Deb’s Domain: 002 – #TBT

Hello,

Well Pittsburgh is still buzzing with the Stanley Cup shining in our town again… you gotta love the Penguins.

I can remember numerous times Sydney Crosby would come in to eat at Bravo, and I felt so bad because his lips were always so chapped.  But I assume that is the price to pay for quality time on the ice.

For those of you who do not know, I am a hostess at Bravo Cucina.  I applied for the job back in October of 1999 thinking I would earn some extra money for Christmas.  Well, 18 years later, I am still working there.  Have to admit, I love it.  Located close to the Pittsburgh Airport, you would be amazed at the many athletes and celebrities that pop in.

I went to the Daryl Hall & John Oates a few weeks ago.  These are two great old-time performers.  And yes, I broke out into tears when they performed “Sara Smile.”  I would always sing that to Sara as a baby. And I love the fact Sara has no ‘h’ in the spelling… just like my baby girl’s.

So let’s chat about Stevie Wonder for a moment.  Such a great and talented performer.  A TRUE LEGEND in the music industry.  No matter your age, there has to be a Stevie song you like.  One of my favorites is “Higher Ground.”  Okay, so I am not trying to be a Debby Downer, but the world is suffering with terrorism and senseless crimes.  SO SO SAD.  Take a listen to “Higher Ground.”  The lyrics resonate with your heart, and the great sounds make you want to dance.  It is an immediate spirit booster.

I think we all need to reach our higher ground!

Check out the Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran & Gary Clark Jr. Tribute for Stevie Wonder at the 2015 Grammy Awards (check out Tony Bennett jamming in the audience)

“Higher Ground” – Stevie Wonder

People keep on learnin’
Soldiers keep on warrin’
World keep on turnin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long

Powers keep on lyin’
While your people keep on dyin’
World keep on turnin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long

I’m so glad that he let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground

Lovers keep on lovin’
Believers keep on believin’
Sleepers just stop sleepin’
‘Cause it won’t be too long
I’m so glad that he let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground

Till I reach my highest ground
No one’s gonna bring me down

Till I reach my highest ground

Don’t let nobody bring you down (they’ll sho ‘nough try)
God is gonna show you higher ground

Until we chat again,

DEB

*Blog Owner’s Note*
Images/GIFs supplied by me.

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Deb’s Domain: 001 – Mother’s Day Edition

Hello,

I thought it would appropriate to do a feature on Sara’s blog for Mother’s Day.

Known to many as DEB, I am Sara’s mom.  Short, Italian, and born and raised in Pittsburgh with a great head of hair.

I felt the need to answer the question many of you have asked yourself – “Why is this girl SO into music?”

Sara has forever been exposed to music.  My parents babysat her as I was always a working mom. There was music constantly blaring from that household and continues daily as my mom is a feisty 92-year-old woman who loves her tunes.  In fact, the only things you will find in her car are plastic rain hats and cassette tapes.  Though the sounds were Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand and Big Band, Sara has always been surrounded by music.

As a child I was also around the music my parents enjoyed but having two much older siblings exposed me to more.  My brother was more the Beatles/Woodstock era whereas my sister was Motown, Janis Ian, and Carole King.  Keep in mind, this music was played on turntables or eight-track tapes.

Through my college years it was Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Journey, Styx, Kool & The Gang, The Whispers, Rick James, The Gap Band, Bruce Springsteen, Luther Vandross, and many more.

*Photo collage courtesy of Deb

I have also been to a lot of concerts in my days.  I love my dance type music but I have a love of Rock ‘n Roll as well.

I truly love all types of music but my favorite band of all time is Earth, Wind & Fire.

Yes, the apple does not fall far from the tree…  Earth, Wind & Fire will be gracing Pittsburgh with their presence in August.  I have already purchased tickets for my gang of girls along with the Party Bus reserved.  Just like her mother, Sara loves concerts.  If you know Sara personally or have just followed her blog, you know her boy is DRAKE.  Well, my boys are Earth, Wind & Fire.  Yes, I know the words to every song.  I will be singing and dancing in my seat!

All of my kids love music.   This is one of the reasons why at each of my kids’ graduation parties I felt the need to have a live band.

Good Food + Good Music = Great Party

Stay tuned for my article next month when I share with you some of my favorite all time tunes.

Until we chat again, always remember –  A Simple Act of Kindness is Free but Worth MILLIONS.

DEB

*Blog Owner’s Note*
The featured image for this post is a 
representation of my former sorority,
Alpha Gamma Delta, repping our mascot, the squirrel.
They FaceTimed me in ❤ Deb pictured in the middle.

If You Feelin’ Like a Capricorn…

…go and brush your shoulders off.  -Blue Ivy

Can we please talk about how many epic Capricorns there are?  I feel like within the past few weeks when a celebrity’s birthday has appeared on my Twitter timeline, I’ve been blown away by how dope they are.  They clearly have always been a Cap, but I feel this year it’s more in my face.

Let’s take a look.  Oh, and I may be biased because I, too, am a Capricorn.  The very last day.

December 22 – January 19

What are the characteristics of a Capricorn, you ask?

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, is all about hard work.  Those born under this sign are more than happy to put in a full day at the office, realizing that it will likely take a lot of those days to get to the top.  That’s no problem, since Capricorns are both ambitious and determined: they will get there.  The Capricorn-born are extremely dedicated to their goals, almost to the point of stubbornness. Those victories sure smell sweet, though, and that thought alone will keep Capricorns going.*

And don’t try to tell me with the new shift in the moon or whatever the heck happened that a new sign was added and I’m now a Sagittarius.  Nope.  Definitely a Capricorn – a natural goal setter who needs structure.  And clearly stubborn.

A friend, who is also a Capricorn, brought to my attention that we end the year and kick off the new one!  Never thought about it like that.  Pretty kewl.

Okay, back to the list – in no order of importance:

  • Betty White – LEGEND
  • Michelle Obama – just amazing
  • Calvin Harris – smokeshow
  • John Legend – actual Legend
  • Denzel Washington – I mean.
  • Diane Von Furstenberg – fierce
  • Bradley Cooper – babe
  • Eddie Redmayne – baby face cute
  • BLUE IVY – Beyonce’s child
  • LeBron – the King
  • Gabby Douglas – Olympic extraordinaire
  • Martin Luther King Jr. – thank you.
  • Muhammad Ali – incredible
  • Liam Hemsworth – boyfriend
  • Pitbull – Mr. 305
  • Jim Carrey – hello, he stars in my favorite movie Dumb & Dumber

So there you have it.  A whole list of epic people.  There are more, but the above are folks who really stood out to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get some work done so I can go drink steins and eat sausages with my friends later tonight to celebrate.

Talk soon, yinz!

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*Source: astrology.com

 

2016IXTEEN Gave Me the Most Life

On December 31, 2015, I was sitting on the beach in Hermosa reflecting on the past year and writing a list of goals for the following year.  Today, December 31, 2016, I’m sitting at home in Pittsburgh, PA doing the same thing – sans the beach.

To kick-off 2016 and with inspiration from Karen Civil, I started a blessing jar.  What is a blessing jar?  It’s a jar, of any kind (feel free to decorate it!), where every time something positive happens to you throughout the year, you write that moment on a notecard, date it, and drop it into your jar.  At the end of the year, dump out your jar and see all of the epic things you’ve accomplished and been a part of during the year.  This is my first time doing a blessing jar, and I’ve actually kept up with it – see below!

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So needless to say, 2016 has been a GREAT freaking year for me.

The biggest highlight in 2016?  Getting a new job.  Holy smokes, I can’t even begin to explain my excitement with this one.  My #1 goal for 2016 was to get a new job.  And even better, this new job doesn’t even feel like work.  I would always get SO jealous of those who said that and wondered if that would ever happen to me.  Well, I can say it now.  I work with creative and talented people, have met so many epic movers and shakers, and am constantly surrounded by like-minded individuals.  I can actually hold conversations with my coworkers about the new Migos or Drake track and they know what I’m talking about.  It’s the little things.  Very, very happy.  Shout out @airmikey.

And three additional epic moments this year would have to be my 27th birthday, sitting in the 10th row at the last night of the Summer Sixteen tour in LA, and being invited to and attending the Live Civil Brunch.

27TH BIRTHDAY
Reunited with friends (minus Mandy – she gets her own weekend during the 4th <3) (and not sure where Pelke is…typicalllll)

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SUMMER SIXTEEN TOUR
More life
 with friends

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LIVE CIVIL BRUNCH
Networked 
with new friends

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But really.  This year has been so so great and for those of you who say 2016 was the worst and needs to go away, how do you think 2017 will be any different?  Yes there were a lot of shitty things that happened in the world, but TBH shitty things will happen every year.  So all you can really do is focus on you and do things that make you happy.  That will help to push and block out the negativity.

So for me personally in 2017, I will continue to do the following –

  • Do things that make me happy with people who make me happy
  • Be selfish – sounds terrible but I only have to take care of myself so this is the time to do as much as I can
  • Attend even more concerts and listening parties

And a few new things –

  • Be more thoughtful and proactive when it comes to those in my life
  • Refinance my school loans (v. important)
  • Step away from all negative energy.  Ain’t no time from that.

What are you going to continue to work on?  Try something new?  Make a blessing jar?  Do it!

Wishing all of yinz a safe, healthy, and happy start to 2017.  Now to whip up a quick top album and concert post from 2016…

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InstaChat

Snapchat Stories… Instagram Stories.  Twins.

The photo-sharing platform has just launched its newest feature which is basically identical to the Snapchat Story feature.  For those of you who don’t know about the Story, you can take a photo or video, post it to your Story, and it will live there for 24 hours and then disappear.

Instagram didn’t even bother to change the name!  Literally called it Instagram Stories, and it works the same as Snapchat Stories.  You can post photos and/or videos, add text, and doodle on your content.  IG Stories do give you the option of changing your drawing tool though – the neon one looks pretty dope.

I tested it out a bit ago, and it seems pretty simple.  How could it not be?  If you know how to work Snapchat, you will be able to figure this IG version out.

Check out my IG to see (@serge19) and learn how to worque it.

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TBT: Miss Mandy…

So many of you may know about our annual 4th of July trip to Catalina.  For those of you who don’t, I highly suggest you watch the video below.  I mean, even if you are aware of the trip, you should still watch it.

We are boarding the beautiful Miss Mandy once again this weekend – leaving early Saturday morning and returning on Monday.  Fourteen, yes 14, of us will be on board, and I just really cannot wait.  The weekend will consist of lots of Coors Light, Coronas, epic music, comedy courtesy of The Donald, and most importantly good company.

miss mandyPhoto cred: Neek 

Major shout out and thank you to the Trojan family for organizing this every year and allowing a bunch of rowdy folks to get on your boat.

Alright, no more typing.  Watch below!

Oh, and it’s #SocialMediaDay.  Every day is honestly social media day but today is the day it’s being celebrated on social media – how ironic.

#MakeAmericaGreatAgain

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FOMO NO MO’!

Hey, yinz and happy Friday!

Today’s post is a little different as its part of Eventbrite’s summer series:  getting people to squash FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and to get in the habit of GOMO (Going Out More Often).  For those of you who don’t know me, I suffer from FOMO quite often.  I mean, have you seen how many concerts I’ve been to?  Once I see a lineup or tour announced, I start to stress out about who the surprise performers are going to be and that if I think it’s going to be someone epic, how I have to be there.  The FOMO is real!

How does one treat FOMO?  The cure is simple – get into the habit of GOMO!  That’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s working really well for me.  The FOMO has decreased.

What do I have lined up, you ask?  Well for starters, I’m attending two concerts this weekend – one being tonight!

THIS SUMMER’S (AND FALL’S) GOMO GO-TO’S

I am SO dang excited to go to those concerts you have no idea.  And depending on what other concerts pop up this summer, I’ll do my  best to attend those as well because you know I can’t be missing out – and neither should you!

Now having attended more concerts than I can count, I’ve learned a thing or two about concert-going etiquette, and I’d love to share these tips with yinz.  See below :).

DO’S – 

  • Regarding attire, stick to sneaks, jean shorts or leggings, a flannel wrapped around your waist (it’s trendy & in case you get cold), and a cute shirt.  If wearing something high-waisted, pair that with a crop top, and you’re good to go.

Me_Parker_Syd

  • What to bring in your purse?  Definitely some gloss, perfume, a portable phone charger/case (major), and some cash.  Simple tings.  I don’t think I have to cover what the dudes need to bring – they always have it easy in this regard!
  • When you arrive at the concert, get your beverage immediately.  That way you can get settled in your seat and not be ‘that person’ when the opening act is about to start and you need a drank… very rude.  Enjoy the first act, take a bathroom break, buy another bev, and you’re good to go!
  • For those concerts that aren’t at a major venue like Staples Center but provide a more intimate vibe… get to the front, and hold your ground!  Don’t let those fakes say ‘my friend is up here – I need get to the front.’  Bish, I’ve been up here and no one has been looking for you.  Then kindly smile and continue dancing.
  • While you should be paying full attention to the live act, I think it’s also important and beneficial to be active on social during a concert.  1) It shows your support for the artist and perhaps radio station putting on the event.  2) You’ll more than likely get new followers and meet cool people who share your same interests.  3) Your posts could go viral.  How dope though.  Be active on that for real.

DON’TS – 

  • Don’t wear heels, ladies.  I used to do that.  Like would actually go out and buy a new outfit.  Well that was just dumb because it’s not like Drake is going to see me from the nosebleeds.
  • Don’t get so drunk beforehand that you don’t remember what songs were performed, who came out as a surprise guest, where you parked your car (although you definitely shouldn’t be driving if you plan on drinking), or your whole night in general.
  • Don’t be that obnoxious person in the crowd/in your seat causing a scene.  Yes, I’ve had my moments when Drake makes a surprise appearance, but don’t be out of control.  That’s annoying.
  • Don’t leave early!  A big mistake I’ve noticed is people leave during what they think is the artist’s last song so they can beat traffic.  Listen, you paid a decent amount of money for your ticket, stay the whole show!  And not even that, why would you want to miss seeing a favorite artist of yours perform all the way through?  Isn’t that why you went in the first place?  And more times than not, the artist will “finish,” but then will come back out for an encore.  Worth the wait!
  • Don’t be late!  With traffic, parking, waiting in line to get a pre-concert beer, making your way to your seat and who knows what else, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.  I actually like getting there before the opening acts start because there’s typically a dope DJ, so you can just vibe out for a bit with your squad before the main event.

I hope the above tips help you and my upcoming list of concerts motivates you to get out more, especially this summer!  Life’s too short to sit around and Netflix and chill your days away.

4yr Miguel

Now you can take it one step further and actually be the one to start the GOMO effect.  Create an event in your city with the help of Eventbrite’s ticket selling platform.  So whether you go to an event or bring the event to you, I hope yinz take a dose of going out more so you don’t catch a case of FOMO.

Happy Friday, yinz!

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It Went Down In the Denim…

I know I promised this post Monday night, but #fail on my part and it’s here two days later.  There has just been a lot of things happening fam.

So for a quick recap of this past weekend —

#DenimDenimDenim | On Saturday night about 35 of us rolled deep in denim for our annual denim-themed event where we all dress in denim (obviously) and bar hop in Long Beach by way of Big Red (a double decker giant red bus).  I purchased my outfit that morning (see below) and in addition to denim, I had to rep the late Notorious B.I.G. as it was his birthday.

One word to describe the night?  Reckless.  Seriously it was one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a while and definitely my favorite denim to date.  I won’t get into exact detail of our shenanigans (that’s actually the name of one of the bars we went to), but let’s just say everyone was loving each other and the beverages were flowing.

Long Beach Pride | Then bright and early Sunday morning, I woke up to be part of the annual Pride celebration in downtown Long Beach with my good pal Chaddy boy.  I’ve never been to such a thing, but it was truly great seeing everyone so accepting of one another and PROUD to be who they are.  It was a long (& hungover) day, but it was all worth it, especially to see Chad so happy.  #HappyPride #hearts

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While it doesn’t seem like much, a lot was going on over the weekend not only with my plans but in the music world as well.  Stay tuned for a post coming soon (not putting a day on this in case I #fail again) featuring new music.

Hope yinz are having a good week!

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Yinz!

Why didn’t I think of this post sooner!  Today is April 12… 4-12… 412!!!

For those of you non-yinzers, 412 happens to be Pittsburgh’s area code.  You can even see it branded on Wiz’s body in the form of a tattoo – see below – right across his chest.  Represent.

Wiz_412

Now let’s look at some rappers sporting 412 memorabilia.  Scroll over the pics for captions.

And it’s also my grandma’s 91st birthday – yayyy ❤

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What a year, what a year (Big Sean voice)

I cannot believe I launched californyinz one year ago today!  I can’t tell if it feels like I started this just yesterday or a really really long time ago.  Regardless, I’m glad I did, and I truly thank yinz for your continued support and reading!  It means so much to me when I get texts saying how much you enjoyed a post or when someone has Tweeted or re-tweeted one of my articles or pressed that ‘like’ button on Instagram and Facebook.  It also happens to be #tbt, which is pretty perfect.  My first post and notification I received below!

4yr this blog

While I didn’t reach my 10,000 views goal by this one-year date, I am quite close to 9,000 and once I do hit 10K, the goal is to get 1,000 views per month.  The majority of the content I post is what appeals to me, but if there’s anything you’d like me to touch on, please don’t ever hesitate to let me know.  I can’t say I’ll write about it for sure, but if it’s something I am passionate about or have an opinion about (I have a lot of those), I’m more than happy to whip up an article.  And yinz are my audience, soooo if that’s what will get you to read the blog, then send your ideas.

Starting this blog has allowed me to do some really cool things that I don’t think would have been possible without.  From going to Wiz Khalifa’s recording studio (I promise that post is coming!) to his private album listening party to just connecting with dope people through the blog and on Twitter, I have loved every second of this.

And as of late, starting californyinz has opened doors to new writing opportunities.  I’m a contributor for HipHopMindset, a hip-hop blog that has a heavy focus on hip-hop dancing, and even more exciting, I’m writing for the YesJulz Agency blog!  My first post goes live tomorrow, and they have me on a regular posting schedule, so you can expect a new post each Friday.  Super excited about this opportunity!

And in the past year, how much great new music have we received?!  I mean really.  The Life of Pablo, ANTI, Rodeo, Beauty Behind the MadnessWhat a Time to be Alive.  And I don’t even have time to list the random remixes, singles, and club bangers that have dropped.  Nothing makes me happier than listening to music and attending cool events and concerts and sharing it with yinz.

I would like to make some enhancements to this site – making it a bit more sophisticated and getting rid of the dang ‘wordpress.com’ in the URL.

So in this next year, I plan on:

  • Changing my website to californyinz.com
  • Featuring more up-and-coming artists
  • Attending more listening parties for that exclusive and behind-the-scenes content
  • Recording a reaction video to Views from the 6.  I know I have some competition with that 14-year-old girl (also from Pittsburgh) whose Drake reaction vid went viral, but I got this.
  • And more!  Even though I don’t really like saying ‘and more’ because it’s left open-ended and without specific things, I won’t do anything.  But you get the idea.

So again, I truly thank you all for reading, sharing, and talking about my blog and posts.  I look forward to sharing more with you!

And I definitely didn’t realize that today also happens to be Noah Shebib’s aka 40’s birthday.  Who is 40?  Well, he produces the majority of Drake’s music.  Could I have picked a better launch date?  Maybe Drake’s birthday.  JK.

Thanks again, everyone!

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