Beyonce Makes Humanitarian Mission to Haiti

beyoncehaiti

Beyonce took a break from flaunting her street style in the big apple to making a surprise visit to Haiti today.

According to VIBE, Beyonce is aiding the United Nations in a humanitarian mission. Likely a well-deserved one given that the impoverished Caribbean country is still rallying from that massive 7.0 earthquake in 2010.

A United Nations report found that 70% of Haitians don’t have working electricity,
more than half a million don’t have a steady supply of food and 172,000 are still living in temporary displacement camps set up five years ago.

But not to fear, Queen Bey is there. Well… for one day, at least.

Sporting her BEY GOOD tee (Beyonce’s charity org) she gave out food, water and other much-needed resources. Beyonce even lent a hand to sick natives battling a cholera epidemic.

This isnt the first time Beyonce worked with the UN. In 2012, she gave a very soulful presentation at UN headquarters for World Humanitarian Day.

See how she blew the roof off the iconic place with her visual version of “I Was Here” below.

15 Lessons I Learned Going into 2015

16119285616_faa4f6c85f_k

Happy New Year!! And since I didn’t wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa, I’ll squeeze those in too. Sorry I was missing in action last week, I had to mourn the loss of my laptop. Don’t roll your eyes. I had my little friend for over four years and it’s been my best writing companion. Oh well, some things aren’t meant to make it to the new year (more on that later). But I digress, it’s officially New Years’ Eve (TURN UP) and instead of giving a long-winded list of my New Years’ resolutions (ZZZZZ) that I know I will break on Jan. 15th, okay, more like Jan. 10th., I’d much rather list all the lessons, some harder than others, I learned in 2014 that will prepare me for 2015.

  1. Don’t Sell Yourself Short– I’ve always been the girl that took what was handed to her, even if that small voice told me that I deserved more then what was given. For instance, this year I was blessed to have several writing job offers, so of course, I scooped them all up like Winnie the Pooh ladles honey. But, the sweet taste of opportunity and success turned bitter when one of the jobs piled on the assignments and gave little feedback on my writing, and to be honest, the pay was lousy. When I realized that I was doing the majority of work for a start-up site in which the creator couldn’t even be bothered to show up to editorial meetings on time, I had a famous aha moment: I deserved more. If you put your all into something and it’s not valued… then walk away (like I did from that job). Don’t settle for less than what you know you deserve. The universe will reward you for knowing your worth with a much better opportunity.
  2. Remove Yourself from Toxic People– It doesn’t matter if their co-workers, family or friends, if they’re giving off bad vibes…say goodbye. Life is too short to be hanging around someone that makes you feel like shit. This year I purged all the people that I once considered friends, and as easy as it may sound, it was heartbreaking. I won’t pretend that I don’t miss my circle of girlfriends that has recently transformed into a triangle. But just as I remember us dancing the night away at a club or getting drunk at a bar, so are the memories of me ALWAYS being the therapist and “friend” being the patient. Never in reverse. Favors were never reciprocated and asking for things were shelved for demanding they happen on the “friend’s” timetable. Adele sums it up best: “I can’t keep up with your turning tables/under your thumb, I can’t breathe/ So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me/No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me.”
  3. Embrace What you Love– Do you know why Citizen Kane is my fave flick of all time? Because through all the ebbs and flows of the newspaper magnet’s life, at the very end he learned when he was most happy. Rosebud. And surprisingly it wasn’t when he was rich and powerful, but innocent and naive. Happily sledding in his parents backyard. As shocking as the deathbed scene is, I find it more harrowing than surprising. Sometimes where we start is where we’re suppose to be. As a young girl I always wrote stories, read stories and watched TV. In that order. But I never imagined being a writer. I thought it was a scary, unattainable goal to make a living writing words. Who would read them, anyway? Yet, it was what I always came back too. Combining my obsession with words with TV shows, I discovered my dream job: entertainment reporter. This year, I worked at entertainment sites to make it a reality. I urge you all to go back to when you were most happy doing something, anything and pursue it.
  4. Take Risks– I took the biggest risk of my life this year; I quit a safe, steady job to go after what I truly want to do. Yes, in this economy. I know it sounds like a first class ticket to poverty and destitution blvd, but I weighed the choices. Do I be miserable in a dead-end job or strike out on my own and see if I can really make my dreams a reality? So, I chose the latter. It was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made in my life. And I’m still waiting on that dream job to come… any day now. Hey, I never said it was easy. Are there days when I wish I was back at my old desk, doing data entry? Yes and no. When bills come, absolutely. Yet, I’d rather be brave and take the plunge then end up like this poor, unfortunate soul. 
  5. Ask for Help– And this is coming from the “I got it” girl. Certifiably Miss Independent. But, “everybody needs somebody sommmmmeeeettttttiiiimmmmeeeeessss” and boy, did I need it this year. Quitting my job put me in a vulnerable position to rely on others for financial assistance. If it wasn’t for my husband and family I could never even entertain the idea of paving a new path for myself. As much as I want to think I can do it all on my own, I know it’s just not possible. There are occasions when it’s okay to lean on others when you’re not able to stand on your own.
  6. Trust Your Instincts– As corny as it may sound that small voice in your head is a good predictor of what you’re doing wrong or right. Think of it as your internal GPS, that won’t blindly lead you off a cliff. All the missteps I made this year could have been prevented if I listened to my gut. Hence, the writing job I mentioned above. Like Olivia Pope says it never lies.
  7. Take Constructive Criticism– There is a thin line between good and great. And you need to align yourself with people that will push past the just good enough point. Where would Beyonce be without Matthew Knowles challenging her? This year I realized that I need someone to believe enough in my talent to challenge me to be better.How else will you get to the next level?
  8. Dream Big– At the risk of sounding like Jaden and Willow Smith, what you think about is what you can become. Your mind is a powerful weapon that can be used to your advantage. For example, I applied for this position at a major magazine a few years ago, and the odds weren’t in my favor. I’m sure others were more experienced than me, had more connections. But, when I put the final period on my cover letter, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t going to get a call back. Guess what? I did. As cliche as it may sound, thinking happy thoughts isn’t so naive.
  9. Stand Up– If you can’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Pick a cause…any cause, this year had a lot to choose from. Mine was the Eric Garner I Can’t Breathe movement that swept through the Big Apple like a twister and swooped people up with its call for change. Rally against any injustices that are worthy of your voice and walking shoes.
  10. Be Patient– As hard as it may be to wait for a goal you’ve had on your vision board since college. And you’re 30-something. Nothing happens over night, including career success. There has to be some reason why it isn’t coming to pass, in the meantime sharpen your skills, network and don’t give up.
  11. Help Others– I have the best remedy for feeling sorry for yourself. Help someone that is 1000 times worse off than you. This year I volunteered for a non-profit that helps prevent dating violence, not only to get out of the house and my own head, but to help others. Focusing on other people’s needs, beside your own, will not only grant you good karma, but minimize your own issues.
  12. Be Grateful– Anyone can point out what they don’t have. This year I made more of an effort to acknowledge what I am blessed with. I’m grateful to have a close knit family, a supportive husband and friends that respect me. Readers of this blog whether it’s 5 or 500. Thank you for supporting my dream, and I urge you to be grateful for what you have because it’s likely others will gladly switch places with you.
  13. Let Go– If Frozen has taught us one thing it’s to release the past and embrace what’s to come. No matter how difficult it is to let go, what’s gone is gone. Don’t keep looking back on something or someone that has been in your rear view with the expectation they’ll be a passenger again. If it happens, okay, but they’ll likely remain where you left them. I let go of jobs, friendships, TV shows and clothes. *sniff sniff* Nothing lasts forever, not even electronics. Especially electronics. So, the best we can do is move on. Just have a backup.
  14. Love Yourself– As selfish as it may sound you’ve got to put yourself first because no one else will. Make your happiness a priority and you’ll love everyone else around you a lot more. This was a hard pill for me to swallow this year because I pride myself on putting others needs before my own, yet hated being taken for granted. Once I started resenting the same people I put first, I knew I needed to make a change. Love yourself because no one else will as much as you do.
  15. Change is Good– I hate change. Every single transition I’ve faced has been met with tears. This year was the year of change. For good or bad I had to face it head on, like we all do. Change is the one constant in life and I’m getting better accepting the role it plays in my story. I’m even looking forward to it in 2015. Don’t be like me; don’t be stuck in your ways, learn to adapt. It will definitely be worth your while.

Happy New Year, lovelies. Cheers to a wonderfully prosperous 2015!!

Beyoncé Donates $7 Million to Build Housing for Houston’s Homeless

The 2009 built apartment complex Beyonce helped fund in H-town. image courtesy: Temenoscdc

The 2009 built apartment complex Beyonce helped fund in H-town. image courtesy: Temenoscdc

Bey may be on the run with her hubby, but her heart is still in H-town. Hence the queen dipping into her honey money jar and dropping $7 milly towards a 43-unit apartment complex for low-income and homeless people in Houston.

The money will be used to expand construction on the Knowles-Tenemos Place Apartments that originally broke ground in 2009. The charitable donation is one of many the powerhouse performer has loosened her purse strings for recently.

image courtesy: Instagram

image courtesy: Instagram

And valued by her Pastor–Rudy Rasmus of St. John’s United Methodist Church –that is overseeing the low income housing project, which includes HIV/AIDS screenings and job preparation.

He praised Beyoncé for her on-going generosity in a radio interview.

“She’s an incredible human being. Has an incredible heart and has been extremely helpful in our mission and ministry here.”

Wait. There’s more. He goes on to say how fortunate he is to have her as a pal (amen to that).

“She has a global platform and is doing some amazing work and I’m glad she’s a friend of mine.”

We should all be so lucky.

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION: Beyonce Opens Wallet for Chime for Change Charity

Image Courtesy: Chime for Change

Image Courtesy: Chime for Change

Beyoncé definitely wanted to leave a mark on the one year anniversary of Chime for Change‘s launch, and the $500 G check she donated will surely be a reminder she was there. That is at the GUCCI store in NY last night basking in the revelry of another year, as co-founder of the org,  helping young women be empowered with the org’s over 300 projects related to health, education and career counseling services across the globe.

This time last year she was slaying the stage for a good cause, this go ’round she was head-bopping to beats her lil sis Solange was churning out. In other words there was nothing but good vibes flowing through the store.

Bey’s half a milly handout will be spread out to three major parts of Chime for Change: $125 Gs will go towards educating 100 Kenyan girls; another $125 Gs will be used for over 300 infant items throughout Sub-Saharan African countries; the remaining quarter million will be split between youth leadership and mentoring programs in NYC and supporting 25 human trafficking survivors with recovery treatments in LA.

Money well spent, Bey.

Beyonce and Jay Z Are On The Run for Charity

Image Courtesy: Beyonce Facebook

Image Courtesy: Beyonce Facebook

Unless you live under a rock on Mars, you know the “never tired” first couple of hip hop and R&B (Jay & Bey) will be making their way back to a stage near you this summer.

For tour dates click here

What you probably don’t know is that proceeds from the “On The Run: Beyonce and Jay Z” tour in association with #BeyGOOD, will go towards the power duo’s respected charities. Every ticket purchased for the North American concert, a $1 will be donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation that provides college scholarships to low-income students.

And that’s not all. For the high rollers snagging Chase Lounge VIP Ticket packages, you should know a portion of the money will also go to the Shawn Carter Foundation.

DYNAMIC DUO: Beyonce and Boots, Singer/Producer Create Soulful Duet Ballad for Charity

Image Courtesy: Consequencesof Sound.net

Image Courtesy:
Consequencesof Sound.net

I know one name didn’t look familiar to you above. Well, let me pour some tea in your cup. Boots aka Jordy Asher is a producer/singer signed to Jay Z’s label Roc Nation. Boots (unknowingly) helped make our holiday season all the more brighter by contributing to “Drunk in Love” and “85% of Beyonce album.” For that, we thank you. And we may need to throw another gracias his way after hearing his duet with Beyonce called “Dreams.”

This haunting ballad is the cherry on top of Boot’s mixtape he’s been teasing us with piecemeal tracks on Facebook for two months. Well, you tell me if it was worth the wait by tapping your feet to King Bey and Boots’ “Dreams” beat below:

Tots worth the wait, amirite? Not only that but it’s also worth the $1 download because every bit of it will go towards an org spreading awareness for teen dating violence. Boots released a statement about the non-profit and why he wanted to donate money to them:

A while back I promised myself that if I ever had the opportunity to help others, or give back in some way, I would seize it. A friend recently told me about a non-profit organization called “Day One” here in NYC. In their words, “Day One is the only organization in New York City solely devoted to the issue of teen dating violence.” I feel that protecting women from these horrible and unthinkable acts should take precedence in our society. I feel passionate about this because if more women knew that safe places existed from the turmoil they experience, it could possibly prevent these situations from occurring or reoccurring. Every cent made from this song will go directly to http://dayoneny.org

So refreshing to see famous artists get behind a cause that largely goes unnoticed. It’s beyond me how people can turn a blind eye to Gabriella or Alisa’s survivor stories. Thank God, for those that don’t.

Beyonce’s #BeyGOOD Campaign Raises £85 for Prince’s Trust in UK

Image Courtesy: beyonce.com/beygood

Image Courtesy: beyonce.com/beygood

The Mrs Carter World Tour may be over, but the busiest Bey on the planet is still bringing in the honey money. Beyonce’s BeyGOOD campaign–enforcing kindness and generosity to others–has raised £85,000 (roughly translates to over $142k in US dollars) for the Prince’s Trust with her UK leg of MCWT.

Chief Executive of Prince’s Trust, Martina Milburn couldn’t help but bow down to Beyonce’s influence in helping other.

“Thanks to Beyoncé and the #BeyGOOD campaign, disadvantaged young people across the UK will have the chance of a better future, despite facing challenges such as poverty, homelessness and mental health issues. We cannot thank both Beyoncé and all those who donated enough for their generous support.”

The XO singer urged concertgoers to text donations, make an online donation or at the venue where she was no doubt slaying the stage. The funds will be used to help young people with disadvantaged backgrounds (homelessness, mental issues) find jobs.

The Prince’s Trust was founded in 1976 to reach out to young people (13-to-30-year-olds) struggling with unemployment or school. The program is an attempt by the Prince of Wales to prevent them from falling through the cracks of an economy in which 1 and 5 is out of work.

It’s not to late to make a BeyGOOD contribution, click here for more info.

Which Celebs Were Most Charitable in 2013?

The annual list has been rolled out. No, not nominees for the Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes…am I missing any? Oh, of course The Oscars. Sheesh, there sure are a lot of award shows…anyhoo I’m referring to an honor that doesn’t come with a pretty accolade to hang on a mantle. But highlights generosity and love for community. It’s the annual Celebs Gone Good list by DoSomething.org

And the most charitable are….

Photo Credit: consequenceofsound.net

Photo Credit: consequenceofsound.net

Rapper Kendrick Lamar lands the 19th spot on the list for putting action behind his socially conscious lyrics by raising thousands for Hurricane Sandy victims and donating the funds to the Red Cross.

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

Oklahoma Thunder baller Kevin Durant follows  with his volunteer efforts and $1 million contribution to the Red Cross in helping to rebuild the city effected by those devastating tornadoes.

Photo Credit: theriothouse.tumblr.com

Photo Credit: theriothouse.tumblr.com

Alicia Keys slides into the 12th spot by headlining the Global Citizens Festival that brings awareness for poverty. In addition to her continuous efforts to combat HIV/AIDS with her Keep A Child Alive non-profit.

Photo Credit: The Washingtonian

Photo Credit: The Washingtonian

It’s not Scandalous that Kerry Washington makes the list with her work helping to keep arts education alive in impoverished neighborhoods. She serves on President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and had major fun with FLOTUS Michelle and kiddos at the White House this past summer.

Photo Credit: The Idolator

Photo Credit: The Idolator

And the number 3 spot goes to Queen Bey for her #BeyGood charitable campaign that partnered with Goodwill in donating clothes and other gently used items to help low-income workers land on their feet. And do we really need to mention how she slayed the stage for the charity concert Chime for Change in London this past summer? Nope, didn’t think so.

An honorable mention for her better half Jay Z (he’s not on the list) for earning over $1 million dollars for his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation from his holiday clothing collection at Barney’s. Considering the controversy, that’s pretty impressive, Mr. Carter.

To see the full list click here.

Kudos to all the givers of 2013, Please continue your generosity in 2014.

Barneys Releases the Shawn (Jay Z) Carter Holiday Collection

So, if you haven’t already heard Jay Z has decided to stick with Barneys, despite the uproar over racial allegations in the upscale boutique. Wanna see my surprise face?

wednesday246.gif

But, the rap mogul added one condition to the deal: He will serve on a “council” that will put him in a leadership role to discuss racial profiling. Hmph. Okay, the details are pretty vague, but we’ll see what will come of it. Jay also managed to wrangle an increase (originally 25%) of 75% of sales for his Sean Carter Foundation, along with 100% of sales from the collabo to the Foundation that grants underprivileged kids a college education.

As nasty as this debacle got, and it’s  still getting heated, we should give props to Jigga for making his charity a priority, which was the main impetus for the deal.

And for those who have $800 baseball caps and $33,000 watches on their Christmas list, take a peek below. Santa may be good to you. Well, you would have to be nearly a saint to get everything on that wishlist.  Santa, baby…

barneyshat

barneysjacket

barneyswatch

barneysboxers

 

 

BTW, the Barneys release party may have been canceled, but it didn’t stop Jay and Bey from visiting the luxe store to take a peek at the collection . Baddie Bey even held an impromptu photo shoot to support her hubby’s collection, well I guess we know what are her favorite things from hubby’s line.

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

Photo credit: Beyonce IG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyonce Paints Nails for Breast Cancer Awareness & Former 106 & Park VJ Hosts Cancer Free Walk

Happy October, Everyone!! It’s the season for orange and brown leaves decorating sidewalks and crisp breezes…SIKE!! It may be Fall but I think Mother Nature missed the memo because I’m writing this in 83 degree weather while wearing a tank top. If this Autumn weather is wrong, please mama nature don’t get it right.

Anywho, what has officially started is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And it has greater meaning for me this year because my Aunt had lumpectomy surgery last month. A huge scare for our whole family, but proves how tantamount it is to get regular mammograms and self exams. Sorry for preaching, but it’s necessary ladies. Please take note.

Photo credit: Beyonce Instagram

Photo credit: Beyonce Instagram

So to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month, Queen  King Bey aka Beyoncé wants us girls to paint our nails. Not all of them. Come on, you know Beyoncé comes harder than that. She urges us to paint our pinky pink. Beyoncé is supporting Nails Inc. of London’s customized pinkie pink color to raise £50,000 ($81,000 US dollars) for UK’s largest breast cancer research foundation. To purchase pinkie pink click here.

Meanwhile…

 

Photo Credit: ACS website

    Photo Credit: ACS website

 

 

Photo Credit: ACS website

Photo Credit: ACS website

Remember former 106 & Park VJ Free? Well, she’s taking Breast Cancer Awareness a step further. Literally. Free has organized a  team for a cancer free walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event (whew, that was a mouthful) this Sunday.

Free writes on the ACS’s website that she chose to get involved for personal reasons.

My reason for walking in the Making Strides event is personal –just like every other walker’s story. We all walk because we’ve been affected by breast cancer in some way, and because the Making Strides event gives us the power to make a difference and fight back.

The Making Strides walk will be held this Sunday in Boston. To join Free’s team or donate to the cause click here.