I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2020. One month before my 50th birthday,in the midst of the New York/New Jersey social shut down due to the Coronavirus.
In this video, the date is April 8, 2020 and I am getting ready to travel to my appointment for surgery. I’m on my way to have a bilateral mastectomy at Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City, the epicenter of the Coronavirus. I live in New Jersey the second highest rated epicenter in the US.
My cancer was serious enough that they could not cancel the appointment. Policies and procedures were changing daily and a new rule was put in place that week by the medical society. You could not have breast cancer surgery if you tested positive for the Coronavirus.
The night before, I was tested for Covid19 and awaited results, which never came. However, because I did not receive the call that my surgery was canceled, I assumed that I tested negative and that everything would take place as scheduled. My assumption was correct, as my first surgery went according to schedule.
This was my first time on an operating table and it was lonely wake up and recovery moment. In case you’ve been living in a bubble and are not aware, support people are not allowed at the hospital whether you were having a baby or having your breasts chopped off.
My friends hate when I use that terminology, “chopped”, when referring to my breasts. Yet, that is how I feel. As if my body parts that were beautiful, a connective part of my womanhood and once protruded off my body, no longer exist. Because they were chopped off.
Do not take chopped as a negative reference to my wonderful surgeons at MSK. It’s how my mind processes the disappearance of the body parts that prevented me from looking down directly at my long toes and feet.
This video is basically my way of sharing news with my friends and colleagues. A moment I will never forget.
Let’s make sure your crowning glory is looking as natural as well can get it. We are going to do this in four easy steps and in less than five minutes.
Your wig is like your favorite piece of jewelry, an amazing accessory that finishes off your fabulousness. So, we have to make sure people are staring at you because of your amazing look and style and not your distracting wiggy, doll head. #nooffence
After you’ve laid your wig with your favorite holding product, the part needs to stand out. The reason to take this extra step is because it will do three things:
1. Most importantly, add to the realism of your final look.
2. Disguise the look of the knots, which are the result of how the hair is connected to the wig cap.
3. For some who are not stylists, this is an alternative to bleaching the knots.
You can accomplish this using many different products such as concealer, face powder, light eyeshadow and foundation. For this look I am using Cover FX foundation.
Follow the instructions below and watch the video for additional guince.
Tools needed: A flat thin concealer brush, foundation and a wig already in its final position. I use Got2b glued freezing spray for a worry free day.
How to Define Wig Part:
Step one: Part the wig in the direction you want you hair to fall. For this you can use a comb or rat tail comb.
Step two: Dip concealer brush into a drop of foundation as many times as needed to complete the length of the part.
Step three: starting in any area along the part, dab the edge of the brush lightly onto the head.
Step four: Using fingernails or a comb, rustle the hairline of the part to blend the foundation that may have gotten on your hair. If that doesn’t help and you still have excess, grab a q-tip, dip into alcohol and apply the the hairs with too much product.
Check your face for visible knots. Ensure you apply color along the edge of the hairline on the face if needed.
As you are off to your morning, I am sending you positive vibes filled with confidence.
Please come back and show me how it worked out. Please share any tips you have.
Start off by getting yourself some copper pans because they literally will save time while cooking, efforts when cleaning and you won’t have to worry about balance of temperature. These pans are so amazing, I just don’t know how I’ve ever cooked without! This investment was so worth it because my “ #prettydelish” meals turn out tastier and quicker.
I wasn’t sure how this was going to come out because I tried something new with the mustard greens. First, I added shrimp which is not the norm-and then I was eating with 30 mins.
Coat the pan bottom with olive oil and add shrimp when the oil is hot.
Another key ingredient is bone broth powder, combined with bottled water and additional seasonings; cookon medium low.
Some of the benefits of bone broth are help with restless sleeping, joint pain, weight loss and can reduce inflammation. Since I have knee issues and insomnia many times this ingredient is helpful for me.
Cover with lid for 10-15 mins. Now if your like your greens more al dente then cut off otter 5-10 low boil.
Start shrimp in another pan at same time with little olive oil, pepper, lemon pepper seasoning and then once it was very close to done, put in with the mustard greens to continue to cook in the broth.
Wash down with Chopin Vodka and soda with squirt of lemon to cleanse the system. 😂
Disclosure- I made sure to have had at least 3/4 gallon of water or more and then I could sip and finish before 8:30pm.
Song on repeat. Focus your thoughts on the goal of resolution and clarity. Meaning, something may feel unsolved and you may need guidance. But how? That same question I’ve asked myself.
Meditation is to clear the mind and prayer is to clear the spirit. Both come from feeling unsettled and a need to find peace or figure out how to help yourself. Both need focus and patience.
I use to wonder why I didn’t hear that voice of God that people say they hear. I would be like- I am meditating, praying and thanking God for what has done. Recently, I finally put some thought into my concern and realized I wasn’t really spending quality time giving thanks or waiting for an answer. I was only focused for a few minutes and with this quick approach to meditation I couldn’t receive the answers I was looking for.
Then I had an aha moment. I realized, I don’t have to follow specific rules to seek help from a higher power. Who’s to say I’m not meditating, praying or giving thanks because I don’t set a timer, sit on a pillow or focus my breathing? It dawned on me (no pun intended) that my non-traditional method to clarity came naturally to me and it works.
So I release every thought that should be tossed out and I focus on peace and love.
To set my atmosphere for a customized mediation method I use music, unplanned activities, my voice and patience. Scrolling through my Spotify playlist, I land on a special song with an amazing message that lights a fire inside me. Using my voice I ask for guidance, clarity and help with a specific problem. Activities like cleaning, drawing, dancing, crying and lighting candles keeps me relaxed and still in the moment.
As I show gratefulness to my creator, I really feel the song which begins to send waves of joy from my head to my toe, while allowing myself to release the pain, anxiety and sorrow. Patiently I wait for the answers I need; I let lyrics fill my head, my words circle the atmosphere and the feeling of peace move through my body and settle into my soul. The result is liberating and saves me from my destructive subconscious. We all know, we can be our own worst silent enemy.
Only today, at age 48, am I paying enough attention to myself to realize that I have always received answers to my problems or knew what to do next. I also realized that voice of God can respond in more than one way. Some hear His vocal response, while others feel him pulling their heart in a certain direction. Most times at completion of my meditation, I feel a wave of joy that bring me to tears; then I know I have received my answer.
Custom meditation has proven time and time again through my life that there is a guiding spirit that will show you how to move forward. For instance last month; I was dancing, cleaning, attempting to sing at the same tempo to “Aretha Franklin’s, You’re all I need to get by” and asking for guidance and clarity. About an hour later with tears and visions, I finally understood what I needed to do and how to move forward.
Believe in that “feeling” in your gut. When you know something is right for you, understand that there is an internal North Star that will guide you to your destiny. I took the long way to figure all this out. Hopefully, I save you some time.
What is your meditation method? How do you seek the answers you need from a higher being? Talk to me.
Pretty Inspiring: Speak your truth and don’t let anyone or anything steal your voice.As a matter of fact, speak louder and drown out all negativity and remove all stressor triggers. For this last day of the year, thank God for what you have today and for what he is going to make happen, mediate on positive change 2019, visualize great outcomes, vow to take a breath before spewing words through anger and remove anyone from your life that is not on your team.
My Speak Your Truth Louder t-shirt made me enthusiastic about this post. I purchased it at a conference I attended earlier this year called, ADCOLOR; an organization supporting people of color in advertising. Talk about inspirational, hearing the reality and truths of so many amazing people of color inspired me even more to put out content that I love. Maybe, just maybe it will help or touch someone. More about me in another post to come soon.
If you’d like to try this makeup look to stay #PrettyTilDawn, keep reading.
Hope you try these steps for a clean makeup look, especially if you have a 9-5 and let me know how it works out or if you have any questions.
Coming next is the Pretty Til Dawn You Tube LifeStyle Channel. My goal is to inspire you with positive affirmations, makeup tutorials, chat sessions, taking care of your body, relationships, various styles, executive fashion, maturing challenges women face and love.
Together we will grow prettier on the inside and the outside!
I’m headed to Dallas for a conference that celebrates women in business -WBENC and I find myself freaking out because I don’t know how I’m going to eat properly all week. In efforts of a healthy lifestyle, I’ve been on an extremely restricted diet for the past month and I and I have 15 more days to go. This lifestyle includes the absolute minimal of carbs, close to zero, if I can help it. Examples of two carbohydrates allowed include Snack Factory Pretzel Chips and Cheerios. In addition, I am not eating sugar, nor oils and the only dairy is two splashes of coconut cream in my coffee in the morning.
What am I actually eating you ask? Lean meats and fish with one veggie per meal. Snacks include green apples and pickles to satisfy my need to crunch. So you can imagine why am freaking out! I have no idea how I’m going to stick to this for the next five days while on the road.
My challenges are associated with sugar, portion control and ingredients awareness. With a no sugar intake approach, means no wine (my go to libation) with the dinners or at the receptions. Since I’m not cooking, I lose caloric control by not knowing every seasoning applied. The challenge will be to avoid indulging the yummy treats served constantly to feed our energy. The toughest part is completing the eating cycle between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM.
Stress alert: I’m sweating right now just thinking about how I’m going to make sure that happens. Check out seven tips to travel eating lifestyle solutions which include protein bars, vitamins, water, exercise, no sugar cocktails or modified vino. Here’s how’s I’m going to do it.
Discipline and protein. A friend, Brian, who is a cross fit fanatic and one of the leanest and disciplined people I know mentioned that he eats protein bars before banquet dinners. YUCK! Most protein bars are not that delicious and therefore I don’t finish. Quest bars and One bars are tasty, but there are multiple ingredients that I need to avoid to stick to my goals. So I hit the GNC and purchased a brand called “No Cow” whose claim is, “No Cow isn’t just for the dairy intolerant, it’s for the bull$#*t intolerant. Those who choose to live a healthy life and demand better.”
These are vegan bars, a type of protein bar, but are plant-based protein, non-dairy and contain only 1g of sugar in each bar. No Cow comes in multiple flavors and I picked up enough to get me through the next 5 days while in Dallas. Flavors I’m going to try are lemon meringue pie, blueberry cobbler, raspberry truffle bar, mint cacao chip, carrot cake, and finally a chunky peanut butter bar. Considering all the flavors, the maximum protein intake is 22g and the lowest protein count on these bars is 20g. Considering the GNC advisor stated these bars are lacking in flavor, I really hope no cow does not equal cardboard cuisine.
Be a camel. I will also attempt to drink to 3 liters of water minimum daily. I prefer water that contains electrolytes and my absolute favorite is Life Water. My second go to for water Smart Water and Dasani. These types of water are expected to carry electrical charges that are responsible for stimulating muscles and nerves. Read more here, “What are the Benefits of Electrolyte Water?”
Cut it up. This part should be a bit easier, don’t be a glutton and cut your portion sizes of food and libations. Most conference-meals are majority chicken, some steak and definitely wine. If the portion size looks inappropriate or you just don’t know how much to eat, consume only half of the items on your plate. Another tip, thinking ahead to pre-order banquet meals gluten-free can’t hurt, and so I did. If the meal or after dinner drink of choice is a glass of vino, cut it with club soda to create a Spitzer. Some people use tonic, however tonic contains sugar, so it’s not the best solution, so choose club soda which has zero sugar. Once you add club soda, seltzer or tonic to the vino, you now have two servings and one yummy spritzer with 1/2 the calories.
Use technology. Caution, before indulging, proactive tech measures are in order. I’m going to incorporate multiple Apple Watch functions to assure that I’m mindful of my body needs. Let’s be mindful of the following; avoid sitting too long, dance away the calories, track steps and this is going to be the hardest part for me and that’s to ensure that I take very long walks or go to the gym for cardio only. I love weight training, however, lifting weights is on hold because I build muscle quickly. This week’s travel exercise routine is about stretching, walking and standing while networking, yoga and cycling or elliptical.
Pad your paws. How much do you want your dogs barking? Take super comfortable, yet fashionable or stylish shoe. For example, Converse sneakers or lifestyle shoes make you look like you’re intentionally dressed comfortably. Wedged heels give you balance and height and flats are a no brainer if your natural foot arch doesn’t need require a lot of support.
Beauty and the sleep. Connecting with colleagues and friends is a time sucker. When attending conferences with an agenda, this is where I generally fail at getting some sleep. Beauty rest of six hours minimum is so needed for the body to rejuvenate! The Apple Watch sleep tracker function will be enabled and a “go to bed” alarm will be set. No puffy eyes for me.
Pray for me. My friends, this week is going to feel like an arduous journey, although its only for one week. I’ll be sure to let you know my successes and failures and if I was able to maintain weight and follow strict eating guidelines. Wish me mad luck!
As I’m attempting to become more consistent with editing and posting tutorials for Instagram and YouTube. I’m going to start with at least 2 videos per week.
Tomorrow night I will post a full speaking tutorial on youtube. I’ll also post a music quick spot and shorter version on Instagram.
My makeup style is less youtube extreme and more for the executive, mature personalities. It’s quick, simple and easier.
Because the working executive has little time to apply multi layers of colors and carry a huge toolkit; I minimize the whole process using less brushes, less eyeshadow shades and help you decide whether to contour or not.
Pretty Til Dawn is makeup, beauty, style advice and tutorials for that boss on the go, the working mother and the stay at home parent. It’s also for the person just learning to apply makeup and need to do it for the office environment.
Come back soon. Send me what you’d like to see. #talktomedoll