Mashup Madness in Miami, Florida (Travel log 3 – 6)

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22nd November 10:00 am. I was picked up after Qais’s last course and onward we went to the train station, headed to Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport direction MIAMI!!! 

Upon checking-in what else was there to do but drink and eat. Now that we both were on holiday it was time to reallllly let loose. I was still suffering from jet lag, time difference, sore arms from lugging around my extremely heavy hand luggage the day before but no matter!

We picked a Japanese restaurant to have lunch and obviously were hungry because A LOT of food was ordered! The next move was onto a bar to have (a few more) drinks after lunch since we had time to kill. After two drinks we went through the security check (I hate airports by the way in case you hadn’t noticed in my two previous posts)!

Fast forward to me sitting on the plane and not next to Qais. Now enter me talking in my sleep AGAIN. I had finally drifted off to sleep and suddenly jolted awake to find the guy sitting next to me looking with this smile/smirk/attempting not to laugh look. I immediately knew buying Christmas presents was not just part of my dream but I had yet again shared…this time with a stranger!!! I apparently went on and on about the gifts I was getting my dad, mum and sister according to random guy (just kill me now)! I apologized and literally pulled up my turtleneck to cover my lips in the hopes that it would keep me quite for the rest of the flight!     

After we landed we went to rent a car which was an ordeal and a half with a mix up of credit cards….1.5 hours later we finally got our car and were headed to Brickell, Miami. Now finding our apartment hotel was yet again another ordeal with road construction etc. We eventually found the place and when I say he made an awesome choice I mean he made an AWESOME choice! The apartment was perfect! Clean, nicely decorated, free WiFi, HUGE bedroom with the most amazingly soft huge bed I have EVER slept in, HUGE bathroom, BEAUTIFUL view.

So as you probably can tell, this trip was one of over doing the partying. There is no need to delve too deeply into what we ate and drank since the list would be long (will share a little about it). Qais took me to see “touristy spots”, the beach and A LOT OF BARS and I met some of his old collage mates over the 4 nights in Miami, all of whom were so much fun! I also got to practice my French with the wife of one of his friends (I am so rusty but she was super polite and kept telling me I spoke it “perfectly” and with a French accent). *Buffing my nails* 😉

Aside from being extremely beautiful, Miami is party central, artistic and so diverse in what it offers. We went to a trash bar (trash music). I will say that the bathrooms in that place were trash too….I have never and hope will never see anything like it. As we walked to the entrance one of the women outside yelled “No bathrooms…no bathrooms” we brushed her off as being drunk; I mean how can a bar not have a bathroom right? She was trying to warn us and we quickly understood what she meant. The men’s toilet.was.out.of.this.world (and not in a good way)! Both were one stall each, right next to one another and I wanted to see if their toilet would be cleaner than ours (BIG MISTAKE). Okay I will stop about the state of the toilets but for the life of me I will never understand how certain “things” were splashed/dropped EVERYWHERE!!!

On our third night night we went to a bar decorated as a “beach bar” literally with sand in it (it was not near the beach). I tasted raspberry flavored beer in a Belgium Bar (I am not a beer drinker but this stuff was delicious), and was recommended by the super friendly bar guy. An Irish and English bar was also visited along with a Mexican Restaurant where they prepared fresh guacamole in front of us at the table. 

My first Thanksgiving was also spent in Miami. Qais and I ended up sharing a “Thanksgiving for two” at a super fancy Italian Restaurant and when I say I was stuffed, I was stuffed! It was a three course meal that of course included super succulent Turkey with Rosti, Brussle Sprouts and a whole heap more as the main course; followed by pumpkin pie for desert. (I don’t know how I forgot to take pictures since I took photos of everything but trust me when I say I was extremely happy)! Again he made a good choice! 

On our last night in Miami we bar hopped (surprise surprise). By this time my body was so confused about everything from my first 5 days in the States that I actually feel asleep in the taxi while we were moving from place to place. I am happy to say I did not talk in my sleep however, there is photo evidence that Qais took (has yet to be destroyed…shall never be seen in public EVER)! 

Part of our bar-hop-marathon included an outdoors bar/lounge. I LOVED it! It had both indoor and outdoor bar service areas (two outdoors), a huge dance floor, beanbags to chill on, benches and tables to kickback with friends. I really loved it but can not for the life of me remember the name. When I am back in the States and on my next trip to Miami (I foresee a few trips) it shall definitely be revisited! 

Our trip back to Woodbridge, Virginia was uneventful; we ate and drank at the airport (again surprise surprise), arrived without a hitch, (I froze again) and got back to the same hotel I first stayed in. Qais took me out for dinner and then I prepared for a train trip to Baltimore, Maryland to meet someone I consider my twin. I can tell you I was exhausted but super excited to finally meet her after what seemed like forever! 

To be continued…

My Curly Hair Morning & Night Time Routine

Helloooo Maicurlies, 

Morning & Night Routine

Yes she is finally back with an actual tutorial & video! I know I have been terrible and a little Missing In Action on both my Blog and YouTube (if you don’t already follow me on Instagram please do because I tend to post a lot on there) but I have been away, getting back into “regular routine” and working on a few projects so I do apologize. 

Today’s post is based on a request; I was asked to share my morning and night routine so share I shall. Now before I get into the post and demonstrate (in the video below) I will point out that my night routine tends to be the same pretty much all the time apart from if I re-braid/re-twist/re-bantu knot my hair. So, for the most part if my hair is down then this is what I do every night and yes the same applies for my mornings too. 

Morning & Night Routine

Morning Routine Products/Tools

Method:

I take my hair down from my modified Pineapple (explained below) and first try and arrange, separate and gently manipulate my hair to arrange it. I then move onto my beloved scalp massage (read about it here). Then depending on how dry my hair is feeling I either use water, Spray Leave-In Conditioner or my Creamy Leave-In Conditioner to re-moisturize my hair. Again depending on my hair I will follow up with any carrier oil within reach to seal in the moisture. The final step is to use my Afro Pick to lift my roots and I am done!

Night Routine Products/Tools:

  • Satin/Silk Scarf 

Method:

Instead of doing the traditional pineapple (a very loose and high ponytail using a hair bubble) I do the modified version where I skip the hair bubble. I lean forward to get my hair gathered together and cover with my scarf. I feel whenever I use a hair bubble it over stretches my hair (I do not need help on that front, the less the stretch the better for me). That is my night routine! 

What is your Day and Night routine would love for you to share! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Wanderlusting in Woodbridge, Virginia

Picking up from where I left off…

Woodbridge Virginia

3:00pm 21s November – Qais had wanted to pick me up from the airport but had training he couldn’t get out of it so I looked around for a taxi, no taxi in sight. I headed back into the airport and noticed that I walked past 2 shuttle service desks with guys screaming about their services when I first walked outside (I was oblivious to them before). I quickly found out that my hotel did not offer shuttle services so I had to book one. This is where I got my first “Where are you from? You have a lovely accent” compliment in the States (this came up a few times during my holiday).

After 20 minutes my shuttle number came up and out I skipped. 10 minutes of waiting outside and no sign of the shuttle, I waited, I froze and still no shuttle. 3:30pm I spot my shuttle. A guy walked up with his luggage and handed the driver the paper with his drop off address as I stopped to hand in mine. Immediately, I notice that the driver’s attitude of “Good Afternoon Ma’am” has changed and he seemed….for lack of a better word pissed off. I brush it off waiting for him to carry my luggage to the back, instead he scoffs “bring your trolley closer”! Once on the shuttle I quickly pull out my phone, ready to capture whatever I can when all of a sudden the other passenger and I are flung into our seats. Mr Driver must have had his foot on the asphalt because we went from 0 – 60 kilometers per hour really quickly he didn’t even get a chance to put on his seat belt. The grumpy driver was crossing lanes, speeding (at least in my mind), mumbling stuff to himself…very obviously upset about something.

What should have taken me 30 – 45 minutes maximum ended up taking 2 freaking hours! I later found out the problem was that the guys that arranged the shuttle shouldn’t have put the other passenger and I in the same vehicle since we basically were staying at opposite ends and Mr. Driver was not pleased. He explained of all this after having dropped the passenger off, apologized for being pissed off and made small talk (he actually was nice when not pissed off).

So I FINALLY checked into my hotel and was literally given 20 minutes before Qais arrived to pick me up for dinner and drinks…and then to meet a group of his friends to celebrate the birthday of their friend. Keep in mind I went through a 17 hour flight; Qais does not comprehend the words “take it easy” or “I need sleep”.

Enter Vodka tonics, GINORMOUS Margaritas (the above was a “small” drink) and copious amounts of food. P.S. my to my US readers, how on earth can everything in the US be so ginormous?!?! Your roads, your airports, your food, your drinks everything!

Anyways, back to my first night. Overall it was a really enjoyable evening with a lot of laughs, I really can not believe some of the guys I met were actually doing training (they are all a little insane LOL). So on the drive back I was trying to explain to Qais about my shuttle bus ordeal when all of a sudden I hear him ask me “What??? What does eyebrow lady have to do with the shuttle bus guy”? I literally had fallen asleep while talking to him, started dreaming about going to an eyebrow shop and started telling him about my dream mid shuttle bus story…all while sleeping! (I talk in my sleep when I am extremely extremely tired). I was exhausted LOL. (This incident shall be repeated again…more in my next post). 

22nd November 2016 – After 3 hours of sleep (yes 3 was my magic sleeping number) I had breakfast and decided to walk around while waiting for Qais to finish his training to head to the airport for Thanksgiving break, MIAMI was calling us!

P.S. I returned back to Virginia after my Miami trip so the return will be posted below and Miami will be kept in a separate post.

26th November 9:00pm – I rechecked back into the same hotel I arrived in after our trip to Miami. Other than grabbing dinner and drinks with Qais practically every single night (it became our ritual), nothing much happened on my second visit in Woodbridge. I will point out that the type of cold weather I experienced was incredible! I mean I froze every.single.time I stepped outside!

And oh no I lie, I kind of went shopping while in Woodbridge! And by “kind of” I mean I went all out! My first trip was to the strip mall less than 5 minutes away from my hotel. I had heard all about this amazingly huge shopping mall and was told it was close to my hotel, so when I saw the shops from the car I thought this was the big mall. At the time I didn’t realize that a. this was called a strip mall and b. there was no other stores behind the ones facing the road. So I went hair product hunting and found a stash I wanted to try which, was exciting but I kept thinking how can Body Bath and Beyond and a few other stores be that amazing that “people all around head over here to visit”. Little did I know that this wasn’t the ridiculously humongous mall my friend K, Qais and my taxi guy was talking about. When I realized I was at the wrong place, I jumped into a taxi and was taken 7 minutes away from my hotel to the monstrous mall! SHOPPING HEAVEN! So aside from the hair products and tiny bit of makeup I picked up I also bought shoes (by shoes I mean 3 boots and a pair of “girly” shoes), a bag to go with the “girly” shoes, two skirts, a top and body lotion. I also picked up shoes for my mother and a dress for my sister. 

My last night in Virginia was surprise surprise spent with Qais filled with laughs, reminiscing over the trip, things back home all the while stuffing our faces with food and drink. I ate like no other on this trip…then again I eat like no other in general but push it when I am on holiday. 

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Up next my Miami trip! 

Maicurls

Maicurls

17 hours, wine, excitement & nerves (Travel Log 1- 6 Flight to the USA)

Before I begin to share everything I saw, ate, drank, experienced and felt in 4 States during my first trip to the United States (over the next 5 posts) I shall start at the beginning.

21st November 2016 12:00 am – woke up after maybe 3 hours of sleep thanks to excitement, nerves and my need to: check my packing list – recheck my packing list, pack – repack, check my passport & ESTA papers – recheck my passport & ESTA papers. So, needless to say I woke up tired and excited with a touch of nervousness, knowing I had 17 hours of travel ahead of me (15.5 hours total flight time with a 1 hour layover at one stop)!

Lack of sleep washed away after my shower, I proceeded to get dressed and ready. I decided on keeping it simple (as I always do) making sure I wouldn’t freeze on the plane (as I always do) by wearing a sweater, jeans, flat boots, a knitted cardigan & donning my less than glamorous twists. I knew I wasn’t about to get off the plane after 17 hours in any kind of normal looking “out” (twist-out, braid-out, bantu knot-out)…think messy clown and that would have been me especially without my satin scarf, so twists it was.

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2:00 am – Check-in done, bags checked, hug and kiss to my dad and off I set for my big adventure. Security check dusted without any issues I headed straight to the lounge; thanks to my fancy card giving me access to some free breakfast and WiFi (I somehow always have an appetite). What is a trip without a shot of food and beverage right? And a random stack of face towels…?

So after breakfast was quickly wolfed down off I went to the gate. Nerves started to kick in and then I realized I somehow managed to forget my book (HOW…HOW), no matter there is a book shop in the airport, new book picked up and now off to the gate, book in hand.

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While sitting on the plane I looked at my second boarding card and noticed the time of the flight, (goodbye common sense hello nerves)…why does it basically say I will have 0 minutes to catch my second flight when I land??? Read and re-read the boarding card, check and rechecked the time. The couple beside me are discussing their second flight and how they will have 45 minutes for their connection with a tiny bit of nervousness in their voices. I quickly turn to them “Doha is 1 hour behind us right?” He quickly proceeded to check his phone (could have done than myself…again nerves). “I think you might be right”….I hope so otherwise I am doomed before I get there! “Excuse me (to the air-hostess) Doha is 1 hour behind us right?” “Yes, Ma’am”. Relief took over and I smiled like a crazy clown (I don’t know why I keep referring to clowns I have deep seeded for them) to the couple beside me repeating what the was said even though they heard her too.

Let me skip the pesky details of the really dreadful “chicken” sandwich, slight turbulence (I am no good with turbulence at all think white knuckles, holding breath and praying). And let me get to the “good stuff”.

After landing and going through security (which seemed pointless to me since 1.5 hours ago I just did that; better safe than sorry) I make my way to the screen to see where my gate is. Of course, the other end of the airport! I leg it carrying my oh so (not) wonderful HUGE carry on that weighs a ton without anything in it let alone all my extras I carry on a plane. Marching and telling people to please move out the way (politely) I managed to get to my gate and….yes… ANOTHER security check, but this one was the mother load of checks.

Shoes off, scarf off (forgot to mention the scarf before), cardigan off, camera out and switched on, Laptop out and switched on, phone out and switched on, any other electronic items out and switched on. Through that beeping machine (I really do not know what it is called) and then a pat-down. I apparently must have been amusing to watch because two airport staff guys were standing there with fascination as this went on, whispering like two……ok I will let it go… (I was not pleased as you probably can tell)! Security check done and now everything goes back on and of course all gadgets should be switched off before the bags are stowed away on the plane for take-off.

I proceed to give in my boarding card & get “Excuse me Ma’am but you have to go back through security”. If looks could kill, the guy wouldn’t have been able to finish his sentence. “Um what? Go through THAT (pointing at the line and that whole ordeal) AGAIN?” “Yes Ma’am, I am sorry but it says on the screen that you need to go through again”. “WHY?? I just did all that”! He proceeds to move from behind the desk, passport and boarding card in hand without a word. My eyes are burning a hole in the back of his head. Luckily the pat-down lady saw us “Why is she coming back, she went through”. “Are you sure”. “I just checked her, she is fine”. Nothing else from boarding card & passport man other than “Have a good flight Ma’am”. *HUGE EYE ROLL*.

plane

I board my flight and I am seated on an isle seat the middle row for a 14.5 hour flight with no one sitting in the middle seat (happiness)! Now I remembered that I forgot my sunglasses after seeing a girl on the plane taking a Selfie with sunglasses on (HOW…HOW)? No, I did not buy a pair on the plane LOL! Enter again the “chicken” sandwich. At lunch time I am about ready for a bottle of wine but I settle for a glass or two. Now enter turbulence! The mother load of turbulence! Think skeleton knuckles, lip biting and screaming prayers (internally lol). I basically got maybe 3 hours sleep on the flight with endless hours of movie watching thanks to nerves, excitement and being jolted awake by turbulence.

After 14.5 hours of flight time, alcohol, finally something decent enough to eat and strolls up and down the plane I land in Washington Dulles Airport. I stepped outside the airport at 3:00 pm on the 21st November 2016 (yes it was 21st November AGAIN time difference is something else, more about this in my next post). I am greeted by 1 Degrees Celsius (33.8 Fahrenheit) wearing my sweater and cardigan. You best believe my luggage was opened and my thick coat and gloves were brought out. Smiling (again like a crazy clown) I am staring up at a beautiful blue sky, feeling the crisp “freezing” breeze and the excitement of exploration has taken over! First stop Woodbridge, Virginia…

to be continued in part 2.

Maicurls

Maicurls

Bouncy Braid-out On Fine Natural Hair

Hello Maicurlies,

Quickly jumping on here to share my latest obsession…yes I know I have many “current favorites”….favorite of the moment? Anyways, yes I am here with a styling post.

Braid and Curl

Braid and Curl

Yes, it is a braid and curl, I LOOOOVE this style Maicurlies! 1. it is simple to do, 2. it is quick to do, 3. it tends to get better (aka bigger and fluffier) as the days go on and 4. look at my volume (even on my fine hair)! 

So I will quickly explain the products used, the process I used and then will let the Video demonstration from my YouTube channel do the rest. 

Products/Tools

Process

Braid and Curl

I actually (oddly) prefer the results of doing this on wet hair (normally I prefer dry styling) but when I start on wet hair and incorporate the combination of products mentioned above I nearly always (95% of the time) get results I am super pleased with. I start on wet hair that was either co-washed or deep conditioned. While in the shower i detangle, split my hair into 3 and twist each section (left, right and center). My application process is: Leave-In, Oil, Gel. I make a total of 8 braids; 3 left, 3 right and 2 in the center and do not braid all the way down, just a little more than half way before wrapping my hair around the 8 perm rods. 

I let my hair air dry overnight by pinning the braids down with bobby pins and covering with a silk scarf. The following morning I take down the braids with a little oil on my fingertips (any will do), separate sections and fluff the heck out of my hair with an Afro pick. That is it! 

 

Thanks!

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Detox Mask (for the Skin)

Hello Maicurlies,

I have been busy trying to record videos back to back because I will be out of the country in 2 weeks (on holidayaaayyyy) so please forgive my delays. 

Today I am going to be sharing a new Skin DIY! And yes, the title of the post gives it away, it will be a face mask that helps to detoxify the skin.

DIY Detox Mask

DIY Detox Mask

Benefits

  • Brightens the skin (NOT LIGHTENS but brightens).
  • Leaves you with a youthful glowy finish.
  • Helps reduce redness.
  • Soothes the skin.
  • Helps to remove toxins in the skin.
  • Helps to remove dead skin cells.
  • Closes the pores. 
  • Leaves your face smooth and soft.

Ingredients/Tools used

Ingredients Used

  • 0.8oz Amla Powder
  • 1.4oz Water (I use plain bottled water)
  • 0.5oz Rose Water
  • 0.4oz Natural/Raw Honey
  • Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 Capsules Vitamin E Oil (roughly 0.15oz)
  • (Optional) Essential Oil 
  • Clean and disinfected Bowl
  • Clean and disinfected spoon
  • Gloves (optional to keep things sanitized)

Mixing

I add both the water and rose water a little at a time to the amla powder while continuously stirring. I then add the honey, lemon juice and Vitamin E Oil (Essential Oil if using). 

Ingredient/Ratio Alternatives 

  • Should you not have access to rose water, you can just replace it with plain water. 
  • Natural/Raw Honey can be replaced with Agave Nectar or even Molasses.

Application

I like to apply the mask onto makeup free skin that is slightly damp. I use my fingers to apply the mask AVOIDING THE EYE & EYEBROW AREA! Let the mask dry for 15 – 25 minutes, splash lukewarm water on my face and slowly wipe away the mask using a damp face cloth. I follow up with my toner & moisturizer. NOTE: as the mask dries it will start to tighten the skin, this is normal. 

If you use this mask please let me know what you think!

Thanks!

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Henna Spray For Strength

Hello Maicurlies,

I am back with yet another DIY! Yes you read that right, a DIY Henna Spray!
This one is actually inspired by another Naturalista that has her on stash of DIY Goodies Curly Proverbz. She is GAAAWGEOUS btw! If you haven’t been following her you NEED TO!

So first off, Thank you Curly Proverbz for the inspiration!!!!

I modified her original recipe so it would fit my hair needs and I recommend you alter any ingredients you feel will not benefit your hair to fit your own needs too! (I have alternative suggestions a little lower down).

Henna Spray

Prior to you attempting to use Henna, Amla, Shikakai or any other Ayurvedic, herbs I HIGHLY SUGGEST that you do some research prior to application just so you are well informed about the ingredients & their benefits/disadvantages. I have a henna blog post where I also mention Shikakai and Amla in there since I regularly use them in my hair care.

Even if you know nothing about henna, amla, shikaikai and decide not to research (bad idea btw) PLEASE NOTE:

  • Ayurvedic, herbs can be drying on the hair therefore it is highly recommended that you thoroughly moisturize prior to/after using the spray.
  • Do not overdo the applications, it will cause your hair to feel dry and brittle due to the strength the herbs provide to the hair (lack of elasticity = breakage).
  • You might notice a colour change in your hair e.g. reddish/brown (henna & amla) therefore if you are not looking for this, DO NOT USE this recipe.
  • Use clothes & a towel you do not mind getting stained while spraying your hair!

Ingredients/Tools Use:

  • 0.1oz Amla
  • 0.1oz Shikakai
  • 0.25oz Henna
  • 4oz Water
  • 4oz Rose Water
  • 0.15oz Argan Oil
  • 2-3 drops Alcohol Free Rose Fragrance
  • Coffee Filter (or cheese cloth)
  • Cup
  • Spoon 
  • Spray Bottle
  • Gloves (optional)

Optional Ingredients/Ratios:

You can replace the Amla and Shikakai with any other Ayurvedic, herb such as Bhringaraj, Neem, Brahmi etc. In case you do not have Rose Water the amount can be replaced with more plain water. You can add some glycerin to the spray for added moisture (if necessary/desired). The fragrance oil can be replaced with Essential Oil. 

Mixing Instructions:

You want to put your herbs into a coffee filter or cheese cloth and let it soak in boiled water. I add rose water (without boiling it) and let the herbs sit overnight. The following morning I take out the herbs, add the oil and fragrance oil, pour into my spray bottle and presto! 

Application:

My two ways of application is: 1. after deep conditioning my hair (prior to moisturizing) I will spray the henna onto my hair and proceed with moisturizing and styling. 2. On occasion if I feel like I need to provide strength to my hair mid-week, I first spray a little henna onto my hair and then remoisturize. You can also do this as a rinse, without leaving the henna on your hair (which is what I do). 

Storage:

You must store the mix in your fridge (otherwise you plan on growing nasty mold!) 

Thanks! 

Maicurls

Maicurls