Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taking a Break

Hi Everyone,

I am a little under the weather and I need to take a personal break to get my health in order. I am not sure how long I will be away, but rest assure I will return. I am sorry for the sudden departure, but this was unexpected and without going into details, please know that if I could continue to write I would do so. I have given it much thought and know that for the sake of a speedy recovery it is best that I take a short break from blogging. Thank you for your understanding and if I do not return before the holidays I wish you all a very safe and Happy Holiday season!

Love,
Janelle

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learning from Our Past

Trying to erase your past doesn't take away the pain or the mistakes. Many times trying to erase the past only leaves holes, scars, and fragments of memories of what put you there in the first place. I started writing this as a Food for Thought during my lunch hour earlier today and then stopped and decided I would come back to it a little later. Well my Pandora was pumping out some jams during the day and "Faded Pictures" by Case and Joe started to play through my computer speakers. The song took me way back. That song was back during a time when I was going through some very difficult times.  There is one part in the song that always would get me....

"As she turned through the pages, the tears rolled down her face, I could see her reminiscing, why her life have to be this way, As she stopped and she came to a page where her diary ends To smell the scent of an old rose, from her lover I suppose"


It's funny how during those hard times you think you can't make it through, everything seems devastating and some situations seem like you can't escape. It almost feels like you are being punished for a crime you never committed. During this time of my life I was the most innocent, giving, loving, and caring, person anyone could ever meet and I just couldn't understand how my life seemed to be surrounded by hatred.  Despite my smile I was hurting so deeply, but I held it all in. 


As time progressed I grew stronger and more resilent. But it was still hard to look at the past, because I knew how painful it was.  Despite it all, I never once cut up photographs or cut people out of pictures. Instead I put them away.  As recent as last week I was going through pictures and I came across a few that made me smile again. I thought I looked so beautiful, even remembering what I was going through at that time, I still felt so good looking at the old pictures. When I say those were rough times, they were rough times. Looking back on it, I think what made it so bad is that I never shared my pain with anyone. I kept everything inside and managed to deal with my trouble on my own and at my own pace. i don't recomment that to anyone, especially not my younger readers. If you are going through something that you don't feel comfortable talking to your friends about, at the least find a trusted adult to share your troubles. I know that if I would have shared my troubles, someone would have been able to help me.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Looking at my picture the only word and outsider would have thought would have been "happy".




I think as we learn from our past and stop trying to erase what has happened, we grow and its no longer painful, it's just YESTERDAY!  So when I heard the song today, the main lyrics that stood out to me were


"Faded pictures in a broken glass, Like a mirror revealing, What the woman is feeling"  

As people we all have things we hold on to, but the past is definitely one of those things that can hinder our future if we don't let go of the hurt and anger that may linger with it. Look in your mirror and see what it reveals or is there some broken glass you want gone? If it still hurts reach out. If you don't have anyone to talk to, you are more than welcome to email me brownmindbeauty@gmail.com 




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good Old Fashion Huffy Bike

Small things make children so happy...and Mommies so emotional.

This weekend was gorgeous out. We'd just finished up the photo-shoot for the blog and had a little time to spare before it was off to visit Grandma, so we decided to go to the park.

On this particular day, when the emotions took me over, I was exhausted from the photo-shoot. I told her "We can go out, but mommy can't walk with you." I normally power walk behind her while she rides her bike. I said "This time I am just going to sit on the bench and watch you". She was so excited. She rode all around me, in laps, up and down, back and forth stopping to make new little friends. Probably the most freedom in our gated playground she's ever experienced.  

I felt tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat. {Here comes the violins} My daughter kept screaming, "Did you see me?, did you see me mommy?. I can do it, I can do it all by myself! " Then she jumped back on her "big" girl bike and sped off without any help. A tear trickled down my cheek. I remembered just months earlier we'd walked that same path, Dad holding on tightly to the back of the bike and me teasing her to not run me over as she steered recklessly in my direction. We'd all laugh and see how she was getting better each day and a little too big for her bike.

They would spend their summer trying to ride that bike and I loved to see them together. I secretly would remember my Daddy guiding the seat of my brother's old Huffy bike, as he taught me how to ride a two wheeler and before long he let go. It's something about when Dad let's go of the back of that bike.... it's like a part of childhood saying goodbye. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad thing at all. It is such a sense of freedom and accomplishment. As a parent you watch them go from riding a tricycle, to needing your help, to no longer needing your help, to riding all around....it's simply a stage in life. Your baby is growing up. In girls it seems harder to let them go with each step, or may be it's just me?

What ever the reason it is great to see how good she has gotten. For her birthday surprise last month she got her first "big"girl Huffy bike and she is so proud to show how she can do it "all by herself". Believe it or not it is already time to adjust the seat.

They grow up so fast. I know one day she won't jump in my arms when I pick her up from school and she won't wrap her arms around my neck to say "goodnight". I also know learning to ride the bike won't be the first time I cry. I'm sure she and Dad will find more ways to make me smile and get emotional. What I do know is that, the time spent with this child of mine is the best time I've ever spent on this earth. I also know I was tired that day, the simple thought of rising off the couch to go outside was exhausting, but I am so glad I did. We may get a few more warm days this fall and I have to let her put a few more miles on her bike. Next summer won't be the same. She is growing each and every day. I have to make it last. I have to remember what's more important. Someone once told me "this is not a dress rehearsal". It's your life, live it! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Food for Thought: Beyond the Moment

If we stop living in the "right now" and start living for our future we would see that some relationships that are in the "moment"are not meant to be. If we let go of what's not ours we can receive what we truly deserve. 

"I'll close my eyes
Then I won't see
The love you don't feel
When you're holding me
Mornin' will come
And I'll do what's right
Just give me till then
To give up this fight"- I Can't Make You Love Me

Sharing

I've been teaching my daughter about sharing for as long as she could understand what it meant to not always have her way or what she wants.  She is no different from any other child, sometimes she gets the concept and sometimes not so much, but overall I think she is a well rounded kid. I don't want her to grow up to be selfish and so far she is far from it.

She has always seen mommy donate items to the Goodwill or give things to friends. There is a Goodwill we visit often, but lately I have been wanting to do more. I've wished for a child that I could just give the items to directly. In the summer a friend of mines found a woman at her church whose daughters were in need of shoes, I immediately raided my daughter's closet and found more than shoes and created a care package and sent it on it's way to find a new home. The woman was very grateful. I love doing things like that, it brings me joy to know that someone is getting good use out of things. Well I decided instead of just dropping off the bags at the Goodwill, we'd do something different this time. Since we don't know anyone to directly call up and give the items to, I decided to reach out to all of.

Over the next month or so my daughter and I will be giving toys, clothes, shoes and books to a little girl in need this year ages 4-6. If you or anyone you know that lives in the Chicago-land area that would like these gently used items please leave me an email atbrownmindbeauty@gmail.com and leave me your information. If I have more than one girl in need I will divide the items evenly.  This is NOT a contest, your request and  information will remain confidential.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Last Forever

The documentary was excellent, it showcased black love and black marriages from a positive prospective. I saw this movie last year at a discussion group and a question was raised. "What comes first, love or marriage?" At the time I was one of about three single people in the room. Most people there were married, so I listened closely. I learned a lot that night and even more with the year to come. Many couples in the room spoke highly to the fact that the marriage came before the love. Couples married for decades and newlyweds all agreed and shared stories of how the marriage had to come first or there was no survival for the relationship because overtime love changes.

I've recently been thinking alot about the changes relationships go through. Withstanding the test of time. financial burdens, infidelities, miscarriages, infertilites, illnesses, deaths, and so many other obstacles. I think that the same way as God has to send your partner for marriage, you have to be prepared to be married.



I am old fashioned when it comes to love, I always have been. I've been told I was made to be a wife, but yet I am not married, reason is because it is not my time yet. I never dreamed about a wedding day or planned it in my head like most little girls, it just wasn't my thing to do. As hard as I love, I've only been in love once and that says a lot, because I think I get misunderstood often.

As the years have passed I've found so many areas within myself that have made me a better woman. A whole woman. When I marry I want to give ALL I am to my husband, be ALL that I am and take it back to the old school days when men and women lasted forever.  Back in the day love endured, families stayed entacted.  Now a days people get married today and divorced in two years. Even worse people marry for all the wrong reasons. No one seems happy. I don't want that.  One of the elderly women in the documentary spoke about being married to husband and then he passed away. I want that type of love. Until death do us part.

My parents lasted forever...I want that kinda love.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Begins, Apple Orchard and More

We went apple picking this weekend. It was so much fun. I have always wanted to go, but never had a chance. I normally wait until the weather is too rainy and cold and usually get discouraged and back out, but this year I was determined. Apple picking is a great way to experience the outdoors and when you live in a big city like Chicago, it is also a good chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Saturday morning I woke up with a migraine, which has been the norm for the past month. I think it is stress accompanied with my change of activities, so instead of sitting around and feeling bad all day I decided to pack up my daughter and niece and headed to Indiana for a girl's day out. 

September begins the apple season and it is important to dress properly for the occasion. The weather was cool but sunny for us, so we choose to dress in layers and shoes that we didn't mind getting dirty because the grounds were still wet from rain the previous days. 

The drive out was well over an hour and I knew I hit never..never land when I saw countless roadkill along the way. Still open road beats stressful daily north side traffic and it was taking my mind off the pressure my head was experiencing for the sixth day in a row this week. We went to County Line Orchard in Indiana and general admission was only $1. You pay per pound for the apples you pick, so overall the experience is definitely worth it.  Our goal was to get apples and apples only, no pony rides, no train rides, corn mazes, or whatever other activities they had set-up to have my child begging to do. LOL



We made our way around the fields on the tractors. Certain fields were closed because some apples are not ripe until later October.  We picked apples for about an hour and half. There were many to choose from. The girls had so much fun. I just washing the apples in a mild soap with lukewarm water and then rinising with water to removing and residue. Our orchard was not organic and I did see a white residue on the apples so personally I am being safe.





After we were done picking apples we headed to Steak N Shake for lunch and later to the mall for a little shopping. I will definitely add apple picking to one of my fall activities. If you decide to go or have gone this season please share your experiences.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food for Thought- All Men Aren't....

Food for Thought....

Just wanted to take a moment to recognize that all men aren't jerks, dogs, scum, cheaters, loser, dead beats, etcs. Even when situations don't work out to our liking please acknowledge the good qualities in the males that our in our lives. Maybe he wasn't the best man for you, but he sure makes a great dad. Or maybe he isn't the most romantic, but he is keeps you safe. So for today turn to a male you know that's doing it right and give him a kind word or two, you never know how that may change his day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I'm Lovin at the Moment!

What I’m Lovin at the Moment
  1. Writing again. Since school is done I now have more time to write. I absolutely LOVE to write and this week I realized it brings joy to my life and calms me when I am nervous, anxious, upset, stressed, etc. 
  2. Working Out. Again one of those things I have been using to refocus and keep moving on those down days.
  3. Skinny Cow Treats- These are delicious and over excellent portion control. I love em.
  4. My curls- I noticed my textured seems to be curlier. Feels like forever since my hair has been in its curly state and the curls are more defined than ever.
  5. Love Songs- I was a bridesmaid at a beautiful wedding last month and the bride and groom blessed us with a CD of the songs from their wedding. I must admit I am loving it. 
  6. T.V. (The idiot box) I promised myself after school I would devote a few months to T.V. and trashing reading. Hey, I need a break from so many serious issues.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pole Dancing Classes for Toddlers - Parenting.com


I heard about this on the radio a couple of months ago. Pole dancing for kids. Here is an excerpt from the article.

"Instructor Carly Wilford insists that the lessons for kids have been stripped (pun intended) of sexual aspects. “I am trying to remove the stigma from pole dancing and show that it actually helps children keep fit and learn balance, much like gym classes,” she told theDaily Mail".

You can read the entire article here Pole Dancing Classes for Toddlers - Parenting.com

Just wondering what my readers thoughts are on this. It's bad enough that so many households are missing fathers, now we want to teach the girls the one thing that a father teaches his daughter to never grow up to do. Seriously people, is this what society has come to? How can this not be classified as child pornography? What parent would let their little girl participate in this?

Thoughts and comments welcomed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Food for Thought: Oh No She Didn't

I'm diggin in the crate for new ideas. So topic for discussion, what makes a woman knowingly sleep with another woman's husband/boyfriend, or vice versa what makes a man sleep with another man's wife/girlfriend?


I am curious the thought process of the "other" woman/man. I bet some people are shaking their head saying "Oh no she sidn't". "Oh yes I did" (lol). So have at it. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome New Subscribers!

Hello out there to my new subscribers. You have not gone unnoticed. Thank you for joining me, thanks for liking my facebook page and/or following me on NetworkedBlogs. If you have not had a chance browse through my old posting and get to know me a little more. If there are topics you want to discuss feel free to comment. Again welcome, and enjoy!


Partnership??

Hi All,

I have been a ridiculously busy person this year. I have to apologize to all my subscribers about a thousand and one times, but things happen. Life changes and honestly some things are certainly out of our control. But you go on and you grow. You adjust to new surroundings and you're grateful for all that you have.

But now back to business.

Lately I've been contemplating what makes you change to be a better mate. Is it the love you have for your significant other? Is the fear of not being good enough? Is it the desire to ultimately want to be a better person?

One perspective is that as we mature, our tastes, desires, priorities, and motivations mature as well. What once found important is no longer as significant. I was speaking to a friend earlier this week about the concept of "marriage". Lately I've seen people my age and younger get married and quickly divorce in less than 3 years. Seriously??? Is that what marriage is about? So a married friend that has been married for over 15 years talked to me about the trials and tribulations of "I DO". Now this friend is 30-something so they married very young. I've watch couples that were married "until death" and others that threw in the towel because the guy wasn't making the right dollars. Now I know some unthinkable things can happen in relationships, but to what extent are (you both) willing to work?

Since I have never been married, I can not speak on the topic of marriage, but I thought it was a great topic to bring discussion. I want to hear your thoughts on the subject. The one thing I can say is that over time I have taken off my "innocent eyes" and learned that to honestly LOVE someone, you have to truly except all imperfections and be willing to compromise, share, encourage and forgive. Back when men were allowed to be a man and women were their supporters family structures remained in tact. I think as women sometimes it can be easily overlooked that men are still gentle creatures and need our attention and pampering as much as we need them. I know that we fall in and out of love with each other and if we don't have that friendship and support to continue on, it will be difficult to fall back in love when the flame burns out. There is nothing wrong with saying you need your partner, isn't the purpose of marriage  to share forever with the one person you never want to lose?

Thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Food For Thought- Where Have You Been?

"Sometimes its okay to get wrapped up in ourselves"...that's where I've been and I am learning a lot, I will share very soon. We need time to reflect on love, loss, success, failure, and maturity. I have met some inspiring people in the course of this past year. I have more than enough to share with my readers. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

All The Things...

OMG, I haven't written in months. I'm sorry. This year has been a world wind. I lost a few close people in my life, I graduated grad school, I fell in love all over again, and NOW, I must move to a new place to live. LOL, and that is just a briefing of my life. I have a lot on my mind, but what it comes down to is that I am ready to live life to fulliest. I don't like not being able to sleep because I feel overwhelmed with responsibilty.

So for the rest of the year, I am going to do ALL THE THINGS...that make ME happy! LIVE now!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food for Thought- Love Don't Grow on Trees


"Love just doesn't grow on tree"...

We've all heard the saying "money doesn't grow on trees". That statement is usually said when someone is spending unnecessarily or wanting for things without thinking about the expense. The same is true for love. There is not an endless supply of love, if you are NOT taking care of the love you have. You have to invest in love, relationships, and people if you want to get a return.

Now, I am not saying that you should go invest in things that you know will crash, however I am implying that if you have something you want to see grow, be mindful of how you treat it, or you may just wake up broke.
.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Food For Thought- Changes

Have you ever wanted to change for the better?

I've been doing some self reflecting and there are a couple of things I would like to change about myself personally. I am not speaking physically, but more on a personal level.  For example, have you wanted to spend more time with a particular friend, listen more, speak more, be more patient, be more attentive, ect. Has anyone successfully made a change in there life that made them feel a little better?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

WINNER of the I Love 2 Love Giveaway!

WINNER of the I Love 2 Love Giveaway!

I apologize for the delay in announcing the winner. Thanks to everyone for entering and for all you support.


I used a random number generator (random.org) to pick the winner. So without further delay the winner is……

Liz

Congratulations!
Winner~ Winner ~ Winner



Liz please contact me at brownmindbeauty@gmail.com with your shipping info.
Again, thank you all and look for another giveaway coming soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food For Thought- He Listens

Love is when he listens during an argument and never walks away until you are no longer upset. Its a one in a million trait, that most people don't possess. Do you know anyone that cares enough to hear your thoughts and concerns despite it all?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Get Ready to Read- My 2nd Passion

School is slowly coming to an end. I offically have 3 months left as of today. I can not wait, so much so that I have planned to take a trip, learn to swim, take belly dancing lesson, spend more time with my daughter and finally get back to my second passion, reading. Yes, I love to read. To be a good writer, you have constantly be open to the writing style of others. So not only do I read for pleasure, I read for improvements, suggestions, motivation, and inspirtation.

Well first things to get myself is a Kindle. I really want one. I can see myself taking it to the park in the summer while my daughter plays on the swing, or sitting by the lake at work during my lunch hour. Oh the sweet joy of no more classes.

Anyway, first on my list of reads is Janet Jackson's book True You a Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself. If you haven't taken a look inside, here is an abstract:

Janet Jackson emerged from the shadows of an already famous family to become one of the most beloved, recognizable, and influential performers in the world. But at what cost?
From the age of ten, when she made her acting debut on Good Times, Janet was told by Hollywood that she needed to slim down. Her well-meaning brothers, especially fun-loving Michael, teased her relentlessly until she began to believe that who she was wasn’t good enough. It was an idea that no amount of critical acclaim in television and film or, later, international platinum success in music could change.
Janet turned to food for comfort and escape. She developed a self-destructive pattern familiar to so many of us: fear and uncertainty led to bad feelings about herself and ultimately depression. The depression led to overeating. And her yo-yoing weight was painfully obvious in the bright lights of the entertainment world.
It has taken Janet most of her adult life to come to terms with who she is. But she has finally broken free of the attitudes that brought her down and has embraced realistic goals that help her eat better, exercise better, feel better, and ultimately be better.
This book is about meeting those challenges that face all of us. With candor and courage, Janet shares her painful journey to loving herself. She addresses the crazy rumors that have swirled around her for most of her life, shines an intimate light on her family, and pulls us behind the velvet rope into her unforgettable career. She also shares lessons she has learned through contact with friends and fans and reveals the fitness secrets she has learned from her trainer. Finally, her nutritionist, David Allen, unveils the wholesome, delicious recipes and lifestyle-changing tips that helped Janet get in shape—mind and spirit, heart and soul.
True You is a call to tune in to your own fundamental wisdom, to let go of the ugly comparisons, and to understand that who you are, the true you, is more than enough.
***
“I’m loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life. I can learn to eat well. I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out. I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope. I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be.
I am me, the true me; you are you, the true you—and that’s good. That’s beautiful. That’s enough.”
I can relate so well to the teasing and feeling less than perfect. I think I will enjoy this one a lot.

Also on my list of reads will be, The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn't Sexy by Shirley Strawberry. Abstract as follows: 


As a single parent and a woman willing to let Mr. Right find her, Shirley’s been there and done that—and she’s got hard-won lessons to share. In this call to action to help women look at their lives with a candid eye, she tackles the issues her fans want to hear about:

• Love and Relationships: the highs and lows of dating, marriage, and breakups
• Family: the challenges of being a great mom
• Sisterhood: ways to get (and give) the support you need to stay sane
• Self: tips for overcoming low self-esteem and depression, and finding balance, faith, and acceptance

Full of motivating “Strawberry Tips,” personal stories that provide welcome advice on the run, and helpful suggestions for drama-stuck girlfriends, this book offers a simple message of strength: a challenge to love yourself and your life! 

This one won't be released until April 5, 2011, but that's probably around the time I'll get to read it. I can not tell you guys how happy I will be to read a book that is not a textbook, LOL. Please comment below and let me know if you are interested in reading along with me. We can share our reviews and opinions.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Your Mind Creative Spotlight- Interview with Creations by Jay

Today's "On Your Mind" is special because it is Valentine's Day.

Janelle: Welcome, first I would like to thank you for the beautiful pieces you made for the Valentine’s Day  Giveaway. I want everyone to enter for their chance to win a gift card and a special piece designed for the winner.
Jacqueline L. Smith

Janelle: Introduce yourself, what is your name?

Jacqueline: Jacqueline Smith and you’re very welcome.

Janelle: How old are you?

Jacqueline: I am 31 years old.

Janelle: What is the name of your business?

Jacqueline: Creations by Jay

Janelle: How long have you been creating jewelry?

Jacqueline: I have been creating jewelry for almost a year now.

Janelle: “Mind of a Brown Skin Beauty” has followers from everywhere, where in the U.S. are you?

Jacqueline: I reside in Chicago, IL

Janelle: What’s your business’ URL?

Jacqueline: www.etsy.com/shop/Jay1979

Janelle: Do you have a Social Networking site for your business that you would like to share?

Jacqueline: Yes I do. You can find me on Facebook www.facebook.com/CreationsbyJay and also on Twitter www.twitter.com/CreationsbyJay.

Janelle: Tell us a little about your business.

Jacqueline: I started Creations by Jay in May 2010. I have always had a love for jewelry since I was a little girl. I decided to take that passion and turn into something creative where I could express myself. I really enjoy creating things by hand because it has a more personal touch to it. My designs are geared to women and men of all ages. I also design pieces for young girls and boys as well.


Janelle: Tell us a little about yourself and what makes designing special to you?

Jacqueline: I am a mother of 3 and I am also a full-time student working towards my B.A. in Psychology. Designing is special to me because it allows me to express myself creatively. In my personal opinion when you design something by hand you are putting your heart & soul into it. Each piece created gives a little insight into you as a person.

Janelle: How did you come up with the idea to start a jewelry design business?

Jacqueline: To be honest it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I was actually out shopping for jewelry and couldn’t find anything that appealed to me so I decided to try and create something myself just for a specific occasion. Little did I know it would turn into a small business!

Janelle: What inspired your design for the pieces you designed for the "I Love 2 Love Giveaway"?


Jacqueline: I was inspired by my love for the color red and romance and what better way to express that creatively than on one of the most romantic days of the year, Valentine’s Day.

Janelle: What are your future plans for your business?

Jacqueline: My future plan is to open my own boutique and continue to expand.

Janelle: Your own boutique will be awesome. Just keep pushing for it. What advice would you offer to an aspiring entrepreneur interested in jewelry design?

Jacqueline: I would say, follow your dreams. It’s not easy but with hard work and determination anything is possible.

Janelle: One more thought tell us one thing that makes your business unique?

Jacqueline: My business is unique because each piece is an original is never duplicated.
Janelle: Here on Mind of a Brown Skin Beauty we like to encourage and uplift, can you tell us one time when you wanted to give up, but didn’t?

Jacqueline: Towards the end of last 2010 and the beginning of 2011 I was ready to give up on my jewelry business because it had hit a standstill, but with the encouragement and support of a really good friend I held on and now things are looking very promising.

Janelle: Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your business?

Jacqueline: With this being Black History Month I am proud to have a black owned and operated business.
Janelle: How do perspective clients contact you?

Jacqueline: I can be reached by phone at 773-708-1080 or by email CreationsbyJay@live.com

Janelle: Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your creativity with us. It was a pleasure working with you and a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your passion. I look forward to working with you in the future.



****If you would like to be featured as a creative spotlight, please email me at brownmindbeauty@gmail.com for more information with Creative Spotlight in the subject.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food for Thought- "Being Heard"

Self reflection...

Have you ever screamed (figuratively speaking) to the top of the mountains about something that hurts deep down, but it seems like the main person you want to hear, only wants you to lower your voice?

Maybe it's time to silence your cry because it could be possible you're already being heard.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Love 2 Love Giveaway, Gift Set and Gift Card

It's February! In honor of "Love" and all things special, I am having a giveaway. This giveaway is a little special. This giveaway is being sponsored by "Creations By Jay" . The jewelry in the picture was created specifically for this giveaway. I love to spotlight new businesses. You will win the bracelet and earring gift set below and a $10 Target gift card.

The rules are simple. Each entry should be left as a comment underneath this blog post describing how you entered, so that I can keep a tally of how many times you entered. There are several ways to increase your chances of winning.

  1. You must be a follower of Mind of a Brown Skin Beauty (Mandatory Entry) and comment below "Enter Me"
  2. Subscribe via email and confirm your email address (3 entries)
  3. Like "Creations By Jay" Facebook page (2 entries)
  4. Share this blog post giveaway with someone on Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, email, etc.(Please leave your link to the blog re-post under the comment section, 2 entries)
  5. Like my Facebook page "Mind of a Brown Skin Beauty" (3 entries)
  6. Follow me on Twitter @brownmindbeauty
Enter as many times as you like to increase your odds. A winner will be selected at random using random.org I will post a screen shot of the winner.

The contest will begin on 02/9/11 at 12 a.m CST and will end on 2/22/11 at 10 p.m. CST. The winner will be randomly selected through a computerized process and will be announced on 2/24/11. Please visit the blog at that time for the name of the winner. The winner will be given instructions on how to claim their prize, a valid email address is required. If the prize is not claimed within 7 days a new winner will be selected and so forth until the prize is claimed. All products are the sole responsibility of the winner. Directions for product use should be followed accordingly.

Good luck and much LOVE to all! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The 2nd Month of the Year

I claimed this year would be great, but despite my claim to happiness, this year has been a roller coaster. We are only in the second month of the year, and I think I have experienced most emotions known to mankind. I know Life never gives us more than we can bear, but I am convinced that I must have unlimited bearable miles stamped on my heart. I also know some things are meant to make us stronger (so they say), while others are meant to teach us a lesson. Well I must be the strongest, smartest,  life learner yet, because I keep getting a new chapter of life to study. It's harder for me to watch the people I care for struggle or hurt, than it is for me to suffer. I have a "fix it" attitude about everything, and unfortunately all things can not be fixed, nor are they in my control. So for now I lay back in the cut and wait for life to throw me another curve ball. I won't let this bumpy start get me in a funk, instead I'll say, "see you at the end of the month Life, and we can recap our 28 days".
 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simple Calming Skin Cleanser Recipe for Sensitive Skin

I have had some serious skin issues this winter. From severe breakouts (due to product irritation) to wind burn (Thanks Chicago hawk), my skin has suffered. I went to Whole Foods in search of something gentle, because my face literally felt like it was on fire. My skin was rare and dry. I searched in the baby asile for a gentle cleanser with absolutely no luck. The ingredients in the baby products were just as harsh and  unpronounceable, so I passed,  in fear of having another let down.  I grabbed a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Magic Soap and headed towards the skin treatment section in hopes I'd find a magic cream. Still, no such luck.  So I asked a saleswoman. She was great, she suggested I make my own cleanser. I've made things in the past, but never a facial cleanser. So here is the what I suggest for anyone experiencing upset skin. I used aloe because it is naturally calming for scars and burns.

1 teaspoon of Dr. Bonner"s Baby Mild Magic Soap
Our unscented baby contains no fragrance so is great for people who have allergies or sensitive skin. Of course it is great for babies as well. All oils and essential oils are certified organic to the National Organic Standards Program. Packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.
INGREDIENTS:
Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol


2 drops of Skin Gel Ultimate Skin Treatment

The Skin Gel is made from fresh Certified Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice. Thickened naturally with seaweed. The formula contains 1% skin nutrients of Vitamin E, A and C combined with herbal extracts of Azulene from Chamomile and Allantoin from Comfrey. The therapeutic value of Skin Gel is unmatched by any other topical Aloe Vera today. The golden yellow color shows the presence of the therapeutic yellow sap used traditionally for healing. Safe for putting on any scrape, wound, bite , burn, acne, stretch marks, scars, damaged hair & scalp, thinning hair, post surgical reconstruction, athletes foot, psoriasis, eczema, itching skin, sunburned and damaged skin, after shave, brushing teeth for gum support, vaginal irritation and baby rash. The Skin Gel is a natural astringent perfect to apply to clean washed skin to tighten and regenerate the cells.

3 drops of Jojoba oil


I wash twice a day with the Aloe and magic soap mixed in the palm of my hand. I wash and rinse my face. I moisturize with a drop of aloe (a little goes a long way) and seal in the moisture with the jojoba oil. I felt immediate relief and saw improvement. My skin no longer burned and the black marks from the wind burn began to leave. I will swear by this easy gentle cleanser until further notice. No, my skin is not flaky from the gel, nor oily from the jojoba oil. In fact my skin is extra soft and my dry/oily combination skin is balanced. Jojoba oil is the best oil you could ever place on your skin because it is the closest oil to your natural skin's oil therefore you are not left looking like an oily mess.

I will be trying a homemade honey mask to clear up the dark marks left from the breakout, that I will share the recipe at a later date along with before and after pictures. I must say I will no longer be trying foundation pressed powders on my face. I believe I am allergic to talc. I can not deal with another breakout like this again.

I hope this helps someone. Try this and let me know what you think.

Later Brownies...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In A Writer's Hell

Neither of my laptops are currently working and I feel like I am in the middle of a bad dream. For the past  weeks my computers have been on the fritz. I know I am going to need another one, but in the meantime I want to scream to the top of my lungs. To anyone that is glued to their laptop as much as I am, they will understand my frustration.

I am in a writer's hell at this moment. LOL. My computer shuts down whenever it so desires and I can not download any new programs. Yes, I am sad to say the least. But hopefully I will be getting a replacement soon.

On another note, my dear friend said words to me that I will never forget. She said she was impressed and proud of me. That means the world to me. We spoke so fondly of my future. It is great to be surrounded by someone that has seen you at your worst, but still hold you whole for what you are worth. That is a true friend. I have shed tears of joy for her because I have been so happy and proud of her. We encourage each other and trust me she kicks me when I need it and lets me know when I am wrong. I cherish that, it is hard to find and very rare. Do you all have at least one person like that in your life that inspires you?

School Project

I spent this frigid day inside. I think the wind chill was blow zero, honestly I did not check. I needed to catch up on some much needed rest, exercise and real food. This month has been so busy, some days I forget if I actually slept the night before.

Anyway, Little J had a midterm project due and we finished it up this weekend. The entire day I attempted to do my school work, but ultimately ended up engaging in painting, gluing and laughing with the little lady. Her project was to build a community. They are learning about the components that make up a community. The final project and field trip closes their lesson on "what makes a community". The project was given to us in November and due in January. So, yes it's that deep. She first had to do research and a report (which is 3 pages), a video news broadcast and back drop. We had the option to do a Power point, but with my computers on the fritz we decided to do an actual model of her community. We went to Michaels last night and spent an hour in the store while she pushed through each aisle dropping everything she could find in our cart.

We narrowed down her selections to some felt, stickers, paint, a cottage (10 cents, left over from X-mas) and card stock. I told her we would layout our material today and execute her vision. Last week she recorded her news broadcast with a great backdrop she made and was inspired to base her model on the backdrop. She knew what she wanted and I am so proud of her determination and ability to follow instructions.

The cottage was the major task, doing a second coat of paint was something she didn't anticipate, but she stuck it out. In the end she created a beautiful community. I only helped with the folding and touch up paint, she did it all and I wanted to share it with you all. I told her I was going to take a picture and add it to my blog, she was thrilled. She has to add trees, but here is her project finished as of 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. Oh yeah, the two people in the community are pictures of us.


By the way she is in first grade. I can not say enough about how pleased I am with her school. The program she is in is for gifted children, though they stress academics, they also incorporate creativity and expression in their curriculum. She journals a lot and any words they do not know how to spell, are underlined and explored at a later time, rather than asking someone how to spell it. She is always excited to go to school and that brings comfort and joy in my heart. I was hesitate about placing her in such a program because I didn't want her to be overwhelmed with just studies. However, the more I interact with her school and we engage in the assignments, the more I am impressed. The school has a parent support group for parents of "gifted" children that will occur later this month through the end of the school year. I definitely will be joining them to see what other families experience. So far her education has been one of the best decisions I have made in my role as parent. I am such a proud mama.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Neglect and Too Much Stress

Sorry I have been slacking on the blog post as of lately. This year came in a little overwhelming and I have been under a lot of stress. (Nothing I can't handle) Too say the least I need a hug. That sounds so funny, but its true one time my co-worker gave me a hug for absolutely no reason and immediately I felt better. I love hugs. Over the shoulder hugs, tight waist hugs, little hand hugs, any type. LOL. Seriously, I must send my apologies for not writing. I have so much on my mind that I want to share, but we will take it one topic at a time. I am hoping I can get back to writing shortly.

Sometimes stressing puts everything over the top and the smallest things under a microscope. Your heart beats a little faster, you feel a little tougher, you feel a little weaker, a little smarter, a little less smart, a little emotional, a little less emotional, overall you feel every damn emotion you've ever felt, or at least it seems that way. Randomly thinking, I feel better when I let it out. I am off to get some much needed sleep. If you are a blogger and think I may be interested in reading your work. Please leave your link in my comments, I am always up for a good read.  Good night brownies!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ambition

Perhaps my ambitions and aspirations have grasped tightly around my waist hindering and rescuing me from falling victim to the many disappointments and hardships I have faced throughout my life. Maybe my ability to continue in the race of life until my obstacle course is complete, has kept me determined and focused on my goals. Whatever the reason having long- term goals serve as my rainbow after the storm.

Some days I ponder the thought that my pot of gold may not exist at the end of my rainbow, but despite my despairs, I am still a Queen. I refuse to give up, let go or stop trying. My goals are simple, to gain as much knowledge and intellectual enrichment as possible so that I remain an intelligent and positive role model for my daughter. My life experiences and faith teaches me that as long as there are struggles, my duties are not fulfilled.Over the many stages of my life, I have lost a lot and gained even more. I can say that despite everything I usually come out winning. It's simply because I refuse to give up. I know that life tends to hits us when we are down, but we have to get back up and keep trying. Here are my tips to staying positive and motivated:

  1. Dream Vivid- I dream a lot. Closing your eyes and envisioning the result you want to achieve help to make it a reality. The more specific you are in your dreams, the more achievable each step becomes. 
  2. Don’t share your dreams and goals with just anyone- The past taught me that sharing my goals with people that don’t have my best interest at heart only leads to discouraging comments. Some people are placed in our lives to test us; they will squash our dreams and make us feel incapable. Limit your dream sharing to those you know are supportive.
  3. Keep a tight circle-Surround your life with friends and family that only want the best for you. For example, if you are trying to get in shape and your circle is filled with people that taunt your new eating habits, or say you’re getting too skinny (when you are actually getting healthy), you may need to limit your interactions with them. Unless you are immune to negativity, discouraging people can influence your train of thought.
  4. Write down your goals.
  5. Lay down all your negative thoughts-If you’ve tried to achieve a goal in the past and failed. Leave that negative experience in the past especially if you are attempting to reach the same or a similar goal.
  6. Find social networking groups that share your same interest. (if applicable)
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  8. Ask for a hug- My life is not easy, when I get overwhelmed I ask for a hug.
  9. Finally, don’t give up. Stay positive, whether you are starting your life over, or taking a scary step down a new path, you have to keep believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in YOU, no one will.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1st 2011 Food For Thought-"Single Parents Take a Bow"

Happy 2011 Beauties,

If you are a single mom, then you know the obstacles of dating in 2011 can be challenging. I think it becomes even more challenging when you are a mom that "has it going on", intelligent, goal oriented (for yourself and child), focused, and well adjusted in your life. I think people tend to equate being a single parent to having a miserable life and for so many of us single moms and dads that just isn't the case. We don't all sit around collecting welfare and waiting to birth the next baby. Life is what it is and we are single for various reasons and we don't need to apologize or explain.

I remember having a conversation with a "non-single" parent about college. Her eyebrows raised when she found out that I'd graduated from a good University and soon will graduate from another. She says, "wow I got a smarty around me". She knew I had my bachelors degree prior to the conversation, so her look of surprise when she found out I didn't graduate from "Bubblegum University", was annoying. What? Excise me? Did she think I was swinging on a pole at night, still trying to learn my ABCs? I found it a little insulting for a moment, and then I waddled in her ignorance and left it at that. Somehow during her entire thirty-something "free" life, she hadn't managed to even get a certification in anything. Now she is sitting discussing with me how she is too tired in the evenings to take night classes. How she enrolls each semesters, but drops because "its just too much". Seriously?? I realize that college may not be for everyone, but this is just one of those things that get under my skin. People expect the worse of a single parent, when all the while each person's situation is different. I know some psycho, lazy, over indulgent single women, but a man would be willing to tolerate her "witch" attitude than to date a great honest woman with a child.

In dating people expect single moms to except anything and just be grateful someone decided to "tolerate us and our baggage". Limiting or be expected to lower your expectations as a single mom is not fair. I want a loving, loyal, hardworking, and focused man just like the next woman. I don't want to date someone simply because the man doesn't have kids,  yet he hasn't had a job in years (current economy excused), has no goals, doesn't finish what he starts, and still hangs out.

So my thought for 2011 is simple, "We all carry issues, but some of us do a better job at playing the obstacle course of life". Just because a person has a child does not mean your life is better theirs. If you open your closed mind thinking and takes notes, you may just learn a thing or two from a single parent.

Our lives are not unhappy, its just a "secret society" over here that some people will never understand. Elevated, positive single parents have something going for them that is unknown to the rest of the world, and if you never drop your stereotyping, you'll forever miss out on some warm people. So to all my single parents doing it right, take a bow and pat yourself on the back in 2011, you deserve it. Don't allow someone else to grade your circumstance, flip the script and starting giving them a few F's in some areas.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Make-Up on Girls

Moms what do you think is an appropriate age for girls to wear make-up? I ask this question because when I went to pick my daughter up from school, two 3rd graders were wearing tinted lip gloss. If you are into make-up then you know that lip glosses come in tints as dark as a lipstick. Personally I think any age below 12 is too young for glosses, lipsticks, whatever. Time to time I will allow my little one to wear a clear gloss, but anything else is over doing it. What do you moms think?
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