8 Ways to Know You Are a Person of Character

I dig this.

Words of Balance

talent, character, health, fitness, life, balance, words of balance, motivation, motivate, inspire, inspiration, success, creation, believe

8 Ways to Know You Are a Person of Character

1. You Are Honest

When no one is watching

2. You Push Yourself

Harder than your boss pushes you

3. You Stand Up

For what you know is right, when it really matters

4. You Believe 

You have the ability to make a difference

5. You Care

About the well being of others ahead of yourself

6. You Tell the Truth

No matter how painful

7. You Forgive

With an open heart

8. Kindness

Is more important than your reputation

This post was written by Aaron Aslin. Aaron is an entrepreneur, amateur philosopher, and blogger. He uses his background in marketing to bring people to ideas that inspire, motivate, and create purpose in their lives. You can follow him @aaronaslin and facebook.com/aaronaslin

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Baby It’s Spring & It Might Rain Outfits!


It’s still a little cold in the Midwest, but it’s getting warmer! Hopefully the stockings season will be over soon! Enough with the April showers! This week, it should reach the upper 60s and believe me, we are all soooo happy! Tune in later this week for my style ideas for our warmer weather.

The last of the stockings…


THE STYLE: The stockings are from Target’s clearance bin.They were only about $5 for 2 pairs; the skirt is from Forever21 because I love their cheap skirts; $6; the shirt is from TJMaxx for $10; the legwarmers are from Claire’s for $7; the boots are from Kohl’s and have been featured on my blog several times for $21; the earrings are from Glitter for of course $1; the hat is from Spencer’s for maybe  $15; the jacket was from Sears on an out-of-season sale and hopefully we won’t need that anymore! It was $10.


Long dresses that are made of a light-weight fabric are great for the Spring. You can lighten up dark colors with bolder colors. Check it out.

THE STYLE: The headwrap fabric is from JoAnns (like $3 by the yard); the leggings which were just back up because the dress is s bit see-through were $10 at Kohls; the dress is from H&M on clearance it was $7; the necklace– I was getting my hair twisted and a guy came in the salon selling jewelry! Yes, I gave him $15 for it (lol); the belt is from the Body Shop for $10; the sweater is from TJMaxx for $11.

Queen Duafe for African Essence

P.S. Need a book to read? Check this out: Egyptian Yoga Volume 1: The Philosophy of Enlightenment by Muata Ashby

Egyptian Yoga Volume 1: The Philosophy of Enlightenment

Wait a minute! Need some music? Sade liberated me this afternoon with music from her 2011 tour!

The 60 Degree Spring Queen – Identity Solutions


Blog of the Day – revolucionno.wordpress.com

Jambo! Welcome. I am Queen & I come to you in the spirit of DUAFE, an african adinkra symbol that symbolizes beauty, cleanliness & desirable feminine qualities. I represent the women of the world who fight to control their own destinies and avoid being characterized as VICTIMS. We are not victims. We are the Mothers of Civilization who hold WISDOM and TRUTH.


I intend to reach into the past to reclaim visual images and rhetoric of revolution. I am here to raise the consciousness and reject attempts to control the powerful identity of woman through stereotypes. WE are more than what you see. I take the past for guidance because it allows me to take a closer look at feminism and female empowerment. We are living in a time where the identity of the woman has become highly-sexualized. Women really believe that they do not look “good” unless their bodies are exposed. Self-esteem is at an all time low, and large companies are making so much money off of bringing the image of the WOMAN down.

Women seem to gladly give away their money to purchase hair, make-up, and name-brand BS that just makes them blend in. I am not opposed to any of these things when bought and used in moderation. Sometimes you might see something that you just love and it just so happens it is name brand. A little make-up is cool, but a lot is not. You have to understand that you should not RELY on these superficial elements. They should ONLY be used as ADORNMENT.

Sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to be someone else. The light women want the brown girl features and the brown girls want the light girl features. Why can’t we just be happy as we are? We can love each other and be friends without wanting to be the other woman. I am trying to break the notion that we have to be exposed to look good; and that we have to lighten or exaggerate our features to be accepted. You do not have to be this way because, guess what? You are beautiful without all the glam. So check this out…

It’s springtime in the Midwest and we can expect varying temperatures. Dressing for the weather is important. Don’t get caught standing in the shade freezing or standing in the sun burning up! It may not be the best idea to pull out the shorts just yet, so try some colorful jeans and light weight fabrics that will give you just enough protection to enjoy the weather. Since it is still Spring, 60 degrees means that you still need to carry a jacket with you. If it was 60 degrees in the Summer, you would not need the jacket, but Spring is fickle so stay on the safe side.

A colorful springtime idea…


Earrings, $2, on sale at Icing by Claire’s

Shirt, $4 end of season sale at Sears

Pants, $20 at Forever21

Red Wedge shoes, Payless BOGO $10 ( I do not suggest buying these shoes- they are cheaply made and make a noise when I walk. They do not feel great)

Red Wedge sandals, Nine West Outlet, $20 (these shoes are all leather upper and they feel great- bought at least 4 years ago)

Brown Fornili Shoe by Aldo, $95

Queen Duafe for African Essence

P.S. Don’t forget to follow my blog by clicking on the FOLLOW button up top! Let’s keep in touch and be sure to let me know, if you have a blog you want me to check out.

Don’t forget to check out this blog!



Need a book to read? Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman by Lakesia D. Johnson

Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman


Midwest Styles – Do You Remember Bell Bottoms?

I live in Midwestern United Sates where the weather changes day-to-day. Yesterday it was very nice out- sunny and warm. Today it is rainy and chilly! Here we go!

I think I’ll try bell bottoms today. Actually, many people are in to skinny pants, which are fine in some cases, but I am a flare-pant girl. I like my pants to fit on the top and flare at the bottom to compliment my shoes. Check it out. Click on the pictures to enlarge them. Haven’t quite decided on my shoes, but it will probably be the Aldo Fornili.

(Note: the photos may appear different depending on the browser speed you have)

I also like bell sleeve shirts and sweaters! They are great. This is not the greatest pic (the rugs from my car in the background), but I got this bell sleeve sweater from JCPenny’s and underneath, I am actually wearing a bell sleeve tunic/dress that I got from venus.com.

Those stockings are really cool now that I think about it! Look below.

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(bell bottoms with mustard-colored shirt)

The shirt is made of viscose from Dillards, $17 on sale; The pants are from Forever21, I think they were $25 or cheaper; the Fornili shoe that I will wear is of course from Aldo, $95. Don’t spend that, though!

Queen Duafe for African Essence
P.S. Do you need a book to read? Check out: Writing the Black Revolutionary Diva: Women’s Subjectivity and the Decolonizing Text by Kimberly Nichele Brown

Living in the Midwest – Spring Queens


I live in Midwestern United States where the weather can swing drastically, hitting above 100 in the summer and below zero in the winter. The Springs are cold and warm, and hot, and cold again! It’s nothing to fear, you just have to be prepared and accept the reality of varying temperatures.

Living in the Midwest allows me to get super cReaTiVe with my wardrobe. I can be laid back, conservative, athletic, but most of all JAZZY! My attire is most often referred to as Jazzy. People ask, “where did you get that?” If I can remember, I tell them, but I shop all over. Mostly in thrift stores and specialty-clothing boutiques. I do not discriminate! Anywhere I go from, TJMaxx to Steinmart, I can always find the most “jazzy-ethnic” attire they carry. That’s my thing, that’s my style. My favorite stores are thrift stores, but like I said, I go all over.

I love being able to create my own style!

Many people enjoy living in the Midwest, although it can be depressing sometimes! Nine months of cold weather can have you visiting a psychoanalyst! No need to complain, just get with the program. When its cold, love it, when it’s hot love it even more! Our seasons seem to be all over the place and are highly unpredictable at the present time.
So I keep my closet fully equipped with all types of light and heavy clothing. Every morning I put my foot out the door to see what the weather feels like and I go from there…

THE STYLE… The shirt I am wearing above is one of my favorite pieces. It is a very light fabric and I normally wear a camisole underneath it. I got it from an African Boutique years ago named SeneAfrique, $25. It closed down. The shirt has gold accents so I wore gold jewelry to match. It’s a gold cuff bracelet which you can get from anywhere these days. The necklace is a beaded brown and gold layered style and I have no idea where I got it (maybe Dillard’s on clearance years ago?). The earrings are a costume-like gold from Glitter (in malls), $1. The jeans are from Charlotte Russe, $10. I like flare jeans. The shoes are from Aldo, $95. They are leather inside and out, that is why they are pricier. They are called the Fornili shoe and date back at least two years. I won’t spend that much anymore, but there was something about these shoes that made them awesome. I like them a lot and they don’t hurt. Of course I wouldn’t do crazy amounts of walking in them either.


Peace and love,

Queen Duafe for African Essence

P.S. Need a book to read? Check this out…

Afrocentricity and the Academy: Essays on Theory and Practice edited by James L. Conyers, Jr.

Revisiting Chrisette Michele – Vocalist, Pianist

Chrisette Michele is looking pretty fly these days. I like that she explores hair color. I’m feeling colorful too!


I am not sure what happened with her music. I purchased her very first CD and it was really good. Ever since, I haven’t been able to get into her lyrics. Her voice is amazing, though. It’s mature and sophisticated. The songs she did with Jay Z and Nas were the best collaborations I heard from her. On her debut album, Love is You was my favorite song and Let’s Rock which had a Wu-Tang beat was nice as well.

Image 2




All of her looks are pretty hot. I assume she has a wonderful stylist. Hope to hear some good music from her soon.

Poetry in Music- Vocalist ASA (pronounced ASHA)


“I’m in chains, you’re in chains too

I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too

I’m a prisoner, you’re a prisoner too, Mr Jailer”

Asa is a Nigerian- born singer who is currently performing all over the world. Her music is a feel good, conscious protest to modern day slavery. She explains concepts such as love, oppression, peace, and dreaming. Of course I have some songs that I play over and over because the messages speak to what I am, but all of her music has a sharp angle of awareness that we don’t hear a lot these days.


Vocalist Asa, click on the image to be directed to her website


Asa represents a new breed of artist largely indebted to beautiful poets like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and MeShell Ndegeocello. Her lyrics are far from cookie-cutter, lacking the repetitive, hypnotic trance that modern artists get over using. Asa allows you to think and to get involved spiritually with the rhythms. If there is a parent out there looking for some good music for his/her young teenage daughter to listen to, please try ASA.


Queen Style


My heart leaps when she speaks in her native tongue on songs such as So Beautiful, Bi ban ke, and Bimpe. On her album Beautiful Imperfection, my favorite song is The Way I Feel. It is reminiscent of Nina Simone’s efforts in addressing the struggles of Black expression. While Nina Simone was more direct with her messages of demur, Asa is still powerful, especially since people are seemingly trying to force the world to forget the crimes of colonization endured by people of African descent. It won’t help to forget, or brush these issues under the rug. It’s better to address them and learn about the real history of the mother land.

“I’m talking to you jailer

Stop calling me a prisoner

Let he who is without sin-

be the first to cast the stone

Mr Jailer

You suppress all my strategy

You oppress every part of me

What you don’t know,

you’re a victim too

Mr Jailer”

These are lyrics from her song Jailer, the first song on her debut album. Just wonderful!  Check out ASA in all her efforts to spread a different kind of message, not driven by money. Her music is linked on her website. Check out your local library if you want to borrow her CDs to try them out first. The video below is cool, however, I normally like music more without having viewed the videos. I like to hear the message before seeing it.