In my 30-something years of life, I have met a lot of interesting men in the club.
I've met doctors, hot Australian special forces troops, and even a guy still rocking a jheri curl - all gold everything, and diamond grills. But in all my club travels I have never met a prince of any kind - not a man named Prince, nor a real life prince. In fact, when it comes to men at the club, most of us usually just meet a headache.
But, for Ariana Austin, a Washington DC philanthropist, the club was the jumping off place of her real-life fairytale. Only this fairytale was straight out of Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America. Twelve years ago, one fateful night, Ariana met Joel Makonnen at a Washington DC-area club called Pearl.
When Prince Yoel approached his future wife, he introduced himself as "Joel." He told Ariana that she and her friend, Jami Ramberan, looked like a Bombay Sapphire ad. Not a very princely pick-up line, but he knew what he wanted and made it clear. "You're going to be my girlfriend," he said to her later that night.
Along the way the truth of their lineages came out. Joel was actually Prince Yoel, the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie who was the last emperor of Ethiopia. Ariana, was no stranger to stateliness either. She was the granddaughter of the lord of Georgetown (the capital city of Guyana).
Ariana soon fell for Prince Yoel, and the couple spent their courtship keeping busy. They wrote on their wedding website,
From the streets of Adams Morgan to boulevards in Paris, from Howard to Harvard, holidays in Nice and Addis, we talked history and culture and law. We’ve always believed that when it came to our love — it was written — and we’re thrilled to experience the next chapter unfold.
Ariana told The New York Times,
“I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny...But I felt like I had things that I had to do.”
The ceremony took place at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md and was complete with royal capes and crowns. As expected, the reception was just as lit. Complete with a photo booth, a candy table and plenty of Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye.
For those of us who side-eye our way through the club and assume every man within sight is an emotionally unavailable f-boy, here is a case study for the ages. Despite the setting (and his lackluster opening remarks), the man Ariana met at Pearl that evening in DC ended up being her actual prince-charming.
I can only imagine how many frogs this real-life Princess had to kiss before meeting her future spouse, but let the record show, that love - even the Disney princess kind of love - can find you anywhere.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Jackie Aina is the embodiment of Black girl luxury, and her crib is no exception. Located in a ritzy area in Los Angeles, CA, Jackie’s home is equipped with all the things every fancy girl needs: an upscale kitchen, elevator, and fabulous pool. Luckily for us, the YouTuber opened up her home with the ultimate house tour. In a video on Tayo Aina’s (no relation) YouTube channel, Jackie goes from room to room, showing us her interior design style while also dishing on her life and career.
Jackie began making beauty content on YouTube in 2009, and from there, she’s grown her empire through collaborations with makeup brands like Too Faced. Now, she is the co-founder of the candle company FORVR Mood. The former Army reservist is known for her colorful personality, but her home is the opposite, which is on purpose. “Personally, because I have such a big, bold, colorful personality, I like to dress big and bold, I want to be the color in my home,” she said. “I don’t want my home to be the color. I want you to see me.”
She continued, “I want the house to be calming, and I want the house to blend in. I don’t want it to attract too much attention.” Her home may not be screaming look at me, but it’s definitely giving quiet luxury. Check it out below:
Tayo Aina/ YouTube
Jackie revealed that she and her fiancé, Denis Asamoah, eat their meals at their breakfast nook daily.
Tayo Aina/ YouTube
“When my fiancé and I bought this house, I really wanted a double island kitchen, and the irony is like I don’t cook at all,” she said. Jackie explained that because she’s Black, African, and a woman, she’s expected to cook, and she doesn’t like doing what’s expected. “Why can’t I be good at other things? Like that doesn’t make me a woman if I don’t cook in the [kitchen].
Tayo Aina/ YouTube
The star of the family room is the big, L-shaped white couch, and according to the YouTube star, her couch is so comfy you can melt into it.
Tayo Aina/ YouTube
Jackie’s office houses the trophies and plagues that she received from YouTube and Shopify.
Tayo Aina/ YouTube
The entrepreneur’s backyard has the same feel as the inside of the house. It has a gigantic pool and comfortable seating. “I’m very big on enjoy it while you have it,” she said.
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Feature image by Tayo Aina/ YouTube