Check Yo Health, Before You Wreck Yo Health

I consider myself a healthy person. About seven years ago I made the decision to start eating clean and exercising regularly. Since then my life hasn’t been the same! I went from eating McDonald’s and drinking sodas, to making smoothies and chopping up salads. Of course, I will treat myself to a little cheat meal here and there, but nothing too crazy. You must “treat yo’ self” occasionally!

About four years ago I felt a weird bump on hinge of my jaw underneath my skin. I thought nothing of it, at the time I was twenty-one and in perfect health. When I went in for my yearly dental exam and was told to get it checked out by an oral surgeon. I figured it would probably go away on its own and went on with my life.

Fast forward to spring of 2018. The ½ centimeter bump has now grown to be about 2 centimeters in length. At this point I still figured it was something minor like a cyst that would require a small needle to drain it. Once the dental hygienist saw how much the bump had grown she urged me to visit the oral surgeon.

I made an appointment for the oral surgeon. After taking x-rays of my jaw, I still did not get an answer as to what this bump really was. By the looks on their faces I knew it was not good. 

I grew frustrated going back and forth to the doctor and still being in the dark about what was going on with my body. However, my visit to the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor was about to change all of that.

He calmly told me that I had a tumor. It felt like time had stopped. Why and how would someone so young and healthy get a tumor? It did not make sense and almost felt unfair.

After getting extensive MRI’s it was confirmed to be a benign tumor in my salivary gland. But it would still require an intense surgery called a “Parotidectomy”(google at your own risk), to have it removed. 

Luckily, my surgery was a success! It has been almost three months, and the only after effects I have is a loss of feeling on my ear lobe (something my doctor had warned me about anyways).

That being said… It is very important to be on top of your health! I thought just because I ate healthy and exercised six days a week I was in perfect health. I was completely wrong!

No matter how healthy you think you may be, leave it to the professionals to determine how healthy you really are!

Fashion Files

Here are a few of my favorite fashion moments from this week! 

As I said before – I live and breathe cheetah print! So you know this dress caught my eye. But I especially like the way the sneakers and jacket made for a more casual look. 

“J to the L. O. – HELLO! ” Is exactly what I think when I see the ageless Jennifer Lopez in this hot pink coat!

Miley Cyrus looking like she stepped right out of Romy and Michele’s world to come rock ours! 

If it wasn’t already clear… I also love hot pink! So when Dua Lipa is done with this dress I’d like to be buried in it. Such glamour! 

Sunita (@sunitav_) is wearing this rainbow coat magnificently!

Green is my least favorite color, besides orange, but I really like this lime green suit! The graphic t-shirt really brings the outfit together in a nice way (a way that makes me actually like green!) 

Issa went ahead and snatched my wig without ANY warning! This whole photo shoot is to die for, but this photo in particular made me want to go buy a couple of head wraps. 

Imagine hopping off of your private jet and looking this fabulous…. well Kim Kardashian can! KKW is looking ultra fierce in head-to-toe snake print.

How Drag Inspires Me

A few years back I was flipping through channels looking for something to watch, and I landed on something called Rupaul’s Drag Race. Being born in the nineties I had already heard of Rupaul because of many appearances on different TV programs and famous song “Supermodel (You Better Work)”, but I thought to myself “why the heck is Rupaul racing cars?

Once I tuned in I was obsessed! Not just because of the fashion and drama, (which is always on point let me add!), but because of what drag meant to them. On the show, we get to hear many stories about the struggles they endure in their personal lives. Many have been shunned from their families because of their sexuality and “lifestyle choices”, which is upsetting. Despite these tragedies, I feel as though the show is a great platform to boost both their careers and confidence!

While I can’t relate to losing communication with my family based on my sexuality (I am a straight black woman with a great family dynamic), I can relate to how important it is to them to form a family of their own because of it. My mother has always taught me how important it is to embrace positive people and how many yearn for a positive family dynamic. After watching dozens of episodes, I decided to inform myself on the history of drag.

For many of the queens, dressing in drag is an outlet and a way of expressing their true selves. Queens like Divine, Lady Bunny, Lavern Cummings, and of course Rupaul paved the way for future queens to live unapologetically. Because as Mama Ru always says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

I will always find myself enamored by the art of drag and will always have the utmost respect for these ladies and their talents!

Cha Cha Matcha!

Over the weekend I finally left my house and walked around lovely West Hollywood. After grabbing a bite to eat I stopped by Cha Cha Matcha. With it’s eye-catching décor, it’s impossible to just walk by without looking inside! Originally based in NYC, Cha Cha Matcha just recently opened their West Hollywood location back in December. Of course, many of the items include Matcha, so if that’s not necessarily your thing there are many other items to choose from. One item that stood out to me was the “Purple Drink”, which consisted of matcha, lavender, and CBD. Very LA! The vibe of this location is definitely Instagram worthy, so make sure to bring a camera and an appetite!

Zinque

Zinque in West Hollywood is a quaint little spot I like to pop into if I am near Melrose Ave. They are open from 6:30 am to 12 am, so you can stop by at any point for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… or even all three! The menu is described as “French cuisine” but don’t let that put you off, there options for everyone. These options include burgers, salads, and sandwiches. My personal favorite is the dish under “Soups, Salads, & Bowls” section that includes quinoa, roasted beets, avocado, grated carrots, and cilantro. I usually add grilled salmon to give it a little extra level of flavor! Luckily this dish is both healthy and filling! However, it doesn’t matter how stuffed I am, I will always save room for french fries when I come here because they are BOMB! They are thinly cut and seasoned deliciously, a must if you visit Zinque! I also enjoy the ambiance here, it’s a great place to go if you want to catch up with an old friend or grab drinks after work and de-tress with your girls. If you are ever in the area and find yourself wanting something quick and easy grab a bite to eat at Zinque!

Changing the Perspective: Women in Advertisements

After hearing the plot of the show on an episode of CNN’s The 2000’s, I decided to watch Mad Men on Netflix. I am only on season 2, but from what I can see the female characters on the show balance out the crude remarks their male counterparts often make. I find myself cringing at their behavior, but it is still somewhat of a reality in the year 2019. Though us women are finally in the forefront of different companies and organizations, we still hear the same remarks the boys of Sterling & Cooper made in the sixties and seventies.

Not only were their remarks sexist, but their advertisements were too. They would assume all women had no other aspirations besides being a housewife or would put them in a light were the were only seen as an object. Mad Men of course is a television show, but it is accurate in its display on how women were represented in advertisements in the sixties.

Recently Budweiser, a company that boasts a predominately female marketing team, re-vamped some of their advertisements from the fifties and sixties to reflect women in a more positive light. Monica Rustgi, the VP of Marketing for Budweiser (and long time friend of mine!) spoke to Ad Age about the campaign. “For us, it’s all about using our past to really serve as a launch pad showing women in a more balanced fashion,” Rustgi states.

This is a fantastic move. It is always great to see women reflected in an accurate and relatable point of view. I also believe that this will set off waves for other big brands to move in the same direction. I hope to see more advertisements like this in the near future!

Fashion Files

Though this spring weather doesn’t know if it’s coming or going, I know that these bold spring fashion statements are here to stay! I love what I am seeing so far, a lot of bright colors and “in your face” patterns that can elevate your everyday style.

 E! News Correspondent, Morgan Stewart (@morganstewart) is absolutely slaying in this two-tone pink blazer. COME THROUGH MALIBU BARBIE!

 

There was a time when the so-called “Canadian Tuxedo” was a faux pas…. But I am obsessed. The suede boots give it a little pop of color as well. (@idressmyself)

I am absolutely living for statement hats for Spring 2019. Not only are they cute, but they are multipurpose! Living in sunny LA, a hat like this will come in handy (@kelsey_diprima)

The ever-so-flawless @yesjulz is serving cool girl vibes in this highlighter green two-piece outfit.

US Olympian Alyson Felix shows us she can be fierce on and off the field!

I really like the way @Mykennajean styled this light-weight Cheetah print coat (then again, I live and breathe cheetah print… so I might be bias!)

Swing by @LFstores and re-create this outfit if you want to be the coolest chick in town… a la 2019 Sandy from Grease! 

 

@Tiffanybal is tomboy Chic in her Yeezy Wave Runners and Grateful Deadgraphic tee!

Kreation Kafe & Juicery

Kreation Kafe on Abbot Kinney is described as a “cafe & juice bar.” This super-health conscious spot is perfect for brunch – and dog friendly! As soon as you walk in, the faux greenery makes you feel as though you are relaxing in a friend’s backyard. When seated, waiters hand out iPads that contain the full Kreation Kafe menu, which includes acai bowls, wraps, salads, smoothies, and much more. After the initial excitement of being handed an iPad when I went, I eventually decided on a kale wrap with chicken, which was delicious. Before leaving, I got a pressed juice. Being as clumsy as I am, I accidentally spilled the juice all over my shirt. Luckily, the waiter and the owner of the restaurant brought me a club soda and a rag and helped me get the stain out. The hospitality and atmosphere here at Kreation Kafe is very uplifting and relaxing, I will definitely be back soon.