Reading Black 2018

Towards the end of 2017 I was watching Youtube videos and some the black Youtubers were discussing reading only black/African American authors for 2018. I forgot which Youtuber started the reading black out it but I decided  I wanted to participate in the year long challenge. Now I have read about two to three books that weren’t from black authors but they were still people of color like Mindy Kaling Trevor Noah and Kevin Kwan. This year I have read or listened to over 40 fiction and non-fiction books by black authors. During this year long challenge I have been able to find books by black female authors that I never heard of before. I also found books about fictional middle aged black women that are truly bad ass. I won’t act like it was easy to find lesser know authors somtimes but thanks to black Booktube, Instagram and goodreads I was able to find some great books that I will definetly be recommending to others.  Also you must look past the best of  or must read list  include the most well known black authors and books while there is nothing wrong with that there other great black authors writing good, beautiful stories. The bulk of my reading for 2019 will still be black authors but there a few non-black author books I want to read in 2019. I wanted to share a few of my favorite reads from reading black this year.

Best audio-book non-fiction: The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish hearing Tiffany’s story in her own voice was funny and inspiring all at the same time. I’m sure you have seen an interview or read an article with her telling of her rough childhood the audio version of book is still worth a listen.

Best audio book fiction: Upstate by Kalisha Buckhorn is narrated by Chadwick Boseman and reading letters back and forth for the characters. The story of young love fractured by an imprisonment of the male character. The letters between the two teens into adulthood are so raw, funny and heartbreaking at times. I thought about this books for weeks after I finished. I highly recommend this book if you the liked An American Marriage even though these characters aren’t married you get that movement and evolution of the characters through their letters.

Best Series: Sugar by Bernice L. Mcfadden I really enjoyed the first book about Sugar Lacey. The second book was also good but the first book is the strongest of the series. You find out about Sugar’s beginning and how she became to be troubled young woman the finds herself living across the street from Pearl.

Favorite re-read: Color Purple by Alice Walker I have read the Color Purple three times now. First as teen then as a twenty something and then again this year at forty. Each time I gleam something different or get something that I missed. I feel like Celie, Nettie and Shug Avery are part of my family. I have a love hate relationship with Mr. and Harpo. And if you don’t love Sophia I’m not sure about your character.

Best New to Me: Blanche White by Barbara Neely  I have always loved mysteries dating back to when I was young. As I got older and my interest changed to want to read characters that looked more like me it has been difficult to find mysteries or thrillers that have black female leads. When March Mystery Madness rolled around on Youtube a video featured books with just such characters by black authors. I read the first book of the Blanche White series in March and picked up the second book over the summer. I believe there are only four books in the series but I’m excited to read the rest of Ms. White’s adventures.

2018 christmas gift guide

Christmas is just right around the corner. If you need to find a dope gift for your family, friend or even you coworkers I think I have the guide for you. Best of all the brands are created by women. Happy shopping!

  1. Erin Condren Hard Notebook these notebooks come in beautiful colors and can be used for planning or just as a journal for thoughts.  Another bonus that makes this the perfect gift is that it can be personalized  Order early to receive in time for Christmas.
  2. Felicia Leatherwood Detangling brush for your naturally curly, kinky hair lady this is the perfect gift! It makes detangling a breeze because the brush is strong yet flexible so it won’t rip her curls out. If the brush is available don’t wait.
  3. Fenty Bomb Baby set includes Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in “Hu$tla Baby” and Gloss Bomb Universal Lip in travel-friendly sizes for your beauty queen. She can have favorites on the go or you can introduce someone to the greatness that is Fenty Beauty.
  4. Elle Vie body butter is the perfect moisturizer with beautiful scents. Especially with winter right around the corner this is a beautiful gift for the lady in your life. She will be soft and smell amazing!
  5. Posh Candles soy wax candles that have cute names to go with their wonderful smell. This is the perfect gift for the person who loves cute decor and the candles smell better than those found in your local stores.
  6. My Lit Box a subscription service for the book lover in your life. It is delivered quarterly so she won’t  over run with books. They send you the latest in new book releases and have three different options to choose from.

Great gift ideas for every woman in your life no matter her age. Happy Holidays

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My Favorite Teas

My blog is called Tea with Tameka and I don’t think I have ever shared my favorite teas. The weather is getting cooler so here are some of my favorite teas and tea supplies  to help you warm up and stay warm. Some of these I drink year around others I reserve for cooler temperatures. I tried to pick different price points hope you find something new to try.

Teas:

Tazo Chai Tea  a robust blend of black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper & spices. The smell is fall to me. I can drink anytime of the year but it is a must have in my home from October until March. I also enjoy the liquid Chai tea when I want the Starbucks Chai tea latte I will purchase the mix and some almond milk. I will mix it up at home  and that saves me money.

Yogi Green Tea Kombucha blended with organic green tea, designed to support your immune system and supply antioxidants also spearmint supports digestion, as lemongrass and plum flavors create a fragrant blend with a light flavor. The smell is beautiful and taste amazing.

Numi Orange Spice  blend of organic smooth white tea and real orange peel, schizandra berries and lemongrass balances complex citrus notes with luxurious spice. I love this tea it taste amazing. I enjoy it in the late morning as pick me up.

Bigelow Constant Comment black tea, rind of oranges, sweet spice, natural flavor. This one the teas in my early morning rotation. It has a high caffeine content so it give me boost I need.

Supplies:

Tea filter bags – I enjoy buying loose tea but found it difficult to use I had the kettle with the insert but that never really worked for me. I saw these in the grocery story and my loose leaf tea game was changed. I’m able to put my tea in the bag and put into my mug or machine without a big mess. 4.99-5.69 Amazon

Reusable Cup – I like metal travel cups but they aren’t always best for where I’m going. I found this lovely 3 pack of reusable cups to take my tea on the go. The set includes three tops and the cups with a cute design on the outside. I also purchased these for my son to take to college for his lemon water and hot tea. price is great also 4.99 at Target.

Honey stick -I don’t have to put sugar or honey in my tea but sometimes it nice to add a little sweetener or if I’m not enjoying the flavor then honey can help. They are individually packaged so you can take them anywhere. These can also be a great gift for college students. 14.99 for 100 Amazon

Now curl up with your favorite book or movie and enjoy!

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Are Introverts Mean People?

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I saw a mom blogger on Instagram kinda questioning are some people rude or are they truly introverts. She provided a situation where she was at an event and met a fellow mom blogger who was kinda cold upon her greeting. How she described the interaction it was just someone being rude to me. I’m introvert have known way before I knew there was a word and definition for my feelings. The definitions of introvert all suggest characteristics of being reserved and tend to focus on oneself.  Also introversion is the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life that definition is from Merriam Websters.  So nothing about being an introvert is to be rude or mean but just preferring to spend time alone.

I want to share my feelings as an introvert so for people who don’t understand or get it hopefully this will help. Going out to something that isn’t required and interacting with people can be draining. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s a group of people I know or if it’s people I don’t know I have to motivate myself self to go. A lot of times I will go to into hibernation prior to going to an event to build up my energy levels. Going out with family or to a family event is easier because I don’t feel like I have to be on and coming up with conversation. However it can still be a drain I have left family events with horrible headaches because of all the talking and laughing.  When I’m interacting with people I don’t know and want to be social I try to find something we have in common as an icebreaker then go from there.  I have held conversations with people I didn’t know at first but after finding that common subject were able to interact and it was a pleasant experience.  I do think two introverts aren’t going to get very far initially because neither probably wants to exert the energy needed to get past hello. I’m only speaking from my experience I really hate being an introvert sometimes because I know I have missed out on great experiences but the fear and anxiety overwhelm me so I just stay at home. I will say that being an introvert doesn’t allow you to be a mean and cold to other people. Here are a few tips that I use to help me.

  • Arrive early you can have the host introduce you to a few people see who you click with and use that person to continue to get to know other people.
  • If you can take someone with you. If the party or event allows for plus one take someone especially someone who is an extrovert to help pull you out of your shell.
  • Leave if you are feeling overwhelmed it’s okay, rather than sit in the corner alone and have people wonder about you.

If you are an introvert tell me what tips you use when going out to not be so awkward? And if you aren’t an introvert what have your experiences been like dealing with introverts?

When I asked for your help, you answered my prayer and gave me courage. Psalms 138: 3 CEV

Insecure Season 3 wrap-up

I love Insecure, I love seeing black people just be black on television. With that said I didn’t love season three. There seem to be a lot of setup for the up coming season especially in the finale. I was glad to see the season end with Issa being content in her new singleness. I think I was used to something extreme happening in every episode the two previous seasons (who will ever forget Lawrence smashing Tasha’s cakes in the season one finale) to have a season with less OMG made this season seem to drag during some episodes. I had to remember though that life isn’t always circus and it shouldn’t be. Just a brief rundown of my thoughts on the characters this season.

Daniel wasn’t what I thought he would be. I do believe we will see him again but I hope the next time we do it is with much more confidence. Issa really did need to quit We Gotcha Yall because her heart really wasn’t it anymore. Also when you are coming up with ideas and being shut down that make you feel as though you opinion isn’t valued. I think that is why she fell so hard for Nathan because he made her feel as though her ideas were great and important. Now Nathan did zero to help Issa with her idea he offered great lip service to motivate her. But why you gotta ghost my girl Nathan then show up like nothing ever happened??? Molly normally has ish together when it comes to work but this season she was just alienating her peers right and left with no remorse. I do hope that Molly doesn’t further mess up the possible dating experience with Andrew. I thought I wouldn’t miss the Lawrence character and didn’t realize how much I missed him until he came back. I think we need the male perspective in Lawrence to balance Issa and Molly’s antics. While I do love the girls friendships and seeing the growth in that relationship Lawrence’s character  has allowed us to see how men handle break-ups and starting over. Also we get to see male friendships some too through Lawrence.

I will be back for season four to see what the ladies and gent are getting into, because even though this season lagged at times it still gave some great commentary on female friendships, ghosting and moving up or out at work. On a side note even the show within the show wasn’t as good or compelling as previous seasons. How did you enjoy this season of Insecure, will you be returning for season 4 if not why?

teawithtameka

Cold Weather Nail Colors

I’m not super girly when it comes to my nails but I do like for them to be polished most of the time. Summer is all about bright colors and oblige but I truly love fall and winter nail colors. I love black and navy nails they just look so edgy and fun to me. I also love deep wine and greens they just scream winter to me. But a nice red will forever hold a special during the Christmas season for me. I have linked below some fabulous dark nail polishes for  fall and winter.

 L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail, Haute Couture Red– this color is more of a wine colored red than bright red. L’oreal polish does stay on pretty good I can get at least two to three days without any chipping. Also this is a drug store nail polish so the price is affordable under 5 dollars.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail, Breaking Curfew– the color look for this one is purplish navy almost like a night sky. This is similar chemistry to the previous polish so once again I can get few days before this starts to chip. The price point is also below 5 dollars.

Essie After School Boy Blazer– if you are looking for a true navy this is the polish for you. This polish does require a retouch after a day or two but will be chipped off without a retouch. I think Essie is considered a salon brand and the price reflects it. You can occasionally find the Essie polishes on sale but original price is 8.99

Opi Black Oynx– is black black but very beautiful if you like black nails. I tell people if you don’t want to do all your nails black do it as an accent nail. Either way this is black that you want in your nail collection. The price is also around 8.99 and can be found on sale.

Hope you find a new color that you will try this fall.

 

 

 

The many sides of Aretha Franklin

Last month the great Aretha Louise Franklin passed away. Every since then I have been down a YouTube rabbit hole of her performances and interviews. In doing that I also decided I wanted to read about her life first her telling her own story in the autobiography  Aretha: From These Roots and then book that is said to be the definitive Aretha Franklin biography written by David Ritz Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin. 

In her autobiography Aretha basically just took the reader on ride through her career touching on a few incidents with other artist but always making her self out to be the victim. She touched on a few of her personal relationships but all but skimped over her marriage to Ted White and made her marriage to Glenn Thurman sound like a fairy tale. Aretha was very upset about the stories that had been told about her mother abandoning the family and wanted set the record straight. She painted a picture of childhood bliss going between both parents until her months death. I don’t doubt that she visited her mother but having mother leave and suddenly die as child is what Aretha stated “that it was pain she could not describe and wouldn’t even try”. Later in the book when speaking about Natalie Cole she states that hearing Natalie discuss her fathers death made it easier later for her to talk about her father. I believe Aretha was of the black old school adage that what happens at home stays and family business isn’t to be discussed with others. I don’t fault Aretha for being scared to truly open about her loses, but she would have probably benefited from therapy.

Mr. Ritz was able to take a deeper dive  into Aretha’s life good and bad. He interviewed her sibling, other family members and people who have worked with Aretha professionally. Ruth Bowen is probably the closest non-family member in the book and her takes on Ms Aretha were interesting. One topic that is discussed through out both books are Aretha’s stage shows. Aretha speaks on them as if they are just beautiful and well put together because she does them. While in Mr. Ritz books everyone says that her shows border on tacky and her song selections most of the times are a miss. Another thing that is touched towards the end of Respect is Aretha’s later song selections. Many felt they were beneath her but  also a lot of people were depending Aretha financially. When you are the person responsible for taking care of your family and your money management are lacking you are going to have to keep working well past the time you probably should. So I think based off the books and also clips I have seen I do believe Aretha truly enjoyed performing and making music but it was also a necessary for her too. The stories told my her family and other artist who worked with Aretha describe how talented she was on the piano. One time her arm was broken and she was able to come into the studio and play beautifully. We didn’t see much of her playing the piano in the 80’s and 90’s but she went back to that in her later concerts.

The last thing I want to touch on is Ms. Aretha’s mystery man. Her autobiography she touches on a mystery man she was interested in interwoven between her long term relationship and marriage. Ms. Bowen had me crying laughing talking about the matter. Everyone in Mr. Ritz’s book says that there was no mystery man and Aretha liked to make up stories because she desired to be loved and wanted.  I say if you don’t know much about Ms. Franklin and want to know more then definitely give these books a read. I don’t think Aretha is a great autobiography/memoir but it is a great companion to Respect. Neither book is a hard read I finished both books in a week and half. There is a lot I have left out this review because I feel people should read the books and shape their own opinion of the phenomenal Aretha Louise Franklin.

Have read either of these books if so what was your opinion? Would you recommend them?