What The &#*^ Is The Deal With ROSE GOLD?!

IT’S 2017 (with an emphasis on -teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen)!

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Now that that part is out of the way, I wanna get to the real topic at hand that I want to discuss.

ROSE GOLD.

It’s the color of new Forever 21 jewelry. It’s a new color choice for most ordinary products. IT’S EVEN A NEW COLOR FOR THE IPHONE, Y’ALL.

 

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Guilty as charged. Right hand, mind you! 😉

So just why is Rose Gold the color of the moment right now? I haven’t the slightest clue, but I like it and hope it stays the color of the moment forever. I just love how it goes with everything I have. The ring in this photo is a simple rose gold $3.99 ring I found in Charming Charlie’s clearance basket. I love how classy it looks on my hand when paired with my current nail color (which is Blake’s Red from Loreal).

My iPhone 7 is rose gold! When I upgraded on the 4th, I had the option of going with straight gold again as I’ve done with my iPhone 6, but that’s no fun! So I opted for the pink-inspired color this time around, and I do not regret doing so. I’m a huge fan of anything gold because of how well it looks on my skin and rose gold is simply the bee’s knees. It also gives me a feeling of ultra-femininity.

Now that I mention it, I just remembered that I also have a nose hoop that’s rose gold! Sadly, I had to take it out and give it a rest because it’s been feeling rather crusty lately.

*this is the part where I’d post a photo of the nose ring but every photo I took features some hideous feature or is actually a video*

I’m digging rose gold lately because it’s an especially complementing choice for dark-skinned women who don’t feel like rocking straight gold. The next thing on my to-do list is to buy some more rose gold rings…or maybe a new watch! I’ve been desperately needing a working watch for the longest time, anyway.

Are you, too, fascinated with rose gold? What colors have you been obsessed with lately?

Abeni, out!

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Abeni’s Adventures in Birdland: Volunteering at a Parrot Sanctuary (For The First Time)

I’m still due to share my experience of how I survived my first networking expo on October 24 (as a shy girl), but yesterday’s events are just totally worth sharing. I’m still on Cloud 9 from it all, and here’s how it all began….

On that sunny Saturday morning, I woke up before my alarm clock, which doesn’t happen often. I did the usual to get ready: take a shower, brush my teeth, pack my favorite little southwestern Liz Claiborne crossbody bag, blah blah. All the while, I’m thinking to myself: is this all gonna be worth it? I set my expectations low for the day to save myself any future disappointment. Just last Friday, I was going to volunteer at a homeschooling academy, but nobody at the school showed up for anyone to do anything. I kind of expected this to happen, though, so I was bummed but not enough that it ruined my day. But enough of that part, back to the story!

I caught a ride to campus and made my way through to the Lake Claire pavilion to meet with the other volunteers attending. I carpooled with the coordinator and some other kid who was also in VolunteerUCF (I’m bad with names, hello but he had a nametag that I didn’t get to look at). A half-hour of sightseeing later, we finally arrived at Patty’s Parrot Palace.

I initially assumed that it would be totally outdoors. Nope! It’s all indoors in a building filled to the brim with parrots of all kinds from all walks of life. From every inch of the room, squawks were heard and whistles were made by the lovely feathered residents (the only time I ever want to be whistled at, honestly). I won’t lie, it did smell. But it’s an animal sanctuary and the smell of dung is very common in these types of places so that didn’t bother me. After meeting up with staff (including an Avan Jogia lookalike…yes lawd!) and taking a quick look into each room, we as volunteers were instructed to first scrub down and clean the cages. From here is where it gets FUN!

My first cage that I cleaned belonged to an African Grey parrot named Rock. It was honest-to-God my first time seeing pretty much ALL of these parrots in the flesh, so naturally, when Rock climbed down his cage and came face-to-face with me, I was a little stunned. Aside from throwing down his food bowl, he was a chill bird. One of the most endearing parts of my day was when the African Grey next to him named Gypsy grabbed onto my rag while cleaning the side of Rock’s cage. I didn’t realize that until I tried to pull the rag away and looked down. Low-key, I was like “Gypsy…wyd.”

If you’ve ever been around parrots before, you know that they get LOUD, and I’m not referring to J.Lo’s song.

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I wish I could stick my phone in the cage and get a clearer photo of him but considering this is my very first time handling birds and I didn’t want to mess anything up, you’ll have to deal with the blurriness. Sorry y’all!

See this green one here? He’s beautiful, isn’t he? But holey moley, he could shatter windows with his screaming. Strangely enough, he’s a parrot I wouldn’t mind owning at all!

After everyone finished scrubbing cages in this room, we advanced to the front room with the smaller parrots (the first room was just the medium-sized birdies). I cleaned this one’s cage here first:

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Taken LONG after I finished cleaning his cage.

I have no idea what species this is, but he seemed to really love my face. As I was cleaning his cage, he followed my face wherever it went. If I was on the right, he would climb right. If I was on the left, he would climb left. Once I noticed this, I played around with it. “What’s with ya?” I asked him, but he kept following. I don’t remember the name of this beauty, but I hope he’ll remember my face when I come back because he’s my new favorite one now.

Trish, our boss, moved us to the cockatoo room to change the newspaper linings (some of them were full of shit and I was like “Ewww!”, but then I told myself “Abeni, you signed on for this. Plus, you want a bird, don’t you? This is what you’ll have to deal with so GET TO IT, missy!”). These things are GIGANTIC in person! I was so in awe from seeing them in the flesh for the first time that I was practically almost brought to tears. There was even an ORANGE crested one that I thought I would never see in my life.

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LOOK AT HOW ORANGE HE IS! (This is Dundee and I’ve unofficially named him my child)

I’m gonna be honest and say that I want to rave some more about these beautiful birds, so to sum up the rest of our duties, we put food bowls into each bird’s cage in the macaw room. Oh boy, they have a ton…even military macaws! Macaws are also gigantic in person, although I’d seen them plenty before in zoos.

After it was all said and done, we ate pizza and did some sightseeing on our own. Along the main hallway, I saw these…

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THEY HAVE FACES!!!

…and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t squeal with sheer joy upon seeing them. I’ve always been in love with rosy-face lovebirds and seeing this made me want to reach in and squeeze their cute little faces. *insert endless crying emojis here*

Before we had pizza, though, was the best part: having some of them perch on us. I got to have this lil’ baby perch on my arm:

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Also my child. A yellow-crested cockatoo, sadly it is critically endangered and I’m tearing up writing this because we need to protect this species AT ALL COSTS.

He climbed onto my shoulder and I got probably the most hideous photo ever of my face, but also the second most epic photo I’ve ever taken.

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The caption still rings true. He grabbed on my choker though and it caught me off guard. Still a cutie.

Of all the birds in there, though, the cockatoo room houses my favorite parrots thus far. Sulphur-crests, umbrellas, and Goffins, oh my! The Moluccan had a neckbrace on but still managed to be a big flirt: among his vocabulary is “Hey, baby!” and an actual wolf whistle. I don’t know his name yet, but he’s already my fave too. Such a bold one, that bird.

Just look at these though:

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HE HAS CHEEKS!!!
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The same one, but WITH A CREST!
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The one next to him. I’ve also named this one my child. Just LOOK AT HIS FACE!
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The Goffin. He seems to love me after saying “hello” to me a lot.

It goes without saying that I love cockatoos especially, but parrots in general are extremely precious and beautiful and need to be protected at all costs. I left knowing that after all that they’ve been through, all these beauties are in the best hands; people that work hard to provide them with the loving care they need. Nothing but sheer love and positive vibes for Patty’s Parrot Palace and everybody running this organization. Oh, and the parrots, too!

Overall, Saturday was a life-changing and therapeutic experience. I’m still on Cloud 9 from it and I’m dying to come back here again super soon. I’m so in love with these darlings, and I hope at least that lil’ green bird will remember my face! 🙂

Abeni, out! xo

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Only the second most epic photo I’ve ever taken, this is Gypsy on my arm. And wow, I actually look AMAZING here! I’ll see you soon, kiddo!

 

 

The Inaugural Pierceaversary – Part 2

Part 1 of my inaugural pierceaversary was the story of how I got a needle poked through my left nostril and got my first piercing ever…that wasn’t in my earlobes. A year has gone by and I have been through some crazy events with this piercing of mine.

1. In the first few months, there were moments where the stud would sink through the hole. I wish I had a picture of this, but I don’t. Sometimes I would poke at it and it would start sinking through, and it was a scary feeling. Lucky for me, it didn’t last long. Now my studs tend to stay in place…as they should!

2. A nostril piercing usually takes around 3-6 months to fully heal. I could have just changed my jewelry in December, but I opted to wait a little longer just to be safe. And by a little longer, I mean I ended up switching my jewelry on February 12th, just 5 months after I got it pierced*. I purchased several pieces of jewelry including a 14 karat nose hoop from bodycandy.com on a Tuesday, and it was in my mailbox on Friday. It took me 45 minutes just to take out my stud and get the hoop in the hole because of the pain…and my clumsy self dropping the thing only 100 freaking times. It was doubly frustrating because I wanted to go to an event on campus but ended up missing it. Having some Qdoba made up for it, though, although let’s face it: Qdoba makes up for EVERYTHING.

The 45 minutes it took to get this little sucker in was worth it in the end. I love how gold just stands out with my skin tone.

3. L-bar nose rings are not my favorite ones to work with. They take a while for me to pop in, and if the L part is too small, it has a chance of falling out in my sleep. I guess it’s a matter of practice makes perfect…I’m still learning the science of it all.

4. The bigger the number, the smaller the gauge. An 18g ring is thicker than a 20g ring, and some stores even make jewelry as skinny as 26g. Per the advice that others have given me, I wouldn’t recommend going for jewelry so small so often because rings of this size move around inside your piercing so easily. It’s like trying to fit a slightly bigger ring on your finger…I think? Either way, it can result in turning your piercing into a vertical line, otherwise known as the “cheese cutter effect”. Let’s just say it is not a pretty sight.

5. Keloids. They’re the worst ever. They’re painful to the touch…okay, not ALL the time. But I can’t help but try to pop it every single time. Please don’t do this, by the way. I’m just a bad influence in this regard. And an impatient lady.
Instead, soak it with a sea salt solution or H2Ocean spray and leave it the hell alone (LITHA).

This was two months after my piercing. Not the best photo I’ve found of a keloid but look closely at that pesky little bump.


6. A retainer is very handy to have. Sadly, we still live in a society where piercings are frowned upon in a professional environment. Some places don’t even allow a dainty little nose stud! It’s unfair, but what can you do? I can answer that! Buy yourself at least ONE clear retainer to pop in your nose for those moments when nose rings are a no-no (I almost wrote no-nose, but then I realized how corny it sounds and how little sense it makes). Bonus points if you can find one for your skin tone!

This is what mine looks like. I’m too lazy to put it in my nose but it works!

7. One year later…well, it doesn’t really hurt anymore! Of course, I’ve had but a few scares where my ring fell out and I had no idea until after the fact. That’s why from now on I’ll just carry some spare rings on me just in case. Here’s how it looks today….

No flash. Note the dark scar. Keloids suck.

With flash. Look how sparkly it is! *.*

With flash #2 from above. I like how my eyes look here.

And so concludes my retrospective on my inaugural pierceaversary…what will this next year bring? Who knows. Even though it’s long healed, it’s all still a learning process. I’ve got some new nose rings coming in the mail and I’m excited to try them on. I feel like getting this nose piercing has somehow increased my self-confidence greatly or at least played a role in that process. I like to think of it as a personal symbol of how I no longer ever give a (bleep) what anyone thinks, as well as how I don’t play by anybody’s rules but my own. Is there a moral to this? I don’t know; I think there isn’t one, except just live your life unapologetically, do things that you want to do for yourself and nobody else, don’t feel like you have to play by anyone’s rules, and most of all, have no regrets for anything you do. It all sounds cheesy, but there ya go!
One year down and here’s hoping for many more years to come!

Abeni, out!

*I highly do not recommend ever doing this. I am not a very patient lady and I just wanted to wear a nose hoop already. Wait until it’s fully healed. Better yet, see your piercer at least 3 or 6 months after you get it pierced and see what they say!

The Inaugural Pierceaversary – Part 1

If pierceaversary isn’t actually a word, well guess what. It is now. Because on this day, exactly one year ago, my life changed forever…yep, I pierced my nose. Hell yeah, I did! And here’s how it all began….

After going to the mall with a friend of my mom’s, I asked if we could go to Orlando Tattoo Company (AKA the BEST tattoo/piercing shop EVER!) before I went home. She said yes, and we went. I’d never been inside a tattoo shop before, so I hadn’t a clue what to expect.

For reference, this was taken literally an hour before the cartilage stabbing began (3:56 PM). Look at how innocent I looked!

We opened the doors to see a set of old carnival machines including a creepy clown machine to the right, and three retro arcade games to  the left. I thought to myself, “Well, this is pretty alright….” While looking around, a heavily tattooed guy with an eyebrow ring came out of one of the rooms. He gave me a waiver form for me to sign and I looked through to sign each question. When it got to that part where you have to give them a person to contact in case something goes awry, I was like “Well, shoot.” I can’t tell my mom, because then she’ll know! After some thought, I wrote in my first older brother’s name and information. This would just be between us siblings…for now.

After completing the form, I had to wait a few more minutes. I braced myself for the inevitable incoming pain; feeling nervous, naturally, but knowing that this was going to be worth it in the end. With rap music playing in the background, the guy (okay, I admit it. As of this posting I can’t remember his name right now! I am kind of really bad with names…) took me into a room near the back of the building. I remember seeing a bunch of posters and the walls were blue. I sat on the cot and patiently waited for the excruciating moment to begin; examining the guy remove a brand new piercing needle and jewelry from their packaging. I knew from that point that I picked the right person to poke a hole in my flesh, so I felt a little more at ease.

In the next few moments, a needle was through my left nostril. I couldn’t scream; he told me not to. Instead, I whimpered as it started to bleed…this pain was so prominent it brought tears to my eyes. No, literally. I CRIED! It hurt THAT bad.

Probably 20 minutes after the fact (just look at the flipping blood surrounding it!). I’m not the best selfie-taker at all, so this was the best one where I didn’t look like I was still in pain. Oh wait, maybe I was. Yep, it hurt that bad for me.

Okay, NOW it looks like it didn’t hurt at all. This is the image media would use if I was ever interviewed about my real piercing experience.

But do I regret it?

Nope. Absolutely not. This was something I wanted to do for myself for at least 5 years. Why didn’t I get it done earlier? My mom always told me, “Don’t get any piercings, you’re fine just the way you are,” so you know I couldn’t get one while I was still living under her roof. I didn’t even get a piercing because I was unsatisfied with myself physically, I just wanted to try something new and exciting…and even enhance my appearance!

After it was all said and done, I thought: “You know, I’m 21 years old. I’m officially a legal adult. I don’t need anybody’s permission to do anything anymore!” A year later, I still don’t regret it and probably never will. I did it for myself and I’m hella proud, not only for just flipping DOING IT but of the person I’ve become: a young woman still taking risks, taking chances, living unapologetically with no regrets. So you could say that this day was a revelation and a learning lesson for me…. 🙂

(To be continued…)

Abeni, out!

My First Post! (For Real This Time!)

This blog is my baby. It has been around for God knows how long. It was a dream of mine to keep a blog about…something, ever since 11th grade, probably. A little while after I finished high school in 2012, I wanted to start a nail art blog since I was obviously very much into nail art at the time. Seriously, I was trying some new design I found off of the Internet every two or three weeks, and even documenting my results in the form of a photograph to share on social media…well, mostly Instagram. It’s practically a nail art mecca.

But, y’know…that was then! I haven’t really tried any new nail art things since 2015. Maybe I’ll start a nail swatch blog one of these days, but it’s not likely any time soon.

Aside from that, I’ve dabbled with the idea of a 365-a-day blog. You know, those blogs where you take a photo and write about it every single day? I’ve probably tried this idea 5 times already, but I can never continue after two weeks. I don’t know why; maybe it’s the lack of motivation after a while? Or maybe it’s that so many other things come up and it just gets shoved to the back of my mind….

Anyways, we’re here now and this new identity I’ve established for it is the blog I’ve decided to work with from this point forward. I can’t even begin to tell you how many re-workings this blog has gone through so far. From last year, I had a desire to start a blog called “The Weird Black Girls Club” and target it towards young black girls that defy stereotypes. Going off of that name, it was going to be based on what a club would be like. But I had absolutely no idea how to specifically target it towards this audience, though, or even what the blue hell I was doing! So I scrapped it and started semi-fresh…to turn it into just a personal blog. It was called, for a few months, “The Weird Black Girl”. Mostly because the url weirdblackgirl was already taken…whoever you are, let’s be friends! Pretty please? You could be my long-lost twin sister, for all we know!

So the question you’re probably asking is: “Well, what the hell even is this blog, then?”
You know what? With this “rebranding”, “How To Be Abeni”, I think it’s a perfect indicator of what I’d love for this blog to be. By this, I mean that my blog will definitely be a personal blog: my everyday life (or trying to make it daily, anyway), giving my thoughts on certain things, talking about my favorite things, etc. It’ll be something where I can express myself through my all-time favorite medium: writing! I don’t think I’m the BEST WRITER EVER(!!!), but I feel that this blog will be a great contributor to my continuing development (in all forms; professional, personal, not just writing). A personal blog is probably the right match for me right now because there’s so many things I can write about, and these ideas just keep on coming like an idea machine!

This may be a new beginning for this blog, but it doesn’t mean its overall purpose has changed! It’s still my crazy awkward adventures and everything, just with a new and better name. Stay tuned for exciting future installments of “How To Be Abeni!”

…okay, is this how you end it? Are the cameras still rolling? I have no idea how to end a blog post yet…The End*? Yeah, let’s go with that for now! Just visualize me posting up a peace sign and walking out with an unmatchable swagger.

Abeni, out!

*Hooray for a 21 Jump Street reference!