THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING WHAT TYPE OF SKIN YOU HAVE

The knowledge of Different Skin Types

You may not believe this or have enough knowledge, but it is quite important to know what type of skin you have, as this will help you to know the right type of products to put on your skin, because not everyone has the same skin type, so what works for others will not always work for you and vice versa.

Funny story; early 2018, I was watching The Real Daytime and they were talking about how certain parts of your face can be related to the problems of your body. So, for example, if you start developing pimples on your nose then it could be signs that you have digestive problems. One that particularly stood out for me was that if you start developing acne on your forehead it is a sign that you are not sleeping well or not having the right amount of sleep, and well, I held on to that. I really did not get enough sleep as I was doing my last year in high school so I had to study really hard for universities. So, as time went, when I started to see that I am developing pimples I would stress that it’s because of my lack of sleep. Until it was during the holidays when I finally did start getting enough sleep but the pimples were still active on my forehead. At that point I did not know what was going on anymore because I got enough sleep, I drank water and I washed my face everyday, but jokes on me, I did not know that I was actually just experiencing late puberty so my skin type is only now starting to show. The ordinary products I was using since I was little do not work for me anymore. I needed products that can suit my now skin type, which turned out to be oily skin because the pimples came from the greasy oil that stayed on my face in the late afternoon. My forehead couldn’t handle it and decided to break out, and here I was thinking…

So there are three most common skin types; Oily skin, Combination skin, and Dry skin. I will be explaining all three skin types, the signs to identify what type of skin you have, what may be positively effective for that type of skin, and what you may want to avoid, as this will be effective in the long run so that your skin is happy, so that you can be happy and we can all start glowing!

THE TYPES

OILY SKIN

Oily skin type is actually a natural skin type to have as our bodies naturally release sebum, which is a natural skin oil that protects our skin from harsh environments, so oily skin is actually pretty healthy, as long as you can wash the excess oil. What’s also good about oily skin is that it still has moisture though many soaps and shampoos can strip the good oils off.

Key Points of Oily Skin

  • Your skin produces a lot of sebum, leading to what is called Seborrhea
  • You sweat more than other skin types as your sebaceous glands are over-active.
  • You look like you’ve put on some heavy petroleum jelly during the afternoon.

COMBINATION SKIN

Combination skin type is said to be the most common skin type as many people tend to have this type, where some parts are oily (more likely to be the T-zone) whereas other parts are dry. Others may even have uneven skin tone, sensitivity in certain areas of the skin and a hard time finding the right skin routine.

Key Points of Combination Skin

  • Your skin produces both a lot and a little of sebum in different parts of your face & body.
  • You have uneven skin tone, some areas being light and others having dark patches.
  • You are prone to both breakouts and flaky skin.
  • You can also be prone to dandruff.

DRY SKIN

Dry skin type is when your skin does not retain a lot of moisture, meaning you do not produce or receive the right oils enough, and this can be caused by many factors such as using harsh soaps, bathing a lot, aging and a number of medical skin conditions.

Key Points of Dry Skin

  • Your skin produces little sebum, which may even cause Xerosis.
  • It lacks enough lipids to retain moisture and protect from external influences.
  • Skin can get dryer as you age.
  • In some cases, skin may be prone to eczema.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR SKIN TYPE

OILY SKIN

  • You have enlarged and visible pores.
  • You experience a glossy shine during the day.
  • You are prone to sweating more than other skin types.
  • You may also be prone to comedones (blackheads & whiteheads) and types of acne.

COMBINATION SKIN

  • Skin can feel pretty oily and sweaty in some places, and tight/rough in others.
  • Your T-zone appears more oily, while jawline and cheeks can be dry.
  • You can also experience a number of whiteheads.

DRY SKIN

  • Skin feels itchy, rough and so dry that it is tight and sometimes ‘cracky’.
  • You put on moisturizer, but within a couple of hours it’s dry again.
  • Most often, women have dry skin type than men.

WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

OILY SKIN

  • Applying an oil-control moisturizer everyday. Not applying a moisturizer because you think ‘your skin is oily already’ can actually have negative impacts, as your skin will notice that there’s no moisturizer applied and if it feels dry then with the excess sebum it has, it will release these natural oils, for balance, causing you to be oily again.
  • Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly, without any added ingredients. If you find that oil-control moisturizers are too expensive for you, or you’d still like to get that glow then pure petroleum can also work on oily skin as it is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not contain any oils that will clog your pores.
  • Opt for good skin cleansers rather than soaps. Soaps will more likely dry out your skin and cause the reaction of more oils being released, so choosing skin cleansers will help so that your skin is clean while also quite moisturized instead of dried out

COMBINATION SKIN

  • Exfoliate weekly. This will help to remove the comedones on your face, meaning your large pores will not be clogged anymore and your dead skin cells have been scraped off, while also this can allow for some nourishment on the dry areas of your face. You may look for a variety of safe chemical exfoliators at your nearest drugstore, or create your own using organic products such as honey and brown sugar.
  • For your hair, wash it everyday. Cleanse your hair and scalp daily (since the scalp is also part of the skin), but without any shampoo. Shampoo is more likely to dry out your scalp, creating more dandruff. So just wash it to keep it moisturized, but only with conditioner. Your combination skin type will love you for this.
  • You may also try to have & apply two moisturizers. Not a lot of cosmetic brands provide for combination skin, so while you’re trying to figure out your way into one good moisturizer, you may try using two; one for your T-zone (oil-control moisturizers) and one for the rest of your face (greasy moisturizers).

DRY SKIN

  • Opt for moisturizers that are thick and greasy than lightweight moisturizers as the greasy ones absorb into your skin cells deeper, which helps to nourish your skin for longer.
  • Have and use a humidifier, especially during the winter when the weather can be windy and harsh on skin. A humidifier is basically this appliance that sets your room or area to a more humid or damp environment, allowing the air to be moist which can help for a dry skin type.
  • Drinking plenty of water. This is quite self-explanatory, as drinking a lot of water can help keep your skin hydrated which balances out the dehydration that you already have affecting your skin, so aqua will really help to nourish your body and ultimately your skin. Turns out those cliche ‘drink a lot of water’ advices are not actually so cliche.

WHAT TO AVOID FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

OILY SKIN

  • Sitting in the sun for too long. While Vitamin D from then rays of the sun are good for you, enlarged pores and being greasy while you have oily skin is not, so if you do have to or feel the urge to sit in the sun try to wear a cap that can protect your face and apply an oil-control sunscreen.
  • Oily and fatty foods. As much as you’d like to eat that doughnut and that greasy breakfast from your favourite fast-food joint, you’ll also have to think of your skin. The long-term effects that these fatty foods can have are definitely not worth it.
  • Touching your face too often. Hands are used for numerous things, which means they can get dirty pretty easily. If you touch your face too much, not only will you be adding those impurities to your skin, but you’re also drying out your face and this will only cause your skin to release more oils to balance out the dryness. Try to touch it less, or if need be, make sure that those hands are clean.

COMBINATION SKIN

  • Products that clog your pores. Applying heavyweight products, especially in the wrong places, can clog your pores or make you shine way too much, so lightweight products that absorb quicker into the skin can really work best for combination skin type. Basically, try to stick to non-comedogenic products.
  • Products that have excess fragrances. Combination is basically a mix of oily and dry skin, and dry skin is a bit more sensitive, especially to fragrances that are chemically-designed. This can cause your skin to be irritated and ultimately break out, so try to avoid these types of products to secure your skin.
  • Doing anything that can make you sweat too much. Sweating while you have combination skin can lead to a complication because your pores are likely to open up and welcome/be open to comedones, so try to have blotting paper always. That way you keep the sweat at bay.

DRY SKIN

  • Using a lot of soap. I mean, naturally your skin is already dry, so using ordinary soap every day (and maybe even at night too) will just dry your skin out more. Try to minimize your use of soaps, or instead try moisture-based soaps such as Dove and Olay which will still cleanse your skin while also nourishing it.
  • Scratching your skin. This can be pretty bad, I mean really bad. Scratching your skin is basically taking the moisture off of it and putting it on your nails/fingertips. Now imagine scratching while there is no moisture, you’re only creating more dryness, so do try to avoid this by all means. If need be, then just rub the area with your hands and make sure your hands are moisturized.
  • Showering or bathing for a long time. Try to bath for less time than the average (about 10 minutes daily), as this will help your skin not strip the oily layer that can be helpful for dry skin. Lukewarm water is also best, rather than very warm water.

So ultimately, knowing your skin type is very important as there are a variety of factors that go with it, to help keep your specific type glowing.
Do you know yours now ? Comment down below, and what you are planning to do.

The Best Spring Playlist

My Music Playlist for Spring

Spring is around the corner, and while many will spend their first days spring cleaning I think that it is important to put on the right music while cleaning, because it has been said that having good music while doing a chore can have a positive effect on your mood, to the point where you may feel like doing the same chore twice.
I have thus put together a good playlist that may have you get a Feel Good Spring; some songs for spring cleaning and some just for a chilled spring day. Twenty songs in total.

1.~ Childish Gambino // 3005 (Beach Picnic Version)
Waking up
Straight after waking up and you don’t know which song to listen to on a sweet Spring morning? This song is it. It’s one of the best to wake up with in Spring as it gives a sweet and fresh yet classical vibe, much like running in flower fields or, as the title states, having a picnic on the beach.

2. ~ Anderson .Paak // Parking Lot
Feeling Fresh
So you’ve just started your day, yet you’re still feeling slightly groggy and lifeless, and would like a boost to your day. This is the exact song to bump to, because believe you me, I cannot help but dance and have a feel good attitude about everything when I am listening to this song.

3. ~ Kaytranada // Track Uno
Starting your day
Yes, it’s still the morning, and you’re getting ready to go to school or work; while eating breakfast or brushing your teeth, this may be the song you want to jam to. It really did wonders for me during my school year because quite frankly it was my ‘start your day’ song whenever I rode the bus to school or hanging out with friends before the bell rang. If you happen to listen to it, it could do wonders for you too.

4. ~ Santi // Rapid Fire ft. Shane Eagle & amaarae
On the road to work
While many choose to listen to news or FM songs on their radio in the morning, I do suggest that you listen to this song as it has a certain feel-good, buoyant and cheerful effect about it that leaves you feeling mint for the rest of the day, especially on a wonderful Spring day.

5. ~ Lil Wayne // XO Tour Life ft. Baby E
On the road to a nice outside place
Unexpected for a Spring playlist, right? Trap? Lil Wayne? What? Yes, I said it. So perhaps you’re not going to work/school today, yet it’s a nice Spring day and you feel like heading out to your favourite park, which song do you bump to on the road? That’s right, XO Tour Life Remix by Weezy. Your mood will feel the beauty of Spring.

6. ~ Tyler, The Creator // Pothole ft. Jaden Smith
In the car running an errand
If this song does not make you feel cool, confident and happy while listening to it, then you should probably rethink your life (is everything okay at home?). This jam is forever a vibe if we’re being quite honest, so if you don’t know what song to play in the car on a sweet Spring afternoon then this is it, my friend, this song is it. One of the most enjoyable songs that is versatile and happy by Tyler.

7. ~ Oshun // Gyenyame
In the bath
It’s still a wonderful Spring day, yet you’ve started the day so you took a late, long, Spring bath, but you still don’t know which song to jam to. I totally suggest this one, because it has a smooth, everything-will-be-fine effect about that leaves anyone feeling refreshed, physically, mentally and spiritually.

8. ~ SZA // Garden (Say Like That)
In your feels
Perhaps you’re in your feels after your significant other has just pulled the plug between the two of you, or life is just a bit shaky at the moment and you’d like to dance to it while shedding a couple of tears, then I do highly recommend this song as the mood of it fits the above description, while also having a Spring effect.

9. ~ A$AP Rocky // Buck Shots
While starting to clean
I swear by this song that if you ever feel bored, dull or discouraged and need a song to pump you up (to cleaning, or whatever), this is it! You’d never have to look anywhere else, because it has the complete effect. You will fresh in no time, trust me.

10. ~ Solange // Almeda
While cleaning
Still cleaning and you need something to revive you if you feel that you’re staring to lose energy? No fear, Solange is here. This song, in fact the whole album is a banger that, honestly, anyone can jam to. One particular song that stood out for me, one that made me dance to it immediately if I hear it ringing in my ears, one that made it okay to clean as long as I’m jamming to it, one that made me feel cool and fresh once it’s played, is definitely this one.

11. ~ Oshun // We’re Yung
While cleaning
As much as I’ve already put some cleaning songs in here and an Oshun song, I just had to fit this one in as well. The beat, the artists’s vocals, the lyrics, I have never heard a song so Spring-worthy. It’s really a good one, especially if you’re cleaning with your partner, then you’ll never go wrong cleaning to this and singing along. Plus the music video has just come out, so be sure to check it out.

12. ~ A-Reece // Holding Hands
While cleaning
I know, I know, I’ve already put in two songs dedicated to cleaning, but I just had to fit this one in too. A-Reece really did it with this one because you can’t help but sing along and feel cool while listening to this track. Well actually, almost all of his songs, though this one I’d say I specifically thought out for a Spring vibe.

13. ~ Jinsang // In Flight (full album)
While finishing to clean
This has to be the most relaxing album I have ever encountered by far. The artist himself is genius for making beautiful and breezy albums like these that instantly make you feel calm and laid-back, so it would be wise of you to check him out on Soundcloud, especially while spring is approaching.

14. ~ Frank Ocean // Pink + White ft. Beyonce
Dancing with your partner on a lazy afternoon
Whether you’ve just finished cleaning or on the verge of being done, this song is the perfect song for Spring if you’re lazying about with your significant other for the two of you to just slow dance and enjoy the whole scenario; even the lyrics match up with the scene.

15. ~ Shay Lia // Good Together
While hanging out with your loved one (in a car or porch)
Similar to the song mentioned above, Good Together is yet another sweet and almost-perfect song for Spring with your significant other if the two of you find yourselves lazying around together. The lyrics, the retro-feel about it, Shay Lia’s undescribable voice, this song will have you feeling like nothing’s better in the world than that moment.

16. ~ Erykah Badu // Love Of My Life (Ode To Hip Hop) ft. Common
Relaxed day on a hammock
So this time around you’re not going anywhere for the day, you’ll just spend the day in your yard, basking in the sun, and listening to some Erykah Badu. Let me tell you, this song is the perfect song for that exact mood. Hop on to the hammock, read a book or do something, and start by listening to this song, you will feel at ease and happy like the world is one again.

17. ~ Kaytranada // Bullets ft. Little Dragon
On the road heading home
It’s been a long sunny day and the sun is setting while you’re on your way home from a holiday or vacation, even school. You’d like a song to match your mood? Kaytranada’s got you. From Track Uno, to Bullets, to Vivid Dreams, heck the whole album, this guy will get you hooked. I must say, as much as it is currently his only one, this album is the best. A winner album for a joyous Spring day.

18. ~ Jorja Smith // Lifeboats (Freestyle)
Rainy day while reading a book
Spring still does have rainy days, right? It’s not all clear skies and perfect weathers for chilling outside. Which is why I honestly believe this song was created for days like those, when it’s spring yet the weather is deceiving us of what the it’s supposed to be like. With Jorja’s soft and classical-sounding voice, along with the meaningful lyrics, this may as well be the perfect song to listen to indoors.

19. ~ Blood Orange // Chewing Gum ft. A$AP Rocky & Project Pat
In the dark thinking about life
The spring day is still progress, yet you’ve found yourself in a feeling of contemplating life and the meaning of it. Nothing suicidal, but just deeply thinking about how wonderful it is to live, to experience your existence, along with the emotions of it, sad and happy. Ultimately, this song makes you think a long way, allowing you to feel some sanity.

20. ~ Drake // Jungle
About to go to bed
It’s the end of a good Spring day, you’re feeling rather lethargic, so you’re about to head to bed, I can bet that this song can do just the trick with helping you sleep, especially if played at a low volume, in the dark. Good luck though with getting it out of your mind, because it can be pretty addictive.

21 (Bonus). ~ Ab-Soul // Feelin Us ft. Jay Rock & Ravaughn
Reviving yourself if sad
Spring is not all just sunshine and rainbows, so whether you’ve just heard rather disappointing news, or you’re just not feeling yourself at the moment, trust that you will be feeling them [see what I did there?] As much this song is underrated, it’s one song that can get you back into the mood if you’ve had a bad one. The chorus has a special effect that make you feel good again while feeling content with everything going on in your life.

Wash Day For African Hair

Full Wash Day Hair Routine, including an organic deep conditioner.

It’s no secret, for those who know me, that I love taking care of my hair and I value it so much. I have not found the deep meaning or reason behind that yet, but what I do know is that my hair is closely as valuable to me as an entire human, so you may as well say it’s my baby. I will spend hours on my hair and chunks of money on purchasing the right products for it, just so that it can grow well and stay beautiful.

I have a particular wash day routine that I complete every month to make sure that it is still growing and the right amount of moisture and protein is instilled to allow it to grow. I wash my hair about every week, then deep condition it every month or fortnight, so I have decided to include the deep conditioning as well into this blog-post.

The products I use and why them ?
Well, I’m quite a fan of Aunt Jackie’s products, as they are inexpensive (affordable for a broke girl like me), the ingredients used focus on having the best interests for your hair, whether it’s curls, coils or relaxed hair, there’s no sulfate and parabens, but there are more organic ingredients such as shea butter and argan oil, because chemicals & minerals may damage your hair in the long run. Plus, they smell really good and always leave your hair soft and maintainable.

How I incorporate my hair wash routine and why ?
I make sure to deep condition my hair every month so that there is enough protein in it and it’s not just moisture, making sure that they still have strength and growth, though I do also make sure to wash every week so that all the products I have utilized for the week do not build up and clog my pores with residue that should be washed, as this may prohibit my hair from growing. This is also to maintain the softness of my hair because without moisture then hair will become dry, brittle and prone to breakage.

The Process

  1. Pre-Pooing

Pre-pooing means applying oil to your hair so that you can protect it before washing in the case that use harsh chemicals in shampoos and conditioners. You may use any oil, from coconut oil to olive oil to castor oil, whichever works best for you.

I normally begin by pre-pooing my hair if I am not deep-conditioning it, as this helps to protect my strands from the harsh chemicals that come from certain ingredients in shampoos. I used to use the Aunt Jackie’s shampoo alone, though after some time I have realized that it is best to use, in the first wash, a shampoo that contains sulfates as it helps to roughly clean out all the excess dirt in your hair, whereas a product without sulfate will be soft on your hair but may not cleanse out every amount of dirt properly. So I begin by using a shampoo that contains sulfate, then right after I use the Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean shampoo because it’s infused with oils and butters that can still leave my hair in a good state. This is why pre-pooing is important to protect your hair from those sulfates if you do not happen to use a sulfate-free shampoo, then pre-pooing will protect your strands. I also normally wear a satin scarf or doek after doing this, to ensure the oils do not drip or fade out with the wind.

2. Applying the deep conditioner

The ingredients I use for my special organic deep conditioner are: Coconut Oil [can be purchased at your nearest supermarket, or Clicks/Dischem], Eggs, Honey, and Avocado.
I start by mashing the avocado into a bowl (glass or plastic is fine), then break two large eggs inside (making sure no pieces shells are inside), then pour two tablespoons of melted coconut oil (you may actually use any oil, such as Jojoba, Castor, Argan, though coconut oil works best for me), and lastly pour in a tablespoon of raw honey.

Reasons For Each Ingredient

Avocado: An avocado is known for containing good unsaturated fats that can be instilled in your hair, it is also high in protein which really feeds the hair so that it can have strength.
Eggs: Eggs are also high in protein, while also helping your hair to remain soft and elastic. They work the most effective way because they get in to your hair strands quicker.
Coconut Oil: This oil has the ability to lock in any moisture or product while giving your hair strength not to break or become frizzy. Its heavyweight can ensure that the proteins are locked in and that your hair may still shine.
Honey: For extra shine, this works best, as the proteins may dry your hair out after rinsing. Honey will enable your hair to still remain silky, smooth and shiny for a long while.

Applying

[side note: these pictures were actually in the form of a video, the video was too long to post so I took snaps of relevant parts instead]

I tend to start by sectioning my hair into two or four parts when applying my deep-conditioner, so that it is easier to sink in and activate. Then, with either a flat brush or my hands while wearing a glove, I apply from the start/base to the ends of my hair. An important note is that it’s essential to focus on applying the ends of the hair as this can protect them from becoming split ends, so a deep conditioner can give enough strength for being less prone to breakage.

You may use a plastic, shower cap or a heating cap (more preferable to use a heating cap, as this can ensure that your hair is warm underneath, and the secret to growing hair is moisture and warmth).

Though if you happen to not have a heating cap, then what I have recently discovered to work for me is to put boiling water into a bucket, then place my head just above the bucket, so that the heat of the steam up to my head and the hair can remain warm. You will have to be careful with this though, as it may be quite hot and if happen to spill the bucket, it may land on your head and can be quite painful (speaking from experience).

A good way to deep condition is to leave it in your hair for about 40 minutes to an hour, especially if you are using heat (1.5 hours without heat).

3. Washing

After allowing the deep conditoner to sit for enough time on your head, it is time to wash it off. Make sure that you have all utensils that you need beside you, this includes :

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Wide-toothed Comb (to ensure good detangling)
  • Hair-band / elastic (to tie the sections of your hair)
  • Hair clip
  • Towel (microfibre towel works best, or if not then a clean cotton t-shirt)
  • Gloves (if you would like to protect your hands & nails from the harsh ingredients)
  • Cup (or whatever to scoop the water with)

When you wash your hair, it is best to section it as this makes products easier to apply and rinse. Make sure that your water is lukewarm enough for your head. If it is too warm/hot, it can dry out your hair and remove the oils you applied to protect your hair. If it is too cold, your pores may close and this will not prohibit your pores from being cleansed thoroughly.

Your first wash should be for removing the deep conditioner from your hair. After that, you will apply a moderate amount of shampoo, just a little dab for that section of your hair. Then you wash out that section and comb it out slowly so that there’s little breakage yet your hair can still be detangled, then go on to the next section until you have washed your hair fully.

Once you have shampooed your hair, you then apply your conditioner, allowing it to sit for roughly ten to twenty minutes before washing it out, unless you have applied a leave-in conditioner, in which case you do not need to rinse it out.

4. Drying

Though I may not dry my hair all the time with a dryer, when I do, I make sure to use a hair serum that will still protect my strands. [As you may now tell, protection of your hair is important. This allows for minimum breakage, leading to massive hair growth.] I personally use a heat protection serum from Clicks, called AfriTrue. It leaves my hair silky and shiny after drying.

If I happen to not dry my hair, I just scrunch it with a clean cotton t-shirt, or a microfibre towel so that there’s little breakage. Sometimes I do continue to apply the serum to ensure that the moisture is sealed in. Then comb it out, and let it air-dry for about one to two hours.

5. Styling

I tend to style my hair before I go to bed in french braids. If I’m not going to bed then I just do one ponytail Ariana-Grande-style. If I am going to bed, I will continue with the LCO-method. The LCO method stands for Liquid, Cream and Oil, meaning that before you do whatever protective styling, you can begin by applying a lightweight liquid to your hair to soften it up as a base before other heavyweight products are applied, plus detangle and restore moisture after your being dry, then a cream to repair and condition your hair from it being being dry and frizzy, this also help to strengthen the hair by letting good ingredients become absorbed into the strands, then finally the oil is to seal up all the moisture to allow it to stay on the strands instead of fading or ‘evaporating’.

Most times I begin by mixing some water and the Aunt Jackie’s Knot On My Watch Detangler as the liquid, then lather it all over my hair. I then use the Aunt Jackie’s (Flaxeed Recipe) Seal It Up Butter to moisturize my hair as a cream, making sure I apply from root to end, before I seal it with some Aunt Jackie’s Repair My Hair Argan oil blend while braiding my hair.

Braiding for me is especially important as it is a protective style that ensures there’s still moisture and nourishment in my hair. Then when I wake up the following day, my hair is in beautiful curls.

It may seem like a lot, but trust me, it is all worth it when you start to see your hair becoming healthy and growing, so I truly urge that you stay consistent because the happiness that comes from finally seeing the results of good hair care, it’s incredible.

What’s your wash day routine? Leave a comment down below.

GET TO KNOW ME

15 SHORT FACTS ABOUT MYSELF

Quick Introduction

I believe I did not actually introduce myself quite properly. So here it goes. The name is Sandiswa. I am an eighteen year old, going to ninenteen in October, and I’ve just finished high school.
I live Port Elizabeth, which is this small underrated city in South Africa. Yup, I’m African. A proud African young goddess. As much as this, the living in an almost unknown city, being so young and being African may seem a little far from (even having the potential to be) something huge, like you know, almost everyone in my country (or even continent) knowing my name, I am a girl with big dreams.
Anyways, let’s jump into the facts, because that’s where it’s more interesting, I think.

The Facts

1.I come from a family of 5, now 4, since my parents have divorced, exactly ten years ago. I have two older sisters, both in varsity, and I live with my mother. In particular, we live in a small town called Despatch just next to Port Elizabeth, though I’ll just say I’m from Port Eli as I grew up there and left in 2012.

2. I am African. I mean yes, I’ve already announced this before but just to add on, along with my ‘africanicity’ I come from a beautiful tribe called the Xhosa tribe, meaning I speak IsiXhosa fluently. It is my mother tongue.

3. I am in love with astrology/zodiac. Well actually, in love is an understatement, I am obsessed. Do not ask me why, just don’t. No one questions that. Lol, but anyways, to answer those who may also be as obsessed as I am, I’m a Libra sun, Capricorn moon and Sagittarius rising. The confusion of it all! Trust me, I know.

4. I am learning to speak Portuguese. Pretty odd for a young African child who’s never even left her province (I’m embarrassed enough, leave me alone), considering that Africans have this deep rooted beef with Europeans that looks like it’s nowhere near ending, but I’m actually more interested in visiting Mozambique, I am just in love with the country. That’s about it. Plus being multilingual, or even a polyglot, would sound really nice next to my name.

5. My favourite number is the number five. I just had to add that as a fact haha. Maybe because my birthday is on the 5th of October or maybe because it’s the number in the middle of single digit numbers, which may clearly state how much of Libra I am, all this indecisiveness and balance.

6. I have a never-ending huge crush on ASAP Rocky. Nevermind that he’s also a Libra, nevermind that his birthday is 2 days before my birthday, nevermind that his fashion sense is top 2 and not 2 on the list of most fashionable men on this green earth, he is just ultimately the most gorgeous and handsome young man in the world. Funny, respectable, super cool and thoughtful. Oh, and he is my husband, he just doesn’t know it yet.

7. I am 160cm tall, which I think is 5’3 in feet. Honestly, I’ve considered that short (and maybe I still kind of do), until I searched some of the most famous celebrities (Cardi B) and some other favourite instagram models (@Sahlt_) and realized that I’m actually not that short.

8. My life path number is 8, just to clear that up, and I am pretty much the disciplined and hard-working number 8 that they describe. So you can basically really expect an organized and an ambitious person, who’s quite a visionary, throughout this blog.

9. I am Roman Catholic. I’ve been baptized, had my holy communion, all of that. I still very much am a spiritual person and believe in God, but I’m not too fond of the bible and church. I have certain reasons, but that doesn’t mean I do not believe in God and His beautiful creations.

10. I am a huge of fan of Oshun (the female duo). Their songs are very creative and make so much sense in my life. They also dress exactly the way I’d like to dress when I am moneyed. Lastly, they are very beautiful African women who take pride in their africanicity.

11. My nickname is Mbali, which means flower. I got it in 2014 though, and so numerous people (especially those close to me) like to argue with that or hate on it because it’s not on my birth certificate or whatever, it’s the weirdest thing ever because I’m not too sure why it hurts them.

12. I am currently taking a gap year at home. I’m hoping to do either Journalism or Bachelor of Arts in a university outside of my city or at least outside of my province in 2020. My reasons for taking the gap year are pretty complicated, though I must say it is much need and I suggest it for many learners that are reaching the end of high school.

13. My favourite show is… actually a cartoon. Steven Universe. The best, most creative and low-key the wisest cartoon to ever be created, right above Rick and Morty. My favourite show that isn’t a cartoon would have to be either Insecure or Grown-ish. I also watch a bit of anime at times.

14. My favourite meal would have to be… actually a snack. Sweet and sour wings from my local supermarket Spar. Those wings mean everything to me, because the taste is indescribable. I could munch on them all day, along with some cold, fresh lemonade.

15. Last but not least, I am actually a lowkey artist. I go by the name of Solis Red, for now, (I’m considering changing it in the future) who is a rapper and vocalist, then I am also part of a duo and a band, which actually has not officially begun yet, but be on the look out because my visionary trait has quite blast coming forth.

Conclusively, this is how you can describe me. A young, fun yet hard-working woman who may be a paradox, though she’s really just a gem.

HOW TO TOP THE THREE S’s

Sleep, Study, Social Media

So, lately, we live in a society where perfection is basically the main goal, especially if you have a good phone, you attend school or college, and have a brain that needs sleep (so that your skin can start glowing or whatever). At the end of the day, we’re just trying to nail good grades, stay poppin’ on these social apps and have a healthy body, though it’s been said that of these 3 S’s you can never maintain more than two. I am here to prove that wrong. These four steps will have you up-top in no time. It’s just all about finding balance, so let me teach you, my little buds.

  1. Prioritizing
    It is extremely important to prioritize as this will help you get things in order. The only good way to achieve all three is honestly just knowing and being able to prioritize. This means knowing which of these is important, which in most cases is School, unless sleep is the most important to you because you listen to your body, so that you are not mixed up and clueless about how to keep your social life, studies and sleeping routine in tact. This is the main reason why many people fail at nailing all three, because they do not prioritize, which means knowing what’s most important.
    After prioritizing whichever one, consider it to be the main goal of the day whenever you wake up, always keeping in mind that that priority should be achieved during the day, then leave the less important stuff for when you’ve conquered your priority.
  2. Creating a schedule
    This is an important step as this will help you know when to do each task and how much time to spend on them, because if you don’t have a schedule then your day will be mixed up with a task being half-done at a time that another task should’ve been done, or spending too much time on a certain task that does not necessarily need a lot of time spent on.
    In this case, you may want to create a schedule and write it in your journal, notes, diary or whichever pad you frequently find yourself doodling on. That way, when you feel bored yet you know that you still have a task at hand, then you can check up on that pad to remind yourself on what you should be doing and when.
    For example, if it is studying (that’s your priority), you will wake up, check on your diary and know that at 9am you should start studying. That way, you have enough time to get your life in order before you begin, whereas if you did not have a schedule, you would wake up doing useless things and by the time you realize you should be studying you have already wasted a lot of time, and then start stressing. Reason being,. scheduling is important.
  3. Focusing on the task at hand
    While you may have now prioritized everything and have set a schedule, it never really truly counts if you’re not focusing on the task at hand, because when you’re not focused you’ll soon realize that you’re wasting time. What I mean by focus does not necessarily mean straining and putting your whole mind into it, more than being in that zone while doing your task, without letting any distractions to be fed. Brush any distractions off then get back into what you are doing.
    For example, if you are sleeping, stay sleeping. Do not now sleep for a couple of hours then wake up to watch something when really, you know your body needs sleep. Even with social media too, if you are on your phone and have scheduled to stay on your phone for an hour, be on your phone for that hour because you have set a schedule for it. Stay there and do whatever you’ve been wanting to do, so that you know when the time is up then you won’t want to go back because you focused on doing what you should be doing at the time.
  4. Do not layer yourself
    This means that you shouldn’t be biting off more than you can chew, so you are basically narrowing down the task in quantities. If you have a certain amount of that task to do, then do only that certain amount and do not go overboard and overdo it, because if you do more than that then you will just end up being stressed as to how you can fit whatever you want to do in a certain time. Plus, when it’s a new day and you have that task again, you have run out as you’ve already spent a lot doing that task then.
    It’s easier to put it into quantities and only focusing on that quantitiy for that time. With that, you can expect a quality achievement as you have put in enough time and did not rush do the task. You did the moderate amount at the time, and you did it the best way. For example, if you are studying, study only a limited amount for that certain period, knowing that your brain is at ease and you will know where and how to carry on for the next time.

In the end, I can assure you that these tasks are not that hard to maintain if you follow the above steps. Ultimately, it’s all about finding balance within yourself so that you may bring balance upon your lifestyle. By that, you will want to enact in these four simple steps.

GOALS ON A PAPEROLL

FIRST BLOG-POST OF DREAMS I SHALL ACHIEVE

THE WHOLE IDEA

TRAVELLING

So yes, I am an eighteen year old girl from just across the street with nothing more than her ID card, empty bank account and about 80c to her name, BUT the whole idea is that, inside, I have way more than that. I have dreams (or idealistic visions if you must, but I prefer dreams) where I am this luxurious, ostentatious and rather wealthy young woman who will conquer all her dreams if it is the last thing she does.

THE DREAMS ¬ Well I have more than R20 000 in my bank account that I can do whatever thou wilt with it. I am conversationally fluent in Portuguese so perhaps I can travel to Portugal soon. Though honestly, I’ll probably start with Indonesia first – journey to the beautiful Bali, hopefully with someone I call my bae. Then a couple months later, we jet off to Thailand where we land in the stunning Phuket, not forgetting Bangkok. Then eventually, take a long and lovely visit to Portugal (Lisbon to be specific) for at least 2 months. Brazil, London and Dubai are also on the list but we’ll have to look at the budget. I would’ve also added France, but I’m pretty certain that’s where I want to have our honeymoon. I mean I wouldn’t want to finish the list and we’re now stuck after the wedding as to where to honeydaze.


It’s pretty interesting how I think for someone who doesn’t have a rand to her name. But then again, as I’ve said the whole idea is that, inside, I have way more than that. I would say I am simply manifesting.

SELF-CARE

In terms of self-care, caring for oneself, taking care of thyself, well… I have dreams for those too, though they’re not quite what you’d presume. Call me superficial if you must but for me, they’re more external than internal, such as my lifestyle. That is simply because I think I have developed myself enough internally. I’ve had the best of days, I’ve had the worst of days, and I would like to conclude that I pretty much know myself almost completely. I say almost because there are still things I am yet to encounter and who knows how I’ll react to them. At my usual though, I have drawn quite a graph about who I am, what I’ve gone through, how I’ve dwelled into my emotions, how I bounced back, and just ultimately how I keep presenting myself to the world. I love it all. It’s fascinating and teaches me a lot. Plus hey, I am still rather an adolescent, each encounter is part of growing up, we all go through it, so I don’t take much negative interest in it. I love my happiness.

Anyways, enough about my internals, let’s talk about my externals. My ‘dreams’ (visions). If I was to ever experience them, what are they?

Well, for starters, I have my own good, distinctive bedroom with a mini-studio for my artsy creativities that I tend to have, such as drawing, photography, music and all that sort. It’s nicely decorated too, with a cute side lamp that lights the room in a pink-ish way (or maybe fairy-lights), some crystals adorning the table, the room smelling of sweet incense or scented-candles, polaroid photos of my best friends and I hanging on the wall, as well as posters of my favourite artists and fashion icons, and a radio in the corner for some forever-music playing in the background (most probably my soundcloud faves Jinsang or City-girl).

I have rich and lengthy hair now, finally. The whole taking-care-of-it is starting to show. My skin has gotten better too, after those lame pimples were invading my forehead because I have oily skin, but now I have sweet, loving skin-care routine. As for my hair, I have a routine as well, and it is now growing faster than Usain sprinting. Well maybe I’m exaggerating, but I finally have long and healthy hair after years of begging it to grow. Thank heavens.

I eat proper (okay well this is both internal and external), with healthy bi-hourly meals, and maybe some ice-cream before I go to bed, because hey I have beeen losing weight it’s getting scary. Now I’m able to fit into my pants and shirts without the saggy bits, while my appetite is doing great again (hopefully for good) after it kept running away because of what I’d call my ‘Intensely-Overwhelming-Depressed-Episodes’ (IODE). Just these blips of unpleasant minutes I spend ‘hating myself’ and I just have these sad emotions that spiral out of control and I feel like flushing myself. [Really trying to make it seem a little more stupid and less deep than it actually is.]

ENTERTAINMENT

When I say entertainment, I mean artsy things by the way. Music, photography, drawing, the people that create these creativities, just things that please the eyes, ears and hands.
So, goals for those too?

Well I am in a duo with my best friend and we’re on the road to releasing an album soon. Though I’m also in a trio band with my other best friend and cousin, I’m managing it all pretty well. Within 3 years we are performing at festivals and concerts, perhaps even go international. Music basically takes up a third of my day (sleeping with one third, eating and learning Portuguese with the other). With that too, I make a bit of unexpected profit. Unexpected because I’d expect money from a profession, not a hobby. But here we are. Expecting it. So it’s no longer unexpected, huh? Oh well, next.

FASHION

I’m perfecting my fashion-trait. I basically set trends, because I mean I already have the fashion trait, but I have now perfected it to the point where I set incredible trends for my peers, and maybe daughters one day. I have a lot clothes, and I mean A LOT. They’re not even designer wear, but they make the statement. The Sandy Statement that is. I am now basically the younger version of Bella Hadid, Fran Drescher and Cher Horowitz, my fashion icons, who are unsurprisingly all Libras, like me, and A$AP Rocky (the ultimate black male trendsetter of our time). Guess you could call us fashion masters now. [P.s, I would mention my other fashion faves (Stefneyv and Aaliyah) but they’re not necessarily Libras.]

STILL ENTERTAINMENT

Then conclusively, I also have this amazing blog that’s flourishing, along with a YouTube channel to go hand in hand with it. They’re running at a magical pace because they’re just what I’ve dreamed of. That is, the blog has a cute theme with sets of categories for travelling, self-care, fashion and Portie People.
Portie People is where I showcase people from here in Port Elizabeth, city of thrones (like how Jo’burg is the city of gold and Cape Town is the city of I don’t know, tourist attractions I guess (Table Mountain), the most amazing people come from here. Well, Eastern Cape in total but same thing) who are artists. They collect, they consume and they create superb content. This little city that actually has so much potential, so I am here to bring it to light so that it may be recognized for the best. I am here for it.

That’s it. That’s the way I’m living. That’s my lifestyle.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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