Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

What to Do When You're Just Not Feeling It

If we're honest, we can admit we've been here a time or two (or, more) in our lives. What we used to love and enjoy just isn't fulfilling to us anymore. Things we used to do, we don't even desire anymore. We just feel... blah.

Can I be real with you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Moisturizing is Necessary for ALL Skin Types - Yes, OILY skin, too!

It may be obvious to most people why someone with dry skin needs to moisturize daily. Dry skin needs moisture. But there is a common misconception that those with oily/combination skin, or even normal skin (i.e., no excessive oil production but also not dry), don’t need to moisturize. Know this: Skin can be oily, but dehydrated. 

With oily skin, there is an overproduction of oil (sebum). While it can be a pain to deal with, the benefit is that your skin won’t wrinkle as easily or as quickly as you age (think of the oil like a protective barrier). However, I know no one wants to walk around looking greasy (I don’t Lol) – so to combat that look, exfoliating twice a week and drinking plenty of water daily helps reduce that. Just know that you can’t permanently get rid of your oily skin. (Sorry)

Oily skin can also lack moisture. I’ve seen many clients who have oily skin which is apparent with their pore size, but it’s dehydrated at the same time. Is your skin oily yet flaky in some areas? Then this could be the case for you. If you have oily/combination skin, you still need to moisturize daily with an oil-free one, and water-based, moisturizer. Pay attention to the ingredients. Water should be listed first. Natural ingredients are best, but use what works for you. Using a good water-based moisturizer will allow your skin to be hydrated without over-producing oil. 

Pic credit: livestrong.com

Here are my 2 favorite moisturizers: Aveeno and PreventAge.

Let me also add this: Many people look for that miracle product to help them have amazing skin, but I can tell you from experience that while products can help a lot from the outside, your INSIDE has a huge impact on the appearance of your skin, as well. Take inventory of the foods you consume (lots of processed stuff? Sodas? Not drinking at least half your body weight in liquid ounces of H2O daily?) Be honest with yourself about your dietary habits and make the necessary changes. 

One more thing: Never, EVER, sleep without properly cleansing your face and NEVER EVER EVER (I don't care how late it gets or how tired you are) go to sleep with makeup on. I mean, ever. You'll be causing more damage than you know. <3


Monday, August 22, 2016

What I'm Reading | 1

I LOVE books. I tend to read 2-3 at a time. And lately, it usually takes me a bit longer since the books I've been reading are what I call "active" (they require calls to action after most chapters). Here are a few books that I've been reading and that have shifted my perspective while adding to my growth as a business owner and a woman of God.

1. "Girl Code" by Cara Alwill Leyba
     This is a good one. It basically shares how to be an entrepreneur who supports fellow women, who loves themselves and realizes the power and fabulousness that is within us, and how to celebrate ourselves on our journey.

2. "Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely" by Lysa TerKeurst
     If dealing with rejection (in ANY area of life) is something you need help with, then this is for you. I think it's helpful even if you feel this isn't an issue for you. It addresses so many parts of us that I didn't even realize was an issue or responses that stemmed from rejection. This book will either help you or it will help you in dealing with someone you love who may be dealing with this.

3. "The Best Yes" by Lysa TerKeurst
     Have trouble saying "No."? Read this. Period.

What books have you been reading that you'd recommend?


Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Look at 2016's Hairstyles So Far...

Anyone who knows me - or, let's be honest - knows OF me (Lol), knows that I love changing my hair up. It's a creative outlet for me. Some styles I have even done myself in the past, using YouTube and Pinterest as guides. So, here is a little fun post of some styles I've done this year so far (after deciding in November 2015 to grow out my shaved sides - yep, I shaved my hair).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Confrontation: Why We Avoid It and How to Approach It

I was watching a show last night (rare), and someone spoke on confrontation which made me think about some things in my own life. If you're not one of those people who say, "I hate confrontation!", you've certainly heard someone else say it. Let's be clear: most people do NOT like it. People don't generally walk around looking for it. It's uncomfortable, you don't want to hurt another person's feelings, and you may or may not just be an overall people-pleaser. I get it. But the thing many of us don't realize is, when we avoid confronting someone about something that may bother us, or if we are unclear in our intentions about something, it will lead to an even bigger confrontation down the line - the VERY THING WE WANTED TO AVOID in the first place! Proper communication with the people in our lives is key. And believe me, I haven't arrived in this area. But I have learned a lot from past mistakes.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Why I Switched to Natural Deodorant

If you have followed me on some social sites over the last 2-3 years, you already know a little about my little quest to find the best natural deodorant for me. First, know the difference between deodorant and anti-perspirants: in short, deodorants prevent body odor caused by bacterial breakdown of perspiration, while anti-perspirants control sweat by blocking your sweat glands (with good old aluminum). Why has this been so important to me and what's the point in switching?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Importance of Praying for Your Enemies

I'm really excited about this post today. Which says a lot, because praying for people who haven't treated me so well hasn't always been easy for me. Can we take a minute to thank God for GROWTH!?  ;-) Anyway, I had this idea to share the importance of praying for your enemies when it was recently revealed to me

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Another Blessed Sunday...

After the amazing event I attended in DC this past Saturday, I headed up to Philadelphia, PA, to spend time with my family and my Babe. For those who don't know, I'm from a small suburb right outside of Southwest Phila. (literally a 7-10 min walk from where we used to live). All of my family is still in PA and DE, though I've lived in Maryland for the last 9-10 years (WAIT - time FLIES! Wow...)

Anyway -- I spent some time visiting my sister and new nephew (he is 2 months now!) and my Babe (Malik) for Father's day.

My nephew *insert love-eye emoji here*

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's a Celebration! | Fearless & Fabulous

I had the honor of attending the Fearless & Fabulous brunch event hosted by High Heels High Goals (HHHG) in Washington, D.C., this past weekend. HHHG is a women's empowerment network created by Ronnessa Brown and Co-Founder Jennifer Lucy Tyler. They host events & calls/webinars throughout the year to share tips and experiences on entrepreneurship, inspiration (the company is faith-based and even holds Bible Studies 1-2xs per month), and more. Get more information on their site: High Heels High Goals and follow them on Instagram (@highheelshighgoals).

About this weekend...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hair Growth Update

I have been loving my hair lately - which makes me feel so good because after 7 years of being natural, I was getting bored. I've gotten to a place now where I'm just enjoying taking care of my hair and letting it do what it does. My style as of late has been a twist and curl (2-strand twisting my hair and then curling the ends with perm rods).

In previous months, I was having a HUGE problem with excessive frizz. My hair would never frizz that bad before, so I knew something was up. It was DRY. I went to see a natural hair stylist (Carmen at Velvet Waves in Ellicott City, if you're in Maryland - she's amazing and so knowledgeable) - and she gave me so many helpful tips. Here is what I've been doing that has been working for me:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

7 Ways to Protect Your Space + Your Peace

It's so easy in this day and age to quickly become overwhelmed in our day-to-day lives. Not only do we have our daily responsibilities with work/career/family, but we are constantly "on" (i.e., engaged) non-stop via our phones with all the social networks, texts, emails, etc. We never give our brain a chance to REST. Being pulled in so many directions constantly eventually takes a toll.

Here are some things I do when I'm starting to feel overstimulated and downright stressed with the responsibility (or, expectation?) to stay connected:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Letting Go of the Old + Embracing the New

I posted the above pic earlier this morning after reflecting over the last day or so over a past situation. It's so easy for us to revisit former friendships or relationships in our minds and miss the good times. I've been there. But God spoke something to me this morning that I, and so many of us, need to remember: It's ok to love from a distance. You don't have to go back.

Often times, we feel if you think about someone, or feel we miss them, that means we have to go back and try to make things how they once were. That isn't always the case. Remember why God removed you from the situation. Remember why you left in the first place. There may have very well been some good, or even great, times. But what went wrong? How were you treated? How did you feel when in that person's presence? How did you feel when you left that person's presence? It all matters. Genuinely pray for them, and move forward. You cannot make room for the new when your hands are full of the old. <3


Monday, May 2, 2016

Hair Growth!

For those of you who follow me on other social sites, you know I shaved the sides and back of my hair around August/September of last year. I LOVED the style but the upkeep with having to constantly go to get it shaved down was a lot for me, and I also wanted to do my styles and started to feel limited. Since then, I've been wearing protective styles while I grow the sides and back out until I felt comfortable wearing it out again (weave for 2-3 months, then box braids). I also took my Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamins to help speed things along as quickly as possible (I'm impatient, I already know Lol). I'm loving my results!!

Last Friday I took my braids down, and Saturday I went to get it trimmed and got a twistout.

Homemade Whipped Shea Butter Mix

Lately, I've been getting back to simplifying things in my life, and that has included reducing the amount of products I purchase and use. When I first went natural in 2008, I LOVED making my own hair products. I have become lazy in the last few years and after an extended period of time trying to find the "perfect" hair product (there isn't one), I realized my hair responded best with more natural products. So, last night I went back to making containers of whipped shea butter that I haven't made in YEARS.

Pic from my Snapchat (KeetaRay)

It's very simple. You will need:
- a large bowl (to mix everything in - I used a large glass Pyrex bowl)
- a hand mixer
- a spoon or spatula
- unrefined, raw shea butter
- coconut oil (doesn't have to be melted - mine was used in a solid state)
- jojoba oil
- avocado oil (you can also use extra virgin olive oil)
- vitamin E oil
- OPTIONAL: scented essential oil

I put in the amount of shea butter I wanted first, then added about a teaspoon to a tablespoon (I didn't measure, just added visually) of each of the oils in my glass bowl. I mixed with my hand mixer until completely smooth and fluffy. Then I used a spatula to put the contents in these small containers you see pictured. That's it! You can also add essential oil (like lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, etc.) if you want it to have a scent.

The whipped shea butter can be used on your hair as a sealant and also on your skin as a moisturizer. It's especially great for really dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.

Let me know if you try this, or what ingredients you like to use when making yours.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Welcome to My New Blog!

Thank you for visiting my NEW blog, and welcome! I will be sharing everything I'm passionate about on this blog - from hair, to makeup, to wellness, creativity, and inspiration - all in once place.

A little about me:
I'm a Licensed Esthetician and makeup artist. I'm currently taking a break from practicing esthetics, and I do some makeup jobs here and there as my schedule permits. At the time I'm working full-time and am a part-time entrepreneur. I have a health, wellness, and skincare business with amazing products that I love and use daily - I can't wait to share them with you. I love to encourage and empower everyone - but especially women. We are so much more powerful and effective when we work together. Breaking Cycles (#letsbreakcycles) is something I also feel strongly about. Meaning, we don't have to continue to do the wrong things that we may have picked up along the way, behaviors and mindsets that were passed down from generation to generation. We can end those negative mindsets and start anew and we have to power to do so. I'm so looking forward to sharing pieces of my journey and what I've learned, and my hope and prayer is that it will encourage another woman to press forward toward her own goals.

I love interaction so please, comment on my posts. Share the blog with others as you see fit. Thank you, again, and God bless! :) xo