May is here and of course New York didn’t get the memo that the season has changed. I still have to pull out my big coat on some days, but I’ve enjoyed about a week of warm weather. Nothing wrong with a little tease for what’s to come.
As I organize this apartment to put up these big sweaters…hoping one day for good, I’m finding more favs that are a must have for me to get into the Spring Season, while we wait for the weather to catch up.
So, here’s my list to continue the #mood of Spring!
Perfume Paint (Tease).
You can’t pass up on beauty products. Especially the ones that make you feel…SEXXY! That’s where my first item comes in. Strolling through Victoria’s Secret, I run across this brush on perfume. I’ve never seen a product like this before so I HAD to get it (AND it was on sale!). Getting it home and giving it a try, I was immediately impressed with the soft brush painting on this smooth, sensual fragrance by the name of Tease. A few pumps, then painting on those sacred areas, and I’m ready to own the night!
A Memorable Vacation.
Spring season means its time to cash in on those flyer miles or collect a stamp or two on the passport. A good vacay can ease you into a new season by purging the woes of winter. To kick of spring, me and my girls took a trip to Cuba! YES, Cuba! We spent three days in Havana enjoying back to back sight-seeing and activities like horseback riding, salsa lesson, a tour through a tobacco and coffee farm. Even got a history lesson by visiting a coffee plantation. The restaurants had great menu choices with free fish and tasty pleasures that can only be found in Cuba.
The last leg of the trip was spent at Varadero Beach, soaking up the sun, and taking in views of gorgeous blue water. So many good memories and a great disconnect from the daily routine of work, train commutes, and social media. I returned with new inspiration and a relaxed mind. Thank you Cuba!
In the bar scene, I love trying new things. Venturing in midtown, I ran into a bar (The Ginger Man) and found a unique treat on the menu. Chocolate Beer! Otherwise known as Boulevard Chocolate Ale. Two of my favorite things mixed into one. Who knew chocolate could serve many purposes?
Spring is still in full effect and I’m ready to take on the new adventures of this season.
Be sure to share YOUR favorite things to get you through Springtime!
You have to put yourself on work restriction to replenish!
Going and going and going and more going! Does the daily work ever end? NO! But, you have to put it on pause to catch a breather. If you don’t, your body will remind you why rest is needed.
I wake up, lay in bed to think about the million things I have to do for the day. Then, OH I’m running late! Shower time, find an outfit. It’s cold out so I need to layer up. Where’s my gloves? Found them. Do I have my keys? Already packed them. Wait…Metro card!
Out the door and on to the awesome MTA Subway ride. Fighting for a seat, or even a space, is a tiresome task in itself, but the joys of reaching my destination helps to forget about the commute aggravation.
On the to office to update websites and do a little writing/editing work in between. AND managing the magazine, answering emails. Lunch time, gotta get back on the train to hit an audition. Back to the office to finish the day.
Then, evening rush hour. Another fight on the train. Wait, I have to eat. Do I have food at the house? Nope, forgot to go grocery shopping. Stand in a long line with other annoyed 9-5ers with kids running around. Uggh I just want to go home!
Time for winding down? Absolutely NOT, gotta hit the computer to finish the tasks set for the day. Of course, here comes a curve ball….This goes on until about 3AM and get a few hours of sleep before its time to wake up and do it all over again.
Who can manage a healthy life with all of this?!?! I know I can’t. However, my body stepped in, and took control. Control in the sense of shutting down. Fatigue, headaches, stomach pains, and even a little memory loss. Feeling overwhelmed and tired before I could get out of bed, was the body’s way of saying…Chick, you’ve GOT to slow down and take care of me. I do my Self-Care Sundays…okay I’ll admit I’ve slacked off.
All of this to say, when you’re going 500 miles a minute, you can’t make this a daily habit. To remedy the results of burnout, I have to readjust my time management. Along with sneaking in some self-care and yoga/meditation in between to silence my mind. I have many things on my plate (not complaining, I LOVE it), but I am in my 30s, and no normal human can unction like this without properly resting.
Here’s a few ideas to kick-back and relax the mind and body:
(Yes, I need to take my own advice. Let’s do this together!)
Watch a funny show or movie. Laughter IS the best medicine. It releases the pains of whatever has “grinded your gears”; clearing the mind of bad thoughts. Laughing out loud can help cure any bad day. My shows of choice, Frasier, Schitt’s Creek, Paternity Court (they have hilarious episodes), Golden Girls, and just about any reality show you can find!
Rest in Silence. Turn off your TV, phone, computer, and your MIND. Stop thinking so much. I tend to overthink EVERYTHING. Creating outlandish scenarios that never happens all because of past experiences, or just my mind running away from me. Thinking too much causes stress, and doesn’t help when you need to focus on work. Just calm down and into space for a few minutes.
Self-Care. Soak your feet in Epsom salt to release the toxins of traveling through the city by foot, or give yourself a much needed facial. Anything that will take care of your body. Pampering yourself is a good key in relaxing. Take care of your body, and it’ll take care of you.
Don’t allow others to pressure you to rush. Yes deadlines are important, but some things can wait. Just because the other party is on a quick timeline (or like to appear go be. Honestly, they’re fumbling to get themselves together as well), doesn’t mean you have to run yourself crazy. Set up your calendar to follow-up when its convenient for you. There’s nothing wrong with a few calls going to voicemail. Prioritize what’s important, and what can wait until you’ve had time to clear your mind.
Limit your time on “the media”. Whether you know it or not, social media kills your expectations and goals for yourself. By constantly scrolling through other’s success stories or tales of having it all together, you feel the pressure of not working hard enough. I read a good meme once, it said: “Don’t let the internet rush you.” Newsflash, nobody has it all together. So what if they’ve accomplished a goal that you’re working towards. Their shine doesn’t dim your light, nor take away from your final destination. YOU WILL GET THERE ON YOUR TIME! Also, scrolling through timelines, only takes away from your own working hours and relaxation time.
Breathe. Take deep breaths in, and slowly exhale.
Ask yourself, did you RELAX today?
I want to share a few gifts. Sharing is caring right? Everyone has their own list of “must haves”, new discoveries, and trinkets for sentimental reasons. I’d like to expose a few of mine :). Hopefully these will give you new ideas, inspos, or even a confirmation that there’s another addict in your section ;).
Ready? Here goes…
Anything That Sparkles.
I LOVE to shimmer! Who doesn’t. Whether it’s glitter or sequins, I NEED IT!. Clothes, shoes, and accessories with sparkle is automatically on my list (usually ending up in my shopping cart). Any and every occasion requires a hint of shine. A regular day strolling through the city or a night out in Manhattan, looking for Sex and the City vibes.
I have my fav pair of sparkle boots. Found them on sale at Forever 21. They were the last pair, just my size and when I took them to the register, they were half off of the sale price! I knew it was meant to be!
More sparkles in my collection includes an iridescent sparkle purse I mix with a cute outfit along with my go to black sequin purse I throw on with casual wear OR date night.
For New Years 2019 Celebration, I found another gem at Forever 21, these gold sequin pants. (I like to call them my disco pants). Bringing in the New Year with a sassy shine, hitting the town in ATL.
Give me sparkle; give me a shine and I know I’m in for a great time!
Something cute that goes great with my sparkle-fits or a warm greeting to my feet in the mornings as I get out of bed...Faux fur makes the list.
I look forward to cold weather as I get to pull out my coats to strut around in the low temperatures of NYC. Cozying up to my stylish faux fur, while hitting the town only adds to the excitement of taking on the night.
At home, my faux fur serves me well. Decorating my floors with an accent rug to keep my feet warm, along with adding a little spice to the New York living.
Got body?...Suits I mean. Leaving my legs to put on a show, body suits are a sensual given when wanting to look cute around the house, or add to your fav pants or skirt.
Photo shoot time and can’t figure out what to wear, my first “go-to” is a body suit and a pair of thigh high socks, then the “fit” comes together around that.
I like a variety of body suits that includes lace, sheer material, patterns, or just a plain cotton solid color to give a pop to a pair of fitted jeans. This gem is a good alternative to wearing shirts that you’d like to tuck in. No worries of it coming un-tucked of spending time in the mirror, tucking and un-tucking for that perfect look. Just put on the go!
Being lazy around the house and I wanna feel cute? I go to my stash of body suits to have a Friday night chill time with wine and catching up on my shows. Who says you have to look “bummy” for a solo evening at home!?!
Chrome Book (Beasley).
My old laptop houses all of my creative works, BRASH! Magazine, my books, other writing work, pictures, and everything else that I need to save for business and personal. With the years of wear and tear, my poor laptop decided to show its age and slowly fall apart. In addition, it's a bit big and too much to carry around with me.
As a birthday day gift to myself, I bought an HP Chrome Book. All white, touch screen, with the capabilities to turn into a tablet should I choose to use it that way. This Chrome Book was such a life saver, I decided to name him “Beasely”. (And he’s also my temp boyfriend since we spend a lot of time together).
It’s small, convenient and I can do everything on this contraption as I did with my laptop. Now I can grab my “boo” and spend time at a coffee shop, laundry mat, plane ride, or anywhere to create and stay up to date with my projects.
We all have our “regular” drinks when we can’t think of anything else on the menu. Mine is the usual Rum and Coke. However, some nights I want to sip sexy. That’s when the Manhattan Martini comes into play.
One of my fav martinis 🍸 the “Manhattan”. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Rye whiskey is my fav with this drink.
This special one is from STK Midtown in NYC, “Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan” (George sickle rye, zinfandel port, carpano antics sweet vermouth and bitters.) very tasty and a nice complement to a Sex and the City style dinner with your girl! You’re welcome! 😉.
To detox the libations, and to cool down, I LOVE making lemon water. It helps me to cut back on sodas and sugary drinks. This refreshing beverage also helps with clearing up your skin, acts as a good source of Vitamin C to protect your immune system, AND it’s a great digestive agent.
Quick and easy to make so it is always available to go with a good meal or a parched moment. ;)
So there you go, a few of my favorite things. Of course there's more to the list but I won't bore you with my long list of "can't go withouts".
Tell me, what are YOUR favorite things and why? Let me know in the comments below!
And I LOVED every morsel of it!
Thanksgiving is centered on family and friends gathering on the specific holiday, laughing, cooking, and most importantly EATING. The day turns into night with long distant cousin catchup along with badgering questions from the elders pondering on your wedding date and when you’re starting a family. I don’t deal with that much as my Thanksgivings have been with my close family hopping form house to house tasting all of their special dishes.
My favorite holiday as it revolves around food was a bit different this year. Since I wasn’t able to get home to GA, I took a “me” day for the occasion. My plan was to cook m own style of Thanksgiving dinner along with enjoying good wine and relaxing. I did all three and then some.
The menu for the day was sweet, tasty, and simple. Cornish hens, free green beans, roasted red potatoes and spinach salad. Washing it all down with refreshing lemon water and Shiraz (my fav wine).
I woke up later than I had planned but luckily the grocery stores understand the importance of Thanksgiving procrastinators and the "forgetfuls". Obtaining my necessary ingredients, I hurried home to start on my meal.
It had been a while since I dabbled in Cornish hens however, when you’re good at something, it never goes away. Stuffing them with scallions, red, yellow, and green peppers. Topping it off with a variety of seasonings including garlic, Italian, seasoning salt and pepper. Rubbing the hens down with butter for that added flavor, and my babies were ready to bake! I love to mix red potatoes with onion seasoning wrapped with butter or oil. As far as the green beans, zesty seasonings, but not too much because I didn’t want to take away from that “freshness” taste.
As the gas stove prepared my meal, Golden Girl and Shiraz entertained me. I looked out of my window feeling grateful for how far I’ve come. Enjoying my New York apartment on a beautiful and blessed day!
After I was full of food, I retired with a hot shower, more episodes of Golden Girls and continuing the thoughts of thankfulness. Although I wasn’t able to see my family, I nice lengthy phone conversation eased my heart as they regaled in me actually cooking along with giving sass about me not preparing this meal for them. (I’m the baby of the family soooo, I wasn’t one to volunteer for the cooking duties.)
I had been looking forward to my solo Thanksgiving for a while and I’m very pleased with the result of the meal and the overall day.
Although the holiday for being thankful only comes once a year, we should put into practice of gratitude, peace, a good meal, and enjoying the blessings.
How did you spend your Thanksgiving? Share Below!
Scary Situation While at Work...The Suspicious Packages
Working on my corporate gig started out as a normal day. Came into the office a little late, thanks to a heater situation, however still getting a good start on the day. So as the hours passed, I received an alert on my phone. Of course this alert came in while I was daydreaming, needing to get back to work. The alert notified that there was “Police Activity” on W58th St. I work near Grand Central Station (Around 42nd St. on the East Side of Manhattan). Although alarmed, I wasn’t worried.
Taking a break, I ventured outside and saw normal New York activity. People rushing to from work. Food stands full of customers, police sirens (very normal), and horns blowing because someone stayed in place two seconds after the light turned green. Normal New York afternoon.
Coming back into the office, I got an alert that there was a suspicious package in the building I worked in. WAIT WHAT!?!? HERE??! NOW!?!? Grabbing my stuff to get the hell out, I pondered about why this was happening. My mind immediately went to the 9/11 documentaries I tend to obsess over. Knowing what really happened in those offices, their thoughts, their last words, and things that could have possibly saved them. Like the notion of getting the hell out. See, within the docs I watched, planes hit one of the towers and the employees within were told that things were “under control”. Next thing you know, CHAOS!
Leaving the building, there was a bit of madness. Men in suits walking fast-style to elevators and once I reached outside, there was a line of NYPD officers holding rifles in front of the building. Another slew of officers lined up sitting on motorcycles, sniffing dogs and more officers putting up barricades.
What the hell?!?!
Who could function during this madness? I couldn’t. Watching the news earlier due to my phone alert showed a pipe bomb being mailed to the CNN center, causing everyone to be evacuated. Now I have to be evacuated. Scary sh*t! And newer alerts advising that “packages” were sent to Obama and Hilary Clinton. Not understanding any of this, I took on my first instinct to ensure the trains were still operating along with praying that nothing was going on there as well.
Gathering outside and comparing notes with a few co-workers, “I’m going to head on home.” Was my final decision. Although the situation was said to be “defused”. NYPD was still surrounding the place. I didn’t feel comfortable going back in until the last officer left. Why are you still here? I’m glad you’re here but why? I watch too many documentaries and drama TV shows (art imitates real life) to know that there are always something else to the situation.
Feeling a little better as I was on the train back to Harlem, scenarios ran through my mind. Is this real life now? Leaving your work space because people want to be crazy?!?! And it’s all for some evil agenda set out to hurt innocent people to grab the attention of the powers that be. Sad right?
Safe to say that when I got home, I called my mom. I her baby I HAVE to let her know I was okay. For hours, I sat in my living room chair staring at the ceiling. Nerves rattled and mind not knowing what to do with myself. I was glad to learn that the package was a fraud. But at the moment how could you know? And you can’t take things like that lightly because once you do, something horrible happens.
Glad everyone involved is now safe and can return to work. However, THIS cannot be a new normal. I’ll take the crazy subway rides, random noises, even the angry New Yorkers, but a bomb threat….NOPE. I’ll never be able to get used to that one.
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia