Friday, April 21, 2017

Dearly Beloved........The Prince I knew...................

Hello folks!

I hope you've been well since my last entry. Time is a tricky thing. Saying you'll get to it in a sec can turn into days,weeks or even months LOL. Enjoying my last day home got me reminiscing about the adventures Desmond and I have been on since we last chatted (we'll get back to that) and about where I was a year ago when I heard that Prince had transitioned. I'm also reminded of the detour we took in November to Minnesota to visit Paisley Park!

Growing up I had 2 celebrity boyfriends Michael Jackson and Prince!! (Don't laugh at me what we had was real LOL). I grew up during a time when music and dance were true. Prince was provocative,sexy and BEYOND talented. I'd never seen or heard anyone like him! His music and style was timeless. I think I liked him most for his mystery. A few of my favorite songs were The Ladder, Little Red Corvette, Pink Cashmere and of course Purple Rain!  I'm rarely saddened by the passing of a celebrity but again Prince WAS my childhood boyfriend and it was his music I grew up on so his death made me pause.....

A few months after his passing I read that Paisley Park would be opened for tours. I IMMEDIATELY researched further and put this tour on Des's and I  "Must Visit List".  For me it wasn't about viewing the place Prince died but visiting the place he lived and recorded many of his greatest hits. 
Desmond and I FREEZING in front of Paisley Park!


Desmond and I took the G/A tour it explored his office, various recording studios where we saw actual songs hand written by Prince in the very place he left them and different themed rooms that housed the special made guitars, the actual motorcycle from Purple Rain and outfits ONLY Prince could pull off! Going through each room was like a walk down memory lane. I said so many times while I was there "I remember this tape, CD, or video when he wore that". Walking through some of the hallways you see all types of pictures of Prince some I was familiar with but a lot I had never seen before. On one wall there's a mural with his hands out on one side it's all the people he was influenced by and the other side is of all of those who have played with him....... That was breathtaking! The last leg of our tour took us to the stage he had setup where he'd rehearse for tours and host private concerts (yes it was that big) here we saw the last piano purchased by him earlier this year and a few "toy cars". The finale was a viewing of the super bowl performance and various dedications that were left outside of  Paisley Park after his passing....... WOW. When the tour was done you're able to get some light bites like pancakes (which was a favorite of his) and of course pick up some really cool memorabilia.
Tambourine & Tee

Prince on vinyl....PRICELESS!
Like I said the tour was bittersweet AND amazing. It's sad that such a great and talented soul has left us. There was so much more music for him to WOW us with. On the flip side, it was AMAZING to see not only how one of my favorite artist lived but how what was in him oozed out in his music and throughout his estate. If there's one trip you're thinking of taking in 2017 consider Minnesota. The tour is expanding and you don't want to miss it!

A year after his death his music still touches me. His music is addictive you can't hear Purple Rain and NOT sing along while playing your "air guitar". Prince's footprint on the music industry can never be duplicated or erased. Continue to rest Prince!
                                   Image result for prince 2016

A few tips about the tour:
1. Purchase tickets early they sell out fast!  There are 2 types of tours General Admission (about $40) and VIP Admission ($100)
2. You can't take pictures. I fact your cell phones are locked away until the tour is complete (in case you get trigger happy and want to snap pics)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Post election advice: STEP BACK,REGROUP & PROCEED!

Greetings All!

Thanks so much for the well wishes in my previous entry. I know it's been a minute since we last chit chatted but I'm back to share. Turning that page in the final chapter of my 30's has been interesting to say the least...........During my absence we've traveled to one of my favorite places (Virginia/DC, back home, South Carolina and currently Wisconsin.....

Desmond and I in front of the Whitehouse
In the few weeks I've been incognito I have time to reflect on where I am in my life. (I tend to do that the older I get too lol). One of my mantras while producing Bougie Magazine was step back, regroup and proceed. Outside of business I find this mantra to come in handy in my everyday. Going to Virginia I was EXCITED to revisit one of the first places I visited as a teenager that showed me there was so much more to see (I'm originally from Texas).  It was my first time seeing snow but more importantly it was when my interest in politics and how our government works awoke in me. Going to D.C. during one of the most sensationalized presidential races was the icing on the cake. Leaving there reminded me that being an American is more than living here. For me it means being aware of my community, getting to know my local congressman and making my voice heard.  Although going to vote was already on my to do list during my break I felt an urgency to go sooner than later. The visit also prompted me to do more research on the propositions and the local candidates. My research helped me go to the poll with confidence!

My first time voting in Georgia!

Fast forward to election day: I'm sure I was like most glued to the television to the wee hours of the morning awaiting results. Shocked at the outcome I went to bed...............Over the past few weeks I've heard people happy and I've heard people so devastated they'd lost weight and hadn't slept as a results of the outcome. WOW! I feel for the people who put that much stock in election results. It's not that I am better than them (far far from it LOL) I just know trust and believe that with whomever is in office I still will wake up as Angela Harris, wife and mother. I still have to do what is needed to survive and I still believe that everything happens for a reason. So I leave you with advice to live each day as you did BEFORE the election results. Step back, regroup from the shock and/or dismay and lastly proceed. LIVE!

My name is Angela Harris and I approve this message!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

3 Decades in 9 minutes.......

A few days ago I celebrated my 39th birthday in the state of Alabama! This birthday marks the end of my 3rd decade (does that make me sound old???). As I thank God for giving me life and another year on earth I'm reminded of  9 pivotal moments and lessons I've learned in my 30's.The lessons or moments are in no particular order but I hope you find them humorous, relatable, and thought provoking.

1. NEVER say I will never....LOL I married/divorced in my 20's and vowed to stay single forever
....I remember just existing instead of truly living my life. I have always believed in God but it wasn't until my 20's passed I truly placed my faith in HIM to guide my path. I also got a better understanding that God's timing and plan has nothing to do with what Angela forecasted. 10 years later I said "I do "to a wonderful God fearing man! Receiving one of the greatest gifts there is true unconditional love from another human being is a constant reminder to never give up and as long as you know God has you everything meant for you will be granted
Desmond and I on our wedding day 6/16/16 Hawaii

2. You outgrow friends and it's OK....We all have that one friend we can't imagine life without. You grow up together, watch each other become adults then parents!  Season's change and when the leaves fall they're no longer there. Understanding that everyone has a purpose and a set time in your life was my lesson. Some friends are temporary and some are there to stay either way you'll survive it.

3.  The BEST BARTENDER IS.....MYSELF LOL! I've found that mixing a drink at home taste much better and is much cheaper than drinking out in the long run!

3. Even though we've matured to be more understanding, we tolerate less... The older I get the fewer things seem worth waiting line for example, love and happiness.

5. Tomorrow  is truly not promised. In my 30's I lost my sister in law (37) and  2 good friends suddenly.  They were in the prime of their lives when God said your assignment is done. Their deaths are constant reminders to do all you can while you can!

6. Gray hairs are BULLIES LOL! While I embrace them I have to admit the way they invade my scalp make me feel some type of way!!!!

7. Becoming an entrepreneur is rewarding! BougieMagazine was a project I started on by accident in my early 30's. It was at that time I learned that I had something to say and people listened! Starting my own mag meant building a brand with this I met great and not so great people. The true reward was knowing that I tried and succeed at something I never knew was meant for me. Although I have taken a break from my role as Editor in chief the lessons learned aren't lost. In fact, they've made me a better people person and more equipped for whatever is ahead.
Past Bougie Magazine Issues

8. Forgiveness frees you and that person.  Hard lesson but glad I learned it.

9. Couponing is the best thing since caller ID! I remember going grocery shopping earlier in life and hating to be behind someone who had stash of coupons holding up the line! Needless to say I have become THAT person! The blessing of technology (digital coupons and online shopping)has limited my visit to stores and me holding up lines!

******My bonus lesson was the most important one: Being a mother in my 20's was far different than being a mother in my 30's! My daughter is now 19 it's VERY little that can get passed me (I just had a flashback of some of her I think I can outsmart mom moments).  I can tell when things are wrong before she calls me. It took  a while to get to this point. The early years were rocky (dealing with her dad and I's divorce)but over time we've gotten passed that. I see how my mom may have felt when she advised me to go right but I went left. When they say karma is a B..... it really is LOL! Having a daughter has taught me to be an example because someone is always watching you. Your lifestyle and habits can either help or hinder them! I hope that I have been a good example to her!******

I hope you enjoyed my journey to 39. I dedicate this to my husband for being a great part of my today, tomorrow and forever! AND to my friends who are turning the corner to 40 with me Nalina & Keleigh. Thank you ladies for still being on the branch after the dead leaves have fallen!

Nalina ,Keligh & I-The 39er's

Thursday, October 13, 2016

au revoir Ohio

Toledo Police Department equals one more bottle of beer on the wall as Desmond says when a job is complete. For me, it provides me with fond memories and another shot glass to add to my collection! Each job and state is different but I have to say I really enjoyed Ohio. The people there are beyond friendly and I've never been to place that wished us so many safe travels and were so appreciative of the work we do. There's so much history there. I got a chance visit the Toledo police museum and see the electric chair affectionately called Old Sparky (a reminder to NOT commit a crime lol). While here,  Desmond recreated a shot captured in the 1930's to commerate the departments 150th anniversary! The building captured (in both images) was built in the 20's it's still standing and functional!

Some officers brought their families in for pictures and it was interesting to see how proud and excited they were to capture their legacy. It's also great to have the retirees come in. They tell you stories of times past and the marks they left on their department. There was one retiree who came in with his wife to have pictures done I asked them what kept them together while he was working as a cop and beyond and they said" The fact that God woke them up another day gave them another opportunity to show the other love" we pack up and drive to the next destination I will forever have a soft spot for the fine state of Ohio and the great civil servants of the Toledo Police Department. Next stop......

Stay Bougie,

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The misconception of traveling with your spouse.....

Since we last chatted we've traveled to the beautiful state of Ohio! As I mentioned in my previous post my husband is a not your average photographer.  Peachtree Portraits the amazing company we work for based out of Atlanta sends us all over the nation to shoot a product called the Legacy Album. Desmond is the photographer he shoots the content and I assist him as a portrait consultant.  The legacy album is a historical documentation of fire departments, police/sheriff's departments and department of corrections throughout the United States. Peachtree Portraits is not only a company that takes pictures they're also a publishing company! Each book created is registered with the Library of Congress so they're official historical documents.

Legacy Albums

Traveling state to state there's one constant question/statement we are asked: How do you guys do it? My wife and/or husband and I would kill each other! LOL the seriousness on each persons face always makes me laugh. While I don't think these people hate their spouse or would kill them, they clearly know this adventure is not for them! Our answer to this question is simple: We LOVE what we do and understand the importance of it, we respect each other as individuals first and we know the importance of our personal space. Out of every person who's ever inquired on how we make it work, one person took it a step further and asked how to merge those things together to REALLY make it work. I thought it was pretty straight forward (our response) but it made me really think and I am glad he challenged me to really dissect my answer:
We LOVE what we do and understand the importance of it: Being in Florida one week wearing short sleeves and in Ohio the next wearing a sweater keeps the adrenaline flowing! I personally love to travel, you get to experience different cultures, food, and meeting new people. Prior to coming on the road I knew Desmond works as a photographer but it wasn't until I came aboard that I truly understood the importance of establishing and documenting your legacy. I admire the creativity he brings to each shoot.
Captured in South Bend, Illinois

I watch him make the most hesitant persons picture taking experience quick, painless, and pleasant. By the time the person comes to view their pictures with me their whole attitude has changed and you can see it. That makes what we do all worth while.

We respect each other as individuals first: Yes we're married but we're individuals first. When we go to a department we keep it professional. At work my husband is Desmond and I am Ms. Angela (not hot lips or sweetheart lol). If we're not so warm and fuzzy with each other it's left at the door. We have an obligation to fill and that takes precedence. Outside of that, we encourage each other. There are days that are not so good Desmond always finds a way to encourage me not just because I am his wife but because I am his coworker we're a team. It's important to understand that in order for US to work we have to show respect and encourage each other.
 The card attached reads:"To my wife/Co-worker: I love you! Keep doing what you're doing. Great Job!

Personal Space: Being that we're together all the time people may think this is tricky but it's not. Everyone's marriage is different for us we actually like each other! We share the common goal of making a difference and completing the task before us and having a strong belief in God also helps us. When we're riding we may go miles without speaking and during the times we go home we go our own ways,reset but ultimately there's no other place we'd rather be than with each other. (A few years ago I wouldn't have believed I would say that lol)

Again I'm glad the guy challenged me to expound more on the most asked question of "How do you guys do it"? It gave me a greater appreciation for my relationship, the importance of continuing to strive to make it better and for the path we've been placed on! Do you travel with your spouse I'd love to hear from you!  Until next time!

Stay Bougie,

Interested in learning more about Peachtree Portaits and the services they provide? Visit them at

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The introduction to October!

I thought it would only be fitting to start this blog in one of me FAVORITE months October! You can really start to see fall (which translates to boot season), you're in that final stretch of the current year and by the way it's my birthday month!!! This birthday is an "unofficial milestone" for me. It will mark the last year of my 30's...... 2016 has been a whirlwind of grief and celebration...I lost my only sister in law suddenly.... my only child graduated from high school and I got married to a wonderful man who stole my heart while I wasn't looking! Through it all the one constant is that time waits for no man so it's important to live,love and TRAVEL while you can!

In my intro I shared that I travel the country with my husband who's an not so ordinary photographer. We travel all over the US for him to photograph our civil servants. Firefighters, Sheriff's, and Police.
How cool right? I remember the day he called me and told me about the job outside of being happy for him I was proud to know that my then boyfriend was establishing his own legacy.  Fast forwarding a few years I am now Mrs. and I have joined my husband on the road. It's been an interesting journey thus far. From June till now I've been to Florida, Indiana,Illinois, Louisiana and South Carolina! Each trip I learn something new about my husband,myself and people in general. As we approach the final trimester of 2016 I welcome it with open arms! I'm going to stop here but I promise to be back soon with more adventures!

Stay Bougie,