Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Open Marriage w/ JujuMama

In Case You Missed It:

Original air date: October 21, 2010

"Honey, I met this girl and I think she's cute, I was wondering if you'd be mad if I...?"

What would you do it your husband/wife came to you with news that they've fallen for someone else? Would you leave? Would you stay? Would you agree to forgo monogamy for the sake of keeping your marriage in tact? Carl and Kenya Stevens of Jujumama.com did just that - and they're not alone.

This was one of the hottest shows of the season. Listen up and feel free to leave your comments below.

A Different World:

Original air date: October 14, 2010

Howard University recently announced it's plan to allow 24 hour visitation in one if it's upperclassman dorms. Students and alumni are wondering if this move is the beginning of the end of HBCU's traditionally conservative ideas about student life?

Meanwhile, University of Kansas football coach Turner Gill made headlines when he, in an attempt to teach his team responsibility and respect, announced that players will no longer be allowed to use their cell phones before games nor will they be allowed to interact with female students the night before a game. PERIOD.

Finally, we talk about Vibe Magazine's latest article about the challenges some homosexual students face at Morehouse College.

Part 2: Yoga teacher Maya Breuer discusses the importance of yoga and natural healing for women of color.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Act Your Wage!

...just one of the valuable pieces of advice offered this morning by author and financial adviser, Gail Perry Mason this morning on Cocoa Mode with Shawna Renee. She also shared a fabulous list of websites and resources for those wanting to save/manage/make money. If you missed the show you can tune into the replay on Saturday, October 9th at 4:00pm and again on Sunday, October 10th at 9:00am. If you don't have XM Satellite Radio, get it, until then you can download a free podcasts of past shows from the Cocoa Mode website and i tunes.

If you have a question for Gail Perry Mason or if you would like to find out more about her books and seminars, visit her website. www.gailperrymason.net.

Here are some of the websites worth checking out:

www.westathome.com -

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ICYMI: Single Woman + Pregnancy = Curse

This, according to some who support Christelyn D. Karazin's No Wedding No Womb movement. I invited Christelyn to explain why she felt it was time for her to do something about the alarming rate of young African American single mothers and what she hopes will be the eventual outcome of the movement. She also address the criticism she's received from those who question her motive and method.

If you interested in learning more about the No Wedding No Womb movement, visit her website, www.beyondblackandwhite.com

Original air date: September 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ICYMI: A Woman's Womb and a Church's Wound.

Original air date: September 23, 2010

Part 1: Lamar Tyler of Black and Married with Kids talks about the controversial No Wedding, No Womb movement that is sweeping the internet. Is it a slap in the face to single mothers or just what we need to strengthen our families?

Part 2: Bishop Eddie Long, the well respected church leader being accused my multiple men of sexual coercion and misconduct has become the poster child for what many believe is wrong with the church. It’s been said our spiritual leaders have amassed way too much power, money and influence over their congregations. So much so, that in the case of Bishop Long, they believe they are (allegedly) above the law. God’s and man’s. While I don’t want to go into the specifics of the case, I do think this is an excellent opportunity to bring up another issues that has long been ignored in the church, espcially Black Churches. Homosexuality.

In this episode of Cocoa Mode with Shawna Renee, I asked my listeners a question that was initially posed by blogger Drew Shane of TheFreshXpress.com, “Do Black Churches live by the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy?”

Listen to what they have to say, then feel free to leave your comments below.

Also, don’t forget to “LIKE” the Shawna Renee fan page on Facebook. I’ve got a ton of very exciting things coming up (including free stuff) and I want to make sure you know all about it.

Follow Cocoa Mode & Shawna Renee



Website & Blog

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This Week on Cocoa Mode - Financial Abortion

We hear it all the time, Men complaining about the pressure of having to pay child support to women who they accuse of living off the money for children who many didn't want in the first place. Singer Lyfe Jennings, a serial baby daddy wrote in a blog for Vibe Magazine "I hope they change these laws to stop letting women and men—’cause some men be filing for child support, too—but stop letting them make a living off child support and start requiring them to get a job". This statement along with the recent news of singer Kelis' hefty monthly child support payments from her ex-husband, rapper Nas has re-ignited a fiery debate among baby mamas and baby daddies around the country.

Enter Dr. Fraces Goldscheider.

This Brown University Sociology Professor is the author of "MEN, CHILDREN AND THE FUTURE OF THE FAMILY IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM" in which she introduces the controversial Financial Abortion plan that, if it were law, would absolve a man - who has specifically said to his partner before intercourse that he doesn't want to be a father, of all monetary responsibility for any pregnancy. Supporters believe that this plan could protect men from the predatory practices of women who choose to have children for financial gain, while opponents say this is just another way to free men of the repercussions of their own irresponsibility?

If you're a unmarried parent, you don't want to miss this show.

Tune in to Cocoa Mode, Thursday at 8:00am ET on XM 169 and online at woldcnews.com.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Freedom of Religion or Bad Idea

New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg announced his support of the decision by the New York City Landmark Commission to clear the way for a Mosque to be built just blocks away from Ground Zero. Some are calling it a step in the right direction toward healing and freedom, while others are calling it the worst decision ever. Where do you stand? Do you think the proposed Mosque and Community Center are a welcome addition to the New York City landscape or a insult to those who lost their lives on 9/11?

SOURCE - Wall Street Journal: NYC Mayor Defends Plans for Ground Zero

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Week on Cocoa Mode

From the controversial Boondocks episode featuring the brutal spoof of Tyler Perry to Chris Brown's breakdown at the BET Awards, Join me for a candid discussion of the stories that have everyone talking. Should the personal lives of our favorite celebrities be off limits? Was the media unfair in it's harsh treatment of Chris Brown? Did The Boondocks "Pause" episode go too far?

Plus, we'll turn our attention to some of the stories you may have missed at home and around the world.

Tune in tomorrow at 8:00am ET and again on Saturday at 4:00pm ET and Sunday at 9:00am ET on XM 169. You can also download previous shows on the Cocoa Mode website.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Case You Missed It: Black and Single? Blame the Church.

Original air date: June 24, 2010

In her article, The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely, relationship expert Debborah Cooper presents a myriad of reasons why she thinks black women who are looking for love in the pews are wasting their time. She writes, that aside from the fact most eligible black men are NOT in church, the institution itself relies on the support of single women, therefore it discourages them to create a life outside of the church and thus put them in a prime position to meet a mate elsewhere.

Men and women from all over the country called in to share their experience plus Lamar and Ronnie Tyler from Black and Married with Kids joined us for the relationship round-table to share what their readers have to say.

You can read Debborah Cooper's article here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BET Awards: Big Bellies and Breakdowns...

Girl, get down!

In March, BET's chief executive, Debra Lee invited 130 women to Washington DC for what one reporter called a historically black sorority meeting on steroids. The purpose of the meeting was to bring women of influence together to create a positive change , especially as it relates to images of women in the media. She promised that she would work with her programming staff to create more diverse and responsible programming on BET and it's other channels. Not everyone who heard about the meeting was convinced, some believed that the meeting was just a PR stunt to deflect attention away from the shameful performance at last years BET Awards featuring Lil' Wayne and Drake on stage with a group of young girls dancing while they rapped, "I wish I could f**k every girl in the world". So naturally when this years awards came around BET supporters and critics alike hunkered down in front of their televisions to see if Ms. Lee would keep her promise. Now, I don't think anyone expected the network would use the awards show to make a sweeping deceleration of Black female empowerment, but it was understood that this would provide BET the opportunity to set the tone for the next 10 years. So how did they do?

It's hard to say, on one hand I didn't see anything that I would classify as overtly offensive to women - Lil' Wayne was absent, Drake was on his best behavior, and aside from Jada walking out on stage in her skimmies (did she leave her pants backstage?) most of the women were dressed much the way I've come to expect at these kinds of events. (we'll talk about that in another post). On the other hand there were subtle but powerful messages sent by the artists chosen for awards and to perform. First, Alicia Keys - boo'd up and pregnant by the man she's accused of stealing from his ex-wife. This was a popular topic of conversation online and in living rooms across the country. Is she a trollop (someone else's word - not mine) or a innocent victim of love? Should we celebrate the fact that she's found love and happiness or should we remove her from the role model list? Or perhaps we should focus our attention on the other half of this equation, the one who broke his vows, leaving his wife confused and depressed. Or maybe we should just mind our own business and enjoy the music. On a side note: Alicia, I'm gonna need you to chill on the piano crawling for the next five or six months. You almost gave Prince a heart-attack!

Then there was Chris Brown. The troubled young man who landed himself on shit lists around the world but was celebrated last night by being given the honor to perform the Micheal Jackson tribute and as the recipient of the Fandemonium award. He breaks down in tears during his performance and promises to do better during his acceptance speech and now all is forgiven. Forgiveness is good, we should all strive to be more forgiving, but let us not forget that crying and apologizing is how most abusers keep their victims in dangerous relationships . I'm not saying the Chris isn't a changed man, I truly hope he's learned his lesson and gotten the help he needs. I am prepared to forgive him, but I'm not sure that I'm ready to celebrate him.

Finally, I have to give BET props for the Prince tribute. The all female tribute featuring the lesser known but equally as talented fringe artists was a great move. I hope more people discover Janae and Esperanza, both are examples of the creative and diverse world of women in the arts.

All is all, I think BET did an O.K. job with this year's awards show. I'm still not convinced that the network has changed its ways for good, but I'm willing to give them a chance.

I've got my eye on you, BET

What do you think...Did Debra Lee keep her word?

Don 't forget to check me out on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Some Like it RAW!

This week on Cocoa Mode...

Everybody's doing it...

Your cousin
Your mama's mama
Your play-brothers mama's best friend

Somebody you know is going raw, that is, they've decided to transform their diet from meat based to organic raw vegan. Chef, author and restaurateur Nwenna Kai will join me on this week's Cocoa Mode to share easy, affordable and (dare I say) delicious ways to take advantage of the abundance of fresh summer fruits and vegetables while improving the way you look and feel. We'll also talk about the new food revolution that's brewing among young African American vegetarians.
Tune into Cocoa Mode this Thursday at 8:00am ET and again on Saturday at 4:00pm and Sunday at 9:00am on XM 169, THE POWER.

Friday, May 28, 2010

White Girls Dipped in Chocolate...

According to a talent agent in New York City, that is what some fashion designers are looking for in Black models. For the past couple of years there's been a lot of talk about the lack of African American models on the runways during Fashion Week and in the high fashion magazines. I've wanted to cover this issue on Cocoa Mode for a while but before I could I had to answer the question, "why does it matter?"

Like it or not, young African American girls rely on mainstream media (television, movies and magazines) to show them what beautiful looks like. Imagine how these girl feels like when all they see are images of a women, that no matter how hard they try, these Black girls can never duplicate. Or worse, the only time a Black girls sees a woman who looks like her, she's in a music video, ass out and droppin' it like it's hot. The scary part is once you are conditioned to believe that your value doesn't extend much further than your backside, you begin to act accordingly. So as someone who is determined to keep these young girls "0ff the pole" I say this:

Yes, it is time for us to go beyond the conventional mainstream media and begin creating more outlets like Essence and Heart and Soul that feature African American women cover to cover. Unfortunately, I can't think of a single African American man, woman or child who has stepped up to fund such a venture. So until more people come forward what's a girl to do?

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Yellow Curry-and-Pineapple Stir Fry
Sweet and Savory, my favorite combination.
The little one kinda liked it too.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
1/4 pound snow peas (I used green beans)
2-5 tablespoons curry paste
2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
4 cups white or brown rice cooked
1 cup baby corn

In a pot of boiling water, partially cook the onion, carrots and peas about 3 minutes. Plunge the vegetables into cold water, drain and set aside. In a large skilled, heat the oil. Stir in the bell peppers curry paste and pineapple, and cook, stirring 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry 5 more minutes. Stir i the baby corn and the cooked vegetables. Cook until hot.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank God he didn't say Lil' Wayne!

Whenever I'm getting to know someone, among the first questions I ask is "what kind of music do you listen to"? I believe musical preference is a pretty good indicator of the type off person you're dealing with. Not to mention a good way to determine what (if anything) you have in common. So over the weekend while moving about town with a new friend I was surprised to hear him admit that in addition to R&B, Jazz and Reggae (thank God he didn't say Lil' Wayne) he kinda digs Opera. I have to admit, I'm not a big Opera fan but I do appreciate the complexity of the form and I respect anyone who has the patience to try to understand it all. So this morning with Opera still on my mind, I did a bit of research on the presence of African Americans in opera and came across these amazing stories:

Sissaretta Jones

I discovered Sissieretta Jones on one of my favorite blogs, Afrobella.com. Ms. Jones was featured in a blog about the history of natural hair styles worn by African-American women. Sissieretta Jones was a celebrated soprano and the first African American performer to perform at Carnegie Concert Hall. You can learn more about Sissieretta here.


I was first introduced to this opera, after my sister, who is named after Treemonisha, was born. African-American composer Scott Joplin wrote Treemonisha around 1910. It would be almost 60 years before the piece would be performed in it's entirety. It is still performed around the world, most recently the cast played to sold out crowds in Washington DC and Paris, France.

Denyce Graves:

The modern day diva. I've had the privilege of seeing Denyece Graves perform a number of times, most recently at the memorial service for Dr. Dorothy Height. The Washington DC native is best know for her (hundreds of) performances as the title role in the French opera Carmen. She's overcome poverty, a career threatening injury and a heartbreaking marriage only to find happiness and success, making her life as inspiring as her voice. Oh, and did I mention sista-girl is fierce!!!

So the next time you're searching itunes for different and interesting songs, check out the opera category, you just might enjoy what you hear, or at the very least be able to impress your friends with how cultured you are.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

25 Questions Every Woman Must Ask: # 16

What am I waiting for?

In January, 2009 I put together a list of 15 things I wanted to accomplish in the new year. Number 5 on the list was "see a Broadway show". As a child I'd spend all of my free time in theater camp, acting class and on stage. I wanted little more than to be an actress. Broadway, I thought, was my destiny. Like many teenagers, I got distracted and before I knew it I was an adult and past my prime, however my love of theater is still as strong as ever which is why I decided it was past time for me make like George Benson and head North to NYC. I told a friend about my plan and we agreed that we would make it happen. Months later I was still waiting on my friend to find the time, money and motivation to make the trip. Next thing I knew it was December and I was still waiting. Fast forward to January 2010 and a new yearly "To Do" list. Number 1 on the list: "Do everything on this list and don't let ANYONE or ANYTHING get in your way!" In April, I decided I was going to Broadway no matter what! And just as I set my intention, the universe (God) started to work it's magic and not only was I able to witness the most incredible show I've ever seen but I also got to spend a fun filled and friggin' fabulous weekend in New York City with some of my favorite people in the world. From the moment the weekend ended I promised myself that whenever inspiration hits I will honor it by trusting that the source of that inspiration will provide me with everything necessary to make my dreams into reality.

Never again will you find this chick waiting around for someone to occupy the passenger seat and neither should you. Instead, pack your bags and take off! You never know, you may meet someone far more interesting on the way, I did. :)

So I ask you, what are you waiting for?

Me and my homies in New York City. April, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

She Said.....

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." - Maya Angelou

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Could living apart save your marriage?

Here's the story of Marisol and Rob Simon. They met later in life. He has children and they both have homes. Neither seemed interested in moving in with the other so they decided to live apart. Naturally, this isn't an ideal situation for everyone, but it seems to work for them?

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, (so does not having to wash his dirty draws) What do you think?

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So now what.....

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and I have little doubt that this is one of the reasons Oprah Winfrey decided to air her interview with Gerald Imes, Monique's brother, on Monday. This is the same brother Monique accused of sexually molesting her as a child. To say the interview was uncomfortable to watch would be an understatement. Unfortunately sexual abuse is nothing new, studies have found that one in three women will be sexually abused during her lifetime and we've seen countless interviews with abusers and victims, but this one was, well, different. Maybe because sexual abuse between siblings is something we're not used to dealing with, as families tend to be tight lipped about these things. Imagine being the parent of both a victim and an abuser, two children who you love equally and want to see succeed despite their condition. But still, this interview was really difficult to watch. It seems Gerald Imes is still dealing with his demons and though I could feel the remorse for his actions toward his sister, I got the sense that he's still not sure what to do next. Not to mention the parents, who clearly still aren't sure what to make of the situation. It was evident they didn't quite "get it", when they implied that the only way the family could heal is if Monique, the victim, made a move.

If you missed the interview, watch it here.

While I think it was courageous for Mr. Imes and his family to come clean on national television and for Monique to give her blessing, I'm left thinking, so now what? Was he able to help us understand the inner workings of a molester's mind so that parents and caregivers know what to look for in a potential abuser? Will the interview encourage other families that are dealing with sibling sexual abuse to forward and seek help? Will his apology make it any easier for Monique to forgive her brother, assuming that she hasn't already? Who knows? What I do know is, I wish we would spend more time celebrating the stories of women (and men) who have overcome the pain of sexual abuse, especially those like Monique and Oprah who have taken it a step further and become examples of greatness. Perhaps if someone had spent the time working with Gerald Imes to heal the scars from his own abuse, things would have turned out better for the three children who fell victim to his abuse.

Or maybe I'm missing the point altogether. I'm interested to know what you think.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rest In Peace.....

Dorothy Height
March 24, 1912 - April 20, 2010

"As more women enter public life, I see developing a more humane society. The growth and development of children no longer will depend solely upon the status of their parents. Once again, the community as the extended family will rekindle its caring and nurturing. Though children cannot vote, their interests will be placed high on the political agenda. For they are indeed the future."


July 17, 1966 - April 19, 2010

"I seek Sun, deceive none, for each one must teach one
At least one must flow and show the structure, of freedom
It's me Dunn, cause petty things we don't need 'em
Let's focus to create somethin' great, for all that sees them
They innocent, they know not what they face
while politicians save face genius minds lay to waste"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Week on Cocoa Mode

On Sunday, thousands of immigrants, mostly Mexican, gathered on the national mall to demand the Obama administration get to work on Immigration reform. Among the protesters were a group of African American college students who stood in solidarity with their brown brothers and sisters, forcing many to ask if there's a common ground between the African American and Immigrant experience that needs to be explored and cultivated?

Speaking of Mexico, the crime in the northern border towns is out of control. According to reports, the drug cartels are terrorizing folks to no end. There's no doubt that money and greed are behind the madness, but some members of the Mexican congress also believe musicians and film-makers are to blame. Lawmakers have asked the Mexican government to consider making it a criminal offense to record or perform songs that glorify violence, drugs or trafficking. Hmmm, wonder if that would fly north of the boarder. We'll talk about it,


Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, creators of Black and Married with Children return to discuss their new movie, You Saved Me, plus we'll discuss how the founders of Black Marriage Day are trying to change the perceptions of Black love and family for the better. Tune into The State of Black Marriage on Cocoa Mode Thursday at 8:30am ET.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity." - Will Smith

Monday, March 15, 2010

ISO....Two GREAT interns.

Cocoa Mode Presents.... is looking for an intern to assist in managing our growing multi-media empire. This is the perfect opportunity for college students interested in radio and new media programming, broadcast marketing and radio production.

Candidates must:
  • Be reliable, organized and mature.
  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Be familiar with social networking tools including Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Interested in women's issues specifically related to health and wellness.
  • Reside in the Washington DC Metro area.
  • Able to receive college credit.

Duties Include:
  • Assisting with regular website, blog and social media updates.
  • Researching topics and booking guests for Cocoa Mode.
  • Work with Shawna Renee to develop grassroots and online marketing initiatives.
  • Assist with developing and implementing radio and wellness workshops.
  • Producing and uploading audio and video podcasts.
Interested candidates should email a resume and cover letter to Shawna Renee at shawna@cocoaomode.com.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The deep cry of a woman's heart is am I lovely? Every woman needs to know that she is exquisite and remarkable and chosen. This is the core to her identity, the way she bears the image of God. She, like God, asks, 'will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me?" John Elderedge, Wild at heart.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Do Black Fathers Abandon Their Children?

Happy Wednesday Folks. Over the weekend, I came around across this series of You Tube clips from MSNBC featuring a panel of African American athletes, leaders, authors and educators discussing the consequences of fatherless homes in the African American community. Though I applaud those who were brave enough to ask the questions, solutions are what we need. How do we save our boys, men, families and communities?

Click here for Part 3

Click here for Part 4

Thursday, February 25, 2010

...and we're still together!

Remember this sketch from In Living Color? It's what first came to mind after reading the story of Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina. They hold the World Record for the longest marriage of two living people. They've been married for 85 years! Both are over 100 years old and admit that it hasn't always been easy but for them marriage was "till death do us part" - though Mr Fisher says "I did not know it would be as long as it is now". What I especially like about these two is that they've managed to maintain a sense of independence despite being together for so long. They attend different churches and I assume they both probably have their own hobbies and interests. Could that be the key to a lasting marriage? Or, maybe it's a matter of pure dedication and loyalty or perhaps, as they say, it's God. We'll find out what really takes to make marriage last this morning when I sit down with Ronnie and Lamar Tyler from Black and Married with Kids and open of the phone lines for the elders. If you've been married 30+ years we want to hear from you. 1-866-801-8255. See you on the radio.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...

Sorry ladies and gents...

Snowtorious B.I.G sent my wireless connection (and my cable ) running for the hills this week, and as a result I am way behind on my mission to infuse a bit of pre-Valentine's day amour into your daily routine.

Earlier this morning I happened across an interesting posting on Facebook. In response to a question about Valentine's day being too commercial a woman shared the story of her husband's refusal to do/buy anything on Valentine's Day, instead he "spoils" her on February 13th and again on the 15th, just to show that he doesn't need anyone (Hallmark) reminding him that it's time to "love his woman". Cute, and my point exactly.

So today, let's talk flowers.

Roses are red, violets are blue....

I blame this nursery rhyme and rose farmers worldwide for the multitudinous number of roses sold in flower shops, grocery stores and on street corners across the nation. Red, white, pink, yellow, they're everywhere, which is cool but how about surprising her (or him) with something different?

Why? Just because.

The best place to start is by asking your love what they like. If she/he says "roses", then go ahead buy the roses but if he/she/Shawna says something else, then off to the florist you go.

An experienced florist will work with you to choose the perfect bouquet for your sweetie. Now, I must warn you, she will try to sell you roses because they're at a premium this time of year, but don't be afraid to say no. Once you get that out of the way the florist will ask you more about the recipient, what type of flowers does she like? What's her favorite color? Is she conservative, quirky, trendy, etc? Armed with the necessary information, the florist will begin pulling, snipping and creating the perfect arrangement for your darling. If you're lucky you may even get the florist to deliver the flowers for you.

If a custom designed flower arrangement is out of your price range, I recommend you ask to see some of the already prepared bouquets and arrangements, they are often less expensive. If that's still out of your price range don't be afraid to head to the grocery store, many of the gourmet grocers offer quality flowers at reasonable prices. If you do decide to go that route, check out this link for tips on how to pick the right flowers.

O.K. ladies, let's not be selfish, men like receiving gifts too. While flowers may not be his thing, consider a plant. A cactus plant is perfect for the man who can remember every score in every football game he's watched since he was 5 but can't remember to water a plant. Money Plants and Lucky Bamboo plants are also perfect for men, and neither require a lot of effort or experience to stay alive.

If you're still stuck, ask your mom, I'm sure she can tell you exactly what to get, just remember to get something for her too!

Later lovers....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 2: Play another slow jam...

There are few things in life that bring me more joy than music. My love affair with music started as a young child sitting by the radio with my tape recorder pressed up against the stereo speaker waiting for my favorite song to play so I could add it to my DJ Shawna Renee "mixtape". As I grew older and began to develop an interest in boys, my interests in music moved beyond the normal Hip-Hop and Pop to the classic R&B tunes of Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and The Isley Brothers. Suddenly of the mixtape princess became the Queen of the Slow Jams tape, a title that I proudly carry to this day (thankyouverymuch). There's something about a good love song that takes an ordinary moment and turns it into an extraordinary memory. So as we move through our 20 days of love why not add a little music to the mix.

If you need a little help deciding what to include on your slow jams tape, let the Queen make a few suggestions....

Moments in Love - Art of Noise
Sweet Love - Anita Baker
Baby Come to Me - James Ingram
If This World Were Mine - Luther Vandross
We've Only Just Begun - Glenn Jones
No Ordinary Love - Sade
Through the Fire - Chaka Khan
Anytime, Anyplace - Janet Jackson
Ooo Ahh (Remix) Boys II Men
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
Say Yes - Floetry

Be safe.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 1: Get Out. Washington DC Edition

Those of you who live in the Washington DC metro area know that there's no shortage of things to do around town. The challenge is trying to decide what your lady/man might enjoy. A good place to start is the Washingtonian Magazine, where you'll find a list of 158 great date ideas for everyone from the sophisticated foodie to the wanna be rock star. Here are a few that caught my eye...

For the Bohemian Poetry loving type: Bus Boys & Poets. A great place to hang out, have dinner and enjoy an evening of poetry and prose. Be sure to heck out the 11th hour Poetry Slam, the second Friday of every month, a guaranteed good time.

For the "I want to show her I'm cultured but my money is tight" type: The Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage offers daily free music concerts. From World Music to Classical, Hip Hop to local Folk acts, you'll find it all. Check out the Kennedy Center website for more information.

For the nightowls: Nothing says romance, like a moonlit monument. O.K maybe not, but if you've ever taken a late night walk on the National Mall you know how peaceful and beautiful it can be. What's better, is that there are now companies that offer pedicab (bicycle cab) tours of the monuments. If the weather's right, this is a great way to go.

For the "I can't keep my hands off him/her" type: Couples Massage. Shakti Mind Body Studio offers an annual Couples Massage Class taught by owner Faith Hunter and her long time beau "Dr. Drew". If you're looking to spice up your love life, then join them as they show you how to use massage as a way to open the heart, build communication and relax the mind and spirit. While you're at it, sign up for a yoga class or hot stone massage. (disclaimer - I teach and help manage this studio so I'm a little bias, but trust me when I tell you that it is one of the best in town.)

Now, for those of you who do not live in the Washington DC area, feel free to use the above suggestions as inspiration. I'm sure there are plenty of cafes, concert halls, monuments and yoga studios in your town that offer the perfect atmosphere for a little "everyday romance".

Until tomorrow.

20 Days of LOVE

So, yesterday I decide to pop into CVS to pick up a few things and as the automatic doors parted ways like two lovers torn apart by time, space and circumstances I quickly found myself wading knee deep in a sea of candy hearts, stuffed lions and tigers and bears (OH MY) and of course dozens of silk roses complete with fake me out plastic dew drops.

Ahh, ladies and gentleman, Valentine's Day is upon us.


To be honest, I'm not really into Valentine's Day. For one, I really dislike roses, especially the red ones, and no matter how many times I say/write/scream this from the mountaintop, someone gets me a dozen red roses. Then there's the chocolate - the yucky melted dollar store chocolate that I receive with a smile and then immediately toss in the trash - I figure there's no need in me risking illness AND obesity. It's not that I don't appreciate the thought, it's that I know the thought didn't extend beyond the pressure my man felt when he looked up and realized it was 5:00 pm on February 14th and he was coming home empty handed. Not a good look. However, there are some couples that make a habit of celebrating love everyday, so when V-day rolls around, they just treat it like every other day and keep on doing what they do. Now, I recognize that to truly make everyday Valentine's day requires dedication, hard work and creativity. I can't help you with the first two, but what I can do is suggests some ways to show you sweetheart that you don't need no stinkin' Valentine's Day to show them how much you care. If you start today, I promise by the time 2/14 rolls around all she'll want to do is snuggle up on the couch and watch Charles Barkley wax poetic about LOVE and BASKETBALL.

So with that said....Let the games begin.