• Words of Wisdom

    Serving ‘Em Up: Apologies

    We’ve all done something wrong or had wrong done to us. In many instances, this has warranted an apology. But every-so-often, we receive an apology that just doesn’t sit well or seems satisfactory to someone else but not to us. This post is all about why that may be. Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of the 5 Love Languages. He has decades of experience in counseling and learning how each individual gives love and receives love in order to help relationships thrive. In 2006, he took his work a step further by writing a book about how we give and receive apologies. Knowing how your friend, partner, parent, child…

  • Music Spotlight

    Music Spotlight: Khalid

    I’m trying something new: Whenever I find an artist who I really like or a collection of songs that really speak to me, I’ll create a blog post dedicated to my Top 5 tracks at that time. In true Thoko fashion, the first artist I’ll be spotlighting is Khalid. The 21-year-old singer from El Paso, Texas came into all of our lives when his first single, Location, went quadruple platinum. From his captivating voice to his smooth and sensual beats, he’s definitely a top artist to watch. Here are 5 of my favorite songs (in no particular order): Shot Down Favorite lyrics: “Happy seventeen, I saw us two and you…

  • Fashion & Beauty

    My Current Top 5 Makeup Products

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I do wear it everyday. I’ve experimented with different brands and different products but I think I’ve finally found what works for me. Maybe some of these will work for you too! I. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation – $5.99 -$7.99 (depending on retailer) It was so difficult for me to find a foundation that actually matched my skin tone and didn’t leave me looking either orange or grey. I scoured Sephora, tried my hand at highly-regarded brands and even tried mixing shades, all to no avail. It turns out that my my perfect foundation shade was waiting for me…

  • Poetry

    If – A Poem

    If I had eased my own fears the way that I eased yours, I would not have been afraid to be alone. If I had built myself up the way that I did you, I would have built a happier home. If I had listened to my heart the way I listened to yours, I would have heard its painful call. If I had loved myself as much as I loved you, I would have never loved you at all.

  • Reviews,  Travel

    5 Reasons To Use Airbnb When Traveling

    In case you’ve never heard of it before, Airbnb is a lodging reservation website on which home owners can list their spaces and “match” with travelers who are looking for a place to stay. The site currently has over 2 million home listings all over the world! I’ve used Airbnb six times now – including a 3-month-long stint in New York City – and I have 2 more upcoming trips already planned. I’ve become such a fan of the site because of how easy it is to use. I’m also lucky enough to have never had a bad experience with any of my listings. Below are a few reasons why…

  • Reviews,  TV/Movies

    For the people who don’t want to watch the Bachelor but want to know what’s going on.

    Because no matter how cringey the majority of the moments are on shows like this, we’re still suckers for a romantic plot line. Entertainment Tonight made Bachelor Nation’s dreams come true when they decided to create a Bachelor franchise recap show called Roses and Rosé. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill recap show – it’s the funniest and most wildly entertaining collection of footage and commentary that I’ve ever come across. I don’t know the science behind YouTube’s algorithms but for some unknown reason, Roses and Rosé was recommended to me. (Prior to finding the show, I was by no means an avid Bachelor watcher). Perhaps the engineers at YouTube HQ thought…

  • Reflections

    Decolonize that mind, babe.

    On September 23, 2017 at 2 p.m., I got the words, “Decolonize that mind,” tattooed below my heart and across my ribs. My mother freaked out when I told her, and my father went completely silent over the phone. Then I shared the meaning behind my decision with them, and it eased both their minds. During a visit to York in the UK, I came across a Jamaican bar that had words like Ubuntu, black love and black power posted all over its walls. It was powerful. Later that night, I posted a photo of that wall to my Instagram page with a caption that read, “Decolonize that mind, babe.…

  • Reflections

    You Call It “Being Nosy.” I Call It “Being Curious.”

    Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always taken an interest in the lives of others. The main reason I learned my mother tongue was to be able to understand what my parents were saying about other people during our car rides. I was six…and they were shocked. My sneaky life-givers then moved on to using code names and ambiguities in their conversations so that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Though it was harder, I decoded each one, and would occasionally slip up by asking why it is that “so-and-so” did “such-and-such.” I remember that I was eight years old when I cracked a pretty complex code…

  • Reflections,  Words of Wisdom

    4 Ways I’ve Embraced Change At A Time When Everything’s Changing

    I’m officially at the point where everything in my life is being thrown into disarray. I’ll be graduating from college in a few months and I’ll be moving to a new city to start my first full-time job. I’ll have to make new friends and I’ll probably have to date (ew), all while doing my best maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Through this post, I’m going to breakdown the ways that I’ve begun to think about and work through these impending changes. Maybe it will help you too. WAY 1: Learning to lead with love and not fear As someone who gets very anxious very quickly, the thought of…

  • Reflections

    This I Believe

    Last week, I was tasked with writing my personal leadership statement for my North Carolina Fellows Program capstone class. The program allows college students to define and enhance their leadership styles throughout their time at UNC-Chapel Hill. The only rules for this assignment were that the statement had to take the format of NPR’s “This I Believe” series, started in 2009, and that it had to be recorded in our own voice. Here’s what I had to say: For those of you who’d prefer to read it, there’s a transcribed version below. I was born to a mother who taught me that empathy is the key to life. She taught my brother and I…