Friday, May 30, 2008

I Got the Fever!!!

Only time we don't speak is during "Sex and the City". She gets Carrie fever, but soon as the show is over she's right back to being my soldier - Jay-Z (Bonnie & Clyde 03)

Carrie Fever that is. Like millions of other women across the country, my girlfriends and I are planning the ultimate girls night out this weekend complete with martinis and the girls of Sex and the City. What is it about Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte that excites women the world over? Could it be that deep inside we all wish we could be a little quirky, sexy, driven and naive at the same time. Not to mention, what woman wouldn't enjoy walking the streets of Manhattan in fabulous clothes and $800.00 dollar shoes? (C'mon admit it).

Aside from all that, I'm super excited to see Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson do her thing. In all the buzz about the original cast coming together again, many mainstream outlets have forgotten that they have a bonafide Hollywood star in their midst. But we haven't...We see you Jennifer...You go girl!!

Anyhow, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and even if you don't get a chance to see the movie, why not call up some of your best girlfriends and enjoy the weekend together eating, drinking and having loads of fun. You deserve it.


P.S. GO PISTONS!!!!!!!!! & RED WINGS!!!!!!!!

Cocoa Says...Watch Out For The Big Gurlz

...cause they're about to change their lives for the better.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cocoa's Summer Soundtrack

I love Brazil.

I love the food, people, language (Brazilian Portuguese melts my soul) and most of all the music. It was the music of Brazil that inspired me to seek out other forms of world music and eventually go on to program XM Satellite Radio's World Music Channel, Worldzone for 4 glorious years.

It all began with this album. Putumayo's Brasileiro. This is one of my favorite albums...EVER. This is the kind of music that makes a fool out of you. It doesn't matter where you are - the car, the kitchen, or the subway, I dare you to sit still. This, my friends, is dancing music. All of the songs are in Portuguese but don't let that stop you, Putumayo provides the phonetic spelling of the song titles and the English translation of most the lyrics. I strongly recommend you head over to their website and order a copy. Before you do, I must warn you that the purchase of this album may lead to fits of irrational behavior which could include but are not limited to: the spending of obscene amounts of money on Brazilian CD's and downloads, an appetite for unusually strong cyparinias (remind me to tell you the story about me, a group of senior citizens and a bottle of Canchasa) or the sudden urge to pack up every summer dress you own and head for the coasts of Bahia. Don 't say I didn't warn you.

For those of you who want to ease your way into Brazilian music or if Ethno-Fusion is more your thing, may I recommend the new Sergio Mendes album, Encanto. You may remember a couple of years back when Sergio teamed up with for the album Timeless. Well they're back and they've enlisted the help of an "A" list team of collaborators including, Natalie Cole, Zap Mama, Fergie and the brilliant Brazilian artist Carlinhos Brown. Love Him. Unlike, Timeless, this album is more Samba than Hip Hop, which makes it perfect for a day at the beach, or a Sunday afternoon at home. Encanto won't be available in the US until July . If you can't wait until then, check out iTunes Italy.

I'll share more of my summer picks later, in the meantime feel free to share your own in the comments section.

Sergio Mendes & Black Eyed Peas

"Mas Que Nada"

from the album Timeless
Warning: This video is HOT LIKE FYAH!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Put a Boca Burger on the B-B-Que for me. I'll be back tomorrow with my pics for the perfect Summer Soundtrack. Until then...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cocoa Says..Be Happily Nappy

The trials and tribulations of a happily nappy sister.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cougars - The New May-December Romance.

"Because Black don't crack and the young ones know it." - Ms. Mattie ( a life long cougar)

Can we talk? As you know, I am a thirty something woman soon to be single again and quite frankly enjoying my freedom - for now. Eventually I would like to get back into the game and hopefully settle down - for good. But until then, I'm just looking to hang out and laugh a little. Being in the media/entertainment industry can be a blessing and curse on this front. On the one hand I come across tons of somewhat interesting but really good-looking men who are also in to music, movies, and culture. Problem is, most of them are younger. Like 5-10 years younger. My other 30 something single friends seem to be encountering the same issue, I mean here we are beautiful, successful and still full of life and it seems all the men who are our age or older are tired (literally and figuratively). Perhaps this is why more and more women 30+ are joining the ranks of the thousands ladies who now wear the label COUGAR with pride. You know, cougar, the older woman who "preys" upon young unsuspecting men, the men who once bitten come under the powerful (but oh so wonderful) spell of a mature, experienced and confident, older woman.

Hollywood is all over this trend. Halle, Mariah and Vanessa are just a few of the women who decided to go younger (and if I may say so, FINER). But it doesn't stop there, google "Cougar Dating" and you'll find more than a few websites dedicated to older women who are looking for younger men.

When I was about 20 I said that if I reached 40 and was still single I would start strolling college campuses looking for young virile (pronounced: VEE-RIYAL) men who still had a little life in them. I was only half-kidding. Since I don't plan to be 40 and single (from my keyboard to God's ears) I guess I ought to start now. Maybe I'll start with the graduate schools. Young and educated - Oh La La!
If you're wondering why a young man would want to date an older woman, you need only ask a few that have. In doing research for this post, I came upon a number of really interesting quotes from guys who love their ladies with a little "experience"

In a nutshell, here's what they said

"..she's great in bed and the most interesting woman I've ever dated."

"All the women my own age seem frivolous by comparison"

"I love a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to get it"

"I am man with ambition and goals. I don't have time to bother with a woman who thinks her hair and fingernails are the most important thing in life."

Now before you go out running to look for one of these youngin's, I must warn you that most of the men I've talked to enjoyed the "no strings attached sex" aspect of the pairing most, but when asked about long term relationships admitted they were looking for women closer to their age who could join them in building a life together one brick at a time.

What to do? What to do?

Maybe I'll look for a youngin' (cause I hate to call them prey) when I want to hang out or go to a Jay-Z concert or something, but when it comes time for me to settle down maybe I'll look for someone a little closer to my age. Or maybe not!

Are you a cougar? Are you a man who loves older women? Leave a comment below. We need to talk!!!!

P.S. Cocoa Says... will be back tomorrow, so don't forget to come back and tune in

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cocoa Says...I have toes in my nose

The joys of motherhood.

What has being a mother (or father, aunt, uncle, grandparent) taught you about life?

Cocoa Says...I have toes in my nose

The joys of motherhood.

What has being a mother (or father, aunt, uncle, grandparent) taught you about life?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to ya!

Today marks the 83rd anniversary of Malcolm X's birth. I'm pretty sure CNN and FOX will let this one pass with very little mention, that is unless they can somehow find a way to connect Malcolm with Obama. And sadly I doubt school children will be writing what "Malcolm X means to me" essays in today's English class. So I'm doing my part to remind everyone that in times like this, it is important to remember those who paved the way. You don't have to agree with the method, but the message remains the same. Like it or not, a change's gonna come, it's up to us to decide whether were gonna usher it in on the backs of love and understanding or run it in on the backs of anger and desperation. You decide. Happy Birthday Malcolm!

Cocoa Says...Internet Woes

Will the internet social networking sites ever take the place of real live person to person interaction? I hope not. My computer's not nearly as fun as my friends,

besides he's a cheap date!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Love's Troubadours

Official Website/Ananda's Blog/Buy the Book

Ananda Leeke came to my attention a few months ago after posting a comment on a previous Cocoa's Corner entry about Howard University's alumni networking site The Bison Roundup. In her post she mentioned that she'd written a book called Love Troubadours - Karma: Book One, I was immediately intrigued by the description of the main character, Karma. The author describes her as a thirtysomething Oakland-born BoHo B.A.P. (Bohemian Black American Princess) with Louisiana roots and urban debutante flair who's life in an uproar. Her relationships and the museum curator career that she struggled to form in New York City have crumbled, leaving no viable options to rebuild. Relocating to Washington, DC, Karma struggles with denial, depression, and debt. A lack of full-time employment opportunities forces her to craft a gypsy existence as a Jill of Many Trades: yoga teacher, art consultant, and freelance curator at Howard University Gallery of Art. Unable and unwilling to appreciate these jobs as gifts, she wallows in a pool of lost identity-and doesn't see a way to keep from drowning. When she looks in the mirror, Karma sees a woman whose choices have dishonored her true character. Now, for the first time in her life, Karma must learn to see herself for who she really is.
After reading the book and learning more about Ananda I invited her to spend some time in Cocoa's Corner to talk about the book and how important it is for all of us to take time out to honor our true purpose.

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Cocoa Says...

Well Cocoas, here we are at the end of another week. I hope that this week's Cocoa Says.. series has helped some of you deal with the challenges that come with trying to live your best life in this crazy world. As always, I invite you to share your story in the comments section.

The 5 most important tips to getting your life in order.

Cocoa Says...

My sincerest apologies for missing the mark yesterday, my 9-5 is giving me a major case of the blues. Good thing I was able to look back on this week's Cocoa Says for a little of my own advice. I've been doing more breathing, smiling and dancing than I care to mention, but it's all good. Here's Part 4 of GETTING YOUR LIFE IN ORDER

How do you stay beautiful? Share your tips to looking great in the comments section.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cocoa Says....

Welcome to the 3rd installment of "GET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER", actually I made that title up just now, you like? Anyhow, today is all about getting your temple in order. Keeping on top of your physical health is a crucial first step in any overall life transformation.

Take a listen and don't forget to add any tips or tricks you have for feeling and looking great!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Be Inspired

New video from Gnarls Barkley

"Going On"


Cocoa Says...

Home is where the heart is. Tune in for five new tips for taking care of your castle.

What ways do you create a peaceful home for yourself and your family?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cocoa Says...

Welcome to another week. I hope all of the Cocoa Mamas had a wonderful Mother's Day.

This week in honor of National Women's Health Week and Mental Health Month, Cocoa Says is helping women everywhere get and stay healthy!

We're all working hard to take care of our families, build our careers and maybe even squeeze in a little bit of a social life, but we now know that without our health (physical and mental) it won't matter because we may not be around to enjoy the fruits of our labor. So what's an overworked stressed out sister to do? Well, you can start by taking a listen to today's Cocoa Says, and come back for all week long as I share 20 tips to helping creating the kind of life you want and deserve!

So up 1st...5 things you can do today to make relax your mind and have a little fun!

Do you have a tip to share, leave it in the comments section. Inspired Flyness is a movement, let's all get there together.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cocoa Says....

The Anatomy of a List

More from my list:

He is:

happy, confident, skilled, ambitious, healthy, has a hobby, appreciates silence, not afraid to speak up, has good credit, generous, employed....

My list has about 80 things, how many things are on your list? Feel free to share in the comments section. Don't be scared, you may find an attribute on another list that you forgot to add to your own.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cocoa Says...

My thoughts on Black Folk and the environment. Whales or young males, you decide.

If you're interested in getting involved with the Environmental Justice movement, check out some of the links posted below.

Links to articles and studies on Environmental Racism
Find out who dumping toxic waste in your neighborhood
US Environmental Protection Agency - Environmental Justice Dept.

Please feel free to post more resources in the comments section below.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Betcha' didn't know

..that I am a die hard Madonna fan.

This is nothing new, as a little girl I used to tape (!) her songs whenever they played on the radio and then record myself singing them. Can you say bootleg karaoke? I recently found one of these tapes starring my best friend at the time, Diane Zimmerman, and yours truly, performing "Like a Virgin", actually we were singing "Like a Burden" because we were like seven years old and had no idea what a virgin was. Good times!

It gets worse, in 1990 when HBO aired the France performance of the Blond Ambition tour, I recorded it and watched it no less than 100 times. To this day, I remember almost every song and dance move from that show - beginning to end. (stop laughing!)

It is said that we're often attracted to the things in others that we wish to see in ourselves. This could be why respect Madonna, specifically her work ethic. Love or hate her, you know her because she's been working tirelessly for over 25 years to make sure she stays on the Pop Culture radar. With every album, she not only re-creates her image, she also takes her sound in new directions. Truthfully, there were a few albums that I just couldn't get into, so for a year or so I would just move on to another pop princess to satisfy my "inner Becky". (Betcha' didn't know I have 14 year old white girl tendencies either, but that's another post all together).

Beyond the music, she's always claimed to be an advocate for women as well as freedom of feminine expression. Her critics were particularly concerned with the sexual expression part, calling it irresponsible and pornographic. One one hand, I agree with the critics, you have to be careful when the children are watching, but on the other hand, however,in the company of adults, women need to discuss the importance of becoming comfortable with our sexuality. I believe the more control we have over how we feel about ourselves and how we choose to express these very natural feelings and desires, the less likely we are to stand back and allow men to define us according to how they believe we should think or behave. I plan on doing an entire Cocoa Mode show on this but until then, I digress.

I also admire the work she's done with AIDS prevention and awareness and her recent work with UNICEF. With wealth and power comes responsibility. So many of the rich and powerful don't get it, so when I see someone who does, I pay attention.
Oh did I mention, she looks damn good for her age. Can u say 50 and fabulous?? Jogging, Yoga and a strict diet can do that for you too!
I could go on and on but I'll spare you, instead I'll hit you with one of my favorite Madonna songs and videos. Take a moment and really listen to the words.

"You deserve the best in life
So if the time isn't right then move on
Second best is never enough
You'll do much better baby on your own."


Cocoa Says....

What do you think? Should Beyonce (or any working woman for that matter) step aside and allow the man to take the lead? Is a woman's worth somehow diminished should she choose support his dreams/career instead of her own?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cocoa Says...

This is just the beginning.

The Hiatus is finally over!

It's been a long hard road with many twists and turns but we're here at our 1st stop. Cocoa's Corner.

I've carved out this little space for the millions of sisters around the world who want to be a part of the Cocoa Mode movement but don't have access to XM Satellite Radio. There's more coming so please keep checking back for updates. In the meantime I'd like to introduce a new feature on Cocoa's Corner called:

This is kinda like "The World According to Shawna Renee." This week we'll talk about Beyonce, the enviornment, Freaknic and the infamous "He Is" list every woman should have. As always I invite you to leave a comment about any of the topics here or in an email ( ). In addition to the daily commentaries, check back Fridays for interviews with the artists, experts and news makers that I hope will inspire you to think about creating the life you've always wanted and deserve. And then there's the fun stuff. The music, the art, the fashion, the beauty products. You name it I'm bringing it. It's all about EMPOWERMENT or what I like to call INSPIRED FLYNESS.

Ladies, the Cocoa Mode movement has begun.