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DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater

I got a last minute invitation to an ugly sweater party, so I had to quickly come up with an outfit idea. Luckily, when I went thrifting the other day I found a Christmassy doll that looked perfect to throw onto an ugly sweater. This may be the easiest DIY in the history of DIYs. So let's begin:

Supplies:
  • Plain Sweater
  • Christmassy Doll
  • Safety Pins

Instructions:
  1. Put on the sweater
  2. Place doll in the middle of the sweater
  3. Safety pin the doll onto the sweater
  4. *Optional* Tie a jingle bell necklace around the doll's neck

DIY ugly sweater


Easy right?! I didn't win the ugly sweater contest (I lost to the light up Christmas tree), but at least I had an outfit to wear. And the best part is I didn't have to spend any extra money. I already owned the sweater and safety pins, and the store clerk gave me the doll for free!

What is your favorite ugly sweater design?

Gift Guide - Thrifted Gifts


thrifted christmas presents

With the holidays approaching I wanted to share my thoughts about giving gifts from the thrift store. I know many people have a stigma towards thrifted gifts, but I never understood why. I think thrifted gifts are sometimes more thoughtful and personal than a gift bought from the mall. As you all know, I am biased due to my love for thrifting, but thrift stores really do have some great gifts to offer.

Here are some examples of gift worthy items that can be found at the thrift store:

Gift Certificates Many people are surprised to find out that several thrift stores offer gift certificates during the holiday season. This is a quick and easy gift to give to that thrifty someone in your life.

Old Records Thrift stores have a great selection of old vinyls that any music lover would enjoy.

Vintage Clothing Some of the best vintage clothing items can be found in thrift shops. Imagine how the fashion lover in your life would react to receiving a vintage handbag or a vintage fur coat.

Books Who doesn't love a good book? Thrift stores offer a huge selection of coffee table books, recipe books, children's books, novels, etc. Last year I actually gifted a close friend of mine some thrifted children books written in Spanish to help her learn the language. She loved the gift and I was able to help out the community with my purchase.

DIY Gifts If you were planning on making someone a homemade gift, consider checking out your local thrift store for materials. You can probably score some supplies for a really low price.

Some other great items include housewares, jewelry, collectibles, and artwork.

What are your thoughts on giving and/or receiving a thrifted gift? 

The Curl Files - Feat. Kendra

mixed natural hair journey
Left: April 2014 (Before the chop) | Right: October 2014 (After the chop)

natural hair journey mixed girl
Left: June 2015 | Right: November 2015

Please introduce yourself.
Hi! My name is Kendra. I still consider myself a new natural, but I love telling my story in hopes that it will inspire someone else to start their journey.

How long have you been natural?
I've been natural for about a year and 8 months.

What made you decide to go natural?
In the past I would always straighten my hair. It was completely heat damaged and I just couldn't handle the constant breakage anymore.

Did you do the big chop or did you transition?
The first 7 months I tried to just transition because I was very afraid to cut my hair. Unfortunately my hair was beyond the point of no return. So I decided it was time for a mini chop. I didn't chop off everything but I did lose a lot.

What was the hardest part of going natural in the beginning?
The hardest part for me had to be getting used to going out with my natural hair. After being so used to having straight hair it was definitely a shock every time I looked in the mirror. It helped me to feel comfortable with myself.

Did you care what others would think about your hair? Do you still care?
I would be lying if I said that I didn't care....especially in the beginning. Since my hair was dead, I felt that everyone saw my hair as unruly, dry, and ugly. After I cut my hair and started deep conditioning it more I started coming into my own and didn't care as much. It's now a year and some change later and I don't really mind the natural nay sayers. It's my hair not theirs.

How did others react to your hair in the beginning? How do they react now?
The people who saw me everyday would always tell me how much they loved my hair but they were pretty much the only ones. Others would look at me and kind of just say "oh that's different." Um okay. Now I'm lucky if I can go a day without someone trying to touch my hair. A lot of people compliment my hair now. I get asked a lot if it's real or a wig.

Have you faced any struggles from being natural in school or in the work place?
I honestly haven't. My coworkers were always very supportive of my journey even through the rough days, they helped me to stay on the right path.

What is your current hair regime?
I try to wash my hair twice a week. Each time before I wash it, I use olive oil to seal my ends. Then I shampoo my roots and condition the rest of my hair. After I usually put JBCO on my roots and twist my hair with my favorite leave in. Then I cover my hair with two shower caps and my silk bonnet overnight. The next morning I let the twists dry and take them out.

What products do you love?
My absolute favorite products:
Dermorganic Shampoo 
OGX Biotin & Collagen Conditioner
Jamaican Black Castor Oil mixed w/ Coconut Oil
Cantu Leave In Conditioner

What is/are your favorite hairstyle(s)?
I love how my fro looks after a twist out. I always get the best results from it.

What is your hair motto?
Find a routine that works for you.

What's the best part about being natural? What is the hardest part?
The best part for me is having healthy hair. It sounds corny...I know. But if my hair is happy then I am happy. The hardest part has to be keeping up with my routine. There are some days that I'm too lazy to deep condition just because it is such a process.

What tips or advice would you give others that are starting their natural hair journey or thinking about starting?
Like I said earlier find a routine that works for you. When I started I would blog hop and just try all of the things that other people did in their transitions. Everyone's hair is different and not everything will work for you. Try some things out and stick with the things that work. We all have to go through that rough period before we reach our goal. Don't get discouraged naturals! Stay focused and love your hair. :)


What part of Kendra's hair journey inspired you the most?

Black Friday Recap

8:30 a.m.: Time to energize! Obviously we needed food in our system before hitting the thrift stores, so we stopped at Great Buns Bakery. I ordered a delicious fruit danish. We also stopped at Dutch Bros. for coffee. I ordered a white chocolate mocha.

9:00 a.m.: Headed to Epic Thrift for their Stuff It Special. The rules were simple, 1) Get large brown paper bag. 2) Stuff bag with as many clothes that will fit. 3) Pay $20 total for the bag and its contents. I have literally dreamt about attending a sale like this lol.

10:30 a.m.: Arrived at Savers, my favorite store. They offered 75% Off All Bottoms and 50% Off Yellow Tags. Needless to say, we went a little crazy.

1:00 p.m.: Stumbled upon Catholic Charities. We went inside and discovered they had 50% Off the Entire Store. I think I lost my mind here as well.

3:00 p.m.: My friend left and I went home to put away purchases.

4:00 p.m.: My mom wanted to check out Catholic Charities, so I took her to one of their other location. By this time everything was already picked through, but we found some nice items.

5:00 p.m.: Came home and began my 5 hour nap.

great buns bakery pastries
epic thrift store haul
savers thrifted patterned pants
savers thrifted denim pants


Did you find any good Black Friday deals?