"The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra" -Jimmy Johnson

26 November 2013

Eyebrows & 20 inches

Hey lovely ladies! Its been a while since Ive posted anything for you guys! I feel like I always start my post like that here recently! My apologies! Wedding planning and this cold breeze doesn't really bring me to sit behind a computer and share my thoughts, but I am going to do better! I PROMISE!

I just wanted to drop a few lines really quickly.  I plan on one day doing a post of where I am at with my wedding planning but today lets talk about makeup and hair.

I don't spend a lot of time doing makeup and over the past year or so I have been trying to get into it b/c I hate how dull and dead my face looks at times. So besides wanting to come up with an every day quick makeup look that was not only quick, but also natural, I have also been pondering on what kind of look I am going for my big day! With that said, I have been practicing my eyebrow technique. I have only gotten my eye browns cleaned/threaded twice in my life because I have always been told that my eyebrows were naturally perfect! I am not sure about all that but all I have been seeing is girls with these bomb shaped eyebrows. This has pushed to want to get a similar look with mine. I have mentioned to the two ladies that I am consider for my bridal makeup that eyebrows are important to me b/c they really can make or break your face. I haven't quite got the look I want for my eyebrows from anyone yet so I wanted to try to figure it out myself.

This weekend I went to my friends wedding and decided to take that opportunity to get glam and do my brows. I wouldn't say my attempt was GREAT but it surely wasn't horrible! I think I did a better job on one side than the other but I was still pleased with the outcome. You can check it out yourself in the picture above. No filter needed!!

Also what do you do when your hair isn't acting right or you have no time to get it together??? You throw on a wig! That was my situation this weekend! I didn't want to blow it out because I planned on doing it the following weekend for our engagement photos. Good thing I didn't because it rain Saturday! So it was either roll it, bun it, or throw my cap on! I decided to go with the cap! This is the same U-Part wig I made for the Beyonce company. I got my hair from a vendor by the name of New Star on AliExpress and the lengths are 16/18/20 - Brazilian Body Wave. I wore it for 3 months straight before giving it a break. I also colored it and this baby is still giving LIFE! I will do a full review on the hair later because by now I can give you an honest review.

All and All my makeup and hair turned out great and I am going to keep working on my brows until I perfect it. After that I will move on to contouring! If you have any thoughts on my hair and makeup (brows) please share!

Until next time,

21 October 2013

Come Sip & Shop!

It's been a while I know!! I am so sorry for my absence. So many exciting things have been going on and I always find myself so busy that any free moment I get the last thing I want to do is get on the computer! I am going to try to do better!

So whats going on besides planning our wedding?! Well I recently joined forces with some amazing and talented people. My good friend Lance has been working on building his interior design company, Designs by Devereux for the past year or so and he saw the opportunity for growth in the Special Events field. So his interior design company has now evolved into more than just home and office decor but his company offers design and decor for any special event! When the opportunity was extended to me I knew I had to jump on the team and that is just what I did. My role in Designs by Devereux is the Director of Special Events and Marketing. I will go into more of what Designs by Devereux has to offer in a later post.

I wouldn't be a good Marketing Director if I didn't share with you our next public event. Designs by Devereux will be participating in the Young Entrepreneur's Sip & Shop on November 16th. 
The event starts at 4pm and ends at 7pm. 
If you are in the Charlotte area that Saturday, come show your support and visit our booth. 

Why should you come!? It's FREE! There will be FREE wine! We will have so many FREE great things to share with you. 
Don't be selfish, share this with a friend! Check out the flier for more details! See you there!

16 September 2013

Hair Talk with Loren Gray, My Queen Naturalista!

Today I am back with a little hair talk with a good friend of mine, Ms Loren Gray aka L Boogie! I will have to tell you why she is called L Boogie another day, but today I am going to call her my Queen Naturalista because she has been rocking the natural hair and look for forever it seems like. Check out our hair talk below and be inspired!

I know you very well, but my readers may not. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi my name is Loren Gray! I currently live in Martinsville, VA but I work and play and pretty much live in Greensboro, NC. I also claim Greenville, SC as home as well. I don’t have an exciting job or life but any time spent with my family and friends I am extremely happy. I truly have an amazing group of people around me.
How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?
Oct. 30th will be 5 years. So my story of why I went natural is very simple. My roommate (at the time) and her sister came to me one day and said they were thinking about going natural and wanted to know if I would do it with them. I said sure! I was broke so I couldn’t afford the relaxers and I hated putting them in myself so why not?  And the rest is history.

 Did you transition or big chop? Why one over the other? 
Well after I decided I was going natural I made up in my mind that I was going to transition for a year then do a big chop. Well… 6 months in I wound up moving back home and I needed a change. Plus I just didn’t want to deal with the 2 different textures anymore. So Oct 30, 2008 I washed my hair and told my mom to chop it off! She was more afraid of the outcome then I was. I was so excited! It was extremely liberating for me. 
How did others (family, friends, and colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
I was very excited about my new little fro. But others not so much. Nobody was really feeling my little fro except for me.  My mom and my sister were not about it at 1st but they were always supportive of my decision. I actually had some really close friends that flat out told me that I didn’t have the kind of hair to go natural. They said you have to have hair like … such and such (insert any type 3 loose spiral curled girl). Well now they absolutely love my hair and my mom is now natural, and one of the friends that told me I didn’t have that kind of hair is now natural. (She probably doesn’t even remember saying that. LOL)
What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
From the time I big chopped I was totally in love with my hair! So I never really went through the struggles that most go through I guess. The only real obstacle is just learning what my hair likes and what it doesn’t. Going natural is indeed a process. You have to literally re-learn how to do your hair. 
What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
EVERYTHING!!! I feel like my hair fits my personality so well. I just feel more myself with my natural hair. I love that it is wild and crazy. It does what it wants, when it wants. I am not my hair but my hair is indeed me!
What is your current regimen?  
I try to pre-poo once a week with Castor Oil and Tea Tree Oil then shampoo with Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo and conditioner. I detangle with either Aussie Moist Conditioner or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, and then I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as my leave in (I do this on a daily basis for my wash and go). Then I use a Shea butter mixture that I make myself to seal in my moisture. 
Are you a product junkie? What are your favorite products?
No I don’t think so. I usually stick with my main products. My hair seems to like the products I use now. But I still have to stop at any and every hair product isle I happen to be near. 

You recently cut your hair, why the change? 
I just really needed a change. My ultimate goal was to have a big floppy fro but it wasn’t growing fast enough for me. But I also really loved short hair so I said while I am young I will cut my hair like I want to. I have plenty of time to grow my hair out. Right now I am just having fun with my hair.  

Before the cut, what was your “go to” style?
I started getting really good at doing a twist out/ bantu knot combo. But on my lazier days I would wear a high puff sometimes I would add a scarf if I was feeling fancy. 

How often do you straighten your hair?
Very rarely do I straighten my hair. I think I have straightened maybe 3 times since I have been natural. It’s just not something I’m interested in doing. Straight hair just seems like so much more work now. Plus I no longer feel special when my hair is straight. I don’t feel like Loren. 

You have colored your natural hair before right? I want to but am very scared too, would you recommend it? Explain why or why not.
Yes, I love color. I have been coloring my hair since I was 15 and I didn’t plan on stopping when I went natural.  I say go for it! The key is moisture, moisture, moisture! LOL!  Keeping your hair moisturized is so important when you have color! 

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways?
My style has adjusted. I have more confidence so in my head I feel like I can pull off any style now. Right now I try to add a little African and Caribbean inspired items as much as possible. Also I am working out more not worrying about sweating my relaxer out. 
Do you ever miss the creamy crack? Will you ever go back to it?
Absolutely NOT!! Not ever! 

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who? 
I have so many hair crushes. Taren Guy! Her hair is AMAZING! All 3 of the Natural Sistas. And in my personal life I have a huge hair crush on my friend Veronica’s hair and her 2 sisters Chevonne and Kelly. All 3 of them have different textures but they are all amazing! Plus I’m bias because they are my friends. 
Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, etc.)?

Well I have been stalking your site (of course), Curly Nikki, Taren Guy, all 3 of the Natural Sistas, Afrobella and Naturally Fashionable. 
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Going natural truly is a life style change so you MUST do you own research. You have to have patience to learn what your hair likes and dislikes. Also having a good dose of confidence is always needed. If you have enough confidence you can do whatever or wear whatever and no one can  tell you any different!  
    Anything else that you’d like to add?
    I see girls with damaged, broken off, relaxed hair… I just want to tell them that relaxers are not the only option. I was 5 when I got my 1st relaxer and that’s because that is the only thing my mom knew how to do, same for her when she was little. So growing up we never knew what our hair looked like in its natural state. I just want to promote healthy hair weather you choose to be natural or not. 

    Loren, a big thanks to you for taking the time to share your hair story with my readers and I! One thing I loved that you mentioned is that having a good dose of confidence is needed if you decide to go natural! Just like with your hair, Confidence is needed in anything you want to be successful for very well put!

    If you would like to be featured as the next  "Hair Talk" section or you know someone who should be please email me at naturallykandiilicious@gmail.com

    11 September 2013

    My Finger Is "Iced Out"!!

    Excuse my absence and even more, please excuse my slang but I am just still overly excited! I know I have gotten ghost for about two weeks but it is only because so many great events have happened in the past 3 weeks. Of course I plan to share all of them with you but lets start with the biggest....

    ...On August 24th, Daren, my boo/best friend got down on 1 knee, asked me to be his wife and "Iced Out" my left ring finger with a gorgeous ring! Even though I have been expecting this for so long, I was so excited and surprised. I even was over come with a ridiculous amount of emotion! Tears everywhere! Who knew Faith cried??! Crazy I know! I can't wait to marry my best friend! I love that man so much!!

    With that said there is a lot of planning that must be done so I will be missing in action for some time but I still plan on sharing some of my wedding DIY since I am so frugal with my $ and I also will be working on our wedding site. Once its up and running I will share the link. I also plan on sharing my proposal story once I get time. Everything else related to the events of the wedding will be on our site. 

    I have a wonderful hair interview coming later this week with a good friend of mine so stay tuned!

    23 August 2013

    Scratch It UP! Chicken, Noodles, & Soup

    Over the past  week or so, here in Charlotte, NC we have been getting a lot of rainy days that are not just wet but also more on the cooler end. Of course with the change of the weather came a runny nose & a cold. Also I have been trying to start another one of my make believe diets so I have had a growing craving for really good soup.

    My cravings come full throttle during   my lunch hour but there is only1 restaurant in my work area that carries good soup and its only on select days. So I decided it was a perfect time to make my favorite Chicken Noodle Soup that my friends and family love.  Not only is it QUICK, EASY,  &  DELICIOUS, its also 100% from SCRATCH! If you have ever felt like this before or are currently sick and need a good throat warmer this recipe is for you!

    Below is the recipe and I have included step by step pictures to make it easier.

    Serving Size: 10
    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
    Total Cost: $10.00 

    Here is what you will need:

    • 1/2 bag of egg noodles
    •  3 tsp of minced garlic
    • 4 -5 whole carrots
    • 5-6 stems of celery (not pictured)
    • 3 stems of green onions
    • 2 Spilt Chicken Breast with bone in
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2 tbsp of oil (veg or olive)
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 1 1/4 tbsp Dry Parsley Flakes
    • 1 tsp dry Basil
    • 1/2 tsp of Thyme
    • 1/2 tsp of Season Salt
    • 1 1/2 tbsp of Salt
    • 20 cranks of Cracked Black Pepper
    • Water

    Let's Get Started!......

    1. Chop up the yellow onion and combine in a large deep pot with garlic and green onion. Add in the oil and begin cooking over medium heat.

    2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, chop up celery and carrots (make sure you wash them very good first) and add them into the pot and continue to saute on medium heat. Stir occasionally. I don't care for carrots much but love celery so I always put more celery then carrots. 

    3. The chicken breast will come with a little skin & fat. With a knife, remove the excess fat and skin. If you do not cook on a regular basis this may be the hardest part so BE CAREFUL! 

    Once skin and fat have been removed, season the chicken with the seasoning salt. The bone will bring out the flavor of the soup but the seasoning salt will give it just a little extra.

    Now add the chicken breast into the pot on top of the sauteed vegetables

    4. Add in the bay leaf, parsley, thyme, basil, and pepper

    5. Add 8 cups of water directly on top. Cover the pot to bring to boil on high heat. Once at state of boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour. Make sure you do not put the heat too low or the pot will not continue to simmer and that will cause the chicken to not shred easily.

    6. After an hour or so, remove the chicken from the pot. You will begin to see the chicken to pull apart.

    7. Now that the chicken has been removed, season the broth with salt. I typically am fine with 1 1/2 tbsp of salt because I have already used 1/2 tsp of season salt. You want to salt it according to your desire so start small then add.

    One seasoned to desire, add the noodles to the pot and turn the heat back up to high and boil until noodles are tender. This should take 7-8 mins. 

    8. While the noodles are cooking, using a fork begin to pull the meat from the bone using two forks. Shred it into small-medium pieces like pictured below.

    9. Once the noodles are tender, add the now shredded chicken back into the pot. Add 2 - 3 more cups of water back into the pot because some have now evaporated and been soaked up by noodles.  Stir all together.

    Taste and season again if needed. I usually do not.

    Serve while HOT with crackers or whatever! Store the rest for later. You can get about 10 bowls

    I hope you try out this recipe and it comes out just as delicious as you expected! I am sure it will. Perfect way to surprise those you care about that are feeling under the water who don't think you can cook! lol. If you would like a copy of this recipe without the pictures feel free to leave a comment below with your email address and I will send it to you. Or email me at naturallykandiilicious.com.

    How did your chicken noodle soup turn out? I would love to hear from you below!

    Until next time

    22 August 2013

    2 Sisters.2 Textures: Hair Talk with the Greene Sisters...Part 2

    I am back with Part 2 of my natural Hair Talk with the Greene sisters of the awesome blog TheGreeneVademecum.com. If you haven't checked out part 1where VeCoya shares her love for her natural hair make sure you do so by clicking here. Part 1 will also give you a full explanation of this post title. 

    So now that we know more about VeCoya and her natural hair, its time you know more about her little sister Charla and her natural hair. Keep reading below to see what Charla has to share. By the end of both interviews you will be able both similarities and differences these sisters have in regards to their individual experiences with their natural hair!

    I know you very well, but my readers may not. Tell us a little about yourself.. 
    I am currently a HR Specialist residing in Richmond, VA. Originally born and raised in Greensboro, NC! Presently I see myself as a creative soul searching for my niche. I know there is no one else on this globe like myself and that I was put here for a reason. Over the past few years I have learned to constantly strive to become the best version of me and embrace my individuality.  In a nutshell I am an optimist on my own personal journey of spiritual growth and self-discovery. 
     How long have you been natural and why did you choose to go natural?

    I have been natural for a little over two years now. I originally decided to go natural in May of 2011. I already have a very short haircut, close cut in the back. I had had my haircut for about three years and I just wanted to try something different. I decided to grow my hair out without using any chemicals. So I transitioned for six months and by Thanksgiving 2011 I cut off all of my relaxed ends.

    Throughout my childhood, I did not have a relaxer and my hair was in a very healthy state. I received my first relaxer right before middle school.  From that point forward my hair went through what felt like, a never ending cycle of breaking off and growing back. I never seemed to be able to achieve the length that I once had in my younger years.
    I finally decided to just chop all my hair off at the beginning of my sophomore year in college. 
    I kept my hair in a short cut for three years and I loved it! I cut it because I was tired of worrying about achieving length and I simply wanted to reinvent myself. Through having a short hair cut I was able to see that my hair did in fact grow and at a good rate! 
    During my finally semester in school I decided to grow my hair out without using any chemicals. 

    And the rest is history lol Been natural ever since and I have loved my results.

     Did you transition or big chop? 

    How did others (family, friends, and colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now? 

    I didn’t receive any reaction or questions from anyone as to why I was going natural.

    What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle?  How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem? 
    I guess adjusting styling it as it grows but that’s what youtube tutorials are for lol

    You and your sister are both natural but have completely different textures, is there one style you can do that doesn’t really work for her? Or a product that only works for you? 

    Our hair textures are different but I don’t believe we have encountered that issue.

    What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?  
    The versatility of my hair, I have so many options when it comes to styling.

     What is your current regimen? 
    Honestly I do not have a routine for my hair. However I am a stifler of avoiding heat! I am just very very cognizant of protecting my ends and keeping my hair moisturized.

     Are you a product junkie? What are your favorite products? 
     guess you would define me as a less is more kind of girl. All of the natural hair products that I have I got from my sister VeCoya who is a product junkie lol. I like Taliah Waajid and Jane Carter products as well as African Pride Olive Oil.

     What is your “go to” style? 
    Currently two strand twist and high bun lol. They are both such convenient styles. 

     How often do you straighten your hair? 
    I normally avoid heat at all cost lol. I straighten my hair four times max a year.

     Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways? 
    I guess you can say so. My sister and I have a lifestyle blog and natural hair is definitely one of the main topics that we discuss.

    Do you ever miss the creamy crack? Will you ever go back to it? 
    Nope! And no I will not go back. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been in a very long time!
     Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who? 
    I actually don’t lol 
     Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, etc.)? 
    I do look at tutorials all the time but the only person that I follow is MsDanti1 (on youtube) I love her videos!
     What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey? 
    Definitely start and/or continue. Give it time and adjust. Don’t become too obsessed or overwhelmed by what the next person is doing or saying get to know your hair and do what is best for you.
     You and your sisters have an amazing blog and your youtube page is evolving into something big! Where can my readers find you online? 
    Thank you so much! I can be contacted very easily. Me and my sister have a blog called The Greene Vademecum which you assess by going to greenevdc.com. The definition of vademecum is ‘A handbook or guide that is kept constantly at hand for consultation.’ We are sisters blogging about aspects and areas of life that inspire us. That includes positive vibes, cool spots, fab hair, cute trinkets, music & more! We hope that our blog can serve as an outlet and that our positive words and experiences produce thoughtful and positive actions. Please join us on our blogging adventure. We can be found on most social networking sites!
    Instagram: thegreenevademecum
    Twitter: greenevademecum
    Youtube: greenevdc
    Facebook: thegreenevademecum

    Anything else that you’d like to add? 
    My hair to me is just hair. I take care of my hair the best way I possible can just by simply keeping it moisturized and avoiding heat. I am not obsessed with my hair and “I don’t sit around and watch it grow” as I like to say lol. I feel like I have already wasted too much time doing that for too many years. Having no chemicals in my hair/being natural is just the best option for me personally and my hair is the healthiest it had been in a long time.  I am extremely happy with the results thus far and I am excited to see whats to come!
    Charla, Thank you so much for allowing me and my readers to learn more about your natural hair! You hair always looks so good and like your sisters very strong and healthy.

    I hope you all enjoy this hair talk with the Greene sisters! As stated earlier they have a great blog: thegreenevademecum.com where you can learn more about their natural hair including styles and products they have tried. The blog also has a variety of different life subjects that we can relate to. To conclude I leave you with another video tutorial below from the Greene sisters youtube:

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