life curation

Vlog A Day In May – Am I Doing It?

In a word, yes. I’m a little crazy, considering how busy my schedule is ordinarily. But that won’t stop me: I’ll be filming a bunch of videos (think anywhere from 15 to 20) over the next 4 days, so I can have a healthy cushion of videos before the month starts.

Yes, that means that most of these videos won’t technically be “vlogs” – I’m under the impression that the idea of a “vlog” is about having daily quick check-ins. But I don’t want to spend all month getting video-ready every day (so much time involved!) nor do I want to fall short of my vlogging goal by skipping a day when things are hectic. It’s better for me to have some material ready to fill in the gaps, and even if I’m able to do quick vlogs daily in May, I’ll still need those pre-filmed videos for the upcoming months, when I travel or have other obligations.

So yes, there will be vlogs every day during the month of May. I’ll try to keep you all updated with the video topics as these are posted, but I can’t make any promises. Pray for me, y’all!

beauty · life curation · luxury · style

Get Ready With Me – Trying Makeup From The Beem Box

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all have been doing well. I took a little blog break because my offline life was crazy for a few weeks. That being said, I decided to do a video putting on my makeup and discussing what’s been happening in my world. As a bonus, I used products from previous Beem Boxes. I’ve mentioned Beem Box in other posts (like this one and this one) and I was really excited to show how certain products looked on my skin.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back with more content tomorrow. Take care!

beauty

Spring is Here! Let’s Try New Perfumes!

Happy Monday, my friends! Today is the second day of spring, and I’m so happy to be enjoying these warmer days. The past few days were consistently warm, and left me so hopeful about the fact that my favorite season, summer, is on its way and will be here soon!

I’m going to have some spring themed videos for the next few weeks, discussing fragrances, clothing, beverages, and hobbies (like gardening). This week, I’ll share some of my perfume videos, as well as my most recent video, highlighting a fragrance that is perfect for this season.

Earlier today, I posted a video reviewing CLEAN Rain Reserve, a fragrance that is ideal for this season, as well as the summer. It’s fresh, floral and conveys a lot of watery notes, making the fragrance profile “light” enough for warmer days.

Last week, I posted a different perfume review. This review featured MIX:BAR scents, a collection of fragrances that are made for layering and customizing into your own signature aroma. This discovery set has a 5 different scents, but I’ll note that Tangerine Squeeze, Glass Rose and Coconut Palm, in particular, are lovely for warmer days.

A slightly older video that I posted is this one featuring another CLEAN fragrance: this time, it was Solar Bloom, which I didn’t really like, but you may find it to be wearable for you. It made me think of hair grease (you’ll have to watch the video to see what I mean).

There are more fragrance reviews over on my channel, but these three are great if you’re looking for a starting point for researching which scent is perfect for the springtime.

Do you have my favorite fragrances? I’d love to hear all about them!

beauty · luxury · style

Trying New Makeup – LYS Beauty Haul

Happy Monday, lovelies! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We had some great weather (a spring precursor, if you will) and today is even warmer (though we do have a bit of rain). I’m still smiling from this fantastic weekend!

Last week, I shared a new video reviewing some products that I got a few weeks ago. I bought some products from LYS (Love Your Self) Beauty after I tried one of of their products that was featured in the Beem Box (I’ll post a link to that video shortly).

This is a clean, vegan, Black woman owned brand, and I love the stuff that I got! I got introduced to the product through the LYS Beauty Matte Bronzer in Strength (Dark). After perusing their website, I realize there were a LOT more products that I wanted to try. So I splurged on some foundation samples (LYS Beauty Mini Triple Fix Serum Foundation in the shades DN5, DN6 and DP5). I was really impressed by the company’s color range: the foundation is available in 35 different shades! So I got the three shades that seemed closest to my complexion. In my video, I swatched the colors (no worries: the video will be posted below).

I also decided to try the LYS Beauty Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush in Empower (a deep berry plum shade). The formulation is soft and buildable: I’ve used it twice and I love it! I’m excited to try Inspire (a vibrant terracotta hue) and Passion (a vivid fuchsia pink shade). For those that don’t know, blush is probably my favorite color cosmetic to apply: it adds life to your face and instantly gives you brightness and dimension. I pretty much always throw on blush, even when I don’t do a full face of makeup. So finding a cream blush that I love is a real treat!

I decided, on a whim, to try some of the skin care offered by LYS Beauty, too. The LYS Beauty Think Bright Glow + Hydrate Serum with Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid is a reasonably priced product that promises to “a succulent glow and long-lasting hydration”. I’m doing an in-depth video and write-up about this product separately, but I wanted to mention it, since it’s part of my purchase. I have . . . Thoughts! But again, that’ll be coming your way soon.

Finally, the company graciously threw in a freebie for purchasing over a certain dollar amount, namely, the LYS Beauty Mini Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil. This is such a great lip product that is perfect for adding moisture and shine without weighing your lips down or feeling sticky/tacky. I love it!

Below, you can see the video where I first learn about LYS Beauty, as well as the video showing you each of the products of this haul. Additionally, one of my favorite YTers, Cheryl over at Free Range Diva, reviewed the LYS blush. You can check out Cheryl’s review here.

That’s it for today! I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take care!

health

Fibro Friday: Managing Inflammation with Turmeric

Happy Fibro Friday! I hope your week was great, and I hope your upcoming weekend is even better!

Over the past few months, I’ve been keeping close tabs on my fibromyalgia: I’m looking out for new (or recurring) symptoms, any difficulties in recovering after flares, or other changes that may be worth noting. I keep up with these because I stopped using prescription medication a few months back, and this is my first time – since my diagnosis – observing how fibro shows up in my daily life when managed through other methods.

As part of my symptom (and overall health) management, I’ve been incorporating supplements that promise to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. While fibro is not an autoimmune condition, nor is it a condition that is typically associated with inflammation, my research confirmed that inflammatory conditions exist in most people’s bodies, and most of us benefit from the reduction of inflammation. For this reason, I decided to add turmeric into my daily supplements.

I opted for a liquid supplement, and, since my flexible spending plan covers glucosamine and chondroitin products, I got a glucosamine supplement that also included turmeric (2 for 1!). I have thoughts on glucosamine products that I won’t share today, but I’ll touch on that in a future video. Anyways, back to turmeric: I decided to use Tropical Oasis Joint Complete Premium Plus- Liquid Joint Support Supplement w/Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Plus 800mg Turmeric Curcumin. I took this product for more than 30 days, and I did this consistently, just so that I can confirm whether I have gotten any results.

Here is my YouTube video discussing fibro and inflammation:

And here’s a YouTube video that I posted earlier today, discussing the outcome of my experiment:

I have to conclude that, while I didn’t notice an immediate or drastic difference in how I felt, I compared the way I felt to how I usually feel in the winter season and I took note of what symptoms were present, missing or mitigated. In previous winters, I am extraordinarily achy, tired and suffer from mild flu-like symptoms, even while taking prescription medication. However, this year, I only felt a little tired and very few aches. I only noticed flu-like symptoms when I actually had the flu (you can read about that ordeal here). So, comparing this year to prior years is the best metric I have, and I can confidently that adding turmeric was a good move for me. I didn’t feel the normal winter “slump” that I usually experience, and I found myself needing less down time when I felt a little tired. I also started adding another supplement into my rotation (more about that next week) and that has been making a difference, too, though I only added that in toward the end of the turmeric experiment, well after I determined how effective the turmeric was for me.

I’m also considering adding in a different turmeric supplement to see if I have different results. I’m thinking I’ll choose between Qunol Liquid Turmeric Curcumin with Black Pepper, Dr. Mercola Organic Fermented Turmeric, Turmeric Gummies for Adults & Kids with Ginger & Black Pepper Extract, or I may try something completely different. You’ll just have to stick around to see what I choose!

That’s it for today. I hope you all have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend! Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

*This post contains affiliate links.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – January Writing Accomplishments

Hi friends! I hope you had a fantastic January, and a wonderful start to your February!

I was very (VERY) absent during the latter half of January and my absence is actually tied to the subject of this post. I have private English tutoring clients that are also law students. During the time when they have exams and essays due, I tend to work with them closely and assist them with those writing assignments.

So, I spent most of my free time helping to put the finishing touches on an essay and a dissertation. The assignments have been submitted, so I’m now free to put more time onto my own writing projects (yay!) I’ll be sharing monthly writing updates in the future, and, aside from maybe one or two more months, these updates will feature my personal writing projects exclusively.

To sum up my January writing accomplishments, I helped with dissertation writing and essays. Between these, more than 20,000 words were written (by me) and incorporated into my student’s works. The finished product was fantastic! Now I’m looking forward to logging that kind of time into my own writing LOL!

Did you have any writing accomplishments for January? I’d love to hear about them!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – The Journal I’m Using Right Now and Request for More Books to Read!

Happy Writer’s Wednesday! Today, I have two things to discuss with you: the first thing will be about the journal I’m using currently. Then secondly, I want a chance to support you all (more about that later . . . )

One of my friends has had it on her heart to write books and create materials for personal growth. She’s incredibly inspiring and dynamic, and I’m blessed to have her in my circle.

So, when she shared that she published a journal, I knew I had to support her! You can click here to purchase her journal, or you can click on the picture below.

I christened this journal as my first quarter journal, so I’m using this for the next 75 or so days (it’s a 90 day journal, and we’re already 12 days into the new year). The way I’m using it is as a high-level daily overview: I’m putting one or two big ideas, concerns or desires on a page. I intend to use this to set the tone for my day, similar to how I used to look up an inspirational quote each day at work, and hand-write it on my embellished Post-It-sized note paper. And, since I still occasionally experience pain in my hands from writing more than a page or two at a time, this will prevent me from overdoing my handwriting.

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Next, I want to help out any of my fellow authors. So if you have a book or other written product that you’d like me to check out, please send me a message using the Contact form. I’d love to check out your work!

health · life curation

Fibro Friday – Looking Forward

Happy final Fibro Friday! What a year this has been! I’m so glad that you all were able to join me on this 2021 health journey.

I assess quite a few different protocols (such as this one, this one, this one, this one and this one, and several others) and gleaned many tips that I can incorporate into my wellness routine going forward. I also vlogged my health revelations over on my YouTube channel (you can see an overview of my fibro videos in last week’s Fibro Friday post).

Photo by Ju00c9SHOOTS on Pexels.com

Now, as I say goodbye to 2021, I look forward to 2022 and how my health will continue to uplevel with the knowledge that I have. You’ll remember how my recent post about what you can expect from Bronze Butterfly mentions the value of implementation over the mere accumulation of facts. And in 2022, using the tips that I learned, seeing how my body reacts, and adjusting accordingly are my priority. I’m temporarily retiring my fact-hunting stance in favor of an action-oriented one. That doesn’t mean that I will refuse all types of knowledge accumulation; after all, I will still need to make observations about my health progress in order to know what kind of adjustments I need to make. But unless I hit a wall with what I know, I don’t think I need to prolong my stay in the research and learning phase.

So, onward and upward to good health and elimination of fibromyalgia symptoms! And I am wishing all of you a healthy, happy 2022, especially those that may be dealing with chronic pain and chronic illness. Take care, and I’ll “see” you all in 2022!

business · goals · health · international · life curation · luxury · reading list · travel · writing

December Goal Updates

Hey friends! This is my last goal update for the year, and I wanted to take some time to look over the things that I mentioned as my “goals” in 2021. Of course, you can look up my old goal posts for more info (like this one here, here, here, and this one here, too). But in this post, I’m going to re-share my original list, and let you know how all of this turned out for 2021.

Here’s my 2021 goal list:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

So let’s take it point by point, shall we?

I published my 5 books, and actually published more than that. Yay me!

I gained weight, instead of losing it. I figured out that I am likely heavier because of my prescription medication, and that’s fine. I’ve transitioned off of those meds, and now I’m getting my body back into balance. It’s a process, and I’m giving myself time to figure all of this out without judging my body for being a bit heavier. In most cases, you gotta make peace before you can make progress, so that’s what I’m doing.

No international travel! But, I did manifest a local trip for free, which was nice. I also have several international trips lined up for 2022 (as in, flights purchased and deposits paid). I’m confident that I’ll have my wings again in no time.

My businesses didn’t earn 6 figures however, I did reach an all-time income high for my businesses, which was very exciting. It only goes up from here!

I read somewhere between 85-90 books. I had to slow down during these last couple of months of the year, which was the time I scheduled to catch up due to some slower periods during the first part of the year. However, I’m still SUPER proud of how many books I’ve read. I’m sure I’ll read more than 100 books next year with no issue!

I bought some luxury items, but I decided I’d rather support Black American luxury designers in the future. I’m saving some coins for my next big luxury purchase, which I’m pretty sure I’ll have before the end of the season (if all goes well).

My fibro isn’t cured, but I’m learning a LOT about how to heal my body, and I’m seeing that eliminating the symptoms is possible. I’m also seen some positive effects after removing my medications (not nearly as exhausted or achy as I thought I’d be). For all of this, I’m thankful, and I’m going to press on and share information as I get it in this upcoming year.

Well, that’s my super-fast summary of my 2021 goals. I don’t anticipate posting a 2022 goal list because it doesn’t quite resonate with the direction where I want to take this blog, but if I’m inspired to do something different, then you’ll see a goal list in 2022. But, if you want to know more about my upcoming 2022 plans, check out Tuesday’s post (two days ago), or click here.

That’s all, folks! Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

writing

Writers Wednesday – Planning for 2022

Welcome to the last Writers Wednesday of 2021! Can you believe we’re already wrapping up this year’s activity? I hope that all of my fellow writers completed one of their works or, at minimum, made some progress with one of their works. If this year wasn’t the best for your writing practice, I hope you find more inspiration in 2022.

In 2021, I accomplished a lot of my writing goals (all of them, except for NaNoWriMo). It was exciting to see so much of my work completed and in print. I also am really proud of how much energy I put into my writing, instead of letting my passion languish unused and unexplored. Sometimes, it’s not about the finished product but, instead, it’s about the dedication to our practice.

So of course, now that I’m at the end of the year, I’m starting to plan for next year. I have some pretty simple writing goals. Daily writing, publishing at least 5 more books, and getting more attention to my writing business (both the blog and my publishing company) are a few of my objectives for 2022. But, to help with the planning portion of my writing goals, I decided to go a step further.

I’m hereby designating each Tuesday as my writing day. This week, I’m setting up my office so that I can sit down and start writing, without having to even think about it. I have my spare laptop in place, my favorite books on the small bookshelf next to my desk, and a few things that I found helpful when I wrote daily at my desk in DC (basically, a makeshift inspiration corner with things I find beautiful, interesting, and, well, inspiring). I’m still putting the finishing touches on it, so you’ll see that beautiful space in next week’s Writer’s Wednesday, after I take some pics that I like.

On each Tuesday, I’m dedicating at least two hours of time (probably more, so long as I don’t experience any major schedule changes) to immerse myself in my writing practice. Sure, I’m writing daily nowadays, but I currently write everywhere: my dining room, living room, bedroom, entertainment room – it doesn’t matter to me. By dedicating this space and this time to writing, I aspire to bring a sanctified aspect to the practice which, I hope, brings in the muses like never before. It’s no guarantee that the inspiration will come flowing in, but it certainly can’t hurt.

So, that’s my plan: weekly writing in my dedicated space, daily writing anywhere, lots of publishing, and growing business. I’m so excited to see what this year brings me!

Do you all have any plans for your writing practice in 2022? Please let me know about it in the comments below!