LIMELIGHT: TABITHA TONGOI, FOUNDER OF CRAVING YELLOW | ANAS MUNIRA

28 August 2018

Social media came into our lives and arguably changed it forever. Some would say it's a double-edged sword, well this week's limelight feature seems to have found a balance. Meet Tabitha, Founder of Craving Yellow, a natural hair enthusiast, blogger and entrepreneur.



1. Who is Tabitha and what is Craving Yellow?
Just as in your lovely introduction, I am a blogger, natural hair enthusiast and entrepreneur.
Well, why yellow? Yellow to me is love and sunshine! Craving Yellow began as a blog and most recently morphed into an entrepreneurial venture offers natural hair enthusiasts a range of products best suited for their hair.

2. Did you start out purposefully creating a brand or it's just something that came along the way?
Hehehe not at all! In fact when I began, the blog was a way for me to connect with the world during my time in abroad. Life abroad was quite lonely but the blog helped me connect with the world!
When I made the decision to return home, I explored the idea of creating a subscription box suited for all naturalistas. I took the leap and the results were greater than expected! I'm connecting with my readers in a new way and loving my entrepreneurial journey.


3. What makes you excited to do what you do every day?
The fact that I can help women at home and around the world restore their confidence in wearing out their natural hair and being who they were made to be with no apologies! It warms my heart that my hair journey has inspired young women not just in regards to their hair but also their personal lives. I enjoy interacting with my online community and I always tell my team, Craving Yellow is a relatable brand and because of this, we're here to not only listen to your hair needs but to your personal ones as well!
4. It seems that being a blogger or a social media influencer is the in thing right now, what advice would you give to up and coming bloggers?
What has really helped me stay in tune and focused is staying grounded, particularly in today's harsh social media world. There are so many bloggers out there speaking the same language, but what makes you different? What about you stands out? Stick to that and with time you'll carve out a niche brand for yourself.


5. Being any kind of entrepreneur means working from home sometimes and on your own terms, How do you structure your days to ensure that work gets done?
Time management is key for me. I'm up by 4:30 AM everyday and this gives me ample time to plan my day. I ensure everything I need to do is written out on paper and set aside time to complete my tasks. I then recap at the end of the day to see what worked and what didn't.


6. What has been some of your wow moments so far?
Hehehe that's a tough one! A lot of amazing things have happened in this past year that I've been home. But being back home has been a wow moment in itself! The fear I had coming back has turned into so much hope for the future! So many good things have come from being home! I've reconnected with friends and family and began to build my business. I couldn't be happier!


7. Do you have any plans of going back to the corporate world?
Hehehe I actually have been working for the most part of since I returned back home! I hadn't set my mind on this when I left Australia but once I was back, I thought, why not give it a shot?


8. Would you consider moving again and what country would it be?
I'm always open to new opportunities and if it arises why not? Although, I am looking to settle at home for a while and grow and rekindle old relationships. However, I would love to live in Rwanda! Funny as it sounds, it's a lovely country and I believe there's so much opportunity with its fast growing economy!


9. What's next for Craving Yellow?
Maybe I should start by taking you through what we offer as Craving Yellow. We have 4 products namely; the Craving Yellow Box, Craving Yellow Shampoo Bar, Craving Yellow Satin Bonnet and Craving Yellow Vanilla Buttah. The Craving Yellow Box is a subscription box that contains a selection of products with carefully hand-picked products both locally made products and international products that will help any naturalista either kick-start their journey or create and maintain a hair regimen. This is just the beginning-my team and I are still planning to expand our product portfolio.


10. What would you want Craving Yellow to mean to everyone who comes across the brand?
Firstly, I'd like for them to remember that Craving Yellow is love and sunshine! My platforms are a place for us to interact - whether to et answers to their personal and hair care needs or simply bond as online friends!




You can check out Tabitha on all social media platforms: @cravingyellow and visit her website : www.cravingyellow.com


  

THE TRUTH ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: THE ANDREA GRINAGE STORY | Anas Munira

24 August 2018





By now I’m sure most of us are familiar with Andrea’s story. I’m also sure most of us have gone from sad to enraged at the lack of justice. We’ve all probably questioned why people stay in abusive relationships, didn’t they see it coming? And some will even ask what she did to deserve being burnt alive. Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter what Andrea did or didn’t do. Nobody deserves to go through what she did. It doesn’t matter whether or not there were red flags and if she ignored them or not. What matters is what he did. What matters is the justice she deserves and what matters is that we need to do better as a society.


See for so long we’ve blamed the victim. Stories of abuse are hardly ever about what the perpetrator did and mostly about the victim. The comments are usually about what she could have done and what she shouldn’t have done. Well not today! Today we are not going to tell Andrea how she could have prevented this because even a restraining order didn’t save her. Instead we are going to talk about Phillip and how to have less Phillips in the world. Let’s discuss how not to become an abuser instead of how not to become a victim because clearly adhering to the latter doesn’t work anyway.


Abuse happens when people are raised to be entitled. When you live in a world where you are taught you own everything, you begin to think you actually do. More often not the violence perpetrated is because the abuser wants something they are not entitled to. And when they can’t have it, they take it anyway usually with force. Be it love, attention or whatever, they feel as though they must have it and can’t fathom why they don’t.


Instead of teaching people to notice signs of an abuser, let’s teach people to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Let’s raise less narcissistic children and more sensitive children who grow up to treat others with respect and kindness. Unfortunately there are a lot of Andreas and while we fight for her to get the justice she deserves, let us also strive to have a world where there are a lot less Andreas. For that to happen, we all need to do and be better.

BATTERED JUSTICE- THE ANDREA GRINAGE'S STORY BY SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

22 August 2018


If you are an avid reader  of this blog, you should be familiar with this story; we can all agree it is a very sad story and no one should have to go through that horrific experience, but our sister Andrea Grianage lived this and has to live the rest of her life with that horrific memory of being burned alive by her supposed fiance'.  She and her unborn child were set on fire by a man who was to love them and protect them. As scary and unfathomable this sounds. that's someone's life story.. an unborn child who was as innocent as she could be went through an abuse she had nothing to do with; she and her mother didn't deserve that abuse. But the question here is Who really battered Andrea Grinage and her Unborn Innocent Child? The Justice System or Laquinn Phillips her fiance'.
  Mr. Phillips her fiance is currently going to be let out of jail whiles they wait on a DNA test which would be used for the trial in December; I perfectly understand the judge has to go by the law and Mr. Phillips rights as a human being cannot be infringed upon; thus he cannot be held in jail until the DNA results is in, but I know and believe there can be an exception to every rule.  Putting Mr. Phillips under house arrest can be compared to him being given a meal ticket to finish what he started. This is a man who had no ill-feeling about setting his lover and the mother of his unborn child on fire, not only did she set her on fire; she left her for dead.. Mr. Phillips commited a crime and had every intention to  murder the mother and her unborn baby and he gets to be 'free' and gets to maybe finish what he started; Where is the Justice? Is this the Justice System's way of saying they don't care about Black Women or Black-on-Black crime?
    You might argue that not everything is about race; yes we know that but I am just wondering if the story will be different if the woman here is a 'caucasian' or of 'white' ancestry? If it was a 'caucasian' woman being set on fire by her 'black' fiance, will he get an ankle bracelet till DNA results come in or will he be held without bail until trial?  Where is the Child Protective Service (CPS) when you need them, well a 7 months fetus is considered a human being, so if  the justice system doesn't seem to be bothered by a lover's quarrel gone wrong, what about justice for the innocent child whose crime was the channel( Andrea Grianage) through which she was coming into this world. This little human deserves justice, this child deserves protection and for her sake Mr. Phillips cannot be let out of jail. The child's right to live was being taken away from her by a man who was to love and protect her from the cruelty in this world and no one see anything wrong with that? I do understand the law has to fully take it's course but isn't giving Mr. Phillips who deliberately set a mother and baby on fire  the  opportunity to come home and await trial under house arrest  abit too much?
    So are we waiting to see a Rest in Peace before we 'do something'? What makes you think someone who tried to murder a mother and her unborn child cannot do it a second time? Andrea Grinage survived this horrific attack because she is a strong woman and a survivor; the first attack was to kill her. Is the Justice System giving Mr. Phillips and opportunity to complete his task? Can an exception be  made in this case or Is the Justice System simply not really bothered by 'Black-on Black' crimes. A mother has to live with the horrific memory of how a man she once loved, left her to die from being set on fire with her unborn child, she has a 70 percent burn on her body to constantly  remind her of how she was hard to love and protect both by her fiance and the Justice System whose role is to protect the vulnerable. A pregnant and vulnerable woman was set on fire and thus forced into labor two months early and the culprit gets to walk on the streets with an ankle bracelet and a phone in his mother's house to monitor him. Tell me how despicable this sounds; is this what is left of the American Justice system? An Attempted Murderer gets to walk on the streets whiles a mother deals with her scars and heart break and it is considered okay because we are waiting on a DNA test?
     Who would have thought a human's right to live and enjoy her life is that 'cheap', all one get is an ankle bracelet for attempted murder of a mother and unborn child whiles DNA results are being waited on. Hmmmmm that's very interesting and absolutely disgusting  I believe the 70 percent body burn on Andrea's body is enough evidence to keep Mr. Phillips in jail until trial; the early birth of the child due to the much disturbing emotional and physical trauma the mother went through should be enough to hold Mr. Phillips; I am no lawyer or legal guru but I do know the safety of the mother and child should be top priority, but apparently it doesn't seem like it is. I am not telling the Judge or any legal team how to do their job, but all I am saying is letting Mr. Phillips out under  house arrest whiles he awaits trial isn't the most brilliant thing to do, we can't wait till the mother and child are attacked a second time before we says our 'could, woulda, shouldas' let's do something now to prevent another attack. Andrea Grinage will never be safe as long as Mr. Phillips is home on house arrest, This woman  and her child have  been betrayed by their  lover  and father, can the Justice system please not betray them too? Can any evidence in custody be used to hold him in jail until the trial? The Justice System should not fail Andrea Grinage and her child they have been punished enough; with the development of this story so far, if you ask me I will say Andrea Grinage has been battered by both her lover and the justice system; and yes the Black Woman is the most unprotected and underappreciated  woman in America. And to my fellow women. Domestic Violence is not Love, Flee from it and Protect yourself and your children, your lover and Justice System could fail you... Protect Yourself!!!!

The Andrea Grinage Story: Set on Fire and Left For Dead at 7 Months Pregnant

20 August 2018

Imagine being in a relationship, 7 months pregnant and in love with some who you would never think would hurt you. Now, imagine one day being 7 months pregnant, told to get into a tub, being doused with lighter fluid and set a blaze. Fighting, not only for your life but your unborn childs’… being able to call out for help while your on fire and running out of your home in a state of shock to get help for you and your child. That is what this courageous woman did, her name is Andrea Grinage, an that is her story. She doesn’t hide her scars , but instead wears them as a badge of honor, as she should. She’s a survivor!

She was left with burns on over 70 percent of her body and had given birth to her daughter two months early. And here we are less than 30 days from the anniversary date,  and her attacker, Laquinn Phillips, has been charged with attempted murder. The trial was set for Tuesday, however, the judge pushed the date to December, while awaiting the results of a DNA test. In addition to waiting longer for justice, Andrea now has to deal with the judges decision to also grant her attacker house arrest with an ankle monitor and his mother has to install a landline in the house to monitor him. How is that even possible!? He could be out within a matter of days.

According to her family, she started to get a protective order against Phillips when he set her on fire, so what will an ankle monitor do? They bring up a valid point, this person wanted this woman and her baby dead, how will house arrest stop him from completing what he started? According to the CDC, nearly half of American women deaths are related to intimate partner violence. Think about that…

Not only does Andrea have to live with this memory and the scars, but now she has to be tormented by the fact that her attacker is out. Is house arrest supposed to make her feel safe? Is house arrest going to keep him from taunting her? Is house arrest going to stop her from reliving that horrible day? No, it wont! This is no longer a case of domestic violence, but a clear case of double-attempted murder. So how is it that the accused is be granted such leniency, when he did not show that mercy to his victims?

No caliber of justice (if it had actually prevailed) can fill in the cracks and retrieve the lost parts of her but in a world where her emotions, her nightmares, her trauma and her voice went unheard, justice in no sense has done anything to help her cause. In better words, the push of the trial date and his “monitored” release brings her closer to fear than closure, with constant reminders of the painful past, the about turn of her future and that one fateful night she almost lost everything, brushing inches close to just not her death but the little life force she carried inside her with pride and joy for months. The very life she co-created with her once lover turned murderer.

This woman was robbed, robbed of her life, robbed of her flawlessness, robbed of her inner peace, robbed of peaceful nights, family Christmases, afternoon walks, chats on the phone with her friends 'cause now everyone she meets remembers to let her not forget, with those painful stares, whispers, stuttering when they meet and greet her, not knowing how to talk to her and treating her like a fragile blubbering mess. She was robbed of her normality and basic human rights. And most of all she was robbed of love, the worst kind of betrayal and the best kind of lies, this monster lead her to believe he loved her only to set about to destroy her.

All she's got for company are her uneasy thoughts, which is deepening with the idea that the very demon firing her thoughts could stalk her, sneak up on her around a dark alleyway and the one day she opens her door, she would find him, instead of the postman, nose to nose with a cruel smirk on his devilish face.

Her tears and screams you never hear or see are real. They can never be wiped away.
Feel her pain to help her get the closure she deserves.
She is one of us, a woman like you and me, a living breathing girl sitting in Starbucks sipping a latte, hanging out at the mall with her girls, playing tennis on the weekends, she could be any one of us.
Raise a fist and a voice to help Andrea find justice.

If you are as outraged as we are, and you want to do something to stop this monstrosity. Please write and send your letter to:

Honorable Michael Pearson
14735 Main Street, Suite B2043
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Follow the #dreastrong and @dsthemovement


WHAT'S "LOCKS"" GOT TO DO.... BY SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

19 August 2018

                                                            BOB NESTA MARLEY
This blog post has been on my mind for a while; and I actually had to do some research before I actually wrote this post. I wish this post will become an 'Open Forum' where others will share their thoughts and experiences. I have a Question; What are 'Dreadlocks'?  With the influx of 'Faux Locs'  as a hairstyle choice, it got me thinking 'Has 'locking' one's hair been finally accepted as part of the Black Culture (Never said it Wasn't) or are people just looking for a hairstyle alternative to braids?
  With this thought on my mind, this blog post was inspired; I took it upon myself to ask anyone I came across who had ',Dreadlocks' on his or her head what it meant to them. It just happen that i work in retail and I happen to meet people from all walks of life, and most of the people I spoke to who had 'locks' told me their 'locks' give them an 'IDENTITY'.
       Dreadlocks as a hairstyle has been frowned upon by many corporate institutions in the United States, having dreadlocks has been termed 'illegal' in most workplaces; the United States Navy recently "okayed'  dreadlocks as an approved hairstyle. Let's take a look at the history of dreadlocks in the Black Community. Dreadlocks has been around since 2,500 BC, but the legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley brought Dreadlocks as a hairstyle in the mainstream culture sometime in the 70's.  Dreadlocks has a spiritual roots and is named after a Jamaican tradition; from the Rastafarians in Jamaica, Dreadlocks signifies the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and has a Biblical Nazarite history, to the Indian sages ,Yogis and Slaves during the transatlantic slave trade. Dreadlocks was brought about by some Holy eastern men who possessed nothing,denied themselves of the world and didn't even have a comb. The eastern men were feared because of how their hair looked and most important the reason they  looked  the way they  did.
  Every pop-culture fan knows Bob Marley introduced  dreadlocks into pop-culture,Mr. Marley was a man of passion, love, light and wisdom; this  attributes vibrated through his songs, and thus made him a world-renowned musician who was respected all over the world. As a nubian queen, I don't condemn the wearing of straight hair or anything of that sort, but I really believe in the wearing of our natural hair to rectify our identity. Wear dreadlocks isn't bad neither does it make your hair dirty or make you look any less attractive. Before I wrote this article, i got the opportunity to talk to this lady who had dreadlocks and asked her why she had dreadlocks, And she told me how her mum always used to tell her, her hair was very hard to deal with and thus her mum decided to perm her hair, because her straight hair was easier to deal with. She also spoke about how she being in the military didn't allow her to have any hair but straight European looking hair. So she said after her tenure with the military and basically taking instructions from everyone she decided to do something that gave her an identity and also give her a back-bone of some  sort.
     Even though dreadlocks were abolished after slavery ended; Dreadlocks are very spiritual and have a deeper meaning than what pop culture has made it to seem, dreadlocks is your identity as a black woman, don't be embarrassed to acknowledge your spirituality, identity and culture..  Lock away Queen
                                                                    XOXO,
                                                                    Sammi

IS TRUE LOVE A SCRIMMAGE? | AKIDO WIJAYARATHNE

18 August 2018

"The biggest scam on Earth is true love," an Instagram post blinked out. In a moment of another-broken-heart-bites-the-dust, he might have hit closer to home than anyone would care to imagine.

Side chicks, sugar daddies and mistresses frequent the gram on a pedestal more often than not. Nineties goons would have labeled it scandalous in their tamest hour and in their wildest would have downright shunned, side-eyed and rejected it.
But here we are in the Power Era where the pre-scandalous is the new acceptable and a toe further, even trendy. We've got fifteen years olds flanking three girls and boasting of being "The Man," and social media pivoting the biggest hoe-phase ever to hit the history of histories.

When did the days of hyping the steadiest couple swap out for applauding the biggest man-whore in town? When did Diamond Jubilee anniversaries fade away into "oh, I can't believe they are still together"s?

I miss the good old days.



Like every other cyber junkie in the tech bubbled century, we visit the non-exclusive sorority called the internet first thing every morning. Our thumbs brush the instabrities with their no-shits-given breakups, very-next-day makeups, ugly divorces, fourth-time's-the-lucky marriages.
Do we stop to sympathize or criticize? Nah.
It's become the societal norm, we can't keep up with the stead stream of drama and if it isn't her today it's gonna be him tomorrow so it's all in the day's banter before we clear out our morning breath and get on with our shitty lives.

"Wake up, break up, hit Annie up from the bar last night for a booty call, now do it a thousand times," read a slogan on a cheap t-shirt. The creative printer hit the summit of truth laying out the current everyday man's lifestyle.

And the rest of us? We are backed away into a corner named, "if they don't care, why should we?"

Do you see the little dent unraveling the master plan?



I laughed when I came across a tweet, "If Beyonce can forgive JayZ for cheating, who are you with three shirts not to?" What you never paused to dissect is the cleverly disguised painful sting behind the wet humour - cheating is regular, faithfulness is rare and it's just so regular that holding out against it is uncalled for. And there it is again, the call for acceptance of the fickle nature of man.

Our generation is fifty one tastes of fucked up.

Our problem is in our little cosy corner, the we-don't-care gang. We've fought left, right and centre to escape the shackles of constricting social bondage over the years that in the course we've attracted the Acceptance Syndrome, accept all without question, accept everything regardless, accept for the sake of acceptance for acceptance is the rebel that sponsored modernization.

Do we give a shit whether Blue Ivy would grow up with the knowledge that her dad didn't respect her mom enough to keep his dick in his pants and that she probably wouldn't expect much from the next generation of males? Nope, bacause "it's normal." Do we care whether Stormi is growing up in a home with her parents not together that would wash down her faith in marriage? Nope, because "it's normal." After all she's born into a shit load of money and has two parents who loves her from their space, that should sound like a reasonable enough argument to a 21st century "open-minded" intellect, right? Do we give two cents about the guy next door who walked out on his pregnant wife to trade her for a younger, thinner model? Nope, "it's normal."

We are all sucked down the Acceptance Vortex.

None in that tiny comfortable corner will raise a voice afraid to betray "hard won social freedom" and "open mindness."

Harems and concubines aren't too far yesterday as you acknowledge.

Beneath the calm surface of the still waters that's our generation, the inside churns a deep murky brown; the more sour, the further you prod.

Where are we headed?

Is our generation gonna crash and burn?


Drop down your thoughts in the comments below πŸ‘‡πŸ’–

With loads of love,
Akido.

The One Skincare Rule We Are All Failing At | Anas Munira

16 August 2018

I've traveled so much in the past few weeks and as a result my skin suffered. In my bid to get my skin right again I went on a hunt for sunscreen and boy what a hunt it was!
I mean for a country that has sun for pretty much the most part of the year, you would think we would have sunscreen in abundance but no. There I was walking into cosmetic shops after shop to no avail. My big surprise was walking into one shop to find out their sunscreen had expired and they don't know when they will have some in stock(insert eye roll moment) 
I found myself going from surprised to frustrated to angry! Then I decided maybe we all need a lesson.
So here it is:

We All Need Sunscreen!

Yep as short and as simple as that.
And if skin cancer is not a good enough reason for you here are 5 more reasons why you really should be using sunscreen:
1. It slows down the development of premature ageing skin. Yep sunscreen protects your skin from wrinkles and fine lines.
2. It prevents sunburns. Nobody likes sunburns, apart from the swelling and redness it weakens your skin. The best way to prevent this is to use sunscreen. Liberally.
3. It prevents skin discolorations. We all want even skin tones right? well exposing your skin to the sun without protections is the fastest way to derail that.
4. Just One phrase. The Ozone Layer!. We all know it. The ozone layer is depleting and this means we are exposed to even more harmful rays. Therefore we need to shield our skin
5. Because it's just healthy. Using sunscreen protects all those essential and good proteins needed to keep our skin smooth and healthy.

There you have it! No matter what color/shade/complexion you are, if you are going to be exposed to the Sun, you need sunscreen.
Being African doesn't mean we get a pass on skincare. Black will for sure crack if not taken care of.
                                                                                             Love, Neera

LimeLight: CANDACE BROWN, FOUNDER OF MANEKRUSH| Shameika Armstead

She’s answered the video call with a smile on her face, I could tell she was a fun person. At first glance, she appears radiant, energetic and inviting. She is super approachable, cool and down to earth This week’s Limelight features Candace Brown, Founder of ManeKrush, an ever growing natural hair care line. She’s a entrepreneur, natural hair mogul and innovator.




1. Tell me about you, what do you want the readers to know.

My name is Candace, 32 years old, from Marrero, Louisiana. I’m a mom of two and fiancΓ©, everything I do basically revolves around my family and business. We go on a lot of vacations.


2. Can you share with our readers how ManeKrush came about and your vision for the next 5 to 10 years.

I started making products because of my daughters hair. She has very fine  low porosity hair and I couldn’t find products that worked for her, so I started making products just to find something that could give her some type of moisture. Over time, I started expanding my line, in the beginning I started with 2 products because I was trying to regrow her edges because they had thinned out. And also find something to maintain moisture in her hair.

For the next five years I plan on my brand being sold everywhere with ManeKrush being a household name.

3. How did you come up with the name ManeKrush?

I played around with the name for a while before I came up with ManeKrush. My daughters name starts with a K, so that’s where the K in Krush comes from. Initially it was meant like hair crush, so I came up with Mane, like a lions Mane. So then I decided on ManeKrush with a K for my daughter.

4. How long have you been running ManeKrush and are you paying yourself yet?

I have been running ManeKrush since 2015, and selling products since 2016. I probably should be paying myself but right now I haven’t switched over to giving myself a paycheck.



5. Walk me through the step-by-step process of how you got where you are today.

I looked for ingredients to do specific things to my hair and tested them out, then I started promoting on Instagram (@manekrush). Once I started selling I started reaching out to other people to promote so people could see me page. I did giveaways and over the past 2 years its blossomed into what it is.

6. Are there challenges you have faced while growing your business?

Definitely! Of course, between shipping problems, keeping a steady vendor for bottles or ingredients. It’s a task but when you start a business it’s a risk that you take. You just have to roll with the punches.

7. We talked about challenges, so tell me what’s been the best things, qualities, or practices  about your business, some of the things that made you so successful?

My customer service. I go above an beyond because I know the struggle of buying products. Before I started making products, I was a product junkie. I brought every product that they sold. So I know what it feels like to spend money on something and it not live up to what you want it to be. So I try my hardest to make sure that when I market, I am truthful about what the product does, so that people don’t have expectations that I cannot fulfill. As far as my customer service I do any and every thing I can to make sure the experience is smooth and that we don’t have any issues because I know how it feels to give somebody your money. And by my products being all natural, they do cost more that store brought products, they do cost more so I try to make up for that extra cost in my customer service.

8. If a woman or child walked up and asked for your advice, but you only had a minute to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Consistency is key. Be consistent with your hair and use low manipulation styles for growth.


This interview was so fun for me. Candace is vibrant and fun loving and it shows. By the time we finished talking, it felt as if I had known her for years. She is a woman is truly a blessing to the natural hair care game and an inspiration to women everywhere.  It was a pleasure speaking with her via FaceTime and she was so understanding of the time difference, even though I was interrupting a date night, lol.

So guys if your looking to try a great new product for your hair, I know I am! Head over to either her IG (@manekrush) or her website ( www.manekrush.org ). You wont regret it! Her products are handmade with love, care, and patience. A list of the ingredient (all natural) can be found on her website. She’s also ships to APO/FPO (Military), which for me is a definite plus!

Congrats again Candace on your engagement!


Always

Shameika Armstead
@Meika_Tyree

MY LANE Samuella Amoako-Boateng

12 August 2018




Bet at a time in our lives we have all heard someone say "Stay in Your Lane" or "Mind your own business"; I hope you took no offense to these statements because all the person was saying is "Stay Focused". Whoa?! How can that be when they said so with an angry tone; Well if you stay in your lane and mind your business, you tend to get more done or achieved! Yes, you do. 
   We all need a little pick me up sometimes, but that pick me up is never in other person's personal life, when we tend to get jealous, hate and envy out of our lives we tend to be happier. Why do we get happier? Well when you stay focused you tend to appreciate what you have and  enjoy it more and not worry about what the other person is doing with their lives. Focusing on the other person's life tend to breed anger, hatred and jealousy in our heart and this takes us away from our focus. The Grass always looks greener on the other side until we take a much closer look at it. You are doing well, your body is perfect, the model doesn't look like how she does in those pictures, those celebrities you idolize; Yea they have "problems" too, so stay in your lane and tend to your grass. Breeding jealousy, anger, and hatred in your heart due to your focus on someone else's life will just make you miss important events in your own life; there is Time for everything, stay focused so you don't miss those life-changing moments. Stay Focused  Champ! Stay in Your Lane! 
                                                                            XOXO,
                                                                         Sammi

Intermittent Fasting: Is This Non-Diet Right For ME?

9 August 2018

Hey Friends!

Hope all is going well since you last heard from me. So far we have covered toxic relationships and my natural hair journey. But today I want to talk about something completely different…. WEIGHT LOSS. I’m a mom of two, but after my daughter I found this weight harder to lose even with working out, it was like I was gaining muscle but still staying at a consistent 175 lbs. I thought when we moved to Tokyo it would be easier because they’re all thin right? Wrong… 6 months later, I walked past a mirror, unhappy that I was still 175 and starting to get sad and considering surgical options.

I did my research and found an option in Thailand, 1 here in Japan, 2 the DR and a few in the states… The problem with them all where the cost, see here in Japan the cost are outrageous because surgery for weight loss and enhancing your body is taboo, and every where else I would have to purchase a flight and stay in a recovery home (there was no way I was going to fly all the back fire just having that type of trauma to my body).

So, I sat and talked to my husband who was supportive of me either way, then I did my research. I told him I would put in the effort to lost the weight before making a rash decision such as surgery. I looked into several options, from being vegan to pescatarian, none of which were options for me because I did not want to give up certain things and I definitely DID NOT want to feel like I was on a diet. There I was, all out of options and losing hope that I would ever lose this stomach and extra weight.

I remembered hearing about intermittent fasting from my best friends husband, so I quickly pulled it up on my tablet and began my research and decided I wanted to give it a shot.

What is intermittent fasting and how does it work?

Intermittent fasting is a “eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. It does not specify what foods can eat but rather when you should eat them. It is not a conventional “diet” but more accurately described as an eating pattern. Common fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fast or fasting for 24 hours twice per week.”

Now I choose to fast 16 hours a day, most of which I am sleeping so it is easy. You just have to find and maintain what works for you and your life, if you feel like this is something you want to do.

Benefits of intermittent fasting
1. Helps you to lose weight and belly fat.
2. Changes the functions of your hormones in a positive way
3. Studies have shown that it can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation.
4. Helps your digestion’s fully process meals.
5. Improves risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
6. Intermittent fasting trigger your metabolism

I didn’t have to change what I was eating just how much. In order to achieve my goal weight, I needed to restrict my calorie intake, drink only water, coffee/tea, and sparkling water when I felt hungry and fast for 16 hours out of day.

The first week was hard because I followed a sample guide I found, which had me eating at  10am and stopping at 6pm, I was finding that I was still hungry, even after having a sparkling water. I fell off a few times during that week, and decided to change my approach. I knew I had a eight hour window, so week 2 I adjusted and began eating at noon and stopped eating at 8pm. That worked better for me.

I began tracking my weight on a bluetooth scale, which connects to my phone, tracking my calories on the UnderArmor MyFitness Pal app, and started noticing the pounds slowly going down. Here I am a month later and only doing yoga (not every day, I still fall off) I am down to 169.8 and that was as of Tuesday. Recently, I began to research a product called Teami Blend, and decided to purchase it, I have only been using it for a few days so I don’t want to say much about it. The tea is good even with nothing in it, that is all I will say about it today.

My routine is simple!

Now I have my Teami Blend tea in the morning (6 am), before that it was black coffee. Around 8 or 9 I have my first bottle of water (16.9 oz). At about 11, I start to get hungry so I have sparkling water and at 12 noon I can eat, usually this meal is heavy to break the fast and finish my last meal right before 8pm. I have set alarms to keep my on track, one for when it is time to eat and one when it is time to stop (this is to hold myself accountable).

Again, do what works for you…this just works for me and can be a helpful guide for you to follow!

Question? Let me know if you have tried this! Leave a comment below.


Always Meika_Tyree

Going Back to Basics | Anas Munira

Of late I've been finding it difficult to make time for my hair. I remember when I first went natural I had all the time, from washing my hair every week to deep conditioning biweekly and protein treatments every month. And I was the Queen of DIYs as in the only product you will see me buying was a conditioner. Now I have all the products and they lay there untouched. Mostly because I really can't seem to find the time. I've been so used to dedicating an entire day for my hair I can't seem to adjust now that I don't have the luxury.
But a girl still needs to care for her hair right?
I have found out that simplifying my hair regimen allows me to still care for my hair even when I'm busy and I am learning that my hair regimen doesn't need to be fixed. I make changes according to my schedule. For instance currently I'm unable to moisturize everyday so I properly moisturize my hair during the weekend and then if I'm able to I moisturize during the week to. I wash my hair once a month and switch between deep conditioning and protein treatment.
Sure my hair is not as healthy as when I first started but it's not damaged either. I am still figuring out ways of fitting my regimen in my schedule but through it all I'm learning that stripping it down to the basics definitely makes things easier.
                                           Love, Neera.

PORN, KIDS AND THE INTERNET; 7 STEPS TO DISMANTLE THE ENTANGLED | AKIDO WIJAYARATHNE

7 August 2018


Free Porn! Every 90's teenage boy's lottery winnings. Gone are the days of hurried but discreet magazine stash-aways from sudden mom arrivals, questionably long showers shut up with Playboys and the occasional stroke of luck mining into a late night porn marathon while the unsuspecting adult units are snoring away. Now Google's the pimp to finger-stroke and kids are having a field day biting into the not-so-forbidden-anymore fruit.

I stumbled upon a family friend's 11 year old  daughter, a few years back, purely by accident, educating her "lesser sex literate" friend about the biology ahem the philosophy of sex, a very descriptive, 11 year old accurate nonetheless hilarious account which would have had me in rivulets of convulsing laughter if it had hadn't raised my generous alarm and concern. The friend spent the next fifteen minutes grilling the girl on the mechanics of the mechanism in blunt, uncensored and bracing locution. Replicate the incident in 2018, the girls wouldn't entertain time digging deep into the best of their curious imaginations, they would whip out their smartphones, consult uncle Google who in turn would become their best buddy offering them step-by-step tutorials, helpful DIY tips, videographics, mentors and partners in crime. Alas, how the little 11 year old minds would sow the first seeds of corruption.

Lucky for us bigger folks, we've got a few tips to smother what could otherwise have been a viral, out of control, spindle of woven clutter.



Here, we go;

01) Have " the talk."

The branched out talk from the hated sex talk to the porn talk. Step out of the hypocritical approach to the subject, pretending porn is nonexistent and whooping the kid's ass catching him in action and step into the equalising approach, appreciating the kid's capability of reason, understanding and maturity,  acknowledging porn's prevailing and broaching the adversities of the consumption with intensity and all the more reason to not befriend it, could greatly even out needs of satisfying young interest.

02) Employ filters.

Disable access to adult sites on public and work WiFis and activate parental controls on the home Wi-fi system. Most routers come in with customizable firewalls which can be used to add-in filters on keywords, addresses and phrases. If the said firewalls are unavailable, there are a range of filtering software that can be installed across all your home devices that could filter mature content. Turn Safe Mode On, on all search engines and any other platforms the little ones hang out online at and click on the Family Safety Tools on the operating systems. Make a note to cover ALL devices in the house.

03) Swap private use of tech for public.

Bedroom laptops and TVs are so comfy but they are the acute commissaries to hoodwink parental eyes and should remain an earned privilege under controlled trust conditions in the due course.
Station internet browsing activities and accessible devices in the vicinity of the  grownups making it that much harder for them to give into temptation.

04) Check their browser history regularly.

Kids are Γ  la mode creative and is more often than not, one step ahead of the "old people," coming up with original slang and twisted keywords to get around filters. A regular watch out issued over their browsing history picking up uncanny phrases and atypical words could perform a damper on their disguised attempts.

05) Mask traces of your phonographic consumption indigenously (well, if you are using.)

Example, example! You cannot straighten out young legs when yours are bowed 'cause they are bound to question your actions incase of an accidental findout, a situation which you'd much rather not confront. Your midnight activities should be kept tight under wraps, locked away in a Pandora's box until next time.

06) Review his private phone gallery.

Obscene content snake their way into innocence through closed social media circles and sharing amongst friends, a lot more than you would care to imagine. Eyeballing his gallery regularly can help you regulate his peer material and hence draw a stop to certain unnecessities.

07) Talk to other adults about doing the same.

Well, all your little plots and ploys could wash down the drain when the kiddies meet their friends from "free backgrounds," and take to "group-education" because their grownups are "just too caveman style." To avoid all the behind your back name calling and overriding your hard enforced discipline, get talking to the community at gatherings about the dangers lurking and your existing defence mechanism and the reasonable enough folks are sure to follow suit.

Alienating the 'mini-me's from porn isn't just at parental discretion, it's at the influence-point of all of us at large; outfitting a fatwa across it on our younger siblings, neices, nephews, kids of friends and coworkers, and just about any other kiddie you come across. It's an unofficial social authority to close away the minors and their senses off phonography; something we ought to take up on with vigor and zest.

A simple protective charm casted over your neighborhood is another child's mind encrypted.

Take up the challenge.

Leave your tips and thoughts down in the comments πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

With all my love πŸ’–,
Akido.





THE ANGRY BLACK WOMAN; BY SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

5 August 2018



 "The angry Black Woman"; who is She? Do you ever look in the mirror as a beautiful Black Woman and wonder "Am I an angry Black Woman"?  Is she a stereotype or is she "Real"? Do you look at every Black female in your family, circle or on the streets and wonder is she angry? Well I do ask myself that question, and have a whole analysis in my head with myself.."This Black Queen look cheerful, Life might not have been fair but she is striding in confidence and she has her head held up high,  with all she might have been through she isn't bitter, she is still standing, so NO! SHE ISN'T ANGRY!!
   The stereotype of the Black Woman being angry I think it's of the biggest scams on this earth. The Black Woman since colonial times have been left to fend for herself and her children, and their black men since colonial have been 'programmed' to not have empathy or any soft spot for the Black woman and as such have been told anything outside the black woman is good for the black man. That lie that was embedded in the mind and heart of the black man, is still active and alive and is still being practised in today's society. Yes Black Love is still alive; but the Black woman is still labeled as crazy, insecure,ill-tempered, sassy, angry,emotional, and demanding. The Black woman has and will always be a 'powerhouse' and 'refuge' for the Black man and beyond.
   Black Men need to do better when it comes to Black Women, you don't have to marry one to show you love them, but you don't have to disrespect them or fuel the stereotype of them being angry! I personally wonder how those black men who boldly come out and disrespect black women feel when they go home and look in their black mothers' faces and tell them they love them. I wonder if there is a deep emotional pain that has been inflicted on them by a family member  is been transferred unto every black woman they see. Well, if that is the case, that is wrong on every level; you cannot put your myopic view of a situation on a broad issue and blam an entire race on it.  You barely hear other races bad-mouthing their women except Black men! Our Kings need to do  BETTER. 
     The Black woman has been under attack from when slavery started and still is, but I will tell my fellow Queens and sisters not to give up on the fight to eradicate the Angry Black Woman stereotype, because our day of victory is coming very soon. We are the most intelligent, smart, educated and beautiful race out there, ( you don't wanna argue with me on that). We set the pace for other races to follow, other natural given bodies are a Blessing, our lips are a Blessing and oh our skin, is iconic. My Beloved Black sista, you are not Angry; yes society has failed you, you have been betrayed and unprotected but you have to understand that your beauty and intelligence can never be contested and yes society will bend to please you very soon! You are not an angry black woman; you are A STRONG BLACK WOMAN. And there is nothing wrong with been strong and standing; loving  and protecting yourself even though this is foreign. You are LOVED! And you are an ICON!

DIY Protein Hair Treament|Shameika Armstead

2 August 2018

This week I want to talk protein and not the kind you drink when you want to gain weight! Protein for your hair. Last time we talked about scab hair and how to heal your hair from it. So as you all know I am writing these blogs as I go along my own journey.  So if you read my last blog and you found yourself with scab hair keep reading.

So after my deep condition last week, I found my hair still a bit brittle and hard. So I did some more digging and found that I needed to try a protein treatment. Now in the past I have attempted proteins and hated how crunchy they made my hair and didn’t feel like they did much. But from the way my hair has been feeling, I felt like anything would help. So I hopped up and went in search of a protein conditioner a friend gave me a few months ago. It’s not like your regular protein or conditioner, OMG! Let me tell you, its watery and smells like soy sauce. But at this point I was willing to try anything. So I got in the shower, washed my hair and then pulled out the protein conditioner. In retrospect, I probably should have used a spray bottle to do this but I pretty much poured it on top of my head.  I put a shower cap on, got out the shower, and waited for 45 minutes. I hopped in the shower to wash it out,  my hair smelled of soy sauce but there was a noticeable difference.  In retrospect, I should have done this differently, and saved myself the smell.

So why is protein good for your hair?

Protein is necessary for your hair to grow long and thick. It will strengthen your hair and make it healthy, shinier and fills in the gaps in the hair cuticles. Protein enables you hair to be resilient, and restores minor damage done to the hair. Let’s be crystal clear here before you run out and put protein in your hair everyday, LOL! You need to protein treatment once a month, not very often, because too much protein will damage your hair. You ever heard the saying “too much of something can be bad,” that apply here. After all protein treatments you also want to incorporate a hot oil treatment for length retention.

Here is what I used (or should have used):

~ JR Redding 100% Natural Protein (3 tbsp, maybe 4, depends on how much conditioner you need)
~ Conditioner or deep conditioner of your choice (something to offset the smell).
*you want enough to cover your hair (only you know this answer), but take note that when you add in the tbsp(s) of protein the conditioner will thin out.
~Plastic caps to cover your hair (Part your hair in sections and braid or twist, if your hair isn’t short like mines)
*right now I use one, however the longer my hair gets, I know I can end up with 3 or 4 on my
  head

I tie my head scarf or wrap a T-shirt around my head to lock in the heat, but you don’t have to. Then I let it sit for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your hair. Last, do a hot oil treatment with the oil of your choice. Just make sure it is not too hot that it will burn your scalp!




Always,

Meika_Tyree❣


Ig: Meika_tyree

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