Oct 31, 2013

Black Barbershops in Seattle

I never understood how loyal a man was to his barber until my boyfriend and I moved to Seattle. One of the first things on his list of priorities was to find a barbershop to keep him looking clean. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack, but we managed to find a cool place and I wanted to share with everyone... help make the transition a bit easier and keep those hair lines in tact. Consider this a stepping stone towards finding a barbershop, and not necessarily the end all be all of Seattle barbershops.

Johnny's Barbershop
10101 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

- Haircuts are $25
- Johnny (the owner) and the Samoan dude (can't recall his name) are his go-to barbers
- Call ahead of time and schedule an appointment
- They don't cut fast, so be sure to set aside about 90 mins for your cut.
- Johnny (the owner) is from New York

Oct 29, 2013

"Where are the Black people?" #BlackInSeattle

One of the first questions I asked when heading to the Pacific NW was "where are the black people?" While I wasn't expecting the wonderful black folks of Seattle to fall into my lap, I was determined to get plugged into the black and blogging community to keep my social life (and sanity) in one piece. I reached out to anyone and everyone I knew in real life, or online, to see if they had contacts in Seattle. As of now I've been here 4 months and am still searching for my place.

Yesterday journalist Tonya Mosley began her #BlackInSeattle series on KUOW (the only radio station I listen to in Seattle).  While most people shared similar sentiments that it was challenging connecting with the black community in Seattle (with a black population of 7% it's easy to see why), there were a few that sang its praises. The issue at hand - - Seattle is great for natives, but with large companies like Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon bringing in more and more transplants, it's becoming hard to ignore how seemingly nonexistent the black community is here.

I will probably film a YouTube video about this so I can capture my rant on film lol, but I think my major gripe is that since I work in a traditionally white industry (advertising), it's very hard to be in that environment 9 to 5, and leave work only to be faced with the same reality. Mind you I've worked in advertising in different states across the country. Yes, I get it... I work in a majority white industry. That's another corporate rant... but life in Seattle would be a little sweeter if I could plug into a community of people that could relate. I'm not looking to recreate chocolate city lol, but being new to Seattle I wish there was an established something I could tap into.

On a lighter, more positive note... I was very excited about the twitter discussions and actually found some dope bloggers and other Seattle folks! Here's to hoping it was a push in the more social direction.

If you're black in Seattle, leave comment. Let's hang out! lol...

Oct 27, 2013

Operation: Don't Eff Up My New Growth

So... I've decided to "long term transition" my hair back to being 100% healthy and THICK! I've acknowledged the texture changes I experienced due to color, heat, life... who knows what else. Everything, perhaps? But a portion of my hair is comprised of ends that are technically "healthy" (no splits, etc) but thin. I have NO desire to be part of the TWA club, so a long term transition is on the menu. In all honesty, part of me feels a bit silly calling this a long term transition since I've been relaxer free for years now and originally transitioned back in 2009, but alas I want all-over thick hair. I've fallen in love with the thickness of my new growth and for once am my own hair lust.

Where to start? Like most things I just slowly started doing healthier things and then one day decided to actually "title" my new habits. I last colored my hair back in March/April, so all of the growth since then has been color free. I got my Brazilian Blowout last month, but through trial and error know that was never the cause to any permanent hair changes.

For those that are curious, you can check out my previous posts back in 2010 documenting the Brazilian Blowouts I received on freshly big chopped, natural hair... no color, no anything! The growth retention was awesome and I never experienced permanent changes to my texture.

You can also see that fresh off my big chop, and Pre- Brazilian Blowout, the front texture of my curls was always looser than the rest of my hair (picture to the right). It actually looks a little strange... but you know, hair can have a mind of its own!

Anyways, check out the below video to see my official start at documenting my journey. For the style in the video I used various sized  perm rods on flat twists. This was done on stretched hair, not blown out hair. The goal is to phase out the wispy, thinner ends and have thick, solid hair on my entire head.

Where are you on your hair journey?

Oct 21, 2013

Big Chop vs Long Term Transitioning?

Brace yourself for this video, because the difference in texture is beyond gnarly. When I first transitioned back in 2009, I lasted about 8 months and then big chopped in early 2010. At the time I was excited to get rid of my relaxed ends, but had NO CLUE how short my hair actually was. I have no desire to have hair that short again, so I've been toying around with the idea of long term transitioning and actually doing a healthy hair challenge.


I'm not one for a hair challenge. The idea just makes me instantly annoyed lol. It's weird, I know. But I've decided that I've tried so many things with my hair... I'm starting to wonder what it'd look like if I made a conscious effort to just simplify my routine and take care of it.

Just to have some balance, I'm not the type that goes OD caring about my hair while the rest of my body goes to shit. I've lost about 15 lbs since last year and since my body/health is progressing nicely, it feels only natural to bring my hair along for the ride.

Oct 16, 2013

"Why didn't you listen to your life?" - @Oprah

"Listening to your life as it whispers to you first, so that it does not have to knock you upside the head with a brick or come crashing down you as a brick wall, is one of the greatest principles of life because there are many things that happen in life that are beyond our control. Natural disasters, death, unexplained events. But there are also many, many, many things in life that we can control and become out of control because you're just not paying attention. You are sleepwalking through your life... Life whispers to you all the time. Your life is speaking to you. All around. From the time you wake up in the morning and every single experience that's coming into your personal space, into your physical space. All of those experiences are speaking to you. They're telling you something about your life and about your circumstances. It whispers and if you don't get the whisper, the whisper gets louder. If you don't get the whisper when it gets louder, it gets like a pebble, like a thump upside your head."

Mother Oprah is dropping a few pearls of wisdom. I just love her. She makes my heart swoon.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils

I've previously blogged about my love of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line, and once again I wanted to share with everyone how absolutely amazing this product is.

Besides loving a matte lip, I like to feel confident that my lip color will not smudge, bleed, or fade out during the day. Many products claim hours and hours of wear, yet fall completely short. Even lip balms will wear away and need constant reapplication. I wanted to show everyone what my "cruella" looked like after a typical day for me.

I didn't use a filter and took the picture in natural light. At 8am it was super concentrated and rich, as should be expected since I  had just applied it. By 1pm my lip color had survived a mug of coffee, bottle of water, oatmeal and sandwich for lunch. Still looking pretty good and hanging in there. By 6pm, I had more bottled water, greek yogurt, dried fruit and candy lol. You can see the color is still bold, but a little shinier and just starting to fade a bit in the middle of my pout (top of my bottom lip to be precise).

Throughout the day there was never a need to apply. However, if I had afterwork plans I would have touched it up then been out of the door! This is an amazing product and one that I highly suggest people try out. If you aren't located near a NARS counter, you can always venture to the closest Sephora and try on the shades in the store. The pencils retail for $25 and are worth every cent! This is a pencil and lip color in one. All you need to do it prep your lips for bold color by exfoliating them prior to use (matte colors are NOT forgiving on dry, crusty lips lol).

This is a video I filmed last year showing how the product lasted for a 12 hr day. Just realized it used to be $24, but is now $25 so ignore that price I quote in the video. You all know NARS is trying to get their coins lol.

** Sidebar: I never realize how much my hair has grown until I look back and realize how short it was lol **

Oct 11, 2013

Are you living a life worth remembering?

A few weeks ago I watched an HBO Documentary chronicling poet Edwin Honig's journey with Alzheimer's disease: First Cousin Once Removed.

Man... this documentary was heavy, as one could probably assume a story revolving around Alzheimer's disease would be... but more than that it brought into question how beautiful life truly is and the urgency with which we should be living it to the fullest.

Right now I'm admittedly in a weird place in life. I feel like I've been chasing this mystical stairway to supreme happiness. I run the gamut of feeling empowered and like I'm on the road to a happy, fulfilling life (the only one I feel is truly worth living)... while other times I feel lost and like life is kicking my ass -- taking my childlike optimism and shitting on it. Have I ever mentioned that I'm extremely emo and dramatic? Lol... welcome to my world.

So, while watching this documentary a question popped into my head: If you were faced with losing your memories would you have lived a life worth actually remembering?

Oct 10, 2013

Be Inspired: @curlBOX Founder & CEO Myleik

Lately I've been completely enthralled in all things Myleik Teele! Y'all... this woman is simply amazing and not simply because she birthed curlBOX... but her drive, determination, and results are beyond dope. Not to mention she keeps an instagram account that oozes swagu! Okay... I promise to never use that word again lol... but seriously, Myleik is the latest friend in my head. Actually, more than a friend in my head, she's my new mentor/role model! I love everything she's putting out.

If you want to be inspired take a look at Volume 1 of the curlBOX Documentary. For more videos be sure to follow the curlBOX YouTube channel and follow Myleik's instagram account for tons of inspiration pics.

Oct 9, 2013

Gold Herringbone iPhone Case

When I saw this gold and cream herringbone iPhone case at Best Buy this summer, my inner Egyptian priestess cried out with joy! My life force desires gold, gold, and more gold! I could seriously dip my essence in a pool of gold goodness and live out the rest of my days in bliss.

Anyways, fast forward to last night and imagine my glee when I saw one of my favorite HGTV designers, Emily Henderson, rocking the very same iPhone case! Yes, it's just a cell phone case, but she is one of my favorite designers so the fact that we share similar taste in cell phone accessories... well, I'm pretty excited! I'm officially a stylish cell phone user lol.

Everyone loves a deal, so I'm happy to report the case is now on sale at BestBuy.com for $19.99 instead of the regular price of $34.99. Mind you, I paid full price lol... but it was well worth it. The case snaps on and is very secure and has survived candy spills and a few drops. No cracks and more importantly my phone is safe and sound!

Click here to buy this amazeballs case.

On another note, I've had to replace my iPhone 4S twice in 3 months. The first time was due to the earpiece speaker breaking and the 2nd time the front facing voice speaker glitched out.

I must admit I wanted to throw my phone into something hard so it could shatter into a million emo pieces, but yeah... that didn't happen. I'm toying around with the idea of upgrading to an Android, but we shall see. Anyone out there jump ship from iPhone to Android and never look back?

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