New series alert! Mocha Moments will be coffee shop and café reviews as well as a review of what I’m reading and or listening to.
A few weeks ago I visited Café Mila in the Austin Ranch area here in Dallas. It’s a casual café where you place your order at the counter and they bring your food to the table. There is indoor and outdoor seating. I met the owner and she was so nice. I found out she is originally from Trinidad (one time for my Caribbean massive) and relocated to Dallas from New York. I ordered the strawberry banana French toast with a side of turkey bacon and a chai tea latte, my café beverage of choice. The French toast was tasty and not too sweet. I was so happy they had an option for turkey bacon for us non-pork eaters. But let me tell you about this chai latte. It’s served in this nice big mug and I had the option of sweetening it with honey, which is how I make mine at home. It had a nice cinnamon and vanilla flavor. I will sipping on their lattes while on their computers or
I am an avid reader. However, once I had children my kindle got shelved for Hello Moon, and Where the Wild Things are. This year one of my goals was to get back into reading. I recently discovered the OverDrive app. and it was a game changer. If you have a library card, the OverDrive app. allows you to download e-books and audio books straight to your e-reader or phone. No shade to Audible, but I canceled by subscription after getting into OverDrive ;). I love audio books for my commutes and even when I’m cleaning around the house or going for a run walk I’ll put my headphones on and listen to my book. I still do most of my actual reading when I travel for work and have time on the plane. My taste in books ranges from chick lit (is it PC to say this), suspense, romance. Sci-fi is probably the only genre that I haven’t really gotten into.
Americanah, by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie
Chimamada Ngozi Adichie is probably most famous for her voice over on Beyonce’s Flawless, which was a snippet from her Ted Talk. Americanah is the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, childhood sweethearts who are separated when Ifemelu moves to the U.S. for college. The story is told from both Ifemlu and Obinze’s points of view in alternate chapters. The book deals with race and what it means to be American. It talks a lot about the immigrant’s struggle to find their place in America, specifically the Black African struggle, and how different the American experienceis for Black Americans versus Blacks from other part of the world. However, at the heart of Americanah is a love story. The author writes beautifully and has a way of conveying a sense of familiarity in just a phrase. There were many points in the book when I laughed because her description was so poignant to a familiar person or feeling. As a Black immigrant (I was born in Jamaica and moved to the US with my parents when I was a 2 years old) I could so relate to the description of leaving a country for a better life and opportunity but having to live with family members, work odd jobs, go back to school, all in hopes of creating something better for yourself and your children. Especially with (illegal) immigration being a hot button issue these days, it humanizes the immigrant story. I can’t wait to read her other books.
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
I’m not generally big on self –help books, but every once in awhile I come across a book that is more inspirational or what I like to call “Get Yo Life”, than actual self-help. Well, Big Magic is such a book. Elizabeth Gilbert, the same lady who wrote Eat Pray Love, gives anecdotes and her own real life experiences as a creative person and how to tap into your creativity. She talks about creativity as something we all can possess but just need help bringing forward. My biggest takeaway from this book is that creativity is something you need to consistently work at to bring forth and that it is okay to be afraid when you are on the verge of a breakthrough. In fact she talks about how to be comfortable with your fears and that you actually need to make space for them in your life.
Rather You Than Me, Rick Ross
My taste in music is as varied as my taste in books. In heavy rotation is the latest Rick Ross album. I grew up in South Florida, so it’s no surprise I’m a Rick Ross fan. This album is so Miami. It’s full of songs that will have you milly rockin and head boppin. I reminds me of the glitz and glam of South Beach, but the grittiness of Miami.