Alex in The City: Pumpkin Fest!

Reporting live from Central Parks Pumpkin Fest presented by Care.com and guess what…… There’s a parkour station !!!!! I was only planning on a morning run but I must answer when such great adventure as this tempts me!

I am waiting for the set up to be completed.

I am soooooo sticking around to do this. I’ll report back with deets!

Enjoy

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Alex in the city: DIANA NYAD SWIMMING FOR RELIEF

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Aside from Scandal one of my favorite shows to watch is Super Soul Sunday on OWN! It really is like my church sometimes.

Well this past Sundays episode put a spotlight of an amazing woman by the name of Diana Nyad.

If you’re not familiar with Diana, I wasn’t before Sunday, she is most recognized for her swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64 and a few attempts of that very swim before she succeeded.

What did this have to do with my Tuesday you ask? Well I got to see Diana in action yesterday as she swam in a two lap makeshift pool in Herald Square here in NYC. If Diana were not inspirational enough already she is completing a 48 swim as a part of the Swim for Relief campaign to help Hurricane Sandy Survivors.

A few other notable swimmers were also part of the relief swim including a cool guy, you might have heard of him his name is OLYMPIC MEDALIST RYAN LOCHTE!!!!!

I did not get to see Ryan swim but I did see Diana and write an inspirational message to her on the Tampax wall. (Could proctor and gamble not think of anything other than a Tampax wall, sounds like something not nearly as pleasant as it was). While I was there I took a few shots, check them out below!!!

Also check out more info on the swim for relief campaign here or send an inspirational tweet to Diana at her twitter handle @diananyad ! If you are in The City stop buy and cheer on the swimmers!

love!

Alex
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Thank you for reading! If you like it SHARE IT! You can pin my photos, share this blog on twitter, tumblr etc and even subscribe using the options below this post!!

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ALEX IN THE CITY: NYFF Viewing of 12 Years A Slave

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Last night I made my first appearance at the 51st New York Film Festival and what an opening event it was for me. Last night in the Walter Reade Theater “12 years a slave” directed by THE Steve McQueen, played for two jam packed audiences.  I did not make the early viewing which included the Q&A with the cast (Q&A should go up on their YT channel HERE) and director and I am kicking myself for it. I attended the 10:30 show and got to see Mr. McQueen and Chiwetel as they left. I also spotted Miss Jay in a fabulous print pant suit. I was cool, calm and collected when Mr. McQueen stopped near me to sign autographs and did the normal “OMG that’s Steve and that’s Chiwetel.” If I had any idea of what I was about to see in that theater I would have had to, at the very least, thank him profusely for such an honest piece of work.

I do not know the last time I, if ever I saw a film that was so unflinching so honest and so masterfully made with such artistry that was equally devastating all at once. My goodness, I was not prepared. Myself and both of my friends cried until we were all but wailing in the theater. During a gut wrenching scene witch Lupita Nyong’o’s character is whipped…. I could not move, I had to remind myself to breathe. I am writing the draft for this blog as I sit on the C train on my way to work and I am fist fighting tears as I play the scene back in my mind. I cant give any spoilers but I can say that Chiwetel and Lupita, sweet lord Lupita…. BLEW ME AWAY!

“OH MY GOD. Oh my God. Oh my God”  And “Jesus” was basically all I could muster after leaving the theater.

Listen to me when I say EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS FILM! EVERYONE! Check out the full list of release dates here, “12 Years a Slave” will be playing in limited theaters in the US beginning October 18th.

Needless to say, I enjoyed it. I will more than likely be back for the Sunday viewing with more friends and Steve McQueen is sooooooooo on my radar, as if he weren’t already!

GO SEE THIS FILM!

love Alex
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Thank you for reading! If you like it SHARE IT! You can pin my photos, share this blog on twitter, tumblr etc and even subscribe using the options below this post!!

 

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Photos from my first weeks in NYC!

I have soooooooo been meaning to update this blog in the last few weeks but all I’ve been doing is GOING GOING GOING! Fret not my loves! i have taken plenty a picture along the way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so consider yourselves served with a new post!!!!

 

 

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Postcard From Europe!

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Me in the garden at la Gellerie De Mediterranee’ in Marseille France

I am back from vacation, recovered and I finally have some time to update!Back to business! 

I had an amazing experience in Atlanta and on my 6 day cruise on the Mediterranean. The trip was my first time traveling abroad and officially getting my passport stamped! The excitement!

I really had the time of my life. Travel is one of my great pleasures and this trip was
a perfect mix of calm cruising and adventurous trekking. While I loved visiting each city, making impromptu excursions and using what little Spanish and French skills I possess I must admit that it was great to go back to the ship at the end of the day where my native tongue was prominent and there was a little less figuring out to do. The Norwegian Epic is a great ship with lots to offer!

The trip included a visit to Napoli, Civitavecchia/ Roma, Pisa, Palma De Mallorca, Marseille and or original and a return to Barcelona for a very long flight back to the States.

If I detailed every city for you all it would be a never ending post so I will be taking it one city and subject at a time!!!! Yayy for more posts!

I, of course, have to go down the fashions and amazing cuisine I came across each day and chronicle the tales of the most extravagant vacation I’ve been on this far and share it with you here on my beloved blog. Trust there were many laughs, and great moments of reflection, great food and fun and lessons and genuinely good times.

PSA: My friend and I took in each port sans your guide in an effort to avoid spending unnecessary cash (the excursions were exorbitantly priced and got so so reviews) and get a more authentic experience and I am so glad we did.

I was glad to use my new up band while walking around the cities and the ship. We committed to only taking the stairs while on the ship and we worked out nearly everyday. The gym was wonderful with an awesome view!

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Candice and I in Atlantic Station, Atlanta GA

 

I spent a day and a half before and after the cruise in Atlanta in the process of usual Atlanta fun I got to reunite with my friend Candice that I mentioned in my DC Postcard! You can read about that trip here!

 

Soooooo, until next time enjoy some of my fantastic photos! I took over 1500 photos on this trip and I really am in love with many of them.

Love! 

-Zan

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My friend and Kindred spirit and now my International travel buddy! T!

 

 

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

T at lunch in Marseille

T at lunch in Marseille

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

 

My Deep Conditioner Concoction

I make an honest effort to carve out time each Sunday to deep condition my hair and or give it a protein treatment and I choose to use a mixture of products treat different issues. I mix a scalp-nourishing oil, a moisturizer, damage control product, and a strengthening product. The mixture of products that I have been using the past two weeks has done wonders for my thick tresses and I wanted to share in hopes that someone else may Experience the same benefits as I.

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Carols Daughter Monoi Oil repairing conditioner, Lisa’s hair elixir, and repairing hair mask. Spectrum organic coconut oil. L’oreal EverCreme conditioner, Paul Mitchell daily moisturizer.

I combined the products shown above too create a conditioner/hair mask/oil treatment that has all the benefits but takes a lot less time. After applying the mixture I put my hair into double strand twists and they it hang for a day or two so that I would have a solid look when I transitioned to a twist out for a Christmas brunch and other holiday run-around.

I was really pleased that a single days efforts in hair-styling lasted me an entire week. Check out the video above and photos below for additional commentary and this weeks conditioning results!

On another note I would like to give an honorable mention to the products I use. I am a very conscious consumer and I do research not just on the quality of the product and how it makes my hair feel I also look for a great background to a product whether it be something I was introduced to by a friend or celebrity campaign, a sulfate free product and a cruelty-free and honorably run company etc., these are all things I look for and am honestly influenced by. I like to knowwho is going to benefit or be hurt by something I am buying, where my money is going, what it took to make the product, what had to happen for me to be able to use this product, that is important to me because I don’t want to buy something that goes against my values if I don’t have to. Here’s a quick run-down of these products why they are great, why I support them and how I got to ‘Know’ them!

1. Carols Daughter – Cruelty free, sulfate free shampoos conditioners and other products. This company’s mission involves using natural ingredients to create quality products that serve the diverse beauty needs of world we live in  . Supporting Carols Daughter is also supporting “black business”, which is important to me. I also met the creator of this brand when I picked up products at a pop-up store in New Orleans during Essence Music Festival last summer, the sales people were delightful and informed, I loved it.

2. Paul Mitchell – Three words: Culture of Giving! Paul Mitchell’s Foaming Pomade was THE FIRST product I used in my hair after my big chop back in 2010 and I have been in love ever since! I did some research on the company and was elated to find that in addition to  creating quality, effective, and beautifully fragrant products (I am big on smell) they are a cruelty free company with a concern for our planet and a culture of giving. You can check out more info on their website HERE! For all of those who limit yourself to only natural hair products or products made for “black hair” you are really missing out on some great product, do what works for you and support great business. I rarely use the pomade anymore but the daily conditioner is a regular in my hair routine and the super-skinny serum is exquisite as well, its smells amazingly!

3. L’oreal – I watched a Ustream video of Kerri Washington and her glam-squad buddy Takiesha*and found out about the wonders of the L’oreal ‘Ever’ line, in that video Kerry uses the EverStrong but I came to find that the L’oreal EverCreme (Eva Longoria endorses that particular line of products) worked better for my hair and I have stuck with it after not having as much luck with Pantene Relaxed and natural products. This line is sulfate free and makes my hair feel, look, and smell beautifully. L’oreal is also a cruelty free company and they are more reasonably priced that both Paul Mitchell and Carols Daughter, I will spend for the quality products or wait for them to go on sale but it is great when they are a little more affordable at their original price.

4. Spectrum oil – Coconut oil has been raved about on natural hair blogs everywhere and my personal stylist recommends it as well. I will admit it stained my sheets when I got a little enthusiastic with the application but it has made all the difference in the sleekness and softness of my hair especially when transitioning from one style to the next without wetting. There really is no big story behind spectrum for me at this moment, I bought this particular jar of oil at Whole Foods on sale for 7 bucks along with some sesame oil I picked up for Oil Pulling, whole foods even had a $2-off coupon to sweeten the deal! Thus far I love it I just wish it hadn’t stained my gorgeous chocolate brown sheets! Any tips on how to get that out?

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Thanks for checking in!

Made with love,

Zan

Scandal Hiatus- Therapy session #2

Dirty Little Secrets

Ah! Week two. After the first episode of scandal I was all in! I had to have it, by the time that extra minute of Greys came on and I got my twitter fired up and ready to go I was foaming at the mouth! Then it came, Kerry’s voice saying “Previously on Scandal.” It is now Shonda’s job to say those words that every Gladiator waits to hear on a Thursday night but that is neither here nor there.

102 was full of dirty little secrets and not just the one between the Fitz and Liv! In the opening scene Scandal writers are giving us little scandalous Gladiator biscuits of dramatic irony with Sharon Marquette’s commentary on Liv and her position at the white house. Seeing that granny has been around the block once or twice and is D.C. ‘s self proclaimed finest madame I really wouldn’t be surprised if she had a clue but let’s not reach. Sharon carries on about how Olivia “made him” from a “diamond in the ruff” into this sexy, confident, President with an immaculate image to match. I feel, and I think Olivia would agree, that Sharon should be thinking about her own sketchy situation.

Gladiators

 

Pope and Associates is in full effect! This episode is the home of some of the most popular Gladiator phrases including the proverbial “White hat” and that simple yet cogent demand by Olivia for OPA a to be on “All cylinders people, Let’s go!” *add domineering strut* And one that I relish in in a very special way… the “HARRISON” shout! Ahh the good old days!

Quinn is still trying to find out what is going on, asking too many questions as usual, trying to be used to her full capacity but can’t even manage to keep track of a Amanda Tanner. Abby is all in pieces about Steven buying sex and Harrison is straight up trying to plea the 5th on all his hooker knowledge and involvement to “avoid awkward conversation like the one we’re having right now.” I really want to take a brief moment and go back to the moment in which my relationship with Abby took a very very very sharp turn in the right direction. Two words, three syllables and the beginning of a few episodes of me actually Liking Abby: GINGER BELL!

I laughed my spleen out when Abby started in on this little hooker!

“Its like her parents didn’t want her to go to college… Like they wanted her to be a hooker.”

Oh that just lit up my life!

Sunny Day

As David comes to rain on the party, Liv gears up, metaphorical constitution in hand, ready to make sure that Sharon’s clients never have to worry about wearing a raincoat on a sunny day. I’m sure David will never forget those words “My white hat’s bigger than yours.” I lived for that moment, and the one a few seconds before when Liv greets David with this cutesy patronizing remark ….

“Hey David, how are you? Did you get a new haircut? It’s Nice!”

And then proceeded to read his ass the law!

;

Scandal in Paradise

Poor poor Patrick Keating, this whole whore to housewife transition just caught him at the worst time ever seeing that he was having the best day of his life until Liv paid him a visit. Now, every saint has a past and every sinner has a future but Mrs. Keating has GOT to be a little better at… well, basically her entire life. There are a few people in life I wouldn’t lie to ever by omission or otherwise, judges and husbands are included in that group. Im not talking about little baby lies about why your mother cant stay with us or whether or not I’ve ever forgotten to pick up the kids or what happened to your pet dog when he spent the weekend with me way back when, I’m talking about lies like whether or not you have made an ‘honest woman’ out of a bona fide, card carrying, cash collecting hooker, Julia Roberts didn’t lie to Richard Gere and he just wanted directions. I mean, lady you married a man a didn’t tell him that you were a vagina vending machine? COME ON! We have got to do better people!

Well, I did take pleasure in their marital strife when it caused a very emotionally heavy Olitz encounter. Fitz was begging for forgiveness and obviously aching for a dose of Olivia. Meanwhile back at the ranch I’m dying all over myself just absorbing the emotion. The feelings with Olitz are always exemplified when I can relate, I.E. in that moment you have two people who are undeniably, tragically, inescapably and deeply in love and I know how that feels, what I could not fathom is the amount of other ‘things’ that make that feeling seemingly insignificant when in actuality its the only thing that matters to you. I really feel like their life is a room full of loud voices, the voices of their subconscious, the voices of their mentors and their bosses and families and their common sense like their is a voice telling them how to be the greatest person they can be, a voice telling them how to save their life, a voice telling them how to do their job, a voice telling them about their well-being and their pride and their image but the voice that is the loudest most distracting and consuming is the one that belongs to the person you are madly in love with and none of it seems to fit together in the puzzle of life and it hurts but it just hurts so good because no matter how trashy your life gets when you hone in on that voice, time stops and not much else matters. Yeah I got all of that from that moment, you can understand why I continued watching. Shonda aint right, she aint right! Nope. *cues Rihanna “Disturbia”*

Fitz let his voice drop a few octaves and proceeded to orchestrate the sexiest and most appealing request for forgiveness I have ever heard of…

“I think that those two people want to be together. I think that love, at the end of the day, is stronger than the mistakes that somebody made. Something they did that they regret. I think that love allows for forgiveness, dont you?”

JEDI MIND TRICK PEOPLE! OK OK not really, Fitz really was sorry. Olivias face had the bearing of a Marine but when they touched her face just looked as if she was going to breakdown, she was hurt and aching, torn between love, life and betrayal! That scene was everything. I could go on forever! *cues Christina Aguilera “Walk away”*

Oh and I must must must touch on the scene when Fitz proclaims Liv to be the love of his life….. I don’t remember exactly but if a fly on my wall told me that they saw a tear drop, I would believe them.

BABY COME BACK!

At first Amanda was all like….

But then Liv gets Amanda back, David gets his butt kicked and all is well in OPA land! Oh except for Quinns little boyfriend to be, thats next episodes news though.

Whew, I always hate when I get to this point and there is so much I haven’t covered! I truly applaud Shonda, the writers and the cast and editors because I have yet to make such efficient use of an hours time!

This concludes our therapy session, my secretary will bill your insurance and I will see you all tomorrow for another dose! We get to follow Liv off of a cliff!

Ah Demain Gladiators….. Oui! Je parlais francais un petit pu! lol – I hope that that is at least slightly correct.

Love

-Zan