Categories
Artist Reviews music/entertainment TikTok Artists

Gifted Hands: Why Not Start?

Stephy Says 💋, the My Heart Instead, Virginia Beach rapper, Immanuel Mitchell aka Gifted Hands has become a viral sensation.

His viral fame comes after his TikTok video touched the heart of millions & had them rocking with Gifted Hands all across the globe. His song “Why Not Start,” had all time streams racked in a whopping 1,008, 510 streams.

In addition to that, his song was also listed as “Top 99 of 19,923 playlist for this song.” Keeping with stats, this unintentional worldwide debut also gained 1.6 million plays, 6.3k average daily listens, 1.2k purchases, & 81.9k Shazams. His Instagram followers greater than tripled, going from 3k to 100k seemingly overnight.

Photo extracted from Gifted Hands Facebook page

Gifted Hands’ management team: Capri Lawrence & Nicole Buckley of LiveWire revealed to Facebook that Why Not Start is the song of the year as it hit over 2,000,000 all time plays.

Photo extracted from Facebook

From TikTok alone, this hit song gained over a million views. He issued a Why Not Start duet challenge on TikTok, & artists across the nation & world joined the challenge & revealed their own personal struggles & how they overcame them.

Gifted Hands chose the 1st place winner!

Gifted Hands’ rise to fame has been budding for quite some time now, and in my honest opinion—it’s long overdue. He made an earlier appearance on January 30, 2019 on the local news, Channel 13. The story was aired, “MAKING A MARK: Rapper overcomes physical obstacles to inspire others.”

Immanuel Mitchell also known as Gifted Hands was born with what would be considered a physical limitation; he was born without hands. He is open in interviews & gives account of his childhood struggles & added lyrics to his music about the struggles & challenges he faced as a both child, & an adult with physical abnormalities.

The pressures of being different created some depression for the young rapper. He revealed to 13 News that he had even contemplated suicide, but music saved his life. He found his life purpose in music.

Stephy Says 💋 is late to the party when it comes to covering the budding superstar. His story was recently aired again by 13 News once more with the headline, “Virginia Beach rapper, ‘Gifted Hands,’ goes viral. When interviewed, Mitchell said:

“I’m able to reach out and lift people’s spirits up with my ‘gifted hands’ even though I don’t have hands

“Life isn’t about what you have or don’t have, but what you can give.”

13 News Now

Amongst coverage from the local news station, Gifted Hands was also covered on other platforms such as:

Every time he writes a song or performs it, he continuously defies the odds. With a poor prognosis & predicted disabilities like being deaf or deceased by the age of 3, Gifted Hands fought to his success & has begun a global marathon with his music.

His appearance fed his appetite & hunger to fuel his platform. He developed a fanbase that recognized sheer talent despite being different. His authenticity & humility is what moves the crowd. He has graced the stage is many venues across Hampton Roads. He even performed at the 420ish Unity Festival in Portsmouth during the spring (April).

In such a small amount of time, he’s given the world hope. In the middle of a pandemic, inflation, a recession, & uncertainty—Gifted Hands gave us hope. With his music alone, he’s lifted us out of a dark place. It’s ironic how he was born without hands but has reached way down & touched souls going through their deepest struggles. Without exaggeration, let me just say—the world felt this one!

His note to fans via Facebook on July 27, 2022 was simple:

🥺Thank you for accepting me!! Vulnerability is scary but there’s so much beauty comin out of sharin my story!!🙏🏾 #InhaleExhaleInhaleExcel”

Gifted Hands

Whether he’s on stage or standing in front of you in person, his message is the same—Don’t give up.

If you want to sing or rap along with GH, the lyrics can be found here.

He’s scheduled to shoot the official video of Why Not Start on Friday, August 12, 2022 at the Virginia Beach Mount Trashmore Park location. The video shoot is open to the public & Gifted Hands is requesting everyone to purchase a t-shirt & wear it to the video shoot.

Contact the names on the flyer

For booking: iamgiftedhandsbooking@gmail.com

Connect with Gifted Hands on social media:

Stephy Says 💋 as ALWAYS—LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, & SUBSCRIBE

Categories
Business Branding Business Review

Hair By Chalcey

Chalcey Wiggins, Natural Hair Care Specialist, Wigologist/Wig Master, Master stylist & owner/operator/ CEO of the brand Hair by Chalcey has officially expanded her haircare product line.

Hair has been a passion of hers for years, & to the public eye, it seems as if she flourished overnight. I like to think of her as the modern-day version of Madame C.J. Walker. She offers a wide range of services such as a wig collection, braiding services, custom color, silk presses, installation of locs, sew-ins, wig installation, & ponytails. As her empire grows, she’s sure to share what she has learned along the way by offering wig-making classes.

Her Instagram account offers visuals for prospective customers, confidence of current customers, funny relatable hair moments, & hair care tips.

24 hours after the launch of her edge control, she was posting “sold out.” Her edge control is made with a flake-free, non-sticky, non-greasy formula that has a lasting hold which is sure to “have your edges laid.”

For wig lovers, she offers Melting Spray. The spray is made to have a strong hold while moisturizing the hair so you won’t have to worry about crunchy/dry wig units.

With much excitement, Chalcey posted a status informing her friends & followers about her newest hair care product. Hair by Chalcey flat irons!

A new product alert was announced in a recent Facebook post, where Chalcey stated:

“It’s finally happening A few years back i was in the process of releasing my own flatiron line, things didn’t go as planned and it never happened. I think it was God’s way of telling me i wasn’t ready. 3 years later here i am executing that plan. I said that to say this NEVER GIVE UP Just because it’s not happening when you want it to doesn’t mean it’s not going to . More details will be released soon…”

Stay tuned for more information! Details will be released soon.

Until then, follow her on Instagram for more exclusive information.

Visit Hair by Chalcey online booking site for a complete list of acceptable forms of payments & policies regarding Covid 19, deposit, hair prep, guests, & add-ons as well as policies regarding late appointments, cancellations, & rescheduling appointments.

Categories
Business Review My 2 Cents

Dollar General locations limit store hours due to being understaffed

Stephy Says 💋at 6:46 P.M. on a Wednesday night, my mother & I arrived at Dollar General in Boykins, VA to find the store doors were locked while the lights were still on. Several customers aside from my mother & I patiently waited for the store to reopen, assuming that the locked doors were temporary; particularly because there wasn’t a note posted on the door to let us know otherwise. However, what we did find on the door was store hours posted with timeframes of 8:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M daily. As seen in the picture above from the Google business listing, the closing time should have been 10:00 P.M, yet at 15 minutes until 7:00 P.M, customers were locked out.

Customers began getting out of their parked vehicles approaching one another to get answers about the status of the store, all while other customers continued to pull into the parking lot. The newcomers to our unplanned parking lot party followed suit & got out of their vehicles to ask us questions. None of us had any answers. 

Two cars were parked & empty, which we assumed were the employees. A particular flustered customer was determined to get to the bottom of the issue, & walked to the door & knocked. No one answered or responded. He took out his cell phone & called another DG location. After finishing his phone call, he turned to the waiting audience & said, “they said nobody wanted to come to work, so they closed.” 

One customer suggested to another customer that she should consider driving to another DG location, only for her to inform us that the Dollar General in Rich Square, NC was closed as well. 

Something as simple as a loaf of bread had to be involuntarily forfeited due to lack of staff. 

Due to lack of communication & lack of consideration, a phone call to the corporate office was made. To our surprise, the corporate office wasn’t aware of the early store closing & commented that the District Manager would be contacted. This made me curious as to just how many times local Dollar General locations have closed without permission or knowledge from their superiors. 

The frustration from customers tonight was not solely due to tonight’s fiasco, but rather the fact that this has been a recurring issue for quite some time. Imagine driving numerous miles & using gas only to arrive at Dollar General & find a handwritten note on the door saying, “We closed at 3” in black permanent marker. You did all of that work, just to find out you wasted your time. Well, at least there was a note that time, right?

Another customer stated that during a fairly recent experience, price tags & barcode prices were conflicting, & she was met with poor customer service when it was mentioned. This was yet another inconvenience & poor shopping experience for that customer.

There are times that there are no shopping bags, the cold box is broken, boxes are full, shelves are empty; all due to lack of staff.

In my personal experience, I’ve visited Dollar General’s in Franklin, Courtland, Boykins, & Wakefield to find that they closed way earlier than scheduled or expected, again due to being understaffed.

On the contrary, I have been told by a manager that when Dollar General actually has the workers, the corporate office will not allow them the necessary hours to get the work done. Supposedly, the refusal of increased store hours is due to customers not completing customer surveys that are located on the bottom of receipts. Basically, stores close early because corporate won’t let them stay open any longer, & it’s our own fault. 

Like many other businesses, Covid negatively affected their business, but the inconsistency of store hours & the lack of posted notices regarding changes inconveniences customers & may cause loss of business. 

Employees are not to blame, including managers, because there are only so many hours the body will allow one individual to work. I’m not judging. Trust me, I’ve personally spent enough money in DG during the hours their doors are open to own a franchise.

Hopefully, if enough phone calls & complaints are called into the corporate office, they will provide their staff with adequate staffing & hours. If you decide to contact them, have the store location or store number readily available. 

Contact Dollar General Corporate Headquarters at 1-615-855-4000 to report complaints or grievances..

Categories
Artist Reviews entertainment music/entertainment

De Hud: The Lxn Wxlf

Stephy Says 💋 some of the best music comes from “undiscovered” independent artists. The patience, practice, & perfecting their craft is evident in the the music they put out. With that being said, allow me to introduce you to an independent artist that is a force to be reckoned with. Meet indie artist, De Hud.

De Hud, also known as Duray Hudson is a native of Franklin, VA (8th City) but currently resides in Portsmouth, VA. Lessons in life led him to the path of music as an outlet. He turned loss & pain into passion, & he’s made a name & claimed his place in the industry. Some of you may be new to his journey or perhaps this article may be the 1st time you’ve heard of him—nonetheless, there is no doubt that he’s made for the artist life.

He is impressionable & has memorable music with quotable lyrics. He’s the artist that you want on your song features, performing on your set, or as an interview on your radio show or podcast. His energy is contagious & vibrates high.

From remixes to original composed music, De Hud delivers. The clever word play in his lyrics give you a moment of aha after listening. If you haven’t heard his single Peep Hole, you’re missing out on the word play. But, because I love my followers, here’s a snippet of it. I’m sure after listening to it, you’ll have an aha moment of the song title. Like Era, he used his platform to bring a banger while addressing police brutality & killings of unarmed African Americans.

Peep Hole

Even with limited performances due to COVID-19, De Hud has still managed to build a solid fanbase & following strictly off released music, social media shares, & videos dropping on his YouTube channel with his most viewed video at over 15k views. And that’s ORGANIC traffic. Since he isn’t able to perform as often on stage, he makes a stage right where he is & gives you a show. It’s no doubt, this guy is not only an artist, but an all around entertainer.

His musical styles, lyrics, & delivery is confident & effective. Every mission he sets out to accomplish is executed with authenticity. Everything about this cat is REAL! (Yes, I said cat). As an artist, he’s one of a kind & cannot be duplicated or imitated. He knows his value as a person & his place as an artist. Even De Hud said himself:

“Ain’t wit that energy, even if you kin to me ion want you around.

These ni**as premeditated knowing that I levitated, they go up to greater heights to try to bring me down..try to bring me down

I’m more like David & you ni**as Goliath”

Big Boogie Mental Health (remix)

Every time he steps in the booth or sets foot in the studio, he comes out with some heat. Every piece of music he releases is written with a listener’s interest. He always makes sure when he drops something for men, that he balances it by dropping something for the ladies too. While doing this, he makes sure he gives his listeners the highest video & sound quality with professional production of his music.

He’s a chameleon in the music game & can easily bounce between hip hop/rap & RnB genre. Yes, I said RnB. He has music that matches all of your moods, & his song catalog that easily move you from the streets to the bed. He has bars AND vocals. He first came on scene with an acapella vocal YouTube video of his song Window (produced & filmed by Illgrind Multimedia Group) in 2017. This breakthrough video gained over 5k viewers & made believers out of those that doubted him.

Over the years, he moved in silence & broke back into his music career as an evolved, new & improved artist. His voice had matured & his lyrics became metaphorical bars. After his evolution, he became able to maneuver from genre to genre without losing himself or his followers in the process.

His ability to transition to either side of your favorite music automatically places him at the top of my favorites list. Since we are on the topic of his ability to blend into any room, let’s talk about his style & fashion sense. He can easily go from hood with gold slugs to a lover boy with the swagger enough to be Mr. Steal Your Girl. Not only is he the flyest in a room, his wife is drop dead gorgeous & adds a force to his already known presence. Pulling this off takes skill & talent.

De Hud talks about real life struggles, not only the struggles he faced as an individual, but the common struggles faced by the entire black culture. He uses the same situations that are meant to bring us death & turn it around to give us life through his lyrics. His music shows us that rather than accepting defeat, we should celebrate the victories, embrace what we’ve learned, & celebrate how we overcame. The fact that both old & young can relate to him brings more followers & supporters across the nation.

Knowing him behind the scenes & after briefly working with him, as I said before—he’s AUTHENTIC. He’s hungry for success but he’s HUMBLE. When he tells you that he appreciates your love & support, that that ish to heart because he means it. He has the mind of a millionaire & the heart of a hustler.

Besides music, he is the owner of the self made brand Lxn Wxlf (Lone Wolf). This brand grabbed attention of supporters & took off making its way throughout Virginia, Washington DC, & Maryland. The brand is worn by both men & women so it appeals to everyone regardless of sexual orientation. It’s INCLUSIVE. Tap in with the Lxn Wxlf. It’s the perfect time to join the pack.

I’ve probably just introduced you to your new favorite artist, & all his songs get better with repeated plays. He’s proof that your past doesn’t define your future.

If anyone asks how you found him, tell ‘em Stephy Said It 😎

Connect with De Hudd on social media:

PS Dress Up dropping soon, so connect with him on his social media to tune in for exclusiveness!

As ALWAYS, Stephy Says 💋 LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE ✨

Happy listening 🎧

Categories
Artist Reviews blog feature music/entertainment

BJ Mood Swing

Stephy Says 💋 I remember a viral video on Facebook of a guy sitting in the car singing Praise on the Inside by Jay Moss. The post was shared by The Playmakers Entertainment. I’m sure you remember the video too, but you probably don’t know it yet.

From his physical appearance, you would automatically assume he’s a rapper—or, at least I did. But when Holy meets hood, you get “ya lil brother.” Even The Playmakers Entertainment Facebook caption said:

Don’t judge a book by it’s gold grill … Bjmoodswing is his name

The Playmakers Entertainment

Stephy Says 💋 meet vocal viral sensation BJ Mood Swing.

Many artists have the natural born ability to sing, perform, & entertain. Most times their music is described as “feel good” music. It’s music that touches your heart & your feet. But, BJ Moodswing touches the soul. He taps into the spiritual part of listeners from the start of the song to the ending of it. He was provided with a gift that he selflessly gives to others. The viral video that was previously mentioned was recorded at one of the most devastated moments of his life, & he sacrificed his pain to give his listeners hope. He allowed God to fill him in the areas that he felt the emptiest & shared his private moment of worship with us.

He had just lost his son, & he sacrificed his moments of grief to give his gift to us during his loss.

See full story of his loss here

His voice & purity of his heart is both penetrating & life changing.

BJ Moodswing

His voice combined with the selection of song will transport you to an outer realm. As a listener I can assure you that his melodies seep into your brain & the lyrics tug at your heart. Every note is emotionally rich, & he’s the epitome of an artist with transcendent music. There’s a unique signature to his voice that is not easily imitated. It’s a blend of originality mixed with well known voice such as Pastor Tim Rogers. BJ doesn’t perform or entertain, he breathes life into his listeners.

His voice breaks yokes & has a different form on anointing that is recognizable & resounding. His voice has the power to shift the atmosphere & shift things for better in your life. As I mentioned earlier, he sang himself through his own grief with a voice that was given through the power of God. He uses music from his mouth to reach the heart of the hurt, including his own heart. Not only does he sing to connect with the heart of the listener, he sings to connect with his own faith. He is not communicates God’s love for him, but also his love for God.

BJ’s voice & humility is praiseworthy, but rather than accept accolades for his gift—he gives all praise to God.

BJ delivers blessed music to the broken.

He offers healing music to the hurt.

He gives the Savior’s music to the sick.

He provides faith music to the fallen.

He sings hopeful music to the helpless.

Make no mistake, he’s not perfect but his heart is pure. He just uses his gift from God as creative expressiveness while also encouraging others. What appears to most imports to Bj is displaying his faith so that others may also develop faith in God.

Though he doesn’t necessarily label himself as a “Christian” artist, but being a believer causes his values, spirit, & beliefs to be produced or show in his singing. Singing is HIS form of worship & reverence to an almighty God. In the midst of a chaotic & hateful world, the love & joy he has as a believer shines through his voice. I believe his appearance debunks myths or breaks the stereotype of what a Christian should “look” like.

Connect with Mood Swing on social media:

As ALWAYS STEPHY SAYS 💋 LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, & SUBSCRIBE

Happy listening 🎧🎶

Categories
My 2 Cents

The Church Robbed Me of Motherhood

My unexpected journey of motherhood began about 10 years ago in July of 2011. I never expected to be pregnant. I only took a pregnancy test for the heck of it. I remember that my exact reason for “peeing on the stick” was just to see what it would say.

The double solid burgundy lines appeared on August 18, 2011. I was a youngster at the delicate age of 19, smack dab in the middle of nursing school.

Those two lines hit me like a ton of bricks. I was terrified. Embarrassed. Uncertain. Disappointed. Stressed. I became another “statistic,” and I immediately began grieving over the life I planned — but one I knew I would never have. My mother was supportive and tickled pink that she would be having a grandbaby. As expected, my dad was irate and hurt that his baby girl had gotten into this predicament. I was too scared to tell him, so my mom broke the news. Next in line to deliver the news to was my grandparents, great aunt, & brother. No big deal. It was an initial shock, but they bounced back quickly. I expected this kind of behavior from my family.

What I didn’t expect was what happened next. After my family, I broke the news to my former pastor. The response was like one I had never seen before. Immediately, I was condemned. There was a secret meeting, (one that my family was not invited to), held about my pregnancy. A church member informed us about the meeting after it was over. From there, things trickled into several meetings where he behaved like a child throwing tantrums and slamming objects over something that didn’t even belong to him. He even placed his hand on a Bible & swore to God that death would come upon not only my child but for me and my family as well. He blamed his heart palpitations and chest pain on me for having “to deal with this.” Sermons went forth from the pulpit as he preached about daughters that were “hot in the tail” and needing to “keep their pants up.” He was even bold enough to inform me that my son was not in God’s will because he was going to be born out of wedlock. My son was “Ishmael” not the “promised child,” which was used in reference to the biblical text of Abraham’s children Ishmael and Issac born by his handmaiden and wife. He even went as far as instructing members of the church to not speak to me or my family. That was enforced in yet another secret meeting.

I was expecting to be embraced and ended up being a disgrace — and given a sure highway ticket to hell by the pastor.

Needless to say, the stress was at an all-time high. I began to have vaginal bleeding. To my surprise, I learned that I was pregnant with two babies. Yes — twins. I was managing my stress from being newly pregnant, completing nursing school well, but the increased stress of the church and pastor killed one of my babies. I don’t care what anyone says, he murdered my baby. The blood will be on his hands.

Though my son is happy and healthy, losing that child hunts me more now than ever before. That’s because now, I struggle with infertility. My body has rejected me the same way my former pastor and church did.

After I had my son and became a single mother, I decided that I didn’t want any more children. I saw no issue with that decision because I always assumed that if I wanted another child, I could have one. The issue occurred in 2018 when I became deathly ill with the flu, and my uterus presented the size of a pregnant woman. After multiple negative pregnancy tests, both urine and blood, it was found that there were “growths” in my uterus. Leiomyomas. Uterine fibroids.

Between 2018 and now, they have grown my uterus to the size of a woman that’s 20 weeks pregnant — but, there’s no baby. They’ve compressed my femoral artery and given me “pregnant legs.” My acid reflux is constant, and I’ve managed to develop a case of hydronephrosis (kidney diagnosis).

I’ve heard the term “hysterectomy” more times than I would like to admit. I cringe every time I hear it.

My life has changed drastically rather quickly. I’ve had to deal with the pain they had been causing, the heavy periods, the rapid weight gain, but ultimately — the inability to conceive.

I have grieved the loss of my faith, the loss of a church and pastor I thought loved me, & now I grieve the loss of my fertility.

I’m a newlywed, and now, not only will I possibly not be able to give him a child…

My first pregnancy may have been my last pregnancy, and the church robbed me of what should have been one of the happiest moments of my life.

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As ALWAYS, Stephy Says 💋LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, & SUBSCRIBE

Categories
My 2 Cents

From the Heart of a Healthcare Professional

Stephy Says 💋 healthcare professionals are angels right here on Earth.

I’m only speaking on the behalf of us that have been working front lines since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

Yes, I know it’s been a tough transition for us all, but as for the healthcare world…it lies in shambles. Though we have faced difficult situations before, this time we are challenged.

As if that isn’t enough, now we are fighting COVID AND vaccine mandates so we won’t be yesterday’s heroes & tomorrow’s unemployed.

It seems like we just can’t win!

No one knows what we go through, but…

Let me try to explain:


Doctors are overwhelmed.

Facilities are understaffed.

Nurses are overworked.

Radiologists are saturated with orders.

Insurance companies are inundated with claims.

Aides are underappreciated.

Respiratory therapists are overloaded.

Hospital beds are unavailable.

Ventilation machines are maximized.

We are tired.

We are irritable.

We want to scream.

We want to cry.

We are hot under these respirators.

We can’t breathe.

We are defeated.

We feel helpless.

We have lost track of time.

We can barely remember the days.


Our smiles have faded.

Our feet hurt.

Our eyes are tied.

Our backs aches.

Our legs cramp.

Our heads throb.

Our shoulders are tense.

Our energy is low.

Our stress is high.

Our spirits are down.

Our blood pressure is up. 

Our bladders are full.

Our stomachs are empty.

Our bodies are weak, but our care is strong.

Our sleep is interrupted.

Our hair isn’t done.

Our houses are unkept.

Our personal lives are almost nonexistent.

Our time with our own families are distanced & limited.

Our relationships are strained.

Our parenting is sporadic.

Our patients & coworkers are our family now.

Our hours on the clock are boundless.

Our checks never add up to the amount of hours & service we put in.


We are having to gown & regown time & time again.

Patient after patient.

Active cases & numbers are growing.

Supplies are depleting.

We are frustrated because it’s only getting worse.

We are apprehensive about vaccines that offered a sense of false hope.

We are heartbroken because many of these patients are sick & may possibly die alone.

We are anxious every time we step in a room with a COVID positive patient.

We understand they don’t feel well & don’t want to rush them; but we are concerned about our own health & want more than anything to provide the care we are required to & leave as quickly so we don’t have prolonged exposure.

We feel guilty when someone dies & question ourselves about what we could have done to prevent that outcome. 

We are burdened when we have to make that phone call to families. 

We feel unworthy of denying access to our “patient” because we realize they are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers…

We are concerned about being the host for the transmission of COVID to immunocomprised patients (yes, even with the vaccine). 

We are committed, but we are cautious.

We are unsettled & perturbed that COVID continues to mutate.

We ask the question, “how much longer?” 

We answer the question, “how much longer?

And while the world is arguing over a vaccine, we are trying to find the will & strength to keep going.

We want to quit, but we can’t give up.

We are essential.

And chances are, if we had a chance to choose differently, we would still do this all again.

We sacrifice our lives to save the life of someone else.

This isn’t a career, it’s a calling.

Healthcare is who we are, not what we do!

Categories
Business Branding Business Review dating/romance My 2 Cents romance, dating

Give or Take?? 5 Gifts your significant other would love

Stephy Says 💋 Christmas & gift giving, gift buying season is upon us. So is my birthday 🥳 (December 3rd—dirty 30—-Sagittarius season)…

But…..

Birthdays. Anniversaries. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Just Because. These are ALL reasons or occasions to purchase gifts.

If you are anything like me, choosing the right gift for your significant other is difficult. Gift buying time makes you question just how well you really know the person you’re with. You spend hours, days, weeks, & sometimes even months trying to find the “perfect” gifts.

Although most often, the effort is appreciated. I know it’s cliché, but it’s the thought that counts. You can find ways to say I love you that won’t break the bank.

These gifts are perfect for couples or significant others whose love language is Gifts.

If you are unsure of your love language, take this quiz to find out.

Try these cute gifts & show your love in these subtle & gentle ways.

1. Long Distance Relationships Gifts Love Messages in a Bottle Gift 

Price : $19.97

Add a caption (optional)

This product contains 50 pieces—Pre-Written Love Capsules Letters in a Plastic Jar. Don’t have the words to say when you miss your significant other? No problem, the messages are already written for you.

Ideal for long distance relationships such as over the road truck drivers, active military on deployment, contractor jobs that travel, etc.

2. Bond Touch Bracelets

Price: $108

Add a caption (optional)

Each purchase contains 2 bracelets, chargers, & instructions. Bond Touch has a free app compatible with both iOS & Android. The bracelet works by Bluetooth while the app runs on cellular data or Wi-Fi.

How does it work?

Bond Touch let’s you stay connected & fell close to your significant other even when you’re miles apart. With Bond Touch, you can mimic the natural vibration of their touch. Once the app is downloaded, you can let them know that they are on your mind even in the middle of the day. The app allows you to customize the color that will light up their bracelet. When you send a touch your partner’s bracelet will light up in the color of your choice. Vibrations can be a combination of short & long taps.

Another feature is a private chat between you & your S.O. Every message is secret & pictures you share are encrypted & secure. Open your Bond Touch App to follow your partner’s status. There’s even a feature that let’s you count down the days until you see each other again.

I purchased these bracelets for Valentine’s Day for me & my husband. We even created our own code for bonding.

1 short tap • meant, I love you.

2 short taps •• meant, I miss you.

3 short taps ••• meant, call me.

Long taps — meant, something is wrong (I’m upset, I’m angry, I’m not having a good day, etc).

3. Motivational 1 Gallon Water Jug

Price $19.99

Add a caption (optional)

This is ideal for couples who workout together or have committed themselves to lifestyle modifications. Or, for just the plain old water drinkers.

My husband & I created a water drinking challenge in effort to increase his water intake. He’s a Pepsi man. This water bottle not only made the challenge fun, but the motivational sayings & visual as a reminder kept me focused on the end goal.

4. Be Safe keychain

Price: $6.99

Add a caption (optional)

This keychain is both adorable & thoughtful. When added to any key ring, it’s reminder to your S.O. that they are loved & cherished. It’s also a reminder for them to stay focused on getting home safely, or perhaps a reminder as to why they get up & go out everyday.

5. Personalized/Customized Photo Wallet

Price: $29.99

Add a caption (optional)

This wallet comes in multiple colors black ($31.99), blue ($29.99), dark brown ($31.99), & light brown (as pictured).

Make it special by adding pictures of their favorite pictures accompanied by their favorite quotes, or names.

It’s sure to be a surprise that shows that you are thoughtful & you care.

Photo by Ekaterina Shevchenko on Unsplash

I don’t consider myself to be the best gift giver, but these gifts brought a smile to his face; & maybe even a tear to his eyes. I don’t know if it was the gift, the thought, the effort, or the genuine place the gifts came from—but it made him happy.

These gifts may not be expensive, but the money was well spent & every thing I did for him was worth it.

Happy gifting 🎁

Categories
My 2 Cents

The Struggle of Growing Up with Black Parents

Disclaimer: Stephy Says 💋 this is a TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ & while it is not all my personal experience, it is a common one in our culture. I may cause a lot of backlash from the black community but…

Can we talk about how much black parents traumatize their children? Or amount of unhealed trauma black adults carry with them into adulthood from having to endure childhood?

Surviving Black Parents, LifeTime…I’m ready to tell our story.

The black culture has dealt with oppression ALL of our lives. Police brutality, systemic racism, financial strain led by discrimination during the hiring process, unequal education experiences, & inadequate medical care. Most of the things we were taught & did growing up stemmed from slavery as methods to escape or at least attempt with cope. (Being home before the street lights come on, beatings, etc—idk if that’s true but it makes sense 🤷🏽‍♀️). Let’s not even talk about the fact that most black homes are already broken at the foundation. Without a solid foundation, a house cannot stand.

From passing through generations, African American parents used their authority & instilled a form of oppression into their children. IMO once black parents were given authority, the took on a “master mentality” or “master mindset”. This is the why I believe they feel as if disagreeing is disrespect. It’s also why I feel we were always told “because I said so,” as a response to our questions or inquisitive nature as children, simply because they didn’t like to feel as if their authority was being questioned. They never explained their answers & their method of teaching us logic or reasoning was by asking us the rhetorical question that required an answer: “If so and so jumped off a bridge would you jump off too?”

Here was the beginning stages of our imagination & creative thinking processes being snuffed out. Questions were not permissible & nothing was explained, therefore we had to learn the lessons of life on our own by trial & error. Failures then being met with comments spat in your face like, “Couldn’t tell you nothing because you thought you knew everything,” without them realizing that they never attempted to TELL us anything in the beginning which is how we ended up venturing out on our own.

The constant need to be able to express ourselves or ask questions compared to the actually ability to do so is largely disproportioned. A few issues we just dared not speak of: sexual orientation, exploration of sexuality, religion, & mental health just to name a few. Noses were turned up at feminine boys & masculine girls. If you were interested in exploring sex you were considered “fast” or “hot” even though they taught us these things in a “family life” or sex ed class. Providing birth control meant you were “allowing” sex rather than providing protection.

Depression or any other mental illness was forbidden because— “what you got to be depressed about? You don’t pay no bills. You got somewhere to lay your head, & somebody taking care of you!” Right, because not having those things are the ONLY reason to feel depressed. After that, depression & mental illness was deemed a “spirit” & it was of the devil. So, prayer & being drug to church were the only forms of treatment. The lack of understanding of mental illness within the black community or merely the unwillingness to learn about it created mentally ill black adults. The lack of effective listening or the sheer desire to understand doomed us.

Aside from that, it showed black children that we could NEVER talk to our parents about how we felt. If things were wrong, we would never say because “don’t tell nobody my business” or “what happens in this house, stays in this house” was heavily enforced. Unless of course, a black mama was on the phone. In this case, she told your business to everybody, but NEVER hers.

Black parents didn’t realize that by them cutting our access to communicating with them, they cut our comfort with communication as a whole. We were robbed of one of the most valuable & essential tools of adult life.

This skill deficit is why we struggle with expressing how we truly feel. We are taught early that it doesn’t matter how we feel because we have no valid “reason” to feel the way we do. It also stunted our growth & hindered our ability to be successful communicators both on the speaking & listening end.

Effective communication is a life necessity. Not allowing us to communicate & openly disclosing our confidential information led us to growing up with the inability to trust anyone.

The end result for black children = “it is what it is” or “it be like that sometimes.” This becomes a blanketed statement for our feelings about life altogether. We don’t bother to explain anything: our feelings, thoughts, ideas, or aspirations.

Everything could be wrong but when we are asked, it’s still always NOTHING. Our emotions have been intertwined into these two words because of what we grew accustomed to. What do we feel? Everything and nothing, all at the same time. I guess it’s one the things that “strengthened” us as a black culture. Maybe, this is why black women are seen as “strong” & black men viewed as emotionless. We weren’t allowed to feel. They would hurt us, & then reply “”Stop crying before I give you something to cry about!”

In the black culture, more often than not, love is equated to “taking care of you.” Most times this means the necessities of life: shelter, food, & clothing—you know, parenting responsibilities. Asking for anything more than the necessities warranted the response, “Money don’t grow on trees” or “you think I’m made outta money.” Occasionally we did get a few things we wanted ; even though, we were “old enough for your wants not to hurt you.” In contrast, I won’t dismiss that fact that there are moments of hugs & kisses. However, hugging, kissing, & cradling a little boy is considered making him “soft.” There are strict instructions to “put him down” because “he’s a boy.” Nurturing him will “baby” him, even when he’s a baby.

Black parents instill into little boys that they aren’t supposed to cry which leads to them not reaching their full or maximum potential as men, fathers, or significant others. When they cry, they are quickly told to “suck it up” because “boys don’t cry. Crying is for lil’ girls.”

The end result of a black emotionless boy is a black emotionally traumatized man—emotionally insensitive men or bitter women begging for attention & affection in any way they see as acceptable (flashing money, nudity, etc). These lead to false claims—women only want money & men only want sex. What both parties want is to be accepted & loved. The problem is that due to our rearing, the idea of love is skewed.

Accepting responsibility & accountability are other deficits in black parenting. For one reason or another, black parents never believed they were wrong. When they discovered otherwise, there was no action to right their wrong. There was simply an excuse.

They don’t apologize or acknowledge wrongdoings which leads to black adults struggling to admit fault, accepting what is considered to be “blame” or apologize. They can do no wrong. Pride & the desire to be right is bigger than the truth.

The end result of this becomes black adults that will mop the floor of the ocean before they say “I’m wrong” or “I’m sorry.” The pride inherited from black parents combined with the ego that grew along with their personality creates a stubborn or opinionated individual that’s often viewed as toxic or bad energy.

I’m a nutshell, the black community are seen as a plethora of things: hostile, violent, confrontational, thugs, gangsters, defiant, aggressive, unfriendly, bitter….

We are viewed as everything except what we REALLY are…

SURVIVORS ✊🏽

Happy self-awareness

As ALWAYS, Stephy Says 💋 LIKE, SHARE, COMMENT, & SUBSCRIBE ✨

Categories
entertainment music/entertainment My 2 Cents

Headphones In, World Out

Stephy Says 💋, while typing away at work doing my daily duties, I put my earbuds in and tune out the noise & the office drama. My favorite Pandora stations were playing the best vibing music, and I was in a world of my own. This inspired my post! When you listen to these songs, issa vibe!

This is the kind of music that touches your soul & you feel it in your heart. These artists and songs achieved the “I felt that” feeling deep within, and I doubt that you would disagree with me. These songs evoke some kind of emotion within you & sets a tone, whether is a sense of independence, self-love, gratitude, romance, or loneliness, they definitely set a feeling within.

This is the kind of music you could listen to all day, but identify with every song. (I think you see what my station is set on)

Indie/Neo Soul

1. Video–India Arie

2. Doo Wop (That Thing)—Lauryn Hill

3. Ex Factor—Lauryn Hill

4. Golden—Jill Scott

5. There’s Hope—India Arie

6. Sweetest Thing—Lauryn Hill

7. Nothing Even Matters—Lauryn Hill

8. Tyrone—Erykah Badu

9. Bag Lady—Erykah Badu

10. On & On—Erykah Badu

11. Next Lifetime—Erykah Badu

12. Love of my Life—Erykah Badu

13. Window Seat—Erykah badu

14. Brotha—Angie Stone

15. I Try—Macy Gray

16. I Am Not My Hair—India Arie

17. Cry—Lyfe Jennings

18. She Got Kids—Lyfe Jennings

19. Cool-Anthony Hamilton

20. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You—Erykah Badu

21. 911—Wyclef Jean

22. Killing me Softly With His Song—Fugees

23. Ready or Not—Fugees

24. Brown Skin—India Arie

25. Turn Your Lights Down Low—Lauryn Hill feat Bob Marley


Other songs that I vibe to:

1. Waterfalls—TLC

2. You Make Me Wanna—Usher

3. Creep—TLC

4. So Into You—Tamia feat. Fabolous

5. All Falls Down—Kanye West

6. Thru The Wire—Kanye West

7. Can’t Let You Go—Fabolous feat Mike Shorey & Lil’ Mo

8. Winner—Chris Brown

9. You & I—John Legend

10. Let’s Get Married—Jagged Edge

11. Medicine—Queen Najia

12. Int’l Players Anthem—UGK

13. Work Out—J. Cole

14. Don’t—Bryson Tiller

15. Location—Khalid

16. Everything is Everything—Lauryn Hill

17. Can’t Tell Me Nothing—Kanye West

18. Have You Ever—Brandy

19. Southside—Lloyd feat Ashanti

20. Like You—Bow Wow feat. Ciara

21. Circles—Marques Houston

22. I’m Tryna—Omarion

23. Million—Tink

24. Rock the Boat—Aaliyah

25. More than A Woman—Aaliyah

26. Post to Be– Omarion ft Jhene Aiko & Chris Brown

Bonus songs just for 💩 & giggles 😅

No Diggity– Blackstreet

This Is How We Do It– Montell Jordan

Tennessee Whiskey– Chris Stapleton

Video– India Arie

Steady Love– India Arie

These are only a few songs that I know off the top of my head that I can vibe to on any day!

How many did you know so I can see if you passed the Vibe Check ?! 👀

If you have some songs to add, drop them in the comment box below.

As always, Stephy Says 💋LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, & SUBSCRIBE!

HAPPY LISTENING! 🎧