Life

The Best Portable Charger

Motile Smart Tech Accessories

Coming from someone who is on their phone 24/7, I have tried countless portable chargers over the years. I usually have one in every bag, purse and corner of my house! Even though I charge my phone every night, it’s usually dead before lunch time. If you can relate, I’m about to introduce you to your new best friend!

Motile Smart Tech AccessoriesMotile Smart Tech Accessories

Motile Smart Tech Accessories

Motile Smart Tech Accessories

Walmart just introduced their very own tech line named Motile that is chic AND cheap. Two of my favorite things in this world:) The premium line features everything from portable chargers, charging cords, and backpacks with built in chargers to wireless keyboards and mouses. Like I’ve said, I’ve tried out quite a few portable chargers and I love the Motile one not just because it’s cute and colorful, but because it’s actually a 2-in-1. This means it has double the charge of others and is compatible with all Apple products. The magnetic base functions as a power bank with a USB that allows you to charge two devices at once. The best part is if you are charging your phone, there is absolutely no cord required! It’s also so convenient that I can charge my laptop and phone at the same time or if I just want to have double the charge for my phone, that’s an option too!

Unlike other portable chargers, it is small enough to fit in even the smallest of purses and makes the perfect travel accessory. I never want to be without a charge when I’m at the airport or about to jump in a random Uber. I’m telling you ladies that it has saved me on so many occasions! If you are in the market for any type of affordable smart tech accessories, I would highly recommend checking out Motile at Walmart! Don’t forget that they have free shipping on orders over $35 and free in store pick up on all orders!

*Thank you Walmart and Motile for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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TJ Maxx Finds

It’s free shipping day at TJ Maxx and honestly I think some of these finds are better and more exciting than Amazon Prime Day! Mostly because there are name brands that we love on major discount at TJ Maxx. My favorite fashion brands to find there are Free People, Levi’s and BlankNYC but there are so many more! Plus they are always my favorite for unique and budget friendly home decor finds too. See below for some of my recent finds. The number one selling item from here is always the Slip Silk Pillowcase and silk sleeping mask. It constantly sells out so if you have been wanting it, grab it!

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Amazon Prime Day Finds

Happy Amazon Prime Day! These deals will only last 48 hours at most and once something sells out, the deal is GONE! I will be adding more deals as they become available. Amazon will slowly release “flash deals” throughout today and tomorrow so make sure to check back here for the most updated deals. I will also be sharing the flash deals on my Instagram stories since these last a shorter amount of time. See below for some of my finds.

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Natural Beaded Row Hair Extensions Q + A

Natural Beaded Row Extensions HoustonNatural Beaded Row Extensions Houston

WHAT KIND OF EXTENSIONS DID YOU GET?

I got Natural Beaded Row (NBRs) extensions originally founded and created by Danielle of DKW Styling. You can learn more about this kind of extension method here.

WHAT LENGTH ARE THEY?

I got the 18 inch hair but you are able to get 18 or 22 inch. Once they are installed, your stylist will custom color and cut the hair to any length that you desire so that your new hair and real hair blend naturally.

HOW ARE THEY ATTACHED TO YOUR HEAD?

I got two rows of hand tied hair. Each row has multiple pieces of hair attached to it so even if you get one row you would be adding a significant amount of hair. They are attached with a bead and string to create a track along your scalp and then the row of hair is sewn to that track. Since I have two rows in my hair, I have two tracks.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THEM?

The initial install can take up to 6 hours. This is because they will need to color your hair, custom color the extensions, install the extensions, blend the two and style your new do!

HOW MUCH DOES THE HAIR COST?

They are an investment. That being said, the cost really is dependent on the person and look you are wanting to achieve. Cost is determined by several factors the main two being desired length and volume. If you just want volume, this is much cheaper! But once you start adding length, this is where it gets more and more expensive because you have to add considerably more hair so that the hair does not look stringy. Since I wanted to add volume and length to my hair, my service fell under the most expensive package which is upwards of $2k.

HOW MUCH IS THE MAINTENANCE? 

You have to go into the salon every 6-8 weeks to have the wefts moved up. This process is much less lengthy than the initial install. It can cost anywhere from $500-$800 each time you have them moved up which covers tightening, color, and style.

CAN YOU BRUSH YOUR HAIR?

Yes! You do have to be a little careful at the root of your hair where the extensions are attached but other than that you can brush your hair like normal! I use a wet brush.

DO THEY DAMAGE YOUR HAIR?

NBR extensions are supposed to be the “best” type of extension to minimize hair loss. While you will always have some natural breakage and fall out with extensions, NBRs are the best type because they have the least amount of contact points on your head. The more contact points, the more damaging.  Since these are only attached with minimal beads, they are proven to be less damaging than other types of extensions that have considerably more contact points such as beaded, fusion or even tape in extensions. As I have them for longer, I will keep you all posted on this one!

CAN YOU SWIM WITH THEM?

Yes! You can swim, workout and all that jazz just like you normally would. The only thing to be weary of is getting sunscreen on the extension hair as it can distort the color.

WHERE DID YOU GET THEM DONE?

I go to Amanda at Amanda K Styling for my extensions and color and cannot recommend her enough! Not only does she do amazing work, her salon is beautiful and all of the girls that work there are so much fun! You’ll want to return before the 6-8 mark just to hang out for the day:) If you are interested in getting your hair done at Amanda K Styling, your phone consultation is FREE, but they do require a non-refundable booking deposit of $500 to book an appointment. Your deposit goes towards the price of your first visit.

Amanda K. Styling Salon
23907 Gosling Dr.
Spring, Tx 77389
(281) 216-3095

LONGEVITY.

The hair lasts 4-6 months but depending on how well you take care of it could last longer. You are looking to make the initial investment of $1.5k-$2k twice a year.

COMFORT.

This was one thing I wasn’t prepared for. With previous types of hair extensions I had no problems with them hurting or itching. That was not the case with these. Since I got two rows, my head definitely felt heavier than normal. I had a headache for the first couple of days. Sleeping the first night was a struggle. And they itched like crazy for weeks. All of these things are considered to be normal as your scalp/head is getting used to the new weight and hair.

MAINTENANCE/UPKEEP.

You can wash, dry, brush and style your hair pretty much the exact same way as without extensions. Washing does take a little more precision to get the roots clean but nothing out of the ordinary. The best part of these extensions has been how much longer I can go without washing my hair! I can go around a week before really needing to wash my hair. even before the NBRs, I swore by my silk pillowcase and dry shampoo to prolong my hair washes. I went from having to wash my hair every 4 days to going upwards of 9 days with these extensions.

It does take a long time to dry and style the extensions. You are looking at anywhere between 2-4 hours total depending on the volume/length of your hair. I tend to let my hair air dry for an hour or so before blow drying the rest. This will significantly speed up the amount of time under the heat of the dryer. I usually pick one day a week where I know I don’t need to be anywhere (ex: Sunday afternoon) and wash/style for the week.

STYLING.

You should be able to style your hair any way you want for the most part and not have them show: ponytails, braids, up dos, half up-half down, etc. The only issue you will run into is that you can’t do pigtails or any type of hair do that would require you to part your hair down the middle. Since the rows of hair lay flat across your head they will slightly show if you part your hair down the middle of your head.

Something amazing to note is that the extension hair holds a curl SO wellI. I usually can get away with curling my hair once for the entire week with very minimal touch ups throughout the week. So while it does take quite a bit more time to wash and style your hair it does last so much longer than normal! Another thing to note is that it makes basically every hair style look SO much better. Braids are bigger and better, ponytails are fuller and overall your locks are much more voluminous. If you want to play around with hair accessories I have some of my favorites linked here.

PRODUCTS.

I use all of my same products to wash and style my hair as I did before having extensions. Click through below to see the products that I use to style my hair. I have found that the extension hair is a little more textured than my natural hair so I have added in a heat protectant and deep conditioner.

I am in LOVE with my new hair. If you have always wanted long, luscious locks, this is your best bet. For those that are maybe thinking about getting hair extensions, this would be my advice for you. If you are just wanting extensions for a one time event (for ex: wedding, prom, etc), a more affordable and less permanent option like clip ins would probably be best for you. If you aren’t ready to make the monetary commitment to NBR hair extensions, then tape in extensions might be a good route for you. And lastly, if you are wanting a more permanent option, I cannot say enough good things about my NBR hair extensions. While they are pricey, I 100% think they are worth it. For the amount of overall length and volume I wanted, NBRs were what worked best for me and I am SO happy with the outcome!

If there are any other questions that you would like answered about my hair extensions, please leave them below in the comments and I will answer them there!

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What I Pack in my Carry On + Travel Tips and Tricks

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricks

*I have been compensated by QVC for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricks

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricksAfter the airline (thou shall not be named) lost my bag last year, your girl has a small case of travel anxiety which has led me to pack a lot more strategically and efficiently. I devoted last year to traveling as much as I could and definitely picked up some travel tips, tricks and hacks along the way that I wish someone would have told me! Before we get started I figured I would share the crazy, semi-comical lost baggage story for your reading pleasure. If you are just here for the tips and tricks, keep scrolling to the bottom of the post!

BACK STORY:

Last July I flew to Miami for Miami Swim Week. Hands down one of the best weeks ever… until this situation happened. Silver lining: it was on the way home instead of on the way there which would have been an absolute disaster. Anywho, long story short, the last night we decided it would be a good idea to party all night long and go straight to the airport because YOLO. When we got to the airport (early I might add), we decided to check our baggage outside which I’ve never done in my life but alcohol told us this was a fantastic idea. Fast forward to landing in Houston, my bag never showed up.

At this point I was delirious from lack of sleep but was assured by the airline that my bag would show up on the next flight and they would bring it to me. FALSE. It never showed up. I was on the phone with customer service every day for the next week trying to get any sort of update on my bag. I even went up to the airport multiple times to try to get some kind of answers to no avail. I had thousands of dollars worth of product in that bag including ALL of my make up, ALL of my hair products/tools, and ALL of the designer swim suits and clothes I had taken and then been gifted in Miami. The airline couldn’t tell me anything. Supposedly it had been scanned in at check in and then never scanned again. Side note: They scan your bag at every check point (check in, TSA, on the plane, arrival, etc) and mine was just apparently MIA.

At one point they told me my bag might be in the Bahamas which made me LOL. I was all like “my clothes get a tropical vacation and I don’t?!”. I say LOL lightly because I wasn’t laughing. Funny enough though, my friend Kylee was traveling back to Miami the following weekend and offered to look for my bag at the Miami airport. I was sure that she would find it somewhere since I was so sure it had to still be at the Miami airport. Nope. She searched that whole dang airport with the help of a baggage claim assistant and it wasn’t anywhere to be found. I officially gave up hope after this.

I ‘m sure you are not surprised to find out that I had documented this entire process on my Instagram stories. Documented…ranted… same thing. So one of my sweet followers happened to be flying into a completely different Houston airport than I had flown into and messaged me that she thought she saw my bag. There was hope. I drove straight to the other airport and went straight to the baggage claim office. There were only 4 bags and none of them were mine. At that point I decided it was time to come to terms that I would never see any of my stuff again. I went and purchased new make up that day.

Then a miracle happened. Kylee happened to be flying into the Houston airport that my follower had said she had seen my bag. Kylee, who had flown into this airport many times, versus me who had never flown into that airport and didn’t know about the several cages that they store lost bags in, FOUND MY BAG. I woke up to several missed calls and FaceTime videos. It was possibly one of the best mornings of my life. The bag had been exactly where my follower had said it was but I just hadn’t looked in the right spot.

When Kylee found the bag they released it to her no questions asked. All 4 of my baggage tags had been ripped off which meant there was no identifier anywhere on the entire bag that could have tied it to me. No personal baggage tags. No airline baggage tags. No airline barcode stickers. Nothing. Sadly this happens more often than you think where baggage tags get ripped off somewhere during transportation from being on the conveyer belts. Now how my bag even made it on a plane, let alone to the correct city, just wrong airport, we will never know.

Something I learned during the process, if unidentifiable bags are “lost” for more than 30 days they are sold to a huge warehouse in Alabama where your beloved belongings are sold off piece by piece. 90’s kids: I immediately thought of Halloweentown and Gort’s cottage where all of the missing items go. Thankfully after a series of extremely lucky events, I got my bag back in tact, with everything still in it a little over a week later.

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricks

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricks

What I pack in my carry on, travel tips and tricks

TRAVEL TIPS:

NEVER check your bags outside.

The staff outside is employed by the airport, not each individual airline, so if your bag goes missing, the airline isn’t held responsible.

Always put some form of identification IN your bag

On the off chance that your bag somehow does have all of it’s bag tags or identifiers ripped off, you should always have an identifier inside of your bag that can link your bag back to you. This could be a business card, a copy of your driver’s license or passport, or even a print out of your flight itinerary. I was told by the airline it is best to have your phone number and email in case anything ever happens.

Invest in a luggage tracker

I suggest doing your research on which option is best for you but luggage trackers are 100% worth the money. It’s basically like buying insurance on your belongings when you travel and while it might not solve all of your problems should your bag actually get lost, it will at least help figure out the bags location which is more than the airline can do sometimes. The Tile is a popular tracking device that you can stick to just about anything (keys, phone, luggage, etc) and tracks the item via an app on your phone.

Always pack your “can’t live withouts” in your carry on

Obviously this might be a little different for everyone but for me this means jewelry, especially sentimental jewelry, make up, hair tools, designer items, a change of clothes, a couple pairs of underwear, passport, and laptop. To keep these things organized in your carry on I suggest purchasing a couple different bags or pouches. I’m linking mine for you below.

HANDY GADGETS:

Weigher

If you are always that girl at the airport unloading one suitcase to another to get below the 50 pound mark, save yourself the trouble and get one of these luggage scales! If I’m going on a trip where I know i’ll be coming home with more than I’m going with, I make sure to toss this in my bag!

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a game changer for your checked bags and even mid size carry ons to keep your clothes organized, wrinkle free and room for more. If you are one of those people that can never find anything in your suitcase, these are for you!

Portable Charger

While you should definitely pack your normal chargers too, never leave for a trip without a portable charger. I can’t tell you how many times these have saved me when I didn’t have time to charge my phone or didn’t have the ability to charge my phone on the go.

Travel Size Makeup/Toiletries

Maybe not a gadget, but if you plan to bring your toiletries and makeup on the plane with you, you are going to need to invest in some travel size products. QVC has a great selection of name brand, travel size makeup and toiletries. You can also use TAKE10 for $10 off of your purchase for new customers!

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