Sunday, July 21, 2019

6 tips for planning an awesome girls getaway
Essence Fest weekend 2019


Looking to have a hot girl summer with your girlfriends?! 

I recently attended Essence Festival in New Orleans and had the time of my life! 

This was my first time in awhile going on a girls trip and this was the biggest group I've traveled with (there were eight of us ladies all together). I couldn't have asked for a better group of women! We had a blast together, everything went so smoothly, the group was super chill and we all vibed together well, plus I made new friends and bonded more with some old ones. 

If you're planning a girls trip, make sure you do it right! Here's how to pull off a girls' vacation successfully ...


1) Picking rooms

There's usually that one person who takes charge in a group when it comes to reserving the room, planning, scheduling, etc. In my group, one person planned out most of the trip and put the Airbnb on her credit card (we all paid her right back, of course). So, if you have this one special person who steps up and takes the lead, I think it's only fair that this person gets the choice of picking the nicest room at the hotel/Airbnb/villa or wherever you're staying. From there, it's up to the group with how you work out the sleeping arrangements. 

I'm usually a go with the flow type of chick and I'm not too picky. However, I was lucky enough to have my own little room in NOLA because it was one of the warmer areas in the apartment, and no one wanted to sleep there. The room had a little fan next to the bed, so I didn't mind, plus I had my own bed. Hey, now!

In my 20's, I was so chill that I wouldn't have even cared if I slept in a bathtub, lol (which I've actually done before after a night of drinking). Now, I just want someplace comfortable and clean to lay my head down - a couch or bed will do. And, if I have to share, I don't mind. 

Do whatever works for your specific group of ladies. 

If some rooms are more spacious and nicer than other rooms, maybe the girls staying in those rooms can add in a little more cash. Or, if you don't mind sleeping on a couch or a pullout couch and someone else insists on a bed, just let them have the bed. In the end, how much time are you really going to be in the hotel/Airbnb anyways? 

A night out in NOLA!

2) Do your part / keep it clean

Everyone should pitch in when it comes to maintaining a clean living space. I get it, you're on vacation and you want to live it up and have fun. No one is thinking about chores on vacation. But, be mindful of your roomies. You don't want to be dubbed the "messy" or "sloppy" one in the crew. Cuz then guess what? You will get talked about and your friends might not want to go on vacation with you again if you're really that bad. 

It doesn't take much effort to clean up your own dishes (simply place them in the dishwasher, if you have one). If you see the trash is full, dump it, and if you make a mess in the bathroom, clean up after yourself, dispose of any feminine items and wrap them up good... you get where I'm going with this. Everyone is grown and no one should be cleaning up after other people. 

Also, don't be a bathroom hogger! 

If you are the type of person who needs an hour or more in the bathroom, then wake up extra early to do your thing. Be considerate and realize you're sharing the bathroom with others. Do your hair and makeup outside of the bathroom or get dressed in your room so you don't hog up the bathroom for too long.

I was so lucky to have traveled with a clean and considerate group of ladies! There was only one bathroom in our apartment (yup, only 1), but we managed quite well. At first, I thought the one bathroom situation was going to be a disaster, but our bathroom routine was on point, we had no problems, and there were no bathroom hoggers. 



3) Keep it safe

Watch out for one another, especially while in public. Have fun but stay alert and watch your surroundings. 

If you see one of your friends had a little too much to drink and can't keep up with the rest of the group, ride in a Uber with her and take her back to the hotel. Make sure she makes it to the room safe and sound and then Uber back to the rest of the group. Or, if it has been a long day and everyone is pretty much exhausted, then just call it a night. 

Don't go out and be the sloppy, blackout drunk who can't even walk by the end of the night. You should know your limits with alcohol and if your friends feel like they have to keep babysitting you, they will get annoyed. 

Never leave your drinks unattended. If you have to use the bathroom, finish your drink first, take your drink to the bathroom, or have someone in the group hold your drink. 


Also, there should be set rules about bringing guests back to the room. I advise not to bring strangers back to your hotel/Airbnb. For one, it's not safe and two, it's not cool when you're sharing a living space with other ladies. So, if you meet a dude and you guys hit it off, that's great and all, but hang out in a crowded area in public and talk. There's no need to bring him back to your hotel. And, definitely, don't dip off from the group and go to his hotel. 

There's nothing worse than a wandering friend. The friend who likes to do her own thing and wander away from the group. Don't be this person. It will ruin everyone's good time.  

If you see a group of guys, talk to them with the other girls and make it a group chat and hang out together. This is a girl's trip and the point is to enjoy your girls, spend time together, and create those bomb-ass memories while having fun as a group.


4) Be fair

When you travel with a group, everyone is obviously going to have different likes, needs, and wants. Realize this isn't your day-to-day normal schedule by yourself so be respectful of everyone's differences and be flexible. 

If you're a vegetarian, for example, be vocal about your restaurant needs upfront so everyone is aware. It doesn't hurt for the group to put a little extra effort into finding a restaurant that has a menu that caters to everyone in the clique. 

Also, be mindful of everyone's financial situation. Not everyone wants to ball out at a $100 a plate restaurant. Keep restaurant choices open to accommodate everyone so no one feels left out.

Sometimes splitting a bill six or seven ways can be a bit much for servers and not all places will split a check. So, make sure to carry some cash during your trip, and use apps like CashApp, PayPal or Zelle to split up costs.

Divide up the costs for food, water, drinks, and alcohol for the room. Set a budget at the beginning for the food store list and everyone should contribute to the list of items that they want.

My group of ladies was so prepared! One person bought wipes for everyone, someone else bought a First Aid kit and bug spray, another bought sunscreen, I had headache pills and Tums on deck in case someone wasn't feeling well, and someone else had Pedialyte to get our electrolytes on and poppin'. 

Everyone pitched in an additional $20 to contribute to food, snacks, and water. One of the ladies stepped up and said she would do the food shopping before we checked in. We all went to the liquor store after checking in, and everyone bought a bottle of liquor. 

We were organized and prepared, okay! It was a team effort. 

The full NOLA crew, all eight of us


5) Itinerary planning / group selection

Book activities and look for things that encourage togetherness. 

In NOLA, we booked different group tours, a Swamp tour, we attended an Essence Fest concert, and we ate together. 

Be selective with the group of ladies you invite on the girls trip so there aren't any sour apples in the bunch. Leave the high maintenance and quick to get an attitude-type of friends at home. We love you and all, but....


Also, if you're in a large group, it's okay to break down into smaller groups sometimes because not everyone will want to do everything together throughout the entire trip, and that's understandable. Just make sure you all eventually get some quality time in and create those memories. 

In NOLA, we purchased tickets in advance for a cemetery tour, but some of the ladies weren't down to do it. No problem. Half of us went to that tour and the other half did their own thing, and we all met up to hang out afterward. 


6) Get that group chat poppin'

I usually hate group chats because I have enough notifications popping up on my phone, but when it comes to a girls trip, everyone in the group should be in contact to see what's going on. 

I believe it's important to start some sort of group chat for trip planning purposes and for open communication with the group whether it's via text, Instagram DM, email or even a Facebook Group where everyone can share their ideas, etc. 

For my NOLA girls trip, the trip organizer started a Facebook Group and it came in handy a lot! 

We planned out our itinerary on FB and used the voting tools to vote on which parties we rather attend/not attend and which section at the concert we wanted to pay for. Facebook was also ideal to share photos, videos, and links. It's also great to get each other hyped up as the trip nears and share funny GIF's/memes/tips in the group.

In addition, we had a text group chat to share more important updates like plane arrivals, weather updates, door pin codes, meeting locations, etc. 

While in NOLA, we also started a WhatsApp group chat which we used to share videos and photos from the trip. WhatsApp is great for sharing multiple photos and video clips.   

A group chat is also great to keep after the trip is over to continue sharing any memories, recaps, etc. and to keep in contact with your girls to plan for the next trip!


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Monday, July 1, 2019

Kylie Jenner tells Kim Kardashian to stop 'bullying' Jordyn Woods

On Sunday night, the two-part finale of Keeping Up With the Kardashians Season 16 aired, and it touched base on the now-infamous Jordyn Woods-Tristan Thompson incident.

The episode showed the Kardashian-Jenner reactions to the story when it happened in February. Kylie Jenner spoke out against her sisters’ treatment on social media of her then-friend Jordyn.

RELATED: Khloe Kardashian says Jordyn Woods broke up her family with Tristan Thompson

During the episode, Kylie referred specifically to a video her sister posted back in February when news first broke that Jordyn and Khloe’s then-boyfriend Tristan kissed at a house party. 

In the since-deleted video, Kim and her friends sang along to Brandy’s “Who Is She 2 U” and Nivea’s “Don’t Mess With My Man.” Kylie stuck up for her ex-bestie and called the video an example of being a “bully.” 

Check out the clips from Sunday's episode below to check out a crying Kylie checking Kim on her "bullying" (click arrows on videos to scroll):

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Rapper Lil' Nas X comes out as gay

Rapper/ singer Lil' Nas X, who is known for his country rap breakout single "Old Town Road," just came out as gay. 

The 20-year-old star tweeted: 


"some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure."


He also added the rainbow emoji on his tweet which is known to be in support of gay pride. 
His song "C7osure," which is off of his debut extended play, "7," is about Lil' Nas X telling someone he loves that he needs to grow, even if their worries are still holding him back. 

In the song, Lil' Nas X sings:

"Brand new places I'll choose and I'll go, I know
Embracin' this news I behold unfolding
I know, I know, I know it don't feel like it's time
But I look back at this moment, I'll see that I'm fine
I know, I know, I know it don't feel like it's time
I set boundaries for myself, it's time to cross the line"

Yesss, be free! Happy Pride Month!


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California will become the first state to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles

The California State Assembly has voted unanimously to pass a bill that will ban racial discrimination against people wearing natural hairstyles, the New York Times reports.

While other states have introduced updated definitions of racial discrimination to include a broader range of hair textures or styles, California is set to be the first state to outright ban discrimination based on it.

The purpose of the measure is to educate the public about the unique qualities of black hair textures and challenge commonly held myths and misconceptions about what constitutes professional hairstyles in the workplace, schools, media and even the military, said California Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove.

"Workplace dress code and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter black applicants and burden or punish black employees than any other group," the bill says.

The bill will encourage schools and businesses to create grooming policies that foster inclusion and diversity, CNN reports.

[Source]
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Watch Cardi B’s NSFW video for ‘Press’

DING DONG! Cardi B just dropped an eye-popping new video for her latest single “Press” that features violence, nudity, murder and wholeeee lot more craziness. Watch below!

 

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tory Lanez addresses colorism after director swaps in light-skinned video model

Tory Lanez posted a behind-the-scenes clip on his Instagram page of him being filmed for Nafe Smallz's "Good Love" video

In the video, you can see a black woman dancing next to him. At some point, she is replaced with a lighter-skinned black woman. Tory then calls for a timeout and brings back the darker-skinned woman. He still showed love to the other model.

The Canadian rapper addressed the issue on his Instagram page and said colorism is "an ongoing problem in our community of entertainment that needs to stop."

He wrote, "As a black man , Sometimes I’m going to joke about the black community just like we all do. BUT WHAT IM NOT GOING TO DO IS ALLOW ANY OF THESE DIRECTORS TO DE-VALUE OUR BLACK WOMEN ... countless times I’ve seen directors swap out our women of color for women of lighter complexion, or women with straighter hair ETC."

He continued, "IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS ARTIST TO STAND UP AND NOT LET THIS HAPPEN .. it’s BEEN time to embrace our woman of color #BlackIsBeautiful."

Watch it all go down below:

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Ludacris & Shawnna from Disturbing tha Peace reunite, hint at upcoming new music

Chicago-based rapper Shawnna is back!

Remember Shawnna?! The first female artist signed to Def Jam South through LudacrisDisturbing tha Peace Records and known for her feature on Luda's 1999 hit song "What's Your Fantasy" as well as her single "Gettin' Some."

Shawnna split with Ludacris and DTP years ago, and it seemed to be a civil separation. But, according to Shawnna, that was just a facade done out of the belief in loyalty.


Behind the scenes, issues over lost million dollar deals, allegations of owed money, and contract disputes actually forced a not-so-friendly divide between DTP and Shawnna, but both sides still kept the drama in-house, as AllHipHop reported. 


Shawnna was even removed from Luda's 2010 "Battle of the Sexes" album which was originally supposed to be a collab album. She had already left DTP the year before. 


The dark side of the industry became so hard to deal with that Shawnna says it killed her passion to make music. She decided to step away from hip hop and returned to Chicago to work at a club owned by her father, Blues legend Buddy Guy. 


Shawnna was hoping to make a comeback to the music industry back in 2014 with a possible cypher appearance and red carpet mingling at the BET Hip Hop Awards festivities in Atlanta, but she was reportedly blocked by her former label head Chaka Zulu of DTP. 


Now, five years later, all seems well between Shawnna and her former label-mate Ludacris. Both of the rappers recently posted on their Instagram accounts hinting at a possible upcoming collab or new project of some sort!




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Luda wrote as his Instagram caption, "What’s Understood Don’t Need to Be explained. Family is Family. Love is Love. The Break is Over @shawnnaworldwide. BE AFRAID OF WHAT COMES NEXT...."

Shawnna replied in Luda's comments, "The. Break. Is. OVER!"

Verified

She also wrote on her IG page, "I’m too emotional for a long caption right now... I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time and it couldn’t have happened any better way! Family will always be family no matter what.. @ludacris I don’t think they’re ready... #BE #VERY#AFRAID #VERY"

The Chi-Town MC is currently promoting her "RENEGADE" freestyle on social media as well as her new video for "Round Here." Plus, she's back to performing onstage and spittin' hot bars every chance she gets. 


I'm so happy Shawnna returned to the music industry!


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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Sanaa Lathan reveals she was 'miserable' while filming 'Love & Basketball'

Sanaa Lathan recently revealed that she was “miserable” during filming the classic 2000 film Love & Basketball.

The 47-year-old actress told CBS Los Angeles earlier this week, “I was miserable. I can laugh about it now." 

Sanaa explained, “I got the job and I think Gina [Prince-Bythewood] finally got to the point where she had to hire somebody. It’s almost like she hired me because she couldn’t find somebody else. There wasn’t a lot of joy and there wasn’t a lot of trust in me. It was her baby and it was her first time directing. It was a big deal for her and nobody knows me then really. She gets to the point where she makes this decision with me, but I felt like the default.” 

Sanaa also added that one challenge while filming was the fact that she never played basketball before ... never even picked up a basketball before acting in this movie. 

Who would have known! Sanaa definitely bodied that role!


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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sephora will close its stores on June 5 for diversity training after SZA says she was profiled


Sephora will close more than 400 stores in the United States on the morning of June 5 to host inclusion workshops for its employees, according to a statement posted on the company's website. 

The announcement follows a claim recently made by R&B singer SZA who said she was racially profiled while shopping at a Sephora store in California. 

The training will also include employees in Sephora’s distribution centers and corporate offices, the company said. 

On April 30, SZA said that she was shopping for Fenty Beauty products at a Calabasas store outside of Los Angeles when an employee, who she nicknamed "Sandy Sephora," called security to make sure she wasn't stealing. "We had a long talk," SZA wrote in a tweet. "U have a blessed day Sandy."

Sephora apologized to the Grammy-nominated singer on Twitter a day after she made the complaint. 

"You are a part of the Sephora family, and we are committed to ensuring every member of our community feels welcome and included at our stores," Sephora said. "We want to let you know we take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately." 

 Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, recently sent a gift card and a handwritten note to SZA that read, "Go buy yo’ Fenty Beauty in peace sis! One love, Rihanna," which SZA shared on her Instagram Story. 


Other retailers including Nike, Papa John’s and Starbucks instituted diversity training programs in the last year after similar allegations of racial profiling.

[Source]
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