The Menstrual Cup Saga Continues: Road Tripping In West Africa And The Diva Cup Potential


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I had been trying menstrual cups for several months with no luck. By then I was on my third brand, Diva Cup, and still skeptical, but it seemed as if the Diva Cup was actually showing some progress after an initial awkward start, but I needed to do more research.

I have gotten my period again since that post, and once again I used the Diva Cup. This time around, I was in a new environment where my period was acting erratically and I was road tripping. Basically, I went on a nine day trip to Ghana and Togo, and my body reacted. In case you didn’t know, traveling across time zones can affect your period, especially if you go somewhere tropical. If that wasn’t a test then I don’t know what was!

I willed my period to come early, as in, a week before the trip, but I was playing myself because my period comes like clockwork, never early, never late (I think it was late once, but you get the point). So, it was just my luck that I woke up on the morning of my afternoon/overnight flight to Ghana with full on blood in my underwear. It wasn’t heavy, but I figured that by the time I got to Accra the next day, it would be heavier. I’m not about that plane bathroom life (I’ll hold my pee for entire flights if I can; the longest I went to date was 10 hours) or changing pads and tampons while traveling, so when I got to the airport, I inserted the Diva Cup about an hour before my 9.5 hour flight.

When I got to the other side, I discovered that the cup served me well. There was no spotting in my underwear and everything was in the cup. However, being the cynic that I am, I still doubted it. I had to wait until my cycle turned up the volume before I made a decision, and figured that I’d have at least another 3 more days before I could fully determine. My period usually lasts for about 6 days, and I get a good 2 heavy days, and one and a half medium days out of that.

Side Note: This is me in Togo, by the way:


Traveling made my body act really screwy. Not only did I have an 8 day period (#DaFuq), but my period was misleadingly light for the first 3 (It’s usually at full power by the second and third day), and then turned on the heavy blood works toward the end, but it kept coming and going between light and heavy (I wasn’t the only woman on the trip who experienced that). It was annoying and weird, but I must admit, the Diva Cup kept me sane. I was still worried about it, but it got me through two 5 hour road trips, and a 14 hour road trip was was supposed to be 5 (um…road tripping in West Africa can be dramatic, and traumatic, and I still question my sanity, but that’s another story). On the latter road trip, I should have changed midway, but I decided to be trifling and keep it in (also because rest stop stations aren’t really a thing there, so your other option is to pray for a gas station that actually has a bathroom, or go in the bush, and the latter wasn’t happening with a cup because…soap, water and germs). When I got to my final destination, my cup had almost runneth over and there was some spotting on my panties, but it wasn’t terrible.

Overall, here’s what I noticed: On my really heavy days, there was no way I could keep the cup in for the full 12 hours because after a while, some blood droplets began dripping (slowly, but still) down to my panties. It wasn’t soggy or gross, and honestly, I didn’t notice until I looked, but I’m not about that blood stains coming through my pants life, so I remained vigilant. What worked for me on heavy days was changing after about 8 hours. I also noticed that I shifted on occasion. It didn’t happen much, but when it did I noticed and made the proper adjustments.

I’m getting a better hang of inserting my Diva Cup, but I still need some practice. If you put it in too high then the cup will definitely cause leakage, and if it hurts when you insert it start over, because you’re probably putting it in wrong. Like I said, I’m still practicing, but I’m getting closer to success. Perhaps I’ll be a pro by the end of my next cycle.

Will Menstrual Cups Ever Let Me Be Great?

Diva Cup

Aside from cramps and fatigue, the worst thing about my period is having to wear pads and tampons. Pads, no matter how thin, feel like diapers and get soggy, and tampons are rough (at least to me), drying, they can throw off your vaginal pH, carry the risk of toxic shock syndrome, and trace amounts of various toxic chemicals that may or may not be harmful. They’re also expensive.

On the other side of pads and tampons you have menstrual cups. Menstrual cups tend to be made with reusable silicone, and other polymeric-like materials (it differs by brand), which means less risk for toxic chemicals to leak into your body, no risk of toxic shock syndrome, you can wear them for longer stretches of time (most boast up to 12 hour wear, but that still depends on your flow), and many can be used repeatedly for multiple cycles (or until they finally wear out). The types of menstrual cups you get, and there are a lot of them out there, vary, but the general consensus is that they’re better for your body, and the Earth.

After reading my friend Sheena LaShay’s experience with the Instead Soft Cup, I decided to give it a go for the first time last year. For some silly reason, I assumed the entire process would be simple, but nope. That wasn’t the case.

My first round with the Soft  Cup, and the three subsequent months of trying to make it happened were frustrating. The problem that I kept having was that the cup kept slipping out, and also shifting out of place, which would cause it to leak. So, basically, I still ended up wearing pads with my Soft Cup because I was afraid of shifting and leaking. Before you start questioning my insertion practices, do know that I’m familiar with my body and what the inside of my vagina feels like. I work with Yoni eggs, generally feel around up there often just to make sure nothing palpably weird is going on. Most important, I read the instructions thoroughly, and made several attempts to get the cup to sit right by inserting in different ways and from various positions, and it just didn’t work. I figured that it was something I needed to keep practicing and getting used to, so I decided to try it for a total of three cycles. By the end of my last cycle, I was frustrated and convinced that there was something wrong with the way my vagina was shaped. The verdict: Soft Cup didn’t happen.

The next up to bat was the Luna Cup. That also came with issues. The first cup I ordered was the wrong size (because the Amazon shop that I ordered it from was mislabeled), so it didn’t fit properly (yup, I tried it anyway). The next time around, I ordered the correct size and still no bueno. The cup kept slipping out and shifting out of place, which led to that pesky leaking problem again, so I decided to give up.

Months later, which brings us to my last cycle, late last month, I decided to try again with a different brand.

See, what had happened was…I stumbled upon a post on Facebook from a group of women singing the praises of various menstrual cups. Everyone had tried and had great success with different brands, and I was just confused because I felt like the only menstrual cup failure. Seriously, I have read nothing but glowing reports about menstrual cups, various brands, everywhere, even beyond that Facebook thread, but when it came to me they just weren’t working.

The women in said Facebook group are women whose opinions I take seriously, so I decided to give it ago again. This time around, I tried the Diva Cup.

The verdict is still out, but I made some progress. I had the shifting out of place problem for the first two days, but by day three I seemed to start developing a rhythm and finally got comfortable-ish. I still wore a pad just in case the shifting out of place problem started again, but for the rest that period, aside from mine spots here and there, it seemed that I had finally found a cup that worked for me (I consider my flow heavy, btw).

Admittedly, I was too scared to work out with the cup so I’m not yet satisfied in my research. I need more testing before I go around boasting that I’m a menstrual cup convert, but things are finally starting to show promise. Give me another couple of cycles before I get back to you on this with more thorough details!

Detroit Travel & Wellness: A Spa Guide for all Five Senses

Photo Via MGM Grand Detroit
Photo Via MGM Grand Detroit

Detroit is currently experiencing a resurgence, which is causing the area to attract a huge number of travelers to the comeback city. Whether business is what lures you or pleasure, consider taking a moment out to visit one of the local spas during your trip. Between shuffling between planes, and walking around–I found myself needing a few hours at the spa to relax and release stress. Nothing produces maximum productivity and clarity more than a good ole fashion massage and rub down. Find three Detroit spas to consider while visiting below:


The MGM Grand

The MGM Grand not only provides lodging and gambling at the in-house casino, they are also home to the Immerse Spa. Designed as an adult’s only spa, they promote peace and tranquility by eliminating cell phones in a smoke free environment. The Immerse Spa offer’s every service you can think of and as a bonus to hotel guest they also do in-room visits.

1777 Third Street Detroit, MI 48226


The Woodhouse Day Spa

The Woodhouse Day Spa, listed as being a “Wellness Sanctuary,” is a Detroit staple that creates an oasis that attacks stress and leaves you in a euphoric state of mind. As soon as you cross over the threshold your personal concierge comes out to greet you, then escorts you to your room for your choice of facials, massages, and body scrubs to name a few.

1447 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48226


Tamara Spa

Our final location has been voted as the best spa in Michigan, and is frequented by traveling celebrities such as Anita Baker, Barbara Streisand, and Tim Allen to name a few. Tamara Spa has been serving the community of Detroit for over 15 years, and was named by Vogue Magazine as the best spa for body treatments. Their menu includes services that cover every inch of your body and soul.

32520 Northwestern Hwy, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334

Whether you need to step away from the stress of work, want to have a day out with the girls, or a tourist needing a reprieve, Detroit Michigan aims to bring you back to Zen with one of their many spas. Once you’re done, be sure to check out one of their many restaurants and museums in the area. The comeback city of Detroit is a cultural center with many hidden gems just waiting for you to discover.


This article was written by Kitty Bradshaw | Website | Instagram | FaceBook | Twitter

#EmotionInMotion: How I Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed



I haven’t written about my emotions in a while, yet it’s therapeutic, so when I was asked to write this post either about feeling glamorous or overwhelmed for Bernadette Pleasant’s #EmotionInMotion Blog Tour along with other emotional and expressive women bloggers, I thought it would be a good idea. I am an empathic, compassionate, sensitive, highly intuitive and emotional Moon Child who knows a lot about feeling overwhelmed.

The picture you see above would be me, of course. I don’t remember much about that day, but I was about 9, it was Easter, and I was definitely overwhelmed by frustration about something. In that moment, I’m pretty sure that whatever it was that was bothering me was petty. I vaguely recall my mother telling me that I couldn’t do or have something and so, I made that face in an attempt to wish her into the cornfield. She sometimes took photos of me making that face in an effort to get me to stop. I still make that face today because I’m hard-headed, and I still get really overwhelmed by my emotions, and especially adulthood, but at least I now look at that photo and chuckle.

If I could go back in time and send that little girl a message based on what I know now, I’d tell her how much more disappointment she’d face and how much stronger she’d become because of it. I’d warn her about the anxiety and depression that she would be so easily overwhelmed by. I’d urge her to focus on things that feed her soul, especially when she’s feeling swamped by the weight of everything, and although this is cliche, I’d encourage her to not sweat the small stuff.

The grown woman that that little girl has become is still an empathic, compassionate, sensitive, highly intuitive and emotional Moon Child but it’s only now, several years later, that she is learning how to cope.

I work in media, a high pressure field that in the height of my depression in 2013, I had to take a break from because it made me want to either lash out or die, sometimes both at the same time. I was so overwhelmed by my desire to feel better and be better that I got stuck and very sick. I made no progress creatively or mentally and while I haven’t been literally suicidal, I’ve come close metaphorically. I have questioned whether I wanted to continue living. I found myself weighing the pros and cons of whether it would be worth it to get out of bed. I beat myself up about my career not going the way I had planned, or hoped. I wondered why a lot of the people I had encountered in my field were so shitty. I had grown accustomed to a culture of staff getting cursed out in meetings or being berated for looks, weight, not having enough Twitter followers and other arbitrary, trite things. I wondered why people in general were so crappy toward each other. It was a stifling phase I was in.

Eventually, tired of being deluged by so many negative feelings and tired of not wanting to participate in my life, I got therapy. I also started consistently pursuing hobbies that speak to my soul, like dance, and pole dance, being active in general, and writing for myself, not some magazine and not an audience. I’ve learned how to say no, how to prioritize, how to eliminate toxic people and environments from my life, how to stop beating myself up and how to get over being overwhelmed to the point where I’m not making progress, and I’m starting to feel better, one day at a time.

Emotions can be transformative as long as you allow yourself to feel, identify and understand.  If you’re ready to further explore those feelings through movement, then keep reading to find out more about Bernadette Pleasant’s #EmotioninMotion tour.

EiM FB Cover 1

Bernadette Pleasant, the creator of Emotion in Motion has developed a safe and sacred day-long journey that engages the mind, body and soul. Weaving together the use of music, percussions, meditation, and hands-on healing. Her January 4th workshop will create an impactful, life-changing experience for each participant! You can purchase tickets here or participate in her latest giveaway.

To enter the giveaway go to her website and leave a comment answering the following question, “When someone says you’re emotional, what does that mean to you?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What I’ve Learned From Flaky People


Let me start this by saying that I don’t have a perfect track record when it comes to flaking but I’ve never been the type of person to consistently flake on people, or to know about something for weeks, commit to showing up and then back out at the last minute. I’ve also never done the ole commit to showing up but don’t mention until the day of said event, if at all, that I’m not going to show up anymore, subsequently leaving the person that has been waiting around sitting in that restaurant alone for naught but I’ve experienced that more than I’d like to.

It’s hurtful, selfish and inconsiderate behavior that happens too often.

I had a recent experience that triggered this post (and a Facebook rant too, which I don’t usually do). It doesn’t matter what happened other than I got ditched by multiple people, most shortly before the agreed upon meeting that had been in the works A MONTH in advance. Like, all intended parties said they were cool with this 30 days prior.  Basically, only one person out of a big group showed up. We still had fun catching up, which was the highlight of that day and that’s my point.

Flakes aren’t new to me yet despite the fact that I’m a cynic, there’s still a part of me that hopes that people won’t be so predictable but I still find myself disappointed and hurt. I’m human so the emotions are normal, but sometimes other humans aren’t worth being frustrated about so, from now on they won’t get my energy and I’ll focus on people who have proven to be reliable and have a vested interest in maintaining a real life connection with me.

One solid friend is worth 10o times more than 10 flakes.

Adventures in Pole Dancing: I’m Out of It


I was physically the strongest I had ever been when we moved back to New York in November but then I stopped working out. Fastforward to today, I am a weakling, mentally and physically, and it’s breaking my heart yet I’m still paralyzed.

I haven’t been to a pole dancing class since right before Christmas, and the one time I poled after that was for my participation in a High Heeled Hottie Night. It was then that I realized how much luster I lost when it comes to poling and life in general. I’m even struggling to write this.

Actually, I’m struggling with finding the motivation to do anything. I have absolutely no passion, no spark and no desire and I hate it. I feel like I’ve been working for a long time toward dreams and goals but getting nothing in return but stress and trauma and so, I’ve shut down. I used to fight this feeling by continuously moving and doing but it seems like the more I move and do, the more I hope and wish, the more things collapse, so I’m allowing myself to be at an impasse.

I initially began this about pole but it’s obviously deeper, as in, depression again, and I’m tired of talking and thinking about it so I am just going to stop for now. Maybe if I don’t fight or try this time something good will happen instead of how it usually goes. Maybe my brain will recharge and I’ll stop being a shell of my former self.

Eight Ways to Stick to Your New Years Resolutions

Keeping Up With Resolutions

This is the time of year when New Years Resolutions are forgotten and people resume their regularly scheduled shenanigan-filled schedules, but you can still win…if you want to. For years, I’ve been that person who would jump on the resolution bandwagon, fall off then beat myself up because I hate not seeing goals come to fruition, but eventually I started revamping how I did things and it seems to be working.

My problem was that I viewed resolutions like fads. Everyone set them and then forgot about them before first quarter ended. However, after some self-reflection I realized that seeing my resolutions as on-going goals–longterm and short–was a better way to set foundations for improvements that I wanted to make in my life. Instead of starting on January 1, I began applying ideas whenever the inspiration struck and started taking steps toward getting more involved in the process and not the instant gratification of the end result happening in the blink of an eye.  Solid progress is like a garden, you must be mindful and tender in fostering its growth.

Here are eight tips for making life improvements a reality.

1. Be Patient

I struggle with this one every day. There are so many things that I feel that I should have accomplished by my age that I haven’t, and I beat myself up about them a lot. I often have to reason with myself about the fact that some things take time and some things can be accomplished swiftly but it all takes strategy. In the meantime, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve already done, what you feel positive about and be grateful for those things. It can take the edge off you beating yourself up about what you lack.

I wish it were that simple because I am the queen of ripping myself to shreds but I promise to be better about showing gratitude this year.

 2. Focus on the Process

Get lost in the journey and don’t harp on the end result. Focusing on the ending is a fast track to frustration and therefore quitting prematurely, especially if you don’t see the type of progress that you’re looking for in a specific period of time. Take it slow, be present in the now but keep the finish line in the back of your mind. Even short term milestones can be rewarding.

3. Set Goals and Cultivate New Habits

Think of goals and intentions for your personal development (whether it’s career, family, etc) and develop realistic habits that can eventually and gradually become part of your every day life. Keep practicing until they become second nature.

4. Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t beat yourself up (once again, I should be taking my own advice). If you fail, try again and keep trying until you start to achieve success or until you reach a point where you think you should reassess what you want and what you should be doing in order to win.

5. Be Authentic  

When you’re  posting that selfie of  yourself in the mirror at the gym with hashtags like, #Gymflow and #beastmode, are you working out because you want to or because it’s the obligatory “I have to work off that holiday weight and show people that I go hard thing?” If it’s the latter then you’re only wasting your time with something that won’t fulfill you.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself

There’s a popular quote floating around that goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I don’t know who said it but it’s so true. One of my goals moving forward is to force social media breaks on myself whenever I feel myself hating on someone who I think may not be as talented or who has what I think I should have or who I feel doesn’t deserve what they have. That is a toxic mode of operation. It drains your energy and redirects your focus toward building destructive habits, which means you don’t make any progress at all. Remember that people only post snippets of their lives on social media so it may seem overwhelmingly good or like their success happened overnight but in reality, you don’t know their whole story or journey. As far as people who seem less talented getting all the glory, even if you are smarter or faster or more creative, their reality isn’t going to change yours so put those tunnel vision glasses on and focus on your lane.

7. Don’t Share Everything

Sometimes all it takes is one naysayer who doesn’t get your vision or who has no visions of their own to convince you to be stagnant. These are the people who when you tell them you want to take up ballet say, “But you’ve never danced in your life?” or, you say you want to go to Japan and they reply with, “But what about the radiation? or “But you don’t speak Japanese.” That’s why you shouldn’t always share your intentions. It may be OK to share some but be mindful about what you reveal.

8. Try Again

You may have quit at the moment but if there’s something that you really want to accomplish then start again. Every day you wake up is a new opportunity to refresh and refocus.

That’s what I have for now but did I leave anything out? How do you keep yourself on track?

A Push For Faith: Unloading Last Year’s Baggage For a Better 2014

Marveling at the view from the London Eye

In retrospect, last year wasn’t bad. It was a rollercoaster–the past few years have been–but it was pretty good.


That was the first time I have admitted that fact and it felt damn good.

I have a problem with stealing my own joy by focusing on the negative and what I don’t have and what I want to happen now. It’s a character flaw that drags me down into the depths of depression. I spent last year, and the year before that being really depressed because my career isn’t flourishing. I have tried, for years, to establish myself as a multimedia journalist, and to eventually get paid to do what I love but it hasn’t worked out the way I dreamed for a variety of reasons. I have been laid off twice since 2009. I worked a lot of freelance gigs in between that stole my soul  because my ideas and talent weren’t respected but I needed checks and so I chased them and lowered my standards. I dealt with companies that didn’t want to pay me a decent enough wage to survive in New York, and companies that forced me to stalk them for my money and then I dealt with people who  treated me like a dog. A lot more people than I imagined just don’t give a shit about people’s feelings and I gave them my energy at my expense.

A lot of my identity was tied up in being able to get paid doing what I love but the reality of what was happening with work and in my industry (which has tanked tremendously) crushed me. I also compared myself to other people who were seemingly achieving the type of progress that I wanted to see for myself. It made me feel worse…and useless.

I still struggle with that sadness but in retrospect, I realize I had no business working on anything but myself because I was dealing with PTSD from past job experiences. Job PTSD is really a thing, according to my therapist. I’m tenacious, so even though I knew I needed to work on healing, I still didn’t let go. Last year, when I was isolated in a city where I really didn’t have a network or familiarity, and my husband was working all the time (he’d leave at about 9:30 am and I was lucky if I saw him by 11 pm) and becoming a different person because the job he had drained his soul, I fell into such a dark place that I got to the point where getting out of bed was a struggle. It was scary.

People who have never been seriously depressed usually don’t understand what that feels like. The best way I can describe it is that I was possessed by an invisible but palpable entity that wanted me to die. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, then think about the dementors.

I finally got serious about finding happiness after my therapist suggested being evaluated by a psychiatrist for medication.  I couldn’t bring myself to getting on anti-depressants so I needed to get over myself. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded–I still struggle–but I started with thinking about the things that make me happy. Aside from family and friends, there was pole dancing. It was all I had in my isolation and it gave me a sense of normalcy, so that’s how I started passing my time after not having poled in several months since relocating.

Pole dancing lead to Pilates and doing more H.I.I.T. and strength training, and learning about Ashtanga yoga, which I plan to tackle seriously eventually. I also mustered the courage to post my pole pics on Instagram. I did my first Ayesha. My form was off but I celebrated because I hit a milestone that used to seem impossible.

Pole Dancing Ayesha

When I wasn’t poling I was working on my novel that I had been working on for over a year. It was taking me forever to finish because of work obligations but I finally completed the rough draft. Now it’s time for me to get a presentable draft together to pitch to potential literary agents.

I quit a job that I hated because it was more of the same of what I had been going through years prior, but not before I was able to save up for travel goals that I had for 2013.

My first goal was to pay for a New Orleans trip to the Essence Festival, where I spent time with the hubby, and even saw friends and family from New York. A couple of months later, I went to London with my mother (it was initially going to be a solo trip but my mom expressed interest in going), which was another goal and then two months after that I went to Barbados. I saw three friends get married and the hubby got a job that allowed us to move back to NYC.

New Orleans
New Orleans
Barbados Oistin's
Oistins Fish Fry, Barbados
Abbey Road Zebra Crossing
Crossing Abbey Road With Mum =0)

Being back in New York has made me happier but being in the midst of where my industry lives and not being where I want to be is still a struggle. With that, I realize a new set of tests has begun. Living in Chicago allowed me to reflect on my life from the past few years and I realize that it’s important that I build on the lessons that the universe has been trying to teach me in order  to move forward.

My career approach will be different. I don’t know how just yet but I’m thinking about it and I have to be OK with that. I must be nicer to myself by nurturing activities and thoughts that make me happy. I will stop comparing myself to other people because I only know my journey. I have to stop letting other people’s behavior drain me especially because 99% of their behavior has to do with them and not me. That doesn’t mean that I have to be a doormat but I also don’t have to fight everyone, including myself. It’s OK to relax and not get caught up in that no sleep hustle culture because unplugging is necessary. I must see everything through. I am impatient and when I don’t see the results that I want when I want then I give up. I also lack faith and have a general cynicism toward my life because it’s a defense and coping mechanism that I have developed. It was easier to expect the worst rather than be blindsided by hurt and more disappointment. I’m not afraid of disappointment. I just got so used to it that I made it second nature and I got tired of wondering if the right doors would ever open.

But having faith is important.

Even through the struggles, my life seems to fall into place when it needs to but I don’t trust the process. I’ve been leading with my ego and emotions but it’s more important to focus on abundance, gratitude and the process during the journey. It’s easy to write that and to say it but hard for me to put it in practice.

So, for 2014, I intend to keep myself busy and happy by focusing on what I’m passionate about and being consistent on the path that was meant for me.