Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cheers to a NEW BEGINNINGS!!

"If you ask me for my NEW YEAR resolution, it will be to find out who I am." Cyril Cusack
My NEW HOME - Unpacking in Progress

The last 2 weeks of 2015, my life has been flipped upside down.  I wasn't concerned about the chaos because I know that God has better plans for my life in 2016.  I been painting, packing, cleaning all at the same time and at times I just sat down and cried. I wanted to give up at the finish line but I had to go through this rough period at the end to finish the race.    I have been running on fumes but today I decided that I just had to take a break and enjoy the last page of 2015.

The last 5 years have been truly a struggle which have made me grown so much as a person.  I have found INNER PEACE and even if it took cutting some folks out of my life, I honestly had to in order to save my life.  I had a week off without the kids which allowed many quiet moments and reconnection on a stronger level with God.  Through deep soul searching, I had to ask myself a couple of times "Why are you HERE?" and "What is your PURPOSE?"

Amidst all the chaos, it felt amazing today to turn in my keys to an apartment at 1pm December 31, 2015.  I was so excited that I went to my complex to get my last mail and drove out so quickly forgetting to turn the keys in.  My kids and I busted out laughing and my daughter Arielle said, "WOW mommy, you are so happy to leave."

Life has a way of breaking us down to build us up for better and greater things.  The next few months will be spent decluttering my life and starting FRESH all over again.    I am truly excited about the journey and starting a NEW PAGE, CHAPTER, or a BOOK.  I have some many exciting and great things planned and I am so READY to EMBARK on this journey 2016.
Getting Ready to SET up my Studio/Planning area.

In closing, "your soul knows when its time to close a chapter so don't be afraid to start over." 
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thankful

What are you THANKFUL for this HOLIDAY season? 

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” ~ Tecumseh 

 I am THANKFUL for:


1. LIFE - God has kept me so far in 2015 and I am happy to be alive. Every morning before I start my day the first thing that I do is meditate and pray in a quiet area in my home giving thanks for LIFE.  

2. TRIALS - My trials have proven how strong I am. Sometimes I wonder where does the strength comes from but only God knows.  

3. ADVERSITIES - I will continue to fight my way through life no matter what detours I may encounter along the way in 2016. 

4. CHILDREN - My pillar of strength and my rock. They keep me grounded and keep that smile on my face. They are more than my company, sidekick or children. They have taught me so much over the last 8 years.

5. FAMILY - Even though I may not be the perfect daughter, sister, aunt or niece, I have to say my family has taught me to stay strong no matter what storm I face. My family carried me through and helped me along the way after losing my best friend and dad.

6. FAITH - I hold on to my faith as when the times get tough, I can only cry out to my Heavenly Father. When sometimes I can only see my footprints in the sand, I know that my Heavenly Father is carrying me along the way.


7. FRIENDS - I have rekindled some great friendship along the way and I am proud to say my true friends have always been there for me. They have lifted me up during tough times even when it's only a text, email or call.

8. MY JOB - God knows that I am eternally grateful for having a JOB. I don't complain much anymore, I don't even fuss when things don't always go my way. With open hearts I teach my daily and I will continue to uplift and inspire each person I reach along the way.

9. A HOME - This is something I do not take for granted as I see so many homeless folks daily. I may not be living in a mansion but I am happy to have a clean bed to sleep in and a roof over my head.

10. PEACE - It can be hard when you are not at peace with yourself. Thank you Heavenly Father for perfect PEACE. It cannot be bought or sold, but when you do find it from within, the feeling is amazing. 

In closing...


“It isn’t what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.” ~ Author Unknown 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Second Chances....



"Let Tomorrow be your second chance to prove that you are better than today and yesterday." -- Ritu Ghatourey





Have you ever missed an event, bus or train and was so upset. Then a few hours later, you heard of a tragedy that occurred at the event, on the bus or train. Isn't that enough to say, Thank You God for a second chance. Well, I think I have been given so many second chances but most importantly a second chance to live. I have had my scary moments in life. I remember having health issues and felt like Heaven wasn't ready for me yet so I will fight to live. My life has had its ups and downs but the most touching second chance I believe is giving birth to my son. I took the option that was presented to risk my life while carrying a life. Hospitalized 18 times, while being morphined up throughout the pregnancy was enough to know that my HEALTHY son Aiden is my miracle, my angel on earth and I knew I got pregnant for a reason. I have a purpose on earth and giving birth to 2 beautiful children is my purpose to live again..my SECOND chance.


My love life has never been an easy road. After getting 2 divorces (yes) to the same person I  married, I didn't know if I would ever open my heart up to give love a SECOND chance. I became so engraved in my career and kids that when love came my way, I would never give anyone a chance. I was a rock, a hard shell and refuse to give into all the charming words even if it was from the heart. I played hard to get even though at times I merely wanted to crumble and cry. I didn't want to get hurt again and vowed to remain single and focus on raising my kids.  It was that special conversation that I decided to open my heart and give love a SECOND chance.  Even though I will still proceed with caution, I am ready to love again and to share my life with someone special. God has been working on me and I have really grown in a positive way and have been able to learn to trust. My children often times share their desires for me to find love as they too deserve to see me happy. Most importantly, I have to put God first in every thing that I do because he has given me so many SECOND chances. 

2016 I am ready for you with arms wide open.  I plan to LIVE my dreams and enjoy every single moment. I plan to capture and develop the good times and learn and grow from the bad. I PLEDGE to live and enjoy every single day like it is my very last. I plan to be the best me in so many ways and PUSH on daily. Thanking God in advance for another GREAT CHANCE to live and be ME. 







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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Perfect FLAT TWIST anyone?

Perfect FLAT TWIST anyone?


Flat twists are a NEAT way to protect your hair while adding a little JAZZ.  They are similar to cornrows except you are using only 2 strands versus 3.  To create the perfect twist, the art is the grip, the amount of hair and the hand technique.  Follow the steps below and you will have the PERFECT TWIST to GO.


Items used: Curly Kids Hair Care
                    Curly Chic Products (Moisture in a Minute, Mane Moisturizer, Coconut Oil for Curls)


Brush: Smoothing and Detangling, Comb: Rat tail or regular comb and rubber bands 




Step 1: Section hair based on desired style or look using a rat tail or regular comb.  For this LOOK, hair was parted in two with a slant look.


Step 2:   From the section of the hair you parted, grab a small section of the hair dividing it into two equal parts. Start by twisting the 2 section ensuring that the hair is gripped properly.  See video  TUTORIAL below.







Step 3: Try to grip about the same amount of hair each time to PERFECT the twist.
It is important to hold the twist and not pull the hair by putting too much tension. As you twist the hair, gently grip and incorporate more hair from the section into the twist as you work towards the back.

 Secure at the end of the twist either braiding or with a small black rubber band.



Don't forget to add your Curly Chic Moisture in a minute and brush the hair for each section that you twist.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you are complete. As you become more comfortable with your technique, you can section hair to create different versatile looks.


Complete the look or style by adding a flower or bow depending on the look that you plan to achieve. 



Thanks for stopping by and HOPE the video tutorial HELPS!!!  Don't forget to check out the Curly Chic Product line used to accomplish this look at: Curlykids Hair Care Website.
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Friday, November 13, 2015

ROLL AND TWIST In Just 5 Minutes

"Beauty is the eyes of the beholder."


Some of the MOST amazing UPDOs on Arielle's hair literally takes 5 minutes.  A few weeks ago, I was too lazy to re-part her hair so I decided to re secure and brush and roll the hair and pin.  I didn't want to create the same braided look like the day before and decided to try something brand new.  To my amazement, it came out absolutely perfect.

Today, I tried the ROLL and twist after removing her signature part (2) and flat twist that she wore the day before.  He hair was still shiny so I did not add any oil base products. The look was just as easy as my very first try so I decided to VIDEO and share.  Follow these QUICK simple steps and your cutie will have an amazing do.

You will need the following: Regular comb, rat tail comb, ponytail holders, smoothing gel (SOFT), bobby pins, barrettes, brush and holding spray (if necessary)

Hair Products used for this look courtesy of:   Curly Kids Hair Care 

Step 1: Section hair into two by parting vertically. 

Add the Curly Chic Moisture in a Minute or gel to the edges, brush and secure the hair tight with a barrett to create a sleek finish as close to the ear as possible.



Step 2: Smooth hair hanging from the barrett (ponytail) either using an oil base product, moisturizer or soft gel. 

Use a fine teeth comb to make sure hair is free of tangles.  Roll hair and secure first roll around the ponytail on the opposite side.  Pin to hold hair that is rolled in place.


WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE HOW TO ROLL THE HAIR AND SECURE!!!

Step 3: Repeat step 2 and and secure the second roll on the opposite side.  

Cross roll over to create a BOW look and pin in place.



Back View

Side VIEW


Its that simple!!! Add smoothing gel and brush if need be. If you added the smoothing gel  or moisture in a minute in Step 1, there is no need to repeat.  Add your favorite hair accessory and then you will be off to a HOLIDAY PARTY, SPECIAL OCCASION OR EVEN SCHOOL.  Be sure to leave a message below and tag us on Instagram when you recreate this do.





THANKS FOR STOPPING BY AND HAVE FUN ROLLING AND TWISTING!!!!!
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Monday, November 9, 2015

A Special Mother Daughter BOND

“Off all the gifts that life has to offer, a loving mother is the greatest of them all.”


Over the last year, I have developed a true passion for sewing.  I decided to take this new hobby to help heal the pain and hurt from the troubles of life.  I didn’t have a clue where this journey would go but I knew I didn’t want to stop.  My very first completed skirt was for my beautiful daughter Arielle. I started with the intent to sew for me after being inspired by Mimi G and Beaute' J'adore.  My close friend and I decided to take sewing lessons with an instructor for 2 sessions.  To our dismay, the skirt was incomplete after the second session and I was truly disappointed and frustrated.  That same night, I decided to make an elastic skirt using a video tutorial for Arielle. Even though it wasn't perfect, my daughter loved it and modeled the skirt so well that I was even more inspired.   

 Everywhere she goes with a skirt I make, I receive compliments.  My daughter is so confident in the skin she is in and over the last year, we both have gravitated to wearing skirt.  I have been asked many times if I would sew but I am truly inspired to do a limited edition skirts for special occasions when time permits JUST FOR LITTLE GIRLS!!!  Starting this FALL, Arielle and I will be working on a few DIY Projects in addition to working on an awesome sewing Studio.  We will be working with a designer from South America in our sewing club at school and plan to learn as much as we can as part of our Mommy and Me "projects”.

I am not sure where this journey may go but I am in for an awesome ride. Hope you enjoyed  a few of the AWESOME photos taken at a Morikami Japanese Garden and Museum showcasing her Holiday African print skirt.  Enjoy and thanks for stopping BY!!!!

Remember.... “Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.”  
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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Arielle's FIRST DIY dress

Oh how I LOVE my dress!!!  - Arielle



For the last few months, I have been yearning to step out of my comfort zone and create amazing other items except skirts. Over the last year, I have made over 40 skirts and have mastered every style. When I was given the opportunity to create a dress using the Mingo and Grace Blake pattern, I jumped at it. I was a little scared and wanted to read as many feedback from other more experience sewist in the pattern test group, as I have not mastered cutting from patterns.

At first, I thought about asking a friend who is a designer to guide me, but how will "I" learn? I decided Friday to start the process and it was history. I made a few errors but these errors are great learning experiences. I am super excited as I plan to use the pattern again to create a CHRISTMAS dress and for the upcoming SPRING FASHION show. I have so many ideas brewing and I can't wait to create and share. Below are some shots of the dress. ENJOY.



Front has 3 pleats!!!  Opted to cut a larger size in the event of errors.



Side view - pockets which I love so much!!!


Back VIEW!!


Thanks for stopping BY!!!! Have a GREAT DAY!!!



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Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Favorite Minnie Mouse - Halloween

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous"
   - Coco Chanel


Making skirts is my all time favorite especially for my daughter Arielle.  She truly loves when I sew for her and every time she sees something that she likes, her first words are "Mommy can you make this?"  It's amazing how 1 year of sewing already got my daughter hooked on me creating her OWN unique styles and looks.




So my daughter wanted to be Minnie for Halloween and picked out her OWN fabric from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store.  I first wanted to create a RED tulle skirt but when she came across this perfect fabric, she said this is the one mommy.    Amazingly enough, I had a 60% off coupon and I think it cost under $10 for all the fabric and elastic.  I also visited a local trimmings store in Downtown Miami to obtain ribbons for the bows.

We used the pattern from Mingo and Grace ( MG2715) Crop Top Skirt Set.  


I decided after to create a detachable belt using the smaller PULKA dot fabrics.   Hope to create an entire look soon with the actual crop top very soon.  I made an attempt to create the sleeveless version and did a minor mistake with the arm area.



Cant wait to create the BLAKE dress from Mingo and Grace for her BIRTHDAY LOOK!!!!  Go check her out and her amazing photos.

Thanks for stopping by and HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!


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Friday, October 30, 2015

Beautiful HAIR using the CURLY CHIC LOC Method

Arielle's HAIR ROUTINE
THE product line that we use is Curly Kids Hair Care. We have been using it over a year and a half now and we love the results. Here is a simple outline of the DIFFERENT PRODUCTS USED based on the desired looks.  To have your LITTLE DIVA'S HAIR looking SHINY and BEAUTIFUL, combine the PRODUCTS pictured.

SLEEK BUNS and PROTECTIVE STYLES (Daily routine): Moisturizer Gel, Cream Conditioner and Coconut Oil for Curls ( when needed)


The cream conditioner and coconut oil for curls are used throughout the hair including the ends. Depending on the desired BUN (Twist, braided or regular) or PROTECTIVE STYLES  a small amount of the moisturizer gel is used on the edges or the hair. If you are twisting the hair before creating the BUN, secure the bun then add a dime size amount of gel and conditioner to the hair and twist.






WET TWIST OUT, FLEXI RODS AND WET BRAID OUTS: Creme conditioner, Moisturizer, Coconut oil for curls and Moisture in a Minute



On damp hair, add the moisturizer, Creme conditioner and coconut oil for curls throughout the hair. For each TWIST, add a small amount of the moisture in a minute and twist. Lock the ends with either the moisturizer gel or moisture in a minute.  These products combined LEAVES AN AMAZING SHINE!!!!





WASH AND GO,  CURLY FRO, DRY TWIST OUT : Curly Chic LOC products (Moisture in a Minute, Coconut Oil for Curls, Your Mane Moisturizer) Curl Defining Lotion




Depending on the look, all the right products mixed together will give you an awesome finish. For wash and go, follow the LOC METHOD with the Curly Chic products. Add the moisturizer, coconut oil for curls and moisture in a minute.


Curly FRO may take different products depending on your hair texture and curl pattern. In my opinion, this method is based on trial and error with the right products. We find that the curl defining lotion, coconut oil for curls and moisture in a minute works for a BEAUTIFUL FULL curly fro. Add a small dime size of the coconut oil for curls that SMELLS SO GOOD for the AMAZING shine. You may need a little water to create a damp look before products are added depending on your desired CURLY FRO. Follow the same routine for DRY TWIST OUT. Use products on damp hair and then TWIST hair and then use all the products from the LOC Method. 


Wash and De-tangle
Super Detangling Conditioner



 Last by NOT LEAST, ENSURE that the hair is shampooed properly and deep conditioned at least 2 times a month using the Curly Kids Deep Conditioner.  We truly love the results of all the products listed and the LOOK and FEEL is absolutely amazing.

Don't forget to check out Curly Kids Hair Care for a store locations near you.  You can also order from the online store as WELL.  Please feel free to post any questions, comments that you may have.



Have a HAPPY CURLY DAY!!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is L O V E?

What is Love?



Is it the number of likes on a picture?
Is Love the words that you utter?
Is it the material things you have?
Is it a connection that you feel?


It is amazing what different people may say about LOVE. Each person may have their own perception, but is there a true definition of LOVE.  One may link LOVE towards feeling, material things, a moment, but how can we truly define the experience of LOVE.  I am a sucker for LOVE stories, romantic endings, fairy tales, you name it. I am so much intertwined with finding what really LOVE is and for me, it is the butterfly feelings that I get in my stomach.  It's that moment of feeling special and and I just don't want to stop smiling.

I have been thinking about the WORD LOVE the last couple of days. I have been really yearning for that tingling FEELING, reminiscing on the moment when I really felt LOVE. I have been wanting to get that butterfly feelings so bad when I think about that SPECIAL person that I LOVE.  Surprisingly it was a moment I reflected about our last SPECIAL NIGHT one afternoon while driving when I heard my favorite Babyface song playing and romantic memories crossing my mind.  I was smiling with tears of joy and saying to myself that I don't want this feeling to go away.  Can it, will it last forever? Is it LOVE?

We may not know when that LOVE spell hits us but I am glad to say when it does you really feel that tingling sensation in your mind, body and soul. When that special one calls, sends a message or simply SAY "I LOVE YOU", it is that  FEELING you cannot explain. At that moment, we are intertwined with butterflies and special memories. So today, take the time to reflect on what true LOVE is and means to you. Hope you find everlasting LOVE. 

Be sure to leave a comment on your definition of what L O V E is to you.
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

TWIST AND BUN

Little GIRLS should be CLASSY and CUTE.


Whether you are going to school, church or heading to a wedding, this simple T W I S T updo is versatile and most importantly, easy to do. It is an everyday wearable style that your little girl will love.

You will need the following: Regular comb, rat tail comb, ponytail holders, smoothing gel (SOFT), bobby pins, barrettes, brush and holding spray (if necessary)

Hair Products used for this look courtesy of:   Curly Kids Hair Care 

Step 1 - Sectioning the Hair

Use a rat tail comb to create your parts.  You will first create  the vertical part (center of forehead) and stop and the top of the head.  Next, create a horizontal part (slanted or straight from ear to ear) and secure the back section in a ponytail. Secure all sections with a ponytail. Bring the rear ponytail to the center of the head to create a sleek updo.



Step 2 - Twisting and Securing the Front

Add Curly Kids Hair Care  Curly Kids Gel Moisturizer to the edges, brush and twist the first side wrapping it around the the rear ponytail and securing with a pin. Then twist the next side, crossing it over and securing it with more pins. Make sure twists are tight and wrapped around the rear ponytail and secured with pins. 
FINISH LOOK after the FRONT TWIST is COMPLETE!!!

Step 3 - Creating the Twisted BUN

Moisturize the hair if necessary and twist the ponytail and follow the STEPS carefully to create a SMOOTH TWISTED BUN.
    
COMPLETING THE LOOK WITH THE FUN!!!!
      Step A: TWIST the rear ponytail to the end of the hair.    
      Step B: Place INDEX finger in the center and hold the ponytail twist securely.
      Step C: Wrap the TWISTED ponytail loosely around your finger to create a

                   unique finish.
      Step D: PIN TWISTED BUN in place to secure.
          

Step 4 - The FINISHED Look

Finish with a soft gel (Curly Kids Gel Moisturizer) to smooth fly-aways and add a flower or hair bow for a girly look.

HEAD BAND and SKIRT MADE by Mom 

This cute three twists  and a bun is so easy to do. You can add that chic and sophisticated look by just adding a headband to the front or a flower around the BUN. This is a great look for a little sassy girl.

VIDEO 2:





BE SURE TO check out a similar do with PLAITS posted on Naturally Curly website.  This look was done a year ago.


Don't forget to leave your comments, questions or feedback below.  Thanks for STOPPING BY!!!!  Go check out the great PRODUCTS available for this do at Curly Kids Hair Care.


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Monday, October 19, 2015

HEALING through Sewing

"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it."
Tori Amos

Losing a love one is challenging to accept, especially a parent or a child. My father was my best friend and when he passed away June 25, 2011, a piece of me died inside. His death took a toll on me emotionally and accepting and dealing with him not being around was even worse.  I was a daddy's girl and my dad and I spoke daily. My faith was all I had and it was through my sewing outlet a year ago that helped. I decided to venture into sewing with a close friend after not sewing for over 25 plus years. We both took a sewing class and were disappointed as we did not complete the garment in 2 days.  I decided that night I was going to create a finish product and I sewed a simple elastic waist skirt for daughter.  
My First COMPLETED SEWING Project

From that learning experience, I then made several elastic waist skirts until one day I decided to learn how to insert a zipper.

I completed my Mimi G Maxi Skirt (left)  but opted for an elastic waist and belt.
I even made a second skirt a week later (right).

My first zipper skirt was wearable and there was NO turning back.  Thus far, I have created clutches, skirts, pillow covers, hair bows, remixed tops and even attempted a top for both myself and my daughter.  I truly enjoy making skirts and have found my niche.  
My FIRST ZIPPER SKIRT.  Was so happy with it, I wore it twice in 1 week.

Clutch and Skirt sewn by me!
                     

Pencil Skirts created in less than 1 hour.

Mommy and ME LOOK!

           I have no intentions to become a designer, but I hope to encourage others to find ways to heal. 



 From this journey, I will start my own Fashion Club at school and plan to launch the school's first Spring 2016 Runway show.  I am truly excited about this phase of my life and plan to encourage girls to be strong and confident in their skin.
My Inspiration to continue on this journey. 
Just a snip bit of the many pieces I have created for my daughter!

Thank you for reading my journey and hope that you find an outlet to heal from the struggles in life that you may be facing.
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