Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little [QUADRON] for a Saturday Night

I fell in love with this song earlier in the week and knew instantly that this is a perfect song for a fun, Saturday night.





I hope you all will enjoy "Slippin"!!

:::drools::: Tracee Ellis Ross-style for Plus Size Fashionistas (Pt. 2!!)

I wasn't going to do another fashion post until next week, but when I spotted this picture of Tracee Ellis Ross at the recent Target opening in Harlem, I knew that I had to replicate this outfit (Despite the fact that I am still mad at Target!!)



I am loving this look SO MUCH!! I would have never thought to select a patterned bag with that dress! I think it's a brilliant choice, because there's a harmony with the combination.

Truth be told that was really the incentive to try to replicate this outfit... the challenge to think outside of my comfort zone and find a similar look. Here's what I came up with:



It's amazing what brilliant ideas come out of sleep deprivation. While I am somewhat proficient in MS Paint, it never dawned on me (despite reading countless fashion blogs and seeing this done) to do a collage! LOL

For the dress I chose the Green Floral Maxi Dress by Pink Apple ($48.00, Alight). It's not a total match, pattern-wise, but I really liked that the dress incorporated some of the colors in Tracee's dress.



The bag is the Hara Embroidered Tote ($29.50, Delia*s) Again, the pattern doesn't match the dress at all, but the colors go together and the harmony I was looking for I think I was able to recreate for this look as well!



I can't see what footwear Tracee is rocking with her dress, so I decided to go with the Ecote Braided T-Strap Sandal in Green ($24.00, Urban Outfitters)


So what do you think? Was I successful in recreating Tracee's harmonious ensemble?
If you have a suggestion for the next Celebrity Style for Plus Size Fashionistas, be sure to drop me a line!

Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail : "Om Shanti Om"

I haven't had the pleasure of watching "Om Shanti Om" yet, but it's currently on my Netflix queue and should be in my possession in a matter of weeks. Several of my bollywood-loving friends have assured me that I too will fall head-over-heels in love with it, and when I found out Shahrukh Khan (from one of my favorite Bollywood flicks, "Devdas") was in it, I didn't need much more persuasion.


Since my hubby-to-be and I love Indian food (In fact, some of my favorite memories of our time in Corning was eating at Thali of India on Market Street), I thought that this particular film would be a perfect candidate for a Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail post.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe Courtesy of Indian Food Forever

Ingredients:

Part A:
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup yogurt
3 tsp minced ginger
3 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Melted margarine (for basting)

Part B:
5 oz. tomato paste
10 oz. tomato puree
2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp green chilies
1 tbsp red chili powder
2 tsp cloves
8 green cardamoms
Salt To Taste
3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup cream
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp ginger, julienned
honey to taste

Preparation:

Whisk all of the ingredients in Part A together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes.

Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes, basting with margarine twice. Drain excess marinade and bake for another 2 minutes.

While doing this, make the sauce in Part B. Deseed and chop green chilies. Put tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and add approximately 4-1/4 cups of water.

Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cloves, cardamoms, and salt. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce. Strain through a strainer and bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Stir.

If the sauce tastes sour, add honey to taste. Add fenugreek and ginger juliennes, stir, and serve with the chicken tikka masala

Palak Paneer

Recipe Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
2 dried red chile peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 cup sour cream
3 pounds fresh spinach, torn
1 large tomato, quartered
4 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves
8 ounces paneer (you can use ricotta cheese as an alternative)
coarse sea salt to taste

Directions

In a large saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, red chilies (optional ingredient) and onion until brown. Mix in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and sour cream (add more or less to achieve desired creaminess). Add the spinach, handfuls at a time until it is cooked down, about 15 minutes total. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour spinach mixture into a blender or food processor and add the tomato, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, and cilantro (add more or less according to taste). Blend for 15 to 30 seconds, or until the spinach is finely chopped. Pour back into the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

In a medium frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and fry cheese until browned; drain and add to spinach. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Season with salt to taste.

Naan
Recipe Courtesy of Indian Food About.com

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tsps dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsps sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
6 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)
3 tbsps yoghurt
3 teaspoons onion seeds

Preparation:

Add the dry yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir till the yeast is dissolved. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth. This indicates the yeast is active. Keep aside.

Mix the flour and salt to taste and sift through a very fine seive. Put it into a large mixing bowl and now add the yeast mixture, 3 tbsps of ghee and all the yogurt.

Use your fingertips to mix all this into a soft dough. Once mixed, flour a clean, flat surface (like your kitchen counter) and knead the dough till it is smooth and stretchy (elastic).
Grease a large bowl with a few drops of cooking oil and put the dough in it. Cover and allow to rest for about 90 minutes or till the dough doubles in volume.

Punch the dough down and knead again for 10 minutes.

Equally divide the dough and roll between your palms to form 8 round balls.

Lightly flour the same surface on which you kneaded the dough and roll out each ball until you have a circle, 7-8 inches in diameter (1/2 "thick). Gently pull on one edge of the circle to form the Naan into a teardrop shape. Do not pull too hard or you may tear the Naan. Instead of rolling the dough out (with a rolling pin) you can also pat it into a circle with your hands.
Preheat your oven 200 C/ 400 F or Gas Mark 6.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil in an oven tray (to cover) and grease it lightly with a few drops of cooking oil.

Place as many Naans as will fit without touching each other, on the tray.

Brush each Naan with some ghee and sprinkle a pinch of onion seeds all over its surface.

Put the tray into the oven and cook till the Naan begins to puff out and get lightly brown. Flip the Naan and repeat.

Remove from oven and serve hot in a foil-lined basket.

Mango Lassi Cocktail

Recipe Courtesy of Sandra Lee, FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh pre-cut or canned mango
1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup mango nectar
1 cup vanilla vodka
Ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and whir until frothy. Serve.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DOPE: "My Everything" Liza Garza

I love living in Bed-Stuy, I am a PROUD Brooklyn Geechee. I love my neighborhood the way one loves members of their family: You may not the like the things that they do, but the love is unmistakable.

With love, I share this heart-breaking poem by Liza Garza to the fellas walking the streets (my streets and the streets all over the world), with a gentle urging to remember the women you leave behind. Peace from Brooklyn!





My Everything

they said we'd become victim to the streets
as if the concrete could creep up and catch us
in the midst of walking lift up and grab us
cock back and blast us
backhanded slap us
and we believed em
did everything to create some sort of distance
in between em
the souls of our sneaks and the hot pavement beneath
anything just to bring us a lil closer to heaven
as if 18 inches was the next best thing to ascension
in a life full of question
with answers camouflaged in every look of lust
never knowing who to really trust
so we stay strapped and we stay trapped
cycles full of sin
they trying to sift out our backs
or compromise our integrity
and in every choice there awaits a greater casualty
black Jesus pieces and pinkie rings
over sized white tees
and r.i.p.'s
the streets is calling me
or they might as well be
I'm a single mother raising two sons
who could potentially be toting two guns
in less then five years from where i stand today
and in less then four years my delivery would change in pace
cause I'm trying to catch up with 3 years fast forward in time
when in just two they height will match mine
zoom in focus to my life right now
smack dead in the face to what i write right now
if i could only make the streets seem less sweet
if i could only place a tear at their feet for every victim at least id have the hopes to sway them
with currents that run deep enough
sweep them with stories of misplaced trust
waves of lost love
and seasons that my body wont forget
how every year in late September, October the breeze can blow and
i forced to remember when
i loved him
and i lost him
all i got to give is the sweat off my brow
is the tears when they fall
all i got to give
is my everything, knowing i still could lose my everything.



To check out more from Liza Garza, visit her MySpace page at: http://www.myspace.com/lizagarza/blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Champions of Crackheadedness: Target CEO's $150K Donation & His Response to Critics



After watching this video of one Minnesota Mother and Grandmother's trip to Target and her beautifully poetic protest of buying and immediately returning her $220+ purchase (explaining that because of Target's $150,000 to Minnesota Forward she will no longer patronize the store.), I was touched and knew that I would be boycotting Target until this act was reversed.



From The Huffington Post: The Human Rights Campaign, which previously gave Target a 100 percent approval rating for their treatment of LGBT employees, issued this statement Monday:

"Target has worked hard to create a fair and equitable workplace for its LGBT employees, and should be proud of its leadership in this area. It is for this reason that HRC is very disappointed in Target's significant monetary contribution to Minnesota Forward, a group supporting the most clearly anti-LGBT candidate for Governor in Minnesota. We have reached out to Target to express our concern over this contribution. While political contributions to support candidates are not a factor in HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, HRC finds it puzzling that Target would take great steps to support LGBT inclusiveness while simultaneously helping a candidate who shamelessly rejects equality for LGBT Minnesotans."

What really made me angry was the half-assed reply from Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel-in an email to his staff:

"We rarely endorse all advocated positions of the organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda," Steinhafel wrote. "As you know, Target has a history of supporting organizations and candidates, on both sides of the aisle, who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth...Let me be very clear, Target's support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company."

I agree with Chicago state Rep. Greg Harris (who is openly gay),who said the following to ChicagoPride.com:

"Companies like Target need to understand that they can't have it both ways when it comes to issues of our basic rights, and that the facts will eventually come out. I hope that they will rethink this contribution and find a way to make it right,"

And I have added my voice to the others who have protested this decision and have affirmed their desire to boycott the company, by signing the petition at Change.org.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/demand_target_stop_donating_to_anti-gay_politicians

:::drools::: Dress Fancy with LucieLu!!!

Much to my surprise (and my Mum's delight!) I have rediscovered a love for wearing dresses. I've always been a slacks kinda girl, but lately, I've been incorporating more dresses into the mix, and have enjoyed wearing them!

I discovered Lucie Lu online and have instantly been enamored with their clothing (not to mention the very reasonable prices!!) Here are a few of my favorites:



Frankie Dress, $64.00 in sizes 1x (14/16) to 5x (30)



Audra Dress (Teal), $42.00 (This dress is currently only available in a 1x)


Honor Dress (Amethyst), $52.00 in sizes 1x (14/16) to 5x (30)... check out the back, y'all!



Despite loving the selection of dresses on LucieLu, I believe that my first purchase will be this, as I've been stalking it online for about a week now:



Sail Away Skirt, $34.00 in sizes, 1x-5x

I think it appeals to the Pirate Sistah in me! Aaargh!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

I remember going with my older sister Marcy to see Labyrinth in the movie theater. We were in Florida at the time, and I was nine years old. I remember we sat in the very front row, which is something I still love to do to this day and we nestled into our seats and prepared ourselves for what Dane Cook called a "cinematic adventure"...



I left the movie theater a completely different person than the young, naive girl who walked in with her older sister. And it was all because of David Bowie's package.



I truly believe that it was there that I noticed that there was a difference between boys and girls, and in discovering that difference, puberty came a-calling! LMAO

Anyhoo, enough about me... this week's Music Therapy with Miss Moon is dedicated to my friend Teresa, who is THE BIGGEST David Bowie fan, with a.... big, "Happy Birthday!".. Enjoy the crotchiliciousness!!! :)



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bad-ass Bloggers (BaBs): Meet Jamillah of Jay the Bohemian Diva

I've known Jamillah for many, many years, and have been extraordinarily proud to be a follower of her blog, Jay the Bohemian Diva. I knew immediately that my next BaBs would HAVE to be her, and I am tickled pink that she consented!!



The tag-line for your blog, Jay The Bohemian Diva is "Love, Life & Girly Girl Things", can you give me an example of the type of posts one would find in your blog?

Well what you will not find is celebrity gossip blog...there is enough of that...and I am not about that. My blog is a progressing blog that does not have a central focus like a fashion blog or a movie blog. On my blog you will find a variety of things pertaining to my life as I rediscover my passions and challenging myself to step out of the box. You will find some of my poems, my musical tastes, an update on my health, opinions on certain subjects as well as my reviews on wigs, cosmetics and some fashion.

You've been writing your blog for almost a year now. What is the most surprising aspect of blogging for you? What do you find the most challenging?

The most for me is that people are actually reading it LOL. Seriously, every time I read back on my blogs I am surprised by the progress I am making as a person. It is very therapeutic...getting to know me again and introducing parts of myself to the outside world...it feels pretty nice, especially when people respond positively and constructively. The most challenging is being consistent. I try to post as much as I can without driving myself crazy...I just have to remember that I do not have a deadline so I pace myself...

You are a "Wiggy" and I've really enjoyed reading your posts and absorbing your enthusiasm via your "Wig-tastic" blogs. A lot of folks still have negative attitudes about wigs, unfortunately. What advice would you have for someone who is interested in incorporating wigs into their look?

I am actually a "Part Time Wiggy"...I love my short natural hair and rock it often. I would recommend Youtube...I say that because that is where I learned to be confident in wigs. There are alot of tutorials and reviews on wigs that will make a "wig-ginner" feel comfortable. When you have the self confidence with your wig you can pull it off. I was very surprised (delightfully) with the positive responses I received when i wore my wigs to work, especially when people did not recognized me at first. The art of wearing wigs is about trial and error. some you get and some you don't. Just have fun with it...wigs are fun!!!



In addition to sharing your Wig-tastic journey with you, I've also loved indulging in your "Girly Girl Time" posts. Are there any recent hauls we can look forward to you posting about?

For now there will be more "Wish List" posts when it comes to future potential hauls. The "Girly Girl Time" posts will feature the makeup I already have and asking your opinion on how it looks on me. I have a new post called "Face Off" where I will talk about my search for the perfect facial routine.

What's in store for readers of Jay the Bohemian Diva? What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

In the upcoming months there will be more wigs, more makeup, and more event features. I will also have a cooking segment where I post recipes I have tried and succeeded in cooking. New posts will include a "Shout Out" segment where I give props to people places and things..."The 6 week project" segment will be my reviews on certain things I will try for 6 weeks (stepping outside the box). Look out for my personal style, my health update, pictures and much more...

Be sure to visit Jay at:

If you'd like to featured in a future BaBs posting, or want to suggest a BaB for me to profile, please click here to contact Miss Moon's Musings.

Yummm! Camarones al Ajillo (Shrimp with an Abundance of Garlic)

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC is Burrito Loco Greenwich Village.

I've spent many terrific nights in that restaurant with friends and family, having a blast, enjoying their delicious margaritas and sinking my teeth in their DELICIOUS Camarones al Ajillo...Shrimp with an Abundance of Garlic... as their menu used to call it...or "Garlic Shrimp" (which I think is a lot less poetic!).

Camarones al Ajillo

(Recipe Courtesy of Epicurean)

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup pure Spanish olive oil or more to taste
4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 to 3 pounds prawns or extra-large shrimp, shells and heads left on
juice of 2 limes
salt to taste
pinch of dried oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
dash of Tabasco sauce, optional

Directions:

1. In a large skillet over low heat, heat the oil until it is fragrant, then cook the garlic, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the shrimp, and cook, stirring, until they turn pink, 5 minutes. (If you prefer extra oil, add it along with shrimp.) Add the lime juice, salt, oregano, and parsley, and stir well. Correct seasonings and add Tabasco.
2 Transfer to a heated serving platter and serve immediately, accompanied by crunchy bread to soak up the garlic-flavored oil.

This dish is great accompanied some chips, salsa and guacamole... and don't forget the Blue Margarita (My Fave!!!!)

Blue Margarita

(Recipe Courtesy of Super Cocktails)

Ingredients:

Tequila
Blue Curacao
Lime Juice

Quantities for one drink:
1 1/2 oz Tequila
1 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Lime Juice
Coarse Salt

Blending Instructions:

Rub rim of cocktail glass with lime juice
Dip rim in coarse salt
Shake tequila, blue curacao, and lime juice with ice, strain into the salt-rimmed glass, and serve

So if you can't make it to Burrito Loco in NYC, try this recipe for a bit of a Fiesta wherever you are!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Little [LAMYA] for a Saturday Night

This is my first time posting a Lamya song on my blog because her death over a year ago continues to be a shock to me. Her album, Learning From Falling has helped me through many dark days in my 20s and it continues to be one of my favorites. It's such a shame that we won't ever get to hear new music from her.







But oh I am not afraid
To be a lone bohemian
I can paint a portrait of myself
I will call me a black Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Come to discover - I am your daughter

The sky above me is silent and empty
I am an island
A little freak of melancholy
But these hands
They unbead your rosary of wisdom
Bewitched, spellbound I'm found
And returned from superstition
You are my martyr
I'm a vestige of a revolution
My alma, my mater
And now I can let go
My old addictive solutions

But oh I am not afraid
To be a lone bohemian
I can paint a portrait of myself
I will call me a black Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Come to discover - I am your daughter

I used to be a connoisseur
Of hate, self hate, paternal hate
Hate cum gratis
I connected every kind
Sipping it like red wine
The insecurity was mine
The ties that bind were
My design

But oh I am not afraid
To be a lone bohemian
I can paint a portrait of myself
I will call me a black Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Come to discover - I am your daughter

The sun is still unkind
To those like you and me
Seekers of sanctuary
Though I'm not afraid
I'm sanctified and fortified
Because you sacrified
I can call myself Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa,
Men have adored you

But oh I am not afraid
To be a lone bohemian
I can paint a portrait of myself
I will call me a black Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Come to discover - I am your daughter


Rest In Peace, Lamya Al-Mugheiry

Friday, July 23, 2010

D-I-Y Nappturaliciously: Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Frizz Fighter Set Results

Last week, in my never-ending quest to tame the frizz, I used Carol's Daughter Frizz Fighter Set.

This was my hair Sunday, when I let down the braids for my braid-out. I was very happy with the results!




As I promised, I periodically took pictures of my hair during the week, to show the progression. This week was pretty hot, but not ridiculously so. I did manage to get caught in the rain once this week. Here's the forecast from this past week in NYC:



So did I win in the battle against the dreaded "Frizzeeda"? Let's see:

Each night, I applied a small squirt of Hair Balm to my hair and separated it into two sections. I then pinned my hair into kitten buns (that's what I call 'em.. if they have another name, let me know! lol), covered with a scarf and proceeded to BED-fordshire!



See what I mean? Kitten Buns! LMAO

Here's how my hair looked Monday evening after work:



Not bad, huh? Here is how my hair looked on Wednesday after work:



And this is how my hair is looking tonight (AFTER riding home on the C Train with no air-conditioning!!!)



So all-in-all, I think that the Frizz Fighter Set did what it claimed it would do... While it didn't eliminate my frizzy hair entirely... I still had curl definition after a week of sweating up a storm. And most importantly... my hair didn't feel like a tumbleweed with dryness!!! As my usual ritual, I am going to finish using the set until it runs out and decide if it is ultimately worth the expense.

I'm REALLY Diggin': Gorgeous Grey Demin Bootcut Jeans

For the past few weeks, at the bus stop or on the train, I've spotted several full figured women rocking grey denim jeans. So far I have two spottings of grey skinny jeans and three women wearing bootcut jeans.... And can I just say? I want the grey denim bootcut jeans!!! LOL

Cruising the internet, in search of those denim jeans, I've discovered the trend has been popular for quite some time (where have I been?) and that grey denim has been spotted on celebs like Christina "Dirrrty" Aquilera....


and Rihanna....


and Mena Suvari... who is ROCKIN' this look HARD (Let me find out I need to do a "Mena Suvari-style" blog in the future!)


I have a feeling that these are the jeans I am seeing worn in the street (As I could not locate anything similar ANYWHERE):


Not Your Daughter's Jeans Plus Size Grey Denim Jeans ($128.00, Bloomingdale's)

Right now there are two obstacles to buying these jeans:
1 - The Price
2 - The largest size is a 22... I am not!

A reasonable alternative is the Ultimate Bootcut Jeans with Invisible Stretch® by denim 24/7® ($39.99 - $54.99, Roamans)



The jeans come in sizes 12W-32W, and are available in Grey Denim - (check out the swatch online!) Best news of all is that Roamans is currently having a BoGo sale with their denim... Whoo Hoo!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

:::drools::: Cree Summer-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

Anyone that knows me knows that Cree Summer is the absolute bees knees to me! I've admired her for decades now, and she continues to remain one of my biggest role models!

Cree has been panned for her unconventional style by fashion critics in the past, but I happen to love her style (Of course I am biased on the subject!)  I happened to stumble across this picture of Cree (With Esthero and Mikki Willis, I believe) from the 2007 Elevate Film Festival and immediately knew I wanted to recreate the look!!



The blazer I selected to recreate the look was the Icon Collection Snap-Close Suiting Jacket ($118, Lane Bryant)



For the shorts, I selected the Striped Cotton Linen Tie Short ($17.99, The Avenue)



It's super easy to add your own skull patch... I chose the Large Skull & Cross Bones Patch ($12.00, Rockstar HQ)



For a bit of bling, you can instead choose the Skull Jolee's Jeweled Accents Crystal & Metal Iron-On Motif ($5.80 Stuff4Scrapbooking)



Now the necklace, Cree probably got from Aklia's, courtesy of Aklia Chinn, Pirate Blue Bead herself.

To recreate this look, however, I selected the House of Harlow 1960 Abalone Sunburst Necklace
($80.00, Shop Bop)