More Than a “Nappy Headed Negro”

“Do not remove the kinks from your hair– remove them from your brain.”                                                                                                      -Marcus Garvey 

I’ve got a newsflash… the hair that grows out of the head of most, if not all black people is curly. I know this comes as a surprise to many considering the ignorance going around about Gabby Douglas and her hair.

It’s incredulous  to me that people are “going in” on her hair when she is making history. It’s amazing to me that we are quick to say black lives matter, but then cut down someone doing something so big over something so trivial.

I suppose it was different when Don Imus called Rutger’s women’s basketball team “Nappy headed hos”? The uproar from his words was not minuscule. Yet here we are so many years later ridiculing our own people in a similar manner. Make sense? Not at all.

As a young girl, I remember worrying about things like this. I particularly remember being in color guard and worrying that someone on the other team would see my edges and comment because I was due for a relaxer. It wasn’t my own teammates I was worried about, they were all caucasian and had no clue about relaxers, it was the opposing teams I worried about.

Anyone who has ever had a relaxer, hair pressed out or anything of the sort knows those things and water don’t mix well. This woman goes out and does strenuous work where I’m sure she sweats, so you tell me how you expect her edges to stay laid. More importantly, tell me why the hell does it even matter?

Seems to me that this stems from self-hate. So ashamed of what naturally grows from our head. So much so that instead of acknowledging the barriers she is breaking that people are cutting her down. We are constantly trying to prove ourselves to the world and progress, so why are we having to prove ourselves to ourselves?

Instead of tweeting about her hair, we should be spreading positivity about her accomplishments. In a day in age where it is as scary as ever to be black in America seeing someone succeed should be a win for everyone. It should be a motivation that we can achieve excellence despite the struggles we face.

 

 

 

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7 Things I’ve Learned From My Lifestyle Change & Weight loss

weight loss journey, lifestyle change, healthy living, healthy lifestyle,

A lifestyle change can be an out and out battle. Not just physically but  emotionally and mentally. I didn’t expect some of the things that I have felt and learned through this. I thought I would share for anyone who may be going through the same things.

  1. My Journey is mine and no one else’s- When I first started I was looking at a lot of “fitspo” on Instagram. I was seeing people with drastic weight loss in like a year’s time, give or take some time. I was instantly saying I was going to drop drastic weight in a year. I would get down on myself when I didn’t hit a certain number each week. Then I finally had to realize that my journey is my own. It isn’t a race. It isn’t a temporary quick fix. It is a way of life.
  2. I’m a food addict- Addiction comes in many different forms. My drug of choice is food. It is hard to admit, but I struggle with food. I always have and I probably always will. Sometimes when I want to give into something when I know I have had enough treats for the week it is literally a mental battle.
  3. You can’t beat yourself up over a piece of cake- Not just cake, but any of your vices. We all eat things that don’t fit into our new way of life or that weren’t planned for that particular day or meal. You have to just forgive yourself and move on.
  4. Non-scale victories are important- I could call the scale a few choice words. I have such an unhealthy relationship with it that I need to cut ties. Sometimes it won’t budge, but you feel changes. Your pants are getting bigger, you’re running longer, people are noticing your transformation. Those things are great ways to gauge your progress. The scale can’t be your only indicator.
  5. I don’t like exercise- When I’m scrolling through Instagram I see people raving about how they love working out. I am not that person. I love the results, but I don’t love the act. I like seeing how I progress, get stronger and build my endurance, but it still doesn’t mean I like it.
  6. It’s about health, not just weight loss- I have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure,  and high cholesterol. You name it, it probably runs in my family. I knew that if i did not change my habits I was destined to a life of medication and potentially crippling disease.
  7.  Don’t give up and stop “starting over”- I used to be on a “diet”, mess up, and give up. A lifestyle change is just that, a lifestyle. One bad meal doesn’t mean it’s the end or you are starting over. It just means you get back on track and you keep going.
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The Great Debate: Changing My Last Name

Marriage, relationships, changing last name, marriage debate

Deciding to marry my husband was a no brainer. Deciding to change my last name, the name I’ve been identified as for 20-something years, was not so easy. I never put much thought into it until it got closer to our wedding day. Suddenly the thought of giving up the name that I’ve been known by my whole life seemed crazy and impossible.

My last name is unique and is a part of who I am. My last name came from a line of strong people, and I feel passionate about my last name. Not to mention I was referred to by my last name or a shortened version by many of my high school friends. It is who I am. It is one of the last pieces I have of my father. With all those thoughts I really had to think long and hard about if I would keep my name, my identity or take on my husband’s.

My husband and I had been together for seven years before we got married. We have been through some serious life changes together. You know the saying ride  or die? Yeah, he is the epitome of that. No, we aren’t going out doing hood rat things with our friends, but he has weathered a lot of craziness since being with me. Not necessary within our relationship, but outside things that definitely tested it. Things that a weaker man may not have been able to handle, but that’s a whole other story.

I thought about it, I asked my mom about it, and I read articles about it. I truly kept going back and fourth. Finally, I thought about all of the things he has dealt with because of his love for me. I thought about all of the nice things he does for me. I’m not talking about buying me gifts. I mean those mornings I’m running late and tired and he makes my coffee. The cold midwest mornings when he goes outside and cleans off my car so I don’t have to. The way he just understands me and supports my dreams and visions.

I knew that for me that it would be a way of honoring him and returning the love he shows me every day. I will always be me, my name does not define me. So if you are like me and on the border of what to do about changing your name. Do what is in your heart. Whether you keep your maiden name, hyphenate, or take your husband’s name do what is best for you. The person you are will be the same either way.

 

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Elopement & Cabin Honeymoon at Robinwood Inn

Cabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indiana , gigi cupcakes, wedding cake

After seven years of being together my husband and I eloped! When we first got engaged we began planning a traditional wedding. I quickly realized that it was way more stress than I was willing to deal with. It still took us a while to realize that eloping was the best option for us, but I’m so happy we finally did.

Contrary to what some people think, it did take some planning. We planned for about two and a half months. We secured our venue, honeymoon cabin, and photographer pretty quickly. It didn’t take me long to find my dress either. The planning was relatively quick and painless.Elopement, wedding, budget friendly wedding, wedding on a budget, why you should elopeWe opted for a wedding in a little chapel. It was just us, the officiant, and the photographer. The ceremony its self was short, sweet, and honestly kind of surreal. It’s crazy to think you walk in technically single by law, and walk out as one. Cabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indiana
For our little honeymoon getaway we stayed at the Robinwood Inn in Brown County Indiana. The property consists of five cabins. We chose to stay in the Tree Top cabin. This place was so beautiful and peaceful. They have chickens that greeted us at the door of our cabin, miniature horses, and the owners have a friendly dog that roams around sometimes.Cabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indianaCabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indianaThe whole goal of Robinwood Inn is to feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle of life.  There is no formal check in. They leave your keys in your cabin ready for you, and then you leave them there upon your departure. The owners leave you to  enjoy your stay and you quite possibly may not see them during your stay. They do make their contact information readily available if you do need them. 
Cabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indianaCabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indianaMy favorite part was the hot tub. The hot tub was reason enough for me to not want to leave the cabin at all. Lucky there were local shops and eateries not far in downtown Brown County for when we did decide to part with the hot tub.Cabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indiana , hot tubCabin, honey moon, robinwood inn, brown county, indiana , gigi cupcakes, wedding cake

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Protein Crepes with Blueberry and Strawberry Compote

I follow a lot of “fitspo” on Instagram and that is what led me to try the Kodiak Cakes Protein mix. It has 14g of protein and is only 190 calories per serving. It is a great option for when you need some pancakes in your life, but you are trying to keep a healthy balance.

More recently I decided to try making crepes with the mix. I also decided I’d get a little creative and try a compote for my topping. The first time I made it I had some frozen blueberries on hand and just used those. Today I threw in some fresh strawberries I had as well. The compote is a great alternative to syrup and is super easy to make.

Kodiak Cakes Crepes, blueberry compote. strawberry compote

You can really just use the mix with water and be done, but I like to add a little more flavor to the crepes. I don’t follow the directions on the box for the crepes. I measure out the mix like normal and then add more water than the box recommends. You want the mix to be pretty thin, but not straight water like.

Protein crepes kodiak cakes , blueberry, strawberry, compote

For the compote all you need is:

  1. Blueberries, Strawberries, or in this case both.
  2. Water
  3. Honey (optional)- You could also use a sweetener like stevia.

I put the berries in a sauce pan and then put enough water in the pan to barely cover them. I don’t measure the honey, just squeeze a bit in. Then I bring it to a boil. Once it boils for several minutes, I turn it down to a lower heat and let it cook the rest of the way down until there is little to no water.

Berry, strawberry compote, crepes, protein crepes

Bada-bing-bada-boom! Breakfast is served!

 

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Losing A Loved One

mourning a loved one, mourning a death, coping with loss,

January 31, 2006, ten years ago today, marks the worst day of my life to date. I was a senior in high school thinking about graduation, college, prom and my future.

When I went to school that day I had no idea that my life would change forever. It may sound cliche, but I truly remember it like it was yesterday. This year I thought I would share some of the things I have learned about mourning and dealing with it since my father passed.

  1. Losing someone can physically hurt- When my dad first passed away it hurt emotionally, but it also hurt physically. You can be so sad and depressed that it physically hurts.
  2. People mourn differently- People mourn in different ways. You can’t judge how hurt someone is by how much or little they cry. Some people cry a lot, some people don’t cry at all. Some people like to talk about it, others don’t. I feel like I cried a lot at the beginning, but then I threw my self back into work and school quickly. I hung out with my friends nonstop. When I look back I think I was using it as a way to be in denial or to not think about the reality.
  3. Memories are so important- I’ve always taken a lot of pictures, even when I was younger. The thing I regret is that I did not take many pictures of my family when I was younger. I know that in the age of social media we can get caught up in taking pictures and broadcasting everything. It is so important to live in the moment and enjoy each other’s presence. I will say that mental memories are just as valuable as pictures. So many times something will happen or a song will come on and I will be reminded of my dad or a memory we shared.  I still do recommend always snapping a few pictures during events, milestones and even some everyday mundane things, just remember to be present in the moment.
  4. You think of them everyday- When people say they think of their lost loved one everyday, they mean that. it may just be a brief moment that they pass your mind, you may wonder what their thoughts would be on a subject or you may be missing them extra that day. Whatever it may be they always find a way to be into your thoughts each day.
  5. It gets easier- My dad passed away in my childhood home. I didn’t want to be there for two seconds let alone live there anymore. I had a lot of pint up anger and lashed out in places like school, which was very unlike me. I obviously still miss him a great deal and would love for him to be here, but it gets easier to deal with. You learn how to live life and deal with the sadness, anger and depression. You will still have days where you break down and cry hysterically like it happened yesterday, but it does truly get easier.
  6. Cherish your loved ones each day- When my dad first passed I was afraid to get mad at my mom. I felt like we could never fight because I was afraid that something bad would happen. That is a bit extreme because we are humans and we disagree sometimes. I did find that even though there will be disagreements it is important to cherish the times you do have. Don’t take a single moment for granite.

mourning a loss, losing a loved one, grieving

Lanee’

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Influenster Spice VoxBox

InfluensterSpice VoxBox

Who doesn’t like free stuff? The answer is no one! Everyone likes to get free things, especially if they are useful things. I was lucky enough to qualify for the Influenster Spice VoxBox.

If you don’t know what infuenster is it is a website where you can review products that you love and potentially get to try out free products like the ones I got. All you have to do is link your social media accounts to the website and be active on the site.

A little run down of what was in this Spice VoxBox:

  • Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Day Cream– I typically have pretty oily skin. In the winter time I do get some dry patches around my mouth. I have been using this cream daily since I got it and I must say I do like it. For someone who has oily skin it does not leave me looking or feeling greasy.
  • Soap Box Shampoo & Conditioner– I’ve used these a couple of times since I have received them. First off they smell really great! The products themselves didn’t wow me, but they got the job done.
  • Foot Petals Give ’em Boot– I have not used these yet quite frankly because I’m forgetful. They do feel soft to the touch though.
  • SinfulColors SinfulShine 2-Step Manicure– I was already a huge SinfulColors fan because they are affordable and really great quality. I already had a few of the 2-step Manicure polishes  and was not complaining when I received more. Although they don’t last anywhere near as long as a gel manicure, I did feel like they took a bit loner to chip than my normal polish does (which isn’t saying much).
  • Yogi Tea Samples– I received two flavors, Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy  and Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy. I have tried the Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy and it was actually pretty tasty. I was surprised that I felt like I could taste the vanilla hints.
  • Not Your Mother’s Styling Mousse– This is a product I have not yet tried. I keep saying I am, but I’m actually quite lazy when it comes to my hair. What I can attest to is that it smells delicious!
  • Veggie Stix– These. Are. My.JAM! I have had Veggie sticks before from different brands, but these are my favorite. I had to practice great restraint with these. They had a great crunch to them and you could have like 80 or something crazy for 120 calories. That’s a lot of snacking! I will purchase these with my own money!

This was a pretty solid box. I got a variety of different things to try and I don’t think anything was especially disappointing. If I had to choose one thing in the box to recommend it would be the Veggie Stix. Try them, you will love them. If you haven’t already go sign up for influenster.com and see if you may qualify for the next VoxBox. You have nothing to lose, it’s free!

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The Christmas Tag!

Hello and Happy Holidays!

I hope you all are having a great holiday season! Before we know it the year is going to be over! Where has 2015 gone? We are officially going into the week of Christmas and I decided to do The Christmas Tag to get in the spirit. Check it out and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite Christmas song or movie is!

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Banana, Egg and Protein Pancakes

Weekends are my favorite days of the week. They are also a time when i have a bit more time to make a delicious breakfast. I am currently on a journey to live a healthier life so putting a healthy spin on classic breakfast dishes really helps me stay on track.

I’m constantly looking on Pinterest for new recipes. Instagram is surprisingly another place I find not only inspiration, but recipes. I got this pancake recipe right from Instagram, and it satisfied my need for a delicious, filling breakfast.  The best part is it only takes three ingredients and is super quick to make.

I used one whole banana, one egg, and about a half a scoop of vanilla protein. I topped my with some white chocolate peanut butter and a little drizzle of honey. YUM! I hope to do some more post about things I’m eating to help me live a healthier lifestyle. I have been experimenting quite a bit!

Bananas for protein pancakebanana & Egg for pankcakeBanana, Eggs, Protein pancake

Banana, Egg, Protein pancakes

Banana, egg, protein pancake, Healthy breakfast alternative.

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Dollar Tree Finds: Planner Supplies & Makeup

My planner obsession is officially real. The funny part of it is that I am the least organized person I know. Maybe my new interest in planning will change that. Only time will tell don’t bet on it. Any who, I made a video of my latest dollar tree finds and I thought my blogger loves would be interested in seeing the goodies too! I hope you enjoy!                                     Lanee’

 

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