Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December '13 Length Check

23 Months Natural

I need to divulge a lot of information about what my hair has gone through over the past month, but I won't bog this post down with it. I'll discuss my latest salon visit in another post, so stay tuned. Here's the check for December (pre salon visit):

 December 6 = 96 weeks natural (~1 year, 11 months)
55 weeks since the BC (~1 year)

December 25 = 99 weeks natural (~1 year, 11.75 months...lol)
58 weeks since the BC (~1 year, 1.5 months)

My hair hasn't grown, but the pictures are only about 3 weeks apart, so that's to be expected! LOL!! Next year, I'll do length checks every two months, as well as on my naturalversary and on my big-chopiversary.
I call being natural my journey, because it's just that...a journey! I am continuously learning things along the way. Now that I'm away from my cosmetologist and her healthy hands and I have to do this thing on my own, I'm making mistakes...and that's okay. I would much rather be the one making mistakes on my own hair than have someone else making the mistakes. My hair is ever changing and regardless of the mistakes I make, it's ever growing!!
At the end of this year, with this last length check, I'll say that I love being natural and I hope to continue to learn the skills I need to take care of my hair so it can continue to be as healthy as it can be!!

P.S. - It's New Year's Eve and this day is the last 24 hours of the year. I'm sure most of you will be out celebrating tonight so please be safe and have fun! Let the countdown to 2014 begin!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Introvert Finale

I had to get into these last two points on the Introvert list before the end of the year. I have a plan for my blog next year, so I want to start afresh come 2014. With that being said, let's get to it!

Myth #9) Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

This is an interesting point. I don't know many people who don't know how to relax and have fun. I'm always up for both of those! I don't agree with the not being a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie because I love things like rollercoasters (for instance) and could ride a coaster 2 and 3 times just to get that adrenaline rush. I love having fun, being in fun environments, and being around people I can have fun with!!! Fun isn't always easy to come by, though. There are times when you have to think really hard to find something to do, let alone find something fun to do. Fun times can be tough to come by so it would make things 10 times better to have a someone I could turn to who always knew something fun to do at any given moment. I get agitated and restless when I want to do something and can't find anything or think of anything to do. Those days are no good!

There are also times when I'm likely to shut down if there's too much talking going on at one time, or if there's a lot of noise going on around me. This can be very overwhelming for me and I'll just need a second or two away from all the ruckus to get my footing. I get irritated and a headache starts brewing...I guess it has to do with all that Dopamine floating around...lol.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

There's really not much I need to elaborate on this one. This paragraph speaks to much of what this series was about. There's no need for anyone to fix themselves whether they be an Introvert or Extrovert. It's all about understanding one another better. Everyone is different. There are even differences within both categories of people. We all share the same Earth. Everyone doesn't have to "be friends" and you don't have to care about any of these things I've pointed out in this series...but if there are people in your lives that are a different from you, it's a lot better interacting with one another when there's a level of understanding. This is why I chose to do this series. I hope it's helped someone out there!!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm An Introvert - 5

It's the holidays and Introverts everywhere are in crisis!!!! Just kidding, lol. I actually look forward to holidays, especially the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's trio. Now that I'm an adult, there are office holiday parties and celebrations with friends to look forward to around this season as well as the usual family gatherings. I enjoy celebrating and I love having fun with friends and family. Introverts are thought to be the exact opposite, but this goes to show that not everyone fits into a certain mold!! Here are today's two points:

Myth #7) Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don't follow the crowd. They'd prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don't make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

I would say I'm definitely a little weird, but aren't we all?! I have little quirks about me that are specific to me and I, along with a few of my friends and family members, think those things make me a little weird...lol!

I consider myself an individualist. There have been times when I've gone against the grain just because so many people were going with the grain. I don't always like doing what everybody else is doing because I don't like being lumped into the "everybody" statements. I've always said that I'm not like anyone else, I'm unique. I have my own thoughts about things and I'm proud to be able to say that. I'm sure there are a lot of people who can say these very same things and I don't think that's weird but if you do...okay. :-)

Myth #8) Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It's not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it's just that their inner world is much more stimulation and rewarding to them.

WOW!!! This is the story of my life!! I am definitely emotion-driven most of the time. I won't go all the way to say that I'm irrationally driven by my emotions, but a lot of the actions I take are driven by my emotions.

I'm a smart woman. I've been through a lot of things up to this point in my life and I've learned a lot from each situation. One of my goals in life is to be happy, so I strive to do things that'll contribute to my happiness. I don't see anything wrong with that! When things happen in life, there's usually an emotion attached to those events. I strongly feel my emotions, good ones and not so good ones, so I try to eradicate issues or problems in my life that cause not so good emotions. When there are issues I can't change for better or "make go away" and I have to deal with the not so good emotions on a consistent basis, I usually have a harder time dealing with those emotions.

I'm all for working towards solutions if I'm having issues with another person...that's not usually the problem. The "real life situations" are the toughest and wear me down the most and the quickest. When I'm not doing well emotionally, I put on a pretty good front for people. The only people I'll open up to are my close friends and family...and even then I don't like talking to a lot of them about my life issues because I know everybody has their own things going on too. I don't like "bothering" people and when I do decide to share, it's a big deal for me because I'm opening up which makes me vulnerable in a way. I don't share my feelings often and it's easy to hurt them so I'll usually internalize everything and hold everything in until I have a emotional breakdown!! That's not good, I know, but it's how I've learned to deal with things. I really abhor having hurt feelings.

Overall, I think I'm a great and wonderful person (:-D) but if there was one thing I could change about myself this would be it. Being super sensitive and super emotional sucks!! For now, I'm trying my best to work towards being less sensitive and emotional...but I'm at a loss for how you go about changing internal feelings. It's great, however, to have people around me who know these things about me. In the end, that just makes me love them even more!!!

Two more points and I will have finished this series!!!
Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

20 Questions

About Me

This has been an interesting weather season. We've had some very warm days along with some very cold days. This Sunday it snowed for the first time this season! Unfortunately it was only enough to get us a two hour delay Monday morning, but who's complaining?! Today, it started snowing at 7:00 AM. Something told me to check my work email and I'm glad I did because work for the day had been canceled!! It stopped snowing around noon so we won't get another day off. The sun came out this afternoon drying up most of the moisture from the snow.

I found these questions somewhere a while ago and I thought today would be a good day to post these since I haven't had access to a computer for a few days. I know I've probably answered some of these questions in previous posts, but it's a snow day...give me a break! :-D


Monday, December 9, 2013

November '13 Length Check

One Year Post Big Chop

Wow! The November length check has rolled around so quickly! Seems like just yesterday I was doing the October check. Let's jump in!

October 2 = 87 weeks natural (~1 year 9 months),
46 weeks since the BC (~11.5 months)

Comparing my natural hair to see how much growth I've had since my last length checkDoing a length check on my natural hair after two years

December 6 = 96 weeks natural (~1 year, 11 months)
55 weeks since the BC (~1 YEAR!!)


Friday, December 6, 2013

The Curl Is Back!

Washing My Natural Hair After it's Been Straightened

Between the October Length Check and Straightening My Own Hair posts I've had so much going on with my hair! I've gone from not knowing what to do to my hair without my cosmetologist, to deciding on wanting to wear it straight throughout the winter, all the while dealing with a very itchy scalp and a whole lot of shedding!

I wore my straightened hair for about three weeks before I decided to bring the curl back! After looking at all the hair that was shedding, I noticed I had a lot of split ends. I've never had issues with split ends, but after my little debacle with trying to blow dry, stretch, and straighten my hair, I'm not surprised.

I was past due for a wash, so I decided to take the time to super deep condition and moisturize my hair. Here are the steps and products I used:

The products I use when taking my hair from straight to curlyPRODUCTS
Influance Natural Oil

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm An Introvert - 4

You thought I forgot, didn't you?? LOL. Well, I did not. You all know the struggles I've been having without my computer, so this series has definitely taken a hit. I'm halfway through the series and the things that have been mentioned in this series so far are things that I'm still dealing with on a daily basis. Jumping back in, let's talk about #5.

Myth #5) Introverts don't like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Straightening My Own Hair

Recently I've been dealing with feelings surrounding not knowing what I really want to do with my hair. Since moving away from NC, I haven't found a cosmetologist I can trust with my natural hair; but to be completely honest, I haven't really been looking. I'm accustomed to getting my hair done every two weeks. The most work I've had to do was think of a nice style I wanted, tell my cosmetologist, she'd hook it up for me, and I would keep it up in between salon visits. I truly miss that.

I've discussed a few options I've been considering over the past few hair posts. I've settled on wearing my hair straight for the majority of the winter. I still want to learn how to do my hair on my own...both curly and straight. If I can conquer this skill of straightening, I think it would boost my confidence for being able to learn other skills.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

October '13 Length Check

21 Months Natural

I finally made it home to my cosmetologist and I was overjoyed!! I'd been having issues with shedding and I wasn't happy with having to do my own hair. I want to learn the skills to be able to "tap into the versatility of my natural hair" so I've just been in an awkward place. I went in for a trim, so this length check will be after the trim. Let's see what happened at the salon.

June 18 (picture on the left) 72 weeks natural, (1 year 6 months)
 31 weeks since the BC (~8 months)

October 18 (picture on the right) = 89 weeks natural (a little over 1 year 9 months),
48 weeks since the BC (~almost a year)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!

Today is my beautiful sister's birthday and I wanted to wish her the best of days today!! She and her friend will be making a journey to the big city to celebrate!! We will be having what we call "Turn Up Time"! LOL

To reminisce a little bit, I can still remember that Halloween 23 years ago! I was with my cousin, dad, and aunt. Me and my cousin were racking up on all kinds of good candy when we got the heads up that my Mom was going into labor. We had to cut our Halloween short that night so you can imagine the way we took that bit of news!! But I took to being a big sister very well. My mom always says that I treated her like she was my child!! We played together, laughed together, cried together, got in trouble together, grew up together and both became great, smart, young women. We are very close and I wouldn't trade our relationship for anything in this world!!

The world is changing daily and things aren't quite like they were when I was growing up so...I want to wish you all safety and fun times on this day!!

And here's one more very happy birthday to my little sister! Happy Birthday Girl!!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Tuna Salad

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

I've fallen in love with a place here called Potbelly Sandwich Shop. My boyfriend took me to a Nationals baseball game and we ate here after the game. I'm not really one to like sandwich shops so I decided to try something different just to spice up the trip. I ordered the Tuna Salad Sandwich and was instantly knocked off my feet by how good it was!

It just so happens that we have a Potbelly's within walking distance of my job. It's a struggle not to go there every day. I decided to try my hand at making my own tuna salad and it turned out very well. I Googled as many recipes as I could and I looked on Pinterest for ideas too. I was ultimately able to gather enough information from these sites to put together my own recipe for tuna salad.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


For the past couple of months, I've been strictly using Design Essentials (D.E.s) product for my hair. What I was in Greenville, I went tot he salon every two weeks. I would try to get my hair done in a style that would last two weeks, so I wouldn't have to do much to my hair during the time in between salon visits. If I had to wash my hair, though, I was using D.E.s shampoo and conditioner. I would also use their moisturizer, curl stretching cream, and defining gel (see some D.E.s styles here, here, and here). Now that I'm doing my own hair things are so different (and I know I've said this a million times, but it's the truth)! I'm losing faith in some of the D.E.s products and I've started using some of my old favorites. I even asked you all for suggestions and because of your responses, I found two products to try out!

I moisturize my hair nightly. This might seem excessive, but my hair drinks moisture rapidly and will become extremely dry if I don't stay on top of keeping it moisturized. Knowing that I moisturize often, I need a product that's not going to be too much for my hair. I need for my hair to be able to stand the product for each two week period between washes.

The first product I tried was the Curls Unleashed (Organic Root Stimulator) Curl Defining Crème. It wasn't too thick or thin; it was kind of in the middle. It also smelled good which is always a plus. I tried this product for a two week period. Closer towards the end of the trial period, the moisturizer had built up on my hair. The product also left an oily residue on my hair (to the touch). The buildup and oily residue were negatives for this product. I was tempted to wash my hair before the end of the 2 weeks and because I abhor washing my hair so much, that's definitely not a good thing my book!

The second product I tried was Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I'd seen this product advertised on so many hair sites, IG accounts, etc...but I don't like jumping on bandwagons, so I put off trying the product. I decided to try it this time because my readers suggested it and I truly value your opinions!! This product was lighter than the Curls Unleashed moisturizer and it wasn't as oily. I tried this for 2 weeks as well and this product seemed to moisturize my hair in just the right way! It too had a great smell. Smell is so important to me because I have a very sensitive nose and since I moisturize my hair nightly, I have to be able to stand the smell of whatever I use on my hair (or any kind of soap, deodorant, air freshener, etc.). Before I buy any product with a smell...I try to smell it in the store (if possible)!

Between the two moisturizers, Shea Moisture won me out! It smelled better and wasn't as heavy on my hair. I was able to use it each night without having an oily, gunky mess on my hands at the end of two weeks. As far as hair results, I liked the twist out I got from the Shea Moisture product because it set my hair better than the Curls Unleashed product. (I would show pictures, but pictures do no justice to the styles I wear for whatever reason...so, I take less pictures of myself and my hair because of it.) I've been having issues with flakes for about the past month and I'm not sure if it's from product buildup, dry scalp, different pH in the water here, or what. I plan on finding out when I go back to the salon. Other than that I will continue to use the Shea Moisture product and find somebody to give the Curls Unleashed product to (*wink, wink*)!!

If you have any questions about either product, I'll be more than happy to answer.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Baked Potato Casserole

I'm trying to get a better footing on my cooking game, so I'm up for trying new things; I always have been up for trying new things.

My best friend Nicole posted a recipe on Instagram that looked simply delicious.

The recipe was for Baked Potato Casserole!

I had to give it a try because I just love all things potato!

I wanted to try it so bad I requested the recipe in advance and cooked it the day after she posted the picture!

Here's how my casserole turned out:

Visit her blog for the recipe. Aside from having to peel the potatoes, which took way too long for my liking, it was quick and easy!!

I have a similar recipe that I wanted to try soon...but my boyfriend requested that I stick to making this recipe, preferably every week, because he likes this one! Lol...I aim to please, so I see a lot of potatoes and potato peeling in the near future :-)

Have a great week y'all!!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

September '13 Length Check

After a month of having to do my own hair, it's September Length Check time.
Sept 1 = 83 weeks natural (~1 year 8 months),
42 weeks since the BC (~10.5 months)

October 2 = 87 weeks natural (~1 year 9 months),
46 weeks since the BC (~11.5 months)
So, what have I learned this month??
  • First...I learned I need to go to the salon!! LOL. I love my natural curly hair, but I don't have the time to devote to it to make more creative styles. Some times I have the time, but I just don't feel like it! I basically wear the same style every day and that's boring to me. I want more versatility (which I know I can obtain since I have natural hair) but I need to be able to tap into that. I don't want to have to "go to the salon" because I want "this style or that one" today. I want to be able to practice versatility on my own. So, I either need to find salon quick, fast, and in a hurry or learn the skills. We'll see which of those happens first.
  • I've also been experimenting with different products and I've found one I really like (blog post to come soon).
  • I'm in desperate need of a trim so my hair is shedding more and more each day. Even though I see this growth, I know it's for nil since I'll be getting it trimmed soon.
  • I also asked my readers about detangling. Since I've washed my hair several times this month, I've found that it's better, for me, to detangle with a wide tooth comb. I actually take the time to separate my hair into six sections (while conditioning) and I detangle each section separately, then all together. I may try that method with a brush, just to see how it goes...but for now, I'm sticking with the comb...it's easier to chop away at the tangles!
Me and this hair, right?!! :-)
So, there are my September updates and my official goodbye to my blessed birthday month. I want to promise myself a few things moving forward:
  • I'll try my best not to move on my birthday ever again. This has happened twice and it definitely takes away from the occasion that I spend all year waiting for.
  • I need to plan an event for my birthday next year (or maybe the year after, since that'll be a milestone year). Either way, I've got to plan something!
This computer thing is really killing me. I'm not able to do what I need to do when I need to do it. Thank God for all these devices (iPad and phone) but using those things don't compare to using a computer. Using my computer at work makes me have to do rush jobs on my posts (so if they read kind of funny, that's why)! I'm pushing through and I'm going to claim a new computer by Thanksgiving!!
Have a great day y'all!
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Second Attempt

First, let me begin by saying that my computer is giving me trouble again. I am unable to connect to internet which seriously affects my ability to blog! :-( So please...work with me. I'm trying my best to get around to every comment and still visit blogs like I would normally...it just might take me a little longer. Sounds like it might be time for another computer, right?! LOL

Now, back to the regular schedule.

Even though I didn't really like it the last time, I tried the wash and go again.

I needed to wash my hair and things have been really busy lately with all that's going on, so I decided to give this wash and go a second try. I had some new products I wanted to try too which was also a driving force behind wanting to try the wash and go again (even thought I HATE the shrinkage I get).

This time around here are the products I used:
  • Design Essentials Curl Cleanser Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
  • Design Essentials Daily Moisturizing Lotion
  • Influance's Natural Oil
  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Design Essentials Natural Defining Crème Gel
I followed the same steps as last time. I washed and deep conditioned my hair. Then I parted my hair into six sections. I applied the moisturizer and the oil to preserve and retain moisture. Then I applied the smoothie and defining crème gel. Here are the results...right - wet and left - dry:

Even though I never like the results of wash and go's...between the two times I tried it, I liked the results I got the last time a lot better. My hair was more defined than it was during this trial. The new product I wanted to try was the Curls Unleashed (Organic Root Stimulator) Second Chance Curl Refresher. I thought maybe this product could do something to make my wash and go's more appealing to me. The bottom line is...it didn't! I got the same effect from that product as I would have gotten from just adding water or a moisturizer to my hair. Lesson learned!

I've definitely learned a lot of lessons about my hair in this month of having to do it myself and I'm still learning. We'll just have to see where this journey takes me.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Social

It's Sunday Social time and we're talking about work!!

Sunday Social

Let's jump in!!

1. What is your dream job?
Somebody recently asked me this question or one similar to this. The question was, "Is the job you have now your dream job?" My answer, "absolutely not!" My answer to this was that my dream job was the be a pharmacist. I talked about what happened to this dream here and it's unfortunate to say that I wasn't able to carry out the plan I had. However, I think everything happens for a reason, it must. There are real life drawbacks that could come with that dream (bigger student loan debt, unforgiving working hours, etc.) and I don't know if it would have been worth it in the end. The thing is...despite things having not gone my way...I still found A way.

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
I would take up photography. I talked about this a little in this post. This is something I could do now actually, but I would need a few resources first...mainly a CAMERA!...lol...time, and education about the art of photography.

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Go back to school!! LOLOL. Let me clear this up. I got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. There is very little you can do with a psychology degree that will amount to the amount of work you put into obtaining that degree as well as the amount of debt you might be in after undergrad. With that being said...I had to get higher education. I have two Master of Science degrees...one in Rehabilitation Counseling and the other in Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling. I can at least say that I am enjoying what I'm doing now, but the position I have is one that you have to work towards. You can't come out of school and jump into this job. You have to work in the field for a number of years to gain hands-on experience. It can be very rough out there in the field...so, my piece of advice would be this: Be careful where you work. Stay honest and true to yourself and your work because there are people out there who will test you. Try to find a job that you'll enjoy and if you're unhappy there's nothing wrong with leaving to find another job that you can be happy with!

4. What would be your ideal "just for fun" job?
I would love to be an interior decorator. I love watching HGTV. I love decorating new spaces, but I wouldn't particularly say it's my forte. I do an okay job at it, but I would love to be able to have an idea and watch it come to life in a space of a home. I think decorating is fun...nobody likes moving because of packing, but I love moving because that means I get to decorate a new space!

5. What was your first real job?
My first real job was as a Substance Abuse Program Director. I talked about this in detail here. It was okay in the beginning, but I hated it so much in the end that it was making me physically sick!!

So, the short of the long is this: where you work is very important. It impacts your everyday life. It provides you with the income to take care of the things you need to take care of and you're supposed to have fun with the rest of that money. You spend the majority of your week at work...smh...it really needs to be something you can half way enjoy!! It would be nice if you could love your job...and you should...but try your best to find a happy medium.

Enjoy your Sunday, because tomorrow will be here before you know it!!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me...


23 years ago
My day is finally here.

I would like to thank God for another year on this Earth.
I want to thank Him for the many blessings 
He's bestowed upon me this year.
I've definitely learned a lot in this year.
I've reached goals and I'm thankful 
for having had the support to do so.
I've advanced. In doing that I've gained 
closure in certain chapters of my life...for that I'm thankful.
My desire for my dreams are getting stronger 
and stronger each day. And I just know that I will get there
...one day....

In this next year of life, I pray that God continue to bless and protect me.
I'm in a new place, not only physically...but in my life's book of chapters.
There are still so many things I want out of this life
But life has a way of doing things its on way.
Things are not always easy....
But I will continue to hold my head high (with His help)
I pray for continued advancement up and forward.
I pray for closer steps towards my dreams.
I pray for love and closer relationships with my loved ones.
(It seems the older I get, the more love I need...but don't we all!! :-)
I pray for much understanding and compromise (in situations that need it)
5 years old
I pray to find a new church home...and soon! LOL
(I miss my church something terrible...and streaming doesn't compare)
I pray to become wiser with each day.
There are many things I pray for...God knows my heart!

I know I wouldn't be where I am without Him, so I can't be anything but thankful.
We each have our share of hardships that we face. 
I know there will be many throughout life. At this point,
I try my best to not stress life...so I must continuously look to Him.
This year, just like the years before, I just want happiness.
There are many things I could wish for and list here, but they're all in God's hands!
For my birthday, I can only hope to have a good day. I have to work...since being a newbie on the job...and having had to use what little time I had to handle business (the things we have to do as grownups!)...so I pray for smooth ride today. 

I just want to feel special, have fun, and hopefully have the best possible day ever!

So...wish me luck in doing that. All I ask is for you to say a little prayer for me as I celebrate another year of life on this Earth. I'm thankful that I can share in this day with you all...and I appreciate you all for your support!

Enjoy your Friday and the weekend

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Birthday Countdown

2 more days....

I pray my birthday is all I desire it to be :-)

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Monday, September 23, 2013

In Remembrance

Yesterday, I attended the Navy Yard Memorial Service with my boyfriend. What an experience this was. Going into it, I didn't know what to expect. There were many speakers to represent the different branches of government and the military.

Me and the President!
In saying this, I'm excited to announce that President Barack Obama was there, in the flesh!! Michelle Obama was there too! It was a very small ceremony held outside, so let's just say we were siting pretty close to them!

Since I didn't have expectations, I wasn't let down by the speeches that were made. The mayor, Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of Defense preceded the President in speaking. They each spoke a speech that honored the people we were there to honor. Of course everyone expected these speeches to be filled with political agendas...and there were mentions of things such as stricter gun laws...but that's not what this day was about. This day was about the 12 people who did nothing but wake up last Monday morning to go to work as usual only to meet a demise that none of us should have to go through!
The FLOTUS (in the center)
So one last post in remembrance of the 12 brave souls that have passed on. May their families have solace in the days to come.

Also, my childhood dog has not been in the best of health lately. She's 12 (or 13...we can't exactly remember which year we got her) and just recently went missing yesterday. I pray she's okay...wherever she is...and it would be even better if she came back home! I still have hope...very little (based on how she's been doing lately)...but my hope is there. If she's still missing after a week, I guess I'll just have to face it :-/

My birthday week is in full effect...4 days people!!!

Have a great week!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

This Week

Well, more sad news. After "Blue Monday" and with my 10 year high school class reunion next month, I learned that one of my high school classmates passed away Wednesday night. It's times like these that really cause you to evaluate your life's path. And as I said in my last post, these are really and truly praying times.

As to not get caught up in the sorrows of the happenings this past week...I want to just take the time to thank God for my life! Things may not be exactly how I want them to be, but I know God has a plan. I'm praying that things will fall into place and I'm trusting Him for that. I'm thankful that I'm safe, that my boyfriend is safe, that my family is doing well and things are looking up, that my friends are doing well; that my job is coming along smoothly and that I've had a chance to show some of my skills; that my health is great; and that I'm able-bodied and able-minded.

I'm grateful for this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. I will hit the reset button Sunday night and pray for a greater week next week. My birthday is soon. Matter of fact...it's exactly one week away...7 days. I have absolutely no plans...as I hardly ever do for my birthday...but with all that's been going on, it's understandable. Maybe I'll take the time to plan something next year but as for this year I just want to celebrate having made it through another year on this Earth. Hopefully I'll find something to get into.

I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend as well. Enjoy each day y'all.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Regular Day
Monday, there was a tragedy in the heart of the nation and it hit close to home for me. There was a mass shooting at the Washington DC Navy Yard, in the very building my boyfriend works in. Twelve people died. Can you imagine?

For many of us, we wake up on Monday mornings dreading having to go back to work...although thankful to have a job. How many of us go to work on Monday mornings thinking that we'll never return home again? Can you imagine?

I received a text from my boyfriend saying there was a shooting in his building but he was fine. I turned the radio on only to hear that this was still a live situation and that people were being shot at left and right. I text him back...and I don't hear anything for another two hours. Can you imagine what a long two hours that was?

During times like this, when horrendous things happen, it really makes me reflect on so many things about life. So many thoughts racing through my head, questions about whether I've done all I could with my life up to now, so many what if's, so many reflections....

But, during this time I can't help but reflect on God. Reflect on who He is; how great He is; the many outcomes that could have happened, but didn't; His protection; and His love. It grounds me. It encourages me to trust Him more and more. It strengthens my faith!

During this time of chronicling my life events, I want to take the time to say I'm praying for the 12 families affected by this tragedy. My boyfriend hadn't made it to work yet, so glory be to God he didn't have to go through the ordeal, but many of his colleagues did. Life is short enough and tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. These are praying times and I pray that God be with them and with us all.

Life in a Break Down

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

50 Questions, FINALE!


And here were have it!! The last set of 50 Questions to Free Your Mind!! Y'all thought I forgot didn't you?! I haven't forgotten about any of the series I'm doing (to include my Introvert serious and my Big City Lessons series...LOL)!! There were some good questions here that really made me think! I would recommend this series to anyone else out there interested in doing stuff like this!!

Let's go!

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I'm a very reserved person anyway. I like to keep to myself and stay to myself, so I don't usually do a lot of things to get attention. I like to be in the background, doing my own thing, and minding my own business...I guess because I'm more on the Introvert side of things. Off the top of my head, I think I pretty much do what I want to do without worrying too much people "judging" me.

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
This weekend!! My nose has been stopped up and running due to the change in weather and the different temperatures my body is experience at work and at home!! So, I've been listening to myself breathing...one nostril at a time.

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
I love many things. I love traveling. I love taking pretty pictures. I love my loved ones. I love open expressions of love...from me to those I love and from those I love to me. There are many, many things I love, but out of the things I've named I can say I've traveled (from NC to DC...lol...that counts a little bit) and I have loved my loved ones!! I haven't really had opportunities to take pretty pictures and perhaps I would focus on that a little more if I had a real camera but maybe I wouldn't...who knows?!

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
Nope. My memory is terrible. But, I will remember this big move I've recently made and the next move coming up in a few weeks!!

50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
I'm definitely making decisions for myself. There have been things I've wanted to do for a long time that I've just now had the opportunity to do. I wouldn't be able to do these things if others were making my decisions for me, I tell you that! So...for the most part...I'm making my own decisions and living a life I want to live because of those decisions.

So, there you have it! Life is one big experiment. We can sit and examine it any way we choose but the best thing to do is take action!! Make your life happen the way you want it to happen!!

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Sunday Social


This week's social is about my blog and why I do it. Let's dive on in!!

1. What is the name of your blog?
When I was trying to come up with a name for my blog, I wanted to come up with something that was cute and catchy. I wanted to find a title that spoke perfectly to who I am. I wanted something that for just right for "Just Mi!" (me)....get it?! It's a double entendre. Mi is short for Mionna...so my title is definitely a reflection of me and the way I approach life. That's all I can be...just Mi/me! I recently added the subtitle "From NC to DC" after I moved because I'm hoping to see the blog include more things about the life I will be creating here as time goes on.

Sunday Social2. What do you love most about blogging?
Blogging allows me to have an account of things going on in my life as they happen. I get to talk about whatever I want...or whatever I feel comfortable sharing with you all...and this blog will be here forever giving me the chance to always be able to come back to this page to see these moments in my life. I must admit, it was a little scary at first (sharing my life in a blog) and I was super cautious about the information I put out there. Fast forward 9 months, I'm still cautious (as I am with all my other social media sites) but I'm more comfortable with the thought that people I don't really know are actually reading my page! I also enjoy blog hops (like this one). Each good hop has awesome things to share and it gives you a centralized place to find other bloggers. The blog world is so big!!

3. Why did you start blogging?
I initially started blogging to chronicle my journey back to natural hair. I went natural on January 30, 2012.

Left: The day of my last relaxer
Right: the last time my natural hair was straightened

That year, my best friend started blogging and would tell me all about it. I would read her blog and I must admit that it seemed like fun. When my other best friend started blogging on Tumblr that seemed more like my speed. I didn't want to have all my business out there, so I started posting just pictures at first, which Tumblr is great for. Then when my friend told me more about Blogger, I opened it up one day and completely fell in love. Once I began seriously blogging I expanded my content to other areas like couponing, recipes, outfits, etc. It's so much fun, like an online diary of sorts!!

4. What is something you'd want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world?
You don't have to blog everyday!! I thought I had to at first but blogging can be a lot of work and I'm not even as in to it as others are. I post every other day and I usually take the weekends off. In order to get the most out of blogging you want to connect with other bloggers. In order to do that you need time!! You also want your posts to be read (and not just seen) so you want to put out meaningful content...not put for the sake of saying you post every day. You'll definitely get the flow of things after a while and will find what works best for you.

5. Biggest blogging learning experience you've had?
Even though I've read blog posts about this since I first got on Blogger, I just recently realized what it really means! Reply to comments by email when possible. I always thought that replies to comments come directly to your email anyway (since replies would come to my email address). But, I realize now that commenters won't get your responses unless they come back to the post to check and see if you've responded. They don't get an email sent to them when you respond, unless you respond by email. I find this to be a more personal approach and I tend to share more when responding by email anyway. I like it better.

6. What are three blogs you love?
Nicole @ Pharr Away: Now that we're 4.5 hours away from each other, I still get to keep up with my best friend (IRL) through her wonderful blog!


Rekita @ Her & Nicole: She's so much like me (even though I'm not married with three children!) I just know we would have been real life friends! She and her family make an awesome team!!

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Serena @ The Serena Saga: Simply put, I love her fashion...and hair!!

The Serena Saga

So, there you have it! This weeks Sunday Social. Go to the site and check out what others have to say about blogging!!

Have a Happy and Joyous Sunday!!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

I Tried Something New: Couscous


I told myself at the beginning of the year that I would try new foods that are healthier. For some reason or another I got it in my head that things like couscous and quinoa are healthy foods. I finally bought some during this last trip to the grocery store.

I decided to try the couscous first because it only takes five minutes to cook. To be honest, I didn't know anything about couscous before I cooked it except that I've known it to be used in Greek dishes...oh and that I've pinned recipes including couscous on my Pinterest! After I Wiki'ed it, I found out that couscous is a type of wheat.

Last week I had left over chicken and gravy and there was no more rice. I decided what a perfect night to to give it try!!

The instructions are easy:
1. Combine 1 1/4 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of butter, 
and the contents of the Spice Sack (in the box).
2. Bring to a boil and stir in the couscous.
3. Cover and remove from the heat.
4. Let stand for five minutes.
5. Fluff the couscous before serving.

I did just that and everything turned out just as it should.

The picture on the left shows the couscous after it finished cooking and the picture on the right shows the couscous mixed in with the chicken and gravy.

The couscous was pretty good. Since I combined this with chicken and gravy I feel like it would have tasted better if I had gotten unflavored couscous. The Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil version tasted like Oodles of Noodles, chicken flavor! LOL. It was definitely different, but good. The texture was much like that of Oodles and Noodles too...in little ball form.

I would like to try it again, but I would like to find something that it would compliment a little better!!

Have you tried couscous? What would you suggest to try it with?? I'm curious!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My "Professional" Look

My Flat Twist Look With A Twist


I've been trying to do different things with my hair since starting my new job. I'm trying to slowly transition my work look from a truly casual look to a more business casual look. With doing that comes the challenge of figuring out what to do with my hair. I got up with one of my curl friends and asked her how she got this one particular look that I could never quite get on my own. Here is my version of the look:

The front fourth of my hair has decided it won't twist out like it's supposed to. What I did here was my classic "Rasheeda braid".

To get my hair to lie down without actually putting it into a complete ponytail, I used an old headband which I cut (to make it non-circular).

I was able to make that bushy ponytail in the back as small or as large as I wanted to without the headband being noticeable.

I like this style, but my hair overall is really frizzy so I'm still on the search for a product I can use daily to lay my hair down without weighing it down (because I'm not washing my hair more than once every two weeks)!!!

The outfit I had on this day was particulary cute too...but that will be a post for another day.

If you have any suggestions for products to use to keep my hair from frizzing out and that's not too heavy, I'm all ears!

Thanks in advance!!!

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