Uplifting, honest, effervescent and relatable; when I came across Dani’s blog Dani Authentic, I knew I had stumbled across a gem. I instantly felt like I knew her and also loved her beautiful smile, she is like me, born in the West Indies and moved to North American as a child, she is an advocate for loving yourself and taking the time to ensure you have a healthy state-of-mind and ultimately a healthy life. Her page is filled with not only self- love, but plant love, it is uplifting and so so warm, check out this week’s interview with Dani and be sure to follow her blog as well!
Q: What is the tone/sound of your alarm clock?
A: It’s a whimsical jingle on my phone, it reminds me of the beginning credits to a happy Disney movie. I feel like I’m Snow White waking up with birds chirping and deer outside my window.
Q: Morning person or night owl?
A: Morning!! In a perfect work, I’m out of bed before 8 and going through my morning routine. I love the quiet and stillness of the morning and the endless possibilities of a new day.
Q: What’s your fave quote?
A: The best is yet to come
Q: Sandals or Sneakers?
Q: Your word for the year
Q: What’s the last picture you took?
A: A selfie of myself in a face mask
Q: What book would you recommend?
A: The Mastery of Love by Don Migue Ruiz
Q: Countryside or beach?
A: Countryside! For an island girl, I am not a fan of sand or constant heat.
Q: One fun fact about you.
A: I was born on a leap year!
Q: Electronic or paper calendar?
A: Electronic so I can take it anywhere with me and pull it up to look, add or edit things. But I also like to do a paper one because it gets real when you put it down on paper.
Q: Fave flower.
A: Ohhhh boy I love flowers, but I’m going to have to say sunflower not only because they are a part of my brand but because they grow strong and tall to face the light. That’s admirable.
Q: Savoury or sweet?
A: Both- give me all the food
Q: Fave artists.
A: lizzo, Cardi B, Emeli Sande, J. Cole, and Jamila Woods
Q: Fave season.
A: Fall without a doubt! Give me all the boots, leather jackets, tights, suede, and velvet. Fall fashion is the best. Fall weather is the best.
Q: How would you describe your fashion style?
A: Not a fashion blogger but she knows how to dress cute
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I unplug from my phone and social media to watch a show or a movie with my fiance.
Q: Current role model
A: I actually don’t think I have one. I admire many talented black women. Hmm, I don’t think there is any one person that I want to model myself after.
Q: What causes you anxiety?
A: Fear of not doing enough, not making the right decisions and running out of time to correct them.
Q: If I could grant you one wish, what would it be?
A: Fix climate change please and thank you.
Q: What 3 things brings you joy?
A: Love- loving myself & loving others
– Inspiring others and being inspired
– Drinking sangria outside on a warm sunny day surrounded by laughing friends.
Q: When was the last time you meditated/prayed?
A: I meditated the other night while trying to fall asleep and quieting the racing thoughts in my head. It was while I was laying down so I focused on each part of my body and visualize turning off the light switch to my feet, ankles, thighs all the way up to my brain while pushing out any other thoughts that weren’t involved with this activity.
Q: Would you say your religion is central in your life?
A: No, I am not very religious but I believe in energy. I believe in the energy that faith has for people. I believe energy is very important to our everyday life
Q: When did that change for you?
A: I didn’t grow up in a religious house, we went to church maybe once a year and only heard of people calling on God when they wanted or needed something. As an adult I start believing less in the idea that religion had to do with just one person in the sky but had everything to do with the rush people got out of it. Religion gives people hope. Faith and hope is powerful.
Q: Can you recall a pivotal moment when your faith/belief helped you deal with something in your life?
A: When I started putting faith in myself I started acting according to this faith. I woke up with a purpose, I handled a really tough decision because I had faith in myself to make the right choice and faith that I could handle any consequences.
Q: What would you like your legacy to be?
A: I want my legacy to be that people are aware that they are the only one in control of their life. I hope with my help that people use their time on earth to do things that make themselves happy, to live a big life fearless.
Q: Describe yourself in one word.
Q: If you could meet anyone from the past, who would it be?
A: Maya Angelou
Q: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
A: I see brown skin, eyes the shape of almonds, hair tucked away in my bonnet, big shapely lips and glossed with chap stick. I see strength, softness, kindness and fierceness.
Q: Share with us your hair journey, have you always loved your hair?
A: No! I don’t know many black women who have always loved their hair. As a child it was the worse thing to have to sit for hours to braid my hair or feel the burning of the relaxer. My journey started when I left college. I did my last relaxer my sophomore year I would just straighten my hair with a flat iron every week and hope that my ends didn’t fall off. When I noticed that my hair wasn’t growing and just getting shorter and thinner that is when I truly committed to being natural. Which meant heat- free nurturing of the curls, buying products that were full of natural ingredients, and YouTube everything.
Q: What products do you swear by?
A: When it comes to my hair products I am still a simple girl. I use Shea Moisture products because they are easily available and affordable. I love the Jamaican black castor oil line for shampoo, conditioner and leave in. I love aunt Jackie flax seed gel I switch up my styling cream every few months.
Q: What advise would you give anyone who is struggling with embracing their natural hair?
A: Be patient and stay on your own journey, focus on your own hair texture don’t compare yourself to the girls with the big bouncy curls on Instagram. Don’t compare yourself ever. Focus on you the health of your hair instead of the length. Get comfortable with trying new things and not getting the results you thought you were going to get. Learn what your hair likes and doesn’t like for products. Oh, and you might as well just accept and love shrinkage.
Q: You share that you grew up in a predominantly white area and was sometimes referred to as an Oreo, how did that shape who you are now as an adult?
A: Because I wasn’t around it growing up I now seek out the company of people of colour. I was so worried about being accepted by the white kids and the black kids instead of focusing on myself and building up my own self-confidence. With self-confidence came the ability to put myself out there and meet new people and learn from new experiences.
Q: Being in an interracial relationship, what are some of the “challenges” you and your partner had to face?
A: Hahah besides trying to find the perfect lighting for our pictures, one other thing comes to mind. The role that our different upbringings and experiencing play into how we judge and process current events or political happenings. We learn from each other every day.
Q: How did you become a blogger?
A: I have always wanted to blog and work with brands since college. My biggest regret was not launching back in 2013 when I wanted to. I let fear stop me. I finally launched in September of 2018 after buying the domain and paying for all the set up for my website for over a year. I wanted to start on Instagram by building up an audience and practising being transparent. It was a lot harder than expected, to finally launch due to the work involved on the website and the fact that I was waiting for the right time or the perfect website. I launched when things were still very much undone on the site. But doing is more important than perfection.
Q: Do you ever struggle with being “too” open on your blog?
A: Yes, only because I want what I’m saying to be useful for someone else. I don’t want to vent or have it be a diary entry if what I’m saying isn’t helping someone else.
Q: What is something you accomplished this year that you are most proud of?
A: Launching my blog! It was a huge accomplishment for me.
Q: What was something that was difficult for you at the beginning of the year, but is no longer difficult?
A: Creating blog posts, it would take me 3 weeks to make one blog post. I’m talking about, from writing its title to hitting publish. I struggled with getting what I wanted to say on paper and dedicating blogging hours.
Q: What was the most challenging thing for you this year? Or the last few years?
A: Last year at this time I was dealing with a very difficult family situation and I was deciding what to do. The decision I made last year made me lose sleep, anxious, sad, and angry but now I know that I made the right decision for myself and my future. I am at peace.
Q: What 3 most important things you’ve learned this year?
A: Perfection isn’t the goal
Share my story which means the good and the bad. If I’m feeling blah and unmotivated that it’s ok to share that because we are human and it’s ok to not feel ok. I can restart as many times as I want to.
Q: What’s your most important goal for next year?
A: To create more blog post that speak on things we don’t talk about enough. To meet more people in real life.
Q: How do you plan on achieving them?
A: Get to work! Work on my time management, engage with my readers on what they like and what they want more of.
I love going to events so I plan on going to at least one event a month
Q: Of the books, you read this year, which was your favourite and why?
A: The mastery of love was an interesting read, I like it because it speaks on how fear plays a factor in love, how we speak to others and how we speak to ourselves. I love how it tells the reader that we are the only one responsible for our happiness.
Q: What do you love most about yourself?
A: I love my spirit. My resilience spirit has taken me very far. It’s the light inside of me that guides me to where I want to go. It reminders me of how far I have come and my ability to go even further.