Lifestyle

CVI: Socialization, Circles and Growth!

A MAJOR KEY TO GROWTH AND PROSPERITY IS TO HAVE A LIKE-MINDED GROUP OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU!

Although it’s hard to stay in constant contact with people while also working, schooling and otherwise being occupied, staying in touch with the right people is imperative to growth!

The wrong people will simply have you worried about the wrong things: likes on socials, boyfriends/girlfriends, getting “attention”, going to clubs, constant partying, being seen, taking pictures, etc. These things are all fun, but they are not all that there is to life.

These times, however, will have you thinking that those things are everything. I don’t know how or why this generation fell face first into this age of desperation, but it did and I simply do not want to partake in any of that cake.

A piece to this that many overlook is that the people that you surround yourself with most can also pull you into this same behavior without you even noticing.

I have been making the conscious efforts to maintain a safe distance once it has been made apparent to me that someone that is constantly within my earshot has the wrong focuses. Now, I do my best to not judge based on one or two occurrences, but when I see a constant stream of the same old thing, thoughts, behaviors, etc. I ensure that that person becomes one with whom I converse less and less.

I just don’t want it in my circle.

When it comes to people, I am definitely more of a leader walking to the beat of her own drum than a follower, but I don’t count myself among those who believe that they too cannot fall into a certain type of behavior based on the people that I surround myself with. I truly believe that your circle plays a huge role in defining you.

It would suit us all best to HONESTLY ask ourselves if our actual circle is a good representation of who we are and who we want to be?

Do the people around you motivate you to do better? To be better? Or, to date more, seek attention, find a man, or go viral? 🤷🏾‍♀️


I’ve noticed that SO MANY people’s focus is only on being with someone else. Men are given so much power these days because we’re in the age of women who can’t be alone and are desperate to call anyone theirs. I don’t want those women in my circle. No offense to y’all though. I’m just not on that wave.

Those women will have you dating any and everyone, sliding into social media DMs, and saying you love a person after knowing them all of a month. I’ve had enough bad relationships and friendships to know that I do not need to rush into anything new just to be able to say that I have something (that and I have so much more without).

I want to keep the part of me that appreciates a foundation. I want to keep the part of me that doesn’t accept less than my worth. And I want to keep the part of me that works hard and is, honestly, unstoppable. A huge part of being able to keep the dopest version of myself happily doing this thing called life and achieving greatness is knowing WHO to do it with!

I don’t want a circle of people who talk about greatness, I want a circle of people achieving it. I don’t want a circle of people doing things for praise, I want a circle of people who do things and don’t have to say a word about it because they’re already on to the next project. I don’t want a circle of women who only aspire to being someone’s wife, I want a circle of women who are actually running the show (jobs, cars, money, options).

I am a whole movement on my own, but, with the right circle, we can all be a force for change and all things good.

Choose your circle wisely. 😉

I’m known to walk alone, but I’m alone for a reason.
— Beyonće

CV: Talk About A Chance Meeting…

Chance Meeting: “the Platonic version of a Meet Cute, where the paths of two strangers intersect for any number of reasons and the grounds of some [type of] relationship begins.”

Anyone who has followed me or my blog over the years knows especially well that I favor in-person meetings, communications and beginnings over any form of electronic ones. Yes, I am old school in the way that I fancy a chance meeting over a swipe right. I am pure hearted in the way that I can take a long glance into the eyes of a stranger far better than I can take a heart-eyed emoji over Instagram.

And so, when I unexpectedly encountered a very pleasant, funny, and equally accomplished person, I was intrigued. Now, during our whole initial encounter I made it very clear, as I often do, that I am on a break (a year long break) from any forms of relationships—be it a friendship or otherwise. I made it clear that I have the memory of a dead fly and that, after said encounter, I would likely never think their name again.

Karma works in hilarious ways, however, and I have not since forgotten, and all that I can think about is the fact that I was just so sure that I would forget this person! 🙄

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Think The Holiday where Jude Law’s character, Graham, accidentally meets Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda. That was certainly an unexpected meeting as Graham had only attempted to visit his sister while in his drunken state, but instead found Amanda. From there an authentic attraction began. Ah, the power of the chance meeting…

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Another favorite is The Notebook where Ryan Gosling’s character, Noah, climbs onto a ferris wheel in order to ask Rachel McAdams’ character, Allie, on a date that she initially does not want to go on. We all know how that story goes!

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And I can’t fail to mention one of my favorite meet cutes from The Greatest Showman where Zac Efron’s character, Phillip Carlyle, sees Zendaya’s character, Anne Wheeler, for the first time—instant connection.


Now, what one is supposed to do with a chance meeting? I have NO idea. I just know that it becomes a pleasantly annoying thing that either lingers or pops up in your thoughts whenever is most inconvenient. Apart from that, I like that someone has the ability to fill your mind with good thoughts of a chance encounter. It’s like a piece of goodness that I’ll get to take with me until the day that I finally forget.

I oftentimes hope that I make that same impression on people that I meet. BUT, before we get too distracted, this post is all about appreciating the chance meetings!

So often it’s the case that we don’t slow down enough to appreciate having met someone. We forget to appreciate our beginnings because we are so focused on what could be. Our thoughts go straight to trapping this person or smothering this person before we even know their basic information! Slow down guys! Appreciate meeting and getting to know people.

This meeting could have been the thing that has sparked my appreciation for chance meetings, I DON’T KNOW, but I do realize that these meetings are life’s constant reminders to open your eyes, use your heart, and make actual conversation with people! I, of course, look forward to seeing more of this person, and after careful thought, I will definitely be more present in our moments and also more appreciative.

Gotta love the Meet Cute…

CIII: Pattern Beauty: What's In The Box?

Tracee Ellis Ross…

Let’s just stop there because, A M A Z I N G! I have been an absolute fan of Tracee Ellis Ross since her younger days on The CW’s Girlfriends.

I admire her as a woman. She knows how to keep the personal, personal and the business, business. She’s all about empowering women and the youth. And, her hair has remained amazing throughout this whole ride. She hasn’t let ANYONE process her hair in ways that SHE didn’t agree with. And, she hasn’t let society define what beauty means in terms of her hair, body, clothing, etc.

SO,

When a queen as described above drops a haircare line and calls it Pattern Beauty, YOU BUY THE DELUXE PACKAGE!

UNBOXING!

This is the box that my products came in. It’s pretty standard with “Pattern” written across yellow tape.  Inside, there was protective packaging so that the products didn’t have the free rein to swish around and break or spill.

This is the box that my products came in. It’s pretty standard with “Pattern” written across yellow tape.

Inside, there was protective packaging so that the products didn’t have the free rein to swish around and break or spill.

The products were wrapped in yellow tissue paper with a white sticker that read “JUICY & JOYFUL”.  All of the products were inside of the paper as pictured above.

The products were wrapped in yellow tissue paper with a white sticker that read “JUICY & JOYFUL”.

All of the products were inside of the paper as pictured above.

If you take a look at the packaging of each product, however, you see the faces of women (or men) and their coils! In all of them, you get half of the face so that you can imagine yourself and your coils on the other half!

The yellow, black and white is simply perfect to me! This may be because Let’s Be Breef colors are yellow, back, and white, or it could be because these colors simply GO TOGETHER! No telling either way, but, I do know that the packaging is simple and beautiful even down to the matte feel of the shampoo and conditioner tubes.

I simply love the packaging. I can’t say enough about it!

THE PRODUCTS

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The Deluxe Bundle for coilies, curlies and tight textures includes:

  1. Hydration Shampoo (9.8 Fl Oz)

  2. Heavy Conditioner (13 Fl Oz)

  3. Leave-In Conditioner (9.8 Fl Oz)

  4. Jojoba Oil Hair Serum (3.9 Fl Oz)

  5. Shower Brush

  6. Microfiber Towel

  7. Hair Clip

I: HYDRATION SHAMPOO   This product is great for curlies, coilies, and tight textures and provides a nourishing cleanse.  It states that it is “creamy, luxurious & boosted with a blend of glorious oils to help cleanse your hair and scalp while removing buildup”. It does all of these things and more all while managing to NOT strip away your moisture.   II: MICROFIBER TOWEL   This product is SO important. Many of us don’t know how damaging a normal bath towel can be for our hair (depending on the texture), so including a microfiber towel with the bundle was, in my opinion, like including a silk bonnet in a nighttime face mask bundle! It’s a match made in heaven.  Now, a lot of people still don’t or won’t like microfiber towels and would just prefer the texture of a t-shirt to protect, but I’m going to try this towel out and let you know my feelings on it!

I: HYDRATION SHAMPOO

This product is great for curlies, coilies, and tight textures and provides a nourishing cleanse.

It states that it is “creamy, luxurious & boosted with a blend of glorious oils to help cleanse your hair and scalp while removing buildup”. It does all of these things and more all while managing to NOT strip away your moisture.

II: MICROFIBER TOWEL

This product is SO important. Many of us don’t know how damaging a normal bath towel can be for our hair (depending on the texture), so including a microfiber towel with the bundle was, in my opinion, like including a silk bonnet in a nighttime face mask bundle! It’s a match made in heaven.

Now, a lot of people still don’t or won’t like microfiber towels and would just prefer the texture of a t-shirt to protect, but I’m going to try this towel out and let you know my feelings on it!

I: HEAVY CONDITIONER FOR COILIES   Now, I looked at this conditioner and was shocked at how THICK this product is. When you have thicker and coilier hair, you have to battle it a little bit more with bigger and thicker products which are sometimes hard to find.  After a hard search, I’ve narrowed the conditioners that I can use for my type 4 hair down to Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle with Jojoba oil and Texture ID.  BUT, in just looking at this product, I can tell that it may just be a game-changer that I will have to add to my list of “Must Haves”.  I definitely cannot wait to try this one.   II: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER   The Leave-In Conditioner is thick also, but I don’t think that it is as thick as the heavy conditioner. This is a good thing, however, because a lot of us will need something a little lighter as a leave-in so that we can actually style our hair for the week.  So, I’m excited to see if this is either too light, too heavy, or just right as a product for me.  The product claims, however, to be a “refreshing and restoring hair pick me up”. This product was made to help lock in moisture after cleansing and for styling. I cannot wait to see how it smells, feels and lasts.  [I’m curious about the smell because it is a mixture of rose, citrus and patchouli, who wouldn’t want to know how that will come out!?]

I: HEAVY CONDITIONER FOR COILIES

Now, I looked at this conditioner and was shocked at how THICK this product is. When you have thicker and coilier hair, you have to battle it a little bit more with bigger and thicker products which are sometimes hard to find.

After a hard search, I’ve narrowed the conditioners that I can use for my type 4 hair down to Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle with Jojoba oil and Texture ID.

BUT, in just looking at this product, I can tell that it may just be a game-changer that I will have to add to my list of “Must Haves”.

I definitely cannot wait to try this one.

II: LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER

The Leave-In Conditioner is thick also, but I don’t think that it is as thick as the heavy conditioner. This is a good thing, however, because a lot of us will need something a little lighter as a leave-in so that we can actually style our hair for the week.

So, I’m excited to see if this is either too light, too heavy, or just right as a product for me.

The product claims, however, to be a “refreshing and restoring hair pick me up”. This product was made to help lock in moisture after cleansing and for styling. I cannot wait to see how it smells, feels and lasts.

[I’m curious about the smell because it is a mixture of rose, citrus and patchouli, who wouldn’t want to know how that will come out!?]

I: JOJOBA OIL HAIR SERUM   Now THIS OIL is shocking! It’s one of the products that I couldn’t wait until the “Try On” to actually try, so I opened it and tested it out during the unboxing.  In just looking at the ingredients list, you can see that this product is largely different from those that you’ll find on the market. It has ACTUAL NATURAL ingredients (like all of the products in this line) and extracts from seeds that you can literally smell during use. This isn’t to say that ALL of the ingredients are great, but we’ll dive more into that in our next Pattern Beauty post.   The smell of these products is a big part of the  Pattern Beauty  experience from what I’ve seen thus far, and in my opinion, the products smell quite heavenly.   II: SHOWER BRUSH   For gentle shower detangling…  Now, I’m going to stop them right there because I don’t know a type 4 natural, let alone a 4c natural who can honestly detangle their hair from root to tip while being in the shower, with a tool. Who has the arm strength for that? Who has the patience for that?  I usually have to condition and detangle while sectioning off my hair prior to showering and washing, otherwise I would just be a matted up mess. But, I’m actually going to give this product a try and attempt to detangle while in the shower as it suggests to see if it works.   III: HAIR CLIP   I think it’s adorable that  Tracee Ellis Ross  included a hair clip in this bundle because hair accessories are necessary!  This will come in handy the most while sectioning off my hair and detangling.

I: JOJOBA OIL HAIR SERUM

Now THIS OIL is shocking! It’s one of the products that I couldn’t wait until the “Try On” to actually try, so I opened it and tested it out during the unboxing.

In just looking at the ingredients list, you can see that this product is largely different from those that you’ll find on the market. It has ACTUAL NATURAL ingredients (like all of the products in this line) and extracts from seeds that you can literally smell during use. This isn’t to say that ALL of the ingredients are great, but we’ll dive more into that in our next Pattern Beauty post.

The smell of these products is a big part of the Pattern Beauty experience from what I’ve seen thus far, and in my opinion, the products smell quite heavenly.

II: SHOWER BRUSH

For gentle shower detangling…

Now, I’m going to stop them right there because I don’t know a type 4 natural, let alone a 4c natural who can honestly detangle their hair from root to tip while being in the shower, with a tool. Who has the arm strength for that? Who has the patience for that?

I usually have to condition and detangle while sectioning off my hair prior to showering and washing, otherwise I would just be a matted up mess. But, I’m actually going to give this product a try and attempt to detangle while in the shower as it suggests to see if it works.

III: HAIR CLIP

I think it’s adorable that Tracee Ellis Ross included a hair clip in this bundle because hair accessories are necessary!

This will come in handy the most while sectioning off my hair and detangling.


I’M SUPER EXCITED TO LATHER THIS LINE ALL OVER MY HAIR!

I can’t at the moment because I am rocking a protective style (we all know how that goes), but wash day is always near, so I’ll be back to let you all know how my hair reacts to this line.

I have a feeling that my hair will simply love it! ➿

C: #BlogHER, Influencers Summit!

The BlogHer Influencer’s Summit is around the corner! For those who don’t know, this is an annual event for female content creators.

It features motivating and inspiring speakers, fun engagement activities and the opportunity to meet content creators from around the globe!

The Speaker’s Hall of Fame is impressive in and of itself and includes names like: Serena Williams, Barack Obama, Gabrielle Union, Maria Menounos, and so many more!

Ah, what the heck, I can show you better than I can tell you!

AND LET US NOT FORGET SOME OF THIS YEAR’S SPEAKERS:

This is literally the event to be at if you are in the content creation world. WE ARE 28 DAYS AWAY and I am so sad to be missing out on this event. BUT, next year, time, money and patience permitting, I will be in full attendance.

I’m so ready to network with other creators who know what it’s like to consistently do what they love [and what they want] regardless of it others read it, like it or love it. I’m ready to be around people who know what it’s like to build a family of readers who care about the content and wait for a new post each week!

#BlogHer! I won’t meet you in Brooklyn, New York this year, but I will definitely meet you next year!

XCIX: Love Doesn't Always Win!

We are raised with the fairy tale versions of love and romance. Disney tells us watered-down versions of tragic stories that somehow end in love and not the tragedy that they really ended in, and television shows sell us versions of life that simply don’t exist anymore.

THE REALITY IS…

Rarely do you end up with the love of your life. Rarely do you end up not regretting your ultimate choices. What we miss in all of the Disney stories and TV shows is the fact that reality is much different. When you fight and that loneliness kicks in, the vulnerability kicks in harder and mistakes are made.

When you think that there is no fix to your relationship — because who shows up at your window with a radio playing you guys’ song anymore and apologizing — you take the easy road and you quit because there’s always someone who is also alone who will “help you through your break up”.

Next thing you know, you’re married and regret everything. Love does not “always win” anymore.

RESPONSIBILITY, TIMING, EASE, AND COMFORT ARE THE REAL WINNERS!

Responsibility

Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard and it means hurting 1, 2, or 3 people to ‘be the bigger person’. Sometimes you have to lose everything in the name of being responsible. And sometimes you have to live out everyday knowing full-well what you’ve done and why you’ve done it — you’re stuck. Not in love, but in life…

Timing

The less time you have to spend actually hurting, reflecting and healing, the better, right? These days lazy is the default.

I mean, who wants to sit around and think about the hurt that they’ve caused or actually grow up when they can just scroll down social media or look around and find someone who also doesn’t want to be alone. Next thing you know, we’re calling a fling of convenience “heaven sent” and timing wins again.

Ease

Don’t even have me ramble on in this section, we all know that we are sliding, full force, into the time of ease. Whatever’s easiest is usually the choice for MANY people, and, I mean, in the age of everyone needing attention there are very few people making things anything other than easy.

Comfort

Comfort kills.

And the thing about it is that the first thing that many people say is that they live outside of their comfort zones. But, I guarantee that if you spend one month with them (and not even that long) you will soon see that their comfort zone is their home. It’s all they know. And they are only fooling themselves.

Comfort is what keeps a lot of people where they are. It keeps them for going for what they actually want. It keeps them from trying. It keeps them from being honest. It keeps them from bliss.

But, let them tell it, 🎶comfort don’t live here anymore🎶. Lies.

WITH THESE THINGS BEING THE FACTS OF OUR DAY…

I don’t know whether I’m in full support of leaving any and all situations when they aren’t right or fighting for what you have. I can tell you that I used to fully advocate for fighting for what’s yours, fighting for what you’ve worked at, fighting for “love”.

But…

These days, people are so selfish with their decisions that they really make you have to fight for something that you should have already had! They’re so selfish that they expect any and all of their bad actions to go unpunished. They’re so selfish…

These days, all relationships give me pause — friendships, dating relationships, significant others, etc., with the way a lot of people play, I’ve learned that this game/joke that they’ve made out of love is NOT FOR ME.

so, I DON’T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS, BUT:

Don’t be their fallback plan.

Don’t be their second choice.

Don’t be the reason that they’re “stuck”.

Don’t be the one who makes your children suffer through a bad marriage just to keep a marriage.

Don’t be the one who ignores all of the signs.

Don’t believe that love won’t knock on your door again.

Don’t convince yourself that you don’t deserve more.

Check yourself.

Check your spouse/partner/bf/gf.

Be real with yourself.

Be real with others.

Keep your head up.

Don’t you ever forget that Love is a privilege reserved for the victor.
— Eli Pope