All Posts By

Asia

In Artist

The Language of Love: Why I Sing

I remember the days of growing up in a family of six, seven when my step-brother Michael was either visiting us or we were at our grandparent’s house for the summer. There was one thing you could count on other than us kids laughing and fighting and that my dear friends, was music. Music was a constant in our household, our parents loved to listen to the “oldies” as we called it even back then. They would throw parties and I would sneak out of my bed at night and peak around the corner into the living room and see them getting down (George and Weezie Jefferson style) with their friends. As I watched them and listened to the music pouring out of their eight-track, I was happy. Thus, began my love of music, which I believe is the universal language of love.

My mother’s desire was to be a professional singer and while she did have a few lucky breaks; performing with Andre Crouch, the Gong show and other small stage venues, she eventually settled for the life as a wife and mother. Thankfully, she passed on her musical talents and genes to me and at least one of my brothers (Khalifah), sorry Hashim, Cedric and Michael. However, their talents led them to break dancing and quite well I might add, so much so that on the weekend’s our house garage was known as the break dancer’s cardboard hang out! Anyone remember the movie, Breakin’?

My mother was my greatest muse and like her, I had my share of lucky breaks. I was on the 1st original Deutschland series, “Popstars” with No Angels. It was an eye-opening experience to say the less and I do not mean this in a positive way. Out of 100 young ambitious girls, I made it to the final 10 only to be cast off the show as quote, “not needing Popstars, as I did not fit to a girl group. Apparently, I was already a solo act.” Sounds great on television but did little to impress me. In any case, I capitalized on my fame from Popstars and got an offer to embark on a solo singing career. I was doing interview left and write, receiving positive feedback and had people asking for my autograph. I had a manager, vocal coach and entourage. Sounds thrilling, so one would think… Then enter the music industry and the managers who wanted to take all the credit and money I mind you. I was young and naïve but God had given me the wisdom to say no and I walked away, left it all behind or so I thought.

My love for music had been absent, something changed. I threw myself the longest pity party ever! Mind you this was no ordinary pity party because I was an African American, former runway model living in Stuttgart and eventually moved to Munich; so the party was always surrounded by people who were willing to take me out to forget my woo’s.

Taking some time to reflect on why I had wanted a music career in the first place, I began to search my soul and listen to A LOT of music. Eventually, I realized I was wasting my talents and life to be fare. It hit me that God had blessed me with so many talents and I was not using one of them. While, it took me a few years to accept this gift and others that I believe God has blessed me with and not do anything that would compromise my ethics, my morals and most of all; my love for music. I ditched the fake friends, rediscovered my love for music and life. Happily, I went on to work with some amazing artists and wonderful musicians. Now I am singing and writing the music I want to put my voice to and that this voice wants to make people smile, laugh and have joy unspeakable joy.

In 2008, I created my own Bossa Nova band called, “Moccalicious” and boy that was fun. However, after little success and one failed Demo album, we peacefully parted ways. Shortly thereafter, I joined Munich Swing Set (MSS) http://www.munich-swing-set.de and have been singing the language of love for the past 9 years. This September, I have begun working on my 1st solo studio album to be release in 2018 with two former members of Moccalicious.

All this to say that music was, is and will always be in my soul. If you find yourself at some cross-roads in your life, take a break and a break can be as short or long as you need it to be, to discover what your “love” is and what your talents are and then you can decide whether or not you’re ready to sing, dance and/ or just be happy!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

 

In Travel

Walchseer Hof (Tirol, Austria)

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The hills are alive indeed at Walchsee in Tirol, Austria http://www.walchseerhof.com What makes these hills even more alive is the beautiful view, while staying at the Walchseer Hof Hotel where Georg and his small but gracious team went out of their way to make you feel at home, relaxed and full from the absolutely amazing gourmet food served for kings and queens. Their motto, “a little luxury” and this is an understatement. Between sitting outside on the beautiful terrace overlooking the mountains, while drinking the best latte macchiato I have EVER had, the delicious food and wine suggestions that matched perfectly or enjoying the Spa on the top floor at night, overlooking a beautiful night sky aligned with stars! Even Did I tell you about the amazing food! My mouth is still watering over the hand-made ravioli, as well as the variety of things to choose from for breakfast, your traditional Weißwurst, marmalade, muesli with (chia seed, flaxseed and nuts) and every morning a nice bottle a sekt for those who want to make mimosa with the freshly pressed orange juice.

I was equally impressed by their hospitality, spectacular views, how easy it was to get out and about. Down the road about 15 -20 minute drive depending if you get stuck behind a tractor and warning there are a lot. There is a place to go down the mountain in a bobsled, I DID IT! Granted I was going the speed of a turtle but hey I got out of my comfort zone. There is also not far from there an animal zoo where you see all the cute fury and not so fury animals up close and personal. Anyone who is sensitive to poo, if I can move past it, then so can you. Also from directly from the hotel, we did a 1 hour hike up into the mountains that was breathtaking and where the Apfelstrudel got rave reviews.

The small but little gestures that turned this family holiday into a luxurious vacation continue to stay fresh in my mind. Whether it was the homemade cake and beverages that awaited us in our room, the fresh water and fresh mint hand-picked from their garden that was always available and the most delicious basket of red apples I have ever seen and I can’t even begin to describe the taste. Every afternoon in the entry lounge there was a fresh pot of tea brewing and home-made pastry cakes that my 2 ½ year old couldn’t keep his grubby little hands off. Therefore, forcing me to eat several. I know it seems I’m really keen on food but isn’t this what we all want, good quality food, inviting ambience and surroundings to boot. On our departure they gave us these cute handmade pin wood chips, I am looking forward to winter even more so I can make good use of these.

From Munich, it is about a 1 ½ hour drive and for those of you who don’t live near to Munich or in Germany, I would highly recommend this as a must-do on your vacation list when considering a day or two trip of Tirol, Austria.

This is our new go-to weekend get-a-way, I just hope there will be a room available for us. Woodluv Diaries luvs Walchseer Hof Hotel.

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

 

In Faith and Inspiration

Vitamin DAB

The most important vitamin out there: DAB (Daily Audio Bible). Now you may or may not have heard of this Vitamin but I can promise you it will 100% change your mind, body and spirit. Thanks to the obedience of Brian Hardin who 13 years ago began to read the bible out loud, when Podcast were just coming up and out. Possibly, the 1st ever to have people being able to call in at the end of him reading the bible, with prayer request. During my request for a “temporary leave of absence” of 1 year from being the hardest working Assistant in town to Ralph Lauren, where I told him, “don’t worry, I’ll be back.” I was in desperate need of some good vitamins. Enroute to Munich, where I knew all of 2 people and was embarking on a temporary new position within the Company. I truly believed that God had opened doors, only he could and to allow such an opportunity. Most of my friends and family for that matter, thought I was crazy; oh heck who am I kidding, I was terrified. There I was flying off into the sunset (que the music of plates crashing) as I arrived to a very cold and snowy Munich and cold would also be the atmosphere into which my new job would remind me of at every turn possible. My so called 2 friends; left me to my own devices and therefore, quickly I was feeling very alone and unsure of what disaster I had welcomed myself into, not to mention COLD! Imagine me sitting in my luxurious hotel suite crying on the phone to my sister-in-law all the way in Norway, telling her through huffs and puffs, “I made the biggest mistake of my life leaving Ralph & New York to com here! She calmly said, well Asia then call him and tell him you made a mistake and want to come home, he will be too happy.

You might think, easy enough but have you all heard of that little thing called, “pride?” It would not allow me to relent, retreat and lastly return. Instead, I prayed and asked God to show me what he had planned, to which I was lead to pray. 1st my brother, then a friend told me about this really cool podcast called Daily Audio Bible, where this cool guy from Tennessee, reads the bible to you. You can download it from iTunes…hey this iPod thing might turn into a good investment after all…who knew!

Over these last 13 years the DAB has become a part of my life, my family and I am honored to call Brian and his team along with many of the listeners my friends. People from all across the world listen, call in and reach out for prayer and give praise report, incl. myself. Not only am I a part of a Christian Community through the DAB but also through DAB Friends on Facebook. Again with Facebook but we all know, it is what it is. Those days where I felt lonely and abandoned in what soon was no longer feeling like a small city or village; I clung to listening to God’s word EVERYDAY! After each reading Brian gives commentary that anyone can understand, comprehend and relate to. Let me be completely honest, in the past I had a hard time understanding the bible in it’s context and I know I can’t be the only one who couldn’t pronounce half of the names and cities in the bible. I was butchering much of these said names, and had to laugh at the actual correct pronunciation. Thank goodness for the sanctuary of walls…this is a different way of understanding what the passages are all about with the knowledge and humor Brian adds to just about everything he does and says.

We all know that behind every great man there is a woman right behind him. Jill, Brian’s beautifully enthusiastic, charming, loving, funny- ya’ll need to hear her pronouncing some of these crazy names in the bible, yeah you heard me I said crazy in reference to the bible, because who on earth would name their child, “Jehoshaphat” I pronounced it geo-oh-shap-hat…anyhow, there are times when Jill has had to take the reigns and those are days when you know you are seriously about to be needing some tissue to wipe the happy, laughing tears from your face. She is also the resound voice behind some of the music Brian plays to serenade the end of a podcast after closing out with a daily prayer for us all. You can find Daily Audio Bible here: and if you want to be apart of an amazing faith community, check out DAB Friends on Facebook here: if you want to hear the angelic vocals of Jill Parr, you can find her on iTunes and heck, just google her and be just as wowed as I am. As many of us take our daily supplements and vitamins, you can be sure this is one vitamin I will never forget to take. 13 years and going strong. It is vital that I take my daily dosage of Vitamin DAB, other than my love for the Young & the Restless and General Hospital, I haven’t been addicted to anything this good and for this long. If you have not stopped while reading this to check out Daily Audio Bible, do so now @ dailyaudiobible.com

Woodluv Diaries luvs DAB!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

 

2 In Beauty & Health

Pinkie & Me

Now you might think, who on earth is Pinkie is what does this have to do with Beauty? Well, we all know that beauty is skin deep and comes from the inside out or at least this is what my mom always told me. Pinkie is slowly becoming attached to my hip, in literal terms because it is there where I see the extra pounds have creeped in like a fly that got through the screen door because someone left it open to wide! In this case, I have been leaving my mouth wide open to too many unhealthy things because well, let’s face it because I was just having way too much fun. Between dining out, eating my sons leftover food to avoid having to throw it out and another fact it’s SUMMER and what good is summer if you can’t have a glass or two or three…of Lillet and Prosecco Aperol. Confession’s of a lifestyle Youtube channeler, I let my eating habits go a bit overboard and who wants to go to the gym when it’s blue skies and the sun is pushing you to stay inside or under the shade of a tree that just so happens to be located in a beer garden? So I welcomed Pinkie into my life a few weeks ago, thanks to the amazing talents of again Erica McIntyre. If you haven’t realized by now, she and I have created a bond I hope will last for eternity. Pinkie and I are saluting you Erica…

Pinkie is not actually “it’s real name” formally know to some as Plexus Slim, a drink founded by Plexus. Say what, you haven’t heard of Plexus; well don’t feel bad neither had I until maybe 6 months ago. I kept seeing this pink drink popping up on various Facebook pages, advertisements, etc. I assumed it was pink lemonade but as I have come to learn, we/ I make way too many assumptions and much to our surprise they usually are wrong and boy was I wrong. Plexus Slim is a powder supplement composed of (see photo) and taste like, are you ready for it; pink lemonade (drums please) AND watermelon, raspberries and a tangy taste of lemon. In other words, it’s simply delicious! There are no artificial sweeteners or colors, gluten free, 100% vegetarian. Apparently, Plexus was designed to help people who suffered from diabetes to get their blood sugar under control. Little did they know that this would be beneficial in not only helping people to get their blood sugar under control but additional side effects include; weight loss and ALL things good for cleaning you gut! Now let me just say, I am skeptical about a lot of things, hence it’s why I wanted to share all my experiences through WLD in products, things and places that I have personally had the pleasure of researching/ testing and making a conscious and biased opinion. AND it is in my opinion that Pinkie and me are going to be together for a while. Plexus is not a diet but a healthy way of living by focusing on one of the core essentials to good (gut health) and that is through the gut… I have since, reached out to Erica to purchase more Plexus products and will keep you informed to the good benefits and/or negative things I discover. What I found interesting along with the long list of products that Plexus has to offer that they reiterate that this is NOT a diet and a cure for disease and that along with promoting “gut” health, one must incorporate some kind of physical activity 2-3 times a week. While one might think this is common sense, many have yet to make the connection: Gut health + some level of fitness= GOOD/ HEALTHY living. Who wants to be on a diet for the rest of their lives because I for one know too many people who have been on a diet since the day drive-thru’s and all these frappe-ccino something’s came on the market. Originally, I tried Plexus because I was not only interested in getting my gut healthy, but the few extra pounds someone what motivated me too. Since trying Slim, I do feel better; more energy, eating less and have started going for 15-20 min. jogs 2-3 times a week, something is changing inside me.

Here at WLD we want to always be honest, truthful and not telling or promoting something we think is bad, negative or a waste of your time and money. Lord, knows I have been duped, stumped, hoodwinked and any other dubious terms you can think of to last me a last time.

Dear Pinkie, I hope you’re not offended that I have “outed” you like this but you KNOW how much I adore you and can’t keep you to myself, no matter how good you taste. Toast yourself to better gut health, and shop directly at WLD herehttp://shopmyplexus.com/woodluvdiaries/ and have a look @Plexus Slim

Woodluv Diaries luvs Plexus Slim aka Pinkie!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

 

In Artist/ Culture

The soulful voice of David B. Whitley

Can you imagine Teddy Pendergrass, R.Kelly, Luther Vandross, and Maxwell all rolled into one?! Well, you need not wait any longer for the soulful voice of David B. Whitley. For those of us fortunate enough to have heard or seen David perform, we have been sung to by royalty. WLD had the privilege last year to sit down and have coffee with the star from THE VOICE and BLUES BROTHERS to name a few of the amazing projects he lends his talented pipes to.  Whether he is in the studio cutting his next release album or  performing with the very beautiful and soulful Diva herself; Cassandra Steen, you can be sure he is bringing a smile to your face. I have know and met many artist but none with the likes of David B. Whitley. Singer, songwriter and vocal coach to the stars (can you say Usher), yeah you heard me! For years, I have kept his music on rotation and buying up CD’s to gift to family and friends faster than a grandma on her roller-skates. If you have yet to discover his silky, velvety voice, than you might want to go and buys some roller-skates or better yet, have a listen here http://www.the-voice-of-germany.de/video/312-david-whitley-a-song-for-you-clip or http://www.david-whitley.com

Woodluv Diaries luvs David Whitley!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

 

In Cuisine

Can I really make this…butter or margarine?

The answer my dear friends is; it’s in the pudding but in this case, just have a browse through my photo gallery. Apparently, I have a condition called, “re-creatiatis” laugh if you must, although I have found myself laughing at trying to re-create dishes I have come to love in whatever country I am dining in and/ or had the pleasure of sampling and have no idea how to translate some of the ingredients into english. Still don’t know what Matzipan is, help anyone? Do you ever find yourself buying cookbooks, as if they were indeed shoes and piling them up, hiding them in places for my husband not to find? Do you devour the pages of these cookbooks, looking for enticing things to cook, to see if the recipe’s are really as easy and simple as they claim to be…who of you have not been there? The recipe says it will take 30 mins and you end up spending and entire evening trying to duplicate something and it turns into a nightmare, where you find yourself dumping the lot and rushing to the store to gather up all the needed ingredients. You too may be suffering from re-creatiatis! Please, oh please tell me I am not the only one. Like recipes books, I do the same with food and wine magazines; just gotta have it! Whether it’s a recipe in Martha Stewart, PEOPLE, RealSimple, Bon Appetite or touch swiping on Pinterest, I’ve got the re-creatiatis rather bad. Often dreaming of having my own cooking show where I challenge the Author of such books and their simple recipe claims to yet another dual but this time in the kitchen.  From the wine recommendation, I am eagerly testing them to ensure indeed it goes with the meal. And the winner is; usually the Authors as I have found that many of the recipes I choose to re-create have come out quite good, and the wines usually pair rather suitably. Although, the process is ongoing, I have yet to find a cure for my condition but have learned that sometimes it is ok to use margarine vs. butter or do we need to step back into the ring? Until then, please keep serving up the wine to which I strongly suggest adding Champagne to the pairing list; cheers!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love sweet

In Culture/ Travel

Asia in Munich

Let me count all the ways that I love the city of Munich. For all things food, nature and the complicated dialect of Bayerisch; are just a few of the things I have come to adore. One can truly find him or herself wondering how is it possible not to fall in love with the German culture. Munich is located in the south of Bavaria and surrounded by massive lakes, mountains and lederhosen, as far as one can yodel. And yes, they do yodel here and do the funny knee, leg, paddle your butt dance but hey it is not as easy as it looks. After moving here 12 years ago from the hustle and the bustle of the big apple, I thought I had escaped literally into the calmness of one, that being me (Asia) in Munich. It all started with the purchase of a bicycle. Mind you I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was maybe 17 or 18 years old and this is how the love story began. The best way to see and experience this city is on two wheels that require no benzene and preferably after waking up in the morning and dipping out the door to go around the corner to one of the hundreds of local bakeries to get freshly baked croissants- let me say this again freshly baked croissants that water your mouth with a crispy crunch that quickly turns into a soft sensation of buttered heaven. I can promise you, you’ve never tasted a croissant like this before. Now hold on, because I know there may be another country claiming “their” croissants are the best but I do not live in France and this story is about me, living here and now. If someone wants to fly me France, I am happy to take a German croissant with me for a dual to decide which is the winner. With a bicycle you can venture to an oasis of small or big rivers throughout and near Munich. Although, I am not a fan of water (make your own conclusions), I do enjoy laying on a blanket with it’s view before my eyes. Watching the sun go down and having a nice glass of Riesling is definitely something one should do more of but then I wouldn’t be able to get back on the bike and steer without incident. If I am not on my bike the next best thing is hiking in the thrills of the hills in Bavarian Alps. Hiking boots anyone? You have to see it, well make that climb them to believe them, the hills do have eyes so be sure to pack your sunglasses, all proof light weather jacket and don’t forget the sunscreen. Got your camera ready…stay tuned

Liebesüss| Love sweet

In Artist/ Fashion

Bavaria welcomes Ms. Black New York

Imagine my surprise to find out my cousin Kade Henderson, had entered and won the title of Miss Black New York. I tell you there is so much talent within this family, I am truly honored to be a part of it. In 2015 Woodluv Diaries had the pleasure of welcoming my beautiful cousin on her European tour where she was invited to Paris, Milan and last to the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich. We ventured out and about, snapping photos left and right, many gathered around to have photos taken with Kade, as not only were they captivated by her beauty but walking around town with that sash, who can resist. We seriously believe in Japan she is indeed famous…Not only did I introduce her to the magic this city has to offer but while here I took the opportunity to get her sponsorship for the Miss Black America pageant which was held in Washington, D.C. A very distinguished shop, “Unique Pearls” that handcraft’s the finest Pearls into every woman’s fantasy, was honored to have someone for New York, especially Miss Black New York wearing her designs for a meet and greet with then President and First Lady, Michelle Obama. Implementing my cross-cultural connections, I secured MAC Cosmetics in New York City to sponsor Kade for all her make-up and beauty needs for the pageant, as well as renowned perfumer’Bart Schmidt who was very generous in providing the perfect scent for her to dash and sash around the White House. We all know too well how a scent can magically transcend our entire body into orbit and make moments even more memorable. Too find out the results, log on to Instagram.com/kadesmode and be sure to see all that Kade is up @ https://kadesmode.com/miss-black-new-york-usa-2015

Woodluv Diaries luvs Kadesmode!

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet

In Beauty & Health

The discontinuation of me (Roger & Gallet)

Of all the first things to blog about, I envisioned it being about a restaurant I just so happened upon or my latest trip to a fabulous 5-star hotel, but none of those things can compare to the thing I think we all cherish most: our health. More to the point, our bodies and how we smell! Well at least, some of us have the pleasure of having clean water to bath in and an ample supply of beauty products to leave us smelling and dare I say looking good. Therefore, I ask “have you ever wondered what happiness really smells like? And no I am not talking about how Benjamin Pratt or Sarah Jessica Parker’s body smells fresh from the shower; although… I am however talking about a smell so fresh and clean it brings not only a smile to your entire face but in the words of my husband, “you smell sexy!”

May I introduce to you “Gingembre” from the genius minds of French perfumiers Roger & Gallet. If I’d know back in high school that one day I’d be wanting to get down on bended knee to ask these two, please please not discontinue what has become my signature scent, I would have paid more attention. Instead all I can say is, “Ferme ta bouche” (shut your mouth) because this was all my French teacher would say to me, “Ferme ta bouche Jacqueline” my chosen French name as I still very much disliked my birth name. Anyhow, Roger & Gallet if you can hear me, I am so happy to not Ferme ta bouche and beg of you; please please (S’il vous plaît) ok two things I can say in French, don’t discontinue Gingembre. I have driven, walked and bicycled all over the city of Munich buying up all the Gingembre products I can find. With desperation asking the clerk, to check in back one last time. One positive thing about all this sadness is that since it is being discontinued, I’ve been able to purchase it at 50% off and while I do love most of their products, I have often had to forego buying lunch in lieu of walking out of the store with my Roger & Gallet mini shopping bag. The days of fighting my sister-in-law (I won Pam) for her stash are over. I hesitated in writing this for fear of others finding a secret hide away of Gingembre stock somewhere out of my grasp. However, I have learned that it makes me happy when I can smell happiness on others because if we all have learned one thing, it is that happiness does make the world go round. @Roger & Gallet, if by chance you are cleaning out leftover stock of Gingembre, you would make me the happiest of ladies if you would just package it right up and send it to Woodluv Diaries front door. Merci beaucoup, oh my french teacher would be so proud. Woodluv Diaries luvs Roger & Gallet! Remember to Liebesüss/ Love sweet

Remember to Liebesüss| Love Sweet