health · life curation · Uncategorized · words of wisdom

A Graceful Ending

I wonder if the world’s population has ever been as ready for a year’s ending as we are right now. 2020 has been a momentous year: devastating at times, solemn at other times, and tremendously unpredictable throughout. There seems to be a collective desire to close this chapter and move cheerfully into the next.

While I am as eager as everyone else to end the year and turn the page, I am cautious to give this year end the graceful closure it deserves. If there is nothing else that can be said about 2020, it should be noted that this year has been highly instructive. I want to share some of the lessons that I learned in 2020.

Patience – I had to learn to be patient when it comes to my travel desires, as well as being patient as everyone around me adjusts to a “new normal”. Funny enough, I have always found it easier to be patient with other people than with myself. So when I occasionally get frustrated with myself (I’ve set multiple deadlines that I ended up having to adjust later), I try to remember to show myself a little bit of the patience that I usually reserve for others.

Love – I had high hopes for meeting a life partner this year. And while I did meet some interesting suitors, I didn’t find the romantic love that I desired. I did, however, experience an abundance of love in my life, in the form of family and friends that have been incredibly supportive and caring this year. I learned to look for authentic love in all its forms, and I wasn’t disappointed with what I found. I did not lack for love in 2020, and that was such a blessing.

Gratitude – As I expressed earlier this week, I am thankful for the fact that most of my family and friends were all healthy and happy this year. I am thankful for platforms like Zoom that made it possible for us to stay in contact while staying safe. I am thankful for having a beautiful home to quarantine in, within a safe and welcoming neighborhood. I honestly have so much to be grateful for, and I try my best to stay in the energy of gratitude.

Slow down – One of my key traits in years prior was to stay in constant motion. I loved to always have a project, or trip, or activity, to keep me occupied. This year has forced me to slow down in unexpected ways. I couldn’t just run to my favorite hangout spots: I actually had to stay home and learn to entertain myself in different ways. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m an introvert, so staying home wasn’t hard. But I was forced to really examine my life, resulting in the decision to slow down and really enjoy the small things.

Rest – I previously had the motto, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. I’m fortunate to have matured from this point of view, and now I value my sleep. What my body has needed this year has been intense self care, with sleep being a centerpiece of my care routine. So much of my health improvements has depended heavily upon my commitment to rest and restoration.

In conclusion, this is my way of blessing 2020 as I move forward to 2021. Thank you, 2020, for the lessons. I’ll never forget them.

life curation · Uncategorized · writing

Something Special Coming Next Week . . .

Hi friends! If you have been following this blog for some time, then you know that I treasure New Years Day, and it is, hands down, one of my favorite times of year. I’ve always gotten such a kick out of setting resolutions and working toward my dreams throughout the year.

However, 2020 was nothing like anything that we could have anticipated. Between the anxiety I experienced related to my fibromyalgia journey and the unpredictable situation created by the pandemic, I had neither the energy nor the motivation to work on any big goals. I mourned the loss of opportunity within 2020, but I look forward to better, brighter days in 2021.

In honor of the projects that I put on indefinite hold in 2020, and in recognition of the grand intentions that I’m setting for 2021, I will be undertaking one of the biggest, most special projects I’ve ever considered. And the best part of this project is that all of the basic information will be available starting next week, and the entire process will be documented on this blog. It’s so near and dear to me, that I’m keeping this one really close to my chest, at least until I announce it later this evening (at 6 PM EST) on Clubhouse. If you are on Clubhouse, you can add me – my handle is @bronzebutterfly . I’ll discuss my project there, during my weekly Conscious Creation chat, and I’ll give more details then.

If you aren’t on Clubhouse, or are reading this after 6 PM EST today, then just know that I will be posting the details on next Wednesday (January 6, 2021). I’m so excited that I can hardly stand it!

That’s it for today. I’ll either catch you on Clubhouse, or I will talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

life curation · Uncategorized · writing

My Latest Projects

While taking a hiatus from this blog, I decided to delve into some other projects of interest. I decided that the best thing for me would be to figure out what lights me up, and to focus on doing that for a while, even if the joyful feeling faded quickly.

The point of the exercise wasn’t to find a long-term passion project, but to put my energy into whatever made me happy, so that I could be in a better mental space for future creation. As it turns out, this short-term projects were just what I needed to relight the spark in me. And, because I had the spark re-lit, some of these short-term projects will be around a lot longer than I initially thought.

For starters, I worked on revising a book that I originally released late last year. The book was (in my opinion) a fantastic workbook for creating lifestyle changes, but because I titled the book “2020 Vision”, I knew that it wouldn’t be a popular selection for 2021. So I changed the title to more accurately reflect the content, and thus “Create Your Vision” was born.

When I tell you all how proud I am of this book . . . It really was a labor of love. I poured my best intentions into this text. And my author’s proof was so pretty, I knew that it would give someone a lot of joy! If you’re interested in getting a copy for yourself, you can click here or on the photo above. I created 25 different covers for this book, so if you’d like to see another design, you can visit my shop at Bronze Butterfly Books, or my shop available through this blog (just click here).

Along with re-releasing my book, I got inspired to work on a series of books that address a need that I (and many other women) have. I’m keeping the details under wraps for now, as I flesh out the concept more and figure out if I will need collaborators on this project. I will be announcing more details soon, so look out for that.

During the past few weeks, I also started a YouTube channel. I’d been wanting to do this for a while, but I finally had the time and energy to start on it, and I’ve been loving it so far! It’s an extension of the ideals of this blog, and I’m very excited to share it with you. Here’s one of my favorite videos, where I share some easy ways to be more like the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle.

So those were my major projects for the past couple of months, and it looks like these projects are becoming a permanent part of my life. I’m excited to see where these take me, though if I feel overwhelmed, I will have no problem reducing or eliminating these projects to help maintain a sense of balance in my life.

So that’s what I was up to while I was gone. I have a few other things in the works, but I’ll share those in the weeks to come. Until tomorrow, take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · Uncategorized

A Joyful Return

I’m so happy to be back on the Bronze Butterfly blog! I took some much needed time to care for myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and I especially felt the weight of this year when I considered the fact that I’m unable to travel internationally. As you all know, international travel is one of my favorite pasttimes, and the lack of travel has left me a bit depressed.

That being said, there are many things that I am appreciating at this year’s end. My family and close friends have been healthy (no COVID infections) and safe this entire year. My grandmother and her sister have been able to live comfortably in my home since March, and they are thriving here. And speaking of my home, I’m so grateful for a house that is in great shape and hasn’t needed any major repairs. My car, however, did need some small repairs, but these repairs were done affordably and with ease.

This time at home has allowed me to focus on what really matters, and I’ve relished the domestic duties that I’ve completed. This year has, indeed, been a good one (all things considered). We’ve been blessed beyond measure, and it’s been a year full of love, many changes, and lots of gratitude.

I am overjoyed to be back. I hope you all are doing well, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

I’m so delighted to be back over here! I am looking forward to chatting with you all soon. Have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

What wonderful things have happened for you this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

reading list

My Current Reading List

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and are feeling ready for the week ahead.

I’m ready for reading!

A few months ago, I mentioned that I would be doing exercises outlined in “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. However, I decided to put those exercises on hold for a while, since I have other major projects that need my attention. “The Artist’s Way” is a great complement to any routine that you may have, but I personally didn’t feel that it suited me well right now. I am looking forward to picking up these exercises in the near future, but for now, no “Artist’s Way” exercises for me right now.

Despite the fact that I’ve delayed my “Artist’s Way” exercises, I still want to do some reading! I really want to catch up on some of the many books I’ve been meaning to read, and since I’m not committed to any writing/reading exercises, now seemed like a perfect time to dive into the rest of my reading list.

One of my books for this month: Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

My goal is to read three more books before the end of the month, and then move onto 3 or more books next month. My three books for this month are “Death Comes As The End” by Agatha Christie, “Infants of the Spring” by Wallace Thurman, and “More of This World or Maybe Another” by Barb Johnson. These books were the three that I picked up first, so there was no rhyme or reason to my selection, other than the fact that these had been on my reading list.

I’ve been eager to read this one: Infants of the Spring by Wallace Thurman

As I read these books, I’ll be adding them to my bookshelf in my entertainment room. I committed myself to only displaying books that I’ve actually read, so my bookshelf isn’t empty but I’m really looking forward to filling the shelves over the months to come. Let’s see if I can fill the shelves completely before the end of the year (I have my work cut out for me!)

Do you have any books that you’re enjoying currently, or that you recommend that I read? Let me know in the comments below!

*Post contains affiliate links

life curation

New Goals for 2020

Even before COVID-19 upended our collective plans and intentions for 2020, I knew that I was taking a completely different direction than I had for the past few years.

screen (2)

Every year, I focus on very tangible goals. My goals could be easily quantified, because I believe in goals being SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound – and I tied my personal value to the achievement of a SMART goal.

But now, my goals are shifting . . . And I like it. Yes, to a degree, my goals are still SMART, but they all aren’t as dynamic as before. I will always have a couple of dynamic goals (that’s my nature) but some of my other goals are more fluid, and allow me room to be gentle with myself. I’m starting to fall in love with my “new normal”, which include practices that support my emotional and mental health, and goals that focus more on who I’m being as opposed to what I’m doing.

With that in mind, here are some of my new goals for 2020:

  • Practice yoga weekly
  • Finish writing and editing two of my books
  • Complete my herbalist certification (did that earlier this week!)

Have you had a chance to revisit and rethink your goals? What direction do you think you’ll be going this year? I’d love to hear all about it!

beauty · luxury

Review: Kandi Koated Finesse Concealer

Here’s another beauty review! I have a few items that I’ve purchased over the past few months that I’m eager to review, and I’m sharing one of those products with you today.

A few months back, I was introduced to Kandi Koated Cosmetics by local entrepreneur Mesha Cousins. She was professional and it was such a treat to work with her. These cosmetics are developed and branded by Kandi Burruss, singer and reality TV star. I ordered two items from the Kandi Koated collection: a lip product (that I’ll review in a future post) and the Finesse Concealer, the subject of today’s review.

Screenshot 2020-05-24 at 5.01.22 AM

The stunningly beautiful Kandi Burruss

I was excited to get my products quickly, and in a gorgeous package to boot! I wish I had taken a picture of the packaging: it was girly, pink, and fabulous! In any case, I quickly tried the products and was excited that they performed well and looked great. The product itself arrived in a stunning rose gold tube, and it looked very beautiful and sleek.

In the case of the concealer, however, some disclaimers are needed. Yes, this product absolutely conceals well and the shade – Mocha Deep – was flattering on my complexion. But, it’s worth noting that Mocha Deep isn’t a deep shade at all: it’s more of a dark beige/light brown hue. When it comes to brown skin, this wouldn’t be considered a very “deep” shade at all. Also, Mocha Deep isn’t available on the Kandi Koated website, though it may still be available through individual cosmetic reps (like Ms. Cousins, mentioned above).

img_0927

Swatching the product

This product isn’t super-creamy like LA Girl HD Pro Concealer. Because the formulation is a little “drier”, it is a much easier product to control, though it probably isn’t ideal for delicate undereye skin (that generally needs a creamier formulation). I used this product to sculpt my brows, and I loved the subtle highlighting effect that it creates. I apply, gently tap around the edges to blend, then set with powder. It lasts all day and looks fresh without needed touch-ups. Though I haven’t tried it yet, it would also work really well for reverse highlighting the hollows of the cheeks, as well as providing a smooth, even colored surface for the eyes.

Do I recommend this concealer? Absolutely! I love it though I didn’t think it would work that well under my eyes. I also wish that the company had more colors available, so I could see if I can get an even better color match.

Have you used any of the Kandi Koated Cosmetics products? Let me know in the comments below!

Uncategorized

This Memorial Day

As the proud daughter and niece of veterans, I believe in observing the solemnity of Memorial Day. So many have dutifully served to protect us at home. In honor of those that served but are no longer with us, let us have a beautiful, benevolent Memorial Day. Let’s continue to keep them in our minds, thoughts and (if you’re inclined) prayers.

Untitled design (1)

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care.

life curation

This Week’s Happenings . . .

Despite these difficult times, I’ve been making the most of things. This week, I’m focusing on BALANCE, both internally and externally. I’ve taken some mini-breaks from social media to help keep my spirits high, and I’ve also been doing some other things that I’ve found beneficial.

I have made it a point to avoid in-person shopping as much as possible. I’m extremely thankful for grocery pickup services offered at local grocers such as Kroger. I fill my virtual cart, select a pickup date and time, pay for my order, then get it when it’s ready. It’s fantastic! I also love that I’m able to give cash tips to the person that brings the groceries to my car. I’d like to think that if most of the customers gave these hardworking people some sort of gratuity, it could help make up for the fact that they are generally overworked and underpaid. Besides, we can all use a little kindness during this time.

Untitled design (9)

I’m not doing any leisurely grocery shopping trips right now

I haven’t done much online shopping, except for items that I actually needed to restock. I bought some inexpensive acne cream and cotton pads from Amazon, since I was running low on both.


A new acne cream that I’m trying for the first time: Acne Free Terminator 10 Acne Spot Treatment (updates will be posted soon!)


Always necessary: cotton pads (Bellacotton Premium Cotton Rounds)

I also bought a couple of things from The Ordinary. I recently watched a YouTube video demonstrating how to do a facial at home (more about that tomorrow!) and I bought a chemical peel for when I decide to give my face a treatment. All the details will be in tomorrow’s post.

I’ve been using yoga and gentle stretching to help calm my mind and ease any physical pain. I have tried several different yoga videos on YT, but I haven’t gotten a “favorite” video yet. Once I have my “favorite”, I’ll be sure to share it here.

That’s what’s happening with me this week. How are things where you are? I’d love to hear all about it!

Disclaimer: this post has affiliate links.

life curation

What Happens to Our Goals During the Quarantine?

Happy Monday, friends! It seems weird to actually keep up with the days despite the fact that many of us are staying home 90%+ of each day. As a result of the quarantine that most of us are experiencing, the days tend to run together. It’s so easy to lose track of time while we’re at home!

In the midst of this, many of us still have our goals and desires on our minds. While we’re home, we may not feel like working on our goals. After all, we are being urged/forced to stay home and this tense period of time can make us feel exhausted and uninspired (I wrote all about it here). But for those of us that are feeling motivated to work on goals during this time, the question remains: what happens to our goals while we’re quarantined, especially those goals that require that we leave our homes (perhaps for internships/jobs, in-person networking or training, purchasing supplies, etc.,)?

Untitled design (7)

While we may not be able to leave our homes freely at this time, you can still work steadily toward your goals (if you’re so inclined). Finding alternative methods to accomplish tasks should be a priority. Look online for virtual job and internship opportunities if you need certain experiences to achieve your goals. Network through social media and online groups: regularly engage with others on these virtual platforms and remember to OFFER VALUE (it makes it much easier to connect with others). Look for virtual training sessions to help you keep your skills sharp or, in the case of those trying to meet fitness goals, to stay in shape. Many of the supplies you may need can be found on large online retailers, but also try to support local smaller businesses (which are particularly impacted by these times).

Take a close look at your goals and break them down into small steps, then see which steps can be done now, while you’re at home. Even if the steps are time-consuming, you’ll be much further along if you start now than if you allow yourself to be discouraged to the point of inactivity.

That’s it for today, everyone! I hope you have an enjoyable Monday. Talk to you all soon!