Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Chris Crosley

Here at Ms. Naturally Random! I'm always out and about seeing fabulous ladies with textured tresses. I choose to wear my hair naturally as well, I love the diversity in which we style our hair. I understand that for a lot of us, our "going natural" stories are often quite unique as well.  I'd like to celebrate our differences and hopefully share some insight into other's "natural hair journeys" as I continue my own. 

#1 Introduce yourself! 

I’m Chris Crosley, a recent transplant to the Raleigh-Durham area. By day I’m a paid search marketing analyst, by night I’m a total foodie. I love finding new restaurants and trying out new recipes. I married to my wonderful husband Dan and am a “mother” to a 3 year old mini Rex rabbit, Ollie. To learn more about me and my life adventures, check out my blog at christinacrosley.wordpress.com or follow me on Twitter and/or Pinterest at chris_crosley.

#2 Why did you make the decision to go natural?

This is my third time going natural. The other times I made the transition, I did it because it was the “cool” thing to do. This last time I chopped, I did it for me. At that point I was tired of the weekly salon visits, tired of the hair breakage, and just tired of my hair ruling my life. I wanted a change and wearing my natural hair was the right move for me.

#3 When and how did you transition into natural hair?

I decided to start the transition in January 2011. After getting my last relaxer I was just disgusted with how limp and lifeless my hair was. After looking through a few photos on Facebook of my undergrad days, I started to grow jealous of how luscious my natural hair was at that time. So the first week in February I texted my stylist and told her that I was going natural. I transitioned for 5 months by doing bantu knot outs and roller sets. I planned to transition for a year, but the two textures became too much to handle so in July of 2011, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and chopped off my relaxed ends.

#4 In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?

It may sound cliché, but going natural has allowed me to become more comfortable in my own skin. When you’re the only person of color in your work place and you walk around with a huge ‘fro everyday, you gotta have some confidence about yourself. Before going natural, I never did my own hair, I always went to a stylist. Now I love experimenting with new styles, within reason. Having natural hair has just given me a sense of freedom.

#5 What mistakes (if any) have you made with your hair that you've learned from?

Like any new natural, YouTube was my best friend throughout my transitioning period. I would watch a video and immediately go purchase whatever product the vlogger was using. My mistake came in not listening to MY hair and not paying attention to what products it responded well and not so well to. Once I learned what worked for me, I stuck with it. Yes, deep inside I’m a product junkie, but I pay attention to labels now and I’m not afraid to throw something out if it’s not working for me.

#6 What is your go-to hairstyle?

In this NC humidity, I’ve grown to embrace a stretched out ‘fro. In the mornings I can walk out the house with a huge bouncy ‘fro and by the end of the day it’s coily and shrunken, but still cute in my opinion. 

#7 Name a random fact about you.

My goal in life is to visit each Major League Baseball park.

Thanks for reading our #TexturedBeauty Christina's story! Don't forget to check out her blog at christinacrosley.wordpress.com and follow her on social media! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Interested in being featured?
EMAIL ME @ MsNaturallyRandom@gmail.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014

OOTD/What's in my Bag?

I absolutely enjoyed my anniversary weekend with my husband of two years. We just hung out in Williamsburg,  VA for the weekend  while our little one visited her paternal grandmother! 

My hubby and I both LOVE CLOTHES AND LOVE SHOPPING. Like seriously,  we both love pulling random pieces and creating a look. Now, with that being said, neither of us are shopaholics and we're new parents.  So, sometimes you just have to pull from what you already have in your closet. #Priorites

After checking in to the resort,  Hubby and I realized that their was outlet mall nearby! We planned to only pick up necessities & do TONS of window shopping! Some people go to movies, some workout together, we window shop. Its our thing, #noshade okay?! Lol!
So I threw together a little casual look to spend some quality time with my Sir?

I was totally starting to feel the Autumn vibe, so no matter what I put together one of my pashminas were going to be highlighted.

Since I knew there was about to be tons of walking, I wanted to carry something super light. So I packed my peach clutch and I don't really get to use often. I just wanted another splash of color and have noticed a lot of soft pastels being worn this fall. (who woulda' knew I was ON TREND?! lol) 

One major thing I wanted to highlight in that bag was my new favorite item....ELF's Lip Exfoliator!!! I cannot say enough great things about this product! Why didn't anyone tell me about this when I was pregnant! #RepeatedChappedLipSufferer
And who doesn't love ELF's price point! It left my lips feeling smooth and Mary Kay lippie sliding on effortlessly!

I just wanted to be casual but cute and have a awesome day. We thoroughly celebrated the lessons learned in Ephesians 5! (Want to talk about it, comment below)

Do you and your mate have a quirky past time that you share?

Talk to you later lovelies,
~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's For Dinner?

Anniversary Edition

Andouille Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Literally four ingredients (and a few optional items):
  • Andouille Sausage (I used Johnsonville brand)
  • Italian Seasoning (1.5 Tbsp)
  • Colorful Sweet Peppers (2 or 3 peppers)
  • Tomato Paste (6 oz)

  • Nature's Seasoning (1 tsp)
  • Sugar (1 tsp) *helps cut down on acidity) 

Prep work: 

  • Open sausage and slice into smaller pieces. 
  • Slice peppers into (well) slices, think of fajita-styled slices 


  • Spray large skillet with cooking spray or drizzle olive oil. 
  • Heat sausage until some of the pieces start to get charring on them.
  • Heat over medium-high heat and add diced sweet peppers. 
  • Cook and stir 5 minutes, or until tender and cover. 
  • Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Stir in dry spices
  • Lower heat and allow to simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. 
  • Cook pasta (pasta of your choice) according to package directions.

Served with toasted Italian bread
Steamed Broccoli 
Topped with crumbed cheese blend (optional) 

When finished, it should look something like this:

For our first anniversary we went out to Ruth Chris (fancy-smancy & delicious)! So for year two, we decided to do something a little more low key...we checked into our resort room, we headed out to a local Walmart and grabbed all the items listed and cooked this right in our room. Also grabbed a couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio and sipped the night away! #FrugalFancy indeed! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Mrs. Fife <3

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top 5 Thing to Add to your Fall Wardrobe

So today I said to myself it's time to reorganize my closet and get ready for Autumn. Temperatures will not drop drastically here in North Carolina for some time but I'd love to get ahead of the weather. 

My Top Goals For the Autumn Season
1. Alter or donate what doesn't fit. 
2. Add some autumn-y colors to my wardrobe.
3. Add nifty "thrifty" accessories.

Top 5 Must-Have Items
1. Moto Jacket
2. White Button Down
3. Boots/Booties
4. Dark Denim
5. Accessories Galore

I have a faux leather jacket from last season and a maternity white button down shirt, so I'll definitely be on the hunt for a few new items. 

Here are a few ideas on how to style one of my favorite fall colors and a few of the items mentioned above. 

What are you go-to fall favorites? 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Textured Beauty Spotlight: Lorna Finn

Here at Ms. Naturally Random! I'm always out and about seeing fabulous ladies with textured tresses. I choose to wear my hair naturally as well, I love the diversity in which we style our hair. I understand that for a lot of us, our "going natural" stories are often quite unique as well.  I'd like to celebrate our differences and hopefully share some insight into other's "natural hair journeys" as I continue my own. 

#1 Introduce yourself! Quick bio, please include where you can be found online.
My name is Lorna Finn and I am originally from Atlanta, GA and found my way to the DMV.  I can be found on Instagram at Ms.EpitomeX or on facebook at Lorna Finn.  I am 28 years (young), founder of Epitome Xtensions, and working on building a beauty empire that appeals to every woman's style and glamitude. Presently, I reside in Maryland and work for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where I am deeply invested in assisting the research efforts of HIV/AIDS, which has become a new found passion. I have a dog named Dakota aka "Sir Puffins", who I also call my first born. I am am the oldest of 4 brothers and am a tomboy at heart (despite the glam I portray). I love inspiring women and helping each one find her confidence in herself so that she shines. 

#2 Why did you make the decision to go natural?
In 2009, shortly after being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), I went through a lot of physical changes. I gained about 50 pounds in one year, starting growing rapid facial hair, and my hair began to thin.  However, at that time, I had no idea that hair loss was one of the many conditions of having PCOS.  I just thought my hair couldn't grow at all and concluded that I would continue to wear my hair short and permed. However, in 2010, I was tired of battling with perms and shedding and the expense of trying to maintain a hairstyle that kept breaking off my hair. So, I begin reading up on going natural and more on PCOS, and decided that going natural would be the best option for me and for my condition due to the intense hormonal imbalances that I would endure from time to time. To my surprise, my hair grows like a weed, now that I have zero chemicals in it. Even with the PCOS, my hair pretty much maintains fullness and regular growth, so I realized that over processing my hair was the real reason for my stagnant hair growth.  

#3 When and how did you transition into natural hair?
In 2010, I did the big chop (I literally had maybe an inch of hair on my head) and just grew it from there. I would wear wig pieces and put in weave to protect my hair from changing weather conditions and when my hormones were in a frenzy, which is also how the concept for Epitome Xtensions came into play.  I wanted to be able to change my hair up and still maintain being a natural diva in a snap. So I launched my business in late 2011 and am currently looking into kinky curl extensions for my product line. Most of the time though, you can find me rocking my natural mane. I love my curls and my natural texture so much, especially now more than ever.  I feel that my hair is a freedom and my canvas, in which I can transform into whoever I feel like becoming at any given moment. 
#4 In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
Going natural has definitely made me stronger in my self esteem and appreciate organic beauty. In the beginning, I struggled with looking at myself without having my tresses straightened, and would hide them. However, the more I read and diversified my look, I grew within. I find being a natural woman bold, seductive, daring, and showcases beauty from within. It shows everyone around you that you are not ashamed of how you were made and that your curls are apart of your uniqueness. 

#5 What mistakes (if any) have you made with your hair that you've learned from?
My biggest mistake would be trying to straighten it myself (and not professionally) and putting in a keratin straightening treatment (since it wasn't a perm).  These two culprits made my hair shed and break off so badly.  My hair really is fickle and doesn't like too much product or chemical at any given time.  I have just said that if I want to wear my hair straight, I will just put a weave in with a full closure so that my natural curls are not damaged. Although I know that there is a technique to straightening natural hair, and many products and conditioning treatments to help detangle and soften the hair shaft prior to using heat, I prefer to stay away from all heat on my hair. 

#6 What is your go-to hairstyle? 
My go to hair style is a wash and go (now that I have my hair cut super short) with Olive Oil EcoStyle Gel, coconut/argan oil mixed, and Carol's Daughter leave in moisturizer (oil and leave in moisturizer are added prior to putting gel in damp hair). Otherwise, I will two strand twist it (when I want more defined curl and texture) with Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding or Baby Butter Cream.

#7 Name a random fact about you
I am deathly afraid of earthworms, snails, slugs, and leaches. Pretty much anything in worm slime form. I won't even step on them when it rains. Often times you can find me tip toeing in the rain trying to avoid a run in with a worm. LOL. 

Well that's it ladies and gents! Thanks for stopping by and remember to check out Ms. Lorna's EpitomeXtensions! She definitely represents #RandomGlam!  

Until next time...

Talk to you later lovelies,

~ Shan, Ms. Naturally Random

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivational Monday

There are times that we give so much, that we forget about ourselves. Recently, I  came across a quote that reminded me a very important decision I made about two years ago. While, trusting in God, the result of that decision has had quite positive and fruitful impacts on my life.

We often may feel that "self-care" is a dirty word. That if we think about ourselves it will come across as selfish. If you take time to do something you want to do that it can be slothful or overly indulgent. You have to make choices in a way that comes from love. Make sure compassion is the utmost mission. Stray away from making decisions out of obligation and never from a compulsion of guilt. The key here is balance! 

We all must led purposeful lives and in my opinion that is God's intention for us. How will you find your purpose if you are always feeding others dreams and ideas? How will you ever work mightily for the Lord if you are constantly working mightily fulfilling someone else's wants and needs. 

Think of it this way, you have to take time to renew your energy and gain back your strength and that is TOTALLY OKAY! Never try to convince yourself it is not. This happened to me recently...have you ever found that your vacuum's suction power isn't as great as it used to be? While I'm looking at the brushes and bristles on the outside, it never dawned on me to look in the inside. The vacuum had lost it power because the bag was full and needed to be replaced. 

How often do we treat ourselves in this way?   
As long as you can function, you keep going. As long as you "look okay" on the outside you never take time to focus on the insides. Let's start a new today. Take (if not but) five minutes to do a quick assessment of yourself. Is there a need for a vacation? Would a peaceful long bath do you some good? Have you done anything to strengthen your mind and sharpen your focus lately? You have not been your "mighty" self because you've lacked to take care of the precious gift God has given you. If you want to be as effective as possible, you must take time to rejuvenate yourself. 

Areas where self-care is needed:
Physical - eating healthier or getting more physical exercise
Mental - removing yourself from toxic situations, seeking out professional help from a therapist or counselor. 
Spiritual - spending time in prayer, digging into your Word more or speaking with your spiritual leader for some direction. 

Have you ever done something great for yourself, like go for a run or spent some time in worship then afterward thought, "well that was absolutely a horrible waste of my time, I'm never doing this again!"

It just doesn't happen! 
Take the thought of self-care being something bad or selfish completely out of your mind. Remember, that you have purpose, so live your life purpose-led. 

Until next time! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random 

This post is participating in a link-up! Please feel free to use the link below to find other "motivational" messages to start your week! 

The Reflections of a Good Woman

Friday, September 19, 2014

How I "Went Natural" Without Becoming a Product Junkie

I started out pretty much like everyone else watching YouTube videos of other people going through similar hair journeys. As you can see above, I even thought I'd throw my hat into the natural hair vlogger world. That didn't take off but who knows. Maybe I'll go for it again. 

Now to the topic at hand, I figured out a major complaint of other newly natural women is that going natural was expensive. Not becoming a product junkie (for me) was almost solely based on economics. I am a frugal person at heart. So I wanted to figure out a way to not try every single option on the market (which back then wasn't as many as it is now)...

So today, I want to talk about a few things I did in the early days and have worked for years.

Sounds simple enough right. With the product aisles marketing "for naturals" seeming to get longer, its hard to not want to try everything. Before your next hair product purchase ask yourself these three things:

Some products are for moisture, some are heat protectant, some are sealants and the list goes on. Figure out the intended end result first. Don't just buy something because your favorite vlogger is pubbing it! Establish what it is that you want from your hair. You need to be able to discern the difference between, "I have curly hair and would like to them more defined!" versus "I don't really have curly hair but I want a product to give me curls." Don't fall into that latter group. Loving your texture is another topic we'll get to eventually! 

Products come in cremes, jellies, mists, lotions and serums. You'll have to figure out what application works for you. For instance, I feel like I can control product and get it more evenly distributed with cremes. So I often shy away from sprays.

If you've tried two or three products all ready. Take notes on what you liked and disliked before you make another purchase. Study the scents, consistency, residue after washing etc.

Don't chuck it in the trash because the bloggers say so! I've left products alone and found myself coming back to them later. I found out it wasn't the product but more so my application. For instance, layered a creme leave in and gel for a wash and go. My hair was too damp, didn't absorb the leave in and the gel basically glued the product!

Practicing the tips early on caused me not to chase fads which helped me save money. I also was able to discern what worked for me and weed out all the natural "nazi" blabber!

So, what are your tips on how to not become a product junkie?! 

Talk to you later lovelies, 

~Shan, Ms. Naturally Random