Friday Five

Can I just say before I post my Friday (Saturday) Five.. I’m really amazed at the people who read this! I mean, I know people read it by looking at the site stats, but I was amazed at who was reading my posts. In a good way, of course. I’m so grateful to my friends who’ve mentioned some of these posts to me and how they relate. It’s nice to know you aren’t alone, even if you feel that way sometimes. I’m also thankful for those who offered encouraging words to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

1. Poopourri
Ok so.. I first heard about this product via this post. There aren’t any details I really feel like going into, because I just don’t really want to talk about bowel movements. I will say this, it works. Just spray this a couple times in the toilet, drop the kids off at the pool, and flush. Stick it in your guest bathroom, or that one bathroom that’s considered the “public” bathroom in the house. Trust me, man. I can’t even keep a straight face typing about this. I can’t. Although in our house, we have the DejaPoo scent. Ok that’s all I’m saying about it now. There’s not smooth way to transition from this so.. moving along now..

2. A Confederacy of Dunces
This is one of my favorite books. I can only describe it as witty, yet hilariously sad. I knew I would love this book because within the first few pages I found myself laughing, and I can’t say that about too many books. But here’s a more in depth description–

So enters one of the most memorable characters in American fiction, Ignatius J. Reilly. John Kennedy Toole’s hero is one, “huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans’ lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures”
(Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).

There is even talk about it turning into a movie with Zach Galifinakis as the main character. I hope so. It’s great, and it’s a book I recommend to everybody– or at least to people with whom I discuss books.

3. Happy Squeeze Fruit & Veggie Twists
So I stumbled upon these while I was at the grocery store one day.. and let me tell you I’ve been hooked since! I love fruits, but honestly– I’m really bad about getting enough vegetables. When I do buy vegetables, I usually don’t use it all in time before it starts to rot. I also get bored very easily when it comes to vegetables. Bottom line, I prefer fruits and just force myself to eat most vegetables because I know it’s good for me. This awesome product combines the two in a nicely packaged pouch that you can eat on the go. No utensils required, uhm.. heck yes! I bring these to work a lot, and I’m pretty sure people think I’m eating baby food.. BUT I swear it’s for adults. The company does make some for children as well, in case you’re wondering. And sure, I can make a green smoothie and mix my greens with fruits, but I also hate doing dishes and I love products that make things easier for me. I’m all about convenience. Sure, a green smoothie would probably be better, but do I really want to wash the blender just to take a smoothie to work that’ll probably liquefy by the time I want to start munching? Nope. I sure don’t. Oh, did I mention it’s really delicious? I personally love the apple, mango, and kale. Try it. In my grocery store it’s in the juice aisle.

4. Mixed Chicks
So I’m mixed, as some of you know. My mother is Asian, and my father is African-American. When I was a kid my mother would do my hair, and she did the best she could.. but you know, our hair isn’t alike. I was solely raised by my father from when I was 11 until I graduated high school. So you can only imagine the adventures I’ve had with my hair. My dad would’ve been satisfied if I just chopped my hair off and rocked a fade like he did, and when he wasn’t convincing me to do that, he’d try to convince me to dump a tub of grease in my hair. Yuck. Then finally he let me get my hair relaxed (chemically straightened) when I was 13. The straight hair was normally how I’d wear my hair for most, if not all, of my teenage years. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I found a solution to for my hair that would enable me to wear it curly most of time and only sometimes straighten it, because straightening it all the time is both a hassle and bad for my hair (dry to the max). Mixed Chicks worked wonders. My hair is incredibly soft after and so much more manageable. My hair washing routine starts with their shampoo, followed by smothering my hair with their deep conditioner and then brushing it with a wide tooth comb in the shower. After, I let it sit for a few minutes before I rinse it out. NO brushing after it’s dry. I follow it up by adding Curls Cream Brulee (another amazing product) to my wet hair and letting it dry. Afterwards my hair looks big and curly and I feel FIERCE for a couple of days, but only a couple. I now actually learned to love my naturally curly hair, which I rejected for most of my life to be quite honest. I’m really happy I’m seeing more products for the racially-ambiguous, such as myself. Times are changing, y’all! Mixed Chicks, FTW.

5. Tone It Up 3rd Annual Bikini Series
Tone it Up is a lifestyle blog centered around fitness and good health. They have a ton of useful information, from recipes to workout routines– with helpful printouts. They halso ave a great line of products, including their own protein (which I use), their own nutrition plan, and a workout video. This week they just kicked off their annual bikini series! It is an 8-week program designed to get you bikini ready for the summer. They post daily workouts to make sure you’re keeping up, occasional recipes, and tips to help you along your journey. They encourage people participating to check in with them, via-instagram and Twitter, which helps with accountability and helps you keep track of your progress, which is essential to any fitness routine. The bonus is it’s free to join. I incorporate it in with my daily routines, which is quite the challenge, but so worth it! Another bonus? They’re giving away prizes throughout the whole program, so hurry up and join! I’ll be doing it with you.

And so we meet again.. Saturday. Oh man. I swear I’ll get this done before midnight one of these Fridays.

Friday Five

I’ve decided to do a weekly list of five things I’m loving, because who doesn’t love lists of stuff?! More than loving lists of stuff, I love to make lists of stuff I love. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and it won’t be correlated items at all times, but hey! It’ll be interesting and hopefully you’ll find something that will pique your interest. And without further ado..

Friday Five

1. Penny Chic by Shauna Miller
I first heard of these dresses through Style Me Grasie’s post about the utility dress you see in the photo. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the pictured dress and was even more floored by the price– get this, a whopping $20. Now, let me tell you as I get older I find myself getting rid of so many of my clothes and favoring quality of quantity, but I kept seeing great reviews of Shauna Miller’s dress line for Walmart and thought for that price it’s worth a shot. I had to order it online, and it only took a few days. I got it in this week and was amazed at the quality and fit for that price. It fit like a glove and hugged my curves in the most perfect way! I highly recommend trying one of her dresses on at your local Walmart, or order it online. Every woman needs an LBD that can easily be dressed up or down and you can get it on a budget and look fabulous with Penny Chic dresses!

2. The Wheatfield Etsy Shop
I’ve been a fan of Katie Daisy’s prints for quite some time. You may have seen her work in Target a couple years back, Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters, or your local book or stationary store. I swear I see her artwork everywhere now! I love her artwork for its’ whimsy quality and the inspiring prints just make me smile whenever I see them. Also, I find that they make great gifts for friends! It’s unexpected and pleasant to the eyes if I do say so myself. I, myself, own 3 of her prints and have them up and around my house.

3. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner
Ok, I must preface this by saying I don’t wear a ton of makeup. I like to spend less than ten minutes putting my face on, and move on with my day. However, I do like to add a little somethin’ somethin’ every now and again. I first spotted this liner on Nene Leakes when I was watching The View. This simple line of glitter over her smokey grey eye shadow made me so intrigued. It was the simplest thing but it just made her eyes light up. From that point forward I was obsessed and was on a mission to find it! Lucky for me, and thanks to Google, it took me approximately 2 seconds to find the product and I purchased it the following weekend. It was compulsive of me, but I do not regret it! I get quite a few compliments on it, and it’s just enough to make people look without being too much. Can I just say– I was watching The View this week and Maria Menounous had it on too and that further cemented the fact that I do no regret spending nearly $20 for eyeliner.

4. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream
I’m a product whore. I love to try new things. I’ll buy stuff just for the cute packaging even if I have 5 other comparable unopened products. However, I hardly change my face cleansing routine. I’ve been a hardcore user of Pond’s dry face cream for decades. I’m serious, decades. My mom used to put it on my when I was a baby, and I still use it now. Well, until I got a couple of samples of this in my Birchbox a couple of months ago. From those little samples, I got about 4 days use out of it. Let me tell you.. it felt like butter sinking into my face. I’ve never really had issues with my face anyway, except an occasional baby pimple now and then. I have combination skin so moisturizing is a must in a product for me. My skin has always been soft, but this.. this elevated the skin on my face to a whole different level! Sure it costs an arm and a leg compared to what I was used to, BUT my face radiates just a little more and is so noticeably softer. I don’t think I can turn back. I can’t. I won’t. Try it, I don’t regret one penny spent on it.

5. Half the Sky Movement
I’m going to end my list on a more serious note and talking about Half the Sky. Half the Sky is a movement started by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn from their book titled Half the Sky. It’s about the oppression of women and children worldwide and the changes happening to overcome certain obstacles. It covers sex trafficking, education of women, gender-based violence, forced prostitution, and maternal mortality and people who are offering solutions to these problems. I think this movement is so important to our time. I often think that sometimes we’ve come so far in women’s rights, but then I think– in the grand scheme of things we really haven’t. We’re still fighting for our rights to have a choice in what we do with our own body here in the US! That’s incredibly ridiculous, and I look forward to the day when I look back and see how backwards we once were. But anyway– this movement talks more about women’s rights from a global perspective. As much ugly there is in the world, it is so lovely to see others help others. I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the documentary. I believe you should see it too, not just you– your mom, your best friend, your neighbor. Everyone should see it. It is both inspiring and eye opening. Some of of the statistics would amaze you, for instance–

  • Women aged 15 through 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.
  • One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime
  • Trafficking for sexual exploitation is one of the fastest-growing organized crimes, generating $27.8 billion each year.
  • And those are just a few that stick out at me at this moment. Don’t just take my word for it though, watch it. It’s available on Netflix, so no excuses for most of you. It’ll make you cry, grab some tissues. I think for people to be aware of what is going on is healthy though. It opens your eyes to things we just don’t typically have in our minds, and hopefully it will inspire you like it has me. It touches me so much because I was born in a third world country. Sure, I was not raised in it, but my mother was and through her eyes I see the world differently. When I see some people in these documentaries, I see my family and see that the horrible things that can happen to these young girls can happen to someone related to me. I see my mother busting her butt to help make where she came from a better place. Last time I spoke with my mother she told me she had a small church built in her former village and I literally almost cried on the phone because she’s so inspiring to me, in so many ways than I ever let anyone know. This documentary is inspiring to me. And if anything, this documentary will make you stop and thank God you have what you do, but I also hope it inspires you :-).

    On a side note– I know this actually posted on Saturday, but you’ll soon learn that I’m quite the procrastinator. Honestly though, it’s barely Saturday.