Thursday, March 23, 2017

African American Leaders Unhappy with K-12 Education System Say “Enough is Enough”; Eager to Make Changes

New report by the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute explores African American community leaders’ perspectives on key issues in K-12 education reform

WASHINGTON (March 23, 2017)—Only three percent of influential black leaders think public schools are preparing black students to attend and graduate from college; however, the majority of leaders are optimistic they can help improve the quality of education for black students, according to a new report issued by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI).
Lift Every Voice and Lead: African American Leaders’ Perceptions of K-12 Education Reform is the second report in UNCF’s three-part series on African American communities’ perspectives on K-12 education. UNCF is giving rise to a more inclusive education reform movement, where African American voices are truly lifted up in both research and advocacy.
“As the Every Student Succeeds Act implementation begins to move forward, there are various ways that black leaders can help shape education reform at the local and state levels,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, co-author of the report and director of FDPRI. “Lift Every Voice and Lead is a call to action for black leaders to use their influence to not only highlight the crisis in education for black youth, but to also find tangible ways to get involved.”
FDPRI researchers analyzed survey and interview data from more than 650 African American community leaders across the country: a group of clergy, local politicians, business leaders and education leaders often described as “grasstops.” As the title suggests, this report urges black grasstops to lift their voices and lead advocacy efforts in the K-12 education space. Although nearly 80 percent of black grasstops feel black leaders in their communities are not doing enough to improve education, the report indicates that many leaders have, in fact, developed community-centered strategies to address disparities in schools—from hosting workshops for students and parents, to engaging with local school board leaders. Furthermore, the study finds that leaders want tools such as talking points, statistics on racial disparities, and advocacy toolkits to support their efforts in improving the quality of education for students.
“The implications of these findings are vast and help challenge assumptions about the lack of engagement of black leaders. Our report suggests that while some leaders think they are not doing enough, the majority sincerely want to make a positive difference in the lives and futures of black students,” said Dr. Meredith B.L. Anderson, lead author of the report.
The report offers four recommendations for community leaders seeking to make improvements in education:
  1. Expand community networks to further advocacy efforts.
  2. Provide leaders with the tools to advocate for African American youth.
  3. Champion the message of positive African American community engagement in education.
  4. Make the ask for leaders to be involved. Leaders want to see a clear, action-oriented strategy in place.
Read the full press release here
Read the full report here
View the report’s infographic here
Join UNCF’s Q&A with Media today:
WHEN: Thurs., March 23, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST
  • Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of the late Rev. Oliver Brown who was the plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education.
  • Sekou Biddle, vice president of K-12 Advocacy
  • Meredith B.L. Anderson, Ph.D., K-12 Advocacy senior research associate; report’s author
  • Naomi Shelton, UNCF director of K-12 Advocacy
JOIN: Please RSVP to by 1:00 p.m. EST today. Conference call information will be provided upon RSVP.

6 Reasons To Stop Feeding Your Kids “Kid Food”

Doctor Yum dishes up important reasons to skip the typical kid-related food and opt for more nutritious options
FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia – (March 22, 2017) – According to the National Institutes of Health, on any given day one-third of children and 41 percent of teens eat from a fast-food restaurant. They also report that the restaurant meals often served to kids contain too many calories. The typical “kid food” being offered tends to usually include chicken nuggets, fries, macaroni and cheese, burgers, and pizza. The problem is that these meals often provide empty calories and don’t provide enough nutrition. They also keep the kids wanting the same types of foods at home, with parents often providing them. One expert, Doctor Yum, says it’s time to ditch the “kid food” and start giving kids better options.
“Most food is kid-friendly. Kids just need to learn how to eat it,” says Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician who founded The Doctor Yum Project. “Kids who are taught healthy eating habits, which include eating a variety of healthy foods, will be far better off now and in the long run. They will be learning healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”
Here are 6 reasons to ditch the pizza and pouches and get your kids back to real food:
  • Kids can learn to eat real food. Most of us parents overestimate the amount of food children need. Therefore when a toddler takes two bites of their entree, parents may feel defeated instead of realizing they may have eaten enough. Parents then may be more likely to reach for those kid-friendly, addictive snacks (like crackers and gummy snacks) to fill their child’s belly.  It should be no surprise that grazing-style eating, where hunger does not fully develop, leads to a poor appetite at mealtime. Parents should continue to provide opportunities to practice eating healthy foods, and have realistic expectations for what their child should eat. With enough practice kids will get used to a healthy array of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Check with your pediatrician to see if your child is meeting expectations for growth to ensure his food intake is on track.
  • Restaurant kids meals are a waste of money. When eating out, say no to kid’s meals, which are usually variations on the same “kid-friendly” foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, and sweet drinks. Most of these menus have little to no vegetables or fruit. They may be belly fillers and provide calories but little added nutritional value for your dollar. Instead, order a healthy similarly priced appetizer and/or share your entree with your little one (restaurant meals are so oversized that chances are good that the serving is too big for you anyway). Alternatively, order a few entrees “family style” and ask the server to bring extra plates for whole family to sample. This encourages kids to be adventurous and get used to trying new foods.
  • Kid-friendly foods are misleading.  Recent studies of toddler foods show that many actually have more sugar and salt than what is recommended by experts. Food companies know that parents worry about nutrition, and know the buzzwords to attract those worried parents. It’s easy to make food choices based on the promise of “more protein” or “high in calcium.”  But reading the nutrition label (on the back of the box, not the front) will give you the big picture on whether a food is right for your child. Is there an abundance of additives and preservatives? Are the ingredients recognizable and safe? How much sugar is added? Think about the whole foods that might be used to get the same benefit (like a handful of nuts for protein instead of a protein bar).
  • Kids need real food to develop and thrive. While pizza and macaroni and cheese may fill a child’s belly, kids need fruits, vegetables and whole grains to provide the necessary, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) for optimal growth and development.  Furthermore, an important part of a child’s development is their oral motor skills, those functions of the mouth (lips, tongue, teeth and palate) that allow for speech, safe feeding and swallowing. Many kid-friendly foods are soft and easy to eat and don’t encourage development of those skills. Relying too heavily on these foods (like soft chicken nuggets and pouches with soft purées) can allow kids to lag behind in oral motor development and may lead to picky eating.
  • You don’t have time to be a short order cook. Making two or three meals to satisfy everyone's preferences is exhausting and can lead to cooking burnout. Teach kids to eat what you are eating to save time and money and to encourage the spirit of adventurous eating. This can be done from the earliest bites of solid food. Instead of relying on store-bought baby food exclusively, find ways to make your meals into healthy baby food. Check out the Doctor Yum Project’s kid-tested, pediatrician approved recipes on Many of them have a “baby food shortcut” which shows families how to adapt a family meal and make a meal for a baby along the way. Eating in this way from a young age can avoid that picky eater trap and lead to a path to adventurous eating for a lifetime.
  • Nutrition shouldn’t be hidden, so stop hiding the veggies.  Kids that are very hesitant eaters may be benefit from a few hidden vegetables as they gain confidence in food, but in general parents should try to help kids learn to love healthy foods without hiding them. While hidden veggies may help nutritionally, the kids may not gain an understanding that vegetables can be delicious, so they may still try to avoid them when they are visible. Get kids loving their veggies by leading by example, preparing them together, growing a garden, and visiting a farmers market where they can pick out a couple of things to try. The more variety they are exposed to and realize that they enjoy, the better the eating habits will be.
“If kids can get involved in the food process, from shopping to preparing it, and they can learn about why eating healthy is so important to them, they are more likely to do so,” adds Heidi DiEugenio, a director at the Doctor Yum Project. “This will help them avoid the obesity problems, chronic health issues, and they will have a better opportunity to live a healthier life throughout their adulthood.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy eating habits can help children maintain a healthy weight, as well as reduce their risks of such conditions as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, iron deficiency, dental cavities, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, can lead to being overweight or obese, increase risks for certain types of cancer, and negatively affect overall health, cognitive development, and a child’s school performance.
Dr. Fernando and Heidi DiEugenio are two of the original founders of  The Doctor Yum Project, an organization with the mission of transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. The project offers free online tools to help families make healthier meals, healthy cooking classes, child nutrition classes, cooking camps for kids, hands-on cooking instruction for families, first foods classes, and a teaching garden, They also offer a preschool nutrition curriculum, with 40 classrooms and almost 600 participating preschoolers. They are the go-to resource for families looking for answers on how make healthy, achievable dietary changes for a lifetime of good health.
Dr. Fernando, otherwise known as Dr. Yum, is a board-certified pediatrician. She is also the co-author of the book “Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook” (The Experiment, October 2015). To learn more, visit the site at:
About The Doctor Yum Project
The Doctor Yum Project is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. They offer a variety of community programs to help with those efforts. They are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and feature a free interactive website with family taste-tested healthy recipes and innovative tools to make cooking at home easier, an instructional kitchen and teaching garden for holding classes. To learn more, visit the site at:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WARNING! False Information about Closet of Free Samples is being Spread by Misty Lowe

WARNING! False Information about Closet of Free Samples is being Spread by Misty Lowe
Here's the actual post link (


I'm pretty disturbed that I logged in this evening to my facebook account see a notification of a post from someone making false claims of their Blogsvertise account being hacked by me.
For those who do not know what Blogvertise is,  it's a platform where bloggers go in and can get jobs to get paid to do blog posts for various things. I signed up with Blogsvertise YEARS ago when they were new and had many opportunities to get paid. Once those opportunities died out and the site began to die out, I moved on. Well, not too long ago I got an email talking about they updated their platform blah blah blah - basically to re-join them. Hey, I need a way to make a living so of course, why not?!
After a lot of guessing of my password, I got in only to see a bunch of blog sites in my account that were not mine with no way to remove them.  So I marked them as "Not my blog - please remove" hoping they would get "denied" and added the two blogs I have and went about my business. I never heard back from Blogvertiser nor logged into my account up until tonight. This evening, I got an ugly message in my filtered box from a girl asking why I hacked her account. See the screen shot:
WARNING! False Information about Closet of Free Samples is being Spread by Misty Lowe

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PhD expert: read this before hooking up

Image result for hook up
Hookups are pretty prevalent these days. Although some research shows they don’t have a negative impact on most people, for some, hookups can be stressful, unsatisfying, or confusing. Are we going to see each other again? What will the person think of me? How do I feel about myself for doing it? Did I get what I wanted out of it? Why do I feel like it was all about the other person? These are just some of the questions we've heard from real girls, and these questions can lead to uncertainty and disappointment. 
If you’re interested in hooking up, there are three skills you need to use to increase the likelihood that you’ll have the experience you want and that you won’t end up confused and feeling bad. 
Skill 1: Insight
This is about knowing what you want, and it’s the first thing you need to do in order to have a healthy hookup. Ask yourself these questions: What do I want sexually? What am I willing to do and not do? What are my limits? And know the answers so that when the time comes you will be prepared and you can communicate effectively about what you want and don’t want. For example, if having an orgasm is important to you and you can only reach it during oral sex, then be prepared to let your partner know. If you don’t like it rough and that’s a limit, then be ready to stop when things go past your comfort zone. 
It’s also important to have insight about what you’re looking to get out of a hookup. What are your motives and goals? Is it just about the sex? Are you fine with it being just a one-time thing? Are you actually hoping it will turn into a relationship? You need to know because your expectations and hopes can determine how you’ll react to whatever happens – we talk more about this when we get to the third skill, emotion regulation, later in this article.  You also need to know to be able to figure out whether you and the other person are looking for the same thing. If you’re not, then you might end up not feeling so great. One key to a healthy hookup is when both people are on the same page, which leads to the next skill.
Skill 2: Mutuality
A healthy hookup is about it being good for both people. Not just you. Not just the other person. Both of you. 
Often people go into a hookup with the goal of getting sexual pleasure for themselves. Makes sense. So they judge the success of the hookup by whether it was pleasurable for them. But there are two people involved who both want sexual pleasure, and they both deserve to get it. If you’re in it just for your own pleasure and you’re not interested in really pleasing your partner, then stay home with your porn and/or your vibrator and enjoy yourself. 
On the flip side of that are people who judge the success of a hookup solely by whether they pleased their partner and they completely disregard their own pleasure. This is just as bad as focusing only on yourself. If you’re only focused on giving the other person what they want it may be an indicator that you’re afraid of being yourself, you’re afraid of what the other person might think of you, you’re trying to get the other person to like you – or, most likely, all of the above. If you see yourself in this scenario, then you need to shift your focus from trying to be what the other person wants (or what you think they want) – a situation that leads to people-pleasing – to being yourself and seeing if they like what you have to offer. And in a healthy hookup, part of that is communicating your needs and seeing if the other person is willing to meet them. If not, this is not the hookup for you. Bottom line, a healthy hookup is one where both people get their needs met and both people actually care about meeting the other’s needs. 
Skill 3: Emotion Regulation
This skill is about keeping your emotions in check. Post-hookup, you may start to feel those warm twinges of love and images of a beautiful life together. You may start to get anxious about whether you’ll get another text or call. You may get sad or angry if that text or call doesn’t come. You may get excited when it comes late one Saturday night, suggesting a spontaneous rendezvous. All of these feelings can happen. But remember, there’s a reason it’s called a hookup – it’s not a relationship. And it was not intended to be from the beginning. The best thing you can do for yourself is to go into a hookup assuming that’s exactly what it will be. A fun (hopefully!) encounter between two consenting individuals that is not meant to happen again or to turn into anything else. Then, when it doesn’t, you won’t have to be sad, angry or disappointed. You can view the experience fondly, rather than yearning for more. You can remind your developing feelings of love that they are better placed elsewhere, when the right relationship person comes along. And you won’t have to be anxiously checking your phone for a text. Should that text come, you can decide whether you want to pursue it, rather than feeling dependent upon it for a sense of self-worth. And, should your hookup start to turn into a relationship, then you can be pleasantly surprised and see where it goes. 
For those of you who are on the receiving end of someone wanting a hookup to go further than you want it to go, you need to keep your anxiety or annoyance about this in check also. Be clear and direct with the person about where you are and what they can expect, both up front and afterwards. And be kind in all of your communications. You had sex with this person. You just shared nakedness, bodily fluids, and perhaps lots of other things. It’s an intimate exchange no matter how you look at it. And the people involved deserve to be respected. Don’t let your fears or frustration get in the way of treating a person with respect. 
If you use these skills to approach and deal with hookups it’s more likely to be a rewarding experience for both people, and that’s what a healthy hookup is about. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Save up to 60% off with H&M’s Biggest Winter Sale. H&M adds hundreds of new styles daily, and you get free shipping over $40 with code 0040 and free in-store returns. Happy shopping!

Gifts for Her

Knit Slippers
Slippers in a soft knit with ankle-high leg section trimmed in faux fur, a decorative bow and pompoms.

Soft, color-block shopper in festive colors with two handles and concealed magnetic fastener at top.


Gifts for Him

Textured-knit Cashmere Sweater
Soft cashmere sweater in a textured knit with flat-knit raglan sleeves in camel or black.

Padded Vest
Padded vest with imitation suede yoke. Stand-up collar, zip at front and front pockets.

Gifts for Kids

3-pack Hairbands
Jersey hairbands with a decorative bow at front.

Dapper Top and Pants
Long-sleeved, striped T-shirt with printed motif at front and back. Decorative bow tie at front and snap fasteners on one shoulder. Pants with elasticized waistband, mock fly with button and sewn cuffs at hems.

Gifts for the Home

Tea Towel with Motif
Tea towel in organic cotton with a printed evergreen tree motif. Hanger loop on one short side.

Christmas Apron
Apron in woven organic cotton fabric with a holiday printed pattern.

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