Uncategorized

Fibro Friday – Make A Fuss For Your Health

Happy Fibro Friday! I hope you all are doing well! I apologize for the premature postings this week: I’ve been concentrating on Vlog-A-Day-In-May and hadn’t gotten a chance to do much writing over here. Rest assured, the prematurely posted blog will be fleshed out and reposted soon.

Today, I’m sharing a vlog that I posted several weeks ago. In this video, I discussed why it’s important to “speak up” when it comes to your health, especially those that are dealing with fibromyalgia. So many times, our voices are silenced because many medical professionals misunderstand or minimize our experiences. Also, when you suffer from chronic pain, it can be difficult to accurately relay your experiences to medical professionals, which makes it challenging to get diagnoses and treatments.

However, we should always continue to “make a fuss”, sharing how we feel with our care providers and the specialists that we work with. We must persist until our concerns are heard, and we get the treatment that we need.

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 · 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.

health

Fibro Fridays – My FluRona Experience

Happy Fibro Friday! A few weeks ago, I published two videos over on my YouTube channel, discussing how I had both flu and COVID simultaneously, and all of the shenanigans involved with that experience. I figured I’d share the videos over here, because you all may have missed my story.

So, let me tell you all how it started. I fell ill right after New Year’s Day, and it took several days for me to get tested (there was a huge demand for COVID testing post-holidays), and I couldn’t get examined for nearly a week after I first started showing symptoms. When I was finally able to get tested, it was confirmed that yes, I had COVID, but I also had the flu (yay me). More about that story, as well as my symptoms are in the video below.

A couple of weeks later, I went back to the doctor’s office to make sure that I was not contagious. I received a rapid test and a flu test, which confirmed that I was no longer sick with COVID, BUT I was still showing as positive for the flu. I was so confused: I should have been done with both viruses at this point. But, the fact that I was still showing as flu-positive opened the door to considering some additional things that were specific to fibromyalgia. Here’s the video discussing that, and I have a few takeaways that I’m going to mentioned after the break.

Here’s the thing: having any chronic health condition means that all of our internal systems are compromised, even on a minute level. But, as we all know, small leaks sink ships. Little “glitches” in our bodies, such as being in a slightly immunocompromised state, often mean that we get unusual results when we’re sick. Unusual outcomes include extended illness, unexpected side effects/symptoms, and biological/physiological damage that cannot be reasonably explained. Sadly, a lack of compassion when sharing our experiences with others is also something that we have to face when we’re recovering from sickness.

So, that’s the sum of my FluRona experience. I’m glad that I’m *finally* over it and feeling great. And I’m really happy that I get to share my experiences and, hopefully, give a little insight to someone else.

That’s it for today: I hope you all are doing great! Have a great weekend.

beauty · culture · hollywood glamour · luxury · style

A Review of Emeraude (As Worn By Billie Holiday)

Recently, over on my YouTube, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of fragrances. I love the transformative power that can be experienced by changing the scent you wear: the right perfume can make you feel invincible!

I decided to research some of the fragrances worn by old Hollywood stars, and I was really excited to discover the fragrances worn by some of my favorites. I researched these scents and I found that some of them were extremely affordable. So I figured, “Why not?” and bought some bottles.

The first scent I purchased was Emeraude by Coty. This was the fragrance preferred by none other than Lady Day, Billie Holiday. The notes of the fragrance are as follows:

  • Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon and Orange
  • Middle notes: Brazilian Rosewood, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine and Rose
  • Base notes: Opoponax, Benzoin, Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood and Patchouli
Lady Day herself, Billie Holiday (as seen in the movie New Orleans)
Emeraude by Coty, Billie’s fragrance of choice

This fragrance is peculiar to me: not in a bad way, but in a good way. The perfume is citrusy before and immediately after spraying, then it quickly diffuses into a soft but earthy bouquet, and dries down to a warm and slightly sweet essence. The peculiar part is, throughout all of this, the perfume retains powdery notes, which I didn’t expect. When I first read the list of notes, I figured this would be bright, spicy, and then mellow. So to have the essence of baby powder lingering while wearing it was completely unexpected, but nice.

I have more information about the scent in the YouTube video, which I’ll insert below. But, you can always pick up a bottle to try it for yourself: it was less than $12 USD (I’ve seen it sold for as little as $9) so it is extremely accessible and, if you don’t like it, you can probably easily resell it or give it away. Full disclosure: while this is powdery and rather soft, I find it does smell a bit . . . dated (the formulation is over 100 years old!). This is definitely for someone that wants a unique scent that isn’t syrupy sweet or overwhelmingly floral. Also, this is a cologne spray, so it won’t have the same longevity as, say, an eau de parfum. So if you love it, prepare to refresh your fragrance at least once during the day. But at $9-12 per bottle, using the product more frequently probably won’t be a huge issue.

That’s it for today! I hope you all are having a great week, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

  • This post contains affiliate links.
life curation

Tea Time with Tia – Let’s Chat

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday weekend. In Virginia, we experienced 70+ degree (21+, if you use Celsius) temperatures so there was no snow for us. I’m thankful for this mild Christmas weekend: we were able to go out and not freeze!

I recently started posting a series of chattier videos over on my YouTube channel, and I wanted to share my most recent video over here on the blog, as it sums up one of the most valuable lessons I’ve gotten this year.

I used to struggle with honesty, not out of a desire to deceive, but because I mistakenly thought that silence (not telling the truth) was equivalent to peacekeeping. And yes, that’s true in some instances: every now and then, being quiet can be the best thing. But I realized that being truthful – out loud – was an essential channel for self love and self care for me in this year. I acknowledge that speaking the truth is a luxury (we are not all able to speak our minds freely) and I’m thankful for it. For me, every truthful expression has helped me step more and more into myself. I’m not perfect, but I love where I’m heading and how using my voice brings me into the most authentic expression of myself.

Here’s the video:

What priceless lessons have you gotten in 2021? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!

goals · health

Fibro Friday – A Reflection On My 2021 Health Journey

Happy Fibro Friday! I hope you all are doing well and feeling great as we wind down the year.

I’m reflecting on my 2021 health journey as respects my fibromyalgia, and BOY has this been a ride! I’m thankful that I filmed some of my experiences, and I’m sharing those videos here, with you all, as a kind of log of my journey. Here’s some of the Fibro Friday videos I’ve shared in 2021!

I started off the year by outlining some of the unexpected things that happened when you have chronic illness:

Next, I discussed a massage roller tool that I found gave me some relief:

Then, I shared a recipe for a body balm that helps tremendously with nerve and muscle pain (I love this stuff!)

Next, I discussed an action plan for improving my overall wellness.

I talked about things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed (or, that I wish someone had told me about the process of getting diagnosed:

Finally, I talked about my transition off of prescription medication and how I’ve been dealing with my symptoms:

Those are some of my favorite fibro videos for this year, and so excited to see what 2022 has for me! Next week, I’ll be sharing my health goals for the upcoming year and some ideas on how I will reach them.

Did any of you have a favorite video or topic related to fibromyalgia? I’d love for you to tell me about it in the comments below!

Have a great holiday weekend, and I’ll talk to you all on Monday. Take care!

art · life curation · luxury

The Perfect Winter Wreath

As the seasons change from autumn to winter, I found it necessary to make some updates to my home decor. The cooler temperatures and the eventual snow-covered landscape have an undeniable beauty that I want reflected in my home. Now it’s true that no one loves summer as much as I do, but I am determined to leverage the natural beauty available to me in any season, and winter is no exception.

My last wreath reflected the warm hues and spicy aromas of fall/autumn, but now that the season is behind us, it was time for an update. I knew that I wanted a winter wreath that captured the crisp air, purity, and complete stillness of the season. I wanted the wreath to work throughout the winter, and not just for the holidays. I settled on an ivory, gold and beige palette with a little bit of forest green (representing those evergreen plants that maintain their rich hues all year long).

After a little bit of experimentation, I settled on a gorgeous design that I’m excited to share with you all! Here is my wreath tutorial:

Are you all updating your decor for the winter?I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

beauty · luxury

Let’s Talk About the Beem Box

Happy Monday! I’m so glad to be back at the blog after spending a few weeks investing in my self care, relaxation, and overall wellness.

I’ve been publishing a series of pre-filmed videos on my YouTube channel, including a number of videos about beauty products. I’ve shared several videos about Beem Box, a subscription service offering cosmetics and skincare for women of color (my first Beem Box review is here).

My first Beem Box review

Since my first box, I’ve received three more, for a total of four Beem Boxes. So I feel confident that I can discuss the products and service objectively, as someone that has purchased multiple boxes and used products from each of them. Here are the pros and cons that I notice from the Beem Box:

Pros

  • Reasonably priced ($45 per box) and the value of the products in each box far exceeds the price
  • Provides me with the opportunity to try brand that I’ve never heard of before
  • There is skincare in each box, so the focus isn’t exclusively on cosmetics
  • Beautiful, decorative boxes that are recyclable
  • The perfect amount of products: not too much, not too few (just enough to try until you get the next box)
My second review

Cons

  • You only have one option for delivery frequency (one box every 8 or so weeks)
  • There aren’t different levels of subscription so you can’t opt for a “deluxe” or upgraded box
  • Sometimes the products aren’t stellar (I’ve been underwhelmed by a couple of items)
  • The description cards no longer show the product original pricing (which is helpful for comparing the box’s value to the box price)
My most recent review

Overall, I enjoy the boxes and the cons certainly don’t outweigh the pros. I love getting to try new stuff every few weeks, and it discourages me from overspending in other places. I love that I get a few cosmetics and a little skincare in each box. Also, the fact that each box has products from vegan, cruelty free, and women-owned businesses is a huge plus. This is a great service that also makes a great gift, too.

Do you have any subscription services that you love? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!