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Inspire. Motivate. Laugh. Love….. Your Guilty Pleasure. ♥


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Dark and Lovely Au Naturale & My Hair Journey

So hold on to your afros ladies, Dark and Lovely FINALLY released their range of products designed specifically for natural hair in South Africa!

With the natural hair revolution rapidly gathering momentum, Dark and Lovely stepped in to cater to a market that was hungry for products that would allow them to be able to take care of their hair the way they wanted. I, myself, have been rocking my natural hair in all manner of different styles for about 10 years now, however, it’s only been within the last year that I have finally begun to fully understand my hair, what it needs and it’s endless potential for crowning-glory levels of awesome.

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale; Google Images

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale; Google Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So through my most recent hair journey, I have found myself delving into the rabbit hole that is endless YouTube videos laden with advice, reading countless blogs and articles, watching innumerable tutorials, all in the quest for healthier hair. I transitioned for about 10 months before chopping my shoulder length tresses down to a short afro and I am now happily growing and experimenting with what I have.

After using the shampoo, conditioner and butter.

After using the shampoo, conditioner and butter.

I have tried so many different products my cupboard looks like a stock room for the nearest Clicks, so here is my take on some of the products from the Au Naturale range.

The Afro Moisturizing Butter was the first thing I tried and first off, I loooooooved the smell. Made with guarana root, honey and mango oil, it smells heavenly. Intended as a daily moisturiser, I loved that it didn’t let my hair dry out and harden through the day, instead it remained soft and moisturised. I was slightly disappointed that it did not have any curl defining aspects to it considering that it would be the one thing I apply to my hair every day before styling and leaving the house, I thought how great it would be if I could put on my butter and walk out with my curls popping. image1

The second thing I tried was the Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo and the Knot-Out Conditioner and these were my favourite products. I have had many a sad experience with a so-called “natural hair shampoo” which leaves my hair feeling stripped of all moisture and feeling “straw-like”. After a few attempts I stopped shampooing all together and instead always did a co-wash (conditioner wash). This one didn’t do that, in fact, I felt like it added moisture while it was at it! Best natural hair shampoo by far and same with the conditioner.

 

The third thing I tried was the Plaiting Pudding Cream, which was supposed to give amazing results for braids, twist-outs, bantu knots and other heatless curling methods. As my hair is short, I did bantu knots. They went in very well, my hair twisting without trouble and the knots all held, so I felt like it did what it set out to do, however, after taking the bantu knots out, my entire head had small flecks of residue, which would’ve passed for dandruff were it not for the fact that the little grains were an orangey colour. I haven’t yet gotten around to trying it for a second time to see if perhaps the product always does this or maybe if it was me and I applied it wrong, but my experience with this one was bad.

image2

So there it is, overall the range is definitely something worth exploring. My ratings would be:

Afro Moisturizing Butter                  – 7/10

Knot-Out Conditioner                       – 10/10

Moisture-Replenishing Shampoo   – 9/10

Plaiting Pudding Cream                    – 5.5/10

I would love to try some of their other products and see how well they work but all in all, I am happy that us naturals now have something to turn to to enhance our curly crowns.

 

What products have you been trying and which ones worked or didn’t work for you?

xoxo MM.


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The Secret To Happy Boobs

 

Uhm....oops

Uhm….oops

I have been in a love-hate relationship with my breasts since they were naught but buds.

At 12, all my friends had them, so I prayed real hard and BOOM, little buds appeared.

These buds grew and grew and GREW and GREW until overnight, I had sprouted a fully-grown woman’s chest, so at 14 I was praying for “a little bit less please!”.

By 24 I had finally grown into them, but I was still, by normal standards, top-heavy and I had spent over a decade stuffing and squeezing my tatas into all manner of pretty spandex and lace infused prisons, trying to control an obviously-uncontrollable force of nature.

I have suffered through the pains of trying to wear small strappy tops and spilling out of them from all sides. I wore a JT-One top ONCE, and learnt my lesson pretty quickly. I struggled for years, trying to find a strapless bra that could handle “all this”, and after spending my friends wedding in the ultimate strapless, ended up with red welts lining my back and sides. I eventually came to the comfortable conclusion that some things are just not meant for me. I have an ample D-cup bosom that will always require a bra at ALL times and I will always be adjusting things in here it seems. They will NEVER look like the ones in the Triumph and Jockey adverts. Jogging will always be an exercise in Baywatch-esque spectacles for the men in passing cars. Strapless dresses with pretty bustiers are not in my future and backless tops are a no-no (unless if I will be wearing a jacket ofcourse ;-)). The bigger they get, the less I (or any of the store clerks) understand about how to find a decent bra. When I take off my bra, my breasts will fall a centimetre or two (tee hee hee) and they will always migrate towards the warmth of my armpits when I lie down. They are not the stuff of porn movies, they are real and soft and natural. That is how the good Lord meant them to be ladies and you never need feel ashamed or apologise for this.

So after all my experiences, it makes me sad to know that there are girls out there living with very unrealistic expectations, with bee-sting breasts wishing they had more to fill out their tops, and young ladies with

The dream

The dream

bazoonkas, trying to strap them down to appear flatter-chested because the boys in their 9th Grade classes are making lewd comments. At younger ages, we have no idea how to be comfortable with our bodies, and so, with our breasts. Big or small, they are usually a minor pain at some point or another and unfortunately, there is not enough conversation out there to teach us how to be comfortable with ourselves.

This morning I came across a lady who claims to have found the trick in measuring yourself for your proper size and I will be trying it soon. She also posted this helpful video:

So for the trick:

1: Take measuring tape and measure yourself around your ribcage, where your bra band would normally sit and exhaleWrite down that number.

2. Bend over at a 90 degree angle, with your boobs dangling in front of you. Wrap the measuring tape loosely around your back and dangling bust (you might need help for this one), and write that number down.

3. Now take those two numbers and subtract them, (i.e. 49-38 = 11). Now take that number and using the chart below, find your cup size.

The first measurement you got, your band size, plus your cup size from the chart is what you should be looking for in the chart.

chart

 

Please let me know if any of you try it and how it works out 😉


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R.I.P. Tata

Tata

 

The world was saddened to hear today that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, or Madiba as he had come to be known around the world, had passed on.

The world and mostly South Africa has lost not only an icon and a great leader, but a father to a nation that was lost for a very long time. Nothing can explain the loss to the world in this man’s passing but as long as we keep the ideas and ideals by which he lived his life, close to our hearts, we can but make this world a much better place for our children and grandchildren.

What better ideal could one hope to live for than this?

No one person has made a bigger contribution to our great nation than he, so all I will say is

Rest in peace

Ikhutse ka khotso

Lala ngoxolo Madiba, Dlomo, Ngqolomsila, Yem-Yem, uya ekuphumuleni.

zapiro

 

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison.”to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s

opposite.”

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

“Lead from the back – and let others believe they are in front.”

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

“We have laid the foundation for a better life. Things that were unimaginable a few years ago have become everyday reality. I belong to the generation of leaders for whom the achievement of democracy was the defining challenge.”

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, and humility.”

“We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for

tata3

national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Never, never and never again shal

 

 

l it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the

skunk of the world. Let freedom reign.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domina

“As the years progress one increasingly realises the importance of friendship and human solidarity. And if a 90-year-old may offer some unsolicited advice on this occasion, it would be that you, irrespective of your age, should place human solidarity, the concern for the other, at the centre of the values by which you live.”tion. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

“Today we are a nation at peace with itself, united in our diversity, not only proclaiming but living out the contention that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. We take our place amongst the nations of the world, confident and proud in being an African country.”

 

Tata2


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Narayanan Krishnan – A Companion To The Forgotten

For the last couple of weeks – and longer – I haven’t been feeling much like a successful human being. Not that I haven’t been “inspired”, but I just haven’t been writing. Instead I have spent my time eating, watching trash tv and wallowing. That’s it.

That part of my life is over now because unfortunately, time waits for no man and for me, time well spent constitutes neglecting everything for writing time, not the other way round.

So during my “wasteful period”, I came across a video on Facebook about an Indian man named Narayanan Krishnan.

The BBC or CNN or one of those abbreviations did a short on him and his good work.

Narayanan, a chef-turned-social worker, has been named “A Companion To The Forgotten”, a fitting title since most of his work constitutes showing love to those who have no one to love them.

Narayanan Krishnan

Narayanan Krishnan

In Bangalore, India, he finished college and began working for the Taj group of hotels as a chef. He did this for a while until one day he saw a very old man eating his own faeces because he was so hungry. He went to a nearby hotel and bought what was available and gave it to the old man. “Believe me, I had never seen a person eating so fast, ever. As he ate the food, his eyes were filled with tears. Those were the tears of happiness.”.  This got him thinking about the purpose of his own life and what he was going to do with it. “In a star hotel, I feel all my guests, but where in my hometown there are people who are living, even without food.”, he says.

So Narayanan simply quit his job, as an award-winning chef mind you, and started to feed all the needy of Bangalore For the homeless, the mentally ill, the destitute and the old people who have no one to care for them, Narayanan is family since he believes that feeding is only one part of his calling and loving is the other.

He founded the Akshaya Trust in 2003 and no he and his assistants spend all day tending to the needs of the forgotten. They make breakfast and lunch before he goes out to feed those who cannot come to him for their meals, wherever they may be. He cuts their hair, gives them a shave and bathes them if need be.

He says he does all this so that they can feel, psychologically, that they are also human beings, that there are people to care for them and that they have a hand to hold hope to live.  So the food he makes will give them physical nutrition and the love and affection that he shows them will give them mental nutrition.

It hasn’t always been easy for him either. He has had to fight a lot of objections to his work since he is part of the Brahmin community and comes from orthodox family. Apparently the Brahmin are not supposed to mix with “those people”. They cannot touch them, clean them, hug them or feed them, and Narayanan has done all this and more.

But he says he believes that everybody has 5.5 litres of blood in their bodies, and so, they are all human beings. “For me, everybody is the same.”.

“There are thousands and thousands and lots of lots of people suffering. What is the ultimate purpose of life? It’s to give. Start giving. See the joy of giving.”


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Socialising in 2013

Social MediaSocial media has become such and fundamental part of our day to day lives, connecting us to our friends, family and the greater world. People share their entire lives on Facebook and tweet at the drop of a hat. In fact, if you want to hear any piece of news from anywhere around the world, you are most likely to hear about it first on Twitter.

Another benefit of social media was it’s use as a marketing tool. Social media provides the possibility of an enormous audience in the shape of followers, and its much cheaper than the traditional forms of marketing. So as more and more people tweet and post things online, more and more people are discovering the joys of sharing every minute thought that pops into their heads, no matter how stupid it might be.

The problem with tweeting without a second thought is that you forget that with all this access to social media platforms, comes a new responsibility. For one thing, were you aware that you can be held legally and personally accountable for things you post on Twitter and Facebook?

In 2012, Jessica Dos Santos tweeted: ”Just, well took on an arrogant and disrespectful k****r inside Spar. Should have punched him, should have.

Tshidi Thamana responded: “…I wish all whites had been killed when you sang ‘Kill the Boer’, then we wouldn’t have to experience @JessicaLeandra’s racism.”

The SA Human Rights Commission was fielding complaints against both of the users and eventually ruled that both individuals must issue a public apology and actively work towards the promotion of equality, tolerance and respect for diversity through various projects. The commission then warned citizens to be vigilant  about posting derogatory and hateful content on social networks.

I was sitting at work when I got an e-mail informing all employees that they need to be aware of the company’s policy on social networks. After reading it, I began thinking about all the risk people put themselves into every day without realising it. In South Africa, the laws surrounding freedom of speech have become a somewhat murkier subject over the last couple of years, so here’s what you need to know and keep in mind when you start sending that text.

The areas of risk include:

Hate speech: Where do you draw the line between freedom of expression and hate speech??Social Media2

[Hate Speech: Propaganda for war; Incitement of imminent violence; Advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm]

Defamation: If you are communicating to one person or more, and it makes another person look bad, whether it is a caricature, cartoon, sketch or photograph, you can be accused of defamation.

[Defamation: The wrongful, intentional publication of a defamatory statement about a person.]

Facebook “friend posted: I wonder too what happened to the person who I counted as a best friend for 15 years, and how this behaviour is justified. Remember I see the broken hearted faces of your girls every day. Should we blame the alcohol, the drugs, the church, or are they more reasons to not have to take responsibility for the consequences of your own behaviour? But mostly I wonder whether, when you look in the mirror in your drunken testosterone haze, do you still see a man?

The person who posted this was sued by his “friend and the courts decided that this post was an infringement of the friend’s privacy and reputation and ordered that all such posts be removed as well as the payment of all the friends legal costs.

Privacy: Since all rights and freedoms must balance, how do you balance the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy and dignity? Because privacy is a personal concept and the scope of the person’s personal space shrinks when they enter communal retains and social interaction, posts on social networks cannot attract privacy protection.

This means if you post something inflammatory and include a disclaimer, it will not be good enough in public domain.Social Media3

McIntosh Polela tweeted: “I trust that JubJub’s supporters gave him a jar of Vaseline to take to prison.” With the disclaimer: ”My tweets are for my tweeps”. He later had to post a public apology, stating: ”My tweet about JubJub on Tuesday nite was in poor taste. I profoundly regret posting & hereby retract. Je suis desole.”

Endorsement: When you tell the public that you approve of the product/service and you’re happy to be associated with it, you have endorsed it. You may incur legal liability if your use of a person’s name or image creates the false impression that the product has been endorsed or recommended by that person.

This would apply to those who would use social networks for marketing purposes.

Passing off: This means representing that your goods or services are those of another, or are associated with the goods or services of another. For example, have you also seen all those spoof Facebook pages?

Copyright and IP infringement: This gives the owner of the work exclusive rights to do certain things with that product for commercial or personal gain. If a 3rd party wants to use or publish that work, they need the owners permission.

[Copyright: The legal protection of certain kinds of works such as photographs, paintings, poems, books and music.]

NB: Just because material is in the public domain doesn’t mean you can use/modify/copy it!

Social Media4An example is Pinterest, which relies heavily on copyrighted material to generate traffic. Keep in mind that most social networks have a “Terms of Service” section that usually says something to the effect of “the user takes on liability for potential infringement claims which may be brought by an author for content that the user posts”.

If you’ve ever used Pinterest, you’ll know that the more content gets “repined”, the more it loses sight of where it originated. As a result of all the trouble, Pinterest developed a “NOPIN” option available to authors or owners.

Contract: Most social networking platforms allow you to buy and sell things via a post or tweet etc. The traditional laws that apply to contracts also apply to online contracts, so you still need contractual capacity, consensus (offer & acceptance), validity and formalities (the thing, the price, method of payment, transfer of goods etc.)

So if you advertise a car for sale on Facebook, and your friend posts a reply offering to buy it for a certain price, and you accept this offer, this is a binding contract!

Litigation: Did you know that social networks can now be used for litigation?? A South African court has allowed the legal service of court papers to be made via Facebook and in Australia, they can access you Facebook profile to use its contents as evidence.

Work place issues: Employees have certain rights and limitations in respect of social networking. Although employers may not discriminate against an employee on the grounds of sexual orientation, HIV status, political opinion, conscience or religion, recruiters often check all your social networks when doing research on you before an interview. Keep in mind what impression you want them to have of you.

Most companies have a policy on social networking which will allow them to dismiss or otherwise punish you if you post negative comments about your employers, post racial slurs of post material that brings the company into disrepute. Also, if you post material about your employers’ clients or suppliers that could jeopardise the employer or the business in any way.

Reputational risk

So all in all, THINK before you Tweet people, focus on being accurate rather than being first, check all your facts and the context before you post anything, keep your business and personal matters separate and if you do make a mistake, take responsibility and apologise before anything else.

P.S.: Don’t forget Auto-Correct and the blunders it will create!


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Suarez Shocker!

Luis Suarez pulled a Tyson on the world and bit a player?? During a game!??       *Gasp* *Shock* *Horror*

 

Luis2So, for those who didn’t hear the news, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez bit someone. He actually opened his mouth and suck his teeth into Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, leaving him with a bruised arm.

Now the funny thing for me was not that Suarez actually bit someone, but that the world was so suprised!

First, they were suprised and shocked at the incident. [Which happened as Liverpool was losing. Coincidence?]

Second, they were shocked when the English FA decided that a ban longer than the usual three games is warranted.

Third, they were shocked at the severity of the punishment which was eventually handed down, a TEN game ban.

Ivanovic's response

Ivanovic’s response

I’m sorry, did no one realise that this was Luis Suarez we were dealing with here?? This man has a long list of “misdemenours” in football and this isn’t even the first time he’s gotten into trouble for

biting.

In case you weren’t aware, Suarez bit another player in 2010, while playing for Ajax Amsterdam, shortly before signing with Liverpool, for which he got a 7 game ban and a fine from the Dutch FA. [And was dubbed the “Cannibal of Ajax”]

Also in 2010, during the World Cup, he ended up in the headlines for a deliberate handball on the goal line, preventing Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring, for which he was sent off. He was later seen celebrating from the sidelines when Ghana missed the awarded penalty.

Luis SuarezThen in 2011, he had to serve an 8 game ban and a fine for racially abusing Patrice Evra and when he came back from that ban and played against him, he refused to shaked his hand.Luis (Chelseas-Branislav-Ivanovic-inspects-his-arm-after-being-bitten-by-Luis-Suarez)

A week later he received a 1 game ban for making “an offensive gesture” to Fulham fans.

In 2012 he got some bad press for refusing to shake hands with Evra of Manchester United.

This is the guy who, after pleading guilty to the bite incident and the charge of violent conduct, denied the claim that the standard punishment is insufficient.

 

After the ruling was announced, Liverpool’s Managing Director, Ian Ayre declared, “Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s Independent Regulatory Commission decision. We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.”

The only thing that shocked and diLuis3sappointed me was the fact that they thought this was severe! What else is the commission supposed to do when his history shows that he is not learning from the punishments he is given??

The incident led to a lot of bad press and condemnation for Liverpool with fans and the general public alike, all asking for Suarez to be sold at the end of the season, but the management has responded with a resounding no. Despite the damage to their reputation, Liverpool management are adamant that Suarez is a great player (he is currently their leading goal-scorer) and they say that they will work with him and try to manage his anger and discipline because he is a very important player to the club.

“As we keep saying, he signed a new four-year contract last summer and we’d all love to see him here throughout that contract.” said Ayre. “He’s a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we’d want in a striker, so there’s no change there. This is more about getting him back on the right track and it’s largely down to (manager) Brendan now to work with him on that side of his character.”

All in all, I think Suarez has consistently shown himself to be a player willing to do anything in the game. He has a clear disregard for any rules, or conduct laws, as well as for any body that might try to impose any form of discipline. All in all, he is a horrible sportsman and role model, so I don’t see why everyone else was so shocked and suprised, has he not BEEN showing you what kind of person he is??

As one person on the interweb said, “Biting is for raccoons, rats and the rabid.”

In any case, Suarez is appealing the ban and the case will be heard by an Independent Regulatory Commission, so we wait with bated breath…[not!]

 

You can view the video for yourselves at:

Also, Luis Suarez’s Top 5 Most Controversial Moments:


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Mourinho’s Unshakeable Faith

DortmundRealMadrid

Most of the football watching world was shocked, flabbergasted, delighted (for the haters) and heartbroken in the last week, when both Spanish super teams were knocked out of the Champions DortmundRealMadrid2League in the first leg of the semi-finals.

As if fate was watching and playing a cruel joke, first Barcelona, who have been on top of the football world for a good many years, were shocked when they got the thrashing of their lives from Bayern Munich, coming out with a score of 4-0. This got everyone asking, “is the era of Barca domination finally over?”

The very next day, Real Madrid saw their fate heading in the same direction before Christiano Ronaldo salvaged their dignity with a lone goal. They were beaten 4-1 by Dortmund but with the unshakeable faith of “The Special One”, Jose Mourinho has let the world know that Madrid can still come out of this to be in the final.

When everyone else had already decided that it would be an all-German final, Mourinho let the world know that this war was not over. The next game for Madrid will be on their home turf, the Bernabeu on Tuesday and The Special One has promised the world that they will see a fight from his team.

Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid coach

Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid coach

“I have learnt that anything can happen in football, it will be tough next week, but nothing is impossible and my footballers will try to show that next Tuesday,” said Mourinho. He also congratulated Dortmund, saying that they were the best team by far and that they played better and deserved their victory.

Congratulations have to go to Lewandowski who scored all four goals for Dortmund to become the first player to ever score four goals in a

Champions League semi-final.

Dortmund coach, Jurgen Klopp said that despite the win, his team is still going to exercise caution, stay focused and play their best game in Madrid.

Lewandowski

Lewandowski

“…we have to go to Fortuna Duesseldorf, in Bundesliga, then Madrid for the second game and there is still a lot to do. I don’t have the feeling we’re favourites, we produced

an exceptional game against a fantastic team, there could have been worse results and we’d still have to go there, we just want to reach the final,” said Klopp.

So while Dortmund takes the cautious route and practises and Real try to figure out what went wrong, all of Spain, Germany and other global supporters sit on the edge of their seats, because now, without a doubt, it’s anyone’s game.