Tuesday, December 16, 2014

End of the Year, Start of Something New.........

So......I've been away for a LONG TIME. I have no real excuse but I do have some legitimate reasons. Here they are:

As you probably gleaned from my last few blogs, I entered into a relationship with a handsome young man back in January of 2011. We moved in together shortly thereafter and I received a highly anticipated promotion at work, (Yea me!). During the last 3 years life happened as well, both good and bad things and life-changing decisions. First, I decided to move to another borough with my boyfriend. Shortly after my move, my boss and mentor passed away suddenly. This hit me quite hard. Super-storm Sandy made life hell for almost a year for so many reasons after it hit. My relationship hit unexpected bumps and turns as well. I made new friends and longtime enemies out of the same two people (there will be a blog about that later). Good things happened as well: I finished my degree, repaired my relationships with my family and moved back to the borough I love (oh , Brooklyn, how I love thee!).
I made the decision to work in the field of law, which is something I always wanted to do but was quite afraid of. My fear turned to anger when every legal position I applied for within my old company was given to law grads (how dare!). I decided to earn a paralegal certificate and apply for jobs outside my company. After my boss died, I was miserable at work and hated it. At first I only applied to legal assistant jobs, since I had an executive assistant background but as I was editing my resume based on paralegal postings on various websites, I read an ad that literally plucked my heartstrings. Without reservation, okay with a few reservations, I sent a heartfelt email and my half-assed paralegal resume to the poster. Why the reservations? For one, the posting was on Craigslist. I half-expected the interviewer to ask if I minded working in only my underwear and honey. Okay, I fully expected that. But it turns out the posting was legit and the poster, who would become my boss, seemed normal and nice. I didn't expect to get an interview or the job but I got both. I was so excited to be working as a legal assistant/paralegal I worked both my jobs until I officially gave my notice (which is crazy, I'll never do that again).
Again, my happiness was short-lived when my Dad called me at work to tell me had cancer. Six short weeks later he passed. I drove to Texas to see him laid to rest. His funeral was awesome. My dad is an Air Force veteran. All the living vets came to his funeral and he was buried in the veteran's memorial in Abilene. He was paraded through town, given a full hero's home going. It was spectacular to see. The next day, fighter pilots flew over the town. If you've never seen an air show, you must! I'm a jaded person who is not easily impressed and I was completely blown away, It helped my sadness to see all the love and respect my father earned in his lifetime, I'll miss him terribly.
The death of the three (my uncle passed also) most important men in my life made me realize that I was not living life. Life was happening to me. No matter what anyone thought or said, these men moved forward everyday. Good or bad, they lived life their way. And they were happy. They tolerated little to no bullshit and didn't gave a crap about what others thought. They fought for what they believed in and they were always laughing and cracking jokes. And they were kind. I remember their humor most of all. This light they all had, attracted so many people to them. Through this, I realized that I was unhappy. I let things happen, I didn't chase my happiness and carried so much shame and anger around with me. When you do that, that's exactly what you will attract.
Famous 'Concious Uncoupler' Gwyneth P.

As hard as it was to accept it, I knew that this was especially true in my relationship. The relationship was over long ago but I kept hanging on and complaining the whole way, as if I couldn't do anything about it. Again, I was letting life happen to me instead of living the life I wanted. Stuck in a lease, I didn't know how to go about it. There was no way out of the lease for either of us, so we decided to stick it out. I was scared that things might get contentious. So I decided to do some research. Remember Gwyneth Paltrow's 'conscious uncoupling'? Now hear me out: turns out the moniker for peacefully parting ways in a slow, structured way is actually a legitimate behavioral model that many psychologists and therapists encourage.
Look, I'm no red string-wearing, truck driver-hat wearing celebrity enthusiast, but I dig this! And I can tell you from experience (and the fact we had little choice) it works. Whenever things get testy, we stop and talk about our issues and where they might be coming from. Sometimes, it's as simple as one or both of us are ready to move on, other times, we're legitimately annoyed with one another and constructively talk about those things, always 'consciously' trying to learn more about ourselves through the process. I've learned more about myself in the last few months than I have with people I've known all my life. It's prickly but needed and I've grown.
Four years ago around this same time, I was estranged from my family, alone and broke. I thought life was not worth living. I remember praying with tears in my eyes. I said, "God I need you but I need to SEE you. I need proof that you exist and that you love me and that I'm supposed to be here." Then I actually met God. He's a Black man by the way. I'll write a full blog about meeting Him and two angels next week.
Look how far I've come! By the end of this week, I'd have attended three holiday parties, received two wonderful New Year's Eve invites and I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my own family and possibly cooking the meal! I have so much to be thankful for already. I'm blessed!
I'll have New Year's goals but I've learned resolutions only take you so far, working on your energy is much better and attainable goal that will attract all the things God has for you and your hearts' desires. So here's to better energy, connecting and re-connecting and fighting for love and all better things in life. C'mon 2015, it's my time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Don't Go Back - *February 2013 Essence magazine giveaway!*


Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013 Family! I'm glad you stopped by, we have SO much to discuss this year and I will definitely bring you more than I did last year. Wait and see!

My "Daily $ense for January 2013 is this: Don't go back! If you lost weight, keep exercising and eating right, DON'T GO BACK! If you started the trying process of changing your career to one of your passion, keep going, DON'T GO BACK!  If  you made the decision to change something in your personality for the better, whether that be to say no when you mean it, to be more positive, to change a nasty attitude, to be happy, to be more spiritual, less selfless, stop being envious, etc., no matter how difficult these changes are or how many times people may take you "out of the spirit" of these changes, keep pressing forward. DON'T GO BACK! If you left a relationship that wasn't respectful of you, did not fulfill your needs, that was abusive mentally or physically or just wasn't right for you, DON'T GO BACK!
To forgive does not mean to forget.
Don't go back like she did.

And if you do go back, DON'T STAY THERE. Begin again. And again. And again. Failure isn't falling down. Failure is falling down and staying there. Failure is not trying again. Failure is the refusal to open another door because one door closed. The refusal to even try. That's failure. YOU are not a failure. YOU are a success to not be measured by others. Some will reach their pinnacle as teenagers, others in their twenties and thirties. You may be one of them. Some of us, like past president of the NAACP, Kweisi Mfume, will find our calling after many wrong turns much later in life. His path, his testimony would serve as inspiration to many young women and men of color who weren't born into greatness but created. You, my friend, are the creator of greatness. GET UP. And TRY AGAIN. DON'T STAY BACK, then DON'T GO BACK!

For those of us who know the changes we'd like to make, the changes we swear we'll start today tomorrow and the next, the changes we need to make but aren't sure which of the vast many to changes to actually change because there are so many and those who know the exact ones but don't know where to begin. In the words of the famous Cole Porter song just"Begin the Beguine" Basically, go forth with the dance whether you know how to or not, the answer will come to you. BEGIN and then, DON'T GO BACK! Stay spiritual and you will be supplied with all you need. If that doesn't happen as fast as you would like, use the Internet, Amen?

Stay hopeful. Stay positive. If you find yourself perennially unhappy (and it's not a medical condition like depression) it's time to give your time and space to those in need. Volunteer and intern that helps you to give back to the community. Best thing? No experience is necessary, you're guaranteed to meet similar minded individuals and get more out of it than those you're helping. Your spirit, mind and time will be filled and you will be *happy*!

Although last year I was successful in my 2012 goals, this year I decided to keep it simple and make a "CHECK YO'SELF 2013" list.


*Earn a 4.0 for my Spring and Fall 2013 semesters in school. Study and stay prayerful.
*Lose 40 lbs this year with a goal of 10 lbs per quarter. NO eating fast food, walk 2 miles 5 days a week.
*Work towards a new position in my company. Ask the director to be my mentor.
*Maintain a healthy balance in my spiritual, personal and work life. If it doesn't work, it must change or go!

 Feel free to check me on all these things at all times. Being made to be accountable helps us all to achieve our goals.  Make your own "CHECK YO'SELF 2013 list, share it with at least two friends or acquaintances and have them "CHECK YOU" when you need it and vice versa. More importantly, CHECK YO'SELF!

As a "Thank You" to you, I'd like to help you start your 2013 year off with the inspirational February 2013 Essence magazine featuring Iyanla Vanzant. Please comment by January 30, 2013 and I will choose one of you at random. Good luck!

NOTE: No promotion was paid by TIME or any other entity for this contest

Remember, Don't Go Back, Check Yo'Self and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beware of the Thirsty Girl or Guy!

Beware of the Thirsty Girl or Guy!

A few Summers ago as I was walking with a friend I saw an incredibly attractive man walking towards me. You know, the kind of good-looking you just don't see everyday. As he walked by, I HAD to speak.

"Hello, good afternoon, how are you?" I didn't mean to say all that, but I was captivated and feeling bold.

Mr. Good-Looking simply smiled as he walked on by and replied, "Good afternoon, I'm fine."

I turned to watch him walk away and stated loud enough for him to hear, "Yes, you are." Look, guys do those kind of things to women everyday and I love turning the tables on them when I get a chance.  As soon as I turned back to my friend, however, she was laughing hysterically.

"Gurl, what is wrong with you? Why are you acting all thirsty? Is your throat dry?", she said. I had no idea what she meant but it cracked me up and I joined in her laughter.

"What do you mean?" I asked her.

She replied in a voice mimicking a dirty,old man,"Hello there, good afternoon baby, how ya doin'?" lickin' her lips the entire time. I laughed until I cried.

"I was SO not like that!" I exclaimed.

"Yes you were! You acted like you were thirsty and the only thing that could quench your thirst was a tall glass of him!"

Is that what 'thirsty' means?", I asked.

"Yep, it means you gotta get at a man no matter what, like you're desperate and you're not desperate girl so stop acting like you're thirsty!" She said as she laughed again.

Little did I know at the time that although I was indeed not 'thirsty', there were MANY females out there that were. Oh, there are some dry, scratchy throat, can hardly talk for dry wheezing chicks out there, so watch your back. I had an ultimate run-in with one dry throat chick and although I will not put her on blast, I will post warning signs about them. Here they are:

Thirsty Chicks Have No Female Friends: It's true. They may have associates and such but no friends. Not because they can't make them, they choose not too. Thirsty females know that they cannot be trusted so they trust no other female.

Thirsty Females keep their info tight: Think about it: do you know one female that knows alot about everybody else's business but you know very little about hers? That's a thirsty chick on the low. They keep tabs on your man and your situation so that they can strike when the time is right. They wait for you to show the slightest disinterest and then they move in on your man. If you confront her about it she'll say "You acted like you didn't want him".

Thirsty Females like averted attention: Thirsty chicks or guys don't mind if another female gets all the attention at first, they just want to go home with the digits or the guy at the end of the night. So they sit back, let you do all the conversation, then when you get to the exchange of info, they insert themselves. No work, but all the payload.

Thirsty Females have no loyalty: She may be your soror/frat or your girl/boy, but not when it comes to the opposite sex! You may have walked in with him, but she has no problem with walking out with him. She doesn't ask or concern herself with the details of who is seeing who, etc. because that would only make her look worse than she already will by going after the same guy your with.

Thirsty Females are BOLD: Not only will they openly flirt with your man right in front of you, they will talk about it to your face. Don't be fooled by a temporary act of consciousness when they tell you they "may" have crossed the line. It's simply to throw you off track and the bolder have no problem with telling they either have or will choose you over them.

Beyond the warning signs posted, I've written a poem about the thirsty women out there whose parched throat ways get in the way of all the true women out there. Read this to empower yourself whenever a scratchy throat gets you down. Smooches!

Jennifer Anniston. Spokesperson for SmartWater. Fully prepared for the next Thirsty chick that tries to steal her man.

Ode to the Thirsty Girl

Thirsty Girl, oh Thirsty Girl
Why must you be so dry?
Why must you holla at every single man 
that happens to pass you by?

Thirsty Girl, oh Thirsty Girl,
Do you have any loyalty?
You betta quench your thirst ahead of time
Before you come and hang with me

Thirsty girl, oh Thirsty girl
your desperation ain't hard to see
Before you come out since you're that dry
Try drinking a glass of tea

Or perhaps your missing electrolytes
have you tried drinking SmartWater?
because you 
trying to holla at the same guy I am
is completely out of order

Thirsty girl, oh Thirsty Girl,
Don't you know the Girlfriend code?
If I step first, then you back off
Why must you stoop so low?

So I thank your dry & thirsty ways
for clearing the weaker sex from my path,
and making the way for the Alpha male
since I only like the best!

Thirsty Girl, oh Thirsty Girl
you habitual line stepper,
you desperate moves will always prove
As a matter of choice, I'm better!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't Be That Girl or Why I'm not Feeling Alicia Keys Anymore

Amber Rose. Wise, mature and pretty!

A few months ago, I listened to an interview Amber Rose gave to a radio station. Now, just like you, I had my preconceived notions about her based on her pre-Kanye West career, her sudden and seemingly undeserved rise to fame based on nothing but her blond-dyed crew cut and Betty Boop figure. No, I'm not about to give you the Russell Simmons' Global Grind "But There's More To Her, don't hate her!" speech.

What I will give you is the lesson that unfortunately may have been lost in the fact that it was coming from Amber Rose. In the infamous interview, Amber Rose let it slip out that part of the reason for her break up with her first famous beau was due to a little known chick named Kim Kardashian, who's body and rise to fame was pretty much identical to Amber's with the exception that one grew up poor and the other grew up affluent. In her suspicion of the tryst, Amber did what a lot women should do first and don't: she confronted her man. She held him accountable for his actions and then in a very mature move I would not have taken, she decided she wanted to try and works things out with Mr. West as long as he left said Kardashian alone. Whether or not Kanye agreed (obviously not), according to Amber, Kimberly did not. Amber knew the responsibility of being faithful truly lied with her partner, not KK, however, she attempted to talk to Kimberly. When Amber discovered KK was still "sexting" Kanye, she texted her. Not to threaten her, not to cuss her out, but to give her advice: "Don't be that girl". Her words were powerful and wise and although she did not receive a response from her allegory to Kim, her maturity in the situation earned my respect.

Now who was "That girl" Amber was referring to? We all know who she is. She is the girl who does whatever she wants, whatever feels good despite who that may hurt in the process. She is the sideline chick aiming for top spot, she is the female who bases her self-esteem in breaking up relationships, she is the female that has no respect for herself or others relationships, she is the chick who is selfish, self-centred and doesn't care who she hurts as long as her needs are met, she is the female who purports herself to be a strong and powerful woman for other women but excuses her behavior based on circumstance rather than lead by an intergal life. Yeah, she's that chick. The chick,whom you and other females cannot trust. The "I'm going for mine" girl when she really mean's "I'm going for yours".

Now before you swear and curse that girl , know this: We are ALL that girl. Yep. Re-read it again. How so?

As dynamic people we are all  comprised of and capable of many things, most good and some bad. In this way, that girl is in all of us. One of you may be saying, not me, but yeah , yes you.

Now just because we have "That girl" or "That guy" in us doesn't mean we have to let that person out. We have all, at one time or another been faced with a strong moral dilemma. At one time or another, we either gave in or wanted to give in to our desires and passions and be a slave to what we wanted whether it was right or wrong or who we may hurt in the process. And if none of this seems to apply to you at this moment, don't worry it will. There will come a time when the guy or girl who lights your fire is married or otherwise taken. There will be a time when it seems your sexual soul-mate also happens to be your student, a client or a patient. There will be a time when you fall in love with someone else's husband or wife and in all these situations unfortunately the feelings will be reciprocated, making the decision to walk away and do the right thing difficult and painful.
Kim Kardashian and Alicia Keys, collectively known as 'Homewreckers Anonymous'

This is where Alicia Keys comes in. We all know her good homegirl "I'm for women" media personality her empire spins on us. Her songs of broken hearts, broken love and most of all of staying faithful to love. Yet in her personal life we unfortunately learned that while she could talk the talk, she could not walk the walk. She, like the rest of us had "That girl" in her, but instead of taking the higher moral ground and therefore avoiding the very "Karma" she sung about, she chose to be the woman involved in an already dissolving marriage, publicly no less. Humiliating her now husband's former wife and child, she chose to partner, become pregnant and engaged to an already married man. I often wonder what respect does she expect from her husband's children or her own son when they become of age and learn of when and how she and her now-husband became a couple. I don't pretend or profess to know the personal details of what happened in this situation. Maybe she's withholding a simple explanation that we the public don't know that would make her an innocent in this, but as a public relations trained professional, we have a saying: what it looks like is usually what it is and you can't turn sh*t into mayonnaise, but I'd like to see her try.

With all that I said, I do not have advice or  a 3 step rule this time to help you when the time comes when you're faced with being "That girl" or being "That guy". And unlike the liberty I took in judging Alicia Keys, I won't judge you. Temptation is hard. The Devil knows exactly what to serve at EXACTLY the right time so  that the offer can be hard to refuse.  All I can hope is that you make the right decision. And let's say you've already been in one of the aforementioned situations and you DID choose to be "That person". Don't beat yourself up about it. Move on. Love yourself. And regardless of the bad-decision making and poor judgement you may have made in the past, you are worthy of new chances, of earning trust and most importantly of forgiveness. Alicia has done nothing to me personally. Was I disappointed in her? Yes. Did she disappoint the womanhood? Undoubtedly. But you know what? I forgive her.  Just like Mashonda forgave her and moved on to someone who is faithful and worthy of her love. Just like Amber forgave Kim and even thanked her for giving her a reason to leave a man who was unworthy of her and led her to her husband-to-be. I forgive these women. I'm just waiting for the new piano playing poetess and curvy, reality t.v. star fashionista, worthy of my fanship, to take their place.

MAC and Other Makeup Gimmicks Women Fall For

As I walked in, late nonetheless, to my Affordable Beauty Class with celebrity Makeup artist A.J. Crimson, I was stunned to see that over 70% of the class were African-American women and not just African-American women, but dark-skinned African-American women. The media often ignores the vast hues in the Black skin color spectrum, leaving those darker than a walnut brown to fend for themselves. With models like Alek Wek walking for Chanel and Oluchi Onweagba modeling for Victoria's Secret, you'd think that we'd be more educated and have more options for the higher end of the color spectrum, but alas no. And no oasis was found at the Affordable Beauty clinic as we watched A.J. delightfully shade and contour a fair skinned participant, but could not display the same effect on an ebony shaded beauty who volunteered to be made up by him. The frustration in her voice at her dissapoinment in not being shaded and contoured as her counterpart was shared by many in the room. His  directions called for using the darkest makeup you could find to create cheekbones and shading, but what about when you ARE the deepest shade in the spectrum? What then? As a YOUTUBE specialist, I knew that there were other artists who excelled where A.J. did not. I passed the info of several artists, not as well known as A.J., who specialized in creating the looks darker skinned Black women desire.

The next sin made by A.J. was his denouncement of MAC cosmetics. *!GASP!*  As instructed , all the women brought their current make-up bags for his perousal. As the group began to ask questions, of course he pushed his own product line and those used by industry professionals. But when asked which MAC products he endorsed. He asked, "Who wears MAC anymore?" Stunned, we were to afraid to answer our makeup idol, but collectively our silence whimpered "We do!". The woman next to me whispered,"I love MAC and I'm not gonna stop wearing it for nobody!". I smiled politey at her comment and then I began to wonder, 'Well, why were we wearing MAC cosmetics? Was AJ right? Were we wearing MAC even though  their shades did not match our skin color and/or tone and their colors and products were unwearable and overpriced based on the amount purchased and performance? Were we victims to sleek packaging and marketing efforts that told us subliminally, even though common sense told us otherwise, we needed MAC products to be sought after and beautiful even though the products don't work? And for those that claim it does, do we really believe that in order to be inclusive in some ultimate makeup click, selectively pulling our MAC brushes and lip glosses from our purses for status rather than effectiveness? The answer was .....yes.

Since Duane Reade launched "The LOOK Boutique", I've been a fan, especially since they had the fortitude to launch BECCA cosmetics, a line that offers skin tone and color selections, which is important in a multi-ethnic and hued society. Ever wondered why a base/foundation that is your color doesn't work? It's because it doesn't match your skin tone. It's expensive to expand a color foundation based on both tones and color, but it is achievable and it is done. True enough the more expensive a line is(think NARS or Giorgio Armani) or exclusive(think Guerlain or Fashion Fair), the more likely they employ this effort, but BECCA does this at a reasonable cost level(it's not cheap though). The LOOK Boutique also offers other non-SEPHORA endorsed products that work for ethnic or multi-racial skin, but without the sleek advertising, marketing and fanfare surrounded by the likes of MAC, Clinique or Bobbi Brown.

One weekend after attending the workshop, I went to the LOOK Boutique counter to purchase a lip liner and gloss from the Vera Moore line, I asked the beauty counter representative which lines she likes that is offered in the store. Her reply? "None". she said. When I asked, she replied, "There's just nothing that excites me about any of these lines." Intrigued, I asked, " Which lines do excite you? " Clinique, MAC, any of the lines at Sephora, some drugstore brands." I looked the associate over . Such a pretty girl, but such a poorly made-up face. The "exciting" lines she was using did nothing for her. Her technique was okay, but her skin was ashy and mis-colored. Her eye makeup was poorly done, flaking, fading and not becoming for her. Her lipstick was so far out of her skin tone family, it stood out like a horrible mistake that was made just before she left the house. Mind you, her shift had just started and she probably left her home an hour ago. To be included in makeup "excitement" she was willing to look a hot mess. I could not understand why she would purchase a base and powder that no more matched her skin color than an elephant's for the sake of purchasing a name brand that was well-known. Especially when BECCA and Vera Moore had her EXACT shade and tone right there in front of her.
"Did you at least try some of these cosmetics here? As a WOC, I find them to be more suitable for our skin tones/color than some of the more well-known brands." I say to her.
"No, I didn't try them. I'm just not interested since I've never heard of them. I heard of BECCA when it was at SEPHORA, but I never got a chance to try it." If I wasn't in a hurry, I would've strapped that chick down and re-did her face right there.It was one thing to have mis-matched foundation and powder b/c that's the best you can do, but to do it just to say you have such and such in your make-up kit while you look foolish is a complete 'nother. This young woman saved my life. I knew right then,I had to put makeup that didn't work for me DOWN no matter what the label read.

Because of this encounter I decided to write some rules to make sure that I never fall prey to makeup marketing schemes that don't work for me. If you agree to these rules, help spread the news. BTW, it's okay if you wear MAC in 2010, 2011 and beyond, as long as the hype doesn't sprinkle stars in your eyes convincing you that it looks good on you when it doesn't and doesn't stop you from looking for something that may very well be better.

1)Educate yourself on as many makeup lines as you can.
Yes, it can be overwhelming, but lucky for you, you are living in the age of blogs and YouTube videos. Most makeup mavens have done the research for you. Make sure you subscribe to bloggers who are not paid or compensated for their opinion of beauty products. Remember, trained makeup and beauty artists can make ANYTHING work, so if all they have to give is praise, look for another written or video blogger who can give you an honest opinion of what a product can or can't do.

2)The price does NOT matter, the effectiveness does.
With the exception of very sensitive skin, most of us can wear any drugstore brand available. While the metaphoric high of purchaseing MAC and any product from the makeup counter at Nordstrom's or SEPHORA is addictive, beware the train of thought that the more you pay for it, the better it is. That is not always the case when it comes to makeup. Born with hereditary dark circles under my eyes, I searched high and low for a concealer that not only matched my skin tone/color, but with the perfect consistency to not run or rub off during the day(or night). After paying $55, $35, $28 for high end concealers that did not work time after time, a makeup artist suggested a drugstore brand, Posner cover creme. It cost just $8 and is the best thing that ever happened to me. When people ask me why my skin looks perfect, I tell them this story. While I swear by it, it doesn't work for everyone. The moral of the story is, find something that works for you and it is not always going to be the most expensive thing on the market.

3)Pick a color that is flattering to you.
Here's the deal: The most common used makeup on runways are drugstore brands mixed with professional makeup artists tricks products. All makeup is not developed with everyone in mind. It would be impossible to do so. So although, there are some blushes and lipsticks advertised as universally flattering, believe me, there is no such thing. Someone will end up looking weird. With that in mind, know that some poeple do not look good in frosty eyeshadows, satin colors look best on dewy skin, therefore if your skin is dry, you need shimmer. Yes, you can wear pink, but pick a pink shade that is flattering to you. Just because Disco Pink is in season, does not mean its for you.

4) DO NOT get sucked into name brands and slick advertising schemes.
The purpose of this rule is not to downplay MAC, Bobbi Brown or any other well-known brand or high volume selling drugstore cosmetic. Look, I'm no different than you. I use MAC and Clinique products. What I do want to impress upon you, is that once the marketing facade fades, you have to come to the conclusion of if the product not only works, but works for you. If it does what I need it to do then I'm fine with whatever high-end, mid-or low-end product I buy. Not only that, but I try to be fiscally smart with my makeup as well. I love Dior mascara, but buying a $30 mascara every 3-4 months is out of the question. I find that Maybelline makes a mascara that does the same, if not better, for 1/5 of the price. While I loved taking the Dior out of my makeup bag (let's face it: some luxury makeup just makes you FEEL good),I know the SMART thing was to stick to my drugstore brand and flaunt that!

What I hope you take away from this to not let MAC or any other highly marketed makeup line be your holy grail for makeup and cosmetic products.

Stop being a line only fanatic and be a "ME" fanatic. Don't talk about the latest product out, but the latest product you've tried or seen that may work for you. Don't let a makeup line define if you're a diva or not. Let the definition be read in how good you look with what works on you.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Relationship: What To Expect In The Very Beginning......

You're in a relationship. Congratulations. It's new, it's exciting and it's .......not perfect. But what is?
Don't worry, there are some normal relationship"kinks" that you and everyone you know will or has gone through. To spare you the late -night calls to friends, binge-eating and 'Reply All' e-mails, I've listed of few of the major ones to look out for.
1) When going from seeing to seriously dating, every red flag that has gone under your radar in your past relationships ( i.e. baggage) is going to pop it's ugly head. Remember when you pretended to be so secure in your relationship, you didn't check his phone? Then you were so secure you did check his phone? And found out there where at least 4 (or more) people in this secure relationship with you and him? Yeah, those things will pop into your head., no matter how great of a person he or she is. Things will be good. And you'll appreciate it. Then you'll think things are TOO good (though there's no such thing) and so your mind will replay every scenario in which you, someone you knew or someone you saw on The Maury Povich Show went through. This is the time to be honest with your honey about what you feel and why. At this point in life, both of you will being bringing baggage into the relationship, it's only natural. Let your partner know what happened in the past that has you feeling insecure now. A good partner will understand and work to get past it but you have to do your part, which means you DO have to get over it or end up single because no one will put up with relationship insecurities for long.

2) He or she will get on your nerves. I don't care how sweet, wonderful, beautiful or handsome  the person you're seeing is, they will get on your nerves. Big time. This comes about due to familiarity and being  territorial. Whether you're single periodically or for long periods of time, sharing your intimate space on a constant basis can wear you thin. Your habits, as well as your partner's, are magnified and even the slightest phrase or look can sometimes set you off. NO, your not crazy and no, they're not intentionally being nerve-wrecking. In fact, all you need is to count to 10 and just R-E-L-A-X. This isn't the time to tell your partner every little thing that annoys you and how they shouldn't breathe heavy when you come home from work or how her dramatics over her reality shows make you want to grate your nails. This IS the time to remember that unless it's a game changer, it's really not that big of deal. and just like you find things they do annoying, it's the same on the other side of the fence. There is NO human being alive who you can date or marry who will not get on your nerves or vice versa so learn to deal with it. Focus on their positive qualities and move on.

3)YES! You do have to check in or risk being checked out of the relationship. When you decide to get serious about someone, there is no night off. You can't suddenly not call your partner for 24 hours and then the next  night call and in a chipper voice say "Hey babe!" It does not work that way. When you get serious, you have a serious responsibility. The other person. I'm not saying it's not cool to hang out with your man and them or your girls, or enjoy some time alone when he or she is busy doing something else, but becoming a serious couple is courtship , a demonstration model of how you expect your engagement or marriage to follow. That means making calls about your day, calling to tell a funny story, calling to let off steam and expecting the same in return. This is how you'll know you're with the right person. When you choose to make him or her the first person you share things with and vice versa, checking in won't be a chore, it'll be a lucky priviledge you both share.

4)He or she will be around you constantly. In almost every free moment you have. It will be cute at first. Then it will be a bit much.Then it will get creepy. So you will tell your partner to back off. But by that time, out of the blue, you'll get so used to having them around you ACTUALLY switch places. Then he thinks it's cute that your around so much, then it'll become a bit much, then you'll get creepy......you get the idea. But eventually you'll settle into place that's comfortable for you both. I promise.

5) You will have the ultimate "Before-I-Get-Serious-With-You-I'm Pushing-You -Away -to-See-If -You'll -Stay" fight. The argument may be over a serious issue or it may be over something petty, but it WILL happen. I'm not saying this so to scare you. I'm saying it to let you know it's okay when it happens. In a real relationship, there will be disagreements and things might be said that you wish weren't but the important part of this fight is to:  a) see how you fight (always fight fair),  and b) to see if you'll run away at the slightest sign of problems,  and c) to see if you'll fight for the relationship. With all this said, the "big fight" may happen twice, once with each partner walking away (or at least pretending to). After the fight though, make sure you both come to a resolution peacefully and remember the love you're working on between you. Once you learn each other's communication style, unless you like to argue, you won't have many major disagreements and you'll learn how to speak to and resolve your issues between each other in a respectful way and more important, you'll know you're both worth fighting for!

6)He will get machismo on you and try to get hype and tell you what to do or shut you down. She will attempt to shut you down and let you know she's running things. Once you call them on it, they'll laugh it off and take it back. Both are trying to have the upper hand. Neither has it. Both will try it again. You'll crack up laughing each time and ignore it.
So all the things listed, I personally went through and it was off-putting and sometimes scary. And each time I went through them and got through them, I talked to other people and found out it was normal so I'm letting you know ahead of time, it's normal. So before you make that call to a friend, hey.....it's okay. You'll be fine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Les Miserable! How to Deal with Negative People at Work

Negative, miserable people.  Ugh. They can make a job you love a JOB to love. Who are these people? where do they come from? Why are they on your job and in your life?

While we don't know everyone's story, suffering alongside them is not your job. I remember when I had been blessed to work at a great job in a career I had wanted badly. The people in my department were friendly, hard-working people who made going to my job everyday easy despite the low pay and long hours and hard work we all put in. We were grateful for our jobs and made sure we kept each others' spirits lifted. 

After I was hired, my boss hired a friend of a friend who needed a job badly. The employee used to run his own company and was used to being the boss for many years. But at our company he was powerless and had to take directions from people who much younger and more knowledgeable than him. He was miserable. He complained about our superiors, made snide remarks about our co-workers and called everyone stupid who was out of earshot. Soon, his misery spread like quick acting poison among our entire team. Even though the employee was becoming abusive, not one person on the team spoke up against him - except one. One of the original team members filed a complaint against this intolerable employee after going to the supervisor and then his boss first.

When the company realized how much production had gone down since he was hired, they investigated. Once more people began to speak up, the abusive employee was given a Final warning - meaning he or she had to clean up their act or be terminated. Since that time, the team has had a 100% turn-around. Not  everyday was complete sunshine with the employee but the negativity had come to a stop.

Now, the other people who did not come forward to complain about the negative employee weren't afraid, they just knew how to handle Negative People at work in a different way. Below are my rules for attempting to deal with Negative People and situations at work.

1)My first advice is to ignore them if you can. Unfortunately, a lot of employment depends on team work and miserable people love to work in team environments.  So my advice is if ignoring them doesn't work and you have to interface with one everyday. Learn to politely re-guide every angle of negativity they attempt to spew at you and others.

2) Do not join in on miserable  people gossip. It's second nature to not necessarily like everything our boss or co-workers do, but to continuously rag on it daily only illuminates the situation and makes it worse. And misery loves company. My second token of advice is, no matter how much you may agree with negative convo concerning your boss, refrain from it and if someone brings it to your desk or area, listen if you're forced to do so but make no comments or agree. After the person has their say, act busy or guide the conversation elsewhere. If asked your opinion, simply say you have none. And most of all keep in mind: If people talk about others to you, they are definitely talking about you as well.

3)Relax, relate, release. Negative people and situations at work can severely stress you out! Don't let it to the best of your ability. Now's the time to exercise, eat right and make the allowed 5 appointments with a counselor through your health plan or join a free one in your city. If you know of a bible study or young adult group where you can be emotionally and spiritually replenished, go there. Being able to vent and shake it off physically will arm you to deal with these negative peeps day in and day out.

4) If the negativity is disturbing your work, then it's time to speak up. No one has the right to create a negative environment or abuse you at work. Try to resolve the situation at your level first by confronting the person directly in a positive manner b y keeping the focus on you rather than them so the person will not feel attacked. For example: "John, when you do not turn in your work in a timely manner so that I may do my part before it is due, I feel frustrated. The team expects me to have it complete for our team meetings. Is there anything I can do to assist you in getting this done?" Or "John, I understand we both have frustrating situations here at work, but as a team player, I would like for us both to come to a compromise on how we can both work best together in a positive atmosphere."
Hopefully, you and your co-worker can try to resolve the situation between the both of you.However, the rare circumstance you find yourself unable to do so and the environment becomes intolerable, keep track of the events that occur and bring them to your immediate supervisor.If it is not resolved on that level or your supervisor recommends so, bring the issue to Human Resources to file a formal complaint.
Imust point out here that going to Human Resources is a lat resort. Please, do not go to Human resources to vent or talk about your frustrations or issues you may have outside the job. Keep in mind, Human Resources main job is to protect the company, NOT YOU. At times, H.R. will label people. You do not want to be known as a complainer who always has an issue,no matter how valid, with someone. In going to Human Resources, know that you must have solid, factual back-up, witnesses willing to speak on your behalf and most important, you must go through with filing the complaint.
Not all negative situations need to escalate to that level and sometimes you do have to remove yourself from a situation that is not right for you. Some people thrive in certain situations people might consider negative, others don't. When I have tried every avenue, including looking to myself for where I may be the contributing factor to a negative situation, to no avail, I take that as sign that  it may be time to move on. As long as you're not running away, there's nothing wrong with realizing you may no longer be a good fit or that a situation may not be right for you.
With that said I hope you've found something helpful in my post if you're currently going through this or can add some helpful hints for others below.
What are some negative situations you have gone through at your job? How did you handle/resolve the situation?