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Beauty Review: Barlean’s Essential Woman


barleans_essential_woman_capsI’m not the best at taking my vitamins but I understand how important they are to my overall health. Of late, I’ve been really interested in how my hormones work and I’ve been adding supplements to help boost my immune system, ease premenstrual symptoms and to promote growth and glow with skin and nails. A friend of mine told me about Barlean’s Essential Woman, it combines flaxseed oil, rosemary oil, and evening primrose oil which is essential for overall health and hormone balancing. I started using it during a time when my cramps were really bad and my hormonal acne was out of control. After two weeks of talking these supplements my skin calmed down and my cramps are much more manageable. I also take magnesium, black seed oil, B12 and probiotic. What’s in your medicine cabinet?



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Sweet Release

Confession: I love sweets and junk food. There was a time that I could control my consumption but of late, it’s totally spun out of control . Weekend treats have turned into daily treats which has caused weight gain and pimples. I’ve been scaling back and upping my water in an attempt to curb my cravings, but today I started to think about WHY I keep reaching for chocolate, chips and burgers. The answer is STRESS. When Esther found out that Haman was trying to destroy her people in a evil plot, I’m sure that caused her great stress and anxiety. I’m not dealing with anything that dire but I’m amazed at how calm Esther was in the face of death. It’s fair to assume that because she wholly depended on God that she knew He would rescue her. Over the last few years, I’ve forgotten that God is an expert on “rescuing.” 2016 in particular was a complete shit-show and I’m just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m a worry-wart by nature and when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to chew. I decided that instead of turning to something sweet to distract myself, I would open up my Bible and spend more time with God. I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t had a piece of chocolate since I’ve amped up my worship experience but I have felt a calming peace that I haven’t experienced in awhile. That coupled with cardio and lots of water guzzling has helped me shed some pounds in the last few weeks. Life is stressful and expecting hardships and distress to evaporate into thin air is pretty ridiculous but finding ways to manage is a key faction in achieving overall wellness.  Below are some of the things I now do when life starts to spiral out of control

1) Exercise: My favorite way to break a sweat is with old-school workout videos but even going outside for a brisk walk with a great playlist can do wonders for your stress levels.

2) Burn some candles or incense: I like to buy my aromatherapy products from street vendors in Harlem. My favorites are white sage, myrhh, and lavender.

3) Water: A gallon a day is the goal. Water helps me with my tension headaches, achy joints and abstaining from sugary drinks has really helped my skin calm down.

4) Meditation: For me this typically looks like worship, but sitting still for 15 minutes, doing yoga, reading Rumi or counting your blessings are all great ways to remain centered.

5) Journaling: Writing down your emotions and feelings are great ways to keep abreast on how you manage stress and a great guide on if you need to seek professional health. I’m a big advocate for counselling and there a lot of affordable options, like TalkSpace which allows you receive counselling via a app.

This journey isn’t easy but it’s worth it and together we can make a huge impact on how we deal with stress. It’s so important to keep in mind that this moment, however difficult, is for character building and development. WE can do this!


The Art of Letting Go


Hey  Queens! I hope everyone had a great and restful weekend, as we head into this new week, I’m focusing on “letting go.” I tend to wait and hold on to situations way past their due date because I’m afraid of change. I’ve put my life on hold for years because I’m afraid of what’s on the other side of my dreams. My fear of “letting go” has caused nothing but headache, heartache, and stress because when the situation “let me go” it was normally in a horrific and painful way. This year, I’m weeding out my “emotional attic” and throwing out some relationships and grudges that I’ve been struggling to let go of for years. The task is arduous, but so necessary for mental my wellness. I had to let a close family member go recently, and I’m still reeling from it. I’ve tried my best over the last few years to get to a place where we could co-exist without conflict, and as much I as poured into the situation, I always feel drained and unloved. I don’t think I’ll ever stop interacting with him, but my expectations has changed.  I’ve slowly come to the realization that when respect and honesty are no longer present, expectations must change and I’m not a mean or cruel person because I have to look out for myself. Now, I’m not telling you that you should chop people off completely, I believe in working with people, but just not at the expense of my happiness and emotional well-being.

A few months ago, I had first hand experience that dealing with people who don’t see the humanity in your or who treat you cruelly is a perfect recipe for a complete breakdown. I was in a crazy situation last summer where I was living with people who I despised. Everyday was hell and the evidence of that was on how haywire my skin, waistline and moods were. I  was making myself sick by staying in a place that was no longer peaceful. I used to time the moments that I would leave the house and tip-toe around, just so that I could avoid any face-to face interaction. One day, I said “enough” and I got my stuff and I left. I was scared, I wasn’t sure if the new situation would be better but I knew that the longer I stayed in my present situation, I was basically welcoming the abuse. Now looking back it was such a good decision. I never knew that peace was so expensive and my heart and mind started to heal immediately.

What are you holding on to? What are you afraid to let go of? Is it a relationship, a bad job, a old friend, your church or the guilt of your past? Today is the day that we face it and acknowledge that even though we’re not ready to completely let go, we know that somethings has to change for our betterment.












Queen Vashti Syndrome

It’s day 2 of the Esther Experiment! How are you feeling? Are you feeling invigorated and centered or tired and weary? I keep vasicilating between all 4 feelings but whenever you make a life-style change, insecurities, fears, and anxiety will try to take you under! I’ve stuck to my worship, diet, and exercise plan and I feel great. There’s a sense of purpose and mental clarity now that I’ve started to streamline my day and do things that encourage the “new” woman that I’m creating.

While reading the Book of Esther for worship this morning, I kept getting stuck on the unwillingness of Queen Vashti to come before King Xerses. There has been times, actually many times, when I knew I should come before God but I was afraid. I felt unworthy of a audience with Him. My Esther Experiment is my way of reclaiming my self-worth, breaking free from strongholds, realizing my potential and moving towards my destiny. I know there will be moments of self-doubt, I know, the urge to give up will be strong but I also know that I was raised by strong women, women who didn’t cringe in the face of adversity and women who dug deep when the odds were against them!

Are you tired of living a mediocre life? Do you know you’re not reaching your full potential? Rebuild with me, discard bad habits and let’s grow and learn together on this spiritual journey.

You can follow my journey on instagram @ tymbeauty and on twitter at tymbeauty1

Esther Experiment



Over the next 9 weeks, I’ll be embarking on a journey of a lifetime. I have some major decisions to make which will force me to decide on the next path I want my life to go. I’m scared, anxious, worried, and frustrated but I’m also positive that the next few weeks will be character building and emotionally stimulating. I’m calling the next few weeks my “Esther Experiment.” I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Esther, her strength, conviction and tenacity even when presented before her enemies. She didn’t run, cry, or fret, instead she focused on avenging her people and beseeched the Throne of Grace when she needed spiritual guidance:

That’s exactly what I’m seeking, complete wellness and understanding of my lifes purpose. That means going back to basics and rebuilding from the inside out. Esther spent 6 months preparing herself to be presented before the King and though  I don’t have 6 months, I believe if I’m focused and intentional I can break a few chains and make some progress in 9 weeks. The last two years have been challenging and I want something better for myself. In order to change the trajectory of my life, I have to stop the direction in which it’s going. To do that, I’m focusing on mind, body, and spiritual edification. Every day, I want to spend time working and studying on these three areas, because I don’t think you can expect healing in one area without paying attention to the others, true change is holistic.

This is a rough draft of my daily plan, I’ll edit as we go along.

2 hours of spiritual/Bible study

1 hour of movement/exercise

1 hour of reading

I plan to attend church regularly, i won’t indulge in processed foods, drink only water, get in bed by 11 pm, spend less time watching Netflix and more time in prayer.

Lets see what happens over the next 9 weeks, will you join me?










I haven’t spoken about my #womenmarchnyc experience yet, and I will. I wasn’t sure what to expect as a triple minority. One of the highlights was at the end of the march while I was heading to 51st station. I was walking with a bunch of older white people and this Jewish lady started yelling.
JL: Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!
Me: *head snaps up* Black Liv- wait am I the only Black person here?
Group of white people: *polite laughter*
JL: Don’t worry hun, I got your back! Maybe if these White people had shouted “Jewish Lives Matter” there wouldn’t have been a Holocaust.
Me: Laaaaawd, take it easy! 😂
*we held hands and shouted “Black Lives Matter” till we got to my station*

Sometimes you’ll find allies in the most random places. Keep your eyes opened.



Happy New Year and all my love in 2017! So much has happened over the last few weeks, but I’m back on track and ready to share and connect. 2016, was a rough year for me, health-wise, relationship wise, everything-wise. Lots of set-backs and disappointments but I’m in a really healthy place right now, where I want to turn the chaos of the last year into something fruitful and worthwhile. I would be a liar, if I said that I know the direction that  and I want this blog to go in. I want to talk about the things that make me happy, inspire me, keep me grounded and what I do to be fulfilled. That means being honest about some of my short-comings, my lack of discipline, my ego and my anxiety about certain things. I’m scared but hopeful that I can work through my issues and find a group of like-minded people who I can share and bond with. So, will you share this journey with me The highs, low, and all the nooks and crannies that are uncertain? Will you rejoice and cry with me? Most importantly, can we learn from each other? Let’s face everything together, it will be challenging but I believe we’ll be much stronger people because we did this as a team!

You can follow me here for random updates!

and on twitter @topazmckenzie on instagram topazyolande


just a word of advice

I’m a hypocrite but GET YOUR EYEBROWS DONE. Stop doing it at the nail salon, go to Benefit or a Brow Bar and get your eyebrows shaped by a professional. Its more expensive and takes about 20 minutes but “bad eyebrows” take months to grow out. If you haven’t had your eyebrows mapped for your face yet, treat yourself and do it. It’s important and life-changing.



500 Challenge




Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and I cannot wait! I love spending time with friends but I also love all the delicious food and my family puts on a spread. The only downside is that I tend to gain at least 5 pounds during the holiday and I really want to enjoy my favourite treats while keeping physically active. So I’ve decided to do a work out challenge and I want YOU to join me!

So this is the challenge, everyday until December 23rd we’re going to do the “500 Challenge”

100 Crunches, 100 push ups, 100 Burpee Hybrids, 100 Squats and 100 leg lifts.

Are you up for the challenge? This isn’t to replace your normal workout, it’s to add to it. My suggestion is to break the sets up (10, 20, 30) and to do the workout over the course of several hours. Let’s get physical!


*for safety, please google or YouTube the different moves for proper form








Things Will Fall Apart

And when everything is falling apart,

when life presents roadblocks,

when breathing is difficult and no one understands.

When money doesn’t stretch,

when your friend turns into a foe,

when those you trust, leave.

When simple discussions turn into arguments,

when sweetness turns into bitterness.

When life is painful,

when your good deeds go unnoticed.

When people talk about you instead of pray for you.

When all you want to do is lay down, when you’ve slept for hours but you’re still tired.

These are the moments that you have to dig deep into the well of faith.

This is when you have to shut out naysayers and lean on your inner strength

Don’t allow this moment to derail or thrwart your efforts

Your uneasiness might very well be the gate to next sucess

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