Becoming a Bald Babe


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If there’s one thing that can stress, depress or inspire us on a daily basis, it’s our hair. Add thinning areas, split ends and texture to the mix and you’re in for a long night. Over the past four years, I’ve been loving, hating and tolerating my hair. Some days I feel amazing and others, I feel like I look bad. I’ve been going back and forth on what to do with my hair a lot lately. It has been growing but not all over my head. There’s a huge thinning area that’s been the bane of my hair attempts since 10th grade. Continue reading “Becoming a Bald Babe”

I’m on Youtube!


As some of you may know, I’ve been working on new content for a Youtube Channel that I’m launching this Sunday, July 5th (happy birthday to me!). I’ve posted a channel preview to give you guys an idea of what I’ll be making videos on. It’s a lot of work putting videos and keywords and thumbnails together but fun too. I’ve got lots of material and just need to make some time each day to create! Please check out my video and subscribe to my channel !!!

Have courage,
Elle

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Fasting and Furniture


Whenever a new year starts, Brandon (the hubster) and I tend to participate in a spiritual activity to help us reboot and re-focus. This year, it’s the 21 day Daniel fast. Aside from avoiding certain foods, we are writing in journals daily, praying and getting in some personal worship time with God. This is day two and I am feeling very positive about it so far. At first, avoiding sugar, fried food, meat and dairy seemed difficult but we’ve found some good solutions. I didn’t realize how many products contained added sugars, bleached wheat or chemicals (like tortillas, salad dressing and even some canned fruits). It’s no wonder people have so many health issues these days. There are so many junk foods out there disguised as healthy choices that it’s ridiculous. Continue reading “Fasting and Furniture”

Hello 2015 and Affirmations


Praise the Lord, we lived to see another year on Earth. Some of us may not be in the best of situations or moods, but we are all here. That’s something to be thankful for.

I’ve attempted to make resolutions in the past but for lack of planning/execution or setting the bar too high, it’s been tough for me to keep them all. This year, to save me some tears, I’ve decided to make a few affirmations instead. Affirmations are motivational sayings that you use to motivate and encourage yourself each day. Over time, they can boost your confidence which can positively affect your actions. There are plenty of areas in my life that I want to improve in but I don’t want to have to quote paragraphs all day. So I decided to come up with a three that can be used in several situations.

A1: Get to work
I’ve been a high achiever since kindergarten, but there are some areas where I’ve started falling short in (or have yet to excel). Take fitness for example. I’m in pretty good shape physically, but I’m nowhere as toned or fit as I used to be. Looking good is useless if you can’t even do 10 push-ups. I’ve become more mindful of this now that I work seated all day. I also have the bad habit of not putting things back where they go, yet feeling stressed if the apartment isn’t clean. The cluttered insanity stops here.

Lastly, I want to get noticed and promoted at work. I’m going to learn new skills in my free time (which is usually about an hour or so during my work day). For those of you who don’t know, I’m a support specialist at a marketing firm. I make changes to client websites and manage our email system. I’ve already impressed my boss by learning the basics of HTML and CSS while using my design skills for requested changes on client websites. He told me that if I want to work on a certain thing more often (and not have to work with email or clients as much), I should learn as much as I can and show that I can do the work. Meanwhile, he’s going to talk to the owner about getting me a raise!

A2: Preserve the sexy (don’t laugh!)
This one focuses on my appearance and avoiding unhealthy choices in food/drinks. I’m notorious for wearing what feels good, but not necessarily what looks good. I can wear just about whatever I want at work so that just enables me more. I’m not going to run out and replace my wardrobe; the one I have is great. I’ve just got to come up with some good combinations along with easy hair styles and BAM… instant charm.

I’m changing my meal choices based on the Mediterranean diet. That means lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive, nuts and beans with some yogurt on the side. I can still have eggs, cheese and meat, just in smaller servings. The great thing about this is that I already love to eat those things so it wont be a crisis when I start to decrease the amounts of other foods until I only eat the healthy stuff (with cake and ice cream on occasion!). I want my insides to look as great as the outside, or better!

A3: Everything is going to be alright. God’s got it.
It is easy for me to become stressed or overwhelmed at times. Add ‘not planning or keeping track of things’ to the mix and you’ve got a breakdown in the making. It seems like I have so much to do until I write it all down. But if I see an unchecked item in my planner, I literally feel tense. Then there’s those random things that just happen that you can’t plan for. In times like these, or worse, I have to remind myself that my help comes from God. That since He has already planned and purposed my life, I can relax and just trust HIM. Easier said than done, I know, but I get closer to inner peace everyday. I want my first reflex at the sight of trouble to be prayer, not panic. After all, He has already given us the power to get wealth and to get through obstacles.

Happy New Year.
Have courage, take a step.
Elle

Closing a Door


Sometimes you keep pushing on a project, thinking “If I just find the right element, this will work”. But after trying everything you can, lack of motivation or resources, you either go with what you have or start over. I’ve chosen the latter.

I’m starting over with my entrepreneurial endeavors. I’ve worked under the name Our House as a photographer for about four years now. I’ve learned a lot, gained much and had a few setbacks. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that I want to do more than photography. I love to draw, to illustrate, to write, to read. I don’t want to be limited to one art form. Our House was branded as a photography biz to the point where many people only ask about photos these days. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just ready for more options, for creative freedom.

This time around, my husband and I are going to open a new brand dedicated to several creative services, products and projects. We’ve started the ground work recently and plan to get the ball rolling asap! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Have the courage to take the next step!
Elle

My New Hair Moisture Routine


This post is for anyone who is trying to figure out a good routine for keep their hair moisturized. Not interested in hair care? Run away, before you get caught up in the parade of natural hair jargon and products! I’ve come up with a new way for my hair, and so far it seems to be yielding good results. Keep in mind, not all natural hair types are the same, so what works for me, may not work for you. Below, I’ve shared what products I use for my co-washing / moisturizing and daily moisturizing routines.

Co-Wash and Moisturize

Because it is a lengthy process, I only do this once or twice a week. First I co-wash (use conditioner instead of shampoo) my hair twice in the shower. The first time around, I use Fructis Triple Nutrition  or Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise.

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I like these products because they do a great job of cleansing my hair without drying it out. I start out with a generous amount in my palm and dab it throughout my hair before using my fingertips to lift any dirt or buildup from my scalp. I usually finger detangle when needed. For the second co-wash, I use Hollywood Beauty Olive Cholesterol Deep Conditioning Creme or v05 Strawberries and Cream Conditioner. I love using both of these products because they soften my hair and because they have a  lot of slick (they make your hair feel slick so its easy to manipulate), it so much easier to detangle my hair before rinsing. I rarely rinse all of the conditioner out. When it comes to natural hair, moisture is your friend, dryness your biggest foe.

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After that, I just section my hair into small ponytails to keep it from bunching together. Then, one at a time mind you, I add shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie and smooth it (use my fingertips to rub the product in my hair from root to tip) into my hair. Then I add a little  Jam Conditioning Hair Gel before putting it into a 2 strand twist, smoothing as I go. By the end of the process, I usually have 25 big twists in my hair. All that’s left to do is slip on a scarf and go to bed.

jam mega hold      JAM Extra Hold

Daily Moisturizing

To keep my hair soft and manageable between co-washes, I spritz it with a mixture of water and v05 conditioner. Then I just seal (trap the water and conditioner so that it doesn’t dry out) with canola oil or Africa’s Best Kids Organics Growth Oil Remedy. Using oil helps keep moisture from escaping and provides a deeper level of hydration for each strand of hair.

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Summer Capsule Wardrobe


topsOk, as promised, I have photographed and sorted out 50 or fewer items to wear this summer. The theme behind my selections was bright feminine colors, texture and patterns. The goal is to stray away from too many dark or neutral colors. I still need a pair of wedges and nice black dress shoes, but I will add those later. I plan to stick to this wardrobe from June 15th until the end of August. The only exception will be when I am working out, lounging around the house or doing something that requires getting dirty. I’ve got a few items in my closet to wear for those occasions but I am forbidding myself (lol) from wearing anything outside of my capsule wardrobe to work, church, dates, or photo gigs.  If you too have been guilty of wearing sweats to the grocery store, bad ensemble combinations to work or dingy colored everything, I challenge you to create your own summer wardrobe. Take a look at the rest of my threads below! Your encouragement is greatly appreciated! Elle bottoms dresses

May Update


Last time I wrote, I talked about my first collaborative photo shoot fail. Well, since then I have bounced back and been coordinating a second attempt shoot. It’s happening this Saturday! I’m working with plus size models, and two accessory designers. I must admit, I’m still a bit nervous. Last time I was cancelled on at the last minute but the people I’m coordinating with are very good about updating me. The best part is that my husband is going to be assisting me on the shoot.

I’ve been revising my company brand and some great things are happening as a result. We are taking the next 12 months to totally redefine the company and set things in motion for a reboot! Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work. Yes, there will be some times when things don’t go to plan. Yes, we are still going through with it! We are not going to let this dream go to waste, we are not giving up.

I just finished creating a big topic list for my YouTube channel. With better organization and planning, I’m going to start posting videos on the regular basis. How regular? Well, I want to start by posting twice a month and build from there. I’ve learned from experience that it’s best to start some things simply and then add on as time passes.

Meanwhile, I have been sticking with my 365 Artistic Days and 52 Weeks  photography projects for 2014. I missed two days so far but this has been a great ride so far! I’ve learned something new each time I set my camera up. It’s been a real challenge because I don’t want all of my images to look the same. It’s also been theraputic, since every image comes with a written entry about my day or thoughts. It’s like a photo diary. You guys should try it, if not for a year, try it for a month, a week, three days. You may find that you like it!

Don’t give up!
Elle