Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hair Wars

We are coming to the time of year where I really want to do something different to my hair.  Typically, by this time, I already have some type of extensions - twists, locs, braids, something!  But this year, I vowed that I would not put any long-term extensions in my hair.  Just one problem - I live in the south and it has been humid since it decided to be Spring in February.  OMG...

My hair has struggled in this humidity.  I wanted my hair straight for my birthday dinner and it was just like the lady hadn't spent two hours glamming my hair up.  It was puffy within hours, but I still made it work.  I wrapped it and I still had to do my hair in the AM before going to work.  But it did allow me to break out my crimp iron.  Hey, at least they are making a minor comeback.  

I have natural 4b/4c hair and it is jet black!  Seriously, it is so black that hair professionals have asked me what dye I use on my hair to get it that color.  I love how dark my hair is and it makes those gray tresses so much more fun.  On the other hand, I'm ready for a color...but then it's things like this that make me change my mind.  


One of my coworkers is so awesome.  She's sweet and she's always asking me about my hair - not because she's trying to be rude, but she's really trying to understand my hair.  This particular day, she wanted to know why I had it covered.  I explained to her what my hair looked like underneath and that it helps me to achieve the style I wanted for the next day.  She proceeds to tell me how proud she is that I wear my hair natural without using the dangerous chemicals and how pretty my jet black hair really is.  How can I possibly want to change it now.  But then later that day, I see the hair color I want!!!  

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I have no clue what my summer hair color is going to be.  It might be what is already on my hair, or I may change it up for a few weeks.  Whatever I decide to do, you know I will let you know.  All you have to do is follow me on Instagram! 

What are you doing to your hair this summer?  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New nail adventures

I just adore each one of you.  OMG - you all make me wan to keep writing when I'm having a bad day or when I'm just feeling like giving up.  I hate that I don't know each one of you, but I hope that in some small way, you have gotten to know me just by reading this blog.  However...there are a few of you who do know me personally and you have known me for a while.  For those of you who go all the way back before this blog was this blog, you know a certain thing about me - I love me some manicures and pedicures.  If you're really close to me, you know I haven't had a decent manicure since 2009.  I have an announcement...


THE STREAK IS OVER!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try out a new place in my current city.  I went to Alicia B Nail Bar.  Since it was my first time going, I didn't make an appointment.  I didn't know what I was going to walk into and if the vibe didn't feel right, I wasn't going to stay.  When I walked in, I noticed the decor and the comfy feeling and how the owner, Alicia, interacted with her regulars and myself.  She asked if I could come back in an hour and I agreed.  Other than a few things I bought during my shopping adventure, going to back to the nail place was my best decision of the day.  

When I got back, she and her other nail techs (Kiki and Jessica) were busy, but I was able to pick out a color and got an extended version of my favorite part of any visit - soaking my feet!  I had no clue who was going to help me since it was my first time there, but all I wanted was for my manicure and pedicure to be right because I was going to a concert the next night.  Kiki ended up being my nail tech and she gave me a pedicure that almost had me catching a midday nap!  OMG - that was the most relaxing pedicure I had ever experienced.  But before she even started on my pedicure, she asked me what I wanted to do for my manicure.  

Ok, naturally, I have long fingernails.  I have strong fingernails.  I try to get them healthy and maintained, but not having a decent manicure in eight years, I was reluctant.  However, we talked about what I wanted and she gave me professional advice and she got started on my pedicure.  I had a glass of wine while I was getting my feet done, listened to some good music, and just felt awesome.  

Then, came the moment of truth - it was time for Kiki to do my nails.  But something really great happened while Kiki was doing my nails - Jessica asked my name and said...

"welcome to the family"

How could I not want to come back?!  In between Alicia telling me the right time to come back, Kiki giving my feet life, and Jessica giving me that welcome, I knew I had found my new nail place...hopefully.  Kiki still had to do my nails.  We decided to go with gel polish and just because I'm me, I picked the polish that changes color.  I wanted a party nail and she added some stones on all of them.  And just something else I noticed, she shaped my nails to perfection.  It took a little while, but that was worth it!  Needless to say, my nails ended up better than I had anticipated and I cannot wait to go back.  Best part?  I'm writing this post almost two weeks after my initial visit and ALL of my nails are still in tact!  Yep, this has sealed the deal.  After years of just getting pedicures and mediocre manicures, I finally found a place that can do both and do them very well.  


So, if you live in Columbia, SC or ever pass through and need your nails right, I hope you can get into my new nail place of Alicia B Nail Bar!  If you're looking for great techs with awesome personalities who take their time to give you the look you want, this is the place for you!  Oh, and the conversations are not bad either!  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Man, it was an interesting week

It was a pretty interesting week for dudes last week.  Strange opening, I know, but just follow me here.  There were a couple of things trending.  Oh snaps, let me clear up something -  


I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm a female plus size blogger.

Ok, back to my post already in progress...

Where were we?  Oh yes, trending.  There is a male romper out on the market now, or is it coming soon.  Let me just say I wasn't feeling it.  I don't know if it were the models (because everyone cannot wear everything), the prints, or a combo of both.  But I will admit, when I saw the camo print, I was hooked!  Now, I can't see anyone in my family wearing it (honestly, we're just big people and I'm scared to wear a jumpsuit myself), but if you have the body for it or just want to try it out, here is my suggestion...

GO FOR IT!!!

Photo credit: NY Mag

I mean, people are always looking for the latest trends on the runway and some of that stuff you know good and well you wouldn't wear out in public.  You buy it for display only.  So don't be mad at these guys out here starting a trend.  Keep breaking barriers in the fashion world and stop being afraid to try something new.  

Next trending topic - the little boy doing his own makeup.  I have tried and failed to find this video of just this particular thing on YouTube.  The one I found was an hour long and he was only the first two or three minutes.  But, I think I can explain it to you.  Young boy (maybe 10ish) is basically putting on his makeup better than most women I know, including myself...but the caption floating around social media is if you saw your son doing this, what would you do.  My answer is as follows...

Either stick with it or stop playing with my makeup!!!

Yep, that's my answer.  Makeup isn't cheap!  If he wants to be a makeup artist - you do you, boo!  There is money in that industry!  Plus, he can hook me up with supplies with mama runs low!  But, real talk, I would support it.  People made such a big deal about him practicing on himself.  Well, who he going to practice on?  Those mannequins don't even come close to the feel of human skin.  Also, in order for you to highlight the features of someone else, you need to know your own features first.  Then I saw the stupidest comment that said he should practice on his sister?  What if he is an only child?  I'm an only child.  I practiced on myself and don't give me the but you're a girl speech.  I remember the first time my mom let me do her makeup and it was in 2014.  I was in my late 20s, had been doing my own face for years, and this woman pushed me out of her - but when it came to her face, she was like NOPE, NOT TODAY!!!  Maybe his mom was the same way.  

Honestly, I salute the young man and if any of you know who he is or how I can reach out to him, please let me know!  I just want to know who he is so I can give him the proper credit he is due!  And just to give you a little extra, one of my fav actors Jeremy Renner was a makeup artist before making it on the big screen.  You never know what doors this young man may be getting ready to open.  

Basically, open up your minds and your hearts.  The world is changing!  Time is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing - moving forward and fashion is moving right along with it.  And people, I don't see you making a big deal about guys sewing and becoming designers or learning how to do hair.  Quite frankly, I don't see the difference.  Makeup artist, designer, hair stylist...hmmmm.....all legal ways to make money and express yourself.  Sounds like the perfect storm to me!  

What are you doing people that people thought would be impossible or not in your best interest to do?  

Friday, May 19, 2017

I had a blast

This time last week I was still recovering from the high I experienced from the concert the night before.  I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Mary J. Blige and her opening act of Joe in living color.  OMG - it was so much fun and my outfit wasn't too bad either.  

I think we all know the drama she has going on in her life right now, but when she did No More Drama aka my favorite song from her, she absolutely slayed!!!  When Joe closed out his segment, he ended with I Wanna Know and that absolutely made my night.  

A special THANK YOU to Colonial Life Arena for the contest that allowed me to win my tickets!  And if you were wondering about my outfit, here is where you can get all the pieces...



Top and SLAY clutch: Ashley Stewart
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Shoe Carnival

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Get to know me!

I have found that one of my favorite things to do as a blogger is to participate in tags!  I love it when people tag me because the questions are different and give me a chance to step out of my box for a moment.  Well, that time has come again.  I was tagged by the amazing Toya from Hello Toya.  Thanks to her, you are all about to get to know me just a little bit better!  Here we go....
via GIPHY


Name: Shayla Emaleigh Bryant

Twitter handle: @TheShaylaEm

1 - What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have a few, but my absolute biggest is people who don't have any respect for my time.  If you going to be late, cool, but at least let someone know.  I can't stand that!!!

2 - Ever been in love?
Honestly, I don't think I have.  This is a hard one, but that's the honest answer.  Maybe that's why I'm feeling some type of way about my current relationship because I'm experiencing emotions I've never had to deal with before. Hmmm...maybe I'm currently in love. 

3 - Grab the nearest book to you.  Turn to page 23 and find line 5.  What does it say?
...year, when the incubus had first appeared to me, I'd begun to...

4 - Sprite or Sierra Mist?
I haven't had a soda since in 5 years, but I would have to go with Sprite. 

5 - Who is your celebrity crush?
I think we all know how I feel about Justin Timberlake.  I just adore him!

6 - Tea or coffee?
I love me some tea!!!

7 - Jean or sweatpants?
Nothing like a comfy pair of sweats when trying to get some blogging work done! 

8 - Put your music library on shuffle.  What's the first song that comes up?
"So What" by Pink

9 - Who was the last person you text?
My love. Nah, I won't be name dropping because some of yall just nosey! LOL

10 - Mac or PC?
PC!!!  I love all of my Dells! 

11 - Shoes, socks, or bare feet?
I love a nice pair of comfy, thick socks!

12 - Do you sleep with your closet door open, closed, or doesn't matter?
Truthfully, it depends on where I'm located...so I guess it doesn't really matter. 

13 - Ever ran out of gas?
Nope.  Been close, but I know my car. 

14 - Trix or Lucky Charms?
I'm not a fan of either, but I'll take Lucky Charms. 

15 - Do you sing in the car?
I have concerts in my car!!!  Nothing like a nice roadtrip with all your favorite songs playing! 

16 - What is your zodiac sign?
Pisces!!! 

17 - Favorite color?
RED!!! 

18 - What quote do you live by?
I have to go with the Golden Rule on this one - do unto others as you would have other do unto you.  

19 - Do you turn the water off when you brush your teeth?
Yep!!! I do everything to keep all my bills to a minimum.  I like to shop too much.  

20 - Who are you going to tag to do the questionnaire?
Well, that's easy - I tag Theo and Demi!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the madness I just put you through!  Love you, beautiful people!!! 💙💙💙

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother of None

A few weeks ago, I was given an early Mother's Day gift.  I took the gift (because they were insistent), but then I had to nicely explain that I don't celebrate the holiday.  I mean, if people tell me Happy Mother's Day, I will at least acknowledge the day, but Shayla doesn't celebrate.  

For those of you new to The Plus Diaries, welcome.  Please let me explain - 12 years ago, I delivered a still born baby boy.  The nurses let me have him in the room with me the rest of the day (when I wanted him in there) and then at the stroke of midnight, they took him away for me to never see him again.  

I don't feel like a mom.  I love kids and I love the kiddos of my friends, but as I've gotten older and reality starts to set in, I just don't ever think I'll be celebrating a Mother's Day of my own.  As long as my mom is living, the holiday is fair game, but after that (unless something changes), it will be classified as just another day in my blogging neighborhood.

However, to all the Mother's of the world who choose to celebrate - 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

I hope your day is filled with all the love and support a mother could and should have.  

Friday, May 12, 2017

More than you know

If you're looking for a long post right now, this isn't going to be it!  However, I did want to share something with you that made me feel really great.  

For the past couple of weeks, I've been experiencing my version of radio silence.  I've been keeping to myself and just trying to focus on my life and all that happening around me.  Sometimes, we are moving so quickly, we don't really enjoy what is happening.  That caused my anxiety level to build to a point of where I just needed to stop because I knew that the world around me couldn't.  In my moment of solitude, I learned something though - 


your friends still want to be there!  


I had several people reach out to me and one friend even saw me while I was having lunch with my coworkers.  However, I just couldn't bring myself out of what I am experiencing.  Then during a conversation over the weekend, a friend of mine said something that was too sweet and meant more than she realizes...

"I hate when you are like this because I feel like there is nothing I can do"

What I couldn't explain is that she did all that she could do - she let me have my solitude and I am so grateful and more appreciative of that than she could ever understand.  When I have anxiety, it may not be a single trigger.  This was the case in this long version of an attack.  Although I wasn't in a good place, I wasn't in a dark place.  It was just partly cloudy.  Am I still there?  Yes.  Am I working on sunny days ahead?  Of course.  But friends of people with anxiety, please don't worry about us too much.  As for me, I get worried that my friends are worried and the cycle starts all over again.  Just give us a moment.  We will find our way back and if we need help, I am not afraid to ask.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Changes

Typically, I already have something planned to tell you.  Ok, not really planned, but at least I have ideas in my blog journal.  Right now, I don't have anything and I think I know why....


my mind is all over the place!!!

Seriously, I cannot believe the stuff happening in my head right now.  I'm thinking about so much stuff!  Once my supplies arrived (the ones that had to be ordered), I'm going to start working on party favors, I am desperately trying to come up with a logo for this page, and I'm just wanting to not look so scattered when people see me out in public.  Is that too much to ask?


Don't get me wrong, everything I am doing right now, I asked for.  I'm not complaining.  I just didn't think it would all come to me so fast...or at the same time.  I know this sounds weird, but it is a beautiful place to be.  I told you about my May goals in a previous post, but I have one more I need to add to the list 

6 - to be as creative as possible without being hindered.

I really need for my creative vibe to be on point for the remainder of this month.  I don't want to slow down.  I don't want to lose the vibes I've been having over the past week.  I just need for it all to fall into place - I'm not asking for perfection, I'm just asking to be great.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Not even flat

Those of you keeping up with me on Instagram know that I've been working to lose some weight this year.  I know people set goals each month, but I haven't.  I have a goal to be fifty pounds lighter by my next birthday.  Basically, I have until the middle of March next year to reach that goal and I've already lost almost eleven pounds.

The first day of the month is always weigh day.  Yep, I only weight myself once a month...unless I have a trip to the doctor.  Since more are digital scales now where I go, I just don't look and I will ask them to not tell me because I'm trying not to psych myself out.  Well, on May 1, I stepped on the scale and to my happiness, I hadn't gained any weight.  Yup, I'm always scared of that.  However, I hadn't lost any weight either.  The dreaded plateau has officially arrived. 

I bet you're thinking she flipped out.  I probably would have, but I didn't because something really wonderful happened - I was able to fit into one of my favorite pants.  Yall don't understand how that felt.  I had tried them on the night before and they fit (for the first time since September).  I posted a story about my pants on Instagram, but here is the mini version - at the beginning of April, I could get them over my thunder thighs, but I could not button them or zip them.  I may not have lost a bit of weight, but I was so happy to finally start seeing myself lose inches.  

How was I able to start losing some of my waist?  Well, I also changed my workout in April.  I added Zumba to my weekly routine and I haven't turned back.  However, now that I've started to lose inches, I want to start toning as well.  Time to add some stretch yoga to my routine to help me out in that endeavor.  

Well, that was my weight madness in April.  I'm really excited to start seeing results in my clothes and not just the scale...because I am so much more than that.  

What did you change last month in any aspect of your life and how has it helped you?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Growing like a weed

The blogging world can be so cool when you need help.  When I started this blog, I was just writing.  I wasn't concerned about traffic coming to my site.  I had no desire to reach a certain amount of post visits.  I didn't even think about having a proper heading.  I just wanted to write and share some thoughts with you.  

Somewhere along the way, someone wanted to share my blog.  Pause - thank you to all of you who have shared my blog.  I'm not complaining, it just made me think a a lot bigger about what I wanted my blog to be.  That's absolutely cool, right?  

As I approach four years of having this baby, I have to say I have learned so much.  I have been involved in tweet chats, used Bloglovin to help get my blog to more people, and discovered how to make my own banners and graphics for social media (still learning).  Then there was my nemesis - Instagram.

Although I use my writing name on Instagram, I never thought about using it in conjunction with my blog.  Sometime last year, that absolutely changed.  However, it was so annoying trying to get traffic to my Instagram page.  I mean, I was getting traffic to my blog and using Twitter to promote, but it wasn't enough.  So, I went on the hunt.   

All you have to do is ask and if you ask nicely, people will be willing to help.  I got some great help with my Instagram page from some cool bloggers who were willing to help.  Then, as people starting posting more about how they found Instagram success, I had more blogs to read to help me.  

This brings us to right now!  I took some of the ideas I liked (and quite frankly, figured would be easy for me to do) and started to put them into action in April.  Along with my new blog schedule, I'm finally gaining some ground on Instagram.  Now, I don't have a thousand followers (yet), but I am more than halfway there and almost one hundred of them happened in April.  So, how did I do it?  


1 - Consistency
This is so key!!!  I now post to my Instagram page at least once a day at 9:30am EST.  Now, I post other stuff throughout the day, but the post that goes along with my blog goes up at this time.  It's something I have enjoyed doing during the month of April  And you are probably wondering how I manage to pull this off.  Well, I use Buffer to help me set up my page and it has been awesome.  But, this is not the post to go into that, so I'll keep moving.  

2 - Hashtags
Ok, I'm still working on this one.  I'm trying to find the perfect blend of get what I want across with a dash of let's not get out of control.  So far, it seems to be working good for me, as I work through the balancing act.  I'll keep you posted on this topic as more details become available.  

3 - Connect With People
Ironically, I use the hashtags to make this happen.  If I'm tagging something I'm interested in, I like to see what other people are tagging as well.  I don't always leave a comment, unless something just really jumps out at me.  But you will be surprised at what a simple like can do.  

Alright, that's all I have right now.  I hope these three tips can get you started.  Yes, I have so much more to share, but right now, these are getting me through.  As I learn more, I'll be happy to share with you.  Also, if you have a question about how I am doing, don't hesitate to ask.  You know I love connecting with you on here!!! 

What one tip helped you to grow your audience - no matter the social media platform?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time

It has been a solid month that I jumped into the world of having an actual blog schedule.  When I first started this adventure, I just figured I would write when I felt like it and the rest would be easy.  Well, as I started to get more involved in my blog and wanted to do more things with my blog, I quickly learned that wasn't the case.  

If you were counting, by October of last year, I was writing my 100th post of the year.  I had a busy writing year.  This year, I said that I would be fine with just writing 60 times in this blog (which would basically give me 5 posts a month).  That was all well and good until I realized I have a lot more to say than that would allow.  

Then, it started happening - I started not wanting to write when I got home from work.  I would draft stuff during my lunch break and then just look at it when I got home.  Not cool, right?  That is when I figured, if I am going to keep my blog going, I need to do something different.  That basically was the birth of the blog schedule.  So, how did it go?

For me, it has been working great.  I know when I'm posting stuff and I keep a record in my calendar and as I write, I cross it off.  I didn't think it would allow me to have freedom to write (I'll explain), but it has.  I mean, if I feel like I have something I just have to say, I can simply move a post to a new date because the time is ALWAYS 9am EST!!!  

I love connecting and I am still making a solid effort at doing so, but this has allowed me to do more of that.  When I have posts ready, it gives me a chance to go show some other bloggers love, instead of just writing my posts.  Also, I love to go on small dacays (aka daycations) and having a post ready just makes it easier for me to travel and not feel like I am leaving you behind.  

So, that is how this first month has gone.  I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me as I continue to work out the kinks of my little blog baby.  Thank you for not giving up on me! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Music Monday - April Edition

Another month has passed - what the what - and that means another great month of music.  Here is what I was listening to in April.  Of course, this is in absolutely no particular order. 


♭             ♭             ♭ 


Private Emotion by Ricky Martin ft. Meja
So, this song is old, but it's so good!  I love the song and when it came up on my mix, it was so good to hear.  In fact, I might have held a small concert.

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart by Alicia Keys
A friend of mine also loves to post music she is listening to at the moment and she posted this one.  It reminded me of exactly how much I used to love this song.  I listened to it several times at work that day and did an encore performance when I got home at night.  

Believer by Imagine Dragons
Ok, I'm a fan of this group and every song I've heard on the radio has been great.  Basically, this is a group that I wouldn't mind going to see in concert.

Anonymous by Bobby Valentino
Yes, I realize he is going by Bobby V. now, but at the time of this song release, he was Bobby Valentino.  I used to love this song and for some reason I decided to flashback to it a few weeks ago.  OMG!!!  I love how the song starts and honestly, it is one of my favorite videos because it's so simple and actually goes along with the song.  Rare...


Poison by Nicole Scherzinger
I think this song came out in the early 2010s.  However, I am just discovering this song and you will never believe how....Wii Zumba!  This is absolutely my favorite song to start my workout.  Of course, I had no clue who was the singer until I looked it up.  Definitely already added to my playlist.  

Human by Rag'n'Bone Man
First off, I love his voice.  Period.  Point blank!  There is nothing like it on the radio right now.  Then, after hearing the song for a few times, I started to love it too.  Just a win-win situation!  

Nothing by The Script
When I tell you I love this song!!!!  I'm so baffled at how much I love this song.  I always said people were sleeping on this group, but when this song came out, that basically solidified their epic status with me.  If you haven't heard it, go give it a listen and let me know what you think!  

♭             ♭             ♭

Ok - that's it!  I think it was a great month for music and as always, you never know what is really going to be posted because my music taste is just so cray cray.  What were you listening to in April?  

Photo credit: pexels.com