May 27, 2015

It's official: 3yrs of kinks and coils

So today is my 3rd year anniversary of being natural. To say this has been a year of ups and downs with my hair is an understatement. In all honesty I feel that I have lost more hair than I have grown it. Yet as I look at it stretched out as much as possible I can see a little bit of difference. 

This is on average what I am losing when I wash

This past year I felt things were going down hill about six months after my 2 year anniversary. De-tangling has become a stronger foe as my hair has gotten longer and the hair that comes out is just astounding and frustrating at the same time. Oh and the knots in my hair are just insane! Just trying to keep up with them alone make me nuts. Moisture isn't an issue, I make sure to keep my hair well moisturized with my homemade products.

The following pics were taken this morning after undoing my three strand twists on my hair. My biggest issue is still trying to grow the hair on top of my head. For some reason THAT damn portion of hair doesn't seem to realize I want it to grow along with the rest. That has been one of my huge issues as far as hair maintenance in general.

It's still frustrating that my hair is thin. I can't really do any styles with it and I feel sorry for my stylist because any style she tries on me unfortunately especially with two strand or flat twists really shows how thin (in my opinion) my hair is. I forgot to take a picture of the end result of this style, but my stylist wasn't pleased and had me come back in the next week as a do over. She even did a trim about a inch to deal with my split ends. I normally see her only twice a year, but I'm thinking I might have to step it up with my hair getting longer. My last time seeing her was in March.

Rod sets are better but I realized that the texture of my hair (which feels like light cotton) will not allow for more versatile styles. This was the second hair appointment with two weeks since my stylist wasn't please with the result from when I went to see her the previous week (see pics right above).

Previous pictures from the past year.


January (now if I stretch my hair it comes to about my lip since my trim)





December - shrinkage still a bitch

November - just voted

I know there are some other factors that have probably contributed to my ongoing struggles with my hair. I've tried changing up my washing patterns, finger De-tangling instead of with a comb at first, stressed out and tired from my main job, side business, and also back in college.When I say I was stretched to the limit this past semester, I definitely was. My eating habits don't help the situation as well, I've heard people say that what you put inside your body reflects what comes out. I'm out of shape and that is putting it mildly. So that is something I'm going to have to tackle as well. At the beginning of the year I was taking Mane Choice vitamins and could definitely tell a difference with my nail growth, but ended up by March stop taking them because I was so busy I would forget to take them on a daily basis. So now with my job somewhat slowing down, I'm hoping I can get back to a routine where I start taking care of myself from head to toe.

Hell at one point I was just so frustrated with my hair and was going to say fuck it and just cut it off and keep it low as a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro). Yet I went to the African Arts festival this past weekend and fell in love with my damn crazy ass afro all over again. Ugh....the struggle. I'm not sure if I should change up the products I use for washing. If I could find a de-tangler that worked wonders I think that would help me out immensely. I've been using Design Essentials and AS I AM products since I became natural and wonder if I should look into something else.  Who knows.......I am open to suggestions so please don't hesitate with dropping any knowledge if you think I need to change up something.

The biggest thing I have to keep reminding myself is not to judge my progress with anyone else. It will get to where it's going when it gets there. It's going to have it's trials and setbacks, but hey, it's only hair:)

May 26, 2015

Saint Louis Gypsy Caravan 2015

Yesterday morning I went to one of the biggest vintage market attractions in Saint Louis. The Gypsy Caravan is an annual event that helps supports the St. Louis Symphony. I had heard about the event last year and was interested in going, but unfortunately I heard about the disastrous parking situation and that alone kept me from going. Fortunately this year, the event learned from its mistakes and did a better job this year in regards to dealing with the parking and traffic.

I arrived around 9:40am and I must say I was even impressed with the turnout of vendors and buyers. Yet a friend of mine who had been to last year's event informed me she thought there were not as many vendors as last year. So I can only imagine how big it was compared to this year.

So I decided to just start at the very end of one side of the vendors and just work my way up and down each isle. I saw some really great home made crafts and unique ideas, and other vendors had items that really sent you back in time. There were also food vendors as well but I just bought a hotdog and a soda while in the Arena. Thankfully the AC was going full blast.

As if outside wasn't enough, apparently they had also opened up the inside of the Saint Charles Family Arena to vendors as well. The main ground floor had tons of vendors and then there more vendors even on the second floor. So I wrapped up looking around about 11:40am and decided to head back home. I actually was able to make my way through the whole caravan and only purchase 2 items, necklaces. One was fancy with a high heel shoes in black and gold, the other a black leather necklace that had a beautiful brass centerpiece.

The weather was just really hot and I needed to get home to recharge myself for our family gathering held at a relative's house that afternoon to celebrate Memorial Day.

Of course I took more pictures than the ones you see here. To see the rest of my collection click on the link below.

Saint Louis Gypsy Caravan 2015

May 24, 2015

Saint Louis Greek Fest 2015

There are a lot of events going on this weekend in Saint Louis, you have the African Arts Festival out in Forest Park that I visited yesterday, Comic Con is downtown, The Greek Fest going on out in Des Peres, and don't forget The Gypsy Caravan tomorrow in Saint Charles.

I wasn't even aware of the Greek Fest until a friend told me about it yesterday. So this evening I decided to check it out. I decided to bring my camera again and hope to take some great pictures, but what happens within 5 minutes of being at my destination? Rain, good ole rain starts pouring down. I park my car in one of the designated parking lots and wait for a shuttle to come through to pick me up and take me to the church where the event is being held.

Upon disembarking the shuttle van, I make my way to a tent where they have jewelry and paintings. This was the only tent where they were selling goods. I eventually ended up buying a belly dancing belt and an All-Seeing Eye bracelet.

Belly dancing belts

The All-Seeing Eye -- a single human eye surrounded by radiating beams of light -- is found in many eras and cultures. It is generally a symbol of the watchful and protective power of the Supreme Being, especially when that entity is considered in a solar or heavenly context.

After leaving this tent, I went to check out the dancers and music that was in another tent. Everyone was having a great time and the atmosphere was just charged with singing and dancing.

I don't know why the video is sideways but I don't see a way to rotate the video via Youtube so either tilt your head or your screen.

After enjoying a few minutes of the entertainment I made my way to stand in line to check out the food. I will tell you I was NOT disappointed!! I was in line waiting to get inside of the church where the food was being sold. I first saw a room that held nothing but the desserts. I made a note to come back through to make a purchase.

Eventually after a 15 minute wait I was in the cafeteria of the church and saw the main food options.

So I decided on the Half Chicken and Gyro, but I ate the Gyro in the cafeteria with plans on taking the Half Chicken home for my parents to try out. Let me just say the gyro was FANTASTIC! It was seasoned to perfection I just wished there had been some feta cheese as an option to add. They had other toppings but I wasn't interested in them.

My plain gyro, bu it was damn good

Half-baked chicken

After I enjoyed my Gyro I went back in line and decided to also buy a Lamb Shank and a Greek Salad for the parental units as well.

Greek Salad

Lamb Shank

I made sure to make my way back by the desserts and picked up a few items. I noticed that walnuts were the central ingredient in majority of the desserts on display.

Baklava- It is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.

Loukoumades - pastries made of deep fried dough soaked in sugar syrup or honey with cinnamon and sometimes sprinkled with sesame.

Theples - The dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried and folded in hot oil and then dipped in syrup. Traditionally, warm honey is used in place of syrup, and then they are sprinkled with chopped nuts and cinnamon.

Overall I had a great time. My mom tried some of the food and she thought they were both great dishes. She really enjoyed the Lamb Shank and the buttered rice that came along with it. If you haven't been to the Greekfest I highly recommend checking them out tomorrow.

More pics that I took via my smartphone.

Saint Louis Greekfest 2015

Saint Louis African Arts Festival 2015 - May 23rd

Yesterday I had a wonderful time spending the morning with two of my best friends enjoying breakfast at an amazing place called The Pancake House off of Ladue road. The breakfast there is AMAZING, I highly recommend if you have never been there before. Afterwards we went to the STL Galleria and walked around. I really enjoyed myself and look forward to hanging out with more girls more in the future.

Later on that day around 2:30pm I went down to Forest Park to enjoy the first day of the Saint Louis African Arts Festival. It only took around a hour to find parking but hey, when there is a will there is a way. As I made my way to the World's Pavilion where it was being held I could hear the drums beating and was evening dancing a little as I made my way up a hill of grass. I went through the pavilion and checked out the wares before making my way to the main stage where I heard the drums.

An elder was being honored by drummers who had connections with Katherine Dunham the great dancer and choregrapher who has ties to Saint Louis. The drumming was so amazing you couldn't help but be moved and dancing where you stood. After the performance and dedication I went back through the pavilion to really check out all the vendors and their products. There were some vendors I knew and spoke with. Last year's festival I found amazing jewelry. This year's festival my mission was to find some african cloths to up my headwrap game with. Eventually I found seven beautiful cloths to add to my collection. I found out from one vendor that I bought cloth from that the ideal length for a standard wrap is around 2 yards of fabric. He was selling the $5 a yard, which is a great price compared to some stores.

four of my head wrap cloths

After making my purchases I took them to my car and went back so I could focus on taking pictures. While going through again and taking pictures I could hear another performance going on. When I went back to the stage I could see a wonderful dancing performance going on with some young ladies and when I say they could dance I'm telling you they could DANCE! I was so enthralled with their performance that I forgot to take pictures! Ugh, I'm learning though. Overall I had a wonderful time and might even go back there the other two days. The weather was simply perfect. No rain like last year, the breeze was cool and delightful. Oh and the Afros, dreads, hi-tops and low-fades were in full effect. My people are so beautiful :)

Link to my pictures below since Flickr whats to be a bunch of asses and disable the embed option.

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