Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so I thought I share a few Amazon gift ideas for the special someone in your life. If you are anything like me, you stay busy. No time for yourself, let alone time to do store to store shopping when you don’t know what you are looking for. But what I do have time for is Amazon. I will lay in bed browsing through Amazon adding some of everything to my wish list or shopping list. I must say Amazon has some amazing stuff.
Teddy bears, flowers, cards and candy are cliche for Valentine’s. Don’t get my wrong I appreciate those things (every year). But Valentine’s Day is a time to show love and express your love for your partner. As adults, I feel that we can all benefit from Valentine’s gifts that aren’t just cute and cuddly but practical and useful as well. Here are some gift ideas for Valentine’s day.
Today is a very special day… It’s my blogaversary !!!!
Three years ago, I stopped talking about my desires to be a blogger and actually became one. This journey has not always been easy but I am grateful for every moment. There has been some moments when I felt like blogging was not for me. I felt like my blog was not getting the response it needed in order for me to consider myself a blogger. But I continue to push through my mini anxiety attacks and focused on my desire to use this as a creative space to share with others.
Why did I start Passion Locked?
I have always been an opinionated and talkative girl. Sometime its a blessing, sometimes its a curse. For years I followed different blogs like Lauren Conrad and A Belle in Brooklyn and they gave me the desire to one day start my own blog. But I felt like I needed to be older and more established before I could start a blog. At the top of 2016, I made a goal to stop talking about what I want and go after each and every thing I want for myself. So, Passion Locked was created… I have always been a creative person, full of opinions, and big ideas. I wanted to create a space where I can share all of my creativity with the world. Passion Locked is my vault of creativity- everything from skincare and beauty (product) reviews, tips and routines to the DIY projects I share. It is my desire to use my creative space to connect with others just like me and build a community of ” Passionistas”
5 tips to starting a Blog
Now that I have been working on this passion project of mine for a few years, I’d like to offer some tips to anyone thinking about starting a blog.
Don’t Second Guest Yourself. Just Do It!
Set Content Calendars to follow each month
Stay true to why you started
Collaboration over Competition
Keep it FUN!
What’s in store for Passion Locked?
I am just getting warmed up y’all. So, I hope you keep tuning in every week for new content. I want to grow Passion Locked into a creative brand as an offset to other business ventures I wish to pursue in Marketing, Brand Management and Event Planning. I’d also like to collaborate with more blogger and Passionista’s for passion projects, features and guest posts.
Thank you to all my subscribers and supporters for being apart of this journey with me!!!
This past weekend I took some time off to spend time with my girls on a Cabin Trip. The weather was just right for a cozy cabin affair. But just when I thought I was about to have a stress free weekend of fun with my girls, a PIMPLE came trying to ruin my fun. I rarely get pimples. So…. Of course, the 1 blue moon I get a pimple I am away from home and all my skincare products. But I was not about to let a lil red dot pimple stress me out or ruin my fun.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A PIMPLE AND NO SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
Honestly, the only skin care products I packed was my Honest Beauty Gel Cleanser and O’Lay Daily Moisturizer. My skin has been clean and clear for the most part of the season. I haven’t experienced any harsh breakouts or anything. So, only packed the basics for skincare. I had to raid my friends cosmetic bags for products I could use to really deep clean my face and treat this pimple.
I used the Cetaphil to clean my face. The Honest Beauty Gel Cleanser I packed is gentle and mild, I don’t think it was enough to get the job of removing excess (Natural) oils and sweat from face. The Cetaphil formula is a bit stronger and is meant to cleanse your skin of oils without drying your skin out. Next, I used the Aveeno scrub to gentle scrub all the dirty out of my pores to prevent more pimples from surfacing. Finally, I placed a dot of toothpaste with baking soda on the pimple and left my face alone for the rest of the day.
The best thing you can do to your face when you have a pimple is keep it clean and keep your hands off you face. By the end of the weekend the pimple was all dried out and disappeared leaving no dark spot.
Okay, so! I have another rice water update. I’ve used rice water about 3 times now and I can say I have seen results.
3 Weeks of dirty hair with product build up
How I make my Rice Water
I use regular store brand white rice. I pour about 2 cups of rice into a strainer and rinse the rice with water, to get off the factory dust off of it. Then, I use a Mason Jar (pint size) and fill the bottom with rice. Next, I fill the jar with water. To mask the horrible smell rice water can produce, I use essential oil. This time I used Jojoba & Sweet Almond Oil. Lastly, seal the lid on the jar tightly, letting it soak for at least 24 hours.
One thing I hate about washing my hair is the shedding. Normally, I will have large clumps of hair all over my shower, shrink and stuck in my brush after washing and detangle my hair. It gives me anxiety, thinking about how much of my hair is falling out and my drains getting clogged with clumps of hair, etc. But the instant result of using rice water is LESS SHEDDING.
After washing, this is what my hair looks like with no product in it …
I have not been tracking my hair length to see if it is growing. But I want to start so here are my first length check photos
I have been attending some really dope networking events and mixers lately. So I thought it would be a great idea to share recaps and key takeaways from each event on my blog. If you don’t already know, I currently live in Atlanta, GA. And as I take this journey to grow my side hustle into a business I NEED to networking. Last year, networking and going to events were a struggle for me. I would scroll through Eventbrite or Facebook and see so many events that I wanted to attend but failed to actually go because I had no one to go with me. Now, I am putting that fear behind me and getting out of the house more. I must say, I have connected with some really DOPE young moguls who are making things happen.
It’s always good to connect with like minded people for inspiration and business connections. This weekend I met at least 5 people I want to stay in contact with to work with on either a event or business collaboration. So if you are in the Atlanta area, I want to encourage you to GET OUT AND NETWORK. Follow me on IG for upcoming events (on my IG story).
January 5th: LEVEL UP: Caught Between A Dream and A Job
This event was hosted by Young Entrepreneurs of Atlanta, featuring some dope panelist that shared their business startup stories and advice for living in your purpose.
Tiara Johnson,The Dream Coach and Owner of TLJ Agency for Brand Management and Public Relations | IG: @tljagency
Erica Dias, Owner of The B Firm PR and Creator of Table of 20 | IG: @fashion101ed
A few of the key life hacks and gems I took from the panel discussions:
#1 Stay FOCUSED; Focus on what YOU really want and keep you focus on making it happen | Just do it!
#2 Be a good person! Stay mindful of who you are and how you treat others. You will not be successful when you are trying to break others downs. Treat people how you want to be treated.
#3 Your character is important. When you’re starting a business, networking and working with other people, you need to be likable and a pleasure to work with to keep a steady flow of business and partnerships. If you are a negative and nasty person, people are not going to want to continue to work with you. You can be the result of your own failure.
I love a turn up after work happy hour/ open bar event. The Ask me what I do Networking Event hosted by My Networking Appeal ( IG: @mynetworkingappeal) was not you ordinary networking event. Of course there was food, a DJ and free drinks, but this event also featured a DOPE Photo Booth from Moment in time rentals and a cool networking game throughout the event. Upon arrival everyone received a email for the “Networking Game”. Everyone was challenged to meet 5 people working a 9-5 and have a business, 3 people that’s ready to quit their job for their business and 3 people with a dope elevator pitch, etc. To keep the game going there was about 2 to 3 rounds of this game.
I thought the networking game was a really good idea to encourage people to talk to someone that they didn’t know. Because I will be honest, when I arrived I scanned the room and jetted over to the people I knew as soon as I spotted them. That’s not really NETWORKING. But I was thinking if stick with them, I might be introduced to someone else they may know that I don’t- or I could introduce them to someone I knew that they may not of known before the event. That’s how I tend to make connections. But the networking game encouraged people to go up to one another and just start talking. My shyness got the best of me until a Real Estate Agent just walked up to me handing me her card and asking me my name and what do I do? Of course that sparked a healthy conversation that lead to meeting a bartender and stylist. That’s what networking is all about.
January 12th: Glitter and Goals Vision Board Party
Last year, I connected with TLJ Little League (IG: @tljlittleleague) as a mentor for young girls in the Atlanta area. We meet once a quarter to mentor girls from 4th grade to 12th grade. ” Girls with dreams, become Women with Vision”. As I am walking in my purpose and living my dreams I want to always be able to reach back and instill that into our young, brilliant, beautiful females. Back in October, I got the chance to host a self care session with the girls- teaching them how to make DIY face mask and body scrubs. I think I enjoyed playing “beauty” just as much as the girls did. It warmed my heart to see them participating and engaging in the session. This weekend we had the 1st event of the year that was had a major turn out. This time we had more girls (all ages) attend and we even have more mentors now. The program is rapidly growing and I cannot wait to see what’s in store next.
January 12th is National Vision Board Day, so you know exactly what we did… MADE VISION BOARDS. We started by giving each girl a paper butterfly and asking them to write down their DREAM. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” With their DREAM in mind the girls started on their vision boards and setting goals for what they need to do to make their dreams come true. Kids are so creative and innovative, I was surprised by the level on context some of the girls gave when explaining the finished project. Everyone made such creative vision boards with great ideas and goals to put behind their dreams. I love listening to youth speak passionately about their future.
Today, I have a special #curltreat to share with you. I received another Vox Box from Influenster,that is all about CURLS and treating yourself to healthy styles.
What’s in the box?
This Vox Box includes Garnier Fructis Curl Treat Leave- in stylers: Hydrating Butter and Defining Soothie.
Y’all know I love a good hair product and these styler came just in time for the holidays. I decided to do a flexi rod set using both the Hydrating butter and Defining smoothie. I normally don’t purchase Garnier Fructis products for my hair because honestly I didn’t think it was a brand for ethnic natural hair. Now that I’ve tried these curl treats I will be purchasing these products and exploring what other good styling products Garnier Fructis has to offer my thick natural curls.
Both the Hydrating Butter and Defining Soothie formulas are thick and feels very rich. You only need to apply a little bit to each section of hair.
When styling my hair with the flexi rods, I wet my hair with a spray bottle of warm water, them added the Hydrating Butter from root to ends. Before starting to roll each section of hair with the flexi rod, I used my finger to rub the Defining smoothie and a small amount of curl gel to the ends. Once my entire head was rolled and twisted in the flexi rod, I let it air dry over night then sat under the hair drier the next morning for 20 mins (just to make sure my roots were completely dry)
Natural Hair Tip: Make sure your hair is COMPLETELY dry when doing twist out, rod or roller set before untwist or unrolling. It makes a huge different in the final look and how long it will last.
I am amazed at the finished look of this flexi rod protective style. Like I said, I never thought Garnier Frutis products were for my type of hair. There advertisements always have white women with straight hair, I don’t fit that audience so I over look the brand. I would like to see more women of color with different types and styles of hair in their advertisements.
ENTIRE LOOK FOR THE EVENING
Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for review purposes.
For PR and brand partnership or sponsoring, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 was a good year! So much happened. So much to be proud of. So much to be grateful for. So much meaning to life. I’ve completed yet another chapter of my journey, and so have you.
2018 I actually did some traveling. I walked the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem. I prayer at the western wall. I walked the Via Dolorosa. It’s still surreal to me. That’s something I never in a million years thought I’d do in my lifetime. It wasn’t even something that I planned, it just happened and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity. I also went to Paris…. FRANCE!!!! Although it was only for a short period of time, I saw Paris. I stood in front of The Eiffel Tower!
BEYCHELLA happened this year. I stayed up until 2am just to watch Queen B slay the stage for BEYCHELLA. The first BLACK FEMALE headline for COACHELLA (ain’t that a 🤬).
My girls and I survived a road trip to Washington DC for a music festival, in my brand new ride. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I bought my 1st car on my own.
I continued to improve my blogging skills and event planning skills to grow my business. I booked several successful events; gender revealing, baby showers, parties, and weddings. I pray for more increase in 2019.
I turned 27 years old, I’ve had to reflect on a lot things in my life that I need to work on. I’ve accepted a lot of things and I’ve made a vow to myself to change certain things. I’ve made a promise to never compromise who I am for someone else and keep my dreams alive by never giving up no matter what obstacles I may face. I’m a one women show!
I want to continue providing creative content 3x a week. My goal is to be better prepared and plan out materials. I strive to have each month’s content planned out at least 2 weeks before the month begins.
I want to work with brands for brand ambassadors or sponsorship opportunities. My goals is to stay consistent and market my content through my social media channels to attract brands lookin for ambassadors or paid sponsorship programs. If I can work with at least 3 brands in 2019 that will help me take my brand to the next level.
I want to monetize my blog and brand. My goal is to make $1k per quarter as a additional stream of income for sponsorships, events, custom decor and gift, as well as starting a shop on my blog. I tried using Etsy before but I was just to complicated for me. I strongly thinking about upgrading my WordPress plan.
Everytime I meet a blogger, the conversation always results to blogging tips resources and equipment. I’m not one of those people who doesn’t like to share information. I like to find out what other bloggers are using to blog and post videos, as well as share my resources and tips. We can all learn from one another. There are a few blogger and influencer groups on Facebook that I’ve found to be very helpful. It was another blogger that I met online that really encouraged me to move from 1 post a week to 3 posts a week. There was an instant increase of traffic on not just my website but my social media accounts too.
Blogmas has been a blessing because I feel like I’m getting new traffic on both my social media accounts and my website. I want to keep you all coming back to Passion Locked and build a online community of moguls that want to learn, grow and support each other. I’m now in an intense planning mode for 2019. I want to get better at preparing content and finding new innovative ways to bring readers to my lil ol’ blog.
Today I want to share with you the equipment I used to blog. Although I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now, I still consider myself a starter blogger… lol ! I say that because I started blogging as a hobby and its still a hobby. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work but I’m not getting paid for it…YET!!! I plan to grow my blog and brand to another level next year .
Most of the things I use to blog are really cheap, but they work and get the job done for me. The most important things are my Macbook and iPhone. I take all my pictures on my iPhone, edit them on my iPhone as well. Over time I hope to invest in a camera and better blogging equipment.
Here is what I use to take blog pictures
CamKix Wireless Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control for Smartphones
I have been trying so hard to not miss a day of blogmas. And I missed a day of blogmas 🤦🏾♀️!!!!!! So disappointing, but I’ve been super busy this month. I’m not just being lazy and not blogging I just had an intense Friday. Maybe I’ll do a bonus blog, but for now BACK TO THE REGULAR SCHEDULED PROGRAM.
I love a good pamper day. Pampering myself is a important part of my self care. I enjoy doing a at home facial, a bath with salts and scrubs and body oil to nourish my skin.
I recently adding a new product to my at home pamper day routine. Instead of a clay mask, this time I used the Yes To Cucumbers Bubbling Paper Mask, purchased from Target. I’m not really sure I had any expectations before using this product. I was curious to see how it felt and if it really worked.
It really worked. I applied the sheet mask just like any other sheet mask. It was not foamy when I took it out of the packaging. The sheet mask was nicely soaked with the formula. I don’t even know how long it took the mask to foam up. I didn’t feel it foam up. After I applied the mask, I enjoyed my hot bath soak with bath salts and once I was out I looked in the mirror and the mask had foamed. I was concerned that maybe the foam formula pull leave my skin feeling dry after taking the mask off. To my surprise the mask felt my skin feeling really hydrated. I used my face water mist to set my face after the mask and went about the rest of my pampering.