Meatless Monday

Let me start by saying 30 years ago I was very young when  I decided on my own to give up red meat and never looked back. My decision was prompt by red meat being one of the leading causes of  cancer , hypertension and high cholesterol. Ok, I’m being nice. Although this discovery is true, I quit because I’ve always heard that people of color are predisposed simply because they are people of color. That didn’t set well with me. Therefore, I decided to challenge this.  I’m not a Physician but I strongly believe  you are mainly what you eat. There may be some findings on it being inherit but you are what you eat.  Take for instance Morgan Spurlock , from the documentary Super Size Me, 2004. He ate McDonalds exclusively for 30 days. As a result he gained weight, increased his cholesterol ,experienced sexual dysfunction , mood swings and fat accumulated  in his liver.  This is one example of why I feel most of your health problems can stem from what you decide to eat.

My diet of meats consist of salmon, chicken and turkey with chicken being my least favorite.  Often times my meals do not consist of any meat. I find it harder  in the summer to eat less meat because I love chicken and fish on the grill . Yet, I can do it as long as my meals are prepared ahead of time. The best time to cook is when you’re most energetic and not hungry. For me, I am most energetic in the morning. Along with making breakfast I start cooking my lunch. This will prevent grabbing quick unhealthy food to nourish my  appetite.

If you are thinking about giving up meat, it’s best to start out small. Don’t go cold turkey and quit eating  meat. Eat less meat in a day with smaller portions and fill up on veggies. Then start meatless Mondays. This is a global movement to consume less meat and eat more of a plant based diet. Dr. Kritsti Funk recommends a plant based diet to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.  I’m sure the fear of the ” Big C” resonates with everyone. We all have known someone are have experienced  the ” Big C” in some form of our life.  The thought of a doctor having to tell me this is scary. Yet prevention by trying to reduce the chances is imperative. Many years ago I started having meatless Mondays. Let me tell you, when I say you become creative. I think of all types of dishes to make. It funny how most is such a large part of most peoples meals until the side items aren’t as important. Trying take that meat from the table and watch how much you feel better. I’ll admit, its weird in the beginning. You feel as if something is missing or you just ate a snack instead of a meal. To think too hard on it. Prepare your meals as usual, but exclude the meat on Mondays. If you find it too difficult to eliminate meat for the day; try   eliminating meat on Monday by skipping it on one of your meals. Anything you do to reduce your meat intake will be a good start on better health.

Here’s a great dish I’d love to share with you for meatless Mondays. It’s black beans and rice.  No, it’s not your Mama’s black beans and rice. The black beans has proteins in them. It’s funny how meat eaters ask, ” How will I get my proteins?” There are plenty foods with proteins. You have to do your research and create yummy meals that are more plant based.

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 34cup uncooked white rice, ( Brown is healthier)
  • 1 12cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 12teaspoon cayenne pepper

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I had to cheat and chop my onion and red bell pepper in this chopper, to prevent tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Trip To California

I’m going to try not to be long-winded but it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited.  It’s not my first time traveling to California , but I must admit it’s the first time I enjoyed myself. The weather had a lot to do with this being a much better experience. The first time it rained the entire time. It’s so funny but until I actually visited I thought It Never Rained In  Southern California. Yeah I know it’s the title of the song by: Tony, Tone , Toni

California is one of those places I don’t think I’d ever want to live in, but I always look forward to visiting. Sometimes I find myself thinking about how blessed I am to simply travel. It’s one of those things that I could take for granted until I remember they’re will always be someone who will never get the chance to travel. I’m truly grateful to God.

The first thing I noticed whenever I’m in California is the palm trees. They are so beautiful . Especially when they are lined along a street. They don’t grow in Atlanta. Therefore I have a real appreciation for their beauty. In fact I was siting next to one on a patio of a restaurant .  IMG_9102.jpgI knew I wouldn’t get the chance to see everything I wanted to see in a week, because the traffic is horrendous.  By law motor cycles are allowed to dodge in and out of cars. That frighten  me to death. I feared I would hit someone  on a bike. The cars were always bumper to bumper. With this in mind I decided to pick a place where I would hang out the most.

There is so much happening on Hollywood Blvd. I decided to stay there for several hours. With this in mind I didn’t have to worry about moving my car and finding  some place to park constantly. Nearly every place I parked I had to pay. Which brought me to another thought . While paying for parking wasn’t an issue for me, but I instantly thought about people that live in California who are struggling . I can’t imagine. Yet there are so many people that move to California with big dreams an no money.

I’ve always wanted to see the Walk of Fame.  It’s the worlds most famous sidewalk; where celebrities are honored for their achievements. I’d always see this famous spot on Youtube or  ( I don’t have cable by choice) movies . It’s one of the main places on my must see list when I arrived in California.I felt like a big kid when I saw the side walks. There were stars everywhere! I wanted to see Mary J. Blige , Usher and Michael Jackson’s stars above all. I wish I had left my purse at home and carried a small cross body bag. There were people walking in very direction. I didn’t have anyplace to sit my bag down for a photo without either getting it stepped on or grabbed . I awkwardly held it. IMG_9120.JPG

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I fell in love with Thai food. This was my absolute favorite. I ate here two days in a row. Also this was a mix drink that my hubby had. I loved the way it looked. It was from a different restaurant .

Michael Jackson look a like on Hollywood Blvd. I hung out there until dark. IMG_9141.JPG

Fish Dish: A good spot to eat . The brown rice was so yummy. fishdish.jpg

I went for a walk exploring some back streets  on Winona Ave. in Burbank. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the car and see things in slow motion.  I  discovered a place that rented props for movies and videos.  Prop Heaven houses over 90,000 sq. ft. of props and there were additional props outdoors around the sides and rear of the building. There were stop signs, bus stops, park benches, trash can and traffic lights to name a few things.  It’s  mind-boggling on what it takes to make movies. There are so many moving parts that has to take place to create a good movie.trafficlight.JPGpropheaven.JPG

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I had a lot of fun in California. I shot tons of videos and photos . There were so many places I enjoyed seeing and some places I never knew existed, but not very popular. I wanted to go to Beverly Hills, but the traffic was terrible. Also I wanted to see the Hollywood landmark sign, but I didn’t because of the discrepancy about how to get there.  I heard it was at Lake Hollywood Park, but was told to park on Canyon Lake Drive. I don’t know. Next visit will be the Hollywood sign and Beverly Hills. I just want to see it! I don’t care if it’s not a big deal. The experiences of traveling is priceless . Life happens we get older and things happen. I want to see it!!

Places I went:

*Burbank

*Venturi

*Glendale

*LA

*Pasadena

What bothered me the most was the homelessness.

 

 

 

Flawless Makeup on Your Wedding Day

It’s the time of the year again. It’s wedding season! This is one of my favorite times of the year. If I could marry every year around this time; for the pampering I would.  I remember how I felt and the necessary steps it took  to make my special day the best day ever! There isn’t anything more lovely than a beautiful bride.

To set the tone for your wedding day it starts with prepping the skin. If you haven’t been diligent in a skin care routine it’s never too late. However for the best results on your wedding day, make sure you get a nice facial to help with your skins texture. This will ensure a good base for your makeup. Next you want to make absolutely sure to moisturize. Lastly, you want to prime before your foundation. Hopefully on your special day you aren’t doing this yourself.  Sit back and allow the experts to do what they do. If you don’t hire and esthetician, remember to never  start applying makeup on skin that hasn’t been  cleaned moisturized and primed.  It’s like painting a wall without smoothing out  the flaws.

There are different types of foundations:

  • Liquid
  • Matte
  • Powder
  • Waterproof
  • Foundation Primer

makeup.jpgPhoto: Daralynn

There are so many types of foundations and brands on the market. The first thing is to make sure you aren’t allergic to the product by  doing a patch test on a small area of the skin ( A trial run) months before the wedding. Next, you want to match the foundation by applying it to the chest area. Before you make a final decision on your wedding day foundation, be sure to know the season you’ll be getting married. This will determine if your complexion will be lighter or darker during the season. Most brides are darker in the spring and summer. You’d want to make sure you have the correct foundation to support the change in your skin tone.

If you are using a makeup artist ( Which I encourage) make sure his/ her brushes are clean from leftover makeup. Dirty brushes can  ruin the true color of your foundation. Not to mention dirty brushes can spread bacteria to the skin, that would certainly cause a problem on your wedding day. Be sure your makeup artist is spreading the foundation  evenly across your face and neck. The best results are normally done with the fingers or a beauty blender.

Makeup Do’s

  • Stick to classic looks; you want your photos timeless.
  • Use translucent powder to control shine on the forehead and nose ( For you oily brides)
  • Falsies are optional but waterproof mascara is not
  • Conceal the dark circles and breakouts
  • Use a peachy nude or a dark nude lipstick

You want to look stunning on your special day.  Keep it classy and timeless, stick with nude and natural shades; make sure your foundation is right for you.  Lastly enjoy yourself. It’s your wedding day!!

 

 

Designer Purses: Love it or List it?

We are in the month of April. The month that I usually have this little talk with myself on all of the things that have collected dust in my closet since the last April. How many times did I wear it or use it?  Is it worth keeping at this point? Since I’m not a hoarder my closet gets purged twice a year. Spring and fall; are the times my closet gets turned upside down.

Usually I take the things I no longer want to the Goodwill and donate them. I’m sure I’ll do that with something, but I want to try something a little different this time. My eyes went straight to my purses. I love clutches and genuine designer purses. This lead me to creating an online closet with Poshmark. It’s an awesome place to find a new home for things you no longer love or want to keep. Poshmark.com is not a dumping ground for junk. Take those things to your nearest garbage.

I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, but I knew how to list items . As a start I decided to take only a few bags and give it a try. Soon as I started my Posmark account , I received 300 followers. Wow! I’m not sure why, but I really appreciated it. Some followers have shared my bags with others.  Currently I don’t have an opinion about Poshmark, because I’m still learning  about the experience. I’ve had Poshers invite me to Posh parties on a  specific day and time. Does anyone know what that’s all about?

This use to be my favorite bag. It is loud, bold and beautiful! I’m ready to part with her and make another ladies life bright. She’s so pretty and she looks great with monochrome type of clothing. That pop of color just does it!IMG_4119.jpg

Here is my chocolate brown Coach bag I’ve used with my fall wardrobes. It’s really dark, but the patent material kept her in the girlie zone for sure. IMG_4112.jpg

The signature Coach canvas leather is pretty popular. The hardware on this beauty is amazingly sturdy. I call this my bottomless pit bag. Your car can get lost it in. IMG_4120.JPG

Lastly, my least favorite bag out of the 4 is this crossbody. I bought it on a whim at the Coach store. One 4th of July I was attending a light show and I didn’t want to carry a big bag. Impulse buying is so bad. This is why it’s my least favorite . Yet it’s a nice bag and has more room then  some of it’s predecessors. She’ll be sure to make someone happy that hates to carry a bag around . Throw it across your body and go!IMG_4107.jpg

Cleaning out your closet is an essential to organization. Especially when your things are not getting used as often as they use too or haven’t been used at all. I chose these bags because I’ve had them the longer than my other bags . They haven’t been out with me in a year or more.  Besides I have a new love that has moved in. Louis Vuitton will take over my closet soon and she’s going to need all of the room she can get.

If you are interested in any of these beautiful pieces please check out my Poshmark @itismylife .  All of my designer  bags are from the retailer.

Is Wearing A Bold Lipstick A Big Deal?

When I was a teen, lipstick was a big deal. Not in a sense that if you didn’t have any you’d be ostracized . Yet, it was nice to be relatable. I had a few friends ( Including myself) that wore lipstick faithfully. It was on so much that if one of us ( rarely happened ) forgot to apply our lipstick we’d get asked, ” where is your lipstick?” Yes, it’s true.

I only wore Fashion Fair lipstick in high school . My mother introduced it to me and it’s been a love affair every sense . What I love most about Fashion Fair’s lipstick is I do not have to re apply it all day along. If you saw me with my lipstick out of my purse, it was because I was using the cute mirror.  I’d check  to see if  any lipstick or food particles left on my teeth after lunch . Often times I could eat lunch and my fashion fair Chocolate Raspberry lipstick would be still in place. How many of you remember that shade? Some may say that I’m too old  or dark for a pink or fuchsia lip but I beg to differ. That comment may have bothered me as a teen, but certainly not now. Being bold means to have confidence in myself.

Now I’ve found a new shade in the Fashion Fair line that I like as well.  Cherry Wine; will stay on my lips all day. It is a nice soft lipstick. It doesn’t leave my lips dry. Here’s a little secret. I don’t line my lips  with a liner when I wear Cherry Wine. Shut the front door!! What? Yes, you read it correctly. I take that sassy girl and line her then I apply a little on the bottom lip. Then, rub my lips together. Boom! Don’t be afraid to go bold on your lips. If your eyes aren’t too flashy then make up for it on the lips.  Heck I break all the rules. I’ll wear the lipstick without any other cosmetics and I’m out of the door!cherry wine_pp

Best Cheap Tripod

I was in the market for a nice light weight tripod.  I had a budget of $200 – 300.  With this in mind; I thought it would be cumbersome and difficult to use. There are some that have too much going on with them. The type of tripod I was looking for needed to easily lock into place, without feeling like it would break and to be able to carry through doorways with ease as well.

As you I went to Amazon.com , my go to place for everything electronic and accessories . I’m a true believer in reviews. If you buy things from Amazon please let others know your overall experience . It’s imperative in order to save consumers from making bad purchases.

As I searched I came across the Albott tripod/monopod. The first thing I found interesting about it is the fact it included a monopod. The next thing I decided to do is read the reviews. Lastly I checked out a few more tripods before making my decision on the Albott.

This tripod looked appealing. It doesn’t have that ” I’m cheap look.” It weighs 3.63 lbs. , there is a 21″ – 70″ height range. One of the best features is the adjustable center column. Like myself it is a big deal, because my other tripods doesn’t have this feature. The countless doors I’ve had to go through without the center column.

There are so many choices in a tripod.  There are two brands in the photography world that seem to be popular. In fact I thought I’d  end up purchasing the Manfrotto or the Vanguard.  The Gitzo, came to mind, but  I don’t know anyone that owns a Gitzo.  Therefore, I’d purchase it blindly based on the brand and the fact it’s known as the Ferrari of tripods.

Buying a cheap tripod doesn’t always mean you’ve made a bad purchase. Although high end brands matter. Many stand by their name. However, high end doesn’t always mean the best choice. If you plan to use your tripod regularly, then you should base it on quality, features, reputation of the company, price and brand.  The brand can fall into the reputation . Such as when purchasing an Apple product; the name alone will prompt you to buy, because of the reputation of the company. I would more than likely buy.  The price should be the last thought. You may be able to afford an expensive tripod, but you hate it.

Are you in the market for an awesome tripod? What do you think about the Albott?  Were you surprised about the price?

Who I am and Why I’m Here.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, with both of my biological parents. I have two brothers  that are younger than I am. Yet somehow I’m still considered the baby. May be because I’m female. Yes, I think that’s what one of my brothers told me.

At the age of nine years of age I grew up loving and fixated on a camera and it’s components. Not only did I want to learn how to shoot a 35mm film camera, I needed to know how the camera worked technically to create images. As a teen, I became the appointed family photographer . There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t shoot if I thought it would leave a piece of history.

Now that I’m older, not only do I want to photograph women, of all races, sizes and ages to promote self love.  I want to be more of a positive advocate for women.  In nearly all facets of my life I have experienced women with low self esteem and noticed how females aren’t as kind to one another as they should.  I want to be the face of self love and positiveness to all women.

You’ll find blogs regarding healthy eating, self love, beauty tips, product reviews and some lifestyle as well. Hopefully some of my blogs will reflect that I’m human and I share  challenges sometimes. I’m not just a face behind a computer. Vibe with me. Share and leave comments. I would love that.

While I enjoy blogging on various topics of interest. My main focus is the lovely women  over 40. When your a woman that’s over 40, you face new challenges in life. There’s how society views women over 40, health challenges and the desire to feel  accepted and  beautiful as your body changes.

Ageless Beauty: As We Get Older Our Skin Becomes Dry

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What I Did For Valentines Day.

I know some people don’t celebrate this Hallmark holiday, but I’m all for anything that is sweet. With all of the negativity that goes on in the world everyday, Valentines Day is welcomed around here. Now some of you may not have a special someone in your life and perhaps that’s why you don’t care much for valentines . Then there are those who think it’s just a commercial day to spend money. Whatever your feelings are about this day set aside; to openly express love. Don’t forget to love yourself no matter what.

I spent my valentines in Manhattan, New York.  The trip was amazing despite a few little hiccups in the plan. It was a part of my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to do this and I can finally check it off. Done!  It’s truly a blessing to live out some of my dreams and obtain a few goals. What did you do on Valentines Day?  Read below this picture. hearts  Leave a comment about your day.  In the meantime watch this video.

Ladies: How To Build The Perfect Wardrobe For Your Guy

Believe it or not I love mens fashion. On the contrary there is always a lot of talk about clothes that are offered to women.  In the meantime, mens fashion is neglected, because there is this stigma that men do not care about style.  Perhaps more women are interested in fashion. They read style magazines and nearly every woman at least once in their life has thought about becoming a model.

As you set out to help your guy refine his dress code, Think about which wardrobe words of wisdom is worth heeding. At any rate I think your guy should have a little of everything in his  closet to have enough pieces for every occasion. You should never have to run out and buy him anything on a fly for something specific. It should be in his closet already. Much like a stylish woman. If she’s attending an after 5 event, there should be a few gowns in her wardrobe prepared for that special event.

For my guy ( hubby) I started with refining his dress shirts. He wears suits almost daily for business. It was time to increase the amount of shirts and freshen his wardrobe with new ones. I shop at JoS. A. Bank the majority of the time for his business attire.  They are  known for high quality menswear. They have an array of classic and casual  styled clothing.  JoS. A. Bank, is a bit pricey but you get your monies worth.  As a perk, you’ll receive $50.00 as a reward for spending $500.00.  The pay off is that you will look great for years to come. If your guy is a professional, looking great should be his last concern.

The hubby and I made another trip to my favorite mens shop Make sure your guy not only gets measured but try on the shirts. Sometimes the measurement doesn’t always equate to comfort. JOS BANK

Yes, You Need To Wash Your New Undies.

I won’t kid around with you, I hadn’t always thought this way. As a child until I was a young adult. I’d always put the undies on without washing them. My philosophy then,” if they are new; they’re clean.” Well that’s partially true. New undies should be washed before you wear them. It isn’t always about them being new.  They should be clean, they are new. Right? Let’s take this a step further.

Here are reasons why you should wash your new undies before you wear them:

  1. Women try on underwear before they purchase them
  2. The dyes can transfer to your skin   ( Especially dark or bright)
  3. Formaldehyde is found in fabrics
  4. So many people have touched them with their bare hands ( The factory workers…ect.)
  5. The paper liner may not be fresh
  6. Menstrual blood may be present
  7. Chemicals used to make the undies ( There are 8,000 chemicals used)
  8. Germs can live on cotton from a few minutes to 6 months
  9. Cotton is sprayed with pesticides
  10. Coated with fire retardants for transport

Have you ever gone shopping and felt sick  a few days afterwards?  It can come from a women with staphylococcus ( Stomach flu) , which can hang around in a persons body a few days after vomiting and diarrhea is over. For instance the woman feels better and now she’s gone shopping. Guess what! She tried on the undies that you ended up buying.

I hope I made you think the next time you decide to wear, before you wash. It’s certainly changed me.

Wash Before You Wear
Photo by: Daralynn