I know you probably read the title in awe. Probably cursing me out as you read this calling me all sorts of names, maybe stanky leg, stinky butt or whatever else is clever. But the truth is it's not that bad. There is life outside of deodorant(for the most of us anyway).
Ever since I was a young girl, wearing deodorant was sort of a rite of passage in which you cross into adulthood. I still remember the name of my very first deodorant; Team Spirit. Through my journey of life, I've seen many family members go through ailments, people die for drinking and smoking and on the extreme end, people dying for absolutely no reason at all. I gave up meat last year and it was a very long time before I had a steak again. Now, I may eat meat every other month if the mood hits me. After reading articles about pus and the mistreatment of cows, I decided that maybe milk wasn't the best thing. We switched to almond milk. I gave up cheese altogether.
Giving up certain foods has caused me to be the butt of many jokes, and sometimes being called a fool. Rightfully so. While I was giving up these things I was putting into my body, not once did I pay attention to the things I was putting on my body. Such as laundry detergents, facial washes, perfumes and deodorant.
If you thought looking at an ingredient list for a bag of chips would make you crazy, just try looking at the ingredients on a can of hair spray. The majority of them you would probably have to Google and when you see their other uses, you'd probably be shocked as hell to know that you're spraying that in the air or any where close to your face. This was my shock when I looked at the ingredients of my beloved Secret deodorant.
Thinking back to when I was a young girl, I would find lumps underneath my arms after extended uses of deodorant. My grandma told me I just needed to change the deodorant but I never asked why or what it was. There is no solid evidence and it's only suggested that swollen lymph nodes can be attributed to life altering diseases such as breast cancer and lymphoma. Why was smelling good possibly worth the cost of my life?
Honestly, it's not but here's my journey of my one month without deodorant.
Weather is mild 50's to low 60's. Raining occasionally and dark.
All is well. Shower daily, smell decent, did not shave all is well with the world.
One day in upper 80's. Mostly 60-70 degrees. No rain in sight and sunny as hell.
Going strong, smelled a little musty one day towards the end of the day. Kept underarms to self. Enjoyed life. Gives up cheese.
Decent days, low 60's no rain. Sun with clouds.
The stench hit the motherfucking fan. Increased activity, and nervousness. Changed soap from almond and patchouli to citrus. Smelled like onions from the hot dog cart. Feeling wild self conscious. Tried to mask it with perfume. Failed immensely. Body changed smells through different emotions. First time I've ever noticed it. Smell subsides when emotions subsides, or maybe my nose grew accustom to it. LMFAO. That's terrible. Shirts smell terrible at the end of the day.
Gloomy and cold. Low 50s - mid 60's. Went on vacation for two days, hot, muggy and 87 degrees.
Switches back to patchouli and almond soaps. Decided not to bathe for 2 days. Smells perfectly fine. Drinks more water. Controls sweat through controlling nervousness smell subsides when emotions subsides. Shirts do not smell after being taken off.
What I can say is that I smell different at certain stages of the day and certain emotions trigger different responses which I have never noticed in my whole life. I have been some accustomed to smelling like Dove and Secret that I never took the time to smell me. It was also really cool to figure out that citrus oils did not blend well with my body's natural chemistry which was shocking because I was using that soap before I decided to give it up. Dr. Bronners soap has become my go to body wash and I can't wait to explore with fragrances.
Obviously, I am not the first person to do this!
Check out these other articles on going aluminum free!
From the time you graduate high school, besides going to college, the only thing that any one ever talks about in the US is credit(It's a little different in the UK). You would think since credit is such an important factor in our lives the powers that be would teach a course on money management in high school or personal finance in college but they don't. That just makes you wonder if the system was designed to keep those who don't know down and generational wealth up.
As a young woman, I always had a decent job(sometimes two or three) and I made sure to save my money for a rainy day. At the age of 19, I had a 710 credit score and at the age of 22 that score was 730. I paid my bills on time, my credit cards had high limits and I was able to pretty much keep myself afloat. With the progression of time, and my desire to be self sufficient, I ultimately drowned in debt. I ran away from the mail lady, man, UPS, FedEx and even DHL. I learned the names of bill collectors, their sneaky tricks to get you to open their envelopes not limited to sending envelopes that looked like checks or packages marked "sensitive", "urgent" or "you don't want to miss this". My credit score plummeted. It was like the SATs where you get 300 points just for writing your name. Besides the agony of the low numbers, I couldn't get a bank account. I couldn't apply for a loan and when my family needed help, I couldn't have any utilities in my name. Having a low credit score not only fucks up your borrowing life but prevents you from going back to school. Possibly buying a house, getting certain jobs. And definitely forces you to put up more money when renting an apartment. I seriously considered doing bankruptcy so much so that I went downtown Brooklyn to the courts to start the bankruptcy proceedings in New York. After one of my debts magically disappeared off of my credit report(good ol 7 year rule), I decided to re-evaluate my stance and make a sizable effort to diminish the amount of my debt or at the very least increase my credit score.
Regardless of all that, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can still live after fucking up your credit and you can be proactive. Since I was no longer able to get a bank account at any of the normal banks, I got a prepaid debit card. It became my primary card, 3 years later I still have it today. There are no fees associated with the card except ATM fees. No overdrafts for being poor. 7 months ago, I opened a savings account with my prepaid debit card. Allowing all my accounts to go to collection put me in a position to barter with them significantly bringing down the amount I owed them and almost 100% of the time avoid paying the exorbitant interest fees. I learned the laws regarding credit. I fought every MCN creditor that came my way. I disputed all the stuff on my credit report. Your credit score is a numbers game but cash is king. There are things like THISISALICE which helps you build your credit while you pay for your transportation. They don't deny you, they won't send you a letter explaining their decision. I also make sure that I save 35% of my income. 17% of that 35% goes to my 401k that I can withdraw from in case of an emergency. A 401k plan is a no frill loan account for those with terrible credit. As of now, my student loans are up to date, I pay $5 per month. In September, I will be able to return to school and that will put a freeze on my loans accruing interest.
Here are some tips for people who are struggling with credit. CreditKarma is a great place where people who have beaten the odds go to share their various experiences.
1. Get rid of your bank.
The fees that accumulated from being poor was more often than not an additional bill. One time, I had a accumulated $150 in fees that the bank refused to give me a pass on. Prepaid debit cards are more feasible for people who have a problem planning or those who like myself love to swipe without looking.
2. Set realistic goals
One of the most prevalent issues I had with saving after my credit score disappeared was being realistic. I was 24 years old with a rent of $800 bringing home $900 a check. It was impossible to save $600 every pay period when things needed to be paid. So tell the truth, don't lie to yourself success comes easier that way.
3. Don't procrastinate
The famous saying is good things come to those who wait but that's not always true. The longer you wait to dispute or take care of credit card claims, the more detrimental it will be not only to your financial health but your mental health as well. Oh the anguish!
4. Apply for a CreditOne card
If all else fails and nobody is approving you for a card(not even Victoria Secret) credit one takes EVERYONE. Be sure not to abuse it and pay it off in a timely manner. Don't bite more than you can chew.
5. Creditors are bullies, don't be afraid to fight back
Collectors are trained to ask you what can you pay today. Don't be ashamed to say nothing. Don't be too afraid to say I don't owe you because you sold my debt. These small statements can be the difference between unknowingly admitting to a debt and winning the battle in court.
6. Credit is not a one size fits all
What worked for your best friend's debt may not work for yours. Exploration through trial and error is the only way to know what works for you. It's perfectly okay to turn down advice and it's normal to question things you read on line.
How's your credit? Have you had any issues in adulthood with school loans or credits? How did you manage?
Also, check out this article on the balance for some necessary information on credit.
I can't tell you how many statuses on Facebook I see of "What shows should I watch on Netflix" and people comment the same old boring shows that should have binged watched years ago like Orange is The New Black, Jessica Jones or our old time favorite that's being renewed for a new season(hallelujah), House of Cards. The original series that Netflix has been pushing out lately have been nothing short of amazing. I love to watch shows from other countries because they are way more gory than US shows. To see my Netflix and Chill part 1 series click here. Part two gets a little crazy so strap on your seat belts!
1. The Get Down
Hip Hop roots, DJ battles and the life of teenagers all wrapped in one.
A land by the name of the offshore, causes a group of people to go through "the process" to win a place in the promise land and out of poverty. Think the Hunger Games in a show form.
A long lost brother comes into this guy's life and absolutely ruins it. Turns the whole shit upside down. Oh, and then he enlists his brother to help him clean up crimes for the mob.
4. Black Mirror
This was on my last list but it's gotten even better since the new season dropped. It's basically a mini series, inside of smaller mini series in each episode but it's some sick off the wall shit. And it's soooo good.
Orange Is the New Black is cute but these women get down and dirty. Raw and uncut.
You know, I actually fell asleep on this show multiple times but Corey binge watched at 4 am so it must be delicious.
Aboriginal creatures that live in the future and try to blend in with society.
What happens when you thought you killed someone and you really didn't? A shit storm. This show is incredible but please don't watch it in the English version because the voices are horrible.
9. Cutthroat Kitchen
I'm in love with this show. It's Masterchef on crack and the host is so cynical you can literally watch all 4 seasons in one sitting.
A documentary about the for profit, modern day slavery that happens in the prison system in the United States.
One show that every one else loved but I couldn't get jiggy with:
Slowest story of the year award:
The Killing, omg I can't tell you how many times I fell asleep at 2 o'clock in the afternoon attempting to watch this show.
While I was pregnant, I used yoga to alleviate my back pain and for mental clarity through meditation. I've been doing yoga for a few years and since starting, my yoga practice has elevated from using rain forest and white noise sound tracks to full out Trey Songz, Partynextdoor and Bryson Tiller playlists. I had no idea what I was doing had a name and is recognized as #trapyoga where black girls are uniting their love for yoga and trap soul.
Although I am still a newbie, Yoga has been more than just a tool for my back pain, it has become a key element in my every day life especially after becoming incontinent from losing the muscles in my pelvic floor following my emergency c-section. Yoga allows for flexibility and also increases your libido through increased blood flow so it's also good for women who have lost their sexual appetite due to pregnancy.
Even though the majority of yoga you will see on this post is done in workout clothes, personally, I do it naked or in lingerie. Yoga is beautiful and can be sexy and should be treated as such. For those who are apprehensive about yoga, I recommend trying it in a mirror in whatever you feel comfortable in.
*KEY NOTES = click the link to be directed to each yogi's instagram
Who doesn't love a good arch? This cow pose in conjunction with the cat pose strengthens your kegel muscles for stronger contraction action and great orgasms.
Excellent for stretching thigh muscles and relieving tension in the hips. No tensing up! Also extremely easy to do for beginners.
Gets the blood rushing! Do I really have to spell this one out for you?
Calms the mind and cures muscle tension plus your ass is up in the air.
This pose is targeted to the vaginal area, focusing on the cervix. Once you release this pose, blood rushes through the cervix area prepping your coochie for some activity.
Wide legged Straddle
This was the first difficult pose I learned how to master. There are many variations of this pose including an aerial one which is easier for beginners. This pose is great for libido, increasing blood flow in the pelvic area. And, any sexual partner will appreciate a solid split.
How to Keep Home Life Balanced When Working A Non-traditional Job
Yesterday I had two whole 20 oz bottles of vanilla Coke after not having caffeine for a while. Needless to say, I was up all damn night. After attempting to wash the dishes, I was met by a little mickey who decided to harass me until I freaked out and killed him. The anxiety I felt from the mouse reminded me of all the things in my life that has been infuriating me lately. I thought, I can't be the only person who gets anxious thinking about family in-laws.
Dating is hard. You spend time to get to know a new person. You move in together and toy with the idea of getting married. You weave time for them into your life and then once you guys get everything copacetic, it's time to meet 12 new people, their family members. It's only natural that you may not get along with everyone in their family and they might not mesh well with everyone in yours. But, here are some tips to keep the peace in your relationship when it comes to being a blended family.
1. Do not wage war especially with mom or dad in-laws
While it may seem like a good idea to tell one of your in-laws about themselves, it will never go right. It will have your spouse angry with you and uncomfortable unnecessarily. The relationship your spouse has with their parents automatically becomes your relationship especially if they have accepted certain actions prior to your relationship. IE parents coming over unannounced or calling all hours of the night.
2. Listen to your spouse but keep opinions to yourself
A lot of times our spouses just want to air their grievances about their family members. Family is a sensitive topic and you shouldn't be creating more rift between your spouse and their family members. Avoid being judgmental at all costs and using certain language that could be misconstrued as negativity or shade. Only offer advice if it's something positive.
3. Avoid drinking in the presence of the family member you don't get along with
On this one, I definitely didn't take my own advice last time. Alcohol is usually unpredictable especially as a coping mechanism. At times, it gives us the freedom to say things that we most certainly shouldn't. If it's a family event that will have social drinking keep your consumption to a maximum of two, avoid celebratory shots and brace yourself to span those drinks over two or more hours.
4. Honoring their parents does not mean being a doormat
The older people get, the more manipulative, neurotic and controlling they get. Their requests are a bit outlandish and at times, they can be invasive and disrespectful without being aware.. Being respectful to them for your spouse doesn't mean being a yes man/woman.
5. A problem with the in laws usually reflects a problem in your own relationship
If you find yourself frustrated that a certain family member is out of control, more likely than not it's the perception that the family member has of what they can and cannot do. They are convinced that their attitude is acceptable and even encouraged. It is up to you as a couple to respectfully draw the line with both of your families and let them know what they are not allowed to do. Or, if your spouse is too dependent on their family/ parents e.g. a spouse who does their laundry by their parents house those are things that need to be discussed earlier than later in a peaceful manner.
6. Move to another state
This might sound a little crazy but saving your sanity and relationship is worth it. If you have family members/ in laws that constantly show up and violate your space, it may be time to move to another state. The science is that you want far enough that they can't just show up but close enough if they come they only have to spend one night.