One person can’t possibly take all of it in. That’s what I love about New York City. There are endless possibilities of things to do. You will literally never have nothing to do.

I have always been obsessed with going out and exploring new sites and cultures and events and New York is one of the only places that has something for everyone. We have restaurants and clubs and sites to accommodate any interest or preference you have.

My girlfriend and I decided that hopefully twice a month, we will go out and explore something new within New York City. This includes any and all of the boroughs. There are so many websites that you can learn about what there is to do and get discount tickets to different venues and events. With Goldstar and Groupon, the possibilities are endless. With public transportation, every place is just a train ride away. Or an Uber.

A few weeks ago, we ended up in Industrial City in Sunset Park at a temporary Escher Exhibit.

We then ended up in Little Italy in Manhattan at a cozy Italian restaurant called La Vita Bella.

Last night, we went to a Japanese restaurant in Times Square called Natsumi. It is located on West 50th St off of 8th Avenue. There are actually two Natsumi locations on that same street. It was intimate and cozy. Nice, laid back and relaxing atmosphere. The salmon avocado rolls were very tasty and I enjoyed my cheesecake dessert.

Afterwards, we went to Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd St. The place was packed and seating was tight but once the jokes started rolling (and the drinks start hitting), you don’t even care.

In between activities and after, we acted like tourists and enjoyed the bright lights and lots of pictures. It was midnight yet you would have thought it was 2 pm with how active and bright it is. New York City is literally the city that doesn’t sleep.

My train ride home went smooth until I had to transfer. The one I needed was no longer running so I called an Uber (which got there in literally one minute) to take me to my car. That’s another thing about New York City. An Uber is ALWAYS waiting.

That’s Amore

I took a picture last night from the San Gennaro festival on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, New York City. These two lovebirds happened to be sitting right in front of me and I purposely included them in my picture because they looked so cute and into each other.

Could it have been a first date? Possibly. Maybe a couple who broke up and got back together? High school sweethearts? Who knows.

Happy National Margarita Day!


Every year in the United States, February 22nd is National Margarita Day. The margarita is the most common, tequila based cocktail in the United States. 

A margarita is a cocktail that consists of triple sec, tequila and lime or lemon juice. It is also garnished with salt around the rim. You can order your margarita shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen) or without ice (straight up). It also comes in a variety of flavors including strawberry (my personal fave), mango, limeade, watermelon, pomegranate and raspberry. 

There are many stories about the origin of the margarita, but all agree it started somewhere between the 1930’s and 1940’s. One of the earliest stories attributes the drink to a restaurant owner by the name of Carlos “Danny” Herrera. His restaurant was called “Rancho La Gloria” and was located between Tijuana and Rosario, Mexico. Supposedly, he created the margarita for a customer, Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits except tequila. 


Pictured above, the Coronorita is one of my favorite drinks. It is basically a beer cocktail with a bottle of Corona turned upside down into a frozen margarita. 

What’s Your Favorite Cover?

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

Many songs have been covered by another artist later in time.  Sometimes, the cover turns out to be better than the original.  I wanted to share some originals and their covers with you and please feel free to comment some of your favorite covers as well.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

1- Etta James ‘At Last’.  Cover done by Beyoncé

 

 

2- Fleetwood Mac ‘Landslide’.  Cover by The Dixie Chicks

 

 

3-Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.  Cover done by Panic at the Disco.  *I first learned about Bohemian Rhapsody when I watched “Wayne’s World” in the 90’s. My son introduced me to the cover recently as  Panic at the Disco is one of his favorite groups.  This is a pretty difficult song to cover and while nothing can beat Queen’s version, I think the Panic boys did a pretty good job.

 

 

4-Dolly Parton ‘I Will Always Love You’.  Cover by Whitney Houston.  This is probably one example where I like the cover way more than the original.  This song was meant for Whitney.

 

 

 

5-  Chaka Khan ‘I’m Every Woman’.  Cover done by Whitney Houston.  *I don’t think it’s possible for Whitney to NOT kill any song she sings.

 

 

6-DeBarge ‘Love Me In a Special Way’. Cover done by Tamia.  *Tamia makes any song that she sings sound amazingly beautiful.

 

 

7- Frankie Valli ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off of You’.  Cover done by Lauryn Hill.

 

 

8-Betty Hutton ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. Cover done by Bjork.

 

Happy Espresso Day


Today is National Espresso Day. In case you don’t know what exactly an espresso is, here is Wikipedia’s definition:


In honor of Espresso Day, McDonalds was giving free medium McCafe drinks, hot and cold, to customers with the McDonalds app. I enjoyed the Caramel Mocha. 

Queen Bey

So I’ve been a long time fan of Beyoncé. Ever since she was in Destiny’s Child. I was listening to a Beyoncé playlist on Spotify while driving home the other night and there are seriously so many songs that she has done over the course of her career that there is no way I could pick a favorite. Or even a top five for that matter. I was thinking about her videos and started pondering which ones would be on my all time top ten list. 

I would like to share my ten most favorite music videos of Beyonce’s. Not necessarily because of the song alone, but that combined with the visual appeal. Please feel free to share and comment which is your favorite Beyoncé song or video. 

1. Get Me Bodied-This is one of my all time favorite feel good songs. Not just from Beyoncé but in general. This song always makes me feel good and I find it hard to sit still when I hear it. I absolutely loved the video when it first came out and loved that she had the former D.C. members and her sister, Solange, featured in it. Who can resist dancing when you hear Bey naming those classic dances?

2. Ring the Alarm- This is a personal favorite for me because what woman can say that they haven’t been in a relationship or came out of a relationship where they felt cheated? Like you gave your all just for him to move on to someone new. We all have a little bit of crazy in us (some more than others) and this definitely expresses what a lot of women have felt. 

3. Listen-This song is off of the Dreamgirls soundtrack. This song has a lot of personal meaning to me because it encompasses what I felt during the last few years of my past relationship. I felt very trapped and it’s like I was dying inside. He was very verbally and psychologically abusive and loved to tell me that I would be nothing without him. He never seemed to understand or care how unhappy I was and thought that as long as he paid rent, I should be happy. I remember belting this song out when I was home alone because it is exactly what I was feeling. I used to tell my mom and friends that my home doesn’t feel like home and then I heard Beyoncé say “I am alone at a crossroads. I’m not at home in my own home. And I tried and tried to say what’s on my mind. You should have known.”

4. Crazy In Love-This was the first video Beyoncé made during her solo career after Destinys Child. She is not done up but still looks beautiful. She gave us the “uh oh” dance and her legs are giving me life in those shorts. This was the first song her and Jay didntogether after “03 Bonnie and Clyde” and they had a definite chemistry. 

5. If I Were a Boy-how many times do we say that men would never be able to handle it if we did to them what they do to us all the time? Every lyric in this song is relatable to women and shows the many double standards that exist in relationships. I love the twist at the end where she is the one doing dirty and he uses the “how do you think that makes me feel?” Line on her. 

6. Upgrade You-Every strong man has a strong woman in his corner. “I can do for you what Martin did for the people. Ran by the men but the women keep the tempo. It’s very seldom that you’re blessed to find your equal. Still play my part but let you take the lead role”

7. Hold Up-I think I like this song so much because it is an updated version of Ring the Alarm and anything that’s a little crazy appeals to me. I love her yellow dress and her willingness to admit that even Bey gets insecure and jealous. “What’s worse? Looking jealous or crazy. More like being walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy”. 

8. Single Ladies- this is another feel good song and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t memorize the choreographed dance routine in this video. It was mocked on multiple forums and the best was Justin Timberlakes rendition of the famous video on Saturday Night Live. This song is played at every party and wedding reception and woman love doing the wrist twist.

9. Run The World- This video is very visually appealing to me and Beyoncé said she received inspiration for this video by the different dances and cultures she saw when she took time off to travel. “Boy you know you love it how we smart enough to make these millions. Strong enough to bear the children. Then get back to business”. 

10. Irreplaceable-this song gave us the famous “to the left” line. “To the left to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left”. A message to all that you are NOT irreplaceable. I think most woman can say they have sung this song after a breakup or when in the end stages of a failed relationship. 

R and B

I honestly love all genres of music, but R and B is my favorite without a doubt. Maybe it’s because I’m a hopeless romantic that these tunes seem to touch me the most. Whether I’m in love, have a crush or am heartbroken, there is an R and B song that knows exactly how I feel. I remember falling asleep while listening to the Quiet Storm every night in high school. Today’s R and B will never compare to the talent that we had back when I was growing up. Only in the 90’s would a group of guys dressed in baggy jeans and Timbs belt out a love song while dancing in the rain. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite old school R and B videos with you. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share your favorites with me as well. 

Underneath It All

There’s times where I want something more

Someone more like me

There’s times when this dress rehearsal

Seems incomplete

But, you see the colors in me like no one else

And behind your dark glasses you’re… 

You’re something else

You’re really lovely

Underneath it all

You want to love me

Underneath it all

I’m really lucky

Underneath it all

You’re really lovely 

You know some real bad tricks
And you need some discipline

But, lately you’ve been trying real hard

And giving me your best

And, you give me the most gorgeous sleep

That I’ve ever had

And when it’s really bad

I guess it’s not that bad

So many moons that we have seen
Stumbling back next to me

I’ve seen right through and underneath

And you make me better

I’ve seen right through and underneath

And you make me better

Better… better…

You are my real Prince Charmin’

Like the heat from the fire

You were always burnin’

And each time you’re around

My body keeps stalin’

For your touch

Your kisses and your sweet romancin’

There’s an underside to you

That so many adore

Aside from your temper

Everything else secure

You’re good for me, baby

Oh that, I’m sure

Over and over again

I want more

You’ve used up all your coupons

And all you’ve got left is me

And somehow I’m full of forgiveness

I guess it’s meant to be

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all

You want to love me

Underneath it all

I’m really lovely

Underneath it all

And you’re really lovely