Quiting the Band,Fake Housewives of Atlanta, High School Hill, and Drama Heights

I wish that it was some type of way to show the world the amount of success the African American race has accomplished. I wish they could see that there are so many real life Huxtable families. Watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta was so painful. It was a direct reflection of the stereotype of black people with money. All of the wives were married to athletes or entertainers. Come on Atlanta I am sure you could have found some black doctors, lawyers, or business owners.

The problem is that only the athletes and entertainer families would probably agree to be on television. Others understand the amount of embarrassment these shows could bring to our community, because networks love to spin the negativity and drama in every story.

If only someone could create a show that would not look to pull out the drama and negativity. I know that the majority of the world is overly entertained by drama, but I am confident that there are other interesting things out there.

I'm thinking Making the Band without showing the groups breaking up.

I'm thinking Real Housewives of Atlanta and showing the rich history of our community. I think people would be amazed to see how well off some of our people really are. I think it would be interesting to see how organizations like the Links and Jack and Jill operate. Also maybe showing how we celebrate our family reunions and bbq's. Really giving insight into a part of the black community that they do not see. If we were interested in the Cosby's....then we will be interested in this.

I'm thinking College Hill and maybe instead of showing who is F'ing who, possibly showing black step shows, probates, homecomings, diversity on the campus...

I'm thinking Harlem Heights and showing more of their grind then their gossip.

Don't get me wrong, some of these shows do have some positive areas on them. They highlight some great things about black people. But I still think there is more drama and negative stereotypes than not.

I applaud the people and the networks that attempted to create reality shows that capture our culture. But I just ask that you expand your creativity so that you are not stuck only showing drama because you think it will sell. Brilliant ideas are what sell. It's all in your angle and how you market it. (remember someone had to discover that the world liked drama, reality TV, stand up comedy, cartoons, etc..set the next standard)

Keep UP!


What Black Folks do in the Summertime!

Its spring time and the hot weather is starting to sneak its head around the corner. What does the hot season mean for black folks?

1. BBQ's: Now you know that black folk love to bbq when the sun comes out. First day of spring we bbq. First day it gets hot we bbq. It's Saturday and we bbq. We love to all get together and light up the grills. We get the lovely taste of hamburgers, hot dogs, bbq ribs, mac & cheese, Cole slaw, watermelon (yes I said it), bbq chicken, Kool-aid, and lemonade. Alright maybe the drinks are spiked with a little something something. ;) It is the time where the kids will play, card games start up, and Sh** talking begins. Music and laughter can be heard from miles away. It is definitely bbq season.

2. Double Dutch: When the heat comes out so do the little girls. But they aren't outside empty handed. They have two ropes in their hand, and songs for days in their heads. They are turning them in an eggbeater fashion, and third person is jumping within the two ropes. The little girls are singing cute little rhyming songs, as the third person jumps to the beat. It is definitely double dutch season.

3. Basketball camps: It is time for the boys to start getting ready for basketball camp. Nike, Adidas, and Reebok host summer basketball camps for the elite high school basketball players in the country. If you aren't invited to attend these basketball camps, you can also attend other private camps led by coaches at different universities. While at these camps they get to practice their skills, meet NBA players, and get exclusive athletic gear. Yeah its definitely basketball camp season.

4. Ice Cream Trucks: I can hear the sound of the truck coming down the street now. When the familiar tune of the ice cream truck could be heard, kids would run with a dollar in hand towards the street anticipating what they were going to buy. They're always such a large selection of ice cream sandwiches, rocket pops, Mr. Softees, Fudgsicles, Ice cream bars, sundae cones, snow cones, choco tacos, strawberry shortcakes, and giant Neapolitan sandwich's, just to name a few. Yup its definitely Ice Cream Truck season.

5. Dodge ball, tag, football, and basketball in the neighborhood: It is a great time for kids to play with the other kids in their neighborhoods. You can find kids riding bikes down the block. You constantly see a basketball rolling into the street, and the local field is full of little boys tackling each other. The energy is on high! There is no doubt that it is definitely game season for kids.

6. Miami: You know black folk favorite vacation spot is Miami. Once memorial day hits...south beach here we come. You mix black people, wet willies, swimming wear, walking the strip, fancy bikes, and the clubs, you get the vacation of their lives. You guessed it...its definitely Miami season.

7. Porch sitting: We love to just sit out on the porch as if it is some extravagant chill spot. But for us it means chatting with old friends, sipping on drinks, watching our neighbors act a fool, and listening to the new songs of the summer. Why not...it is definitely porch sitting season.

8. Pool Parties: For some of us this means a bbq by the pool...which means just a little more crakin!!! And for some it means turning on the sprinklers in your own yard and running through it back and forth. Don't start to act brand new...you know you have done this before. You got it...it is definitely Pool parties/sprinklers season.

The spring/summer is a great time for people to really enjoy themselves. I can't wait to see what the hot season brings this year. You know I will keep you posted on the cool places that the Socialite hits this year.

Below let us know your favorite thing to do in the summer. Also put some old time favorites down from your childhood.


Young and Keeping Up- Some Sites that have Journeyed out of Your Normal Celebrity Gossip.

Recently Keeping up with the Huxtables celebrated its one year anniversary. The past year has been a wonderful and successful year, much thanks to the love and support of you all. We wanted to do the same, as many of you all have for us, and support other blogs and sites that have journeyed out of the normal celebrity gossip. Sites that have decided to actually talk about something worth mentioning. We know the hard work that goes into starting something that your passionate about, and wanted to take the time wish others the best and much success. Keeping up would like to thank Glamournerd.com and flaglerhill.com for doing their part by Keeping Up.

Flaglerhill.com the new destination for mature dialogue about Love & Relationships..............................

Misconceptions and frustrations while trying to understand love and relationships may never be easy, but its great to find a place to share your thoughts while hearing others as well. While black love is beautiful it also can get ugly. Flaglerhill opens all of the doors to topics, questions and concerns we all have had on the crazy world of love and relationships. Flaglerhill is a social media website centered on African American love and relationships. Their goal is to provide the African American community with an entertaining and educational avenue to communicate and interact with others to express thoughts, open and honestly, about theories, expectations, misconceptions, and desires on black relationships. Check out Flaglerhill become a member, express and discuss.

Its the revenge of the nerds ....................

And they are coming back with a vengeance. Expect for this nerds aren't geeky their actually quite chic. Trading their bandage eye glasses for the hottest Dolce Gabana shades, overalls for jumpers and ropers, ditching the text books for Vogue and W magazines all while keeping the environment clean by going green. Yes their the new generation nerds............... glamour nerds that is. Glamournerd.com focuses on what every GlamourGirl wants and needs. From fashion to the latest gadgets, you can find it all at GlamourNerd.com. Created by Christa Epiphany Gabrielle, the site is the only place where a glamour girls nose would be caught in.

Who said being a nerd isn't cool. Check out: Glamournerd.com and ChristaEpiphanyGabrielle.com

-T. Toli


Industry Crowd or Young Black Professionals? Can you Keep Up?

Living in NY is like living in two different extreme worlds at the same time. I am speaking in terms of young black people and the crowds that we hang out with. There is the industry crowd, which includes athletes, celebrities, models, starving artist, and groupies. Then there is the young black professional crowd, which includes corporate America.

As a young black woman trying to meet people and network, these two extremes provide a variety of people that I could possibly meet. Here is the issue, both of these extremes could get very annoying at times. I'm thinking it has to be NY! Someone has to provide a guide on how to interact with these two different crowds fast.

You walk into an industry party and its like walking into fashion week. You're wondering if you missed the memo that fashion week is now an every week thing. The party becomes like a stage, and I am sitting there watching everyone put on a show. Everyone is pretending to be more important than they really are.

Then try having a conversation and figuring out what these people actually do. Did you say you are in fashion? Why because you dress yourself in the morning? And I guess being a groupie is a profession these days. Get the heck out of here.

The great thing about this crowd is that all of their pretending gets you free bottle service on someones tab that probably cannot really afford it. But that's cool, because I cannot really afford it either, and free is right in my budget. So yes sir you can buy me a drink.

The thing I do love about this crowd is that they do know how to party. There is always an after party for these folks. Well gooooo innnn then! They also all have deep passions and I love how they know how to express them.

Okay so now lets move on to the young black professionals. Now talk about a crowd knowing what they do for a living. These people wear their resumes on their sleeves. No literally! I feel like they are going to pull it out of their wallets at any minute. The conversations are always about what school you went to, where you work, what fraternity were you in, and were you in Jack and Jill? Okay really? I was just trying to reach across you to pick up my drink, that was not an invitation for you to start interviewing me.

And then this crowd is very uptight and walk around sipping on drinks. I am really trying to take shots right now; no time for sipping (lol) But really I do not have alot of time, because this crowd goes home at midnight. They have to go to work in the morning.

The great thing about this crowd is that you are amongst a group of people that will inspire you to want to achieve more. They also have a little bit of money, so you know when you leave with one of their numbers, you will have a great date on them!

Although, this does not describe every person that hangs out in these crowds, these are basically the two crowds that young black people hang out in. So how do you make the best of it and truly meet some quality people in either settings?

Industry Crowd:

1. Make sure that you read all of the gossip blogs before you hang out with them. They know what is going on with every celebrity in the world.

2. Make sure that you check out the latest trends so that you bring your A game when it comes to your clothes.

3. Guys if she is asking you to buy her a drink and you didn't even say hi yet, she is a groupie and will not make for a quality girl.

4. Girls if he says that he cannot tell you what he does, it means that he doesn't have a legal job.

5. Prepare to stay out all night...I always bring some flats with me that I hide in my purse. At 5am your feet will be hurting by then.

6. Guys you do not have to buy a bottle if you cannot afford it. Buying her one drink is fine. Bottles impress groupies not good girls. Good girls will drink from the bottles, but will not be impressed...just pleased to have so many free drinks. ;)

7. If you really want to know who probably has a job, look for the only guy signing for the bill at the end of the night. The rest of his homies will be busy trying to figure out which girl he is taking home tonight. Really? You just got that girl drunk off of your homies dime.

Young Black Professionals:

1. Make sure that you read up on your current events before you attend one of these events.

2. Make sure to have your business cards with you at all times.

3. Ladies prepare to have to buy at least one of your drinks. These guys do not just pop bottles right away.

4. Upgrade your phone to a blackberry!

5. The cool guys are the ones that will not sound like they are interviewing you.

6. Go to these events on the nights that you have to go to an early meeting! Your going home early tonight...

Some of this is really silly, but real! Every young person wants to know how to meet people in any setting. Our social lives are important and many times can lead to great professional connections. We also are looking for people to date and do not want to be locked into only one crowd. We must learn how to be able to interact with all types of people. It isn't any fun if you cannot explore the options of a crowd that you are not as familiar with.

Below leave any suggestions on how to interact with the two different crowds for the rest of the readers.

-The Socialite


Happy Birthday Culinary Goddess- An Ingredient Everyone Needs to Keep Up in the Kitchen

Keeping Up Family we have a special celebration today! It is the Culinary Goddess's (Brittany Miller) birthday. This is a special day for all of us. We have been so blessed to have her contribute to the blog, but if you know her personally, you have been blessed to have her in your life.

If I know the Culinary Goddess on her own birthday she is probably somewhere cooking up a feast. I hope that she is taking time out to enjoy the extra year that God has given her. And Keeping Up Fam I hope you take time out to wish her a happy birthday!

The special thing about this Goddess is that she lives such a selfless life. On a moment that is suppose to be hers, she would give it to anyone in a heartbeat. She always wants to make sure you are happy before she worries about herself.

So for this celebration lets make the Goddess happy by going back to the basics, and making sure that our Kitchen's are ready to make any of the recipes that the Goddess gives us.

Below is a list of things that every person should have in their kitchen if they are ready to start cooking!!! Come on would you really be Keeping Up if you were black and couldn't throw down in the kitchen?

Asian Seasonings: soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce

Baking Needs: double-acting baking powder, baking soda, extracts (vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.), flour (all-purpose, cake and self-rising)

Beans and Legumes: any type of canned and dried varieties that you like

Broth and Stocks: chicken, vegetable, and/or beef

Butter: salted and unsalted

Caribbean Seasonings: jerk seasoning, curry powder, browning, coconut milk

Chesses: Parmigiano-Reggiano (shredded, cubed, or wedge), and any other varieties you like

Condiments: mayonnaise, prepared mustard (Dijon and yellow), salsa, ketchup, hot pepper sauce, honey

Eggs: large, farm-fresh

Fruit: lemons, limes, and/or oranges

Garlic: whole, and chopped in olive oil

Grains: ground cornmeal, rice (brown, basmati, long-grain, etc.), oatmeal

Herbs(Dried): oregano, thyme, rosemary, Italian seasoning blend

Herbs (Fresh): basil, Italian flat-leaf parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary

Milk: condensed, evaporated, whole (or low/ no fat)

Nuts: walnuts, pecans, and/or almonds

Oil: extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil

Onions: red and yellow onions, shallots, scallions

Pasta: long (fettuccine, spaghetti, etc.) and short (rotini, macoroni, penne, etc.)

Potatoes: red bliss, russet, and/or Yukon

Seafood (Canned): tuna and salmon

Spices: cinnamon, chili powder, bay leaves, nutmeg, salt (kosher, iodized, seasoned), pepper (whole black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne), seasoning blends (seafood and/or steak seasoning)

Sugars: brown, granulated refined, confectioners'

Tomatoes (canned): whole, crushed, paste

Vinegars: balsamic, red wine, white

(ingredients courtesy of Shakara Bridgers, Jeniece Isley, and Joan Davis of A Sassy Girl's Cookbook)


Power Down or Overheat...

I was just watching an episode of Law and Order and a few thoughts came to mind. First let me tell you what the episode was about. A young girl ends up dead. She was a fourteen year old who was considered a genius, and went to a special school for the gifted and talented. She spent all of her life being tortured by her father to reach a superior intellect.

Her superior intellect got her enrolled in a school that would "challenge her mind" to reach an even stronger intellect than she already had. Even with all of the pressure, it did not add up to how this gifted child could end up dead. Of course they believed it was the father that had been torturing her since she was a baby. Turns out that he was sitting at a blackjack table for two days straight. He was off the hook.

After careful detective work they were lead to her roommate. Her roommate happened to be jealous of her, because she always came second, amd wanted to be number one. For the four years they were in school, she studied extra hard to try and beat her. I guess the pressure got to her, because she ended up being the one that killed the girl.

As the roommate was about to be tried as an adult, some interesting facts came to surface. She had been poppin pills that were keeping her up for about 6 days in a row. According to the Doctor, not sleeping for that many days can cause you to basically be out of your mind. They concluded that her lack of sleep made her snap. She was sent to juvenile for 7 years.

The crazy thing is that this is a reality to many students. Hundreds of students have found pills and other methods to keep them up so that they are able to learn all they need to know for their exams.

Although that story is kind of extreme, there is a reality in America, the reality of competing to succeed. Most Americans spend their time working to get to the top. They wake up in the morning and skip breakfast because they are running late for work.

They will work long hours to compete for larger salaries. They spend all of their brain power coming up with ways to beat the system. They eat out more than any other culture, because they are always on the go. The Ivy leagues, corporate positions, fancy cars, and summer homes, is what drives Americans.

Once an American gets to the top, it is tons of more pressure to stay there. I always wondered why some celebrities overdose on drugs? Its the pressureeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

The crazy thing is the pressure to live the "American Dream" will probably never end. But there are some things that we can do to keep ourselves from going overboard.

We must do what I like to call...Power Down.

When your laptop begins to get to hot, sometimes it just means that it needs to power down.

So when you begin to get hot, its only right that you take some time to power down.

On a daily basis we are overwhelmed with the pressures of the world. Sometimes we must take time to do nothing.

1. After a long day at work: get a glass of wine and just lay in bed.

2. Go to a park and just sit there.

3. Light a candle, turn off the lights, and just lay there.

You get the point! Through all of the pressure of reaching the top, you must take time and allow yourself to power down. You will be surprised how much energy you have after that down time. You will also discover that you have cleared your mind and will be able to take in more afterwards.

Power down...Keep up!

What are some ways that you power down? Share with the rest of us so that we can learn how to step away from reality for a moment.


Bring em out...Bring em owt...

It is spring season, which also means it is Greek season! If you went to a Historically Black College University then you are aware of the excitement around the "Probate" shows. Well if it wasn't excitement at your school it is a sight to see at Howard. It is the time where everyone skips class to wait patiently to see the spring lines of the Sororities and Fraternities.

It is an amazing experience to see these young men and women show the world that they are ready to be of service to their community. But they can't just say it, they must celebrate and reveal all that they have learned.

I took a trip back to Howard University to see my little sisters "come out". I was overjoyed at the amazing job that they did and left eager to come back to see the legacy that they leave at Howard and in their community.

With a race that finds it hard to come together at times, it is always great to be around groups of people that have come together with a common purpose. It is also lovely to hear them sing, dance, and step, taking us back to the times where our ancestors celebrated through these very styles.

It is more than a moment...it is a legacy! May it live on through Spring 09.

Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha 2009 "63 P.R.O.D.I.G.Y"

Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha

Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha

Alpha Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha

2009 Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Chapter



Delta Sigma Theta
2009 Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Chapter "Indelible 38"

Delta Sigma Theta

Delta Sigma Theta

2009 Kappa Alpha Psi, Xi Chapter




One Year Anniversary for www.imkeepingup.com

Like Mother...Like Daughter (Its hard to understand)

This week marks the Anniversary for Keeping Up with the Huxtables...I'm Keeping Up!

It has been a year since I decided that I would start this blog. What started off as simply therapy for the passing of my mother, has become an outlet to share what I learn to all that are willing to read. Everyday I write I am thinking..."inspiring and motivating one post at a time".

The idea behind this blog was originally to highlight things going on in the African American community that is not often covered. I wanted to shine a light on areas that people might not be aware of.

Today it serves as just that, but also focuses on tips that can lead us all to living healthier and more focused lives....how to Keep Up!

As African Americans sometimes we tend not to see how magnificent our lives really can be. We are fed images of ourselves that are not always positive, and we are constantly told that we just won't make it.

When I think about an equation to success I think about motivation, positivity, life examples, direction, and determination. But there is one thing that I realize that is missing from the life equation when it comes to our race...we are missing identity. We don't have a great sense of self. We don't understand where we we have come from...so we can't see where we are going.

We do not understand how great we really are. We are confused about who we should be and what we should look like. We are against our own kind, and can't figure out why we cannot come together. We lack the pride and confidence that will lead us to living the successful lives we want to live.

Everyday I am working on a better me and would like to share what I learn with all of you. The best part about this blog is that I get so much feedback from how you all are making better yous!!!

Together I hope that we can bring our community together...one post at a time!

Special thanks to Taylor Cook, Shyah Dickerson and Patricia Roberts. You were the ones that pushed me to carry out my vision.

To Khaliah Jackson, Isys Caffey, Shauntel Brown, and Garnet Cornerway for being the first ones to become faithful readers!

To Thomas (Sartorially Savvy), Brittany(Culinary Goddess), Tiffany (T Toli) for contributing such beautiful writing to the blog. Your recipes, fashion tips, and Interviews help contribute to the amazing lifestyle that we could all be living! But you have been much more than writers, you have been some of my strongest supporters.

To The Cool Kids, without you there would be no me...and that's real.

The Black Weblog Awards and everyone that voted for me to get the 2008 Best New Blog Award!

To Raw Dawg Buffalo, The Ant and Mike Show, Conjured Perceptions from being there in the beginning and the end. (And My Theologies for being the first one to comment on all of my post)

To all of the bloggers that I have come across...you guys are truly amazing. Never stop what you are doing!

To Shyah, Victoria, and Flynne for helping me try and take the blog in a new direction...

To all of my friends and family that have helped spread the word, critiqued, and contributed...I really thank you!

Most importantly I would like to thank my mother for being the driving force behind everything that I have ever done in life. Everyday that I post it is because of you that I have the courage to do so. I hope that you are looking down on me and can honestly say that you are proud. Until we meet again...



Friday's Top Ways to Keep Up: Denzel Washington signs a check over...

(An old story that never really got covered....but needed for motivation)

Denzel Washington and his family took a trip to visit the troops at Brook Army Medical Center , in San Antonio, Texas. This is where soldiers who have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the United States, especially burn victims.

There is also buildings called the Fisher Houses, where soldiers families can stay for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his checkbook out and wrote a check for the full amount right there on the spot.

Denzel that was amazing! Thanks for helping us Keep Up by showing us the power of giving from the heart. I wish that the news would see fit to cover great stories like this and not ridiculous celebrity stories about people dancing on top of tables.

This Friday we should all think about the last time we did a selfless act without even thinking about it first.

Sometimes things need immediate action and we don't have time to think about how it will affect us in the long run.

Keep Up!


Did he just call me the N word?

Keeping Up Family below is an email that I received yesterday from shall I say a fan! He wanted to give me some feedback on my site I guess. The crazy thing is that he said some things that I know have been said before to millions of black people throughout our history, but never in a million years did I ever think someone would actually say this word to me. Check it out below:

"Scott Lewis" Execvicepres@comcast.net


Subject: ASSHOLE

I see your hateful anti white blog.. know what nigbama supporter????? I can have pride too.. Im white and not on welfare, I don't have sixty kids by 12 hobags.. and I have an edjumacation that I didn't get from the libarry....

face it... it's not wheter you are african american or black.. call a spade a spade.. you re a racist, hateful nigger!

I was never racist my entire life till this fuckin crook Obama got in.. how stupid are you anyways for electing and supporting a common criminal.

Suck my balls nigger girl!

All my love and wished that you fail!

Ok let me take all of this in:

1. What part of my blog shows that I hate white people? My blog is about inspiring people.

2. Did he just say that he wasn't racist until Obama got in office? Sorry sir you probably were racist all along. How can one man turn you into such a hateful person?

3. Did he tell me to suck his balls and call me a nigger? I have never been called a nigger a day in my life. I read about it, I know about it, and I heard about it....but never has someone called me one. It's not a great feeling and I now see why it hurts some people to even hear the word nigga.

4. Did he just say that he wishes that I would fail? What did I ever do to him?

It is 2009 and for a moment I felt like I was back on a plantation. My heart is heavy from this one guys. Fam I need to hear from you.


Guess Who is Young and Keeping Up...The next Givenchy?!?

(Check out bio, interview, and pictures below...don't miss any of it!)
r a i s a. collection from this weekend's fashion show

Dionna in her own r a i s a. jumper design

r a i s a. jumper on dress fom

r a i s a. jumper sketch

Located in FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) Los Angeles, California.

Greetings Gentle Readers, Sartorially Savvy here, now we know, you haven’t heard from us in a while, but, we’ve been a tad busy heeding to the demands of some egomaniacal professors, but we’re glad to know, according to The Socialite, we’re right on trend being in school! But that’s neither here nor there. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing an up and coming designer! Below you’ll find a little info on her, a little interview with her, and some of her wonderful designs! We look forward to seeing what the future brings for Raisa!
The grand-daughter of an interior designer and the daughter of a talented artist, it was no coincidence that Dionna Raisa Smoot had a naturally creative mind. Born in SE Washington, DC on June 30, 1988, in a time where many people fell victim to the hip-hop movement and black fashion, Dionna’s mother was no exception. Raisa recalls being dressed in the various fashion trends growing up. And as soon as she was even able to pick up a pencil, she began to draw and sketch girls with clothes she had thought of herself.

In the eighth grade Raisa moved to Greenbelt, MD where she attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School and graduated in June 2006. When it came to college, Raisa chose Morgan State University to study Public Relations and to cheer. But, none of that was in Raisa’s future and she knew that. She withdrew a month after classes began and applied to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California. She was accepted and began classes in January 2007. It was here that Raisa was taken out of her element to broaden herself creatively as well as a person.

Coming from a predominately black area and influence and moving to the exact opposite in Los Angeles was a challenge for her but proved to be beneficial. She learned how to interact with others outside of what she was used to which is mandatory in the fashion world. She also was able to fine tune her talents at FIDM in a way that she would never have been able to at Morgan. She learned to sew and how to perfect her sketches.

After a few hardships in LA and wit h FIDM, Raisa decided that it would be best to return to the DMV area to figure out her next move. Raisa initially wanted to attend The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, NY. But, she did not know how to sew at the time that she graduated from High School and was afraid this deficiency would keep her from gaining admission in to the prestigious school. But, after attending FIDM there wasn’t anything Raisa was incapable of doing, including sewing. So, she decided to complete the extensive application and apply. The application took 2 weeks to complete and she applied in late January. She is currently waiting to hear back from the institution.

Regardless of the results, Raisa has already begun her career by designing for her friends, family, and herself. She has no plan to stop designing and will continue to do what makes her and her clients happy. She hopes to one day see success along the lines of Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and the like. When asked about the lack of ethnic designers in high fashion her response is simply that it doesn’t mean it is impossible for her to reach her goals. It just means that the opportunity to become the first major black female designer in high fashion is still open. And she is determined to do just that.

Sartorially Savvy: Fashion seems to have always been a passion of yours. What is your favorite thing about fashion?

Raisa: My favorite thing about fashion is, how once a fad is started, everyone in the fashion world will follow, but put their individual twist to it. I love fashion. But I'm a huge fan of personal style. For example the Indian head band fad that everyone has been through (or everyone is still going through). I've seen it worn so many different ways. Dressed up, dressed down. It's totally up to their style and I love it.

Sartorially Savvy: Do you have a particular era or aesthetic that you favor or draw inspiration from?

Raisa: I do not have a particular era or aesthetic that I draw inspiration from. I honestly, in my opinion make timeless RTW (ready to wear) pieces. I think it's important as a designer to create garments that your target market can wear for years to come.

Sartorially Savvy: Do you have a favorite designer or label? If so, who and why?

Raisa: I love this question because I can never put down one. I love different designers for different reasons. But if I honestly had to choose one, I would have to say Givenchy. I love Givenchy because of the timeless pieces he created and continues to create. As I previously stated I think that's important when creating garments.

Sartorially Savvy: What is your own personal style? How would you define it?

Raisa: My own personal style?? Hmmm I think that it depends on how I'm feeling. One day you'll see me in some vintage boots, printed tights, shorts a T-shirt, a vintage purse I paid 2 dollars for, and a cardigan. The next day you'll catch me with some 5 inch heels on, skinny jeans a button up with a blazer or leather jacket, and my grandmas black Gucci bag. So yes it all depends on my mood.

Sartorially Savvy: What's your one must have in your wardrobe?

: My one must have in my wardrobe??? I would have to say my black bomber leather jacket. I LOVE my leather jacket because it’s so versatile; it goes with everything: Dresses, jeans, shorts, skirts, T-shirts etc. I honestly would be "stylishly" lost without it. Lol.

Raisa is truly “Keeping Up…” Until next time gentle readers!

Stylishly Yours,
Sartorially Savvy
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal.” ~ Yves Saint Laurent


Recipe of the Month May: Chicken Fajita Fiesta!

For most of us May is the month where Spring really kicks into high gear. The April showers have disappeared and the May flowers have come to life full throttle! The sun is shining bright and what better way to enjoy the day than a nice salad!

Chicken Fajita Fiesta
½ lb chicken tender strips
1 stalk Romaine Lettuce (shredded)
1 Avocado (diced)
½ of a Red, Yellow, & Orange Bell Pepper (diced)
Authentic Mexican Cheese Blend (shredded)
1 tablespoon Green Onion (chopped)
¼ Cup Spicy Ranch Dressing
½ Cup Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips (crumbled)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Fajita Seasoning

Season your chicken strips with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder & fajita seasoning. In a sauté pan melt your butter and place the chopped bell peppers in side. Sauté the peppers for about 3 minutes than add the chicken strips and cook thoroughly. Remove the chicken strips and cut them into chunks. Allow the peppers to brown and create a crust. In a large mixing bowl add the lettuce, chicken, peppers, avocado, cheese, onion, and dressing. Give the salad a light toss to make sure the entire thing is coated. Season with salt & pepper to taste and then place the salad in your bowl. Top with a few sprinkles of the Tortilla Chips and voila!!!! A fiesta in your mouth!

Spice it Up
From My Kitchen to Yours
The Culinary Goddess


Young and Keeping Up- Mike Brown

Guess who is Keeping Up?

Mike Brown, in emerging film and music video director. Check out the latest work from this Howard University graduate.

Mike congrats for making the list of Young and Keeping Up!

JADE promo from Mike Brown on Vimeo.

Let Mike know what you think below...


Friday's Top Five Ways to Keep up...Advertising Anyone?

So, you say you want to work in advertising...

Many people see the advertising industry as funny commercials, cool office space and plenty of drinking during work hours. While much of this is true, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to “keep up” in the world of advertising.

· Sometimes it’s not about what you are capable of doing; it’s about what needs to be done. Starting off in advertising, you usually don’t get to pick all of the cool assignments or go to all of the Client meetings. You’ll likely find yourself working on competitive analysis and managing the client’s budgets and billing. You’ve got to crawl before you walk. Always find ways to make contributions that will help your team. Don’t get so caught up in your capabilities that you overlook what your team truly needs from you.

· Be prepared to work hard and work often. Although advertising agencies tend to have relaxed atmospheres and jean and sneakers are totally acceptable as workplace attire, don’t be fooled. We still work hard and often to deliver the best work for our Clients. We’re no strangers to all-nighters; similar to studying for final presentations in the college days. Don’t be alarmed – sometimes there’s a bottle of wine to keep you company.

· To truly excel in advertising, you have to get out and experience life, music, culture and people. Great advertising is about being able to connect with people in relevant ways. So you have to know your audience: their likes and dislikes and what keeps them motivated.

· Stay on top of new innovations in the digital and social networking space–this is the future.

·If you’ve never had an internship at an advertising agency, GET ONE! This is the best way to test drive agency life.

(This weeks tips are from Atalie Short, McCann Erickson)


You Must Know your Past to Truly "Keep Up" In the Future...

They say you have to know your past to truly understand your future. Come on how are we going to "Keep Up" if we don't know where we came from?

So then lets start from the beginning.

Facts for the week:
1. Africans transported to the America's through the slave trade generally hailed from Western and Central Africa, an area that includes present-day Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Angola, and the Congo. (so this is where most of us Black folk come from)

2. So who came to Africa first? It was Portugal who came searching for material wealth....I guess they found something else instead. Portugal served as the primary supplier of Africans. (England entered the slave trade late but excelled quickly)

3. The first slaves to arrive in Jamestown in 1619 held a status similar to indentured servants.

Stay tuned for more history facts to help us "Keep Up"


5 Reasons you should go back to school during a Recession

There is no covering the fact that the job market sucks. It is becoming extremely competitive to keep your job. And looking for a job that you have passion for...well you might have to just take what you can get.

But what can you do during these hard times?


Edugree list 5 reasons that you should go back to school during a recession:

1. A Recession is Temporary, an Education is Permanent.

Recessions typically last two to three years (in this case maybe more). That is the perfect amount of time to go back and get your degree. An education is permanent and will carry you throughout your life, both financially and intellectually. And with the market becoming so competitive you want to make sure that you stand out from the rest.

2. There's No Better Time to Build a Better Future for Yourself.

3. Find yourself with a career change. During your reflection you might find that your previous job was not fulfilling. Take time to think about what you really want to do and then go to school for it!

With any decisions that you make during this recession, just make sure that it matches your future goals. Don't just go to school to go to school. Make sure it makes sense for you.

-Keep Up!


Keeping Up Daily: Positive Black News Stories

Jeff and Marcus Jordan

Michael Jordan's son win's state championship!

Marcus Jordon scored a game-high 19 points to lead Chicago Whitney Young to a 69-66 victory over Waukegan in the Illinois Class 4A championship Saturday.

Another son, Jeff Jordan, plays basketball for the University of Illinois.

Will the baby Jordan's live up to their father's legacy? How far will they go?

Star Jones launches a blog called Positively Star!

Jones will likely voice her opinion on hot topics, current events and things that inspire and motivate her.

Are you interested in hearing Star's opinion on what is going on in our world?

Ways to Keep Up:

1. Build a legacy that you can pass on to your children.
2. Start a blog or write in a journal. It is important to express yourself and your thoughts.


Living Spree...Johnny Utahs, Madison Square Garden, and The Grace Hotel

The Socialite has been on the move! I am on what I would like to call a Living Spree...

This pass weekend was work as usual, but on Monday I hit the town.

Johnny Utahs

First stop: Johnny Utah's for a viewing of Harlem Heights with the BET staff, cast members, and friends. As you walk into the event all of the big screens were ready to play the highly talked about new reality TV show Harlem Heights. The cast set off to the side with drinks, chicken wings, and cowboy hats on top of their heads.

If you have never been to Johnny Utah's, then you are not familiar with the cowboy like setting with a huge bull sitting in the middle of the restaurant. Lucky for us it was bull riding contest Mondays! You know what we were going to be doing after we watched the show. ;)

The show was shall I say....interesting. The most exciting part was watching the cast members talk about each other on the episode, but have to sit right next to each other and watch it. I'm thinking is someone going to swing? That would have been a moment for the cameras to capture.

After the viewing we indeed headed to the bull riding contest. Brook from the show hopped on first and of course like all of us, fell off. I do not think that bull riding is made for Black people. We were watching this white girl in amazement as she managed to stay on the entire time. I guess that is a sport for them and not us!


Second Stop: On Tuesday I went to what people like to call "The Mecca of Basketball". I walked into Madison Square Garden to see Baylor play San Diego in the NIT Semifinals. I did not really know what to expect as I went to my floor seats right behind the scouts I believe. But with my great view it was exciting to see these college boys play some real basketball. It was a good game with Baylor taking the win.

I missed a few of the plays as I was blinded by the rings of the women sitting around me. Baylor fans are paid. They come from what we like to call "old money". These women were country and rich. It was inspiration to keep heading to the top and hopefully find a husband that would buy me a ring like that. :)


Third Stop: Stephen Hill from BET's exclusive Party at The Grace Hotel . This place is amazing. It is a hotel, but at the bottom is a pool and bar area. It screams sexy and that's just how you feel as you sit by the pool with a signature cocktail.

The event was filled with industry heads and New York's socialites. It was a pretty chilled event with a great chance to network!

Next Stop....follow me as I continue on my living spree.

Johnny Utah's: 25 W 51st St New York, NY 10019
Madison Square Garden: http://www.thegarden.com/
The Grace Hotel: 125 W 45th St New York, ny 10036


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