Solace.

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ready to go…
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Where heaven awaited.
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Pre-Massage #1
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Pre-Massage #2
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Pre-Massage #3
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Aaaaand look at those eyes. Clearly post-massage!

Your Square Peg was stressed. And has been for a while. So I made a much-needed appointment for this past Saturday with my masseuse (it’s kind of awesome to have a masseuse, huh?) at Solace Day Spa, a nice establishment here in our area. And let me tell you, which you know I will: it was simply mahvelous.

Jackie, she with the heavenly hands, was shocked to see me, being that a year had passed between appointments. So for the next hour and half of my aromatherapy massage, she made up for our lost time. My achy feet, my achy back, even my typing-all-day hands–she lovingly beat those things into submission with scented oils. I particularly enjoyed the massaging of the sinus pressure points in my scalp and neck, which tend to give me lots of trouble. It was such sweet relief. As you can see from that last picture above, I was essentially pudding when the whole thing was over. Later, I mused that it shouldn’t take another year to see my Jackie. So:

1. I pledge to get a massage once a month. Even I have to forego my Starbucks green teas to save some money, I will do it. (And we all know the mortgages we take out to purchase anything from Starbucks.)

2. I pledge to make it every other month if the plans in #1 fall by the wayside. Sigh.

3. I pledge to relax. Lord, I need to relax. I hold all the tension in my life–99% of it coming from the Garden of Eden that is my job–in my neck and shoulders and back. So I need to get away from the desk, walk around, breathe. It’s imperative.

That, in several nutshells, was the wonder of my weekend. How was yours?

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you are full of wonder.

This song came up on the ole iPod shuffle this morning.

Briefly, Emeli Sande is right up there with Lupita in terms of amazing women that I want to have coffee with and talk about our hopes, dreams, and favorite novels. And maybe raid their closets. In other words, I’m slightly obsessed. If you haven’t listened to her music, not sure what you’re waiting for, buddy…

Anyway, I’ve heard the song about 1,000 times by now, but I have to admit that the first strains of the melody and the ensuing lyrics brought tears to my eyes this morning. Was it because of the cloudy, drizzly day? The fact that I was headed to the work, which is always the last place I want to be? Or was it the reminder, by way of song, that there are times when all of us feel slightly less than zero and need to hear that we, as Emeli says, are full of wonder? I think it’s the latter.

So, here you are. You are full of wonder. Even if you doubt yourself, don’t. Because you’re amazing. Happy Friday.

Emeli Sande, Wonder

I can beat the night, I’m not afraid of thunder
I am full of light, I am full of wonder

Woah, oh I came falling under
Woah, oh I am full of wonder

Though our feet might ache, the world’s upon our shoulders
No way we goin’ break, ‘cos we are full of wonder

Woah, oh we came falling under
Woah, oh we are full of wonder

This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbours
Just reach out and pass it on
This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbours
Just reach out and pass it on ooh yeah
This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbours
Just reach out and pass it on ooh yeah
This light is contagious, go, go tell your neighbours
Just reach out and pass it on yeah

Woah, oh we came falling under
Woah, oh we are full of wonder

When everything feels wrong, and darkness falls upon you
Just try sing along, this is a message from Cabana
If your heart turns blue, I want you to remember
This song is for you, and you are full of wonder

Woah, oh we came falling under
Woah, oh we are full of wonder

Umbrellas.

Unlike Southern California, it really doesn’t rain in West Africa. With the exception of the Harmattan season, where I have sweet memories of my mom gently rubbing lip balm across my lips to protect against the dry, windy weather outside, nothing really disrupted the hot, sunny days back home. Imagine the interesting reaction me and my sister had when we witnessed actual seasons upon moving to States. Months after we arrived, we saw our first snowfall. There’s a picture somewhere of the three of us (me, sis, and little bro) outside our first apartment, bound in tight, wool coats and knee deep in snow. Anyway, all that said, snow wasn’t rain.

Oh, rain. Like this lady, I don’t care for it. Not only because it’s wet and messy and sad and wet, but because every rainfall reminds me of my issues with the umbrella. I recall my bestie watching me struggle to close an umbrella while trying to get into her car one afternoon–without getting wet–and, after finally getting in, hearing her say, “Aw, you don’t know how to use an umbrella, do you?” I know how. I just don’t do it gracefully. I fight it. I grapple with it. I get wet. Can you blame me? I had to get used to a brand new object! Come on.

This morning, as I prepared to head outside, I almost shook my fists at the heavens. Rain. Which meant the umbrella.

Care to read up about that pesky item you carry in your purse (or murse)? Here you go.

Umbrellas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Umbrellas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

 

 

Fabu Fashion Tuesday

I just keep changing things up, huh? Let’s just agree that Fabu Fashion can happen any day. Anyway, wanted to share a few outfit deets on my wedding ensemble from this past weekend.

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Dress – Dress Barn. I wanted something summery and cute for the wedding, and this dress definitely fit the bill. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Dress Barn tends to skew toward the older, more mature lady. However, once in a while, I walk in and stumble upon a few beauties, and this one really worked for me, especially with the ruffles in the front, which I think made the dress unique. What worked even more was that it was on sale! Fist pump!

Shoes and Clutch Bag – DSW. Inspired, as usual, by outfits I saw on Pinterest when I was researching the look I wanted for the wedding, I decided to opt for nude pumps rather than the typical black shoe with a red dress. Enter these awesome pumps by Audrey Brooke. Found my size, loved the open toe and the heel, snatched them up. That yummy bag topped off the look.

Earrings and Bangles – Target. One of my go-to spots for accessories.

photo2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hair – After deciding that I wanted a twist out for the day, I co-washed the strands with As I Am Coconut CoWash, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse (can I profess my love for those, by the way?). My wonderful and patient friend then two-strand twisted the hair for me with a combination of Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and As I Am Twist Defining Cream. I kept in the twists for a couple of days before untwisting them the morning of the wedding. I spritzed them first with water, then used a bit of coconut oil as I untwisted. Turned out nice, huh? If I say so myself. Which I do. Here all night, folks.

Makeup – You already know I’m a MAC girl. The liquid foundation, Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, and my beloved Ruby Woo and Currant Lip Liner = all MAC. The Colossal Volum’ Express by Maybelline for mascara and an assortment of eye shadow colors, all of which were purchased at Sally’s Beauty Supply, and I was done and ready.

Those are the deets!

The Wedding.

Like I said, I chose to be joyful.

On Saturday, two of my friends got married. It was a lovely wedding–sweet, simple, understated. I got to see good friends and family and dance these weak knees into lovely oblivion. And, if you’re wondering…

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Overall, I was happy. Inside this mind and heart, however, was a different, rather interesting scene. See, the thing is…back in the day, years and years ago (11 years, I think), I was massively infatuated with the groom. I mean, it was…it was acute. I was done the moment I met him. Let’s move on. Obviously, nothing became of it. My crushdom lasted for a good, long while, and then it departed, as all crushes do, to that place of resignation and acceptance of reality.

To see him marry his love wasn’t easy. To see how he had matured, to see the man he had become, to see him–quite difficult. Back then, all those years ago, I had imagined a similar day with him as a groom but with a different bride. (Guess who?) Nevertheless, I chose to be joyful, remember? So when the past would come creeping and knocking on my heart, I immediately detached myself. I focused on my yummy chicken dinner, my mom’s amazing performance on the dance floor, taking photos of my girls and the venue. I refused to allow the past to trump or to triumph. Did I succeed at being joyful the entire evening? I’ll say this. My intent was to go the whole evening avoiding the groom. Honestly. I didn’t even want to congratulate him. I wanted to hug and congratulate the bride and just be done with it. But that didn’t happen. The ole conscience wouldn’t allow it. I hugged and kissed her, and then, with a deep breath, I approached him and congratulated him. He kissed me on the cheek and thanked me for coming. I almost shed tears. Almost. But it was the past joining hands with the present–what else could I do but almost shed tears? Yet, I didn’t. I smiled and resumed my dancing.

All that said, all those moments aside, arming myself with joy helped. Going in with the self promise of having a good time and detaching myself from melancholy and memory helped. A glass of Verdi Spumante would have helped, too, but water was just fine. My point is that although my feelings for this individual had long dissipated and departed, I’m only human. It was important to walk through those doors with a determination to just enjoy myself. And that, I did.

It was a beautiful day.

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Mr. Pitt.

Not this Mr. Pitt.

MrPitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one.

I’ll refrain from typing too many adjectives about him or going too far with this. Just know that I fell in love with him when I was 15. It was during this scene in Legends of the Fall, a movie we had no right to be seeing. Nevertheless, courtesy of the fact that my old friend’s mom had no problem buying movie tickets for five underage girls, there I was, looking into those gleaming celluloid eyes and that golden hair and falling into knee-deep, eternal, I-will-name-my-firstborn-son-Tristan love with Brad Pitt. It was acute. So acute that I stood up from my seat and began to applaud him. (True story.) The efforts of my laughing friends to sit me down and halt my clapping were futile. I was done: officially a forever fan and poised to become Mrs. Pitt if a need for that ever presented itself.

These days, I have no adolescent Mrs. Pitt delusions, but of the few actors I admire, he’s one of them. (Seriously, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film I can talk about for days, if only for the cinematography and how the movie stayed with me long after it was over.) And so I leave you with a Pitt-related sigh. Happy Throwback Thursday.

This Curvy Square Peg?

Last night, as I stepped into my friend’s car for us to head to an appointment, she regarded me with a blank expression on her face and said the following:

Friend: I almost didn’t recognize you when you came out of the house.
Me: Huh?
Friend: That pencil skirt, that blouse. You have curves! WHY HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING YOUR CURVES?!

I couldn’t help laugh. Afterwards, I thanked her and informed her that, as always, the accepting of my body for what it is will be a constant work in progress. Having hidden in clothes for a long time to prevent (what I perceived) the appraisal of my body and physique by others, turning 30 five years ago changed more than a few things. For one, I stopped dorothyzdressing like my beloved Dorothy Zbornak there to your right. For another, I started making fashion choices that matched my new attitude. Essentially, because I worked on making what was inside all shiny and accepted, my body and I became besties. And, like any friendship, we’re still getting to know each other.

But I have curves? Really?

When I think of curvy ladies, I think of lovely hourglass figures. Of discernible hips. Of a waist. Of a derrière.

I have no discernible waist, the narrowest hips this side of Earth, hardly an hourglass figure, and a backside that must have missed the memo on being shapely in any kind of way. The only curvy things on this body are the reason I hold newborns for a short period of time before handing them back to their mothers and quietly informing them that the babe is hungry. You feel me. So when I reflected on her statement, I was like, for real? Moi? Curvy?

You know what, though? I have ’em. Curves. Although I sometimes gaze at my mother and my Ghanaian girls and some of my awesome friends in wonder and slight envy at their womanly, curvy shapes, I looked in the mirror for a looooonnng time and realized that there are curves there. I saw my waist. I saw those hiding hips. I sighed at the backside, but it’s there, too. It may not be the standard in curves, but it’s my standard, by gum, and I saw some curves! I also looked at myself in the outfit my friend exclaimed over. It was a simple black pencil skirt and a buttoned down coral/white blouse. In examining the way the skirt draped my body and the tucked in look of the blouse though–I looked kind of amazing. What? Yes, indeed. And I loved saying that to my reflection, silently, of course, since I’ve been caught conversing with myself before. Anyway. Saying that felt good and it continues to feel awesome.

This has been brought to you by a square peg who’s becoming progressively aware of a physique that is far from square. Onward and upward.

here we go.

Was this post a result of an insensitive comment thrown in my direction by another woman who felt the need to share her very unsolicited opinions about my hair to me? Perhaps. Opinions. Ain’t. Facts. I cannot stress this enough, party people. Furthermore:

1. The fact that you don’t care for my afro? Means nothing.
2. The fact that, once in a while, I choose to wear a different style and my hair is all curly and coily and you prefer that style over my big, straight afro? Means nothing.
3. The fact that you felt the need to tell me that women of a “certain age” don’t need to wear their hair in an afro style? Means nothing.

Variety being the spice of life, women can do whatever they want with their hair. This means that the same freedom you enjoy in presenting your hair the way you like should be afforded to me. And despite popular opinion, I didn’t return to my natural state to incite conversations, or to provide you with opportunities to offer your–I repeat, unasked for and unsolicited–thoughts about it. K? We good? Good.