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This year has  been like the saying goes 'the best of times and the worst of times.' I lost my job, lost my grandfather, was planning a wedding, found a new job, then quit that job and dealt with the fear of financial uncertainty like I never have in my adult life. Needless to say these past months have been an emotional roller coaster. I found myself in the midst of constant stress, more-so than I have ever experienced in my adult life. For the most part I am a super positive person but I found it hard to keep my spirits up when it seemed so little was going right. It was during this time I began to deal with bouts of depression. Depression is not something completely foreign to me as I have experienced issues with anxiety in the past but this instance was something I had never experienced before. You know the cartoon style commercials where you see the character unable to get out of bed most days, going about life with a dark cloud over them. I assumed these were dramatizations. Until you experience it yourself you truly won't understand how depression can completely control your life. 


There were so many days when I dragged myself out of bed when there was nothing else I wanted to do but put the covers over my head and sleep the day away. It's really easy for people from the outside looking in to tell you not to stress, and things will get better, actually  (insert everything people say to cheer you up here). However it's so easy to not see the light at the end of the tunnel and to get stuck in this dark place. It took some time but I eventually learned to cope with my stress. 

One of the biggest things that helped me cope was talking about it. I spent countless days and nights expressing my fears and frustrations to my fiance. Having someone just listen to me and allow me to vent was essential. Keeping things bottled in does nobody any good, it's important to have someone who will lend an open ear and listen without judgement. 

Another way I learned to cope was creating a routine. I started to exercise and read a lot and not to mention wedding planning has kept me super busy. By setting daily goals for myself and completing them went a long way in making me feel productive which in turn made me want to get out of bed each day. I made myself dedicate time each day to doing something I truly enjoy. 

Meditation and Prayer were essential in me crawling out of my depression. I have never been extremely religious but have always been spiritual in my beliefs but going through rough times has a funny way of making you seek out answers. I have made time to pray and meditate daily, even if its simply to be grateful for all the things I have.

Depression is something so many people suffer with daily and although it is less of a taboo subject it can be very hard to understand when you are going through it. It can truly be a whirlwind of emotions but learning how to cope is so important to your mental health.


Have you ever struggled with Depression??? How did you cope??? Let us know in the comment section below!!!



 
Electa is a Writer/Blogger and a self proclaimed foodie. She is in her 20's and figuring out life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Follower her on twitter @emazing17 and instagram @emazing17









The 2015 Afropunk festival has happened once again, and I loved every second of it this year! All the beautiful people, outfits, energy and the overflow of happiness keeps me in attendance at this festival every year.  Among its 53 acts were Ms. Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Kelis, Lion Babe, SZA, Kaytranada, Goldlink, Soulection,  Kelela and Danny Brown. Like always there was lots of music, food, vendors and fashion to die for, as far as the eye can see.  With all the glamour that the beautiful patrons of AfroPunk showcase, I would like to remind everyone AfroPunk is a movement. Although AfroPunk doesn't use forums like colorful speeches, creating hashtags or handing out outlined agendas of how to topple the system their mere existence in culture does just that. 

As  many publications focus on the fashion and the music (which is amazing) many leave out what AfroPunk means and does for many people across the world. It's call for no instances of discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation and even a call to cease body shaming is pretty monumental. To give all people a safe haven where the creative juices are flowing is an environment that should be modeled everywhere. 


This years AfroPunk introduced their AfroPunk Army which was a program that gave AfroPunk patrons a way to earn their ticket into the festival. With volunteer initiatives like giving hygiene products to the homeless, planting trees in neighborhood parks, collecting donations towards the investigation of Sandra Bland's death, and even a Trans Lives Matter march in the middle of this weekends festival! AfroPunK has grown into more than just a place for the Black punk fan, it is a place for innovative change. Many forget the key word in activism is active, Afropunk hasn't forgotten that. 

Photo Credit: Insatagram

What does Afropunk mean to you? Please let us know below in the comments! 


Photographer Lessa Montography instagram: @Lessamontography 

By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_    

Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul.   




On janet's Mock recent air of her webnews show SO POPular on MSNBC.com  Janet Mock discusses Nicki Minaj’s new Madame Tussauds wax figure which features Minaj on all fours & the way people have used it to objectify her. Mock also talks about how black women’s bodies have been objectified throughout history. 


Take a look at the video below






What are your thoughts on Nicki Minaj's Wax figure? Please let us know in the comment section below!





By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_    

Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul.   


I love lingerie! There is no bigger confidence boost for me than to know that I am wearing some sexy little things underneath my clothes. Not to mention the proper undergarments can not only make you feel sexy but can also make your outfit only that much more flattering. Being a curvy girl and also having very large breast (38DDD) It can be a bit harder to find matching sets that not only come in my bra size and don't look like their made for someone 20 years my senior. 



I stumbled upon Adore Me on where else Facebook! I saw the ad and figured why not, plus the first set was less than $20 for new customers. Now if you don't know Adore Me is a lingerie company which offer a subscription service, every month they select items for you to choose from to purchase and you select a set and it gets shipped to you. You can shop from the entire website but they do curate picks for you based upon your previous purchase and your sizes.  You also fill out a questionnaire when you join to get a feel for your style of undergarments. 


The Pros: One of the main reasons I really enjoyed this was the large selection of D+ Bras they even go as large as size H bras which can be hard to come by, the Panties even go up to a 5X which is great for curvier Women.  The sets are amazing quality and no matter if you are looking for your everyday undergarments or something a little sexier they have something for everyone, they even sell pajamas! The prices are reasonable with most of the sets ranging from $40-$50 which include a Bra and Panty. Which if you've ever shopped at some of the popular Lingerie brands you know a Bra can run you $50 easily not to mention buying the matching undies.The package is also beautiful and makes your truly feel like your getting a sexy little treat in the mail.  Another huge pro is convenience! Not only do they have picks selected for you but it is also free shipping and returns, If you happen to get something your not to fond of, go ahead and ship it back and exchange it.

The Cons: The cost, not everyone has a monthly lingerie budget. The great thing about that is you can skip out on a month if your not interested in your selections or if buying lingerie is just not in your budget for the month. 


All and All I've so far loved my experience with Adoreme.com and although I don't purchase every months I definitely will be keeping my subscription for whenever my Lingerie draw needs an update!




Have you tried AdoreMe? What are your thoughts??? Let us know if in the comment section below!!! 












Electa is a Writer/Blogger and a self proclaimed foodie. She is in her 20's and figuring out life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Follower her on twitter @emazing17 and instagram @emazing17




If you're in NYC near the end of the month August you know the weekend of Afropunk is near. The music festival birthed in 2002 by Matthew Morgan and James Spooner, with a goal of highlighting youth that identify with the indie punk lifestyle.  The festival has since grown to be featured in cities like Atlanta, Paris and  also holding many other music events all around the country. 

This years AfroPunk line up is amazing, my mouth literally dropped when I saw the larger acts that would be present. Kelis, Lauryn Hill, Lenny  Kravitz and mother fucking Grace Jones, yes I cursed, IT'S MOTHER FUCKING GRACE JONES!! Also other acts like Danny Brown, SZA and Lion Babe whom I also enjoy.



I will be present once again, collaborating with photographer Jalessa Montaque to bring our readers a visual journey of the greatness that is AfroPunk. 

I've also become pretty music festival savvy and have put together a AfroPunk survival list

  • Bring a blanket or sheet, the festival is in a huge park and lots of people hang out on the grass and chill between acts. 
  • I suggest wearing a backpack and having your wallet at the bottom of it to avoid pick pocketing. Book Bags are great because you can store lots of things and still be hands free to jump around and dance. 
  • Portable cell phone charger, because your phone will die
  • The buddy system is essential, due to so many phone signals in close proximity phone reception is pretty poor, and who wants to get lost in a crowd of thousands of people
  • Follow hashtags, you'll get lots of up to date information that way 
  • Download the AfroPunk app, you'll have the schedule and map of the whole festival at you fingertips!
  • I also carry my own alcohol and snacks, food and drinks are expensive at music festivals. They search your bag, but not extensively, so I always manage to get things in. 
  • A rain poncho should be in your bag also, you never know what mother nature's plans are, also umbrellas are annoying and block peoples view. LEAVE THEM HOME
  • Don't wear a romper or one piece, they make bathroom breaks difficult. Also who wants to get naked in a portapotty. . . .GROSS! 
Those are my suggestions for  making your Afropunk experience a great one


What Afropunk performance do you want to see the most? Lets us know in the comments below! 





By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_    

Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul.   



We're always looking for ways to spice things up and our dinner options are no exception. Most people love preparing chicken meals but it can get a bit routine, so we always looking for new ways to prepare it. I can honestly say I've tried this recipe at least 4 times and it is amazing! It only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and best of all it's baked not fried so you won't feel guilty about going for seconds!


WINGER'S STICKY FINGERS

      





PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Now you can make Winger's famous sticky fingers right at home anytime you get a craving. 3 easy steps will put these saucy baked chicken strips on the table in just 30 minutes!
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 eggs + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
sauce
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup Frank's hot sauce (it can be original or buffalo flavor)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Slice chicken breasts into strips. Add chicken strips and flour to a large ziplock bag. Seal and toss to coat chicken in flour.
  3. Place panko crumbs in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together eggs and water. Dip flour-coated chicken strips into egg mixture, then toss in panko crumbs to coat.
  4. Place coated chicken pieces on greased baking sheet and spray heavily with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes until chicken is browned and cooked through.
  5. While chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Add brown sugar and hot sauce to a medium sauce pan and stir over medium-high heat until melted and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in garlic powder and water until smooth.
  6. When chicken strips are done cooking, toss in sauce. Serve warm with ranch dressing if desired.
NOTES
*recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

You can check out the full recipe and all the details here.


What are some of your go-to recipes?  Let us know in the comment section below!!










Electa is a Writer/Blogger and a self proclaimed foodie. She is in her 20's and figuring out life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Follower her on twitter @emazing17 and instagram @emazing17


NPR.com writes:


R&B singer Janelle Monáe released a blistering 6 1/2-minute protest song on Friday called "Hell You Talmbout." The song's premise is simple, and that simplicity is the source of its power. The lyrics are the chanted names of black Americans killed by police and vigilantes, followed by the phrase "say his name" or "say her name." The chorus is an anthemic, gospel-leaning repetition of the song's title. Monáe is joined on the track by a drum line and the members of her Wondaland Arts Society collective: Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty and George 2.0. All of the vocals are raw, several to the point of breaking. None of the names are sung.
"Hell You Talmbout" would be a striking piece of music even if it's your first exposure to Monáe, but is made more so when placed next to her prior releases. She's built a career around grandiose, psychedelic songs that tap into Afrofuturist philosophy and posit her at the center of a sci-fi-inspired musical universe of her own making, one not tethered to terrestrial concerns. Her aesthetic has been deliberate and impeccable, from her physical appearance down to the meticulous choreography of her shows.





That cosmic Space Age aesthetic and considered delivery are completely absent in "Hell You Talmbout." It's a ground-level song in both concept and execution. "Say Her Name" is a tag line started on Twitter, stylized with a hashtag: #SayHerName. And there's nothing droidlike in how Monáe and her cohort perform the song. Voices crack and mics pop. Any creative distance between performers and audience has been eliminated, and what remains is an unadorned, visceral, undeniably earthbound piece of protest music.
"Hell You Talmbout" is currently available as a stream only.
There are many ways  a person's creation can bring you to a peace. Small simple ideas growing into masses of beauty we can see. All art evokes emotion, and although many adhere to art that is boldly political or painful we need happy places. We need things to make us smile, remind us we are alive, without the stroke of pain but strokes that inspire. Art offers the world a place to get away and seek refuge in beauty, painter, Justice Dwight, the Plainfeild New Jersey native, currently a Richmond Virginia resident  does just that with his work



His use of bright vibrant colors, with a pop art feel that isn't widely seen in the Black art diaspora, Justice manages to serve a niche that is underserved. Many would refer to his style as Afro-Pop, when asked he responds
You know, I never thought about that. My aesthetic has been called Afro-Pop before, and I think that’s a term that perfectly fits my creations."
Black representation is a large part of his work, it's a deliberate effort to counter what many Black children experience in art, and also popular culture. Much of his influence is birthed from what is present in  the media. 
Black representation is important especially in my work because growing up and going to school, there were no black people in the art history books and if there were any, we skipped right past them. I represent what I know in my artwork so that the next generation won't feel so excluded. 
His preferred medium is acrylic due to the bold bright colors they create. Justice has no formal art schooling, which wouldn't be the assumption His art influences range from his father who was a painter, other artist like Andy Warhol and many other artist creating currently. 

His work mirrors his personality, with a vivacious, outgoing, and  socially welcoming appeal. It brings a smile which is needed, and sometimes missing from the Black narrative in most art worlds, not just visually. With every stroke of his brush, he gives the world a view of happy Black people,  something that is often forgotten. In the most  simplistic way he reminds the world we are simply human. 










You  may find more of Justice Dwight's work on instagram @JusticeDwight , and may purchase his art here 

Take a look at more of Justice Dwight's pieces in the gallery bellow!

Which painting by Justice Dwight could you not live without? 

By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_    

Queen is a 30 something from the Bronx, NY. She created Ms. Vixen to spread her thoughts on feminism, Black pride, it's the first stop on her quest to be a media mogul.   





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