Aug 29, 2013

QOTD: Where are your cats? (video)

Most people know that I'm a huge animal person, and anyone that followed me on social media has seen it flooded with images of my cats: Smudge and Misty. A question I've been getting a lot lately has been "Ishea, where are your cats?"

Well, this video is giving you and update on where they are! Please watch... and if you ask me about them I'll send you this link lol... and that's not shade... that's me being lazy :)


So, I had thrown my hat into Luvvie's #31WriteNow blog challenge... of course I didn't blow every day, but I enjoyed the idea of challenging myself to write more consistently. I'm such a cancer... allowing my mood to dictate my life, so I wrote a lot more than usual... but when I was feeling like it, well... I just didn't write lol. And did I feel bad about it? Nope. I guess that might be another cancerian thing - - feeling bad about NOT feeling bad. Am I alone in that?

Well, my old coworker and fellow cancer, The Jort Report, mentioned a new blogging challenge she'll be participating in next month and well, it sounds like fun! lol... yes, it's a little crazy since this current blog challenge isn't even over, but the idea of having topic ideas is what really appeals to me. I like freedom, but secretly desire structure.

For anyone that is looking for a more structured blogging challenge, and by structured I mean a blogging challenge with topics lol, feel free to join me in Blogtember! The challenge will run 9/3 - 9/30, because you know...everyone will be out living their lives and being awesome during the holiday weekend lol... so let me know if you'll be doing it!

Aug 22, 2013

Walking your Puppy (Video)

Since we've been crate training Khaleesi, we've made it a priority to get her out at least twice a day for walks. Walking a puppy can be an interesting experience - - they have to get used to their leash, collar, and/or harness. So far Khaleesi manages to tolerate her collar, loathes the harness, and treats her leash like a chew toy for the first few minutes of every walk.

Right now she's around 20 lbs and full of energy. It's great to see her playing with other dogs and for the most part being an awesome dog! However, we have to keep reminding ourselves that she's only 12 weeks (well, actually 13 weeks as of today), and is still clumsy with her hind legs and building up her confidence.

I wish Instagram would allow videos to be embedded, but I put this on YouTube of a walk we did last night.

Aug 21, 2013

Adjusting to Life with a Puppy (video)

This little floppy eared, ball of fur came into our lives and turned all the way up!!

Aug 20, 2013

Love, Cork, Screw Radio

Have you heard Love, Cork, Screw? For anyone that is a fan of the monthly 'The Tequila Tales' events, Love Cork Screw features Chrishon and Issac bringing their vibrant candor to the digital airwaves as they discuss Love, Wine, and Relationships. In episode 13 of the show (below) they ask the question: In a relationship, how do you know when it's over?

Personally, I have experienced what I would call 2 major break-ups -  - the first with my on again/off again college boyfriend, and the second with my ex-husband. Yes, I've dated other people, but these were probably the most impacting break-ups to date. While we all know that relationships can run the gamut of highs and lows, it's an odd experience to be aware of a relationship as it's dying in real time. So, how did I know it was over? Well, hindsight being 20/20, my college boyfriend and I were probably over the moment we moved in together lol. At the time, I would say that I knew it was really over when we were arguing all the time and got so petty as to fight over a 25 cent bag of chips. Yes, it was THAT petty.

As for my ex-husband - - I'd say I knew it was over when divorce was a real option. I always said that I'd never be the type of person to threaten someone with divorce in a marriage. I think that it's one of those words that should never be uttered..... and if you're throwing that on the table, then it's time to go. It might not be the best comparison, but almost like you don't pull out a gun unless you're prepared to shoot? I view divorce like that.... I don't even think of it as a final resort, in that sense it's not an option, but more of an ending. Anyways, that's another rant for another day.

Long story short, you should be listening to Love, Cork, Screw Radio! It's amazeballs and a great way to soak up an hour of your time. Listen while you're at work and visit their Facebook page to engage online!

Sidebar: If you're in the Chicago area, join Isaac and Chrishon (and Kacey lol) for The Tequila Tales at Red Kiva on Thursday, 8/22 for their next event! Doors open at 7p - - RSVP by clicking here.

Aug 19, 2013

Recap: Seattle Hemp Fest 2013

Having just moved from Chicago, the sheer fact that Seattle hosted the Hemp Fest blew my mind. I didn't know what to expect, but knew it was something I should attend... I mean, anything for a blog post, right? lol...

Going into the fest I had minimal expectations. From what a co-worker had told me there would be edibles, pot (of course) and hippies. What I experienced were vibrant (though slightly hazy lol) personalities coming together in the name of marijuana education and celebration. There was marijuana floating around, along with edibles... but this wasn't like a huge smoke fest. Most people were in good spirits and relaxed... enjoying the sun, vendors selling their wares, speakers educating the crowds, and laid back musical vibes.

As my boyfriend and I walked through the festival grounds he commented that this fest could never make it in Chicago. I had to agree.... even at the Taste of Chicago it seems like you could get stabbed or shot when the sun starts to set. At the Hemp Fest I felt safe, only regretting my decision to wear sandals... I'd probably opt for closed toe shoes next year. Oh, and there was a tad bit of weirdness as I watched numerous people attending the fest with their kids. And not like teens, but babies. I saw a few pregnant women and families with children under the age of 4. That was VERY odd to me. Other than that, it was a good time.

Click here for more information on the Seattle Hemp Fest.

Aug 18, 2013

Do your Eyebrows need an Intervention?

I was getting ready to write a blog post about how my eyebrows needed an intervention when I was stopped in my tracks. One of my favorite Instagram makeup artists - - MissDrini - - posted a picture of her eyebrow journey and I'll be damned... there was no topping it!!

Can we take a moment to praise God for the redemptive power of his grace! Not only can he walk on water and part the seas... he can also grow your eyebrows back!!! That's a true miracle.

So, yeah... I'm hiding my tweezers from myself and focusing on staying consistent with my threading sessions.

Aug 17, 2013

Puppy Pulling Your Hoe Card?

While you've been living your life... going to work, going out and being awesome, maybe being consistent in Luvvie's #31WriteNow blog challenge, I've been adjusting to life as the pet parent of a puppy! It's been 10 years since I had a puppy and I'm quickly remembering how consuming they are. 

Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but since I was born with a soft spot for 4 legged friends, it's safe to say the puppy is running me... or as my boyfriend would say, she's pulling my hoe card lol. Just take a look at my Instagram (above)... yes, I can officially admit that I'm obsessed with my dog.

Khaleesi is the insanely adorable puppy that entered our lives last week and has proceeded to be the center of all things. My boyfriend would paint a different picture (he's much more of a disciplinarian), but my life force is mush.

When she whimpers, whines, or moans... I'm on high alert to make sure she's okay. *Le sigh* She just hit 12 weeks on Thursday, so I'm bracing myself for another 3 months of work housebreaking her and getting out of the teething phase! Jesus be a chew toy... this puppy thinks everything is fair game for her nibbling desires, me in particular lol.

Sidebar: I'm happy we didn't buy that new couch!!

Aug 13, 2013

You're Probably in a Toxic Relationship

Yesterday my friend Shari (owner of Bon Bon Vie - - go buy her dope shirts and read her blog) shared an amazing post on Facebook titled "6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal." 

I thought it was going to be a silly post with over exaggerated habits, but color me stunned that the list contained ACTUAL toxic habits that many deem annoying, but very normal and in most cases tolerable! As I read the list I felt horrified that I had experienced almost all of the toxic habits... either dishing it out or receiving it.

The article, written by Mark Manson, went on to describe the following 6 habits:

1. The Relationship Scorecard
2. Dropping "Hints" and other Passive-Aggression
3. Holding the Relationship Hostage
4. Blaming your Partner for your own Emotions
5. Displays of "Loving" Jealousy
6. Buying the Solutions to Relationship Problems.

Below is a short version of what was listed in the original post. I urge you to click here for the full post because it's a must-read! I think what surprised me most is that I struggle with some of these things on my own, independent of a romantic relationship. I think it's crucial to be aware of areas we need to grow in so we can work on ourselves, then work on our relationships. You really can't expect to struggle with a personality flaw in everyday life, and NOT have it surface to some extent in your relationships.

Do any of these toxic habits apply to you?

1. The Relationship Scorecard
What It Is: The “keeping score” phenomenon is when someone you’re dating continues to blame you for past mistakes you made in the relationship. If both people in the relationship do this it devolves into what I call “the relationship scorecard,” where it becomes a battle to see who has screwed up the most over the months or years, and therefore who owes the other one more.
Why It’s Toxic: The relationship scorecard develops over time because one or both people in a relationship use past wrongdoings in order to try and justify current righteousness. 
What You Should Do Instead: Deal with issues individually unless they are legitimately connected. If someone habitually cheats, then that’s obviously a recurring problem. But the fact that she embarrassed you in 2010 and now she got sad and ignored you today in 2013 have nothing to do with each other, so don’t bring it up.
You must recognize that by choosing to be with your significant other, you are choosing to be with all of their prior actions and behaviors. If you don’t accept those, then ultimately, you are not accepting them. If something bothered you that much a year ago, you should have dealt with it a year ago.

2. Dropping “Hints” and Other Passive-Aggression
What It Is: Instead of stating a desire or thought overtly, your partner tries to nudge you in the right direction of figuring it out yourself. Instead of saying what’s actually upsetting you, you find small and petty ways to piss your partner off so you’ll then feel justified in complaining to them.
Why It’s Toxic: Because it shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. A person has no reason to be passive-aggressive if they feel safe expressing any anger or insecurity within the relationship. A person will never feel a need to drop “hints” if they feel like they won’t be judged or criticized for it.
What You Should Do Instead: State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support. If they love you, they’ll almost always be able to give it.

3. Holding the Relationship Hostage
What It Is: When one person has a simple criticism or complaint and blackmails the other person by threatening the commitment of the relationship as a whole. For instance, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me all of the time.
Why It’s Toxic: It’s emotional blackmail and it creates tons of unnecessary drama. Every minor hiccup in the flow of the relationship results in a perceived commitment crisis. It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. Otherwise people will suppress their true thoughts and feelings which leads to an environment of distrust and manipulation.
What You Should Do Instead: It’s fine to get upset at your partner or to not like something about them. That’s called being a normal human being. But understand that committing to a person and always liking a person are not the same thing. One can be committed to someone and not like everything about them. One can be eternally devoted to someone yet actually be annoyed or angered by their partner at times. On the contrary, two partners who are capable of communicating feedback and criticism towards one another only without judgment or blackmail will strengthen their commitment to one another in the long-run.

4. Blaming Your Partner For Your Own Emotions
What It Is: Let’s say you’re having a crappy day and your partner isn’t exactly being super sympathetic or supportive at the moment. They’ve been on the phone all day with some people from work. They got distracted when you hugged them. You want to lay around at home together and just watch a movie tonight, but they have plans to go out and see their friends.
So you lash out them for being so insensitive and callous toward you. You’ve been having a shitty day and they have done nothing about it. Sure, you never asked, but they should just know to make you feel better. They should have gotten off the phone and ditched their plans based on your lousy emotional state.
Why It’s Toxic: Blaming our partners for our emotions is a subtle form of selfishness, and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. When you set a precedent that your partner is responsible for how you feel at all times (and vice-versa), then will develop codependent tendencies. Suddenly, they’re not allowed to plan activities without checking with you first. All activities at home — even the mundane such as reading books or watching TV — must be negotiated and compromised. When someone begins to get upset, all personal desires go out the window because it is now your responsibility to make one another feel better.
What You Should Do Instead: Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. There’s a subtle yet important difference between being supportive of your partner and being obligated to your partner. Any sacrifices should be made as an autonomous choice and not seen as an expectation. As soon as both people in a relationship become culpable for each other’s moods and downswings, it gives them both incentives to hide their true feelings and manipulate one another.

5. Displays of “Loving” Jealousy
What It Is: Getting pissed off when your partner talks, flirts, touches, calls, texts, hangs out, or sneezes in the general vicinity of another person and then you proceed to take that anger out on your partner and attempt to control their behavior. This often leads to insano behaviors such as hacking into your partner’s email account, looking through their text messages while they’re in the shower or even following them around town and showing up unannounced when they’re not expecting you.
Why It’s Toxic: It surprises me that some people describe this as some sort of display of affection. They figure that if their partner wasn’t jealous then that would somehow mean that they weren’t loved by them. This is absolutely clownshit crazy to me. It’s controlling and manipulative. It creates unnecessary drama and fighting. It transmits a message of a lack of trust in the other person. 
What You Should Do Instead: Trust your partner. It’s a radical idea, I know. Some jealousy is natural. But excessive jealousy and controlling behaviors towards your partner are signs of your own feelings of unworthiness and you should learn to deal with them and not force them onto those close to you. Because otherwise you are only going to eventually push that person away.

6. Buying the Solutions to Relationship Problems
What It Is: Any time a major conflict or issue comes up in the relationship, instead of solving it, one covers it up with the excitement and good feelings that come with buying something nice or going on a trip somewhere.
Why It’s Toxic: Not only does it brush the real problem under the rug (where it willalways re-emerge from even worse the next time), but it sets an unhealthy precedent within the relationship. 
What You Should Do Instead: Actually, you know, deal with the problem. Trust was broken? Talk about what it will take to rebuild it. Someone feels ignored or unappreciated? Talk about ways to restore those feelings of appreciation. Communicate!

Aug 12, 2013

The Puppy Turn Up is Real

There's a new addition to the family and it's the cutest pup in the world - - say hello to "Khaleesi" (yes we named our dog after our favorite Game of Thrones character lol). She's a purebred German Shepherd, championship bloodline, with an excess amount of energy.

Y'all... the puppy turn up is VERY real! Last night I had a moment where I was looking around the house wondering if they made a puppy Benadryl! What's even funnier is when she turned down, she looked so freaking adorable I wanted to wake her up again lol. Oh, the irony... but yeah... this is my newest little obsession! I've already posted some video clips on Instagram, so prepare to see a lot of her!

Aug 9, 2013

Let's Talk: Period Panties

Back in 2010 I blogged about doing a Panty Drawer Face Lift and once again I'm in a place where I'm questioning my choice in panties. This time, it's all about "period panties."

First, let me start by saying I'm not one of those women that loathes getting their period. It's a beautiful sign each month that I've once again been successful at warding off the child bearing process! Yes... 3 snags in a Z formation. My gripe, however, is choosing the best type of period panty that provides both comfort, peace of mind, and doesn't make me look like a grandmother.

Now, this is something I would give zero fucks about if I lived alone, but for the sake of my boyfriend and actually caring about his opinion I figured there was a way to rock "period panties" while still being somewhat cute... or, well... I'm not even reaching for cute, but let's be real... I don't want to look like a frump when I'm already dealing with possible cramps, mood swings, and bloating.

So, my question is for all ladies that live with their significant other... or maybe they're not that significant but you share your space with someone lol... what is your period panty of choice?

Me? I've been opting for Target's selection of soft, jersey and lace panties that are $5 and come in cute patterns and colors.

Aug 7, 2013

Beyonce cut her hair. Why do you care?

I was getting ready to write an eloquent post about period panties lol.. but then low and behold, Beyonce... Ms Queen Bey herself took out her signature weave and flood the internet streets with the debut of her new, short 'do.

It's funny because I feel like so many celebs are known for their constant hair changes, so in theory it shouldn't be that big of a deal... but I haven't been living under a rock, so I get it - - Beyonce is a big deal and we care about what she does to her hair.

So, my thoughts? I think it's cool to see her experimenting with her look. I'm VERY interested in seeing all of the blog posts that will appear tomorrow morning. I'm sure anyone that cares about hair is in the midst of prepping a post on this topic lol. I wonder if Beyonce's new hair will break Twitter tomorrow? lol..

What do you think of her short hair?

Aug 6, 2013

Do you Tip on Take Out?

I've always struggled with tipping. Do I intentionally tip high to make a statement that 'all black people don't suck at tipping'? Do I tip based on service? Do I tip out of pity that the server is making 3 cents an hour? Do I say "fuck tipping... I didn't tell you work here?" Suffice it to say I've been all over the spectrum with tipping.

Last night I was craving pizza, so we decided to grab some Domino's. Now, before you throw stones by way, yes... I'm a Chicagoan that absolutely LOVES Domino's pizza. They updates they did to the crust is just amazeballs. So, instead of using my trusty Domino's App that never fails me, I got the bright idea to order online using my laptop. Large, original crust with pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers! Done and done.

I head out of the house to pick it up... something I hardly EVER do when ordering pizza... and once I got to the location they were all crickets saying my order never went through. What the? *le sigh* So, I order it again and they assure me they can crank it out within 12 mins.

I grab something to drink and go wait in my car... fast forward 12 mins later and the quickness with which those Domino's employees not only made my order, but flew out of the store with multiple orders to deliver... and all with SMILES plastered on their faces. I was blown away.

I left a tip on a carry out order... which I almost NEVER do. Seeing the level of service and work that goes into putting everything together... well, yes... it's deserving of a tip too. It might not be what you'd tip for dine in service, but seriously... TIP!!!

Aug 5, 2013

Working Out to Relieve Stress

As I sit here typing this post, my left eye is currently alternating between a throb and a twitch... the stress is alive, y'all... but tonight I did my best to stick to my workout schedule and make some time to hit the gym. It's hard to convey how badly I wanted to avoid this workout... but I dug down deep inside my inner being and thought about the cookies I ate earlier lol... I wish I was joking, but sometimes the only thing motivating you to hit the gym is the knowledge that you lost your mind on a particular meal that day lol. What can I say - - I'm not match for pms cravings. 

On another note, buying my heart rate monitor was one of the best purchases I ever made and seriously changed the way I workout. It's awesome to see actual data from my workouts and no longer have to guess how much I burned. One of the added bonuses is that most treadmills are Polar compatible, so I can see my stats live on the machine while I workout! Score.

Time to curl up in the bed... stand on my tip toes reaching for some ZZzzzZZZzzz's before my AM workout with my trainer.

Words of Wisdom: Don't let Stress Get you Got! It's real in these streets.

Aug 4, 2013

When in doubt, hike it out...

Yeah, the title of this post is a tad bit corny lol... but I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of hiking! For the past  2 weekends we have made it a priority to get on a trail and explore our new city. This weekend we went to Discovery Park and enjoyed a 2 hour hike. Can I also say I was able to burn over 500 calories, ummm yes please!

Aug 3, 2013

Friday Night Sweat Session + ANTM

Whenever I think of "2 a days" my mind races back to thoughts of high school football. Mildly athletic teens being forced to hit the gym morning and night, all in an effort to "win state" lol. Last night I needed to clear my head, so despite having already worked out with my trainer at 5am that morning, I hit the gym again for a cardio session.

The TV in my apartment gym only tunes into one channel - - the CW. Thus, I was forced to check out the season 20 premiere of America's Next Top Model. I haven't really watched this show since maybe season 5, but honestly... after Eva, Yaya, and Toccara season 3 I was cool on the rest. Anyways, this is a show that I can watch on mute... and ironically it's about models, so in theory they should be able to paint an effective story without the volume turned up lol.

I can't say that I've been successfully sucked into watching this entire season, but I might make it a Friday night ritual to clear my head with cardio instead of happy hour drinks.

Aug 2, 2013

Learning to be Present

Since moving to Seattle in June, I've quickly come to realize that I lack the ability to be truly present in the moment. I am working through all of this in real time so depending on the day my outlook can vary, but in short I think I'm a slight OCD planner... always focused on what's coming next and never truly enjoying the present.

Thinking back on the last few years, everything I've done has been working towards some larger goal, far off date, just something that had nothing to do with the current moment.

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step... so consider this blog step 1. My goal is to try and take each day as it comes, still keeping my long term goals... but relaxing and setting short term goals. And by short term I mean like daily goals lol... and simple ones -  - don't stress, make time for exercise, don't vocalize every negative thing about life, say 1-3 positive things... Yes, it's a bit basic, but I've been described by multiple people as "the most emotional person they know" ... so yeah, I'm starting slow.

Aug 1, 2013

Hiking Cougar Mountain in Issaquah

In an effort to try and fall in like with Seattle, last weekend we stepped outside of our city slicker box and went hiking at Cougar Mountain! Located in Issaquah, WA (about 30 mins outside of Seattle), Cougar Mountain provides scenic views and a variety of trails for all levels. Even though we are beginners, we decided to attack the mountain at its highest point - - Anti-Aircraft Trailhead Peak.

It took us about 2 hours to navigate our way around the El Shangri-La trail, and I wore my heart rate monitor to see how many calories I could burn. It was a breeze starting out our hike going downhill, but I was in for quite a surprise once we rounded that corner and started going back up! Wowzers...  In total I burned about 556 and my bf was able to burn about 700 calories!  Not too shabby for a Saturday morning workout.

Aside from the obvious perks of burning calories, I must admit that getting out of the house and experiencing some of what Seattle has to offer did in fact help me start to break out of my funk. I haven't blogged about it much, but my overall transition into Seattle life hasn't been the easiest. I've been told it seems like I'm in a perpetual state of sulking lol... so yeah, the hike was nice. Seattle is a very outdoorsy place, so I'm quickly realizing that I'll need to find my inner granola in order to fully appreciate it.

One of my favorite images from hiking.
It's kind of funny because I joked with friends earlier this year that I wanted to "transform" myself this spring/summer into some boho city girl. Well, little did I know that would be so quickly put to the test. I was envisioning drinking chai lattes while incorporating a flowy skirt or two into my wardrobe lol. Ha! Fast forward to today and Seattle is providing a strong sense of boho... and I guess it's time for me to offer up my part of the deal. We shall see how this goes.

Oh yeah, this is my first official post for #31WriteNow lol.

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