#TeamMya: An Album Review

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I’m a little biased when it comes to Mya. I was always #TeamMya, and her amazing curly hair. She started her career pretty young, and somewhere along the way fell off the public eye for reasons unbeknownst to people that don’t follow why artists fell off. Although I will liken her career to Chrisette Michele in some ways; something to do with wanting more creative control, management and no more MAJOR record labels. I happened to be watching the news one day last week and noticed she was on TV promoting a new album. I didn’t think too much of it. Thanks to my Apple Music subscription, I can listen to music as its released these days.

I gave her album a listen. I was thankful to hear the same sultry and grown-woman content that I’ve come to love about her sound. Here’s my track-by-track breakdown:

Album: Smoove Jones

Label: Planet 9

  1. Smoove Jones Radio (Intro)– I think Smoove Jones is supposed to be Mya’s rappin’ alter-ego. Been there, done that, but her voice and the beats are pleasant enough to listen to. She’s introducing the “Quiet Storm” album in this interlude.
  2. Welcome to My World– This is a very Mya-esque track. Upbeat summer jam, thoughtful lyrics. A nice introduction to what she’s selling on this album, and where she’s at in life. “Got the head seat at the board room table, Could’ve did it with them, but I got my own label.” Okay, bawse. I respek it.
  3. Hold On (feat Phil Ade)– It appears she went very Great Value local with the features on this album. Phil Ade is a native DMV’er and is featured on this track. Mya also reps PG County, so it makes sense that she’s going home to her roots for this album. This song is very catchy, good listen.
  4. Elevator– It took me awhile to understand the analogy in the song, I’m a little slow. Basically, you started from the bottom now you’re “up here, elevatin‘”Another catchy, simple song. Nothing special.
  5. Phya– This song is a play on the word “fire.” This also reminded me of the “classic” Mya sound. I like this about her music. She didn’t over-reach trying to sound like the R&B artists today. She’s sticking to what she knows, and what is authentically her sound.
  6. Spoil Me– This could be a Nicki Minaj track circa 2014. Very catchy tune. Girls want stuff, and we would prefer a sponsor. I didn’t press Skip.
  7. Team You– I approve of this song. It’s very 2016, minus the hashtag. Also, I don’t know who is featured but he sounds like a wannabe Future.
  8. Coolin’– MY #1 song on the album. I want to hear this song on the radio because it’s so amazing in its arrangement and vocals. She sings her high falsetto throughout and it sets the most amazing mood. #HotSummerLove
  9. One Man Woman (Ol’ Skoo’ Joint)– A Mya album wouldn’t be complete without a ballad. So, here it is.
  10. Circle of Life– The “ooh-ooh-hoo” in the beginning is very J. Hud. But we will let Mya rock. Cool Ne-yo vibish song.
  11. Smoove Jones Afta Glow Show (Outro)– Mya says “Goodnight” and thanks you for listening to the show with some sexy vocals.
  12. One Man Woman (Unplugged Bonus)– See #9.

Overall, I think this is a pretty solid album. I heard maybe 20% of a new sound from Mya. However, I didn’t mind hearing a sound that I was accustomed to. Her new music with her authentic touch is worth the listen. I’m only in love with like 1-2 songs, but I’m glad to hear Mya doing what she loves. It’s been way too long, curly boo!

Go take a listen, if you haven’t already!

Share a new album you’re listening to this Spring!

-She

The “I don’t Wanna’s”

cry baby

It’s May 19th. While I lay in my bed with my space heater on blast, I can’t help but mentally fast-forward to the summertime. I want the heat, I want the lazy days, I want the “summer projects.” There’s almost 30 days left in the school year. I’m experiencing burn out with the amount of work that’s left to do, to not only close out a school year, but also clean out the speech room. The school where I’m assigned is closing. Just about every morning goes like:

I don’t wanna get up.

I don’t wanna be at that building.

I don’t wanna see [redacted]’s face.

I don’t wanna do therapy.

I don’t wanna write notes.

I don’t wanna plan.

I don’t wanna test. 

I don’t wanna type up a report. Or an IEP. 

I’ll be so glad when June 21st gets here. I don’t want to rush summer, but it’s VERY. MUCH. NEEDED. When the case of “I don’t wanna’s” hit, I am also reminded that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. This time shall pass. I try to focus on other things going on. Things that make me happy.

The thought of reading books.

Game of Thrones.

Food. And Drank. BBQ’s.

Making summer plans. Planning trips.

Thinking about what new positions to pursue. Actually searching and applying for them.

Spending time with Brandon. Traveling with him.

Cleaning out my home office, that has been in the same condition for 8 months.

Planning Book Chats. Writing.

The things that center me, the things I can do right from the comfort of my home. I try to remember that I can find some happiness in the simple things. That my home is a refuge, a safe place to lay down all my cares when I don’t want to deal with the world.

-She

 

 

Glowed Up: Spring Time

Lately I’ve been glowed up

Paper finally showed up

Childhood got me goin’ buck (I’m still up!)

I’m feeling’ like the only one out here

Soundtrack: 99.9% by Kaytranada

Warning: Explicit lyrics

Me cropped

Initial thoughts:

I’ve anticipated this cut for a couple of months now. I did my research, found some barber shops in NY and ultimately went with a shop in Brooklyn which came highly recommended. The stylist was very accommodating and offered great customer service. I had some idea that I wanted to keep some length and was curious to see how that worked out. Well, it’s been 2 days and has taken some time to grow on me. First, I kept joking that the cut is kind of “90’s sitcom Mom.” I love the layers and how it goes from short to long like a bob but I’m not used to short cuts with hair hanging down in my face. And now that my curls are short and cropped in the back I notice how the front’s curl pattern has been heat damaged. Me no like. So, in about a couple of weeks I’m going to go ahead and cut the middle/front down shorter so that it hangs off my face and see how I like that. I wanted something that I could wear straight and curly, but in reality I want more of a wash and go that’s not going to take 20 minutes to style in the morning. This style still requires more maintenance than I prefer. So, I’m not 100% happy with the cut, but I can always go shorter so that’s a great thing. I do love the back and hair off my neck, however.

#NewCutWhoThis,

She

Have you made any changes physically this Spring?

How I Know It’s Time to Cut

I’ve done a pretty good job of documenting my very impulsive haircuts over the past couple of years. My last cut was in 2012 and I did that in celebration of 1. moving to a new city and 2. starting graduate school. I’ve been growing my hair ever since then. My last “blow-out” had me at this length:

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This time around, I’m still living in the same area, with hopes of moving in the fall of 2017. I’m ready for changes. Also, I know it’s time to cut when:

  1. “Wash and go” turned into wash,dry, dry, dry, dry, then go.
  2. Ponytails were the go-to.
  3. I kept dreaming of the short curly cuts of olden days.
  4. Long hair= lots of product
  5. Long hair= constant washing

Today, I want some of my time back! I want to go back to wash and go! I want to try something new. I’m excited. Stay tuned for the reveal!

Things that are Rockin’ My World: Is it June Yet?

Teachers be like

  • Testing and IEP Meetings
  • What my summer is going to look like. It’s still a blank slate.
  • I’m about 3 months away from 31. I like that number.
  • I’m in love.
  • I go back and forth between wanting a cat and a baby. On most days, it’s a cat.
  • I’m going to Chicago for Fourth of July and I want a foolproof way not to go broke.
  • I miss Costa Rica.
  • I am ready for a new work setting.
  • Game of Thrones is coming back on this weekend and I haven’t re-watched Season 5.
  • I’m not ready for my Sundays evenings to be kidnapped by HBO.
  • The internet will be broken this weekend after Beyoncé releases her new music.
  • The internet will be obsessed with talking about Yoncé for the week to follow.
  • Spring weather keeps playing with my emotions.
  • I love waking up to the sun shining into my bedroom and apartment.
  • Spring is my new favorite season.
  • I need new, simple recipes.

What’s currently Rockin’ Your World?

 

We Went to Costa Rica…

…and now we are truly sad to be back.

Highlights:

  • We rented a car. We named her Sandy. Not the best pick-up for managing driving up the rolling hills, but she pulled through. Gas mileage was great!

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    Sandy chilling in Manuel Antonio
  • We got an AirBnB in Manuel Antonio. It was pretty nice/comfortable and we will probably keep doing AirBnB’s when we return. We woke up to this:

PS- Those howler monkeys look like this:

howler monkey

  • We ate so good. Fresh, delicious, sweet fruits for breakfast and in juice form. The way God intended us to have them (*clears throat* with a little tequila.)
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2×1= AKA Happy Hour
  • Bran got a lesson in maneuvering the curves and mountains in Costa Rica.
  • Endless beautiful sights of the coast line and countrysideIMG_3495

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  • The Arenal Volcano unveiled herself.

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  • And the most important highlight: Love was grown. 

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    Pura Vida,IMG_3685

VLOG: When You Don’t Feel Valued as a Professional (SLP)

She shares Pro’s and Con’s of working in a school building full time as a speech and language pathologist:

Pro’s

  • I love the population I work with. (Learn more about autism here.)
  • I’m  learning how to manage a large caseload.
  • Therapy is not a one-size fits all, I’m getting creative on how to meet my student’s individualized needs.
  • I like some of the experiences of being fully immersed in a school.

Con’s

  • People, people, people!! (better known as Co-workers)
  • When you don’t feel respected as a professional.
  • When you have a hard time collaborating with teachers.

How do you (as an SLP or a member of the IEP team) manage working with difficult people or teachers? Have you ever worked on a school team that didn’t value your input as a professional?

DO SHARE!