Nighttime Skin Care Routine

Above is a video showing me washing my face at night. I’d say all together it took about 5 minutes to do. Below I’ll be explaining everything that I used so check it out!

1.Eye Makeup Remover $15

This product “gently removes eye makeup, including waterproof mascara, without tugging or pulling the delicate skin in the eye area. Formula does not leave skin feeling greasy.” – taken from website

All you have do to is shake it up, squeeze some into a cotton ball, and then rub around your eyes. I also use this product on my lips if I have a lipstick that’s hard to get off like a bright color or matte shade.

2.Facial Cleaning Cloths $18

This product “gently removes dirt, oil and makeup, leaving your skin feeling clean and soft.” – taken from website

I love these wipes because they already have the cleanser in them. All you have to do is wet it and rub it to together to get the suds going. This is a great option for night time when you don’t feel like washing your face. After you wash your face off you wet the cloth again, wiping away any dirt on there, and wash away the soap from your face. It’s as easy as that! It comes with 30 cloths.

3.Vitamin C Activating Squares $24

“This beauty industry first uses breakthrough technology that delivers pure vitamin C to your skin in a tiny, dissolvable square. In just 2 weeks,* TimeWise® Vitamin C Activating Squares™ were shown to deliver visible benefits in the appearance of even skin tone, skin radiance and fine lines and wrinkles.” – taken from website

*Results based on a four-week independent clinical study in which 29 women used TimeWise® Vitamin C Activating Squares™ dissolved in a neutral base three times a week. The neutral base did not contain age-fighting ingredients.

Our body does not naturally produce vitamin C, so we have to get it from other ways. This is a fun way to get pure vitamin C into your system. What you do to activate the square is drop a little bit of water on it so it will dissolve in your hand and then you mix it in with a serum. The serum I used is step #4. It comes with 12 squares.

4.Replenishing Serum +C $56

“Help skin bounce back with TimeWise Replenishing Serum+C®. Skin will appear lifted, firmed and more resilient.” – Taken from website

I mix my Vitamin C Square with this serum for an added boost of vitamin C. Also when applying product to your face, it’s always important to rub upwards and in circular motion. This last about 3 months.

5.Age Minimize 3D Night Cream $32

This product “Delivers a bedtime boost of antioxidants when applied at night, working while skin is most able to rebuild its reserves.” – taken from website

Along with rebuilding your skin over night, this product also moisturizes your skin for 12 hours. And it comes in oily/combo or dry/normal. There is also a day Cream with SPF 30 you can use in the morning. This last about 3 months.

6.Age Minimize 3D Eye Cream $36

“Skin looks firmer as this quick-absorbing cream brightens the eye area and keeps it moisturized for 12 hours.” – taken from website

The area underneath your eye is one of the most sensitive areas on your body because it has the least amount of skin. This is why it’s recommended to have an eye cream. And when you apply an eye cream it’s recommended to use your ring finger because that has the lightest touch. And you pat underneath the eye and along the brow bone. You don’t want to rub that area so please remember to pat the skin lightly. This last about 3 months.

Before
After

I hope you all learned something from my night time skin care routine and I’d love to learn from you all as well! Comment below and press the follow button below so you can subscribe to my blog.

Shrimp and cauliflower grits

As you know, from previous post (Cauliflower Hummus), I have been on a SUPER hunt for tasty carb substitutes. And a lot of my substitutes lately have been cauliflower related. So when I saw someone mention on Facebook that they recently had cauliflower grits I HAD to investigate this further. When I googled looking for a recipe I realized it looked really simple to make and I already had most of the ingredients. I decided to make this breakfast meal and I would love to share the process and results with you. Check it out!

Here is the recipe

When I looked at the recipe there were a couple of things I had to substitute or make less of, but overall I had it. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now if you keep cauliflower rice around. And if you don’t, it’s inexpensive and can be purchased at almost any grocery store. The recipe called for heads of cauliflower, but I find it easier and less time consuming to get cauliflower rice. Speaking of time, this recipe says it takes 30 minutes to make this and I would say that’s pretty accurate.

The cauliflower rice after it’s been processed

Since I made this recipe on the fly, there was a couple of things I had to substitute. I used cauliflower rice instead of cauliflower. I also used cilantro instead of parsley. I looked up a good substitute for parsley here and cilantro was listed. Along with substituting, I also didn’t have enough of some ingredients like the shrimp. I think I had about half of what the recipe called for but I seemed to be pretty even when I divided the grits and shrimp up into bowls.

Results

I had tried to make cauliflower mashed potatoes once and those came out very watery. So I was very skeptical of how this would taste. I was very happy with the results though. It actually tasted like grits! (One thing I would change is the consistency. I would have processed the cauliflower rice for longer to make it more smooth.) It was creamy, flavorful, and healthy! I am happy to have another healthy substitute to add to my list. The goal is to replace all of my unhealthy food choices with better ones.

Grits results
Shrimp results (before cilantro)
Voila!

Have you guys ever made cauliflower grits? What are some other things you made with cauliflower? I would love for you to comment below with your thoughts and healthy alternative recipes! Please remember to also follow my blog by pressing the button at the bottom of the page.

The Friend Zone Live in DC experience

This past Friday I went to Gallaudet University to watch a live podcast of The Friend Zone which is a podcast that speaks on mental health, self-care, music, pop culture, and everything in between infused with humor. It’s hosted by Fran, Assante, and Dustin. What I love most about the show is their unapologetic blackness and openness about how they journey through life. It’s always refreshing to know I’m not alone. And I love hearing tips I can put to use on how to deal with the stressors of life. So when I heard that they were coming to town and would be doing their podcast in person I made sure to make myself available. But there was a bit of a journey getting there. So here my story!

Although I love it once I’m out, I can be a bit of a homebody at times. I recently joined the friends’ section of bumble (see my thoughts on that here) to meet new friends. We met up and ended up discussing our love of this podcast. A week or so later I saw they were coming to town and we bought tickets to attend. But then she ended up not being able to go. As someone who deals with social anxiety, the thought of going to this event by myself was truly terrifying. And as it got closer and closer I still couldn’t find anyone to go with me which was causing even more anxiety. I had some decisions to make. But eventually, I decided to go by myself. This was a big choice for me since I don’t do things like this but I didn’t want to waste a ticket or miss this experience. But also in the last ditch effort, I posted how I would be attending on the FB fan page for the group and someone commented that they would be attending so we ended up exchanging numbers and sitting together.

The second challenge I dealt with was getting to the event. I am not good at parallel parking, so anytime I go to an event in DC, I always make sure I have my parking situation straight first. So looked it up and the auditorium the event was in had free parking attracted to it. Then there was traveling to DC. Friday night in the DC area it was raining really bad. This meant the traffic was really bad too. People don’t know how to drive in the rain so they either drive slow or drive too fast and cause accidents. It was supposed to take an hour and it ended up taking almost 2. Towards the end, I could feel that my anxiety was feeling really high. I started taking deep breaths to calm myself down and it worked. It was still a good time when I arrived, therefore, I got a good seat.

I wanted to write on this subject because I was proud of myself for so many reasons. I overcame a lot of objections and obstacles to get to the live podcast but I pushed through. And I’m glad I did because I enjoyed myself once I was finally there. And it was even more enjoyable because I pressed my way to get there. It may not seem like much but when your mind is constantly telling you all the things that can go wrong because of anxiety, it’s awesome when you can ignore all that and still press through.

In their last podcast, they had done a review of the year from their perspective, their highs and lows. So at the live podcast, they switched it up and looked at all that has happened over the year through pop culture. They were funny and insightful as always. They also shared their top moments over the year which was very inspiring. They are three successful black people and to see and hear the things they’ve done over the year pushes me to want more. They always had their friends from another podcast called Gettin Grown, Tykeia and Jade, there alongside media personality Mouse Jones. I was happy I got to see them as well because it reminded me that everyone who surrounds you should have goals they’re actively working on and successes under their belt. When you have a group of powerful friends you should all push each other towards greatness and that’s what it feels like they all do. They also had a singer from Philadelphia named Beano French perform and it was very good. I enjoyed his performance. Overall, it was a great experience. It’s always awesome to see a bunch of black peoples of all shapes and colors looking awesome and filled with black excellence.

Here is a link to The Friend Zone podcast

Here is a link to Gettin Grown podcast

Check them out!

Tykeia, Jade, and Mouse Jones

Assante, Fran, and Dustin

Have you guys ever been to see a podcast live? Do you have any issues you’ve recently overcome? Share it all with me in the comments! And don’t forget to follow my blog by pressing the button at the bottom of the page.

Three Clothing Necessities for Winter

I am EXTREMELY proud of myself because for some reason usually every fall I somehow forget that the next season is winter and I am highly unprepared clothing wise. And then I end up having tons of runny noses, frozen toes, and just overall sick days. And a part of the reason is that the season creeps up on me but the other part is that I can sometimes be cheap. But this year I realized how important certain clothing necessities are and that you have to spend a little extra money on certain items and then you have fewer hassles throughout the winter. So I decided to share with everyone three things I have invested in and where I purchased it from. 

1. Tights

Ever since childhood, I have hated stockings. They just never felt comfortable, they would always run super quickly, and no matter which size I got they always seemed to be too big or too small. That is why tights have always been my preferred choice. To me, they feel like wearing a pair of skinny pants or leggings. And I also love getting designer tights as well so I can add a little personal style flair. This fall I got three pairs of tights that I will be able to use throughout the winter because they should match just about everything in my closet. I got black, navy blue, and burgundy. And with the black ones which I will be wearing most likely more often than the others, I got a pair that has control top so it’s almost like a girdle at the same time. The wind can be killer during the winter and if you don’t have anything protecting your legs, they can turn into popsicle sticks. Because I am plus sized, sometimes shopping can be difficult as there are fewer places to go. So I went to Lane Bryant to get my tights. Here are the links:

https://www.lanebryant.com/level-2-high-waist-shaping-tights-opaque/prd-342025#color/0000000628

(In Black)

https://www.lanebryant.com/level-1-high-waist-smoothing-tights-super-opaque/prd-342422#color/0000003985

(In Dark Water and Winetasting)

2. Boots

Another way I have failed hard in the past when it comes to being prepared for the winter as far as clothing is proper foot wear. I wouldn’t have any boots and my feet would always be FREEZING! One reason would be the cheap part I mentioned earlier but the other part would be the fact that I have large calves so oftentimes I had a hard time finding boots that would fit past my ankle. I could only get booties and that isn’t always the best protection against cold weather. Last year I went to a plus sized store called Avenue and I found two GREAT pair of boots made for women with large calves. I also stuck with the theme of getting a couple of colors that will work with most of the clothing I have in my closet and got a brown and black pair. Here are the links:

https://www.avenue.com/en_US/clara-stretch-back-rider-boot-242912960.html?dwvar_242912960_color=044&dwvar_242912960_range=W

(They don’t have the pair I bought anymore but these are similar)

3. Winter Coat

I think that having a great winter coat is one of the most important necessities of them all because we are seen in our coats more often our outfits underneath. And of course also because it’s cold outside. And since that is the case our winter coats should be just as cute as our clothes underneath. For a couple of years, my mother would get me a winter coat for Christmas so I have been blessed with about two or three of them. My favorite one though is this red coat with cute horn-shaped buttons and a hood. I believe my mom got it from Burlington (then called Burlington Coat Factory) I never knew how much my winter coats need hoods until I got this jacket. I feel NOTHING when it’s a windy day in the cold because of it. So I definitely recommend making sure your winter coat has a hood. Here is a link to a similar hoodie:

https://www.burlington.com/b/Plus-Side-Hooded-Soft-Shell-Jacket-with-Toggles-110206412.aspx?h=68698

What are some necessities for you in the winter time? And where are you favorite places to shop for winter clothes? I always love learning of new and different stores, especially for plus sized women. So please comment below with your suggestions or comments. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by pressing the button at the bottom of the page.

Testing Craft City Slime Kit

If you have a child or have children around you than you know that one of the latest crazes is making slime. There are tons of tutorial videos and kits you can buy at stores all around the country. While my oldest nephew, Dwayne (he’s 10) was visiting he wanted to make slime. So I took him to target and we bought Kara Garcia’s Craft City, Slime Kit. I filmed our process so please enjoy this video and I’ll post my thoughts underneath.

Final thoughts

I love all the different ways that you can make the slime. They give you a variety of options. You can add glitter, make it glow in the dark, add different colors, and make the slime into bubbles. Although it was fun to make the different slime with my nephew, it didn’t last long because all of the slimes basically melted. I don’t know if we did something wrong or if this is just how it works but the next day the bowl was almost all liquid with a little slime left. So overall I wouldn’t recommend this slime kit. If anyone has any suggestions on what I might have done wrong or how to make slime better with another recipe please let me know. And as my nephew mentioned in the video, please like, comment, and subscribe to both this blog and my youtube page for the blog.

Sweet potato ooey gooey butter cake recipe

I love trying new recipes and cooking something different. One year for my birthday I invited friends over and asked them to bring a food dish they’d made. My friend Taylore (s/o to the homie) brought something called pumpkin ooey gooey butter cake. It was a smash with the group and asked her to send me the recipe. The next year for Thanksgiving I decided I was going to try this new recipe I had just tasted. And the same way it was a hit at my birthday party, it was a hit with my family! I even made a small batch for my dad to take to work and now they request it all the time too. Everyone loves this recipe! And it’s fairly easy as well. The two main things I’ve learned through making this year after year are to really make sure the cream cheese is soft or else the batter comes out lumpy and it is best to use a hand mixer to assure everything is properly blended. I’ve gotten lazy before and just tried to mix it with a spoon and it just doesn’t taste the same. Another thing I love about this recipe is the flexibility of it. After a couple of years of making the same pumpkin recipe, I decided to switch it up and do sweet potato instead. It was sooooo much better! And now in more recent years, I’ll add chocolate chips to some and nuts to some. You can make this recipe so many different ways! There are some other variations listed at the bottom of the directions. This has become my go-to dessert recipe and I haven’t had anyone complain yet of me making it every year.

Here is the recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-gooey-butter-cakes-recipe-1940256

All of the ingredients

Bottom crust in cupcakes

Left: chocolate chip Right: half nuts, half regular

Cupcakes when done (forgot to put water in the other half of the pan so they came out a little brown on top)

Finished butter cakes (holes in there are from making sure the cakes were done)

Have you ever made this recipe? What’s your favorite dessert recipe? What tips can you share as far as baking? I’d love to get your thoughts on these topics. And don’t forget to follow my blog by pressing the follow button at the bottom of the page.

How to wash a human hair wig

I recently bought my first “big girl” wig, meaning it was 100% human hair and cost over $100. It was hard to find because 1. I was trying to find it in a store and not online 2. I wanted a natural hair wig because I have natural hair and hate trying to gel down my edges and 3. initially I wasn’t trying to spend a lot of money on getting a new wig. I have had practically every hairstyle in the book so I have been excited to try out a new one.

Although this hair is natural, it is not the same texture as mine. This means that I can’t use the same type of product I use in my hair on this wig. I typically buy really thick curling creams for my hair since it’s 4c (extra kinky) but the curls in this wig are looser. I wanted to try and two stand twist my wig so I used my curling cream I use on my own hair on the wig. Big mistake! The hair looked shiny and it was weighed down. It no longer had that bounce that I loved. I knew I had to wash the wig. So I went to google because as I mentioned earlier, I’m new to this good wig game. I found some instructions on how to wash a human hair wig and I’d like to share them with you.

1. Brush/comb wig

2. Fill sink with cold water

3. Put a couple of drops of shampoo in there

Since this hair is human use quality shampoo and conditioner that relate to the hair on it (i.e. use shampoo/conditioner for curly hair if the wig is curly)

4. Turn wig inside out

They said to do this because most of the dirt and oil is in the cap of the wig because that’s closest to your head so it will make it easier to get that part clean

5. Place wig completely in water and let it soak for 5 minutes and drain water

6. Rinse wig with cold water until shampoo is completely gone

After 5 minutes was done

Water after shampoo

7. Apply conditioner directly on the wig

8. Wait two minutes then rinse with cold water

9. Turn wig right side out and squeeze the water out

Don’t twist or wring the wig out or it will get tangled and don’t brush the wig while it’s wet

10. Roll that wig in a towel to get out excess water

11. Apply your desired products

 I sprayed a leave in conditioner and an oil mist

12. Put the wig on a wig stand and let it air dry away from direct sunlight

When I first placed the wet wig on the wig stand I was concerned because it looked matted and all twisted up. I thought it would dry that way but thankfully it didn’t.

13. Brush the wig once it’s COMPLETELY dry

The wig looked normal and was clean again by the end. The only issue I had was frizz. I was very thankful to find some helpful tips!

I am not an expert in this field so I’d love as much feedback as possible. Is there a better way to wash a human hair wig or another tip somewhere in between I should be adding to this regimen? What are some great ways to maintain a human hair wig? And on a side note, where are some sites I could get an inexpensive (I’m willing to spend just not as much as I see sometimes when I look this up) but quality natural human hair wig? (Preferably 4c because that’s my texture.) And please don’t forget to like this post and follow my blog by pressing the button at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

In my shoes – Onyeka Michelle

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Onyeka Michelle is a 20-something year old Nigerian British woman living in London. She is a lifestyle and self-development blogger. Her day to day consist of replying and sending off emails. She is also often studying because she is a student. Because of her blog she also often attends events in the area which she can write about. She is also an Accredited Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aider. Here is her page: http://onyekamichelle.com/

New Mary Kay Chromafusion Makeup Line

You guys….I am sooooo excited about this new makeup line with Mary Kay Cosmetics. It JUST came out and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. It is called Chromafusion and it is a GAME CHANGER in the makeup industry. As a director with Mary Kay, I get new products early so I have now been using these products for a couple of weeks and I see a HUGE difference. The line consists of eye shadows, blushes, highlighters, and contours.

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 Here are some facts:

  • 12 hour wear
  • High-impact color payoff
  • Pigment-rich colors in matte and shimmer shades
  • Curated by top makeup artists
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Clinically tested for skin irritancy and allergy
  • Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers
These products are powered by Mary Kay Chromafusion Matrix Technology. It is a hybrid technique  that specially wraps finely-milled, premium pigments to amplify color like never before. The enhanced pigments are then fused into a lightweight powder to create a smooth and flexible matrix.
There is also a new Pro Pallette that Mary Kay introduced which is fully customizable and magnetic to keep all your colors in place. You can arrange your makeup any way you would like and it holds all of the makeup from this line and former line plus foundations and bronzers.

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My thoughts:

I love how highly pigmented the colors are. It does not take much to make the color pop on your skin. That means that you get a bright look and also that your products will last longer because you don’t need as much. It’s also amazing that it last 12 hours and I know that for myself because often times I do my makeup early in the morning and am running around all day, forgetting to reapply my makeup. But then once I catch myself in the mirror between meetings or a night event, I realize I don’t need to do anything but my makeup still looks like it did in the morning! The variety of colors is also amazing for me. I love matching my makeup with my clothes for the day so no matter if I’m wearing blue, green, gold, etc. I can match my makeup with my outfit. The highlighting and contour colors are great too. They have shades for every skin tone no matter how light or dark and I appreciate them thinking of that. My mother, also a Mary Kay director, said to me the other day that when you highlight and contour it’s like the difference between a blurry picture and a focused one. Those steps help to define your face and bone structure which make for a cleaner look.

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Cost:

Pro Palette: $25
Eye Shadow: $8
Blush: $14
Highlight: $14
Contour: $14
If you are interested in purchasing any of these items and you do not have a Mary Kay consultant, I would love for you to send me a message here. I am also looking for beauty bloggers and makeup artist in the US for try samples of this new line and share their opinion on their pages. Please message me here as well for that. Comment below with your thoughts on these new amazing products! And don’t forget to follow my blog by pressing the button at the bottom of the page.

“In My Shoes” – Cheryl Meckley

Meet Cheryl Meckley, a  44 year old woman living in Seattle, WA with her husband and two children, boy and girl. She works in the health insurance field but also has been taking classes in improv, stand-up comedy, oral storytelling, writing, and learning to fly. Super early on Saturday and Sunday mornings you can find her at her local Starbucks writing her blog, Searching 4 Sissy. She decided to start her blog because she has been through many tough things through her life and she wanted to share them to not only help herself, but those around her.
Meckleys2
Cheryl grew up moving from apartment to apartment on living off food stamps and government welfare checks.  Also as a child she dealt with sexual abuse and was sometimes shunned from sharing her story but she has found it freeing to do so. She mentioned that the #metoo movement has been a big help in that effort. “The #MeToo movement is important to me because it has opened the door to talking about something our culture has kept in the dark. Even as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it was considered uncouth to talk about it. The #MeToo showed how many survivors there are out there. There is power in numbers and so many of us feel like we have a voice now,” Cheryl said. Her blog trying to find her sister so please check out her blog and see if you might have any information to help the search.
She decided at a young age that she did not want to live the life she was living when she became an adult so she got her degree at 35 and now lives comfortably. She loves writing and wants to make it her full time job. She plans to try to do this for a few months in 2019 and see what she can get published.
Check out her blog here: Searching 4 Sissy