Trusting Your Process

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Please tell me, how do body and esteem issues creep up into our pregnancies?
From maternity photos to pregnancy vlogs, watching other women and thinking... "her bump looks perfect...her stomach is so pretty and smooth...her belly button has popped out...when will I feel my baby kick like so and so did at 18 weeks...why have I gained x lbs while she gained z lbs."

There are so many things to worry about during pregnancy. It is a joyous time but can easily become very stressful. So throughout my creation journey I adapted ways of thinking to overcome unnecessary anxiety and achieve higher esteem. I'll keep it all the way funky and share 3 with you here.

1. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Allow yourself to feel joy! You cannot do that if your worried about someone else's journey. There is more than one way to arrive at the same destination. Although my stomach is more rounded now, it took longer than I thought so I began to research pregnant bellies. Through many forums I found that there are, what they call, B bellies, and apron bellies. I began to try and categorize myself. Why do we feel it necessary to box yourself into a certain demo? I mean, why can't I just be happy that I am carrying life in my womb regardless of the shape of my belly. Why complain to my husband that I look fat instead of pregnant when WE knew and our LOVED ONES knew. My attempt to normalize began to bother me and I'm glad I caught myself early. This is not what pregnancy is. Pregnancy is a beautiful blessing that comes in all shapes and sizes. So, relish in your uniqueness. All of this new 40 pounds is mine and my babies. These few new skin tags are here and in weird places. My heavy breasts started as Ds and are now into the double maybe triple. And it's all me! My beauty, my body!!! All experiences welcome.

2. Uplift yourself

UPLIFT YOURSELF!!! I cannot stress this enough. You're already flooded with hormones that make you tired and irritable, so why be miserable by feeling less of your experience. Amongst all of the planning, and preparing its okay to remind yourself to relax. Be present in the moment. Pregnancy, like anything else, goes by so quickly. So sit still and feel those kicks. Commit to memory what they feel like. Take time to bond with your unborn baby but don't forget to do the things that you enjoyed doing before. Positive affirmations that you write or say daily will help you along your journey. It'll give baby a dose of good energy too. Remind yourself that you are a BADASS woman doing a thing only women can do. Your body is bending, stretching, and opening up to bring a new life and that is amazing, regardless of your doubts or hang ups. You are important! You are strong! You are necessary!

3. Trust your Body

From day one of finding out I was pregnant I was on google. Now while there are plenty of informative articles and help forums, it can sometimes becoming overwhelming. The anxiety of miscarriages and uncertainty of pregnancy can become too much if you let it. Your body knows what to do! When you trust in the process of pregnancy you can have more peace during the ride! I'm not saying don't pay attention to warning signs. I'm saying to not let it envelope you. Inform yourself, but don't let the information bombard you.

Birthing is not a disease to be treated. God has designed this system perfectly with no help from you (other than the obvious :) ). Once you realize birthing is nothing to fear it becomes a normal process to you. Women since the beginning of time have done this so relax, you're in good company.

Baby and I have a little over 2 more months to go! Wowzers. Are you pregnant now or have you had children? What things did you do to be present in your pregnancy?


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Today I danced with you in the shower. We danced to "A Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington/John Coltrane, and "Wild is the Wind" by Nina Simone. From what I've read you began to hear me around 18 weeks but I know that you've always heard me. You've always felt me and my energy and now I can feel you. I enjoy our dances together. Throughout all the hustle and bustle of my day I can finally slow it down and remind myself that you've been with me all day.

Your spirit has already been assigned to me. So during our shower dances my words to you are... 

"You are safe with me"
"Your daddy and I can't wait to meet you"
"You are beautiful"
"I love you"

I'll always dance with you little girl. Mommy will always dance with you.

From finding out I was pregnant I decided to make my first experience with pregnancy as spiritual as possible. After all I am bringing a life into the world through my own personal portal. How more spiritual can you get? I had my eye on the beautiful art work from Studio Spirit Y Sol. Her meditation deck of cards are beautiful hand drawn miniature art cards designed to assist you with focusing on positive words.

I had no idea that for the first months the only thing I could focus on was trying to stay awake and trying to muster up enough energy to deal with work. There are 25 cards in the deck, I decided it would be perfect to focus on one word per week. I'll randomly select a card until the process is complete.

I hope to, but I may not get around to sharing all 25 sentiments. You'll have to let me know if you'd be interested in my weekly thoughts surrounding this deck of cards.

This weeks word... DANCE.

Fall is Here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Woke up this morning and mopped around for my usual 5 minutes. Then suddenly I exclaimed YES!!! This isn't my typical morning behavior, so of course I sparked Sean's curiousity. After he asked I explained my excitement was because it's almost October! Anyone who knows me knows I love scary shit! So, I'm super excited for the scary movie marathons. Also for the return of American Horror Story and The Walking Dead.

I'm not only excited about my horror genre overload. I am extremely excited about the Fall Fashion. Fall is my absolute favorite season! I can't wait to wear my sweaters tucked into my jeans with a bomb pair of mules. Or my blazers and knee boots!! Not to mention, leather bombers, furs, and wool hats! Bring it on Fall! 

Lynark Synard Tee: Walmart (this one is dope too!) // Pants: Thrifted // Shoes: Topshop // Crossbody: Thrifted

View some of my favorite Fall loves here on pinterest!

Shop Similar looks below.


Mother of This Dark Skinned Girl

Friday, September 2, 2016

If you haven't read my writing entitled "Dear Dark Girl," you can read it here.
My mother wrote the most moving response and put it on my facebook page. I want to share it with you here...
To the audience:

 I am the mother of this dark skinned daughter, this beautiful life called Jazmine Jade!

“Look at her ears”...Yeah, she’ll get darker, you can tell by the baby’s ears.”
My response: I hope she will!...
"You sure do love color on her, don’t you?"
My response: "She’ll wear whatever color I put on her!"
"Will you keep her hair in braids?"
 I could go on, but you get the picture. These are some of the questions posed to me, as the mother of a little dark skinned girl. And that was from the dark complected side of her family.
Bless their hearts, they subdued their hue in blacks and blues!

 Subdue my daughter’s hue...not on your life. She had no deficiency, she was blessed with a melanin proficiency! How do you tell an eight year old, that in essence, light complexions translate as "racially similar" to whites and therefore whites (and some of us) feel more comfortable accepting these shades of African Americans.
But how I did adorn her! Her rich pigment has always mesmerized me, how it took color so well! I loved yellow,but always felt like it washed me out. But to me, through my daughter’s bronzeness everything was enhanced...

 Through teen times, and as she grew older,there were older dark skinned women who found a certain acquaintable appeal with my daughter. Being that she was smart, vibrant and included, she was progress to their senior dark girl selves. "You are beautiful", they would say to her. You could tell that they wished someone had told them that when they were younger. 

“Because I am dark, the moon and the stars shine brighter” -
Joyce Carol Thomas.

 To my daughter: 
 By now I hope you know that the jokes tossed at you during your lifetime did not weigh anything compared to the richness in your deep skin tone. All that you can do is be beautiful in the skin you’re in, and challenge yourself to stay within that realm of thinking, with a head held high. You don’t need to provide any explanation as to why your shaded skin is its complexion. All you need is a strengthened level esteem – provided by God’s stamp and yourself.
I challenge you to drink esteem and feed on what you know to be true. You are one example of perfection, in which a higher power gave life to. You have a skin tone, that’s luxurious and timeless like the finest and purest wines. I challenged you to be beautiful, (when you doubted you could wear your hair natural) no matter what your public may have to say. For dark skin is a jewel, and your acceptance of it will be your riches. I challenge you dark skinned daughter, to love yourself – above all, anything, and anyone that tells you different. I challenge you to be beautiful, above all strife and ignorance. 
We are color struck
The way an artist strikes
His canvas with his brush of many hues
Look closely at these mirrors
these palettes of skin
Each color is rich
in its own right
Baby, there is nothing basic about your black. Your black is dazzling and distinctive!




10 Things to know before you attend Afro Punk

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What a fuckin' experience. I mean wow. So much peace, tranquility, and beauty. I will definitely be going again. Here are 10 things you need to know before attending Afro Punk.

1. There will be an abundance of beauty!!!!! Beautiful women, beautiful men. Men dressed as kings, women baring nipples. Beauty everywhere you turn. It's an overwhelming feeling because the beauty is not only outwards but in the peaceful spirits of the people there. People are happy, vibing, dancing, and feeling. You will have people complimenting you, smiling, and just showing outwardly love. 

2. Be as outlandish as you want to be!! Seize this moment. I mean how often will you get to wear a crown of jewels? How often will you get to adorn yourself with a ton of metallic tattoos? You may not often get to express yourself through fashion everyday, especially if you work a 9-5. So now is not the time to be demure. Wear your feather headdresses and face paint. Rock your pink wig and your nipple flowers!!!! You'll be in good company. Also there will be photographers of major magazines and media outlets.

3. This may not be a no brainer to some so...Wear comfortable shoes!! Be careful about wearing sandals with little coverage because your feet will look like you walked through volcanic ash at the end of the day. I mean I literally looked like I walked the streets of Pompei without shoes. On the other hand at least you can wash your feet. Be careful not to wear any shoes you don't want to destroy, i.e. white or new sneakers.

4. It will be extremely crowded!! If you are not a person for crowds or get nervous around thousands of people, this is not the place for you. Some of the more mainstream artist will have so many people at their performance that the area may become uncomfortable, depending on the size. 

5. This one is really important for bloggers and photography enthusiast....they do not allow cameras with detachable lens. Make sure to take all of your blog worthy photos before the event because once you are in there your smart phone pics will be the best you can get. Unless you happen to be photographed by one of the people covering media for the event.

6. Be ready to shop! Budget for some spending. There will be so many vendors there with unique items. T-shirts, jewelry, art, vintage, body products, etc. Of course you'll want to leave with something that will remind you of your experience there.

7. Go with your friends who will vibe with you. You don't want to be with someone who isn't a music lover or someone who'll be a "debbie downer" at a festival. Go with a crew that is fun loving and ready for the experience.

8. The music will be phenomenal. Not only the artists but the DJs too. The DJ at the main stage in Brooklyn was on point! She played everything from Crime Mobb's "Knuck if you Buck" to K.p. and Envyi's "Shawty Swing My Way". It was seamless. You will dance. You'll be sweaty. But you'll love every minute of it. 

9. There will be plenty of food options. Don't worry about being hungry. Vegans, and my fellow vegetarians, there will be options for you too. When you buy a box of water, the refills are free. Make sure you stay hydrated. 

10. Download the app!!! Yes, Afropunk has their own app. The app gives you a wealth of information. It will tell you where the entrance to the festival is. Most importantly, it will give details on all of the performances, what time they come on, and which stage they will be on. It's also an amazing way to know what activities will go on at AfroPunk after dark. 

(Pictures to follow are not my work. Pictures pulled from Instagram's #Afropunk. Most images from @dreadedphoto.) 

AfroPunk is definitely not just a breathtaking experience. It is an entire culture. A lifestyle. 

No Sexism.
No Racism. 
No Ableism.
No Ageism.
No Homophobia.
No Fatphobia.
No Transphobia.
No Hatefulness.

But most importantly. Good vibes!!!

Weekend in Brooklyn

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blouse: Thrifted // White: Bra top: Target // Pants: Thrifted // Sandals: Zara // Headpiece: Asos

Vacation is my favorite word. Slaycation, a necessary derivative. So when you and some of your good betties decide to go on a trip, especially to New York, a good time and good clothes are inevitable.

Some more choices for a similar look....

Overrobe: Thrifted // Bralet: Forever 21 // Jeans: Thrifted // Boots: Public Desire at Asos // 
Crossbody: Thrifted

I was so excited to find a bralet that fit these D cups!! Forever 21+ is kinda stepping their game up. I feel like I am more myself when I am wearing some hobo glam. This piece was once a zippered dress, but I preferred to wear it open so I made a small change to it. 

Notice how almost everything I'm wearing is from thrifting. You don't have to break the bank to be stylish on your vacation! Stay tuned for my next post and more info on our amazing trip. Plus 5 things to know about going to Afropunk.

Shop the look below!

Dear dark girl,

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I used to want a hickey. I had my teenage boyfriend suck and bite on my neck until I thought I'd have a bruise to brag about. I could never get a damn hickey. Blame the dark skin.

My mother, the first woman I ever wanted to be, was a fox!! Ex-model. Chameleon. She could do it all. I was her little chocolate drop, but I didn't have a drop of her light brown/reddish complexion. My complexion I had to thank my daddy for. The perfect combination of my two loves. My mother instilled in me a fierce confidence. The knowledge of my beauty and capabilities. But there still comes a time when the world tries to become your teacher.

Kids can be so cruel, and after hearing so many times that my mother wasn't my mother, couldn't be, well why was I so dark?...I began to wish I were lighter. Why can't I be redder like my mom and my grandma? I remember being told not to use vasoline to moisturize because if I went into the sun with it on my skin I'd get blacker and stay blacker. I definitely didn't want that. I wanted to be beautiful like my momma. Like Jasmine Guy. Like Vanessa Williams. Like Lisa Bonet. Like Tia and Tamara. Like Aaliyah. Like Tyra Banks.

Sometimes when I dried my hair after washing it I would let the towel hang and pretend that the touch of the towel on my back was a long straight mane. Freshly washed and hanging down nice and perfect. We didn't have virgin, brazilian and Yaki growing up in the 90s but I definitely made use of my synthetic braids and weave ponytails. And don't even get me started on the blue contacts I started wearing in middle school. Everyone was doing it, but I guess I didn't realize that having temporary blue eyes was me looking into the mirror and not seeing my dark brown eyed soul clearly.

As a tween I began to identify with a #girlcrush on a dark skinned woman who was beautiful on my TV and radio. Meelah Williams, of the singing group 702, was the LEAD singer of a girl group! Not in the background, but the lead. She was so amazing to me. Her skin was glowy, she was talented, and she was my complexion. Every girl needs role models that look like her and although there have been others, she was influential in beginning to change the views on my own beauty. I was 13 years old when their first album came out in 1996. Soon after as a budding teen I began watching Lauren Hill, Jill Marie Jones, Regina King, Naomi Campbell, Brandy as Moesha, Gabrielle Union, and Tichina Arnold.


After maturation I realized that there was Grace Jones, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson, and Pearl Bailey. But, still today at 33, I am pleasantly surprised when I see a dark skinned woman as the love interest in a music video. When I see a darker skinned woman playing the wife of the main man in a popular movie. Do I see it often enough? Sadly no. Especially in the cultural times when a foreign chick (or close to foreign looking as possible) is a badge of honor. Where's the honor in my skin? Where's the honor in my nappy coils?

Today I feel like younger girls see so many successful darker skinned women represented daily, and that is amazing! Viola Davis, Teyonnah Paris, Kelly Rowland, Tika Sumpter, Anika Noni Rose, Janelle Monae, Lupita Nyong'o, and MICHELLE Obama to name a few.

When I have my chocolate girl I will make sure she knows her beauty, just like my mom did for me. I just hope that when society starts to teach her that her beauty is abnormal, that she will be able to function through it. She'll appreciate her kinky hair, big lips, and wide nose. She'll be able to love herself loudly. She'll see through the praise her hair gets only when her hair is straightened. She'll ignore the stares of men who see her as a dark skinned fantasy and not what's underneath. She'll understand that she is not pretty for a dark skinned girl, but JUST PRETTY. The abundance of her melanin will be a blessing and not a curse. She can affectionately but assertively state that her beauty standards are just that...HERS!

I see and understand that my beauty is just that MY beauty. Each has their own. But it took a long time to fully 100% love Jazmine Jade, and I will not apologize for doing it out loud! Some of you women had a head start, but you better believe the catch up is real. It's full speed ahead and no signs of slowing down. Love yours.