Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Nadirah’s Perspective:

Ladies and gentlemen, I had to go out of my way to do a review on this trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James.  I’ve got three words… hot, Hot, HOT!!!! Allow me to explain… this storyline focuses on a 21 year old college student named Anastasia Steele.  Anastasia is a smart, quiet, shy, reserved book worm who has never had a boyfriend or experience anything closely related to sexual intercourse (virgin). Doing a favor for her sick best friend, she is coaxed into during an interview for her school’s newspaper with the gorgeous, cultured, forthcoming, but controlling billionaire, Christian Grey.   Upon their first meeting, there is an immediate attraction between the two and Christian (being one that always gets want he wants) desperately wants to pursue her.  There’s only one issue – Christian secretly practices in the lifestyle of BDSM (Bondage, Dominant, Submissive, and Masochism).  The story plot shares a growing love story between two individuals learning and growing together while trying to find common ground on issues of love, intimacy, trust, compromise, insecurities, understanding, patience, and most of all, sexual exploration.  
I’m sure that some of you readers have already heard the jokes, talk, tweets, etc. about this book; nevertheless, please let me assure you that it is a definite must read for both sexes for many reasons.  This book can bring some insight to some curious questions that may have plagued your subconscious (but were too embarrassed to ask) and give prime examples as to how to expand or resurrect your love making.  Ladies, trust me when I say that your INNER GODDESS will take no prisoners after reading this book!  Please let me reiterate that yes, there are a myriad of sexual acts being performed throughout all three books; however, it is not a porno (as some would like to joke).  The sexual intimacy is tastefully written during the telling of this love story. 
To be fair, my only small complaint about the book was the redundancy of certain words/descriptions/expressions and although it was written by a British author (told in North American vernacular) sometimes she missed her mark with the authenticity of American language and dialogue.  Other than that, right on Mrs. E. L. James for writing this erotic trilogy.  I’m sure girlfriend is probably saving relationships/marriages around the world, as well as, inspiring others to know what characteristics, physical attributes, and sexual capabilities they desire in their ideal significant other.  HAPPY READING!!!

Troy’s Perspective:

The book was introduced to me by my wife even though I saw the overwhelming response from several talk shows on television. I was very skeptical of reading a romance novel, but I can truly say that I am pleased that I did. The book is very captivating with a high intensity story line. It demonstrates an exciting plot and has various intriguing relationships among the characters.  The author has truly found a way to bring a spark of intimacy to any relationship; overwhelmingly exciting any libido that reads this novel. The Fifty Shades series is one that will go down in history by providing inspiration to modern day relationships that falls stagnant with the mundane routine of working, paying bills, and taking care of children, while losing the romantic aspect of intimacy.  This book is a must read for both men and women in any relationship. If you are up for the challenge and want to bring the enthusiasm and pleasure of passion into your relationship, read this book now!!!

P.S. To all my fellas, from my own experience I know how we all feel about those mushy, romantic, porn novels that all women read and we cringed at the thought of reading them too. Our initial conjecture of the Fifty Shades series is nothing of the sort; it is truly in a league of its own.  Please understand that this book is told from a female’s perspective but does give an insightful view of the psyche of a dominant man taking control in every aspect of a relationship. The reason why women cannot put the Fifty Shades series down is because the book is peaking curiosity, erasing inhibitions and is no-doubt stimulating the interests to pursue out-of-the-ordinary sex in relationships that have fallen into straight platitude. After reading the book, that once before sexually reluctant woman that you once knew - no longer exists. She is ready for you to bring out the beast in more ways than one. We as men have an obligation to read this book to discover for ourselves the appeal that this particular series are having on women across the world. I guarantee while reading the book, you will experience exhilarating creative anticipation and an amazing spark of teenage passion will come forth in your relationship. READ! READ! READ!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Nadirah’s Perspective:

Last week’s review of Devon Seafood Grill made me reminisce about the best seafood restaurants we have had the pleasure of visiting and reviewing.  The Happy Lobster located in Puerto Vallarta is definitely on my top 3 most memorable foodie moments.  Yes, I’m aware that you must travel to Mexico to try the food but trust me when I write that it is totally worth it.  Let us begin… our appetizer was the in-house guacamole and salsa with chips; combined with a refreshing margarita (I’m so bad).  My entrée was a seafood platter that was so humongous, it was delivered to me on a serving tray.  It consisted of Grilled Shrimp, a gigantic Lobster Tail, and King Crab Legs with a side of herbed rice and steamed vegetables.  I can tell you that the service (thank you Ceaser and Carlos) and the food was muy bueno!  But just don’t take my literary word for it… look at these photos and video (excuse the lighting) and salivate with me.  
Oooooooh seafood… how do I love thee!!!!!!

Troy's Perspective: 

When recalling the Happy Lobster experience in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, it brings about a sated smile and salivating tongue; not to mention a moment of silence as my wife devours her entrée. The smell of fresh lobster, mouth watering jumbo shrimp and succulent scallops truly captivated my sense of sight, smell and taste. It’s so hard to find the same quality for such a reasonable price. Looking back at the video, you can see my wife’s eyes bulge, while beads of sweat begins to drop from her upper lip and overwhelming excitement comes over her (I thought I was making her hot, but it was just the food).  Along with the meal, the summer breeze and mild temperature was amazing with Happy Lobster’s dining room exposing the beautiful elements of the Latin streets. With spectacular service, an excellent meal and reasonable prices, this place is top notch. Whenever in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, The Happy Lobster is a must to stop by and enjoy. Drink well, eat better and enjoy the experience... Happy Lobster… yeaaaahh!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Before we get started...Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful women who are past, present, or future mothers!

Nadirah’s Perspective:

Is the Natural Hair Movement a fad or a long overdue welcoming ideology to the African American standard of beauty?   I was shopping in the mall with my hubby and the sales clerk welcomed me by exclaiming proudly “Team Natural!”  Caught up in the shared pride of my hairstyle, I graciously replied yes and we briefly chatted about our hair regimes.  My husband just looked on from the side and smiled.  He later confessed to me that he witnessed a beautiful moment between us.  Honestly, total strangers conversing in a positive conversation while exchanging compliments on their natural hair styles.  How cool is that?!  I personally loved it J  Anyhoo, the point of this little story is that more websites, blogs, hair products, commercials, resources are embracing and supporting women of all ethnic backgrounds to learn and love the natural state of their hair.  No more running to the hair salons begging hair stylists to perm, Brazilian blowout, flat-iron, etc. to meet a traditional European standard of beauty by straightening the hell out of our hair.  Personally, I applaud all women who can say aloud that enough is enough and have taken an interest in what they’re putting on their scalp and hair.  Don’t get me wrong…I still color my hair but I had to learn the hard way that a Brazilian blowout isn’t temporary, perms and color doesn’t equal a happy head of hair, and pressing my hair everyday with an extremely hot comb can cause severe heat damage.  After getting my hair back to normal (healthy), I gotta have one vice!  So carry on ladies and be proud of the natural crown of glory growing from our scalps.   Rome wasn’t built in a day, so we know it’s going to take some time to learn, care for, and style our reacquainted friend.   Forget the talk of a fad …keep the movement going ladies!!!

Troy’s Perspective:

When I was first introduced to the Natural movement by my wife, I was like most males up-at-arms with the whole thing… very resistant. I did not want my wife to have her hair just plopped on top of her head. As a man that strives to keep a professional look, I was afraid that it would be hard to have a professional natural look for my wife. With my wife relentlessly researching and instilling all trust in her, I helped her to execute the big chop. That was very hard to do. By looking at testimonials and young girls with perms/braids before they could walk and talk, it made me realize that I was blinded by the facade of beauty that has been marketed to us. The true beauty that a person has is what God gave you. Women have permed their hair for decades with harsh chemicals and now like never before putting someone else’s hair in their heads (weave). That is ridiculous! What I once thought was the epitome of beauty, I have lived and learned that it is the true façade of self-hatred. Women begin to go to the hair dressers so much that they don’t know the first step in taking care of their own hair. On top of that, they perm their hair so much that it becomes brittle and breaks off never discovering their true beauty and sophistication that they were created to have. To my beautiful women, please take care of yourself and your hair. Embrace the gift that you were given and your magnificence will truly enlighten others.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Nadirah’s Perspective:

Last Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated his upcoming birthday by eating dinner with another couple.  The final restaurant of choice was…let me open the envelope…Devon Seafood Grill! Yeahhhhhhhhhhh!!! Oh, how do I love this place and let me count the many ways in which it makes my mouth and tummy so very happy.  Thank you Alexis for your patience as we made changes every 30 minutes to finalize the # of guests, time of reservation, etc.  I graciously greeted her with a warm hug upon arrival. Our party was escorted downstairs to the dining area and we were blessed to have a genuinely attentive and hospitable server named Brian.  Fortunately, I knew through my weekly email deals that I was able to order the Tuesday hook-up (everyone should definitely sign up with this restaurant), which happened to be a shared appetizer sampler.  This filling appetizer consisted of jumbo lump crab cakes, fried calamari, shrimp scampi and a trio of sauces.  Brian insisted that we should partake in our drinks (I had an interesting Cucumber Dill Martini) and hot appetizers instead of worrying about our entrée selections and I couldn’t have agreed with him more.  It was the time and place to be in a celebratory mood without feeling the pressure to rush and make a final decision of “what to eat?!” Crab cakes were moist and flavorful, calamari was lightly breaded and not at all rubbery, and shrimp scampi was nicely chard in its butter sauce.  All in all, you didn’t need the trio of dipping sauces because the flavors needed no masking what so ever.   After the last crab cake was fought over (I won) Brian came right in time to take our orders. I ordered the 1 ¼ pound of King Crab Legs with my sides being Grilled Artichoke with Garlic Parmesan Aioli and Haricot Verts (French Green Beans). Listen, crab legs are my weakness but I looooove a crab leg that is already cracked/scissored (new word) for easier enjoyment. I went into crab lover’s frenzy as the crab meat sled straight from the shell and into my mouth without any problems.  However, I must admit that I didn’t quite enjoy my artichoke because it was too much work and not enough flavors while trying to eat the flesh.  On the other hand, the green beans were steamed to perfection…very crisp and well-seasoned.   
I must admit that I have yet experienced a bad night at this restaurant.  Devon prides itself on having a dynamic staff of greeters, servers, bartenders, and of course, chefs.  If given the chance, please go and taste wonderful seafood and definitely try the lobster tamale…sooooooo good!

Troy’s perspective:

Devon seafood grill is a restaurant that my wife and I have frequented many times before. Every time we are greeted, served, and waited on like royalty. With such a welcoming environment in a modern deco setting it is simply hard not to enjoy yourself. The prices at Devon are simply average in the midst of other seafood eateries, but with their stellar service…this gem is simply priceless.  I love eating at this restaurant so much that I ordered two entrees.  I ordered the Lobster Cobb Salad and the 1lb. Lobster tail. The Cobb salad was first-class!  It consisted of watercress, applewood smoked bacon, corn nuts, white cheddar, avocado, sweet potato shoestrings and tarragon ranch dressing that has a burst of flavor that is divine.  The lobster tail on the other hand was succulent and well seasoned.  I truly love the Devon experience every single time I go.

Low and behold the service at Devon is simply the best. As my wife mentioned, our reservations changed several times but Alexis (who took our reservations many times over) did not seem to mind at all. Our waiter Brian was phenomenal. He not only was very attentive to what we were looking for, but his suggestions from our drink selections, to our entrees, to dessert was nothing less than spectacular! Brian’s service was so outstanding that we felt obligated to mention his great service to his manager. Devon Seafood Grill - “where you are guaranteed a great experience everyday of the week.”  Devon is truly a must go to in the Chicago downtown area!!!


Nadirah's Perspective:

Last November, my husband and I traveled to Europe as a quick Thanksgiving getaway.  As usual, we enjoyed the culture, architecture, food, and overall nightlife.  Interestingly enough, during two separate casual conversations with a native Australian and a Canadian (both were fairly recent relocated residents of Amsterdam), the topic came up as to why Black Americans don’t travel. 

Although some of our inalienable rights are often questionably under-protected, my husband and I have always encouraged family, friends, and young minds to see the world to get a better appreciation for our civil liberties.  However, the stigma of African-Americans not internationally traveling had become an issue not once but twice during our excursion and we immediately became the US ambassadors of Black culture/behavior.  I know some would have taken the newly appointed title as insulting but we saw it as an affirming sign that this has become a perplexing issue with our neighbors from abroad.  We know that black people travel, however the problem is that the perception of African-Americans traveling abroad is unheard of or just plain nonexistent.  Is it money, time, fear, or plain disinterest that prevents our culture from statistically getting higher numbers or is it just the preconceived stereotypes that are planted in the minds of foreign nations? Maybe the answer or answers lies somewhere in between!

Troy's Perspective:

As an African-American male, my experiences with friends and family having passports or traveling outside North America are mostly nonexistent. Through discussions of my travels to Asia or Europe, the questions that often come up are, “How long is the flight” and “How can you stay on the plane that long?” As we all know, traveling on a plane for 8 – 16 hours is definitely not the most enjoyable circumstance, but that particular time can also be utilized for much needed rest, self improvement (reading, etc.), and travel planning.   It is whatever you make it! The end result has always been the overall experience of the final destination that keeps me going. The third question that often comes up in the conversation is, “How can you fly over water for so long… aren’t you scared?” This shows that we are limited to experiences due to our preconceived fears that threaten our ability to live through life. My answer is no!  The planet is here for us to experience. For us as human beings not taking advantage of the opportunity to see what this planet has to offer really restricts our ability to understand the world as it exists in the past, present, and future.

Life is more than what we know and see here in the US.  Not traveling causes stereotypes and prejudices by basing all your information from the television. What is shown on television is a bias point of view created for entertainment.  As an American with the opportunity to travel, I feel that it is not just my right but an obligation to see the world and what it has to offer. Some live in communistic countries like China have no rights to travel outside their country due to the laws and restrictions that are placed upon them. Therefore, I have always found it as a requirement to venture out and self-witness the variety of cultures, languages and people that exist among the planet in which we live. That is truly experiencing life as we know it.