MY BET Experience – Part 2

Sunday before Janelle Monáe, Nicki Minaj, and Diddy performed at the BET Awards, all attention was on the LA Convention Center where day two of the BET Experience events were being held. The place was basically empty when we arrived at 12:45. I guess everyone was trying to get a glimpse of the celebs live on the Red Carpet, which wasn’t easy since the whole thing was fenced off and highly secured. Only those with pre-approved email confirmations could get into the pre-show. On Saturday, the energy was much higher than the previous day. Both days were full of free things to do for people of all ages, but it’s a shame more people didn’t know or care to attend on Sunday.

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The COVERGIRL Beauty Lounge was also empty. We walked past the runway and saw a great show of fashion and make-up tutorials. I didn’t stay throughout the whole presentation, but I could tell the intimate setting was perfect for instruction. Notice the empty chairs?

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Here I am waiting to see a member of my FAVORITE R&B group, Destiny’s Child. As a true fan, I was appalled at the turn out to hear these great artists speak. This picture was taken only a few minutes prior. The organizers had to ask people to move up to the VIP chairs because there was extra seating up front. Oh Yeah!IMG_4979

Kelly Rowland and Tyrese Gibson discussed their passion for the music industry and their passion for their families. The whole discussion will be aired July 3rd on the BET network.

“I have to raise a great man for a great woman…I just feel like I don’t want him to choose someone unavailable. I always want to be there for him, and I’m enjoying motherhood.”- Kelly Rowland

Packing for a Big Move

Considering a big move? It’s important to have a strategy in place and stay in a positive mindset.

When my husband and I moved from Maryland to California six months ago, we knew we could not take everything with us. We wanted to start fresh and anew. Our options for a new place to live were open, but we settled on sunny California. After visiting San Diego once before, we decided it was the perfect place to begin our new lives.

Our plan was to stay in a hotel for the first month to get to know the Southern California area. Since we were going to be hotel hopping, we could only realistically bring what we could carry. If it couldn’t fit in the five suitcases we brought to fly with us, it had to be shipped by car (which took about 10 days to arrive). Packing for a move across the country is nothing like packing for a vacation or a business trip. This was one of the most stressful and challenging times in my life. However, this purge was a great way to lift my mood and cleanse my spirits during the stressful time.

My biggest challenge was my closet. The decluttering process was particularly exhausting. I had to decide what I was keeping and what was going to be sold, donated, or put in the trash. And this is just for the closet. Imagine decluttering and packing an entire house!

For some, it may be easy to get rid of clothes that you have had in your closet for a while. In my case, it’s much harder to part the longer I’ve had the item. I’m somewhat of a clothing hoarder. I feel like my whole wardrobe has a purpose, even though most mornings I wake up saying I have nothing to wear. To make the process easier, I organized in phases.

Phase one: Check items for holes, stains, and odors that cannot be removed. You will be surprised what clothing you find has a button missing, or stain that you didn’t notice before.

Phase two: Try on clothes that haven’t been worn in a while. Bodies change over time and your perception or taste might have changed as well. Now is the time to get rid of the clothing that you cannot fit. Think about the new location and the weather in that area.

Phase Three: This is where a trusted friend or family member comes in. I asked my sister to come over to help me get rid of stuff in my closet that I may be too attached to. Even after my own decluttering, she really challenged me and made me think long and hard about certain pieces that were either outdated or not flattering. I love her honesty!
If a piece of clothing fits into any of those categories- time to go!

My husband and son didn’t have  as many clothes as me, but they each did a similar process of checking the clothes and trying them on for fitting. When everything packed and ready to move, we ended up with nine Ziploc bags in the car along with a couple of boxes which included business supplies, pictures, kitchen appliances and utensils, and personal mementos that we could not fly by plane and/or would not fit our five suitcases.

I live my life with no regrets, however challenging, this was one of the best moves of my life!

Motivation Mondays – Meditation

 For those of you who don’t know already, meditation has many benefits. Studies show that meditation can basically help by resetting  the nervous system. Did you know that people with Fibromyalgia and Psoriasis have been using meditation as a form of treatment and it has shown significant improvements? It can help get rid of bad habits by rearranging your thoughts and promoting positivity with a conscious effort. The goal is to let go of physical and emotional tensions. My husband has tried several times over the last two years to get me to start meditating. My passion to pursue meditating comes from wanting to reduce stress and lower my anxiety. I have also seen improvement in my sleep and patience. Most importantly, my spirituality has grown and I have become more grateful of my life. The more traditional method, Transcendental Meditation, uses a mantra (word or phrase) to calm internal thoughts with rhythmic sounds. If you are a beginner to meditation then TM would probably be best to try first. Positive thinking, noise-free environment, and an open mind is really all you need to start meditating.If difficulties arise early on, try to focus on your breathing instead of a phrase or Mantra. Take a deep breaths to help you concentrate. If it helps, you can focus your body parts. Start at your head and relax it. Go through each major body part and continue down to your toes. This will help calm your entire body and create balance. Lately, I have been very aware and conscious of my posture so I like to also take this time to strengthen my back and core when inhaling and exhaling. Surprisingly, even if thoughts are running in my head non-stop, I can still focus on my breath and get back to my “safe spot” and/or happy place.

I have learned through trial and error that it’s ok to have thoughts while you meditate. In fact it’s quite difficult to stop all of your thoughts or clear your head completely. Self-direction comes from clearing your mind and becoming focused. Sometimes an image or thought interrupts you.Patience is key. There is no exact science to meditation and there are many different ways to try.

Make time, be consistent and complete each session. Whether you schedule 5, 10 or 20 min, don’t give up!

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