PSA: moisturize them thighs [and everything else]

I know you’ve kept up your resolutions to work out 3x a week for at least four hours with a kale-based diet, so you should be summertime fine by now + ready to show off that physique! I just wanted to share a few of my favorite new skincare brands to enhance your hot new bod so all of its popping muscles can glisten in the sunlight:

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The Natural Root The ladies of The Natural Root, friends Lori + Kim, are SO much fun! They have great energy and are so proud of their products. They have a scent for every body in the family. I love The Natural Root‘s formula; they make it fresh in tiny batches-great for year round use from hair to toes because it is super whipped, probably the lightest shea butter I’ve ever felt. TNR also sells graphic tees to enhance your beautiful, naturally sexy self. Plus they’re based in Atlanta so it’s easier for me to get my fix without the hassle of ordering and waiting and being sad and ashy in the meantime.

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Jayn Grene The smell is what got me with Jayn Grene. I kick myself for not remembering the lovely creator’s name, but her shea butter is yumazing! The difference is that all of her products have hemp oil [hence that name] and ..I dunno.. I assume that it’s the hemp that gives it a very unique, musky/manly undertone that I’ve never experienced. And I LOVE IT. It’s whipped to perfection as well.  She’s got something for the bearded fellas too. Jayn Grene is based out of Southern California so, once again, if you’re in the states, you’re not making much of a carbon footprint by purchasing locally.

Naturally Birthed Aaliyah, the founder, is such a sweet young lady! I love her spirit and passion behind her brand. And the natural aesthetics of the packaging are right up my alley. She does a few things [soap, body butter + body scrub] and does them really well. I love the time and attention she puts into her product and you can just feel the quality. Naturally Birthed is also based in Atlanta, but you can shop conveniently with a good wi-fi connection. May I suggest some soufflé for those parched heels??


I just love meeting the CEOs of small companies selling things that I actually dig and use on a regular basis. Just like buying from your local farmer, you know exactly who and what is behind the label. And, unlike super market or drugstore brands, you don’t bear the risk of any pesky preservatives sitting on your precious skin, ineffective or less effective watered down shea butter, or the stale scent that can accompany products that sit on shelves for months or years at a time. Plus they are all Black lady-owned and operated, so it’s kind of a no brainer for a sister to support.

Please check these brands out if you’re looking for something new this upcoming sandal and muscle tee season. Chances are if you’re not, you know someone who is guilty of skin neglect that popped into your mind when you began reading this post. All I ask is to be mindful; no one wants to see dry, cracked feet, a sad beard or scaly skin! Ever. Shea butter, with continuous use, can fix alla that!

The Natural Root | Jayn Grene | Naturally Birthed

photo cred

 

 

week 08 || 2016

I like to describe myself as an optimistic realist. You know, I really try to make the best of things, not waste time on trivialities…but I’m aware shit is hitting the fan somewhere at any given moment. And 2016 has been a m a z i n g thus far, so I should have been prepared for the negatives. But I wasn’t. Surely a couple of moths were attracted to my light. Maybe it’s a sign I need to start my spring cleaning a lil early this year…

If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of the relationship they have with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over  a period of time, cease to react at all.

Yogi Bhajan

Well, I have been working on fixing this little issue + Yogi’s quote helped steer me in the better direction. Maybe it was my ladytime emotions taking centerstage as they tend to do, but I regressed and had a moment; I found it difficult to focus on the people that love and adore me, instead giving my precious head space to those that attempt to block my joy or deny credit for the amazing shit I do.

Why is this?

Why do I feel the need for people that clearly don’t keep their word or value honesty to recognize my worth? Why can my loved ones see it but they can’t/won’t?! And why do I care!?? Can it be as simple an answer as it’s human nature? Even when relating Yogi’s quote to myself, I automatically thought of the negative ways others have been toward me instead of the abundance of love and acceptance I receive daily. But, like I said, I’m working on it..

I know we have all been on the receiving end of someone’s bad day, right? I’ve mentioned before that you can’t control how people interact with you, so I came to the conclusion that when I act from a place of good intent, love or respect, there is no reason for reciprocity to be denied. From strangers, family, new friends and old friends alike. And if I do receive otherwise, it has nothing to do with me. Who am I kidding! It just might have something to do with me being so cool and funny, confident and generally easygoing; unhappy folk tend to verbally piss on joy and poop all on the party with their negative behavior. And we all know guilty hearts act in foolish ways. Guilty for what? you ask. Who knows? Who really has time to inquire to why every person that does you wrong acts in such a manner? And if you do “figure it out,” what do you do with that information?

Your perception of me is an awareness of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me.

It has taken me a while to reach this fairly happy place. I was naive to think because, in the last few months, my energy has attracted some beautiful souls and would therefore only attract those worthy of my love, time + respect. I’m still learning how to weed them out, but I do find peace knowing their blunders are something they have to live with, not me.

Hidden Gem: Ari Lennox

I discovered Ari’s beautiful voice by way of this track via Black&SexyTV… and you can hear why I’m in love.

 

tumbla | download

All Power to the People

We took power and control instead of asking for it.

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I watched Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution on Tuesday and I learned a lot. The BPP is much more than what I knew of it. It was enlightening to hear actual testimony from members, folks that were in the thick of it-the good, the bad and the ugly. Essentially, they created a party to protect themselves because the police wouldn’t fulfill their job + often practiced the opposite.

And non-violence wasn’t working.

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I find it to have been a pretty smart move, organizing to protect and serve your community. Being strategic. Exercising basic human rights. It’s disgusting the great lengths the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover [I’m certain the J. stands for jackass] went to to harm, kill, discredit + dismantle The Party, just for standing up for themselves and demanding equal rights. The nerve of Black humans wanting to just be left alone – to drive/walk/eat/sleep/be in peace! Psshhh! But they were still able to make some major moves for their communities and our people. I watched it on PBS for free, but if you don’t have a TV:

Anyway, I took many things from it, but, an artist I guess, I took a particular interest in Emory Douglas. His artwork was featured in most of The Black Panther newspapers and it is just dope.

 

Every true artist has the responsibility of expressing the social plight of their generation.

 

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Although it was decades ago, it seems not much has changed. I’m pretty sure it’s gotten worse actually. Every time we unite, somehow we fall. Each time we have a new leader or strong voice, he or she mysteriously comes up dead or in jail. The system was not created for us to be strong, by now I get that, but it is still inspiring to witness a time when we were a united front, even if it was just for a little while.

all artwork ©Emory Douglas

Black on Black Love

I’m not going to post the link, but that familiar, catchy beat is the same of that cringeworthy Chris Brown song. How people can actually listen to the entire track is beyond me. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking to myself: no no no no no, self, this could not be a real song! But, sadly it is. And a real popular song at that. 

{sidenote: how can a ho be loyal? I mean isn’t loyalty pretty much the opposite of promiscuity/being a ho? Or was he speaking of professional prostitutes that should solely work for him…………………….?}

Anyway, I really love how these brothers flipped that track 180° to say something beautiful, uplifting and positive! It’s sliiightly cheesy…but I love cheesy! It’s endearing. [And delicious.] You will never hear anything like this on mainstream radio because it’s current hip hop that doesn’t involve violence, drug usage, frivolous spending, silly dance directions, inaudible mumbling, degradation, sex or materialism. What a bore! And you know the puppet masters can’t let us hear our brothers speak of us and to us in such high regard! But luckily I’m here and I don’t mind sharing. I hope this put a smile on your face.

Respect. More songs like this, please. ❤