The New Year always presents societal pressures to have your entire existence figured out by end of day one. What a daunting task. And yet, if we do not plan, we inevitably plan to fail. So I took a step in the direction of what some people believe will lead to success.
How many times have you sat down to complete a task and ended up watching television instead? The next thing you knew, your entire day is gone and you haven’t gotten any work done. Just me?
I can’t believe five years on this blog has finally come. If I’m honest, I thought about closing up shop and ending this space at the end of 2014. Blogging is work. But when I look back to my first real post, I remember how excited I was to start a new journey. That, and you, remind me of what I’ve started and why I can’t let go just yet.
Exactly one year ago, I quit my job at a law firm without a plan. All I knew was that I wanted a more fulfilling life. I was excited to start a new chapter in my life although I had no idea what that life would resemble. Right now at this very moment, all I can say is THANK YOU to the Most High for giving me strength. It was a challenging year and I am better for it.
My good friend Kim reached out to me about checking out the December box from COCOTIQUE. What is that, you ask? It’s an amazing company providing a monthly beauty subscription service to women of color. This box contains all things hair, skin, makeup, nails and even fragrances. It is what they call the “Ultimate Beauty Arsenal”. I am rarely, if ever, surprised. But when I finally opened the box, I couldn’t believe what was inside.
On Christmas Eve, I had the opportunity to see Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Although I’ve seen this show over five years ago, this particular production was like none other. There is only one word I can think of to describe the show and that is MAGICAL.
Photo by C. McCullers, Courtesy of Atlanta Ballet
Okay, I’ll just come out and say it: I hate Christmas. Maybe when I was a kid, it was all cute and enjoyable. We didn’t really celebrate the holiday but the streets felt so alive and everyone was filled with Christmas cheer. There was plenty of hot cocoa and endless holiday movies to watch. But now as an adult, it’s just another day off. BUT, I do like gifts. Thoughtful ones. If you have a blogger or budding blogger in your life and you’re contemplating what to get them, I’ve got exactly what you’ll need.
So brief disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or an herbalist. I am someone who tries to find the simplest ways to get maximum results, naturally. I’ve been very vocal on this here blog about my skin. That time I called myself not so pretty and healed my face in a week was really the beginning of my slight obsession with natural products. Now I won’t say I get all Martha Stewart in the kitchen and make everything myself. I don’t have time or patience for that. But I do try to find products that have the least amount of chemicals.
One Friday night in, I was watching Hey Fran Hey videos and I came across one about a honey facial. That lead to me doing research on honey facial masks. So I figured, I have honey in the kitchen pantry, I have oats and I have plain greek yogurt. So I watched a few more YouTube videos and applied the paste to my face. Almost immediately after removing it, my face broke out in the craziest rash!! Why? I did not use raw honey; I used the stupid one in the bear bottle. DO NOT USE THIS ON YOUR FACE. Also, I did not like the Chobani brand of plain greek yogurt. Something about their products that smell really spoiled. Only make enough for one mask and make sure you use the yogurt up before it starts to funk up. I recently bought the Kroger brand plain greek nonfat yogurt and there was no smell.
I haven’t even been outside yet and I know it feels like doom. That’s what Winter is: sadness, the end, hibernation. I mean, if you want to look at it on the bright side, it’s a time for preparation and renewal as well. But today, it’s miserably overcast. A crisp and dreary and day calls for layers. Lots of them.
I completely forgot about these photos my dear friend Channing (of Channing in the City) sent to me from my visit to New York early this year. Yes, 8 short months ago. This year has flown by so quickly! I’m ready for it to be over but ill prepared. And one of those things I’m not prepared for is Winter.
“I am inspired every day by the joys and struggles not only of Haitian people, but of people around the world. Through dance I am able to express great passion and emotion and connect with audiences on a deep level. I am thrilled to premiere two new dances,Rasanble andRanmase, at the 4th Annual Flavors and Colors of Haiti on December 11 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta.” ― Jeanguy Saintus
What better way to acknowledge Haiti’s vibrant history than to celebrate with what they are known for: culture. And by culture I mean art. And by art I specifically mean dance. I’ve spoken highly of the efforts to rebuild Haiti into the country that it was always destined to be; a country with history so rich and deeply rooted in all things creative and artistic.