Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One of My Favorite Poems....

Through life there will be times where you have to encourage yourself. This poem always gets me through my rough times. I hope that it resonates with you and stays fresh in your mind especially at times when you need it most.....

Don't You Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

Life is queer with its twists and turns,As every one of us sometimes learns,When he might have won had he stuck it out.Don't give up though the pace seems slow -Often the struggler has given upWhe he might have captured the victor's cup;The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,And you never can tell how close you are,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Signed A Twenty Something Woman With No Children and No Husband...

Life has a beautiful way of teaching you lessons. You can spend your whole life thinking that you want something only to find out later that you want the exact opposite.
This morning I logged on to Facebook to see two announcements of engagement. One, a picture showcasing a gorgeous ring and the other of a friend from home that brought me to tears as I watched him declare is love for his now fiancée in front of their friends and family. It's no secret that I want to be married and have a family. I know that I was built to be a great wife and the coolest mom ever but as I sit and watch people I know embark on new journeys day to day on social media I can't help but wonder why not me? Why haven't I arrived yet? I know I deserve all that I dream of but why hasn't it happened yet?

This is a conversation I've had with my close friends and I think I've found the answer. We all want what we want but life is about timing. I remember my senior year of college I planned on moving to NYC within a year of graduation. My work was wrapping up and all I could see on the other side was my modeling career. Looking in hindsight it is apparent that if that happened I would've crashed and burned. Outside of the fact that this great city is a beast, there were things I needed to go through, people I needed to meet, lives that I needed to touch prior to my arrival in the Big Apple. If I had embarked on this journey prematurely I know that I'd be in a completely different place in life.

Despite my ticking biological clock that family and friends remind me of when they ask "So are you next?", "When are you going to have some children... you know you aren't getting any younger!" oh and of course the "No man wants a woman who is too busy." I feel really good about my situation. What these people can't seeing is that I'm building an empire here. Not only do I want to give my children the things I never had I also want to make sure I give them ME. I want to my husband to feel like he has my time and knows that I am present. Of course with the industry I am in it will require me to be pulled in directions the average person isn't but hey so what? If my best is given and my future family is taken care of I'm good. I may want the big house, great relationship and a fish (I'm working on becoming a dog person lol) but is my timing correct? I can't imagine lugging a stroller on the subway as I go to castings or trying to find a babysitter everytime I get called away. Let's not forget about these student loans that are running my life!

I say all of this to say... it's okay. It's okay to be non-traditional. It's okay to be the odd ball. As long as your making strides in the right direction and doing all the things you need to line yourself up with your future plans YOU'RE GOOD. Have a blessed one.

A Twenty Something Woman With No Children, No Husband and is Just Fine With All That.

Monday, September 1, 2014

When Dreams Become Reality...

*Cuts on Empire State of Mind*
Hey guys! It's been a while. Much has changed and I can't wait to share.

If you would have told me one year ago that I'd be where I am today I wouldn't believe you. Life has a way to picking you up and throwing you around just so you can land on your feet. A week after moving to the city of bright lights I was connected to a modeling agency. After meeting them and learning that they wanted to work with me I thought that I had arrived. In my mind I would be sent to castings and immediately book them because of the hunger to win that lived inside of me. However after being called "plus size", being told to get on a diet in front of a room of people by a reality tv star and being told I don't have the right to choose what I will and will not do when it comes to my body because I'm a new model I found myself at an all-time low.

You see people have a way of breaking you down. After hearing something countless times you will start to believe it if you don't have the strength to dismiss those ideas down in your mind. After failing to book countless jobs and ending the year with $78 in my bank account I found myself working part-time for $9 an hour and unhappy. I hadn't found a way to make friends and loved ones from home saw visiting me as a trek halfway across the globe so loneliness set in as well.

Telling this story is not to make you all sad or pity me... or to ask anyone for money (unless you'd like to donate to my student loans than email me lol) but to shed some light on a few things.

After a few months of being part-time I was promoted to a manager which was definitely a much needed financial "come up". By March it had been months since I attended a casting or had a photoshoot. Financially I was feeling more secure however the frustrations of knowing that I moved to NYC to take my career by storm was haunting me. Daily I found myself in the midst of everyday conversations models from all over the world because it is my job to build relationships with my associates. At times I found myself a little frustrated because they were doing the exact thing I wanted to but happy to have people to talk to. And then one day something happened...

After running my mouth with one of the models she asked me "Why are you not signed to an agency? I've seen your work and you're amazing." I replied "I've tried so many times. I haven't had much luck.   I feel like I need middle man to get me in because I go to open calls and they like me but after seeing my book they say no." And then she said the unexpected "Well girl you're in luck! I'm best friends with one of the scouts from MSA and I can get you in. I'll show her your work!" I quickly thanked here and told her I'd give her any type of photo she needed yet in the back of my mind it sounded too good to be true. Flash forward to about a week or so. I received a text from that same young lady explaining that she showed her friend my Instagram and she wants me to come to open calls.

Excuse me while I faint. In that very moment a dark time in my life became so bright. After months of struggling with the of idea packing my things up and heading back home, the light at the end of the tunnel had shown itself. For about two weeks excitement and anxiety wrecked havoc through my body. I was happy that I finally had this opportunity but the chance that I could be rejected again didn't seem so appealing. After deciding it was now or never I attended Open Calls.

The day of Open Calls I arrived to a line of prospective models wrapped around a tight hallway. As I assumed my position alllll the way in the back I began to pray. Whenever I do anything major I pray the same prayer... "Dear Lord I thank you for this opportunity and for bringing me here today. Lord I know what I want and I would love to do this but if it's not in your will I don't want it. Lead and direct my path and give me the discernment to know what is for me. I may not be pleased if I don't get it but I trust your will and I know you'll always have something. In Jesus name Amen." Shortly after my talk with Jesus an intern came out and collected my statistics and portfolio.

That was the longest wait of my life. With no expectations I awaited the verdict of them wanting to work with me or not. The same intern appeared and called me to sit in the waiting area. As I shouted with joy on the inside I pranced to the front of the line. Five minutes later a new woman came out of a glass door and said "I'm sorry but it's going to have to be a no today" with no emotion. (Insert playing violin) On the inside I was confused and conflicted. I had said the prayer but I didn't expect that answer from God lol. Instantaneously I heard the voice of my best friend saying "Don't you leave that office without getting some answers." The same intern who let me in the office then appeared of the elevator. I asked her if I was supposed to wait to see the scout that asked me to come in. The intern asked the secretary to call upstairs and after being told "Just take her pictures or something" I knew it was my time to PERFORM. After giving all the face and smizes I could in 5 snapshots they took the camera upstairs to be viewed. As they stepped off the elevator and said "She'll see you now" (Insert "Turn Up" Music) I was in a state of shock and confusion. That was a Tuesday... on Friday I was sent my first official contract.

This story is not to boast or to rub my success in anyones face. This story is to motivate and encourage anyone with a dream to keep going. I was at my lowest of lows during my first year of living in the concrete jungle. This place can definitely eat you alive. HOWEVER through mustard seed faith (because that's all I had left) and perseverance I finally got what I've been fighting 6 years for. I was supposed to sign with this same agency 5 years ago but things fell through with the connection I had. Life is all about timing and even though I thought I was ready then.. I wasn't. I say all this to say no matter how off course you may feel continue to do what you can. Even if it's a baby step you have to know that the step you're taking is towards a greater goal. People are quick to tell you that you can't do something but when you accomplish it they're the first to say "See I knew you could do it!" -_- All the people can be against you but if you're on your team you're already winning. You have to be your own biggest cheerleader because there will be times where all you have is yourself. You owe yourself the chance to open your wings and take flight. There will be many risks and failures along the way but they're all learning opportunities. Don't sell yourself short and wake up a 50 year old wondering where the time went. Time stops for no one.

Okay I'm done preaching lol.
Until Next time...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness.

Happiness. noun
 1. the quality or state of being happy.
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or if we're friends on Facebook you may notice a theme in my life, happiness. With #100daysofhappiness I've made a conscious decision to acknowledge at least one great thing that happens during the day. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day inhibits us from realizing those special moments in time.
I strongly believe that happiness is a choice. We can choose to succumb to our immediate situation or we can rise above it and find the sunshine in the midst of the clouds. Of course there will be things that get you down along the way and things may not always go according to plan but it's all about not dwelling in those moments. You can let what that one person said haunt you all day or you can allow their sour mood to be THEIRS and throw that negative energy away. Happiness is in your hands. You're in control.
At the beginning of this "Pursuit of Happiness" I had to identify the things that made me happy. It seems easy, but when you're caught up in your emotions the task actually requires some thought. So I sat down, grabbed a pen and paper and created my list.
1. Listening to music that speaks to me
2. Spending time with friends and family
3. Reading
4. Expressing myself creatively (blogging, decorating, wearing clothes outside of my work uniform)
5. Experiencing new things (places, cultures, food, etc.)
6. Acting/Modeling/Using my Talents
Of course there are things that can be added to the list later like ice cream and Beyoncé concerts (hint hint) but I figured this was a good start! Identifying the things that make you happy is  the beginning of keeping the happiness you're striving for. When a goal is identified you can then create a plan to accomplish that goal. I chose to attack "Experiencing New Things". I'm in a brand new city so walking down a different street could be something new for the day lol. It's also summertime so there are a million things happening in NYC.. and a good amount of them are free. Considering the cost of living in this great city free sounds fantastic.
I've had the opportunity to walk through Central Park (which I've been DYING to do since I was young), experience so many different restaurants, and meet a few new people along the way. Some of the journey required me to step out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I did.
I say all of this to urge every single person reading this to live for today. Life is short and it would be unfortunate to look back and realize you wasted a moment of it. There's beauty in everything. The way the sun shines, the trees that offer us shade, the very place your standing because it's a testament of how far you've come. I challenge you to broadcast your happiness. Share your moments. Even if its a smile, it will brighten someone's day.
Peace and Love.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Hair Regimen From Start to Finish.

Hey you beautiful people!
Lately I've been getting A LOT of questions about my hair, how I got it to this length and how I maintain a healthy state. I decided it was time to give the full regimen start to finish. I'll list all of the products I use and how I use them.

After going to rehab for being a product junky I knew it was time to adopt the KISS mentality when it came to my hair. Using a million products left me unhappy and walking around with a lot of bad hair days. My advice: Once you find what works for your hair stick with it. The further you go into your hair journey the more you will learn how it responds to certain products. At different stages your regimen will need to be tweaked here and there but don't just throw out your whole regimen.

Whenever I know I'm going to wash my hair I always prep my hair the night before. I section my hair into 5 sections, place a plastic cap over my head, put my on my bonnet and let the products work overnight. I pre-poo (the process of preparing your hair for a shampoo with moisturizing products) throughout the night with the following products:
 Oil of choice (Coconut in the winter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil in warmer months, Sweet Almond Oil)
Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing Conditioner (Lower Sulfates)

The following day I shampoo and condition.
Shampoo and Conditioners:

 Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo
 Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner
 Naked Shampoo
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioner

While in the shower I rinse out the prepoo and shampoo each section. After the section I'm working on is thoroughly cleansed I apply my conditioner. This is when I detangle with a wide tooth comb. When my hair was shorter I didn't apply conditioner until my whole head had been shampooed but now the process takes more time so my hair can condition as I'm working on other sections. After conditioning I wash my body to give my hair a little more time to soak up the moisture lol. Then I go back and rinse every section out. I no longer use a towel to dry my hair I use a t-shirt because it limits frizz and keeps my hair moisturized.

After my hair is about 80% dry I begin to style. No matter what curly style I do (braid out, twist out, bantu knots) I use these products.

Oil of choice (see oils listed above)

 Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner
Fantasia IC Gel

After running my wide tooth comb through the section I'm working on I apply a generous amount of the Cantu Shea Butter to my hair working it all the way through. Next a apply a little bit of oil (no more than a dime size if it's a big section), style (twist, etc.) and then I put a dime sized amount of gel on my index finger and thumb and run it down the twist so I get a little hold. For each section I repeat. Most of the time I air dry but if I'm in a rush I sit under the hair dryer.
AND THAT'S IT. Very simple. Very minimal product.

I've been blessed to have a great amount of hair growth and I retained my length. Of course I protective style but the regimen always stays the same. Thanks for reading and I hope I helped some of your with your journey! Never quit. Never give up. It's not easy but it's so worth it! I'm in LOVE with my hair.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Desaree Where Have You Been?!!?

    I know I have been gone for a MINUTE. Please excuse my absence because it was not intended, I just needed a moment to myself. Thank you all for your patience... I'M BACK.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Have Social Networks Removed Us From Reality?

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. If you're old enough.. Myspace. Blackplanet. and the list continues. Over the last 10 years social networks have become the means of communication, advertising and for some an avenue to show off. Facebook has gone from a social network only accessed by college students to a website that is used to report breaking news on CNN. Who am I to deny the fact that I spend hours scrolling through endless timelines. If Facebook is dead I switch to Instagram. If Instagram if flooded by #tbt posts Twitter helps me keep up on what people are randomly thinking at any given moment. But when is this all just too much?

With the ability to keep in touch with family and friends, promote your business and all the other great things social networks have to offer I find myself beginning to wonder... Have social networks removed us from reality? Imagine this scenario... You go out for a nice night with friends you haven't seen in a while. Everyone is so excited to see one another when you arrive. After hugs and kisses the party sits at the table and small talk begins. Slowly but surely the cell phones start to emerge from under the table. One person is viciously scrolling through their timeline to get a quick laugh. The next person passes their phone around for everyone to laugh at another Kevin Hart photo just posted. The food is served. EVERYONE pulls out their cellphone to take a picture of their meal. These moments on our phones have robbed us from the memories that we will never get back while they are happening right in front of us. As much as I love Beyoncé, what she's eating for the day isn't more important than the blue sky above me as I'm sitting next to the one I love.

Scrolling. Scrolling. Scrolling. Have you ever found yourself awake at 2am scrolling through Instagram? You have to be awake for work in a few hours but you can't seem to put your phone down. Finally you fall asleep. You wake up and you're back to scrolling again. You think to yourself "Man she's always out having fun!" "He has all the hottest kicks. He must have money." Unfortunately we now live in a time where we need to be constantly stimulated. If we don't have something happening that very moment "boredom" and self-loathing creep in. A lot of people fail to remember that social networks are also highlight reels. You see people at their happiest, when they're reaping the benefits or when they're indulging. Let us not forget there is a story behind every photo. There is a credit card bill behind that girls new pair of Louboutin's that she just posted. Those new Jordans that the local sneaker head just got were purchased in alley way because his friend stole them from Foot Locker. My point is things aren't always how they seem. You see people living it up but the backstory could be something totally different. That girl who travels all over was broke a year ago and she finally landed a job after losing everything. You never know what someone is going through. Keep yourself from getting sucked in to the hype. Don't allow your mind to tell you you're not good enough and things aren't happening for you because you're watching someone's highlight reel while comparing it to your behind the scenes.  All things come with great sacrifice.

I know that social networks are not all bad. They've definitely helped me with my career. I do encourage you to take a moment and live your life. Put down your phone, close your laptop and enjoy the things that life has to offer. Hear the birds chirp. Spend time with a loved one. Master that hobby that you've always wanted to. Refrain from staring at your phone a majority of the day and see what life has to offer. I promise you it'll be worth way more than the likes you get on a new post.

Be safe. Be free. Be you. Always.
With Love.