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!
Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all are having a fantastic week. This will be a (relatively) a short post because I’m reading books, writing books, and trying to manage my energy levels with the many other things I have going on in my life. It’s all good stuff, but whew, EXHAUSTING! I take comfort in knowing that this is just a season, and things will go back to quiet sooner rather than later.
As someone that believes in universal laws, such as law of attraction and law of assumption, I believe that we tend to get more of what we’re creating in our lives. Thus, if we’re working hard, we find more opportunities to work hard. If we’re regularly feeling joyful, we tend to have more instances to relish joy. So you can imagine that I was not surprised that, in the midst of me working diligently on one of my books, one of my dearest friends announced that she is writing a book of her own!
I’m so proud of her efforts and her vision for creating the personal brand and legacy that she desires for herself and her lineage. I know her book will be stellar, as she does this (and everything) with excellence. And the theme of her book is fascinating: I can’t wait to read the finished product!
Energy is contagious, particularly when you’re in a group that is “tapped in” to one another. The more frequently you engage with aligned individuals, the more that your collective energy will be shared and grown. So if you want to accomplish your writing goals, tap into a group of writers that are engaging JOYFULLY with their work. Unhappy writing energy is just as contagious as the good stuff, so choose carefully. Pick your group wisely, then get ready to see the shift in your own life.
That’s all for today. Have a great day, and I’ll talk to you all soon!
It’s Women’s History Month, and I wanted to share some art created by a female artist of yesteryear: one that is especially meaningful when considered through the lens of current issues.
Artemisia Gentileschi is (I believe) the only female Renaissance artist with surviving pieces credited to her. She painted in a style similar to Caravaggio (my favorite Renaissance artist) and was brilliant and skilled in her own right: she was particularly gifted when it came to portraying the female body and in her use of light and colors. Unfortunately, most of what we were originally told about her was related to the fact that she was raped by fellow artist Agostino Tassi (who was convicted of rape after the case went to trial). It’s a shame that this gifted artist was, for many years, known as a victim that transferred her own trauma into art.
Gentileschi is so much more than what she experienced, and I’m glad that art historians are finally giving her story the balanced interpretation that it deserves. As someone that just learned about her in the past few years, I never thought I’d get to see her work in person (there really aren’t that many Renaissance art pieces by high profile artists outside of the major museums in large cities) without traveling outside of my city.
However, there was a surprise for me, waiting right at my local museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Art. As I browsed the Renaissance section, I stopped at a lovely painting that I hadn’t noticed before. I looked at the identification card and, lo and behold, there was a Gentileschi painting!
I’m so glad that I got to experience the creative genius of Gentileschi right in my own backyard. I really liked her use of light in the painting: it looks like someone had just opened a window and let it stream across Venus’s body. I also love that Cupid remains only partially in the light, emphasizing him as minor (secondary) to his mother Venus, the goddess of love. In this portrait, Venus (the embodiment of all sorts of love, prosperity and fertility) is the star, and Cupid (a symbol of erotic and passionate love/lust) is in a supporting role. I interpret this as the passion of lust is unable to outshine the vastness of real love, and I suspect that even the source of light depicted wouldn’t shine quite so brightly if Cupid was the only subject of this painting.
Another thing: I really enjoyed the depiction of Cupid fanning his mother, showing him in service to her. It makes me think of how lust and passion are at their best when they are in service to higher forms of love. (Just a personal takeaway).
I just wanted to share that moment with you, because I still love art and find inspiration in it. I hope this post inspires you, too! Have a great day, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!
Happy Fibro Friday! I hope you all have had a great week. I’m recovering from a mild flare and I’m finally coming out of it, which makes me happy. This is one of those unavoidable things that comes with fibro: even when you’ve done your best to manage your symptoms, you may still have occasional flares. My flare was triggered by inconsistent weather patterns, because when the air goes from hot to cool to warm to cold, my body goes haywire.
Part of what really helps with my flare is getting enough rest, but, as you all know, rest can be challenging when you have fibro. One of the things I use to help get deeper, more restorative sleep is soursop leaf tea. There are a lot of benefits that you can reap from drinking soursop leaf tea, because it’s a highly nutritious plant. The fruit of the soursop plant is delicious and there is a strong case for it being antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic. But we’re not talking about the fruit: the leaves are what interest me most (when it comes to fibro).
I first learned about soursop leaf tea from Debbie over at The Jamaican Cooking Journey. I’m inserting her video about soursop tea for your convenience:
When she mentioned that soursop tea is good for your nerves, I knew I had to try it! So I did, and I’m so glad that I took a chance on it. It helps me to sleep like a baby! Remeber, fibromyalgia is a neurological issue, not a musculoskeletal one, so by address nerve dysfunction, you can reduce or eliminate most of your symptoms.
I am posting my video that I did on this topic, and in that video, I share my results from consuming soursop leaf tea:
Please note, I am not a doctor and I’m not offering medical advice or solutions. That being said, I’ve enjoyed using soursop leaf tea as part of my regimen to encourage deeper and more restorative sleep. Try it and let me know your results!
I purchased Bitcoin for the first time ever in the past 18 months (I was late to the trend, though I knew how it worked and was interested in experimenting with this as a way to diversify my investments). You may recall that I wrote about Bitcoin in a post from 2018.I’d been contemplating investing since before I wrote the post, but I finally pulled the trigger and invested. Then, after a few months, I pulled out *some* of my investment. I needed to redirect that money toward one of my home renovation projects, and that felt like a better investment for me at this time.
I used CashApp to purchase my Bitcoin, though you can purchase cryptocurrency on a number of different platforms. If you want to invest in crypto of any sort, your best bet is to do a lot of research on the investment vehicle that you’ve chosen, and get clear on your hold/fold thresholds (what amount of loss you’re willing to tolerate, what amount of gains are comfortable before you start feeling antsy about possible future loss, and what amount you can reach before you cash out). Crypto investing is just like any other investment, so you can walk away whenever you want.
Since I sold a portion of my Bitcoin, I have to do additional research on how to properly report the sale on my tax return. I submitted my return before I got a (delinquent) income statement, so I have to amend it anyways, so this is a good time to get more familiar with how I should report my crypto sale. I took a crypto loss last year, so whatever crypto amounts end up being reported shouldn’t create an additional liability. It’ll be interested to see the further legislation that comes out regarding cryptocurrency, since this is a medium of exchange that will continue to grow, expand, and become more widely accepted.
That’s my little tale of how I forayed into the world of crypto. Over on my finance website, I plan to discuss these sorts of things more often (I’ll actually be adding more details and resharing this post over on there by the end of this week). If you have any crypto questions, I’m happy to direct you to the same resources that I use. In these days and times, there is nothing more important than knowing your options and using these options deftly. And the only way to do that is to read, learn, and try it for yourself.
That’s it for today! I hope you all are doing well. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!
Happy Writer’s Wednesday! I’m so happy to share these updates because I’ve been deep in the throes of embracing the lifestyle of a writer. Part of my journey is continuously stepping into my future self, and being a successful writer is part of the experience that I’m creating for myself.
I’m working on editing two of my older works. I want to give you all a deadline of when these will be read, but that’s so unrealistic for me at this point. I’ll just announce when it’s done, and we’ll all celebrate together when it happens! I’m really happy that one of them is (at the time that I write this) 70% edited. I have had this story in my files for nearly 10 years! I’m eager to polish it up and then offer it to the world.
I also have two works in progress (WIPs) that are still in their infancy. But, I’ve been very cautious about leaping into new projects related to writing, because I have a history of strong starts and nonexistent endings. So I think about the stories but I don’t invest a lot of time into writing them out, because if I did, I’d take too much energy that should be devoted to finishing one of my WIPs that is further along in the process.
Anyhoo . . . I did a video about my latest writing projects. You can see it below:
Also, if becoming a writing is something that you’ve always wanted to do, but you have some other stuff you’re trying to resolve first (sometimes we don’t have the bandwidth for our dreams because our lives are overwhelmingly busy or stressful), here’s a tool for you. Check out my Create Your Vision journal collection: these can walk you through the process of creating more space for your dreams and stepping into your dream life.
That’s it for today! How has your writing journey been going? I’d love to hear all about it!
As someone that has a growing appreciation for whiskey, I’m excited to see women entering this space and being recognized for their skills. This is especially fitting today, as it is also International Women’s Day. I love that we live in a time where women are entering spaces that were previously “closed”, and we are leaving our marks on history. What a time to be alive!
I plan to try Uncle Nearest whiskey soon, and I’ll be sure to post my review! Until then, you can check out the brand here, and learn more about the fascinating family that now has an award-winning brand.
Anyways . . . That’s the post. I know, pretty brief, but that’s because the regularly schedule post has been pushed to Thursday so that I could share the good news of Victoria Eady Butler’s win on International Women’s Day.
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!
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.
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.