I’ve been trapped in a moment over the past few weeks where the constant question asked of friends & coworkers is – “what day is it?”
This past weekend I flew to New Orleans to take part in the 2013 ESSENCE Festival and while it was pretty much the most inspiring place you can be each year – surrounded by the empowering spirit of thousands upon thousands of African American women – I’m beyond exhausted. I’m talking physically & mentally.
So a woman is currently in the arms of her parent’s humble home, noshing on the luxury of home cooked meals and hugs…hugs…and fights over the remote. Good. Times.
Above is the only shot I could post relative to how awesome this year’s ESSENCE Festival was (2nd row y’all!!). Were any of you there? I have more pics to share & will do so upon my return to my little nook in BK, soon come.
While in the NOLA, I also picked up a box of the new Shea Moisture Hair Color System (now available at select Targets) at their pop-up store & am making plans. The 2nd half of this summer is looking oh so bright.
In the meantime, hope you lovelies are enjoying these summer days! Always make them count…
To think back on my first real paying job brings up the fuzziest of memories. I was in High School, 16 and urged a good friend to sneak me into this special program where I heard an actual paycheck was involved. See, my first job was tough. I’d stumbled on a therapists assistant position of monitoring and coaching autistic children at an after school program. Essentially, I learned the patience and know how of listening more effectively, and taking orders that in some cases meant life or death.
I remember sitting in a classroom while assigned to a child each day and wondering if I could really do it. From the smallest task of helping a young boy put on his coat (this often took several prompts, sometimes 30min) to helping a young girl eat 1 cup of yogurt (not as easy as it seems). But the fear was never of the kids or their toys, but of whether I could live up to the expectations of being someone that they could depend on to feel better & get through their assigned tasks. I’d known zero there is to know about autism (do many 16yr olds do?), who it affects, the why’s, the families it stood up to and tried to beat down. But I learned.
Because in the face of fear & the not knowing, I understood that it wasn’t at all about me. & when this happens, it does become that much easier to get over not only yourself, but also any annoying feelings of inadequacy.
Odd, because most stories I do hear of first job experiences typically entail a gross tale of burgers and atrocious customer retail flashbacks (the latter which I emphasize with wholeheartedly btw). But this? Was hard, and challenging, and stress inducing for a youngin who only wanted a few dollars to waist on clothes at Strawberry.
But I’ve no regrets. I learned then blossomed and felt the greatest sense of accomplishment having helped. I remember their names, David, Susie, Rachel & Wally & oddly enough still run into some from time to time.
Do you guys remember your first job? Did you learn any lifelong lessons from it?
Let’s be real, change is pretty much the one and only constant in the age of internety/social media things, just ask Facebook. So it really came as no surprise to hear Google’s announcement that they are doing away with the STILL much beloved Reader. How many of you guys currently use Google Reader? Are you pissed? I’ve heard a ton of mixed reactions across the board, but wanted to reassure you that the link to many of your online destinations, including this one, is still within reach;).
For the past four years I’ve been using Feedly to source my online RSS addiction, and pray that it doesn’t serendipitously crash with everyone converting over the next few weeks. Wait….so what is Feedly? Pretty much the easiest way to organize, sort and enjoy much of your favorite blogs and sites anywhere. While I loved the premise of Google Reader, the interface was beyond janky and left me seeing spots. Could never stay on for more than 10 minutes without taking a break.
Once I discovered feedly and was finally able to avoid the muck and enjoy simplicity, I began to enjoy keeping up with my internety peeps. Plus, it’s just so much prettier!
I’m able to download the app (for free) onto my web browser, smartphone and even tablet, making catching up with the latest news a lot easier.
Heck, options are still great right? NewsBlur is another great alternative. Google Reader will bid adieu on July 1st, so plenty of time to transfer your RSS. Click here for a quick Feedly walk through & here to learn more about NewsBlur and other geekery options.
Last week was BTC’s three year bloggiversary and because I’m just a few days late of throwing around some virtual confetti, I wanted to do a brief post to say THANK YOU for reading, commenting, e-mailing, FB’ing, twitter-ing…and however else we have communicated and shared tidbits on hair & life over the years.
There really are few times that I share much of anything truly personal here on the blog, yet after loosing a loved one last week for the 2nd time in six months a small sense of obligation did creep in. Six months ago, after loosing someone quite dear in my family, I aimlessly retreated (remember that?), went quiet and decided introspection was the only way to seek some sense. Was it the right direction to take? Doubtful. & yet there is a lesson that I’m learning today after coming to terms with another level of grief, and that is to keep going. No doubt this week will be tough, filled with more than a few tears and memories that will forever remain rough around the edges…but I am choosing not to go quiet.
This blog is quite dear to me in that I’m able to share a niblit of my life & personality that so very few people in my life could understand. That’s okay too. But however big….or little words I share here each week, I value because I hope to be sharing them with folks who have experienced similar circumstances (and lived…) or even those who have yet to.
The start of the new year is still in its euphoric stages, and I’ve hopes to brighten this space with more awesome natural hair bits! There are still a half-dozen or so product reviews on deck, even more Self-Defined women to introduce…and a fancy & fun weekly newsletter that’s been simmering for a bit.
In the coming weeks I’ll be retreating, only slightly to honor the memory of my family member…therefore the aforementioned BTC three-year celebration will be delayed until further notice. In the interim I’d love to get a head start on who will be attending! I’ve already confirmed a few peeps, but need to get a more accurate head count….so! If you’re in the NYC area, a reader of this blog (new or old!) and wouldn’t mind spending a brunch like afternoon noshing on cupcakes, and dishing on natural hair, email me for more deets: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Y’all are awesome…thanks for three lovely years!
Really can’t let this week wrap up without bidding you all a happy & safe Holiday! I’ll be ‘celebrating’ Christmas…in my heart at least. Gift giving is such a special act that I tend not to take it lightly and overspend out of guilt. To each their own…but a smile should last till the next year after opening up a well wanted/deserved present.
But in the spirit of things, I decored my nails with pretty colors and something that resembles a festive holiday! Picked up a few new colors from American Apparel and am really digging the pigments. Used Downtown L.A. & Army Jacket to create the look.
Since I’ve started to file and paint my nails each week, sometimes twice if I’m bored…I’ve experienced very dry cuticles. Once it began affecting the polish application I searched online for a quick at home remedy, and found this great recipe for a Tropical Cuticle Cream:
- 7 tsp. Cocoa Butter
- 6 tsp. Jojoba Oil
- 6 tsp. Avocado Oil
- 3 drops Tea tree Essential Oil
My guess is you can use pretty much any of these oils to soften and protect your nails from outside elements, but the cream (which feels more like a creamy butter) glides on very easily & a little is all you need. Vitamin E-Oil does the trick as well.
On a hair note, yesterday was my first plunge into the world of Henna, more specifically a Henna Gloss that I adapted from CurlyNikki’s site. Deets, recipe & results to come next week! Right now hair is currently in twists, marinating for a holiday party tomorrow evening.
…And on that note, have a great Holiday Weekend…embrace your loved ones & let’s all remember to remain in the spirit of the season;-)
Juggling a few projects so close to the end of the year always seems like the appropriate right of passage…and without making any exceptions, I’ve dived into just the right amount to keep me busy until the new year. It’s been fairly colder than cold on these parts of the east coast… and I’m talking long john wearing…neck warmer totting…once your ars gets home high tail it to the Snuggie blanket…type weather. I wish I could say I had time to look cute and style the hair accordingly this week….but I won’t. Fro was all about hiding away under twists, protective under a beanie hat and desperately needing to be left alone. I could not blame her…she’s given me POW POW hair for the past few months and it’s time to rest for a bit.
It’s the end of year, and I’ll be rounding up a list of Favorite do’s/don’ts/products… and a possible giveaway if I can ward off the shopping headaches. MEANWHILE…after reading Afrobella’s Winter Care Routine…a wonderful thing occurred. Whoever says the universe isn’t listening when you complain about fitymillion times for a satin lined hat to protect your tresses from the cold harsh winds…never met the natural hair community. HatSoMe is an amazing site filled a myriad of options for your hair this season…hats come fully lined and are doubly cute & stylish! Pick you up some hair protection & be not afraid to Whip Hair accordingly.
Below is a new music from one my favorite artists, Georgia Anne Muldrow. New single dropped today & you can snag it for free...fOnkRocker via iTunes, and listen to a preview of her entire album Vweto.
Still can’t believe the year is almost done!? Nostalgia is a funky thing…lest it not linger too long, there’s tons more work to do…