Comfy, Casual, Chic

This is a love story about a girl and her very first black jumpsuit.

It was love at first sight. I know from the way she looked at me.

It was love at first sight. I know from the way she looked at me.

Her eyes said it all.

Her eyes said it all.

There are honestly no words that I can use that would properly describe the love that I have for this black jumpsuit. I think I've actually worn it to bed, to church, and to a cookout and I am now wondering why I didn't have at least five of these in my wardrobe sooner. Thanks to the online boutique Tobi, I will be living my best life in my romper all summer long and strongly suggest that you do as well!

Outfit Details

Jumper | Vest (similar) | Vintage Necklace | Shoes

 

What's your summer 2017 uniform?

So You Have A Bald Spot, Now What?

You may not be your hair, but it's pretty damn important.

A few days ago I was doing my normal detangling routine in front of the mirror when (cue the horror music) I discovered a small, but noticeable to me, bald spot. I had a quick moment of OMFG, what do I do, CLEARLY I'm dying, and then I took a few deep breaths and followed these steps.

What do you do when you find a baldspot in your otherwise healthy head of hair?

What do you do when you find a baldspot in your otherwise healthy head of hair?

Don't Freak Out | I know, I know, I freaked out a little teeny tiny bit. But then I stopped. Honestly, there's no reason to have a full meltdown until you know exactly what the issue is.

Get To the Doctor | We (I'm looking at you skin fo) often ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us when symptoms such as hair loss occur. Quite often this is an outward expression of minor problems such as a vitamin deficiency; however, there is a chance that there is a more serious underlying issue. Going to your primary care physician and getting your bloodwork done can rule all of that out.  

The vanity planet shampoo brush and Remi Restorative treatment are helping me get back on track.

The vanity planet shampoo brush and Remi Restorative treatment are helping me get back on track.

Care for Your Scalp | Now that you Know what's wrong, you can start taking care of your scalp. I was sent the life changing (no exaggeration here, it's actually life changing) Groove Scalp Massager by Vanity Planet and I have been using it on wash day and in between wash days. Not only does it feel great, it also encourages blood flow to the scalp which helps hair growth. I have already seen hair starting to grow back in a short period of time.

Use Healthy Hair Products | In addition to using the scalp massager, I am also using Vanity Planet's Moisturizing and Restorative Hair Treatment. It's great for my scalp and hair because it is nothing but healthy oils for my dry and frizzy natural hair. I massage this product in with my Scalp Massager and let it sit for about 15 minutes before continuing with my normal routine. The oils help nourish my scalp and protect my hair from the harshness of shampoos.

I'm confident that in the next few months that my little bald spot will be flourishing again.

Interested in Vanity Planet Products? Make sure to use these discount codes to save big!

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*Products were sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own.*

Stop Doing SH** For Free!

Make that money girl, don't let it make you. - The Players Club

My face every time an email pops up in my inbox talking about great exposure and future affiliate programs #iamunable #icant

My face every time an email pops up in my inbox talking about great exposure and future affiliate programs #iamunable #icant

Me walking away from BS "opportunities" that aren't really opportunities.

Me walking away from BS "opportunities" that aren't really opportunities.

Storytime: Recently, a company that I had reviewed product for in the past approached me with an opportunity. Because I believe in the brand and really liked the product I said yes with no hesitation and all was well and good until I was asked how much I would like to be compensated for my work. When I tell you that I clenched, I could not actually give you a better example of the physical manifestation of my level of discomfort. I had no idea what I was worth, what to ask for, or even if I should be paid at all. I basically said, "Who me? No, I don't need to be compensated" to which the owner replied, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Yes. You do. You get paid for work". If you're a fellow creative or creator then you probably understand the shock waves that went through my body. If you're a fellow creator then you understand that people expect handouts. If you're a fellow creator you're probably used to giving handouts for the sake of "getting some great exposure". If you're a fellow creator I want you to listen real good to the advice I'm about to give you: Stop. Doing. SHIT. For. Free. #thatsall Honestly, it's that simple.

Stop doing shit for free. This is my motto for 2017 and I'm applying it to much everything. Here's why you should too!

Your Work Has Worth

When you decide to pursue your passion as a career or a side hustle, that's when you've decided to put in work. You start investing in your craft in a serious way: time and money become heavily involved. When people start to notice and reach out to you, that means they see worth in your work, they see opportunity in your audience, they see you solving a problem that they have. If anyone wants access to these things, they need to pay for it. 

When You Undervalue Yourself, You Allow Others To Do The Same

In my interaction with the aforementioned business owner, I gave someone else the power to determine my worth. If I was working with someone looking to make a quick buck and take advantage, I could have left that deal pretty raw. Fortunately for me, this person gave me advice when they didn't have to. I've now sat down and thought about my practices AND pricing so that I never again give anyone the opportunity to buy me for cheap.  

When You Undervalue Yourself, You Set Market Price for Others In Your Industry

If I was messy, petty, and had the energy I could publish the countless emails I get from companies wanting me to promote their products or services without even offering me the chance to test them. I often play along because I'm the worst and enjoying wasting rude people's time and eventually let them know that I cannot recommend something to my audience when I cannot vouch for its quality. At first, I wondered why anyone would have the balls to even approach me with such absurdity, but then, I realized, it's because someone else agreed to it. To that person, STOP. FULL STOP. IMMEDIATELY. Seriously, you make it more difficult for everyone else.

You Deserve Nice Things

I'm not saying that money is the key to happiness, but I will say that you cannot buy food without it and food makes me pretty damn happy. If you're putting in hours of work creating content to promote someone's brand (and I PUH-ROMISE you they're making money as a result of your efforts) then you deserve to be paid in some way, shape, or form so that you can have the things that you like and need. 

So to sum all this up, If you are working for someone, you deserve to be paid what you're worth. Point blank. Period. the End.

Black Owned Beauty Brands (That Aren't Shea Moisture) To Support NOW

Go where you are appreciated not where you are tolerated.

Have you ever been disappointed in a brand that you loved? Yeah, we're looking at you Shea Moisture.

Have you ever been disappointed in a brand that you loved? Yeah, we're looking at you Shea Moisture.

The last couple of days in the blogosphere have been pretty interesting specifically for black women who specialize in natural hair content. Why? Well, a very popular beauty brand that is black owned and has been largely supported by the black community decided to bite the hand that (literally) feeds them. That brand is Shea Moisture and they seriously failed on Monday; by releasing a commercial for hair care products that featured racially ambiguous and caucasian women, Shea Moisture alienated their core audience and customer base. Black women were not pleased. In the uproar that ensued, there were several calls to boycott Shea Moisture and support other brands. Unfortunately for us, there are very few black-owned beauty brands that are easily accessible. That being said, very few still leaves us with options for awesome brands that we can support.

My Fluffy Puffs

If you are looking for a complete line of natural hair products, look no further. My Fluffy Puffs provides a moisturizing product line with a cleanser, moisturizer, and styling creme. The line is also expanding into hair growth oils. All of the products are handmade and the owner is a young black woman who makes and formulates all of the products.
 

Especially Hair

I would stack this deep conditioner next to every DC by Shea Moisture. As a matter of fact, it's better (which is definitely reflected in the price). The ingredients are quality and the moisture that it provides is great for low porosity, type 4 hair. Especially Hair is owned by a husband and wife team.

Diva By Cindy

These products are great for the natural or relaxed girl who likes to add direct heat to her regimen. The products are alcohol-free and are light enough to ensure an awesome blowout or silk press. Developed by a former nurse, Diva by Cindy promotes healthy hair products.

These brands are black owned and support and uplift women of color. Their brand ambassadors are women of color and they feature women of color on their social media platforms. I have always believed that we should support companies that support us so if you're looking to spend your money with a black-owned company, look no further!

What are your favorite black-owned beauty brands?  

Why You Should Skip the Clothing Resale Stores and What to Do With Your Clothes Instead

Well that was a mouthful...

Spring is really trying to come through despite the blizzard that I'm looking at through my window which means most of us are trying to clean out our living spaces to make room for all the new things we plan to buy this season and in the summer. If you're anything like me that means that you take an in depth look at your closet and decide that most of it just has to go. At this point you may be tempted to pack a bag of your latest and greatest that you just don't wear anymore (or never got the chance to wear for whatever reason) and take a trip down to the nearest clothing resale shop. let me help you with that: don't. I promise you that it's not worth it and unless you take your designer wares to a high end consignment shop you will barely recoup any of the money you spent.

Now you may be asking why I harbor such a strong dislike for clothing resale shops and I am here to tell you. As I said, you BARELY receive any return on investment (not that designer clothes are actually a smart investment). A designer bag originally purchased for $200+ MIGHT get you around $50 and the store will turn around and sell it for $100-$150. At that point you may as well sell the bag yourself. These stores generally have a list of things or styles that they can buy for any given season and despite having the coolest, most on trend clothing you may not have what they're looking for. And let's be honest, not everyone on staff will be fashion savvy enough to understand your unique taste. 

So now you have a pile of clothes that you need to get rid of but some crazy lady on the internet machine told you not to go to a real store. Well what are you supposed to do now? I'll tell you:

Host a Clothing Swap or Give to a fashionable Friend

There are certain items I don't mind giving away but then when I look at my closet there are certain things that NEED to go someone who will love them the way that I did. Instead of selling these items or giving them away to charity, I give them to the person I have in mind. Another option is to host a clothing swap with people who have the same level of style as you.

Give Items to a Charity Like A Women's Shelter

I'm not a fan of for profit charities such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill because their prices can be a bit ridiculous. that being said, most major cities have men's or women's shelters  that are in need of clothing among other things. 

Sell Your Clothing On Your Own

This is the most obvious option but it does require a little more involvement than just dropping your clothes somewhere and leaving them forever. Sites like eBay make it easy for regular people to sell their clothes and you'll probably get closer to your purchasing price than you would at a resale shop.

How do you get rid of your old clothes?

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Hair Growth System Review

For brown girls who just want their hair to grow...

Diva by Cindy products are alcohol free.

Diva by Cindy products are alcohol free.

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Shampoo is definitely my favorite product from the line.

Diva by Cindy Stimulating Shampoo is definitely my favorite product from the line.

The Diva by Cindy Super Pro Hairdress claims to help grow hair.

The Diva by Cindy Super Pro Hairdress claims to help grow hair.

Let's talk about products!

Diva by Cindy was created by former registered nurse, Cindy with the aim of helping those dealing with hair loss. With an alcohol free formula, these products have "good for your hair" ingredients such as panthenol, rosemary, aloe, and peppermint. The goal of this line is to leave the hair silky, shiny, and healthy.

Stimulating Shampoo

I always seem to find a favorite in every product line I try and for Diva by Cindy it's definitely their stimulating shampoo.I was a little scared to try this one because it had a few ingredients that I usually don't use. That being said, I actually love the shampoo. The smell was very minty and when I put it on my scalp, it FELT minty. Most shampoos containing sulfates would dry your hair out and make it dry and difficult to detangle. When I went to detangle my hair the comb ran right through! I was so surprised and excited. My hair also didn't even feel dry. This one is definitely a keeper.

Stimulating Conditioner

The Stimulating Conditioner has the same month smell and feel as the shampoo. While I like the texture of this product, I did feel that it was lacking the slip that I needed to properly and thoroughly detangle my hair. That being said, this is great conditioner to use if you are planning on straightening your hair. It is very light and because it doesn't contain ingredients such as shea butter and heavy oils it doesn't leave your hair weighed down and heavy. 

Leave In Detangling Conditioner

This one was tricky for me: I don't love leave in conditioners that come in spray bottles. Why? Because I have a ton of hair and I feel like it doesn't get to all of my hair. Again, this product is best for use before heat styling. The Panthenol (which is a derivative of the B5 vitamin) is great for your hair as it supports the production of protein rich tissues. After using it in failed rollerset attempt, I saw no heat damage which i credit to the use of this product. 

Super Gro Hair Dress

Unfortunately, I don't have any definitive thoughts on this product. I've only used the Diva by Cindy line a handful of times over the course of less than a month. Because of that, I can't really say that this has helped my hair grow. Also, I have never suffered from significant hair loss so I don't have any way to test the product out and provide quantitative results. BUT, it smells really good!

A Girl, A Dress, and A Skirt

I have waited my entire sartorial life for this moment.

Let's also talk about these earrings from BURLINGTON #iCant

Let's also talk about these earrings from BURLINGTON #iCant

Dress + Skirt = Genius

Dress + Skirt = Genius

Dress | Skirt | Shoes (Similar) | Earrings (Similar)

I feel like I have reached my fashion peek: my whole life, I have known that the day I got to wear a dress WITH a skirt I would #slay (no need for humility here it's just the truth) and here I am doing just that. Seriously though, I had an event over the past weekend that required me to wear black and silver and while I generally don't enjoy feeling obligated to wear certain attire or colors I was really excited when I found this Calvin Klein skirt on super sale. The only problem? I didn't have a top to wear with it and my level of pickiness was not conducive with my timeline. 

Fast forward to the ninth hour and I had a lightbulb over the head moment: wear a dress you already have as a top! I'm not going to lie but I feel like I discovered the secret to crispy on the outside gooey on the inside grilled cheese sandwich (btw if you have the scoop, PLEASE tell me). It's the little things, I guess.

Kisses

I Am (NOT) A #CarefreeBlackGirl

I'm feeling all sorts pressure to be magical right now.

 Super black, not quite so magical.

 Super black, not quite so magical.

2016 was a year for black women. Like for real. We were excelling, achieving, and just being over all great. Everyone was moisturized and our hair was growing. We were winning gold medals, starting businesses, and being champions of social justice. It was amazing. And just a little overwhelming.

Not because black women were achieving. Not because we were winning. But because all of a sudden there was this immense pressure: to be great, otherworldly, and even carefree. Great, I can do but those other two? Nope. Not I. I don't possess any magical powers and despite waiting for over a decade I still have not received an invitation to Hogwarts. And Carefree? The way these bills are set up? Nah. That's definitely not me. But all of a sudden I found myself pretending to be these things. I could totally be the flower crown wearing, AfroPunk going, highly overachieving, boss ass black chick. Because that's what I was supposed to be.

Numerous think pieces have already been written about how the narrative of the "strong black woman" is problematic. While seeming to be a virtue, this stereotype is dehumanizing and limiting. I can honestly say I feel the same way about #blackgirlmagic and #carefreeblackgirl. Created to empower and encourage these catchphrases completely neglect  all of us who aren't carefree: those of us struggling financially, dealing with depression, going through a rough patch. Where do we fit in? 

I'll go ahead and say I don't fit into this magical and carefree spectrum. I stopped fighting it and just accepted the facts. Sometimes I'm going to be depressed, sometimes I will actually care what people think, and apparently I will never actually have magical powers. So, no, I am NOT a carefree black girl. And I'm completely okay with that.

5 Signs You Need to Cut It (Your Hair)

When those split ends go half way up your hair... you need to cut it.

What my hair would look like if I stopped trying to avoid getting regular trims.

What my hair would look like if I stopped trying to avoid getting regular trims.

Let's face it: Us "Natural Girls" hate to cut our hair. I get it because I'm the same way. When you endure wash days that sometimes take up to eight hours and protective style nine months out of the year and care for your hair like you would a newborn child, cutting off those precious strands is just NOT an option. That being said sometimes you just have to let go of a little length in order to have healthy hair. If you're on the fence about getting a trim, here are 5 signs that you definitely need to cut your hair.

1. Excessive Breakage | About 2 years ago I experienced a major natural hair setback that had a lot to do heat abuse and processing my hair with color (we'll talk about that on another day). I finally knew that I needed a real cut when my hair was just breaking off left and right. A stiff breeze could blow by and large amounts of hair would just come out. Bear in mind that shedding is not the same as breakage. Shed hair will have a little white bulb at the root whereas breakage will not.

2. Extreme Dryness | Whenever my hair is frizzy and dry at the ends I know it has to go. Dry hair splits and breaks and we don't want said dryness to travel up the hair shaft and damage the rest of the strand. Hair that is damaged to the point of being constantly dry cannot be remoisturized or repaired it simply needs to be cut.

3. Limp Hair | This applies specifically to heat damaged hair. It is one of the easiest signs of damage to spot when you have a head full of healthy curls and see limp noodle hair at the ends. These spots will respond to manipulation as far as curling but the natural pattern will never return.

4. Split Ends | Harder to spot by the naked eye split ends are the ultimate thief of length! Like dryness split ends will travel up the shaft and damage otherwise healthy hair. Split ends cannot be repaired! I promise you there is no miracle product that will put your hair back together you just have to cut it.

5. Flat Hair | I firmly believe that my twist out will tell me everything I need to know about my hair. Because my hair is normally extremely voluminous and big, when my twist out or other curl styles start to hang lifelessly I know I need a shape up and a trim.

Hope this helps you all! Be sure to check out my video where I show you how I do a light trim/dusting at home. And let me know, how often do you trim your hair?

 

 

3 Ingredient DIY Detox Drink

In with the good, out with the bad.

This simple DIY Detox Drink will remedy a few days of bad decisions AND the common cold.

This simple DIY Detox Drink will remedy a few days of bad decisions AND the common cold.

Mondays are always a kind of day or reckoning for me: my gut and my bank account are there to remind me of all of my bad decisions. Fortunately, I have a remedy for at least one of those problems that costs under five dollars (if that) and gives me tons of energy.

I like to drink this first thing in the morning if possible and maybe again mid day. While this does encourage a healthy "movement" it's nothing like the "flat tummy teas" that you see everyone hawking on instagram.

3 Ingredient Detox Drink

Ingredients

1 cup of water

Juice of Half a Lemon

Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger, Sliced

Honey, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

Combine water, ginger slices, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and turn stove on to medium high heat.  Let the mixture come to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Pour the heated water into a strainer over a cup (unless you like particles touching your mouth while you drink, I don't, it's gross) and add honey. Enjoy!

Every time I drink this, I immediately see a decrease in bloating and feel an abundance of energy.

What do you do when you need to get back on track from a few days of bad eating choices?