Are you conscious of what your subconscious is doing?


Each week I like to assess how it went and take a look at my progress.  The week before last was pretty mediocre (if not poor).  I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to and, most of the time, I was engaged in mindless, time waisting behavior.  Frustrated, I took time to reflect on what was going wrong.

I realized that throughout the week, I kept falling into these trance-like episodes where I mindlessly surfed the web or kept walking to the fridge to grab something to eat or failed to take action even though my mind kept prompting me to behave differently.  It's like I checked out and was on auto pilot for the most the week.

Here was the issue.  The problem is that we have two ways of operating.

#1. The Default method of Operation
#2. Operating with high Awareness.

Let's discuss the differences between the two.

Default operation is what happens when we are operating from past habits and behavior.  Most of the time we're checked out when in default mode.  We're designed to run on autopilot as a way of saving brain power.  It kinda reminds me of how a screen saver pops up when we're not actively using the computer.  When we are not actively operating from a place of high awareness, we slide into default.

Default is not necessarily a good place to be. Why?  Because unless you've been living a consistently action oriented life, your default actions aren't ideal.  For example, I've been an early riser for years.  So no matter what's going on, I will automatically wake up before 6:00 am.  It's my default time of waking up. No effort is required.  But, because my workout habits have been on and off, my default is NOT to work out (we tend to default to what is easiest for us).  Going to the gym requires effort.  The longer I go between gym visits, the more effort is required.  In the same way, if I'm not ACTIVELY thinking about my goals, my default is to just go through my day without making any progress towards achieving it.

 Reflecting back to last week, I noticed that if the start of my day looked very similar to the day before, it was almost guaranteed that I'd be operating from the default.   I used to get mad at myself for falling into the default pattern but then I learned that this is a natural occurrence.  Airplanes are off course 90% of the time, yet they manage to land at the intended destination on time.  How?  The pilots are constantly course correcting throughout the trip.  If the course corrections never occurred, the passengers would land several states away from where they wanted.

It kinda reminds me of the time my car alignment was off. Each time I drove the car, it tended to veer to the right.  To correct the issue, I had to constantly keep pulling the steering wheel to the left.  If I didn't, I was in danger of sideswiping other cars.  This is just like how our subconscious works.  It takes over for us, moving us slowly off course.   Worst of all, it works from beneath the surface, behind the scenes, and most of the time we aren't aware until we've drifted way off course.

The solution is to either operate in a state of high awareness or train your subconscious to do the things you WANT IT TO DO without any extra effort.  The only way, I know to reprogram your subconscious is to repeat the action over and over and over and over again until it becomes permanent. But in order to get there, you've got to operate with high awareness as you build your actions into long term behaviors.

How do you operate with high awareness?  Great question.  I feel like this topic deserves it's own post.  Which is why I'll continue this conversation with you next Monday.  In the mean time, I want to do remember things:

#1. Your job is to continuously feed your subconscious  the behaviors you want it to manifest.
#2. You are constantly going off course.  This doesn't mean that you are a bad person, it means that you are normal.  Knowing this, your job is to "pilot your life" by consistently bringing yourself back on track (over and over again).

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Get Flawless, even toned skin all over your body using this technique.


The post is inspired by a reader who left a comment about how to get smooth, even toned skin all over.   I'm so glad this question came when it did because this is the time of year when most of us aren't as concerned with glowing skin.  But, now is the time to develop the routine that will have your skin flawless by spring.

The commenter made mention of how smooth my skin looked and, thinking back,  I give 100% of the credit to my daily exfoliation.  It all began when I decided to take my pumice sponge from my pedicure kit to the shower.   Exfoliating my heels became a daily habit and I never had to deal with dry, cracked feet ever again.

Then I stumbled upon a video where a woman with amazing even toned skin shared her body  routine.  She talked candidly about how vigorously she exfoliated her skin.   Her routine went something like this:

She'd get into a warm shower and allow the steam to open up her pores.  Next she'd vigorously scrub the skin on her body and rinse.  Then she'd do it again (up to several times).  Each time she scrubbed an area she would do at least 10 rigorous strokes. 

(Note this method is for the skin on the body, not the face) When I first tried her technique, I was a bit taken back.  My skin had to get accustomed to such intense exfoliation.   Once  I got used to this method, I'd up the stakes by exfoliating on slightly damp skin instead of on soaking wet skin.  Each time I exfoliated, I focused heavily on my legs and the back of my thighs as a way of warding off cellulite by promoting blood flow to that area. And, of course, I'd focus on my arms and chest  because they were the most visible parts of my body. Basically, I scrub and scrub and scrub until all the sugar dissolves (If I'm rinsing the sugar off of my body before it's fully dissolved then I have failed).

This was around the same time when I began to frequent the steam room/sauna on a regular basis.  I'm a believer that sweating helps to loosen everything up which makes it easier to remove via scrubbing.  The combination of heavy sweating and crazy exfoliation created skin like I had never experienced before.  Not to mention that I was drinking oodles of water each day.

Let me tell you ladies that everyone who came in contact with my skin has something great to say.  Hubby notices, I couldn't stop touching myself, and when I went for a massage, the therapist kept going on about how smooth and soft I was.   If you use this technique of sweating + exfoliation + water for a week or two, you'll notice smoother skin.  But if you make this a long term habit, you encourage REGULAR cell turnover which means EVEN TOONED SKIN.   Seriously, if you want even toned skin, focus on exfoliation.  And, if you want to move things along a little faster, pair this method with a lotion like Glytone which works really well because it contains ingredients meant to help fade discoloration.

Consider this an advanced technique. If you have sensitive skin on your body, ease into it. Don't just rush in and try to scrub the skin off your body.   It's a process. But one that will pay off dearly if you are diligent.

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Craving | Alter Ego Hair Energizing Hair Lotion {stimulate winter growth}


I was going to save this find for an Instagram Beauty Secrets post but I got too excited to wait.   As I was bobbing and weaving through various pics, I stumbled upon an image that immediately grabbed my attention.  Not sure if it was a beauty or hair product so I checked out the caption to  see what she had to say about it.

via @troprouge Instagram
"I swear by this stuff. It's made my hair grow incredibly fast!! It's called Alter Ego Hair Lotion."
Ok. So a couple of things happened at this point.
#1. I immediately recognized the name of the brand from back in the day when I frequented Dominican Salons.  Then I remembered that I tried (and loved) their garlic conditioner mask to combat excessive shedding.
#2. I mosied on over to Amazon to see what others had to say about it.  Over 100 reviews with nearly a perfect 5 rating.

People who've tried the energizing hair lotion say that it tingles the scalp when applied (which is a sign that blood flow to the area has increased).  Some mentioned that they found this product via a recommendation from a hair loss specialist.  Many of the reviewers noticed an increase in their hair  growth rate.  Happy reviewers mentioned how this product helped bring their edges back to life.  Heck, a few people even boasted of stronger hair and less breakage from this wonderful hair lotion.  I also appreciate how quickly people said they started seeing results and new growth.

I could go on and on.  Point is that this miracle in a bottle seems really promising. Especially during this time of year when seasonal  shedding starts to rear it's ugly head.  Not to mention that hair growth starts to slow during cooler months.  This is definitely on my wishlist but I probably won't wait long to get it.  Especially since I'm working on reviving my nape back to it's former healthy state.  I cant totally see myself applying the lotion to my scalp once I've braided by hair in sections to moisturize and seal.

Who's as excited about this hair lotion as I am?

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Style Essential | The White Blazer


I've been feening for a white blazer for the longest.  Ever since I featured this "Love Her Look" white blazer date night outfit, I've harbored the desire for chic white blazer that would be perfect dressed up or down.

There are just too many black blazers in my closet, it's time for something fresh and new.  Looks like the day has finally arrived 'cause I've stumbled upon some promising options.  I'm really looking forward to wearing a crisp, fitted white blazer over dark colors to break up that all black looks. I've put together a collection of my favorite white blazers below in case you're on the hunt.  Which one is your fave?

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Is this the most effective way to Moisturize & Seal your hair?


Psssst.  I want to let you in on something.  It's a new technique I've been using lately to moisturize and seal my hair.  From my first couple of days with experimenting, I think I will use this technique for life.  I'll start by saying that I had done a poor job of moisturizing and sealing prior to learning about the L.O.C/L.C.O technique.  Once I got hip to that, my life changed.  Then fate led me to the Evian Facial Spray mist which changed the game.

Just recently,  I found and fell in love with these mini aluminum misters which I adore.  It seemed like everything was darn near perfect.  How could they get any better?  That's when I took a hard look at my technique and asked myself "what do I need to do differently?"  Currently, my biggest struggle was evenly moisturizing my hair.  I tend to focus on the hair I can see. As a result, some areas suffered.  I'm in the process of gingerly nursing it back to health but it takes a bit of effort for me to focus on those areas.

Rachie | Lade | Me

The solution to this problem (of evenly moisturizing in little time) was so simple I can't believe I haven't done it sooner.  All I did was section my hair into 6 or 7 loose plaits.  Once sectioned, I was able to quickly mist the length of each braid.  When braided, all the hair in that section is very accessible.  There aren't tons of layers hiding under each other.  I no longer have to lift my hair or move hair out of the way to access the deeper layers.  It worked flawlessly. It saved me time and it was really effective.  Not too mention that, overall, this technique requires less manipulation than if I were to moisturize in small sections without braiding.

Some nights, I left my hair braided and unraveled the braids the following day. But if I'm not going for the wavy look, I could easily unravel once I've completed the moisture replenishment session.  Call me crazy but my hair seems to hold moisture longer ever since I've been using this technique.  Perhaps it has something to do with my new little aluminum sprayer.  The water particles are smaller than from the Evain spray bottle.  I'm of the belief that smaller water particles are easier to absorb by the hair follicle.  This combination of deeper moisture plus the enhanced technique has been pretty amazing.  Would you like to try?

p.s. Naturals typically use this method before twistouts/etc which I think contributes to their length retention, among other things.  I'll create a post on that topic in the future. 

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Monday Motivation | What language do you speak?


I was holding a coaching conversation the other day with a person who was having difficulty managing her emotions. She was practically in tears as she explained the situation that led to her breakdown.  I listened intently for her concerns so I coach her to find her power in the circumstance at hand.

One thing that was very evident was her self defeating language.  When she described what was causing her so much pain she'd say things like "they're attacking me"...... "I feel victimized"......  "I feel like they gang up on me"......  After a while I had to interrupt her conversation and call attention to the words she chose to use to describe the situation.  "The reason you are so emotional over the situation, I said, "is because you think that you've created yourself as a victim in the situation. You're feeling bad  because you see yourself as being powerless.  In situations where others are ganging up and attacking someone, that person has  no power.....the attacker does.

But who in reality is establishing those individuals as powerful attackers? She was.  And she was doing it solely through her language.  Actually, no one attacked her.  Sure, words were spoken, but when I asked her to tell me exactly what was said, she repeated a set of questions that were asked of her which she interpreted as an attack.  In actuality, the questions were valid.  The other parties were asking her if she was going to follow through with statement she previously made.  Nothing about the question was an attack....but it was perceived as such.

The solution to her emotional distress, in my opinion was to call attention to the language that she was speaking.  Her language was that of helplessness and defeat.  To make matters worse, she was backing up her words with strong emotion (crying).  Even though she didn't want to cry, she couldn't change her reaction.  Luckily for me, she was familiar with the Law of Attraction so when I told her that she was attracting her experience partially through the language she was using, she agreed.

We have to remember that our description of our situations and circumstance is a direct reflection of how we view it.  Our actions are directly connected to how we view a situation.  She viewed the situation as an "attack" which led her to the emotional outpouring.  Let me give you an example, one person walks into a room and sees a pit bull dog and instantly becomes afraid. Another walks into the same room, sees the dog and wants to go pet it.  What's the difference?  Person A says to herself that the dog is dangerous, person B calls the dog adorable.  It's what the person is saying to herself that creates her reality.

 It's absolutely critical to be aware of the language you are using in every situation. Language will provide you a first hand look of whether you see yourself as having power or being powerless.  If you want to start your own business but often use language that demonstrates doubt, you will remain in a place of inaction.

Powerful language is not typically a default way of speaking.  It must be cultivated and practiced. Speaking in a power-full way involves focusing on what you can do in any given situation to turn in around.  Maybe you can't fix it just yet, but there's always something you can do to impact it.  The goal is to shift the direction of your thoughts and emotion to a place where you can find your power.  Some people might use the term "positive language" but sometimes, when the situation seems dire, it's hard to be positive.  In such cases, the goal becomes to look for any sign of defeating language and CHOSE not to engage.

Whenever things aren't going the way I want, the first thing I do is ask myself "what can I do about this?"  Sometimes it takes just one new thought or action to shift things around.  The end goal is to change the direction your are headed in.  It's like if you're driving then realize that you are going the wrong way (if you are speaking negatively about a situation, you are going the wrong way).  What do you do next? Do you push on the gas and keep going down the wrong street?  No, you stop, put the car in reverse and turn around.

If you'd like to inquire about 1 on 1 coaching with me to help you reach your goals 2015 contact me so we can discuss.  I'd love to work with you!

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The Makeup Show | NARS mini haul & The method to incredibly long lashes


Most weekends, I'm closed up in my office working on outstanding items from the week prior.  This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the MakeUp Show.  It's an amazing experience to be in a room with hundreds of professional makeup artists and beauty experts.  Not to mention the exposure to dozens of brands who are the heavy hitters in the makeup industry.

Every year, I visit the event in hopes of discovering new staples. It's were I first found and fell in love with Gleam Body Radiance and Grandelash MD.  Normally, I invest most of my time between grabbing new makeup brushes and loitering at the Makeup Forever booth.  This year,  I decided that I'd branch out of my comfort zone and get familiar with some new brands.  

NARS Train Bleu + Palais Royal Velvet Lip Pencil
You guys remember when I grabbed the NARS Narsissist palatte?  Ever since then, I've been longing to try out others products from the line.  As expected the NARS booth was pretty packed.  I stood on the outskirts for a few moments before one of the NARS makeup artists walked by and said, "I love the color of your shirt."  I thanked her for the unexpected compliment.  Later, she returned and said, "would you mind if I put some blush on you?"  "Sure" I responded not knowing that she'd reach for this bright coral looking color called Exhibit A.   "It's inspired by the color of your shirt" she said as she applied the bright color to my cheeks.  I expected the worst but the color actually worked well on my skin tone.  
From there she and I began to try one different lip colors to she what would work. The entire time she worked on my face, the only thing I could think about was how amazing her lashes were. Finally I had to ask "what do you use to get you lashes like that?"  "Grandelash!"  she responded.  "I'm wearing an $8.00 drugstore mascara, and I'm Asian, these lashes are because of Grandelash."  She went on to tell me her secret.  "You gotta use it twice a day [morning and night]"  I was instantly reminded of a conversation I had in 2013 with someone who also got amazing results by using it 2X a day.  Guess, what I did last night before bed?  You guessed, I reached for my Grandelash. 

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New In | Feeling Blue.


When I look at my small collection of shoes.  One thing becomes strikingly clear, it's that I'm pretty safe when it comes to my shoe choices.  Everything I own falls under the two categories either black or nude (neutral).  Just goes to show you how predictable I can be.

Which is why I was stoked when I stumbled upon these Ralph Lauren Serrata platform sandals in navy blue with gold hardware.  The moment I saw them, I knew they could easily take my boring uniform of jeans and a tee to a new level. Weeks prior to discovering these shoes, I silently told myself that I needed a pair of well made, attractive, comfortable + fashionable heels that I can wear on my dress down days.  This is to avoid my habit of reaching for flats.  the moment I slipped these heels on, I knew.
[ULTRA] Comfortable and stylish would be the two words I'd use to describe them.  I read a few reviews of these heels online and others echo my perspective on how comfortable they are. Plus I love the fact that I didn't get them in black.  Blue just makes them that much more interesting.  And, yes, I do understand that Navy Blue (and gold) shoes don't exactly go with everything. Which is exactly why I decided to grab a second pair in light brown.  The neutral pair are definitely within my comfort zone.  In fact, I have a similar pair of shoes in that color that isn't as well constructed.  I grabbed these because the difference in quality between what I currently own and these was  really evident.
When I started buying designer handbags a couple of years ago, the initial motivation was so I could be rough with them and not have to worry (as much) about wear and tear.  When I took that philosophy towards investing in quality shoes, I noticed a real difference.  If I find a great pair of shoes I love, I need them to last.   That's why I'll be investing in well crafted shoes from now on.  Plus, gorgeous shoes are like a well made bag.  They can make the outfit thus saving you money on clothing in the long run.

It's not too often one finds an amazing pair of navy blue heels. I had to snag 'em and I'm so glad I did.

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DIY Evian Facial Mist


When I first discovered Evian's Facial spray, I got so excited that I immediately made multiple orders.  Some, I gave away. But I kept most of them for myself. Yes, I used them frequently as a facial spray. But I got the greatest benefit by incorporating Evian in my L.C.O routine.

The other day, I walked over to my stash of Evian sprays only to discover that I had only one 1.7 oz bottle left. How could this be? Have I used that many bottles?  After a few more minutes of searching, I conceded knowing that I had indeed almost run out.  That's when I realized that if my usage continues at the same rate, the cost could really add up.  My next thought was to find a way to make my own version of this wonderful mist.  A couple of searches online led me to these nifty little aluminum misters.  I like the fact that they're easily refillable and they're made of the same material as the Evian Facial spray bottle. 
Here's why I got three of them.  Do you remember my Instagram Beauty Secrets post where I featured a high end facial spray from Chanel?  Well, I actually took a trip down do the mall to test it out.  Chanel incorporated moisture binding ingredients to extend the duration of moisture.  Water on its own will evaporate pretty quickly so I appreciate that they took their formula to the next level.     
I too would like to experiment with various formula's since I now have complete freedom to do what I please.  One will be purely water but I will test out various hair mist blends as well as an enhanced facial mist.  By the way,  these bottles are ultra affordable and their mist game is on point.  As a matter of fact, they actually create a finer mist than the Evian.  I love that.

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Love her Look | Sophistication with an Edge


I am beyond inspired by Karrueche's look of modern simplicity paired with edgy accents.  Where do I begin? Her white Top Shop blouse is perfection.  I adore the crew neckline and the slightly accented shoulders.  If that weren't enough, it features a split on the side which makes the blouse even more interesting.

I had this old way of thinking that whenever I wore all black and white, I'd pair it with silver jewelry. I've shifted that mindset after seeing how well the simple gold chains compliment her look.  Speaking of compliment, can we talk about black bag and how it works perfectly with what she's wearing? The simple strap pairs well with the basic top. But then we have this amazing rocker look with the fringed leather that balances the edginess of her amazing boots.  Her Tom Ford lace boots are beyond amazing. At first I thought they were too much but Karrueche does a fantastic job at making them the centerpiece of her outfit.  If I were to recreate a outfit inspired by her, perhaps I would were some shredded black skinny jeans for a more wearable look. The pairing of basic sophistication with edginess  just really works.

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