JeffCamps: The Rainy Day Boot in yellow

Shoe Review:

More frequently JC has been making more and more of an appearance in my shoe closet from his Famous Lita's to these not so height adding Rain Boots.  The spin on the traditional rain boot that drew me to this shoe is that it doesnt engulf your whole leg just to have a rubber shoe made for rainy days & not flash floods.  Far too often its rather annoying to try to be fashion forward on a rainy day that doesnt look like your going to enter the worlds largest puddle jumping contest.  

The one thing I noticed about these pair of JCs is that they ran about a half size small -- so it caused me to get a bigger size.  Not a lady's favorite thing to do but for a cute shoe -- eeehhhh watevs.   Another fault from this Super Funky shoe is the fact that is a rain boot made of rubber....&nd like all rubber shoes -- Insulation is NOT your friend!  If the shoes are kept on too long or you don't have the proper socks on --
your feet will  f r e e e e e z e!    

The UP.side. to these shoes are that they are stylish and that extra special pop of much needed color to any drab rainy day.  Also, they are simplistic enough and have the right accent detail to wear to the office.  The faux shoelaces give it an oxford-esque type of shoe.  I really like the slip-on slip-off aspect of this shoe. The quality of the material does not stretch-out easily and become flimsy with repeated use of the shoe; thus the ankles are cover securely.  I would recommend this fashion forward rain boot that allows you to be stylish and prepared for any precipitation headed your way

Casual Friday

Encounters of 2013: Houston

Although I’ve been traveling to Houston frequently for the past 7months for work, I haven’t gotten a chance to experience Houston outside of the Hotel, Work, Dinner, repeat routine.  My first Houston trip of 2013 I took advantage of my friend relocating to Houston and found some fun to get into. Staying in the Southwest of Houston for work is not one the most exciting parts of the city.  The traffic is pretty much horrendous at any given moment.  That is probably attributed to the lack of public transportation, besides a bus that is also stuck in traffic, and that NO BODY walks or carpools.  I get the whole “not car pooling thing” but for a major city, you would assume to see people out and about walking and living life.  Negative! Houston is not a walk-able city.  However, you can get a decent stroll around some areas of downtown Houston, often referred to as Mid-town, and check out some cool spots.

·         Layal Hookah Midtown: This is a cool BYOB (no liquor) hookah spot with indoor and outdoor seating.  It was poppin’ in there.  There was a wait for both indoor and outdoor seating.  As a frequent “Hookah-er” I don’t think this place has the best indoor ventilation system.  It was kinda stuffy inside and felt like we could possibly get congested.  So we patiently waited until there were available seats on the front patio and enjoyed the outside freshness.  In the midst of having fun and enjoying the evening, rain starts to drizzle down – and good thing I had an umbrella in my purse.  Apparently with the patio, there wasn’t an awning to cover moments like this and was an opening ceiling.  Not the greatest of ideas but, definitely something they should look into.  Unlike other Hookah establishments I visited, they actually placed the hookah on the ground because of “liability issues,” which I thought was rather interesting as I never seen nor heard that before.  My recommendation would be to try to call ahead for availability and not go when there’s any chance of rain in the forecast   
·         Farrago Brunch:  This by far has been the most poppin and hype brunch spot I’ve ever been to in LIFE.  From the outside it looks like it’s a fairly quiet establishment.  When you enter it – it was super poppin’ with a DJ on the 1s & 2s, people everywhere enjoying the libations and music.  The wall art was vibrant and just brought a completely different ambiance than what you would think is outside.  This establishment offers ‘Bottomless Mimosas’ for $13 as part of their brunch special.  I am assuming this is “THEE brunch spot” as Slim Thugga came in and was escorted right to the back – VIP treatment.  I would have been jealous but my party of 4 had already settled in at the bar after embracing the defeat of possibly getting a table aaanndd we became friends with the bar tender. #winning. One dislike about the place was – there was only 1 bartender.  For a super busy Sunday that didn’t seem logical but – hey Im not the one to judge- she kept my Mimosa’s bottomless J.  Since I was in the South I embraced the Chicken and Waffles meal and it was Yummmmy.  I definitely caught the Itis right after but we stayed there for a while and watched a little bit of Good Ole’ Texas Football that was playing on their several screens mounted across the place.  Brunch typically last until 3 or 4pm depending on how busy they are so I would DEF recommend this spot. 

·         Hanks Craw Fish:  When in Rome, do as the Romans do… was the theory I applied when experiencing Crawfish in the South for the first time.  I’m a big fan of seafood so I thought I would give it a whirl.  This establishment seemed like a smaller hideaway spot that you find to have great food.  Whilst engaging in my 1st Crawfishing experience, my friend tells me about how big they can come during crawfish season and how it’s a past-time.  He explains how there are family functions where they cover the tables with newspaper and keep dumping random seasoned flavors of crawfish out for you to enjoy.  After eating my yummy 1pound of mild Cajun crawfish – im ready for the family affair
·         Galleria Mall:   This is a super huge mall. It has a lot of upscale stores that you can shop at.  This multi-level mall is quite interesting because…… It has an Ice Skating Rink built inside.  You can watch from any level above and see the ice rink and those who are learning how to ice skate, practicing, enhancing, and those who just plain show off! LOL.  There are quite a few fancy restaurants within the mall and also within the galleria area.  There are plenty of hotels in the area also.  Outside of Midtown, I would recommend the Galleria Area to stay while visiting Houston.

If you enjoyed this review and the one from NYC, stay tuned!  Can’t wait to continue my web series about the fun at….. MARDI GRAS 2013!!!  Please Follow my Blog and Repost with your friends on Twitter & FB.. To see some of the pictures from these travels & More follow me on Instagram @MuddLuv

Encounters of 2013

A good friend suggested to me that I keep a journal about my travels and adventures.  While that is great way to log every moment of my life, I thought to take it a step further and blog about my travel experiences.  By the end of the year a lot of my travel is forgot about and I can’t quite remember what I do or where I go or heck even WHEN I went somewhere.  People often ask me how many places have I been to in year and I never know.  The fast pace life is extremely conducive for CRS Syndrome – Cant Remember Shiiii.  So to do us all a favor I will be blogging about my travels. It will help me keep account of where I’ve been but MORE IMPORTANTLY, it will provide everyone with my reviews of things to do and places to go, see, and experience.  It will cover Restaurants, Clubs/ Night Life, and any other random adventures I encounter.  I have Big Plans for 2013:  Mardi Gras, Dominican Republic, and hopefully Australia; but even smaller trips need love too!  So without further adieu.. I present to you my first review for  Encounters of 2013 series

The great thing about living in Philly is the public transportation! I can travel between Philly, NYC, DC, NJ on buses or trains that are fairly inexpensive.  After being peer pressured by my #ClassyRatchet Friends, I decided to hop on Megabus for my super cheap $1.50 (.50cents for booking fee) and travel up to the BigApple for a fun filled night with the homies from the 585. 

  • Blarney Stone: We met at this Manhattan location for a few celebratory bday shots.  It was a nice atomosphere that was chilled with good music.
  •  Amensia Night Club:  This is where ish got real, and the night got TURNT up.  We were a little apprehensive about this club because there was a rumor of excessive ratchetness and ghettoism circulating within the establishment.  That was FAR from the case we experienced.  Thanks to a friend who was savvy enough to RSVP, admission to the club was free.  We were there early enough to catch the Free Vodka drinks, so of course I had to partake of my Vodka & Pina fave.  The music was great and DJ was on point – heard hip-hop, reggae, and of course our favorite ratchet selections.  The club earned super kudos for having Hookah in there. In celebration of the bday festivities, bottle service and hookah was ordered to celebrate.  It’s not often, nor have I ever been in, a club that offers the great music selection, popping night club like packed and fun, and hookah.  Its def a spot I would revisit!

Glass Ceilings: No Barrier Unbroken

Glass Ceilings: No Barrier Unbroken

I seem to find myself in the midst of very interesting company, which often leads to even more interesting conversation, 97 % of my time; Interesting being a very relative term. I work in a field that allows me to experience every walk of life: age, sex, gender, profession, socioeconomic status. You name a classification, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with its members. With every person that I meet, there never ceases to be an opportunity to learn a unique (because the other adjectives I might use wouldn’t be PC) perspective on how the world is seen through the eyes of someone new. 
My experiences have often led to many positive, thought-invoking discussions that leave a girl like me tingling at the chance for a friendly debate. Then there are those chance encounters that leave me scratching my head at the ignorance and stupidity that others manage to live inside of each day. Today’s tete-e-tete was one of those head-scratching, dumbfounded, is he really serious encounters...

For those that haven’t figured out what lovely profession gives you the opportunity to experience the wonderful world of diversity like the one outlined at the forefront of my introduction, I work in....wait for it, wait for it...customer service. To many, customer service seems to take on the connotation of “This person is not smart enough to get a real job and, as the pretentious prick that I am, I’m going to try to make you my b!tch” *blinks twice slowly* Instead, I’ve embraced the reality that in order for me to make it doing what I really want to do in life, I can’t relegate any task related to dealing with the public as too demeaning or beneath my level of talent. In order to be a people person, you have to know how to deal with people. Granted, there are some people who are naturally adept at superficial meetings and small talk, that often leads others to believe that the person is a “people person,” however there is a science to knowing how to deal with every walk of life. This science, I get better at perfecting every day. But I am a work in progress, and as such, I am presented with new challenges to overcome in regards to learning how to deal with people.

Before I get too far offtrack, because loquacious probably should have been my middle name (*thinks to myself* maybe that’s what the “L” really stands for) let me just tell you today’s experience. The long and short of how this conversation started was a result of my not removing my work badge after I left work. A gentleman (used very loosely for the purpose of my story) asks what department I worked in to which I told him and his demeanor changes. Mind you, the intelligent conversation leading to this point gave this man no “indication” that I was “working in an entry level position” (Yes, those are direct quotes). After quickly explaining that although I may have entered the company in that department, my skills, abilities, and experiences to date left me with much more on my resume than “entry level” highlights. I toot my own horn when it comes the contributions that I have made and the experience that I have gained through my professional career thus far. The reason I do so is because I deserve the accolades. I work hard. I take initiative. I ask for responsibilities and opportunities that most wouldn’t even think about. The reason: ambition. I know that I will one day be even more accomplished because I work so hard to get the opportunities that I want. convinced as I am of my future success, not everyone feels the same. Even complete and total strangers; not that those opinions too much matter. The rundown of my resume only served to fuel this man’s position that I have already piqued and that, because I am a minority woman in the workplace, I should be content with my current because “it seems as if I [sic] have a pretty comfortable set up. After all, I [sic] don’t honestly expect to roll around with the big boys.” Let’s just say it took strength to not revert to lashing out at, what sounded to me like complete and total stupidity, and give this man a piece of my mind in a way that he would actually listen.

I took a deep breath and proceeded to point out to him that I’d always envisioned myself  at the head of someone’s board room, and the way things were headed, that board room would likely belong to me. Yes, you read that correctly...I will literally be an owner of that board room. Not only that but the capabilities of a woman in the workplace, especially when it comes to organization, prioritization, time/project management, and multi-tasking come second to none (Don’t debate me). And even more than that, it is usually the underestimation of a woman’s abilities in the workplace and the assumption that the “glass ceiling” will always serve as a hinderance that is the ultimate downfall to male counterparts. If the economic theory that minorities (once only referred to as minority women) won’t be able to surpass a certain level of success professionally, “glass ceiling” isn’t a very fitting term. The reason why? Glass is still a penetrable boundary. Any belief that I, or any other woman, wouldn’t be able to “roll around with the big boys” is elementary, at best. I also encouraged this man to hold fast to his belief that I have reached my peak, and my current “female appropriate” career choice was going to be where I subsequently end my career as well. His inquiring mind was a bit confused at this point. But I ended my encounter with this thought: When I shatter every preconceived notion you have about where my career will lead, I guarantee that not only will you see my name in the news BUT your future grandchildren will also be repeating my name as I am sure that my impact on society will have to be documented in what they will be reading as history books. And just in case he didn’t catch my name I repeated it...Veronica L Cooper.

Was my ending a bit dramatic? Maybe. Does that change my sentiment? Nope, not at all. I will rewrite history in my own way. It’s a good thing I was never told to aim for the ceiling because I would’ve ended up stuck. Since my ambitions are so far beyond that, in the grand scheme of things, I’m ok breaking a little glass. 

Review:: Relationship Secrets w/ Kevin Carr

  I recently attended an event that was intended to educate the female population regarding the secrets that dwell within men that us women Just Don’t Understand!  Facilitated by Kevin Carr himself, author of If Men are Dogs, then Women Hold the Leash (, there was a panel that offered various perspectives on relationships from “The Bachelor”, “The Committed Guy”, & “The Married Man”, along with what unintentionally became “The Educated Angry Black Woman.”  There were some key takeaways from the event but there were also some thought provoking discussions that couldn’t all fit in the hour session.  Instead of engaging in the room wide discussion, 2 girlfriends and I sat listening, thinking, soaking in what was being said while snickering our responses to one another. 

The discussion started off with a bang, Why won’t Men Commit?
The Mic was immediately passed right on down to “The Bachelor” where he gave relationships as a euphemism for yet another full time job. As if he couldn’t possibly put in 40 hours at the office and time with a significant other; I guess that’s just too much to ask nowadays. *sideEye*   With the lack of commitment until “men get their sh*t together” It seems as if men can’t compartmentalize the obligations of love life versus career.  Although it should be viewed as 2 totally separate entities  The other panelist, including KevCarr, provided some more meaningful insight with respect to men “just needing time to get where they want to be” aka men having to get their shit together.  

Ladies, Long story short – that’s just an excuse.  The panel dropped some knowledge that a man will be with you regardless of his circumstances.  As a successful woman (I define success as: career, degrees, owns car & home), I as well as other girlfriends find it more and more challenging to find someone who is compatible comparable.  The chemistry could be there and both parties could be equally into each other; but the same standards that a man wants, he is also intimidated by—which leaves a significant number of educated and career driven women in their lonesome.   What is a woman to do?  Hide her accomplishments so a man doesn’t feel belittled? Or be proud of who she is and what she has accomplished and hope that she doesn’t intimidate a potential mate?  Or sit and wait until her “I think he might be Mr. Right” comes around to commit to her?

 Another interesting question for the panel arose, Should individuals should share their “body-count”, or number of sexual partners, with each other when establishing a relationship?
It was quite intriguing to hear a man (The Committed Guy) reference that if a woman had more than 5 sexual partners than that was way too many.  This created a reaction with the audience of “Is this guy serious?”  Furthermore, there were comments made that from his Pre-Wife days, “The Married Man” admitted that some of his sexual encounters were not emotionally bonding with this reference to Vacays in Miami. (If anyone over the age of 21 been to Miami for Memorial Weekend or Spring Break knows what this man is referring to.. naked bodies & temptations everywhere.)  I digress.  But honestly, if this man was serious about 5 partners being too many then, Who does he think that these men out here are sleeping with?  As much as men objectify women, act and say they want to “hit it n quit it”, it seemed like the general consensus of the crowd was that his 5 person limit was rather prude.  Do we as women accept a man who has a significant amount of partners because he was a player, while women are required to have as few as partners as possible?  That math isn’t adding up. 

During the discussion of should the info be revealed or not, a girlfriend of mine leans over and said “That shit is just a sign of insecurity.”  But I never quite thought of it that way.  In my head, the body-count was a factor of an individual’s sexual promiscuity; to determine if he or she was a “Hoe.”  (YES I said HE.. male whores do exist!) As “The Educated Angry Black Woman” began to express her point of view I began to see this issue in a different light.  That number is personal and shouldn’t be disclosed.  The most significant part of asking that question is an issue that could be dealt with the NOW… Knowing one’s status with STDs and HIV are far more important to a relationship whether a man or woman; regardless of the aforementioned body-count.  God only gives us ONE body and ONE life to live, so being responsible with it is KEY!  

Stand for something...fall for anything

Outrage over the shooting death of an unarmed African American teenager has sparked  demonstrations across the U.S. in support of justice for Trayvon Martin. While my heart goes out to his family and friends, this weekend’s demonstration in my hometown has me shaking my head. This time, although peaceful was the tone of the proceedings, the misguided attitudes and information that motivated the support of quite a few demonstrators is puzzling. What’s that adage? Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. Well maybe it should be changed to stand for something that you are not ignorant of or you will fall for anything, including standing for causes that, with your support, have implications that you are not fully aware of. How can you say you want justice for a cause that you yourself are not educated about? How can you fight for justice for the premature ending of one human life and turn a blind eye to the same human lives that have been ended within your own community? How can you say that this is only a case of racism? Why is it that people  band together to support a cause when the perceived implications of the action are racially motivated but hate crimes committed at the hands of people of the same race go generally unnoticed, except by those who are affected personally? Why is it that support is extended to the causes that only seem to have the most salacious details?
Now, I myself marched for Trayvon and my idea of justice for him will only ever be achieved by the hands of God. I didn’t march only because I think that this case is one with only racist implications. Appearances can be deceiving and since I can’t read minds, my speculations on why someone may have been profiled for seeming suspicious behavior is irrelevant. I also didn’t only march in hopes that a man gets crucified for taking the life of another. That may sound strange, but let me explain. The buck doesn’t stop at Zimmerman, the man responsible for Trayvon’s death, being arrested. Although an arrest in this case would leave some satisfied that his or her efforts meant something, an arrest does not guarantee conviction. Then the question of what Zimmerman would be found guilty of in a court of law is yet another pandora’s box that I shall not open today. Realistically speaking, the American justice system can be extremely unfair, to put it lightly. Although I think that if  you commit a crime that you should be punished accordingly, punishment in my opinion is not going to be achieved by any court. For this reason, I take more comfort in saying when justice is served, it won’t be at the hand of a human or a jury of someone’s peers. Therefore, public humiliation and slandering of someone’s name (and you can argue with me all you want, slander is the only thing that can be accomplished by anyone who was not there and witnessed what happened) is not my goal. I do want Trayvon’s family to find comfort. It is my belief that his killer deserves punishment. I also believe that the breakdown of the system used to investigate this shooting was abominable. Shock and disgust over how things were handled the night of the shooting are high priorities on the reason that I marched. Granted, hindsight is always 20-20 and had things been handled differently, a slew of different outcomes could have resulted. But how can one put faith in the ideology that I have freedoms that are protected by law, when those appointed to uphold it aren’t actually doing that? My standpoint on this case is more focused on the implications of what the lack of action by law enforcement can actually cause. When blind eyes are turned, how can an imperfect form of justice even attempt to be served?
 However, my experience taught me that many of the people that I walked alongside, are ignorant of the facts surrounding the case. More than anything else, there are a host of issues and offenses that have occurred throughout American history that seemingly go unnoticed daily. Profiling isn’t new. It happens everyday but why aren’t there demonstrations being held until the problem ceases? Better yet, taking another life is wrong! Most, without any form of social pyschopathy, would agree. Why do we, as a people, not dedicate more time and involvement to everybody’s lives who have been stolen? What makes this case so different if the core values of humanity should dictate that we feel something every time that something happens that would violate another individual?  
The long and short of this is there’s nothing wrong with taking a stand for your beliefs. Just make sure that you are firm on the side of the issue for which you intend to take a stand. There’s nothing worse than having your credibility stolen by that of an inquiring mind. If you fight for what you think is right, take that stand, own it, and be able to defend it. Don’t rely on your best friends uncle’s co-worker’s cousin to incite a fire in you without fully investigating facts versus hearsay.

The Eliotte Geometric Shoe in Blonde

These Shoes are =)

Geometric printed calf hair bootie with leather trim and front lacing; hidden 3" stacked wedge heel; rubber sole. By 80%20
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Pros: Stylish, Comfortable
Best Uses: Travel, Casual Wear
Describe Yourself: Stylish
View On Shoes: I'm Really Into Shoes
4out of 5
I really love these shoes. I know that wedges are comfortable but these shoes are EXTREMELY Comfy and stylish. The appear to be a sneaker-type of shoe but they are in fact a bootie with a hidden wedge.  Since they look like sneakers, they will give me the appeal of looking taller -- even though i love being 5'1 -- FUN SIZE =) They are definitely head turning EVERY time i wear them. I always get compliments on my shoe game so Im excited to have this added to the collection.

What i do not like is the leather shoe string that comes untied so easily. Unfortunately, one of the strings already popped and broke off on one of the shoes. Its not the biggest deal in the world but for me to wear the shoes only 2-3 times already is quite displeasing.  Just adjusting the shoe strings to make it fit is kinda a pain in the butt. Caution:: Leather shoe laces are extremely delicate!