Nordstrom is selling jeans with mud on them for $425

single parent superstar

muddy jeansOn Nordstrom’s website,  you can buy a pair of PRPS Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans for the low, low price of $425. These jeans are unique in that, according to the website, they “…embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”  Ummmm…

The irony here is that most hard-working Americans that would actually do the work that would get their jeans muddy would never buy a pair of jeans for $425.  In fact, this is kind of an affront to hard-working Americans.  And as I see the divide between the richest 1% of Americans and the rest of us who have to work for a living widen more and more, this is kind of an affront to all of the hard working people I know.  I remember one guy I grew up with…

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HOW HAS DYING MY HAIR PINK CHANGED MY LIFE

JUST LIKE HEAVEN

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Hi there humans! In case some of you are that moony, suprise! I died my hair pink, yes, it’s been about two months now and I’m loving every single day I live with it on my head. So today I want to tell you a bit about my experience with such a drastic change.

¡Hola humanos! En caso de que algunos de ustedes sean tan despistados, ¡sorpresa! me pinté el cabello de rosa, han pasado casi dos meses y amo cada día que vivo con él en mi cabeza. Es por eso que hoy quiero platicarte sobre mi experiencia con éste drástico cambio.

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To get pink hair you need to bleach your hair, especially if you, like I did, have really dark hair, bleaching is a chemical process that unfortunately damages your hair in order to strip it from its natural shade.

Para tener cabello rosa necesitas decolorarte el cabello…

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Mistakes to avoid when taking care of your hair

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How to survive the 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge: 5 Tips

Thoughts from a Black Girl's Diary

Get hot on the floor!

Some weeks had passed since beginning this hot yoga malarkey that is Bikram yoga. I hadn’t ditched it for something else, which for me meant I was going to stay with it for a while. 

Then something happened. Perhaps the heat had begun to pickle my brain, but I was convinced by the lovely woman on the front desk to sign up for a 30 day yoga challenge.

What is a 30 Day Challenge?

This is when for 30 days you pitch up and burn up; EVERYDAY!

A lot of hot yoga studios do them as a way to get you to start honing in on your craft in finer detail. On that note; here is tip number one.

Tip 1: WAIT!

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I know this sounds contradictory, but wait. Try not to sign up for a Hot Yoga challenge like this until you’ve got a…

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Hot Bikram Yoga and the messy hair thing! (BLW Contributor)

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Thoughts from a Black Girl's Diary

Just an ordinary Black Girl Doing Bikram Yoga (2)

(Or…My First, My Last & Anything Else!!??)

My First…

Yep, ladies and gentlemen you can tell that I was born in a particular era when the reference for this blog comes (partly) from the musings of the wonderful Barry White. I bet I’m the first person to have linked the Walrus of Love that is Mr. White to a session of Bikram Yoga! People do say though that when you’re doing Bikram Yoga, it evokes some very emotive feelings, both physically & mentally. Well, for me the first class I did had a heat to replicate a Caribbean beach; the last, was that I knew it wasn’t going to be the only session I would do of this bizarre & idiotically crazy extreme sport & the anything else I encountered was when my head kept playing Barry’s tune in my head,

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I Pen Life by Being a Woman (BLW Contributor)

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Over the weekend when I went for my Zumba class, a man walking behind me, held the door open for me. I smiled acknowledging his chivalry and rushed inside so not to keep him waiting. If you are reading between lines, I would like to elucidate that I do not take chivalry (originated from knighthood) as a portrayal of being a damsel in distress, but I accept it graciously as a symbol of courtesy and respect which sparks a positive note in the everyday monotony. I read that chivalry in today’s world is surviving on a life support, as most women of today treat it as symbol of weakness. Not me though, for I enjoy being treated like a queen, and to have someone pull out my chair for me or open the door is pleasing.

The same night I was reading to my boys, and then I skipped a dialogue intentionally where the brother says to her sister, “It’s not a girls job to put off the fire!” I was agitated to say the least, as no one has the right to define what a girl ought to do. And I am sure that I do not want my boys to grow up with a predefined biased thinking that stereotypes a woman’s role. 

Call the above two scenarios as my double standards or two sides of the same coin, wherein I enjoy chivalry, but at the same time I do not want anyone to dictate my role and responsibilities. I am not a feminist or for that matter I do not like my views to be labelled. I am not in competition with men or participate in the argument of fairer sex. In my perspective, men and women are gifted with different qualities, and serve different roles on earth and this does not make one inferior over the other. The genders exist to complement each other and thus grow together. The problem arises when one thinks the other has a subservient role, which ignites the fight for equality.

In my current avatar, I am blessed with multiple roles- I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a niece, and also an aunt. I am a wife, and a daughter-in-law. I am a mother. I am a friend. Above all, I am a woman.

I spawned pretty much like everybody else-as a seed inside another woman – my mother. And as part of growing up, somewhere I realized that people around me had a more gentle demeanor towards me than my boy cousins. That was the first difference that struck my lady soul.

As much as I enjoy the freedom of wide selection of dress styles and accompanying shoes, I am also the target of criticism about my looks and hair than the men around me. I became conscious early on about the fact that I could get the attention, if I dress up in a certain way. Also, not often does someone compliments the appearance of men….but women are often graded for the looks and the have nots.

But it requires a lot more than appearance and body strength to live a life, and a woman is empowered with all these instincts and life energy. As I was raised by a strong independent woman, my mom, I did not consider my gender as a limitation to be me. I was raised to become professionally and emotionally independent. I learnt early on that a woman has much more to her than what society has laid out. I was not pigeonholed into doing the household work that is typically expected of a women, which is cooking, cleaning and knitting.  My mother believed that these are the skills that will be learnt when put to test as a wife and a mother, and she was so right. A woman has an uncanny art of performing these vital chores in her pajamas and flip flops, and still be at an office or to a party looking sharp.

It is a beautiful truth that a woman has the power to nurture a life inside her body, as well as have an influence over the children and the family in her world. She has the strength to keep the family together or otherwise, she is an epitome of courage that a man taps into when he needs support.  A woman is an enigma, hiding a mystical contrast of traits from being an emotional reck to being placid like a lake.

My women friends, you are a full circle and you do not need someone else’s validation tomove ahead in life. 

Even when the society does not seem welcoming of your ambitions, remind yourself that you have all the qualities within you to follow your calling with full throttle….and the world will eventually respect your views. The path to your destination is not easy, it has never been! But I want to be assured my lady friends, that you have made your own choice of destination without any outside influence. And making your own choices and going after it, makes you responsible, independent and a happy you! Be what you want to be! Be you! Be the woman you are meant to be!

Check out other great articles from Being a Woman

 

Forget me Not – Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014)

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, director, and producer of film and theater. Best known for his distinctive supporting and character roles – typically lowlifes, bullies, and misfits – Hoffman was a regular presence in films from the early 1990s until his death at age 46.

Drawn to theater as a teenager, Hoffman studied acting at New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts. He began his screen career in a 1991 episode of Law & Order and started to appear in films in 1992. He gained recognition for his supporting work throughout the decade, notably in Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). He began to occasionally play leading roles, and for his portrayal of the author Truman Capote in Capote (2005), won multiple accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actor. Hoffman’s profile continued to grow, and he received three more Oscar nominations for his supporting work as a brutally frank CIA officer in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), a priest accused of pedophilia in Doubt (2008), and the charismatic leader of a Scientology-type movement in The Master (2012).

Credit: Wikipedia

Top 10 Philip Seymour Hoffman Performances

On Makeup by Dear My Dear (BLW Contributor)

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Dear My Dear,

I’m struggling with makeup. Not putting it on, mind you; I gave up on that long ago. You know how I sweat.

What does it mean? I’m sure that seems an odd way of questioning the practice of slathering one’s face in brownish spackle and glitter, but I suspect that’s because it had been seldom so publicly question. At least, not until recent memory.

It began small; a meme or two of pre and post-op makeupsexuals. ‘Post-op’ is a perfect word for it. Have you seen the YouTube tutorials? “Easy foundation routine” my arse. Houdini was less complicated. Millions of views per video well-deserved for the sorcery that happens before my very eyes.

The debate has spawned whole movements, and I’m torn where I stand. On one hand, I remember generations of women fighting to be seen as more than make-up and high heels and, on the other, I age and exist among contemporaries who righteously spurn their scarlet branding for daring to feel pretty.

Plus, my God, shoes these days are lovely. I’d wear the highest pair I could afford were I not positive I’d fall and break a bone, if not a window.

This might seem a shallow topic, but I believe it indicative of a larger problem exacerbated daily by public humiliation and shaming. By and large, we have told women that this was their routine, we have told men that this is what to expect a woman to look like, and with the above comes wide-ranging fallout; artifice and ‘enhancement’ have reached the very pinnacle of cultural significance in that it has become mundane. It is every day. It is nothing special, it is normal, typical and expected. It is standard.

So, I question how those who shame consider the conditioned to be the makers of their conditioning. If I told you every day, with my every action, that ‘this’ is how you are valued, how could I then fault you for finding value in ‘this’?

Perhaps, that’s the core of the issue? What is one’s “value”…? Who has decided this, when and where did we learn its definition, and how does this knowledge decide for us whether we are or not?

I doubt you and I could agree on any of the above. How could we? Far too many variables.

The vocabulary, the connotations, are what bother me the most: Prettier. Cleaned-up. Polished. Presentable. These words we use to describe our choices suggest that ‘our best’ is manufactured; it requires an effort to be our best selves, therefore we are not our best selves, naturally.

How depressing. Time for a cocktail.

Check out other great articles from Dear My Dear

Forget me not – Frank Sinatra (He did it his way)

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Francis AlbertFrankSinatra (/sɨˈnɑːtrə/; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American jazz and traditional pop singer, songwriter, actor, producer and director, who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants, he began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. He found success as a solo artist after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the “bobby soxers“. He released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra’s professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known performers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity and his subsequent Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice ‘n’ Easy (1960).

Sinatra left Capitol in 1961 to start his own record label, Reprise Records, and released a string of successful albums. In 1965 he recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way“. After releasing Sinatra at the Sands, recorded at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Vegas with frequent collaborator Count Basie in early 1966, the following year he recorded one of his most famous collaborations with Tom Jobim, the album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was followed by 1968’s collaboration with Duke Ellington. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971, but came out of retirement two years later and recorded several albums and resumed performing at Caesars Palace. In 1980 he scored a Top 40 hit with “(Theme From) New York, New York“. Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally until a short time before his death in 1998.

Sinatra forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and received critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He appeared in various musicals such as On the Town (1949), Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957), and toward the end of his career he became associated with playing detectives, including the title character in Tony Rome (1967). On television, The Frank Sinatra Show began on ABC in 1950, and he continued to make appearances on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Sinatra was also heavily involved with politics from the mid 1940s, and actively campaigned for presidents such as Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, though before Kennedy’s death Sinatra’s alleged Mafia connections led to his being snubbed.

While Sinatra never formally learned how to read music, he had a fine, natural understanding of it, and he worked very hard from a young age to improve his abilities in all aspects of music. A perfectionist, renowned for his impeccable dress sense and cleanliness, he always insisted on recording live with his band. His deep blue eyes earned him the popular nickname “Ol’ Blue Eyes”. Sinatra led a colorful personal life, and was often involved in turbulent affairs with women, such as with his second wife Ava Gardner. He went on to marry Mia Farrow in 1966 and Barbara Marx in 1976. Sinatra had several violent confrontations, usually with journalists who he felt had crossed him or work bosses he had disagreements with. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. After his death, American music critic Robert Christgau called him “the greatest singer of the 20th century”, and he continues to be seen as an iconic figure.

Credit: Wikipedia

I DID IT MY WAY

Forget Me Not – Aaliyah (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001)

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Aaliyah Dana Haughton was an American singer, dancer, actress, and model. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 10, she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At age 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson‘s Blackground Records. Hankerson introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. The album sold three million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). After facing allegations of an illegal marriage with R. Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed with Atlantic Records.

Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her second album, One in a Million; it sold 3.7 million copies in the United States and over eight million copies worldwide. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in her first film, Romeo Must Die. She contributed to the film’s soundtrack, which spawned the single “Try Again“. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 solely on airplay, making Aaliyah the first artist in Billboard history to achieve this goal “Try Again” earned Aaliyah a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist. After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah filmed her role in Queen of the Damned. She released her third and final album, Aaliyah, in July 2001.

On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas after filming the music video for the single “Rock the Boat“. The pilot, Luis Morales III, was unlicensed at the time of the accident and had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system. Aaliyah’s family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways, which was settled out of court. Aaliyah’s music has continued to achieve commercial success with several posthumous releases. Aaliyah sold 52 million records worldwide. She has been credited for helping redefine contemporary R&B and hip hop, earning her the nicknames “Princess of R&B” and “Queen of Urban Pop”. She is listed by Billboard as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years and 27th most successful R&B artist in history.

Credit: Wikipedia

Aaliyah – One In A Million