When plastic surgery becomes too much…

So there has been this uptick in plastic surgery amongst people of color.  One of the biggest surgeries is buttocks implants.

New ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) stats showed that 2015 was another year of the rear, as procedures focusing on the derriere dominated surgical growth. Buttock implants were the fastest growing type of cosmetic surgery in 2015, and, overall, there was a buttock procedure every 30 minutes of every day, on average.

Here are the top procedures related to the bottom in 2015:

  • Buttock augmentation with fat grafting (14,705 procedures, up 28 percent from 2014 to 2015)
  • Buttock lift (4,767 procedures up 36 percent from 2014 to 2015)
  • Buttock implants (2,540 procedures up 36 percent from 2014 to 2015)

The pioneers of the “big booty era” are magazines such as “King” and “XXL”.

King magazine is geared toward African-American and urban male audiences. It features articles about hip-hop and R&B as well as sports and fashion. The magazine is published by Townsquare Media and was a spinoff from XXL. The magazine was started in 2002. It ceased publication on March 31, 2009, citing failing ad sales as a result of the poor economy and plans to release monthly installments soon. It resumed publication, this time as a quarterly magazine, in late 2009. It was later suspended again, and the website was sold by Harris Publications to Townsquare Media in 2014.

They paved the way for women of color (of all shades) to flaunt their curves since high fashion magazines and society in general frowned on more voluptuous  and curvy body types.  These magazines were considered a bit seedy but found their place in front of the eyes of passer-byers because of its normalization and placement with other well known magazines.  For roughly a decade these types of magazines came and went but offered a glimpse into the beauty and majesty of women of color.

Today we find ourselves at a cross roads.  The increase of underground surgeries, implant removals and ultimately surgical fatalities has us all pondering When is too much… too much?


In search of a cosmetic surgery procedure that might be less costly than the going rate in the United States, a 43-year-old woman traveled to the Dominican Republic for a “tummy tuck.”

What she got, instead, were massive open sores and an antibiotic-resistant infection that ultimately left her with a deformed abdomen.

And hers is a story far from unique. Medical experts say it should serve as a cautionary tale for Americans who head abroad for cheaper plastic surgery, only to find they’re rolling the dice when it comes to their safety.

The reason? Complications and rare infections resulting from subpar care delivered by some poorly qualified and under-regulated out-of-country physicians and facilities.

“We studied cosmetic procedures, those not covered by medical insurance,” explained study lead author Dr. Dennis Orgill. “People are motivated because of cost, and in some cases because of cultural issues. There are many websites that advertise for these procedures. And the initial costs for these procedures in developing countries is substantially less.

“Some surgeons in these countries are excellent,” Orgill added, “but sometimes it is hard for patients to tell the difference by looking on the internet.” And it’s that inability to properly vet international services, providers and regulations that ultimately gives rise to “a large public health issue,” he warned.

Orgill is medical director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Wound Care Center in Boston. He and his colleagues discussed their findings in the April issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Following several cases of botched plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department issued alerts warning American patients to steer clear of that country.

That concern was confirmed by the recent review of 78 patients (nearly all women) who had sought care at Brigham and Women’s following plastic surgery performed abroad between 2010 and 2017: three-quarters had undergone procedures in the Dominican Republic.

The review also identified other problematic “medical tourism” destinations, with Colombia and Brazil topping a list that included Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, El Salvador, China, Syria and Turkey.

All the patients were American residents (average age 43), although many had been born in the country they chose to return to for surgery. More than 60 percent relied on Medicaid as their American insurance.

About 45 percent had undergone a “tummy tuck” (abdominoplasty). A third had gone in for a breast enlargement. Other procedures included a breast lift or reduction (17 percent); liposuction (13 percent); or injections of foreign substances such as silicone (nearly 20 percent). About a quarter underwent multiple procedures.

Following the procedures, nearly 10 percent of the patients sought corrective cosmetic surgery at Brigham and Women’s. About 18 percent had serious infections; 18 percent had persistent pain; 8 percent had scarring; 15 percent had unhealed wounds; and 5 percent had internal scar tissue in their breast. Other issues included hernias, perforated bowels and ruptured implants, the review authors said.

Eight patients had to undergo emergency procedures in the hospital’s emergency room.

One 59-year-old woman experienced kidney failure and developed multiple hernias following abdominal liposuction, also done in the Dominican Republic.

Orgill and his associates concluded that the American College of Surgeons and/or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) may have to develop guidelines to tackle the issue of plastic surgery tourism. Such guidelines do not yet exist.

Dr. Jeffrey Janis, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, stressed that when seeking plastic surgery, it’s important to vet both the physician and the facility.

“The ASPS does not allow you to become a member unless you’ve passed a rigorous training program by the Board of Plastic Surgeons, which attests to the fact that you’ve been well-trained and can safely practice plastic surgery,” he said. “So if you go outside the U.S. you really should seek someone equally qualified.

“And you also don’t want plastic surgery done in a barn, a basement, a tent,” Janis said. “I’m not making those scenarios up. It happens.”

Janis added that “that is not to say that if you travel outside the borders of the U.S. that you’re taking your health into your own hands. That’s not fair. There are plenty of very qualified doctors around the world who can perform procedures. The issue is, has the patient done their homework so they know what they’re getting into?”

Social media models such as the Kardashians and the Hadid sisters has paved the way for the new “urban” styled models to take a strangle hold on the industry.

So were does this leave the women who pioneered this trend?  Back at the bottom of the food chain.  What took them a decade to create, the newer forms of social media took another decade to dismantle.  So once again, women of color (particularly women with darker skinned complexions) struggle to find where they fit into the equation.




Ginger (the Local food of the Gods)


              Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps.



According to  WEBMD:

Lab and animal studies have found that ginger may, theoretically:

Clinical evidence shows evidence that ginger may be helpful in lowering blood sugar and blood pressure.

Some people apply ginger compresses to the skin for pain. We don’t know if this works or not.

  • Lessen swelling
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Protect against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prevent blood clotting

There are no known side effects from taking ginger as a regular part of your diet.


Making tea or “steeping roots/leaves”  is the most efficient way to receive the benefits of ginger.  The aroma opens up those sinuses and when you drink it you will notice your circulation improving almost instantly.  Improved circulation has a multiplying affect on the body’s system.  Increased hair and nail growth. Brighter skin and much much more!




Spirituality VS Religiousity

Spirituality may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity, especially a “search for the sacred.” It may also refer to personal growth, blissful experience, or an encounter with one’s own “inner dimension.”  This definition comes from Wikipedia.

Spirituality is liken to a journey. A perpetual exploration of all things holy and sacred. Where as religion is more of lifestyle steeped in tradition.  Of course there are caveats and this is a serious almost blasphemous over simplification of the two… But this gives you at least point of reference.

I believe that life should be filled with spirituality.  The act of being a moral individual should be forever in perpetual motion. Forever growing.  This to me is a more accurate description of spirituality.


These days I find myself to be less religious than I used to be. Even with that said I believe it was the orthodox religious foundation I had growing up which helped me be the kind of person I am today.  The tenements of the major religions teach love of others over love of self and love of God over all others.  This constant practice and teaching help keep me grounded as I navigated my way thru young adulthood.



Finding decor that speaks to the inner YOU!

This image can be found on digsdigs.com


When choosing décor for your home, you should first think about what colors are most appealing to you. Your home should feel inviting but at the same time speak to your personality.


Well I don’t own my home!  This is the case for many is this current economic downturn. But you can still have the style you want even if you are limited on what you can do.  Some of the best ways to add style to your home is to have a clean pallet and add accents that are fun and match your style!

If your landlord won’t allow for colorful walls, it doesn’t mean that your curtain rods and curtains can’t have a lot of pop!  Its common practice to have beige or off white walls.  Strong African patterns can bring life to any area of the home! And don’t forget your fixtures such as handles and curtain rods.  Use items that are unorthodox or zaney for added fun!


Colorful and textures accent throw pillows!  This is a sure fire way of bringing a little style and pizazz to your home!  Try mix and matching texture in the same color hue!

What I love most about home décor is the idea of making small changes that offer big returns when it comes to a fresh look!

And last but not least… Find a painting or wall accents!  These can be moved from room to room, changed according to the season or put away easily to make room for something completely different!

You can find reasonably priced items like these and many others in our home décor page on urbble.com


Finding a fitness regimen that you can stick with!


It is way more important that you make exercise a permanent part of your life than it is to treat it as a new years resolution or a spare of the moment decision.

That type of mindset will cause you to forget about it after only a few short months.  Exercising is best approached as a lifestyle change and should be treated accordingly.

Finding ways to incorporate it in your life might seem daunting either because of time constraints or lack of desire to work out, which is why I say try the “baby step” approach!


Opt to walk to the store instead of drive! Some of us have stores that are only a few blocks away.  Imagine the joy you would bring your heart (and thighs I might add) if you walked there instead of drive!  Try to incorporate this as much as possible.

If you have a small infant use them as a dumb bell.  YES I SAID IT…. Strap that baby to your body using your baby harness and do your house chores!  The baby will actually find this to be fun! AND you will become more fit!  *We will discuss this more in detail in the homestead category.

Find exercises that fit your personality type!  No one says you have to be a fitness guru.  Just start off doing what you think you will like and take it from there.  Some people enjoy yoga, others weight lifting and other cardio.  Remember… baby steps!


This approach will help you to create an lifestyle change instead of a fly by night fitness frenzy that will only end in short memories of bad workouts!

How to travel the world on a budget!

The keys to traveling the world on a shoe string budget is…..





It is so important to plan your trip far in advance.  Dare I say at least a year!  I know, I know…. A year seems, well… a long time to put something together but trust me when I tell you it is the best way to find the deals you want.  Planning so far ahead allows you to take your time to figure out so many things about your trip!

What season do you want to travel in?

Personally I let the price point tell me when I should travel.  For example going to Spain for a beach trip will cost you more if you want to go during Christmas break from the ole USA.  Since Christmas is peak travel time (and therefore the most expensive time to travel) it is best to leave Christmas travel for folks who don’t care about being taken advantage of when it comes to buying tickets!

“Welcome Traveler! We are happy to have you!”

According to the Washington post a map was created in 2013 which gives you an idea of countries you may want to look at as destinations.  Although this map is outdated, it may still give you a starting point. You’re welcome!  -_<

Places like Hawaii, Dubai and Ireland offer incentives for traveling to those destinations!  Dubai (for example) offers layovers for as long as you would like to stay for a nominal fee!  So lets say you decide to go to SOUTH AFRICA and you fly Emirate Air, after purchasing your tickets you could call the airline and ask to layover for a week in DUBAI then catch your continuing flight after the extended layover!  This way you get to stay in two countries for the price of one!  Can’t beat that with a stick!


So just keep in mind that traveling the world on a shoe string budget might be a little difficult, it should also be noted that such an endeavor is highly rewarded with amazing experiences and memories that last a lifetime.



The revival of the “Dashiki”

Dashiki revolution!

The dashiki has made an amazing come back in the last 5 years!  There are many contributing factors to why this emergence has taken place.  All conditions being what they are, you could see how this has happened.


Since the uprising of the natural hair movement there has been a shift in the mindset of many African Americans about what it means to be “black”. Many people set their sights on the continent of Africa as a way of further defining who they are.  Many have taken DNA tests to find out what tribe they may belong, others have made a physical connection by travelling to different countries and bringing back some of the culture. So with the success of the natural hair movement, it would only be natural that people would begin to look to the clothing of the “originals” for further inspiration.



We all know what’s been happening here in the states when it comes to police brutality.  Afrocentricism has become the montra of many. Somewhat disassociating themselves with western culture.  Although this may not be the biggest part of the reason why, it does lend fire and passion toward further separatism in the culture.



We cannot discuss the rise in Dashikis without discussing Beyonces’ influence here in the states.  After her trip to the motherland with then daughter Blue Ivy and husband JayZ , she came back with a new perspective.  Both giving praise to the dances styles she encountered such as tso, tso style and all the lastest African wear! 


No one can deny that the country of Nigeria has enjoyed the spotlight when it comes to music and movies.  All you have to do is just see what is trending on youtube and you will notice lots of visibility with all things Nigeria. Many of the music videos features dashiki and other African prints that are so flattering and appealing to the eye, it has become a mainstay in popular US culture!


Just keep on the lookout for the melding of dashiki design in more and more American urban designs.  This merger with solidify the dashiki print into our urban interior!



Interested in these outfits? Shop our online store now!

When style is more important than trends!

First thing in figuring out your own personal style is to know who you are inside. Never try and look like other people you may see! You are uniquely YOU!

I personally fluctuate between the masculinity and femininity styles. So a lot of the things I wear is fitted jeans and flowing/crop tops.  For a more conservative look  the outfit at the top of this article could be worn with a tank top.  I personally felt the stylish corset/bra was more befitting. It makes for a more daring look.

The front open animal print top is fun especially with a pair of ripped fitted jeans! Paired with heavy African accessories such as the necklace and bracelet pulls the outfit together! Danger this look is only for badasses. Proceed with caution! Search this site for this look!

Afros are a signature look especially with all the stars such as Amara la negra sporting the full afro look.  Its regal and fun and it au-natural!  I don’t think the afro will be going away any time soon. And let me tell you I am here for it!


When wearing long traditional dashiki skirts such as this one in the picture below, having a solid colored crop top balances the large-ness and wild pattern of the skirt.  I paired the look with paten leather 6inch heels. This style of dress is appropriate with any body type!


It is ok to get inspiration from stylists and looking at the trends of the day. BUT! at the end of the day, let your personality speak to how you dress.  Nothing screams authentic than picking outfits that flatter your shape and life montra!

Mines just happen to be girl/boy badass rocker mom! lol