February is not just the month of the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year and Valentines Day! Each year, Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February to honor all African Americans who have faced adversity within American society. The annual celebration stems from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” and has since evolved into a beautiful commemoration of African Americans past and present.
This year’s celebration of Black History Month is more important than ever, after tragic losses within the community through the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. That being said, this month, be sure to honor and support African American entrepreneurs by shopping small. Here are some of our favorite businesses owned by African American women. You’ll be sure to love them as much as we do!
Butter and Lye
Butter and Lye were founded by Monique Garraud Kofsky in 2020 and is based out of Brooklyn, New York. The company sells high quality and natural soap products that are perfect for bath time. The goal of Butter and Lye is to reduce their carbon footprint, so with that in mind everything they do is 100% environmentally friendly: from ingredients to the packaging, it comes in. Their soap products also have some amazing benefits like anti-aging, moisturizing and exfoliating.
Ladies, it’s almost bikini season- you’re not gonna wanna miss out on the minimal swimsuits designed by Brittany Kozerski, the founder of Jade Swim. These bathing suits are HOT! No really, you probably have seen your favorite Instagram influencers rocking them while posed up on a beach. But really, the ribbed material on these swimsuits are oh so flattering, you’ll need to get your hands on a pair for the summer!
Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 by Aurora James, and has been thriving ever since! James’ goal was to incorporate African design practices and techniques while also creating artisanal jobs around the world. Her background in art and fashion have served her well clearly, as the shoes she designs are so cute.
Oma the Label
Neumi Anekhe founded OMA the label in 2018. The young entrepreneur was working as a fashion stylist at the time, and wanted to challenge the “homogenous industry standards” while also creating timeless and affordable jewelry for women. She also wanted to diversify the market and build a brand that wanted to represent people of color. OMA goes beyond jewelry and sells staple fashion pieces as well.
Nothing completes a woman’s outfit of the day like a spritz of their favorite perfume. Maya Njie was born in Sweeden, but moved to London as a teenager, where she studied art and photography. She began to experiment with the element of smell in her photos (sounds crazy but she was on to something), by incorporating mediums in her photographs that are often associated with their scent (i.e. flowers). She went on to self teach herself the art of perfumery and founded her fragrance company in 2016. Something about this story is so elegant!
Low-Maintenance House Plants
Taking care of plants is not always as easy as it looks. Every plant requires different conditions in order for them to thrive and some require more care than others. Here are some of the best low-maintenance plants that are perfect for the house.
Let’s get to planting
If you live in a house or apartment that has limited sunlight, this is the plant for you. Pothos plants thrive in the dark and can withstand over and under watering. These plants cost around $20.
If you are looking for a pop of color, these beautiful Chinese evergreen plants come in a handful of different colors including green, pink, white and red. Additionally, they love water so you never have to worry about overwatering these plants. These plants cost around $15
If your someone who will forget to water the plants, this Jade plant is the perfect plant for you! The Jade Plant retains water in its leaves, keeping it nourished and hydrated for a long time. It can last up to a month without any water! This plant costs around $18
Also known as an Asparagus fern, this plant is like the chameleon of house plants. It can adapt very easily to the environment that it is placed in. For example, if it is in an area with a lot of sun it will thrive in that area or if it is in a dark room, it will also still be okay. This plant is very versatile and strong. It costs around $14
There is only one thing that a Yucca plant truly needs and that is the sun. This plant loves sunshine and really thrives when it has direct sunlight. It can be watered sporadically, but the one rule of the Yucca plant is to place it in the area with the most sun and it will be okay. This plant costs around $32
Ditch the dirt and invest in some air plants! These plants thrive with just air and water. dunk your plants in water for about three hours every 10 days and then let them hang in the air. You will be amazed watching the process of these plants grow. These plants cost around $19
Also known as Peace lilies, it is almost nearly impossible to over water these plants. These plants love water so much that they could actually grown in a body of water. They will also grow in either a dark or sunlit area however, if they are placed in the sun, they will also grow flowers! These plants cost about $10
Also known as the Chinese money plant, this plant will constantly produce shoots that you can replant in a different area or gift it to a friend! Water it once a week for the best results. This plant costs about $20
Which plant will you buy for your home? #PlantParent
Your August Horoscope
The dog days of summer are here and so is your August horoscope! looking at the month overall, August is a great balance. It has a lot of down time, but also sheer excitement as the end of the month approaches. This summer has been different than you may have expected, but August brings together all those feelings and puts them to rest. This does not mean we can forget all the happenings of the summer, rather continue to work towards the new goals we have set for ourselves.
Let’s take a closer look at each sign
It is time to get back to your inner roots and bring out your childlike whimsicality. Showcase to the world how amazing life can be. You have always been a leader and it is time for you to lead others through your own passions and desires. The past few months have been a time of change for you. You are reconnecting with your old self while finding new parts of you. The more sure you are of yourself, the more opportunities you will see come your way. Embrace every part of you and find that amazing memories will be created throughout this process.
You have been feeling a little overworked recently. However, keep that good head up on your shoulders. This hard work is shaping you into the person you are destined to be. Remember, nothing good comes easy and embrace how level-headed you can be during such stressful times. Remember to take into account the way you perceive yourself is not how others perceive you. Noticing this will allow you to be more aware of your surroundings and present in the moment.
People may tell you that you over-commit yourself however as someone who has a good work ethic, you believe this hard work will get you far; and it will. Remember to always be intentional with your work and how you go out into the world. As someone who is bountiful with resources, assure yourself that you will not let others take more than you can give. Your selflessness is divine but it can wreak mayhem on your higher-self, intuition and well-being. Preserve yourself so you can go forth with the commitments you feel passionate about and want to continue.
For a while, you have found yourself in a rut. You are seeking to know who you truly are and heal your past trauma. This has been difficult and has taken a toll on you emotionally. However, this month the beauty in healing will present itself to you. Remember, this hard work does not go unnoticed and will only benefit you further. When you are approached at a crossroads, take the road less traveled. This will advance your spiritual journey. However, do not forget to enjoy the process that leads to your destination. It is important to be understanding and forgiving to yourself, especially during these times.
This month it is all about you! You are the star of the show and shine light to others with your radiance. Continue to appreciate abundance blessings but do not let this cloud your intuition. It can be easy to avoid spiritual growth when your materialistic needs are met but avoid this at all costs. Learning to grow past your boundaries when you are not forced to can help you develop a sense of balance in your life.
How lucky are you to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family members. Appreciate all the support you have around you and use it to your advantage when you are in need. This month, you will have a better sense of who you are as a person and your morals. You will appreciate why you are the way you are, and how it affects those around you in a positive light. Lean towards your desire to understand the world philosophically and watch your truth unravel before your eyes.
Transformation is upon you. This next month is about to present some of the hardest challenges of your life. Remember to go through these with ease and grace as there is light at the end of the tunnel. By the end, you will have grown into the person you have always wanted to be. However, it will take a lot of your time and energy to get there so prepare yourself accordingly. Taking up a hobby and fulfilling your passions will give you an outlet during these tumultuous times and can expedite your growth process.
This month, continue to push your boundaries and put yourself out there. You may not have always been comfortable in the spotlight, but continuing to do so will gain great positive attention for yourself. You may struggle with growing your network because you are not focused on the most important thing, being yourself. Allow yourself to break through your personal boundaries and be in the spotlight for longer. Only then will you notice positive energies and opportunities flocking your way.
People often tell you that you are a old soul because you have an understanding of divine. Remember to use your inner wisdom to guide yourself when necessary. This month presents opportunities for wealth to come your way. However, remember your own health and happiness is wealthier than any material item. Check in with yourself and assure yourself you are okay before taking on more than you can chew. Not every opportunity that presents itself is meant for you to take. Be conscious and rely on your own intuition through all doubt.
Making a joke out of your own feelings Is harmful to your own self. You have always used your quirky humor as a way to distract others from your own struggles. However, it is time to recognize this is harming yourself more than helping. If you continue to do this rather than open up about your struggles, you are going to dig a deeper hole for yourself. Your support units know how hard it is for you to open up and they will appreciate you doing this. In fact, your support system will become stronger and you will begin to feel better within yourself.
For a while now, you have been struggling with your own identity. Wondering who you are as a person, how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you has been constant in your mind. It is time to recognize you have grown and use that to your advantage to remove toxic energy in your life. Worrying about your own reputation has turned you into the person you are today, but it is a worry you do not longer need to have. If you continue to place yourself in toxic environments, you will continue to see negative results in your life. It is important to recognize you have the power to change this and only then will you be happy.
The past few months have opened up your creative side, which has changed your outlook on nature and the world around you. Continue to be a light and airy individual and use this creative to express yourself like never before. It is not necessary that you need recognition for your works because your projects are for your own use of expression and healing. Take this artistic outlook and apply it to the kaleidoscope of life to perceive situations in a more balanced way.
4 Best Hiking Spots In New York State
New York state is known for some of the most beautiful and scenic hiking trails. From slow paced walks to high-intensity adventures, you can find an unlimited amount of outdoor activities to participate in in NY state. Here are some of the best hiking spots we have found in New York.
Let’s get some fresh air!
Cascade Mountain, Adirondack Mountains
As many know, the Adirondacks contains several mountains, 46 high peaks to be exact. Cascade Mountain is one of the many that are a part of this range. Located in Essex county Adirondack Park, the mountain is about 4,098 feet tall. At the bottom of this mountain you can find a brook and a series of waterfalls that cascade into the small stream of water. The entirety of the hike can take about 4 hours, 2 hours to the top and 2 hours back down. The views are incredible from the summit as you can see a handful of the mountains surrounding you with beautiful greenery and wildlife. This hike is considered to be the easiest out of all 46 mountains and you can bring your dogs on this trail!
The Watkins Glen State Park Gorge Trail.
In the town of Watkins Glen, Schuyler county in the region of Finger Lakes, you can find the enchanting rainbow bridge and falls. This 1.5 mile long trail features 19 waterfalls! Though the distance is not too far, there are about 800 stairs in this trail that make it quite the leg workout. It takes about one hour each way and can be considered an easy-intermediate hike. If you would like to see the scenery but can not walk up hundreds of stairs, buses are available at the bottom of the premises and can take you to the top!
The Buttermilk Falls Gorge Trail.
The quaint city of Ithaca is home to some of the most beautiful waterfall landscapes in the entire region. Buttermilk falls is a state park features two trails that circle together to create a 1.5 mile hike. The entirety of the trail takes about one and a half hours and reaches around 600 feet. This is a great hike to venture on if you are a beginner! Another great feature to this hike is that at the base of the waterfall, you can swim and relax in the outdoor scenery. It is definitely worth the drive or plane ride!
The long trail crosses through 14 states, and totals around 2,200 miles. In the state of New York, It expands from the Hudson River to Mount Washington State Forest, totaling about 96 miles. This trail is really only recommended for experienced hikers due to its terrain and abundance of wildlife. Some of this wildlife includes black bears, white-tailed deer, eastern cottontails, porcupines, eastern grey squirrels, red squirrel, eastern chipmunk, white-footed mouse, timber rattlesnakes and more.
Side-note: For fans of true-crime, you may find it interesting to look into the crimes and conspiracies associated with the Appalachian trail.