Monday, January 31, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Let's face it: sometimes the hardest part of your day is turning off the alarm and dragging your butt out of bed. I am sure I am not the only one who has felt this way, am I?

It's tough as hell to leave my honey snuggled into the bed to face the coldness of the bathroom at 7 AM sometimes. That's why I am always grateful when my iPod plays this week's selection for Music Therapy with Miss Moon as part of my morning mix. "Gotta Get Up", by Jill Scott, featuring 4Hero.

I hope that this particular Music Therapy choice will inspire you to face the day.... the mellow soul way!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I SWEAR I'm not Obsessed (But I AM a Little Dorky) About....

THIS...... HANDBAG.......

Can you all believe that I have not purchased a single handbag since my Quest for *THE* Bag almost a year ago? No Jive!!

I decided to go on a handbag fast after that, because I found myself with a closet of handbags that I was NOT using. Last spring, many of the bags were donated and I avoided temptation with no slip ups (I didn't even get any of the bags after my back went out!!!).... until today! LOL

I spotted this beauty on the arm of a woman at the Tracy Reese and JRT Multimedia “Shop for a Cause” event in NYC, featured on Essence Magazine Online.

This beautiful bag is from Coach, and sadly, that's all I know about it. I have a sinking suspicion that it's one of their "Audrey" bags, and that kinda seals the deal for me. I mean, if the bag, LITERALLY has my name attached it is.... I must find out! And I must have this bag. So I hereby crack this bottle of Absolute Brooklyn on the side of this blog and christen Quest for *THE* Bag 2011!! LMAO

Any information you may have about this bag, please leave a comment or shoot me a line!

Bad-ass Bloggers (BaBs): Meet Michelle of Photography by Michelle Etwaroo

Michelle and I are former schoolmates from good ole P.S. 135 in Brooklyn who have reconnected through the medium that is FaceBook. It's been a blast catching up on her life through her amazing blog, Photography by Michelle Etwaroo.  Imagine my joy to discover that she is a Bad-ass Blogger on top of everything! I just knew that I had to feature her as the first BaBs for 2011!!

Michelle, you've had your amazing photography blog for about two years now. I've noticed that many photographers use a blog to showcase their art to a broader community. Was this the motivation for this blog?

Totally! I respect many of my peers and today's industry leaders. What do they all have in common? A blog(site). Most blog platforms are free and allow photographers, designers, etc. to display work, make announcements to subscribers, and communicate with clients. And let's not forget about Facebook! I have my blog feed into my Facebook notes, which is another way to stay connected to people. When I go on a group shoot I can tag my partners, clients/subjects, venues/fan pages; Subsequently, they can share it on their's just a wonderful thing to have a blog these days. It's like free advertisement [considering you are updating it regularly].

I love so many of your photographs for different reasons: a couple silhouetted by a tropical sunset, a community rally, and a sultry, seductive photo for a very special (and lucky!) man. You capture all of these very different images with the same passion and focus. What most often goes on in your mind when taking these pictures?

Really, every time i go out, I am trying to outdo my last photo shoot, I am my own worst critic. I also try to capture and focus on elements of the frame most would overlook, i.e.: the lashes on a little girl or the hands of an elated grandmother while she stuffs a pinata at her grandson's 1st birthday. I consider myself a "detail" photographer. Anyone can take a front and center frame of someone. I try to up the ante by giving the client another dimension.

While in the moment, do you see the mechanics of how to orchestrate the picture ("Move your head to the left.." etc.), do you see THE (with a capital T*H*E) photo in the moment and say "Yes!" or it sometimes a combination of both?

I feel like I have always had an eye for photography. And then I took up theory and photojournalism ... over 13 years ago during the film era. Literally, I took classes in a darkroom while in college. As i'm sure you can imagine, there was no room for error with film and obviously there was no "review" feature. If you screwed up a shoot, you found out as you developed your film and prints. Versus digital, if you overexpose your subject or the composition is not the best, you can see and remedy that right away. So as corny as it may sound, I feel that everyday has the potential to be an album and everyday i have my camera, something will take place where I "see" a photo about to happen. On the flip, If I am working a shoot, I try not to "pose" my subjects, that's not my type of photography. If needed, however, I'll give them a role to play and some direction to capture them effectively. Most people have never modeled so they don't know their angles or where the mark is. So I guess speak for most photogs and would have to say, BOTH!

One of your most recent blog posts highlights a massive, gorgeous vision board you created for 2011. Can you discuss your motivation for creating this vision board?

My motivation for creating the board was just a want for change, and making a conscience decision to take matters into my own hands. If you read the blog post, you'll see a number of reasons why I had to step up and re-claim my life. This past December, I shared a revelation with a friend of mine, "I am not living my own life. This person you see before you...I don't know who she is". The more I thought about it, i began to remember the last time I felt truly happy and sadly that was over 10 years ago. The irony is that in 2000, unknowingly, I made my first vision the time I didn't know what a vision board was. It was just a collage I put together in an art class in college. On it I had diamonds, an SUV, a puppy, an image symbolizing travel, etc. Everything I put together came true within a year, minus the puppy, instead I got a kitten :)
A few years back, a group of women shared the vision board theory with me and I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

What's up next for the blog? What new projects will you be sharing with us in the near future?

Well, for starters i'd like to facilitate giveaways (prints mainly). I'd also like to feature more bikes and the motorcycle sub-culture (I'm a rider!) There was a huge response to the shots from the NYC Motorcycle Show at The Javits Center. A niche I hope to feature more would be, Boudoir Photography. A woman's body is a work of art and I love empowering women with photos representing their confidence and sensuality.

Be sure to visit Michelle 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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Little [M.I.A.] for a Saturday Night

I am in a trippy mood tonight, I admit it... so this week's pick reflects my spacious spirit. I hope you all will come along for the galactic voyage. Your in flight entertainment will be "There's Space For Ol Dat I See" (Or is it called "Space"? Or "Space Odyssey"? Hmmm... anyway, its by M.I.A. and its dope!!) LOL

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail : "Rhinestone"

Okay, huddle up everybody... I am about to share a big secret: I LOOOOOOOOOVE this movie! LMAO

Rhinestone is one of those movies that intellectually you know is a) Dumb as hell. b) 0% believable (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is more based in reality!) and c) Obviously a huge income-tax write off for some Hollywood executives.... but still it makes you laugh!

While I don't own the movie (do they even have it on DVD?), I've seen it every single time I've managed to catch it on cable, and I always laugh hysterically (sometimes at the actual jokes in the movie.. but mostly at Sylvester Stallone's singing.)

As a way to come out of the bejeweled "Rhinestone" closet, I've decided to create a very special Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail post in honor of the wonderfully ridiculous stinkburger of a film! It also served as a great challenge: A movie that pairs the Italian Stallion with the Queen of Dollywood? It had to be Italian cuisine... with a Soulful Southern influence. What in the barbecue cannoli hell kind of recipes could I possibly come up with? Fortunately, I was off to a great start when I went to my good friend (in my head) Paula "Hey Y'all" Deen.

Fried Ravioli with Marinara Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy Paula "Hey Y'all" Deen, Food Network

9-ounce package frozen 4-cheese ravioli
2 cups ground pecans
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Marinara Cream Sauce, recipe follows
Cook ravioli for 2 minutes. Place cooked ravioli on paper towels to drain; set aside.

Combine pecans and cheese in a shallow dish. Whisk together milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip ravioli in egg mixture then dredge in pecan mixture. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2-inch in a skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 360 degrees F. Fry ravioli, in batches, 2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Marinara Cream Sauce.

Marinara Cream Sauce:

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, combine sauce and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Yield: 2 cups

Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

Neelys Baked Ziti

Recipe courtesy The Neelys, Food Network

1 pound ziti
1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 ounces pesto
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 (9-ounce) package washed spinach
Butter, for baking dish
2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute turkey sausage. Add onion and garlic and saute until the sausage is cooked through. Use your spoon to break up the sausage while it cooks. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pesto and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan and mozzarella to a large bowl, and stir to combine.

Butter a 4-quart baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture and cheese mixture. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top, about 20 minutes.

Bling Bling Cocktail (What's Rhinestone without the bling!?!)

Recipe Courtesy of Alex's Cocktail Recipes


2 chambord
1 cointreau
.25 lime juice
2.5 cranberry juice


Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into sugar rimmed cocktail glasses. And adorn glass with Apple slices.

:::drools::: Kate Hudson-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

I am a definite fan of Kate Hudson's style. I think that she does the (what I call) "grown and sexy boho chic" look superbly. When looking through pictures of Kate online, I found it immensely difficult to pin down a specific look to recreate. Then NYC got hit by a snow storm, and I thought to myself, "Maybe a good winter outfit..." So inspired by today's snow day, I bring you this week's look. One that's perfect for looking beautiful while sipping your white hot chocolate. Enjoy!

Let's start with this beautiful cowl neck sweater dress...

I selected the unimaginatively named Sweater Dress ($58, Simply Be).. What it lacks in description is makes up in beautiful softness.

In the photo below, Kate is rocking a very cute, dainty anchor pin on the dress, along with a subtle necklace. I decided to combine the two with the Rhinestone Anchor Necklace ($4.80, Forever 21)

Just because I am a sucker for bracelets, I added the Nickel and Black Bracelet 18 Pack ($12.00, Torrid). You can never go wrong with some bling for a buck.

Last, but not least... we come to the boots!!! Let's face it... this look is ALL ABOUT the boots!!! And while I searched and searched for some full figure loving lace ups as dramatic as Kate's, I couldn't find a thing. (If you know of any, please leave a comment!)

I opted for a reasonable alternative that is not lacking in sexiness... the Alicia Wide Calf Boot by Comfortview® ($89.99 - $94.99, One Stop Plus)

If there is a celebrity look you'd like me to recreate full figure style, be sure to drop me a line.. I love both inspiration and challenges... bring 'em both on!! LOL

Monday, January 24, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

This week's selection for Music Therapy with Moon goes out to the ladies... with a message. We are stronger than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. Every once and a while, we need to hear an anthem. One that motivates us and reminds us that no human would be here without us. This anthem comes from Neneh Cherry, and the song is "Woman". Enjoy!!


You gotta be fortunate
You gotta be lucky now
I was just sitting here
Thinking good and bad

But I'm the kinda woman
That was built to last
They tried erasing me
They couldn't wipe out my past

To save my child
I'd rather go hungry
I got all of Ethiopia
Inside of me

And my blood flows
Through every man
In this godless land that delivered me
I've cried so many tears even the blind can see

This is a woman's world
This is my world
This is a woman's world
For this man's girl

There ain't a woman in this world
Not a woman or a girl
That can't deliver love
In a man's world

I've born and I've bread
I've cleaned and I've fed
And for my healing wits
I've been called a witch

I've crackled in the fire
And been called a liar
Died so many times
I'm only just coming to life

This is a woman's world
This is my world
This is a woman's world
For this man's girl

There ain't a woman in this world
Not a woman or a girl
That can't deliver love
To a man's world
And my blood flows
Through every man and every child
In this godless land that delivered me
I cried so many tears, even the blind can see

This is a woman's world
This is my world
This is a woman's world
For this man's girl

There ain't a woman in this world
Not a woman or a girl
That can't deliver love
In a man's world

Oh, this is a woman's world

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DO SOMETHING: Tell State Reps, "REVERSE Citizens United!!"

Corporations aren't people. We all know that. But in last year's Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as you and me.

The result was record breaking spending by giant corporations to try to buy our elections. From Citizen Action of New York:

* Nationwide, outside groups spent more than $480 million to influence the outcome of the midterm elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
* A report by the Washington Post and analysis from Public Campaign estimates that House and Senate candidates spent $2 billion in the 2010 election cycle, a 54 percent increase over 2008.
* A report by NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office showed that Citizens United spending represented 15% of all political spending in the 2010 elections nationwide, and was responsible for $85 million spent in US Senate races.
* In New York, close to $246 million was raised in the 2010 elections, according to a recent report by NYPIRG, Common Cause, Citizens Union, and the League of Women Voters. Just 1/3 of the money raised was from individual donors.
* Only 59,350 residents of New York made donations to campaigns in 2010, just 0.3% of the population.

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

We must take our democracy back. The most direct remedy we have left to correct the Supreme Court's awful decision is a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people.

I signed a petition urging my state leaders to support a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court decision. Can you join me at the link below?

Thank you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Little [CHRISETTE MICHELE & LEM PAYNE] for a Saturday Night

If you haven't heard this FANTASTIC mix tape from Chrisette Michele and Lem Payne... what are you waiting for?!?!?!? LOL

This is one of my favorite songs from this joint, one I  love because it lifts the veil off the illusion that being a celebrity makes life perfect (... "as Ashlee Simpson's nose...." CLASSIC LINE) and that you're devoid of worries and insecurities as a result of stardom.  I hope you all will enjoy "90210/Marilyn Monroe" as much as I do... and be sure to check out the rest of the mix tape here.

Miss Moon's Musing About: Baby, Let's Cruise (My Vacay - Part Two!)

Hey everybody!! I hope you all enjoyed the pictures from the first half of my Western Caribbean adventure aboard the beautiful Carnival Valor!!

After spending a lovely day with Mr. and Mrs. D. on Grand Cayman, we parted ways back aboard the ship, and Chris and I headed for the Lido deck for another dip in the hot tub!!

The sky was so beautiful, I had to take a picture of these clouds...

After our dip in the hot tub, we hung out on the beach chair to watch a movie on the big screen!!

I ended up having an allergic reaction to the sunblock I was using (Who knew that could happen?!?) which got worse from actually being in  the sun (crazy, huh?) so I started sprouting bumps all over my face... I was feeling a bit ugly...

Chris letting me know I'm still beautiful... Awwwww!

Fresh! LOL

The Carnival  Valor has a super-uber patriotic them... The buffet area is actually called Rosie's Restaurant and  featured a prominent mural of Rosie the Riveter in tile, along with tiles showing women at work in different industries... pretty dope!!

Outside our Stateroom....

The halls were lined with these portraits of American heroes... Honest Abe was the portrait right outside of our room.

Chris and I both decided to take pictures with him...

The shipped was adorned with golden eagles everywhere you looked. Again... patriotic theme! LOL

One of the best features of the boat was this amazing art gallery on the 9th floor. On your way to the Lido deck, you could stop and take a look at art that was available for sale.

It's a long way down, man!!!

DJ Green Arrow meets the Beatles and Ali

He was holding my bag... such a gentleman!

We had for most of the cruise Channel 11 (NYC) news, so we were definitely glad we were sailing the Caribbean when we saw the news about the Winter Storm that hit NYC.

Days of hitting the pool had my hair screaming "No Mas!!!", so for our day in Cozumel, I decided to braid my hair up and wear it in a bun, adorned with flowers (in tribute of setting foot in the country of Frida Kahlo).

When we left the ship and headed into Cozumel, I had to wonder if the bad weather didn't follow us from NYC...

The rain didn't stop others from enjoying their fun, so Chris and I decided that we wouldn't let it spoil our day!!

When we reached the port, we will blessed with several moments of sunshine... which we took full advantage of by snapping pictures

I stumbled upon this amazing Mariachi Band, so we stayed and listened to them play for a moment.

We found a Mexican restaurant, Pancho's Backyard, that had its own little beach area.

A lot of ships at port... there were lines for every cruise line back onboard. I didn't have a load of dinero to spend on the cruise, but I did know that I wanted to enjoy a Margarita in Mexico, so after checking out the beach area (which had another Mariachi Band.. not as cool as the first one), we went inside.

I cannot co-sign on the food claim, because we didn't eat anything here.. but the latter I wholeheartedly can believe!!

These bad boys were NOOOOOOOOOOO JOOOOOOKE!!!! They were delicious and strong as hell!

Me (and my bad skin) feeling the effects of my Margarita....

... and Chris feeling the effects of his! LOL

While sipping our Margaritas, it started to POUR...

We had to get back to the ship, but we had some time... so we opted to get our drink on instead of getting our rain on. I was properly drunk by the time my glass was half full! LOL

It once again cleared up and time was getting shorter (I had souvenirs to buy for the familia!), so the good people at Pancho's put the rest of our Margaritas into "to go" cups (no jive!) and we made our way through the port (after checking out the shops!) back on board!!

This post is a lot longer than I anticipated, so I guess there will be a Part Three (The final chapter! LOL) next week... Get ready for photos from Roatán and our one BEAUTIFUL beach day!!!