fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘people’

9 Nov…

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

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WHAT just happened?

All throughout the 2016 Presidential race, I was with her.  Never wavered… I was #imwither.  And, truth be told… being with her, meant I was 100% not with him.

Enter 9 Nov…

Heavily tuned in to watching the results be revealed, I had that feeling and I knew the imminent outcome.

That “ugly feeling” in my gut surfaced incredibly early and while I struggled to ignore… IT remained constant.

Throughout the primaries, throughout the state/city tours of the candidates, throughout the debates, throughout the media coverage and the venom written via social media platforms, throughout it all, that feeling was present… and, I knew.

So, while I had a sleepless night to begin processing the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, my 16 year old daughter did not.

Sound sleeping for her.  But… waking up on 9 Nov, her perception of the world shifted and now, healing beings.

This morning… as she stood in her bedroom door and I stood in the door of my bedroom, my daughter Zoe asked me did “he” really win…

I told her, “unfortunately yes”…

She quickly turned into her room, walked towards her closet and then I heard a thud.
As I entered her room, she was slumped in her closet door, head down, crying…
I kneeled down and started telling her that I understand her frustration and that we will get through this and be alright… she lifted her head, face drenched with tears, looked at me and said… “what is going to happen to Zack?!”
THAT statement…. it put a jolt into my heart.
My daughter, one who is of a liberal, encompassing spirit… one who strives to see the beauty and potential in situations, she automatically associated his win with a racist revolution and now worries about Zack… her black brother.
Her black brother who is away from home, for he is a Freshman in college.  Her kind, humble, intelligent and magnetic black brother, whose brown skin  — beautiful brown skin — could now make him more of a target… simply because HE won.
WHAT just happened?
And before you think otherwise, know that this is real talk. Real concerns.  Real discomfort.  Perhaps they are not your concerns… but they are real. Real. REAL.
Unprecedented.  Unsettling.  Device.  Malicious.  Uncomfortable.
All words that can be used to describe this most recent Presidential race.
And most unfortunate are the many, many, MANY conversations that families whose skin is brown are forced to have with their loved ones… especially their children. Conversations (repeated conversations) in which the message of being resilient, maintaining an optimistic spirit, and still displaying love for one another is paramount.
But,…the results are the results.
With any election, someone must rise as the victor. The voice of the people (or those who opted to show up and VOTE) has been confirmed.
Recorded… and delivered.  Many are elated with the results.
And… many are like me… thinking, who would have thought, eh?
More than ever it is obvious… #imwithher was trumped… literally!
And, as any day does, 9 Nov continues.
As I periodically shake my head, as if I were attempting to knock away a bad thought or wake from an awful dream…
as I wipe away the sporadic tears that my mind chatter seem to make appear out of nowhere…
as the reality of America’s new First Family becomes REALITY…
the, WHAT just happened?
Well… that must be replaced with…
WHAT now?
My reality is this…
Yes.. I have a black son.  A black son whose energy is so powerful, that his texts and comments have assured me (without him even realizing) that he will be alright.
I have a caring daughter.  And her father and I have reassured her that with God, faith, family and love, WE will be alright.
I have a supportive circle of family, siblings, and friends.  Their messages to me today and the love that has been displayed… I know that we will be alright.
For all of the above, the results will be accepted… and I will move forward in a manner to be supportive of  this new leadership.
FOUR years, eh?
Four years from now, I know that I will look back and read this cleansing blog.
But next election…
Well, lemme’ just keep my mouth shut…
cuz’ we are going to be alright!
Cheers!
-k

A flavorful love story… #kbrsips

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

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With an abundant appreciation of its taste and a constant desire to experience more, I am forever on the prowl for a great bottle of wine.

Experimentation is the norm…. and with many successes, and a considerable amount of fails, the actions of the hunt, are always enjoyable.

Inhale… sip… taste.

Inhale… sip… taste… it is my dance routine with wine.

A dance, that depending upon the wine, varies.  It can be as varied as an electric and fast-paced hip-hop… or, a sultry and seductive tango.  Through these assorted dances, my palate grows, matures and ripens for more.

It has to be obvious…

If not, let me be the first to declare that I am definitely attracted to process of discovering a great bottle of wine.  Haha… a love affair has blossomed, eh?!

With all of my experimenting, the names of wines that I want to remember and experience again, continues to increase.  Too many to commit to memory.  Thank goodness for social media and smart phones, for this is how I have been capturing them… via images… one bottle at a time.

And after a recent scroll through my Instagram account, it appears that I am writing… or should I say documenting, my flavorful love story!

This past weekend, a friend told me that while looking for a wine to bring over to my house, she scrolled through my @kbrstyles Intsagram feed to ensure that she picked a “good one”… one that was sure to please my observant palate.

Her words quickly brought to mind others who have similar sentiments.

Wine posts have sparked people to reach out to me to either say that they used my Instagram feed or Facebook page in the same manner, or to offer a me recommendations based on a wine that was posted.  With social media, the broad and swift reach of a mere picture simply amazes me!  Even with texting… I can’t even begin to tell you about the amount of  texted pics that pour in (and the ones that I send out) –all with the understanding that this is a must;  seek and try!

All of THAT, got me to thinking…

Instead of having to scroll through 1689 (and adding more daily) pictures of an Instagram feed… why not just make it a lil’ easier.  This flavorful love story just became so much easier to read… that’s right…I’ve got me a hashtag baby!  (Suddenly, the hilarious skits with Jimmy Fallon now come to mind…)

Introducing my very own, personalized, nod to my flavorful love story hashtag:  #kbrsips — BAM!

Hashtags… what in the hell took me so long??

Actually, it should have been a no-brainer… especially since with my own social media endeavors, I use them all of the time!   Hashtags are the new and improved way to bookmark your topic and make to so much easier to find… right?  All together now… “Duh!”

Hump… so now what?  I’ve got this snazzy hashtag… and what’s next?

For starters, my pictorial wine journal is now only a click away — quick reference — newly organized and always accessible via my smart phone.  Kinda like an uber personalized wine app, eh?  If you love wine as I do… then certainly you are sending congratulatory kudos my way!

Next, perhaps you too will be checking in on #kbrsips and finding a new discovery… a gem to add to your personal collection… and commenting with your favorites.  Remember… I am always on the prowl.

Why check out #kbrsips?

Well… truth be told, it is because I am not a renowned wine sommelier… I’m real, everyday people… just trying to find something sensational to appease my curious palate. I speak about wine in layman’s terms and love, love, LOVE when others are able to enjoy one of my findings.

Pssst… and I crave the recommendations that come my way.

Yep, it is…

Simple. As. That.

With all of the years that I have been experimenting, I’m absolutely stimulated knowing that there is so much more wine to conquer.  Bottle by bottle I am documenting this journey.  And need I say… the aspiring photographer in me is encouraged… for with each wine picture post, I’m showing improvement!

Hmmmm… now that I think about it further… who knows…

When my children are of age to partake in a fabulous glass of wine, they too might even research #kbrsips for their pick!

Haha!  And THAT would be f#*@ing awesome!

Cheers!

-k

 

That’s my pen…

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

pen2Pentel.

ENERGEL.

Liquid Gel Ink.

Metal Tip .o7.

And ONLY black ink.

As of late… that’s my pen of choice.

In true “Bob Dole” fashion, I’ve always kept a good writing utensil close at hand.

An Army officer for a father, this practice, along with the notion that one should have a signature with “strength”, was subconsciously ingrained in me as a child.  I’m certain that my artistic abilities heightened the attraction for “all things” that made a mark.  But…evolving with age, it wasn’t until the high school years, that I became utterly obsessed — naaaaah — probably more like, enchanted with pens.

Fellow lovers of pens… you know how we do, eh?

The aisles at Staples stop us in our tracks.

Truth be told… it is any pen aisle in any store that will cast this magnetic draw.

Even if we are loyal to a brand, just gazing at the potential possibilities keeps us entranced… like a toddler exploring a new toy, it is both eye and hand candy!  Weak, I say!  Haha… it is a weakness, that is also exhilarating!  Annnnnnd with that “weakness”… referencing my initial statement; you HAVE to be a lover of pens to comprehend.

As a pen devotee, I am giddy… rather proud to say that in early March of this year, I won an Instagram contest sponsored by #pentelofamerica, my FAVORITE brand of pens.  

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Script on paper, with a quick nod to the past Washington DC blizzard like conditions, earned me several new free writing goodies!  Who knew that $250 in brand spanking new writing tools, delivered to my door… could have the same impact as the first sip of a fabulous glass of wine!

Haha… I’m spinning off course.  So all embellishments aside…

There is power in a pen.

A good writing pen.

One that effortlessly accentuates and enhances your handwriting.  One that simply glides as you write…  where the weight and size of the pen feels fabulous in your hand.  One that is attractive in its appearance… absolutely showing no signs of grime.  One that dispenses theeeeeeeeeeee “perfect” ink.  And one that puts that “professional” stamp and emphasis on what you do.

Did you get that last statement?

(Enter the mildly OCD me… the me with a few pen “pet peeves”)

That last statement is the true power.

Within a professional environment, a good pen… a good writing pen matters.  Simple as that!

The professional setting?

The full gamut of professional environments…. which includes any setting from the grocery store, to the doctor’s office, to schools, restaurants, retail establishments… you get where I’m going, right?   In a professional setting, don’t you dare require my signature/ask me to complete a form and then extend a pen that lessens the experience with your business.  (Actually, my one exception is automotive repair shops… with their hands embedded in oil changes and such, they can’t help the muck that accumulates on their pens).

I get that “lessens”  could read as such a harsh word.  Sooooo, without sounding haughty or arrogant, for truly, I’m only talking about a “pen”… I offer this anecdote.

With my career as an interior designer, it is common for my design firm to finish the month with a half of a million dollars (or plus) in sales.  The cost of our product, coupled with the amount money generated in sales, absolutely sets the tone for the “expected” experience with my firm.

While projects, as well as the final price for a project vary, the experience offered to each client is fair and consistent.  It is a full design service experience.  Naturally, each client tailors the service to suit their individual project needs… but completing the project, while protecting the “experience” is always priority.  And with the interior design field… it is an aesthetic experience.  One that begins with the initial designer/client meeting… and ends with the client “signing” on the dotted line.

Circling back to the power of the pen…

Such a tiny component of the experience.  Most may not even make the connection… or, bet yet, realize the relevance.

But how, as a professional, does one present a project (possibly in a range of thousands of dollars), engage the client and secure their “by-in”… and then… (wait for it)… extend a pen for their signature that reads “Suzi-Q’s hot-buttered Muffins”… you feel me?

It’s important.  It matters.  And albeit a minor element to the big picture… it matters!

It must matter… for in my professional world, I am a stickler for my writing tool.

So much so that, since my firm provides their own type of pen, I have always (since being employed with them) personally purchased my own pen of choice.  Nothing extravagantly expensive either…. a pack of 7 of my tool of choice may cost about $9 or $10 bucks.

What’s wrong with always wanting to be prepared… armed…  and ready to enhance the momentum of the “experience”.

Sounds silly, eh?

So if I tell you that several at my company have followed suit… does it still sound silly?

Surely this is applicable to other areas in both personal and professional worlds.  Curious if you too might share this belief…

I always have a pen.

Pentel.

ENERGEL.

Liquid Gel Ink.

Metal Tip .o7.

And ONLY black ink.

My pen.

Haha… and don’t be offended if when you extend yours, I reach for mine.

Cheers!

-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED lips are…

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

redlipSophisticated.  CHIC.  Classic.  STRIKING.  Powerful.  Timeless.  Utterly SEXY.

And… ABSOLUTELY, one of my favorite things!

What I know to be true is this:

E V E R Y woman can wear a red lip.

and…

E V E R Y woman should have at least one kick ass tube of red lipstick that effortlessly compliments her complexion.

Can’t believe that since starting this blog in 2011, that this is only my second post on the subject.  Considering how long I have been attracted to red lips, it should have been my introductory post, as well as every other post there after.  Ladies (and gentlemen) the passion is serious… I am a hard core fan.

HARD CORE!

There is no special occasion needed for me to don a red lip.  Haha — just ask my children.  5:30am in the morning, still wearing my pj’s, making lunches for school?  Check.  Off to work, or dinner with friends?  Check.  Sitting around the house with my husband?  My traditional “MD to Italy”  wine Skype session with my BFF? Or my favorite stella & dot Insatgram shots?

Check… check… CHECK!

I honestly don’t think about the occasion or the action of applying the lipstick — I just do it.  Kinda second nature for me now, eh?  Breaking it down to elementary terms:

red lips, simply make me happy.

Something about seeing my lips painted red… it provides an immediate energy.  And don’t even get me started on the energy that erupts upon seeing another woman wearing a stunning red lip… especially when she got it right!  Haha — it makes me wanna walk up to her and scream “DAMN!” while giving her a hearty high-five!

Several women have left impressionable and memorable “red lip” moments.

In college, two of my friends named Jane and Kim kept my eyes alert  — I watched (and still do via facebook posted pics), better yet, studied their precision and technique.  Currently,  Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross (who has forever reminded me of my baby sis), constantly keeps my heart fluttering.  She is my newly crowned “red lip icon”… the QUEEN; for she ALWAYS gets it right!

But hands down, my late grandmother, Ruth E. Brown gets all of the credit.

She was/is my first memory — my inspiration and teacher.  The absolute EPITOME of a red lip and my sustained standard for judgement when making my determinations.  Wonder if she knew just how many times I practiced with her lipstick and then carefully wiped away ALL evidence of any tampering.

Her influence created yet another lover of reds…. and I’m thinking that my grandmother would be proud of my endeavors.

Through research and experimentation, I have discovered what works for me.    In a true “pay it forward” fashion, I’m sharing my learnings with the hopes that another woman might become newly acquainted with her favorite red lipstick.  And of course, sport a gorgeous RED lip!

So…. what I have learned over the years boils down to three things:

ONE.  Only wear reds that suit your skin tone.

Why bother with anything else?? Just in the same manner that we dress and wear clothes that flatter our body shape, the same holds true for make-up/red lipstick.  If you are uncertain about your skin tone/undertones, for a minimal fee at most department stores, you could get a professional consultation.  For me, cooler reds (ones with blue undertones) suit me perfectly.  And since making that discovery — I stay in that color lane and I do not stray.

My favorites?

The unbeatable BEST, knock it out the box, works EVERY TIME color is MAC’s Ruby Woo.  I have YET to meet a woman who couldn’t wear this color.  It is like blood type O+… it is a universal donor!  Trust me and just do as I say…  IF you don’t own it, you need to order this color – ASAP!  You can wear it alone, or, you can use it as a base for other colors.  It is long lasting and it yields the most  the intense, bold red color is scrumptious… and damn near unforgettable.  Ruby Woo is the Ironman of all red lipsticks.  It just is!

Another favorite is Chanel 99 Pirate.  It reminds me of Ruby Woo… just a smidgen creamier.  The color is vintage and sleek.  #99 is so very old Hollywood… big sunglasses and head wraps.  An elegant color, but packed with attitude!  While I have worn this color alone, I mainly use it as the top layer over Ruby Woo.  The two lipsticks combined are a beautiful marriage and the color that is produced is exceptional.

SECOND.  The application process shouldn’t be painstaking or tedious.

When it comes to make-up, especially lipstick, you can Google search scores of ways to apply.  I’m not a make-up artist… but what I do know is that:  if it involves more than “apply lipstick to a clean lip”,  I am NOT interested.

The easier the better… clean lip, a very, very, very light amount of lip balm as a conditioning base and then apply your rep lip color.  BAM – that’s all she wrote!  Side note though.  If you apply a coat of red, blot/purse lips on a paper towel and then reapply your red… you will have a longer lasting lip.  I’m just saying…

THIRD.  Keep your red lip matte and refrain from adding gloss… you know, GLOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

No “wet-n-wild” lips please.  Otherwise… well, you run the risk of possibly looking a bit too scandalous suggestive racy risque?  And just like Forrest Gump… that’s all I have to say about that.

To all of my fellow red lip lovers, I do hope you concur.

RED lips are…

Fabulous and a must for all women.  And please… don’t just wait for a formal affair to dazzle.  Grocery store?  Check.  Picking the kids up from school?  Check.  Running shoes and work out clothes?  Check. (Seriously… check out #redlipfit)  Any place and any event — add a POW and show off your red!

And for all who are curious.

YES… I did have red lips on as I typed this blog!

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Cheers!

-k

And once again, the house is quiet…

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

houseThe expression that “time flies” gains more truth with year that passes.

For me, the gauge presents itself in birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings and funerals… mainly because these are generally times of reflection and or times in which you see and catch-up with family/friends who are removed from your daily routine.

Times when, for better or worse, the cyclical rhythm of our lives become more visible. And we note it like a bookmark, eh? Self-assigned “life” passport stamps, proving and illustrating the old saying that “time flies” and also, that it waits for no one.

So, as time would have it, yet another cycle has come to pass. The lazy days of summer have come to a close and the hustle, hustle, bustle, bustle of back-to-school now begins.

Today, it is official.

A new school year eagerly greets my 10th grader and 8th grader… as well as my husband who teaches high school special education and coaches varsity football. Their summer break is now a memory and the 5:45am wake-up time to prepare for the school day is now reality.

Back to school! Back to our morning routine… and my routine on my days off.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Which means for me… once again, the house is quiet.

Haha — certainly, I am not alone with my sentiments?! Show of hands…. raise them!

Keeping it real, I’m going to blame my feelings on an ever so slight (yes, EVER so slight) case of jealously. As a working mom, with a full-time profession that is unlike my husband’s, I have never experienced the joy of a summer break.

In the past, when the cycle of summer break would appear, I would grow incredibly envious of my family’s carefree days. The house was filled with constant activity, late bed-times and even later wake-ups! Hey… going to work while your family is still in the bed, enjoying their deep slumber … or knowing that they have packed and are off to some exciting day adventure — I’ll break it down into two words: NO FUN!

Don’t get me wrong now … during the summer, I’m really left out. Naturally, summer breaks afford an opportunity for a vacation, impromptu social gatherings, house guests, grilling, loud(er) music and laughing til’ the wee hours of the morning. Again, a hub of activity… and in my house, we are no strangers to such — and yes, I am an active participant! It’s just different… bittersweet knowing that the next day you go to work while they are still on break.

At any rate, it is what it is… and contrary to what it may seem, I do welcome the summer.

I’ve become more accustomed the summer break routine.

And, as time would have it (and since I’m a grown ass woman who basically had to get a grip on her feelings) instead of being OVERLY envious and focusing on what I wasn’t doing with my family, I curtailed it to a slight jealously… I decided to see the bigger picture. My children have a father who is on break with them… they are in safe loving hands… and, they are happy. Now I actually love the shift that accompanies summer… and when the new school year resurfaces, I realize how much I too adore the back-to-school routine.

Guess what?

Today, I have it back.

And while I miss my family when they are away… during my days off of work; once again, the house is quiet.

It’s me time.

Coffee time.

Blogging time.

Cleaning and redecorating time.

stella & dot time.

Anything I want to do…

Well, that is until 2:45pm… school’s out and it’s time for pick-up!

Cheers!

-k

When is it appropriate to say…

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

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Anything…

and everything.

When is it appropriate to stop biting your lip and say… speak… release what is truly and authentically on your mind?

For clarification… I am speaking of those times in which, no matter how confident, self-assertive and vocal you are, there is a moment in the conversation in which you hold back and decide to swallow your words.  You decide to avoid that “something” and retain possession of your words/thoughts, and allow the person on the other end to be none the wiser.

Truth be told, I often struggle with this notion.  Surely, I am not alone.

A recent conversation with a friend forced me to seriously think about what I do and do not say.  It offered an unexpected enlightenment.  An “ah-ha” moment of sorts in which I caught myself holding back and doing that thing I sometimes do… biting my lip and refraining from speaking what was truly on my mind.  Why did I stop myself?  Hmmmm… perhaps the same reason we all do it.

The culprits could possibly be an effort to remain politically correct…. or, it could simply be we refrain out of respect for the other person… or, might it even be because of plain ol’ fear.

Fear of the consequences.  Fear of hurting someone’s feelings, assuming that the truth would be too much for the recipient.  Or… maybe even a fear of the truth that we may be trying to withhold from ourself (…pausing a minute to think about that one right there).  Inevitably, the reasons why will continue to remain numerous.  But what I know for sure is this;  in various forms and fashions, we all do it (Haha — and even if you think you don’t — YES, YOU do it too).

We hold back with our spouse, our girlfriends, boyfriends, our intimate partners, with family members, co-workers, friends and acquaintances — you name it — it happens.  The statement is on the tip of our tongue and consciously, we determine that this is the “time” that a filter is needed — and we use it.

Speaking of filters, this is possibly a learned behavior, eh?

As children, we were filterless and we spoke our minds.  That is, until that moment when an adult (who was stunned by the comments) redirected your thought and provided that lesson of what was and what wasn’t appropriate to say.  Haha — if your lessons were similar to mine, then you received a mild, yet forceful nudge to stop the words from flowing freely and then a VERY close and reprimanding, muffled lip to ear whisper.  In my case, goal accomplished, for it always made me stop in my tracks and take heed to what I was told.

But now as an adult… being a lover of words and having an insatiable appetite for conversation, I’m aware that when communicating to one another, “holding back and refraining” is generally not the norm… nor fulfilling.  The initial intentions tend to be sincere.  We open up with one another, we engage, we are genuine and we speak our minds.

But then there are those times.  Those times in which we simply hold back.  I take note of  when it happens to me and carefully monitor that action.  What is so difficult about always being true in the moment and just letting the words flow?  Easier said than done, especially with loved ones, eh?

As of late, this topic has piqued my curiosity and makes me want to solicit others to find out why.

Why, why…. why?!

When you hold back, what does that look like in your world?  But hey… perhaps you are the exception — the one who is exempt from this “hold back” club and you ALWAYS speak your mind.  Well, hell yeah — I most certainly want to hear from you!

Not trying to belabor my point or be rhetorical for that matter… for I’m truly interested in feedback.  Or at the least (no pun intended) a conversation free from refrain.

Cheers!

-k

A rebirth on a birthday…

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

IMG_8097I did it because I was curious.

I did it because part of me was a stranger.

I did it because I craved a change.

I did it because it was honestly long over due.

And, by doing so, I wanted my actions to be a bold and brave example for my children… especially my daughter.

What pray tell did I do?

Haha… not groundbreaking news in the least.  But for me, a rebirth of sorts.

I have decided to stop using relaxers and chemically straightening my hair.  I am joining the ranks and “going natural” — you had better believe, I am ready for my natural hair texture to make its debut!  Obviously, in order to sport my natural texture, that relaxed stuff has got to go. Hmmmm… time for a transition.

Like the many who have made and will make this transformation, each transition method is incredibly personal and varies.   For me… I tend to air on the side of impatience.  Once I finally committed to the decision, I wanted to start from scratch.  A quicker and more noticeable metamorphosis was the goal.

So…

I shaved my head.

It sounds so matter of fact, eh?  Straightforward and unemotional, “I shaved my head.”  So not the case.

It has been years in the making.  Years of contemplating.  Years of changing my mind.  Years of being curious as to what hair texture resided under all of that relaxed hair.  Years of pondering — would I even be able to style the mysterious curls that would sprout without a relaxer in my hair?  Years of not being ready because I was concerned (truth be told… fearful) of what others may think.  Years of wondering how I might be perceived without my relaxed hair.   Years… years… YEARS!

Actually, last year, during a week-long birthday trip to Paris, I was “this” close… “this” close to making the transition and shaving my head.  I never mentioned it to anyone… not even the girls that accompanied me on the trip.  I was going to wait for my birthday and just do it.  Considering that I adore aesthetics, a “story” and creating “moments”… you would think that the scenario was ideal.  Naaaaah.  I chickened out!  I just wasn’t fully committed to my decision and still unnecessarily anxious as to what people would say.

What boggles my mind is that in other areas, I would say that I certainly display confidence and can be exceedingly vocal with my opinion.  With my relaxed hair, I have never been shy… I am not timid about cutting it or even experimenting with color.  Ahhhhhhh… I do adore vibrant shades of red!  But walking away from a relaxer and NOT chemically straightening my hair — it would just stop me in my tracks.  Being afraid of the unknown, literally stopped me in my tracks!

As a five-year old child, my mother started using a relaxer to help her manage my thick head of hair.  A head of hair that drastically differed from her very fine curls.  It was what I knew.  Continuing into adulthood, I maintained what my mother established.  And when my daughter’s thick curls grew thicker, I would sometimes reach for a children’s texturizer  to assist me as well.  Truth be told… I loved the look of a relaxer in my hair and I liked the styling options.  But… decades and decades of chemically straightening my hair has resulted in damage, breakage and thinning.

Now, I desire a change.

The courage has been slowly churning and brewing inside… and just like a roller coaster cranking up a hill, now it’s time for the ride!  It’s kinda like one of those bucket list items and going against the norm.

Unlike last year, when I attempted to make this change, I did decide to discuss my intentions.  I talked to my baby sister.  I value her opinion and had questions  about her natural hair and her experiences.  In an effort to possibly gauge the reaction of people in my corporate interior design environment, I mentioned it to a co-worker who has been employed with the company for a considerable amount of time.  I also talked to my husband and my two children.  I knew that my husband would be supportive and in my corner.  Being 14 and 12, I was uncertain as to how my children would respond.  Questions and answers… more questions and answers, not about me wanting to refrain from relaxers, but about how I might look with my shaved head while my hair grows back.  Haha… kids, eh?!  To the rest of those very close to me, I remained quiet.  I think I just wanted their raw reaction… either once they saw me, or when they read this blog.

I will say that I  also did a fair amount of research…

Google, scores of YouTube videos, facebook pages, blogs, hair product websites.  SO much information available.  Happily, I have made several discoveries!  Nine new products purchased from Carol’s Daughter and Ouidad.com are sitting on my bathroom counter for my daughter and me.  I registered at Curl Box and  I am just waiting for them to extend the invite.  I started following…ahem, actually addicted to Whitney and her Naptural85 blog, vlog and YouTube channel.  Her natural hair transition commenced in 2008.  From the videos that I have watched thus far, her time-saving tips with make my transition a breeze and will easily aid me in taking better care of my daughter’s gorgeous head of hair.

So today, on my 43rd birthday, I am happily welcoming this brazen attitude towards my new hair journey.

Don’t get me wrong… there is still an element of nervousness.  Knowing that today was the day, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  Game day, eh?!  All of the hair routines that I have comfortably established and that are second nature… they have got to shift.  But keeping it really “real”… the nervousness truly stems from me wondering what will be my reaction to my newly shaven head?  Liberating… is what I was told by a girlfriend who shaved her head decades ago.  Hmmm… will I feel liberated?

It’s game day… game day… game day!

The kiddos are at school and my husband has taken the day off of work to share with me… create my “story” and share this “moment”.

Together… we shaved my head!

Haha… kinda romantic, eh?!

Scissors in hand, he made the first snip.

Snip. Snip. Snip!  It was then when anxiety began to lessen.  By the time he used the clippers I was at ease.  BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  The sound filled the bathroom.  Interesting sensation having one’s head shaved.  My very first exposure to clippers was a mixture of comical and (as my girlfriend mentioned to me so many years prior) liberating!  All of that hair falling… and (as I do, keeping it real) all of the dry flaking skin scattered all over me and on the bathroom floor… thirty minutes later, I was in awe of this new look.  My new look.  Bold and sexy.  WOW, who knew I had such a cute little head!  I can’t stop touching it.

Talk about new experiences… the shower afterwards was so refreshing.  I have never…EVER felt the spray of the shower head directly on my scalp.  No hair… just scalp!  This is my new world, eh?  Or at least until it begins to grow back.  Haha… and until it grows back, my husband and I are twins!

You know what I am really wondering?  How long will it take to grow enough hair so that I can color it red?  Haha… I never said that I was walking away from the color… and with my new curls, I am certain that I will love it even more!  I’ve just gotta find color that is fitting for my new texture.

shavedHappy happy birthday to me!

I couldn’t think of a day more fitting to make this transition.  My rebirth on my birthday.  Hmmmm, now when my kids get home, I wonder what they will say?

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

Cheers!

-k

en-er-gy…

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 6:57 am

A quick Google search yields this simple definition:   The strength and vitality required for sustained mental or physical activity.

Delve further, and naturally you will find an abundance of definitions, information and explanations… and all correct in their interpretation of the word “en-er-gy.”  Such an intriguing and expansive concept.  Mysterious en-er-gy.  Electric and thermal energy.  Chemical en-er-gy.

Kinetic.

Attractive.

ENERGY!

As of late (just for a reference, probably for the past 9 years), I have been consciously focused on energy.

Mainly… the chemical energy that one emits and receives when they interact with another. Truth be told… it is almost to an obsessive state.  I am going to blame it on being an artist and an Aquarius… ok, ok… let’s blame it on my expressive soul.   Bottom line, I am dependent on energy.  And clarifying just what “energy” is to me, I should say that I am dependent on stimulating, positive, passionate, and revitalizing energy.  Not anything far from the norm, eh?  Surely, we all crave this type of connection.

I know this to be true:

The daily connections that you make with others contain energy  that is often not recognized and even taken for granted.  The energy generated during these connections can feed you… or they can deplete your spirit.  Acknowledge it or not… this type of energy that is transferred from one person to another  is ever-present and surprisingly powerful.   It is a force… and whether it be good or bad, it is a force that steers you towards those that can and will reciprocate that same energy.  And that ain’t nothing but the truth!

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.

I’m not preaching… just sharing.

Sharing because I am confident that there are others who “get this” and seek this very same connection.  Sharing because sometimes (as my brother would say) “it is a beautiful thang” to be reminded that what you emit, you attract.  Sharing simply because… hey, it’s what I do!

Indulge me for a moment…

Think about the people who you keep close in your circle.  Your spouse or your partner might be exempt for this example… so think about extended family members and your friends.  Co-workers and acquaintances.  There is a varied mix, eh?

Now… of this mixture, think about the ones that you tend to gravitate towards.  Repeatedly gravitate towards.  This is probably most applicable to those that you consider friends… think about the ones that without a doubt, you seek out and you genuinely enjoy their company.

Now ask yourself this…

Why them?

Haha… I’ll tell you.  It is energy baby.  It all boils down to en-er-gy!

The connections they provide are stimulating… right?  When you give them your energy, they respond by fueling you and giving that energy right back to you.  A continuous flow.  There is a spark… a magnetism… (as we say this together) there is en-er-gy!  And to repeat myself… that ain’t nothing but the truth!

This is the point at which my husband would tilt his head to the side and offer a chuckle… although he is not on a soapbox like I am, he understands.

Seriously… I pour that word on him like it is a fine wine.  The word “en-er-gy” has become embedded in my vocabulary and I am constantly using it to describe my daily activities… especially my social endeavors.  Haha… as funny as this may sound, for me, en-er-gy  is as essential to me as the air I breathe.

Naaaah, he and I will probably never share the same devotion for the concept of energy.  But we do both recognize its presence and from the sideline, he does appreciate (maybe even admire) my overzealous approach.

That circle I spoke of earlier… your go-to  peeps, you really wouldn’t hold them in that regard if there wasn’t that connection.  Where I find sippin’ on a succulent wine with friends while listening to come fantastic music incredibly enjoyable, a connection via energy with that group is a nonnegotiable — a must!  It just is what it is… and for me, what it will always be!

I know that you are there as well.  Perhaps you aren’t as vocal with your observations as I am…maybe never even analyzed it to this degree, but there.  As adults, we sometimes have the mind-set of “life is short” and we spend our days/time accordingly.  So then I say… having a preference as to who you gravitate towards and an awareness as to where you deposit your energy is the perfect means of ensuring that your time is well spent.

Relocating to the Washington DC area temporarily upset my circle, leaving me with my favorite go-to family members and my best girlfriends dispersed around the globe.  As I keep in contact with them, I am slowly but surely finding my energy in new and unexpected places.

But that’s my take…

What about you?

I’m only putting this out there because I am curious as to how others grasp this concept…. surely not to be swayed, just enlightened.

Those energy connections are paramount.  Haha… and no pun intended… they are electrical and I am drawn to them!

Cheers!

-k

A note to my 42 year old self…

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

What do you do with your notes to self?

You know, those personal collections of thoughts, repeated mantras and declarations that you remember or recite.  Notes to self that often are generated via a life lesson…  acting as an aid in maintaining our confidence, elevating our spirits, keeping us sane and/or reminding us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

For me, the notes are nothing more than the randomness that constantly swirls throughout my head.  Poignant and witty bits of wisdom that present themselves daily and (THANK GOODNESS) as I age, become vividly crystal clear.

As a wife and a mother of a teenage son and a pre-teen daughter it is important and necessary that I have presence.  Even more so for my daughter, me being of sound mind, strong body and calm spirit plays a key factor in our relationships.

BUT, first and foremost, I am a woman.

An independent woman, a woman who works full-time outside of the household, a woman who has an artsy side and enjoys being social, a woman who takes pride in her appearance… and, as important and significant those roles are, I am a woman who is conscious about and determined to be defined as more than a wife and mother.  So, as a woman, I am adamant that presence starts with me!  And for BOTH of my children, I would encourage them to do the same.

Haha… not to get all “Oprah’ish” on you, but the reality is that my notes to self steer that path.  They keep me energized, balanced, allow me to reflect and in times when I lose focus, they do what Hansel and Gretel attempted to do with bread crumbs… they help me find my way home.

I bet there are an abundance of women (perhaps men too) who identify with me and my note to self.  We all do this… we jot down or think thoughts that will rejuvenate us and propel us forward… helps us to “get our minds right!”  It’s human nature, eh?

Wondering if I am alone… but my notes repeat themselves.  Like fashion trends, they are cyclical; coming in and out of season over time and when appropriate.  A few years into my fourth decade, I can easily spot and appreciate those patterns.  Haha… I keep a stash of notes and draw upon them frequently.

My favorite note to self, I keep as the sole information offered in my “about you” section on my facebook page:

“What I know to be true… Change is constant, inevitable and beautiful.  You should accept your imperfections.  Time heals all wounds… AND, this too shall pass!”

So elementary but specific to us all, eh?  Incredibly apropos for “life” and the myriad of situations and events one will encounter.

I recently stumbled across a random note to self that I quickly scribed in a matter of 10 minutes.  Written approximately 3 years ago, in reading it again I was compelled to share — actually with the hopes that in the future, my children might read and appreciate their mother’s candid thoughts.  At the time, I was given an assignment to write down 25 random thoughts.  These were my thoughts — and to this day, they continue to be relevant.

1. I absolutely love the color green.
2. Despite my imperfections, I think I am beautiful… and I wish more women embraced themselves in this manner.
3. My children are my heart… they are little apples off of the tree and I am often humored as to how they have adopted so many of their parent’s characteristics.
4. I love my husband’s shoulders.
5. I am so proud that my siblings and I have a wonderful and loving relationship.
6. I feel sorry for those that do not know the joy of having a great friend.
7. I love MAC eye shadows.
8. I should read more…
9. I enjoy the smell of coffee, yet I don’t really drink it (Haha..an update:  a busy work schedule and a need for caffeine, as of 2012, I occasionally drink coffee).
10. One day, I would like to go to Africa.
11. Music invigorates me.
12. I am an artist… in a perfect world, I would immerse myself into an art project… and everyday, create something magnificent with my hands.
13. I miss my grandmother.
14. I love my daughter’s hands… from an early age, they have always appeared wise and mature.
15. My son’s introspectiveness amazes me.
16. A great glass of wine and good company is a wonderful treat.
17. I love accessories… a fabulous pair of shoes, a snazzy handbag, the perfect coat….mmmmmmmm, it takes me there! 😉
18. I am always on the prowl for the perfect shade of red… both lips and hair!
19. I love to cook… and KNOW I should do it more often.
20. My children have a great dad.
21. Sometimes, I yell too much!
22. I enjoy decorating my house, your house… any house.
23. One day, I will own a dog… although, Ziggy, the cat, isn’t bad (as of 2012, we now have Izzy the cat).
24. I love listening to and watching my loved ones laugh.
25. I AM BLESSED!!!!

Haha… pretty much, that is me in a nutshell… do you feel as if you know me better?

Well, I definitely intend on frequenting this list often… and of course, continuing to write new notes.  But I do feel inclined to add a #26…and it reads as such:  I am happy!

Cheers!

-k