August Writing Challenge

Q:Who is someone who inspires you? 

Recently, I have been really inspired by two women. The first, Issa Rae. For those of you who may not know, she is the creator of the hit show Insecure and the author of the book, The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. I read her book about a year ago. Not only was the book hilarious, it was filled with so much truth and authenticity. She shared her personal story that so many can relate to of what it’s like to not always fit the mold. Then, shortly after I began to see commercials for her upcoming HBO show Insecure. From the commercials I was sold. She was working with kids, and did not have her life fully together, my life in a nutshell. Now the show is in its second season and I absolutely love it! It is so relatable. She has become an inspiration to me because she is a vibrant young African-American writer and creator who is giving us quality content. For that, she has become a great inspiration to me. She is showing me that everything I am currently striving for can absolutely be obtained, with persistency and consistency.

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The second woman, is none other than Maxine Waters, affectionately known as Aunttie Maxine. Although Mrs. Waters is not new to politics or speaking her mind, she is gaining a new following of millennials, thanks to social media. She is #Reclaiminghertime and fighting for just treatment for Americans throughout the county. She has become a great inspiration to me because she is unapologetic. She speaks the truth and has no fear in doing so.


Who are your biggest inspirations? Let me know in the comments! 

Spotlight Series: Ebony Ellis

Getting my nails and or feet done is one of my personal favorite ways to engage in self-care. It is a time to relax and unwind and feel pampered away from the real world. Many women have standing nail appointments, and many will only let certain nail technicians handle their nail maintenance. I happen to be one of those people. For this installment of my Spotlight Series, I would like to introduce you all to my one and only favorite nail technician, Ms.Ebony Ellis.

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Ms.Ebony Ellis

 Ebony is a Chicago native and grew up in Country Club Hills Il. She was fortunate enough to realize early on that nails were her passion. As a child, Ebony’s step-mother attended a nail class, Ebony attended with her. During the class Ebony was allowed to participate in the class as well. At that moment she realized she found not only something that she liked, but something she was good at. Fast forward to today, Ebony has been doing nails now for a total of 22 years.

Although, through those 22 years she has worked other jobs, she explains, “I never got the same satisfaction, and I would eventually quit.” It is a blessing when people are able to find their passions in life, and Ebony has definitely found hers. She makes it her mission to have her clients feel relaxed. She also takes pride in her craft through her professionalism, by being prompt and prepared for her clients. Her work is neat, and precise.

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My Coffin Nails!

Ebony is not only a nail technician but a mother. “My daughter is my biggest motivator, i push myself because I want to shoe her (daughter) that anything can be done with hard work, I know she’s watching so I have to make sure I make it.”

Ultimately, Ebony would like to own her own suite, to not only service clients but begin to teach classes for upcoming nail technicians. She has been in the business for quite a while, but that does not mean she is done learning and growing. A major key to success is to always keep moving forward and doing more to expand yourself, and she is doing just that. She explained, “I get satisfaction knowing people love what I create and especially when a client looks at her nails and says yasss!…I love the reaction!…This is a very competitive business, i try not to compare myself to others, but it makes me happy to know that people think my work is bomb!”

Let’s take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge Ms. Ebony Ellis as she leaves her traces of #BlackGirlMagic on so many clients each day! She is a great reminder that black girls do nails too! You can follow her and see more of her work at instagram.com/sanginnailtek 💅🏾

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My Stiletto Nails

 

Girls Trips: The Good, Bad, & Ugly

Girls Tip was full of #BlackGirlMagic! The movie is centered in New Orleans during Essence Fest, which is the ultimate girls trip! Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Regina Hall assemble to make the perfect story of  sisterhood and friendship. I laughed, almost cried, cheered, and of course I went to see the movie with my girls!

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If you a part of a friend group, you know just how genuine this movie is. Groups of friends can constantly experience ups and downs. Ceratin friends may become closer than others in the group. You sometimes go through rough patches and petty arguments in friendships just like any other relationship. Between careers, kids, and even financial hardships it gets hard to keep up with your friends. Outings become fewer and farther between, phone calls become text messages, and before you know it large amounts of time pass and you’ve missed chunks of each others lives. But, the ultimate goal with sisterhood is to continue to grow together instead of allowing yourselves to grow a part.

The movie truly showcases the importance of sisterhood and friendship. Life throws us numerous struggles, and those struggles become easier to handle with when you have a support group. It is encouraging to have your girls behind you cheering from the sidelines, ready to fight for your honor, or wiping your tears after a disappointment. Girls trips give you permission to pull out that dress and heels you’ve been dying to wear, eat all day everyday, and dance like there’s no tomorrow. It’s an opportunity to relax, drink, be adventerous, and just let your hair down away from your everyday life.

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Girls trips can also bring unresolved issues to the forefront. If you and one of your friends attending the trip have had an issue, you better believe it will come out on that trip. Make sure when you agree to a girls trip you have a solid relationship with each person going. Try to resolve any and all conflicts before you leave. The last thing you want to do is spend your money and be uncomfortable for a few days!

It can even bring out hidden personal issues. Someone may get too drunk and suddenly start spilling their guts and start crying. But, this is what girls trips are for! Once you agree to go on a trip with your girls, nothing is off limits! You are allowed to be on your worst behavior! You can look forward to days and nights of endless girl talk, which in essence can be very theraputic and rejuvinating!

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 I have had my fair share of girls trips. Each time I go on a trip with my girls, I come back with a greater appreciation for each one of them. Girls trips are a way to strengthen your bond all while exploring the world together.

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Girls Trip, New Orleans 2016
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Girls Trip, Northern Illinois University 2014

 

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Girls Trip, Atlanta 2015 

Have you been on a girls trip? Are you thinking of planning one? Which character are you most like from the movie? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

Goodbye, Mr.President

There has been a lot of turmoil and unrest in the country. After watching the Love & Happiness Tribute to President Obama on BET, I can honestly say he will be missed. I remember exactly where I was when he was elected both times, I knew then the impact of that was great and would be world history. The tribute was a gentle reminder of how much progress we have made as a country since President Obama became our leader. Just knowing that my President enjoys the same music, television shows, sports, as me always gave me a great sense of belonging and pride. It was so inspirational to know that a Chicago man and his family made it to the White House.

It has been an honor to watch he and his wife represent the American people. He opened the of eyes to our young children, and made it clear you can be of any race or background, but you have the chance to become the President of the United States. With that being said, it is very unsettling to see the downward spiral of recent events in the country. It seems as though we took several steps forward only to take a thousand back. It is so disheartening to watch the news, or login to a social network and see that a young African-American has been shot down, and there are no repercussions to the shooter.

It is almost sickening to think about what our country will digress to. It is important in these trying times that we not forget to stick together and push for equality and opportunity.  Let’s not forget to remind our children how valuable and unique they are, even when the rest our the world tells us to be hateful. All in all, I cherish the fact that I lived through seeing the first black President run in the race, be an election judge for his first election, and even witnessed him be elected for a second term. I remain hopeful that we will again, one day, have a President as suave and smooth as President Barack Obama. I have just two words left…ASHLEY OUT.

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