Tica's Top 7 Love Songs (Contemporary)

There's no time like the summer time to fall in love. Whether it's a season fling, or the blossoming of a long term relationship, a love song is always there to save the day. In no particular order, I've compiled a list of the most thought-provoking, wedding worthy, and lyrically enticing love tunes, by some artists that tend to fall under the radar. Contemporary refers to the song being released after 2000. If you're not familiar with any song on the list, give them a listen! Check out my favorite site for music, Grooveshark, enter the artist's names and pick the song from the list.

1. Say You'll Go- Janelle Monae
This has all the feeling a traditional ballad with some cool beats and creative lyrics. I was introduced to this song by a special person, who had the song on repeat one night, and months later I'm still repeating the best line 'And write our name in fire on each others hearts.'

2. Make You Feel My Love- Adele

You can't go wrong with a piano and a sultry soulful voice like Adele's. I first heard this song on my favorite series Parenthood (this show has the best soundtrack and writers), and immediately Googled the lyrics I heard to find the artist. Adele

3. GreatestLove- Musiq Soulchild
Mr. Soulchild composes a witty play on words in this tune, and it makes for another classic to add to his collection of romantic ballads. Many people will automatically choose 'Love' as the most appropriate 'wedding song' from his records, but because I'm highlighting those hidden gems, I chose this one instead.

All we have are letters 'til we form the words...
Starting from the lyrics 'til we found the verses 
that can bridge us through
Baby we can be the greatest love song...

4. Butterflies- Michael Jackson

By no means does Mr. Jackson fall under any radar, but this is one of my favorite songs! It's mellow and cool, yet still full of lots of emotion. Maybe it's not so appropriate for a 'dedicated' song, however its medium tempo is one that you can actually groove to.

5. Chrisette Michele- Love is You
The sultry songstress tries to define love. The age old conundrum.
Is it possible there's a kiss that's so divine?
Or am I just too fool? Is it all in my mind?
Is there something chemical? A scientist might say
Well, love must be drug to make me feel this way

6. India.Arie- Ready for Love
You can't go wrong with India and her guitar coupled with beautiful lyrics that are undoubtedly from the heart.

7.  Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley- Turn Your Lights Down Low
A non-traditional pick, but this tune packs lots of heart and history. It's the remake of Marley's original track, with Lauryn adding her heavenly vocals and a small rap verse.
Every beautiful melody of devotion every night
This potion might, this ocean might carry me 

In a wave of emotion to ask you to marry me
And every word, every second, and every third
Expresses the happiness more clearly than ever heard 

And when I play ‘em, every chord is a poem
Telling the Lord how grateful I am because I know him

Have any other (non-traditional) love ballads to add to this list?


Thankful Thursday: I'm Baaack!

It's Thursday, what a great day to share with you guys what I'm thankful for today!
    • Mi Madre. My mom is a walking paradox at times. Her reactions are somewhat predictable, yet she's at times full of surprises. I recently had a freshman in college moment and got my navel pierced, and her response was "you know you can't get into salt water for 3 years?, that's why I never did it." Yet, the last time I remember my mom going in the water at the beach was when I was about 5 years old. Mother's Day is around the corner, and it's hard trying to make it special living in different states. Any thoughts and how to make mom feel special from miles away?
    • Writing Assignments. Whenever I'm avoiding a writing assignment, I turn to blogging. I end up being more productive than I intended.
    • Support. Something as simple as a word of affirmation, or a personal e-mail goes a long way. I'm making it a weekly task to reach out to people I support and ask them about a specific event they hosted, an event they attended, a blog post they wrote, or just find out what they are preoccupying their time with now-a-days.
    • Love. Complex in nature. At this age, I'm feeling pressure. I'm racing against an imaginary clock, and some deep-seeded desires to start a family. I'm hungering for more. Not letting fear or insecurities get in the way. 
    • Musiq. Soulchild, that is. His new album 'MusiqintheMagiq' is in stores right now. I support consistently meaningful work from authentic artists. Musiq makes the cut! My favorite album: Aijuswanaseing.
    • Growing Up. I can't believe we are in the fifth month of the year already! Going through the ahhs! and ouchs! of life, I pray to God I'm learning how to better handle/cope with these situations...so the next time, I'll be better equipped.
    • Shows with Substance. I became hooked on the comedy/drama Parenthood (NBC) and have been watching the entire DVD Series. The show is just plain real, and it chronicles a family and the dynamics of all aspects of love and relationships. I just found out about this comedic show called The Middle, it's about The Hecks, a middle-class family (wife husband, 3 kids) and it stars the janitor from Scrubs and Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond
    • RAIN. There's been a steady stream of rain outside today. The house is abnormally dark, damp smelling. Rain makes me reflective. It makes me think about lazy days spent watching movies and ordering Chinese lo-mein. Snuggling with your children, or loved ones. Or even laying in my favorite couch reading the latest book on the list.
    What are some things you're thankful for today?

    Photo credit.


    Rock Your Crown: Natural Hair Journey

    In Chris Rock's 2009 documentary entitled Good Hair, Maya Angelou was quoted as saying "Hair is a woman's glory." I instantly thought to myself, she's so deep and poetic even in normal conversation! *snaps fingers* The reason this quote stuck with me was because I immediately thought about hair being equivalent to a woman’s crown, and being the first thing someone notices, after your face (in general.) How much time, money and dedication do we as women spend washing, styling, polishing, dying, extending, cutting, and trying oh-so-many different treatments on our crowns? It gets tiring and not to mention expensive.

    In 2008 (March 8th to be exact), at the age of 23, I got off the creamy crack (most popularly known as lye perms) and decided to cut my processed hair off. A brand new start. I consulted with some books (including this one), mostly online resources to decide what would be the best thing for me to do, with my unique hair texture. After a couple of months of trying to grow some hair in (so that I wouldn’t have the shock of going super short) I decided that I wouldn’t let fear hold me back from a new start. I was ready to meet what would grow, learn how to nourish it, and be proud of it!

    As the product of mixed parents, many Black women would look at my curls and say ‘Oh, please! I would love to have your hair texture!’ as if to downplay a decision that took me so many years to get to. It was a hard thing to get used to hearing because for me, my hair was relatively still hard to manage until I got a hold of the right products, and experimented with new styles. I think that’s a natural reaction since most women (me included) have the case of want-what-they-don’t-have when it comes to hair. 

    For the most part, going natural was the best decision I’ve ever made. It made me bold and adventurous, and also made me realize how ‘silly’ hair is. Silly to spend a perfectly good Saturday afternoon stuck in a hair salon (month after month). Silly to spend so much money stripping/straightening a perfect piece of you, altering what God gave you! Silly to believe that you won’t look good with short hair, or that natural hair isn’t for you, or that you still can’t find a healthier way to acquire some of those favorite looks! I don’t have anything against women who’d rather have their straight do’s, but only if you’ve given your own natural hair a chance! Well, what are you waiting for? Still going back and forth on that decision? Here are some more reasons why you should make the switch. Check out these beautiful looks that can be yours from Le Coil, and another great blog resource, Newly Natural, that will inspire you to make that change!

    And now for my own photos:

    Short cuts! 
    My favorite style is the short cuts that are practically ‘wash-and-wear’ because they support my ‘less-is-more’ lifestyle. I don’t like to spend too much time getting ready in the morning. The funny thing about this style is that I never realized how good it looked until it was already grown out!

    Medium Pow: 
     The middle length was a little hard to deal with, especially before the point that the hair can be put up in a ponytail.  Most of the time I spend either double-strand twisting it, then letting it loose. I also got it braided at this stage to make it a little easier to manage some of the unevenness. It required 3 P’s- planning, product, and more patience before heading out.

    Long and Lovely! 
    This is the longest I’ve worn my natural hair, before I decided to cut it due to the amount of maintenance. Also I’ve learned that with highlight or coloring treatments, after a couple of months the colored hair gets really damaged and the color takes on a new hue. My blonde highlights ended up looking like hay after a while, and my reddish-honey blonde dye job now looks like pumpkin-hued tips. Eventually, you have to cut that out, or cover that up. The picture with my straight hair, is a natural picture, and it's about the healthiest my hair has even been at that length.

    I end this story on a sad note (Don't judge me!), having opted for a texturizer last month (but not after long consideration). Texturizers are pushed on sistah’s trying to ‘loosen’ their kinks and curls. I did it to make it easier to maintain a blow-dry and try a different straight look. I’m satisfied with the way the cut came out, but have also realized I’ve sacrificed my natural curl to the point that my hair, in its natural state (after a wash) ends up looking like the driest mess anyone has ever seen. No matter how much moisture products I try, I have straight pieces and curly pieces- no uniformity. It simply does not look good curly anymore. So pretty soon, I’ll be back to the barbershop, where my male barber will take out that familiar instrument…and I’ll be starting brand new again.

    So I went from this....
                                                                Yes, my ends match the wall color.
    To this...
                                                         Can we spell OVERPROCESSED?!

    So, what's the verdict folks?! Which one is your favorite-Short, Medium, Long, Processed? I love them all, and miss my curls!