VBG's favorite things (Spring edition)...

Compared to my March posts, this one is quite subdued but then again not all observations leave you rolling on the floor laughing, some just make you feel good. I may not have the following (yet) nor bank account of my fellow VBG Oprah but there are some products that actually make me swoon - again and again. (links are active)

Like many women I've suffered from a mild case of anemia since the birth of my wunderkind but only recently have I taken serious steps to correct it. Since most iron supplements have that dreadful side effect  of constipation and I am a VERY regular gurl (I know,  TMI), I have never committed to taking one. That is until I found Megafood's Bloodbuilder in early 2011.  This once daily supplement contains iron, folate, B12 and Vitamin C and is derived from food so it is more easily absorbed and tolerated by the body. I was told once that the body absorb vitamins/minerals best while you rest so I keep it on my nightstand and set an alarm for 10pm which upsets my cat, who won't stop meowing loudly until it I shut it off. So guess who doesn't miss a dose anymore - hey whatever it takes, right?  And how cool is it that Megafood is actually giving me a bottle for one of my lucky readers. 

Bra Intimate wear shopping had never been fun for me, the choices too often limited to kinky foreplay type garments or cotton granny panties and bras with little to no support or cups with ridiculous points reminiscent of darts - why? Then a few years ago while in Mechanicsburg, PA  I came upon a Cacique boutique. As a life long voluptuous gurl, I knew Cacique was Lane Bryant 's line of intimate wear but this was a whole store. I can only describe it as Vickie's Secret for Voluptuous Gurls - and it's about time! I have been a loyal patron ever since. Anyone who knows me knows I love my gurls and proudly sport a car magnet that proclaims "I Love my Big Tatas"  and indeed Cacique's designers seem to as well. Each season, I can't wait to see what treasures await my discovery...great fit, bold prints, cool colors, varied fabrics, and each sexier than the last. I am never disappointed. See what I scored on my most recent visit - the black one is the multi-way which can be worn strapless or adjusted to compliment my many summer dresses!  Last Christmas they even offered a bra with Swarovski crystals embedded in it and priced at the modest $750. Mrs.Claus must've hijacked mine because I'm STILL waiting for that bra!
I'm an earthy gurl who loves pampering and spice. I'm all about patchouli, sandwood, neroli and tonka bean scents. Discovered during my vegan phase last winter is the uber awesome LUSH ....home of "fresh handmade cosmetics". The smells, the packaging (little to none), textures and fun - all cruelty free, many vegan. I've been hooked ever since despite returning to my meat eating ways. Among the items I love Buffy body butter which exfoliates and moisturizes, glide it on, rinse off and pat yourself dry. A great item for date night is Hottie massage bars, it just doesn't exfoliate. The first time I used it I awoke the next morning trying to figure out what that awesome yet subtle scent was only to discover it was me! Solid like the old cocoa butter sticks I used as teen but far, far superior. As you glide it over your skin it gently melts and lightly but luxuriously coats your skin. Their Karma fragrance, soap and shampoo bar blow me away - they are as earthy as I wanna be.  And then there are Toothy Tabs . I am a bit of an oddity in that I have never liked regular toothpaste but have nearly perfect teeth naturally.  It looks like an aspirin but tastes much better. Once chewed, add a wet toothbrush and viola you nice tooth"paste" alternative that doesn't make you gag, cleans your teeth and freshen your breath too. Though, I've not yet tried them my Wunderkind loves their bubble bars and bath bombs - they are a staple gift for every celebration.

You may or may not know about black women and their hair.  Now there's a lesson in cultural attitudes. A sista will forgo all kinds of necessities (exercise, food, even sex) if necessary to get and keep her 'do right. Personally, I was in a constant struggle to perm or not to perm for two decades and actually spent another decade as a natural long before it was en vogue. Then after the last few of years of perming and frying my hair with a flat iron, I decided last June to cut it all off. I'd just separated from a job I'd hated and wanted to remove any such negative energy as well. I fully expected to hate it because I have a very round face and I thought a short cut would not be so kind. I figured I'd grow it back while job hunting and save some money in the process. To my surprise, the minute I got out of the chair @ Shear Expressions I LOVED MY HAIR! After all the years of processing, I was no longer familiar with the natural texture of my hair so I had to test a variety of products to enhance my curl pattern while moisturizing my hair. I also don't like all the unnecessary and harmful chemicals found in too many beauty aids. Yes, I really do worry about what's in just about everything that I put in, on, around this temple of mine! I'd started using Organix Moroccan argan oil, shampoo and conditioner about a year earlier because I found the original Moroccanoil products to be grossly over priced. It was love at first shampoo and then almost on cue, right after I cut my hair off, they introduced a curl defining creme. At $7.00 per 6 oz, paraben and sulfate free, it truly is perfect. My curls are soft, dry, shiny and my hair is growing like weeds!

Republic of Tea.Can you say bliss in a teacup? You can if one of their teas, Ginger Peach, Almond Coconut Macaroon Red or Mango Chili Green Bush among them is in your cup. I told ya I am a spicy gurl. I don't think of myself as a person with a lot of rituals but I do have two that involve this brand of tea.  First, without fail every night a drink a cup of unsweetened herbal tea, just before bed and I sleep very soundly which is not the same as quietly or so I'm told.  And my requisite birthday gift to myself every year for the last decade includes a new pair of funky earrings, a new book, and a new flavor of tea from Republic of Tea. What a way to kick off my celebration of life!

Since I am training again for a couple of distance races, music is something I can't live without.  The beats I keep loaded on my ipod definitely help me maintain and increase the speed at which the Big Browns (my nickname for my legs) get the job done.  Right now I'm rocking to the 40 Thieves Orchestra's Balkan Babylon.   I also love ambient/chill music of BENT (how can you not like two Englishmen who can jazz up an old Billie Holiday song or Toni Tennille sample and make them touch your soul) and BLISS- they got Boy George singing again - need I say more!

In recent years, I've become a much more conscious meat eater.  I hate the thought of animals who have never grazed a pasture, are fed a steady diet of antibiotics, then horrifically and often ineptly slaughtered. I'm certain a life of vegetarianism is in my future but until then we eat less meat now and I buy only organic meats and brown eggs (what else would a brown gurl eat?). I'm so glad I found Ayrshire Farm. I believe in spending my dollars close to home and supporting smaller businesses. Our meat is almost exclusively sourced from them. I purchase it at My Organic Markets in MD. Their meats are sustainably and locally produced and humanely raised. Their bratwurst, a really lowfat beef and pork blend is sublime, better than any I had even in Germany. Bought some today as a matter of fact. Their thinly sliced pork great for stir- fries or a that new marinade you've been dying to try. The ground beef is lean and slightly grassy tasting. My Wunderkind makes tacos every week with it. She loves to use with their chicken wings in her almost famous Old Bay Wings too. Oh yeah, she's getting some skill in the kitchen-could it be otherwise for an offspring of mine?

Another great source of whole food nutrition that I've fallen in love with is roasted golden beets. Not so fast with "Yuck" please. These taste nothing like their red, pickled brethren.  You'll likely only come across them at a high end grocery store like Wegmans or a natural food store that carries a wide array of organic produce. Do yourself a favor and seek some out, choose plum sized beets (about a pound), scrub them and lightly peel away the scruffy bottoms. Cut each into 6 -8 pieces, toss them in a bowl with 1 TB extra virgin olive oil, (add a pinch of salt if you must - I don't), wrap them loosely but completely in aluminum foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then enjoy!!! They are great as a side or on salads and so good for you too.

So now you know some of what VBG loves.  Now I'd like to hear from you. Just become a follower of my blog and post a comment, letting me if you've tried or plan to try one of my favorite things and we'll put your name in the drawing which will take place Monday, April 15th. Good Luck!

Update 4/15/12: and the winner is Teri's Trek. While i appreciate every reader and the comments sent to my personal email, she was the only one who posted her comment properly to my blog.  Congrats TERI!  Your vitamins are on the way.


Teri's Trek said…
I LOVE this! I like the layout, the content, the pictures, and the descriptions. My favorite part though is the picture of your beautiful bras! I need to step up my game in that area. Just got fitted and learned that like a lot of women, I've been wearing the wrong size. So I bought two new bras- beige and black!! You've inspired me to go for color from now on. I plan to try the tea, mayyyybbbeee the beets, and since I've never bought or cooked organic meat, think I'll give that a try too. I'm looking forward to checking out more of your posts. Keep 'em coming!

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