Where Have You Been, Aceey?

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It's me! Aceey!

So it’s been a very long time since my last post and I would like to apologize! I must tell you though, I have not been sitting on my bum doing nothing! Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on these past few months!

I was in a lawsuit! Not pretty! So happy that it is finally over because it took so much of my time (and money).

I dislocated my jaw! I had no idea that was even possible. I have been recovering from this since July and sometimes it still hurts to open my mouth wide. As a singer, this is a horrid punishment. 😦

I moved to a new studio loft, which I LOVE and adore! I’ve also been acting like a tourist in my hometown, just taking walks and enjoying life…

Across the street from where I live

Lake

Arab-American Festival jewelry

I’ve been working on getting my hair longer. I started wearing wigs and weaves to change up my style a little!

I went to Japan for my 30th birthday! AMAZING! This was my second time visiting my brother and I had so much fun that I didn’t want to leave. I CRIED at the airport because of the incredible times we shared!

Golden Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

I’ve been actively working on my professional career as a career coach. I’ve been at it for over five years but there are so many new things to learn. I will be introducing more tips– new and old– in my next posts.

I’ve been cooking… DUH! 🙂 Everyone knows how much I love to cook and here are just 2 pics that you have  been missing out on.

Jambalaya for my co-workers

Shabiyey, custard filled phyllo dough pastries from Lebanon

Batata hara - garlic and cilantro potatoes

Atayef! Custard in wheat+yeast pancakes

My ingredients for Pho

Pho and Jasmine tea

enjoying some good coffee in my demitasse.

So stay tuned for more yapping and fun times! I assure you that I won’t leave you hanging again!

Love,

Aceey Emme (Pronounced “A. C. M.”)

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I Can’t Run Away From Russia – Part 1 – Childhood

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St. Basil's Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral – The most recognizable building of Russia.

Aceey’s preface: Want to finally know why 1 out of 10 posts I make on Facebook has to do with Russia? This was originally meant to be a complete blog post about my fascination with Russian culture and history from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, the original post was somehow deleted. Also the drafts of the work were mysteriously deleted from my computer and in my email.  I don’t want to call it a conspiracy so I am slowly rewriting them.  *Looks at my own skin color* Wait, I’m black. Why in the world has Russian culture invaded my life? Find out in this series!

My first brush with Russian culture came to me on Christmas Day at age four. My mother bought me a record player complete with “See-and-Say” style books and their respective recordings. There were also several music recordings. The one that I listened to over and over again was “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” by Tchaikovsky. The sound of the chimes and another instrument that I didn’t know the name of intrigued me—I became addicted to the song. I didn’t know at the time that the other instrument played in that song was the celesta. Was it a coincidence that my middle name is Celeste?

One year later, my kindergarten class took a field trip to see a ballet called The Nutcracker.  I began to hear that familiar celesta again. My eyes grew big and my heart melted to hear my favorite song again, and the dancing to it… there’s a dance to it? I wasn’t a dancer but whenever I heard that song, I pretended that I could.

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker. Photo from MTV.com.

Was it a coincidence that one of my favorite actors of all time was Yul Brynner? And it had nothing to do with “The Ten Commandments” either! When I was little, my mother and I would watch Cinema 12 together (WYES Channel 12 – New Orleans) when they would show silver screen and movies in Technicolor at 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. My favorite one to watch by age 9 (that I still watch) was Anastasia, featuring Brynner. He made me fall in love with him over and over—supreme acting, the perfect body, the showcasing of his skills on the guitar and ukulele. At the time, I had no idea he was Russian—I just thought he was good at playing Russian people.

Cast members of "Anastasia"

(Left) Yul Brynner in "Anastasia" with his FINE self.

The movie about the ill-fated faux grand dutchess sparked my desire to learn about the political climate of pre-revolutionary Russia. I read books and searched pictures of what it was like to be a Romanov. I was enchanted in imperialism, but not the common people, unfortunately.

Reading Rainbow, a television show hosted by Levar Burton, had an episode on the Shavuot (Passover). A little old lady of Russian descent was teaching how to make challah bread, latkes (potato pancakes), and matzo ball soup. Who knew that I would be making delicious challah bread for loved ones years to come!

Mrs. Katz

A cover of the book read on the television show, Reading Rainbow. The episode featured Passover. Wait, I just noticed that little boy is black... just like me! Yay! I don't feel like an anomaly anymore!

I couldn’t run away from Russian music for some reason. While still in elementary school, my brother had a cassette tape of classical music and I learned of Stravinsky—I couldn’t really pick a favorite between Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. They were two different styles in two different periods. Listening to their waltzes made me appreciate anything in 6/8 and 12/8 time signature, though. In general, I loved the use of several minor chords in the beginning, followed by a bridge in a major key, and going back to a minor key. By age 10, I was already reading music with two years under my belt, learning music theory, and understanding how composers could make a statement without saying a word:

From "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

"Overture of 1812" Photo Taken from the "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

For example, Tchaikovsky boasted the retreat of France at the Battle of Borodino in The Overture of 1812 (click to listen) by adding pieces of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, in major and minor keys. What a genius way to say “Nanny-Nannie Boo-Boo” to the enemy! I laugh every time I heard this song when I was little… I still laugh today (This actually, shouldn’t be funny, as I am from New Orleans, a French colony. Or maybe I should continue to laugh, as France was always trying to dominate somebody. Shoot, finally the underdog got to hold down the fort, hahaha! 😉  Whose side am I on anyway?).

The song would eventually haunt me after the movie, V for Vendetta, was released.

One day, Momma brought home a VHS cassette of a movie called “No Way Out.” In it, Kevin Costner plays a hero and at the end there was a shocking twist—he turned out to be a Russian Sleeper Agent! I became a Russian fortune’s fool again.

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner. My first movie regarding Russian Spies.

All of this happened to me before the age of 12. The spiral down the rabbit hole became deeper as I got older…

To Be Continued…

Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

Dreaming Into a Reality – At-Home Hair Salon

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Blond Ambition Hair Salon

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream that my spare bedroom that I use as a study became a hair salon room. I figure that I already style my hair in that room anyway so why not make it the official room? 🙂 My dreams always turn into passion which turns into reality, thanks be to God!

Hair By Anastasia Salon

At the moment I am not a cosmetologist but I previously worked in that field, not only fulfilling the dream of being the first retail seller of Dominican hair care products in three different states, but also maintaining a reputation as a reputable seller online while interviewing people in that industry (Research and Development, Marketing Managers, etc).

I have been interested in the science of hair care (particularly black hair care) since 2002 (Wow, it’s been almost 10 years since I been at this!). [I’m] Not interested in doing hair other than my own but wouldn’t it be fun to have free classes to teach cosmetologists and clients alike about how to take care of their hair between salon visits in the spare room and in the living room (and serve raw brownies 😉 ?)

Barrie's Hair Salon

The first step will be to move my computer desk out of the room. I am thinking about making my dining room my computer room, or partition the living room to be a living room/dining room. The room is 11’x11’ with a large window and lots of wall space. Here are some of the items that are going to make up my at-home  salon:

SALON HOODED DRYER – I already have this hair dryer at home. I love her so much that everyone knows I call her “my daughter.” Her name is Bianca D’amaris Dominicana, lol. A good-quality salon dryer is well worth the investment because it will take less time to dry your hair under it. My thick, armpit-length hair only takes 45 minutes to dry under my hair dryer and I can use even the biggest rollers (3 in. diameter). I just have to get her fixed. 😦

SALON CHAIR – I am debating on getting a salon chair. I don’t have a problem using the plastic chair that I already have but I do want the room to look professional.

SALON CABINET AND DRAWER – I have a white plastic drawer set, however, I’d love a salon cabinet and mirror set. I can put my products in there, have a place to put my CHI flat iron and other accessories. That way, the plastic drawer set can be used for rollers only.

SHELVING- The wall shelves will feature my favorite hair care products. I no longer sell products but displaying them would give my house-guests the opportunity to learn about them. I am in love with Silk Dreams Hair Care Products made by an acquaintance on the  Long Hair Care Forum.

There are many natural hair care products that I love too, such as Aubrey Organics Conditioners and products from the Dominican Republic! I am debating on getting another bookshelf solely for hair products. A nail polish shelf would also be great to hang on the wall.

FRAMED PAINTINGS –  I am currently viewing framed photos online that have hair salon themes, both modern and vintage. I don’t really have a theme or color scheme yet besides the appliances and shelving being black. Here are some photos I’m thinking about purchasing:

I’m not much of a fan of TV so I am unsure if I am going to have a TV set in my salon. A portible Ipod player would be nice, blasting my favorite Milly Quezada and Israel Houghton tracks, lol.

Other Decorations:

  • Curtain
  • Large floor mat
  • Possible ceiling lamp (chandelier type) and tall lamp
  • Additional desk and or small end table
  • Extra comfy chairs or small couch/futon
  • Flowers and vases

How am I going to get this stuff? Easy!

1. Used items from salons that have gone out of business.
2. Craigslist.org.
3. Word of mouth.
4. Ebay.com

So the dream is there—the passion is there. Now all I need to do is set goals to make it a reality. What’s your dream? The bible says that we should write the vision and make it plain. Many business corporations do well because they not only have a vision, but they understand it and believe in it too. What are you believing in the Lord for? Write it down, pray, and watch it manifest! God bless!

Aceey’s Hair Regimen

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Remember Jesse from "Full House?" Yep, that's me!

I love my hair! The best part about healthy hair is that even if you cut it, it grows right back to the same lushness and length as before.

My hair has been featured on many hair care websites over the years and I get weave-checked on a daily, even with short hair! I didn’t always have healthy hair, though. It took me 14 months to go from damaged, chin length hair, to gorgeous hair that almost touched my waist. I keep my hair short now (armpit length) but it’s still healthy as ever! This is only a regimen page, looks like a mouthful but it really isn’t, I promise 😀 — I will post hair care tips in another blog post.

Having damaged, short hair was no fun.

My hair regimen, 1x a week:
1. Part hair in 6 sections.

2. Apply pre-shampoo treatment to each section and let sit for an hour before rinsing – I do a pre-treatment because shampoos can be so harsh, plus it provides extra conditioning.
Favorite pre-shampoo treatments:

  • Mayonnaise (you know, the stuff in a jar? Any non-salad dressing brand will do). I apply as if I am applying a relaxer. I consider this my protein treatment.
  • Oil (Grapeseed, Olive, Coconut, Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair Oil)
  • Silk Dreams PRE

3. Apply shampoo to sectioned hair, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.
Favorite shampoos:

4. Apply deep conditioner to each section of hair. Leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse.
Favorite deep conditioners:

4. Apply leave-in conditioner before roller setting. After my hair dries on the rollers, I flat iron the new growth only. I rarely apply direct heat to my ends (maybe 4 times a year, TOPS!).
Favorite leave-ins:

Daily Moisturizing/Sealing:

*Relaxing – Every three months
Linenage Shea Butter Relaxer (this is the only brand of relaxer that straightens my hair).

*Coloring – Every three months with Henna then Indigo powders. I do not use artificial dyes.
Favorite Brands:

  • Nupur
  • Karishma
  • Indigo from Ayurnatural Beauty
  • Jamila
  • Mumtaz

Aww, I miss having long hair.