So I know I am often late to the party… it’s not because I don’t want to be there but sometimes I take the scenic route. That’s how I feel about queer artist Kelela and her song “Bank Head”
This is not new by any stretch of the imagination (it came out in 2013) but I heard it just a while ago on set for the first time. I didn’t know who sang it or even the name but it was a vibe that my spirit needed. A lightning speed download of Shazam later (which I didn’t even know was still around) and I was on it. Ever since I have listened to it no less that 50 times, each time vibing like it is brand new.
Chocolate City born, second-generation Ethiopian American, Kelela who was featured on Solange’s Scales, is the epitome of dope black queer everythingness. Her beauty alone is stark and stunning. Hard stop. But once I fell into the rabbit hole that is Al Gore’s internet, I realized her voice was strong and impactful even outside of the studio. She speaks vulnerably and honestly about her experiences in life, love and the black experience. *deep gutteral sigh*
When I close my eyes and hear this song, I picture a dark club where everyone is dancing in what seems like a blur except for me and HER. Lasers of different colors cascade over our glistening black bodies as we move slowly to the drop beat… yeah it is one of those songs. Sexuality in plain sight until… as the song goes “time goes by”
I have been really excited and in love with my morning routine for the last few weeks.
For those that know me, I have been on a whole life affirming journey. As I am working on my next upcoming chapter (more coming — stay tuned), I have realized that I need to be more diligent and deliberate in how I spend my time and reach my goals.
I am a creature of habit. Both good habits and bad, if I’m honest. When my life is a mess, it is a BIG MESS. When my life is on an upward trajectory, I am a whole mood. I have to be intentional about every aspect of my life so I decided the morning is the way to set the pace. Is it just me or if you have a great morning, your day goes better?
For the record, this post is for sure not trying to get you to do my routine. It is just a post to share how I figured out what works for me and hopefully it will give you a little zhuzh  …I know for ME my routine gets me feeling awake, productive and affirmed before the day starts going. Here goes…
I used to hate waking up. For some reason, my body knows exactly when my alarm is getting ready to go off, which coincidentally felt like 5 minutes before I was supposed to wake up. Every morning without fail l, I would hit the snooze button 3 times before I actually got up. By the last buzzer, I was jumping up and running around the house in order to get out of the house for work. It started my day feeling stressed out and rushed. And often my day would continue just like that.
I have now moved my charger and phone to the other side of the room so I have to physically get up and go turn it off. By the time I focus my eyes and make the first step, I am up. For full disclosure, I have been tempted to walk back over to the bed once or twice (I’m still growing) but for the most part I have kept it moving.
Set the mood.
Once I have my slippers on, I make my way to my half bathroom.
For the most part I am a night shower-er (unless I have gotten up super early or need a little extra), so my half bathroom is my zen place for my facial routine. The first thing that I do is light my candles. I have been in love with the candles I have been using from Queen Mary Candle, Co here in Miami. They are hand poured and smell amazing. I sent batches out in my birthday gift boxes this year. They were hit.
Next I activate the “Daily Affirmations” on my Amazon Fire dot. Today I was told that I am strong, healthy and powerful. I repeat my affirmation 4 or 5 times in a row while I am setting up my skincare.
Once I have gotten ready, I start my Anthony Hamilton Pandora channel. Aside from the fact that I love his music, the channel has a great mix of soulful tunes and spiritual music. It will go from Solange to Tamela Mann to Jaheim. It is a good time, and I can pretend I am on the newest episode of Sunday Morning Best or the Voice.
Wash On. Wash Off.
So I am trying to decide if I should make this part a separate blog post. I worked with April King of Glamour Impulse to create the best regimen for my daily skin care. I have added a few tweaks to it but it has definitely made my skin reach a new level of bombness. Between her blog, her Instagram and her YouTube channel, I am very excited about what she is going to introduce me to next .
Let’s just say, I do 7-10 steps every morning and a varied routine every night. Yes I will definitely do another post full of product links later. The response that I have gotten from those who have seen me has been so positive. I work in the fashion and beauty industry for my 9 to 5, so when a legit celebrity makeup artist  gives you a high five… you take it.
Most of the times I don’t wear makeup but definitely make sure my face is moisturized and the rest of my body is shea buttered up.
So after I have revived my skin, I take a moment and revive internally. Since I am doing intermittent fasting, I don’t have breakfast but I make sure to drink my first 8 oz of water before I get dressed.
I blow out my candle (because I don’t want to burn my house down) and say bye to Alexa. I am ready to go.
With everything going on, I was struggling to find my peace and my happy. I felt anxious about going to work, I felt guilty for having a job to go to. It was an odd mix of survivors’ guilt and feeling like a sacrificial lamb. With the help of loving friends and self reflection, I have gotten better at being ok. On the way to work, I text some of the most important people in my life. I chat with my friend Gennie, I send a daily check in on Mama K Word and have now introduced a new “love on y’all” text with my sisters. Everyone of them sow positivity and light into my life, so I want to start their days off with some too.
Now let’s keep it real. Does this routine happen perfectly every day? Nah. Nope. Chiiiiile. Do I feel bad when I miss a step or two? Only for a second. The best thing about the routine is that it has a lasting effect. If I mess up one day, the affirmation and love from the day before keeps me going until I get back on target the next day.
In general use, ‘zhuzh’ tends to mean “to improve in appearance by way of a slight adjustment.” Sidenote I legit that zhuzh was a Yiddish word that old Jewish mothers used over mahjong… Guess I was wrong. Shout out to Carson from Queer Eye.
I have purchased many high end candles in my day but I love these. They last 2 weeks and are fun to try out. (I have one fragrance for my morning routine and another for my evening routine).
Though my wallet is looking a little nervous. Beauty hurts… my bank account.
Celebrity artist like iconic, A lister, supermodel knowing celebrity artist. No shade to instagram celebs.
Tiffany. Tiffany. Tiffany. Where have you been all my life?
* head shaking and mouth pursed *
You just spoke life into my whole existence… four years after this song released.
Cali native, Tiffany Gouché is a legit musical phenom. She has worked with a little bit of everyone from Ty Dolla $ign to Jill Scott to mutha Lauryn Hill.
And if you know you know her, but don’t know why you know her, she was a part of the Black and Sexy TV webseries back in the day as well.
But that is all very 2010s, let’s get into now.
When I started listening to this song today…and let the record show I have listened to it twice, I was shooketh. The visuals and movement took me to a place I needed to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the dance homage to the ORIGINAL She’s Got to Have It (intentional or not) that had me grooving at my desk.
The message was timeless. Haven’t we all had that friend that we know is just a friend… but you want to tell your fantasies to? Just me? shrugs
Well I have written posts on here while all over the country, but today is definitely a first. I am coming to you live and in color from my… bathroom. Yeah fellas, this might not be the post for you because today I am writing about Yoni Steaming. Yes it is exactly what you think it is.
First things first, let’s discuss what yoni steaming is. Yoni steaming, which is also called vagina steaming, is kind of like a facial for your vagina. While you are sitting on a herb filled pot of hot (but not boiling) water, the steam rises through your lady parts and gives it a little pick me up. The herbs tone and rejuvenate your vajajay inside and out.
Now I have heard of yoni steaming over the years a handful of times. This isn’t some new fad at all. Yoni steaming can be seen in different cultures for hundreds of years. Women all over the world use it as part of their self care routine. This time, I decided to actually give it a go. Marty mentioned it during one of our sister chats (along with April) and I knew it was a sign. The benefits of yoni steaming seemed great, with some that definitely peaked my interest.
Improve period bleeding that is brown or black in colour.
Reduce period pain and discomfort
Helps to restore bacterial and PH balance to aid in prevention of infections, bacterial vaginosis and odor.
Detoxify your mind, body and soul
Before I get any further, and I am sure that most of you already know this BUT your vagina is self cleaning. So while this “cleanses”, your vagina doesn’t need any help.
So off to Amazon I went for my Sew Right starter kit. I know I know there are herbalists and healers that create their own but I wanted to introduce it into my Sunday self care routine ASAP.
I chose the Female Rituals Steam Therapy (1 Ounce) package. The two reasons I went with this one was that a) it was the brand that Marty recommended and b) they had a small 1 oz offering (enough for 1-2 steams), so I could try them out.
As I write and steam, I can tell you some first impressions. It smells really floral and has a calming effect that I like. Before I even sat down, the aroma took over my house. It is like a really fragrant herbal tea. The scent plus the steam are giving me a really relaxed feeling. The tensions of my week are melting away, if only for a minute. I can definitely see myself having a good rest after I finish this and my pamper day skincare routine.
Now you can use a pot and sit it in your toilet but… yeah that was a no for me. Or you can get really fancy and buy a Yoni Steam Chair but… while I am down to buy a bougie item or two for selfcare day… that was also a no for me.
This sitz bath sat right into my toilet with a vent space and once I am done I will be able to simply dispose of the herbs and wash it out for next time.
So here are the steps that I did.
Put the sitz bath in the toilet with half a package (1/2 an ounce of herbs)
Boiled water in my tea pot and poured the hot water into the mix.
Steep herbs for 10 minutes in the water
Grabbed a bottle of water so I didn’t get dehydrated and got undressed.
Covered myself with a blanket to keep in the steam and put my laptop on top
Blogged with you all in tow. (Next time I think I will read a book)
Steamed for about 20-25 minutes.
Disposed of the herbs and rinsed the sitz
Laying down with the rest of my water for a bit, finishing up this post and watching Living Single on Hulu.
I plan to definitely incorporate yoni steaming into my moon cycles. They say to do it a week before your period (but definitely not while on your period). I am getting conflicting information about how often to do it, but I think for myself I would like to do it 2-3 times a month on my Sunday ritual. I feel so relaxed and in tune to “her” right now and I want to keep that going.
Have you ever done a Yoni Steam aka Vaginal Steaming? How did you like it? How do you incorporate it into your routine? Do you have any tips for someone using it? Comment below and tell me what you think. Can’t wait to hear from you!
But you are definitely welcome to stay. We are all inclusive over here.
I really should have included a drinking game where you have to take a shot every time I say ANY word equivalent to vagina.
I will do that post next week maybe as part of the two part series.
Just watched the episode where Kyle sang the draws off of Max. I so loved them.
I know… I know. I have been slacking on my blogging. There have been a lot of new developments in the world according to Kristi that I hope to share with you guys soon.
We just back this weekend from a really relaxing time in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos so I wanted to share some tips.
Turks and Caicos has the reputation of being a very expensive island to visit. We read stories of people having to take out loans for sunscreen and selling plasma to pay for drinks at the bar. While that wasn’t our experience, I can see how that happens. We did extremely well sticking to our budget but it was definitely a plan. Continue reading Tips to a Big Fun/Small Budget Trip to Turks and Caicos #KKDays→
In Our Own Voices, would like to extend an invitation for you to attend: 2016 National LGBT POC Health Conference, Unity Through Diversity: The Power of Unity. This event will take place October 12-15, 2016 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, in Albany, New York. The Power of Unity brings you towards a more holistic, inclusive and intersectional movement that includes advocating for social justice for the LGBT people of color communities. Continue reading 2016 National LGBT POC Health Conference (Albany, NY: October 2016)→
Well well well, here’s another one and another one. Yes I am pretending I am a rapper instead of a blogger… and what?
hits b-girl stance
Like most series on this blog, I haven’t written a KRead review in a while. But seeing that today is National Book Day, I decided to get back on the proverbial horse.
This is actually the second book I will be reviewing by Anondra “Kat” Williams. Way back when I read her first offering black girl love. For those who haven’t read it, it is an extremely sensual experience… hmm… that I might have to relive.
Fast forward five years to her newest work, Pat Greene: Her Story. I must admit, this book has been languishing in my Amazon Kindle queue for a while, but I am very happy I finally read it.
Plot Snapshot: The coming of age story of Pat Greene, a black lesbian everywoman, filled with love, loss and a little lust.