#CarnivalChronicles: The Beginning

It’s less than a year away and lawdddd it starting to feel so real! G Dubs and I did so much research, and I still don’t feel ready. I booked the hotel last week and we’re looking at flights now. Time is going to fly, I know it. But as excited as I am, I’m nervous too. But 2018 was the start of doing new things, and we’re going to continue that trend in 2019 and beyond. No stopping now!

I am happy that more and more people I know will be there. I’m a bit apprehensive that it will be too big of an event since it seems this year there were more crossovers from American Hip Hop and R&B artists that played mas this year. Time will tell. Carnival is becoming a big ting!

With guidance from all the groups and Caribbean bloggers, I’m running into Trinidad Carnival with open arms. Bear with me as a carnival newbie doing this on a budget. Let’s see how I make out with the planning and festivities.

Will you be there?

- L

50 Shades of Lori - In Detail

The only shades we’re talking about here are my hair colors. In the past few years I’ve gotten more confident and comfortable rocking colored hair and I am loving it! Apparently so are most of you! I’ve had polls and asked before, but the most popular colors you guys have loved on me (besides blonde) have been my bright cherry red and the blues. I’ve always been partial to red and purple myself, but something about the cherry red caught your eye. Purple is usually my go to when I change up the colors, it’s always thrown in for a round or 2. But a few people have mentioned it’s almost too normal (for me) now and almost like blonde and purple are my natural colors. I’ve tried a few different brands of dye, but mostly stick with Adore and Kiss Tintnation for sake of availability. They work well for me, last a fair amount of time and are easy to work with. Along with my big chop last year, let’s go through the colors and process.

I’ve always bleached my hair and gone back and forth between blonde, various shades of brown, and occasionally dark red/burgundy. But in 2017 I decided to get bolder and go all the way bleach blonde. Around July I started the process of bleaching my hair and was bleach blonde by the end of August. This was the lightest blonde I’d ever gone, but loved it. I got the most compliments ever on my hair - even from complete strangers. A few of you even said I should have been born blonde! But of course I was bored and with my roots showing I decided to play around with colors before bleaching my roots. I remembered why I never stayed blonde long - my hair grows way too fast. Now my big disclaimer here is that I know my hair, I know what it can handle and I never recommend dying or bleaching yourself at home unless you’re comfortable with it. I’ve been bleaching and dying my hair since I was 16. I don’t think I’ve seen my natural hair color since 2008? Yea, so I’m plenty comfortable changing it up at will.

My first new color that I could enjoy with my light blonde was pink. In November, I used some leftover Manic Panic Vampire Red from the last time I was dark red and toned it down with conditioner. It was a super pale pastel cotton candy pink. I actually liked it, but it faded fast. When I went to touch it up I didn’t pastelize it enough and forgot that my hair would absorb more color because it was so pigment deprived. The soft pale pink I was aiming for ended up a bright and streaky hot pink. I was nervous about that one, but no one seemed to care. Thankfully it faded and was a respectable pink, but I wanted to switch it up. I had seen a few pink and purple mixes on Instagram, and I tried to do a purple to pink ombré. It ended up more purple, so I had a dark to light purple ombré with hints of pink for December. I ended 2017 and brought in the 2018 with that ombré purple, touching up as I went along. It was during this time that I realized just how much breakage I had. I used some random Carol’s Daughter hair mask and when I was combing it through, I had chunks of hair break off. My hair was doing pretty well up until this point, and I hadn’t bleached since August. I had been conditioning regularly and only been using temporary color depositing dyes without developer. I can really only chalk it up to that mask. Either way, I had a lot of short pieces in the top layers of my hair and was working too hard to cover them up.

Shortly after the new year I was bored and did a blue ombré of sorts. It was, however, very short lived as I accidentally fell asleep in the tub with my hair in the water. Since I’ve been using temporary dyes, it doesn’t take much for them to wash out. In this case, my entire tub was stained blue and my hair was more teal/turquoise. I was content to leave it that color, alas my job decided they had enough and for my Feb show I needed to be “normal” for the President’s arrival at the show. So I started the stripping process with baking soda and Dawn/Head and Shoulders. Again I do not recommend any of this unless you know your hair and are willing to take risks and do the work to condition it back to life! I managed to get my hair down to a pale blue green before the show, but didn’t want to risk any more damage to get it blonde or brown. So I bought a wig and Rebecca was introduced into the fold. I wore her for the show and no one was the wiser. JK we all knew it was a wig, but she served her purpose.

In an effort to use up the bits and pieces of hair dye I had leftover, I went purple and used the rest of my Manic Panic Deep Purple Dream for March. It was also at this time I realized I couldn’t do much with the short pieces of my hair and resigned myself to the idea of a short cut. At the end of March I did the big chop and had a chic asymmetrical cut with a shaved side. I was nervous because this was the shortest my hair had ever been since the 5th grade when my mom’s ex gave me that horrendous cut. Never fear, it was well received. I got used to it and loved it. But then I caught the itch to cut it even shorter. By April I let the purple fade out and went to a sandy blonde. And at the end of April I cut the rest of my hair into a full pixie with a shorter shaved side. No more asymmetrical cut to hide behind! It ended up fading to the bleach blonde by June before I decided to up the ante and try a new color. I originally got this Schwarzkopf in “Luscious Red” to dilute down for a rose gold/pastel pink color, however it didn’t pan out the way I wanted. I ended up using it full strength and got this intense bright red. I was shocked to all hell and back because it was really intense. I was nervous to see how it would be received. Again, fear not, because this was actually fairly popular. I even bought a shaver and kept up with my sides and back myself. I got fancy and made my lil cuts too.

But the red didn’t last long because I had an event to go to at the end of June, so I used Color Oops to return to blonde. I let that sit for a bit before popping on rose gold for July. This I will say was my least favorite. The color with my roots and uneven patches/hair cut did not work for me. Maybe when my hair is longer I will try it again. I let that fade out before going back to basic brown in August. I maintained various shades of brown well into Oct before trying new colors that didn’t quite work out (looking at you dark grey and violet) and ended up looking more black than anything else. I decided to go blonde again for the new year. I had started to grow my cut out after Oct, and had a decent amount of growth, so it was a tad bit easier. I only had one maintenance trim in Nov to even things out, and he did go shorter than I intended, but it’s been growing out quite nicely. I let the blonde sit for Jan before switching to grey in Feb. honestly I’ve always wanted grey hair and had only done it once before, but it was poorly received at that time. This time, it’s been better. The combination of cut/color may be working in my favor this time around. It’s also not as dark of a grey (although I am still considering doing the dark grey.) it originally came out blue grey because of the dye, but faded quite nicely into a silver grey that I’ve been maintaining.

Who knows what’s next? I do want to go back blonde for the summer and let my hair grow before attempting any other colors. I deff still have my eye on that green.. it’ll be the only color left I haven’t tried yet.

What are your thoughts?

- L

Feelings and things..

I found out on Sunday that my younger cousin passed away. He was only 25.  Just talking about him in the past tense hurts. I don't know why it's hit me so hard, he moved away when he was still in school - around 2003. And I really only saw him once a year when I would visit. Maybe it’s the circumstances, realizing that I'm not that much older than him. Maybe its because he had so much life ahead of him. It's been 4 years since we lost his mom, my second mother. It just seems so unreal. Life isn't always fair. Nothing really is.

I'll be heading out next week to see the family and attend the service. It always seems that we only see each other for funerals. We've got to change that.

Please enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. If you are struggling, please reach out and  get help. Check in with your friends and family, even if they seem strong.  Every bit helps.  No one is perfect. And remember you are all loved. <3

- L

Not So Travel Tuesdays

Welp, this section was good while it lasted.. I unfortunately will not be traveling much this year. Finances and some other more important things need to be dealt with. Honestly, this section never took off the way I intended. I will still try to update as I can. But most of my travel for the year will be for work and not as interesting to post about. With the current state of affairs during this shutdown, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

- L