Monday, December 31, 2012

The start of a new year always excites me.  The idea of creating a new beginning and realigning myself with my goals and intentions is really powerful.  I have to admit that 2012 was a spectacular year and I'm ready to make 2013 even greater!

But in order to truly bring out the full potential of 2013, there are things that I must do differently.  Looking back at this year, I would say that there were some pretty significant intentions that I was able to bring into reality.  When I look back, I realize that there was a huge theme of manifesting physical objects that I desired.  But when it came to achieving outcomes, the results came much slower for me (if they came at all).

I understand that obtaining a physical object and creating a desired outcome requires different processes.  But, if the theory of the Law of Attraction holds true, it should be just as "easy" to attract an object as it is to manifest a particular outcome.   I think, I see physical items as something easily obtained but outcomes as more difficult because of the process required.   Outcomes, like the loss of weight or the achievement of a non-tangible goal that requires consistent action, may seem hard for us.  Why, because unlike a physical item, (which can be purchased with one decision and one subsequent action), non-tangible outcomes require something different from us.

Then I asked myself, "is it possible to use a similar process, to successfully bring about my non-tangible goals as well?"  To answer that question, I must first look at my process a little more closely.

Here's a glimpse into what my process looked like:

 I became obsessed  
Whenever there is something (physical) that I want, I get a little obsessive about it. My brain goes on and on and won't shut up until I actually have it.  I start working the numbers, I plan financially for it.  I even have a goal date of when it will finally become mine.  Nothing else is more important to me than achieving that goal. Do you remember the line in the movie "The Secret" when Mike Dooley said that "thoughts become things?"  That's exactly the process I used to manifest what I wanted.  My thoughts become so great that they eventually turn into reality.  Any my thoughts weren't like "oh, it'd be nice to have that,"  "wouldn't it be great to have that?"  Those types of thoughts were diluted in their power.  My thoughts were much more focused and intentional. 

  I kept it in front of me  
Even while I was plotting and scheming to bring my desired object into reality, I took regular actions that kept it in front of me at all times.  I would look at images of the item.  I would search for it online. I watched Youtube reviews over and over.  I would silently say "yes" to myself whenever I saw someone with it.  Anything I could do, short of buying it, to bring it closer to me, I did.

  I became emotional  
When I say emotional, I don't mean that I was crying or throwing tantrums to get what I wanted.  I used a fundamental practice in the law of attraction by "feeling good" whenever I thought of having what I wanted.  When I saw it in real life, I felt a sudden rush of excitement.  When I looked at images, my heart fluttered.  The thought of actually owning it made me gitty.  Being emotionally connected to what you want is the secret recipe in the creation process.

  I took actions that made it possible  
Being obsessive about something and looking at images all day may not bring it into existence unless there's some sort of (consistent) action that makes it possible.  For me, this action was setting up an automatic draft that allowed me the ability to bring my intentions into reality (without incurring any debt).  I realize that with the current outcomes I desire, money will not be the currency that gets me there.  Only time and consistent, focused action will make these things happen.  Just like with money, if I build up enough actions, I'll be able to "afford" the results I want.  The more actions I've taken, the greater the result I can achieve.

(creating a "Mind Movie" slideshow on my Ipad by playing images of desired outcomes to music)

I realize now, that I didn't have anywhere near the same type of burning desire for my outcome related intentions as I did my physical ones.   So now I will list out all of the outcomes I want to achieve. Then I will utilize the same process of becoming obsessed, keeping it in front of me, becoming emotionally invested, and taking consistent action to make these desired outcomes real.  One thing that I have to get over is not having that feeling of instant gratification that comes with obtaining a physical object.  What helps me get over this is knowing that the outcomes I desire will give me a more lasting type of gratification and a greater sense of accomplishment than a tangible item.

2013 will be the year of accomplishment.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

One of my favorite finds of 2012 was this nifty little Dream Fresh BB Cream by Maybeline.  I'm one of those people who would prefer to go without foundation but unfortunately, my skin care situation doesn't allow me that luxury (just yet).  That's part of the reason why I was so excited when Maybeline BB Cream came into my life.

For those who aren't yet familiar with BB Cream (Beauty Balm Cream), it's pretty much an all in one product that takes care of several skin care needs all at once.   Technically, BB Cream  is a tinted moisturizer that provides mild coverage. When you're wearing BB Cream, your skin doesn't have that "I'm wearing heavy foundation" look or feel.  After application, your skin feels more moisturized, a bit more even toned, and (best of all) you get the benefits of SPF 30 sun protection.

Sounds like a perfect product right?  But what if there's a way to take BB Cream to the next level?  Hold on to your horses, ladies. It's coming!

Yes. The evolution of BB Cream, or CC Cream (Color Control Cream), will hit store shelves in 2013.  CC Cream will incorporate the much needed the missing link to flawless skin....color correction and skin brightening.  This means that our moisturizer will also cover imperfections and even out skin tone, all while providing adequate sun protection.  What can be better than that?

As of this moment, there are only a few brands that will offer CC Creams.  Olay, Chanel, Rachel K, and L'Oreal currently have CC Creams and, by next year, I suspect that many others will flood the market in a similar way as BB Cream.  In the mean time, I'll be patiently waiting for the day when brands make an amazing CC Cream to match brown skinned tones like myself.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My skin care journey is still going strong. Thanks to the fermented cod liver oil and increased water intake, I'm seeing some real improvement.  One sure sign of progress is that I didn't have to make my regular appointment for a corrective facial during my recent visit to Beverly Hills.

Since early this year, I've made several appointments to Lady Dee's skin care spa. This woman specializes in creating the flawless faces of many African American stars and starlets.   Many of whom are known for having amazing skin.  Her facials and products were divine and I have no doubt that, if I lived in L.A., I would proudly flaunt the flawless skin of so many of her clients.  Maybe one day soon I'll do one of her infamous peels and finally rid myself of these ancient acne scars but, in the mean time, I stumbled upon a gem that just might make my skin's dreams come true.

While rummaging through some of my old stuff, I found a copy of a taylor made skin care regimen created by Lady Dee herself.  It's very detailed and I'm sure that if I follow this regularly, my skin will look phenomenal. You lucky devils will be fortunate enough to get a glimpse of this regimen for yourselves.   Remember that some of the recommendations are relevant to the skin issues I was dealing with and, may or may not, work for you.  So here we go!

***my notes and commentary are are captured in "blue."***

Morning Wash Routine:
  • Wet face and wash with Lexus Soap (a brand she recommended for my face).  
  • Rinse well and pat face dry. Both Lady Dee and her assistant warned me not to dry my face with a towel but to use a paper towel instead or allow my skin to air dry.
  • Once face is dry, glide an ice cube over my face and neck.  (I definitely need to do this for days when I don't feel like taking a cold shower).  Use fast strokes to avoid burning.  Pat dry with tissue. 
  • Dampen a cotton ball with toner and wipe over face, neck and upper chest area. (I tone with apple cider vinegar to manage my dermatitis flare-ups)
  • Apply Active Serum to skin.  (I'm using a vitamin C serum for this step).
  • Apply dime size amount of face cream (with kojic acid and lactic acid). Massage into face for 10 minutes. (I definitely need to invest more time in massaging products into my face. That will also bring blood flow to the skin and create a healthier, toned look overall). 
  • Apply sunscreen to face and neck (I always forget to apply sunscreen to my neck).

Night Time Routine:
  • Cleanse with Lexus soap and mixed with a tiny bit of exfoliant scrub. (Will use Fresh Sugar Face polish since it's so gentle and doesn't over dry my skin).
  • Glide ice cube over face and neck.  Throw away remaining ice cube and pat face dry.  (the ice cube closes pores and tightens the skin)
  • Apply spot treatment lotion. Massage gently for 10 minutes. This is where I apply a face cream that has the ability to fade discolorations over time.
  • Apply acne medication. Massage into face for 60 seconds. The only effective acne treatment that I've used to date is the fermented cod liver oil on my breakouts directly.  Stinks, but it works. 
  • Leave on all night.
Mask Routine: (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
  • Follow the Mask Routine 3x/week instead of the night routine.
  • Cleanse face with facial scrub.
  • Apply clay mask evenly all over face. Leave on for 30 minutes
  • Ice cube
  • Apply spot treatment lotion and acne medication.
Daily Routine: 
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily!!!! (she even included the extra exclamation points in the instructions).  
  • Take 1 Multi-Vitamin.
  • Take a dropper of liquid vitamin A under tongue morning and night. (Fermented cod liver oil has my back on this one.  It contains an all natural, raw form of vitamin A readily absorbable by the body. That's probably why it's been so effective with my breakouts).  
Lady Dee once said to me that her role in my skin care is the same as the dentist's.  Yes, she can perform deep cleanings for me but she can't work her magic unless I was "brushing and flossing" consistently.  She meant that I'm supposed to maintain a great skin care routine in between our visits which is why she gave me this regimen.  I have to confess that I've not followed her sound advice.  Good thing that she was gracious enough to put it all in writing for me.  Now I can put it all into practice so I can fulfill my intention of not just having clear skin, but having skin that looks well taken care of.  I want to be one of those women who looks like she invests a lot of time and focus into the health of her skin.  In order to get there, I have to be diligent.  

I pretty much have everything I need to get this routine going with the exception of a face cream that treats my hyper-pigmentation.  Once I have that, I'm set.  I'm researching a few on Amazon that I'd like to try out.  I'm kicking off this regimen officially today and will make it a part of my everyday.  The one thing I'll do that's not included in this regimen is use my Clarisonic.  Another esthetician recommended that I use it daily, but for some reason, Lady Dee didn't think it was a good idea to use that often (that might have to do with the fact that she already incorporates regular exfoliation in the mask routine)..  My skin is pretty used to cleansing with the Clarisonic regularly so I see no harm in using daily. (although I may adjust the amount of exfoliation I do weekly depending on how my skin handles it).  Another recommendation from Lady Dee was to touch my face only twice a day. During the morning routine and during the nightly routine.  Otherwise, I should keep my hands away from my face.  Little does she know that I'm constantly touching my face. It's worse than my hands in hair disease.  I've got to break that habit starting now.  

Here's to flawless skin in 2013!  Thank you Lady Dee!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's official, winter is upon us.  The other day I read a message that said "summer bodies are made in the winter."  I'm here to tell you that "summer hair is made during the winter" as well.  That's why it's critical that we make sure our winter hair regimen is effective enough to deal with the current weather conditions all while working to help us reach our goals for 2013.

Honestly, the winter season probably the most difficult for our hair.  Shedding increases, growth slows and the cold elements are wreaking havoc on our hair.  For this reason, we have to be intentional and focused on elevating our regimen this winter.   I'm making sure to be proactive over the next several months by doing the following:

When I think of winter, one of the first word that come to mind is "dryness."  My hair gets dry, my skin, lips feet, everything.  Even the air is drier.  To combat this I vow to begin with the basics by amping up my water intake.  One action I took to make this happen was purchasing this nifty super-sized water bottle that hold 56 ounces.  If I drink two of these bottles a day then I'm close to consuming a full gallon of water.  In order to avoid the risk of becoming over-hydrated, I'm adding a pinch or two of pink salt so I can keep my sodium and mineral levels up.  I feel like everything slows down during winter time and drinking lots of water will help keep the nutrients flowing and the follicles happy.

I tried increasing my water intake lots of times before but never been able to consistently drink more than 1.5 liters a day (on good days).  I'd love to get close to drinking a gallon a day on a regular basis. I know how much my skin and scalp would benefit from it.  Of course, internal hydration is only half the battle.  It's also important moisturize our hair heavily.  For me, this means overnight pre-poo sessions and lots of oil for sealing. Nowadays, I find myself reaching for olive oil  and vitamin E oil as my ends begin to dry out and for my evening routine.  And since the air is less humid, I add moisture to my hair by first misting with it water or leave-in prior to adding my moisturizer and sealing with Gleau oil blend.  

Part two of this series will be dedicated solely to managing shedding. I have lots of suggestions and tips on how to manage this problem and I can't wait to share them with you. I'll keep this part brief since I plan on doing an entire post on shedding.
Remember the chart I shared on a previous post regarding slower growth rates in fall and winter.  Well, I do not want to take this information lightly.  Just because my hair is growing more slowly doesn't mean that I just have to sit back and take it.  There are things we can do to promote healthier, abundant growth in the winter time.  Here's what I plan on doing:

  • Keeping blood circulation up by exercising several times a week (working on my summer body).  
  • Drinking warm, delicious bamboo tea to increase silica levels.
  • Massages to keep the blood flow directed at my scalp.
  • Water, water, water.  I'll never stop bringing this up.  Even if I'm taking vitamins for growth, the cells are less able to fully access the nutrients if I'm dehydrated.  The cell walls are not as permeable when we're dehydrated which inhibits the flow of nutrients into the cell and toxins out. If nutrients can't enter the cells, they can't be healthy.  We need water to keep our cells healthy.  
  • Minimizing my manipulation. Winter is the perfect time to do some protective styling. Plus, we don't want our ends rubbin' all on the back of our sweaters.  Think of winter as a good time to put your hair into hibernation.  Weaves, satin lined hats, and bunning 'till the cows come home.  That way when summer arrives, you'll be more than ready for your big reveal.
Every winter I find myself paying more attention to my scalp than in other seasons. This has everything to do with the shedding I tend to experience if I'm not proactive.  If my dandruff gets out of control, I'll  loose extra hair as a result.  If that gets to excessive, my thickness is compromised.  I can't let that happen so I'm taking it very seriously.

That's it. I'm keeping it simple this year by being brilliant at the basics. So far, I've been able to get my shedding back to normal within the past couple of weeks.  Now that my shedding is under control, I'm all about retaining the this season's growth.  How are you tweaking your regimen for the winter?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I've got a confession to make. One of my guiltiest pleasure is the joy I receive from watching reality shows. Yes, part of the reason why I indulge in such obvious ratchetness is because of the "drama." But the real reason why partake in the festivities of reality TV is because I get to do some serious hair stalking.  I'm well aware that most of the ladies of reality television are sporting weaves but, on the flip side, there are also some drool worthy heads of hair worth noting.  I'd like to take a brief moment to celebrate my top #5 most fabulous heads of hair I've seen on reality TV.  Let's see if you agree with my list. 
I'm pretty sure that Jennifer Williams of Basketball Wives wears extension pieces from time to time.  But, for the most part, she's got some banging hair.  Her hair style of choice is bone straight and home girl keeps her stuff laid.  She kinda has the vibe of being a perfectionist and it seems like her hair is no exception.

I'm saddened that Malorie, Cynthia Bailey's sister, isn't making appearances on Real Housewives of Atlanta because I miss checking out her hair.  I was in love with her length and thickness.  Although I couldn't tell for sure, she appears to be relaxed and hovering somewhere around mid-back length.  I really appreciate the fact that she was sporting her real hair, didn't seem to protective style much and still retained length.  I'd love to know more about her regimen.

For some of you, this name may not ring a bell.  That's 'cause Alasia wasn't on your typical housewives-style reality show.  She was actually a part of the America's Next Top Model cast (Cycle 14).  I'll never forget how she was introduced.  She was wearing this short Halle Berry style wig and when she was selected as one of the finalists, she removed the wig and allowed her gorgeous mane to be unleashed.  Home girl's hair was amazing.  So healthy and shiny looking that I don't think Tyra did anything to change it during the infamous "Make Over" episode.  Although she wasn't crowned America's next top Model, she still deserves to be acknowledged for having the most fabulous head of hair I've ever seen on that show.

What can I say about this woman's hair?  It's just phenomenal.  It's like every strand is perfectly healthy. Not a split end or even a hint of frizz in sight.  I have no more words, her tresses are just beautiful.

("Hair so pretty, makes me wanna twirl")

Believe me, it was a tough choice between Brooke and Kenya but I gotta give this one to Kenya because this woman's hair is EVERYTHING!  It is everything.  Thick, shiny, and super healthy looking even though she's color-treated.  Her hair can be best described as "gone with the wind fabulous." Yes, she has a strong personality that makes it difficult for some to connect with her. But to be honest, who cares about all that when your hair is the standard of perfection?  Seriously though, I just want to pay homage by crowning her Miss "Most Amazing Hair on Reality TV."  Hey, it's not as profound as being crowned Miss America USA, but as far as I'm concerned, it's a pretty big deal. 

Who would you put at the top of the list?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This is the second of many posts I'll write on what I'm currently craving.  Looking back at the first craving post, I realized that I now have pretty much everything listed with the exception of my Micro-Mist Steamer which I would've won on Ebay yesterday if I wasn't outbid within the last few seconds of the auction.  I tried to play it off as something that wasn't meant to be but, deep down inside, I'm heartbroken.  So, I'm trying to take my mind off that horrible experience by focusing on some of my other wants.

Normally, I'm not too into fashionable items but, as of late, I've been experimenting here and there and I'm enjoying the experience.  A little while ago I purchased some fitted black jeans after being inspired by this look. "In love" is how I can best describe the way I feel about the $20.00 jeans I purchased from Target.    I love them so much that I'll be picking up a second pair.  Now that I have my jeans, it's time to set my sights on something greater....a perfect pair of leather leggings/jeans.  

I don't mean to jinx things, but I gotta feeling that once I actually try on a pair of these leather pants, I'll be sorely disappointed because I'll look nothing like the image below.  Either way, I'm willing to participate in the experience of hunt.  If anyone has any ideas of where I can find a perfect pair that can fit someone who's 5'1.  Let me know. 


A couple of months ago, I was this close to purchasing a Gucci Soho bag.   Plans were already in the making to save for a 2013 purchase. Things quickly changed when this electric blue Chanel bag appeared on my Instagram timeline.  Suddenly, my priorities shifted and this Chanel bag landed at the top of my list.  Upon further research, I learned that this fabulous handbag is a couple of seasons old, so I won't be able to walk into a boutique and purchase it.  So for now, I'll just put the "vibes" out there so I can attract my next bag.  Oh, I should also mention that I received request to share my hand bag collection.  Although I don't have much of a "collection," I would love to do a future post since I love watching other people's hand bag collection videos.

Since I didn't win my beloved Micro-Mist, I'll probably grab the next item on my craving list which is a nifty camera lens.  After talking to a photographer friend of mine, I was given the recommendation of  this Tamron 24-70 as an all around great all-purpose lens.  I told him that I wanted a high quality, every day lens and he responded saying the Tamron was the lens for me.  After reading to the reviews online, I made the intention to purchase one day soon.  Thanks to that evil, overzealous,  Ebay bidder, that day may come sooner than I first thought.

My current closet is best described as shameful.  Everything is disorganized, the closet itself is dated and falling apart.  The doors are actually falling off the hinges.  I'm embarrassed just thinking about it.  I would love to create an updated, organized closet that I can proudly display.  One of my annual, end-of-the-year rituals involves ridding my home of excess clutter and reorganizing my environment.  This year, I would absolutely love to re-do & organize my closets.  Call me crazy, but I believe that if my closet was perfectly organized, the vibes I would get from standing in front of it every morning would set the tone for a magnificent day.  We all know that enough magnificent days added together creates a magnificent life.  

My last crave of the day is my ultimate obsession.  For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted an Audi A6.  I would happily give up everything else on this list for my Audi.  There's just something about this vehicle that makes me a happy inside.  One thing that stops me from getting this vehicle is the requirement of purchasing premium gas along with the high cost associated with routine repairs.  That scares me a little but I've got to get over it if I really want  the Audi.  Sometimes we let fears stop us instead of facing the fears and deciding what we're gonna do about it.  There are quite a few things I can do to mitigate the maintenance costs of the Audi but if I only focus on the cost, I become stagnant instead of moving towards my intention. 

Technically, this is supposed to be a non-hair care edition but I just couldn't help myself.  Over the past few weeks, Redken Extreme Strength Builder plus hair mask has been popping up on my radar.  The reviews are positive and the price is right (at under $20).  Of course the product has a place in my heart since it contains one of the premium healthy hair ingredients (MEA-18). I've decided to drown my Micro-Mist sorrows by purchasing a constellation prize.  This Redken mask is just the thing.  I'll be taking possession of this bad boy up this weekend and, when I'm sitting under the dryer. I'll pretend that I'm sitting under my future steamer (wipes eye). 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The end of the 2012 is quickly approaching and, assuming the zombie apocalypse doesn't occur, we'll soon find ourselves entering a new year and making new promises to ourselves.  Probably, the most common resolution, made time and time again, is the intention create toned fit bodies.

I'm here to offer up a little motivation so you can be inspired to begin the process of changing your bodies sooner rather than later.  I'm a little bit of a "yo-yo exerciser".  This is similar to a "yo-yo dieter" but in relation to exercising versus dieting.  I get on these kicks where I go to the gym regularly then life gets in the way and I find myself losing the progress I once made.

One thing I learned from cyber-stalking fit and healthy ladies from instagram is that they are consistent. Working out seems to be a regular part of life for them.  The results speak for themselves in the form of beautifully toned bodies that are to die for.    Let's get to know some of them a little better shall we?

Instagram User: Blacbombshell

Miss "Bombshell", who shared a weight loss progress pic after shedding 75 lbs, attributed her success to "eating healthy, doing a lot of cardio and weight training."  It took her 5 months to sculpt her slimmer body by "eating healthy, drinking lots of water,  doing 30-45 minutes of cardio and weight training 5x a week." Her hard work, dedication, and consistency paid off big time and now she's an inspiration to us all.

Instagram User: Dolly Castro

Someone who's occupation is video model is expected to have a toned figure. As you might suspect, this girl takes her figure, and her workouts seriously.  Take a moment and look at her face in the pics below.  The look she's giving is one of complete confidence.  The kind of confidence that comes with the certainty of knowing that you have a darn near perfect physique.  I experienced quite a bit of this confidence when I worked out consistently and I'd love to get back to having that feeling once again.

Instagram User: Iamjuju

When I first saw pics of miss JuJu in a bikini, I immediately dismissed her flawless shape as having everything thing to do with plastic surgery.  But when she shared several pics of her getting her workout on, I quickly had to change my way of thinking.  "If it only required surgery to achieve her toned abs and slim waist, why is she even working out at all?"  That's when I decided that my way of thinking was only serving to keep me from working out.  Once I was aware of my limiting beliefs, I came to my senses and went back to working hard to sculpt my ideal physique.

Instagram user: swarecapri

Not only does this girl have amazing hair, her body is pretty much perfect.  In one of her updates she mentioned working out with a trainer to craft her flawless frame. As I looked at the picture below, the first thought that came to mind is "I wonder how long it's been since I've been comfortable showing my midriff?" 

We can only hide behind the warm layers of winter sweaters for so long before Spring starts to peak it's lovely head.  Next thing we know it'll be time for summer dresses and bikini's.  Creating this habit of working out now will give us an early start into 2013.  The only thing we have to lose are those excuses that keep holding us back.

. Theme by STS.