Caramel Conversations has moved!

17 Jul

Caramel Conversations is now official. New Posts will now appear on the official website: www.caramelconversations.com

This journey is dear to my heart, and is a constant work in progress. This journey/idea originally came to me upon graduating college in 2008, so it’s been a long time coming. The layout/design may change a bit, but I’m working to eventually get a permanent design for you guys. I want it to be familiar place you visit to get a laugh, grow through my experiences, or gain insight on something you may be going through. I’m going to try to keep up with news and alerts that could affect us as women, especially women of color (i.e. health, social,)

Every post is solely from my own perspective, and I hope my personality shows through each written piece.

Thanks for growing with me! Small Town girls Dream BIG too!

If you’ve subscribed via email, please re subscribe on the new official site to follow.

Xoxo~ CaramelRell

www.caramelconversations.com

#caramelconversations

Advertisements

Hair Chronicles…Mohawk

5 Jul
tophawkside hawkbackhawk

As I promised, I am posting pictures of my hairstyle each time I change it. I got tired of the puff, and tried something new. I’ve never actually styled my natural hair by itself i.e no help from personality pieces. I usually put a few flat twists in the front and add something on top. Yesterday, I was home for the Fourth of July, and had some time on my hands, and decided to go for it. I had no clue what kind of style I wanted for my hair, or how to accomplish it. Sometimes experiments turn out okay, so I went for it! It turned out okay, and although it’s not the perfect Mohawk, it made me feel confident to leave the house with MY hair, and know I can do many things with it! It gave me confidence in a whole new way. I don’t only feel confident with my hair, but it made me want to go after everything I want to accomplish! It’s amazing what trying something new can do for you! Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good lace front or half wig to assist me through some weeks! But, since going natural March 2010, I’m no longer a slave to the weave! Weave (personality pieces) are now an accent to my hair, not the main attraction!

For this style I used:

Beautiful Curls Products

Leave in Conditioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Curly Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

Cantu Shea butter pomade

Please visit,
and
to find the above products or visit your local Whole Foods

Hair Chronicles

27 Jun
side_viewtop_viewfront_view

This week in Curly Conversations…
I want to start featuring my hairstyle for each week. Hair is such a huge topic for women in the African-American community. It’s so complex yet unique to each individual. We all have different textures and each head of hair has its own pros and cons. One thing we do share is wondering what in the heck we’re going to do with it each week. I’m natural, so I’m still learning what works for me. To really get in the thick of things, click on each photo, and it will show an enlarged image. Enjoy!

Products used:

Cantu Shea Butter pomade

 

 

 

 

Ampro Styling Gel

So you’re working for a Tyrant…Don’t let it break you!

14 Jun

Photo credit: clip art image

I have to begin this post with a question. Why are tyrants always in supervisory/management positions? In my 27 years of life, and 4 years of working full-time (since college), I’ve seen and heard of the worst people being in leadership roles in the workplace. I cannot for the life of me, understand why tyrants are able to get into these roles, and remain there without consequences of their dictatorship behavior! Despite the nature of the job/business there is no reason to make work miserable for your employees.

My first real job after college was being an assistant to a Director of an organization to aid underprivileged students with their academics. I was beyond giddy to have a job with benefits, and in a field I wanted to be part of(working with underprivileged youth). I was quickly brought off my “real-job high,” after discovering that my Director was an insane, bi polar tyrant! I had a gut feeling she was off a little bit during my two interviews, but ignored it because it was 2008 (high gas no jobs), I had little to no experience, and I needed the money bad! From day one she was putting me down about not knowing how to work a program I had never used before. She reminded me every chance she could about how she could’ve hired someone else, but “chose me.” On day two, she gave me an assignment to complete using a program that was fairly new to me. She didn’t provide me any insight as to how to do it! She said it didn’t need to be done until three days later. Two hours in, and I finally figured out how to enter the freaking data! She starts running around saying “I should have finished it in 20 minutes.” I’m in tears, and in sheer panic!

Screaming was how she communicated. She would yell my name when she needed something, and that wasn’t going to work for this chic! I couldn’t make it in that type of environment. My honey looked at my teary face each day that week, and on the third day said that’s enough. So, I quit my amazing job working with underprivileged youth  because I didn’t want to go nuts one day and beat this nut job; or lose my hair due to the stress of going in each day.

Everyone is not able to quit the way I did, and are stuck going to a job they hate every day because they have bills to pay, children to feed, and lives to live. I’ve had to do it for the past two years, so I get it. It’s sickening that one bad apple can cause a place of business to be miserably day in and day out. So many people are at a job right now in an unbearable job scenario and can’t make any moves.

Tyrants are usually the way they are for 3 reasons:

  • They have no control at home in their personal lives, so they come to work and feel powerful there, and make others’ feel as miserable as they are.
  • They’re complete idiots and to make up for it, they put others down, and make each day of work miserable
  • They are completely psychotic! <–This was my crazy boss’s issue!

Fast forward 4 years, and things have turned around for me. Today I have a great supervisor and work in academics (which is my real world dream job).

 For those of you, who feel like you’re losing, don’t let it break you! It’s easy to lose hope, and stop dreaming when you’re in intensely bad situations. But the way to push through is to continue to find time to work toward your dreams. It’s hard, but you must find the time to dedicate to you. This situation won’t last always.

My new motto despite my current situation is to “NEVER get too comfortable.” I’m still working toward my own dreams and ambitions while I work full-time; mainly because while things are good now, they won’t always be. Eventually I’ll want and need higher pay, fulfillment, and the standards that are okay now, won’t be when I’m ready to have kids, and expand my family and life.

Don’t let your situation break you! Press on, and keep working towards your dreams!

Compromising Vs. Settling

1 Jun

Credit:clip art image

I’ve been in a relationship with my honey (Anthony) for almost 8 years. I feel old just writing that! I hate to say that word relationship, because what we have is so much deeper than that. We are such deeply, connected kindred spirits, that I feel that the word relationship does it no justice. You don’t make it to eight years easily, or without the willingness to compromise. Now, here is where it gets tricky and people scrunch their faces; but I’m going to be as detailed as I can to unfold the differences between compromising and settling in relationships.

Although the dictionary definitions of compromise and settle are very similar we identify them as completely different things. Compromising is what you should do when you’re in a committed long-term, relationship, marriage, etc. It is only something you do with someone who is undoubtedly in love with you, supportive of you, and vice versa. You know if you’re with someone who is worth compromising some things for. Many hear the word compromise and assume it means giving up a part of you or not enjoying things that you normally would if you were single. First off, compromising in a relationship is and only should be mutual. You may compromise on major decisions like careers, living in the city versus the living in the suburbs, or on minor decisions like where to eat for (dinner)i.e. not eating at your favorite restaurant so that your sweetie can eat at his/her restaurant pick. For me this is a biggie, because I always want to eat at the same two places, and never want what my honey wants. When we are butting heads about where to eat dinner, we usually have to come to some middle ground and choose something we can both settle on. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve ended up restaurant parking lots with the car windows up, arguing because I won’t compromise. Yes, I have my moments too! He’s a big time carnivore and I always want pasta or salad (not a man’s usual favorite). Compromises no matter how big or small shouldn’t feel like burdens; if they feel more like burdens, then it’s time to have a talk, and another compromise needs to be made. Both parties need to feel important, loved, happy, etc. You should always want each other to feel appreciated and happy. Every couple on earth makes compromises on something. Some people are willing to deal with habits or situations that others’ aren’t. Each couple’s compromises are unique to them, and that’s what makes them (as a couple) work. One person cannot always have it their way, because this is where it becomes a dictatorship. Meeting in the middle becomes the norm, because that’s what you do to keep each other fulfilled. Compromising does not feel like you’re giving up something; when you’re doing it with the right person. It’s amazing because I know, that no matter what; I’ve got someone who’ll give his last whatever or go without, so that I can have what I need and vice versa.  

 Now, I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m always happy to make compromises. Sometime I do get irritated, as does he with some of the situations at hand, but as a whole; the compromises are mediocre compared to what we get from being in each others’ lives. It is the most fulfilling thing in the world to share and make decisions with someone and continue to strive for the other persons’ happy every day.

Settling is the term generally used when one is not fulfilled in a relationship, but gives their all, while receiving the bare minimum in return. You can compare settling to the Vilfredo Pareto principal better known as the 80/20 rule of business.  The  Italian mathematician/ economist who noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. The richest 20% owned 80% of the land. To relate this to settling, you can say that one person is giving 80% and receiving only 20 % in return. You can also relate it to the belief (not my own belief) that in most healthy relationships, you should be getting 80% of what you need from your partner. More is great, less than 80% not so great. If you’re with someone, and you know without a doubt that you’re not fulfilled and getting back what you put in, then you’re settling.

I think a partnership of any kind should be 50/50, so I’m not sure how I feel about the 80/20 reference. I enjoy spitting things down the middle. If both parties are giving and receiving (equally) within a relationship, then for the most part both should be happy. So, if you have somebody good treat them right compromise on some things, cook, clean, love ‘em up, cut them some slack with their careers/jobs. If a career requires lots of travel, compromise on how to spend time together. Be supportive while they start a business, work more while they finish school, whatever the compromise needs to be. In return the same things should happen for you. If you’re not willing to compromise… a serious relationship may not be for you right now.

Love, live life y’all!

Sources used Britannica online:

Source: “Vilfredo Pareto.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 01 Jun. 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/443519/Vilfredo-Pareto>.

 

What is Closure…Throwback baby!

15 May

Recent events and conversations have prompted me to write about the one thing that women are always seeking…closure. I draw from experience, so here’s all about closure.

Any relationship that has gone through a rough ending can cause the person on the receiving end of the suffering to feel the need to have closure. Women are the biggest culprits when it comes to wanting to receive closure, but what does that really mean? Some in-depth explanation of why something happened, a sincere apology, a phone call confessing of the wrongful actions…I mean what is closure really?

In my teenage years, until my early twenties, I felt that closure was a real and necessary thing to move on from a tormented feeling. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Nine times out of ten, that “closure” you’ve been waiting on is not gonna happen. You’re literally waiting on someone to call and say “I’m sorry” or “I never meant to hurt you” or “I was wrong.” Listen; sometimes there is no other explanation except the fact that the person that has caused you pain, is just “A JERK!” If we’d learn to accept the fact that people are just inconsiderate and selfish, then it would save us from a lot of anger, sitting and waiting.  

Accepting people for who they are is the best way to move forward after going through a rough ending. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to let go of that “why did he say this”, or “why would he act like that?” You get to a point, where what a person says or does no longer phases you…period!  

Remember, misery loves company, so if someone did something, hoping to get a negative reaction out of you,  just don’t respond. Don’t give em’ the satisfaction. Instead FORGIVE! Forgiveness is closure.

When that person comes back knocking on your door(spirit, heart, mind)…keep it closed! That is how you know you’ve grown. KARMA, can be a very satisfying thing, but the ability to pray for that person, and truly meaning it feels that much better!

I provided Usher’s “Throwback” from the Confessions album for your enjoyment! Click below.

#GROWTH


Nurturing your 90-day challenge:

2 May

Many times, the reason we never see our dreams come to life is because we don’t nurture them; either because we don’t know how, or don’t have the motivation to see it through. With anything that is expected to grow, it has to be nourished. TLC is the only way to get you moving forward with your challenge.

Many times we doubt that we can really do something because of our situation or economic/social class limits. I too, have been guilty of keeping myself at a standstill because I felt I didn’t have the means or connections to jump-start my goals, dreams, etc.  It’s a constant struggle each day, but I live by “What God has for me is for me.” If you’re unsure of how to get started on your personal/professional challenge, do your research. Don’t allow your lack of knowledge or access keep you from getting started. Research, research, research! The only way to gain knowledge is to research and learn as much as you can. Ask others who’ve accomplished what you’re working on how they did it. If you don’t have access to the internet at home, go to your local library, or ask the local community college if they allow guest passes to their computer labs. Don’t allow your lack of technology hold you back.

Secondly, don’t do it alone! Give someone close to you (who believes in you) an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. They can be your motivation warrior! You need a motivator to keep you going, especially when you want to give up. Road blocks and gatekeepers will undoubtedly get in the way, but stay strong! You’re motivation warrior is there to pick you up when it gets rough. No matter what your challenge is: losing weight, combating illness, being a better person, building a business small or large, working on your craft (music, writing, film) advancing in your current career, whatever the challenge; work until you win.

Share your stories here. If you’re at a standstill, and need motivation we can all get their together. I’m on day 2 of my challenge, and I’ve already had loss of direction and the wondered “what am I doing…will anyone care if I do this…will I be successful?” moments.

Don’t let those thoughts cloud your vision.

How is your 90- day challenge going? Have you begun, what’s keeping you at a standstill? Think about it or share it here. I embrace and encourage comments, and hope we can help each other.