Monday, April 2, 2018

Changes...


Hey, guys. You know, it's really important for you to be in tune with your body.  You may not immediately notice little changes here and there, but should be aware enough to pick up on signals your body is trying to send you - both the subtle and the loud.  Sickness often presents itself in the hair and nails and when I noticed a huge change in the former, I grew very concerned.  Over the past year, I noticed that my nails had become brittle and were breaking constantly, but chalked it up to me doing dishes bare-handed combined with the water being harsh, perhaps.  Annoying, but no biggie.  However, it was when my hair started falling out that I really started to become alarmed.  I would comb my hair and the comb's teeth would be filled with an inordinate amount of hair.  I would run my hands through my hair and multiple strands would fall to the floor.  My hair had become wiry, wouldn't lay down after styling and, after months of shedding, THIN!  I could actually see through my hair!  That's when I really started to panic.  What in the heck was going on?!

Well, my Google fingers went into overdrive and I soon had my answer.  The painful leg cramps, chronic fatigue, pale complexion, constant hankering for ice, my hair thinning and falling out... dizzy spells.  It was all adding up.  And there it was - my answer in black and white.  I had anemia: a fairly common condition that is not fatal, but it can be extremely disruptive and serious if not addressed.


Anemia is when your red blood cells do not have enough oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in it.  A lack of hemoglobin or healthy red blood cells leads to a lack of oxygen being properly distributed throughout your body, including your organs.  Hemoglobin needs iron to maintain a healthy status in your cells.  Therefore, an insufficient amount of iron can cause iron-deficient anemia (which is the type I have).  So I need to up the ante when it comes to my iron intake and have taken a double-fisted approach with regard to getting better.


I've slacked on my vitamin intake for the past couple of years, so I re-upped on my multi-vits and have now added iron pills to my regimen to keep a steady course towards recovery.  These iron pills are small and I take them with orange juice as Vitamin C is recommended to help with iron's absorption.


I have also taken on the challenge of imbibing a hearty teaspoon of blackstrap molasses every night before I go to bed for good measure.  Not only is it high in iron, but it also has potent amounts of potassium and other minerals that are super beneficial.  Now, I'm not gonna lie.  The taste of this dark, thick elixir is one that could be duly called "acquired", but I take this, too, with a swig of OJ to help get it down and I think my taste buds have now adjusted.

So there you have it.  I've been on this iron-rich regimen for almost two months now and I am slowly seeing improvement.  I no longer have muscle cramps or the other symptoms, and my hair shedding has significantly slowed down.  But my feelings are still a little hurt.  I don't know how long it's gonna take for my hair to rebound and get back to its full glory, but I'm doing my best to be patient... and am ever so thankful for it not being a more serious issue.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Manic Monday


Hey, guys!  I know... I know.  It's been a while.  But with all the changes I've been going through, only NOW have I had some time to carve out and post.  This past year has been pretty cray-cray.  And there really seems to be no end in sight anytime soon...

You already know (per my previous post) that I took a huge leap of faith and made a big move towards fulfilling some life long goals, right?  Well, lemme tell you that ever since I made that decision things have been real hectic and... well, bananas.  It seems to be par for the course, though.  You get the gumption (finally) to make some serious, life-altering maneuvers only to have your forward progress threatened by a seemingly constant stream of confidence draining situations.  To put it short - I've been through some thangs.

Since moving, I have had to start from rock bottom.  Now I already knew this would kinda be the case, but I didn't realize the contrast between "knowing it" and "living it" would be so stark.  Add in all the unexpected stuff that naturally pop up in life and you have the perfect emotional maelstrom that left me second guessing myself and my entire situation.  I've met some shady people (nothing new) who tried to distract me from my goals, my face has been breaking out (have no idea why), had some financial hiccups, broke out in hives all over my torso and arms (surprise!  I'm allergic to spinach now!) and I'm currently dealing with a health issue that's causing my hair to fall out (YES!!).  Oh, and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

And now it's Monday. (UGH!)

Now, I don't wanna give you the impression that it's been all bad for me because it hasn't.  I've had some really good things happen, too.  But this whole "stepping out on faith" thing thus far has been very trying.  I promise to give you guys more of an update a little later as well as dive back into the "fun and frivolous" soon...  But I wanted to peek my head in here and let you guys know that I'm still here, still out here grinding.

Thanks for being so patient with me, y'all.  Just trying to get my groove back... one step at a time. 


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Road Less Travelled


Hey, guys!  Have you ever dreamed and plotted and planned for something for so long that when the time finally presented itself for it to be implemented you were almost caught off guard?  Have you ever hyped and cajoled yourself into taking a huge leap of faith only to be confronted later by two lead feet when it finally came time to jump?  I had been intimating for awhile now about making some seismic shifts in my life... but I'm not even going to front: when the moment ultimately arose for me to put my words to action, I got knots the size of golf balls in my stomach.  Nevertheless, I persisted... and made my move.  Literally.

And so I'm sitting here - excited, exhausted, but eternally enthused.  I am not even going to attempt to unfurl the lengthy testimony of my long sojourn (both mentally and physically) from "here" to "there".  Nope.  Not gonna.  At least not right this minute.  Instead, I'd rather bask in the success of my arrival and rest in the comfort of having accomplished said feat.  It's just one bullet point on a fully loaded journey.  I'm making strides and - step by step - promises I made to myself are being kept.  But I can't rest on my laurels now; I've got to keep going.  I've got so much left still to do.  And so many more promises left to keep.

And miles to go before I sleep.  And miles to go before I sleep...



Friday, December 23, 2016

Jollyrific


Hey, guys!  'Tis the season to be jolly, right?  Well, I'm quite jollyrific right about now.  I absolutely love this time of year - the food, festivities... gathering of friends and family.  Yes, I adore the holidays the fall and winter seasons usher in.  But you knew this already, didn't you?  Of course you did.  So let me get right to the meat and potatoes:

I want to thank you guys, once again, for lending me your ears and eyes and taking an interest in the assorted bag of topics that comprise my blog.  Whether it's a quick glance or a brief comment, I appreciate and value every interaction.  Writing can be a very isolating and lonely endeavor, but finding and holding a steady audience - no matter the size - can give one a much needed boost of inspiration and motivation.  And I'm no exception.  So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!  Thank you!  THANK YOU!

I also want to extend to all of you a hearty wish that your holidays be festive and filled with love and joy!  This has been quite a year (and that's putting it mildly!).  But 2017 can and will be the start of something new if you claim it.  Therefore, name it and claim it NOW!!  Don't sully your queued up blessings with stinkin' thinkin'.  Scrub the slate clean and claim every last one of them with authority!  Do it now!

So, in closing, the word of the day is "jollyrific".  I'm feeling really good - quite happy, in fact -  and jollyrific is the only way I can properly sum up just how good I'm feelin' and what I wish to pass on to you.  Now, does "jollyrific" have an alphabetical assignment in Merriam-Webster or any other dictionary?  No.  I totally made it up (at least as far as I know).  But you knew this already, didn't you?  Of course you did.  Ahh... you guys know me so well!  So let me get back to the meat and potatoes:

Have a JOLLYRIFIC holiday and a happy, JOLLYRIFIC new year!!  ENJOY!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Serious Playtime


Hey, guys!  O-M-G... I have been so busy, y'all, it's not even funny.  It's been a full court press, head wrecking game of grown woman chess - not checkers - over here and I desperately needed a break.  And guess who aptly deciphered what must have been thick S.O.S. smoke signals emanating from the overworked gears in my head?  You guessed it: Birthday Boy (aka B-Boy; aka my Ace Boon Cum Laude!)   So we hit the streets... and milked my reprieve, albeit a small one, for all that it was worth!


OK, so it's official - we canNOT resist going to Target at some point during our outings.  I honestly think he's more addicted to the retail giant than I am, but I am more than happy to be his co-conspirator.  Is it the sales?  The red stickers indicating the sales?  The long aisles of stuff on sale?  I dunno.  But we enjoy it.  And while perusing said aisles I happened along some interesting finds...


Now you all know that I'm not a huge fan of e.l.f., but this Runway Ready Lip Palette does look good!  It really does.  I didn't buy it... but it did look good.


Have you guys seen this already?  Sonia Kashuk's tribal motif brush set must have been out for awhile (or not sold as well as expected) because it is currently on clearance...


... along with its matching brush holder.  I wasn't too impressed by the combo - looked a little cheap to me - so I kept it moving.


Oh, my goodness.  When I saw this, I immediately cracked up.  A dog shirt/costume that says "Rufferee"?  Too cute.  I'm not into dressing up my furbabies for Halloween, but this was so cute that I had to take a picture of it and share!


And then we got serious.  B-Boy and I moseyed into a couple of furniture stores and got swept away by the innovative displays as well as the plush textures and tones that filled the showrooms. 


I absolutely LOVE this bedding ensemble!  From the headboard to the comforter to the fur throw to the mirrored tray... my eyes filled with big red hearts as I let my mind fill to the brim with wild thoughts of taking the entire display home with me fully intact.


I do love color, but I kept finding myself being drawn in by the chic simplicity of the vast gray and silver tones that were in abundance in the store.



And so it has begun.  And it seems to begin earlier and earlier every year.  It's only October, we haven't even had a whiff of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and stores already have their Christmas wares setup for pre-holiday consumption.  Wow...


Twinsies!!  Shhh... don't tell him I said that.  But we were wearing the same style of sneakers - white leather Converses - and I just couldn't resist.  If he knew, he would roll his eyes.  But that's OK.  What he doesn't know won't hurt him... or irritate him, for that matter!  #WINNING! #TWINNING!

So there you have it!  And now I'm back to the grind, but I'm so happy for the break from all the hectic-ness.  I know that's not a word, but it's OK.  We're all friends here and you guys get the gist of what I'm saying.  I needed a day of play... and was quite elated that it came with a less than reluctant playdate!  #YAYME

Friday, September 2, 2016

My First Aloe


Hey, guys!  Well, if you follow me on Instagram then you know I've sorta kinda been on a serious health kick.  I've always been health conscious and tried to be nutritionally aware, however, I've stepped it up a few notches, incorporating a wider variety of veggies and other nourishing notables to my daily regimen.  Which brings me to my latest indulgence - aloe.  Potently packed with a myriad of vitamins that almost run the full alphabet, including A, C and E, it also boasts skin hydrating, immune boosting as well as body detoxifying powers.  If that's not enough, it's also a competent antioxidant and antibacterial agent.  For the initiated, all this may be old news.  But for the rest of us, this ACE of a plant has an impressive resume that is hard to ignore any further.  And so I bought my first aloe vera leaf... and prepped it for consumption as well as topical use.


Built like a shark's fin with spiny sides, the aloe vera leaf (single) usually comes sealed at its base.  Not knowing how to pick one out, I just grabbed the one that felt the fattest around its mid-section and didn't look too beat up.




Next, I cut the leaf into three parts, cutting both above and below the meatiest part of my plant - the middle.


I then placed all three parts into an empty bowl with the exposed sections down so that the yellow sap of the leaf can drain out.  This yellow substance, or the latex of the plant, is layered just beneath the aloe's "rind" and contains aloin, which can act as a natural laxative and cause irritability to both the skin (if you're sensitive to latex) and stomach if ingested.  Therefore, to avoid any "issues", it's best to let as much of it drain out... especially if you plan on incorporating it into a drink or meal.  

At this point, also, you may notice a smell, which I would describe as a slightly sour green onion, if that makes any sense.  It is pretty pungent as it filled up my entire kitchen and even started to creep upstairs.  But I wouldn't go so far as to call the smell repugnant even though I have heard it referred to as "off-putting" and "foul".  So if your nostrils are super sensitive, keep the area well ventilated (i.e., open a window... or two).   



Once fully drained (I let mine sit for about an hour), you are ready to fully expose and extricate its gelatinous core.


Using a sharp knife, I cut the thorny sides and then peeled the top layer right off.  Next, I slid the knife between the remaining skin and flesh, completely freeing the diaphanous "fillet" inside.





In addition to the uncovered "meat" of the plant will also be drippings of the ooey-gooey gel, which is not tacky/sticky at all and coats its entire innards.


After gutting the leaf completely, I put the contents into a blender and whipped it a few seconds until it turned into a foamy liquid.



 
Finally, I put the elixir into a air-proof container and placed it in the refrigerator.  Still sporting a frothy "head", this aloe vera juice is now ready to work its medicinal magic and - from start to finish -  it didn't take much time to prepare at all!


I even managed to spare a chunk to put into my veggie/fruit-filled smoothie (which turned out totally delicious, if I do say so myself.  And I do!).  #WINNING #YUM

So there you have it!  I am thrilled to have finally tried aloe vera out; it has proven to be a subtle addition taste-wise to my power drink and I am trying it out on my skin as we speak.  Will it be for me the so-called medicinal panacea that many aloe adherents tout it as being?  Well, I don't think I'm looking for it to be.  But if it can and will boost my health in any type of way then I'm all for it.  Therefore, I look forward to reaping all of the benefits from this green-leaved gem... and can't wait to see the results from using it on my skin!  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hair Love: Theorie Grapefruit Shampoo & Con


OK, I've got one more from the list of Theorie products I've tried and adored.  And with this one... I really hit the mother lode!  I'm going to totally do away with the verbal pomp and circumstance (you guys already know that I'm head over heels for just about everything Theorie) and get right to the nitty-gritty.  Seduced by the duo's resume, I indulged - once again - and procured a bottle of their Grapefruit Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner.  And - once again - I'm in L-O-V-E! 


Grapefruit Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner are a superhero twosome designed to fight the damaging effects of free radicals on normal to chemically-treated hair while imparting softness, moisture and incredible shine.  Armed with the antioxidant powers of grapefruit extract as well as Gingko biloba leaf extract and grapeseed oil, the rich conditioner plays the perfect foil to the gentle cleansing - but equally emollient - shampoo; working in tandem, they deftly hydrate strands without leaving them feeling or looking overwhelmed and flat.  Did I also mention that they're paraben- and sulfate-free?  Yep.  Oh, and they come equipped with pumps.  Yeah, so there's that, too...   








At the risk of sounding redundant, I have to tell you that I am deeply smitten with this shampoo/conditioner combo.  Oddly enough, despite its moniker, I didn't find either to really smell like grapefruit.  Now that's not a complaint at all, just an observation.  The fragrance, however, is quite pleasant, not at all heavy and dissipates quickly.  Since I began using the Grapefruit Revitalizing duo, I have NOT - I repeat - HAVE NOT had ONE BAD HAIR DAY!  Not one!  My hair feels nourished, soft and has brilliant shine!  Between Theorie's Grapefruit and their Argan Oil line, I prefer Grapefruit because I feel that my hair is a little lighter... that the Argan oil made my hair feel just slightly more subdued.  Both are great, but I feel that Grapefruit better suits my hair. 

Well, there you have it!  I have completely bought in and completely sold out for Grapefruit!  I'm not letting anything else touch my tresses and will not deviate from this haircare line.  It is no exaggeration when I tell you that Theorie has some of the best products I've ever tried!  My search is O-VA, my curiosity sated!  I don't have to and will not look any further; I've found THE one(s).  And it feels soooo good! #WINNING!

Theorie Grapefruit Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner are available at yourtheorie(.)com and retail for $26 each (13.5 fl. oz.) or $36 each (28.6 fl. oz.).