All The Hype

relaxed-natural
(I do not own the rights to this image.)

ย Okay so guys, I know we are all sick of the natural verses relaxed/straight hair debate right? I can’t count how many times I have rolled my eyes at the ‘natural Nazis’ when they expressed the importance and love of natural hair, until I really became natural.

Now, I haven’t had a relaxer in about…3 years? ( Don’t quote me). But, I tried to maintain ‘healthy’ hair by cutting that out of my hair routine. But, what I didn’t stop doing was flat ironing my hair. I had long, flowing hair that I loved showing off so I would wear it down 90 percent of the time. And with my not having a relaxer in it, over time, it would get puffy and I would flat iron it again and again to keep it bone straight. THIS WAS A NO-NO!

Essentially, I ruined my hair and there was nothing I could do about it but to cut it. It was a spur of the moment thing directly after a huge argument with my boyfriend, cliche’, I know. But, I knew it had to be done anyway. So in late August, i cut my hair. But only about 3 inches. You can see that post here. I still noticed damage at that point but, it took me a little while to build the courage to cut it all off until I decided one morning to do it before I lost my nerve.ย So, On October 29th, 2016, I chopped it off. I still had a little (mini) fro that I tried to curl on my own but, I could still see straight ends, so the next day I chopped more off. I’m going to be honest, I felt like a boy. After a week of wearing it out in its natural state (with the help of the rollers), I got tired of doing it every night so I flat ironed it..again. It was a very short pixie cut that I didn’t care for either but, it took less effort on my part. I looked like Donald Trump, okay? Such an ugly cut but, I eventually decided to stop flat ironing it. That was the entire purpose of cutting it. So I got a sew in and I always have a bit of leave out, which I flat ironed. SMH. I could see the difference from the curls in the front of my head from the ones in the back and I didn’t like it.

So, I said I wouldn’t get anymore sew ins or flat iron my hair period for a longgg time. And I am proud to say, that I haven’t. And I love my curls. My hair has thanked me a thousand times over. It is much more thicker, my curls are popping, I can FINALLY pull it back into a cute, curly puff and it has grown so much. I will be a year in October since I cut my hair, and I can say that it was for the absolute best. I am ultra protective of my hair and a little sad to say that I am truly scared to get it flat ironed or to do it myself (which is out of the question). If I do choose to get it straightened, it will definitely be at a professional shop.

I have learned what products work for me, and which ones don’t. It is definitely a tedious process and I am still learning about my hair, but it is rewarding. Knowing how to treat your hair and keep it healthy is something I have always wanted to do but, I didn’t know where to start. I was scared to try anything new and it deterred me for years. Now, I love my curls and when I get compliments on it, it makes me very proud. So, yeah, I have become ‘one of them’. I’m in love with the twists and springs of my hair. I’m in love with the massive growth I have experienced in a little under a year and I can’t wait to see the progress of my two year mark. SO if you’re scared to do the big chop and to eliminate the flat iron from your hair routine, if only for a little bit, don’t discourage yourself. The reward will sooo be worth it.

Click on the pictures below to see the visual journey of me falling in love with my hair. They’re in order! ๐Ÿ™‚ P.S.. If you have any hair tips or tricks that work for you or may be helpful, leave a comment below and let me know! I’m always looking to improve.

To Crush A Diamond

What does it take to crush a diamond?

So strong yet, under the right pressure,

it can break due to it’s oppressor.

Formed by pain and meant to be a treasured.

So tell me, What does it take to crush a diamond?

 

So raw, uncut, and innocent it begins it’s journey,

Fighting off what intends it harm.

Slipping on it’s defensive byrnie,

Trying not to set off any alarms.

 

But once it’s found, terror is bound.

And the blows present a crack.

You put polish on the broken diamond but,

the piece will not come back.

 

The mole hill of a chip begins to creates gaping holes through and through.

The diamond looks dirty, unattractive with less value…

So tell me, what does it take to crush a diamond?

 

 

As Always, Peace & Loveย โ™ฅ

 

 

Why WE NEEDED Girls Trip

girls

“It’s like we can’t be too ratchet, or else we aren’t smart. We can’t be smart, and love to have a good time. We can’t work and play just as hard at the same time. And this movie shattered that notion on the big screen and I couldn’t have been more proud. -Brooke “

If you’re like me, and the rest of the female population, you saw the thousands upon thousands of commercials and advertisements for Girls Trip. And if you’re like me, you went to go see it the day it came out on Friday. And can I just say, it was UH-MAZE-IN! (Y’all I know that’s not how you spell it, but I said what I said). I got there early with my mom, stashed snacks in my purse, got a huge bag of popcorn and a soda, pulled out my cover (I’m always cold and I ALWAYS keep a little blanket with me lol), and all in two hours, I was taken through an array of emotions.

First off, I need to tell you all of the reasons why I was excited when I first saw this trailer. Not only did it have some amazing actors, some beautiful eye candy and feel good moments (and that was just from the commercials), it took place at the Essence festival! I have always wanted to go for so many reasons. This trailer alone appealed to all of my black girl feels and my black girl life! So often in media and movies, the perception of a black woman is misconstrued and twisted and molded into something else that we can barely recognize. It’s like we can’t be too ratchet, or else we aren’t smart. We can’t be smart, and love to have a good time. We can’t work and play just as hard at the same time. And this movie shattered that notion on the big screen and I couldn’t have been more proud. With each twerk and fruity alcoholic drink they put up to their lips, I beamed from the inside-out. I want to break down each of the girls, I’ll try not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it but, I want to focus on each of their characters so you understand why I fan-girled through the entire movie.

“Like my mom, Lisa felt guilty about the fact of not having a father present and didn’t want to bring that type of heartache to us if things didn’t work out. She didn’t want to bring someone else into our lives who could hurt us or her and this movie helped me understand her a little bit more. I wish she had, like Lisa, realized she could have a life too. That we would not look at her as being a bad mother when she wanted to do things for herself.”

I want to tell you about Lisa. She was the one I resonated with the most. At first glance, you see the ‘Mom’ of the group. Plain, not much effort put into herself, a little obsessive and very passive.ย She wasn’t too wild, very poised, morals were on her very fore-front and she loved her babies. lisaShe was a single mother who felt like she had to have it together at all times so people wouldn’t judge her. The negative connotation with single mothers has to stop y’all. Especially in the black community. We judge the mother, we judge the children and people seem to put an extra scope on single mothers to see if they can ‘do it without a man’. Umm, hello! Yes they can! I watched my beautiful black single mother do her thing with three beautiful children. Not once did we go without the things we needed, not once did we go hungry, we always looked nice and attended private schools. And she did it with her single ass. It is possible. (Okay, rant over). Back to Lisa..She put herself on the back burner and didn’t put effort into herself. She tried to make sure everyone else was okay without really looking at her own life. She put off dating because she was so focused on being a mother. I watched my mother do this as well while my father went off and got married and wanted nothing to do with us. Like my mom, Lisa felt guilty about the fact of not having a father present and didn’t want to bring that type of heartache to us if things didn’t work out. She didn’t want to bring someone else into our lives who could hurt us or her and this movie helped me understand her a little bit more. I wish she had, like Lisa, realized she could have a life too. That we would not look at her as being a bad mother when she wanted to do things for herself. Towards the end of the movie, she got back to being herself, not just her children’s mother, which was apart of her, but, that wasn’t all she was. She was a friend, a sister even, to people who loved her for all she was. Once she embraced it, she became a better person and was true to herself.

Okay, now I know you all has seen the famous ‘ drugs in my booty hole’ part of the trailer. Yes, I’m talking about Dina! She was the home-girl you call when you need to make a trip to someone’s house cause they’ve been talking shit.ย dinaShe was the girl you called when your man is tripping and you need to hear a few words so you tell that nigga how it is and how it’s gnna be. She was your little sister that didn’t take nothing but the cold, hard truth. And If you couldn’t give her that, she wasn’t hearing it. She reminded me a lot of my best friend. If you didn’t know her, you’d just think she was not responsible, just looking for a good time and not really care about what people think. But, she is just a free spirit who wants to enjoy life to the fullest. She has always been this way. I can call her when I need advice and she is going to tell me what I need to hear whether I like it or not. She will get you together! Like Dina, she believes in not beating around the bush. Either it’s this way or it isn’t. People like them want you to be honest with YOURSELF. That’s the only way they know how to be. Towards the end of the movie, you see how deep her love is for her friends are. You see that she just wants them all to be happy and to have each others’ backs through the good and the bad. After all, that’s what sisters are for.

“Sometimes you need a shoulder to cry on, sometimes you need to be checked. But, bottom line is, we’re always there for each other when we need each other.”- Queen Latifahย on having a sisterhood X Essence Festival Interview

Sasha, oh Sasha. Played by the Queen herself (Latifah), she was a journalist writing for a celebrity gossip blog. From the beginning, you could tell that she loved writing but, just not in that field. But, she was doing what she had to do to pay the bills and even though things were crashing down on her, her girls were the perfect escape to distract her, if only for a little bit. We see her strained relationship with Ryan (I’ll get to her), but she seems to fall back in ease when all of her girls are around, Lisa and Dina, and they can just let go. Through out the movie,sasha Sasha and Ryan eventually settle their differences and evolve even more in her relationship once Ryan sees how loyal Sasha was really is. She always kept her side-eye roaming for the latest juicy gossip, but when it came to her girls, that was off-limits and that was a line she did not cross. Even with Ryan being somewhat of a celebrity, a well-known author along with her husband Ass-hole..Stewart. Even when things were strained between them, Sasha remained loyal to her girls. Friendship meant a lot to her, even when she didn’t always express it. And everything came around full circle because of that loyalty and it was truly beautiful to see. So often, black women talk amongst themselves and if you ask them to describe the black woman community you hear multiple things; catty, mean, back-stabbing, jealous, envious, rude, not trust worthy. Sasha proved all of these things to be wrong even when she had a chance to gain off of all of those negative connotations. We aren’t all bad! There are black women who support each other! And she validated that.

Ryan.Ryan.Ryan. How I loved to see the growth of Ryan! From the outside looking in, she seemed to have the perfect life and that everything just fell perfectly in place for her. Booming career, loving husband (so we thought), loving girl friends, and an exciting life. But, as we quickly learn, her husband is a dirty, dirty cheat..AND SHE KNOWS! Now like most women, we think, ‘What did I do wrong’, ‘What could I have done better’? Stewart (her husband) made sure to constantly remind her of the ‘brand’ they were selling and how much he loved her, and that she would have nothing without him, blah blah blah. I could’ve punched him through the screen. Because each time he smoothed talked her into not moving on, I saw this look that was all too familiar. We’ve either seen it on our girl friends faces, or our own.That defeated look, that lookryan.jpg that illuminates that little girl part of you that just wants to be loved and happy and is lost. That look you get when you feel so small and worthless and confused and hurt. We have all been hurt and thought we had to accept it and move on. As women, we are always expected to accept the bullshit, plain and simple. If we stay mad for too long, it becomes our fault and we are unreasonable. If we push ourselves to get over it too quickly, we end up developing this tiny inkling of disdain that grows and grows until one day it explodes and we get the label I love to hear so much; crazy. We are crazy for wanting better, crazy for voicing our opinion, crazy for having feelings, crazy for not having feelings. But, with the help of her girls, she realized her worth and Stewart couldn’t stand a chance to manipulate her any longer. Did I tell you he had a baby with the side chick? And guess what, she was going to try to figure that out too. WHY DO WOMEN ALWAYS HAVE TO FIGURE SHIT OUT?ย But thankfully, she realized she was the bomb and then some. And I loved it! She did not need a man to be successful, she did not need a man to seem like the perfect woman, and she did not need a man for validation. On top of that, she found an AMAZING man who genuinely liked her since childhood. He cared about her and I can only imagine their beautiful relationship as it evolved. She mended her relationship with Sasha and got to branch into an entire new business venture, WITHOUT Stewart.

“This movie…no BIBLE of Sisterhood is something every woman of every age needs to see… It was sexy (Kofi was in there y’all!), unapologetic, the right amount of raunchy, real, raw, hilarious and uplifting.”

One thing that would’ve been a nice additive to the movie, for me, would’ve have been to see how Stewart would react to someone being interested in Ryan. If maybe he had seen the chemistry between them (it was always respectful, no lines were crossed while they were married on her end). But, I would have loved to see him have to nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall (yes, that was a Grinch reference) to say anything to her, make her feel bad, or think he had to the right to be upset. It always works that way though doesn’t it? Men do whatever, when ever, to whomever and women are ‘strong’ because they sit through it all. But, if it was the other way around, oh baby, you have committed the worst crime ever right? It’s just one of the double standards that women are shunned under and it has to stop. #ISSADoubleStandard

“It showed girls being girls on vacation, and that is not always sitting by a lake reading a book, or waking up at the crack of dawn to do yoga, or having tea in a history museum, or โ€˜finding ourselvesโ€™ by the ocean (although those are perfectly acceptable if thatโ€™s what you want to do. We are allowed to let loose โ€˜like the boysโ€™, we are allowed to hook up if we want to, we are allowed to take the day by storm, we are allowed to be GIRLS in every sense of the word.”

Girls Trip gave me my entire life and then some. I could resonate with every character in some way, form or fashion; some more than others. But they all tapped my soul in the right spot to awaken the super black girl in me. To know when to toot my own horn and let loose, to know when someone needs to be checked or when to check myself, to cherish the women (friends and family) in my life, and to not accept anything less than what I deserve. This movie, no, Bible of Sisterhood is something every woman of every age needs to see (18 and over though, it’s a hard R rating). It was sexy (Kofi and Lorenz was in there y’all!), unapologetic, had the right amount of raunchy fun, real, raw, hilarious and uplifting. It showed girls being girls on vacation, and that is not always sitting by a lake reading a book, or waking up at the crack of dawn to do yoga, or having tea in a history museum, or ‘finding ourselves’ by the ocean (although those are perfectly acceptable if that’s what you want to do. We are allowed to let loose ‘like the boys’, we are allowed to hook up if we want to, we are allowed to take the day by storm, we are allowed to be GIRLS in every sense of the word.

girls trip

So please, go see it with you mother, sister, auntie, girlfriend, friend, daughter (if she’s age appropriate), enjoy, re-evaluate and flourish.

As Always, Peace & Loveย โ™ฅ

 

 

 

 

 

Relax, Relate, RELEASE!

Source: Relax, Relate, RELEASE!

Still one of my favorite posts!

You ever feel like life is coming at you a million miles an hour? You ever feel like you can’t get your thoughts organized and your brain is in a complete scramble? I know I do, but these steps will surely help you get yourself together and help you not lose your mind! Click the original post to read on..

Meatless Mondays : Baby Steps

Happy Monday!

ย  ย  ย Lately, I have been looking into veganism/vegetarianism and how to incorporate vegan alternatives into my diet slowly. I know what you’re thinking, here comes another tree hugger, here to shame meat eaters. Not at all, I am one myself. I love meat and I will probably never, ever completely stop eating it so I won’t even lie and say it. But, I have been fighting within myself when it comes to dairy and meat and what is being put into our food. With that being said, I have decided to do Meatless Mondays. Not only is it kind of catchy, but, I think it is a great way to start off my week. I have tons of fruits and veggies packed and I am confident that I can make it through the day without eating meat. My biggest trial will probably be cooking dinner for my boyfriend. But, I will stay strong and stick to my veggie options.

The notion of going completely meatless, if even for a day is very foreign to me if I’m being honest. I was raised on the thought that you had to have meat with every meal or else, it wasn’t a meal. Meat was the ‘main attraction’ so -to-speak and I knew nothing else. But, I started doing a little researching on my own and I have started making little but, necessary changes in my diet. I don’t drink milk. Only almond. This is one of the first changes I have made. With all the things things I have read and seen being put into cows milk and coming out of cows milk, I have decided to let it go. I see the way it makes me feel and look and I choose not to have it anymore. I’m still struggling with ice cream though. I had an ice cream cone last week and I felt kinda gross eating it. lol So, I have finally found a vegan ice cream recipe (that doesn’t include bananas, yuck) that I am super excited to make!

So instead of fooling myself and saying I am stopping meat all together, I am trying to take baby steps into a healthier lifestyle. Right now, I am gathering recipes that seem like they are close to what I am use to so that I won’t feel like I am missing out on anything. So, hopefully I will have a hand full of go-to recipes when I want a healthier option to the things I enjoy.

If anyone has some recipes and/or advise they would like to share, please leave a comment below! If you are vegan or transitioning or just curious like me, let’s talk about it! I’d love to hear your input.

 

As Always, Love & Peaceย โ™ฅ

 

Disconnecting to Reconnect

Source: Disconnecting to Reconnect

You ever need a social media break? I know I often do. Iโ€™ve stressed to you all before about how I am not a fan of it and most of the time I use it out of boredom or for my blog. Well, the other day I looked at my 2017 list and realized that I should be much further with my progress.ย People can become addicted to the internet and not even know it. Now I know what youโ€™re thinking, โ€˜Really Malissa? Addicted? Girl, it ainโ€™t that seriousโ€™. Well Iโ€™m telling you, there is such a thing. Such symptoms are: