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Archive for March, 2012

Honey, I Love

*Waving* Hello Sunflowers =)

Trying this again…

I am learning so much as I enter my last week of Blogging School. I promise I will be back to my regular posting schedule very soon!  In the meantime, check out some of the new things that honey, I love….

♥ GroupMe™ app  – attention all former BBM (Blackberry Messenger) users, this is the app for you! This chat app allows you to chat with your friends and family both individually and in groups. An added bonus? GroupMe works via push (in app) or SMS (text messaging) so that means even your friends without smartphones can join in on the chatting.  Whether we’re ranting about our morning commute, sharing a new recipe, coordinating an upcoming get together or commenting on our favorite TV, I am loving this app as a way to stay in closer contact with my various groups of friends. Download GroupMe™  in the Apple App Store or Android Market.

♥ Awake – this new television series is quickly becoming a new fav: After a car accident takes the life of a family member, a police detective lives two alternating parallel lives, one with his wife and one with his son. Is one of his “realities” merely a dream? Starring several primetime veterans such as Steve Harris, Cherry Jones and BD Wong and small screen newcomer Jason Isaacs this show is the perfect mix of drama, fantasy and suspense.  Check out the trailer below and catch Awake Thursdays on NBC.

♥ The Hunger Games –  I saw the movie on opening day in IMAX. Having only partially read the book, I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to get home, finish the first book and download the other two in the trilogy! Were there seemingly critical elements left out of the screenplay? Yes. Were there other liberties taken that were perhaps unnecessary? Yes. Did it take away from the overall awesomeness that is at the heart of this incredible story? Not.at.all. As both a book and film lover, I have just come to accept that translating a novel to the big screen will always involve some level of sacrifice. For The Hunger Games it was the depth of the back story and the characters’ relationships that were most obviously missing from the movie. A full combo book/movie review is coming soon.  For now, I definitely recommend that you go see The Hunger Games in theatres now.

 ♥ Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio – …”boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. ” Robert Glasper makes his presence, talent and disappointment in the current state of black radio, known on his fourth album. Glasper and his bandmates accompany some of today’s finest vocalists including Bilal, Erykah Badu and Chrisette Michelle on this 12-track musical gem.  One of my favorites however is Lalah Hathaway’s rendition of Sade’s Cherish the Day. This album is fiiyah!! See the video below for a sneak peek and visit http://robertglasper.com to buy the cd or digital download.

What new things do you love? Are you familiar with any of my loves? Leave your sunshine below.

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What to do? What to do? 5 Exciting Cherry Blossom Events!

Photo credit: Robert Pos via Flickr

Most are familiar with the annual celebration of the uniquely beautiful cherry blossoms, originally a gift from Japan to symbolize our two countries’ budding friendship and a favorite Springtime celebration for native Washingtonians and tourists alike. This year marks the Centennial celebration and although most known for the annual parade, there are several other Cherry Blossom-inspired events happening throughout the DMV. Check out my top 5 picks below:

#1

Cherry Blossom Festival Wine Tasting and Happy Hour Cruises

Patriot II, At the north side of the Channel Inn Hotel (700 Water Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024)

Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, March 23-April 27, 2012

DC Harbor Cruises is commemorating this 100th anniversary with both happy hour and wine-tasting cruises of Potomac Harbor aboard the Patriot II. These sunset sailings feature marvelous views of both the nation’s capital and the blossoms themselves from two interior and exterior decks. The 90-minute happy hour cruise offers a full cash bar and concessions area for winding down at the end of the day. The two-hour wine-tasting cruise includes eight different wine selections and an assortment of cheeses, along with music and live narration.

Goldstar has half-price tickets.

#2

Paddle Boating

1501 Main Avenue SW

March 15 thru Labor Day: Open daily (Weather Permitting) from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last boat rental at 5 p.m.)

Tidal Basin paddle boating is especially popular during the cherry blossom season. You may make advance reservations online and guarantee your boat rental during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Tidal Basin Paddle Boat Dock is located on the eastern shore, next to the concession stand. From the National Mall, walk west on Independence Avenue to 15th Street, turn left and head south along 15th Street toward the Jefferson Memorial. The boat dock is to the right. More info here: https://www.gsenroll.com/tidal/

#3

Cherry Picks

various locations

March 20 – April 27

Participating Restaurants in the National Cherry Blossom Festival for the unprecedented five-week Centennial Celebration, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC, feature delicious cherry and blossom inspired cuisine and cocktails. Here are just a few examples:

901 Restaurant and Bar
Goat Cheesecake with Sour Cherries

Founding Farmers DC
Cherry Chocolate Bread Pudding, $8 Made from scratch with our own bread, dark chocolate and aged cherries with a white vanilla cream. Sour Cherry Smash cocktail, $12 Founding Farmers Rye, fresh muddled fermented sour cherries and fresh lemon juice

OYA Restaurant and Lounge
Cherry Wine Sangria! OYA Restaurant will offer a festive Michigan cherry wine sangria made with Michigan cherry wine from the Traverse City, Michigan area. The Traverse City area is known for its cherry production and the National Cherry Festival. Price: $12 per glass.

Savor the tastes of spring from your favorite restaurant here: http://www.restaurantweekmetrodc.org/Cherrypicks/

#4

Family Days presented with the National Building Museum

National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW

Mar 24, 2012, 10 AM – 4:30 PM and Mar 25, 2012, 11 AM – 3:30 PM

An annual opening of Washington’s cherry blossom season expands to two days at this seventh annual family festival for “kids of all ages” featuring hands-on activities, interactive art demonstrations, and exciting indoor and outdoor performances that celebrate spring and explore Japanese arts and design. More info here: http://www.nbm.org/families-kids/festivals/national-cherry-blossom.html

#5

Japanese Children’s Film Screenings

The National Gallery of Art, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW, East Building Concourse, Auditorium

My Neighbor Totoro

March 31 at 10:30AM; April 7 at 10:30AM

(ages 6 and up) When Satsuke and her younger sister, Mei, move to a new home in the country to be near their mother, they discover the magical world of forest spirits.

Summer Wars

April 21, 28 at 11:30AM

(ages 12 and up) When Kenji, a high school student, is invited by his crush, Natsuki, to take a summer job in her hometown, he learns that he is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé.

The Thousand-Year Fire

April 22, 29 at 11:30AM

(ages 9 and up) Mourning the loss of his parents, 11-year-old Satoshi moves to a small seaside town where he decides to participate in Hiwatashi, a ritual swim in the open sea. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Programs are free of charge, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. More info here: http://www.nga.gov/kids/linkfilms.htm

Are you planning on participating in any Cherry Blossom events? Are you going to the Parade? Leave your sunshine below.

I Just Can’t Hide It

Happy Monday! In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been kind of sporadic with my posts.  There are mainly two reasons for this: 1) I’ve had some technical difficulties with posting – techie stuff which I think I’ve mostly worked out and 2) I’m in blog school.  Yes, you read correctly.  I am in the midst of taking Rosetta Thurman’s Blogging School course. Some of you may know her as Happy Black Woman but she is a woman of many talents 🙂

Although I was planning on waiting to share this with you all post-course, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it =) One week in and I have learned so much. I am looking forward to improving i.choose.the.sun. for you, my FAB readers.  These first few months (<—-can you believe it’s been almost 5 mos? yikes) of blogging have been so rewarding and it is my hope to continue to make this site everything that you and I both want.

As I navigate my way through the course, you may notice a few changes here and there as the coursework dictates.  Please feel free to send me your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Have a great week!

Have you ever taken a blogging course? Did you know that my half-year anniversary was so close? Leave your sunshine below.

What to do, what to do?

Happy Friday Sunflowers! Please bear with me as I am having some technical difficulties with posting. In the meantime check out what’s happening in the DMV this weekend and beyond.  Most importantly, don’t forget to Spring Forward 😉

Saturday, March 10th

WIZARD GIRLS DANCE CLINIC

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

YMCA, 1711 Rhode Island Ave. in Washington, DC  

Come to learn all the latest moves from the Wizard Girls. Campers also get a complimentary ticket to the game, t-shirt and more. Pricing: $75. More info here: http://www.nba.com/wizards/camps/ .

Film Screening of “Louder Than a Bomb

2:00-4:00pm

National Gallery of Art, 4th & Constitution Ave, NW East Building Concourse, Auditorium

Free and recommended for those 13 and up. Every year, more than 600 teenagers from over 60 Chicago area schools gather for the world’s largest youth poetry slam, a competition known as “Louder Than a Bomb.” This award-winning documentary chronicles the stereotype-confounding stories of four teams as they prepare for and compete in the 2008 event. A performance by the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team will precede the screening!

Next Generation: Selections by Artists from the 30 Americans Collection

11am – 6pm

Contemporary Wing pop-up gallery, 1250 Ninth St. NW

Contemporary Wing asked the artists of famed 30 Americans exhibit to provide one or two names of emerging and mid-career, contemporary American artists who, in their opinion, best represent the “next generation” of artists who have the potential to define the American landscape in the next decade.

Cheesemaking Class

3-5pm

Urbana, 2121 P Street, NW

For $40, learn how to make fresh mozzarella, haloumi and fromage blanc from chef John Critchley, Reserve a spot by emailing Lindsey Walker at lindsey.walker@urbanadc.comor calling 202-956-6650.

Urban Inspire Tour with Leon Timbo and Jean Baylor (formerly of Zhane)

9:30PM

Busboys and Poets, 5331 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD

Join us March 10th for an amazing acoustic soul music experience featuring Leon Timbo & Jean Baylor, with guest artists poet Charity and comedian Sean Sarvis. Hosted by Holla Walla. You do not want to miss it! Buy tickets here.

2012 New African Films Festival
March 8–13, various times

AFI, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD

AFI Silver is proud to host the 8th annual New African Films Festival, co-presented by AFI, TransAfrica and afrikafé. The vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent is on display in this year’s acclaimed selections.

ARTINI Feature Nights 2012

March 6th –29th, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
6:30–8:30 p.m

In anticipation of ARTINI, join the 1869 Society Steering Committee and ARTINI Host Committee for ARTINI Feature Nights. Mingle with fellow 1869 Society members and sip the night’s featured artini for a great cause! All of the participating venues host a happy hour and donate 20% of their bar sales to support Corcoran ArtReach.

This week:

Tuesday, March 13, Founding Farmers, 1924 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Wednesday, March 14, Art and Soul, 415 New Jersey Avenue NW

Thursday, March 15, The Gibson, 2009 Fourteenth Street NW

What are you doing this weekend? Have you seen any signs of Spring? Leave your sunshine below.

What to do, what to do?

Happy Friday! Here’s what’s happening this weekend and beyond…

Friday, March 2nd  

Intersections Festival

various dates and times

Atlas Performing Arts Center,  1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC

Free performances will take place in the Kogod Lobby as part of the free Cafe Concert Series. Find a list of free concerts taking place as part of the festival, which runs through Sunday, March 11th, listed alphabetically by performer here. You can also view a pdf with the complete schedule of events, listed by date.

Chocolate Happy Hour with Fresco Chocolate
5:30pm – 7:30pm

Cocova – Capital Chocolate, LLC, 1904 18th St, NW, Studio B Art Gallery and Tasting Room

Free

Come and experience the wonderful craft of Fresco Chocolate and meet Rob Anderson in person. Rob’s skill and craftmanship makes him the only chocolate maker we carry to label his products with roast intensity and conching length. Each of those factors directly contribute to the final flavor of a chocolate. Rob takes a batch of beans and slightly alters those two factors to create very individualistic chocolate bars. Come and experience them with us and see why we enjoy his chocolate so much.

Passing Strange

Howard University, Ira Aldridge Theater

Wednesday-Saturday through March 10, 2012

Hat tip: http://substanceandstyledc.wordpress.com/

Written by Stew and Heidi, Passing Strange is a funky and fun semi-autobiographical musical about a young Black man who grows up in suburban Los Angeles in the 1970’s who flees all that he has been taught in hopes that he’ll truly learn about himself and relearn about the world around him. Thoughtful dialogue and roaring and passionate songs move the audience with him through the show and his journey that takes him throughout Europe before he realizes where home is and how to define him.

This production of Passing Strange is the first by a college or university. The show is directed by Eric Ruffin, with musical direction by Darius Smith and choreography by Princess Mhoon Cooper. Discount tickets are available for seniors and Howard alumni.

Sunday, March 4th

Hercules in Russia

2:00pm

Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

This performance features the journey of an Alabama slave to Imperial Russian Guard is based on a true story. Pricing: General Admission: $20/ Students and seniors with ID: $10/Montgomery County Students, Faculty and Staff: $5. More info here.

Lecture and Book Signing: Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum
2:00pm

American Art Museum. National Gallery of Art, East Building, Auditorium

Lecture with Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor of art history and African American studies, University of California, Irvine, followed by a book signing of Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum follows.

Film Screening: Dangerous Liaisons
2:00pm – 4:00pm

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The NMWA launches a five-part French-inspired film series with Dangerous Liaisons (1988, 119 min.).

Tuesday, March 6th

Discussion on Women and Children at Risk
6:30pm – 8:00pm

The George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium inside the MPA building, 805 21st St, NW
Free, RSVP required

How can journalists, writers, academics and public interest groups best shed light on issues facing women and children around the world while remaining sensitive to individuals’ needs and concerns? Find out at an event co-sponsored by The School of Media and Public Affairs and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in honor of International Women’s Day. Filmmaker Habiba Nosheen, author Kem Knapp Sawyer and Victoria Dunning of The Global Fund for Children will share their insights.

What are your plans for the weekend? Leave your sunshine below.

Courvoisier Soirée

A few weeks ago I held a Ladies’ Night gathering at my place co-sponsored by Courvoisier via House Party. House Party is a website that provides consumers access to exclusive products via the opportunity to preview the products by hosting a party in your home. The purpose of this particular House Party was to spread the word about Courvoisier’s Rosé Liqueur.

We ate, drank and had tons of laughs…

I’m not a big cognac drinker but Courvoisier Rosé is a great smooth and fruity alternative for us ladies that is delicious solo or mixed in a cocktail. Oh and Pink Slipper (the night’s signature drink of Courvoisier Rosé mixed with Prosecco) = swoon 😉  I would be remiss to not send a special shout out to my good friend and party planner extraordinaire, she totally ROCKS!

I love my girls and am looking forward to our next get together!

If you are interested in hosting similar product-driven house parties, be sure to sign up over at House Party.

Are you a member of House Party? Do you drink Courvoisier? Have you ever had cheesecake-stuffed strawberries? Leave your sunshine below.

Random Sunshine

Hey Sunflowers! I’m baaaaaack! I had a blast visiting my sis, BIL and nephew in SanFran 😉 I can’t wait to share my trip with you.  Just stopping through to say hi and let you know to expect several posts over the next few days. My plan is to catch you up on happenings prior to my trip first and then fill you in on the Cali trip next week.

Til then, bask in this musical sunshine…..

What sunshine do you have to share? Leave your sunshine below.