Sunday, April 13, 2014

My 23andme Results and Review

My 23andme Results and Review

Okay, so I have shown you all my extensive journey into discovering my family history.  

I am still on a search for more information on my Paternal side, although I have a very clear idea of what the results will be.  

Here is another video of my 23andme experience.  This is just a quick review of my results as well as my satisfaction with the service.

Please check out my Past Posts on 23andme:

Make sure to check out my Special Link to Start Your Journey today!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Social Media Spring Cleaning!

Social Media Spring Cleaning!
Spring is upon us!  I am so happy that it will be getting warmer and I can finally open my windows and enjoy the sunshine.  I look forward to outdoor activities and getting in a little more exercise.  I am also looking forward to downsizing my Social Media consumption and getting back some of my TIME!  
I have been blogging for 4.5 years so far, and it has been a learning curve.  I have done everything from using Social Media TOO MUCH, to not using Social Media enough!  I have finally reached a point of realizing that I need balance.  My husband once told me that I did not need to document every moment in life, but to be in the moment and enjoy life offline.  Yeah, I heard him, but my followers needed to know what I was doing at all times, so I thought.  I finally, years later, I took a step back and took a long hard look at my reason for even being online.  I initially set up my social media channels to help promote my Tee Shirt business online.  At first I did not get the concept of Social Media's role in promoting my business, so I had a Twitter and Facebook account just to say I had one.  Then once a friend explained the importance of using Twitter to "Spread The Word" about my business, I Tweeted more and started making sales!  It was so addictive!  I enjoyed the rush of hearing my email alert going off and seeing that another shirt was sold!  I started to see how feeding the 'Machine' resulted in sales.  So that is basically how I got so into Social Media.  I opened up account after account on various platforms.  At the time, it was to share my business links with other audiences.  As the 'New Kid on the Block' image began to wear off, people started getting 'Ad Blind' in a sense.  They had already either purchased an item from me, or knew of someone that did.  As a result, they began to overlook any of my online messages promoting my Tees.  As I sat down to revamp my marketing tactic as well as looked at new inventory to carry, I was hopeful that new items would perhaps spark up new buyers and entice old ones.  The more items I introduced into my collection, the more sales would drop.  Indeed it was a depressing feeling, but I figured at some point the enthusiasm for people to buy from my store would return.  It never really did.  At this point, I was totally knee deep in Social Media.  I had tried a majority of major platforms, had 4 Twitter accounts, 5 Facebook pages, 2 Facebook Groups, 3 Tumblr accounts, 4 blogs, and so much more.  Last year, I decided to 'Rebrand' in the hopes to consolidate all of my accounts.  I was successful at closing all of the Tumblr pages, deleting 2 Twitter accounts, getting rid of 3 Facebook Pages, and going down to 2 blogs.  Now for another Growth Spurt.  I love the concept of making money while I sleep.  I am so totally into creating projects and allowing them to naturally generate traffic.  I have come to realize that every platform ain't for everybody.  I really want to go back to the essence why I started using Social Media after all, and that was to utilize it as a way to promote my Business.  I am not sure how I ended up using it daily to browse posts and looking at ridiculous video clips of people acting silly, but that became my time suck.  After getting trapped into daily browsing sessions, business was totally out the window.  I truly enjoy connecting with people, but I really intended to connect with them professionally, and not to learn that they just 'stopped off at the gym for a quick workout'.  All of this has led me to make the decision to 'clean up' old posts and sign out and close some of my social media platforms.  The following platforms, in my opinion, have relevancy in my business model:

1.  Twitter:  I like that I can tweet and walk away.  I don't have to worry about anyone posting anything inappropriate on my 'wall', and followers are limited to 'ReTweeting', @ing me, and sending me a 'P.M.'  Since there is no "Like" button, I don't have to worry about a bunch of notifications on my phone all day (although I know these can be turned off in settings).  Posting links to Twitter can be retweeted to an even larger audience, which helps with traffic.

2.  Youtube:  I am really getting the hang of Youtube.  Now, years later, I know what makes it tick!  I think I have found a theme to my channel and I am able to provide helpful topics to individuals searching on that platform.  And best of all, I can "make money while I sleep"!

3.  Pinterest:  I am a late bloomer when it comes to Pinterest, but now that I am on it, I can see the benefit of the platform.  I love that fact that posts are 'Pinned' and recirculated on their own.  This is another good platform to use to increase traffic without a lot of maintenance.  

4.  Instagram:  This Social platform allows for connecting with other bloggers and businesses.  I use this platform, via pictures, to share events as well as to display information for businesses.  Businesses are looking at hashtags, and liking the photos there.  I really enjoy networking and the engagement on this platform.  

There are other platforms that serve their unique purposes, but they are ones that require a lot more maintenance.  In order to buy out time for myself, I am deciding to sign out some of those as not to be tempted to comment on and respond to a lot of posts and content.  
As I begin my Social Media Spring Cleaning, I have started downloading my photos and posts from Facebook and Instagram for storage.  I have thousands of posts on those accounts, so I am going to downsize my content.  I did not want to delete it all and move on, but I chose to download the content and am storing it on my external hard drive. 

Click here to learn how to download all of your Facebook content:  Download Facebook Information  

Click here to learn how to download all of your Instagram photos:  

In addition to Spring Cleaning my Social Media platforms, I am looking at ways to clean information off of my desktop computer.  I found this post with some helpful tips from Nettio Designs:

For tips on a physical cleaning of your computer check out this post:

This is a neat little checklist to help you stay on task while "Spring Cleaning" if you choose to!
Now that you have looked at my way of Spring Cleaning, what are some ways that you are planning to clean up this Spring?

Friday, March 14, 2014

My 23andme Results

Here are my 23andme results!

Watch the video below to see the breakdown of my results.  You may need to pause in between to read the information.  

Now that you are inspired, start your journey today!

Start Here:
Also check out our exciting Instagram party from this past week by following the #ourknottedroots hash tag

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hair Curl: How it Works

Hair Curl:  How it Works

As you all know, I had my DNA tested by 23andme.  I learned so many interesting things about my DNA and human science in general.  Although this information is not available through 23andme anymore, I was fortunate to have access to some of their health information.  
I found this portion interesting since I am all about Natural hair!

My Result: "Genotype GG:  Slightly curlier hair on average.

Genes Vs. Environment:
Hair texture is highly heritable, with heritability estimates ranging between 85-95%. High heritability means that the trait is controlled almost entirely by your genes—environmental factors play little or no role. Which genes and variations control hair texture, however, are not well understood. The SNP reported here by 23andMe accounts for less than 10% of the variation in hair curl seen in European populations.
Hair Curl
From stick straight to wavy to twisty to kinky—the texture of human hair runs the gamut. Hair's curliness (or lack thereof) comes from the shape of the bulb at the base of the hair follicle. In people of all ethnicities, a curved bulb translates into curly locks. Not surprisingly, this biological trait has a strong genetic component, although a simply inherited "hair curl" gene that completely determines hair texture has not been found and likely does not exist. Instead, variations in several genes affecting different aspects of hair development probably combine together to determine the shape of your 'do.
The following results are based on  Established Research for 1 reported marker.
From stick straight to wavy to twisty to kinky—the texture of human hair runs the gamut.
For much of the history of hair research, hair has been categorized based on ethnic differences. Hair from people with African ancestry tends to be intensely kinked. People with Asian ancestry tend to have coarse, thick hairs that hang straight. Europeans are more varied. About 45% have straight hair, 40% have waves, and 15% have curly hair.
As the science has progressed, researchers have moved away from descriptions based on ethnicity, and focused instead on the molecular details of different hair types.
The Root Cause
When straight and curly hairs are examined closely, it's clear that there are differences in the distribution of certain cells and proteins. In curly hair, the important hair components are distributed more asymmetrically than they are in straight hairs.
The root (pun intended) of the asymmetry found in curly hairs has been shown to be the golf club-shaped bulb at the base of the hair follicle. As a hair grows out from such a curved bulb, cells on the outside and inside of the curve develop at different rates and filaments of keratin are deposited in differing arrangements.
Curved hair bulbs have the same effects in people of all ethnicities. In fact, the shape of the bulb is so central to hair curl that follicles removed from the head and grown in a lab dish continue to produce straight or curly hairs.
Learn More About TCHH

Whether your hair is curly or straight, it's probably a lot like the hair you see all around you in your family. That's because genetics play a large part in determining hair texture. No single "hair curl" gene has been discovered, however.
Studies (including 23andWe research that used survey answers provided by 23andMe customers) have shown that variation near the TCHH gene determines a small part of hair curl in Europeans. On a scale of 0 to 5 (0 being straight, 5 being super curly), each copy of the A version of rs17646946 was associated with a reduction of about 0.29 curliness points.
The TCHH gene encodes a protein called trichohyalin, which is known to be expressed at high levels in hair follicles and has been shown to be involved in cross-linking of the keratin filaments found in hair in skin.
23andMe researchers have also identified another SNP associated with hair curl. This association, however, has not yet been replicated by other scientists. Read more in the Hair Curl Preliminary Research Report. You can also learn about a genetic variation found mainly in people with Asian ancestry that has been associated with hair thickness in the Hair Thickness Preliminary Research Report."
"The genotyping services of 23andMe are performed in LabCorp's CLIA-certified laboratory. The tests have not been cleared or approved by the FDA but have been analytically validated according to CLIA standards. The information on this page is intended for research and educational purposes only, and is not for diagnostic use."
If you are interested in starting your own DNA journey, 
click here-->  23andme
Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram to learn about my Genealogy results (on 3/14/14) 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Girls, Goals, and Gadgets with AIO and Girl Scouts

Girls, Goals, and Gadgets with AIO and Girl Scouts

I was honored to teach a group of Girl Scouts about technology and internet safety.  I was asked to instruct by AIO Wireless.  We were at one of their new Marietta, Georgia stores.  There were games, prizes, phone demos, a food truck, and lots of girl scout cookies on hand.  The young ladies were so thrilled to share their favorite apps as well as their experiences with internet safety with the group. Follow the link below to take a look at the informational powerpoint that we discussed, as well as some pictures from our fun day!

6 year Breast Cancer Survivor Credits Family and Friends for Support

6 year Breast Cancer Survivor Credits Family and Friends for Support

Back in 2007, my cousin Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She said that this was devastating news to take in.  When her doctor told her the news, she felt like she was listening to the unintelligible lecture of Charlie Brown's Teacher
Toni's journey began when she started experiencing great pain in her right breast.  After a month of trying to endure the pain and swelling, she decided to go to the doctor to have it checked out.  Fortunately, she went in time.  She was at stage 1 breast cancer.  This was an extremely treatable stage, but it still required extreme treatment measures.  The cancer was surgically removed from the breast, and she had to undergo a TRAM Flap.  This was a major undertaking and took several weeks to recover from, followed by several months of therapy.  Toni's total journey took about 10 months.

Family and Friends
Upon diagnosis, Toni realized that she needed the support of family and friends when attending doctors appointments and undergoing surgery and recovery.  Family and friends were very instrumental in getting thorough medical information and appointments.  Toni's daughter Maya was her number one support system, as well as her husband, mother, and brother.

Maya was the primary person to attend doctors appointments and treatment sessions with her mother.  She  was instrumental in acquiring information by paying rapt attention to medical instructions and keeping up with appointments.  When Toni had breast cancer surgery and was sent home, Maya was by her mom's side.  Toni's mother was a big moral support along with her brother who brought her a Bible as a form of spiritual encouragement.  Toni said that she read the 23 Psalm to give her daily strength.

Toni's friends were supportive in big ways such as surprising her with a card with 4 crisp one hundred dollar bills in it, to flowers,  to phone calls, to simply visiting for hours at a time.  One friend simply laid in the hospital bed with her and watched t.v and that was enough support for her at that moment.

When Toni was sent home, she had to undergo in-home therapy sessions with physical therapists.  She said that she was so happy to be home and recovering that she was already up and walking around the house on her own prior to therapeutic intervention.  She said that the comfort of home and love of her family helped her to build up her physical and emotional strength.  Toni had 6 weeks of at home recovery time.  She was visited by an at home nurse during this time.  By the time she had to undergo Chemotherapy, she was starting school again as well as work.  She said that her professors modified assignment due dates and her boss at work allowed her to perform one-on-one direct care services with patients and maintain a modified work schedule at the nursing home where she worked.  Her chemotherapy schedule was every three weeks, so she required a few days during the week of treatment to get her strength back.

Maintaing Her Fly Style
Toni experienced a significant amount of hair loss during Chemotherapy.  As a result, she decided to trim her remaining natural hair short and wear a series of stylish wigs while on her daily journeys.  She said that upon completion of Chemotherapy, her hair began to grow again.  As she was informed, her hair texture has changed significantly.  Her hair was now a very wavy texture.  She allowed her  hair to grow to shoulder length, then decided to cut it off because it was extremely thin.  After a few months, her natural hair texture returned and she wore a TWA for the remaining time.  She toggled her styles between wigs, to natural styles, to pressed styles.  Her regular style ended up being braided natural hair under a wig.

Toni's Tips

  • Get Regular Breast Exams
  • Get Yearly Mammograms
  • Have Faith
  • Eat Healthy
  • Reduce Stress
  • Nourish Friendships
  • Love Your Family
  • Communicate Your Needs
  • Don't Neglect Your Sense of Style

Zuriworks and You

This post is a part of a blogging campaign to bring attention to the Zuriworks organization.   I was so honored to be able to share my cousins story as a part of a bloggers inititive  to bring awareness to the needs of minority women and breast health.  I met the founder Andrene Taylor at Blogalicious this past October.  Here is a little bit about Andrene's journey as a cancer survivor:
"Andrene M. Taylor is a three-time cancer survivor and cancer survivorship advocate. After overcoming Hodgkins Lymphoma during her second year of graduate school and twice while completing her dissertation, 2010, Andrene founded ZuriWorks for Women’s Health a non-profit organization to dedicated to uniting the arts, beauty, and health industries to provide support, education and resources for black and minority women and adults affected by cancer.Andrene is an accomplished writer, scholar, and educator. She has been invited to speak at various civic and social events about cancer survivorship, fitness, arts and health. Her personal story has been featured numerous national and local publications.Following her three cancer diagnoses, Andrene has dedicated herself to pushing her physical limits. An athlete her whole life, she learned how to swim at 34, and she is now a triathlete. She participates in numerous races and half marathons throughout the year."
Learn more and support by visiting

On March 1st, Show your support for Cancer Survivors as well as Women's History Month by supporting
Show your support on Social Media by sharing this post as well as the Zuriworks website using the HashTag #ChopCancer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bronner Brothers Weekend In Atlanta (2/2014)

Bronner Brothers Weekend In Atlanta (2/2014)

I attended the Bronner Brothers hair show for the first time this weekend!  I truly enjoyed blogging and mingling with all of the brands in the haircare industry.  Here is a snapshot of my weekend.  Check out my Instagram for more pictures, details, and hashtags.

Special shout out to CurlPRess for supporting Natural Hair  bloggers and making sure we are a recognized part of the Hair Industry!  Check out and like their page!  

Interested in Juicing for Heath?

Interested in Juicing for Heath? 

I attended at Juicing workshop at Whole Foods with Crystal Collins from The Thrifty Mama blog.  
I learned a few things about juicing and the availability of assistance to get started on your natural journey.  

  • Fresh, raw juice is absorbed in the body at the same rate as alcohol.
  • Different types of Juicers do different things as they relate to the amount of juice they produce.
  • It is helpful to blend fruits and veggies prior to actually using them in a Juice Press.
  • Whole Foods offers juicing services when you purchase your fruit and veggies in store.
  • Whole Foods has an AWESOME Juice and smoothie bar.  

Check out the following video clips from the workshop!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Morning Smoothie

Morning Smoothie

A lot of people have been asking me how to get started making smoothies.  I have been making them for most of my life.  They have evolved from using cow's milk and only mango, to using soy milk to now using almond milk and a variety of fruits and veggies.  

Making smoothies, to me, is all about experimentation.  There are 'official' rules regarding food combining, but I am not an expert on them (see Youtube for suggestions).  I simply use fruit that I like anyway, and figure would taste good combined.  

Either way, smoothies are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients.  If you have a so-so diet like me, drinking a smoothie a day can set you mind at ease.  It is waaaaay better than looking back at an entire week and realizing that you did not eat one fresh fruit or veggie.  I have been there.  

Check out this simple way to make a Morning Smoothie.  I enlisted the help of my friend's daughter.  She really loves these smoothies, so when she asked me to make one for her, I told her to wash her hands and make it herself!  She enjoyed making it.  It was yummy!  I am sure you all will love it too!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Interesting facts about Minority Stereotyping

Interesting facts about Minority Stereotyping 

Many are observing the history of African Americans this month.  With that, Black and Married with Kids has produced a series of myth busting videos to show the truth behind African American Male and Female stereotypes.  There are so many minority youth pursuing great things in terms of academics, entertainment, and more!  Of course the media only shows a minority, of the minority groups which are usually unsavory images and portrayals.  Check out the video series below.  Expect to see more updates via the Black and Married Youtube page.