Boss Bae: Rickeya Pryor

Rickeya sits across from me patiently waiting for me to scribble down her previous statement. I am woefully unprepared, but she graciously powers through. Meanwhile I kick myself for leaving my phone at home and scheduling an interview directly after the gym. Tragic. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜’

RT: How long have you been decorating venues and helping people to create meaningful events? Do you have help?

RP: Two years now. My mom, sister, niece and nephew help. My mom is great with customer service, and my sister is an accountant. She sets the financial boundaries and makes sure I get paid.

RG: How did you know this was what you wanted to do?

RG: I’ve always had a creative bug.

RG: What are your goals with Celebrated Simply?

RP: Well my goal is to be the first black woman to own and operate a theme park. But for now, I want to start hosting very exclusive themed parties.

RG: What thing did you struggle with as CS started?

RP: Marketing. Getting enough of a following with people to support me.

RG: What do you want a CS client to feel or experience?

RP: I want them to feel like I exceeded their expectations. I want the space to look like we stepped into a themed world with food, smells, and colors.

RG: What’s one piece of advice for an aspiring event planner?

RP: Don’t alter the customer’s vision, but stand your ground. Believe in your abilities. Overachieve.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see a team of creative individuals. I will be booked years in advance! [Celebrated Simply] will be a well-known brand. I want my events to be more of an experience than decor.

I want customized party-wear in Party City or my own boutique. I want to be hosting well-known annual events; haunted houses, proms, and weddings.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

I listen to life advice from mentors. “Don’t try to be something or someone [you’re] not. Let [your personality] carry [you] to where [you] want to achieve!

What’s the worst advice you’ve gotten?

“Go to art school!” I started College in art school, now I’m in debt!

[General discussion about the benefits of community college and how slept-on it is]

Start at a community college, then figure it out. Miami Dade College really prepares you for whatever school you want!

If you could teach a class at any level, what would it be and why?

I would teach middle to high school children a creative business class. The class would teach them how to take their passions and turn them into a business; developing and marketing a business and having fun!

[commiserating about working towards someone else’s dream]

Where can people find you, or how can they contact you?

Instagram. Search for Celebrated Simply. Look out for a couple of events!

Be sure to check her out on Instagram, and if you’re in the South Florida area, hit her up to personalize your next event or get-together. Mention my name for a 0% discount. She’ll giggle.

Lessons in Adulting: Imposter Syndrome

When youโ€™re a baby, no one shames you for not speaking English. Or any language besides cooing and burbling. {Actually no one should shame anyone for not speaking English, but thatโ€™s neither here not there! Heck you, xenophobes!๐Ÿคš๐Ÿพ๐Ÿšซ} So why is it that once you you pass through the invisible doorway to presumed adulthood, are we suddenly expected to know everything!?

Itโ€™s like Iโ€™m reviewing a book in a genre Iโ€™ve never read. Like Iโ€™m writing an instruction manual for a device Iโ€™ve never used, seen, built or even heard of. Iโ€™m a first-time adult.๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™ƒ

[Rod Serling, writer and host of Twilight Zone voice] Enter into evidence the phenomenon know as โœŒ๐Ÿพimposter syndromeโœŒ๐Ÿพ

According the great and reputable peer-reviewed source know as Wikipedia, imposter syndrome is defined as:

Not to be confused with Capgras delusion which seems far more prohibitive and problematic.

I’ve been battling with I.S. in waves for the last 8ish years. Here’s my theory!

Roze’s I.S. theory:

1. Well meaning parents haphazardly program their children with fixed mindset ideals (ie. “Look how well you did. It’s so easy for you. You barely study. You’re naturally bright!”) and reward innate talent disproportionately ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€๐ŸŽ“

2. External value is attributed to success (ie. Honor roll, deans list, trophies and certificates) and intrinsic value is not deliberately cultivated ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ““๐Ÿ”–

3. Difficult to navigate workforce rewards inflated resumes and applications (ie. Entry level pay and position requiring years of experience and certifications)

4. Supervisory practices support less dynamic and diverse workplace of antiquity (ie. supervision doesn’t survey strengths or accommodate learning styles)

5. No immediate access to HR, EAP, or mental health resources within workplace structure (ie. report/address supervisor, mitigate stresses influencing productivity, feel comfortable taking time away) ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿพโ€โš•๏ธ ๐Ÿ›‹โœ๐Ÿพ

I’ve theorized that a wealth of factors contribute to the phenomenon of I.S. For me, I find that my I.S. is triggered in comprehensive projects with deadlines, multiple changing factors, and no clear rubric; also known as wicked problems.

In the nonprofit and academia spheres, we are inundated with wicked problems: poverty, healthcare, education etc. The stress from attempting to address these problems can reek havoc on the rest of our lives.

In an I.S. spiral I tend to think back to the many mistakes I’ve made in my burgeoning professionalism and forget to count the many more wins I’ve been privileged to have.

I’m stricken with a pain in my stomach and my thoughts race while Im possessed with the idea that I’ll be found out. I am a dummy, I have performed as promised, and I don’t deserve this job.

At any moment my director will come flying through the door; simultaneously ripping it off its hinges and banshee-screaming that I’m fired. ๐Ÿšช๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿพ๐Ÿคบ๐Ÿ‰ That’s insane. My director is a nice lady who can hardly run much less fly.

Why do I feel this way? What can I do? When should I quit?

I feel this way because it’s my first. My immediate family’s first college grad. One of my first full time quasi-traditional jobs. I’m being asked questions about retirement, paying for my own benefits, and considering, for the first time, to pinpoint what I’ll be doing in five years. I feel this way because there’s a lot riding on this and on me. Because I’m officially in charge of my life, but I want nothing more than to step down and politely decline.

Check out Cendino’s photography here!

What I can do is my best. I can pick out each day and it’s 1000 objectives and truly (not fakely) give each one whatever “my best” looks like for that day. That way I can watch Netflix, and work out, and spend the rest of my time authentically engaged without the lingering guilt and self-applied pressure that is my spiraling workweek HELL!๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘น I deserve to be genuinely present and invested in this one life I get.

More tangibly, I’ve recently started an achievement journal. Today’s Shine Text calls it a “brag book”, where I periodically list all the things I’ve accomplished in a day and marvel at how gifted and Beyoncรฉ-like I am!

When should I quit? Tomorrow. I can quit tomorrow. It’s always an option. Always on the table. But today I’ll try. I’ll stay late if I have to. I will rack my brain, ask for help, go for a walk if I have to. It may be tough today, but I can always quit tomorrow.

Check out this quick read from a helpful source.

I love a good mantra ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ•ฏ๐Ÿ“ฟ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ. Try this on for size if you’re battling some serious Imposter Syndrome! Repeat to yourself in the midst of a panic, or use it to start your day.

“I am not an imposter. I am more than qualified. I will work to prove it to myself. I deserve the rewards I have been blessed with!”

Go forth into your workweek and prosper ๐Ÿ––๐Ÿพ, even when your to-do list has been fruitful and multiplying. You’re not an imposter. Do your job. LIVE YOUR LIFE.

#Throwback Thursday Deliberate Action

I’m learning bit by bit to be more aggressive in the pursuit of my wants. They are important. To communicate quickly in self-advocacy. My adversities are valid. To be wholly present in the moments that I dedicate to myself. My me-time is crucial.

Most of all, I’m realizing that my advice is for me too. It’s actually mostly for me. I need it.

lftu

Life is a generous teacher; giving you multiple opportunities to to learn lessons and retake tests.

Read more at the link above!

Continue reading “#Throwback Thursday Deliberate Action”

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Actor Bae: A Sip With Sexy

I’m interested in virtually anything Issa Rae is involved with. So when I saw her post that she’d be in SoFlo for this year’s American Black Film Festival, I jumped on one of the last and most affordable events:

About Kofi Siriboe

I first saw Mr. Siriboe in Girls Trip, as the fresh-faced love interest of Jada Pickett-Smith’s character. I saw. It honestly wasn’t a great display of his talent. I remember wanting to see him in something deep, earthy, salient.

:looks lovingly at Queen Sugar:

I took a Lyft, and got there early; two unusual happenings for Roze. I was completely unwilling to pay for parking on the beach, and the event organizer produced a discount code for attendees. [read “Open bar! We will not be held responsible!”]

I fortunately found a group of old college friends and skipped most of the long, winding, Jordan release-esque line.

By the time Issa came on stage to introduce the evening’s guest, the waiting audience had already jooked, wobbled, and strolled ourselves in buzzed contentment.

All the fan girls swarmed to the front, for a whiff of what is undoubtedly one of the most sparkly-toothed good-smelling young men on God’s green Earth! #chocolate ๐Ÿซ

It started way late. Like #CPtime meets Salvador Dali clock late. Issa jumped right into the question and answer portion. Kofi explained a little bit about his Ghanaian-American upbringing, his former-fluffy-kid struggles, and how those and many more factors played into his current successes.

If I’m being honest, some of his quotes didn’t quite hit. He might have prematurely succumb to his drink, but generally he described a quick and dynamic rise to stardom fraught with personal struggle and realization.

Issa asked a series of questions about his philosophy surrounding fame and attention. I took notes.

They addressed mental health and personal wellbeing in the black community as well as millennials and their challenges in the workforce.

Finally, the audience [read: screaming millennial black women] submitted their questions for Issa to read aloud. Kofi shared his advice for young creatives and his thoughts on life planning and decision making.

It was an evening aptly name named: just a sip. The ladies would have asked him questions for hours! I was full from way too many hors-devours, and it was time to go home.

I’m gonna give a sip one day!

Roze Goes,

Black Music Month!

So typically, what you would find here is feature or brief review of one ore more musical artists and a few of their respective songs. A couple YouTube videos, or a hyperlinked set of lyrics.

Not this month. This time it’ll be a month-long list of songs and artists that mean something to me. Epitomizing black music for Madam Rozรฉ.

Let’s check what Wikipedia has to say…

So to switch it up I’ll be adding to this post daily (hold me accountable, dammit!) with the answers to each day’s question.

I’ll post days 1-3 here exclusively, and if you follow me on Instagram (or vice versa) you can see my real-time answers that I’ll follow up with an entry here!

Black Music Month: #30DayMusicChallenge

Day 1. “Too Close” x Next

In my defense I was, and still am, an odd child. I truly believed this song was about personal space. I didn’t see the video until I was already a man (Bane reference) and didn’t put two and two together because of my math anxiety. Sue me! I love it now that I’m an adult!

Day 2. “He Lives in You” & “Circle of Life x ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿคด๐Ÿพ

Trick question, it’s a tie. I literally get chills every time I hear this. I got goosebumps pasting this link. Real talk. Lion King is a staple for most 90s babies, and ain’t nothin black-er or more musical than animated lions!

Day 3. “Boogie Wonderland”

x Earth, Wind & Fire ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ”ฅ

I sweater god! If Taylor Swift tries to get her hands on this for the next volume of “Now That’s What I Call Gentrification!”, I will write a letter to my senator! Big mad!

Day 4: “Hotline Bling” x Drake

The young lady Aubrey Drake Graham describes seems to living her BEST LIFE! She has chosen to reject the stay-at-Home “good girl” narrative he shaped for her, and is flourishing beautifully. Classics misogynoir and heteronormative toxicity! Plus he a dead beat anyway. But that damn 7th grade maths teacher dance is my weakness!

Day 5: “This Woman’s Work”

Kate Bush x Maxwell

Pray God you can cope! Let me spell out the long and sordid history of this quasi-confusing song! First written by Kate Bush for the soundtrack of the film “She’s Having a Baby”, Maxwell covered it in the early 2000’s, and he quickly became a black people standard! His video, shows one of grief and loss as a lover copes with the death of his partner. And Kate Bush’s video, and expecting father deals with the stress of his wife giving birth and his surge of emotions. Somehow! Black people have made this a “get you pregnant” mix tape hit, but it wouldn’t make sense at all given the information from these two artists. However, I love it nonetheless, and a black man’s falsetto is a beautiful coveted thing!

Day 6: Fav Hip Hop/R&B Collab

“Let’s Get Married” REMIX

X Jagged Edge feat. Rev Run

I almost HATE that I love this song. I definitely used to think “wow, he basically states that we’re playing around, and not getting any younger!”, and I found that to be a little callous! BUT age has wizened me, and it hits my ears a little softer each time. I mean I’m not doing anything, and I could use the tax benefits, so why NOT get married!? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ

Day 7: Favorite R&B Duet

“Alone Together” Daley x Marsha Ambrosius

I’ll be honest. Daley kinda Rick Rolled me. He hit me with the Bobby Caldwell. :whispers: “At first listen I thought he was a black man!”. BUT the beauty of black culture, is that is welcoming and pervasive! Mazel Tov!

Day 8: Fave Remix

“Hurtin Me” Stefflondon RMX

Sean, Paul, Popcaan, & Sizzla

Roze’s Remix criteria questions:

1. Does it smack!?

2. More or less than the original?

3. Are there too many cooks?

4. Does the feel of the song change?

5. Beneficially? Or harmfully?

6. Does it achieve more or less acclaim?

This remix smacks harder in my opinion. It’s new features only enhance the song, and the new vibe created with indefinitely extend the life of summer anthem! I get to wail the lyrics while drinking mimosas. We are DEEP into brunch season!

DIY: No Sew Bag!

I take it as a personal challenge to attempt to recreate (read “I’m not paying for that, [insert store name here] plays too much!”) nifty crafted doohickeys.

It’s my own heartfelt vendetta against all seemingly DIY-able jewelry, crafts, accessories, clothing, and general knickknacks. If it’s got rhinestones, canvas, paint, or yarn, I won’t rest until I’m a Pinterest “nailed it” horror meme!

Lately I’ve been drawn to real throwback purses: bucket bags, bamboo basket handbags, and woven carry-alls.

So generally this was my inspiration. Minus the lining. I have no interest in transporting pens or loose change.

It came to me pretty simply. I figured tank top straps are already like purse handles, so I’d start from there.

Supplies

Scissors, Tank top of choice, Cardboard, Objects to carry

Steps

1. I cut my tank top into strips leaving the neckline and armpit holes (That’s the scientific term) intact.

2. Stretch the strips to have enough length to work with.

Be careful not to cut the strips too thin, because you will lose them when you stretch. Also maybe don’t use your Hulk strength.

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคซ

The fallen comrades :(

3. Interweave and knot the strips to create the net. Think basketball ๐Ÿ€ netting.

Ideally I would have slipped a flattened box into the tank top so that I could clearly sort and weave the straps. You could probably also pin them in place while you planned your pattern!

What you don’t want is to tie neighbor strips to one another! Otherwise you’ll just have purposeless knots. You’re tying every other strip together, and then securing them with knots.

Leave the middle strip alone. It will be tied to the the following strip.

In this example tank top we would tie strip #1 to #3, and strip #2 to #4

Following this pattern around the tank top should create your first row of quasi-diamond shaped openings, once you finish the row, you follow this pattern until your ends are too short to keep it up.

4. Seal off the bottom of the bag by tying opposing ends to one another; reaching across the circle to match each end up.

If you were to look down into the netting you could see the freely hanging ends as if you were standing under a basketball hoop.

Tie your ends together and make sure not to leave any gaps.

5. Test it out. Doing this you’ll see if any ends were left unmatched, and whether or not you should reinforce certain areas with additional knots.

Better next time…

Next time I won’t cut the strips so thin, and use a thicker fabric. I’ll use a cardboard insert to help sort my strips, and I’d like to try this with tank tops of varying sizes. I could maybe also make the diamonds a little smaller so that when stretched, they don’t turn into gaping holes. ๐Ÿ™„

Roze Goes Rating:

๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน/๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน

This can be overcome with practice. I’ll use thicker fabrics. I can probably find some great thrifted tanks with interesting patterns or textures for a different look. Maybe denim!

Will YOU DIY?

I hope you’ll try some new DIY this month! this ones just in time for Memorial Day weekend. #MAYbe you need a cute beach bag or sack to carry your toys or snacks. Reduce, reuse, recycle!โ™ป๏ธ

Head on over to hasombags.com to see more ethically sourced upcycled cloth bags, napkins, and bookmarks!

Roze,

Jamaica Carnival 2018 ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ

I love carnival. I love Soca. I am Jamaican ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ. It writes itself. In my lifelong carnival chase, it only makes sense that I went home one time for the one time. Aight, so boom! ๐Ÿ’ฅ

Pickups

Caesar’s Army A.M.Bush

Length. I’ll admit I didn’t get there RIGHT as the band house opened, and that may have been my undoing, but we waited for a while. The band house and distribution system were pretty organized. Far better than most of my experiences with pickups in Miami. I put my wristband on ASAP because I don’t want no problems. That’s like, my general mantra.

Xaymaca Costume

This went quite a bit faster. We waited in two groups, and were quickly processed before heading inside the mas camp to collect. I had some challenges with my costume’s fit, but fortunately, my section’s designer, Keisha Als was present and accommodating for my friend and I. Within an hour after voicing my complaint, a seamstress was at work on my costume.

FYI: Regardless of whether or not a thong is the only option pictured, please specify (and express to customer service representatives if need be) that you want a particular bottom. Also, the prototype will NEVER be the same as what you receive. NEVAH!

Fetes:

Afloat

Dope. DJs were good. Bartenders and drink selection were good. Vibes were perfect for the first fete of our trip. UNTIL… the party went on forever. There were unidentified liquids all over the floor, the bathrooms ran out of toilet paper, and the bar was devoid of napkins. After a while, it felt like the two boats from the Dark Knight, and we were meant to choose. The Joker nearly had us dancing to death. But, I lived!

Tribe Ignite

Semi-stush vibes. It was a good time, but so soon after Afloat we hardly had the energy to give a second performance. Kes was amazing, and so was Allison Hinds. DJ Puffy had a great set, and I LITERALLy ran into Shall Marshall. Star-studded, but we still left early because we were tired and hungry; the meat-free and pescatarian options were non-existent.

Medz

HOT AF! Lordt! It’s like we were being punished for the previous night’s wotlessness! We got there late, but no matter, the boat never left. It was a dock party. A boat-adjacent party. Medz were readily available, but shade certainly was not. Vibes where you could catch a breeze… then they ran out of water. Fin.

A.M. Bush

As always it delivered. A series of connecting busses to the bush, and a slightly bewildering walk in the dark to the trucks. Just enough time to get your mind right, and sip just enough social lubricant before the paint started to fling. I love it every time. Picked all the best food lines and got tastes of my favorites. Corn soup, doubles (well not really as they ran out of everything except chickpeas), and jerk. Then a long nap in the return bus. A.M. Bush is the best! Period.

Before

P.M. Fete

Logistical failings aside, it was a good time. (If you register online, that means it automatically dumps into a cache. Then how TF are you unable to find my name!?)ย  If you wanted, you could scope the ones you wanted to find on the road; see your pre-mas boo in costume. Very chill, multiple bars. Again, we left early; road in the morning.

Xaymaca Cool Down Fete

Sand, when carried by the wind, feels a lot like little knives. But thankfully, that was the worst part. Had the forethought to bring a bag and snacks, and we set up a little camp. As the sun set, and our drinks set in, it really was the best party of the entire trip. The DJs played a mix of music, and and the evening breeze was perfect. Perhaps because it was the last, we appreciated it more. Bittersweet.

ROAD

The whole point. The reason I bought my flight and secured my AirBnb. If I’m being honest, I didn’t give it my all. Heart wasn’t in it. The heat was intense, the route felt forever-long, and the streets were so narrow that with stormers there nearly wasn’t room to breathe! I felt a little meh about my costume, and I knew drinking would only make me whiny. The pointy and obtrusive costumes were so painfully large, that at times we could hardly see. The lunch stop was efficient and just what I needed. The dinner stop, not so much. Vegan options were virtually nonexistent, so we left a bit early. Although, the end seemed somewhat ambiguous. Were we headed back out onto the road? We’ll never know.

Overall. Quite good. I will certainly be running it back. It owes me some money and I am going to get every one of my coins!

What are YOUR travel plans for 2018? If Roze Goes, so should you ‘

Love yourself,