Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things I'm Loving Right Now: Green Juice Blends

When the world got on this "get healthy" kick, I went right along with them. Yes, I, the palm oil eating Liberian girl whobegins looking forward to traditional Thanksgiving dinner in December decided to extremely reform my diet. Step one was to begin to get my proper share of leafy greens, and I've decided to get them effortlessly in these yummy green juices. For tastes, they usually add an apple juice or mango puree, but for nutrients you can expect to find high doses of spinach, broccoli, wheatgrass, and other green things I would never cook on my own. All these drinks are pretty high calorie, as the fruit juices make it taste better, but it's fiber fiber FIBER! And Jody says that green juice is great as long as I drink lots of water.

The first green juice I tried is this one from Trader Joe's. It's definitely the thickest of the three, but it has a pretty good taste to it. It's pretty popular with people according to reviews online. This size bottle is $2.50, and if you're like me you won't finish it all in one sitting.

The second one is from Arden's Garden. The bottle is very plain, with nothing on the label except the ingredients. Arden's Garden is known for its juices and smoothies, so it was only fair to see what the experts sold as their specialty. This drink was the most refreshing of the three, with the cucumber and celery flavors being so distinctive. It's also about 60cents more expensive than the others.

The last one was a quick grab at Publix. It's manufactured by Naked and is definitely the tastiest of the three. I don't know what it is about the blend of the fruits and veggies, but you kind of forget you're sipping wheatgrass. The trade is that this juice has more calories. It's got the same greens as the Trader Joe's juice but a bit better blend. They're also the same price, but hey, you have your fun and taste test as we did at home.

I tweeted Whole Foods about how to make a green juice, and they tweeted me back this. Yeah I thought it was too much effort too, but at least this way you can control the amount of sugars you take in.

Other things I love right now: this commercial and Mechad Brooks. It relates because he's healthy and I'm healthy and we could be healthy together.

Can I get an Amen?

Getting My Body Right!

As the lesson for today is about intense realism (see previous post), now more than ever I have to be completely realistic about my body size and the changes that need to be made. According to physicians and trainers all over, my size and frame should only hold about 130lbs. This means I need to drop 33lbs to look tight. In order to do this, I've put down the fried sushi, and picked up a personal trainer named Jody. Jody's clients include the fabulous Keri Hilson, Polow da Don, a few strippers and video models, and now the most spectacular me. His wife was even a gold medal winner at the 1996 Olympics. That's only slightly intimidating. Take a quick peek at the start and finish of today's workout. Please excuse the Nicki Minaj in my car, I have to get my energy high to keep up with him!

Since I've been counting down the days to my hot bod, I leave you with a special list to allow you to keep me accountable.

The Top 10 Things I'm Going to do When I Drop This Weight:
10. Run around the campus in a sports bra and leggings so everyone can see me and be jealous/ honk.
Buy my string bikini.
8. Wear it.
7. Borrow one of Aisha's shirts. I just want to borrow it. I'll give it back. Most sisters can share stuff, and she's gonna HATE me when I can fit her clothes!
6. Get the tattoo of my favorite quote in the world by Ntozake Shange in script on my side.
5. Gloat.
4. Eat. I want macaroni & cheese, some super southern fried chicken, and hennessy and apple juice. Spare no caloric expense!
3. Remove the weave and cut a bob. I love short hair on slim girls and I'm going to be one. At least until I miss my Indian Wavy.
2. Take a million Macbook pics where I'm kinda sorta naked. Then I'll slowly leak them so I can become famous and have my own perfume and E! show. They're both handouts these days, and I don't mind jumping on this bandwagon.
1. Continue to workout, because I really am trying to make a conscious lifestyle change.

Hey Jody, no pressure!

What the f*#% am I doing?

Alright, it's time to shape the brand I wish to use in this world. I have a goal to be a top broadcast journalist, and in order to see it through some changes have to be made. Change has always been a fearful step for me. I like the safe, and prefer the usual. However, I think they define the safe plan as insanity, for I can never expect to advance if I'm content with sitting still.

For a little bit of motivation, I turned to a special edition of Robert Greene's laws of power. The 50th Law only contains lessons on fearlessness, and ta-da! I need to be fearless. Let's start with Lesson 1 ::See Things for What They Are — Intense Realism::
Reality can be rather harsh. Your days are
numbered. It takes constant effort to carve a
place for yourself in this ruthlessly competitive
world and hold on to it. People can be
treacherous. They bring endless battles into
your life.

Your task is to resist the temptation to wish it
were all different; instead you must fearlessly
accept these circumstances, even embrace them.
By focusing your attention on what is going on
around you, you will gain a sharp appreciation
for what makes some people advance and others
fall behind. By seeing through people’s
manipulations, you can turn them around. The
firmer your grasp on reality, the more power
you will have to alter it for your purposes.

The intense reality of things is I've got a long way to go to build my brand and I'm certainly scared of failing. So I'm biting off one step at a time.

  1. My name is Archel. This doesn't have to be confusing, especially since I don't really have a fan base, but more of a support team. Shelby was easier for people to remember, spell, like. When I want to command the world to know me, you have to actually know me. I've got so much heritage in my name, and honestly who do you trust more to deliver your news and advice? I fear that the name change thing is kind of weird. However, I kinda have to do it now, because I'm applying for jobs now.
  2. My professional twitter page is @itsArchel. If you follow the fun page, you can see why I don't want to trace it back to me. I've done the fun thing for a while now, but let's be real, I'm not getting any jobs having fun.
  3. My facebook fan page is coming up. It's a "public figure" page. Here's the kicker: that's what I want to be. I want to be in the public eye. I want to give my point of view. I want to deliver facts. I want people to know me, to love me, to feel like they're my friend, even if the only things they know are the things they read or hear. If we never ever grab lunch, I still want people to think I'm their girl. I want people to love to hate me. I want them to say "I can't believe she said that?!?" at their dinner tables. If you see things for what they are, I want to give you honest things to see. My fan page will launch once my resume reel is where I want it to be.
  4. I want Liberia to be the Paris of West Africa, even if my contribution is simply my living room cocktail parties. I still haven't decided on a name for the dress selling aspect of my brand yet, but I know it will have something to do with the adinkra symbol "nsaa" which is a type of hand woven cloth that stands for "excellence, genuineness, and authenticity." Insert ideas here.
  5. I'm going to have to change the name of my blog, and I suppose hire a real team to construct my page for me. I think of this as my baby. I pour out my innermost, confusing feelings right here, and y'all listen and text me, email me, tweet me, whatever, just to let me know you're watching me walk in progress. But I can't be Shelby for much longer. I've got to grow up, and be realistic about a lot of things if I want to turn my mark into a bang. Hell yes I'm full of fear, but I'm focusing my attention on what's going on around me, screaming on the inside, and pushing forward throughout.
I suppose everyone goes through this "What the f*#% am I doing?" feeling when they're near graduation. I was raised knowing I would go to college and get a good job after, but then what? How do I know where to go to truly live my dreams? What are my true limitations? Do I have a right to these fears? Since today was just lesson 1, I won't try to tackle everything at once. My task is to resist temptation to wish it were all different; instead I must fearlessly accept these circumstances, even embrace them. More power to me, I'm moving right along.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Naked Hustle

I will probably never forget the first time I went to a strip club. I was with 3 of my girls and some dude invited us to come out for a good time. It was of course the infamous Magic City, and for a strip club starter, my eyes opened about as wide as many of the legs in that venue. My first lap dance came from a veteran stripper named Mona Roe. I selected her off the stage because she was tall and had really ideal features for a woman: brown skin, thin, high butt, long weave, the like. As a woman who doesn't like women in a sexual capacity, I chose what I thought a guy would choose. She danced a bit in front of me and then sat directly on my lap. Then my mouth matched my eyes. I was officially turned out.

There are several reasons I like going to strip clubs.
  • I don't have to dance. Hello, there's already entertainment so I don't have to compete.
  • There are lots of pretty girls, and where there are pretty girls the guys are sure to follow.
  • When guys have loose money, they like to showout. And if I can get a free drink or chicken wing plate because you like to stunt, I won't stop you.
  • I can always learn a move or two for my private collection.
  • I am a secret fan of the hood music. There's really nothing like it.
  • It's a more generous environment than a regular nightclub. People are more generous with conversation, cash, skin, etc. And if you're going to pay $20 to get in either way, you may as well get the most booty for your buck.
  • A guy, for whatever reason, likes a girl that doesn't feel threatened by a room of naked women. If I'm cool with that, you don't have to be worried about any self-confidence issues over here.
  • I live in Atlanta. Our strippers are celebrities for whatever reason.
But I can completely understand why a woman would feel quite the opposite.
  • Strip clubs are kinda trashy. I mean, aren't there a few people you wouldn't like seeing you walking out of your local titty bar?
  • It is a huge waste of money. You've thrown stacks at a girl who isn't going home with you that night. Even a gold digger will sleep with you.
  • Some say it degrades women, but I don't really know what to count as degrading. Without going into that discussion, we'll just add "degrading" to this list.
  • It makes us think you're shopping for something you're not getting at home. If I'm at home, just come to me. I'll do a little dance for you. You can call your regular gentleman-like behavior the payment. Win-win for all.
  • Some women are slightly insecure about it. Are you comparing us to what you see there? Are you looking to find someone new? We can't all be the cool girlfriend when your goal is to look at T&A. Call me crazy but that might touch a nerve!
So what's our solution ladies? Is this a naked demon you can fight? Maybe in a pit of mud or a bath of jello in white t-shirts? Why don't we see this as another "if you can't fight em, join em" situation. Take a day of the week and go to a strip club with a completely open mind. Be the un-jealous woman in a room full of men. Imagine how liberating it could be to throw someone else's one dollar bills at a gyrating, toned woman with strategically placed tattoos as she smiles back at you with respectful acknowledgement. Just go! And enjoy! And wear stretch pants because I don't think they clean the chairs or couches of coochie. Step 1 on being "the wonderfully liberated woman" is to check it out with wide legs. I mean eyes. And mind. Wide eyes and mind. Yes.

Step 2 is to locate the stripper within yourself and then set her fiercely free! This step is not only for the bold. Pole dance is an international sport. The things women can do on a pole so gracefully may shock you. After having searched for a fun way to tone up and gain flexibility, I found this class at PoleLaTeaz, and it happened to have an added bonus of "nighttime skill." The women who've attended classes at this venue also experience a surge of confidence. With varying body types and skill levels, ladies keep the classes full as they find their own sex appeal. Since we all know how I feel about living your best, most full life, you can see why I would think this is another great element of exotic dance classes.

I support the naked hustle, because when I'm "boo-ed up" I'll have one of my own. Imagine if I could make one very special person's mouth as wide as mine was when I experienced Mona Roe? Sure, it wouldn't solve all my life's problems, but I think it'd make me wink at my reflection in a mirror. The point of it all is to really accept your femininity and work it, literally, to your advantage. Approach it with such a view. Maybe just what we need is to go with our men to the clubs, eye the moves and say, "baby let's take it back to the crib. I can do all of that." What a turn on. Now who's gonna go with me to buy their first pair of six inch clear heels?

As a strip club fan myself I would like to take space in the fine print of my blog to thank the Snack Pack girls at Magic, a couple exboyfriends with large pockets, Baker or Jazmine again at Magic, and Chris for Onyx on Tuesday's. I can't say why because my mom reads my blog, but if you are one of these people or have ever been with me in these situations, you know how they contributed to this blog post. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Help is HERE

I took this picture...
...because I saw this picture...

And it was the least I could do. I wasn't asked to be in the new "We Are the World" despite my amazing Lady Gaga renditions. And my daddy didn't give me 10 stacks and Nicki Minaj for my sweet sixteen. However I am still a citizen of the world and had to do my part. My dear friend James Holder is raising $10,000 (take that Diddy) in donations to Haiti through his amazingly selfless fundraiser called JKH2 is HERE (Haitian Earthquake Relief Effort). All we have to do is donate a minimum of $50 to either Red Cross or Yele Haiti, and then log onto and sign up. Here's a flyer for you visual learners.

Stunning picture, right? Such a charitable steal.

I can't make the situation in Haiti any more relatable to you than it already should be. Imagine, we are the lucky ones. So put the shoes down, and imagine that same $50 going to helping feed a family tonight. Plus, I like looking at pictures of myself. Thanks for the header, James.

Spring Showcase Recap

I wanted to thank all of the beautiful ladies that came out to my showcase this past Saturday. I will always say I have the best supporters in the world, and I hope that everyone understands how much great friends mean to me. I have become this sort of "Jane of all trades" as I search to find my real calling in life, and I love that so many are willing to share in my growth. Here are some snapshots of the goodies you all seemed to enjoy.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't have sold as much without my sisters. Everything they put on sold really fast. I love my cheap labor models :) Muah! PS: I'm wearing a Heart EU.RI.KA. necklace in this photo. Amazing jewelry that was also being sold at the showcase!

Friends from all areas came out to try stuff on! I was so excited and really couldn't move fast enough to see all the cute things you tried on!

I know I was supposed to send out thank you emails to everyone, but more than that I just want you to know how amazing it is to see people here wearing the same styles and prints as the women of Liberia. I love that fashion really can unite people. It sounds silly, but imagine, you have a little piece of West Africa for spring! Thanks so much for showing support, and thanks to my dad and Uncle Leon for being my importers this go 'round. Also thanks to my Aunt Jenny and Jules for refreshments. Of course there was more than enough rum punch and sweet potato cheesecake leftover that I was super happy the rest of the week.

So for next time, I'm going to try to have pretty bags for you to take your dresses home in. Also the price is going up :(

Any ideas on a company name??!?