Monday, June 29, 2020

Hopeful Motivation

The past few months have been a total nightmare for most Americans, and people around the world. However Black people have been in a nightmare for the last few centuries. The Black Lives Matter Movement, the civil uprising and protests around the world is not new to us. Maybe new on this level but not new. We have been fighting this fight since the beginning of time. However, the solidarity, the out-spoken approach, and ongoing movement beyond just a few days or a week is relatively new for this generation ... millennial‘s and younger. I have experienced more awkward and uncomfortable conversations with non-black friends, coworkers, and strangers over the past few weeks than ever before. You see, I have gone to protests, been speaking out about injustices and fighting the fight for equality. But these conversations are a first. To me, that’s a good sign. It’s a hopeful sign. A sign that people that don’t look like me are potentially ready to have real conversations and enact real change. Do I know for certain that effective and lasting changes are on the horizon, of course not. I’m sure Martin Luther King was hopeful, I’m sure Malcolm X was hopeful, I’m sure Frederick Douglass was hopeful, I’m sure Harriet Tubman was hopeful and I’m sure many others before us were hopeful. Many have asked me what they can do to best help the cause and I don’t have the full answers to that either. But what I do know is that if you do one thing that’s better than doing nothing. So whatever you can do, like Nike...just do it.

1. Vote.
2. Encourage others to vote.
3. Have awkward conversations w/ non-Black people.
4. Protest.
5. Sign petitions.
6. Donate.
7. Call and write local officials.
8. Post on social media.
9. Educate yourself.
10. Teach the next generation.

A few weeks ago I experienced my first visit to the newly established Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC and it was uplifting and rewarding to my soul. If you have the opportunity to visit one of these BLM plazas, streets, boulevards, parks, benches, murals, etc around the country please go and pray, meditate, talk to our ancestors and gather encouragement to continue the fight. We are not even at the halfway mark of a long road ahead. So let’s keep going and remember Black Lives Matter!

 






Thursday, May 21, 2020

Body Buzz - My 10 Secrets

So, I did a thing called lose weight. I don’t often publicly discuss my weight loss journey because I have not, nor will I ever be done working on my mind and body. You see, some people have 10, 15, 20 pounds to lose, others are trying to drop an entire person (sometimes 100 lb. or more). Granted both goals are challenging, but for those of us who are attempting to drop weight that takes months or even years to lose, we have to make serious lifestyle changes. Even once you’ve reached your goal, you have to continue to live the new life. A life that you likely didn’t live for the first 30, 40, 50 years of your existence therefore the possibilities to backslide and revert to familiarity are always lurking. It’s a lifetime commitment and if you’ve struggled with your weight since the beginning of time than you know the battle is real, the struggle is overwhelming and the drive to keep going is necessary. The reason I am finally writing this post comes on the tale-end of a casual picture that I recently shared on social media which sparked a little buzz to say the least. I received an array of calls, texts, DM’s, etc. all asking the million dollar question ... “how did you lose weight?” No I didn’t get surgery, no I didn’t do a fad diet, and no it didn’t happen over night (in fact, I’ve consistently been on this journey for over three years now). So, here’s the tea on how I have managed to lose over 50 pounds. Wait, were you looking for the quick and dirty version? If so ... I ate healthy and I exercised...lol.  Seriously though...it was that basic! However, for those who want the play by play, here are the deets.
  1. I eat a high protein breakfast ... eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, veggie sausage, turkey bacon, etc.
  2. I keep lunch light because dinner is my favorite meal of the day ... turkey sandwich, tuna and crackers, salad w/ grilled chicken and light dressing, etc. 
  3. For dinner I go heavy on the protein and veggies w/ little to no carbs ... steak, half of a baked sweet potato and greens; turkey burger and Caesar salad with light dressing; baked chicken and string beans; salmon and broccoli; etc. 
  4. I definitely snack as well, but I try to stick to the recommended serving size ... a piece of fruit, tortilla chips and salsa, hummus and carrots, ranch and celery, ice cream in a portion controlled cup, cookies, etc. 
  5. Additionally I meal prep on Sundays so that I avoid eating bad when I’m starving or pressed for time. 
  6. I avoid sugary drinks by only drinking water except a glass of wine a few times a week :). I was also recently introduced to a low calorie / low carb hard seltzer, TRULY, which is my new jam.  
  7. I limit eating out to twice a week, usually on the weekends which is also good for your pocketbook. 
  8. I track my calories in My Fitness Pal which is a great tool that I first recommended here on the blog back in 2012. I've sporadically used the app for years but have been consistent now for about six months. 
  9. I weigh myself once a week, on the same day of the week and typically first thing in the morning.  FYI, weighing yourself daily will likely drive you insane. By the way, I invested in a smart scale which I'm loving. 
  10. And last but certainly not least, I exercise 25 - 30 min. per day. I usually do an aerobic workout that I find on YouTube. My favorite videos are by Team Body Project.
Obviously every human body is different so this may not work for you but hopefully some of the things that have helped me in my journey will help you in your journey.

Then and Now

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Celebrations NOT Cancelled

You might be just as surprised to hear, as I am to admit, that my quarantine birthday was actually fun! Just as I planned, I hosted a virtual happy hour that was attended by many of my friends.  Several cousins and family friends also stopped by to surprise me! You know the virtual turn-up was real when people leave the party tipsy and/or wake up with hangovers. We listened to music, we danced, we played games, shared stories and laughed a lot. It was good for the soul and exactly what I needed. I also had a parking lot dinner date with two of my closest friends. They treated me to Thai Food since we were supposed to be in Thailand for my birthday. We also jammed out to T-Pain and Lil Jon’s DJ battle on Instagram Live. I'm thankful for everyone who helped make the day special from gifts and cards to text and calls! One of the ways that I made the day special was by simply dressing up. Yes, that’s right, I got fully dressed to sit in my living room on day one and to sit in my car on day two. LOL! Dressing up is me. I refused to let coronavirus fully change what I would normally do on my birthday. I always get dolled up, wear a cute dress, do my hair, put on make up and eat good :) ... so that is exactly what I did. And, when you look good you feel good. And on my birthday I felt great. So here’s how I kept it cute, yet frugally fly for my B-day.

Forest Green Off the Shoulder Midi Dress from Rainbow - $10
Shades of Pink Floral Headband from Amazon - $10
No shoes ... LOL!

Pink Crop Top Sweater from H&M - $5
Floral Wide Leg Pants from Gordmans - $10
Blue Pointed Toe Shoes from Rainbow - 10

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When Shopping Was Still A Thing

This is my first blog post since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the United States. And I want my BBB Think Divas to know that I am thinking of you all and hope that you are safe and well. These are trying times for many reasons. We are worried about our loved ones. We are sick of staying in the house. Others may actually be sick due to coronavirus (prayers up). Stores are closed, restaurants are closed, nail shops and beauty salons are closed. Essentially you’re learning to love yourself, your house, and your health. I have taken the time to reflect, write, read, create and clean. Lol! I miss my friends and family. Times like this definitely make me wish I did not live alone. However, I have been blessed to FaceTime loved ones over the past two weeks. Participate in video conference calls with co-workers. And even turn-up virtual through Zoom happy hours. So thank God for technology! Unfortunately one of the saddest things for me through this whole ordeal is the realization that my 35th birthday is ruined (yes, I said in my 5 year old whining voice). I was originally scheduled to celebrate in Thailand with five of my girlfriends and that trip got canceled due to the coronavirus, of course. Then I planned a birthday dinner which also got canceled due to the coronavirus, of course. Now I am down to operation celebrate b-day plan “C.” So I am hosting a virtual game-night. As well as linking up with friends for a parking lot dinner date in which we eat in our individual cars and talk through rolled down windows, LOL (hopefully the weather is nice). It will not the celebration that I had hoped for but I am blessed to be healthy and looking at 35 in less than a week. However in the meantime let me show you some of the birthday outfits that made the short lists a few weeks back before the ship had sailed.

Stay Safe...Stay Healthy...Stay Blessed...Stay Home

One and Only

One and Only 

Fashion to Figure

Fashion to Figure

Monday, February 10, 2020

Curvy Crew

In my Beyonce voice ... All the curvy ladies, all the curvy ladies, all the curvy ladies, put your hands! Last night was the 92nd Academy Awards and as always it was a great night for the fashion lovers of the world. Gowns were stunning, hair was flawless, faces were beat to the GODS! The glam was in full effect and I enjoyed every minute of it. As for most awards shows the curvy ladies are few and far between but that's okay. I will celebrate those that were in attendance and praise their beauty. So, S/O to all the beautiful women that graced the red carpet last night but a special S/O goes to these three Big Bold and Beautiful ladies.

Beanie Feldstein

Chrissy Metz

Rebel Wilson

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Good Riddance 2019

This is my first blog post of 2020 and although I would love to give a prolific and thought-provoking farewell to 2019 the best I've come up with is "GOOD RIDDANCE." I probably sound a little salty, if so, it's with good reason. I had knee surgery two weeks after Memorial Day. I spent the entire summer in an area in Virginia that's so rural Uber Eats doesn't exist. I did not walk or stand for six weeks, so needless to say going to the bathroom alone was a chore. No, I was not sad to see 2019 exit stage left. Although I have extremely high hopes for 2020, I'm trying to manage my expectations accordingly because I also had hella high hopes for 2019 and you see how that turned out. Ok, now that I've got my Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy part of this post out of the way, now on to the Positive Perfect Polly side. Although I would love to say that nothing great came out of 2019 because I'm clearly harping on the darkest moments of the year, I would be totally lying. I recognize that I have tons of horrible memories from 2019 but I have to acknowledge that I also have lots of wonderful memories as well. So, here's my Best 9 of 2019:

  1. Spent Two Months of Invaluable Time Living with my Mom and Grandma
  2. Successfully Survived Knee Surgery and Six Months of Therapy
  3. Invited to Join the Women in Cable and Telecommunications Board of Directors
  4. Designed and Began Furnishing My Home Office and Dressing Room
  5. Executed a Soft Launch of Clutch Queen Style Servicing
  6. Traveled to Colombia, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Nashville, Detroit and Miami
  7. Lost an Additional 20 Pounds (Down 45 Total Pounds!!!!!!)
  8. Developed a Financial Plan and Met Financial Goals 
  9. Started Journaling, Reading Scriptures and Praying More Often 
Oh and if you're wondering why I didn't ask your opinion on my News Year's Eve Dress or get dolled up and post a fancy pic ... well, because I didn't go to a party this year. I went to church (the service was excellent) and had a small gathering at my house for a few of my single girlfriends. It was the perfect way to end the year. So Happy New Year ... here are the pics and videos!!!