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SWIRL NATION BLOG IS 1 YEAR OLD TODAY!

SWIRL NATION BLOG IS 1 YEAR OLD TODAY! via Swirl Nation Blog

A year ago today JennKourtneyAmal and I launched Swirl Nation Blog! After many group phone calls and texts we got our baby launched and just hoped someone would want to read it! Since then we have been lucky enough to have almost 60,000 people make their way to our site. We can only hope they enjoyed reading what they found when they got there! 

Over the last 12 months we have been lucky enough to add contributing bloggers from all over the U.S. as well as the U.K and Puerto Rico. Their unique voices and perspectives have allowed the page to represent a wide variety of multiracial journeys. 

On social media we have worked hard to connect with the multiracial community, reaching out to others who are passionate about the topic and we feel so blessed at the many individuals and families who have agreed to be featured on our blog! We had fun heading to the 2016 Best Nine site to find out which of our Instagram photos got the most love, and here they are!

Our 2016 Best Nine from our Instagram page

Our 2016 Best Nine from our Instagram page

We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed to the growth of Swirl Nation, whether through writing blog posts, or subscribing to our newsletter, or liking our social posts! All of it means so much! In 2017 we will continue to share the Multiracial Goodness! We are always looking for more stories to share and people to collaborate with. 

Peace and love in 2017 to you all. 

xx The Swirl Nation Team

 

P.S. If you are just joining us as a Swirl Nation Blog reader, welcome:) We thought it would be fun to share a few of our very first posts from last January so you can see where we started, and then explore the blog more to see where we are now. So here is a little look back, click on photos to link to the original post...


 

 

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: THE QUINTERO-ADAMS FAMILY

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: THE QUINTERO-ADAMS FAMILY


MEET THE QUINTERO-ADAMS FAMILY:

 

Chris Adams, age 47

German, Irish and English

 

Lisa Quintero Adams, age 44

½ Korean, ¼ Puerto Rican, ¼ Cuban

 

Caitlyn Adams, age 18

A little of everything listed above! Lol.

 

Summer Adams, age 13

A little of everything listed above! Lol.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY THE QUINTERO ADAMS FAMILY via Swirl Nation Blog

 

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Kyle, TX (suburb outside of Austin)

 

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?

When I (Lisa) was a junior in high school at the International School of Düsseldorf in Germany, my older sister, Rose, came home for Christmas her freshmen year from the University of Texas. She is two years older than me. Rose shared a photo album to show me what her first semester of college was like. I noticed a picture of a cute blonde guy. He was also a musician, which was a plus for me! It was Chris. :) I told my sister I thought he was super hot. She said if I graduated from high school and ended up in Texas, she would introduce me. Well, two years later, I ended up in college in Austin. I went to a party with a friend when by surprise, I met Chris. We hit it off, but remained friends because I was dating someone else. But after a couple of months and by a strange coincidence, Chris ended up at my boyfriend’s birthday party when a mutual friend invited him. Long story short, my boyfriend was not being very polite to me that evening and Chris noticed. He took me away from that situation that evening and we have been together ever since. November 4, 2016 will mark 27 years together and March 9, 2016 was our 21st wedding anniversary.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

Chris’ parents were not very encouraging about our relationship in the beginning. However, time and children, more often than not, overcome any differences. We are a very close family on both sides and I'm grateful for that. Our parents are good friends, too. As a matter of fact, my in-laws just built their new home five minutes away from my parents! :)

 

WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME?

Although I am proud to be Puerto Rican and Cuban, I relate more to my Korean side, especially with tradition. Every New Year’s day, we celebrate with a Korean traditional “bowing” ceremony called Seh-Bae. The families all get together and dine on traditional Korean foods that my mother prepares mixed with American dishes, too. The young bow to their elders as they say, “Saehae bok manee badesaeyo.”  After some words of wisdom from the elders, an envelope with a sum of money is given to the kid. Sometimes I would bank hundreds of dollars! Now that I am older and married, I have to pass out envelopes. I miss being on the recipient side!!! Lol. But I know that my daughters will continue this tradition with their own children one day. And Chris and I will be passing envelopes down to our grandchildren.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE'S RACE?

Although my parents always spoiled us and gave us wonderful Christmases, we did not traditionally hang stockings, leave oats and carrots out for the reindeer and receive unwrapped gifts under the tree that were supposedly from Santa Claus. When we get together with Chris’ family for Christmas, it's usually for 2-3 days since we all live far away from each other. So on Christmas Eve, everyone lays out their stockings in the family room. Each family comes out one at a time to stuff them. Each person is responsible for getting a prize for every family member’s stocking. It's usually candies or small trinkets. It’s fun to go through the stocking and see what surprises you find.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY THE QUINTERO ADAMS FAMILY via Swirl Nation Blog

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?

Kyle, Texas is a suburb of Austin and has a very diverse population. Comprised of Hispanics as a majority, there are other population groups including Caucasian, Asian and African-American that are well represented.

 

DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?

We speak English in our home, but our daughters do know several phrases in Korean and continue to learn the language as they pick up words here and there from our family. Our youngest daughter is presently learning Spanish.

 

IS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?

Yes. Chris is very close to my family and extended family members and vice versa.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

Chris about Lisa: I enjoy the close family and cultural ties that are present not only during celebrations, but in everyday life.

Lisa about Chris: I appreciate the Southern roots of Chris’ family. They host annual family reunions where food entails BBQ, BBQ and more BBQ. It’s a lot different from our Korean reunions where the dishes include a lot of Kimbap, kimchi, Bulgogi and a lot of watermelon.

 

DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?

I grew up nearly 18 years overseas living in Korea, Japan and Germany. Chris grew up in seven states including 12 moves. We are both proud military brats. Although we both grew up in different cultures, our military upbringing and moving around made us have so much in common. One major difference was the just fact that I was overseas and he was stateside.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING/UNEXPECTED THING YOU'VE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER'S CULTURE?  

We have both learned to appreciate the cultural differences between our families and our upbringing. But one thing Chris points out that he learned very quickly about my Korean side is the emphasis placed on family hierarchy.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

We have continuously heard people tell us that our children look nothing alike. One is a blonde and the other a brunette. One has green eyes and the other brown. Our oldest is barely 5’2 and our youngest is nearly three inches taller. We don’t sweat the small stuff, but it can be annoying sometimes when Chris and I are asked if we are their “real” parents.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY THE QUINTERO ADAMS FAMILY via Swirl Nation Blog

WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

Our children are exposed to Korean traditions every day through their grandmother. My parents live five minutes from me and we spend at least one or two days a week with them. My mom prepares all kinds of Korean dishes every week. She is a retired chef, so we all eat very, very well. Chris’ mother has gone the length to research her family tree and to trace relatives that go back several, several years. The girls are now members of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and I am very grateful that they have this history of their family. My mother-in-law is fabulous when it comes to educating our children about their Texas family. We are planning a trip to Korea in the near future, so I can show my daughters that part of the world.

 

HAVE YOUR CHILDREN ASKED ABOUT RACE?

Our youngest daughter once asked us at around 5 years-old why her older sister was lighter than she was. My response was, “I cooked you a little longer in my tummy.” :)

 

DO YOUR CHILDREN IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?  

They proudly tell people they are Korean, Spanish and White. For myself, I like to use the phrase that I am Spay-Sian, half Spanish and half Asian.

 

HOW DO YOU RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO HONOR DIVERSITY IN OTHERS?

Our goal is to educate our children to be respectful of the multitudes of cultures and people that they’ll interact with in their lives.

 

WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS DO YOUR CHILDREN HAVE FROM YOU AND YOUR PARTNER?

Although Caitlyn favored Chris’ skin and hair color, I have heard from several people throughout her life that she resembles me and vice versa for Chris and Summer.

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOUR CHILDREN?

Fortunately, we did not have to teach our daughters to be grateful for their ethnicity. They are extremely proud of all their heritage

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

Chris and I dream of a world that is peaceful and loving for our daughters. We dream of a world that has countries standing united against the acts of terrorism. Standing united helps to transcend our differences, bringing together people from all backgrounds in hopes of world peace.


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SWIRL STYLE: CASUALLY CHIC


I dress with the priorities of comfort first and then a chic look.  This is a flexible look that can be worn during the day and transitioned into the night.

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

Mixing fitted and flowy is a great combination when it comes to chic, casual attire. I paired this textured high waisted, pencil skirt with a crop top to give this look a bit of chicness.  To give it a little edge I wore ankle boots with gold hardware and a vintage fedora.  Loose, wavy hair and a long silk blouse give it a touch of comfort. Gold rings, dainty bracelets and necklace pulled it all together.  This is flattering on all body shapes and heights.  It lengthens and enhances your figure and the blouse fashionably blurs anything you want a bit covered.  Add your individual touches with accessories and shoes.   If you try this look, post a photo and tag our Instagram page

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET DRE!

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET DRE!


FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL ANDRE LAWRENCE via Swirl Nation Blog

NAME AND AGE

Andre Lawrence, age 35

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?

50% South Korean, 50% Filipino

 

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?

Huntington Beach

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

No its like 99% white

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I grew up in northern California “paradise California“ and it was even less diverse. I couldn't identify with any other kids there was only one Asian family other than us.

 

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

I don't have much of an idea since my biological father was not really in the picture.

 

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

I don't think there was.

 

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING BIRACIAL?

Yes. I hope so!!

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL ANDRE LAWRENCE via Swirl Nation Blog

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

No only Korean.

 

WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

Only English and Korean but now I hardly know any Korean words!! Sucks.

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

Food for sure. That's it. I don't really follow anything else with Korean culture.

 

WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?

My father was absent but my mother would show me pictures of how she grew up in Korean and would teach you traditional Korean Proverbs.

 

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

No not at all.

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Mixed

 

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE?

It does not and my partner is full Mexican.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL ANDRE LAWRENCE via Swirl Nation Blog
 
FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL ANDRE LAWRENCE via Swirl Nation Blog

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

I feel unique. People always asking what race I am because they can't figure it out. But feel very happy with who I am and where I come from.

 

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

No I don't have many but from the few that I have. I've learned that it's ok to be different and look different.

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE? TELL US YOUR PET PEEVES:)

When I was a kid maybe because I was the only Asian. Was called “Ching Chong China man!!”” Lol but now as an adult I hardly hear anything.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

No more check marks in forms identifying where u are or what race you are. It's irrelevant.


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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET STEVVI ALEXANDER!

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL: MEET STEVVI ALEXANDER!


So excited to profile Stevvi this week! I met Stevvi through Jenn a couple years ago and I was instantly attracted to her super open and beautiful spirit! Stevvi is often flying all over the world as a musician sharing her incredible vocal talents. She is also a mother and a beautiful human inside and out! Enjoy getting to know her! 

xx jen 


FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

NAME AND AGE

Stevvi Alexander, age 41

 

WHAT MIX ARE YOU?  

African - Nigerian, Ghanaian and English, German

 

WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?  

Silverlake, California

 

IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN NOW DIVERSE?

Not really - A lot of hipsters :) but mostly white!

 

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I grew up in Claremont, California 30 mins outside of LA.   It was not a diverse community but of the few folks of color who were around surprisingly, many were mixed!

 

HOW DID YOUR PARENTS MEET?

They were both working at Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Hollywood.  My mother as a nurse and my father as a respiratory therapist.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

Nothing other than society’s general lack of support and acceptance of multi-racial relationships!

HAS YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF YOU BEING MULTIRACIAL/BIRACIAL?  

Our family is very exceptional in that both sides of my family are AWESOME!  Both sides of the family are Christian and Christian in the truest sense.  There was no ignorance or racism as it pertained to my parents falling in love and getting married. So rare!

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

DID YOU CELEBRATE TRADITIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF YOUR FAMILY?

Yup, we ate generic Shake and Bake chicken like middle-American White People and we went to church a lot, like ALL Black people.  Those are the traditions of both sides in this country and we practiced ‘em!  

 

WERE THERE MULTIPLE LANGUAGES SPOKEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

We were an English-speaking household - but shout out to my Mom who has been working on Spanish for years now in an effort to ingratiate herself to the Latino population of Los Angeles :)

 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CULTURAL BACKGROUND?

I think one of the things I enjoy the most about my multi-ethnic background is the fact that I tend to take people for who they are as individuals versus having a generalized backstory for an entire group of people.   I feel that I have intimately encountered so many types of people as a result of my family that I genuinely relate to and appreciate people who others might overlook or write off.   I know for a fact that stereotypes do not always hold true and this perspective allows me to have a lot of positive experiences with such a wide range of people and personalities.  

 

WHAT ACTIONS DID YOUR PARENTS TAKE TO TEACH YOU ABOUT YOUR DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS?  

To be honest, none!   We just lived our truth.  The differences in their skin was a non-issue within our house.  

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

DID YOU TALK ABOUT RACE A LOT IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?  

I will say that my dad definitely discussed race A LOT!   He is someone who is very conscious of racism and classism throughout society and while it was a non-issue within our home (meaning there were never any direct conversations about our differences among us) he frequently started conversations about the injustice of society at large.  

 

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?

I identify as a black woman.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

DOES RACE WEIGH INTO WHO YOU CHOOSE TO DATE? 

In the past I have always been considerably more attracted to black men.   That is evolving by the second and I am finding myself much more open and possibly even anticipating my next relationship to be with someone who is not of color.

 

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOU?

Hmmmm,  as a result of the whole when “you’re mixed, you’re black” thing I’ve kind of just tried to bury the whole experience.  I’ve definitely not played up the confusion and disorientation of having a multi-racial mix because it almost sounded whiny in the grand scheme of life and I’ve been made to feel as though it ISN’T an issue worthy of discussion.    

 

I have definitely had the tough experiences of never being “black enough” to my black friends and always being just enough of an outsider to white people that when I was invited it generally felt a lot less like acceptance and more of “let’s make sure we invite you because you’re different” type of thing.  All in all being mixed to me simply means that I have to learn how to embrace others that much more fully because I know better than other people that we all deserve respect and acceptance!!  

 

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO ARE MIXED?

I do have a lot of friends who are mixed! I have learned that they are generally under the belief that they should identify as black or else it’s viewed as an affront to the community at large.  I’ve learned that for many of them it was a traumatizing experience resulting in feelings of isolation. Three of my five serious relationships were with mixed guys and it always seemed to be a point of bonding for us.

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

 

ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

I’m sick of hearing that I’m not black enough.  I think it’s horrifying when white people fetishize mixed people as though it is some sort of eugenic jackpot.   I’m tired of hearing that someone’s baby will be especially cute because their parents are of two different nationalities.    Those are all really horrible, insensitive things to say :(

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?

I know that it’s a long time coming but my hope is that one day people will switch on their brains and stop generalizing whole groups of people, allowing for more opportunity to land on people who work hard and prove themselves to be trustworthy and great.  I would love for our society to be less classist and racist and more based on an individual’s will and self-possession.  I wish that huge swaths of cultural groups would not hoard together but would get out and trouble themselves to know someone else who is not just like them!   It makes for a mind-expanding and enlightened experience here on this planet when people actually take a chance and expose themselves to people who don’t look, sound, speak, eat or live exactly as they do!  

FEATURED MULTIRACIAL INDIVIDUAL STEVVI ALEXANDER via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN

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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN


SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

Denim on Denim is a favorite trend of mine that remains in season year round and a no fail look.  Creatively combining light and dark blues is a must.  Throw in your personal touch of accessories and flare to own your unique look. Adding layers and a pop of color will always enhance your denim look.

 

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

I love combining light and dark denim then adding a hat, jewelry, and a blazer to jazz it up.  As pictured, a high-waist, wide-leg denim gives you a slimming, longer leg look with a light blue denim button up.  I added layers appropriate for cooler evening weather.  The beige linen blazer and skinny red belt from gives the outfit a boost.  I finished the look off with a vintage wide-brim fedora, a vintage thrift watch with a gifted bracelet, a combination of a gifted vintage rings and finished with a gifted necklace layered necklace.

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL STYLE: HEAD SCARF


SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog

There is something uniquely beautiful about a woman who wears a head scarf.  When accessorized with brightly colored, printed, textured or silky material, or wrapped creatively.  I nod in respect to those who wear them for religious or cultural identity.

 

This scarf was given to me at my last birthday party.  I'm unsure of the brand but the soft texture and spotted print made it a perfect scarf as a head wrap.  It can add a bohemian feel to whatever I am wearing.  I simply wear it wrapped around my forehead and tied in a loose knot at the base of my head.  If you're tight on time, wear a head scarf to instantly look glamorous. They're great for covering up bad hair days.  Another look I like is to wear it with flowing dresses, all black and under a fedora hat.  I accessorized this scarf with a flowing, deep v-neck last season dress by SaboSkirt, an Xevana necklace, rings from Mexico and London and bangles from H&M.  How do you wear a scarf and accessorize it?

SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog
SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog



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SWIRL BEAUTY: BLACK MANICURE


SWIRL BEAUTY BLACK MANICURE via Swirl Nation Blog

Black nails are extremely chic.  They look great on all skin tones and various lengths.  

 

When I can't decide on a nail color, as with fashion, I know I can't go wrong with black.  I prefer to add just a dash of something to my black nails.  This is my version of black and gold, my favorite combo.  I love the nail art trend, but prefer the more neutral and basic designs.  

 

To achieve this look, use an eyeliner brush. toothpick, needle head or pen and gently draw a gold line across each nail.  Do this after base coat and two layers of polish.  Wait a few minutes to dry before applying the gold lines.  Finish with a coat of high shine top coat.

SWIRL BEAUTY BLACK MANICURE via Swirl Nation Blog

OPI Black Onyx and OPI Oy Another Polish Joke

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SWIRL STYLE: DARK AND WHITE DENIM

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SWIRL STYLE: DARK AND WHITE DENIM


Dark and white denim is fool proof and always looks great when combined. Adding your personal touches using jewelry, sliders and a hat brings the ultimate denim look together.

I live in denim, so I make it a point to purchase denim pieces that will last for seasons and years.  I happen to love the brand 7 For All Mankind.  I think the denim quality is great and offers a flattering fit on all body shapes and heights. This dark denim button up was last seasons 7 For All Mankind.  Wear it tucked with rolled up sleeves and a few top buttons opened to give it an effortless feel. The white skinny jeans are folded once at the bottom, to make the look comfortable, and paired with my slide-on sneakers.  I added a few pieces of beautiful silver this denim look a "pop."

SWIRL STYLE DARK AND WHITE DENIM via Swirl Nation Blog

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OVER THE MOON NAILS


OVER THE MOON NAILS via Swirl Nation Blog

While Winter is not obvious in Southern California, it is a factor elsewhere. To stay within trend, it’s all about lush deep polishes and half moon designs.  I love this look which is fresher than the previous Winter looks..

Opposites attract when you pair an elegant soft mauve with a bold, deep red wine for a half-moon manicure that’s out of this world. This nail style looks great on short and long nails and every skin tone!

OVER THE MOON NAILS via Swirl Nation Blog
step 1:  Prep nails with base coat.
step 2:  Apply 2 thin coats of Essie Lady Like in a semi-circle at the base of the nail.  Let dry.
(tip:  The semi-circle doesn’t need to be perfect as the next color will perfect your arc.)
OVER THE MOON NAILS via Swirl Nation Blog
step 3:  Using Essie Bordeaux, sweep on a horizontal arc, leaving a semi-circle of Lady Like visible at the moon.  Cover the rest of the nail, brushing vertically to create an even surface.  Apply two coats.  Let dry.
step 4:  Shine and seal with a top coat.

Shop this look www.essie.com



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SWIRL SKIN: MARULA OIL

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SWIRL SKIN: MARULA OIL


Marula oil is made from the fruit of the marula tree, which is native to Africa. And it has a lot of selling points. It's moisturizing, but it won't clog your pores. "It's rich in essential fatty acids that mimic those that exist naturally in the outer layer of the skin," says Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. It also contains the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids. But the best part? It's a surprisingly non oily oil: "It's quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving you greasy," says Zeichner.  (Quote from Allure.com)

Marula Oil protects your skin from environmental aggressors (sun, pollution, wind, etc.) that can cause premature aging, and they absorb deeper and more easily into your skin, since the molecules are much smaller than traditional hydrating oils. (Traditional, thicker oils will sit on top and just lock existing moisture in.)

Scared of oils as an acne sufferer? This oil helps battle breakouts — for real! It's non-comedogenic because it's so high in omega fatty acids and absorbs quickly, so it won't clog your pores. And it can actually heal your blemishes faster (as it hydrates your skin), thanks to its antimicrobial properties that help fight future bacteria. "I've also found that in using pure, unrefined, high-omega oil like marula, your skin will stop over producing oil, since it isn't dehydrated any longer, which will in turn cause fewer breakouts," says Tiffany Masterson, creator and founder of Drunk Elephant Skin care, and who includes marula oil in all of her products. Try applying two to three drops of Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil or Acure Marula Oil (both are pure marula oil) onto your face every other night to ease your way into using oils if you're acne-prone. ( Quote from Cosmopolitan.com)

MARULA OIL via Swirl Nation Blog

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5 EASY STEPS TO ACHIEVING SOFT WAVES


When I wear my hair down, soft, flowy waves are flexible and look great. They're easy, quick and look great with long or shorter hair. This should be achievable with most ethnic hair types.

These are the five quick and easy steps to achieving soft, effortless waves.

  1. Section your hair into four parts.  Two in the front, parted in the middle and two in the back. hold separated hair sections with hair clips.
  2. Start on the back sections and move your way to the front. Section three fingers worth of hair and spray with Moroccan Oil Heat Styling Protector.  Wrap the section of the hair around a 1 1/2 barrel curling iron leaving three fingers worth at the ends of the hair free. This is the secret to keeping the curls looking loose and natural.  I use a Hot Tools Professional Spring Iron.
  3. Gently finger out all the curls when finished.  Spray your hair from all four sides, left to right, front to back with Bed Head Masterpiece Hair Spray.
  4. Smooth with a few sprays of Alterna Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist for frizz control.
  5. Part your hair in your preferred style, the middle, right or left.  Hair done!

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: MEET THE GRANGER-DAW FAMILY

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FEATURED MULTIRACIAL FAMILY: MEET THE GRANGER-DAW FAMILY


I met Nora 8 years ago through a mutual friend. At the time it was a much needed mommy night out for her and a night for me to entertain friends. I was elated to meet her from the start, she had such a warm vibe, great giggle and was such a beauty.  We reminisced recently on the night we officially met.  A large group of us went to a Denver club and, while neither of us are drinkers, we had a wonderful time chatting and dancing the whole night.  We continued the night by going to eat pho, another Denver tradition that I shared with my friends.  My boyfriend, Tchad, joined and drove us.  He entertained Nora and Vandy (mutual best friend)  by playing a Dave Chapelle video over the entertainment system and kept us all laughing the whole way to the pho restaurant.  

At the restaurant, we shifted the conversation to Nora, Tchad and I speaking about the Qur'an and the difference between religion and spirituality.  We became fast friends bonding over humor, religion, politics, world issues, history, family and being mixed.  Our friendship stayed strong as I moved to another state and she later gave birth to her youngest daughter.  I was blessed to be apart of her baby shower and was asked to speak as the celebration sharing how special of a friend, wife and mother Nora is.  I consider myself fortunate to, not only have bonded with her, but also with her husband and four amazing children, who give the absolute best hugs!  Her family history is deep and rich, I am honored to have met her parents and siblings as they shared their history, religion and home cooked meals with me. She is one of my dearest and closest friends, I hope you enjoy reading about her family.

 

~ Jenn


MEET THE GRANGER-DAW FAMILY: 

Jun, age34
½ Korean (mom's side), other half is a mix of Cajun French, Irish, German and includes 1/16 Cherokee Indian (dad’s side, Jun’s Great Great Gma is full Cherokee). Jun was a army baby, born in Seoul, South Korea, Moved to Louisiana as a toddler, moved back to South Korea for half of Elementary school, then to TX. In Middle School he moved to Germany and finished most of Middle school then. Jun moved moved to Kansas for the first two years of High School to Colorado to finish out high school and where he still lives presently.
Nora Mariam, age 30
½ Cambodian mixed with Thai, East Indian and Chinese on my mom's side. Dad's side is mix of English, Welsh, Irish, and Swedish. Mom is Muslim born in Cambodia, had 15 bio siblings from same mother and father plus one adopted sister. When she was 14yrs old in 1974 the Khmer Rouge began. Her and her family were kicked out of their homes, put into concentration camps to work as slaves until 1979. At this point 7 of her siblings plus her father had been killed. what was left of her family escaped to the refugee camps and stayed there until 1981 when they were sponsored by a church in Minnesota to take refuge in the U.S.
Dad was born in Aurora, IL. Converted to Islam when he was 23 yrs old. At 26 yrs old he moved to CO and was looking for a wife. He and my mom were set up and had an arranged marriage in 1982. My mom did not speak english at the time, though they have now been married happily for 33yrs.
Isaac Malik NurMuhammad, age 11, multiracial
Aliyyah Bushra, age 8, multiracial
Safiya Yusra, age 8, multiracial
Amina Mysha, age 3, multiracial


WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Thornton, CO

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
We met through a mutual friend while bringing in my car to his mechanics shop to get repairs.


WERE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP CORRELATED TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS?
Just really young and madly in love. This was never an obstacle though I was born Muslim while Jun was born Christian. When we met Jun was Agnostic and amazed me with his knowledge and love for Islam. One of the things that made me fall even more in love with him. He seemed to know more about this religion that I was born into than I did. ;/ He converted shortly after meeting me and we had our Nikah (Islamic wedding) on Aug 11th 2006.


WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME? 
All the islamic traditions are practiced and holidays are celebrated. One of our favorite times of the year is the Ramadan when we fast from sunrise to sundown. Then Eid is celebrated. We also celebrate holidays like Cambodian and Korean New Year, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE'S RACE?
I love Korean food, and have began to cook many dishes in my house. Same goes for Cambodian food.


IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
Yes, My children go to a public school full of many different ethnicities One of the things I love my community for is the Masjid near my house in which my kids attend Sunday school and the youth group. My family also attends Juma prayers on Sundays. I am so very thankful for these programs through the Masjid as it is difficult to raise my children Muslim in the U.S. today with the attention and media portrayal of Islam.


DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?
English primarily, though little bits of Korean and Cambodian here and there though neither of us are fluent in those. We do however speak Arabic when praying which is done 5 times a day.

Jun and Nora Swirl Nation Blog

ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
Yes, very much so.


WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND? 
I’m absolutely in love with the Cambodian, Korean, Cajun and Islamic roots in both of our backgrounds.
 

Cambodia: Love the foods, traditional dress and cultural roots which are greatly influenced my East India. Love that one of the 7 wonders of the world (Angkor Wat) is in Cambodia. Also I feel a sense of pride for what my mom's generation of Cambodia overcame..
Korea: Love their culture, traditions, dress and food.
Islam: My biggest love in life. It's what has taught me love, compassion, beauty, knowledge and all things good in this life.

Juns family has so much Cajun French history and most of his family still resides in New Orleans LA.

My Great great great grandfather Joy Tarble  was one of the first settlers of Aurora, IL. He was also a stonemason who built many of the town's buildings that are still there to this day and started work on the railroad systems in IL. Joy and his 3 sons (my Great great uncles) All served on the Civil War. My great grandfather Avery also served in WWl as a top ranking general. My grandfather worked as a scientist for Sears on the 52nd floor of the Sears tower until he passed. I still remember visiting him there as a young young child. So lots of history in IL to be pretty proud of. ;)  


DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?
Not too many beside the fact that Jun lived in so many different places vs me who was born in Boulder and lived in CO my whole life. Both come from asian mamas so quite similar upbringings.


ARE THERE ANY COMMENTS YOU ARE REALLY TIRED OF HEARING FROM PEOPLE IN REGARDS TO RACE/CULTURE?

Questions regarding terrorism and Islam.


WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT EACH OF YOUR BACKGROUNDS?

They spend lots of time talking to the grandmas ;)



HAVE YOUR CHILDREN ASKED ABOUT RACE? 
Yes, around 4 or 5 yrs old
 

DO YOUR CHILDREN IDENTIFY AS MIXED OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Mixed

WHAT DOES BEING MIXED MEAN TO YOUR CHILDREN? 
They are very proud of it!


WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN REGARDS TO RACE?
I’ve tried and hope to teach my children that diversity is beautiful and one of the worlds biggests assets. As Islam has taught me, I hope they will grow up with the urge and desire to expand their knowledge and learn about the beauty in all cultures, races, and religions.

I would hope that more people in this world could find the beauty in all of god's creations as that is what I believe would truly bring peace. Love for all of the world's diversity.



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RUBY LIPS AND FRESH GLOW


Photo: adworks.pk    

Photo: adworks.pk

 

This is a favorite Fall/Winter look for me.  It's quite simple and looks amazing on EVERY women.  I have become increasingly obsessed with Koh Gen Do products. A majority of products for this look are Koh Gen Do.  I strongly recommend this brand for ALL skin types.  The complete product line is free of artificial fragrances, petroleum-based mineral oils and synthetic pigments.  They do not test on animals or contain chemicals whose safety cannot be determined.  The ingredients include plant based extracts, among others naturally-occurring, that have been proven healthy and safe in cosmetic products.  Okay, with that said, let's begin on the steps to get this look:


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FLAWLESS SKIN WITH KOH GEN DO

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FLAWLESS SKIN WITH KOH GEN DO


I have been using Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation and Maifanshi Face Powder for photos and evenings out.  For a gal who hasn't worn foundation or powder in years, you will soon see why these two products won me over.

The illusion of a perfect complexion.

The Maifanshi Aqua Foundation is infused with RGB powder that brighten the complexion and diffuses pores giving the look of smooth flawless skin. The formula is so light, it feels as though you have nothing on.  Normally I wear only SPF or a tinted moisturizer, so it's important to me that my skin can breath.  My preference is the "dewy" or "natural glow" look and I recommend avoiding the "heavy matte" look.  A little goes a long way - one to two pumps of the Aqua Foundation, applied with either a foundation brush or beauty blender sponge, will produce that beautiful glow.  Infused with high-performance conditioning ingredients, the foundation is self-moisturizing and will keep you looking flawless all night.  And yes, Ladies, it's for all skin types, even sensitive-skin types, as there are no artificial colors, fragrances, petroleum-based mineral oils or parabens.

The Maifanshi Face Powder is a finely-milled, loose face powder made with a unique silk formula.  This must-have product sets the foundation and protects the skin's natural luminescence with gentle, micro-fine elements that quickly blend with the skin.  It also contains natural moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, making it an ideal powder for all skin types, but especially those with dry skin.  This loose powder contains no artificial colors, fragrances, petroleum-based mineral oils or parabens.  I recommend using this powder sparingly on forehead, chin and cheeks to set your blush and applying it with either the puff or a loose powder brush.  This technique results in more natural coverage giving skin a flawless finish with radiance.

Top makeup artists use Koh Gen Do to give celebrities of various and mixed ethnicities a beautiful glowy finish. These two products are used consistently both on set and on the red carpet for celebrities.   


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SWIRL BEAUTY: DEWY SKIN

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SWIRL BEAUTY: DEWY SKIN


Healthy, glowing, even-toned, dewy…call it what you want, beautiful skin is a must.  Dewy skin is a reminder of youthful years and simple beauty.  Get this ageless look in 15 minutes or less!


I frequently am asked about my skin, what do I wear, how do I keep my skin looking so dewy?  My trick is illuminating, tinted moisturizers.  Tinted moisturizers are really quite amazing.  Not only do they have benefiting ingredients for your skin, they provide a range of desirable coverages.  I frequently test brands to give helpful recommendations and suggestions.  Right now, I am really loving Stila bronzing tinted moisturizer broad spectrum SPF20. It's infused with micro-fine light diffusing pigments which create a sheer wash of bronze color and help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  It's oil-free formula melts right into the skin and dries down, creating a gorgeous glow without the tackiness or greasiness of other brands.  Plus, it's packed with ginseng root extract, gingko biloba leaf extract and chamomile, for antioxidant protection, and hyaluronic acid to increase skin elasticity and hydration levels. It's oil free, so great for all skin types, and water resistant for 80 minutes if you need that extra glow and protection while on vacation.



Apply a nickel-sized amount of Stila Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer with your fingers, smooth onto your face and neck.

Brush a soft stroke of Nars Orgasm Blush onto the apples of your cheeks.
Blend Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter on the bridge of your nose and cheekbones.

Fill in and define your brows with Anastasia BrowWiz in Soft Brown for subtle brow.

Apply two to three coats of Benefit They're Real Mascara, adding thicker coat to the base of the lash line to give the illusion of eyeliner.  Lightly curl upper lashes with Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

Lightly line with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Roach on the upper and lower lash line, soften with a Q-tip.

Finish by applying Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Lip Gloss in Shell Pink.  This gloss is AMAZING! and perfectly enhances your lip tone with mega-shine.  Very hydrating and major staying power.

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SWIRL BEAUTY: Soft and Sultry

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SWIRL BEAUTY: Soft and Sultry

I am all about easy hair and makeup. So when I go for big wavy hair, I use my Conair Hot Rollers. Every lady needs this roller set.  They are extremely easy to use, throw them in your hair while you're brushing your teeth, checking your email, doing your makeup, getting dressed.  Pop them out, finger comb the curls out and set with Bed Head Masterpiece Hair Spray.  (It is the best universal hairspray for all hair types, and smells amazing).  Head out the door swinging your full, luscious waves!

Let’s put the icing on the cake by setting your eyes with a easy, smoky look with Urban Decay Naked2 Palette and set the look with smooth, glowing skin and glossy nude lips.

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LICORICE AND GOLD HOLIDAY NAILS

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LICORICE AND GOLD HOLIDAY NAILS

I love a well manicured nail just as much as the next gal.  I prefer a look that can easily work into my fashion and lifestyle.  This chic Fall/Winter Alice + Olivia nail trend caught my eye immediately.  Not only because it looked amazing, but how simple it was to achieve.

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FRESH FACE MAKEUP

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FRESH FACE MAKEUP

I love the fresh face look on women.  Make-up is meant to enhance one's natural beauty, not mask or alter.  Be the best natural version of YOU!  

My two rules:

#1 Glowing skin looks beautiful on everyone, and makes you look youthful.

#2 Less is more.

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