Jan 7, 2021

The Blow Dryer That Changed My Life

Haircare is not something I take lightly. In fact, as someone with a lot of hair, the process of washing, drying, and styling my hair, is something that often takes up to two hours. I wish that I had the type of hair that would allow me to shower at night and wake up the next morning with dry hair. But sadly, I'm not. I've tried and my experiments always end with a sad, soggy pillow and soaking wet hair. Over the years I've come to terms with this reality and scheduled "wash days" accordingly but always found the entire operation quite frustrating. And then one day, everything changed. 

For Christmas this year, my husband surprised me with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. I had seen ads for it and watched as other influencers posted about it, but honestly, I didn't understand what the buzz was about. For starters, the blow dryer is nearly $400, which is a far cry from the $40 dryer I had been using from Revlon for years. And secondly, I had never used a dryer with a hole in the middle and had no idea how it worked. 

Turns out, this blow dryer can dry my hair in 8 minutes flat and I'm telling you, it's worth every dollar. It used to take me 25-35 minutes to thoroughly dry my hair and I would have to dry it in layers because my hair is so thick. With the Dyson, I can dry my hair quickly and move on to styling in a record amount of time. My entire "get ready routine" has become much more efficient and I feel like I've been given my valuable time back. The best part is, that in addition to rapid dry time, the Dyson protects hair from heat damage and visibly deceases frizz and flyaways, which is MAJOR for my naturally wavy hair. 

So how does it work? Well, for starters, the dryer is powered by a motor that propels 13 liters of air up to the amplifier every second. The airflow then produces a controlled, high-velocity jet of air designed to dry hair quickly. The airflow is temperature measured over 40 times to prevent heat damage, which helps make hair shiny. 

This blowdryer has honestly changed my life and streamlined my morning routine. I feel more efficient when I use it and love that it no longer takes me nearly 90 minutes to get ready when I need to wash my hair. Thank you, Dyson. 

ps. This post is not sponsored. We purchased the dryer with our own money and I'm telling you, it was worth every penny. 

Lead photo credit: Demri Rayanne Photography 


Jan 6, 2021

Travel Inspiration from Pacific Northwest Bloggers

The Port of Seattle recently published a round-up of BIPOC travel influencers to follow for travel inspiration and they kindly included me in their list. I'm in great company, alongside Andrew Hoge, Antonio Smith, Carolyn Yuen Marino, Jennifer George, Mariame Sanoh, Sahily Perez, and more. If you're experiencing cabin fever and need some safe staycation ideas, go through the list and follow these amazing content creators. 

View the entire post here


Jan 5, 2021

5 Of My Favorite Book Club Picks

Last spring, my friend Amanda invited me to join her book club. Looking back, saying "yes" seemed like a small moment in time, but fast forward nearly nine months later and I now realize how big of an impact that decision has had on my life, in the best way possible. The goal of the group was simple: read books by women of color, celebrate their work, and see the world from their perspective. Little did we know at the time that COVID would cause chaos around the world, halt travel, and fuel a social justice movement that was long overdue. Many of the topics we were reading about in our monthly book club would carry over to what was happening in real life and facing those hard truths became unavoidable. 

I've always loved to read. My grandma taught me to read when I was very young and my family has old photos of me sitting on my grandma's couch, surrounded by piles of books. As I got older, I stopped reading for fun and only consumed trade journals and business books. Every once in a while if I was about to board a long flight, I would pick up a book to read on the plane, but only then could I justify the time spent reading. Saying yes to book club meant that I suddenly had an excuse to carve out time to read and our monthly (virtual) meet-ups held me accountable so that I would actually finish the books lingering on my nightstand. I've read more books in the past 9 months than I have in the past 9 years and I've fallen in love with reading again, which I know would make my grandma very proud. 

Here are my 5 favorite book picks from 2020 written by a wide range of authors. I hope you love them as much as I did!

Half Of A Yellow Sun - This book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is essential reading as far as I'm concerned. In fact, this book was so incredibly well-written that once I finished it, I ordered every other title by the author that I could get my hands on. The book centers around two sisters who experience the Biafran conflict, sometimes known as the Nigerian Civil War. The story is well developed and shines a light on the situation and the tragic consequences that ultimately unfolded. If you like this book, I also encourage you to check out Americanah

Vanishing Half - Brit Bennet is an incredible author and her epic storytelling abilities come to life in this beautiful book. Vanishing Half is about twin sisters who grow up in a small town and construct a plan to escape the monotony of their lives. The book explores topics of sisterhood, personal identity, and the implications of being Black in America. 

Homegoing - This book by Yaa Gyasi was my personal pick for the group and one that I find myself recommending to people again and again. It made me realize that while we talk about slavery in this country, we fail to come to terms with the origins of slavery and its generational impact. Homegoing is the story of two half-sisters who are both born in Ghana but in separate villages. One goes on to marry an Englishman and the other is sold into the Transatlantic slave trade. The story is devastating and illuminating, making you deeply appreciate how the past ultimately shapes us all. 
Photo credit: Knopf/Cody Pickens 

Born a Crime - I stumbled upon this book over the holidays and what I thought might be a fun, easy book to read when I had pockets of time quickly became a book that I couldn't put down. I read the entire thing in two days and found myself completely captivated by the story. Trevor Noah's path from South Africa to present-day at The Daily Show is remarkable. Prior to reading this book, I didn't know about apartheid, which meant I couldn't appreciate how deeply it impacted communities of color. I found myself laughing, crying, and loving Trevor Noah even more by reading this book. 

Everything Is Beautiful In Its Time - 2020 has been a year of loss for so many of us and this book couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Over the summer one of my best friends lost her father after a long battle with cancer and several months later, my husband lost his grandmother, his last living grandparent. This book truly helped heal my heart and deepen the appreciation I have for my family. Author Jenna Bush Hager lost 3 of her 4 grandparents in the span of just one year and shares personal family stories and photos, allowing readers an intimate look at what it's like to grow up in not one, but two presidential families. This book was like therapy for me and I've since purchased it for friends who are going through heartbreak. I highly recommend it!

Reading is a love that I hope to pass along to my children. Several years ago while spending time in London I took my daughter to high tea sponsored by Daunt Books at the Langham Hotel and each child got to pick out a book to read and take home. My daughter (also named London), picked out Oi Frog!, a book she now knows by heart and reads out loud with joy. What are your favorite books for kids? Leave a comment down below. Oh, and if you love Oi Frog, you might also want to check out London's new favorite, Oi Dog

Shop Local

For convenience, I've linked the above titles to Amazon, but if you can, please consider shopping locally at your neighborhood book store. Here are a few of my favorites:

Elliot Bay Books

Queen Anne Book Company

Phinney Books

Three Trees Books

Blog Design Created by pipdig