Natural Hair Update: Blooming

It’s been a while since my last update, February to be exact, and I thought it be robbery not to come give you guys one. As you know, I’m on my way to growing my natural hair out as long and healthy as I can and I talked about a few basic things I was doing to achieve that. (Feel free to click on the menu button and select natural hair and find all my posts on my hair).

 

My last post about my hair, was giving myself a very much needed trim. My hair wasn’t laying right, it was getting frizzy, not to mention knots and shedding. I gave myself an at-home deva cut, where I went through my curly hair and only snipped what needed to be snipped.  After that, I kept my hair in protective styling.

Wearing my natural hair out for my wedding wasn’t planned. I did a Marley crochet and planned to rod it, creating loose waves, but I couldn’t get past the detangling. So the night before my wedding, my now mother-in-law, and maid of honor, cut it out and I put rods in my own hair. 

After I can home from our honeymoon (part 1), I braided it back up for a month. I was filming an updated hair care routine when I blew my hair out for the first time this year and saw the length I retained. Although my hair is shedding a little in the back, I was amazed at the thickness of my hair from root to tip.

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I was so excited to be able to put it into a ponytail! I can do a sleek bun now and add some hair if I want! So its pretty clear at this point, guys. I’m starting to sound like a broken record because I tried to keep it low maintenance and basic during this process. Between protective styling, trimming when needed, scalp massages, and minimum to NO heat, I was able to restore my hair back to life. But this is where the plot twists.

My husband thinks I’m going to cut it, but to my surprise, with God’s help, I will not be cutting my hair for a LONG while.

For the next 90+ days, I will be embarking on a weight loss journey/eating healthy/drinking buckets of water for something exciting coming up in September. Prayerfully, with this start, comes with a lifestyle change that I can’t wait. Not only that, I definitely want to see if this plays a role in the health of my hair. Of course it would, but like I said…..I want to see. Stay tuned!

 

We is Married!

Its been a long time coming, but I am officially married! I have yet to change my name on ALL of my documents, but I signed that paper! And you know, I feel amazing. I have this amazing life partner that I can continue to grow and build with, act silly with, pray with, and enjoy life. Ask me if I would ever get to this point 7 years ago, and I’d laugh in your face. Look how amazing God is. Not too long after that, we were able to witness my best friend marry the love of his life too! God is in the marriage business! Let him work on you! Only if you want.

Now that the festivities are over and I can finally relax, I can tell you all about my experience on the planning and some sound advice I can relay to those who are getting married soon. Getting married can be one of the happiest times of your life and you probably won’t think straight at least for the next few months. You’re thinking about the dress, the flowers, the venue, and how you want everything to look. That was me. I figured, I’m only doing this once in my life, so what if I go overboard on things I won’t even pay attention to on my big day? Pay attention. Pay very much attention.

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Choose quality over quantity EVERYTIME. From your bridal party to your guests, choose the best. When Benjamin and I did our guest list, we had close to 200 people. We don’t even like 200 people! When we initially got a quote from our caterer and our designer, those numbers will give you a heart attack. You mean to tell me, we gotta pay thousands of dollars to treat these people that we probably don’t even like or haven’t talked to in years to witness our day? No. CUT! (movie director’s voice). If we didn’t talk to them in the last 30-60 days, its a wrap. If we know that you’re only coming just to be nosey, and you don’t have out best interest, you were taken off.

We stood before God in front of friends, family, and a couple of people we didn’t like to say “I do.”

And I really wanted this extravagant wedding. I really did. But God was like, “Y’all don’t need all of that.” We were already going through so much in the year of 2017. We were getting knocked down left and right. Which brings me to my next piece of sound advice, keep your planning circle small and block out the unwanted negativity. Those people you haven’t seen in 500 years messaging you for an invitation, or that person who has everything to say about your planning, but are making no contributions, boy bye.

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My best friend/maid of honor

When Benjamin and I finally realized that we were solely responsible for all of the expenses our “extravagant wedding” had to offer, we cut everything out! We realized we were killing ourselves trying to pay for this extravagant wedding and God said, “NO!” We kept our cake, had pretty much no decorations and our day was so intimate and special. We were able to interact with the few that attended and it was more meaningful that way. Don’t get me wrong, we were so broken up about it, but we looked at each other and said, “Babe, we don’t have any wedding debt.”

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Our colors were Navy, Blush, and Gold. Because my girls were paying for their own dress, I wanted them to pick their own style and design as long as they kept the same color and fabric. My sister in law found these gorgeous scarves on Amazon to bring in that blush . The guys wore these gorgeous navy suits, and although the dresses for my flower girls were too bright, my husband wanted to keep them. And it worked out.

My Dress and Hair

Fun fact: I never picked this dress during my hunting days (Check out this blog post). I didn’t look at it and I didn’t asked for it. I tried on all the styles that I wanted and I hated them. I wasn’t a fan of the form fitting, the sparkle, the see-through or the revealing of the skin. I asked my stylist to pick a few of her favorite gowns and she brought this dress to me. We all fell in love with this dress. The princess ball-gown silhouette, the lace sleeves, the flirtatious neckline and the beautiful back of the dress was amazing. Of course, the brand is Morilee by Madeline Gardner. Would you believe that my hair is just a plain ol’ rod set? And I did my own makeup! Winning!

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Shoes

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After spending countless months of shoe shopping for the perfect wedding shoe and giving up on the idea of wearing designer (my pockets was trying to tell me), I went on ASOS one day and happened to browse their wedding section and saw these beautiful weird shoes. They’re a block heel, had a pretty iridescent color and a flower embellishment! That is me on a shoe! I was more excited about these shoes than those $1000 Christian Louboutin heels. It complimented my gown and I can wear this shoe again and again. You can find them here.

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Before the ceremony started 😍

Reception, you may ask? Nope. We were going to plan one for next year for our one year, but now that my mind is SUPER CLEAR and level-headed, there’s no need for a big party. We had all the people we needed to witness our day and we’re gonna spend that money on a two-week honeymoon (one week here, and one week there). Guys, I know I’ve been married for just a few weeks, but I am so excited. God is good. He has great things planned for the both of us. We are a force to be reckoned with.

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Thank you to our beloved friend Marcus Kennedy from MXk Photography for capturing our special day.

Crazy edits by yours truly 🧐

Check out his Facebook page here.

 

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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Annoying Remarks During My Natural Hair Journey

“What did you put on your hair to make it look like that?”

If you’ve been natural for a while, I’m sure you had plenty people coming to you barking questions and comments that supposedly mean well, but can really sound rude and disrespectful, right? I’ve had my fair share of comments and questions so I thought I’d share my experience with you and have a little laugh.

When I first decided to go natural, it wasn’t a huge thing like it is today. I made the transition in 2009 and big chop my hair 6 months after transitioning. It wasn’t easy to decide to stop using chemicals and embrace your natural texture back then. You would think the people that looked like you would be supportive. But they were the worse. I’ve heard comments from people that sound like this:

“So…….you’re not getting a relaxer anymore? You do know your hair will just get nappier.”

“Why would you do that?” ” You should comb your hair. I don’t like your hair like that. Its too peasy.”

I would get strange stares ranging from confusion and disgust and I would get the Macy Gray reference remark. Then I would get these passive aggressive remarks like…

“ohhhh your hair cute or whatever. It fits you.” “You don’t have that n***a-nappy hair.”  Or I would get “Well you mixed, so you got that good people hair.” Then my favorites…

“Oh I didn’t expect your hair to be this soft. It feels like a pillow. Wow, your hair smells good. I wasn’t expecting it to smell like flowers.”

“What’s wrong with your hair?”

“Comb your hair!”

How rude is that? The sad thing is, is all these comments came from family members or so called friends. Am I the only one that went through this?

When your hair is flourishing beautifully and now they wanna go natural.

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I can’t stand this part with a passion. So I went through all phases of deciding to go natural. I went through the horrible TWA phase (when I didn’t know how to style short hair), then I went through the awkward length stage, and the dry phase when I couldn’t keep my hair moisturized. When I got better at taking care of my hair, it started to flourish! Then you would hear comments like these…

“Your hair look good. I’m glad you grew out of that awkward stage. But why does your hair stand up? Why won’t it lay down?”

What do you put on your hair to make it look like that? What kind of products do you use? Can you recommend anything for my hair? I’m trying to go natural.”

“I need help with my hair. Can you help me?”

“How much do you spend on products?”

When you color your hair….

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You’re not natural anymore! Natural is when you don’t put anything in your hair! No chemicals.” Girl, shampoo is chemical, shut up.

“You do realize that your hair is going to fall out.”

“If you bleached your hair, you aren’t natural anymore.”

I think they missed the definition of “going natural.” It means to go back to your original hair texture. You know, the texture that grows out of your scalp? Okay.

Then I would get….

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I wish I could go natural, but I’m scared. My hair won’t look like yours. My hair too peasy. “I don’t think I could cut all my hair off like you did. I’m not that bold.”

“Can I touch your hair? (you politely decline) “Why can’t I touch it? You have a problem with people touching your hair? Why you gotta act like that? Its just hair, it ain’t all that. You’re not the only one that got natural hair.”

“She think she all that because her hair long and curly.”

“Now that your hair looks longer are you going to put a relaxer in it? Will you blow it out to see how long it really is?” (You tell them you’re never getting a relaxer and you have no plans to straighten i anytime soon just to satisfy their curiosity) “So you’re not going to straighten it?”

I’m sure you’ve experienced more than I did or even worse than me, but the one thing that I loved about myself throughout this entire journey since 2009, is that I stayed true to myself and I didn’t let anyone affect me because I knew that one day, I would see them trying to do what I did years ago and you know what? THEY DID! How bout that?

Although I’m glad that we are finally embracing our natural hair, but if you were ever one of those (points above to the comments I wrote earlier), shame on you. God made us beautiful and our hair beautiful. Those comments gave me so much confidence and I was feeling myself even on bad hair days! Let’s talk about it! What’s your favorite/worse comment you endured whilst being natural?

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Get Ready For Warmer Weather

Is anyone ready for the warmer version of Spring? I know I am! Its almost mid March, Daylight Savings is life because we get extra daylight for longer blog photoshoots. However, it is still freezing here in Charlotte, like 30 Degrees. Not to fear though, the warmer weather will be here so its time to get your closets ready.

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I’m very excited to try a few trends and also some other trends that are making a comeback that I am tempted to try. This will also help me to come out of my comfort zone.

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Trends To Indulge In

Black and White Polka Dots

Any Shade in the Pastel Rainbow

Monochromatic Looks

Mules

Statement Earrings

Matching Top & Bottom Trend

Straw Bag Accessories

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Basic Spring Essentials

T-Shirts (Plain and Graphics)

White Shoes

Denim Jeans

Casual Sneakers

Maxi Skirts & Dresses

Denim Skirt

Statement Crossbody Bags

 

What’s on your spring trend/essential list?

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Outfit Details: Skirt; ASOS, Coat; JUSTFAB;  Shoes; H&M