How Nice! Young M.A. Hosts a Mother’s Day Celebration for Families Who Lost Loved Ones to Street Violence

Young M.A. organized a pre-Mother’s Day brunch for residents who lost loved ones to street violence in the East New York neighborhood where she grew up.

The event is the first for her KWEENZ foundation.

via NYDN

The hip-hop star lost her 20-year-old brother Kenneth in 2009, when he was fatally stabbed in the back by a friend. Her mom, Latasha Blackmon, recalled the dark times that followed his slaying.

“My whole world changed,” she told the audience of about 50 people. “I had PTSD, I had depression, anxiety. It hasn’t been easy, every day is a struggle for us. But we have had many blessings along the way.” 

Young M.A., whose real name is Katorah Kasanova Marrero, said events like this allow people to share their pain with others who faced the same crushing anguish.

“This is our way of keeping him alive,” the 26-year-old rapper said of her brother. “Reaching back to families who are going through the same situation … and letting them know that they’re not alone.

“When you’re going through it, it feels like you’re the only one.”

Helium-filled balloons marked “Happy Mother’s Day” floated above the tables where the families assembled inside the 3 Black Cats Cafe in Brooklyn.

In addition to mimosas, the guests sipped sangria while enjoying a spread of sugar-dusted waffles, shrimp and chicken.

Hip-hop music played in the background as the guests bonded by sharing their stories.

Young M.A. was joined by her mom and her grandmom to hear attendees like Dominique Harrell, 17, share the story of a friend killed by gang violence in the summer of 2016.

Harell made a lifelong pal in Nashaun Plummer when the pair met in a middle school bereavement class. Dominique lost her mom and Nashaun lost his older brother in a shooting.

Several years later, at the age of 15, Nashuan was gunned down about three blocks from the site of his brother’s gang murder.

“He was funny, outgoing,” recalled Harrell, a student at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville. “Whenever he smiled, you smiled.”

Halchervene Bobbit, 42, recalled the shooting death of her cousin on a Brooklyn rooftop back in April 2004.

“I don’t know if I’m entirely over it,” said Bobbit, who spent the last 14 years avoiding the building where the gun violence occurred.

“I haven’t been back (there) since,” she said.

The foundation’s name combines the royal titles of king and queen. The rapper hopes her group can not only help heal the bereaved, but offer assistance to low-income families and single mothers.

“Having my platform, I just really wanted to reach out to my community and do something right,” she said.

On a personal note, she hoped the event would introduce her mother to other moms dealing with the same issues.

“This is something for her to get into and give her a little relief, and meet other mothers who have been in this situation so they’re not alone,” said Young M.A.

Click here to check out more photos from the event.

The post How Nice! Young M.A. Hosts a Mother’s Day Celebration for Families Who Lost Loved Ones to Street Violence appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity gossip and entertainment news.

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Star Wars fans are the luckiest fans in the world. I mean, that merchandise selection is seriously infinite. While we have seen numerous Star Wars-themed Bluetooth speakers already, it’s time that you forget those — because there’s a shiny, new line of merch in the galaxy.

Say goopa (that’s hello in Ewok) to the Star Wars Bluetooth Speakers by iHome

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Fashion Scout Unveils Winners for The Ones to Watch Award

NEW FACES: Fashion Scout, an international showcase that aids emerging talent, has unveiled winners of The Ones to Watch award for London Fashion Week fall 2018. They are Maddie Williams, Zhi Chen’s I Am Chen, Susan Fang and Kristel Kuslapuu.
“We are excited to have expanded the award across the catwalk and presentation studio to fit with our winner’s creative views,” said Fashion Scout founder and director Martyn Roberts. “We have a bold and colorful eclectic mix of designers from diverse cultures.”
Launched in 2006, Fashion Scout has worked with, and supported designers including Iris Van Herpen, Peter Pilotto, Eudon Choi and David Koma with dedicated showcases meant to attract press and buyers.
Fashion Scout will mount its Ones to Watch Catwalk show during London Fashion Week on Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. in The Vestibule Catwalk.
The Ones to Watch Presentation will take place on Feb. 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Presentation Studio, Freemasons’ Hall.
Williams, Chen and Fang will take part in a collective showcase in the Vestibule Catwalk Hall, while Kuslapuu will present her range within the Fashion Scout Presentation studio.
A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, the British eco-designer Maddie Williams won the Catwalk Textiles Award and the

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Shop five black dresses like the ones on the Golden Globes red carpet

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Pretty much every single celebrity wore black on the Golden Globes red carpet, in support of victims of sexual harassment – well apart from these women who shunned the dress code.

Everyone one from Reese Witherspoon to Jessica Biel and Nicole Kidman wore black designer dresses, some accessorising with emerald earrings to signify hope.

And while you might think a black dress is a little boring, you’d be entirely wrong, as proven by my favourite looks of the night, which you can shop below.

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz, Golden Globes 2018

Zoe Kravitz looked impossibly chic in a column dress by Saint Laurent, paired with the most gorgeous emerald statement earrings. The beauty of this dress is that it’s uber simple, so not only can you accessorise it with pretty much anything, but you’ll be wearing it again and again thanks to its timeless factor.

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Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington, Golden Globes 2018

Kerry Washington looked ultra glamorous in head-to-toe sequins courtesy of Prabal Gurung for the dress, and Roger Vivier for the shoes. Save this glittering number for party season.

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Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman, Golden Globes 2018

Nicole Kidman’s Givenchy dress was the stuff of dreams. Delicate tulle shoulders and beaded detailing elevated an otherwise plain black skirt and suited her frame beautifully.

Shop now: GANNI Duval lace dress for £164 from MyTheresa.com

Natalie Portman

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Seeing as she’s the face of Dior, it was no surprise the actress wore a dress by the fashion house for the red carpet. The velvet number was shown at Paris Fashion Week.

Shop now: Black Velvet Bardot Maxi Dress for £25 from Wallis

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon, Golden Globes 2018

One of many actresses to choose a one-shoulder gown, Reese looked chic in her Zac Posen dress, which she paired with diamond earrings and a diamond cuff bracelet.

Shop now: MUGLER One-shoulder asymmetrical velvet gown for £1,260 from Net-A-Porter

Which one was your favourite black dress at the Golden Globes? Let us know on Twitter @marieclaireuk

The post Shop five black dresses like the ones on the Golden Globes red carpet appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Spotlight: Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, The Mad Ones

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Sasha Pieterse Wows on PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch Red Carpet as She Reveals Why She’s ‘So Thankful to DWTS’

Sasha Pieterse candidly spoke about her health struggles and medical condition on Dancing with the Stars last week — and says she could not be happier to have a stage on which to be so open.

During the second week of competition, the Pretty Little Liars alum, 21, revealed she gained nearly 70 lbs. in two years due to a hormone condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

“I’m so thankful to Dancing with the Stars for giving me that platform,” Pieterse said at PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch Party at NeueHouse in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

“I loved that I was able to share that with people and bring awareness to it. The response has been amazing,” said the actress, who wore a dress by Zhivago to the party, which was presented by Maybelline New York.

“It’s all positive and supportive. I’ve actually come into contact with so many friends who have PCOS that I never even knew. This is something that’s really important to me and glad that it’s getting shared.”

RELATED GALLERY: Introducing PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch 2017: Rising Stars You Need to Know

The South Africa native previously told PEOPLE about the severity of the disorder.

“There’s a lot of symptoms – like irregular periods, weight gain, impossible to lose weight — that seem somewhat normal sometimes depending on your lifestyle, but I feel like you have to just go and get it checked,” said Pieterse, who will return to Freeform for a Pretty Little Liars spinoff.

“PCOS can lead to ovarian cancer and breast cancer and thyroid issues that could’ve been avoided. More than half of woman have it, and they don’t even know. It really is a huge issue that I want to share and hopefully help even one person deal with it.”

On the show, Pieterse, who announced her engagement to Sheaffer on Instagram in December 2015, said she received some nasty comments after she started to gain weight.

“It was really, really hurtful the way people reacted,” the star told viewers. “People were staying stuff like, ‘She’s pregnant.’ ‘You’re fat.’ They were angry or mad that I looked like this. It was one of the hardest things I have ever been through.”

But thanks to the dancing and exercise of DWTS, she’s lost 15 lbs.

“I’m feeling like me again,” Pieterse said during the episode. “Being on the show, I’ve lost over 15 pounds. It’s not an easy road, but being able to focus on getting myself healthy again, and the fact that I’m seeing results, getting better is all I can ask for.”


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As previously reported, Karrueche Tran is living her best life, and a part of that is freely sharing daring things, like this photo of herself in a thong bikini: Tran, at the time, was dressed up as her Claws character, Virginia (peep the blond hair and heavy makeup). The character is a flashy former prostitute whose style […]

The post “Y’all Shame Natural Bodies But Praise Fake Ones”: Karrueche Tran Is Not Here For People Body Shaming Her appeared first on MadameNoire.

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Here’s why I like woven wraps better than stretchy ones for newborns

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Kelly Wilbanks

posted in Products

I’m one of those moms who enjoys the idea of babywearing more than actually wearing my baby, if that’s a thing. I envision my infant nestled into my chest like a baby koala. In this dream I’m standing and watching my older children play kindly with each other while I sip a cup of iced coffee and savor close tender feelings for my family.

My reality is a bit different. Usually the reason I’m wrapping my baby is because she’s crying, wanting to be held while I’m being simultaneously pulled in different directions by my other two daughters. This is not the TV commercial I’d imagined, but I’m still thankful for my wrap, my growing skill with it, and how it holds my baby firmly near my heart.

There are a ton of great options out there when it comes to wearing your baby. I have written about beautiful wraps, carriers for toddlers, and babywearing while pregnant, but one of the simplest (at least conceptually) has to be the wrap. There are many variations: fabric, print, breathability, stretchiness, length.

I’ve tried these three: 

Woven: Natibaby (Amazon, $ 39.95-$ 55.95)

moms-wearing-baby-woven-wrap

Stretchy: Moby Wrap (Amazon, $ 49.95)

Moby-wrap-carrier-advertisor-copy

Really Stretchy: Boba Wrap (Amazon, $ 39.95)

family-babywearing-boba-wrap

In the picture below I look happy (perhaps that’s because there isn’t much wine left in my glass), but the prior 40 minutes had been hellish. My 4-month-old was overtired after traveling all day and was crying nonstop during my best friend’s wedding shower. I couldn’t even leave with my baby because that’s where I was spending the night.

lady-baby-wearing-party

Eventually, a helpful party guest came to my rescue and wrapped us up in her Moby. Vivianne fell asleep and someone poured me a glass of wine. It was my best experience with a stretchy wrap hands down. So, it’s not that I hate stretchy wraps or think they are a bad product. I just never felt this comfortable when I did the job by myself.

Though the Moby wrap was my saving grace in this situation, I prefer a less-stretchy woven wrap for my newborn for a few reasons. Newborns are technically newborns for a month. One month. My babies grow fast once my milk comes in (my 5-month-old is 22 pounds now). Using a woven wrap kept them in place better from birth onward.

dad-babywearing-wrap

Trying to wrap myself with a stretchy wrap proved difficult to the point of frustration, with the fabric quickly stretching out. I couldn’t ever get it tight enough to feel like my baby was being well-supported, no matter how much work I’d done on the front side to get things into place before adding my baby.

My reality usually involves a heavy baby, a squishy postpartum body, and household tasks that won’t do themselves. And, to be honest, my body has gotten a little squishier with each baby. I have come to appreciate the woven wrap because it stays firm and holds onto my baby even though my body has gotten soft in certain places.

baby-sleeping-babywearing

In the end, a happy, peaceful, if not sleeping, baby is the goal. Maybe you can complete a load of dishes, take a walk in the park, or have a moment to pause and sip your coffee before it gets cold. I’m babywearing right now so that I can finish this article because my sweet baby took a two-minute car nap and now won’t go back to bed. Whatever your reason for babywearing, after considering your options, you’ll surely make the best choice for you.

mom-babywearing-baby

Do you prefer a wrap with stretch or one that is firm?

Images by Kelly Wilbanks, Gabby Kubo Dannemiller

The post Here’s why I like woven wraps better than stretchy ones for newborns appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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When this grocery store cashier in the U.K. was makeup-shamed, she clapped back in an epic way that has since gone viral.
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NBC Told Marta Kauffman That ‘No One’s Going To Watch A Show About People In Their 20s’

Showrunner Marta Kauffman had to deal with quite a few obstacles in creating “Friends” (including, but not limited to, misogyny). One of the comments she received from NBC early on nearly nixed the now iconic setup for the cast.

“We were told by the network, ‘No one’s going to watch a show about people in their 20s,'” she said. “[They said], ‘You have to have an older person.'”

Of course, the show had nearly 25 million viewers in its first season. Though you, dear Internet, need no reminder of how beloved “Friends” was and always will be.

That concern from higher-ups was one of the reasons Kauffman almost had to bring in “Pat the Cop,” aka, as moderator Ben Blacker put it, “America’s favorite lost character.”

As the lore would have it, Pat was suggested by one executive as an older figure who would provide the characters with relationship advice.

Kauffman was vehemently against bringing on Pat or a similar figure — one of the other ideas was a “Coffee Joe” — and insisted that she could make audiences care about such a young set of characters without a more mature presence.

“We kept saying, ‘If the stories are universal enough, you don’t need it.'” She eventually met executives’ requests by bringing in Rachel Green’s parents. (Later, Monica’s and Ross’ parents were also a big presence.)

“It felt more natural,” Kauffman said. “That’s how we decided to deal with the note. And this is what I always tell writers: you’ve gotta deal with the note somehow.

R.I.P. Pat the Cop. May you live on forever in “Friends” trivia posts.

Lauren Duca is currently covering the ATX Television Festival for The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @laurenduca and expect much more to come!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Roommate Dancing While He Thinks No One’s Watching Is AMAZING

They say you should dance like no one’s watching. But if you actually don’t want anyone watching, you should make sure that no one is.

That lesson was learned the hard way by this poor soul in the video above, who was cleaning up after a Halloween party whilst dancing to the Sheena Easton classic “9 to 5,” according to the video description.

The dancing is great and this guy has nothing to be ashamed of. See for yourself above.

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Young Adults Think E-Cigs Safer Than Tobacco Ones

Survey finds young parents and non-smokers among users
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Coping With Loss of Loved Ones Through Theratainment

The holidays can come loaded with affect for those who’ve had someone close to them die. More upsetting can be a recent loss, one which occurred around the holidays, or the first anniversary with a glaring non-attendance.

To begin with, it’s glaringly obvious that their space at the table is vacated, a recipe is lost, or traditions have changed. The goal is for the void to become a less painful footnote to your history over time. However many years pass, though, people are not replaceable, and the empty space can be tangible.

Seemingly innocent comments such as “She’s in a better place now,” or “I know how you feel,” can be counter-productive. Whatever the circumstances were, the company of someone once cherished is still desired. If there were conflicted emotions and fragmented relationships in life, the holidays can be further complicated by death.

Consider options to reduce or eliminate stressful shopping outings or have someone else host instead of entertaining. Set good limits by practicing saying no to whatever is unhelpful or uncomfortable. Keep true-blue support systems close.

The deceased can be a beloved presence in their absence in your heart and memories. It’s okay to mention and acknowledge vulnerability around not having them physically present. A donation can be provided to honor their life, or plant a tree or small garden in their name, or volunteer at their favorite charity.

Putting together and going through a memory box with cards and pictures commemorates the departed and keeps them ever-present. Lisa will wear the Icelandic booties her late mother-in-law knit to keep her close. Tara is wearing her grandmother’s gloves this winter.

To illustrate the ideas we’ve been talking about, let’s turn to film, television, and books with topics of grief and loss at their core.

Terms of Endearment, 1983

Debra Winger plays a young dying mother and Shirley MacLaine, her mother. This gut-wrenching and heart-warming movie portrays a free-falling fractured family crumble. They ultimately rise above old hurts and wounds by pulling together for each other, and the children left behind.

Steel Magnolias, 1989

A stoic Sally Fields plays a mother grieving the death of her adult daughter, played by Julia Roberts. Being rescued from grief means to work through pain rather than suppressing it by shutting down or going numb. Fields’ character finally allows herself, through the scaffolding of her friendships, to feel every crazy-making emotion that grief can bring as a way to heal.

The Lion King, 1994

Simba, a lion cub voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, experiences the death of his father. Instead of facing his father’s death, he runs away as if it were a geographical problem. Maturing into adolescence, he realizes the importance of facing his pain, to move forward and recreate normalcy.

The Descendents, 2011

George Clooney is a grieving husband, father and go-to patriarch who navigates choppy emotional waters to hold his nuclear and extended family unit together. A remarkable depiction of the variable emotions during grieving, it’s a skillful representation of how families mourn and support one another collectively.

Glee, 2013

Initially, the show does a nice job exhibiting individual self-expression along with groups suffering loss together and shoring up one another. Jane Lynch’s character slips by suggesting the best tribute would be to not make “a self-serving spectacle of our own sadness.”

Unfortunately orders like this can cause grieving individuals to believe their sadness is wrong. To pretend that everything is okay, or to suppress feelings and “move on” prematurely, isn’t realistic or recommended. When appropriate grieving is short-circuited the risk increases that what manifests later on is worse — angry outbursts, often with depressive features, such as panic attacks, and/or physical symptoms such as pain that can’t be explained by other medical reasons.

In conclusion, managing the finality of death is a personal journey. Surrendering to the process to make meaning of the experience is not a cookie-cutter affair. One size does not fit all.

Author Joan Didion writes about this territory in two fine memoirs: the first, The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), about her husband’s passing and Blue Nights (2011), her daughter’s. She spoke eloquently with interviewer Michael Silverblatt about these twin occurrences, which struck Didion in less than two years’ time.

The same month Didion turned 69, her only child, an adult daughter, was in a coma, and her husband of 40 years, writer, John Gregory Dunne (whom she collaborated with at times) died of a sudden heart attack at their dinner table. Her daughter died two years later, while Didion was on a book tour about surviving Dunne’s death. Didion described her grief as coming in “waves,” meaningless — a sense of incomprehension or incoherence — took over, and how hard healing can come.

Rainer Maria Rilke’s 1903 classic, Letters to a Young Poet, offers comfort that applies well to mourning:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

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