Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bold, Brown, & Beautiful

"She's cute for a dark skinned girl." 
"Stop acting light skinned."

We've heard all these phrases. Some of us even say these phrases. But under the surface what do they mean to us? The other day I walked by a young girl with a cute puffball ponytail. She complimented me on my hair and I smiled, exchanging compliments with her. As I kept walking I started to wonder if she liked my hair because it was long and straight or if she really, at about 8 or 9, liked my teased mane. It may sound conceited but I really worry about our female youth. I automatically thought about the infamous Oprah baby doll episode. Then I thought about Chris Rock's 'Good Hair' documentary. One thought led to another and I wanted to hug every little brown girl I saw because the media pushes so much on them I just want to protect them. But then I thought about it and in this situation you sort of have to work from the top to the bottom because if we're the little brown ladies giving birth to these little brown girls then we need to get our minds right because they need us. I know, it all sounds so weird and over dramatic but if you think about it, it really matters. If it didn't there wouldn't be a Dark Girls Documentary, there wouldn't be a #TeamLightSkin, there wouldn't be any of this.

Fast forward past all these thoughts and I came across a flyer for an event titled, 'Bold, Brown, &Beautiful'. I follow Ashley on Twitter so I was willing to support before I even read the flyer but once I read it I almost breathed a sigh of relief. I thought maybe my thoughts aren't over dramatic, maybe they're justified, maybe we do have issues that need to be discussed. I WANT TO DISCUSS THEM! So I RSVP'd for this event. Who's coming with me?


Twitter: @ms_shady
Instagram: @ms_shady

Thursday, July 25, 2013


At this point in life I have so much I could complain about. School. Work. Family. Love. You name it, I can complain about it. But I won't! Because the flip side of these possible complaints is that for every single one, I can find more than one thing to be thankful for. We ask for so much. I ask for more freelance gigs, I ask God to wake my Adam, I ask God to send me someone to pay my tuition, but I realized I don't need more things to thank him for I need to be more thankful. When I figured this out everything around me began to make more sense. So. Today I wasn't in the best of moods and I felt like my patience was being tried but instead of lashing out I looked up because there's so much to be thankful for I won't waste a second pondering what ifs and why nots, instead I'll be thankful for what I do have, because I know there's more where that came from.

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

1. God. The power of prayer. The FAITH I have in his actions. 

2. Friends. I won't name names but I guarantee you that at least one of my friends is better than two of yours put together.

3. Sales. I love a bargain. Sales are amazing. I wouldn't have a lot of the stuff I have had it not been for a sale.

4. Red Bull. Well energy drinks period. People always ask do they really help, and they do. Not for long. And sometimes the crash is REAL, but without energy drinks I probably would have slept some amazing moments away.

5. Happy Hour. This can be related to number 3 in a way but there's nothing better than quality liquor sold cheap. Period. It's not up for debate.

6. Wifi. Especially if you have AT&T &ur not Grandfathered in. MAN. The struggle is REAL.

7. Student Discount. This can go back to number 3 as well. I love discounts. Girls High, Penn State, CCP, MontCo, Temple, CHC, CUNY, Hard Knocks, which school ID would you prefer?

8. Music. Such an amazing creation. The words, the melody. I love everything about music. I even loved a DJ once but I'll save that story for my memoirs.

9. Caller ID. It's crazy how when we were younger we just used to answer calls without screening them!

10. LIFE. I wake up, I live. I can live reckless, I can play it safe, I can make a wrong decision, I can learn from my mistakes. I lost two people close to my heart in one month. They can't live. Jesus died for our sins. I have a sound mind and solid savings. I have no excuse to not live and every reason to.

@ms_shady (Twitter/Instagram)

Monday, July 22, 2013

press PLAY.

Music is my boyfriend. When I'm down and out, it makes me smile! It's the perfect balance of venting, praying, and listening to some good music that keeps me afloat. I was texting my silly goose Cali and I thought about how much music can really help you through a situation. The Bible places a huge emphasis on hope, faith and love so I got to thinking about a couple of my go to songs to help me out when I've lost hope, I'm lacking faith and in need of love. Don't get me wrong, prayer, personal time, venting, and all that are good modes of restoration but what's life without a soundtrack??

India.Arie, There's Hope
India.Arie said it well:
 "it doesn't cost a thing to smile, you don't have to pay to laugh, you better thank God for that..."
"that's when I learned a lesson, it's all about your perspective..."
I remember a time that I felt down and out and I almost CRIED listening to these lyrics. It IS all about perspective. Hope is often defined as an expectation. You HOPE things work out. You EXPECT things to work out. I'm not delusional, I understand that some things just won't work out, but there's ALWAYS HOPE. Besides, they say some people lie so much they begin to believe their lies. Well I'm about to smile so much that even in the darkest situations I believe there's HOPE.

Mary Mary, Can't Give Up Now
"nobody told me, the road would be easy/and I don't believe, He brought me this far, to leave me"
WELL, those lyrics are pretty much self explanatory. According to the Bible, 'faith is the assurance of things hoped for'. THE ASSURANCE. Sometimes, I must admit, I tend to lose faith. Things aren't going the way they should and I'm just talking to Him, wondering how he could let things get this bad. It doesn't happen frequently but every now and then I lose FAITH. Now after having written the definition just before typing this, the term 'lose faith' sounds like an oxymoron. If I don't have anything else I need to have FAITH. It's hard. How many things can you ASSUREDLY declare? I KNOW this will happen. I KNOW that will happen. I can't say that about much but as many times as I have began to lose my grasp on hope there's a million times that He has proven to me that my FAITH in him, my unwavering certainty in his actions, is justified. I don't know a lot of things but what I do know is that I believe those lyrics and I don't believe He brought me this far to leave me. GAME ON ;)

Chrisette Michele, Best Of Me
"my momma made me much wiser/what's mine will be just for me..."
I like this song because it doesn't discuss a blame. I don't know if she cheated on him or if he just up and left her but I do know that she has an extremely positive outlook. She doesn't care that he's moved on; she's happy for him. She acknowledges she's affected; she can't sleep. HOWEVER, she's ACCEPTING it and KNOWS that one day she'll find a love like the love she thought she found when she found him. Ya'll know what I mean! She doesn't even sound exhausted. That's another post for another time but some breakups are EXHAUSTING. This is a very light song. She understands that he's not for her. That's a hard pill to swallow because sometimes we want people so much we're like toddlers, forcing puzzle pieces together. She's not focused on him in this song, she's trying to find HERSELF. Some tend to lose themselves looking for love. She lost love and she's looking for HERSELF. Some of us claim to have found love but still haven't found themselves. But. Again. That's another post for another time.

I could go on and on with song lyrics and my opinion but I was just in the mood to jot these thoughts down. Do you have a go to playlist? We all need one.

(conversation with Cali earlier)

@ms_shady (Twitter/Instagram)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Hey guys! SO, I think I've finally got my mojo back! Lately I've let life get me down and I've been in this FUNK. I stink you guys! But I'm pushing forward and I SEE THE LIGHT! *pause for dramatic 'epiphany' music*

In light of everything that has happened I think my withdrawal is acceptable however, from a business standpoint, it's NOT acceptable. I'm not beating myself up but I am pushing myself forward. HARD.

Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of attending Kitty Bradshaw's 5th Blogiversary and there I won a 10 Day GM car rental to be used for a future car ride. So many topics in my head, so many blogger meet ups and events on my schedule. It took me a while but I'm coming out of this funk and I'm SO thankful. Sometimes you just have to sit and be. I sat. I'm up now. Hey ya'll hey!!!!

@ms_shady (instagram/twitter)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dear Diary...

Dear Diary,

So. Clearly I haven't posted anything in about two weeks. I blame this little fact on LIFE. Well, actually, I would LIKE to blame life but I think I will blame REALITY instead. Life goes on around me and mentally I sometimes shut down. Luckily for me, when it comes to work I move in autopilot so I don't have to be fully present mentally to get the job done physically. 

Well. At least that's what I thought. These past two weeks that I haven't written I lost two people very close to me. One I grew with for almost a decade and one I've watched grow. One whom I share a bloodline with and another who is family but doesn't share a drop of blood with me. I pushed myself to keep going because I know life will keep going around me and I fear I'll get left behind. I force myself to bury my emotions because I don't want to appear broken, although if anything were to break me this would be it. I force myself to not only stand up straight and shake it off, but I hold others up and encourage them to move forward. If I'm not a hypocrite I don't know who is.

 I'm trying to become more in tune with my emotions. Whatever that means. It's hard because it's something new and unfamiliar but I feel as if it's necessary. Recently I felt like life was suffocating me. I feel like life is suffocating me. I think my biggest mistake came when I tried to push myself forward too soon. I won't share a proposal until its perfect. I won't post a recap until I've read, shared, and re-read. Basically I never do things prematurely. I have no idea why I never thought to apply my business life to my personal life. I shouldn't try to force myself through things. I need to take time to myself, come to terms with life, then move forward. One of my biggest fears is that I will become complacent with what I consider to be mediocrity. But. If I continue to delay my personal growth there's no way I can thrive professionally because as much as I try to separate the two lives I still am and always will be only one person.
@ms_shady (instagram + twitter)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

numb. or not. defines 'numb' as: "emotionally unresponsive." 

I thought I was numb but I'm actually the complete opposite of that. I've felt every emotion imaginable in the past 24 hours. Denial, frustration, anger, confusion, pain. I've laughed, cried, screamed. I took a walk. I took a nap. I ignored some calls. I answered some texts. I think I'm still in some weird, warped form of denial. The loss of a loved one is insane. It's motions you go through and emotions you're absorbed in. And it never gets easier. In fact, I feel like as you get older and as more people begin to return home way too soon it's like, "oh no, not another funeral!"

When I was younger I wasn't where I am religiously or mentally. I didn't fully understand the power of having your whole life ahead of you and making every moment count. I surely didn't understand that you can't question His timing. You rely on it daily so to question it is absurd. I'm stuck because even though we say, "life is too short" you don't actually believe that your circle could be penetrated by these four short words. But it happens far too often. It's happened far too often. 

Whenever I hear of someone passing I always ask God to cover my family and friends. And I mean it. Not because it's appropriate to say but because I've felt the pain of losing a loved one and I don't want to feel it again. I don't want anyone else to feel that feeling. My eyes are red from crying. My arms are tired from wiping my tears. My head hurts and I'm not sure if I'm thinking too hard or crying too hard. I know my heart didn't stop beating but at one point I'm certain I stopped breathing. It's so much to take in. Too much to take in. I don't want to stand in a house that I've come to comfortably for years and fidget awkwardly in front of someone's Mom or Dad because their child was snatched away from them and, as I struggle to say the appropriate things, I  realize I can barely find any words of comfort because I myself am mourning...  

Such is life I suppose...

Please keep the family + friends of Ali Atif in your prayers.

a picture's worth a thousand words so i'll keep looking thru these old photos because right now i am SPEECHLESS...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Open Letter to Wendy Davis

An Open Letter To Wendy Davis:

THANK YOU. You are an off screen gladiator in a suit. A teenage mother who
graduated from Harvard Law, with HONORS, is a strong woman in general but you went above and beyond, literally standing for what you believe in, and for that I am thankful. I am not a Texas resident. I am not even a fan of Texas legislation. I am also not a fan of the staggering abortion rate in Texas. HOWEVER, I am a WOMAN and I firmly believe in my right to choose. For every one of us that stands strong in support with you there is someone who stands in opposition. There are naysayers who believe your thoughts and opinions are far from genuine and your political outreach is a ploy to increase your political reach.

We live in a country where slavery was once the norm, women are currently underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts and same sex marriage is frowned upon and ruled against. America is not the 'land of the free' it is a stomping ground for big government to impose their thoughts and beliefs on the public. But not last night. Last night big government came close but not close enough. Forty years after a decision was made marking the union of a feminist army and we still demand to be heard over the voices of our peers.

I could go on and on attacking the legitimacy of this proposed legislation but your 13 hours have done us justice. This battle is not over. It is simply the beginning. I applaud you and those who rose on your behalf last night. I ABHOR the fact that people are so ILLIBERAL that they believe pro choice equates to pro abortion. I am not in support of abortion. I am not in opposition of abortion. I am a woman and I simply demand my right to choose. I thank you for speaking on my behalf.

#SB5 #WendyDavis #StandWithWendy

Twitter/Instagram: @ms_shady

Friday, June 28, 2013 is LIVE!

This weekend I was privileged to attend Blogging While Brown in New York City. A conference where brown ladies and gents from all cities and states came together for the love of blogging. I took away a lot of gems from this conference but what's most important is the art of unity and coming together to support each other. Your network is truly your net worth so I encourage you all to step out of your element, make at least one new contact a day, support anyone doing something you believe in, and encourage success in those around you. 

With that being said today is a special day for Ms Brittnee Boone. I met her the first day of the conference and I stopped to say hello because I noticed her shoes. Her website is and she contributes her posts to various other local blogs/websites. Check out her story below and be sure to visit her website, bookmark it, subscribe, follow her on Twitter/Instagram for the latest celebrity news straight to your timeline.

Twitter: @ih8mypublicist
Instagram: @ihatemypublicist

"24 year old Brittnee Boone was born and raised in a very small town called Bridgeton, New Jersey. In 2007 she branched out of her element and attended Delaware State University in Dover,DE. With a major in Broadcast Journalism Brittnee walked across the stage proudly during her 2011 commencement ceremony with aspirations of carrying out her dreams as a celebrity blogger. Things didn't quite go as planned right away.

Five months later Brittnee landed her first "real" job in corporate America as a sales assistant. All went well up until September of 2012 when Brittnee hit rock bottom. She felt like she had lost everything from friends to finances. It was a pivotal moment in Brittnee's life she knew she had to make things happen there was no time for self pity. So with her creative mindset and passion for celebrity entertainment writing she birthed the celebrity entertainment website

Brittnee exemplifies the true meaning of what it is to persevere. Brittnee has high hopes of connecting with her readers on a very personal level, especially young females through sharing her own personal experiences and by nurturing them with positivity and motivation.  We love to work with other female brands and are committed to women empowerment. Any female working hard to accomplish their dreams has our utmost support. When things get tough remember "Failure doesn't kill you it increases your desire to make something happen" -Kevin Costner is your new source for celebrity entertainment, fashion and music where we pride ourselves on delivering quality content in the most original way. If you hate your closet, radio and media you are in the right place because you are going to love ours. Sit back, hold on tight and get ready for an all new celebrity entertainment roller coaster experience. Enjoy ! "


Twitter/Instagram: @ms_shady

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm Just Saying...

So. The Trayvon Martin case is underway. If you're unfamiliar please, move. Folk were outraged at some of the evidence presented thus far, and for a good reason; photos of Martin's dead body at the crime scene was plastered on a projector screen as his parents looked away. Today's testimonies weren't any less demoralizing. Rachel Jeantel took the stand (again). The young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon during his final moments was picked to pieces. Her enunciation was attacked, opening a strong debate between whether she told detectives she "could" or "couldn't" hear some of Martin's last words. We learned of her inability to read cursive handwriting, and we saw her become obviously frustrated. This is all understandable. She's a working class teenage girl. I don't know of her upbringing but I also don't understand why it's important. No sooner than she was sworn in did Twitter attack. Excuse my ratch but, I'm not here for this! A 17 year old BOY lost his life and most of America is concerned with a key witness' level of education. Because your reading level determines how well you listen and comprehend. I forgot. I personally feel sorry for this girl. I couldn't imagine a guy I'm interested in being snatched away from me in such a high profile incident. Especially at that age. Especially if I was the LAST person, aside from his killer, to hear his voice. Jeantel is a CHILD who is being preyed upon. Our judicial system is disgusting. These circumstances are unfortunate. As a college educated, African American female my heart goes out to this young woman during this trying time. 

Now. Enough of that. Let's move on to this chick:


If you don't know who she is Google her. She's not on a box of Cheerios but she's talented.
Well. I thought she was talented. Let me flash back to a couple days ago. LoLo Jones had some, uh, ISSUES clearing the hurdle and then, THIS happened

She came in fifth place, MUCH to her surprise. Then in an effort to leave quick, fast and in a hurry, broke event protocol by leaving through the wrong exit. HONEY.

Misery sure loves company.
It's ok to cry. 

I HATE that some females are so CRITICAL. YES, I categorized. This hussy can't even do what she came to do but she has time to attack others. Whenever Twitter goes crazy it's never Omarion arguing with Bow Wow (remember the Scream Tours, omg!) it's always FEMALES going after other FEMALES. WHY??? Flash back to the MAJOR SHADE Gabby Douglas received over her Olympic hairstyle. Or. Lack of. BUT WHY?? Do we watch too much VH1 so we think demeaning each other is normal? I'm lost. I mean. I'm guilty of it at (RARE) times so if anyone figures out why this happens let me know so I can dead my issue head on. 

Do we all need to get together and burn some bras and hold hands and sing Exhale (Shoop Shoop) ??

I have the album if you guys think that's the answer.

Twitter/Instagram: @ms_shady


What's Your Status?

Today is National HIV Testing Day. Tests are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL! You shouldn't need a day to encourage you to #KnowYourStatus but TODAY is the DAY. As an incentive some testing centers even raffle off prizes. I think it's DISGUSTING if you're sexually active, have been or plan to be, and you need an INCENTIVE to push you to protect your health and the health of those around you. But. I'm just a basic blogger. My opinion doesn't matter. What does matter however are the FACTS. Maybe you'd prefer pictures over words? I highlighted what I think is most important below. Straight from the CDC. Don't believe me? Click the link:

Want to get tested? Click here: plug in your zip code &find the testing center near you!

#iknow #doyouknow #findout #GETTESTED #HIVAwareness

Twitter/Instagram: @ms_shady

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Message From Our Sponsors...

#BWBNYC was an amazing experience!  I've been blogging for about three years so I don't consider myself a beginner but I'm definitely not a veteran. That said, for beginning bloggers and even vets I would HIGHLY recommend this conference because there is something for everyone. I'll get into the speakers and panels in my following posts but first I'd like to show appreciation to the sponsors I enjoyed the most. This is a visual post. Be happy. I have lots to say in the following days, rest your eyes.

DISCLAIMER: All the sponsors were AMAZING but I interacted with some more than others. These are exclusively my thoughts. And pictures ;)

Colgate Optic White
Colgate sponsored our opening party. 
They provided us with a 'swag bag' of oral hygiene products and a specialty cocktail, 'Optic White'


TV Land's The Soul Man 
Sponsored our Saturday Breakfast 
(stay tuned for my post on their panel!)

Beautiful Textures
I won a year's supply of Beautiful Textures product so all my natural readers be sure to stay tuned because I'll definitely be doing some product reviews and sharing some product too!

The #itcanwait Campaign was present. I took the pledge! No driving and texting!
AT&T also sponsored our closing party with their specialty cocktail, Take The Pledge punch!
(they also gave away a couple phones but I didn't win. sad.)

Fruitvale Station
An extremely moving film based on the true story of Oscar Grant's death. 
So touching. Make sure you stay tuned for my review.

Twitter/Instagram: ms_shady

Bold, Brown, & Beautiful

"She's cute for a dark skinned girl."  "Stop acting light skinned." We've heard all these phrases. ...