My New Year Begins… NOW!


My holidays were good…

How about yours?

This time of year is filled with so much, I just needed to veg out. I was pretty much a zombie going through the holiday motions trying to figure out how to pep myself up and be in good spirits. I just felt like another year was ending and what position am I in now? What things did I learn? Wait… did I learn anything this year? (or Last year as it were.) I was just working to maintain my sanity really. I think I masked it pretty well. The point is, things just aren’t the same and I can’t say I wish they were, but I really would like to know what they are shaping up to be.

Now by no means is this a sad or pity post. You should know that end of/beginning of the year posts are always reflective. This is no different.

One very interesting occurrence in this new year is the fact that it is THEE FIRST TIME EVER that I have written the year right from the start. Get this, every year prior to this one I have written the previous year. You know how you have to get use to it being a new year and all before you write the correct year? That did not happen to me for the first time in my life. I took that as a big deal. I actually think that it is major! (I am going with that.) I take it as being a blessing and foreshadowing of good things to come this year.

Life day by day is a blessing. I am the most observant person I know and I certainly didn’t think that I could be anymore so but God…

I am watching and learning and in the process feeling my way through.

Expect more. I do.


Someone Should…


Those words have come out of my mouth many times over. Someone should create a shop that does this… Someone should start a website that does that… I have so many ideas I figure I can’t do them all. You ever feel like that? That you need a partner to execute plans or to lend ideas to someone for them to do. Sometimes you may not be the best conduit for the actual creation but the idea is pure brilliance. Fyah… if you will.

But then there is this line of what you need to do and what you want to do and you have to figure out, really what gets cut. Because it is not about what is the priority. You know priorities are needs… those things that have to get done against all odds. Essentially, what that means is you have to “adult”. Pay bills, buy groceries, take the kids to school and pay for piano lessons for little Malik. Your idea to start that expresso bar is on that shelf in the closet that you never even open.

One thing that I feel like the Millennials have cornered the market on is going for delf or the come-hell-or-high-water syndrome. They have an idea, execute it, sell it to the highest bidder. Then it is on to the next. Not all but more that a few. Responsibilities be damned… procreation… meh.

I have been phased out. Phased out of the background where it is comfortable. I tried to retreat back into the comfort of the shadows. Actually, I am still trying to be background to no avail. But once a calling is recognized, retreating is no longer a box available. I have always enjoyed teaming up, collaboration to create. But the older I get with the ideas I have had has made me relinquish the enjoyment. From the early days at Howard, I was being trained on loathing group projects. While there have certainly been a few that have been a breeze, some have been moments of torture. I have definitely had some great collabos (DeanwoodxDesign, The Front Porch Sound Series…) so I can not say that I haven’t been blessed in that area.

In my book of projects dust is collecting and things aren’t getting done. So… change is eminent.

That is all… for now.

On Second Thought…



I have the tendency to do that a lot… Think! Sometimes I overthink and then there are times when I should have put more thought into things for sure. Those are the times where I “give things away”. It ranges from money to time… in many cases, far too much time. I am loyal. I have the character of a team player. I believe in doing things that benefit the whole and if that means I give extra… that is what happens. I give.

There are moments when God put you in position to actually receive. It is in those times where I get the most emotional. You never really expect to receive something, anything when you do something that you love or you do something that you feel you need to do. I think those times catch me the most off guard.

In the past I’ve given away my talent. It is archived online, evident in fliers, photographs and on the walls of the people who took it. I am not mad at it though. I did some pretty great work. I also did some not so great work. But I learned so much. Doing graphic design I learned new techniques, new resources, new processes. But the lessons that I learned while honing my talent we’re the ones that were most priceless. I think the most important thing I learned was discernment. People will take advantage of you if you let them. I have learned to recognize those tendencies to “take” and manipulate.

I always think about Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This was definitely a lesson for me. I never want to be the victim. I always check my role in situations. “How did I contribute to this?” In the same token I never want to inflict harm, be malicious, or inconsiderate to another human being.

I chose to remove myself from situations that we’re not serving my greater purpose. Or rather were only for the moment. Everything has a stepping stone, sometimes when you’re in it you don’t realize that it is not a permanent situation. That is “ignorance is bliss” at work.


I started another decade. I’m at the beginning and really feel excited and happy about the direction I am going. I constantly hear ‘speak what you want into existence’. I really feel stronger about it now. See… before I was a worrier. Actually there’s still some worry in me, but I really feel that my faith is stronger than my worries. See, all that time was practice. Flying by the seat of my pants and worrying about other people more than myself was a lesson that I had to learn. Now I see telltale signs, the writing on the wall, the warning signs and I high tail it the other direction. I really want positive energy around my life. The belief that things are possible regardless of the challenges that lie ahead. And certainly there will be challenges. Without struggle there is no progress. But what I want most is the belief that it is do-able.

I had such an amazing experience this past week. I started this blog about a week ago but it wasn’t finished and I now understand why. I went on a business trip to Ohio, where I was in the company of eight amazing people. It was one of those trips where everything felt like it was meant to be. In those moments sometimes I get lost, not wanting it to end. But this time I realized how much of a beginning this was. Just a mustard seed is not an exaggeration. Once you plant that seed watch the development, watch the movement, watch the change. There will be a shift. It is evident in so many instances in my life as I dictate this blog. (Yes I’m fancy.)

Let me back track though. In August, I started a new daily regimen. I began to listen and read more on personal development. In doing so I see differently. But get this. I have always loved biographies, autobiographies, self help books and so forth. So I am certainly not new to personal development. The difference is a different level of want.

The greatest capability that we have is the decision making process. We can change the path we’re on with a matter of implementing new thoughts and beliefs. And when you do that the excitement that wells up in you makes change happen. But it is the type of thing you really have to see for yourself.

Thinking back to last week one thing that I said was ‘you can’t wish dopeness on anyone else they have to want it for themselves’. I can want you to be great but unless you can see that you can be great it’s not going to happen. Having a second thought… a change of perspective and new epiphany, revelation will develop a new mindset and attitude.

Being around like minded individuals is beyond important. I was fortunate to be in great company.

The Sondai Souq

My Responsibilities Created Insecurities

In 2003, I was hell bent on owning a home. I was 27 and just tired of moving so much. I had made up my mind I was on a search of what I needed to do to become a homeowner. I still don’t think that I made the most informed decision. Everyday something would come up that was a challenge. April 14, 2003 I got the keys. By January 2005 I was laid off with no savings and to be quite honest I feel like I have been adrift at sea ever since.

I fell into that work to pay bills cycle that the 99% have as a physical mantra. You know that thing that wakes you up to go to work at a job that frustrates you to have a little bit of luxury that you are too tired to enjoy.

Looking back all I wanted was stability. I mean I was making it. I had my first one bedroom apartment nestled off of Rhode Island Ave on First Street. It was spacious and cute. The building probably was not fully up to code because there was a wicked slope that existed at the entrance. Then there began the problems. Leaks, rats from the construction nextdoor and an unresponsive landlord.  I gave up. I wanted something that I didn’t have to rely on the next man/woman for.

But at this very moment I realize reliance is a part of living. While there are many things in my 3 bedroom house that can be done on my own this is a lot to bear for a single woman. Dishes, dusting, laundry, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, closet… I live in every room. EVERY ROOM. How? There is just one of me.

I have had everything from a dispute with the water company that turned my water off for something that was their fault to issues with landscapers who just should not even be in business. (Just cause you have a lawnmower don’t mean you should be in the grass cutting business.) My first day in my new house my savings was depleted because of a capped pipe by the previous owners. It caused a back up. The plumber had to call one of his smallest men to climb into my crawlspace to uncap it. Then drill a whole in my laundry room wall to create another access for snaking the pipe if ever necessary.  Savings gone.

My responsibility to my house created insecurities because I was constantly second guessing my wants and sacrificing them for what my house needed. The mortgage needed to be paid. Nope, can’t visit Bahia with you guys. Pipe burst during winter. Have fun in London tell everyone I said Hi and hug them for me. I was/am tethered to my house. Please don’t misconstrue… I love my house. But having read Rich Dad, Poor Dad I realize the race that I have been in could have looked a lot different. I read it some time ago but never really quite understood how to get out of it.

The word stability pops back in my head. To be honest the house didn’t give it to me like I thought it would. Granted I no longer move every year. But I counter that with dripping faucets, feral cats, and neighbor issues.

Here are my thoughts…
If you purchase make sure there is some type of positive income to get from your purchase. A unit, retail space at the bottom… something. That was my initial goal… but as the search continue… it was daunting. Hindsight…

Condo over house. I would have done the condo if I knew what the problems were in an a traditional house.

Always buy detatched. I grew up in a row home. The thing about it was we knew our neighbors. Living in a semi detached house or a row home… you share what your neighbor has which could be everything from roaches to opossum and raccoons. Yes I have had a menagerie of animals in my home.

Lastly, space is overrated for the single. It just means more nooks and crankies to clean.

Property if done right is steady income. If not it can be a major liability.

I am an Emissary of the Future


So… I am all signed-up to be an Emissary of the Future with the United States Department of Art and Culture. Isn’t that title exciting? Kinda. Technically, it means I am putting myself on front street for the love of my community and social justice for all. As an artivist in the community I see so many connections to solutions through the arts.

Art is not just beautifying a neighborhood where blight resides. It is a movement… hell is it is movement. The sooner that is realized the sooner solutions are realized. Think about the possibilities. What does doing better look like?

The city of DC is currently renovating The Strand Theatre at the corner of Division and Nannie Helen Burroughs. The Strand was once a movie theatre and meeting spot for African American families East of the River in the Deanwood and surrounding communities. It has been sitting since it closed in 1959. That is 55 plus years that this historical landmark has looked quite less than stellar.

To go from dank to spankin new and fresh not only revitalizes that building but it revitalizes those passersby. When you see dilapidated buildings, trash, broken fixtures and blight in your community it makes you feel unworthy and neglected just like those buildings. Living day in and day out like this creates a lack mentality. Art is the beginning of that solution. It helps you dream in possibilities.

Being an Emissary to the Future, I want to get the community to put on some imagination specs and get the ball rolling on progress. Stop waiting for officials to decide what they will do show them some action about WHAT YOU WANT DONE.

Stay tuned as the plans for the #DaretoImagine project comes together I will be giving updates and countdowns!

The Cover Up

We learn certain behaviors from our families that we may not recognize as detrimental because it is so common place. To be honest this post will probably include some of that good ole cover magic that I am discussing here. Why do we do it? Are the secrets learned? Do we just do it to protect our ego?

These are questions I ask myself when I feel depressed or completely out of sorts. The mask we put on is preserving what exactly? Pain, embarrassment,  possible  ridicule. More than likely all of those things. America is famous for wearing the mask. If you take a look at all of the issues around the United States alone you will realize that mask is so withered and crack that the truth is shining through.

I ask, is this mask healthy or are we simply use to the fit? I can remember being a loud kid in the house. I would just be having fun. I can not remember specifics of what I would say but I do remember my grandmother saying “Shh, Kimmie the neighbors will hear you.” I didn’t care. I mean weren’t we in our own house? We lived in an old home and I doubt back then the walls were so thin that they could hear us. I never heard them other than the band rehearsals in the basement. Even then we would actually sing along. We were tight with our neighbors.

But the privacy of families is more complicated than it has to be. Family secrets, concealing ailments,  all kinds of stuff that could be helpful in human connection. Not everyone needs to know our business.  That is the rule of thumb. No one ever wants to appear lesser in the eyes of their neighbors. Or be pitied because they are down on their luck. It happens to everyone. One turn of events can have us high on the totem pole and another can have us scraping the bottom of the barrel. But no one would ever know.

I have always joked that Black folks can step out of the house dressed to the nines even if at home they ain’t got no lights or a kernel of corn to eat. Pride is a constant in the Black community especially in looking the part. If we look good everyone will believe we are good. That is definitely multi-leveled.

What happens if we are vulnerable and share our hardships? Ultimately,  I believe  that there will be folks that are in your corner and others you will realize who are not. I have been blessed to experience it and still do not have the words. I know there are not always those who want to see you shine. I can’t stand the term haters but… Well let’s just say they are not happy with themselves so how could they even stand to be in the shadow of your light. The sad thing is that there is enough light to go around and if we all shine there would be no shadows.

The rumor mill may run off at the mouth. That is the nature of some but more often than not they will find themselves in need at some point. Karma is real. I do know this though we can not expect to experience a blessing if we don’t open our mouths to ask for what we need or un-clinch our fists to receive.

Check out my finds in the sondai souq

Eye Wear

I wear glasses…


So… I have a strong affinity for eye wear. I call these beauties “Pearly Victorious”. I was worried that they would be to light but they actually look pretty good  (to say so myself). These are a fashion accessory I can’t see (going) without.

I have a style icon. I think most fashion conscious culture iris apfel_2people do. Mine is Iris Apfel! She is a style maven. Her glasses are iconic. Many figure her to be in the fashion industry but if you take a closer look you realize she does not have the trappings of fashion but that of style. An interior designer, Apfel wears what she likes, and among her likes are  her iconic glasses not to mention her baubles and trinkets.


Jill Scott and her Tom Ford glasses as seen on The View.

Everyone loves to add on to their look. More and more celebrities are being more fashionable with great specs. There is a resurgence of folks that have to ask… “Do they have medicine in them?” For me the answer is…Yes, I need the medicine. The interesting thing is as a youngster… glasses were not this cool. I always sought unique frames though. My philosophy is since I have to wear them and the people I come across have to see them… they might as well be entertaining. I feel like why not give folks something fun to look at.

If you want to create a signature look and you are a glasses wearer like moi… Zenni Optical is your friend. There are other friends in my arsenal like Warby Parker, Coastal, See… but Zenni and I have a relationship. We get along well. More times than not without trying the frames on I am satisfied and ecstatic at the fit and the look.

Look at these fabulous EyeBaubles!!! Or what about this EyeCandy? Try them. Zenni Optical has great glasses at low prices. These maybe next…

Don’t leave the kids out…

The Sondai Souq

Sondai Keeps MONEY in your Pocket

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The Sondai Souq

Watch Sondai on #Periscope


I have slowly… NO… I take that back, quickly become addicted to the world of #Periscope. One of my new scoper gurus said “It is the best place for free professional development and entertainment.” Thanks Chalene Johnson.

YES! Depending on who you follow you can “get your life” on Periscope. From messages for the spirit, live coaching, tips on building and maintaining your brand, the platform is an excellent tool and can be a great way to expand your career.

I will be posting my first #Periscope soon and I am looking to provide topics that are of value! The nuggets of knowledge that I have seen on this app have been invaluable. From @JessFozard in Australia, to @trendysocialite in North Carolina and @NapturalNicole in Baltimore, Periscope has great information and community building. Truth be told there is huge value to it.

So check download the app, and check for the “Sondai Sessions” Live on Periscope coming soon! I will be talking S.A.S – Spirit, Art & Style.

Gosh… putting it here makes it real. Whoa! I have that nervous out of my comfort zone excitement.

Check out my finds in the sondai souq

Night Club Art Exhibitions Don’t Pay Artists

The combination is actually illogical. Night clubs are multi-purposed venues but, art seller is not one of them. While I appreciate the out of the box sentiment that promoters and night club owners have, this forcing of culture is not progressing artist’s careers. In fact, it may very well be pigeon-holing or exploiting the artist by using them as atmosphere or a gimmick making the establishment seem like the “it” place to be.

It is a level of respect for the artist. Show them in the best possible light. You wouldn’t put this Ruud van Empel Dawn #1 piece in a night club.

There are strong drinks and uncontrolled patrons, the arts connoisseur is not there to squint at labels or at paintings for that matter, they are there to shake what the good lord gave them. At this point it has been done. Admittedly, I have seen it done well in some cases. I can not deny that the artist was truly thought about in these situations. I have also seen it done horribly with an artist live painting stuck up in a corner and disrespected by drunken night club goers. Do not be mistaken, I am talking full blown night club here, not gallery parties or buildings converted into gallery spaces. Even though, sometimes the party gets a little too “crunk” in this spaces as well.

YES! Art most of the time equates to a jovial atmosphere. It is a celebration of talent, accomplishment and life on a wall, canvas, pallet, glass or anything else an artist can create upon. These night club exhibitions don’t really allow the work to be seen. Indeed, accolades are awesome, having people surrounding you and smiling, and instagramming pictures with “the artist”, that is cool too. But at the end of the day art for an artist is business. The business is the sale of art. They can’t live off of fun times at the night club.

The point is, the artist must be mindful of their audience and how to reach them. Of course, millionaires are not relegated to galleries. This day an age they walk among us. However, for the artists, please think about perception and presentation. If your art fits in the night club atmosphere and the owner is willing to purchase your pieces to adorn their walls, by all means DO IT. Otherwise please stop with this gallery quality work being installed in spots with rum and coke stained floors and (potentially) art.

Check out my finds in the sondai souq