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Monthly Archives: July 2014

1 out of 100

1 out of 100

 

I’m a WOMAN! It’s something I’ve been waiting for since I was 15– you know that stage were you only have 3 years until you’re “grown”, you know everything, and bugs still make you squeal. Yep. I’d been waiting for it, and now that I’m turning 21 I’m ready to hit the pause button and embrace womanhood. Now with great titles come great responsibility, and I’ve taken them on willingly.

As a woman I have the right to pay bills, vote, be equally employed, laugh, shed tears, go crazy, go to war, stay at home, raise a family, get a degree, argue, and eat chocolate– my favorite. This new age of adulthood comes with a lot of rights, including the one to love myself and sometimes not even want to look at myself, and as a woman I’m accepting that more with each fleeting day.  And I find that as I accept I won’t always like what reflects in the mirror, my days get easier and my love grows stronger.

The CIA says there’s about 107 men to every 100 women. That means that seven lucky men are going to have to make that sacrifice and take on an extra wife– and I think my boyfriend got the luck of the draw. (Now I’m neither for or against polygamy… my stance is whatever makes you happy. Just don’t ask me to share. So I’m not saying he has a second girlfriend, but with my new found right he may feel like he does. )

From day to day I wake up thinking about who I want to be.  For as many faces and colors are in that photo, I wake up in the mood of each one. Some days I’m silly, others I’m philosophical. Some days I’m Aubrey, and others I’m Pink. (My boyfriend’s right is to figure out which I am from second to hour and act accordingly.)  I use to think there was a problem with my flip  in characters; like by some divine law I was restricted to one personality for the rest of my life– and some of that may have been because of the all the movies I watch. Aside from Miss Congeniality not many movies/shows I grew up with portrayed that a girl could be glamorous and adventurous. So when I found myself changing out of jeans and a tee with hopes of embracing the mascara and sandals the next day, I thought I just didn’t know who I was.

Now six years later… I see that I always have, and that a lot of people like it. Gone are the days where I look to my glamour girls and sigh because their makeup is intrusive and I’m not even sure what it’s called. Gone are the days where the dawn of a new school year brings about the decision to either be girly or athletic. I’m going to be comfortable! And that’s the only decision that truly matters. As long as you’re comfortable in what you wear, look presentable, and use all hygienic measures you’re good to go.

I can’t pinpoint when I made this realization. I know being in a sorority where there are a variety of girly athletes and glamour girls has helped, but most of it I would say was accepting and maturing. Accepting that maybe  Whitney was on to something when she sang “I’m Every Woman”, and maturing into my own skin without over comparing myself to my peers. My mom tells everyone I love wearing pants– but that doesn’t mean I can’t own a couple hundred dresses.

Caitlin Moran said it best:

“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”

 

 

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Be Yourself

 

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Have a clear mind and get fit…with a proper diet

Have a clear mind and get fit…with a proper diet

It’s two-thirds of the way through summer and my junkie habits are at an all-time high. Chips, soda, juice, pizza, burgers, chips, cake, ribs, hotdogs, chicken — you name it I’ve had it. And if you’re anything like me, you have too, but it’s time to whip ourselves back into shape. August will be here in less than two weeks, and trailing behind it will be that too tight costume you want to wear for Halloween. You could put it off until then, but — let’s be honest — that didn’t work out for you last year. Never fear Super Smexy is here to save your bod the embarrassment of the summer jiggles. (Don’t worry, no heavy lifting required.)

Meet your new best friends: avocado, broccoli, lemon and yogurt NOT of the “FroYo” variety. Avocados cleanse your liver and block the absorption of certain fats in the intestines says Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D.

Normally used as toppings for your festive corn chips, avocados can also be used on tacos, sandwiches, salads and a bunch more.

To get you started try Tyler Florence’s Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger, and Lime. This and many other great Avocado recipes can be found on the Food Network. You and your second bestie, broccoli, may not hit it off at first, but with a bit of prep time it will help you into that itsy bitsy bikini with summertime to spare.

Kate from “The Natural Life” suggests a puree of broccoli soup. The dish includes a half a pound of chopped broccoli, 2 cups of vegetable broth, cayenne pepper for your spicy delight, and some sea salt. Boil, blend, sprinkle and enjoy. In the end this love/ hate relationship will help cleanse your liver and be a great source of Vitamin C, according to the India Times — and I mean they have great bodies, so we should listen to them.

Remember when mom use to tell you to put down the Caprisun and drink some water? Well it may be time to listen. Don’t forget to add lemon. According to the TimeToCleanse site, lemons can help cleanse your liver and aid in food digestion.

It’s abundant in vitamin C and B6, as well as calcium. You can even drizzle some on that avocado salad and let the good times roll.

Another fan favorite is yogurt, but not the one located in the frozen section.

Yogurts that contain probiotics allows for healthy bacteria to fortify the GI tract’s natural flora, which aids in digestion and increases your natural immune response according to Glassman, M.S., R.D. Sure it means you’ll actually have to read the label on the yogurt containers instead of just trusting the pretty packaging, but at least you’ll be nice and healthy come time for classes to start.

Finally, it’s time to trash all the fructose.

Fructose corn syrup is found in juice, sodas, and almost anything that satisfies your sweet tooth — therefore it is the enemy. Too much added sugar in one’s diet can contribute to unwanted weight gain, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes according to the Mayo Clinic. The best alternative is to substitute all those sugary drinks for a nice cold glass of water. After all, a glass of water during and before a meal can help fill you up and satisfies your thirst rather than your sweet tooth.

Since fats are kissing cousins of added sugar, they have to go too. (Sorry my beloved meat lovers pizza, but you contain at least 12.14 grams of fat that are just going straight to my thighs.) Your main target in the fat industry are saturated fats because they are high in calories, according to LiveStrong. Saturated fats can be found in many meat products, as well as butter, fried foods and baked goods. To battle the saturated blues it’s a good idea to replace one fat with another. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats — which can be found in fish, seeds, nuts and avocados — can be healthy alternatives to the normally saturated fat diet.

Like any other healthy alternative, cleansing your body of toxins does more than just help you look good. It can also help you ward off illnesses such as cancer and diabetes, as well as provide a boost in energy that most unhealthy foods take away.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Articles

 

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Back in my day

Going from the city to the “country” was exactly what I needed for my college life. Being use to Miami meant endless parties to go to (not that I ever went, too noisy), but being use to the hood meant endless sirens, drama, and “sick and tired.”  Now nothing’s changed since I left and came back, and that’s what gets me.

All I hear about is how many clubs use to line the streets of Hallandale, Fl. How many big shots like James Brown would play at those clubs, and how lively the neighbor use to be. But when I look around all I see is a big “What happened?” lining every square foot of the 5+ vacant, weed ran, trash decorated lots that serve as patchwork for our neighborhood. And lining those lots are rundown sky blue and cotton candy pink apartments. My neighbors are rowdy and rude– but when don’t those two go together? It’s as if their lives have become the norm. Guys fill the cheap apartments selling the only commodity they’ve grown to know. Women walk the streets complaining about the lives they refuse to leave, and just like that generations upon generations stay in the same neighborhood doing the same thing.

The old park has been torn down and rebuilt. Concrete paths line the palm trees that line the playground, basketball court and, the newest addition, a pool. Yet, even with all it’s grandeur I wonder what it’ll be by  the time I come back to visit.

Just a few years back Foster Park was added along with a recreational center featuring a gym, a dance room and a new drug booth. Rain or shine the commodity dealers make the sale.

I would hope that a new park may call for a higher way of living; but even if you bring the horse to the water, you can’t make ’em drink.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Be Pensive

 

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I knew I could

I work out twice a year: once for Thanksgiving and once for Christmas— unless you count catching the Black Friday sales as a workout. I’m a girlie-girl. I love pink, shopping, dating, and hanging out with my girlfriends— but that’s not the extent of who I am. Like every other human being I’m complex, but my father didn’t see it that way. As a misogynist—a person who hates, mistrusts, or mistreats women— my father made it clear that I had only one role in life. To do whatever a man tells me.

If it didn’t involve getting married, preparing for marriage, or doing what he wanted there was no point in the activity. So when I stated that I wanted to learn how to ice skate at the age of six his reply was simple. “You’re not ready. You’re not mentally disciplined.” In layman’s terms “You’re not smart enough.”

I saw athletes as superior beings. They were pretty, strong, accomplished, they were above the influence of others, and I wanted to be one of them. However once my dad left his ideas stayed with me through freshmen year of college, so I never asked to play a sport again. But I stayed adventurous and goal-oriented, so when a women’s rugby player invited me to practice I agreed.

Arriving in boot cut jeans, a V-neck pink shirt and a black purse I walked towards where the team was gathered. (I must mention that my Big, my big sister in my sorority, had come along for safety reasons—she thought I’d get crushed or something.) I had no intentions of playing that night. I simply wanted to see what rugby was, and go from there. The player who invited me was happy to see me, but having to practice left me in the hands of an injured player, Alyssa, who attempted to explain what was happening on the field. When I finally began to understand the simple things, like throwing and running, she went a bit deeper. “Do you have running shorts?” she asked. “I have yoga shorts. I can run in those, right?” She showed a bit of amusement— I took that as a no. Here I was a girl who had never even touched cleats, and preferred yoga shorts over running shorts because they had that cute fold over band. I wanted to break free of the stereotypes shared by sorority and girlie-girls, but I hadn’t even broke free from the influence of my father.

I arrived to the following practice in Nike Air sneakers, a pair of sky blue running shorts, zebra spanks and an old middle school shirt. My whole ensemble, minus the shirt, belonged to my friends.

We began stretching and the team chatted for a bit before getting into practice. Once the stretches were over the coached walked towards me and we exchanged some military-like banter.

“What’s your name?”

“Hannah.”

“What sports have you played?”

“None.”

“What team?” She hadn’t heard me.

“Never.”

“Perfect.”

She turned away and walked back to the field of uncertainty. If I was nervous before, I was very well peeing my friend’s spanks now. Was she being sarcastic? Did she like the fact that I was fresh from the concrete? Was I in over my head?

She called for the girls to gather round and gave instructions for a drill. I began to follow the slimmer girls to their designated area— “You stand over there with Alyssa,” coach says.

She’s scared for me to.

Over the course of the next few weeks I asks questions during practices and try to get to know the girls— who giggle and chat during breaks but will knock you to the grown on the field. They try to be as helpful as they can—the coach still isn’t letting me play—but I decide that I can do this.

Now that I’ve decided to completely join the team, my first—and most important—order of business is to get my outfit together for practice. My cleats, gym bag, and shorts have to be perfect. I start my online search by opening tabs for Target, Walmart, Dick’s and Amazon. After a few hours of browsing I order my cleats and rugby shorts and am pretty satisfied with how little I spent. However I still don’t have a gym bag, so I take to the magazines. I look at the best styles and brands to see what I like, and I settle for a bright pink and gray Champion Gym bag—which I also got for a steal. I even brought a flavored mouth guard. (Fruit Punch— they were out of bubble gum.) When my cleats and shorts arrived I was beyond excited—well not so much for the shorts. They had an elastic waistband with a drawstring—a big no-no for fashion.

When the day finally arrived, I laced up my cleats for practice. I imagined learning how to run in them would be like learning how to walk in pumps, so I didn’t want to wait until my first game. I was finally allowed to join the ranks and go through some drills. We did some passing of the ball. I tried to focus more on getting it to the other girl than making it spin—the other girls had no problem doing both. The coach wouldn’t let me participate in tackle drills because I hadn’t taken my concussion test, so I passed the ball back and forth for several weeks.

Then the glorious day arrived. I wasn’t sure how to tackle correctly, and although I knew I could pack a punch the girls on the team were a lot bigger and meaner than me—and I had begun to feel like some had a strong dislike for me.

“If I have to explain it to you one more time I’m gonna slap you.” Suddenly this 100 pound girl—whose hair was kept in a long-flowing ponytail and whose voice sounded as sweet and harmless as can be—became a menacing tiger because I wasn’t sure where to go on the field.

To top it all off, in the course of my month worth of practices three girls had been injured—for a girl whose never broken a bone the thought of doing so was terrifying—I hadn’t told my mother I was on the team, and I had no insurance. Yet when the time came for myself and another player to tango I was more than ready.

I wanted to show them what this girlie-girl could do.

So when the whistle blew, signaling for us to start, I sprinted to the goal watching my opponent charge toward me with every intention of taking me down. Her hair was pulled back, sweat dripped down her face— but she didn’t bother to wipe it away—she wore Under Armor tops and bottoms to every practice—the stuff made for the best of athletes—she was dedicated, and she was strong. She had been on the team for about a year and was known to have a passion for the sport, but in my head she was just another player. She grabbed me around the waist and tried to pull me down. I did my best to keep moving, but after a few steps I was pulled to the grass. It was amazing. I got back up and got in line to do it again.

Once practice had ended, and we were all ready to go home I couldn’t help but smile. I had walked the forbidden fields of freedom, and— although I hadn’t completely overcome my dad’s voice in the background— I had managed to survive it.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Be Encouraged

 

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A child’s laugh

A child’s laugh

Last night I had one of the best moments of my 20 years of living. It didn’t involve shopping, or my boyfriend, or any of the usual aspects women of my age worry so much about.
It was the embracing of my inner child.
Now don’t get me wrong, I watch Disney movies just as much as any other 3- year- old, but last night was a different kind of inner child. It started off like a regular night. I went to bible study, and once we had ended the study with a closing prayer a little person called for my attention. Because I’m so use to the call, I didn’t hesitate to answer it. It was one of my beloved princesses waiting to tell me about how she was getting her hair done for school (she’s like 4 or 5, so hairstyles shouldn’t be a big problem at her age, but more on that later.) Anyway, we talk and she asked to play a game on my tablet. (Here I have to include that because I’m so use to having kids around me, I have at least 4 child friendly games on my tablet and phone. You can never be too prepared.) I let her have my tablet and sat down with her to watch her play the classic game of Tic-Tac Toe, but as she started to play a little boy came up and wanted to play too. I allowed the two to play the game together and before I blinked twice I was surrounded by 4 children competing in a game of Connect Four. They cheered each other on, accepted their loses humbly, and moved through my collection of kids games with ease.
No surprise right? Kids are attracted to electronics like ants to an outdoor picnic. And that’s true, but there was one kid in the group who wasn’t playing: a fifth child who simply enjoyed cheering and encouraging their peers. It was me. I completely embraced the moment and enjoyed the group of youngsters hovering over my tablet figuring out the game of Pac Man. I cheered and got just as rowdy as them, and I won’t apologize for it. See when the little princess had called for my attention, I was bee lining for the door and on my way home (perks of living across the street from your church).

I didn’t want to talk.

I didn’t want to smile or hug.

I just wanted to get home to talk to my boyfriend. 

It was the call of innocence that made me decide to stay a bit longer, but I tell you she helped me more than she knows. That night I left the church uplifted and energized because I had relaxed and stopped worrying. I embraced the child in me with a group of Pre-K through 2nd grade kids, and while their parents and church goers looked over to see what the excitement was all about I looked up at the adults from my spot on the floor with a smile that only those kids could share.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Be Encouraged, Be Yourself

 

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