Wednesday Word

March 7, 2018

This Wednesday Word No. 104, spotted at Hom Sweet Hom, was unapologetically spoken by Shonda Rhimes. For the uninitiated, Shonda Rhimes is the creator, head writer, executive producer and showrunner of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” She basically runs Thursday nights on ABC and is a total game-changer. But that probably goes without saying. This quote taken from her book, “Year of Yes” (I listened to it as an audiobook in January, and it completely changed my perspective and led me to embark on my own “Year of Yes”), is her forever mood and is goals for me. To put it into context, Shonda writes: “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart. I am talented. I take advantage of the opportunities that came my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.” Remember those words when someone tries to dim your shine. We all should have the confidence to tout our greatness. Let’s call it like it is. We’ve earned everything we’ve accomplished, often working twice as hard to get half the credit of others. This Women’s History Month, I salute Shonda Rhimes for the example she has set for Black girls everywhere. Seeing her succeed lets us know that our words matter and that embracing our imaginations and creativity can lead to amazing things.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 10: “Flower Power”

March 5, 2018

This Photo of the Week No. 10 is from the archives. This beautiful flower arrangement was adorning a table at a summit hosted by my job, and at the time it was just an object to document to get a sense of the event’s scenery. But on second viewing, it proved to be more profound in meaning. As you know, this month is Women’s History Month and when I was looking through the folder where this image was resting, I was reminded of how these flowers are symbolic of women. Think about it. They’re each beautiful in their own right, but when pulled together, their beauty is magnified. The same could be said of women and their power. Also, it’s OK to be independent and have different opinions. It’s diversity that helps solve the world’s issues. It’s variety that provides a sweet fragrance in the atmosphere. What comes to mind when you think of this Photo of the Week, titled “Flower Power”? Let me know in the comments below!

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

February 28, 2018

This Wednesday Word No. 103, spotted via Quote Catalog, comes right on time, as we wrap up Black History Month and get ready for Women’s History Month. W.E.B. Du Bois — an African-American sociologist, writer, activist and originator of this quote — is a real one for this. Not only was he one of the most impactful social thinkers of his generation, but he also recognized the importance of lifting up women. This quote is equally potent today as it was back then. Reading these words makes me think of the black women who rise while navigating a world that constantly quells our voices. We dare to thrive in a society that challenges our worth due to the sheer fact that we’re both rich with melanin and hold the key to life in our anatomies. I personally think of my mother, who worked tirelessly to raise us kids — six wild and crazy ones at that — while progressing in her career and serving God. I’m also thinking of my Grandma Ruth, Grandma Clara, and a gaggle of aunties who set examples for me with their selflessness, faith, grit and compassion. It’s because of their determination that I’m here today.

Who are some of the women who come to mind when you reflect on this quote? Let me know in the comments section below!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 9: “You Better Sang, Teddy Pain”

February 26, 2018

Such a random sighting, but I got to see T-Pain — the “Rapper Ternt Sanga” responsible for such hits as “Buy U A Drank,” “Can’t Believe It,” “I’m Sprung” and “Bartender” — at a karaoke night hosted by my job last Thursday. He was hosting the event, a celebration of Black History Month, and he seems like a pretty cool dude. He was cracking jokes and kept the crowd entertained. It was hilarious when a couple of my friends pulled out all the stops trying to get Teddy Pain to do one of his songs with them, but he politely declined. I mean, we were only paying him to host the event. But being the kind-hearted soul that he is, T-Pain blessed us with a stirring rendition of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. That boy good! That’s why I call this image, my ninth Photo of the Week, “You Better Sang, Teddy Pain.”

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

February 21, 2018

This Wednesday Word No. 102, courtesy of GREER Chicago, is for all those who refuse to let hurdles stand in the way of their progress. Shirley Chisholm, who made history as the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress and first African-American to run for President on a major party ticket, faced many challenges in her political career. But she persisted in the face of many a closed door, numerous naysayers and severely stacked odds. The famous quote stems from a word of encouragement that she gave to Democratic party activist and her longtime friend, Donna Brazile: “If you wait for a man to give you a seat, you’ll never have one! If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair.” Also, shout out to the women who speak life into their friends’ hopes and dreams. (As you may know, Brazile continues to make major moves in the political arena and is currently chair of the Democratic National Committee.) There’s something to be said about someone who’s so sure of herself and her mission that she chooses to see opposition as opportunity. Chisholm is a beacon of confidence, resilience and determination. She knew that there was great work to be done, and it couldn’t stop with the noes of men. Aren’t you glad that there are powerful women like Chisholm who came before us to set an example of the potential we have inside? I know I am.

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 8: “Shrieks Startle Sweet Cheeks”

February 19, 2018

You’re in for a treat in more ways than one for this Photo of the Week! My adorable niece Azalea turned 1 this past weekend, and we had a low-key family party at my mom’s house to celebrate the occasion. Of course, the birthday girl had her very own cake. And the moment we were all waiting for was when she dove head first into the sugary confection. When she lifted the cake with both hands and took a gargantuan bite, my siblings, parents and I all let out shrieks of delight and amazement that ended up spooking her. Fun times!

It was hard choosing just one photo from the party to share, but I especially love this image, which I call “Shrieks Startle Sweet Cheeks,” taken seconds after the aforementioned moment. Zae, with her big, beautiful brown eyes and kissable chubby cheeks, looks terrified and tired. One might even say frosted cake wasted! Also, the juxtaposition of the tiny crown and other regal flair against the mess of frosting all over her face, hands and clothes is just down-right hilarious. Alternate titles: “Let Her Eat Cake,” “Frosted Cake Wasted,” “Tastes Like Trouble,” “Never Too Much of a Good Thing,” “Having Her Cake and Eating It, Too.” It was Zae’s first time having cake, and I can’t wait to bear witness to countless other firsts that are ahead for her precious little life. Happy birthday, baby girl!

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Wednesday Word

February 14, 2018

This Wednesday Word No. 101, a tweet from California Senator Kamala Harris posted on Feb. 2, has been at the forefront of my mind since it was sent into the universe. It was a poignant reminder that there is an army of well-wishing, encouraging, uplifting, caring sisters behind me. They may not be in the building physically, but I know their thoughts, prayers and hopes are with me.

What a reassuring feeling, especially as I got about my work day, oftentimes the only Black woman in the room. The more I engage and build relationships with my Black colleagues, the more supported I feel. I thank them for their hugs, smiles, laughs and “You’re gonna be OKs.” They mean more to me than they’ll ever know. It’s a beautiful thing to feel that encouragement 365, but it feels especially good during Black History Month. Now that’s a special kind of love.

And by the way, Kamala Harris is Black History herself, and her future is so bright. I stand with her as one of those cheerleaders she mentioned in her tweet. Get ’em, Kam!

To get inspired by previous Wednesday Word posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 7: “Field of Little League Dreams”

February 12, 2018

While out at the park with my guy and Jacc a few weeks back, I observed what looked like a Little League scrimmage underway at an adjacent field. I was playing with different techniques to bring the background to the foreground. As you’ll see, the subjects that are the farthest away appear more clearly, though at a distance, than the chainlink fence that is the closest to the camera. I call this, my seventh Photo of the Week, “Field of Little League Dreams” because of the enthusiasm the kids practicing displayed for the love of the game. It reminded me of my brother Robert’s days playing Little League baseball and the moments of triumph he experienced out on the field. Alternate titles: “Little League of Their Own,” “Diamonds in the Rough,” “Off the Chainlink Fence.”


To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Photo of the Week No. 6: “Nephew Gets a New Toy”

February 5, 2018

This little angelic creature is my nephew Jordan, and this photo was captured on Christmas Day in the midst of him ripping through wrapping paper and boxes to get to the goods. As you might be able to tell by the smirk on his face, he’s in to “Star Wars.” I just knew that the BB-8 candy dispenser I bought Jordan would be a hit. I call this image, my sixth Photo of the Week, “Nephew Gets a New Toy.” There’s so much to love about Jordan, my favorite (and only) nephew, but I’m especially fond of his inquisitive nature, spot-on observations, gentle spirit and killer dance moves. And he’s the spitting image of his mother, my sister Ayesha. He’ll be 9 years old in May, and I hope he never changes.

To see previous Photos of the Week, click here.

ashley ♥ adores

Found Objects: Street Art in Montréal

January 30, 2018

You may recall seeing my previous Travel Log for Montréal, Canada, and how I fell in love with the city. Well, this street art is a big part of why it stole my heart. I wish I had more time to explore more of these gems, but I’m glad that I happened upon so many beautiful pieces while walking through the neighborhood on our last full day in Montréal. I was particularly impressed by the “Love” piece, which was in a doorway on the backside of some building. To me, it speaks of the way love comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Love is strong. Love is also subtle. Above all, love is everywhere you look. The piece metaphorically shows all of the aforementioned. Click through the slide show to see some of the street art I discovered.

To see more Found Objects posts, click here.

ashley ♥ adores