Monthly Archives: July 2016

SWIRL NATION BLOG IS ON VACATION!


Thanks for visiting our blog! We are currently on summer vacation and will be back with more Swirl Nation Goodness on August 4th. Until then please enjoy the last 6 months of content, you can find links to content by specific bloggers in the “Blogger Bios” section. 

And if you are looking for a little travel inspiration I thought I would share the spots my daughter and I are visiting for our summer adventure!

I visited Belize alone last summer and fell in love with the tiny island of Caye Caulker. No cars, just bikes and golf carts, Caye Caulker is a laid-back beachy haven. I am super excited to head back there and give my daughter a chance to experience it this time around! 

CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE

 

After Caye Caulker we will hop on a tiny plane and explore Placencia, Belize. I found out about Placencia from my Dental Hygienist! She is from there and told me it had the best beaches in Belize, that was all the convincing I needed so that will be our 2nd stop on our journey! 

PLACENCIA, BELIZE

 

From Placencia we are leaving Belize and traveling to Honduras! Our first stop will be 2 nights on the island of Little French Key! Little French Key is a private island which used to just be for day excursions but recently they built a beach house on the island and you can rent a room to stay overnight, so we are staying for 2 nights! Our plan on LFK is to do the bulk of our water adventures like horseback riding in the ocean, snorkeling, and more. I am guessing this might be my daughter’s favorite part of the trip! 

LITTLE FRENCH KEY, ROATAN HONDURAS

 

From Little French Key we will head to Roatan proper and spend a week exploring this snorkel and scuba heaven. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras and it sits atop the worlds second largest coral reef. I found Roatan simply by looking at a map and figuring we were already going to go to Belize, so what else was relatively nearby. I saw Roatan, Pinterest searched it and decided I HAD TO GO THERE!  It looks like paradise and I am super excited to see how it compares to Belize. While in Roatan we will stay in an Airbnb on the beach for the first half and then we will finish our trip at a beautiful hotel. 

ROATAN, HONDURAS

I am beyond excited to share this trip with my daughter! Expect lots of photos upon my return! 

xx jen


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STOWAWAY COSMETICS – HAPA TESTED!


Makeup and I have not had a very long relationship in the grand scheme of things. Some people start slathering it on in their tweens… Rest assured, I was most definitely not one of those people. If I remember correctly, the first time I began using makeup in earnest (aka not for winter formal or prom) was after a breakup in college. I know, a little petty, I admit it.

My first attempt was over the top, bright red lipstick and a bit heavy on the eyeshadow, but I quickly realized that less is more for me, so I ditched my high school makeup in favor of more eco-friendly brands that wouldn’t be as hard on my very sensitive skin. I’m not going to lie–it can at times be an expensive and losing battle. Early on in my makeup experimentation, it became apparent that most eye makeup is not meant to stick on a Hapa’s lids. Or at the very least, not this Hapa’s lids.

When I had a little more time in my life, I scoured the internet for tutorials on how to get my eyeliner to stay put and how to apply it in a way that worked for my eyelids, since I don’t have a monolid, but a very slight double lid. Take note, vloggers and bloggers, last I checked, there are very few tutorials that talk about how to apply your eye makeup when you don’t quite have a monolid and you definitely don’t have that standard double lid. Is there even a name for what I have? If anyone knows it, kindly tell me so I can finally have a defined term for my eyelid makeup anatomy. The closest I found back in the day was from The Beauty Department titled, “Winged Liner for a Droopy Lid.” Gee, thanks for that. Helpful? Maybe. Ego boosting? No.

 

I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion
I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion

In my quest for eco-friendly eyeliner that stays put, I luckily found 100% Pure’s pot gel liner, but I’m not including a link to it because guess what? It doesn’t exist anymore. I think they stopped making it in 2014 and I’ve been heartbroken ever since. But the one problem I’ve always run into with my makeup, including this extinct gel liner, is that I don’t use it fast enough to justify the cost. Eventually, I’ve always had to throw out my costly purchases long past their expiration date. Enter Stowaway Cosmetics.

I found out about this brand because I’m addicted to The Zoe Report’s little lists and blogs that pop up every five seconds on my Facebook feed. It’s a never ending cycle because I can’t resist clicking on basically all of them. I haven’t been paid to plug any of these brands, by the way, I’m just a victim of fashion and social media, I promise. So back to Stowaway. This brand caught my eye because of its small packaging and portions that are designed to be used within the three month expiration period, so when I first heard about it and realized I wouldn’t have to throw out half tubes of expired things anymore, I was pretty excited. That being said, I’m a big stickler for what goes into cosmetics as well, so before purchasing, I checked out their FAQ. When I found out that they were EU compliant, cruelty-free, and gluten-free (a few of their products are vegan, but not all of them), I decided that I’d give this brand a try.

I ordered myself The Basics Kit, which is $75, customizable based on your skin tone, and you get to pick the colors you want for your eyeliner, blush, and lipstick. Since getting the kit, I’ve pretty much pared down my makeup collection to what you see in this photo:

Here’s what came in my Stowaway Basics Kit:

  • Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm in Light
  • Creaseless Concealer in Light
  • Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony
  • Creme Lipstick in Raspberry and I got a freebie for signing up for their email list, so I picked Cranberry as my second one
  • Effortless Eyeliner in Jet
  • Extreme Lash Mascara

Supplements to my kit:

When my Stowaway order arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was shipped in very minimal packaging, and while each item was individually boxed, there was none of that awful plastic to rip off of the tubes themselves. All of the makeup tubes and containers have a slightly rubberized feel that’s very grippable and makes these tiny products easy to use without feeling like you’re working with doll-sized cosmetics. And they’re so easy to stowaway! Okay, that was the only stowaway pun I’m throwing in here, I promise. But enough geeking out about the packaging–let’s talk about the makeup. I’m going to do my best to talk about the makeup in the order I apply it to keep things simple.

Clockwise from Upper Right: Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light
Clockwise from Upper Right: Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light

So the Beauty Balm is admittedly one of those products I rarely use. If I include applying it to show you in this blog, I’ve used it twice. I feel like my freckly Hapa complexion, though a little red and/or shiny at times and sometimes acne-prone, is fine on its own–you know what? Better than fine. It’s awesome. I also hate the feeling of anything aside from a very light moisturizer on my face, and though this BB is lightweight, I’m talking about Princess and the Pea sensitive here. I can feel it. But I can see why this product might be nice if you want to even your tone out, and it really does do that. However, the BB in Light made me look a little orange depending on the lighting and what I was wearing.

Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.
Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.

I was surprised that the Light tone would do this to me, and though I’m no expert on foundation or BB’s, it seems a little strange that a BB labelled Light would be so… Orange. I’m also pretty certain that if I got the lightest of the tones, Fair, I would look a little chalky and it wouldn’t match my skin’s undertone at all. Maybe if I get a good tan I can wear this BB and feel more comfortable in it, but for now I’m fine just using the concealer in Light for any rogue zits and undereye coverage, since it seems a little more forgiving tonally than the BB. All you need is a small dot of concealer and then just blend it with your finger, it provides great coverage.

Along with anything skin tone related, my biggest trepidation when I go to buy makeup is eyeliner and mascara because I have trouble getting these to stay put. If I use normal eyeliner, it inevitably ends up all over my top eyelids and my mascara can end up smearing on my lower lids. Not a good look. I was really dubious of the eyeliner at first, since I usually stick with gel or liquid, but found that it does have some serious staying power as does the mascara. I’ve worn these while working 10+ hour days at my 6 Degrees of Hapa pop-up in 100º heat… And my eyeliner and mascara only smudged just a little.

A  little too blunt for my liking.
A  little too blunt for my liking.

The application of the eyeliner itself can be a little funky, because the eyeliner really didn’t self-sharpen as it claims to. Mine ended up looking like a tiny, stubby crayon tip after one use. But luckily the eyeliner itself is so small that even when it is blunt, it still can draw a relatively thin line given a little patience. I haven’t attempted a cat eye with this, though, I think it might be a little too advanced for this eyeliner. My other trick that I always use to make sure these two products (of any brand) keep off my eyelids is to dust foundation powder on my top and bottom lids with an eyeshadow brush to keep them from getting oily. This usually helps keep me from looking like a racoon by the end of the day.

Though I’m not too big on eyeshadow, I was really excited when Stowaway announced their tiny eyeshadow palette. I haven’t used it thoroughly yet, but I think that the eight shades have potential if you want to add a little extra to your look. The palette comes with a very small double-ended brush that’s not my favorite thing to use, since it makes applying the shadow evenly feel like a bit of a challenge. For me, the best thing about this eyeshadow palette is that it has a matte dark brown shade that works really well for my eyebrow filler and… This whole kit is way smaller than my old two shade eyebrow filler palette alone.

Where the eyeshadow palette might be lacking in color, the Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony has me covered. It adds a nice pop to my cheeks without looking unnatural and the packaging for this is pretty cute with a little mirror to peek in if you’re out and about. I have a round face, so when I apply blush I tend to apply by dabbing a little of this rouge from my temples in a slight curve down to the apples of my cheeks to create more structure (aka the only type of contouring I’ll ever attempt). One of my favorite things to do right now is to use my blush as my eyeshadow–don’t scream in horror, it actually looks really good if done minimally. I just apply a little in and above the crease of my upper eyelid and blend. That being said, I probably won’t be using this shade on my lips, since it’s a little too matte for my liking as a lip product.

Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.
Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.

Speaking of lips… I love their lipstick. Stowaway’s lipsticks are really smooth, don’t have that weird lipstick smell, and the application is really easy. I haven’t had any problems with these drying out my lips, which is a deal breaker for me. I tried out a trick from their video tip, which was dabbing some concealer on your lips to get it to have more staying power and to get the color to pop, and it seems to do the trick. The one thing I’d recommend is that you probably want to pick up a clear lip liner to keep it from feathering. I have yet to do this, but it’s on my very very shortlist of makeup needs (pun intended).

 

Putting it all together:

All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.
All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.

My Hapa complexion and eye shape (I refuse to call it droopy) can make finding makeup that works for me a bit of a struggle. If I really wanted a BB for everyday wear, I’d have to keep looking for one that actually fits my skin tone, but I do think Stowaway’s eyeliner and mascara really work for me and I’d definitely get the rouge and lipsticks again. This kit might be one of my best purchases of the year–it makes packing my makeup bag super simple, keeps me from making overly complicated makeup mistakes I’ll regret when I look at Instagram later, and I’ve even started using makeup a little more often because I know it’s going to stay put.

I ordered my kit at the end of April and it’s now the beginning July, and to be honest, I’m probably not going to be able to use up all of my makeup before its three month expiration date. But now I know what I like out of the kit and what I don’t think I need to get again, like the BB, and frankly, $75 for six products is a lot better than spending what I had been on less portable cosmetics that I wasn’t ever going to be able to use up on time. The one concern I did have about Stowaway was that they didn’t have a recycling program for used products, but lo and behold, they introduced one!

The two things that would be on my Stowaway release wishlist would have to be a clear lip liner and a foundation powder. These two additions for me would make this the ultimate cosmetics kit, because it would give my makeup that much more wearability and longevity for the long days I tend to work. I also wouldn’t mind if they expanded the BB line to include more tones, because as we all know, people come in many shades. Have any of your tried Stowaway or want to share some tips for mixed makeup wearers?


 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET CHRISTINA MARIE TROCHEZ


Christina Marie Trochez, age 23

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?

My mother is French Canadian and my dad is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras!

 

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

Austin, Texas 🙂

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

Yes! I went to the University of Texas at Austin so that community in itself was very diverse as well as the surrounding community in Austin.

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

This is always kind of a loaded question for me! I’ve moved around a lot and each place I lived I had very different experiences; This is probably why I have identity issues! I was born in Delaware and then 11 months later I moved to Gijon, Spain where I grew up for about 5 and a half years. Then I moved to Houston, Texas where I lived for 6 years (the longest time I have lived somewhere!). Houston is what I remember most in terms of the kids I grew up with because in Spain the kids I went to school with were mostly Spaniard. In elementary school in Houston I hung out with the minority kids. In my neighborhood I hung out with an African American girl and Asian American boy. Although my neighborhood and school were predominantly white, I felt as though I identified with the minority kids more. I was teased a lot in school for being “foreign” and chubby (mainly by white kids).

 

In middle school I moved to Waynesboro, Virginia. The kids were mostly white and I was friends with a majority of white kids because after all there wasn’t much diversity there but my best friend from my time there was half black and half white! (we’re still friends to this day :]). Then I moved to Victoria, Texas to a high school that was mostly made up of minority kids but to them I was just “that rich white girl”. They didn’t see me as anything else. I was constantly asked for money because they thought I was just white and because they could tell I came from a good family. This clearly confused me a lot because they didn’t accept me. They didn’t care to ask about where I was from or to see if I was biracial. I had only a handful of friends there and constantly struggled to defend who I was. Luckily I was only there for a year and half. I then went to boarding school in London for my Junior and Senior year. This was an international boarding school with a lot of diversity and I felt at home here.

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

My parents met at their workplace. My mom was a secretary at Dupont and my dad had just started out at a chemical engineer at Dupont.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

At first my mom’s family (who is white) were not as accepting as my mom hoped but it didn’t take long for my dad to win them over 🙂

 

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING BIRACIAL?

Yes; I’ve never had an issues about that with them.

 

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

Definitely! My home is a melting pot of different cultures, not just from my mom and dad’s cultures. We carry on a lot of traditions that we learned about in Spain and all the other places we have lived.

 

WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

Yes, my dad’s first language is Spanish and my mom learned Spanish when we moved to Spain since she had 3 kids to take care of while my dad was at work. However, we really only speak English but have certain phrases or words we only say in Spanish.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

FOOD. That’s the best part 🙂 But also the values and things you learn to be most important in life that are cultural. Like how the Spanish really emphasize eating a large meal with family and friends and how important those relationships are. My dad has taught me many lessons he learned growing up in his household in Honduras like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Always be considerate of others, don’t take advantage of people and most importantly always stay humble. I love everything he taught me. Both my parents also always told me to be grateful. Both of my parents came from low income families so that’s something they didn’t want me to forget.

 

WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?

They incorporated it into my everyday life to a point where it was so normal that when my friends would point certain things out to me that I ate or did or said I was confused because I thought it was normal. My parents would tell me stories about them growing up, they would both cook food for my sisters and I that was specific to meals they ate as children. They never let us forget where we came and taught us to be proud of our different cultures.

 

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? 

Not really. My whole family and I always had friends from all over the world of different races and backgrounds so it wasn’t something that had to be talked about. I never saw those people as any different from me.

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Mixed

 

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?

Honestly, yes. I prefer to date someone with the same cultural background as me or anyone of color really. I feel like I will always relate to those people more than I could with a white person. But Love isn’t something you can control so I try to be open minded!

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

Being mixed means constantly having to defend who you are to people that are not mixed but also being so lucky to have the opportunity to live with different cultures and embrace them to the fullest.

 

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

I have a handful of friends that are mixed. I have learned that we are all literally on the same struggle bus but that people who are mixed are more open minded to learning new cultures since they have been forced to do that all their lives.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

If only I could write a novel on this! Here’s a list of a few:

·       When speaking on POC issues: “But you’re HALF white so your opinion doesn’t really count.”

·       “I forget you’re half Hispanic because you’re basically white.”

·       “Well you’re not really Hispanic because you don’t speak Spanish as fluently”

·       “What are you?” I am a human being -.-

·       “Which side do you identify more with?”

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

For people to stop looking at race as an “issue” and for it to become something that does not have to be talked about so negatively and so often. People are so beautiful no matter what their skin color and we need embrace and uplift these different cultures America has because after all, we are a melting pot of cultures.

 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?

I’m not white enough for white people, but I’m not Hispanic enough for Hispanic people. I hope people read this article and realize how much people that are mixed struggle to have one identity. I will more than likely have identity issues all of my life because of how people treat people like me. They don’t know what to do with us. We don’t fit in a cookie cutter shape category and that really bothers people for some reason.

 

You can follow me on Instagram @realdowntomarsgirl92 if you like mixed girl selfies, plus size fashion and body positivity posts! ;p And follow me on Twitter @MarsGirl92.

Also I feel like my two social media usernames are super important in how I identify because I have always felt alienated from most people and always felt “not normal” as if I came from a different planet because of my identity issues from being biracial. Hence “Mars Girl.” Also I love Outkast and one if their lyrics in the song ‘Roses’ is:

“She needs a golden calculator to divide

The time it takes to look inside and realize that

Real guys go for real down to Mars girls, yeah!”


FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: MEET THE COONS-WALKER FAMILY

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MEET THE COONS-WALKER FAMILY

Lauren Coons, age 23

·       Caucasian (German)

Kody Walker, age 23

·       African American

Kaison Walker/ 10 months

·       Caucasian and African American

 

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Fayetteville, AR; but we are originally from Jefferson City, MO

 

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?

We met through mutual friends when we were 13 and started dating when we were 14.

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

I feel like we have always dealt with racism, but we have never let it affect us. People have always stared at us in public, but we just smile and go on with our day.

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?

I would say that our community is predominately white.

 

ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?

Absolutely! Our families have always supported us; it has never been an issue.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

When I first had Kaison, people would talk about how white he was. I would just have to explain to them that he would get darker with time…

 

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS OLD ENOUGH TO ASK ABOUT RACE HOW WILL YOU EXPLAIN IT?

We will just explain to him that daddy is African American, mommy is Caucasian, and he is a beautiful mixture of both of us.

 

WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE FROM YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?

He is his daddy’s twin!

 

HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TEACHING YOUR CHILD TO BE PROUD OF BEING MIXED?

Literature is a great way to explain things to children. We have already read the book Mixed Me, by Taye Diggs, and will continue to read this book to him. It does a beautiful job explaining how being mixed is a beautiful thing. I also think that we will spend a lot of time with both sides of our families, and he will see how amazing his family is.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

My dream is that America starts to embrace the cultures/races that are in our country. When I was younger, I used to say I don’t see color, until I had a multicultural class in college and learned that it’s okay to see the differences in others, as long as you are not judging them for what they look like on the outside. We should EMBRACE all races and cultures, NOT shy away from it. There are so many different kinds of races and cultures in America, so learn more about each other, where people come from therefore, we can REALLY understand each other. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about different races & cultures because it’s a BEAUTIFUL thing that we are not all the SAME.

 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE?

Although Kaison is mixed, he will still be looked at as “black”, so I would be lying if I said I’m not scared for him. Kody and I get looks all the time when we are out in public, especially when we have Kaison. Racism STILL exists. While I understand not everyone is racist, PLEASE don’t act ignorant and pretend it doesn’t exist. When I first meet people and they don’t know who I’m dating, they will see him or a picture and say to me “oh you’re dating a black guy, I would’ve never known”. Why? Because I’m white, and I talk “white” to you? I can’t date outside of my race? Or when we decided to name our son Kaison, I heard about some girl saying, “oh figures”, like it sounds “black” because it’s different. As we usually just ignore the ignorance and go on with our day, we still SEE it, we still HEAR it. I just hope for my sons future, people stop racially profiling people for the color of their skin. Like I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, it is a BEAUTIFUL thing that we are not all the SAME.”


You can follow Lauren on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

 

OFFICIAL TRAILER FOR ‘LOVING’


Be prepared to be in tears just watching the trailer for Loving. The movie tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, who are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married. This was the couple at the center of the 1967 Supreme Court ruling that overturned laws against interracial marriage.

The film debuted in Cannes a couple months ago and won’t be in theaters until early November. Actors Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga play the Lovings and both have some really poignet lines that are shared in the trailer. 

The Lovings’ lawyer asks Richard: 

“Is there anything you’d like me to say to the Supreme Court justices of the United States?” and Richard replies: “Yeah. Tell the judge I love my wife.”

I also love the when Mildred says:

“I know we have some enemies. But we have some friends too.”

While researching the actors I discovered that Ruth Negga is biracial herself, she was born to an Ethiopian father and an Irish mother. So I would have to imagine this was an especially powerful experience for her. She said in an interview with The Guardian

“Partly my feelings of difference were down to having parents of different races. I had quite a scattered childhood. I was Irish in London, because I had my secondary school education there. I never really fitted anywhere. I didn’t feel it was a negative thing and I was never made to feel different – I just knew I was.”

In the same interview she sites Mildred Loving as a one of her heroes, 

“Mildred shied away from the spotlight completely, but she changed the course of American legal history. All she wanted to do was marry the man she loved. It took nine years. Can you imagine taking on the might of the American legal system? They were poor and fairly uneducated, but they just wanted to be with one another.” 

Even though I know it to be true, it is amazing to me that this is such recent history in our country. This is definitely a movie I will be going to and I will be bringing my 12 year old daughter as well so she can understand the difficult path many multiracial individuals and interracial couples have had. I hope that everyone who has any connection to the multiracial community goes out and supports this movie. The movie will be rated PG-13. 


#Perfect Never- Why Ronda Rousey’s changing up the winner take all motto


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Ronda Rousey was the hottest thing our generation had seen bringing a new face, attitude, spirit, and mold to the world of UFC fighting. In 2015 with guest spot in late night shows, movie cameos, magazine covers, and a 12-0 record, she was undefeated and unmatched. She may have not been everyone’s cup of tea but she brought a competitive edge and unique fierce athleticism to an underserved sport in mainstream media. It was only after her infamous knockout to Holly Holms that set social media ablaze and Rousey was into a corner which she had never been accustomed to in her career…defeat.

Now after her “career defining loss,” there is buzz that she could be returning to the Octagon at the end of 2016 or as early as 2017 possibly facing Amanda Nunes. This amazing new ad that was just dropped Monday definitely teases the prospect of her comeback and is giving the world a possibly humbled Rousey. For an athlete who prided herself on peak performance and commitment to her craft it’s impressive to see her literally taking all the make-up off and taking claim over her flaws. You may not have liked the Rousey of yesteryears but this campaign #PerfectNever gives an ideal that all women and athletes alike can adopt into their own lifestyle. 


NEW NIKE SPOT ‘DA DA DING’ FEATURES LEADING FEMALE, INDIAN ATHLETES


I am totally in love with the new Nike spot ‘Da Da Ding’ by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy India. W+K has long been Nike’s ad agency, but this is the first spot out of the India office. The commercial was directed in a music video style by Francois Rousselet. The beat and the music is amazing, at first I thought it was a Neptunes/Missy collabo but it is actually the rapper Gizzle and producer Gener8ion

The Creative Director on the commercial, Mohamed Rizwan, said in a statement: 

“Sport in India has a massive image problem, particularly for women. What we set out to do is give it a complete makeover by making it cool, accessible and fun. To that end, we commissioned some of the best image makers and musicians, and got together a crew of women that best represent sport in India right now.”

The tone is energetic and uplifting. I love sports and I love to watch badass women breaking stereotypes. It is important for young girls to see strong women from their country, from their cities, destroying barriers and building confidence through sports. 

Actress Deepika Padukone, who played national-level badminton before taking the plunge into acting confirms this message by sharing, 

“Everything I am today and everything I have achieved comes from my years of playing sport. My goals, my commitment, my focus, my dedication, my discipline, my sacrifices, my hard work. All of it, I’ve learnt it all through sport. Sport has also taught me how to handle failure and success. It has taught me how to fight. It has made me unstoppable!”

One part of the video I felt was particularly impactful was when they zeroed in on one of the female athlete’s tanned face with the lyric: 

“I ain’t worried about getting a tan because I’m still just as beautiful man.” 

In many cultures of course lighter skin has been established as what is more beautiful and therefore girls playing outside all day in the sun has been frowned upon. I love that this issue was addressed. 

Here is the group of women featured in the ad: 

The featured athletes L to R: Joshna Chinappa, Shweta Hakke, Rani Rampal, Gabriella Demetriades, Ishita Malaviya, Jaie Bhadane, Deepika Padukone, Naina Mansukhani, Swetha Subbiah, Jyoti Ann Burrett and Tanvie Hans. 
The featured athletes L to R: Joshna Chinappa, Shweta Hakke, Rani Rampal, Gabriella Demetriades, Ishita Malaviya, Jaie Bhadane, Deepika Padukone, Naina Mansukhani, Swetha Subbiah, Jyoti Ann Burrett and Tanvie Hans. 

And if you are like me and can’t get enough of that beat here is the song on Soundcloud! 


BOOK REVIEW: “THE GILDED YEARS” BY KARIN TANABE


The lead character’s real picture from the late 1800s
The lead character’s real picture from the late 1800s

While reading TheSkimm, I stumbled on this book review:

 

“The Gilded Years” by Karin Tanabe

Based on the true story of the first African-American woman to ever go to Vassar College. The catch? No one knew she was African-American. After befriending the school’s Serena van der Woodsen, she has to work even harder at keeping her secret. Think: “Gatsby” meets college meets an impressive beach read.

 

My favorite book genre is historical fiction, my favorite era to read about is early 20th century, and I’m obsessed with women becoming modern and the struggle of Blacks post-slavery and pre-Civil Rights.  This book was perfect.  I have so little time and reading a book is very far down on my list of to-dos, so I rarely make time for this, but making time for this book was worth it.  I didn’t submit blog posts (sorry Jen!!!), to make time to read this book.  Luckily, it is a quick-read.

 

Because this book is based on history, resist the urge to google the lead character’s name.  Information about her life is available online, but the twists and turns of her story won’t be as sweet if you read about her life before finishing the book.  I am impatient, so I did google her, but I’m famous for not minding spoilers.

 

The lead character straddles between different worlds – Black/White, rich/poor – to seek a better future for herself that would be denied her if she did not pretend to be someone she is not.  It also addresses guilt amongst black people who aren’t “representing” and the pressure to be the poster child for a whole group of people.  The author, Karin Tanabe, put considerable time and research into writing this book.  She is a Vassar graduate and searched archives, even using real newspaper headlines printed in the late 1800s in the book.  Definitely read the afterward when you finish the book to gain more insight into how this story was discovered and uncovered.  The descendent of the lead character is doing further research on her family to determine if they are related to Thomas Jefferson, so I don’t think the story ends with this book.

 

One of the reasons I love reading about this era is the description of the times.  I love reading about the clothing, décor, and social activities.  The innocence of courtship and the chivalry of the men are always appealing to me.  I grew up reading Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, so a gloved-hand grazing a man’s arm is so much more up my alley than the explicit sexual encounters you’ll find in Fifty Shades of Grey.

The lead character’s real picture from the late 1800s
The lead character’s real picture from the late 1800s

I highly recommend this book and look forward to hearing what you thought about it in the comments below! You can purchase the book HERE.


 

 

SWIRL KITCHEN: THE BOBA GUYS NYC


One of my favorite things to drink is boba milk tea or as I like to incorrectly call it bubble tea.

There is something magical about little balls of tapioca being slurped through a straw and the sweet taste of your choice of milk tea.

The Bobo Guys in the Lower East Side are game changers when it comes to traditional boba tea shops. Part of their philosophy is to “break cultural barriers” and they are doing just that. It is a melting pot of consumers sucking up their boba’s or homemade jelly. Their drinks are free of any artificial flavors or additives and they don’t use any powders! Real tea people! You really can taste the difference!

Three of my wonderful friends joined me on this adventure.

I tried the Rose Black Tea with Boba.

I love rose tea, but I would never have thought to turn into a boba tea. Fragrant and light and those are some grade A Boba balls!

Alison ordered up a Strawberry Matcha Latte.

Brian got a Salted Honey Cake with Thai iced tea with Almond Jelly!.

Kavin had Horchata and Almond Jelly Tea.

These boba teas were great. I just wish The Boba Guys had a location closer to me.

For more info please check out their website.


NOTEWORTHY BLACK, BIRACIAL INDIVIDUALS


This blog was of course created to celebrate Multiracial Individuals and Families, so we have started to compile lists of well-known people who are mixed race. First up is a list of individuals who are mixed with black- some well-known and others were a surprise to us!

There are TONS more, please leave us a comment with some other individuals and we will add to our list! Remember this list is specifically mixed people who are part black, we will be compiling additional lists for noteworthy individuals of other mixtures so feel free to leave those individuals in the comments as well! 

You can also consider this our Featured Multiracial Individual wish list;) 

Barack Obama. Obviously we had to start with the leader of the free world! Barack was born to a Kenyan father and a white American mother. 
Barack Obama. Obviously we had to start with the leader of the free world! Barack was born to a Kenyan father and a white American mother. 

 

Jennifer Beals. The actress was born to a black father and a white mother.
Jennifer Beals. The actress was born to a black father and a white mother.

 

Frederick Douglass. The abolitionist was born to a black mother and white father. 
Frederick Douglass. The abolitionist was born to a black mother and white father. 

 

Booker T. Washington. The champion for black rights was born to a black mother and white father. 
Booker T. Washington. The champion for black rights was born to a black mother and white father. 

 

Kamala Harris. Harris is the California Attorney General and was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She is the first female, Asian-American and African-American lawyer for the state.
Kamala Harris. Harris is the California Attorney General and was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She is the first female, Asian-American and African-American lawyer for the state.

 

Benjamin Jealous. The former NCAAP President has a black mother and a white father. 
Benjamin Jealous. The former NCAAP President has a black mother and a white father. 

 

Maya Rudolph. The actress has a black mother and a white father. 
Maya Rudolph. The actress has a black mother and a white father. 

 

Lenny Kravitz. The singer has black mother and a white, Jewish father. 
Lenny Kravitz. The singer has black mother and a white, Jewish father. 

 

Lisa Bonet. The actress was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father. 
Lisa Bonet. The actress was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father. 

 

Wentworth Miller. The actor was born to a white mother and black father. 
Wentworth Miller. The actor was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Rashida Jones. The actress was born to a white mother and black father. 
Rashida Jones. The actress was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. The actor, comedian and athlete was born to a black father and a Samoan mother. 
Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. The actor, comedian and athlete was born to a black father and a Samoan mother. 

 

Drake. The rapper was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father.
Drake. The rapper was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father.

 

James McBride. The journalist and jazz musician was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father. 
James McBride. The journalist and jazz musician was born to a white, Jewish mother and a black father. 

 

Jasmine Guy. The actress was born to a Portuguese mother and black father. 
Jasmine Guy. The actress was born to a Portuguese mother and black father. 

 

Albert and Allen Hughes. The Directors were born to an Armenian mother and a black father. 
Albert and Allen Hughes. The Directors were born to an Armenian mother and a black father. 

 

Faith Evans. The signer was born to a black mother and a white father. 
Faith Evans. The signer was born to a black mother and a white father. 

 

Slash aka Saul Hudson. The guitarist was born to a black mother and a white father. 
Slash aka Saul Hudson. The guitarist was born to a black mother and a white father. 

 

Bob Marley. The reggae legend was born to a black mother and white father. 
Bob Marley. The reggae legend was born to a black mother and white father. 

 

Sade. The singer was born to a Nigerian father and white mother. 
Sade. The singer was born to a Nigerian father and white mother. 

 

August Wilson. The playwright was born to a black mother and white father. 
August Wilson. The playwright was born to a black mother and white father. 

 

Zadie Smith. The author was born to a Jamaican mother and white father. 
Zadie Smith. The author was born to a Jamaican mother and white father. 

 

Malcolm Gladwell. The journalist was born to a Jamaican mother and white father. 
Malcolm Gladwell. The journalist was born to a Jamaican mother and white father. 

 

Jordin Sparks. The actress and singer was born to a black father and a white mother.
Jordin Sparks. The actress and singer was born to a black father and a white mother.

 

Derek Jeter. The baseball player was born to a white mother and black father. 
Derek Jeter. The baseball player was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Kimora Lee Simmons. The former model and business woman was born to a Japanese mother and black father. 
Kimora Lee Simmons. The former model and business woman was born to a Japanese mother and black father. 

 

Alicia Keys. The singer was born to a white mother and black father. 
Alicia Keys. The singer was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Kelis. The musician was born to a black father and a Puerto Rican and Chinese mother. 
Kelis. The musician was born to a black father and a Puerto Rican and Chinese mother. 
Halle Berry. The actress was born to a white mother and black father.
Halle Berry. The actress was born to a white mother and black father.

 

Blake Griffin. The basketball player was born to a white mother and black father. 
Blake Griffin. The basketball player was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Jesse Williams. The actor was born to a white mother and black father. 
Jesse Williams. The actor was born to a white mother and black father. 

 

Zendaya. The actress was born to a black father and white mother. 
Zendaya. The actress was born to a black father and white mother.