Call me crazy (which I am) but I find it SO hard to find a good hair stylist that knows how to work with your hair exactly the way you want it. In my experience this can take years. The past 8 years I have put my hair through hell and back. I have colored it red, black, blonde, brown, and there was a stretch where I would literally go from black to blonde back to back every other month. So needless to say I have constantly ruined it.
But I’ll be the first to sit here and complain about my hair not growing fast enough, or point out all the split ends, or how it just doesn’t feel as soft as it should, etc. I have no one to blame but me. I have been extremely harsh with it and on top of it all I have extreme lack of patience when it comes to hair…so if I wake up and find myself wanting to change my hair, chances are by the end of the day I will have it done. This results in poor hair dye jobs, not researching hair salons properly, going to someone you’ve never gone to before simply because your own stylist cannot fit you in her schedule when you call her just a few hours ahead, and so on.
So 8 years later I can tell you that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your hair is find a GOOD stylist that understands what you want and can deliver the results; is knowledgable on all the latest products or all the products that you need to improve or maintain your hair; and lastly, learn to gain some patience….I know today you might feel like your hair looks HORRIBLE and you need to get it done ASAP, but a few more days or weeks is not going to be the end of the world. Going to get it done somewhere else and risking the possibility of destroying your hair is far worse to deal with.
So my mission this year is to find that perfect hairdresser for me. Especially when it comes to color. I was recommended 901 salon in Los Angeles by a good friend of mine. She volunteered to help me with Gio if I traveled to LA to get my hair done. At first I thought it was a bit nutty going that far just to do my hair but then I realized hair is half a woman’s beauty. It’s an investment. And honestly the feeling you get when your hair looks GREAT is worth the trip. So I decided to take her up on it and fly to LA just for 2 nights.
I lived in LA for almost 9 years. Majority of my friends and network are based in Los Angeles. I moved to Kansas City a bit over a year ago to start a family with my husband. At first I thought I would hate KS but I actually like it. It is so family oriented and people are genuinely nice. It’s slow paced and for me this is all refreshing. LA was perfect for my college years; the going out, socializing, partying, being in the scene, dressing up, always out dining somewhere, always something to do. That was all great and fun. But I’m in a different place now. I have moved on to a different phase in life and my family is now my number 1 priority. The only party I go to is in my kitchen dancing and singing for Gio. The only socializing I do is with other mommies whose kids are also the center of their world. And I love every minute of it. This is what life is about. Phases. Cycles. Living and learning. Experiencing. Growing. Maturing. Enjoying it for what it is.
I decided to stay an extra day in LA to spend some time with my friends that I had not seen in a while. See, the beauty about LA is that it gives this impression of a life full of excitement and entertainment; surrounded by so many friends and just living it up. And when I lived there I was under that same impression and thought that was my life as well. It wasn’t until I moved away that I started analyzing my life and the people in it. It is very rare in LA to build true friendships and relationships. People often have a motive for wanting to socialize. You never really know what that motive is…but you just know it’s there. And so while I have a LOT of associates and people I used to be connected with in LA, I am happy that I only really want to see just 3 or 4 people when I do come out here. They are family to me. So an extra day was enough to spend time with them! I love you guys.
The flight was 3 hours long. It was a bit more challenging that usual because Gio is now older and more active. It wasn’t as easy to entertain him as it was 3 months ago when he would sleep the entire time. But we made it 🙂 I spent the first day getting my hair colored by Rihanna at 901 salon. She worked some damn magic on my hair, kid you not. Don’t know what she did but I LOVE it. She cost a leg and an arm though but honestly I’ve spent more money going to a bunch of “cheaper” places only to hate it and spend more money somewhere else trying to fix it. So I’d rather pay a bit more and get what I want. You know you’re in LA when the hair shop has a damn Valet outside. Felt like I was going to a five star restaurant lol. It shouldn’t surprise me though…this is pretty common in LA. Guess I’ve been gone for too long 🙂
Gio did so well! He fussed now and then but I mean what do you expect a baby to do 3 hours in a hair salon? My friend Maya watched him the entire time. She was amazing with him! The crazy thing about all of this is that I met Maya through IG 2 years ago. And the entire time we have kept in touch and quite honestly she has been there for me more than some people I have known for years. I have a huge heart for people who are just genuinely nice. She offered to help me with Gio so I could get my hair done. She took me out to lunch and wouldn’t even let me put my hand in my wallet. She gave me so much advice and recommendations on hair, skin, face, you name it. She showed me her home. But most importantly she showed me love and she is obsessed with my son. She didn’t have to do ANY of that. But she did. Without wanting anything in return. See, when I meet people like that I truly vow to do anything and everything they ever need or want from me. Because it is rare finding people with big hearts who truly want to do good and want others to feel good. So the least I can do is do the same for them, if more. So thank you Maya. You have a friend in me forever.
I tried Lebanese food for the first time. Goodness, where have I bee
n?! I am obsessed now. It is SO similar to Albanian food. The restaurant I went to is Sunnin Restaurant on 1776 Westwood Blvd. It’s home cook food heaven! I had a feast. And as if that wasn’t enough I had Turkish coffee which is what I grew up drinking in Albania all the time. I even turned it over and took a video of it haha. In many cultures, the coffee markings left on the cup after it dries can be read in such a way to “predict” your near future. Now, I don’t really believe in all that they tell me when they read it but it is fun regardless. So if any of my stiletts know how to read it….go ahead and enlighten me. I’m curious!
The first night ended with hours and hours of pillow talk with my close friend Kordai. I’ve known her since freshman year at USC and it’s always a great time spending time together. Plus she’s just so darn funny! I swear her and her faces ahahhahaha. She left early in the morning and by the time Gio woke up the next morning I had only gotten 4 or 5 hours of sleep.
So early today I met my friend Maggie who does my extensions and has been doing them for years. When it comes to hair extensions I go through phases. I either really love them or get really tired of them and take long breaks. I cut my hair short at the beginning of the year because I just couldn’t be bothered with hair while having a newborn to take care of. Now that Gio is not so little anymore, I can find some time here and there to do my hair or make up and get dressed up a bit. Not always, but some time. Enough to at least feel like I’m getting my old self back little by little. A lot of new moms ask me how I manage to put myself together and take care of a baby. What they don’t realize is that 80% of the time I look like a bum at home. But I’m not going to post those kind of pics all the time. No fun in doing that! But the 20% I do get dolled up, you are damn right I’m going to take every angle of it ahhaha. Instagram pictures are just that…pictures. Glimpses of my life. They are meant to be all pretty, glamorous, happy. But it doesn’t mean that’s what my life always looks like. Far from it. Think about your own page and the things you post. Bet you they are the most positive times out of your day; where you feel the prettiest, or your hair just worked great that day, or you feel like you finally got the eyeliner wing to match on both eyes, etc. We don’t post the hard days…or moments when we are frustrated or crying, or overwhelmed or pissed at the boss. That’s not the point of Instagram. But I just wish people would keep that in mind when they go looking at these pictures and feeling even worse about themselves. Doesn’t matter if their house is bigger than yours, or they drive a better car…people have problems everywhere; different kinds of problems perhaps, but problems regardless. They go through it too. Just like you and I.
I digress. As always.
Ok so the kind of extensions I get are the keratin tips. For me they work very well. I know they are damaging, but really…what extensions are good for you? What dye is good for you? What foundation is good for your skin? Nothing really. They’re all not the best thing you can do for yourself but they make us feel pretty. So screw it. That’s how I feel about extensions. Sure, my hair feels a bit thinner after I take them out. Oh well, within a few weeks it’s back to normal. But I sure do enjoy the way it looks so I’ll take that downside. Maggie does an amazing job with mine. She’s so good at matching the perfect color. I can’t even tell which is my hair and which one is Indian. Very happy with it! This kind of extension can last 4-5 months but I HATE how it feels when they grow out. For most people it’s no biggie but it irks me so badly so I have to get them redone every month. Being that I do not live near Maggie however, I’m going to make it my goal to make them last 2 months. Wish me luck.
I liked the outfit I wore today 🙂 I felt classy and elegant yet stylish and sexy. I got the top from Torn by Ronny Kobo. Pants from Topshop. Shoes from Christian Louboutin and Celine bag. I brought a pair of flats with me just in case I got tired and couldn’t do it. Since I had Gio I have turned that into a MUST. Today I made it through without using them however so I feel like a CHAMP! I did sit most of the day though.
One of the ladies that works at Avenue Beauty Boutique which is where Maggie works, is a close friend of Marie who passed away two months ago. If you didn’t read my other post a few weeks back, she is the winner of my louboutin giveaway back in January. She had stage 4 cancer unfortunately and was fighting so hard for her life. She came across to me as such a positive, powerful young girl full of LIFE and such great spirit. I had no hesitation to pick her as the one I wanted to rock the glittery red soled pumps I had bought. It hit me very hard whenI found out she had passed away. But in a way I felt blessed that I had the chance to come across her. I was happy she had something of mine and I had something even better…the honor of knowing her and her knowing me. Karine is one of her best friends and she gave me this huge bouquet of flowers when I walked in. I had no idea what it was. She also handed me a pretty little pink box and a card inside an envelope. She said it was from Marie’s friends and family as a “thank you” for putting a smile on her face. I did not expect any of it. How thoughtful, but they really did not have to. I have said it then and I will say it now, nothing happens just because. It is all for a reason. And I think it was my blessing to have met her. Not the other way around. But I am truly happy to know I made her smile. May you rest in peace my love!
I had the pleasure of meeting Celine aka @TheShoeGirl. I’ve been following her page for a bit. She is a shoe designer who works for multiple shoe brands. She has been in the business for a long time even though she’s just a few years older than me. Her father is also in the shoe manufacturing business so this whole shoe thing runs in her blood. She even launched her own shoe line a few years back but is taking a break from it now that she is focusing on herself and her fiancé whom she’s planning a wedding with 🙂 Anyways, what I liked about her through IG was her witty comments and how funny she seemed. Well, she was even better in person! I told her I think she’s my SOLEMATE (Get it? hehe) and I actually think we look alike hahah. She is beautiful in person! Pictures truly do not do her justice. But I also think when you see people in real life, in action, all parts moving it gives beauty a whole new meaning. She also fell in love with Gio like every single other person that has met him. That makes my heart warm. He is such a precious angel and gives such a positive energy. People gravitate to him because he’s a baby but he’s such a happy child. Bless his heart.
So tonight Gio passed out early. I have him sleeping next to me right now with the most adorable face ever! These are the moments I reflect upon and truly feel blessed. These are the moments I wish I could hold on to forever. This little face breathing right next to me is what gives my life so much meaning, and this face does not even know it. I am so in love with him. God gave me the greatest gift on Earth.
Tomorrow I plan on having breakfast with Maya, saying bye to Kordai, and heading to the airport. As much as I loved my quick trip to Los Angeles, I miss home so badly! I miss my hubby and the kiddos.