My Loc Journey

By: Queen SueSue

I have been natural for 7 years now. WOW. It definitely has been an uphill battle, but I would not change a thing. I have learned a lot about 4c hair, maintenance, what not to use, and loc repair. I also feel closer to my African roots and conscious of my ancestor’s findings. 

Many have jumped on the bandwagon simply because locs now is a trending hairstyle. I chose it because it aligned with my free spirit and gives me more free time. I want to extend some seeds of wisdom so others can learn from my milestones and mistakes

Don’t Be a Product Junkie

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It is relatable that hair products have a special type of allure. The sweet smell. The moisturizing texture. The model with picture-perfect hair posing on the front of the bottle. Don’t binge on tests/trials with too many hair products. The buildup will be hard to get out of your locs. 

You don’t want to overspend on hair products when you know that the natural route was meant for simplicity. Think of oils that you love to use for your food. Olive oil, jojoba oil, and black seed oil are all perfect ingredients to add to a bottle of water. Lightly spritz your hair to retain moisture and then let it be. Too much manipulation can be detrimental. 

Self-Love Your Roots

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To each his own, but I often get perplexed by those who claim they love their hair but perm their baby edges! Like what? You can’t nourish one part of your hair while chemically frying the outline. That sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Investing in self-love can save you from financial ruin in the future. If you want to retire comfortably or even early, you have to start teaching yourself how to budget. Love the natural beauty you were born with. Be self-aware of the educational expenses you can cover when less is spent on outward appearance. 

Learn Loc Lingo

Image Credit: achievement.org

You can’t just rely solely on a loctician. Do needed research so you can find which type of locs you prefer. So far there are:

  • Two Stand Twists
  • Comb Coils
  • Braids
  • Interlocking
  • Semi-free form
  • Free-form

I started my locs with comb coils, then transitioned to interlocking. And now I’m maintaining a semi-freeform look. It’s giving Lauryn Hill vibes. More of thick bushy curls, versus a manicured scalpy look.

Concluding Thoughts

When I think of the pain my ancestors went through, I often wonder as a descendant why add more? Wigs are ok from time to time, but the constant pain of pulling, weaving, perming, or ironing 4c hair is a road I’d rather not travel on ever again. Next up on my loc journey is a much-needed trimming and loc repair. An enriching protein treatment. Possible dark coloring to cover up lint/buildup. But nothing major. 

Ultimately, I want all of my Queens to have healthy hair. Rock styles that stay true and authentic to you. Live your best natural life.

Would you like to start a loc journey yourself? If you have, how is it going?

The Liberian Entrepreneur Who Is Making 50K a month Selling Jewelry

Photo Credit: Millie’s International Creations/ Facebook

Many people give up on their dreams and ambitions before seeing the breakthrough that they always wanted. This can come from a plethora of reasons. Lack of funds, lack of confidence, or lack of hard work ethic.

Penny Clarke is an exception to the masses. She started her company 6 years ago and saw her sales explode from $5,000 a month to $50,000 a month during this COVID pandemic. Here’s how she did it.

Humble Beginnings

Photo Credit: Monrovia, Liberia Pinterest

Penny is the last baby of 8 children. She was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia. She looked up to her mother who worked as a schoolteacher and sold cornbread to make ends meet. Seeing that her mother had a side hustle inspired her to expand her streams of income. She migrated to the United States at age 16 to further her education. Her mother passed away in 2014 from congestive heart failure, which moved her to be more committed to helping women of color achieve their dreams.

In 2015 a trip to South Africa inspired her to build a team of African designers. Together they created a line of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, headwraps, handbags, and more. When her company was first launched she was still working as a government employee in Washington D.C. The pandemic has really propelled a lot of online businesses in the right direction. Economists are coining 2021 as the year of “The Great Resignation”. People are quitting their jobs in droves to pursue remote work.

Inflation is a huge issue within the job market. With travel restrictions still in place, many are taking this time to go back to school and really pursue what they love to do. Immigration and work visas have also been on the decline, which means they are a shortage of foreigners to take on jobs that are temporary and seasonal. Many “quitters” are not quitting work entirely. They are on the search for better opportunities.

Penny is among those who are taking a leap of faith to invest in an online business. The memories of how resilient her mother was accompanied by her love of travel, fashion, and foreigners birthed “Millie’s International Creations”. Most of her online boutiques’ materials are derived from Africa.

How Her Business Grew

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Digital marketing is an in-demand skill because it can powerfully scale a business from zero to hero. Facebook ad campaigns can target your ideal demographics. A website with a sales funnel can generate awareness, consideration, and qualified leads which can turn into daily buyers.

Penny attributes her growing sales to the digital marketing agency 7th Pro Solutions. “When I started working with Edwin Jardin (the founder of 7th Pro Solutions), he really helped me to create a sales funnel for my website that has literally increased my revenue by 500%. My company now gets sales every single day, and it’s a challenge to keep up with inventory – which is a great problem to have.”

Creating a sales funnel can be a daunting task when you try to do it alone. The 3 main stages of a sales funnel are awareness, consideration, and decision. During awareness, a potential buyer is shown the product or service. How well the advertisement is towards gaining awareness is crucial for consideration. The 2nd stage, consideration is when interest is sparked. The person’s curiosity ignites in them the desire to buy. The last stage, the decision is when the buyer decides to buy a product or service.

7th Pro Solutions is a Digital Marketing Agency that focuses on accelerating business growth through effective strategies. Facebook ads can cause sales conversions to grow rapidly. Each ad has to be tailored to your individual social media platform. A business manager usually decides to use Facebook advertising in a strategic marketing plan when they want to reach new qualified prospecting audiences.

Are You A Passionpreneur?

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Millie’s International Creations has a simple mission statement: “Millie’s aims to bring quality merchandise by women designers and artisans at an affordable price to the U.S. market. Part of our proceeds benefits various nonprofits around the world. I am continually traveling and seeking out women who wish to achieve their dreams and support their families through their craft.”

What’s your craft? Is there any hobby of yours that gives you butterflies anytime you daydream about it? Turning your dreams into reality takes investment, a concrete business plan, and a supportive team that works in harmony with your goals. During this pandemic, hustling can open many avenues if you are persistent.

Starting a side hustle can push you to expand past the boundaries in your comfort zone. Need some inspiration? Check out Etsy. You can take common household items to create your own handmade goods. From hats to unique bracelets, people love creations that took time and skill to make. Writing an e-book that inspires others can help you to make connections in the blogging industry. Take your expertise in a field to teach valuable lessons to others.

Monetizing your social media is another way to start building an online business. Instagram is the top social media platform for making sales. Once you have over 10,000 followers, you can monetize your posts and close deals with advertisers. Facebook Marketplace is another great place to create listings and sell handmade items. It’s free to start and you can share your items in various Facebook business groups.

Do you have a success story similar to Penny Clarke? Sound off below!

What Everyone Must Know About Coronavirus And Hair

Coronavirus. A deadly virus that is being compared to the Spanish flu. With the worldwide death toll surging past 11,000, many are heeding government commands. Social distancing is being practiced. Schools are closing down for weeks. Millions are without work. Within the service industry hairstylists are having to deal with their businesses slowing down. What exactly is coronavirus? How can we protect our hair and still support our hairstylists?

Coronavirus – A New Deadly Disease

man in isolation holding a placard with coronavirus text
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The World Health Organization has declared that the coronavirus disease is a new strain that has never existed in humans before 2019. It is classified as a zoonotic, meaning that the transmission began between animals and people. Researchers have concluded that it started in Asia, and got transmitted from civet cats/ dromedary camels to humans.

Signs of infection include:

  • respiratory symptoms
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

Getting an infection can cause:

  • pneumonia
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • kidney failure
  • death

Worldwide it is being advised that extra precautions be taken to prevent this infection from spreading. These are the safety measures that we must take:

  • Regularly washing hands
  • Social distancing
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze
  • Thoroughly cooking your meat/eggs
  • Staying indoors as much as possible
  • Avoiding contact with anyone that is coughing or sneezing.

If you are coughing and sneezing, you should contact your doctor immediately. It can be a sign of respiratory illness which is associated with coronavirus.

Can Coronavirus Live On My Hair?

Experts have found out that the virus can last for hours, even days, on certain surfaces. For example, the coronavirus can live on steel and plastic for days. These are considered smooth surfaces. Hair is a porous surface, which means liquid can easily wash through it. So its more likely that the virus will not live on hair as long as other surfaces. But there is still a possibility. If someone sneezed on your hair and tested positive for Corona, you could catch it through involuntary contact. That is why many hairstylist salons are temporarily shutting down.

How Can I Still Keep My Hair Styled?

woman in white shirt beautifying herself despite the outbreak
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It is advised that we avoid contact from others for the time being, and that includes hair salons. Salons and barbershops attract large groups of people. But that does not mean that we should let our hair become wild. Many hairstylists are doing house calls. So we can invite our beautician over. Double-check to make sure their equipment is properly sanitized. Also, make sure that you wash your hair daily.

Practice washing your hands as much as possible. Learn how to do simple hairstyles while staying at home. Spread the word and encourage others to carry a hand sanitizer.

Another way you can still support your hairstylist is by pre-booking in advance. Do you really need to dye your hair right away? Can you wear a protective hairstyle in the meantime? If we do not help small businesses out, service industries could take a big hit. Keeping businesses from slowing down, while being careful when it comes to our health, will do wonders for the community.

Sources:

Featured Image Credit- Getty

https://www.today.com/style/can-coronavirus-live-hair-here-s-what-experts-want-you-t176524

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coronavirus-skin-hair-nails_l_5e73ce08c5b6eab77944be05

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2020/03/20/coronavirus-hairstylists-making-house-calls-what-you-need-know/2870480001/

 

The Good And The Bad: Money Habits Of Millennials

Many people perceive Millennials to be lazy, entitled, and social media savvy. But there is more to us than the stereotypes that the media portrays us to be. Although many might view as spoiled, materialistic, and self-centered, there do exist Gen M’s that are giving, minimalistic, and unselfish.

We live during times where the money that we earn is a huge factor. It determines what neighborhood we live in, the type of shoes we wear, what school we go to, and what age we retire at. Because Millennials have a unique upbringing, many are wise when it comes to their spending habits. We try to avoid the mistakes that previous generations have made. But some, unfortunately, make unwise choices when it comes to money management.

As financial reality hits my generation some wake up and contemplate more before making a purchase. Here a 6 bad/good money habits that Millennials make.

Lack Of Understanding When It Comes To The Basics Of Money

Middle school, high school, and even college do not give enough financial education when it comes to how to manage your personal finances. “It starts with a lack of education in middle school, high school and even in college,” says Greg Oray, president and investment advisor representative at Oray King Wealth Advisors in Troy, Michigan.

A global study that was created in 2017 found that 1 out of 5 teens lacked the knowledge of basic financial literacy skills. In fact, China, Belgium, and Canada were ahead of the U.S.

I know personally, I did not own a bank account until I graduated from high school. And even then, I did not know how an ATM machine actually worked. I had to ask an older friend about why credit cards and a savings account would be beneficial to me. Growing up I never received an allowance so my saving skills are very poor. Online resources like the app Mint and the government’s MyMoney.gov website can help you make shrewd decisions with your money.

Fabricating On Taxes

Though not always intentionally, some Millennials are not honest on their taxes. It is becoming more common to be a remote worker. Many young ones are turning to apps to make extra money. Some are starting their own side hustles to showcase their creativity and talent. “No one is particularly well-educated about taxes,” says William Perez, a senior tax accountant with Visor, an online tax-filing and year-round advisory service.

When you are young, you might feel invincible. You lack experience when it comes down to doing your taxes. So you might feel as though omitting some information won’t hurt. But it is imperative that you tell your tax preparer about every side-hustle that you have. “No one wants to pay more tax than they need to,” Perez says, “but no one wants to get a letter from the IRS saying they forgot to report something.”

Failing To Stick To A Budget

When you grow up in an extremely impoverished environment, you tend to pick up bad habits when it comes to spending. You are thrown into a rat race at a young age, thinking that you will evolve quickly from living paycheck to paycheck. But that is not always the case. The great poet Langston Hughes related to many when he wrote about “dreams deferred.” So many financial goals that Millennials arrange have been delayed or missed. We might reach accomplishments later in life compared to Baby Boomers.

“It feels restrictive to use a budget,” Swartz says. Swartz is a portfolio manager with BKD wealth advisors in Spring, Missouri. “The way I think about a budget is tracking where the money is going so I can make better decisions,” he says. When you keep good records of where you spend your money, you will use more meditation when trying to save.

More Investing Than Other Generations

When the Recession hit, many in their early twenties lost their jobs. It became more important to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate properties. No one wants to be living in their parents’ basement forever. We all want a sense of independence. We all want to have financial stability. So many youths started to invest so that their money was not going into one basket. Even 9/11 caused a lot of economic fallout. With mobile and online technology having so many platforms, many are placing their money into investment apps. For example, the Robinhood app has gained a lot of popularity. I have seen young adults on Youtube claim that their savings have doubled after using the Robinhood app.

More Millennials Are Saving For Retirement

The minimalist movement is popular and so many are opting to live off the grid. I personally aspire to retire by age 40. We have seen our parents’ retirement accounts look so small even after working a 9-5 job for 60+ years. The earlier you start your retirement funds, the better. A recent study from the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 70% of Millennials have started saving at the ripe age of 22 and roughly the same percentage of Millennials have opted-in to their 401(k) plans at work. (Source: https://investorjunkie.com/36926/millennials-money-management/).

Another way of retiring early is by having multiple streams of residual income. Through technology writers and musicians have been able to make money in their sleep. I plan to retire early through blogging, selling books and through creating music.

Choosing Alternative Workplaces

Once again technology has created a rocket that the younger generation can soar off of. No longer do you hear of people not knowing how much the next company makes. A quick search through Google will educate you on all you need to know about your wages, companies that can pay you better, and even the great alternative of freelancing. Our youth have created avenues in which they can double their income through the Internet, social media, and digital marketing. How can you go wrong when your workplace is a local bookstore? While sipping on an iced latte you converse with your clients’ via Skype. It does not get much sweeter than that.

adult african american woman blur business
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Femicide In South Africa

Shuga is a TV show that I always get excited to watch everytime a new season comes on. It’s first season was videotaped in Kenya, and it was how Lupita Nyong’o  got her first main acting role. Ever since then, it has changed countries, jumping from Nigeria to South Africa. Pretty soon a new season will be filmed in Coite D’voire. It touches on the issues a lot of people of color face, such as discrimination, finding oneself, relationship problems, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But what really caught my eye was The Down South Season 1 , which depicted life for youth in South Africa. And what really broke my heart ( although the story was fictional) was how a young 15 year old character Tsholo (pictured in first image, image credit: MTV Shuga) dies after being in a abusive relationship with 24 year old neighborhood taxi driver Sol. It moved me to research a trending topic called Femicide. Global Americans states South Africa  as the 3rd country in the world to have a “very high” rate of femicide, with El Salvador taking the lead. What exactly is femicide? Why is it such a huge problem in South Africa? And what can be done to prevent it?

The Meaning of Femicide

The spectrum of violence is a long one. It can start off as just a verbal insult, grow into physical assault , and explode into murder. Femicide is the actual killing of women.

The World Health Organization has this to say about femicide: “Femicide is usually perpetrated by men, but sometimes female family members may
be involved. Femicide differs from male homicide in specific ways. For example, most
cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners, and involve ongoing abuse
in the home, threats or intimidation, sexual violence or situations where women have
less power or fewer resources than their partner.”

There are different types of femicide:

  • Intimate femicide– A murder of a woman by their own current or former husband or boyfriend. An ongoing study by WHO found out that over 35% of femicides are committed by the persons own current or former intimate partner.
  • Murders in the name of honour-  ” ‘Honour’-related murders involve a girl or woman being killed by a male or female family member for an actual or assumed sexual or behavioural  transgression, including adultery, sexual intercourse or pregnancy outside marriage – or even for being raped . Often the perpetrators see this femicide as a way to protect family reputation, to follow tradition or to adhere to wrongly interpreted religious demands. Murders in the name of ‘honour’ may also be used to cover up cases of incest .”  -WHO Organization. Wow. So to cover up a crime like rape or incest that was not even the females fault, some families decide its just best to kill off the woman , so the family’s reputation can be “protected”. Very barbaric and sickening.
  • Dowry-related femicide- This is when a conflict involving the bride price enrages the in-laws so much, to the extent that one of them decides to just kill off the newly married woman.
  • Non-intimate femicide- When a female is killed that has had no relationship with the man. It usually happens after sexual aggression. It is random and is sometimes done by a creepy stalker or a secret admiring psychopath.
photo of woman wearing necklace
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Why Is Femicide Such A Huge Problem In South Africa ?

The South Africa Police collected data that shows that a woman is murdered every 3 hours in South Africa. Nationally this is 4.8 times the global average rate.

safemicide

Image Credit: MatieMedia

The Institute For Security Studies explanation is understandable. It points to apartheid as one of the main reasons why violence in South Africa is at an all-time high. With so many years of inequality and abuse of power on their plate, many South Africans have no reasons to respect the law. And to this day, the European race still holds most of the power and wealth in South Africa. Much of the poorer class, which is comprised mostly of blacks , in this day and age still do not have access to psychologists or lawyers who will fairly fight for them. Although wrong, what usually happens when a man who has carried the weight of stress and trauma has nowhere to turn? They unleash their pain on a woman. And just one blow can become fatal.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Femicide?

 

Increase Education, Intervention and Research

The more men that become informed of these horrifying statistics,  the more awareness it will bring to the situation. It can move many SA men to be on the lookout for potential violent situations. If you see a female neighbor that is bruised, try to figure out what is going on. A lot of protests are going on with women marching the streets, but more men need to be involved.

Restrict Gun Ownership And Increase Gun Laws

Guns should only be used for hunting animals only. (That is my opinion, and I am sticking to it.) The government needs to enforce stricter gun laws so that a lot of deaths can be prevented. If guns have to be seized, then so be it.

Train And Sensitize Health Staff/Police

Health care workers and police who are on the scene during violent situations need to be trained thoroughly. Proper documentation needs to be made, and improving detections needs to be done.

The community as a whole can do much to prevent femicides from happening. Walk away from abusive relationships. Say no to domestic violence. Need help? Always remember that you are not alone. Call one of these numbers if you are being abused or if you know someone who is being abused:

  • POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse): 011 6424 345
  • Gender-based Violence Command Centre: 0800 428 428 (emergency line) or *120*7867# (please call me facility)
  • Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355#

Do you have a story to tell concerning the topic of femicide? Any input or advice to give? Comment below.

man in white crew neck t shirt
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Black Girl Blues

(Image Credit: Twitter)

It is a affliction that develops within us after being strong for too long. After being faced with barriers, negative outcomes, surviving trauma, inheriting a serious health issue, or coming from a disadvantaged background, many Queens of color fall into depression. “Black Girl Blues” has become such a hot topic that may books, movies, and even local community events are focusing on it. And yet, the stigma within the African and African-American community remains.

With a lack of resources and funds, many black Queens self-medicate by becoming workaholics, alcoholics, drug-addicts, or even sex addicts. What causes depression? Why is being a black female, and being depressed such a huge epidemic? How can a black Queen deal with depression?

What Causes Depression?

grayscale photography of woman
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The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine has admitted that women of color try to fight their way through anxiety and depression by themselves. The whole stereotype of being the “strong black women” has been ingrained in our minds for too long through mainstream media. “Anyone can experience mental illness. There is no group, gender, sexual identity, race or cultural belief that can prevent it from occurring,” says Richards, M.D. “And it’s actually happening at higher rates than most other illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.” In the African and African American community ( I personally make it a point to separate the both because we are similar and yet so different), many attribute depression to someone who is weak. In the African American community it is quite common to hear depression be turned into a joke, and someone suffering from it is sometimes used as a source of comedy relief. In the African community when you bring up depression you are often the target of shame and mockery. Your relatives may go out of their way to embarrass you and make you feel as though you are not strong, that is why you can’t “get over it”.

Women of color suffer mentally more than the general population because we lack so much. When you have been stolen from, abused, neglected, and oppressed for centuries,more than any other race, you suffer more from violence, PTSD, poverty and homelessness. All of these negative components create a concoction of depression in a Queen’s mind.

The Three Strikes : Being Black, Being A Female, and Being Depressed

 

Every hit black TV sitcom I have watched whether it was “The Cosby Show”, “Living Single”, or “The Jeffersons”, the black leading female was always portrayed as being so strong. She always had a extremely witty demeanor with a hysterical comeback that would always save the day, and it would seriously get on my nerves. I mean why couldn’t Clair Huxtable ever have an emotional breakdown in front of her kids? Didn’t being a lawyer and seeing all of the corruption in the system ever depress her? Did not moving on up to the East-side emotionally exhaust Mrs. Jefferson? Queen Latifah did see a therapist while acting in “Living Single”, but it was not a reoccurring topic.

“During slavery you were supposed to be the strong one. You weren’t supposed to speak. You were supposed to just do,” said Esney M. Sharpe, founder and CEO of the Bessie Mae Women’s Health Center in East Orange, N.J., which offers health services for uninsured and underserved women. “…Our moms and our grandmothers always told us to suppress. Just be quiet, chalk it up, get up, dress up, fix your face, put on your best outfit and just keep going,” she said.

Women in general are more likely to experience depression than men do. (What a surprise.) But when your black, and a woman, your chances of experiencing depression are higher than the rest of the general population.

How Can A Black Queen Deal With Depression?

1.) Choose a provider that demonstrates cultural competence. Your healthcare provider should be able to provide care to you despite your belief, values and behavior. They should also take into account your social, cultural, and linguistic needs. If they can’t, then you need to find a replacement.

2.) Walk away from toxic relationships and/or family and friends. The saying : “You are who you sleep with”, is very true. You cannot have a healthy mind if you choose to have a partner that is constantly insulting you, demeaning you, cheating on you or beating you. The same goes for your friends and family. Misery loves company. If they are not uplifting you, you need to replace them with people who will.

3.) Seek help from a mental health provider. “I do think our community could use a lot of healing and I do think there’s a lot of potential for psychotherapy in our community,” said Psychologist Orbe-Austin.

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Shop Healthy At Aldi’s For Only $25 A Week

The main barrier that holds a lot of fast food junkies back from eating more healthier is the claim that healthy, nutritious food is too expensive. But is it really? What store can you shop at to get healthy , nutritious food? And what is United States guidelines when it comes to eating ?

We live in a country where obesity is a growing epidemic . The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention states that obesity affected 93.3 million US adults in the year 2015-2016. Being overweight can cause heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even different types of cancer. You can prevent an unhealthy lifestyle. Aldi’s is well-known for selling fruits, vegetables , grains, and dairy at a discount.

USDA Food Guidelines

The USDA is our country’s department of agriculture and it focuses on nutrition and food services. They have admitted that many chronic diseases in the U.S have increased because of poor quality diet and physical inactivity. It is being encouraged that if you want to live a long life, you must follow a healthy eating pattern consistently. Your nutrients should have density, variety, and at least a handful for each portion within calorie limits. You should only eat a low amount of added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Change your beverage choices to a more healthier choice. And promote healthy eating patterns in your community by setting a good example in your home, school, and place of employment.

several people dining on table
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Aldi’s Shopping List Idea 

So an ideal meal would be to have one serving of dairy, fruit, meat, vegetables, and grains. Here’s a shopping list that can feed 1 person for a week and get you all that for $25 :

This week Sept. 22-28,2019 Aldi’s is selling grapes for sale. 1 pound is 89 cents. A pound of grapes is a equivalent to 2 cups. So if you brought 5 pounds of grapes and ate a cup of grapes every morning, you will only have spent $4.45 and still have grapes left over.

For dairy , a gallon of milk at Aldi’s is 1.79. So you can have a cup of dairy with every meal for your week for less than 2 dollars. Don’t want to drink milk with every meal? Drink water.

A loaf of sliced bread is a dollar, you can get a bag of pre-made salad for 2.49, and you can buy any choice of meats for around $5. So lets get a final calculation:

Five pounds of grapes : $4.45

One gallon of milk:       $1.79

Two Loafs of Bread:    $2.00

Two Bags of Salad Kits:$5.00

Choice of Meats:            $5.00

TOTAL:                           $18.24!

That still leaves you with $6.76 to buy snacks, (yogurt cups are only about .50 cents each), condiments (which are only around $2 each) , or desserts ( a box of sugar free popsicles is only around $3.99). And that grocery list includes your USDA recommended serving of dairy, meat,fruits,vegetables,and grains!

Cool, right?

I know driving through a fast food drive-thru seems more enticing , but keep in mind the long-term consequences: obesity, heart issues, diabetes, and even different forms of cancer. So keep in mind that eating healthier will increase your chances of living a good long life, it will help you have more energy, and your arteries will be clean. Also, you can be a good example to your family and friends.

girl eating watermelon
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How To Deal With The Loss of A Loved One

kindergartenparty
My father , mother, Auntie and I at my kindergarten graduation.

I remember as a child I loved to travel. My favorite insect was a butterfly. The way it grew from a caterpillar and went through metamorphosis always fascinated me. I always would envision myself growing wings and flying away.
My dad was my greatest hero. He would fly away in his taxi and always bring back goodies. His afro reminded me of a vivacious bush. I would sometimes sit in the backseat, just in awe of all the places he would go. I love how he blasted his music. Through him, I fell in love with African music. Both of us would sing along to Brenda Fassie. I imitated the Xhosa language to the best of my ability. His love of music entwined with mines.

To look up to someone and learn they passed away in a tragic manner is a huge travesty. Brenda Fassie overdosed on cocaine and slipped into a coma. My dad slipped into a diabetic coma last week after neglecting his health. Nothing hits you harder than the loss of a parent. I have never cried so much before in my life. It feels as though a fog is over my head, and I can’t get out of it.
Daddy, you were my first love. I remember sitting on the steps waiting for you to get home from work. I remember all the times you were present and all the times you were not. I had dreams of you walking me down the aisle when I get married. You were selfish and generous at the same time. Your words could make me laugh, but also sometimes cut like a knife. I never fully understood you. Sometimes I feel like I am in a bad dream. My first love took me to meet my long-distance love. Two paths crossed that meant the world to me. One ended, and I hope the other one continues to bloom.

How To Deal With The Loss

1.) If you have to cry, cry.

Research shows that keeping your emotions bottled up inside causes high blood pressure. It isn’t healthy. Let your emotions flow and you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders.

2.) Keep your hope alive.

People who have a belief system are more optimistic. Meditate on your hope. It will keep you in good spirits.

3.) Reflect on the good times.

My Dad was there for me even when no one else was. You will be missed and I look forward to seeing you again.