3 Things That Inspired Me To Go Natural

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hey there Curlies!

I'm really excited about this post so let's dive in! I'm finally at a point in my life where I'm happy with my curly crown.  So below are the top 3 things that inspired me to go natural.

1. Needing a change

This picture was taken a few days ago :)

When I decided to go natural I was transitioning from a season in my life I wasn't truly happy with.  Before making the physical choice to go natural I had to make the mental choice; and that took a very long time to come to terms with.  I was so set in my ways of straightening my hair day in and day out, that no matter all the warning signs, and how much my mother nagged about the damage I was causing my hair I couldn't stop, because for so long I thought I wouldn't be accepted if I didn't straighten my hair. I cared more about my perception of what other's thought, that I wasn't being true to myself.  Thankfully my life took a turn for the better.  The people who truly cared for me started encouraging my transition and I began to build the confidence I needed to just be me.

2. Curlista/Naturalista Influencers
This was definitely my second step in recovery thank you Youtube & Instagram.  After getting to a place where I decided to accept the crown of curls God blessed me with. I did some research and  realized there were other girls who had the same struggles as me at one point in their lives and then overcame them.  Alba from SunkissAlba,  I feel, is the godmother of all curly girls in our social media generation.  She had all the goto videos, tips and tricks.  I watched and continue to watch her channel faithfully because she was my virtual cheerleader.  I also enjoy watching Hifelicia and SweetSandy on Instagram.  It is truly inspiring to see these girls use their platforms to encourage other curly girls to embrace who and what they were meant to be.  Curly hair is so unique, fun and versatile.  It's something to be proud of, not something to be embarrassed of or try to change to please others.

3. Becoming a Product Junkie
(this was the fun part)

This one is totally a selfish reason, but I found an excuse to buy and try new products.  

What girl in her right mind would give up an opportunity like that? 

I went on a product shopping spree and tried everything and anything tailored to wavy, curly and coily hair.  I was beginning to nourish the relationship between my curls and I.....  I was wooing my hair lol.  I spent A LOT of unnecessary money at times, but I was willing to try and do whatever it took to make my curls happy.  I am giggling while writing this because of how ridiculous it sounds but its so true.  Over the last two years I have found products there is no way I would EVER put in my curly crown again and also my holy grail staples (which I ALWAYS have in stock) lol

I can honestly say I'm happy.  I am happy because I am comfortable in my own hair.  My curly crown is crazy at times but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It is part of who I am and I refuse to hide it.  

I am Confident & Curly.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.  What motivates you to embrace who you are? (Curly girl or not. ALL are welcome)


January: A Month in Review

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have you ever taken the time to sit back and reflect on the day or week you just had?

Today, I want to take a moment and reflect on January 2017 the first month of this mostly unwritten year.  I believe it is so important to take time to think and process the things that have passed to be able to figure out what worked and what didn't.  Where I struggled and where I saw victory.  Reflecting on my actions and decisions gives me the tools I need for the future.  I am not the same woman today I was on January 1st 2017  because thanks to taking the time to reflect I now know exactly how I want to proceed this month to make it a productive one.

Last month started with a bang for me.  I was determined, It was a new year and I had all these projects I wanted to conquer and the drive to achieve them but then life happened.  I have been struggling with some chronic health issues which has been tough. Last month I felt like I was grieving the person I used to be because everything had come to a head and I didn't realize that all of these projects/goals were taking a toll on my health and I wasn't able to juggle everything at the same time.  Not only did my goals for 2017 suffer but my home life and work life did too.  I had to take some time to have a big cry and get all of my frustration out of the way.  I do not accept defeat easily and I am so thankful for the support I had from my loved ones (especially my husband) in encouraging me to take time to sort things out to see where I was and how to move forward.

I was slowly letting things slide and that was super frustrating to me.  Every day when reviewing my planner there were so many things left undone and I was so discouraged. The last week of January I was able to start piecing things together and make progress.  I realized that my goals had become a burden instead of being something enjoyable. I was scrolling through the fitness page I am a part of and stumbled upon a recommendation for The Purposeful Home Podcast.  This series has only started and has already helped me so much. The girls that host the show give steps on how to achieve your goals with a purposeful mindset. That is exactly what I needed. It was a huge reset button for me in a good way. I realized it was okay to leave some things undone for the time being and how to rearrange my priorities to get the right things done. I am slowly learning how to live my life with purpose and how to do everything with purpose. They encouraged listeners to pick a phrase/word to define their year instead of setting resolutions. Something that transcends into all aspects of your life. This was a new concept, but it really got me thinking.

It was super easy for me to come up with my word/phrase because it seemed to have been popping up everywhere in my life this past year and at the start of 2017. I chose the word COMMITTED. Only because as much as I am a lists person and like to get things done when I say I will.  I also need to be able to give myself the appropriate amount of time and not be so hard on myself when things don't work out as planned.  My race now is very different than what it used to be and I have learned to accept that and am attempting to live within the season of life I am going through.

So if there is anyone sick of failing at their resolutions or the goals they have set. Take a moment to reevaluate how your approaching your goals and truly examine if that method works for you.  If it doesn't don't be afraid to branch out and look for other ways.  What's important is that you don't give up.  I sure wont!

Anyone that has made it this far and read the whole post, thank you.  I know it's a bit of a ramble but I truly hope this is able to impact a life and encourage you to pursue your dreams this year.

Thanks for stopping by.


January Empties

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Today I decided to do a product empties post to keep you updated on some of the products I have been loving. Hope you enjoy my January Empties!

1. L'Oreal True Match Foundation

This foundation has been my holy grail for about 5 years now.  I love the lightweight duey consistency.  The shades I tend to go back and forth between are W6 and N7-8 depending on the time of year.  I would highly recommend this foundation because not only does it give me great coverage, it's affordable and comes in a vast variety of shades with warm, cool and neutral tones.  L'Oreal has prided itself on being an extremely inclusive drugstore brand with a match for everyone. During summer months I love to go for the N7-8 Lumi foundation because it gives my skin that added healthy glow.  During the colder months I tend to go for the W6 true match because it not only gives great coverage but it dries down to a beautiful matte finish. The longest wear time I get with the foundation alone is no more than 6 hours.  When I prime and set with powder I tend to be able to get a good 8-9 hours out of it which is perfect for work and any sort of weekend activities. I love that it is a buildable foundation. I don't always love a full face on so it's nice to have a product I can adjust and enjoy everyday.   

2. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

I will preface this by saying this is the only Micellar Water I have tried so I am not sure how it compares to others but I have absolutely been loving it. This cleansing water does exactly that, it cleanses and removes the layers of makeup on my face after a long day of work preparing it for my nighttime skincare routine, or first thing in the morning freshening up my skin before applying my makeup.  It thankfully doesn't have a strong scent and does not sting my eyes which for me are huge because I have pretty sensitive eyes and enjoy a product I can use all over my face without worrying about a negative reaction.   

3. Bath & Body Work's Champagne Toast

Typically around December I go to Bath & Body Works for one specific product, this lovely candle.  It is extremely fragrant  filled with scents of champagne, wild berries and tangerine zest. It will fill up the whole house in a matter of minutes.  It is not overpowering by any means but is an inviting happy scent if that makes any sense.  It's my feel-good-give-into-winter-candle and is one of the few products that makes this season bearable for me long after Christmas has come and gone, thank you New England life! Unfortunately it is only sold during the late fall/winter season so I try to load up on 2-3 candles every year so that I am not left wanting.

4. Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Masque

This is the first product in this Shea Moisture range that I have tried and I was genuinely pleased.  I loved using this for my curly hair as a deep treatment mask when I took those extra long showers and pampered myself.  Not only was the scent light and fruity but the product itself was super moisturizing and had great slip and added a great deal of softness to my hair when it was time to detangle and get out of the shower.  I absolutely enjoyed this product and will be repurchasing very soon.

So there you have it, a few of my favorites from last month.  What were some products you enjoyed during the start of the new year? Leave your comments or blog post links below.

Thanks for stopping by.


The Best Conditioner for Curly Hair (Prt.2)

Monday, January 23, 2017

I hope you've had a chance to read part one to this series here and that it has helped someone find the best conditioner for their curly hair. 

This next one was a pleasant surprise. The Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist. I never thought this brand could work for my curly hair.  No matter how many commercials I saw I always seemed to roll my eyes at the television and just ignore the possibility of this deep conditioner doing anything for my curls. 

Then, one day I was over one of my best friend's house and after spending an amazing afternoon hopping back and forth between the pool and hot tub I had to wash the chlorine out of my hair and that's where it hit me that I never thought to pack shampoo and conditioner.  This was all she had in her shower so although I was a bit apprehensive I had no other choice but to give it a try.

I am so glad I did, because within seconds I could tell my hair had taken a liking to it.  Besides smelling amazing and being creamy and thick in consistency.  This conditioner lived up to its name.  It was a MIRACLE.  Not only did it moisturize my hair but it allowed me to detangle my curls within minutes.  My hair was happily bouncy and perfectly coiled.  Every strand was protected and did not frizz after air drying. So of course I had to stock up and get a few bottles for myself. I couldn't just ignore the results. I was even more excited to see it on sale at my local Target 2 for $5!!  It was like Christmas in the middle of summer. When I'm in a rush and on the go this is my go-to product in the shower because I know it works fast and efficiently.

Leave a comment below with your favorite conditioners or any blog post you might have about your favorite conditioners. 

Thanks for stopping by!


The Best Conditioners for Curly Hair (Prt. 1)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hey there Curlies!

When I started my hair journey I did the same thing many curly girls do.  I ran out and bought every conditioner advertised for curly hair because I knew my curls needed moisture and LOTS of it. Some products worked and some didn't.  It was all trial and error. I quickly realized I had to condition (see what I did there) my hair to return to its natural state. Some products that were my holy grail when I started this journey are no longer in my shower with my must haves and that is perfectly fine because my hair is changing and reacts to certain products now better than others. Here are two conditioners I have been using steadily for the better half of this process. 

1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow Leave-In Conditioner

This product was a total game changer.  Not only was I able to use it to detangle my curls in the shower but I was also able to leave it in for styling afterwards leaving the softest & bounciest curls possible behind. 

 This Leave-In contains Organic Shea Butter which moisturizes and conditions the hair and scalp, the Jamaican Black Castor Oil is loaded with omegas that promote hair growth and Peppermint which stimulates the scalp.  

I love to use this leave in product when styling my hair because it truly does work and my curls love it.  I especially like to use it after having my hair straight for a week while I transition back to my curls. The scent was not my favorite at first but it grows on you and the effects of the product absolutely outweigh the smell.  This 16oz bottle retails at most locations for $10.99.

2. Silicon Mix

This little baby is a Dominican staple which makes me a bit proud of my heritage.  My mom used this in my hair when I was a little girl.  The scent brings back such fun memories.  I know there is a lot of controversy as to wether you should use silicone products in curly hair but it works wonders for me and truly helped speed up the restoration process.  

It's an intense hair treatment that I like to leave in my hair for about 30 minutes wrapped in a towel to retain heat.  I like to use this treatment once a month. When I rinse my hair it's left smelling wonderful, feeling soft and silky.  

If used as a styler you might have some product buildup left behind because of how intense this treatment is. I don't usually use it to style other than what's left in my hair after my shower. I am able to just add water on second and third day hair and easily revive my curls. I purchased this 8 oz. trip down memory lane for $5.39 at Target. 

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a few products to look into.
What conditioners do you find help restore and keep your curls?  Any product recommendations?

Come back next week for two more conditioners I've also been loving!

Thanks for stopping by!


Curly Hair Check In

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hey there Curlies!

I hope you enjoyed my last post and are having a great year so far.

Today's post is about

 I wanted to take a moment to catch you all up on my curly hair progress. It's been  a little bit over a year since I started taking proper care of my hair.  I've been using products made especially for curly hair as well as keeping my hair curly 70% of the time.  I like to straighten it once every two months for about a week to check on my length.

For a while I felt like there was no growth or improvement.  I was using all the right products, washing 1-2 times a week, co-washing and doing deep treatments but it wasn't until about 4-5 months into it that I actually started to notice a difference in my hair.
During those first few months, because I was terrified of the words "Big Chop", I trimmed my hair every month a bit at a time where I thought it needed it the most.  Then at about the 6th month I finally did it.  I didn't care how many inches were coming off I grabbed the scissors and never looked back.  I cut every single strand of hair that looked the slightest bit straight.  I remember thinking if I'm going to do this I'm going to do it right although I hated how short my hair was.
I hated even more trimming it every month and never being able to see any progress. 

 The first few months since the BIG CHOP I noticed that my curls were shinier,  bouncier and more defined, I wasn't shedding nor was my hair breaking as much as it used to on the ends.  I was super excited but even then I didn't notice any growth.  Little did I know that my hair was in fact growing but it was more so repairing itself from the inside out.  

So I kept with it. 
Making sure I was eating healthy meals, taking my vitamins, drinking plenty of water, using the right products and using protective hair styles.  I was finally at a place where I was happy with how my hair looked when it was curly.  And when that happened, I kid you not, I started to notice growth. I started writing down my hair length measurements every other month making sure to measure the bottom, mid section, sides, top and my bangs.  I wanted to see how it was all growing because I knew not every section was the same length.  Sure enough my hair was growing half an inch to an inch every time I recorded it. It's grown a total of 5-6 inches in 8 months.  
I am one happy Curly Girl! lol

I write all this to say, that I hope this post will be able to inspire anyone who is struggling with their curly hair and who would like to make 2017 the year of your curls.  It's definitely a slow and frustrating journey at first but it will be so worth it in the end.  We were given such beautiful locks and they deserve to be cared for and shown off.  Don't be afraid to take that leap of faith.  I promise you wont regret it.  

Below are a few progress photos of my journey. Hope you enjoy!

My next post will be about some deep conditioning products I have found to help lock in moisture and that help with curl definition. Be on the lookout for that post if you're interested in some new products.

Thanks for stopping by!


New Year New Goals

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year Curlies!!

I know it's been a long time since I posted on here but all of that is about to change.

2016 was a tough year for me for various reasons.  But this year I dont want to start out like other years and say "New Year, New Me" I'm the same girl I've always been I just have greater goals and have decided to stay committed to those goals so that I can end this year with as much energy and enthusiasm as I started it. So, here we go!

1. Staying Organized

I find that my biggest struggle is often quite simple, staying organized.  I have all these great ideas and things I want to do but instead of writing them down and breaking down steps on how to fulfill or accomplish these goals I get overwhelmed trying to do them all in one go; or I just forget what my great idea was in the first place. lol  
My bestest chum must have known this somehow because one of my Christmas gifts from her this year was a Planner.  Aaannnd I love that thing!  When thinking of how to set up my planner so that I was productive and staying on task I decided I would set up my current monthly calendar with basic things such as date nights, birthdays, paydays and appointments.
But am only detail one week at a time.  
Setting a small goal such as completing all my tasks for one week will encourage and give me the motivation for the following week and will prevent me from setting myself up for failure.  I am not sure how this will work seeing as we are only in the first week, but so far I have accomplished 20 tasks I set for Sunday - Wednesday with blogging being the 21st task so I would say I am on a pretty good roll.  And none of those tasks were work related.  They were all personal and baby steps to help me stay on target this year.  If you haven't invested in a planner for 2017 I highly recommend it.
It's so much fun crossing something off of your to-do list once you have completed it!

2. Being Present

I have come to find I can be consumed by my electronics; my iPhone, iPad, MacBook and all the apps that come along with.  But this year I want to challenge myself to being present.  Truly enjoying the company of those around me.  There is nothing wrong with checking in with social media or browsing YouTube or the TV but when it consumes us life becomes unbalanced what will our memories be about? I would much rather spend a night playing a game of cards and chatting than sitting in front of a TV watching other people live life.  There is so much beauty around us and so much we can learn from the people within reach that sometimes I feel we lose sight of that and I for one want to get that back and make meaningful memories in 2017 by unplug from time to time. 

3. My Walk With God

I've noticed that when things get tough I tend to internalize and shut down and that is exactly what I have done over the course of 2016.  When things got tough instead of running towards God I slowly drifted away and my walk with him and spiritual life suffered for it.  I am not saying I was always in the valley but I know for sure I wasn't on the mountain top nearly as much as I could have been.  I was lost somewhere wandering around on the mountain lol. 
For Christmas I gifted my two best friends a bible reading journal and got one for myself too. It has truly helped my walk with God so much in the last two weeks.  Because it holds me accountable and it bugs me when I miss a day and have a blank page or the dates aren't consecutive.  I want to strengthen my walk with my Savior because He is my source of strength and things just work out so much better than I could have ever imagined when I put my cares in the hands of the one who loves me more than anyone in this world!  

4. Blogging

I started this blog to track my hair growth journey and to help girls who were as scared or as skeptical as I felt when I did my big chop. But I think I only posted a hand full of times and my desire for 2017 is to recommit to my blog and post on a more consistent basis.  I still don't know how often, I just know that I would like to continue documenting my curly hair journey as well and reviewing current products I am loving.
And just as a quick update, its been 13 months since I decided to focus on making my hair healthy again and I am very proud to say it's grown 5-6 inches since the big chop and my curl definition has increased so much! I am truly looking forward to putting a post together detailing my progress. 

5. My Health & Fitness

This one is very special to me and is my biggest goal yet.  For the last 10 years of my life I have been struggling with some very frustrating health problems.  Not only was I unable to do the things I wanted but I was flying in the dark.  I had no idea what was causing me to struggle with some of the most basic functions so many take for granted.  It has truly been difficult for me and very discouraging but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and although I have some pretty big fitness/health goals.  I plan to achieve them over the course of this year by setting small goals that will help me reach my overall goal because I refuse to set myself up for failure.

I'm so glad I got that all out there lol.  Less clutter in my brain :)
I hope you all enjoyed this post and that it encourages some of you to set some goals for 2017 that are important to you and that will set you up for the greatness you are destined for!

I'd love to hear some of your goals for 2017.  Feel free to post them down below or send me a link to your blog.  I am always looking for girls to inspire and motivate me.

Thanks for stopping by!  See you all next week!

xoxo Mia

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