Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Anniversary (& A Miscalculation!)

First of all, let me say that I feel so bad!! I mistyped some info in one of my earlier posts this week that I thought was right at the time. I was going through some older posts and ran across this post from last year. So, let me clarify, I've been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for FIVE YEARS...not four! LOL. I definitely charge this one to my head because I've had a lot going on and getting these posts out every other day hasn't been an easy task. BUT!! My start date was in the post (January 25th, 2009) and nobody said anything!! So...I blame you guys for not pointing it out! :-) Just kidding. I keep forgetting it's 2014 because time is flying by just that fast! Look, it's already the last day of January for Pete's sake!

Now that that's settled.... Yesterday was my 2nd Naturalversary (and I made sure to calculate it right this time). I had my last relaxer on January 30th, 2012!!
  • I told my AWESOME story last year in Do You Know What Today Is?.
  • Recently, in my One Year Post BC post, I shared three pointers about my natural hair journey
  • And then in my Holiday Salon Visit post, I talked about some of the pot holes I've hit recently in regards to my hair, steps I hope to take to get back on track, and goals I hope to reach this year with my hair.
A few updates:
  1. I've decided to do length checks every other month instead of monthly this year and because of that I don't have a length check for you today.
  2. I still waiver back and forth about having to do my own hair. Some days I'm all for it, other days I'm not. I mentioned that I wanted a sew-in and now I'm not even sure if I still want to do that. I've had some extra time on my hands because of snow and administrative closings at work, so I've tried some different things with my hair during that time. Because those things turned out well, I'm encouraged...TODAY! Lol. I know this will soon fade as the time comes, again and again, to wash my hair or when I run out of things to try with my hair. If I decide to get the sew-in, I really want to have my hair covered for about 4 to 6 months. If that's the case, I need to get on the ball! I've got some decisions to make.
  3. I think I might be to the point where I'm ready to say cut all the split ends off and I'll just go from there. People do second big chops all the time. I'm not saying I'm going to go as far as doing a second big chop because I don't truly know how damaged my hair is. It's one thing for me to say cut it now...but once the hair is gone it's gone...and who's to say that cutting all the split ends will solve the problem? Cutting it may create even more split ends...so I'm still contemplating. Plus, my hair's in a shedding stage right now. It sheds so much it would probably mat under the sew-in...LOL...jk!
  4. Another reason I'm unsure about getting a sew-in is because I FINALLY signed up for the curlBOX. It's so exclusive now that there's a closed VIP list you have to get on to get the box. I just so happened to get encouraged about getting a box around the time they opened the list. These boxes will allow me to try some new items without paying an arm and a leg for it. I get my first box next month and I'm anxious and curious to try it out.
Am I happy with the progress I've made after two years, of course I am. I never thought I would go natural; it wasn't in the cards for me. I was looking at some old videos last night of my relaxed hair right before I went natural and it was soooooo thin! I'm very glad to have made the decision to work towards healthier hair. Two years is a long time and I'm grateful to have made it this far.

Could I be happier, of course. I miss my cosme and doing hair isn't one of those things that comes natural to me. I've never been "da bomb" at doing hair...whether it was on somebody else's head or my own. It's a lot of work, but I'm still committed and I will stay committed until I see the results I want to see!!

So, Happy 2 Year Naturalversary to me!!!

AND! 

Only a few days left to enter the Valentine's Day Cash Giveway for your chance to win $350!! Eight days and counting...so hurry!! :-)

It's the weekend, ENJOY!


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Potato Bites & Shrimp Scampi

Between snow days, weekends, and broken water pipes at work...I've had a lot of extra time of my hands lately. With that time I decided to dive into a few of Recipes I've pinned on My Pinterest Page!! I want to get away from just pinning recipes and actually trying them! The thing is some times I get so caught up in getting a task done, like cooking and doing my hair, that I forget to take pictures!! So, bear with me in that area.

The first recipe I tried was a few weeks ago. I have no pictures for the first recipe so I'll speak very shortly on it. The side dish I made was Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites. Two things I'll say about this recipe is that for one, it was very tasty but like most things I try to cook for the first time, I could have seasoned the potatoes a little more. Secondly, the recipe called for 3 whole potatoes and I used 7 (because I love potatoes so much I didn't think 3 would be enough). I should have stuck to the recipe!! There were so many leftover potatoes that we couldn't eat them all...LOL. Overall it was a very good recipe and I would recommend it.

The next recipe I tried was shrimp scampi which was inspired by this Pinterest recipe. Here are the steps I took to make this scrumptious entree:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a pan with aluminum foil and melt a stick of butter on the pan in the oven
  3. Slice one lemon (if you'd like a little citrus taste) and place the slices on in the melted butter on the pan
  4. Peel the shrimp (which had already been deveined) and rinse
  5. The recipe called for Italian seasoning, but I didn't particularly like Italian seasoning. Instead I used McCormick's Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi Mix and coated the shrimp in this mix before laying them on the pan amongst the butter and lemon slices
  6. Put the shrimp in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes
I guess I was so hungry I forgot to take an after picture but this recipe turned out well! I ate the shrimp over a bed of rice. With the shrimp I tried another recipe that I'll write a post about later, so stay tuned!!

ALSO! 

Don't forget to enter the Valentine's Day Cash Giveway for your chance to win $350!! There are only 10 days left! $350 could make for a wonderful Valentine's Day! :-)

Have a great Wednesday folks!


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Monday, January 27, 2014

5th AKAversary

This post was originally dated for Saturday but I joined the Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway which started Saturday so I didn't not want one post to outshine the other. Go and enter the Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway...that is, only if you're interested in winning $350...lol!!

On January 25th, 2009 I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


I've accomplished many things and touched many lives through the work I've done with the work of the Sorority. Don't get me wrong, I touch lives with the type of work I do every single day, but I was able to give back to the community and the Sorority that gave me so much and that was a great feeling!! Saturday we celebrated our 4th Anniversary. Although now I'm farther away from my line sisters and were all a little more spread out making it impossible to do our annual gathering, we are always in each others hearts!!

Happy 5th AKAversary F.I.O!!
*I made a small miscalculation which has now been fixed...I blame you!! JK :-)

Happy Monday everyone and don't forget to enter the $350 Cash Giveaway!!
Have a great week! :-)


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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway!

It is better to give than it is to receive, so for this season of Love, we are giving away $350 Cash to one (1) lucky winner!!!
Meet the Lovely people who made this giveaway possible...

cohosts
Natasha @ Lovely You | Mionna @ Just Mi | Sarah @ Hope in Every Season | Nicole @ Pharr Away | Angel @ Sew Crafty Angel | Myrna @ Undecided Mamas | Lanaya @ Raising Reagan | Lily @ Fun Fierce Fabulous Beauty Over 50 | Sherry @ The Life of the Party | Sammie @ Busy Sweet Life | Robin @ Robin Charmagne | Dee @ Ms. Dee Kay | Susan @ Love In the Kitchen | Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures
Not Pictured: Linda | Crafts A La Mode
contributors
Christie @ A Kitchen Hoor | Britni @ Play Party Pin | Liz @ The Fitness Blondie | Charlene @ A Pinch of Joy | Kemi @ Beauty Style Growth | Lizzy @ Muddle Headed Mamma
Not Pictured: Jamie | Handling with Grace, Kira | Giveaways and Sweepstakes

SPONSORS
Michi | Delphina Luxe
Nicole | Pharr Away

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Lovely You Blog, Co-Hosts, Contributors and Sponsors are not eligible to enter this giveaway. The Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway begins January 25th at 12:00 AM EST and ends February 8th at 12:00AM EST. The giveaway is open to Residents Worldwide with a verified PayPal account except where prohibited by law. One (1) winner will be selected by Random.org and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. No purchase necessary for entering this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, GFC, Bloglovin and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me, cohosts and sponsors in order to verify your entries and name a winner. As the winner, you are responsible for any tax reporting and associated fees via PayPal in obtaining the winnings. It is the Sole responsibility of the winner and not Lovely You Blog, Co-hosts, Contributors or Sponsors.


GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Stretched Twists

How I Avoid Shrinkage!

I recently joined Twitter!! I want to build my following so Fridays will become Follow Me Friday where I showcase one of my accounts to follow. Today, of course, will be Twitter!


I had so many compliments and questions about the stretched twist out I did a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to take pictures the second time around so I could show the technique. In my post, The Curl Is Back, I showed the products I used to accomplish the finished look. This post will focus on the technique, specifically the stretching part.

Here are pictures with the descriptions of what what's going on.

The steps to take when washing natural hair 1. Pre wash
2. Shampoo
3. Before detangling with conditioner
4. Sectioned hair ready to detangle
5. After detangling
6. Cover with shower cap
7. Cover shower cap with satin-lined shower cap and let sit for about 30 minutes
8. Wash conditioner out

1. I t-shirt dried my hair
2. Pat my hair as dry as I could
3. Twisted my hair into medium sized sections
4. Back view of the twists
5. Top view of the twists
6. Stretched the twists and bobby pinned them to my head
7. Side view of stretched twists
8. Top view of stretched twists






1. These are my dried stretched twists
2. A side view
3. A top and back view
4. The twist unpinned
5. Side view
6. Untwisted twists and finished product






These twists turned out ok. They weren't as good as the first stretched twists I did, but isn't that usually how things work when you try to replicate them?! As for now, I've finally washed my hair and decided to try the flexi rod set this time around. Stay tuned for a post about that.

Also, come back tomorrow for the
Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway!!!
Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this! :-)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Help...I Need Jeans!

This post might seem random, but it's real! So, I've mentioned wanting to update my style a few times recently. One staple item that every closet needs is a good pair of jeans. I go on shopping trips every now and then and I must admit that my tolerance for shopping is low. I have to try on clothes before I buy them so the art of going of 1. going into a store, 2. undressing, 3. trying on the clothes I've found, 4. taking those clothes off, and 5. redressing is just way too much!! I've been trying to find jeans for a long time now. I'm getting older and my body is changing. With the changes my body is making, I need clothes that'll flatter my body rather than make it look anything other.

I used to have an abundance of jeans. During the last year and especially in preparation for my move, I ended up discovering that a lot of the jeans I had didn't fit any more...LOL. So, I gave those jeans away and donated them. Now my jean stock is low and I'm looking to rebuild. To start with, the type of jeans I'm looking for are skinny or straight leg jeans. It's the winter time, so I'm doing a lot of boot wearing. Skinny jeans are the best for this. Apparently boot cut jeans "went out of style" while I was in style hibernation. I think boot cut jeans work the best for wearing flats and and even heels, so in trying to rebuild my jean stock, I'm staying away from boot cut, but I have my eye out for a good pair if I can find them.

Most recently my favorite pair of go to jeans has been Levi's. I would always buy Levi's because they are a good quality jean and they seemingly fit me best. The last few pairs of Levi's have not been doing that well. Outside of Levi's, my next old favorite were Old Navy jeans. I try to go back to Old Navy but it seems that the older I get, the worse they fit! My problems with jeans are many. Here are a few
  • The crotch is too long
  • Mid-waist jeans are cut too high
  • Low cut jeans are cut to low
  • The jean fabric is too harsh
  • Too tight in the waist area
  • Too loose in the leg area
  • Too short/too long
  • Too baggy (or they get baggy as the day goes on)
  • Etc., etc.
I'm just looking for a good pair of go to jeans. I don't care how much they cost, but I do want them to fit well and to continue to fit well as time goes on. When I run into these dilemmas I can't do anything but shake my head because I've never had this much trouble finding clothes before. Why now? And I know I'm not the only person going through this, but it feels like it!

So...if any of you ladies out there have suggestions about where to go to find good jeans or know good quality jean brands, let me know! PLEASE!

Happy Hump Day Folks!


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Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Day

Today we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (January 15)! 
Dr. King showed us the power of one in changing the way people think.
He was a great man who lead the Civil Rights Movement and moved a nation.

From his great speech "I Have A Dream" to the many marches for equal rights, this man deserves his spot in history!

Happy Belated Birthday Dr. King and Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day!


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Friday, January 17, 2014

A New Fitness YouTube Channel!

By now, I'm sure you all know I started blogging as a way to document my natural hair journey (see my very first blog post). My blog has developed a lot over this past year and has blossomed into what it is today. There are many things I share with you all along the way because this is my space to share whatever it is I want to and I'm enjoying myself so far!

Like me, my boyfriend is on a journey of his own. For the past year and some change he's been working very hard on living a healthier lifestyle. His story and journey are amazing and he's decided to share it with the world. Unlike me...lol...he's more of an extrovert so he's taking a different approach! He's started a YouTube Channel:

C.Bake.Presents FlightSchoolFitness
^^^This is the homepage link^^^

Here's a quick video for you to check out right now:


If you want to know what Flight School is...watch THIS!

Don't just stop at watching just these two videos...please check out his YouTube Channel homepage (link above)! He's not a trainer or anything along those lines, but he will be talking about the methods he's used for weight lifting, healthier eating, etc. He'll also talk about other interests/hobbies of his like music, cutting hair, doing parodies, etc.. I love him!! He's intelligent, witty, and entertaining and I'm sure you'll enjoy his channel!! I would greatly appreciate it if you ALL would check it out and....

SUBSCRIBE to the channel
LIKE some of the videos
& COMMENT!!

When I get up enough nerve to start my YouTube channel he's going to produce it! LOL...so support him!


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy 106

Today is the day the best sorority in the world was founded!!


Happy Founders Day

106 Years of sisterhood never looked so good!!!


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Damaged Hair Options

What to do when you have damaged hair

Half sew-in on relaxed hairYou guys know about my recent hair dilemma (if not, read this). As time passes, I get more depressed about the state of my hair. My 2 week wash date has come and gone but I haven't touched my hair since my salon visit. I'm just not feeling the whole doing-my-own-hair thing at the moment, so I'm kind of on strike. I know that might not exactly be the healthiest move to make but I've at least been brainstorming different approaches I can take moving forward.

Sew-in

First, I'm seriously considering getting a sew-in. I've had a sew-in twice before. One of the last times my hair started breaking off (before going natural), my stylist at the time suggested I try it. The first time, I got a half sew-in. She braided parts of my hair while leaving other parts of my hair out to blend with the weave. This was a tough feat at the time because my hair was red, so finding hair to match wasn't easy. I must admit that my stylist did a very wonderful job though. I loved that sew-in and it was so natural. The second time I got a full sew-in. I didn't really like the full sew-in because it didn't look as natural as the half sew-in...and why would it?

Why a sew-in?

I'm considering getting a full sew-in for two reasons:
    full sew-in on relaxed hair with a little leave out in the front
  1. My hair would be braided, covered, and protected allowing it the opportunity to grow. My hair would have the opportunity to grow enough so that hopefully I can get all my split ends completely cut off and not even miss the hair that needs to be cut. You guys know me by now so you know I'll miss any hair that's cut off but I'm hoping this will soften the blow a bit. 
  2. I don't want to get a half sew-in because any hair that's left out will have to be constantly flat ironed. Having to constantly flat iron my hair could potentially damage the curl pattern of that hair. When you get sew-ins you have them for at least two to three months. You still have to wash the hair (and your hair) so that would be a lot of heat that would need to be applied. I already have one issue with split ends. I don't need another one.
I'm very nervous about getting a sew-in for several reasons. I got my the last full sew-in done by somebody whose work I knew and I didn't like it. I'd seen her do full sew-ins before that didn't look bad but I wasn't happy with the job she did for me. Now that I'm in DC and I haven't been able to find a decent natural hair salon or get decent referrals from people, I'm going to have to put my hair into somebody's hands blindly. Sew-ins are too expensive to trust someone I don't know...especially if I won't like the results. So I'm still in the contemplation stage about this. I've asked around about stylists and I have a couple of options. We'll just have to see what move I make.

Scalp Massages

Natural hair with split endsSecondly, about six months ago, I wrote about Scalp Massages. I was supposed to be making a 30 day challenge out of it. Now that my hair is "damaged", I have a little more incentive behind doing everything I can to help it grow and be healthier. I want to re-encourage myself to do this and not necessarily as a challenge but as an ongoing process. Since the new year came in and my hair is straight, I've been brushing my hair for about 25 strokes a night (which is something my cosmetologist suggested a while back). I've been doing this with no trouble at all and it made me think; if I can do that, I can definitely get on this scalp massage train. I plan to start the massages as soon as I wash my hair, so until then I'm sticking with brushing.


NOVEMBER 2015 UPDATE:

A couple of decisions were made after writing this post. I finally decided upon a DC salon and the initial goal was to slowly trim my hair until all the split ends were gone. If you haven't figured this out on your own, a slow trim defeats the purpose! When that began to be unbearable, I made some more decisions about what to do with my damaged hair. I trimmed all the split ends off and got a full sew-in!

I never got into the scalp massages and I decided that brushing my hair so much wasn't too good for it as it was already shedding like crazy. I did protective styling for the winter of 2014 with two sew-ins. I made some mistakes but learned a lot about how to take care of my hair during protective styling like this.

It's been a very long journey from this post to now. I'm in a different and better place with my hair. I'm still trying out salons and I'm currently protective styling for 2015. Check out all I've learned about my natural hair! I'm sure there are some gems in there for you too!

What other natural or home remedies have you used to stimulate growth?? I'm all ears!

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Social

I will go on and preface this by saying January is my new blog month. I've mentioned in several posts how this is my year to expand my blog. I've also highlighted some of my favorite posts from last year to show off what I've done (despite computer issues). This week's Sunday Social just so happens to go along with my monthly theme, so I saw it as a sign that I had to participate!

Sunday Social

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
The name of my blog is Just Mi! I've been blogging for one year! Read My 1st Blogiversary to see what I had to say about it!

2. Why do you blog?
In one word, HAIR! That's the main reason I started blogging. I talked about my blog spot in a couple of places: Sunday Social, About Mi, Liebster Award #3, etc. etc. Of course my blog has grown into a place where I feel comfortable doing other things besides talking about hair...like sharing recipes, talking about me and the things I go through or have gone through, participating in blog hops, and so on. I've actually started a series where I'll be sharing some of my favorite posts from my first year periodically called the Flashback series. I just posted my first one this past Friday. Check it out here: Flashback Friday!

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?

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My best friend, IRL, Nicole's blog @ Pharr Away. She's a major reason why I became interested in blogging. Check her out!

4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2013?
My favorite post was I'm An Introvert - 2. I felt really misunderstood as an "introvert", so I really wanted to devote some space on my blog to talking about it. This post is my most viewed (and the series was definitely the most commented on) post. It made me feel good to know there were so many people who could relate to the things I had to say about being an Introvert. Check out the other posts in that series too: Let's Just Admit It...I'm An Introvert, I'm An Introvert - 3, I'm An Introvert - 4, I'm An Introvert - 5, Introvert Finale.

5. What are your blogging goals for 2014.
As I said in my intro paragraph, 2014 is all about blog expansion for me! The first year was like a trial. I had to jump out there, get my feet wet, get over some of the hesitations I had, and learn as much as I could.  Now I'm ready to dive in head first! My focus is on growing my blog and creating better connections with other bloggers.

6. Top 3 favorite blogs to follow?
I talked about three of my favorite blogs in this post, so I'll highlight three other blogs that I've come to enjoy a little more over the year.




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So that's it for this social. Definitely go and check the ladies out that I've mentioned in this post as well as check out some of my older posts that's I've linked in today and....

Please, please, PLEASE! follow me on my new Twitter account (@justmiblog)!!!! 
To go hand in hand with my blog expansion I had to get with it!!

Be Blessed!


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Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday

It's the beginning of a new year and thoughts of what this year has to bring my blog are exciting. I wanted to do a recap of my most popular posts of 2013, as a review for myself as well as to showcase some of my earlier work to my newest followers. I'm creating a short "Flashback" series to roll out some of my favorite posts from my first year because after going through my posts I realized that I talked about some great things! I didn't want to take away from any one area, so I'll break my posts up into different areas over time.

In the left hand sidebar under "Popular Posts" you can find my top 5 posts of all time. So, even though a few of these posts are my favorites too, I won't highlight them since you can go over and click on the any one of them at any time!

The posts people find most interesting are my hair posts. That makes my heart smile because hair is the main reason I blog!! I'll highlight these posts first!

A few of my favorite hair posts are:


I wanted to also take a few seconds to point out this March 18th post (This Computer Of Mine) because I thought it was awesome! I talked about my computer, how it was on my Christmas list (it really was on my list), how my issues with it hindered me from blogging like I wanted to, etc. This is an example of why I love blogging! I was able to look back at the post from 10 months ago and see that I'd been dealing with my sorry computer for a long time!! I also got to see that those issues continued throughout the year.

If you can't tell by now, I have a new computer!! FINALLY!! I gave the blog a slight facelift for the new year and for my new start!! I also created a Signature (which I started using Wednesday) and a new Afro Button:

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2014 is my year for blog expansion and I'm serious about it!

Come back each week to check out some of my 2013 posts. Subscribe to my blog by any of the ways listed at the bottom of this post and keep up with my new posts. I promise you'll enjoy yourself here!!


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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NYE OOTD

I remembered how hard it was to find an outfit for New Year's Eve last year so I decided to start the search early this year. Even though I began early, I still had trouble. In this big metropolitan area, there were no dresses to be found. I'd come to the conclusion that most stores weren't going to put out NYE dresses until after Christmas.

The reason I was able to start my search so early was because I ran across this beautiful dress on Christin Armstrong's IG. I had to have it!! It helped me to know that I wanted something sparkly and long sleeved. I wanted shoes to accent my dress (whatever dress I found) but I also wanted closed-toe shoes because I knew it would be cold!! After going to at least 20-30 stores over the course of a few weeks, here's what I was able to put together:

The Dynamic Duo
Dress: Forever 21
 
Shoes: Charlotte Russe
 
Accessories: Charlotte Russe Necklace,
Tiffany Bracelet
Michael Kors Watch
 
Arm Candy: My handsome boyfriend! :-)
 
My Thoughts, Dress: I really was looking to stay away from black this years as I wore it last year (see here, picture on the right). I'm also still working towards being more stylish. It's been a task trying to find that style between young adult and older women's fashion! It either looks too young or looks too old. With that being the case, Forever 21 wasn't on the top of my list for places to look. This dress was actually the last one in the store and I wasn't going to buy it because it looked damaged (up close) but I liked the dress so much that I couldn't let it slip out of my hands. I literally walked into 20 to 30 stores y'all! It was no fun. I also looked online, but had no luck there either. (This didn't phase me because I'm a little old fashioned in that I really prefer to try my clothes on before deciding to buy.)
 
My Thoughts, Shoes: After going through all I had to go through to find a dress, I was not excited about having to do the same to find shoes! Charlotte Russe was the first place I looked for shoes and I stumbled onto these beauties immediately. As soon as I tried them on, I fell in love. The thing is, they didn't have my size!! They never do!! I'm sure size 9 is the most common woman's shoe size in America!! I also didn't want a sandal. I wanted to be able to wear tights and have my feet covered because I knew it would be a cold night! So, I searched in other stores with no luck. No shoes could compare to these! I called every Charlotte Russe close to me in NC (I was home for the holidays) but no store had the shoe. I didn't want to order it because I was afraid they wouldn't make it in time. After $20 (express shipping) and a trip to FedEx (because packages don't come to address just yet...smh), I was able to get them in time. I guess I can't really complain.

The outfit was perfect and I was told that I was the best looking woman in the ballroom that night. I'm inclined to believe that, even if it was my boyfriend that said it! LOL. I also can't wait to find another reason to wear this outfit!!
 
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Holiday Salon Visit

Assessing My Damaged Hair

This post will be a painful post for me to type. Some might say that I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I'll let you decide.

Hair is what this blog is all about, so I thought it fitting for this to be the first real post of 2014. In my December Length Check post, I talked about the length of my hair post salon visit. I also made a reference to the trouble I thought I was having with my hair in The Curl Is Back and Straightening My Own Hair. My prognosis was right!! I was dealing with terrible split ends.

When I walked into the salon, I told my cosmetologist everything I thought was wrong. I also told her about all the itching my head was doing and about the split ends I knew I had...I just didn't know how bad they were. She told me that overall my hair looked good and I was doing a good job with it. My scalp looked good too so the only thing she could think would be the culprit of my itchy scalp was my move. I've been having trouble with dry skin lately. I'm not drinking enough water but aside from that I know the water here is different from the water in NC. One of my 2014 goals is to drink more water, so I hope to do better with my skin this year.

My split ends...smh. Well, there's nothing you can do to fix split ends except cut them. She told me the back of my hair was worse than the front. Here's my thing. I do a great job with my hair (overall). I know how to take care of it and maintain it so I can have length retention which is my ultimate goal. Yes, health is important too, but I'm shooting for healthy length. Haircuts don't help with length retention. That's going in the opposite direction. I've never been a fan of hair cuts. I don't even like trims, but I get them because I know it's "necessary".

Look at this picture to the right. You can tell my hair is suffering. I don't like the progress, or lack thereof, I've made.

I told my cosmetologist how I straightened my hair because I knew that was to blame. I was trying to simulate what she does when she dries my hair but I had gotten frustrated because it wasn't turning out like I knew it should. I hurried through it...pulling and yanking with the brush...knowing that it wasn't good for my hair. Working with the hair in the back of my head, always gives me the most trouble because I can't see that hair and trying to maneuver my arms and hands to handle that hair is always irritating. These are main reasons why I needed my boyfriend to help me through the job of flat ironing the hair because split ends is one thing but ruining the curl pattern is a completely different ball game.


I knew I'd have to get my hair cut going into the situation, so it wasn't a shock. I also learned that the split ends were a good part of the reason why my hair wouldn't curl like it should have when it was straight. She ended up cutting off about 1 to 1.5 inches of hair, mostly in the back. My feelings are still hurt from my visit because I had to cut off the growth I'd made in those two months between visits.

What I need to do:

1. Buy an ionic hair dryer with a concentrator attachment nozzle.

  • Besides blow drying my hair with frustration, I was not doing the blow drying method properly. I was trying to blow dry my hair; brushing the hair from root to tip. That's NOT right. The first step is to use the nozzle to concentrate the air on my blow drying my roots first. I use a brush to brush the hair away, but I don't need to brush the hair all the way out from root to tip. After the roots are dried, I use the brush to gently comb through to the tips of my hair. I also don't need to apply direct heat. (This sounds more complicated than it is, but I visually have the method down pact.)


2. Ask for help.

  • If I think things are going south, instead of blow drying with frustration, I should ask for help.


3. Do some protective styling to give my hair an opportunity to rest.
  • I'm manipulating my hair every day. It's experienced most of the elements (rain, snow, sleet, very cold air, warm air, humidity, etc. - the weather's been crazy here!) since it's been damaged and I just want to give it a rest. I'm upset about the length I lost and I shake my head every time I look in the mirror. What makes it worse is that I still have some split ends left...that means more cutting! Who knows when I'll be able to get back to my salon. Best solution for that is to hide it from myself! I'm seriously thinking about getting a sew-in.

4. Length checks every other month.
  • It's bad enough that I see my hair every day, but to do monthly length checks doesn't help either. I want to compare my hair to itself only when there's been significant gains made. I think checking every other month will help me see more dramatic growth.

5. Be healthier.
  • I'm already working on drinking more water, but I also want to have a more routine eating schedule that includes healthier, heartier foods. I want to provide my body and my hair with the vitamins needed. I'm tired of the dry skin and I want to maximize hair growth as much as possible.

With my two year natural anniversary coming up at the end of this month, I hope to start this third year of my natural hair journey armed with as much knowledge and gumption to do what I need to do to reach my goal. I think I would have my hair reach down to my bra strap by my 2 year big chop anniversary. Not at all unattainable, but I've got to do a better job with taking care of my hair. I have 10 months to go, so let's keep our fingers crossed!!

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

My 1st Blogiversary!

Alright you guys!! January 1, 2014 was my blogiversary. I'm writing this post before Christmas, so I'm hoping by the actual date it posts that these things will have come to fruition!!

I hope to be making a computer purchase soon so I want to step up my blog game this year. Although I ran into many computer issues last year, I still learned quite a bit about blogging. I want to establish "my brand" more so I'm hoping to expand this year by trying new and more exciting things, at more than I did last year. I've gotten over some of the heebie-jeebies of putting myself out there for the world to see, now it's time to start making this thing work for me!

This will always by my personal space and I can always pick and choose what I share with whom but my main goal for the year is to work towards expansion. I want to reach more people, gain more readers, and have more fun! The main reason I started this blog was to document my hair journey and that will always be the main topic of my blog. I will also continue to discuss other topics as I see fit. If I find another niche, that'll be great too!

I have other goals for the new year that I hope to work towards and hopefully 2014 will be even better than 2013 was. I'm in a good space and I'd like to stay that way this year. I pray that God grants me at least one of my heart's desires and I promise to focus on being a better me.

We'll see how it all turns out. Be blessed everyone.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year & Blogiversary!!


Happy New Year!!
It's January 1, 2014 and that means that it's also my blogiversary so....

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Just Mi!!

Since it is the New Year, I'm giving myself a break, but I will elaborate on my blogiversary soon so stay tuned!

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