Ski Gear

When it comes to preparing for a ski trip, the cold is no joke! Especially if you’re like me and start to feel a chill at anything below 75 degrees. Here’s a list of ski essentials:

  • A heavy coat/Ski Jacket

If you’re from down South, the little flimsy thing you wear to the park, is not enough. INVEST IN A COAT. This is imperative or you will come back with frostbite or be unable to participate in any outdoor activity as the temperatures remained 12 degrees and below. Your ski jacket should be waterproof, windproof, come up to your wrists and come up to your chin when zipped.

  • Ski Pants/Bib

These pants offer warmth in a lightweight, low bulk garment. They also provide adjustable comfort suspenders for the perfect fit with elasticized side gusts for maximum motion especially for when you’re flying down the slopes.

  • Hand Warmers

I discovered the hand warmers while I was on this trip and they were lifesavers. They’re similar to a heating pack that you place in your pockets or boots that provide up to 8 hours of warmth.

  • Goggles/Sunglasses

These are the most forgotten items but prove to be very necessary in protecting your eyes when going down the windy slopes.

  • Socks & Boots

Socks should be made of Lycra, nylon or other synthetic materials. NO COTTON as cotton retains water. Boots should have rubber soles, no heels as comfort and warmth are key for this trip, not fashion.

  • Thermals

Thermals should consist of turtleneck or long sleeve synthetic shirts under sweaters and fleece in order to maintain optimal body temperature.

Melanin On Ice

I hate winter. I hate everything about it. I never really saw the beauty in catching a cold or freezing your toes off. So how do you think I spent my MLK weekend? I went to a ski resort in Canada of course! I know what you’re all thinking, but I really wanted to surprise myself and branch out this year. So, I embarked on a trip to Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario, Canada in the dead of winter and much to my surprise, I enjoyed myself. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I along with a few of my colleagues took part in the 22nd Annual MLK Ski Weekend. This winter getaway has allowed me to celebrate one of the most notable figures of the black community in the most creative way. In just 4 days and 3 nights we managed to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy while also experiencing a true winter festival. From snowboarding to tubing to partying to networking, there was something for everyone. As someone who tried snowboarding for the very first time, I can guarantee that its worth the experience. But don’t forget to bundle up! Stay tuned for for my upcoming blog post on how to stay warm while hitting the slopes.img_1641

Stops: Direct flight from Laguardia
Entry point: Toronto, Canada
Exit point: Toronto, Canada
Estimated Budget: USD $500/pp

Blue Mountain Resort Ontario, Canada

Ontario is Canada’s second largest province. English is Ontario’s official language, though there are several French-speaking communities across the province. So language barriers weren’t an issue on this trip. Once we landed in Toronto, we took a charter bus (which also doubled as a party bus!) to the resort in Ontario which took approx. 1 1/2 hours. The resort is located in a village right underneath Blue Mountain and consisted of two-bedroom suites and an on-site spa. Once we checked in we were presented with a lively welcome reception with a DJ, food, free T-shirts and a ton of free samples from Curlsimg_0475

Day 1: After a quick nap from all the traveling, my crew and I were off to a “Rep Your City” party from 11pm-2am. The only requirements were that all attendees had to sport gear representing their city. This was followed by a “While You Were Asleep” party as this was truly a no-sleep kinda weekend.

Day 2: After dancing the night away, I had to conjure up enough energy to attend “Fitness Boot Camp” which consisted of a lot of cardio. Once we hit the showers, it was time to hit the slopes and learn to ski and snowboard. After lunch we completed an Underground Railroad Black history Scavenger Hunt around the village. This was followed by an outdoor day party in 12 degree weather! Later that evening we attended a comedy show which was closely followed by a pajama party and that was followed by “Insomniac Party.”

Day 3: For those who felt confident enough to challenge themselves, we left the bunny slopes for the ski lift. Other options included ice skating and a tubing party. In the afternoon, I was taken for a tour of the village via a horse drawn wagon.

This was followed by a winter pool and hot tub party located within a nearby water park. Once we left the warmth of the pool, we went to a Caribbean Carnival party which consisted of live dancers in carnival costumes and drummers. We closed off the night with the very last party of the weekend better known as the “Last Call After Party.”

Looking back, I realized that this trip pushed me out of my comfort zone and also required a lot of stamina.


  • I left the city and tried something new for the first time.
  • Great networking opportunity!
  • Made some new friends and travel buddies
  • Relatively affordable


  • The temperature never went above 12 degrees.
  • Food options were very limited. We were only served chicken which proved to be difficult for a pescatarian such as myself.


I’m Baaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!

Hey Sistaz!
Its been a long time since my last post and I just want to quickly apologize to you. I’ve been working on a ton of different projects behind the scenes and its taken a toll on my blog. But with the new year comes a newfound motivation to share all things travel, beauty and health with you. I can’t wait to tell you all about what I’ve been up to and what new experiences await me in this new year. I’m still new to the blogging game so I just hope you gals bear with me. Because if you do, you’ll get to embark on a wonderful journey from the comfort of your own home. Stay tuned!

NYC Jollof Festival!

This past weekend, I joined hundreds of my fellow New Yorkers at the New York City African Food Festival, where we determined which country will be handed the crown for the best Jollof, a spicy tomato-based rice meal that originates in West Africa.

Based on its name, the origins of Jollof rice can be traced back to the Senegambian region that was ruled by the Jolof Empire, a West African state that ruled parts of Senegal from 1350 to 1549. There are multiple regions in Africa who debate over the geographical origins of Jollof rice. However, one of the most vigorous Jollof rice rivalries has always been between Nigerians and Ghanaians. These two do not debate origin, but rather taste.

The contest, which was held at the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn Navy Yard, July 23rd, was judged by professional chefs, but the contestants are amateurs, chosen to represent their home countries. To guarantee an authentic home cooked experience, the dishes were graded solely based on taste and not on presentation. Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Kenya were some of the countries present.

Visitors were able to try traditional drinks, and alcohol from West Africa, listen to live music, as well as purchase unique cultural wear and designs from members of Ankara Bazaar.

Just like the Jollof festival in Washington DC, Nigeria once again walked away victorious in the NY Jollof war!

5 Things to Know Before You go White Water Rafting In Leigh River

This Saturday I had the opportunity of going on a white water rafting trip that was hosted by Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC. This was my second time going and it was just as exciting as my first. The Leigh River, which is located in the Poconos, is approximately 2.5hrs away from NYC. The River itself is 19 miles long and we spent approximately 3-4 hours on the water. Unlike the first time, I was better equipped both physically and mentally the second time around. Below is a list of five things that are an absolute must if you are planning your first white water rafting trip.


Getting a good night’s rest the night before is the first step in preparing for your day on the river. Rafting, similar to hiking and cycling, is an outdoor sport, and like everything else there will be risks. You will need to be alert and not fatigued in order to enjoy the entire trip. Remember you will be actively paddling for at least 4hrs, and if you are not someone who exercises regularly, you can become worn out early. We had to meet the team at 6 AM, in order to depart by 7AM and check in on time for the trip down the river.


Since it is summer, flip flops are a big part of our daily wear. However, it’s best that you wear footwear that can be secured. Sandals that have a strap that goes around your heel would be best. Water shoes would be great as well as an old pair of sneakers. I preferred the sneakers as it provided better protection against rocks. You will not be permitted to get into the rafts with loose fitting sandals, crocs or flip-flops.



Bring a change of clothing, because the chances of you getting wet is 100%! A t-shirt and a pair of shorts are your best bet. Also, keep in mind that you will be out in the sun for 3-4hrs. So, full body coverage with sunscreen with SPF 15 or more is recommended. An old baseball cap and sunglasses with straps (they will fall) will also be helpful. Wet suits are available for rent on site for approximately $20.img_9019


Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to know how to swim to participate. Everyone is provided a personal flotation device that must be worn securely during your trip.

                                                               Travel lightFullSizeRender (1)

Keep in mind that the rafts are small, typically only have room for 5-6 people, and does not have room for much else. A small snack and water can be brought on board and will be kept in a water-tight sealed container on the raft. Everyone’s lunch is stored in the same bucket, so do not bring any overly large containers. We each brought a sandwich, bag of chips and a 16 oz. water bottle, and all fit perfectly. Do not bring anything on board that is not water proof or cannot be tied to your person.IMG_9023

White water rafting is definitely one of those repeat experiences that I plan on doing at least once a year. If you’re in the NYC area, I definitely recommend contacting Freddie from Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC, who coordinated our trip. Total cost of the trip was $110/pp. which included round trip transportation in a private bus, rafting on the river, a souvenir, breakfast, unlimited snacks and beverages en route to and from the city, as well as lunch. The cost for the trip if you decide to travel on your own is $60/pp, so it comes out much cheaper if you contact Boom-Boom entertainment. I also hate driving and after being on the river all day, I could not imagine having to drive back down to New York on my own.FullSizeRender (2)

What’s in my carry on: The essentials

When it comes to traveling, what you chose to pack and how you pack dictates how comfortable the flight will be. I used to over pack to the extreme, which not only added extra weight to my luggage and luggage fees, but made traveling exhausting all together.

Now that I have a tad bit more experience with traveling, it has become easier to organize myself even last minute. Here is a list of my carry-on essentials.

  1. The bag

The most important part of the carry on, is the bag itself. I have been using this Michael Kors oversize tote for quiet some time now. When choosing a carry on, pay close attention to the size and length of the straps. Always chose one that gives you the option of being able to carry it by hand and the ability to through it over your shoulder when you need your hands free. The strap should also be thick and wide enough as not cause any pinching in the shoulder, which will lead to discomfort.

2. Media/technology

I usually only carry my Ipad as oppose to a laptop, as it is much lighter and convenient, basically has the same function, and God forbid gets lost or stolen, is a much cheaper loss than an expensive Mac book. It also holds my Audible books, games and music. I also carry my Iphone, the cords for each device and most importantly a backup battery pack. There is nothing worse than getting off the plane and hunting for an outlet to charge a phone or tablet. This portable charging wristlet is one of my prized travel possession, not only is it wide enough to carry my keys, lip gloss, and phone, but it is also comes equipped with an external charger and charging cord, which means that your phone can be charging while it is tucked safely away in your bag.

use this link and get a similar one from Amazon

3. Camera

When I started blogging I was a bit shocked when I realized the vast difference between “professional” photos and those that I posted. To up my photo game and after much research, I purchased the Olyumpus OM-DE- M10 Mark2. Which provides excellent image quality and having the capability to catch the finest details and sharpness even in difficult lighting, and is great for novice shooter like myself.

4. A change of clothes

While we never wish for it to happen, it’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your checked luggage gets lost. Keep in mind the weather of of your destination. A pair of jeans, a t-shirt and change of underwear, should be sufficient.

5. A Good book

Usually a magazine or E-book is helpful in getting through long flights after you’re exhausted from watching movies. Check out Audible Membership for the latest titles.  Two of my favorites are Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibuscus, both written by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieI also never leave home without my planner, as I like to stay organized, even while vacationing.

6. Comfort

I have a cosmetic bag, that I refer to as my comfort bag. In it I carry my earphones, hand sanitizer/ wet wipes, hand lotions, eye shield (for napping), medicine, ear plugs, as well as compression socks to help my legs through those long flights.  A comfy blanket and neck pillow are other essentials.
 I got these from Amazon.

7. Sunglasses

Rather then looking for a bathroom to reapply makeup in order to feel refreshed after flying, I usually just throw on a pair sunglasses. This will hide any newly acquired dark circles from the flight, and have you stepping off the plane like the celebrity that you are.

8. Passport holder

A pretty passport holder to keep bag claims , and boarding pass are essentials as well as a healthy snack.


What’s in you Carry on? comment below.

Go to @travelingsistaz for a chance to win one of these travel essentials

Around the world in 80 minutes.

With a population of 2,333,054, Queens is the second most populated county in NY. With half of it’s residents foreign born, no wonder it is called the global melting pot of the United States. Every year the Queens Hall of Science hosts The Queens International Night Market.

A large, family oriented outdoor  market, featuring various vendors selling merchandise, art, and food and small-scale cultural performances, the night market celebrates the rich cultural diversity and heritage of the melting pot known as Queens, New York.  Chicken from the stands of Eemas Cuisine(Haiwaiin)

Home made Thai ice tea

Karl’s balls (takoyaki) Deep fried Japanese octopus balls.

It was relatively inexpensive, as it was free to get in and most of the dishes costing a mere $5. We got there pretty early, were able to beat the lines, get a taste of all the deliciousness and make it out in 80 minutes right before the rain started.