Day 365

Its New years eve y’all! The last day of 2014, tomorrow is what you make of it. People like to act like this is the new chapter of the book of life, but in reality in my mind everyday can be that new chapter, everyday is what you make of it. So whether you decide to change your life on January 1st or June 4th or November 23rd, it can be a blank slate a new space for you to be who you want to be, so make the most of it.

In 6 days it will be my Hair anniversary. My last relaxer, which was by accident and a mistake was on January 6th 2014. I have trimmed but still have relaxed ends that I am just now really noticing as a problem .IMG_0405  This was my wet wash-n-go yesterday. Look at those ends. they are just limp and hang there no life or bounce at all. I am thinking January will possibly call for their removal. At least in the bang section, I don’t notice them as much around the rest of my head, and don’t know if I am ready to part with that length yet.

IMG_0407This is the same wash-n-go today. It is dry and I simply added a tiny bit of mouse and some curl activator. Still noticing those limp ends hanging in front. They have got to go. I made the mistake of combing the front section of my hair, in thought to prepare for a roller set, when that didn’t happen I am left with just frizz as a result. But I am ok with it for now.

Overall over this year, I can not think of anything more accurate to say than, ” My hair is my hobby.” I have fallen in love with the ability to change my hair, to change my attitude with it. It is something that I now take pride in and it and hope to share with people.

This year brought lots of changes for me, Grad school, engagement, as well as my natural hair journey. All of these things have made for a wonderful 2014, and excitement for 2015, which will bring grad school graduation, marriage, and hopefully a full head of natural hair that is achieving some of my hair goals.

I will set hair goals later and share them with you,probably,  in my first post of 2015. What are some of your goals, hair related or otherwise? All goals are good to share I believe.

I hope you all have  safe and AMAZING NYE! Make the most of this day, of day 365. But remember make the most of day 1, 35 and 178 as well. all days matter, and all days can be whatever you want them to be.

❤ Kelsi Rae

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An open letter to my last name. . .

Magisano, I have always been a Magisano, I have always been unique, a name people have to stop and say “Wait how do you spell that?” Or will look at me a black girl and say, wait are you Italian?  So confused by the conflicting look of the girl standing in front of the them and the last name they are being forced to pronounce. Why yes I am, and proud of it. But soon I will no longer be unique, I will know longer be the only one in my family in my generation, I have to get ready to share my last name with many. . And I have never been super great at sharing . . . So what happens to my last name?

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This topic came up when my future mother- in-law made us those adorable ornaments for our tree, some of them have our initials, well my future initials, B +K, H. She mentioned to me that she wasn’t sure if I was taking his last name. Which I am, because it is very important to my fiancé, and I will be proud to be the Mrs. that idea makes me so excited to be a Mrs. and to share in his last name.I want nothing more than to be connected to him in that way. We will be a part of our own little family and I want everyone to know that I was lucky enough to find the love of my life, and that he loves me in return.  But I am still grieving about my name, that is normal right?

So then last week I came up with the idea, I will just move my last name to be a second middle name, that way I will be a complete version of myself, I will have my new me combined with the girl I have been for the last 23 years, the person I grew up to be, independently before I was a half to our wonderful whole. And also be the grown up woman that I am becoming with marriage. As I start a family, I get to bring in this new part of me, a woman that is both connected to my tiny family made of 2 ( At least within 1000 miles). and connected to the large 25+ person family that all live within a 10 mile radius of each other, that is my fiancè’s family. I get to grow up, and yet not loose the self conscious, adolescent, fatherless, mixed race girl in an all white family Kelsi that I have always been. As that girl becomes a wife, and eventually a mother, all of those aspects should still be a part of me, and to me that means holding onto my last name in someway.

I shared this news with my mom over Christmas, thinking it would make her happy, she has been very upset about my last name disappearing. I am the only member of my generation of our family, I have no cousins. So when I become a Mrs. H, there will be no more M. on our side. However my excitement was not shared by my mom, the reaction was simply, you can do that if you want, but don’t hyphenate your last name that will just be way to long. Well, not the reaction I was wanting, but I think somewhere underneath she was excited, I mean it did take her a month to come around to the idea of me getting married, so I guess we will check back in a month and see if the excitement level has changed.

So then I started looking into the process of changing my name, and discovered that in 2008 Colorado passed a law that you cannot change your middle name, which would completely derail this plan that I have created. . luckily enough newly married women were upset that they changed the law back within 3 weeks. . . Crisis averted.

I have found myself wondering if this grieving process is normal? Do I have an strange attachment to my last name? Am I the only one that feels like my mom created a beautiful combination of sounds with my name, and now I am unsure if it will sound as sweet with an attachment at the end?

I guess I will have to see how the long name I will have in 8 months will sound rolling off the tongue. . luckily my new last name will be much easier for my students to remember. . .

Hope everyone has a wonderful last few days of 2014, it is a freezing end to the year here I welcome 2015 with open arms, on to the next exciting year, I graduate grad school, and get to become a wife. . how wonderful is that.

Remember all the good times and bad of 2014 and then get ready for the new year. .

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Photo Friday 2. . . I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

You know you are going natural when you get excited that your hair is getting bigger as opposed to longer.

This week I tried my second curl former set on dry hair, and I think that is the way to go for me. It lets me retain some of my length and over night I was able to achieve the definition of curl that I wanted.

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As you all know this week was Christmas, we headed to my future in-laws for the week. I had hoped to maintain this set over the week, but unfortunately even with my newly bought just for this occasion satin bonnet ( I forgot my trusted satin pillowcase at home) The curls fell by the third day and I was left putting my hair into its usual bun. I tried a flat twist out overnight on christmas and the results were fabulous. So maybe that is the key to maintaining my curl former sets. . a flat twist after over night.

I also was overly excited that my hair is now long enough to do one continuous twist all the way around my head. IMG_0341

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Results of the flat twist.

Now for some photos of my week. As a teacher I got off of work last Friday and will stay off until the 5th of January. YAY! So all of the outings must happen in these two weeks. They started with a roommate lunch date and a trip to zoo lights to wish my friends who are moving to Zambia fare-well.
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Now for my favorite present from christmas.. . given we have not had Christmas with my mom yet. . marriage is all about compromise right? But so far my favorite present are these ornaments from my future mother-in-law. She made us ornaments with pictures of us throughout our relationship and some with our initials K B H. H for my soon to be last name. They are so thoughtful and sweet, I love it.
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I hope your Christmas was blessed with happiness, family and friends and good hair. As a girl going natural I know my wish is always for good hair, I bet some of you can relate.
This is my favorite season of the year, because even if you do not celebrate Christmas there seems to be a cheer in the air.

Now onto thinking about what to do with my hair for new years eve. . . . any suggestions. . .

Love your do and grow that fro. .
❤ Kelsi Rae

Photo Friday. . . #1

Photo on 12-19-14 at 10.25 AM ( The final product, and yes this is in my classroom so there are some lovely sentence stems behind me.)

Why not just upload a ton of pictures one day. . I don’t have a reason so that is exactly what is going to happen. . . So I bought a christmas present for my hair, Curlformers, I have decided to try and keep my hair out of braids for a little while mostly because my students get really confused with my ever changing do, so I tried curlformers which I found extremely easy to install, and sat under the dryer for about an hour, before removing. However I had to do bigger chunks of hair than i would have liked and so my hair was not completely dry when I removed the curlformers. The peices of hair that were dry created perfect spiral curls that I will dream of until I redo this style but overall they came out well and I will definitely be keeping these around. So for the photos right. . .

IMG_0255-1 IMG_0261-1 IMG_0264-1 IMG_0267The progression from curlformer to ready for school, the only difference in the bottom two pictures is that I have put on some eyeliner and added a headband.

It is hard for me to believe my hair is down to my collar bone when straightened and doesn’t even touch my shoulders when curly. .. but hey after seeing pictures of others, that is nothing in the shrinkage world.

So what do you think?

Happy last day of school fellow teachers. .. we are out for winter break for two weeks now and boy do the students need it. We are taking 3-5 grade roller skating today. .. wish me luck!

Love your do and grow your fro

❤ Kelsi Rae

One 23 year olds evolving relationship with T. Swift.

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Oh T. Swift what would I do without you, how would I know what it feels like to be 22 or how to shake it off who would have taught me that high school love sucks and sometimes the only way to get over it is by crying on the guitar I only pretend to own?

Now that being said T. Swift and I have been through a lot over the years. I can remember being 16 living in a small town, still loving country music ( back when T. Swift still claimed the country title) listening to her debut self titled album just hoping someone would love me enough to write “Our song” for me and then not even a week later feeling like ” Should’ve said no, and picture to burn” were the only songs that understand the tragedy of young love. Sitting in my car listening to teardrops on my guitar crying over one boy or another that I believed was the end all and be all of love. Thinking that if I just had a real guitar to cry on it would be even more poetic. Oh the tragedy of living a non-musical life.

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Then her second album Fearless came out, and our relationship hit a rough patch. . . I just didn’t feel like she was getting me at all anymore. She was still singing about being 15 and falling in love and here I was a senior in high school now, thinking about leaving home, going to college and the last thing I wanted to be was in love.  I thought, T. Swift you gotta grow up, she was older than me so I thought we should have been thinking about our futures and not our pasts. Don’t get me wrong there were some songs that still stole my heart, to this day when anyone has wronged me I bust out some sad singing of “Your not sorry” and let them know that maybe I am not a princess and they are not a prince on a white horse, with “White Horse” But over all we were on a low, maybe T. Swift and I needed to take a break . . .

And that is just what we did. . we took so much of a break I totally forgot that she came out with another album in 2010 . . I looked it up and I guess she came out with Speak Now. . . Oh yes. This is the album that Mean was on. If I never had to hear that whiny, self pitying song again I would be happy. One shining star on this album was Mine, a sweet testament to maybe young 20 something love. But overall I could have forgot about about this album all together. .

So that is all that needs to be said on that.

So when 2012 rolled around I was a junior in college, had been living on my own for 3 years. I was 21 about to turn 22 and was thoroughly in the Eff boys stage of my life. That is when Red  came out, I originally thought, Taylor has already let me down once  I don’t have high hopes for this one. But The first time I heard, ” I knew you were trouble” I was sold.
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There she was my high school confidant had returned. She welcomed me back with a bang, with I knew you were Trouble, Stay Stay Stay, Higher Ground and Red.  But the song that got me, that made me fall back in love the song to write home to that made me say, thats it I have found the one mom . .. 22 . That song, that conveniently came out around my 22nd birthday just understood all of the 22 year olds in my life. It wasn’t trying to make us any more “thug than we were” it wasn’t trying to make us fall in love and get married, it was just letting us, ” Dress up like hipsters, and make fun of our ex’s” because really that is all we ever wanted to do anyway.

Now the real test. . could Taylor maintain this love affair with the young 20 somethings through another album. . So when 1989 came out and the Country Music population officially bid Taylor goodbye. We welcomed her into our hipster, pop alternative lifestyle with open arms. I resisted buying 1989 for about 2 weeks and it only took one trip to the gym a good set of headphones and a 30 minute run for me to know that this was going to be my 2015 love of my life!

There is a perfect balance of ” I don’t give a fuck” like Shake it Off, because really we all know that nobody likes you at 23. And some I can to what I want with Blank Space. As well as real world slow it down love with Get the girl, This love, and Wildest Dreams.

For Taylors generation of 22 year olds that she helped push through the first year of the “boring birthdays” she once again is making us feel like if anyone understands us it is T. Swift.

Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name. . .

Because we don’t need anyone to validate us. . we are strong, we can take care of ourselves . . and if you want some of us ” we’ve got a blank space baby, we can write your name”

❤ Kelsi Rae

My hair has a mind of its own.

Before we begin, I got my engagement pictures back . .. I will share  one ff my favorites, as a sneak peak!  🙂 IMG_0251-1

So there I was going along loving my crochet braids when I made the terrible decision of passing out after a party with my hair all a mess. I woke up the next morning to a big mat of hair and a few strands falling out. My hair had been braided for two months at this point and the new growth was definitely starting to show ,the ends of my braids at my nap had began to come out leaving some natural hair exposed that was beginning to tangle. So as a result on Saturday morning, after our Hannukah party, before our Christmas party that night, there I was taking down my hair at 10 am.

I had looked up the methods for taking down crochet braids but in my precarious state of my braids I was not comfortable taking scissors near my head. So I simply began taking the braids out from the base hoping the braid hair would fall out as I went. For the most part this was successful but there was some left over holding on even when all the braids were gone. I just jumped in the shower to remove the rest of the hair. After 2 months of only being washed in braids my hair loved the shower. I used shampoo, which I normally don’t because there was some serious build up from the moisturizer I had been applying and then conditioned and deep conditioned.

I t-shirt dried for 30 minutes and then began the detangling process. . the few tangles I mentioned earlier, turned out to be a full on dread at this point and even with soaking them in moisturizer it was difficult to remove. But  successfully detangled my hair in around 45 minutes and placed it in multiple twists as I went to keep it separated.

After this much time in braids I was curious to see my new growth. .. or lack there of( but hopefully not) So I blew out and straightened my hair. I tried blow drying my hair in the twists I used to dentagle my hair and the results we a mixed bag. I feel that in the future I will be able to do this successfully and achieve a nice curled look but for the purposes today I am not sold.But then I went to work straightening my hair, I applied tresseme heat protectant as I went. I have not had this much natural hair in probably 6 years and I forgot what a project it is to straighten. I did not give myself enough time before I had to be somewhere so it was a half assed straightening job but it did the trick.

Length Check time. . conveniently I was wearing the same bra as I was in my August length check so it is easier to see the difference. . there is growth, slowly but surely progress is happening, and that is all I can ask right?

I will leave you with some pictures, From top to bottom, Length Check – 8-10-14, Length Check 12-13-14, bang check 12-13-14. Christmas party selfie!

Length 8-10-14
 August Length 8-10-14
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December  12/
Christmas Party
Christmas Party

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The bad bride blues. . .

So I think I am a bad bride.

I don’t love the spotlight, I don’t want to tell everyone every detail of the wedding and gush about the flowers and the colors and the dress. I love my fiance and I am so excited about our wedding. And its not like I am not on top of the planning, because believe me I am. I have the venue booked, the flowers picked out, dress ideas up the wazoo, the menu created, but I just want to keep all of that to myself. I share it with my fiance, my mom ( she is paying for it after all), and my best friend ( sometimes I even forget to include her.) And that is all. . .

People will find out I am engaged and immediately want to know all of the details, this seems to happen more to my fiance though, girls ask him all sorts of questions, and like really he is a guy he knows a lot but why as him about the wedding. But they want to know all of the details, I just give them a look like please random physical therapist that I just met, no I don’t want to share every detail with you.

Even people that I am close to and gladly share the information with when they ask, I generally don’t volunteer the information without prompting. I just feel like this is my thing, I get the pleasure of planning a party that is just about me and my man, and why do you need to know all of the details now, 8 months in advance? Most likely you are not even invited so you won’t see any of this executed. Now I love a good wedding pinterest board as much as the next girl, I think I am just uncomfortable with the direct attention that I receive as a result of this new found status in my life. My future father in- law so nicely reminded me that this day will be all about ME! Oh god, I thought to myself.

Then we took engagement pictures last weekend, two hours of a camera in my face and I was so uncomfortable. . but according to #theknot, that is supposed to prepare me for 8 hours of photos of me on the big day . . well #FAIL!

Speaking of The Knot, they have things on their wedding checklist I can’t even imagine, having the time, money, or desire to do for my wedding. They have suggestions like start a pampering week, getting a massage, manicure and pedicure ( ok this one I might do) hair done. . all weeks before the wedding for a trial run and then do it again. I don’t even think I will trust someone else to touch my hair the day of my wedding, but that is more a result of my hair- crazed ways than anything else. But I have no time to spend weeks focusing on “pampering” myself. Will I look good, yes, but that does not take weeks of preparation. Is this something women do on a regular basis? Maybe this is why my wedding won’t even cost 1/4 of the average cost of a wedding in America which is over 25,000 dollars!!! That is the cost of a new car, that is over double what my future hubby just spent for a car. That is ridiculous, who is paying for these weddings, I get anxiety thinking about the few thousand dollars people are dishing out for mine I couldn’t imagine spending four times that much, what do you even spend all that money on?

With all of the pinereset and instagrams dedicated to weddings and brides and engagements I feel like I am the only one that feels this way, do all women automatically crave attention when they get engaged? Do we all become a little narcissistic for 8 months of our lives? Is there a secret bridezilla ready to spend daddy’s, mommy’s, hubby’s and her own money on center pieces and massages, and the 1000 dollar wedding shoes I used to crave so much, inside every woman. Maybe I just haven’t let my bridezilla out yet, we will see when she surfaces over the next 8 months . .

Signed . . . the bad bride

❤ Kelsi Rae

A style with lasting power!

I installed my crochet braids just about a month ago now, I was hoping to find a style that was easy, versatile and also something I would rock for my engagement pictures, which are tomorrow! (YAY) This style did not disappoint, I have not lost my love for these braids over this month.

I will admit I have become pretty free with the scissors, every couple of days I go through and snip away the tangles that develop in the hair, as a result I now have a few layers throughout but it keeps the hair from becoming a big matted mess.

I do not brush the hair, after seeing the result even serious finger detangling has on the hair, let me tell you, it is not a good result, they just become loose and more tangled and I end up even more scissor happy then I was before. So I decided not to even try it with a brush or a comb. And so far I have been happy with my non- combed hair.

I do have some leave out hair around my nap that I finger comb in order to maintain. I also moisturize my hair in the braids every couple days with Cantu Shea Moisturizer, and coconut oil. I have also found that applying small amounts of both of these to the braid hair helps keep it shiny as well.

I clean both my hair in braids and the braid hair with an apple cider vinegar mix, as you are aware, I LOVE apple cider vinegar. It works miracles for my hair, and it is holding up to that reputation once again, I leaves my scalp feeling refreshed and helps give the curls some bounce. I am going to attempt a full wash day soon, after my engagement pictures, I don’t want to mess up a good thing before I have to.

But over all I am more than pleased with this hair, I was nervous when I bought it because I had never tried this brand before but I will buy it again. It has become more frizzy over time, But I actually feel that gives it a more natural look, I have gotten many comments saying, wow you have grown your hair out, or your hair looks great! So it must look fairly natural! I also think the new growth in my braids has made it appear more natural.

I hope to keep rocking this style for a few more weeks before I take down for a full wash day and reinstall. I am hoping to keep my hair protected over winter to have as long of natural hair as possible before the wedding.

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Have a wonderful weekend! Boy am I ready for it!

Love your do and grow that fro!

❤ Kelsi Rae