About Donnica Smalls

http://www.donnicakelsey.com

Resident Palmetto Peach expert on glitter, baking and why football is the 5th season. Pragmatic dreamer. "I might bend a little bit, but I don't fold."

Posts by Donnica Smalls:

Friday Faves: Melanated Edition

Friday Faves: Melanated Edition - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comFebruary is Black History Month. Beyoncé kicked off the month with her pregnancy announcement and dropping a pregnancy photo album. Hey twins!! (If anyone wants to start some sort of pool for baby names- I’m in!). I really do encourage you to use this month to learn about and celebrate all of the contributions black Americans have made to this country. Black history is American history. However, I’m not going to walk you though highlights of black history. Although, I’d love it if you shared your favorites with me in the comments below.

I thought I would have a little fun with our Friday Faves with a Melanated Edition featuring some amazing black-owned businesses. 

Friday Faves: Melanated Edition

Fave Natural Beauty Product – Olive + Aloe

Friday Faves: Melanated Edition - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comA friend had some of this moisturizer on her dresser and I used it in instantly became obsessed. I actually tried to take the little two ounce bottle home. Olive + Aloe is a head-to-toe, all natural handcrafted moisturizer. Go get you some!!

 

Friday Faves: Melanated Edition - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comFave Beauty Subscription Box –  We Are Onyx

I love a good subscription box. I was gifted a Birchbox subscription and while I liked most of the products there were always a few that I couldn’t use because it was not meant for women of color. So I ended up giving a lot of items away (You’re welcome, Kim!). We Are Onyx features products curated for black women. So if you’re thinking of gifting a beauty subscription box to a melanated friend consider this company.

 

Fave Game Night Must Have – Cards For All People

Cards For All People makes fun, nostalgia-filled card games that test knowledge of cultural milestones and moments. Our games aim to bring people of all types together through laughter and friendly debate.  So think a cultural Cards Against Humanity. Their line-up includes Black Card Revoked (with multiple expansion packs), Nerd Card Revoked, Gay Card Revoked, Girls Night Out, and Asian Card Revoked (shipping this spring).


Fave Natural Products and Accessories – Toni Daley 

Toni Daley is one of my all time faves! I watch her vlogs on YouTube and she is serious manespiration.  Toni Daley has a collection of awesome earrings, hair wraps, and out of control natural wigs (for you ladies looking for protective styles). I’m rocking on of my many pairs of Toni Daley earrings in the picture below.

 

Until next time dolls and gents!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Natural Winter Beauty Remedies

Natural Winter Beauty Remedies - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comAs much as I was am a product junkie, I’m trying to cut back on buying unnecessary items for my beauty routine. I am after all, trying attempting to stick with living a more minimalist lifestyle. To combat buying a good portion of Ulta, natural beauty remedies are one of my most frequent searches on Pinterest. I love when I find items that are multipurpose. That’s right coconut oil isn’t the only item that should be your best friend. The cold weather is awful, but it doesn’t mean your skin has to be a winter nightmare. Below are some of my favorite natural winter beauty remedies.

Natural Winter Beauty Remedies

HYDRATE

Okay, ladies (let’s get in formation) let’s start with the obvious: water. Water not only plumps the skin, but it encourages collagen production which keeps your skin youthful and helps with renewal. It also helps to flush toxins out of the body that can lead to acne and hyperpigmentation. By not drinking enough water, you’re inviting fine lines, enlarged pores and dull skin into your life. Water also increases your metabolism, keeps your muscles and brain power happy and keeps you feeling energized and fresh. So drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.  You can add some flavor to your water with fresh lemon, cayenne pepper, mint, or cucumber!

OIL SLICK

Add some oils to your routines. Now I’m an oily girl, so when I first read about this talk about side eye, but the right ones can have a very beneficial healing effect on your skin internally and externally. Add a teeny drop of oil in the morning or opt for an evening treatment: after your cleanser, apply a thin mask of the oil of your choice. Leave it on for  5-10 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water.

  • Oily, acne-prone skin: Use coconut oil, or grapeseed blended with essential oils like tea tree, lavender and neem.
  • Dry skin: Use jojoba, olive oil,  sunflower or rose essential oil.
  • Irritated or sensitive skin: Use essential oils such as chamomile, calendula and jojoba.

Exfoliate

Tomato Sugar Face Scrub:  All you need is 1 tomato and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Cut tomato in half and dip it in the sugar. Next, rub your face with the tomato in a circular motion. Leave it on for ten minutes and then rinse. Tomatoes have lycopene in them which is an antioxidant that helps protects your skin from dangerous UV sun rays and it also prevents wrinkles by maintaining your skin’s elasticity. If you’re not up to a DIY  – Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Deep Pore Scrub is 97% natural and and awesome product.

Coffee Face Scrub: Olive oil, organic honey and coffee grinds can be mixed together to an energizing scrub. I would use this as a body scrub because it’s a little harsh. Ground coffee is not only exfoliating, but the caffeine supposedly helps reduce the appearance of cellulite. The honey and olive oil have antioxidants and are excellent natural moisturizers.  Honey also helps fight acne. Simply, mix together:

  • 1/3 tsp extra virgin olive oil –  You can sub out shea butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp organic honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp coffee grounds (go ahead and use the ones from your coffee pot this morning)

Again, you can skip the DIY route and buy 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Body Scrub.

Don’t forget about your lips, you can make an simple lip scrub at home with sugar and coconut oil or check out my one of my absolute favorites: Eco Lips Organic Lip Scrub. 

Dry Skin?

Try a honey and avocado mask. Avocado and honey help cure dry skin problems during winter. Avocado contains healthy fats, vitamins E and C, and carotenoids. They protect the skin from free radical damage and keep it hydrated and honey is super moisturizing. Mix a half of an avocado and two tablespoons of honey. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with water.

Do you have any tried and true natural beauty remedies? Please feel free to share them with me.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Football Fireside Chat: SEC vs. ACC & The New National Champs

There are people who hate football, merely tolerate football and for others it’s a way of life. I woke up this morning to about approximately 7845468787 texts, Snapchats, Facebook tags, and carrier pigeon messages about old Clempson Clemmy Clemson Clemsux, Dabo and the greatness of the ACC. For those of you who may not know my alma mater,THE University of South Carolina, is the in-state rival of Clemsux. See below for actual footage of my response:

Football Fireside Chat: SEC vs. ACC & The New National Champs - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

But let’s back up, I’ve got some explaining to do.

Football Fireside Chat: SEC vs. ACC & The New National Champs - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

I went to a small Christian private school from 1st – 7th grade. At one point we had a “competitive” basketball team. I was a cheerleader (We are Evangel and our mascot is the Warriors. Clap. Stomp. Snap.) and played volleyball. We even had homecoming, but it wasn’t enough to give you that real fan experience. High school football was never a thing for me. I went to an arts school where we didn’t have any sports, but we did have cheerleaders. I’m still scratching my head on that one. So besides watching NFL games with my Dad, I didn’t really get rivalries or understand why people were so loyal to teams.

A Fan is Born

My freshman year at THE University of South Carolina changed that. While I was accepted into UNC (the other Carolina) and Spelman and visited those schools, USC felt like home the moment I stepped onto the historic Horseshoe. I’ve tripped up and down those aged bricks, camped out at Russell House for football tickets with strangers (yeah things weren’t always electronic, kids), passed out from heat exhaustion at Williams-Brice Stadium and had the best tailgating experiences with friends, old men (for another time), strangers, and rivals.

Thankful. 🍂 #UofSC

A photo posted by University of South Carolina (@uofsc) on


Now I love all Gamecock sports. I witnessed our baseball team bring us back-to-back national championships. Our women’s basketball team is phenomenal and will be bringing home a championship soon and our men have gotten really good under Frank Martin and allowed me to witness some awesome upsets of #1 Kentucky. However, let’s just stick to football. Being a Gamecock football fan has taught me about heartbreak:

  1.  I watched Marcus Lattimore, the heart of our team, and just an overall good person, get injured not once, but twice. The video still makes me cry.
  2. This year we were crushed by Clemson 56-7, one of the biggest blowouts in series history.
  3. Losing at Kentucky in 2012 and at Tennessee in 2013 when we would have won the SEC East.
  4. Our 3-9 season last year.
  5. Losing the SEC championship to Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers. I really don’t like Tigers…any tigers.

I could go on, but you get it. However, I’ve experienced some some high highs as well:

  1. Upsetting #1 Alabama 35-21 with old drunk Stephen Garcia
  2. The comeback in Columbia, Missouri
  3. The Goon Squad (see The Hit, DJ Swearinger, Melvin Ingram)
  4. The Five-Peat (2009-2013) over Clemsux
  5. Justin King Hype Videos
  6. This year’s win against Tennessee 

It’s the highs and lows that make me a Gamecock and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

(more…)

Detox January

I read somewhere (probably Cosmo) that January is the month of the detox. So let’s get to detoxing, people. Now I’m not talking about one of those juice only cleanses or alcohol-free months. Scandal is back later this month and I need my wine. I’m thinking more of a detox of unhealthy habits.Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

detox

noun, often attributive ; de·tox \ˈdē-ˌtäks, di-ˈtäks\
1. a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
Although, my title says Detox January, I’m actually proposing a yearlong detox from the following things:

self-doubt

Unfortunately, I find that I easily get distracted by the things that go wrong and it feeds into my self-doubt. So I’m countering that by writing daily affirmations in my journal. Positive affirmations help us believe in our potential and strengthen our minds.  Buh-bye, self-doubt!!

Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

excuses and fear

“Perfection isn’t real, but progress is.”  I sometimes make excuses because I’m afraid. A lot of that comes from fear of failing. However, that fear has probably kept me from some really great experiences. I had the opportunity to graduate early and go intern in New Zealand my senior year in college. My excuse for saying no was that I was going to miss out on my full college experience. In reality, I was just afraid to go to a new country on my own and I one hundred percent regret not going. I find myself erring on the side of caution still when presented with crazy, cool opportunities because what if I suck/fail/, but I never want to miss out on a potentially life-changing experience because of fear. So fear and excuses, you’ve got to go.

Comparing my life on social media

I think we’ve all used social media to judge how our life is going by comparing it to other people’s social media feeds. Why doesn’t my hair grow as fast as hers? What is she using for her twist outs? Oh, my-lanta, her planner decor is on another level! Did she just get another promotion? She’s got a boo? She got a ring? All I have is my puppy and pizza.  I’m not going to stop scrolling because that’s an impossible goal, but I can definitely stop comparing my life to what’s being presented on social media. I have to remember that a lot of what I see has been carefully curated to present a certain image or to promote their brand. I think that’s why I’ve started to gravitate to bloggers who keep it real, show their messy kitchens and hair, and makeup free faces once in awhile. Sayonara, comparisons. 

Detox January - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

What do you need to abstain from in your life? Leave a comment with your detox plans.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

The Problem With Goal Setting

The Problem With Goal Setting - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comIn my opinion, 2016 was just one awful headline after the other and I’m leaving out politics because I’m still trying to wrap my head around that: countless shootings in the U.S, including Orlando, Brexit, lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, the conflict in Aleppo, exploding phones, Harambe, Brangelina, and Zika to name a few. Also,

We lost Prince.

We also lost Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman, Merle Haggard,  David Bowie, Harper Lee, George Martin, Bill Nunn, Anton Yelchin, Christina Grimmie , Arnold Palmer, Florence  Henderson, Gene Wilder, Gwen Ifill, Jose Fernandez, Pat Summitt, Leonard Cohen, Ron Glass, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke and Craig Sager. These are just the names I pulled from the top of my head. I probably missed quite a few legends.

On a personal level,  2016 was kind of just meh.I had some awesome things happen, but there were definitely quite a few setbacks as well. I had a huge issue with goal-setting, or rather following through with the goals I set. I’m happy to say goodbye to this year and get a fresh start.

 

The Problem With Goal Setting

For me, the problem with goal setting is failing short of the goals. When I miss a goal I get frustrated with myself. However, I had to remind myself this is just an opportunity to reevaluate and recommit. There are factors you can control and factors you can’t control when it comes to achieving goals. When you don’t have success with your goals, I think it’s your responsibility to figure out why and to make a conscious effort to take real action towards your goal.

  • Figure out the reason(s) that the goal wasn’t accomplished. I realized that my goals didn’t map back to my vision board which I look at daily. After writing down my goals, I only revisited them once. Goals need to be revised and evaluated. I didn’t really have a plan (with the exception of my savings challenge) to accomplish my goals.
  • Decide if this is still a goal. I think it’s okay to abandon a goal. Not I’m saying give up just because it’s hard or you didn’t achieve it the first time around. Let’s say your goal was to get a promotion. However, you then find out that there isn’t much room for growth within the company – it’s okay to abandon that goal.
  • Redefine your goal, if necessary. In the example above, I said it’s okay to abandon the goal. I stick by that, but the other option is to amend or redefine your goal. Perhaps, instead of making a promotion your career goal, you amend your goal to finding a position that provides you room to grow.

The Problem With Goal Setting- The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 

Did you accomplish your goals for 2016? If not, tell me how you plan to recommit and reevaluate your goals for 2017.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Holiday Gift Guide: Be An Elf

Holiday Gift Guide: Be An Elf - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comHopefully, you were inspired by the wallet friendly gift ideas in part one of my gift guide.  Part two is going to be a little different. This is a gift guide for strangers. Yes, strangers.  I love volunteering and am a supporter of giving back during all seasons, but  there is just something about giving back during the holiday season (whether you celebrate Christmas or not) that brings cheer.  So today’s gift guide will outline a few ways that you can “be an elf” to those who need a little help.

Be An Elf

Every year, the US Postal Service kicks off Operation Santa which gives you an the ability to adopt a letter or donate online to send gifts to needy children who write to Santa Claus. Now there are only 15 branches nationwide that offer Operation Santa. You can find the locations of participating USPS Post Office here. I was really bummed that Atlanta wasn’t on the list.  The program kicks off the first week of December and each branch has a different deadline for adopting letters and dropping your gifts off. Here’s an example of a real letter:

Holiday Gift Guide (Part 2) - Be An Elf - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 

Other Ways to Be An Elf

  • Call a local children’s group home in your city and see if there are any items you can donate. Perhaps, you can sponsor a toy drive for them.  Also, check with your local homeless shelters for additional opportunities to volunteer or donate items.
  • As a fur mama, I have to add help needy animals to this list.  Feel free to collect food, bedding, toys, and treats for your local shelter.
  • Toys for Tots is always a great option.
  • Anonymously pay off a layaway account at K-Mart or Walmart.
  • The Salvation Army has the Angel Tree program which delivers gifts to children in the name of an incarcerated parent.
  • Serve cookies at an assisted-living facility for the elderly.
  • You can donate scraps of material and make blankets for Project Linus (projectlinus.org). The organization then donates them to seriously ill children in hospitals, social-service agencies, and shelters.
  • If you’re unable to donate money to any charities, consider donating blood to the American Red Cross or simply volunteering your time.

Do you know of any other ways to be an elf? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. 

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches