The Finale: Good-Bye 20s Part I

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Jan. 18, 2015 (30th Birthday) in San Francisco, CA

Kicking and screaming is how I imagined leaving my twenties. I turned twenty-one four times and twenty-five twice. Celebrating twenty-nine umpteen times seemed imminent.

On Instagram I overused #twentysomething in attempt to suck twenty-something dry. Why though? Is being twenty-something really that great?

Let’s take a brief tour through my twenties. Short, petite, fresh-faced, naive, smarter than most people I knew, and mature for my age… that’s how I entered my twenties. I knew everything, thus ready to take the world by storm. The motto: Can’t tell me nothing!

At twenty-two, I rented a fire engine-red convertible mustang for my birthday extravaganza that rolled Thursday thru Monday. Yolo! I spent a day or two shopping with my brother and then bestie. More than thirty people celebrated with me on Saturday at my dinner party. My costume for the dinner included: Tri-color hair, this (Bebe), that (Juicy Couture), and the other (Hudson). Total cost for the costume? More than $350. Feeling like a baller? Priceless.

The early years were filled with more poor choices that equaled a boatload of mistakes including: losing myself, insecurity, financial ruin, heart-break, depression. My confidence went from 100 to 0 real quick! Unaware, I entered the mid-twenties disheveled, lost, bent, and almost broken. “Single Black female addicted to retail, and well…” I lived that retro Kanye music, like All Falls Down.

As the twenties flew by, I learned that I knew almost nothing I thought I knew. If you’re not there yet, just wait on it. Unlearning a relearning is easier said than done, but so necessary. If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. That’s one of my all-time fave quotes.

My life begged for change. The last quarter of my twenties a light bulb came on and I began saying farewell to people, things, and [insert noun] that I allowed to disturb my happiness and stunt my growth. I chucked up the deuces to people before then, but it rarely included forgiveness. Forgiving others and ourselves is necessary to move forward. Listen to Get it Together by India Arie to get a better understanding of this chapter.

To be continued…

dineLA Birthday sushi at Sugarfish

What’s that number one Birthday month? January! Go Roshell, it’s your Birthday! I exhale song lyrics, occasionally at inappropriate moments. Such is life.

January ended but I am still celebrating my birthday. It is not everyday that a girl crosses the border to thirty.

My foodie friends treated me to dinner at Sugarfish. The Universe knows that I’m a foodie, so it makes sure that dineLA Restaurant Week falls in my birth month.

“Thirty is delicious,” that’s my slogan for the year. I chose to conquer the ambitious dineLA menu (see below) option at Sugarfish. My love of sushi increased as each mouth-watering piece melted in my mouth. Sugarfish serves one dish at time, which builds the anticipation.

Cue the AT&T commercial. We want more! I impatiently awaited each piece of deliciousness. My top 3 plates were:

  • albacore and salmon sushi
  • yellowtail, halibut and scallop sushi
  • crab handroll

I tumbled out the door filled to the brim. Next time I’ll order a slightly smaller portion and not be such a glutton.

Dinner Menu (dineLA Restaurant Week)

Edamame starter

Salmon sashimi

2 pieces of albacore sushi

2 pieces of salmon sushi

2 pieces of yellowtail sushi

2 pieces of halibut sushi

2 pieces of large scallop sushi

1 toro handroll

1 crab handroll

1 lobster handroll

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner

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Youtube vlogger Naptural85 mentioned Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner as one of her favorites and I stored it in my memory bank.

One product at a time, that’s how I roll. As a self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer, I dislike overcrowding. Minimal products equal more organization. When a product is finished, I add another.

A few weeks ago, two product spaces became available. During my weekly standing date with Trader Joe’s, I grabbed the tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner.

If you follow me regularly, you know that I have recently been battling dandruff. Tea tree oil acts as an anti-fungal that terminates the bacteria causing the over production of the skin cells, which creates dandruff. Tea tree shampoo and conditioner sound like a winning situation for dandruff infested scalps, right?

Trader Joe’s boasts that, “the shampoo adeptly cleans away residue from styling products; and the conditioner smoothes your hair and helps repair damage from sun and heat.” I put the products to the test.

For three weeks I washed and conditioned with the pair. The shampoo wiped out product residue, and cleansed my scalp. It left my scalp feeling dandruff-free and squeaky clean, but my hair felt dry.

I followed with the tea tree tingle conditioner. I used a generous amount of conditioner as I finger-detangled my mane in four sections. After detangling while in the shower, I placed a plastic cap over my hair to allow extra conditioning as I cleansed my body.

Before stepping out of the shower I rinsed out the conditioner. Yes! I see why it’s one of Naptural85’s favorites. The conditioner added the much-needed stripped moisture back to my stands. Below are photos of my naked curls after drying with a t-shirt. I added zero products.

If you’re curious, the ($3.99 each) price is totally worth trying the products made with natural ingredients we can identify. I will use the shampoo for deep cleaning, not for weekly shampooing.
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Travel: Epic Vegas Trip at 30

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Two handfuls of visits and twenty-nine years of living as neighbors, can you believe I never “experienced” Vegas?

Strolling the Vegas Strip sober with family, trotting through the club to wrangle talent for red carpet photos, and professionally greeting guests at a registration table does not qualify as experiencing Vegas.

Indulging in crazy Vegas trip(s) is done in your twenties, right? Not for me. I’m extraordinary. My first Vegas experience happened five days after crossing the border to thirty.

Cue Beyonce’s 7/11. Vegas at thirty included: accidental kidnapping by valet, bath tubs posing as refrigerated alcohol storage centers, lost luggage, discovering hotel-rented scooter chairs, over-intoxicated and undernourished friends spazzing out, burning balls (feet) trudging through the club, recorded videos singing chants from the college days, seducing mannequins, seemingly choreographed routines (grand entrances) to Jay Z music, endless jokes, laughs for days, and “spinning while my hands up.”

Below see photos from my crazy, entertaining and epic Vegas trip. Click images to enlarge.

Thanks for reading.

Hugs,

Roshell

Cooking On A Budget: Lazy Chicken w/ Rachel Ray

One year while perusing in Target, I decided to grab cookbooks. I’m pretty sure cookbooks were not the purpose for the visit, but you know how that goes. Twenty-fifteen looks like the year that I will actually use said cookbooks. On Sunday, I flipped open Classic Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook and tried ‘My Sister Ria’s Lazy Chicken, or My Lazy Sister Ria’s Chicken’ recipe. Yum-O! I’m pretty sure the 30-minutes does not include prep time, start to finish took about an hour. Check out my photos and get the recipe below. To purchase the cookbook from Target, click the link above.

Ingredients
Balsamic vinegar
1 & 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets – thinly sliced or pounded breast meat (I used 2 chicken breasts, I sliced into pieces.)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
2 medium white potatoes, thinly sliced (I did not skin the potatoes)
1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced (I used a brown onion)
Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick, to taste
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth (I used white wine from Trader Joe’s)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes ( I did not use the full 28oz)
10 leaves fresh basil, torn or coarsely chopped
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves stripped from the stem chopped

1/2 to 2/3 cup shredded Italian cheese of your choice (I used a packaged mixture of 6 Italian cheeses)

Ria’s (Rachael’s sister) Recipe (with a few changes)

Lightly coat chicken with balsamic vinegar. Heat 1 tbsp evoo (once around the pan) in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for two minutes on each side  (Next time I will add time and cook it about 90 percent through)
Remove chicken and set aside (Next time I will add seasoning to chicken for more flavor).

Add 1tbsp evoo to pan and add a layer of potatoes and onions. Sprinkle potatoes and onion with Montreal seasoning. Continue cooking and turning occasionally until potatoes begin to brown. Add wine to the pan. Layer zucchini on top of potatoes and onion. Add more Montreal seasoning. Top with layer of chicken breasts. Pour crushed tomatoes on top (I used about 3/4 can), then sprinkle chopped basil and oregano. Cover pan and cook until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes (I cooked for 25 minutes).

Sprinkle shredded cheeses on top. Place pan under broiler for a few minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve directly from the hot pan at the table, with a green salad on the side (I added a baby arugula blend as the side. I used a balsamic and basil vinegrette dressing).

I look forward to trying this recipe again. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading.

Hugs,

Roshell

Mon Style: A Monochromatic Night Out

 Dress: black H&M cross-back

Jacket: H&M Tailored Blazer in natural white

Shoes: Steve Madden Stecy in Gold (not suitable for long-wear)

Bag: black H&M faux leather foldover clutch w/ gold chain zipper

Necklace: gold H&M statement necklace

Earrings: gold H&M studs

Budget-Friendly: Leather Ankle Boots

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Brand: Aldo

Style: Sybil Ankle Boot

Current Price: $60

Original Price: $120

 For more details click the link above

*Helpful Tips

If you purchase in-store and your size is not in stock, but it is available online, Aldo will ship your purchase free of charge. These are comfy and true to size.

San Francisco for the BIG three-oh

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On Sunday, I turned 30. Happy Birthday to me! In celebration of the three-oh milestone I traveled. Saturday through Monday I explored San Francisco with one of my best friends.

The city is filled with delicious food. Like a glutton, I stuffed my belly with layer upon layer of food. We stayed in Nob Hill, so we basically hiked through San Francisco, this warranted overeating .

Via LinkedIn, I connected with a sales manager at the Fairmont San Francisco. She emails me rate promotions periodically. I reached out and asked for a promo rate for my travels dates. Boom! Ask and thou shalt receive.

The sales manager and her assistant were super sweet. A welcome package (card, fruit bowl, and Evian) greeted me in the room.

As for my flight, I paid $141 round-trip. Virgin America offers flight sales frequently. In October, I booked my flight for January with a promo.

See San Francisco in pictures. Click images to enlarge.

Thanks for reading.

Hugs,

Roshell

EMC Seafood+Raw Bar

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Crispy Dungeness Crab (Whole)

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” -Julia Child

Yes, Julia! My friendships are sealed and celebrated with food. I’m convinced that my friends workout to eat. Birthdays, job promotions, breakups, life chats, or new shoes… food is front and center for the celebration. Eating is a hobby.

I don’t subscribe to the “no new friends” motto, so my circle has a door. My friends are diverse, which makes for colorful foodie adventures.

One adventure landed us in Korea Town at EMC Seafood & Raw Bar (EMC). It happened to be the hot spot that Saturday night. The space is modern and ideal for groups, it’s pretty noisy and open late-nights.

We were seated at a long bar table. We opt for family-style group feasting. Our tasty spread included the items pictures, they are highlighted purple on the menu pages. Five of us dined that night and left happily stuffed. I predicted that the brussels sprouts and Uni pasta would be the weakest links. Wrong. They were delish and two of my fave dishes.

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Uni Pasta

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Oysters

(Click images below to enlarge)

 EMC Seafood & Raw Bar

3500 West 6th Street #101, Los Angeles, CA 90010

213.351.9988

Product Review: Carol’s Daughter Marula Curl Therapy Collection

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As a #UltimateCurlboxMeetup team member, I received the entire Carol’s Daughter Marula Curl Therapy Collection for $Free.99. I am under no obligation to review the products, they were complimentary swag for participating in the walk.

The collection includes:

  • Marula Oil 

Each product is labeled with detailed and easy to follow “how to use” instructions. I chose to use the marula oil as a hot oil treatment and submitted to the listed instructions.

  • Gentle Cream Cleanser

After rinsing out the murula oil treatment, I applied the cleanser as directed. So far, so good.

  • Softening Hair Mask

Next up to bat, the softening hair mask. There were multiple play options, I went with the extra-deep treatment. My hair deserved bonus lovin’, I neglected it for a week.

In rule-breaker fashion, I left the softening hair mask on for 30 minutes instead of the suggested 10-15. I deep-conditioned using the towel method. I covered my conditioned hair with a plastic cap, then wrapped a towel over the cap.

Curl Tip* When hair is covered/wrapped, our body heat provides the necessary warmth that allows the hair shaft to open and the conditioner to penetrate the shaft.

Photo on 1-1-15 at 2.15 PM

These are my naked curls, after rinsing out the hair mask.

  • Diffusing & Styling Lotion

Before I allowed the next batter up to the plate, I blow-dried my mane. Finally, I re-dampened my hair by section with a spray bottle, applied the product, and twisted each section.

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Results

I consciously decided to try the collection on a i’m-doing-nothing day. The diffusing and styling lotion did not seem like it would be thick enough to tame my big hair. My twists were not layed as usual (see above).

Abiding by the listed instructions, like a good girl, I allowed the twists to air-dry over night. On the following day, I untwisted them and pulled my hair up in my go-to puff.

Guess what? The Marula Curl Therapy Collection hit a home run! Notice the Day 3 fluff on Day I. The light-weight lotion allowed my hair to have volume like whoa!  See for yourself.

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Day I Hair

The collection provided lasting moisture, shine and manageability as promised.

Will I purchase the collection once I run out? Hmmm…  it’s a bit pricey. I will likely grab the Diffusing & Styling Lotion because of the volume it allows me to achieve.

My cost-benefit analysis of the other products is not leading me toward trading in my current cleansing and conditioning products. I purchase my current cleansing and conditioning products for less and they seem to provide comparable results.

Thanks for reading!

Hugs,

Roshell