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Music Monday: “Rude”

Happy Monday!

You know when I committed to doing two posts per week, I had forgotten that I was going on vacation. Well, I visited the Dominican Republic for a well-deserved break and now it’s back to reality. Luckily I still have another few weeks before real, full-time work begins but I still have so much to do in preparation for it.

For today’s Music Monday, I have a quick anecdote to share. In early July as I was driving from Louisiana to Houston, I kept switching radio stations since it seemed like each one I chose began to have static after 20 minutes or so. In the five hour drive I heard this really catchy song at least eight times and I fell in love with it.

When I made it home, I found myself wanting to hear more of the song, but I technically didn’t know what it was called. I googled “I’m gonna marry her anyway song” and it popped up. I wasn’t surprised to see that it had garnered over 50 million YouTube views.

It turns out the mystery song is called “Rude” by MAGIC!, a reggae fusion band from Canada. Check  it out below:

What do you think of my current addiction? Isn’t it amazing? I’ve found plenty of interesting covers of the song all over the internet including this one by Vonzell Solomon, the former American Idol contestant who put a comedic twist on the already fun song. 

That’s all for this week’s Music Monday. If you’re currently obsessed with a song, be sure to let me know which one it is in the comments section.

Have Internet Challenges Gone Too Far?

For me, the internet is a magical place. One where I can learn to cook just about anything, prepare for job interviews, study, connect with people from all over the world, and so much more. The world wide web is also a place where sensational videos are posted and can spread like wildfire. We’ve all seen the infamous Sweet Brown news report which was followed by a successful autotune remix video. Millions of people found that intriguing and the bronchitis-having woman found time to make national news all while making us laugh.

Simply put, we live in a time where viral videos can catapult people to fame. Somewhere along the way someone decided to make a video doing something abnormal and challenged others to do it as well. The first video of this nature I recall seeing is the cinnamon challenge and over the past few years, these internet challenges and dares have become even more intense and extremely popular amongst internet users looking for laughs. Check out the video below of a YouTube user completing several challenges, many of which he acknowledges are unsafe and suggests viewers not try at home. 

As you can see, this man not only puts salt and ice on tongue to create a burn, but he sets his hand on fire with hand sanitizer (others have set other parts of their bodies on fire), sticks a noodle up his nose, and even mentions a “condom challenge” he has performed before. With this video gaining over 200,000 views, it’s no surprise that others would decide to make similar videos.

It seems like people these days are motivated by likes and views so they’ll post the most ridiculous content. This morning I saw a really disturbing video on Facebook documenting a “hot water challenge” and that’s what prompted this post. The young girl likely heard of this challenge online and decided to put her own spin on things when she boiled a pot of water and flung it on her brother as a joke. Check out the video below:

Not only is it sad that this young lady didn’t realize hot water and boiling water drastically differ in temperature, but her brother will have that burn on his back for a very long time. This vicious attack was intended to be a fun prank and that’s why I ask if internet challenges have gone too far? The general public will like, share and laugh at these videos inspiring more and more people to take part in them. Whether it’s the snow challenge where nearly naked people go lay in snow while having a friend record it or the banana and sprite challenge that does God knows what to your stomach, I say enough is enough. It’s up to us as a general public to decide what content goes viral by being more selective in what we share and find funny. 

I have a new challenge. I challenge you to be mindful of what you post, share, and find funny on the internet. If you see someone doing something unsafe or unwise, try letting them know as opposed to increasing their popularity by sharing it with your network. 

What are your thoughts about internet challenges? Have they gone too far?

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Music Monday: Algebra Blessett’s “Nobody But You”

Let’s get one thing straight, I love good music. I have a thing for vocalists with raw talent, great melodies and meaningful lyrics. Algebra Blessett is an artist that hits each of those nails on the head. I first found out about her randomly as I browed a music blog and her first video played automatically.  I then did my research and ended up downloading Purpose, her first album that was filled with nothing but amazingness. 

Today I’m sharing Algebra’s first single off her second album which was released earlier this year. “Nobody But You” is such a sweet song that makes you want to be in love if you aren’t already. It makes you think of that one person… So press play above and let me know what you think.

If you love it like I hope you will, be sure to check out Algebra Blessett’s Facebook page to find out more.

Thanks for reading!

Alexandria B.

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Fashion Friday: J.Crew Sale Alert

Knowing that I should update my blog more frequently, I struggled to come up with topics or in other words, I’ve lacked inspiration… But then I had an epiphany. Those who choose to read “What Alex Writes” aren’t waiting for some carefully planned post, they simply want to hear from me. And frankly, I need the outlet. Thus I will write at least twice a week about topics that I love. Music and Fashion. I hereby introduce Music Mondays and Fashion Fridays here on WhatAlexWrites.com. These two columns will hopefully introduce you to new music, fashion trends (and sales), and much more. So without further ado, please continue reading for my first Fashion Friday post:

When you think of J.Crew, what words come to mind? Preppy? Chic? Expensive? Those are my top three. In the past I’ve visited J.Crew stores and developed mental wish lists for I just couldn’t see myself paying $300 for a blazer or over $100 for a pair of work pants. Call me cheap (or poor), but it just wasn’t happening. As a frugal fashionista, I found a way to stop wishing for a J.Crew wardrobe and start buying it!

A few fabulous J.Crew looks…

I still don’t believe in paying super high prices for items but I do believe that quality pieces are necessary in order to dress for success. I’ve personally purchased items from Forever 21 and been disappointed in the quality after two washes. And as a professional, it’s important to have staples in your wardrobe that last, fit well and are timeless. Luckily, J.Crew pieces are just that and they have an amazing sale going on from now until July 13th. All sale items are an additional 40-50% off with the code “SHOPMORE.” As if that wasn’t enough good news, J.Crew also has a website for their factory outlet and there’s an extra 50% off on clearance items there if you use the code “SALETIME.” This sale also ends on Sunday so act fast.

One thing I do want to point out about this sale is that all items are final sale so if you’ve never shopped at J.Crew, be sure to visit an actual store to make sure you know your size. I’ve found that J.Crew items run a bit larger than other brands (for example I’m usually a size 0 or 1 in pants, but at J.Crew I’m a Petite 00).

Well, that’s all for our very first Fashion Friday. If you decide to order anything from J.Crew, please let me know in the comments section. Let’s talk fashion!

How To: Reuse old candle jars as plant pots

I don’t know about you, but plants make me happy. You know what else makes me happy? Buying candles. It seems like every time Bath & Body Works has a 2 for $22 candle sale, I feel obligated to make a purchase. In addition, the last two times I’ve gone to the mall for clothing, I’ve found nothing but candles. Since I burn candles so often, I found myself throwing away those glass containers they come in more often than I liked. And then something hit me…

Instead of wasting perfectly good glass jars, I decided to start reusing them.

How to reuse candle jars as plant pots...

How to reuse candle jars as plant pots…

Directions for this simple DIY project are as follows:

Clean the wax out of the glass container. You can pour all of it out right after your candle has its final burn or if it gets hard before you get to it, you can put the container in the freezer for an hour or so and use a flat screwdriver or a butter knife to scoop out large chunks of the wax. Once most of the wax is gone, fill the container with hot water and use a paper towel to dry it (this step will remove any additional wax).

Remove the stickers from the container. Candle labels and bar codes are pretty easy to remove by simply peeling them off. If any adhesive is left over use a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to wipe it clean.

At this point you have perfectly clean glass containers. Now it’s time to use your green thumb.

Place soil in the container. I use an organic harvest potting soil, you can use any soil of your choice. The amount of soil you’ll use depends on what you’re planting.

Plant away. You can plant seeds or a living plant in your glass container. If you’re planting seeds, you should have filled the container a little more than half way. However, if you’re planting an existing plant it comes with soil so you’ll need to make sure your container has enough room for that. Top your newly planted seeds (or plant) with about 1/4 inch of your soil. Be sure to read the instructions on the package of the plant seeds to make sure they align with what I’m sharing. If they don’t, be sure to do what the package tells you to do.

That’s it. 

Please keep in mind that your options are endless when it comes to these containers so even if you don’t wanna plant anything, you can still recycle, reduce and reuse. I’ve seen others reuse candle jars to hold makeup brushes, office supplies, and other small objects.

If you choose to do this project, let me know by hitting me up on Instagram @WhatAlexSees or on Twitter @WhatAlexWrites.

Note: In the containers shown in my picture above, I planted succulent in the smaller candle jar and some annual flowers from my local hardware store in the larger one.

What if you died today?

For Nadine Curry:

When I die, I want to have lived. I want people to have known me to be a courageous, creative and loving person. This week has been a paradigm shifting one for me. It seems like every single news story has been about a tragic death of some sort. The bus crash in California that impacted people I know and killed several including a beautiful, recently engaged couple. I can’t stop thinking about what their plans for the future were. How they were simply giving back to their community by serving as chaperones for a college tour and their lives were cut short. I don’t even want to think about the teenagers who were on the bus, it’s all too depressing…

Now on to another tragedy. I once worked part-time as a receptionist at a furniture design center and dealt with numerous personalities as I served, both, customers and interior designers. Anyone who’s ever worked in a retail setting knows how stressful it can be. Oftentimes salesmen get tired of dealing with customers thus making it difficult for a receptionist to establish a seamless rotation. Thankfully, there was Nadine, an interior designer whose positive attitude never faltered. Out of all my days there, I cannot recall one time when she refused to take a new customer because she was too tired. She worked diligently and her clients loved her for that. 

Nadine didn’t work on Sundays, those were reserved for church. When work became stressful she talked about how she couldn’t wait until Sunday to “refill her spiritual glass” and come back to work refreshed. I admired that. As a person who is a habitual complainer, I admired Nadine. When I decided to resign from that job one of the worst parts was leaving Nadine for I knew I would miss our Saturday chats. She wished me well and gave me a necklace with a note that read “Good luck Alex! I’ll miss you.” This gift came after she pulled my name for Secret Santa a few months prior and got me the most beautiful vase ever since I had recently moved. She gave such thoughtful gifts.

Fast forward to yesterday, it’s been about three months since my last weekend at that part-time job. I don’t get out much, but a friend was in town and I wanted to show her around. Since we were near my old job I decided to stop by and say hello to everyone and check on Nadine especially, but unfortunately her car wasn’t there. I assumed she was out on a home call or maybe her husband had dropped her off at work. Three minutes after my arrival, I heard news that made me wish I’d decided not to come. 

About a month ago, Nadine went home from work early because she was having trouble breathing. Soon after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died last week and her funeral is tomorrow. I am in utter disbelief. I can’t stop thinking about how unfair this is. How can a person who’s light shined so bright have it dimmed so soon? Life is so short and you never know when it will end. As sad as I am about what happened to Nadine, I can honestly say that she left a mark on me. She lived a life loaded with positivity and I will never forget her. I will not only cherish the vase and necklace she gave me, but the intangible gifts as well.

Rest in Peace, Nadine. Thank you. For everything. 

What if you died today? What would people say about you? Are you living the life that you dream of? If not, what are you doing to accomplish your goals?

 

 

If you’re not married, are you SINGLE?

RCoupleelationships. No matter how long I live, I don’t think I’ll ever master them. Even in friendships, I tend to not be as attentive as I should be, and when it comes to romance it seems virtually impossible for me to catch a break. With this as the case, as opposed to giving relationship advice I’ll simply share some of my observations. I’ve witnessed the downfall of several unions as a result of issues that could have been avoided early on.

Here’s my theory:

Intentions and expectations are two concepts that must be discussed in detail and understood before a relationship comes into being. Oftentimes people rush into things simply because they like a person. Like is not enough. When that “like” evolves into “love,” things can get really complicated. Couples tend to sporadically discuss intentions throughout different stages in a relationship. Randomly mentioning your goals for the future or how many kids you’d like to have, for example. Unfortunately, it seems like a thorough explanation of intentions is quite uncommon for couples to share with one another. This can be extremely problematic.

If one party is planning a wedding in their mind while the other is just playing by ear, solutions are guaranteed to differ when issues arise. When one person is thinking for “we” and the other is focused on the “me” in the equation, it’s easy to see why so many folks are constantly blasting “break up” songs to make themselves feel better. It’s important to not only ask the cliche “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Consider finding ways to communicate with your partner about your collective plans for the future. If they keep drawing blanks, that’s a sure sign that things aren’t meant to be.

Expectations are what inspired the title of this post. What happens when you expect your partner to perform spousal duties because that’s how you operate? Is he/she supposed to split bills with you? Are they supposed to check-in when they’re out and about? Are they obligated to do anything? When expectations don’t correlate, doom is inevitable. Being committed to a monogamous  relationship with a person who acts single because they technically are not obliged to do anything is pointless.The old saying “treat people the way you want to be treated” doesn’t apply here. In relationships you need to love people the way they want to be loved. Be knowledgeable of their expectations and be certain they align with yours before you waste time.

I hope this helps someone because it will surely aid me in future endeavors. Are there any other factors you think contribute to a successful relationship? If so, share them below.