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Meet Martine’s Dream!

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Feature, Latest | by — November 4, 2019

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Imagination unlocks the secret of life’s hidden joys + dreams flourish as long as you fuel them! Debbie Martine has brought her creativity to life and continued to sprinkle her spirit + artistry into her blossoming boutique, Martine’s Dream!

Originally from Jamaica, Debbie gathered her colorful daydreams and spirit of women who shaped her to launch her boutique in Brooklyn, NY!

Living her light in creating flavorful prints + stunning silhouettes allows her to not chase trends but instead follow her fearless free spirit. Her amazing pieces encourage women to step into their authenticity and boldness of their beauty. Each piece is a collage of her global experiences that create wearable masterpieces!

How has Jamaica and Brooklyn influenced your style?

Jamaica and Brooklyn has influenced me by allowing me to express myself and be adventurous. I live by this poem:

I was born on an island the sun is within me.I reside in Brooklyn but the world is my oyster.
I am Martine. A sun woman, a traveler, a dreamer.
I am …”

This poem really captures who I am, as a person who is from Jamaica. And as a child who would tie up her dress to climb mango trees with her friends. I never stayed in a box. I would always venture out and find myself anyway I could. I am truly a child of the sun.

Can you describe yourself in 3 words or less? What are 3 colors that’s represent you as a person?

“Lover of Life!”

Blue, Yellow, and White! The colors change with season. I have always loved color even at a young age. As a child I saw a picture of India and became obsessed with colors. I made a promise to myself to go there when I grew up. I didn’t know if I would leave Jamaica, but as soon as I saw the picture I knew I would go there one day. At a young age I didn’t understand my love of color but, as I grew up I became more fascinated with color. I remind myself everyday “with Martine’s Dream I say live, love, dream in color.”

Do you feel that the neighborhood you are located in now represents Martine’s Dream? 

Yes, Martine’s Dream represents the neighborhood and brings true joy to me. This is reminded through my friends +  neighbors who are apart of the neighborhood.

Even though, the neighborhood has changed due to gentrification and the rise in property rent, my clients still travel to see me.  Also, new relationships are built through new faces in the area. These are my people.

I knew this shop was for me through the signs that were presented to me. From my friend who find the location to the circle in front of the shop. (Ms. Debbie shares the ink art/tattoo displayed on the center of her back of a circle). This was fate.

What became a struggle for you starting your own business?

Finding a balance between personal life and work because I worked where I slept.

Who would you say was there for you at your hardest times while you were building your boutique?

My friends and family have always been there for me since day one and always wished me the best especially my mother.

Who do you look up to now that you run your own boutique?

I look up to my mother, my grandmother that passed but she was always there to push me.  I also look up to Maya Angelou.

What are a few quotes you live by? 

  • “Dreams are never realized alone.”
  • “You never accomplish anything alone.”
  • “The one person who supports your dream  is a huge blessing”

Follow more of Ms. Debbie of Matine’s Dream here!

IG: @martinesdream

Website: www.martinesdream.com

Interview by Mariam Sikiru, Melanie Santiago, Naomi Aubin, Taffia Evelyn

Style Diary x Jordan!

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Fashion, Latest | by — October 29, 2019

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Scroll through the teen Style Diary of Philly-based fashion lover, Jordan!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hello! My name is Jordan, I’m from Philadelphia.

Style is showing who you are with out having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

My top three trends that I’m feeling this season are  leopard, platform shoes, and the rhinestone makeup look.

If you had 30 seconds to grab your 3 favorite style pieces, what would they be?

If I had 30 seconds to grab my three favorite pieces it’d definitely be my platform Doc Martens, my vintage high waist Lee mom jeans, and a white cropped T-shirt.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

One of my biggest fashion inspirations is Rico Nasty. She’s always authentically herself, and incorporates grunge and colorful aspects to her looks.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number 1 rule when it comes to style is to just do you. And don’t forget to accessorize!

Follow more of Jordan’s style here!

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Mixed Signals?

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Relationships, Latest | by — October 22, 2019

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When you’re putting time and effort into a new guy, you want to make sure it’s worth it. Guys can be the biggest culprits of mixed signals and you don’t want to be left wondering whether or not he has feelings for you. Below, we’ve listed four “red flags” to look for. It’s important to remain honest with yourself so that you can avoid wasting your time. Then, you’ll also be ready and available for someone worth it.

He never texts you first|
Initiating a conversation shouldn’t be solely up to you. When a guy wants you, he will say anything just to have your attention. You are most likely not on his mind if he isn’t reaching out to you. Kick him to the curb.

He asks for relationship advice|
Sis, if he is coming to you for relationship advice, you have to throw the whole guy away. If he’s that into you, he’s not going to give you any idea that he doesn’t know something about relationships. He wants to be seen as the ideal man and will usually go to his friends (keyword: friends) if he needs advice.

He doesn’t make an effort to see you|
Talking on the phone and texting is one way to get to know someone, but meeting up in person is even better and if he isn’t trying to do that, then you need to move on. This means that you are not a priority and he isn’t that serious about you. On to the next!

Honestly, you can just tell|
When the vibe is right with someone you can tell. The same goes for when the vibe is off. Our instincts will tell us when something is wrong, which is why you have to listen to your gut even when you don’t want to. You can also tell from body language and your interactions if he’s into you or not. And if he isn’t, just let him go.

~ Tia Banks, Content Editor

Feeling My Flo!

Menstruation! Yes, we said it! And as awkward as it might seem, it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to gather a new perspective with the Feeling My Flo podcast. 

The Feeling My Flo podcast, which launched on July 11, 2019, is a conversation shaped around this transformational experience that happens to those along the gender spectrum. Feeling My Flo discusses a broad range of topics from puberty to fighting period poverty. 

The host of the podcast, Kamilah Kashanie, is a twenty-three year old Brooklyn College graduate. She along with executive producer Mia Warren and Executive Editor Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, aim to build a community centered on a common but impactful experience. 

“This generation is intellectually curious, so each of our 10-12 minute episodes will be fun, engaging, intimate, and probing.”

Get to know host Kamilah + Feeeling My Flo podcast a little better…

Photo by Young Cheong

Podcasts are becoming an impactful influence among young people. What inspired you to start Feeling My Flo about menstruation?

Feeling My Flo (FMF) is actually the brainchild of our producer, Mia Warren, and our editor, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. They invited me to be the host. As the three of us got to talking, I really resonated with a lot of the feelings they had about why FMF is an important podcast to put out into the world. As storytellers, I think we’re all really interested in digging into issues that other people might be afraid to tackle. Menstruation is such a sticky subject in some circles. It’s still not considered necessarily “appropriate” to talk about this completely normal bodily function that’s been happening to people since the beginning of time. At Feeling My Flo, we want to change that. Young menstruators deserve a place where their bodies are understood. We want to reaffirm to them that there’s nothing wrong with them, especially during puberty, which can already be such a vulnerable time.

Can you give us an idea of what specific topics regarding menstruation will be covered on the podcast?

In our first season, we talk about what it’s like to be a “late bloomer” – waiting to get your period after all of your friends have theirs. We explore how menstruation has affected one family across three generations of women, what sympathy cramps are like, how a family with two gay dads talk to their daughters about their periods, what menstruating is like for a trans and non-binary person, and how a lack of access to period products can impact people experiencing homelessness. Menstruation looks and feels different for everyone, and we want to talk about all of it. And this is just the beginning of the conversation. As we start thinking about season two, there’s so much more that we want to cover.


Young women have different experiences when it comes to having their first period. Do you remember yours and who was there to guide you?

Oh yes. I definitely remember my first period, and I talk about it in the pilot episode. I grew up in a house full of people with periods, so there were always products around and I had a little bit of prior knowledge just from osmosis. I started my period when I was 10, when I was out to dinner with my mom and some family. My older sister had actually started her period a month or two before me, so when it started and I felt that clammy sensation in my pants, I already knew what was happening. Growing up with three women in my house, and a plethora of older relatives and cousins around, I had a lot of people around me who had been through it before and gave me tips, whether I wanted them to or not. 

What do you want young girls to walk away with after listening to the podcast?

We want everyone who listens to Feeling My Flo to walk away with more understanding of what menstruation is like for those who experience it. And the show isn’t just for menstruators. My boyfriend doesn’t menstruate, but talking about it with him has been really important to us understanding each other better, especially during my period. Menstruation affects everyone, whether they bleed or not, and really understanding that is a part of breaking down the stigma that’s attached to periods. And we want to do that in a way that’s fun and engaging and makes you want to hear and learn more. Ultimately, we want our audience to feel informed, entertained, and empowered after every episode. 

Do you have advice for young people who are afraid to ask questions about their period or are embarrassed?

I know it may feel weird at first, and it feels like this mysterious, super private thing that you don’t want to talk about, but it’s completely okay. Find someone that you trust and ask away. Find someone who knows what you’re going through. There’s a lot about periods and the human body that we’re still figuring out, so there’s no such thing as a stupid question and nothing is too crazy to ask. Some of the resources we recommend for young menstruators include Hello Clue, Scarleteen, and Planned Parenthood.


You say that period poverty is a topic of conversation. Is there something young people can be doing to fight period poverty in other countries? 

Period poverty exists in our backyards. There are many organizations working to fight period poverty that young people can get involved with. In one of our episodes, we talked to a national activist and some high schoolers about how they’ve taken action. PERIOD is an example of an organization that’s fighting period poverty. They have people stationed all over the country donating products and doing research on how to make menstruation a safe and affordable reality for everyone. 

We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

For me, empowerment means feeling like you can do anything. When you’re feeling empowered, it’s like nothing can stop you. If you want to do something, or change something, you just can. All the barriers – racism, sexism, inequality – they just don’t mean as much when you know you have the capacity to do more than all those “isms” tell you you can.  

 
Find out more here!
 
 
Interview by Tia Banks 

Challenge:1 Week = $20?

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Finance, Latest | by — October 8, 2019

The Art Of Making Your Money Stretch should be a class taught in college. Skills like these will help you learn how to budget and will carry you through your “broke college student” years. When you are lucky enough to find yourself with a little extra money in your pocket, find a way to make it last. Below is a money diary we put together on how to make $20 last a week.

Monday: $4 Starbucks coffee, eat in the cafe for dinner.

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Tuesday: Breakfast in the caf, Download a $0.99 study app, 2 packs of ramen 1.50 (see Ramen Remix)

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Wednesday: $5 foot long for lunch, dinner in the café. Download a $0.99 study app!

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Thursday: Breakfast & dinner in the cafe , face mask $4 #selfcare.

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Friday: New lip gloss for the weekend $3!

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Thank us, later!

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

Style Diary x Mykell!

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Fashion, Latest | by — October 1, 2019

Scroll through the teen Style Diary of YouTuber + actress, Mykell!

What’s your name, age + city you’re from?

Hi! My name is Mykell Williams, I am 18 years old, and I am a Youtuber and an Actress from Fayetteville, Georgia. 

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

As we approach Fall, I am excited to play with layers, mesh turtleneck shirts and DIY.

If you had 30 seconds to grab your 3 favorite style pieces, what would they be?

OOF 30 seconds! I’m guessing that I’m wearing braids because I would literally spend an hour on my hair. The first piece would be a cute hat (baseball cap or beret). The hat will be paired with a “spunky” graphic tee, highlighting one of the colorways because we LOVE color coordination! For the third piece, I’ll grab a statement purse.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

Robyn. Rihanna. Fenty… is there anything left for me to say?! But on a serious note, Rihanna is the embodiment of “confidence is the best accessory”. Her confidence is the reason why she can pull off those looks. As someone who wasn’t comfortable in their skin, constantly seeing Rihanna challenge the stylistic norm for a woman of color inspired me to do the same. 

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to look if you’re in a rush?

For my go-to morning look, I would probably wear gold hoops, a “Jean on Jean” set, a colorful top, statement purse, and black sneakers.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” —Oscar de la Renta

Whenever I style a piece I like to have complete creative control. I want to make sure that what I am “creating” is solely coming from me. That I am not letting negative comments deter me from what I set out to do. That I am creating art. That I am allowing myself to be challenged. As long as the outfit elevates who I am as a person, I’ve done my job!

CHECK OUT MORE OF MYKELL’S STYLE HERE!

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Study Break Visual Playlist!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — September 24, 2019

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What gets you through an all-nighter study session? Ummm, a dope playlist! Having a playlist –a good one– is a big deal. Now, some of us are visual people so we’ve put together a visual playlist of some songs you’ll have on repeat through the end of the season!

Lizzo ~ Truth Hurts

Chance The Rapper ~ Ballin’ Flossin’

Kygo~ Higher Love

Ari Lennox ~ Whipped Cream

Jidenna -Tribe

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Natural + Beauty

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — September 10, 2019

Everyone wants to look and feel their best. We spend money on treatments and special serums to make us look refreshed and get rid of insecurities like stretch marks, acne, wrinkles, etc. when all we need to do is look for organic alternatives that get the job done. Here are ways to increase your natural beauty!

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1. Shea butter 

Shea butter, a fat removed from the nuts of West African Shea trees is high in vitamins and fatty acids which create many benefits for skin. Shea butter is very common and has a lot of uses like moisturizing dry skin, reducing stretch marks, treating acne, etc. 

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil just like Shea butter is high in fatty acids making handfuls of benefits for people. Some of the benefits of coconut oil are reducing symptoms of eczema, good for preventing hair damage, acts as a weak sunscreen, can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, etc. 

3. Sleep 

This might be super obvious, but you’d be surprised at how little people actually sleep for. It’s important to get a maximum of 8 hours of sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the next day. Without the proper amount of sleep you will wake up feeling grumpy and lazy. 

4.Go makeup free

This might sound like something that can’t be done, but it’s important that you take a break sometimes from wearing makeup so that your pores can breathe. Also make sure that you take off your makeup before you go to sleep because it can cause your pores to become clogged and make you break out. 

5. Drink water 

Another obvious one, but it’s really important that you drink enough water so that you feel hydrated throughout the day. This is especially important when the days get really hot and humid, you should always be hydrated. Lastly try to avoid drinking coffee or anything like that because they make you dehydrated, but if you must have your coffee fix drink water before and after to balance out. 

6. Exercise 

It’s very crucial that you take the time to work out and sweat. Sweat is very important because it lets you get rid of all the bad stuff in your body. Before you work out, make sure to wash your face because when you work out your pores open up which can let dirt in and also take a shower after you work out so that you keep yourself clean after all the sweat you released .

7. Eat good food

You are what you eat. Yes, that burger and fries looks delicious, but in order for you to look and feel your best self you must refrain from eating greasy and ultimately bad foods. Try to eat more vegetables and fruits and get plenty of protein and vitamins. Maintaining a good diet will help you be your best self.  

8. Self care

Life is very stressful with all of the things you have to take care of. You have work, school, finals, applications, etc. that keep you on your feet, but it’s important that you take some time out for yourself to relax and unwind. Read a book, take a calming bath, watch a movie, go to a spa, whatever makes you feel relaxed and not stressed. When you’re stressed you can break out and find yourself unhappy and upset so put down your laptop or phone, ignore your responsibilities for a moment and just do what makes you happy. 

9. Olive oil 

When you see olive oil, what do you think of? If you said cooking or food I would tell you that I thought of the same thing, but it turns out that olive oil has other uses. Olive oil fights dandruff, removes makeup, softens cuticles, helps nails grow, good for moisturizing, etc. 

10. Wash your face 

We touch so many things throughout the day and sometimes we end up touching our face making it dirty and causing us to break out. So remember to wash your face when you wake up and before you go to sleep and exfoliate 2-3 times a week to get rid of dead and dry skin.

 

~Melanie Santiago, teen intern

Meet Whitney Frederic!

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Feature, Latest | by — August 20, 2019

A long time love for cooking, avid research + a motivated mindset are qualities that entrepreneur, Whitney Frederic, put forth to start her company, It’s Seasoned, LLC.

Graduating from Susquehanna University in 2016, Whitney officially launched her company only two years later in November of 2018. With Haitian roots, she was actively learning her way around the kitchen at an early age. Therefore, when college came around, she was well equipped with the knowledge of how to remix her meals and eat healthily.

After receiving her Bachelor’s in Biology and doing extensive research about the rate of hypertension in the African American community, she focused on making her seasonings for that niche market and other people who want healthy seasoning options as well.

“My dream is that individuals will no longer have to compromise their health for the sake of a delicious meal, but instead can choose both.” she says.

Let’s get to know Whitney a little better…

Being a college student forces you to get creative with limited resources. What were your cooking skills like before college? How was your love for food initially sparked?

I grew up in a Haitian household where my family emphasized cooking as a fundamental skill; my mother and grandmother taught me how to cook. At the age of 9, I remember helping my mother prepare chicken, we cleaned it with vinegar and seasoned it with epis, (blend of fresh garlic, peppers, and herbs), and an array of different spices. My love for food was always present because of my upbringing, but I have to say my cooking skills developed more while in college because by my senior year I opted out of a meal plan to save money.


College students are often times working with a tight budget and have a prepaid meal plan. How did you balance eating delicious and healthy meals while on a college budget?

While on campus I worked 3 jobs, and to be completely honest, most of my money went towards food. On the bright-side, I always loved eating fruits, vegetables, rice, and oatmeal (all of which are very filling). I balanced eating delicious and healthy meals while on a college budget by eating things like oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, and for dinner, rice or pasta paired with a side of vegetables, and meat (mainly chicken, or fish). I went grocery shopping every other week, and kept my eyes on all the sales. When fresh fruits and vegetables were on sale at Walmart or Weis, I made sure to stock up on them. I stored them in the freezer in Ziploc bags until I was ready to use them; I used the fruits for smoothies, and vegetables for lunch and dinner.  


What was your go-to college food hack? My go-to college food hack was not very healthy.

I remixed Velveeta shells and cheese with my own seasoning blends, (at the time my seasoning blends were combinations of preexisting seasonings that I placed in old sprinkle bottles) with a side of broccoli and tilapia; this meal was savory, and took very little time to make.

College students often times forget that “stress eating” can cause health problems as years go by, what motivated your mission behind It’s Seasoned in helping to prevent disease especially in the African American community? Why is it important for students to be mindful at an early age of what they put in their bodies?

I was motivated to start It’s Seasoned because it allow me to showcase 3 things that I love: experimenting/cooking and helping others. Having connections both past and present with individuals who suffer from hypertension, sparked my desire to want to help prevent disease in African American communities. I believe that in many instances, a preventive approach can help eliminate this disparity.

Even more specifically, I know individuals who suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), some of which who were prescribed Valsartan. Last summer, the FDA recalled several batches of Valsartan, a drug used to help treat hypertension and heart failure, because traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), were found in it. NMDA is a known carcinogen.

After learning about this recall, I was compelled to do more research. I sought to better understand the causes of hypertension. Through research, I found that many people of color suffer from illnesses like hypertension and diabetes (type 2), and in many instances diet plays a major role. Statistics like “the prevalence of hypertension in African-Americans in the United States is among the highest in the world” and “more than 40 percent of non-Hispanic African-American men and women have high blood pressure makes it very clear that hypertension is a major concern. When you are not mindful of what you place in your body, you place yourself at risk. I started It’s Seasoned LLC. to help address this risk, by offering individuals an alternative.  By way of It’s Seasoned LLC., individuals can retrieve the ingredients necessary to prepare meals without compromising their health or the flavor of their food.

Where do you see It’s Seasoned in 5 years?

I see It’s Seasoned LLC. becoming more impactful! It’s Seasoned LLC. currently serves customers in more than 15 different states; in five years I would like to see us serving individuals in all 50 states and internationally. My dream is that individuals will no longer have to compromise their health for the sake of a delicious meal, but instead can choose both. That being said, I see It’s Seasoned LLC. being outsourced, so that it is not only available on www.itsseasoned.com, but in farmer’s markets and at grocery stores like Whole Foods. In doing so, I will expand my team, master the world of advertising, and will have hosted multiple nutritional based workshops.

Follow more of her delish seasoning here:

It’s Seasoned

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~Interview by Tia Banks

Body Type vs. Culture Hype?

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Relationships, Latest | by — August 19, 2019

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The season has arrived when everyone is doing the most trying to get their bodies right for the summer. Between keto diets, double gym sessions, and going vegan, everyone is obsessed with achieving their body goals. Goals that have been set by our favorite people on TV and Instagram models on our timeline. But what happened to just being healthy? Shouldn’t that be body goals? Here are some ways to embrace your body type and ignore the stereotypes.

You look like me

Hang out with people who also embrace their beautiful body types. They will be encouraging and encircle you with the positive energy you need to feel your best. Following body type trends isn’t their thing.

Just wear it

If there is an outfit that you are in love with, wear it! Although you might not feel like you look perfect in it, fake it ‘til you make it. Your decision to wear that bomb dress or dope crop top will give other girls the confidence to do the same. Not all superheroes wear capes.

Know the background story

Understand this – most people you see in the media who have these “ideal” body types underwent some kind of surgical procedure in order to achieve the look. Not all, but many. This means that no one is born perfect. Keep it all natural. Your 80something year old self will thank you.

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~ Tia Banks