Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Be Kind: Resolving To Live Better

It’s that time of year when everyone resolves to do better, be better, and want better for themselves. I never understood why you needed to wait until the new year to desire better, but that’s none of my business.

I make it a practice to forgo new year resolutions. Instead I practice getting better every day of my life. This past year has taught me to subscribe to nothing short of greatness, all while maintaining humility and gratitude along the way.

I literally had a rebirth at the top of 2017, and I promised myself to demonstrate kindness in everything that I did for myself. The same kindness that I demonstrate towards shoes that I love, and the bag that I adore is the same type of kindness I want to give myself. You see we are kind to things that we love and care about, and believe it or not we often times put ourselves on the bottom of the list.

You eat a trash ass diet because you are out of sync with your emotions and needs. Instead you band-aid those very emotions with poor food choices, and unhealthy eating. Unkind.

You don’t practice daily movement of your body in the form of exercise, because you have fallen out of love with your temple. Unkind.

You allow yourself to remain in toxic, unhealthy relationships, and neglect yourself of what you truly deserve. Unkind.

You say “yes” to every single request that is made by family, friends, and co-workers as you have forgotten just how valuable your time is. Unkind.

I need you to ask yourself whether the life you are currently leading is the one that you really want.

Are you in the professional field that you always dreamed of? If not, start taking the necessary steps to get where you want to be.

Is Tyrone really the man you want to spend forever with? If his behavior is trash, please toss him out on the next garbage day. You deserve to receive the love that you stand to give. I encourage you to work on yourself, and become the best version of YOU so that you are ready to receive “The One” when that time comes.

Do you love how your body feels, how it looks, how your clothes fit? If the answer is no to any of those things you must get your shit together. Complete a purge of your kitchen and get rid of anything that is of no benefit to your body. Develop a farm to table diet, eat for nourishment of your body and not your emotions, meal prep like a boss, implement a consistent workout regimen, and commit to treating your temple as such.

Is your tribe of girlfriends loving, prayerful, supportive, genuine, understanding, and litty? If not, you gone have to get you some new damn homegirls. I know that it is harder to build sustainable relationships later in life, but the shit isn’t impossible. I wrote a whole damn post about trash ass friends, and just what you can do with them....Finish Line: Our Friendship Has Run Its Course

Is your mental health clear, sound and in order? No? Alright then I’m gone need you to check your health insurance network and find a good therapist. Mental health is so damn taboo in the black community, as we are taught to simply give everything to God and pray on it. God ain’t got time for your madness, which is why he blessed the world with therapy and medication. A licensed health professional has plenty of time for your issues, and I demand that you find one ASAP so that you can roadmap your deep seeded issues, do the necessary work to get better, and begin to heal.

I need you to step back, self-reflect, and gain perspective of just who the F you are! You may have forgotten, stopped caring, or flat out just gave up. I’m here to tell you that I have been there right beside you, in the deepest trenches of life, and then I drafted a game plan to get my shit all the way together.

In 2018 and all the years that follow I want to place the practice of kindness to myself at the top of my list. I’m also striving to thrive and live the life that I want to live, with the people that I want to live it with. I need all you to join me on this journey to living a rewarding and fulfilling life.  
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Friday, December 1, 2017

Tis The Season: 2017 Holiday Wishlist

Nothing has changed....I still LOVE presents. In fact, I am quite obsessed with receiving gifts. I love receiving gifts from others, and I especially enjoy buying them for myself. Just cut out the middle man and get exactly what YOU want:) 

The holiday season is in full swing, and the stores are filled with shoppers. I prefer to do my shopping sitting on my couch, armed with an electronic device of some sort and a glass of chilled wine. This totally beats searching for parking, waiting in long lines, and just dealing with annoying people all together!

Get into my Holiday Wishlist 2017. Trust that I have already made a dent in this list. No worries as   there are a few things left that you guys can get, and have shipped to me..ummmkay!
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Monday, November 27, 2017

Free AF: Quitting Ain't Easy

The late, great Nina Simone once said “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: No Fear! I mean really, no fear.” This was a small part of a larger response to the question of what freedom meant to her. 

Up until about a year ago I considered myself to be moderately fearless. I said moderate because I had limitations on just how carefree I could be. I attribute this mainly to my Taurean traits that require structure, planning and discipline, and frown upon disruption, change, and unpredictability.

In early 2015 I assumed a professional role that I considered to be a dream job in my respective industry. I was working for a small, progressive tech firm that was a huge deviation from the monstrous corporate conglomerates that I had worked for in the past. Yes, I worked a gazillion hours a week, and zig zagged across the country several times a month, but I was killing it like I had never done before. I was making bank, getting recognition by senior executives, and moving right on up the ladder. That professional utopia was shattered about eighteen months into my tenure when the company was acquired by a larger organization.

It hit me like a MAC Truck, because I literally did not see any of it coming. I tell you who did...the executives I worked beside daily, and were knee deep in the transaction. These companies ain’t loyal! My gut told me that the shit was going to hit the fan sooner than later. I ALWAYS trust my gut! Sure enough a few weeks after the acquisuition my professional house of cards came tumbling down. News broke that my company would be closing in just a few short months, and my role was being eliminated.

I had never been in a position where I was forced to find work. Any job that I had left in the past was voluntary, and on my own terms. For this first time in my professional life I was on the clock. Let me tell you something, this ain’t what you want!

I was scrambling, searching high and low in the daytime with a flashlight trying to find another position. Job searches, interviews galore, and anxiety were all in overdrive as I did not want to be unemployed. Low and behold I was offered a position, which I accepted out of complete desperation just days before my company was set to close. I let out a sigh of relief thinking everything would be just fine as I had another consistent paycheck lined up.

Man, I was never so wrong in my adult life! Within days I determined that I had accepted the role from the depths of hell, at the most horrific organization in the universe. I will save you the hardship of reading through my tribulations. Just know that the role, and company were straight TRASH!

I felt like I was back at square one, with my back against the wall, yet again. DAMN Gina! I hung in there by a thread for several months, because I had bills just like everyone else. That is all that motivated to get out of bed in the morning, and to stay in the position.

For months, I was consumed by the toxicity of the situation. My mood changed, my spirit was showing signs of defeat, and I was on the verge of a damn meltdown. My man had enough of my madness and flat out told me “Wo-Man Up and quit that job!”

Huh? Quit my job? Did he not live in the same house as me, and share the same bills? I went back and forth with the idea of quitting my job for weeks. Had I lost my mind? Could I handle the financial implications? Your girl mustered the strength and quit that TRASH ass job.

For two months I was submersed in non-stop job searches, resume submissions (why do I have to upload my resume and manually type all my experience out again, shits ridiculous), countless phone screenings (with millennials who had one year of professional experience...get out of my face), in-person interviews from here to Timbuktu, without one tangible prospect or offer.

My outlook was bleak, the NOs were fast and furious, and my faith was being tested beyond measure. I was tired of it all...the process, the disappointment, and my interview fashions (Chile). 
One night I randomly received an email at 7PM requesting a phone interview for a gig I could not even recall applying for. I completed the phone interview,  and scheduled the physical interview all in a matter of weeks. My gut told me that I rocked my interviews,  and that both the position and company were a good fit for me. About a week later I was offered the position, which I accepted after some strong negotiations:)

There is a testimony that lay deep within my test. I was bent twenty-five different ways, but I did not break. You see sometimes God will test you, and allow you to fail while others all around you succeed. Your faith must have endurance during the “waiting period.” God is purposeful and this experience forced self-discovery and self-reflection on me. I learned more about myself during my twelve week “waiting period” than I had in my entire lifetime. 

I want to share a few gems that I learned throughout my experience, which I hope can help you find your very own freedom:
  1. I am strong as shit!
  2. There is more to life than a job or career. 
  3. My sanity and peace of mind are far more valuable than the paycheck and hardships a job can bring.
  4. It is okay to dip into your rainy-day fund, especially when you are standing in a torrential downpour.
  5. My Man and my Tribe are AMAZING, and I am filled with gratitude because of their love, support, encouragement, and prayers.
  6. Keep your CV, Cover Letter and References current as a mother. #StayReady
  7. The many NOs are necessary to get to the YES.
  8. I was privileged because I had been able to shop, groom, and dine leisurely. For the first time, I had to taper all of it down while unemployed. #Priorities
  9. God is a chess player. 
  10. I had to be specific and intentional with my prayers.
  11. I came to the realization that I had to stop waiting for the storm to pass, and simply learn how to dance in the rain.
  12. Get multiple streams of income in place. #Forever
  13. Have a tangible "Plan B" available at all times.
  14. Be flexible in establishing your New Normal, whenever necessary.
  15. I am both FEARLESS and FREE, and it feels so good!
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Budget Beauty: Drugstore Faves

Can I just tell y'all that as of late I have become the self-proclaimed "Queen of The Drugstore" when it comes to this here glam. For many, many, many years I was a luxury brand loyalist. I am talking everything from MAC to Kevyn Aucoin, and everything in between. Over the past nine to ten months I have found myself moving away from the high-end, luxury brands and shimmying right on down to the drugstore. 

In years past when you mentioned "drugstore"to me I would cringe at the thought of low quality products, with poor shade ranges and lackluster product lines. Much has changed in the cosmetic industry over the past few years, and more specifically within the past twelve to eighteen months. Product quality has improved significantly, shade options range from ivory to deep cocoa, textures include dewy and matte, product lines are vast, plentiful and long-wearing, and the price point is unmatched. 

I am often asked about my product breakdowns when wearing my full glam, and most people are surprised when I run off a laundry list of drugstore products. As a former professional makeup artist, I promise you that you can rock drugstore makeup just as well, if not better than the luxury brands. It is literally all in the product application and technique. Properly preparing, setting, and sealing your face will ensure rich, long-wearing makeup regardless of the brand or price point. 

The best part about drugstores is that they offer affordable baseline pricing, and most have coupon and reward programs that afford even greater deals. I live in my local CVS and I stack the hell out of my coupons and extra bucks. I split purchases, and utilize rebates so well that the cashier asks me for pointers! I tear CVS up and down...you hear me? I am talking $72 worth of cosmetics for $11, yeah that kind of deal. 

Another benefit of drugstore makeup is that if you travel a great deal you will not pass out should you forget a staple product at home. I used to travel a ton for my previous job and I always forgot some form of makeup. No worries as I would find the nearest drugstore and replace whatever I forgot at home, because the drugstore brands are available nationwide. 

I wanted to share some of my Drugstore Faves with you guys. Many of the products outlined above are my "Holy Grails" of the moment. Specifically that damn Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter and the Salon Perfect Lashes (swoons).

Here are a few recent pictures of me rocking full drugstore glam.

Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter
Nuance Nail Lacquer-Prickly Pear
Maybelline Matte Ink Lipstick-Lover                                               
Be sure to check out the products above, and comment below about your experience. Feel free to share some of your fave drugstore products as well. 
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Reloaded: Reclaiming My Blog

Illustration Credit: Dominik Vaughan

Heeeeey y’all…..I know you guys are giving me the entire sideeye right about now. I have been gone for five months of Sundays. Chile! Just typing that makes me let out a loud sigh for my damn self. I took some time off over the past few months to literally get my shit together.

I had been dealing with a ton professionally and personally, and that shit simply got to be too much. So, I did what I do best…I handled it! Handling my affairs required me to take some time away from the blog, and many other things in my life (more on that in a future post).

The bright side of my absence is that I spent some time on the blog, redefining its purpose and the direction I want it to go in the future. So, to paraphrase my Auntie Maxine, I am “Reclaiming My Blog.”

I really want this blog to win, and to win a few changes and improvements must be implemented. I want to deliver content that is more substantive, empowering, and consistent. No worries as all the FLY, and then some will remain in place. This blog must be multi-dimensional, relative, and present. This platform must be reflective of the evolution going on in my life, and the shape shifter that I have become. After all this is about A Journey To Living.

As you can see I have rebranded the actual website with a fresh layout and vibrant logo. This is just the beginning as I have so much in store for the blog, and beyond. I promise that the blog posts, social media content, and overall brand of Because Life Happens will be colorful, robust, and more.

I need you guys to get on board so that you can become submersed, and in the know of all things Because Life Happens. So, be sure to subscribe to the blog, and follow us on all available social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Be sure to tell all your homies about the blog, and Like/Comment/Share our content. I am so ready, and I hope that you all are as well. Let’s Do This!!!
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Finish Line: Our Friendship Has Run Its Course

One of the greatest assets in my life is my tribe of friends, and I do not take them for granted. I have worked very hard over the past year to tighten my circle, and weed out that which had no value. Trust me when I tell you that it took a lot of tough decisions, and a few doses of brutal honesty with myself. I seriously had to complete an assessment of my relationships, and literally evaluate what value, if any certain folks added to my life.

I am at the point in my life where my tribe reflects my vibe. I am not in the same space and place that I was just a short twelve months ago. This is an AMAZING thing, I promise. Life is about evolution, progression, and constant development. I am enjoying being present in every moment of my own growth.

Now with this growth came the realization that some people in my life were undeserving of my friendship. Over the past year I have let many people go, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Of all the people that I have severed ties with, there was one friend that was very special to me and letting her go was one of the toughest decisions of my adult life.  

I had tried to be patient and understanding of the toxicity my friend was bringing to our relationship, but then I stepped back and realized that I was not required to be tolerant of her madness. I also realized that my tolerance of her bad behavior is what allowed her to continue to take our friendship for granted, and spill her negative energy into the sacred space that was our relationship. 

This friend literally contributed nothing positive to my life, not one single thing. When she was present it was literally in the physical sense, as she was absent as she could be. I accepted the fact that we had chosen separate paths at this point in life after being friends for more than 16 years. TIME…that was the only thing keeping our friendship going. 

I held onto the relationship tight, because…FEAR. The fear of the unknown on the other side of the losing the friendship held me hostage in a relationship that was without a pulse. That is completely my fault, and for that I take ownership, and apologize. I have no ill will or malice towards my former friend. I wish her nothing short of the best, and I pray that she experiences growth in due time.

To my former friend that I have not spoken to in months, if you should ever wonder why our friendship is no more I threw together a short list of your greatest offenses:
  1. You lied about trying to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. I had to hear about it through the grapevine. Seriously? I am the cheer captain when it comes to celebrating my friends. You never, ever had to lie to me Craig (Friday voice)!
  2. I had a major surgical procedure a few months back, and when I woke up in recovery I had a text from you that read “Have a safe procedure.” What in thee hell?!?! You mean to tell me that you could not be there in my time of need? The best you could do was a damn text message?
  3. You were the negative undertone in the room each time I would bring a group of women together. Smart rhetoric, shady commentary, and just flat out nastiness is what you brought to the table. I personally have zero tolerance for women who are unable to play well with other women. It is the greatest sign of insecurity. 
  4. You constantly acted as if you were better than the rest of the world. Your energy was fed by surrounding yourself with others who you felt needed you for tangible things such as housing, money, and transportation to name a few. You were never better than me or anyone else, and “things” do not make you a better person. I did not need tangible things from you as I had my own. A word of advice: You should surround yourself with like minded individuals, dream catchers, and goal seekers. Opposed to people who are hanging onto you for what you can “do” for them.    
  5. You had to be celebrated for the most basic things i.e. owning a home, owning a vehicle, having a job, etc. I’m sorry but the last time I checked you don’t get celebrated for Adulting.
  6. Our relationship revolved around your world. I love to coordinate outings for my friends. Each time I extended an invitation you would have a laundry list of pre-requisites from the departure time being complimentary to your schedule, to the list of attendees being people you featured. Reality check…you are not the Queen of Sheba!
  7. You stopped being present in our relationship, and literally checked out. Now we all lead our own lives with partners, children, careers, etc., and I do not expect to speak to you daily. However, I do take issue with you not acknowledging my calls or text messages, but having time to make frequent posts on social media. #Priorities 
  8. You stopped being happy for me. You were jealous of my other friendships, and my joy. Your own misery and insecurities barred you from being genuinely excited for my growth and blessings. Major offense as I do not dim my light for anyone.
  9. You behaved like an immature child by constantly posting subliminal, shade filled messages on social media. The memes, the quotes, and the thirst were exhausting. You behaved in a passive manner, and delivered your thoughts indirectly via social media. This type of foolishness is not to be tolerated.
  10. You lost my trust and respect. My love, loyalty, and energy must be preserved at all costs. Our friendship was draining and undeserving of what I bring to the table. 
The “letting go” was the greatest blessing of this whole ordeal. Everything I thought I was losing was returned to me in abundance. I had been blocking my own blessings by holding onto something that was no more. The moment I ended my toxic friendships God blessed me with many new relationships that have proven far more substantive than I could have ever imagined. 

This experience has taught me to not allow fear to get in my way, that it is okay to remove toxicity from your life regardless of the level of difficulty, I am far too valuable to be subjected to bad behavior, and to keep growing and shining. 

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Sharing Is Caring: Canvas Skin Spa

To know me is to know that my selfish levels are fairly low, and being territorial is just not in my nature. Well there is one exception to my innate traits, and that is Canvas Skin Spa. I am sorry that I am not sorry, because I seriously wanted to keep the sacred space that is Canvas Skin Spa to my darn self!

Quick back story, a few months ago your girl was down to the hospital recovering from a medical procedure. As fate would have it my nurse, Jasmine was a fellow Glammie, we started chit chatting and the rest is just plain old history. She referred me to Canvas Skin Spa, and assured me that I would not be disappointed.


I knew that I was dead wrong when I called on a Wednesday requesting a full course of services for Saturday of that same week. Nevertheless, the ladies over at Canvas Skin Spa accommodated me, and booked my services. I scheduled a full facial, manicure, pedicure, brow sculpting, and lip waxing, yes all of that...your girl had been on sick and shut in status for four whole weeks.

I shimmied on down to Canvas Skin Spa on Saturday looking like an extra on Underground (all kinds of raggedy). The owner of the spa, Bridget rendered my services to perfection. I began with my facial which included all natural products ranging from rose water to brown sugar. Chile! Bridget put me to sleep, woke me up, and put me back down for a secondary nap.

My manicure and pedicure were EVERYTHING! They included ground coffee, essential oils and extracts, and a complimentary massage that stimulated circulation in my both my upper and lower extremities.

Last, but certainly not least was the waxing services….BAAAAAYYYBBBBYYY! Now I will admit that I was nervous as all get out as I do not play about my brows. Well…strike that as I messed around and let the self-proclaimed #BrowKang play around with my brows a few months earlier, and he had me screaming “Take Me To The King!” non-stop for four months. I cannot make this crap up. I will save that horror story for another day.

I knew Bridget was the truth when she said “I know that you sleep on your right side because your right brow has a bald spot on the tail end!” Listen Linda, I hollered because she was spot on with her assessment. Now she did put my bald spot on front street, but she also recommended that I begin sleeping on a satin pillowcase immediately to remedy the issue. See that right there is what I am talking about. Don’t call out a problem if you are not going to come with the solution! When she finished my brows and handed me the mirror I let out a loud “Ooohhhh you did that Brow Whisperer!” Yes, I ordained her The Brow Whisperer as she brought my brows back to life, and back to reality. #BrowKang who?!?!? #BrowWhisperer all day, every day, and day!

I’m sorry…I got so caught up in my brow waxing experience that I forgot to share that my lip waxing was perfection as well, because for the first time in my adult life I did not have major redness and skin irritation afterwards. 


Canvas Skin Spa is small, quaint, and decorated with the flyest vintage décor. It feels like you are visiting the home of your eclectic girlfriend with the bomb style. It is warm, inviting, and homely. The lighting is low for maximum relaxation and comfort. There are private rooms for skin and waxing services, and there is a communal area for manicures and pedicures.

The playlist in the background has everything from Fred Hammond to Amerie depending on the day of the week. Again, totally reminiscent of your eclectic girlfriend with a musical palette that ranges from techno to soul, and incudes everything in between.

In addition to the menu of spa services, you can purchase a full range of natural products to maintain your self-care during the week. You can buy everything from natural bars of soap (my world stops if I do not have my mango and sage soaps) to hemp oil, to skin moisturizers.

You can also grab the most fly summer purse, beach hat, and handmade jewelry. Yes, Canvas Skin will not only have your mind and body looking and feeling right, but they will get your fashions in order too!

I am apart of the Friday Nite Crew..woot woot! Friday Nite Divas including myself always bring light fare, snacks, and wine. Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are complete serenity and tranquility. You should book according to your preference, and the type of services you would like rendered.

More important than the tangible décor and ambiance are the women Canvas Skin Spa serve. Any day of the week you will find sophisticated, sassy, sharp, and witty women from all walks of life. They share wisdom, wise tales, humor, celebrity gossip, faith, corporate war stories, entrepreneurial journeys, business trends, fashion and style tips. We stay hours after our services have been completed just to experience one another. It is pure fellowship, sisterhood, and my own personal village. For this, I am beyond grateful! Shoutout to some of my main Divas, Ms. Geri, Lisa, Sandra, Jessica, Ms. Roz, Ms. Mary, Ms. Belynda (with a “Y” honey), Darlene, Ms. Vaxine, Ms. Gwen, Ms. Vicki, and all the other ladies that frequent Canvas Skin Spa.


I must emphasize that all the services rendered at Canvas Skin Spa are natural, meaning no chemicals, preservatives or anything else that could cause bodily harm. I am talking honey, brown sugar, ground coffee, rose water, essential oils, and Himalayan pink sea salt. Yeah….all of that! So, if you are about that gel, acrylic, acetone, toxin, sliced cuticle life then I recommend that you stay right at your neighborhood salon. If you practice self-care, and place a premium on your holistic skincare and nailcare regimens then Canvas Skin Spa is the place for you.

Bridget and her staff are uber experienced and knowledgeable. They have been in business for years, their reputations precede them, and their clientele have nothing but rave reviews for the business and level of service.

Bridget is EVERYTHING and a total Godsend as she has curated and facilitates a space for women to receive all natural beauty services, fellowship, create lifelong friendships, and so much more. She has also been here before as she is like your Nana who does not believe in modern medicine, and has an herb, oil, or spice to cure any and all ailments. I say that in a good way as y’all know Nana will have that walking pneumonia cured in 24-48 hours with a few roots, onions, and some salve for good measure. Correct me when I am wrong, and acknowledge me when I am right!

Look at my skin and brows pulled all the way together in this picture. My skin has not been this clear since 1988! It is nothing but a testament to what maintaining a consistent regimen with Canvas Skin Spa can do for your life. 

Danielle is the makeup artist extraordinare who can beat a face to perfection! To all of my ladies who constantly call, email, and inbox me soliciting makeup services, I am never coming back….EVER! So, if you need your face carved to perfection for any occasion you can book Danielle, and Canvas Skin Spa to serve your needs. Yes, I have seen their work, and I approve ten times over.

In addition to whipping faces together, Danielle KILLS the nail art, and I am being modest. We have coined the phrase #DaniDidIt for Danielle and the works of art she puts forth every day.  As if being an amazing artist was not enough, Danielle is just a BOMB person. She is the perfect mixture of fly, no nonsense, and woke. 

Here is some of her makeup work, beyond gorgeous. 

Here are a few pics that showcase the masterpieces Danielle has created on my hands:



Overall Experience

I can sum my experience up as impeccable, and unmatched. Canvas Skin Spa is a safe space and refuge for the clientele it serves, and a place for us to decompress regardless of life's happenings in the days before our appointment. When you cross the threshold of Canvas Skin Spa you just let it all go, and leave it at the door. The greatness that is Canvas Skin Spa is attributable to Bridget who maintains a space that possesses exclusivity, and experience beyond measure.

My skin is delivering its peak performance as we speak as Canvas Skin Spa keeps it all the way together, and my nails are stronger than ever. My fashions and accessories are giving the girls life, and my heart is full from all of the love shared throughout the space that is Canvas Skin Spa.

I have been patronizing Canvas Skin Spa for approximately four months, but it feels like forever. I love this space so much that I have a standing weekly appointment for my services, as do the other customers that are in the know. Canvas Skin Spa has a demanding and consistent clientele, so you will have to get in where you fit in and try to get on the books for an appointment! No worries as the team always finds a way to fit you in.

Be sure to check out Canvas Skin Spa, Bridget and Danielle, sooner than later. You just may catch me in the mix acting an entire fool as per usual.

8327B Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118


Shoutout to Derrick and Seth for being gentlemen by always walking us ladies to our vehicles in the evening hour, and Brielle and Tori who prep us for our services, and laugh at all of our madness. You are all loved.

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