Etsy Shout Out: HerbanLuxe Cosmetics

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I love Etsy!  I may even be obsessed with it.  I like supporting the work of independent artists and artisans.

I recently purchased some vintage items from the site.  Can you believe anything from the 90s is now considered vintage?  I guess that’s the world we’re living in now [sigh].

Anyway, HerbanLuxe Cosmetics makes top-notch vegan mascara that lasts all day and goes on smoothly.  I also own a green chubby vegan eye pencil, which is awesome, and gets the job done.  Shout out to the shop owner, Myra, for bringing such fantastic products into my life.  Keep making your magic Myra!

Pam Grier’s Autobiography is Amazing

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I finished reading Foxy: My Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier last week, and I was already moved by her story before I reached the last page of the final chapter.

I’ve always like Pam Grier as an actress, since I’m into Blaxploitation films, but I never knew the woman behind all of those strong no-nonsense Black heroine roles that she played.  Shout out to Gangstarr Girl for pushing me to finally move this book from my to-read list to my read list on Goodreads.

I won’t spoil anything about the book, especially since it’s worth reading, but I have to say, that I was shocked at who Ms. Grier had dated, and the type of childhood she had.  I was also surprised at what a genuinely magnificent woman she is, and her candor throughout her story-telling.

I love reading autobiographies that feel more like a one-sided conversation than a report, and I really felt as if Ms. Grier was speaking to me like an old friend she hadn’t seen awhile, who wasn’t fully aware of her past.  Ms. Grier didn’t seem to hold anything back from her life, giving the reader her story straight up with no chasers.

After ready Foxy, I am no longer just a fan of Pam Grier the actress – I am a fan of Pam Grier the woman.

Damn Squirrels!

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I will now call my excuses for not writing squirrels.  Squirrels are distractions.  Squirrels appear out of nowhere.  Squirrels are so irresistible, that it’s easy for you to put writing on the back burner.  Squirrels come in many forms:

  • An unexpected text or SMS message
  • @Mentions
  • YouTube videos about pirate gerbils
  • A polar vortex
  • Humor pins
  • An intense craving for a Wendy’s frosty
  • Online window shopping on eBay
  • Downloading endless free trap music from SoundCloud

I have had some valid squirrels lately though, the number one being a family conflict, which has snowballed into other areas of my life.  The fire with that conflict has become dormant, it still requires me to make some major changes before the summertime hits.

It’s hard for me to write, let alone edit something that’s not poetry when my mind is filled with thoughts of worry and images of slowly stabbing a pillow with the face of my enemy on it.  I also have to learn to avoid, or at least decrease the amount of inexcusable squirrels that come my way.  It’s difficult when you haven’t stayed on a regular writing schedule, but that’s still no reason not to get it done.

When you want something bad enough, you’ll do whatever you can to make it possible.  So, squirrels be damned, I’m going to finish this book so that I can move on to the next, and try and make a dent in the world of writing.

Dr. Woods Shea Vision Black Soap Facial Cleanser is the Best

Screen shot 2014-03-02 at 2.40.45 PMI’ve gone through about half of my bottle of Dr. Woods Black Soap Facial Cleanser, and I’ve seen a HUGE difference in my skin.  The complexion of my face is evening out, and the dark spots from previous acne scars are fading, with some having vanished completely.  I began seeing results after one week of use, using the product twice daily; once in the morning, and once before bedtime.

I had used glycolic acid peels last summer, hoping to achieve the results I’m getting with DWBSFC: an even skin tone with no signs of acne scars.  The glycolic acid peels weren’t completely ineffective, but they’re much more of a hassle to incorporate into your skin care regime compared to a bottle of DWBSFC, plus I didn’t instantly see results.  If you’ve never experienced a glycolic acid peel, I’ll quickly summarize it for you: burning, itching, and scabbing.

I normally use Photoshop or PicsArt to remove my acne and dark spots, but as of late, the tools to fix blemishes have been collecting digital dust.  I’m a lot more confident when I look in the mirror every day.  I’m thrilled about not using chunks of time plotting and researching about how to get rid of my acne.  I still get pimples, mostly when I’m PMSing, and they’re not total breakouts like before.  Instead of getting three random medium to large zits on my face, I get a tiny one, and it expires within a day or two.

Black soap is a miracle of nature, and I’m so glad that I tried out this fabulous cleanser by Dr.  Woods.  I was determined to try it, since I’ve been using their line of Shea Vision liquid soap as a body wash for awhile now.  I highly recommend their items with black soap to anyone battling acne and/or in search of an easy way to even out their complexion.

I’m not saying DWBSFC is a cure-all for acne sufferers, but it has helped me, a victim of cystic acne, a lot.  I still use toners and various moisturizers to control my acne as well.  I’m also taking a black cohosh supplement to regulate my hormones, which contribute to my facial worries.  It takes a village (of products) to get a handle on this stuff.

MidWeek Jam: If You Wanna Be Happy

This song is catchy, and makes a valid point…right?

Pretty girls are generalized as high maintenance, so it makes sense to assume that an unattractive woman would be a lot less trouble, since her low self-esteem would prompt her to accept any romantic attention that may come her way.  But what about an ugly man?

My Name is Justine, and I’m Addicted to Ginger Chews


On my last trip to Trader Joe’s, I spotted The Ginger People’s Gin Gins Original Chewy Ginger Candy at the checkout aisle.  I’ve been hooked on the flavor of ginger lately, and even though I had restricted myself to only eating chocolate confections when it came to candy, I bought a bag of the ginger chews.

I finished the entire bag of Gin Gins within a week.  The spicy-sweet taste gave me a boost, and I knew that I had stumbled onto something great.  Chocolate be damned!  I still love you chocolate.  Always will.

I immediately searched online for more, and came across ginger chews by Prince of Peace and Chimes.  I wasn’t familiar with the latter brand, but I had recently discovered the former via their line of ginseng tea (which I’m currently fancying quite a bit).  I ordered one pound of multi-flavored (orange, mango, peppermint, peanut butter, and original) ginger chews by Chimes, and original flavored ginger chews by Prince of Peace on eBay.  I was almost ankle deep in ginger chews!

If I wasn’t eating ginger chews, I was thinking about eating ginger chews.  I knew I had a problem, when I had eaten eight over the course of a work day.  Soon after, I stopped eating them.  I knew I had a problem.

At present, I have maybe ten ginger chews left, but I’ll save them for when I’m feeling freaky for some spicy-sweet lovin’.  The thrill is gone, but not forgotten.  I’ll probably attack the rest of the chews the next time I PMS.