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What I’ve Learned About Balance Since Starting a Blog

Let’s face it, life pulls us in a bajillion different directions and can really be overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating and maddening sometimes. Since beginning my first blog back in 2011 for my event planning business I have experienced the bipolar roller coaster of posting 3-5 times per week, to absolutely nothing for more than a month.

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Building and running a successful blog isn’t easy, you’re going to have to put in the WORK to attract readers and get your message to the world. Throw in family responsibilities, a full-time job or the day-to-day operations of the business that your blog supports and you’re talking about late nights, early mornings and snatching time in between.

What I’ve learned about balance since starting a blog is this: there is no “perfect” balance.

What have you learned about balance since starting a blog?? Click To Tweet

There has not been a day (at least not for me) that I’ve been able to give equal attention to my family, the business, the blog and other responsibilities.

Therefore, I get it in where it fits in and don’t obsess about the rest. For example, on Sundays after church I plan content for the week. I try to get at least one post written if I can squeeze it in before dinner. If not, oh well! I get busy on Monday and usually knock out 2 posts that day.

Over the course of the week I may find myself getting ahead or falling behind but as long as I get all of the planned posts out before Sunday rolls around again I’m good!!!

These days my goal is two posts per week; any more than that is icing on the cake…and I like icing a LOT :-).

The key to achieving life-blog balance is finding what works for YOU; get out of the comparison trap and create your own rhythm.

The key to achieving life-blog balance is finding what works for YOU. Click To Tweet

Whether your balance looks like this:

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Or this:

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Find whatever works best for you and get it done! The world is waiting for your awesome content!!!

Let’s find our balance while we take care of business,

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The Insider’s Guide to Rose (Infused) Oil

In our pursuit of Beauty, Balance and Taking Care of Business, we want to make sure you know about everything we know about with regard to taking care of yourself.

Roses are known for their sweet smell, but did you know that your skin and hair can benefit from these naturally beautiful flowers?

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Hair:  Using coconut or jojoba to make your infused oil provides a lightweight, pseudo-penetrating oil that is absorbed by the hair and scalp (great option for Team #finehair). Also known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties, rose oil can provide relief for scalp irritation and dandruff. Antibacterial properties make it great for fighting fungus and bacteria.

Rose oil can provide relief for scalp irritation and dandruff. #naturalhair Click To Tweet

Skin: There’s a reason many anti-aging products contain rose oil: its chock full of antioxidants that remove impurities and protect against oxidative stress and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Well-being: If you’re a fan of aromatherapy, roses are definitely a winner for stress reduction and being an all-around mood lifter.

Here are a few more uses for your rose infused oil:

  • Body moisturizer
  • Bath/massage oil
  • Hot oil treatment
Rose oil is full of antioxidants that keep your skin beautiful. Click To Tweet

Click here to watch a tutorial on making your own oil.

Now that you have the inside track, how are you planning to incorporate rose oil into your regimen??

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The Bows are BAAAACCCKKK!

The Bows are BAAAACCCKKK!

Oh. My. Woooorrrdddd!!! #fallfashion

Ladies…LADIES! Have you heard the news?? This fall’s must have items is the oversized pussycat bow and wide brim hat! I am in absolute awe at how seamlessly classic this looks.

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It is clean, chic, mature, and my personal fave, a head-turning neck-breaking situation!

You can go mod with the tame, yet sleek, colors of black and white OR you can take it up a notch and opt for a pop of color. A nice blazer and the perfect pair of pencil trousers and you are sure to set the block or brunch on fire!Me personally, I take any old opportunity to show up and show out in the fashion realm. Why wait until a specific event when there are just as many necks that can turn at Safeway as there are on a runway??

image1-2This retro look is making its way back into our hearts and our closets this fall. Oh, and here’s the good news: since this is a classic look, you can recreate this from your very own local thrift stores with some legit vintage pieces that will not only allow you to stand out, but ensures your outfit is one-of-a-kind!

Have fun! Be original!
REcreate. REstyle. REpurpose.

Until next time America,
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Five Life Lessons You Can Learn From the Fashion Industry

You read that correctly, the fashion industry can teach you about life….really.

Sure, when people think fashion they think “superficial” and ‘stuck up’, but there really are some valuable nuggets from the fashion industry that are good to know for general life purposes..read on…

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1. Always be prepared. If you’ve ever been behind-the-scenes at a fashion show, you’re liable to see ANYTHING going on as designers are getting models ready to walk the runway. When those unexpected situations occur and they’ve been prepared for, consider it a crisis averted.

2. Learn the basics. Piggybacking off numero uno, if you’re a designer that can’t sew with a needle and thread…..yeah, you’ll always have the basics to fall back on when shortcuts, technology and other newfangled conveniences fail you.

3. Hard work pays off. Again, have you ever seen what goes on behind the scenes at a fashion show?? There’s no way around it, ya gotta put in the work in order to see the success.

4. No woman is an island. If you’re a fan of fashion competition shows you would get the idea that the winner did it all by themselves, but lest we not forget the mentors, advisors and ultimately investors that help aspiring designers achieve their dreams. Be open to accepting help from your friends….

The fashion industry can teach you about life....really. Get the deets. Click To Tweet

5. Presentation matters. If it were just about the clothes, designers wouldn’t bother investing their time planning runway shows complete with hair, makeup, music and such. The presentation is important.

See? The clothes are just scratching the surface, literally…

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No Longer ‘Exclusively Inclusive’

You may have noticed a few cosmetic changes on the blog over the past few weeks; different font and text sizes, larger blog images, Who We Are page updates….we’ve been going through a process of rebranding and streamlining our message.

It’s hasn’t been easy and there is still so much more to do,  but it’s already proving to be SO worth it. Check out this video to get the details, and go poking around to see if you notice anything else we’ve updated:

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My NUMBER ONE Problem with the LOC Method

Hey y’all, it’s Mo. I have one question for ya:

Do you LOC???

Most naturalistas have heard of the LOC method, which is an abbreviation for Liquid/Leave-in, Oil and Cream…it’s the go-to recommendation on forums, in groups and at meetups when dry hair is an issue.

Textured hair thrives in moisture, and this method is designed to capture and “lock in” the moisture after shampooing your hair so it doesn’t dry out and (potentially) break off.

Products are applied to the hair the ‘Leave-in/Liquid, Oil and Cream’ order after shampooing to ensure that the moisture is sealed into the hair for optimal health, shine and manageability.

 

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Sounds good, right?? Well, this method doesn’t work for everybody…….

Here is my NUMBER ONE problem with the LOC method:

Product buildup! Depending on the type/texture (I have fine 4a/b hair) using a leave-in conditioner AND oil AND a cream styler is a recipe for weighed down, sticky, oversaturated hair.

What I do instead is LCO (leave-in, cream, oil) after shampooing, and I use the least amount of cream as possible. I also double up on leave-in conditioner, starting with a liquid (Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-in is a fave) and following with a cream leave-in (Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture  Conditioner is my number 1).

I’m also pretty heavy handed with my oil since my hair coils up after I detangle, and the oils gives me a nice slip to help me separate my curls while I’m styling. I share my signature oil blend recipe in email #9 of the Protective Style Journey (still going on), you can sign up here to get the exclusive content.

The natural hair community is known for being supportive and providing information to help get through any difficulties you’re facing on your natural hair journey. The one thing to keep in mind that a process/product/method may work for some but may not work for all.

It is YOUR job to find what works for you and your hair.

How have you tweaked some of the go-to #naturalhair gospels to work for you and your hair? Click To Tweet

 

Don’t get discouraged when something doesn’t work the first time; get comfortable with experimenting and learning your hair, it’s a journey that will change your life for the better, trust me 🙂

 

To Your Beauty,

 

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Designer Looks for Less…Delivered to Your Door

The average woman spends $200 a month on clothes….don’t feel bad, we don’t judge.

We’ve talked about apparel delivery services before on the blog, and today we’re bringing you the details of the newest option available.

Rent the Runway Unlimited is a $99/month subscription service that lets you choose up to 3 pieces from their designer clothing and accessories collection, and keep them for as long as you want/need.

The average woman spends $200 a month on clothes. Click To Tweet

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After you’ve worn your items and taken the appropriate number of selfies, simply return them via UPS in the pre-paid envelope. Once your items have been received you’ll be notified that you can choose up to 3 more items!

Oh, and the monthly subscription fee covers general wear and tear. #winning

This service has become SO popular that there is currently a waitlist to sign up; so if you have time before your next big event head on over there to get on the list!!

 

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Four Reasons to Go to Bed Early Tonight

Just go to bed!

The average American adult gets about 6 hours of sleep per night….it’s recommended that we get a minimum of 8…..we are seriously shortchanging ourselves.

Sleep is our body’s chance to repair itself and recharge, and if you’re anything like Mo, you could use a few extra winks. We’re running our households, shuffling from one appointment to the next, starting and growing businesses and volunteering, it’s no wonder we’re tired!

Particularly in the small business community, the ‘late nights, early mornings’ sentiment is applauded; people are admired for their dedication to the hustle.

However, as Mo says in this Periscope broadcast, the hustle IS real – but so is the self-care.

The #hustle is real, but so is the self-care. #takecare Click To Tweet

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Make a commitment turn off the TV at least an hour before you normally do at night, put away the mobile devices, get comfy and doze off. Before you do, check out the four reasons to go to bed early tonight:

  • clearer head – cognition, memory and decision making are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep. Get your purse out of the fridge and go to bed.
  • better sex – studies show that impaired sleep has a negative effect on testosterone levels, we don’t need to say anymore about that….
  • better mood – everybody deserves to be slapped when you’re tired, don’t risk it
  • look better – no red, puffy eyes, no splotchy  skin and a glowing complexion
  • look better (again) – lack of sleep increases production of the hormone leptin, which controls  hunger and feelings of satiety. Remember the last time you didn’t get enough rest and you ate a whole large pizza? That’s leptin…..

Lack of sleep also affects your ability to make decisions and slows your reaction time, that means your commute and your productivity at the office is now in jeopardy.

Whatever it is you think needs to be taken care of tonight can wait until tomorrow, promise.

That’s enough reading, time for bed.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Using a Hair Steamer

If you’ve been a diehard cap-and-dryer deep conditioner-er, you may be missing an opportunity to have healthy, strong, moisturized hair.

Steaming your hair provides a super boost to your deep conditioning sessions, BUT is very effective with only water. Dry, parched hair needs moisture (you drink water when you’re thirsty, right?) and steaming infuses your strands with exactly what it needs.

 

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The warm steam opens your hair cuticles, allowing moisture, oils and whatever conditioner you’re using to reach the innermost layers of your hair. You’ll want to make sure your steaming session isn’t wasted by sealing the hydration in with oil. Read this post about the L.O.C method.

You can use your fave conditioner with your hair steamer, BUT it's very effective with water only. Click To Tweet

Depending on your hair’s needs, use a water-based moisture conditioner or your favorite protein conditioner to boost the moist heat provided by your steamer.

One thing to remember: if you live in an area with hard water, it’s best to use distilled water in your steamer; otherwise you’ll be giving those pesky mineral deposits a free ride to penetrate your hair, not to mention risking clogging your steamer and reducing its effectiveness.

Wanna know the difference between steam conditioning and regular deep conditioning? Read this.

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What to do When You Can’t Use Drugstore Hair & Beauty Products

What is the solution for this kind of crisis???

It’s simple, make your own products! Imagine knowing EXACTLY what you’re putting on your skin and in your hair, using ingredients from your fridge, garden or kitchen cabinets.

Ingredients like fruit pulp or fruit juice provide natural antioxidants and toning benefits.  Honey is known as the world’s oldest moisturizer and has antiseptic properties. Milk (goat’s milk in particular) provides relief of skin irritation and inflammation like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

 

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For an extra boost, ingredients such as oatmeal, wheat germ, brown sugar, and dried herbs can also be included for more specialized concoctions to treat acne-prone, flaking, and/or oily skin.

Honey is the world's oldest moisturizer and has antiseptic properties. Click To Tweet

Making your own products not only saves you money, the natural ingredients reduce the chances of allergic reactions or skin irritations (make sure you’re not allergic to your ingredients).

NOTE: Remember that if you don’t use a preservative of any type (essentials oils would work), your concoctions will require refrigeration and should only be kept for a week. You can err on the side of caution and mix in small batches for immediate use.

Check out a few previous posts to get you started making your own products here , here, and here.

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