Beach Beauty: Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Let me start by saying I LOVE the beach. I’ve been to so many beaches that I have learned to appreciate the many different types of sands, from fine grade to rocky, the colors, from golden to powdery white. The same applies to the water. I never realized that there are so many different shades of blue. Each island has their own variant shade. Some areas are more turquoise than others. Some islands in volcanic areas often share a deep blue hue.

This beach beauty segment focuses on the stunning island of Turks & Caicos. In Providenciales you’ll find one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Trip Advisor called it!) on Grace Bay. Grace Bay Beach boasts fine white sand so powdery and soft that I had to bag some and take it back home with me.

The sea. The color of the water in Turks & Caicos alone is mesmerizing. Upon landing if you take a glance out of the window you’ll see some of the most milkiest turquoise blue water you’ve ever seen. I’ve actually never seen anything like it.

Grace Bay Beach definitely gets my vote and if you’re looking for a place to stay on the island I highly recommend The Sands at Grace Bay (make sure you order the fish and chips at Hemingway’s Restaurant on the resort too)!

A Secret in St. Maarten: Get to Anguilla via Fast Ferry

If you love island hopping and getting two passport stamps on one trip this is for you. Plan on visiting St. Maarten this summer? You can easily hop a 30-minute ferry over to the neighboring island of Anguilla. My husband and I did this a few years ago and let me just warn you; the ferry ride is a little choppy on the way over to Anguilla but it’s very quick. Make sure you sit inside (unless you don’t mind getting soaked!).

A roundtrip fare will run you about $90 for a day trip (ferries leave about every half hour starting at 9:00am with the last ferry leaving Anguilla at 4:30pm). If you’re able I’d recommend spending a night on the island or you can simply just spend the day on Shoal Bay (one the best beaches in the Caribbean).

The day I went it rained off and on so I’m in definite need of a do over! If you go, please come back and tell me all about it.

Tap or click here for more ferry information or to book your ferry trip!

Protective Styles for the Summer

Summer is here and to make sure you enjoy every second of it we have a list of protective styles to keep your hair healthy and growing while also giving you more time to enjoy the sun.

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Box Braids: There’s nothing better than feeling like a goddess with some long box braids flowing down your back. Box braids have and will always be a go to protective style for many of us and the best part is that they come in any size or style.

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Cornrows: Cornrows have come a long way and the styles are becoming more and more creative. Whether you like it braided all the way back or some crazy design, cornrows will always be a classic look for the summer.

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Faux Locs: If you really want to feel the Caribbean vibes you must try faux locs for your next protective style. Whether you go with regular locs or goddess locs, you are bound to fit in during your next trip to the islands.

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Twists: Senegalese twists, Marley twists, Havana twists - it’s hard to decide but it’s a no-brainer that twists are a great protective style. They take less time than box braids to install and are ten times easier to take out.

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Braided Bob: Long box braids can make us feel hot and heavy in the sun so going for a shorter look just might be the trick. A quick and easy braided look that gives us 90’s vibes is the perfect choice this summer.

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Colorful Braids: Summer is the best time to bust out those beautiful bright colors you’ve stored away during the colder months. Summer is truly the season to embrace the skin you're in and be the care-free unapologetic black girl you are.

(Written by Obono Mba-Madja)

Inspiring Youth: Amenkha’s Heart is Always in the Caribbean

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Amenkha is a NYC college student, who recently served as the President of her Caribbean Student Association. During her term, she successfully planned ‘Fete Land’ for the St. John’s University population in Queens, NY. This event showcased the campus’ diverse Caribbean communities from Haiti to Dominican Republic to Jamaica to Trinidad and so forth. The night was  filled with live performances, a carnival themed fashion show and a special guest performance by Mr. Criminal Wine himself, Soca artist LYRIKAL. The room was filled with Caribbean pride from all over the islands.

Amenkha stated that her heart is always in the Caribbean but it was her event planning skills and her musical ear that brought her back to the islands this summer. Through VIP Connects, Amenkha traveled to St. Kitts for the first time as an intern for the St. Kitts Music Festival. It’s a worldwide festival that features Hip-Hop, R&B and Reggae artists. The line-up included Chakademus & Pliers, August Alsina, Fetty Wap, Wayne Wonder, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Patti Labelle, Rhythm Of The Beat and many more.

Amenkha and her team with Ms Patti LaBelle

Amenkha and her team with Ms Patti LaBelle

Although she had only one day of freedom, Amenkha was able to network with some of the major artists’ managers and show them her dedication to not only the festival but to the Caribbean people as she got the chance to meet with locals and enjoy a day on the beach!

In pursuit to make change in the Caribbean, Amenhka is currently working on creating a scholarship for an all boys school in Antigua, in honor of her father who passed away from cancer not too long ago. The scholarship will be open to boys who intend to pursue a career in math, engineering, science or to become a professor.

(Written by Obono Mba-Madja)