Tuesday, February 13, 2018

On Cutting My Hair & Other People's Opinions



Last week I was standing in line for free fro-yo while my son was wildin' out with a new friend he'd made while waiting and the kid's mom mentioned she liked my curls.
I responded as I always do, with an enthusiastic "oh thank you!" and then, before I could stop myself, I added "I'm about ready to cut it". Immediately I regretted it as she looked aghast and said "Noo. But whyy?"

Huh? Even though I knew better than to expect any other type of reaction I was still somewhat taken aback by a stranger having such strong thoughts about MY hair. 


got braids last year and people had THOUGHTS



 And it got me to thinking. Was I looking for validation in my desire to be part of the #cutlife and that's why I mentioned it? Or was it just me making conversation? But even if I was - why did she feel the need to suggest I not do it? What is it in folks that makes them think their opinions are valid or that they have a say?


image via @kekecameron 

Usually whenever one of my girlfriends mentions she is changing her hair I'm like 'ooohhh what are you gonna do?'
I don't usually try to talk anyone out of cutting their hair. Unless it's bangs. Everyone regrets bangs after the first week of forehead sweat. 
But I digress. 
I am team short hair don't care all day. Have been for awhile. It's only since Baby Ninja was born that I've been low-key growing it out again. But it's always interesting to me how invested we/some people are in other women's hair.
The number of people who have had opinions on what I should or shouldn't do with my hair is intriguing to me.


image via @kekecameron 


So much of who we are as women, especially black women, is tied into our hair. It's seen as our crowning glory and something to be shown off, valued and examined in it's various states. Black hair is the source of so much stress, struggle and love. It's also a billion dollar industry. Women of color have been fighting against their natural textures and patterns since forever. Looking for acceptance by adhering to societal "norms" and whatnot. It's a whole struggle y'all. 

Thankfully - I have some dope inspo for hair and keep getting messages from the Universe that yup, it is indeed time to cut it all off. Seriously, the number of women in my feed with fresh cuts has more than doubled and I take that as a sign. 



I'd be lying if I said I din't have some reservations about cutting it all off. It's been a LONG time since I've done someting super drastic (two years since I experiment w/ the blue) and I am hella nervous to see/hear people's reactions to such a drastic cut but one thing I do know - "a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life" - Coco Chanel. 
I am ready to be that woman. To make that change and shed my former skin and rise up to the next level. 


So I'm starting with the woman in the mirror. 


Cooking With Marcus + Macys


“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.“

Cooking plays a huge role in my life. I am perpetually looking for new recipes to try or figuring out ways to put a fresh twist on old favorites. Because of this, I have a sort of a thing for chefs.  With the increase in culinary shows over the years, I’ve spent a fair amount of time learning about different chefs and following their careers.

image via Macys

On my second solo trip to NYC one of my best girlfriends took the train up from Philly for a quick overnight visit. While she was there and were traipsing about the city sans kids we decided to hit up Harlem and the famous Red Rooster restaurant to meet some friends. While I wasn’t able to eat there because it was after hours, I was still happy to claim I had set foot in the famed restaurant. 

Naturally, when I heard Chef Marcus Samuelsson was going to be part of Macy’s Culinary Council this month I was beyond excited. I have been following Chef Samuelsson’s career for quite some time and have enjoyed seeing him create his masterpieces on television. I am thoroughly looking forward to heading to Macy’s Costa Mesa on February 22nd   at 6pm to take part in a tasting of Chef Samuelsson’s favorite dishes.


image via Macys

While I still haven’t made it back to Red Rooster to eat, I think seeing him create live and in person will more than make up for that. Macy’s Culinary Council is simply on of the best things to me in that it allows the average person to experience culinary delights that they might not otherwise be aware of.   

 Go RSVP HERE and secure your spot! You don’t want to miss this! AND any Home purchase of $45 or more will earn you a $10 Macy’s Gift Card (and who doesn’t love an extra gift card?) The Red Rooster Cookbook and the opportunity to take a photo with Chef Samuellsson himself! How cool is that!




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

5 things That Happen When You Get A Brazilian

As a woman, personal maintenance is something that kind of goes with the territory of womanhood. It's absolutely a choice on whether you even want to engage in it and if so, how far are you willing to go?  Keep it nice and neat with a simple trim? Get creative with a design. Dare to go totally bare? 
When you're a busy mother, personal maintenance is less of a priority than it was when you were single and trying to catch or in the early stages of your relationship.








However, once you get on the waxing train, it's kind of hard to get off. Recently, my new friend Sara of Naturel Lash & Brow gave me a life changing Brazilian. I say life changing because it had been years since I had a professional wax (let alone one so risque) and it was like discovering a whole new side to myself. Naturally I shared my excitement with my girls in a group chat and we started talking about the kinds of things that happen once you get a Brazilian. Me being who I am, I thought I'd share those thoughts with you.


1) You reach new levels of intimacy......with a stranger. If this is Let's just be honest, in order to get a proper brazilian wax your technician has to get all up close and personal and you had better be pretty comfortable with that. It's a strange thing having another person so close to your nether regions but

2) You start looking at 'sexified' undies on Amazon. Suddenly your regular degular underwear just won't cut it and you'll feel the need to step your game up. Because comfort is key but you've got your sexy back and need to see it as well as feel it. And let me just tell you there are some preeetty fun ones out there. 

3) You become kind of a bad ass. I don't know if it's the rush from the ripping of the wax or the result of knowing there is negative hair down there but after a good Brazilian your inner bad ass comes out and you kind of feel like you can take on the world. You just willfully ripped hair from your nether regions. There is NOTHING you cannot handle. 

4) You start to wonder if you're the only one with a....secret. For some reason after a certain age you seem to discuss your maintenance matters less and less with your girlfriends. So it's only fair that after a wax you suddenly start to wonder if you're the only one who's been missing out or the only one still going through with it.

5) You have the sex. You could be totally mad at your partner and just not even be feeling them at the moment but get a Brazilian and see what happens. Suddenly, you are very aware of what's happening downstairs and you kind of want to share that with somebody. 

In short, you get your sexy back. particularly if you haven't had one in a while. And I don't mean the kind you give yourself in a rush on date night. I mean, what you get when you have a certified esthetician get all up in there. 


Have you ever had a Brazilian wax? Did you experience any of these side affects? 

Kickin It With Chrissy Teigen







I don't fan girl over celebrities for the most part. Growing up in California and then working in the music industry in college, I've met/seen my fair share of famous folk and I get excited but not in a  jump up and down screaming way.

Until last week. I was invited to attend an intimate brunch with none other than Chrissy Teigen at the renowned Chateau Marmont. I may or may not have squealed in delight when I got the invite.





I've been a fan of hers for years. Last year when she launched her cookbook I pre-ordered it immediately and we've enjoyed several recipes from it since. So yeah - I was JAZZED to go brunch with her. 



As she's currently an ambassador for VitaCoco we were there to talk about their new Coconut Milk. Confession: I don't particularly like actual coconut. BUT I do use coconut milk for my creamer. I'm not sure how that works but it does. So I was interested to see how the coconut milk tasted and it was so delicious in my coffee. I'm also digging how they've incorporated it into cooking so you still get that great flavoring without any over powering flavors. Which for me is kind of important! 


blueberry coconut pancakes! 



Breakfast was delicious with blueberry pancakes, avocado toast, granola parfait and of course bacon. I loved hearing Chrissy discuss how she incorporates coconut milk into her cooking and why. As well as how her tastes have evolved as she's become a mother and even now while she's currently incubating baby number two. I also loved that she was honest about how she uses the product as well as how she eats and how this partnership has affected her eating habits and cooking style.







At the risk of sounding incredibly cliche, she was just as dope as I imagined she would be. She comes across extremely professional but also very fun. Basically who she is on Twitter and Instagram is exactly who you're getting in real life. How do I know? Well after the brunch we were heading out and I ever so nonchalantly shouted "I love your cookbook" while she was sitting in the bar area and she waved us over to chat a bit more. I low-key died a little. But I played it cool. (read negative chill was had)
To make things even sweeter- while waiting for our cars at valet she walked by and said goodbye again and posed for a quick selfie! She declared us to be in good lighting so I knew I could post with her approval! So far it's my most liked photo which is bananas to me. 



 They even shared one of the recipes from her new cookbook and I'm excited to bring this to the next potluck! No cooking and it only takes 15 minutes to prep? I'm sold! 






Honestly, I cannot wait for the new cookbook to hit shelves so in the meantime I guess I'll just survive on the memories of a fun morning and these fabulous recipes they shared with us.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sunday Soul Glow: Rituals & Routines To Start The Week



In this fresh new year I've made a promise to myself. One to take even better care of my person than I have in years past. To get done the things that need to be done and not fret about the ones that I'm not able to get to. And to give myself permission to rest, relax and be still/lazy. 

Ridiculously lazy weekends are ideal but no longer a reality. Back before we had kids we could lay in bed and around the house all day not really doing anything. And it was fabulous. now, that we have kids  and they have birthday parties, rehearsals, and more that require us to be out of the house for hours at a time, lazy weekends are few and farther between. But, a key tenet to my theme this year is glow and the best way for me to glow is to nourish my soul both inside and out. That means making Sunday Soul Glow a thing in my house.


I'm focusing on being still when I have the opportunity and using that time to do things that make me smile and help ease me into the week ahead. 
so I've come up with a three point plan to make my Sundays all about getting my glow on. 


Soak: Making Sundays my day for a long evening soak makes the most sense for my life. The week day evenings are kind of hectic and I don't want to have to rush my luxuriating so I can finish washing clothes,so I'm saving my soaking for Sundays. It's also a great way to wind down in the evening before bed and I think it will help waking up on Monday less jarring. Maybe. 








Sip: Tea, coffee, champagne. Whatever seems to be fueling my soul in that moment while curling up with a book that nourishes my spirit and my mind. I do love hot tea on a cool day and this winter-ish weather is my favorite for pouring a steaming cup. But weekends are also for mimosas + coffee so that is definitely staying part of the routine. 






Smell: Candles are one of must have indulgences. I love them so much and I tend to hoard them for as long as possible but also burn them as often as I can. Smells play a huge part in moods and I often burn palo santo/sage to cleanse the house and then light candles before my morning meditation. I love having candles lit all over the house giving it a warm and inviting feeling. Not to mention the place smells great without me having to do any hard work! Double win! 



When I think of a relaxing day, I think of sipping coffee, tea and possibly champagne. Reading a good book. Lounging in pajamas with candles lit and just being still. Granted, that's not easy to do with an active five year old running around but you get the idea. Not every single Sunday will allow for me to be home and be still but having these rituals in place will allow me to 
It may not happen all at once but I make it happen. Well I'm making it happen. 



What rituals do you have to get you going for the week?

Friday, January 12, 2018

2018: My Word For The Year


I used to pick a word to represent me each year for years. And then at the end of 2016 I just didn't have it in me. I only half committed to my 2016 word because 2015 was so wild. I embodied badassery but I didn't always feel it in my soul the way I had the year before with hustle. When I choose a word, I'm picking something that not only represents me, but also the way in which I want to live my life for the year and what I want people to remember when they encounter me.  











For the longest, I was stuck. My girlfriend's Sili and Lucrecer have been pumping up our community for weeks getting us all to think on what our own words might be while sharing how they came up with theirs. Lu is even doing custom watercolor's of your chosen word which got me more excited about choosing mine. But it was taking me a minute to come up with the one word that I wanted to carry me for an entire 365 days. As a Gemini trying to commit to just the one thing was blowing me as well. So many choices! And after hemming and hawing and trying words out and long talks with good girlfriends; I realized it's been there all along.

See I've been itching to get some new ink. Two pieces to be exact one; a quote the other a lotus flower. I found the most exquisite design on Pinterest and it's been taunting me for over a year. 





A lotus blooms tend to be associated with a rebirth and that's sort of where I feel I'm at in my life. The last few years have been trying and full of lessons on life. But when I think on this year and all that I am ready to manifest and welcome in my life I realize that in order to do so, I must flourish
In all manner of being and that's what lotus blossoms do, they flourish in the light. Though you can't always see the depth of their roots they bloom and bring forth a glorious glow to the natural. That's what I aim for in my life as well. 

After spying an identical tattoo on my design crush Neffi Walker I took it as sign. Not only am I supposed to have this tattoo and that's most likely where I'll place mine, this lotus is a symbol for me to take this year to flourish. 




image via Instagram 


Flourish







verb (used without object)

1.
to be in a vigorous state; thrive:
a period in which art flourished.
2.
to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence,influence, etc.
3.
to be successful; prosper.
4.
to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.

All of those definitions embody the type of energy I plan to produce this year. Not only did I choose a word I also chose, as Sili calls them anchor words, kind of a guide to keep you on track and get you back to your word. My anchor words are simple; Root, Bloom, Glow
Oddly how they all correlate to the lotus flower as well. There's a theme happening here and all the signs are pointing towards yes. 

Root to implant or establish deeply:
the embedded or basal portion of a hair, tooth, nail, nerve, etc.
6.
the fundamental or essential part:
the root of a matter.


Root - in order to flourish I have to root. This means being grounded in myself, my belief in my abilities and my truth. Telling my stories and getting to the root of what matters most. 

Bloom:a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.

To bloom I'll have to allow my gifts to flow through in and through out me. It will take courage to let people see the dark parts. The actual roots so to speak but it will lead me to the next level. 




image via Instagram 





Glow:

1.
a light emitted by or as if by a substance heated to luminosity; incandescence.
2.
brightness of color.

Glow - reach for the moon, the stars and beyond the sun. I want to light up the world. Not in the I want to be a star/famous sense but I want to shine my light for the whole world to see and be the light I want to see in the world as well.

That's not too much to ask right? Stay tuned to see how it goes. 

Have you chosen a word for this year?








Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Handling The Post Holiday Hangover Like A Boss




The holidays are over and we are back to our regularly scheduled programs with a few fun twists. It's currently a dreary day in normally sunny So Cal and it's sort of perfect for this time of year. Finally the cool weather we've been waiting for! Aside from the fact that people can't drive and no one wants to go out in it,we desperately need the rain so we'll take it. 
But it was nice to have a break.
To have time to lay in bed a bit and just be still. To not have to rush in the morning. Get up, go downstairs and sip my coffee first thing without rushing a kid through breakfast. To read a magazine and even a book without having to look at the clock and figure out where I'm supposed to be. Staying in our pajamas all day and only leaving the house for food. The stuff dreams are made of really. But still, I was sort of ready for it all to come to an end. I love my kids and time with the family is everything but we had a LOT of togetherness. at least it felt like we did. Nineteen days is a LONG time to be hanging out. And I was itching to get back to work. 




It's been a while since I've posted here and I'm aiming to change that in the new year as well. I took a much needed break from blogging to be present with my family  over the last month and really try to enjoy this holiday season. Last year threw us for such a loop that we didn't really want to do much over the break but rest and this year we were able to really relax, make some fun memories and enjoy each other's company and that of our friends and families. It's honestly one of my favorite times of the year. I don't mind the "holiday hustle" because I know at the end of at all there will be good food, laughs with the fam and full heart ready to start the new year. I also wanted to be sure I was bringing y'all the fresh content you so deserve and have come to know both here and on my other channels. 




One thing I do miss though, is the glow. The lights from the tree, garlands and various twinkle lights make my house look like a disco ball and I love it. I get sad to take it all down and everything feels so bleak and sad. Everything seems less shiny and fun. Which is why the weather this week has been perfect. I have the post holiday blues and I just want to hunker down and be still, but of course there are things that must be done. This is such a struggle post holiday season. Getting back into the swing of things can be a shock to the system but I like to spice things up to keep me motivated.  

Which is why I signed up for a month of reformer Pilates classes so that should be interesting. Baby Ninja started judo and the teenager has almost daily play rehearsal as well as bi-weekly judo! No doubt, it's going to be a busy few weeks over here. I'm kind of okay with that. 
So this weekend I took the time to fill out the calendars, schedule out photo shoots, posts and all the behind the scenes elements that go into making this all happen. I work better when I'm organized. 


And I added more twinkle lights to my office to keep up the glow factor.


How do you combat the hangover that comes post- holiday? 

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