Solange and Yara’s BET Acceptance Speech

Two more honorees from last nights BET awards that I absolutely ADORE were Solange and Yara Shahidi. Cranes in The Sky was definitely a BANGER and so worthy of the award. I love how Solange has carved a lane for her creativity outside of the shadows of Beyonce as we’ve seen historically that it’s difficult to do when you have a sibling who is a mega star. I can only think of one younger sibling who successfully carved their own niche musically and wasn’t constantly compared to their sibling and that was Janet Jackson.

And my admiration for Yara is due to the fact that my daughters have a young girl who is intelligent to watch  who looks like them and isn’t controversial. I absolutely loved her acceptance speech and I love watching Black-ish with my girls.

Chance the Rapper’s Humanitarian Award

I’m not really into who’s who in the new era of Rap music but I have heard of Chance the Rapper primarily for his extraordinary contribution and charity work. He donated $1 million to Chicago’s public schools and he’s also raised another $2.2 million additional funds and have announced his plan to bring arts programs with his Chance Arts and Literature Fund for Chicago’s public schools.  All his hard work and efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and last night Chance was awarded the BET Humanitarian Award and surprised with a video from Michelle Obama who congratulated Chance for his unwavering support of Chicago’s youth. During the former first lady’s speech she noted that she and Barack have known Chance’s family for years as both families are from Chicago.

How great a feeling it must be to make such an impact at such a young age. In his acceptance speech Chance highlighted that he’s only 24 years old and he has no plans of stopping.  Congrats to him and his family who must be beaming with pride right now.

The Curry’s and Father’s Day

I’m not a sports fan but I did watch the final 4 minutes of the Playoff’s last night to see if the Golden State Warriors would win this year and I went to sleep happy. I remember last year believing it was all in the bag and then The Cavalier’s came back from a 3 game loss and took the ring. At least that’s what I recall but I may be wrong because again… I only watch the last few minutes of the last game to see who wins and I only care because I like the Curry family. I’ve always thought Steph seems to be a real great husband and father and I love Ayesha too. However the biggest star and the reason I have any interest at all is due to little Riley. Riley is sooo full of life every time she’s on screen I get a kick out of her and I love how close knit all of the in-laws appear to be as well. Just a great overall happy family and that’s a beautiful thing. Winning the Playoff’s is definitely a great way to start out Father’s Day for Steph.

Father’s day is coming up in a few days and I have absolutely no clue what to buy my husband so I’ll stick with the usual… clothes!  The weather here in NJ is finally starting to change after a long stint of cooler temperatures and my husband absolutely hates shopping for clothes so I do what I do best and that’s shop away. He needs some summer outfits and my youngest daughter would kill me if she didn’t have anything to give her dad so I hit the internet for some summer slides, sneakers, shorts and shirts. 3 whole new outfits to be exact and I made sure to try to get him casual stuff that will carry over to next year. We’ll see how that goes over plus I may book a weekend little overnight stay somewhere to get out the house. That’s usually my next go to hitter. LOL Hope your weekend is great and happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there.

Teen Vogue’s Editor Elaine Welteroth Leading By Example

I must admit that I definitely LOVE to see women shatter ceilings and excelling in their careers but I definitely cheer on women of color who shatter glass ceilings. I know first hand how difficult it could be in corporate America for a woman of color. I especially love to see any woman standing up to the establishment and not conforming to what’s expected of her so when I read in Page Six that Teen Vogue’s editor Elaine Welteroth decided to skip the Met Gala and attended an event labeled “Not the Met” I was immediately interested in discovering more about Ms. Welteroth. The Met is definitely an event full of what should be considered her peers especially being that it’s thrown by her colleague Anna Wintour of Vogue fame. I would definitely consider the two magazines sister brands with different demographics but sisters none the less.  One however is leading the way on highlighting social issues that will shape our tomorrow.

After doing a bit of digging online it became clear that Ms. Weltroth is indeed paving a path of her own which includes revamping the image of  Teen Vogue to include more socially conscious topics and stories that include more women of color. The magazine recently posted a piece on how to avoid Cultural Appropriation at Coachella which highlights the sensitivity that people feel when they see elements of their culture exploited and distorted in the form of a fashionable trend and then discarded. (You may read the article here: coachella-cultural-appropriation)

Teen Vogue is taking the lead in spearheading the change in mindset of teen girls. They are definitely doing their part in planting the activism seed within our youth so they are aware of how their actions and voice impacts our nation and social climate. Teen Vogue is definitely inspiring teens to be the change they want to see in life. Below is a clip from Teen Vogue’s YouTube channel where they address a multitude of cultural topics as well as the traditional fashion and pop-culture, spreading awareness to issues that plague the nation currently. Personally I applaud their effort and I’m personally inspired by the evolution of Teen Vogue and Elaine Welteroth.

Adrienne and Naturi hash out old beef

Naturi Naughton made an appearance on The Real and Adrienne Houghton apologized to her for their 3LW hostile past relationship. Being that the girls are from NJ it was definitely news worthy back then when the drama occurred during which Naturi claimed that she was constantly bullied to the point where she left the group because she felt they were hostile because she was the darker skinned member. She also claimed that she had a physical altercation with Kiely the other member of the group and that both Kiely and Adrienne would call her names and although she didn’t go into details during her present day interview, there are definitely tapes of her addressing the accusations back then. You can hear the full Wendy Williams interview below.

Well the current version is all water under the bridge for them but it did ultimately lead to 3LW dismantling and the remaining 2 becoming the Cheetah Girls for Disney but we can all agree that Naturi definitely landed on her feet in recent years. All hard works pays off because her character Tasha on the hit show Power which airs on Starz will further her career. She is now happy, pregnant and she recently purchased a $1million dollar apartment in NYC which is a big deal.

What do you think? Is it all water under the bridge or did you feel the tension through the screen?

Here’s the original radio interview from Wendy’s radio show on WBLS.

Acne and Your Body

ACNE AND YOUR BODY

Were you aware that your acne are indications of what you’re lacking internal within your body and potential health issues? I know I wasn’t and I have struggled with acne most of my life. I was an early bloomer and acne came early for me due to puberty and I’ve always been told that it was a phase most teenagers experienced that would eventually pass but for me the passing part never happen. I still have occasional black heads and breakouts that are very apparent to me but goes unnoticed by my friends. I’m often told “well I don’t see your bad skin” and that may be due to the fact that the breakouts are less frequent now due to the changes in my lifestyle but the scars remain and trying to combat scaring due to acne is a battle within itself.

Skincare is a very lucrative industry but what I’ve found is that expensive creams and potions rarely worked for my skin or they would work for a while then stop so I’ve reduced my regimen to include the basics and have changed my eating habits and it’s surprisingly has worked wonders. Your skin is definitely a reflection of what’s going on internally and if you take the time to learn what it’s telling you then you’ll not only have radiant skin but can improve your overall health as well.

I’ve always been told by dermatologist that the sun is the devil when it comes to skin but ironically sun helps me out the most! I’ve read that if you’re vitamin D deficient then this can cause acne and it’s very true with me. I actually stumbled upon this resolution a few years ago when I was spending a lot of time in the sun at the beach and noticed that my acne had disappeared and my acne scars were clearing too. In addition around the same time, I started drinking tons of water due to an increase in exercise and the combination of the two all but eliminated my acne. It was amazing and completely free after spending too much money visiting my dermatologist who tried to sell me products. I went to a well known doctor too who has been featured in tons of magazines and she totally ripped me off by increasing my bill with stuff I didn’t need but I’m guessing she received incentives for products she sold because she tried to sell me everything!
The more that I looked into solutions on my skin the more I realized that our skin problems were more like a discovery map which pretty much tells you what’s going on internally within your body. It’s actually quite accurate and again it’s completely free. No need to see a doctor and spend money when all you really need to do is to listen to what your body is telling you and no doctor alive is more familiar with your body than you. The simplest thing you can do is to get out a mirror and look at you skin. It can save you money and make you healthier in the long run.
1: Kidneys — The skin around your eyes are directly linked to the health of your kidneys. If the kidneys are not getting enough water then they are not functioning optimally. Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake because you’re dehydrated. Dehydration also leads to under eye circles.
 
2: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Pay close attention to your alcohol intake because you may be consuming too much and it’s showing up on your T-zone.  Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.
Also your nose is linked to your heart. Any swelling can be a sign of high blood pressure and it may even be caused by to many energy drinks which get the heart racing. It may be time to cut back.
3: Respiratory  — This area is broken into two separate zones. Break outs on upper cheeks can be due to bacteria from your cell phone or dirty surfaces such as pillows which haven’t been washed. Also a hot spot for allergens so cut down on sugar and go for a brisk walk getting fresh air.
Lower cheek area is due to dental hygiene health. Floss and improve your oral health. It may be time to see a dental hygienist for a gum cleansing.
 
4: Digestion  — Another part of your T-zone. Again drink lots of water and cut back on your caffeine. Try green tea instead.
5: Stomach and small intestine — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and dairy. Look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.
Hormonal changes also tend to show up around the mouth area — This is the signature zone for stress hormone fluctuation. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and increasing your vitamin and mineral intake. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Confidence is the most attractive quality within a person

If you’re not your own biggest fan then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Self love is the absolute best thing you can ever do for yourself. When you love yourself it radiates outwards and people see it. Some describe it as vanity but don’t get it twisted… self love and being self absorbed are two different things entirely. When one is self absorbed they find it impossible to be happy for others and requires limitless praise from others. Where as self love is all about how deeply you love yourself and it dictates what you’ll accept from those who you share your time and there is a difference. When you have abundance of self-love you require those who you share your life with to treat you in a certain manner.  You respect yourself, you give respect and will expect nothing less. You have no problem celebrating others accomplishments because you know blessings are abundant. When you completely love yourself you don’t allow others to degrade or belittle you because you know your self worth and at your core you won’t be able to tolerate it. Have you ever heard someone say that the most attractive quality a person can have is CONFIDENCE? Well it’s true and there are a lot of factors that go into building that confidence level within yourself. Also if you’re not confident in your own skin and actions, no one else will be either which goes hand in hand with how people treat you.

What if I told you that your life was a creation of your own mind and that it was all an illusion that you controlled? If you knew that to be true you would immediately start down a new path and do things differently. Well to be honest, your life is completely up to you and all things in it are a part of your control and if you love yourself  you will treat yourself, your time and others with love and respect. It’s entirely that simple! The trick is to have the confidence that radiates from within to accomplish all that you wish.

Speaking of wishes, we all have things we wish to improve upon. Growth is the core objective in this life we live and we should all be in a constant state of growth and loving yourself leads you to nurture your mind, body and spirit so that you’re growing. I love myself! I’ve worked hard to nurture myself to live the life I live today with the people that I constantly surround myself with. I prune my own weeds so that my garden is healthy. What do I mean by that exactly? Let’s explore simple ways to build your self-confidence so that you can love and be loved abundantly.


EXERCISE and FOOD

There is an awakening of the spirit that is spreading like wild flowers and we see it in little ways daily. We see more people en-tune with getting their outward appearances together with the rise of all these exercise gyms and personal trainers but outward appearance is only part of the equation but it is necessary.  Exercise your body to ensure that it’s running optimally. Take the time to stretch your muscles and spend at least 30 minutes a day, if not more doing some form of exercise. Exercise not only benefits your body but it also releases endorphin’s which make you feel your very best. Include some form of weights so that your building muscle and toning your body as well.

However exercise alone doesn’t cut it and you’ll also need to watch what you’re putting into your body because we all know that it’s easier to eat junk then to eat healthy but you are what you eat. There is a popular tech phrase that says garbage in garbage out which basically means in the world of programming, if your system is full of garbage then you’ll get garbage out and the system is useless. The same goes for your body.  If you’re constantly feeding yourself junk then you’ll feel like junk therefore the easiest way to achieve lasting results is to start out with subtle changes. Increase your water intake, eat fiber and vegetables primarily and stay away from anything that is super easy and ready within minutes like Cup of Noodle and cereal. Try to change up gradually at first and within time you’ll crave less and less of the junk. You can’t have a clear mind if your body is clogged.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Take a new course or listen to something you normally wouldn’t on YouTube. Find a new hobby and practice it to improve your skills. There are countless new things to explore and lessons to be learned and there are free mini lessons available online in everything. Every where you turn online, someone is  offering tidbits of information with hopes that you’ll make a big ticket purchase later. Take advantage of the access we have readily available and those freebies and use any down time to try to learn from what’s free. Not only will you learn a new skill you’re also learning to appreciate the time you spend with yourself simultaneously. The more comfortable you are in your own company, the more confident you become within your own skin. The two really are related and you’ll grow to appreciate those solitary moments.

WRITE and MEDITATE

To grow in mind and spirit you must first learn what you don’t know about yourself. A great way to learn about how you think is to write your thoughts down on paper. Periodically go back and read your own thoughts so that you can do what comes naturally and that’s form opinions about the person you’re examining which in this case happens to be yourself. I guarantee you’ll learn new things about yourself and you’ll grow from it.

Meditation is used for you to silence yourself and listen. You will also learn about yourself and your comfort levels from listening to your inner guide. It may sound silly but we all have a inner guide that tells us exactly what to do that is right for us but throughout time we teach ourselves to drown out that voice and our actions are guided by impulses instead which is wrong. Meditation will lead to better control of our impulses and in turn better self control. If your inner self is centered and balanced the influences from outer experiences will not allow the disruption and will fight against whatever it is that’s trying to cause the imbalance. You’ll immediately be able to better identify the right people who belong in your life and you’ll be better equipped when making decisions that will lead you to a better tomorrow.

Billboard Awards Fashion

Happy Monday folks! Hope your weekend was well. Did you catch the Billboard Music Awards over the weekend? I did not but I did catch the fashion recap and I was not impressed. I know the Billboard Awards are laid back but the fashion to me looked beyond drab! Only a few outfits were cute but only two were costume worthy and they were worn by Dencia and Nicki. Dencia is a woman who is famous for face bleaching cream but I guess she’s trying to work her way into the American market. Ummmm Okay! Also we have Nicki who always has an award show ready dress on stand by and her body is the business but this dress didn’t really do much to accentuate the body to the fullest but still they’re both mention worthy and looks like what you want to see at a music award show in my opinion.

As for looks that I did like there were a few but these were very bland and Saturday dinner soiree-ish. I liked Nicole and Kate’s dresses the best and of the two Nicole would shut it down on any average day but the color didn’t WOW on the pink carpet. However if the dress were red it would be a HIT. Anyway… the girls were out and the form was BOMB but the dress was not Billboard bomb but day party bomb with the flesh tone color but still none the less CUTE!!!

            Kate Beckinsale                                                                        Nicole Schwerzinger

Wendy had a segment on her show specifically to cover the fashion on the awards. Check it out below if you haven’t already seen it. The kicker for me is when Robert Verdi mentioned Newark Halsey Street… I’m a NJ girl born and raised and I love it when NJ natives reference dirty Jerz!


Secret to Younger Looking Skin

For as long as I could remember I’ve struggled with acne but since my skin care regime has changed, I’ve noticed fewer (if any) breakouts. If you only change one thing this year I highly suggest it be to start cleansing your face with cleansing oil. It’s really does work wonders. My daughter worked an overnight shift at her job and I went to pick her up in the morning when her shift ended so that she wouldn’t fall asleep behind the wheel and her co-workers told her that her sister was there to pick her up. She followed up with “that’s my mom” and I was all types of hyped (LOL). There is really little you can do to slow aging but if you search and read up on people who currently use the oil cleansing method to cleanse their skin, they all have the same reoccurring theme and it’s that they tend to not look their age.

I will admit though if you’re use to washing your face with soap or some other type of cleansing agent then the change will be hard to get used to at first. You’ll feel like you’ll need to do more and follow up with something else but after that initial feeling has passed, you’re skin adjusts to the new routine and you’ll start to see results. I’ve included a few brands that you can find locally priced under $12 which can be found at most stores like Target and Walmart. From the list I must admit I’ve only used the Garnier brand in the past but here’s another little tip… you can make your own and it’s super easy!!!! It’s also great for men as well and women who shave their bikini line. Especially if you’re prone to razor bumps.


To begin start by rubbing the oil into dry skin and letting it sit for a few minutes.  

Do not wet skin prior to applying the oil! After letting it sit, take a warm wet cloth and rub it off. I prefer to get into the shower and letting the steam hit my skin then taking a warm washcloth and wiping it off.

Oil Cleansing Method Recipe for Skin

50 % Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

30% Hemp seed Oil

20% Sunflower Oil

To test the method try one of the oils alone for starters if you don’t want to spend a lot of money to combine oils. Most people already have an extra virgin olive oil in their pantry so I would start there. Initially your skin may react with breakouts BUT it will subdue within a week or so and your skin will glow. Remember I’ve struggled with acne since early puberty and I mean it’s been a constant in my life since early childhood but now I rarely see any bumps. I tend to breakout with some form of cystic acne right before my cycle begins and I haven’t experienced it at all since beginning this regime and that’s never happen. EVER!! I had acne before I even knew what the hell acne was. Puberty came early for me and red cystic bumps that left scars have been an issue ever since. I’ve tried everything from expensive creams and soaps to chemical peels but I’ve never had the constant results that I now have and all I’ve done is to switch up the way I clean my face. I also get bumps on the top of my back which tend to leave scars and I use the oil cleansing method for my chest and back as well and it works. The only other product that I use on my face currently is an SPF sun screen moisturizer by Lancome because it doesn’t leave the white residue from the sun screen and those are the only two things I use in my skin care regime.

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