10/25/2018

Break the Cycle and ACHIEVE More!!!

We've all at one point in time or another had the feeling we weren't progressing or moving in the direction we thought we would. For me, it's traditionally around my birthday when I start thinking about what the next year will bring for me. Some of the things I've learned in life that served me well is to remain true to myself, always be respectful even when my head may tell you otherwise, and to be as strategic as possible. To get to the next plateau in life you must make a bold move. However to be successful you will need to be strategic and plan out the smaller executable action items to achieve the larger goal. This is the blueprint for achieving the next plateau when you may feel stuck!

Remain True To Yourself
Never compromise your core beliefs to fit in to what you may view as the norm. Whether it be your quirky personality, infectious smile or an against the grain way of thinking. Uniqueness is a great gift and if you have a different view point or a unique way of execution, then that is your slight advantage and should be used to get noticed. Not fitting in with the status quo is a strategic move all in itself as long as you know how to utilize that uniqueness to achieve your desired goal. It's all in the  rarity of the execution! As life has shown us, there is always a small percentage of folks that achieve more than the masses and the reason behind that is typically due to the oddity within them. That oddity or what some may see as an oddity gives them a different perspective and allows them to approach things in a unique manner. Everyone has a uniqueness within them but we're systematically programmed to follow the majority instead of being taught how to fine tune our individuality and unique qualities. We're trained for automation and to follow what has worked in the past. Very rarely given thought as to how we can add improvements and those who break from that mindset are the innovators and self achievers within the collective.


Always Be Respectful In Spite of...
This is one that may be the absolute hardest to achieve. It's easy to get sucked into the collective "shit show". Everyone is a master complainer in today's world. Sit at a light 2 seconds too long and someone is honking their horn. Look nice at work or actually know your job and someone is secretly talking behind your back and trying to discredit or belittle you for something. No need to get distracted over things that you can't change and you cannot change someones negative behavior towards you. However you are always in control of how you react! Kill them with kindness or ignore them because they aren't imperative to your goals. People hate when their efforts are ignored or better yet they hate when you win in spite of their negative attempts. I promise you that the best way to ensure that you win is to stay classy and keep doing what you're doing because it's not only being observed by your haters. Your respectfulness is also being quietly observed by others who aren't so vocal and malicious and those are the ones who matter. Not because they matter to you directly but because as you move upward you'll be surprised how many people transition to where you're going as well. You'll always run into someone you've known previously and it's best that they have a good impression on how you conduct yourself because that news travels too. It's HOW YOU REACT and HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF that matter. Especially to you in the long run!

Be Strategic
The best thing you can do for yourself is to start a journal or invest in a planner to set goals! I believe this was the first post or close to it that I ever posted and it was certainly about setting goals for yourself. (found it: (your minority report) Large goals and small supporting goals are all to be written down! It sets you on a subconscious path to achievement without you even realizing it. You will achieve or get damn near close to achieving your goal in your set time frame. You just have to write it down and set micro milestone goals to support the major ones. This has worked for me 100% of the time! Even when I've doubted my abilities and the goals itself. 

10/23/2018

Derma Rollers To Improve Skin

I am not a product junkie but I am on a crusade to ensure that my skin looks it's possible best as I age. That is what led me to Microneedling or in my case derma-rollering which both are similar procedures. If you're interested in minor cosmetic boosting then Microneedling / at home derma-rollers may be the cheapest answer to your quest. Before we begin to delve further I must admit that these are two distinct versions of Microneedling that are used. One is done professionally by  your Dermatologist with really deep needles and can often times show markings. This is what the professional Dermatologist label Microneedling.  The other Microneedling  is often called derma-rollering and is performed in the same manner but is more of a DIY method. Yes... the do-it-yourself method requires needles to the face too however it's not the painful injection type of needle most would think of.

The idea behind both methods are the same. It's a non-invasive alternative to plastic surgery that provokes the skin to produce more collagen which is induced with the small needles. Basically the process tricks the skin into believing it's been injured (minor injury) and encourages the body to mass produce more collagen to correct the injured tissue plumping the skin. However the pricks from the needles are so small that all I've noticed is minor tenderness which sort of feels like a light rug burn to the face. Let me clarify that the sensation isn't as intense as an actual rug burn however immediately after you do feel slight sensitivity which is what you're striving for. My sensitivity was a bit heightened too because it was my very first time using the derma-roller and I followed up with a vitamin c serum to wrinkle repair. Another important note is that I've started out using a small  derma-roller at .25mm because I need to build up my tolerance. I'm also not looking for major changes to my skin. I just want to prevent laugh lines, crows feet and premature forehead wrinkles. If I were to actually see breaking in my skin from the derma roller or experienced any pain I would not continue but so far so good.

A lot of online reviews that I've read suggested the method to combat under eye bags. I'm guess it's great for people who aren't willing to undergo eye fillers and are looking for a more cost effect, injury free alternative to surgery. I did use it under and around my eyes so hopefully I notice a difference but it's not my main objective. I want to lessen my fine lines and wrinkles. The at home procedure recommends a treatment schedule of once per week working your tolerance up to eventually performing the procedure 2-3 times per week. I plan on sticking to a regimen of 2 times per week to see if I notice any subtle changes for 5 weeks. Now this is where the professional and DIY treatments vary. The professional treatment noticeably punctures which allows for a max of 6 sessions whereas the at home DIY version is not so intense. Both boast similar results for the skin that include correcting acne scaring, age spots, wrinkles and improvement to elasticity and uneven skin tone. However the professional dermatologist say that the at home results aren't the same as the in-office treatments but I believe that subjective. Dermatologist want to get paid. However I'll take the diluted version with its results over the 4-6 weeks in office procedure at about $300 per session.
The do-it-yourself roller runs about $15 and even if my results are minimal I'm okay with spending $15 over $1800.


10/16/2018

You will Marry the Wrong Person

Are you the type that says you're never settling in regards to love? I tend to see that all the time posted on social media and I immediately think the same thing when seeing those post. Instantly I believe that the person posting it will be single for a long time, constantly searching for bigger and better love or if they're in a relationship they're unhappy because they're looking for all the wrong things. To love someone truly means that you're settling for who they are because no one will ever meet our expectations in all capacities. However we accept settling all the time in other aspects of life. You're children will never make all the right choices or live the life you pictured when daydreaming about them. You're job or career will never be exactly how you envisioned it. To top it off, you're not seen by others the exact way you envision yourself because we all have a warped sense of self  both figuratively and literally. Meaning none of us are perfect but we're constantly searching for what we consider perfection in someone else. So when someone says they're not settling what they really mean is that they want the butterflies in their tummy type love. However are those who choose that route always making the best choice for a mate? Blinded by love is a saying for a reason. Do we tend to overlook long term incompatibilities for the immediate allure lust?  Take a listen to this video and decide what's best for yourself.



10/09/2018

Do you have excema or acne? You may have demodex mites!!!

Could your hair loss and skin irritation be Demodex mites? If you haven’t heard of Demodex mites you're not alone. Most have not heard of them and there has been little progress in study evolving how they are contracted but the one thing that is certain is that you may not even know you have them.
So what exactly are Demodex mites? Well they're microscopic mites that live in your oil glands and hair follicles and feed on your skin cells and another variation of them feeds on the sebum secretions of your oil glands. They are also believed to be the culprit behind many skin issues ranging from acne, eczema, rosacea and hair loss. It's also believed to be the underlying cause of scaly skin that we call dandruff. Some other common issues that are actually symptoms of demodex mites are loss of eyelashes, itching, red skin, eye irritation and skin discoloration.

The thought of having microscopic bugs or organisms living on your skin too much for you? Well they seem relatively easy to treat as there are a few simple solutions that can reduce and correct a problematic infestation. There is also a link between an over abundance of Demodex that are linked to people with weak immune systems that are thought to be the precursor to skin ailments such as eczema and rosacea. Ridding oneself of any type of bug is a high priority for me. Especially since there has been recent studies that suggest there are more than 100 of these type of microscopic species that try and feed on your skin. The thought alone freaks me out. Therefore you'll be happy to know that these common over the counter remedies exist.
- Sulfur (sulfur shampoos such as Sulfur 8).
- Benzyl Benzoate
- Salicylic acid
- Selemium sulfide
- Sea Buckthorn Oil

The most natural solution from this list would be the Sea Buckthorn Oil which has had wonderful reviews online in healing skin conditions. Once I started digging into how effective Sea Buckthorn oil was for eczema and acne I came across the underlying issue which in many cases were due to Demodex mites. At the time I had never heard of Demodex mites but it makes sense especially when you're persistent in cleansing your skin but you're still prone to problems. In addition you can take small precautions by investing in a sulfur soap. I like this one with shea butter and argan oil by One With Nature.

Demodex is also very prevalent in animals too and shows as mange. Occasionally an infestation occurs primarily in your animals paws and can cause yeast infections in the paw area. A great natural remedy for dogs paws when they are experiencing an overgrowth is a hydrogen peroxide borax water soak. Add 2 cups of water to a half cup of hydrogen peroxide and a small teaspoon of Borax and let the dogs paws soaks for few minutes. DONT USE IF THE PAW AREA IS OVERLY AGITATED as this solution is drying to the pets skin due to the hydrogen peroxide and will irritate overly agitated skin area. To fight Demodex mites in pets I highly suggest using Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo for dogs & cats Antiseptic & antifungal which is available at Walmart.



10/05/2018

Awkward or not???

If you're not familiar with the gossip mill that has followed Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and his ex wife Moshanda then I'll do a quick recap. Swizz was married to Moshanda and she accused him of cheating on her with Alicia which ultimately led to their divorce. Now fast forward 8 years and they're one big happy "Blended" family. This includes taking family trips together and celebrating holidays together all in the sake of making a good situation and family trifecta for their children. This all sounds good but we all know real world scenarios and this all seems suspect with this new found compassionate understanding. Not saying that it's not possible but come on now. How many times do you see ex-wives vacationing with their ex-husbands new family???




However if you're familiar with the Muslim religion then all this sisterly love doesn't seem so far fetched if they're actually all down with the idea of having a blended family which consist of multiple wives. Hell... my oldest daughters father who is Muslim has practiced this idea for years living in Egypt with his 2 wives and their children. They're situation didn't work out as he had planned because there was always cat fighting involved but it's their religious beliefs and Swizz Beatz is a Muslim man. Also if you take a look at their pictures online from their last family vacation they went to Egypt but that wasn't their only family vacation together. It's been going on for years and I think they've all settled into their roles as sister wives which is why you always see in all the pictures Alicia in the middle. Alicia is the main wife and confirms her role within the trio as such. In all the damn pictures of the 3 she's in the middle. Now that could be a suggestion from their publicist but I highly doubt it. It's their hierarchy within their arrangements and I couldn't do it but to each their own. Your thoughts??? Think I'm wrong?  
  

Tina Knowles Lawson hit Richard with the reality check

I saw this circulating on the internet and had to post because it's just too comical! So Tina Knowles Lawson apparently appeared on Black Love with her husband Richard Lawson and his body language is all the way OFF. Not initially though because he was listening and then his demeanor switched. Listening to this short clip I do believe that Tina had to do go through a reflection phase and establish some self appreciation which is all good but she listed her "man" in the same sentence as purchased goods during that time in her life like a checklist.
Go to the grocery store pick up milk, eggs and a new man. Okay... maybe not so simply put but she damn sure did lay it out in this exact manner which is not how relationships work. I'm not saying you cannot will a deserving relationship into your existence but this just didn't come across lovingly. Richards entire body language was distant after she hit him with the "oh well eye roll" LOL. NOW... I know no one is perfect by any means but she just sat there in the same breath and said I took stock of myself, realized I was the shit and went out and did a complete overhaul. Bought me some new trinkets and got a new man.
Do you remember back in the day, when the men went out to work, were complete heads of the household and women started rebelling consequently sparking the women's liberation movement back in the 60's? That ideology fit perfectly with the scenario she described just with reversed roles. They're sort of late in the game to be experiencing gender role issues. However from this encounter I got the impression that Tina had bank and found Richard desirable and he fit the bill of who she envisioned for herself and toke ownership. Richard may have been cool with the idea initially too but all the novelty is wearing thin and it seemed like his perception of the situation hit him for all to see in this minute and 23 second clip. What do you think???
 

9/27/2018

Office Decor you'll LOVE!!!

Why shouldn't your office space be enjoyable and unique? You spend too much time confined to those few feet to not be truly comfortable while there.  Your office space should showcase a bit of your personal identity while incorporating a serene stress relieving vibe at the same time. We all know work can be stressful at times and adding a bit of natural elements to your immediate vicinity is the perfect way to spruce up your space and de-stress when needed.  I thoroughly believe that nature helps sooth us in ways we don't completely understand. It the same reason why you instinctively feel better when being outside on a perfect day surrounded by grass and all of natures elements. It's the exact reason why I've launched a website entirely geared towards enhancing my office space with natural elements that bring me peace and doesn't require high maintenance grooming to ensure that you plant is healthy and thriving. I hope you enjoy the few pieces that I've created and make sure that you check back often because I will be incorporating more daily.  You can check out my newly launched site here: Botanical Cure 








The EYES have it! Skincare tips for both women and MEN!

For both men and women their eyes show the first signs of aging. Really if you think about your eyes and the sensitivity in that general areas it's not surprising to discover the skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the entire body. When you're constantly rubbing your eyes which is often due allergies or for women who frequently apply make-up. Squinting the eyes frequently as well alters the skin around the eye. So what can you do to save this tender skin?

First thing you can do that requires minimal effort is to moisturize your eyes with a heavier cream during the nights. I particularly love Vaseline as a night moisturizer. It's the absolutely BEST in my opinion and it's cheaper then any other option. Vaseline is also extremely beneficial for removing eye make-up. Simply slather a layer of Vaseline on your skin, wait 1 minute and wipe it off with a soft cloth. This can be done for the entire fact to remove all make-up cheaply and efficiently. As a side note I also love to slather Vaseline on my hands and feet before bed as it works wonders with softening the skin as hands are another area of the body that shows prematurely aging. Another very beneficial tip is that your eyelid area contain no pores so they are not producing any natural oils which add to the premature aging. So a heavier moisturizer for this area works wonders in preventing crows feet and wrinkles.
If you're a man and you're looking for a great product that doesn't break the bank you should try the men's Vaseline line for skin but don't forget to also pay attention to the eye area and apply a small amount of pure Vaseline to you eye area in the evenings.

Another beneficial habit to adopt would be to use only your hands when cleansing your face or if you must use a wash cloth get a new one for every use and then wash it. Wash clothes trap in lots of bacteria and germ due to their wet nature. Once used it traps dead skin and the bacteria festers causing re-contamination of debris and bacteria which can cause breakouts. I know it's a hard pill to swallow for those of us who use wash clothes but if you think about it in terms of bacteria and how it breeds then the theory makes perfect sense.

After washing your face and eye area it's beneficial to incorporate a topical retinoid cream. Use a retinol after washing and air drying your face. Allowing for a few minutes to absorb into the skin then apply your face cream which should be a heavier consistency than your daily sunscreen. Remember to not neglect your neck area in this process as the skin on your neck is similar to the skin on your face in regards to exposure to the elements.

9/24/2018

Kavanaugh accuser demonized by the good ole boys before she even speaks!!!

As a woman I'm appalled by the accusatory tone of  Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell's speech earlier today. If you missed it he basically said that the accusations are a part of a smear campaign to discredit Brett Kavanaugh judiciary nomination. In the same breathe he also states that the accuser will have her chance to speak her truth but he strongly suggested that she shouldn't be taken seriously when she does testify because her story so far hasn't had any other credible witnesses to corroborate her story. So when you have a high ranking senator prematurely come out and speak ill against you what's your motivation to continue to tell your story? In addition the accuser, who is a doctor has also had death threats against her and her family. It's all very sad that a woman who has achieved such heights as becoming a doctor is to be looked at as just another lying woman who has to get some sort of strange acknowledgement by bringing down a prominent successful family man seeking to solidify his "legend". I believe this accusations and the fact that another woman has come forth to accuse not only Kavanaugh but his long time friend only speaks to his pattern of behavior during that time in his life. Do I think that he should be held accountable after 30 years??? ABSOLUTELY!!! You and I are subject to scrutiny when applying for a job. Why shouldn't an elected/ appointed official be held to the same standards? Take a listen for yourself to Mitch McConnell's overtly accusatory speech below.

9/13/2018

Savage x Fenty Fall Winter 2018/19 Full Fashion Show





























Just in case you haven't seen all the goodness that is Savage Fenty here's a look at what we all missed from
the runway show last night in NYC. I love how they incorporated all the greenery and natural elements into the show! I loves me a great plant and natural wood. Anyways this show was all over the place. Sexy and eclectic and full of diversity with models in every size, shape and color represented! Loves it!!!!

        

9/10/2018

TV Weekend Wrap Up

Although I love HBO's Insecure I'm a little conflicted with this seasons story line. I especially wasn't feeling the last episode for a few reasons. Don't get me wrong... I rides for Issa but I cannot condone glorifying drug use and trying to make it seem necessary for a group of friends to have a great time together. Is that really what we're trying to push on a society that is already to preoccupied with trying to keep up with they see on social media? Authentic connections in real life are disappearing and young people already feel that they're missing out in life. Don't even get me started on the fact that they show also condoned unprotected sex with a "random". No sis... we're not going to do that shit and unprotected sex is NOT okay!!! Sex is okay especially with a cutie like ole boy from the show but make sure you're safe. Don't let a moment in time define your life. Sounds cliche but it happens wayyy more often than we all care to realize.

Now... back to me feeling Insecure for what it is.... ENTERTAINMENT! This season has been a bit dry and all over the place. First Molly is sexing her married childhood friend then that storyline is gone. Issa is temporarily living with Daniel and decides it's not a good look so she moves out but leaves us wondering "where's that all going?". Then she meets cutie from the Lyft pick up and starts off with him and now we run into Lawrence? Give me time to digest the sloppy sex you just had with the potential cute random who seems interested before we delve back into Lawrence. Why is Tiffany pregnant but drinking and doing edibles? Do people really get pregnant to risk it all to fit in on a weekend trip? HELLS NAWWWW they don't! I don't know not 1 pregnant 30 something-ish year old woman who would do that dumb shit!!! Plus if I saw a pregnant woman chilling at a packed music festival I might just give her the side eye but then your peoples is full on fighting and you're in the mix (kinda)??? NOOOOOOO! I'm not feeling the writing and we're already half way through the season and it's still not giving me any types of feel good vibes. I'm definitely going to wait to see how it all plays out but it's looking kind of shaky to keep my interest piqued for the year hiatus like it has in the past.Only part I've liked from this last episode was the 10 second feature of Chad. He's funny and his facial expressions are hilarious! Always a damn straw sipping scene with him. LOL
                       
 
Now on to the Power season finale. That felt rushed too but I must admit that this season was GREAT and kept me in suspense the entire season. Every episode delivered some sort of shocker or cliff hanging moment!!! I'm not going to ruin it if you haven't seen the last episode but I cannot wait an entire year although I'll definitely be watching! Bravo for a great season!

8/29/2018

Flesh Make-up Launch Review

Let's get back to the core of what we do here. Bask in the girlie goodness that is make-up, hair and all things PINK. It's been a long time since I've been excited about a launch and I must admit that I'm a bit biased because I work for the company but a good thing is a good thing. I was overly eager when I first witnessed the promotional shoots for the products and I wasn't able to try them during launch because of the hot demand but honey... when I say it was worth the wait I mean it! I absolutely love this line! Particularly the foundation stick that comes in 40 shades! It's a light dewy sheer coverage which I absolutely love and it looks extremely natural on my skin. It definitely isn't a full coverage heavy make up look. Flesh provides a very natural finish that gives you that freshly kissed by the sun polished look without looking overly made up.

They also released the FLESH Flipbook which is basically makeup on paper for the on the go refresh for blush, bronzer and highlighter so that you carry less while on the move. As for lips they have options based on the coverage you're going for. Offering Swipe Flesh lip color which brings back memories of the years past with it's finger application (see picture below). I love the packaging and the branding of the fingerprint embedded on the lipstain but don't get it confused with any other stain because a little definitely went a long way. Heavily pigmented, this lip stain is a keeper (on me color is FIRM). I love a dark lip especially being that the seasons are changing this has set me up for the fall. (colors below: Peck, Siren and lipgloss Bruise). The highlighters called Glisten Drops also offer great variety for multiple skin tones.  So it's safe to say I found my everyday go to that is easy to throw in my bag and apply in the car because 2 hour prep time just isn't for me. I honestly don't know how some of you do it but I'm a drag myself out of bed at the last minute girl but I hate looking washed out throughout the day so this is my new salvation. I'm giving it a thumbs up!

8/23/2018

How to spot a liar

Developing trust is hard and it's especially hard in the workplace. The workplace can be filled with people suffering from crabs in a barrel syndrome which means for us we need to be on top of our game on all levels. That means paying particularly close attention to subtle cues that tell us things we need to know to proactively make the right moves for our future. liar The worse feeling in our working lives is not knowing what will happen next. Being blindsided usually occurs because we aren't able to detect early signs of lies or subtle shifts in character but they are there. It's on us to know what to look for and to possess the knowledge of knowing that people can easily lie to you when they know you're hungry for something. Knowing when someone is lying to you is a great tool to keep in the arsenal and especially beneficial in the workplace when dealing with individuals are are primarily self centered and focusing on their own objectives. This may include your boss. Cues to spot when someone isn't being totally honest with you in the office is a bit easier to detect then in your personal lives but they follow the same patterns.
  1. Attitude is key! If a person wants to assist you their attitude tells you that. If a person is too quick to become defensive it's because they one don't want to offer details or assistance. They become easily agitated or very vague when talking to you. Take notice of shifts in the attitudes and interactions between yourself and others. If you notice that people are being too standoffish, cold or distant there is definitely a reason.
  2. Eye contact. It's typically thought that when people are lying they avoid eye contact but that's been found to be untrue in most cases. People can look you in the eye and lie. Actually too much eye contact or overly engaging eye contact can be a clue that the person is not being completely honest with you. Too much eye contact can be the other person trying to gauge your body language to see if you're believing their story and the conviction they're trying to give off.
  3. In cases where there is a back story a person who is trying to lie will cover certain points specifically. This is a big one and is commonly used by law enforcement when questioning a suspect. People cannot lie or keep their story straight if it's not true when trying to tell it reverse. The timeline wont match up and they'll have events that are unaccounted for. Or if they fail to provide critical details in the timeline because you're having them explain in reverse which is difficult to do when it's not rehearsed in that sequence. An easy indication of this is a person repeating the question before they answer.
  4. No laughing matter! Another signal that is often overlooked is when a person laughs or giggles after they've answered a question or have told you something. It's a natural reaction and triggered from the brain when a person thinks that they've just gotten over and can't believe that their lie is being believed. Sounds insane but it's a trigger from the internal dialog going on in the persons head.  Have you ever caught yourself asking another person why they're laughing when a chuckle or giggle seems so out of place? It's because they have just lied to you in some manner and the outward reaction to their inner dialog is the surprised laugh, chuckle or sly smirk. 

8/14/2018

Beyonce Vogue Video Behind the Scene

Love the vintage feel! Reminiscent of the 70's and reflects how she includes her children in her world as an entertainer.


8/08/2018

Serena Williams Shares Her Working Mothers' Guilt

Serena Williams is being extremely transparent on Instagram with the struggle experienced by a lot of working parents. Typically the most difficult decision for first time mother and any parents to make is the decision to return back to work after a short bonding period with your child. A decision that too often leaves you feeling remorseful and full of anxiety wondering if you're in fact making the best choice. The thought that you're missing milestones at such a pivotal stage in your child's life can be overwhelming. This can be especially the case here in the US with maternity leave being a gray area for to many employees where state laws vary drastically. I've worked for a global company and was shocked when I learned that Canada offers parents a full year off to bond with a child and that is a law enforced by the country. Same company in different countries had a drastic difference in laws that govern maternity leave.


Overwhelmingly the decision causes many mothers to put their careers on hold.  Although Serena has the luxury of entrusting her child to family and her husband during her absence many are left with no other option than to entrusting their children to a complete stranger. It's a horrible feeling and one that I and other moms have experienced first hand. Even in the care of someone you trust it still weighs heavily on your conscious leaving a parent extremely guilt-ridden at times.  When daycare is your only option, you can't help but to worry about scenarios that for many are real cause for concern. Is the childcare employee resentful of their job or having their own obstacles within their personal lives that can lead to neglect of your child/children? This sentiment is extremely prevalent when your child is too young to articulate the actions of their caregiver to you. It's a horrible feeling and one that I and other moms have experienced first hand. This is definitely a topic that is universal to working parents and I appreciate Serena's openness regarding how it has impacted her. Hopefully it can shed light on a taboo topic that a lot of parents battle internally and alone. Especially for women who work and wish to continue progressing within their careers. 

Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week--it’s ok--I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on



8/01/2018

Good T.V.

This weekend was one for binge watching and after seeing a commercial for "Snowfall" on the FX channel,  I decided to give it a shot. In the beginning I felt like the show was just another take on the 80's with it's drugs, kingpin idolization and misconduct by the government but I let continue because each episode had it's extreme cliff hanger moments which hooked me.  I was shocked by some of the scenes and couldn't pull myself from it. I went from scrolling through IG and half ass watching to fully invested by episode 3.  Each episode is good with it's own plot twist and sticky situations but 3 took the cake. I  damn near flipped the fuck out with the unanticipated rape scene!!!! I was both appalled and shocked when watching what I at first started with a tough guy getting smacked around to hitting a complete 180 when it turned to an insinuated male on male RAPE scene!!! Immediately I dropped my cell and mixed emotions swept over me. My emotions ranged from shock because I thought the man was getting killed, then to confusion because of the  swift escalation from an altercation to sex. Which led to me being upset because "why the hell was a rape scene needed"?  Then back to shocked.  I'm telling you I was in full blown disbelief at that point which led me to the good ole internet to see who wrote it, just to find out it was John Singleton.

Now if I must refresh your memory John Singleton appears to have been itching for a homosexual scenes in his movies and shows since his attempt with All Eyez on Me was shut down.  It's been rumored that he was fired from directing the biopic film depicting Tupac's life "All Eyez on Me" because he wanted to add a jail rape scene that was not cleared or proven to be factual. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Young Noble of the Outlawz discussing John Singleton's involvement with the movie:
“Lets move forward to John Singleton. He doing interviews saying he quit from directing the film because the producers wasn’t telling Pac story with integrity an they sued Afeni when the truth is he got fired from the job. We got the call the day he got fired an honestly i was kinda upset because i thought he was the perfect guy to direct Pac movie until i heard the reason he got fired. John wrote his own script for the movie an in his script he had a scene insinuating 2pac getting raped in jail an he had Afeni as a lesbian an wanted a scene in there with her doing some lesbian activities. So this dude John Singleton was gonna put all kinda lies an made up shit an give y’all some real Hollywood movie so he got fired on the spot an now he out here doing interviews saying he quit like he was doing something out of honor for Pac & Afeni,” said Young Noble.

Overall I still liked what I was able to catch of Snowfall and will be watching season 2 which airs on Thursday evenings on FX. Episode 3 will be airing tomorrow but I'll have to catch it on the app because I'll be out and about but if you're interested here's the trailer for season 2.


7/26/2018

Great Food and A Trainer??? Sign ME Up

food2 Who doesn't love a great meal? Many of my best memories revolve around good food and great company. I also enjoy a great snack and a good movie. It's the a part of the basic fundamentals of Netflix and chill which always consist of some great munchies. One of the best feelings is discovering a new favorite food or snack. Only issue is with the lack of options we're normally stuck with the same choices to choose from and that is boring and most often leads to grabbing the easiest alternative which can be unhealthy. As a working mom, I often struggle daily with the same question. "What's for dinner?" is something I ask myself and my family daily. It's especially daunting when I'm leaving work often times hungry myself knowing that I have to prepare or buy something for us all to eat. Too often I hit the nearest drive through and there are but so many times you can cook spaghetti before it becomes an unwelcome option. I also know that I'm not alone.  Too often working parents feel the same agony over dinner or reluctantly spend money on take-out to offset the stress for another day.  Trying to ensure you and your family eat well balanced healthy meals that also taste good is like searching for a great sale on designer jeans.
HARD!

  Le Bon Vivant Kickstarter




Imagine my surprise when I discovered that someone finally decided to help us out. Le Bon Vivant promises to send us healthy recipes based on our taste preferences. Always wanted access to the best dairy free desserts or gluten free pasta dishes but had to settle? Well you wont have to wait much longer. Le Bon Vivant also offers services that will track your calorie intake, water intake, send you reminders when you need more water as well as offers access to personal trainers for 1-on-1 coaching to achieve your fitness goals. Track all your progress and if you need assistance meal prepping for the week you can have access to what to add to your grocery list with suggested recipes. This mom cannot wait!!! If you're like me then make sure you do your part to chip in to help them bring this baby to reality.
Le Bon Vivant App

6/28/2018

Have you outgrown your job?

Many of us stick around in jobs that aren't benefiting us far too often because we're comfortable with what we're used to and that is a huge disservice to ourselves and places us at a disadvantage professionally. You should never conform to being too comfortable in anything you do. You're not in the growth state when you're living in your comfort zone and if you're not growing life is passing you by. This is especially true when thinking in terms of your professional life. You should never feel like you've reached a plateau professionally and if you feel like that then it an indication that it's time to move on. exhaustion Companies are always looking to out perform themselves year after year and you should  do the same for yourself. If you have an employer, never forget that you are expendable to an organization and in terms a "depreciating asset". Not to be harsh but lets face facts, you're aging and knowledge is constantly changing and each market is rapidly evolving. In order to contribute newer and fresher ideas that are aligned with the change in industries, you'll need to increase your skillset to make yourself indispensable to your current job or desirable to a potential new employer. If your company isn't investing in you to learn the latest innovation then you need to invest in yourself and that can only be achieved two ways. Taking classes to enhance your skillset or jumping ship to another company who is willing to train you. Either way you're getting out of your comfort zone and that's growth. For those of us who arent' sure if your not growing professionally below are a few indications that are telltale signs that it's time to move on.
  1. You're BORED at work. If you're constantly watching the clock and your daily responsiblities aren't challenging then it's time to either discuss this with your management or move on. Time is precious so don't waste time can be spent doing something more stimulating.
  2. Your current employer isn't utilizing your skills. If you've expressed to your current management that you could be doing more and they aren't willing to give you a try then take your skills and apply them to another company who will most likely compensate you more for what you know.
  3. Do you feel physically or mentally exhausted during the weekdays but okay on your own time? This is your body and subconscious telling you that it's underwhelmed and would rather be resting during those times that are spent on auto-pilot. Listen to your body and get in-tune with what your subconscious is trying to tell you.
  4. If your constantly worried about money  because you have more bills then pay then get out there and chase it. You already know more money wont come at your current position. Increase your knowledge by getting out of that comfort zone. Make a game plan with hard dates attached to achieve your goal and make sure you outline a road map to success. You'll get where you want and even if you don't quite make it to the set dollar amount you'll be better off than where you are currently. You just have to do it!

6/13/2018

Wednesday Motivation

Happy Hump Day Y'all!!!

UrShadyBFF

Have you guys checked out Jada Pinkett Smith's latest edition of her Red Table Talks? If not don't worry because I've got you. I really like her talks and how she incorporates her daughter and mother into the mix. Her Sex Talk episode was worth the watch. I especially liked how she said she got her first chat from her grandmother about self pleasure but I definitely question the age they were discussing sex toys being that 9 is a bit early in my opinion. I'm not telling my near 9 year old daughter that when she gets of age she should get that vibrator poppin. NOPE... I'll pass! But on the other hand I do have a 19 year old and I didn't have that discussion with her either about experimenting with sex toys but honestly at the age of 19, I did have a vibrator. I keeps me a pleasure toy on hand to this very day.

I think I never thought of sex toys as taboo but I don't recall having conversations with my girlfriends either because from what I remember I was the only one with a vibrator way back when. I've also always known I was sexually explorative and chalked it up to being a Scorpio. Regardless it's just always been a part of my identity and I just never had the desire to conform to the norms of bland sex until I got older. I guess some would've called me a sexual deviant at the time because lord knows my mother didn't understand it. I recall a time when my mother found one of my toys and videos because I liked having a variety and she damn near had a heart attack. I had vibrators, strap-ons, whips, tape, handcuffs, costumes, wings, videos, Ben Wa balls... you name it, I had and I was only about 20 at the time which is the same age as my daughter now and I wasn't ashamed of it AT ALL. Now that I'm a mom I would consider it a bit odd if my daughter had my arsenal but I do know that she's purchased her own introductory sex toy because she accidentally drop the tags but I didn't say anything to her because I didn't want to make her uncomfortable about her choice. Now that she's about to turn 20 and after watching the video I definitely want to make sure she knows and understands that self pleasure is great at helping you understand your body and helps you to understand your own likes and dislikes sexually. It also teaches you how to have an orgasm without stumbling on it accidentally down the road IF that down the road ever happens. You should definitely know what gets you off without equating it to a separate individual.  That how stalkers are developed. LOL
I once ran into an ex at the gym a few years ago and he said "you were the first girl I ever knew who had a vibrator and now everyone has one". At the same gym I would also see his wife whom I never met but recognized through pics on Facebook and I guess she recognized me too seeming as though she spent her entire time on the treadmill looking at me. I realized she knew who I was but like I said we've never formally met and I don't believe we were together when they started dating but either way he was never that important to me and only served as a late night creep but I definitely got the sense that I've come up in conversation for them.   I just laughed it all off then but thinking back on it I remember him calling me wayyy after we were through saying "hey... I just want you to know that I'm getting married" and I thought and most certainly said "WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME? Congrats!" but connecting those dots I must have held a special place in his memory bank with all my sex toys.

6/06/2018

Refresh your home for less!

There is no better time to spruce up your place like the season changing. From time to time your home space can start to feel a little mundane and you get the urge to switch it up a bit. However if you're like a lot of us out here living paycheck to paycheck then you're on a budget and don't have unlimited funds to ball out and re-decorate completely. Still there are ways to stay within your budget while adding just enough to see a noticeable change for the better in your home. When it's your turn this summer to entertain you'll be excited to welcome your friends into your newly decorated comfy space.

Tired of that old looking linoleum floor? Paint it! You can even get creative with a floor stencil to add a dramatic change for less. Update basic stairs or a drab bathroom floor with a fresh coat of paint and stencil for added flare. Stencils for flooring can be found at Home Depot or even Amazon for around $16. Grab a can of paint and get to painting. You'll be happy you did!

Decluttering is one of the most effective ways to make your home more serene and look more polished. The best part is that it cost absolutely nothing. Take a night normally spent binge watching Netflix and start purging old mail, clothes, shoes and trinkets that are lying around. We all have stuff that we're never going to use so make a project of it or start off small. Commit to throwing away 5 things a day for 10 days. You'll  definitely see a change and you'll feel better that you've done it. 

6/05/2018

Blake Lively - Fashion Win!!!

I love Blake Lively's style! Especially love the look she had for the the Deadpool 2 premier where she kept her formal look playful with a Judith Leiber bag and Ofira jewelz earrings. Blake also made sure to remind her followers that it takes a whole lot people to pull off one of these red carpet looks so don't beat yourself up too bad filtering your own pics to post. It's takes collective minds for these celebrities to slay.  It's also a part of her job to look . Which got me to thinking about how impactful if our attire is in our everyday lives and how it impacts how we're perceived on the job?



Increasingly our visual senses are overly utilized due to all of the social media platforms designed to keep us in touch but actually feeds into an overwhelming appeal to vanity. Constantly peeking into others lives only stimulate our visual perceptions and drives the urge to judge others strictly on their outward appearance. As a society we're constantly making conclusions on others fulfillment, competencies and joy based solely on what we see within the first few moments of interaction.

Since we understand that there is a preconceived view of what work attire should be, what does your professional wardrobe say about you? Can your professional career be stunted strictly based on what someone else perceives you to be based on your attire??? I believe it's done everyday. Is it right? No but we certainly pass judgment on people based on their appearance and the management staff at your office is no different than you and I so of course your appearance holds weight when people are interacting with you within the office.

Read How to get a professional wardrobe



How to get a professional wardrobe without breaking the bank- Women's Edition

Having a professional appearance doesn't have to break the bank. It's all about selecting a few key pieces that give you the appearance of upward mobility that you desire. As discussed in another post your 9-5 appearance definitely has an impact on how others in the office perceives you and that includes your boss. Not only does your on the job performance matter but your physical look holds just as much weight as your last resolved task on that expanding to-do list. The problem that most of us have is not knowing how to spend our hard earned money on items that reflect a winning persona without spending your entire paycheck on looking the part. Let's face it, we all have multiple wardrobes in our closets and your leisurely attire should hold more presidency in your closet because it's more likely to express your true individuality. It's that part of you that reflects your true identity and uniqueness but we all still have to earn a living. So let's us assist you in looking the part of the upper management without bleeding your wallet.



1.  A plain black below the knee pencil skirt. Thinks Suits because whomever styles their crew is on point! A pencil works well with everything and since it's black can be worn twice in a week with different shirts and accessories. It's elegantly sleek and classic and pairs well with anything. Pencil skirts also compliment all body types because it allows for you to hide or accentuate accordingly and adds an instantly polished look. The one featured below is from Sears and can be purchased for less than $16.

2. A neutral color silk textured shirt. It's another classic piece that pairs well with other items and instantly adds a polished professional look. It can also be worn on casual Friday's along with denim to give off a casual professional look that says I'm still business and can be paired with any accessories to take you from the office to happy hour effortlessly. This will probably be the most costly item on your shopping list but it's well worth it. A great silk top is a wise investment and the neutral color allows for it to be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come so the investment pays off.

5/17/2018

Wendy has to do better when talking about Mehgan

I honestly have a love/hate relationship with Wendy and her views on things. I feel that she's negative and overly critical on somethings and tries to cover up her bitterness and self loathing with the "I don't care" comments but she's made a living off of slanging dirt so let's get into it. I am beyond sick of her talking about how ghetto Meghan Markle is "suppose" to be and how she's conning her way into the royal family. Why make assumptions about that woman's character based on where she's from? That's the most racially charged shit I've seen on television and it makes me look at Wendy with the side eye. What she's implying when she makes those baseless comments is that everyone who lives or comes from an urban area lacks class and composer and that is NOT true!!! Talking about how Meghan's "a black woman from Crenshaw"... please miss me with the bullshit! Yet all we hear about is her OTHER family who happens to be white that is constantly acting out wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Yet we hear absolutely NOTHING from her family from "Crenshaw".



Then there is the constant implication that she's somehow sleeping her way into the royal family but Mehgan had already established a viable acting career and by no means seems to be using Harry for anything. He didn't pick her from destitution! She was earning a decent living and building her own celebrity status prior to meeting Harry yet all Wendy seems to concentrate on is how she somehow trapped him with her "snapping Gyro". By the way as a woman she's suppose to have a "snapping Gyro" and feel hell of good about how she works it too! There is nothing wrong with being comfortable sexually and hopefully any man that chooses to marry a woman loves the way his woman lays it down in the bed. Use all those yoga moves on there thang and WHAT!

There are plenty of women who married up and were literally plotting on finding a successful man to help them move up in life but I honestly feel that Mehgan does not fit that mold. When Wendy belittles her success and suggests that she's somehow less than because of where she came from is a testament of how Wendy thinks about women and more importantly "black women" which is sad. Besides isn't Wendy currently employing her own husband who "allegedly" has a mistress who lives blocks away from her home in a house she basically brought?!    
via GIPHY

5/15/2018

Sephora's Free Facials

Now that I've got your attention with the word "free" allow me to clarify the point. There is absolutely nothing free at Sephora but the Perk Hydrating Facial is complimentary with a purchase of $75 dollars which isn't really a bad deal at all. Actually you're going to spend the $75 anyway. Why not get a bonus hydrating facial while bleeding your wallet?

The hydration facial promises to exfoliate and hydrate and you actually witness the debris from your clogged pores being extracted into a jar. I must always warn you that the reviews left by some Aesthetician's were less than favorable due to the lack of formal certification of the Sephora technicians but Sephora advises that all employees are trained on how to properly work with the machine and the clients skin. With that little disclaimer out there I'm still willing to be a test dummy for all of you. I've scheduled my appointment for next weekend because I do love a good facial and know that hydration is a MUST so I'll update this story after I've experienced it myself. Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and keeping your skin healthy and glowing is imperative. I'm sure you know that most of the healthy glow comes from what you actually put into your body which is why water is so important but that doesn't mean there aren't helpful products that exist.

My go to products for ensuring my skin stays hydrated during my morning routine is Ultimate Miracle Worker which has spf 30 to protect against UV rays. Then at night I like to use a prescription retinoid cream and then Hope in a Jar or plan Vaseline around the eyes and smile lines two nights a week. I've been an advocate for retinoid cream for a long time since I've always struggled with acne. My skin is one of my hot topic areas and I make sure I visit a dermatologist annually to discuss not only the skin on my face but my scalp and dry itchy patches on my body (primarily my upper back) and retinol has always been the go to prescription in different dosages.





5/09/2018

Gala Fashion

The fashion from the Met Gala has been reviewed multiple times but I wanted to add to the review of Wendy's fashion squad because they were right on point with their reviews but missed one in particular and that was Zendaya.  Zendaya SLAYED her Joan of Arc look!!!! She was the nights winner in regards to keeping with the theme because it was definitely original and outside of the box in regards to Catholicism. You're clearly able to see the costume being presented with the armor while remaining sexy. The layering and styling which included the hair and color were all perfectly executed and that is why this entire look was an all out 100 in my book.

We've all seen Rihanna's look but she was definitely my 2nd favorite for originality but Rih is always the Met Gala fashion winner every year in my opinion so to see Zendaya come stomp the yard... Flawless execution. So much so that I searched to find who her stylist Law Roach also styled for the evening and it was Ariana Grande who's look I didn't like so much but it was custom Vera Wang which featured pictures from Sistine Chapel.

Although Wendy and her team mentioned Kim's gold dress and said that it used as a marketing tool to mimic her recently released perfume I still was not impressed because it lacked originality. Outside of that everything else I agreed with. 
      

3/19/2018

Be Urself In the Workplace

I recently read an article in Huffington Post Black Voices that could transcend across racial lines to include all cultural divides and even gender but let's stay with the topic set by the article. I myself have felt the range of emotions in the workplace and I've definitely experienced some bias but something that I've learned along my journey is that I cannot let other peoples negativity sway my self perception. In addition someones negativity will not intervene with my professionalism in the work-place and what it all boils down to is your professionalism. U I will share a true story that helped me ease the boundaries that I felt in the workplace once when I was going on a team building trip with co-workers in the middle of Arkansas. Keep in mind for the newbies to my blog that I am an I.T. professional. I've been in I.T. for over 10 years and once, prior to going on a work team building trip with my colleagues I was debating on what to do with my hair since I'm natural (with a relaxer). I really was debating what to do for days and I casually mentioned it in a group setting and one of my colleagues who happen to be a Vietnamese middle aged man said "why don't you just braid it?" and I swear I was in shock. hahaha I had NEVER braided my hair at all beforehand in my I.T. job because I feared it wouldn't be perceived as unprofessional but here I was putting boundaries on myself. Needless to say that I put box braids in my hair and went on the weekend work trip and I did receive the normal questions about how I care for the braids etc. but overall after the few questions and the regular "I love your braids" comments I was over it. It wasn't as uncomfortable of an experience as I thought it would be. I later ventured into wig for protective styles and I could careless who knows it's a damn wig on a Tuesday. Everyone has seen my natural bob cut and if they see a short pixie then they know it's a wig. Still every now and then if I do wear my hair out of my traditional everyday Bob then I do get the occasional "did you cut your hair" or "I didn't recognize you". Fast forward to just a few weeks ago I saw another middle aged white colleague with bright pink hair. I chalked it up to a mid life experience and in my own mind took a mental note that she too probably pondered over that decision for a while and add in the age factor and I'm sure the comments she received were through the roof but but to each his/her own. Hey... if you like it then I love it. None of your personal expressions should interfere with work performance and it all boils down to your work performance. Similarly to any social setting you'll find those who vibe with you or not and if not then that's okay too. One thing for certain is that you should always try to find little things that make you happy and gives others a true sense of your identity whatever that may be. You're only doing a disservice to yourself if you try to suppress your individuality to fit in. It's the same with school and something that I've told my own daughter for years... do you and if need be get comfortable being by yourself and doing things that feel good to you. No one else has to travel your journey and for the most part other people are soul searching too. It takes a lot practice to be comfortable in your own company. We all vibrate at different frequencies and finding the frequency that best fits your identity, you'll also find your tribe. Your tribe are those who vibe at the same frequency as you. Vibrating at your optimal peak will always lead you in the right direction in life and you'll get a sense of those people who vibrations are similar to you. Let your intuition guide you and let the naysayers watch while you shine.
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1/04/2018

Netflix and Chill???

The weather on the east coast has been brutal as of late so what better past time is there than watching Netflix. I've been Netflix and chilling for a minutes now with the recent holidays and timeoff from work so when I stumbled upon a documentary named "Requiem for the American Dream" and it was truly disheartening. At the same time it was an intelligent depiction of what the American Dream and democracy has progressed into. It really does a phenomenal job of explaining the illusion of democracy and how the elite keep the masses cloaked in fear and doubt to exploit the masses for cheap labor while lining their pockets like no other time in history. It summarizes our society up perfectly and explains that working for pennies on the dollar is actually the modern day slavery and has been so for a very long time. Narrated by Noam Chomsky a political activist and historian. It's definitely worth the time if you're looking for something good to watch and eventhough it's non-fiction and a bit dry, I highly recommend it.
 

1/02/2018

New Year... New Office


We’re now 2 days into the new year and I’m officially about to head back into the office tomorrow but it’s daunting. I’ve become extremely comfortable browsing online stores for deals and staying at home with family. So much in fact that I’ve invested a few dollars in sprucing up my own home office for the new year and adding a few things that can transition from my home office to my actual office and I thought I would share.

I definitely believe in writing things down so imagine my surprise when I saw a super cute journal online for cheap. I mean I literally have “to-do list”, shopping list, personal notes and business notes on Post It’s all over my office and I needed a new cute notebook that I can carry around with me everywhere. Also my little comic desk top calendar ended so I was definitely in need of a replacement and I got both a notebook and a cute calendar from www.niftysgits.com. I mean it’s really cute stuff!!! How could I actually resist especially since I’ve been taking advantage of the all after Christmas sales? Take a look around and don’t say I’ve never done anything for you.