Natural Hair Diary: Sutble Changes

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A Weekend Mood Board

posted on: October 21, 2016

I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope you all have an amazing weekend! I was thinking about posting a little weekend mood board on the blog every Friday, or every other Friday. Do you like that idea? I've always been a little touch and go with Friday blogging. I'd rather send any inspiring links in a newsletter (sign up over to the right), and if there isn't a newsletter, save it for next week.

Anyway, lets try this for today. Here's a combination of images that I'm feeling going into the weekend.


And if you missed it, some musings on instagram:

I don't think we choose motherhood because it is convenient. Honestly, I believe most things worth while are severely inconvenient: friendships, marriage, and family with all of its dysfunctions. But having to work to make these relationships bloom makes them that more enjoyable and beautiful. 

Being two different people in two different places in life is the greatest challenge of our marriage. With couple’s therapy, I get to see that his intentions are to love me and to be a good person. Day in and day out it’s kids and dishes and work — it can be hard to remember what made us fall in love." So date your man.

I go through phases, but mostly I live for statement earrings. Especially when it's season transition and we lean on dark tones more often than not. Having statement earrings with a pop of color to off-set any look has been kind of fun.

As we gear up to watch Dot. (an all new series about a little girl who loves tech) premiering this Saturday at 11 on@SproutChannel, I keep thinking about that time River found a boombox on a stoop here in Brooklyn. She couldn’t wait to pop in a few dusty cassettes from her father and dance with Oak before bed that evening. But instead of dragging it home, I sat River down and asked her to draw a boombox she imagined for herself on my iPhone drawing app. Later that night, as a family, we searched and bought a new (old) boombox like the one she drew. I'm sure our free stoop explorations are not over, but I feel good knowing she has the patience to express what she wants soundly and creatively through words, art, and tech. 

Enjoy your weekend!

An Ode To Enjoying The Season

I realize this at almost every season closing. More-so, as a new year ushers in and we are left planning and giddily jotting aspirations to be ahead; all the while, ignorant to what truly lies before us. I realize this now, as my kids are older. I realize this now, as I am older--often, left to my own devices and words for longer than a few hours per day. I now realize, more than ever,  that life happens. And this isn't a bad thing.

For the past few weeks, as I rush to get the kids dressed and ready for school, or as we run to catch the arriving train rumbling below our feet, and as we plan vacations in the not-too distant future, I realize that life happens all too fast. In an instant. I'm not sure I have found the value in rushing from holiday event to holiday event. Rather, as the holiday season approaches, I'd like to enter each one with a sense of grace.  I want and need the optimism that arrives with the holiday, and less of the junk in the middle.

I need to do away with the stuff that says I must. When there is a voice and energy saying I shouldn't. Last week, 10 events (at minimum) showed up in my email. Five buzzed through my phone-- rattling my purse. And then there were the reminders.  Only a few pulled on my sleeve, and those were with friends and of course my family. They all boasted a good time. Often, securing an invitation to a later holiday event.

What I am getting at is this; they don't stop unless you do. Life keeps moving, but the attention doesn't shift unless you drive off of the beaten path a bit. And maybe, more than likely, you aren't receiving 10 event emails, but this is something that should be applied no matter the situation.

Instead of accepting the flood of invitations, I hunkered down and baked. We created, and then, spur-the-moment, I threw a small party for River. Something about pulling her neighborhood friends together as a surprise after-school, only to celebrate each other and Halloween, put a spotlight on it all.  With all of it's chaos, it reminded me that if we don't stop to celebrate what we want, not what others are calling us to, we are left wondering where the year went, and naively setting goals for another year.

Why not disregard some of the invitations, and slow down and celebrate your own? Whether that means baking away a day, or stepping out to collect leaves in the park to only hang them through the apartment. Every invitation doesn't need to be accepted. Be slow to enjoy your very own, simply because life happens in an instant.

Banana Bread

posted on: October 20, 2016

 What is autumn without baking? And what is a blog without an autumn recipe or two? I'm not sure.  I've always teetered on the side that doesn't share recipes of her own. Simply because I don't usually follow any. But recently, in an effort to include River in activities that keep her and I enthused past the early evening that sneaks up; we've been creating often. And with that, making this blog more official according to certain measurements.

Last weekend called for a try at banana bread. Recently, both River and I have been frequently requesting a slice at our local cafe. And then, as if we were ever in need, received a few homemade banana cupcakes from a neighbor. As it turns out, banana bread is just one of those things that's hard to do wrong. And given my heavy hand for seasoning and obnoxious love for a little of this and a little of that, the recipe is fail-proof for those of you that may be similar to me.

Banana Bread 

-3 Ripe Bananas. (You want them to be brown on the outside, which makes them brown, softer, and sweeter on the inside)
-1/3 Cup of melted butter
-1 Teaspoon of baking soda
-3/4 cup of sugar. (I added a 1/2 cup to make it a little sweeter)
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-1 large egg
-1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour

Preheat the oven 350 degrees and oil your pan. Then mix smash your bananas with a fork (this was a great activity for River and Oak!).

Once bananas are mashed, stir in your melted butter. Then mix in your (beaten egg), baking soda, salt, flour, and lastly your vanilla extract. Do not over mix your batter. You want it chunky and very moist.

Pour your batter into your loaf pan for 50 mins-1 hour.

Now enjoy! If you have some cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit, this will make for the perfect autumn desert. By itself, wrapped in paper, makes for the perfect snack and gift.

(Original recipe adapted from here.)

Natural Hair Diary: Subtle Changes

posted on: October 18, 2016

 I currently do not stock the power or the dream to chop it all off because it simply feels right.  Occasionally, on a stalled train home, I'll look at the girl with the purple tips and fantasize about it on my head.  That and storm-silver are constantly neck and neck in my thoughts. I won't. But it's fun day-dreaming. When I trust in the reality, one that says that I am far too indecisive to sit and charge hundreds on a color that maybe won't last a month; I go for subtle changes.

This fall, it's a chopped fro and lighter locks. Occasionally, it's two twists going back for a week, or cornrows for a weekend, all in which someone will surely exclaim; "You've lost weight!" Simply because my hair is no longer rounding me out. Truth be told, the shock of doing something worth a comment isn't lost on me. I like a good, "You've done something different." every now and again.  I find that subtle changes (in almost anything) shakes things up, allowing for a refreshed picture of yourself--even only for a week or so.

And so, are you doing anything different with your hair this season? I've had two friends go lighter, and another just cut her natural hair off. All of them look stunning and seem super happy with the change.

(P.S for more hair inspiration, you can follow my Pinterest board. Photography by Bridget Badore for LaTonya Yvette.)

A Few Fall Essentials

posted on: October 13, 2016

What are you wearing this fall? Last year, I wore a denim shirt almost once a week. This year, I find I am loving boots with skirts and simple medium-sized hoop earrings with almost anything. When the day is particularly busy, I love a pair of sneakers with a dress. I'm on the hunt for a pair of well-fitting black jeans. I think the last time I wore black jeans was about four years ago!

Here are a few fall essentials via Shopbop because they are having a huge sale through Friday with the code: MAINEVENT16.

1.  A patterned dress. Perfect to wear from day to night, with a pair of boots.
2. Black denim. Looks sprayed on.
3. I am a big fan of well-designed trench coats and clean and high denim jeans.
4. A grey turtleneck, because they have the power to make anyone look well-put together.
5. Black platform oxfords with black tights  and mini coats. Please.
6. For a chic black look, throw on this chunky knit with the oxfords and jeans listed above.
7. And finally, a cashmere scarf to keep you comfortable.

Last year's fall essential post.