2019, A Year of Lessons

Lessons, the best word to describe 2019. Without a doubt 2019 taught me several things about myself, and life in general. It also whooped my ass! You ever go through so much you question God’s intentions? Have to take a real good look at yourself? I literally said to God, “Bruh, I’m good on the lessons! I’m good for at least the next 5 years, easy.”

Here are a few things I learned in 2019:

  • Health is wealth only if you make it a priority
  • You can’t heal what you don’t confront
  • You can do a lot of things, but you can’t do all the things
  • More money won’t fix bad spending habits
  • The life you desire is on the other side of fear.
  • Age is really just a number
  • Parenting is a gift.
  • Saying no to things you hate is an act of self care.
  • Friends are a necessity.
  • A relationship is a partnership.
  • A spiritual foundation is a must.

What lessons did you learn in 2019 that will help you in 2020?

Until next time…🦋

Advertisements

Weekly Style Roundup

This week I’m giving you two very different looks! Since incorporating fashion into the blog, I’ve discovered so much about my style. I can say that I am extremely versatile and most definitely adventurous. I can be seen in sweats one day, and a pair of leather pants the next. That’s the beautiful thing about fashion, you make the rules!

Now let’s get into these looks!

Look Number 1. During the holidays I was in H&M (no surprise there) and while in the clearance section I came across this beautiful vintage looking green dress. I was immediately drawn to it and knew I had to have it! I found one left in my size…coincidence? I think not! The fact that it was marked down, just an added bonus. I decided to pair the dress with a pair of block heeled boots, and my beauty supply fave turban. The dress, $20.99. The boots are from ASOS and were $40.50. I’m definitely getting my money’s worth because of the versatility. I’ve worn them with so many things.

Look Number 2. Loved this look! This entire look is from Forever 21 minus the heels, those are from JustFab. The moto jacket I’ve had forever and quite honestly, it’s probably tired of being worn. This jacket pairs well with everything! Slacks, jeans, sweats… The pants and the turtleneck were part of the 50% off the whole store sale. Yes, you heard that right, 50% OFF THE ENTIRE STORE! Y’all I almost lost my entire mind. The pants are a cargo jogger. Very decent material and gives the snatched waist effect. The turtleneck is a staple in my wardrobe. This is a ribbed turtleneck with a sweater like material. As a kid I hated turtlenecks because I always felt like I was choking lol. My, have I grown! The pants, $15. The turtleneck, $7. Unfortunately, for this look I don’t have links. I scanned the items, but nothing came up. If I’m able to find the items, I’ll link them at a later time!

Until next time keep it cute, comfortable and most importantly, affordable!

Fenty Glossy Posse Mini Gloss Bomb Set – Product Review

savingPNG 16

Fenty…need I say more? I’ve been a fan of the gloss bombs from day one, so when this cute little set was released, I knew I was going to purchase it! I am pretty basic and 100% consistent when it comes to my lipstick choices. I am a straight lipgloss or something in the nude/brown family but these glosses are far from basic!  I remember my first gloss bomb, I purchased the shade FUSSY. I’d seen it on a YouTube review and knew I had to have it. I generally shy away from pinks because as a black girl, the wrong shade of pink will have you looking real ashy. I knew after I opened it that the FUSSY shade would make an amazing top coat for my nude look, but I wanted to try it alone and when I did, I was amazed! It was absolutely gorgeous.

Now when I think of lipglosses, the first thing that comes to mind is sticky. Ugh, thinking about that glue like consistency of some glosses makes me cringe. The FENTY gloss bomb though, no stickiness at all! It’s actually very smooth and quite moisturizing! And can we talk about the scent? My goodness, it smells like candy, pink Strarburst to be exact.

Now let’s talk about this amazing set of minis.

I purchased this set during the holidays and was super thirsty so I opened them in the car. I decided to swatch them. Take a look!

savingPNG 17

As you can see there is definitely some nice pigment. These glosses pair amazingly well with the “makeup no makeup” look and they totally make me feel like I’m back in the 90’s. They also make amazing top coats for your favorite lipsticks.

Let’s get into price.

This set retails for $42 at Sephora, not bad in my opinion. Would I recommend? Absolutely! So go out this weekend and pick one up, and pick one up for a friend.

 

My Thoughts On Kevin Hart’s Documentary

Kevin Hart’s documentary, I want to start this off on a positive note. This man’s work ethic is superhuman. He makes you want to go harder and adopt a “by any means necessary” mentality! I also felt that way after reading his book which, by the way, was brilliant!
Now, the real reason for this blog. After watching the documentary I felt some kind of way when he discussed his infidelity.
“When did cheating became such a forgivable act?”
Cheating, the new acceptable norm. His wife Eniko said I’m about forgiveness. She says, I told him he gets three strikes and this is two. As I listened to this beautiful young woman speak through hurt and tears I hung my head in embarrassment and sadness for her because at one point in time I was that gullible, that silly. I saw the lack of her own personal self worth as she spoke about wanting her son to have the opportunity to grow up with his dad. I don’t speak from a space of what I would do IF it happened to me. I speak from a space of it DID happen to me. I too was that pregnant woman, that new mom who was a victim of infidelity. I know all to well the strong desire to stick it out for the kids, but on the flip side I know how staying can create an indescribable amount of anger, resentment, loss of self esteem and loss of actual self in that process.
Watching the documentary I noticed that there was a lack of accountability on Kevin’s part when it came to his cheating. I also noticed that no one in his camp held him accountable. From his friends, “we weren’t there to watch him, to tap him on the shoulder and say nigga what you doing?” Why on earth would a grown ass man need babysitters? Why would his behavior need to be monitored? What does this say? To me it says that this behavior is normal. The camera was placed in the room because that individual knew something was going to happen. Kevin Hart putting into a comedy routine what he tried to hide is NOT showing accountability, it’s a forced admission of guilt. He seemed more hurt and upset at the possibility of it being a long time friend exposing him, then he was publicly humiliating his pregnant wife! It truly makes my blood boil.
Hear me when I say, there is no amount of money, private jets, lavished vacations, long D or forced public apologies that would make me stay. Hell, I left broke.
I don’t think individuals think of how cheating impacts not only their spouse or significant others, but several others. In Kevin’s case, because of his celebrity status, his stupidity was shown around the world through channels that even his children had access to. I can remember seeing the tweets of people talking reckless about Eniko. Paparazzi all in her face asking about his infidelity, if she knew the girl, all while being super pregnant. Do people know how hard pregnancy can be without any drama? I can’t even imagine the level of sadness and humiliation this young woman had to endure.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, one does not accidentally cheat. Cheating is a choice. One chooses to dishonor their vows, spouse or significant other by stepping outside of the relationship. Also, cheating isn’t always physical but when it is, one doesn’t accidentally fall into some pussy the same way one doesn’t just slip and land on a dick. They CHOOSE to.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being cheated on and are unsure of what you should do, know that you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to. Know that, if you leave your children will be okay. Know that God won’t love you any less (because some folks will try to guilt you into staying with “the word”). Know that you’re worth more than someone CHOOSING to step out on the marriage or relationship.
Until next time…🦋

Weekly Style Roundup

This week I decided to show a little skin! Who remembers the saying, “leave a little to the imagination”? That’s what I was going for with this week’s looks!

Look Number 1 was definitely rich in color with the lime green cropped hoodie and the lime green puff coat. I decided to show a little midsection since the sun decided to pay us a visit. The puff coat protected me from the cold, because let me tell you, it was definitely cold (Cali cold 😆)! The cropped hoodie came from Ross Dress For Less and it was only $6.99. It’s actually a pretty soft material and quite warm for the price. You can’t beat that! If you’re not a Ross shopper, you should be. You can definitely find some gems in there.

The puff jacket is from ASOS and it was on clearance for $29.99. This is a perfect Cali coat. Not too hot and not too cold. The pants are from Zumiez and they were $29.95. I absolutely love these pants. The quality is impeccable! Very well constructed and thick material.

Look Number 2 I’m calling schoolgirl inspired. This super cute little jean jumper is from H&M and if you’re a regular reader, then you know how I feel about H&M. When I saw the jumper in store I knew I had to have it. I usually steer clear of short items like this because my butt usually makes them ride up, but the fit on this was perfect! It’s a stretchy material that hugs in all the right places with the added bonus of the belt that snatches in the waist! The cost, only $24.99.

Now, let’s discuss these super comfy and super sexy thigh high boots! Saw them on ASOS and knew I had to have them. I will say, it was a bit of a splurge for me coming in at over $70 when I bought them. That was a definite stretch for me, but I regret nothing! These boots are amazing!

That’s a wrap on this week’s looks! Remember to keep it cute, comfy and most importantly, keep it affordable!

We need more Dwyane Wades | Lesbian & Black

I recently watched Dwyane Wade’s interview on Showtimes All The Smoke podcast where he speaks very candidly about his youngest child coming out.
A quick disclaimer, this blog is NOT for the close minded individual, so if the topic of homosexuality makes you uncomfortable, stop reading here.
Homosexuality, such a controversial topic in several communities, especially the black and Christian communities both of which I can relate to.
When I came across Dwyane Wade’s interview on All The Smoke it made me reflect on my own coming out experience. When it comes to my sexual orientation, it isn’t what defines me, however it is a big part of who I am.
Identifying as Lesbian in the black Christian community has been both uncomfortable and unwelcoming and on the flip side, I’ve honestly never seen a higher population of closeted human beings in my life and the funny thing is, everybody knows and everybody is talking.
I shared my coming out story in a YouTube video, link here https://youtu.be/MwXfLrlwtZQ and I wrote a blog titled, “My Gayness Won’t Make You Less Christian”. Here’s the link to the blog https://talkingallthatjaz.net/2018/04/11/my-gayness-wont-make-you-less-christian/ In that blog I talk about my own unique experiences as it relates to being gay in the Christian community. (Check them out!)
100% of the parents I’ve ever spoken to, who have had children come out always tell the same story. That story, “I could see it when they were young”. We’re not talking 10 or 12 young, were talking 3 or 4 young. I’ll let you guys chew on that for a moment. The story Dwyane Wade shares is no different. He says that when his son was around 3 he noticed that he wasn’t on the boy vibe like his other sons. Now here is where it got interesting for me listening to his observation as a black man because in my opinion black men are by far some of the most homophobic individuals I’ve ever encountered. Black men/fathers absolutely shudder at the tiniest “gay like” tendencies in little boys and other black men. Not all but a big population.
“You ain’t go be no punk”. “Stop acting like a little girl.” “Man up!”. “Stop acting like a sissy”. “I’d be pissed if my kid turned out gay.” I’ve heard them all and I bet a lot of you have too. Sorry to disappoint you, those tactics won’t make the gay disappear. What it will do though, is teach them to be gay in private and suffer in silence. I speak from experience.
Dwyane Wade speaks about struggling at first, but how he chose to love his child through this very difficult process by educating himself. Not demean, not belittle, not shun, not mock, nor tear down. He says his child is stronger than he’ll ever be. Truth is, the bullying often begins at home. Fact is, we fear what we don’t understand and dismiss what doesn’t align with our belief system…but what if?
I’ve lost friends both old and new. I often encounter the what used to be friendly conversations between girls which turn into friendly reminders of their heterosexuality. I choose my comments carefully as not to make certain individuals uncomfortable. “Sis, my sexual orientation doesn’t mean I want you” (insert hard ass eye roll). Im still astounded at the number of absent minded individuals who only associate “gay” with perversion and or sex.
I can only imagine how different my life would have been if I had a Dwyane Wade. How different the countless numbers of other children’s lives would be and would have been if they too had a Dwyane Wade. I can imagine how many children could have avoided debilitating depression and even suicide.
I encourage parents out there, if you have a child that you suspect may be gay or is gay, love them beyond your limited beliefs. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. They need you. They need your love. They need your support. I applaud Dwyane Wade. I admire Zion’s courage! It’s truly inspiring and heartwarming!
I hope this blog helps someone to consider another way. I’m always open to respectful dialogue. Perhaps my story and experiences can help you navigate through your own journey with a child or a loved one. I’m here if you need me.
Here’s a link to the interview. He talks about his son around the 30 minute mark if you want to fast forward.
https://youtu.be/qqwBZqndDUg
Until next time…🦋

Beauty Product of the Week|Maybelline TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil

Today’s product is small and unassuming but packs one hell of a pigmented punch! It’s none other than Maybelline’s TattooStudio’s Eyeliner Pencil. Before I get into it, let’s talk about the eyeliners of the past.

I grew up during the era when girls carried lighters that weren’t for smoking. The trusty BIC lighter was for the coveted eyeliner.

Let me explain.

Growing up in a super religious household, makeup was NOT allowed. This required some negotiating. We landed on eyeliner and lip gloss. Let me just say, this was before brows were a thing because I would have definitely negotiated those.

Applying the eyeliner – anyone who used to use eyeliners of the past knows that they were as dry as the yellow #2 pencil used for exams. This meant that the color didn’t show up until after you rubbed it back and forth on the back of your hand a few times, or if you were a genius like me, you took the lighter to the tip of the eyeliner until it warmed up and softened. Now why would one do this? Because when it softened, and after you blew it to cool it off just a tad,  it glided the blackest of black color on the lower lid. Can we say eyes poppin’?!

Fast forward! I am still a fan of eyeliner and recently I discovered Maybelline’s TattooStudio Eyeliner Pencil.

It was a fluke because I just grabbed the first one I saw. I got home, opened it up and it looked like a felt tip pen! Ya’ll I was excited, so excited that I decided to put it on right then and there. I began to apply it and I swear it was the smoothest, most pigmented eyeliner I’ve ever used and at $8.99, it’s a steal! This eyeliner definitely lives up to the claims:

  • 36-hour intensity
  • Glides on smooth and delivers intense eye definition in one stroke
  • Waterproof, no smudging, no fading

I can truly say that I am impressed! This is my new go-to! If you’re looking for a super pigmented, sharpenable eyeliner that you don’t have to warm first 😉, this is the one! 5 out of 5 ⭐️. Thank me later!

 

Weekly Style Roundup|Beauty Product of the Week|Where have I been?

IMG_0128

 

Where the heck have I been? Did you even notice that the weekly style roundups had disappeared? The beauty products of the week? Either way I’m back! Let’s get caught up! So much has been going on. I’ve been trying to figure out this blog situation; my blog identity, the whole nine. Where did I land? Well, LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. That pretty much sums me up! I had to get clear on how I can best serve my followers/readers. I’ve already deemed 2020 the year of clear vision and I’m getting a head start.

A few months back I began posting Weekly Style Roundups and Beauty products which included an in depth look at my affordable looks of the week which I post on Instagram Tuesdays & Saturdays. It broke down the pieces, included links when available and pricing info. My beauty product posts were basically products I was currently using and obsessed with!

Now why did I fall off? Simply put, life. Things are a bit more settled and I’m getting my grove back! Just call me Stella!

I want to take this time to say thank you! Thank you to those of you who read my blogs. Share my blogs. Comment on my blogs. I appreciate each one of you! Thank you for sticking with me!

Now on to some recent exciting happenings! Through the process of defining my blog identity, I kept asking God for signs. This is something I do often when I’m struggling with a lack of clarity. I was asking what did Lifestyle blogger mean exactly. I mean, I know the literal definition, but what did it mean for me. Then I began to ask, what am I good at and who is my target audience? That’s when I came up with LifeSTYLE, Fashion & Motherhood. After I settled there, I began to question IF that was right…because OVER THINKER.

Went to bed one night and woke up to a bunch of Instagram notifications, one of which was from H&M. I honestly thought it was a joke when I read it at 3 AM because deep sleep…so I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and took a real good look. Y’all, it was a real notification from the real H&M! They had posted me, the not quite nano influencer, the small Lifestyle blogger on their Instagram landing page! Y’all, I was in complete shock! Remember, it was 3AM but I wanted to wake up the entire house and yell, “I’m famous!” I wanted to call my mama and tell her I made it! Yes, I’m that extra in real life, but this was a big deal to me! I had barely made it off the pity party train and woke up to this news!

Picture of me when I got the news at 3AM. I call these shades, “my extra” shades!

IMG_9545

This is me posted on H&M’s instagram page wearing one of their looks!

IMG_9544

So, while still riding this wave I received another message. Same week! This time it was from Ross asking would I agree to having my image posted in their marketing materials. I agreed of course and here I am again!

IMG_9556

I was so excited that I didn’t know what to do. I was also grateful for the opportunity! It definitely boosted my confidence and gave me an even clearer vision! I know what I want and THIS is definitely part of the vision! Stayed tuned folks because there is definitely more to come!

Until next time…🦋

 

Caring For Sick Parents ▎No More Capacity

If I told you how much stress I’ve been under the past few weeks, you wouldn’t believe me.

Have you ever been in a season that felt like a punishment? That tests your faith? That made you question God’s intentions and existence? In a season where you couldn’t even pray? That is the season I have been in. Now let me say, there have been some very exciting happenings that have occurred in my life recently and still so much good that exists and for that I’m so very grateful, but the load I’ve been carrying has been heavy!

Earlier this year I wrote about aging parents, but today I want to address SICK & aging parents.

On Friday November 22nd my father passed out on IHOP. He was taken to emergency, evaluated and admitted into the ICU that same night. Now, when I say things escalated quickly, they escalated quickly. He went from eating breakfast to the family making difficult decisions about his health.

I’ll give you a brief health history. Some years ago my father had major surgery after discovering he had six aortic aneurysms. Two were left behind because his body could not handle any more surgery. He’s been watched ever since. This man is like an energizer bunny! He takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’! Let’s move on.

As the go-to person when it comes to the care of my parents and my disabled brother this incident has added an extra layer and this shit has been hard and heavy! Days spent at the hospital, talks with doctors, procedure after procedure and sleepless nights. At one point, I stopped answering my phone and responding to texts. Why? Because I have to remain sane and I have no more capacity, literally.

Let me say this, my “stuff” doesn’t compare to what my father is experiencing so this blog is not for pity, but I want people to understand how heavy things can get when caring for sick parents or family members and what you can do to help.

When there is one “go-to” family member handling the care and day to day affairs of parents or a loved one, here a few simple things you (outside family members) can do that cost you nothing and will relieve some stress.

  • Ask them how they are doing.
  • Send an encouraging text
  • Offer food
  • Acknowledge what they’re doing by saying “thank you”
  • Save your unsolicited advice
  • Offer help if you can

These few things make a huge difference!

As of today, my father is still hospitalized but out of ICU. He may be able to go home soon, but he has a long road ahead of him! I pray that this blog encourages and informs!

Until next time…🦋