Monthly Archives: December 2014

I’ve resolved to evolve

I’ve resolved to evolve

I’ve resolved to evolve

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll share with you that I absolutely, positively, without a doubt HATE New Year’s, Mid Year’s and Any Time of the Year’s resolutions. Why? I just stink at keeping them. Remember my 28-day squat challenge? Right … after Day 10, neither did I!

In 2015, I am determined not to torture myself with a bunch of meaningless, finite conditions for success, only to deal with crushing disappointment when things don’t turn out the way I had hoped they would.

To some, it might look like I’ve resolved to give up. On the contrary, I think it represents how much I’ve evolved. I’ve discovered so much about me during the past year. For example, I’ve learned that by nature, I’m more of an adventurer than I am a conqueror. I don’t need absolute closure to feel like I’ve accomplished my goals. As long as the direction I’m moving in is a positive one, then I’m happy.

This year, I’m making a commitment to never stop learning, exploring and growing. And the best thing about this life I’m living is that I’m free to do exactly that. So, for 2015, my resolution is simple: I’m going to be open to being open.

What about you? Let me know what you’re resolved to do in the new year by leaving a comment below.

Celebrating the beauty of Kwanzaa

Celebrating the beauty of Kwanzaa

Celebrating the beauty of Kwanzaa

My husband, daughters and I had the extreme honor of taking part in a celebration of Kwanzaa recently. You can read more about this celebration of family, community and culture among Africans and African American people, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga here, but essentially, Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African cultural holiday that focuses on seven principles (called Nguzo Saba in Swahili). They are:

Umoja (Unity)

Umoja (OO-MO-JAH) Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, “I am We,” or “I am because We are.”

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)

Kujichagulia (KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-YAH) Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)

Ujima (OO-GEE-MAH) Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world. Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

Ujamaa (OO-JAH-MAH) Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.

Nia (Purpose)

Nia (NEE-YAH) Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.

Kuumba (Creativity)

Kuumba (KOO-OOM-BAH) Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.

Imani (Faith)

Imani (EE-MAH-NEE) Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.

Happy Kwanzaa and here’s hoping you and yours are bountifully blessed in 2015!

How do I get my hair to curl like this?

 

How do I get my hair to curl like this?

One of the main questions I get about my hair is: How do you get it to curl like that? My answer is: It’s all about the products and the method that they’re applied.

I find the process of styling my hair cathartic and could literally stand in front of the mirror all day trying out new looks. No matter what I try, though – from flat twists and blow outs to weaves and protective styles – I always tend to migrate back to the TWA (teeny weeny afro), featuring curls that are super-tight and well-defined. It just works for me.

So, how do I do it?

First, I start with freshly washed hair. I tend to get better results if I shampoo daily. Not everyone’s a fan of doing this, but the results I get – hardly any frizz and amazing shine – make the few extra minutes I spend on my daily hair routine well worth it.

Next, I spray Crème of Nature’s 7-in-1 Leave-in Treatment with Argan Oil all over the hair and gently massage it in. To detangle my hair, I sometimes will use a Denham brush but most times, my fingers will do the job just fine. It lessens the potential for causing damage to my hair.

In addition to helping maintain the moisture in my hair, Silk Elements Liquid Styling Gel gives me great shine. Even though I prefer my curls to be tight, I don’t like them to be “crunchy” and this product helps soften my hair and cut down on flaking once its completely dry. I take a quarter-sized drop and rub it between the palms of my hands. Then, I lightly pat the product into my hair and gently massage it in to ensure full coverage. I typically have my water bottle handy to make sure my hair doesn’t dry out during the application process.

The final product I use is Ecostyler Gel with Olive Oil. There are several different varieties, but I like the version that  provides maximum hold. During this time of the year when the weather in Florida can go from 40 degrees in the morning to 80 degrees in the afternoon, I need a product that can beat back the frizz and this one does the job beautifully.

To achieve my super-defined curly look, I use my fingertips to first pick apart then apply the gel to my strands. I don’t pat or massage it in like I do the other two products. I like to compare this method to the way people used to “grease” their scalps back in the day. The only difference is the gel is being applied to the hair rather than directly to the scalp. I simply continue this process until every curl is obviously defined.

Even though I consider these to be my “tried and true” products, the Scorpio in me loves the idea of change. So, drop a line in the comments section and let me know what products or styles “work” for you. You never know, I might find something new that works for me too!

Marco Island: One of THE best quickies I’ve ever had

Marco Island: One of THE best quickies I’ve ever had

Marco Island: One of THE best quickies I’ve ever had

 

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IMG_1734The hubby and I had a fantastic time celebrating our 20 year wedding anniversary recently. We decided to have a “quickie” and spent an awesome weekend on Marco Island, which is about an hour north of Miami.  We stayed at the Marco Island Resort & Spa and got a chance to run around like kids again … eating whatever we wanted, staying up late and just kicking it by the pool. When it comes to rejuvenating my mind, body and spirit, there’s no place better! I’d love to go back soon.

 

Stormy weather

Stormy weather

Stormy weather

“Always be paparazzi ready!”

I heard this on a television show a few years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. Now … I am far from famous, nor would I endeavor to be. No matter the situation, though, I think it’s important to always put my best foot forward … even when the storm clouds start to roll in.

Recently, my daughter and I were on the go running errands around town and she snapped off this photo. Pretty darn cool, huh? I think the kid might have an eye for photography. What do you think?

What to wear to the office holiday party (when it’s not in the office)

What to wear to the office holiday party (when it’s not in the office)

What to wear to the office holiday party (when it’s not in the office)

If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to think about – or maybe even stress about – what you’re going to wear to your office holiday party.

Will it be heels or flats? Denim or gingham? Mini or maxi?

My questions are endless. But, the one thing I’m absolutely certain about is that these are the people I work with, so above all else, I want to remain appropriate.

This year, my coworkers decided to skip the typical potluck lunch and instead go on an after-hours pub stroll through one of the city’s most popular entertainment districts. The plan is to visit several different spots throughout the evening, sampling all kinds of tasty treats along the way. I know, it sounds like fun. But seriously, this complicates my decision-making process even more.

Will we be indoors or outdoors? Sunshine or rain? Jacket or sweater?

Yep. The questions just keep coming.

Anyway, I decided to put together what I think are a few professional, yet fashionable looks that should just about cover every possible scenario.

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The problem is, I like them all! So, I need you to help me decide what to wear on a night that promises to be off the beaten path in more ways than one.

Just leave a comment here or on my Facebook page telling me which look you prefer. The one with the most comments wins! Stay tuned for the big reveal soon!  XoXo