Category Archives: Keiladascope

Keila’s Top Three Meditation Apps for Getting Your Zen On

I am addicted to my phone. Seriously. After reading countless of articles on how to not check my phone first thing in the morning, or take it into the bathroom, check it at red lights, I gave up. Instead, I decided to figure out a way to include my phone in my daily routine without cluttering my head space.

There’s an app for everything. So with realizing this, I decided to search for something that would not only cancel out the need for checking my social media in the morning but allow me to balance my thoughts, too! And I know, I know. I can easily just move my phone away from the bed and journal in the morning instead, but honestly, I don’t feel like picking up a pen and writing every day like I used to. (This is by no means no excuse for you to be okay with not writing as much. Don’t be like me, be better!) With admitting that, I have to start slow and turn my vices into victories!

 

Here are three apps that I recommend for getting your zen on no matter where you are or what time it is:

 

 

This is my personal favorite. I used it during my pregnancy, and also after giving birth. One of my close friends suggested it, and I have been so thankful for it. If you are new to meditation, this is a great app to start with. It gives you information on learning how to meditate before you actually get into the meditations, and that is my favorite part. From there you get to choose how you are feeling and it will customize different guided meditations for you. Awesome, right?

  1.  Insight Timer (iOS/Android) – Free

If you’re looking for a more global approach to meditation this is the app for you. It has lots of meditations to choose from as well and the app also lets you know how many people meditated with you! Insight Timer also gives you custom options which are good for you if you are more on the intermediate side of things.

  1. Buddhify (iOS/Android) – $4.99

This app is worth the price that you’re going to pay. The cool thing about Buddhify is that instead of only asking how you are feeling, it asks about what you’re doing so that it can find the perfect moment of mindfulness for you. It has also helped me the most with my anxiety. It’s compatible with active lifestyles that sometimes to allow enough time to center yourself.

 

What are some of your go-to apps for meditating? Share them in the comments and let me know! Also, if you are new to meditating and meditation apps, please let me know if you downloaded and tried any of these apps mentioned above!

With Love,

Keila <3

Why Shine When You Can Glow? (Ole Henriksen Review)

One of my favorite quotes is “If it ain’t free, it ain’t me.” Which is why I love receiving free products from Influenster and great brands.

My skin has always been a hassle. From puberty to motherhood, I have only had rare moments of a “good skin day.” I’m 26 and acne still exists in my everyday life. The complimentary products I received included a three-step facial regimen that was fit for my combination/oily skin.

From day 1, I was already seeing and feeling results.

This three step program includes:

Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser
Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser
Ole Henriksen Balancing Force™ Oil Control Toner
Balancing Force™ Oil Control Toner
Ole HenriksenCounter Balance™ Oil Control Hydrator

Ole HenriksenCounter Balance™ Oil Control Hydrator By Ole Henriksen

 This particular system focuses on oil control. I can honestly say that I have not had any excess grease on my face or an oil feeling since using these products. However, my #GLOW  is very real and I haven’t had to use any concealer or foundation in my morning routine. That’s how fast these products worked on helping clear up my skin.

You can guarantee that I will be buying these products once my free #Influenster VoxBox products are finished. You can find these products at Sephora or Ole Henriksen’s website.

If you’re a fellow #Influenster , comment and let me know how you feel about this #VoxBox and the products! If you have already tried these products, I would also love to hear your story and see before and after pictures.

13 Things My Grandfather Was Right About 13 Years After His Death

As I reflect on the 13th anniversary of my Grandfather’s transition, my 25 year old new Mom self has realized that his witty proverbs, foreshadowing, and subliminal life hacks have rung to be true. I’m sure my entire family and I could compile a whole book of his idioms and quotes. Some are Caribbean proverbs that many of you may be familiar with if you grew up with island grand parents like I did, and some were just genuine words of wisdom.

Since I asked my Mom to do her own personal list, I thought 13 would be a great number for my post. I miss him dearly, and he’s really the only transitioned family member that I genuinely cry about when I’m reminded of him. 

A little background story on how he passed: 

He was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 1992 and didn’t tell our family until two weeks before he passed in 2003. Ironically, he lasted all of those years without chemotherapy, and after he started receiving the treatments was when he got worse. He was a Medical Doctor himself, so for him to not participate in that unnatural treatment taught me a lot about the medical industry early on. I started waking up when I was 12, lol. 

Now here we are, 13 years later on September 3rd. His favorite band was The Temptations and his favorite song was “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” so for him to pass on “the third of September” is still creepily dope as ever to me. The following list is in no particular order and the pictures may not correlate either, but this is my reflection, so just stay with me. 


1. It never gets easier, you just get better.

In one of the Bibles that he left, he highlighted Romans 8:18. (Did I mention that he was also a Pastor? He was Jamaican, so one job was a joke to him.) Anyways, Romans 8:18 states: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time nare not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed.

Man! If only he knew the ramen noodle struggle that I endured in college, and the “f**k I should’ve gotten my degree” broke nights at 25, he would laugh. He’s probably laughing now. However, it is true. The growing pains are beneficial for the come up. Without learning how to deal with the uncomfy, you won’t learn how to appreciate the comfort that comes later. 


2. If you run out of things to talk about, you aren’t reading enough. 

When I spent what I didn’t know would be my last Summer with my grandfather, he would make me read to him for two hours. I had the choice between the newspaper or a collection of poems by Emily Dickinson. After those two hours, we would talk about what I got from it. Endless conversation! The gag? I would talk to him for so long that I didn’t realize he had kept me away from binge watching Disney Channel all summer. 

3. “They’re going to tell you to eat healthy, then taint your food.”

Right before the big announcement of his cancer, I noticed that my grandma was cooking healthier than usual. It was weird. After the announcement, and as he got sicker, she made whatever meal he requested. It took me  back to when Keanu Reeve’s shared a story about his friends mom and quoted: “[People] you cannot hide from your poison.” It’s crazy how my grandpa peeped game early on when I really thought he was just being old, lol. “Eating to live” never really lasted long in our Caribbean household. 

4. “Gallivanting” is a real word. 

Every Saturday morning for as long as I remembered, we would prepare to go “gallivanting.” Until college, I thought the word was “galavantee” because my grandma always said it in her Spanish accent, but no, it’s actually gallivanting, and it means to go from place to place seeking entertainment and amusement.

5. “How can you pick a favorite place if you haven’t been everywhere?”My grandparents were travel goals. They went everywhere together. I used to say every place was my favorite place until he finally shut me down with this question, lol. I thought McDonald’s was the best until I tried Wendy’s, then I thought Subway was the bomb until I had a Publix sub. You feel me? Never know until you try, right? This question is applicable to any situation in life, and I am thankful to be able to apply it. 

6. You may not like golf but you need to at least know about it because…white people. 

My grandfather had one white friend. His name was Graham and he lived in Australia. He always wore shirts with inappropriate quotes, and he really said “Mate.” Anyways, other than that, the only time I saw my 60+ year old grandpa actively interact with wypipo was when he went to play golf or he was giving them a dollar outside the gas station. His golfer friends adored him. They loved him like he had always been welcomed in their circles. Interesting.  After golf, he would always remind me how “they’re gonna get Tiger Woods if he gets too good” and lo and behold, they got Tiger. “That’s why you learn to play with and never play for.” 

7. Everything in life is an exchange. 

“Your grandma married me for my money and I loved her for her good looks and cookin.” I’m sure he was joking but even then, I was always intrigued by the chemistry between the two. They loved genuinely, and they understood give and take. It was my first example of good, genuine, black love. 


8. Crazy can definitely be a destination if you make it. 

Where are you going? Crazy. Wanna come? That was a common Q&A with him. That response usually meant that nobody was invited. He took time for himself and made time for he and my grandma. Space and solitude is vital to your sanity. I have been learning that not taking time for yourself can really make you “go crazy.” 

9. Never trust a man that doesn’t wear a watch. (personal fave)

“A man without a watch has no concept of time, which means he has no (concept of) money, because he has no place to be.” When dating, I always look for a watch. For one, it’s a great conversation piece, and for two, time is money. I’ve never been able to take anyone without a watch serious. What if I need to know what time it is and our phones are dead? What if you need to manually check my blood pressure? These are serious questions that go through my head, btw. Watches are essential. 

10. “Waanti waanti cyaan getti, getti getti no waanti.” – Jamaican Proverb

Be careful what you ask for and most importantly, be careful what you pray for.  Once you get “it”, the only reason you don’t want it anymore is because you don’t know what to do with it. Hearing him say that proverb all of the time also helped me understand that God and I don’t have the same timing. I’m either going to be prepared or not be. Either way, I have to learn to work with what I have when I have it.

11. Fill up at half tank, not when you’re about to be on E. 

Granted, I wasn’t event thinking about driving when he was alive, but I always heard him say that to my grandma, lol. And of course, I applied this quote to other aspects of my life. Don’t run out of gas, Keila. 

12. Learn to do something that someone else will always need.

He was really big on education, which is ironic because clearly my laziness rewarded me with a GED and now six classes away from a Bachelors. However, I have trades for days. Need a drink? I’m a bartender. Need a hair model? I have great hair. The list goes on. Moral of the story, I know how to maneuver if technology fails us and my soon-to-be degree is no longer applicable.

13. “You can’t be as good, you have to be better than.” (Everyone’s favorite)

Self-explanatory and the the baby boomer’s version of “Don’t be basic.” My grandfather held us all in high regards not only because we were apart of his legacy, but because he believed in our greatness. An average man only gets average results. We all live by this quote in our daily walks of life. It allows us to continuously hear Georgino when we need him most. 

I am thankful to have been blessed with twelve years of memories and life lessons. My daughter will know him by our stories, and his legacy will forever be present.

Until we meet again, Dr. Skyers. 


<3 Keila



What Happens When the Tea Gets Cold…and Other Things Gossip

I love tea. I love the ambience of “ooh girl uh uh” and “no he/she didn’t.” However, when those small expressions recently came my way, I really had to evaluate my communication and topics of conversation amongst my folks. My kinfolks, friend folks, allat.

Gossip (n): casual or unconstrained conversation about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed to be true. 

Gossip (n): a person who likes talking about other people’s lives.   

Gossip is addicting. We knowingly enjoy some good ole juicy mess, but we often fail to realize that a mess is still a mess. Of course, nobody wants to discuss business affairs all day. Yes, everyone needs a subject change every so often. Yes, talking about people is scarily refreshing because at least it’s not us, right? Wrong.

We need to get better at coming up with table topics that engage everyone in the conversation. If gossip arises, we need to know how to swerve it. We also need to know when a conversation is over. Ending a conversation does not have to be as awkward as it seems. It is not going to hurt either party whether in person or on the phone to say “Okay, I’ll talk to you later.” And be done. Let’s stop feeling like we have to explain ourselves in order to stop talking to someone for the moment or the day.

I learned this quote in elementary school. I applied this quote in middle school. I felt this quote in high school, and in college I reflected on this quote many a nights. Sometimes, because of past situations, reactions, and scenarios, people are quick to assume that you want to gossip. You think that you have to share the tea when it’s hot; but really, you don’t have to share the tea at all. You do not have to indulge at all!

The amount of Susie’s do not have to increase.

Do y’all remember the telephone game? It was all fun until you were Susie and someone messed up what you said so badly that you barely could remember what you initially said. Well today, the telephone game still exists except, phones and social media allow us to come with receipts. #ThisIsWhatYouSaidSusie

                “Now I ain’t one to gossip, so you aint hear that from me.” -Benita Buttrell

So how do we deal with the temptation of indulgence? Head on. Whether it is your closest family member or one of the homies, you have to be willing to hold folks accountable.

Let them know when the tea does not need to be shared. Our cup is not obligated to continuously runneth over with other people’s personal matters. Ask yourself this:

“If I was in so&so’s situation, would I want people discussing me without me being present to defend myself?” 

No, you wouldn’t. Then, we have to really re-evaluate the Susie’s in our lives. Does Susie have some business of her own? If she does, why is she still discussing Sally’s business? How would Sally feel if she knew Susie was telling all of her business? How would I feel if I was Sally? If all you and Susie have to talk about is Sally than you need to start reflecting on your friendship.

If Susie is your kinfolk, you need to reflect on the depths of that relationship, too. Family doesn’t give anyone a clearance to be a gossip. You can’t surround your energy with people who are only focused on someone else’s demise or come-up. If Susie don’t have any business of her own then you don’t have any business talking to her.


Yes, other people’s issues is subject for great debates an dialogues. The issue comes in when we specify the “who’s”, the “he/she’s” and the “my friend.” If you MUST gossip, practice discretion. Stop name-dropping. Also, if you are caught gossiping, accept the charges pressed against you. Do not try to justify your actions, fix them. If I say something about Sally, am I able to say it to her as well? In these situations, your self-control is a huge factor. You deciding what is worth engaging and indulging in is very important.
I know that gossip is sometimes inevitable. It will catch you off guard, you will be baited and probed into participating, and you will WANT to get that tea while it is hot. I know. I am just here to tell you that you are not obligated to follow suit. It is okay and acceptable to choose a better route, and stop conversations before they go too far. It is okay to not know details of someone else’s lives. It is okay to use tact and accountability when confronting peers about their conversational messiness. If we aren’t here to learn and grown, then what are we really doing?

Let’s stop discussing everyone’s business and be sure to get some of our own.

<3 Keila

West Coasting and Wanderlusting

 

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I spent four days in San Francisco and came back to Florida with a new attitude.

There’s something about traveling that makes you realize that you deserve better than your shitty job. I am so thankful that my Mom and Aunt paid for my flight so that I didn’t miss out on much needed girl/family time. My ass was broke and literally had enough in my account to pay my rent. Just to keep it real, lol.

Thursday:
My in-laws and daughter dropped me off to the airport. I was pushing time a little bit because I packed probably about an hour prior but I was still in the safe zone, and I really try to believe that everything happens in perfect timing  so I just ran with it. Everything was smooth sailing from check in, to security and even the wait for the flight. I was even hit by serendipity and met a flight buddy that provided great conversation for our six hour trip cross-country. It definitely made the red-eye go by quicker and was refreshing and appreciated.

sfo2

 

I arrived to San Francisco and my Aunt was already at the airport. Score. The first thing I wanted to do was eat. However, no one cared to inform me that there’s no White Castle in California, and although I just assumed that there was, my heart was a tad broken. This is when Yelp comes into play. Since it was almost 3am PST, I had to think fast or starve. This is when I knew my Aunt was ride or die. I found a “taqueria” that was open late and her response to the location was “It’s kind of sketch, but I’m down for some tacos.” Boom. We found parking and walked across the street to stand in a line that was literally out the door. I ordered a steak burrito and I inhaled it so fast that it didn’t even get a picture. Some foodie I am.

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Friday:
I vowed not to sleep in. Woke up a few hours after my food-induced slumber, and got my day started. First thing to do? Go get my Grandma. The girls getaway would not be complete without her. But nobody told me that 15 minutes in California traffic actually means an hour and a half, but when we got there we found her and she was safe, lol.

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Next stop? FOOD. Thank goodness someone else was hungry so I didn’t feel like the glutton that I secretly intended on being. We found yet another Taqueria but this time it was a “Salva Mex, ” meaning it was a blend of Salvadorian and Mexican cuisine. Hells yes. The Pupusas I had deserve their own blog. So stay tuned. For this dish with a soda on the side, we paid $6. Win again.

pupusas

 

We finished our lunch and dropped my Grandma off to get rest and pick up the life of the party, who also happens to be my Mom, lol. We were greeted at her fancy schmancy Marriott by her and this sign:

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And this is the last picture taken before we decided to let Yelp and Uber lead us to an epic night filled with Tokyo Teas and Adios (Blue) MF’ers. Let’s just say, we found some LA Faces, but they don’t come equipped with Oakland booties in San Fran. California strip clubs can’t really compete with the South in my eyes. *sighs* Moving on.

Saturday:
I woke up with my wig missing and I since I couldn’t describe the previous night any other way, I will just leave it at that.

We reconnected with my Grandma and since I was behind on my hunt for Pokemon, I decided to ride in the backseat and get some “rest” in. Again, I was so thankful that my Grandma was hungry because we pulled up to a BBQ spot that just so happened to be BLACK OWNED.

bbqsfo

Saturday then continued on with a day cruise around The Bay, sight seeing, dancing, and libations. There’s something about dancing on the water and drinking cognac that brings your #BlackGirlMagic full circle.

boatsfo

After we came back to land, I realized that my night had to end with another food run. This time, it was In & Out Burger. It was literally five minutes away from the loading dock, but when we pulled up, it was PACKED. It looked like the club. Two full drive through lines, and a line almost out of the door.

burger sfo

The burger and milkshake were everything. It still wasn’t white castle, but totally worth the wait!

Sunday:

I had 24 hours left in California. My aunt took me to some last minute cool places to see, and I finally made it to the Golden Gate Bridge so that I could sing the Full House theme song. Don’t judge.

sundaysfo

  After the day’s adventures, I spent some time with an old friend, and decided that that was exactly what they needed to continuing being. It was refreshing. I drove back to my Aunt’s house, packed my bags, and headed to my 6am Monday morning flight back to reality.

The Bay Area was great to me. California Love is real and I deserved and enjoyed every single moment of  wanderlust in the West Coast.

<3

Keila

ps: I really did come back and quit my job. 😉