4 Reasons Why Beyonce Won Friday Night (#IKnowYouCare)

I left work at 5:40 pm yesterday will every intention of coming home for an evening of Netflix, wine, take-out and my cozy pajamas.

That is, until Beyoncé decided to intervene and drop her newest single “7/11” on the entire Internet.

The momentum started slow, with Beyoncé simply uploading a clip of the video on her Instagram account, and before I knew it, dozens of people on my Facebook and Twitter timelines were sharing, quoting and commenting on the song and video. While I’m still not exactly sure what the song is talking about, I do know that it has the potential to be the ‘ratchet’ anthem we need to take us out of 2014 in style.

It’s been swirling around the Internet that Beyoncé was going to drop an entirely new album in the similar fashion of last December’s self-titled multi-platinum masterpiece, but in fact, it’s just a new edition with 2 new songs, a couple of live performances and a calendar. (And people are still going to spend their coin on it.)

At any rate, here are four reasons why I think Beyoncé won a typical Friday night with her latest video:

1. She kept it simple. Donned in a number of sweatshirts and spray-painted briefs, Beyoncé and her dancers utilized her hotel bathroom, hallway and balcony to make one of the most popular videos of the year (I’m just going to call it now.) No elaborate costumes, no flashy lights or extreme sets — just her iPhone 6, a couple eight counts of fun choreography, some red solo cups and a wild imagination. On the low, she did super-flex on us and how cool it would be just to run wild in a hotel suite. Well played Bey, well played.

2. She met her audience where they are. Many of the people I follow on social media were either on their way out for the evening, or chilling at home in the bed scrolling through their Instagram feeds. Beyoncé and her team knew that this would be the PERFECT time to drop a new single to get the people talking. The song is catchy, gets you excited to hang out with friends, and easily to access via her website. Which brings me to my next point…

3. She used the technology that was at her disposal. You guys, Beyoncé shot this video with her iPhone 6, a GoPro stick, edited it with Final Cut Pro and was like, “Hey, here y’all go.” And on top of that, used props that anyone could find at their local Walgreens or CVS. And then once it was done, she uploaded it to her YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter and went about her business. This just goes to show that nowadays, it doesn’t take a HUGE budget to make something of quality.

4. She’s normal and likes to have fun. How many of us have danced around the house in our underwear with not a care in the world? YES. ALL OF US. Beyoncé showed us her playful side, and even threw in a little garland and tinsel to put us in the holiday spirit. And the truth of the matter is, everyone makes videos with their smartphones and shares them with the masses all of the time. Beyoncé hasn’t reinvented the wheel, she’s just spinning on it in a different way…with her hands up.

Whether you like it or not, Beyoncé continues to show us why she’s a trailblazer in the industry, as well as a savvy business woman. And while you may not care that the Beyoncé effect is still very much alive and well, she just may give you a call and tell you otherwise…

 

tumblr_nff1ejuP511rexfvqo2_r1_500Enjoy your weekend!

Chasity

 

Millennials on a Mission: Epitome of Soul

Happy Tuesday!

For this week’s first MOAM installment, I’d to spotlight to two young women that have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness to the need for the performing arts in schools nationwide. With their organization, their goal is to create a platform to celebrate all varieties of the arts in the New Jersey and New York communities, all the while providing high school and college students with financial assistance through scholarships. I remain so proud of the work that these ladies are doing, and I can’t wait for you to learn more about their mission.

Meet the ladies of Epitome of Soul.

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Natasha Benjamin and Nailah Butler are both graduates of Syracuse University, hailing from Brooklyn, New York and Patterson, New Jersey respectively. Nailah studied marketing management and supply chain management, and also had the opportunity to live abroad in Hong Kong for five months. Natasha majored in political science, African-American studies and minored in public communications. She also received her master’s degree from New York University in public relations and corporate communications. Whether it was dance or music, the performing arts has impacted Natasha and Nailah’s  lives greatly since their childhood, thus encouraging them to launch Epitome of Soul and encourage other young people to pursue their love for the arts as well.
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3 Lessons I’ve Learned From Mentor In My Head Luvvie Ajayi

Happy Thursday, everyone!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m super-duper grateful to have a number of great mentors in my midst. They’ve provided guidance for me both professionally and personally, and continue to be rays of sunshine on my most cloudy of days.

But I too, have a number of role models that I aspire to become in the near future. These are what I like to call “mentors in my head.” You’ve met one of them, Marshawn Evans, back in July, and she continues to inspire me to be fearless and have #Godfidence at all times. While I love spotlighting my millennial peers, I think that it’s time to shed light on those men and women who are trailblazing for the millennial generation boldly and unapologetically.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Luvvie Ajayi.

Photo Courtesy of Africa.com

Photo Courtesy of Africa.com

Hailing from the greatest city in the WORLD (*insert footwork and bobbing here*) Luvvie is a humor writer, digital strategist and giver of no dambs. The founder of AwesomelyLuvvie.com, she keeps her finger on the pulse of everything pop culture. If you haven’t read her amazing weekly re-caps of Scandal, honey you are missing out! Not only does she keep me rolling with her unique vocabulary, but she’s always sure to teach the kids a little something new about the world of tech. So, without further delay, here are three lessons I’ve learned from Luvvie:

1. Be authentically you. I just love how REAL Luvvie keeps it. Whether she’s live-tweeting a show, sharing her travel experiences or responding to current events, she’s always certain to give you her unfiltered and thoughtful perspective. She proves over and over again that you can be professional, without holding back your personality. And don’t get me started on her style — this woman’s shoe game is out of this world! Whether she’s interviewing Issa Rae at Blogalicious or introducing THE Kerry Washington at BlogHer, her #alphets (outfits) are always comprised of the coolest sneakers, blazers, t-shirts and prints. #YouBetterWork

2. Never stop learning. In addition to managing her personal website, Luvvie also runs AwesomelyTechie.com, a website dedicated to all things technology. She’s sure to provide those bloggers like myself with everything from tips on using WordPress, to lessons we can learn from websites that may not have succeeded. What I appreciate most about this website is that not only illustrates her thought leadership in the space, but also provides best practices in social media, web and technology etiquette.

3.  Don’t forget to take care of YOU. I’m still learning this, but I absolutely commend entrepreneurs that can legitimately take time off just to recharge and renew themselves. While we all love flexin’ on the ‘Gram during vacation, sometimes it’s just good to unplug, disconnect and enjoy the place that you choose to vacate. Luvvie did this back in May, and I must say it was quite dope. For one, as a blogger, it takes a LOT to brainstorm, create, write, draft, edit, publish and THEN promote your posts. We can’t all be everything to everybody, and we must remember to take care of ourselves first and foremost. What I love most about Luvvie is that she does this all by herself, and she’s honest about it. And for anyone that tries to troll and throw shade about the tardiness of her re-cap or blog post? Oh, don’t worry — she’ll let you know the deal in a real cute and classy way, so just go ‘head and take that seat right there. \__

So there you have it! Luvvie, thank you for being an inspiration to me and thousands upon thousands of other bloggers out there in cyberspace. Your authenticity, willingness to always keep is informed and creativity are amazing, and I know you’re going to keep doing dope thing. Next time I’m home, Garrett’s on me? Or Harold’s? Whatever you want girl, just let me know! :)

For more information on Luvvie, follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@Luvvie) and visit her website www.awesomelyluvvie.com. You’re welcome. 

Chasity

Millennial on a Mission: Natasha Brown

Happy Tuesday, Millennials!

This week’s “Millennial on a Mission” is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and public relations maven that wholeheartedly believes in doing everything with passion, or not doing it at all. Her story is not only inspiring, but it goes to show that you don’t need a lot in order to make your dreams become a reality, and that your voice is the most powerful tool that you possess.

I’d like for you to meet Natasha Brown.

NTBSmiles

Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Natasha received her undergraduate degree from Morgan State University. She then went on to pursue her master’s degree at Towson University, and started her career as journalist, and then did work in development and communications for a boarding school in rural Pennsylvania. And while she enjoyed the work that she did for the school advancing their mission and telling the stories of their students, she knew that there was something more that she was called to pursue.

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Millennial on a Mission: Courtney Yeh

Happy November, Millennials!

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing today’s Millennial on a Mission since college, and it has truly been amazing to watch her creativity evolve. Trained in dance since childhood, she has always loved expressing herself artistically. She has expanded her love for the arts  to explore photography, fashion and graphic design.

Ladies and gents, meet Courtney Yeh.

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Born and raised in Hong Kong, Courtney went to Syracuse University for college and graduated with a major in Communications and minors in Marketing and Dance. After college, she decided to move out to Los Angeles, California having only visited the city for just a week! Currently, she works  for Sony Pictures by day, and as a publisher for her lifestyle blog, Hey Yeh, by night and weekends.

CC: What inspired you to start “Hey Yeh”? 

CY: I started a blog in college to keep an electronic journal mostly for myself but also to share my experiences with my family since we lived so far from each other. They’re in Hong Kong and I was in Syracuse. I posted maybe once a month about cool things I found online, events I went to, new music. My friends started to comment on how much they loved my photos and articles and they encouraged me to post more often. About a year ago, I decided to revamp the blog, turn it into a Yeh sisters blog to keep all of us continually communicating from across the world and sharing our passions and inspirations. Slowly it kind of just took a life of its own! And since my day job is not creative at all, my blog is my creative outlet!

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Adhere To Your Calling

Adhere To Your Calling.

ad·here

ədˈhir/

verb
1. stick fast to (a surface or substance)
2. believe in and follow the practices of
3. represent truthfully and in detail.

 

Listening.

It’s a skill that we practice every day. Whether we’re jamming to our favorite tunes on Spotify, or chatting it up with our friends on the phone, listening takes precision and patience that we must give ourselves the opportunity to perfect.

But what about listening to the world around you? You know, the taking heed to life’s teachable moments that actually can point you in the right direction of your passion and purpose? Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on the importance of “shifting your focus.” At that particular time, I was faced with making a few major decisions that required me to really silence some of the usual noise that was in my midst, and really focus on doing what was best for me. It was rather physically and emotionally draining, but I’m grateful to my family and close, close friends for praying for and with me to make the most sound decision.

Not gonna front — it is gutsy to follow your heart. While your family, friends and mentors all want the best for you (and you don’t want to disappoint them,) sometimes you have to take that risk on yourself and know that your next move will in fact be your best move.

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#ShareYourPlate with CCUSA!

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Happy Sunday folks!

It’s getting close to dinner time, and I’m sure many of you are looking in your refrigerators and cupboards like, “What in the world shall I cook?

Many of us are blessed to have an abundance of delicious items to choose from for any meal, but did you know that 49 million Americans live in food-insecure homes? For those of you unfamiliar with food insecurity, it is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” Pretty unbelievable when we live in a nation of plenty, right?

Catholic Charities USA, one of the leading nonprofit organizations that has worked for over 100 years to reduce poverty in America, has started the #ShareYourPlate challenge and they need your help! This challenge, issued in a cooking video by CCUSA’s president Father Larry Snyder, comes in conjunction with Caritas Internationalis’ “One Human Family, Food For All” hunger campaign. And from now until November 26th, CCUSA wants YOU to #ShareYourPlate in this virtual meal!

To participate in the #ShareYourPlate challenge, follow the steps below: 

1. Snap a photo or a quick video (no longer than 5 minutes, please) of your favorite homemade meal.

2. Next, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest using the hashtags #ShareYourPlate and #FoodForAll

3. Finally, challenge your friends, family members and co-workers to share their plates in this virtual meal!

Above, I’ve shared my plate of quick and easy Shrimp Fried Rice from a recipe that I borrowed from Stephanie Cooks via Pinterest. You can totally substitute shrimp for beef or chicken, and use any veggies that you would like. Now that I’ve shared my plate, I would like to challenge my friends Victoria Chan, Nykeba Corinaldi, Alexandra Givan, Taylor Henriquez, and Chefs JR Robinson of Kitchen Cray and Kevin Curry of Fit Men Cook.

Together, we can raise awareness about hunger in America, and help organizations like Catholic Charities USA and Caritas Internationalis fight poverty once and for all.

 

For more information about the #ShareYourPlate challenge, visit http://www.caritasfoodforall.org/shareyourplate. 

 

Thank you!