When I 6 months and my brother was 18 months, sole custody of my brother and I was given to my father. For most of my childhood I resented my mom for not “fighting” for us. I can remember having an empty feeling whenever teachers or other moms would make a references like “ make sure you tell your mom” or “did you ask your mother”. I remember the dread of having to explain that I lived with my dad, and there was no “woman” in our house.
She passed away suddenly from an asthma attack never reaching the age I am now. But as I think back over my life I realize, somehow she rarely missed a milestone in my life. My birthdays, graduations, and even the birth of my first son. It was like she had an internal connection to me.
As Mothers Day approaches I can’t help but think of how much I wish I could talk to her and reconcile my feelings with her. So, this post is dedicated to my beautiful mother Ilona Michele Johnson. If she were here I’d tell her:
Firstly, I forgive you for your absence. Because in your absence I was able to create a beautiful fantasy of womanhood. Not having you there to show me, gave me the chance to pull the best attributes from every woman I saw and encountered. It made me fascinated with hair and clothes, and all thing womanly.
Secondly, I forgive you for not having your love. Because I never knew that you loved me, it makes me shower my children and grandchildren with love. With out question they know I love them. I have been a mom longer than I’ve been anything else in my life, and I intentionally give them affection.
Lastly I forgive you for your illness. I now know why you were different than other moms. I know why you had difficulty dealing with the everyday trials of life. I know you didn’t choose to be ill, but being aware of your illness makes me consciousness of my mental state.
There are so many things that I’d love to say to her, but all in all I’d thank her for giving me life. I’d thank her for my name, because the uniqueness made me stand out. I’d thank her for exposing me to my culture through her Pan-Africanism. I’d thank her for giving me a sense of self worth from an early age. I’d thank her for creating me through her direct and indirect actions. I’d let her know, everything I am I owe to her. With this I would give her a kiss and tell her I love her.
Today I am tackling the question every curly asks at some point on their natural hair journey “How did she get her hair to look like that” ? Most often its when I see a Naturalistas rocking the coveted Twist out! I’ve been natural for almost 3 years and I can’t say I’m totally satisfied with my results…but I have to say I’ve turned the corner, because now I get Curlys asking me that same question. It’s always followed with what products do you use? As if there some secret sauce that makes all twist out perfect.
This is such a loaded question, because the products and the results depend on the condition of your hair, the technique you use, and most importantly your expectations. I’ve watched countless tutorials and read numerous posts about what works best, and the truth is practice makes perfect.
I love doing twist outs but I haven’t yet conquered the world of video editing. So thanks to some of my favorite vloggers I have compiled a few videos to help any curly achieve a bomb twist out!
First up Jenell B Stewart of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.Com . I’m starting with this one because she gives very good details and her steps are clear and defined. Also because her natural hair is not curly and the results are very realistic.
Second is Yolanda Renee of Etcblogmag.com even though she doesn’t do a full tutorial, she gives great tips!
I’m just gonna say, learning that I had to keep each section separated ( no borrowing) was a game changer for my twist out results !
Next Tiffany Arlene of Beautiffulcurls.com, She starts with dry hair, which I also do most times. Also there’s a what to do when your twists aren’t dry tip, HINT you better not take it out yet!
Did you see it? I usually do my twists at night and allow them to dry overnight, but there’s always that one twist that didn’t dry! That’s when I use the quick dry method that you saw in Tiffany’s video.
Okay now you’ve seen 3 different methods on three different hair types. Now how do you maintain that bomb masterpiece? I’m so glad you asked.
This next video is from Angela Lauren of Loveisbellaaa with 5 ways to go to bed with natural hair.
5 bed time routines for natural hair
I have used all of these methods. I usually just refresh in the morning with one of my favorite leave ins, and some oil. Achieving a banging twist out isn’t as hard as it seems. With the right information it’s a piece of cake!
For more tips and style inspiration follow us on Instagram at Instagram.com/mrsphatandnaptural and Facebook at Facebook.com/mrsphatandnaptural
So it’s April, summer is around the corner and I fell off the fitness train! And when I say off I meant all the way off. I got to a place where I wasn’t doing much about my health and believe me before I stepped on the scale my jeans told me! But as I said in my last fitness post👉( Fight Of A Fit Phatty)
“When you fall off don’t stay off!”
I’ve gained 10lbs back and I’ve been eating pretty crappy. I let life get in the way, nope scratch that; I got in my own way.
“Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities”
No excuses, time to get back to health! Knowing is only half the battle, now it time to get back into the fight with this fat!
Here are my chosen weapons of war :
Liquid Gold! A gallon of water a day! Yikes that’s a lot of water! But water is the key to good health! I try to just drink 6 bottles of water so I’m not looking at a gallon all day! If you don’t like plain water add fruit for a good taste and detox!
Hand to Mouth! I mean snacks! Not the fudgy gooey kind, something good and healthy but filling! I love nature valley bars or flavored rice cake minis, fruit, and nuts. Eat something that is filling between meals and make sure it’s not empty calories!
Beat the clock! It’s no secret that most people don’t exercise because of time, but you have to do it. I wish I could go to the gym and rock out for an hour but my life doesn’t work that way! But you can do 20 minute work outs 3 times a day. That will burn the same amount of calories as a continuous hour. I like high intensity workouts that you can do in 20 minutes and burn the same amount of calories or more! Walk at lunch a few days a week, or six 15 minutes bursts if you have to. whatever works for you, do it!
Click fitness! I like to explore Pinterest and YouTube for new exercises. Remember to do the correct forms though! 10 correct moves goes a lot further than 50 incorrect. Last year I could only do ONE push up! I kept trying and now I’m at 10. It’s your heart rate pumping that will be the benefit!
Eyes to see! In every aspect of life we need someone to look to and something to aspire towards. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or favorite social media celebrity, let someone else’s journey inspire you.
Don’t wait until you feel like it! Honestly we will never feel like it most of the time lol! Sometimes I feel like today will be my rest day just like yesterday and I never get anything done.
Reap Wisely! I always say this! Don’t reward yourself with food or punish your self with brutal exercise! Instead reach a goal and purchase something else besides food! If you’ve fallen from fit grace do not over work yourself! Start off slowly and ease your way back in.
I hope you continue to take this journey with me! If you have more tips please leave them in the comments! What are you doing? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
So, this post started out as a list of some of my favorite places to shop. Then as I was literally writing out a draft of that post, I received two emails that changed my direction. One was from someone who wanted to know where I shop at, and the other was from someone who said they were going on vacation and wanted to know what I think they should take.
That got me reminiscing about the days, when I would go into the store, and look for my size and buy it. No matter if I liked it or not. It was my size ( size 20) and fit reasonably well (actually too big), so it came home with me. How pathetic was I?
I know this is the plight of so many plus size women! I hear it all the time. Especially young plus size women. It’s as if there’s no in between, there’s overly sexual ( a whole other post right here) and then there’s frumpy! Well later for all that!
Fast forward to today, ( size 22-24) I love shopping straight size trends and look for classic pieces to keep my wardrobe ever fresh!
Now, I can do outfit of the day posts all day long, and I still get the same question. Where did I get this or that? I want to make this as easy as possible. Below I’ve highlighted some of my favorite straight size 2016 Spring Trends, and listed the stores where you can pick them up.
Cold Shoulder: This is definitely a more feminine trend that looks great on plus sized women. The bare shoulders draws the eye up to your beauty.
Florals: You’ll see this one in small and large prints, appliques, and even combined with other trends. After all Spring Showers Bring May Flowers!
Ruffles: So, I’ve seen some articles describe this trend as “Spanish” however, be careful where you choose to display the ruffles they could add unwanted volume if the are sitting on the wrong curve!
Lace: Most recently, Beyoncé strutted a white lace number at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Yes just like that, all the lace pencil skirts went up! Lol. You see lace on skirts, dresses, shirts as the main fabric or as accents.
Stripes: Yeah, so that ” Big Girls Can’t Wear Stripes” not today! We are blurring the lines and rocking vertical, horizontal, and even diagonal stripes!
Romance: This one has the potential to be dangerous! It’s uber sexy and sometimes called “Daytime Lingerie”. I think you get the picture. Satin, sheers, laces, nets, but it can all be done in good taste. So let’s keep the raunchy out of romance ok.
Denim: This is one of those ever fresh categories. Like when was jeans ever not a trend?
Tulle: Yup, it’s still in! Yay! I love tulle skirts, you can dress them up with heels and a nice blouse, or down with Jean shirts. They go with sandals, sneakers,t-shirts and they fit great on everybody’s body. You can’t mess the look up!
Where I shop in store or online:
Fashion To Figure- mostly online but there are stores in Jersey. The clothes fit true to size and they always have sales.
Tip: Sign up for the email lists, I shop when they have discounts via email.
Burlington- In store, I have one close to my house and one close to my job. So, I’m always checking the racks.
Tip: If you like it, get it right then, because chances are it’ll be gone quick.
Eloquii- Only online. The clothes are a great quality for the price! These pieces last through washing and wearing and they are very fashion forward.
Tip: Same as above, I shop when they have deals and coupons via email.
Asos Curve- Online Only, again the clothes are great quality the sizes are true to size.
Tip: Make sure you by US sizes they not UK sizes. I know a few people that made this mistake.
Torrid- Both instore and online. They absolutely have the best fitting jeans! They always have sales and they have the loyalty rewards for being an insider.
Tip: Use your insider points, and buy ” staple” pieces, because the prices are not cheap.
Ashley Stewart- For years this was the only place I shopped but as of late ehh! It’s still a great resource, but things have changed.
Rebdolls- Online only, I love them but you have to get the extended sizes fast because they sell out quickly! A lot of these pieces are a little young for me. But they are great for the plus sized millennial woman.
Lane Bryant- In store just because it’s close to my house. Sometimes the prices take me down though! I try not to shop in a rush, but if there is ever a last minute need, I go there.
Full Beauty.com- Online only,You can usually find any and everything on this site! That’s their whole niche. Wide shoes, classic trends and the new in thing ” Swimsuits For All”; you name it they have it!
Do you have a favorite store? Drop it in the comments below!
Okay so I’m not forty anymore, but none the less I am a makeup rookie. As with many other things my face isn’t as tight and bright as it use to be. In my twenties and thirties my makeup regimen consisted of a clean face, some eyeliner, and some lip gloss! But as I am getting older and entering into a new phase in my life, I find myself wanting a little more! I’ve always worn special occasion makeup, but I never made it part of my everyday life. Besides I wasn’t any good at applying it, so I just left it alone.
Fast forward to right around last Thanksgiving, for the first time ever I went and sat at the Mac counter and asked them to give me a “face”. Now unlike past trips to the counter, I wanted this one to be one that I could duplicate on my own. So that meant, no contouring, now brows, and not too many steps. I explained to the lady that I didn’t want to look pasty, and I wanted it too look natural. It need not take up anymore of my precious morning minutes! To my delight she did it!
And it’s quick and easy! You can’t mess this up!
First, I use the Mac Prep & Prime fix spray as the base. It acts as a moisturizer, and it has some shimmering things in it! It’s just the thing to add some sparkle to your morning!
Second, I use the Mac Lightful C tinted Moisturizer. Like I said, no contouring, or clowning, very little blending need. But you get great coverage, and it doesn’t settle into the creases and lines of my 40 plus face!
Next I prep my lashes with the Mac false lash primer- I’m getting use to this. I love the results, but it does make my lashes feel stiff. But, my husband has been looking into my big eyes for years and when ever I wear this primer he reminds my how much he loves my eyes! #itsawinner
Then I do my lips. I cover my entire lip with the pencil first, then I apply the All Fired Up lipstick. I love lippies, so this is probably the easiest part for me. I use the beet liner with reds and pinks, so the all fired up gets some extra heat from the beet liner,lol.
Here are the rookie makeup tips she gave me:
Stick with a tinted moisturizer instead of trying to figure out layering and contouring. It gives just the right amount of coverage for my freckles, and spots, but it doesn’t look pasty! As I said before, powders can settle into your lines and make you look older. And for once in my life the color matches my “waffle colored skin” perfectly!
Use a primer under my mascara to make my lashes look longer. Yeah cause I can’t do the falselys either. This one goes on white, I let it dry while I put on my tinted moisturizer.
Fill in my entire lip with the lip pencil before applying my lipstick. This makes the color last longer. Who knew? I’m truly from the eighties so I only used my lip pencil on the edges of my lips. I thought lip liner was only a liner!
Use a translucent powder to help add glow, and set the makeup. Again who knew, lol!
She did it in a little under 5 minutes, so you know I was sold! As I was leaving I saw a young lady buying the finishing powder that I had, and her skin looked radiant! I asked her what she used and she told me about the “fix” spray so I bought that too. I use it under the tinted moisturizer.
From start to finish, in less than 15 minutes I put my new face on!
Now this is usually an icebreaker game played at social gatherings. The concept is as self explanatory. The person tells 2 truth,statements and 1 lie, and the participants have to guess which statement is the lie. This is a lot like trying to navigate your natural hair journey today. There is so much misinformation out there that it almost impossible to tell the truths from the lies!
Between the buzz words, band wagons, and straight BS its no wonder that so many women find it hard to get it right.
Now to be clear, I’m gonna write all three statements as if they are true. As you’re reading try to guess which statement is the lie. Let me know if you guessed correctly 👇leave it in the comments 👇.
1st Statement- Most Hair Grows At The Same Rate: With the exception of underlying medical conditions, age, or severe damage to your hair or scalp, your hair can grow up to 6 inches per year. Now, your hair may shed faster then someone else’s which will make your hair appear to grow slower. Employing methods to reduce the amount of hair that sheds will help you retain more length. Things like protective styling, a good hair regimen (including night time care), proper detangling, and low manipulation will help to reduce hair shedding.
2nd Statement- Natural Hair Should Be Treated The Same As Relaxed Hair: No need to spending tens of dollars, that lead to hundreds of dollars, trying to find the right hair care products for your hair. More than likely you already have what you need. Hair is hair, it’s made of the same thing. It’s not like being natural has changed hair to some fragile, delicate thing that you have to baby. If you’ve been using certain products for years before you went natural why stop now.
3rd Statement- What You Eat Is Important To Your Hair: Your hair starts growing from inside out. So, what you are putting or not putting in your mouth is affecting your hair. This is why the hair, skin, and nail vitamins have become so popular. Yes they do work, no they are not necessary. If you are eating a good diet and drinking enough water, you will not need the HS&N vitamins. For me adding fruits like frozen strawberries to my water, is a 2 for 1 get the hydration from the water and the nutrients from the strawberries. If you have a diet that consists of mainly processed food, high sugar drinks, and bad fats, more than likely your hair tells the story of your bad dietary decisions.
I have heard all of these statements passed along as truth in the natural hair community. However one of these statements is actually not true. Can you guess which one?
Statement number 2 is the lie. Natural hair is very fragile, although it may appear to be stronger than relaxed hair it’s actually not. Also because natural hair is in a “raw” state you need to be careful of the products you use that may easily damage your hair and cause breakage. Relaxed hair can with stand more heat, more twisting, and harsher products because it’s chemically treated. Now I’m not saying that bad hair practices won’t damage relaxed hair too. I’m simply says you need to take a little extra care with your natural hair if you want to see good results.
What are some of the “ lies” that led you wrong on the natural hair journey? We’d love to hear from you? If you can relate to this post, and you like what we are doing, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to leave your comments below.
Stay tuned for more myth busting maybe the lie that lead you astray will make the next installment of 2 truths 1 lie.
It’s no secret that hair sheds more in the colder temps of winter, and to top all it off; the cold air will freeze the water on your tresses and snap them right off! One of the biggest factors is dryness,which is caused by inadequate protection from the cold air. This is what I like to call the “winter fall off”. In urban slang, to “fall off” means you are not looking your best. If you are slipping, one would say he or she “fell off”. This term is also literal, your hair will Fall Off your head! This is why so many people do those protective style challenges in the colder months.
Here are 6 products that get the Mrsphatandnaptural lazy natural stamp of approval to combat the “Winter Fall Off”.
All of these products can be found at your local beauty supply or drug store hair care isle:
1. Sheamoisture Superfruit Complex 10 n 1 Renewal System- Hair and Scalp Serum. This little baby here is the truth! I was introduced to this item in one of my swag bags from a Kinks n Drinks event given by Tribe Called Curl. As usual I had the bottle for months and never touched it. But as I searched for a proper winter hair regimen I decided to give it a try. Oh was I pleased! I’ll start with the down side, it’s in a little glass bottle with a dropper and I must have spilled it fifty – leven times! Other than that it works wonders, I mostly used it as a pre poo, but I’ve also run a few drops through my hair as moisturizer during daily styling. It smells heavenly, and the scent lasts all day!
2. Sheamoisture Superfruit Complex 10 n 1 Renewal System- Shampoo & Conditioner with Marula Oil & Biotin. I love together. The shampoo lathers well, and cleanses very good with out stripping the hair. Down side, it’s not that thick out of the bottle, so I had to get use to not wasting it as I poured it into my hands. The conditioner is also awesome, it has great slip, and does a good job adding softness to my hair.
3. NuNaat- Garlic Magic Leave In. Yes garlic, no it does not smell like garlic! I was introduced to this in my Return Of The Curls swag bag. I wrote to them and they sent me the entire Garlic Magic line. Although I didn’t care for the other products, I love the Leave in! It softened my hair and kept it moisturized and manageable. I used it as my first step in my LOC Method (Leave in, Oil, Cream)
4. Tropic Isle Living- Jamaican Black Castor Oil. This is the second step in my LOC Method. What can I say, it woks! No secrets or tricks here. Just rub it on your edges and ends to seal and protect them. I also massage my edges and nape area with a mixture of 1/3 JBCO, 1/3 Olive Oil, 1/3 grape seed oil as a mid week refresher at night. The only draw back is the smell is strong but not stinky. There are other scented versions but I haven’t tried them.
5. Carols Daughter- Hair Milk Original Leave In Moisturizer. This is my third step for my LOC (Leave in, Oil, Cream) Method. This product is thick enough to be used as a cream although it’s labeled as a Leave In. It has a more creamy consistency then moist leave ins and even works as a heat protectant when I blow dry my hair. I also use this product for daily maintenance. It doesn’t sit on my hair and weight it down. I have no down side to say about this product, but the words rubbed off the bottle.
6. Shea Moisture Raw Sheabutter Extra-Moisture Detangler- Well technically this is number seven because I counted the shampoo and conditioner as 1 entry, but any way. I got this from my Hairstory Swaportunity that I had in October. As a Detangler I didn’t care for it. The feel is very slippery and I didn’t like it. But one of my friends told my she uses it as a leave in, and her hair always looks bomb. So, I decided to give it a shot on my twists. I loved it! It left my hair shinny and feeling soft and moist for days. It’s heavy the first night but by morning my twits looked shinny and healthy!
As you can see the way you use the products are just as important as the products you use.
We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below, or if your not following us on social media you should be! What are some of the products you’re using this winter? Have you ever tried any of these products? Let us know what you’re loving or not loving this winter!
As the kitchen beautician would “Here’s to more hair” toot a loo!
Have you ever heard the saying, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” ? Well, there’s another side to this coin. Duplication is the surest way to fail. In this era of social media we are constantly bombarded with images, ads, and words that tailor our thinking one way or another. Although we have begun to tout this mantra of self-love and body acceptance, it’s no secret that everyone wants to be like someone. It’s human nature to imitate and implement the things we love about someone or something else in our own life.
In fact as followers of Christ we are charged to live a life that can be imitated by others. We are to be Christlike as Christ imitates The Father to be Godlike. The bible says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew ??chapter and verse
The real danger comes from trying to duplicate others actions, looks and or life.
“Why Be A Copy When You Were Born Original” by Oscar Wilde
Follow me now, this relationship with trying duplicate others is a slippery slope.
For one, it’s not authentic and you will not be able to keep it up.
For two, when you can no longer keep up the charade it will cause feelings of defeat.
For three, people can tell when you are not real.
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look to others for inspiration, but we need to apply these thing to our life as it fits us. I believe we need examples of how to be, as well examples of how not to be!
I remember the older women always saying
“ Take It Home and Make It Look Like You”.
In this picture I was inspired by ChiChi from Supple Chic. I could have gone out and had a skirt like hers made or tried to buy one, but instead I went to my closet and found this plaid pencil skirt that I got from Torrid. In fact the cut of that skirt may have been a little easier on my mid section lol.
At 5’3 and well over what is considered an acceptable weight, it’s no question that I have to be creative when dressing my body. My legs and hips are one of those features that I love about my body, so for me pencil skirts give me the curvy longer look that I prefer. I choose to wear my shirt on the outside because, to me it looks and feels better on the area (tummy time) that I don’t care for.
So, do look to others for inspiration. Do not try to duplicate them. While they say “For every one idea you have, three other people have it at the same time” but nobody has your version of it!
Remmber be the best you that you can be! Because everyone else is taken!
1. Make sure you are speaking the love language of your hair. How, you ask? By knowing your hair’s porosity level.
Trying to love on your hair without speaking its language:
not exactly the ideal love huh?
2. Wine and dine her with tender vittles! Not literally the cat food, but lean proteins like eggs, Salmon, nuts, also brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and Greek yogurt. Just remember what ever you put in your mouth, will show up in your hair. Some of my favorites are spinach, salmon, and almonds.
3. Pour on the love potion, Water! This is the only way to truly add moisture. Drink it, spray it, look for it in your products.
4. Communication is the key! Learn to listen to your hair. You will be able to feel when it needs a trim, or extra attention.
5.Turn up the heat! Wash your hair with higher temperature water, this helps to open the cuticle.
6. Be cool! Rinse your hair with cooler temperature water. This helps to close the cuticle sealing in the moisture .
7. Be gentle. The best thing to dry your hair with is a t-shirt. Using a towel can pull and tug adding stress to your tresses. As long as you are not dying your hair it will not ruin the shirt, so yes its reusable.
8. Some times you have to go deeper. Deep condition every 4-5 weeks. You don’t need to do it every week, but you should at least do it every month to a month and a half.
9. Be clear! Cleanse your hair every 6-8 weeks with either a clarifying shampoo, or ACV Rinse.
10. Get trim. Now the time line depends on your hair and its condition. At least every 8-12 weeks is a good ruler.
11. Profess and protect! After 6 weeks your protective style has lost its protection.
12.Seal the deal! Coat your ends and your edges with a good oil. Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, these are the three most commonly used.
13. Loc it down. Employ the LOC Method: Liquid ( Water or water based leave -in) Oil ( Oil or butters in the winter) then last- Cream ( cream based leave-in / styler/ alcohol free gel)
14. Lay it on thick! In cooler temperatures replace your hair oil with a hair butter.
15. Trust the process. Love takes time and so will your hair love affair.
Lol I hope you have enjoyed our 15 steps to a love affair with your hair! Humor aside, we know, discovering how to love your hair is the key to a healthy and happy hair journey. What are some of your love gestures to your hair? Did we leave anything out? Please comment and let us know what you think!
Sometimes winter fashion is all about the outerwear or footwear, but this post is about an oldie but goody…the sweater dress! The sweater dress has 50 Shades of style! I’m not a dress wearer but this dress is as comfortable as my favorite jeans, as cozy as a pair of sweats, and cute to boot!
It’s a dress that is comfy enough that I wore it to drive on a 2.5 hour car ride, and when I got there I looked as good as I did when I first put it on. The sweater dress is forgiving to your curves, and did I say it comfortable? Oh yeah I did!
Next to comfort, the variety of style options is the best thing! You can take it all the way up with some pumps, or way down with a ballet flat. If you can make it work, they even look great with a fresh pair of Keds. My favorite way to rock this style is with a high knee boot, and an obi belt placed at empire waist height. By adding the belt it draws the eye up away from my belly! The sweater dress, knee boot look is a classic that can be worn by most body shapes.
As a more curvy girl, I love the way the sweater dress hugs my curves. You can wear them at thigh length or to the floor! They still look great!
Between the snow, the cold, and the ice, the Northeastern Winter can just make you fashion sick! So, make sure you have a cozy, comfy, and cute sweater dress in your fashion first aid kit! What do you have in your Winter Fashion First Aid Kit? What are your winter go to pieces and how do you rock them.
My natural hair is smoothed up into a protective style updo with Cantu Leave in, separated into 3 sections the front section pinned to a pompadour anf the middle and side pulled forward and pinned to the gawds!