On Child Abuse: You Have to Speak Up

Stories of child abuse enrage me. Most often than not a death of an innocent child can be prevented. Every story, like the one below, always has at least one person being interviewed admitting that they saw something or felt like something was not right. A three year old cannot speak for himself and if the adults around him, who hear and see abuse, don’t speak for him, then most often it will end with the child’s death.

I know all too well how difficult it is to inform authorities of possible abuse, especially if you are not in the household but on the outside looking in, and don’t want to get people in trouble. I had to make that call to social services when I I knew a one year old child close to my family was being neglected. It  still hurts my heart when I recall the mother calling me asking how could I take her child from her. Custody was given to the dad in this case and every other weekend when I see this little boy I know I made the right decision. His mother never made any moves to change her life, or to do the bare minimum of what the court asked her. His father on the other hand has done everything to make sure his son is happy including continuously reaching out to the mother to keep a relationship between them. She makes promises but hasn’t seen the boy in two years. The road the mom has headed down I know I was right to call CPS to protect him. He is now in a stable home with a father who loves and cares about him first.

It is very hard to ‘stick your nose’ into other peoples business but when it comes to children they need someone to acknowledge their bruises, to hear their screams, to offer comfort when they can’t get any at home. It’s not good enough to say I knew they were beating him AFTER the child is dead.


Most often we ‘know’ but don’t want to get involved but we have to. You are no better than the abuser if you stand by and say nothing.

stop abuse

say something

Gothamist: Dead 3-Year-Old Likely Suffered “History Of Abuse”he 3-year-old boy found dead in his Brooklyn apartment yesterday may have been fatally beaten by his aunt, according to authorities, and it’s believed he endured “a history of abuse.”

According to police, 3-year-old Ethan Ali (originally identified as 4 years of age) was found dead in his Brownsville apartment at around 1:27 p.m. yesterday. Police noticed bruising on his body, and the Post reports that officers are investigating whether Ethan’s 21-year-old aunt, Christen Dale, beat him to death with a belt. The boy’s grandfather told the Daily News that he had seen Dale hit the boy previously. “They did it all the time. They beat him and they beat him. He was always bruised,” he said. “She beat him with the belt. I told her to stop.”

Neighbors told the Times that Ethan had lived with a rotating number of family members in the apartment, and that they heard him crying on multiple occasions. “I heard spanking, like someone talking: ‘Don’t do that. Didn’t I tell you not to do that?’ ” one neighbor, who heard the boy crying on Tuesday, told the paper. “I didn’t think it was going to come to this. That was my first time ever hearing him getting a spanking.”

Dale and her boyfriend, who apparently found her holding Ethan’s body on Wednesday, were being interviewed by police officers yesterday, though no one had been arrested as of this morning. The boy’s mother, Natasha Ali, is reportedly cooperating with authorities; according to NBC News, the boy’s father had been fighting for custody of him.



On Henna

My Henna weekend didn’t go quite as I planned. I only had a very small bit of indigo left so I decided to just condition the hair with henna, brahmi and amla. I added hot coffee to the powder, it takes away any brassiness the henna might leave.Henna, remember,  leaves a copper reddish color on gray hair that I find a bit too clownish on me. Coffee also stops shedding. I will usually do a coffee or black tea rinse every so often. I’m going to try do this regularly going forward.

It usually takes a few treatments before I notice the gray getting darker with indigo so I was not expecting the gray to disappear with the three powders I used this time.

Hopefully my strands will start to get stronger and I will have less gray overall but I know I can’t go back to salon or OTC boxed colors.



gray hair

On Hair: Coloring and Henna

I don’t relax my hair and coloring it is the only chemical process I do with my it but now I have to stop that. I’m not sure if it is the coloring or simply aging but the last year my hair has thinned out and it feels so dry, even in the summer. Winter months are always the worse, I live in the Northeast and this year is extremely harsh, so I’m extra conditioning but that is not helping. I’m noticing more and more hair in the comb and when I simply detangle my hair with my fingers.

So, I’m ditching the chemical hair dyes and going back to henna and indigo. Before I started dying my hair, with whatever brand was on sale as long as it was a black violet color , I used to henna and indigo. Both of these are plant derivatives and completely natural but the process is a tiresome.  I got lazy and wanted a quick fix so I started dying. I could look at my calendar and count how many times I dyed my hair in 2014 but I’m sure the number will only distress me more.

Seeing my hair NOT growing leaves me very concerned. As I have gotten older I noticed that my hair is not growing as fast as it used to after a cut. In my twenties I remember being so bothered after getting my haircut only to have it grow completely out in two months. I cut my hair in the spring last year and have had very little growth since then. Unlike a lot of natural hair enthusiast I never did the before and after shots of my hair or tracked products but I think I will start just to figure out how much my growth has slowed down or if I’m doing something to hinder its progress…like the chemical over the counter coloring.

It takes two days for me to do both the henna and indigo.I let the henna sit overnight and then let it sit in my hair for about two hours. I go over the henna with indigo because henna leaves the gray hair a brassy red color which I hate. The indigo, like henna is derived from a plant but has blue dye in it which gives the hair a very black color. I naturally have a red undertone to my hair so often you will see flecks of red in my hair but the indigo will keep the gray hair dark and for a longer period of time.


I usually get my henna and indigo from a few of my mothers friends when they go home to Pakistan and it usually last me a year. However, when I can’t get it from them I go to my local Indian store or order from either mehandi.com or amazon. The Indian store is usually the cheaper option.


Here’s an older pic of one of the last times I put henna in my hair.

This weekend I will give more details on how I prepare my hennna and my process.

A Few Days Have Passed

Since I have posted anything of even mild significance. I have had the flu for over a week.I won’t divulge how sick I’ve been the last week because I’m too much of a lady for that. It was ugly. Every time I thought it had passed I was back to hugging the porcelain king. I have not been able to hold anything down but yesterday and today my stomach actually accepted solid food.

….I think my internal storm has passed and I will get back to posting tomorrow.

Funny thing is I weighed myself and I didn’t lose a pound. Can’t win for losing…le sigh

I'm back



The Positively Optimistic and Powerful, Shahidah Ali


I am very humbled to be featured the PoppedBlackWomanBlog.
If you are not following her blog please pop over and do so.
Thank you again.

Originally posted on PoppedBlackWomanBlog:

Welcome you lovely guys and gals to the very first Positively Optimistic and Powerful Woman feature. Today’s popped woman is the very warm, smart, and beautiful Shahidah Ali of the Properly Improper blog. If you haven’t checked out her blog already, I’m sure the glimpse of this woman that you get from her interview today will make you want to follow her with the utmost quickness. She has one of my favorite blogs and she’s also been one of my biggest fellow blogger supporters as I get my feet wet in the blogging world and I’m forever grateful. I’m blessed to have her as the very first P.O.P. Woman on the Popped Black Woman Blog. Please check out her interview below:

The Lovely Ms. Ali The Lovely Ms. Ali

Popped Black Woman Blog: Thank you for taking the time to connect with the Popped Black Woman Blog Community Shahidah! Let’s open up with…

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On Reading: Book #3 & My Mini-Contest Winner

The Power of 100!

I ordered this book a few weeks ago and started it last night. Some of you may be surprised that I am reading a ‘self help’ book again,  when I’m not a fan of the genre and so soon after reading Fearless.

I chose this book because I believe in Shaun King. I’m only three chapters in and yes,I see the same thread in all motivation books but there is a huge difference in King’s approach…he is actually approachable.

I can’t remember how I first heard about Shaun King but I do know that since I have been on his mailing list and follow him on Twitter I like his ideas about life, getting motivated and staying connected. He is a teacher at Life Goals University and I participated in one of his Life Goals webinars last year. King got together entrepreneurs, social activist, and created online themed platforms that each guest spoke to, it was very similar to TedTalks Youtube. I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange but what I enjoyed more was how King stayed engaged via emails. So, when I got the email that said he had written a book I went straight to Amazon and ordered a copy. No, we are not email chums but when I asked a question he answered and I like that.

King offers Life Goals services and although I never thought I would pay for a service to help me achieve my goals, because of course, I know what I need to do, I do feel like I need a better strategy and his book and services offer that.

So far I am enjoying this book. I feel like he is talking directly to me and not AT me. I find myself wanting to keep pen and paper near so I may jot down a few quotes that specifically awaken a fire within me. Big contrast from book number two.


I can’t wait to get back to fiction though! Right now, especially with all this snow in Providence, I could go for something really suspenseful. I’m open for a suggestion as long as its not Kay Scarpetta….

Last week I said I would give away a book to someone who commented in this post. Only two people responded and I will announce the winner in the morning.



On DIY Project: A Chalkboard Table for Autumn

Last weekend I worked on a DIY small table project for my granddaughter.

I’m not great at finishing DIY projects because I lack patience to see a project all the way through when it starts getting hard but I am working on that. I also talk myself into believing that only ‘certain’ people, like the talented folks at HGTV, can turn junk into treasure. I’m working on that too.

This project took me a little over a day only because of the sanding and waiting for the paint to dry. Its a small flower table I bought from Christmas Tree Shop about ten years ago for my daughter. She used it as a little side table in her bedroom but now at twenty-three she’s pretty much done with it so instead of chucking it off to Goodwill I decided to sand and re-paint it.

I’ve been wanting to do something with chalkboard paint for sometime now and this was my opportunity. It was so incredibly easy and came out so well I will probably end up buying a box of the spray and chalkboard a room….no just kidding but I am definitely going to add a big chalkboard frame in my kitchen,


This is the top of the table. I had to sand it down a bit to make it smooth and remove some of the paint. It was very easy. I just used a small sand bar I bought from Home Depot for four dollars.


This little things works wonders


The legs and a not very good picture of the ‘leaves’ remember its supposed to be a flower.



Sanding the Table for a smooth chalkboard finish.


Liquid Gold! Goes on great for any DIY novice. I sprayed on three coats. I let each coat dry an hour before applying the next. The stuff is pretty strong so I took it into a room where I could crack a window for better ventilation. I actually tied a bandanna around my nose and mouth because reading the cautious on the back scared me.


One Chalkboard table top


I only used one coat of this pretty lavender for the legs and petals.


I did sand everything for a smooth finish but this spray-paint actually is a primer as well so it covered the old green legs well. Tip: I sprayed one side and left it on the plastic to dry some of the paint seeped to the other side so I had to re-sand that side. So when I spray-painted the other side I decided to stand it up and it ran. So I had to sand that off and lay it on a clean piece of plastic and got the perfect finish without any running.




Chalkboard Top


A is for Autumn!