After completing the valentine's day project, all of my demons came racing to the surface, not right away, but over a period of the next few days. They came scratching at the inner walls of my being bring with it meaningless self doubt, worry and my worse fear, rejection. Because after it's all said and done, "what will people think of me?" This was the reason I created and planned this project in the first place. I wanted to live outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to love myself more then the possibility of rejection. I wanted to have the courage to love my sexuality openly as the opportunity was ideally available to me. I wanted to act on my vision because I never do, instead I'd just be content with being ordinary. However, that's not who God created me to be and I am starting to realize that more and more with each passing day. I was born with vision, an imagination so broad and so vast that I cannot even began to explain it to you. It's my talent.
Valentine's day was a beautiful day to love yourself. I bought myself all of the things a Valentines should, a big soft and cuddly bear, lingerie, bath and body works, chocolate and wine. I lit a fire and had my niece over to document the gesture of self-love. There was only one thing that I forgot, which was the most important to me.. to burn a bay leaf with the phrase "fear of rejection" written on it. I am wondering now if this could be the reason I am struggling emotional. It is said that if you write on a bay leaf what you want to release or let go, then burn it, is a powerful ritual in manifesting a desired reality by unblocking your mind from limiting beliefs. I missed the chance that night, yet today is another perfect opportunity that will not go unmissed.
There are people who will claim they want to love you, but there will never be anyone who can love you the way God and you yourself can love you. It's only a choice away.. Love yourself flawless.
Maybe I am just a millennial baby or possibly living in nostalgia, but what happened to the once premier shopping destination, Esplanade mall? As teenagers my peers and I would beg our mothers, fathers, older sisters or brothers to take us to the MALL and where I'm from Esplanade Mall, to be exact! LOL.. I have created so many memories there. Yet with all things, nothing remains the same forever. Furthermore, as with life there are ups and downs. Somewhat of a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows. On a side note, I have recently been wanting to go to a theme park just to get on a roller coaster, It's been years now! So, what was once a bustling location is now mostly desolate, minus the tumble weeds. With very few retail locations left, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane. It's funny, but I can actually remember what stores were where.
I When "Spotlight for You" first entered the Esplanade Mall back in 2012 a buzz of rumors circulated the community about the possible founder of the retailer, as I am sure it was unbeknownst to the owner. Nevertheless, most patrons imagined that the fashion retailer was a new business. Yet, in 1999 Spotlight started under the name "Spoiled Rotten" as a DBA in the New Orleans Centre mall, located off of Poydras Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is now the site for Champion Square. The rumors were then demystified in that moment of truth. Interestingly, one should never believe everything you hear, do a bit of research and I am positive you will be surprised to know the truth. "Spoiled Rotten" later moved to the Lake Forest Plaza mall in 2000 based in Eastern New Orleans as "Spotlight for Women." Not long after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Spotlight resiliently packed up and moved to the Perimeter mall in Atlanta, Georgia under it's current name "Spotlight for You." This particular location just closed its doors January of this year due to a buy out of the wing it was housed in by a very big retail brand.
With Mardi Gras ball season just beginning, I decided it would be fun to try on a few gowns that are displayed so beautifully in the window at Spotlight. Upon entering, I was greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable associate, who I later found out was the operations manager named Toya. She gather a bit of information from me about my size and what I was shopping for and then helped me pick out a few pieces that she thought I would like. The selections were beautiful and reasonably priced. Plus, they looked absolutely amazing on! Toya informed me the Cary Henderson, the owner, travels to Los Angles personally and hand picks everything that is sold at all locations. To my revelation I learned that there are three other retail sites including two that are also inside of Esplanade mall, "Spotlight for Prom" and "Spotlight for Less." The third store is housed in the Riverwalk Outlet mall at 500 Port of New Orleans next to Steven Madden.
I left Spotlight feeling really inspired by their brand's story. With 20 years of legacy, along with many ups and downs, we can all take away from this a drive to keep our faces strongly planted towards the wind and just keep going. It was a pleasure becoming aware of their true brand's success.
I took a social movements class one semester in my last year of undergraduate school at Southeastern Louisiana University in the spring of 2015. I was asked to pick a movement that I was passionate about. I chose the Stop Child Sexual Abuse movement. This choice was largely due to the fact that I had just become aware of my son being sexually abused at the age of five. So, when I saw this viral video on Facebook I had to share some first hand knowledge that I encountered while completing my degree in Behavioral Science. Here is a review I wrote in response to a required reading I did in a class called "Population."
Check out the viral Facebook video here.
Read the full article, I am referring to, from chapter 31 in the book entitled The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader by clicking below.
“The rights of young people are especially critical. The acceptance of children as dependents, as belonging to parents, is so deeply ingrained that we can scarcely imagine what it would mean to treat them as autonomous human beings, particularly in the realm of sexual expression and choice.” -John D'Emilio
Check out my response!
She stopped going out in public. She didn't want to be around people because when they whispered, laughed or looked her way, then proceeded to turn and speak with the companion accompanying them, she questioned herself... Were they talking about her? "Maybe, it's the fat hanging over the waits line of my jeans." or "Could it be my hair, it really looks a mess today." "Oh God, this outfit does look kind of cheap." She thought.
10. Eat Healthy.
12. Read or listen to books.
13. Drink more water.
14. Exercise regularly.
15. Take care of your skin.
16. Invest more care into your style and appearance.
17. Laugh more.
18. Be patient with yourself.
19. Let go of negativity.
20. Be kind to yourself.
21. Work on your spiritual development.
22. Cling to the good things in life.
23. Honor yourself.
24. Be more social.
25. Trust yourself.
Image: An onlooker watches an annular solar eclipse from New Mexico. PHOTOGRAPH BY COLLEEN PINSKI, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.
If you follow astrology, I'm sure you've heard about the big event that's happening on Monday. On the 21st of August the 1st total solar eclipse to sweep through the United States in 99 years will be taking place. This is such an important event for America, but also for you! Eclipses shift destinies that can put you on a new path, which can be life changing and there is nothing to fear if you can stay in the present moment of your life..
The Universe wants to empower you to open up the door to love, creativity, liberation and freedom. Will you take it? This eclipse will be coupled with Leo energy which is centered around leadership and new beginnings. Leo is a fire sign and fire is associated with life purpose. This energy will effect each zodiac sign differently depending on their element: earth, wind, or water etc. However, this event is complicated because there are many other planets and signs at play. One being Mars coupled with Aries, that puts a lot of focus on relationships.
Stay happy, this energy is about healing! Meditate. Remember, focus on what you want in your life without distraction.
Later for now my pretties!
Photo inspiration: Taraji P Henson nude photo for PETA.
Hi, my pretties! It has been too long and I have been trying to find a subtle way for you and I to get reacquainted, but I realize that I'm just overthinking this. LOL...
The other day I was looking in the mirror and I thought "I look pretty good you know, humm." Then I turned and looked at the scale. I have vowed never to weight myself anymore. It's to much pressure, plus at one point I was getting on it every morning. However, a few days before, I did and I absolutely hated the number I saw. It's funny how you can feel and see changes in your body, once you decide that you're going to be in the best shape of your life, but the scale is such a bitch. You've been doing all the right things, but that BITCH will not move. So, I had to stop weighting myself and my scale and I have become estranged. Bye Bye..
I really had to get clear about what it is I am trying to achieve. I don't want to necessarily lose weight. I want to burn and lose the fat, while tightening and toning by building lean muscle mass. I noticed for myself that I like the way I look in clothes for the most part, but when I get naked my perspective changes... I don't love the way I look NAKED. Ugh! I asked myself this question; "What are you going to do about it?!"
I'm letting go of giving up. Consistency is hard, but it is the only way to eventually see the results you crave. When I weight myself often I find myself giving up or discouraged and that is a nemesis to consistency. Progress begins and ends with consistency. So, fuck the scale. I'm going to the gym!
Hi my pretties!! I've missed blogging dearly... Let's catch up! So, I have been extremely busy this past month landing a new career. It's weird to say, but I have never had a full time job. I want to celebrate this milestone with you. It is the season of giving and what better way is there to celebrate than with a gift to you my dear!
So, with that being said, have you gotten a chance to read the previous blog post yet? Well, if you haven't, I suggest you stop what you are doing; including reading this current post and go check it out asap!
The Beauty Lover's Gift Guide is filled with beauty products I found and purchased this fall. I absolutely love every single product in this guide, which is what increasingly motivated me to share them with you. I adore all of these products so much, that I want to give them away because I know you will learn to appreciate them as much as I have.
Here are the guidelines for entering your chance to win all 5 products featured in the Beauty Lover's Gift Guide.
For the beauty lover in your circle, I put together a quick guide that is sure to please any beauty connoisseur. All of the products here are gems that I personally own and found this fall. I just have to share them with you! May you love them as much as I do... Enjoy!
1. Bold Brow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. This customizable brow starter set can only be found at ULTA Beauty and for the record, I absolutely love it!
2. They're Real! Push-Up Eye Liner by Benefit Cosmetics and Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara by CLINIQUE. These two products work great together as a pair. I adore this matte, lash-hugging, gel eye liner pen; and as a matter of fact, it's the first of its kind. Believe me, your lashes will be to die for!
3. Contour Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I use this product to create soft contouring lines for a seamlessly natural look and feel. I sculpt and define my natural features with this collectable contouring set by applying it on top of liquid foundation and then adding a translucent setting powder to finish and thoroughly blend lines. Perfection!
4. Cream Lip Stain by SEPHORA COLLECTION. Color 01 Always Red. OMG! I fell in love with this matte lip stain by Sephora which is long-lasting dynamic color that goes on smooth and finishes silky and lightweight. I guarantee that it will stay on all night my pretty!
Getting away from your routine and the familiarity of your current town and space is a great way to re-energize your creativity as well as improve your work life balance. You don't have to wait until your vacation time anymore. It is always fun and exciting to spontaneously take a little weekend getaway. You can do this with your love, close friend(s) or even your children. I think a weekend away to explore the adventurous side of yourself is always a good idea. Wonder into a new city, check out a few museums, visit popular restaurants, and patron crowd pleasing attractions; or find the city's well known private (intimate) leisure activities. The point is to get away, try something new and enjoy your down time.
I have been doing a bit of research on Oklahoma City as of late due to the fact that my husband has recently found employment there. It's difficult enough living apart from him right now. So, when I do finally get the chance to go and visit him before the big move; depending on the oil and gas industry. I want to know of the great places we can go and explore together. I know he would appreciate my efforts! Here are a few exciting things that sparked my curiosity in Oklahoma:
The Bleu Garten OK's original food truck park.
Bricktown Water Taxi The Bricktown Water Taxi is one of the most popular attractions in the state of Oklahoma.
Museum of Osteology The Museum of Osteology is the only one of its kind in America.
Centennial Land Run Monument Commemorating the seizure of Indian land in the Oklahoma Territory.
White Water Bay White Water Bay is the largest water adventure park in Oklahoma with over 30 rides, slides, pools and activities. Open from the middle of May until about the End of September.
Myriad Botanical Gardens The Myriad Botanical Gardens is one of Oklahoma City’s most beloved public spaces, offering its visitors a 15 acre natural escape in the very heart of downtown Oklahoma City.
The Boathouse District Families and visitors can get on the water in a kayak or stand up paddle board, take a bike ride on the 13+ miles of trails or enjoy the more popular RIVERSPORT Adventures.
Hi there my pretties! I've decided to take a day off from blogging the first Friday of every month. So, if you've missed me just know that I was thinking of you. (inserts smiley here) While I was away I had a conversation that led to questions about knowing what love is and how to recognize it when it shows up. First, lets face it! The landscape of love and relationships have changed quite a bit since the introduction of social media technology into the sphere of intimate personal connections. As a matter of fact, I met my husband on the all to well known social media mogul Facebook. It really was a chance encounter, but what's funny about this particular meeting is that it was predicated by an infamous physic astrologer whose name I won't mention here due to the controversy surrounding her.
With that being said, I want everyone to understand that love is a choice, just like any other choice you make for your life. However, in order for it to work (the delusional "happily ever after") both parties must choose love and be committed to working out whatever obstacles that may (WILL) be presented along the journey of the relationship. And I will be the first to admit it... It's not easy!
We all know that saying, "Nothing easy is worth having." Well, the same is true for relationships. Every couple who gets married wants the 50 year anniversary kind of love. You know that love that amazes everyone in the room? Yeah, that! However, everyone does not make the cut because it's only possible if both parties are all in. A divorce is not worth having because it's easy. You never have to address your flaws or hold yourself accountable for your actions and ultimately you miss the opportunity to grow as a person. Walking away is easy. Staying is only for the strong.
I have learned that you should never go into a relationship with expectations. And this is not to say that you should take abuse from a partner; mental, verbal, physical or emotional. What I am saying is, you should understand the very basics of your love, friend or business interest before you enter into a relationship with anyone.
Where do you see the relationship going? What are you seeking from the partnership? Do they meet an overwhelming amount of your preferences? (hobbies, lifestyle, interests) These are not expectations! They are qualifying factors for a future relationship. This is very important to remember and understand. Once you get this, everything else is easy. You just go with the flow! Address challenges as they come, while remembering to eliminate expectations of a specific outcome.
For example, you and your partner have been at odds for a week and the two of you finally resolved the disagreement where you proclaimed your love and your partner does not. This does not mean that your partner does not love you! Or for example, you text your partner and it takes them over an hour to respond. Again, this does not mean your partner does not care about you. It means they were busy and as soon as they had time to reply, they did! Here's another good one. They liked a picture on Instagram of another attractive individual. This does not mean they want to start a relationship with that person! Remember, they are also in the relationship putting in the work needed to insure a lasting partnership. Actions speak louder than words. So please, give them credit and be patient with their process.
Hope this helps...
Take care of you,
Alicia M. Burks
"I feel absolutely challenged in just being myself, yet building my life on a foundation of excellence."