Where Did The Time Go?

I write this as I sit at my desk at work on a Friday.  Feeling so restless.  David and I have been in our new place for several days.  We’re still not adjusted. New scenery, new noises, and new neighbors.  However, I can’t wait any longer.  I need to get back into a groove.  I stalled on all my projects for most of June and ALL of July because I wanted to focus on “the move”.  Now that it’s over I just want to get started on “me” again.  I want to get back into a workout routine.  I want to plan things for this blog and the YouTube channel.  I want to write again.  I miss it so much.  I think back to 2016 and how motivated I was to finish my first book.  Then 2017 began a slow decline on my confidence as a writer.  Then 2018 rolled around and I felt like I could jump back on the saddle.  Only for life to constantly put speed bumps in the way.  Speed bumps that I turned into moats wider than the Pacific Ocean.  The first 60 percent of my year (don’t panic but we are in August now people) has been full of starts-to-stops-to…never starting again.  But like the saying goes…”It’s not how you start but how you finish that counts.”

 

Advertisements

6 Ways to Sleep Better At a Hotel

WAYS TOsleep BETTER IN A HOTEL

I love to travel. However, when I think about trying to get a good night’s rest while while away from home I cringe.  Hundreds of travelers would love to feel well-rested throughout their trip, but most find themselves longing for the comforts of home.  Here are a few tips to help you maximize your sleep while traveling.

people in elevators

  • No elevators, please!

This tip comes from experience.  The elevator is a high traffic area.  If your room is too close to the elevator  you run the risk of hearing people climb onto and off of the elevator.  This may not seem like an issue during the day, but in the evening it can be annoying. There are conversations while people wait for the elevator and people clunking their luggage onto and off the elevator. My fix to avoid being stuck near the elevator: When making your reservation, ask for a room away from the elevator.  It really is that simple.  Every time I have placed this in the “Request” section of my reservation I’ve been booked into a room away from the potentially noisy elevator.

blackout curtains

  • Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are a life-saver in hotel rooms.  All modern hotels should have them.  They help to block out all light from entering your room and keeping you awake.  Blackout curtains can be utilized during the day as well if you’re crossing time zones.  Also, they can help to keep your room temperature cool which can benefit you while you’re sleeping.

desk fan

  • Personal Fan

I once saw an older gentleman bring an 18-inch stand fan into the hotel.  He was obviously driving and not flying.  But this guy is an experienced traveler and he knows that some hotel rooms simply don’t get cold enough to feel comfortable while sleeping.  This may seem like an odd object to throw in your luggage, but hear me out. If you sleep with a fan blowing on you at home, like myself, then you’re probably going to miss having that cooling sensation flowing over you.  If you have room in your luggage, then you should definitely consider including a small desk fan.

earplug

  • Earplugs

Sometimes you have a noisy neighbor.  You call the front desk and nothing seems to change.  Maybe you even booked a hotel room near a busy street.  Having a set of earplugs with you is very helpful to cancel out the noise.  They are inexpensive and come in varying sizes and colors. Also, earplugs can come in handy while flying.

eye mask

  • Eye mask

An eye mask may seem a little diva-ish. However, if you’re sharing a room with someone an eye mask is nice to have.  You may be ready to call it a night and your roommate may want to stay up a little longer and watch television or Face-time with a loved one from home.  Eye masks, like earplugs, can aide in allowing you to get the restful sleep that you need.

melatonin

  • Medicated Sleep Aide

I am a little reluctant to include this on the list of helpful tips.  Using medications to help with sleep is controversial to some.  I’ve used melatonin in the past to help me fall asleep and stay asleep.  This is only a temporary fix.  If sleep is something you can’t do without while you’re away from home, a sleep aide may help you.  If you’re going to use a sleep aide make sure you do your research and follow the instructions provided on the package.  I would encourage you not to take any type of pharmaceutical sleep aide while traveling alone.

Hopefully, these tips work for you and you get better sleep while you’re away from the comforts of home.

Keshia

 

Fab Five

laugh emoji

Laughter

Laughter is so necessary for my soul.  I think if my spirit had a noise attached to it, it would be a laugh.  There are times when I am feeling low.  Sometimes those low moments are in the middle of being swamped with important tasks.  So what do I do to lift my spirits?  I either think of a funny moment from my past or think of a funny joke.  Have you laughed today?

dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate

I could state all the scientific and nutritional facts associated with consuming dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate’s worthy mention is because it is simply my most craved type of chocolate. As a child I was milk chocolate all the way.  Then my taste buds discovered white chocolate (Hello…Hershey’s Cookies & Cream candy bar).  As I grew older, small nibbles here-and-there resulted in me absolutely loving the marriage of bitterness and sweet that dark chocolate brought.  It’s almost my own version of black coffee, no sugar-no cream.  It’s an instant pick-me up.  O yea…and it’s healthy.

alabama shakes

Alabama Shakes

I can’t remember when I stumbled on blues rock band, the Alabama Shakes. It was some time around their debut album (Boys & Girls) I’m sure. The first time I heard Brittany’s strong, deep, soulful, and at times raspy voice surrounded by funky chords was on the song “You Aint Alone”.  I instantly wondered “who is that?”.  I had to hear more of them. I then heard “Give Me All Your Love” and instantly became a fan.

evolution motivation

Evolution

I love to see people making moves.  Whether it’s a friend returning to school to further their education. Or a co-worker deciding they want an entire career change and deciding to leave their current job to follow their dreams.  I love to see progression.  People are meant to evolve.  Setting goals, working for those goals, and then attaining them is completely awesome to see.  I want to see people not giving up.

dark purple black

Dark Colors

Green is my favorite color.  When I’m not loving all things green I gravitate towards deep purple, dark blue, and black.  Those colors do not make a happy and bright color palette.  But those colors excite me. Like green makes me think of sunny spring days, deep purple (not the band) makes me think of beautiful flowers. Dark blue makes me think of the ocean, above and beneath the horizon. Black makes me think of power.  All three stir an emotion in me.

el Navegador

ab

“My hero’s have the heart to live the life I want to live…All I can remember is thinking I want to be like them.” – song: Crazy by: Ceelo Green

Happy, sad, angry, lonely are pretty common emotions. Envy and selfishness, these are common too, though often overlooked. They’re real. As real as the others. Do you wish to have something that doesn’t belong to you? Sure. Do you want something or someone all to yourself? Often. Envy leads to unattainable expectations. Living beyond your means, dating beyond your level (sorry, not sorry). That’s what I know about envy. Selfishness, I know much about. I am a selfish person.  I am selfish with my time and energy. I could be sitting right next to you and be miles away inside my head. I am selfish with the people I love and care about. If the vibe is right, why would we need a crowd?

I once heard someone say that people cry about the death of someone for their own selfish reasons. They cry because they are more concerned with now having to live their lives without that person. True, that does sound selfish. But why would that be a bad thing? If you enjoyed knowing the person, than you should miss them. Grief…that’s an emotion too. And at times it can seem a little selfish.

I knew of Anthony Bourdain the same as most folks did. Through the television screen. Every so often I would hear him on a podcast talk at length about his travels. He seemed to be this cool, mature, stoic, fun-loving, beer drinking, over-indulging man. He captured our attention while he traveled the globe seeing interesting places and meeting interesting people. He talked about customs, traditions, cooking, love, politics, and simply life. Nonchalantly he told you to step outside your bubble. See the world. Try new things. I wouldn’t call him my hero, but he definitely inspired me to broaden my horizons.

I write this post for my own selfish reasons, I guess. It sucks to know he won’t be out there, somewhere, exploring.

Death is always a delicate part of life to navigate. Words don’t always seem to fit.

Take care.

Keshia

Fab 5

trap music

  • I love “secular” music and gospel

This is a tricky subject to navigate. There is that saying that you should be mindful of your thoughts. I do agree. The devil is always busy. However, there’s only so much Mary Mary, Hezekiah Walker, etc. that I can handle before I need Cardi B to save me from the remainder of my long work day. Besides nothing gets me through a run better than Drake telling me he’s proud of me!

“I know things get hard, but girl, you got it

Girl, you got it, there you go

Can’t you tell by how they looking at you everywhere you go?”

 

fitness (vectortoons)

  • Fitness is important

Physical activity is important. It’s just that plain and simple. I feel so sluggish and moody when I haven’t worked out in awhile. The endorphins that flow when I’ve done a good workout are great and help to keep me motivated. The older I get (thank da Lawd) the real-er my health has become. Could I live in the gym 5 days a week? That’s a “No” for me. Supplementing with long walks, quick jogs, zumba, and hitting the weights hard when I can make it to the gym will have to suffice. Exercise is a must.

MEDITATION

  • Self-Care is vital

I’m a loner. I am fully secure in myself as such…sometimes. I can spend an entire day rummaging through the thoughts in my head. From significant moments from childhood-to-awkward moments at the fast food drive through yesterday. The data-processor (AKA my mind) doesn’t seem to take a break. However, I also need those precious moments with people I love and also random interactions with strangers. The moments alone help me reflect and grow. The moments with others enrich my soul and allow me to learn by either listening or simply being present. Self-care for me can’t be about solitude alone. I have to regress into myself briefly. Then it’s time to dive into others and pick their brains. It’s all apart of growth.

 

love language

  • Love and Be Loved

Everyone expresses their love differently. Everyone wants love expressed to them differently. Being married has taught me to think less about what I want and how I want to be loved and to be mindful of what my husband needs. A few of our love languages are the same, but not all. Tuning into him has helped me become a better partner. Figuring out how to show him love the way he connects best with has helped me and above all it has helped us.

genuine

  • I Crave Genuine People

One of my favorite podcasts seems so out of place in my entertainment schedule. I’ve been listening to this podcast for nearly 5 years. There’s cursing, vulgarity, hilarity, and the podcast is hosted by an ex-con turned comedian and his naive co-host. Above all those things, there is honesty and vulnerability.  Social media is full of people “faking the funk”. It is refreshing to hear the perspective of life from someone who isn’t trying to be someone else. To hear from someone who has lived a life and isn’t afraid to talk openly about the good and bad reminds me to stay grounded and to always be myself. I listened to several podcasts that offer that genuine flavor. I also seek it in my interactions with others, although I often end up empty-handed.

Just my Fab 5

Keshia

Skin Care Travel Essentials

So Glam

Maintaining healthy skin while traveling can seem like an impossible task. However, with the proper planning it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a list of items that can help you stay “fresh-faced” while on the go.

pore strips 1

  • Pore Strips

Pore strips are a life saver if you’re susceptible to blackheads like myself. They cling to oily pores and remove deep embedded oil and dirt. They come in several options with varying prices. They are easy to pack. Slip a package of pore strips into your carry-on bag and it should last you the duration of your trip.

face brush2

  • Exfoliator

Whether it’s a battery operated spin brush, a hand facial brush, or face wash with micro-beads, something to exfoliate your face is needed. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin and pesky dirt. It also helps with blood circulation to areas of the face. Exfoliation is the best way to achieve glowing skin while on the road.

Clean & Clear-persa-gel_1

  • Spot Acne Treatment

Pimples are no fun when traveling. The last thing you want when interacting with people is a mountain protruding through your skin. A handy spot acne treatment can help to minimize the look of your pimples and shorten their lifespan. Most spot acne treatments are inexpensive. Regardless of the price, it’s nice to have the insurance of having the product with you if needed.

Witch Hazel

  • Cleaner/Astringent

Obviously one of the main keys to traveling with clear skin is making sure you cleanse your skin. Water, which is inexpensive and easily attainable, will typically suffice. If you feel you need something stronger, consider bringing a cleansing product that doubles as a toner. A good example of this is witch hazel. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that removes bacteria and balances the pH levels of the skin.

Sunscreen1

  • Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an often overlooked element of good skin care. Protecting your skin from the sun is important. That goes for all shades of skin. Some can get away with a lower SPF number than others. Find one that works for you and your travel buddies. If you want to save room in your carry-on bag or luggage, consider purchasing your sunscreen at the hotel or hostel once you arrive at your destination.

oil absorbing sheet

  • Oil Absorbing Sheets

Oil absorbing sheets have been a must-have for me when I travel. They’re so convenient. They are easy to pack and you can use them anywhere. If you have oily or combination skin, then you should consider throwing a pack in your purse, carry-on bag, or luggage.

  • Additional Things To Consider
  1. Drink Water – Avoid sugary drinks and juices. Some are sensitive to sugary, carbonated beverages. The results of too much sugar can show up on your skin.
  2. Loose Fitting Clothing – If you are prone to body acne then remember to wear loose fitting clothing that allows skin to breathe.
  3. Travel Size Bottles – Travel size bottles come in all shapes and colors. Most are TSA approved, so there is less worry about being pulled aside at the airport.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Safe travels!

Keshia

Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Mask with | Neutrogena – Review

Neutrogena mask 2

photo: neutrogena.com

The winter months can be brutal on skin. My combination skin really struggles during the cooler months of the year. The dry areas of my face are at the bridge of my nose and sometimes the areas extend to below my eyes. The rest of my face (the tip of my nose, cheeks, forehead, temples, and chin) is oily enough to fry chicken on, especially when I am PMS-ing.

In an effort to stay on top of my ever-evolving facial needs, lately I have upped the ante on my skin care routine. Once a week I treat myself to an “at-home-spa” which means I go all out with cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing my skin. I decided to try and review the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Mask to see how well it works on my combination skin.

Neutrogena rolled out their Hydro Boost collection sometime in 2016. I will admit, I have little-to-no experience using Neutrogena products. I’ve always felt they were slightly expensive compared to other product lines and I didn’t feel compelled to spend the extra coins. The Hydro Boost collection is no exception. The reason it has taken me so long to try any of the featured products is because they do have a higher price point. When I noticed the single packets of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Masks were available at my local Wal-Mart for an affordable price I had to finally try it.

PhotoGrid_1518104594121

photo: colormyfootsteps.com

Product Claims

This innovative hydrogel mask instantly quenches dry skin, leaving it hydrated, smooth, and supple. 

Notable Ingredients

  • PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil – surfactant that helps water mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away
  • Tremella Fucicormis Sporocarp Extract – fungus extract used to stimulate cell growth
  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid – powerful humectant used to plump and hydrate skin
  • Chondras Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract – red seaweed extract full of vitamins and minerals and used for UV ray protection

Application

This is actually the second time I have tried this mask. The first time I was over-whelmed with the application process. The mask comes in two halves. It is very slimy. My advice is to lightly squeeze the package after opening and empty out some of the excess product. This will help you grip the mask and apply it. The instructions state to leave the mask on for 15 to 30 minutes. The first time I used it I left it on for 30 minutes, and the second time I left it on for 15 minutes. Honestly, I think 15 minutes is more than enough.

My Results

This mask is very refreshing. The cooling sensation would feel great in the warmer months. After you remove the mask there is a light amount of product that remains on your face. Simply massage the remaining product into your skin. My face felt soft for hours after the application. Since this is a product that you will more than likely rinse off at the end of the day, the results don’t last. However, the Hydro Boost collection includes a hydrating cleanser, serum, and moisturizing gel so I believe using these products in combination would leave your skin highly hydrated for a longer period of time.

Since I liked the results I feel inclined to purchase and try several of the other items in this collection. I am especially considering using the Hydro Boost Eye Gel.

If you have used this product or any of the products in the Hydro Boost collection let me know!

 

 

Fellow Okie – Hillary Rankin

A love for food is the thing I have most in common with Hillary Rankin. Not only do we share a love for food, but we also share a love for curating our favorite things on a blog to share with everyone. Hillary is the brain, face, and architect behind 918plate.com, a blog showcasing her love for food.

918plate2

photo: 918plate.com

  • What’s your name?

Hillary Rankin

 

  • What is the name of your blog/website?

918 Plate, www.918plate.com

 

  • What city in Oklahoma do you call home?

Tulsa!

 

  • What’s your favorite thing about Oklahoma?

My favorite thing about Oklahoma is the people. My family is from the OKC area, and my grandmas are both there. The people I’ve met since living here as an adult have been lovely and hospitable. Tulsa is also packed with local and startup restaurants and food businesses, which I absolutely love.

 

  • Compared to other places you’ve traveled, what stands out most about Oklahoma?

Here in Oklahoma, the cities aren’t too big, but still have everything you need. There isn’t the hustle and bustle of being a bigger urban hub like a Dallas or Chicago, and I am still able to build relationships and connect with people to give it more of a tight-knit-community feel.

 

  • Tell me a little bit about your blog/website.

I started 918 Plate in the summer of 2015. It focuses on recipes made with local Oklahoma ingredients, spotlighting Oklahoma businesses or farms, as well as what you can grow in your own garden in Tulsa. I post once a week, on Tulsa Time Thursday.

 

  • Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts and/or updates to your website?

I love to use family recipes, because they always come with a story. But primarily, I try to use the inspiration of seasonal offerings to plan what I will be cooking!

 

  • How can people contact you?

www.918plate.com

You can find me @918Plate on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/918Plate

I am glad that I had the opportunity to feature Hillary as a Fellow Okie. Please check out her blog and find her on social media!

Tips For Self Care

The Working Mom

  • Cut Yourself Some Slack

We all make mistakes. It’s simply destined for we, as humans, to do so. Don’t spend your valuable time dwelling on those mistakes. Learn from them. Grow from them. Move on.

  • Make Fun A Priority

The day-to-day hustle can be very consuming. Try to mix it up a bit and find something extraordinary in the mundane. Put your favorite song on repeat. Go roller skating with your friends on a whim. Go swing on a swing-set. Enjoy life!

  • Pursue A Hobby

Do you like to paint? Maybe you used to love to collect comic books. Find a hobby to help you de-stress. Immersing yourself into something you love will allow you to find a sense of joy in your actions. It can also take your mind off stressful events.

TIPS FOR SELF CARE

  • Ask For Help When You Need It

It’s not always easy, but sometimes asking for help is necessary. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed at work or at home, ask for help. You don’t have to handle everything alone.

  • Prioritize What Matters Most

Make a list of the things that matter most to you and why. Make sure YOU fall within the top three on that list. That’s right. You need to make sure that you are a priority on your own list of importance. While you’re looking after everyone else, who is looking out for you? Take the time to prioritize your life.

What tips are you taking to make sure you’re practicing “Self Care” this year?

Thanks for reading!

Dañar (damage)

Some would say “change is good”. Even the one and only Stevie Nicks said,

“…But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too.”

song Landslide

The season is changing here in Oklahoma. Fall is slowly evolving into winter. I personally am not a big fan of winter. However, this year I am determined to allow Mother Nature have its way. I am not in control. All I can do is prepare myself (hello new winter clothes). Of course, I will have a few gripes throughout the winter months (I am only human). The seasons changing are expected. Then there comes the unexpected changes like when you walk into a hair salon full of optimism and leave with bewilderment. Yes, I know that seems like an odd redirection. But I speak from personal experience. Change can be gradual or come out of nowhere and smack you in the face, then step back and dare you to react.

“Now what sucka?”

Yea, it can…well…suck. There’s no prep for those sudden changes. Sure we have insurance for accidents. We also have advice from other’s based on their own experiences. But it’s always the unexpected that we have no place of reference for or a guide to walk us through step-by-step. You have to shift your thinking, or approach, or even your entire mindset.

The only thing we can ever truly control is how we react to the things that happen to us or around us. Look on the bright side, reel in our emotions, or spin out of control. The choice is up to us.