Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pretty Things: My Winter Beauty Arsenal for Smooth Skin

Hello Beautiful Ones! I have vowed to myself that this winter I will not let my skin get all scaly and stubbly and dry. I will not put lotion just on the skin that is showing. I will not walk around with ashy hands and dry cuticles. I will be soft and supple and smooth! I wanted to share with you all a few of the products I'm using to keep my skin moisturized and touchable without breaking the bank.

1. Amlactin - This is hands down my beauty find of the year. Amlactin Moisturizing Body Lotion contains an alpha-hydroxy acid (12%) that exfoliates and moisturizes very dry skin. It's recommended for the treatment of Keratosis Pilaris, which I've always had and never knew that it was an actual skin condition. You know those little "chicken" bumps that some people get on the backs of their arms? I get them on my arms, and thighs sometimes and I also get acne on my upper back. I've only been using this lotion for a week and THE BUMPS ARE GONE.

On top of that, my skin is so so smooth - even  hours after application. I also read here and here that other women bloggers that I follow have seen improvement in stretch marks and dark marks which makes sense because it significantly speeds up the cell turnover in your skin. It's fragrance free and the consistency is not thick at all, so it smooths into the skin very easily. You can find it online or in stores and the price seems to range between $16 - $25 for a bottle depending on where you get it.

2. Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash - There are tons of expensive exfoliating scrubs out there, but you're probably overlooking this gem that is right under your nose at your local drugstore. I love it because it's not too harsh and gives me just the right amount of scrub. It smells amazing and feels luxurious. Also, when you wash it off, your skin already feels moisturized before you put all your lotions and oils on. You just can't be mad at it for less than five bucks.

3. Bio Oil - We all know that there's no true way to completely get rid of stretch marks, but we can minimize them through different methods. I kept hearing about Bio Oil so I decided to give it a try. The website says that it smooths and tones scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone and is also effective for dehydrated and aging skin. With consistent use, I found that the texture of my skin improved and my stretch mark seemed less raised, if that makes sense. I tend to be heavy handed with it, so I'd use it up really fast and the stuff is not cheap (about $10 or $11 for 2 oz!) I keep buying it though because it works. Now, I plan on using it in tandem with Amlactin. I don't plan on putting them on at the same time. I'll probably use Amlactin at night and Bio Oil in the morning or vice versa.  We'll see.

4. Nivea Soft Hand Cream - I keep a tube of this at my desk at work, in my purse, and on my kitchen sink. I'm sure there are tons of hand lotions out there that get the job done, but I particularly like this one because it doesn't have a strong smell, it doesn't leave my hands feeling oily or sticky and of course, it moisturizes very well.  I must admit that I've always like Nivea because my mom used to use it. *shrugs* Oh, and it's cheap.

5. Exfoliating Gloves - I use these instead of using a loofah or poof in the shower. In my opinion, they give me the best scrub down and I really need the works for my skin. I use these along with the Caress Exfoliating Body Wash. Now, if I'm taking a night time and morning shower, which lately I often do, I won't use the gloves or the exfoliating wash for both. Most likely, I'll exfoliate at night (with the gloves and Caress) and then shave in the morning (and just use regular Dove soap to wash). By the way, what do you use to shave? I usually use a cheap Suave conditioner from the dollar store.

What beauty products and tips do you have for keeping your skin soft and smooth throughout the cold months??   Do tell!!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Be All the Things You Want in Your Mate

I hear a lot about women who have extensive lists of attributes, physical qualities and material possessions that they wish to find in a mate. The thing that strikes me most about some of these lists is that the women writing them do not themselves possess ALL the things they’ve listed, yet they expect someone else to come into their life that does.

There’s nothing wrong with calling in the things that you want—in fact, it is necessary that you do think and speak the things you desire into existence. But speaking abundance into someone else’s life, hoping they’ll bring it around to share with you to help you to be complete is not quite the right method.

Life is like a mirror, in that it reflects back to us what we are ourselves. It brings back to us what we project into the world. So in order to attract a man with the 35 qualities you have listed, you have to first become a person who exhibits those same qualities. If you want someone who will be honest: be honest in all your relationships. If you want someone who will be punctual: be punctual wherever you go. If you want someone who will be thoughtful and giving: be thoughtful and giving to others.

Spend time nurturing yourself and finding out what it is that you like; then do that for yourself. Cook yourself a nice meal, buy yourself a piece of pretty jewelry, or take yourself to the movies. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Whatever it is that you would like to have done for you by someone else, do those things for yourself. By doing so, two things happen: (1) You’ll set an example. If a person sees how well you treat yourself, there’s no way they’re going to come to you with anything less; and (2) You’ll become so accustomed to being treated well, that you won’t accept anything else anyway; you won’t get caught up in a situation that doesn’t serve you, because you’ll realize right away that it doesn’t serve you. Through each of these outcomes, you have created the positive energy that you want to be surrounded by, and initiated an attracting power that will draw people to you who are like you. You show the Universe that you value yourself, so you’ll attract someone who values themselves, and who will also value you.

If you feel that you absolutely have to have a list to serve as a reminder of what you’re attracting, try this: more than the “things” a person might have, try listing the way you want to feel when you’re with them. Will your ideal person: Be loyal? Be trustworthy? Make you feel secure? Verbally express how they feel about you? Figure out what a good relationship will feel like for you so that you can recognize it when it comes along. If a person makes you feel the way you want to be treated, maybe some of the items on that other list won’t matter as much.

There’s an oft repeated quote by Mahatma Gandhi that states: “ the change you want to see in the world”, and it applies here as well. Be the change you want to see in yourself. Or, be all the things you want in your mate.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 11/25/11

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Season of Thanks: What We Are Grateful For


We are so grateful for....


This year has been a season of receiving for me: a new home, a brand new vehicle, a new relationship with an amazing man, and new career & business opportunities. And I am so grateful for it all. It has been overwhelming (in a good way) to see everything that I prayed, visualized and work so hard toward come to fruition. This season of receiving has been proof for me that faith, patience and gratitude for your current circumstances all work in tandem to bring more good into your life in your future.

And through all of these new experiences, I give thanks for those things that have remained constant. My family who continually shows unconditional support for both me and for my son; my wonderful young man, into whom I have poured all my good intentions, and who continues to amaze me with his intelligence and strength of character; my very best friends GG and Vonnie who are my biggest fans and my most clear mirrors, reflecting back to me both my good and those things that I fear and need to push past; and several other wonderful friends who add such value to even the smallest daily interactions, like a g-chat conversation.

I am blessed, on so many levels that I just can't think of any reason not to express gratitude in this season of Thanksgiving and every other day of the year.


I have so much to be thankful for that it's hard to know where to begin.   I'll start with the inside then work my way out.  I'm thankful for the realization that everything in life is about gratitude. I know that I must give thanks for the goodness that I wish to receive in my life before I receive it. I must give thanks in the midst of hard times and appreciate the lessons learned; then give more thanks when the challenges are overcome and when life moves on.  I'm thankful for my career, the discovery of my purpose and every opportunity to continue to feed my passions and stretch myself.   I'm thankful for having this platform, Peace Love and Pretty Things, to commune with like minded women.  I'm so thankful for my friend and co-author, Kim, who I'm able to share something so unique and mutually beneficial with by partnering with her to develop this blog. I'm thankful for all of my friends and family who remind me that I am loved when I need to hear it most.  I'm thankful for my health, my home and all of the things that make life cozy and comfortable.  I hope that I remember every minute of every day to count my blessings, appreciate what I have and have an attitude of thankfulness in everything that I do.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we just wanted to take a moment and express our gratitude for all the wonderful things in our lives--including the beautiful platform we have in PLPT, and all the wonderful readers that we get to commune with weekly. We are grateful for you! Please feel free to share what you're grateful for in the comments section.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
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Monday, November 21, 2011

When the Thanks Don’t Come Easy: 4 Reasons to Give Thanks In the Midst of Hard Times

via Pinterest
Balance is everything.  In order to have peace of mind, we must let go and allow ourselves to accept everything that life has to offer - the ups and the downs - without judgement.   Highs come with lows, mistakes come with success and pleasure comes with pain.  As we live through the extremes that create balance, we learn to ride the waves.  We don't get to choose balance, it's divinely a part of this life. Our choice is whether we accept it or fight against it.  When we look for meaning in the unpleasant and uncomfortable things that happen in our lives, we learn to embrace a consistent energy of gratitude that can sustain us through any and everything.

In the spirit of embracing balance, consider the following opportunities to give thanks even in the midst of hard times:

*Thanks for broken relationships.  This one's for the relationships that didn't last.  Over and over we ask ourselves what we could have done differently.   But if every relationship is about growth and development, then there are times that we just have to let go once we learn what we are meant to learn.  We can be thankful for the presence of mind to move beyond the emotion and look for the growth.  Somewhere beyond the grief and pain is an important lesson waiting to be learned.

*Thanks for disappointment.   Life is challenging.  There will be change, discomfort, betrayal, misunderstandings, obstacles, mysteries, and grief.  We will at times feel lost and forgotten.  There will be situations that seem unfair. What looks bad today, can turn around and bless us tomorrow.  We should ultimately be thankful for all these things because they are necessary detours we have to take to get where we're going.  We can't avoid disappointment, but we can reframe how we think about it. 

*Thanks for criticism.  Let's be thankful for the critics in our lives that push us to gain a firmer understanding of who we are.  Through criticism we learn to develop a thick skin and a strong sense of self.  Thanks to criticism, we learn that we can't please everyone, so we might as well shine and be fulfilled from within.  Likewise, we can stop taking everything so personally and looking for reasons to feel sorry for ourselves.  Some criticism is constructive and some is not, but we have to go through it to learn the difference.

*Thanks for being alone.  Many of us fear separation; the idea of  being alone, and seemingly unwanted can be terrifying.  We keep buffers around to avoid spending too much time on our own.  There's a special kind of wisdom that comes from appreciating and cherishing time alone.   Sometimes we have to step out on our own and make a new way. Sometimes we have to spend time alone to discover that special thing that we love to do.  We don't necessarily welcome that alone time at first.  But here's to loving yourself enough to take time out to relate to your inner world, even when it's not easy to do so.

What challenging aspects of life are you thankful for?  Can you think back on difficult situations that you've faced and see the opportunities for growth and self-awareness?
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 11/18/11

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Find Your Truth" Series - Part II

Last week, we introduced our "Find Your Truth" series as a means of discovery through shared experience: the experience of finding out what remains or becomes true for each of us as we grow older, more mature, and have more life experience.

We consulted some wonderful and brilliant women to discover what they have found to be their personal truths as they have worked to become the people they are today. Through the sharing of their humorous, intelligent and insightful answers, we hope that you’ll begin to discover some truths of your own.

In the second post of the series, Adriene shares what she finds to be true about several facets of life, with complete honesty, and a dash of humor.

“This I know to be true about …Men: They get on my damn nerves. I know that to be true. Lol” - Adriene

This I know to be true about Relationships:

Healthy relationships are great for the soul. Any person you build a deeper connection with qualifies to me as a relationship. Strong healthy relationships are necessary to navigate your way through life. Relationships are more than romantic ones, but they are the human connections between friends, family, or colleagues – essentially, they are every healthy human connection you hold valuable. I work hard in life to maintain successful substantial relationships with those I deem worthy.

This I know to be true about Money:

Money does not equal happiness. However, when you have a good understanding of what money can do for you, it can alleviate some stress in your life. My golden rule: I work too damn hard for my money, not to pay myself before PNC, BGE, AT&T, Geico, etc. Even if you cannot save much, start with $20 a paycheck and work your way up! :-)

This I know to be true about Friendships:

They are AMAZING! Friendships mean the world to me. Over the past 26 (almost 27) years, I have developed an amazing circle of friends. I am not talking about acquaintances, those are nice to have, but I mean true ride or die friends which are absolutely necessary. “Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant." Socrates

This I know to be true about Family:

Coming from a small family, I value every moment I spend with my family. Family is the pureness of unconditional love. With only four people in my immediate family now, the bond is only getting stronger. If no one else on the planet is honest with you about your actions, it should be your family.

This I know to be true about My Self:

I always follow my intuition and my gut feeling. I firmly believe that you are the only person who knows what is best for you. I trust that inner feeling when intuition speaks to me. I listen carefully and chart my next path, adventure, or decision accordingly. My internal compass has not yet steered me wrong, because every situation is primed with a valuable lesson needed in that very moment. I am self aware enough to understand that the person that I am will influence the lives of those with whom I have developed relationships. What I put into the world will be exactly what I will get back from the world. Therefore, I have made the choice to put as much positive energy into the world as I can.

Click here to read Part I of the Find Your Truth series.


We hope Adriene’s insight has inspired you to share your truths with us as well. Feel free to discuss in the comments section, or to email us at with the subject “My Truth” and let us know that you would like to be featured.
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Black Girls Who Rock: 3 Bloggers You Should Know

I was reading one of my various hair and beauty blogs awhile back and someone commented on how there are so few blogs by black women that are focused on inner beauty and personal development.

Huh?! (in my best Kanye West voice)

That comment reminded me that there is still a huge audience that we have yet to reach.  And when I say we, I mean Kim and I, as well as all the other positive black women out there who are passionate about uplifting each other.   As I watched Black Girls Rock last week, I was so proud of our blog and so thankful for any positive impact that we may have on our readers. 

If you love this blog and have had a hard time finding others like it, we want to inform you.  If you have a blog or website that is designed to empower and inspire black women, we want to salute you.  And if you have lost faith in sisterhood, and think that women don't know how to respect and support each other, we want to educate you.

As such, today we're highlighting three bloggers who we love and who share our passion for inspiring women.

Dreamer. Lover of life. Goal getter. These are just a few words to describe Jamie Fleming-Dixon, a South Carolina-based copywriter and blogger.

Jamie’s intention is to empower her readers, inspire them to live their most fabulous lives and to motivate them to reach for their dreams and goals.

In addition to FCG, Jamie owns a copywriting service, Mocha Writer, where she specializes in creating fabulous copy and content for small, women-owned businesses.

Some of our favorite posts:

Mind of a Diva serves as a vessel that's redefining what it means to be a diva through the life and thoughts of a woman in her twenties. There is so much that we have to deal with as we make the transition from childhood into adulthood, and this is my story along with those of the people around me. 

Some of our favorite posts:

"I think our generation is more aware that we don’t want to spend our prime years working in jobs we hate, or buying needless crap to fill the empty spaces in our hearts, and asking ourselves, “Is this it?”

My thought process when creating this space: “If I feel there is something more out there, then other people must feel it too. And if they feel it, they might want to talk about it.”

I’m on a mission to build an online community that connects people who want  to build kick-ass lives for themselves."

Some of our favorite posts:

To find more black women who aim to inspire, check out Rosetta's 50 Blogs by Happy Black Women.  

Stay tuned for more of our favorites in future posts!
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Monday, November 14, 2011

3 Ways to Drink to Your Health

There are tons of ways to ensure you’re taking in the amount of vitamins your body needs, and one of my favorite methods of vitamin intake is to drink them. It cuts down on the amount of pills to swallow, you can conquer your hunger without feeling the heaviness we sometimes experience after a meal, and liquids are easier to take with you on-the-go. Here are three ways to drink to your health.

Hot or Cold Tea

In addition to being a comfort beverage, many teas have healing properties*.

White tea is high in antioxidants, is said to support healthy skin and detoxification, and has very little caffeine (about 1% of that in a cup of coffee).

Green tea is also high in antioxidants, is said to give your immune system a boost, and has little caffeine—though more than what is typically found in white teas (about 5-10% of that in a cup of coffee).

Red tea or Rooibos tea aids in digestion and is naturally caffeine free.

Black tea can give you an energy boost, and has about 20% of the caffeine found in coffee, so it’s a great substitute for that morning cup of Joe (try Tazo Awake tea). It’s also said to promote cardiovascular health.


Smoothies are a cold, yummy treat that are so good, you don’t even notice that you're having something healthy! But they are—and the great thing is you can combine any number of fruits, veggies and yogurts to make them your own. You can add supplements like protein or energy powders, or even caffeine to help jump start your day; you can drink a fruit smoothie as a snack or in-between meals to help you feel full; and you can even have a smoothie as a healthy dessert.

Make your smoothie at home in a blender by combining your favorite frozen fruits, Greek yogurt and ice chips.

Keep your fridge stocked with pre-made smoothies with specific properties like the Bolthouse Farms brand. My favorite is Green Goodness which has 8 servings of both fruits and vegetables.

No time to buy groceries? Visit someplace like Smoothie King, instead of Starbucks, during your morning commute and put together your own smoothie chock full of all the ingredients you need to “stay healthy, trim down, get energy, shape up, snack right, or indulge”—your choice.


Probiotics are said to be “healthy” bacteria that help to maintain the balance of micro-organisms living within our bodies. According to studies, they can aid in digestive and immune function and contribute to overall health.

One (pseudo controversial) source of probiotics is Kombucha**, and most people either love it or hate it. An aged tea elixir, it is said to provide the healthy enzymes needed to replenish much needed energy and to restore health. While it is supposed to be very good for you, Kombucha does not taste very good; you’ll definitely want to drink to your health and not for taste.

These are a few of the things that I consume to stay energized and healthy. What are some of your favorite ways to drink to your health?

*Tea facts pulled from the Teavana website.
**There were some warnings issued against the classic version of this beverage, citing that it contained small amounts of alcohol. Since then, a second formula has been released, the Enlightened version, that is said to be suitable for consumption by all ages.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Shea Radiance Aha Moment Competition

We recently learned about the Shea Radiance Aha Moment Competition, and we were thrilled about it for a few reasons:

1. If you've been reading this blog long enough, or you have read our "About" page, then you know all about our "aha moments" in regards to self-transformation (you can read the original post here ), and that the sharing of such stories fits right into our mission here at PLPT. 

2. GG and I both have natural hair, and we have each posted our transition stories here at PLPT (you can read GG's here and mine here).

3. We want to enter and score those yummy products! We are not involved with the backroom portion of this contest, nor will we have any influence over the selection of winners. So these great prizes are fair play!

Of course, we wanted to share this info with our fabulous readers as well, so here are the details:

Share Your Hair AHA Moment . . . And WIN!

To celebrate the launch of Shea Radiance Hair, we want YOU to share your hair "aha” moment. That’s the moment when you embraced your hair whether curly, fine, kinky, straight or wavy.

Eleven (11) lucky winners will be selected and they’ll receive full sized bottles of the Shea Radiance Hair Kit – Shea Radiance Maximum Moisturizing Shampoo, Shea Radiance Maximum Moisturizing Conditioner and Shea Radiance Hair Milk.

To Win 1) Tell us about you hair aha moment in 200 words or less and include a picture of your mane to 2) Like Shea Radiance on Facebook 3) Follow Shea Radiance on Twitter.

Best of luck to all who enter!
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Love Note - Friday 11/11/11

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

“Find Your Truth” Series - Part I

As we grow older, more mature, and have more life experience, our perceptions of the world, and of our selves, begin to change; and in essence, our “truths” change. What does this mean? It means that we start to have a different understanding of life than we may have had 5 or 10 years prior; what we believed to be true in our teens changes in our 20s. What we believed to be true in our 20s changes in our 30s. And so, we rely on this new wisdom—our “truths”—as we navigate life, with all its struggles, on our personal journeys.

It feels good to release an old way of thinking, and to move forward with an open heart and mind. Sometimes it’s scary to do so until you realize that you’re not alone in making new discoveries. So, in the spirit of sharing, we consulted some wonderful and brilliant women to discover what they have found to be their personal truths as they have worked to become the women they are today. Through the sharing of their humorous, intelligent and insightful answers, we hope that you’ll begin to discover some truths of your own.

In this first post of the series, L’oreal shares what she finds to be true about marriage.

“These are my truths…They don’t have to be everybody’s.” –L’oreal


Before you Say I Do

If he isn't your best friend, don't marry him.

Have a girlfriend, cousin or some road dog that will have your back if you decide this isn't what you want even if it is two seconds before you say I do.

Don't try to have your whole life figured out. You will only end up with disappointments. Ideas are ok. Strict road maps are not.

Get rid of all associates, buddies, hookups or what not. Don't bring options (weight) into your marriage. Delete them out of your phone book, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Just don't.

Once you Say I Do

Once you say I Do, then Do. Be about your marriage and 100% committed even when the tough times come.

Have veto power over boxers and panties. What? Yep, he is the only one that has to see you in your underthings every damn day. Your lilac boy shorts were cute 4 months ago but now they are faded and stretched out. When you hit the 5 for $25 sale, let him veto the panties he is tired of seeing you in every DAY. But turnabout is fair play. You have the same opportunity.

Say you were wrong and apologize. This is super hard for us women because we normally catch our men slipping but it will happen and when it does just say you were wrong. I have struggled with this (read: still do) BUT I recall the mantra of ‘Do you want to be right and alone or wrong and together?’. You are going to be wrong. Just deal with it.

The quickest way to mend any wounds after a fight or distance between you is food and sex....yep, that simple. Fix his favorite food and hop on top. BAM! You two are made up.

Never and I MEAN NEVER go out of town without giving your man some. Never leave him without. My holy roller aunts from the south taught me that one.

Pray for that man. Pray his strength, for him on his job, everything and anything. He needs your support and prayer.

Make sure there are three beings in your marriage: you, him and God. When you two are pissed you both can turn to God and talk it out with God. God will ensure that you two come back together.

This is my favorite one and it came from my country uncle: “Don't do nothin’ outside the house that you ain't doing inside the house. If your man ain't cutting ya'll's grass, he ain't going over to cut his mama's grass. If you ain't dressing up for your date night with him, you ain't dressing up to go out with your girlfriends.”

Sexually, be what your mate needs. Don't let some other chick steal your hubby because you ain't_____ like he wants. If he likes you to tickle him behind his ears or send him sexts, girl, get to work doing that thing. The marital bed is undefiled. You can be as freaky as you need to be as long as it doesn't break any state laws. If you don't think another chick would do that ________ thing for him?!?!?!? Shoot, don't do it and watch what happens. Plus, when you reveal that you like ______ he will be more than happy to return the favor.

Get a life. No seriously, get a life. During your newlywed phase you will want to be boo'ed up pretty hard. That is a beautiful thing but after that, get a life. Make sure you are doing things without your man and nurturing your relationships that you had before your marriage. Have girl's night out. Join a book club. I have no idea how it is to be a husband but being a wife can consume you. Too many trashy novels start with a wife who has lost her identity. Make sure that you don't lose yours.

Think of marriage as an organism, not an institution. An institution evokes thoughts of a cold, gray cemented place that is restrictive and can be learned because it never changes. Yet, if you think of your marriage as organism it gives you a better picture of what you are really dealing with in marriage. Organisms are constantly evolving into bigger and better things when properly fed. If you are giving nothing to feed your organism or worse putting toxic things into it, then it will die.

Finally, accept that he is not perfect and neither are you. He is going to forget the eggs at the store; leave his clothes on the floor. But he is yours...all yours. Love him.

After You say I'd Do and You Did and God Does

This is one I had to learn too early in my life with the passing of my father. Just for clarification, my parents were married since Noah got off the ark--but the Lord called him home. While you are making your life together, make sure that you are making a life you will be proud of and that the memories you make will sustain your spouse after you are gone. My mother has 3 children, 3 grandkids and 2 son-in-loves, memories galore and a ton of love because of the life she and my father made together. I pray even more blessings for you and your spouse.


We hope L’oreal’s insight has inspired you to share your truths with us as well. Feel free to discuss in the comments section, or to email us at with the subject “My Truth” and let us know that you would like to be featured.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PLPT Reading List - November


A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

It isn’t often that I read a book that completely transforms the way I view myself and the Universe as a whole, but A New Earth was that kind of book for me: illuminating, enlightening and “truth” shattering. In this book, author Eckhart Tolle clearly explains how to silence the human ego, a source of suffering and pain; and how to learn to live in a state of “being” as opposed to “acting” on the ego’s behalf. Metaphors, by way of example, help to clarify the narrative in a way that is accessible to everyone. It took a while for me to complete the book, since I would go back over passages to ensure I had a full understanding, but it was definitely worth taking my time to pore through; I recommend it to anyone who feels like they are working and spinning their wheels without seeing any real results. You can purchase it from the PLPT Bookstore by clicking here.

To Read

Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

First introduced to Gabrielle Bernstein through her blog on the Huffington Post, I was quickly drawn in by the energy that radiated from her posts, and subsequently sought to learn more about her concepts surrounding peace and happiness. I didn’t have to wait long because her first book, Add More ~Ing to Your Life, was released soon after. Specifically geared to young women, Gabby’s book tied together meditation, visualizing and physical movement as a formula for moving your life in a positive direction. And now, she has written a second book, Spirit Junkie, which describes her own journey of spiritual transformation. I’m excited to learn more about her story. And you can too when you click here to purchase.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I Love Being a Mom but Don't Like Parenting

I have recently come to the conclusion that I don't like parenting.  My partner and I have three children and I love being a mom – supporting my children, protecting them and showering them with affection. But I have to admit that I don’t like parenting. In this context, I’m talking about parenting in terms of issuing rules and regulations, constantly lecturing and berating, and instilling fear in them to control their behavior. I don’t like it, it drains me and quite honestly I wish I could delegate it to someone else. I wish I could just let my kids be who they are without having to restrain them, but I realize that they need boundaries.

I was only 24 when I had my first child, and I recall being terrified when the hospital released me into the world with this little bundle of life. Not only was I a single mom, I was also very immature and naive about the world. Although I had a degree and a good job, from an emotional and financial perspective, I felt like a kid. Prior to having a child, I thought of myself as lazy and unreliable. Of course, this perception was skewed by the low self-esteem and self-destructive behavior that defined my late teens and early twenties. I didn’t feel that I took such great care of myself, so I questioned how in the world I would manage to take care of a helpless baby that needed constant attention and care. Despite my fears, my natural instincts kicked in and I embraced being a mother. I loved my child with a passion that I’d never experienced before and that love really fueled me to take better care of myself for the benefit of my child.

Then my baby started to grow up. I had to learn to discipline him. I had to learn when it was time to nurture and when it was time to scold. When does he need tough love? How do I avoid spoiling him? And then four years later there were two babies. I was awed to discover that this immeasurable love could multiply. But then more uncertainty settled in. I still didn’t know which end was up in terms of my relationship, and here we were with another baby. I questioned my ability to teach them the right things. In other words, how would I teach them to not do the dumb things I had done? How would I teach them to be better than me, when I was still figuring out how to better myself? These thoughts clouded my mind with self-doubt and parenting anxiety.

As I started talking about my feelings, I gleaned from other parents that we all wonder if we are doing things the right way. We lose sleep, we pray, and we beat up on ourselves - worrying that we are doing too much or not enough. And how do we measure success? When they become straight A students? When they go to college? When they avoid the pitfalls of drugs and crime? When they become successful in their careers? Is there a right or wrong way to do this parenting thing to get the “results” we want and not screw up our kids? Over time, I’ve accepted that there are no clear answers or universal definitions of what works. So, maybe we should just love our children, accept ourselves for the parents we are and accept our children for the people they become.

What do you think?  Do you or have you ever had moments of parenting anxiety?  Are there aspects of parenting that are harder for you to deal with than others?

I originally wrote this piece as a guest post for Mommyhood: Next Right, one of my favorite blogs about motherhood and life.  I really enjoyed writing it and making sense of these feelings, so I had to share it here on PLPT, as well.  :)
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 11/4/11

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pretty Things: Lovely Links for Style and Beauty Inspiration

"There is no law that says that
a person of inner beauty cannot
also maintain an appearance."
~Robert Brault

As much as we love everything about peace and love and personal growth, we also love PRETTY THINGS. We believe it's important to take care of yourself inside and out -- and to the extent that you can control your environment; your surroundings should also be beautiful and reflect who you are inside.

We love the following blogs for the daily fashion, style and beauty inspiration that they provide.  Always true to our ethos, we also love these blogs for their focus on self-fulfillment, expression and creativity.

The Simply Luxurious Life was created by Shannon Ables.  She posts loveliness Monday through Friday, and I never miss a post.  They are full of visual and verbal appetizers that remind me that despite how frazzled and overworked I feel most of the time; I'm a graceful and enlightened creature who deserves a luxurious life.  That luxury is defined by me in terms of who I am, how I choose to feel, and how I choose to express myself.   

Here's what she says about how she came to create her blog: "I decided to share my passions, approaches and ideas as a way to help others find their passion in life by clearing out the clutter and bringing in the luxurious necessities that can enliven and inspire each day no matter what one's income, location or situation."

Recent posts you will love: 
First, Seek Self-Approval
Style Inspiration
Single or Married: 20 Things to Do

Following Natural Belle on her blog or tumblr will give you all the fashion and hair inspiration that you could ever need.

From her bio: "Natural hair and style blogger since 2008; Belle of Naturalbelle is a British natural who documents her hair journey and highlights natural beauty and style in the mainstream. She describes her blog as "an online magazine inspired by natural hair and fashion with a bit of narcissism thrown in.  Her main aim is to inspire women to embrace their natural assets and highlight the beauty of all natural women."

I get so much inspiration from the beautiful images she shares on her sites.  When I was initially getting used to having natural hair, her site was one that showed me the extensive diversity of it.  More than that, I found her site at a time when I needed to reconnect with my sense of creativity and self-expression.  If you love modern and retro style, fashion and hair - you will love Natural Belle.

Recent posts you will love:

The Inspiration: Halloween
Capsule Closet: Grey, Metallic & Blue
The Icon: Angela Davis

Tiffany was just featured as one of our GEMS last week, and I could not do this post without including her lovely blog.   Her story is so inspirational and should convey to everyone who reads it that it is possible to create the time and space to do the things we love AND get paid for doing them!

From her blog: "ACCIDENTAL Chic is an inside look at Tiffani's life as a fashion stylist and interior decorator. She gives advice for timeless style, along with the latest trends and has a devotion to living a beautiful life." 

We were fortunate enough to meet Tiffani last year at an event in DC and she has a beautiful spirit that compliments her approach to style, interior design and life.  You will find that her warmth and her love for what she does comes across through her blog.

Recent posts you will love:

Mantra Monday
Ask a Stylist: What Wardrobe Staples Should I Have
Pillow Talk

What are some of your favorite fashion, style and beauty blogs?  With so many out there, what makes your favorites stand out??

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