Thursday, December 19, 2013

Be Inspired by Beyonce, Don't Covet Her Pt. 2

Beyonce Beyonce album- "Partition" video {Image Source}

 Watching her videos, I didn't want to be or wish that I was Beyonce and I didn't feel less than, I got ideas! I was totally inspired to be the sexiest, most sensual Milan that I can be.

So in part one, I talked about how I respect Beyonce's work ethic and am very inspired by it. If you didn't check it out, you can read it HERE. In part one, I shared that the second takeaway I got from the album was women embracing their femininity, finding power and pride in it, and embracing the fact that we are sexual creatures too and it's not a sin to be- it's an artistic masterpiece (that the right man will get to delight in).

Many conservatives are saying, like we knew they would, that the album is hyper sexualized and there she goes selling sex again but I viewed this album differently. I especially saw the videos as an artistic depiction of and celebration of femininity, sexuality and sensuality. They gave it up for the woman who knows her power and has mastered it. The videos were like mini films and were executed so well, I was impressed with the artistry. Maybe I see it differently because I'm a fairly liberal artist and love exploring the beauty of being a woman in every way, shape and form. I think the world is fine with women being exploited sexually in certain manners because then they can judge them, pity them and feel better about their own shortcomings because at least they aren't THAT low. I think the world doesn't like when a woman finally knows her power and revels in her femininity and sexuality in pure confidence and love for herself; that she can revel in it without having "daddy issues" or that she is searching for love from others with it. When a woman realizes her power and wholly embraces every facet of it without seeking something, then there's problem.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mixtress Chronicles: Hair Mud Wash With an Ayurvedic Twist

I love hair mud washes. They do magical things to my 4a koils like cleanse it without it feeling stripped and leave my hair feeling so soft and luscious that a leave in conditioner afterwards is many times optional. I was on Pinterest recently and found an awesome way to jazz up my current recipe by adding ayurvedic powders to it. Recipe is below, enjoy: 

  • Bentonite clay- 1 TBSP
  • Brahmi powder- 1 TSP
  • Amla powder- 1 TSP
  • Aritha powder- 1 TSP
  • Shikakai powder- 1 TSP
  • Honey- a quick squirt
  • Apple cider vinegar- 1 TBSP
  • Aloe vera juice (or water)
  • Small plastic or glass container or bowl
  • Plastic or glass spoon
Mix all the powders and clay together then add the apple cider vinegar. You will notice the mixture will fizz and bubble up, that is normal. Next pour in enough aloe vera juice or water and stir until a liquid consistency is achieved. Add a quick squirt of honey and stir well again. From here you have options. You can add the mix to a 16 oz applicator bottle and apply it to your scalp to massage it in or you can keep it in the small bowl and dump it over your head in sections and massage it in. I pick either or whenever the mood hits me, lately I like putting it in an applicator bottle better. From there after you felt that you've massaged it in enough, rinse your hair VERY well. I found that the ayurvedic powders are gritty so you want to make sure you rinse them out really well or your hair will airdry with the bits still in your hair! They don't do any damage but it will look like dark flakes coming from your head if you don't and that's no bueno. In fact, if you want to follow up with a light conditioner or cheapie conditioner after rinsing, that will help give the grit something to bind to and remove any remaining. From there you then do what you normally do after cleansing your hair.

I normally condition my hair before I cleanse it so that I'm able to detangle but if you condition after you cleanse your hair then do that. Whatever works for you, there are no rule with this mud wash. Please keep in mind your hair length. My hair is about BSL-MBL length when stretched. So if your hair is longer or shorter than mine, you will want to adjust the recipe accordingly. Please also keep in mind what kind of products have been in your hair. This mud wash works best for hair that not a lot of heavy products have been applied between washes. If you like using heavy stylers, butters or products with a lot of synthetic ingredients frequently, you may find that this wash isn't up to snuff for you. 

CAUTION: Because this recipe involves water, this doesn't store well over long periods of time. I honestly wouldn't try to store this but if you're adventurous, I'd store any leftovers in a closed container in the fridge and if you can't use up any leftovers in a couple days or so, I'd toss and make a new batch for the next time but you can use your own judgement. Homemade things that involve water and are preservative free spoil much faster because, well, that's what natural things are supposed to do! Things are supposed to go bad after a while, ya know, that's natural. lol.

Happy mixing. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fit Brown Girls: Ria Stuart

As a mother, I know it is very easy to put others as priority in front of ourselves. But, if we fail to put ourselves first, ensuring we are healthy, we may not end up being around long enough to take care of the ones we love. This doesn’t mean when we are fifty. I have a very close family member who is fighting for her life because of blood clots. She is only thirty-six years old. She has two babies. The issues she is fighting with could have been prevented by proper nutrition and regular exercise. We have to stop with the excuses about our physical and mental well being and start actively loving ourselves now.

The before pic was in grad school right before we moved to Atlanta. I realized if I was going to be at the forefront of our fitness business I had better play the part.

 I'm excited to finally get this series poppin! Why not start it now as our year is ending to get us pumped to get the momentum going now to launch us into an epic 2014. It humbles and honors me to have our first Fit Brown Girl featured be the lovely Ria Stuart of Sumkindawondrfl. Many of you know her from Youtube and/or her Instagram. This dynamic woman is a huge inspiration to me, she's an entrepreneur; wife and mother, and I hope after this feature you can glean some inspiration from her too!

1)    Please introduce yourself: age if you're comfortable sharing, where you're from/live and what fitness arenas you concentrate in.
My name is Ria Stuart, I’m 30 years old and live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I am a personal trainer focusing in strength conditioning and weight loss. I am also a pole fitness student.

2) Share an overview of your fitness journey. Have you always had an active and healthy lifestyle?
I have not always had an active and healthy lifestyle. I grew up with overprotective parents who were afraid I’d get hurt participating in sports or riding my bike around the corner. But I wanted to do more. When I got to college I rode my bike everywhere; to class, to work, even to the bars on the weekend. I thought I was just getting everywhere quicker but I put in serious work getting up the hills of our campus. I’d also do things like hit the racquetball courts or batting cages when I was stressed. Being able to smash those balls was very therapeutic. But it wasn’t until after I married my husband that I got serious about fitness and health. He’s a long jumper for the Bahamas as well as a personal trainer and fitness was his lifestyle long before he met me. It didn’t happen right away but his good habits rubbed off on me eventually.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Be Inspired by Beyonce, Don't Covet Her Pt. 1

{Image Source}
She's done what worked for her and rather any of us like what's working for her, there's still a lesson in that. Do what works for you, have the passion and drive, do the work and it will come together. It's when you start trying to mimic someone else's plan that things get derailed because everyone's journey is different and what's for you and how you get to it is for you.

So Beyonce dropped her latest album, Beyonce, out of nowhere with no promotion or warning last Friday and had the world and all social media outlets falling out on the floor in surprise, over stimulation and glee. Haters were going crazy, the Bey hive was going bananas and those indifferent to her remained indifferent. I used to be a Beyonce fan, not a die hard but a fan none the less. Crazy In Love, is still one of my all time favorite albums to date. She lost me after B Day because I just wasn't feelin any of her projects after it but I gave this album a listen and bought it. I really like it and the videos are an artistic adventure of masterpieces. I think this project was well thought out and well executed. There are two big things that I took away from this project. 1) Embrace your femininity and the fact that you are a sexual creature. 2) Hard work and the right team behind you pays off. This post is going to discuss take away number two and I will talk about the other in a separate post.

In order to create a nice body of work, in this case 14 songs and 17 videos, you have to work. You have to work hard and you have to work smart. Though I am not Beyonce crazed, I have always respected and been inspired by her grind. Before this album I wasn't sure how artistic she was but I always knew that what she lacked in creativity and artistic ability (not to be confused with her ability to sing very well), she made up for in cold, hard work. She's worked hard in that being in her field, she's kept her body and image to be what she's selling and she's always on tour all over the WORLD singing and performing her heart out. She's worked so hard, she had the honor of performing the half time for this year's Super Bowl. She's constantly involved in something and shared that she works too hard sometimes and doesn't know how to turn it off. She's worked smart in that she has an excellent team around her, what she may not know or isn't able to do, please believe someone else in her camp does. This is great inspiration for those following their dreams. You can't just rely on your talent alone, you need drive and savvy too and if you don't know something then you need to learn about it or meet people who do.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Day Hair Flyness

Peaceful greetings. How was everyone's (in America) long holiday weekend? I hope it was well spent with good people in your life. I absolutely loved my long weekend. It was the perfect balance of time with family, friends and myself! I ate all the Thanksgiving goodies like stuffing, turkey, rolls and sweets and still managed to maintain a flat stomach! I think it helped that my portions weren't crazy and I didn't eat until I looked three months pregnant. I was thoroughly impressed with myself and that kept me pumped to make sure I exercised over the break and I did. I ran 5K both Saturday and Sunday breaking my personal record before for completing it each day. Today, is rest day. But let's talk about my hair. I had the absolutely best hair day on Turkey Day.

The night before I set my hair with Sweet Nature by Eddie Journey Hair Milk (this is my favorite hair moisturizer in life! It just does so right by my hair.) and Eco Styler gel-the olive oil one (I'm almost done using it up so I can switch over to a more natural and healthier gel option) into about 6 or 7 flat twists and bantu knotted the loose ends. The next day about 2 hours before heading out to my Thanksgiving dinner destination, I coated my palms and fingers with EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) and took my hair down. This gave my hair a nice sheen boost overall. Because I'm a medium density diva with fine strands, a hair pik is my best friend to give my locks a volume and fullness boost, so I lightly separated and fluffed my hair and used a pik at the roots.

I was totally feeling myself! It gave me such a pretty curly look, I was so happy with the results. I snapped quite a few pics but I'll spare you and just share these. How did you wear your hair for Turkey Day? Any special way? Though I didn't partake in Small Business Saturday, I hope that some of you did and that you give some small accounts a little more stimulation today since it's Cyber Monday. Many of them are offering awesome discounts and deals, please support them if you have the means to do so.

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