QOTW

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.

-Audre Lorde

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Gift Unwrapping 2016 + Update

I’m low-key excited about sharing my gifts I received. Wonder what will be in store for this year?

A new purse: I was in desperate need for a new purse. The straps on my burgundy handbag from the year before were about to break! Sad I buy as I need, but this year my goals were to be more receptive to my personal needs. So thankful for that and I love nude. I used this as my everyday bag, and you guessed it! Time for a new one. *Adds to Christmas List*

H&M Gift Card: We did secret santa at my job and the way we did it was to choose three things you wanted, and our secret santa got one of the three gifts. I chose gift cards from B-dubs, H&M, & the movies. I am so glad my coworker chose the H&M card. I budgeted to spend $50, only spent about $35 out of pocket. Such a blessing!

Harry Potter Series: *exhales*. So if you have been following since the beginning, you can recall my Book Haul I shared for Blogtober, I said I’d read this series for the fall and into the winter (it’s seven books). Sad to say I was not able to save and get them and have not made it over to my local library with transitioning jobs and the holidays, I just decided to watch the movies again. I am so thankful I received them as a Christmas gift because I was planning on ordering them because I had the extra cash. Sadly, I never finished the book challenge I made for myself after starting my full-time job I work now. I think I’ll start this back up again in Blogtober or maybe in September (Blogtober was hectic). That plus a cup of hot cocoa and this book should be fun *so excited*. Expect some reviews..

Erin Condren Planner

So if no ones ever told you, ask and you shall receive. Well, I wanted this planner, and knew I couldn’t afford it, but am determined to use this as my aid to plan my New Year, so I made post on Facebook, asking for one because I need it. I got a few, “they are expensive”, and “they’re on sale” posts, which kind of pissed me off because that’s not what I asked you. I know how much they are, I am thankful for the sale heads up, because my aunt in New York, who I still have to meet, inboxed me later of a screen shot of a confirmation screen!

I haven’t used it since I moved. I still have some boxes I need to unpack. Reading this reminded me that I had it. See how time changes things? I need to pull this out now so I can get back into a routine. This definitely helped. Going into this second half of the year, as a matter of fact *goes through box of books*.

How are your gifts holding up?? 

Jay Colby covers: Finding Yourself vs. Creating Yourself

For many years the concept of finding yourself versus creating yourself has been a topic of discussion. This concept comes from a famous quote by author George Bernard Shaw “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating you”. Finding Yourself Many times when the topic of finding yourself is usually referenced to a “young […]

via Finding Yourself V.S Creating Yourself — Jay Colby

Mid Year Check-in: Second Half Goals + First Half Recap

June, I’m glad you’re gone.

While I feel like I did a lot, I also felt like I didn’t do a thing.

No, let me not say that because I worked my ass off. I had a good month work wise. But in doing that I realized that I had no time for myself. Actually this entire first half of the year, I did nothing for myself. Multiple failed attempts at working out, no new adventures, no new habits formed. It sounds a little sad. Let me not say that either..

I moved and learned a lot on my job, and I finally applied to University so I can finish my Bachelor’s. Just waiting on the decision letter.

Patience is what I learned this first half of the year. Moving too quickly can cause you to miss out on things that matter, beneficial aspects of the journey. Finding peace in waiting is what it is all about. Going back and reviewing everything you already did you ma find you missed something or could’ve done something better. It’s all a learning experience.

You have to forgive me if I sound a little blunt, straightforward or just plan rude. I honestly believe it is the birth control I’m on. My emotions have been strong and I have been meaning them.

I find myself at a plateau in life. I know what it is I want to do, I do the research, but make no plans to implement them. Why is this? Any psychologists/life coaches out there with some free info please don’t hesitate to comment a tip or two.

Moving forward, the year is not over yet. It is the second half and I still have time to turn this thing around. So these will be the basis of my goals for the rest of the year and what you can expect to read:

  1. Meditation + Prayer (Mind & Spirit)
  2. Cardio + Strength Training (Body)
  3. Clean Eating + Detox (Body)
  4. Learning (Intellectual Stimulation)

The first half I am not too worried about but I do wish I did more. It is a blessing however, to have the mind set of a new day. Everyday I wake up, I start over. I remember the past, but I try not to let it determine my present or future.

How is your year going? Let’s get some motivation in the comments.

Mini Walmart Haul + Product Review

Background Story:

Ever since I gave birth, I’ve been on this mission to find my womanhood. Growing up, I was labeled a tomboy & a grandma. I didn’t like being labeled because it always made me feel different. I was already taller than most, and slightly bigger than my closet friends. This kept me constantly comparing myself to them.

Through my teens I found myself not only trying to change myself, but living in self-pity. I had a lot of time to do this as I was always the third wheel, and while my friends tried to help me with make-overs and blind dates, I’d decline, proving them right. That motherly instinct, “not focused on boys, books only” mentality was my go-to or a reason why I wasn’t interested.

One side of me was scared of change (being seen as more than the good girl) and rejection (I knew this far too well). After declining their offers, the other side screamed, “just go for it, it couldn’t hurt, live a little! It’s not like you do this often! What teen doesn’t take a risk once or twice?” Angry at myself, I’d just go home and read or watch tv..

That was then, this is now. Self-sabotage has had enough power over my life. With that being said, I always thought about wearing makeup. I went through a mini phase where I’d sneak some of my mom’s foundation before school, her mascara and eyeliner. She is also a shade or too darker and one day I came home and seen she left the eyeliner in my room and told me it was not sanitary to share makeup. Anywho I digress.

I put on my big-girl panties and just went for it. I picked up a few things in Walmart. The first thing I did was go to the cosmetics isle, and picked out some cheap make-up to practice in. 

Now for the experienced make-up artists and wearers, I’m sure you’re probably thinking why go for the cheap stuff? I’ll be happy to answer that. Because while I am making room in my busy schedule for myself, I don’t want to waste my money on learning. Let me rephrase, I don’t want to play in the expensive stuff. I figured I use the cheap stuff to practice with, and as I get better at it, transition..

So, I started with what I thought was easiest: eyeliner, mascara, and the brow pencil. Oh and I picked up some brushes. 

 Ruby Kiss Liquid Eyeliner: I always liked liquid liner because I felt like it gives a more dramatic look. This eyeliner however is more on the watery side. If it was a little thicker we could get somewhere. It’s kind of runny. I won’t buy this again.

elf Eyeliner Pencil: Now this would be great if it wasn’t so bulky to hold. The point is a bit wide. It came with a spongy like blending tool on one end and a sharpener on the other end which is cool. But it could be thinner for a better grip and more control of the strokes. A narrower point for more precision of the desired area would help too. It’s like I’m coloring outside of the lines. Wouldn’t buy this again either.


 elf Volumizing & Defining Jet Black Mascara: I mean, you can never go wrong with mascara. This is a pretty honest product. It holds, defines, and adds the volume desired. But of course I definitely plan to try a higher end product.

Ruby Kisses Eye Brow Pencil: for my first time trying the eyebrow pencil, this wasn’t  bad. I think I am a little on the heavy handed side so this will be good practice to work on my strokes. I think I want to try an eyebrow kit (powder + angled brush) for more control. I notice also noticed in tutorials the kit gives a more natural look (that’s the goal).

Glam&Beauty Makeup Brush set: While I haven’t used my brushes yet they are so soft! I have been practicing my invisible strokes (mimicking applying foundation). I haven’t tried the brushes yet because while I was trying out different foundations in the store, I just didn’t feel like any as right. I feel like what I needed was sold out. My coworker suggested to just go to a makeup counter in the mall and have them help me with that (mental note here).

For now I’ll keep practicing. My next trip will be matching foundation, finding concealer and brow powder. This calls for a a part 2. Now my ultimate goal isn’t to constantly wear makeup, but to merely learn a new skill. Sometimes I feel like having a little one will add to my ensemble. I love my natural beauty (I really don’t need it), so minimal makeup is the goal. As I explore my femininity, sometimes I just have the urge to put some on. But I don’t want to have to pay for someone else to do it or look crazy trying to sporadically do it myself. So, I’ll keep practicing at home and come out when I feel like my skills are presentable enough.

Right now I am in awe of Nigerian YouTuber & BloggerShirley B. Eniang. Our complexion is almost identical and being that she is a full lipped brown girl like myself, automatically inspired! I love how she applies her make up down to the order she applies it and how much (it’s just enough), and her over-all style. She is the persona of my feminine goals. I don’t know how I came across her (yes I do, I was looking up YouTube videos on how to get started in make-up and came across her Make-Up Starter Kit: Part One & Two. My life has never been the same since. Check her out!

With this being a learning lesson and all, please leave any questions, comments, or any suggestions you may have. If you use these products or have in the past, let me know your thoughts. Any other YouTubers you can suggest would be great. Stay tuned for my trial + error shots in another post!

Thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,

t.

First Try at Ribs!!

1 rack of Baby Back Ribs

Lawry’s: Seasoned Salt

Great Value: Organic Garlic Powder

Trader Joe’s Smoked Paprika

Great Value: Organic Hickory BBQ Seasoning

Mrs. Dash: Salt-Free Original Blend

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Clean thawed ribs (I removed some of the fat), then season however you like. I don’t really eat ribs unless they are off of a grill (or unless my grandma cooks them. She insisted I take a rack and they were halfway thawed so I said why not.
  3. To mock that grilled/smoked taste, I rubbed the smoked pap and hickory BBQ on it first, then the seasoned salt, garlic powder, then the Mrs. Dash. Baked for 30-40 minutes (my grandma said 30 but, I did 40 and they still came out fairly well. She also said to use tenderizer, but I didn’t have any so..

Came out delicious, I guess it was all in how well I rubbed in the spices because it tasted like I marinated the ribs over night.  For my first time making ribs, I did a good job. As you can see I don’t have actual measurements for how much seasoning. I am able to measure just by looking (I can obviously tell when enough is enough).

I know that is something I need to work on and I don’t normally eat this heavy. But everything in moderation right? But I do like well seasoned food. In other words, I like to taste my spices and seasonings in every bite. I guess I had a sweet tooth, because after they were finished, I added a hint of brown sugar on top and took the left over oils from the bottom of the pan I cooked the asparagus to coat the brown sugar to I guess caramelize into the ribs. I didn’t taste the asparagus on the ribs at all.

I sauteed asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 5-7 minutes.

I also baked corn on the cob provided by my grandma (she provided this whole meal minus the asparagus— found that in the fridge). That recipe I got from pinterest.

The cookies were prepackaged from Walmart, Tollhouse brand I believe, also amazing! This meal was great and if you try it, please let me know how it turned out in the comments.

Bonus Tips:

 

  1. I heard Gordon Ramsey say fat’s only purpose on meat is to help maintain flavor while meat is cooking—it should be cut off and disregarded after cooked (steaks and ribs for example).
  2. My grandma said spraying over your ribs after seasoning them helps to keep them from drying out while in the oven. Indeed she was right!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!

I woke up on Tuesday morning to 101 followers via WP and 1,086 email subscriptions!

I thank God so much for helping me to rediscover blogging as it has played an immaculate role on my journey.

The more time I spend on WordPress, the more I am able to improve this blog.

I am so thankful for all of the love and support that I have gotten since I have started this blog over a year ago.

I remember a lot of you who followed in the beginning, helping me navigate through WP because I was so lost (laughs). I have even gotten to know a lot of you all. This, being the best part of it all. Being able to connect!

Watching my views and content rise, along with followers and views from around the world, this has been nothing but a blessing. I am indeed, humbled by this experience.

I could thank you guys all day, but I will keep this short.

Expect more content (trying to perfect it all before I post it), and additions to lifeoftf. I’m even looking into some collaborations (definitely leave a comment if interested–I spoke with a couple of you all in the past).

Thank you again to my followers from day one and to my new followers, welcome.

God Bless You All.

Until Next Time,

t.