This summer had the potential to be EPIC. My childhood best friend, Aisha, invited me on a cruise to Madrid, Spain. And my other two closest sisters, Mary and Kiya, trekked to Cuba asking me to join them. I gave both trips long consideration but ultimately neither fit into my life. And yet, Summer 2017, will still go down as an extra-special, unforgettable time in my life.
Here are the 7 reasons why:
7. My Daughter Became a Full-Blown Teenager!
My baby turned 13. Sheeeeeez. (Where has the time gone????) So, to celebrate her transition into teen-hood, she wanted a shindig with her besties at a cat cafe. Yup! A CAT CAFE. It's a BIG thing in Japan--she studies Japanese and is really into anime and Japanese culture--and so we found one in Philly. I gathered her closest homies and ferried them into The City of Brotherly Love. First for a pizza party and then to the cafe. They had an awesome time with the cats. I definitely recommend Kawaii Kitty Cafe to any feline lover.
6. Mother & Daughter Bonding
Speaking of my little kumquat, she and I spent a good amount of time this summer just HANGIN'. It was really nice. One of the most memorable hang-sessions was a drive we took up to Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA to see a play called "The Nerd." Visiting New Hope was trippy like time travel! It is a very charming and unique place! Beautifully scenic, quaint and jam-packed on the main street with people out shopping and supporting the local restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. Wonderful place to visit!
5. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
My honey surprised me with a trip to D.C. to visit the NMAAHC and I was beside myself with GLEE! The weather was sublime. The museum was a dream. It was absolutely an EXPERIENCE. I cried. I gasped. I learned. I felt enraged. I felt proud. And I made peace with the past. The museum visit should be mandatory, in my opinion, for all Americans.
PS: Be sure to eat there and peruse the gift shop! The Black cuisine from allover the USA is divine and the shop has such beautiful relics of the experience there.
This display of 2 impeccable Black American fashion designers was among my favorite exhibits:
Mae Reeve's Millinery and Anne Lowe who designed Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding gown.
4. My Birthday Trip
Last year, when I turned 40, I promised myself to spend every birthday somewhere I've never been before. Doesn't need to be exotic or even out of the country, although that's perfectly fine, but it has be a spot on my bucket list that I've been dying to experience. Last year it was Puerto Rico (God bless PR! I'm heartbroken over the suffering they are currently experiencing due to Hurricane Maria). This year I choose Chicago. Chi-town did not disappoint! I rented a bedroom in a lovely airbnb centrally located to downtown, beaches, and major attractions. My hostess and her puppy were BOMB. In just a short weekend my daughter and I experienced so much of Chicago.
The very first day we went to see what we'd flew 2.5 hours to visit: Millennium Park. Really we were looking for "The Bean" but got so much more than we bargained for. The Bean is in Millennium Park has sculptures galore, a botanical garden, amazing architecture, a modern playground, water features, wall climbing, I mean it goes on and on. And it is only a short walk to The Navy Pier, which is an amusement park of sorts.
The second day was spent on North Avenue Beach, which is on the pristine Lake Michigan...then we walked over to the Chicago Zoo afterwards for lunch alfresco and chilled with the wild cats.
On our last day, which was my actual birthday, we went to a cafe down the block from where we stayed for breakfast. Afterwards, we walked about 3 blocks down the same street to see a Frank Lloyd Wright. I was so psyched. Chicago is full of mind-blowing architecture so to find my favorite Mid-century Modern architect with a building on the same block I was staying on, I had to go see! Chi-town is truly one of the cleanest, most beautiful, and more remarkable places I've ever seen. I can't wait to go back for a longer trip.
3. Supporting My Friends' in Business
Being able to go to my creative entrepreneur friends' launches and other business events is always tough with my schedule and my daughter's activities but with so much free-time on my hands this summer I was able to show up and support, which was awesome.
2. Time to reflect and re-evaluate
I'm a staunch believer that life is what you make it. You have the right to change and alter it and edit often to reflect your needs and desires. I realized ht taI desire to spend more time teaching design, working on interior design projects, building our new brand--The Creative's Container-- and less time at the sewing machine and post office. Therefore, I have decided over the summer to CLOSE my SHOP. I will still design Jypsea Leathergoods for wholesale accounts but the online shop will close for good on October 1st.
Enjoy the clearance sale until then!
1. The MOST Amazing Reason that #Summer2017 Has Been UNFORGETTABLE:
We found out that I'm PREGNANT! Whoooohooooooo! My fiancé and I have been trying to conceive for almost 2 years so to discover mid-summer that I was already 2 months preggo was the biggest blessing of all. We couldn't be happier! Look out for future DIY projects for the baby here on the blog and maternity pics on my IG. :)
So now it's YOUR turn! What made Summer 2017 special for you?