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a personal collective of everything that embodies Adrienne and her quest to discover what she is supposed to do..
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1. jet magazine giveaway + article

Many thanks to Deanna Martin-Osuagwu over at Jet Magazine for allowing me to share a few words on my experience exploring my ancestry and my inspiration for writing my children’s (…) Read more

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2. upcoming: hug-a-tree program at the children’s garden

You are invited to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day at the Sarasota Children’s Garden next Saturday, April 13th from 2-3 PM. In addition to giving big bear hugs to (…) Read more

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3. leaning in for cosmopolitan

Hot off the press and magazine newsstands! Look out for my Lean In story in the May edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Words of gratitude can’t express how thankful I am (…) Read more

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4. i’m back

Throw the confetti and cue the marching band. After being away so long, long, long — I’ve returned! Wahooo! What amazing tales will I share with you from this point (…) Read more

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5. Orbit Baby G2 Giveaway on Baby Gizmo

I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve been around these parts and I’m back with a fun post to help my preggo Sis-in-Law. In an attempt to win some ultra cool baby swag for the mommy-to-be I direct your attention to Baby Gizmo who is giving away a magnificent Orbit Baby G2. This is not your ordinary stroller by any means. This baby for baby is so luxurious I might even have a hard time parting with it should I be lucky enough to win. The 360 degree seat turn feature is just amazing, but don’t let me tell it… Visit Baby Gizmo and check out the full youtube video review.

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6. Children Inspire Design Contest

What?! Again? So soon? Yes, another contest plug here on the blog, but this one is for myself.

Rebecca Peragine of Children Inspire Design is giving away one of her beautiful prints and if the universe is good to me I’ll be lucky enough to win one. She’s asking that we spread the word about the contest and so here you have it:

Hey Folks-

Last night I had a moment of frustration as my creative process was standing at a dead halt. So I reached out to you all on Facebook asking for inspiration and was OVERWHELMED with the amount of quotes you sent me. So, I decided to turn this into an event- and you get to design my next series of art! Send me your best quotes and I’ll choose a few from them to include in my new collection which will launch April 1. The people chosen will receive a free print with their quote + a $50 gift certificate. Plus, I’ll be giving away another $50 certificate at random- here’s how you can win that one:

-each comment equals one entry, you may leave as many entries as you’d like
-get a friend to friend us on FB and you’ll earn another entry
-repost our contest on FB, blogs, twitter and receive an entry each time

**tally up your total and leave the number in a comment here on our blog.
The contest will end next Wednesday the 15th. I’ll anounce winners the following weekend:)

Feel free to join in the contest as well and good luck to all! :)

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7. Simmons Kid Tour Buggy Giveaway on Baby Gizmo

I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve been around these parts and I’m back with a fun post to help my preggo Sis-in-Law. In an attempt to win some ultra cool baby swag for the mommy-to-be I direct your attention to Baby Gizmo who is giving away a magnificent Simmons Kid Tour Buggy. This is not your ordinary stroller by any means. This baby for baby is so luxurious I might even have a hard time parting with it should I be lucky enough to win. The bassinet to seat feature is just amazing, but don’t let me tell it… Visit Baby Gizmo and check out the full youtube video review.

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8. upcoming: national black book festival

You are invited!

Please join me for this special two day event. Bring a friend, a family member and warm smiles. I will be signing copies of my children’s book titled, Isaac and the Bah Family Tree. The event details are as follows:

National Black Book Festival

When: Saturday, June 11th from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Sunday June 12th from 1:00-6:00 p.m.
Where: Doubletree Hotel – Downtown Houston
400 Dallas Street
Houston, TX 77002

Feel free to find out more about the NBBF events, participating authors and much, much, more by clicking on their logo above.

If you already have a copy of Isaac and the Bah Family Tree, please spread the word or pick up a copy for a friend.

Check it out and see you there! Thank you soo much for all your support so far!

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9. hoarding: your letters

I’m quite aware that I’ve never re-read the letters you’ve written, but I’ve kept them. All of them. Dated as long ago as 1994 and possibly further back, they’ve been tucked quietly away in keepsake boxes like treasures from my childhood. I’ve often wondered whether anyone else has clung to the precious cargo and snail mail that I once sent in opposite directions. I wonder if they’ve been carefully looked after or simply discarded into the waste bin. My good sense and feelings are suspicious of the later. In case you’re curious, I’ve kept every card as well. Notes exchanged during long school days (most likely in algebra or while passing in the hall) were saved too.

Since the letters began to slow and altogether cease at the height of electronic mail and Internet, I’ve pondered what to do with this collection of mine. Why do I fancy these letters anyway? I’ve already confessed that I haven’t re-read them. Surely I would never allow them to stay boxed up in a corner collecting dust. No. Never.

I’ll need to discard them. Not later, but almost suddenly. Immediately!

I can’t go on keeping them. They’ve no practical purpose in my present life. Yes, I love to drift back down memory lane where as a teenage girl I loved collecting them and reading them without haste. Those days are gone. Now you send me email or tweets which I don’t necessarily rush to open or read. Maybe I’ll send my electronic response in return, but it all depends if I feel like it. (You know, information overload.) Looking at your letters today I still love the ones where you glued confetti to the yellow wide-ruled paper or the colorful Hello Kitty and Lisa Frank stationary where you scribbled and managed decent penmanship at best. Sometimes the paper stock was simple, but the cursive used to relay your crushes and everyday happenings, were to be marveled. These are the things I miss most when opening my physical mailbox.

So, what I’ve decided is in my great scheme to compact, decrease and preserve space and memory keepsakes, I will archive your letters, as if they are works greater than any others ever created. I will scan them in one-by-one, front-and-back with envelope and postage stamp until they are all digital images of moments which feel long gone. From there I will proceed in making a book with all your letters. This book won’t be for sale and it won’t be on display for others to read. With it I may also leave a present day response or notes on carefully placed blank address labels. Perhaps commentary on penmanship and selection of stationary will be included with a prolog as to how much I prefer snail mail to today’s impersonal electronic musings, rants or raves.

There are a lot of letters in these boxes from many of you. Some of you I cannot remember how we met. Maybe this project will trigger my memory. However it ends, I will keep your letters. Not the physical ones, but something like it.

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10. everything is possible

If compelled to do so and I hope that you’ll be compelled to do so — sign the petition for free and fair elections in Congo.

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11. ethiopia global village book numero ou-lette

Book Screenshot

My latest BLURB photo book project is almost a wrap! After two solid weekends of work and long hours on the computer this second collaborative effort is looking quite smashing. I’m hoping the proof copy says the same. Having the first book to use as guide made the process of creating this second one much easier and faster. I didn’t veer far from the layouts of FIRST, because it worked so well. The only problem this time was there being three more volunteers from this group (three extra team member spreads) and A LOT MORE photos. I couldn’t use several shots of the ladies in the group who made injera simply due to page restraints. I made myself keep the book to a 160 page limit so not to drive the $$$ – cost up and to be able to have premium paper stock.

Book Screenshot1

This is a what the section/chapter dividers look like. I scanned in a copy of the blueprint of a chika house provided to me by the HFHI Ethiopia National Office. Then, I used two photos that best went with the section content. The cover will have a similar look to keep consistency, but I’m still mulling over the back cover content.

Book Screenshot3

Team member pages are the same as the previous go-round with the exception of the bio pages. In order to try to squeeze in as many photos as possible, I tucked one behind the text and kicked the opacity down between 16%-20%. Hopefully everyone will be able to read the text easily. I have to remind myself not everyone can read certain text/font color combos well.

Book Screenshot2

Although this is the second book for an Ethiopia Global Village trip led by me the book will be actually be titled “Seven” or “Seubat.” Looking forward to seeing the finished project and as always, hoping those who were involved use it as a tool to get others involved. :)

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12. pardon the dust while i reinvent myself

adrienne in mirrors

I’ve often fantasized about the most appropriate way to disappear. No, I’m not having suicidal thoughts here. Going off the radar by retreating to a small bungalow in a quiet tropical wilderness which begs for exploration and promotes creativity from the inside and out is all apart of this vision of mine. I’ll go off and away for say, two years or so. And when I return I’ll carry with me the most astounding introspective pieces of art that have lived in my brainstorms for days long before I even had dreams. This fantasy is far more developed than I can share here, but why do I even care to disappear?


1. I want to reinvent myself.

2. I need to reinvent myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like the person I am, but she needs some tweaking. I’m having an honest conversation folks. For some reason I’ve always felt that the process of reinvention involved going off for away from the public opinion of freinds, family and anyone else with unsolicited advice to offer. Maybe this idea comes from a number of memoirs I’ve read where the individual does such a thing leaving everyone in a widespread panic, but when they return they’ve created the most brilliant masterpieces of the century and then they’re all forgiven.

I write this to assure everyone I won’t delve into my fantasy lands by moving to Bermuda and not sending a tweet with my location. Nope. You’ll be able to reach me by phone. I’ll stick around here and on the net at large, but I’m going to switch up the way I interact with it all. It will be limited. At times it may even be a bit scatter brained or uninteresting to some. Oh well. Time to get started.


1 Comments on pardon the dust while i reinvent myself, last added: 1/16/2011
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13. the story of stuff: my prized cd collection


Fade in. When I was a teenager I got my first after school job the day after my 16th birthday. Actually, my mother found the job for me, but that is besides the point. I was the one who spent my evenings working at the local dry cleaners. I worked there day in and day out for nine months and every week’s pay went towards my most valuable and prized collection of compact discs. I’d make my trip over to Best Buy each weekend to exchange my hard earned money for a total of six of the latest releases. My operation was like clock-work: get pay check, spend it, get pay check, spend it… Smashing Pumpkins, Eminem, TLC, Wu-Tang, No Doubt, Stone Temple Pilots, and Beenie Man – I had to have them all and more.

Cut to. My family had to move to Hawaii during my Junior year of high school which placed a slight halt in my routine and weekly pay. I couldn’t stand the thought of not working and providing for myself (expanding my collection). I hit the jackpot In Hawaii though. I landed a job at a music store in Ala Moana mall and later Pearl City. A dream!! Working at the music store made it far too easy to feed my covetous ways. Every check out went right back in and more music was added to my insanely growing music library. One day when I had a lot of extra money to spend (a whole different story) I decided to buy somewhere around 55-60 CDs in one day. If it wasn’t for my store discount I would have easily spent $1,300+, but my total was about $980. No sweat. I was so impressed with myself that I took a picture with the receipt and saved the photo and the receipt. (I have the receipt around here somewhere.)

The college years rolled in before I knew it and off I was to Los Angeles for higher education in the world of arts! Because it can take a month for your goods to arrive from Hawaii to the mainland I decided my music could not be left behind. I refused to be without it. Thankfully some genius had created these CD books that could store 256 CDs in one case. I purchased two and loaded them up for the plane ride to Los Angeles too. Now for some reason my memory says hauling them through HNL was a breeze, but there is no question about the way I was feeling once I reached L.A. My scrawny little bi-ceps were burning while walking through LAX. I must have looked pathetic because a kind brother of Islam stopped selling his bean pies to ask if I needed any help. He was probably thinking something like, “Poor covetous creature…” I thanked him politely and continued to wait for my aunt to arrive.

After college and some real life work experience in the music video industry, I needed to retreat away from Los Angeles. I was in dire need to clear my head and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. I once had a cozy apartment in West LA and some lovely IKEA furniture with credit card debt to prove it, but these things weren’t keeping me happy. I got rid of it all. Of the few things I held onto, you best believe my CD collection was one of them. It had grown somewhere into 1,000+ and I packed each of them up in alphabetical order in this great little boxes my friend got for me. He worked at Tower Records at the time so they were perfect for my music. And the story continues with me and my pal Angel hitting I-10 east bound to Florida. I came back home to mama with all of my CDs.

The escape from Los Angeles to Florida was back in 2003. Which means seven years have passed and the CDs strangely enough never came out their boxes. I listened to my favorites (Bjork, Zap Mama, Les Nubians, etc.), but the rest stayed tucked away out of sight and out of mind. Fade out.

Now I don’t want them anymore. Gasp. It isn’t that I don’t like the music anymore. W

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14. 2010 contender for BEST damn year of my life

adrienne in bathroom

Without a doubt, I’ve been a highly blessed and favored woman wallowing in the joys of sweet, sweet happiness throughout 2010. It is as if the universe positioned all the key ingredients for an awesome year right in the palm of my hand. Before I take my annual stroll down the year that was, I should provide some disclaimers to the secrets of my abundant joy. First one being, I’m broker than a church mouse. (That’s something my mama might say.) Yep! I did NOT expand my bank account with $$$. I did NOT tuck a little extra into my 401k or increase my stock options. I have neither. (But I do have Jesus!) I can’t even say I made any major career advancements. (Nada – Although you said it would happen Ms. Susan Miller. It didn’t.) Another side note: My children’s book “Isaac and the Bah Tree” didn’t soar the top-sellers lists, but ya’ll can still support a sister and get your copy here.

On the flip-side, I managed to suck dry every mile in every frequent flier program I’m enrolled with which lead me to some fairly exotic destinations. And don’t let me fool you into thinking my very merry matrimony to the most amazing man in my life took a back seat to my usual globe gallivanting highlights. (P.S. I got married this year in case I missed getting the memo to everyone. Click here if: A. You missed the memo. B. Are seriously nosy. -OR- C. Wish to know about our forces combined.) Aside from my husband’s love and affection, I was able to be surrounded by the good company of friends near and far.

So that’s the summary. Just beyond these type-written words is the 2010 full-shebang accompanied by pictures, links and more. (I did my best to keep it flowing in chronological order.)

Let’s hit it!

January, February and March were pretty dull. Can’t recall anything spectacular that occurred. Those cold Florida wintry days were consumed with the following: A. Working 40 hour weeks on a temporary assignment. B. Planning my elopement ceremony. AND C. Crafting up ways to visit places outside of Tampa.

In sticking to my usual theme of par-taking in activities, events and social-networks that the average Black American chick usually does NOT par take in, I did recite a poem in Farsi during Norooz this year. My most awesome tutor at the Infinite Edge Learning Center here in Tampa put me up to the challenge during a local Norooz celebration. No footage/pictures exist of my moment there, but you are welcome to hear me recite the poem here. Strange cookie – midoonam. :)

Flash forward to April. After fulfilling my commitment with the temp agency, it was time to have some fun. How so? By going to Kaua’i (a small tropical island mass belonging to the state of Hawai’i) with my then-fiancee. You might recall at the end of 2009 my being victorious in a Trazzler ‘Island’ Writing Contest, which landed me and my lucky dude an opportunity to va-cay in the Aloha State. (Sumo size Mahalo to everyone who voted once more!) Safe to say we had an incredible time.

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15. bama and back in 48 hours

bird pots

This weekend I took two happy hostages with me on a quick seven hour trip up the road to Troy, Alabama. The reason: surprise birthday party for my best friend Latofia. I was suspicious that she had a clue about this long planned event, but as it turned it out she was clueless. She was completely surprised. Before my mother, my husband and I could celebrate with her and the rest of her family we had to kill a little time in Troy.

I did all the driving on the way into Troy on Saturday morning so I was in extra need of a nap. The only problem was I couldn’t get a decent snooze in. I rested between glimpses of that Discovery Channel show, River Monsters. After everyone had gotten a nap besides me it was time to go hunting for our late lunch. In order to make this short jaunt into Alabama like a real weekend sight see fest we had to dine at a place that wasn’t a chain. Our first pick, Sisters was closed, so we headed over to Mossy Grove Schoolhouse Restaurant.

mossy grove schoolhouse restaurant

We arrived around 3:45pm to discover an empty parking lot and a historic looking building right next to the cemetery. These two observations raised grave concerns (no pun intended) until we saw that the opening hours were from 5-9. We went back to the hotel, got ready for the evening and then headed back to Mossy Grove around 5:45pm. We were met with a completely different parking lot scenario this time around. The place was packed and it was obvious that this was a local favorite.

mossy grove appetizers

I don’t want to go into all the savory details about this place, but I do want to share a few key reviews from the three of us. (This is in case whoever is reading plans on making the trip.) Service was warm, friendly, attentive and prompt. The atmosphere is comfy, cozy and filled with antiques and photos in the various rooms of the old schoolhouse. The food is cheap, delicious and filling!!! Seriously! Before we could even make our drink orders we were given a plate of hush-puppies and great northern beans. Sadly, most of it went to waste because we’re not big lovers of hush-puppies and eating the beans wouldn’t have been good for anyone on the road trip back to Florida.

mom and menu

We did try the beans along with the sweet pepper relish atop of each table. When gas isn’t an issue I’d go back and eat more someday. My personal favorite is the fried dill pickles. Don’t eat or order these if you are on any type of medication for hypertension. Oooweee. They were salty, but delish!!! My taste-buds were in heaven. My entree was a porkchop with steamed veggies. It was good.

fried dill pickles

From dinner we proceeded to the beating the birthday chick to her surprise party. We arrived around 7:30pm to find a few of the family members getting the last minute details in place. My mom and I exchanged hugs, smiles and conversations with folks we

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16. analogue love in lomo: zanzibar

zanzibari child playing with toy
Young Zanzibari girl running with wheel in Jambiani Village. Photo shot with a Holga with Lomo 800 film. Photo temperature tweaked only a pinch. Photo: Adrienne Abiodun

For more analogue love in Lomo from Zanzibar check out my albums here:

Horizon: Memories of Jambiani
Sampler: Zanzibar + Light Leaks
Horizon: Zanz Dhow Cruising

More soon. xoxo


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17. my first naija wedding as a bridesmaid

The beautiful bride center and surrounded by bridesmaids and friends. Photo: Wedding Guest

I’ve been summoned to be a bridesmaid in a handful of weddings and unfortunate as it is, I never had the opportunity to service my girlfriends past with such a marvelous duty. When my friend Chinyere politely asked me earlier this year if I’d be willing, I leaped at the chance. I admit, I was half enticed by the traditional western/Igbo wedding. Last night I had the opportunity to take part in a very special event for two very spectacular people. Love, marriage and a whole lot of money spraying — I was at the Naija wedding event of the year.

Now, what else should I tell you about this event? That the bride was gorgeous and that the groom is a very lucky man? Maybe I should mention how beautiful the ceremony was or how the pastor was probably one of my personal all-time favorites of any wedding. (He showcased a good sense of humor). Should I try to describe the audience in attendance: ALL wonderfully decorated in colorful Aso Ebi lace, shimmery gele, printed dresses and smart looking suits? I could highlight the not-so awesome job of the sound crew, but no one wants to hear about that. The single most important thing to note is two people, who love each other very much became one. Amen.

adrienne and funmi_1
Adrienne and Funmi Photo: My husband

Hmmm… I can tell you about my overall experience as a slavebridesmaid. :) This was an African wedding and several jokes were made in many capacities, so if the term above or my humor offends you – I’m not sorry.

Let’s flashback. I remember my excitement the day I came home and told my husband (who is Yoruba) that I was asked to be in a wedding and to also par take in Aso Ebi. Talk about a bubble-buster. My somewhat non-traditional dude briefly explained his position on Aso Ebi and proceeded to ask what was on the menu for dinner that night. Since I wasn’t all that sold on what my hubby was telling me, I went to my virtual friend at GCTC to school me on Nigerian weddings (specifically Aso Ebi) and he forwarded me this link. Eeek.

Undeterred I kept my pledge to my dear friend to be there when emotions are flying at their highest on her wedding day. This is where I give you the inside scoop on all the Nollywood style Bridezilla action that took place. Ready? Well Bridezilla truly never showed up, but a woman who was ready to wed the man she loved was there in full armor. Since I’m used to working various events I have come to the conclusion (long-ago) that if you, me or anyone is apart of the show or working in some capacity it is likely that the personal fun level will be minimal. Such was the case here. I do write all of this smiling.

One of my duties during this event was the collection of money during the “spraying”. See Urban Dictionary definition here. Initially I thought this would be a cake walk. Dance around the bride and groom and pick up some dollar bills as they are being tosse

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18. sunday fun at the siesta key crystal classic

Adrienne in Siesta Key

There are times in life where I feel very much like I’m embracing the “kid at heart.” Today was one of them. I made what will probably be my last trip to the beach for the rest of 2010. Siesta Key (home to one of Florida’s best beaches) played host to the 1st Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic where master sand sculptors from across the country where invited to turn the soft white beach sand into beautiful works of art. You’ll notice from my photos below that the words I am writing are no tall-tale.

Every single sculpture was dynamic. Some were playful and full of fantasy. Others were incredibly thought-provoking. Each one was worthy of prize and applause. If you were not lucky enough to attend I urge you to at least visit their website and read the artists profiles and see their past works in additions to the few snapshots I’ve taken below and poorly captioned. I do hope that Siesta Key will continue to host this wonderful event so I can continue to unleash my inner child over-and-over again. xo

Crystal Sand Logo Wall Logo Wall

SandCastle Circle of Life Sand

Sea Turtle Sand Sculpture

Let Us Be Sand Adrienne with Sand Sculpture


SandSculpture_2 SandSculpture_1

Sand Sculpture Wall

Turkey Sand Sculpture 2 Comments on sunday fun at the siesta key crystal classic, last added: 11/21/2010

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19. saturday night: the final fling with chi-chi

aja with the girls 3

So… Saturday night. Let’s say I had a pretty awesome time celebrating my good friend’s final hooray as an unmarried woman. Disappointed that I had missed her bridal shower while in Ethiopia this year, I wanted to be sure to contribute in FUN to the highest degree possible. But get your head out the gutter. Being the beautiful, classy and oh-so sophisticated ladies we are — there wasn’t anything too risque at this bachelorette party. Or was there? I am not to be held responsible for the cake. I did eat a slice.

We started the night with dinner at Ceviche’s, then moved onto Cepha’s in Ybor before wrapping it up on the dance floor at Aja in Channelside. It was a fairly diverse mix of locations and none of which I’d been to before. (I’ve dined at Ceviche’s in St. Pete, but never Tampa.) The food at Ceviche’s TPA was consistent with what I’ve had in the past, but I prefer the atmosphere of the St. Pete spot. Open-air island / reggae spots are a winner no matter what — so Cepha’s was cool. It was only a pinch strange that there was no one there when we arrived, but who cares? The night was about us ladies having a good time with the beautiful bride-to-be. Aja isn’t a club I plan on visiting again. The DJ downstairs on that particular Saturday night was garbage if you ask me and the crowd, eh-eh. I danced regardless.

No more talking though. Good times and photos below to prove it. :) Looking forward to the wedding next weekend.

Cutting the Cake MA

Chi with Cake Chi serving it up

Cake and eat it too AFL

MAA Chi & Me

aja with the girls 1

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20. now playing: in the bay area

City of Tampa
The home life seems to be back in full swing again. Things feel a bit back to normal (whatever that is) since returning from my around the world ways. I started the good old typical 9 to 5 type of job to hold me tight for while. You know, replenish the piggy bank and that sort of thing. Don’t ask me about the details of this job unless you are the kind of person that tends to discuss and really enjoy topics on drugs like Advair Diskus, Crestor, Xanax and pharmacy practices. Thrilling – no lie.

This evening I went out for some free Argentine Tango lessons in the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park up in downtown TPA. I refreshed my memory of the basic “ocho” and took off for home shortly after. I do believe I could be fairly good at Tango if only I enrolled in a few classes and dance is always a better alternative to running. I’ll have to do something soon. I’ll just have to see if I can get the husband involved. What a bonus that would be and we could stay right here in Tampa. No exotic trips to Buenos Aries necessary, but it would be nice to taste some of the delicious ice cream again. :/

Exit daydream.

Anyhow, my plate will be pretty full as 2010 starts to come to a close, but I’m looking forward to it all right here on the home front. Saying that makes me feel odd for some strange reason. Can’t place my finger on it, but now may be the right time to switch gears. We’ll see.

Downtown Tampa


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21. zanzibar in photos: full throttle on my senses

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22. second time around in ethiopia & the global village

Adrienne with Girma Family

One thing I don’t do nearly enough is return to destinations I’ve previously visited. Coming back to Ethiopia was well worth the second time around. Naturally, the familiarity made Addis Ababa feel more like home and less like an intimidating lesser developed metropolis. But do not allow me to fool you. This second time around wasn’t an exact replica to the first which is full of the warmest and fuzziest memories of any trip ever taken and marked with a stamp in my passport to prove it. There were definitely some differences and only a couple challenges worth noting.

Adrienne with Banner

For starters I was accompanied by four individuals I’d previously built with and 13 new faces. Meaning aside from Yoseph, there were 16 of us total. This was the largest group I’ve lead on a GV project to-date yet, I didn’t do it alone. The project was Co-Lead by Hannah, who was a volunteer on the project in 2008. Together, I think we did a pretty awesome job. The hard part about Co-Leadership is ensuring that the secondary leader is seen as such by the group and as a Team Leader, making sure I’ve relinquished some of the responsibility to that person. Crazy as it may seem, hoarding the responsibility is something that can easily happen.

Having Hannah around for this trip was good. As much as we are alike in our desire to heal the world (especially Ethiopia) of poverty housing, we are still different people. Our thought processes are different which was great in dealing with issues when they arose. Thankfully, there were very few problems with the group.

Adrienne & Hannah

The team was diverse. They were mighty and committed and dedicated to the project. For the most part they were all flexible. Not everyone is a fan of Ethiopian food which is understandable given the texture and the abundance of delicious veggies. I’m just so grateful that the families in Debre Markos continue to do such a great job of prepping the food on site that no one gets / got sick on the build.

Because of the timing of the project we were also able to celebrate World Habitat Day in the field. This actually landed on the date of our arrival in Debre Markos so it got mashed up into the welcome ceremony. It was quite the pleasant reception too. Those of us who were returning to the community were met with large banners draped on houses and the break tent with our names in both English and Amharic. The priests were there drumming, the families were clapping and children met us with yellow wild flowers. Personally, I was highly elated.


Back to World Habitat Day though. The theme this year is “BUILD LOUDER”. For 2010 Habitat for Humanity International is looking fo

1 Comments on second time around in ethiopia & the global village, last added: 11/5/2010
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23. vote for my smart travel piece on trazzler

I’m back from Trazzler traveling East Africa and I’m waaaay past due for splurging the details on the recent adventure. Forgive me. I did take a moment to write a plug on building homes in Debre Markos, Ethiopia for a Trazzler “Smart Travel” writing contest. Although a minimum of only five votes are needed for my entry to qualify, it would mean the world to me if you voted beyond that meager number. (Especially if you believe in this cause too). So how do you help rock the vote?

1. Forward this blog entry to your friends.
2. Make sure you are signed in to Trazzler when you “save” your trip. If you have any problems, you can sign up here http://www.trazzler.com/signup and then go to my page and vote. Remember “save” = vote.
3. Tweet about this trip on Twitter.
4. Share this trip on Facebook.
5. Include this trip in a blog entry or website.
6. The prize is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit one of the most beautiful places on earth–and help preserve it for future generations! Please help get me there!

10 million thank you(s) in advance!


1 Comments on vote for my smart travel piece on trazzler, last added: 10/31/2010
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24. stwm post marathon notes

This is me after the race with my medal at the apartment. I finally stopped having a pity party long enough to smile for the camera.

This is me after the race with my medal at the apartment. I finally stopped having a pity party long enough to smile for the camera.

Most of you already heard the news via my Facebook status update – I totally bombed this race. Yes, that may be an exaggeration to some of you, but that is truly how I felt when walking across the finish line and a pinch of how I feel today. So what went so terribly wrong?

I started the morning with the typical marathon jitters. I was both excited and nervous. I was feeling good about my race bib number (2024) and I was also amped that this was the 21st anniversary of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. (21 is my favorite number.) When I entered my corral, I found the pace bunny I wanted to run with and made small talk with some of the other runners around. One guy had just signed up the day before, hadn’t done any training and hadn’t run a long run in quite some time. Everyone around gave him the crazy eye. I turned my attention to the weather thinking it should all work in my favor. Two minutes before the gun went off the had announced that is was a crisp 10 degrees Celsius outside. (I believe this is about mid 50’s.) I was chilly, but I knew it would warm up once we started. Two minutes later the gun fired. It was time to start moving.

My favorite and least favorite parts of the race all start at the corral. Trying to break past several other runners trying to break past as well seems a bit chaotic, but there is beauty and inspiration in all that early A.M. movement. This was a pretty big race (approx 20,000 runners) and the down side is it gets a bit jammed. I started out very comfortably though. Keeping the 4 hour and 15 minute pace bunny in view I kept my own pace a couple of feet away and went strong until the half way point when I completely lost it. Sure my legs started feeling like 10,000lb weights, but that wasn’t my problem.

My mind was the problem. 21k down the road and my focus went running somewhere else. My mind was divided between making it to the finish with a great time and completely sabotaging my own self. In retrospect, I think I got way ahead of myself. I didn’t set the small markers as mini goal points to make it to. I had already started imagining the finish at the 5k point. In my vision I had the medal and I had actually managed to out run my pace bunny to get a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes. Then I thought about how wonderful of a Facebook status that would be! “Hey guys! I finished the race in lightening speed and I’m a rock star! Now go out there and do it too!!” All this was in my head before I crossed the finish line. Before I knew it I was completely scatter-brained and walking waaaay more than I should have been. The 4h 15 min pace bunny was far ahead and the others were on my heels. Because of the frequent walking breaks I started taking after the 21k it was harder for me to get going again when I mentally wanted to. I tried and surely almost pulled something I knew I wouldn’t want to. It was in my best interest to complete the race walking to the finish. And that’s how I finished with a time of 5 hours and 10 minutes.

My race bib.

My race bib.

All of you who

1 Comments on stwm post marathon notes, last added: 9/29/2010
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25. my inner top model as photographed by the magnificent quar brown on a sunny day in l.a.

Adrienne is here


You have Everything You Need

My sultry pose

Adrienne Dark woman of the water


Purple used to be my favorite color

Like a virgin

Upside down

*All photos taken by Quar Brown. Diffuse glow filter added by me with permission.*


1 Comments on my inner top model as photographed by the magnificent quar brown on a sunny day in l.a., last added: 9/19/2010
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