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because it’s Sunday…

18 Aug

A little theme music, shall we?

what I’m doing right now.

12 Aug


Listening to this–look up the smooth sounds of Daley, a new, Brit soul artist. You’ll like him, I promise. And if you don’t, this recommendation never happened–and being shuttled back home from work by way of metro. Good times?

On Beauty…

11 Jul

This morning, as I groggily opened my bathroom cabinet to pull out my facial cleanser, I paused to marvel at the entire ROW of different cleansers and moisturizers and creams that sat in front of me. (All Neutrogena, so I’m consistent that way, aren’t I?) Each one boasting the wondrous things it would do for my face, each one promising, essentially, the same thing. So why do I have an array of different beauty products promising the same thing sitting in my bathroom cabinet, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you, since you asked so nicely:

I happen to be a beauty product collector.

Specifically, I’m a 1) beauty product collector with 2) rabid amnesia and 3) a case of paranoia.

1) I walk through the aisles and a few carefully placed words jump out at me. Non-oily formula. Non-greasy. Light and refreshing. All-in-One. Like a Neutrogena Stepford wife, I obey, grabbing as many of those lovely promises as I can. I want what they can give. And so I buy. To further the problem, 2) I have completely forgetten that I already own half these products already, or items similar to them, and do not actually need any of them. However, 3) what if the formulas in the products I already own are outdated? What if some Neutrogena scientist has discovered a stronger non-oily/non-greasy/light and refreshing/All-in-1 solvent that is far more powerful than the ones I already own, thereby rendering my daily skincare regimen utterly useless, ineffective, and potentially poisonous? Riiiight. It’s clear now, isn’t it? I’m a beauty product collector with rabid amnesia and a case of paranoia.

Blame puberty. Like every other girl on the planet, my growth spurt came bearing gifts: pimples, even bigger pimples, oily skin, and a suspicion that me and this guy might be related. At first, I relied on plain old soap and water (which dried out my skin to no end). Eventually, when I started working and earning all my Benjamins (funny how $6.50 an hour meant something when you were 17 years old), the beauty product collecting began. No more soap and water! Now Salycylic acid!  Nevertheless, despite my current purchasing/amnesia/paranoia problem, things are far more stable and, dare I say it, glowy, when it comes to my skin. I try to regularly cleanse and moisturize, I drink far more water than I did as a teen, I takes care of business.

But enough with all the me, me, me, shall we? Let’s hear from my lovely cousin, J (you know how I feel about government names on the interweb), who, hands down, is a veritable skincare expert. I posed a few questions about her personal skincare regimen/ongoing journey with beauty products.

Ok. You’re an expert when it comes to beauty products. Do you research what items will work for you? If so, where do you get ideas on what to buy?

I’m more of a spontaneous product junkie. If I see an ad for mascara, I buy it and try it out. Because of my unique skintone to the demographic area I live in, I do have to venture out to the high end product line. But even with that, i just buy and try. Usually my ideas come from makeup advertisements, the Maybelline commercials on TV, and sometimes in articles fashion articles where I see models with similar skintones, i look to see who the makeup artist is or the product used, and then go from there.

What’s your daily skincare regimen?

My daily skincare regimen is quite sporadic and probably should be improved. In the shower in the a.m., I wash my face with either a creamy Burts Bees cleanser or a light Boots gel cleanser and finish off with a Boots day moisturizing cream. I’m not as diligent in the evening as I should be. I’ll cleanse with a combination of black soap from Ghana called Chocho and Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Scrub. Then I finish off with a teeny dab of choco creme.
What products do you think are good for African-American ladies who have oily skin? Or dry skin?
I have dry skin and so far the best products for me have been Burts Bees “beeswax” brand (can only find this particular line for skincare at Whole Foods and online) and Boots creams and cleansers for normal/dry skin (can be found at Target).
Are you a collector? Or do you stick to one brand?
I am definitely a collector.
Some ladies say to go the natural route for skincare: drink plenty of water and use the simple basics, like Vaseline or Shea Butter, and avoid the chemicals. Thoughts about that?
I say yay and a teeny nay. Natural is always good, but depending on our imperfect skin, we may need a lil extra help. I say if you do decide to use products that are not 100% natural or raw, at least look at the labels. I try to pick brands that don’t have a lot of chemical ingredients.
Any concluding advice for women who are looking for the right type of skincare maintenance?
It is good to be consistent, but sometimes based on changes with our hormones and environment we may need to change up our routine. Don’t always go for the cheapest and you don’t have to go for the most expensive. Try to find that happy medium in the middle.

Thanks, J! For the good advice, the good tips, and admitting that you, too, are a collector! Incidentally, I will be pursuing some, if not all, of the products you mentioned. Unsurprisingly.

i cannot fully describe the sheer awesomeness of it all.

15 Dec

No, I didn’t meet Ricky Schroeder. And no, I wasn’t gifted with tickets to see James Taylor perform, during which he dedicated most of the songs in his wondrous discography to me. (And brought me on stage to duet with him for, oh, all of those songs.)

This particular sheer awesomeness comes from the fact that I:

1) wrote a short essay about a certain show I loved way back in the day and tied it in with the madness and magnificence of adolescent crushes,

2) submitted it,


3) it.was.published.

[deafening, joyous scream]

It’s featured here on one of my favorite sites, HelloGiggles.

For those of you who know me, who support my writing, who support this blog and my other ones (this one and a brand new one over here!): you get it, don’t you? The sheer awesomeness of it all? That, as a writer, to see my work in a published form is pretty amazing? That when I saw my piece on HelloGiggles yesterday I wanted to do the cartwheel I never learned how to do in 6th grade gym class? That I haven’t stopped smiling? Yep. You get it. (And thanks for the enduring support. The few eyes that drift over to this tiny corner of the universe are all appreciated, although some of you don’t leave comments. Baby steps, I know.)


dare you not to be moved.

25 Mar

Anyone who ever loved, could look at me
And know that I love you
Anyone who ever dreamed, could look at me
And know I dream of you
Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue
What am I to do?

Everytime you go away, I always say
This time it’s goodbye, dear
Loving you the way I do
I take you back
Without you I’d die, dear
Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue
What am I to do?

Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue

Anyone who had a heart would love me too
Anyone who had a heart would truly take me
In his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

Anyone who had a heart would love me too
Anyone who had a heart would truly take me
In his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

Truly take me in his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

Reiterating My Love…

23 Mar

…for Boyce Avenue and the following song. The lyrics to this song just about kill me softly. I heart it so.

I’ll Eat them Up, I Love Them So…Terrific Music Tuesday!

15 Mar

On this first official Terrific Music Tuesday, here are some songs/artists I can’t get enough of, some current, one a bit older…

Rocketeer, Far East Movement. This song is so enthralling and catchy. I don’t know if has to do with Ryan Tedder’s vocals or the crazy beat or the idea of flying away and getting away from it all…or my enduring love for a certain movie with the same title, but I officially can’t enough of it.

Paris Nights/New York Mornings, Corinne Bailey Rae. My love for Ms. Bailey Rae knows no bounds. Beginning with her first album, I was officially a fan. But this song—this insanely wonderful song—from her second album, The Sea (2010), took me somewhere. Maybe it’s the whole je t’aime Paris thing. Maybe it’s the whole I heart New York thing. Maybe it envisioning myself and whoever slays my little cynical heart on the Rue Voltaire, as the song says. Whatever it is, I have it on daily play on the iPod. And picturing myself on the Rue Voltaire while shuttling through subway tunnels during my morning/afternoon commute is hardly bad, right?

The Adele Trifecta, 21. There are three songs I keep in constant rotation on Adele’s amazing, amazing new album. Turning Tables is lyrical caramel. “Next time, I’ll be braver, I’ll be my own savior…” Yeah. He Won’t Go is a rhythmic, equally lyrical chocolate pie. Listen for yourself. One and Only is cake. Pure cake. There’s a middle part of that song when Adele moves away from the melody and sings this crazy refrain, “I know it ain’t easy, givin’ up your heart…nobody’s perfect, trust me, I’ve earned it…” as the music swells up behind her. It’s so moving, so, so…Again and again, pure cake.

Pretty Girl Rock, Keri Hilson. Not a huge fan of Ms. Hilson, never got into her, but this song is a must for any kind of “Yes, I’m awesome” girl/woman/lady affirmations. The video is pretty cool, as well. And I usually replace “my name is Keri, I’m so very” with my personal name, which I love to do.

This ends TMT…I would post more, but I don’t think my fingers can handle a million of my favorite songs…

The Beach & The Jonas Brothers

29 Aug

Something is very wrong with me. This morning, as I slowly prepared for work and mused on the cloudy, dreary day that awaited me outside (more on that later), I turned the channel to one of the music stations. A video began. A Jonas Bros video. And I, um, enjoyed the video, found the music unbearably catchy, and um…thought one of them was kind of cute.

Somebody help me.

Just a few posts ago, I was talking about the wonder of boy bands, right? And that it’s all right; it’s generational; it’s a rite of passage. How it feels great to stand in a stadium and scream your head off for a campy song that will be forgotten when you leave said stadium?

I had that. I have that. (See post and awesome picture below). I don’t want it again. I went through this with Hanson. (I still heart you, Taylor Hanson, even though you’re younger than me and you have 12 children). I don’t want to sit around and wonder what Nick Jonas is doing. Or YouTube that video I saw this morning. I want to be free, encumbered only by musings on what Jordan Knight is doing at this moment (NKOTB) or happy that JC Chasez has a steady job (‘nsync). So no Jonas for me. I’m sorry. Get out of my head, catchy, campy song!

So, the day is cloudy and gloomy and dreary. My bones hurt. I hate days like this. To add further insult to injury, I’m headed for the beach today. The only vacation I’m taking, and the weather has to be like this. Nevertheless, I resolve to remain careless about it all and enjoy my time with my friend. Yeah.



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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