I love everything Austin Local jewelry shop, Las Ofrendas does, but recently Las Ofrendas has created some beautiful tassel earrings. Tassel earrings have been everywhere this summer, but I think the shape of these make them really special.
As far as music, I feel there were so many good tracks and albums that came out, but I've been playing H.E.R Volume 2 and SZA's Ctrl nonstop. In both albums I feel these women allowed their listeners in and were unapologetically vulnerable and focused on reflection, love and pain. Basically I'm obsessed and will keep playing these albums non stop. :)
It's been my holy grail leave-in for a year now. With a ton of slip for detangling knots and defining curls, as well as a light scent that isn't too overpowering, it's the perfect leave-in to cocktail underneath any styler. I liked it so much, it even won my Editor's Choice Award for Best Leave-in.
I have been relying on the 4:7:8 breathing technique to manage stress and anxiety. It has been part of my daily self-care routine
but is especially helpful on the days that I feel overwhelmed by work and life in general.
Nearly clear sunnies
I've been seeing almost clear shades everywhere now and I am obsessed. By the end of the summer I want a pair in every shade. Right now I'm really liking this pair by Muse Me from their KOKO collection (I got it in my Baddie Box
With all the craziness in the world, "Veep" provides welcome comic relief. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is so wonderfully horrible as former president Selina Meyer.
The hot, sticky weather has arrived, and that means I can't be without my Holy Grail Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel. It's one of the products that makes me feel like I have control. It was a godsend on a recent trip to Charlotte, where the remains of Tropical Storm Cindy turned a one-block walk between my hotel and an event into a potential hair nightmare. Instead, my curls arrived intact.
In terms of exercise, I'm trying Tabata, which is basically another take on interval training. You do an exercise at maximum intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. You repeat it on and off eight times for each exercise - squats, lunges, star jumps, etc. The nice thing is it works your whole body. The down side? I feel like throwing up when I'm through!
Despite being average height, I have "extended size" feet! It makes it difficult to buy fashionable QUALITY MADE shoes much of the time, but Long Tall Sally carries brands that manage to be fashion forward and not held together by watery glue and hope. Bonus, their returns policy is incredibly generous—the sticker comes with every purchase, and you're only out the $8 shipping if you need to send something back. Nice!
I know a lot of people swear by taking this stuff internally, but it tastes VILE. Totally sour and horrible. Not what I'd call fit for a queen, but hey, I'm not a bee. However, when I'm mixing up individual portion face masks, it's been a wonderful external moisturizer. Currently I'm cutting my Dead Sea mask with this stuff so that it counters the drying nature of all the salt, but I'm looking into how best to put it into my homemade body butters once I can find out how to safely preserve it for longer term use (the shelf life is 'USE IMMEDIATELY' if it's not kept cold). Save the bees, they're keeping us (and the planet) glowing from all angles!
I'm mad because I bought this "just to see" what these ridiculous hipsters were all about, and it was a MISTAKE, because this stuff is GOOD. I'm not really interested in the vitamin content or purported health benefits (I'm already good on manganese as it is), but what I do love is that it's refreshing and flavorful despite having only 7 grams of sugar per 12oz serving! "Health drinks" that aren't loaded with calories from sugar are harder to find than you'd think, so these are what I'll be reaching for to keep cool when I'm in the mood for something a little sweeter than water.
I've been trying to be more thoughtful about the way I use my phone and how it affects everything from how well I sleep to my ability to focus on my IRL conversations. The nightshift mode is something I just discovered and everyone already has it on their phones! It changes your display from the blue light that disrupts your brain's ability to generate melatonin, to a warmer yellow light.
I found these pink, plastic Jeffrey Campbell mules while shopping with NaturallyCurly editors and they convinced me I needed them in my life. They look just like the types of shoes Barbie wore and are actually a plastic/rubber material that reminds me of the jellies we wore growing up. They're a perfect summer shoe that's just for fun.
Out of all of the perfumes and fragrances I try, I always come back to this. It smells the best, it's the cheapest, and it's also the one that lasts the longest. You can find it wherever you get your essential oils.
This is my absolute favorite lip balm because it glides on so smoothly, almost as if nothing is on my lips, which compels me to apply more. This is not something I mind doing, especially because my lips stay moisturized for hours before I feel the need to reapply. This is probably thanks in part to the Vitamin E and jojoba oil in it. It tastes pleasant, too!
Having come to terms with the fact that my Holy Grail search is a never-ending one, I peruse physical and virtual natural hair care aisles with the hopes of finding the one, true moisturizer. Low and behold: this pudding, designed specifically for Type 4 hair, has won my hair, my heart, and my sincere gratitude. I will sing its praises for days on end because it gave my dense coily hair serious moisture upon application; I used it to keep my Bantu Knots from drying out over the course of 2-day wear. It has gotten to the point where I want to use the on my skin... Naturally Smitten, will you please make body care products? #notkidding
Something that I love almost as much as I love kitty cats and puppies is stand-up comedy. There is something about a funny person over sharing sobering tales of anguish, loss, struggle, and existential defeat that really gets my belly aching with glee. Lately I have been chuckling at a new generation of comedians, one which is Rory Scovel. This Netflix comedy special's opening immediately drew me in, with Scovel acting out a fetishized rockstar fever dream that abruptly transitions into a painfully awkward, real-world introduction to the audience, in the venue and at home. From the good ol' Obama days to the merits of Sisqo's "Thong Song", Scovel fires on all cylinders. Very funny man!
I just got this. Ok, so I haven't had a chance to use it enough yet to know how well it works, but it smells sooo good. It smells like candy canes (in the best way possible) and tea tree. It's a must for people on the activated charcoal trend.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I've been reading the NaturallyCurly book club of the month book Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love her style of writing and storytelling. I'm at the point in the book where there's starting to be some conflict between characters. It's definitely keeping my up at night reading more.
I'm pretty sure there's no better duo than Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay! They are the executive producers of the TV drama series, Queen Sugar, that tells a story about a family that comes together to save their late father's sugarcane farm. It is heart-warming, inspiring and unapologetically authentic.
This is the only product I've tried from the Camille Rose collection. One of our editors, Devri, recommended this product plus it won Editor's Choice
, so I had to try it out for myself. The smell is what I love most! Have you ever had a whiff of a fresh box of Fruit Pebbles? Yeah, that's how I would describe the tropical scent this conditioner has. Plus, it provides great slip and moisture.
The Hate U Give
Wow. Where do I start? The cover depicts a teenage girl (Starr 16) rocking her natural hair holding up a sign that reads "The Hate U Give." This is an educational, empowering and fearlessly honest story of Starr witnessing her best friend, Khali 17, get murdered by police before her eyes. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement the author, Angie Thomas, shines a light on tragically timely subjects such as police brutality, systematic racism, and mass incarceration. I highly recommend everyone to read this book, not to mention it's an NYT #1 Bestseller in Teen & Young Adult Fiction.