Ask Me a Question…

2014 is about embracing change and amping up the level of everything in my life. With that in mind, I’d love to do a Questions & Answer video on my YouTube channel and share a little bit of myself with you. Most of the videos on my channel have been on beauty and makeup products, but it would be nice to add another dimension to my channel. So, if you’ve got questions…I got answers.

Since trying to sort through comments on WordPress & YouTube can be kind of crazy, I created a Google Form to organize and sort the questions I receive.  (Yeah…I’m a techy and proud…LOL.)

So, please, do me a great big favor and click the picture below. It will take you to a very easy and quick “Ask AllThingsTashia” Google form or you can simply click here. I’ll answer any reasonable question, so ask away.  

I’d love to film my Q & A video before the end of January, so I will close this form on January 19, 2014I’m so excited to see what you will ask. 🙂 Thank you in advance for taking time to ask me questions.

ask allthingstashia

Happy New Year!!!

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Happy 2014!

Can you believe how fast 2014 arrived? I know I am. 2013 was such a good year. I finished my doctorate, hiked through Carlsbad Caverns, started a blog, and began a YouTube channel that I kept up through most of the year. All in all…not bad.

However, now that 2014 is upon us, I’m in a thoughtful mood. What do I want my 2014 to look like? I’m not sure.

What I will say is that I’m not great at making resolutions. So a new year doesn’t necessarily inspire me to make outlandish promises to myself that I know I won’t keep.

Still, the new year is fresh, full of possibilities, and I can’t help but to be hopeful of what will come next. All I know is that 2014 will be my best year yet. It will be a year dedicated to self-improvement (in the broadest sense of the word). I know I’ll make mistakes and fall off the track along the way. However, if I’m better than I was in 2013, then it will all be worth it. Right?

So, what do you plan to accomplish in 2014?

The Evolution of a Beauty Blogger: Part 1 (BBB Series)

Anyone who’s known me would have never guess that I would (of all things) become a beauty blogger–even just for fun.

A year ago, I only owned a handful of beauty and makeup items. Beyond the Clinique 3-Step skincare that I had been using nearly 10 years since college, most of my beauty and makeup were gifted items and guilt purchases. (Guilt purchases are those items you buy when you went in to buy a moisturizer, but the makeup counter clerk is both so clever and nice that you feel badly for walking away with just that). Sadly, all I could say that I owned was an expired MAC mascara, a couple of MAC lipglasses that I never used because they seemed too bold for the life I was leading, and random gift with purchase pieces that I got when I bought skincare and perfume. Ironically, however, I come from a family of beautyholics.

Though no one is by any means famous, my mother and two younger sisters each have their own special calling to beauty. In my 36 years of life, I never seen my mother when she wasn’t dressed to the nines. And I have only seen her without makeup twice in my entire life. Likewise, my youngest sister Cheris can look at a hair style once or twice and replicate it. Then, my slightly younger sister, Shaunna is the ultimate fashionista. Shaunna knows every urban fashion trend and knows not only how to work them, but is also gifted with the art of the deal to buy them. (I swear her closet rivals Mariah Carey’s.) And despite all their beatific gifts, I never learned one thing about beauty from any of them except that I didn’t want to be a 3-hour bathroom/get-ready kind of woman.

With a family like this, could anyone blame me for thinking that the stork dropped me off at the wrong doorstep? Clearly the “beautyholic” gene had skipped me and it’s a wonder I survived my teen years missing such a vital familial genome.

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When I was 16 and my sisters and ghetto play cousins (foster sisters) wanted to mall hop and boy hunt at the rollerskating rink there was always someone who picked out my clothes, did my hair, nails, and made sure I was “acceptable” before I was dragged along with them. Even now, I wish I could say that they did these small feats because I was spoiled instead of just somewhat awkward.

At 17 , when it was time to go to prom, I went to the makeup counter clueless because the only thing I owned was a hot pink (wrong shade) Wet ‘N Wild lipstick that had been a makeup hand me down. Though I remember little beyond my cluelessness, I somehow knew that I had to have makeup for prom. On a mission, I bravely went alone to the JcPenny makeup counter and said I needed makeup for prom. (It never occurred to me to ask anyone to go along to help.) A nice lady at the counter patiently walked around and pointed lots of mirror boxes and circles of makeup until ultimately–I said, “You choose.”

I walked away with a small bag containing an Iman foundation and powder–all that my part-time McDonald’s’ job could afford. Unfortunately, even as I rode the bus home from the mall, I was completely confused about how I was supposed to put the makeup on. Again, I was the kind of girl who asked few questions and not much of people.

However, prom was not the disaster you would think. I was lucky. My foster Aunt, Ruby, took pity on me and did my makeup. I remember her picking me up in her huge van and me handing over my small makeup purchases like a sacrificial offering. And there I sat gullibly and unquestioning on a tall wooden kitchen counter stool in my prom dress and heels while she ascribed my fate. (Oh to have that kind of trust in someone again).

For what seemed like forever, I quietly stared down at my acrylic nails (done in a million colors-none of which really went with my dress) as she pursed her lips and gently pressed and prodded my face. When Ruby said, “Look up” I looked up. And when she said “Look down,” again went my eyes and face. On and on this cycle would went until Ruby was satisfied and handed me a small handheld mirror. “Look!” she said. And I could say nothing.

Beyond a meek and squeaked out thank you that was it. I was not the talking kind (nothing like the woman I am now). That night Ruby wasn’t a miracle worker, but I remember feeling grateful that she had taken the time to help me. There was nothing amazing about the makeup. I wasn’t over-powdered and primped within an inch of my life. In reality, I went to prom with nothing more than a touch of mascara, a hint of pressed powder, and a bit of Vaseline on my lips. Yet, somehow, Ruby had given me something priceless. In that moment she had given me a glimpse of someone I have yet to own and know–beauty.

In retrospect, I think my prom night was the prettiest I have ever been in my life. Only, I didn’t know that until now. (Below is my prom portrait from 1995).

Tasha Prom 95

This is me now.

Tashia Now

This is me before Beauty Blogging and a lot of days since.
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Do you remember when makeup first transformed your life?

Celebration

Look what showed up on my desk at work today. Wow!!! I have such thoughtful coworkers. In celebration of my doctorate, they treated me to the biggest chocolate cake I have ever seen (literally the cake must weigh 10 pounds and probably can feed 50). Plus I received a beautiful basket of live flowers. Yay!!!

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My Graduation Bucket List

Now that I have successfully defended my dissertation, everyone keeps asking what I plan to do next. For right now, I just want to keep my plans simple and take time to relax. During the summer, I will develop more definitive and professional plans. So in no particular order, here’s what I presently plan to do: 

  1. Change my title on all mail and online profiles to Dr.
  2. Cook and eat “real” food again.
  3. Start working out and drop some weight.
  4. Clean my house from top to bottom.
  5. Return all university library books.
  6. Grow my nails out again. (They are bitten to the quick.)
  7. Shop ’til I drop or at least until the student loan repayments kick in.
  8. Watch all the movies I’ve missed in the last 4 years.
  9. Watch season 1 of Scandal.
  10. Hang out with my friends again.
  11. Have a party!
  12. Stay up all night for absolutely no reason.
  13. Sleep for a week.
  14. Sit in the sunshine for an entire afternoon for absolutely no reason. 
  15. Read books just for fun. 🙂

This Was a Do-rag Don’t

It never fails that something always goes crazy when you’re running late for work. And for me, today was no exception.

I overslept and woke up to hair hell–an extra tangled, dry frizzy mess of semi waves and wannabe curls. Why oh why God did I give up my relaxers? I could have been in silky hair heaven, but oh no I had to be health conscious and choose natural hair. On a bad hair day like this, I start to seriously rethink my anti-creamy crack hair mantra. I mean do scalp burns really matter when you can avoid crazy hair days like this? SMH…Yes, I’m tripping.

Well anyway…long story short…I did what I always do…I went straight for the brown protein gel and an elastic band (my lifelong bad hair day get out of jail card that my mother hates). I slicked my hair back, but the frizz just didn’t get the memo and lie down. Oh no…every frizzy strand decided to forge a full on assault, so I had no choice but to slap my do-rag right back on my head for the drive to work. (This method never fails to smother all the frizz.) Only in doing so, I broke the cardinal Black woman commandment: “Thou shall not leave thy house in thy do-rag.”

Yeah…I did it and got busted even before I could completely back out of the driveway. Clearly, I am not a pro at being inconspicuous. As it just so happens, my neighbor Mr. S wanted to give me a calendar as a thank you (ask me about my happiness project later). Unfortunately, I did not see him when I was backing out the driveway and he nearly scared me to death.

Sadly, it was not until after he had handed me the calendar that I realized what horrific deed I had done. I had left my do-rag on in public. (Jesus, please take the wheel.)

I guess the end justified the means and all that really counts is that the frizz died by the time I arrived at work. Too bad the embarrassment of it all lasted all day. I really need some bad hair day intervention. I can’t even imagine what my neighbor must think of me now. Sometimes, it’s tough being part of the 1% in El Paso. Just two weeks ago a kid ran up and touched my hair like I was part of a Black in America exhibit. SMH…

So, how do you deal with a bad hair day?