I Am Not A MUA: Brushes

It's been a minute. I, honestly, just haven't found the time. I want to write but videos are so much more fun! I've got a few good posts coming your way soon though.  

In the meantime, I've got another IANAMUA video. This one is dedicated to the most important thing you need for a full face: brushes. If you don't have good brushes to apply makeup, you are wasting your time. You don't have to spend a ton of money on them either. I only have a few brushes that I've spent more than 10-20 bucks on. 

In this video, I didn't go into brands specifically because I wanted to talk about the importance of the type of brushes, but I've linked to brushes that I love below. All of them can be purchased on Amazon. 

Flat Top Kabuki

Powder Brush

Angled Eybrow Brush 

Concealer Brush 

Fluffy Blending Brush  

TGwBH

I Am Not A MUA: My Favorite Foundations

In light of all of the "teach me your ways" comments that I get when I post a full face selfie, I want to start a series of videos called "I Am Not A MUA." The goal is to share all of the tips that I learn from my hours of youtube stalking lol. So, I hope that you enjoy the first video in this series! Let me know if you try any of my suggestions and how it worked for you!

TGwBH

30 Before 30

1987. Hard to believe that this was 30 years ago. In my mind, the 90s are still 10 years ago. I still remember my 21st birthday. I had a huge 90s party complete with ring pops and fruit roll ups. I still lived at home and was a senior (for the first time) at Towson. It was a good time. But, alas, we are at another milestone. Another chapter in the book of life. 

This year, I'll be 30. 

Despite the popular opinion that getting older is terribly depressing - I am incredbly excited for this next transition.  

Transition. That's a good word for it. I will walk into decade number 3 expecting that it will be filled with growth, opportunity and peace. Yes, peace. Peace about decisions I've made that have positioned me where I am. Peace about the fact that my love story, or lack thereof, isn't what I anticipated. Peace about my career and the fact that I'm not making 6 figures like I thought I would when I was 16 (lol). 

Someone told me that when you turn 30, something just clicks and you lose all of the effs that you had in your 20s and you FINALLY start living freely. I'm sure that this person didn't intend for it to sound so easy but I'm REALLY excited about this. I told someone this weekend that I feel like with just three months away, I'm already feeling my lack of effs, lol. 

At any rate, I started a 30 before 30 list right after turned 28. Unfortunately, I didn't make it past four or five things (it's much harder than you think). But, the four things that I remember putting on the list were:

1. Drive cross country  

2. Start a blog

3. Lose 100 pounds 

4. Get a promotion  

I didn't realize until the beginning of this year that I had actually accomplished 3/4 things that I put on that list. All before I turned 30. It was so inspiring. It proves that there is so much power in your words. I'm grateful that I remembered those four things. Grateful that I accomplished most and even grateful that the 100 pounds doesn't feel totally impossible. 

My goal for the next three months is to try to add some more things to that list and get them done before June. If you haven't yet turned 30, try making a 30 before 30 list. Doesn't have to actually be 30 things. It can be a 5 before 30, lol. Or even a 1 before 30. Sometimes that 1 thing can feel as big as 30. I pray that no matter what year you're going into in 2017, that it be the best year you've ever had. I pray that with your words, you are an inspiration to yourself and others. Here's to writing a vision and making it plain! 

 "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world." -John Keating

TGwBH 

 

#SelfCareEveryday

I came across an article on Facebook earlier this week that talked about some things that people can do for self-care besides getting a mani-pedi. Now, I love mani-pedis so when I saw this article, I was intrigued. Self-care WITHOUT mani-pedis?

Whet?!? 

But after reading the article, I thought, hmmm, I guess I have some self-care strategies that are more than physical, too! So I wanted to share those with you all. Make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel and follow me on instagram! 

xoxo

TGwBH 

When your Black doesn't feel so magical.

In the midst of such a huge social media era, it's really hard to find people who don't share at least small pieces of their lives on the Internet. Especially the important stuff. With the help of Facebook and Instagram, we are always up-to-date when someone buys a house, gets engaged, gets married, moves across the world, travels, graduates, or has a baby. I'm Black and I've pretty much only ever lived in all Black communities so the majority of the folks on my timeline are Black.  So with every accomplishment comes the "Black Magic" tag.  

Don't get me wrong, I am the first to admit that Black people are absolutely magical. From the melanin in our skin that makes us all shades of brown and the kink in our hair that gives us versatility in style to the way we travail in work environments filled with microaggression and start successful businesses. We are absolutely magical. From the rooter to the tooter. 

But what happens when your Black doesn't feel so magical? How do you cope with that? How do you fight through that? In a moment of sheer transparency, I often struggle with not feeling like I'm good enough. Or even good at all. And so, in those moments when you want to stand in your magical Blackness, you feel like your light is a bit dimmed and no one can see it. Not even you.  

I want to blame the "Black Elites." Y'all know, the ones that ask you "so what do you do?" in the first five minutes of meeting you and if you don't have a legitimate answer, judgment washes over their faces. Those. I want to blame them. I want to say they created this idea that we all need to be magical the same way. All of our lights need to shine a sillhoutte of a Howard U logo. And we all should be featured in Forbes 30 under 30. 

But, the bottom line is, only we are responsible for our definition of success. Nobody creates that for us. Because your success is what makes you happy and no one can tell you what makes you happy. Period. The beautiful thing about Blackness is that it comes packaged in so many different ways. We'd be doing each other a disservice if we all defined success the same way. We come equipped with so much creativity and talent that we'd not get the truth of "black magic" without us all having our own definition of what it means to be successful. 

So, shout out to the Howard U grad who just made Forbes 30 under 30. Shout out to the community college grad who just landed his first job without a hair net. Shout out to the waitress who volunteers at the Y on the weekends. Shout out to the grandfather who will probably never have enough money to retire but goes to work with a smile on his face everyday. Shout out to the college students, the folks who decided not to go to college, the doctors, the lawyers, the janitors, ball players, singers, poets and the unemployed.  

Even if your magic doesn't look like what you've been told it should - please know that you still have magic in you. It's still there. The fact that yours doesn't emulate anyone else's is the truth of Black Magic.  

TGwBH  

 

For the "tragically" single women who are still hopeful.

My sister recently got engaged. Super duper happy for her. Like, extremely happy. She's been waiting a few years for her boyfriend - now fiancé - to pop the question. So we are all very excited about the transition for her. With the recent excitement of her engagement comes the "tradgedy" of my own singleness. The story is rather familiar, right? The older sister who watches her younger sister walk down the aisle as she holds back tears and holds onto the last bit of hope that she's not destined to be the sister who never married. 

Since we're always here for transparency - the news of engagements never excite me (except my sisters. I've been waiting for this one. Dumb excited). It only reminds me that I'm still getting "wyd" text messages and flipping through middle finger pictures on Tinder. It's no secret that my dating pool is rather murky and shallow. There are about five good men left in the world and I think that they're all hiding in the North Pole somewhere with Santa Claus - ijs.  

I want to believe that I won't shrivel up and die alone but the further I go without any prospective mates, the more I'm wondering if dying alone isn't such a bad idea. I'd rather die alone than settle for a "wyd." (This is me really trying to convince myself that this is true). The fact of the matter is - we have a relatively small window of opportunity for babies. Anyone who knows me, knows that I want to be a mother more than most things. But, the opportunity is slowly passing me by. I'm praying that God doesn't let it.

While, I want to be married and have beautiful babies, I hope that God makes my path cross with a great man. A leader, a go-getter, a family man and a lover who's desire is to love how God does. I won't settle for anything less just to satisfy the craving I have for a family. I want a family but I want it the way God intended me to. 

Until then, I'll watch my sister walk down the aisle proudly; holding the train of her dress and dabbing her make up with tissue. I will celebrate her like I know she would celebrate me when it's my turn. All while praying that God heals the bitterness that years of terrible relationships has caused. I pray that if nothing else changes for me in my 30s, God changes my heart so that I can be genuinely happy for my friends who are reaching milestones that I thought I'd reach a long time ago. 

TGwBH 

PSA: Women aren't responsible for disrespect from men.

It's no secret that I'm single. I talk about it a lot. In person and on social media. Not on some "woe is single me" stuff but mostly speaking on the experiences that I have. In many cases, women respond with something that implies that they've dealt with a similar situation and men respond trying to defend their gender. 

In too many cases, however, there are men and women who will point the finger back at me. "You should have known better" or "I mean, what did you expect?" This is the biggest - pardon my language - bullshit that anyone could say to a single woman. All of a sudden, I'm responsible for a man's actions because I "should have known better." 

This won't be a long post because, honestly, there ain't much to say. Just stop it. Stop blaming women for the disrespect and mistreatment that men show us. Stop contributing to this idea that men never have to take responsibility for their actions. Men, stop and realize your male privilege and check it. Women, stop shaming each other for things that men do to us. None of us deserve disrespect from anyone. No matter how different your morals and beliefs are from one another. No matter how "crazy" a man says she is. No matter how much of a "hoe" you think she may be. She doesn't deserve it. No one does. 

I'm gonna call y'all on your bullshit every time I see a post like that or hear it in conversation. It's just as damaging as the women you fussed at about Gabby Douglas's hair or the ones you fuss at about body shaming or slut shaming. So, check yourself next time you decide to point the finger at a woman because a man disrespected her. 

TGwBH 

 

 

Numbers on the scale DO scare me.

I went to the doctor's office once for a general check up. No specific health related reason Why I was there. My doctor was a weight loss Natzi - in a good way. She was very adamant about everyone being in a healthy weight range. I trusted her because she was a young Black woman and didn't force 135lbs on me but knew that at 301.1lbs, I needed to shed some of this excess. 

I knew "the talk" was coming when she walked into the exam room. I'd had it a hundred times before with her. But with the number 301.1 burned into my mind, I felt like she was coming to bring me news of a fatal illness. As soon as she walked into the room, I broke down and cried. I felt crazy because the woman hadn't even said anything to me yet. She barely looked me in my eyes when I began to cry. 

That was my moment. A turning point for me.  

Those of you who know me, or follow me on Instagram at the least, know that two years ago, I lost 45 lbs. It was the most weight I've ever lost. I'd given up meat, I worked out five times a week and my diet was on point! But, here I am two years later, at the back door of the 300 club. Where I said I'd never be again. Where disease and health conditions stare me in the face and heart attacks threaten me at night. My clothes don't fit anymore and I am simply uncomfortable in my body.  

So, you can imagine my disappointment after a whole week of eating better and working out heavy, I step on the scale and see +2 lbs. Before you give me the "but muscle is heavier than fat" speech or the "but you should see how your clothes fit" speech, consider where we are. I currently weigh 295.2 lbs. Again, diseases linger at this weight. Those 2 lbs mean everything to me. They are literally the difference between life and death. 

So, yes, the scale does scare me. I try my hardest not to be discouraged. But I won't act like the numbers on that scale don't mean something to me. Because they do. They represent the likelihood that I'll carry my babies full term in a healthy pregnancy. They represent the likelihood that I'll live to see my grandchildren grow up and be able to actually play with them. They represent some pretty heavy stuff for me. So please, don't dismiss my feelings about them by telling me that muscle weighs more than fat. I know my own body and I know damn well it isn't muscle that's adding those two pounds back to my life. 

Until next week's weigh-in.  

TGwBH

To The "Good Guy" That I Pushed Away...

I've been single for most of my adult life. So, it's fair to say that I've had my fair share of - excuse my French - f*ckboys in my day. But every now and again, I come across a really sweet gentleman who is just the perfect guy. He says all the right things, does all the right things, calls me beautiful and says more than "wyd" when he texts me. Usually these type of men come around when I'm already in some screwed up situationship and they end up being friend zoned. But, there have been a few that come at just the right time - when I'm all the way available - and I do something to screw it up. 

To the sweet guys that I've pushed away: I'm sorry. 

I, honestly, have no idea why I do or even when it begins to happen. I know that I'm shallow and spoiled. I have insecurities that often reflect on others. I can be mean sometimes. I am flawed. I am damaged. I am human. 

I was told once that I am going to have to learn to love the right guy and that it's going to take effort to unlearn all the crap that I've learned over the years about loving the effed up people of the world. 

So, to the next nice guy that I meet: I pray that God gives you patience with me. I hope that you're able to kindly tell me when I'm being a brat and gently remind me when I'm letting my insecurities show. I want to learn to love you. I'm just a work in progress.  

TGwBH

How to Shop Asos: 5 Tips Fat Girls Need to Know

Asos is one of my favorite places to shop online. In fact, it's where I do most of my shopping for cute basics and chic statement pieces. I only learned of Asos a few years ago when a co-worker hipped me to it. I only wish that someone would have given me tips on how to shop at this amazing online store. So, I want to share with you some things that I've learned about Asos Curve over the years.

1. Size Down. 

A dress I got a few years back on Asos. It is one of my favorites!  

A dress I got a few years back on Asos. It is one of my favorites!  

It is my belief that Europeans believe that fat people in America are REALLY fat. As a result, their sizing is a bit off sometimes. I ALWAYS size down. Right now, I am between a 22 and a 24 US sizes but I have never ordered a size larger than a 20 from Asos. Well, I have but I learned my lesson rather quickly. It is best practice to take a look at the sizing guide and the measurements. 

2. Trial and Error.

Unfortunately, we can't always get the sizing right or we may over/underestimate our size. That's okay. Asos is trial and error and after a few swaps of shirts, dresses and jeans/pants, you'll get it. I promise.

This leather jacket is perfect. I wear it all through the fall season. It was pricey but worth the buy.  

This leather jacket is perfect. I wear it all through the fall season. It was pricey but worth the buy.  

Speaking of swapping - Asos does not have an exchange policy. Only a return. Therefore, if you're unsure of a size - and can afford to - it would be in your best interest to purchase more than one size and return what doesn't work. The return process is SUPER easy. Every order comes with a return form and label. You have 28 days to return something. Stick it in a box/bag and ship it back. I think the whole process took a little over a week for me. Obviously, if you can't afford to have funds tied up, this might not be the best option for you. You can read the entire return policy here.

3. Catch a Sale.

I don't think I can say this enough. Asos is expensive (for good reason, though). It is always best to catch a good sale. And they ALWAYS have good sales. Sometimes, you can catch a 70% off sale and you'll find things as cheap as $10-15. In most cases, they're cute basics are pretty cheap. Anything high-fashion is probably going to cost you closer to $100+.

4. The Rivington jeggings are phenomenal.

A pair of Rivington's I got recently. They are AMAZING.

A pair of Rivington's I got recently. They are AMAZING.

I am a chunky girl. Ya'll know. These thighs are dimple-y and huge. These hips don't lie. So shopping for denim is always a chore for me. I typically stick to Torrid for all of my denim needs, but honestly, Torrid is way too expensive for me when I just need a pair of comfy jeans. So, I decided to try out the Rivington jeggings at Asos. 

Ya'll. 

They are phenomenal. They're soft, stretchy, and CAH-YUTE! They don't stretch out too much as the day goes on. They are a perfect. I think that every plus size woman with big ole hips, thighs, and butts should have at least two pair in her wardrobe. They're typically pretty inexpensive too. I just got a pair for about $40. 

5. Plan ahead.

While Asos is pretty good about their standard shipping (which is free when you spend over $40), I always recommend giving yourself some wiggle room. If you need a dress for a Friday night, it's probably best to order it at least a week and a half in advance. Asos does have a history of "forgetting" to dispatch items. So, you don't want to be caught with your pants down (lol) waiting on them. 

I hope these things are helpful! I get a lot of questions about Asos when I first introduce it to folks. They are a great options when you know how to shop there. So, head on over and get you some pieces! Let me know how it goes!

TGwBH

s.m.A.R.t goals

Sunday evenings are designated for setting goals. In most cases, they're related to everyday things like laundry, cleaning or packing lunch for the week. But in some cases, I actually plan out my fitness goals. This Sunday was one of those days. 

When it comes to fitness, it is important for me to write out S.M.A.R.T goals. For those of you who aren't familiar, the acronym is defined as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. The two hardest for me are attainable and realistic. These areas are always where I seem to go astray. I seem to set these crazy goals that even the most fit person would side eye. "Wake up at 3am every morning this week," "no eating out," "don't step on the scale." Although those things are measurable, they're pretty out of reach at this point in my life.  

It's okay for me to remember that I am easing into this things again and I'm not that slim chick from two years ago that was disciplined enough to set those kind of goals for herself.  

I used to get annoyed when my mom would call herself a realist. I always thought she was so negative. But as I got older, I understood the power of my mother's perspective on things. In situations where I'd normally stress and worry, my mom would be strategic. She had the power to see things just as they were - nothing more and nothing less. Applying this to my weight loss, I have the power to see it for what it is. Right now, I am out of shape. Nothing more and nothing less. So how do I strategically put things into place that help me move forward? Setting goals based on real things. Am I going to wake up and go to the gym every morning this week? No. I won't. But I may get up three times this week. These are realistic goals. These are attainable goals. 

S.M.A.R.T. Goals have helped me to be successful in many areas of my life but fitness is where I find them to be most important. Goal setting helps me to put a plan in action. Planning helps me to succeed. Whoever said, "failing to plan means planning to fail," was talking directly to me.  

Here we go...again. 

TGwBH  

Black Girls Hike, Too!

It started as a post on Facebook shared with my bestfriend about the 12 hiking spots in Maryland that are a must-see. Then, the hashtag happened. I did it as a statement at the end of my obligatory Instagram post after our first hike to prove that we'd actually gone hiking. But then folks were interested and people I hadn't seen since high school were reaching out to me about going hiking. So, we scheduled the next trip. A few people joined us and as we posted the breathtaking view from the top of the Appalachian Mountains, my notifications blew up! 

Sitting on Annapolis Rock after a 2.5 mile uphill trek.  

Sitting on Annapolis Rock after a 2.5 mile uphill trek.  

And then, #BlackGirlsHike was a thing. 

I am here for a good hashtag and a movement. I'm ready to buy t-shirts and copyright and create a facebook page and all of that! So I jumped on google docs and created a quick sign up sheet. The next thing I know, I had over 30 responses. 30 people wanted to join our next trip! So even then, I couldn't believe it. Because, let's be real, people say they wanna do stuff like hike but when it comes down to it, they just want a cool Instagram picture. 

Standing on the side of Dulaney Valley Road waiting for the last few people to get there.  

Standing on the side of Dulaney Valley Road waiting for the last few people to get there.  

So, you can imagine my reaction when 21 women showed up to hike with me this past weekend. TWENTY ONE! I still can't believe it. People brought friends and their friends brought friends. It was phenomenal!

The trail is very narrow in some parts so we found ourselves in a single file line which made for a great picture! 

The trail is very narrow in some parts so we found ourselves in a single file line which made for a great picture! 

We hiked the Merryman Trail at the Loch Raven Reservoir right outside of Baltimore. The site said that the trail would be about 10 miles round trip, however, somehow we found a way to make the trail a circle and ended up only doing 4.5 miles. I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed because I was ready for those 10 miles! But, it was a great hike nonetheless. Being in the woods with 20 other Black women laughing, encouraging and sweating together was better than I imagined it would be.  

Needles to say, I can't wait for the next trip. It'll be hike #4 this summer and I'm hoping that the number of women continues to grow! If you're interested in participating in our hikes, please take a moment to visit the #BlackGirlsHike section of the blog and sign up. Information about the next hike will be going out very soon.  

The end! We made it! This is sans two of our girls but still a great shot!  

The end! We made it! This is sans two of our girls but still a great shot!  

Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures from the hike as the week goes on! Until next time!

TGwBH

Rules to Dating a Millennial Woman

If you follow me on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, it is no secret that I've recently ventured into the online dating world (again). As I attempt to navigate this sector of dating, I realize that there are some pretty common themes in my interaction with men. With that said, I just want to give a little advice to those of you who choose to pursue us Millennial woman. We're not an easy catch!  

1. Don't waste our time. 

Millennials are also known as the "microwave generation." This can be interpreted in a few different ways but my intent here is to demonstrate that we don't like to waste our time. If you're not interested in moving forward in the way that we are, don't even try to pursue anything. No, I don't want a friend. No I don't want a friend with "benefits." These standards could be exclusive to me but my point is, make sure y'all are on the same page. Ain't no use in wasting time. 

2. Make plans.  

Guy: we should meet up.  

Girl: okay! Sure!  

Guy: what do you want to do?  

Pause. This is the exciting part of dating for us. We love going on dates with guys. Especially first dates. There's so much to learn, so much to do, and we LOVE getting pretty! Be creative. Use your imagination...or google, at the least.  

3. ...and keep them.  

There is nothing worse than being stood up. I swear, there was a time where I'd been stood up by three different men in the same week. I didn't understand. Apparently I had, "I don't value my time" written across my forehead.  

If you make plans, please follow through with them. Or at least follow UP. It shows that you're responsible and you respect the other person's time. This is a simple common courtesy. 

4. Be intentional.  

This is kind of in line with #1. Have conversations in the beginning to really feel out what we want. Trust me, we're doing the same for you. With that said, a first date probably shouldn't be to a movie or a concert. Those are terrible places to get to know someone. Quite honestly, being intentional about this dating thing will almost always ensure that all of these other things fall in line. If you want to date someone, make every effort to do just that. 

Until the next dating disaster...

TGwBH  

The Diva Cup: A Review

This post is long overdue. Not because I've been meaning to write it, but because my lazy (and cheap) butt didn't have the time or courage to spend a little bit of my monthly budget on this piece of silicon that, literally, changed my life.  

For my social media friends, you guys know that I spent the week in Cabo during Easter. What you may not know is I spent most of my trip on my cycle.  

Sidebar: my mom hates the word "period." I have become a pro at code switching around her.  

Anyways, because I use an amazing period tracking app (sorry Ma), I knew that in the middle of my trip, Aunt Flo was going to visit. So, a few days before my trip, I did what I had been thinking to do for at least six months: I purchased The Diva Cup

Another social media fact about me: I often poll my Facebook girlfriends about women stuff. Waxing, periods, vaginas, dumb men, etc. I may have posted something related to my menstrual cycle and it started a conversation about The Diva Cup. I was so surprised to find out that many of my friends already use it...and they swear by it!  

I think that it's only right to tell my loyal readers how awesome this thing really is (y'all been riding with me hard, especially since I haven't posted in a while). 

A Few Things You Should Know:

1. You can buy it on Amazon. I think I paid about $27. Which I think is about the same as buying it from a store. Especially since I have Amazon Prime.  

2. It's going to be awkward at first. Folding a small cup and sticking it in your cooch is never something you imagine doing gracefully. It sounds and looks as awkward as it is. But, I can guarantee you will get it after the second or so try. It is VERY easy. I did not expect it to be. 

3. Reviews say it'll be messy the first time you use it but I've never had a more clean period. I have a very heavy flow and often the toilet looks like a crime scene around Day 2 or 3. But, because this thing is so easy to remove, the dump isn't messy at all. You'll def need access to a sink in order to rinse or some really good damp wipes. But it's not as messy as the reviews make it seem.  

4. There will be a liquid-like substance that sits on top of the menstrual blood. This is something that I wish someone would have told me. I wasn't ready. Apparently, it is either plasma from the separation of your menstrual blood or discharge. According to my research, as long as it isn't thick and white, smelly, or itchy, it's normal. But, I'll admit, I was a bit alarmed at first. My cup was completely full but only about a third of it was actually blood. But if what the interwebs are saying is true, the plasma and blood cells have separated in the cup and it's totally normal.   

5. If you have an abnormally heavy flow, you WILL need to change more than twice a day. My period is pretty normal. About 4-5 days with 1 or 2 heavy days. My heavy days are about a 7/8 on a scale from 1-10. I could go about 7-8 hours before I had to change. Don't believe the 12 hour hype on those heavy days.  

6. You WILL leak on the first go round. You have to get use to how to get the suction just right on this thing. If you follow the instructions, you come pretty close so you'll have minimal leakage. I realized that around Day 4, I had figured out what it feels like when the cup is opened all the way inside of me. So that was helpful. You'll figure it out but don't throw out your pads/liners just yet. 

7. You're going to strengthen those kegel muscles in no time. Your diva cup will never get stuck. You may not be able to find it immediately but you'll have to use your kegels to push that bad boy down. For those of you who may not be familiar with the anatomy of your cooch, the kegel muscles are those that support the uterus, bladder, small intestines and rectum. So just push like you're having a bowel movement and you should be able to feel it. 

Bonus: kegel exercises help strengthen those muscles and apparently make for better sex!  

8. Yes, a cup fills with blood and sits inside your vagina until you pull it out. I was talking to my mom about switching and she could not wrap her mind around the idea that this little cup fills with blood and she has to dump it out. If you weren't before, you will become one with yourself VERY quickly. But it feels great! It's very empowering because you begin to understand your body a little more and have a better idea of how much blood you actually lose during your cycle. I think it also helps us to be very aware if something is off; which is extremely important.  

All in all, I am so glad that I've made the switch. It was easy and reliable during my trip to Cabo. I wasn't worried about it, I didn't have any complaints about it, and I highly recommend every woman at least try it. It's worth the 27 dollars.  

Until next time, girls... 

TGwBH  

 

That time Gabi, Jazzy, Dani and Chrissy broke my Internet.

I was all prepared to write something else today. In fact, I was supposed to post it yesterday, but time got the best of me.  

And then, something incredible came across my Instagram timeline. 

Ebony released this month's cover and GabiFresh, Jazmine Sullivan, Danielle Brooks and Chrisette Michele were on it. And not just on it. But they were slathered across the page in different flavors of brown and I'm sure that at the moment that picture was taken the room smelled like flowers and vanilla and maybe even a hint of coconut oil.  

And then my internet broke.  

I think it was just mine. No one else's. Immediately, I began to get text messages, IG and Facebook tags. This picture was literally all up and down my timeline. And I loved every single moment of it.  

Regardless of the #teamfit movement and the countless fat shaming bullies that come along with it, representation still matters to us fat girls. The body positive movement has sort of shifted this idea that only size 2 models are acceptable. But even in that, many times the "plus" models aren't even in double digits yet. There is still work to be done. 

Before I go on, I want to address something. I've started to see many arguments against the BPM that say that body positivity is just an excuse to be fat and that we should be okay with ourselves but not with our fat bodies.  

Let me woo-sah real quick before I go on... 

There is absolutely no reason for you not to love the fat body that you're in. Love the hell out of that body. Because loving your body runs much deeper than your rolls and stretch marks. It's about being patient and kind to yourself. And those things will lead you to a healthier lifestyle - physically, emotionally and mentally. 

Back to this GabiDaniJazzyChrissy mashup on my screen.  

This is big folks. Four beautifully curved women with thighs and booties and hips and melanin in their skin. I almost wished they released this in February. With the epic Black History Month we had it would have put the icing on the cake. But I'm okay with it being the cover for Women's History Month. 'Cause all this black girl magic on my screen...I just can't. 

When I see this picture, I think about the chunky 8th grader who is struggling with herself. Struggling to have the confidence to just be; no matter what shape or size she is. And then I picture her seeing this picture on the cover of a magazine at the grocery store and just in one look is empowered to have the confidence necessary to be herself - whatever that means to her.  

When Chrisette Michele posted the picture her caption said, "Our bodies occur to other people more than they occur to us and sometimes we have to stop and sit and talk about them. " If only that were true for everyone. She goes on to say that we should just celebrate beauty and not curves. Chrissy, baby, I'm not gonna agree with you there. We should celebrate the HELL out of curves. Especially, the ones on the front cover of Ebony magazine this month! 

TGwBH

Hair Share: Wash N Go (For Real)

I remember I was going through one of my favorite hair vloggers channel on YouTube and swooning over the hairstyles she managed to do with her naturally curly mane. I was in awe. I've always been able to do my hair but sometimes I lack creativity when it comes to styling my sometimes unruly curls. 

Anyway, I stumbled on a "wash n go" tutorial. Now, for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, a wash n go is simply washing your hair and letting it dry in whatever state it is in without styling. This was a new term for me because it's what I've been doing since I cut all of the relaxer from my hair 7 years ago. 

So, because I was in love with this girls curls and I was curious, I clicked her wash n go tutorial and watched. To make a long story short, she wrapped each curl around her gel drenched finger until it was a perfect little coil and twenty minutes later she had a "wash n go."  

I scoffed at the video when it was done and said, "this ain't no wash n go! Who has time for that?!" I wanted to make a video that showed a true wash n go and shared some of the products that I use. That tends to be the first question I get about my hair.

So check it out and let me know what you guys think!  

TGwBH

How's 2016 going so far?

I had to ask myself this question this morning. We are 7 days into this new year and I haven't lost 100 pounds, I don't have thousands of dollars saved up and I have not received a promotion at work. What the hell is going on?!  

No, but seriously, I had a moment of reflection this morning as I opened my notes app on my phone and jotted down another lesson that I've learned this year, so far. 2016 seems to be (already) a year of growth for me. Like, growing up growth. Like "put away childish things" growth. Hard to believe that, in some ways, I'm still living like a teenager! Trust me, not an easy pill to swallow - at all. But one that needed to be ingested and digested.  

At 28 years of age, there is no reason why my bank account should EVER be in the negative. Insufficient fund fees are so 2005. Financial responsibility isn't something that I should be prioritizing at this point in my life. It should already be a thing. But - it isn't. So now, as I run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to make ends meet, I'm literally digging myself out of a hole in order to begin to save and pay bills on time. How ridiculous is that? 1st lesson learned. 

As a teenager, I remember dreading the moment when my mom would knock on (or bust in) my bedroom door. I remember thinking, "ugh, I swear I don't feel like hearing her fuss about cleaning my room." Over ten years later, and I still have this feeling when I think about my apartment. My mom has been to my spot maybe four times in the two years I've lived here. Yet, I still have these feelings when I think about my apartment. Why? Because I am still living like I'm 15 years old. 

Dont get me wrong, I'm not a nasty person. I just don't like doing laundry or dishes. But who does?! Too often my bedroom closet is overflowing with laundry that needs to be washed and my kitchen sink (although the dishwasher is, literally, RIGHT THERE) needs to be emptied. There's no reason that, when it comes to cleaning, I regress to the lazy 15 year old who's okay with living in chaos. 2nd lesson learned. 

Its hard to believe that I have been out of undergrad for six years! You would think that I'd start taking my career a little more seriously, huh? Yea...no. When I came to this realization (literally, days ago), it was a rough blow to the gut. I'm almost 30 years old and I've never been promoted in any position. The heck?! 

"Bosses don't do just enough. They go beyond what is expected of them," are the words I wrote in my notes app just days ago and have been echoing in the back of my mind everyday of this week. How can anyone expect to be handed a promotion or a raise based on doing JUST their job. In order to be a boss, you've got to start thinking like one. My mom told me this and it resonates in me now more than ever. 3rd lesson learned. 

Do I say all of this to say that I'm beating myself up? Nah. I'm definitely not beating myself up. I'm just accepting what is real and true about myself. That's the only way to change anything right? We'll never lose weight if we don't first accept the fact that we NEED to, right?  

Im glad that I'm experiencing these moments of introspection and gut punches (lol). Without them, I'd remain the same. I'd be in denial for the rest of my life and end up 45 living life like I'm 21. No Bueno.  

TGwBH 

One Word Challenge

Many people who know me know that I am highly motivated by a fresh start. If I say I'm going to start something at the beginning of a week or the beginning of a month then I mean it. So, it is no surprise that New Year's Day is my favorite holiday. Every year I am refreshed an renewed at the beginning of the year and its an exciting thing to anticipate.

A friend of mine posted about this One Word Challenge on his Instagram account a few days ago. In essence, each new year, you choose 1 word to sum up your goal for the year. What I love about this is that its simple. A very streamlined version of your traditional new year's resolutions. 

I'm not one of those people who knocks anyone for setting new year's resolutions or claiming a "new year, new me" mantra. I encourage it. I know how hard setting goals and actually sticking to them is. That's why I'm all about this One Word thing. 

The ultimate goal in this challenge is to find a word that can be used to guide every decision that you make in your life. This is good stuff man! So here are the rules according to @eazydoesit3:

  1. It can only be ONE word. No more.
  2. The word must be an action verb. Yes, I know most verbs are action verbs but try to challenge yourself. Words like "live" can be too easy. Try to break down your goal to a very specific action word.
  3. Make it something that's easy to remember. Write it down somewhere visible.
  4. It should be able to be applied to several areas of your life. 

I started off with thinking about my goals for each area of my life. I want to get a promotion this year, I want to lose 50 lbs this year,  I want to travel more, I want my finances to be in order. And after I had those in my mind, I thought to myself, what is it going to take for me to get there? A plan. 

Plan.

That's my word. Plan. It can be spread out over each goal. It is absolutely an action verb that is going to require tangible evidence that I actually DID something and I can use it to guide my decision making in the new year. Its perfect for me and as soon as I came up with it, I was instantly motivated to get ish done. 

I encourage everyone to be down with the One Word Challenge. Take some time before the new year to narrow down your goals and aspirations for the new year. Let me know how it goes! In the meantime, be fabulous and have a happy new year!

TGwBH

That time I made the first move with a guy...and got rejected.

I was reminded, today, of a time (maybe about two or three years ago) when I found myself crushing on this dude - real hard. Looking at social media pictures all the time, feeling all giddy when he liked my posts, writing flirty captions. It was a mess, lol. I was crushing something serious. So, one day, I decided to step COMPLETELY outside of my box and message him. And it went a lil' something like this...

Me: Hey, I've peeped you for some time. Not sure if you're in a relationship or not (please forgive me if you are) but I would really like to get to know you. 
Him: [Ego pumped up real extra] I think you're cute but nah...
The end.

Okay, maybe he didn't say it like that, but that's what I heard, lol. He actually said something with a little more finesse than that. But that was the gist. I'll be honest, I wasn't as crushed as I expected to be. I felt more stupid than anything. Like, ugh, Firenza. You stepped outside of your box and did this completely non-traditional thing and were rejected. I thought to myself, "that'll be the last time you do that."

As small as that incident was, I wonder how much it really does limit me. I mean, imagine all of the amazing guys that may have been like, "its crazy because I've been thinking the same thing about you." The many dope conversations I could have. The great people I could meet. Rejection scares me. I think we're all afraid of it in some way. It is those people, who do not allow their fear of rejection to paralyze them, that experience life in some of the most beautiful ways. 

#LifeLessonfromDating

TGwBH