Nov 4, 2019

Where to go for Knotless Box Braids in Chicago

Last month when I was in Chicago, I got knotless box braids for the first time... and after only having them for 12 hours, I fell in love. HARD! Although I live in Seattle now, Chicago is still my hometown and I wanted to spread the word about where everyone should go to get the best #KnotlessBoxBraids in the city!



I got my braids done by a woman on the North Side named Mimi (IG:@mibelle_beauty). I was referred to her by a girlfriend whose knotless box braids looked amazing (I was obsessed with them) and she told me she'd gotten referred to Mimi after asking a random girl in the bathroom who did her braids. Do you follow all of that? I know it's a bit extra. All of this is to say, referrals are powerful when your work speaks for itself... and so many amazing things can happen in the women's bathroom!

I've had braids a million times over the years, so I considered myself a bit of a pro going into this experience. Still, my mind was blown wide open when I finally experienced knotless box braids for the first time. I filmed this video to capture the true essence of my joy because I knew typing out a blog post alone wouldn't do them any justice.

Leave it to an amazing braiding experience to really make me blow the dust off my blog... even if statistics show that people only read on average for 17 mins a day, vs 2.5 hours/day spent watching their content (read: why I originally posted this video to Instagram weeks ago lol).

I've already referred a few folks to Mimi via Instagram, but I love making hair content available online (plus for SEO) to make it more accessible to people outside of Instagram.


Chicago Braider: Mimi
IG: @Mibelle_Beauty

The best way to reach Mimi is via her IG account (you can DM her). Note that a deposit is required to book with her (deposit is applied towards your final cost). She's located on the North Side of Chicago and braids out of her home. I thought her service was super professional and I appreciated her patience working with me via IG to solidify details (size of braids, size of parts, hair color(s) to use). I also loved that her work was extremely consistent! If you end up booking with Mimi, tell her I sent you!


Tip: Whenever you're booking with a stylist, it's nice to show them inspo pics of work they've actually done when you're going to them for a particular style. It shows that you've done your research and are coming to this because they're strong in the area of your desired style. 





Annoying Co-workers, Doxxing on Reddit, Vegan Propaganda on Netflix, and We're Finally Planning Our Wedding After Being Engaged Nearly 1.5 Years (Season 2 Episode 3)

On this week's episode... Mike and I worked from home (WFH) and discovered who the more annoying co-worker really is, I learned why I need to protect my identity on Reddit and what doxxing actually is (and how I kinda, sorta doxed someone 10+ years ago), the latest vegan propaganda film we watched on Netflix and how it sparked us to make more diet changes, and we're FINALLY PLANNING OUR WEDDING (*in my Oprah voice)! We share the process of planning our wedding, why we waited nearly 1.5 years to start, why I won't be changing my last name, our decision to keep separate bank accounts and how we're approaching discussing finances! 





Oct 28, 2019

Netflix Rhythm + Flow Finale, Why We'll Never Go To Another Nightclub in Seattle, and How Mike is Using His FitBit Data To Learn Tableau (Season 2 Episode 2)

On this week's episode... the winner of the Netflix hit show, Rhythm + Flow, was crowned and we have a lot of thoughts, we explain why we were in line for over an hour (for a club in Seattle) and how we'll never go to another nightclub again, how Mike made it to 30yo without knowing what bottle service was, and how he's using his FitBit data to learn Tableau PLUS our very first listener question!

Rhythm + Flow Aftershow





Oct 21, 2019

New jobs, Netflix's Rhythm + Flow Predictions, and How Succession on HBO Healed Mike's Motion Sickness (Season 2 Episode 1)

We're back!!! Mike and I took the summer off to get new jobs and enjoy our lives... but Fall is here, the weather is already turning for the worst in Seattle, so we're back recording our little podcast and binge-watching TV! On this week's episode we catch you up on our recent career changes, the top 3 series we're binge-watching, predictions for Netflix's Rhythm + Flow (the finale is Wed) and how Succession on HBO really did heal Mike's motion sickness!

As always, be sure to like and subscribe... and thanks for listening!





Apr 19, 2019

Just The Tip Podcast: Episode 8 - My Neighbor Towed My Car, Game of Thrones is Back, Beyoncé Took All of our Edges and Mike Discusses Workplace Love Languages

Y'all this week has been a doozy! I came home to find my car had been stolen TOWED BY MY NEIGHBOR (down the street) because I parked within 5 feet of their driveway. Yes, that's a real thing! I just learned that in the city of Seattle you can't park within 5 feet of someone's driveway (or a curb). Like, this applies to ALL driveways and curbs even when there isn't any paint calling out any restrictions. In a city of mainly transplants, how the eff is anyone supposed to just know that!!

While the police don't normally ticket for this type of thing... especially in this crowded ass city... if a neighbor calls in a complaint then they will issue a violation. Basically, Petty with a capital P. So, yeah... $272 later, I have my car back, a court date, and advice from the Circuit Court of Seattle that I should "also call and get my neighbor's car towed" - which nearly makes my head spin!

What else - Game of Thrones is back, so we bit the bullet and added it back to Hulu. Anyone else feel pained adding HBO for an extra $14.99/mo? Just us? Oh, okay lol...

We also pose the question: How do you tell your upstairs neighbor that you don't appreciate being woken up at 3a by the loud sounds of them getting their back blown out... without sounding like a hater? Like, sis... I'm all for you catching an Orgasm, but like, 3am really? Oh - this is also the neighbor I thought died... so yeah, should I just continually catch this L? Should I wear ear plugs? Should I bang on the ceiling? I need your suggestions!

Do you know your workplace love language? Mike is reading a book for work and breaks down how to show your co-workers you appreciate them.

If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, checkout the sickening nail art set my bae Peka did by clicking here


Apr 2, 2019

Just The Tip Podcast: Episode 7 - You don't have to be fat, poor or unhappy

Hey Friends! Mike and I took a few weeks off to travel and live a bit of life, but we're back with a new episode. Mike is down 15 lbs and Ishea is now on the MyFitnessPal bandwagon, we talk about paying off debt and financial literacy, and Ishea's new project: Balanced Brown Girl!


How I save money: 
Digit App

Balanced Brown Girl:
http://www.balancedbrowngirl.com/

Megon's Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/megonshoreclay/

Ego's Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/lordego1/

Apr 1, 2019

The Best Dog Bed for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs: Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed (Headrest Edition)

Khaleesi is a large dog (80+ lbs) and I'd started noticing her groan every time she got off her previous dog bed. On top of that, her breed (German Shepherd) is prone to hip-related issues as they age, and I'd become concerned about how stiff she seemed to be after laying on her bed. We'd always used the typical dog bed you find at TJ Maxx or Petsmart, which can be cute, but are admittedly not that supportive for a large dog.

Wanting to test out how her bed felt, I sat on it and sunk to the floor. Obviously I weigh considerably more than my dog, so I tried just placing a hand on her old dog bed and was shocked I could feel the hard wood floors underneath us. In that moment it became obvious that despite having what seemed to be an okay dog bed, my little pup was basically laying directly on the hard floor... thus, it wasn't a surprise that I was noticing her groan and become more stiff.

I started doing some research on orthopedic dog beds for larger breeds I could invest in and kept seeing reviews for Big Barker. The price was expensive compared to what we'd paid for a bed in the past, but I couldn't deny the fact she needed something better and this would be a solid investment.

After reading countless reviews, we decided to purchase the Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed (Headrest Edition) for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs in the size Extra Large (XL). The bed was definitely a splurge costing $279.95 on Amazon, but 6 months later is still holding up and one of the best investments I've made for Khaleesi's well-being.

The below video is a look at unboxing plus first impressions of the bed. Something particularly impressive is that the XL bed held the weight of Khaleesi, Mike and myself without sinking in! That's a whole lot of lbs on there.

If you have a large or extra large breed dog, this is the perfect dog bed for your fur baby and the only one you'll ever need!

Perks: 
1) Machine washable microfiber cover
2) 10 yr warranty
3) Calibrated for Large and Extra Large breed dogs!  (FYI: This bed is too hard for small dogs)


Mar 22, 2019

Air Drying & Diffusing Curly, Natural Hair Wash 'N Go Style to add Volume + Length Check

Remember back in the day when every natural hair bloggers was obsessed with doing length checks? When I was at the height of my hair blogging days (read: back when I used to be a vlogger for NaturallyCurly.com), I never really got into doing length checks. I remember debating if I should hop onto that wave (it seemed like standard natural hair content folks wanted to consume), but always felt so many of us were consumed (in an unhealthy way) with growth and yearning for our hair to reach that magical "BSL" (bra strap length) that I doubt many enjoyed the journey transitioning to natural hair and all the stages of growth.

If you went natural before 2012, think back and try to remember how many times you enjoyed the process of transitioning, doing a big chop, learning the quirks of your kinks or curls... how many can you recall? When I think about it I am flooded with memories of being a product junkie on a never-ending search to find the magic cocktail of products that would ultimately make my hair look like something other than what it actually was. So many moments of frustration, sprinkled with a few highs of nailing a style and feeling the f*ck out of myself. It all makes me chuckle now, but there was such a huge disconnect between learning to love and accept my natural, natural hair... not just idolizing some "perfect twist-out." I'm seriously a whole grown ass woman and JUST mastered a wash 'n go. Just fell DEEP in love with my natural hair in its natural state, with minimal manipulation. I'm talking about a REAL wash 'n go where you wash your hair, maybe add 1-2 products tops, shake and go!

I hope this doesn't sound like I pulled out my megaphone and high horse... but every time I rock a wash 'n go nowadays it blows my mind how adamant I was that this style was NOT for me. Never. Ever. I'd spent a lifetime not knowing my natural hair, spent all of 2 seconds with it and determined what "didn't work." Life is funny and time (and age) is a blessing.

Anyways, last month as I was getting ready in Vegas and admiring my curls, I felt inspired to film a quick video showing how I air dry my hair and use a diffuser to add volume! What makes all of this even better? The fact I've been getting curly haircuts by Alexis @ Coven Salon in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle. Alexis is a dope chick, the co-owner of the salon and my go-to person for curly haircuts and hair color. Also - when your stylist has healthy, beautifully cut and colored curls and edges that are thriving, you trust her!

Don't know what a "curly hair cut" is? I'm sure the concept of a cutting curly hair while in its curly state has existed as long as people have had curly hair... but in terms of what's relevant to our generation, the curly haircut was coined by DevaCurl and the DevaChan salon in 1994!

What works for me may not work for you. With that said, this is what has been working for me and giving me SOLID results each time:

1) Wetting hair in shower and using a bit of Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner. to detangle/refresh curls. It has the perfect amount of thickness and slip, and my hair soaks this stuff up!

2) I usually finger detangle and if necessary use my shower comb to rake through my hair while it's under running water. This is also when I choose where I'd like my part to be (I usually rock bangs, but still choose a side to part my hair on for bangs to dry correctly). Getting the base "shape" for my hair while I'm still in the shower, with freshly detangled hair, under running water with SOAKING WET HAIR is the key for me.

3) When I get out of the shower I typically have wet hair (not soaking - I do a light wring on it) and then apply whatever product I'd like to it. Right now I'm mainly using only 1 product - DevaCurl's Super Stretch! I rake it through my hair and it's pretty amazing. If my hair is feeling a little dry (I just got fresh balayage color), I'll follow-up with a bit of Camille Rose Naturals Herbal Tea Seal & Soften. A little goes a long way.

4) Turn on a good playlist and shake, shake SHAKE my hair

5) I suggest waiting for your hair to be at least 75% dry (if not more) before using your diffuser. I extend my hair from the root, but do not disrupt the curls. I make sure the heat of the diffuser is hitting my roots and volume/lift is added at the roots.

If all of that still has your spinning, eyes rolling or you just prefer a visual, check out the video below! Also - for everyone who has said a Wash 'N Go style isn't for them... I urge you to give it another try!


Mar 20, 2019

Dinner with Strangers: #KUOWCuriosity Club


Many thanks to KUOW's Community Engagement Producer Kristin Leong and the KUOW Staff for editing my story! To read the edited version on their site click here. Below is my original, unedited story documenting my #KUOWCuriosity Club Pop-Up experience.
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“Do you think we’re living in a post-racial society?”

As soon as the question left his mouth, my head instinctively swerved around and I chuckled while letting out a resounding “No!” When I applied to be part of KUOW’s Curiosity Club last Fall, I jumped at the chance to be part of a diverse group of thinkers living in Seattle. As I sat at the dinner table searching the faces of the other cohort guests; most shared my same look of bewilderment. In my desire to be part of the curiosity club community, I overlooked the idea that space would truly be made for all perspectives, and admittedly didn’t expect a question like this to be asked. I couldn’t figure out if my KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up cohort member was asking this to be provocative or if he actually thought the answer would be yes, but I didn’t hide my shock and surprise at this being asked in a non-rhetorical way. Never one to bite my tongue, I told him (and the group) that we could look at the current leadership in our country and strained race dynamics playing out every hour of every day, to answer this question.

As a black woman working in media/tech in Seattle (and living in this country), conversations about race are ever present in my life and not something I shy away from. Exploring race during a dinner party with strangers was inside my wheelhouse, yet I didn’t expect to have this question posed to the group… and definitely not from a fellow person of color (PoC). I guess you can say this was one of the key moments that stood out during the inaugural curiosity club pop-up dinner and sparked curiosity within me - I couldn’t help but wonder if he actually believed we lived in a post-racial society? And if he didn’t believe this, why ask what could be considered such an unproductive question?

20 minutes into our KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up, I realized I live in a bubble. Despite having friends from various racial and cultural backgrounds, the majority of our beliefs are homogenous. I’d entered the dinner thinking highly of just how open-minded and opinionated I was, but quickly realized I found the “post-racial” question so jarring because it represented an opinion drastically different than that which I typically surround myself with. Deepening our conversation around race, I was delighted to hear KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy (she produced one of the stories we discussed) share that she’d handed over portions of the reporting of her story on 18 year old Millionaire Lavish (a black youth who detailed why he carried a gun) to a PoC man whom she felt would be able to better connect with Millionaire in a way she couldn’t and provide him comfort while sharing his story. Despite the piece not being one of my favorites of the night (I think there is a disproportionate amount of stories detailing the struggles of black youth, and not enough highlighting their resilience and accomplishments), sitting next to Patricia and hearing how she used her self-awareness, empathy and compassion to share Millionaire’s story warmed my heart. It should also be noted that she remained in touch with Millionaire and took a vested interest in him beyond just using him for a story. Compassion is where empathy meets action and we need more reporters like Patricia.

Created with the purpose of bringing together a group of strangers around surprising stories and great food, the KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up cohort had 1-night to see if we could transform ourselves from strangers into a community. KUOW’s Community Engagement Producer Kristin Leong did the work to bring us together, led the discussions and made space for everyone to share their stories... but ultimately taking the leap from strangers to community was up to us. 10 cohort members arrived as curious strangers with open minds, ready to be vulnerable and share our stories, but would we leave as friends? I’m happy to report back that not only did I hit off with a few cohort members and exchange info, but Dy and I got together a few days later for brunch! It wasn’t the biggest surprise for me that I hit it off with the only other black cohort member (which really shines a deeper light on the necessity of connection and community for PoC’s in Seattle). Dy and I realized we shared similar interests and knew mutual people, so it was a bit of a surprise we hadn’t met already… but I do credit the Curiosity Club for bringing us together and us for making the effort to get together afterwards. A wonderful reminder that you can lead someone to water, but you can’t make them drink… or more plainly, KUOW can create a great environment to meet new, diverse people, but it’s up to you to do the work to forge a deeper connection.

As I venture back into the streets of Seattle, forever changed by my Curiosity Club Pop-Up experience, I carry the stories of my cohort and feel inspired to expand the circle of people I’m around, diversify the perspectives I expose myself to and continue stepping outside of my comfort zone with the events I attend.

If you’re curious about how you, too, can channel the energy of the Curiosity Club, I challenge you to do the following:

  1.  Make eye contact with and say hello to everyone you encounter in a day. What did you notice? How did it feel?
  2. When is the last time you went to an event or class outside of comfort zone? In the next week, pick a class or event to attend and set the intention to connect with and exchange info with at least 1 person there. The next step? Make (and keep) plans to hangout!
  3. Create your own curiosity club! Invite 3 people to dinner and ask them to each bring a curious friend! Put a variety of topics and questions into a bowl and have everyone pick a question during dinner to get the conversation going.

Mar 12, 2019

Just The Tip Podcast: Episode 6 - Do you have Hemorrhoids?

1 in 20 people have them and 50% of people over the age of 50 have them, so odds are they're probably in your future! Do you know what they are? Hemorrhoids! This week Ishea and Mike share their journey to discovering if they actually have hemorrhoids... and why you'll probably get them too.

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