Tea has always been my thing. And during the Christmas season at Starbucks I always looked forward to their Caramel Brulee Frappuccino. Besides that frap, I barely drank coffee. But as of this year, I… More
Happy New Year! We are well into two weeks of 2018! Hopefully, you are keeping up with your new year resolutions or even trying to *wink wink.
I have always wanted to live a healthy lifestyle- key word, wanted. But it got real for me and became a necessary change, when I discovered I was going to be a mom. I knew then, I had to change my diet to one more suitable to raising a healthy baby. Then, when she arrived I knew then as well I would have to continue eating well for her, as she was getting all of her supplements from me as I was nursing her. However, now it is totally different. I must have a healthy lifestyle just to keep up with my busy bee.
I am not going to go into detail, just yet as to my dietary meal plan, but I must share one aspect of my diet that I love and look forward to.
Never have I ever been into ginger. Sure, I have heard of it. But, I didn’t need that, so I thought. Now, I love it! I still haven’t tried eating it. That day will come. If you have yet to make your own cup of morning sunshine, not orange juice but rather ginger tea, you must try! It is so easy to make and very enjoyable.
I am such a Starbucks junkie. I used to get tea from Starbucks every morning. I love Starbucks so much that my students for my birthday and Christmas gave me tons of Starbucks gift cards because they know I come in with a venti tea every morning. I may treat myself once in a while with Starbucks, but for now my new go to tea is Ginger tea.
This tea is completely homemade. This recipe has been around forever, but it took 2018 for me to actually try. Better late than never, right?
- 8-10 oz of water
- half a ginger (depends on your preference)
- juice of half a lemon
- tablespoon of honey
- Clean your ginger well.
- Cut half a ginger root (depends on how strong of taste you want, I use a small ginger and cut half of it).
- Thinly slice the ginger. I cut mine like thin chips.
- Boil 8-10 oz of water and place the sliced ginger in the water.
- Once the water reaches boiling point, allow your ginger and water to boil for about 4-6 minutes.
- Strain the water into a mug, add lemon, honey, and stir.
You can definitely add more to this tea to make it more flavorful and to suit your taste buds. I enjoy it this way, plus it is easy to make quickly in the morning.
There are health benefits to ginger, lemon, and honey. To find out more, use one of the greatest gifts ever, GOOGLE! You’ll find out much more than I can ever tell you. Just know that you’ll thank me later. This tea is a keeper. As I discover more delicious and healthy alternatives to substitute my food habits, I will share them!
Hope to hear from those of you that try Ginger Tea!
I also have been adding different fruits and veggies to my water, and this has been a great way to get my daughter to drink more water, too!
Happy New Year, Jewels! More Ginger Tea, Please!
It amazes me how fast this year has came and gone! We are literally down to the last few minutes of 2017. I am always excited about the new year, but for some reason I am even more excited about the year 2018. Cannot wait to see what this year brings for me and my family and friends.
So before we dive into 2018. I have to share my top 12 of 2017. The list is very random.
The baby store. I never thought I would spend so much time in this store. I always thought I would buy the really cute outfits you see kids in online, but with so many fraudulent websites I hardly would buy from them. Carter’s is my go to store for my daughter. I am always able to walk out with a bag full of stuff.
While compiling this list, I was trying to think of where I shopped the most this year, for my self. Literally, no where special because I spent so much of this year shopping for my sweetheart. Like every week or so, I was coming home with outfits for her from Carter’s. This is not to say there aren’t any credible online stores that I bought from, which I did and will blog about later, but if you are anything like me, I really like the satisfaction of going into a store and getting what I need right then and there. And for that I love Carter’s.
Of course I shop with the other popular children’s stores like Janie and Jack, Gymboree, Crazy 8, and Children’s Place just to name a few, but Carter’s is my favorite. Prices never disappoint and it is so easy for me to rack up points, use their rewards system, coupons, and sales. Just love it!
As you can see in this picture, they always have a sale!
#11 Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner
This is an item that I have to get from Sephora, for obvious reasons. Later in the list you’ll understand what I mean by this. Anyway, out of my years of using eyeliner, which has been a decade plus, this is the best eyeliner I have used. It last for several hours, and the product itself last several months. I have only tried it in Class Black. However, I am sure all the colors are just as pigmented and smooth. I use it mostly for my water line, but the few times I used on my top lid, it just about as good as my Kat Von D liquid liner. Best of all, this product is only $12.
#10 NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35
If you are looking for a primer that really preps your skin for make up and protects, this one is for you. I have tried so many primers, they all fail except for this one. I am in the process of trying two new ones, which I will share more about later. But for now, this year, this one was my favorite! It lasted for several months. Just a tiny dab goes a long ways. You will not be disappointed if you try this primer. I have combination skin, and it worked really well for me. This product is about $36 and can be found at Sephora, Ulta, and some department stores.
#9 Baby’s R Us
As you can tell, I am a mommy, first Carter’s now Baby’s R Us. I love this store! Ever since I found out I was expecting, I find some reason to visit this store, at least once a month. I don’t shop here for my daughter’s everyday essentials (diapers, wipes, toiletries, and the like), but shoes, toys, car seats, stroller, books, you get the idea. One reason I prefer Baby’s R Us over Target or Wal-Mart for those items is because they have a rewards system, so basically every visit I get to use my rewards on my purchase, plus the coupons that come in the mail. Those are the perks of shopping at Baby’s R Us.
Told you the list was random. I take-out with this restaurant at least once a week, max four times. Ever since I have changed the way I eat, I love going to Chipotle for their salad! The way I get it depends on how many carbs I have had, so mostly the lettuce at the bottom of the salad, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, and two vinagarettes. I CANNOT eat it without the vinaigrette. When I eat it with carbs, it is pretty much the same except I add brown rice, pinto beans, and steak instead of chicken, yummy!!! So yeah, that is all for this one. Chipotle is my favorite fast food place and most dined this year.
#7 MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
For the longest time I would wear regular foundation as coverage on my face. I decided to try concealer just for my t-zone and that was not enough for me, the rest of my face felt naked. So I blended the concealer all over, and this became my everyday do. I love it! All I do is moisturize, prime, and blend the concealer onto my face with Real Techniques beauty blender. I no longer use a brush for my foundation or highlighter. I guess I could have added the Real Techniques beauty blender to my list of 2017 favorites, but now you know. This concealer can be found at the MAC store or other department stores that sell MAC products for about $23.
#6 Bath and Body Works Candles (Blueberry Sugar)
Yes, we all love Bath and Body Works 3 wick candles, but when I tell you I fell in love, I FELL IN LOVE with Blueberry Sugar. It smells so scrumptious! Absolutely my favorite candle. It just sucks that it is seasonal; hopefully, it will come out again during the 2018 holiday season. When I am looking to relax and let loose, this is the first candle I light. Like all other 3 wick candles, this one is $24.50. But… what I love about Bath and Body Works is all the coupons they mail you and store deals. So if you watch patiently, you can end up getting 2 or 3 candles around that price.
#5 MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara Black
I have tried many mascaras over the years. This is one of my favorites. Honestly, if you know how to use the wand that comes with mascara, in my opinion, pretty much any mascara can do the job. I like this one for the small bristles and how well they comb out my lashes. This product can be found at the MAC store and other department stores that offer MAC products for about $23.
#4 Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
This palette is every bit of amazing. I love the warm tones and pigments. The colors are perfect for make-up lovers of all shades. The colors are warm and toasty and as always with Urban Decay, the names are unique. I have been using the palette, in some way, every time I wear eye shadow. This is a great palette to have in your collection. The only color I wish it had was black. The shades go from light beige to chocolate. Some are kind of like persimmon. The palette is made up of mostly mattes and a few are shimmery. This palette can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and other department stores that sell makeup. It is about $54.
Kind of silly to just list Ulta, but here is why. I used to love going to Sephora, I guess because there is some kind of hype around going to Sephora. However, Ulta is better for our dollars. Sephora only gives you mini products that you may not like for the money you spend with them. I used to think oh that’s cool. Um no. Maybe because I am a wife and mother now, I need all my bucks to be used as wisely as possible. One of my best friends helped me to see the light. She had over $200 in points to use towards her purchase. This means, that she had so many points from shopping at Ulta, that she was able to use $200 on her purchase. We went shopping together one day, and her total was $221 and some change. She only spent $21. Like OMG. Why have I been wasting my time with Sephora. So Sephora, you have been good, but Ulta is way better. From now on, I will only go to Sephora for their eye liner and my birthday gift ;). Ulta gets all of my business now. Ulta has everything Sephora does and the service is just as great! You’re welcome for opening your eyes too! 🙂
#2 Grad School
So a year goes by fast, as we all know. It took me three years to go back to school and start my graduate degree. I’ll share more about why so long later. But…I have completed one year! I am so proud of myself. It was not easy, especially with working full time and a family, yet it worked out! I am thrilled to begin my second year and to continue giving it my best shot. I strongly suggest to anyone who is thinking about going back to school to do it! Stop wasting time. Don’t settle! This is your year to get out of your comfort zone. Our comfort zone gets us no where. It may hurt, it won’t feel good, and you’ll lose sleep, but I promise it will be worth it.
This is the photo I used January 2017 for my profile pic for grad school.
My life has been altered in such a way, and sometimes I wake up wondering how did I ever get here? And is this awesome little girl really for me? I am so blessed. I have a beautiful baby girl, she smiles all throughout the day, even when she wakes up, every single time. She makes me stronger. She makes me reach for the stars. And as I am sure you know, she is so spoiled and well loved. Together, we have conquered one year. It was full of adventures, as I do my best to expose her to as much fun and learning as possible, and I am so excited as we embark on this year’s journey. To be a mother is a blessing, and I am blessed with the cutest, smartest, brightest little angel. She makes my husband’s and I world a lot more joyful. Never a dull moment with her. She is our peace in this mad world.
She is going to be just like her mamma and be a musician. She loves music!
I really hope this list helps you guys, especially the ones on here concerning skin care, home fragrance, and reaching for your goals. This is one year for the books, as every year should be. Even in those years that may not have fully blossomed, you still learn something to help make the upcoming year even more brighter. As you travel through this upcoming year, remember you are special, you are somebody, and you matter.
Stay blessed and encouraged Jewels, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! #2018
For some reason, we can have all the warning signs. You may even experience some symptoms of anxiety, like a sour stomach or goose bumps on your arms. And yet you move ahead in the wrong direction knowing it is no good for you. This can be related to a job, a relationship, buying the right car, placing your child in the right school, the list can go on forever, the point is I have learned to not settle.
It can be difficult to decide if you are settling or making the appropriate choice. But I promise that every time something felt wrong about the choice I was about to make, I had those awful feelings and tons of doubt. My mind was unease about the entire situation. That is when I knew I could not go through with what my heart wanted because my mind was being more conscious of what I was getting myself in to.
Now, I am not perfect and neither have I been the best decision maker all my life. This is a daily process, as we humans make choices every second of our day. But some choices require more thought as in buying a car versus do I want expresso in my chai latte or not. Some decisions require more thought than others as you see.
I have made poor choices. Prior to making those choices I did feel a bit jumpy about them, but because I think I know everything that is best for me, I went forward in the wrong direction knowing it was not the best choice. The result of such actions has not left me dead, heart broken- OF COURSE, but you move on, there is life after a breakup. The point that you broke up means God was looking out for you saying there is someone far greater I have for you in your future; but other results have been I am left a little broke because the business plan failed, does this mean you never try at the business again? No indeed, you have a better game plan. This may have placed me at a horrible job, yeah I may have cried many drives home and vented to my friends about how much I can’t stand working there, BUT…life goes on, I found something new to venture off into.
The point is we are designed to make choices, all the time. Sometimes, we have warnings that tell us to not go into that direction, but we ignore those red flags, the yield signs- begging us to slow down, the yellow flashing light warning us to please stop ahead. We just drive past those signs and end running off the rail, and because death cannot claim you yet, life has given you plenty more second chances. Each new second is a second chance to get it right. If you can’t get it right with one person, you’ll have tons of new opportunities to get it right with the right person, that deserves your time. If you invest in the wrong business, because you felt it was now or never, or even worse pressured into one, it’s ok don’t settle as a failure, go to the drawing board and try again.
So recently like a week ago, I thought I was moving into a new direction for 2018. I had visited this place numerous times. Then, I brought my family there. They were in love too. Everything was looking good. Finances were straight. Papers were ready to be signed. I was so hyped at the beginning of the week, knowing that by Saturday my little family will be making big moves. Well…Friday evening my gut feeling changed. I became worrisome in the decision I was about to make, and honestly, deep down I always was uncomfortable about it, because I did not like the distance and other factors, but I was willing to SETTLE!!! Friday night all the papers were lined up, and as much as I wanted it, I called it off. I just did not feel good about it anymore. And I have made too many bad choices where I was settling, and this time I was not going to do that to myself. I walked away from what was my “dream house”, but of course, there is a better one than I can even fathom at this time, somewhere in my future. The fact that I wasn’t even upset about not getting the house gives me peace in knowing I made the right decision.
Just think of the possible consequences of signing the contract. I would’ve lost my money I put down had I told the contractors I change my mind, days later. I would’ve hated the distance from work. It just would have been a big mess. It looked good, but it wasn’t best for me. So glad I didn’t settle.
When you don’t settle it may not feel good to walk away at that time, but a few minutes later or hours or days you will have peace about it. And before you know it, you’ll be walking into something better than you even imagined. I may not have my “dream house” at this time, but it is coming.
We deserve far too much to be settlers. We deserve the best. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to live a life that we are proud of. And that begins when we stop settling. Stop thinking you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, educated enough, gifted enough. If you need more education, finish school. If you need more training, get the training. You owe it to yourself, to give yourself the best.
I am not just telling you this, I am talking to myself. We are entering a new year. Forget all the other new year resolutions, if you live to give yourself your best life, then all the other resolutions will fall into place.
Jewels, lets make smart choices and stop settling. We DESERVE THE BEST!
When you open that door, you have entered the world of endless options. There on each shelf of every aisle, lies hundreds of products that promise to be the answer to your dry, oily, or combination skin. Well, really there isn’t any product that is capable of making us unicorns with glowing magical skin. But, one that has satisfied me for the past few months, yes I had it for a few months, is Philosophy’s Purity cleanser and renewed Hope in a jar moisturizer.
I have tried so many drug store brand cleansers, probably all of them, to where I got to a point where I just did not want to use anything else from the drug store. I figured I would pay the extra dollars, more than just a few extra dollars, and try something from Sephora. I love Mary Kay products as well, but this time I just wanted something different. I find myself looking for new products in everything these days. It’s great to try new things!
Anyways…I have enjoyed using Philosophy’s Purity cleanser and renewed Hope in a jar moisturizer.
The cleanser is great for two reasons. One, it removes makeup extremely well, this includes eye makeup. Two, it leaves my skin feeling very clean, brighter, and moist. I am very pleased with this cleanser. I saw results right away, and my face has been clear of breakouts while I have been using the product.
Renewed Hope in a jar is just as great! The texture is light and creamy, not heavy. It leaves my face feeling moisturized. Plus, the moisture last all day!
I use both products twice a day. You only need a dab of moisturizer for the entire face. Just a dime size amount of the cleanser. Because you only need a little bit of product to get a clean and moisturized face, this is why these products lasted for a few months.
I purchased it in the spring of this year, and both products ran out at the same time last week. So that is about seven months of use. I bought the cleanser and the moisturizer along with Philosophy’s microdelivery peel for $70.
I have found this product to be so great that I have bought more. And because I think it is so awesome I bought it for someone as a Christmas gift. So if you are in need of a new cleanser and moisturizer, Philosophy’s Purity and renewed Hope in a jar is a must try!
Glasses up, to beautiful skin Jewels!
It’s Monday, and I am told that today will be the day. On this day, there are so many flutters, thoughts, omg this is really happening, to me. As I suspected, because we all have those gut feelings, the ones where you just know before it even happens, that this will not go the fairy tale way as planned. And indeed it did not go as planned. But a happily ever after is in play.
By the time the moon marked the sky that night, those flutters turned into smiles, because it was going to be any minute now. So I thought. With everything that is beautiful; everything that makes us smile and release those warm tears of happiness, they take time. So patiently, in a not so pleasant manner, I waited.
An entire day has passed. And with a couple of hours to go, the wait is no more. As they say, “The time has come.” Was I ready, heck yeah! The process was long, but not as long as it had been.
Early Wednesday morning, I became a part of Mother Nature. For I too, became a mother. I’ll never forget the cry of my baby girl as she entered this world. In that moment, I cried too, to rejoice of her safe delivery.
Ever since that bright starry night of August, I have experienced and been granted the most beautiful job on Earth, Mom.
But before becoming Mom, I be wed a charming fellow. 2015, my life changed. I met the man that I committed forever to, and weeks later conceived our heart beat.
There are many other changes, but those two are the grandest of them all. While being a wife and a mom is relatively new to me, I failed to make time for my blog. I wrote throughout my pregnancy and up to now. Yet, I strayed away from blogging.
I have many new helpful tips to share, and I cannot wait to get them all out there.
Life is a wonderful adventure; it’s just about making the right choices.
Be great, Jewels!
Life. The word itself inhabits simplicity. Why then, do we say life is hard? Is life really hard, or is it that we make it hard? It’s definitely along the lines of we make it WHAT IT IS. You know that old saying, “Life is what you make it”? It’s so dead on. Think about it for a second. It’s true, right?
We are the authors of our lives. If we decide to make life hard for us, then it will be. Of course, there are times life throws in the unexpected. But, this is where you have the opportunity to grow, and not allow life to defeat you and get you down; OR, make the choice to allow the situation to rule you and shape you. YOU ARE IN CONTROL.
Folks, life is what you have. Either it will be hard, good, sad, bad, difficult, enlightening, happy, sorrowful, or a combination of it all. I just hope you know that you’re decisions determine the fate of your life. Each day that we think we have is not promised.
Keep life simple. It’s the easiest and most joyful route to take. Any other way is destined to bring hardship. Think back to the Israelites. Their 11 day journey turned into 40 years because of the choices they made. They chose to make their lives difficult.
Please don’t get stuck on deciding whether or not you’re going to be happy being you or someone else; choosing friends that will respect you verses having friends just to be accepted by a group of people; or allowing situations to cause you to get caught up and forgetting the purpose of your life. You.
For about a year or more, full figured women have been taking over the fashion industry. There are more plus size clothing stores now than ever. These stores are nothing like the old school plus size stores that just sell big plain tops, that fall off your shoulders, and dresses that don’t fit right in any place. These stores carry trendy clothes that any diva would want in her closet.
Consequently, there is a lot of negativity that comes with plus size girls wearing trendy clothing. People suggesting that plus size ladies should not be promoting positivity in their size because it’s not healthy, and the list goes on. Well, the thought for today is it doesn’t matter what size you are, as long as you’re wearing YOU(which means it doesn’t matter if you’re big, skinny, stout, short, tall, linky, apple, pear, square shaped).
No one is to judge how someone dresses. We shouldn’t judge anyone, period. Every shape is different. Which means every shape has it’s own special needs to look the most flattering. I believe everyone can be fabulous. You just have to dress accordingly for your size.
For instance, I personally find bodycon dresses most appealing on some pear shape and hour-glass plus size ladies rather than a size 2. That’s just my opinion. I find it adorable to see petite ladies wearing short flared out dresses. I think it’s so cute, especially with super flashy shoes.
At the end of the day, you have to be comfortable in your own skin. Confidence is the biggest thing. Women that wear confidence look thee MOST appealing. Never be afraid to try new things no matter what size you are.
Be you, be confident, bring out your inner sexy Jewels! 😉
Let’s talk skin.
I would like to believe that most people want nice skin. Some may even question if it is possible to have skin you absolutely love. The answer is most definitely. Minimal pore, blemish less, acne, white/black head, pimple free skin is possible. Perfect skin is not, but you can get mighty close.
Personally, I have not always been a skin fanatic. Of course, I always freak out over pimples. But, I have recently, like this year, become obsessed with skin care. In the past, I would buy drug store products like Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Noxzema, Olay, and others. Unfortunately, by the time I reached the bottom of the bottle none of the promises of the product were fulfilled, and the amount of money spent on the products could have been better served on something else. Now, this is not to say that these products do not work, but they certainly were not effective on me.
The other negative was I would take care of my skin only when I felt like it. I knew the value in sticking to a face regimen but I never would keep it up. I have always had issues with the pores on my chin and nose and whiteheads near my brows. I also have issues with dark pigmented areas on my face near the outer areas of my nose. Thankfully, pimples would only occur during “that time of the month”.
Recently, since January, I have been using Mary Kay’s skin care products. I love these products so much! I have seen tremendous changes in my face. My problem areas that I mentioned (monthly pimples, whiteheads, and big pores) have drastically died down. I literally have no more pimple, ever! The whiteheads have disappeared. The huge pores on my nose and chin have drastically become smaller. The dark areas are getting lighter and even with my complexion. My skin is also much firmer and the texture has remarkably changed. Overall, my face is a lot different.
I value skin care now more than ever, so much that I offer complimentary facials using Mary Kay products. I am a MK Beauty Consultant. I love everything about beauty and helping a woman feel beautiful inside and out.
There is a major difference even in my makeup since I have started this skin care regimen. The texture is absolutely flawless; this is as close to “poreless” as it is going to get. It is possible to achieve skin you can wear bare. 😉
Ladies, it is so important to take care of your skin. If you are doing what I use to do, which is take care of it sometimes, you have to start and stick to a regimen soon. More blog post to come on my skin care regimen and the products I use.
Do your research ladies and try things out. I hope you find the perfect skin care regimen that works for you. For immediate notification of the future blogs to come on skin care please submit your email address in the link, to follow this blog, bellow; or if you are a blogger just follow. 🙂
If you have any questions about skin care/ beauty please ask, I’ll be glad to help! You can do so by submitting a comment below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you all!
It’s your time to be the best you. You can get started by taking care of your skin, Jewels!
Summer is almost here, but the whole April showers, May flowers still places us in Spring. While the temperature is steady warming up I have grown weary in wearing pants to work. This of course means more dresses!
This dress is from Dress Barn. I cannot recall the exact price, but it is somewhere between $50 and $69. This is a sleeveless sheath dress. The skirt is just straight; it is not fitted. The stripes are very flattering on a plus size figure. I love that this dress is versatile. You can wear it like I did with a sweater and cork wedges, with a black blazer and pumps, or sleeveless with flat sandals or flats; there are many options.
I got these on sale at Journeys for $20 (such a deal). Any cork wedges would pair up nicely with the colors within this dress. Most wedges would go nicely with this dress.
Enjoy the rest of Spring, Jewels!
While the sun is my enemy, I do love that Summer gives me a chance to show off some skin. I absolutely adore my legs. I think they’re HOT! I may be plus-size but that means absolutely nothing. I do not let my size hinder me from showing off some skin. I think my legs are one of my best attributes, and I just live to show them off.
Ladies, we all have parts of our bodies that we like to show off and make us feel extra sexy. No matter your size, strut what your momma gave ya! We all have a physical feature that brings out our inner sexy. So this Summer what is it that you’re going to strut?
It’s so vital to be confident in the skin you’re in. When you are confident in yourself, nothing else matters. The only time I may consider what someone is saying about me is if they are buying my clothes. Other than that, I can care less. Be you. Like the Isley Brothers said, “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do.”
Legs all Summer long!
Here’s my philosophy about dresses: You cannot wear one without heels on, or super cute (and I mean top of the line) flat sandals. I just cannot do a dress with flats, looks so weird on me, unless I have on tights. Plus, heels make your legs look sexy!
In case you’re wondering these shoes are by BCBG, hot right? 😉
And…Summer just wouldn’t be Summer without short shorts, but these aren’t booty-short shorts lol. Got these at Forever21+. They were only $10, and they are high waisted, which is a plus for cropped tops.
Legs, Legs, Legs! Button down chambray shirt with the black shorts from above, equals cute outfit! When I sit the shorts rise up, lol. It’s just about summer time, so show off your stuff ladies!
Be you, be sexy, you are FINE! Bring on the heat Summer I’m ready to strut my LEGS! 😉 Jewels, please share the physical feature of yourself that you like to strut and why. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂