Meet the Hood Version of the Animal Whisperer: Kelvin Pena aka Brother Nature


Kelvin Pena
By Kira Sparkles

Let’s be real, social media’s a lot. Too often we’re bombarded with upsetting images and a doom and gloom view of what’s going on in the world around us. That’s why during these volatile times I try to find the lighter side of the internet by watching Kelvin Pena.

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Not Just for Grandpa Anymore...3 Reasons to Try Safety Razors!


 By Kira Sparkles

My razor needed new blades recently, but just my luck, they discontinued the kind I liked, meaning I was back on the market for a new one. I kept seeing ads on my Facebook and Instagram for the Dollar Shave Club and I have to admit that I was extremely tempted until I saw my friend post a video about safety razors.

The safety razor is not a new concept at all. Think about old school barber shops with a single, straight blade. It doesn’t seem very safe, but this is 2018 and your grandpa’s razor has gotten a modern twist. But why consider one in the first place? Here are 3 reasons...

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1 REALLY Great Reason to Drink Kombucha Tea!


By Kira Sparkles

After being sick for nearly a week, with no appetite and unable to stomach anything except for a little water, I woke up feeling like an entirely new woman, like I was never sick in the first damn place. I felt radiant and amazing and my mood was sky high! It’s going to sound crazy, but I owe this to a fizzy, fermented tea called Kombucha. It sounds like some white, hippie bullshit but let me wax poetic and make you care for a second.

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Be the Boss of Your Finances With These Easy Breezy Apps


By Kira Sparkles

Are your finances not exactly where they should be? That’s okay! You’re in good company. Only 30% of Americans have any kind of savings or investment plan and roughly the same number have an actual budget for their household which means a lot of us have some work to do. Am I where I want to be financially? Absolutely not. However, I’ve managed to sock away some money in a savings account and even raise my credit score (woop woop!). I’m realizing the path to fixing my finances is a journey just like anything else. People talk about hair journeys and fitness journeys, so let’s take a finance journey. I promise it doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, the first step is easy: awareness.

In the digital age, a lot of us don’t carry cash, but we do carry cell phones that have amazing apps to help keep us focused on our goals. I wanted to share some of my personal favorites that I hope can help you too.

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Cool Off This Summer With a Delicious Mojito Popsicle Recipe

Poptail Mojito recipe 
By Kira Sparkles

I’m in love with Pinterest. I usually use it to look up cute clothes, recipes and occasional crafts that I know I’ll never make. But with the recipes, I found something cute and summery that stuck with me.

Poptails, a combination of ‘popsicles’ and ‘cocktails.’ An alcoholic ice pop.

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Laugh Your Ass Off with Desus & Mero of the Hilarious Podcast 'Bodega Boys'

Desus & Mero
By Kira Sparkles

While going through my Facebook a few months back, I started to see clips of Desus and Mero on my wall. I didn’t know who they were, but they were hilarious and I loved their commentary on everything from the news, to internet videos, to black media. Desus and Mero covered it all and I immediately got drawn in.

Then when I was looking for a new podcast to listen to, Desus and Mero came up again with their Podcast “Bodega Boys.” Now listen, when it comes to podcasts, I’m on a ton of them. Some are thought provoking, some are educational, but Bodega Boys is where I come to laugh my ass off and unwind. 

But who are Desus and Mero?

Meet Amber Wagner: The Big Body Instagram Beauty Livin' Her Best Life!

Amber Wagner aka Jstlbby
By Kira Sparkles

Y’all, I am in love with Amber Wagner. When I say that name, it might not ring a bell, but I guarantee you’ve seen her videos before on her Instagram as she’s more famously known as Just Living Baby (@jstlbby). This 26 year old, Los-Angeles based homegirl stands out and is impossible to ignore. Whether it’s because of her flamboyantly fantastic sunglasses, her super long nails or a colorful collection of weaves and wigs on deck, she’s out here encouraging us to live our best lives while reminding us how blessed we are. Even without all of her accessories, Amber commands our attention. Still don’t know who I’m talking about (or just a little curious)? I rounded up some of my favorite videos from her IG to get you just as on board as I am!

Finding Comfort in Discomfort


By Kira Sparkles

Recently, I decided to make a huge change in my life by applying for a job in a field I'm only somewhat familiar with. I touched up my resume and was rejected so many times I wondered if I was meant to permanently be a barista until after three months of applying, something finally clicked.

As it turns out, this job also wanted me to train in a different city for two weeks (all expenses paid!). I was elated! New job! Amazing pay, benefits, and a city I'd never seen!

So why was I also scared?

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5 Mins. With the Mom Who Pulled Up on a Kid Who Called Her N*gger in Viral Video


Ayo Henry & young white supremacist 
By Kira Sparkles

While scrolling through Facebook one night, I found a video of the woman that I wish I was in the face of adversity. Meet Ayo Henry of Rhode Island. Mother of four. Derby Girl. Badass. She charged unapologetically forward ready to mom the hell out of a kid who called her n*gger. Lucky for me, we're part of a mutual interest group on Facebook so I was able to snag Ayo to ask her all about the infamous video that has trended on World Star, Raw Story, TheRoot, and even D.L. Hughley gave it some love! This is what she had to say about the incident...

Tired of Tampons & Pads? 4 Menstrual Cycle Alternatives Reviewed


By Kira Sparkles

I don't know what it is about college that makes you more open to learning and willing to experiment. At least that's how it felt for me. It was during college that I chopped off my permed hair for an afro, smoked a ton of weed and absorbed every interest I could. It was during this time I discovered feminism. With a feminist bookstore right down the road, I would visit often. It was an awesome little place with local art and authors, tons of books and products that I'd never seen before for 'that' time of the month.

Of course, with all the tampon commercials in magazines and on TV, I never really thought of an alternative to what I could be using. Tampons were easy and everywhere. But commercial tampons use chemicals that can cause vaginal dryness to worse things like cancer, and sometimes even death. I know I experienced that weird, dry feeling with tampons.

With that knowledge, I was open to trying something better, and started a journey of going through menstrual products before landing on an alternative that I liked. They all have their pros and cons, so it depends on your flow and what you feel ultimately works best for you.

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Who Says Soap Has to be Boring?

Finchberry soaps
By Kira Sparkles

Today I'm super excited to share my love for a brand called Finchberry! They're a soap company that's based near my neck of the woods in North Florida known not only for being vegan and preservative free, but their products are so cute and colorful! They look like little decadent slices of cake. Everything in this brand is just an absolute feast for the eyes. But how do these products hold up in everyday life? Are they just pretty? Or are they practical too?

If You Don't Have a Succulent Plant, Here's What You're Missing

succulents

By Kira Sparkles

Last winter, my roommate, Earl, brought home a plant. It was a small plant from the grocery store with thick, green leaves and little pink flowers. He usually brought home cut flowers, but it was the first time he brought home an actual plant. My first thought was that this plant would die in a week. I have the brownest of thumbs. I tried growing basil that summer with no luck. When I was a teenager, I somehow managed to kill my lucky bamboo. This thing didn't have a chance. He didn't seem too hopeful either.

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Simplifying Korean Beauty One Step at a Time


By Kira Sparkles

I became obsessed with Korean Beauty - or K-Beauty - about three years ago when visiting my friend Tiffany. Looking at her bathroom counter, I couldn't help noticing her routine! K-Beauty's packaging comes in a variety of fun shapes and sizes to display their products. It's SO CUTE! Exfoliators in coffee cups! Lip balms in peaches! Cleansers with cute animals!

The first time I looked into what K-Beauty was, I was met with article upon article about a "10 step method" that felt overwhelming and bank-breaking. Since I've had three years worth of trial and error, I thought it would be worth sharing these experiences because I'm always asked: Is Korean Beauty really ten steps?!

Yes. And no.

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Black Women, Here's Why We Gotta Do More Yoga!

Kira getting her yoga on
By Kira Sparkles 

While reading this article about Chewing Gum actress Michaela Coel and her yoga practice, it cited that only two percent of Black Americans do yoga. TWO percent! That's a tragic number! Why shouldn't we be out here doing yoga? We're killing everything in the game and this is just another thing that should be on a very long list. Also, we need to challenge this idea of what a yogi looks like.

Yoga was born as a practice in India, but through commercialization and whitewashing, it's become synonymous with upper-class white women in yoga pants chanting Om. I get where that feels daunting and isolating. I know when I go to yoga classes, there are so few people of color in these spaces.

But why is yoga so important to our lives?

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6 Yellow Flags That Make Me Automatically Not Trust You


By Kira Sparkles

We judge each other constantly. You do, I definitely do. From where to eat and who our friends are, judgment is with us every step of the way. We need our judgment. It’s gotten us this far as a species.

When it comes to judging others, there are little things in place that make our brains put up red flags to keep us safe. For example, people who are rude to service people get red flags. Other than glaringly obvious behaviors, I want to talk about the smaller yellow flags.

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