Monday, April 28, 2014

The List: 30 While 30

This is my 30th year. I have decided to join the 30 things list. I first created my list when there were two months before turning 30. Needless to say I didn't meet everything on my list. It was wishful thinking. So I decided to do a #30While30 list to document fun times and to create great experiences during my 30th year. More than anything this is a list that reminds me to seek new experiences and enjoy life. You only hit 30 once so living it up is a must. I encourage you to join me in this challenge. Create a list. Check off the items as you complete them. Have fun. Take Pictures.

I will be updating this post as I complete items. I'm excited and nervous. I know that once I press that send button there are going to be other people out there who will also know what I'm planning to do and in turn will be holding me accountable. I guess that adds more of a challenge. Have you done -the list (25before25, 30before30, 40before40, etc.)? Follow me on twitter and instagram as well under the hashtag #30while30.

1. Essence Festival
2. Try sushi 4/12/14
3. Revive and Maintain a public blog
4. Photo shoot
5. Get a passport
6. Go zip lining
7. Go to a Heat game 3/24/14
8. 30 poems (NaPoWriMo2014)
9. Start Ira
10. Recite poem live
11. Start a P.O. Box
12. Try 30 new hairstyles
13. Travel to California
14. Host a dinner party
15. Travel to Miami 3/24/14
16. Try 30 new recipes
17. Make a scrapbook
18. Visit 30 new places w/in and outside of city
19. Spa day (massage/nails)
20. Donate $300 to a charity or non profit foundation
21. 10 random acts of kindness
22. Send 10 letters (friends and family)
23. Read at least 10 books
24. Complete a pinterest DIY project
25. Write 30 pages of my novel
26. Save $1,000
27. Gain X lbs
28. Learn to knit
29. Start crochet website
30. Volunteer 10 hours to... various service projects


Check out the Pinterest board I created 30while30

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Eighteen Sisterlock FAQs | Sisterlock Talk

I have compiled these questions from the comments I have received in many of my videos on Youtube. If you have any questions leave them in the comment section. The questions are not listed in a specific order. The pictures included showcase my newly retightened locks. I got them retightened the day before the pictures were taken.

1. How long does retightening take?

It takes 3.5- 4 hours to get my locks retightened if I'm on schedule.

2. How long do I go between retightenings?

It is recommended that I go every 8 weeks. When I keep this schedule it allows me to keep my retightenings to 3.5-4 hours. It also helps to keep my lists strong. Retightening at different intervals will weaken the lock over time.

3. What products do I use?

I wash my hair with the All Natural Knotty Boy Shampoo bar. I moisturize with Motions Oil. I don't put anything else on my hair. 

4. How often do I wash?

I was every 3-3.5 weeks. This is an area I am working on. I should definitely wash more than I usually do.

5. How many locks do I have?

The last time I counted I had 505 locks.

6. How do I cover my hair at night?

I use a bonnet for braids so that my locks can lay in the sleeve. I have a Lock Sock but the band needs to be loosened.

7. How much are retightenings?

The price varies based on the loctician and their level of experience. It is usually an hourly fee.

8. What size are my locks?

I have small to medium locks because of my hair texture.

9. How do you find a good loctician?

I went to the website and looked up certified and trainee locticians. I wanted someone who was also a stylist so that I could get my hair retightened at a salon.

10. What's the difference between traditional locks, dreads, sister locks, micro locks?
I know the most about Sisterlocks, so I will focus on what makes them different. Sisterlocks uses a specific locking pattern based on hair texture, specific parting grid, and a specific lock size based on hair texture.

11. Who did my hair?
My hair was started by Blenna Williams from Salon Naturelle. I moved so I had to find a new loctician. My last retightening was done my Monica Jackson at Trends Salon.

12. Who colored my hair?

Blenna Williams at Salon Naturelle colored my hair.

13. What color are your locks?

It's a mixture of three different shades of auburn. I told my loctician at the time that I wanted brown and the colors that were produced were a perfect compliment for my complexion. I absolutely loved the finished product. It was my first time ever getting my hair permanently dyed.

14. How long have you been locked?
As of March 23, 2014, I have been locked 5 years.

15. How long did it take for them to lock?
My locks in the back started to lock around year two. I have a section of loose more wavy hair at the top, and it took at least 3.5-4 years to lock. My locks are considered mature now. My original loctician made sure my locks were mature before adding color. I must of asked for color a million times, but they weren't ready until after 3.5-4 years.

16. How long was your hair when you first started?
I had about 6 inches of hair. It barely dusted my shoulder in the back.

17. Do you retighten yourself?

I took the class in 2010. I have since then retightened the front of my head twice. So, no I don't regularly retighten my whole head by myself. in March I actually told myself I wanted to try to. It wasn't successful. I did the front, and eight locks in the back and it took a really long time. My new grow was accumulating in the process so I decided to find a new professional to do the retightening.

18. Were you natural before Sisterlocks?

Yes I had been natural for 22 months.

This was taken in December 2008. I got the locks 3 months later.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Overnight Quinoa Breakfast Mix | #FoodieFriday

I recently started eating quinoa. I have found that it can be added to many meals and in different ways. It has a lot of benefits. It's a protein that has fiber, calcium, and iron. For those of us that have difficulty processing grains, quinoa is a good alternative. Quinoa is considered a seed. It can be used in many of the same ways rice is used. An added bonus for me is that it's gluten -free. Enjoy!

1/2 cup Frozen peaches (or fruit of your choice)
5 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Cooked Quinoa
1 tbsp Raisins
1 tbsp Almonds
1 tbsp Honey
 Serving size: 1

Step by Step:
1. Place all ingredients into a container and mix together.
2. Allow the mixture to sit in a sealed container in the refrigerator over night.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are You Living for the Weekend? | Mid Week Motivation #1

Do you ever find yourself living for the weekend? If we had more weekends than we had weekdays, I'm sure we would crave the weekdays and not the weekends. People tend to crave the things they feel they don't get enough of at any given time. Sometimes I crave the weekend. I crave it for it's simplicity, it's out of the ordinary, it's freedom to explore, and it's absent of clocking in. On the weekend, I'm typically off from work and I get a chance to fill my day with whatever I choose. The beauty is not in the activity all the time it's that I get to choose what I do. What do you love about the weekends?

So our lives will ultimately be filled with more weekdays than weekends so we shouldn't relegate the experiences of the weekend only for just Saturday and Sunday. I'm challenging myself and you to enjoy a little weekend fun in the middle of the week. The beauty of this is it can be a small venture or a big venture. As long as you choose what you do then it will be just right. Below I have compiled a list of things that could bring a little excitement to the middle of the week.

Here are the ingredients. If it's something that allows you to venture from the ordinary routine of the week, then it should be included. If it makes you feel like it's the weekend then you should include it.

1. Take a different route home
2. Go to the park
3. Go to dinner with a friend
4. Go listen to live music
5. Dress up
6. Go see a movie
7. Go for yogurt or ice cream
8. Takes pictures in the park
9. Go for a massage
10. Go get a mani/pedi

What would you include in your list to make your mid-week feel like the weekend?

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to live this out. It felt great. I felt a little tired, but I needed the excitement. I went to a see Marsha Ambrosius live in concert at a local venue. Here it was the middle of the week and I was standing in a room full of people standing shoulder to shoulder bobbing our heads to the sounds of the LoveNoise Tour. It felt good in that moment. It felt good to get a glimpse of the weekend in the middle of my week. Below are a few pictures from my weekend fun on the weekday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

iTunes Tuesday #1

Welcome to the first segment of iTunes Tuesday. These posts will share my current playlist or an artist whose music I currently like. Feel free to comment below and share your favorite artists and songs. I'm continuously looking for new artists to vibe to as well.

iTunes Tuesday #1

1. James Blake "Retrograde"

2. Erica Campbell "Help"

3. Hillsong "Oceans"

4. Musiq Soulchild "Someone"

5. Stacie Orrico "Easy to Love You"

This playlist is connected to what I have been feeling and thinking lately. I choose a song for it's beat/instrumentals, lyrics, and relevance.

What inspires or influences your music choices?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Get to Know Me | Tag

Thank you to the creative and dynamic Cookie at TakeiInspirations for tagging me! Check out my response to the questions to learn more about me.

1. Are you named after someone?
Yes, my mom named me after my dad. Oddly enough my dad wanted to name me after his mom. I would have been named Emily. My two older sisters were named after my mom's mom and my mom's grandma.

2. When was the last time you cried?
I was watching In the Hive on BET two days ago and I got a little teary- eyed when this teen was trying to make a change and go to school, but his parents were telling him he didn't need school.

3. Do you have kiddos?

Not yet

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Definitely! I would hang out with me all the time.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I like watching Barney whenever I catch it on tv. It's kind of utopic. Kids don't get along like that in real life and everyone isn't always happy like on Barney world but I like looking at it for those reasons.

6. Do you like your handwriting?
I like my handwriting. I also like to switch it up ever so often to keep it looking good.

7. What's your favorite cereal?
I use to eat Frosted Flakes for breakfast every day until about two years ago.

8. What's the first thing you notice about people?
I notice their shoes and if I can't see the shoes I notice their teeth.

9. What is your eye color?

Dark brown

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

I love happy endings!

11. Favorite tv show?
My favorite show right now is Everybody Hates Chris. The show always makes me laugh and laugh real hard.

12. Summer or winter?

Spring! Well if I must choose I will go with summer. I do most of my traveling during that time and I get to show a little skin 😀

13. Hugs or kisses?

14. What's the furthest you've ever been from home?
Honolulu, Hawaii

15. Do you have any special talents?
I'm pretty good at looking at a picture and recreating a hairstyle.

16. Where were you born?

17. What are your hobbies?
Reading, writing, making videos, and making things

18. Do you have any pets?

19. Favorite movie?
It's hard to choose just one, so I'll give my top 4 favorites.
Deliver Us from Eva
Love & Basketball
Eve's Bayou

20. What color is your car?
Navy blue

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I grow up, I would like to be an author with published novels.

This tag was quite fun! I tag The Sisterlocked Diva, NatChronicles, and Shamiya Kelley

Friday, April 18, 2014

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream | #FoodieFriday

I get a sweet tooth sometimes and I am always looking for ways to satisfy the sugar craving but with a healthier approach. I can eat this homemade ice cream guilt free.

This recipe is like ice cream but it doesn't contain ice and it doesn't contain the usual things listed on store bought ice cream. All you need is a blender and the ingredients. The main ingredient is a frozen banana. As a way to prep I place my bananas in bags and place in the freezer. Below is the recipe and ingredients for homemade strawberry ice cream also known as strawberry nana ice cream. Enjoy!

1 frozen banana
1/4 cups Coconut milk (May need more or less)
5-8 Strawberries (add a fruit of your choice)
Whip cream (for topping)

Step by Step:
1. Rinse strawberries, cut in half, put into blender.
2. Break frozen banana in half and  put into blender.
3. Pour coconut milk into blender.
4. Blend together
5. Place in a bowl and top with whip cream, almonds, chopped strawberries

*Add liquid sparingly so that you keep the ice cream like consistency.
Serving size: 1

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NaPoWriMo Day#11 | I Allowed It

NaPoWriMo is almost to the middle of the month. I'm excited to still accept the challenge each day to pen a poem. I think it has awakened my creativity. I hope that even after the thirty days are over that I will still continue to pen a poem in inspiration and out of inspiration.

I have been writing the poems on notebook paper or typing in my phone. I decided that I'm not going to post each poem and I will not be posting daily. This was the poem from day 11. Let me know in the comments what you think about the poem. If you're participating in the NaPoWriMo or if you write poetry let me know so I can check it out.

-Happy Writing!

I Allowed It

I allowed my imagination to run away
with my thoughts again.
It packed its bags and
ran out the back door late at night
when I didn't notice.
I was unaware of it for so long
that in the meantime
I started to believe those things
that actions proved weren't true.
I started to overlook things because of the words I heard playing over
and over in my mind.
I couldn't distinguish between my
desires and those desires imposed upon
and expected of me.
I can't take back the choices I made
since my imagination ran away.
It's not to blame;
I allowed it to happen.

Poetry form: Free verse
Topic: DayDreaming/Imagination
Word Count: 106
Literary Technique: Personification

© 2014 Jamie Dunlap

Sunday, April 6, 2014

About the Blog | Love, Life, and Locks

About the Blog

I only have three tabs: Love, Life, and Locks. These three broad categories is the title for my blog and everything I post falls within one of those categories.


I will post anything in this tab that I love. It could be a person, a hobby, photography, book reviews, writing, interests, etc. Currently I have been posting recipes in this category because of my love for food. It's also known as my #FoodieFriday posts. I post my creative writing and poetry under this category. I'm participating in the #NaPoWriMo for April 2014 and all my poems will be posted in this tab. The following posts will be starting soon or are currently included in the Love tab.

FoodieFriday I post healthy and gluten-free recipes that I like to cook. Most are a spin on a recipes I've seen or a mixture of different things I have tried over the years. Are you a foodie? Check out those posts. I post every Friday.

Wet Polish Wednesday I will post at least once a month, possibly more, about what nail polish and design I am rocking. I usually do my own nails so I may even include some tips on how to achieve the look.


This tab is any life musings, traveling experiences, inspiration/motivation, personal development, life lessons, product reviews(some), music, fashion, and possible tags will be placed under this tab. The following posts will be starting soon and they will be included in the Life tab.

iTunes Tuesday I LOVE music but music is LIFE. It's life because oftentimes it mimics life and helps to guide us through life experiences. Now that I think about it books can do that too. So I make an executive decision to place music in this tab. These post will include my current playlist, and I will post biweekly. I hope to hip you to some artist or songs you haven't heard and I hope you will do the same in the comments.

Mid-Week Motivation Everyone needs a little motivation. I will post things that are helpful or motivating. I hope to update these posts weekly.

DIY Saturday These posts will be ideas and how to for DIY projects that I am working on or have completed. I post at least once a month.


This tab is dedicated to my sister lock journey. I have some older post from the beginning of my lock journey here. The lockaversary posts are in this category. Any new posting about anything dealing with my locks will be added under this tab category. I have some posts ideas that I plan to kick start.

Sisterlock Talk This will be posts about any lock updates, experiences, concerns/issues or tips I have to offer. This will also be a segment on my Youtube channel.

Thank you for stopping by!  I look forward to hearing from you. :-)


Stay Connected with me!
Fotki Album:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Charm for Good Hugs | #NaPoWriMo Day #3

One poem two versions...

I checked out the #NaPoWriMo website today for a topic to write today's poem. The topic is a Charm poem. This is a new form me. So below is my attempt to create one. It's a poem that has a recipe/nursery rhyme form. Enjoy!

Charm for Good Hugs Version 1

Lean forward
Reach around toward
Tuck your arms
Firmly rest your forearms
press each finger in to the soft
Rotate hand oft
Inhale his scent
Exhale in content
Bury your face
Pattern your ear to track his heart pace.

© 2014 by Jamie Dunlap

Word Count: 39

Charm for Good Hugs Version 2

If you see him and you want him, lean forward.
Reach around toward
Tuck your arms
Firmly rest your forearms

If you care and you show it
Press each finger in to the soft
Rotate hands oft
Inhale his scent
Exhale in content

If you love him and you know it
Bury your face
Because that will surely show a trace
If you love him and you know it
Track his heart pace.

© 2014 by Jamie Dunlap

Poetry Form: Charm
Topic: Hugs
Word Count: 79

Can you guess what nursery rhyme I used?

That Love That Gets You | NaPoWriMo Day #2

I get inspiration at the most random times. Last night I went to a midweek live concert at a local lounge here in the city. The opening acts had just finished gracing the stage. In between the opening acts and the headline, I had typed a whole poem on my spring pad app. Just like that day 2 was complete at about 9 something at night. Without further delay, below is what sprouted from my mind. It's in no way finished. I didn't type it on the blog yesterday, now that I'm reading back over it to type it now, I find there are more words I want to add and even some words I want to modify. I'm loving that this #NaPoWriMo is off to a spectacular start.

In true dual purpose, I am also submitting this piece as my first post in the Blog Behind the Look #CollabThursday #BloggersCollaboration.  Enjoy!

That Love That Got You | NaPoWriMo Day #2

Sitting at a small square shaped table
in the back corner of a cafe
Minding my own business until
I catch in my peripheral
a man and a woman in their twenties.
It is something about how they are looking at each other
that draws me to them.

Her left hand wrapped around his right arm
and her head delicately gracing his shoulder.
She's smiling.
He has this look of satisfaction.

You wouldn't think this is the scene at a lunch table but they
remain locked in arms
and I can tell that their love is new
That love that  gets you waking up in the morning
thinking about him.
That love that gets you sending pictures and text all day.
That love that makes you feel all tingly
just by the sound of his name.
That love that gets you smiling just by seeing his name
pop up on the phone dash.
That love that gets you replaying the last time you were together.
That love that gets you thinking about the next time you will see him.
That love that gets you wanting to hold his hands, his attention, and his lips.
That love that gets you on the phone for hours
sometimes just listening to background sounds.
That love that gets you daydreaming
about his last name right after your first.

I watch them

I admire them for how
their love is
But I can tell that they haven't weathered the test of time
and that
too strong a wind
or a storm might knock out
all that love built between them
if it came too soon.

A few minutes later, I spot another couple
This time I see that the lady's left ring finger is occupied.
She's not sitting next to him but across from him.
She's looking at him directly in his eyes.
They aren't saying anything, but they are saying so much
She doesn't have a smile on her lips but her eyes
are soft and joyous

Their interaction tells the story of love that has weathered through experiences.
They look like they have taken a couple of knock downs but refused to stay down.
Their war wounds have fortified their love and their genuine desire for each other.
They got that love that is always forgiving.
That love that's always supporting.
That love that's committed to being there
even when it's difficult.
That love that has them holding each other
That love that has them holding each other's heart.
That love that keeps them coming back home day after day to a family that needs each other.
A love that created a family.
A love that has taken part in uplifting each other and growing together.
They got that love that lasts.

© 2014 by Jamie Dunlap

Poetry Form: Free Verse
Topic: Love
Word Count: 467

Use your words and let me know what you think about the poem. What lines are your favorite? Any questions about the message? What do you notice? Let's dialogue!

Check out the other blogs that are participating in the Blogger Collaboration Challenge.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"It Was One of Those Awkward Moments | #NaPoWriMo Day 1

The first poem was written while I was covering a duty at work today. Like all my poems, I start with an idea and it usually flows from there. I didn't spend much time editing, so it was a quick write. It was penned quickly. Enjoy!

It was one of those awkward moments where
you don't know
what to do
what to say
where to look
All I could do was swing my arms and
occasionally shift my weight from my left foot to my right
It was me against them
Them against me
I wasn't keeping score
But it felt like I was winning
in this showmanship of awkwardness
Shooting my eyes to the left to try to think of something legit to say
Gnawing on the left inner part of my lip
Anticipating something--anything to break this episode.

Now for the master move.
Double the points.
I effortlessly grabbed my left wrist with my right hand.

© 2014 by Jamie Dunlap

Poetry Form: Free Verse
Topic: Awkwardness
Word Count: 113