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Thursday, December 31, 2015
Kicking Start Your New Year With Foundation Garments (The Low Down On Period Panties And Waist Training)
Period Panties by THINX WORKS! I love them. They feel great. They stay dry. They protect your clothes. I had them on during a road trip for over 18 hours with no problem! Just be careful these panties can get full. I wore them just long enough to get it to the over full point. If they get over full the stitching can be an area of leaking but not really. I like it better than pads and tampons and I think they are great to wear while sleeping. I feel it is prefect for preteens just starting their menstrual cycle. Read the washing directions.
Now on to waist training, which I like. What I don't like is over paying for something when it is not the best product on the market. That waist training company that the Kardashian's keep promoting is over priced by over $60.00 and it is not the best one. How do I know? I own two of them. I will talk more about that company later. Very unhappy with that company and their over priced under performing products. I am not naming the company because I want to devote more time to deal with this company. Now on to Divafit, my waist trainer of choice, is not cheap. It is also not super expensive. I love this product. The sizes are true to fit. A medium is a real medium. They fit well and are comfortable. The quality is very good, too. It is much better than the one the Kardashian girls keep taking selfies in. I also own Miss Belt Instant HourGlass Shape, thanks to Faith giving it to me as a Christmas gift. It is cheap and it is worth it. It makes my back feel better and supported. It feels like a back bra, lifting you up. It is bulkier than real waist trainers but for true back support this one feels better. Comfortable enough to sleep in and worth the money. Waist training has some benefits beyond making you look smaller. I swell up a lot, especially while driving or flying. I have to wear compression socks and stockings. I really should wear compression sleeves for my arms. I think waist trainers that offer compression can offer help for those who need it. It is not just vanity people. I take long road trips and even if I am fasting my body can gain 10-20 pounds in water weight in one day. It is very scary and can take 2 days to recover. When traveling I must wear compression everything. Waist training has a point.
Monday, December 28, 2015
The 4 have had a very odd year this year and yet it was not so odd. It was full of ups and downs, arguments and fights followed by impossible achievements. This Christmas like this year was very odd. On paper we had the best Christmas ever!!! It was filled with evening gowns, 100% silk linens and major property acquisitions. There were no real major fights during the Holidays and we had a beautiful Christmas tree. We even have great pictures of the four of us together. On paper everything was perfect. In the years to come that is how I hope to remember everything. Off paper was something the world doesn't see. Everything we did, every present we gave each other, every picture we took, was part of our working Christmas. Yes, even on Christmas Day, we worked.
We each purchased beautiful dresses for each other. They look beautiful and we look beautiful in them but every dress we bought was for an ad campaign. We didn't pick the dresses because we wanted them. We picked the dresses because we needed them. Do we love Ralph Lauren? Yes. Would we have made different purchases if these were actual gifts? Yes. We were so under pressure the entire month of December that we didn't give ourselves a chance to even think. We each got at least 5-8 great gowns and dresses. If it were a holiday shopping spree it would have been a fun one. We would have enjoyed ourselves. Perspective is everything. We were panicked. We wanted a certain look so we didn't go for what we wanted for Christmas. I look at the rack of clothes in our "war room" and they really are amazing but I can't say they were gifts because they weren't. If I could do the moment again I would remove the pressure we felt to get things done. I would have noticed sooner that I am in a store with my beautiful mother and my two beautiful sisters shopping for dresses. Next year and the years to follow will be working Christmases, too. I know this because of the type of work we do but I am going to have to learn to change my perspective. A woman in the grocery store was talking to her sister on the phone. I over heard her ask her sister if she wanted to go dress shopping. It was only then that I realized that I had that moment with my sisters already and I missed it! When family works together it is hard sometimes. We are entertainers, event planners and we host guest from around the world. Entertainers never take off for holidays, hospitality never takes off for Holidays. Technically we did not give each other gifts, but we can think of what we did purchase this year as a working gift.
I did however buy silk for each of us. I had been meaning to for years but silk, even on sale, even with a coupon, is expensive. I spent well over $300.00. I think it was closer to $500.00. I should know but I am trying to avoid becoming depressed. So why did I buy silk now? It wasn't for Christmas, although my purchase arrived just before Christmas Eve. I bought it because I am trying my best to avoid a major problem with our hair. Yea, I know just get a regular satin pillow case and hair cap. I tried that. I have used that for years. Silk is better. Satin served me well but it was not enough. Satin keeps hair healthy but it doesn't protect as well as silk. Oh and just so you know satin is the type of weave of the fabric it is not fabric. Satin can be any fabric including silk. I also learned that real silk is sold by the weight not thread count. Well, to get back to the topic. Something really bad happened that I don't want to talk about, but the silk was all I could do to help the situation. I one day I will have the money to get them piles and piles of silk for fun.
The property we bought is a historic building. It is a building everyone notices when you drive by and we will make it a place people won't forget. We closed on this building in December which is a great Christmas present for all of us but...this was a lot of work. Several months of stress and more to come. Still this was the best moment we had this Holiday Season. Maybe by New Year's Eve we will take a moment and really celebrate. Again perspective is everything. We need to take just 30 minutes and say wow. Instead we are busy renovating the building and booking guest at our properties and burning the candle at both ends. I want the 4 to see that they are not just working, but achieving great things. I just need them to take in that this is Christmas and though everything we did this year was for work, it is still pretty cool.
We tried to attend family events this year. Last year I did not attend Christmas dinner and missed most of the Holiday Season. This year I really wanted to try and be there with everyone for Christmas. I was looking forward to Aunt Kim's Charity Party. I missed it. I wanted to be on time for Aunt Crystal's Christmas dinner. We were 2 hours late. I knew Aunt Kim's party was going to be amazing. I was still searching for dresses with Mom and my sisters for our company ad at 9:00 PM the evening of my Aunt's Party. I looked like a haggard hobo not a woman looking for dresses for work. I remembered looking at my phone and saying I'm not going to make it. Being creative while collaborating with 3 other women takes time. The pics to Aunt Kim's event were amazing. We were also late for Christmas dinner. Why? Because we had someone book our property on Christmas Day. Our guest arrived in Louisville on Christmas and found they had nowhere to stay. Since we just purchased a new building this was a much needed booking. Mom and Faith worked hard to settle our guest in one of our places. In our family, you dress for Christmas dinner. We did not. We arrived looking well, less than what is expected, but we were there and we had fun.
My husband passed December 13, 2013, Friday the 13th. This year I wanted to decorate on the 13th to change the emotional charge of the day. We haven't decorated since 2012. We did not get a chance to do anything for Christmas on December, 13th this year like I wanted. I was feeling down. I felt like I failed. I was downstairs at 2 am when the doorbell rang. I didn't answer the door because it couldn't be for me and everyone else was asleep. I did not know it was my mother's youngest brother, my uncle. I did not know he brought us a real tree. I went to bed before dawn. I called my mother later that morning and she told me Uncle Wayne left us a tree. The mood at our home had not been good. It was difficult at best. When I came downstairs later that afternoon it smelled like Christmas. Faith who works all day and all night everyday looked happier than she had in months. The tension was leaving our home. We had something that we needed but couldn't get for ourselves left at our door step and it changed everything. My uncle knew what the 13th was and he brought us a tree. My uncle loved Bryan, too. We all did. He was our family. I believe Bryan knew we felt defeated. He knew that we really needed to change that day, so he sent my uncle at 2 am. Thank God! We decorated our tree differently than we normally do but we still love it. That is our first tree in years.
I need to look at my life with new eyes. Days can be a burden or a learning experience. Work can be work or a moment to be spent with others. A beautiful dress is a beautiful dress. Does it matter that I got it for work? Christmas is Christmas even when we work so hard and we don't take notice. Christmas happens. Life happens.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Being a sister is not easy; being 3 sisters and all 3 of you are type A and talented, even harder (Note Feb 21, 2017 look at Introductions: The Magic That Is , Quest For A Good Hair Day & From W Magazine to Chrissy Teigen to Asking Yourself Those Questions to learn more ).
We are all pretty, so we don't like be labeled the ugly sister. Although, I must admit from time to time I do make myself the ugly sister. Let me warn you now, that is a major set up. I do this because I want to know what kind of person you are. Many people are kept at arms length because they revealed their own ugliness. I guess that is one of the advantages of being sisters. There are 3 of us and it is very hard for people with bad intentions to get close. They do of course, but it is only because the one sister who is sounding the alarm was forced to shut up.
The other good thing about being sisters? There is always someone to cover for you. If Joy is supposed to be at a party but has an audition, no one will be upset with Faith or me replacing her. It is still a good time. If Faith is over booked but our mom needs someone's opinion about a new piece of property, I'll go with mom to look at the property and Joy will arrive ahead of time to one of Faith's other bookings and stall. Joy is great at stalling. We could also look at my classic "Love" moment. I am not feeling an event but I know Joy and Faith are going to look hot which means I don't have to try as hard, hehe. They look good so I look good.
Being sisters always means you have a personal stylist, personal assistant and brand ambassador. Yes, there are major problems working with your sisters. The fights are hell on Earth. The resentments are growing and sometimes you feel like you aren't getting enough credit! The thing is, the good out weighs the bad. I gladly serve as my sisters spotlight, bodyguard, personal assistant, glam squad and back drop. I know we all have the same goals. We all want to get to the same place. We may all want to lead and yes sometimes that is a problem but it is also a great advantage. Once we figure out this dance of lead, follow, lead the world will be no match for us.
Why Royal? I am sure many people ask that question when they see this page. I am also sure many other people get it. There is for me a well defined and yet verbally undefinable reason why I call my family royal. For me it is what it is and I consider all of my family not just the 4 as Royal, I always have. In Zen they say that if you try to define something you kill it. So I will do my best to bring you closer to my reasoning as possible without trying to define it. The word Royal suits me and my family. It just fits. Some people are not comfortable with such a title and that's okay. The title of farmer really mattered to my Grandfather. Yes he was a reverend and a carpenter but the thing that made him smile most was farmer. To me, he was a Royal farmer, because I was lucky enough to know my great grandmother, his mother, but he down played that Royal part a lot. There are all kinds of titles in this world. Titles that are forced upon you and titles you choose. There are also titles that go beyond choosing and beyond simply what you do. For me and my family there is something that seems written in our very being and the only word I can give it is Royal. It is there when we are at our best and our worst. It is there when we are in a crowd of a thousand other people. Our Royalty is not attached to a crown, a piece of land or a country. Our Royalty transcends all time and space and is recognized across the universe. The problem is with the way the world works growing up I began to become ashamed. For I was a Royal without a country to rule. I had no knights to protect me. I had no army to command. History of this country forced more than half of my ancestors to carry the title of slave. I could not boldly go out in this world with the title I knew I had/have. Then it occurred to me, why relinquish my truth, my crown. If I continue to live by what this world (reality) is offering me, I will be living on nothing, as I am a woman and black. I am claiming what is mine! People can try to take it away all they want but I be damned if I am just going to give it away! There are some titles you choose like husband. Other titles are forced upon you like slave. But we each have other titles that have existed with us since the beginning of time. I and frankly the rest of my family was born with a memory of one of ours. It is a Royal title and My Royal Family 4 will serve as a beacon. The 4 will not hide to make the world comfortable. The 4 will shine!
For years now my Aunt Crystal has held her annual Sister To Sister (Click here to read about 2013 party it was a blast) party. It is a party to bring together sisters of all kinds. Blood sisters, In-Law Sisters, Church sisters, Best Friend Sisters, Work Sisters and any other type of "sister" you can think of gather together for the first Saturday in December.
Now our family is very big and I don't think all of Aunt Crystals sisters have ever been at this event at the same time. In fact I know they have not. Now my mom has been there almost every year and so has Aunt Kathy but Aunt Crystal has yet to be lucky enough to have all her sisters attend in the same year. There is Yvonne the oldest, then of course Crystal (the host), Glenda (my mom), Wanda, Lutisha, C.C., Tonya, and Kimberly. They are a party onto themselves and one day I am sure that all will party together. FYI funerals don't count, lol. Aunt Crystal's party has more to do with building up a sisterhood than being blood sisters. She wants women to come together and eat because that's what families do. She wants us to play games together because that's how families build relationships. She wants us to laugh and dance together because that's how our sisterhood celebrates this life together. In December 2013 I became a widow. Eight months later in August 2014 my Aunt Crystal became a widow, too. It is 2015 and many of the ladies attended a wake before coming to the party. Regardless we all share our lives together. Sisters are sisters but sometimes your blood sister can't be there for you. At a gathering like this it is okay because you always belong to a sisterhood of women. Sometimes your Aunt is your sister. Sometimes the person who works with your Aunt and that you are meeting for the first time, is your sister. When you enter my Aunts party you know that everyone is a sister period and that is a comfort. It kicks off the holidays and all though we may not know what the future holds, we know today there will be the game Pokeno.