Tag: #blogger

Plus Size Fall Fashion Favorites : Graphic Tee & Moto Jacket

Well peeps, it’s finally here! The Fall as we call it, my favorite season. I am a crispy air, colored leaf and hot beverage loving soul. Not to mention it’s my birthday season! One of my favorite things about fall is all the cute fall fashions that we have the pleasure of downing. Some of my favorite pieces of fall fashion are a great pair of jeans, a graphic t and a bomb jacket.

 

Every year for the last few years everyone talks about Moto jackets. I must have 3 or 4 but I always have the same issue, the arms are too tight. So when I ordered this Waterfall Moto Jacket ( it’s sold out but here is a similar Moto ) from Rebdolls, the first thing I checked was the fit on the arms. To my surprise, there is a knit panel under the arm that runs back of the arm which is perfect of you have larger arms. The Micro suede or fuax suede as they call it, makes it look kind of like a blazer to me. It’s definitely Boss Girl Chic. It’s an Office to After Hour piece.

This graphic tee is one that I’ve had in my closet for a few years, but it is really soft and hits me at just the right length to cover my stomach. I picked it up at Forever 21. I don’t often shop there because most of the items I get seem to run small.

Now my favorite piece of this simple fall look is the dark denim. BTW I love when I hear the trend spotters say things like denim is in this season. Lol, when has denim not been in? IDK, I’ve always been a jeans and T-shirt girl. But back to these jeans, they are RWN by Rawan. I’ve never heard of them before I received them in my Curvycon swag bag. They will run you a pretty penny at $78. They are about the same quality as the Torrid jeans, which I’ve said in the past are my most favorite plus size jeans. I have to admit, I find myself reaching for these instead of my Torrid skinnies. They have the perfect amount of stretch, and they are all day comfortable.

The dark wash allows me to get away with wearing them in the office for a not so impromptu casual Thursday. In fact replace the graphic T with a white button up and that’s it. Casual Thursday on deck! I topped the look off with a laced ballet flat. This season shoes are pointed toe again. These are from Asos.com.  I love that they carry wide width shoes. Now even if you are a little weary about being shoes online, you can rest easy because they carry wide and so chances are they will fit perfect.

 

If you’ve read all the way to the bottom, don’t mind my face! I just noticed it looks like I’m aggravated, but I’m not. Anyway what are some of your favs this Fall? Hit me in the comments and let me know.

Saying Farewell To Summer : My Summer Of Yes To Self

There is something about the hot days and bright colors of Summer that lends itself to endless promises of fun filled days and exhausting excitement! I know, I always think of vacations, easy living, quick meals, cold treats and tons of barbecues, brunches, and outdoor events that are just beaming with happy beautiful people, just enjoying life and living in pure joy! But is that really true? It can be if you say Yes to self!

This Summer I knew I wouldn’t be able to go on an epic vacation, so I made a conscious decision to enjoy my Summer Saturdays to the fullest. Instead of lamenting about what I couldn’t do, I chose to enjoy what I could. Believe me you, it wasn’t easy to watch my friends and family traveling to and from Aruba, Greece, Sol, even China and Dubai! I made the decision to live through them instead of being ungrateful for what I have. Yes, I embarked on epic vacation like experience for myself on my Summer Saturdays!

I spent most of my Summer 17 Saturdays hitting up free music festivals, going sight seeing, and flea market treasure hunting. I treated myself to a Mary J Blige concert. Yes, two days before the show, I looked up the tickets and saw that they still had seats for the MSG show. I texted my girls and they were more than excited to go. Normally I would have talked  myself out of going. Just because it wasn’t planned in advanced, but I’m so glad that I said yes to myself!   We had a ball, all three of us work hard and take great care of our families, but we rarely do something just for ourselves. Yes, Treat Yo Self!

I knew I had already purchased my ticket to TheCurvycon being held during New York Fashion Week, so I knew I had that to look forward to as well. Yes, being in the company of so many confident, beautiful, positive, curvy women and men is intoxicating! Yes, Find Yo Tribe!

I was invited to the New Jersey Hair N Beauty Expo as a special invited guest. The initial yes was to the invite. I was excited to be in the collective of all the New Jersey naturals from my area. Then wouldn’t you know it, I was asked to be on the panel, to answer questions about my natural hair journey, and to encourage and instruct new naturalists! Yes, I said Yes! Yes, To Yo Testimony!

So the calendar says it’s the start of fall, but the temperatures have been hotter this past week, than many of the days in our so called summer. We Say Goodbye to the season, but we don’t have to say the promise. Carry the feeling of seeking joy into to Fall by saying Yes To Self!

How did you spend your Summer? Did you do things that make you happy? Did you say Yes To Self? Let me know in the comments how your plan to say yes to yourself.

Wisdom Wednesday : Are You Missing Your Blessing?

“And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:11-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sped through the creation story, never recognizing the blessing in divine order. God created fruit beating trees, vegetation, and plants yielding seed .i.e “food” days before there was anything living to eat the food. Three days before creating man,on the 6th day, and two days before creating the animals on the fifth day.

On the third day God provided provision. Before there was even a need. He had not yet created Adam and Eve yet he made provisions for them.

This is exactly the way God makes provision for us! Well in advance of our need, God has already provided the “food”. But how often are we speeding by the creation because it seems insignificant?

Or maybe we have a picture of what said blessing should look like, so we can’t acknowledge the blessing when it shows up, because it’s not packaged the way we think it should be.

Well, we know what happened to the last “people” that rejected a blessing because it didn’t appear they way they thought it should right? Ok then, enough said.

The challenge for us is to see the provision and care, even when it is different than we expect, because God is God, his ways are not like our ways, and His thought are higher than our thoughts.

First we must have faith. When we put your faith in Christ, God commissions himself to protect, provide, and care for us.

When you put your faith in Christ, the bible tells us we will have what ever we so desire. God always provides for his children, though often it is not in the way we expect or hope.

So as I bring this message to a close I leave you with the following scripture

Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

And lastly, always seek God!

101 Natural Hair Tips: 81-90 Tips For Summertime Hair Care

I remember  facing my first summer with natural hair. The thought of sweaty, nappy, unruly hair was the vision I had! I was so used to having relaxed hair, I had no idea what I was going to do. Little did I know that summer was my hair’s best growth season. All I had to do was follow a few easy tips, and this lazy natural was on her way to an easy growth spurt!

Now over the years I’ve added a few more, but here are my Summertime hair care tips to maximize your growth season!

81-90 Tips For Summertime Hair Care

1. Clean Time In Between Time: Keeping your hair clean, and moisturized. This is my number one hair tip. Even if you don’t wash it every week, do a quick Cowash in between your wash sessions.

👉 Click Here for Wash Day Tips👈

2. Get Down To The Root Of It: Your hair grows directly from your scalp, so it is important to keep your scalp clean and healthy and free from debris. A healthy scalp is probably one of the most underrated necessities for healthy and or long hair.

3. Let Go Of What’s Not Serving You: Get a fresh trim. Even if you only trim once a year, make it a summer trim. While your hair is growing you don’t want it to be stunted by those dead ends. They are useless!

4. Wet Your Whistle: Drink plenty of water! Very often the summer is dry and hot, so you want to make sure you drink plenty of water. By staying hydrated you are also giving your hair hydration.

Wet Your Whistle

5. Aloe There Honey: Use humectants to increase the moisture in your hair. I love natural humectants such as aloe Vera juice, and honey. You can add the aloe vera juice to your spray bottle and spritz your hair at night before bed. Or add some honey to your conditioner.  This will add softness and shine like you wouldn’t believe.

👉 Click here for Aloe & Honey Prepoo👈

6. Soak & Seal: By soaking your hair with clear water and sealing with your favorite oil before swimming,  you limit the amount of chlorine or salt water that your hair will absorb. Even though this is a no brainer, I’m just gonna say it anyway wash and condition after swimming alright.

 

Swimming Tips

7. Keep It Moving: Get out and get some sun. Go for a walk, or go to a fair or carnival and walk around. The circulation will increase blood flow and encourage healthy hair growth.

8. Style With Ease: Employ protect styles, and easy pony tails and buns. The less pulling the better. If you’re ever going to try a wash n go, this is the time! Layer that product on and let it ride!

👉 click Here for 5 Easy Goto styles👈

Take It Easy

9. Don’t Be A Hot Head: It’s impossible to keep your hair healthy if you are burning it out. This means the sun too. If you are going to be out in the hot sun for prolonged periods, make sure you cover your head or use a protective product. Just as you have to protect your skin, your hair needs protection as well.

10. Embrace The Ohm! : This is so underrated! Let the easy breezy summer feel sink in! Enjoy the warm weather. Go to the movies, the music festival, hit as many street fairs as you can fit in. Believe you me, you tresses feel the stresses!

Don’t Worry Be Happy

These are our basic Summer time tips to make sure you have happy, healthy, fluffy summer hair! Now go forth and play and slay all day!

Born Flawless : Embrace Your Normal

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

First and foremost God loves you and

“You were born flawless”

Auntie Oprah likes to say babies come into the world trailing the breath of Angels. They know they are born flawless.

As we grow through life and experiences we get imprinted with images, encounters and other people’s  beliefs and  ideas which cause us to question our flawless-ness. These people who imprint their beliefs, and fears on our psyche, sometimes think they are doing us a favor.

I’m not just talking about tramatic or drastic things. Sometimes these are subtle consistant themes or words that we hear or are being told that slowly seep into our being. And before you know it, you and self doubt are old roommates!

Self doubt can hold you hostage. Usually there are two extremes. Either you exhaust your self trying to over compensate for your feelings of inadequacy. Or you become paralyzed with fear of failure and never step out on faith.

You end up standing by, questioning every thought and watching everyone else get what God has for them. Sometimes this can ever make you bitter, or worst yet, you become a hater! You hate on any and everything because you can’t find your joy. But all you have to do is realize that it’s you that holds your own self back!

How to have a totally awesome life 👉 ( old post same thoughts)

You need only to make a decision to seek your own happiness!

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ~Unknown

Here are three steps to embracing your normal:

#1 The first step is to stop comparing yourself to others! Their normal is not your normal. Even identical twins are not completely the same. There is no other human being that has your specific gifts and talents. What God gave you is uniquely created to bring forth your purpose.

#2 Stop questioning yourself!  You are more than enough. Don’t let that imposter syndrome make you believe that,  what you have is not for you. Consider God’s grace. When you feel undeserving, that’s a reminder to be grateful! God’s Grace has shined upon you. Give God The Glory!

#3 Forget trying to be perfect! I’m not saying don’t do your best, but your best is as perfect as it gets. If you start taking the steps towards your dreams, have faith that God will magnify them. I remember as a young parent, I would have a certain vision in mind that I want to create for my children.  I’d  get as much as I could, but not the way I had envisioned. So in my mind,  I would immediately start thinking of apologies for not being good enough. And before I could open my mouth to apologize, they were thanking me and showing me how grateful they were.

So remember short, tall or bald, you are flawless! Big belly, flat booty,skinny legs, big legs, you are still flawless! Walk in your beauty and embrace your normal!

 

Love others as you love yourself, but you must first love yourself!

 

101 Natural Hair Tips: 71-80 Tips For Healthy Protective Styling

    71-80 Ten protective style tips

Hey Ladies, I started the 101 Natural Hair Tips series at the beginning of the year. I quickly churned out, Natural Hair Care Basics, Natural Hair Basics and then Wash Day Basics .  It was Winter, which is the harshest season on your tresses, so I gave you  Winter Hair Care Tips .

The Series was going well and the next three installments were reader requests to address specific issues. First we had Transitioning Tips, then How To Avoid Becoming A Product Junkie, and finally Tips For Color Treated Hair . After that I took a little break an did a few fashion posts. Fast Forward to the present, I’m back to finish up the series.

Spring is now upon us, and this is the perfect time to wear protective styles. In most cases your hair grows the best, and you retain more length in the warmer weather. That being said, here are a few tips to maximize your hair growth while wearing protective styles. When I wrote this post, I was thinking of Braids and Weaves, but there are quite a few ways to do protective styles. These tips apply to them all.

1. Make Sure Your Scalp Is Clean & Healthy before Install. – This should kind of be a no brainer. None the less, if you have bumps, redness, soars, are anything like this, wait until your scalp is healed. Likewise always start with clean dry hair (trimmed if needed) to get the best results.

2. Deep Condition & Moisturize Your Natural Hair. – If You are going to keep this style in for a few weeks, you want to make sure you are taking care of your natural hair so it doesn’t break off during this time.

3. Avoid Excessive Pulling And Or Tugging. This is so important! Your hair is not permanently attached to your head. Too much pulling and tugging will cause your hair to rip out right at the root. It could even cause you to lose sections of hair. If it hurts bad, take it out!

Hair tip: avoid excessive pulling

4. Massage Your Scalp Daily- This is to keep circulation going, and promote a healthy scalp. I use my favorite oil, but it works even if you just use your finger tips. This is part of my nighttime routine any way. But I just do it a little longer when I have a protective style.

5. Keep Your Hair & Scalp Moisturized and Free From Build Up. – It’s important to maintain a clean scalp at all times but especially when wearing protective styles. This will help you prolong your style, and avoid itching. There are several ways to keep your scalp build up free, even if you suffer from flaky scalp. The easiest way is to take a wash cloth with warm water,and a little shampoo if you prefer and simply wipe between the twists or braids freeing and removing  debris from your scalp. You could also do this same technique with baby wipes. Or for a deeper clean you can mix some Apple Cider Vinegar with some water, put it in a nozzle bottle and apply it in the parts of your hair. This does require rinsing. I usually put the hair in 2-4 buns so it doesn’t get all wet, and when I rinse I try to only let the water rinse my scalp.  Also there are lots of brands that make products for what they call “under care” it means your hair under your protective style.

Undercare products by Cantu

6. Cover Your Head When Sleeping- Simple and plain. This helps to preserve your style, as well as protect your natural hair while you sleep. After all, that is the point of protective styling right!

Hair Tip Wrap your hair up when you sleep

7. Put Your Hair In A Bun Whenever Possible- this helps to reduce the tress on your natural hair. The more you keep it up, the less weight you have pulling on your tresses. And of course the obvious, it looks so cute!

Bun Life

8. Clean Your Hair & Scalp Regularly- I mean actually wash your hair. I’ve detailed and ACV rinse for your scalp above, that can also be used on your hair about once a month. I usually was mine about every 2 weeks. I take the shampoo ( right now I’m loving Eden Body Works Peppermint Shampoo) and massage it directly on my scalp. Then I put my hair in 2 buns and rinse it out when I get in the shower. You can let it air dry or you can sit under a hooded dryer.

9. After 6-7 Weeks A Protective Style Can Cause Damage. Now I know some people women who leave their weaves and braids in for up to 12 weeks or maybe even longer. However this is a very dangerous practice. After 6-8 weeks the hair begins to week and damage and breakage begins to occur for most people.

10. Carefully Remove & Detangle When Uninstalling- After one week two weeks are even 12 weeks, your hair has been shedding, (about 100 hairs a day) but the hairs have stayed in place because you haven’t manipulated it. Now the dead or shed hair can and will break loose when you remove the protective style. The hair shaft itself is in a weakened state so you want to be careful not to break off any more hair than has to. I normally remove my hair in sections, detangle and apply a prepoo all in one step. This helps me get ready to wash and deep condition shortly after I takedown my protective style.

Any questions? Lol, just remember wearing a protective style is all about maximizing your hair growth periods. In the past women wore them specifically for that reason. Now sometimes it’s about style, sometimes it’s about ease of lifestyle, or just plain laziness. What every your reason, these tips will help you make the most of it.

 

5 Stylish Summer 17 Hairstyles For Natural Hair : Easy Crochet Styles

Well it’s officially the Summer 17 season. As we begin to slow down and get into the easy breezy summer feel, nothing says summer style like a great protective hair style.

I love protective styles, but I hate how long they take to install. Until now, the crochet technique is back on the scene, and I’m oh so happy!

The crochet technique is an old trend that’s become new again. I used to wear crochet braids back in the late 90’s ( Yeah I know some of ya’ll  were just babes).  But today’s styles and techniques are so much more advanced. The whole idea of the crochet braids is it allows you to achieve a great looking protective style in a fraction of the time.  There are so many styles and techniques out there today, but it’s just like us lazy naturals to find a short cut, to the short cut, lol.  We’ve gathered 5 of the most popular styles and found them in a crochet technique which not only slices the installation time, it also makes it easy for any and everybody to be able to do it.

1. Now this one is for the beginner ! It only requires that you can plat your hair.

Easy 6 plat crochet 

2. This one is similar to number one but it takes a little more skill.

No Cornrow Crochet 

 

3. How about box braids? I know, what a time saver!

Box Braid Crochet

4. This one is not so easy, but it’s easier and takes less skill than other techniques that I’ve seen. This is my favorite look of all five.

Goddess LOCs

 

 

5. This is a style that I was shocked to see in a crochet technique, but after I watched the videos I couldn’t wait to try it.

Feed Braids

 

I will be doing some version of number 5 very soon. I love the feed braids because the are easy in and easy out! I’ll more than likely get 3 or 4 at some point during Summer ’17. What is your favorite protective styles? Hit us up on Facebook Facebook.com/mrsphatandnaptural and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Plus Sized Street Style : Classic Red Trench Graphic Tshirt & Jeans Type

Trends come and go but classic style lasts forever

Hello March! Well by the calendar Spring is on the way. But by the thermometer, it’s not quit that time yet! I’m not one of those girls who follow all the trends. Instead I like to add a few trends to my classic wardrobe so it lasts and I always look up to date.

This Red trench is about 5 years old. It has a classic cut so it never goes out of style. I love the gold buttons and the red color that give it just the added touch to keep it complimentary.

Black Girls Are Lit 🔥
Black Girls Are Lit 🔥

Ever since I could remember, I’ve been most comfortable in a tight pair of jeans and a snug T-shirt. In my younger years they would most definitely be paired with a pair of hot kicks ( depending on where you are from you probably call them sneakers or tennis shoes). As an over 40 year old woman, I still love my jeans and T-shirt, but today I pair them with a sexy knee boot. These wide calf over the knee boots are from Ashley Stewart. The perforated leather clutch is Thrifted a few years ago. The black Jeggins are also from Asley Stewart.

Black Girls Are Lit! 🔥
Black Girls Are Lit🔥
Black Girls Are Lit 🔥
Black Girls Are Lit 🔥

 

Black Girls Are Lit🔥

Black Girls Are Lit 🔥

This is one of my favorite T-shirts. I am a self proclaimed T-shirts snob. I am very funny about the fit and feel of my T-shirts. Again, they need to feel classic and timeless. For me this graphic tee from Alldemshades.com is the hottest. As you can see I love the saying “Black Girls Are Lit🔥” . I remind my self of that everyday!  Now I’m not saying any other girls aren’t, but I don’t know about them. But what I do know is, even without Michelle in the White House, even without Taraji winning the Oscar, even without Beyoncé winning  the Grammy

Black Girls Are Lit🔥 💋

 

5 Ways To Speak Life Into Your New Year

As we left 2016, I couldn’t help but notice all of the references, posts, and comments on how bad the year was for a lot of people. I even saw some uber talented individuals made an actual horror movie trailer of all the headlines. It was hilarious! However this only further proves my point that so many people are feeling dispaire. To use the words of our current FLOTUS ” We are feeling what not having hope feels like” . But please let me encourage you don’t get “Trumped Up”. There is always hope. As long as we are here among the living, it is our duty to make everyday the best day, and be grateful for the opportunity to do so.

I’m not saying we won’t have bad days. I’m just saying don’t stay in the dark places too long! As for me, I am claiming 2017 the year I live with purpose. I believe in my magic! Are you with me?

Here are five ways you can speak life into your new year!

1. Use Your Words Wisely 

 

You become what you say about yourself. So keep it positive. This is something we’ve all heard all our lives. You know, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all. Even in scripture ” For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. So fill your heart with good words. Sometimes I print my favorite quotes and hang them in places where I can see them when I need encouragement. I have them in my car, around my house, and oh boy do I have them around my office at work. Lol that’s a whole other story 😁. I also keep my vision board posted by my mirror and  it is my screen saver on my phone. It reminds me to keep the good vibes.

2. Hold Your Thoughts Captive

Be intentional with your thoughts. I’ll be the first one to say, this is hard! But it’s so necessary. You can’t let the negative talk begin. When you feel the negatity taking over, redirect your thoughts. If you like music, this is a perfect time to create a playlist. Play those songs when you know you need a pick me up. If you have a favorite motivational speaker or podcast hit play and get it into your head. Again the quotes, and words of affirmation come in handy here as well. I once had a difficult coworker that I had to deal with everyday. Someone gave me a workplace prayer, which I hung on the wall right behind my monitor, so I read it all day everyday. It helped me to be mindful of my reactions to her aggressive behavior.  Without my reaction she had no fuel. Eventually she stopped her behavior with me and moved on to another coworker which got her fired.

3. Surround Yourself With Good People 

Even if the people around you don’t understand what you are trying to do, as long as the don’t try to project their  fears on you, they are good people. Sometimes people are so use to being negative, and gossiping, and talking bad about people that they don’t see anything wrong with it. Stay away from this! My dad use to say, if you bring a bone you’ll carry a bone. In other words the same person who’s talking negatively with you will do the same about you.

4. Believe You Are Great

Like Beyoncé said,” I’m feeling myself ” sometimes you just have to feel you own self! BT dubs have you seen Insecure AF on HBO,? I love the way Issa raps to herself in the mirror! Lol I’m not saying you have to break out your rhyme book, but you can stand in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful, smart, and wonderful you are. I saw an old clip of Jay Z on Hot 97,  saying how his uncle told him he’d never sell a million records, and he didn’t believe him. He knew he’d sell a million records and that’s all that mattered.

5. Do Your Best

This one doesn’t take much explaining.Go the extra mile! Work at your best, and you’ll yeild the best results.

Just be dope!

On that note **drops mic**

5 ways to speak life into your new year

 

Hey Girl! Believe In Your Magic

Black girls are lit

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, we have to be careful to make time to keep ourselves spiritual strong.  Sometimes we women loose ourselves trying to meet all the needs of those around us. We serve our husbands, children, bosses, and communities and we forget or are just too tired to serve ourselves. I know for me, doing things for myself makes me feel a little guilty at times. But when the guilt starts to seep in, I just remember who I am.  I remember that I can do anything and everything I decide to do. My grandmother use to say ” you just have to set your mind to it”

You do know you are what dreams are made of right? You are magic! You have that thing that only you have that makes you special! That’s your magic! You can’t let fear, doubt, guilt, are anything else take your magic.

I love words of affirmation, so when I found this poem It reminded  me of the beauty I posses. Everyone should feel this way about themselves.

Black girls are lit

My Pledge of Allegiance to Me
Written by Letitia L. Hodge
There’s more to me than the human eye can see.
I’m a woman of purpose and destiny.
A perfect design, I’m special and unique.
I won’t be identified by the parts that make
up my physique.

Black girls are lit
My beauty is not defined by my skin or my hair
and my soul has more value than
the clothes that I wear.
I’m not a symbol of pleasure or sex appeal;
I have the natural ability to comfort
and the power to heal.
When God made me, He created a gem
because He fashioned me in the likeness of Him.
I refuse to do anything that will put God to shame.
I deserve to be treated with reverence
and called by my name.

Black girls are lit
I can’t be purchased or sold at any price
because I’ve already been bought and paid
for by the precious blood of Christ!
I praise You because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139:14)

Black girls are lit

Ya feel me? Better yet do you feel yourself? Stay in your magic and Be blessed💋