50shadesofraee- ted talks to watch during quarantine

To state the obvious, Ms. Rona, aka COVID-19, has definitely put a wrench in my summer turn-up plans. Never did I ever think I would be forced into the house for over two weeks without any idea of when I could freely leave again. Needless to say, my anxiety has been a bit higher than normal!

But I must say the hardest part about being on house arrest is staying positive and active. To fill in all this free time that I have, I’ve been listening to inspirational podcasts and have recently transitioned to TED Talks.

I love TED talks because you can find a video on literally any subject and walk away with so much insight and motivation. Figuring us being on quarantine lock-down was suitable timing, I rounded up my extensive list into my top five TED Talks that I feel will help you get through this quarantine – or at least not lose your sanity. Check them out below!

1.) Why You Need to Be a Bitch x Tabatha Coffey

Unorthodox and unconventional, businesswoman Tabatha Coffey delivers an ultimate message about the importance of being true to yourself and owning the bad-ass woman you are. Quarantine days mean that it’s easy to let self-deprecating thoughts cloud your mind because you have nothing else to distract you. Watch this whenever you need a pick me up!

2.) Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable x Luvvie Ajayi

“Your silence serves no one!” These are the words that you will be left with after watching blogger and New York Times bestseller Luvvie Ajayi’s TED talk! Her talk is about 10 minutes making it the perfect mood booster you need to start your morning!

3.) Cultivating Unconditional Self-Worth x Adia Gooden

Fortunately, this quarantine has given a lot of us, myself included, a lot of time to self-reflect and really tune in on who we are as a person. One of my favorite videos I love to watch to check in with myself is this one by Adia Gooden, a licensed clinical psychologist. In her TED talk, Adia talks about how therapy helped change her outlook and perspective of herself and taught her to embrace who she really is, instead of who she thinks she should be!

4.) Have the Balls to Follow Your Dreams x Dianna David

Have you ever ignored something that seemed so small, but in actuality was something life-changing? That’s exactly what happened to Dianna David! After four years of working a desk job she intrinsically loathed, she was able to change her life forever after stumbling across a red ball!

5.) Plus Size: More Like My Size x Ashley Graham

Often times as women, we can rip ourselves apart over the way that we look! Model and body activist Ashley Graham talks about her journey in becoming a model. Even more, she impresses upon the idea that everybody is beautiful and that we, as women, need to reclaim what’s ours regardless of societal standards.

Bonus: Every Kid Needs a Champion x Rita Pierson

9/9 if you’re an educator, you’ve watched this video. And while this video is aimed at educators being better teachers to their students, there are some KEY gems that can be applied to everyone about being a better student and teacher to yourself!

I hope these videos help and encourage you as much as they have helped and encouraged me. If you would like to watch more TED talks, head on over to their website where they have hundreds of videos on any topic imaginable!

Practice social distancing, stay safe, & be blessed! Also, please make sure you follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for new updates!

Whew chile.

Corona really got us in the house STUCK! With all the free time on my hands, I’ve had time to get back into my makeup looks!

This green eye look was originally planned for a Saint Patrick’s Day turn up, but that quickly turned into me staying home, so I hope you enjoy this video! If you recreate it, let me know!!



Watch my video below:

It’s hard outchea to level up as a black woman!!

As I’m going through the interviewing process for a promotion myself, I’m being reminded yet again of the unfair treatment black women experience in the workplace and how we are often if not always overlooked for advancement opportunities. I know these experiences are seen a lot more in the corporate sector, but my experience has been in education and it’s something that isn’t often talked about.

In my experience, black female teachers are often left behind. I’ve been in the classroom for five years and it wasn’t until last year or so that I kept getting the “behavior kids” or the kids who don’t want to be in school in my classes. I finally asked one of the counselors [who schedule classes] why I seemed to be the only one on my team with these types of students, and he easily and without hesitation said, “Because you can handle them!”

While I don’t disagree with him, it’s completely unfair that black women are seen as the ‘saviors’ and therefore unjustly being forced into staying in the classroom as advancement opportunities are coming few and far between. I know that if I’m experiencing it, then other black educators are experiencing the same thing too!

As the black teacher, especially if you work in an inner-city school, you’re pigeon-held in the classroom because you’re the “only” one that can “handle the kids” or the only one that the kids “relate” to in comparison to their non-black teachers. And while I do take pride in being the influential reflection in a young black person’s life, it’s unfair that black teachers, especially women, are inadvertently locked down in the classroom and silently skipped over for advancement opportunities.



In fact, there are fewer women in leadership roles and that number is even smaller if you’re black. Despite what companies and districts say, in this good year of our Lord, companies are still not being inclusive and fair to black women. Imagine waking up every day going to a job that you’re a bad bitch in, your boss knows you’re a bad bitch at your job, but instead of moving you up, your boss promotes Larry and when you ask why you were overlooked, you’re told because “you’re too valuable for us to lose!”

What????

And yes I know there are black women who are leaders, but before we give them all the praise, let’s seriously ask … how many of them are actually helping to advance their fellow sistas? Sadly, the answer is not enough and just like you, I’ve witnessed my fair share of this happening. For instance, my black female boss, groomed and hired a non-black woman and promoted her over another black woman who was equally if not more qualified for the same position. How can we even think about a white man helping us when we don’t even help each other?

One thing I do know is that skipping over black women is truly a slap in the face. After reading this blog post, I really felt compelled to talk about this issue because as a black educator who’s actively seeking advancement in her career and being able to count on ONE hand the number of black women who have been promoted to leadership roles compared to non-black women in the past three years, it is a little discouraging.

What makes it so disheartening is that there are so many black women who can easily shift the focus and culture of public education as campus and district leaders, but we aren’t given the chance. The question is why? What are we lacking that everyone else has? The answer surely isn’t degrees, because according to the National Center for Education Statistics, we have that more than any other race or gender! So if we’re out- degreeing everybody, why aren’t more of us holding leadership positions at our places of employment?

One has to wonder if the old adage we’ve heard over and over growing up is actually true! Is being twice or even three times better than the rest even important anymore? It seems like other variables have been thrown in there over the course of the years to where literally bending over backward for a company just isn’t enough anymore!

In this realization, I do know that I’m being selfish talking only about the field of education, but let it be clear that I’m not naive in being aware of the plight of my sisters working in corporate America as well. I literally just had a conversation with one of my sisters about her decision to leave a company she’s been with for nine years due to them overlooking her for advancement opportunities – the same company that she’s earned millions for. It’s crazy that more and more women are having to leave workplaces or switch industries for an opportunity at advancement.

One thing I can say is that the older I get, the more I take an active interest and focus on who is speaking up not only for women but women of color from women and men alike. So when we talk about diversity in the workplace, it has to go beyond just gender and move into race. As a woman, I’m always going to be an advocate of other women, but I’ll never do that when those same issues don’t support or benefit the Black woman!

Brittany B – a boss ass Black woman who inspired this post shared 7 tips on her blog about speaking up and advocating for other women in the workplace:

1.) Set a good example by being your own advocate.

2.) Celebrate the success of women around you.

3.) Speak up for women – if you’re in a leadership position, speak up for those who are not.

4.) Encourage the women around you! Be their cheerleader too!

5.) Be a peer-mentor.

6.) Support and protect each other.

7.) Hire across and up

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Reach for Equal.’ In a perfect world, that would be equality for all, but we know how that goes. Despite this, sisters, I challenge you to take International Women’s Day beyond the month of March and choose to uplift, encourage, and grow another woman of color. We are valuable. We are brilliant. We are leaders. We deserve the right to be recognized and appreciated just like everyone else.

One last thing I want to leave you with is this quote that I hope serves as a catalyst to fuel you and the women you’re going to impact the rest of this year:

As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behaviors you want others to follow!” – Himanshu Bhatia

Today is National Drink Wine Day so of course, I had to come through with a list of my favorite wines! Now I’ll always be a Chardonnay girl, but over the past couple of years or so, I’ve been dibbling and dabbling in the reds, and while I’m still learning about the different types, flavors, and notes, I have learned that I prefer sweet reds over anything else!

Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite red wines that range from dry to sweet! Even better is they’re all under $25!!

Rosa Imperiale [Semi-Sweet] – $8.99

Il Duca Rosa Imperiale

Someone bought this to my game night back in November and it stayed in the refrigerator for months. I was out of my Stella and it was between this or nothing, so I gave this a try and OMG! This red wine is listed as a semi-sweet but it gives me a sparkling sweet tease. It’s so delicious.

Chateau Bois Chantant Bordeax Superieur

Chateau Bois Chantant Bordeaux Superieur

I stumbled upon this at Total Wine and got it because it was on sale and it’s definitely one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of red wines with flavors of berries and plums, then this is one to check out!

Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

Macchia Petite Sirah Dubious

This one is for you full-body lovers! Not gonna lie, this one is definitely an acquired taste, but once you open up to it, you’re going to fall in love. It’s also not as sweet as the other options, but it pairs very well with seafood, which makes it worth it in my book!

LLano Estacado Sweet Red

Llano Estacado Sweet Red

My homegirl Tika put me on this wine and I am absolutely obsessed!!! Llano is easily one of the smoothest reds I’ve ever had, and when they say sweet, that’s exactly what they mean! When I’m feeling fancy, I like to mix a little Hennessy with it for an unbelievably lit experience! Henny or not, this wine will have you feeling good with its 14% alcohol content.

Samuel Robert Winery Pinot Noir

Samuel Robert Winery Pinot Noir Vintner's Reserve Willamette, 2018

If you like unofficial dessert wines, then this is the wine for you! I find Pinot’s to be on the sweeter side anyway, but this one is super sweet to the point, it’ll easily satisfy your sweet tooth! It is full-bodied with notes of plum and cinnamon if that’s your thing!

Hope you enjoyed this list, but even more so, I hope you enjoy National Drink Wine Day and make sure to drink a glass for me too!!

50Shadesofraee-singleonvday

Oh Valentine’s Day. The day all coupled folk look forward to and single people hate!! I can’t remember the last time I had a real Valentine’s Date. Scratch that. Actually I can. It’s been a good six years since I’ve had a real Valentine’s Date with real plans on Valentine’s and for the past 5 or 6 years or so, I’ve been thugging solo-dolo, so believe me when I say, I know being alone on V-Day sucks. It’s complete trash.

If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of love and you’re a true romantic at heart, which means Valentine’s Day can really fuck with you. It’s a day where all the girls are showing their gifts off, people are getting engaged, having good sex, and here you are… single and alone.

Again, trash!

But where we go wrong sisters, is putting our value in this one day! If we’re keeping it real, love should be celebrated all year, so this one day really shouldn’t affect us the way it does… but hey, we’re emotional beings so it does! And oftentimes, when I talk to my other single friends about their Valentine’s Day plans, they hit me with “Oh, girl, nobody wants me!‘ or “I’ll be alone…. per usual!” And I get it because that definitely used to be me too! Self-deprecating and highly negative until I learned better.

Not having a V-day date doesn’t make you or us any less worthy or valuable than having one. I get the sentiment of wanting someone to buy you things and show appreciation, but it’s totally okay if you do those things for yourself too! Last Valentine’s Day, I spent it at the bar alone, getting drunk and NOT on my dime either. I had a blast just being alone and celebrating the love I had for me. And in that, I wasn’t bothered by the dozens of couples around me.

So yeah, being alone on Valentine’s Day can suck. But it can also be beautiful and great if you make it! And on a final note, don’t be the bitter b*tch who hates and complains about Valentine’s Day because nobody wants to hear that either!!

Ok girl, now that we’ve gotten the empowerment ish out the way, here are a few things you can do this Valentine’s Day to celebrate love:

1.) Galentine’s Day Wine Down: Celebrate your love of friendship with your girls and make sure everyone brings a bottle of wine!

2.) Dinner and a Movie: Stay in or go out but get your favorite food and watch your favorite movie.

3.) Anti-Valentine’s Day Party: There are cute ways to do this without seeming like the bitter girl. Host a party with all of your single friends, get some cute decor, good food, and fun games to get everyone’s mind off of being single.

4.) Spa Day – Hair done! Nails done! Everything did!

5.) Cater to Yourself: Get a professional chef to come in and cook you a bomb and indulgent meal!

If you’re still stuck, then check out this list which is full of more ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day the single way!

Have a Happy and fulfilling Valentine’s Day ya’ll!

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