Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grace Jones

I always knew Grace Jones was a model/style icon. And who can forget her performance in the movie Boomerang? I didn't know she also had a music career. Most of her songs weren't really my style---but I LOVE Pull Up to the Bumper. 

I just don't like listening to it in the car because I keep thinking someone is honking at me or trying to pull me over and it makes me extra paranoid. Although if that stuff doesn't bother you on the road this is a great car song.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Bedu Turmeric and Honey Face and Body Bar Review

Back in the day I used to be heavy into Astrology. I would check my horoscope almost every day. Preferably at the end of the day. I think I might be starting to get back into it. Starting with reading up on my sign. I'm an aquarius woman-and it's crazy because most of the stuff I've read about my sign is 100% true. I'm trying not to fall too far down the rabbit hole though, because once I get interested in something I read everything I can about it for weeks and weeks.... And I mean EVERYTHING. But astrology seems like it would be a very large hole to tumble down. So in the meantime, I think I  will stick with a soap review.

First off.....cute camel photo.

Because I forgot to take a photo of the soap. Whoops.

Bedu claims:
Camel milk is saturated with protective proteins beneficial for skin and is a superb natural cleanser. By virtue of the high amount of proteins, it is most effective in reducing inflammation and speeding recovery of skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, and well as accelerated wound healing and reduced inflammation.
Camel Milk contains age defying Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids (known to plump skin and smooth fine lines). It naturally keeps the skin moisturized and prevents sign of aging, sun damage and pigmentation, with its gentle exfoliating and lightening effect. Rich in Vitamin C, (a natural anti-oxidant) it increases collagen production and improves skin resiliency.
High in vitamin E and Vitamin A, which stimulates cell turnover, Camel Milk protects the skin against pollution and cell mutation that can be caused by sun exposure.
It is a natural source of Essential Fatty Acid Linoleic (known for moisture retention), and deeply moisturizing lanolin, which provides a calming and soothing effect on the skin and is beneficial for all skin types–even the most delicate and youngest skin.
Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is used as treatment of acne blemishes, blackheads, dark spots and hyper pigmentation as well as other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It helps to heal and prevent dry skin, and to slow the skin aging process. It is used to diminish wrinkles, to keep skin supple and to improve skin elasticity. Turmeric holds much promise for skin treatments, as well as possibly inhibiting certain forms of cancer
Honey is suitable for all skin types. Loaded with antioxidants, it helps restore damaged and wrinkled skin. It is incredibly moisturizing, but will not cause breakouts. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal, which speeds skin healing, and soaks up impurities which helps detoxify the skin. It also helps to absorb and retain moisture in the skin.
Shea Butter is a natural Vitamin A cream, and a superb moisturizer with exceptional healing properties for the skin. The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in Shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing.
It looked like a regular bar- except it was a reddish color.

I love turmeric. And I love honey. If you combine them you have the best face mask ever. So I already knew this was going to be a good soap.

It smells nice. Not like turmeric, or even honey. Just a nice, pleasant, inoffensive soap scent. Not too strong. Not too soft. 

Lathers nice. A little richer than normal bar soaps. It's very cleansing without drying out my skin. 

I liked it. Not as much as my favorite with the vetiver. This might be my 2nd favorite of the line.

As always, it's all natural, made in Jordan, made with sustainable palm oil, and scented with natural ingredients

Sodium Palmate (Saponified Palm Oil), Sodium Palm Kernelate (Saponified Palm Kernel Oil), Water (Aqua), Sodium Shea Butterate (Saponified Shea Butter Oil), Parfum (Fragrance), Camelus Dromedarius Lait Powder, Sodium Chloride (Salt), Glycerin (Vegetable Glycerin), Organic Honey, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Powder, Capsicum Annuum (Paprika) Extract (Plant Based Pigment), Bixa Orellana (Annatto) Powder Organic (Plant Based Pigment), Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

I would buy another bar- maybe for use on my face. But it was nice as a body bar. I would recommend it if you are interested in trying a camel milk soap.

My sister showed me this clip with Johnny Gill and II D Extreme. I LOVE Johnny Gil. And II D Extreme sings one of my favorite songs. I was a crybaby when I was little and my parents would blast this so they would have the hear my crying. It always shut me up..and I would just stand there and listen. Anyway...enjoy the clip!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dr. Bronner's Orange Ginger Organic Lip Balm

Still winter time, so lip balm is a must. No one likes walking around with crusty lips. This winter has been kind of hard on my lips. No matter how much water I drink, I feel like my lips stay dry. A lot of it is I keep losing my balm. But it always turns up again in the strangest places. I wouldn't mind losing it permanently though, because I don't really like it that much.

Dr. Bronner's claims:
Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balms, made with organic beeswax, provide a protective barrier to the elements with no synthetic ingredients! None! Organic jojoba, avocado and hemp oils help with extra moisturization. Only the finest essential oils are used for fragrance. Certified organic to USDA National Organic Program standards, because what you put on your lips goes into your body.

It has a couple more uses than the typical lip balm. You can use it for cuticles, dry skin anywhere, and the healing of tattoos. I just use it for the usual. 

Lip balm.

And I'm not a fan. It makes my lips peel. And I can't stand the scent. The first couple of times I used I thought I was allergic because my lips felt swollen and numb. 

Also, I'm not really a fan of orange and spice together. Orange on it's own-possible one of favorite scents. Mix it with spice and it becomes gross. I don't hate it as much as I've hated other orange-spice mixtures. But I certainly don't love it.

It's natural, organic, made by a great company. 

Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Organic Beeswax, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Tocopherol

But I'm not a fan. I should have gotten the peppermint one. That might have been a better fit for me! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Gifts From South Africa!

My sister went to South Africa over Christmas break. And I really should have asked her to do a post for me. Or at the very least asked her for some pics... I might still ask her.  But anyway, she did bring back some gifts from South Africa. I have a couple of things from Egypt, some stuff from Morocco, and Djibouti. And now South Africa!  

First off, a keychain. I collect keychains from around the world. Some places I've been to and don't have a keychain. Some places I haven't been but someone in my family brought one back for me. Most keychains are made in China. I collect them anyway. This one is special, because it's made in South Africa. And I love it!

Next up, earrings. I love, love,love these earrings. 

South African Tea! I love rooibos tea...but I've never had any from South Africa. I just now opened the box because I wanted to save it, but I think I'll drink the tea and save the box. One is my Mom's and one is mine!

This necklace isn't mine but it's beautiful and I wanted to share.

Another necklace, beautiful...I just borrowed it from my sister so I could take a picture of it. Isn't it cute?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ancestry DNA Results!!

I've been excited to write this post since I first saw my sister's Ancestry DNA results back in November. She went with her school to South Africa and everyone that went on the trip was tested.

 I have known about these tests for years. I had heard of celebrities taking the tests and I remember looking it up back in the day, but I decided not to do it because it was way too expensive. It's come down some in the last couple of years though for the basic Ancestry test. Especially if you wait for a sale.

Originally when I saw my sisters I still wasn't going to take the test because I figured seeing her results would be enough-but then I read that even full blooded siblings can have pretty different results. So I kind of HAD to take the test. So on Cyber Monday, they had the tests for $58 dollars and I got myself one. And my sister got my parents each one. So we were all tested. 

And now we have all (FINALLY!) gotten our results back. But before I get into the results, I want to talk about why I was so interested in taking it. I know nothing about where anyone comes from in my family-which is the norm for pretty much all Black Americans. We were stolen from Africa and our cultures and traditions were erased (such a nice way of putting it). The only thing I really knew was that my Grandpa said his parents were African, Irish, and Pembroke Indian. Of course almost all Black Americans say they have Native American but research has proven that this is not true for most Americans-black or white. It's the romanticism of Native American blood. But let's save that for another day.

So of course we the erasure of cultures and traditions. I especially noticed this in school when we were learning about culture. We had Korean Americans, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans, etc. Everyone shared some of their culture- but I didn't really have anything other than just typical American stuff. That made me feel pretty left out. Like I was missing something. And I was. 

I probably didn't notice it again, until I was in my early 20's or so and would go out clubbing in Germany. Sometimes people will come up to you ask your name, where youre  from etc. Of course, I would say America. I'm a military brat so pinning down a state is difficult. Sometimes I would pick a random state. Sometimes I would pick my parents states. If the person was African, they usually just keep asking..."No, but where are you from?" Apparently America wasn't a good enough answer. They wouldn't be satisfied until you give them a country in Africa. So then they ask "Where are your parents from? America. Where are there parents from? America. And on and on. That's where the conversation usually ended. And it made me mad and sad and a whole lot of other emotions but I won't get into that either or this post will take all day.

So now let's talk about my grandparents.  

Here are my paternal grandparents. My grandma is from Georgia and my grandfather was from South Carolina.

And here are my maternal grandparents. My grandpa is from North Carolina and my grandma is from South Carolina.

My parents. 

Me and my brother (half brother-he didn't take the test but it would be interesting to see his results)

And me and my sister. 

So while we were waiting on the results I spent a lot of time watching other people's Ancestry DNA results. I would guess how African I thought they were and then try to guess what their highest African country might be based on facial features. I guessed my sister and I would be around 84% percent African and I would have my highest region in Benin/Togo.And I also guessed that out of everyone I would be the most African. I was wrong. But it was still fun guessing.

I'll start with hers. Since we got hers first. She is 71 percent African. A lot lower than what I estimated. The other thing that was shocking was the Puerto Rico migration connection- as far as we know, no one came from Puerto Rico. But apparently they did. That's pretty cool and we have been working on the family tree to figure out who it was. Her highest region was Cameroon/Congo which was pretty cool. Oprah and Taraji are said to have high Cameroon/Congo. And one more shocking thing was the Southern European (Italy/Greece) and how high it was. 

Next up my results. I am 72% percent African. And I was pretty disappointed with it, although I was kind of prepared for it after seeing my sisters. I was happy to see my highest region is Ghana. Over the last year I have been watching Stella Zone on youtube, which is a Ghanaian cooking channel . I really want to try some of the recipes. And I also really want to take a trip there. I had a few regions my sister didn't have, nowhere near as much Souther European. And oddly enough a little DNA in every region of Europe. I was hoping it would be Africa. That would have been cool. It cut off but my migrations were Puerto Rico and South Carolina.

So next up, we got my Dads results. After seeing mine and my sisters I put both my parents at around 70 something percent. Again, I was wrong! My Dad is 87 percent African!! Color me jealous. He has a significant amount of Africa South Eastern Bantu and more Nigerian too! Highest African region was Ghana. Like me. Which is pretty cool. But I kind of wanted Ghana to myself. There wasn't any Native American but there was a little Polynesian! Also my Dad had two migrations-South Carolina African Americans and Virginia & Southern States African Americans. The last one didn't show up for me or my sister. 

And last up my Moms. I'm not sure who had more shocking results- my mom or my dad. . My mom is 54% African with her highest region being Southern Europe and the highest African Region being Ghana (again I can't have Ghana to myself!). Also there was significant Irish and a little bit of Native American so I guess my Grandpa was right. Her migration was Puerto Rico. It's odd that South Carolina didn't show up. 

And also, she had DNA in every region in Africa (as did my sister and dad)  which is the opposite of me. Which is pretty interesting. 

This post has been super long...and I could go on and on. But I'm just going end right here. 

Have you taken an Ancestry test? What were your results? Were you surprised?

I still have a couple more places to upload the raw DNA to see what they can find about medical risks and more ancestry info. I also really want to take the test where they give you an African tribe but I don't have that 300 dollars at the moment. 

Random: I've always wanted to ask someone where I look like I could be from. Most people tell me I look like an "island girl". I have no idea what island they are talking about. And I don't see it. But whatever. Now I look in the mirror and I see Ghana. It might be my imagination. But it makes me feel good. 

Vitamix Key Lime Kiwi Smoothie

I made this smoothie sometime back in December. It's long overdue for posting.

I've been trying to get through all the smoothies in my Vitamix book. It will probably take forever. But I'm sticking to it.

So key lime kiwi.... Makes you think of Key Lime Pie right? I've had one other smoothie that had prominent kiwi in it. It's not a go to fruit for me when it comes to smoothies..I'm not sure why. It adds a really sweet sour to smoothies that's pretty good.

This one had 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 lime, 2 ripe kiwis (peeled- I usually don't peel them through) , 1 large ripe pear, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a cup of ice. Blend and it's ready.

I used yellow kiwis which aren't as sour as regular green kiwi's, so it took off some of the bite a kiwi smoothie can have. It was still a little sour from the lime, but in a really balanced way. 

I really liked it. I don't know it  makes my favorite smoothie list or one that I would go out of my way to make again, but if I happened to have all the ingredients I might make it again.