Family Adventure – Villa Montalvo in Saratoga Ca

We were on our way to the Blossom Festival in Saratoga on Saturday and for some reason it was no where to be found ? So we ended up taking the scenic route and we came across The Villa Montalvo luckily. I remembered seeing it online when I was researching gardens in the Bay Area to take the kids to. So we decided to take a detour and take some greenery in at this beautiful place in the Saratoga hills.

VillaAkayla and Dad in the Grass

I’ll race you to the top Dad.Akayla Racing DadAllmost there !

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21-Day Meditation Challenge with Oprah and Deepak – Day 1

I hope all has been well with everyone and that your weekend was fun and relaxing. I wanted to share the 21-Day Meditation Challenge that I have joined via OWN-  The Oprah Winfrey Network. I wanted to start last night when I signed up but I decided that it would be a better for me to start this Monday morning.

Day 1 – The Journey to Perfect Health
Simply With a Change of Mind
After you get done with your first meditation you’ll understand why I chose the beach for this visual statement.

Daily Enspiration = Passionate Pueblos

I was just thinking this morning what Enspires Me ? Not just today but all of my days. My Culture and my People. I come from a very small village in the South West of New Mexico – Cochiti Pueblo and Santo Domingo Pueblo from my Mother’s side. I grew up there till I was 5 years old and then my Family moved to Germany because my Father was in the Air Force and we relocated when I started Kindergarden. I got to see the world at a young age. Which I am completely Thankful for because it showed me all possibilities of this world and all the cultures that have some very valuable knowledge to share with us all. I was the only child of my Family that got to experience that way of life back at home in my village and it has been with me ever since and now I will be passing on our ways of life to my son and daughter as they continue to grow.

I remember specifically right before we left to move to Germany that I got to dance for our Feast day in Cochiti. It was something that I always remembered and yearned for ever since and it wasn’t till I was 28 that I got to dance again. It saved my life and my spirit ….

As I look back now there was a time in my life where I was immensely angry that I was not able to go back home as much as I wanted to when I was younger because we lived so far away but now as I’ve grown to be a Mother I know now that I have that choice to make sure this will not be repeated through my family. Now my kids will always have that with them as they continue to grow. I feel blessed to be a part of this very small community of people who continue to survive and persevere in any situation. Plus I’m super excited to go back home this summer dance for our Feast day “It’s time to Rest and Renew my Spirit”.

If you would like to know more about the 19 Pueblos check out the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.

Pueblo Indian Proverb

Daily Enspiration = Passionate Pueblos

This Place Knows Us
“We have learned from our ancestors how to honor the land. As Pueblo people we carry on what our ancestors have taught us. Their songs, stories, and spirits are part of this landscape, and we are the continuation of the story.”
– Affiliated Pueblo Committee

Home is Home

What has Enspired You today ? leave a comment below and share your Love.

Kehinde Wiley

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Kehinde Wiley is a New York based painter from Los Angeles who has situated himself firmly within art history’s tradition of portrait painting. Wiley, as the contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others, appropriates the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, opulent, majestic, and sublime in his representations of young, urban, black men.

The subjects and stylistic references for his paintings are juxtaposed inversions of each other, forcing ambiguity and provocative perplexity to pervade his imagery. By applying the visual vocabulary and conventions of glorification, history, wealth, power, and prestige to subject matter drawn from the urban fabric in which he is embedded, Wiley presents his young men as both heroic and pathetic, aestheticized and reified, autonomous and manipulated. Ultimately, Wiley’s practice disturbs and interrupts tropes of portrait painting to locate, in his words, “class struggle at the level of sign”.

Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode –– while making references to specific old master paintings –– Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip–hop and the “Sea Foam Green” of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality.

His portraits are based on photographs of young men who Wiley sees on the street, begun last year with men mostly from Harlem’s 125th Street, the series now includes models from the South Central neighborhood where he was born. Dressed in street clothes, they are asked to assume poses from the paintings of Renaissance masters, such as Titian and Tiepolo. Wiley also embraces French rococo ornamentation; his references to this style compliment his embrace of hip–hop culture. Similarly, the poses of his figures appear to derive as much from contemporary hip–hop culture as from Renaissance paintings.

The artist describes his approach as “interrogating the notion of the master painter, at once critical and complicit.” Wiley’s figurative paintings “quote historical sources and position young black men within that field of power.” In this manner, Wiley’s paintings fuse history and style in a unique and contemporary manner.

Beautiful Dreamer // Kehinde Wiley from on Vimeo.

Dj Smiles Davis

Photo Source : Dj Smiles Davis

Although DJSmiles Davis has only been DJing for a few short years she has a knack for mixing and an ear for music that can’t be denied.  Starting out as a professional dancer having nurtured her talent as a performer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, she also worked with Lauryn Hill as a movement coach and back up dancer for Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot. She soon discovered her talents on the wheels of steel and began acquiring early fans for her impeccable music sense. People always told her that she had great song selection. The last few months she has been developing her skills and she can proudly say “I’ve graduated.” DJ Smiles Davis is ready to take her personality and talents to the next level.

Her transformation from professional dancer to DJ was a natural artistic progression that started when she was injured. Her rehabilitation led her to be a little burnt out on dancing at the ripe, young age of 21 so she naturally turned to her first love, music.  She listened to all types of music when she was younger, from Beach Boys to the Beatles and indie rock to electronica. Because she lived a number of places as a child her musical influences are varied and that’s evident with the soulful selections that give her mixes and DJ set such a distinct sound.  Smiles motto for creating the perfect blend, “My inspiration is different every time. Sometimes I just beat match and pick a specific set of songs for the mix. I don’t like to force it and other times I just pick whatever sounds good together.”

Smiles is known for her charismatic grin and dimples that have already caught the attention of America. She was featured in a national McDonald’s commercial as the only female DJ in a room full of guys, holding her own and snagging a nice amount of screen time.  Smiles has also played at a number of incredible private events and she recently did her thing at Erykah Badu’s Jam Session in L.A. at the legendary Viper Room.

As a DJ she always tries to make sure that she observes the crowd at any place before she gets on the turntables.  Smiles explains, “I watch the people before I start my set.  I experiment with what works and I like to change up the energy.  Being able to get a good response out of people that should be the ultimate goal of a DJ.”

Her style of playing always elicits a great response from people and she wants to make sure that she always makes a memorable impression with her listeners.  More than just a party DJ, Smiles is able to translate emotions and feelings into her mixes, which is a talent in and of itself.  So get ready to see a lot more of this beautiful DJ with the big personality and the effervescent smile in 2009!

Free Mix Tape: Smiles Ahead -Click here to download

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