Slay Your Single Holidays

Whewwwww Chile! This has been a year. Like straight hellish in so many ways. Amongst other things, I am freshly single and not so ready to mingle. Summer was cute since friends are always down to hang. Fall was okay because there were so many activities on my calendar. But as we move towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, ya girl is feeling down. This is the first time in a LONG time that I don’t have anyone to snuggle with when it’s snowing outside and I know for a fact Christmas is going to be rough unless I’m with my family. That being said, I have a plan because left to my own devices I’ll be drowning in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, a bottle of spiked Egg Nog, and listening to Miss You Most by Mariah Carey on repeat. BTW, it’s not that deep (except for when it is) , I’m just dramatic AF.

SingleSlay
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Always Be Cute

I’m pretty sure ABC is the technique salespeople use but we’re remixing here to Always Be Cute. Now I’m not talking about looking nice to attract the male gaze (or female if that’s how you roll) because boys have cooties, I’m talking about looking cute for YOU. Depending on what kind of chick you are, this could mean a full beat face just to go to Walmart to pick up a Patti Pie or just a cute sweater with jeans and Starbucks cup while running errands, I’m a firm believer that looking nice (by your standards, no one else’s) improves your mood.

Treat Yourself

So here’s the deal, you don’t have a boo to shower you with lavish gifts the Christmas/Kwanzaa so you have to treat yourself. That thing that you’ve been eyeing but can’t quite bring yourself to buy? Get it. Boom. Done. Now Enjoy Yourself.

Hang With Your Friends

So you know all that stuff you didn’t do with your friends because you were boo’d up? Go ahead and do it now! Plan a Secret Santa party, have a onesie sleepover, go get some drinks. Fill your time that you would spend being lonely with people you love.

Will the holidays be tough for me? Prolly. Am I gonna cry? Absolutely (again, I’m dramatic). But hopefully I can still make some sweet single memories.

How to Take Fire Pictures for Your Blog

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting as a team of one.

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Dress | Jacket (similar) | Shoes

I wish I hadn’t spent the last few years thinking I NEEDED someone to take my blog pictures for me. I swear, I would have gotten so much more shit done and I would be further along in this blogging game. Alas, I learned this lesson so you wouldn’t have to and now I can give you all the tea on being your own photographer.

What You’ll Need:

Yourself (duh)

Decent Camera (doesn’t have to be fancy), I use an old Canon T3

Smart Phone, if you don’t have a camera. iPhones take some dope pictures.

Smart Phone Attachment for tripod

Tripod

Any object that will help you focus

Natural Lighting

Absolutely NO SHAME

The first thing I like to do when taking blog pictures is scout a bomb location. I find a lot of them in my city via Instagram (make sure you follow your local creative tribe for inspiration) and some by just driving around. I normally have a look that will work for any given location that will match the vibe.

Next, I schedule my shooting days. Now this can be more difficult. Why? Well because I live in the grayest city ever and it has been raining for the last few months. This means that I have to take advantage of almost any hour of sunlight. I try not to shoot with flash because it washes me out something serious. Instead I position my camera so that the light source is behind the lens or to the side of the subject (That would be me. I’m the subject).

My set up is pretty simple. I use a light stand to focus my lens and set a self timer. Now this is where things can get weird. If you’re in a public place, people might be looking at you wondering what the hell you’re doing. This is when you have to decide that you don’t care. You’re out here working on something and if people aren’t helping you, then their opinion doesn’t much matter. Get over the awkwardness and move, pose, take tons of pictures. One benefit of doing things on your own is that you’re on your own time. This means you can almost always get the shot that you want. If your location isn’t giving you life, pack your things and go somewhere else. Try different angles until you get what you want.

I promise this is easier than it seems. I’ve been taking my own pictures for about a month now and I can honestly say this is the most I’ve enjoyed blogging over the years because I love having creative control.

Let me know, have you ever not created content because you didn’t have a photographer? Would you feel comfortable taking your own pictures in the future?

A Wearable Wardrobe: An Introduction

This is for all my girls with a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.

This post was made possible by Pretty Little Thing who was kind enough to send me a few items show you all.

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Shirt | Pants (similar) | Vintage Hat

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Shirt | Skirt | Duster | Boots

Hi, My name is Marra and I’m a blogger who re-wears her clothes and outfits. Why? because my style is dope and I actually like what’s in my closet. Okay, I know that sounded super cocky but seriously, why have a closet full of clothing that you don’t love?

This is where the concept of the Wearable Wardrobe comes into play. This isn’t a capsule collection. This isn’t minimalism. This is shopping and dressing with a specific style in mind so that you will always (and I do mean always have something to wear). When you have a Wearable Wardrobe, you spend less, enjoy getting dressed more, and never cry in your closet about not having the right outfit.

Unlike a capsule wardrobe, a wearable wardrobe is directed by your personal sense of style and isn’t limited to a certain number. The focus here is quality, fit, feel, and versatility. Sure this is cute, but can I make at least three other outfits with it? Can I wear it throughout the year. Will I be able to wear it next year?

These are the questions I ask myself to avoid closet clutter and last minute meltdowns. I’ll be showing you all how I create my wearable wardrobe in the coming posts and I promise it will change your style life.

Be sure to check out Pretty Little Thing for all of your fashion needs! They will keep you cute and on budget (my two favorite things).

These Bloggers Will Keep You Looking Boujie on a Budget

Because we love looking fabulous and hate paying full price.

Y’all know I love a good deal right? Seriously, finding a serious sale on a piece that I love brings me joy. Ninety percent off is my love language. Because being frugally fashionable is so important to me, and because I want to put you on so you can live you best penny pinching life, I present to you, five fashionable lady bloggers who will keep your looks on ten and your pockets on swole.

 This girl right here is a deal finding fiend!

This girl right here is a deal finding fiend!

Marra Joelle

So It would be silly of me not to include yours truly on this list. Check my resume, I can find a sale in the most expensive of stores. It’s against my religion to pay full price and I want to help you find the best deals too.

 I mean look at this!

I mean look at this!

The Luxe Style

This beauty gives you gorgeous everyday style at some seriously great prices. I also love that she shows wearable looks that can go from office wear to a dinner or night out.

 Who else needs this shirt?

Who else needs this shirt?

Just Bri Yourself

Imagine finding a genuine Louis Vuitton bag at a Salvation Army! Could you even? Bri of Just Bri Yourself has such a unique sense of style and doesn’t break the bank to look gorgeous.

 Words can’t even…

Words can’t even…

Caribbean Cowgirl

Let’s get into this. Like seriously get into this chick because she is everything. Follow her on Instagram to see how she finds the MOST FABULOUS pieces on the LOW low.

 We stan a head to toe monochromatic queen!

We stan a head to toe monochromatic queen!

HI I”m Currently Obsessed

This is another instagram love. Aside from having some important conversations about mental health this girl can dress her ass off. Check out this budgetnista who always slays.

So now that I’ve put you on, return the favor! Let me know of your favorite style and fashion bloggers who can find a deal in a cave!

7 Natural "Fall Ready" Hair Tutorials

Who else runs out of ideas for Natural Hair styles?

It’s officially fall! Like FALL, fall. Like forty degrees, fall. My body can’t deal but maybe my hair can. I try to tuck mine in as much as possible during the cooler months and sometimes struggle to find new styles. Below are a few fun an simple ideas for styling you natural hair when it’s cool outside.

 One of my favorite protective styles for fall/winter? Two simple twists or braids.

One of my favorite protective styles for fall/winter? Two simple twists or braids.

The two braids down the side of your head style is a classic and will never be out of style. This tutorial shows an easy way to achieve the style with added hair.

Here are FIVE quick and easy styles that will protect your strands and keep you cute!

If you have longer hair and want to try some trendier styles, check these out!

This styles is a bit more formal and perfect for a night out or an event. Mixing curls with braids or twists is also a trend!

This is a style that I’ve been wearing lately and it’s super easy to do and always gets tons of compliments,

If you’re a skilled flat twister, this style is gorgeous and is a great low manipulation, protective style.

If you’re, looking for something a little more long term, why not try faux locs. They’re a gorgeous style and there are so many options to install them at home!

What are you doing with your natural hair this fall? Let me know!

Why Keto? Does the Ketogenic Diet Actually Work?

Honestly, it’s because everyone who does keto has a fat ass and a flat stomach 🤷🏾‍♀️

So let me just say that I’ve never been the one to jump on a “fad diet”. Why? Well first of all, I love food. All of it. Secondly, I rarely see a trendy diet that seems healthful to me. And last but most certainly not least, I love food. Did I already say that? So when I first saw Keto trending I thought, “hmmmm that looks interesting. Probably doesn't work  though”. It just didn't make any sense. Who  wants to eat a ton of fat?Granted I mostly saw a ton of people existing on bacon, eggs, and cheese so I didn't have many people to look up to. But I also saw plenty people eating heathy, WHOLE, and delicious foods that helped keep them fit. I saw women who were CHANGING their bodies in crazy ways and watched them become stronger and leaner. what

 Here’s a “before and during/after of my Keto diet. As you can see in the first image, My face is hella round and my upper arms are looking quite meaty. Within a week of Following a Ketogenic Diet my face slimmed down dramatically.

Here’s a “before and during/after of my Keto diet. As you can see in the first image, My face is hella round and my upper arms are looking quite meaty. Within a week of Following a Ketogenic Diet my face slimmed down dramatically.

This is when I started doing my research (because sis is all about the research) about what a keto diet entails and why it helps with weight loss. There’s a ton of sciencey stuff that helps to explain it but If I’m being honest, the largest component to this diet is no sugar and low carbs. The low carb to high fat ratio is definitely a new concept for me but incorporating healthy and whole fats has been really filling and I’m noticing a change in my physical appearance and my overall mood since I’ve cut down on the simple carbs.

I started following the Keto philosophy about 5 weeks ago and I’ve already lost four and a half inches from my waist (I went from 31 inches and I’m currently at 26.5 inches). This diet combined with pretty rigorous exercise has been super effective and so far I’m loving it.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing what I eat, how I work out, and my progress to keep y’all up to date.


Let me know if you’ve tried the Keto diet and whether or not you liked it!

The Perfect Pantsuit

Join the the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant(suit)

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Let’s chat about this closet staple: a hot pink pant suit. Seriously though, It has been my dream for years to have a brightly colored pant suit that was extra af for absolutely no reason. So here we are. Now these are two pieces that I bought separately that just so happened to be the same shade of flaming hot flamingo but if you’re looking for more pantsuit inso, I’ve got some options for you!




Hey Girl, Your Phone Is Draining Your Battery

I’m addicted to my device, and it’s killing my mental health.

My phone gives me serious anxiety. When I’m on it and scrolling through social media I feel like I’m not good enough. All of these amazingly dope people I follow are out here killing it with their amazing style, loving husbands, and frequent sponsorships and here I am being average. Every time I get a news alert I heart sinks as I read about politicians in this country who continue to put their personal interests before the well being of their constituents, Even my damn health tracker makes me feel inadequate by reminding my that I have not taken the recommended ten thousand steps that will help me reach my goal weight. It’s exhausting. It’s draining.

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If I’m being completely honest, I spend several hours per day on my phone and the actual value that it adds to my life is zero to none. In an effort to get my life together and feel better I’ve set some ground rules for screen time. Here are my tips to live your best life and treat your phone more like a resource and less like a necessity.

Choose Who You Follow Wisely

I recently cleaned my social media feed and I feel so much better for it. If a person’s posts and content doesn’t inspire me, make me laugh, or make me think, I hit unfollow. If a person’s posts make me feel bad about myself, I unfollow. If a person’s posts bully or demean others, then I probably wasn’t following in the first place. It’s simple. Social media is meant to connect people so we often think of the people we follow as friends but if is a friendship is toxic it’s best to end that relationship.

Designated Phone Free Times

The first half an hour after I wake up and the last half an hour before I go to bed are not for checking social media. This makes for a more peaceful morning and an easier and more restful sleep. I also place my phone face down when interacting with friends and stay off of it while at the movies. Actually enjoying the time spent with the people in front of me has made me realize that I need to be present in my day to day interactions with others.

Check Your Intent

This one is for the influencers and bloggers! Social media is a tool that we all use to promote ourselves and our message. We have all gotten caught in the numbers game. We wonder why we don’t have the followers that would reflect the quality of our content and it can be crippling. It stifles creativity and the content that we make is curated to gain more followers instead of engage the people who are already interested in what we put out there. At this point, you should ask yourself, why am I here? Am i serving a purpose or just playing the numbers game? If you’re only interested in numbers then continue on but if you’re looking to grow organically, stop stressing about it! Keep putting out quality with consistency and stop looking at what everyone else is doing with their feeds. Focusing more on me and what I’m trying to do has relieved so much stress.

Am I a perfect example of how to unplug? Absolutely not. I’m still guilty of getting on my phone to look up something on Google and then find myself scrolling down Instagram’s explore page an hour later but I’m working on it and feel much better for it.

Do you need to unplug? What are your best practices for taking a break from social media?




Investing In You

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"I'm just going to take a leap of faith and go for it". I wish I could tell you all how many times I've said those words when applying for a job, pitching myself or services, or looking to spend money in order to better myself instead of on shoes. It's always a leap of faith.

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Which is dumb. Faith is what you have when you can't see, it's for the unknown. But I know my damn self, I see myself every damn day, and I damn sure know what I'm capable of doing. So why am I so hesitant to invest in that? It's a sure thing!

Since the beginning of my blog, I depended on a significant other for my images and they were fine (some of my pictures were actually great) but they never had that pop that I wanted. My artistic vision was never quite realized. Not to mention the fact that you can't necessarily tell a loved one that you hate the pictures that they took the time to do for you without starting a huge argument. When that relationship ended I panicked for a number of reasons: I didn't want to be alone, that one income life is rough, I didn't know if anyone else would want me and blah blah blah. I also thought about this space. I thought about who was going to take my pictures. Crazy selfish, right? But it was a reality.

Then I started to see the opportunity in this moment. Like, wait! This is the moment that I needed to be pushed to, this is the moment where I stop accepting less than what I envisioned and pay someone for this shit. Someone I can say "Nah this it ain't it" to without it being an issue or "This is my vision" to and it's their actual job to help me make that happen. This was the moment where I could invest in myself and passion to get the things that I wanted out of it. This wasn't a leap of faith, this was me going for it.

You are so much more than a leap of faith. Spending your hard earned money or free time on the betterment of yourself isn't faith. That class you're taking, the money you're saving for that piece of equipment you need, the coach you just hired, that's not a leap of faith. That's you saying I'm going after I want, that shit is mine.

Dress | Shoes

Your Twist Out Sucks, Here's Why

It's been almost seven years and I think I've got this twist out down.

Okay, so your twist out doesn't suck. I would never say or think that. You're amazing and beautiful and wonderful. But maybe your twist out just isn't giving you life or acting right. I went through the same issue until I started experimenting and came up with this fail proof, step by step, twist out system. If you're struggling like I was, I hope this helps!

 This is the easiest sep by step guide for success!

This is the easiest sep by step guide for success!

First things first, It's not about the products. I'll tell you what I used but it's not the main factor in twist out success. This is all about the technique. The #flickadawrist if you will.

Products Used

G Naturals Mango Mend Leave In | Soultanicals Can't Believe It's Not Butta | WonderCurl Get Slick Hair Smoothie

1. I start on Freshly washed and moisturized hair. My hair holds a curl better and looks much nicer when it's clean.

2. I like my twist outs with definition AND volume. If you want more definition, twist your hair while wet. If your prefer volume, style on dry hair. I try to style my hair that's about 85% dry and fairly stretched. This prevents tangles and gives me the shape that I love. I get the big hair look without sacrificing the curls I love.

3. Now I prefer flat twists over regular, two strand twists because I love the curl that they give. That being said, there's an art to flat twisting your hair. Parts and sections should be neat but not perfect. I try not to take from other sections while I'm twisting and twist smaller sections for tighter curls.

4. When you take down your twists, there is no need to add extra product or oil. It doesn't reduce frizz, it's just more product. I simply make sure my twists are dry, take them down gently and fluff! Easy peasy!

Hopefully this helps you all on your journey to the perfect twist out!