The Traveling Quirk: Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina

August 31, 2015
The best thing in the world for me is when I get a chance to start paying my mother back for all of the support she has given me my whole life. 

Most people wait for decade years to do it big for their parents' birthdays (50, 60, 70...); however, I know my mother better than that. This year, she turned 49 years old and I knew that she would want to start this new birth year off right. In her eyes, it's not only a birthday, it's her last year as a 40-something, so that's a "big deal".

My brothers and I wanted to make sure that this was a birthday that she'd never forget, so we surprised her with a stay at a hotel resort that she has always wanted to go to: The Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina. I enjoyed my discounted stay at The Grandover Resort a little too much and took at least one hundred pictures. I've refined my experience at this luxury stay to a few pictures and description, but know that this weekend at the resort was absolutely magical.
My brothers and I wanted to make sure that we kept my mom's stay at the hotel a surprise, so I checked into the hotel a few hours beforehand for a sneak peak.

6 FREE Ways To Support Black-Owned Businesses

August 28, 2015
I know that I'm not the only one out there that wants to help Black businesses, but sometimes the way my bank account is set up prevents that from happening. Well, fear not! There are several ways that you can help Black businesses survive while still making sure that your bills are paid. Here are 6 FREE ways to support Black-owned businesses:

Quirky, Brown Chick: Jelisa Jay Robinson

August 27, 2015
If I had it my way, all of the quirky, brown chicks of the world would come together, become friends and sing kumbaya while listening to Solange and drinking craft beer. Until that day comes, I present to you the Quirky, Brown Chick series. Meet Jelisa Jay Robinson of Black Girl, Latin World.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
I describe my personal style as a mix of earthly brown, sleek Black and pretty pink.  I love wearing simple outfits and dark wash jeans. Every once in a while, I will rock a dress.  I love shirts with lace and fantastic prints.  I just wear whatever catches my eye and looks great.

2. What song are you vibing with right now?
I can't stop listening to "Dale" by Los Rakas.  The beat in infectious.  Also, Chino y Nacho's "Me Voy Enamorado" because it is a super fun jam!

Why You Should Date Someone Who is The Sushi To Your Ice Cream Cone

August 26, 2015
When you hear the words 'ice cream' and 'sushi' in the same sentence, your first thought is probably a stomach ache waiting to happen, but hear me out.

Ice cream is a safe choice. It's traditional, dependable and besides a few added nuts and sprinkles, what you see is what you get.

Sushi on the other hand is a more adventurous option. It's varied, a bit radical, and you usually have to take time to read a label to see all the ingredients inside this little seaweed roll.

Matthew is the sushi to my ice cream cone. 

On first glance, we may not seem a likely fit, but we are actually perfect together. As the ice cream in this relationship, I keep Matt grounded with my more traditional thinking. We always joke that if it wasn't for me, Matt may have not graduated from college because I was always there bugging him to stay focused and organized. I challenge Matt to think responsibly and to plan for the future.

On the other hand, Matt, as the sushi in our relationship, forces me out of my shell and encourages me to see the world. He keeps me social and alive with his random behaviors and middle of the week social gatherings. If it weren't for Matt, I would probably stay locked up in our apartment all day reading medical books and blogging.

Why do sushi and ice cream go together so well in relationships? These two personalities keep things interesting yet stable. It's like a balancing act. If two ice cream cones were together, life may not be all that exciting and if two sushi people were together, it is possible that they would never slow down and end up crashing and burning. Also, there are so many different varieties of ice cream and sushi, therefore it takes time and effort to find the right combination for you (or maybe you will get sick). For some reason, I have always attracted sushi people, not only as partners but as friends as well. Looking around you and seeing what type of people you attract is a good indication of what your real values are, which can help you when seeking a relationship.

So, what about you? Are you the sushi or the ice cream cone in your relationships?

Confessions of an Introverted Blogger: I May Not Be Ready To Make It Big

August 25, 2015
During the #ConfessionsOfABlackBlogger twitter chat, the topic of introverted, Black bloggers came up:

In the blogging world, being an introvert is thought to be the nail in the coffin of any blogger's career. It almost seems like an oxymoron: how can a person that is suppose to build a lasting presence online, not be the most comfortable with socializing? Welp people, this is how:

I've never used my typing powers for evil or to slay anyone on the internet, but my typing fingers are too social for their own good. Unfortunately, that hasn't translated well to my mouth or my brain when I have to social for more that 45 mins with people. Throughout my life, I have had to force myself to be extroverted because I know that is a necessary trait to thrive in this type of world; however, being extroverted is definitely not a native trait.

Just how introverted was I? I use to rehearse phone calls when I would have to schedule my doctor's appointments or call the pizza man. At restaurants, I would replay in my head exactly what I wanted to say to the waitress and would hope that she wouldn't ask me to speak up, which would shatter my confidence. I use to write my friends letters as a way to argue with them because I knew that my feelings would never translate if we had a spoken argument. I could go on and on about how introverted I was (and still am), but the point that I am trying to make is that I have definitely come a long way. I'm at a point now where I have dedicated relationships with my Twitter friends and can collaborate with other bloggers. But have I come far enough?

As much as I try to not let fear run my life, sometimes I slip into moments of self doubt. After I published my post on 200+ AMAZING Black Bloggers, my pageviews increase dramatically and my inbox exploded. I am so happy that the post went viral for the sake of the bloggers featured on the list; however this sudden pop of fandom definitely made me ask myself if this introverted blogger was ready for all of the attention.

Here is why I may not be ready for my blog to make it big yet:

The Melanated Bosses Series: Neosha Gardner of CreateHER Stock

August 24, 2015
Inspired from the "Melanated Goddesses" movement, I present to you the Melanated Bosses Series: a series highlighting young, brown woman bosses from all over. Meet Neosha Gardner, the creator of CreateHER Stock.
1. For those who don't know, please tell us about your entrepreneurial ventures!
Well, I was told my government name is Neosha, lol. I am what I like to call, a multi-passionate entrepreneur and lively young mama. I own a couple of blogs where I chat about business and growing your influence for my brand design business, HUNCreative - as well as my own personal lifestyle blog, The RNG, where I curate content on all things beauty, natural hair, motherhood, and love for the simple things in life.

I also recently launched a niche stock photo site, CreateHER Stock, where myself and several others are on a mission to provide quality and authentic images for bloggers and creatives of color.

2. What inspired you to start CreateHer Stock?
I was inspired out of frustration last summer when I wanted to outsource an image for a blog post but couldn't find one that would resonate or make sense. I often heard many women complain about having issues with finding great images for women like us (including myself) so I got up one day and said, "let me fix this" - thus, CHS was born.

Solange Sundays-Losing You & Aviator Brewing Company

August 23, 2015
Picture adapted from COMPLEX
For those who are regulars on my blog (first off, thank you!), you know that I am always saying how I wish that all of the Quirky, Brown Chicks of the world could gather together and listen to Solange while drinking craft beer. Well, I am trying to make that dream a reality on QBL with Solange Sundays. For now, I'll call us the 'Quirky, Brown Chick Club", or QBC Club for short. There is only one rule to follow as a part of this clique: on Sundays, we listen to Solange. Cue the Mean Girls Scene!

Losing You

So there is another catch to this club. If the only beer that you have ever tried was the common six packs that can be found at any gas station, this club is going to help you develop your taste. If you think that all beer taste like sour water, you have not been drinking the right stuff. If you are ever in North Carolina and in the mood for drinking a good beer, make sure to get your hands on anything from the Aviator Brewery. One of my favorites is their draft ale, Hot Rod. At 6.1%, you are sure to have a fun time (most beers are only 4-5%).

Get the T-shirt
Have you checked out my Spreadshirt shop, Quirktastic? One of my favorite t-shirts is the shirt below. If an object could personify a person, this shirt would be it for me. Click here to buy it!
Thanks for tuning in this Solange Sunday! You are officially a part of the club. Stay Quirky!

31 Tweets From The #ConfessionsOfABlackBlogger Twitter Chat That Were Too Real

August 21, 2015
Did you tune into the #ConfessionsOfABlackBlogger Chat? If not, you definitely missed out on some amazing conversation and fellowship between Black bloggers all over the world (shout out to our bloggers in the UK, Africa and Australia!). Don't worry though. Today, I'll be your friend that recaps that juicy part of the sitcom you missed when you took a bathroom break.

Guuuurl (or boooooy, you know, if you are a boy), this is what you missed:



Quirky, Brown Chick: Martha Ngatchu

August 20, 2015
Quirky, Brown Chick: Martha Ngatchu
If I had it my way, all of the quirky, brown chicks of the world would come together, become friends and sing kumbaya while listening to Solange and drinking craft beer. Until that day comes, I present to you the Quirky, Brown Chick series. Meet Martha of  It’s in the Details, Dahhling.
Quirky, Brown Chick: Martha Ngatchu
1) How would you describe your personal style?
That’s a tricky one. I feel like my personal style is always evolving. I generally gravitate towards minimalist looks. I would definitely say I like a sleek and tailored kind of look but I also love denim and leather jackets. It appeals to my inner tomboy, but then my girly side comes out with brighter colours and A-line skirts. I do love a good heel though. 

200+ AMAZING Black Bloggers By Category

August 16, 2015
With so many Black bloggers out there, you would never know it looking in popular magazines and highly publicized blogging events. It seems that in certain settings, Black bloggers don't get the recognition that they deserve, even if the quality of their work is at an equal or higher level than their non-Black fellow bloggers. Many Black bloggers, both new and well established, have dropped out of the running, for the simple fact that people aren't reading what they are saying, not because what they are saying isn't interesting, but because no one knows that they are out there.

Below is a list of over 200 Black bloggers separated by category. All of the bloggers on this list were hand chosen for their clean design, quality writing and beautiful pictures. Yes, I will agree that 200 is an over-exaggerated list; however, that is the point. Some of the bloggers on this list are already house hold names, though most are not. I am hoping that this list of bloggers will help both readers to find something new to read and also businesses to find Black bloggers to partner with.

Quirky, Brown Chick: Shikaina Jacob

August 14, 2015
If I had it my way, all of the quirky, brown chicks of the world would come together, become friends and sing kumbaya while listening to Solange and drinking craft beer. Until that day comes, I present to you the Quirky, Brown Chick series. Meet musician and  YouTube Vlogger, Shikaina Jacob.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as casual and comfortable however  my clothing has to fit and fall in the right places. It still has to look put together. This summer I've been really into vintage high-waited shorts and crisp white crop tops or button down shirts with gold accents. My parents were missionaries so growing up we didn't really have a budget for clothes. My mom however had a fabulous beauty queen upbringing and would not compromise. She learned how to sew thus we were never short of beautiful clothing. It taught me that all you need to look good is creativity and a little skill. I don't really follow clothing trends, instead I tailor my own clothes and mainly shop at thrift stores. I wear my clothes, they don't wear me.  
2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about two things. Social justice and music. I hope that does not sound cliche but both grip me. It has a lot to do with my missionary upbringing. Standing up for the marginalized was something my family faced on a daily basis and of course the wonderful dose of gospel music that every Sunday school brat gets. I see one as an inspiration and the other as a means.

The Melanated Bosses Series: Charell Star

August 10, 2015
Inspired from the "Melanated Goddesses" movement, I present to you the Melanated Bosses Series: a series highlighting young, brown woman bosses from all over. Meet Charell Star from A Girl in a Dress.
1. Tell us about your entrepreneurial ventures!
I am an entrepreneurship and lifestyle blogger. I write about business, fashion, beauty and technology for my site A Girl In A Dress, Mommy Noire and Sister 2 Sister Magazine. I also do influencer partnerships with brands and organizations and moderate panels at events.

2. Did you experience any unforseen struggles when starting your business?
I am a full-time Public Relations professional, so balancing my career with my business was challenging at first. I had to take my organizational skills to the next level and seek out help with projects. The experience has strengthened my ability to take on larger tasks and projects successfully.

Let's Take Over Pinterest With #MelanatedPins

August 09, 2015
As much as I love Pinterest, one thing that I cannot stand is typing in "Black fashion"or "Black hairstyles" and finding nothing but white women in black t-shirts and dresses with black colored hair.

Let's work together to make a change.

Hashtags have been revolutionary to streamlining content and discovering new ideas, which is what Pinterest is all about. That's why I have decided to create the hashtag #MelanatedPins to help Black bloggers and creatives share their content with people who are trying to find it. As a blogger, it can definitely feel that the blogging world is fully saturated, and that feeling of saturation and under-representation is even more present in the Black/Brown blogging community. Hopefully the #MelanatedPins movement will pick up and help Black bloggers everywhere make their mark on Pinterest.

How to get involved:
Simply add the hashtag #MelanatedPins to all of your pins concerning Black fashion, Black beauty, Black issues, DIY projects from a Black blogger, recipes from a Black foodie...I think you get the point.

I can't wait to get started and to see what everyone pins. Off to Pinterest!
(P.S. It takes Pinterest a few days to bookmark your pin under the hashtag).

Bipolar Black Mama.

August 09, 2015
This is a topic that I have been very hesitant to write about, especially amidst the Angry, Black Woman Stereotype and because not all or even most Black mothers struggle with mental illness; however, this is an issue that we need to address.

Get a group of Black people together, start talking about childhood and you will see that almost everyone has the same story about their mom growing up.
"There was no timeout in my house, there were only butt-whoopings!" "I know that if I ever disrespected my mama, I would not be living anymore!" These renderings of our childhood become ways to unite us as a community, as it is great to know that someone else knows your pain (literally).

Now, I'm not here to take a stance on whether whooping your child or putting them in timeout is a better parenting practice (my parents definitely didn't "spare the rod"); however, I do want to talk about when the discipline turns into abuse, and more specifically mental abuse.

I was talking to a fellow blogging friend a few weeks ago and we had a long conversation about bipolar disorder among black mothers. I've had several friends laugh and say that their mothers must be bipolar because it seems like something switches in their head and they black out whenever they get mad. Bipolar disorder is a lot more common than some people think, with over 3 million people diagnosed every year. Unfortunately, seeking help through therapy isn't yet as accepted as a part of our culture. Plus, imagine trying to tell a mad and crazy mom that she needs to seek mental help (I can't imagine that conversation going well). So what's the result for the children of the bipolar Black mama? Those rash moments of unshaken rage plummets their self-confidence, no matter how many times the mama tries to smooth it over as if it never happened. When this type of mental abuse is continued throughout adolescence and young adulthood, for instance for college students who live at home during breaks, the transition to being perceived as an adult is a blurred line that is hard to be obtained.

Discipline should never span to mental abuse. A child should never be called out of their name, told that they are unintelligent, feel that they are hated or fear going home because of verbal abuse. Discipline should correlate directly to an action and should be civil. No one that you love should ever be slapped across the face or have objects thrown at them out of anger.

Also, one thing that some parents forget to do is follow up with the child after they receive discipline. You can't go from smacking your kid and calling them every horrible name in the book to asking them to go shopping with you and act like nothing just happened. This causes anger and resentment that can be carried into adulthood.

I can talk about how wrong it is to mental abuse children and why we should not do it; however, the bottom line is that there are several people out there who have been mentally abused by their parents and are currently living in the aftermath.

But, you can't talk bad about your mama, right? She put a roof over your head, provided for you because nobody else would and sacrificed so much to raise you.
This is the internal struggle that I'm sure several people experience, but it's one that needs to be talked about so that we can grow from it.

A hostile home environment can cause detriment to a child's self confidence and affects them even outside of the home. Mental abuse stems from the abusers mental illness and can turn into a viscous cycle if the underlying problem is not addressed. If you are or have suffered from mental abuse from a parent or family member, it is okay to go to therapy. Please talk to someone about it and seek out the help that your abuser was not able to seek.

I would love to know your thoughts on this issue.

Self-Care In The Air (Guest Post)

August 07, 2015
While I am away studying for the Medical College Admissions TestI have invited a few bloggers to entertain you while I am away. I'll be back next week, but until then, enjoy!

Written by Candice of But I'm Not a Critic Though

Since I've graduated college I have noticed a bit of extra time in my weeks. After work, extracurriculars, and the occasional workout sometimes I'll be lucky enough to have an hour a night to myself. As a young adult this brings me a sense of peace followed by a little worry. (Did I forget something?) When that sinking feeling sets in and I double and triple check my calendar to put my mind at ease I enter one of my many self-care regimens. This practice has gained a lot of attention lately. Self-care is exactly what its name entails: caring for yourself. In a fast paced world where people, technology, and everything in between changes and moves rapidly, there should be a small amount of time dedicated to letting yourself unwind. I want to share a few of my self-care practices to assist anyone who needs peaceful time to clear their heads.

Listening to my favorite album, artist, or genre is by far one of my favorite self-care practices. I listen to music as I commute to and from work every day but there's nothing like actually listening to music and hearing it without any distractions. Sometimes I'm accompanied by an ale or glass of wine but other than that it's just me and my tunes. Shameless plug: I write  a music blog that posts 2-3 times a week about any type of music you can think of. I'll link it at the end of this post!

When I'm not reveling in melodies, I like to fire up my Xbox and surf through Netflix or Hulu. I barely watch tv so when I have the urge to watch one of my favorite shows it feels like I'm spoiling myself. Watching a show intently snd following a story like is more rewarding that having the tv on as background noise/light. My favorite summer show is MTV's Teen Wolf. I just started watching  the animated series, Steven Universe too. I've heard nothing but positive things about the show which made me eager to join the fandom.

On the weekends when I don't have errands, events, or mini-trips on my plate I use my Xbox for it's intended purpose, gaming. I haven't dusted the sticks off in a month or so but when I do I like to play Batman Arkham City and Dead or Alive 5 since those are the only games I own right now. I can spend hours trying to complete missions in Arkham or going round for round in hand to hand combat.

These are just a few of the things I like to do to find a little peace in my hectic weeks. I've been actively doing this for about six months now and I can already tell what a huge difference it makes in my moods. I'm happier in general and I feel balanced. As a young adult you owe it to yourself to take time to please you and only you. Don't cheat yourself! 

Make sure to check out Candice's blog as well as to follow her on social media.

Quirky, Brown Chick: Chazz

August 06, 2015
If I had it my way, all of the quirky, brown chicks of the world would come together, become friends and sing kumbaya while listening to Solange and drinking craft beer. Until that day comes, I present to you the Quirky, Brown Chick series. Meet Chazz of Chazzzisawesome.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very vintage. Its the kind of style you would see Audrey Hepburn in. I actually have old parents so all the clothes my mom had when she was younger I just adopted so I have a lot of high waisted trousers and any kind of suit you could imagine.
2. What song are you vibing with right now?
Right now I am vibing with Chris Brown. I never in a million thought I would but I am! Oh and another artist is Future but I feel like that is a given.
3. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about anything dealing with film. My dream job is being a filmmaker but I live for inspiring people and reminding them that its ok not to follow the norm, just be yourself and the people will flock.
4. Favorite place that you have traveled?
My favorite place to travel is anywhere that has food. Lately it has been IHOP.

Wo(no)man: Single with the Option to Mingle

August 03, 2015
While I am away studying for the Medical College Admissions Test, I have invited a few bloggers to entertain you while I am away. I'll be back next week, but until then, enjoy!

Written by Kay of Modern Day Kay

To be perfectly honest, I don’t completely agree that your twenties are your selfish, unapologetic and freedom years, but I hear that a lot. So much so, that it sounds very reasonable. “I’m young, no children, college educated, no boyfriend, why not have fun?”  However, on the flip side, that does not necessarily mean that your 20s allow you to be self-absorbed or have unabashed behavior.

Whether you’re being told of what life in your 20s should be in a listicle, from a parent, friend or favorite celebrity, there’s this general concept of what you should be doing in your 20s. Singleness is real and it exists, but it does not mean that if you’re 25, single and no children you are behind. Let’s first throw away that mentality that being single is more of a burden on women than men.

As I maneuver through the Singles Club I am starting to see that those fun, carefree and selfish elements that should be a part of my 20s can be subjective.

You can be single and still maintain your individuality and independence once in a relationship.

About Us

Quirky, Brown Love is a media outlet for quirky, brown millennials. EST 2014.

Email Bryanda Law, Editor-in-Chief