Separating The Person from The Profession

As you guys know by now, I wear many hats. I have always been one to stay busy and kind of have my hand in a bit of everything. Its in my nature. With that being said, my career sits at the forefront of my existence due to the weight that this job holds. Being a police officer comes with automatic perceptions and stereotypes and I’ve spent years trying not to let those views define who I am as a person.

7 1/2 years of being a police officer, I have seen many different reactions from people after they had learned about my profession. It goes without saying that subconsciously they had already formed a perception of who they thought I was and what I stood for. As a society, our lifestyle and careers acts as a nonverbal statement of who we are. Often times individuals are judged by where they work, what they drive and the social circles that they frequent. Is it fair to judge people based on exterior characteristics instead of getting to know them as a person first?

Being a victim of this for the past 7 1/2 years, I know that outcast feeling all too well. Everyday I strive to not have the ‘Us vs Them” mentality but sometimes it is hard because the people who don’t do what we do have the most to say about what we do, lacking the empathy or understanding of the profession.

Can you separate the person from the profession? Can you look at them for who they are inside and out instead of the career they chose?

This message wasn’t to beat up on anyone or to point fingers, but rather to challenge you to be better. Form your own opinions and views based on YOUR own experiences dealing with people individually. Don’t take someone else’s story or what the media spins because those are all based on their own perceptions. Form your own and learn to give everyone an individual chance. I’ve met wealthy businessmen who were rude and arrogant and I’ve met homeless people who would give you their last dollar. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

When you judge people, you have no time to love them”

– Mother Teresa

A Little Reminder

This was inspired by the thoughts running through my head as I scrolled through the highlight reel that is Instagram. It is very easy for an individual to feel less about themselves or feel the need to compare themselves to others when they’re constantly looking at the perfect moments of someone elses life. I am not beyond reproach to say that I’ve never scrolled past a picture and thought ” what does she have that I don’t have?” We’re human!! As humans we will have moments where experience…dare I say..envy!!! As dreadful as it sounds, its normal.

So what did I do? I unplugged and went for a walk. The beautiful thing about my neighborhood is that it has beautiful little trails that surround the ponds. Makes for a really nice moment to take in Gods creation. As I walked and got lost in my thoughts.. a voice came to me. The voice asked “do you need a reminder?” It then dawned on me that I needed a reminder of how blessed and favored I am. I needed to be reminded of how good the Lord has been to me. You see, every time we compare ourselves to others and become ungrateful for what we have, its like a slap to Gods face. God has blessed us with life, health, love and prosperity but we lose sight of that in the seconds of a scroll. Picture this. Your child asks for a toy in which you finally give in and buy the toy. Once the child has the toy, they start talking about how much they would love this other new toy!! How insulting right!? You think to yourself how ungrateful this kid is. Well..are we not that ungrateful kid sometimes?

With all of that being said, I just wanted to come by and remind you of just how blessed and amazing you are. God made no mistake with you and He has you right where he needs you. When you find yourselves focusing on someone else’s life, look around YOU and look at your blessings. We all have different paths for different reasons. We are all here to inspire and encourage others with our very unique and personal stories. A good rule of thumb is to remember that (1) you don’t know what that person had to do to get to where they are and (2) is what their showing even real? In the age of social media lies tons of smoking mirrors. Instead of getting caught up in the highlight reel, press pause every now and then and remember how great God made you. Just a little reminder.

Take a moment to remind yourself. As always, stay safe and be blessed. xoxo

Lets Talk Botox Baby (and Filler) !!!

Have you ever seen someone with skin so flawless, you wonder if God himself does their skincare routine? We all know someone whose skin is just perfect. Not a wrinkle or crease in sight. Could it be that they have mastered the RBF and moisturizes 10x a day or could it be something more?

As we know, skin is the largest organ on our body. It protects us from the many elements that we face on a day to day basis. Every time we step out of the comforts of our homes, our skin takes a beating. Outside elements such as excessive sun exposure and free radicals are damaging to the skin but what about the things within?

Alcohol Isn’t Your Friend

We all love a good drink every now and again especially during those hot summers days or those nights out on the town. There isn’t anything wrong with a margarita every now and then but drink at your own risk!!! Alcohol not only dehydrates your entire body but it also dehydrates your skin. Dehydrated skin will age MUCH quicker than skin that is properly moisturized and nourished.

Drop That Cigarette!!

I think this goes without saying….cigarettes are gross!! Aside from giving you bad breath and making your clothes smell, it also wrecks havoc on your skin!! Did you know that smoking cigarettes restricts your blood vessels from getting oxygen which means your skin is now getting less oxygen and nutrients. This is a recipe for sagging skin and wrinkles!! No thanks!!

Stop Moving Your Face

Speaking from someone who is very full of expression, I have noticed the results over the years of the constant squinting and frowning. Those constant muscle movements you make everyday can lead to skin damage. Deep wrinkles and lines can become permanent and for some, quite unsightly. Maybe the infamous Resting Bit** Face wasn’t so bad after all.

Turning Back The Clock

My skin type could be best described as Oily/Normal and not Acne Prone. I have a very good consistent routine of double cleansing, toning, exfoliating, moisturizing and of course SPF!! I wash my bedding and pillowcases once a week and I don’t sleep with my makeup on. With all of that being said, I still managed to fall into the crisis of having deep set lines in my forehead and some rather noticeable smile lines.

So, one day after assessing my skin and areas of concern, I decided to dabble in the waters of Botox and Filler. After making the decision to commit, I made an appointment with my Medispa and went in for my consultation.

Below, you can see during my consult where we assessed how deep and significant those glabella lines had gotten over the years.

What is Botox? What Is Filler?

Botox is a drug produced by the toxin bacterium Botulinum. Botox works by blocking nerve signals to certain muscles which will result in the muscle becoming more relaxed resulting in a smoother appearance. Like a real life filter!!

Botox is great for the forehead and when given in smalls doses, results in a very natural look. Botox can also be used in a variety of other ways such as :

  • TMJ
  • Severe underarm sweating
  • chronic migraines
  • to decrease the size of the massater muscle (the muscles used to chew with)

While Botox freezes, Filler plumps and fills. Fillers are most commonly made from hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is already found in the skin but over time breaks down. A good rule of thumb is “Line of expression need Botulinum. Lines at rest need filler.” Simple enough, right?

Dr. Nadel injecting DeFyne filler into my tear troughs

Another area of concern that was beginning to nag me were those lines that were beginning to form under my eyes. A lifetime of laughter..who knew lol…. So lets get down to the facts!!

What did I Get?

After an assessment, I eventually got 24 units of Botox (Newtoux) and 1 syringe of Defyne Filler.

Where

Totality Medispa on Daniel Island forever has my heart. I go there for everything from skincare products to great facials. The only medispa that I will go to. Dr. Nadel is amazing and the entire staff is so informative and ready to serve you. Check them out if you’re in the Charleston area.

Cost

The cost of course will vary depending on where you go and what you need done. The more units you need will obviously increase the cost. For my session, the Botox was $288 and the filler was $659. Filler lasts longer therefore costs more.

Pain/Downtime

I had essentially no pain. Dr. Nadel did use numbing cream which I am forever grateful for. There wasn’t any pain. If i could describe it as something, id call it pressure. I felt a lot of pressure in the areas around my mouth where the skin was thicker. There was no downtime, I was able to go to work immediately afterwards. They do mention to avoid lying down for up to 4 hours after your procedure.

Results immediately after. Swelling and slight bruising is normal and will vary person to person.

Final Thoughts

2 weeks post Botox/Filler and I am very pleased. The full effect took about 7 days to set in. My forehead is absolutely crease-less and I see a more youthful look overall. I still have slight puffiness under my eyes but you can totally see where those under eye lines have been softened and “filled”.

Before you consider getting any of these cosmetic services, keep in mind some of these key points.

  • Botox doesn’t erase wrinkles. As mentioned before, it blocks the signals to certain muscles and with use over time, can relax those muscles more significantly.
  • Botox usually last 3-4 months.
  • Filler can last 6-12 months or longer in some cases.

A little touch up is always necessary and should be done guilt free. Of course, continue to stick to your skincare routines and NEVER forget to use SPF!! I hope you all enjoyed this content and found some helpful information within. Thank you for reading.

Stay safe and Be Blessed. XOXO

Spring Time In The City

Spring time is by far my favorite season with Fall coming in at a hard second!! There’s something about the colors and the newness of spring that makes me feel rejuvenated. Its like God is speaking through his beautiful creations….Nature. Its also a great time for fashion! I love expressing the Spring season through my outfits. Some of my favorite colors are yellows and pinks. I have even taken a liking to lavenders. I would love to share with you guys how I pair items together to create the perfect Spring look. I will also be shouting out some boutiques for you to check out as well.

Flaunt Your Season!!

During Spring (or any season), I love to wear colors that compliment the season. Makes it more alive! As you know, yellow is one of my favorite seasonal colors, so when I saw these amazing yellow flare pants, I had to snag them!! Flare has made such a huge comeback and should be in every girls wardrobe. These comfortable flair pants paired with this cute simple crop top made for the perfect Spring outfit. To add a little pizazz, as I did, throw on a cute hat. A super easy way to dress up a causal outfit.

Another great seasonal color that I love is blue. Powder and baby blues are such soft cozy colors and such suitable colors for the season. This maxi dress from Subtle & Sass Boutique (@subtle_and_sass) is perfect for the everyday woman. I love clothing that can be used in a variety of settings. This dress is that. Great for church or brunch, this dress wont disappoint. To be a little extra as I usually am, I adorned my head with a flower headband. What types of accessories do you like?

I love a nice pair of jeans! I found my perfect jean shopping at Fashion Nova. Skinny, bootcut or flare, their jeans provide the best stretch and accentuates my assets in the perfect way! I love a good dark wash because it makes colors pop. Paired with this tropical off the shoulder top and wedged sandals, this outfit screams HAPPY HOUR!

Jumpsuits will forever remain a staple in my wardrobe because its easy..its literally a whole outfit in one! A little hack for those who are fashion challenged. Jumpsuits come in a variety of styles and colors and even range from really casual to super dressy! You cant go wrong with one.

Strolling Downtown in this rusty orange number with white accessories. The white really brightens everything up to create a clean look. Finding colors that can be easily matched with other colors is a good rule of thumb because you can essentially create many looks using the same base. Work smarter, not harder.

Its Fashion. Have Fun!!

Looking your best doesn’t have to be hard. Find your comfort zone and work from there. Fashion is suppose to be fun and a way for people to express themselves. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Experiment with colors and styles. Get dressed up and take fun pictures. Life in itself already comes with challenges and trial. Your closet doesn’t have to.

I hope you guys enjoyed this content and have found new ways to style and add to your wardrobe. Thank you so much for the continued love and support. Stay safe amidst this crisis and a always God Bless. xoxo

30 & Running Out of Time

What Just Happened!?

Have you ever sat and thought, “Wow!! This year really flew by!” With every speeding year that flies by, we get older…and older..and…older. The more birthdays you have, the more you began to realize that you’re getting older and time is running out. The anxiety begins to kick in as you think of all the things you haven’t accomplished yet. Maybe you don’t have the cookie cutter life that society wants you to think you should have. You know the one. Married by 23. Two children. A house on the hill with the white picket fence? Yea, that one. Is that really realistic? Is it fair for society to put those type of expectations on someone? Regardless of your answer, we know that it happens and it is a very real societal pressure that we’re going to delve into today. Grab your wine glass ladies!!

How We Got Here

In many cultures, men and women are expected to be married and have children by a certain age. I was reading a blog post that in Chinese cultures, if a woman is in her 30’s and still unmarried, she is considered a “leftover” or undesirable. In African culture, the father picks a husband for his daughter and there is immense pressure for you to be married early and have children. My father is from Senegal, West Africa and I have definitely felt the pressure of this age old tradition. Can you imagine the choice of being forced to keep up tradition or to be an embarrassment to you family? The black sheep even.

These standards are felt even more if you live in the South!! As you’re scrolling through social media, you see proposal after proposal and pregnancy announcements. Its not unlikely that this will lead you to believe that you’re missing out or that somethings wrong with you. Honey, there isn’t ANYTHING wrong with you! These close minded traditional views are tiring.

Anything you do in life should be done because of YOUR passion and desire to do it. Not because your family is pressuring you or because you don’t want to feel left out.

It makes you wonder how many people rushed to get married or have children because they didn’t want to be looked at as “damaged” , awkward or as a “leftover”.

Don’t Succumb To The Pressure!!

As a woman who is in her 30’s AND a single mom, I have felt these pressures on a whole other level!! Coming from a Christian background on my mothers side and an traditional African background on my fathers side, the pressure is real to not disappoint anyone. From my own personal experiences in life as well as seeing “epic fails” in other peoples lives, I have learned that:

  • You CANNOT live for someone else. Some people failed in their own lives and endeavors so they try to project their failed dreams onto you in hopes of reliving that moment they lost. They lived their life. Live yours!!
  • Do what YOU’RE comfortable with and what makes you happy. Some people take jobs because their parents said so. Some people marry because their family said so or pressure from society caused them to fold. At the end of the day, can you sleep at night with the decisions you’ve made or will you live in regret?
  • Be CAREFUL who you ask for advice. When someone gives you advice they’re are sharing based on THEIR perceptions and beliefs. If someone married for money because they didn’t want to work or because they wanted to secure themselves financially then their advice to YOU may be to do the same thing regardless of love.

If It Makes You Happy

I don’t want this to turn into a soapbox session but I just want to encourage men and women to slow down and take a breath. Enjoy your life at every moment and know that God makes no mistakes. As we grow anxious and impatient, what may seem like an eternity for us is only seconds to God. Allow him to create the masterpiece that you deserve. That masterpiece could be a job you’ve been waiting for, a house, a husband/wife or even the ability to conceive. Whatever your desire is, it will all work out in the end and it will be well worth it.

I hope you guys enjoyed this read! Thanks for tuning in. Continue to be safe. Continue hygienic practices to avoid getting sick and as always, be blessed!! xoxo

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year guys!! We made it into another year.. another DECADE!! How crazy exciting is that!? I was listening to an elderly man speak at church on Sunday and he said how foreign the year 2020 sounded to him. Like something out of a science fiction movie. As mind blowing as it may be, WE MADE IT!! Whose ready for a prosperous year?

I had 3 weeks of vacation for winter break and I enjoyed every second of it. I had time to sit and meditate on how good 2019 was and what goals I’d like to accomplish in 2020. Creating a visual or writing down what you’ve done and accomplished in the past will help you paint a more accurate visual for your future goals. After doing this for myself, I realized that my goals for 2020 would be pretty simple because I had already laid the groundwork in 2019. Pretty neat huh!?

I am starting with 4 solid goals for this year. I believe that these will be fairly easy to achieve due to the work I’ve done last year. You guys just snagged front row seats to what my goals are for 2020. Enjoy!

End Procrastination

One of my goals for the new year is to stop procrastinating. I can be sitting in front of my laptop preparing a new blog post and suddenly my mind will go blank. Instead of working through the brain fog,(omg.. its happening now) I just put it off and say “ill do it later on.” Of course “later on” never comes. Procrastinating will only set you back and I’m only moving forward in 2020!!

Homeowner??

Could this year be my year to be an official homeowner? In 2019, I dedicated the whole year to getting my finances and bills in order. There is nothing better than having a peace of mind financially and not worrying about bill collectors calling you or beating down your door. This was a big goal of mine and accomplishing that goal was a breath of fresh air. Another challenge that I began to work on was budgeting. Creating all of these healthy habits was something I wanted to have before purchasing my first home. I truly believe that when I step foot into my new house, I wont have a lot of unnecessary stress because of those steps I took prior to making this huge purchase. The most expensive thing you’ll ever buy!

Networking In Action

My 3rd goal for the new year is to put my networking skills in action. Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to meet and network with different business owners, photographers and other bloggers locally and afar. This year I will be taking those connections and putting them into action. Without giving too much away, I have a few projects that I’m working on and I’m excited to see them come alive. Stay tuned.

Be Intentional

2019 was such a whirlwind of excitement and challenges and one take away from those experiences was to remember to be intentional in everything you do. What do I mean by be intentional? When you do something, don’t just do it to do it. Do it with PURPOSE! Do it with conviction. Hold yourself accountable and be consistent. You’ve already done the work, do yourself a favor and be intentional. You owe it to yourself.

In Conclusion

Thank you for sticking me as i try to find the best schedule to bring you all consistent entertaining content. I am still learning and growing and i thank you for seeing something in me that made you want to subscribe.

I came across this quote that said, ” Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.” Let that quote be motivation for you. It doesn’t matter if you fail once or twice. What matters is are you going to get up, dust yourself off and try again? Stay safe and be blessed. xoxo

Social September!!

Hey guys!!!! Omgoodness!!! Can you believe how fast this year is whizzing by? September is gone and October is here! After my 30th birthday, I began to resonate on how short life is and how quickly time goes by. Do those things you’ve been putting off. Take that vacation. Buy those shoes. Go Dancing. Fall in love. Time isn’t going to wait for you to do those things that you continue to put on the back burner.

September was such a great month (this whole year has been). It was a month of social gatherings and events. I had great opportunities to make new friends and meet other bloggers in the area.

Charleston has such an awesome social scene that I had never really focused on due to work and other priorities. Thank goodness for groups such as @lowcountryladies for hosting monthly events for women to get together and wind down..or turn up!! LOL

Parcel 32; located in King Street, is such a great space to meet for a luncheon or a girls night after getting off work. The upstairs Parlour area is BEAutiful!! IT’s definitely a must see. I cant wait for the next event.

Subtle & Sass

Have you ever wanted to have a shopping experience that was one to remember? An experience where you had your own personal stylist that served food and beverages for you to enjoy while you shop? If your answer is “Yes”, then you must check out Subtle & Sass. An indoor boutique beautifully ran with cute, comfy and trendy fashion in mind.

I, along a few other bloggers got the opportunity to participate in a photo shoot showcasing a few items from the collection. Working with Charleston photographer, Sami Fuentes (@sami.fuentes) was such a great experience. She showed great professionalism, patience and talent. Charleston has so many hidden gems and Subtle & Sass boutique is one of them !

Fitness Can Be Fun!!!

Have you ever started something and halfway through you realize you weren’t ready!? Well, that’s what happened to me when I decided to participate in a Citadel pre-game workout. Hosted by Oblique Magazine and Gunnar_Made, this intense workout was an awesome and fun way to get my cardio in (enough cardio for the year!!!LOL) and a great warm-up to the game that kicked off that evening.

The crew was awesome and the atmosphere was totally judgment free. If you felt like you were falling behind, someone was always there to push you along. If you are into fitness and/or looking for a trainer or fitness events in the Charleston area, I would definitely check out Gunnar_Made on Instagram and Oblique Magazine.

Hustle & Glow

I am always up for an opportunity to get glammed up!! This Hustle & Glow event, hosted by @hoangviton and Oblique Magazine, was such an awesome moment to show up and Glow up!! Upon showing up at the White Room, we were showered with drinks, food, and giveaways. There was even a panel of skincare specialists to educate us about how products work and what type of services they offer. If you are looking for an affordable estheticans, check out Guinot Institut. They are located in Mount Pleasant and soon opening another store in Summerville.

Make Time for You

Having the opportunity to meet some an awesome group of people has made me realize that its OK to take time out for me. Working is fine and dandy but please remember to unwind and relax. Find a local group and go to the social events. Meet new people. Make new friends. Time is short and memories are priceless.

As always guys, thank you for reading, Be safe and God Bless!! xoxo

Hello 30!!!!!!

Wow!!! I have officially entered the Dirty 30s! LOL I cant believe I’m 30 years old!! Wow! this is truly a blessing! You may be asking “How does it feel?” I can say it feels pretty good. I feel as though I have a better sense of self. But that definitely didn’t happen overnight. I feel like I have been supercharged with an ambition to go for everything within my reach and grasp for those things that are out of my comfort zone.

I recently transferred to a new position at work and I’m so exciting about that. I was nervous about making this move for years because I had gotten so comfortable in the position that I was in, but I realized to elevate you have to move out of your comfort zone. Sometimes being uncomfortable is good because it forces you to get up, get out and move to something bigger and better.

So yea guys, I didn’t prepare a long drawn out message or anything. I’m working on some cool content to bring forth and I hope you all enjoy it. I’m going to go and enjoy my birthday!! xoxo

Happy August!!! Issa Celebration!!!

OMGoodness Guys!!! August is here!! This year is zooming by so fast that I didn’t realize my birthday was approaching. We are 9 days away from me turning the big 30!!! WOW! what a great milestone. As time grows closer, I began to sit and realize the real true meaning of life. I remember a time where I felt lost and confused as to what my purpose in life was. As I’ve gotten older, its becoming more clear to me what the meaning of life is; to me of course.

When you are a child, life is pretty simple. You go to school, come home and play, eat and sleep. The most carefree times of your life. Then you get older and school becomes more rigorous and now you add in the pressures of fitting in as well as your plans for the future. Then you’re off to college and thrusted into the work force. Before you know it, your life has turned into school, work, study, (you might remember to eat) and the possibility of sleep. You never got to sit and find out what the meaning of life was.

The meaning of life can obviously be whatever you choose to make it. For me, the meaning of life is love. Spreading love and happiness. In my line of work, I’ve come across so many people who have given up. They have given up on life. They feel as though love and happiness has passed them by with no intention of returning. That look of despair on someones face really gets to me. My goal has been to try to offer a kind word or even a pat on the back. I’ve found that those little gestures can make someone feel human again. Helping others when they fall is another passion of mine. In this rat race of life, its easy to be pulled into the thought process that you have to kick as many people down for you to get ahead. I could never fall into that path because I know who holds my destiny. I know that whats for me will be mine and by me knowing that, it does me no good to kick someone when they’re down. Let us aspire to be that person that uplifts instead of tear down. The world has enough people “gettin a bag”, or backstabbing one another to get ahead. Lets be different and pick each other up. I promise you, whats for you will be yours.

It seems as though when you get older, life becomes more simple. You no longer care about the small things. I love the simplicity of this new view. Thank the Lord for bringing me this far and for the hills and valleys that I’ve been through. 9 more days!!! Woot Woot!!

Thank you guys for reading. Stop by IG page and tell me Happy Birthday! xoxo

Back To School Try On Haul

Its back to school time you guys!! Apricot Lane Charleston has stocked their shelves with amazingly cute pieces that’ll have you ready for school and ready for the fall. They have introduced a line of fun colorful sweaters that are so comfortably made and very lightweight. So, without further ado, why don’t we jump right in!

Yellow is by far one of my favorite colors. These pieces were very comfortable on the skin and not itchy at all like most sweaters tend to be. Different shades of yellow are perfect for summer as well as fall. These sweaters can be paired with your favorite shorts for the Summer OR your favorite pair of Denim and boots for the Fall.

Remember years ago when you were in elementary school, and your parents made you wear those ugly Corduroy pants…lol or was it just me!? Well they’ve made a comeback. These cute skirts are all the rave and perfect for the Fall. Can be paired with a cute top and cardigan or a cute sweater and your favorite pair of shoes.

Flare, flare , flare!!! Flare jeans have definetely made a comeback in today’s fashion scene. I have fallen in love with flare jeans and I had to add a few pairs to my own wardrobe. It totally take your outfit to another level. Lets bring back the 70s with style!

Don’t start the school year without checking out Apricot Lane Charleston. They will also be having a fashion show Tax Free Weekend. Come check the store out August 3rd! Thank you for checking out my try on haul. Be Blessed. xoxo