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Locs: This Natural Hair Thang

Let me tell ya’ll…….. Having Locs is not easy.  Whoever keeps spreading this lie is Cray Cray!!  I Love my Locs, but I have also explained previously that I am not a Hair Person.  But over the past 3 years, I have done more hair than I probably have at any time in my life.  Loc Maintenance is No Joke!  So let me tell you about the most important things that I have learned having locs:

  • Hydration is Key
  • Cannot Use any products that cause Buildup
  • Keeping your scalp oiled keeps your locs looking healthy
  • Still need to clip your ends regularly
  • If you love color, use a color treatment Shampoo and conditioner
  • Protective styling is great for growth
  • Styling is UNLIMITED
  • YouTube Tutorials are your Friend
My  Lady Locs

My Lady Locs

Some of these things are also key to regular natural hair care. I use to have a closet full of products but after my 1 year old was diagnosed with asthma, I had to get rid of any products with strong fragrances or lasting aromas. Which made me narrow my product list down quite a bit. But to make sure I’m maintaining healthy Locs, here are some of my favorite mildly scented hair care products:

  • Doo Gro Mega Thick Growth Oil (retail value $8.99 4.5oz.)
  • Doo Gro Mega Thick Anti-Thinning Growth Lotion (retail value $8.99 12oz.)
  • Clairol Root Cleansing Strawberry and Ginger Shampoo (retail Value $9.99 10oz.)
  • 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatments (retail value $17.99 6oz.)

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What products would you refer for healthy loc maintenance that I could use around my asthmatic baby boy?

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Directv, AT&T, and the NFL

I have been a Directv customer for 4 years and an  AT&T customer for 10 years.  In July Directv and AT&T merged offering more options for your entertainment and cellular needs.  This is the first ever nationwide combined tv and wireless service from one company. Which includes great discounts for customers of both companies.  The merger also opens the door for TV service literally at your fingertips. Directv customers will be able to access tv service on their mobile devices at anytime. Even after you sign up as a new customer and just say Directv can not get out to install service for a week or two, your service will be active via the app on your phone during that time. Didn’t I say, “Entertainment at your fingertips”.

This year we added the NFL Sunday Ticket package with Directv.  We are die hard Redskin fans #HTTR and regular Football watchers. So in my house this was a life saver since my honey works 6 days a week.  We never missed a game and could always catch up on the various games that have conflicting schedules.  No matter the day or time with the NFL Sunday ticket. It was so easy to catch up on missed plays, scores, highlights, player stats and extras without even being in front of the tv.

Directv NFL Sunday Ticket App.

Directv NFL Sunday Ticket App.

This Sunday, I will be meeting with Executives from AT&T during the Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Football game at FedEx Field to discuss the many ways customers will benefit from this merger. Join me at 11:30am Eastern Standard time this Sunday, October 25, 2015 with your questions via Twitter @JayeCarter  and @DCMobility with the hashtag #NFLATTDirectv. Let’s find out what these companies have in store for their customers. Believe me AT&T and Directv have packages to fit the needs of many.

Photo Courtesy of Google

Photo Courtesy of Google

Did you know that if you’re a customer of AT&T *and* DirecTV, you can get $10 off your bill each month, just for being a customer of both? That is a annual savings of $120. Find out what you’ve been missing.

** I received tickets to Sunday’s game in exchange for this post. However all opinions are my own.

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Growing Pains

This year along with the new addition.  My family also decided to make some physical changes together.  Over the past 2 years my oldest had been dealing with overcrowding in his mouth.  Literally his mouth x-ray looked like a shark head x-ray with rows and rows of teeth.  He had teeth growing behind teeth, teeth growing over top of teeth and he started experiencing mild pain.  After speaking with the Orthodontist they decided it was time to start fitting him for braces.  Unlike most kids he was ready and excited!  He had been asking for an entire year when they could start the process of correcting his teeth and it had finally come.  But he was a little nervous and wondered if pain would be involved.  Well I myself had dealt with dental changes after my 2nd pregnancy which were consistent throughout my last. My teeth had shifted, leaving small gaps here and there.  After I got my post pregnancy cleaning they were obvious. Because we go to the same dentist my son was present at my appointment.  We learned that as I aged that those spaces would stay there and most likely get larger.  So the dentist/orthodontist gave me an option which made my son smile from ear to ear.  That day we made the decision together.  I would go first to ease his mind.  After he saw how easy it was, he hopped in that chair and never looked back.  It was great to watch him let go of his fear because I never want him to be scared of any health physician.

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I was scared myself for about 6 years when I didn’t have a regular dentist. We had a family dentist all my life and once he retired and I had to find someone new to work on my mouth, I was uncomfortable.  But once my kids became big enough to go, I had to trust someone so that they felt comfortable going regularly.  Our dental office is filled with friendly and loving staff.  They tell my kids stories, watch videos and play games with the baby when I am in the chair, and they are very informative regarding our dental health. Now we all Love our dental family. We are making healthy changes together. So when he looks at the list of things he can not eat, he knows mommy can not as well. No cheating and no cutting corners, because we are in this together. Insurance is only as good as a Great Healthcare Provider!  Thank you Dr.Reza Ulery Dental!!!

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The Day after I got Mine! PAIN

8 Months Later!

8 Months Later! He’s 12 and Yes I’m 35 with braces. It’s never too late.

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The Time Is Now: Technology Anyone?

Ya’ll it has been taxing trying to make sure I make time for myself for my readers.  Every time I write it is from the heart, but lately I have felt overwhelmed.  Why? because technology is not a game in this here blogging world.  From the various social media platforms to understanding themes, logos, widgets, plug-ins, etc.  Just saying all of this makes me dizzy.  But I have made it a point to thoroughly try to understand it all.  I have a 12 year old that has started to learn coding and seeing him work makes me feel old and out of the loop.  Recently, I signed up for a site called DASH.  Dash helps you learn the basics of coding inclusive of html, CSS, and Javascript.  You actually walk through a few projects to get your feet wet from building a personal website, building a responsive blog theme, building a small business website, creating a madlibs game (something like words with friends).  And its free!! They offer extensive paid courses, but the free offer right now is detailed enough.  So I am sharing DASH with all of you that feel like me.  Don’t let social media and technology hold you back. Find a way to help yourself!

Do you have any tech sites that have helped you out?  What helped you create your blog site or business site?

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Today: May 5th

This time last year I was laughing and joking with my male best friend about what he was going to do for his birthday. He invited me over for game night with his close family and friends. He was joking and carrying on while he was getting on me about not focusing on my writing. He used to say, “Don’t nobody want to hear your damn excuses, J you are full of shit.”

We always discussed our goals and dreams and for 6 years he always talked about acting and believe me, he could have done it. And because I bought it up everyday, he was determined to shut me up. He even enrolled himself in acting classes in Baltimore with Rain Pryor because I told him those same exact words. I was sooo proud of him. This is why I started writing again. He kept his promise and it was time for me to keep mine. Little did I know as I embarked on my end of the agreement, his journey would be coming to an end.

We met at work 10 years ago and immediately kicked it off. We discussed relationships, fashion, music, always cracking jokes, shared lunches, went for drinks, and most important kept each other sane during the course of the work day. We both worked for DC Government but at separate agencies. But it seemed like no matter what position or agency we transitioned to, we always ended up close to each other. Most days when you saw one of us you saw the other. He would come up to my desk 10 minutes after I got to work to see if I had breakfast and to check on me before the day started. If he emailed me and I did not respond fast enough. He would cuss me out so bad and slam the door of his office when I finally got a second to stop by. But he always let me in and we would be running our mouths so long, I’d get calls saying people were looking for me. Oops!

He was that friend that told you when you were wrong, that helped when things were tight, remembered the kids birthdays, helped me learn how to be understanding and flexible in my relationship, laughed with me, cried with me, was loyal to me, and honest with me. Even during his last week on this earth as I was dealing with transitions at work, he called me everyday just to make sure I was okay. I told him, “You the one in the damn hospital, why you checking on me. I’m ok I just want you to get better.”

That final conversation still hurts me today. He called me at work. I asked how he felt. He told me he wasn’t feeling well and he was tired of being poked and stuck with needles. As he explained, tired of this rude African nurse that kept that he was ready to slap. I told him, I knew he was raising hell up in that hospital just because I know how picky he was. I asked him if he wanted me to come up there and said it was too much going on and half his family was up there but he just wanted to hear my voice and laugh. He told me to that everything would be okay and he loved me. I told him I loved him too and would call him the weekend. I never thought that would be the last time I heard his voice.

For some reason in my lifetime I have lost friends that have been very close to me. When I was 11 I lost my childhood male best friend who had a rare heart disease that was never detected, at 14 my god-brother was shot down and killed in our SE neighborhood, at 18 my male best friend/play brother in a severe car accident. Now at 32 I have lost again. But I gained so much while he was here and I’m grateful. Because of you I write and will continue to follow my dreams. Thank you for helping me find my voice!

May all of my friends/brothers rest in peace. You all will always hold a special place in my heart. I MISS YOU but WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!

Happy Birthday Dante…….Gone but never Forgotten!!!

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A Red Carpet Event for the Kids

This weekend was a busy one. Birthday parties, wedding planning (not mine), and lots of cool kid friendly events. Saturday my daughter and I attended SocaMom’s Red Carpet Screening of the New Veggie Tales Film: The Little House that Stood. Snow and all, we got our cute on and headed down to our neighborhood library to enjoy the festivities. The event was really nice and a great setting for the kids. At first I was a little skeptical on how well my 4 year old would do using her “inside voice” for a few hours, but she did great. All thanks to the amazing and personable atmosphere created by SocaMom. She set the kids up with red carpet accessories to add to their attire, a formal red carpet glam photo experience, a coloring/activity station with Veggie Tales coloring pages and worksheets. As well as extra games and toys available for those little ones whose attention span was tested during the movie.

Being a mother where my schedule always involves my children, events like this are important. It is rare to find great events that cater to both adults and children, but this was one. My daughter had a blast and I even got caught up in the catchy and lovable Veggie Tales story.

If you are a parent in the DC Area, make sure you checkout SocaMom. She hosts the kids movie events every 3 months, subscribe so you don’t miss the next one. The New Veggie Tales movie will be released and available for purchase on March 5th. Check out these beautiful children including my own, loving the red carpet theme:

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My New Favorite Things (3 Stories in 1)

I’M SO EXCITED, AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT!!! I have finally found the first pair of comfortable heels for my feet. Right before the holidays I treated myself to a cute little outfit from Forever 21. Well I just so happened to notice these really cute platform booties in a royal blue sueve (faux suede), lol. I saw that the heel was thick and they were on clearance, so I figured why not test the waters. After two days of breaking them in at home. I decided to wear them to work to really see how long I could last in them. I did it! I rocked my heels, moved around for 8 hours and no swelling. I couldn’t believe it, but my workout is paying off. I will be purchasing these in every color.

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6 months ago I made a decision to loc my hair. These past few months have been rough with dealing with wicked new growth, getting a great maintenance routine, and learning how to show versatility in styling my locs. Chiiiile this was one of the best hair decisions I have ever made. I have never been a hair person. Now, I have started a romance with my hair. I Love It! I have found my style. Six Months and look at the growth.

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I used to be a bag whore. I would purchase a new bag every other month. Satchels, hobos, sling packs, clutches, carryall, you name it. I still love my bags but I have slowed down tremendously. It’s been almost a year since I have bought a new bag but I know when my birthday approaches I will be ready to treat myself again. Regardless since I have had my children, I love toting a large bag. Snacks, extra pairs of clothes, first aid kit, and other necessities. So for Christmas my oldest sister got me my new sidekick. I love the design, the contrast, and the durability. A great piece to add to my collection. So loving my Neiman Marcus North South Crocodile Embossed Tote.

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What are some of your favorite things right now? What influences your signature style?

Categories: Fashion Finds, Team Natural, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What’s New for 2013

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Happy Hump Day Readers! What’s New for 2013?
This year I’m making some great changes and will be adding some new content. I started this blog to discuss the everyday issues in relationships today. I have touched on this a little but this year, I have decided to add a weekly “Couples Session”. There is so much to touch on in this subject and it will get juicy. Also I am bringing in the New Year preparing for a healthier me with the BLM Get Fit Challenge. As you all know I started Crossfit last year to start my weight loss journey. This year I am doing a whole lot to change not only my weight but what I eat. I will be documenting my journey via Instagram as well as some updates on my blog. I am ready to take it up a notch and actually drop some sizes not just a few pounds. 2013 will have me moving either way. I’m juggling two weddings, two months apart…My Sister Nae and one of my closest girlfriends from highschool, My other Gemini twin. Pray for me! I also will be doing some collaborative blogging and tons of giveaways. I also will be highlighting great start ups and minority businesses in the DC Area as well as my fellow bloggers. You know there will still be lots of stories about the kids and my parenting reflection, because that is a work in progress. But I’m So Excited for 2013!! Are you?

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Giving Thanks!!!

The past few weeks have been rough for me. But through it all I was able to realize how thankful one should be to just breathe another day. To wake up and see my children’s faces, to know that I will go home to my family regardless to our judgements, our disagreements and or wants that interfere with our needs.

Two weeks ago I was rushed to the hospital at 6:30am via ambulance. Had I been sick… No! Did I know what was wrong… No! I woke up at 5:30am like every work day. Got the kids washed dressed and ready for school. I shower while my oldest packs up lunches and they eat breakfast. The kids continued downstairs as usual and I proceed to the shower. I close the door and get a piercing cramp in my stomach. I’m thinking here she comes, the beginning of my period (the Cracken). But the cramp gets worse, I sit on the toilet to deal with the pain and now I can’t move my legs and I’m sweating profusely. I called my son to wake his dad and after that my family had to fill in the blanks.

Thankful 1- Thank God for signs from our body to say something is wrong

My honey road with me in the ambulance. They asked me questions, like my name, address and medical allergies. We get to the hospital and he immediately starts filling out the paperwork without asking me a single thing. This was a PROUD of him moment. Why? Because I Love my Boo to death but he gets frustrated in situations where they keep asking you for the same stuff but they ain’t tellin you nothing. And sometimes he ain’t too polite with it, but this day he held his composure. My mom got the kids and took them to school because as they say my babies were traumatized from seeing me passed out like that. My son even said ” after the ambulance came, he was just waiting for someone to tell him his mom died”. (HURT MY HEART) And my daughter was mad at the bathroom because she thought the toilet did something to me. (Hell Naw we not back pedaling on this potty thing) But grandma had a good talk with them and they went on to have outstanding days in school.

Thankful 2- My Honey kept his cool to ensure my stretcher wasn’t hoisted out on the curb with me on it.

About 3 hours in to registration, blood work, my mom comes to the hospital so Honey can go to work. He wanted to stay but I told him to go ahead cause when he doesn’t work he doesn’t get paid. Plus if we were gonna be there all day, sooner than later his attitude from waiting would be in full effect.

Thankful 3- Thank you Grandma for helping my babies refocus and honey to keep his cool, while deep inside they all were losing their minds wondering what’s wrong.

So 15 minutes after my mom arrives a nurse comes in and says “your blood work came back and you are pregnant..Congratulations!” And walks out the room. My mother looked like she wanted to sock her in the mouth, only because a happy pregnancy DOES NOT include cramping and passing out.
We talked for a few minutes as we waited for the doctor. Yeah, I cried!
Because I LOVE MY CHILDREN and no wouldn’t mind adding another to the bunch. But I just started getting over health issues from my last pregnancy. This was my main concern. It’s not selfish because I want to be the best mom I can be for the two that I have.

Thankful 4- Thank God for being able to be honest with myself and know my limits.

The Doctor comes in to take me to get an ultrasound done. That ultrasound turns into 3 and a pelvic exam that took about 45 minutes. Especially because the are pushing and poking while I’m still in pain. I ask the technician what she saw and if anything was wrong, her response, “I need to talk to the doctor”. She wheels me back to my room and a few minutes later, the doctor arrives. They put a call in to an OB/GY surgeon who was headed there to consult with me about my options. They put me on an IV and monitor my pain. I was then diagnosed around 1pm with an ectopic pregnancy. For those that don’t know, this means the fetus decided to form and grow in my Fallopian tube, which if not caught and ruptures could kill you.

Thankful 5- Thank God for Thankful 1 again and my ultrasound technician moving her feet to find the doctor.

Now we are still waiting for the surgeon to get there but it’s getting close to the kids getting out of school. This also was the big day for my son’s end of the season soccer tournament and we were amped up for this before I got sick, so I be dayum if my baby is missing his game. So my middle big sis comes to stay with me while Grandma gets the kiddies and heads to the game to cheer him on. As me and my sister sit in my room waiting…all there is to do is crack jokes. My nurses name was Sukie and my crazy ass in the hospital whispering “Sookie” like I’m Bill in True Blood. She’s checking tweets and Instagram and I barely want to deal with my phone due to severe pain in my right hand. The surgeon comes and proceeds to explain my options and what they need to do. Some of the things discussed totally had us shocked at how far we have come with technology. A decision was made and as I was medicated and told on 3 occasions that I would be discharged. Then my nurse came back saying well we’ve decided to monitor you for another hour. Well I’ve been in the hospital from 6:30 that morning and at that time it was about 7:00pm. I had been poked, pulled, and prodded and not even offered a glass of water. Now due to them pushing back my discharge, I receive a 1 piece of meat, no cheese, 1 piece of lettuce, 1 tomato, dry ass turkey sandwich. It was pitiful but I was starving so I ate it. My sister laughed me out about trying to turn that piece of a sandwich into something worth eating. The funniest part of the night was that when they actually came to discharge me, my exit gear was a dayum mess. Now 3 people have rotated shifts to make sure I was okay. I literally was half dressed when I was taking out in the ambulance. So my sister says get dressed and I bust out laughing, regardless to my pain. I had my sweatpants on, my night shirt with no bra, my slippers, a warm towel that was put around me to absorb the sweat so I wouldn’t catch cold and a blanket they wrapped around me from my couch. Nobody could bring me clothes, a bra, some draws, my coat. I was a mess but ready for this nightmare to be over.

Thankful 6- Thank God for my family, my sisters, my support system because its strong on all ends.

Well the nightmare was nowhere near over. From that day forward for two weeks I found myself in and out of the hospital. My blood levels were rising and the medication was not doing a thing. Two days before Thanksgiving I’m back in the hospital. The doctors were concerned and needed me to come back in for a second assessment, blood work and medication. I was pissed because all that day I was waiting for the doctor to deliver good news and it wasn’t good. I ended up needing a second dosage of medication that would remove the fetus from my Fallopian tube. The nurse had to put on 3 cover ups and two pair if gloves to administer my meds. After research and asking more questions because the medicine made me sick, we find out that what I have been given twice is a form of Kemo. Yes, Kemo as in cancer. This concerned me because I’m praying that it has no long term effects on my health. But just so you ladies know this is how they treat an ectopic pregnancy. Not happy with this but happy I did not have to endure surgery.

Thankful 7- Thank God they have found better ways to treat this type of pregnancy. Doctors used to have to do surgery to remove the fetus or take your tube.

Today I went for my final labs. I pray that everything has passed and I can work on recovery. Even though my physical has yet to heal, my emotions are fully in tact. I even sat down and explained everything to my son. My daughter does not really understand but my big boy picks up on everything. I never want him to think I kept something from him. This is one thing my mom did that I wish she didn’t. As a child you think your parents are super heroes but sometimes children need to know and see that vulnerability to understand they are human too. I’m not perfect and I make mistakes but I’m thankful for those too because they have help make me who I am.

Thankful 8- Thank God for my life lessons because they make me stronger, smarter, and keep my faith high. I knew this was a test of my faith because I endured pain, fear, hurt, regret, love, and acceptance all in a few days. My pain was excruciating but I got through it. My family and friends stood by me, my office prayed for me, and I prayed for myself. I prayed to be able to go home and say I LOVE YOU! To tell my babies how proud I am of them. To cuddle and watch movies, to kiss their boo boos, to argue, to yell, to breathe.

I AM STILL HERE!!! Sooooo Thankful for that.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Notice Something New

Have you noticed anything different about my blog? My New and Improved banner. Thank you to my fellow BLMGirl Her Name is Kim. Who was more than helpful with giving my banner a facelift. But when she sent my proofs, I fell in love with this one. I won her free banner makeover at our Bloggers Like Me DMV Meetup back in August at Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge.

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Bloggers Like Me is a network started by Leslie Hendricks Young of over 500 women of color that blog about everything and provide tips to each other from every aspect of blogging inclusive of marketing/digital imaging/social media/e-stores/brand building/sponsorship/ and much more. I think I’m the only sorry sap that did not do a recap even though I have had one in draft since that night. The Meetup was AH-MAZING! Full of networking, great conversation, and beautiful women bloggers with warm and inviting attitudes. It was All Love!! Style, blog tips, photography, digital media were all a buzz. As well as the large amount of toiletry donations to benefit the youth of PG County CASA. Our wonderful hostess with the mostest Karen Curtis also had her Stella and Dot jewelry on display, swag bags, raffles, cupcakes from DivasConfections and drinks from HonestTea. We all even walked away with lovely accessories from Mimi Boutique.

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Thank you Mimi Boutique. I have truly fallen in love with this ring.

So after all of that greatness, a sister still got hooked up with a free banner makeover. Huh? Thanks BLM Sisters, how you like me now.

Please stop by and get your life and inspiration from some of my fellow BLM DMV Bloggers. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

LaToria Brent Next Brides on Facebook

Janeen Lewis classysimplechic.blogspot.com

Iysha Robinson milesoffashion.blogspot.com

Nae Carter. ichoosethesun.com

Tevyka Heyward missprettyasapeacock.net

Simona M Young http://www.goodlooknout.com

Michele Peters http://www.eatstyleplay.com

Kara Johnson http://www.acreativereality.com

Jennifer Jean Pierre http://www.commecoco.com

Taya Dunn Johnson http://www.mrstdj.com

Karen Perkins Curtis http://www.yourstylistkaren.com

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