Everything I Need to Know, 2018 Taught Me

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I’m doing it anyway! Happy New Year and stuff. I don’t know about you, but 2018 was full of lessons. The biggest ones I learned also hurt the most.

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Vest | Top | Skirt | Shoes

1. It sucks that you're hurt, but you have to keep moving.

As a sensitive person who's also fairly dramatic, this one is tough. The small things can completely derail me from productivity so when the big ones hit? I'm down for the count. While I'm all for feeling all of your feelings, I learned last year that hurting isn't a good enough reason to stop. Just because my teeny tiny world stopped didn't mean that the ACTUAL world stopped. This concept can be fairly difficult to grasp for my fellow Leos but I think it's tremendously important. Hurt doesn't mean that time stands still or that you don't have work to do. 

2. Not everyone has your heart. Love them anyway. 

This is something I've struggled with my whole entire life. I've never understood how people (friends, family, significant others) do the things they do while feeling okay with themselves. I found myself constantly saying, "But I would never do that so I don't understand how they could". Simple. Because they're not me. It doesn't mean they're wrong, it doesn't mean I'm right. It only means we're different.

3. Get your oil changed! 

This is fairly self explanatory but just do it. And get new tires before the ones you have go bald. That's all. 

4. You need to save more. No, more. No, MORE.

Whewwwww CHILE. I can't tell you how many times in 2018 I thought I was good on the money front until xyz popped up. My savings aaccount took several hits which really let me know that I wasn't where I needed to be financially. This year I set some pretty bold financial goals but now it's the time to get really serious about creating a decent nest egg.

 5. Ask for what you REALLY want.

My dad used to always tell me that the squeaky wheel gets the oil because I would often stay silent about my wants and needs. It annoyed the hell out of me but I realize now that he was right. Don't you hate it when that happens? There are people that out here doing and getting the very same things that I want for myself simply because they asked. I used to think that I didn't ask for what I really wanted out of life because I was afraid of a no but in reality I was afraid of a yes. What if I get that thing I say I want and I drop the ball? What if I'm not good enough? Learning to ask for what I want and believe that I actually deserve to get it was one of my biggest take aways from 2018.  

 Y'all tell me: what are your biggest takeaways from 2018? What did last year teach you? How do you plan on applying it?

Change Your Language, Change Your Life

How getting rid of ONE little nasty word can completely change your life.

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Sweater (similar) | Skirt | Earrings (similar) | Backpack

Let’s get real: I have a potty mouth. I know and use almost all of the naughty words (except for slurs) and can get pretty creative when it comes to combinations. Almost every year , I pledge to stop swearing as much or if I’m feeling really ambitious I decide that I’m just going to go cold turkey. It never works. I’ve usually dropped a good F Bomb or two by noon and completely given up by five. So maybe I’m just meant to cuss. However, I recently discovered one nasty little four letter word that I can eliminate from my vocabulary. The word? Have. As in I HAVE to go to work. I HAVE to pay my rent/mortgage. I HAVE to call my mom.

You might be thinking that this is a completely harmless word and you might be right. But in my case, the word have comes with that nagging feeling of obligation. It’s that thing that you don’t really want to do but know is necessary for whatever reason. When you HAVE to do something, it's almost never fun. This all came to me as I was standing in line at my bank to get a cashier’s check (I ran out of personal checks and I’m not a real adult so I didn’t pre order more) to pay my rent. I was standing in line, complaining in my head that I have to give them this funky check every month when there are so many other things I could do with that money. Perhaps I was in a particularly good mood that day or maybe I had a good breakfast because suddenly it dawned on me: I don’t have to do this, I GET to do this.

Starting that day, I replaced have with get and my entire outlook changed. I don’t have to go to work, I get to go to work. I don’t have to go to church, I’m simply blessed to see another Sunday where I get to attend a worship service. Coming from a place gratitude as opposed to looking at certain tasks as a burden changed me in so many ways. I found myself being kinder, more patient, and more grateful. On a daily basis, we all take so much for granted and, for me, exchanging that one small word for an even smaller one made me realize how incredibly lucky I am.

DIY Your Wash Day: 3 DIY Recipes for Natural Hair

This one is for all of my kitchen beauticians!

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Jacket | T-Shirt | Jeans | Boots (similar)

Let’s get into these recipes!

Luxe Duo Hair and Skin Mask

2 TBSP My Fluffy Puffs Luxe Duo Mask

5 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TBSP Honey

Once mixed to a smooth consistency, apply to freshly shampooed hair. Leave on the hair NO MORE than 15 minutes. Rinse out and condition. This masque is great for anyone who needs a good cleaning with a shot of moisture. It also doubles as great facial treatment!

Coconut Avocado Deep Treatment

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Can of Coconut Milk

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Aloe Vera Leaf

1 egg yolk (optional, adds a ton of shine)

Blend all ingredients until smooth as possible. Strain completely so there are no chunks in the mixture. Apply to clean hair and cover, leaving on for 15-30 minutes. For extra penetration, sit underneath a hooded dryer.

Black Tea Rinse

Water

2-4 Black tea Bags

1 TBSP Olive oil

10 Drops tea tree oil

Boil water and steep tea for 5 minutes. all olive oil and tea tree oil. Allow to cool before applying to hair. Use after washing and deep conditioning hair, pouring over the entire head. Let sit in hair, massaging the scalp. Rinse after 10-20 minutes.

What are your favorite hair DIYs? Let me know if you try any of these!

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.

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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 PrettyLittleThing 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!