Monday, April 10, 2017

I've packed you a bag.....Winter it's time for you to leave!

The seasons have finally changed, time to break out those dresses, skirts, shorts, etc. and bring on the good weather. I am not a fan of winter weather or cold weather period. I am all for 70 plus days and sunshine; I have compiled a list of my must haves now that the season has changed, and will also upload a video of my current skincare routine now that the season has changed; make sure to check out all my latest videos on my YouTube channel.
First things first…..B O O K S!!! I love to read, I know that’s kind of nerdy but in my spare time I do enjoy a good book. I’m drawn to urban fiction and one particular writer… Desiree, I came across her books while browsing the Amazon website. Read a few descriptions and titles and downloaded them to my Kindle app on my iPhone. I love reading a book on the go, and most if not all people have some type of mobile device in their hands at all times!!! So why not include reading into your daily phone, iPad, tablet exposure.
Desiree is a young writer/author that bases her stories on families; most settings are in the south (Atlanta to be precise); there are so many plot twist, unexpected characters, and all around drama that leaves you guessing and simply impossible to put down the book.

My top three favorites and latest release…

Some other great reads…
        The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women who started it (David J. Garrow)
        Arn’t I a Women (Deborah Gray White)
        Living in, Living out (Elizabeth Clark-Lewis)

If you want a feminist, pro woman, African American women throughout U.S history kind of read.

H A I R  C A R E
        It seems now more than ever people are moving away from processed hair rituals, most women are going to back to their roots… literally but doing a big chop (I did late last year), or simply switching to more health organic products. I have come across various products some that work some that don’t on my journey to natural, healthy growing/looking hair! All products or websites listed below are just suggestions and may not work for all hair types.

        Laboratories Klorane – Pure Botanical Care
-         Partnered with Sephora, b-glowing, Beauty Habit, and BirchBox to name a few. Klorane is a very eco conscious company that carefully selects natural resources to make its products. They are best known for …

Dry Shampoowith Oat Milk (retailed at $10.00)

Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins – Thinning Hair (retailed at $9.00)

*All of their products are very affordable and informative!!

Edges…. Ladies and Gentleman. I do not have a special website or store to visit I have been using only two inexpensive products Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Keratin Vitamins. 
Both products i picked up at my nearest target but if you prefer online shopping click the image (on sidebar)!!! 

 SheaMoisture’s 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a nutrient-rich oil with ingredients such as Omega-9 that significantly revert hair loss especially around the perimeter (edges) of your head!! This retailed in store and online at $9.00. 

I really don't have a preference in terms of the keratin pill, some people use products like HairFinity, i have a good friend that swears by it and others like myself just want the direct source/benefits with no additives. It all depends on body type and pre-existing conditions, but a pretty small dosage along with the oil, and consistency with both methods will ensure hair growth. 

Stay tuned for part two THIS THURSDAY for more steps to spring forward....I will be featuring makeup, skin care, and create a video for my updated skin routine!!!! 

Make sure you’re keeping up with me on all my social media sites!!! Just yesterday I received a notification that I made the Dean’s list!!! I am beyond proud of myself, and I hope any other students reading my blog stay motivated and focused!!

All sites are linked below and are easily viewed in full browser if on a mobile device!!

Please let me know if you have used any of the products listed below or know of any other great company’s!!!

Xoxoxo, Toni 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cosmically Challenged or nah?

          I have struggled the past couple of days with finding topics to write for my blog. I told myself to think of something simple, like a behavior, feeling, etc. that are a part of my routine. Horoscopes! Is what I came up with, every morning I check my daily horoscope via the “Daily Horoscope” app, with my choice of a turquoise background. If I don’t check it right away I check it as soon as I get to class or work.

          My day just does not seem to begin if I don’t check my horoscope, it sometimes gives me confidence and insight into my day ahead.  If I have extra time, I will reference those similarities to that of Yahoo and their horoscope page. Has your day/week/month, questions, or decisions been based off a horoscope?

          I was born July 12, so that makes me a cancer! My profile:
Compassionate Cancer, your nurturing spirit is like a welcome-home embrace, feathery as a goose-down blanket and stable as a pillar in the Roman Colosseum. You're the zodiac's Mother Goddess, ruler of the nest. Playing caretaker comes as naturally to you as breathing. Not that you'd bless just anyone with your maternal gifts. Over time, your shell hardens as you learn to protect your soft underbelly from harsh outside influences—callous, careless people who don't respect the sanctity of tender emotions. All applicants desiring your trust must prove their merit and valor. You'd rather have three amazing friends than 50 casual acquaintances.   
For you, intimacy is the be-all, end-all—even if it takes you aeons to get to that stage. Female friends are your lifeblood, as the spirit of sisterhood blazes fiercely within you. Unfortunately, your trust issues can limit you from venturing into the world. At some point, you must decide to take a risk; otherwise life becomes dull and decidedly limited. (yesterdays post)

Because you're ruled by the emotional moon (as well as being a highly sensitive water sign), your feelings wax and wane without explanation.
Romantically, your standards can be breathtakingly high, you weather long bouts of celibacy waiting for The One to reveal himself. Fortunately, your destiny is not to be alone. That family-oriented prince is a stone's throw away, waiting for you to lower the drawbridge so he can gallop in without a stinging rejection (you can be intimidating, believe it or not).

Ruler: the empathetic, ever-changing, emotional moon

Your gifts: creativity, emotional intelligence, a nurturing and sisterly spirit

Your issues: cliquishness, cheapness, cattiness (cheapness…yes)

Your saving grace: your razor-sharp (and petal-soft) maternal instincts

Your path: to create the spirit of family wherever you go

Your fashion inspiration: Louis Vuitton, Badgley Mischka

Love 'em: Scorpio, Capricorn

Notsomuch: Sagittarius, Aquarius (I actually have a good friend that’s an Aquarius)

Celebrity starmates: Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Gisele B√ľndchen, Pamela Anderson

Sooooooo basically I cry a lot, I will be a great mother, and I have expensive taste but I’m cheap.  

          Some of the traits mentioned are factual and I have experienced a great deal of, I think I have always been in tune with my cosmic background and shifts in the atmosphere. I am a very intuitive person and take pride in my ability to read a situation or person.
          I have read ‘forecasts’ that have been completely wrong and then I’ve read some that have been spot on...
DISCLAIMER: this doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in a higher being or put all my hope and faith in a horoscope.
Do you guys read horoscopes? Repost memes? Hashtag your pics with #airesseason, #libraseason etc.?, or do you not believe at all?

Leave your comments about your experiences or answers to the questions above!!!

Make sure you’re subscribed to all my social media sites (see drop down at top of page or links at the bottom of page). 

Leave me suggestions on my sites or here about what you would like to read next….I’m thinking about doing short fiction stories (don’t hold me to it)

Xoxoxo, Toni 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The nest isn't big enough for the both of us….

   Welcome back everyone!!! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to all my loyal viewers, thank you for stopping by twice a week to read my content and to those of you who comment on my posts with kinds words of encouragement and useful tips. Your support does not go unnoticed, it hasn’t been a month since I’ve started my blog and it has already received over 300 page views!!!! (whoooooo)

   I am so proud of myself for being consistent and staying motivated when my odds seemed bleak!

   Today’s topic has much to do with my personal life and current circumstances. A new addition has been added in my household, which is a positive overall and a realization of my time at home. It has really made me focus more on what my future should look like. Earlier this week I registered for my last semester of my undergraduate career!!!
   I am beyond excited and thrilled and feel totally validated; I overcame and have made it to the finish line!! Please leave comments about your feelings during your last semester at university or post high school education; what did you major in and why?
   I am registered to take my LSAT this June and, determined to attend my first semester in law school Fall of 2018. So, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do after undergrad, but I don’t have any idea of where I want to go (to live) and start that chapter of my life. Back to my home situation, I have always enjoyed my own space, been responsible for bills, etc., and had a great pride in being independent.

   I have prayed about the day where I wouldn’t live with family and I’d really be “free”, I am somewhat free now but not how I would like (if that makes sense).

So, my dilemma is how do I know when my time is up?

1.      When you get excited when no one is home?
2.    You get annoyed when someone harasses you while you’re in the bathroom?
3.    When you must specifically schedule time to occupy areas of the house?

I’m pretty much experiencing all the above, in addition to my longtime boyfriend wanting me to move in with him…
I tend to overthink and highly scrutinize… you know the whole pros and cons list or in some cases skipping that and just thinking about all the things that could go wrong.
I am so use to having a plan and then a backup plan and then a backup plan to that backup plan. But, then I have moments of deep thought about my only ONE life I have, and at this very moment I’ll never be this young again with all that I have now, so why not go with it? Why not live? Why not take the risk? I’ll never know what something is like if I never give it a try.

I will keep you guys updated!!! For now, leave me comments of what point in your life you had to make a big decision, what motivated you? Was it intuition? Family? Or pure risk (going with the flow)?
Additional update I have uploaded a new tutorial on my YouTube channel so make sure to check that out and if you haven’t already check out the video that correlates with my last post “Affirmations aren’t realistic”.

Thanks for stopping by make sure to like, comment, subscribe to this site and all my social media sites!!! Leave me comments and suggestions!!!

Xoxox, Toni 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Affirmations aren’t realistic?

For the longest time, I didn’t believe in affirmations, I didn’t think they were effective or realistic. Saying things out loud or to yourself daily, just didn’t seem like a realistic goal to me. I have to many other things to preoccupy my mind and to remember; being a senior with a huge course load (7 classes) and two part-time jobs. Life’s pressures are like roller coasters, one day you can be up the next you could be down. One day things can be going your way and you think you’re clear out of your rut, but just around the corner is the bottom of that roller coaster (sorry for the visual aid – hope no one is getting motion sickness).
    Through my academic career and this new ‘adulting’ phase of my life I have learned to look at hardships, setbacks, and misfortunes as breakthroughs! My ability to ‘breakthrough’ a tough situation and make it to the other side, telling myself that my circumstances could be worst. The entire time not realizing that I am making up affirmations. It was different when I read someone else’s motivational blog, speech, video, etc. Those affirmations were for them, they weren’t for me; yes, most affirmations can be universal, but the key is to listen to your voice and apply words/sayings that best fit your life.

    4 easy Steps to making your own affirmations...
1.       Listen, Listen, Listen to your voice (the little voice inside your head)
-   You may already have affirmations that you didn’t realize.
2.     Evaluate your life
-   Make a pros/cons list, reflect on years past (what, where, and how was your life 2 years ago?)
3.     Don’t overthink it!
-   Keep your affirmations simple, they shouldn’t be unrealistic, they should be believable…the only impression you’re making is on yourself
4.     Be hopeful
-   The whole idea of an affirmation is to confirm something or some feeling that you want, you have, or you see. Declare your feelings and be hopeful, uplifted, and inspired.

I hope that everyone has a great take away from this blog! I don’t have the all the answers, just wanted to share my process with all of you, please let me know what are some of your goals, affirmations, and motivations are in the comment section!

A YouTube video will be posted no later than 6 pm EST in correlation to this blog post, so make sure you’re subscribed to my channel and have your notifications turned on!!

Keep up with me, links listed below and on home page (all links can be viewed in full browser if on mobile device)

Xoxoxo, Toni

Monday, March 20, 2017

What is an HBCU?   

Up until my senior year in high school I didn’t know what a HBCU was…I was enrolled in PWI’s for as long as I could remember. Always being the token African American kid in almost all my classes; now reflecting on that situation with today’s topic I realize it didn’t bother me then and it doesn’t bother me now. I think cultural submersion is best for any person to truly gain knowledge of others unlike themselves.
Oooo the easy days when life just seemed to flow and you really didn’t put much effort into being you; you were cute because you were young and your skin didn’t break out like it does now at the thought of sweets. My high school days (stares into space smiling), it was the best and most stressful time, as it is for any student. My junior year- SAT’s, proms, college applications, and career choices. I never had an idea of where I wanted to go to college, I just knew that I wanted to study government/politics and later become an attorney.
I applied to the University of New Haven, Jacksonville State, Howard University, and Virginia Wesleyan. I was accepted into all and I chose Howard. Not really understanding what that meant and what the institution stood for. My senior assembly with the principals and support staff included slide shows of college finances and college preparation, we never discussed the different types of universities.

Now here I am 4 years later at the ‘Mecca’ wondering if I would change schools or experiences… and I wouldn’t. People that attend HBCU’s get a lot of flak for not experiencing diversity and inclusion, but I find it to be just the opposite. Howard University is NOT I repeat NOT 100% African American; there are many mixed cultures, whites, and Asians included; that attend Howard proudly. This could be a con, but is systematically a pro. With a majority, African American run facility- it makes you appreciate and value your experience even more. So many of us are constantly trying to prove ourselves in a sea of people that don’t look like us, but what do you do when your instructor and classmates look just like you?

I felt for a long time that my presence wasn’t essential, there were a thousand others wanting to be in my position and they could claim it; but then I realized I needed this opportunity to change old habits and perceptions, gain new knowledge and pride in who I am and what I look like, and forever claim ‘Excellence in Truth and Service’.
I would highly recommend going to a university out of state and HBCU’s; I don’t think there is anything wrong with submerging yourself around different cultures and societies. Exclusion takes place when the mind refuses to be included with the masses.

I hope you all enjoyed today’s talk, make sure to like, comment, and subscribe!!! I hope my loyal readers like the new customized theme and color!!

All social media accounts are linked (view in full browser).

Thursdays topic hasn’t been finalized but the title is “When is it ok to make a bucket list?”

Xoxox, Toni

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I’m avoiding you, ‘cause you’re avoiding me….

What is avoidant personality disorder? According to multiple sources, including the trusted Wikipedia; Avoidant Personality is when an individual often vigilantly appraises the movements and expressions of those they come into contact. Their fearful and tense demeanor may elicit ridicule from others, which confirms their self-doubts. They are very anxious about the possibility that they will react to criticism with blushing or crying. They are described as being “shy”, “timid”, “lonely”, and “isolated” (
I stumbled upon this term after completing a relationship questionnaire; the questionnaire is designed to predict what kind of attachment you display while in a relationship. Surprisingly, I was not shocked or in disagreement. I do become distant in terms of my feelings and thoughts in past relationships. I was so curious about this topic; I did more and more research that led me to scrutinize my childhood (attain most learned behaviors). A precious time that can go so wrong or so right and ultimately shapes your outlook on life, mannerisms, and so much more. As a child I moved A LOT, that contributed to my detachment, I was isolated, I have only been to one slumber party, not many birthday parties, and minimal play dates. It was not until I was in high school that I tried to develop these social skills, but even then, I only had one real person I felt secure with and developed a true friendship.
Security really is a big factor in most if not all the decisions I make. I am very observant of my surroundings and people that I meet; almost like summing people up before they even know and can say otherwise (reading a book by its cover). Which for a long time I thought was a positive; I have made some accurate character judgements and been thankful for that inside voice.
However, I do experience periods of awkwardness and intimidation. I do not doubt that I am a sociable person, but why do I have a noticeable limitation. Quick Story Time: A short while after New Year’s 2017- an old friend and I were walking through the mall, talking amongst ourselves when a man approached us trying to strike up a conversation and flirt (I am assuming). I found myself smiling and looking away, still walking, as if he had not said anything, my friend responds and mentions I do not like “awkward situations”, we both laugh and go on our way. I did not think much of the incident until weeks later, after I took the questionnaire. I have never had a conversation about my social skills, it was ironic, and more eye opening for me that my friend said it aloud, as if it had previously been a secret.
I have always had an issue speaking in front of others (public speaking). Rushing through the speech, heart racing, and inability to make eye contact for the entire duration.
Just FYI I am just self-diagnosing I have NO medical training whatsoever and I have not sought psychiatric opinion/perspective.
Therefore, what are the next steps, what are some solutions…?
Well I have started this blog and my YouTube channel as an outlet to getting in front of a camera as a step towards being able to talk in front of an audience (strangers). My course load in college requires that I make presentations and collaborate on assignments, and just my will/desire that I have to become more sociable.

Let me know what some of your suggestions!!!
In addition, stay tuned for Tuesdays talk about the college life, with a focus on HBCU’s.

All social media sites linked (view in full browser).

Xoxox, Toni

Monday, March 13, 2017

Who Really is the Role Model?

   The young, bright, honest, and hilarious sidekick was featured in a challenge video posted to my channel this past weekend. My baby sister (12-year difference), has been my number one supporter during my time on YouTube, and is a daily reminder of just how old I am getting. She reminds me to be careful for what I wish for…. jk (maybe).
  Her youth gives her the advantage of brutal truth telling and mindful observations of behaviors. Make sure to check my video out to see just what she thinks of me. However, the time (9 years) that she has been in my life, She’s motivated, encouraged, and inspired me. All my actions aren’t really just my own, I have someone who is watching my every move and will be affected by the decisions I make. The old saying “lead by example”, well I want to set the best examples possible for her!
   I consider her a role model, because she’s my total opposite, so comfortable with interacting with others and social media crazed to name a few. At this stage in her life she is fearless, able to make judgements and decisions without seeking the opinions of others or getting in her own way.

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:25)

Make sure you’re subscribed to all my social media sites and tune in for Thursday’s topic of self-diagnosis. 

xoxo, Toni
The Subtle Green Leprechaun

Featured Beauty look of the Week (03/13) is in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day. I created this look with all drugstore products…. listed below. This look actually took me 42 minutes to film, I’m amazed and proud that I was able to edit the video down to 11 minutes. I hope you all enjoy and if you have any questions you can email me directly, leave a comment here, or on my main channel. Make sure you’re subscribed to my channel with your notifications turned on for my weekly uploads (Tuesdays!!!)

All social media sites are also linked on this site!!! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Everyone, be safe and drink responsibly.

3 Leaf
Maybelline New York (Emerald Smokes 48Q)
88 Neutral Color Eyeshadow Palette (Dark Grey)
Elf Eyeshawdow Primer
Hard Candy, Take Me Out Liner (Kryptonite)
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Eye Crayon (702 Impressive Brown)
Elf Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara (81801 Black)
Maybelline The Classic Volum'Express (Very Black)
Maybelline Eyestudio Liner (Blackest Black)

L.A Girl Pro.prep (HD. high-definition smoothing face primer)
Maybelline Fit Me! (355 Coconut)
Maybelline Fit Me! Set + Smooth (355 Coconut)
Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer (30 Cafe)
bhCosmetics Concealer (BH-6300-012 Dark)
e.l.f. High Definition Powder (83335 hint of tint)
Urban Decay de-slick Makeup Setting Spray (Oil-Control)

Gold Rush Eye & Cheek Palette (bhCosmetics)

Mac Lip Pencil (Cork)
IrisColors Touch of Heaven Lip Gloss (305 Nude Cold)

Xoxoxo, Toni

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What does it really take to be a Youtuber? Does it take money? Knowing the right people? Being consistent with uploads? I think yes to all those questions!.

When I began my YouTube journey I had a vision, a vision so great and captivating! I told myself that I wouldn’t get discouraged, I would get 1 million subs, and everyone would love me. Wishful thinking! I did a lot of research before I even started my YouTube channel; I have researched YouTube and watched my favorite YouTubers for at least 3 years now. So, why did I just decide to make a YouTube channel? To be completely honest, I was bored. I have no real social life, all I do is work (2 jobs) and go to school (senior @ the mecca), and earlier this year self-diagnosed (avoidance personality disorder). 

I wanted to do something so different and so out of routine! I drafted what my YouTube channel would look like, what I would talk about, and my channel name all in a day; I really felt proud of myself. I’ve had the support of my mother and younger sister from the beginning (my sister is featured in the first 4 videos). I think I was at 0 subscribers and 0 views for at least a week, but that didn’t stop me. I am currently at 5 subscribers and 98 views, which isn’t much compared to others but it’s a start.

Some tips I have learned since being on YouTube....

1. Be consistent
- even though you don’t have many subscribers or views at all, consistency is key! YouTube will promote you for free!! With my 5 subscribers, I have managed to monetize my videos and set up an AdSense account (current balance $0.03). 
2. Tag
- TAG, TAG, TAG! you must tag your videos if you want them to be watched. popular tags can be searched depending on the content your discussing and tagging also insures that your video can be grouped with similar content and recommended for the viewer.
3. Equipment
- I am no expert in equipment! my current set up is a DIY diva ring light (click for video), my iPhone 7 plus, and a TV stand. Natural lighting is also your best friend, mainly because its free! 
4. Motivate
- you must motivate yourself!!! never give up, the results aren’t going to happen overnight!! unless you pay for views and subs--- which I don’t recommend! 

Thanks for reading my little rant, comeback tomorrow for another topic!
Make your subscribed to my YouTube channel- TalksWithToni for a Saint Patrick’s Day Makeup Look

xoxo, Toni 

I've packed you a bag.....Winter it's time for you to leave! The seasons have finally changed, time to break out tho...