August 29, 2016

Why Natural Hair STILL Matters

pic courtesy of CreateHerStock
I was thinking of writing a post on natural hair because of a conversation an acquaintance and I had over the "lack of growth" of my natural hair. Then I read about Pretoria Girls High School in South Africa and I KNEW I had to express my thoughts.

Let me preface this convo with my definition of "natural hair". Natural hair is relaxer free. Again this is MY definition. Now, let's talk about this Pretoria Girls High School hair thang.

My hair life, like many women of color (WOC), consisted of years of processing, straightening, relaxing, and hours at a beauty shop. Don't get me started on Easter Sundays. I'll never forget sitting in the kitchen with a jar of Royal Crown and smoke billowing from the pressing comb on the stove as I flinched each time the hot comb inched towards me. "Stop flinching", my mom would warn as the comb slid down my curls straightening them along the way. 

This whole natural hair thing wasn't for me. I loved the look on some but the big chop and TWAs (teeny, weeny afros) wouldn't look good on me.

One day, a friend suggested I wear my 'natural hair'. Then one day my hair got wet when I showered. Getting your hair wet unexpectedly for some WOC is major but I didn't freak out. I shampooed my hair ("shampooed", not "washed" – 'you wash laundry, you shampoo your hair' – PSA courtesy of Levern). I towel dried my hair, looked in the mirror and said "I'm rocking these curls today" and off to work I went. I received so many compliments on my hair and thus began my natural hair journey.
Women do some thangs to our hair don't we? We straighten, relax, perm, braid, twist, crochet, press, cover with wigs, and so much more but no one seems to care UNTIL we wear our hair naturally. Take the case of Pretoria High School in South Africa. The school's hair policy – yes, HAIR POLICY states: “All styles should be conservative‚ neat and in keeping with a school uniform. No eccentric/fashion styles will be allowed."

“Cornrows‚ natural dreadlocks and singles/braids (with or without extensions) are allowed‚ provided they are a maximum of 10mm in diameter. Singles/braids must be the same length and be the natural colour of the girl’s hair.”

It's 2016. We live in a world where access to education is limited to some solely because of their gender and PHS wants to talk about hair. Are you serious? Hair isn't the issue. Natural hair is NEVER the issue. *fist in the air*


August 27, 2016

5 Things to Know Before You Set Sail to Cozumel

I've been planning a cruise for a long time.  Keyword, "I've".  Cruising is a hard sale for Hubby but I think I may have just sold him on taking our very FIRST cruise later this year!  *applause! applause!!*  
Our Traveling Diva, Roz T, of Southern Divas and Dudes, is cruising to Cozumel, Mexico next week and offered to share a few tips with first time cruisers.  I'm sure these tips will come in handy as Hubby and I make plans to set sail soon.

1.  Make Sure Your Travel Docs are In Order

Don't forget your passport? Carnival highly recommends that all guests travel with a passport.  However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds U.S. citizens "You should always check with your cruise ship, travel agent and or destination country to confirm the requirements for entry into the foreign countries you will be visiting."  Always guard your documents when you travel.
2.  Don't Overpack
Pack the bare essentials:  toiletries, swimsuit, casual wear and formal attire.  Some cruise ships provide toiletries.  However, others may not so be sure to pack your fave toiletry items.  You're traveling to Cozumel and at some point you may want to dip your toes in the sand so pack your swimsuit.  

Casual wear is a must and be sure to check temps before you go and pack accordingly. 
Formal attire?  "Yes, formal attire is a must", says Roz T.  "Dress to the nines for the Captain's Dinner and enjoy the ambiance of 5-star dining."
3.  Attend the Captain's Dinner
Many forego The Captain's Dinner but Roz T suggests first time cruisers make plans to attend the Captain's Dinner.  Yes, there are some delicious dining options on board cruise ships, the Captain's Dinner is the creme de la creme.  
Most cruises offer 1 or 2 Captain's Dinners per cruise depending on cruise length.  The Captain's Dinner is a fancy-schmancy five star gourmet dinner and an opportunity to meet the ship's captain.   

4.  Get OFF the Boat
Although you're sure to find everything you can imagine ON the boat, be sure to get OFF the boat and explore the port of call.  Cozumel is a beautiful port of call and there are so many things to do.  
Explore much of what Cozumel has to offer from the 
pristine beaches to the historical ruins to museums and more.   
A visit to Senor Frogs Cozumel is on my Cozumel Cruise Bucket List
Roz highly recommends Senor Frogs Bahama Mama 
She stopped for a pic with the one and only Senor Frog

5.  Relax and Enjoy 
Whether you're on the ship... 
Or on the beach...

Roz final recommendation is to "RELAX and ENJOY your vacation."  

Have you been on a cruise before?  Where did you go?  

       What are your tried and true travel tips?    

              Let me know, leave a comment below.

August 25, 2016

My Fave 5 Lip Balms

I looked in my purse and I had 3, yes 3 lip balms. Sad huh? I hope not because I love lip balms. I've got glosses and flavors and salves and more. Love, love them all!

I always have a variety of lip balms in my purse, in my bag, in my car, in my wallet, everywhere 'cept my pockets. Lesson learned after washing a lip balm or two and forever ruining some fave jeans.

Here are my Fave 5 lip balms (in no particular order)

Bath and Body Works C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine: BEST gloss ever plus a powerful kick of mint! Super shiny and extra glossy and sure to leave your lips poppin'!
c o bigelow mentha lip shine
eos: Evolution of Smooth is the COOLEST lip balm ever. I've tried over a dozen eos brand lip balms and love, love, love them all BUT the Medicated Tangerine is my all-time fave. This orb-shaped balm contains shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamin E and goes on nice and smooth and spark conversation every single time others see me use it.

My kid received this in their BlogHer Hatch swag bag and loves it as well.  eos lip balms are also paraben-, gluten- and petrolatum-free.
eos medicated tangerine
Bath and Body Works C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve: Perfect lipstick base and this super-soothing salve will leave your feeling silky smooth. The healing rose extract does double duty as this moisturizer is great for hands, elbows and other chapped skin areas.
c o bigelow rose salve
Carmex Moisture Plus: I have a niece who absolutely adores original Carmex original. You know the Carmex in a the little white jar with that bold, yellow lid. Me, I liked it but hated the medicine-y scent. A couple of years ago Carmex introduced Moisture Plus Lip Balms and I was hooked. These stylish sticks are slim and fit in my wallet and leave my lips feeling and looking picture perfect. Smooches.
carmex mosture plus
Burt's Bees Blueberry & Dark Chocolate: This is the balm-dot-com! The blueberry and chocolate flavors complement each other and you will definitely notice the cocoa scent. As weird as it sounds, blueberry and dark chocolate works, plus it's Burt's Bees so you know it's all natural. Burt's Bees Blueberry & Dark Chocolate will keep your lips feeling soft and smooth throughout the day.
burt's bees blueberry & dark chocolate

These are my 5 fave lip balms.  Have you tried any of them?  What'd you think?  What's your favorite lip moisturizer?

Let me know, leave a comment below.

Easy Breakfast Burritos! Make 'Em, Freeze 'Em and Heat 'n Eat

It's back to school and time to make sure I send the kids off to school with a hearty breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all!

August 24, 2016

Lunching at Soul Fish Cafe'

I get excited whenever a new restaurant opens up, especially when it's within walking distance from my job. A few weeks ago Soul Fish Café, a chain restaurant based out of Memphis opened and I have been eyeing the place waiting for the initial "new restaurant" hype to die down before dining there.

Today it happened. My Dining Divas asked what's for lunch and I suggested Soul Fish Café. My suggestion was surprising since fish isn't my thing and the menu is filled with fish options. I know hard to imagine a place named Soul Fish specializing in, well, fish. *side eye/snark*

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