30 Days from 25: Reflections…

Y’all. I’m about to be 25 years old. In exactly 30 days, on September 28, 2013 I will be turning 25.  Two and a half decades. A quarter of a century. Halfway to fifty.  Five years away from thirty. Late. Twenties.

And I’m perfectly fine with that. lol  I am truly grateful for how far I’ve come and the successes I’ve had thus far in my life.  I can honestly say that I have GROWN sooooo much!!! Spiritually, emotionally, professionally.  I’m truly content.  Not complacent whatsoever, though.  I know that I have a ton of things to improve and I’ve started working towards those goals and have definitely been presenting them to God as well…

I want to be a better steward in several areas of my life, ESPECIALLY when it comes to time, finances, and health.

I want to continue to learn how to love others the way Christ loves me…

I want to be unselfish and more giving….

I want my new relationship to continue to grow and blossom so that we support and motivate each other to be better in every possible way…

I want to get married, have an awesome wedding, and be a wonderful wife and mother…

I want to continue to be a reliable daughter, sister, and friend…

I want to advocate for the wellbeing of adolescents, especially African American adolescent females and be a living example of what she can become….

I want to travel the world with loved ones, eat great food, see great sights, and shop 🙂

I want to organize medical mission trips to my home country, Guyana….

I want to buy a modest home with my future husband…

I want my home to be a place for young people who just need somewhere to escape from the world…or just eat Sabbath lunch…

I want to have 3-4 children…

I want to continue loving the path that God has created for me and continue to follow his leading for my life….

Nope. This isn’t a 30 before 30 list.  I’m not expecting to do all of these things before I turn 30 years old (most, but not all).

But yes, this is me rambling putting on paper some of my goals and objectives for life.  I definitely believe that when you write things down, speak them out loud, and present them to God, you’ll be surprised by how much you work to make them happen and things fall into place.

What do I want for my birthday?  Just for it to be a happy day filled with love and laughter.  I’ll be post-call (working Friday night and ending my shift the morning of my birthday) in the NICU, so I’ll definitely be spending the first half of it sleeping lol.  But as for physical things? *shrug* I won’t say I don’t want anything, cuz that would be a lie (lol).  I definitely don’t NEED anything though, that’s for sure.  But I’ll take what I can get lol.

I’m just praying that I make it through these next 30 days alive, by God’s grace, so that I can celebrate these 25 years of life that He’s given me.

Until then…

Love and God Bless,

– T

Let’s Get Intimate: My Love for Soma Intimates

**DISCLAIMER:  I currently have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post.  Simply sharing my humble opinion and hoping it helps someone else out there.**

For the longest time, I thought that only Victoria’s Secret was the epitome of female undergarments.  Clearly, they’re known for their fun and flirty lingerie as well but…being that I have yet to be in the market for all that fun stuff, I’ve only looked into Vickie’s for bras, undies…and occasionally shoes.

So imagine my surprise when my lovely friend Talisa introduced me to the world of Soma Intimates a few months ago when I was in the market for some new bras.  I’d never heard of them before and to make things even better, there was a location at my local mall!  When I walked into the store, I was very impressed with the layout and the helpfulness of the saleswomen.  They were really great, got me re-measured, and pointed me first in the direction of the sale rack (much appreciated) before showing me some of their full priced items.

Over the past few months I’ve purchased 4 bras from them and I am utterly and completely in love.  I was in the market for good full coverage bras and they had exactly what I was looking for.  Browsing through their website, I further learned about how much this company puts into providing quality for their customers, and trust me…you will be able to tell the difference.  I definitely believe that a good outfit begins of course with confidence, but then also with the right undergarments as the base.  And with Soma, you’ll definitely have a solid foundation (and I was not paid to say that…lol)

This post was a little different, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.  Let me know if you ever get to stop by a Soma boutique and what your experience is!

Love and God Bless,

– T

Music Monday: My Summer Playlist

Happy Monday guys!  It’s time for another Music Monday post and this week, I’m sharing my personal Summer Playlist.

These are songs that I seriously can’t get enough of and for various reasons will definitely remind me of summer 2013 for sure!

1. Sevyn Streeter – “I Like It”

2. Tamar Braxton – “The One”

3. Bruno Mars – “Treasure”

4. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”

5. Rihanna – “Loveeeee Song”

6. Ciara – “Body Party”

7. Kelly Rowland – “Gone”

8. Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines”

9. Beyonce – “Grown Woman”

10. Jessie J – “Wild”

11. Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis – “Can’t Hold Us”

12.  Daft Punk ft. Pharrel – “Get Lucky”

Whoo! I’m getting hype just listening to these songs again! lol.

What are your favorite songs of the summer this year?  Leave a comment down below and let me know so I can check them out!

Don’t forget to check out last week’s Music Monday post on The Twitter Mixtape and download your FREE copy by clicking HERE!

Enjoy your summer (with a soundtrack) 🙂

Love and God Bless,

– T

Keeping It Real: Starting my Unblemish Journey…

**WARNING:  What you are about to read and the pictures you are about to see are 100% raw and real.   This is my skin story.  I just wanted to share my struggle in hopes that maybe it could help someone else out there.**

Hey guys! 🙂

Many of you guys that have been reading my blog for quite some time know that I’ve struggled with the condition of my skin for quite some time, and I’ve done several blog posts and even a YouTube video about it quite some time ago.  I have oily, acne prone skin, post-acne scars and hyperpigmentation.  Enlarged pores.  In high school and undergrad my skin was particularly bad and even though it may not have showed to others, it really affected the way that I felt about myself….

I’ve tried quite a few things and rested upon a regimen centered around Retin A Micro and spot treating with Tea Tree Oil to help with my acne, which had still been working pretty well….until I started my intern year of my pediatrics residency program.  Stress, Seasonal Affective Disorder, not eating very well; all these things had my face exploding out the wazoo.  I wasn’t drinking enough water or really taking care of myself at certain times.  I’ve gotten better.  Definitely trying to drink more water and making juice more of an occasional thing.  Eating lots of fruits and vegetables (especially avacadoes in the form of guacamole, for which I’ve developed a pretty strange obsession….but I digress).  Trying to get more rest and reduce the amount of stress in my life.  But I still get quite a significant number of blemishes…

I still get at least 4-5 breakouts on my face regularly, depending on the time of the month, but I can live with that.  My biggest struggle as of late however, has been hyperpigmentation, which is a very common consequence of moderate to severe acne with lots of extraction (aka pimple popping), of which I’m definitely guilty.  So needless to say I’ve been trying out different things to help with that.

Not too long ago my good friend Talisa (who I’ve mentioned quite a few times here on the blog), shared her story about how Unblemish by Rodan + Fields (the two dermatologists behind Proactiv, which I’ve tried and didn’t work very well for me…probably because I was a teenager with severe acne who didn’t have the discipline to stick to a regimen…but again, I digress lol).  Literally, the only reason I’m trying this out at all (because it is fairly expensive) is because of her success story (and her unwavering persistence that I try the regimen).  I asked if I could share her progress pictures and with her permission they’re here on the blog today 🙂

Talisa at the beginning

2 months in

August 2013

Now Talisa’s skin to me has always been fine.  Definitely not as bad as mine (and you’re all gonna get to see what   that STRUGGLE called my naked face looks like later in this post).  But here’s two things about that.  Number 1:  Self confidence can really outshine any physical insecurities or imperfections you may have.  Number 2:  Everyone’s struggle with their skin is their own, even if it didn’t seem like a big deal to me, it’s something she wanted to make better.  Honestly, I’ve come to just learn to live with the ebs and flows of my skin.  Getting better at learning what makeup items do and do not work for me has been great because at least I can “cover it up”.  But keeping it 100:  I HATE doing that!  I DON’T like wearing foundation.  At all.  I never wear ANY make up to work because….come on, I’m a resident, I really don’t have time for that at 5 in the morning??? But there are times I literally wish that when I’m going out with my friends and stuff, I could just wash & moisturize my face and go, without having to even out my skin tone with foundation. It. Sucks.

So..here starts the beginning of my Unblemish journey….

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I’ll be chronicling my skin’s progress (or lack thereof) monthly here on the blog.  But to start, here are some pictures of my naked face as of today.  Like I said, in this post I’m keeping it AWL the way real so I’m sorry if you get grossed out or turned off from me or my blog because of this, but this is literally what I deal with every single day *shrug*.

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To be perfectly honest with you, this is for me is a pretty bad skin day.  I’m PMSing so definitely breaking out pretty badly.  Quite oily.  Post-acne scars and hyperpigmentation galore.  But compared to what my skin used to look like in high school, this is nothing.  Don’t cry for me Argentina….smh.

But!  We shall see how this goes.  I’ll definitely be updating you guys on a monthly basis.  But the journey starts today.  Hopefully this works.  But if not, I’m still fearfully and wonderfully made, and makeup is there to help *shrug* lol.

Love and God Bless,

– T

Streetwear, I’m Ready for You…

I’ve really been OBSESSED with streetwear recently.  Ever since I posted my “Romper Jock” outfit about a month ago and realizing…it really could have been sooo much more epic if worn with a nice pair of black & white Jordans, I realized the tragic truth:  I have NO kicks!  I literally have two pairs of sneakers in my possession: one for working out and one for when I’m on-call at the hospital.  I have no fashionable sneakers to wear out and about.  One reason for this is that…I genuinely dislike closed toed shoes and wearing socks *shrug*.  But the more my personal style evolves (although I will forever be feminine and flirty at the core), I’m becoming curious as to what else I could pull off and love.

Now being a streetwear novice, I’m not even sure where to begin, but some of the items that I’ve seen as part of the streetwear wardrobe and love seem to be staple items and I wanted to share some of those with you.  Ready? 🙂

GRAPHIC TEES

Now two companies/brands/collections have really grabbed my attention when it comes to the graphic tee game.  One I’m super excited about because it is owned and produced by one of my favorite bloggers’, Krystal Knight’s (from The Feisty House), fiancee, Quentin Scott, and it is called Tallawah Collective,  and it was launched last week!

Tallawah Collective

Tallawah Collective

The reason I’m so excited about this collection is because of everything it stands for (which you can find out by visiting the “About” section on the site).  And as someone also of Caribbean heritage/ethnicity, I definitely can appreciate the infusion of the Jamaican roots (no pun intended ( ._.) into the collection.  Here are some of my favorite designs.

Tallawah Collage

I’m looking forward to the launch of Krystal’s streetwear line coming soon as well!  See her talk more about Tallawah Collective and her upcoming launch by clicking HERE!

The second brand is called Design by Humans and my boyfriend actually introduced me to their tees a little while ago, and I have to admit…I’m lowkey obsessed.   And if you’re a graphic designer or such, you can even submit your designs for a t-shirt, and be great. Like…just check out these awesome designs *swoon*

Design By Humans Collage

SNAPBACKS

I’ve never been a big hat wearer but….some of the snapbacks I’ve seen circulating lately just…give me so much life.  My friend/DMV stylist Jana from The Jane Tales rocked this one when we went out to brunch a couple of months ago and I’ve loved it ever since.  I kind of want it in my life.  These are some other snapbacks I’ve been eyeing:

Snapback Collage

DENIM SHORTS & BOYFRIEND JEANS

There’s not much else to say…I have none and I need some. lol

FLY KICKS

And of course I have to talk about the kicks.  The perfect pair of sneakers are sure to set off any outfit and take it to the next level.  For example, if I had the Jordan SC-1’s to wear with my “Romper Jock” outfit, it would have been everything to me. EVERYTHING!  I started scouting through Jordans and Adidas and I’m really beginning to question why I ever hated sneakers in the first place…

All in all, this post just serves as an announcement to anyone who cares that my personal style is truly evolving.  And I’m kinda liking the direction this is going.  I don’t own any of these items at the moment but my birthday is coming up in a month and *eh em* I’m hoping certain people take note 😀 LOL.

Are you into streetwear?  What are some of your favorite pieces to rock?  Let me know in the comments down below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

Love and God Bless,

– T

Target to the Rescue!

What do you do when you’re away from home for the weekend and don’t realize until you get to your destination (an hour and a half from home) that you completely forgot your church shoes AND your make up bag on the bedroom floor of your apartment?  Well after rolling your eyes at yourself several times, take a deep breath, and take a trip to Target!

Target is literally THE best one stop shop when it comes to…pretty much everything:  fashion, beauty products, and drugstore make up (and FOOD! 🙂 ).  I always have THE hardest time going in there because I always end up leaving with so much more than what’s on my shopping list.  Target has really stepped up their game in recent years, especially when it comes to fashion.  So yeah, it was a no-brainer to make a stop at Target for some make up items and a pair of shoes.  Here’s the loot I ended up with:
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Sonia Kashuk flat top brush – I use this to apply my liquid foundation and it is AMAZINGTON!  I actually have one of these already, and I’ve been meaning to buy a second one for a while but never got around to it so this was definitely a good opportunity.  And the fact that it was even IN STOCK at this target was a miracle.  It’s literally always sold out in stores and only available online. I was soooo happy.
Sonia Kashuk Primer Base Perfecting Perfecting Mattifying Primer – I have very oily, acne prone skin and I’m always looking for a good mattifying base to help control oil when I wear makeup.  So in addition to my Milk of Magnesia (which I also purchased but forgot to picture above), I also always like to apply an oil-control primer.  I’d actually never heard of this primer before, but I trust Sonia Kashuk’s products.  When I tell you that this is THE best primer I’ve ever used I’m not even kidding.  And I’ve tried lots of high-end primers and this is great. The consistency and look of a clear gel of this product is very similar to Smashbox Photo Finish Light which is another great oil-controlling primer that’s on the high end spectrum.
Covergirl Invisible coverage Concealer – I used this as a brightening under-eye concealer, and it was sooo creamy and blendable!  I loved it!  Definitely reminded me of the Smashbox concealer that I usually use but at a fraction of the price. Awesome.
Revlon ColorStay liquid Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin in 440 Mahogany – Now this is the one product that I knew I wanted to get before even getting to target.  You guys, this has been my new makeup love of choice for the past month.  The color matches my skin tone very well.  It’s smooth, blendable, and buildable coverage.  Does not oxidize/change colors on my face whatsoever.  Fairly transfer resistant (I’d say 90%) , and does not melt off your face. It literally stays true to color and on your face for at least 12 hours (I don’t know about the 24 hour thing, I’ve never worn it for that long).  It’s THE best liquid foundation I’ve ever used.

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elf Translucent Mattifying Powder – Now everyone knows that elf is the frugal makeup addict’s bestie when it comes to getting more for your money.  I’d never tried this setting powder.  But y’all. It. Is. Amazing!  Gave me the matte finish I wanted and kept shine at bay for HOURS throughout the day without me having to reapply.  And it was only $3!!!  I can’t deal!

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elf Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara in Black & Rimmel Glam eyes liquid eyeliner in black – Honestly, there wasn’t anything spectacular about either of these two products.  But they did the job and they didn’t suck *shrug*
Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Brush Couture 5pc Brush Set – I bought this set because the only brush I had on hand was my travel/portable kabuki brush that I always keep in my purse.  And for sure, although products are super important, half the battle when it comes to a flawless makeup application has to do with the tools/brushes that you use. This set included a powder brush (which I used for my blush), angled foundation brush (didn’t use at all), blending brush and eye shadow brush (both I used to apply my eyeshadow), and precision liner brush (also didn’t use because I used liquid eyeliner this time around).  The brushes (like all other Sonia Kashuk brushes) were extremely soft and did a great job of picking up the product and applying them evenly and well.  I loved them.

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Side note:  My trusty MAC rebel lipstick was in my purse so lip color was covered!  Look at Gawd!

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elf Contouring Blush & Bronzer in St. Lucia – I really wanted a blush and bronzer duo and of course elf had me covered. The blush in this Palette was a very soft, peachy glowy shade so definitely wasn’t overdone and the bronzer provided the perfect touch as well.

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Maybelline Modern Metallics in 22Q Chai Latte – I wanted a simple bronzey, gold eye look and this palette had the perfect colors for me.

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Sonia Kashuk extreme eyewear primer – And of course you need a base/primer for the shadows.  Now I have to say, I wasn’t very impressed with this product.  The consistency was meh and the performance left a lot to be desired. By the end of the night, my shadow was definitely creased and faded but…that was definitely a good 12 hours later and at initial application, it did help my shadows to pop and look great so I can’t be too mad.

With these products, here’s the final makeup look that resulted!

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I think it turned out REALLY well!  And considering the fact that I didn’t have my Skindinavia No More Shine Makeup setting spray to help set and keep the oil-slick away, EVERYTHING performed amazingly!  I never once had to re-apply any powder or anything!  I definitely attribute that to bot the Sonia Kashuk Primer and the elf Translucent Mattifying Powder. I was blown away by the performance of EVERYTHING!  Drugstore makeup products never cease to amaze me….(and no I didn’t relax my hair, just got it blown out at my local Dominican Hair salon after taking out my Senegalese Twists last weekend, getting another set of braids installed next weekend so stay tuned for that!)

And last but not least, the shoes.  Now the dress that I wore to church on Sabbath was this very pretty black sleeveless peplum dress that I got on clearance from The Limited (Originally $98, bought for $49.99).

I actually…….didn’t like the way the dress looked with the zipper in the front soooooo……I decided to wear it BACKWARDS lol.  And it looked even more fabulous and classy, in my opinion.  I wish I hadn’t taken a picture of me in the backwards orientation of the dress but I completely forgot to be honest 😦  But hopefully you guys get the idea.  I found the perfect pair of shoes by the Mossimo brand at Target with gold stud accents to complement the gold exposed zipper detail of the dress.

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All in all, this disaster didn’t turn out to be so terrible after all lol.  And hey, made for an interesting blog post/haul!

LOL! Have a great Monday you guys and be great this week 🙂

Love and God Bless,

– T

Local Art Show in Mitchellville, MD 8/17/13!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I don’t do very many Sunday posts since I’m usually either working or traveling visiting family and friends.  But I HAD to come through and share this upcoming event with you all, especially if you’re in the DMV area.

This upcoming Saturday night, August 17th, 2013 at 8 pm, there will be a Youth Art Show in the Mitchellville area featuring artists Lindsey Domer and Robert Harris, of whom the latter was featured on the blog not too long ago, along with pieces from talented young people from around the surrounding local area.

Mville Art Galla

Definitely come out and support, buy some artwork for your home, office, or any other space needing to be decorated.  I’ll definitely be there to support and hope to see you there!

Love and God Bless,

– T