A Journey to Self Love

October 10, 2019






6 Years ago you couldn't catch me outside without 3 long full bundles swinging from my head.  I did NOT play about my weave.  I had an appointment every two weeks to get my hair laid, and come hell or high water I made it to that seat no matter what.  If someone would have told me that 6 years later I would be walking around confidently sashaying down the street with a shake and go fro I would have thought they were delirious.


Dress: H&M; Sneakers: Adidas; Earrings: H&M (In-store Only)


Now don't get me wrong.  I truly believe all black women should have the right to wear their hair in whatever style makes them feel the most confident, but my personal behavior was indicative of a larger issue.   I was raised by a mother who came from a generation of permed and straight hair being more visually desirable.  Although she always means well in everything she does for me, her thinking is simply a result of historical precedence about hair that has been passed down from generation to generation.  The belief that straight hair is more attractive and natural hair is only acceptable if it is more of a loose curl pattern.  These are the beliefs myself, and I'm sure many other black women, were raised on.  Going to get a perm once a month from the age of 5 until about 18 seemed was completely normal to me.  Sure I endured chemical burns so bad I could peel the palm-sized scabs off my scalp, but it never really seemed like much of an issue.  "Beauty is pain right?"



It wasn't until I went to a hairdresser that did not properly wash the perm out of the back of my head that things changed for me.  I watched chunks of my hair fall out over the course of a few days leaving me with a horrifyingly huge bald spot in the back of my head.  It was that day I swore I would never get another perm.  I wasn't really sure what else to do with my hair so I began my relationship with weaves and braids.  This went on for years.  I would get my hair done back to back without a care in the world.  Typically it is recommended you let your hair rest for a few weeks between " protective" styles, but I didn't care much about protecting my hair.  The only thing I was concerned with was hiding it.  You see, I didn't grow up with a curly texture of hair.  I grew up with hair so course I broke every comb and blow dryer that came in contact with it.  I hated looking at it let alone trying to deal with it or " keep it healthy" .   I spent all my money and time making sure it was always well covered up.  This behavior went on for years. I'm ashamed to even think about how many years it was.  What shocks me most now, when I think back on it, was that I didn't see a problem with my line of thinking.  It was so commonplace that I truly saw no issue.

A few years later things changed.  My best friend decided she wanted to try to go natural.  I remember her telling me and asking me to do it with her and me thinking she was insane.  I would watch her try twist outs, and study countless youtube videos, and think " Oh she's tripping".  I just couldn't understand why she would want to stop getting weaves.  I mean, we were so beautiful with our 20 inches of hair.  What was she thinking?!!  I didn't know but I for damn sure wasn't going to find out either, or so I thought.

Thanksgiving came around, and my hairdresser was BOOKED.  Typically I would make a standing appointment to make sure I always had something on the books but this time I forgot.  I begged her to try to squeeze me in but unfortunately, she didn't have anything available.  I was devastated, to say the least.  The sheer thought of showing up at thanksgiving without my hair done terrified me.  But guess what ya'll, ya girl had no choice.  So that's what I did.  I walked up to the door head down and a lot more quiet than I have ever been ( if you know me personally you know I'm NEVER  quite).  I had my hair covered up with a scarf because in my mind it was far better to wear a scarf on my head, looking like I had just rolled out of bed than to just allow people to see my hair.

I noticed my older cousin kept staring at me with an extremely irritated look.  After trying to ignore her for as long as humanly possible I finally decided to ask her what was up.  She simply said " why do you have that scarf on girl".  I already knew what was about to go down and I absolutely wasn't in the mood.  I simply replied " my hair isn't done, that's all its not a big deal", but she wouldn't let up.  She kept asking me what I considered "done" and why I believed that my hair in its current state wasn't presentable enough for me to come out of the house.  Now I could sit here and give you every rebuttal she provided to my responses, but to be honest none of them resonated with me.  They were all in one ear and out the other.  But there was one thing she said that stuck with me.  It hit me so hard that 6 years later I remember it, and I likely always will.  She said " the problem is not what's on your head the problem is what's in your head."

It was really that simple.  I spent my entire life hating a part of me so much that I would do anything to hide it.  No matter the cost, the time, the pain, the damage to my own hair, none of that was enough to make me accept myself for who I was.  It was that night that I decided I would at least TRY going natural. I had spent so much time hiding from myself I didn't even know how to love myself as I truly was.  Although there have been ups and downs this has been one of the most beautiful journeys I have taken.

Now I want to be very clear.  I believe that every black woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her hair.  It grows out of YOUR head.  As long as you are taking care of it and making decisions in the best interest of the health of your hair then GO OFF SIS!! I switch my hair up often, and I love having the freedom to be able to do so.  Do I still wear weaves, wigs, and braids occasionally, YES! Do I go through stints of straightening my hair, Absolutely!! But now I have gained freedom.  I no longer feel like I have to cover up whats on m head to achieve society's standard of beauty.  I look in the mirror and I feel beautiful, confident, and in love with the person staring back at me.  Of course, there are times when I get frustrated with my natural hair because it can be quite a bit of work at times, but I love it more than that frustration.



As I walk through the hallways of my office, and men and women of every color comment on the beauty of my fro, the joy I feel is insurmountable.  I hold my head high, and I know every coil, and kink is perfect.  So the point of this extraordinarily long-winded post is that I want each of you to know that you are perfect as you are.  Whatever your insecurity may be.  Whether it be hair, body, skin, it doesn't matter you are perfectly and wonderfully made.  Please don't ever forget that, because once you do the problem is no longer external, sis it's internal.


Thank you so much for reading,
Camille

I Almost Stopped Blogging

May 22, 2019





Wheeewww Chillay it's been a minute since I have been on here, and that's something I am quite ashamed of.  I began to get so wrapped up in Instagram I neglected the space that actually belongs to me, and the people that actually go to my site to read my very long-winded stories.  Daily obsessing over numbers so much that I started feeling like I did not even want to blog at all anymore.  What was the point? Who was even reading it?  Well, let me tell you something God works in mysterious ways.  When they say we serve an on-time God it is absolutely true.  So story time people, walk with me here.





It was Saturday night and I was just getting out of my second job.  I had literally every intention of going home after work.  I actually told myself no matter what,  I was taking my behind straight home, and not spending a single unnecessary dollar.  Well, that whole plan went down the drain when my fave coworker was closing with me and asked me to accompany him to Fridays for a "quick drink".  Mind you, our drinks are usually never quick, not even close.  So of course, I obliged, what kind of friend would I be if I left him cold and lonely at the bar looking like some kind of weird psycho.  Well as we came in I saw an old friend from high school and quickly went over to greet him.  I had not talked to him in about a decade so I was really happy to see him.  We exchanged our hello's and how have you been, and then what he said next truly shocked me.  Out of what felt like nowhere he said " Camille I'm really proud of you, your blog is really amazing.  I see you doing your thing on there (instagram/ blog) and I'm really proud to watch the woman you have become."  Now he had absolutely no way of knowing this but I was in a space mentally where I was completely ready to give up.  When you are a smaller scale blogger it honestly feels like no one is reading your work but you, and maybe your mom.  Knowing that not only is someone reading it, but that the things I write, the stories I tell, and the information that I share impacts someone was huge to me.  It really meant a lot.  It brought me back to a question one of my blogger friends Sade asked me. What is your why?  After serious self-reflection, the answer is very clear to me now.


I started blogging in 2012. I remember one of my best friends coming to me with the idea of starting a group blog and thinking, "what the heck is a blog?"  I always loved writing ( as a kid I used to write my own books so I could always read a story that would excite me), it has always been an outlet to express myself or rather a way for me to share stories with others.  Also lets not forget that I never shut up, and it is also a way for me to ramble on and on as I typically do without having to deal with the awkward laugh and stare of dear god when is she going to stop talking ( if your doing it right now I don't even care because I can't see you).  She showed me different blogs and I fell completely in love with the idea of what I was seeing.  So many cute outfits, direct links to them, great photos, and quirky stories.  I couldn't get enough.  There was one thing I just could not find though.  Where were the black girls?  Now trust me nowadays black girls are Killing it at blogging but 7 years ago when Instagram was a small space for iPhones and blogs were just a place where the most you could hope for is some free stuff there weren't many girls that looked like me.  I want to be a brown face that other woman and girls can relate to because representation matters.  It REALLY REALLY matters.  I want to be a part of a community of strong black woman that are killing this industry.  Getting brand partnerships we never thought we could obtain, and filling up every seat at tables we were never previously invited to sit!


Another thing that drove me insane was where were the clothes I could ACTUALLY afford.  Even the blogs geared towards sale clothing and looks for less were not in any low-cost price bracket that I could afford at the time.  I was fresh out of college trying to understand how money worked and how to pay my own bills buying 1 shirt for $98 was not really a "steal" for me.  So that was my mission I wanted to serve other girls like me and help them find REAL DEALS, help them look and feel beautiful, and most important luxurious without having to compromise quality or style.  One thing I know for sure about myself is that even if I lack talent in other areas, I know I am one of the best there is at sale shopping.  Some people coupon for food I do it for clothes.  If you know me personally you know Camille and sale might as well be synonymous.  If you tell me my outfit is cute I'm certainly going to tell you how I paid under $20 for each item I have on  ( because honestly, that's really what matters).

So as I push through some major imposter syndrome I plan on bringing you some great content.


*** Although this skirt is sold out here are a few noteworthy ones that all happen to be 50% off right now: leopard print satin skirtGold leopard print skirt ; Satin midi skirt ; neon striped midi skirt

Bernie's Glenside- Brunch for a Queen

January 3, 2019

So we all have hobbies that we partake in to get us through the mundaneness of everyday life.  They become a way to bring us a little piece of joy during our weekly routines.  My hobby is simple and puts a smile on my face whenever I get a chance to enjoy it.  What is my hobby you ask?  Well its very simple actually; it's brunching.  Yes! I LOVE to brunch.  I mean between working two jobs and blogging I don't have much time for extracurricular activities, but one that I always find time for is brunch.  About a year ago one of my besties told me about a place called Bernie's that she wanted us to try. I never heard of it before and was eager to give it a shot so that's exactly what I did, and it was the beginning of a love story (between me and Bernie that is).





I cannot tell you how much I love this restaurant, but I'm going to give it my best shot.  From the moment I walked into the Glenside location, I was immediately taken aback.  Anyone who is a habitual bruncher knows that it is SUPER important for a brunch location to have a cute aesthetic.  I mean how else are you supposed to take bomb pictures to share with all your friends if the location is not adorable, Duh!  The entire restaurant has a very rustic yet modern feel to it.  There is lots of sunlight and very modern decor.  There are beautiful chandeliers, a 15-foot fireplace running through the middle of the restaurant, a gorgeous bar, and an amazing patio deck fully equipped with fire pits.  It really is a GORGEOUS space.  For the last year, since my first visit, I have been there so many times that I've cashed in on my rewards card about three times.  So I think its safe to say this is one of my favorite spaces.  






Besides the beautiful ambiance, the number one thing that made me fall in love with them is their brunch menu.  It is so so so so so soooo good.  I don't know how much more I can stress this to you all.  I am not one to try new things when it comes to my food.  Every time I go to brunch you can rest assured I'm most likely going to get whatever form of a breakfast special they have; eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes.  Same thing every time.  My very first brunch at Bernie's I must have been feeling a little adventurous because I decided to give their shrimp and grits a shot.  WHAT A GOOD IDEA!  This is now my FAVORITE thing on their menu.  Not only is it good but I have now visited at least 10 different restaurants for brunch in the city and they by far, have the best shrimp and grits.  Also, their banana french toast covered in caramel deserves an honorable mention.

So the next Saturday or Sunday that you are seeking your next brunch location you should definitely give Bernies a try.  It may be your first time but I can guarantee you it won't be your last.

Happy Eating Folks,

Camille

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