I'm pretty sure most of us grew up hearing that the way we start off our day ends up setting the tone for how the rest of it goes. And because of this, that's why it's a good idea to do things like pray/meditate, exercise and eat a good breakfast. But as someone who's been a marriage life coach for close to 15 years at this point, when it comes to couples doing what is needed to keep their relationship healthy, while I am a big-time advocate of morning sex (morning sex is king!), I actually believe that how a husband and wife choose to end their day is super critical to their union thriving—and lasting. It's partly because the evening is typically when the most concentrated time together is spent. Plus, even the Bible advises us not to let our sun set on our wrath (Ephesians 4:26-27). Sounds to me like even the Good Lord himself believes that how we end our day can speak volumes to how we start off the next one.
That's why I wanted to take out a few moments, just to share some tips on things that married couples can do to bring peace and emotional connection to the end of each day in their own homes. While this isn't the kind of topic that is discussed a ton, if you make a point to follow through with all seven of these suggestions, they could be what helps to turn the days that you share with your spouse into many, many years of wedded bliss.
1. Give Each Other Some “Recalibrate Space”
If you work in an outside (of your home) office space, it's a good idea to get to work early. If you work from home, it's a good idea to not work in your bedroom. Why? Well, getting to work, at least 20 minutes earlier than your scheduled time, gives you time to get into the headspace that you need to be as productive as possible. When it comes to having a home office, that can keep you from knowing when to get off of the clock. Along these same lines, I usually say to the married clients that I work with that it's a good idea to agree to leave each other alone for a good 30 minutes at the end of each day.
Work requires that you have a totally different mindset than your home life and, as one husband once said (quite well, I might add), when you walk right into the door and immediately hear all of your spouse's expectations, abruptly switching gears can actually cause you to strip them (indeed).
This doesn't mean that you have to be rude to your partner (the Good Book also says "love is not rude" in I Corinthians 13). But what it does mean is, if there are things that you would like your spouse to do and/or there is a deep conversation that needs to be had, it can be beneficial, for you both, to simply greet one another and then offer up some downtime, in different spaces, so that you can later interact from a space of calm and a sense of readiness to handle what needs to be done inside of the home; especially after a long day of typically focusing on anything and everything but your house and/or what your relationship requires.
2. Share a “High” and a “Low” with One Another
Something that I "took" from the movieThe Story of Us (Michelle Pfeiffer, Bruce Willis) is a tradition that would happen, with the family, at dinner time. Basically, every family member would take a moment out to discuss the best part of their day (the high) and the worst part of it too (the low). The reason why it stayed with me is, not only is this a cool way to spark up a conversation, but it can also help those who weren't with you all day long to get a perspective of how your time away from them went. Plus, sharing a high and a low can also cultivate a perspective of balance—to not only focus on the negative. Back when I was mentoring girls, I incorporated this, and I also do it before I start sessions with married couples.
If you've never thought about taking this approach before, I highly recommend it. After giving each other some chill out time, ask each other, "So, what was your 'high' and your 'low' today?" Make sure to listen without interrupting. Also, don't feel pressured to always have to give advice about what your partner's high or low is. Sometimes, it feels good just to feel heard and acknowledged. Bringing that type of energy into your home, at the end of the day, can also make the rest of the evening go a lot smoother.
3. Eat or Drink Something Together
Did you know that only around 40 percent of families eat dinner together 3-4 times a week and that 10 percent don't do it at all? The reason why that's so unfortunate to hear is because having a meal with the people you share a home with gives everyone the opportunity to decompress and reconnect. Just think about it—since everyone has their own lives and schedules, if you don't make a point and purpose to have dinner, you could go days (weeks even) without having some real heartfelt conversations. This is true whether you live in a household that has children or you don't.
When it comes to your spouse specifically, while you might work different shifts or there are other things on your to-do list that could prevent you from always being able to sit together at the dinner table, strive to at least make a point and practice to eat or drink something as a unit. Maybe pour a couple of glasses of wine and toast each other or commit to having a late night snack before turning in. Something as small as this is a great way to let your partner know that reconnecting time is really important to you; that prioritizing something like this is your way of investing into your relationship.
4. Try to Lighten Each Other’s Load
Proactive. I am a huge fan of proactiveness. Matter of fact, let me tell it, one of the biggest reasons why a lot of married couples struggle in their relationship is because one or both spouses spend more time being reactive (doing things to fix the damage after it's already been done) than being proactive (taking steps to prevent issues from occurring in the first place).
Whether you and your partner have been together for a year or for 10 of 'em, you probably have a "flow" to how things go when it comes to who does what in the house, who runs which errands, etc. Something that can send the message to your spouse of "I see you. I appreciate you. I want to make life easier for you" is to intentionally select something that they typically do and then do it "for them".
Remember, when you signed up to be a spouse, a part of what came with what was being a good support system for your spouse. Whether it's cooking a meal on a day when you don't typically do it, lending one of your talents to help your partner with a project of theirs or looking on their calendar to see what you can do to make their to-do list a little shorter, deciding each day to take some of the burden off of your spouse is one of the most beautifully proactive things that you could ever do.
5. Spend (at Least) 30 Minutes of Quality Time Together
How crazy is it that (when we're not in a pandemic), couples, on average, only spend 2-2 ½ hours a day (including on the weekends) together? Hmph. No wonder so many office affairs happen, considering you're spending quadruple that amount of time with your co-workers (geeze). Anyway, the only way that a relationship can truly thrive is if you are intentional about nurturing it. One of the best ways to do that is by spending quality time with your spouse. Cook together. Watch a movie together. Take a walk after dinner together. Read to each other. Play a board game. Crank up a favorite playlist and dance. Find a way to carve out, no less than thirty minutes, that is nothing but you and your partner's time alone. It's a great way to (re)connect while also conveying to your spouse that they are a top priority—no matter what else may also be on your plate.
6. Do Something Physically Affectionate
Whew. Marriage. Whenever I'm working with a couple, I ask them how long it's been since they've had sex, and they look up in the air like they honestly can't remember, I typically tend to say something along the lines of, "Man, if there's something I would definitely not want to deprive myself of, as a married person, is sex. With all that marriage demands, you guys deserve every orgasm you can find!" So yeah, I am a huge advocate of husbands and wives gettin' it in as much as possible (check out "Married Couples, What You May Need Is Sex. Every Day. For A Month. Straight.", "10 Simple Ways Married Couples Can Make More Time For Sex", "10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life" and "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important"). But even when sex can't go down, there's always time to be physically affectionate. Hold hands while you're sitting next to one another. Cuddle while you're sitting on the couch. Kiss each other while passing in the kitchen or hallway. Not only will doing things like this help you to feel closer to your spouse, the purposeful acts of affection can convey calmness and sincerity too.
7. Go to Bed at the Same Time (at Least Three Times a Week)
Back when I wrote the article, "7 Things Married Couples Do To Damage Their Sex Lives & Don't Even Know It", one of the things that I shared was there are studies which indicate that as much as 75 percent of couples do not go to bed together at the same time. This not only wreaks havoc on their sex life, but it can trigger overall marital conflict as well. I get that sometimes one spouse being a morning person while the other is a night owl, having extra projects to do or even wanting a little bit of time to yourself (especially if you've got children) can make going to bed together at the same time, seven days a week, a close-to-impossible task. But for the sake of pillow talk, more sex and honestly, a sounder night's sleep, try and commit to doing it no less than three days a week. Cuddling up in your spouse's arms (and maybe getting a little bit of midnight nookie sometimes too) can be one of the best ways to close out your night—and yes, start off fresh with a whole new day.
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
This New Scalp Care Line Is Exactly What Your Wash Days Need
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
DC Young Fly Pays Tribute To His Longtime Partner Jacky Oh After Her Sudden Death: 'You Are The Greatest Mother I Know'
Actor, comedian, and Wild 'N' Out star John "DC Young Fly" Whitfield mourned the loss of his longtime partner and the mother of his three children, Jacklyn "Jacky Oh" Smith, with a heartfelt tribute.
For context, Smith --who rose to fame as a model and participated in the hit comedy game show Wild 'N' Out for five seasons-- tragically passed away on May 31 at the age of 32 in Miami, Florida. Although Smith's official cause of death has yet to be determined, TMZ reported that the entrepreneur was in town to undergo a cosmetic procedure known as a "mommy makeover."
As the news about Smith's passing was officially confirmed by family and on Wild 'N' Out's social media pages, a magnitude of people, from fans to the couple's close friends and colleagues such as B.Simone, Jessie Woo, Vena "Pretty Vee" Excell, Lauren "Lolo" Wood, Odell Beckham Jr., Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, and so many others offered their condolences while honoring the mother of three.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Warner Bros
Two days after Smith's death, Whitfield released a public statement to People magazine thanking everyone for their "well-wishes" and asking for "privacy during this difficult time."
The following week on June 8, Whitfield paid tribute to Smith by sharing a post on Instagram that featured various photos and videos of the pair and their children, daughters Nova Whitfield,6, Nala Whitefield,2, and a son, who was born in July 2022, named Prince Whitfield.
In addition to the upload, Whitfield revealed that he waited a while to post this because he wanted the tragic event "to be a dream." The 31-year-old would add that as the days go by following Smith's passing, he's "reminded of" the reality that she's no longer here, and he wanted to make sure to commemorate her in a "proper manner." Further into the post, Whitfield praised Smith for being the "greatest mother" and human being.
"I wasn't in no rush to post this because I wanted it to be a dream so bad, but every hour, I'm reminded of reality, so I wanna make sure I applaud you in the proper manner,” he said. “You are the GREATEST MOTHER I KNOW your soul was beautiful. You always wanted the best for others, and I admired how our family love each other!!! Never had to worry about our kids loving each other cause you were on top of Dat!!!"
Whitfield would disclose that although he may not understand Smith's untimely passing, however, because he and their family are "God-fearing" people and "grounded by the spirit," they aren't questioning "the higher power" but rather rolling "with the punches," while holding on to their faith during this tragedy.
The Almost Christmas star went on to say that the pair's "strong" children will constantly be reminded of how great of a person Smith was, "especially a great mother."
Whitfield would wrap up the upload by mentioning how much he loved Smith and that, even though everyone is hurting right now, they would be okay because God covers them.
"The QUEEN of my children will always have a spot in my heart and the paradise (You gon get me for Dat but it's true). LOVE YOU FOREVER. Just know we going harder than ever, and GOD is in control, and he got us covered," he stated.
In light of Smith's death, xoNecole takes a look back at her relationship with Whitfield and the love they shared over the years.
DC Young Fly and Jacky Oh's Relationship History
Whitfield and Smith met in 2015 in a hotel lobby while working together at Wild 'N' Out.
At the time, Whitfield became a recurring cast member during the show's seventh season while Smith was one of the Wild 'N' Out girls. Whitfield and Smith would become an item shortly after the season seven taping of Wild 'N' Out wrapped.
In 2016, after dating for a year and a half, the couple welcomed their oldest daughter Nova. In addition to expanding their family, Smith and Whitfield would give fans a closer look into their lives through social media and the model's YouTube page, which instantly became a hit.
Smith and Whitfield would ultimately become couple goals because people enjoyed their honesty, interactions with each other, and their family life.
Jacky Oh On What Makes Her Relationship With DC Young Fly Work
In a 2017 interview with DJ Smallz Eyes, Smith shared that her relationship with Whitfield works reasonably well because they aren't afraid to have an open line of communication and are willing to address any situation head-on.
"I think communication, I know it sounds really cliche, but just communicate with each other. I think getting things off of your chest in a nice, calm way. You don't always have to be confrontational with the person. But letting a person know how you feel about something so they don't carry on doing it for the next three, four, five months, years later on down the line."
Smith added that another factor that plays a part in the couple's relationship being so successful is her selectively picking her battles and choosing to address the situation in a timely manner.
Jacky Oh On The Pair's Humble Beginnings As A Couple
In 2019, during a Q&A session on Smith's YouTube page, the couple opened up about their humble beginnings as they addressed the wild rumors that she was using Whitfield for financial reasons.
While responding to the remarks, Smith clarified that when she met Whitfield, he didn't have money "like that."
"He had no money. It's not like he didn't have any money because he was broke, but he didn't have no money like that," she said.
Following Smith's comments, Whitfield jumped in and said he was "up" $40,000 and still living with family members with the occasional "hotel" stays, to which she interjected and corrected the comedian by saying that the pair were staying at "motels" early on in their relationship.
"We didn't stay at hotels, get it right. We stayed at motels. Talking about hotels, hotels are nice," she stated. "We stayed at motels that the bed stunk... You know I really like love him. Like it was dirty."
Whitfield would add that although they stayed at motels several times, Smith "thugged it out" with him because she loved him. Smith also shared that due to Whitfield rarely being home due to his profession, the couple slept on his sister's couch and his niece's room.
But as Smith and Whitfield's careers took off respectively within the entertainment industry and the beauty world, with the star launching her eyelash and lip gloss brand J Nova Collection, they would ultimately settle down and purchase a home.
Years later, in addition to their professional success, Smith and Whitfield's family would expand even more following the birth of their second daughter Nala Whitfield in 2020 and their son Prince Whitfield last July.
Although it is reported that the couple never married after eight years together, their love seemed stronger than ever, especially following Smith's Mother's Day post back in May, which featured images of the couple and their family.
All of us at xoNecole would like to send our condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. Rest In Peace, Ms. Jacky Oh!
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