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I was able to muster up some energy this past weekend to be social n mixy :) Over these past umpteen weeks or so I've been such a drag! About a month ago, I was scrolling my TL and seen Influencer n Blogger Dayna Bolden was hosting an event in Bmore n rushed to hit the link-clearly my rush was slower than others cuz it was SOLD OUT!! I went back to the post n hit the "devastated why me" emoji cry face becuz I'm like ugh, this would've been perfect since it's local. Welp, as luck would have it she hit me up in the DM's wit the stay tuned I might open up more seats msg n I set aside my funds ASAP just in case. I went on about life n thought nothin of it until on a clear sunny day, I received a msg with an event link and VOILA!! The pearly gates had opened...for me..lil ol' me <3 I was on point n on time as I made SURE to grab a tkt this go round. I mean I'd hate to miss out again n have to show up anyways where it just so happens someone "accidentally" tripped off a curb then graciously hand me their tkt as their being hauled into an ambulance n could no longer attend themselves-just saying! After the score of the golden tkt now comes the wait and anticipation for the event. It was a good month out but I patiently waited and shared in the excitement of the countdown. After all, I had been hibernating dmn near all year or so anyways n wanted to test the waters a bit since I threw it in the atmosphere how I wanted to start attending more blogger events. 

The time has come!! Its finally here-EEEK!! I have no idea what to expect. I kinda like going in blindly with no expectations these days. I mean I only know Dayna from who she portrays on social media sooooo let's see how this translates in person. I walked in while Michelle Mckinney was speaking. I was happy to see her since I also follow her and enjoy her life coaching-ness. I am instantly entranced n sucked all the way in. The jewels she dropped n the style in how she presented a stop the excuses n get off ur azz approach was amazing. What really struck me was mentioning that we downplay our achievements. The way we introduce ourselves n not make it seem like we are a big deal when the mentality we need to be having is "I AM THE SHYT". Woooow, it was like deja vu. It's the same thing I've been preaching for us to do. This is the attitude I exude to "Inspire.Motivate.Elevate" within my movement n to hear someone else say it was like OH YEA...she gets me!!! This was like a full circle message for me n confirmed I'm on the right track. The confidence in her speaking and examples she made of us had me in awe. She is such a BOLD light n I can see why Dayna has such an asset within her tribe. We were all in there soaking it up and taking notes. Her vibe n her energy was the perfect kickoff to the event. 

Food was delish :P I devoured this shrimp n grits

After Michelle snatched our edges n sashayed off the stage, it was time to mingle n mix. I was then able to look around n peep the attention to details of the event. It was beautiful. From the time u walk in your greeted, sit down and there's a notebook n pen along with a pamphlet or guide pretty much but more importantly the attendees. You could feel the sisterhood of strangers who all gathered to be within the same space as someone we look up to and admire. I must say...I've been to a few blogger type events but NONE like this. Dayna really attracts beautiful souls. Whether u came with friends or solo there was no shortage of love exuding in the room from all angles filled with women. To put on an event at this magnitude couldn't have been an easy task. It was well over 100 women yet no more than 200 so it was still intimate n not overcrowded. You could still work the room and engage with everyone. I was highly impressed. 

Engaging was one of the best parts. To hear people came from near and far melted my heart. We wrote our 2019 goals on a postcard n posted on the wall after unclipping a message attached to the pin. How neat. Who came up with this idea n I'm excited to receive the same postcard a year from now to see where I stand. It puts u in the mindset to start NOW to get the engines started for 2019 and y'all know I'm all for forward thinking!! 

My Fellow Blogger Sis came all the way from Chicago @kimberlymichellelife <3 We met earlier this year in the Blog With Kim group n she's THE Queen of flat lays.
I seen them n KNEW i needed to know them n stay connected. Anyone who can step out n phkn crush the mixed print game can't go unacknowledged n has to know-I'm stalkin!! @mikaela.phabon n @simplyshannah

Quick Story: When I entered the building I seen STEPS that looked like it led to Jesus chin, so I asked security at the front desk...umm do we not have any ELEVATORS n if not...how many flights I need to catch (becuz I wanted to prep him for the 911 call he was gonna receive or make for shortness of breff when I made it to the top) and he says...oh not many just a few flights. I took a deep inhale n exhale n started up the first flight. I pause n see a 2nd flight but also trying to look up to the top to see how many more I had left. Hell y'all know them old azz buildings in Bmore be steep!! I get to what must've been the halfway mark n see this sign. Now of course I rolled my eyes after reading it like umm Dayna...ain't no elevator to success but it dmn sure needs to be one for those carrying EXTRA CARGO!!! But I took it in stride n the message was well received. I was able to make it to the top without going out like Fred Sanford to see Elizabeth **clutches chest to brace for heart attack** 

Ok, so after mixing n mingling...it was now time for the woman of the hour to set the stage ablaze. This is what we came here for. Her host, Chardelle Moore was wonderful as well. She asked Dayna what we was thinking: How'd u get started? Did u ever think you'd be here? How do u maintain focus n balance? There was a plethora of questions n we were all ears awaiting the reply. Just as I was entranced with Michelle, I was with Dayna. I was literally IN THE MOMENT, phone down, pen down n just taking it all in. She is such a genuine person n u can tell her kindness is real. Her story of the infamous "come up" as we see it didn't come easy n to think...she's not even at her peak is inspiring. One of the most important messages she mentioned was having a good tribe to where you pour into each other n hold each other accountable. BINGO-I'm on it. Her empowerment of women is phenomenal. She shared her good n bad aside from what we see on the gram. It was after her speaking I just admired her that much more n was glad I was there. 

What did I learn and take away from attending The Bold Experience by Dayna Bolden...I learned n witnessed how humble she is IN PERSON. You see so many influencers n bloggers who are one way in the social media world but u meet them in the streets n they act as if they are the magnitude of celebs with funky attitudes. I just randomly posted my cry face emoji's on her sold out tkt post n she took the time out to hit me up to gimme a heads up on more to come. She didn't have to acknowledge me at all n I could've just had to randomly see another announcement on her page. You can see she goes above and beyond. The energy n vibe u get from her is as if you've known her for years. The attention to detail and how she doesn't half azz on her shyt is motivating. This woman puts in WORK!!! She sets the vision n executes it. Listening to her emotionally tell her story, u heard a few sniffles in the audience. We really FELT it. From quitting her job on a leap of faith n maintaining being a wife n mom...hell I'm yawning now n ready to get my azz in the bed after typing up this post alone. There are no short cuts. I get it. It's mandatory to have a good tribe to hold u accountable. A support system to "pour into" (I love that phrase) becuz I know for ME; I get lazy, I procrastinate and I need to be consistent. (I just need y'all to gimme a pass for this year due to my "condition" lol") I learned we have to sacrifice in order to chase our dreams in what we want. There were business women within the mix of bloggers. Nobody held back in giving advice or tips n tricks from branding, re-branding, pitching to brands, collabs and just over all networking because everyone CAN win. Which brings me to the message she had for us in the end....

We closed out the event in prayer and also lit a candle which represented our gifts n talents to symbolize by helping someone to light their candle doesn't dim yours **cue water works** We was all passing on the flame n "pouring into" each other with lighting each other's candles. It was such a beautiful moment. It was like Yeeeeeea that's SO true. What's for you will be for u. I have no problem telling u where I got an outfit from or resources on how I started a blog n what I do that works n doesn't work when someone asks. It doesn't block my light n blessings becuz there's only ONE me. I am my own signature n I know I'm the shyt-shyt!! The lighting was one of my favorite moments n made my eyes sweat. I hope in the future she keeps it as the ending of her events. 

Oh..upon leaving...we all got goodie bags!! These wasn't no trinket bags either. It was HEAVY lol. Maui Moisture did a wonderful job sponsoring the event. These lotions smell divine and who doesn't love a good tote!! All the goodies inside WILL be used-too cute!! 

Overall, it was one of THE best blogging events I've attended. I am so glad I got the opportunity to go n look forward to showing my face at more in the future. They definitely relayed the message of jewels as a reality check. We are already at the end of 2018-do u realize how fast time is moving. I am excited for 2019 already. I am cheesing just thinkin bout it becuz there's nothing we can't obtain. I have accomplished my goals I set for 2018 by speaking n believing it into existence. What I manifest is real. What u manifest is real n we can make it happen! Now that I have experienced first hand a Dayna Bolden event, I know to expect top notch from beginning to end. We were sent updates leading up to the day of the event n everything was just classy n professional. She carries herself as such too. If you missed out this go round-DO NOT make the same mistake twice. It was well worth the investment which wasn't much honestly (less than $100) and u just leave so full n rich of knowledge n new found friendships. Just amazing!!! 

As if I haven't bragged on this woman enuff...I shall close my post with this...within the goodie bag I found a handwritten n personalized note...let me repeat: A card addressed to ME personally with a HANDWRITTEN thank u note **tosses hands up in the air then grabs scarf to tie my hair up** I AM JUST SO DONE!!! I am BIG n paying attention to customer service. When I shop online at boutiques n such; I am a forever customer when they personally write me a note. The above n beyond-ness just wins me over. I told y'all the number of attendees so to see that she took time out to address ME personally along with the rest of the 100+ women took me the phk OUT!!! I mean I like writing too but got dmn...writing a note to THAT many people...shyyyyyt it would've started out pretty for the first 20...maybe 30 if I had Starbucks but u can rest assure for the remaining 100 women that note would look like a Charlie Brown bang or hieroglyphics of symbols-good lawd!! What can this women NOT do. Now I know I gotta step my shyt up for 2019. It's no way u can say u went to this event n NOT bring ur A game moving fwd. Like seriously...I can't bring no C's home to mama when she outchea showing me how to get the A's. 

Aight...my back hurting but I couldn't let another day go by (aaaah see sacrificed the laziness I wanted to do after work today) without this write up. It will also serve as a reminder to me to hit the ground running come Jan 2019 when I re-read this myself :)


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The Art of Alone


A few things I feel women should do at least one good time in their lifetime: cut their hair…not a trim but go bald. It’s the most empowering feeling ever. I know we use hair as a status of beauty but the truth of the matter is what about those who have no choice to be bald-yes throw on a wig but the feeling of a good breeze whispering over ur dome or the joys of water tap dancing on ur scalp is amazing. It’s a style I always revert back to becuz its easy n I continue to run from the “light skin long hair girl” stereotype. Traveling solo is something I will do very soon. I admire women who do it often. Girl trips are fun when it comes together but just something bout traveling outside ur local bubble to see the world on ur own terms and engaging with strangers (carefully) sounds adventurous and rewarding. When I travel I am in vacation mode which means do not regulate my free time with itineraries n pre-planned to do lists of excursions n sightseeing. I am spontaneous n wanna vacay on a whim. If I wanna sleep in late, be lazy n lounge to enjoy room service or do nothing then so be it. Some people will say oh u come all this way to not see or do blah blah blah-YES!! I am a simple gal. All I need is a change of scenery n good food. Marci is my perfect travel partner. She just gets me. She don’t wake me up n if we do have breakfast, we plan our own day n meet back up if needed at a certain time annnnd go from there. We together but we not together lol. I love it. We respect each other’s space. 

Speaking of space…every woman should learn to live alone **gasp** Now this maybe easy for me to say cuz I’ve never been the clingy, I gots to have somebody, please love me type but I think the independence is a great set up for a relationship u settle with down the line. After my mom died, my stepdad moved on and I moved out into my own place. While I had some concerns about who he moved on with he stated to me “I don’t want to live alone”. I didn’t understand it but I’m sure it holds true to this day for people to feel this way for whatever reason. It’s just interesting to me because since my first taste of freedom, I’ve always loved living alone. I’ve never had an interest in roommates regardless how cost effective it may be. To bask in ur own bachelorette pad, no kids, shopping off deferred payments from Newport News, living off $37.89 til the next payday n having company on at my leisure then kickin em out when I grew bored-maaaan what-that is LIFE!! If you can remember my 2018: Elevation post then I shall update u on where I left off from there: I still have the same sentiments in that post. My focus this year hasn't been dating since I've been putting energy into other things in my life which is mainly just me i.e. where can I grow? areas in my life to be strengthened?...yet the devil does test me with old flames, temptation of new flames but I've held my ground becuz I'm aware of my greatness n I'm not compromising that for temporary feelings of lust n attn.  Being single isn't n doesn't have to be a bad thing. Soul ties are REAL!! My 3rd eye has been so open after my V Steam (Endee is so phkn bomb) that I'm hella picky who I would lay with becuz if and when I start dating, it'll be for a purpose n if I know I want more than just "benefits" I ain't bout to keep moving the same way I've done before to feel a void or "scratch" a need-TUH!! 
Separation Before Elevation

As I am a few years from 40, I see how women feel pressured or in a rush to beat the clock n have kids n be married by a certain age. Oooh the typical terms of what society deems the American dream n pressures of society standards **le sigh**. There are women over 30 with no kids, no desire to have kids or just don’t want kids until they find someone worthy to have kids with. Maybe women over 35 who don’t have kids that would’ve liked to have kids, have come to grips with it not being in the cards. There’s options for single women to have kids but at this point they like eeeh phk it. That’s ok. There’s women who don’t get married and/or have kids for the first time til their over 40. That’s ok. Stop trying to shame folks!! We grow up off this fairytale of being fed to be married within a certain age frame to be stamped with the I MADE IT tag. I don’t know if anyone is paying attention with how ways of the world have evolved buuuut folks ain’t getting married as early or as much and young as they use to back when our parent’s n grands grew up. Me personally…I prefer to date older. I ain’t checkin for nobody my age or younger who press to “turn up” n be a socialite in deez streets. I need someone who is content wit sittin they azzez down sometimes n bein on chill mode but that’s becuz I am a boring homebody. I know folks will also think I’m crazy for being outside the norm but it would be such a dream to be neighbor’s wit my hubby. YES!! Neighbor’s lol. That is prolly the gift n curse of living to self for so long tho-well til Mason came! No matter the case, I am setting and enforcing boundaries. 

The Art of Alone: Sit back n enjoy JUST YOU!! Get to know YOU. Fall in love with urself by urself becuz resting in that place of preparation n knowing ur worth will make a difference in who n what u attract in the long run. I ain't tryin to Iyanla Vanzant y'all bytchez but dmn y'all gotta start recognizing the power we got in deez streets when u require n demand ur worth. 


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A Tale Of Two Babydaddy’s


Let me rewind it a tad n then bring u back up to speed…So years ago while me n marci would meet up n have an absolute blast on the drag cruises every year (gawd I miss those days w/a passion) we formed bonds with couples who inevitably became our Modern Family. They would spoil us the whole vacay n treat us like Queens. She found her “nephews” n I found “my boys” and to this day we stiiiiiiill together. Welp, as a random convo would have it, I mentioned wanting to have a baby without the responsibility. Of course they chuckled as if I was joking but no-I was serious. If life went my way I would now be married with at least 3 kids but since God has a sense of humor-look at me now! As baby talk rumbled n my idea was brushed to the side, one of my boys said I’d like to have a baby someday n it was then my grand idea would gain a breff of hope. So I said with strong conviction “If I’m not married by 35, I’ll be the surrogate”. Why nobody takes me serious as if I joke ALL the time I don’t know but I let it marinate n randomly mentioned it even after the cruise until I got an acceptance on my offer which came like 2 cruises later.

For those who might’ve been curious of the backstory there ya have it. This has been years in the making n MY idea in the first place. So now that my plans have been falling into play the other hard part is explaining to folks who don’t understand it. When there’s something u don’t understand I think it’s necessary to have a discussion on it to dispel any myths n rumors but to also break relying on stereotypes. Let’s open the dialect: You’ve heard many stories of those who’ve adopted, plenty of stories of couples whether in a relationship or situationship they have kids but how often do u come across someone who is willing to carry a child for another couple? And I’m talkin before the KimYe frenzy! 

There’s 2 types of surrogacy: 

  • straight surrogate-my egg + dad sperm 
  • being a host/gestational surrogate-intended mother’s egg + dad sperm (thru IVF) which is the most common n only way fertility clinics use.

Disclaimer: Just becuz u may be the overly emotional mother who is extra attached to ur kids does not mean that lives in everyone so for my views n how I do shyt may differ or appear as if I lack nurture or compassion that is not the case. I do not love my son any less n enjoy being a mom. So by the time u finishing reading u might say “I couldn’t do it” which is fine. That’s the uniqueness of individuality n whether u “get it” or not u need to respect it-period. This is a judgement free zone!

Top 5 FAQ:
Why would u want to do that?
I love me some Mason, lawd knows I do BUT at 37 I do NOT have the patience to raise another one. I worked hard on getting him to the independency level he is today. Furthermore-do u see what these kids bring home for HOMEWORK?? Hell naw. I am in school struggling to stay afloat with my own Maff let alone tryin to explain the new way to a child. I tip my hat to those with multiples whether u have help or going at it alone. The thing NOBODY will ever say out loud yet I know ur thinking it IS: if time could be rewinded (yes rewinded) u know dmn well u wouldn’t have either as many or any! U can quietly n secretly agree to urself or not but nobody thinks it out loud cuz u don’t want ur kids to feel a certain way or it just sounds phk’d up so we always do the default “I love all my kids n wouldn’t trade em for the world” or the “I mean now they here it’s not so bad after all” and even the popular “kids are a blessing” Yea Yea Yea Blah Blah Blah-spaaaare me!! Yeeees I get it but looking back on daycare costs, diapers, milk, sanity n the overall struggles of parenting-be real. We are way pass the days when gas was 89 cents, milk being 50 cents n when great great grands had 14 kids starting at age 14. With that being said n out the way…NO! I don’t want to RAISE any more kids whether I get married tomorrow or not BUT I would like to go thru the experience of it all over again being older, mature n fascinated by a woman’s work. I didn’t have a bad pregnancy n I produce happy babies but to really pay attn to the body n document the changes from a different perspective of dmn near 12 yrs later, I shall do.
What does Mason think?
I’ve had this discussion with Mason n we have a pretty good relationship where we talk about a lot of things. When he was younger he did want a sibling with us but as he got older that dream faded. Mason enjoys his lifestyle as an only child (with me) as do I enjoy my lifestyle with ONE. Call me selfish all ya want but if I wanted more-trust I’d have more. Mason is n will be just fine. Quiet as kept he wanted to do a “trade” n get their dog **eyeroll** But he was the final say so which made me comfortable to press forward. 

Don’t you think you’ll get attached?
Please refer to the FIRST question! I do not want to rewind my clock. Mason has 6 yrs left until he graduates n I would be crazy to start fresh with such a gap-again iiiiiiiiii would-I’m speakin for myself. What exactly do u mean by attached? This child will still be half of me so we will forever be attached. Attached to where I wanna sacrifice my sleep, take 2 hrs before I gotta leave the house to pack a diaper bag n get us ready, have to find back up sitters when daycare closed for vacay-hell find a sitter period that ain’t charging half my paycheck n 5 peruvian bundles as is…No. I feel like if I go into any more detail explaining I’ll look even crazier to u but u get the jist. We sacrifice a lot as mothers n lose ourselves to the point where someone gifts u money or gift cards to treat urself n instead of spending it on YOU, u spending it on the kids-but I won’t digress (Selfish Mom)! The answer to this question can also be tied into the disclaimer above.
Are u getting paid n how much?
This is one of the most popular questions I often get n it’s always funny to me becuz of the countless surrogacy stories I’ve read a lot of times initially money is the motivation. In other cases, money is the perk. There is no amount of money that can compensate any woman on earth for what she goes through during a pregnancy n giving birth. If u are into it for the money n treating it like it’s a business, I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it. The reward is greater than money-FOR ME but that may also be becuz I'm closer to the couple too. To answer the question tho, you can feel free to google the cost but I will not disclose any financials becuz it’s not important to me. 

Fun Tidbit: In India, young women serve as surrogates for American couples at a fraction of the cost.
Are they gonna let u be in the child’s life? 
These are my boys. We’ve built a friendship of love over the years and became close so kids or no kids they can’t quit me! They can’t escape me n we are a package deal. Yes, I AM MOM and we are family-period. Mason is excited to be a big brother <3

I’ve gotten all kinds of questions and it’s hard to answer anything in reference to the future of raising a child with a modern family n what the outside world thinks of the arrangement. It’s not the typical, ideal situation of the norm but it works for us. Any other random questions feel free to ask away but I am no expert on the matter. I’ve done some research only becuz I’m as inquisitive as u are n open to learning from other people’s experiences but I’m not the poster child for surrogates-yall know I ain’t politically correct as is!


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Goodbye Summer '18

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I am so over summer! It’s never been my favorite season n it’s pretty much been raining in the DMV all summer ate-teen anyways. I am excited for these dmn kids to be back n school (remind me to vote for all year round schooling) n back to a bedtime..oh wait I was corrected by Mason to call it “curfew” becuz bedtime is for kids (which apparently at 11 yrs old he is not). Who needs an alarm to go off at 4am for work when u can be awaken by ur child playin that dmn Fortnite n chatting wit his friends on the headset while the lights are on n his door is open! I am ready for cozy nights, oversized sweaters n leaving my windows open for a crisp breeze to flow. I’m ready to start indulging in a pumpkin spice latte or 2 here n there n starting my LAST SEMESTER OF SCHOOOOOOL **cue crazy fan girl scream** I’m excited to see how well Mason adjusts into middle school. Oh lord…MIDDLE SCHOOL-EEEK!! The rest of 2018 is zoomin n soon we’ll be strolling pass trick or treating n getting ready to say Merry Xmas. Sheesh!! 

My will n energy to blog this summer was non-existent. I just needed a break-period. I refuse to force myself to write when I’m not feeling it so I left my safe haven space abandoned. Sorry. I had no urge to do photoshoots n enjoyed hibernating n peeping or I guess lurking social media. Folks really be desperate for attention these days. Is that clout chasing? Lol I love sayin that phrase to feel ‘hip’. I like to do secret social experiments here n there as it goes along with my psychology classes n be amazed. It’s like playing a crazy scientist who uses different subjects (social media) for experiments-which has technically be done for yeeears mind u; just in different forms. You can tell a lot about people by what they post esp those who take it seriously but I digress. Hibernating was really a low for me. I just had moments where I honestly didn’t wanna be bothered-period. Work or home! Is this the life of introverts? (I always thought I was kinda half n half cuz I do like being social sometimes) Nothing against anyone but I just didn’t wanna deal with people n my attitude of how I felt was clearly noticed by those who called me out on it-which I appreciate. It’s important to have REAL ONES in ur corner to call u out on ur shyt. If I can dish it, I can take it too. It was like my body n brain went on straight cruise control n I listened. For weekends on end I’d be lounging n lazy. I meeean it did benefit my wallet cuz I wasn’t spending as much but my normal routine of Annapolis runs n strolling thru Nordies was on PAUSE! I cringe at the mere thought :( If u ever wanna know who ur real friends are that actually care…fall off the grid n peep who actually takes the time or split second to reach out n simply asks how ur doin out the blue (via txt or chats for me cuz I HATE talkin on the phone) and spare me wit the “check on ur strong friends” bshyt. 

So yes, I am slowly but surely getting back in the groove of peeking my head out to play n preparing for 2019 as I overcome my lows. I mean we got a good 3 months left right…what will be my theme? Hmmm!! My Elevation 2018 is going fairly well. I’ve definitely done that with a few good choices made to better n simplify life. One of them was moving awaaaay from PG County. As a parent, I just could NOT continue to keep my child in the school system n just disappointed in how the funds from MGM didn’t trickle down (as voted) into the schools amongst other issues. It’s a convenient place to live but for the monies that county makes n the high azz taxes they have a nerve to charge-NAH. I’ve since elevated to a quiet, less violent (not that I lived in the hood), more bang for my buck community where white folks are my neighbors  we live amongst diversity. The amenities have spoiled me to truly enjoy being a homebody. Don’t let anyone tell u luxury living isn’t the way to go cuz it’s worth every phkn dime or last penny I got. Although Mason’s favorite part is the valet trash, I make sure he doesn’t get too cozy n still make him take it out every so often (ok just the wknds) to remind him of humble beginnings lol. The school systems are definitely better which was the deciding factor for me and offer more opportunities with educational programs of advancement becuz if college will be an option we not waiting for HS to prepare-it starts NOW. I’ll be lookin fwd to being more social n attending social events for blogging n women empowerments. That’s what I need-energy of strong women to keep building and uplifting tribes. It’s a great way to continue my journey to: Inspire.Motivate.Elevate <3


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Top 5: High End Lippies

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A laydee can never have enuff lippies. The various shades n finishes can be overwhelming. The lip color can easily dictate ur mood. A red lippie means girl power n I feel strong n confident. A nude, I'm being low-key. A matte finish means I'm grown, a gloss finish means I'm being girly n playful :P However u choose to wear em there's no shortage of brands to cater to ur liking. Becuz of the price, high enders can get left behind for us of shaaaaade n melanin when it comes to searching reviews on 'em and if ur used to lower ends it can be quite intimidating. Don't fret, I was once on the edge on whether to take the plunge too. I haven't looked back since taking the leap.

As stated previously...how did I end up here? How did I go from drugstore prices to super ceding MAC prices and not batting a lash to drop monies on THE most expensive lippie EVER!! My advice to beginners is always to not overdo it. Don't get caught up in the hype of scrolling ur TL to see influencers showing off high end shyt that ain't in ur budget-it's ok! Also, do not judge (nor secretly count my pockets). My vice isn't drinking, smoking or partying. It's makeup. I still have a wide range of brands I love that aren't so pricey n enjoy em just as much. People pay for what they want-period. On the flip side to that advice, there really are some high enders that are worth every penny. So what is high end??? I would say a luxury brand within the umbrella of Gucci n them or a price point of $30 n ova.

Learn the lingo:
CCO-cosmetics company outlet
LE-limited edition
YSL-Yves St Laurent
TF-Tom Ford
CL- Christian Louboutin

Dior; Lipglow $34/Double Rouge Matte $37:
my first dip into high end and it feels every bit of luxury gliding on my lips. I love the lipglows n glad they are coming out with more shades every year. It's not a full on color. Just a hint of shade to ur lips without workin hard. NEVER leave em in ur car during hot weather-such a casualty. I use these ALL the way down beyond the nub. I literally SCRAPE the last bits n then it's on to the next. It's that serious. If ur more of a glosser the maximizer is a great option too. They don't have any strong scents n make me feel prissy luxuriating on my lips but more importantly-hydrating. They also have matte lippies I've dabbled in which glide on lovely w/rich pkg'in. WORTH IT!!!

YSL; Volupte Shine/Pur Couture $37:
These are like rubbing clouds against ur lips! OMG after I discovered my first one I went a tad crazy n grabbed more. Aside from the luxury of the package-I'm a sucker for packaging mmmm k these are amazing. The pigment of the shade in one swipe is THERE n they feel buttery on the lips BUT too buttery I will say cuz it becomes very slippery. Yes you'll need to reapply but so what, u will look divine pulling this out the clutch. Some of the shades I have are now DC'd ie Lingerie (left) which is one of my faves!

Tom Ford; Lip color $54:
I have such a love hate for TF. My favorite shades is hands down Sable Smoke n Deep Mink (now DC). I don't know what it is bout TF's nudes but they turn on me like the walkin dead n this is my THIRD time swapping it. I love SS so bad tho I am a sucker for punishment. I have not found a nude I love as much as this one tho but I have better luck with the white pkg'in. I am glad he's expanded to mini's for those not willing to drop $50+ for a full size. but u could honestly finish a tube of these becuz it's worth using everyday. FLAME is a phkn stunna. It's the most gorgeous red/orange ever to brighten ur face (similar to MAC So Chaud) n last all day. It's a rich matte. The packaging is heavy but so is the pigment. You would think at $50 a pop these would linger round but NOPE. When TF collections drop esp if it's LE shades they go QUICK!! Like hard to find-quick so if u snooze u will lose. If ur lucky, u can also find TF in CCO's for a good $30+. I was able to snag a DC'd palette in there for $40 n they normally $82-just saying!

TF Sable Smoke 

Guerlain; Rouge G $37 ($17.50 for the case):
I was mindin my business in Tyson's Mall (Va) during a nordies anniversary sale years ago n stumbled upon this counter. With time to spare this lady picked out a color n I thought nothing of it but tried it on. OMG!! It was magical. I'd never had anything beyond MAC n NARS on my lips at this time but THIS was just the spark of where I am today. Even thinking of how to describe the feeling makes me moan n quiff. Her name was Gypsy n she stole my virginity. It felt like slow motion applying this on my bottom lip n then lightly moving to my top lip all the while erotically blending both lips by merging them together in a blottingly fashion which ends with the most sensual pucker. LAWD JESUS pass me a cigarette **blows out smoke** Gypsy was the most sexiest plum lip I'd ever seen n STUPID ME didn't get it becuz I was intimidated by the $52 price tag (at the time). Little did I know it was LE n although it made me feel sexy AF I am still to this day kicking myself for not leavin with her. Off the no bull I slightly have a tear forming writing this-so serious! COME BACK GYPSYYYYYYYYYY **cue Kim K ugly cry** I never quite recovered from that lost or shall I say...the one that got away **le sigh** Well fast fwd to today n they've revamped the line n also dropped the price. You can now enjoy the luxury at the expense of $37 as a refill bullet n grab a case for $17. The cases are adorbs making them interchangeable. It flips out to a mirror when u take it out. To say this lippie is worth it is an understatement. This shyt trumps em ALL n be killin it on the low. The line is mainly known for their bronzer n balls-I mean meteorites (which I hold a few of) but the standout is definitely the lippies for me. The only reason I don't have more is becuz...well Gypsy left a stain on my heart n I am desperately seeking susan so I settled for this one. GUERLAIN PLEASE BRING HER BACK FOR THE LOVE OF RAY J PLEEEEASE!!

The only remnants I have of Gypsy, circa 2014

Louboutin; Velvet Matte Lip Color $90:
Honey...Sugar...Baby...**lip pops** When the buzz of this comin out hit the blogwaves, I was already waste deep in luxury brands n once u fall into the rabbit hole there's no turning back (which is why I advise to be careful). Once u get a taste of luxury it's hard to go back down. 
"Aye baby see, when u used to filet mignon, it's kinda hard goin back to hamburger helper-its ur choice tho baby" 

**Warning: arrogance n snobbish-ness starts NOW** the teases had us anxious n when that price dropped...we all knew it's what separated the girls from the womens **hair flip**. When we seen swatches u had to be VERY careful n think long n strong on which ONE to grab first. Then u have to also consider the swatches look different on tones n lighting. That price tag ain't no hoe!! I had to do it for the Cult-CHA tho. I blindly ordered Zoulou and it arrived the same as Prince Hakeem did in Comin to America. The UPS driver tossed rose petals down as he delivered my box. It was then gently opened with a golden letter opener w/the fingerprints of Queen Elizabeth's assistant. As the clouds parted for the gates of heaven to open, the light was shining upon this elegant box of glory n u could hear the harp strings in the background play ever so gently. The epitome of opulence daaaarling-WELCOME!!! I could care less about the fabric provided to wear it as a necklace. I mean come on...u already shytn on bytchez by having it in ur possession as is...how ostentatious must one be **cue Mayweather antics** This is a life changer. It does NOT disappoint AT ALL. The details in packaging is like none I've ever seen n u feel Godly dripping in all this royalness. The whole lipstick is just rich. It's not drying making it the perfect matte for me n no need to reapply. The bullet is quite heavy but I mean...that's what ur bag handlers are for **powder puffs decollecte** If u are a makeup junkie of a certain **ahem** level of elevation then no doubt u have at least ONE! If not, ur clearly outside of the velvet ropes n u may continue to stand in the lines...with the others **shoo hand motion as I side eyed those who waited in line for a FREE Mac lipstick** TUH. I have 2 nudes: Zoulou n Just Nothing. They are buildable to make em more opaque if needed but I keep it simple with one swipe or 2. I have to remind myself NO MORE NUDES when it comes to these becuz I think if ur gonna go for the gusto it might as well be a pop of color to enjoy!
(CL Zoulou on the left, CL Just Nothing on the right)

**comes back down to earth** If you are risky n wanna jump then stop pass a counter to do some swatches n find ur shade. I would go for a staple color-anything nude (those go first). I'm not big on reds but it's also a basic start (which is popular as much as nudes). When u really get comfy u can venture out in bolder colors-pinks, oranges, vampy...the ones u not grabbing for everyday but on the days u feeling boss bytch-ish. Take advantage of sales: 15-25% offs happen more often than u think (for some brands). Nordies does price matching too but it's random. My favorite time is holiday for SETS. YSL normally has a set of mini's and Burberry does a cute little box but it mainly comes with a red shade. Dior is now in...Ulta **le sigh** now let me say this...I have nothing against Ulta. They have an awesome rewards point system going on but it does somethin to my soul knowing I can grab a Dior lippie next to Maybelline **cringe** dare I say it...it cheapens the brand :7 You don't even see a commercial for Bentley's let alone see a sale on em-in case u never noticed. I was already done when MAC hit Ulta becuz it was such an exclusive brand n now...it's opened to the masses at a huge discounted rate. The thieves n those who don't appreciate really good brands take advantage of the opportunity to steal or open up shyt that ain't testers n drives the cost up eventually. phkn peasants!! The infamous question: Do I need these? **scrunches face to think** look...i'm sure u've grabbed a lot of things u don't "need" but i'm not minding nobodies wallet. Do what ur capable of n don't feel pressured or as if ur missing out becuz of the name-it's just makeup (but dmn it if u ain't got bragging rights possessing these-just saying). Is there anything you'd limit for love? Where does the buck stop? I can't bring myself to hit submit for an order of red bottoms (consignment or not) n I currently have Gucci MJ's in my wishlist that I just can't pull the trigger for-designer shoes just ain't my thing but I'm not opposed to it. Til then I'll indulge in their makeup lines which still makes me apart of lol-right. 


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Overcoming A Miscarriage

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This time last year I was glowing in excitement as I was ready to embark on new life formed within my womb. The general rule is what? Keep quiet n wait til after 12 wks or something but mine is 5 months-no rhyme or reason tho. It’s just something I prefer to keep between the party involved n a few I carefully choose to share with until I feel like making an announcement. Speaking on a loss isn’t an easy feat to do. We normally keep it to ourselves becuz we feel nobody would understand but you’d be surprised with how many relate. Being preggers at 25 is a whole different ball game than anything after 35 as I was able to pay more attention and appreciate the changes within my body this time around. I’ve never had morning sickness but dmn it if heartburn didn’t take me out.

I admire women who share their stories of miscarriage (MC) aloud because nobody talks about it. You can find solace in someone u relate to for support. It’s almost like it’s a taboo topic but more so it opens u up to being vulnerable n judged. Do I share? How do I share? What do I share? Do I really feel like reliving it by explaining the shyt all over again? Ugh! I felt like how can I not esp if I wanted to later share a success story. I go from being so excited which was different for me becuz of all the previous ones it was like “oh shyt-wtf now” to oh nooooo. FINALLY I get pregnant on purpose with a purpose n it’s snatched from me. I felt like it was karma for taking for granted all the other times of it easily being handed to me n tossed like eeeh maybe next time becuz I know for sure I have a whole Josephine Baker rainbow tribe waiting on me at the pearly gates (don’t judge me). Yet I have no problem taking full responsibility for my choices and I don’t regret em. I’ve been a work in progress for some years now n made peace with a lot of past indiscretions honey. That’s why I’m such a beast today becuz I’m very aware of myself. After being on bedrest for weeks at a time my water broke too early n the end result was a miscarriage-THANK GOD I did have folks check on me as well as give me my space. Getting my body back into sync wasn’t easy becuz it still processed a baby being delivered. I gradually went back to work to resume my regularly scheduled programming but it was tough cuz it randomly crossed my mind n I’d be done for the day n retreat back into hiding. Slowly but surely I came back into normalcy and regained a sense of brighter days.

Many have asked if we’ll try again. I feel optimistic so why not. There are plenty rainbow babies amongst us and your probably one urself. If it was anything that would put my life in jeopardy-NO n since my doctor gave us the green light, it’s all I needed! For those who are trying-keep goin IF ur psychy allows becuz I can’t imagine going thru the devastation of an MC back to back n then u feel like u walkin on eggshells in hopes of-ya know, so it takes a toll on ur body n mental state. Just think, if women gave up after the first try or loss the population would prolly be half. It’s all in divine timing n whenever it’s meant to be soooo let me set boundaries now: do NOT ask me every month if I’m pregnant-it’s phkn annoying. I can see the reason why people keep shyt under wraps n private #HiKylie yet I know people have the best intentions and want to see us win…still it’s annoying! Even if and when it does happen I would do things a lot different the next go round like…not give a due date. Nothing else more annoying than u asking within those upcoming weeks “Is it here yet” n yall know I got a smart mouf so u ask me on the wrong day/time u will get ur feelings hurt. Please believe I’m not hardly press for the attention so depending on how u could perceive and receive this message it might translate to: ur on a need to know basis! It’s not to be mean n I don’t wanna sound bytchy but I am now VERY picky with who I share my energy (n self) with (even tho I am sharing it on this platform). I know how fake some folks can be as well as nosey so for something as important as this, I only want genuine people on my team. Whether that’s 2 people or 20, I prefer the quality over quantity any day. Thank you for ur words of encouragement, well wishes n prayers, they definitely don't go unnoticed and much appreciated. I'm open to receiving my blessings :)


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