Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blue (the color, not the feeling)

Daniel and I went to a new restaurant this week, Aberdeen Barn.  It was pretty fancy with linens on the tables and the waiters dressed in vests and bow ties.  Earlier, I had gone to the gym, showered and changed into jeans and flip flops so I definitely felt under-dressed.  Oh well!

How romantic-al!

When we arrived, we admired the ambiance and chatted about the day.  Daniel and I placed our orders and then gave the menus back to our waiter.  Germs are yucky, so as soon as the menus are taken away, I always grab my hand sanitizer (menus are pretty disgusting).  Anyhoo, I'm leaning over and digging into my purse, and after rubbing the gel into my hands, I look up and see:

What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Look closer:


Daniel and I just celebrated our 6 month-aversary (?) and he surprised me with a beautiful piece of jewelry.  


A topaz necklace (I adore the color blue).  Isn't my husband sweet?!?  I think I'll keep him. 

Dinner was delicious!  Daniel had a grilled chicken breast, topped with lump crab meat and a Bearnaise sauce.  I had the most juicy, tender steak and fries.  I definitely wouldn't mind going back.

On Friday, I went bowling with a few Sorors and Frat (fraternity brothers).  It was fun and definitely nice to get out for a few hours.  

Zeta Phi Beta Sigma

Saturday, I went for my last workout at my old gym.

That's not sweat, ok?  Southern Belles perspire.  Get it right, please.

My contract ended yesterday, and today, I begin working out at my new gym:

I'm really excited because my previous gym was for women only and now Daniel can come with me to the new one (I can bring a guest every time that I go).  After he returns from his religious service, we're heading out!

Last night after the gym,  I washed my hair with Hair One again.  The bottle is beginning to get low so I'm trying to decide whether to continue using it.  I've used it 3 times now, and it's ok, but I'm not sure it's worth the money.  For each wash, you're to use at least 20 pumps of product. Basically, I'm going to need a new bottle every 6 weeks or so.  The bottle cost about $12.  My usual hair product is about $15-20 (depending if it's on sale), but it lasts so much longer.  I'm going to make a final decision after using the last of it on my next wash, but I'm leaning toward my old product.

I stated in this post that I would begin logging my reading post to post, so here are the books read since that day:  

The Second Wives Club  Jane Moore
The Nanny Diaries  Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
A Personal Matter  Karyn Langhorne
Spilling Clarence  Anee Ursu
Barefoot  Elin Hilderbrand
Midwives  Chris Bohjalian
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons  Lorna Landvik
One Fifth Avenue  Candace Bushnell
The Starter Wife  Gigi Lavangie Grazer
The Five People You Meet in Heaven  Mitch Albom
The Weight of Water  Anita Shreve
The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc  Loraine Despres

Have a wonderful week everyone!!!!!

"Oh I just can't wait to be, Queen!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hair update--4 months

According to my stylist, I now have about 2 inches of new growth.  I have wanted to try a straw set for years, but never had the courage to do so (I have an unbelievably large head so I wasn't sure if it would look OK).  When researching the transition to natural hair, I found that a straw set is a fabulous transition style because both textures of my hair (relaxed and natural) are incorporated very well in the style. So I figured, "why not?"

A hair pin keeps the hair secure around the drinking straw.

Yes, actual straws are used in a straw set.

This style only took 5 hours!   I also had my hair trimmed and washed (I’m trimming about 1.5 inches of the relaxed ends every other month, instead of a drastic “big chop”).  Throughout this post, you’ll see how well it held up (1 week, 5 days) with a great ‘fro the last 2 days! The style probably could have lasted another week, but since I exercise 4-6 days a week, I couldn't wait any longer to wash my hair.

Release the curls!

There were two reasons I finally decided to do a straw set: 
1 - My hair looked horrendous worn in a ponytail everyday. 
2 - Daniel flew me home to Atlanta!  I was an army kid and moved often, but Georgia is where a majority of my life was spent.  I moved to VA about 4 years ago, intending it to only be for a year, but then I met the man that became my husband and so now I visit GA whenever I can.

Look how short it is the day after!  It loosens and falls after a couple of days.

I stayed with my LS, Niecy for the visit.  Unfortunately, she didn’t like any of the photos I took of her, so you won’t be able to see her gorgeous face.  Niecy knows me so well.  As soon as my flight landed, she took me to dinner.  There are several restaurants that aren’t in VA, or are several hours away from where I live, and she knew that I would be ready to eat what I’ve been missing.  And I had SWEET TEA!!!!!  Although VA is below the Mason-Dixon Line, they are not the true South when it comes to that beautiful amber colored liquid.  Their sweet tea sucks (sorry VA).  I probably drank a gallon of the diabetic coma-inducing yumminess.



Waffle House.  There are several near me, but they taste awful!

There were no big plans for my time home, I was just so happy to be there.  Other than hanging at Niecy's:

I surprised one of my oldest and best friends at a fundraising car wash for her job.  Hilary is actually one of the reasons I began to think of becoming natural.  She did a big chop about 8 years ago and I've seen her hair flourish.  It's grown so long and healthy and strong.  We also met up the next day and hung out for a few hours and visited with her mom.

Friends 17 years and counting!

Niecy and I wanted to help, so we held signs at a busy intersection.

I visited with my Sorority sisters and met their kids for the 1st time.  

Brandy's son Braylon was born at 28 weeks and is now the fattest, happiest 7 month old you've ever seen!

Patrice's twins Phaerin and Phareed.

Brandy's mother's home.  I am so proud of her!

I went to church with Niecy.

In front of Niecy's beautiful home.

Of course, time flew by swiftly and soon it was time to return to my new home in VA.  The security line at the airport went by faster than expected, so I ate breakfast at Paschal's (Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is like a tiny city:  there are restaurants, jewelry/book/clothing/vitamin stores, etc).  

French toast, sausage, and eggs.  Not bad for an airport!

I paid the tab, walked to the gate, and found my zone was boarding!  I found my seat, grabbed my ear buds and a book and settled in for the short flight (Atlanta to Newport News flights are under one and a half hours).

The woman over my shoulder has her 10 week old cuddled to her chest.

It was drizzling on lift of.  We saw nothing but clouds the first 20 minutes of the flight.

Finally--a break in the clouds.  Serene.
Daniel was waiting for me as I walked out of the terminal and it was wonderful to see him.  He gave me the biggest hug!

Alright, so are you ready to see the fabulous afro that came from the curly hairstyle?  I took a wide tooth comb, and starting from the ends, combed the curls out.  Voila!

I really enjoyed seeing myself with my hair like that.  For so many years, societal images and words made me think that straight and silky was the only way that your hair could be considered beautiful.  Now I'm realizing it's not true.  Beautiful hair is healthy and strong.  Stunning hair can come in many textures and I'm so happy to have finally "seen the light".

As always, here's a photo of Tierra.  I think she's becoming overweight--what do you think?  She's 6 months old and yet looks full grown.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm an artist! Sort of...

Heeeeyyyy!  I'm in such a great mood because I'm about to make some chocolate chip cookies from scratch (hopefully they don't taste like dirt) and I'm excited.  Now on to what wasn't posted last time.


Daniel and I tried an Indian restaurant for the 1st time.  It's a place named Rajput located in Ghent.  It was pretty tasty, albeit new flavors and textures.  I told Daniel I'd like to go back on one of their buffet days so that we can try all of their dishes without breaking the bank.

There were scarves everywhere.

Don't ask me to tell you what it is--I can't remember the names of the dishes!

I DO remember this--Chicken Pakora.

The decor was beautiful.

Last night, I went to Hibachi Grill buffet with Pop, my brothers, and my grandma.  Apparently, my brothers conspired to dress alike and didn't even have the respect to let me in on it!

Maroon polo shirts, jeans, and boots.  Twins top to bottom!
Speaking of dressing alike--check out my coworkers on Friday.  This was not planned in any way:

They even had similar gold hoops in their ears!

The place was pretty great looking for a buffet.  It even had fountains, a tiny river, and a bridge!  The food was pretty good, too.  And all for $8!