April 15, 2013

[on a positive note]

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Happy Monday!! This weekend thoughts of escaping and planing and plotting and  running away occupied much of my space. And in my heart of heart’s I know this is a VERY good thing. Entertaining one’s inner wanderlusts can often lead to some amazing things! There were also those other thoughts of opening new doors, walking through and continuing on a path I’d long abandoned simply because the mind does play tricks, and when you forget the way…you also tend to forget the why. But…

Today….

“I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can” – Neil Gaiman

Make it a good one…

April 12, 2013

Hello, Weekend!

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How was your week? Mine ended on a rainy note; we’re talking serious downpour, yellow cabs splashing buckets of rain water on perfectly clean jeggings. But the in-between? Was oh, so sweet! I’m a paper junkie, stationary whore if you’re fancy, and had the chance to check out the latest collections from the fun folks over at Post It. My brain was on a continuous color warp for the better half of an hour, and I was in HEAVEN. Alas, this weekend will find me tearing through obnoxiously cute washi tape, and making lists. Tons of lists. A wee birdie told me it was finally Spring time, and this go-round, I finally believe ‘em. Here are a few links to get your weekend started…!

Reading Season is fast approaching & I’m compiling lists!  Here’s My African Fiction Reading List

How to Eat Food Without spending hours in the kitchen

The Green Festival touches down in the NYC & the lovely Savvy Brown & Yoli will be speaking!

A woman has found thee perfect clutch. Love them all.

Dispatches from Rome. Felicia reminds me to always to think bigger.

Itching to see a bit of Kinky Boots

42. Some call it a love story.

LUSH folks are the coolest. DIY air fresheners | Rosemary & Lavender Hair Rinse | Back to Basics How to Wash Curly Natural Hair

Marie is the BOSS! “Is This All There is? How to Create a New Life Vision

More of this happening this year. A pop up flower shop in NYC this weekend!

Could you be allergic to your natural hair products?

 

April 9, 2013

Self Defined Natural | Addicted to Cyn

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It’s been a while since I introduced you guys to a gal that is self defined, amazing, inspiring and smart to boot! I’ve been a loyal reader for what seems like eons, and was thrilled to include her in this month’s Natural Hair section of ESSENCE Magazine. So this week we’re sailing on new wings and saying hello to new hair + style crush, Cynthia of Simply Cyn.

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Congrats on the success of your blog! When did you realize you had such loyal readers?

Its funny in the beginning, you wonder if they’ll keep coming back, you wonder if anyone is really reading, but there’s been so much love and support, also a lot of mutual admiration with other bloggers. Sometimes I’ll get the sweetest comments and messages or maybe even get recognized on the train and then it hits me. It’s all been a very enriching experience.

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 Where did your love for handmade and all things Etsy stem from?

Etsy was like a drug during my wedding (hence my blogname), I was on that site so much. So many lovely things, handmade to boot. I don’t have one crafty bone in my body- maybe I have a little craft but it only occupies my pinky, that’s how little. So it was really about my admiration for these artists and truly thinking they needed more exposure and that I would do what little I could to give them some additional shine.

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It takes some women a few years to hit their “style stride.” Where did inspiration spring up for you? 

I would say it started on the streets of NYC. I’d watch and be so envious of the style I would see and how some girls could really put things together. It moved online to bloggers and easy access to tons of cool street style pics. I also love magazines …so today, its a combination of everything I see. I pick and choose what I like, until I create something I like, something I’m comfortable in, something that’s more me.

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How would you describe your style aesthetic today?

Most of the time its pretty laidback, chill. I have never been able to put a label on it. I almost think someone from the outside looking in might be able to describe it better. For me, it’s simply what works.

Any similarities from your day job to your blogging ‘job’?

Not in the least. I’m an attorney. I’m in court on anything from trusts and estates litigation to medical malpractice etc. There is absolutely no overlap between both worlds. When I’m not in court, if I’m just in my office, I can jazz my style up more to be less stuffy.

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Where do you source inspiration for your outfit posts?

First my closet.  I just stare at what I have and see how it can come together. Other bloggers, their instagram feeds, (beg, borrow, steal ideas haha). Magazines: they help me know whats in stores, whats coming soon.

How does being natural fit into your overall sense of style?

Being natural for me has been about acceptance. Accepting who I am as I am. I know that its not that deep for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. But for me, I became much more confident and it shows and I think it all started with me saying, stop trying so hard to change who you are. It used to be so frustrating for me because my natural hair’s texture would fight back so hard when I used relaxers. There was a point where I needed a relaxer every few weeks, then my hair would fall out and I was miserable and I just hated everything. Style has a lot to do with being happy, comfortable and confident. There’s a reason why two people can wear the exact same outfit and you get two different outcomes.

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Current covet list? 

BEAUTY: I keep makeup simple but I really just got into skin care, like proper skin care, moisturizing, serums, exfoliating etc.  I am in love with TARTE products and splurged on their Maracuja Oil which I love. A little goes a long way, that bottle is probably gonna last me forever. But now I wanna try all the other Face Oils. The Marula Oil and Fresh Seaberry Oil. Someone told me you can find some less expensive and just as great brands on Amazon, havent been able to check that out yet.

HAIR: I’m probably the last person on this but  I intend to finally try Oyins Juice and Berries. Also while I liked Shea Moisture hair color I just used, I’m also tempted to try Garnier’s new Olia (60% Olive Oil) hair color. Reviews have been mixed and color is always scary but its only hair- right??

FASHION: I love designer collaborations and hope they keep them coming. Not every item or collaboration is going to be a success but usually you can find one or two really great items. I’m due to swing by Kohls (never thought I’d say that) to check out Derek Lams line.

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 Can you share your idea of the self-defined woman today?

She’s like a guided missile, not distracted or detracted by those around her. She is comfortable in her choices whether they bring good or bad. She accepts her faults and works her pluses.  She may not know exactly what she wants but she tries. I don’t think the self-defined woman is about being perfect or right or even successful in the eyes of others. It’s the woman who can say without worrying about judgment (cos we as women tend to care a little too much about what everyone else thinks), this is my path, this is what I’m doing, this is what I’m about.

Favorite quote you’d take with you anywhere. 

There’s so many, but one I try to hold on to each day, especially on tough days : “Live, Laugh, Love”

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Make sure to check out this month’s issue of ESSENCE Magazine to catch more of Cynthia and her favorite natural hair picks!

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April 9, 2013

The Refutation of Good Hair

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In her latest project, The Refutation of Good Hair, Nakeya B examines the idea of ‘good hair’ as consumption, comparable to plates of traditional African American cuisine. The idea? “The new visual interpretation criticizes the ideology that certain hair types are “good” which insinuates that hair types not fitting into that standard are less desirable and less beautiful. The series is a close examination of beauty, identity, and the Black womanhood in this current day and age.”

originally spotted via The GOOD GOOD
April 8, 2013

[ON A POSITIVE NOTE]

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Cover Girl and ambassador for all things self empowering, Janelle Monae graces the May cover of ESSENCE Magazine looking incredibly beautiful! Happy to see a woman as talented and gracious as Monae dish on how she stands up to the pressures of the industry.

“Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy. I like skirts and dresses like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people and young girls there was another way”

On her signature coif, the pomp!

“When I’m not onstage, I make sure it’s moisturized and sitting like a nice plant getting fertilization.”

How she handles the pressures of being perfect

“It was getting in the way of me being great and enjoying the process. Now I’ve become more fearless. I’ve become more unafraid to mess up. As long as I’m honest, giving my all and not allowing anything prior or after to fill up my mental space, then I’m good.”

For more on the interview, check out the May issue, on sale now! Plus, I take it back to the Salon for tips on choosing the right stylist for you + some awesome bloggers spill their natural hair secrets!

April 5, 2013

Hello, Weekend!

Last week was unexpected. In a good way. There were welcome Easter traditions to take part in; moments to reflect, power down & clear the mind for the welcoming of Spring. And surprisingly there was this. Good music haunts me when I hear it, and the voice of Gregory Porter lifted me up for the first time in quite a long time.  The first initial listen blew me away, so much so…I took to wiping a few tears. That good? Yes.  This weekend there’s hope lurking for even more new discoveries. Here are few links to get it all started…!

A congregation of strong willed women are doing the collective LEAN IN thanks to Sheryl. Get Familiar here here & here

Oh, Anita! Your new Curl Conditioning Clay Hair Wash looks good enough to eat!! Fro is giddy to try.

Throwback Mixology with a l’il Jill Scott Jawn. Can still jam to this 3 years later.

Healthy & Yummy Root Chips that are oh! so pretty | PB&J Blondies (gluten free!) | Must try Vegan/Gluten free Breakfast cookies

Post Scandal Ritual (are you guys watching?!) via Luvvie | Vulture | Glamour

This just might jumpstart my lost love of graphic novels. Relish. My Life in the Kitchen

Had the pleasure of previewing the new Angela Davis documentary, “Free Angela” a few weeks back, and this I say to you (yes, YOU) now. Go see it.

Three Paths Toward a More Creative Life | oh…and you’ll need this too

Kim is BACK! Showing you how to LUV properly | 3 DIY Protein masks for dry & damaged hair | The Healthy way to dye your hair 

Remembering Roger…. | “Most People choose to write a blog. I needed to.” RIP