Alex in The City: The Bare Neccesities

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I have learned many many manyyyyy great lessons since I’ve moved to New York but one of my favorite ones is that “I have more than enough.”

It is a lesson I asked for experience with and one that I believed but didn’t know for sure, if that makes sense.

I knew I was fortunate, I knew that there are starving kids that would love to have the food I left to throw away who would still be hungry even if I shoved the remaining piece of filet Mignon down my throat and that I could be happy with much less. I had never really challenged myself on that Idea before I moved to NYC.

Maybe it was because I Didn’t have much money to spend on every Nate Berkus Collection piece at Target, or because there is not much room for a truckload of belongings in NYC or maybe it was a coming of age.

Either way I have begun my trek towards what I like to call “gypsy life.” I have been carrying an affirmation with me everyday which is simply “I have more than enough.” It’s simple but powerful and it has helped me to de-clutter, reorganize, Feng Shui and give life to my space. When I say life I really mean it, I added two living plants to my space and got rid of my candles as a challenge to myself. I’ve also become a lot more frugal and grateful for what I have and I’ve even become impatient and annoyed with “too much.”

I still have impulses to buy and decorate and bring home shiny things so I just remind myself of something I actually need, or simply that “I have more than enough!” And it is true what they say “gratitude turns what you have into enough!”

Have a great weekend and take some time to start figuring out how little you can be happy with and cut it in half to find what you need. Find the bare necessities and rejoice in the fact that you will always have more than enough!

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Love!

Alexandria
XOXO

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Alex in The City: Pumpkin Fest!

Reporting live from Central Parks Pumpkin Fest presented by Care.com and guess what…… There’s a parkour station !!!!! I was only planning on a morning run but I must answer when such great adventure as this tempts me!

I am waiting for the set up to be completed.

I am soooooo sticking around to do this. I’ll report back with deets!

Enjoy

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Alex in the city: DIANA NYAD SWIMMING FOR RELIEF

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Aside from Scandal one of my favorite shows to watch is Super Soul Sunday on OWN! It really is like my church sometimes.

Well this past Sundays episode put a spotlight of an amazing woman by the name of Diana Nyad.

If you’re not familiar with Diana, I wasn’t before Sunday, she is most recognized for her swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64 and a few attempts of that very swim before she succeeded.

What did this have to do with my Tuesday you ask? Well I got to see Diana in action yesterday as she swam in a two lap makeshift pool in Herald Square here in NYC. If Diana were not inspirational enough already she is completing a 48 swim as a part of the Swim for Relief campaign to help Hurricane Sandy Survivors.

A few other notable swimmers were also part of the relief swim including a cool guy, you might have heard of him his name is OLYMPIC MEDALIST RYAN LOCHTE!!!!!

I did not get to see Ryan swim but I did see Diana and write an inspirational message to her on the Tampax wall. (Could proctor and gamble not think of anything other than a Tampax wall, sounds like something not nearly as pleasant as it was). While I was there I took a few shots, check them out below!!!

Also check out more info on the swim for relief campaign here or send an inspirational tweet to Diana at her twitter handle @diananyad ! If you are in The City stop buy and cheer on the swimmers!

love!

Alex
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

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Photos from my first weeks in NYC!

I have soooooooo been meaning to update this blog in the last few weeks but all I’ve been doing is GOING GOING GOING! Fret not my loves! i have taken plenty a picture along the way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so consider yourselves served with a new post!!!!

 

 

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Postcard From Europe!

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Me in the garden at la Gellerie De Mediterranee’ in Marseille France

I am back from vacation, recovered and I finally have some time to update!Back to business! 

I had an amazing experience in Atlanta and on my 6 day cruise on the Mediterranean. The trip was my first time traveling abroad and officially getting my passport stamped! The excitement!

I really had the time of my life. Travel is one of my great pleasures and this trip was
a perfect mix of calm cruising and adventurous trekking. While I loved visiting each city, making impromptu excursions and using what little Spanish and French skills I possess I must admit that it was great to go back to the ship at the end of the day where my native tongue was prominent and there was a little less figuring out to do. The Norwegian Epic is a great ship with lots to offer!

The trip included a visit to Napoli, Civitavecchia/ Roma, Pisa, Palma De Mallorca, Marseille and or original and a return to Barcelona for a very long flight back to the States.

If I detailed every city for you all it would be a never ending post so I will be taking it one city and subject at a time!!!! Yayy for more posts!

I, of course, have to go down the fashions and amazing cuisine I came across each day and chronicle the tales of the most extravagant vacation I’ve been on this far and share it with you here on my beloved blog. Trust there were many laughs, and great moments of reflection, great food and fun and lessons and genuinely good times.

PSA: My friend and I took in each port sans your guide in an effort to avoid spending unnecessary cash (the excursions were exorbitantly priced and got so so reviews) and get a more authentic experience and I am so glad we did.

I was glad to use my new up band while walking around the cities and the ship. We committed to only taking the stairs while on the ship and we worked out nearly everyday. The gym was wonderful with an awesome view!

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Candice and I in Atlantic Station, Atlanta GA

 

I spent a day and a half before and after the cruise in Atlanta in the process of usual Atlanta fun I got to reunite with my friend Candice that I mentioned in my DC Postcard! You can read about that trip here!

 

Soooooo, until next time enjoy some of my fantastic photos! I took over 1500 photos on this trip and I really am in love with many of them.

Love! 

-Zan

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My friend and Kindred spirit and now my International travel buddy! T!

 

 

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

T at lunch in Marseille

T at lunch in Marseille

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

 

My Deep Conditioner Concoction

I make an honest effort to carve out time each Sunday to deep condition my hair and or give it a protein treatment and I choose to use a mixture of products treat different issues. I mix a scalp-nourishing oil, a moisturizer, damage control product, and a strengthening product. The mixture of products that I have been using the past two weeks has done wonders for my thick tresses and I wanted to share in hopes that someone else may Experience the same benefits as I.

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Carols Daughter Monoi Oil repairing conditioner, Lisa’s hair elixir, and repairing hair mask. Spectrum organic coconut oil. L’oreal EverCreme conditioner, Paul Mitchell daily moisturizer.

I combined the products shown above too create a conditioner/hair mask/oil treatment that has all the benefits but takes a lot less time. After applying the mixture I put my hair into double strand twists and they it hang for a day or two so that I would have a solid look when I transitioned to a twist out for a Christmas brunch and other holiday run-around.

I was really pleased that a single days efforts in hair-styling lasted me an entire week. Check out the video above and photos below for additional commentary and this weeks conditioning results!

On another note I would like to give an honorable mention to the products I use. I am a very conscious consumer and I do research not just on the quality of the product and how it makes my hair feel I also look for a great background to a product whether it be something I was introduced to by a friend or celebrity campaign, a sulfate free product and a cruelty-free and honorably run company etc., these are all things I look for and am honestly influenced by. I like to knowwho is going to benefit or be hurt by something I am buying, where my money is going, what it took to make the product, what had to happen for me to be able to use this product, that is important to me because I don’t want to buy something that goes against my values if I don’t have to. Here’s a quick run-down of these products why they are great, why I support them and how I got to ‘Know’ them!

1. Carols Daughter – Cruelty free, sulfate free shampoos conditioners and other products. This company’s mission involves using natural ingredients to create quality products that serve the diverse beauty needs of world we live in  . Supporting Carols Daughter is also supporting “black business”, which is important to me. I also met the creator of this brand when I picked up products at a pop-up store in New Orleans during Essence Music Festival last summer, the sales people were delightful and informed, I loved it.

2. Paul Mitchell – Three words: Culture of Giving! Paul Mitchell’s Foaming Pomade was THE FIRST product I used in my hair after my big chop back in 2010 and I have been in love ever since! I did some research on the company and was elated to find that in addition to  creating quality, effective, and beautifully fragrant products (I am big on smell) they are a cruelty free company with a concern for our planet and a culture of giving. You can check out more info on their website HERE! For all of those who limit yourself to only natural hair products or products made for “black hair” you are really missing out on some great product, do what works for you and support great business. I rarely use the pomade anymore but the daily conditioner is a regular in my hair routine and the super-skinny serum is exquisite as well, its smells amazingly!

3. L’oreal – I watched a Ustream video of Kerri Washington and her glam-squad buddy Takiesha*and found out about the wonders of the L’oreal ‘Ever’ line, in that video Kerry uses the EverStrong but I came to find that the L’oreal EverCreme (Eva Longoria endorses that particular line of products) worked better for my hair and I have stuck with it after not having as much luck with Pantene Relaxed and natural products. This line is sulfate free and makes my hair feel, look, and smell beautifully. L’oreal is also a cruelty free company and they are more reasonably priced that both Paul Mitchell and Carols Daughter, I will spend for the quality products or wait for them to go on sale but it is great when they are a little more affordable at their original price.

4. Spectrum oil – Coconut oil has been raved about on natural hair blogs everywhere and my personal stylist recommends it as well. I will admit it stained my sheets when I got a little enthusiastic with the application but it has made all the difference in the sleekness and softness of my hair especially when transitioning from one style to the next without wetting. There really is no big story behind spectrum for me at this moment, I bought this particular jar of oil at Whole Foods on sale for 7 bucks along with some sesame oil I picked up for Oil Pulling, whole foods even had a $2-off coupon to sweeten the deal! Thus far I love it I just wish it hadn’t stained my gorgeous chocolate brown sheets! Any tips on how to get that out?

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Thanks for checking in!

Made with love,

Zan

New Year, New Vision Board

I am opening up in a new way. I believe so strongly in my vision board and the law of attraction that I usually only create my board with those very close to me and it does not leave my room once it is up. I feel compelled to share my testimony and knowledge with others so I am sharing.

I always say that every genius (visionary) needs someone that they can trust their vision with and that it should be kept in a sacred place. I still hold that idea to be true and I am not spilling my guts here but I am sharing more than I ever have before.

A vision board is a physical representation of goals and aspirations and visions that we have for ourselves. Each board is created using magazines and newspaper clippings or anything else to create a collage of sorts with words and images that are a reminder of goals and personal beliefs and creeds, wise words, positive motivation, reassurance and affirmation all targeted towards ATTRACTING what what it is that we want from life. Your vision board should be put up in a place where you can see it everyday. I suggest creating a vision board in an environment that is filled with positive energy and friends or family but if you are more in tune when you are alone, do it alone.

I usually create my vision board at a vision board brunch with my closest friends and family. The brunch is complete with fruit and cheese snack-plates wine, mimosas, frittata’s, laughter, good conversation and positive energy!

I also recommend reading or watching or listening to the secret or any other books that share the intricacies of the law of attraction. The concept is not simply about putting the glue and scraps on the $.79 poster-board, without context and knowledge and belief in the power of what you are creating it really is not what you intend for it to be. Read some literature on the subject when you get a chance.

I hope this informs and inspires someone that needs it!

Stay beautiful people!

Made with Love!

-Zan