Christian Smeltzer

Christian Smeltzer – Swade Inc. founder

Christian Smeltzer is the founder of Swade Inc. Swade is a mobile trading platform where users can swap items for other items. Swade mission is to give your belongings a value and to create a market where that value can be leveraged. The best part about it? It’s free. You can open a world of trading possibilities with this mobile app. Smeltzer and his team guarantees you’ll be satisfied. As we speak Swade is currently being designed.

While in high school, Smeltzer was a student coach for the speech team, the debate team, played football and was also nominated for the national honor society; graduating with a 3.8 GPA. After high school, he went to work in a factory, the architectural firm that owned the Millwork, Allstate Insurance Company, Buckle Inc, General Motors Company (GMC), etc. Smeltzer was also a bodyguard in London and Africa in addition to doing small security gigs and bouncing at clubs before he received a job offer in NYC. Smeltzer then moved to NYC and started working as a bookkeeper and admin assistant at a firm on Wall Street, two years later he became the accountant and risk manager for the same Wall Street firm. Later, Smeltzer was promoted to being the junior accountant for a private investigation and executive protection agency in midtown where he has been working for the last 2 years. While Smeltzer has been hard at work, he never gave up on his dreams. Smeltzer’s inspiration for Smeltzer came while trading equipment in his family’s farm. He questioned if there was a better platform for farmers to trade in rural areas. Thanks to his various jobs, and savings, he was able to fund and use his connections to incorporate Swade and has been building it ever since.

“Many people want to invest however many people don’t have the time or understanding or money to invest – but many people have 10-15k worth of stuff in their apartments, so being able to leverage the value of their items would help them grow their net value in an alternate fashion. We’re looking to launch by end of April and we’re giving away premium memberships for free to the first 2000 people who sign up for release at Swade.com. ” – Christian Smeltzer

Currently, Swade is pre-launch and looking for investors but has 80% of the app finished and has a team of 6 people, himself included. The dissertation of the app is a solid-state value trading application where users can trade their items for other items. Swade’s algorithm allows users to calculate how much their items are worth, helping them look at their items differently and become more selective when purchasing. Thanks to Smeltzer and his team, you can open a world of trading possibilities with Swade Inc. 

Awards & Recognition

  • CIO magazines “Top 10 Trading Solution Providers” 
  • Silicon Reviews “Top 50 Leading Companies”
  • The Corporate Vision Excellence Award “Most Influential CEO” in the mobile trading sector.

Find Smeltzer & Swade Inc. on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, & Twitter

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Almond Macaroons

Photo credit google

The first recipe I would like to share with you comes from my study abroad semester in London. A sure life-changing experience I would never forget. This was my favorite snack.

Health Benefits

Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.

Ingredients

  • Ground almonds 8oz  or 250g
  • Castor Sugar 8 oz
  • White of 3 eggs (Vegan – flaxseed, banana, baking soda, etc)
  • A few blanched almonds

Directions 1.) Mix sugar and almonds 2.) beat the egg white slightly and add sufficient to form a paste.3.) With wet hands roll the mixture into small balls.4.) Place on a baking tin, flatten, and put half a blanched almond on top of each.5.) Bake in a moderate over (375 – Regulo No. 4) till set and a light biscuit colour (about 15minutes.

For Brazil Nut Macaroons

Make as above, using ground Brazil nuts in place of the almonds, and put a thin slice of the nut on top of each.

Nadia Jalloh

Nadia Jalloh – Founder & Content Creator

As I make the transition to adulthood, I have only one question, “Who is Nadia?” Over the years I’ve been doing some self-discovery. Just like anyone, I’ve had some trials and tribulations, but I never let that stop from being GREAT. I’ve met some amazing people along the way that have taught me that “when the going gets tough, you get tougher.” I continue to learn from whatever source I can. I love how things present themselves in my life. From coordinating fashion shows, organizing events, designing, teaching, volunteering, hiking, traveling, etc, I love how things present themselves in my life. I appreciate every bit of energy flowing in the essence of who I am becoming.

Attitude’s motto is to “Invest in yourself, and Embrace Your Uniqueness.” Attitude is built on the foundation of inspiration. My purpose for starting “Attitude” is to inspire people to embrace the uniqueness within them. I believe embracing your Attitude begins with your experiences and the choices that you make. MORE COMING SOON.

Follow me on Instagram: Nadia Jalloh

Steps to Con·fi·dent

Nadia Jalloh

Self-confidence is not something you learn overnight. Everything you think, say and do affect your confidence and self-esteem. To establish self-confidence, you must be willing to take control of your life and whatever is holding you back. If you have a setback, do not let it get the best of you. Overcoming the obstacles and challenges you face daily transforms you. Always remember to believe in the validation of yourself before you take any validation from society.

Five (5) Steps to Confidence

  1. Know yourself
  2. Set limitations
  3. Provide words of encouragements
  4. Stay positive
  5. Be humble

Sunflowers

Nadia Jalloh at the National Gallery in London

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls, ” – Pablo Picasso. From the beginning of time, man has been finding answers to the most problematic ideas. Rather than feeding into the morals of wars, and confusion, men decided to pursue the arts. “We believe that art can help the healing process, encourage self-reflection, imagination, and appreciation of beauty” quoted by Fred Slunecka. The arts allow those who feel that they don’t belong in the world, to find a place or a sense of belonging.

” A great work of art inspires people to wax poetic about anything. One look at a magnificently-painted canvas and you can almost hear women swoon or men’s heart flutter. Such is the effect of a few well-placed brush strokes and good choices of color. ” – Bob Danner

We do this by finding our “safe space.” Our safe space allows us to cleanse ourselves from being victims of marginalization, in hopes to find answers within ourselves. The way we do this is finding something that we are most passionate about and sticking to it. TO BE CONTINUED…

Equal Rights Amendment

Remember the Suffragettes? Well, the term “suffragette” according to google search, it was first used in 1906 as a term of derision by the journalist Charles E. Hands in the London Daily Mail to describe activists in the movement for women’s suffrage, in particular members of the WSPU.

The Suffragettes during the 1920s wanted the rights for women to vote, among other forms of feminist waves (1st,2nd, 3rd…) Fast forward to 21st America, We the Women are asking for Equal Rights against all forms of discrimination; sex, race, education, religion, etc.

“The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.” – ERA

Please join us and support the efforts in Virginia, go ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

FOLLOW THE LINK TO LEARN MORE Equal Rights Amendment

SIGN THE PETITION BELOW VAratifyERA petition

Balance Plate

You are what you eat. I say this because as for a proud vegan, nutrients from the foods you eat provide the foundation, structure, function, and integrity of every little cell in your body. From your skin and hair to your muscles, bones, digestive and immune systems, food is a self-serving guide to the human body. One should always be cautious about the food and the things they allow into their body. To help guide you, here are a few tips & notes.

Essential Healthy Diet

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Grains
  4. Proteins (beans, lentil, peas, peanut butter, etc.)
  5. Calcium
  6. Oils

Macro-nutrients (Carbohydrates, Protein, Lipids)

Carbohydrates

  • 45-65% of Calories
  • Important Source of energy
  • Found in Variety of foods.

Protein

  • 10-15% of Calories (200-300)
  • Highest thermic effect
  • High (Complete Proteins): Vegan

Lipids (Fats)

  • 20-35% of Calories (400-700)
  • Less than 10% from Saturated fats.

Micro-nutrients (Vitamins & Minerals)

Micronutrients, as opposed to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), are comprised of vitamins and minerals which are required in small quantities to ensure normal metabolism, growth and physical well‐being. 

  • Needed for Chemical reactions
  • Needs vary: Age, gender, weight
  • Dietary Reference intake DRI

Vitamins

Fat-Soluble, Vitamin A, D, E, K

Water- Soluble, Vitamin B and C

  • Vitamin B: Whole Grains, and Fruits…
  • Vitamin C: Orange, Guava, Sweet Peppers, Strawberries, Kiwi…

Fact of the matter is, no single food contains all of the vitamins and minerals we need and, therefore, a balanced and varied diet is necessary for an adequate intake.

Tip: Looking at nutrition labels and color help.

Check out this Idea List on Amazon:

Mental Breakdowns

Nadia Jalloh in Italy

Question: What are mental breakdowns?

Answer: A nervous or mental breakdown is a term used to describe a period of intense mental distress. During this period, you’re unable to function in your everyday life. This term was once used to refer to a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and acute stress disorder. – Google 

Question: How does it feel to have a mental breakdown?

Answer: Depending on who you are, it can affect you in different ways. According to Psychology today, mental breaks is”just a chance to take a mental and emotional break from the world around us.”

In a way, the body starts to produce messages to send to the brain. These messengers are called Neurotransmitters. They produce the signals that send messages to the brain for it to correct its functions. Which allows it to “boost, and balance signals between neurons, or nerve cells, and other cells in the body.” These chemical messengers can affect a wide variety of both physical and psychological functions including heart rate, sleep, appetite, mood, and fear. Compare to that of the high levels of stress, smoking, drinking, etc. The body itself, needs to create a balance for it to be able to function properly. Studies have shown, that once that is challenged, it can affect our brain & the signals it needs to function.

Question: Do mental breakdowns affect our lives?

Answer: Yes.

Unlike physical health, one can feel the pain when it hits. With Mental health issues, one might not be able to feel it externally. It is an internal pain, I believe we should start addressing more. Although their are not a lot of facts surrounding mental illness, you do not need science to provide you with evidence as to why your health should be your priority. As summer is coming to a closing, and we all plan to return back to school and work, you should keep you in mind before you think of others, make sure you take care of yourself first.

Embrace ‘I’ in Attitude

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Who are you? 

Ask yourself that questions staring into the mirror. 

Describe what you see…Five (5) Things You Should Say to Yourself

Inspired by  Lolly Daskal Blog post I am Confident

  1. I Trust my Intuition
  2. I am Honest
  3. I am Courageous
  4. I am Trustworthy
  5. I am a person of Integrity

We all know the same famous line from The Help, “ You is kind, You is Smart, You is Important. Well, scratch that. We are all kind, smart, and important in our own little way. Ask yourself, what makes you unique? Without using the common words to describe yourself,  what can you say about yourself? What do you value about yourself?

My name is Nadia Jalloh, I was named after my grandmother, and a nurse that helped deliver me. The name Nadia means “hope.” “Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn’t permanent” – Jean Kerr. In Arabic, Nadiyyah means “tender”, “delicate” or “the calling”. Urban dictionary would describe me as a beautiful, sweet, kind, loving girl who is all about peace. Nadia wants everyone happy, sounds accurate… I am the Founder and Creative Director behind Attitude. “Attitude” motto is to “Invest in yourself, and Embrace your Uniqueness!.

“There is a limited box that we are put in, and if we live by that limited definition, we miss out on a lot of who we are. But it takes taking the time to know who you are to be able to deal with the onslaught of negative messages that you’re bound to get. So for me, I came into this with a pretty clear sense of myself. And some of that comes with age. Some of that comes with experience.”

As I make the transition to adulthood, I have only one question, “Who is Nadia?” Over the years I’ve been doing some self-discovery.. Just like anybody,  I have had some trials and errors in my life, but I’ve met some amazing people, and I continue to learn from whatever source I can. I love how things present themselves in my life. I appreciate every bit of energy flowing in the essence of who I’m becoming.

“She remembered who she was and the game changed.” – Lalah Deliah

What I see when I look in the mirror:

I AM AFRICAN

Despite the many labels and identities in the world imposed on me, before I knew I was black, I knew I was Fula. What does it mean to be Fula?  Culture came first before the color of my skin. My confidence and beauty come from my culture.

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I TRUST MY VALUES

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I AM STRONG

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Images by: Eze Ebiringa 

WHO ARE YOU?

Embrace Self

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Think about the things that are important to you. Make your values worth investing in. Invest in yourself.

“Myself,” use this Attitude as your key motivator going into the New Year. I want you to make 2018 the year you put the writings into actions. 2018, I want you to make it all about you! As simple as it may sound, it is difficult and requires time, patience, and motivation.

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Invest in yourself this year by putting yourself first. If you don’t look out for yourself, who is going to look out for you? Invest in your true potential.

Fest Africa 2017

FestAfrica is a FREE cultural festival hosted by Non-Profit Afropolitan Youth Association. Afropolitan Youth Association (AYA) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  The primary purpose of FestAfrica is to celebrate African culture and heritage in Maryland through authentic music, dance, arts and crafts, food, and fashion.”

This year FESTAFRICA celebrated its 15th Anniversary, it has grown to become DMV’s largest African Festival with over 8,000 attendees. The 15th FESTAFRICA 2017 Anniversary – was held on Saturday, August 12th  and Sunday, August 13th  in Downtown Silver Spring. The festival featured music by amazing Local and International African Artists; Lorraine Klassen, Jay Cube, Tolumide, Mr.TZ, G SUAVE, OWO just to name a few, the festival also featured dance performances from; Jollof Boys, Trybe Dancerz, Skelewu Boyz, AIRF/Tribal Dancers, African cuisines, clothes vendors, games for children, and my personal favorite a fashion show directed and hosted by Jacqueline Lumax along with her Co-host; Willie Ebo, and Model Coordinators; Yasmin Curley, and Nadia Jalloh (Me). This year we featured designers from Uganda, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, and Republic Democratic of Congo. It was truly an honor to have been one of the Model Coordinators for FESTAFRICA third (3rd) year in a row. The experience has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. The designers and models were all amazing, I can’t wait to see what next year will bring. If you would like to learn more about FESTAFRICAUSA

AnnaTeiko

AnnaTeiko Designs is a contemporary clothing line that fuses the eccentric pattern of West Africa with the contemporary flair of American culture. The line is known for its use of rich, vibrant fabrics and the highest level of hand-sewn quality. Anna aims to bring the rich and colorful regalia of the African culture into the western world by exposing this generation to comfortable and modernized African print at an affordable price. Most pieces are hand sewn right here in the USA, while others are made back home, in Ghana. Each custom piece designed in Ghana creates training and employment opportunities for at least fifteen young women in the country. By purchasing an item of clothing from AnnaTeiko designs, seamstresses and designers in Ghana also reap the benefits.

TeddiesAfrique

Rosemary Orok Oyo, Founder and Creative Director of Teddies Afrique, an upcoming Nigerian fashion brand for unique men and women clothing. Rosemary has great leadership, marketing, and communication skills which have helped her brand to grow. She is a Christian, writer and a motivational speaker who takes pride in inspiring the youths in her community.

OJeanne

Jeanne Oti, CEO of OJeanne, is a Ghanaian based designer which seeks to push the African fashion industry forward to the international market. This year, she uses the “Everyday Africa” theme to create a special Woodin collection that exhibits smart casual pieces that allow you to dress it up or down to suit the different occasions – even in the same day! It’s fun, practical, you will feel both sexy and sophisticated in her garments. So, if you want to stand out, feel comfortable and mix and match pieces, look out for OJeanne Clothing.

LavieByCk

LavieByCk founder Claude Kameni was raised in Cameroon where her passion for fashion was cultivated. As a child, she was extremely creative with clothing and art. After relocating to the United State, she was blessed to have the opportunity to mold and enhance her skills. Her personal dedication rubs off in her creations and the smiles they create. For Claude, creating and designing clothing is an intimate process. She is mindful of the theme, style, and environment where her items will be worn. When she is ready to cut cloth, she treats it as important as her own skin. From her inner inspiration, she creates clothing that brings a new idea of life to this generation. Lavie means “life” in French.

Through years of practice, Claude has been able to create dresses, gowns, skirts, shirts for both women and men respectively. Her curiosity in style allows her to bridge different ideas into brand new creations. She has studied various techniques and designs that give her the international style that is extremely eye-catching.  Her unique sense of urgency creates a compassionate relationship between her and her clients. At the age of 21, Claude has been able to design attire for A-List celebrities across the globe.

Twins Fashion

Justus, CEO of Twins Fashion International, a clothing retail company that specializes in acquiring and developing international fashion. They acquire their garments from various countries such as Dubai, India, China, Ghana, and Senegal. Justus discussed “In the above countries we work with designer and manufactures to either create our store’s custom design or purchase ready-made items. To keep items exclusive, we tend not restock the same items from our last inventory.” Twins fashion International number #1 priority is to enhance customer satisfaction. “From the moment, a customer enters our store we greet them properly with a welcoming vibe. We constantly engage and interact with them so the same welcoming and family-friendly energy are kept until they leave the store. This is essential because due to the variety of our products customers tend to have many questions.” Justus mentioned. Twins Fashions has just about everything for anyone, you will surely walk away with a smile.  

LoyWithLove

Loy Bogerabatyo, Ugandan designer, the passion she has for her clothing line inspired her to name it, LoyWithLove. Everything she makes is truly made with love. Every design is well thought out and made to perfection. LoyWithLove mission is to continue to spread African fashion with modern styles to all cultures and people all over the world. Whether you are African or not you will have the confidence to rock any piece in this collection like it’s your own.

Sandy Chic Couture

Sandy Ouedraogo, founder and creative director of Sandy Chic Couture, represents Burkina Faso fashion. Her mission is to bring back traditional African wear with a chic twist, “I want to represent Burkina Faso in the different light. The most important thing to me is showing our young girls and boys that THEY CAN DO IT TOO!” Sandy mentions. She was inspired by her grandmother who was a seamstress and Aunty (Hortensia) who is also a designer, and her parents. She believes that we are all gifted and have a limited time on earth. Before I ended the interview, Sandy stated, “Your passions and dreams are not by mistake, tap into them and push forward. If you don’t, who will?

SL Fashion Design

SL Fashion Design by Sifa Love is a USA based fashion designer that has been designing for more than 10 years. Her line is inspired with all women in mind. She believes that no matter what shape, size or age every woman deserves to look and feel beautiful. “We give women opportunity to look fashionable. Sifa Love emphasized, “My goal is with every dress I design is to make that woman feel good about herself.” She sponsors many organizations which support breast cancers, children with disabilities, educations and beauty pageants like Miss African USA, Miss Congo USA, Miss Guinea USA, Miss Tanzania USA and much more.

Stop Zone

“Something strange happens when you decide to not let your fear be bigger than you decide to not let your fear be bigger than your dreams and just take action.”– Luisa Zhou

We all go through different phases and points in our lives that change us dramatically. The moment of realization I had to step outside of my comfort zone came three years ago when I received my first acceptance letter. Because I am a homebody, my hardest decision came when it was time to choose a school. I wanted more than anything to go to an out-of-state school because deep inside I knew I had to grow on my own.  My name does mean “Hope” after all, hope for the best.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

That summer after deciding to attend Hollins University, I also decided to do a little experimenting by pursuing my childhood dream of modeling. I was able to model in my first fashion show with FESTAFRICA USA. I stepped out my comfort zone and I did different things and honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. Since my first FESTAFRICA show, I went on to modeling in more shows, assisting, and interning for different organizations and even landed my first few paid gigs You can’t be great by doing small things, and I witness this when I saw how hard the women around me worked. As Newton says, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I’ve developed and learned to deal with challenges head-on as I embark on a costly journey to build my dreams from scratch.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eaglerly and without fear for newer and richer experience”.- Eleanor Roosevelt

When you find yourself on autopilot and constantly complaining about your life, you know it’s time to raise the bar and add a little spice to your life. Choosing to move out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to get better is a choice of growth. You can never regret a decision to become better. It not only strengths you but motivates you to work harder. I honestly believe stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to happiness because that’s exactly what it did for me. You start learning and advancing from your experiences. Every day I challenge myself there are two options that enter my mind: keep going and reach for the top or quit. If you know me you know I love hiking, and I never turn my back on a great mountainous view even if that hike turns out to be 8 miles in the dark in a confederate county of Virginia. Nothing beats that view when you rise above it all.

One of my all-time favorite quote goes by saying, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It is a constant reminder to stand strong when tested and to keep swimming away from my comfort zone because it is always an opportunity for growth. After stepping out of my comfort zone I found that I had alot better sense of myself and what I’m willing to accept in my personal, and business relationships. I found more opportunities being opened for me to explore, knowing the women I am inspiring to become I couldn’t just settle for anything or the first offer being put on the table for me. As a growing young professional, I cannot stress how important it is know yourself and push past your boundaries and explore all of the things life has to offer. After all people do say your 20s are your selfish years, so be selfish with your time, energy, and all aspects of you in order to learn about YOU.

When you find yourself on autopilot and constantly complaining about your life, you know it’s time to raise the bar and add a little spice to your life. Choosing to move out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to get better is a choice of growth. You can never regret the decision to become better. It not only strengths you but motivates you to work harder. I honestly believe stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to happiness because that’s exactly what it did for me. You start learning and advancing from your experiences.

Every day I challenge myself there are two options that enter my mind: keep going and reach for the top or quit. If you know me you know I love hiking, and I never turn my back on a great mountainous view even if that hike turns out to be 8 miles in the dark in a confederate county of Virginia. Nothing beats that view when you rise above it all.  One of my all-time favorite quote is, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It is a constant reminder to stand strong when tested, and to keep swimming away from my comfort zone because it is always an opportunity for growth.

After stepping out of my comfort zone I found that I had a lot better sense of myself and what I’m willing to accept in my personal, and professional life. I found more opportunities being opened for me to explore, knowing the women I am inspiring to become I couldn’t just settle for anything or the first offer being put on the table for me. As a growing young professional, I cannot stress how important it is to truly know yourself and push past your boundaries and explore all of the things life has to offer. After all, people do say your 20s are your selfish years, so be selfish with your time, energy, and all aspects of you in order to learn about you.

The choice is yours.

Image by Kevin Lukusa

Con·fi·dence

Confidence: The freedom of doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.

Self: The identity, character, or essential qualities of any person or thing.

Self-confidence is not something you learn overnight. Everything you think and say and do affect your confidence and self-esteem. To establish self-confidence, you must be willing to take control of your life and whatever is holding you back. If you have a setback, do not let it get the best of you. Overcoming the obstacles and challenges you face daily transforms you. Believing in the validation of ourselves before we can take any validation from society. Stopping and taking an internal survey is one of the few things you have control over.

“Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.” -Tina Fey

No one is born with “confidence” or self-confidence, self-love, or high self-esteem. We all have flaws, it’s just flawed differently. This image of a “perfect woman” is NOT REAL.  Confidence comes from self-love. I’ve been learning to love myself more than ever. I never looked up to the skinny girls that were my size, I always been fonder of “confident” women. No matter what size, you will know when you see a self- confident woman. You should always take pride in the amazing features you were born with despite what we see in the media which finds every excuse to kill your confidence.

“A girl on fire is somebody who is completely herself.” — Alicia Keys

The shoot was inspired by my continues path to “Self-discovery” and “Self-Confident”. I learned that day before the pictures can come out the way I like I had to be comfortable with my own body. It is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. What is beautiful to one person may not be as radiant to another. With that being said, build yourself, nobody else can build you. “Everything that you want to be you already are, and you are simply on the path of discovering it.”  — Alicia Keys

Advisory/Warning Note: This is my journey and how I gained my confidence. The advice given on this blog may not work for you. It is called self-love and self-confidence. You must find what works for you.

Image by Kevin Lukusa

Golden Gala

 

A few months back I told myself I wasn’t going to do anything else with fashion; however,  we all know that I can’t do that since I secretly love them. I love being involved whether it is attending a fashion show or being involved in one. It is different being the observer. You start to notice how all the fashion shows have the same structure and ideas. My secret love  became boring; I would  observe the  same old walk and runway. I craved  something different that gave our relationship a little spontaneity.  This is when the GOLDEN GALA came to livening things up.

Golden Gala is an event to celebrate Ghana’s 58th Independent founded by Fredrick Author. The event occurred on Saturday,  March 7th 2015. It was held at the Sunset room at the National Harbor. The featured designers included Yaw Boateng, Annateiko, and Bernan Doll, the jewelry designer included UniquebyReelia. I was obsessed with all the  garments I was able to wear. What made this Fashion Show so different from the rest, besides being coordinated by the AMAZING Jacqueline Lumax, the fashion Director, Rita Drayton the female coordinator, Konan Cedric Coffi , the male Model Coordinator, was the message, runway style, and hard work behind it. There were a few mishaps, but nothing the team couldn’t fix with all fashions shows not everything will go as planned.

Ghana is known for its dynasties and class, so it was only right to bring forth an event that exudes class and sophistication and culture thru music, fashion, food, comedy, dance, etc. This was just some of the many talents used to showcase how beautiful Ghana is and all it has to offer. Not only was the event fun, but we had a great team of people involved. I met a lot of great minds that day, I learned quite a few things, and tasted some foods that weren’t so welcoming. Here are a few behind the scenes. After a long day eventful day I couldn’t wait to be home with a nice cup of hot tea, my laptop, and my blanket,  watching all the amazing fashions shows highlight setting dressed up for events.

Pre-Golden Gala

A week ago I was presented with a great opportunity. Like many opportunities, I’ve been presented with began with hard work, dedication, and a sprinkle of passion. I am so proud and excited to announce that I will be part of 2015 Golden Gala Celebrating Ghana’s 58th Independence Day along with some other awesome models & designers on March 7th. I am just as excited as you. As I prepare for this event, there are some fittings needed to be done, designers to meet, interviews, photo-shoots to attend, etc. It is all overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, it is so much fun.

And Still I rise

My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart. Maya Angelou

In honor of Black History Month, read a masterpiece by Dr. Maya Angelou. Marguerite Annie Johnson Angelou (April 4, 1928 to May 28, 2014), known as Maya Angelou, was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009.

In her own words.

Still I rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Dr. Angelou gave the world something to think about. Thank you for the rich legacy, positive, and beautiful works you have left behind. I feel touched as well as motivated by every piece. No matter how challenging life may be, “STILL I RISE.”

Dr. Maya Angelou
(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
Rest in peace, Phenomenal Inspirational Woman!

Tribal Influence

I want to influence girls to embrace their natural beauty. That was one of the various messages I wanted to capture during this shoot. When taking pictures, it is crucial for me to embrace my natural beauty. My photographer Tobi was great at capturing the moment.

What I love about the shoot the most was, no idea was too big, small nor crazy, just go with the flow. Can’t ever go wrong with neutral natural elements and tons of texture. I also I didn’t mind a few cuts and bruises.

Check out his Tumblr: http://heytobsphotography.tumblr.com

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/brauy91663cardy/AACLDio24IznO0r8LWIsAg_ya?n=199251063&oref=e

 

Make Progress

“What are your goals for the New Year?” Goals! They are a topic I hold very close to my heart. In honor and celebration of the New Year, also my birthday, I think this is a conversation we should all be having even if we might not have the same goals and ambitions. We should all have goals because we all have passions, talents, and dreams. We want to aspire others even if it might sound cliche.  A majority of the people I know wait until the new year to set goal; however, I don’t think this is a wise strategy. I do not wait until the end of the year to make goals; I make them as I go.

Goals are something you can’t escape since they are all around us and everyone has them. It can be a short term or long term goals. It can be difficult talking about your goals, but it is something I have personally grown comfortable with discussing.

For about four years now, I have had a plethora of issues to deal with. I know, however, I am not alone. The years 2010 had a rough beginning and a rough end. The start of 2014 had been no different, but after many years of dealing with these issues, I know how to handle myself when things get rough. There are only 2 choices: MAKE PROGRESS OR MAKE EXCUSES. My main focus for this year is to try and do different things outside of my comfort zone, meet different people, travel, build up my network and last but not least the most important GRADUATE! In 2014, I made it a mission of mine to embrace my natural beauty, and my herbalist side, so far I have succeeded. Learning and growing each day, I couldn’t be any happier.

My advice, write down your goals and start now. If you are stuck ask yourself “What can I do today to get one step ahead? However small, closer to achieving my goals?” Write something you can accomplish each day to see the progression. Every action begins with a plan. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “do one thing every day that scares. Start with simple goals then progress to more complex goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achieve them. You don’t have to share them with the world. I can’t say I have goals for the new yea, but I am always taking steps in progression. I am so excited to continue to make progress in all areas of my life. My dreams are my goals in motion. I never stop STRIVING-Big or Small!

 

Welcome

Since I am new to the blogging community. I thought I start with the very basic; introducing myself. My name is Nadia, and my favorite color is pink.

I appreciate every bit of energy flowing in the essence of who I am becoming. I started this blog on January 23, 2015, after long years of debating about starting something new, what could I do that truly represent me as a person and ways in which I can step out my comfort zone. I am not a “pro” at all.

As I make the transition from a teenager to a grown adult, this is a good outlet for me. I’ve been doing some of my best and worst work over the past years. I’ve met some amazing people, and I continue to learn from whatever source I can. This blog is about my thoughts and the ways in which I look at life.

My goal for starting this blog is to build a safe space for myself, as well as others. I think your greatest strength in life is to embrace and appreciate yourself. If you would like to share this blog page with anyone, please be my guest. #EmbraceAttitude

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