Auntie is Old AF and it is good.

Hi darlings.

Yesterday was my 43rd birthday. Holy fuckballs. I am FORTY THREE YEARS OLD. Had you asked me at 20 if I’d see 2020 I’d have laughed in your face. Even though I’ve had a lot of anxiety about my birthday (I will explain) because people are very kind and I have people who love me, they helped a lot.

So why am I so fucking birthday anxious? It isn’t aging. I’m good with aging even the bullshit parts. I love my grey hairs, I love that. I love that I’m officially at Fine Ass Old Auntie Age. Being young was real hard and I wouldn’t go back unless someone gave me a LOT of money to have back then and I got to keep what I’ve learned.

The thing is, I have a lot of trauma around um, expressing that I want things that aren’t necessary for survival. I feel guilty when I window shop, I hear the “teasing” of my parents about being greedy. Or the exapseration when I was like other kids and would be like, OMG I want that. You know, normal kid stuff.

Parents I want to say what is coming for you. Pay attention.

Some kids will hear everything you say and how you say it. I was a kid who got sick a lot. I know now that my parents had little money but then, what I heard was how much of a financial burden I was. Every prescription of antibiotics for my ear or other infections. Trips to the ER. School supplies. School clothes. Food. I very acutely felt the weight. I don’t think they did it on purpose necessarily but a lot of that behavior, the “teasing” really damaged me.

For instance. I did not know this was a bad story until I was trying to be funny and told a friend a long time ago and they were horrified.

Scene: Me as a little potato maybe 9 years old. I tried to keep a running tally of how much money I would owe my parents when I grew up. I tried to figure out how much it cost for me to eat, how much my clothes cost, I taught myself to try and eat less. Be small. Years ago I thought it was a cute story…it is not.

There are other traumas but that one kind of sums it up. I honestly thought I’d dealt with this. In my thirties I was fine sharing my wishlists and kind of being more casual about this stuff. I don’t know what happened but for the last few years I’ve had the hardest time saying like, I’d like this stuff for my birthday or for christmas.

Even from my partner or my bestie it has just been so hard. This year, y’all. Full disclosure. So I made this birthday wishlist. Please don’t feel obligated to buy stuff. I used it as some exposure therapy on myself. I LITERALLY spent almost 3 full months curating it. I was terrified that, I’d  put too many things on it. I was anxious because I put things on it that my lil fam doesn’t need. It took me literal weeks to even share the damn thing and then I kept screwing with it.

And I KNOW I KNOW how this shit sounds. I feel stupid but here we are.

That being said. I decided to really try this year. I got some gifts from friends and y’all, I wept. Knowing that there are people who were like, HEY lil potato have a good birthday. There has been sneakers (will post pics when I get a good one), yarn, snacks. A new stock pot. Having people give me things I’ve said explicitly that I want and not have them later on use it against me or to say, hey look I did something nice for you already. it has meant a lot.

The other thing is, I treated myself. It was also very important for me in my process of re-parenting myself, and being a good Space Dad to me. So below find some photos of me being a good Space Dad to myself.

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[image description: inside of an amazon box. from Left to right, a large container of protein superfood, a box of liquid biotin, a small bottle of toner and a bottle of probiotics]

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[image description: inside of a box. from left to right. Organic superfood protein powder and a large cannister of collagen powder]

I had a bunch of other shit in my cart but, I was freaked out enough that I had to edit it, think about it and edit it. So I got what is important to me. Nutrition and skin care.

I ordered a yoga mat too but I think it got stolen.

But overall, I was a good Dad to myself. I’m gonna keep working on it.

BUT happy mother fucking birthday to me. Holy shit I’m 43!

Posted in adventures in aging, shopping, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Self-care stuff, smol victories and homemaking.

Hi babes. Today we’re going to talk about self-care and some things I’ve been working on to help preserve my little bit of sanity and improve the quality of my lived life.

So for context, those of you who don’t know me, have probably not read the book I wrote about self-care. You can download and read it for free here (right click and save as, if you use the kindle chrome extension, you can open the link and send to kindle). Please don’t redistribute it or steal it, it is free. If you share it please direct folks back here or at least use my name. I have had the material stolen before and it makes me feel like shit.

I’ve written new material about it off and on but lately I’ve been very focused on using my habit of writing stuff down, to remind myself that basically I’m not totally failing. With the current news I absolutely feel like a lot of us need to claim our small victories because too much of the world is shit.

ON to victory.

For me, I’ve been working on making my house a home. This is something I’ve struggled with my entire adult life. This is mainly due to childhood trauma (YAY SHIT) and working on it has been…bad. After we moved into our current place, I promised myself I would do the shit. I been doin the shit.

First up, below look at a little photo of my hallway. Over the last few weeks partner and I cleared a bunch of boxes and junk from the area and it looked like this after.

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[image description: photo of the authors home there are drawers in the forgroung against a wood floor. also in view a closet, an open bathroom door and some random items]

One of the challenges we’ve faced at home is that it is very small. Partner and I live in a tiny studio and when we moved in we had to throw out most of our furniture because it wouldn’t fit or it was too old and raggedy. I purchased the two bin things as a set from Amazon* (yeah it isn’t “real” furniture but whatever fight me) and I love them.  One of the reasons I love these is that empty they are very lightweight and I can move them by myself. Also I am going to decorate them with tape.

I had a small one like this* that I was able to move into the bathroom and I organized my skin care, hair care and whatnot. WIN. Another thing I like about this sort of plastic stuff is that they are super easy to clean. And I can use them where ever I need to.

Being able to arrange things to my own liking has been amazing. I’m really focused on keeping our home accessible to both of us, easy to maintain and I’ve discovered I have a BIG OLE love of organization.

Next victory.

I purchased a shoe rack* from Amazon. Partner got it together and he put it in front of our front door. Our door has a full swing to open and my lil shoes are out of the way and displayed in a way I find very pleasing. AND no shoe germs in the house!

victory

[image description: a black shoe rack with assorted black shoes on it]

With the area in the first photo opened up more, that means I can get my exercise on right there AND we will have space for my next thing which will be a rack to store some kitchen stuff on.

So why is this such a big deal? First reason is that, I’ve never allowed myself to prioritize my own comfort in my home to spend money on things I both like and need. That is a big deal for me and I’m learning to enjoy the process. Second reason is that, I ENJOY it. Part of my philosophy surrounding self-care is heavily involved in allowing myself to enjoy things.

Yes things are shit right now but, I will snag the joy where I can snag it.

I encourage y’all to do it too.

So tell Auntie your small victories. Remember to cheer your friends on. Do a victory dance when the family or kids or partner or friends do something.

PS

Affiliate links denoted with a * as usual. If you enjoy the self care book feel free to come back and tip me out.

 

 

Posted in be that shit, home life, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Recipe Day- Yummy Spiced Mocha Protein Drink

There will be Amazon affiliate links denoted by a *.

HI babes! The weather is warming up and I’ve been experimenting with my morning beverages. Today a new recipe.

You’ll need:

-Shaker bottle. This* is the one I use. It is WELL worth the price to have the hot/cold flexibility. Highly recommended. Alternately use one of those little milk frother things if you don’t have a shaker.

-Protein powder of your choice in chocolate. I use two. For most of the protein I use Amazing Grass Protein Superfood: Organic Vegan Protein Powder*. And for extra veg servings and a little more protein I use the Amazing Grass Green Superfood: Organic Wheat Grass and 7 Super Greens Powder*. If you’re not a fan of a slightly green grassy flavor, the first one will cover that in the second one. Or you can use just one.

-For the spice, I’m using this Tropical Heat Kenyan Tea Masala*. Y’all, I got it on a whim and it is fucking delicious. Like a lot of masalas the spice profile is clovey, gingery but I think the ratios of the spices give it such a nice smooth heat that works in both savory and sweet stuff. I love it.

-Instant coffee. I use a very strong dark one. It is the one my partner likes*. Chocolatey finish. I use it for flavor mostly. If you are caffeine sensitive, PLEASE do not use this one you will see through time and/or poo yourself. You could also use a bit of cold brew, leftover coffee. Or skip it.

-Your milk substance of choice. I’ve made it with almond milk, coconut milk and soy. The best for me texturally is almond milk.

OKAY now.

I also use nutritional extras. I add collagen*, MSM*, a sploot of hemp oil.

Because this is powder heavy you can’t just drump powders and go. Add about half to three quarters of your milk, then add your powders and coffee and masala. Shake it shake it shake it like a polaroid picture. Check it, add the rest of your milk and shakey shakey shakey…if you’re me you might also be shaking your ass while doing this because why not?

And voila. You have a deliciously spiced cold mocha.

A few other pro tips. If you have texture issues with protein powders, try altering how much you’re using. You don’t HAVE to use two full scoops or whatever. For about 18 ounces of liquid I usually do about half to two thirds of a scoop of the protein. If you want more protein but not that texture, add some looser protein like a nut butter. If you need sweetener use something liquid, I don’t use any.

If you aren’t able to physically shake it, blend it. Alternately, you can skip the nutritive powders OR use liquids. If you struggle to get in enough calories or veggies this is a great way to get them in. Also it is delicious.

SO if you make this, tell me your version.

GO enjoy!

Posted in food, health, recipes, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On Intuitive Eating And why it kinda sucks.

CW: for a few non explicit mentions of eating disorder history below.

So today we’re gonna talk Intuitive Eating and why as the title suggests it kind of sucks. First if you aren’t familiar here is a quickie overview. From an article this sums it up nicely:

Intuitive eating is a philosophy that encourages us to listen to our bodies for hunger and satisfaction cues — to eat when we’re hungry and to stop when we’re full.

For our purposes we’re not gonna argue any of the following because ain’t nobody got time for that ahem:

  • IF U EAT WAT U WANT UR GONNA NEVER STOP EATING.
  • OMG FATASS UR GONNA GET MORE FATASS
  • OMG FATASS UR GONNA DIE….

We not doing that. If you try to comment with that bullshit I will see you out.

For our purposes here, we’re using Intuitive eating as shorthand for doing as the body wants.

OKAY let’s get into it.

I’ve been aware of Intuitive Eating and the associated principles for gosh, 10 years? More? I dunno. Previous to that, I hadn’t heard the term but understood the concept as a part of my life I aspired to make better. At the time, I was just too poor to really get into what I wanted to eat in any substantial way.

Fast forward to now and for the last few years I’ve been looking at how I feel about eating, what I want to eat, how I want to eat. I’m a habitual note taker and journal person, part of how I developed my self-care ideas heavily involved keeping tabs on myself and my body. One of the first things I stopped doing toward this end was I stopped assigning food and food intake moral value.

I have a background of eating disorders and disordered eating. From purging via an exercise addiction to anorexia to some other more murky EDNOS type things. Part of what fueled those EDs was my moral standing and assignments on what and how I ate. Looking back, when I was a vegetarian than vegan, I was deep into what is now called orthorexia.

So in theory, I really love Intuitive Eating. We know that I believe that food is medicine, I believe that food is a beautiful part of culture, of how we interact as a species and frankly I just love food.

My problem is this.

Like most other things related to wellness, there is a depth of privilege you need in order to fully engage. Access to food continues to be a problem in America. Food deserts exist. Beyond that, even when you have access to the food, we also have to look at the cost, how quick things spoil, if we have energy to prep and cook food, food intolerance and allergies, etc.

This is the problem I have with most wellness related things. Folks are so busy being aspirational and trying to secure the bag via being an influencer, we don’t get to have the important discussions about how these things actually function. This is how we get goop and frankly nobody wants it.

In terms of my experience, I have noticed that I tend to crave and want to eat a pretty balanced diet. I love my veggies. I love variety. I love color. I love flavor. I want to eat fish a few times a week and once a week or so red meat. White meat as needed. Where I’m experiencing difficulty is that due to the cost of the REST of my life (rent, staying alive etc) I cannot afford to eat the way I want in a sustainable fashion.

Let’s break it down a little bit also if you’re not really familiar with looking at intersectionality and how it functions in life, this is a great moment to get into it.

We’re gonna go list style.

  1. I deal with a lot of chronic pain and fatigue.
  2. I don’t have the budget weekly or monthly to continuously eat the way I’d like to.
  3. I don’t have the time to shop often due to #1.

Let’s look at #1. The way my body is set up currently, a lot of days I only have energy to get back and forth to work, do a little housework if I’m lucky. I hate it but that is what it is. Emotionally and spiritually I LOVE food prep. I love it. I find meal planning and food prep exciting and calming. However, as it also relates to #s 2 and 3, the combination of these things makes it hard for me to do.

You see that?

That is what we mean by intersectionality, nothing operates in a void and that is missing in wellness culture.

We have to think about how we talk to each other about these things. When people recommend recipes, ways of eating etc to me, especially people who know me personally, I feel terrible when I realize they haven’t or don’t think about what it would take to do. Or put it this way, what happens when you say OH this is the One Twoo way to Health and you don’t think about the person who has a 200$ budget for food for a month.

Or the person who is disabled and can’t stand around cutting up shit for meal prep. Or the person like me who loves intuitive eating, but who cannot engage fully.

Before I go I want to leave y’all with another few thoughts. Think about the ways we talk about things like intuitive eating. If you are all the way the fuck in for it, think about people who can’t be and don’t make moral judgements. Don’t contribute to other folks feeling bad because there are reasons they can’t.

So yeah, while following a very intuitive eating based methodology is my dream, I can’t and it kinda sucks.

Posted in body politics, food, health, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wig Review-Janet Collection Natural Me Human Hair Blend Lace Front Wig – Ann

OH babes. I am so in love right now. I snagged the Ann wig from the really lovely Janet collection Natural me line from Divatress.

First up, let’s talk about the store Divatress. Divatress has become one of my go to places on the net for hair. They have a HUGE selection of wigs at varying price points and styles. Easy navigation, their customer service is pretty ding dang good too. They offer some bomb coupon codes and have reward points. Just on my last purchase of this wig and a few other things, I saved about enough to cover my shipping cost.

NOW let us discuss Ann.

From the website:

Product Description
Deep Part Lace
100% Hand Tied Swiss Lace
Ear to Ear Soft Swiss Lace
Special Knotting on Back Nape
Natural Hairline & Natural Yaky Texture

She comes in standard colors, black, brown, a nice caramel ombre and a burgundy and, the silver foxiness you’re about to lay eyes on.

20200204_070829

[image of the author: Brown skinned NB femme wearing a cute silver fox bob wig and smiling a bit]

OKAY now I mean……….I’m feeling myself okay. I’m feeling some Big Silver Daddy Energy.

And yes. Going full steely grey without an ombre root is a thing it is a statement. I had wanted a whole ass different wig but she was sold out literally everywhere after a lot of glowing reviews so, I found Ann and I love her.

Right out of the box I love the texture of the hair. It feels like a thicker version of my natural blown out hair. Slightly crinkly, fluffy, soft. The cap construction is pretty usual, inside the part the combs are a bit too close to the front of the wig for my liking so I might move them. Without a wig slip

She is VERY big head friendly. I have an average sized head (I forgot to put my wig grip on this morning) and had to tighten her up quite a bit for a secure fit.

The lace is decent. It says “soft” lace but it is not extra soft if you get me. It isn’t as scratchy as I’ve found some brands the shade is a nice sheer shade.

Pros:

  • Soft and fluffy
  • Gorgeous color mix. They really nailed a luxurious silver fox colorway.
  • Inexepensive. Most places are selling this unit for between 25-35$ and she retails for 49$.
  • Doesn’t need a whole lot of work can be worn right out the box.
  • Just a really pretty wig.

Cons:

  • AH LAWD she sheddin. I am not sure about the other colors but, this one sheds like hell.
  • The cap may just be too dang big. Without a wig grip, if you have an average to small head security is gonna be an issue.

I highly recommend this particular wig for folks who don’t want to mess with baby hairs or securing a unit with glue or whatever. If you don’t have wig customization skills, she is real cute right out of the box. If you are an older person who wants to try out going grey, do it. Or if you are in fact Old AF and just want to be a silver fox, do it.

Overall I am totally in love with Ann and might try out another wig in the line.

10/10 would buy again.

Posted in adventures in aging, afro goth, beauty, beauty reviews, Uncategorized, wig reviews, wigs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Golden Milk! My recipe and how to.

Hi babes! Today we’re gonna talk about Golden milk lattes and my personal recipe.

If you don’t know golden milk is a traditional auyervedic remedy. Traditionally you heat turmeric, black pepper, some fat and make a paste. Then you use that paste in hot milk of your choice. The reported benefits include things like:

  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Better digestion
  • Antioxidant protection

Etc etc. You can do your own research.

If you’ve been here a while you know I am VERY into food as medicine. I tried a golden milk latte from one of my fave coffee shops, Ladro.  I wasn’t looking for the medicinal properties to begin with, I honestly think it tasted so good. Very warm and comforting for a cold morning.

That said, my bank account is not set up to buy one daily so, I decided to make my own. below find my method.

Amazon affiliate links indicated with a *.

My partner picked up this amazing steel shaker bottle, designed for both hot and cold drinks. If you can’t get one of these, you’ll need something that is heat proof or if you have a mixer or milk frother that’ll work too.

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[image description: photo of a steel tumblr with a keyboard in the background.

This is the Moonice New Shaker Bottle, Stainless Steel*.  I am really impressed with it. The top screws on well and I only experienced leakage due to user error. The sippy part lid is very secure. I’m very comfortable throwing this in my bag in the morning when I leave for work.

Next thing you need is the Golden Milk powder. I use this Golden Milk Powder* by Turmaquik. I had samples of a few other brands and settled on this one. It costs about 16$ on prime and has 90 servings. It also comes with a little scoop on the inside for your serving size. I COULD mix the powder myself but, this works. I like the accessibility of it and ease.

I also use:

A squirt of hemp oil. I use the Zatural* cold pressed plain hemp oil. I have been using hemp oil more or less regularly for about 3 years now. I love using it in my diet. There is some low key pain relief for me, a bit of extra calmness. But my FAVE thing about having it in my diet is, it helps me poop.

You can also use coconut oil, ghee, etc. from my research the fatty oils help absorption of the good shit.

The rest of this is both medicinal and to taste. I use:

  • Prince of Peace Instant Lemon Ginger Honey Crystals*. I have drunk this tea for YEARS y’all. Many many years. I love ginger and I tend to have at least one or two bags on hand at all times. I use one packet for my latte.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon*. I love this stuff. I always buy in bulk and there is always at least a half lb in my house. I use it in coffee, tea, cocoa, on breakfast rice. Love it.
  • Raw honey*. Also stuff I use heavily in my life. Tea, breakfast rice, hair treatments. The linked bottle tastes really nice and is a STEAL at under 10$ for a big ass bottle.
  • Fresh ground Black pepper. We use a lot of spices, this is always on hand.
  • For milk I prefer plain almond milk or the canned coconut milk.

OKAY here’s what you do. I do this while I’m getting ready in the morning. When I am stocked I also add my MSM powder

I put our kettle on and let it go. You want your water to be heavily boiling. Hot as fuck. I use one heaping scoop of the turmeric powder, one sachet of the ginger tea, sprinkle on some cinnamon, add my honey and pepper. When the water hits a rolling boil I add it to my cup. My cup has markings inside, I don’t know the actual ounces but I add water to about 2 inches from the hot.

Secure the lid, shake the shit out of it. Once it is mixed I add in my cold milk and my squirt of oil. Shake the shit out of it some more and voila. Into my bag it goes. I flavor it by smell, when it smells right it is flavored enough. If you want it frothy, use one of those milk frothers before adding your milk.

BOOM.

Delicious. Warming. Nice on the guts. Gets me some morning blood sugar going. Medicinally, I can say that the mix does help me get a nice calmer edge. I will report back about pain after another couple of months.

Some pro tips. If you use some oil the mouthfeel will be weird at first. I personally like that slightly greasy feeling.

If you are like me and tend to be cold, this is amazing at warming you up from the inside. The ginger, pepper and cinnamon will help.

Also it is just frickin delicious.

If you try it out, report back. BE CAREFUL shaking it when you add your water and enjoy. We’ll talk more about the influence of Ayurveda in my life and ways to incorporate cultural wellness into your life when it isn’t your culture and not be an asshole.

 

 

Posted in adventures in aging, food, health, recipes, wellness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A little fashion and Musing

HAY BOO HAY. Yer fave weirdo Auntie with some fashion.

Recently, I treated myself to a few items from a Killstar Mega clearance. Here is a referral link, 5% off of your first purchase and I get VIP points.

I have a little haul and some thoughts on the brand.

First up this absolutely gorgeous backpack I’ve literally had my eye on since it came out. Killstar is way overpriced so I watched and when it went on sale I snatched it right up.

20200121_165426

[image description: photo of a backpack with fanged toothey roses on a black background]

This beauty is the Paradise Backpack. Still on sale. Specs from Killstar:

– Faux Leather.
– Statement Graphic.
– Branded Plaque.
– Zipped.
– Adjustable Straps.
– Size 33 x 37 x 12 cm, Straps 40 – 71 cm.

This is a beautiful piece, it isn’t too huge and not too small. The inside has a rear padded pocket, an open space and the front zip pocket is quite roomy. Nicely padded straps and I am pretty sure this will wear nicely. It also has two side outside pockets that are perfect to hold a compact umbrella.

Is it worth the $52.99 original price? Meh. It is a backpack.

Now here is where the problematic bit comes in. That print is not original. Killstar has been called out for this before and obviously they don’t care. I know this. And yet, I bought it anyway because I a.) needed  a new backpack and b.) really love the print. This is an instance where, yeah I can deal with the problematic brand.

I’ve purchased some other items from Killstar. One of my favorites is the Donnie Skater dress.  I picked it up on sale for 16$ and that price was appropriate. Of the clothing pieces I have from them, I would honestly not pay full price for their clothing.

Here is why.

First issue is their very inconsistent sizing. This drives me up the wall when it is a single brand store. This irritates me beyond belief. For the price range, say generally even skater dresses are about/over $50, I expect better quality control including sizing. I have shopped goth/dark aesthetic brands for 20 years at varying price points and body sizes. This has been a constant issue except for (Shocker) brands like Tripp and Everlasting love, Lip Service for two minutes and yes, I understand that they are likely manufacturing in sweatshops around the world but come on man.

The Donnie skater dress I got in a size L (I am about a jrs 11 for reference) it fits beautifully. I picked up a thrifted other of their prints from a couple of years ago, same cut, same fabric, same size and it was absurdly tight and short. The inconsistency is not great. My Donnie dress is also more see through than I would expect for an originally $52 dress.

I had the same issue with some panties. One pair I bought in a size L is way too big. Same order, different pair the size L is way too small.

I’ve heard wildly differing reviews on their shoes. From they are amazing to, I wore them for a day and the platform came off.

For contrast, I picked up a knock off from Wish.. Y’all, between us I think the supplier is the same. I got the wish dress for 8$. It is the same material as the Donnie dress, the fit is as good. It is less see through and here’s my takeaway.

Expensive goth brands are pretty but, I advise caution in paying full retail. I personally really only buy Killstar when it is on mega sale.

I can’t recommend their hosiery or knee high socks, I bought a pair that was child sized and we don’t do that here.

Overall, frankly in spite of them being a very high end status type brand, the clothing is not generally worth the price in terms of quality and fit. Buy at yer own risk.

A pro tip on my shopping methodology. I save items. I make wishlists and when I think I want to buy some stuff, I watch the sales, VIP point offers etc like a friggin hawk. Which is how I have this gorgeous bag.

Also a few words about their half hearted attempt at inclusive sizing………………….le sigh.

They have scattered occasional plus sizes 1x-3x. Some of their straight sized items are roomy/stretch enough to accommodate a few sizes into that range. Like so many other brands, especially brands that cater to a specific aesthetic they are really fucking themselves out of a lot of money.

Fact. Fat people are willing to put down cash for what they want full stop. A casual glance at some of the offerings for fat folks, things are comparably priced if not more expensive *COUGH fuckin Torrid*.

Fact. A casual glance through the Killstar FB comments, people want more sizing inclusivity. So many (often problematic but whatever) comments from people outside of the 0-12ish size range saying, PLEASE make this in our size.

It is 20-dingdang-20. There are no reasons for companies, especially niche aesthetic companies to completely ignore fat people.

So at the end here. I only halfway recommend Killstar. I have a few of their housewares (also overpriced) that are nice. I LOVE the aesthetics but, they aren’t a company I’m going to go hard for or spend my coin before a sale.

All that said, I shall continue having wet dreams about these boots.

Coming soonish….better attempts at outfit shots.

 

 

Posted in afro goth, Fashion reviews, goth, shopping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wellness- We Got Beef.

OH hi babe.

Let’s dive right on in cause I got a problem.

I have had a very long standing interest in wellness. I’m talking, I started reading about herbs and Indigenous remedies, family remedies, food as medicine etc way back in the early 90s. I’ve always leaned towards treating myself in a holistic manner, I like to look at the whole picture of how my body works and how to support it working as best it can.

This interest both predates and supports my general wooness. I remember reading a book about being a hedge witch and automatically my interest in the woo bits of herbs and food got my interest.

Basically, I am not new in these wellness streets. So buckle up.

I spend a lot of time engaging with media content about wellness. I have some major problems around how wellness is being marketed, talked about and done because it isn’t well.

First problem. The thin, white, cisness of it all. Being that we live in the age of the Influencer, wellness has a very standard face. Thin, cis white women often, they pose so we are confronted by their thinness. The sun shining through their thigh gap, their “candid” yoga poses where, the light hits their taut bellies and their boobs are standing up even though they are upside down, their waists are super tiny and their booties super round. We all know the look. We can’t get away from it.

Want to shop for something to wear while you do yoga? HERE IS A PHOTO OF SOME CHICKS ASS. Now, I love booties. Yes please show me your butt I’m into it but, when brands rely on these vaguely porny images that show bodies that have been facetuned within an inch of life, it serves no one. If you like youtube, we’re confroted with hundreds of videos where already thin women, do “challenges” or talk up suspect weightloss products.

On the topic of influencers, I don’t trust not one. From the terrible ads for “tummy teas” (diuretic or laxative teas) to when they do review diets or workouts, there is no follow up or really a lot of substance much of the time.

Second problem is the front loading of fatphobia and weight loss as the goal. Y’all know if you’be been here for a while that I am absolutely against this. I am absolutely against the notion that health is a single thing, a look or a moral issue. The damage of this is so vast. We’ll dig more into why this is damaging later but, for now suffice to say I hate it.

Wellness has become quite the marker of privilege hasn’t it? And the method of marketing used for this type of wellness is so sneaky. It makes you feel bad and aspire to be doing what the person is doing. I mean, we know how successful Goop is with this. I think that a lot of the people who are doing this, are gross. I don’t want or need my wellness to replicate that particular dynamic.

I don’t like the colonialism and Columbusing that goes on. I find a lot of things I see/read about wellness that carry the idea that Becky from Cleveland somehow knows something like Ayuverda so much better than people who have been doing it for thousands of years. You know? I just hate it.

Now let me stop complaining. One of the original reasons I started this blog was because one of the things I’m interested in writing about is wellness. I want to develop my writing around this in a way that not only nourishes and fulfills me but y’all as well. I want to talk about, think about, do and write about wellness without the bullshit above.

This time of year is the worst for thinking about or doing wellness and if you are struggling with the things above, I see you friend.

One of the other reasons I’ve been dragging my feet about it is that, the culture of wellness is so not welcoming to me. I feel like, what I have to say is so far outside of how we are presented wellness, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try. After years of being a fat blogger, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the rage my views can engender.

I’m ready.

We ready.

SO TL:DR we’ll be visiting wellness more here. And I really hope to give some of y’all a whole new ass view of this stuff.

Thanks for reading.

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No New Me

Hello babes! Yer fave Auntie is back and we’re gonna dig into the lie that is New Year New Me horse shit.

Up front let’s establish where I am coming from okay?

  • I do not believe that fat is bad.
  • I do not believe that weightloss and dieting is inherently good.
  • I do not believe that there is one size fits all everyone should have a six pack and thigh gap type of health.
  • I believe that it is deeply harmful to conflate health with appearance, weight or influencer status.
  • I believe that everyone has a right to do what is best for their body and not have to frame it in a way that is hateful towards themselves, shameful towards themselves or in any other way that holds to the idea that, you MUST hate your body and always be trying to change it.
  • I believe that we all deserve to engage with or not engage with wellness as we please.

OKAY now we have that out of the way.

Here is the problem with wellness as it is presented especially this time of year. The idea that we should be ashamed of the bodies we live in because they don’t aesthetically appear to be healthy, is abuse. Health is not an insta look. It is not the dehydrated fitness influencer sucking it in on the beach and face tuning their ass.

Change by itself is great. Change that is fueled by culturally approved self harm and self hate is not.

I come at this from the perspective of someone who will never, ever ever be the “healthy” ideal. Even when I have been thinner, I have not been a healthy person in the context of the idea that there is one true way to be healthy. I want y’all to take a second and think about what health is to you.

Does it mean you’re drinkin your water, doing what body movement you love, feeling the fuck out of your feelings and eating stuff that makes you feel nourished? Or is health to you the Get Thin Or Die Tryin mentality?

This time of year, we’re pressured to conform. We’re all supposed to decide to be skinny butterflies and go hard at the gym and restrict what we eat and really abuse ourselves into looking healthy. Is your engagement with these things based on wanting to look like X youtuber or X fitness model on instagram? Is your engagement based on being ashamed that you don’t eat X superfood or you don’t do X diet?

Rather than abusing ourselves with ALL of these often unattainable lifestyles and health goals, what if we do something else?

Rather than going with the, OMG SO FAT MUST LOSE IT ALL and going buck wild with your diet and exercise, what if instead you try this.

Look at your body and say, yo we don’t get along and I kind of hate you but here is some fuckin water. Or WOW I love you thighs, how good does this stretch/run/squat feel? FUCK WE ARE AMAZING LET’S DO MORE OF THAT.

You see what I did there?

None of us have to engage in these extremes of motivation for change. You don’t have to project or enact self-hatred and self-harm in order to look a way that let’s be real, you probably won’t ever. It is okay. All of our bodies are different. We are each our own weird little biological stew of weirdness.

Some of us are disabled. Some of us have chronic illnesses. Some of us don’t want to be doing Iron mans or whatever. That is natural. That is good. That is fine.

Here’s the thing. Self-hatred can only take you so far. I’ve been there. Shame is not a great lifestyle and rather than trying to shame yourself out of having the body you have right now, what if you didn’t?

What if you decided that even if you’re not ready to love your body yet, you still want it to be as okay as it can be. So maybe you drink more water. Do some yoga. Dance. Do crossfit. Whatever. I’m not saying that making fitness goals or nutrition goals are bad in and of themselves, for some of us goals are magic.

What I am saying is that, here in 2020 try a new approach. Try a new thought.

For me I am doing something. I’m looking at the ways my nutrition can help me be in less pain, feel satiated when I eat, help me have good regular poops.

I am worried about my body so I want to try and help my chunky friendo feel better. I don’t hate my big jiggly thighs, and I am not going to hate them into being something else.

I have a challenge for you.

If you are looking at health and fitness stuff, if you’re on Instagram or youtube pining for that body/lifestyle try this exercise while you’re comparing your meat vehicle to another person. Ask yourself:

  • Do I live in that body?
  • Do I have access to the same level of food quality and quantity, trainers, chefs, gyms, equipment, and support in order to DO the things it takes to have that kind of body?
  • Is this an advertisement?
  • Is what this person does sustainable?

If you are a journaling type, I suggest writing them down. Otherwise just, slow it down when you feel that (and no lie I feel it too sometimes) pull and shame that you don’t have that body/do what that person does.

Next exercise try this.

Instead of letting yourself fall down a shame hole because your ass doesn’t look like so and so’s ass, remind yourself that barring full on ass theft, you cannot have their ass. Your ass is your ass. Their ass is their ass. Instead of hating that your ass is not their ass, if you want to change your ass, focus on the things you can achieve.

Maybe instead of changing your habits or diet or how you exercise based off of shame and self-loathing, try celebrating.  I personally am pretty excited that even with my shitty ass back pain, I am a little closer to being able to touch my toes again when I stretch.

TL:DR look.

New Year doesn’t mean you are obligated to publicly flog yourself for not being some whole ass other person. You really don’t.

Love,

Auntie

 

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Do Overs….End of the year faves. Skin Care edition.

Hi. I know. I KNOW I done fell the whole hell off. I’m here.

So let’s talk year end favorite stuff. Skin care edition.

There will be affiliate links with * near.

FIRST UP let’s talk about skin care faves of 2019.

Cleansing.

I am a double cleanse devotee and have been casting about for great oil cleansers. My faves from 2019″

Palmers Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil, Face, Rosehip Fragrance.* Pros- very accessible. Inexpensive. At $10.49 from Amazon, one bottle of this lasted me months. Does a nice job removing even a WHOLE lot of liner and mascara. Cons- scented. If you are careful about freelanced products don’t do it G. Overall though, I went through 2 bottles this year.

NYX Cosmetics Stripped Off Cleansing Balm. If you have used the TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM* this product comes in solid form, and you use it the same way. It is a solid and you rub it between your hands then on your face. The NYX is SUCH a better deal bro. If you wear full coverage or a lot of long lasting or waterproof stuff, that Nyx balm is the SHIT yo. One tub will last a long long time. Absolutely a great option and in my view better than the Clinique thing.

Honorable mention, the OG cleansing oil I used the The Face Shop Rice Water BrightLight Cleansing Oil.* This is a GREAT entry oil to try out. I also highly recommend if you don’t wear foundation. It will struggle a bit with waterproof liner/mascara but will get it done. According to Amazon I first purchased this in 2016 and I’ve used a few more bottles yearly since.

Second Cleanser.

Before we go here. Can I just say that my FAVE cleanser of all time is expensive as fuck. My philosophy in terms of cleansers has always been, I just want it to get the job done. Then this shit came along and god damn it. I am kinda ruined. BUT it isn’t the only one. I’ll get to it last.

I cleanse in the morning and switch off two cleansers from Garnier. First one is the SkinActive Soothing Milk Face Wash with Rose Water. This milky cleanser is so soothing. BUT it also is scented but not heavily to my nose. This one is great for days when my face is being weird or peely. From the same line ….um. Apparently this one isn’t being made anymore it isn’t on the official website. Well shit. anyway it is the SkinActive Face Wash with Aloe Juice.* This was a cleanser I tried for nighttime and nah. But for morning it just leaves my fave cleansed of the night before (my skin care, drool whatever) and my skin isn’t too stripped, feels clean, bouncy and hydrated. I’m gonna have to stock up.

Honorable mention for morning. Tree Hut Skincare Purifying Cleansing Gel, Balancing Rosewater*. Now this one is a little more cleansing than the Aloe one but, I like it. It is a great prep for matte full faceballs make up.

NIGHT TIME. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE.

Y’all. Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser* – Gentle Gel Face Wash with Spinach and Green Tea. THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE GOD DAMN IT. First of all, this bitch is 36 goddamn dollars for an 8 oz bottle. Right around my birthday this year, I grabbed a 10$ travel size (we’ll talk about it) with my birthday Sephora purchase. Here’s the thing about cleansers. If they promise you baby butt skin in ONE USE..skip it. I’ve been getting into more clean beauty and I like the ingredients. And then I noticed after about let’s say three months of use, my face was like YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS BITCH. For YEARS I’ve never been able to use one cleanser and have it stay effective for months. This shit…is so good. It has helped keep my skin more clear. I rarely get the same level of pimples as before. My face always feels very clean, hydrated, happy. God. Damn. It. THIRTY SIX dollars. So disrespectful but I feel real good. BUT good news is, you can get a travel bottle for 10$. Since it is my nighttime cleanser (it is a little too cleansing for me for morning) and the small bottle lasts me months. I’m still mad tho.

Serums.

I’ve done a lot of serums that were meh. I have stumbled on a few things that have worked SO WELl.

First one, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + Ha.*  There are a lot of things I love about The Ordinary. High quality skin care that is quite extensive and pocketbook friendly. The downside of this is that they don’t do a lot of explanation. You HAVE to do your research. We’ll talk more about this later. In my research I was recommended this product to help with my quest to deal with my hyperpigmentation and facial scarring. Y’all. I’ve been using this product for about 6 months. I don’t use it twice a day as recommended, it didn’t agree with my other stuff but holy shit. My skin…..I wish I’d taken before photos but, I’ve tried so many things and nothing has worked like this. I had a purply black newish scar on my forehead and after a month, that bitch straight up peeled OFF. Left no other mark. My chin scars are faded, my forehead scar is faded. And more impressively, though I do still get the dark marks they aren’t immediately the super dark black/purple kind. They are a few shades darker brown than my face and they fade. I’m on my second bottle.

Moisturizers.

Am moisturizer. Gosh. Daytime. I am only this year a convert to the keeping my SPF and moisturizer separate. I did not want this to make a difference but damn it did.

First up, my holy damn grail after going through TWO minis. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream.* I am not really a sucker for high end but, I used this cream from Jan-April. DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT. It is so good. My allergy riddled face was not irritated but I still got the benefits of the vitamin c. I was SO HYDRATED. Y’all this bitch is SIXTY FIVE damn dollars. I also hate that it is in a jar. I could literally slather my face in it but, it really didn’t take a lot to spread nicely and leave my itchy, peely, irritated ass face SO PLUMP AND MOIST. Shit.

Y’all. I’m using a perfectly -nice- day time moisturizer. InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer. Like…I kind of don’t totally love the finish but it is nice. It hit the buttons I wanted, Vit C, no dimethecone. It was easy on my bank account. But it is not Sunday Riley so I hate it…..I KNOW this is unreasonable but y’all. Shit.

My PM moisturizer eh. I’m using a perfectly okay one but I’ve yet to be wowed.

Few other honorable mentions:

Lips. My lips have been SO TERRIBLE. My work moved to a new building that I think is dryer than the last and my lips have just been in terrible shape.

Aritaum Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask. I have been through two tins of this. It is thick, not slippery and awesome. Link is gone but it is good.

Basically, 2019 has exposed just how much of a bourgie bitch I am and I’m kinda okay with it.

Coming 2020. A skin care series for those who are lost, poor or otherwise confused.

MORE NATURAL HAIR SHITS.

I hope the new year brings all of you what you need.

Love,

Shannon

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