Is Your Spouse Your Bestie?

In my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with an amazing set of friends who have stuck it out through the long haul. Now that I’m engaged, I have another person in my life who I share my deepest, darkest secrets with and who’s obligated to listen. Score! Would I go so far as to call him my best friend? I’m not sure but he’s definitely a member of my inner circle.

Here’s the thing. I find that lots of women call their fiancé/husband their BEST FRIEND but that term is so exclusive. I mean, you have a best friend and the the rest are simply average friends? Do you rate your buds on a scale of worst to best? How often should you reevaluate this system? Does the person you’re building your life with have an unfair advantage?

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Healthier, Wealthier You Challenges: February and March Updates

Photo Credit

I know I’ve been super MIA for a hot minute but I’m back! My absence has been due in part to being inconsistent and poor time management on my part. This post will serve as a quick update for February and March on how I’m faring with the Healthier, Wealthier You challenges.

1. Brown Bag Lunch: In February I fell off bringing my meals because I didn’t do proper grocery shopping. Towards the end of the month I finally got it together and I’ve been brining meals since then. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast, two fruits as snack during the day, and home cooked leftovers for lunch.

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Healthier, Wealthier You Challenges: January Update

We’re 27 days in to the Healthier Wealthier You Challenges and I’ve been holding up pretty well. Here’s a quick recap of how I’ve been faring on the challenges.

1. Brown Bag Lunch: I’ve been bringing breakfast and lunch every day this month and will continue doing so. Sometimes it’s a salad, a sandwich, leftovers or even a Smart One meal. I’m trying not to go too crazy with the Smart Ones because they’re super high in sodium.

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Why I Need a Positivity Jar (and You Might, Too!)

Positivity Jar

I don’t know about you but when I get sad, I spiral. One issue multiplies until I have trouble seeing anything good in my life. These times don’t happen as frequently as they used to but I can usually feel them coming on and feel powerless to stop them.

Until now.

At a New Year’s Eve Zumba Masterclass, the entire room was given a positivity jar (tutorial can be found here) in order to help us capture amazing moments throughout the year and reflect on them. We all know words are power so reflecting on positive moments and thoughts can do wonders to change our outlook and mood. Reading through encouraging words and achievements will show me that even if things are rough in that moment, I’m doing so much better and have achieved loads more than I realize.

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Ooh, You’re Engaged? I Have Shade to Throw!

Like most brides, I love chatting wedding stuff. So much, in fact, that I’m liable to talk your ear off! I do make an attempt to not bring it up unless someone else does, though. My question is why do people throw shade like it’s rice? I’m already scared witless so bitter divorceés, please spare me the diatribe about how horrible your marriage was and ends in, “But I wish you two all the best. Marriage is truly beautiful.” What inspires folks (especially divorced folks) to try to tell me how much being married sucked? Or how it scarred them watching their parents divorce so they stuck around in a loveless marriage for the kids? Do people think Jordan and I don’t know the statistics and are just forging blindly ahead? We know how difficult marriage can be so is there really a need to tell us horror stories before we make the biggest commitment of our lives?

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Protective Styling Series: Havana Twists One Mo’ ‘Gain!

Havana 2

I’m nearly 7 weeks post and at the point where my new growth is starting to make its presence known. I’ve also been working out more and need an easy breezy style and something to save it from these arctic temps! My hair thrives in protective styles and I loved my Havana twist updo from the summer so this seemed a logical choice.

To prepare, I shampooed with Aussie Moist Shampoo. I then applied Roux Porosity Control, Silicon Mix, ORS Replenishing Conditioner and castor oil to my hair. I applied the DC like a relaxer since I won’t be able to fully access my hair for awhile. I sat with the DC for about 3 hours, rinsed out, put a t-shirt on it, and went to bed.

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Why I’m Taking My 2014 Vision Board Seriously

2014 Vision Board

Last year, I decided to create a vision board using O Dream Board. Admittedly, I thought it was hogwash. How could making a collage help me achieve my goals?

This year, I have a better understanding that what you focus on will come to fruition. When I created the board, I made it the background image on my phone and my laptop. Even when I wasn’t consciously studying the images, they were still fixing themselves in my subconscious.

Of the nine goals, I successfully achieved five. I graduated with a 4.0 and started my career, exercised 5x/week (sometimes), worked on my relationship with God, drank 64 ounces of water daily, and enjoy clear, healthy skin. My results aren’t perfect but I wasn’t completely convinced of the vision board’s efficacy. Armed with a better understanding and more faith in myself and God’s plan for me, I will be creating vision boards annually.

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New Year, Same Awesome Me: Be Healthier and Wealthier in 2014!

I know the new year usually inspires loads of resolutions that, for many, last until February. Maybe March for the truly “dedicated.” Personally, this won’t be the case in 2014. Since I’m getting married in June, there are quite a few things I want to get in order for my big day and subsequent marriage. My list is topped by being fitter physically and financially. At the risk of falling subject to the “new year, new me” mantra, I’ve decided to name this group of challenges “New Year, Same Awesome Me.”

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Stranded Rebranded and a Mini Blog Makeover

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I started Stranded in order to document my hair journey but, to poorly quote India.Arie, I Am Not (Only) My Hair! I enjoy sharing all aspects of my life from faith to fitness to wedding planning and everything in between. Stranded has transitioned from a blog documenting my hair care to a chronicle of my life. Because of that, I knew it was time to rebrand leblog.

But what type of rebranding would only involve a name change? Ever since I migrated to WordPress from Blogger, my blog design has been sorely lacking. WordPress is a whole ‘nother beast that I just could not find the time or energy to tame. Combine that with the fact that I had no budget nor idea what I wanted in design, I was pretty sure my blog would be bleh for the foreseeable future.

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Faithful Friday: An Open Letter to My Younger, Single Self

FaithCandle

Dear Tai,

I’m penning this letter because I (we?) are getting married in six months! Remember extra-tall Jordan from high school? He gave us piggyback rides in summer school and we played spades a lot? Welp, we’ve gone from being good friends to being happily engaged. While this is good news in and of itself, it gets better: we’re both baptized and living for God! Considering how toxic your previous relationships were, it’s refreshing to be in one that is easy and drama free.

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