Monday, December 27, 2010

A Resolution for 2011: More Protective Styling

I think that I'm so used to whipping my hair back and forth (ok that was tres cliche) these days that I'm prone to wearing my hair down. Ok...meaning 99.99% of the time. I'm not a fan of ponytails, buns, or anything that makes me feel that my hair is constrained. But I MUST adopt this in my process of obtaining BSL by mid 2011. So yes, I will be having long self-talks these next couple of days to convince myself that I can pull this look off!

Goal: Protective Style Buns/Updos/Ponytails on work days, Wearing twistouts, braidouts, and roller sets out on weekends and/or date nights!

Here are some ideas that I am going to try out for the next couple of months....

The side fishtail braid. I love this look and the glasses simply make it haut!

Flowers instantly add life to a boring updo. I love the simplicity of this look. Larger flowers work for this look as well.

I've been a big fan of Shingai Soniwa's look for a while now. I love how she takes natural styles up a notch with her choice of accessories.

This look is stunningly elegant. The model's eyelashes and hair style are definitely the focus points in this picture. Hopefully I can achieve this look with the correct amount of "bigness" <---NEW WORD by the end of 2011

A beautiful spin on a protective style...

When all else fails...shove it under a hat :)

Now...onto Part 2 of Protective Styling: Dressing it Up!

Accessories are a beautiful addition to Protective Styling. Some of the most breath taking pictures that I have seen of women wearing buns and updos becomes even more enchanting when I see them wearing a pair of stand-out earrings. In some cases, the bigger...THE BETTER!

This one would compliment a side swept updo very well if it was worn in the ear that is exposed...

Thinking about Spring Fashion ( get my mind off of this cold weather)

I'm a summer baby. Never liked the winter. As soon as the temperature drops under 40 degrees my body starts shaking uncontrollably. Though I have to admit that the only part I like about winter is watching the snow fall. Not watching the snow accumulate. Not shoveling the snow. Not fighting over parking.

The only thing that I can do in the winter is dream about the Spring and Summer. Why not start with some fashionable item trends in shoes and purses (every woman's love <3) to look forward to in Spring 2011.

Everybody loves some animal print, and the design of this bag is so chic ;)

J'adore the versatility of this bag. This is a quick shop trip then out with the girls later piece.

Spring screams bright colors to me, so this clutch is right up my alley. I'd wear this with a simple brown or tan dress.

This could easily be my "I'm going to work, don't mess with me, I've got money to make bag"

I love the design and the print on these shoes. With shoes like this, a simple black dress would work. 

I like the three dimensional feel of these shoes. 

I have to admit that I am not a patent-leather girl. I think patent leather should be illegal. BUT...these shoes are making me think otherwise. I love the design on the soles and heels. 

Again, a pair that would stand out with a simple black dress on a date night. These need to make their way into my closet asap.

I love the trend of the square-ish heels. And the design of these shoe boots are stunning. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

While on a road trip with my best girls to Pittsburgh, we got on the topic of New Years Resolutions. My friend began to share with us the goals she would like to reach in the new year. I thought about a couple of goals....but over the next couple of days I thought...what if I discovered 30 things that I would like to accomplish before I turn 30....

The list is not complete yet, but here are a couple of things that will be on it...

Achieve WL hair
Go on  a cruise
Work on my Post-Master Degree 30 credits
Become a Mrs.
Establish a workout routine
Eat healthier and adopt organic food into my diet
Buy an Ipod Classic
Take my son to Disney World

Ok...the list will definitely be revisited...its just the beginning :)

Friday, November 19, 2010



Ugghhh!!! I can never decide what to do with my hair. It is especially hard since this is my first winter primarily sticking to natural styles. But every once in a while I get the itch.

The itch to take out the ceramic chi knock-off (gvc - sally's brand) bumpers and get the flowy, just stepped out of a pantene pro-v commercial look.

I straightened my hair for the first time in 6 months in September. Lasted for four days. I got bored. I missed my big, bouncy hair. Sometimes I feel like my Braid-Outs and Twist-Outs define me more than my straight hair. *Que: India Arie's - "I am Not My Hair".* I know, I KNOW, hair should not define someone. But my natural-ness is a part of who I am. I feel like a part of my personality is stripped away from me when I wear my hair straight.

It sounds insane. But where I live, that's the thing. Long, straight, silky hair. And if you don't have it, the local Beauty Supply Store on the corner has it, 18" and beyond. I don't think I've ever looked at someone with straight hair and said: woooow, I love her hair. It's hard to when everyone else has it. Reminds me of that game "The Lemmings". All of the characters dressed the same, walked the same, and completely lacked individuality.

But now I'm back to missing my straight hair. Hmmm...

Here I go again with a 4-day hair style, just to satisfy the urge. Until I get bored again.

Then again, that's the thrill of being a natural. Being able to switch up hair styles like a chameleon. So I might look a little Lemmingish for a couple of days, but I'll be back to finding my individuality in no time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top 5 Natural Hair "Ah Ha" Moments

I think along the journey to becoming a natural, and the even longer journey of staying a natural, one comes across those "ah ha" moments. You discover a new technique that works, or you find your staple product, etc. These moments I would like to refer to as: My Top 5 Ah Ha Moments along the natural hair journey and I would like to share some of these.

1) The discovery of Shea Butter. The first time that I was introduced to Shea Butter was at Adunde Festival about four years ago. I had heard a lot about its benefits and decided to pick up a container. I only used it on my skin as a way to moisturize my body...but I ABSOLUTELY HATED the smell. Needless to say, I finished up that container and went back to regular lotion. In becoming a regular hair board stalker, I found a LOT of posts where people talked about using Shea Butter in their hair. I kept thinking about the smell which lingered in my mind and said...nah, I'll pass. But TOO MANY PEOPLE were talking about the benefits. I grabbed a container from the BSS and began using it.

To sum it all up: It gives me texture that reminds me of my hair when I was a child. This stuff is magical. Enough said.

2) The discovery of Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Another product that I found lurking on youtube and longhaircareforum. Orginally, I bought this product from Whole Foods Grocery Store as an alternative to gel for my wash-n-gos. Big no-no. This did nothing for me. And I used entirely too much. My hair came out looking and feeling like a scarecrow's hair. I put it under the sink and forgot all about it. Then when I started doing Braid Outs and Twist Outs, I tried it again. It gave me A-MA-ZING results and I use it to this day.

3) The discovery of the Braid Out. Since I mentioned it briefly in number two, it would only make sense to go into more detail in number three. I've always wanted uniform definition. The top of my hair is almost bone straight. The most it will do on a good day is produce loose waves and a slight curl at the bottom. I think I could classify this hair as being 3a or almost 2c. The back of my hair is where all the definition is. It's fun, curly, spirally clown hair. The braidout gives me definition and curls all around. This is definitely my low manipulation (in comparison to the everyday heat I was using last year) every day hair style. And I <3 it!

4) The discovery of Henna. I was very hesitant about treading into this territory. The process seemed entirely too complex for my simplistic tastes. That was until I started to do a little bit more research. Looking at the results that Moptop Maven, Curly Nikki, and other hair care experts had, my curiosity began to heighten. In talking to my two other natural friends, we talked about having a "Henna Party". Don't ask me what this would look like or how it would go down...maybe balloons, confetti...nah. Well, to make a long story short, someone cheated and ended up Henna-ing before our unscheduled Henna Party. Then I said, what the hell and did it the next day. Once I got beyond the messiness, I must say that I was impressed. It gave my highlights an awesome copper color, my hair was stronger, less shedding, more manageable, retained moisture far better than ever, (I could go on for days!) I'm definitely a Henna Addict, check me in!

5) The discovery of Rose Water. Another wonderful Indian store product. This stuff leaves my hair feeling like cotton. Even though I am not a fan of the scent (yes, my nose is very keen when it comes to different scents), I think the results outweigh the smell. I could bathe my hair in this stuff it's so marvelous (though I might pass out from holding my breath...)

So there you have it. My "Ah Ha" Moments in Natural Hair <3

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm In LOVE!

I have been searching all of my life for the right one. Some work only for a temporary time. Some completely turn me off from the start. Others led me on to believe that they would be the one.

I truly <3 this stuff! I have to start from the beginning...

About two years ago, I was in a store called "National Wholesale Liquidators" looking for some random items. And I realized I was out of shampoo. I ACCIDENTALLY picked up two bottles of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner. I've managed to use up both bottles and it must have been because of the smell because I certainly was not impressed with the results. I simply do not like 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner combinations. But that's for another post. a random lurker on and, I read a lot of people ranting and raving about Herbal Essence's "Hello Hydration". I was thinking in my head **Been there, Done that**. Since I was turned off by the 2-in-1, I figured, how much of a difference can the Conditioner be as far as results?  So I went to Target in the beginning of the summer and picked a bottle of Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted Conditioners. I have been using Totally Twisted as a combing conditioner and I haven't been impressed. I kind of forgot that I bought the Hello Hydration until I noticed it was collecting dust for most of the summer. So I tried it last night and...


I feel like one of the women on the initial Herbal Essences commercials with the orgasmic sounds that they make in the shower when using these products. It had the elements of EVERYTHING I have been looking for in a conditioner:

1) Slip - I could run my fingers through my 3b/3c/4a hair....EVEN WHEN ALMOST DRY...which is almost an impossible task especially since my hair is 4a in the back. 

2) Smell - I had already established that I loved the smell with the 2-in-1, but since I will be using this often, it's nice that I can tolerate and become exhilarated with the smell.

3) Less work - The detangling experience was amazing. Less broken hairs and minimal frustration! Since I do braidouts in the form of 8-10 cornrows (which can cause soooo much breakage if my hair isn't untangled), I found this to be heaven sent!

4) Light + Fluffiness + Moisture - Honestly, for 2.99 a bottle...I managed to get this too!?!? I wouldn't be mad if I got this for Christmas wrapped up in a bow.

So there you have it. My (hopefully) endless love :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Damn Those Kardashian Girls!!

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm hooked.

I've been watching "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" for over a year now, I don't know what "season" I started with, and I've even been watching the "in-between" show: "Kourtney and Khloe Take On Miami". I cannot believe how addictive this show has become. So in justifying my new addiction, I am going to try to break down why I am glued to the screen every Sunday night at 10 PM. (And interestingly enough, Kim is not one of them!)

3) Rob Kardashian - He is majorly sexy. I think I should write to E! Network and ask that they give him some more airtime on this half hour show. I was hoping things would've worked out with him and Adrienne Bailon. Unfortunately it didn't. Maybe this is a sign. <3. Haha!

2) Scott - I cannot stand this guy. But what would the show be lately without him. From his Hugh Heffner esque robes, to the florescent colored one-size-too-tight suits, to his wild and drug (seemingly) infused antics...lately he has become somewhat of a "star" in his own way. Yes, it is sad and disheartening having to watch Kourtney put up with his behaviors...but it makes great TV!

1) Khloe! Khloe! Khloe! - This girl is insane. She is my alter ego. If my conscience was a person, it would be her. She doesn't bite her tongue for s*#@! Out of the three sisters, Khloe is my absolute favorite. I enjoy watching her bash Scott (Kourtney's Boyfriend) every week. It is like her mission in life is to not only properly label him as a "sociopath" but to bring him down. I also like the fact that Khloe is nothing like Kim or Kourtney. She even refers to herself as their "step sister". But underneath the craziness lies a big heart. And that's very evident at least every five or six episodes. lol.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is it ever OK?

Having a conversation with a friend of mine earlier today, we got into the topic of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz. It is well known in the Music World that these two are an item. Alicia Keys is now pregnant with his child and the two are talking marriage in the near future.

I mentioned to her that MAYBE...just maybe I put Alicia Keys on some type of pedestal and that I NEVER imagined that she would have become involved with a married man. (Swizz is not married anymore, but was at the time that the two became an item). Even if he was separated from his wife, I just could not have imagined Alicia Keys in this predicament. Alicia seems like a respectable, educated, and talented individual. She definitely has never presented herself like the type of person that would get involved in this type of drama.

My friend responded: "I see it differently...blame Swizz more than Alicia. Plus, if you are in a happy working marriage then no one should be able to interfere".

So is it ever OK to become involved with a married man that is seeking a divorce? Or should I say a married PERSON (because there are plenty of women out there in the same situation as Swizz). Haven't we all (even the non-married population) gotten to the point of a relationship where we think: I can't do this anymore! But then in an undetermined amount of time we eventually go back to that person.

How does a man/woman that is separated become involved with other men/women? Obviously they are not wearing their wedding band(s), and there is no big sign on their forehead that says "Hey, I'm married, but we're separated!" Is this this topic of conversation before the first date, during, or after?

I guess I'm a little confused at how this works...hmmmm...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Good Hair" vs. "Bad Hair"

During my prep at work the other day, two students (for the sake of this post, I will reveal their races: one female was Dominican, the other was African American) were in my room finishing up some projects on the laptops. The students were seated close to my desk and were having a light conversation. As I was involved in my work at my desk, I couldn't help but listen to bits and pieces of their conversation. Even though I'm not quite 10 years older than most of my students, I often wonder what do teenagers talk about these days? One segment of their conversation particularly sparked my interest.

"Oh, but she has black hair"

I almost fell out of my chair when I heard that. If it is one thing that gets under my skin, it is when people classify a feature or characteristic by a race. (talking white, acting black...)

So of course I had to intervene and ask: "What is black hair?"

The student responded by saying: "Oh, you know, bad hair"

(So if I almost fell out of my seat the first time, I was surely on the floor by now)

I asked her: "Well, what is bad hair"

She said: "You know, nappy hair"


How is it that society has created the perception that "good hair" is white hair, and "bad hair" is black hair? And why is it that we are still using the degrading term: nappy hair? Instead of referring to the texture as being "coarse"?

My usual reaction would be showing and letting my student know that I am offended. Instead, I took a deep breath and calmly informed the student of the correct way to describe someone's hair. This led to us having a conversation surrounding the topic of "Good Hair" vs. "Bad Hair". I made it my mission to let my student know that coarse hair can be just as beautiful as fine hair, that even though we see Caucasian people as having "perfect hair", they face their own challenges with their hair, and that even more importantly, each type of hair is beautiful in it's own way.

I actually felt by the end of our conversation that I had accomplished something. And I realized something, that if more people were informed of the vast beauty that each type of hair has, then maybe African American people would feel more comfortable wearing their natural hair, as opposed to hair that is chemically processed and/or straightened at 450 degrees. I realized that I too have insecurities with my own hair. I feel more beautiful when my hair is bone straight and will spend over an hour in my bathroom Sunday night making sure that my hair is blow dried, straightened, and then curled. Even though I shouldn't care, I wonder if my students and co-workers will accept my natural hair, or if they will look at me like: "Oh, she didn't have enough time to do her hair this morning".

Maybe one day all of these insecurities will vanish, I will be able to put down the flat iron, and wear my natural hair with confidence. I'm working on day I will achieve these goals :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ultimate Salary vs. Comfortable Salary

A while ago I was talking to someone and we were discussing our careers. We are both teachers. I teach in the city, she teaches in the suburbs. She was telling me about how she's applying for a job in an affluent paying suburban school district and suggested to me that I do the same (especially since they are looking to hire more minorities). I told her that I would look into it...

In the back of my mind I was thinking:

::psh...yeah right::

I think every kid grows up dreaming of a job with a six figure salary. That's especially with the help of parents...

Mom: You're going to be a lawyer when you grow up!
Me: Uhhh...Ok.

In reality, how many of us ended up achieving the job of our dreams? Not many. I started college thinking that I was going to be a Pharmacist. I figured I passed all of the Science classes in high school with A's, why wouldn't I do well in this major?!? That didn't go far once I passed my Intro to Biology class with a C-. I was entering my junior year and still had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I spent an entire summer trying to dig deep within to think of what I was good at.

Shopping, Watching TV, Doing Hair, Singing in the shower, Folding clothes, Grading Papers, Reading, Writing...

Then the light bulb went off in my head...I should be a teacher! I took all of the prerequisites for a minor in Education and switched my major to Literature. I then went on to grad school and took up a major in secondary education. Once I graduated the first place that I applied to was in the city.

Yes, my job is stressful and I deal with very intense situations on a daily basis and a lot of my population is composed of hard-to reach students. Even on my most stressed out days when I sit at my desk and rub my temples...I go home at night, lie in the bed and reflect on my day. Then I realize: It wasn't that bad.

Aside from the stress, I get to do what I love (teach!), show my creativity, my sense of humor, make real-world connections, challenge my students, set goals for their futures, and watch many of them succeed. I can honestly say that I never watch the clock thinking: When is my day going to be over? Everyday is like getting on a rollercoaster for the first time, wondering what are going to be the ups and downs, curves, twists, spins, etc.

I wouldn't trade it for the world. At least not for now. Yes, more money can be made in the suburbs. But I am here because this is where I am needed. :)


Who told me to start a blog at 1:00 AM in the morning? While the rest of the world is asleep (including my beautiful son), my mind is bursting at the seams with ideas to do at this time. This was one of them.

Where do I begin? I'm a twenty-something year old that lives a somewhat normal life.

In a nut shell: I'm an English teacher, mother, daughter, niece, and sister. I enjoy shopping, writing, reading, taking joy rides (aka getting lost), playing with my energetic two year old, and teaching my fabulous eighth graders. Those that meet me might think that I am shy, but that's far from the truth. I'm actually rather talkative once you get to know me. And once you REALLY get to know me then you'll find out that I'm very sarcastic. I look for the humor in everything, and I