The color black is often seen as somber and a color that we wear to mourn but it actually evokes the opposite feeling for me. As a child, my favorite color was red. Not just any red, but the brightest red possible. The color red brought me immense joy when I wore it. You couldn’t tell the 8-year old me nothing if I had on a red dress that I could twirl in. Twirl! Today, the color black does the same thing for me. Living in NYC makes loving the color Black even easier because I really feel like an all black outfit it is the city’s unofficial uniform. It is only natural that I fall in love with the color that my city reps.
We were in Battery Park City recently and the newly revitalized neighborhood is one of my favorite places to spend summer days in the city. We took the opportunity to use the amazing light to capture the beauty of the shades of black.
I’m going to be very honest with you. I have never been in a room surrounded by women from all regions of Africa before. I am Black and surrounded by Black women, mainly from North America and the Caribbean.However, in my 40-years on this planet, I have never been in a social setting with women who wear names like “Ngosi” and speak with accents that bear a flavor of British and Xhosa vibes. Well, it happened on Saturday, May 20th. There I was in a room, by myself, surrounded by magic. I rarely go to events alone but the idea of a potluck and the gathering of creative women drew me to attend. The potluck told me that there might be a communal and family feel to the event and there would be no need to put on airs of importance. You always get me with the word, “creative.” I have been on my own personal quest in pursuit of my own creativity so I found this event to be the perfect marriage.
I follow this amazingly beautiful and lively woman on Instagram named, Yolanda Sangweni. She is the Digital Content Director at Essence Magazine and founder of Afripop Magazine. Talk about a creative! She graciously hosted the African Women Create event in a most spiritual and IG picture poppin’ yoga studio in Brooklyn, named Minka. The rubber plants and greenery were so freaking dope. All of the crystals, incense, rose water and candles had my chakra in alignment and I was all feels.
The very good people at Head and Shoulders sent me a message asking if I was interested in getting styled by celeb hairstylist Sunnie Brook. Is that even a question? Heck yeah, I was interested. I messaged back Scotty Warp Speed to let them know just excited I was to have a phenomenal stylist lay some magic on my tresses.
I arrived at the “Beauty Box”, a small pop-up type salon at Head and Shoulders, and was greeted by the friendliest smiling face that was Sunnie’s. She immediately made sure I felt completely comfortable by proceeding to ask me about myself. I felt like I’d known her forever. That’s really the mark of a true stylist. You feel like she/he is a true friend.
I arrived with my curls and she began working her magic.
The first step in Sunnie’s process was straightening out my tighter curls using a flat iron. Invest in a great quality flat iron because it gets the job done in half the time because the heat is high enough to straighten without damaging your hair.
Snapping the ever elusive mirror pic. I can never get those right. We are almost done with the straightening.
Almost There. I have thick, curly hair so straightening can be a process but Sunnie’s technique is quick and painless.
Look ma, no curls! Lol. I would have walked out and had been perfectly happy with the bone straight style but Sunnie was only in the middle of creating magic.
She used the medium barrel curling iron to create super sexy beachy waves. Proper equipment and products are key to creating million dollar styles.
I love all things hair, fashion, and current hautness on my television but I am also at a point in my life where I am thinking of my finances more so than ever before. I have always been cautious with my money and careful to not live in debt (outside of a student loan). I believe that a student loan is an acceptable debt (but if you can avoid it, please do so!!)
I am on a financial journey of sorts at this time so every now and then I will blog about the journey and take you down the road with me. Hopefully, you can learn or even share some of your own knowledge or journey with money.
Eight Ways For Staying Financially Fit
Income is not the be all and end all to making money. It is not about how much money you make; It’s about how much money you keep. If you make $100,000 annually and spend it all or even are in debt then that income does not contribute to your long-term wealth. A person making $30,000 and keeping or investing $10,000 of it has more potential for wealth than the individual making $100,000 per year.
Have a goal (financial or life goal) and have a plan to work towards it. A goal provides something that is yours that you are working towards.
Money must play a role in your everyday conversation. Garner a great relationship with money and don’t be afraid to talk about money with your family and friends.
Do not give your money away. Instead of wasting money on expensive shoes, car, clothing (that you may not truly be able to afford) or even financially draining people; the best way to channel your money is to invest it. Put your money into something that grows and not depreciates.
Learn Financial Fertility. Think of fertile soil. It is where you want to grow fruits and vegetables because the soil will give you the best return as far as food goes. As long as you water and till your soil then you will bear fruit. The same goes for your money. We can no longer let our money sit in a traditional bank account because it is not the best soil for making your money grow. Look into investing in mutual funds, IRAs and the stock market.
Learn what it means to be a millionaire. Most millionaires don’t necessarily have a million dollars sitting in a bank account. Their money is calculated through their net worth. How much are your assets worth minus your liabilities?
Learn (and teach your children) every mode of economic transport to financial freedom. You can make money several ways: work for someone, be an entrepreneur or be an investor.
Know the rules of this economic and financial game. Educate yourself by reading books, find people on the web (social media) who speak to you and motivate you to make better financial moves. There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. Visit your local library for financial classes or investment education.
(*These tips are credited to an IG Live session by Dr. Boyce Watkins. He isn’t for everyone but these tips spoke to me and are relevant to my financial prosperity.)
There are loads of different beliefs as far as what is best when it comes to washing curly hair these days but I can assure you that for my hair, it is necessary that I walk away from that shampoo basin with clean scalp. I use product (gels, curl creams, curl jellies and all types of curl shenanigans) in order to keep the frizz at bay. When wash day rolls around it is imperative that I wgrab a shampoo that can get to the root of removing all of these products from my hair and scalp.
Head and Shoulders was kind enough to send me their shampoo for textured hair and I am taking it for a whirl on “wash day.” Head and Shoulders is a staple and it works for keeping dandruff at bay. A clean scalp is necessary for growing long and strong hair so what better place to start than with a trusted shampoo.
After a deep shampoo and a leave in conditioner, I comb through my hair with a wide tooth comb and then brush through with a wide tooth brush. I then add my pure coconut oil to my hair and scalp (conservatively, not liberally) in order to guarantee a great shine. I am also trying a Txturepro comb and brush for the first time today.
We often take care of so many things and people better than we care for ourselves. Self-care is on everyone’s tongue tips at the moment because so many of us just don’t take the time to slow down and grant ourselves small pleasures. Self-care can come as simple as lighting a candle at night to create a calming environment before bed. It can be taking a longer than usual bath or shower. Water does not only help cleanse the body but it also helps to center the mind. I use Sundays as a day where I carve out some time in the week to do some things just for me. there are some products that help to make the pampering just a bit easier. They aren’t pricey, obtainable and most importantly good!!
Finally, now that we’ve worked on pampering and improving the outside, let us focus on the inner health. Detoxing and feeding your body good food is probably the most important part of self-care. Hannah Bronfman, the creator of HBFIT, works out all the time and varies her workouts to fit her mood and body goals. She also eats clean and makes a detox soup from time to time that anyone can make at home. You simply saute these ingredients (onion, zucchini, asparagus and celery) in a pot, add stock (salt and pepper) and then blend. You’ve got soup for a few days!
As Brooklynites, we love to look for a great hotel deal in Manhattan and spend the weekend in the big city whenever we can. There is a wanderlust in all of us and many times you don’t have to hop on a flight to satisfy the urge to travel. We love taking advantage of all that NYC has to offer and wander about in our own backyard. If you are saving, strapped for cash or just have a new life, possibly with children, and the airport (with delays and connecting flights) is no longer appealing then look into a staycation.