The Value Of Life.

I never realized just how precious the Gift  Of Life was until It was almost taken away from me.

Some of you may not know but November 11th 2015 my life was almost taken from me in a car accident . 

My entire life , all 24.5 years have been spent sheltered. By sheltered I mean in the physical sense that I wasn’t allowed to do ANYTHING, as well as I was so protected and covered that I never had to go to the hospital, never got in an accident and never broke or tore any major body parts . Not to say that there aren’t others who have been sheltered and didn’t face any pains and aches that led them to the Emergency, but in my case I wasn’t the one. 

While my friends around me had to go to the hospital for various reasons I was always a child that never had any allergies, was barely ever sick and never went to the doctors unless it was for a routined check up . I never had anything majorly ever wrong with me and for my entire life I was utterly thankful. 

On November 11th 2015, my pregnant at the time sister and I were driving to pick up a few stuff for her baby and some groceries to cook dinner. While driving on a main intersection in Missisauga, Ontario and proceeding through the lights a “soccer mom” was trying to drive through the lights as quickly as possible and ended up almost ending my life as I knew it . 

Many times I have heard people go on and on about life changing experiences that almost cost them their lives. I have heard about people getting into unexpected and expected accidents and seen the “battle wounds” as proof of their pains. If I never believed them at first, the cuts and bruises and stitches come as a reminder of the incident that cost many bodily set-backs. 

Gazing up from my iPad I felt the car SLAM head first into the side of the mini van. Smoke filled the front of my moms 2015 Jeep Cherokee, dust lingering in the air, the aftermath of the impact. Coughing I quickly grabbed my purse off my lap screamed to my sister to get out the car and swung the doors open. Tears immediately started pouring out of my eyes , confusion written all over my face as I watched liquids ooze from the front of the once brand new car. It was at that moment my heart became heavy and I paced back and forth from the street to the sidewalk lost for words and utterly confused. 

I was speechless.

It took 5 minutes for it all to register to me , 5 minutes for reality to hit and for me to register the series of events that just took place. 

The tears stopped . 

It was at that moment that I came to the realization. Not of the fact that my moms new car was totaled, not of the fact that I was in the middle of no where’s land in a bad accident without my parents but it was then God reminded me of the Value of life. 


That night my parents could have lost 2 generations. That night the lives of my sister and I and her unborn son could have been taken without warning or permission. 

It’s moments like these that I become even more thankful and even more understanding of the Gift of Life. Many people feel like having the opportunity to be alive and have good health is a given, they don’t understand the concept of life as a opportunity and a privilege. 

I say all of this just to say be greatful. Realize that every waking moment you have to spend with the people you love and cherish is a new opportunity that you will never have again. 

We take life for granted, we push things off, hold animosity and talk bad about the people around us. We don’t realize how little our time on earth really is and how little our time to master being the BEST we, that we can be is. 

You never know when it will be YOUR time. 

   
    
 

Food: Honey BBQ Ribs with Homemade Potatoe Salad .

I told myself that I would start eating healthier, said I was going to cut back on the fatty foods and sugar filled beverages and work on my “beach body” for the big 2-5.

Last night ( Feb 4th) I came home from a long exhausting day and knocked OUT for around 3-4 hours. By the time my subconscious was awaken it was 4 almost 5 and my belly was screaming out for a meal. Having had leftovers from Sunday’s quinoa I refused to let my cooking go to waste and demolished the leftovers with a piece of lemon chicken ( something my sister cooked from the night before). The quinoa however was short lived in my belly and before 6 o’clock came my expanded stomach was growling begging me to fill it up with anything of substance.

The freezer in my basement houses most of the meats and proteins bought in the Harper household. After deciding chicken was played out for the week I settled for some pork ribs, hoping to have a southern bbq styled dinner.

Dinner stopped being cooked in my household on weekdays when my sister and I were in our early teens and our lovely mother decided that we were old enough to cook for ourselves.

As I go back on topic.

Deciding to make those Ribs Contributed to my failed attempt at being healthy and having my “King B” body .

Lici’s BBQ Pork Ribs

Ingredients:

1 rack of Pork Ribs

Ketchup

Scoth Bonnet Hot Sauce

Brown Sugar

3 cloves of Garlic

All Purpose Seasoning

Whiskey

Thyme

Sage

BBQ Dry Rub

( I may be missing some Ingredients.. My Memory is hazy)

 

  

  -I am working on my Presentation and Food Photography Skills- 
Finished Product. 

I devised to make a simple quick 4 types of potatoe salad and topped it off with a few slices of Fresh-avocado. 
Bon appetite . 

  

Esther’s Eyes:

So… For my last year of University I had to write a book for one of my classes. Being the creative but EXTRA female that I am, I had to go ALL out, and by all out I mean the works. I designed a cover, had it printed in a small physical book size EVERYTHING.

 

SOOOOO..

Without Further Or do…  Esther Eyes.

-Not reflective of any real life events.. all Fiction…

Click Link Below…

 

.ESTHER’S EYES2

FOOD: Ground Beef Stuffed Red Sweet Peppers

Now. I briefly mentioned that this Blog will be about FOOD, FASHION AND FAITH.. Meaning that every week or maybe even a few days a week ( depends on my school schedule) I will be ranting on and on about something from the above categories.

Sunday January 31st at the Harper Household was my night to cook.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a chef! I repeat I am NOT a chef!

Seeing as I am turning 25 in 2 months, the pressure to get my “sexy” on is at an all time high leaving me with no choice but to hit up the GOOD OLE GYM!

Sunday after a very uplifting Church Service I found myself wandering into Fortinoes ( Canadian Grocery Food Chain).  The cause of this last minute trip was brought on by my desire to have my body on level S for my Birthday Dinner.

Level S: One Level above Level P-pretty, Two above Level C-cute.

After going back and forth in my mind with myself I knew that eventually all the Late Night Snacks and avoiding the stairs to take the Good Ole Elevator would catch up to me in some way and potentially ruin my “figure”. 

The thing about me though is that I need motivation… I can assure you I will never want to do anything by myself especially when it comes to fitness and body image. So after deciding enough is enough and  glaring at my muffin top through my bathroom mirror I decided to start my “diet”. 

What kind of diet? You may be wondering.. What could I be doing to lose weight and to specifically lose it in all the right places… 

Alicia’s Diet 2016:

  • Eat less 
  • Workout more 
  • Cut back on pops and sugary drinks 
  • Eat more veggies than meat 
  • Pray more often ( my spirit needs cleansing too) 

To kick start my attempt I decided to try out a recipe I saw a few girls at my school eating. 

Stuffed Sweet Red Pepper

Ingredients :

3 whole Red Peppers

1 box of organic Quinoa 

1 pound of Lean Ground Beef

1 jar of Vodka Tomatoe Sauce

1 pack of MAC and Cheese Shredded Cheese Mix

Seasonings: Thyme,Paprika, Cayene, Jerk Seasoning, Seasoning Salt, Salt, Pepper

To quickly sum up how I made the stuffed pepper…. 

  • Cook the Meat
  • Clean out Pepper
  • Cook quinoa 
  • Add all ingredients into pepper 
  • Top with cheese 
  • Bake for 20 minutes 
  • ENJOY!!! 

   

   
side note: I had a garden salad with avacado, sunflower seeds , dried cranberries and feta cheese on the side . I also drank some home-made pink lemonade . <— lemons burn calories . 


Rise of the Video Vixen: Black Female

Disclaimer: This Post may not be for everyone, There may be things said that may offend some! CAUTION: View with an open mind!

Four years ago while Attending York University I took an “African American” class that dealt with the lives, struggles and progresses of African American peoples. Being a black woman I thought this would be something interesting, a learning experience for me to get to know more about my “people” and the stuff we went through as a collective body. I learned a lot of the ‘mammy”, a term I was otherwise unfamiliar with. A Mammy was explained to be a weighty, black female whose sole purpose was to care for the Caucasian family she was “owned” by. Her everyday attire consisted mostly of a head tie covering her koils, and a apron hiding her entire figure. She was known to be  strong and motherly taking care of not only her children but others as well. It is interesting to see such a shift in the societal views of African American woman as the years progressed, going from categorized as motherly, yet estranged beings to sexual entities, toys, and slaves of entertainment subjected under male dominance.

While a lot of black mothers were taken from their homes to care for the children of their masters and slave owners, they left their children at home with little to no motherly care and attention. Black woman were only given two main images. They were either, strong, masculine and considered a “Mammy or a Sapphire”, or sexual, seducing and promiscuous and deemed a “Jezebel”.
Your probably wondering by now why I’m giving a history lesson, this is supposed to be a fashion and lifestyle blog. Right? I promise you I’m getting somewhere with this, just hold on a little while longer it will all make sense soon.
If you sit down and try and watch any black movie today I guarantee you there will be at least one “Mammy” seen. There is always that one overweight, big chested, loud but nourishing black woman who is surrounded by kids with a head full of naps and a face that only a mother could love. literally. She has no man, has no sex and has a kind serving heart.  The “Mammy” has not retired at all, we still see her every morning on our Maple Syrup and Pancake Mix in the form of Aunt Jemima.
Another dominant stereotype given to black woman is this idea of a “Jezebel”, a black sexual woman. In the 1600’s these were the woman who were captured from their homes and sold on the auction blocks, stripped out of their clothes and placed on a stand as if they were animals to be fondled, examined and made to be a spectacle. Raped, abused and used as sex toys these woman were then named Jezebels using that title to rationalize their sexual behavior.

My problem is that Today black woman are NOT rejecting the stereotypes that society gave them hundreds of years ago. Flipping through the TV, going on IG and Tumblr you can see these same “Jezebels” gyrating, whining, booty clapping and twerking all over the place as if its not already hard enough for a black woman as it . I’m not knocking ANYONE’S hustle and If you take this to heart. I’m sorry but this is just me saying how I feel. I don’t understand why so many black woman are latching on to this sexual identity instead of rejecting it. Is it because they love sex, Is it because that’s what they were exposed to as a child and that’s all they’ve ever known?
Instead of trying to reject the given stereotype and prove to society that even though we were made into sexual beings we are not like that anymore and have evolved into beautiful, successful, ambitious black woman I am too often seeing scantly clad, loose ( and I use that word Loosely) “I’ll do anything for a dollar and a pair of Louboutins” woman.  I am not picking on black woman I know there are other woman of other ethical backgrounds that do the same thing BUT I am black and can only really speak for my own race at this time. Researchers have taken surveys and done studies and the conclusion keeps coming back that it is strongly believed that black woman are sexually loose and promiscuous. You can see why this would be an issue to me as a black woman. Having to work extra hard to prove to the world that I am not like the other woman whose Social Media pages are covered with half naked pictures of them in thongs, g-strings and body paint seductively biting their fingers  while their comment boxes are bombarded by horny men enticed and seduced by their physical appearance.
Yes, I am a black woman but I am much more than that. I am educated, I am driven, I am a business owner and a writer who rather spend my time planning out my life than spreading my legs to the closest  available guy to feed my lust and crave for not only sexual but material goods.
We are not seen for what we posses in our minds, but more so what is seen physically and verbally.
My issue is not just that society has rejected the beauty of black woman, my issue is that for myself as a black woman I am made to feel that having “kinks and coils” is not attractive. As a Black woman I am made to feel that If I get too dark that there may be a problem in terms of not only getting  a job but also finding a potential significant other. Living in a society that praises straight hair, a straight nose, perfect lips and a perfect body there is no question why a large chunk of Black men are drawn to black woman who posses Caucasian physically features. As if that wasn’t enough, I’m seeing so many black woman getting their bodies re-arranged, waist taken in. booty added on. breast done hips done. Shoot. They’re just getting everything done to look like only God knows what? Now I know not everyone is born with that perfect ” Kim K” shape but never before have I seen so many woman and by woman I mean black woman getting so much operations to change around their bodies. Some females have more silicone in them than anything else….Why do I care?
 
We have an up and coming generation of young black girls who from the tender age of 12-13 already have a head full of extensions, because of the chemicals in the food have grown woman bodies and are starting to look too old for their young ages. I am seeing 18 year old girls with fake bums doing only God knows all over the internet hoping to pursue “modeling” or should I say Instagram Modeling posting booking information details under their bio instead of trying to pursue an education and make something out of their lives.
 The issues around colorism dominate my life from the day I was born till the day I die, telling me that to be truly accepted In North American society I have to look and talk a certain way.  Our  hair will be considered inappropriate or not professional if it is puffy and free causing a lot of black woman to spend hundred on relaxers and texturizers trying to tame and remove the issue they think hinders them from getting to that place in the world where they will be accepted and visible. The Virgin hair industry has been making millions by selling Cambodian, Eurasian, Filipino, Peruvian, Brazilian, Chinese, Indian,  and probably even Italian hair to black females seeking this European and exotic but far from black look for their hair.  can say this because I myself have spent a lot of money on Virgin hair, this life saving hair that comes in so many different shades, textures and bundles that curls, wonds, straightens, dyes and if installed right can give off the illusion  of being your own natural hair.
Scary eh. I know. Sounds like Witchcraft how perfect this hair is.
And if not liking the texture and look of our  hair is not bad enough, the shade of our skin is another factor that makes and breaks many woman’s self-esteem and thoughts on how the world will accept them. I have never seen so many bleaching creams and skin lighteners in Beauty Supply stores in my life until recently. Everyone someone is going from dark to light in the span of a year …. -__..
So your probably wondering again.. So what? What’s the point of all of this? Why should I even care?
I don’t have the perfect body. I don’t have hair flowing down the middle of my back. My body isn’t “flawless” – I didn’t wake up like this- BUT I am a proud black woman who embraces her flaws, rejects the given stereotypes and presses to be the BEST woman that I can be.  I know what I want out of life and I know that in order to get it I have to work hard for it but in the end I will come out on top. 

I’m not a Stereotype.

 

Letter To The Broken Hearted Girl

I know how it feels

I know how it feels to be honestly earnestly and genuinely in love
I know how it feels to go to bed crying torn and confused so “drunk in love” [ No Beyonce] that no matter what you’d do any and everything to make it work
I know how it feels to love with every fibre of your being, to give 100 percent only 100 percent nothing less because 99.5 won’t do
I know why fathers never want their little girls to grow up, why they’re so overprotective and shelter us our entire lives.
I know how it feels to be happy and be happy on another level that you feel no one would understand.
I was in love, I lived, laughed, loved. I cried and smiled. I hugged, kissed and cuddled believe me when I say I’ve been before.
I’ve made mistakes, I’ve lied, I’ve argued, fought and said things I shouldn’t have, but didn’t fight for the eight thing.
Relationships are work, they require time, dedication, honesty and forgiveness. Love isn’t always enough to keep things going, no matter how much Walt Disney makes us think it is.
True love does conquer all but not love alone, much more is required.
Girl believe me when I say I know how much it hurts to have your heartbroken, to feel your insides tearing to shreds and to feel like love was nothing but a sham.

Intoxicated with emotions, suffocating with euphoria and drowning in confusion .
Tears only last so long, after a while they just stop flowing,
That heart burn that threatens your sanity will stop
I know it seems as if it will last forever but it will all end soon.
I know how it feels
I know how it feels to be honestly earnestly and genuinely love
I know how it feels to go to bed crying torn and confused so “drunk in love” [ No Beyonce] that no matter what you’d do any and everything to make it work
I know the feeling because I’ve been there before, I was that girl. 

My BIG Black Face

Growing up and looking at the effects of Popular culture on the formation of the physical facial features of black woman I am not surprised that so many cosmetic surgeries were happening when I was younger.  I recall people like Janet Jackson investing in changing her nose, and lips and cheeks to conform her looks to that’ of a Caucasian woman even bleaching her skin to appear lighter. For most of my life Black woman’s features were hardly celebrated, our eyes said to be too dark, lips too big, nose too broad and shape and curves unacceptable. Me, Alicia age 13 walking into my middle school at the time my dark brown hair freshly braided body clothed in the widely worn Rocawear apparel, brainwashed to think that to be accepted into the black  community as a young black girl who grew up a Suburban sheltered lifestyle I would have to dress the part. Another issue within the black community, not accepting our own. Because I was lighter than a lot of other black girls around me, my hair past the “standard” black girl length, I wasn’t up to date with the slang and lingo at the time I wasn’t truly “black”.

But what does it even mean to be truly “Black” to be a true African Canadian woman, is it determined by the shade of my skin, or is it based off my story and the lifestyle I live. If I’m not from Jane and Finch, or Scarborough ( urbanized  and predominantly black area in Toronto) does that make my struggles less authentic. If I wasn’t surrounded by guns, drugs and come from a father-less home is my skin genuinely black, or have I suffered from a skin pigment that made my shade darker. Yea, there are black woman and men who don’t come from the same environment that people assume most blacks come from. I’m sorry that I grew up in a financially stable home with my mom and dad who were both working my entire Life. Am I still black enough ?
But that’s not the point is this rant, let me get back on topic.
Inherited from our ancestors, our bodies weren’t asked for but were what we were born with, made to live with and embrace passed down from our mothers, and grandmothers. It seems as if no matter what was done procedure wise, a black woman’s features could and would never be forgotten or disassociated with who she was. Does having full lips make me less of a acceptable candidate for a corporate position, does the roundness of my behind distract you that much that you look pass me, ignoring my worth and looking at me more as a lustful entity. I mean why should I be made to feel that my lips are too big, why am I made to feel that my nose is too broad, nostrils enlarged and oversized compare to the small frame of my face.
 
Life has a way of making me laugh though, I am humoured by the way the world has changed around since the days  of my youth.
The same features we were reticule and shunned for are the same features that are being replicated, duplicated and redone. Laughed at for our full lips and child bearing hips  that now the urban music world is embracing and promoting. Kim K West, Khloe K, CoCo, even Nicki Minaj all have had their noses, bums, and lips done. Is it funny that all the woman have made their bums bigger… But I thought having an enlarged behind wasn’t the “social norm”.. Is it funny that Kylie Jenner the sister of Kim K, And Angelina Jolie, wife of the well known Brad Pitt both had their lips done, made to look plumper and more round.. What are the odds..
Tanning salons were around for many year but it hasn’t been until recently that’s a large number of woman of the Caucasian persuasion have started spending hundreds monthly  to darker their complexion hoping for a sun kissed glow.

I am in no ways attacking black women, white woman or even Asian woman but are more so bringing attention to a change that’s taking over. I am aware that sex sells, I know that being looking and acting sexy is what the people want to see, but that’s not the point. There is such a change in the world that I can’t keep up, black woman are trying to look white and white woman are changing their features to that of a black woman’s and then you have Asian woman getting double eye lid surgery to give the illusion of European inspired eyes. Is no one happy with themselves anymore.
A few days ago a picture of Kim K polluted my Instagram timeline, one of her scantly clad and basically nude with a high bun copying a picture once taken in 1976 by a black model. Controversy stings all social media as people from all colours and creed and walks of life rant on and on about their disapproval for the “artistic” piece. Why is she exposing her silicone filled behind, why is her breasts and vagina out there, something that should be shown to her Husband and him alone. Yea I know she’s not the first nor the last but… Really.
Black woman bleaching, white woman tanning.

Black woman getting their nose reconstructed to appear straight, white woman getting their bums done to appear full. I just don’t get it, I guess no one is truly happy with the skin they are in.
TO BE CONTINUED!

 
 
 

 

Who Likes Blogs Anymore?

I over-analyze. Or at least that’s what I think. I could possibly just be looking at things normally and everyone else isn’t.

I cry way too much. It doesn’t matter what the movie, book or play may be as soon as a romantic scenes come a discharge of moisture comes out of my eyes and then that’s it.

I don’t smile as much as I should. Maybe its my natural resting  screw face? I suppose smiling is too welcoming and with the job that I have and the area that I live in, I dont want to look too inviting to the wrong men..

I love food. Nott just any food, hot flavourful food. I love when I can taste each and every spice that’s in whatever I am eating. Even if its so hot that my eyes and nose burns, its the thrill.

I am a single black female addicted to Retail.<-Cliche I know.

Of the 7 billion people in the world there are small intricate details about Me. Alicia Sarah that makes me who I am today.

I can honestly say this is about my fourth attempt to trying to “blog” my life. I have tried Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty and Inspirational and all came to a very SAD fail. I guess this is attempt number five?

Why start again you may be wondering?

I am currently a PR/Corporate Communications Student and in the field of PR we are STRONGLY encouraged to write, blog and express ourselves, which is what I am doing now.

Allow me to re-introduce myself for the Fifth time..

My Name is Alicia Sarah H. I am 24 years old, a environmental studies and soon to be PR major. My hobbies include but are not limited too……. Reading, Writing, Shopping and Window Shopping, Cooking or at-least attempting to cook, and blabbing.

So Get ready to embark on a journey with me, we will laugh together and cry together BUT most importantly every adventure I embark on will be shared with each and every one of you.

 

-Lots of Love

 

Alicia S.

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