Monday, 30 September 2013

Operation: Save That Hair

So this weekend I finally got around to undoing my hair, I know I had it in FOREVER! I am not sure if I have mentioned this before or whether I have made it clear, but besides the fact that I really love the natural hair look the other reason I am going to be chopping off my locks is because my hair is really damaged, as in REALLY damaged.
It's really weak and brittle and just lifeless at the moment, I took scissors to it and cut off all the uneven bits however I just don't think it is possible to salvage it at this point so I am on my transition mission. There are some major issues with my hairline and my edges.
 Here is what my hair looked like in the morning after I had taken my braids out:

My hair before I washed it, look how damaged my edges are!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think curly kinky hair looks cute on me and look how happy I look in spite of all the damage

Later that day after I washed my hair and had my scalp fried by the dryer!!!

I do not like my hair looking like this, note how sad I look

I was talking to my friend Tiyani who was also complaining about damage to her own hair and how she was going to to start using Castor oil to treat her hair. I have heard so many people talking about the benefits of using Castor oil to treat damaged hair but I didn't think much of it. Tiyani and I have both been on this hair mission and we've been going back and forth about BC, transitioning, curl activators a whole lot of stuff, so when she told me about the 30 Day Challenge that Aphro posted on her blog I knew I had to do some proper research and stop thinking about it but rather just do it!

I hopped off to my local pharmacy and got myself the biggest bottle of Castor oil I could find and I followed Aphro's instructions. I am currently on two challenges, firstly the 30 Day Challenge and the Hairline Challenge. The Hairline Challenge is basically where you apply small amounts of Castor oil to your hairline every day with a tail comb and massage it into the hair. The 30 Day Challenge is where you apply small amounts of Castor oil all over your scalp and massage it into your scalp 3 days a week in conjunction with a good moisturiser and sealer. My Castor oil nights will be Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
I am really excited to try this out and I am giving it a good 3 months before I expect to see some solid results.
Let's see how it goes!

These are my confessions...

Confession time!!! I think I am losing my mind!!! I have come to this conclusion after spending most of the morning (on my job) doing what I have become infamous for doing, looking at other people enjoying life! I love blog hunting and reading about what amazing women out there are doing. I oooh and aaah until I literally sink into a depression cuz in those moments I am sitting at my desk, bored, with a stack of files piling up next to me, completely uninterested in what I am doing, praying my boss won't find me not working, also praying that I can continue to blog hunt undisturbed! Like where are my priorities???
Today was pretty much the same, I found some amazing women with amazing dreams, amazing style, amazing hair, amazing everything...
I found all this magic today...

Two best friends who created a community for women to connect, encourage and inspire one another. Around the Way Curls is an online publication that infuses pop culture and issues of women’s interest with an emphasis on the beauty, originality and spirit of naturally kinky, curly hair. With hair as the catalyst, they work hard to deliberately re-define what beauty is and to re-condition women not only to embrace their natural state of being, but to value their individual uniqueness and overall worth. They want every woman to know that it is our birthright to be beautiful.
Check them out here
Then I found these two Incredible sisters Jade and Jas, who live in Philadelphia and are both uber creative, stylish and very pretty. Jas is an incredible photographer and a curly haired girl (which we love) Jade has the most incredible story, she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and she chronicles her feelings and thoughts and experiences as she recovers. Being sick made her view life differently and tackle all the things we are so often too afraid to. So this amazing young lady has begun recording her first album and from the little I have heard she is awesome!


Check out Jade and Jas' blog here
So while I was busy doing what I always do, getting caught up in other people's lives, I found this article on Curls Around the Way, "Why we may be unhappy: Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy" which is an excerpt from Wait but why on Huffington Post.
Here is a little bit of what the article said:
Say hi to Lucy.
Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.
I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group -- I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.
So Lucy's enjoying her GYPSY life, and she's very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:
Lucy's kind of unhappy.
To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:

The gist of the article is that as Gen Y's we have this sense of entitlement and our expectations of our career and all the things that come with being a young professional are extremely high, and that our expectations are never met and the reality of our lives isn't at all what we had envisioned. I identified so much with the Lucy, because like her, my expectations of what my life would be like and what the reality is are two very different things and it has led to me feeling frustrated and unhappy at times.
There is this bit in the article where they talk about how us Gen Y's are taunted by by a modern phenomenon Facebook Image Crafting. Which basically means:
Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. This leaves Lucy feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to her misery. The truth is her peers are in exactly the same boat! Read the rest here.


It made me think about myself and I found so much of who I am, my thinking and my habits in this article. I am that girl who spends hours on Facebook looking at what everybody is up to, which one of my online friend's has an awesome job? who has been jet-setting and travelling? who had awesome wedding pictures? who is on their second kid? It drives me a little bit nuts sometimes. Ok a lot nuts! And then to top it off I blog hunt and read thousands of posts about women living their best lives, a painful reminder that I am currently not living my best life, I am watching everyone else do that!

After reading the article I didn't know what to do with myself and I found myself asking myself questions like should I stop Facebooking? Stop blog hunting? Stop blogging? All very anxiety inducing!

The answer is not that I should stop my social media habits but rather to wait on God, He is after all the creator and the author of time, my moment in the sun is coming.

I found encouragement and comfort in these words...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.        
Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.        
Isaiah 30:18

And that's exactly what I am going to do.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A weighty problem continued...

So remember how I was getting ready for a wedding and I had planned to lose weight so that I could fit into this little number?

Did not happen!!! The dress zips up a little bit further than before but still nowhere close to hiding my lady bits. I am not going to stop trying though, I am still hopeful.
I ended up buying a new dress but at a very low key boutique in Johannesburg CBD for a pittance!Can you believe I got this dress for R200 which is roughly USD 20!

Baby got back!

Insta Queen
Here is my friend Thandi in the same dress but in white. She is always putting me on these amazing stores that sell awesome clothes at ridiculous prices!
I don't have a lot of pictures from the wedding because my camera wouldn't work and on top of that both my cellphone batteries were flat! Here are some pics I managed to muster together from the wedding.

I almost forgot, the week of the actual wedding, I was checking out the invite and in teeny weeny print, the couple asked very kindly for guests not to wear white as a courtesy! Thank goodness I was too fat for my other dress because firstly I would be mortified and secondly I would have been that person who defied the wishes of the bridal couple!

Congratulations once again to Franklin and Amanda, may you have a lifetime of happy memories ahead!

Impulse buying - the worst kind of evil!

So I recently put up a post about great skincare and of all the tips I put up I only do about half...pathetic I know, but like I said, it's a work in progress.
In terms of the things I am doing right, I am proud to say diet is one of them. I have been really good with things like not eating sweets and chocolate, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on bad carbs and drinking lots of water...well, more water than I would normally drink, which was never!
The other thing I did right was buy a good primer, I actually bought this primer...

As recommended in my previous post
I bought it on impulse after doing some general research. I have to say the results have been amazing, my makeup stays on the the entire day which I love. Even with my oily skin, I now don't have to constantly powder up my face to get a matte effect.

So the other day whilst shopping for cosmetics, I stumbled upon some BB creams. I have heard a lot about these little miracles in a tube from friends and from the internet but I hadn't really researched much about it. With summer around the corner, I don't like having my face caked in makeup because it gets so hot and my skin gets really oily and clogged up, summer in general is not a good time for my skin. I knew BB creams are a great substitute for foundation with much lighter but effective coverage.
I stumbled upon Rimmel's 9 in 1 light BB cream. I really like Rimmel products, they have great eyeliner, mascara, lipsticks and lip glosses plus one of their brand ambassadors is my beloved Solange Knowles, so I figured this must be a good product and on impulse bought it. WRONG!!!


Here's why:
Firstly and most contentiously, they only have three shades which excludes my skin tone. I picked the darkest which is medium to dark and let me tell you, once I applied it to my entire face, I looked crazy!!! Even the darkest shade is way too light for my skin, so much so I had to cake on some pressed powder to make myself look like a normal black person again!!! 
Secondly, this whole 9 in 1 thing is a gross exaggeration, the product claims to do the following:
  • Primes
  • Moisturizes
  • Minimizes Pores
  • Conceals
  • Covers
  • Smoothes
  • Mattifies
  • Brightens
  • Protects skin
The results:
  • My skin was not makeup ready
  • My skin felt extremely greasy
  • My pores have never looked bigger
  • Before I even left the house I had to apply more pressed powder to my T-zone and had to continue doing so for the rest of the day!
  • In terms of coverage I could still see spots and dark marks in spite of my face looking grey
  • I was a greasy, shiny mess all day!!!
Lastly, the point of BB creams is to give you lighter coverage without having to apply normal heavier makeup. Once I had applied the cream and all that pressed powder, my face was so full of makeup, you could literally scrape it off with a spoon! Not cool!!!
Basically the product did not deliver on any of it's promises! This makes me really mad at Rimmel for this false advertising and even more mad at myself for not having done my homework properly and for shopping on impulse!
I lost the receipt so I can't take this cream back or get my money back. I am officially done with BB creams, I don't think it is possible for one product to do what several products already do so well. As the old adage goes, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is". If any chocolate sisters out there are currently using a good BB cream that they are happy with, please feel free to give me a shout.

Frankly speaking...

I have taken a self-imposed hiatus from blogging for a few weeks now. It started off as a writer's block thing where I was really lacking inspiration to write about anything then a dear friend of mine became really sick and was basically fighting for her life. It became really hard for me to blog about clothes and makeup and hair when real life things were happening around me.
I tried to explain how I felt to some of my friends but no one really understood what I was trying to say, I even got some really crappy, sarcastic responses like "So you aren't going to blog forever because your friend is sick?".

In this hiatus period more real life things kept happening. I witnessed an amazing couple tie the knot at a lovely ceremony, one of my cousins gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and then a lot of grey clouds gathered in my coffee. My beloved grandmother passed away and literally a few days later one of my uncles passed away that same week. I was literally grief stricken. It's made think about my life and where I am going and how most of the things that I hope to find happiness in are all temporary. 

What I mean by that is we seek validation in things like romantic love and when you find that special someone, your life will all of a sudden have deeper meaning but that person will one day die and after building a life with that person, who are you now that they are gone? Or people find a deeper meaning to life in having children but at some point those children grow up and will live their own lives and they wont need you. I have spent the last three years chasing this lawyer/career thing and its been such a harrowing experience and even when I eventually find success (positive affirmation) I am going to have to retire one day or hand over the reigns of my empire to someone more capable. All temporary things that we spend our whole lives seeking any sort of validation.

Very morbid, I know! I also know that you can't live your life waiting for bad things to happen because then you end up missing all the good things and you never give yourself the space to appreciate the incredible things that are happening in your life. Things you have to remind yourself about when you are sad...

I am back now and this time off has been good time off to reflect and think about my life and now I am just going to live...

This is my "I don't know what the hell I am doing" pose which is pretty much the way my life is in general... Don't know what I am doing but I am going to do it anyway!

Life is indeed for living...