All Twisted Up


This is how I've been wearing my hair since my Bentonite Clay Hair Mask Treatment. After much avoidance, and thin ends that I really need to trim - I've decided that I need to do more protective styles and manipulate my hair a lot less. Typically, I would retwist my hair every night so that I could wear it out, but I've realized that's way too much. Couple that with the cold weather, the ends of my hair started to split. I now twist it and put it in a bun, which has been working out pretty nicely. I do need to make it a point to coat it with Jojoba Oil on a nightly basis though. Daily moisture is something else I need to work on. I'm going to trim soon and keep protecting in an effort to hold on to my ends and see a lot more growth this year.

Lacquer Life: MY BUTTER LONDON COLLECTION

My lacquer obsession has gone to a new level everybody ((hangs head low)). I've been wanting to try Butter London for a long time, but I've never had the heart (or cash) to cough up $14 for a single bottle. There I was perusing the Internet when I decided to take a gander on the blog of a makeup studio I used to assist for. I came across her blog sale selling 11 bottles of Butter London nail polish for $33.00...yes $3.00 per bottle!!! They were testers for the customers, so they've been used - but barely! Except the Tea For A Queen - but who cares! Now that I've been swimming in Butter London, I have to say....it would be worth the $14.00 per bottle. The formula is extremely rich and smooth - like butter....(I swear I didn't intend to be that corny). Here's my loot...
Primose Hill Picnic | Macbeth | Rosie Lee | Snog

West End Wonderland | The Full Monty

La Moss | Chimney Sweep | Artful Dodger

Tea With The Queen | Yummy Mummy

I've been seeing ladies around the internet getting creative with how they use their Birchbox's once they take out all the products - I've decided to use one of mine to safely house my new friends.

Take Care,
Jin

PS: Thank you all for the amazing response to the Isn't She Lovely feature (and thank you again Jin). I can't wait for you all to see who I secured for this weeks feature. You're gonna love it! Enjoy your Monday :)


Things That Happened + Things I Realized

This Happened
I bought a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

I Realized This
I didn't need that cupcake. I wasn't even hungry.
I was being greedy. To top it off, I didn't even like the cupcake. Serves me right.

It also made me realize that I need to start working out again.
Please pray for me, as I'm ordering P90X this week. I refuse to look like this on my 25th birthday!
. . .

This Happened
My period decided to show up again, although I've been trying to get knocked up

I Realized This
Uuuummmm...I should not be trying to have another baby right now.

What was I thinking?

I'd always been very vocal about the fact that I didn't want to bring a child into this world until I
had a career, stacked my bank account to a comfortable number, traveled some more, owned my
own home, and some other stuff - none of which I have accomplished as yet...so why was I trying to
get pregnant? To fill the void of loosing Jolie? When God surprised me with her, I was very happy yet very
worried about what type of life I would be able to provide for her. There are a lot of things that are
up in the air right now, and adding a child would only further complicate things.

I will enter motherhood again when the time is right...that time is not right now.

For Christ sake, I'm only 24 years old - there's no rush.

After all, although my daughter is no longer here in a physical
sense, she's still my child...and I am still her mother
. . .

This Happened
Unexpectedly, Jolie's insurance card was in the mail when I got home Saturday night

I Realized This
I'm lucky to personally know one of my Guardian Angels

Take Care,
Jin


{ Isn't She Lovely } JIN of "Jinfitness"


Happy Friday ladies! Today I'd like to present a new feature here on the blog entitled "Isn't She Lovely", where I highlight the authors of some of my favorite blogs. First up is a gorgeous gal who's blog I became obsessed with because we seem to have so much in common - a nail polish obsession, natural hair, an affinity for bright lipstick, and get this...we have the same name! Jin kindly obliged to do this interview for you awesome readers of "Love, Loss and Lacquer" - I hope you enjoy :)

Tell us a little about yourself. 
Hi my name is Jin (short for Rajinder) and I blog over at http://www.jinfitness.com/. I’m a Carolina girl. I have a passion for fitness, healthy living, food, and fashion.

You're obviously in great shape now, have you always been health conscious or was it something you became interested in during adulthood?
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in sports and fitness. I spent most of my childhood outside riding bikes, skating, etc. I love fitness so much that I majored in Exercise Science in college. I’ve also competed in a couple fitness competitions.

It's the beginning of 2012 and most of us have made resolutions to loose weight, but we may not know how to get started. What tips do you have someone who feel a little lost or overwhelmed?
I think that you should write a list of realistic goals. Not only do you want to write down your goals BUT you also want to jot down how you plan to achieve that goal, step by step. I was told that it takes 28 days to create a habit. Start out with a small goal like walking 20 minutes per day. Once you are comfortable with that you can start to incorporate new workouts into your routine.

For the ladies who may not have the time or money to make it to the gym, what workouts do you recommended that can be done at home? You don’t need a gym to see results. Running and walking are great workouts that can be done anywhere. I also like http://www.bodyrock.tv/ They have killer workouts that you can do at home.

There are so many temptations on the menu when one goes out to eat, what kind of advice do you have when we're not in our controlled environment at home?
I grew up in a household where my parents cooked 7 days a week. Going out to eat wasn’t an option growing up so I actually prefer eating at home. If I have to go out for food I try to stay away from French fries and fried food. My favorite go to meal is sushi.

Like myself, you seem to love a bold lip - what's your absolute favorite lip stick?
My favorite lipstick is Ruby Woo by MAC

You have gorgeous skin, what are your staple beauty products that you can't live without?
My skin care regimen isn’t that great. Currently I cleanse with a Tea Tree bar soap from Trader Joe’s. At night I apply a thin layer of Olive Oil to my face. In the morning I wash with hot water and apply Origins A Perfect World moisturizer. I exfoliate sometimes but not as much as I should (I always forget ;-/)

What's your favorite nail polish brand and color?
 I change my nail polish once or twice a week so I really don’t have a favorite nail color….I like all colors. Currently, my favorite brands are Sally Hansen and Ulta Brand.

I love your natural hair! Have you always been natural? If not, did you do the big chop or did you transition?
I’ve been natural for a little over two years. I transitioned by wearing a sew-in weave for about 9 months. After growing tired of wearing weaves I decided to take it out to give my scalp and wallet a break. My hair was a hot mess when I took my weave out. I had a ton of new growth and thin relaxed ends (hot mess dot com). I was nervous about having short hair so I decided to keep my ends. It was so hard to manage two different hair textures so I cut my relaxed ends after about 2 months.

What is your hair regimen?Currently, my hair care regimen is super simple. I either wear a wash n go or a twist out. Wash n go in the summer and a twist out in the winter. For my twist out I co-wash with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Conditioner. While my hair is wet I apply coconut oil. I use a T-shirt to soak up the excess water. Lastly, I apply 100 % Natural Shea Butter and twist. I love being natural and I feel like it has boosted my confidence.

There was recently a study shown that Black women tend to avoid the gym as not to ruin their hair. What is your feeling on that and do you have any tips on how we can maintain our hair while living an active lifestyle?
Sweating comes with the territory. Its almost impossible to workout and not sweat. I pull my hair up into a clip while working out. Sometimes I have to retwist my hair at night but I’m okay with that.

Is there anything else about yourself that you'd like to share with us?
I was honored when Jin asked to feature me on her blog 1.) because I love her blog and 2.) because we have the same name.

. . .
Jin, thank you so much once again for doing this interview!

***Ladies, be sure to stop by Jinfitness for
healthy recipes, fitness tips, fashion and much more***

all photos courtesy of www.jinfitness.com

My First Experience With Bentonite Clay Hair Mask Treatment

After months of wanting to try Bentonite Clay on my hair, I finally got my hands on some after a much needed trip to The Vitamin Shoppe. I was long overdue for a wash, so this was the perfect time to test it out. Here are all the products that I used yesterday - the list was long:
The night before I did a pre-poo of sorts with Vatika Oil { read my post on it here }. I don't think I'll be using it for sealing anymore, but I feel it would be great to dampen my hair with and sleep with a shower cap on overnight (it worked better this way for my hair). My goal for leaving it in overnight was so that my hair could soak up as much moisture as possible, since some of my issues are dryness and lack of shine.
My treatment consisted of the following:

Bentonite Clay |
This is a natural way of clarifying the hair as most shampoo's contain harmful sulfates that typically dry out hair. This hair mask nourishes (and strengthens) the follicles, softens the hair so you can detangle with no problem while your hair is wet (that way you won't have tons of hair in your comb when you're done), gives hair sheen, draws out oils, dirt, dead skin cells and product buildup and may enhance your natural curl pattern (if your hair isn't relaxed or naturally straight). A few ladies have even said that it has given their hair more body. { read my entire post on the clay here }

Apple Cider Vinegar |
This gently removes product buildup, excess sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells due to the acetic acid. Apple Cider Vinegar is also great for beneficial for nourishing the follicles, and strengthening hair at the roots. It also aides in treating dandruff.

Honey |
Since my hair is often dry, honey was a must for me to put in my mixture. It's a natural humectant, meaning that it holds in water molecules. It also aides in making hair more shiny and smooth.
Once I got my mixture to a comfortable consistency, I then applied it to my hair section by section while simultaneously getting it all over my floor - lol. I mean seriously, what a mess I caused...I got it everywhere and on everything.

Keep the mixture on for 20-30 minutes, ideally you shouldn't allow it to dry on your hair. It made my scalp feel very cool while I was letting it sit. After cleaning up the disaster area I created in my kitchen, I washed my hair out with cool water and could instantly feel the softness. It was even a little shiny!
I hopped in the shower and washed out any excess product with Giovanni Direct-Leave In Conditioner. Once any sign of the product was gone, I did put it back in my hair to serve it's purpose as a leave in. Afterwards, I sealed my hair with Jojoba Oil and used my trusty Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to do a twist out.
Though this is only my first time using this product, I think I'm ready to profess my love. Already I've noticed softness, shine and an enhancement of my curl pattern. Because my hair was so soft after using it, I didn't loose any hair because I didn't have to fight with it. With my hair not being a fan of the cold, I plan on doing this treatment once every other week for now to combat my dryness and the elements. Perhaps I may cut it down to once a month during the summer.

I can't wait to use the Bentonite Clay as a face mask! I'm looking forward to sharing that with you as well :)

***EDIT: I forgot to include something VERY important. DO NOT mix with any metal utensils or  have your mixture in a metal container, it will have a negative effect on the properties of your clay***


Solange by Garance Dore


Southern Hospitality

This was my second time visiting Justin Timberlake's resturant Southern Hospitality. The first time I visited, my best friend and I became intrigued by the Fried Twinkie on the menu and loved every single bite of it. Once I found out we were going again over the weekend, all I could talk about for the entire day was this dessert. Mind you, I don't eat Twinkie's - not this fried situation is something else. My heart sank in my chest when the waitress said they may not have anymore, but luckily she came back a few minutes later to announce that they'd be able to make it. I also had hot wings and the mac and cheese with bacon, as well as a Shirley Temple (because I'm five years old). If you're looking for a relaxed environment with good old, southern comfort food, this place is worth a visit.


Upper East Side

1460 Second Ave., New York, NY 10075
(btw 76th & 77th Streets)
Tel: 212-249-1001

and

Hell's Kitchen

645 9th Avenue (Corner of 45th Street)
New York, New York 10036
Tel. 212-265-1000




OOTD: Pink Friday

Blazer: Forever 21 | Dress: Forever 21 | Shoes: Bakers | Lipstick: Lilac Champagne by Revlon
Here's my outfit I wore Friday night to a birthday party. This pink blazer is everything to me right now. When I went shopping for this outfit, I couldn't find anything in the entire store that I liked, except for this blazer. I reluctantly purchased this dress (I hate tight dresses)  as well and figured that I'd find a statement necklace to breathe some life into the outfit - although, it's now clear the blazer that's the star of the show.

A Wave Of Grief

mine and the hubby's room during the trip
The problem with grief is that it can hit you at any moment. I woke up Saturday morning in the most gorgeous setting only to be bed-ridden for about an hour. I was in the kitchen with my friends talking and laughing, when all of a sudden (out of nowhere) I just wanted to cry. I excused myself and went back to my room where I sobbed, prayed and apparently fell asleep only to be woken up by one of the girls checking on me. I didn't want to cause a scene, bring down the mood or take attention away from the birthday girl - so I took a shower while listening to some gospel music to lift my spirits. I pulled it together and made my way outside the room again to join everyone for breakfast and get back to my normal self. I'm lucky to have a group of friends who are so supportive and understanding of my situation. I read so many baby loss blogs where women haven't heard from their friends in months if at all in regards of the death of their babies. No matter how dismal I feel at times, I do realize I'm blessed to have an infinite amount of support.


Penthouse Living

Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of. This weekend I got to live out my fantasy of living in a Manhattan penthouse. Even though it was just a couple days, I think I got too comfortable, because it was hard crossing that bridge to go back home, lol. The views were mind blowing...and it's all about the view when you live in New York! The Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, The East River and other New York landmarks seemed to be a stone throw from our windows. The unit also had a wrap around terrace, but unfortunately we couldn't utilize it much because it was so cold this weekend and it snowed. Weekends like this make me want to start playing lotto.

Take Care,
Jin

Five Things

photo credit: The Beauty Department
1) Once again, Lauren Conrad and the rest of the girls at The Beauty Department share another amazing nail art tutorial. This one is chevron design, which automatically makes one think of Missoni. I need to develop a steady enough hand  get to try this.

2) My blog designer Danielle Moss, shares a tour of her bedroom and living room on her blog Breakfast At Toast. Her home tour was recently featured in Rue Magazine, but she's sharing a little extra with her readers.

3) Happy Belated Birthday to my blogger friend over at Like It's Golden, who celebrated in the most gorgeous sequin dress! If you'd like to pass it on, please let me know :)

4) Have you ever read the blog "Cakies"? Seriously has to be one of the cutest families to walk this planet. But what I love most is how honest Ruby is about parenthood - especially with 4 little girls. She doesn't sugar coat anything, but makes light of it all.

5) Did you see this chocolate cake that Bakerlla recently posted? It's moments like these that make me glad that my oven is on the fritz, our I'd bake it this weekend and eat the entire thing by myself.

***I hope you enjoyed this weeks edition of Five Things. I'm off to Manhattan for the weekend to celebrate my best friends 25th birthday. Have a safe and productive weekend :) ***

Take Care,
Jin


...but it was on sale honey!

My dad bought these for me yesterday while we were hanging out after my job interview. I've had my eyes on these Timberlands for about a year now! I've been on the hunt for the perfect flat boots for what seems like eternity, and this is them. Lucky for me...well my dad...they were 30 % off. Yea these are stylish but they also keep my feet warm, which is most important. I've always had a love of Timberlands, should you have stepped on mine when I was in middle or high school, we'd have a problem. I'd diligently clean them and avoid dirty snow, although that's what they're made for, lol - the elements! As soon as a new color was released, my best friends and I would have it. While I don't keep up with them in that way anymore, my adult and more practical side know that these will last me for a few years.

I'm wearing a bright pink blazer to my best friends birthday party this weekend, and wanted the perfect shade to match. I found that in Revlon's Lilac Champagne!  Since CVS was having a buy 1 get 1 free sale, I also picked up Va Va Violent since I've been wanting to test out a vampy hue on my lips. I really love Revlon lipsticks, they stay on all day while moisturizing at the same time. You definitely get way more than you pay for with this product.

I scored these at Aldo earlier this week, they were 30% off as well. Because I'm only 4'11, I always love something that gives me a little bit of height while still being comfortable. These are also great for walking in the rain, it seems impossible to slip. This is important for clumsy people like me that trip over air.

Have you found any good sale items this week?

Take Care,
Jin

So this is the thing about how us Jamaicans give directions...

The video of a little girl in Jamaica giving directions on how to get to her house has been floating around my Facebook today. You're probably wondering, what could be so funny about that. Fair enough. The thing is with us Jamaican people, is that we don't know the names of streets...we only know landmarks, nature and where stoplights ar located. You will hear a lot of "go so...and then go so..." while we simultaneously move our hands in different directions to show you what we mean. Also, if you ask a Jamaican about how long it takes to get somewhere, our response will always be, "It don't tek long, it's just up di road". Whether it's a 5 minute drive or 2 hour drive, "it's just up di road". And definitely never ask my Cousin Kim for directions - unless you like driving up one way streets into on coming traffic. If you ever ask me how to get somewhere, this is probably the same way I'll describe it to you - so sorry in advance...


Take Care, 
Jin

ps: special thank you to the little boy in the video that yelled, "cooom outta di road" - lol - I love it!

That Moment You Realize You Aren't Alone...But You Wish You Were

From the second I found out I was pregnant, in my mind, I was a mother. I started contemplating the changes I was going to be making, paid off as much debt as possible to free up some cash, thought about which neighborhood I was going to move to raise my child to make sure she went to the best school, etc. I had a boy and a girl name picked out, and once I found out I was having a girl, I always refered to her by name. I thought about The Holidays, buying her first Christmas dress - I even asked my pastor if he would Christen her early this year. So many plans were made that never came to be.

After Jolie died, there were often times that I felt alone and found myself pouring out my feelings on this blog. Then I'd feel I was revealing too much...in some ways, I was embarrassed and ashamed about the way I felt (as strange as that sounds). I felt so alone at times despite being surrounded by so many people who love me and took care of me. But I figured that if I was blogging about my feelings - maybe someone else was too. I started to find tons of blogs written by other moms who loss babies - some around the same time that I did. Ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, pre-term labor, stillbirth....we all shared the pain of loosing our babies. I would sit and read these blogs all day and just cry knowing exactly how that person felt. After a while I realized I couldn't read them everyday because they would bring me right back to that moment when the doctor came in our room to tell us our daughter had "expired".

I still read them, but every few days instead of everyday - and maybe only three of those kinds of blogs per day. It takes too much out of me.

Although I'm thankful for the amount of online support, blogs to relate to, at times it just makes me so sad. I wish people didn't have to experience this. I wish there was something else that connected me to these women instead of the fact that what we have in common is loosing a child. I wish there were a way that I could eliminate child loss from happening to anyone else...but I can't.

Although we are having a difficult time ourselves, there are nights when my husband and I pray for the families I read about as well as those we will never know. I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy.

Loosing a child at any age is difficult, but there is also something to be said for the life that never came to be. I will never be able to watch Jolie grow up, take her to school, have her keep me up a night, hear her first words, watch her take her first steps or any of that. And while I'm confident that I will go on to have more children, that hole in my heart will always be there for my first born.

It is my prayer that anyone going through a similar situation finds peace, clarity and a continued desire to keep their child(ren) spirit alive. Continue to refer to them by name and keep them close to your heart.

I know I shied away from continuing to talk about Jolie, but for whatever reason, God keeps pushing me to do it. So for the woman who may be going through the same thing who I may never know, new found blog friends I met through child loss blogs, or someone who may unfortunately experience something similar in the future (although I pray you won't), know that I'm here.

...and to all of you, look in the mirror and realize how special we all are to be here. Realize that there was a chance that we may not have made it out of our mothers wombs...but we were chosen, and put here to do something. No matter what you're going through today, what ever has you down, no matter your circumstances - you have a purpose and a plan. You were chosen.

Be great and be grateful.

Take Care,
Jin

Saturday Prep

Since becoming best friends with B in the 5th grade, I've become aware of her obsession with her birthday. She literally has countdowns till her birthday and takes it very seriously. With all of us turning 25 this year, all birthday plans are over the top to make this milestone a memorable one. B kicks off each year with her birthday being in January. This year she has rented a five bedroom penthouse in Manhattan, where our crew will be spending this upcoming weekend. Uuuummm...I can't wait! As usual, she enlisted me to help her pick out her party dress, so we went into Soho today for some shopping. We found the perfect ensemble at French Connection (who is having a crazy sale - check it out), followed by a cupcake stop at Crumbs and a visit to her sisters, who has a place in the city. By the way, I'm having a hard time finding the perfect faux fur vest! I went to a million stores trying to find one today but no luck. I found something like a vest in French Connection..but I left without it. As much as I hate the cold, it's days like this that make me love living in New York. Just walking around is an adventure. There's no place like NYC!


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