February 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Natural Hair Tip


February 22, 2015 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

Should Your Child Be Vaccinated?


To moms who are hesitant to vaccinate their children against the measles, mumps and rubella, trust me when I tell you, I’m also guilty of having the same doubts.

Growing up, we relied on natural remedies–the thought of injecting your child with a harmful substance is scary. I also tuned into parent discussions and followed the latest news on the topic, so I’m fully aware of findings that show links to autism and reports of the vaccine containing harmful metals. However, with news of outbreaks gaining national attention, it wouldn’t hurt to consider getting your child vaccinated.

One story that caught my attention is about new parent, Jennifer Hibben-White, who lashed out on hesitant moms. Her Facebook post went viral after pointing out other mom’s ignorance about the matter.

You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren’t,’ she wrote.

‘”And you would be the first to line up if you had an inkling of what the death of a child feels like.

You would be crawling through the streets on your hands and knees, begging, begging to get that vaccine into your precious babies,” she wrote.

Jennifer Hibben-White and family

Jennifer Hibben-White and family

Hibben-White was reacting from news that her newborn son–only 15 days old–had been potentially exposed to the disease at the doctor’s office in Pilkington, Ontario. And her son Griffen is too young to receive the vaccination, so he is unprotected. Hibben-White previously lost her daughter who died in her sleep due to an undetected blood infection, which made things much worse.

She urges parents to get vaccinations for their children and feels that Griffen shouldn’t have to suffer for what she calls our “reckless abuse of protection.”

When parents refuse to vaccinate children, it increases the chances of measles cases in people with weaker immune systems such as cancer patients, infants like Griffen, and the elder population.

The disease spreads in numbers. It will spread if enough people decide to go unvaccinated, which is what is happening right now. A wide range of people become vulnerable to the disease, and that’s how it came back into the U.S after we had already gotten the number of cases down. As of February 11, a total of 125 measles cases have been confirmed in the U.S in an ongoing measles outbreak linked to the Disney theme parks in Orange County, California. Many are pointing the finger at anti-vaxxers who are keeping their children from getting vaccinated.

Instead, more moms should worry about what would happen if their children got the measles than what’s in the vaccines–it is a deadly disease. It is pneumonia, brain infection and the leading cause of child blindness around the world.

Debunking The Myths

For moms, some concerns are that injections are linked to autism through an ingredient used as a preservative in childhood vaccines called Thimerosal. But the ingredient was removed since 2001 in all vaccines except influenza. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not support an association between Thimerosal and autism. A review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) also rejects any relationship between Thimerosal containing vaccines and autism.

According to the CDC eight studied vaccines are generally safe, and any serious adverse events following these vaccinations are rare.

Well, why is it that children who are vaccinated still get the measles? Even vaccinated children may receive symptoms when exposed to the measles. Nevertheless, the measles vaccine is 99% effective, which means one in 100 people who receives two doses of the vaccine could still get it. They may even get a few symptoms, but not as severe as unvaccinated children.





February 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm 6 comments

Magnesium Rich Foods for Anxiety

Magnesium Rich Foods for Anxiety

Believe it or not, the foods that we eat can trigger anxiety symptoms. Cake, brownies, fried and sugary foods are foods that we turn to for comfort. Although gratifying at the moment, such foods have a negative impact on our moods later on.

After eating lots of foods with fructose corn syrup, food dyes and artificial sweeteners, many people develop mood swings due to an abrupt rise and fall in their blood sugar. Even worse, they may feel burdened with guilt afterward. Who doesn’t regret the extra slice of pie after it was scoffed down before realizing it?

There are foods high in magnesium and calcium that actually help to relieve anxiety symptoms and boost emotional health i.e almonds, bananas, spinach, oatmeal, fish and others.

Additionally, magnesium-rich foods also promote restful nights. Magnesium is a calming nutrient that nourishes the nervous system and helps prevent anxiety, irritability, worrying and etc.

Before you overindulge in a high calorie snack, take a moment to consider some healthier options that will help reduce your anxiety, drop the pounds and live an all around healthier life.

February 10, 2015 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

Black History Month

Black History Month


February 3, 2015 at 7:38 am Leave a comment

What Are Your Goals for Personal Development This Year?

Personal Goals 2

I promised myself that I wouldn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year because it’s a little cliche’ and too traditional. Besides, people usually ditch their resolutions by the end of January. I figured if I could wait until the end of January, warm up to the new year and continue to transform my mindset as well as my spiritual man, my chances of sticking to any goal would be higher. So January is over, and I’m excited about all the wonderful adventures that lie ahead.

My first journey is reaching my hair goal for 2015. I cut off the rest of my permed hair, also known as the “big chop,” and have begun my natural hair journey. So you’ll be hearing a lot about that! I decided to cut my hair and go fully natural as a symbol of letting go of the old and embracing the new and positive. You can check out the pictures on my new Instagram page: @writer.taylorbennett.

I have also joined the “Live Richer Challenge” by Tiffany the Budgetnista, author and “America’s favorite financial educator.” She offers free financial advice to women and was featured in Today, MSNBC, Times, Black Enterprise and more. Her enthusiasm and unique way of financial counseling has inspired over 10,000 women world-wide to take control of their finances. I’ve seen an improvement in the way I manage my money as a result of the challenge.

Live Richer Challenge

My next step is to change my eating habits and start working out. I would like to reach my weight loss goals before 2016, and Weight Watchers may be a start.

I realize that creating the life you want isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time, effort and a support system of like-minded people. Please join me on my journey to personal development, spiritual growth, success and better health. What are your personal development goals for the year?

Check out my recent post on Everything Girls Love (EGL): Things You Don’t Hear About Weight Loss Surgery

February 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment

Vaccines Show Promise: A Bright Future for Breast Cancer Patients


Treatment for breast cancer has been a hot topic due to the recently released studies on the disease.

One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, proved that a breast cancer targeted drug, Herceptin, when combined with chemotherapy significantly improves survival in breast cancer patients.

The treatment is specifically for a more aggressive form of the disease, HER2-positive breast cancer.

Just recently, we’ve found that more progress has been made in treating patients within the last year.

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that there may also be a breast cancer vaccine treatment for early-stage breast cancer if further research goes well.

Although the vaccine isn’t preventative, researchers are optimistic about the results of the study. The vaccine slows down cancer progression, even in patients with weakened immune systems from the cancer.

The vaccine works by targeting mammaglobin-A (MAM-A), which is a protein expressed broadly in most cancers. Around 60 to 80 percent of breast cancer tumors carry the protein. If all goes as planned, vaccines will be given after surgery when the cancer is in its early stages to help prevent it from returning after surgery.

One patient advocate who feels positive about the vaccine is Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH. She predicts that there will be a vaccine this year, according to The radiation oncologist and entrepreneur believes so based on the study results and evidence proving cancer vaccines to be safe to give to people. This is excellent news for people like Chabner whose mother developed breast cancer in 1993.

Many are hopeful of seeing the vaccine this year and a preventative vaccine in the future. Until then, the next step will be to test newly diagnosed patients, which will give researchers a better idea of the vaccine therapy’s effectiveness.

Recent post in What you Need to Know About Herceptin and Breast Cancer Survival


January 14, 2015 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

Your 30’s: Is It Time to Start Settling Down?

This photo was originally used Oct. 10, 2013,, photographer unknown.

This photo was originally used Oct. 10, 2013,, photographer unknown.

Dinner. Dancing. Friendship bonds. Late night pep talks. Looking back on these last few years, I realize that my social life has consisted of spending time with my girlfriends.
Until recently, many of my friends (male and female) have started to fold under pressure from the single life—all scrambling to find a mate as 30-something sets in. Such urgency draws the question: are your 30’s the time to find love?
I’m not anti-relationship, but the urgency to find a “serious” relationship hasn’t really hit me hard enough yet. However, it seems that everyone else’s concerns for my life are much different from my own.
The funniest situations seem to occur almost every summer. It starts with an innocent conversation between a guy and I at a family function only to find out that the guy was actually a blind date arranged by one of my family members.
When should you be ready?
Timing depends on the person’s stage in life and purpose for themselves and not on external pressure. Everyone is different.
I read an article in CNN about single moms from a couple of years ago that said singleness is an issue that plagues an average of 6.3 million women in America. So pressure is definitely an issue, especially for moms.
What I’m seeing more often now is women who are embracing their independence. Time is changing their perspectives on when they should marry. It’s been said that a growing number of women prefer independence to romance for the sake of their own career growth and empowerment.
On the down-side, people form harsh opinions about single career-minded women as it relates to dating. They have too many options. They’re too rigid or too picky to find love. reported that these type of women may only be looking for a “prize.” Then, there’s the idea that “busy women” will never find someone because they’re inflexible.  
While skimming through profiles of women in their 30’s, either in magazines or other media, I found that many singles claim relationships cramp their style. Being able to enjoy their freedom is top priority.
Though I am an advocate of self-development and taking dating slowly, I haven’t totally dismissed the idea of finding someone. In fact at 31, I’m attempting to get out on the dating scene.
However, similar to the stories that I hear, the problem isn’t that I’m not meeting anyone. The problem is that I am not meeting anyone who makes me want to continue to get to know them. The connection and attraction that I’m looking for just isn’t there.
Also, I enjoy my independence and free time to do things that I appreciate such as spending the night writing, watching movies with my son or going out with friends without having the responsibility of checking in with someone. That alone is enough to send mixed signals to a man who deserves someone’s full attention.
Looking for love is fine if you’re ready, but before dating anyone remember that to find love and commitment, commitment starts from within. If you can’t commit to loving yourself enough to reach your fullest potential, then why would anyone want to commit to you?
Having this mindset prevents women from compromising their goals of success and personal development or whatever the aim may be.
When the right person comes around, those interests can be shared. But until then, it’s important to block out the noise from others and do what’s best for you.

December 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Hope For Our Boys


Thanksgiving has crept up on us this year, and important issues distracted us from normal pre-holiday day routines.

Instead, the Michael Brown case was on our minds. On Monday night, the grand jury’s decision not to indict Brown’s killer wasn’t a surprise.

But, one couldn’t help not to react angrily from witnessing history repeat itself. Another cop walks away after taking an unarmed African-American teenager’s life—another sad day in history for everyone.

African-American lives are taken at the hands of law-enforcement 4.5 times more than any other race.

As parents, how do we explain this to our little boys and girls?

Bill Cosby was among other topics. People were heart-broken after allegations of sexual assault surfaced—not Dr. Cliff Huxtable from the 80’s sitcom we’ve always loved! It couldn’t be the Bill Cosby who made us laugh and smile for years!

Few entertainers get to his level. He achieved legendary status and set an example for the African-American community.

Still, most of us cling to a hope that the allegations against the legendary icon are all false. We hope that maybe it’s just a bad dream. Tomorrow we’d wake up, and it would disappear.

But, allegedly, real lives have been affected. Over 15 women claim the same story to be exact. They have claimed that Cosby drugged and raped them.

With that in mind, my thoughts come from a mother’s perspective first. What does my son have to look forward to when our role models fail us, when the justice system fail us, when we can’t trust the one’s here to protect us?

I pray that we make an effort to become better role models for our youth. I also pray that we collectively do our parts to continue to keep peace and control. That means making sure we vote and making sure we work on the things that we can control. Responding with violence is not the answer.


November 27, 2014 at 4:30 am Leave a comment

The Mommy Blues. Children Are Affected Too


Moms are hopeful and encouraging in their child’s eyes. We can brighten their day with one smile, but imagine life for a mom who can’t easily give affection.

Depression is prevalent among younger moms who silently suffer. While reading a few articles on depression, I stumbled across a story in the Washington Post. Dr. Ann Mastergeorge began her story reflecting on her troubled childhood—the story was moving.

“When I think back to my mother when I was a child, I don’t have a single memory of her smiling,” said Ann Mastergeorge, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona.

Her mom suffered from chronic depression. She claims that the experience has haunted her until this day.

Children suffer the most 

childHer story epitomizes life as a child living with a depressed parent. The National Academy of Sciences reports that about one in five children in the U.S. live in households with parents who have major or severe depression.

In Dr. Mastergoerge’s case, it was so bad that she became the care-taker in her home, which is common.

Extensive research has shown that a mother’s depression, especially when untreated, can interfere with her child’s social and emotional development.

Cries for attention lead to behavioral problems and attachment issues. Although moms are suffering from depression, children don’t understand the sickness. So they personalize it.

Later on in life, girls get clingy to boyfriends or friends for emotional support.

Other emotional issues follow such as insecurity, increased risk for mental health problems and troubled social relationships.

Mommy Blues 

Most women don’t get help. Some are unaware of their problem or avoid talking about it because of the stigma attached to depression. They wonder what others will think about them. However, if feelings of depression appear, it’s imperative to seek the proper attention. A popular celebrity spoke of her condition to increase awareness.

“I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops but, with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it is completely controllable,” Catherine Zeta-Jones.

StrongerLike Jones, mothers with depression are often disengaged, anti-social and withdrawn. Oftentimes, they struggle to do the things most moms do with ease. Engaging children, having healthy conversation and keeping up with daily care are some of the struggles– moms may even lash out and react harshly.

When describing depression, some say it is a miserable feeling and a sadness that they cannot shake. Moms feel lethargic and even depressed to the point of being confined to the bed. Frustration, discouragement, irritability, anger and abusive behavior are the common resultant, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

It can get worse when alcohol or drugs are used as a coping method to self-medicate.

Signs and symptoms of depression (National Institute of Mental Health)

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feeling
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempt
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Ease depression symptoms  

Nothing can replace professional help, but healthy practices reduce the symptoms. Say positive affirmations and prayers in the morning to set the tone for the day. Meditate on scriptures. Here are a few: 2 Samuel 22:17-22, 2 Samuel 22:29, Psalm 34:18, 19.

You’re diet and sleeping habits are a huge factor in managing depression. What you eat can make or break a depressed person. Opt for natural foods.

PillsExercise and activities should be incorporated into the plan along with attending local events and doing things that you enjoy.

Buy natural remedies including green tea for depression or natural supplements for anxiety and depression at your local Vitamin Shoppe. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are recommended; St. John’s Wort tea relaxes you.

Deficiencies of magnesium and the B vitamin folate have been linked to depression. Psych Central suggests that patients treated with 0.8mg of folic acid per day or 0.4mg of vitamin B12 per day will reduce depression symptoms.

 Latest post: The Green-Eyed Monster: Controlling Jealousy and Envious Thoughts, Everything Girls Love (EGL)




November 21, 2014 at 12:52 am Leave a comment

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