My husband booked us a trip to Aruba for our 7th wedding anniversary. A few people in my network asked for the rundown of the trip with my recommendations.
We booked through our travel agent. I have her tagged at the end of this blog. She is excellent. We needed covid results to fly out and we had to download them in order to get a “boarding pass into Aruba.” The lines just to drop off bags were very long so I recommend having TSA precheck especially during this pandemic. The lines were long for customs in Aruba as well. I loved the Renaissance Marina hotel. The all inclusive package is worth it. You have access to more than 5 restaurants with unlimited drinks. There are two other Renaissance properties with pools and amenities. The Renaissance hotel has its own flamingo beach which is another great amenity to have along with a Starbucks in the lobby, a gym and luxury shopping connected to it. There is a water taxi that will come to the hotel lobby to take you to the beach. That runs every 15 minutes.
We took a tour of the island with Fantasy tours. The tour was 8 hours but we saw the entire island with a history lesson on its development. I recommend this if you love history or just want to see the whole island. There is a two hour lunch break at Baby Beach. This beach is a must see. The water is known for its 7 shades of blue. Ladies this and Flamingo beach is where you will get your IG pics!
We took a submarine to the bottom of the ocean. This is for my daredevils. It was scary but fun! 2 hours of seeing the deep blue sea.
Let’s talk food. Gotta give you the best places to eat. You have to have dinner at L.G. Smith’s Steak and Chophouse. It’s rated the #1 restaurant in Aruba. Make sure to make reservations in the lobby for this restaurant preferably the day before. Aquarius inside the Renaissance Marina is great for breakfast. It has a big selection of food. Papagaya is also good for breakfast and you have an ocean view. Lunch I recommend at the Renaissance Marina lobby/pool. The burger and rum punch is where it’s at! Off resort I recommend Little Italy. It has fresh Italian and we even got serenaded. Make a reservation there too.
You will need to book a covid test the day before leaving. The guests of the Renaissance have access to this but there is a fee. The results come same day and you can print it at the business center.
Make sure to pack your patience for the Aruba airport. You have todrop your bags off go through security and customs, pick up your bags up, drop them off again, go through security again and then you can go to your gate. Anything you purchase over $800 is taxed. Just a heads up.
Almost one year ago I went to The Black Hair Experience here in Atlanta. Once I heard that DMV opened one it was on my list to visit. Here are the details on my trip.
The DC Black Hair Experience was a fun way to spend my Saturday. The Black Hair Experience is a selfie museum dedicated to black hair and culture. I recommend if this is the major event for the weekend that you stay in the national harbor area. This area is very cute. It’s a waterfront area with plenty of food options and great views. We stayed at the AC Hotel by Marriot which was a very clean and safe hotel. It is across the street from a Starbucks (yay) and in walking distance to The Black Hair Experience (TBHE). I recommend pre-purchasing your tickets. They do time slots to help with social distancing. When you first get into the experience you get a wrist band to keep, scan your tickets and sign a waiver. Everything in DC requires a waiver (lol). The hair roller pit is the first stop. It’s similar to the childhood ball pit. You must have on socks to enter that area. They have an HBCU wall which was a great touch. I took a picture with my alma mater. Next to the HBCU wall is the hair oil lab. You can take pictures that give haircare chemist vibes. They have a photo area with the letters TBHE. This area is great for a boomerang or photo. The main floor has the selfie backdrops. They range from an aisle in a beauty supply, beauty supply store front, a hair salon, a kitchen with hot combs and more. My favorite area was a tunnel of mirrors that read “I am the magic.” I would allot 2 hours to get good photos and be able to get your money’s worth. They have a gift shop that features all black woman entrepreneurs.
The food in the area around the experience is delicious. There’s a Crab Cake Cafe we went to for lunch. The cheesecake at Furlough Cheesecake was so good. It’s black woman owned. If you haven’t heard their story it’s inspiring. We took a Lyft to Ivy City Smokehouse which is a DC staple and in walking distance from that is Throw Social. The vibe in there is perfect. Games, drinks, good music and plenty of photo op areas.
Hey! This blog is short and sweet. I decided to go check out the Selfie Xperience today to take some pictures for my products. I want to share the details with you.
I recommend this space to anyone who loves pictures and any content creators/business owners. You can also have friend dates there too. Tickets are $30 and definitely worth the price for the experience. The staff was so great and friendly. The studio features 30 plus walls for taking pictures. It’s perfect for small business owners that need an affordable way to create content to promote their business. Parking is easy because it’s in a plaza and check-in is simple. There are ring lights in every room and the staff is willing to help with pictures. They have an area for princess parties for little girls and you can rent areas as well. For more pictures of their walls take a look at their instagram.
Follow my blog and my instagram for more of my adventures. Take a look at my Etsy shop for any of the products in these pictures.
Semeria’s Crochet Atelier is owned by Dr. Devin Cooper and mother Somulra Ball. I met Dr. Cooper 15 years ago in college and it’s been great to see her achieve her professional dreams and pursue her passion on the side.
Dr. Cooper started crocheting at 10 years old. She would make scarves and hats to help with college expenses. During the pandemic Dr. Cooper and her mom used their downtime to start their business. It was dream of her mother’s to sell her crochet designs. Semeria’s Crochet Atelier, LLC was born in November 2020. Semeria was chosen due to it being Devin’s middle name and it’s a derivative of her mom’s name Somulra. Since her mother taught her to sew and is her business partner the name is perfect.
Semeria’s crochet atelier’s homemade products include pillows, bucket hats, headbands, cup cozies, dresses, cowls and more. I recently bought some crocheted plant baskets and they exceeded my expectations. Check out this black owned business for your crochet needs! I am so excited to see this business continue to grow.
The Black Hair Experience (TBHE) is a pop up experience celebrating black hair. I recently watched a live with the founders of THBE and they were asked to describe their creation in 3 words. After going to the exhibit the three words I would pick to describe it is “black girl joy.” Currently it’s in Atlanta located at 1540 avenue place ste C-180 Atlanta, GA 30329 with plans on heading to DC next year.
Walking up to the experience the windows had beautiful window signs with black women in different hairstyles. Due to covid there is a limit on the amount of people allowed in with masks required and other precautions. I was lucky enough to be the only person in the experience. I bought a $16 tripod/selfie stick from Best Buy on the way because I went by myself. The room was filled with picture worthy props/backgrounds. I know everyone will not have a chance to go so I wanted to describe my experience as best as I can.
The first exhibit was a swing and the chains of the swing were braids. It was so creative. Braids are a staple for every black girl so this swing was on point. I felt like I was in an adult playground specifically tailored for me.
“I am the artwork” was next. It was a mirror with these words written on it. This exhibit was all about self love. On the wall adjacent to this mirror were the words “My hair is not a trend.”
Then came my favorite display. The aesthetic was perfect and I have not seen a bad picture of anyone in front of this display. It had different types of combs and brushes perfectly placed.
The next display was a beauty supply and it was very nostalgic. It had all of the greases and gels, spritz and everything in between. Right beside that was a cute see-saw feating huge hair bows.
Right across the room was a kitchen with a hot comb and crimping iron sitting on the stove. It reminded me of being a child and getting ready for Easter.
Everything was interactive. The opportunities for creating content and creating memories were endless. They had a “my hair is professional” desk set up featuring Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book.
The magazine cover display reminded me of being in the beauty salon reading magazines under the dryer. There was also natural bingo and a gift shop with the cutest afro picks, merch, and other accessories. I had so much fun being in my own world and going down memory lane.
Hey 4Evers, I know that shrinkage is no fun but I want to give some reasons to encourage you. Although we might not love the appearance of shrinkage it means that we have healthy hair. All the articles I’ve found on shrinkage explain how to combat it but I want to offer some reasons to celebrate!
The more shrinkage you have the more natural your hair is. Natural hair is full of coils and curls and to change that we have apply heat or use other methods to stretch our hair so when we see shrinkage our hair is in its most natural state. Black hair can shrink up to 80%-90% of its length. It’s part of our black girl magic. So congratulations on your natural hair journey your shrinkage shows that your hard work is paying off.
The more shrinkage you have means your hair is properly moisturized. It means your hair can retain moisture. It also means you are doing a good job with your regimen! When your hair is moisturized it will curl up. It’s just like a plant that isn’t getting the proper water and we know what happens in that situation. To help retain this moisture don’t forget to cover your hair in satin at night.
Shrinkage is a sign of elasticity. The more elasticity the less prone the hair is to breaking and the stronger it is. In order to retain length breakage is just not an option and the elasticity or shrinkage will help prevent breakage.
The more shrinkage you have the more likely your hair will revert back to its natural state after using moderate heat within reason. Use heat at your discretion but healthy curls will most likely return after heat is applied.
Shrinkage makes our hair versatile. Imagine having hair that only could look one way. Changing up your look can be done in so many ways. Wash and go’s, twist outs, textured buns, wet looks etc. If your hair was permanently straight with no curls and coils these styles would not be possible. The volume that most of us love would not be attainable with straight hair.
I hope this helps someone embrace their shrinkage. If you need a community to vent to or see other women embracing their shrinkage feel free to join my facebook group or follow on instagram.
Hey Curlfriends! You guys have been asking for my wash day routine and I wanted to make sure that I had it perfected before I shared it with you. In today’s blog post I am going to give you a step by step breakdown of my wash day routine. This is my tried and true method for happy and hydrated curls. Enjoy!
Step 1: Pre-poo. This is a step that can be tempting to skip, but prepooing is a great way to make sure that your hair retains moisture before applying shampoos that may strip your hair of its natural oils. I like to apply my pre-poo product 24 hours before I wash my hair. Your pre poo elixir can be a combination of oils that you blend yourself, or you can purchase some of the hair masks and treatments designed specifically for this purpose. Whichever route you choose, be sure not to skip this step because it sets the stage for a successful wash day.
Step 2: Wash with Conditioner OR Shampoo (as needed). I do not use shampoo every time that I wash my hair. I have found that using shampoo too frequently can spell disaster for my curls. To ensure that my hair maintains the right balance of moisture, while still having a clean scalp, I alternate between shampoo and cowash. I only use shampoo once or twice a month, or if my scalp feels physically dirty. Your hair will let you know when it needs a good shampoo, but for the most part I have found that cowashing gets the job done most of the time..
Step 3: Deep Condition EVERY TIME . That’s right, I deep condition with every wash. I know that deep conditioning can sometimes feel like a hassle, but this is without a doubt the most important step in my wash day routine. Deep conditioning makes the next step of detangling so much easier, it also just makes my hair look and feel the way that I need it to.
Step 4: Detangle. The star of the detangling process for me is my denman brush. I always detangle while I still have conditioner in my hair. The denman brush helps to separate and define my curls, and the conditioner provides the slippage necessary to ensure that there is no breaking and unnecessary shedding. Although detangling can be the most challenging step in the wash day process, it is key to making sure that your end result is ideal.
Step 5: Towel Dry and Style While Wet. I prefer to style my hair while it is still damp, this is the method that I’ve found works best for me. After detangling and rinsing out the deep conditioner I use a microfiber towel to lightly dry my hair. The microfiber towel is an essential tool because it is designed to avoid the breakage that can come from using a regular towel. While styling my hair I add my favorite leave in and allow my hair to air dry. Leave in is also my secret method for retaining moisture between washes.
So there you have it. My wash day in 5 simple steps. Click here for a list of my favorite tools and products, and for more tips and tricks for simplified wash days be sure to follow us on instagram @curlfriendsforvever.