A Letter to the Families of Philando Castile and Charleena Lyle (a repost)

Dear Brave Ones, I am deeply sorry for your tragic losses. The world is still broken. I should tell you that something crashed into my heart, when almost a year apart, I learned that you were drafted into a small, unfortunate fraternity: Family of Black victims killed by the police. The scenario is too […]

via A Letter to the Families of Philando Castile and Charleena Lyle — Better For That

Head in the Cloudland

Cloudland Canyon had been on my radar for over a year; I mean, look at it. After my trip to San Juan, I thought hey, where can I hike that resembles heaven without hopping on a plane? 

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Cloudland is one of sixty Georgia state parks and is located in Rising Fawn about two hours northwest of Atlanta. I don’t mind driving, but I hate narrow, two-lane highways. Half of the drive is two-lane highways. Designate a driver that you trust(I only trust me), because of course, these roads that wind wind wind are the only means to reach the opening of this glorious canyon. There is zero room for error, so you might drive over the side or oncoming traffic won’t leave you enough room and you may crash + die. But it’s so worth it.

We walked down six hundred steps to reach the canyon’s floor. Yea..six HUNDRED. Reason one: waterfalls. And yea, to walk the same amount of steps back up is no joke. I expected to have Serena Williams-esque thighs at the end of the ascent.. but nah. Didn’t happen. I’m still feeling the burn, and we took this trip last month! I suggest a good stretch pre- and post-hike. And mad water intake throughout.

Being here reminded me of how tiny we humans are, how nature is a restorative and that nature always wins. I can’t wait to return in autumn to capture the transitioning foliage.

To learn nerd facts about Cloudland Canyon and see more pretty pictures, check out the Georgia State Parks site. Get out there and enjoy this free beauty, y’all! It awaits you.

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This trip was sponsored by BlackPackerz

All photos captured with my handy Galaxy s13

(Fear of) Drowning: a Free-Verse Poem

He dances around love wearing a life vest.
And no, its not a sweet, sensual Samba, but rather
a cautious, calculated Waltz.

Careful to only get his feet wet.
Just enough to cool the heat
and suppress his desire for/fear of companionship.
Never letting love lap at his knees, you know,
’cause they might get weak.

Then she came along.

Confident. Carefree. Warm + smiling.
No life vest! he noted.
She finds his hands and guides him.
Love hits his ankles.

Thighs.

Stomach.

Chest.

To the deep end.

He welcomes the submergence as love takes control
of his heartbeat, giving it new rhythm.

Equally submerged, she hasn’t let go.
Her grip is strong. Relentless and gentle.
The dance more fluid and enjoyable now with a good partner.
Scary and ..exciting.
It’s just hard to get close with that bulk around his chest.
But love is patient.

They dance a beautiful contemporary number now.
And he still wears that life vest.
Sometimes.
Just in case.

© 2017 KBW

drugstore beauty: summer edition

I live in the dirty dirty and you know it gets super sticky, so my “beauty” regimen has adapted accordingly from winter to summer, southwest desert to.. um.. tropic thunder? Anyway, here’s my current hair to toe lineup:

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coconut-oil

Coconut oil, my loyal best friend, transcends the seasons. I like to mix a little with my daily moisturizing spray. The combination is hydrating, smelly good and doesn’t get all gross when it’s humid {which is like everyday}.

beautyWhen I first returned natural, Carol’s Daughter was one of the first brands I tried and liked, and I’m getting back into it because it’s available at my local Target instead of just Macy’s and online. I suggest giving it a go if you have thick and/or natural hair and need a light, daily moisturizer. Plus it’s a Black-owned brand and smells aahhhmazing!

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beauty7Y’all already  know I love Burt’s Bees and their latest vanilla bean stick is my new fav! {The mango butter is now a close runner up.} It’s provides great hydration throughout the seasons.

beauty4Oyin Handmade’s Honey Water is my new beloved. It is just perfect for these sticky southern summers and is only available in summer and spring. It’s built with with glycerin instead of oil, so it hydrates without that greasy gooey feeling that comes with humidity. Oyin is also Black-owned, created with love and made in Baltimore! Triple whoop!

beauty5And when my face, hands or feet need a lil extra moisture, I blend the Honey Water [the Honey and Rich Almond scents are super delightful, btw] with some coconut oil or just use the light, yet effective, Yes to Carrots lotion.

beauty3And, although it’s not exclusive to summer usage {albeit, some of us do allow ourselves to become a little wooly during winter}, my other favorite new thing is eos shave cream.

I’ll admit that I bought this at random, just shopping for a non-rusting bottle. But I was impressed with the label; it is made with butters and vitamins {hence the word cream instead of gel}, so you can shave wet or dry. {Plus aren’t all those other brands kinda scary with the wtf is this shit ingredients and contents under pressure/don’t let it get too hot warning labels??! Eek!} I got the vanilla bliss scent. {Can y’all tell I like vanilla? And Target?}


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Everything I’ve mentioned [except the Honey Water and the pictured brand of coconut oil] is available at Target and/or target.com! I know some beauty bloggers write about products from specialty stores and department store counters that a lot of us regular folk just can’t afford to try. Nothing wrong with that, but are you trying to spend a ton on something you don’t even know if you’ll love? I also feel that it’s important to be just as conscious to what you put on to your body as what you put in it, as it all gets ingested one way or another.

If you have skin or hair, these are a few things that simply work so well for me that I had to share. You’re welcome 🙂 But if you test them out and they don’t work, send them to me! haha

As always, thanks for reading + subscribing!! ❤