Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Forward

It's New Year's Eve and I'm feeling reflective. So, this post is a two in one. First, I wanna talk about the best thing of my year: my hair. This past year has been an amazing natural hair journey. I've had so truly dope hair days. From braid outs to bantu knot outs to two strand twists to wash and go's, I did it all with my own two hands this year. Most of these styles are trial and error. Some I got right the first time. Others, not so much. But, even when it didn't work, I just tried harder the next time. It's my hair so learning how to work with it is a must. I haven't been to a salon in almost 3 years. This is all me. I am thankful for youtube natural hair vloggers and the hair forums. I am grateful to the natural hair community for all of the information that has been at my fingertips. I did this. I'm so proud of me. Here are my favorite looks/styles of this year. I really fell in love with my own natural hair this year!!

Now, here is the second half. These are 14 questions that needed to be answered before the new year. Let's jump into it! Oh and Happy New Year's people!!!

  1. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? *Right now, settling. But that won't be for much longer. 
  2. Have you been a friend to yourself? *This year, I have been my own best friend. I had to be.*
  3. What was the biggest risk you took this year? *Reached out to someone who hurt me.*
  4. What have you been holding onto that you need to let go of? *Everything that was said between the two of us, the life we planned, the love we had.*
  5. What was this year’s biggest time waster? How will you make a change? *Biggest time waster were the countless moments spent wondering "what if?" Prayer is the only thing can change it. *
  6. In what ways have you supported yourself in being less than? In what ways have you supported yourself in being all that you can be? *I allowed myself to blame me for something that happened to me. I've supported myself by stepping out on faith as far as my writing goes.*
  7. Right now, is your life a manifestation of your inner world, or is your inner world a reflection of your outward world? How can you get back into alignment? *My life is a reflection of my outward world. Has been all year. But, 2014 will be the year of manifesting my destiny. This is how I will get back into alignment.*
  8. What are 5 things you can do to reconnect? *Stop letting my heart lead me, doing instead of talking, strengthening my faith again, reach out to friends more, keep myself in good spirits.*
  9. What lessons can you take away from this year’s relationships? *Things fall apart without warning. You have to be able to function without them. You have to know how to put yourself back together and move forward. No one else will do it for you. Love yourself the most because you are the only person who will take care of your heart. *
  10. Have you been compassionate with yourself? With others? *With myself, not so much. With others, maybe a bit too much.*
  11. What has brought you the most joy this year? *My family, hands down.*
  12. Have you been living in your truth? *More and more.*
  13. How do you want to think and feel about yourself twelve months from now? *I want to think more positively. I want to be able to see the sunny side of things again. I want to feel better about everything. I want to be my old self again.*
  14. What else do you need to say or do to be complete with this year? *I am so done with this year. I have said everything that I can say, I've written all that I can. I want to leave all of 2013 right here.*

Monday, December 30, 2013

Things To Leave in 2013

The first six are things I want the world to leave behind. The last 7 are personal. All of these are things that need not to exist in the world moving into 2014. I do love making lists. So, let's dish. 

  1. Twerking. Or rather the appropriated version of it that Miley Cyrus and white America is doing. We've been doing it for years. It was glorious before. It's been ruined now. Ruined. (in my Stewie from Family Guy voice). Just stop it.
  2. -flow. Work flow. School flow. Club flow. Gym flow. Oh hell no. It's annoying and overused and quite infantile. There is no flow. You're either there or you aren't. I hate to see these hashtags on all social media sites. Over it.
  3. Random folks asking to or just touching my natural hair - Do not touch my hair. I don't like it. I will get real ethnic real quick if you do. This is not a petting zoo. My hair is not for your consumption. It's my hair and I do not know where your hands have been. Keep your hands to yourself. Or else. 
  4. White folks acting like white privilege and racism doesn't exist - Too many things happened this year. All of them bad when it came to white people saying/doing/being overtly racist and close-minded. I would love for them all to go and buy a blue's clue. 
  5. Appropriation of Black culture - Yes, this has been going on for decades. But, I've had enough of it this year. How can one race take things from another race that is so full of flavor and soul and water it down so much that it is barely recognizable? See point number one about Miley "I have no clue what twerking is so I just shake my long back" Cyrus. Just stop it, people. 
  6. FOX News - Seriously. Everything about this channel and the people who work for them is ridiculous. These folks are delusional, out of touch, racist, crazy people. It is literally like watching the televised version of the National Enquirer. They seem to pull stories & "facts" out of there butts. I cannot with any of them. 
  7. The Faux Celebrity. - I hate this trend of making stupid, vapid, talent-less people famous. I'm talking to you, Kardashian family, Sarah Palin, Honey BooBoo family and the Duck Dynasty people. Why do we continue to give these random folks country? Why can't they all go far, far away?
  8. Sadness.- I am so far over it. I need a new word for over (cc: Carrie Bradshaw in Season 6). I carried sadness around with me like a new Celine bag. It was heavy. It weighed me down. It changed me. I did not ask for it nor did I like it. It can stay in this year with the rest of the things I won't need in the future.
  9. Letting the actions of others affect me negatively. - This is a bad habit that has to go. It's been proven that the only person looking out for me is me. So, no, I can't keep doing the same old things. 
  10. Saying instead of Doing. - The time for talking is over. The time now is for action. It's just that simple. I owe it to myself to move. I spent too much time this year stationary, existing not living. That simply will not do any longer.
  11. Biting My Tongue To Keep The Peace.- Because no. I'm not saying that I have to say everything that crosses my mind but there are things that I should say to make myself feel better. Suppressing things aren't healthy. People will deal. Or not. Either way, I won't have to worry about all the things I should have said.
  12. Fear. - I conquered some huge fears in the past. This year, two of them resurfaced in a huge way. I know I can work through them again. It's going to be extra hard since that wall is back up and stronger than ever. I have to do it though.
  13. Options vs Priorities. - People who decide that I am no longer a priority to them and make me an option will end up the same way. I am all about reciprocity in my life. I need people around me who cherish me in the same way. No more riding for those who won't even walk for me. Gone are the days of fighting for those who won;t fight for me. If they want out, I will hold the door open for them. Their loss. It's silly of me to keep fighting the same battle and losing the war. I'm worth it damn it. Get into that. Everyone is officially on notice. Get right or get left. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

About 2013...

If you've been following my blog, I am sure you've noticed a change in me this year. I've been sad most of this year. Those emotions have spilled over into everything I've touched. That is a negative for me. It's something I could not control. I did not care for it or how I've been this year. In looking back, I do not like what I see. I believe that 2013 was a character development year for me. I was humbled in some ways. I was broken and forced to take a good in depth look at who Kenda really is. Introspective for life, indeed. I wrote a lot, maybe even too much. I worked through a lot of things this year. I had to deal with myself in a way that I wasn't truly prepared for. 2013 was a challenging year on multiple levels. 

I learned so much about myself this year. Some lessons were tougher than others because I was blindsided. I've realized I am far more vulnerable to certain things and people than I knew. I didn't think I would make it. Didn't think that this pain and hurt would ever go away. I won't say that I'm 100% better. But, I don't cry at the drop of a hat anymore. I've dismissed the idea that I have to be a "Strong Black woman" because fuck that. I am human. I do not have to be strong. I allowed myself to wallow in my brokenness. I am ok with that decision because I needed it. I realized that I tied my future plans to another person and that was wrong. I am the only person responsible for making me happy and making things happen. No one else will make sure that I am ok, taken care of, loved and protected. I am my own biggest fan and supporter. I knew this before but my vision was cloudy for a moment. 

I've made some huge decisions for 2014. There are dreams that had to be reassessed and/or thrown out. Some don't work in my world anymore. I'm not completely ok with that but I am praying I will be. There are certain things that I need to happen in the following year. December has been very good to me, mentally, emotionally and physically. I've felt more like myself this month than I have all year. I love that. I'm excited about my future again. I think that dark cloud has lifted cause I can see the sun shining again. Nothing but positivity from me from now own. I've written out my plan and I've prayed on it. I am certain that the things I am asking the Creator for already belong to me. So, in summation, 2013 was literally a trash year, one I will gladly forget. But, the outlook for 2014 is huge and bright and sunny. All good things are going to make their way to me . I can just feel it. I wish the same for any one reading this! Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Year Folks Lost Their Minds

2013 was the year of absolute nonsense. It was also the year white people said to hell with being politically correct about anything ever. There was an abundance of things that just reeked of pure racism this year. The main thing that comes to mind is Trayvon Martin's killer (I no longer write/say his name) being found not guilty. That was the moment when I truly became disillusioned with the U.S. justice system. Tryavon was racially profiled, hunted and killed as if he wasn't a young guy. And, a jury let his killer walk free. Since then, his killer has been in the news continually for speeding and domestic violence. I mean, who would've guessed that the wannabe cop turned murderer would have anger issues? *rolling eyes* Things did not get any better. We are days away from a brand new year and Twitter is showing us how stupid people are in general.

I love Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook but I know how to use it. I don't post all of my business all over them. Some folks have yet to realize that this is the catch 22 that is social media. If you are less than smart, racist, homophobic, or politically incorrect, any social media will give you the platform to promote that crap. In the past two weeks, I have witnesses two different PR's tweet the dumbest things. They both were White women who were then dragged all over the Internet. They consequently lost their jobs as they should have. The tweets are above so you can see it for yourselves. I was truly shocked by the Justine Sacco tweet. People are truly uninformed and ok with that. My thirst for knowledge doesn't allow me to be ok with only knowing a little. Add, Phil "Blacks were happy, singing in the cotton fields" Robinson from "Duck Dynasty," Megyn "Santa Claus is a White man" Kelly from FOX News, and no list would be complete without Sarah "I can see Russia from my house" Palin. Clearly, these people were all left behind. Their views are skewed, narrow, myopic and most importantly, dead wrong. 

This was the year that they applauded Miley Cyrus' dismal attempt at twerking. It was awful. So, let's clear this up, what Miley was attempting to do was something one has to have a butt for. She does not so she does not qualify. There is nothing authentic about Miley's new demeanor. It seems forced and feels contrite and a pale version of Black culture. Another ridiculous way of appropriating Black culture. And, the sad thing is, the girl can actually sing. But, I am not here for her antics and gimmicks. I'd like her to go away. She can take Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber with her too, por favor. None of these things were funny, sexy, cute or right. This was a year long episode of white people gone way wrong. And, I, for one, hope that 2014 ends this trend. Leave this level of stupidity in this year. I beg of you.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Movie Review: "Catching Fire"

"The Hunger Games" trilogy happens to be one of my favorite series ever. I could not wait for the movies to be made. I was impressed with the way the first movie, "The Hunger Games," came out. The movie was great. The movie on the screen was an exact replica of the one in my head. The imagery was spot on from the book to the screen. I really enjoyed the actors in the movie. I could not wait to see what they would do with the second film, "Catching Fire." It took me a little while to get around to seeing it because life happened to get in the way. But, I finally caught it this weekend. I was not disappointed. It was great. I hate that I waited so long to see it. But, I already know I will be purchasing it when it's released on dvd. I need it in my collection. 

I loved how vivid the imagery is throughout the entire movie. It is as colorful and in depth as it was on the page as well as in my head. One of my favorite scenes is the one depicted in the two pictures above. I loved that Cinna's dress for Katniss was so dope. I love how it went from the most over the top white wedding dress to this black mockingjay with wings dress. Some things never change. I hated President Snow in the books, hate him even more in the films. Katniss, Haymitch, Peeta and Gale are all wonderful characters who portray that on screen.  They make the words come alive. I was enthralled from the opening scene to the credits. Hands down, it is simply a great film. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am excited to see what the directors, producers and actors do with "Mockingjay" parts one and two. If you haven't seen "Catching Fir," you should do so. I guarantee you will enjoy it. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's My Hair: Fabulous Results

Since I am having the best week with my natural hair, I decided to write about it. The change in weather has been a plus for this naturalista. I've changed my conditioner for my cowash. I'm still using Suave but not its the almond + shea butter conditioner. I am in love with the smell of it. It works wonders on my hair. I am still enamored with the Obia Shampoo Bar. This week, I've been using the Obia Curl Hydration Spray daily. I love the effect it has on my hair. It gives it a shine and my curls seem to pop more. I love that. So, I two strand twisted my damp hair with Curls Unleashed Curl Cream. I let it air dry for a full day. Then that night, I bantu knotted the two strand twists. I sprayed the Obia Curl Hydration Spray on my hair before I went to sleep. The above picture shows how dope my hair came out the next morning. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I was having a great hair day.  

The pic below is the outcome of bantu knot out with just using the LOC method. I used the Obia Curl Enhancing Custard as the C (cream) for my LOC.  There was a lot of shrinkage here. Also, my hair wasn't as moisturized as I would've liked. I corrected this the next day by adding the Obia Curl Hydration Spray. It worked like a charm. I am really loving my natural hair this winter. With the weather being cooler, my hair styles seem to last longer. Also, I don't have an issue with frizz either. So, for that, I am thankful. I love that I am still learning more about my hair in its natural state over 2 years later. This started out as a simple quest. One that I believed would most likely end up with me going back to relaxers. I do not see that happening. I'm enjoying my hair in a way that I never did before. I take so much more time with my hair now. It's been a journey that I needed to take for myself. Happy Holidays, Naturalistas!!! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ladies Love Lyrics: Beyonce's "Heaven"

For as long as I can remember, I've had an emotional attachment to music. It's been my thing since I was old enough to talk. I had an emotional reaction from the first listen of Beyonce's "Heaven." If you've ever lost a loved one, this song will hit you right in the feels. It's sad and I love it. But, it just makes me miss certain people even more. Take a listen and get into it. 

"I fought for you
The hardest, it made me the strongest
So tell me your secrets
I just can't stand to see you leaving

But heaven couldn't wait for you
No heaven couldn't wait for you
Heaven couldn't wait for you
No heaven couldn't wait for you
So go on, go home

We laughed at the darkness
So scared that we lost it
We stood on the ceilings
You showed me love was all you needed..."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Get Into It: The Best of 2013

2013 is coming to a close. So, I decided to list my favorites of the year. Music is a big part of my life. It was hard to choose my favorite projects but I think I did a good job. All of the songs have been on constant replay over here. Get into it. 

13. Tamar "Love & War"
12. The Robert Glasper Experiment "Black Radio 2"
11. Joe Budden "No Love Lost"
10. Lorde "Pure Heroine"
09. Chrisette Michele's "Better"
08. Jhene Aiko "Sail Out"
07. The Internet "Feel Good" 
06. Foreign Exchange "Love In Flying Colors"
05. TGT "Three Kings"
04. Drake "Nothing Was The Same"
03. Jay Z "Magna Carter Holy Grail"
02. Beyonce' "Beyonce'"
01. Justin Timberlake "The 20/20 Experience 1 of 2"

*R&B/Pop Song's*
13. Janelle Monae/Miguel "Primetime"
12. Ciara "Body Party"
11. Fantasia/Kelly Rowland/Missy Elliott "Without Me"
10. August Alsina/Trey Songz/Chris Brown "I Luv This Shit Remix"
09. Robert Glasper/Jill Scott "Calls" 
08. Kelly Rowland/Sevyn Streeter/Eve "Gone (live performance)"
07. Jhene Aiko "Comfort Inn Ending"
06. Justin Timberlake "Spaceship Coupe"
05. John Legend "All of Me"
04. Daft Punk/Pharrell "Get Lucky" 
03. Beyonce' "Blow" 
02. TGT "Running Back"
01. Pharrell "Happy"

*Hip Hop Song's*
13. EVE "Grind or Die"
12. J. Cole/TLC "Crooked Smile"
11. Big Sean/Jhene Aiko/Lil Wayne "Beware"
10.  Drake "Come Thru"
09. Joe Budden/Emanny "You & I"
08. Drake/Big Sean/2Chainz "All Me"
07. Wale/Tiara Thomas "Bad"
06. Jay Z "Tom Ford"
05. J. Cole/Miguel "Power Trip"
04. Drake "Worst Behavior"
03. Kendrick Lamar/Drake "Poetic Justice"
02.  Kanye West "Bound 2"
01. Jay Z "F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit" 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

It's My Birthday!!!


On this day at this exact moment 34 years ago, I was born. I am thankful for the gift of seeing another year, grateful for the chance to get it right. I’m trying to embrace the reality that I’m 34 years old right now. I can honestly say that I did not know if I would physically make it through this year. 2013 and the age of 33 was not good to me or for me. It was tough. So, I am truly thankful for this year. It tried to break me. I persevered. That is grace. So, I've decided that 34 and 2014 will be a greater, bigger, better year for me. At this very moment, I am happy. Happy to still be here, happy for the ability to smile through the rain. 

I am usually uber excited about my birthday. Not so much this year. I don't have big plans. But, I will do a little something. I have two wishes for my birthday. I wish that my 34th year is full of prosperity, travel, laughter, growth, and peace. Basically, the polar opposite of my 33rd year. Oh and tulips would be nice. So, I will be on the hunt for some later today. Just because they are pretty and they make me happy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy (Early) Birthday To Me! Beyonce's Visual Album

I do not stan for many or much. But, Beyonce' Giselle Knowles-Carter is in that small group. Imagine the world's surprise when Bey decided to drop her 5th studio album on iTunes right before midnight. No promo. No advertisement's. No warning or nothing. Just a slick drop on iTunes. She literally killed every social media site and iTunes. Her 5th album, entitled Beyonce', is a visual album. No lead single. Just 14 new tracks and 17 videos for $15.99. And, I am all the way here for it. I've been listening to it for almost 2 hours now. I love it. It's just dope. The videos are amazing. Beyonce' did that and on Friday the 13th. She took the precedent set by Jay's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" and took it to another level. Surprise indeed. Happy Birthday to me!! Get into it!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Let's Talk About: TV Talk Shows

Every fall there are a crop of new talk shows that are ushered in. This season was no different. I was every excited about two returning talk show hosts, Queen Latifah and Arsenio Hall as well as Bethenny Frankel. I figured that Queen and Arsenio's shows would be great because they've done this before. I also thought that Bethenny's show would be rough at first but then find its stride. Out of the three, Queen's show is my favorite. "The Queen Latifah Show" is the clear winner of the freshman crop of shows. I LOVE everything about it from her personality to the guest DJ's all the way down to the Lenny Kravitz designed set. It's just golden. She has always been very relatable to me. She is funny and smart and a people person. I love the informal way she interviews her guests. I really love her show. I hope it sticks around for a while. 

"The Arsenio Hall Show" is back. I still like him. But, I feel like his opening monologues and skits are stuck in the 90's. The best thing about his show are still the performances. I love them. He has always had his finger on the pulse of what's hot and relevant in the music business. That is his saving grace to me. I do not run to watch it every night like I did as a kid. But, I make sure to catch certain interviews like when he had the cast of "The Best Man Holiday" on two nights in a row. And, I've seen some great performances as well. I think he's getting his stride back. It has improved greatly since that first week. One show I do not think that will make it passed this season is "Bethenny." I loved her on "Real Housewives of New York" and her spin-off shows "Bethenny Getting Married" & "Bethenny Ever After." But, her personality does not translate well to a talk show host. She appears stiff and rude and boring. I have only seen it a handful of times but that was enough. I don't care for it. The ratings are dismal as well. I had such high hopes for it. Anyway, hope you guys are supporting the shows you like! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ladies Love Lyrics: New Edition "Can You Stand The Rain?"

As my birthday weeks continue to roll on, I decided that I would feature my all time favorite song for this Ladies Love Lyrics post. New Edition will always be my favorite group. "Can You Stand The Rain" will always be my favorite song by them. As a little girl, I didn't fully get the meaning of the song. I actually thought they were singing about not liking the rain. This made sense to me then because I didn't like the rain either. Thank God for maturity. As an adult, I got it. Truly. And, the reason that it made such an impact on me is simple. This song is about loyalty to me. It's the thing that means the most to me. Finding people who are going to have your back through thick and thin, good and bad is important. There aren't a lot of people in the world who will hold you down no matter the situation or the weather. Those people are to be celebrated. When you find them, never let them go. Let's get into those lyrics below. Enjoy!!

On a perfect day I know that I can count on you. When that's not possible tell me can you weather the storm? 
Cause I need somebody who will stand by me through the good times and bad times she will always, always be right there.
Chorus:Sunny days everybody loves them tell me baby can you stand the rain? storms will come this we know for surethis we know for surecan you stand the rain?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Statistically Speaking

As far back as I can remember, I never wanted to be grouped with the majority. I never wanted to be a statistic. It's the reason I was a virgin all through high school. I didn't want to be a teenage mother. More specifically, I did not want to be a Black teen mom. There were too many of them around me. I wanted more, desired more. College was always in my future because I knew the world was bigger than my neighborhood. I wanted more than just a high school diploma. Education was a drug to me. I craved it.

For years, I wanted to be the opposite of what society said I should and could only be. I'm ok with that. I know who I am. I do believe that my intelligence  is one of my greatest traits. But, it has more to do with things I've taught myself. I value knowledge and the people who are always on the hunt for more. In my pursuit to be the anti-version of Black women splashed all over reality shows and the like, I realized something significant. I've been running away from some specific statistics that I've unwittingly landed in another one: I'm 30+, single, never been married, childless, Black woman. I'm suddenly a damn statistic! And, clearly, I'm not happy about it.

I'm days away from my 34th birthday. I'm depressed about this approaching age. Why? Because none of the dreams I had for 34 have come to fruition. The entire theme for this year can be summed up on one word: adrift. It's the only way to describe it. The realization that I am a statistic makes me sad. It makes me average, like everyone else. That is something I've never been comfortable with. Maybe there is a plan for me to not be trapped in this particular statistic. Who knows? But, I do find the irony in this entire blog. Sometimes I believe that my own worst enemy is no further than the reflection in the mirror. Anyway, these are just my thoughts.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Random Thoughts of a December Baby

  • You know what song still makes me happy and want to dance? Pharrell's "Happy." No matter what is going on this song always makes me smile.  

  • Yesterday was a really great day. Truly. Started off my birthday week in a dope way. Had birthday brunch, which included great eats and wonderful conversation with my best friend, my brother from another mother. Stayed in the restaurant for over 3 hours. Much needed laughter and talk. 
  • Sunday's weather was anything but nice. It was cold and foggy and misty. This did not bode well for my perfectly perfect braid out. I had to snap a few pics throughout the day yesterday. Thankfully my hair is still fab today but my allergies are not happy. I was perfectly fine yesterday morning. Today, not so much :( I will not be sick this week. I refuse.
  • My Saints rebounded nicely last night. They beat Cam Newton & the Carolina Panthers 31-13. I thought it would be a closer game because both teams had the same record. I was wrong. My boys are 10-3!!!! Who Dat!!! Geaux Saints!!!
  • I've been treating this situation as if it's still the same when in reality nothing is the same. I've discovered that I'm not good with change. I want to still know all the thoughts and emotions when I am not privy to it anymore. And, that is the gospel truth. I've got to stop asking for what no longer belongs to me. For reasons. Many of them. 
  • The gif below makes me feel like a 5 year old. But, I LOVE it. So I had to share it. Enjoy!!
  • It's really hitting me that I am going to be 34!! Like seriously, where did the year go? I don't feel my age at all. I am trying to embrace this getting older thing. But, really, 34?!? I'm just gonna smile and take it. I'm over 33 anyway. *in my Claire Huxtable voice* Yay, 34!!
  • Since this is my birthday week, every post this week is tagged "birthday behavior." Because, a la Drake, I plan on being on my "worst behavior!!" :p Proceed with caution and...