Monday, 31 December 2012

My Social Highlights of 2012

With just a few hours until 2013, this post is coming in perfect time. My Internet life has been amazing this year. I've been super blessed to have met many great people plus to have had many great new opportunities.

I've been blogging since 2008 (I got rid of my very first blog) and restarted on Tumblr in 2010. I really like Tumblr but it wasn't the blogging platform that I enjoyed for the posts I was making. This is why I started this blog in the summer of 2011. 

I didn't really take this blog very seriously. I slacked a lot when it came to posting content and I didn't really share what may have been interesting or helpful to people. I've only just started taking my blog content a little more seriously a number of months ago and many people have left me messages and tweets of support. 

In June, I started making blog posts based on my views. This was different to any product review or hair related posts I was used to making. It was very different... and sort of a risk take because I was taking this blog's direction elsewhere. However, I was free to write whatever I wanted and I really enjoyed it. Due to many suggestions, I started another blog to focus on the political and social issues I'm interested in discussing. 

I still clearly remember the night I was busy writing a post about the Solange Knowles hair comments in the Curly Nikki blog comment section. I posted it. At that point (and yes I was feeling myself a little), I genuinely believed that this would be the best post I had ever done. And it was true, it was the best post I had ever done.

The very next day I gained many followers and got many hits; I wasn't even sure why. Someone tweeted me that Solange gave me a shout out and my online life changed ever since. I feel so privileged that my post was read by Solange but I feel even more privileged that she mentioned my post again, months later!

Some of the other posts I wrote in the summer also let me to an interview with the amazing actress who was meant to play Harriet Tubman in Lincoln Vampire Hunter: Jaqueline Fleming

Furthermore, I was taken on as a blogger for Isis Magazine and a columnist for The Diary of A Natural Gal. I've also written an article for NU People Magazine (Issue One to be released any day now!) and a guest post for Afrodeity: The Media and Frizzy Hair. I have really enjoyed my affiliation with these blogs and magazines and I am forever thankful for the opportunities they have provided me with.

In other news... I have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and I've also started a Facebook page so that people can keep up to date with anything. ISIS Magazine Issue Two is also coming out soon!

The cover of Isis Magazine Issue Two.

My internet life has been amazing this year because I was given opportunities that I never ever thought I would have been given. I even had to turn down some of the opportunities I was offered because I didn't want to stretch myself too far.

I had a really good and (very unexpected) social year!! I hope to have an even better one next year. Here's to a better blog!

Friday, 28 December 2012

My New Year's Resolution.

Disclaimer: Happy New Year's! I'm days early, but since I'll be occupied with a number of things over the next few days, I won't be making a post on New Year's, so here is a early HNY from yours truly ^o^<3. 

There's something very magical about that very last number of the date going up. It has such a profound effect on people that they feel the need to change something about themselves or their lives.

Honestly though, the need to change only lasts until February and then everyone goes back to their old ways. Change doesn't happen overnight, so I've already started implementing the changes I've wanted to make to my life. I'll be carrying those changes into 2013 and beyond.

My list of changes to a happier and better me:

1. Zero tolerance for bullshit. 

I find that I tolerate a whole lot more from people than I should be. Of course I'll give people the benefit of the doubt if their behaviour is out of character but if you're acting a certain way or dealing with things in a certain way, I'll let you know. 

2. Say no. 

I barely if ever, say no to people. I'm always taking on things I cannot fulfil without letting myself suffer. That needs to stop. I'm not superwoman. I can't always deliver. It is ok to say no sometimes. And saying no isn't just good for me, but it's good for the other person as well. You're not giving them any false hope that said task is going to get done. 

3. Less dwelling on the negatives.

I focus too much on the negative; negative people, negative feedback, negative emotions... it's really sucking up all of my energy. My spirit is suffering. My emotions are suffering. And all of my useful thinking time is being occupied with negativity.

4. Focus on my own achievements now rather than comparing it against what I want to achieve. 

What I do now is good enough given my situation. What I want to achieve will come later at its own time. Of course I can work on it now, but I have to be more thankful and more content with the achievements I've made already. 

5. No more grudges.

Holding a grudge is like grasping a hot coal; you're only burning yourself. While the people who have done you wrong have all moved on and are more than happy with their conscious, you're still angry. For what? Forgive everyone, forgive yourself and move on because you deserve it. 

What are your Resolutions?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Causing Offense: NikkieTutorials Christmas Has Been Remixed.

There's been some discussion about this video by NikkieTutorials (a Dutch YouTuber who specialises in make-up videos).

When I saw the video I just knew that it would cause an outrage and to be frank, it's fairly understandable.

I actually flagged the video. Why? See below.

Shout out to AfroEurope.

Do I really need to say more?

I don't tolerate the blackface for one minute; regardless of the reasons behind it. Even if it's 'just' a make-up tutorial, I don't approve of it. I can't approve of one possibly offensive thing and disapprove of another possibly offensive thing. I will not pick and choose which offensive thing is ok or not regardless of how innocent the reasons behind it are. I won't.

I know for a fact that to a lot of people, the blackface may not even register as offensive. But just because you think it isn't offensive (very likely because you're non-black), it doesn't mean you should continue to disregard the offence it has caused. There are very legitimate reasons behind people feeling offended by the blackface and our offence doesn't even need to be justified or explained.

Sadly, there are many people who expect us to explain or justify it... and as if that isn't enough, our offence is also being trivialised with comments such as 'people are taking things out of proportion' or 'people are labelling everything as racist'.

Our history cannot be trivialised. We're also definitely not living in a post-racial society either (whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you).

Out of sheer respect, any action which has degraded us over many centuries, should not be performed and perpetuated. And any defence of that sort of action, makes you as bad as the perpetrators.

Sure, NikkieTutorials and her collaborator are talented individuals and I praise them for that. However, they were also incredibly ignorant. Based on the ignorance alone, I'm sure they didn't mean to cause offence (that doesn't make what they did ok though).

Pretty much one of the only ways to rectify this situation is to acknowledge what has been done, apologise and remove the video which hasn't been done (yet?).

So a significant number of people flagged the video and this is the info box below the video:

Doesn't sound like an apology. And the last sentence really takes away the entire value of the comment as well.

The comments and ratings are disabled but the video is still up, meaning they can still profit off of that video. I'm quite sure YouTube tells you to remove a flagged video, rather than inform you to switch off comments or ratings.

I really hope this video disappears, just out of respect.

Update: the vid is on private. I assume it's been removed. High five.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

I think I'm the Grinch who stole Christmas. -_____-''

Or even Scrooge pre-enlightenment.

I'm really not into Christmas, especially this year and I suppose it's understandable. But besides that, I've never been very into Christmas, at least not since I was a child. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Christmas is really for kids these days.

Now that I'm older, I am always so annoyed with the materialistic obsession people have during this time of the year. It's like everyone feels so obligated to give something every Christmas. I didn't buy anything nor ask for anything this year and it's highly unlikely I'll do the same next year.

The rush for Christmas gifts hides the true meaning of Christmas. And yeah most people will say it's a Pagan holiday etc. while forgetting that whether people know that or not, Christmas today is more so about Santa rather than Jesus (unless you're religious and practice Christianity).

The whole 'it's a Pagan holiday' bullshit is just overkill and I've seen it everywhere far too much. People are not going to stop celebrating this tradition just because of its origins. Trust me, no one is about to give up their childrens' childhood because you've done some extra research.

Besides the overindulgence of food and drink (something I'm sort of guilty of *peeks at box of Quality Street chocolates*) and the complete obsession with gifts, Christmas does bring families together. I suppose that's the only great thing about today...

Still, I think I'm sort of happy that Christmas Day is only 24 hours.

Merry Christmas. ^o^

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Netherlands pt2: Rotterdam.

Disclaimer: This post is uber-late! Either way, I still wanted to post it. In Part 1 I discussed traveling to and within the Netherlands

Rotterdam is my favourite city ever. I'm being very biased (I was born there) but I really do love the city.

Rotterdam is a vibrant and very modern city. It's the second biggest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and it's also the most diverse city in the Netherlands.

My home in NL isn't too far from Rotterdam, about 28km (17 miles). I've cycled there twice this summer. My dad likes to cycle there to buy particular foods we can't get in our small town.

Cycling is fun and relaxing but you really need good stamina to cycle 28km.

Anyway, a compilation of cycling pics, hanging out in Rotterdam pics (I also had more pics but can't locate them at the moment -______-'' . I will post them when I can!).

The Nieuwe Maas river. 



A view of Erasmusbrug from Willemsbrug.

Feijenoord Stadium.

OK so that was part of my cycling trip. It was a really lovely day and the weather fooled us a couple of times (we really thought it was going to rain). The weather remained great and we were blessed to be heading home with no issues! 

A week later I decided to visit a friend in Rotterdam and meet up with my friend from Amsterdam so we could go to Amsterdam together. 

Metro from Rotterdam to The Hague.
I have never taken the metro straight from Rotterdam to The Hague. I assume taking the train is way faster.

The view from the metro.

Before heading to Amsterdam, me and my friends went to a wok place my friend recommended. I forgot the name -____-'' but they were good! 

I love the Frenandes drinks but they don't sell them in the UK -____-''

Noodles with veggies and shrimp! Loved it!

The railways in the Netherlands are nationalised; every train network is run by the same 'company'. The service is great and even better compared to the British railway system. There are no ridiculous delays and the trains are clean and spacious. Some trains (particularly the Intercity ones) have free WIFI onboard too!
R Centraal to Amsterdam Sloterdijk trainstation. 
Part 3 will be all about Amsterdam!

Thursday, 20 December 2012


I'm officially 13 years old!

Not really. It's just a brand new record for how young people think I am (compared to my current age which is 20).

A few weeks ago, a cousin's friend said she thought I was 13 when I started discussing employment and university type stuff. Right now, I'm not even sure if I should be proud of being called 13. I suppose the older I get the more flattered I'd be by being thought of as younger. But as a 20 year old (21 years old on January 14th), it kind of gets annoying to be thought of as super young (you get treated like you're young too -____-'').

The things I've been ID'd for:

  • A few months ago I was ID'd for buying hair trimming scissors. I always get ID'd for buying trimming scissors. 
  • When I was 18, I got ID'd for a 15 movie. Because I didn't have any ID with me, I couldn't get into the film. I bought tickets to a twelve film and snuck in anyway.
  • At 16 I was ID'd for a RedBull drink. I had no ID with me and just used my 16 to 18 bus pass to try and prove my age. They did sell it to me in the end. 
  • About a year ago I went to buy one of the new Call of Duty games for one of my brothers. The game is rated 18. I forgot my ID at home and they refused to sell the game to me. 

And as if it isn't humiliating enough to be asked for ID for the most trivial ish, sometimes they will do a double take of me and the ID just to make sure it really is me and that it isn't lies, fairytales and fallacies.

Looking young does have its perks though. One of the things I'm really thankful for is the fact that I rarely get stopped by those charity people (ok it's a really bad thing to feel thankful for that but let's be real who wants to be stopped by an overly obnoxious and enthusiastic charity person when you're in a rush?).

I really love how they think I'm too young to sign up.


Friday, 7 December 2012

Hey Google 'What Is This Shit'?

Google, please explain to me why you think it's acceptable to link the photos I upload to Blogger to Picasaweb (the 4th cousin of Photobucket... no, a fucking non-relative because I'm giving it way too much credit by suggesting it is somehow on par with other photo album services).

I am really close to moving to Wordpress but you know what, I won't. I won't because it's too much work.

I will do what is much easier at this point and that is learn from my mistakes and make sure I won't trust Google to be smart about stuff.


I couldn't upload photographs to my blog so I had to go into my Picasaweb and delete them. I don't particularly want to pay for any space if I am planning to release a blog post five minutes from posting the images. So I went and deleted an album or two...

Now many of my blog posts have this image:

I'm going to painstakingly re-add all of my images to all the blog posts where they have gone missing.  -_____-''

Google can't blackmail me into buying space. I will find a way to upload my pics, I will! 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

In Review: Afridiziak Gifts & Occasions Winter Fair

Last Saturday, I went to the Afridiziak Gifts & Occasions Fair in Birmingham. This is their first ever event in Birmingham. Next Saturday, they'll have their third event in London. Entry is £3 and Afridiziak is raising money for the Sickle Cell Society

Because nothing much happens in Birmingham, I'm quite forgiving when it comes to events. I can honestly say though that I was happy with this Fair.

The Fair took place at The Drum (a Black British cultural centre). This venue is easily accessible by multiple buses which go directly into Birmingham City Centre. Finding the venue was no problem whatsoever. The location was just perfect. 

The venue has a cafe where you can purchase refreshments as well as meals. The meals were reasonably priced and tasted wonderful!

The Exhibitioners

House of Loulee sell African print inspired clothing in the form of hoodies, clutches, baby booties, bibs and more. 

Color Blind Cards sell some ultra cute (and very unique) cards fitting pretty much any occasion! I thought it was very different to the many cards out there already and I'm considering purchasing from them in the future.

YEMANJÁ sell a range of African culture cards, books and posters.

One of the vendors that really stood out to me was AfroToys. They sell baby dolls, fashion dolls, Barbie dolls and Disney products (they have Princess Tiana!!).

Consciousprints sell books about Heroes and Sheroes, Black Inventors and Their Inventions and Kings and Queens from Egypt (Kemet). They also sell Black History inspired fact cards and posters. I purchased a chakra poster from Consciousprints that day. 

The other half of The Baking Housewife was just so wonderful to talk to. His wife makes her own marmalade which me and Rae had a taste of. The passion fruit marmalade was amazing (I honestly regret not going back and taking one home with me)! Their rum cake was also quite lovely.

Sister E of The Calabash Hub was present at the Fair as well. She had a head wrap workshop that day and also sold African Black Soap, earrings and head wrap fabric.

Oooh Skincare can be found inside the Birmingham Indoor Rag Market. Their products range from  sheabutter based (very lovely smelling) silk lotions, body butters, lip balms and soaps. I purchased sample sized pots of silk lotion and lip balm for £1 each! 

There was also a raffle at the Fair. Hunii and Rae were rubbing my arms (I'm known for being a lucky charm)... and guess what? They won the prices they wanted! 

Sister E demonstrating a head wrap technique. I must say that I really want to try some head wrapping techniques after attending the workshop! 

Sister E also did a head wrap technique on Hunii who looked very regal!

The goody bag and purchases

We got a very big goody bag (I guess because they knew we were going to buy a lot of things). We had some samples of Organic Root Stimulator. Simply put; it was nothing special.. However, I wasn't expecting anything major since it wasn't a hair event, it was a charity event for the Sickle Cell Society. Nonetheless, the big bag came in handy and I quite like it anyway.

The plus side is that the Curls Unleashed samples are decently sized!

Got the Cashmere Curl Jelly sample.
The two beautiful ladies of Curls were also present at the Fair. I told them that we don't have Curls in any beauty supply store in Birmingham (they took notes). Hopefully we'll find some Curls products here very soon! 

I purchased the 'I am the future of Africa' bag from Ayasu Tantamani for £4. I won the T-shirt in the raffle (thanks to Hunii's winning ticket!). I love Ayasu's 'Afrocentric' merchandise.

The chakra poster I purchased from Consciousprints.

The samples I bought from Oooh Skincare.
 The lip balm has a mandarin scent and the silk lotion has an apple blossom scent (lovely).

Of course I made a purchase with Sheabutter Cottage too.
Sheabutter Cottage was also at the Fair. I pre-ordered (I paid on the day); Moringa Leaf Powder, Garlic Seed Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil and a book marker!

Did I forget something?

Other vendors were at the event as well (I haven't listed all of them because I didn't grab a leaflet or business card from every single one of them). The other vendors that I have visited at the event include:


I am really pleased that I attended the Fair. I honestly had a really good time. The event organisers were easily recognisable (with the Afridiziak logo on their T-shirts) and they were also very kind and accommodating.  

Overall, I am really glad I was able to support some of the small businesses there as well as the Sickle Cell Society charity.

Thank you for coming Afridiziak and please come again next year!