I struggle with being vulnerable as I have realized I have taken on the personalities of the people who have hurt me as if the only way to beat them is to become them. I have hardened in places that were once soft in an effort to protect, wondering if I am doing more harm than good.
The messages are pouring in...
"Karrine, why aren't you blogging?"
Honestly, I have nothing to say. I am so content with where I am and how I feel that there is nothing to say.
Right now, there is only being.
For the past several weeks, I have been working closely with the authors I have signed to Steffans Publishing, helping them prepare their autobiographies and, all of a sudden, my entire career makes sense.
Being able to give others a voice and to help these women work through their toughest memories and the events and people they had hoped to forget, has been quite an experience for me and has revealed more of my purpose.
I have had a significant amount of success in publishing and have learned the ins and outs of the industry over the past eight years. I have studied and honed my craft as an author, editor and now, publisher.
I know how this machine works.
I have ventured off into the world of television with small steps being made to diversify my portfolio as a writer but, there is something about a memoir that keeps calling me back. Still, more times than not, I have nothing to say of my life. More times than not, I'd rather live my life than write about it.
God knows there is so much left unsaid and I quite like it that way.
But, I've done my work. I have stood out in my field and sold books to people around the world. I'm still selling books to people around the world. But what about those who haven't been given the opportunities I have?
Why not pay those opportunities forward?
Why not use what I have learned to help others who will, undoubtedly, help others?
And my purpose for this stage of my life becomes clear.
So, I haven't been blogging much but I have been writing –– I have been writing the life stories of some pretty extraordinary women who have lived through events with the weight to break them.
But, they remain unbroken.
There is much healing to be done and dark roads to traverse, down which I will hold their hands. I know where they are because I have been there before and unlike other publishers, I am not a machine gathering cogs but a woman who has done what I am asking of my writers.
Together, we are doing the work.
You've looked at our relationship from this angle and that and you still can't understand it. You think it's one thing when it's the complete opposite and when I say I love him, you think that means something it doesn't.
You try to guess and imagine and you're always wrong.
But, let me tell you one thing you haven't figured. When you're finished pretending like you love me, when you've shown your true colors, and said and done the most horrible shit to me –– when you have crushed my spirit and broken my heart and when I am down, even at my lowest...
...he's the one who will pick me up.
He will do so when you have gone just as he has when all the others left. He will say or do something that'll remind me of who I am and of who you're not. Without even trying or knowing, he will motivate me to excel and encourage me to, simply, not got a single, solitary fuck about you or anyone else who doesn't add to my happiness.
So, here's the thing...
I will always love him and he will always be a part of my story.
And I will never be able to say the same about you.
It's hard to explain.
Even though I wrote a whole book about it, I'll never be able to explain it. For years, no matter what, he's been there. Even when he was gone, he was there.
Other people come and go but he always, no matter what, stays.
He may not be all mine, he may not be the best, but he's here even when I'm not at my best. We say things, we do things, we hurt one another, other people hurt us but they don't matter and our wounds heal when we're together.
Our wounds heal when we're together.
People always ask me why I don't just leave him. He'll never be with me. I'd never be with him. I'm married. He's everywhere. He said this about me in that song and this song.
Why am I still here?
Because no matter what we've done, no matter where we've been, no matter where we'll end up, we are connected by one thing and one thing only.
I depend on that love when someone breaks my heart. It is to him I run. And I know he depends on me and, when he does, I am there.
Never a question, never a denial.
I don't care where he's been and he cares nothing of where I was the second before I fall into his arms. I don't share in his world and he doesn't participate in mine. We create our own where only we live, love, and know.
And when I am broken into a million fucking pieces, it is he who makes me whole, who picks me up from the floor and reminds me he provides a greater love than that of any other man.
He never leaves me.
He never leaves me.
So, the world doesn't have to understand as long as I understand and he knows that there is no amount of miles, no amount of arguments, lovers, or lies that could make me turn my back on him or force him to walk away from me.
It's not easy.
It's not perfect.
It just is.
Some days, I don't feel much like cooking but I still would like to eat healthily. I don't want fast food but I like to pay fast food prices. So, I want healthy food, I want it fast, and I want it cheap.
Sounds impossible, right?
Not if there is a Trader Joe's nearby!
Today, for lunch, I made portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab cakes, a three rice medley, and asparagus. I made it all in under 15 minutes and for under $11.00!
Here is my shopping list:
- Rice Medley (3 bags per box): $3.49
- Crab Cakes (2 per package): $3.29
- Portobello Mushrooms (2 per package) $2.99
- Asparagus: $0.99
All for a grand total of just $10.76!
This meal was a cinch to make and even easier to teach to my teenage son and his mustache. Here's what we did:
- Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Place in the oven (below top rack) to broil. Turn often.
- Place crab cakes in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and/or butter to brown. Turn ever so often until both sides are beautifully browned.
- Place asparagus in large frying pan with a bit of olive oil and/or butter. Be sure to wash asparagus and cut them 2 inches from the bottom. Shake pan often to roll asparagus. Remove when they turn a bright shade of green.
- Place rice in microwave for just 3 minutes.
When all are done, place crab cakes inside mushroom and place a portion of the rice and asparagus on the side. This was enough food for the both of us and there are still 2 bags of rice left over for other meals!
So, I've been hearing about this list of people I have allegedly slept with and rated that has been circulating around the internet for God knows how long. I, personally, have no interest in it, knowing it's filled with the lies monkeys tell. But, recently, I had a thought:
All the men on this list have families and I feel bad for them that their names are also being dragged through the mud so maliciously.
So, let's clear this up right now:
I copied and pasted this list from some site frequented by monkeys with wifi:
- Mystikal: Never been with
- Trick Daddy: Never met
- Twista: Never met
- Will Smith: Never met
- Xzibit: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- Kool G Rap: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- Talib Kweli: Never met
- Redman: Never been with
- Black Thought: Who the fuck is this?
- Russel Simmons: Never been with
- Khujo from Goodie Mob: Who the fuck is this?
- Ja Rule: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- Jay-Z: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- OutKast - Both: Never met either
- Pete Rock: Never met
- Puff Daddy: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- Rakim: Never met
- Mobb Deep - Havoc: Never met
- M.O.P. - Both: Never been with either
- Nas: Never been with
- Nelly: Never been with
- Scarface: Never met
- Snoop Dogg: Never met
- Ol’ Dirty Bastard: never met
- Clipse - Both: Never met
- Common: Never been with
- Da Brat: Never been with
- Mos Def: Never met
- Timbaland: Never been with
- Too $hort: Never been with
- Q Tip: Never met
- Mase: Never met
- Master P: Never met
- Method Man: See Confessions of a Video Vixen & The Vixen Diaries
- Missy Elliott: Never met
- 50 Cent: Never been with
- Big Punisher: Dude is dead tho. Never met.
- Busta Rhymes: Never been with
- Canibus: Never met
- Noreaga: Never met
- Lil Wayne: See How To Make Love To A Martian
- Kanye West: Never met
- KRS-One: Never been with
- LL Cool J: Never been with
- The LOX - All of them: Never met
- Ludacris: Never been with
- DMX: See Confessions of a Video Vixen
- Fabolous: Never been with
- Fat Joe: Never met
- Wyclef: Never met
- Ghostface Killah: Never met
And what's this thing about Boris Kodjoe? Never met that person, either.
Now, if you monkeys would get the fuck outta here and take your seats with you, that would be great.
Sad part is, this list and the fact that I don't know or never been with most of these people won't circulate as fast as the lies monkeys tell. And that's why I don't fuck with you people.
My new Juice Beauty shipment has arrived! First, thank you to the lovely ladies at JB for sponsoring half of my shipment and for the amazing PROMO CODES they gave us this month, for our Third Annual Make Over Month!
In case you missed them, here they are:
I am so looking forward to diving into my new shipment and giving you guys an updated AM/PM Routine as well as my Weekly Facial Routine.
I urge you to take advantage of these promo codes while we have them!
Here is my favorites list:
- Blemish Clearing Cleanser ($22)
- Hydrating Mist ($22)
- Blemish Clearing Serum ($29)
- Antioxidant Serum ($45)
- Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer ($65)
- Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment ($45)
- Green Apple Peel full Strength ($45)
- Organic Facial Rejuvenation Mask ($32)
New routine tutorials to follow!
Here we go, girls!
Bathing suit season is here, for some of us, and on its way for others. And, let's be honest, that ass has fallen a little bit since the winter. I'll be starting the 30 Day Squat Challenge today and I encourage you to do it with me.
I'll take photos along the way, every week, to share my progress.
Now, this is just for your backside and bottom half. Most women have other concerns and need a little guidance in order to keep the rest of their bodies fit but can't afford a trainer. Here's a solution for those of you with iPhones and maybe Androids...
The Nike Training Club app is built with women in mind and it's free! The app is no punk, though. You will sweat and see your body change and fast! I focus on short workouts (usually around 30 minutes) twice a day. Some equipment is required so use your local gym or improvise with items around the house.
Get that body into shape, do it now, and do it for free!
I decided to share a tiny bit of my waxing routine with you this Makeover Month. Now, most people wouldn't share such intimate details but, in case you're new around, I'm not like most people.
I give less fucks than most anyone.
So, here's a little clip of my under arms being waxed as well as my...well...you'll see.
Enjoy the cake, boys.
Every Makeover Month, I preach and preach about the importance of water. You would think it would be a given that we all drink that 8 glasses of water they told us we needed back in grade school health class. But, unfortunately, most people don't drink enough water!
I get alot of questions, almost daily, about my health and beauty routines and one of the most important rituals in either routine is my vast consumption of water. Personally, I prefer to drink electrolyte enhanced water.
Electrolytes are key in the process of rehydration. The more water you drink, the more you go potty, the more dehydrated you can become. You see, too much water can be a bad thing! So, I stick to 2 liters of electrolyte enhanced water a day.
Here is what you need to know about electrolytes:
In oral rehydration therapy, electrolyte drinks containing sodium and potassium salts replenish the body's water and electrolyte levels after dehydration caused by exercise,excessive alcohol consumption, diaphoresis, diarrhea, vomiting, intoxication or starvation. Athletes exercising in extreme conditions (for three or more hours continuously e.g.marathon or triathlon) who do not consume electrolytes risk dehydration (or hyponatremia).
A simple electrolyte drink can be home-made by using the correct proportions of water, sugar, salt, salt substitute for potassium, and baking soda.
So, as we start to get ready for the summer, be sure to drink lots of water. You will see a glow in your skin and you'll notice your body becoming more regular as water will also help with digestion.
Don't leave your lips unprotected this Spring, or any other season for that matter. But, take a look at the lip balm you are currently using and its ingredients.
In brands like Chap Stick and Carmex, you'll find a list of fragrances, camphor or menthol, and petroleum. Now, think about this –– all of the icky ingrdeients in your lip balm end up in your mouth and, eventually, in your system.
Switch to a naturally derived lip balm (or make your own) and "bee" healthy!
Today, I went shopping for my trip to New York and the Spring, in general. I focused on tees and jeans, got a couple of longer skirts. I shopped at H&M, The Gap, and Zara. As I start piecing my new outfits together and wearing them during my trip, I will post each outfit and from where I purchased each piece.
I went to H&M for those non-traditional pieces at super reasonable prices. I hate shopping there, though. It's like a garage sale with shit everywhere and nothing is organized. My OCD brain can't take it so I just grabbed a few pieces and hightailed it out of there.
I went to The Gap for me essentials. I love The Gap. I love it's plain, Hamptons casual style –– dark blue denim and white tees, khakis and a little pop of color in a striped tee. I love classics and the rich look you can achieve for not much money. So, I got plenty of everyday pieces to mix with the edgier pieces I got from H&M.
At Zara, I just picked up a couple pieces because they tend to be very pricey for no damn reason. Much of their clothing has such poor quality and you have to know what to get and what not to get at that place. Found an awesome motorcycle jacket and a formal top for which I hope to find a skirt at Betsey Johnson before I leave for New York.
Anyway, photos of my traveling wardrobe are to come, beginning Sunday night! Stay tuned!
I have been wearing prescription eye glasses and contact lenses since I was 16 years old but it had been 3 years since I'd seen an eye doctor and gotten an up-to-date prescription for both.
For Makeover Month, I wanted to also makeover my eyes so I got a new pair of glasses and contacts today. For those of you who wear glasses more often or solely, I suggest you change your look once in a while with a pair of contacts. And, for those of you where contacts most of the time, wear your glasses more! They are totally en vogue and make a great accessory for many looks.
[TIP] After all these years, I finally acquired vision insurance last year during our First Annual Fourth Quarter Clean Up. If you need corrective lenses, be sure to get yourself some vision insurance! It costs less than $20 a month and will save you tons of money when going in for exams as well as on glasses and/or contacts.
Every year around this time, I do a little something to spruce up my place. A big part of my design planning and ideas is the tried and true Architectural Digest. I picked up a new issue today and will look through it for inspiration on what to do to brighten up my new place for Spring and Summer.
If you're looking to make a few changes around your home, as well, pick up a home and decorating magazine and gather your ideas. Maybe you can share your before and after photos with me on Twitter! I'm going to tackle my redecorating during the last week of April, after I have returned from New York.
This is our third Makeover Month and every year, I talk about the glories of an exfoliating sponge. Well, I just bought a new one today and I suggest you get one, too, if you don't own one already.
As the story goes, I have been using exfoliating sponges since I was 10 years old. The concept here is very simple and exactly the same as that of the exfoliating gloves I recommended for your shower time. Every single day that you are alive, you produce dead skin cells. Unless you remove this dead skin, it will pretty much just sit there, atop your epidermis, trapping oils and dirt for days, weeks, months, and years to come. People spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to spas in order to be exfoliated.
This exfoliating sponge cost me about $4.00 at my local Rite Aid. I use an exfoliating sponge 2 to 3 times a week while cleansing. Since I don't wear makeup very often, I don't have the need to use the sponge much more than that. I recommend you use this sponge and your cleanser to remove you makeup, however. Exfoliating is the only way to be sure you have completely removed your makeup at the end of the day.
As far as cleansers and facial beauty routines, see mine here.
For many years now, I have been sleeping with a sleep mask. But, not just any kind of sleep mask because not all of them are created equally. There is a huge difference between the usual sleep masks, which are just pieces of material joined together by a two straps, and a padded sleep mask, which cushions the eyes and cradles the bridge of your nose, keeping out all light and beckoning sleep. The padding, as a matter of fact, puts a slight, gentle pressure on a pressure point just above the bridge of the nose, which is known to promote relaxation and sleep.
I bought this mask at Rite Aid for just $6.00 and it is worth every penny and then some! One of the most important things about looking and feeling good is getting lots of solid, sound sleep. The sun is out and it is bright and if you have dark circles and dull skin from a lack of proper rest, everyone's going to notice.
Spring has sprung and now it's your turn!
First of all, forgive my dry cuticles in this photo. I'd been running errands all day, getting ready for my trip to New York in a few days.
I just had my nails done. I have not had them designed, as yet, but wanted you to get a look at the "before". We are in Spring and the weather is warming up all over the country. And, while it's warmer in some places than in others, we have slipped our hands out of our gloves and have traded our closed-toe shoes for open-toed ones.
I'm saving my pedicure for the day before my flight to New York and am looking forward to adding just a bit of design to these nails before I leave, as well.
For now, these nails are not acrylic but UV Gels. There is zero polish on the nails as my technician used a natural pink gel. I find UV's lighter than acrylics, prettier, and longer lasting. I usually won't need a fill for at least 3 weeks.
Usually, I prefer to leave my nails this natural color so that, as they grow out, the new growth is less obvious and I find the natural look a bit more sophisticated.
If you live in the greater Los Angeles area and frequent the San Fernando Valley, visit Hannah at AQ Nail Spa and tell her I sent you!
[TIP] For those ashy cuticles of mine, I just used a dab of coconut oil. Problem solved!
It's amazing how different we can become over time.
There are people who have come in and out of my life who have changed me, significantly. There used to be a time when I would shout toward the heavens and ask God why he hated me so much, why he allowed such horrible people in my life or for my heart and spirit to be broken so many times.
I was young, then.
In those moments, it never felt as if He answered me and I felt forsaken, forgotten, and put upon. For years, for chunks of time, my heart was heavy and I was unsure of my purpose, convinced I'd be better off dead.
I was unfaithful, then.
With each heartbreak, each empty promise and abuse, each break in my spirit and lost dream, I never thought I heard God. I only heard the waling of my own sobs. I heard only my despair.
"Why, God! Why me?"
As the years went on, my cries subsided and my skin leathered. With each blow, I became more resistant and with each broken heart, I became more aware of trickeries and phantasms.
Then, there was the big one.
This love was like a natural disaster and, when it was done ripping through my life, whipping me around, and tearing my foundation apart, there was nothing left but me and my God. There was an eerie silence, a darkness, and a stillness in the air. I cried for all the things I'd lost and for the aching of my heart and soul. I cried for the hand I had in my own torture and torment. I cried until there were no tears left. I hurt until there was no hurt left and, then, I became numb. I became as still and quiet as the air around me.
And it was then that I heard Him.
It took me over 30 years to understand my life and life in general. It took the quieting of my sobs to hear the word of my God and to know I was healed. These days, I have a faith and conviction I have never known and am proud of my growth and the years of tearing down and building up it took to get here. It seems that all the times I thought I wasn't hearing from Him, He was busy mending me, making me stronger for the wear.
Making me, not only able to hear, but to understand.
Today, I saw that old love, that natural disaster, and as we sat across from each other over a couple of beers, it was all I could do not to get up and walk away. It had been 7 months since we'd seen one another and 7 months since my trip into that dark, still, silent space from which I emerged renewed and knowing.
I was unmoved.
And that natural disaster seemed like a cool breeze as he danced around me, trying to convince me we belong together. I could see the devil in his eyes trying to rob me of my joy and anointing. I smirked. I swiped and tapped my phone, unable to engage fully with this sliver of my past.
It took me all this time but I am finally secure and firm in my resolution for peace in my spirit, the safeguarding of my heart, and the fortitude of my mind. And, as I write this, I am thinking of all of you out there who are wondering why you and if you'll ever feel okay with yourself. Those of you who are wondering if you'll ever feel safe and secure in your own skin, aware of those who mean you harm and steering clear of them. Or maybe you think God's not listening. Maybe you think he's not fixing you. Maybe you think that all your hurt, all your mistakes, and all the times you were broken were for nothing.
Trust me; you're wrong.
Keep going. Keep living. Don't be afraid of breaking because He will heal you and you will heal stronger in those broken places. Cry. Cry all you want but, one day, the tears will stop and you will hear His voice and understand and it will all make sense. Trust me.
It's amazing how different we can become over time.