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

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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

Stay in Your Lane

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photo: Colormyfoosteps

My husband, David, told me some time ago that he noticed I always seem to be pressing forward. I thought about it, and it’s true. I’m always planning, editing the plan, and then planning again. Every once and a blue moon I actually execute the plan. And ever so often that execution leaves me empty-handed when it comes to results. The big “goose-egg”. I can always say that “I tried” but damn it still hurts.

“I guess I’m just not good enough”.

I will admit I have a tendency to count my losses more than my wins. I know, I know, it’s not good to focus on the negative. But I have a routine. I succumb to self-loathing, have my pity party, and then I become frustrated and a little angry. I have to let those failures fuel me.

Then, the process begins again. I don’t know why, but I have to try again.  Back to the drawing board. The disappointment becomes a memory. The heartache becomes a scar. I brush myself off and tip-toe back into incoming traffic.

“How will you know if you never try”?

Some might say that you have to stay in your lane. That would make sense if you want to become a famous singer and have no natural musical ability. I think that if you do have the ability, the heart, and a sprinkle of talent to do something, then you should go for it. Think of all the inventions we have today. If it were not for those inspired minds we would not have the modern conveniences we have today. Think about how life would be different if those inventors had given up and not continued. We would still be illuminating our homes by candlelight and riding horse and buggy to work. Now by no means am I a life changing inventor. It would be cool if I was, but I’m not. However, I am someone with aspirations for my life and what I want to contribute to society.

This blog post, for example, has taken me months to write. Admitting failures can be daunting in itself. When my first book made no waves last year, I wanted to curl up into a ball, throw my blankets over my head, and not resurface. I was reluctant to talk to anyone about it, and that includes David. Attempts to continue writing began but always came to a sudden halt. A part of me just couldn’t muster up the nerve to start writing again. Not to mention any form of writers block would send me into a downward spiral. However, like I mentioned I had to go through my process (even though my pity party lasted way too long). I can’t quit. I’ve already come too far. Being creative is my lane.

Maybe you’re like me. Your loss column is clearly tipping the scale. There is a “WTF” moment that happens within all of us at some point. I encourage you to keep going. Learn from your mistakes, make a plan, and begin again. Even though I hate cliché statements I have to leave you with one.

“If at first you don’t succeed try again.”

-Keshia

 

Denver, CO REMIX

 

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

I think it’s safe to say that David and I have fallen in love with Denver, CO. Or at least “in like” with the scenic city. Spring Break of 2018 we decided to return to the beautiful Rocky Mountain and Mile High state of Colorado. As you may have picked up on, we have visited Denver, CO once before. However, this time we were determined to see more of the mountainous area outside the city.

We stayed in the suburban city of Aurora, CO during this trip. The trip from Aurora to Estes Park in Colorado was about 1.5 hours. Although that seems like a long time, because of the scenic view it was an enjoyable trek to the mountains. The winding roads up the mountains guided through the beautiful mountain range.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

The park was busy with people looking to enjoy the mountains just like us. We stopped by the tourism office to get a map and some pointers from the park ranger. Once we entered the park we got lost, lol. We missed our turn to a beginners trail. However, we didn’t let that detour us from enjoying the historic park.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

Once we found a good stopping point, we hopped out of the car and explored more on foot. Due to heavy snow fall the days prior, several trails and roads were closed for safety. The snow definitely added to the beauty of the mountainside. We walked for quite a ways and took in the sights and fresh air.

If Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t on your road trip bucket list, it should be!

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photo: Colormyfoootsteps

If you’re looking for some extra family-friendly fun, then stopping by the Denver Zoo is for you. We found it affordable for the two of us (I believe it was no more than $25 for us both). The weather was beautiful and the animals were out basking in the sun as well. The Denver Zoo has a wide range of animals, from gorillas to polar bears. We also got a chance to feed some hungry birds (I believe they were parakeets).

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

We decided to stop by one of Denver’s oddities, The International Church of Cannabis. People who attend the services are Elevationists and they believe that marijuana allows them to form a closer connection to a higher power. From the outside this sanctuary is very unassuming. However, once you enter the chapel it is a sight to see for sure. The walls are very brightly and intricately painted by artist Kenny Scharf. Apparently the building has had several purposes before becoming a church. At one time is was even a school. It is free to enter the church on designated days for tourists. They do however ask for a $5 donation.

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photo: Colormyfootsteps

Denver, CO is a great place to visit if you want a great blend of city and nature. It is easy to find something for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy where you’re at and where you be!

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.

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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!

MY WINTER FAVES 2017

Hey everyone!

I’m trying my best to hold back and not do it…You know what I’m talking about, right? You know! Fine…

winter is coming

Well, now that we got that out of the way…here are a few things that I am enjoying this winter season.

Hair:

NOW Solutions Grapeseed oil

grapeseed

Face:

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation (Shade: cappuccino)

fit me

Clothes:

Fruit of the Loom flannel pants

flannel

Home:

Ceramic mugs from Ross Dress for Less

coffee

disclaimer: I couldn’t find the ones I own. Sorry.

Entertainment:

Miguel – War and Leisure

268x0w

Here’s the video! Subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already!

Black Travel Bloggers You Should Know

COLORMYFOOTSTEPS.COM

We out here y’all!

Black travel aficionado’s are all over. Thanks to social media platforms, like Instagram, it’s more common to see people of color from the USA hanging out and exploring foreign lands. I have to admit I smile from ear-to-ear when I see people who look like me boarding a flight to a different country or embracing different cultures where they don’t see a familiar face.

I decided to share some of the black travel buffs that I have come across through social media over the years.

Brian – Beyond BMore

 

beyondbmore

photo: beyondbmore.com

I stumbled upon Brian via a YouTuber I follow, TheChicNatural, a few years ago. If you can’t tell by the name, Brian is from Baltimore, MD. Years ago, Brian made the decision to explore beyond the dicey streets and neighborhoods he knew and see what the other streets, cities, and countries across the globe had to offer. Brian has traveled to 31 countries (feel free to say “Whoa”) and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Ashlee – Will Drink For Travel

willdrinkfortravel

photo: willdrinkfortravel.com

The social media handle alone should make you smile Will Drink For Travel. Sign me up! I found Ashlee sometime ago, via Instagram, and was instantly intrigued. Ashlee provides her own perspective on travelling with one of the main focuses being tasty and flavorful food and of course drinks. Her website includes drink recipes, most inspired by different regions across the globe. Whether solo or in groups, she always seems to end up in the best places.

Tracey – Brooklyn Travel Addict

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photo: brooklyntraveladdict.com

Tracey may look familiar. I’ve featured her in a blog post before. If that’s not where you recall her face, then you may know her as one of the creative minds behind Curlfest. The annual event to celebrate curly hair. Tracey inspires me so much and I can’t help but to live vicariously through her social media posts, at least until I can do my own travelling. She always offers the best insight on places and events. From Cuba, India, and South Africa…she’s been there and done that.

Kellee – Kellee Set Go!

kellee

photo: kelleesetgo.com

I’ve been fan-girling over Kellee for quite sometime. She’s a pilot, deep-sea diver, and all around adrenaline junkie, and I love it. Did I mention she’s also the host of the Travel Channel show Mysterious Islands? She’s been to at least 35 countries. Yep, 35! To see a black woman accomplishing so much and not slowing down for a minute is exciting. If she doesn’t compel you to try new things, than I don’t know who will.

This list only scrapes the surface of black travel influencers out there. If you’re looking for inspiration or tips don’t hesitate to look these people up. There is so much more world out there than what we see with our own eyes everyday.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Fall Bucket List

autumn moments

Hey y’all!

The time of the year for flannel shirts, college football, and gooey s’mores by the fire is here! One or all of those things I listed may not be on your checklist of activities for autumn but don’t let that stop you from creating a list of fun things to do this cool and crisp season. If you need some ideas, here is my fall bucket list!

  • Attend a Football Game – Fall season goes hand-and-hand with football season. Find a college level or professional team to cheer for and go all in!
  • Decorate Pumpkins – There are several diy decorating tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube that can help you make your pumpkin stand out.
  • Learn Cooking Recipes for Cooler Weather – Chili, chicken and dumplings, and stew are perfect to warm you up when the nights get cold.
  • Fall in Love with a Comfy Sweater –  Be well-dressed and comfortable this season by finding that great outfit.

Feel free to use this list to get you started on having a great fall!

Check out my Fall Favorites video to see what I’m loving this season!