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.
This year we will definitely be attending the highlight event (in our opinion) Artscape, which showcases local lesbian (and not-so-lesbian) art work. So with that in mind we decided to overdose on some lesbian art, in the form of film. Huān yíng to Saving Face.
Woo hoo! I am back from an amazing trip to the Dominican Republic for my sistar’s birthday.
I had a wonderful time with really cool women, but I must admit I missed my fellow lezzies. I forgot how it is to be surrounded by straight women, having completely straight conversations. Chiiiiile.
I know I am going to be in a whole house full of “us” next week for our Lesbians of Color Dinner Party, but I needed a quick fix NOW. So since my money is still in pesos, I decided to go head deep into some good ol’ lesbian films last night.
The movie that I watched “Family” has been stalking me on Amazon for a while. I kept looking at it and ending up watching something else… Why you might ask? Because I am cheap… like “2.99 to rent a movie is CRAY when I can watch hundreds for free” kind of cheap. But I am EXTREMELY happy I bit the bullet and spent them coins.
The semester is finally over. I am completely happy regarding my career move decision and finally some old demons are being put to rest, so let’s get back to the lez.
And no we aren’t going to get into my POF stories just yet,though I am going to dinner with a hookee (e not er) tomorrow.
After 15 minutes trying to watch a HORRENDOUS camp-done-wrong movie about drag king pirates… Don’t ask… I browsed through my favorite genre, the documentary, looking for something to replace the brain cells. I was really pleased to stumble upon Last Call at Maud’s directed by Paris Poirier.
I am up early this morning sipping on a well deserved and needed cup of joe. Yesterday night was the Miami Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce‘s Yellow Gala, one of the annual must-attend events for the Miami LGBT elite. (I have no idea how they let me slip in the door…. *shrugs*). I saw some familiar faces and met some new lovely people.
Special hugs and kisses to George and Sean (the Southern Gentlemen — by way of New York), the legendary Elaine Lancaster, James Brown and the Perry Ellis team, Rafa of Wire Magazine (I have a leopard blazer to squeeeeeze into), the GIRLSSSSSS Kathleen and Cindy of Lucky Strikes, my incomparable Karen Brown (I will sip the tea I have.. but I won’t spill it), little Miss Shayna (I’m calling you from Heathrow) and everyone else that made the night wonderful. Here are some flicks… yes I will invest in a camera if I feel I must keep taking pictures #finejudgeme.
Kendrick Doll is MY makeup artist. Jealous?
Amazing couple. Loved playing name that tune. Hi George and Sean!
She was like a glowing incarnation of my Phantom of the Opera Pandora Channel
His jacket gave me life! I plan to play in his closet.
Love this picture. You guys look so handsome
Ladies don’t drink we sip
Hi Ladies. The lovely Tiffany Fantasia and the legendary Elaine Lancaster
Lovely and Legendary
Lovely couple from Perry Ellis International
Elaine giving face. Have you gotten your Elaine Lancaster lip gloss yet?