office/dressing room plans

Happy Tuesday! How was your Labor Day weekend?  Yesterday marked the 2 year anniversary of my weight loss journey and I really just played it low key.  It's funny how I finished the 30 days of Keto and the closest I came to a cheat meal was a bowl of turkey chili and some watermelon.  Like I keep telling you guys, once you make this your life, your entire mindset on food changes.
But all of that aside, today I wanted to discuss my office and soon to dressing room and office combo.  I haven't done  much in the space except for move some things around a few times just to get an idea of what it is I want the space to feel like.  My process for decorating is very drawn out because I really have to look at the space over and over again a few different ways because I can say "ok, I know what I'm going to do."  Here's a glimpse of one side of the room.  I moved my desk up against the right wall.  It was in the middle, but it doesn't make much sense for it to be positioned there anymore.  I brought in my handbags and a few pairs of my shoes already, but it's all go to have to leave for now because I need to finish painting the space.
Plans for the space are as follows:
* Finish painting
* bring in larger French dresser painted black
* paint and bring in mirror
* new light fixture
* swap out the bookcases for single column style (paint them)
* purchase smaller desk
* take out pink dresser from closet and replace with white bookcase
* find another desk chair or paint and reupholster current chair
* style and organize space
The closet in the space currently is home to the pink dresser I mentioned replacing.  Though I love the dresser and the color, it's just not right for the space and it doesn't fit my style anymore.  What I've come to realize about myself is that although I love color, I really don't care for much of it in my closet or in my home.  If I do use colors, I like little pops of it here and there and this dresser is just too much.  I think the white KALLAX bookcase from IKEA will be a perfect swap and I can add woven baskets to it for a little texture.  The new French dresser that will take it's place in the room is larger and I will be painting it black.  It's so funny because it took a minute for me to come to that conclusion because I love it's current color, but again, it's not what I'm going for.  Stay tuned for that!
I'll be posting here for most of the week, but probably not on instagram.  I'm just needing a little time for myself.  When you give so much of yourself to others, you need time to refuel.  And though I'll be doing different things around my house and posting here on my blog, it's really a breath of fresh air to do and it's my way of refueling.
Stay tuned for more updates!


Step back to move forward

 During our last shoot, my photographer and I went back to my old neighborhood in Old Fourth Ward here in Atlanta.  If you're not from Atlanta, or not familiar with that area at all, I'm sure you're familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King.  Well, his childhood home is located in Old Fourth Ward which so happened to be down the street from my house as a kid.  It's funny how when things are the norm to you, it's taken for granted.  Now when I go by, I'm always in disbelief that the house that my kids think is awesome (because Dr. King once lived there), me and my sister would skip by headed to the library without giving it a second thought.
I wanted to go there and shoot because I wanted to capture how a once poor young girl managed to grow up and beat the hand of cards she was dealt.  I won't go into details with my life's story just yet, but I'll tell you this, where I came from can not compare to where I am today.  And honestly, it's all because deep down, I knew I was destined for better.  Though I'll never take credit for how my life turned out. I know for a fact that God carried me and continues to carry me.



Going back to that neighborhood lit a fire inside of me.  Lately I've been nervous to move forward with plans I've set because I go back and forth on if it's the right move, or if I'm the one that could pull something like this off.  Last night, I sent out a text message to a group of people just to get their feedback.  I was pleasantly surprised to read what they had to say! They all got it without me elaborating further! That was a sign.  A sign that confirmed that maybe, just maybe, I'm on to something.  So as I look at these images of the now business woman sitting directly across the street from her childhood home... A home that she shared with upwards of 8 people who was barely making it on a welfare check and food stamps, I can say that it is indeed time to move forward in my plans.  I was put here for a purpose.   I will spend the rest of my life "Purposefully Being".

Jeans//Hat- Gap clearance//Top//shoes- clearance//Jewelry//

All images by the fabulous Kaye McCoy!


Losing 100lbs+ : being healthy outweighs vanity

Many of you know my story. Made the decision to lose weight, went for it, and succeeded. Not only did I lose weight, but I lost what could have been another person (my 10 year old weighs 100lbs). I won't lie, the perks of losing weight is amazing! My favorite one? Shopping! But with massive weight loss comes things some may consider a downside.
You'd be amazed how often I receive questions from women wondering what I'm going to do about my stretch marks and if I have loose skin. Those questions are usually followed by them saying that's what they fear most about losing weight... The aftermath so to speak.
I'll be honest, I'm always baffled by those questions. Sometimes I don't even respond because I feel like there is no way they could actually mean to ask them. Have we become so fixated on what society thinks of us, that we would risk being unhealthy for the sake of being "flab" free? And maybe I'm missing something because when I was 280lbs, I was flabby and had stretch marks.
My stretch marks on my stomach always grabs the attention of women on my Facebook page. I share these pictures on purpose. I could easily share others of me covered up or go as far as to ask my photog to edit them out, but how would that help you? In addition to that not helping you, it would not be my truth. My reality so to speak. I'm a woman. I'm a mother of 3. I'm a person that once weighed nearly 300lbs and decided to take charge of my health. This is my aftermath. The proof of what my body was capable of doing.
I don't know about you, but I see it as something to be proud of. The result of being human. There is nothing to hide or to be ashamed of. Don't let vanity stand in the way of your greatness.
All images by Kaye McCoy


FF: Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs W/ Sweet Potato Medley

Hey guys! Charlotte from Confessions of a Clean Foodie is back to share another great meal idea with you.  This time, it's a favorite of mine! I love the flavor of chicken thighs and I can't wait to try this recipe hopefully this weekend.  Enjoy!
Charlotte here!  I am such a huge fan of Chicken Thighs over Chicken Breasts. 
The flavor Component is undeniable and incredible. Thighs are fattier and richer, however, cooked with the right types of fats and the right way, they can be a deliciously healthy part of your healthy lifestyle. 

My Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato Medley is the perfect meal for a sexy date night or a simple weeknight dinner. 
A healthy meal that does not disappoint in the flavor department.


  • 4 Skin-on Bone-in Free Range Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tbsp Cultured Ghee (I use Omghee-Coconut Oil works just as well)
  • FlavorGod Himalayan Salt and Pink Peppercorn Blend
  • ½ A Lemon (Thinly Sliced ~8-10 peices)
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 Medium/Large Sweet Potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper (diced)
  • FlavorGod Himalayan Salt and Pink Peppercorn Blend (or Pink Himalayan Salt- To Taste)
  • ½ Cup Baby Portobello Mushrooms (Sliced)
  • 2 Handfuls Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1 ½ Tsp Chili Paste (or Harissa)


1. Preheat Oven to 400°
2. Heat ghee in a castiron skillet
3. Throughly wash and pat chicken dry with clean paper towel
4. With skin side up, season each thigh with Pink Peppercorn Salt to taste
5. Place thighs in skillet skin side down and sear for ~8 minutes until skin is browned
6. Remove chicken from pan and place on a platter skin side up.
7. Pour off access fat from castiron skillet into a dutch oven or large pot.
8. Place chicken back into castiron skillet (skin side up).
9. Top with lemon slices
10. Bake for 25-30 Minutes or until an instant thermometer inserted in the thickest part for the thigh reads 170°F.
11. While chicken bakes, heat pot with fat from chicken.
12. Add in sweet potatoes, peppers and mushrooms; Season with Pink Salt, Stir, cover and cook for ~ 15 minutes (stirring continueously) or until potatoes are cooked through)
13. Toss in spinach and chili paste.
14. Remove chicken from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, serve with sweet potato medley and ENJOY.


You guys, I think this is a winner! Thank you for sharing, Charlotte! And ladies, if you haven't already, pop over to Charlotte's instagram to see other delicious meals.
Happy Friday,






There was a time when I associated a person not stressing over something or a situation being the equivalence of them not caring about the problem at hand.  I'm an over-thinker at heart, and on any given day, I would run something into the ground with all of my "thinking" on the matter.  But after everything was said and done, nothing changed! Either that, or my over-thinking made the situation worse.  I either caused a bigger problem, or stayed so stuck in the problem that nothing changed except for my blood pressure.  These days, though I still think a lot, I'm much more calmer.  Or at least that's what I'm working towards.  You see, the state of being "unbothered" by something or everything is a pretty good space to be in.  We sometimes stress over things that don't matter enough for us to give a second thought to.  When I say unbothered, it's not me saying I no longer care.  Oh no, it's me saying I don't care enough to give up my happiness or to waste valuable time and energy on. 
People will let you down, bad/ugly situations will come and go, but I will not allow those things to control me.  I adopted this mindset a little over a month ago when I was accused of being a weight loss fraud.  It really got to me.  Someone literally reached out to me in a personal message and basically said I wasn't being truthful.  That, along with the many ups and downs I go through with people who were once very close to me pushed me to this point.  Honestly, I owe them a thank you! It feels good to not care so much.  And when I say not care so much, I mean not to give my energy to those who intentionally set out to take it in a hurtful and undeserving way.  So, to me, being "unbothered" is a very very beautiful thing.  Try it!
 all images by the fabulous Kaye McCoy


#LD30DaysOfKeto nearing the finish line!

What a Monday! I planned to hit the mountain today (and the rest of the week for that matter), and that's exactly what I did.  It was a bit slippery and I did slip coming down, but my goal was met.  I'm pretty excited about my upcoming 2 year mark of starting my weight loss journey and 1 year mark of maintaining my weight.  As mentioned before, that will conclude my constant obsessing over my weight loss journey.  It really is time for me to move on.  What I mean by that is, I have to start to LIVE more.  I basically won't be on a weight loss mission, but more so a healthy lifestyle kick.

Excuse the face because I am very much in love with my latest purchase, but I wanted to share this picture because I think this is really when I saw myself and my accomplishment for the first time.  This trench is a size small.  A size small trench that I can not only button and tie the belt on, but also managed to have all of my "mentionables" covered up because there is nothing under it!  I was like girl, you are a small! IN A COAT! I really had to take a step back and say "Lakeitha, you've made it babe.  Enjoy yourself now. Stop stressing and being so focused on the scale." 
I've been told to give up the scale many times, but I just wasn't ready to do so.  I'm not sure if it was fear, or me making sure I don't go over a certain number, but whatever it is, I'm over it and after these last 2 weeks of being keto, I'm definitely moving on.  There is nothing healthy about stepping on a scale everyday and that's something I've been doing for nearly 2 years.  It's time to stop.
But until then, I told you guys I would share my weekly weigh in while I'm on Keto.  I weighed in yesterday and was still at 172 and I was sure that wasn't right! I mean, what did I not do right?  So I drank my water, ate the same and carried on (though I did feel like shit lol!) and then I weighed again today.  Today, I was 170 on the dot! That means I probably was holding on to some water weight.  Too much sodium from somewhere and I'm assuming it was from dinner Saturday night. 
This week is looking promising with getting more shots of my home.  I have updated my bedroom a bit and I still want to share plans for my office.  Hopefully I can finish all of these orders I have in the shop within the next two days.  We'll see.  I know you will definitely see the updates in my bedroom though! So stay tuned for that.
Have a great night, ladies


foodie friday: sockeye salmon

Happy Friday, ladies! I'm beyond thrilled to share our first meal for "Foodie Friday"!  I have been following Charlotte on instagram for almost a year now and I must say, her meals are beyond AMAZING! When I decided to start back blogging, I knew I wanted to share meals here, but I needed them to be wholesome and mouth-watering.   I think you'll see that Charlotte's meals are both.  Take it away, Charlotte
HEY Dolls!!!
I am so excited to be collaborating with Lakeitha and bringing you guys Easy, FUN, Healthy and Creative Recipes to help jumpstart your health journey.
My Name is Charlotte Smythe, an aspiring Blogger and Avid foodie. I decided to incorporate my Passion for cooking and optimizing my health and create a space to share my journey and recipes…Confessions Of A Clean Foodie has become my baby, my passion, my life and my voice.
I do not believe health is about being skinny, or conforming to society’s idea of beautiful. I believe health is about living the best possible life you can and Kicking ASS at it.
I am very excited to share my recipes and tips with Lakeitha's Gang.
Welcome to a taste of my kitchen.

The first recipe is a favorite of mine. It’s super easy, tasty and versatile.
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon is and should be an important addition to any healthy lifestyle.
It’s filled with Omega3 fatty acids, and contains very low levels of mercury.
Add this recipe to your meal prep routine and you will not be disappointed.

Herb Crusted Salmon
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 22 minutes | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy


1 lb Wild Caught Salmon Fillet (skin on)
1 Tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp FlavorGod Garlic lovers (or your favorite seasoning blend)
1/4 Tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Freshly Chopped Rosemary Leaves
1/2 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1/4 Tsp Lemon Zest


1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
2. Line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Throughly wash and pat salmon fillet dry.
4. Combine EVOO, FlavorGod seasoning, Sea Salt, rosemary, thyme and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well.
5. Rub mixture onto salmon using your hands.
6. Place salmon on parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20-22 minutes
8. Remove from oven and let rest for ~ 5 minutes.

*Serve with a big chopped salad and homemade Sweet Potato Chips*
Make sure you check out Confessions of a Clean Foodie on Instagram!


Adjust your crown and respond accordingly

It's Wednesday and my day is already being a little spitfire!  I swear, sometimes you have to really take a step back , realize what's going on, and respond accordingly. 
Over the past few weeks, I have been working on myself and how I react to things and people.  I will not continue to allow people to think that it's ok to talk to me any type of way or treat me any type of way. 
We really have to teach people how to treat us.  Every time someone steps at you incorrectly, or does something that doesn't sit well with you, it's your chance to teach them where they went wrong and how they can come correct the next time.
Outfit details:
Jacket: TJ Maxx
Shoes: TOP SHOP (clearance, but linked to black pair)
Bag: purchased in Old San Juan
Shades: Ray Ban
Belt: thrifted


(REPOST FROM AUG. 17, 2011) Mind or Food?

Happy Monday!  So I found this old post from exactly 4 years ago when I partnered with Jenny Craig for a 6 week program.  Reading my thoughts during this time was very interesting and I figured I would share them again because I think many of you can relate AND because I thought it would be a way for you to see how far I've changed mentally as it relates to my struggle with weight.  I italicized one section in particular for you that stood out the most for me.  I hope this motivates you to keep going and to even document your journey (even if its just for yourself.)
Hi all! I recently started the Jenny Craig weight loss program through a Blogher program that I signed up for.  I started on Sunday to be exact.  Let me start this post by giving you a information about myself
(my breakfast the other morning)
On Saturday when I went to the center to get started, I weighed in at 278lbs (GASP)
I’m 5’5 and 278lbs… That would put me in the obese category, right? Right.
(in Lane Bryant trying on a size 20 dress)
Now, let me say, I’ve never been thin.  In high school I was around 165 and 170, which was perfect for me.  By the time I was 21, I was around 200lbs.   After giving birth to my first son, I weighed in at 225, but I lost those 25lbs plus 2lbs so I was 198.
(on the way to my prom wearing a size large dress from the junior department)
Moving on to present day, I have 3 children a husband, a house, and a life that I’m trying to get back in order.  My first day on the program (Sunday) proved to be a challenge.  I’ve always known that I was an emotional eater.  But Sunday showed me that it’s worse than I thought.  Every time I am frustrated, overwhelmed, upset, irritated, rushed, sad, depressed, even happy, I want to put something in my mouth (ughhh, I hope that didn’t come across nasty!).  Here’s the thing, I AM NOT HUNGRY when I want to eat the food.  What does that mean???
***I’m realizing that in order to get a handle on my weight, I need to first get a handle on my life.  It’s not the food for me.  I don’t eat chocolate, I don’t drink alcohol (minus the three drinks I had during blogfest, YUM!), I don’t like pastries or sweets for that matter.  I’m not gonna sit here and say that I eat the healthiest foods out there, but I don’t eat the unhealthiest food either.  Even my portions aren’t large.  On the two trips I took to NYC, I realized that I ate better and not as much.  I didn’t feel the need to snack on anything.  Why is that?  Was it because I actually had time for me?  Was it because I had a few restful nights sleep?  Was it because I had more adult conversation?  Was it because I felt more like my old self?  Or maybe it was because I was constantly on the go.  I’m thinking all of those played a factor in why I didn’t over indulge myself when it came to eating. What I’m trying to do is figure out how to make myself feel and eat like that here at home.  Maybe my life is not balanced? Do I need a schedule perhaps? hmmm…
It’s now Wednesday and I must say that I have come to terms with the food I’m eating for the program.***
(Dinner last night)
  The food itself isn't bad (I was worried about that!).  It’s hard not tasting the food that I prepare for my family, but I don’t. 
I’m only doing this program for about 6 weeks.  I do hope to lose some weight, but not much. I am happy that I realized how bad my emotional eating is.  Hopefully by the time these few weeks are up, I’ll have more control of that.
How many of you ever struggled with weight? How are you dealing with it?  What have you learned about yourself when it comes to why your eating habits are what they are?



Plans for the week, weigh in, and a winner!

Last week was pretty good to me.  Not only did I post here like I wanted to, but I also got a lot of work done around my house and in my shop.   As far as getting back on track weight wise, I kinda fell short in a few areas.  I consumed far too many cashews and pecans.  I realized that I just can't control myself with them in my sight! They truly are my weakness.  On top of that, I had Zaxby's and some wings from Publix which threw me off course a bit.  But, for the most part, I did pretty well and I plan to add workouts to my schedule this week starting with a trip to the mountain tomorrow!
I weighed in this morning and figured I would share that with you.  172 on the dot! I'm shooting for 165 by Sept. 7th.  I definitely think I can get there without starving myself:-)
After Sept. 7th, I'm quitting this "weight loss journey" of mine.  That will be 2 years since I decided to focus on my health and one year of maintaining my weight.  I would like to think that by now, I have it under control and honestly, I feel like this is starting to stress me out! Don't get me wrong, living a healthy life is definitely part of my day to day at this point, but I will no longer make my weight the center of attention. 
Coming up on the blog this week, I came across an old post  of mine that was an interesting read so I'm going to share that tomorrow.  I'm also transitioning my wardrobe into fall so I have an outfit post scheduled to give you an idea of what my fall style will consist of, I'm making my office work double duty by transforming it into my closet and office so I'll share more about that, and lastly, and what I'm most excited about is that I have teamed up with another "clean foodie" that will share different recipes here for you guys every week on Fridays!
Now, lets get to the winner of the leopard pillow cover:
Taraneika Bogan !!
Please email me at lakeitha_duncan@yahoo.com with your home address where the cover can be shipped!
Happy Sunday!



Lately I've been tossing around the idea of converting our master bedroom into a room for my three boys.

Don't you all gasp at once!  The master bedroom is the largest of the 3 bedrooms in our home and since my boys now share one room, I was thinking this just seemed like the right thing to do.  They will have not only more bedroom space, but more bathroom space as well since they'll inherit that, too:(
If you've been following me for a while over here, you may remember when my oldest had his own room.  That didn't last long because he could never stay out of his brothers room.  Now, of course he wants his own space again, but it's too late because it's now my office!
The other two always shared a room.  Here is a picture of their old room design.  Pardon the poor image quality as I could not locate the original picture that was used in the newspaper.

The only concern I have about my husband and I switching rooms is the space at the foot of the bed between the bed and wall.  What would we do as far having enough space for a dresser?  If you notice below, it doesn't appear to have much space left. 

For now, this is all just a thought.  A really highly likely thought.  I think decorating a smaller bedroom for me and my husband would be a walk in the park!  What are your thoughts?  What should I think about before making the switch?


White jeans into fall

In the south, white jeans and shoes are to be put away come the day after Labor Day.  To me, that is the craziest thing ever! And why is that the "rule" anyway?

If you're like me, and love to push against what "they say do",  the easiest way to transition white jeans into the cooler months is to pair them with warmer tones.  Here, I'm wearing leopard pumps (sold out), a nude bag, and a bronzy (skin tone) tank.  And lastly, finishing your outfit with a denim or even leather jacket is always a good thing! Add in a little Wrist Soiree bling and you're all set.   Stay tuned for a few more looks featuring white jeans:)
images by the fabulous Kaye McCoy
Happy Wednesday, Ladies!


leopard pillow cover giveaway

Remember when I shared a glimpse of my inspiration for my bedroom? If not, go here to read more about it.  I purchased a set of leopard pillows from Kassapanola and fell completely in love!
 I knew they were the perfect addition to the space, though the size was too small for what I had in mind.  Because of that, I ordered a second larger pair and this time, oh this time they were PERFECT! Agnes is such an awesome person to work with.  She has even allowed me to send her fabric to sew pillow covers to use in my family room.  I'll share more about the family room later:)
After sharing a picture of the pillows on instagram, I reached out to Agnes and she agreed to host a giveaway for one of you lucky ladies the chance to own your own pillow cover!

Are you ready to enter the giveaway?  Here are the rules:
Comment below letting me know what other pillow cover from Kassapanola's site you are in love with, subscribe to her newsletter to receive discounts on future purchases, and follow Kassapanola on instagram
**Giveaway is open for residents of the US and Canada**
Good luck, ladies! I'll announce the winner on Friday!