Monday, August 31, 2015

Strong, Beautiful, Powerful... Yes ladies #BornandMade


Leave it IG (Instagram) to be the place to find a great campaign! Beauty giant Carol's Daughter wants girls and women to realize that they are #BornandMade to perfection.  There is no need to look for validation, approval or self-love from anyone or anywhere because it's born within us.  I love it! The company has partnered with a group called I am That Girl to help spread the message and empower women to know their self worth. The website bornandmade.com allows you to generate an inspiring meme with a picture of your choice. 

Although a simple slogan (#BornandMade) says so much. It stirred something in me the same way I felt when I first heard Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire and saw the Lane Bryant #ImNoAngel campaign. Women and young girls must be reminded that we have so much power, control and strength and we must release it to the world. We can't allow anyone especially ourselves to burn out our light before we share our roaring flame!

Girls Rock!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Northerner's Review of Southern BBQ- Melvin's (#1)

My experience at Melvin's Place of BBQ was a good one..... So why only 3 stars? Let's start at the beginning... This BBQ joint is exactly what you think of when you're looking for a place that has no time for hype, they simply want to provide good food.

My dad was visiting from Michigan so I decided to bring him along to check this place out.  The restaurant is an add on to his home with the dining area in his drive-way furnished with comfy chairs, umbrella for shade a large table to eat at family style. We were welcomed by three of his friends who were enjoying the weather and instantly felt like I was hanging out with old friends or relatives.  Melvin appeared a few moments later with his cowboy hat and red apron asking how he could help us.  We ordered a slab of ribs, no sides and he left to prepare our order.   Shortly he returned with a Styrofoam container so full of ribs that wouldn't...well couldn't close completely. I was extremely excited!

I shared with Melvin that I was a blogger and that I saw his restaurant in the Alabama BBQ app. I explained that his picture was the reason I decided to give his restaurant a try.  Now when I first encounter Mr Melvin, he didn't seem overly friendly but once I showed him his picture on my iPad in the app... A smile and excitement appeared that I hadn't seen previously. He knew his picture had been taken and that the Tourism Department had been planning something but he wasnt aware of exactly how that worked.  He asked if he could take my iPad inside and show his sister( I said yes, of course) and we posed for a picture together.  This experience was 5 STAR for me.

The Ribs: That container had so many ribs that my father, 14 year old son, husband and myself had plenty.  They were very tender, completely fall of the bone, the seasoning was good but not great and a few of mine were a bit too fatty.  I like a very thick sauce and Melvin's was thin but the taste of the sauce was spot on.  Now,  my Northern Father & Husband Loved Them! They enjoyed the seasoning of the ribs and felt the sauce was unnecessary, a added bonus.

So although I haven't found my Go To Rib spot at Melvin's, it may be the perfect spot for you!

Have you tried Melvin's Place? 

Should I return and check out the sides? Share your thoughts!


Friday, August 14, 2015

#DineHSV 2015 Edition


Huntsville Restaurant Week 2015 begins today and lasts until Sunday August 23rd. This is a great opportunity to try some of the best restaurants/food trucks in the Huntsville & the surrounding areas.  The Huntsville/Madison County CVB's website http://huntsville.org lists the participating restaurants and special meal options for this promotion. They also have a fun contest to win some cool prizes while supporting and enjoying the local cuisine. It's very easy to participate, simple take a pic of your favorite dish at one of the participating restaurants and share on their social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) using the hashtag #DineHSV.... They will select a winner daily so make sure you snap those pics, use the hashtag and share ... I will :-)

Here's a of pics from Restaurant Week 2014 at Sady's in Madison for lunch...




 Share your favorite restaurants!

 I enjoy reading your comments!



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Do #BlackLivesMatter .... then Prove It!


Did you know that less than 3% of the African American community donate blood?

I didn't!! I  knew the numbers were low but never could I have imagine it being that low!  I invited my cousin April to share here on asthewindblows.org why we need to  Prove that #BlackLivesMatter!!!

April Shares:

We have too many myths regarding donating blood, donating organs and bone marrow.
There are thousands of African Americans in need of transplants of some sort.
My daughter just happens to need a bone marrow transplant.
For those of you that may not understand how serious this is, it's life threatening. She could die.
My goal for writing this letter isn't just to help my daughter. It's potentially to help your daughter, sister, wife, mother, brother, aunt, uncle, father, cousin and friend.
As of most recent, I became aware as to the importance to raise awareness in the Black community as to the importance of donating blood, bone marrow and organs.
Often times, we really don't hold a thought as to the risks we take from a day to day basis. Driving in a car, playing a sport, diet, even genetics.
I recently read an article that stated "About 90,000 to 100,000 in the United States suffer from sickle cell disease, mostly African-Americans. These patients- most of whom are children- need to undergo regular blood transfusions. Often, they develop antibodies to the blood they receive, leading to potentially life - threatening transfusion reactions. But if they can receive blood that's more closely matched to their own, that risk is minimized. And the best matches are found among other African-Americans."
(Source cited: Blood Centers of the Pacific copyright 2015- site by NetRaising)
I know you're probably thinking " why'd she site about sickle cell anemia." Well, that's just one of the many illnesses/diseases that plague our community. Also it explains perfectly as to the risks that are involved when we receive blood by another racial group.
We also are affected by Lupus, Leukemia, High Blood pressure, Diabetes, Aplastic Anemia and several others.
We as African Americans have a more severe threat of fatality because our percentile in which we donate blood, organs, bone marrow is alarmingly low.
I never in a million years thought I would be campaigning to get more African Americans to donate blood, let a lone asking them to donate bone marrow and organs.
But here I am, faced with this arduous task in informing and enlightening our community as a whole.
For those who may feel this article doesn't pertain to them, think again.
Just because you may not be in need of a bone marrow transplant, does not mean that you later on may not be in need of a blood transfusion.
And in either case your odds are still dangerous given the fact that most Americans who do donate overwhelming outrank the African American community.
With that being said, we've got to do better as a community.
Please let's do this together. Not just for the sake of my child but for the sake of our children, our community.
#Black lives Matter!
Here's what you can do to help:
  • Give /Donate Blood
  • Contact your local Red Cross @www.redcrossblood.org Ask your Red Cross blood technician/ nurse and or your family physician how easily you can donate bone marrow.
  • Check off the box on your drivers license to donate organs!

Save your loved ones today by simply giving! Raise the percentile of African Americans that donate blood thereby increasing our chances of survival!
#Black lives matter!

More importantly, Do Your OWN RESEARCH and SEE the STATS! They don't lie. Sooner or later, we all will be faced with some sort of great circumstance that may cause us to reach out or within the community.

Does my Black life matter?

How about my daughters black life?

       It certainly does to me!

Awareness and Knowledge are key, please pass along and share!
Light & Love
April Ray©

Feel free to check out her message in video: