CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION W/ CYRKLE LOMAX- PART 2

In the concluding piece of my sit down with Cyrkle, we got into some deeper topics. We also got a glimpse of Cyrkle, THE WOMAN. It’s only a peek because we got layers over here ya’ll.  How does she keep it all together? Check out the final part of our discussion below.

 Queen Cyrkle

IVN: Let’s talk about Cyrkle, the actress, author, educator, mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunty… How does a Cyrkle keep it all together? I know it takes a village.

CL: It definitely takes a village. But I also invest in myself in therapy so I can get my stuff out, because the REAL is that we are all flawed and if we’re going to stand in front of children, it’s imperative not to take out your issues out on children. They’re just figuring it out. You should have figured it out already. And if you haven’t figured it out, that’s what therapy’s for. But I’m just have an amazing village in my parents, my children’s father, my significant other. I really have an amazing support system.

I’m also just very transparent about where I am when it comes to socializing. If I’m not in the mood to connect with people because I’m using that energy to connect and lead a school throughout the week; I’m very transparent and honest about that. I just have to say NO. No is my favorite word.

IVN: (LOL) No is a complete sentence despite what people think.

CL: Right. Now if it’s someone that I really care about, they know why I’m saying no and sometimes I’ll give them an explanation, i.e. I have professional thing, I’ve had a tough week at school, I have another obligation that I need to prepare for, sorry no. I create boundaries, that, and a very, very, strong support system is how I keep it all together.

IVN: That’s awesome. It’s really important that we (working mothers) create boundaries. Do you have any projects you’re working on? You did a one woman show, The Queens Chains, a little bit over a year and a half ago. Are you doing another show? You have to do another show! (Squeals in excitement)

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CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION W/ CYRKLE LOMAX PART 1

Here’s the back story on my little love affair with Ms. Cyrkle Lomax. I met Cyrkle circa 2014-2015. She taught my eldest child Sanaa at Excel Academy. Sanaa would come home raving about how cool Ms. Lomax was. She said she was a lot like me, small but mighty, a disciplinarian, that played ZERO games with the kids.

She commands respect but gives it willingly and in abundance when it’s is deserved and earned. She has an endearing quality, that children, my child specifically gravitated towards. Sanaa has never connected with an adult outside of our family the way she did with Cyrkle. When we finally met, I could see why. She was all those things and more.

When she introduced herself, she was so sincere, “Hi my name is Cyrkle, like the shape”, because her name is spelled non-traditionally and to ensure you didn’t misunderstand what she just said, that was indeed her name, the intro was necessary. I immediately thought I love the creativity of black folk, we sure will recreate something real quick, but I love it, it was unique just like her.

When she left Excel for bigger and better things, there were definitely tears from all her babies; Sanaa included. Sanaa and I, aren’t what you call big criers, so if this kid was in tears over a teacher you know the love was real. The love has remained real. We’ve cheered her on when she starred in her very own, one woman show, The Queen’s Chains, which received rave reviews. Purchased her memoir Love Addict, it sits on my coffee table beside Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

We celebrate our educators during the first week of May during what is affectionately called, “Teacher Appreciation Week.” This year I wanted to highlight this special woman. We met at our “local” Starbucks and chatted about a whole lot of things. Check out the Q&A below. We got in to so much during our little “tea session” I had to split the conversation into two parts, so stay tuned, this is a two-parter.

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GYM READY LIPS

We all know when we look good, we feel AMAZING!! A large part of feeling good is self-care and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s no wonder someone got the bright idea (note to self come up with a bright idea) to bring the feel good vibes to the gym for the ladies. That someone in this scenario is my good friend Terrell Givens.

I recently caught up with Terrell, owner and operator of Soza Wellness and the beauty brand Gym Ready Lips at the Prince George’s County Chapter of the Links, Inc. The Links recently hosted their 40th Annual Anniversary Gala at the MGM Grand hotel at the National Harbor. Terrell was there doing what he does, promoting Gym Ready Lips. He and other small business owners served as vendors in the curated market place created especially for the gala attendees. I couldn’t want to miss the opportunity to cover the event and catch up with Terrell in his element.

We chopped it up about what his vision for Soza Wellness is and how Gym Ready Lips came to fruition.

Take a look at the video

Oh the Blossoms…Shop Your Closet 2.0

So I’m still in full spring cleaning mode. It’s going at a snails pace for several reasons. I just got back from a fun filled trip to Vegas with the kids and hubby. Hence no post earlier in the month, planning, packing, traveling… As most parents know there’s a difference between a “vacation” and a “trip”.

Trip= Almost non-stop activities that involve very little consumption of alcohol or downtime. The focus is almost entirely on the little people, with one goal, keep them going until they’re too tired to ask to do anything by 10/11 pm so you can enjoy a glass of wine and some grown up time.

Vacation= A state of complete and total relaxation, a faux Nirvana, if you will. A place where copious amounts of alcohol are consumed. Sleep isn’t optional, it’s a requirement  and breakfast in bed is pretty much the standard. This place does exist, I promise you it does.

Now that everyone’s clear on that point, the other reason I’m moving so slow is because I’ve just been plain ole tired after work. I zero incentive to clean after a long day at work. And I know what you’re thinking, what about the weekend Andrea? What about it? Who’s spending their two day weekend cleaning? Not this girl! So slow it goes!

During my marathon spring cleaning event, cause it’s marathon at this point not a sprint, I continue to find gems in my closet. Am I surprised by this no, but delighted just the same. Kaneisha and I decided a while back we wanted to capture the beauty of the Cherry Blossom trees this year, can I just say mission accomplished.

Let me just say there were an ungodly number of people (myself included) up at 6:30, roughly 7:00 am in Washington D.C. on the Saturday morning we decided to shoot this. I get it, totally, you get the best shots of the Cherry Blossom Trees when they are in full bloom and what a sight they are to see when they are in full bloom.  The days the trees are actually in full bloom are limited hence the crowds. And there’s a whole festival, it’s an event I get it but the people traffic was totally unexpected that early in the AM.

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We literally circled around the basin several times before we could find parking semi-close. We ended up parking near the African American museum and catching an Uber back to where we wanted to shoot. Now this may seem a bit wasteful and maybe a bit lazy but I assure it wasn’t. The parking angels were looking down on us and said these ladies need a break; so they hit us up with a little blessing. As I stood in line to pay for parking at the meter machine, the women in front of me mistakenly paid for parking twice and gave us the extra ticket, WINNING!! Hence the Uber and we avoid sweating unnecessarily. I’m all about the sweat but for the right reasons. Le Struggle was real my friends. But it was definitely worth it.

Read more about my Cherry Blossom Adventure

SHOP YOUR CLOSET

So spring has finally sprung but she’s playing peek-a-boo with us per the norm. As you transition into spring, cleaning out the old closet and begin to think about all of the new and beautiful pieces you want for the season; shop your closet first! Before you run out and buy a new outfit for your next event, take stock and reimagine the gems you already have.

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Recycling or re-inventing a look with existing pieces is becoming quite the trend; even if you’ve been photographed in it. As designers are being slammed for literally destroying perfectly good pieces to preserve the exclusivity of their brands (Nike, H&M, Burberry), perhaps not contributing to the world’s ginormous carbon footprint one party dress at a time isn’t such a crazy idea.

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Sure Shot…They’ll Ketchup…The Album

I’m very excited about this post for a several reasons. First, I get to do a feature on my friend who just happens to be one of DC’s dopiest lyricist, Sure Shot. Second, we shot the visuals for this feature at the Blind Whino Art Club; very cool spot. Much to my chagrin, it was my first visit.

The Blind Whino is currently featuring a Hip-Hop museum.  If you’re a Hip-Hop fan, you should stop by the museum, you’ll definitely enjoy the exhibits, collections, and art work. It was the obvious choice to shoot the visuals.

Sure Shot recently released his first solo project They’ll Ketchup, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get the low down on the new project. The connection, he and I share a best friend, my husband, and we’re both creatives. Sure Shot creates dope music and he has a sufficient amount of sauce on the fashion tip; probably the biggest reason I keep him around…lol And as you know I create amazing beauty and fashion looks.  Needless to say the shenanigans are endless when he’s around. We’re unpacking a whole lot stuff in this one, hurt, disappointment, struggle, and triumph.

Enjoy the read

Prepping for Spring

It’s March and spring is just around the corner. So imagine my surprise when I still find myself in need of a WHOLE winter coat and gloves. Ok, ok, the gloves weren’t necessary they just completed the look. But seriously winter just doesn’t want to let go. So what’s a girl to do…adjust… because champions adjust!!!

When you’re ready for Spring and Winter won’t let you be great you find a light weight sweater dress to satisfy your passion for fashion. I picked this up from one of my favorite online boutique’s Abi Project. It’s no coincidence I choose a piece from Abi. It’s sista owned and it’s Women’s History month (WHM). In celebration of WHM I’ll be showing all kinds of love to all the sistas/sisters who are making BOSS moves in my post all month long; so stay tuned!

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We shot this look at the Blind Whino Arts Center in DC. If you’re in the DC area and looking for something cool to do, stop by the Blind Whino. They’re currently featureing a really dope Hip Hop museum which I visited and will be talking more about in my next post. Fore warned is fore armed, no professional photography is allowed inside the museum area, camera-phone photos and video are allowed. Traditional camera photography is allowed around the exterior of the building.

Shop the look:

Dress

Sunnies

If you’re feeling the shades and want a pair, use discount code Andrea25 for 25% off your order.

Coat

Boots

Until next time ladybugs!!!

Xoxo,

Andrea

Photo credit- Dynamic Duo Images. As usually thanks for a dope shoot Nesh.