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April Jay

This Place is Beautiful! My New Home

This Place is Beautiful! My New Home

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So I am literally living the dream right now! Some post ago, I mentioned that I have good news and today I will share it. So during my junior year of college I worked in the Department of Residential Education and Housing as a Student Manager. My job was to supervise a group of 17 desk assistants and manage the residents hall office. I worked really hard and came up with some innovative ideas; I can say I am proud of the job I did. When it was time to reapply however, I decided not to because the contract is yearly and I knew that  I would be graduating a semester early in Dec 2014. 

 I was pretty disappointed about not staying with the department but I thought it was better to be honest instead of them having to hire someone midway through the year when I graduate. So I was working this summer on campus with the department and I knew that it would be my last time in this type of position. However, one day my summer boss texted me saying, “April when you’re free stop by my office.” That had me freaked out! I was trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong. To my surprise she told me about a position with the department that was just created which would allow me to live in a gorgeous hotel near campus. Get this, the position was only available until December 2014. This was exactly what I needed, it is as if the position was created just for me. My boss told me I was the first person she thought of and that alone made my day (oh yeah and the fabulous hotel of course). So I jumped at the chance to work and live in this amazing hotel for the last 4 months of my undergrad career. So heres a look at my new home for the next few months.

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OMG this bathroom is amazing. The shower is a jewel. I love non traditional sinks. And let me just say the lighting that comes from this sink mirror is perfect for doing makeup or taking pictures. 

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I love the sectional and the TV swivels so that you can watch it from the couch, the bed, and the kitchen depending on where you are in the room. This really makes a small place functional! This is definitely something I will do when I buy my first studio apartment.

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The bed is HUGE. It’s King sized and I have been sleeping like a baby laying on cloud 9. Definitely a step up from the traditional “extra long” twin beds that come with most dorms.image

The kitchen section is so modern and chic. I loved how the kitchen came with pots, pans, utensils, a toaster, measuring cups, and even a lemon juicer.  That makes me excited about cooking!

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It also includes a full fridge and a dishwasher. Guys! I’ve never had a dishwasher in my home, I AM THE Dishwasher at my mom’s home so this should be awesome. 

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 Here is the office area which is great since I am a student with two jobs. It has cool organizing spaces which are helpful! 

The hotel also has a pool and a 24hr gym. Say Whattt!!!!  (another plus is that the hotel is environmentally friendly. You can plug your phone into the exercise equipment at the gym and the work that you do on the machine powers the phone or device you plugged in. This place is awesome and kind of unbelievable. 

So thats my new home for the rest of the semester. I am very thankful to my job for providing this option for me. 

April 

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Annie Sez Haul

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I don’t shop here basically ever but after leaving the gym today I saw that there was a big sale next door at Annie Sez. There was an additional 50% off select items so I picked me up a new outfit for the remainder of the warm weather. So lets start from head to toe including the hair.

Borrowed items

Hair: I am staying at my sisters house for the weekend and she had this bob shaped wig so I decided to try it on for fun. I know she added the blond to the bangs and sides herself by sewing on additional hair. I had just twisted my natural hair for a twist out so this wig will do until my twist set.

Ring: My sister also had this cool spiked ring that I borrowed too (hey thats what sisters are for haha)

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Annie Sez

Top: The top I bought from Annie Sez is really cute. It’s a black sleeveless peplum top. Attached was a  gold spike neckless with multicolor stones which was a great accent. $17 ( This item was not on sale)

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Bottoms: I also purchased these really stylish high waist acid denim shorts. I love these! $11 (originally $22)

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Shoes: I love love love flats and these were a must buy; pointy toe shoes are fab! $23

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So thats the look, I definitely enjoyed these great finds from Annie Sez!

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“The Great Detangler” Review [W/ Video]

Hey April Jay here sharing my review of the Great Detangler by Taliah Waajid. I received a sample of this  product in a goodie bag as did everyone else who attended the NYC World Natural Hair expo. After having my coils in for a few days my hair became very matted so I decided to try out the sample. (Yes for those of you who saw my last hair post that means that I have decided to hold off on locking my hair. I still really want to do it in the future but Im not going to go for it just as yet.) So I used this product and I wanted to share my honest feelings about it. This is my first time doing a review, I was not asked to do this review, I just liked it so much that I decided to share it with those who may be looking for a new product.

I don’t know about you but detangling my hair is no fun at all! So I am happy to find that this product made the process much easier and faster. I saw minimal shedding, I didn’t struggle as I normally would and I did not cause for broken teeth on my comb (which sadly has happened in the past). I loved this product and I am happy to share this video of my review with you. Now after over a year of blogging this is my first video. I really have a respect for Vloggers because this was not easy and it was very time consuming to edit but I am glad to be able to share it. I learned a lot about what I can do better next time but I hope it is still helpful to you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Should I make more videos?

How I styled my hair after detangling

A swifter detangle helps me get to my favorite part; the styling! Here I styled my hair in an undo with a high bun and a puffy bang which I achieved by pinning up a large loose two strand twist.

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Press|play| how I feel when the curls are poppin. Haha I’m kinda cute, loving the bounce tho #bantuknotout #flattwistout #curlyhair #naturalhair #naturalme #thatbounce #slowmotion #nofilter

Loc-Inspiration

I never imagined this for myself but I think I’m on the verge of taking my natural hair in a new direction. Yes I’m talking locs! As a kid my mom had locs and she always attempted to persuade me to get them too, but that just wasn’t my style at the time, so I refused. As someone who loves to switch up my hairstyles often I didn’t imagine locking my hair because I like having option, but I would soon realize how versatile locs really are.  As a more mature and open individual I can now really appreciate the beauty in locs. They really are gorgeous and I have been seeing tons of loc-inspiration. After obsessively looking through pictures of women with beautiful locs for a few days a took a survey of some friends asking them if they thought I would look nice with dreadlocks. They said NO! This while disappointing to hear only made me want them more.

So this weekend after reading tons on starting locs I decided to coil my hair. I thought if I like it I can leave it in and let it loc if not it will just be a protective style. Guys! I think I like em’! I may just loc my hair and I feel confident about it. I have done it all with my loose natural hair and I loved it but I don’t think there is anything really holding me back from locking it up. We will see what happens! I’ll be sure to update on what I decide to do.

Until check out 9 loc styles that have inspired me (You will love the versatility)

1. Short and flirty

2. Curly Bob

3. Short Updo

4) Long and romantic

5.Highlights with roll and tuck bun

6. Ombre with bangs

7) Sister locs with loc jewelry 

8. Elegant/ Professional Updo

9) Medium fire bomb (Bold colors)

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Food Swaps: Healthier choices same great taste

Food Swaps: Healthier choices same great taste

Happy Friday!

So today I wanted to share some of the food swaps I have been making while still enjoying a delicious meal.

Lets start with breakfast.

Well first let me say that in the past, many of days I would skip breakfast which most of us know is No Bueno! Breakfast is important for weight control and improved performance. So the first improvement I have made is waking up on time to prepare breakfast. The next was actually swapping my higher calorie egg cheese and bacon croissants for a healthier choice. I consume more than 200 fewer calories by swapping to a delicious bowl of oatmeal. As an added bonus I like to add blueberries for a sweet flavor, a good source of anti-oxidants, and a belly fat eliminator.

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Another breakfast swap I enjoy is a fresh fruit smoothy. I always include blueberries for the same reasons I include them in oatmeal. For the smoothy below I also added strawberries, a banana, and coconut milk. Simple, sweet, healthy, and filling.

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Lunch Time

Many of us love a nice juicy bacon cheese burger and a side order of fries. Sounds good right? Well how can I make this meal healthier while still enjoying the savory taste? Check out the swap!

  •  Swapped a beef burger patty for a veggie burger patty ( less fat and calories and more fiber)
  • Swapped pork bacon for turkey bacon (50 fewer calories)
  • Swapped slices of cheese for a sprinkle of shredded cheese (smaller portion)
  • Swapped sesame seed bun for flax wheat flat bread (only 100 calories)
  • Swapped Ketchup for two slices of fresh tomato ( lower calories, less sugar)
  • Swapped french fries for baked sweet potato fries.  (more vitamins)

The star of the show for me was the sweet potato fries because it was my first time ever having sweet potato and it was fun to make the fries from scratch. Plus it was easy!

You peel the potato

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Cut them into french fry shape (make them as then or thick as you like)

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Use a bit of EVOO and your favorite seasoning ( I used black pepper garlic powder, onion powder, and italian seasoning). Then bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Then before you know it you have yummy sweet potato fries

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Heres a look at the turkey bacon veggie burger on flax wheat bread

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This was delicious!

Dinner is ready

For dinner I love to swap red meats for salmon or boneless skinless chicken breast this is good for fewer calories and lower cholesterol.

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Grilled salmon over brown wild rice with a homemade lemon sauce.

As a side I love rice especially yellow rice but I found that brown rice is a healthier choice and can be just as good. Brown rice is higher in fiber and promote regularity which is good for the digestive system. Brown rice also prevents weight gain because by eating whole grains you can be more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. “The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol, by up to seven percent”( symptomfind).

So heres a recent dinner I made. Its boneless skinless chicken with a Caribbean Jerk sauce and sautéed onions. I served it over brown rice and I had a side of spinach with corn beans and tomatoes.

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So those are some of the swaps that I made recently. Some are more subtle than others but I have been seeing results through execising often and making healthier choices.

What swaps have you made recently? Share them!

April Jay

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