Pac Lives On

 I have been waiting for this moment for the past year. The minute I caught wind of this Tupac biopic, I was ecstatic. I absolutely love biopics, and the fact that they are becoming more and more popular is simply amazing. This combined with my love of Tupac has had me on edge! So I’ll give out the disclaimer right now, this post is biased! Sorry, not sorry. Now before I get into the movie review, in honor of his birthday and the release of the biopic I am going to share a few of my top movies and songs from none other than Tupac Shakur.

giphy9

Top 10 Songs:

Me and My Girlfriend

Whatz Ya Phone #

Do For Love

I Get Around 

Rather Be Ya N****  

If My Homie Calls

Temptations

Pain

I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto 

So Many Tears

Top 3 Movies 

Juice

Gridlock’d

Poetic Justice

All Eyez on Me (2017)

Overall, the production met my expectations. Demetrious Shipp Jr. has an uncanny resemblance to Tupac, so that definitely helped with believability. He also had Tupacs’ mannerisms and speech patterns down. The way the film developed centered around Tupacs’ prison interview was an awesome way to tell his story from. The movie covered everything from the attack at Quad Record Studios, the East Coast/West Coast beef, and even the infamous picture taken with Faith Evans. It seems no topic was really left untouched.

demetrius-shipp-jr-tupac-shakur-side-by-side-3-1496952353-640x398

The hardest part of watching biopics is getting so intertwined with the person and their story, and wanting the ending to be different from the tragic ending we all know is inevitable.  Though he had occasional run-ins with the law, he was an artist that made a great imprint in the world within a very short time. It’s so hard to grasp that he was just 25 years old when he was murdered. Yesterday, Tupac Shakur would have turned 46 years old. Though his image has never really died, he has now been given a resurgence and introduced to a new generation through this film. His music, films, and political mind live on.

giphy10

If you want to read more about Pac, I recommend Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary by Jasmine Guy or Got Ya Back written through the memories of Pac’s bodyguard Frank Alexander.

What did you think of the film? What are your fave Tupac songs? Let me know in the comments!

30 Before 30 List

In a few short months, God willing I will celebrate my 26th birthday. In four short years I will be celebrating my 30th birthday. That is definitely a hard pill to swallow. But, I have an intricate plot of how to make the most of these next four years. I have made a list of things I want to accomplish before my “Dirty 30.”

Travel

giphy6

  1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

2. Detroit- Visit the famous Motown Musuem

3. Memphis- Beale Street

4. California-Disneyland 

5. Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Education 

giphy5

6. Learn a new language

7. Get a Master’s

8. Learn to contour my face

9. Learn to crochet

10. Learn to knit

11. Read one new book each month

12. Learn to roller skate backwards

13. Learn a musical instrument

14. Work on my photography skills 

Adulting 

giphy7

16. Pay off my student loans

17. Start a family

18. Buy a house

19. Pay off credit card debt

Go, See, Do 

20. Go to the Ellen Show 

21. Go wine tasting

22. Visit an art show or gallery

23. See a fashion show

24. Go Sky Diving

25. Go Ziplining

26. See R. Kelly in concert

Career 

giphy8

27. Find a writing job/ career

28. Publish more books

29. Continue to grow Miss Ashley’s Anecdotes 

30. Become fully financially stable

Well, that’s all folks! Let me know in the comments about your 30 Before 30 plans!

 

My Road to Becoming a Published Author

As most of you could have guessed by now, writing is my sole passion, it always has been and always will be. Unfortunately, I don’t think I FULLY realized this until recently.

giphy2

Blogging isn’t something I just do for fun. While it is fun and I love it, I do it for my love of writing. It has become my way to keep learning and practicing the wonderful world of writing.

 My love of writing started at a young age. I still have scrapbooks of books, poems, and stories I made while I was in grade school. In high school, I became a reporter for the school newspaper and by my junior year, I was the editor. Then came college time, I was accepted into a very well know school for journalism, but due to financial circumstances I could not attend. Instead, I attended junior college for my first two years with a full tuition scholarship. By the time I finished those two years, I’m not sure exactly what happened. Before finally getting my bachelors 2.5 years later, I had gone through a couple different majors. I was a speech pathology major for a semester, changed to English Education, then finally changed to English and a minor of Journalism. Once I did this I was so relieved. I had finally gotten back to my roots., my classes were intriguing and I felt like I was living my purpose. I began writing again, and heavy. I was a part of the university newspaper and magazine, I held an internship in which I blogged for the university, overall I was genuinely happy.

giphy1

But, since graduating I have not quite been able to get into the field with a full-time writing gig. For me, this would be ideal, my dream job. As a kid, I always was to be a writer for VIBE Magazine.

I decided to go to grad school, once again with a major that had nothing to do with writing. While my grades were stellar, I had no connection to what I was spending so much time on. I decided to stop running from what I have always known  in my heart I wanted. I made a conscious decision to put more time and effort into my craft. I have taken it upon myself to stay active, to  ensure my skills are elevated and not deteriorating.

It has been such a joy writing for all of you. Thank you to all of those who read, share, comment, and even like my posts. I truly and deeply appreciate it.

giphy3

Now to my most recent endeavor. I decided that it was time I stop waiting for my dream job, and start putting some effort in besides applying for jobs, and coming home unfulfilled with the job I have. I decided to write a book. The crazy thing is, once I got started it just flowed. It felt so natural. While in the process of developing it, I had several ideas for forthcoming books.

On June 7, 2017, I published my very first book. “Adulting 101: A Millennials’ Guide to Becoming an Adult.” A self-help book for individuals finding their way through the adult world. You can find the book in the Kindle/ Amazon store. I am so proud of this major accomplishment, and trust me this is just the beginning.
Screenshot_20170608-075405

So, from me to you, don’t wait for anyone to give you anything. Never run from the things you want and that make you happy. Start thinking of your dreams and future. Think about the person you want to be, and become that person. It is never too late to pursue your dream, every day you have breath in your body, you have a chance to start living your passion.

giphy4

5 Chicago Summer Date Ideas

As you can tell from my past couple of posts, I am obviously ready to tackle this summer! I wrote about some interesting things to do around Chicago, but now let’s get down to date night/day. There is nothing better to me than getting out, and enjoying the sunshine with my “Babycakes.”  These dates are sure to get you out and moving and spending little to no money, while spending time and enjoying your significant others company. Enjoy!

  1. Picnic: Grab a sandwich, a blanket, and find a good spot to sit and soak up some sun. One of my personal favorite spots for a picnic is near the Adler Planetarium. There is a perfect view of the City of Chicago that is beautiful at dusk.
  2. Beach: Heading to the beach is a relaxing way to cool off from the summer heat. My go to beach is Ohio Street beach. Chicago is filled with beaches. Although there are no palm tress, you are still guaranteed to have a good time. You can find them here http://www.cpdbeaches.com/home.cfm.

3. Waterpark: You are never too old to go down a water slide. Waterparks have always been one of my favorite summer activities, not only do I get a change to get on water rides, but the concession stands are usually bomb!

4. Rooftop Bars: I first really got into rooftop bars last summer. They are a great way to have a drink and still enjoy the summer ambiance. There are countless rooftop bars in the city, you can find them here, https://www.thrillist.com/drink/chicago/best-rooftop-bars-in-chicago-illinois-with-outdoor-seating.   

5. Fireworks: Fireworks are a must see for me every summer, and not only on the Fourth of July. Many local towns have fireworks displays throughout the summer. Even better, Navy Pier has several displays as well. You can find the info here,  https://navypier.com/fireworks/.

And for good measure, I’ll throw in an extra one! The Chicago Botanic Garden is a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy nature. Its the perfect backdrop to create beautiful memories and pictures! Happy dating & let me know in the comments about your ideal summer dates!

Hello June😎

Well ladies and gents, we have officially made it to June. The year seems to be flying by! I feel like I was just writing New Year, New Me In that post I talked about goal setting, not only for the new year, but for every single day you wake up!

 My goals are coming along quite nice. In the past 6 months I bought a car, have been persistent with my blog, and learning new things to improve my writing as a whole! Although a couple of things I really wanted fell through, I’ve been able to pick myself up, dust off and keep going. Having prolonged pity parties is no longer an option for me, even though they are sometimes very inviting. Sometimes it is so easy to lay down and wallow in agony. But, the more satisfying feeling is conquering what you thought you couldn’t. I am no where near done with this year. I have a list of 3 more major goals that I am working on, and once I conquer them I can’t wait to tell you about them.

But enough about me, what about you? I am appointing myself as your accountability partner. What were your long and short-term goals for the year? What have you done to reach them? Have you reached them yet? If you have not, are you still working toward it?  Since we are at the halfway mark of the year, we have to make it a priority to not give up and keep pushing toward those goals. Don’t let your aspirations fall by the wayside, this is the year of accomplishment. So keep a planner, use your phone calendar, and stay organized! There are even goal setting and planning apps! Make the most out of each day. When you wake up try to have in your mind what you want accomplished by the time you go to bed. Remember, all talk and no action is not always successful! Faith without works is dead!

All goals and plans do not always go perfect. In that case, rework your plan, and re execute. Don’t lose sight of your end goal. You may have to detour but as long as your destination is the same it will be worth it. One of my favorite sayings is “Setbacks are setups for comebacks.” So whatever it is keep going, I’m sending you nothing but positive vibes in all your ideas and endeavors!

Let me know in the comments what your goals are and what you are up to! Speak it into existence!

Summer ’17 To Do List

It is finally that time! No coats, sandals, and shorts! One of the many disadvantages of living in the midwest for me, is winter and snow. The older I get, the more I hate it! So the fact that #SummerTimeChi is literally just weeks away has me grinning from ear to ear! It’s time to blast Summertime by Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff and especially Roy Ayers Everybody Loves the Sunshine. To channel my excitement, I have started planning some summer activities and events to get the most out of the sunshine and warmth!

giphy

  1. Chicago Blues Festival June 9-11, 2017 : Every year Chicago does multiple music festivals including jazz, blues, gospel, and more. Every year I plan to attend one of the festivals and I never do, but this is the year I am making it happen. And to top it off these festivals are always free! So pack a blanket some snacks and head to Millenium Park alone, with your signifigant other, or a group of friends, and enjoy the music and breeze!

2. Chicago SummerDance June 23-September 10, 2017 : Like the music festivals, every year I happen to be downtown and I see so many smiling and laughing faces dancing in the park. But, this is the year I am going to put on my dancing shoes and become apart of the fun. The live music, food vendors, and variety of culture makes this event not only something fun to do but a cultural learning event and experience. Did I mention it’s free?!

3. The Internet Concert at The House of Vans June 29, 2017: If you love the song Girl or the album Ego Death as much as I do, then you may be interested in catching the group The Internet for free at the House of Vans. The House of Vans is hosting a summer concert series. Check out who else will be on their lineup! 

4. Chicago Food Truck Festival June 24 & 25, 2017: Although this event requires a ticket, and a bit of money, it will be well worth it. I attended last year and I was introduced to so many new types of foods and desserts! I gurantee you will find a truck that has exactly what you want. The variety is uncontested. So grab some friends and take a stroll through this food heaven. Last year my favorite truck was, the Cajun Connoisseur.

To find out about more #SummerTimeChi check out https://www.choosechicago.com/events-and-shows/festivals-guide/http://www.chicagotribune.com/redeye/culture/festivals/ct-redeye-chicago-summer-festival-calendar-2017-20170417-story.html and https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/festival_events_dates.html. Happy Summer! Let me know in the comments about your summer plans and events!

Netflix & Chill🍿

Even though the winter months are now behind us, that does not mean it’s time to abandon our beloved Netflix accounts. Over the past 5 years I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Netflix. I love it because there is always a random low-budget movie to keep my attention yet I hate it because usually when I’m looking for a specific movie or show, I get the “Order DVD message.” 🤦🏾‍♀️ But, somehow I manage to keep a full list of shows and movies I want to watch. Here are my most recent watches! Enjoy!

“13 Reasons Why” 

This series took me though various emotions. In short the series follows the story of Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves 13 cassette tapes behind, detailing the events that led up to her decision to end her own life. Baker, along with the others whom she blames for her death are high school students plus one unsuspecting culprit. Overall, I felt I could not necessarily relate to Hannah and her high school experience, which I contribute to cultural differences and experiences. But, I could relate to her pain and hurt. The series will have you saying “That’s not that serious”, or even “What’s wrong with her?” But, at the end it will all come together, which makes it well worth the watch.

“Dear White People”

This show has exceeded my expectations. It follows Samantha and her African-American friends who are students at an ivy league predominately Caucasian college. The show is a spin-off from the movie Dear White People. The first episode is almost identical to the movie, which sets up the season perfectly and eases the viewer into the lives of these students. This series is spot-on when it comes to the experiences of an African-American student on a predominately white campus. Through Samantha’s campus radio show Dear White People, she tackles racism on her campus. This series is very raw and truthful. Im glad the initial backlash Netflix received when this series was announced did not deter them from releasing it. Netflix, you are the real MVP.

“Lucas Brothers on Drugs” 

 You may remember these twins from “22 Jump Street”. I had no idea they were stand-up comics, but after watching this special I understood why, they are hilarious. The way they play off of each other to deliver their jokes is a unique approach that makes the jokes that much funnier. They discuss present day topics as well as popular past topics. If you need a laugh after a long day, put this on I guarantee you will get that laugh you need.

“Deuces”

As I mentioned earlier, I love random Netflix movies. Scrolling through the pre-prepared suggestions, I came across Deuces. The cast itself is what drew me to this movie, Larenz Tate, Lance Gross, and Rotimi were enough for me to click play 😍. So much #BlackMagic in one movie! The film also featured Megan Good, rapper Sia, and more familiar faces we love. The film follows Deuce played by Larenz Tate, a drug dealer who is trying to turn his life around. The ending had a great twist that I did not see coming!

Let me know some of the shows or movies you are currently streaming in the comments!