My Hair Care Essentials

Let me just say that I have been wanting to do a hair care post for ages!!! For the past three months I have been obsessed with restoring my hair and keeping it as healthy as possible. Towards the end of November, I really wanted to try more natural products to help grow and strengthen my hair. After tons of research, I thought that trying a few Shea Moisture products would be great for my hair condition and texture. My hair is very thick,coily, and gets very dry all year long. The Shea Moisture products pictured above along with their Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in from the Raw Shea Butter collection brought my hair back to life. My hair is now softer and more manageable after using these products. The raw shea butter,argan oil, and plantain are the main ingredients that really restructure and improve my hair strands.

Also, I have been using Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil to moisture my hair before and after washing. Lately, I've been watching a ton of Hey Fran Hey videos and I learned that this oil is an excellent detangler and moisturizer. Another tip that I picked up from her is to not use shampoo as often. Before you freak out, I stopped using shampoo as often because it just strips my hair of moisture and irritates my scalp too much. Instead of shampoo, I use an organic apple cider vinegar rinse that is about (1/4 cup water,2 cups apple cider vinegar) to cleanse my scalp and balance my pH levels. After application, I let it sit in my hair for about 30 minutes and wash it out. I do this rinse once every three weeks and co-wash with conditioner every week. This has helped eliminate 99% of my dandruff and has visibly improved my hair elasticity. If you have any questions or recommendations please let me know in the comment section below.

P.S. I realize that my hair is very different than some of my readers so please research to see if these products and techniques are suitable for you :)


My Valentine's Day Playlist

I want to wish everyone an early Happy Valentine's Day. Normally I don't really get too excited about this holiday but this year is different. This year I have really awesome plans and I couldn't be happier for the 14th to come. Also, I recent shot a V-Day style editorial for CIRCUS Magazine so check it out!

Below is a playlist that I put together for the day so I hope you enjoy it.

*Photo still from the movie Grease


Winterize Your Nails With Julep

I recently received a great nail tutorial from Julep™ . They provided me with great tips to "winterize" my nails that I now implement in my own routine. In the colder months, my nails get very dry and break very easily. After trying a couple of Julep's products, I can honestly say that I see a small difference in my nails. My nails are definitely more healthier than they were before. Look down below to see how you can strengthen your nails and make them look twice as good. 

Clip & Shape
Clipping your nails to a short length and smooth edges. Shorter nails are easier to keep clean and healthy for the winter. 

Cuticles: Be Gone!
Soak your nail beds with a few drops of the Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover for at least 30 seconds. Use a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick to gently push your cuticles back.

Clean Up Time
Buff and nip hang nails and dead cuticles. Then, wash your hands and nails thoroughly with soap.

Extra Oomph
Polish your nails with two coats of the Oxygen Nail Treatment to keep them strong and healthy. 

Moisturize Often
Use Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum twice a day to keep your tips hydrated and happy through dry winter months. To add moisture to your hands you can use Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Lotion. I use it every single day and I absolutely love it.

Julep Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover and Oxygen Nail Treatment

In addition to these tips that Julep provided me with, I highly suggest implementing more Biotin in your diet. Digesting biotin daily helps support nail and hair growth and has worked wonders for me. Also, feel free to check out Julep's vast range of beautiful nail polishes here.

P.S. I am starting my spring semester soon which means I won't be able to upload as often. I hope you all understand and if you have any quick post suggestions let me know in the comments below :)


How To Make Southern Tea Cakes

Ever since I could remember, I have always enjoyed eating my grandmother's and mother's tea cakes. Every single time I eat one, I'm instantly reminded of the comforts of home and my early childhood. For those of you who are wondering, a tea cake is typically a large dense cookie. Tea cakes have been a staple dessert for my mother's family for many generations. This afternoon, I finally took the time to watch my mother make them and I thought it would be nice to give you guys a standardized recipe.

What You Will Need
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl add your softened butter and beat well with an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add eggs and sugar, beating well at the same pace. Combine flour, baking powder,baking soda, and nutmeg; add mixture alternately with buttermilk mixing well.Stir in the vanilla extract,lemon extract, and cinnamon with a large spoon. Add golf ball-sized amounts of the dough onto your cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

The yield is usually 3 dozen tea cakes


New Beginnings

I'm so happy that a new month and year is soon to come. 2014 has been filled with numerous trials and tribulations and over the past two weeks of my winter break I had time to reflect on all of them. Looking back, I think I wasted a lot of time this year by stressing and worrying too much. Also, I spent way too much time dealing with toxic people. Those two factors really made me very depressed and left me with so much anxiety. I had my first panic attack earlier this year and after that I knew some things had to change.

Over the summer, I read a few self-help books along with daily mediation and that really stirred me in the right direction. I learned to not to be so hard on myself and to begin the journey of truly loving myself. Loving yourself sounds so simple but in reality it is something that many people forget to do. Accepting yourself despite your flaws and being selective about who or what feeds into your aura is very important. Over the past 12 months, I have been blessed to meet people who have helped me become a better person and artist. I am so grateful to have met so may other bloggers,photographers,models, designers who understand and encourage my passion of creating art and blogging.

This year my blog has grown so much and I am happy for all the opportunities I have been given. A huge thank you goes to my blog's designer,Sarah Gardner,for helping me with my blog's re-design in July. Along with making my blog look crisp and clean, I have started with new post categories such as beauty,literature and soon food. I noticed that I have been less passionate about fashion and OOTD posts lately and those posts take longer for me to create so please be patient. This blog is becoming more of a lifestyle blog so please understand.

Overall, 2014 has given me so much and I can't wait to see what 2015 has to offer. I've had some good times and some bad times this year but despite it all I am still here. I made it to see another year and I plan on it using my time on this earth more wisely. Below I have listed some of my New Year's Resolutions and a video about positivity. Also, if you have any post ideas that you would like to see please let me know down below <3

I love you all for your support and I look forward to seeing more of you in the upcoming year.

My Resolutions for 2015 
Being more patient
Spending more time with family
Becoming mentally and physically fit
Praying and mediating more
Becoming a mentor
Finding an Internship 
Planning a Vacation