Hi everyone! Happy June!!! It’s truly feeling like Spring now in Chicago and I’m loving it. It’s such an exciting time when all the rooftops are opening up and all the pools are getting filled. I’ve already spent a good amount of time sipping cider beers, BBQing and swimming, so you know my tan is poppin’. I hope wherever you are in the world that you enjoyed your May, but it’s a wonderful beginning to a super fun new month because I have a Swopes Note for you. Hellooooo!
I’m currently working on a super top-secret mission. No, not really but it definitely feels like it when you sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). Which means I can't say a thing about what I'm doing. All I CAN say is that it’s a very exciting time for mobile editing and creating. I truly believe that it’s going to get more advanced as time goes on and we’ll all be able to create masterpieces with our phones as I already do and soon enough you’ll be able to get lessons from me in person. I can’t wait to share those details, but please keep your eye out for updates.
My bucket list carries an array of things, from jumping out of a plane (which I have done, check!), traveling to every country (nope), eating the best mac and cheese from every US city (close, or so it feels like it), or being on TV. Blessed with an email from one of The Windy City Live’s producers on ABC7, I was invited to be a guest for my first television experience. It was so much fun! Everyone there were so kind and generous. Before I left, the hosts Val and Ryan mentioned that I should get into TV because of my natural ease with it. We’ll definitely see… Catch the whole interview here.
It was a wonderful time to connect with Lily Mercer - magazine editor and owner, music journalist, radio host and DJ (phew!) hailing from London, thanks to my friend Evie. She’s interviewed pretty much anyone who has ever been a legend in Hip Hop from Nas and Mary J Blige to ASAP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar. I brought her and her crew to one of my favorite vegetarian spots called Handlebar and they loved it! Except maybe the fried pickles. Lol! Those are my favorite! We even got a deep-dish pizza later in the week. They were such a friendly and fun bunch, and we eventually agreed to do an interview. I’m hyped for that to release.
In between our hangs, she did an interview with G Herbo, a rapper from Chicago and I got to tag along. It was an honor meeting him at this point in his life. The insight he shared about life in Chicago and the violence associated with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and seeing someone die in front of him when he was a kid was extremely eye opening. PTSD is rampant in poorer neighborhoods and it’s going to be a cyclical situation until the world wakes up to the societal structure set up for failure for those who don’t have a leg up. It’s real out here.
The Shedd Aquarium based here in Chicago invited me to a private opening for their new Underwater Beauty exhibit. I always have such a good time at their events because who can complain about fancy snacks and wine while walking through beautiful habitats containing some of the most gorgeous sea creatures this planet has ever known. If you’re from Chicago and have yet to experience the wild life at the Shedd, or maybe you’re planning on visiting, I’d suggest visiting. Matter of fact, I’d suggest checking out all the Museums. We have some of the best in the world.
Thanks to Lorena Cupcake for always sharing very interesting and unique events around Chicago, I was able to find out about Herbal Notes. Herbal Notes is, as they put it, a departure “from the stoner culture surrounding cannabis.” Hosted and created by Manny Mendoza, a professional chef hailing from Chicago who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York but currently lives in San Diego, Herbal Notes is truly one of a kind. Manny infuses most of his dishes with CBD oils or cannabis extract, depending on the location. The dinner was absolutely delicious, and they even had dab pairings. I was lit but definitely educated and excited about the movement he’s making so people understand the true importance and need for CBD and legal cannabis.
Well it seems we are out of imaginary count down time, you guys! LOL Thank you as always for spending some time with me again. It’s really amazing that it’s already been 9 months that I have been creating Swopes Note! I appreciate your continued support and I’m excited to share what I have planned for this month with you in the next Swopes Note.
Be sure to always keep your imagination alive. Until next time!
My artist feature for this month is someone who continues to allude me, not with just her talent but I had no idea that she is a mother of two (a MILF at that!) and that she's from the Southside of Chicago. What I knew quite initially, though, is that she's a badass woman. Her art is sexy, unique and endearing, yet sinister and forbidden. Real name Isamar Medina, but better known as Kawaii Suga, her hobbies include bike riding, going to cafe's and reading comic books. Her name, Kawaii, meaning cute in Japanese, truly lives up to her personality. I'm super excited to share her work with you! Enjoy.
What are five words that best describe you?
Five words that best describe me would be curious, artistic, empathetic, innovative & assertive
What’s it like being a woman in the world?
Being a woman in this world is truly a blessing. Despite thing's being unfair at times, I'm happy to see people are opening their eyes and realizing we are deserving of all the opportunities we get. We work as hard as anybody else, Even twice as hard to gain that respect. We are smart, graceful & talented. We have the ability to show the world a different perspective and paint a image of our realities in hopes of opening the eyes of those around us. Throughout history, the greatest muse art has ever known was woman... I think people have to respect that. As a Latina woman, making a living off art can be intimidating.. But it's those feeling's that keep you going.
What’s your dream project?
So far I have 3 of my dream project's off my list! It's such a good feeling. They have to come naturally; I never want to do anything that isn't genuine to me. However I would love to do more curating in the future, travel and paint murals & just let my art tell my story. I know I will accomplish all of this & I cant wait.
Best advice you’ve learned in life?
Best advice I learned in life is to stop doubting myself & just take a chance with things. I am a very self conscious person & often have a hard time voicing out my thoughts. I know I have some dope ideas because they come from my heart. I do things with good intention and people see that. It took me a while to believe in myself and truly be comfortable with who I am. Once you gain that, nobody can take it away from you.
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Health is wealth
Taylor, a female contestant on The Bachelor, told Corinne, a goofy girl inept to regularity, that she had no “emotional intelligence,” and the world questioned what emotional intelligence is. Was it real? Did she make it up? Could someone be emotionally smart? To most it seemed to boggle their minds, but it wasn’t until recently where I truly understood what she meant. Although, people who have true emotional intelligence don’t tell others they lack it in such a negative approach. Jokes on her! But thankfully, you won’t need to worry next time tries to tell you that you lack emotional intelligence because you’ll know how to rebuttal.
Emotional intelligence is described as, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Seems simple and straightforward enough, though the actual process itself can be a challenge to many. I took it upon myself to take a test that was given for free through the current book I am reading titled “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” that would provide me with feedback of what my EQ score is. I suggest you take this free quiz I found online to find yours before you dive in.
There are few different levels to emotional intelligence and that includes personal competence and social competence. Between those two are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. And between those are a plethora of specific skill sets that will build up your initial EQ score. Basically, a list of things you need to work on to be emotionally stable in your personal life, as well as your work life.
All in all, it’s somewhat overwhelming to tackle all at once so taking each strategy one week or month at a time really benefits your life. Good luck!