New Year! New Regimen!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Image of blogger

Last year, I overhauled my complicated, bloated regimen and adopted a simpler regimen based on the Curly Girl Method. The goal was to decrease the amount of time it took for me to care for my hair, while still maintaining its health and length.

The first month wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either. I wore wash n’ gos that month, but soon got tired of the upkeep. I went back to stretching my hair, but kept my hair in two-strand twists while making tweaks to my regimen. Eventually, I found something that worked, cutting the time I spent on my hair from five hours a week to only two. Here are my three biggest takeaways.

Hydration over Moisture: The biggest change to my regimen is that I saturate my hair twice a week. My original regimen had me washing my hair once a week and moisturizing and sealing daily, while, with my current regimen, I alternate between washing and cowashing every four days, with no moisturizing and sealing in between (unless to reset a style).

This may seem like a lot, but it’s shortened the time I spent on my hair each week. My wash days never last more than an hour, and saturating my hair with water more effectively moisturizes my hair compared to moisturizing and sealing. Not to mention, I have less shedding and tangles, my hair is shinier, and hair styles look better and last longer.

Hair Cuts are my Friend: I used to be a big critic of regular haircuts, but after a recent and 10-year overdue appointment with a hairdresser, I am changed! Back in October/ November, I went to the hairdresser for the first time in 10 years to get a much-needed haircut. Three to four inches of hair was cut off, and my hair feels and acts so much better. It absorbs more moisture, tangles less, and doesn’t frizz.

I’ll be making trips to the hairdresser for a cut twice a year. I won’t need as much hair taken off next time, but regular trims are important to get rid of damaged ends that do my hair no favors.

Less Products, Less Stress: I used to have a lot of products. I never called myself a product junkie, but I did have an overflow and surplus of products that I would use. I convinced myself they were necessary for good hair care, but all those products were expensive and took up space. I threw most of them out, and now only keep a few essentials and staples.

To see my full regimen and product list, check out My Regimen page (which, I have finally updated after over a year).

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

New Year, New Decade: What I Thought My Life Would Look Like at 31

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Header image title What I Thought My Life Would Look Like at 31

Happy New Year! And as the saying goes, “new year, new me!” But more than just a new year, this is a new decade. This time 10 years ago, I was on Christmas break preparing for my final semester of college. I was excited for what the future had to hold and had a lot of expectations I planned to meet. Of course, life has a way of working differently than we expect.

I Thought I Would Be Married with Kids: At 31, I am single, and honestly, I’ve never been happier. I don’t talk about my dating life on my blog (but often reference my thoughts on my Instagram page), but I’ve been in two serious relationships that I thought would lead to marriage. They, obviously, did not, but those relationships taught me so much about who I am and who I want to be with.

I’m Living in DC, Not NYC: Growing up, I had Park Avenue dreams. I would work in some glitzy high-rise, have drinks networking at a mixer, and then go back home to my beautiful apartment in downtown. It sounds romantic, but it wasn’t realistic. Ultimately, I moved to DC for graduate school and stayed. I’ll always love NYC, but for now, DC is home.

I’m Not the Librarian of Congress, but She is a Black Woman: After college, I went to graduate school to become a librarian. In fact, this blog originally started out as a hybrid between a fashion blog and my librarian career. But, somewhere between graduate school and finding a job, I realized that the library profession wasn’t for me and left it entirely. I now work in digital marketing, a career I’ve been excelling and thriving in for 8 years now.

I like Pink: Speaking of my fashion sense and growth, 10 years ago, I wasn’t fond of the color pink and I didn’t like dresses and skirts either. I can’t remember what my favorite color was back then, maybe blue or red, but either way, it’s changed a lot.

I’m Happy: I was happy in 2010, but I wasn’t happy. I felt like I wasn’t in control of my life, and I think a lot of young people feel that way. You’re finishing college, unsure what to do next, you have family and friends trying to guide you in the best way they know how (which isn’t always the best way for you), and you feel so much pressure from the outside world. But now, I feel free. Every decision I make is mine. I don’t have anyone trying to lead me, I lead myself. And while that can be scary, it’s also freeing and provides a deeper sense of contentment and happiness.

Even though my life isn’t as I expected it to be at 21, I am no less happy for all the wonderful things that have happened over the last decade, and I am excited to see what this decade holds. Happy 2020!

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Review: TIJN Eyewear

Friday, October 11, 2019

TIJN Eyewear

Earlier this year, I needed some new frames after I wore my Warby Parkers into the ground. While I enjoy buying new frames, the experience can be pretty frustrating. I like large, quirky, hipster frames that are too big for my face, and that is hard to find. Warby Parker is my go-to, but I recently started seeing a lot of ads for a company called TIJN Eyewear. I’m always reluctant to buy frames from an unknown company, especially one that is relatively new and bombarding my Facebook and Instagram with ads, but their frames were exactly what I was looking for. So with a little hope, I bought a pair of the Maaike frames, and…well…there’s a reason I stick to Warby Parker.

The Good

First thing’s first, TIJN has a lot of fashionable, hipster frames. This is, after all, why I gravitated towards the brand. They have a lot of fun, cool eyeglasses that I couldn’t find anywhere else, and for that, I was willing to take a leap and see if the hype was really worth it. I will also say, the lenses themselves came out fine. There were no scratches or blurred spots, and for prescription lenses, this is key. Unfortunately, this is where the good ended.

The Bad

The frames are cheap. The gold was flimsy. The pink plastic was hard and brittle. It just wasn’t really a frame I could expect to last long, and even worse, they were completely un-adjustable. This is what really made the glasses disappointing. A cheap frame is one thing, I can wear it on special occasions or when I’m just sitting in my apartment, but the glasses are completely unwearable when they continually slip off my face.

The Ugly

TIJN has a non-refundable policy for prescriptions and blue light blocking lenses, so I can’t get my money back. I knew this going in, but I decided to try, nonetheless. This isn’t exactly what is so ugly about the brand. It’s actually the customer service, or lack thereof. TIJN is more concerned with making a sale than keeping you as a lifelong customer. When I sent the email asking for a refund, I got an ill-formatted stock response that didn’t even acknowledge my name. And while this isn’t unique among similar companies that randomly pop-up on social media, compared to Warby Parker, it’s just more apparent than usual. I should’ve known this was the case when I noticed them ignoring other upset customers on their posts, but I was so enamored with the frames, that I ignored it. And yes, I will acknowledge this is my fault, but it doesn’t sting any less.

Wearing TIJN Eyeglasses

Final Verdict

I’ll be honest and say these glasses are good if you don’t have prescriptions and wear them solely for fashion. They’ve got a lot of unique frames and they’re relatively inexpensive. I actually recommended them to my brother who likes to collect glasses like I like to collect hair accessories. But for those who need to see and need their frames to be both fashionable and durable, skip them. You’re better off with more well-known brands, or at least a company that offers refunds.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

5 Breakfast Smoothies to Start Your Day

Friday, September 20, 2019

Image of a apple and berry smoothie

I love smoothies. They're a great way to start your day with some fruits and vegetables, they're quick and easy, and with a few tweaks, they can make for a complete meal. Here are my five favorite breakfast (or whenever smoothies) smoothies.

For each recipe, wash and chop the produce, if necessary, add ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Tropical Sunshine
1 mango
1 cup of pineapple
1 kiwi
1 cup of liquid (water, milk, non-dairy milk)
3oz of silken tofu, almonds, or 1 scoop of protein powder

Apple Berry
1 apple
1.5 cups of mixed berries
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of liquid (water, milk, non-dairy milk)
3oz of silken tofu, almonds, or 1 scoop of protein powder

Green Monster
1 cup of spinach or kale (kale has a more grassy taste)
1 pear
1 banana
1 cup of liquid (water, milk, non-dairy milk)
3oz of silken tofu, almonds, or 1 scoop of protein powder

Strawberry Cheesecake
2 cups of strawberries
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of almond extract
3oz of silken tofu, almonds, or 1 scoop of protein powder

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
1 cup of banana
1/4 cup of oats
3 dates
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP peanut butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

Review | Primal Pit Paste Stick Deodorant and Charcoal Tooth Powder

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I received free products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced by the company.

Some time ago, I had a reaction to Dove deodorant that caused an intense itching sensation under my arms. Long story short, it led me to a natural alternative called Primal Pit Paste. I talked about this on the blog, and since then, the deodorant has become a regular in my morning routine. Because I love it so much, and it actually works (I still hold firm that many natural deodorants do not), I often recommend it to family, friends, and those trying to get away from more conventional deodorant brands.

If you remember (or just read) my original post, you'll see that I picked up the deodorant in a jar. As much as I praise this deodorant, the fact that it's in a jar tends to turn people off. But no worries! Primal Pit Paste also comes in a stick. All you have to do is place it on your skin for five seconds to warm it up, and then you can use it like you would any other stick deodorant. It's that simple!

The deodorant comes in many different scents. I am quite partial to Jasmine, but there is also Coconut Lime, Lavender, Lemonade, Mellow Matcha, Orange Vanilla, Rockin' Rose, Seaside, Wild Woods, and Unscented. They also have a baking-soda free version for those with extra sensitive skin.

Since I did my original review, Primal Pit Paste has really expanded beyond deodorants, and they now have bug repellent, tooth whitener, lip balm and much more. Now, if you've used typical tooth whitener, you, like me, may be really sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient in conventional tooth whitener. It does a great job at whitening teeth, but it can also make teeth really sensitive, which is exactly what happens when I use it. In fact, it can take a whole month before my mouth feels like normal (and in the interim, I am grimacing whenever I eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages). Because of this sensitivity, I've read a lot about natural ways to whiten teeth, such as oil pulling and activated charcoal. So, seeing that Primal Pit Paste had Charcoal Tooth Powder, I totally had to try it.

According to the directions, you use the Charcoal Tooth Powder three times a week, and then move to once a week for maintenance. Because I am an avid coffee drinker, I decided to use it for two weeks to really help remove the stains. The end result? I'll be honest and say I personally didn't notice anything, but I did get compliments on my smile from two people last week and my mom noticed a whiter smile. Often times we are our own worst critics, so I will chalk that up as a win. I may need to use it longer to see results myself, but the fact that others notice does make me smile.

While I have been an avid and long time fan of their deodorant, I am happy to see that Primal Pit Paste is expanding and putting the same effort into delivering natural products that work beyond expectations.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!