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SALTY

I’m done with this year, throw the entire year away.

Photo Courtesy of my friend Natalie and Soul Synergy Center. Also, my ponytail is cute.

A combination of rave reviews and a shit week resulted in me booking an appointment to visit Mississippi’s only salt cave located inside of Soul Synergy Center in Flowood,  Mississippi.

WTH is a salt cave? What are the benefits? Such an inquisitive little reader. For more information (including cost), visit their website.

The Friday before last, I sashayed into the center in camo and platforms, with the appropriate clothing in tow. I arrived earlier than expected so I walked around their store, checked Facebook to judge you guys then walked around a bit more. I didn’t really have any expectations, was borderline skeptical but was hoping to be surprised. I thought it would be cool if I floated out of the session, glowing.

While waiting, I was informed I could get a foot massage while in the salt cave and because Husband doesn’t rub my feet longer than 3.2 minutes, I thought why not? Once in the cave, I picked one of the several zero gravity chairs, was given a warm compress for my neck and a blanket (because it’s a bit chilly in the cave). And, because I had a bit of a stressful week, I did not do a great job relaxing. Basically, my brain did the following for 44 of the 45 minutes in the cave.

And when I was finally able to clear my mind and relax, the bell rung. My time was up. I wondered if it was a waste of time and money but once I left the cave, I was able to breath better (I was a bit congested when I first entered). While my brain was still a bit frazzled, my body felt completely relaxed. Once home, I was super shocked that my eczema outbreak had completely dried up. I had a patch that had been there for a couple of weeks, most likely triggered by stress.

There was a group meditation in the salt cave the following week so of course, I went and arrived 2 seconds before the session was scheduled to begin (Flowood is far AF). I didn’t want to attend because my sucky week rolled into the new week but that was also the reason I needed to go. Once again, I really didn’t have any expectations and was too stuck in my head to wonder what group meditation would be like.

I was not as successful at clearing my mind but thanks to the instructor’s reminders to clear our thoughts (hey Beth), I took those as opportunities to start again. A few times during the meditation, I felt chills and was later told there was a lot of energy in the cave. I thought I was just cold, should’ve wore a sweater. Maybe, it was my pony tail growing to the butt-length I’ve been desiring for the last couple years. Either way, I’ll be back.

If you’ve ever been to a salt cave, tell me about your experience. If you’ve been to the one in Soul Synergy Center, how was it? If you want to buy my friendship, please buy a session for me.

Follow me everywhere @pinkgumbeaux.

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FINDING MY PURPOSE ON THE POLE

Note: This does post not contain any pictures or videos of me on the pole because I can’t trust you guys (not you mom, I can trust you).

Last Thursday, my “friend” at Silent Socialite asked me if I knew about Taboo Dance and Aerial Fitness‘ Holiday Pole Jam. I was like nah but that seems fun. Another friend encouraged it, stating it would be a great opportunity to make new friends and I love making new friends because I am so friendly (I’m not). Then, I decided it would be too much socializing, I didn’t have any shorts (which was suggested on the site), plus it cost $35. Do you people think I’m Bill Gates? But, I was unsuccessful in getting out of it, took out a second mortgage and bought my ticket (first of all, I don’t have a first mortgage), and bought shorts from Old Navy that showed more thigh than I was comfortable with. I invited the friends I thought was most likely to have rhythm.

It was Friday night and I was wondering what should one eat before swinging around a pole. I settled on wine and a baked potato Baby Gumbeaux ate most of. Upon arrival, my “friend” was just getting out of her car, we entered the building together, and was encouraged to drink. Drinking then hitting the pole seemed dangerous but whatevs.

It was time to start and opposed to the traditional stretching, we twerked it out to City Girls. This, I can do. I had been waiting for an opportunity to twerk outside of my living room. Now, to the pole. At this point, I would like to explain why my friend received quotation marks. There was a lot of chorography to be learned in two hours, is this the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? Not to mention, I had to keep spraying rubbing alcohol on my hands to grip the pole. I thought I should arrive like a melanin goddess so I applied Vaseline, cocoa butter and glitter before arrival. It should’ve been common sense that arriving as a greasy and glittery chicken strip would prohibit me from gripping the pole but sense isn’t always common.

We were split into two groups and each time it was my group’s turn, I envisioned killing my performance and I most definitely killed something, just not the routine. Overall, I had fun. So much fun that I was ready to join the class and become a competitive pole dancer, my true purpose. But first, I need to ditch the basic bitch gym membership I have so if there are any doctors or lawyers who can get me out of this contract, email me.

Side note: I was sore af the next day. Not sure I left the bed much that day. To be quite honest, my knees still hurt. Why do my knees hurt? Anyway, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @pinkgumbeaux. And, I have a podcast! It’s for transplants and sometimes locals which may never apply to you but check it out anyway, I need the numbers.

I love us for real.

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33-YEARS OLD, HAS S*** TOGETHER. HERE’S HOW!

I turned 33 on October 12th and almost instantly, I had my shit together.

Just kidding, clickbait.

Per tradition, I reflect on the previous year and set goals for the next year. Obviously, becoming Baby Gumbeaux’s mom and adjusting to motherhood was the biggest event of the year. To compliment that adjustment, I resigned from every organization and board, with the exemption of PTA . My true calling (Read: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep). As a result, I am spending my time the way I want. Well, with the exception of the time I spend working for the man. Anyway, I have more time to focus on family and my personal goals which include, but are not limited to:

Not complaining. Complaining about being in Jackson, lack of advancement in my career, not being able to find a foundation to match my skin tone, etc. Now, I am only discussing what I want and taking action which often includes balancing a shitload of stuff, because I want to accomplish a shitload of things. To compliment this change, I recite affirmations every morning but then I found out Baby Gumbeaux was slapping her classmates for touching her hair and bib so I started reciting them with her, on the way to school. Naturally, we started including Husband Gumbeaux or should I call him Daddy Gumbeaux? Zaddy Gumbeaux?

Launching my podcast entitled Jxn Transplants. Now, I get to be honest about my struggle to adjust and know there are other transplants who relate. It also gives a ton of recommendations to transplants, Jacksonians, and even people who want to visit Jackson. Apparently, that is a thing.

Taking pictures more often. Not for you weirdos, in general. I detest taking pictures. I don’t know how to pose, my eyes are usually closed, terrible angles; mostly importantly, I don’t like smiling. Thugs don’t smile. I think it’s because I have become increasingly uncomfortable with my body; particularly, after incubation.

Last and least but certainly not least, I have to finish writing my dissertation. I’ve been talking about this for the last few years (I enrolled in the program a year after starting this blog). I have tons of excuses: sick and tired, interested but uninterested, dreams and goals have changed, struggling to find the relevancy of having a PhD, drained, merely thinking about it is exhausting. Actually, I’m going to take a nap.

And, I’m up. Fun fact: I am still paying tuition and have to remain enrolled if I want to finish this very last step. As a result, I will finish. Prayer warriors, reach your hands out to me and help me get through this. I may include you in the acknowledgements. Side note: it’s super annoying when people who have never been enrolled in a doctoral program ask me what’s taking so long. What’s taking so long for you to mind your business? 

Yeah, so… I accept your belated birthday wishes. I am still accepting gifts and money. As stated many times before, my friendship can be bought. Listen to my podcast and tell me I’m doing an awesome job. Read and share my previous post: Fun Facts My Parents (and Grandparents) Don’t Know

Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.

Ashlee, out.

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FUN FACTS MY PARENTS (AND GRANDPARENTS) DON’T KNOW!

The names and details have been changed to protect the identity of family and friends who can still get their asses whipped. I stay out-of-state and am willing to take one for the team. Plus, I ain’t never scared but mostly because my mom has a bad memory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While attempting to get through the work day, I decided to listen to artists and groups I was obsessed with but hadn’t listened to in a while. I started with Dru Hill which resulted in a series of posts:

So if you could not tell by the title, there may be several a few things my parents and grandparents are unaware of.

As a super Christian, my mother didn’t allow me to listen to secular music. Not only did my grandparents buy me Dru Hill’s album but I had Ginuwine (which often included a series of photos; notably, shirtless Ginuwine). What they didn’t buy me (yet I somehow had access to) was Juvenile’s 400 Degreez (which is the ideal temperature for frozen pizza because I like a little crisp). Anyway, this album features what should be the national anthem: Back That Azz Up. Hey Mom, did you know Sister Jennie popped me with a rolled up piece of newspaper for throwing it in a circle at one of my middle school dances? In my defense, I was not the only one twerking but got caught. Typical.

Speaking of throwing it in a circle, I learned to twerk at a very young age from someone who shall remain nameless. Very controversial outside of New Orleans but pretty much the norm there because… Bounce Music. Instructions: Arch your back and pop your butt up and down slowly but forcefully. You will gain speed over time and with practice you may become an expert, middle-aged rump shaker like me. Most of you will never achieve this level of excellence because you don’t have heart. Stay stiff.

Shorty after starting high school, I became a bibliophile overnight. No one questioned it because reading was a constructive habit. It started when a friend suggested I read the Coldest Winter Ever (which I read in 2 days or less). Then, I asked my grandfather if he could start buying me books. He accompanied me to the book store and bought me two books a week from 10th grade to college. What he didn’t know is he wasn’t just paying for teen drama and fantasy. There were some gangsta novels and erotica. I always had Zane’s newest books.

Last but certainly not least is what I like to call “Bible Study and Chill.” In high school, Thursday was bible study night. First, children then adults (I am not sure who came up with such a inconvenient schedule for parents). Anyway, my grandmother stayed near so we (people who shall remain nameless and me) would walk to her house once we were done. Once there, we would invite friends over. Those friends usually included boys we liked. Once adult bible study was done, “the lookout” would call to let us know the adults were on their way. We never got caught.

What’s funny is my uncle was always upstairs but we knew it was unlikely that he would come downstairs, move or even breath. Most of the time, we would be outside talking (which we could’ve done at church) but you know, we wanted to be sneaky and badass (we as in people I won’t mention and me). Since my mom is the only one who reads this blog, I would like to apologize and ask that you wait until after my birthday to snitch. I don’t want this to effect my gifts and your mom making me a sweet potato pie. We all we got.

If you guys liked this post, you’ll be excited about what I reveal in another 15 years! Read and share my previous post: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Broke Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep. Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux

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10-MONTHS-OLD, PARTIES LIKE A BROKE ROCKSTAR & DOES NOT CARE IF WE GET SLEEP

I have an awesome idea for Baby Gumbeaux’s first birthday. I am going to throw myself a party! I think surviving a year of motherhood should be rewarded.

BG is still a bat out of hell in a walker, only crawls on carpet (will freeze and have a meltdown if you put her on the floor), now stands in her playpen (often holding on to the rail, dancing, dropping it low then picking it up slow), and can say three words: heeeeey (hey), mama, and dada. Side note: She said mama first. Why? I have been practicing it with her for the last two months, behind Husband’s back. 

One thing I find interesting is when we are all together, she goes back and forth between Husband and me. It’s like she wants to give us equal attention. Thanks for your consideration baby Iyanla Vanzant.

Home girl thinks she is supposed to eat everything we eat and for the most part, she does. We have even split a bottle of wine. And, no. No, she has not secured employment and does not financially contribute to the household. At the least, she should be washing her own clothes and changing her diaper.

At this moment, I want you to brace yourselves for the most important news ever announced on Pink Gumbeaux, more important than my 32 years on earth, and probably more important than the combined accomplishments of all my readers!

Are you sitting?

OK.

Are you sure you are ready?

Fine.

I’m trying to make sure you’re good.

A month or so ago, I attended a parent-teacher conference where they informed us of the parent association and asked if anyone was interested in being a board member. I lit up, Husband shook his head. I have a shitload of stuff on my plate and have been working for the last year to get rid of it but none of that mattered, I raised my hand. At that moment, a bright light appeared over me. Actually, that didn’t happen. I don’t think that particular room has windows… Anyway, I spent the next few weeks obsessing over “the email” announcing the meetings and officers. I told everyone that I was running for office and planned to win the election.

The day of elections (last Thursday), I overdressed the baby and dressed as if I was being named CEO of a Fortune 500. I had even memorized a small speech regarding my experience and platform. Yes, I did this in real life. Once there, only 2 (including me) of the 5 parents who volunteered to be officers showed up. When the daycare’s director asked about officers, I volunteered to be president and was elected. The other parent was unsure and I am not sure if the others have picked positions but that didn’t stop me from telling family and friends that I won by a landslide. I am even demanding they address me as President, bragged about being a public official, and may change this blog to President Gumbeaux.

 

Yeah so, I’ve had an awakening. Life experiences, getting married and having a baby has led me to become President of the Parent’s Association. This is my purpose. Hello public office, I am here and I am going to change the world!

For whatever reason, a host of family and friends think the daycare and parents should be afraid. Something about me being Type A, bossy, and “extra”. Right, Ercilla? Isn’t that the word you used? Of course, I disagree. I’m more of an ambitious, sometimes aggressive, bossy, impatient and extra person.

Anyway, this concludes my 10-month update. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

Read and share my previous post: National Read a Damn Book Day. Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux