Sunday, July 31, 2016

Arabian Nights

Disclaimer:  This is the first blog post where I did not come up with the title.  Hope you enjoy the post! 

I had a rather interesting night with some great friends of mine earlier this week.  It was definitely quite an experience I will never forget and I hope it is something we get the chance to do again.  We had the chance to have a semi Muslim experience.  

A friend of a friend (yep, that is seriously the best way to explain it), it from the Middle East and is Muslim.  I don't know how he got conned into cooked for us, but I am really glad he did.  I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as the food was concerned, but I did know I was going to have a wonderful time with my friends...and a wonderful time was had by all.   

The meal was pretty basic.  Like I said, I didn't know what to expect - something elaborate or something simple.  What I got was something simple that was absolutely delicious.  When trying new stuff, I try not to be rude, but there was one dish I simply couldn't eat.  There was a dish made just of yogurt and cucumbers.  Ok, so here is my weird deal about both items - I can eat Yoplait Whips Yogurt (but not regular yogurt) and I also love pickles, but I won't eat cucumbers.  There was baked chicken with great seasoning.  Seriously, it was the hugest thing of rice I had ever seen.  There was something he called tomato salad, but it was just actually sliced tomatoes.  To top it all off, there was bread.  You can see the meal in the photo to the left.  

We ended up having tea after our meal.  I've been trying really hard to drink water most of the day, but I wanted to try this tea.  Since my tea is usually green tea sweetened with stevia and honey, I was a little wary of just trying this tea with less stevia and no honey...and it definitely wasn't green.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised.  

Then came the most interesting part of the night - the hookah.  So, I told one of my friends about it and he said, "a bong"?  I had to quickly clear that up!  The flavor was mint and the smell was great.  

I have to admit, that was pretty fun - just hanging around, enjoying each other, and listening to the stories of a person from a land so far away.  That's the thing though - after hearing him talk, his home doesn't seem that far away.  

I was in complete awe of his educational journey and how he ended up in the United States.  It made me so much more thankful for the opportunities I've had right here.  It made me feel great that I did not have to leave where I was born to get, what some perceive, a better education.  

I think the thing that was most amazing to me was that he spoke English as if he had lived her all his life, but with an accent.  However, he only spoke an ounce of English when he arrived - yes, no, and thank you!  In such a short amount of time, he has managed to speak the language better than some people who have lived her all their lives.  As for me, I speak English and Southern. 

Here's what I've learned from this experience - it is so important to talk to people.  You can learn so much from people if you just take the opportunity to sit down, talk, and do a lot of listening.  You might not be so much different than you think.  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The shy factor

I had a bit of a shyness about me.  I'm not really shy, but it takes me a bit of a moment to get out of my shell.  By a bit of a moment, it could take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the situation.  By all standards of other people, I am very lively whenever I'm around people.  However, I have no problem fading into the background.  I'll tell anyone I like keeping a low profile.

Well, since I like keeping a low profile, this project I have coming up with a wonderful friend of mine, aka the fabulous Denise, should come as no surprise.  We are getting ready to go on a fantastic journey with you and let you into our lives in another way - via podcast.  You know, just two adults pushing through life and having open and real conversations about things that matter to us and, of course, you too!  

So, you know we are going to need your help.  As it gets closer to time, we will be needing some ideas.  I tell you that I write this blog for you and the podcast will just be another way for me to interact with you, through using my voice.  Keep your eyes open for some polls on my twitter feed and helps us out.  

We cannot wait for this to start.  No official start date, but like all things we do, we want it to be great.  We know it's not going to be perfect, but it will be perfectly awesome.  

Photo credit: Colleen AF Venable via / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: brainblogger via / CC BY

Friday, July 29, 2016

Ready for my close up!

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of doing something I absolutely love - I did a photoshoot.  On top of that, I was able to shoot with one of my favorite photographers that I had not shot with in a long time - Casey of Casey Brannon Photography!  

For starters, I knew I was going to have a wonderful shoot because I was shooting at the beach.  The weather that day was a little rough and I arrived later than the original plan because the weather had traffic stopped.  On the other hand, I was in the car with one of my besties and we were ready to have a fabulous road trip!  

We arrived on the beach and the weather was absolutely perfect.  It's summer in the south and if you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing it, let me just tell you this one thing - it's hot!!!  I'm really glad the weather was nice to us that day, well at least while we were at the beach, because it allowed Casey to get some wonderful shots. 

I'm not sure if you follow me on Periscope, but if you do (well, did at the time), you got the chance to get a sneak peek at my shoot.  But, if you missed it, you can find the video right here.  You can also go ahead and take that as an opportunity to follow me on there so you don't miss anything else.  See what I did there?  

So, we shoot at the beach and then we travel to another location so we can have a beautiful fountain in the background.  This other location had another awesome place to get some shots.  It was just perfect.  

Like I said, it had been a while since Casey and I were able to do a shoot together, but the travel time, bad weather, and everything in between was totally worth it.  I knew she was amazing, but the photos I see are absolutely awesome.

You know I'm only going to give you a taste of what we did, but I can assure you one thing - if you shoot with Casey, you will not be disappointed.  As you can see, she is an amazing photographer, but you will definitely not be bored during the shoot.  It's full of fun and laughs and the time goes by so fast.  

If you are interested in the specifics about the outfits you see in this post, make sure you go to my Instagram page for all the info you need.  While you are there, go on and follow me so you can stay up to date with my life through the photos.  You will be happy you did!    

By the way, all photos by Casey Brannon Photography aka a rockstar of a photographer.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Positively not positive?

When this whole body positive movement started, all I could think was woah, finally there is going to be a representation of me in a store.  Maybe I was silly to think that, but one could hope.  

First, let me give a shoutout to the stores making it work.  Forever 21 has a beautiful plus line and I have been able to find some awesome pieces.  They are definitely coming along well in their quest for body positivity.  This next store is a recent find and I am so happy I found it!  Entourage is a cute little boutique that does cater to the smaller sized female, but they recently launched a plus line.  New pieces are being added to their website each week.  What can I say about Old Navy?  I don't think I can say enough!  In my opinion, they have the best jeans I have ever worn and they have a great quality of clothing.  The only negative I have for the two stores I mentioned first is the plus size selection in the stores is very small, if it is in the store at all.  I hate ordering clothes online because I try on EVERYTHING, but I guess ordering online is part of the fun.  

Let's get to some stores who have been in the plus size game.  Lane Bryant is a wonderful store and I love getting my bras from there.  Personally, I cannot find a pant to fit me how I like in there, but their leggings are wonderful.  Ashley Stewart has a wonderful selection.  I can find a few jeggings in there and I love their dresses.  Well, this brings me to Torrid.

The fun thing about Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, and Torrid is that we plus beauties could go shopping and not worry about getting dirty looks from the straight sized people.  Then Torrid changed up the game.  Recently, they introduced new sizes to the store, but in the downward direction.  Torrid now offers a size 10.  

I'll be the first person to admit, I had a slight problem with this when it was first announced.  The beauty of Torrid (and stores like it) was that is was just for us plus beauties.  However, I had this thought - but what if I lose weight?  I enjoy shopping at Torrid, but no matter how much weight I lose, I'm still going to be wearing an F or a G cup in a bra.  It just is what it is. On the other hand, I always can get into a smaller jean size.  So, if I were to ever make it down to a size 10 in some jeans, it's nice to know I can get an entire outfit from Torrid.  

Just like we don't all lose weight the same, we all don't look the same period.  However, this body positive thing is not going in a way I thought it was going to go.  

Let's get back to the "smaller" stores.  Forever 21 has gone great with their merchandise.  In my opinion, they have a great selection of trendy looking things that will not have me looking like I'm older just because I am in an larger body.  Entourage is just starting their plus line and that are adding more to their website each week.  Unfortunately, for these and other stores, their hands are tied by what their designers are going to design and offer to them.  In other words, there are just some stores where plus size divas are only going to be able to walk out with a pair of shoes and/or a pocketbook.    

For instance, their are some design houses who are not going to change.  Unless you are a female at least 5'7" and wear somewhere between a size 0 to 6, they are not going to design for you.  That is just how it is.  For those designers who are at least taking a chance, some of their stuff just isn't cute on plus size people.  Not because it can't be, but because it won't be because they won't put in the time and effort it takes to design for a larger person.  Just because I have more skin doesn't mean I deserve to be in an outfit that will have me looking like a sack of potatoes.  On the other hand, I salute the designers who are taking the time to explore the plus size body - every inch, crevice, and roll!!!  We know you charge us a little more because of the extra material, but personally, I'll pay for quality.  So, I have these designers who are trying to design something to fit my body, but where are the models who look like me?

Let me give you a description of myself.  I'm under 5'4".  Right there you know I have to buy petite, get things hemmed, where a cute cuff, or wear heels.  I have a tummy.  I wouldn't call it a big tummy (my definition of MY TUMMY being big is when I can see it past my boobs), but I have a tummy.  I have amazingly toned legs, but my thighs are thunderous.  No matter what I lift, my arms are still flabby.  My back rolls will probably make you run away in horror.  However, under all the skin, I do have an hourglass shape.  I've seen it before!!!  On last thing, please do not take a photo of me sitting down (unless it is from the shoulders and up) because I look like an elephant!  That's me.  Where are those models?  

Those models don't exist.  Those models are not physically attractive enough to be seen on the poster in a store.  But for once, I would love to walk into a store, especially a store that caters to the plus size beauties, and see a woman with a tummy.  I would love to walk into a store and see a mannequin wearing something bigger than a size 14.  By the way, typically if the mannequin is wearing anything larger than a 14, the clothing is strategically pinned to make it look like it is a perfect fit.  

So, really, where is all this body positivity?  I know it is impossibly to have a representation of every body type in every single store.  But think about it, if you are selling a product to me, shouldn't I at least have something to go off of to help me visualize what the article of clothing may look like.  If we are not making strides to celebrate every body, big or small, what is really positive about the movement?  

Photo credit: MLazarevski via Visualhunt / CC BY-ND 
Photo via 
Photo credit: Hub☺ via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Loc me up!

Disclaimer:  Yes, I'm fully aware I look a mess in some of these photos.  However, getting my hair done is not a magical process.  It has to look rough before it looks flawless.  If you are looking for all perfect photos or perfect hair with me spinning around and being a model, you are at the wrong post.  

I honestly did not want to get a protective style for the summer.  I was perfectly fine with twisting my hair and giving my fro new styles throughout the week.  However, where I live, the way the humidity is set it...and the way my job is set up (impromptu site visits in the humidity), a protective style was warranted.  

Honestly, I didn't want senegalese twists because I had just had them in January.  Didn't really want havana twists because I had those last summer for a wedding.  I had thought about getting a crochet style, but I figured my head would start itching the next day.  I wanted to do something different and definitely not return back to micros.  It took me a few weeks to decide on a style, but after talking to some people and thinking it over, I finally decided.  

At the office, people knew I was getting my hair done.  It wasn't a big secret, especially since I had been talking about it for weeks.  However, I noticed the biggest question wasn't what are you getting done to you hair, but instead it was what color is your hair going to be?  

Well, of course my pop of color was going to be red.  I mean, what else could I go with?  But what style did I choose?

Not sure if you can see from this photo, but I decided to go with faux locs!  I was a little worried at first because it's something totally different from what I usually go with, but even before she was finished, I absolutely loved my hair!!!  

My stylist was the absolutely fabulous Ms. Vee at Nappyology 101.  I cannot even lie, she has absolutely spoiled me because I had prepared for 10 to 12 hours, when she had me finished between 6 to 7 hours.  I have never had a protective style take so little time.  However, that wasn't my favorite part.  

My favorite part was the professionalism of my stylist and the conversations that were had that day.  Yep, we took some breaks to eat and she still had me ready in a reasonable amount of time.  It doesn't get much better than that.  

Why did I decide to go with this particular style?  Well, I've actually been considering letting my hair loc up for a few months.  Truth be told, I've been afraid that it wouldn't look good on me.  Yes, I know I'm going to have to go through the weird short phase, but it may be worth it.  I haven't decided on these long term, but it is definitely an option I plan on keeping on the table.  

In order to achieve this look, Ms. Vee used yarn.  Basically, you see none of my natural hair and I'm cool with that.  Also, my hair is parted in triangles to achieve a fuller look.  

I typically leave my styles in for 3 to 4 months.  However, with this, my hair has the potential to loc on its own.  In other words, I need to make a decision as to if I want this for real or just every once in a while.  

Cool fact?  I could honestly get used to this.  People have been throwing compliments my way since I got it done.  They've asked questions about the process and of course, I've been asked my absolute favorite question of can I touch your hair?  If you have known me (in real life or just through social media), you know the answer to that question was yes!  If you are just joining me on this blog journey, here is a reference to why I say yes.  

I am known for trying different things with my hair, whether it be with color, cut, or protective styles.  Since I am in the process of letting my natural hair grow out, this style serves another purpose called I don't have to touch my hair for a few months.  I can just let my hair grow and if I decide locs are not the way I want to go, I can see how long it is and pick another style.  

My hair is getting ready to be two weeks old and it still looks as it I got it done yesterday!  My hair grows quickly and I am curious to see if my hair is going to start growing outside of the yarn.  Nope, not at the top of my hair where you expect to see new growth, I'm talking about somewhere in the middle of the faux loc.  I'm not exactly sure what this particular hair style is going to do, but I know that I'm excited for the journey whether it is for 3 to 4 months or for a few years.  You know I'll keep you posted!  

Monday, July 18, 2016

My BuJo 101

If you know me, I pride myself on being organized.  I survive with my calendar on my phone, on my computer at work for work, and (believe or not) with my paper calendar I also carry with me.  During job interviews, I tell them my best quality is my organization skills.  My boss tells me that he envies me because I'm always so organized and I can find stuff whenever he needs it.  Organization is just my thing.  So, imagine my absolute shock when I discovered the wonders of having a bullet journal?!  

I don't know when this craze got started or who started it, but I'm glad they did.  I have been using Pinterest (yes, I'm shocked too) in order to find ideas.  But the one thing I have learned about this type of journal is I can do whatever I want!  I see where other people have made their designs really unique (I'll get there one day), but for me, I just love the fact of the absolute freedom of this journal.  

Let's start with my base.  I know this is probably weird, but I am currently using a sketch pad for my bullet journal.  I like how the pages feel and I love using gel ink to make the words pop! Hopefully, these pages will cooperate when I start using water colors and caligraphy pens to make more of a statement.  I have a friend that is an artist, so I've been bugging him about what I can use on the pages.  He's been very helpful and patient with my line of questioning and I am so thankful for it.  

I've already told you about me using gel ink and I love my pens (thanks, mom).  I also use stickers.  I am on the hunt this week for more stickers (more creative stickers) and a ruler because I would love to get some straighter lines when I am doing some freehand sketching and just to make my headers a lot cleaner.  

The lettering - well, the lettering is all my own creation.  I'm not using a special pen yet, so I'm just having to do some freehand stuff.  I think it looks good so far, but I know there is room for improvement.  I know my bullet journal will get more creative as time goes by and I am really excited! 

So, we know the bullet journal is mainly used for organization.  However, I use mine for something different right now.  I've been very open about my issues with anxiety.  I've been very open about the fact I'm on medication.  I've also been very open about the fact that even on medication, I've had a few anxiety attacks.

To help me through the day (weeks and months), I write down my day - just in a very condensed version.  If I workout, I write it down.  Or, that may come in a version of me writing down the calories I've burned during the day.  If I'm really loving the outfit I'm wearing, I write that down.  Something about having a great outfit just makes the day better.  Depending on what I eat, I may tell you about that.  If I hang out with my friends, you will know about that.  Heaven forbid I go shopping...yeah, you already know!

There are four things you will always see in my bullet journal though on a particular day - my daily Bible verse, the forecast, my anxi-cast (how I'm feeling during the AM and PM), and a "what did I learn today" section.  Maybe they will change, but as for right now, I have to have them on each page.

I'm not sure where this journey is going to take me, but I did write on a page journey of a lifetime.  I'm so happy I found this idea because of someone I follow on twitter.  She doesn't realize how much she inspired me.  In turn, one of my friends is getting ready to give this whole bullet journaling thing a try. 

Also, I'm enjoying the bullet journal (aka the #bujo) community.  Everyone is so quick to offer advice and tell you so many ideas.  Another thing I've noticed, the #bujo community is so amazingly nice.  Each time I've posted something on any of my social networks or asked a question, the community has been so quick to answer and offer any help they possibly can.  That is really great to me because I still need some help right now and maybe one day, I'll be able to pass along some advice.  

So, here is just a little bit about my bullet journal.  I truly hope you are not too bored because I will be talking about this a little bit more, especially when I start to make some changes.  What I'm most excited about?  The page I'm going to do at the end of the month.  Not even going to tell you what it is because I'm just that excited it.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Naked in the shower

Apparently, Dani Mathers was Playmate of the Year for 2015.  Not that I'm interested, but this is what the media wants you to know.  Here is what I want you to know - she was dead wrong for what she did today!  At the time of this post, you can check out the most recent story from TMZ right here.  Out of respect for the woman in the photo, I will not be posting (hence why I also sent you to another site).  

In case you decided to not hit the link, let me explain to you what happened.  Little Miss Dani took a photo of a naked woman in the shower of a gym and posted it to Snapchat.  She thought her little post was funny.  However, I don't think she expected the reaction she got to her little photo op.  

This (seemingly average size) woman was minding her own business and taking a shower...more than likely after working out.  It was taken as Dani body shamming the woman (which is all the way true if you read her photo caption).  Well, let's just say people got so hyped about what Dani did, she had to disable her social networks.  Poor thing...

Not poor thing!!!  It was absolutely rude and unnecessary for Dani to take a photo of the woman in the first place!  Quite frankly, it's distributing pornography.  If it had been a man taking the photo and posting it on the snap, I think we all know what would have happened already.  On the other hand, LAPD is already involved and hopefully, some charges will be brought towards Dani and maybe (just maybe) she will learn a lesson in humility.  

People as a whole (I know not everyone) have made great strides when it comes to body acceptance.  We have a long ways to go, but I can tell you from experience that we are not where we used to be.  

More designers are making clothes to fit my size 18 body.  More people are understanding that my size 18 body doesn't mean I'm unhealthy (only major health problem I have is asthma and that is genetics).  I'm more comfortable in my size 18 body.  There are more models who have a body more like the one I have.  There are more people writing about having a size 18 body and being proud of it!  

There are so many people I admire for breaking down barriers on a daily basis.  Ashley Graham has been on my radar since her early days of modeling for Lane Bryant.  Lornalitz Baez has been amazing to me since I realized she modeled for Torrid.  And what about the bloggers and designers?  Ashley Nell Tipton won Project Runway!  Blogger CeCe Olisa shows us each day how to be happy with our bodies (and hair).  I could name so many more, but I can tell you a decade ago, I couldn't name one!  

Look at how far we have come and how dare Dani Mathers take the female body (no matter how it looks) and turn it into something negative?  Seriously!!!  You are a model and your body is scrutinized on a daily basis.  And no matter how good you think you look, I'm sure some of the images posted of you have been photoshopped to remove a mole here or a wrinkle there.  Your body isn't perfect, so stop acting like it is.  

I'm pretty sure the lady in the photo has seen her image floating around the web right now.  I know it hurt her to see herself in such a negative light, but I hope this doesn't set her back along whatever journey she is on - whether it is working out to lose weight or working out the maintain her weight.  I hope she keeps moving and working towards whatever she is working towards.  

As for the other Dani's of the world, I hope you learn a lesson.  We're all human and deserved to be treated as such.  How would you like it if it happened to you?    

Friday, July 8, 2016

Backstage Pass with Audrey Canady

Blogging is not easy.  There are so many people out there ready to give advice.  On the other hand, there are very few people out there giving advice who have been able to stand the test of time.  Well, that just is not the case when it comes to Audrey! 

The fabulous Audrey Canady has been blogging since the days of MySpace.  Formerly known as Miss Moon of Miss Moon’s Musings, she has been going strong since 2009.  Being born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Audrey had plenty of inspirations.

After checking out Audrey Can, which has been going strong since 2014, you will notice she writes about various topics!  She enjoys writing about so many things, including her beautiful natural hair, but it is so hard for her to pick a favorite subject.  She compares her blog to gumbo; her topics are the perfect ingredients and the blogs themselves give you a perfect blend of everything she has to offer.  Want to talk about fashion?  Go to Audrey!  Are you interested in life in general?  Audrey has a post for you.  Trying to figure out what you should be listening to?  Audrey’s blog is the place to go!

Want to know an interesting fact?  Audrey loves Bollywood!  If you are not sure of what Bollywood is, it is the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India.  Growing up, she used to love watching a show solely dedicated to playing musical numbers from Bollywood films.  It was the music that drew her to these films and she has been a fan since her childhood!
Although she has various interests, Audrey is also firm about doing one thing – Thursday Affirmations!  Every Thursday, she aims to spread positivity via her social networks by sharing positive and transformative affirmations all day long.  She thinks it is so important to spread positivity into the lives of others and she uses her platform to do so.

If you are a blogger, here is one thing Audrey wants you to know – you are enough!  The words you put on your paper or screen is enough!  Blog because you love to write and because you believe in what you do.  When following those rules, you cannot go wrong.     

Want to show Audrey some love?  Click here to follow this fabulous lady on Twitter! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hands clean

This isn't going to be long because the jury is still out on this.  I know how I'm feeling.  I have a pretty good idea on how one of my other peeps is feeling.  Then, I'm supposed to be having a conversation with someone in the next few days about this madness.  

However, I've learned that people who do not want help cannot be helped.  It's not being mean.  It's just being honest.  Why should I spend my energy helping someone who doesn't want my help when there is someone else I could be spending my time with who would appreciate anything I did for them?  That just doesn't make sense to me.  

So, in order to keep me from doing the true definition of insanity, I think I may just have to leave the madness and the person alone.  I wish them the best.  Maybe we will cross paths again, but right now, I just cannot deal with the wreck she keeps wanting to be in.  

Maturity comes with time and experience.  Notice I didn't say age because I know some people older than me who are absolutely immature!!!  I don't know if her time hasn't come yet or if they want to keep playing victim, but I'm ready to move on.  I gave it my best shot, but this is not worth my sanity.  

I wave my white flag! 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Conductor of my classical body

Disclaimer:  Not writing this post to start an online feud because that is just absolutely stupid.  However, anything I see that inspires me is fair game!  You have been warned.  

Earlier tonight, I was hanging out on Twitter and a tweet caught my eye.  Actually, I think it was a series of tweets, but it was the first one that got me going.  I've been a fan of Maestro Harrell since his days on Surbugatory.  That show was my deal.  I'm not exactly sure when I started following him on Twitter, but I did because I liked him so much.  

Well, tonight, you probably think my like for him has changed.  Nah!  One tweet doesn't change my opinion of a person.  I'm sure I've put out some questionable madness in my over 40k tweets.  That's the fun of it.  Maestro just really happened to catch my eye tonight.  

I know that he means absolutely nothing by this tweet (at least that is what I am assuming), but it definitely got my attention!  Don't you just love it when things get my attention?  

So, the first tweet.  I actually have two problems with this tweet.  First, he said fat girls.  I don't particularly like that word, but some chicks have owned it and are loving it.  MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE (let me make sure I make that clear) is for people to call me thick or plus size.  

My second problem with this tweet is that he (in my opinion) assumes that we take photos 3 inches away from our face because we don't want to show the rest of our body.  Nah!  It's not always like that for me.  

I take photos like that sometimes (especially in my car) because of lighting and the angle I'm trying to accomplish!  Have you ever seen those photos I take at my desk?  There is no way I can get my entire body in that screen because the lighting at my desk is absolutely horrible.  Not that I'm not secure with myself, but I'm trying to get a certain look.  

Let's take a look at the follow up tweets.  It's misleading.  How?  Am I misleading you if I'm trying to get a certain view for my page that I'm happy with?  If you look at any of my social media sites, you see face, full body, and stuff from different angles.  How am I misleading you if I don't have a private account?  In other words, go have a look for yourself.  I don't have to post a full body pic each day.  

False advertisement.  Really?  What exactly do you think I'm advertising?  When I take full body photos, more than likely I'm advertising my clothes.  If I'm doing a face, most than likely I'm advertising the fact that I'm happy or I'm showing you my makeup for the day.  Nothing false about it really (well, except when I get ready to get these hair extensions this week to protect this natural hair from the summer)!  

If you know anything about me, you know what I did, right?  Of course I responded.  And since I have absolutely nothing to hide, I took a screenshot of that message too.  

I think I responded rather well and rather calmly.  I'm not ashamed of being a size 18.  For the past 2 years, I've fluctuated between a 16 and 18.  Right now, I'm holding steady at 18.  I'm cool with that and now he knows that too. 

At the time this post was being written, I haven't gotten a single response from Maestro, any of his followers, or anyone from his camp.  For some reason, I have a feeling this post might change that, but I'm ready for it.  Depending on the responses, it might call for a follow-up post or just an update to this post.  It all just depends on how I am feeling at the moment.  

Now, I know with this screenshot, you cannot see my entire outfit.  But don't fear!!!  Like I said, I didn't write this tonight to start any trouble and since I'm not starting any trouble, I'm not hiding anything.  

Above, you can clearly see the mirror pictures I'm referring to.  Need more references, feel free to check out my Instagram page.  If you are easily offended by guns and liquor, you might not want to look at it though.  However, if you love positive vibes, with a little bit of madness in between, give me a follow.  

Before you ask, yes I do some photo editing to get the lighting better, but I have never altered my shape.  What you see is what you get when it comes to my body - like it, leave it, or love it!  

So, Maestro, I hope I cleared up why I take photos 3 inches away from my face sometimes.  Also, I hope you find the time to check out my sites and maybe even follow me.  I support you, so why don't you consider supporting a thick chick?   

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tears and fears

Each person with anxiety presents different.  No two people have the same exact anxiety triggers.  None of us have the same reactions to those triggers.  I think it is the many differences that make it so hard when trying to figure out this journey.  Even when it comes to myself, I be sitting there thinking this is not how is happened last time!  It's annoying to me and I'm the only dealing with it!  

This is how it went down - I was perfectly fine yesterday.  I had an awesome morning at work.  I  had a wonderful lunch with a great friend.  I had a great afternoon at the office.  
I came home and cooked.  Then all hell broke loose!!!  

I posted my madness on Twitter.  I had someone ask me what was wrong and I didn't answer.  It's not that I didn't want to answer, it was because I didn't have an answer.  I know what caused the initial thought (that will remain to myself and God), but I'm not exactly sure what caused the snowball effect.  It went downhill and it went downhill fast.  

Writing is what I do.  I love to write.  When I'm so out of my comfort zone that I cannot even write, there is a problem.  That is where I was last night.  I thought I could just take a shower and wash the anxiety away.  Usually, that works because of the way I shower - perfect water temp, music playing, and me singing my little heart out!  Well, that didn't work last night.  I tried to write...I really tried to write...I didn't work out for me.

I ended up going to bed around 9 last night.  Yep, Friday night and I was in bed by 9.  But did I go to sleep?  Um, that would be a negative.  Here is what my anxiety attack looked like last night...

...tears.  Straight up tears.  Just flowing straight down my face.  I couldn't help it.  I could breathe.  I knew where I was.  I was in my right mind.  I just couldn't see.  

I don't remember what time I fell asleep, but it did carry over into this morning.  Here is what I learned about this morning - my love loves me and all the madness that comes with me, even the anxiety.  He stayed with me (not until I came back to reality because that didn't happen until later in the day), but he did stay with me long enough to make sure I was ok.  And then all hell broke loose (for me) again.  He stayed with me through that, even though he was getting ready to leave.  

Throughout the day, he has continued to check on me.  I love him for that.  I love him because he loves me through all the pain, the madness, and whatever else I have that I'm dealing with at that moment and time.  

See, no difficulty breathing...just uncontrollable crying.  But when I came out on the other side, I felt so much better.  Right now, I feel so much better.  However, I know there will be a next time.  And just like this time, I'll be ready.  I'm always ready.  

Hello, world.  My name is Shayla and I have anxiety attacks.