13 parasite detox cleanse

These past few months have truly been good to me. I say that because the more I open myself up to welcoming what's foreign to me or not the norm for others, the less stressed and happier I am.
A great deal of my outlook has come from my past and having always felt "different". I call that special ... I would always questions things I was taught. I recently made the commitment to pursue a more vegan lifestyle too. Although it's been my whole effort the entire past year and such and I've been doing well. Other than the occasional back sliding to indulge in light seafood or turkey sub - *insert shame* - I figured it was time I detox.

If you don't follow any of my social media accounts, you may be unaware of my journey to going vegan. Have no fear meat lovers - that word vegan shouldn't make you cringe. I didn't choose to go vegan for reasons relating to PETA people but because I got tired of dealing with issues like eczema that my breastfeeding toddler dealt with or congestion from my beloved obsession with cheese. Of course, acknowledging my contributions to the horrible meat industry helped me make the jump as well. If you would have told me two years ago that I would be eating meals without meat and loving them, I might have called you crazy but as a living testimony in the church of getcho life - I'm living!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of preparing to attend the super-adorned AfroPunk Atlanta event. I made plans to go and take some beautiful photos for my latest startup business, CreateHER Stock but unfortunately, AfroPunk cancelled on everyone last minute due to crappy weather.


It's been 14 whole months since I experienced the gift of life that is childbirth. Me, a mother. A woman - WOMBman in every sense of the word. I'm thankful.

This past year has been rocky, full of uncertainty, some regret, and even many disappointments in myself. Out of an experience that should have been more sacred, filled with more happiness, but was determined to keep me at my worst came a special gift I never knew I'd be given. Thank you. Sometimes I have to remember to just trust the process. There are only lessons to be learned.

A few weeks ago, I was sent an airbrush kit from Luminess Air, a company that offers airbrush makeup kits for women who like to "spray". I've only had one other experience with airbrush makeup in my life and that was about 4 years ago when I worked for a makeup studio. The owner used me as her muse to see how my regular foundation differed from that of a brush on foundation. Needless to say, I enjoyed how easy it was.

So I recently had the opportunity to work alongside several other bloggers and YouTube content creators to campaign for Beautiful Textures. July was Healthy Hair Month and I wanted to share how I maintain healthy, natural hair during these hot GA days. After being a new mom for a year already, I've experienced major thinning of my edges postpartum.
list of black owned businesses to support

August is coined as Black Business Month and I am all for supporting our own community! I've put together a list of over 100 black businesses and services you can support this month and every month after. Many of them I've purchased from and many I plan to support in any way I can.
tgin shampoo and conditioner duo


A couple of months ago I took the initiative to once more lead by example and make it my duty to support some Black-owned businesses. If you're familiar with my blog or online reputation then you know I am all for putting money back into our community.

I stumbled upon Thank God I'm Natural or TGIN natural haircare products. I instantly got excited so of course I made a purchase. I was able to purchase their products with a discount so I was winning! I wanted to try out a new shampoo and conditioner duo as well as a soap.
garden of edenz

A few days ago the hubs, my son, and I were out and about the city just hanging out. I wanted to try a new place to satisfy my hunger so I mentioned this vegan spot called Back To Edenz that I looked up. I've heard of t before but had no idea where it was. We found it and discovered that it was a Black-owned vegan restaurant business - WINNING! That was pretty cool so naturally, I was more than happy to support their business and eat there.
dont avoid the love of your black son


Last month I decided to hop on my Facebook - the one I no longer hang around much - to catch up with old classmates and such. Isn't it weird seeing how everyone is growing, creating families, and all? I've been out of high school 6 years and STILL can't fathom it.

May I start off by saying that makeup should be used to enhance your features, not give you an entire facelift to make you look like another person (unless you're an artist for a living) - but that's another story.
shades of brown shenika

A woman about confidence and giving our all to yourself! Shenika makes it all look effortless. Her love for fashion and fitness all while keeping your skin beautiful and your hair fabulous, get to know her.

1.  My beauty is not only skin-deep but also a reflection of the way I was raised; to honor and cherish exactly who I am, flaws and all.

2. In your everyday life, how do you remember to take care of your "mental" self?
I make a point to do things that feel good. It's not complicated for me.  It may be buying flowers, or taking a walk.  Alone time is extremely beneficial for me.  It's when I can think about everything or think about nothing!  Writing for Herownskin.com is a great way for me to have "me" time and share my thoughts with everyone.

3. What woman (or man) in your life inspired you to "always love thyself"?  
My Mother has certainly instilled the values that I carry today.  Because of her I am extremely independent; able to love and take care of myself.  I also have to remember my father, who passed when I was 13 but made me believe from a very young age that I am worth it all!



4. "Her black is beautiful, his society is ugly." - What does that mean to you?  
There is so much that could be said about this statement.  Society makes it hard for many of us to embrace who we are and our beauty although our beauty clearly exists.  Society IS ugly and some of us struggle to see the beauty in ourselves because we are constantly reminded that we are devalued.  

5. I wear RED lipstick (of many different shades) because it signifies my boldness and strength as a woman. Red stands out! ;)




Connect with Shenika on Twitter @ShenikaLouis and Instagram @shenikalouis
Visit her blog - www.herownskin.com

We're already three days into June - hot weather and itchy nose season multiplied times 10 for me. This is also the time where I'm most prone to getting extra cute for no reason at all. Maybe it's the humidity that causes for even more maxi dresses, bare legs, and off the shoulder tees.

It's also protective style season for my hair as well. My hair gets SUPER dry during these months in GA so keeping it moisturized and protected with limited touch helps. I purchased some  Red Heart yarn and will be doing some loc wraps again so keep an eye out for that chameleon awesomeness. 

You may recall my small bag essentials post where I shared a few items that are a MUST! Well, summer is also a great time to keep things minimal. Less is more. The makeup routine to match my summertime fine fly will be subtle fierce.


  • Dark, bold winged liner
  • Vibrant lipstick shades
  • Neutral eyes + popped lashes
  • Naturally tailored brows

FOR. THE. WIN!

The Go-To Products will be of course, my favorite cream eyeliner, lip colors from Covergirl and KaOir collectionsTantalizing Taupe eyeshadow palette from ELF, and brush set for application via Coastal Scents.


WHAT'S YOUR SUMMERTIME FINE CONSIST OF THIS YEAR?


High heels are every fashionable girls' bestfriend. Many of us are also super guilty of putting our discomfort before our own comfort when weraing high heels. Anything in the name of style, right? I've been keeping my collection to a minimum so the urge to splurge on my next pair of stilettos is a tough cookie to break but I have prevailed.

If you own heels, especially over 4 inches, you've more than likely experienced that foot pain we all hate. Ever wonder how Beyonce makes rocking those 6+ inches look flawless (even while pregnant)? - The one thing you'll need is scotch tape or nude medical tape. BAM. Mystery solved. Why?


  • When you wear heels, pressure is created on a shared nerve between two of your middle toes. The 3rd + 4th.
  • Use either tape mentioned and wrap your two toes closest to your pinky toe. 
  • Wrapping them together (not too tight though) will remove the strain and pressure off the nerve allow you to rock your heels like Sasha Fierce. 
You should also take obvious precautions to avoid butt-hurt feet. 
  • Make sure you're wearing the correct shoe size. If you don;t know, go get them sized at any shoe store or luxury department like Macy's/ It's free. 
  • Find a befitting heel preference for your weight and height. I love a good chunky heel but I can also rock a fab skinny stiletto. I wouldn't recommend stilettos daily though unless you're sitting majority of the time - so switch it up sometimes. 
  • KNOW your foot type. In other words - learn about your foot arch and such. A simple way to do this without going to a podiatrist is wetting the bottom of your feet and making an imprint on paper. The outcome will let you know if you have a flat foot or high arch. More here.
  • Thin soles are guaranteed to cause pain so you may want to try wearing heels that have a bit of platform to help offset some of the pressure when you're walking. THIS IS A GODSEND for me. Tip: A rubbery-like sole is great at absorbing pressure.  
Of course, buying insoles for comfort, taking foot rest breaks, and even wearing heels with some coverage or straps across your feet also help (great for blister and friction-prone ladies). The little tape wrap trick I would avoid if wearing open-toe heels though - unless you want to make a fashion statement with tape on your toes in your fashion blog photos, then be my guess. The best way to be 100% pain-free though is keeping a pair flats or tennis shoes handy - ha!

Shoes I'm wearing in the post image is "Birdie" in Mint from JustFab

WHAT WAYS DO YOU USE TO EASE THE PAIN OF WEARING HEELS?



Yes... another ELF product review. I love their stuff (mostly from the Studio Collection) - not all of it though. I purchased their brush shampoo and their makeup mist and set a couple of months ago just to check it out. If you haven't checked out my top faves from ELF, you totally should. I recommend those products highly!

I normally clean my brushes thoroughly with an ACV mix I put together or if it just needs  a quick clean, I'd use their daily brush cleaner. Both work quite well for me. I have a makeup brush case that I store all of my brushes in (including the 12-piece Coastal Scents set it came with.) - You can check that out here. My experience with using their shampoo:

  • The shampoo is very mild and doesn't smell over-powering. PLUS!
  • It doesn't get super bubbly, which I appreciate. 
  • Gives my brushes a very good cleaning. 
I've used the shampoo for the pat two months and have not experienced and shedding or dryness on my brushes. For the price, I'd say it works just as great as any high-end brush cleaner. You can get it for $3 here

Normally after I get all glowed up with makeup, I set with  a powder and go on about my day. When I first learned to apply makeup, I had a bad experience with "makeup mists". I legit sprayed too much, too close to my face and my foundation pretty much looked like it was melting off my face lol - I was a novice back then y'all. Thanks to YoutTube beauty gurus, I got my life right! The makeup mist is:

  • Lightweight and allows my face to breathe.
  • Is free of alcohol so no dry face here! 
  • Made with aloe, green tea, and a few vitamins to keep skin moisturized and smooth. 
I applied the mist maybe 4 times in the past two months. Each time, my makeup, I would say lasted long enough for me to rock my look. I don't keep makeup on all day so it works out for me. It also kept my face looking fresh! If you feel you need to freshen up a bit after a few hours, a little spritz wouldn't hurt. You can get the mist here for $3. 



WHAT DO YOU USE TO SET YOUR MAKEUP? HAVE YOU TRIED THIS ELF PRODUCT?


a few things about kombucha

This may sound like a weird Asian cuisine but it's not. Last week I went into Walmart, late night - shopping for a few items. Naturally, many things caught my eye that I normally would overlook.

Where they keep all the good and extremely death sugary fruit juices and such is where I found the healthiest-looking product I've ever seen (lol) - a fermented tea-based probiotic drink.

I've heard of Kombucha a few times in the past few months so I'd like to consider this as fate. The price may be a bit steep per bottle for some at $3 but for me anyway - it's a tax right off. So I bought all 4 flavors.

A little about Kombucha:

  • It's a fermented tea (colony of yeast + bacteria) that results in vinegar, B vitamins, and numerous chemical compounds.
  • Claims to be the "Elixir of Life"
  • Helps boost immune system
  • Helps rid liver and gut of toxins
There are a few precautions to take if you're a first-time drinker. You should only consume up to 4oz in a day just to see if you have a reaction to it or not. For breastfeeding mamas like me - it's safe to drink AS LONG AS YOU ARE HYDRATED. These drinks have a few traces of alcohol. If you were already consuming Kombucha on a regular basis, you should be just fine. Though some say it should not be consumed period for women who are pregnant or nursing.

a few things about kombucha

These drinks are considered detoxes so of course, you don't want your little one drinking your bodily waste or harm them in any way while nursing. Which is why being hydrated is a must that way the detox won't look to purging directly through your skin and breastmilk. So far my nursing has not been affected and my son is great. If you do give Kombucha a try, do drink responsibly.

The brand I purchased by GT is organically produced, vegan, and non gmo. YES!!!

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED RAW KOMBUCHA? WOULD YOU, IF NOT?


Learn More:


Disclaimer: This post is not meant to diagnose or represent a 100% accurate  medical study, only my personal experience and basic knowledge. Do speak to your health provider if you'd like to consume these drinks if breastfeeding or dealing with any health related problems.

shades of brown series amber janae

Welcome to Shades of Brown, a blog series centering around black beauty and love for all things flawlessly flawed. The goal is to allow women like you to express how our flaws make us who we are. The focal point of this will be the shade of lipstick each woman will wear to describe her divine power. 

Today we're loving on Amber Janae, a blogger who encourages me to always show myself love and live fearlessly!  If you haven't discovered her Self-Love Sundays, you're missing out. She's also an author you want to know! Her spirit has always been beautiful to me and we've only connected via the inter-webs. She dominates in the balance between classy and sexy! Get to know HER...

1. "A beautiful thing is never perfect." - What does that reflect for you?
The above is a reflection of me. It’s a reflection of every unique soul on this earth. If we expect to be our best and beautiful selves we will never be perfect. The beauty is in the ability to embrace the imperfections and wear them as a badge of honor, not be ashamed of them. 

2. My definition of flawless beauty is owning everything about you. When I think of flawless beauty it is less about the image or how a person looks. To me it is more about the actions displayed. Are you confident? Do I look at you and get inspired instantly to love me just a little bit more? Flawless beauty is loving the skin you’re in no matter what it looks like. 





3. What do you feel more women should do to show more appreciation for themselves? 
As women we can learn to do a lot. One of the biggest things is stop down playing ourselves. We tend to shrink ourselves out of fear of appearing overly confident or self-absorbed. When we do that we are creating the belief in our own minds that we are only half of what we really are. We need to learn to appreciate ourselves by learning that we are more than what we say we are. We are not our thoughts. When we learn to be confident we develop a new found appreciate for self. That appreciation has no choice but to trickle down into other areas in our lives. 


4. I'm beautiful because I am unapologetically me. I am beautiful because I see no limits in how far I can grow, always striving to be a better version of the person I am at this very moment. I am beautiful because I know that my external appearance says less about who I am as a whole, it’s more about what’s going on internally. I am beautiful because I know that no matter what I wear and how I wear it doesn’t define me. I am beautiful because I know the power of loving other women for their beauty too, fully accepting and understanding that the beauty of my sister does not diminish my own. I am beautiful because I love with no bounds or limitations. I am beautiful because I am forever true to me. 

5. I wear this Smoked Purple lipstick because it signifies my strength. 
When I wear it I feel powerful. I feel beautiful. I wear it because it reminds me that even the darkest shade hold timeless beauty. This shade reminds me to be fearless.




Connect with Amber on Twitter @WhoIsAmberJanae and Instagram @whoisamberjanae
Visit her blog - www.whoisamberjanae.com
how postpartum blues forced me to cater more to myself

This may not be much of a major issue for some women but as a fairly new mom still to a nine month old infant, my love for myself sort of spiraled down a quick slope. Don't get me wrong, I'm not referring to allowing others to mistreat or run me over - my tolerance with that declined greatly over the years - but I stopped doing the little things I enjoyed most. Mostly because I felt hindered and stripped of my "freedom".

Before having my son and even throughout my entire pregnancy I'd cater to myself by dressing up, putting on makeup, painting my nails often, changing up my hairstyle, and even admiring my evolving figure in the mirror. I'm a woman. I feel all women should admire themselves and highlight that. Heck, last year on my birthday, I gave my face a fierce beat, put on some clothes, and took myself to Walmart just because I felt like it.

I love and adore motherhood and all the long nights and poopy diapers but sometimes it does get super overwhelming. Especially since I have a knack for wanting to do everything myself. So much happened after I gave birth that also added to my postpartum "depression" if you will.

I was dealing with betrayal and confusion so you can imagine the issues I had to face not even a week after becoming a parent. UGH!

Life sucks the calm out of you sometimes. I had a conversation with my mother recently that put my need to love more of myself back into perspective. she shared how much she admired seeing me become "flawless" whenever I'd take the time to simply dress up in heels or apply my epically famous winged liner. Many other things were shared but she was right - I loved doing those things for myself because it always made me feel better. I don't need makeup or a fierce stiletto in my everyday life but when those things are so accessible to me, I should take more advantage. I decided to:

  • Allow more of myself to accept the help and love around me
  • Get extra cute for a random day out of each week
  • When it's totally necessary - stop, take a break, and be more still
  • Not allow motherhood to be an excuse for why I can't do something.
These are personal commitments I've made to and for myself because I deserve to do so just for me. If you follow me on Twitter, you can be sure to catch wind of the may things I've already shared so for the next few weeks starting off - #Cater2Thyself will be my hashtag. Follow my journey or join in so I can see how you love on yourself. *insert floating hearts*


WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU'VE COMMITTED TO DOING MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE FOR YOURSELF?
10 random places to grab post ideas for your blog

I'm not the only person who finds amusement out of embarrassing things like mistakenly hitting yourself in the face while trying to snuggle in bed as a post to share with the world - right? I'm not. I find myself with a ton of ideas everyday from the most random things but I will accept this gift. I'm sharing a few places you can grab random inspiration to keep your blog fresh and alive!


1. Step Into Your Closet
This is a great place to start, especially if you have a lifestyle or fashion blog. I recently got inspired by my own closet which is how my post on the winter boots I failed to wear came about. 

2. The Foods You Eat
It's no secret that I am a true fatty when it comes to food. I love to eat. I also think that some meals are worthy of a blog post - like these quick meals for lazy foodies like me. Gon' girl and blog about those that meal you and your boo enjoyed. 

3. Your Product Stash
In other words, your collection of makeup, beauty, and hair care. This may not be too uncommon of a choice but I often find myself blogging about a random product I just have laying around that I can talk about if I like it or not. 

4. Look In Your Bag
Whether it be from your recent trip to Target or your small cross-body, I'm sure you can grab an idea from something in there. I did when I shared a few essentials to keep in a small purse.

5. Jewelry Is Always Nice
I haven't personally blogged about my fave accessories to wear YET but its a good idea. I did get inspired by one of my favorite necklaces when I wrote about my fave Brown Girl Bloggers - the photo I took for that post was good enough lol.

6. Got A Kid?
Yep, I'm a mommy so for my parents or god parents - guardians however, out there I find inspiration all the time. I recently shared a few weird things new moms do which I figured most could relate to. Your kids are great sources to blog about.

7. That "Might Be Boring" Thing
Sometimes people actually enjoy reading my random musings on things I thought wouldn't be of great interest but blogged on it anyway. Crazy right? Last year I shared how to discreetly store your Ms. Flo items - got more views than comments so point taken.

8. Your Crappy Feelings
Depending on what you define as crappy though. I just got over my Spring cold so sharing how to kick sick ass naturally seemed to be a great idea at the time. If you're feeling hurt, sick, or even betrayed - that's great fuel for a highly relatable post.

9.  A DIY 
I'm not talking about your Pinterest- famous posts on making your own hanging flower pots but something more subtle like how to use cutting shears. I grabbed that idea from my experience as a cosmetology student who still has her supplies hanging around. You can even share how to tie your shoes while your nail polish dries - ha!

10. Thin Air, Of Course
Whatever you find shareable at the time. I enjoyed writing about my obsession with my LG G3 so our personal indulgences are the real MVPs. From your fave phone apps to help you sleep to your failed yoga pose attempts. The best ideas come from authentic joys in our own lives.



WHERE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF GRABBING YOUR MOST RANDOM BLOG INSPIRATION?


Welcome to the first installment of Shades of Brown, a blog series centering around black beauty and love for all things flawlessly flawed. The goal is to allow women like you to express how our flaws make us who we are. The focal point of this will be the shade of lipstick each woman will wear to describe her divine power. 

Today we're loving on a fierce lifestyle blogger, JoAnn. You may recognize her from my post on  things Brown Girl Bloggers taught me. I fell in love with her energy. The vibe you get from stalking her Instagram or reading up on her posts always creates a good time. She's a powerhouse - dancer, model, yogi, foodie, and epic fashionista. Get to know HER...


1. Maya Angelou said she was a phenomenal woman - what is something special that makes you phenomenal? 
I feel like my ability to recover from negativity makes me a phenomenal woman. I've been through some things that may leave some hateful, hurt, physically sick, and pessimistic, but I've always found a way to let it fall away to the past.

2. I am a Queen with the gift of resilience. My beauty is not determined by society but instead it is determined by me


3. What does self love and adornment mean to you? Why? 
  • It means reciting affirmations to remind myself of my worth.
  • It means having a pamper day when Im not feeling my best.
  • It also means taking control of my life by doing things that make me happy.
4. Do you feel loving your flaws as much as your strengths should be worth the admiration? Why? 
YES absolutely! If anything women should admire their flaws more, that's what makes us unique and REAL. If we focus on the strengths more than the flaws we aren't loving our entire selves.



5. I wear this purple crush lipstick because it signifies my boldness.




Connect with JoAnn on Twitter @iamj0ann and Instagram @iamj0ann
Visit her blog - www.iamj0ann.com

my experience with tidal

Tidal - something you may feel is the greatest failure in music history if you only go by what others tweet throughout Black Twitter. I wanted to think the latter and give it a fair chance before passing judgment. Even more so after catching Jay-Z defending the company with #TidalFacts this past week.

If you're not familiar with Tidal, think of it as the Hulu Plus version of Spotify vs the Netflix version. No, Jay-Z does not own 100% of the company but he does hold a pretty penny portion of stake. Tidal is a lossless audio streaming service. In other words, quality is way better when it comes to HOW you listen to your music.

I gave Tidal a try. They have two subscriptions available that will each allow you to take a test drive for 30 days. Tidal Premium is the standard version and sound for $9.99 a month and Tidal HiFi is the lossless high fidelity sound quality version that's 19.99 a month. I chose to give the HiFi a go since I can experience standard on free streaming apps. My thoughts:

Pros

  • Very Hi-Res video (1080p)
  • Sound quality is immaculate compared to Spotify app.
  • Love the exclusive behind the scenes footage.
Cons

  • I don't listen to music enough to truly enjoy the app.
  • $19.99 a month is pointless to pay in my case.
my experience with tidal
My Smartphone Screenshot


A lot of people call Tidal a fail simply because of what they saw. It's a "These folks rich already, why should I pay to listen to your music when I can do it for free?" - it's not about paying them more, it's about the experience they want their fans to have. I'm not a fangirl but hey. Of course, they'll continue to make their bread. It's a business. 

In my opinion, the overall experience is definitely great but unless you're a die-hard music addict or blogger in the industry niche for this, then you might not find Tidal of any use and just stick to the freebies. I did appreciate the exclusive footage though. If the goal of Tidal is to support more "underground" artists or however, I feel that celebrity conference should have enlisted the underground artists to represent instead of the multi-millionaire artists who have already "made it".

Overall, if you haven't given Tidal a try, check it out here. I'm still in my trial period (like many) but I'm sure continuing my subscription will not happen.


HAVE YOU TRIED TIDAL? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?


instant edge smoothing pomade

I've clearly fallen off the face of the Earth when it comes to my natural hair posts. Excuse me while I go give myself the pep talk of the century....

...ok, I'm back.

I've honestly been neglecting my kinky curlies up until over a week ago. Aside from the normal moisturizing and failure to detangle - thus causing my build up and wash-day struggle to seem like a never-ending battle of the cobwebs.

I recently gave a not so new product a try just to see if I would like it ....or not. To save you some time, I'll go ahead and share that I don't have like it, why I figured I wouldn't like it, and why I bought it anyway.

I adore my 4C natural hair for its wildness and sometimes willingness to cooperate and give a good hair day. Unless I'm rocking a fro or twist out- my edges though, I prefer them to be sleek. Not Lil Boosie wipe me down sleek but sleek with minimal frizz.

The instant edge smoothing pomade from Shine wasn't a great use for me. Although the wax consistency gave me hope, I found that when I applied it to my edges and brushed - less than 5 minutes later I had jungle boogie dancing over my forehead. Nah. No bueno. No!

I had to re-brush and ended up covering my hair with a satin head scarf to "lay my edges" down for me. That helped smooth a bit. After maybe 3 hours, I guess the willpower of my pomade was so weak that it refused to bond with my edges.

instant edge smoothing pomade

I figured this post would come in handy to someone so I had to share my experience. There are few pros to the edge smoothing pomade though:

- The packaging is nice.
- The smell is pleasant.
- No super sticky residue in sight.

Cons: The pomade hold isn't strong enough (at least not for me)

Overall, I would probably give product a 2 out of 5. I'll stick to my love for the Soft nFree GroHealthy Mold + Hold Wax.


WHAT DO YOU USE TO SMOOTH YOUR EDGES ON DAYS YOU DESIRE A MORE SLEEK LOOK?

3 meals for lazy foodies

If you're anything like me sometimes you forget to eat when you're suppose to. I don't mean you go days without eating but I personally have a bad habit of waking up - avoiding breakfast (because I'd rather eat it for dinner) - and remembering to eat 3 to 5 hours after 8 hours of sleep.

We live in a world where instant gratification is something many of us can relate to. We all want things quick and fast for the most part, especially when it comes to our food. I love to eat. I love to cook. But I'm also super lazy when it comes to preparing a meal. Blah.

Although I am making a more conscious effort to eat as healthy as possible - this post would be more so for those like me, who still have a few "cheat days" in between the green juices and quinoa dinners. With that said, I have a habit of creating random meals without much thought so for you lazy chefs in the kitchen, here are 5 easy meals you can add to your "quickie menu". - My delicious oatmeal bowl recipe can be found here. Enjoy!

3 meals for lazy foodies

SHRIMP BALSAMIC SPAGHETTI
Total Prep + Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • Spaghetti Pasta
  • Bag of Frozen Small Shrimp (Peeled + Devained)
  • Paprika Spice 
  • Ragu Garlic Parmesan Sauce
  • Marketside Balsmaic Vinegar Dressing
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parsley Flakes
Instruction:
Take a pot or saucepan (for smaller portions) and add water to bring to a boil. Add your pasta and allow it to cook until desired texture. Usually about 20 minutes. I'm a multi-tasker so while cooking your pasta - season your shrimp with - . Grab a skillet, set to medium high, and pour a tablespoon of olive oil. Add your shrimp (I used one cup) - make sure shrimp has been thawed prior to cooking. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until pink if using raw shrimp. 

Remove water from cooked pasta and add your sauce, a spoon of balsamic dressing, and cooked shrimp. Mix until pasta is thoroughly covered and contents are throughout pot. Serve on a plate and sprinkle with parsley flakes (optional).

3 meals for lazy foodies

PATTY + CHEESY POTATO FRIES
Total Prep and Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Chicken or Steak Patty
  • Marketside Organic Spring Mix Lettuce
  • Frozen Crinkle Fries
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Marketside Chipotle Dressing

Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 450°. Place your chicken or steak patty and fries into separate oven pans (use non stick spray if desired). Allow them to bake. After 25 minutes, apply shredded cheese to fries and allow it to melt for the next 5 minutes. Remove from over. Apply Chipotle dressing and small handful of spring mix greens, and patty to hamburger buns. Serve with cheesy fries and eat until your heart is content.

3 meals for lazy foodies

CHICKEN PARMESAN SPINACH PASTA
Total Prep + Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Elbow Pasta
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Bag of Stir-fry Chicken
  • Marketside Organic Baby Spinach
  • Ragu Four Cheese Sauce
  • Ragu Garlic Parmesan Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions:
Bring pot of water to a boil and add elbow pasta. Cook until desired texture. Usually 20 minutes.  While your pasta cooks, take your stir-fry chicken and cut into smaller pieces/squares. Add chicken to skillet with olive oil and spinach. Cook for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat or until spinach looks "withered".

Remove water from pasta. Add your chicken, spinach, half jar of Ragu Four Cheese sauce, and half jar of Ragu Garlic Parm sauce. Mix well until all contents are distributed throughout. Serve on a plate and dive in!

I hope you enjoy these quick meals if you give them a try. I know they're always a guilty pleasure for me. 


WHAT ARE SOME QUICK MEALS YOU PUT TOGETHER TO SATISFY YOUR HUNGER BUG?

I've been a mom for 9 months as of the 21st. I can honestly say that I never would have expected to enjoy motherhood as much as I have been. I expected the worse - especially since most women were quick to tell me what to expect when in reality, I have yet to deal with any of the things they mentioned.

If you read the crazy cause of my pregnancy, then you would know that I legit had no plans of making a baby. The hubs and I were too focused on getting our ish together at the time. So imagine my surprise .... As if I didn't know what the art of lovemaking could bring.

Since being someone's mommy, I have become so much of a cheese ball. I do random outbursts and dance moves to making wild faces and enjoying the struggle of cleaning poop off my arm just because I AM A MOM. If you are guilty of doing ANY of these things, just know you're not alone + a good excuse would be that women are just created to do things like this anyway.

1. Put your nose by baby's mouth + enjoy the infant breath
2. Get into the habit of smelling baby feet
3. Make weird noises + faces in public or while shopping
4. Become a creep + smell the little one for poop no matter where you are
5. Allow their breastfed infant to be curious + "finger" your nipple
6. Enjoy baby's learning games + songs more than them
7. Find a way to keep baby small forever (by hoarding things you should let go of - i.e diapers)
8. Create random songs out of thin air

Yes, I am guilty of doing all of them. No shame over here. I totally understand the looks and comments I get now because before baby Channing, I would see a mom and thing she was the weirdest ever for the things she did. Respect ladies.... Respect.


WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU WOULD CONSIDER TO BE WEIRD THAT YOU'VE DONE OR SEEN A NEW MOM DO?

Let's not act like you're not guilty of using that "I'll get to it" phrase a few times in your everyday like. I am. Spring ends in June and I've been holding off on my official Spring cleaning since March.

Between running a business from home, caring for an infant, and keeping a household clean on top of making time for me - it's been a battle. I have a bad habit of getting lazy the moment I remind myself of what I HAVE to do.

If you're anything like me and need to sort through the many layers of clothing, jewelry, makeup, and miscellaneous items you can't seem to easily let go - here's a good reason to male it happen anyway....

You can donate a lot of stuff and write it off as donations on your taxes next year. A major plus for me since every penny I can scratch up can lessen the coints I have to pay to Uncle Sam.

I'm a hoarder, yes - which is why 2015 has been my year to give my life over to minimal living. The less I have, the more I can grow, think, and live daily. Cheers to an effective day... Or month of purge!

1. ALWAYS START WITH YOUR MOST HOARDED ITEMS
For me - it's my closet full of clothes. I've already given away a few good bags of clothing, shoes, and such to my aunt and nieces. I still have TONS more to do. I found that if I can't remember when or how long I've had something, it should be thrown in the purge pile.

2. YOU CAN ALWAYS DO BETTER
In regards to getting rid of things you seriously don't need along with finding something better to replace it. I had and still have items as old as my grammar school years - why? No clue. I figured "maybe I can reminisce one day". Please - waste of space.

Those shoes you loved 8 years ago will always have a better and more updated twin waiting on you somewhere at the Aldo store or online Marshall's shop.



3. ONLY KEEP WHAT HAS SUBSTANCE + TRUE MEANING
I. of all people completely understand that some things you simply shouldn't let go - like that vintage perfume bottle your grandmother left you or those hospital bracelets your mom kept for 24 years since your birth.

Hoarding Valentines Day cards or bears from ex boyfriends should be trashed.  Old school work and even your favorite pair of jeans from 4th grade should go bye bye. What you keep should reflect love, memories worth keeping, and great stories for your golden years.

If it takes you all of Spring (like me) to reduce your clutter, oh well. At least you're making the moves to live more simple.

I think I'll end up with 5 pairs of jeans/pants and 10 shirts after I finish my purge. Especially since I tend to wear and make new outfits out of the same pieces anyway.


DO YOU SUCK WITH LETTING GO OF YOUR THINGS OFTEN? HOW DO YOU SPRING CLEAN EVERY YEAR?
3 ways to combat cold naturally

So these past few days have been filled with a ton of sneezes and reckless coughs that never seemed to end. I can never stand it. Those allergies and that death cough sneaks up on my every Spring. A few year ago, I completely stopped using and taking prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.

 You'd be amazed at the things you learn about that stuff.

In essence, all they do for you is subdue whatever the issue is and IT NEVER cures or gets rid of what you're suffering from. Remember, the pharmaceutical giants is just one BIG business. For profit... Not health.

Since I've been on my health kick - which I still struggle with every now and again - I've been caring for my lady cramps, colds, and all naturally. This past week, I was curing my Spring cold and dry cough. Surprisingly, what I used are ingredients or items anyone can easily get a hold of.

1. A BOWL OF CUTE OATMEAL
Benefits: Oatmeal is a great source of  fiber that protects against heart disease and also revs up the immune system. It helps your cells seek out and repair areas or the body that may be fighting a bacterial infection. The raisins in my oatmeal are great at relieving fever, constipation, and more.

Why The Fruit?
Well, for starters I always enjoy staking Pinterest and seeing all the food bloggers take alien- amazing pictures of their creations. Fruit always makes a photo look more delectable - like flowers do for Instagram glory for your and creative office space.

Benefits: Strawberries are great for promoting good blood and oxygen flow. Bananas are great for reducing attacks of free radicals and disease.



2. HOT CUP OF KNOCK OUT TEA
I love a good cup of tea. Whether it's tea for lactation or to help aid in getting sleep. This past week, I've been indulging in hot tea with lemon added. Delicious and it helps a ton to knock out the Spring sinuses and cold. Warm lemon water is also a great alternative!

Benefits: The use of lemons in tea or water helps to build immunity and fight infection. Lemons have the antibacterial and immune-boosting powers for this very matter.



3. ACV + A LIQUID
Last year, I started a kick that involved implementing apple cider vinegar into my everyday health and not just my natural hair regimen. I've been adding 2 bottle tops of ACV to a glass of water consistently this past week. The ONLY vinegar I recommend is by Bragg's. I also have a thing for their ACV Honey energy drinks.

Benefits: Apple cider vinegar aids in a healthy lymphatic system. So if you have sinuses, ACV aids in cleansing your lymph nodes and reduce mucous/constipation from allergies. I also use it as an energy boost by taking a small shot a daily/every other day to balance my body's pH.


There it is. If you're seeking to move away from buying and/or using scientific drugs to heal your solids and other body attacks, try seeking more natural ways to help. I have ad continue to do so.

FYI: If you're wondering how I would find relief while cramping - avoid the Midol, drink lots of water, eat bananas, and sleep. I eventually became immune to it. Luckily, since I'm breastfeeding, I haven't had any visits from "Mother Nature" in almost 9 months!  


WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU'VE TRIED TO GET RID OF YOUR ALLERGIES OR SPRING COLDS?


2015 has been my year of "stick to your ish girl" mentality. I love blogging and sharing my random thoughts and loves with others on the web. Like many people though, I've experienced my fair share of blogger burnout one too many times.

Last year was pretty inconsistent on this blog. I'd have an idea, write about it, and say...

"Ok, I'll post again next week. Then another one again the week after."
5 personalities rocking this spring summer


I realized a new season approached my rearview the moment I caught wind of my sinuses wanting to act a fool and the oversized bees I know to stay far away from. I love Spring for the beautiful fruition of fresh colors in the scenery and smell of distant sunlight. It's a bonus for me being born this season which most refer to as the season of new beginnings and fresh starts.

I love being a woman. I am thankful for the femininity we are given that allows us to live like the beautiful creatures we are. Over a year ago, I began to dig deeper into myself mentally and emotionally.

I also learned that if I wanted to achieve further understanding of myself - I would need to learn the art of meditation and understanding of my own path.

This past week opened up a window that further allowed me to once again reflect and re-evaluate many things. I'm disappointed in myself because I allowed the ignorance of someone get the best of me.

I've been trying my very best to avoid having to deal with things that don't add value to me. It's bad enough when people cause issues and wonder why you avoid opening up afterwards.

Yesterday I celebrated my 24th birthday. Like really.... I've been walking this Earth for 24 years exactly! I'm ANOTHER year closer to 30 and my sweet 16 feels like it was just 3 months ago. Time truly does fly.
make milk herbal lactation tea

My journey of being a mom these past 8 months have been a great learning experience for me for many reasons. When I chose to pursue attachment parenting, that was something I strongly wanted - so naturally, breastfeeding was to be apart of that. Having that unbreakable bond is important to me.

I have to say that this year so far has been wonderful in the world of bloggers for me. I'm come in contact with some pretty amazing ladies! Social media doesn't have to be all bad news and drama- it's really allowed me to make great connections and new friendships online.
how to hold and use cutting shears

Some of you may not be aware that I once attended cosmetology school.  My college experiences are pretty vast, if I say so myself. I enjoyed my time there and I definitely learned some great things that stood by my side.

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