Tuesday, April 10, 2018

HIV Rates for Black Women

Normally I avoid "serious" topics. It's not what I originally intended when I started blogging. I had ideas for all kinds of things I wanted to write about. But as time went on I just wanted my blog to be a place of lighter topics. There's so much going on in the world...this was kind of my escape.

Until I was reading in a gossip blog (probably not the best use of my time) and came across some very concerning facts. 

From the CDC website
Blacks/African Americansa account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities. In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the U.S. population.b

This infographic shows new HIV diagnoses in the United States for the most-affected subpopulations in 2016. Black male-to-male sexual contact = 10,223; Hispanic/Latino male-to-male sexual contact = 7,425; white male-to-male sexual contact = 7,390; Black women heterosexual contact = 4,189; Black men heterosexual contact = 1,926; white women heterosexual contact = 1,032; Hispanic/Latina heterosexual contact = 1,025.

Black women accounted for 4,189 new diagnosis in 2016. How can this be and why? What can we do to stop this disease?

Per the CDC website:
Stigma, fear, discrimination, and homophobia may place many African Americans at higher risk for HIV. Also, the poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. These factors may explain why African Americans have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care and viral suppression.

These numbers shocked me. I remember learning about HIV/AIDS in high school. Which was 10+ years ago (I'm old ya'll!). Since I've learned about it in high school, there have been some advances. People diagnosed can live 20+ years if they take their medication. Which is great. But as my high school teacher stressed to me, it's a VIRUS. And a virus is never curable.

Another Advance...home HIV tests. They range from $45-60 and you can have your results in about an hour. There are some limitations to the test so I would recommend really researching and reading before taking one. 

These are some stories that I think everyone should hear that should help break down any possible stigmas.

There are many more people sharing their stories and speaking out to make a difference. Especially on youtube from people as young as 20.

We need to protect ourselves.

Monday, April 9, 2018

L'oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Review

I've been planning to get this post up since this mascara came out. It was hyped by pretty much every blogger/vlogger. And I just wanted to see if it lived up to the hype for myself. More than likely, you've already tried it for yourself since it's been out for awhile...but I'll post the review just in case you haven't. Lash Paradise is a spin off of the OG Voluminous mascara. Which is one of my all time faves. So I figured it couldn't go wrong. It's also extremely similar to Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara which is another one I really like. The brushes are very similar and even the packaging with the  pale pink tubes are similar. Although Too Faced's packaging is cuter. 

L'oreal claims:
Take your lashes to paradise! Our 1st mascara for voluptuous volume & length. Soft wavy bristle brush holds maximum formula for a dramatic volumizing charge. 200+ bristles catch every lash for a full fringe effect. Waterproof smooth glide formula provides silky volume in one coat. Lashes are feathery soft to the touch. Women agreed: 3 of 4 women saw volume and length, 90% said it doesn't flake, 95% said it lasts all day.

Usually I'm super careful when I buy mascara- I check and then check again to make sure I'm not picking up the waterproof version. Somehow I still ended up with the waterproof version. I didn't realize it until I got home. And I was way too lazy to take it back and exchange it. So I just decided to suck it up and try it out anyway.

So it is very similar to the Too Faced. But I think it takes a little longer to build lashes up to what would take one coat with the Too Faced. It's also a little less clumpy than it's higher end version. I feel it just doesn't give my eyes the ooh la la factor of Too Faced. But the effect lasts longer. And the curl doesn't fall. And it's way cheaper. Especially if you get it on sale.

It's not bad. It's actually pretty good. But I just don't love it. That could be because I feel like it's destroying my lashes. It's almost impossible to get off. Even with my handy dandy coconut oil. I still feel like it's left on my lashes. I haven't noticed a ton of lash fall...but there has been a little. And I love and NEED every single one my lashes so even that little bit bothers me.

Overall...it's aight. I may try the regular washable version. But the waterproof just isn't for me. I think  regular old Voluminous is still my preference. 

Have you heard this song? I've had it on repeat the last couple days. I love some Brian Mcknight. He fell off for awhile but I think his music is a little better these days since it sounds like he's playing the piano/guitar and cranking out better lyrics. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Koche Ab-e-Dandaan (Melt in Your Mouth Cookies)

I don't want to brag but I'm a master cookie baker. The only thing holding me back these days is the oven. The oven pretty much has one temperature and that's "burn everything." Which is a bummer because these days I really want to bake. I want to make eclairs and cream puffs and layer cakes and...well everything!

I did manage to make these in a mini oven where you can only make twelve cookies at a time. And this recipe makes thirteen. And yes I did put a whole tray in the oven for one cookie because who wastes cookie dough?

So anyway....these cookies were completely new to me. Most cookies are straight forward. And easy. These were a bit different. I have never come across a cooke recipe where you need to knead the dough for 10 minutes. Usually I just mix until it comes together and bake them up!

Also the flavors were a bit different. Pistachios on top were a new thing for me...but to be honest it really didn't add much flavor. The main flavor was cardamom. Which is the cinnamon of Afghanistan. 

The cookies were themselves were very firm and crisp. And surprisingly, they did melt in your mouth. Usually I like 'em soft and chewy but you can't beat a couple of these with some coffee or black tea. 

So overall, they were easy to make. And pretty good. And if I had a craving for cardamom cookies I would probably makes them again!

Click here to check the recipe I used.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grace Jones

I always knew Grace Jones was a model/style icon. And who can forget her performance in the movie Boomerang? I didn't know she also had a music career. Most of her songs weren't really my style---but I LOVE Pull Up to the Bumper. 

I just don't like listening to it in the car because I keep thinking someone is honking at me or trying to pull me over and it makes me extra paranoid. Although if that stuff doesn't bother you on the road this is a great car song.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Bedu Turmeric and Honey Face and Body Bar Review

Back in the day I used to be heavy into Astrology. I would check my horoscope almost every day. Preferably at the end of the day. I think I might be starting to get back into it. Starting with reading up on my sign. I'm an aquarius woman-and it's crazy because most of the stuff I've read about my sign is 100% true. I'm trying not to fall too far down the rabbit hole though, because once I get interested in something I read everything I can about it for weeks and weeks.... And I mean EVERYTHING. But astrology seems like it would be a very large hole to tumble down. So in the meantime, I think I  will stick with a soap review.

First off.....cute camel photo.

Because I forgot to take a photo of the soap. Whoops.

Bedu claims:
Camel milk is saturated with protective proteins beneficial for skin and is a superb natural cleanser. By virtue of the high amount of proteins, it is most effective in reducing inflammation and speeding recovery of skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, and well as accelerated wound healing and reduced inflammation.
Camel Milk contains age defying Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids (known to plump skin and smooth fine lines). It naturally keeps the skin moisturized and prevents sign of aging, sun damage and pigmentation, with its gentle exfoliating and lightening effect. Rich in Vitamin C, (a natural anti-oxidant) it increases collagen production and improves skin resiliency.
High in vitamin E and Vitamin A, which stimulates cell turnover, Camel Milk protects the skin against pollution and cell mutation that can be caused by sun exposure.
It is a natural source of Essential Fatty Acid Linoleic (known for moisture retention), and deeply moisturizing lanolin, which provides a calming and soothing effect on the skin and is beneficial for all skin types–even the most delicate and youngest skin.
Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is used as treatment of acne blemishes, blackheads, dark spots and hyper pigmentation as well as other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It helps to heal and prevent dry skin, and to slow the skin aging process. It is used to diminish wrinkles, to keep skin supple and to improve skin elasticity. Turmeric holds much promise for skin treatments, as well as possibly inhibiting certain forms of cancer
Honey is suitable for all skin types. Loaded with antioxidants, it helps restore damaged and wrinkled skin. It is incredibly moisturizing, but will not cause breakouts. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal, which speeds skin healing, and soaks up impurities which helps detoxify the skin. It also helps to absorb and retain moisture in the skin.
Shea Butter is a natural Vitamin A cream, and a superb moisturizer with exceptional healing properties for the skin. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in Shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing.
It looked like a regular bar- except it was a reddish color.

I love turmeric. And I love honey. If you combine them you have the best face mask ever. So I already knew this was going to be a good soap.

It smells nice. Not like turmeric, or even honey. Just a nice, pleasant, inoffensive soap scent. Not too strong. Not too soft. 

Lathers nice. A little richer than normal bar soaps. It's very cleansing without drying out my skin. 

I liked it. Not as much as my favorite with the vetiver. This might be my 2nd favorite of the line.

As always, it's all natural, made in Jordan, made with sustainable palm oil, and scented with natural ingredients

Sodium Palmate (Saponified Palm Oil), Sodium Palm Kernelate (Saponified Palm Kernel Oil), Water (Aqua), Sodium Shea Butterate (Saponified Shea Butter Oil), Parfum (Fragrance), Camelus Dromedarius Lait Powder, Sodium Chloride (Salt), Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin), Organic Honey, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Powder, Capsicum Annuum (Paprika) Extract (Plant Based Pigment), Bixa Orellana (Annatto) Powder Organic (Plant Based Pigment), Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

I would buy another bar- maybe for use on my face. But it was nice as a body bar. I would recommend it if you are interested in trying a camel milk soap.

My sister showed me this clip with Johnny Gill and II D Extreme. I LOVE Johnny Gil. And II D Extreme sings one of my favorite songs. I was a crybaby when I was little and my parents would blast this so they would have the hear my crying. It always shut me up..and I would just stand there and listen. Anyway...enjoy the clip!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dr. Bronner's Orange Ginger Organic Lip Balm

Still winter time, so lip balm is a must. No one likes walking around with crusty lips. This winter has been kind of hard on my lips. No matter how much water I drink, I feel like my lips stay dry. A lot of it is I keep losing my balm. But it always turns up again in the strangest places. I wouldn't mind losing it permanently though, because I don't really like it that much.

Dr. Bronner's claims:
Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balms, made with organic beeswax, provide a protective barrier to the elements with no synthetic ingredients! None! Organic jojoba, avocado and hemp oils help with extra moisturization. Only the finest essential oils are used for fragrance. Certified organic to USDA National Organic Program standards, because what you put on your lips goes into your body.

It has a couple more uses than the typical lip balm. You can use it for cuticles, dry skin anywhere, and the healing of tattoos. I just use it for the usual. 

Lip balm.

And I'm not a fan. It makes my lips peel. And I can't stand the scent. The first couple of times I used I thought I was allergic because my lips felt swollen and numb. 

Also, I'm not really a fan of orange and spice together. Orange on it's own-possible one of favorite scents. Mix it with spice and it becomes gross. I don't hate it as much as I've hated other orange-spice mixtures. But I certainly don't love it.

It's natural, organic, made by a great company. 

Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Organic Beeswax, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Tocopherol

But I'm not a fan. I should have gotten the peppermint one. That might have been a better fit for me!