Hey There Fabbies! Wow! What a year right? 2020 has proven to be one big unpredictable never-ending rollercoaster. The last time I posted was at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. The world was just beginning to go on lock down, and mandates were put into place all over the world. At this time the mandate of wearing protective face masks was beginning to be enforced worldwide, and so. much. more has happened since March:
The violent killings of unarmed men and women of color, more specifically Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. Their violent deaths triggered riots and protests (both peaceful and not so peaceful) worldwide:
Those unfortunate turn of events began in the early Springtime, and that was already coupled with the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic caused businesses and stores to shutdown, forcing the economy to go into a standstill, bordering a recession, and some say even an economic Depression. The Virus itself has gotten millions of people sick, some severely, with hundreds of thousands more succumbing to the disease all over the world. Maybe some of you know people who have caught the virus, or you yourself caught it. Either way, 2020 has proven to immensely challenging for many people, and I pray that as a collective we see improvement and remain resilient.
And now, fast forward to Fall, and we’re in the best month of the year, November! This is also obviously my birthday month and Scorpio Season, so I hope everyone has been celebrating accordingly! While the past several months have been heartbreaking and devastating for many, most recently, the United States elected a new President Joe Biden AND first ever woman (of color at that!) Vice President, Kamala Harris. One can only hope that this changing of the hands of power can help spark hope and community within the nation, because 2020 has shown just how divided the country really is:
But alas, if you’re reading this, we all made it here thus far. Even if 2020 has chewed you up and spit you out, you are still alive. We are alive and living and breathing through a historic time in our lives that we will one day tell our grandchildren about. I wish everyone reading this continued good health physically and mentally, and bountiful blessings as we close out the year. 2020 ain’t over ya’ll! Blessings are still happening everyday, and I’m tryna grab them bitches.
I have not been blogging over the last several months for a myriad of reasons. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, which for many in the world began in March 2020, was also the time that our lease was up in our home in Mexico. That first year abroad flew by omg! Anyway, prior to the pandemic, my husband and I were making plans to move to a Mexican beach city next (yall know we are the forever adventure-seekers) once our lease was up. But once the Coronavirus happened, that really forced us all to sit our asses down somewhere. So we did. But while we loved our home in Mexico, we had already mentally moved out of the house in January because we were planning to move to the beach! But flights were grounded. There was so much uncertainty in the world and with business, that we decided to stay put in San Miguel, and look for a house in the meantime. While househunting, we stayed in various Airbnb’s around not only San Miguel, but in nearby cities too! This was not the initial plan, because, um beach! but as life would have it, we had to adjust our plans due to the Coronavirus, and we are firm believers that we are always exactly where we nee to be. 🙂
We ended up moving into a house this past summer that we absolutely love! I had a photoshoot all over the house shortly after we moved in, which has almost become customary at this point, and of course posted the photos on my Instagram:
One of the other reasons that I have not blogged in so long has been that my focus has been on building businesses. It’s been so much going on that I haven’t even filled you guys on in everything. But no worries, that’s what this blog post is for! I’m updating yall on what’s been popping with me.
So rather than make this one long blog post (which, lets be honest, it still will be! Ya’ll know I’m long-winded and picture heavy haha), I’ve broken this blog post into what I’ve been working on, eating, listening to, reading, wearing, and more. I’ve missed talking to you guys on my blog, and because I’ve been in super create mode, I even made a blog post schedule this time around. I owe myself the consistency. I owe yall the consistency. This blog has been around for 6 years now, and it has always been my default outlet to come and share, write, and have fun. So hey yallll! I’m back!
Okay, so first off, because I’ve been away from my blog, that does not mean I have not been working honey! To rewind a bit, back in December 2018, my husband and I started a Non-Profit Foundation, The CDR Supreme Dream Foundation. We started our foundation with the intent to help serve the community where we both went to college, and that is Memphis. We wanted to start in that city because we both lived in that city the longest in our adult lives, and built a connection and community while living there for ourselves. Our hope and goal is that as we learn, grow, and serve the community of Memphis and the surrounding areas, we can then expand our network to extend to our hometown cities of Jackson, Mississippi (where I’m from, Hey my Jacktown people!), and then to his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Now, I know I said we started this foundation almost 2 years ago. I failed to mention it here on my blog because hell, yall know I how be! Most of you follow me on social media anyway so ya’ll already knew this. 😀
After my husband and I started the foundation together, the following year, while living in Mexico in 2019, together we launched DCTG™ Inc, which was a business that started out as one thing and turned into another. My hubby authored 3 books (that I edited hehe), and we also sold merchandise related to the brand and relate to the books. This happened a few months before the Coronavirus hit, so we had to put a pause on that business, because many of our suppliers shut down indefinitely. A few months ago we re-opened our website www.dctginc.com, and launched new membership plans that includes either a monthly membership for 5 bucks a month that gets you discounts on all of the DCTG™ websites, or you can become a Gold Member, which is a one year membership fee that includes 25% off our upcoming Champagnes! You can use this discount an unlimited amount of times whenever you purchase our champagnes online. You also get cute membership cards that fit snugly in your wallets:
Mentioning the champagne above brings me to our other newest business venture. As many of you already know, the third business that my husband and I are doing together, is launching our very own Champagne! Well technically, we have to say “Sparkling Wine”, because legally as far as labeling goes, you cannot call your beverage “champagne” unless it was grown in the region of Champagne, France, which is just outside of Paris. (Fun fact right!? Store this in your memory for the next time you’re at brunch in the future and want to impress everyone. Also put your pinky in the air while you sip your mimosa.) But I digress.
We first had the idea to do champagne when we were living in Arizona two years ago. $upreme and I doing our usual: sharing a joint one night in his mancave while the kids were sleeping. Out of the blue he says, “we should do champagne”. My eyes lit up, and I was like “Yes!” “Of course we should do champagne!” We excitedly went back and forth about why champagne was a great idea, and started immediately tossing around names for the brand. That also led to us doing research upon research, and y’all we even attempted to make homemade champagne in our house in Arizona! We ordered the proper tools you would need to bottle your own champagne (cork, stopper, etc), and even put grapes and other fruit in a huge ass jar, plus sugar, a few other ingredients and we let it sit on the countertop and ferment for weeks! After our test-run fermentation period we decided to needed further help hahaha. We put the idea on ice for a few months as we prepared to move to Mexico.
Let me tell you what is wild about manifestation and just taking the first step to getting something done: We moved to Mexico almost on a whim. We found a house we like and “boom!” Packed our shit and crossed the border. After settling into our home last year we began googling and looking to see if by chance any wineries were located near us. If we were lucky enough to find one, they could perhaps produce our champagne for us in their fields. Well what do you know, we found a Winery that is just over an hour away from us, and well, now, the rest is history!
The universe favors the brave. 😉
Our Sparkling Wines will launch with 2 flavors: Our Rosé and our Brut Dulce. The name of our Champagne House is Alexandria XIIXIIXI (those roman numerals stand for 12 12 11, and represent Zé’s birthdate. Alexandria is also her middle name. 🙂
You can learn more about the flavors and tastes of our Sparkling Wines at our website www.alexandriaxiixiixi.com. We are currently getting all of our certifications and labeling approved, and hope to be selling online and in select stores and bars by Christmas of 2020! Cheers!
We also recently visited our winery in Mexico back in September:
Some of you may see why this blog has kind of been neglected over the last half year. I’ve been sowing. 😉
As many of you know, I officially launched my brand Raven Collection online last year on my birthday in November 2019. Raven Collection was born years before I actually launched online. I wore my samples for years all over the world to test the fit of the shoes, the durability, and just the overall function of my products. Talk about being dedicated to quality control! During the years of cultivating Raven Collection, beginning in 2017, I have gone through numerous shoe and handbag factories. Many of my manufacturers were located in China, and once the Coronavirus hit, my factories shut down indefinitely, much like businesses had to around the world. During this time, I shut my website down for months and months. I took this time to sort out the business and plan out my next collection. I’ve sketched hundreds more designs during this last 6 months, and am always reminded that sketching and coloring is really soothing and therapeutic for me.
Raven Collection has been a test of patience and faith in myself over the last several years, and as impatient as I was in the beginning to get designs made, to get things moving, this journey has been a blessing. I’ve learned so much about business, about negotiating, about myself…owning a business forces you to be brave every single day. To face shit you had no idea about, and to be fearless and to put yourself out there.
At the start of the pandemic I did a vintage-style photoshoot wearing my first shoe and handbag design, “The Prima”:
You can check out more photos of this shoot in black and white on my website www.ravencollection.com.
In the meantime, I am still gearing up for my winter collection, which will feature 5 different styles, and the influence for this collection is inspired by the beauty around Mexico. I do have a new product dropping very soon before that collection launches though, so stay tuned for that. 😉
What I’m Eating These Days
During this Pandemic, I have grown a new food obsession: Oyster mushrooms. I have always been a huge fan of any kind of mushrooms for as long as I can remember. Well before veganism, mushrooms have always been beyond delicious to me and easily my top 3 favorite food. Also before I went vegan, I used to love oysters as well. In my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi there is a restaurant on the west side (the best side might I add) of town called Ellis Seafood that has the best fried oysters in the world. No lie!
When I was in college at the University of Memphis, I would go to a restaurant called Rafferty’s and get their beer-battered fried mushrooms with horseradish sauce like once a week! Ahhhh!
Anyway, the merging of oysters and mushrooms together is damn genius and I’m mad I had not eaten them them sooner! Oyster mushrooms are plentiful around Mexico, so I buy tons of them every week and eat them so many different types of ways. I eat them fried, which, $upreme makes the best fried oyster mushrooms ever! They are so versatile! When they’re fried, I eat them with bbq sauce or ranch, inside sandwiches, on pizzas, inside vegan omelettes, in my salads! To me fried oyster mushrooms taste like a mix between fried oysters and fried chicken strips! I. AM. OBSESSED.
Here is what they look like in the grocery store here in Mexico:
And here’s a picture of fresh white and portobello mushrooms just because mushrooms are life!
While I love the oyster mushrooms fried, I also like them grilled in a skillet and lightly seasoned. Ya’ll. I even them raw and dipped in whatever sauce. In the recent months I have begun making vegan omelettes. I will share the recipe soon as it is SO EASY to make! But I stuff my omelettes with oyster mushrooms and whatever else. But the oyster mushrooms are the crack that have to be in there no matter what:
I also still make vegan rotel dip every other Friday night for the kids’ Movie Night. You can find that recipe here.
Of course I eat everything in between too. Burgers, salads, avocado toast, quinoa salads, fruit with my favorite seasonings, and cakes! $upreme cooks meals every other night or so, and I make food anywhere in between. Since the pandemic we begun, we have eaten out at our favorite Lebanese restaurant (Go figure, our favorite restaurant in Mexico is Lebanese food! Bahahahahaha!) a handful of times. The last 6 months or so we have mostly been cooking at home. My hubby randomly decides to bake desserts for the family sometimes too, so we aren’t missing restaurants too much:
I also make homemade salsa every week, and also I made guacamole almost everyday because we eat guacamole with everything hahaha! (Am I Mexican?)
While I do eat heartily and love my “fun foods”, (not pictured hot dogs, corn dogs, and my fave sweet snack: a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich), I still very much incorporate fruits and veggies into my daily diet. My favorite snacks are typically fresh fruit and raw veggies remixed somehow:
I’m also still making my beloved smoothies most days, and add sea moss gel to the smoothie for added nutrients and minerals:
I also take herbs and vitamins daily. I take sea moss and bladderwack in pill form also, plus other vitamins not pictured. The company Alkaline Herb Shop sells wonderful herbs and teas that I would recommend to everyone. I will do another post detailing the herbs and vitamins I take and the benefits:
When me or hubby aren’t cooking, we sometimes order from Uber Eats. Our favorite places to order from are a local Taco Place that has bomb tacos and also randomly sells the Beyond Meat Burger, so we get those every now and then:
The city really does feel like one giant community. I get text messages from my favorite organic market whenever they have a new products or restocks. We have friendly relationships with the owners of our favorite restaurants too. My Spanish is much improved from living here, from speaking to merchants at stores and restaurants, and also taxi drivers. I pretty much have to speak Spanish everyday, even at home, as my housekeeper and gardener only speak Spanish. I’m also finally teaching Zé and Vito Spanish as well, and they absolutely love it!
Another obsession that my whole family now has is churros! Churros are basically fried dough (flour) and sugar. Obviously churros won’t be on your “healthy things to eat” list. You can get churros with strawberry or chocolate “sauce” drizzled on top as well. They are sold all over the city, on the street (street food is life in Mexico!) and inside restaurants. They are sold in bunches of like 7 and they are so delicious! The taste reminds me of a funnel cake. I pick up bunches of like 50 churros every other week or so!
My favorite place that sells churros seems to be everyone in the city’s favorite place too, because sometimes there’s a line down the street just to get churros! (But they are definitely worth the wait!)
Even during this pandemic, I’m still out here in the these streets running fa sho. I run about 3-4 times a week, and I use the app Runkeeper to track my miles and time. I’ve been using this run app for the last 3 years and I love it! If you’ve been following this blog from the beginning, then you know that running has always been a big part of my life. I first talked about running 6 years ago, and you can read about that here. I absolutely love getting outdoors an just taking off. Wind blowing in my face, (sometimes dust from or dirt gets blown in my face too but we’re not focusing on those times), just me and my thoughts (and music) while I’m pounding the pavement all over the city. It’s such a freeing feeling that I’m sure my fellow runners totally get. Also, being out in nature where I sometimes get to pass mountains, lakes, fields of greenery or whatever else just fills me up. Ya’ll I’ve cried on my runs before. Running is just such a great release for me, and I am so thankful that I’ve been able to continue to run over the years without physical ailment or pain preventing me from doing so. I also get some of my best ideas during my runs. I love listening to new albums on my runs outdoors. You can really hear ad-libs and instruments better when you’re listening through headphones. I stan, absolutely stan female rappers, so I’m listening to alot of their music on my runs, specifically Big Latto, Tokyo Jetz, Flo Milli, Rubi Rose, Nicki Minaj, Young M.A, Saweetie, City Girls, Dess Dior, LightSkinKeisha, BIA, Meg the Stallion, and Cardi B. I listen to a slew of male rappers too of course, but on this post we just bigging up the women rappers okkkkkk?
I typically run with my face mask in the pocket of my tights most times, and I only put it on when I’m going inside of stores, or if I’m running through a crowd of people. Otherwise it’s me and lipstick on full display haha:
Also, because I live in a city that was once deemed “the most beautiful city in the world”, I also get to see so much beauty in the architecture of buildings and nature:
Meditation and Yoga
Since 2015 I have started exploring meditation and yoga. As time has gone by, meditation has become a part of my daily life. One of my favorite things I love about our house is the outdoor courtyard. It has a peaceful water fountain in the center of a salmon pink brink walled enclosure. I often do yoga and meditate out there, and sometimes do home workouts there too:
When I’m Wearing Clothes Other Than Sweats:
I give the girls the fashion every once and a while too:
Sun and Swimsuits
During this pandemic I’ve tried to tan whenever possible:
Zé and Vito are growing taller everyday it seems, and while they know what’s going on in the world with the Pandemic and the Coronavirus, and how when we leave the house to go places they have wear their masks, they are pretty much oblivious otherwise to just how crazy the state of the world is at times. $upreme and I are still homeschooling them, alternating weeks so that we can take turns, and thus give each other breaks! Whew Lawd those breaks be so clutch! While my babies keep us busy, I’m just happy they’re happy and healthy. 🙂
So that pretty much sums up my absenteeism over the last several months. Going forward I plan to update my blog way more regularly, even in the midst of growing businesses and busy schedules. Fab and Ravenous was my first “thing!” (Okay really second thing; who remembers “Shopping With Raven” .com?!?)
Also, my birthday is next Saturday, and in true Raven fashion, I changed my hair. I bleached it blonde, which is something I do about once a year or so. It’s all about the blonde ‘fro as I stroll into 38 next Saturday…(omg 38 omg)
Have a wonderful weekend Fabbies! I love y’all!