Down the Aisle #TheWhiteWay: Our Love Story

I didn’t ask for this.

I sure wasn’t expecting it either.

I wasn’t one of those girls that would sit in her bedroom wishing for her King to come and sweep her off her  feet and sing sweet melodies into the distance. I had other plans. ME plans. MY plans. I plans. Mine, mine, MINE. Who is a WE anyway? There’s no WE with Marisa. Nope. Notta. Is that even a word? Notta? It is today.  I think my family was very concerned for me. I haven’t brought a man home since my high school sweetheart. I was 17 then. I  was approaching mid-twenties. Before him, I never brought anyone home to meet the fam. I was asked, “When are we gonna meet him?” or “So, what’s his name?” or “Do you even like boys?” No. I like men thank you very much. Anyway, then he came. Out. Of. Nowhere. I remember like it was yesterday, only this happened over 5 years ago. I was at my lowest in life (at least that’s what I thought), trying to literally rise from the ashes. Me and Jesus were friends again and I was making those plans! I was home, living with my dad and step-mom. One degree down, and I need a job to save a bunch of money so I can get out of that little town. A call center job. Nothing serious.

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He was one of my floor trainers. Once you’re done in the classroom, you’re on the floor using all the tools you didn’t learn in the class to take these random, bogus calls about cell phones and their expensive ridiculous plans. And then I raised my hand to ask a simple question. Just one of those yes or no questions. Not a life story question. I asked him that question and he thought it was okay to give me an essay of an answer. No, sir. I don’t need all that, THANK YOU! That was rude Marisa. So rude. That intrigued him. He would talk to me every chance he got when I came to work. A hello here and there. A tiny conversation outside during break time.

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I knew he was younger than me. But I wasn’t even looking at him like that. Just making conversation. Then our conversations became interesting. He can actually hold a decent conversation! That was rare at that job. That intrigued me. We talked about everything from pop culture, religion, music, celebrity gossip, current events, you name it. Then he took my phone and put his number in it. He didn’t have any expectation of me reaching out. He said a girl like me would never go for him. Well, that’s not nice. So, I proved him wrong. He was a gentleman. He had great conversation and he had this twinkle in his eye when he talks to me. Where’d that come from? Oh well, I wasn’t interested.

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As the days go by, we became friends, then good friends, and then great friends. The more our relationship grew, I learned, we have more in common than I thought. Who is this guy? He has an old soul. But he’s younger than me and that bothered me more than anything. Because now, I gotta pick a bone with God.

“You tryna be funny up there? Who is this guy? You think this funny?”

Benjamin became that person that I can tell my aspirations and goals to. My problems. my issues and what I struggle with. He’s the guy that I enjoy long car rides where we would talk. For hours. My dad would be upset at me for coming home late! But that’s how it was with Benjamin. You would get lost in the time with him. Being with him made time…..worth it. Jesus, who is this guy? Then we would go out. Dinner, the movies, everywhere. Making memories I didn’t think would stick with me 5 years later. Developing a bond that I didn’t understand would mean everything to me 5 years later.

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Complications happened and both parties were afraid of what was to come. This was different for the both of us. He had a string of failed relationships of dishonesty and heartbreak and I was constantly building a wall to keep out things like that. It was weird because when we got to a point in our relationship where we knew what we wanted, it was time for me to go. I got a new job in Charlotte, NC and he was staying home with plans to make it up that way soon.

The long distance was the challenging part. People thought we were breaking up just because I was moving! Who does that? We talked everyday. Found ways to video chat and we would send those long lovey dovey text messages. He would come visit. Then something happened. Everything stopped. This was hard work and life happened, making things stressful. We would argue and fight and it seemed like that’s all we would do.

“Now Jesus, I know good and well you didn’t put this guy in my life only for me to watch him leave. Fix this.”

It seemed normal to argue and fight more than anything else. We were never rude or hurtful to each other and thank God that Benjamin is the kindest person I’ve ever met. Even when he is upset with me, he is never boastful, or rude. That was rare. Even when I was mean or rude, he would never…

This was someone that I could not let slip away. Not on my watch. So I fought for him. He fought for me. We fought for us. It was like a switch went off on our brains and our relationship did a complete 180. Now I understand what married couples mean when they say stuff like, “After years and years, our bond grows stronger everyday.” I get it. As our bond grows stronger every day, we are met with some crazy trials in life. We struggled together. We were broke together. If one had it, the other had it too. It took Benjamin a long time to understand. “I got you.” The me became a WE and it came natural to me. He’s my best friend and in spite of our struggles, we’re always there for each other.

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Benjamin’s kindness taught me to be more kind. He’s a man of God, a true Believer and my personal Bible scholar. Its hard to stay mad at him. His hugs are comforting and his words are meaningful. He’s amazing. His mother raised him very well. We both knew that God was working on us to come together and that’s a funny story! That might be for another day.

Sometimes the person you want may come wrapped a little different than you expected. But don’t ignore it.  Finding a life partner that God has for you is not a rat race. It isn’t a competition. Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV) says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Your husband will come find you. But you have to get prepared and be ready. I was ready and didn’t even know it. Funny. God knows everything. Here’s to the beginning of forever, Sweetheart.

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Galentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Besties!

358935F8-33B3-43A5-90B2-F5CAAD5745B5Hi there!!! Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I thought I’d put together a Gift Guide for the besties! If you have a few awesome women in your life who you consider your “soulmate” (remember Samantha said that off Sex and the City?), I’m sure you’re shopping for the perfect gift. I thought I’d make this as simple as possible, also fun! My girls are the ultimate girly girls, (even my best friend who thinks she’s a tomboy, likes girly things),  so I’m sure that they would love anything on this list.  If your girls or anything like mine then earrings, make up and champagne will be a hit!

1. Kate Spade Princess Cut Studs: Subtle, yet gorgeous earrings. You can’t go wrong with earrings

2. Myelik Teele Limitless Journal: If you are a woman of color and you don’t know who Myleik Teele is, GET. YOUR. LIFE! An entrepreneur, and an avid book reader, she gives us aspiring entrepreneurs insight on the “life”. She comes out with a journal every year and inside her journal are several pages of encouragement. This journal would be great to write some real magic.

3. Fenty Beauty. The hottest makeup brand in the game right now and there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s the Killawatt highlighters or the Stunna Lip Paint, get it for your sis!

4. Mielle Organics: Majority of my girls are natural hair curly girls and beauty products can get expensive. This brand has high reviews for moisture retention and keeping the curls soft and moisturized during the cold weather is major key.

5. Alex and Ani Bracelets: These are the cutest bracelets and I like to think these are grown up friendship bracelets. They’re inexpensive and collectible.

6. Burberry Blush Perfume: My sister in law, LOVES all things designer just like me, and we are now adding designer fragrances unto our beauty arsenal now that we’re grown and can afford them. This perfume is very light and soft and very lingering and one of the best scents I’ve come across in a while.

7. Msoët and Chandon Champagne and the Kate Spade Ingram Way Wine Glass:  A nice bottle of Champagne and beautiful  wine glass would be perfect in my book. What girl wouldn’t?

8. Lush Valentine’s Day Set: I have a soft spot for bath bombs and I love to take baths with them and Lush products are organic and animal cruelty free. The scents linger and they make great decor pieces in an apothecary jar. I myself can’t wait to try these!

February Goals

I decided that January is a free trial month and February 1st starts my new year.” 

Lol! I think everyone feels this way. Now that January is out of the way, and we have 6 more weeks of winter, it’s time to get down to business. I’m looking forward to spring and all things floral and pastels, including the all white mani/pedi. For me, January was a tough month for me because I’m between setting all my goals, reflecting on old goals, focusing on what I need to work on, do new budgets, etc. When Charlotte got snow, it threw me off because I endured a few lazy snow days. A week later, I got sick. 😷 That really threw me off. Although I was thrown off, I managed to get a few things off the ground! It helps to break down major goals into “sub-goals” to help make them manageable.

  • No spend February 
  • Gym 3x a week
  • Start spring cleaning 
  • upgrade blog site
  • DO.NOT.GET. SICK.
  • Start crafting for a project
  • start a natural Hair health and growth challenge
  • Date Night with Hunbun
  • See BLACK PANTHER
  • Read at least 2 books

Stay tuneed for my updates at the end of the month to see if I accomplish them all on my Instagram here!

What’s on your to-do list this month?

My Favorite Affordable Face Masks

 

There’s nothing like a great face mask to complete a pampering facial session. Why is it when we think we’re having a bad skin day, or we feel like our skin is not up to our expectations, that if we use a face mask, everything is right in the world? You know, I have no idea how, but it does every time!

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There’s just something about laying in bed or on the couch, relaxing and enjoying the tingling sensation on your face, reaping the benefits from a mask. A simple, piece of moist paper with many vitamins, minerals, and products working to give your skin a pick me up.

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Make sure your face is clean!

When I use a mask, I love how my skins just glows and radiates after 20 minutes. I wanted to share a few of my favorite affordable masks that helps my skin beam, ready for the day ahead.

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It’s okay if your shirt is dirty😝

I saw this mask from Neutrogena and I was immediately drawn to the gel mask with tha seaweed extract. The gel side will penetrate your skin and it feels like you’re getting a facial. After the contents are well within your skin, the outside part of the mask dries. This mask also covers your eyes too. 

When it comes to skincare, the products can get very expensive, but that’s not to say we should be lazy in caring for our skin. Sometimes, we just can’t afford the luxury items…yet. In the meantime, I found some great masks that does just the trick to giving me beautiful, glowing skin.

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When I traveled to Philly a few weeks ago, I wanted to try something new, just because I knew my skin was going to act funny in super cold weather. And what do ya know? My skin was so dry and brittle and that was new for me since I have super oily skin.

Sidenote: I learned the reason why my skin was so oily; it was because I wasn’t taking care of my skin properly, not to mention I wasn’t using moisturizer. Sad. Thank God for growth.

Our first night at Philly, it was around 27 degrees and snowing and I think I felt my skin cracked (ha!). I tried the Rose Face Mask, and for something so inexpensive, it really put some life back into my face. When I rub the excess into my skin, after it dried, my skin flourished. The next morning, it was still soft!  I dabbed into the eye masks as well every time my under eyes are puffy, and I am excited to try the gloves. Although $6/mask is quite pricey, I think they’re worth it. Plus, they don’t test on animals.

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Tony Moly Sheet Mask

I’ve talked about these masks in a Favorites Post several months ago, and I still love them today. Apparently Korean skin care is where its at these days, and who could blame the Koreans? Their skin is flawless. I tried several of these sheet masks over the summer , and these masks helped me with a few skin issues I had such as redness, and crazy pores around my nose. It tamed my oiliness, reduced pimples (unless the time of the month came), and the excess essence from the mask helps with moisturizing my skin.  I also started using these masks every two days or so just to see how my skin would act. Less redness and soft shiny skin. Even my makeup looks better on me now. Although they are close to $4/each at Ulta.com, I stumbled upon SamsBeauty.com looking for hair accessories when I found them for $1! You can find them here.

what are some of your favorite masks?

 

 

My 2018 Goals.

Hello! Happy New Year! I hope you are off to a great start to the new year so far. If you aren’t, don’t sweat it. But get on the ball. I’m always excited when the new year comes because it’s a fresh start. It really bugs me to see people on social media always speak so negatively about people using the new year to do new things. In my opinion, some people need that push and excitement to start their goals. For example, getting healthy and going to the gym. I saw someone speak so horrible about people about going in the gym and then after a couple of weeks, they stop. Well, I wonder if they ever stop to think why that person stopped? Maybe they didn’t have the motivation or SUPPORT they needed. So if you see someone wanting to make changes with their body, HELP them. Be their accountability partner. Support and uplift them. Everyone needs support. Stop saying that crap.

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Before you can work towards any goal, you have to be your best self. Around my birthday, I reflect on the year, go back to old journal entries, to see how I reacted to life treating me. I look at old journal entries, and I write down all the things that I can work on within myself and things I can do differently. You know what, it was a slap in the face from me to me. And I really needed it. It lead me to sharing a few tips on how to be my best self this year and you can read here.

So I decided to share a few goals that I NEED to accomplish this year. My word for this year is COMMITTMENT. Although I won’t share everything with you (gotta keeps some things to myself), I wanted to share some goals that I can write down and check off throughout the year.

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  • Learn to swim– yes, I’m a grown woman, and I can’t swim. Look, it wasn’t on my parents to-do list when I was younger and although I took lessons in college, I didn’t keep up with it. I’m learning swimming is equivalent to breathing (lol!) so this year, at my nearest YMCA, I am taking lessons.
  • Network/Attend More Blogging Events- I’m a nervous wreck and a serious closet introvert, lol. Is that even a thing? Okay, so you know how you feel like you are desperate to socialize and get out to meet people, and when you do, you’re like….naw, I’m good. That’s me! My fiancé thinks I’m faking because when we’re out with people, I’m a social butterfly. My goal is to attend 3 blogging events this year and network with people.
  • Read More– I just finished watching the entire series of Sex and the City and I am fried from watching TV. Reading is fundamental! It also stimulates the brain. I did okay last year with reading but I want to take it up a notch. There’s nothing like getting lost in someone else’s story. My goal is to review every book I read this year.
  • Travel More– Traveling is something I want to do more this year, especially with Benjamin. We have the best time together and he tolerates my shopping (well, almost!). When we wrote our goals for this year, we learned that a lot of travel is included and we’re super excited.
  • Start that business girl!-I don’t know how many “faux business plans” I wrote this year, but I wrote some interesting things. After several nights of researching and scoping out competitors and looking at the market, I’m ready to bring one of them to life.
  • Learn to sew– I’ve had a sewing machine in my Amazon cart for over a month now, and I’m going to get it. My sister-in-law and cousin encouraged me to do it so I’m gonna! When I’m shopping for certain things, I can never find exactly what I want because they are either too expensive, too small or sold out.
  • Invest more with CurlswithStyle– In 2017, I decided to put a little effort into my blog and I was able to land a sponsored blog post (how cool!) and I met some cool people. I’ve seen what consistency and dedication can do in ONE YEAR, so this year, I’m taking a huge leap of faith to do more. I’m investing in better equipment, more time to produce amazing content and hiring a photographer (I’ll still have Benjamin though).

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what are your goals?