Thursday, 12 January 2017

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog

Firstly, happy new year! I hope that you've all taken a well-deserved break and are ready to take on 2017!

A new year marks new beginnings. And there's no better time than now to announce that I'm moving.
I have a new space on the net that's called Aisha & Life, my new blog. I've been working tirelessly behind the scenes remodeling, decorating and spring cleaning. And I'm inviting you to its housewarming.

We all need to evolve.

It's no secret that last year, I went through my most life changing experience. Many things happened that has opened up so many new conversations with fellow women, mothers and the warm online community. Through the experience many blog posts were written, in my head. So my mind is steering me to other things, not just hair. Of course, hair is still very much part of the conversation (how do I handle my hair while being a working mom?) but there are other parts of my life that I feel if I don't explore with you, I'd be doing a disservice; to myself and perhaps to another woman who's going through the same things as I am but hasn't found the voice for it yet. My hair journey is far from over (is it ever really?).

I didn't feel right to move over without filling you in on it. I owe it to you, my loyal reader. I'm still passionate about my hair but I love other things too and I'd like to share them with you more. I've been thinking about this for awhile now and working to getting my online space looking like a better reflection of me. In doing so, I realised that the little voice in my head, well actually quite a big voice, was writing posts and videos that had nothing to do with hair.

But before I move, I would like to thank you. Yes, you. For reading, following, commenting, emailing, liking and well, supporting. Me and Fro on this now apparent endless journey. I had no idea that sharing my hair story would've encouraged some of you with yours. My day is always made and I'm more humbled whenever I receive a heartfelt message from you saying that my story has saved your afro or has helped you teach your daughter how to love her hair. And so I thought, maybe there are other women out there also about to embark on motherhood for the first time and have no idea what they've gotten themselves into. I identified this feeling as something I've felt before, it was just before I jumped and made My Fro & I public. I had started it to document my natural hair journey and now I'm embarking on a completely new journey, that I'd like to do the same with. And if I can help even one more woman in other parts of her life while I'm sharing mine, well that just makes so much sense for me. 

My social media platforms preceeded my blog and will remain the same: @aishaandlife. Don't worry, all of My Fro & I content lives there too, under the category of 'Natural Hair'.

This isn't the end. It's the beginning of a new chapter and I'm excited! Isn't that the great thing about life though? If we knew how everything was going to turn out, wouldn't it be so mundane and boring? I have no idea where it'll take me, other than a more honest and reflective place than I currently am now.

I hope to see you there.

Aisha x

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Capture Your Summer with Superbalist

Sun, holiday, family. The end of the year usually means feasting, get togethers, the itch of a fresh start, and most importantly, a break to really enjoy Summer. It's no secret that 2016 has been a great year for me. And looking forward to creating new memories while looking back on the year that's ending is always my way of rounding the year off. Having a new addition in my life this Summer has meant that I'm much more trigger happy with the camera button. And just when I thought I could get more photo obsessed, I officially am! 

How cute is the Instax Mini 8? I've been eyeing it for ages and so excited that I've finally gotten my hands on my own. It's an instant polaroid camera by Fuji Film that looks like candy hehehe. I was so conflicted about which colour to get, because they're all so cute. But my heart, as you know, always goes for pink :) It's such a sweet throwback to analogue photos and instant printing of some of your best memories. There's just something so nice about having one chance to take a photo, so you really make the most of it. And as polaroids are all about snapping the moment as it happens, I love that I don't have to fuss with the camera settings as it automatically detects the environment you're in so you can get that shot quickly. The polaroids themselves take just seconds to print and they're business card size, which makes them handy to carry around in your purse or pocket and perfect for that fridge door display. 

Here are some snapshots of my Summer so far:

I got my Instax Mini 8 from Superbalist. Check it out for your colour of choice and enjoy taking those instant snaps.

How are you capturing your Summer?

*This post was sponsored by Superbalist*

Monday, 12 December 2016

Catch Up 2016

Hello blog. It’s been awhile.

A lot of things have happened since my last post and I thought before the end of 2016 officially comes, I’d update you on what’s been going on with me and Fro.


Well, first of all, I had a baby! He’s happy, healthy and absolutely amazing. He’s the light of our lives. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been quite a whirlwind few months, hence the hiatus. So before I continue, thank you for giving me this space and time to, as I said, tend to my newborn. When he was born, I unplugged completely from all social media except WhatsApp for communication with my family. In our busy and hectic lives, I strongly suggest you do it every once in awhile, it’s incredibly freeing. I was on maternity leave for 4 months and returned to work in November. It’s still such a huge undertaking and something I’m still getting used to. There’s actually so much stuff I want to talk about.


What’s been going on with my hair?

In a nutshell, my hair is now bra strap length.

Before I gave birth, I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle my hair for awhile, so as you know, while I was preggers I wore wigs. I would put my hair in chunky braids or twists and just slap on a wig from around my second trimester onwards. So I continued doing that, even after I gave birth. The morning of the day I went into labour, I had gone to Ruutos in Randburg, please check them out, they really take care of your hair. Right now, I don’t trust anyone else with my hair. So they prepped my hair; washed, detangled, deep conditioned it then put it into normal straight back cornrows for me to wear my wig on top of.  Just as well I did it then because I went into labour that evening! And on my way to the hospital I managed to grab my afro wig and put it on. Which was actually completely pointless because I took it off during delivery anyways. So I had them in for the first two months after Kai was born. I just co-washed and deep conditioned my hair when I could because even having a shower at times was almost impossible. So I’m really glad I managed to get my hair sorted and ‘out of the way’.  Otherwise it would’ve been a hot mess with everything else I had to handle.

Then an amazing opportunity came, which you now know as All Things Hair. If you haven’t already, please have a watch of the videos on their channel. I’m proudly representing us natural girls there :). For that, I needed to have my own hair out to shoot the videos. So I undid my hair and had it out for a few weeks. For that time, I was really happy to see that my hair volume had increased, my hairline was full and my hair overall was just luscious. It was a welcomed aftermath of pregnancy. Almost like someone had poured some growth liquid on it lol. To the point I felt overwhelmed when I had it out sometimes because it was just so much hair and it grew over a short amount of time. So I really had to get reacquainted with my hair.

The problem was time. When I was on maternity leave, my son was very much in the fourth trimester phase so he wanted to be attached to me all the time. Which left me with no other time than the 10 minutes my husband would watch him so I can shower! Maintaining my hair and doing all the things I used to do before, was just not happening. So I put my hair in chunky flat twists and put the wigs back on. Then I went back to work, which was a massive change in my life. After being with my boy exclusively for four months, going back to was incredibly emotional and I still haven’t gotten used to it.

My Best Friend’s Wedding

The plan was to get my hair properly treated and prepped at Ruutos for the wigs again in early November but I then confirmed I’d be travelling for one of my best friend’s wedding in Kigali. And I knew I wanted to wear my own hair for that. So that led to my next challenge which was MOH hair. I had a blank moment because I didn’t know what to do with my hair. I realised I didn’t have a plan. A wig would’ve been easy but she requested all of us bridesmaids to wear an updo which is quite a task with most of the wigs I have. So I presented these options to you on Instagram and Facebook for your opinions:

When I asked the question, I think it came across differently to how I thought it. The reason why I asked whether I should wear a wig or the above styles, isn’t because I didn’t want to wear my own hair. It was more a concern that the high bun in particular may be too bridal rather than MOH, especially as my friend is also natural. I wanted something more understated. But when I was there, she chose the high bun style for me anyways. And I added a Marley twist around it. 

It seemed to come across as people interpreting it as I didn’t want to wear my own hair which wasn’t the case. I’ve never had an issue with my hair (except the third month I was natural. Times were hard). I’ve always loved wearing wigs and weaves etc as a change, not because I’m not comfortable with my hair.

Post partum shedding

In preparation for the wedding, I knew I had to prep my hair here. I didn’t want to leave it up to salons or stylists whom I didn’t know in Kigali. Doing it myself took forever. Even though I’ve always lusted after longer natural hair, I realised that I was struggling with it. My lifestyle has completely changed and as with so many other things in my life that have had to change with it, my hair routine is also on that list. I just don’t have the time. What’s my plan? I’ve been on a re-nesting phase where I’m clearing up so many things. I’m removing my house and life of clutter – as much as possible as quickly as possible. If I have something that someone else can benefit from, why should I hold on to it? Well, I realised I’m not even enjoying my hair. So what’s the point of holding on to it? That’s essentially what I’m doing with my hair – I’m holding on to it and being excited it’s gotten longer – then what? I’m now going through the dreaded post partum shedding phase. My hairline in particular is thinning out and the volume I once had right after birth is disappearing fast. The thing is, I’m not as upset about it as I thought I would be. As much as I love my hair, it also needs to work for me and my new lifestyle.

A couple of months ago, I came across a story of a boy who grew his hair for two years to donate it to cancer patients. That made me realise that of course – cancer patients, especially children sufferers, there’s a lack of natural haired wigs for them. And if I’m covering my own hair with wigs, not enjoying it etc. then maybe that’s what I need to do - give my hair to someone who’ll benefit from it. I don’t want to end up big chopping only to throw my hair away – if it’s needed and wanted. I think it’d be such a waste. Why not do something good with it? It’d make it worth it in the end. So I’ve decided that’s what I want to do. It’s been playing on my mind for awhile, and this past week has just confirmed it. Hair will grow. At some point I have to let it go. I’m planning on doing it before the end of the year. I’ll need to book an appointment with a salon to prep my hair for the donation. 

It’ll be a fresh start for me, and a very welcomed one.

What have you and your hair been up to?


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Baby O. is here!

I'm a mom!!

Most of you will have figured by my absence that I was recently paid a visit by the stork. A little bit earlier than anticipated but pleasantly surprising, my son has finally arrived. His name is Kai. 

I'm on full time mommy duty, so please be patient with me until I've figured it out (if ever!). We are so happy, grateful and sleep deprived. Thank you SO much to every one of you who have sent love and wished my family well. Now excuse me while I tend to my newborn :)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Power of a Smile & Lunch with Minnie Dlamini

Not long ago, Dentyne announced they're giving a couple of young women a chance to achieve their dreams, simply by using their smile. Their #DentyneSmile competition and campaign encouraged us to tap into our positive attitude to get ahead in life. The prize, worth more than R220,000 includes a personalised digital video advertising campaign, a Dentyne product hamper, a copy of the book Girl Boss, a shopping voucher, an Apple I Pad 4 Mini notebook and an exclusive lunch date with Dentyne spokesperson Minnie Dlamini.

I caught up with one of the lucky winners, Siya Mfenyana, to chat about her winning experience.

Hi Siya! Tell us about yourself.

I am 23 years of age and I live in the City of Gold aka Jobeezy. I am an Account Manager at an advertising and PR company in Rivonia. I had zero knowledge about this industry when I first started out, as I had studied a BSc in Behavioural Genetics in varsity.

What made you enter the #DentyneSmile competition?

Breaking into the entertainment industry isn’t easy. As much as I have an agent that actively looks for castings and jobs for me, I know that I need to do a little bit more in order to get the right people's attention. Competitions like the #DentyneSmile competition are great in terms of kick starting your career, but these opportunities are very few and far in between. So when I entered this competition, this was my mentality: 

"This is an opportunity to show the country what you have to offer. If they like you, great! If they don't, that's cool too. But you will NOT back down because you don’t want to step on people's toes. YOU might be what they are looking for. You just never know."

The day I took the picture that I used to enter the competition was a sucky one. I was not feeling up to it, I wanted to postpone and take the pictures the following day. I don't look photo shoot ready, I’m so tired, tomorrow will be a better day and I will feel and look amazing!. Those were all the things that were going through my mind, but I just decided to stop making excuses and do the damn thing! I didn't want ‘a should have, could have, would have’ situation at the end of the competition. So, I took the leap of faith and I entered.

You've won some amazing prizes to help achieve your dreams, how would you summarise your goals?

My primary goal is to get scouted by one of the production houses in SA. I'm passionate about TV and presenting, so I’d love work in that space. My end goal is to become a household name, but I know that it's easier to say that than to actively go out there and make a name for yourself. But I'm not afraid of hard work. I just need to get my little pinky toe in the door and then it's all systems go!

What does "The Power of a Smile" mean to you? 

To me, it means that you have the ability to change the way someone is feeling or thinking. A smile is such a small, but impactful gesture. So many things can come from it: the start of a new friendship or relationship, healing a broken heart, making someone feel special after a really bad day. 

Your smile is the silent connection you make with a loved one or stranger - it's a reflection of your heart and soul. No bad can come from of it.

How do you use your smile on a daily basis?

I use my smile to brighten up one's day. It's amazing what that small gesture can do. I also love taking photos. So before I smize or pout, my first reaction is to smile. I also smile because it just makes me feel good on the inside. I would rather have smile wrinkles than frown wrinkles!

Describe what you believe true happiness is in one sentence.

Waking up every morning knowing that you are living a purpose and passion driven life.

What or who is your biggest inspiration?

My parents. Selfless, loving and smart. They have embraced what life’s handed to them and they have come out the other end stronger and wiser. They are the reason why I want to be the very best version of myself. I'll never get to the point where I think I'm the best because I will always keep pushing the envelope. They instilled in me the culture of excellence from a very young age. Because of them, I know that I have not been called to be mediocre.

Tell us about your lunch with Minnie.

Our lunch was at Tasha's at the V&A Waterfront. It was just us two winners and Minnie at the table, so it was pretty intimate. We had a proper one on one session with her. We were basically just discussing what it is that we want to do and how to go about doing it.

What did you learn from meeting Minnie and the other winner?

I learnt that I need to be more relentless in the pursuit of my dreams, I need to deviate from what other people are doing - that's how I'll stand out. I need to ask myself what is it that I really love and what is it about me that makes me unique and use it to benefit me. She was really easy to talk to and she was very honest when she gave us advice.

If a shy little girl was reading this blog post, what advice would you give her?

Your dreams are valid. They can take everything away from you, but they cannot take away your voice and your mind. Use them to do better and become better.

*This post was brought to you by Dentyne South Africa*


Thursday, 30 June 2016

First Impressions: The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation

Let's be real.

Hands up if you also find it hard finding foundation. Add to the mix being brown, with combination skin. It's almost always too ashy, too orange, too pasty or too - whatever. Even for women who hardly wear make up, foundation is literally the foundation of whatever little or lots of make up you wear. I always get excited when I think I've found something that'll work on my skin only to mostly be disappointed in the middle of the day when I look at myself in the mirror and see the shiny light bulb that my nose has become. And currently being preggers has not helped my face oil control. I've been using The Body Shop's Fresh Nude foundation for the past few weeks and it's become a go to product for me in the mornings.

Firstly, I'm impressed with the range's choices of colours. They have 16 different shades to cover most women's skin tones. And if you don't find your exact one, you can always use their Shade Adjusting Drops to customise it to your complexion. The bottle is sleek with an easy nozzle pump to dispense the foundation. I've actually been forgoing applying it with a brush and just use my fingers - works like a charm.

Usually my second biggest gripe about foundation is that I'm so aware it's on my face. What I like the most about it is that I don't feel like I'm wearing anything. The formula is really light and is able to blend in easily with my skin and my skin can still breathe. And if I want even more coverage, I just add another layer and again, blending isn't a problem. The finish is very natural looking, which I love. It also has SPF 15 which is a must for any face make up I put on my face now. Overall, I think it's a great everyday option - especially for us brown girls.

My shade is called Seychelles Cinnamon. You can get yours at The Body Shop for R275.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Review: The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

For the past couple of months, I've been experimenting with The Body Shop's new set of Shade Adjusting Drops. And as promised, I'm coming back to you with my verdict and experience with them.

What are they?

They're little pots of genius foundation adjustors. In a nutshell, to darken your foundation (for complexion changes or contouring) add a drop of the darkening drops. To lighten your foundation, do the reverse. For more detailed info on how they work, check out my first blog post on them.

How they look

I have a couple of different brands of foundation (who doesn't right?) so I figured I'd give you a preview of how the drops could change different shades of your own foundation. I've also been using their new Fresh Nude foundation that came out the same time as the drops. Look out for my upcoming review on that. For the purpose of these pics, I used a mix of light and dark foundation shades to show how you how different combos can work.

My Two Cents

At this point, I don't feel like it's a stretch to have called them genius above. They really are. When I first heard about these drops I thought "well, duh" I mean, why hadn't we had these all along?! Then when I got them, I was itching to really give them a go. Now that winter's kicking in, I've had more opportunities to combine the drops with other foundations of mine. Like clockwork, my complexion has changed and this time it's two pronged - from the change in season as well as being pregnant. My neck has gone slightly darker (boo) than my face so I've needed a little help there.

The drops have made it so easy to just adjust my shade according to how my face looks on the day. And as I've shown above, you can mix them with pretty much any liquid foundation you have in your stash. The formulas are highly concentrated and you don't need a lot of the drops to make a noticeable change to your foundation shade. So far, I haven't had any issues with compatibility with any of my foundations. Don't forget to look out for my take on their Fresh Nude foundation...coming soon.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops retail for R300 each and are available at The Body Shop stores nationwide as well as selected Clicks stores.


Friday, 17 June 2016

The Power of a Smile

Live on MyFroandITV:

A different kind of video is up and live on my YouTube channel, where I share a personal experience. 

Not long ago, Dentyne invited me to participate in their #DentyneSmile campaign. The power of a smile is immense and Dentyne is encouraging us to use them to help us get ahead in life. The way I see it, if you have a positive attitude and take on life’s challenges with confidence, then you are already winning. There have been plenty of times where all I wanted to do in a situation was cry or shout or maybe even give up, but it’s the moments where I decide to be the bigger person or channel my inner happiness and confidence that make me overcome challenges and grab opportunities with gusto. 

Here, I share one of the most crucial times in my life where my inner happiness was at stake, and how I was able to use my smile to end up getting me to where I am today. I hope you find it inspiring and helps you harness your inner smile :)

This post was brought to you by Dentyne South Africa.

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