Sunday, December 30, 2012

Center Stage Naturals: Nikki

Derrel Anthony Photography
Please introduce yourself.  Hello My name is Nikki, a lover of Natural Hair. I am originally from Jackson, Mississippi and currently residing in the Atlanta area.   Also, I am a Licensed Massage Therapist here in Atlanta, my biggest hobbies are Photography and DIYs. 

How long have you been natural?  I have been on this glorious natural journey for 3 years and feels like forever.  I transitioned for a year and then BC'd and it has been the best journey I have been on.
What made you decide to go natural?  My first thoughts of going natural were, I was tired of paying so much money for a perm, I hated getting burned out of this world from the perm & it was time to switch up my hair.  Now my first intentions weren't to wear my hair in its natural state.  I would still get blow outs and flat iron my hair.  Wasn't really ready for the "NAPPINESS".   It wasn't until a couple of months before my trip to Jamaica 2010, I was looking for a curly weave for my hair becuase I knew I was going to get in the water. That is when I came across so many different hair forums and natural hair ladies from youtube(at that time didn't know people were using youtube for hair tutorials).  After watching videos, reading forums & researching information, made me curious to know what my natural curls, kinks or coils were and that is when it all began........ 
Derrel Anthony Photography
What were the reactions you had to going natural? Did you receive any positive or negative comments?  The first person I told was my beautician at the time. Her reaction was HILARIOUS!! Her words to be exact, "GIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRLLLLLL, your hair is too THICK to be trying to go natural and who is going to do all of that?'  She had me cracking up over the phone, but she ended up still styling my hair.  Just about everyone was positive about it, I don't really remember the negative feedback because 1)It was so long ago and I barely remember what happened 5 mins & 2)Negativity goes in one ear and out the other.  Whatever people said about it or made smart remarks or whatever, it did not change how I felt about myself and did not change my thoughts about what I wanted to do.
Who are your hair inspirations, if any?  My hair Inspirations are Corrine Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding & my daughter, Akina.
Do you have a regimen? If so, what is it?  I do have somewhat of a hair regimen....It varies sometimes and depends on how busy I am.  I try my best to wash my hair once a week.  If not, I don't go any longer than 2 weeks.  If I know I have a busy schedule and I have to go 2 weeks, I try to style my hair in twists in keep it in for the first week, moisturizing my twists/braids every 2-3 days and using my essential oils for my scalp, when I feel my scalp to be dry.  
What are your favorite products?  Favorite Products right now are Tresseme Naturals Shampoo & Conditioner, all of Eden Bodyworks Products, Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia & Camille Naturals Twisting Butter...but I am always trying new products and love to see what works and doesn't work for me.

You are the owner of Knotti Nikki. What made you want to blog about natural hair? My main focus of my blog was to track my natural hair journey.  Also, I would get asked how did you get your hair to look like that, or how did you create that style, so I wanted to do KnottiNikki so that they could get the information and be able to recreate the styles and look.  It has blossomed into something more than I expected which I love!!
What is your favorite thing about being a natural hair blogger?  Being able to get information out there to people that aren't sure of how to handle their natural hair.  Also, the wonderful people you meet in the natural hair community!!!!  It is a lot of love and support, and truly love the relationships I have made with others!!!

Where can we find you online?  You can find me online:  Blog |  Twitter/IG | @knottinikki   Youtube | Knottikurls

A big huge thank you to Nikki for sharing her natural journey with us! If you have never been to KnottiNikki, make sure and head on over and check out the knowledge and inspiration being shared!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Roll, Tuck, and Pin

While playing around in my hair the other day.  I came up with this super simple and classic look and I wanted to share it with all of you. 

This look could be good for everyday or could be styled up and made fancy with simple hair accessories.

Check out the tutorial down below! I hope you enjoy :)

...many more hair tutorials to come!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Hairstyle Inspiration

The holidays are here and I know that means we're all going to be getting all dressed up and spiffy ...and it is at that time that we start to wonder, "What am I going to do with my hair?" So I am sharing some of my favorite holiday styles I have found from some lovely naturalistas and I hope this will inspire your holiday flyness ;)

Holiday Bow by the beautiful Cassandre Beccai

From Curlbox's holiday photoshoot, the lovely Ebony Clark

A beautifully elegant bantu knot out by TraNaturally
Perfectly romantic fluffy curls from Naptural85

How will your hair compliment your look this holiday season?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mysteries of History: A Christmas Carol

I looove history! Probably shouldn't have changed my major to it unless I was going to teach but after majoring in art, culinary arts (which I finished), and business (the worst!), I figured the only way I was going to finish was to love what I was doing ...and I did!  

Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. 
Edmund Burke 

So now I'm brining my geek love for the past to all of you!! I introduce to you Mysteries of History, a series on Catastrophe where I share my passion by giving you a history lesson ;)


"Marley was dead: to begin with."


I love Dickens. Yes, I am kind of a book geek. I never get much of chance to read the way I would like, but I still love to!  ...back to Dickens. I love A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield but most of all I love A Christmas Carol.  Everything about that story puts me in the holiday spirit.  Not only have I read it but I don't think I have missed one version of the story ...from the Patrick Stewart version to the Muppets (my favorite!) to Scrooged with Bill Murray. I love them all! I know the lines... oh don't even get me started.

With Christmas right around the corner, what better way to launch this series than with the history of a Christmas ghost story.

Published in 1843, A Christmas Carol is a novella written by the great Charles Dickens. 

Did you know that Ebenezer Scrooge was very roughly based off Dicken's own father?? Well, Dickens had a rough relationship with his father. Very love/hate. He shows this in Scrooge's character by demonstrating the drastic change between the harsh cold-hearted Scrooge in the beginning of the story in comparison to the kind-hearted, Christmas-loving Scrooge at the stories end. 

Industrial Capitalism... ok, did I just lose you? Wait...wait...I'm going somewhere with this. It's gonna be good. Industrial capitalism is the idea that the only way one state (or person) could do well is that the expense of another. Does this sound familiar?? SCROOGE!  The Victorian ideals were starting to lean more towards the idea of consumerism and people were starting to abandon the idea of goodwill towards men. A Christmas Carol is in essence speaking against this concept. It is bringing back the ideals of Christmas charity and all things merry!! The true Christmas spirit.

Dickens was influenced to write his lovely tale because of the state of the poor in England at the time.  The Industrial Revolution had put many people out of work and in doing so, the government had implemented the Poor Laws, which basically opened the doors for many workhouses with horrible conditions and practically no fair labor laws for everyone including children.  Dickens started out writing 
this story as a pamphlet against unfair labor laws and it turned into this wonderful story.

Dickens is famous for bringing back the true meaning of Christmas.  He showed that even a home that was poor could be rich in love and that was all that was needed. Christmas isn't about the gifts but about family, values, traditions, and goodwill towards all.

Dickens uses this story to tell a tale of humanity.  To show the goodness that exists in the hearts of men and the love that can live within us.  For this, A Christmas Carol is one of my all time favorite Christmas stories.  

To you and all of yours, Merry Christmas and "God bless us, every one."

Work Cited:
"A Christmas Carol" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 2 November 2012. Web. 7 November 2012.
Austin, Rose. "History of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens." Yahoo! Voices. 8 December 2009. December 2012
Wertz, Jay. "A Christmas Carol" Great Pop Culture History. 22 December 2009. December 2012.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Center Stage Naturals: Carlyne

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Carlyne also known as Creolelioness.

How long have you been natural?
I've been natural for 4yrs now.

What made you decide to go natural?

I decided to go natural because I was so tired of the damage that I was doing to my hair with a relaxer. I also got tired of the scabs I would get from getting burned by the chemicals. I wanted my hair to be healthy without having to go through the pain.

What were the reactions you experienced when going natural? Did you receive any positive or negative comments?

I attempted to go natural before but the responses I got had me double guess myself and I didnt last 2 months before I went back to the creamy crack.
The response was so negative and had not support. Then the following year in 2008 I decided that I would go natural despite what people thought. I decided that I would
love my hair and make it work.

Who are your hair inspirations, if any?

At the time that I went natural I did not know about the natural hair guru's I know about now. I did not know the natural hair community even existed. So I would
say that I was my own inspiration.

Do you have a regimen? If so, what is it?
My current regimen is, I wash twice a month using Dr. Bronners Castile soap, then I condition with Renpure Organics conditioner. To deep condition, I use a mixture
of conditioner, castor oil, and honey. I usually twist my hair up for the week after washing using Hello hydration conditioner and sealing my ends with coconut oil.

What are your favorite products?

Favorite products right now are Hello hydration, coconut oil, and Kinky curly Knot today.

You are the owner of Love Your Natural Hair. What made you want to blog about natural hair?

I started blogging because although there were so many other naturals out there, people wanted to hear from someone that had their hair type or similar. They wanted
to know what worked for me and what did not because they can easily relate to my hair type. I wanted to give them the information they needed if they couldnt find it else where.

You have an Etsy store and I love your black rose earrings!!  When can we expect new items in your Etsy store?

Blogging opened me up to so many ideas and opportunities and designing jewelry is one of them. It started out as a hobby then I began getting requests. It was fun for the
moment but it became to much for what I was doing in my life at that time. At this time I am not selling my jewelry. Im not sure what the future holds for Lioness Jewels but for now
I have nothing new in the works.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on Instagram: Creolelioness Twitter: Creolelioness and on my blog

Thank you Carlyne for gracing Catastrophe with your beauty and positivity. If you don't already follow this lovely lady on Twitter and Instagram, make sure you do!! Stop by for your natural needs!! Tips, product reviews, and inspiration!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Lanterns: $1 Edition

I love mason jars ...and I love mason jar lanterns.  I shared with you last year's Snowflake Lanterns but this year, I decided to make these simple dollar store treats.

Every year my friends and I do an ornament exchange in place of buying each other gifts.  This year I accompanied their ornaments with these little lanterns for the holiday season.

I got the idea for these lanterns on Pinterest (of course!) and pretty much everything it takes to make them costs $1.  $1 cranberries, $1 ribbon, $1 christmas tree greens.  The little mason jars were $2 and the big bag of snow was $6 but there is sooo much left for other projects. 

I simply hot glued the ribbon on, then the greens, and then the cranberries which I cut from $1 branches from Dollar Tree.

I filled them with snow and put a tealight inside. The picture shows a battery operated light but I used real tealights when I gave them as gifts.

When I gave them to my friends, I just placed the ornament string under the top and hung them from the lantern and had the perfect Christmas double gift. 

I love how easy (and quick!) these were and they turned out to be a nice festive holiday present!

Aren't Christmas crafties just your favorite kind?!! ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Style File: The Skull Blouse

I channelled my inner Jack Skellington on this one.  I love skulls! Everything with skull print on them will be owned by yours truly. So I was pleased as punch when I found this funky little blouse just a-waiting for me to take it home ...and it's a high-low!

The spikes on these shoes give me life! ...but are definitely dangerous, lol

Didn't get a close up of my cross earrings but they're super cute and dangly :) ...and I just love how the two-toned collar gives a bow tie impression.

Hope you enjoyed this little funky number and stay tuned for more Style Files to come!

Blouse: LoveCulture
Pants: H&M
Shoes: Rouge
Cross Earrings: LoveCulture
Cross Ring:

Photography Courtesy of Photo By D

We've been Elf'd!!

It has begun!!

You guys, it is hilarious. The first day of this adventure, Zee was pretending to be excited but I could tell on her little face that she was slightly terrified. LOL!! Seriously, she just kept talking about the elf over and over again and putting her hands on her face and shaking her head and saying, "I'm just... I'm just so nervous."  SO FUNNY.  It wasn't until later when I talked to my sister and friends that I realized how terrifying the idea really is ...a toy coming to life at night and messing with things.  My friends think I am crazy for doing it but she is starting to get used to it now.  The one thing I have decided to stay away from is having our elf ...Woody... interact with any other toys.  I was going to have him play a card game with Woody the Cowboy, Buzz, and Jessie, but then I realized, if the elf freaks her out,  I don't want her to now be afraid of her other toys as well.  So Woody is on his own.

Here are some of the shenanigans Woody has found himself in so far...

I am looking forward to putting Woody in all kinds of new predicaments.  There are so many fun ideas on the Internet and I have 19 more days of adventures to plan!!

I would love to see some of your elf's fun happenings. Share your links below!! :)  

Happy Elfmas!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

...2 Turtle Doves and a Leg Plagued with DVT

My schedule for blogging was thrown off a little bit this week because I was hit with some health issues.  Saturday in the middle of the night, I was woken up by pain in my thigh, a kind of burning, aching feeling with pressure in my inner thigh.  A few days before I had been feeling some aching in my calf as well. It was sore throughout the day but I didn't want to go to the emergency room if it was nothing and being that it was Sunday, my doctor's office wasn't open.  I had to wait it out until the next morning and then I called my Dr's office who told me to come in that afternoon.  After I explained my issue to the doctor she recommended I get an ultrasound just to check for blood clots and such. She didn't think it was that but just to cover all bases. She took some blood work as well.

I was unable to get an ultrasound for that day so I had it the next morning, and turns out, it is a blood clot ... in my inner thigh.  I was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and sent to the ER.  Once there, the doctors explained to me what the treatment was going to be.  

"A daily dose of Warfarin (blood thinner) and daily injections." 
"Ok, that's cool."  
"Daily injection done at home, by yourself." 

"...I'm sorry, what??"

I can't stick a needle in myself!!!  Lord have mercy!  ...but that is the treatment and that is what I have to do TWICE a day 0_0  It took a lot of positive self talk to get that needle in the first time, I'm telling ya!

The thing is, the treatment really just stops other clots from forming. It doesn't really do anything for the clot already there. My body has to break that one down on it's own.  In the meantime, I just have to hope that it doesn't break off and go to my lungs or heart because that could be potentially life-threatening.  I tell you! This has really put me in touch with own mortality. Seriously. I am fine when I am busy doing stuff but when I get a minute to myself anxiety attack.  The fact that it could take months for this thing to be gone means I get to think about suffocating every day for months.  How's that for stress?  But I am really trying to stay positive. It's my favorite time of year and in the words of the Grinch, "There'll be no sad faces on Christmas." 

But I just wanted to check in and let you guys know what was up and also ask you guys to shoot a few prayers my way.  Any extras would be great!!  

If you hung around for this whole story, THANK YOU!  and we will now return to our regularly scheduled programming ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Catastrophe Blog Launch ~ Giveaway Winners!!

Thank you all so much for stopping by Catastrophe and joining in on the giveaways!! ...and now its time to announce the winners!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway


I will be emailing all of you today to get you your prizes!!  Thank you again to everyone for entering and following and being a part of Catastrophe and there will lots more fun to come!!

Snowflake Lanterns Revisited

Last year on my previous blog, Everything Under the Moon, I came up with this little Christmasy treat that I wanted to reshare here with everyone!!

I wanted something wintery to light up my home and accentuate some of my Christmas decor. I had seen a few lanterns done with lace that I loved but I wanted to give something a little bit different a try.  That's when I came up with this.

First I went to Michael's in search of a perfect snowflake stencil and I came across this snowflake scrapbook paper. Perfect!!

I taped it around the jar to get it to hold and then...

...out to the yard to spray paint in the cold!

...and Tada!

So SUPER simple! ...and pretty :)

They glow beautifully and after lighting them a few times, the stencil actually got even more pronounced.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Christmas Time!!!

I am so excited! I L.O.V.E this time of year.  Ask anyone!  My desk is already partially decorated at work, even Catastrophe is all decked out, and anyone who knows me knows that ONLY Christmas carols may be played in my car from now through December 25th.  Everyone hates it …but it must be done. 
I get so excited when the malls and the town squares put up their decorations …which is now happening before Thanksgiving but I’m not about that life. I like Christmas to have its own time. I won’t some much as peep a Christmas carol until the Friday after Thanksgiving …but then it’s on!
This year Zee and I already started out holiday festivities with a tree lighting.  It was SUPER fun but it was coooold!  …still had a blast, though.

Besides all of the Christmas cheer, Christmas crafts and decorations, and the holiday celebrations, my favorite things about the holidays are the traditions.  Some of our traditions include…
  1. Christmas carols in the car, of course!  (…and at work ;))
  2. Winter Wonderland – A Boston College Christmas celebration complete with sleigh rides and Santa
  3. Shopping for our holiday moon ornament we buy every year. I’ll tell you guys all about it soon ;)
  4. Brand new Christmas Eve Christmas PJs.
  5. Holiday Specials! Our #1 is The Santa Clause …but some of our favorites include ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (the one with the mice), A Year Without a A Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman (Zee’s fav), A Christmas Carol (my personal fav), The Christmas Toy (a shared SUPER favorite), and this isn’t a particular favorite but we can’t have Christmas without “Ears, Nestor.” (Nestor the Christmas Donkey)
  6. Leaving Christmas milk and cookies for Santa and reading ‘Twas the Night before Christmas on Christmas Eve
This year I’m adding a new tradition. Elf on the Shelf!! I’m so excited. It’ll be our first year with our little mischievous friend.  I can’t wait to start!

Those are a couple of our holiday traditions?  What are yours?  Are there any special things you do with your loved ones for the holidays??
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