WHY I WENT FROM NATURAL TO TEXLAXED (TO TRANSITIONING) HAIR

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(The story of how I went from natural to texlaxed, and back to natural…)

A few months ago, yanking at my hair while Milos and the kids hollered at me to HURRY UP, because we were going out, something in my head just snapped, and the very next chance I got, I bought a tub of relaxer, and went from natural to texlaxed hair. And then, I proceeded to chop off half of my hair.

You might think it was a bit of a spontaneous decision, but actually it wasn’t. I had been contemplating a change in hair style ever since I entered my second year of the natural hair journey post big chop. My hair grew so much that it got increasing more difficult to manage (especially as I eschewed combs or heat tools, one of my major mistakes!). To spice up my pot of trouble, braids which are supposed to be a “protective style” broke my fine-stranded hair and weaves were worse. Grrrr. It looked like I was stuck with wigs as my only alternative and I was beginning to hate them! So that was it, it was either  time for another big chop (which would fit in well with my pattern of a big chop every couple of years, ha) or  something had to give. So a texlax and a half chop it was!

Even as the regret singes my soul (but not so much, because setbacks are all a part of the journey, right?) and I wail at my bloody hands (oh why you scissor-happy hands, whyyyyy) , I decided to write this so as to warn you fellow natural (and a future me!) should you ever be so tempted, perish the thought.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against relaxed/texlaxed hair, BUT I do miss my curls, and I wish I had changed my hair in a less drastic fashion, because a relaxer is PERMANENT, till you grow your hair back. Relaxed/texlaxed hair is also more prone to breakage as the relaxing process weakens your hair shaft and results in raised hair cuticles, making your hair more prone to dryness (as we needed more of that, hmph) and hence breakage.

Deciding to grow out your natural hair can be a bit of a rocky journey. Certainly not everyone around you is going to like it, and some are going to be pretty vocal about that dislike (from your security guard to random people you meet on the street, as I found out to my chagrin, gaaah).

Anyway, you have to take precautionary measures; you have to have some strong tools in your survival bag. So here I am, sharing my mistake, and I hope this helps enlighten someone out there.

If you know you’ll miss your curls too much, then please DON’T relax your hair.

There are alternatives out there, like a new protective style of weaves or braids, or if your hair strands are too fine for that, then consider a blow out or a silk press. A silk press involves the careful use a blowdryer and a flat-iron to straighten natural hair which has been thoroughly washed and deep conditioned. The new hairstyle can last even a month or more, which is great!

Did you know that there are such terms as blow-dried naturals and straight-haired naturals?? Don’t you just love how many options we have even as we go chemical-free?

It’s the chemical-free hair for me y’all, let the transition begin! (Again…)

And this time, it’s a yes to blow-outs, combs and brushes. That’s nothing wrong in easing the journey, n’est pas?

What say you?

Aaaah, it’s a glorious love affair with my locks, growing and learning through my own mistakes; loving every inch of the journey! I highly encourage you too to continue to self-care for your locks! Let’s continue to live,  love and learn, my loves!

Thank you for reading, loads of love to you!

xoxo, Cara

PS. This is a photo of my transitioning texlaxed hair a little blown-out. It’s growing back in nicely, despite so many frequent trims these days, or perhaps because of them!

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PINK GLOW

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Living in Ghana is absolutely a blessing weather-wise. It’s blue skies, refreshing breezes, beautiful coast lines and coconut all day long if you so wish. Perfect summer weather and summer dresses all year long. Literally paradise.

Aren’t we the luckiest souls alive?

So add some vibrancy to your day and indulge in some perfect statement-making magnificent pops of colour, even if they are old favourites… Escape into colour!

Also, some good news…

At the end of the third week of July, clad in long flowing gowns reminiscent of Harry Potter, and a cap that kept slipping back down hair slicked into a bun, I sashayed up and down the graduating aisle and got declared as an Alumni.

It’s all over. Done with. And my life is now my own, yippeee!!!! Literally so thankful and over the moon. It was the perfect time to go spend some time with my mom and be fattened up in celebration. (And what a wonderful time and learning experience it was! Especially for the boys, they enjoyed living on a farm of sorts so much.) And now I can fully devote my life to the second stage of my apprenticeship – mastering Creative Writing. Wish me luck!

What you been up to these days? My, how I have missed you!

As always, thank you for reading, love you muchos!

Cara.

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TROPICAL BURST

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Given the amount of weekends we spend at the beach (almost every one), this mama has had to get a little bit creative with the outfits in order to keep things interesting.

I believe my favorite combo when it comes to beach outfits would be pretty shorts and a cute top.

Last time it was these favourite embroidered white shorts of mine paired with an ntoma top.

A basic but pretty strong combo, no?

 

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All the vibrant hues of green and blue just about made me feel like I was in heaven.

What a beautiful world we live in!

Now tell me, would you rock this combo to the beach yourself? The weekend is coming up! Wink wink.

Loads of love,

Cara.

PS. Say a warm hello to my new texlaxed tresses!

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Did I mention this was also a perfect outfit for hot chases through the sand as well? Check out my instagram for what I mean… haha

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beach fashion ankara ntoma styles

Have a blessed weekend!

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GET TO KNOW US (OUR MIXED FAMILY) BETTER

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Good afternoon from the depths of my cozy bed where I currently lay convalescing! I’ve been dreadfully sick. However, today’s post is not about that. It’s become glaringly obvious to me, that for a life+style blog that this space has become, I never actually did proper introductions. I know right, oh my. We must rectify this oversight at once!

So let’s get to it!

First up, we have Papa Bear.

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We know him around these parts as our ever-faithful photographer, M. Milos. (Pronounced like Meelosh…) I know the name might sound Greek but he is actually from the little big country, Slovakia. You might hear us call him Milosko (which means Little Milos, it’s a Slovak term of endearment. 🙂 ) Milosko, love of my life. We’ve been together forever, practically all of my adult life. His arms are my escape, right where I belong. I love him so much. He is our man, our Rock.

Milosko is also a brilliant problem-solver by the way and into telecom engineering.

milos and the boys

(chasing tiny crabs at the beach)

Milos is an only child but he wants a big family of eleven, his own football team with him as captain. 😉 Ummmm… But I think he’ll probably settle for three or four.

Next up, three-year old Alexander!

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You know this little trouble-maker, Alexko! Just like his name, he sees, he likes, he conquers. Ha. He inspires me with his breathtaking exuberance for life. *His eyes are hard* (direct transliteration from Twi, my local language, meaning he is adventurous and cannot be bullied), but he is very gentle and tender-hearted.

His favourite place is hands down, the beach. But that can be said for all of the family, as you know!

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(Sunset at Sunflower Beach Resort, Senya Beraku beach)

Then we have one-year old sweet baby Milan!

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Just like the Slovak meaning of his name, Milan is such a sweet boy. So intuitive, so gentle. Aaaah, he’s just perfect!

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And then we have Mama Bear right here, me! You know me already, CCC. Cara Caroline Cobbinah aka Cara Siskova (Siskova means “belonging to Siska”) aka Maame Akesi Boah (my traditional name). Lover of books, babies, hair, attachment parenting, and recently, fashion. 🙂

So there you have us, our cozy family of four.

Someone once asked me, “how does it feel to have children who don’t look like us?” and this question comes up swirling in my head from time to time. My answer is, I do not feel that my boys do not look like us. When I see Alex’s face, I see the strong lines of my grandma’s features, our cheekbones and lips, our dark eyes, passed down to me and now to him. He also has long eye lashes just like his father’s. Alex has my hands, my legs, even my ears, haha. Spitting image of me. 🙂 Milan on the other hand is the spitting image of his father, even with mannerisms just like him. “Okoto nwo anoma…” 😉

 

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Hope I’ve appeased your curiosity about us!

Till we chat soon, stay safe.

And do enjoy the rest of your week!

With so much love,

Cara.

 

 

 

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Three Simple Rules In Life

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  1. If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
  2. If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
  3. If you do not step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.

 

*Author unknown.

This spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.

PS. Hope you like our new simple header on the top of the blog! 😉 #minirelaunch

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MOMENT BY GOLDEN MOMENT

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A few months ago, Baby Milan said his first sentence. ( Ugh, can’t even write that without tearing up.) He has also long since mastered running, and even climbing.

Amidst all the pleasure and pride of witnessing these milestones is also a melancholy because well, my baby is growing up. I just want to freeze time and preserve his nozzles and baby smell, hold him tightly in my arms forever.

Life is so damn short, isn’t it?

So I hope you get caught up in these day to day moments that make up your life, because they are golden. Yes, even these seemingly mundane, because they are magic! One day you’ll be gazing back at them in nostalgia.

I hope you shut down the noise sometimes, I hope you spend enough time in getting to know and love you.

And even more importantly, I hope you spread the love.

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Today’s fashion featuring my latest tentative steps into the hat wearing world again, and a beautiful romper I picked up from Eye Candy Ghana. Check them out on Instagram, I loved their stuff in the shop and picked up a few.

Do have yourself a wonderful week!

Lots of love,

Cara.

 

 

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call me crazy

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but I miss these red, pink and blue highlights in my hair.

I’ve been doing a word of the month thing where I pick a quality that I’d like to work on / see more of in my life.

Last month, the word was courage. So I looked for ways to show more courage in my life. One of the ways I applied the concept was wearing my hair in long spiky African threaded style. In public. (just because I love it in that style and it stretches my hair out nicely. )

Oh the stares I got! Ha!

You would think it was a foreign unheard style or something, but it’s our culture. haha.

Anyway, the word for this month is compassion! Just thought I’d share this with you so we’d do this together. I’ll probably elaborate in another post soon.

Talk soon.

Love, Cara.

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WHITE OUT AT SAKUMONO BEACH

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Stirring grouchily awake at 5am, packing up supplies and sleepy little ones, tempers running high as the sun slowly but surely rises and finally a peek of a rocky terrained beach between a road lined by shrub and trees and we are at Sakumono beach.

Situated close to Tema and the Spintex area, it’s perfect if you live in that area (about 30 minutes or less drive from the Spintex road). To avoid the huge crowds that throng the beach on the weekends, go at dawn and be treated to a spectacular sunrise as well!

I’m so excited to share these images with you today. They fit so well with the mantra that has been running through my head all this year. “Let’s have a glorious love affair with life!”

You see, I’ve kinda been one prone to intense emotions all my life. Hinging all my emotions on particular outcomes, feeling everything deeply, and then beating myself up for it. No more, because oh my darling, what is life for if not to live, with all intensity through its ups and downs? The defeats sure hurt, but the joys, oh my dears, they are everything.

So here I am, saying I love life, even when it makes me cry mama, and I love you. I hope these images inspire you, as they do me, to just live.

This is a reconfirmation and rededication to always make those around me feel welcome, loved and valued. All you offline and online, because truly, there’s little distinction you know? Energies are contagious even through the screen.

Sooo, welcome back to my blog!!! Where it’s all about sharing, positivity, joy and laughter. Welcome!

PS. See what has been lurking on my computer all year just waiting to be shared. These photos! And 23284628236 more just waiting too. See, there’s a silver lining to every cloud indeedy. 😀

Just feel the magic!

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Call me coocoo but I absolutely love wearing white to the beach. (My friends say that’s like bringing sand to the beach but I don’t care, hmph.) This is a thrifted offshoulder vintage dream that made me feel all senorita-ish glam and ish, lol. Which goes to prove style never about the price tag, but definitely about how it makes you feel.

Happy hump day!

Love,

Cara.

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AHOJ JUNE! || A TIME TO LET GO

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Seasons changing.

Ahoj sweet diary! How vibrantly the sun shines this noon, when just this morning it was dark and gloomy out. Sudden but sure the rainy season is upon Ghana this June. Sometimes it rains and drizzles all day and thwarts my attempts at doing laundry, but I can’t complain. I love the rain.

The port-holed roads are now swirling muddy pools, and oh, it’s such great fun to jump and splash in them (according to Alexander and Milan). On my side, I love to run with them in the pram, zig-zagging around the pools of water and letting the wheels run through the very edges. It’s so much fun. Especially to imagine that if one is not careful and steps inside, one is going to step through to China! You really should try it if you don’t already. 😀

Almost half the year gone, and almost a year and a half since I started blogging. If this year has taught me anything, it’s how much I have to learn and how much I need to slow down and breathe. Breathe in, breathe deep, it’s essential, if one is to truly learn and retain the lessons. We live in a very fast-paced world, it’s true, and even though conscious efforts are made to slow down and live moment by moment, working on the internet especially, has a way of pushing one headfirst into the new online-induced “rat-race”, so to speak. Where it’s starting to look like a faceless blur of uniformity and commercialism. The more I discover, the more of the same, it seems. Perhaps we need a revolution. 😀

No, but seriously, perhaps it’s time to let go of traditional notions of doing things and step into the unknown?

This is the year of letting go, remember? Let go, and step into the new with me…

I have missed you. How have you been??

xoxo

Cara.

PS. About a month ago, my trusty old computer decided to go on a strike, refusing to recognize any USB device attached to it. As I was on the verge of a burn-out anyway (so much stress), I decided to take it as my cue to slow down a little. Hence my absence. Sorry, my dears! Not to worry, I have so much coming to make it up to you. kiss kiss

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featuring

vintage dress, atmosphere shoes, h&m gold accessories, handmade traditional necklace

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MY COAT OF MANY COLOURS

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When we were small, Mother used to make almost all of our everyday clothes (except for our Christmas clothes ((Bronya ataare)) of course, which we also got already-made clothes as a special bonus!).

There was this particular dress she made for me which I loved.

She gathered together all the various colours and patterns of left-over material (or cloth. In Ghana we call it material 🙂 ) from her past sewing projects and sewed a shift dress for me. Oh, how I loved that dress! It was magnificent. A glorious clash of happy dancing patterns and colours. All those different patterns of ntoma (cloth) should have turned out mix-matched, yes? But somehow, they didn’t. It was simply magnificent!

It was my very own coat of many colours. Quirky and unique, just for me.

I wore that shift dress everyday and everywhere! It was loose but not too loose, just the right amount of room and length, so I could wear it when we went to fetch water (from the neighbour who owned one of the town pipes) downhill. It was a bit of a difficult trudge uphill, so the roomy fit was great. I also loved to wear to Saturday classes and very especially, for dance rehearsals after the classes. Because my body swayed in it just right. 

And you know what? Bestest of all, it was unique to me. Made with love, made with care, just for me. Nobody else there wore that kind of crazy dress.

There’s just something about lovingly crafted personalized items that just speak volumes to us, isn’t there?

So imagine my excitement when I recently had the chance to discover this glorious online shop, UncommonGoods. Their story of how it all began really caught my eye. That they are literally bringing together an army of talented artisans from far-flung places, uniting them with individuals with an eye for truly special goods. Getting these creations to the clients, regardless of the physical distance between the maker and the shopper.

Every piece is special, has its very own story. Quirky, beautiful and unique. As an avid reader myself (as you guys know), with dreams of owning an extensive inspiring library one day (and also building one in the town where I grew up, because trying to find storybooks there was just torture!!! BUT that’s a story for another time.), I am literally LIVING for their selection of bookends here. (Check them out and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Aaargh, I just want to get everything! )

While you are it, their selections of home decor (check it out here), wedding and anniversary gifts ( here!) are just heart-melting. Just look at that bamboo clock wall!

Everything uniquely designed, creative, quirky and fun. Uncommon goods indeed. If you’re looking for that special gift for mother’s day, well you know where to go, M… (*cough, cough* ahem, ahem, just saying 😛 )

Overall I loved discovering their commitment to fair practices, sustainability and design. That they strive for sustainability through the use of up-cycled and recycled materials for the goods and environmentally friendlier packaging is commendable, won’t you agree?

Discovering my love for that quirky kaleidoscopic dress of my childhood, I guess you know now part of the reason why I love to thrift shop….

This little navy-black number I’m wearing today is also another thrifted gem. Matched with my staple of a red blazer and ankara (ntoma) accessories, I got a bit of that feeling back. That feeling of wearing my coat of many colours that my childhood dress always gave me.

And guess who decided to photobomb mommy while she shot her photos? Baby Milan, that’s who! He thought it would be cute to come display his hanging prowess, and I can’t say I disagree. 😉

Have a lovely weekend, my lovelies!

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Do have yourself a wonderful weekend!

Let’s have a glorious love affair with life!

Love,

Cara.

Dress -thrifted

Blazer – H&M

Accessories – Biggles Kreations

Shoes – Tesco

Bag – random shop Topolcany

(Post in collaboration with Uncommon Goods)

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