Katrina Jackson – The Softer Side of ‘Kat Tat’


I’m literally just a regular girl from a regular neighborhood -tried to go off to college, but found my passion in art and tattooing, and I took a risk to make that my career and I made it happen. ”
-Katrina (Kat Tat) Jackson

Meet the ARtist

If you were asked to provide an opinion about the artwork of Painter, Katrina Jackson, you may have to search the name, but what if you were asked about that tat-girl, Kat Tat? Kat Tat, from VH1’s hit reality series Black Ink Crew Chicago? Or Kat Tat, the tattoo artist who went viral after tattooing a portrait of a vintage burlesque dancer on her own thigh? Jackson is an artist -a painter and tattoo artist. A fact solidified over a decade ago when the, now, 27 year old entered an art show at the age of 16.

Jackson recalls the childhood experience that helped shape she today.

“I’ve always kind-of possessed the talent of being able to draw. When I was 16, I think, I was in junior in high school and one of my drawings won first place in Illinois, and they flew me across the country to Florida to compete in nationals with like 3,000 other students around the world. That showed me that I could really do something with this art. If I can be in high school and one of my sketches sends me across the country; That shows me that I have some serious talent.”

Flying to Florida served as an eye opener to her talent, but a broken heart would spur on her love for painting and tattoo art and tattooing -earning her the nickname Tat Girl.

“Going into my senior year is when I got the interest in tattooing, and when I really stepped out and started finding myself. I had this boyfriend that I was madly in love with.  I thought my life would just be being this guys wife and my senior year in high school is when I had my first break up -my first heartbreak.

from breakup to breaktrhough

So,  after the breakup I really started to find who I am and explore things that I want to do, and that’s actually when I got my grades up. It was just like ‘Ok!, Let me focus on this art a little bit. Let me see where this will take me,” she says

Creativity spurred on through the pain of love loss. Imagine that, and who can relate? By college, Jackson’s interest in tattoos grew from paper sketching  art work for classmates future  tattoos, to freshman-year dorm room “skin work.” Her work, again,  proved itself and Jackson became known around campus as “Tat Girl!”

Jackson found her love and passion for painting and tattooing taking over and her grades quickly fell to the back burner yet again. On the other hand,  due to her determination and work ethic, her artistry was taking her to places beyond her wildest dreams.

“I tried to go off to college, but found my passion in art and tattooing and I took a risk to make that my career and I made it happen. I don’t really believe in being a starving artist. It may not even be art that’s your passion, but whatever your passion is, it’s important to go out and chase and it and really make it work for you! I’m out here trying to get it and inspire girls that are just like me. I’m just a very very hard working artist,” she says.

2015 was an explosive year for Jackson, showcasing two shows at Miami’s Art Basel and making her television debut as part of the 9Mag Tattoo Studio crew on Black Ink Crew Chicago.

She explains what it was like having two exhibits in Miami’s Art basel and the inspiration brought on by that experience.

“It was great! It’s every artists dream to go to Art Basel and showcase. For me to have two shows in one year it felt amazing. It made me feel like I was doing something right to have my paintings show across the country and it was such a nice, classy event. It’s just another step forward in my career.”

therapy through art

Art is therapeutic for most, Jackson shares with us which creative style is more therapeutic when comparing painting and tattooing.

“The best way to explain it is, with tattooing I’m providing a service, so it’s always that -not even pressure, because it is what I do, but you have to make sure that it’s perfect. You’re providing a service for that person you’re taking their idea and bringing it to life. With painting, it’s mine. It’s whatever I want to do. So if I want to get away from tattooing and do something grip [sic]. If I want to sip on a little wine while I’m painting and see what I come up with it’s a little more relaxing.Tattooing is more my second nature, painting is less pressure -you know, I don’t have to worry about if I mess up.”

keeping it sexy

Jackson explains the importance of sensual and sexual artistic expression, and owning it.

“I think that women are beautiful and I think that it’s ok for women to own their sexuality and feel beautiful and just be feminine and sexy. Me being a tattoo artist, I want to change the stereotype of tattoo artists and the whole tattoo industry, cause people think biker and edgy. So my latest collection was painting women with tattoos and still making them look soft and exude sexiness and focus on their beauty and show that they can wear these tattoos without distracting their beauty.”

Jackson has to proven herself as an artist since high school, quickly rising to fame with 9Mag and Black Ink Crew Chicago. With fame comes with money, power and influence. Jackson details how fame and the experiences that come along with it have affected her artistically?

fame, focus and the future

“I have stayed super super focused while still being transparent on TV, like I go through some stuff on TV. But when we got this opportunity I was like, ‘I’m gonna make it. I’m going to work my ass off during this short opportunity, cause TV can be here today and gone tomorrow.’  So it has put me in full throttle -not the pressure but the platform made it very important for me to put out my best work. It really pushed me and it showed me what I’m capable of and It’s enabled me to work to my full potential, it’s even shown too. When I tell you I go through some stuff on this show, but when I put out my work people don’t care. They’re like, ‘Yeah, she’s this, but she can tattoo.’ Or ‘oh yeah, she acts like this, but she can paint her ass off.’ So my talent overshadows it.”

As for the future, Jackson will continue tattooing portraits and black and gray realism, but plans on learning a new-school “neo traditional” type method of tattooing.  And if you want a “tat” from Kat?

“It’s very easy, just email Kat@kattatgirl.com, you can google Kat Black Ink, and my website and everything will pop up and there are direct links, and everything will take you to my email. On Instagram I’m @kattatgirl. Just send me an email and you’ll get an automatic response with everything you need, then just decide how you gonna book.”

Kat’s latest paintings, modeling pictures and her portfolio can also be found at www.kattatgirl.com.

All pictures courtesy of www.kattatgirl.com and @kattatgirl

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Makeup and Beyond -A Chat With Celebrity MUA Frederick ‘Fred4Face’ Saunders

“I love every aspect of being a makeup artist, even the clients with bad attitudes. There is nothing that I would rather do. I feel like I wake up and breath makeup.” -Frederick Sanders

@Fred4Face

There aren’t many people who can honestly say, “I love what I do,” but there are a few and celebrity MUA, Frederick Sanders is one of them. His looks have graced red carpets, album and magazine covers, and been seen center stage on host of celebrities; Regina Hall, Shirley Cesar, MC Lyte, The Clark Sisters, Robyn Dixon, Avery Sunshine and Tamela Mann to name a few and is known for his “anointed hands.” I caught up and spoke to Sanders about who he is on a personal level, his career as a makeup artist  and what the future holds for “Fred4Face“.

Photo Gallery Credit: @Fred4Face

PC: @shebatty

On a typically warm, fall night in Dallas at the swanky Design District apartment skyrise clubhouse amoungst outstanding views while enjoying the sounds of DJ Luqwon, I had the pleasure of watching Saunders work his magic on “The Chain Breaker” herself, Speaker, Author and Philanthropist, Dr. Catrina Pullum.

“I’m the guy that’s behind the scenes. People know my work and name, but not necessarily my face,” he explains as he enters the clubhouse modestly, charmed and flattered that the Concierge recognized him on sight and greeted him with excitement. Seems like he’d  set up and was ready to roll by the time he finished that sentence.

SheBatty: I read that you were preparing for law school and walked into MAC and got hired on the spot.

Fred Saunders: “This is true, this is true.”

So have you always been artistic or were you practicing makeup at that time, or do you just have it?

“I’d like to think that I just have it. However, I did grow up being the only boy in a house full of sisters. So I think it just kind of fell on me -I inherited it, if you will, I was the youngest and the only boy. Seeing my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and all of my sisters, you know, it kind of helped along. But I’d never had any desires to be a makeup artist.

I was always artistic. Years ago, as a child, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer. I would draw clothes and -you know, really try to sketch things out, then I moved to being a cartoonist. So, I feel like -I’d like to say I did have the artistic side, I just never knew that I would develop it as a makeup artist.”

Those things sound so far from lawyer, but I guess we’re all multi-faceted. Did you know that makeup was your calling upon being hired at MAC?

“It was after, at that moment it was just a summer job for me. I was a school teacher, so my summers were free and I wanted to do something fun that I could do and not have to think about, and I gathered that it would just be something fun -you know, something I would just kind of learn and leave behind or maybe something I could do on the side. I never envisioned being a full fledged artist.”

Now that you are an artist, what do you love about it?

“I love every aspect of being a makeup artist, even the clients with bad attitudes — there is nothing that I would rather do. I feel like I wake up and breath makeup.”

PC: @Fred4Face

 What’s your favorite bold looks that you’ve created or the most fun?

“The most fun bold look….that would have to be on one of my clients    who was very conservative, she did not really allow me to step out of the  box, but I just kind of like –really, just kind of did my own thing one day.  And it ended up being a cover shoot for a CD. And the CD picture went  viral.”

PC: @Fred4Face

You are great at creating classic red carpet looks. Do you like to step outside of that and do bold looks?

“Absolutely! I’ve done everything from fashion makeup, to red carpet beauty makeup, to body painting to face painting for halloween. I’ve even gone as far as to do female impersonators, so it’s really like a big circle.”

You just told me that you had a client who was conservative, and you had a little fun and it worked. Do you often do that -play up looks and have fun?

PC: @shebatty

I often do what I want -to be honest. And I hope none of my clients see this. I let them tell me what they believe they want, and I take their idea and make it my own. So, if somebody tells me, ‘I just want like, six colors on my eye.’ And I know that you’re not patient enough for me to put six colors on your eye and blend them down, then what I’ll do is i’ll do a simulation of what you want. And you might believe that you have six colors, but at the end of the day it may only be two. And that’s just real, because a lot of times I feel like most clients sit in the chair and tell you what they think they want, but then when they actually figure out what they really want, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s not what I wanted.’ So to save myself some time, and save them a headache -you know, let me just combine the two.”

What’s your go to brand?

“My go to brand is actually Temptu, believe it or not. I do have a lot of things that I use. I can’t say that I use a certain foundation or a certain concealer, because I generally just use whatever I can find a good match with for color and whatever just works in my bag.”

What’s your go to budget brand?

“My go to budget brand…I’m actually enjoying, believe it or not, Kiss Cosmetics Professional and you can find that in the beauty supply store. They have some great longwear lipsticks and they have some great brow pencils -I’m actually using a brow pencil right now by Kiss Cosmetics.”

What’s the one product that we can always find in your bag?

“One product that you can always find in my bag, is my Temptu Airbrush Machine. That is my must-have. I travel with it everywhere I go. I find that when I’m working with gentlemen, they prefer the airbrush, because it doesn’t give you that makeupy [sic] look. But it’s still nice and natural enough that they can walk outside and nobody would be like ‘Oh my gosh, are you wearing makeup?’ so, that’s my must have.”

PC: @shebatty

What advice would you give aspiring MUAs?

“Be able to listen, be able to learn and never stop learning. Even at my age now and the number of years I have under my belt as a makeup artist, I’m still open to learning new things. So, always be open to learning new things.”

How do you feel social media has affected the industry?

“Social Media has definitely impacted the industry in so many different ways. I think it’s more so negatively, because there are so many people who feel like because they have two brushes and a pencil, they can say, “I”m a makeup artist” because they know how to draw their brows on. However, not necessarily knowing the art behind it, where you actually have to put in some work and understand, like other peoples skin types and other peoples structures and things of that nature.”

fred beyond the makeup

PC: @Fred4Face

Who are you beyond the makeup?

“Beyond the makeup….I am a mentor, I am a father, I am a friend, I’m a brother. I’m a Dillard [University] grad -hello!  I speak three languages: Spanish, French and German. I was a foreign language major in college most people don’t know that about me and that’s pretty much a fun fact.”

What are your plans for 2018?

“I’m taking bigger faith walks. I’m actually stepping out of my box and trying to do something on a bigger level. Somethings that I never thought that I would even dream of accomplishing. Stepping out on the waters a little bit.

Always be on the lookout for me. Cause if you sleep on me you’re gonna look up and be like ‘Oh, he’s up there!”

Visit Fred4Face for booking information and to see more Sanders work.

Séxūal By Michel Germain

Séxūal by Michel Germain was founded on love and is a romantic fragrance, frequently referred to as, “A love note in a bottle.”

Michel Germain

Michel Germain, a French-Canadian Perfumer for more than 25 years, known for his prestigious fragrances. Germain credits the sustainability of his brand to creating a storyline that stands out and does something that no one has ever done. When shopping for a fragrance you want compliments. Michel Germain Parfums wants you to get noticed and asked what you’re wearing!

The Pop-up

I had the pleasure of co-hosting the Séxūal by Michel Germain Pop-up at Macy’s in NorthPark Center Mall in Dallas, Texas on October 21st.

Attendees enjoyed treats, and detailed information about the brand  and the Séxūal line by a Michel Germain Account Executive.

Séxūal

“I haven’t found a fragrance that makes me feel confident. I haven’t found a fragrance that lasts and I haven’t found a fragrance that makes me feel like i’m the only women in the world.” -Norma germain

Inspired by a comment from his wife, Norma, Séxūal by Michel Germain features eight fragrances in total. Four Women’s fragrances: Tendre, Paris, Sugar and Noir. And four for Men’s fragrances:Tendre Pour Homme, Paris Pour Homme, Pour Homme and Noir Pour Homme.

But what goes into making a fragrance that makes a women feel like the only women in the world? This sent Germain on a five year quest through France, Africa and the North East for the perfect notes needed to create a fragrance that would do all those things. Ultimately creating Séxūal, a fragrance that exudes romance. MG Account Exec explains that, “In all Séxūal fragrances there is a hidden note, an aphrodisiac. It invites closeness. It invites romance, hugs, and kisses guaranteed. That is what makes this frangrance so unique. They are also oil based, the natural oils blend with your body chemistry and creates your own signature fragrance.

So what happens when you wear the Séxūal? It’s not, ‘oh, you’re wearing this, or are you wearing that? The question becomes, ‘oh my goodness miss! What is that that you’re wearing?’ They can’t identify the scent, because you’ve just created your own signature fragrance through the natural oils, through the aphrodisiacs. That’s why you want to own Séxūal!”

Event Photo Credit: Alfena Williams

DFW Teen Fashion Week Fashion Show

I attended my first DFW Teen Fashion Week fashion show, this year, with my [nine year old] daughter and we had a blast! DFW Teen Fashion Week held its 3rd Season the weekend of October 8th at Lofty Spaces in Dallas. Hosted by ICONIQ TEENDEVELOPMENT and Lady Jade of K104, a portion of the proceeds raised were donated to the Grant Halliburton Foundation to assist with teen suicide prevention.

DFW Teen Fashion Week is an action packed, two-day event full of music, dance, art,  beauty, and the grand finale the “Oscars of fashion” aka, the DFW Teen Fashion Week fashion show! From the red carpet interviews to the last strut down the runway, this show was fire!

The Red Carpet

The designers were paparazzi ready as they hit the red carpet for photo ops and interviews. Providing a short glimpse of the personalities behind the designs.

Glam by Dasha cosmetics!

The cosmetic sponsor for this year’s show was Dasha cosmetics. I was able to catch grab a quick interview with House of Dasha Owner, Quinn McDaniel to learn a little more about the emerging cosmetic brand.

“We are always ahead of the game. We just launched our Silk Skin foundations which can go from the lightest of the light, to the darkest of the dark – we pasted that test. We have our highlighters, which is -again, we like simple but cute makeup where you don’t really have to over do it to be pretty. You can do it on your own, simple and look like you just got a beat at the makeup store,” she explained. I swatched some of the products while at the show, and will definitely be testing it out (and reviewing) soon!

Message through dance

The NG Pro Dance Company had a powerful performance with a message dealing with domestic violence. Everything about this performance was intense.

Ripping the Runway

The runway was blazing! There were toddlers, tiaras, grunge, swimwear, everyday wear and couture.

The Judges’ Verdict

The pressure was on for judges Willie Johnson, Keosha Piper, Xzandria Sanders, and Ronald Jones II as models hit the runway to showcase the designs and their skills. The 2017 award categories were (FFOF) Future Face of Fashion, FFOF Peoples Choice, FFOF Mr. and Mrs. Personality Awards; Female Icon, Male Icon, Peoples Choice, and Producers Awards. Results from the show can be found @DFWTeenFashionWeek on Instagram.

For more information visit www.dfwteenfashionweek.com

Simple Autumn Glow

Fall is my favorite season. I love everything about it, from crisp air, to chilled breezes, to snuggling up with my boo next to a fire, to wrapping up in a plush blanket with a book and let my imagination run wild. Another thing that I love about Fall is the fashion, swraters, turtle necks, pea coats, booties, boots, gloves, hat and scarves all excite me! I love the breathtaking  mixture of rich orange, red and brown tones that the tree paint the sky with during Fall. I love Fall trend makeup as well!

Today’s simple Autumn Glow look with a burnt orange lip is affordable and easy to recreate.

  • Foundation: NYX Total Control Liquid Foundation (Cappuccino)
  • Concealer: NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer (Golden)
  • Contour & Blush: NYX Cheek Contour Duo Palette (Wine & Dine)
  • Brow: MAC eye brow pencil (Spiked)
  • Top Lash Line:Lancôme Grandiose (Matte Noir)
  • Lower Lash Line: MAC Technakohl Liner (Graphblack)
  • Lashes:  Ardell 210 Demi Whispies
  • Lips: NYX Lip Lustre (Moznow) and AJ Crimson’s S+M Metallic Lip Gloss (Coinz)
  • Glow: Fenty Killawatt Hightlight (Chic Phreak)

Quality at a steal!

NXY Total Control foundation is definitely a cosmetic product of quality at an affordable price!

My Experience At The Makeup Show Dallas!

For the past two years I’ve wanted to attend the Makeup Show in Dallas, but, without any industry credentials, I couldn’t even pay my way into the show! [Insert 2017] I made it to The Makeup Show Dallas and my experience was utterly amazing!

The show itself is the “ha-ha,” providing a wealth of information,  resources for makeup artists and beauty industry professionals in every city it hits. The line up for this year’s show included some industry heavy hitters. I was able to meet and speak with a few one on one (screams and faints), and others I was able to experience through their Keynote and Business Forum platforms. Brands ranged from up and coming, and local, to world renowned.

I was especially happy to be in attendance this year after learning from the show’s Director, James Vincent, that Texas is one of the best areas in the world for salon and spa services, and that this year the show focused on brands known for diversity and inclusion. And if you know me, then you know that basically,

Same Fine and the Basics of Beauty

I attended the show both days, and was able to sit in on part of Keynote, Sam Fine’s session on the Basics of Beauty on Saturday. He shared a wealth of information with us, and  since I’m not stingy, I’ll share a few tips that stood out for me.

  • To insure that your product doesn’t settle into fine lines. For eyes, look up and gently pull down or expand the skin under the eyes. For fine lines around the mouth, press your lips together and blow. This causes the skin around the mouth to expand and you’ll be able to buff the product out accordingly.
  • Shimmer eye shadow and women of a certain age. Because the skin becomes more textured the older we get, it’s best to play up the brows and lips to add pop to the look versus using shimmer eye shadow.

Follow Sam Fine on Instagram at @iamsamfine

Danessa Myrick’s Vision Cream Foundation!

One of the busiest booths on the floor was Danessa Myricks’. Every time I walked by or looked, over there was a mob of people rushing the counter. I avoided the crowd for as long as I could, but I’ve had my eye on her Vision Cream Foundation and couldn’t leave the show without it. So when I saw a window of opportunity I took it, and ended up being second in line to be matched for foundation (winning)! The foundation is full-coverage and long wearing, I was matched with the shade W05. Shop Vision Cream Foundation at www.danessamyricksbeauty.com.

AJ Crimson’s Lipsticks!

I also purchased two lipstick shades from AJ Crimson. I purchased the S+M Sultry and Matte, Matte Liquid Lipstick in Keep It Cute. I also purchased the S+M Sultry and Matte, Metallic Lip Gloss in Coinz. I love the metallic orange/gold magic they make when paired. Find the entire collection at www.ajcrimson.com.

Terri Tomlinson’s Flesh Toned Color Wheel!

I have always struggle with finding my foundation match, and knowing what colors to put together that compliment my skin tone. I have cool and warm under tones. I’m cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Trust me, finding my best match is a struggle. Thanks to Terri Tomlinson and the Flesh Toned Color Wheel I will struggle no more! Terri launched her Flesh Toned Color Wheel this summer and is a great investment! Color theory is taught with primary colors, the actual colors. We all know skin color is not actual color. White skin is not the color white. having cool, warm, olive under tones do not translate as cut and dry as looking at colors on a piece of paper.  The Flesh Toned Color Wheel take color theory using true flesh tone color as a base. Purchase your Flesh Tone Color Wheel at Makeup101.com

M.I.L.F.

Never in my young adult life did I EVER imagine being sexually empowered and secure enough in my femininity to hit M.I.L.F. status. But here I am, “HEY GIRL!”  And yes, the euphemism may have some of you clutching pearls and judging. But I’ve birthed two children and this body has been through some things; ain’t nothing wrong feeling great about looking good!

 

Motherhood is an experience like no other. I wouldn’t trade it for the world -well, I wouldn’t trade parts of it. Motherhood is the most instinctually selfless process humanly possible. Understand that most days are not pretty, there simply isn’t time for it all.

And because we are women and much is expected and required of us, it’s easy for us to lose anything we’ve ever known about ourselves when we become a mothers. Add marriage and a job to that equation, and you will unknowingly find yourself stretched as thin as ice. Your days start to run together and life passes you by.

The Hubs and I enjoying date night.

Just like the weather, we go through seasons in our lives. It’s our job to learn how to best navigate through life during each of those seasons. Once we learn how to seamlessly adjust to change, things start looking up. I believe it is true that, “with age comes wisdom.” Settling into this crazy, sexy, cool life that I’ve created for myself and some days are a struggle. I’m not too proud to admit that, but when I’m on, I’m on and it’s so refreshing.

P.H.A.T. (Pretty Hot and Tempting) if I do say so myself.

Self-care is all the rage now days and something that I believe in wholeheartedly. It helps me stay focused and at at my best. In today’s society, we allocate the majority of our time to our to-do list leaving little time for rest and relaxation. That can be problematic. As a mother of two, full-time employee, blogger, beauty expert, freelance writer who is married to a high school athletic coach, I have to take “Me-Time” whenever and however I can get it. Some of the ways I sneak in time for self-care are:

Play in makeup – Little girls aren’t the only ones who love to see themselves dolled up. Playing in makeup is good for practicing  applying your favorite looks. It can help you get used to seeing yourself in colors you may normally not wear, and it’s a self-esteem booster.

Have sex -I’m talking about the sex that YOU like. What you like, how you like it and for how long. It’s your world, squirrel! Have the kind of sex that blows your mind and makes you roll over butt-naked, smiling so hard that you have to hide your face in the sheets so your partner doesn’t witness you melting inside.

Working Out -When my schedule allows, I hit the gym and work up a good sweat. Working out helps to relieve stress and tension, and it also helps maintain weight, build muscle and it’s an overall health benefit.

Spa Treatments -A facial, Swedish massage, manicure and pedicure are the ultimate in self-care. But, they can be pricy so on to the next!

Home Spa Treatments -My Toxin-Free facial is relaxing, affordable and will leave your skin feeling silly smooth.

Sitting in silence –I’m not often afforded the opportunity to have the house (or any space) to myself. When those occasions present themselves, I sit in silence. No TV, no radio, and sometimes no cell phone or any other electronic device.

 Go out –Meet your girls, go to brunch, go shopping, go to an empowerment event, go dancing. Do whatever makes your heart smile -and be sure to laugh and take pictures while you’re doing it.

 When I make sure to take time for self-care it shows! My family and friends notice, but most of all, my husband notices. And trust, when I’m top of my game, he reminds me often. After all, he reaps  the benefits  from it!

Greatness Within -10 Shades Of Success

I attended the 4th Annual 10 Shades of Success Gala in Dallas TX. 10 Shades of Success was founded by Dallas’ own Meko Krout and Karen Michelle, whose mission, through 10  Shades of Success, is to bring forth influential, empowering and successful women; utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. The vision is to become one of the most successful, leading example women organizations within the Dallas sector to raise a generous amount of funds to donate to a non-profit organization and impact the message of charity.

Photo by: Nikki G Productions

Getting the call

I received notification of tickets being available for me in the eleventh hour.  My allergies and sinuses were out of control, and, to be honest, I just haven’t been in the best headspace lately. Doubt and insecurities set in and my original thought was to pass. But, if you know me, then you know that I never pass on an opportunity to get full-on glam. Plus, this year has been Godspeed, so I knew there had to be a reason the opportunity became available for me, so I decided to rest as long as I could and take full advantage of it. My friend, Jaquithia, Let’s Start Giving Foundation, served as my plus one -shout out to her for showing up and showing out on such short notice.

 

The honorees

10 Shades of Success has created a platform of inclusion. Representation matters, even for adults. We see women receive awards and recognition all the time, and we sit on our hands in anticipation of honorees that represent us. There is always usually that one ‘fly in the glass of milk’, and we are grateful for her, but there is still a disproportionate number of women of color completely overlooked. There is a force of women of color who are out on the front lines, sacrificing themselves and time with their families to serve the (our) community, and they, just like everyone else, deserve recognition. There were ten honorees: Dr. Omai Karathrobei Kofi, Tristen Paige, Dr. Estrelita Bruce, Elizabeth Navarrette Savage, LaToya Jones, KJ Bland, Dr. Faith Oliver, Dr. Stacia Henderson Alexander, Jocelyn Ja’Net Willis, and Lady Jade. Each left a nugget of inspiration and motivation upon accepting their award.  

Photo by: BandRi TV

keynote betta’ say that!

Dr. Regina Spellmon, the keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message of steadfastness when faced with obstacles and oppression.  She explained the importance of perseverance, because trouble doesn’t last always! It touched me beyond words, I held back the ugly cry. Before speaking, she told us that she purposely removed all the scriptures she’d originally wrote down to use within her delivery, and let me tell you, we would have had CHURCH up in that building if she hadn’t. We almost had it anyway, honey she did not come to play with us!  

well entertained

 Letitica Owens and Fred Thomas win-hands down as the host and hostess with the mostest. How often do you have hosts who make you laugh to the point of tears, promote selfie taking, AND perform? The DJ turned it out! I’m learning that when DJ Dr. Mack is on the 1’s and 2’s my seat better have strong legs, or it’s gonna be empty, because he knows how to rock a house.  

black excellence, opulence

Style and grace, an overwhelming theme for the night. I felt proud and honored to be amongst such poised women in my community. Tangible, down to earth women who pour their strength and love into my community. The night was nothing short of Black Excellence, and I have heard that next year’s 10 Shades of Success will be a 3-day event! I cannot wait, but until then, I will tap into the greatness in me that I was so eloquently reminded has been with me since conception!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burpees, Bars, and PRs

Last week’s workouts were full of excitement and personal records (PRs). I feel like I’m finally hitting mt stride again with my workout regimen and it’s such a great feeling!  I workout at a Crossfit gym, but haven’t quite gained the strength and stamina to do Crossfit workouts. Not performing at the Crossfit level is a blow to my ego everytime I show up. But I keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race, and I’m making strides towards my goal.

I was so ready for Monday’s workout. Had my bag packed well in advance, even pre-planned my breakfast and lunch for the day. I have been struggling to get enough calories in to provide enough energy for my workouts, so I didn’t eat more than half of the breakfast and lunch I planned for the day. I did, however, drink plenty of water, and I drank a Green smoothie on my way to the box  for an additional boost of energy.

As usual, I checked out the Crossfit workout for the day, and it looked pretty easy. I could see that the Kingdom Athletics board hadn’t changed since the end of the prior week, so I just do what I normally do and headed to the restroom to get changed. After I changed and had my belongings situated, our trainer was announcing that we’d all be doing the same workout. Now, y’all know how excited I get to do Crossfit workouts. Before getting too far ahead of myself, I tested my strength on a bar that had already been loaded up. Had no problem with my text set, and from that point on, it was straight up BEAST MODE! We did deadlifts and kettle bell work. Great freaking workout, I didn’t walk out of gym that day, I soared!

I usually workout on Wednesdays, but decided to change things up a bit and went in on Thursday to do mobility work. It was my trainers birthday and he jokingly programed a birthday inspired workout that was insane. My heart was all in, but my body was like “Girl, we came here to stretch. And you have heartburn from the chicken sandwich meal you ate at Burger King for lunch, so stop the madness.” So, I tucked my tail and did mobility work.  It hurt so good! Being the team player that I am, I  made sure the cheer on the group that was putting in work. They clearly needed all the encouragement they could get.  Thursday was light work, slight work. We did mobility, then 10 minutes as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) weighted lunges and push-ups.

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Friday was a challenge. No real reason for it. It was Friday and I simply didn’t want to go workout.  But over the years, I’ve learned to show up when my energy is good and I don’t have any real plans. I did the Kingdom Athletics workout on Friday,  we did burpees, squats, sit-ups, and ring rows. I loathe burpees (who doesn’t), but Friday wasn’t too bad. She programmed the workout to 5 burpees at time. Five is the maximum number of burpees that I can complete fluidly, so I was motived. Friday’s workout was a great. I worked up a good sweat, it didn’t take too long, and wasn’t too killer.

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I’m in a good place with my workouts. I’ve gotten over the hump of dreading the gym daily, and actually look forward to it now. I’m admiring myself in mirrors more often; and have been getting a lot of comments, inquiries and compliments on my weight loss. With summer being around the corner, this is good. I just have to make sure I continue to do what I need to do, and not mess this up!