Hello Darlings,



I’m back!!

Well sort of.  In my last post I marked a milestone with my two year anniversary.  At that time I was feeling stuck and uninspired so I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  I must say that I missed it.   The entire time away I thought about blogging, writing and life.  Why was I in such a rut and how do I get inspired again and move forward?

I thought about redesigning my blog and tweaked my header a bit, just in case anybody hasn’t noticed.  Even thought about switching to self hosted and all that.

However all of my thoughts and have to be contained…I need to prioritize.

First things first… I have to start writing again.

Get back to my blogging.  I honestly missed it alot.   Making time to get my posts together.  At one point I was scheduling posts and had a basic editiorial calendar but I stopped.  Guess I got lazy.  Blogging can be time consuming and feel like a second job especially if you aren’t enjoying yourself.

Get back to writing…During my time away from blogging  I wrote a few short stories and shared them with a friend.  I got some positive feedback about them and that gave me a little motivation.  I haven’t shared my writing with many people in my daily life.  Sort of afraid to.  Maybe I need to get over that fear and put more of my work out.  Can’t keep hoarding it all to myself.

Sharing it online is different in a way because most people reading my blog don’t know me personally and won’t give me a side look when they see me on the street after reading my writing.  Maybe the evil bitch in the story was them? or the bad boyfriend?

Working on my Internets life…aka My Blog

I feel like my blog is limited therefore limiting me (don’t know if that makes any sense).  If you have read any of my earlier posts, you’ll see that they are all centered around my writing.  I think I mentioned True Blood and Pinterest somewhere in there.  But my content was about writing: what I’ve learned in the process of writing my own novel.

Blogging itself is another outlet for me to express myself.  I want it to be fun and inspiring.  When I put out a post that I enjoyed putting together it is satisfying and I am happy to go back and read it again myself.  There are some posts that I kinda cringe when I read again.  That has to change.

My picture taking skills haven’t improved much so don’t expect too many professional looking pics.  I’ve used Canva and Picmonkey to make a few graphics and will continue with those sites.

In addition to working on posts that I enjoy… I have toyed with the idea of changing the name of my blog and matching it with my address.  I’ve read articles on coming up with names for blogs.  This article from Hatch & Scribe was most helpful.  You should have seen the jumble of words and ideas I came up with for a new name.

I’ve narrowed down my long ass list to two names:

  1. A Novel Soul: This one has sort of a double meaning.  First that I am at a point in my life where I am embracing me for all that I am.  I am going to do my best (not making any grand promises here) to be more open with my writing and stop being afraid.  Starting new and fresh. This is why my blog was called The Next Chapter in the first place.  I was starting a new journey.  Also because I write novels (& short stories).
  2. August Empress: This name to me is just fun.  I was born in August.  August 18th to be exact.  So my birthday was just a few days ago.  I still won’t tell you how old I am.  And when I had locs all the guys used to call me Empress (haha & no I’m not vain).  Since I got rid of the locs, the name disappeared but doesn’t matter…I am an Empress in my own eyes.

The other names were just silly or too specific, which could be a bad thing because people might see the name and say oh this blog is about so and so and come read and see it ain’t about that at all.

So if you see anything changing around here just know that I’m not going crazy.

Which name do you think I should go with? Any suggestions for staying inspired?  Would love to hear from you.

Two Year Anniversary

Today is the two year anniversary of me being a blogger.  YAY!!

Two years ago on July 14th I started my first blog  and since then I’ve learned a hell of alot about not only blogging but about myself.

One thing that has remained consistent is that I love to learn new things whethere it be design, DIY, hair or with my writing, I enjoy the wealth of information that I have come across while blogging.  The different blogs I’ve found and started following are wonderful and I love just about every post I read from them.  I don’t comment alot but most times I do like a post I find especially informative or fun and more often than not I find myself going back to read them.

However, in this time I’ve hit some blocks both in writing and blogging.  My writing is still coming along.  I’ve been doing alot of editing and re-working of my first novel.  There are days when I just don’t feel like it but I push through and keep working.

The same goes for my blog.  There are days when I have a ton of ideas of posts to write but then there are times when I really don’t want to write anything at all.  I feel like I’m in a rut with my blogging.  My focus is all over the place and sometimes I find myself thinking all those ideas I had just seem stupid.

So on my two year blogging anniversary I’m going to take a step back from blogging; to refocus, to reinvigorate myself.  I have been considering relaunching my blog.  I really enjoy blogging and don’t want to give it up so for the next few weeks I’ll be doing some soul searching and writing to get my head straight.

Wish me luck.


My 52 Day Savings Challenge

Untitled design (3)A little while before going MIA I posted the good news that a relative of mine was getting married. The wedding is happening in Jamaica at a really nice all inclusive hotel.  However, I also stated that it was all a bit pricey and I embarked on my condensed 52 week money challenge.

I turned it into my 52 day challenge.  It was a little ambitious of me to do so but I have been making every effort to save every thing I can.

I probably won’t be going to Jamaica anymore since I got accepted to Grad School and my focus has shifted to making that happen.  But that hasn’t stopped me from saving every dollar and spare coin I come across.

As of this post I have saved $545.   It’s pretty good progress I think.

Summer is Here…

Its been a while since I’ve posted and I apologize for that.  Work has been so hectic.  Even though I haven’t been blogging I try to keep up with the other blogs I follow and read any new posts. Bloglovin is a blessing in that regard.  Everything in one place.

Untitled design (2)

Some good news:

I got accepted to Graduate school! The acceptance came late and I applied so long ago I actually thought I hadn’t gotten in.  But I was pleasantly surprised about two weeks ago and in addition to work, writing and being a mommy (at nights I tend to crash after reading my son his bedtime story) I’ve been trying to sort out how I’m going to make this all work.  I applied to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.  I have friends who have attended college in Canada and all of them have good things to say about the place.

Some days I honestly think I’m a crazy person for trying to do so many things at once.  But if I want to make things happen I have to go for it.  No procrastinating.

How has summer 2014 been for you so far?

Flat Twistout using Cantu Coconut Curling cream

Last week I bought the As I am Coconut Co-wash and the Cantu Coconut Curling Cream. It was my first time using both products and I was eager to see how they worked out for my hair.

collage 2Pics on the left: Flat twist style. I had this style in for a few days.

Right: Working those curls (sort of). My mother asked me: Is that how you are leaving the house? I’m like: Yeah! (LOL)


I used the co-wash then air dried a bit.  I applied Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in conditioner diluted with a little water. Then applied a mixture of coconut, avocado and castor oil.  Afterwards I did a flat twist on the sides leaving a little hair out on the top which I twisted in to get some curls.

The Cantu Curly cream has a very nice scent.  I don’t think it gave any extraordinary definition in my curls.  I’ve done flat twists with just the leave in conditioner and got basically the same results. My hair tends to be frizzy and I always seem to end up with more of an afro rather than any real curl definition.

I’ve also noticed that my hair is breaking.  I’m not sure what I am doing that’s causing the breakage. I had alot of little knots on my ends a few weeks ago and I clipped those and I have been moisturizing and detangling only when wet but still I have alot of hair on my fingers when styling.

Any tips on combating breakage? What’s the best way to get some curl definition? I’m still trying to work this one out.


In other news:

I voted today!

collage 3


Jamaica here I come…(I hope)

Earlier this week we received an invitation to my younger cousin’s wedding in…(yep, you guessed it) Jamaica.  The wedding is in October.  Even though I’ve been to Jamaica before I would love to go back; not only to see my cousin get married but to experience the place as an adult.  The last time I went I was on a school trip for our 4H club.

The wedding is going to be at the Jewel Runaway Beach and Golf Resort.  The hotel is all inclusive, of course and tad bit expensive (at least for me) given that the rates are in US dollars and an exchange rate of about $2.70 Eastern Carribean Dollars (the currency used here in Antigua & Barbuda) to $1 US.  So we would be paying almost three times what he and his family would be paying for the same trip.

For the past few days I’ve been trying to figure out how I could save enough to make the trip in the short space of time…because I really want to go. Really!

My options include:

  • sticking to Ramen noodles for the next few months (FYI: I hate noodles.)
  • robbing a bank (Uh, no!)
  • getting a loan (which I would rather not do)

Then I remembered the 52 week money challenge, one of my Pinterest finds.  If you Google it you will get a bunch of sites that explain what to do, which isn’t exactly rocket science anyway.  The essence of it is basically you save increasing amounts of money every week for the 52 weeks.  So week one you would save $1. Then week two, $2 and so on.  At the end you should have saved $1378.00.


But then the wedding is in about 5 months. The challenge is 52 weeks.  So I asked myself how could I make it work? And self screamed, condense it!

Call me crazy but for the next 52 days I am going to attempt to save $1378.00.  In the past I haven’t done particularly well with condensed timelines, my Camp Nano attempts (here) should be proof of that but I’m going to try it anyway.  The amount would only cover part of the trip’s cost but everything counts.

So my 52 day money challenge will run me from June 6th to July 28th.  At the end of the month, which is roughly the half way point, I’ll update my progress.

Wish me luck!