The Confidence Experience

youcandoitIt is a new day and I am excited to see it. I know, I know, I’ve been missing in action for a while now. I was on a mission for release therapy (no, not the Ludacris album). I just had to vent, cry, grow and move on.

I realized that this year I’ve allowed myself to get off track with my goals which is why I am extremely glad and excited that Angielala has launched the Confidence Campaign. During the course of this awesome experience we will not only share our experiences, but yours as well. We want to know what makes you confident. This campaign gives me an opportunity to delve into what makes people confident (myself included) and to toss out tips on how to boost confidence, maintain it and spread it around. Anyone who has read any of my previous posts knows I’m addicted to uplifting people.

So, here is my chance to be completely candid with you all. What makes me confident? Oh boy, if that’s not the question of the year… For me there is no one thing. Sometimes I am Wonder Woman and other times I am just a woman that makes you wonder…I find that each night I throw in the towel and each morning I get up and do it all over again, because I am human and I can admit that. A good most of the time my confidence comes from the fact that I know I am flawed. I am aware of how that reads, but it is the truth. I am human and we make mistakes. Everyone has a 50-50 chance of success, because either you move towards what you want or you don’t. There is no success or discovery in not trying.

I know I’ve already said this, but I am so excited, and if you are not, we’ve got something for that too. For some encouragement and tips on ways to step up your smile and confidence check out our past post: Motivation: We All Need It I can’t wait to talk confidence with you all, don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and hash tag  #confidenceexperience us on twitter and share your insights, confident tips, and comments.

‘Til next time! Be bold, Be happy and most of all Be Confident.

Battle of the Sexes: For Love or Money?

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Whenever I hear someone make a statement about Battle of the Sexes out of nowhere music starts playing in my head, “…anything you can do I can do better.” So imagine my excitement when Goddess Intellect, creator of The Battle of the Sexes Show informed me that the show would be coming to a city near me May 17, 2013!

The Battle of the Sexes Show is an interactive experience where men and women can come together, sip, be sexy and discuss topics like: dating, love, marriage, relationships and sexuality. Of course when I heard the word “experience”, that solidified my attendance.

Oakland, CA the first experience on a 5 city national tour spared no expense at being fabulous. The scene seemed surreal. Photographer, moscato being served chilled, sushi, red velvet cookies and a variety of well spoken, well dressed panelists and attendees. After mingling for a short while our lovely hostess Goddess Intellect wasted no time engaging our four panelists Lincoln Anthony Blades, Author and Blogger at ThisIsYourConscience.com, Sharelle D. Lowery, of ClassyBlackGirl.com, Social Entrepreneur and Public Speaker, Kenya Williams, Sensuality Consultant and Author, and Dante “Real Talk” Toomer, Host of Real Talk, a live interactive lifestyle and relationship forum. Each panelist was nothing short of amazing, thought provoking and inspiring in their commentary.

No opinion was overlooked and the audience was eager to respond. With questions like, “Is there etiquette for threesomes in relationships?” You would think that this would be the most umm, “hands on” question however, one question seemed to spark not only a fire in our panelists and audience but myself as well… Should “baby mamas” be entitled to a Mother’s Day gift(s) even if they are already receiving child support from the child’s father?

Understanding that everyone is different and every individual will have a different relationship, I still believe that if a man has a respectful relationship with the mother of his child(ren), why not show appreciation? I quickly discovered that there is no shortage of women who would scowl at me for my statement…

With that said what’s the REAL reason women get enraged over the subject? During the discussion everything from respect, finances and insecurities were thrown around the room. What say I? Personal accountability and respect for YOURSELF is at the root of the issue.

Ladies (as a woman who has coincidentally never dated a man who did not already have children), you known what you signed up for. No need fake the funk. When you interact with someone (male or female) with child(ren) there will be a certain amount of “past” to deal with, and it doesn’t have to be a bad experience. There just can’t be any “eyes wide shut” going into the relationship. This is a situation where knowing and being confident within yourself is key.

Just because a man shows his appreciation for the woman raising his seed doesn’t diminish what you have with him. Now, it goes without saying all men aren’t upstanding individuals and may be practicing their Mr. Big and still getting it in “on the down low”, but that is when its beneficial to KNOW who you are dating. Finances can be an issue in some cases, and if you find his special efforts are in fact jeopadizing the household you both share, don’t get loud and out of order (I know you want to, but don’t!) Bring it to his attention and if you can’t reasonably work that out maybe his situation isn’t the one for you; because then it becomes an issue of whether this man is responsible enough to build a life with.

Whatever the motivation behind dating a person at the end of the day, you have control over what you say and do. Be honest with yourself, respectful of yourself and confident within yourself and no matter what your experience you will still be able to move forward. I hope whatever dating or relationship experience you are currently in is a positive one, if you are dating someone with children and are want to share your experience with us, leave a comment or you can find us on facebook by clicking our link: The Angielala Experience

Til next time!

Beauty and the Budget: DIY Beauty Ideas that Won’t Break The Bank!

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Women all over the world want to be beautiful and so many times the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” is used to propel females towards better results. However, no one ever said ANYTHING about breaking the bank to be beautiful!

Being into holistic options has its perks, one of which is the awesome super power of being a financial fashionista by finding do it yourself options to some of our most cherised beauty needs.

Here are a handful of ideas to get you started on the road to being an expert at making your dollar holler! :

#1 Baking Soda:

Over the years baking soda has been used a teaspoon at a time in cake recipes, and sprinkled in laundry water to boost the effectiveness of detergents; but I bet you never thought baking soda could do these things…

Clarifying Shampoo:Mix 2 teaspoons baking soda with 1 cup water and use as a final rinse after shampooing.

Facial Cleanser: Mix 1/2 teaspoon with your favorite cleanser for extra exfoliating. The baking soda eliminates the need to purchase a seperate scrub.

Teeth Whitener: It has a salty taste but baking soda is as classic as it gets when it comes to making that enamel glossy– sprinkle on a damp toothbrush and brush as normal.

Lip Scrub: Mary Kay Satin Lips is an awesome beauty buy; but when you need to be Diva on a dime making a paste out of a small amount of water and approximately 2 teaspoons of baking soda and scrubbing your lips with the paste and rinsing clean can not only rid your lips of dead skin, but provides you with a smooth canvas for lips stick as well.

#2 Coconut Oil:

Coconut isn’t just for Pinã Colada and schrimp! If you have issues with detangling and/or dry hair, Coconut Oil can be applied to dry hair as a pre shampoo treatment. Apply to dry hair until saturated, detangle, then shampoo as usual. By the end of the process not only will your hair be soft and detangled, you wil also find in most cases it cuts your hair regimen time in half.
The cost of coconut oil can cost you between $5 and $10 (depending on where you purchase) and can last for several months.

#3 Honey:

Honey is a delicious way to sweeten any tea, glaze toast and drizzle in smooties as a substitute for sugar. In additon to being highly consumable honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and holds moisture in your hair.
To use as a conditioner, massage 1 tablespoon of pure honey into damp hair after shampooing and then rinse out with warm water.

Face Mask: Honey is perfect for healing acne-prone or dry skin, spread on clean skin and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Honey also has antibacterial properties, making it good for breakouts.

#4 Green Tea:

Weight loss and detoxing is a common use for green tea, some people prefer it to coffee when wanting to relax, but I bet you didn’t know cool Green Tea is a refreshing and cleansing toner — perfect for acne prone skin.

#5 Baby Shampoo:

If you have children I am sure you stock a tear free option for the tots however, if you don’t have kids there is no reason why you can’t benefit from a gentle shampoo too! In the blog I’m Too Sexy we gave you all tips for loving the skin you are in. One way was to clean your makeup brushes… Gently swirling your brushes in a gentle shampoo and water, then rinsing (and laying flat to air dry) is a low cost way to maintain a bacteria free environment for your makeup brushes.

Beauty Bonus:

Beauty schools are a highly under rated tool for Divas on a Dime. Stop by your local school for simple things like manis, pedis and facials. Certified instructors will direct students for the sake of upholding quality and reputation and you end up saving.

Those are just a handful of handy ways to have beauty on a budget. For more tips on beauty basics and ways to keep it classy check out Sharelle D. Lowery’s Classy Blog, and DIY site Tip Junkie.

Til next time!

Complexion: The Great Divide

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Another day has come and gone and I am still the curious, creative Soul I’ve always been.  Just out of curiosity what do Rolo, Twix, Milk Duds, and Snickers all have in common? Can anyone tell me? No worries, I’ll wait…These candies seem to be one of the few places that you can find different shades living in harmony.

For whatever reason in 2013 we as a collective people we cannot seem to get past the dissension among people with varying shades of beauty. I was hanging out with a friend a few months ago who is a makeup artist and there were several of us standing around trying on makeup. One young lady with a beautiful dark chocolate complexion tried on the most vibrant fuchsia lip gloss. She looked at us and said,” This color is gorgeous, just imagine if I was light skinneded.” (Yes I said skinneded. I know I know, but I am quoting.) WOW, I was floored to say the least. Comments like this never cease to amaze me. Why I am not sure considering this has been going on for as long as I can remember.  

I recently asked some of my friends and associates to share their experiences with me and this is some of what was shared with me:

“I don’t even look at dark girls but you’re cute.”

“She thinks she better than us because she’s a light bright.”

“Do you and your sister have the same mom and dad? She’s caramel toned.”

“She got good hair, she must be mixed.” 

“You are too dark for me.”

“I only date light skinned men, they are more attractive than dark guys.”

I have had my share of ignorant encounters with people that have ranged from the slight to the extreme. I’ve been told by men, “You are too dark for me.” Who says that out loud? If you have a preference, it is so much more tactful to just say, “You aren’t my type.” I have also heard people say they would never wear their natural hair because it looks unclean and unprofessional.

For those of you who may think these incidents are isolated, like LeVar Burton, don’t take my word for it. Again and again the idea of dark versus light has been debated, written about and recorded. Recently Bill Duke directed a documentary entitled Dark Girls.  If you have not seen the trailer, please click the link and watch when you get a chance. It chronicles the stories of women of dark complexions and their experiences with the great divide. Toni Morrison also addresses part of this issue in her book The Bluest Eye (it’s an awesome read), as well as director Spike Lee in the movie “School Daze“. For centuries in the United States complexion has been the Great Divide. House slaves versus field slaves, and the paper bag rule. The “Paper Bag Rule” was a guideline for people of color stating that you were only accepted into social circles, and sometimes events and venues if you were lighter than a brown paper bag.

So where does all this deep rooted unrest stem from? It stems from the outlandish idea that dark and knotty is inferior, unclean, unacceptable, and inept. It stems from the desire to assimilate so one can be accepted, because let’s face it, who likes to be rejected? No one wants to feel undesirable or unattractive. For far too long as a society we have fostered the deepening divide by allowing a small few to dictate what beauty is. Long flowing, frizz free, limp hair, fair complexions and eyes with brighter pigments is the standard of beauty for far too many. Not to say that these traits can’t be beautiful, it is to say they are not exclusively beautiful. The reality is good percentage of the people on the planet do not have the traits that have been deemed worthy. I call it the “Illusion of Inclusion”…Women across all cultural backgrounds (not just black women) spend countless dollars on products to alter their skin and hair to accommodate the ideal of only a fleeting few.

Growing up, I always wanted to be of a darker complexion. I was envious of girls darker than myself, even though I am chocolate already. I wasn’t aware that my dark skin bothered people until I started school. Then I began to notice the dolls never looked like me, the girls on the commercials don’t look like me. Movies would show the woman of the lighter complexion with the happy relationship and the darker woman being the single, loud, pushy, baby mama.  For black women with darker complexions being depicted in this manner isn’t uncommon. Then if a woman of dark complexion is successful, they are angry, pushy and still loud. For my counterparts of fair complexion the idea that they are conceited, well mannered, superior, with better hair is still unfair. The common thread is they are all human. Oprah did a show in which she had the opportunity to speak with the women of India and even there, she discovered that having fair skin is preferred to being of a darker complexion.

On both sides of the scale the only thing being accomplished is dividing people who should be united. There is nothing that can be accomplished by allowing an ideal that was CREATED to divide us to continue to divide us. This undying epidemic does not just take a toll on adults, but our children. Things such as this lend to bullying and isolation. When does it stop? When are women going to stop huddling up in dark corners at the club to make snide remarks about a woman of fair complexion because her hair is of a fine texture and the length is natural? When are men going to stop buying into the idea that having a woman of fair complexion on their arm is more socially and corporately acceptable? All this stops when we say enough. Why add fuel to a fire that will spare no one?

Elle Varner is beautiful, Gabrielle Union is beautiful, Queen Latifah is beautiful, Michael Michelle is beautiful, Jill Marie Jones is beautiful, Grace Jones is fierce, Alek Wek is gorgeous, Amel Larrieux is fabulous…Obviously all these women are different, but what is the common thread? All of these women are talented, beautiful women. To shorten the common thread, they are all human.

I strongly urge all of you to re-evaluate your ideals, your hurts, misconceptions and challenge the not so unattainable goal of unity. The fact of the matter is our life, growth, and success depends upon breaking the bonds of depressive behavior. Compliment people for their personality not their pigments. Don’t dislike based on whether their hair is tightly curled or lying lengthy across their back, but celebrate the diversity of our features. Wide nose, dark skin, thin lips, or wide hips, cannot dictate how a person will love you, teach, care for or be compassionate towards you.

I hope that something I have said has moved you to outrage and discussion and closer to a path of change, because aside from being passionate about change I just flat out do not want to repeat myself. (I know that is a bit impatient but I am a work in progress.)

I want to know what you think, feel and what your experiences are, negative or positive. 

Til the next experience!