Nearly Hair
“Nothing, is what it appears to be, when it's only with your eyes you see.”
― N'Zuri Za Austin

I haven’t deviated much from my last skin care routine (click here for previous routine.) I still incorporate the Ole Henriksen’s Balance and oil control three-step system, because my skin seem to still enjoy the formula. However, recently my skin still has a tendency to look like a frying pan. It could be due to the humid weather, but feelings surrounding oily acne prone skin remains the same regardless of the climate. Oily skin is such a confidence killer, is the bane to my existence.

Dramatic much?.....

After taking a beginners makeup class from Sephora, I learned that my skin is truly just excessively dry which is why it overproduces so much oil. An associate in Sephora recommended that I “oil train my face.”

What does oil training mean?


It simply means that I train my face to believe that it is already moisturized so that it doesn’t feel the need to produce oil. When the associate first introduced this to me, I thought she was going to tell me to do the oil cleansing method which would have led me to stop her while she was ahead. I have nothing against the oil cleansing method except for the fact that it made my acne worse, and it just wasn’t my cup of tea.



Oil training is highly dependent on the ingredients used. One of the major players in Oil training is Hyaluronic.

What is Hyaluronic acid?




Hyaluronic acid is typically recommended for people with dry skin to help boost hydration. This product is known to hold 1,000 times its weight in water which makes it the leading ingredient in products for dry skin. It is acid is naturally found in our skin but some people lack this water retaining acid which can lead to wrinkles and overly dry skin. The Sephora associate recommended that I find a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, but being the extra person that I am, I took it an extra step and decided to purchase the pure hyaluronic acid instead.



The youtube reviews I watched had me sold, and I was sure that this product would change my life.

The product I have is very serum-like and I use it on my damp skin in the morning right before putting on my Olehenriksen’s balance and oil control moisturizer. And guess what? It has reduced my oil production tremendously! It dries quickly once applied so it doesn’t really add too much time to my morning routine.



What about your night time routine?


During the same conversation at Sephora with a fellow oily skin gal, it was mentioned that during the nighttime our skin does the most replenishing. The employee explained that my morning routine needs to be different than the night time routine and recommended a thick moisturizer to use during the night.



I was pretty hesitant about her advice, because everything I knew about oily skin specifically stressed staying away from thick moisturizer, but with the severity of my oiliness I figured I had nothing to lose.

She recommended that I used a moisturizer that contained vitamins infused within the formula to help regenerate skin cells. Because I am so loyal to Ole Henriksen I picked up the Nurture Me Moisturizing Creme.

Even though my skin is oily during the day it is worse in the morning after I wake up. I was really excited to put the cream to the test the night.

After the first night of use, I woke up and my skin was so supple and bright. I was obviously super impressed! What made me even more excited was the fact that my skin wasn’t oily! It had the right balance of moisture.



For the past two weeks this skin care regimen has been really helpful. It would make sense as to why my skin overproduces in oil simply because my topical medications for my acne contain drying ingredients. My poor skin was seeking optimal hydration.

I will provide another two week update to see if my oiliness will remain at bay with this regimen.


If you would like to try the products I have used check out this list:

Olehenriksen’s Nurture Me Moisturizing Crème

Oleheniksen Find your balance oil control cleanser

Olehenriksen Balancing Force oil control toner

Olehenriksen Counter balance Oil control hydrator



What is your regimen for oily skin?

How to decrease oily Skin: Updated Skin Routine

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


I haven’t deviated much from my last skin care routine (click here for previous routine.) I still incorporate the Ole Henriksen’s Balance and oil control three-step system, because my skin seem to still enjoy the formula. However, recently my skin still has a tendency to look like a frying pan. It could be due to the humid weather, but feelings surrounding oily acne prone skin remains the same regardless of the climate. Oily skin is such a confidence killer, is the bane to my existence.

Dramatic much?.....

After taking a beginners makeup class from Sephora, I learned that my skin is truly just excessively dry which is why it overproduces so much oil. An associate in Sephora recommended that I “oil train my face.”

What does oil training mean?


It simply means that I train my face to believe that it is already moisturized so that it doesn’t feel the need to produce oil. When the associate first introduced this to me, I thought she was going to tell me to do the oil cleansing method which would have led me to stop her while she was ahead. I have nothing against the oil cleansing method except for the fact that it made my acne worse, and it just wasn’t my cup of tea.



Oil training is highly dependent on the ingredients used. One of the major players in Oil training is Hyaluronic.

What is Hyaluronic acid?




Hyaluronic acid is typically recommended for people with dry skin to help boost hydration. This product is known to hold 1,000 times its weight in water which makes it the leading ingredient in products for dry skin. It is acid is naturally found in our skin but some people lack this water retaining acid which can lead to wrinkles and overly dry skin. The Sephora associate recommended that I find a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, but being the extra person that I am, I took it an extra step and decided to purchase the pure hyaluronic acid instead.



The youtube reviews I watched had me sold, and I was sure that this product would change my life.

The product I have is very serum-like and I use it on my damp skin in the morning right before putting on my Olehenriksen’s balance and oil control moisturizer. And guess what? It has reduced my oil production tremendously! It dries quickly once applied so it doesn’t really add too much time to my morning routine.



What about your night time routine?


During the same conversation at Sephora with a fellow oily skin gal, it was mentioned that during the nighttime our skin does the most replenishing. The employee explained that my morning routine needs to be different than the night time routine and recommended a thick moisturizer to use during the night.



I was pretty hesitant about her advice, because everything I knew about oily skin specifically stressed staying away from thick moisturizer, but with the severity of my oiliness I figured I had nothing to lose.

She recommended that I used a moisturizer that contained vitamins infused within the formula to help regenerate skin cells. Because I am so loyal to Ole Henriksen I picked up the Nurture Me Moisturizing Creme.

Even though my skin is oily during the day it is worse in the morning after I wake up. I was really excited to put the cream to the test the night.

After the first night of use, I woke up and my skin was so supple and bright. I was obviously super impressed! What made me even more excited was the fact that my skin wasn’t oily! It had the right balance of moisture.



For the past two weeks this skin care regimen has been really helpful. It would make sense as to why my skin overproduces in oil simply because my topical medications for my acne contain drying ingredients. My poor skin was seeking optimal hydration.

I will provide another two week update to see if my oiliness will remain at bay with this regimen.


If you would like to try the products I have used check out this list:

Olehenriksen’s Nurture Me Moisturizing Crème

Oleheniksen Find your balance oil control cleanser

Olehenriksen Balancing Force oil control toner

Olehenriksen Counter balance Oil control hydrator



What is your regimen for oily skin?
It's Friday and I am finally back to featuring my lovely curled up fearless ladies! This week's feature is a friend I have spoken highly about in my past posts. To check out my first mention of Ericka and my self care post take a peek here.

Now let's meet Ericka!...


My name is Ericka, I am from Hamden, CT not far from New Haven. I love all things that pertain to God, family, self care, fashion, spoken word, music and mental health/wellbeing. In my free time I can be found writing and reading. In my not-so-free time I can be found mothering two little brown boys, and working as a pediatric nurse.


When and why did you decide to get rid of the creamy crack if you did?

I've never had a relaxer, but my hair was heat trained the majority of my life.

What was your support system like after you made your decision to go natural?

After I big chopped I relied heavily on YouTube for guidance. I didn't really know what I was doing. So inspirations like @simplyounique were a huge help in the beginning of my journey.

It is true that we are not our hair, or anyone else's, but do you have any natural hair crushes?

Ohhhh yes I do! Right now my hair crush is MiniMarley and Mahoganycurls.

What are your inspirations in life and inspiration for your hair?

My life inspirations revolve around Christ and his walk and ministry. His views of the world and the
social issues that he faced in his times are very encouraging for where I am in my life. My hair inspirations come from a variety of YouTube channels, and celebrities.

When you are going through your daily regimen what products do you reach for first and why?

Agua! I neeeeeeeed water. If my hair is not soaking wet it's an automatic failure. After I wet my hair I use Cantu or Creme of Nature leave in conditioner, then creme of nature's twirling custard, followed by jojoba oil or black castor oil.

What is your go to style in the winter and the summer?

During the winter I love buns, twists, and tuck and pin styles. I'm the summer I love wash n gos (More like wash n waits ) and Marley twists.

What is the most important thing you have learned on your natural hair journey?

The most important thing I've learned is self-pacing. Everything grows in its own timing.

What does it feel like owning your own business/blog with many other people owning larger business companies/blogs? Is it intimidating?

It's very exciting and also very challenging. I have to be honest, I never thought anyone would read my blog. So when I see views, I'm blown away. But it has also opened my eyes to how large of and industry blogging is. It can be intimidating but it helps me work on what I have and strive for better.

What has been one of your biggest obstacles so far in your career and how did you face it?

One of the biggest obstacles I've faced is censorship. I feel like I don't allow my creative mind to flow because of fear of what people may say. I'm still working on that.

What keeps you motivated (pertaining to balancing your life and your company/blog)?

Prayer and family time.

How would you describe your signature style and has it helped influence your designs?

I would say my style of writing is transparent. I aim to be honest and keep the emotions of my writing as authentic as possible. I believe this helps both myself and my readers tremendously.

Where do you see your business/blog in the next five years?

I would love to see myself working for a health magazine, particularly their mental health column.

Where can we find you on the net?

Enduretoend.blog

Any advice for your fellow natural hair folks?

Be you, and don't apologize for it. Encourage yourself. Be your own hair goal. Be your own inspiration. In all things, love yourself. Every hurt, every accomplishment, every victory, every pain, every length check has a root. Explore your roots and anticipate growth.


I hope you all enjoyed meeting Ericka. After reading this you have no choice but to love her as much as I do! For your chance to be featured shoot an email to inquire@nearlyhair.com

Tales From the Kinks: Ericka Edition

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's Friday and I am finally back to featuring my lovely curled up fearless ladies! This week's feature is a friend I have spoken highly about in my past posts. To check out my first mention of Ericka and my self care post take a peek here.

Now let's meet Ericka!...


My name is Ericka, I am from Hamden, CT not far from New Haven. I love all things that pertain to God, family, self care, fashion, spoken word, music and mental health/wellbeing. In my free time I can be found writing and reading. In my not-so-free time I can be found mothering two little brown boys, and working as a pediatric nurse.


When and why did you decide to get rid of the creamy crack if you did?

I've never had a relaxer, but my hair was heat trained the majority of my life.

What was your support system like after you made your decision to go natural?

After I big chopped I relied heavily on YouTube for guidance. I didn't really know what I was doing. So inspirations like @simplyounique were a huge help in the beginning of my journey.

It is true that we are not our hair, or anyone else's, but do you have any natural hair crushes?

Ohhhh yes I do! Right now my hair crush is MiniMarley and Mahoganycurls.

What are your inspirations in life and inspiration for your hair?

My life inspirations revolve around Christ and his walk and ministry. His views of the world and the
social issues that he faced in his times are very encouraging for where I am in my life. My hair inspirations come from a variety of YouTube channels, and celebrities.

When you are going through your daily regimen what products do you reach for first and why?

Agua! I neeeeeeeed water. If my hair is not soaking wet it's an automatic failure. After I wet my hair I use Cantu or Creme of Nature leave in conditioner, then creme of nature's twirling custard, followed by jojoba oil or black castor oil.

What is your go to style in the winter and the summer?

During the winter I love buns, twists, and tuck and pin styles. I'm the summer I love wash n gos (More like wash n waits ) and Marley twists.

What is the most important thing you have learned on your natural hair journey?

The most important thing I've learned is self-pacing. Everything grows in its own timing.

What does it feel like owning your own business/blog with many other people owning larger business companies/blogs? Is it intimidating?

It's very exciting and also very challenging. I have to be honest, I never thought anyone would read my blog. So when I see views, I'm blown away. But it has also opened my eyes to how large of and industry blogging is. It can be intimidating but it helps me work on what I have and strive for better.

What has been one of your biggest obstacles so far in your career and how did you face it?

One of the biggest obstacles I've faced is censorship. I feel like I don't allow my creative mind to flow because of fear of what people may say. I'm still working on that.

What keeps you motivated (pertaining to balancing your life and your company/blog)?

Prayer and family time.

How would you describe your signature style and has it helped influence your designs?

I would say my style of writing is transparent. I aim to be honest and keep the emotions of my writing as authentic as possible. I believe this helps both myself and my readers tremendously.

Where do you see your business/blog in the next five years?

I would love to see myself working for a health magazine, particularly their mental health column.

Where can we find you on the net?

Enduretoend.blog

Any advice for your fellow natural hair folks?

Be you, and don't apologize for it. Encourage yourself. Be your own hair goal. Be your own inspiration. In all things, love yourself. Every hurt, every accomplishment, every victory, every pain, every length check has a root. Explore your roots and anticipate growth.


I hope you all enjoyed meeting Ericka. After reading this you have no choice but to love her as much as I do! For your chance to be featured shoot an email to inquire@nearlyhair.com

Originally posted 2011
Reposting for encouragement


Okay guys here it is. My on the couch special with curlynikki from over a year ago. I never released this but it is time for me to share this hair testimony.

IMG_0312
“When he breaks up with me, I’ll
cut my hair!”

This statement was once the story of my life. I never understood
my hair in its entire being, whether it was relaxed or natural, I always felt
the need to “hate on” others hair because mine didn’t look like the other chick's
standing next to me.

Right when I began highschool, my self esteem was nowhere to be found. I searched through each and every hall wall and locker, but nope it wasn’t there. This was probably because I believed
that my hair was the root of my self esteem issues. And even though my mother
put a texturizer in my hair 2 years prior to high school, when I hit the school
doors that first day, I knew then and there that a texturizer wasn’t cutting it.

My hair made who I was (or so I thought), and I would not be able to have a smile upon my face unless my hair was up to par. Therefore my freshman year of highschool I hit the salon and begged
for a relaxer. My bestfriend at the time was highly upset because not only did
I leave her to fend with her natural hair by herself when I first processed my
hair, but I leaped an extra two steps ahead getting a full blown relaxer. While

Motions Relaxer was seeping into the roots of every hair strand, all I could think about is how gorgeous this relaxer would make me, and how my self image would do a total turn around.  Boy was I wrong! 
My hair never took to the chemicals, and I surely believed something was wrong with my head. I refused to get a stronger relaxer, because everyone knows that the stronger the relaxer the more damaging it is. So I was forced to walk around with puffy hair all the
time. 

My hair routine consisted of going to the hair salon; receiving a relaxer (which I did once every three months or so); Going home and then flat ironing my ends. When I wasn’t in the hair salon
I simply just washed and flat ironed. Surprisingly for the 5 years that I kept
up with that routine I never experienced noticeable damage but I knew something
wasn’t too right. There were nights I would refuse to leave my house because I
was afraid to hear the comments about my puffy so called relaxed hair. It’s
unimaginable how the material looks and societal acceptances can consume a person's thoughts. I unfortunately became a victim of both. I believed that I WAS my hair.

Upon leaving high school, I entered college and found myself stumbling upon many natural divas and website such as these. As I wandered through the sites I began to wonder if I would be able to
love my hair ever again. Of course these trying times were even more rough
because my boyfriend ex-boyfriend and I lived in two separate places and I believed  that the long distance wasn’t going to work out as it should. So one day while I was speaking to my best friend she brought
up my relationship and said, “Do you think you guys will break up?” And I
responded, “When he breaks ups with me, I’ll cut my hair!!” From that moment I truly
understood that I cared entirely way too much about my appearance and fitting
in with societies “Perfect Woman” image, so much that I thought living with
short natural hair was unattractive. I knew then and there that something had
to give. I even wrote an article for the University’s paper on natural hair
which in turn forced me to start transitioning in January 2010. Little did I know that while I was transitioning I was simultaneously "transitioning" both my mind and hair. I had no idea that this was an actual natural hair term nor a process.

My hair journey with transitioning was pretty rough but luckily I had a friend on campus, who was also natural to help me get through it with a sew in. I also transitioned with twistouts and bantuknots (free flow styles) .

June 7th was the big day when I BC’ed my hair. I felt so relieved watching my relaxed ends hit the ground. I’m not going to lie I cried, I cried for a couple of days at that.
These tears to me were a sign of release but also shyness because I was not
sure how my boyfriend ex-boyfriend or family would have taken it. Oh yea did I mention I cut
it myself, with the help of a friend? If there is one thing I learned, it's to make sure to know what you
are doing with your hair at all times! When I showed my parents they yelled at
me so much because I cut it unevenly and they believed that my natural hair was
disgusting. There faces and words both read  “You are so stupid”.  Calling me "Felix" instead of Felicia. And again I relapsed,
falling heavy into a state of depression, receiving micro braids  to cover
up my “naturalness”. I was way too afraid to show my boyfriend  ex-boyfriend.

As time went by I kept watching and
reading materials to maintain my natural roots because there was no
turning back from it(for me at least). Although I was unsure of myself I knew
that a self esteem change had to occur in my life if I ever wanted to live with
a smile again. Therefore I took out my hair on August 5th and went to a
salon and had them trim it evenly. When I walked out the salon I took a deep
breath and said “I Love me!”

I receive comments on my hair every day, most of them go something like this “OMG you cut your hair? I wanna go natural but I don’t have the guts to do it!” When I get comments like those I smirk and think, “if only they knew...” To this day my boyfriend and I are still together and he adores my natural hair. I believe it is growing on him and he would like for me to keep it in a "fro" so he says.  Today I am with a lovely guy, my highschool crush and he thinks my hair is amazing....If I remember correctly he said "I wish my hair would curl like that" lol.

For all my Natural Chicas or Transitioning sweethearts out there my advice to you is stay educated hydrated and happy. This journey is nowhere near easy! You have to experiment with your hair because just like snowflakes, no two heads are alike. What might work
for me, might not work for you. But if you are transitioning don’t give up,
because trust me, finding yourself behind the chemical stunned ends is worth
it. Love yourself above all and don't let society define your life!

My Natural Hair Journey Video can be found here with my pics: 

When he breaks up with me…[revealed]

Monday, August 21, 2017

Originally posted 2011
Reposting for encouragement


Okay guys here it is. My on the couch special with curlynikki from over a year ago. I never released this but it is time for me to share this hair testimony.

IMG_0312
“When he breaks up with me, I’ll
cut my hair!”

This statement was once the story of my life. I never understood
my hair in its entire being, whether it was relaxed or natural, I always felt
the need to “hate on” others hair because mine didn’t look like the other chick's
standing next to me.

Right when I began highschool, my self esteem was nowhere to be found. I searched through each and every hall wall and locker, but nope it wasn’t there. This was probably because I believed
that my hair was the root of my self esteem issues. And even though my mother
put a texturizer in my hair 2 years prior to high school, when I hit the school
doors that first day, I knew then and there that a texturizer wasn’t cutting it.

My hair made who I was (or so I thought), and I would not be able to have a smile upon my face unless my hair was up to par. Therefore my freshman year of highschool I hit the salon and begged
for a relaxer. My bestfriend at the time was highly upset because not only did
I leave her to fend with her natural hair by herself when I first processed my
hair, but I leaped an extra two steps ahead getting a full blown relaxer. While

Motions Relaxer was seeping into the roots of every hair strand, all I could think about is how gorgeous this relaxer would make me, and how my self image would do a total turn around.  Boy was I wrong! 
My hair never took to the chemicals, and I surely believed something was wrong with my head. I refused to get a stronger relaxer, because everyone knows that the stronger the relaxer the more damaging it is. So I was forced to walk around with puffy hair all the
time. 

My hair routine consisted of going to the hair salon; receiving a relaxer (which I did once every three months or so); Going home and then flat ironing my ends. When I wasn’t in the hair salon
I simply just washed and flat ironed. Surprisingly for the 5 years that I kept
up with that routine I never experienced noticeable damage but I knew something
wasn’t too right. There were nights I would refuse to leave my house because I
was afraid to hear the comments about my puffy so called relaxed hair. It’s
unimaginable how the material looks and societal acceptances can consume a person's thoughts. I unfortunately became a victim of both. I believed that I WAS my hair.

Upon leaving high school, I entered college and found myself stumbling upon many natural divas and website such as these. As I wandered through the sites I began to wonder if I would be able to
love my hair ever again. Of course these trying times were even more rough
because my boyfriend ex-boyfriend and I lived in two separate places and I believed  that the long distance wasn’t going to work out as it should. So one day while I was speaking to my best friend she brought
up my relationship and said, “Do you think you guys will break up?” And I
responded, “When he breaks ups with me, I’ll cut my hair!!” From that moment I truly
understood that I cared entirely way too much about my appearance and fitting
in with societies “Perfect Woman” image, so much that I thought living with
short natural hair was unattractive. I knew then and there that something had
to give. I even wrote an article for the University’s paper on natural hair
which in turn forced me to start transitioning in January 2010. Little did I know that while I was transitioning I was simultaneously "transitioning" both my mind and hair. I had no idea that this was an actual natural hair term nor a process.

My hair journey with transitioning was pretty rough but luckily I had a friend on campus, who was also natural to help me get through it with a sew in. I also transitioned with twistouts and bantuknots (free flow styles) .

June 7th was the big day when I BC’ed my hair. I felt so relieved watching my relaxed ends hit the ground. I’m not going to lie I cried, I cried for a couple of days at that.
These tears to me were a sign of release but also shyness because I was not
sure how my boyfriend ex-boyfriend or family would have taken it. Oh yea did I mention I cut
it myself, with the help of a friend? If there is one thing I learned, it's to make sure to know what you
are doing with your hair at all times! When I showed my parents they yelled at
me so much because I cut it unevenly and they believed that my natural hair was
disgusting. There faces and words both read  “You are so stupid”.  Calling me "Felix" instead of Felicia. And again I relapsed,
falling heavy into a state of depression, receiving micro braids  to cover
up my “naturalness”. I was way too afraid to show my boyfriend  ex-boyfriend.

As time went by I kept watching and
reading materials to maintain my natural roots because there was no
turning back from it(for me at least). Although I was unsure of myself I knew
that a self esteem change had to occur in my life if I ever wanted to live with
a smile again. Therefore I took out my hair on August 5th and went to a
salon and had them trim it evenly. When I walked out the salon I took a deep
breath and said “I Love me!”

I receive comments on my hair every day, most of them go something like this “OMG you cut your hair? I wanna go natural but I don’t have the guts to do it!” When I get comments like those I smirk and think, “if only they knew...” To this day my boyfriend and I are still together and he adores my natural hair. I believe it is growing on him and he would like for me to keep it in a "fro" so he says.  Today I am with a lovely guy, my highschool crush and he thinks my hair is amazing....If I remember correctly he said "I wish my hair would curl like that" lol.

For all my Natural Chicas or Transitioning sweethearts out there my advice to you is stay educated hydrated and happy. This journey is nowhere near easy! You have to experiment with your hair because just like snowflakes, no two heads are alike. What might work
for me, might not work for you. But if you are transitioning don’t give up,
because trust me, finding yourself behind the chemical stunned ends is worth
it. Love yourself above all and don't let society define your life!

My Natural Hair Journey Video can be found here with my pics: 

Weight gain and weight loss can be one of the most vulnerable topics to engage in with others if you currently struggle with self-image. According to WorldOmeter (http://www.worldometers.info/weight-loss/), there are approximately 2 billion people who are considered overweight in addition to the approximately 9 million people who pay for weight loss programs nationwide. Of course, the determinant of being overweight is highly contingent upon on a person’s BMI constructed by the World Health Organization. Nonetheless, I have become overly disgusted with the amount of money spent on weight loss programs that don’t seem to work. Where does the cycle stop?


After all of the facts, you are probably still wondering what the secret to weight loss is, considering my rant on the reliability of weight loss programs.

Soo…


What the number one secret to weightloss?

Friends

Friends?
Yup that is correct! Friends are the number one secret to weight loss. Now let me explain why.



The Fitness Journey....

Back in January 2017, I was in a strong hibernation mode, and refused to leave my comfort zone despite my negative self-image UNTIL one day one of my friends on Instagram posted a photo of the infamous squat challenge. Of course every girl wants a thicker lower half, so it motivated me to engage in the challenge. If you know me, when I see a good challenge I love to share, so I forcible included my friends to join.
Though we all completed the challenge I still wasn’t thrilled about my thirty day thicker thighs, and still needed a little something extra. 

Little did I know that the very same squat Challenge would become a catalyst to my journey to fitness.


Prior to My January challenge, in November of 2016, Syreeta, a very long time standing friend of mine, encouraged me to buy a FitBit due to it’s effectiveness with helping her lose weight, and of course there was a sale at Nordstrom’s. So I scooped up the Fitbit for a really low price with every intention on utilizing my life tracker. Unfortunately, I didn’t use the device until the end of March, and noticed that it became the micromanaging supervisor of my life. To learn more about that experience be sure to check my article 9 Lessons Learned from my FitBit.


So it is now March 2017 and I have gained all of these Fitbit friends because of Syreeta’s push for me to purchase the watch, and I am really engaging in the challenges to get my steps in. As mentioned previously I love to share a good challenge therefore I shared the joys of having a Fitbit with my friend Whitney, who then later started wearing her Fitbit. Our joint goal was to feel better and to look great while wearing a swimsuit in the mall. Most of you probably had to reread that sentence because it didn’t make any sense to you. But trust me it makes sense! Whitney also had a wedding to look great for so she was very adamant about making fitness her lifestyle!

Both of my friends Syreeta and Whitney introduced me to various fitness apps and social media pages that increased our abilities to keep the hope of fit bodies alive! Conjointly and subconsciously my friends joined me on this fitness journey without evening knowing.

I’m still a little confused about the number one secret to weight loss......

Without the motivation, whether it be direct or indirect, I would still be 20 pounds heavier and view myself as “less than”. These two ladies helped me to gain hope, and allowed me to join other similar health interest groups online. I believe the main component missing from ineffective weight loss plans are genuine motivational and accountability partners. Both Whitney and Syreeta helped me to change my mindset because they too had similar mindsets. Fitness became my outlet and daily bread!

Surround yourself with likeminded people. Sure, you’ll have friends who will always say, "hey let's go grab some pizza, or let's get that 4 for 4 deal at Wendy's," and you will want to grab that deal because rewarding yourself is great! But everyone will need that one person to remind them of their goals and help to push past the temptation.

As a result of my friend’s help, I was able to curb my appetite and change my eating habits. Of course I love French fries but it is not the first thing I reach for anymore! I much rather have my delicious Ideal shape Shake, and feel less guilty than to have my French fries that will later go to my hips!


What's the bottom line:


Unlike the highly regimented programs to weight loss that stress counting calories and exercising, building lasting friendships and accountability partners are the TRUE specific driving forces!

I can honestly say that motivation from my friends was the number one secret in losing 20 pounds fast. I had
numerous attempts before that included fancy devices and weight loss plans which all ended in failed attempts. I am not discounting those techniques because they all serve a purpose, but I strongly believe change occurred this time because of the community I built! 
→My friends were there to remind me that the cookie dough milkshake would only be a temporary fix.
→ My friends were there to help offer me alternative meal ideas. 
→My friends were there to tell me about the cool new apps to help on my weight loss journey!
→My friends were present to share awesome cheat meals that sometimes turned into weeks but then united to pull our big girl panties on to get back on track.


Some additional devices that helped me on the journey:
MyFitnesspal
Keaira Lashae Fitness Dance Workouts 

For additional motivation be sure to check out my friends' Instagram pages:
Syreeta: @Syrenity_
Whitney: @Inlovewhit_

Whether you have created a network on your cool Fitbit app, or reconnected with college friends to share a common weight loss goal, these relationships are vital to reaching your goals! So what are you waiting for? Who are you going to ask to help you lose 20 pounds fast?


The Secret to Losing Over 20 pounds FAST: Nearly Perfect Weight Loss

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Weight gain and weight loss can be one of the most vulnerable topics to engage in with others if you currently struggle with self-image. According to WorldOmeter (http://www.worldometers.info/weight-loss/), there are approximately 2 billion people who are considered overweight in addition to the approximately 9 million people who pay for weight loss programs nationwide. Of course, the determinant of being overweight is highly contingent upon on a person’s BMI constructed by the World Health Organization. Nonetheless, I have become overly disgusted with the amount of money spent on weight loss programs that don’t seem to work. Where does the cycle stop?


After all of the facts, you are probably still wondering what the secret to weight loss is, considering my rant on the reliability of weight loss programs.

Soo…


What the number one secret to weightloss?

Friends

Friends?
Yup that is correct! Friends are the number one secret to weight loss. Now let me explain why.



The Fitness Journey....

Back in January 2017, I was in a strong hibernation mode, and refused to leave my comfort zone despite my negative self-image UNTIL one day one of my friends on Instagram posted a photo of the infamous squat challenge. Of course every girl wants a thicker lower half, so it motivated me to engage in the challenge. If you know me, when I see a good challenge I love to share, so I forcible included my friends to join.
Though we all completed the challenge I still wasn’t thrilled about my thirty day thicker thighs, and still needed a little something extra. 

Little did I know that the very same squat Challenge would become a catalyst to my journey to fitness.


Prior to My January challenge, in November of 2016, Syreeta, a very long time standing friend of mine, encouraged me to buy a FitBit due to it’s effectiveness with helping her lose weight, and of course there was a sale at Nordstrom’s. So I scooped up the Fitbit for a really low price with every intention on utilizing my life tracker. Unfortunately, I didn’t use the device until the end of March, and noticed that it became the micromanaging supervisor of my life. To learn more about that experience be sure to check my article 9 Lessons Learned from my FitBit.


So it is now March 2017 and I have gained all of these Fitbit friends because of Syreeta’s push for me to purchase the watch, and I am really engaging in the challenges to get my steps in. As mentioned previously I love to share a good challenge therefore I shared the joys of having a Fitbit with my friend Whitney, who then later started wearing her Fitbit. Our joint goal was to feel better and to look great while wearing a swimsuit in the mall. Most of you probably had to reread that sentence because it didn’t make any sense to you. But trust me it makes sense! Whitney also had a wedding to look great for so she was very adamant about making fitness her lifestyle!

Both of my friends Syreeta and Whitney introduced me to various fitness apps and social media pages that increased our abilities to keep the hope of fit bodies alive! Conjointly and subconsciously my friends joined me on this fitness journey without evening knowing.

I’m still a little confused about the number one secret to weight loss......

Without the motivation, whether it be direct or indirect, I would still be 20 pounds heavier and view myself as “less than”. These two ladies helped me to gain hope, and allowed me to join other similar health interest groups online. I believe the main component missing from ineffective weight loss plans are genuine motivational and accountability partners. Both Whitney and Syreeta helped me to change my mindset because they too had similar mindsets. Fitness became my outlet and daily bread!

Surround yourself with likeminded people. Sure, you’ll have friends who will always say, "hey let's go grab some pizza, or let's get that 4 for 4 deal at Wendy's," and you will want to grab that deal because rewarding yourself is great! But everyone will need that one person to remind them of their goals and help to push past the temptation.

As a result of my friend’s help, I was able to curb my appetite and change my eating habits. Of course I love French fries but it is not the first thing I reach for anymore! I much rather have my delicious Ideal shape Shake, and feel less guilty than to have my French fries that will later go to my hips!


What's the bottom line:


Unlike the highly regimented programs to weight loss that stress counting calories and exercising, building lasting friendships and accountability partners are the TRUE specific driving forces!

I can honestly say that motivation from my friends was the number one secret in losing 20 pounds fast. I had
numerous attempts before that included fancy devices and weight loss plans which all ended in failed attempts. I am not discounting those techniques because they all serve a purpose, but I strongly believe change occurred this time because of the community I built! 
→My friends were there to remind me that the cookie dough milkshake would only be a temporary fix.
→ My friends were there to help offer me alternative meal ideas. 
→My friends were there to tell me about the cool new apps to help on my weight loss journey!
→My friends were present to share awesome cheat meals that sometimes turned into weeks but then united to pull our big girl panties on to get back on track.


Some additional devices that helped me on the journey:
MyFitnesspal
Keaira Lashae Fitness Dance Workouts 

For additional motivation be sure to check out my friends' Instagram pages:
Syreeta: @Syrenity_
Whitney: @Inlovewhit_

Whether you have created a network on your cool Fitbit app, or reconnected with college friends to share a common weight loss goal, these relationships are vital to reaching your goals! So what are you waiting for? Who are you going to ask to help you lose 20 pounds fast?


Happy Sunday Nearly Perfect Peeps,

You all know how much I LOVE Gaetana and her Jewelry Line. If not, head on over to my previous post about Satin Doll Company. Today I will make this very short and sweet. Bask in the beauty of my Naturally Coco Pukalet Dangle wood earrings which can be found here. They are my goto earrings when I want to look somewhat formal but earthy! And of course white goes with everything!

Use the Code: CIAE20 to get 20 dollars off





Dress: Bandage White Dress
Watch: Marc Jacobs Rose Gold

Satin Sundays! ft. Satin Doll Company Jewelry

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy Sunday Nearly Perfect Peeps,

You all know how much I LOVE Gaetana and her Jewelry Line. If not, head on over to my previous post about Satin Doll Company. Today I will make this very short and sweet. Bask in the beauty of my Naturally Coco Pukalet Dangle wood earrings which can be found here. They are my goto earrings when I want to look somewhat formal but earthy! And of course white goes with everything!

Use the Code: CIAE20 to get 20 dollars off





Dress: Bandage White Dress
Watch: Marc Jacobs Rose Gold

We hear it countless times throughout the work day, and sometimes even try to catch ourselves before we fall into that deep hole called stress. But do we really know what it means to de-stress and practice self care?  Or what do you do when counting to ten doesn't work and your fist is nearly squared up with your coworker's jaw?

I have outlined 5 self care activities you can engage in to destress. Some of these are probably even behaviors you never considered.

1. Engage in Intimate Sex

Sex is said to be a natural stress reliever! Believe it or not when we engage in intimate relations we release a chemical called Oxytocin.  Oxytocin helps to release endorphins and as you know endorphins helps us to feel excitement and increases our moods. Without endorphins we would feel depressed all of the time and stressed. So before you go calling people nymphos, which is so highly negatively connotated, think of these happy friends as "Joy Seekers" (it's the therapist in me that endorse these positive reframes!)
*Disclaimer, It is my personal view that sex should remain wholesome, I do not endorse sexual promiscuity, and I do still believe in intimate relationships, and those intimate relationships that are shared between married couples. If you don't like my views you can hit the red button in the top right corner. If you don't mind my views keep reading!


2. A Casual Shot here, a Glass of Wine there

Often times, people view drinking as a negative activity. Little do they know, drinking also releases
Source
endorphins, and if you remember from above, endorphins are the happy chemicals that you release that make you feel good! This self care activity gets tricky though, because there is a fine line between a casual sip and intoxication. If you have had a hard days at work and can't seem to shake the stress, why not reach for the Pinot Noir or the Cup Cake Chardonnay you have laying around.
Again, I do not endorse alcohol abuse and if you are currently recovering from a past addiction please do not put yourself in harms way for a relapse.



3. Be a Couch Potato


"Self care is about tending to your own needs. Not society's needs, and not your best friend's needs.  "
Most slogans lately have some type of physical aspect attached to them ie, "Just do it" "Get up and move". Though exercise is one of the number one activities to engage in when you are undergoing stress, sometimes we don't want to be active, and giving into laziness is just what you need to unwind. Watch that funny storytime on Youtube or even catch up on the latest episode of Power! Whatever it takes to fulfill that desire for mindlessness, DO IT! Self care is about tending to your own needs. Not society's needs, and not your best friend's needs.


4. Boy Bye/ Girl Bye

The inability to let go of people may be our biggest enemy in society. But sometimes a simple "Boy BYE" may be sufficient in de-stressing. We can't please everyone and we sometimes carry the weight of the world on our shoulders with hopes to feel commended in the end. But NEWS FLASH! We aren't superheros, and that assignment your supervisor drops on your desk at 4:45pm when you are scheduled to leave a 5pm deserves a middle finger!


source

5. Splurg

Yea yea yea..."millennials are spoiled....millennials don't know the value of money....millennials, who gives a FUDGE?" If you have a little pocket change and those news Jays are calling your name, Buy it! Why? Because you are practicing self-care, and spending money on yourself for a change is all the love you need. You work pretty darn hard 5 days a week, so why not buy something that will flaunt your hard work. Though that new Prada bag isn't even 1/2 of what you're worth, you will still feel good wearing it!

What unconventional self-care habits do you have? Drop a comment below.

Sex and Four other Behaviors That Count as Self Care

Friday, August 4, 2017

We hear it countless times throughout the work day, and sometimes even try to catch ourselves before we fall into that deep hole called stress. But do we really know what it means to de-stress and practice self care?  Or what do you do when counting to ten doesn't work and your fist is nearly squared up with your coworker's jaw?

I have outlined 5 self care activities you can engage in to destress. Some of these are probably even behaviors you never considered.

1. Engage in Intimate Sex

Sex is said to be a natural stress reliever! Believe it or not when we engage in intimate relations we release a chemical called Oxytocin.  Oxytocin helps to release endorphins and as you know endorphins helps us to feel excitement and increases our moods. Without endorphins we would feel depressed all of the time and stressed. So before you go calling people nymphos, which is so highly negatively connotated, think of these happy friends as "Joy Seekers" (it's the therapist in me that endorse these positive reframes!)
*Disclaimer, It is my personal view that sex should remain wholesome, I do not endorse sexual promiscuity, and I do still believe in intimate relationships, and those intimate relationships that are shared between married couples. If you don't like my views you can hit the red button in the top right corner. If you don't mind my views keep reading!


2. A Casual Shot here, a Glass of Wine there

Often times, people view drinking as a negative activity. Little do they know, drinking also releases
Source
endorphins, and if you remember from above, endorphins are the happy chemicals that you release that make you feel good! This self care activity gets tricky though, because there is a fine line between a casual sip and intoxication. If you have had a hard days at work and can't seem to shake the stress, why not reach for the Pinot Noir or the Cup Cake Chardonnay you have laying around.
Again, I do not endorse alcohol abuse and if you are currently recovering from a past addiction please do not put yourself in harms way for a relapse.



3. Be a Couch Potato


"Self care is about tending to your own needs. Not society's needs, and not your best friend's needs.  "
Most slogans lately have some type of physical aspect attached to them ie, "Just do it" "Get up and move". Though exercise is one of the number one activities to engage in when you are undergoing stress, sometimes we don't want to be active, and giving into laziness is just what you need to unwind. Watch that funny storytime on Youtube or even catch up on the latest episode of Power! Whatever it takes to fulfill that desire for mindlessness, DO IT! Self care is about tending to your own needs. Not society's needs, and not your best friend's needs.


4. Boy Bye/ Girl Bye

The inability to let go of people may be our biggest enemy in society. But sometimes a simple "Boy BYE" may be sufficient in de-stressing. We can't please everyone and we sometimes carry the weight of the world on our shoulders with hopes to feel commended in the end. But NEWS FLASH! We aren't superheros, and that assignment your supervisor drops on your desk at 4:45pm when you are scheduled to leave a 5pm deserves a middle finger!


source

5. Splurg

Yea yea yea..."millennials are spoiled....millennials don't know the value of money....millennials, who gives a FUDGE?" If you have a little pocket change and those news Jays are calling your name, Buy it! Why? Because you are practicing self-care, and spending money on yourself for a change is all the love you need. You work pretty darn hard 5 days a week, so why not buy something that will flaunt your hard work. Though that new Prada bag isn't even 1/2 of what you're worth, you will still feel good wearing it!

What unconventional self-care habits do you have? Drop a comment below.

Source


We all have that one natural hair guru we stalk on Instagram or YouTube, and we are downright proud to be a part of their notification gang. But do we really know what it took for them to achieve such social media fame? Did they really become influencers over night or was there some kind of secret we weren't told? Here are 5 things you did not know about being a natural hair influencer.

1. ALL natural hair influencers have hands in hair syndrome

It is impossible to be an influencer and not have our hands in our hair all day. We are constantly trying new styles to put on our snap chat or Instagram stories. And truth be told we have an image to upkeep. God forbid we go a week and not share a new style or post a new method to make lives easier. Hands in hair syndrome is not the greatest syndrome to have because constant manipulation of your hair can sometimes slow growth. But for our fans, it is worth the risk.


2. Consistency is key because Natural hair influencers are entertainers

That’s right, this here is a major key alert! You cannot be an influencer with a great following and expect people to follow you if you aren’t consistent. Think about it. We know every Sunday at 10pm we need stop our lives, sit on our couches and tune in for Power on HBO. Just like the television world, the only way to maintain viewers, followers, friends ectara is to consistently upload and keep your audience entertained. This does not necessarily mean you must post a picture the same time every day, however keeping a constant schedule does help maintain the consistency. If you are a YouTube channel, you also may want to stick to a specific day or time so your viewers can return to your page knowing there is a new treat for them.


3. Natural Hair Influencers are indeed product junkies


We don’t want to consider ourselves hoarders because by all means we do not do these things intentionally. We do however become product junkies because we must be abreast of the newest eco styler gel or natural hair product line. We often get products sent to us for free in exchange for an honest review which also adds to the collection. But who would say no to free products? I sure didn’t!

4. We enjoy protective styles, we get frustrated too

As much as we love creating new styles for our followers and fans, we absolutely enjoy having the extra time on our hands to just relax. Doing our hair is time consuming and acts as a second job. Being able to just get up and go in the morning without unbraiding or bobby pinning makes life feel like a vacation.


5. Natural hair influencers appreciate inspiration

Believe it or not, everyone is inspired by someone. And even though some influencer may have millions of followers, there is certainly someone else who we have looked up to and have been inspired by. It doesn’t necessarily have to be another influencer, it could be just another lovely natural hair beauty that has encapsulated our phone screens. Nonetheless, inspiration is what helps build our content which in turns builds our status!


What other secrets do you know about Natural hair gurus? Share in the comment below!

5 Secrets Natural Hair Gurus WON'T Share

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Source


We all have that one natural hair guru we stalk on Instagram or YouTube, and we are downright proud to be a part of their notification gang. But do we really know what it took for them to achieve such social media fame? Did they really become influencers over night or was there some kind of secret we weren't told? Here are 5 things you did not know about being a natural hair influencer.

1. ALL natural hair influencers have hands in hair syndrome

It is impossible to be an influencer and not have our hands in our hair all day. We are constantly trying new styles to put on our snap chat or Instagram stories. And truth be told we have an image to upkeep. God forbid we go a week and not share a new style or post a new method to make lives easier. Hands in hair syndrome is not the greatest syndrome to have because constant manipulation of your hair can sometimes slow growth. But for our fans, it is worth the risk.


2. Consistency is key because Natural hair influencers are entertainers

That’s right, this here is a major key alert! You cannot be an influencer with a great following and expect people to follow you if you aren’t consistent. Think about it. We know every Sunday at 10pm we need stop our lives, sit on our couches and tune in for Power on HBO. Just like the television world, the only way to maintain viewers, followers, friends ectara is to consistently upload and keep your audience entertained. This does not necessarily mean you must post a picture the same time every day, however keeping a constant schedule does help maintain the consistency. If you are a YouTube channel, you also may want to stick to a specific day or time so your viewers can return to your page knowing there is a new treat for them.


3. Natural Hair Influencers are indeed product junkies


We don’t want to consider ourselves hoarders because by all means we do not do these things intentionally. We do however become product junkies because we must be abreast of the newest eco styler gel or natural hair product line. We often get products sent to us for free in exchange for an honest review which also adds to the collection. But who would say no to free products? I sure didn’t!

4. We enjoy protective styles, we get frustrated too

As much as we love creating new styles for our followers and fans, we absolutely enjoy having the extra time on our hands to just relax. Doing our hair is time consuming and acts as a second job. Being able to just get up and go in the morning without unbraiding or bobby pinning makes life feel like a vacation.


5. Natural hair influencers appreciate inspiration

Believe it or not, everyone is inspired by someone. And even though some influencer may have millions of followers, there is certainly someone else who we have looked up to and have been inspired by. It doesn’t necessarily have to be another influencer, it could be just another lovely natural hair beauty that has encapsulated our phone screens. Nonetheless, inspiration is what helps build our content which in turns builds our status!


What other secrets do you know about Natural hair gurus? Share in the comment below!
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