I'll be honest, I've taken my hair down the dangerous road of heat styling with no leave in conditioner, bad $8 haircuts, and diy bleaching in the past and I've tried every hair care line, biotin pill, and pyramid scheme product line that promised to grow my hair inches in months. They're pretty much all money pits and here's the truth people: there's no miracle conditioner that will give you Kim K length locks overnight. Trust me, I've already cried about it too. In the end, you just have to put in the long, hard time and effort to make your tresses happy and healthy.
Rewind to 10th grade Carl who straightened and curled everyday, added no heat protection to my hair routine, and used $3 shampoo: it was a rough time I will tell you what...
I'm Greek and I have big, fat, Greek hair that does not chill out for anyone. So, when I started heat styling everyday, I lost 4 inches of my hair in a year. I would go for trims to clean up the ends, but then I put my hair through the ringer with my hair care routine and it only got shorter. After I went blonde and back to brunette 3 times, I decided to be done with extensions and weaves and I wanted to grow my hair long and strong the right way. Once I started taking my hair seriously and working hard to keep it healthy, my hair has grown 4+ inches in the last year. My hair issues revolve around big, frizzy hair that I can't keep soft and smooth, but this routine can also help super thin hair grow healthy and strong! So, this is my routine:
the real deal hair care routine
my go-to, happy, hair-safe products
I hope you make your hair-growth dreams come true! Share your hair-care faves and experiences in the comments below!
I have deep rooted insecurities about my race that I don’t share often. I think our culture is finally to a point where it’s willing to listen to an Asian woman on her experiences and to learn from that. I’ve waited 22 years for this. The point of my story isn’t to shame people. I feel like the recent rise in conversations on racial equality has left Asians out to a degree. White privilege, black lives matter, Latino lives, immigrant lives. But Asians have been a silent, invisible, quiet voice. The point of my story isn’t to shame people. I feel like the recent rise in conversations on racial equality has left Asians out to a degree. White privilege, black lives matter, Latino lives, immigrant lives. But Asians have been a silent, invisible, quiet voice. My hope is to educate people through my personal experience on what it’s like to be an Asian American and how we can change subtle views or assumptions to bring racial reconciliation and equality. I was born in China, adopted to white Americans and raised culturally white in a very predominantly white area. Inside, I was white. Outside I was Chinese. And I’ve always wished my outsides reflected my insides so that I could be understood. I learned to hate being Chinese. As a young kid I remember being confused about whether or not I should be proud of my heritage. I wanted to, but it felt wrong. I remember being asked by other kids why my eyes were squinty. I remember the neighborhood kids chanting “me Chinese, me no dumb, me stick thumb up cow’s bum” while pulling their eyes back. I decided it was wrong to be proud of my Chinese heritage. I remember in middle school when the movie 21 was released hearing that it was based on a real life story about MIT students who were all Asian, but that the main cast was all white. I wondered why Asians weren’t cool enough, not a good enough story, not accepted or appealing. In high school, people made Asian jokes about me. So I started making Asian jokes so that I could make them before someone else did. It became an identity and something to hide behind. But I also desperately wanted people to understand that inside I wasn’t Chinese. I remember other students assuming I was Buddhist (I’m not) simply because I was Asian. Or that I was good at math (I was okay). Because I looked a certain race, I was assumed to identify with all of its stereotypes and I wanted out. I wanted to look white. I did everything I could to disown Asian culture and any association with it. Hate anime, hate K-Pop, hate sushi (because people assumed every Asian culture was the same). I wore fake glasses to give off the impression immediately that I was culturally white. I felt like guys were never interested in me because Asian was a specific “type” or “fetish” (phrases like Yellow Fever) that not many guys had. I could never compare to the tall blonde girls our culture idolizes. In more recent years, I’m constantly being confused with other Asian women I know, none of whom actually look like me. It makes me feel as though I’m not seen as a person, an individual, but as a race. As specific physical features, not as a human. Very recently, I’ve learned to be more comfortable in my own skin. I love my dark, coarse hair and my olive skin and my almond eyes. I am sad that I know little about Chinese culture and that I can’t speak the language. I am okay with not looking white.
All this to say, I know that being Asian in America is NOT the same experience as other races (violence against Black lives, hatred toward Latinos). We haven’t been through extreme hatred. But I DO feel like we have been silent and left out of the conversation. Our culture continues to put Asians below whites in social privileges, but our economic status doesn’t make us a threat to white privilege or gentrification. So we are robbed of our voice, as a non-threat, but not given a place of equality or a chance to be heard. We are neither white, nor colored. We are an invisible “other” category. But we ARE here, we ARE human, our voices DO matter. The Asian jokes, assuming we are all good at math and art, assuming we all look alike, it eats away at our humanity. It must stop. Cast us as main characters in your movies. Encourage your kids to be friends with our kids. Get to know us. Listen to our stories, our fears, our dreams. We are open and ready.
Kylee Logan is a Portland-based barista, musician, and hand lettering artist who is passionate about racial equality. @kyleelogan
See her artwork via Logan Lettering Co. here: @loganletterco
summer 18 faves
Summer 18 has been going by so fast, amiright? It's crazy and a whirlwind, but here today I'm sharing the things I'm loving and so into this summer! Also, please note that I'm delusional and for me summer never ends and I'll be saying it's summer until the end of September, so this is basically summer week one for me.
I have never ever shopped on Amazon for fashion ever in my life until this summer and now I am totally obsessed with it. The thing about shopping on Amazon for clothes, like anything else you buy on Amazon, is that it takes a lot of time to weed through the pages and reviews and prices. But, I am a dedicated online shopper and will stop at nothing but the best price and free shipping so it is totally my thang. Earlier in the summer I wrote a whole post about the best style deals I've found on Amazon for under $20 and posted my FAVORITE top in the world, that I ordered three of, and you can read the whole post and find all the links here:
[ P.S. this is my fave top and i for sure ordered three and it's less than $3 ]
One of my favorite places that I've ever visited in the world is Kurdistan, Iraq. I love Kurdish culture and food, and I was so excited when I discovered Sazan Barzani's jewelry. She is a Kurdish designer with a really trendy and chic online boutique featuring her collections. Her pieces are so fun and funky and totally what I'm craving right now. Click through her gorgeous, colorful pieces here:
newroz earrings by sayran
Tribe and Treasure Ear Cuff
I have searched high and low, far and wide for an ear cuff that doesn't snap two days after I buy it. I'm a gold jewelry kind of gal, so the cheapy silver ones I was buying were not cutting it for me. I searched Etsy for a shop with a good review and low and behold I found this gem! It's sold by Tribe and Treasure, and I totally love it. The search is over people! Here it is, your life is complete.
I bought the gold, dainty ear cuff, but for sure I will be back for more. Plus now I feel like a super cool, trendy surfer girl, so double win. Buy yours here:
I'm a gluten free girl who loves to snack. I've spent a ton of time this summer searching for new munchies to grab when I'm really craving a piece of bread [I miss you gluten xoxo], and these have stuck around the last few rounds of GF snack testing as my favorites! They're chickpea puffs that basically taste like Cheetos. So good! You can find them at any grocery store.
the good life with stevie and sazan
Stevie and Sazan Hendrix are a super cool, Jesus-loving, hilarious couple from LA who started this fun podcast that is fresh and easy to listen to. Stevie and Sazan are social media influencers, youtubers, and together own a box subscription company called Bless Box. Funny story, Sayran, who I mentioned up there who's jewelry I'm obsessed with, is sisters with Sazan. So now I love them both all the more and I'm digging this new podcast! Listen here on Podcast One:
Mama mia! here we go again
A weird thing happened this summer where I became totally obsessed with Mama Mia. Couldn't tell you why but I can tell you that I've burned off 100,000 calories dancing to Dancing Queen. My poor, sweet boyfriend went to see it with me opening night and almost died from exhaustion of mental capacity before it was over, but I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I actually bought glittery flare pants to wear to the movie theatre. Seriously, I'm not even embarrassed that I sing the soundtrack every day and know the When I Kissed the Teacher dance routine because I'm so obsessed. Love.
It will make you want to go to Greece and start jumping off cliffs into the ocean and listen to Lily James sing all day every day.
introducing the champagne collection 🥂
The whole collection is available now!
This collection is full of pieces to mix and match or wear alone because they are simple and so stunning! The best thing about these pieces is that they can be added to any wardrobe and styled to fit your personal look ⭐️Ob. Sessed.
These are dainty and detailed pieces that all have a really cute rose undertone gold finish. I'm in love with the necklaces and anklet sets and I've been wearing them every day!
These are trendy and versatile pieces you NEED for summer.
Just like the Soraya Collection, 20% of every purchase will be donated to Voice of the Refugee Non-profit, and every piece is handcrafted when you place your order. And, shipping is always free in my boutique, so shop it up babe!
I'm so excited to share this with you and can't wait to send you your jewels! 😙
shop the collection
Read more about the champagne collection
Healing from abuse is a hard journey.
There are days when you feel so free and new. There’s times when you see and feel God’s healing and transformation and can’t imagine ever feeling how you did before. God’s love and compassion are so deep and so strong, and the way he transforms broken hearts and broken people is another marvel of what an amazing God He is. Living in the freedom of healing is like letting someone lift 800 lbs of off your back. You can breath, you can see, and you’re not controlled by pain.
But, somedays the freedom you have feels so distant. The old memories and pain creep in and ache. You remember the ways abuse made you feel so small and so useless. You feel like an object and not a person. You feel like something someone didn’t want and threw away. The lies that abuse used to tell you flood your mind and weigh on your heart.
The hardest part of healing is fighting off the lies and remembering your identity in Christ. Abuse says you’re small and weak, Jesus says you are strong and courageous. Abuse said you’re useless and Jesus says you have a purpose. Abuse says you’re nothing, what others have done to you is who you are and you’ll never be more; Jesus said you are adopted, loved, and a citizen of heaven. Abuse says stay quiet, don’t tell the truth about what’s happened, and Jesus says speak the truth always in love. Abuse tells you that when people don’t believe you, it’s because you’re worthless and whatever happened must have been your fault. Jesus says His heart aches for you and for justice.
When the lies and ugliness of abuse try to tell you who you are, speak about who Jesus says you are. When you are drowning in the pains and aches in your heart from the past, shine light into the lies and speak about the healing and restoration that comes from the Lord. When Satan tries to use your deepest pains to claim your use identity, rebuke that trash in the name of Jesus and don’t let anything but the truth of God tell you who you are. You aren’t an object, you aren’t worthless, you aren’t tainted, you are not what anyone has done to you. You are a child of God, you are loved by Him, and your identity is in Him alone. You are His 💙🌊
I am a woman who loves a good deal and free shipping, and these deals are ridiculous. I love the 2018 summer trends, and I searched far and wide to find these steals that satisfy my trendy cravings, and these are all things I've purchased.
I'm almost afraid to share them because they are that good...
NOTE: Amazon's prices can change quickly, so these prices may vary over time.
Smocked tie shoulder tank: $17.99
This top is super fun and perfect for the beach. I love this summer's trends because we ditched last summer's super minimalist look, and are still keeping it simple but spicing it up with new textures and fits.
Front tie Dress: $18.99
I love how Italian this feels and fun this dress is! It's super cute on and very feminine. In love. My rule is that if one part of your outfit is exposed, keep the other areas covered, so if you have a lot of leg, keep the girls tucked away in a higher neckline. This dress has a Tuscan flare with a tie front and low neckline, but makes up for itself with a tea-length hem.
It was actually $8.99 when I bought it about a month ago, but it's still a steal!
I love that this summer has a lot of ware that has Italian girl-style vibes. My pinterest is flooded with these neckerchieves. I love seeing people style them with their handbags, as a bracelet, and anklet accent. This is in my Amazon cart, on the way to delivery!
Shirred tube top: $2.38
I saved the very best for last:
I know what you're thinking. Shut the front door, dang it. This is probably the best fashion find I've ever found in my life. Ever.
I was nervous when I ordered mine because there were only 3 reviews, but I figured if it never comes or turns out to be a dishrag, I only wasted two bucks. But, much to my surprise, it came and it's exactly what the picture looks like. Load up your cart and buy 55.
Heart eyes, heart eyes, heart eyes.
Note: May run large so stick with a smaller size.
Today is World Refugee Day ♥️🌍
It’s a day I hold so dearly in my heart because it reminds me of the sweet faces I got to meet when I had the privilege of visiting refugee camps in Iraq. We live in a world that turns people’s lives into media reports and facebook articles and dehumanizes those who are just like us, but when I met the refugees here I saw real people being people; Moms who would do anything for their babies, children with broken hearts for the parents they lost, dads who were trying to protect their kids, families who had lost everything. They were misunderstood, marginalized, and just trying to survive.
The more time I spent with them, the more I realized they had stories like mine. When I really got down to it, only difference between us as people was that I had a passport that gave me the privilege to leave. I had was born in country that gives me the freedom to be whatever I want to be. I have the privilege of safety, and they do not. All of these things taught me how God wants me to use my privilege and voice.
God’s gifts and blessings aren’t just for us to keep to ourselves or use for our advantages, they are for us to share with others. Our voices are given to us so we can speak up for those who don’t have one. Our privileges are given to us so we can share them with the people just like us, who don’t have any. Today reminds me that Jesus was a refugee who fled for safety with his family, and that what love we show for the least of these we show to him. Today reminds me that I was lost in sin, looking for a home, and Jesus extended his loving arms to me and adopted me into His family. ♥️
MAtthew 25: 34-45
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
I am sad to actually admit it once and for all, no doubts about it: eating bread and pasta makes me sick. Bread is my soulmate, so it makes me die a little bit inside to admit it, but if I'm totally honest, eating gluten free food has made me feel 10 times better. I'm gearing up for a lot of summer trips and a vacay, so I am packing my bags and making a list of my favorite snacks and dinners I like to munch on at home and on the road:
Pasta and bread eating are the hardest to give up, so I've found some go-to faves that satisfy my carb-cravings. The best part is that you can find all of these pastas at Walmart without breaking the bank! I'm packing a bunch of the little Annie's mac and cheese to-go packs on my next trip because all you need is a microwave and water to make a gluten-free friendly snack. Canyon Bakehouse bread is the best, next-to-real gf bread I've ever tried. I use it for everythinggggg.
Dairy - Free
Not only have I been working on gluten-free eating, but I've jumped into some dairy-free munches and seen another huge difference in how I feel. Dairy free can either taste really great or, if you miss the mark, it can really be a mistake that will leave you running back to cows in a second. The tricky thing is soy makes me break out in hives, like actual hives, all over my face. So to avoid looking like my 9th - grade yearbook photo, I use no soy non-dairy only.
I love the Go-Veggie American slices of cheese, they're so good melted on pizza, toast, or burgers. Ripple pea-protein milk is probably the best non-dairy milk I've tried out there on the plant-based market [I get the vanilla flavor]. The Daiya and the almond based mozzarella are good for recipes and every-day munching. My favorite ice-cream in the world is Halo-Top. It's super low-calorie, filled with protein, and they just came out with a dairy free line! So. Good.
These are some dairy-free friendly and yummy products I use on the daily:
I'm the kind of person that needs to throughout the day, so if I don't have good, gf snacks, I will reach for whatever is on the shelf.
I LOVE these Bombay Spice chickpea snacks! I think they have some yellow-curry flavors, which is so my thing, and they are great for protein. For junk food cravings, I reach for Lance version of Cheez-its, Skinnypop white cheddar popcorn cake4s, and Schar Hazelnut Wafer cookies. Perfect road trip snaking. To keep on track, I stock up on a few of these goodies.
When I'm at a loss for dinner or lunch ideas, I reach for these:
After spending some time in the Middle-East, I fell in love with Falafel. I could marry a falafel. The bummer is falafel is ridiculously hard to make on your own, so the Trader Joe's mix makes it super quick and easy to whip up for a side dish, and it's totally gluten free.
Even though I'm not a vegan and I love a real burger, I also am a fan of veggie burgers, especially the Morning Star garden veggie burger that is packed with protein. Another really easy and yummy dinner to take on the road for a hotel dinner is Amy's veggie soup.
Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad ever who supports his crazy girls in whatever they do, however you can. We are so blessed to have a dad who loves us so much and is so involved in our lives ♥️
In a world where having a dad who is so loving and present is rare, I thank God so much for the family he has given me.
I love you Dad!
For those without fathers,
I pray for you today that God gives you comfort on a day that may be difficult on your heart. I pray that the heaviness you feel is lifted, and that God provides you with listening ears, love, and peace today. Know that you are seen, heard, and loved ❤
Happy Mother’s Day to the best ever! 🌸
I’ve been blessed to have the most caring, crazy, kind, supportive, hospitable mom in the world who’s given me an amazing life. I love you bunches!
Not only do I get this crazy chick, but a wonderful, loving, awesome birth mom who gave me the best parents, a grandma who’s my bestie for the restie, and so many wonderful women in my life who shower me with love and wisdom.😘
Thank you mom for all you do ♥️
to all the Birth moms, moms who have lost children, and those who wish to be moms:
I pray for you today that God gives you comfort on a day that may be difficult on your heart. I pray that the heaviness you feel is lifted, and that God provides you with listening ears, love, and peace today. Know that you are seen, heard, and loved ❤
wearing Habibi White Tassel Earrings
Today’s the big day for the launch of the new online Boutique! It’s a project that I’ve worked so hard on and I can’t wait to share it! I’ve designed a collection called the Soraya Collection and hand made all of the pieces ♥️ 20% of every purchase you make will be donated to a faith-based non profit organization, Voice of the Refugee, that engages and assists refugees in the US. I have a million things I’m so excited to say about this launch, so read all about the passion, love, and heart that is behind this collection on the "About the Soraya Collection" page, under the Boutique tab
and come hang out for the Instagram live later today @Carlieraetice! The launch party starts at 1pm MST,
don’t miss it 😘!
Summer is the time when the weather gets warm, the air gets dry, and you get invited to a million weddings. I have five weddings to go to. FIVE WEDDINGS, PEOPLE. So to keep my skin happy and healthy when I'm on the road, living out of my suitcase, I use these products and tools. They are life-savers for when you're exhausted and out of mini hotel lotion bottles but you need to look like a glowing, magnificent wedding attendee.
#1 - Neutrogena Brightening Hydrogel Mask
The Neutrogena Brightening Hydrogel Mask is one of my favorite masks ever and I talk about it all the time. I'm not so into the soggy paper masks, so this super comfy gel mask is way easier and breezy-er and it helps tired faces feel refreshed. Travel Must.
#2 - Water bottle humidifier
I love my water bottle humidifier! It's so easy to travel with and it really does make a difference for dry skin. You just pop a water bottle in and let it do its magic. Hotel air got your face feeling gross? Ain't no thang, just humidify it up.
#3 - Maybelline face studio master camo color correcting pen
This is a life-saver for those days when your eyes are puffy and purple and foundation just isn't doing the trick. I'm writing this post at 3:30am, so trust me, I know what I'm talking about here. Apply the pen to the troubled spots under your eyes before you apply your concealer and foundation, and it will make you look fresh and will keep your face in place when you're crying at your best friend's wedding. The movie and the real thing.
#4 - Neutrogena Hydro boost eye gel
I am obviously really into and in need of under eye products and love Neutrogena, so naturally this eye gel is on my list. After I take off my makeup before bed, I use my regular nighttime face products and then apply this right under my tired,little eyeballs. It's a yes in my book.
#5 - The Ordinary GRanactive REtinoid 5%
I found this in a post about Kim Kardashian's favorite beauty products, tried it, loved it, and am obsessed. Retinoid is awesome for wrinkles and anti-aging, and this retinoid serum is a real gem to add to your night-time routine. If you order one of these miracle-workers, make sure you order it from Beautylish, it was seriously the best customer service I've ever experienced anywhere ever.
Meet my newest, cutest bestie for the restie:
Breed: Border- Collie & Aussie Mix
Currently Into: Eating water bottles, catching anything you throw, paw massages
Favorite Food: Carrots
Favorite Pastime: Digging Holes
Also Goes By: Maui-Wowie, Mau, Mau-Mau, "Hey Kid", "Stop doing that immediately"
I am SO THANKFUL that the weather is warming up. I am so over winter clothes. Winter seems so fussy and layers are not my deal, so this is the best time of year for me. I started breaking out my warm weather outfits, and I've been obsessing over this gray dress with my new blue pinstripe shoes lately. I love a dress with clean, chic sneakers and this dress is great because you can use it as a simple staple for whatever look you're going for. For this shoot, I added a white denim jacket to compliment my crisp shoes and added some flowers for a little bit of extra color.
You can find these adorable shoes from target and a gray dress for your staples drawer here:
As always, I'm talking about how I'm obsessed with pants. I keep saying it but this time I think I mean it: these pants are my actual favorites. I'm loving yellow this spring and I love palazzo pants with a cute crop top. I paired this floral outfit with some Guess sandal heels to dress it up so you can wear this to church, brunch, and Easter dinner!
KYLE LOVES TORI PHOTOGRAPHY