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Friday, June 3, 2022

DIY Toddler Photoshoot feat. Indique Hair

 

This is the best 'SMILE' I could get. LOL, my child is such a character!



What I'm Wearing:

Dress: Amazon - similar, sleeveless (old Maternity Dress I bought for pictures but never got to wear)

Hair: Indique Pure Curly Hair - (3) 24" bundles and a 16" wavy closure



Hey dolls! BM (Before Motherhood) I heard Moms always say how hard it was to take pictures with their little ones and I never quite understood. That is until I struggled with getting my son to sit his 16 month bottom in one spot longer than 10 seconds. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! 

No I take that back, it's possible....with Akili and Me (his favorite cartoon), a bottle, snacks or pure old fashion luck. 

Thank goodness my hair was the least of my worries for this shoot!  In these pics I'm rocking (3) 24" bundles of raw wavy Indian hair from Indique Hair's Pure Collection. This line of hair is absolutely gorgeous dolls. Pure, unprocessed hair that looks great curly, straight or in it's natural wavy state. This is my first time wearing this hair and I am IN LOVE. 🥰

I took the hair and a 16" closure from the brand to make this into a wig. Now I can get up and look put together so easily while saving time and money. This was honestly THE BEST decision. I'm able to take it off to care for my natural hair underneath as well as care for and style her for when I'm ready to look fabulous in a flash. That's exactly what I did for this shoot. I was able to style her the night before so she was ready to go to take these photos. With a busy toddler, not needing to spend 20-30 additional minutes styling my hair was game changing. 

Did I mention I styled, setup, got myself and my son ready for this shoot all by myself! And at home....for FREE!! I had my mother snap the shots quickly on my iPhone and we were done! Forever memories captured. 

At Home 'Studio' Finds

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To achieve these photos I used a linen duvet cover and white sheets I wasn't currently using, decor from around my own home, natural sunlight (sat in front of a large window) and my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Dassit! I draped the sheets over a photo backdrop stand but you can easily use the back of a couch or push pin it to a blank wall. I took inspiration from Pinterest and used what I had at home that was similar. Did a quick beat and popped on my already styled wig and wahlah.....it was time to wrangle up the mini me. YIKES! Lol, everything else was easy peezy. 

If you are on a budget and in need of some new pics I encourage you to get creative and see what you can come up with on your own. Also, having great hair also helps 😉so be sure to check out Indique Hair HERE and use coupon code Naja15 for 15% off!


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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

How I maintain my hair as a NEW MOM ft. Indique Hair

If you are an OG to this blog and to my brand then you would know how seriously I take my hair and that I'm a total weave addict. 😝 That is why I'm so so excited to share my new partnership with Indique Virgin Hair Company! They have been my go-to for quality hair extensions for years now and I couldn't be more honored to be working with them. Over the next few months, I will be sharing my favorite products and go-to tips and tricks as a new mom with the busiest toddler EVER!  

Since becoming a new mom, one thing I know for sure, when my hair is done I feel better about myself. Being a mom is hard, being a single mom is hard AF! After 14 months I'm JUST starting to get into a stride of "balancing it all", if that's even a thing. I have learned what to prioritize and what is not as important as it once was. My hair is one of those things I MUST prioritize. When my hair is done I feel better, I'm a nicer person and I feel more put together....even if everything else is in chaos! 🤷🏾‍♀️ I need a style that's simple, low maintenance and versitile. For me that's a good 'ole fashion traditional sew-in weave. 

Wigs can be too time consuming with a toddler putting on and off and laying down properly. Braids just take too long, 8 hours held hostage in a chair is just not feasible very often. So a traditional sew-in it is, but WHY you ask? 🤔 For me, it looks more natural and I enjoy having access to my natural hair for washes and less wear and tear on my edges. With the right hair extensions, blending is a dream. I have been wearing Indique Hair for years now and the Relaxed Straight hair is perfect for my flat-ironed natural hair. Installed, this hair mimics relaxed African American hair or in my case, flat-ironed natural hair. This is perfect for me as someone who doesn't have time to flat iron my hair daily, nor do I want to add the heat damage. 


This is the hair straight with a middle part. As you can see I do not fuss with my roots being perfectly straight and this hair just blends in effortlessly with my natural hair. I'm so in love with this texture!


Indique has an amazing selection of hair extensions for every customer. If you are like me and enjoy and more natural texture be sure to check out the BOUNCE collection for the Relaxed Straight and Blow-Out textures and many more. 

For this style I am rocking 3 bundles of their hair which is perfect for me and my head. Each bundle comes with about 3.75-4oz of hair. The hair is gorgeous with full and healthy ends, no offensive smell and minimum shedding. I'm so happy to be working with them as a hair ambassador the next few months to bring you my favs and how I maintain my hair as a new mom! 

Moms, please sound off below and tell me what your go-to style is while running behind kiddos all day everyday? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to chat! 

*Use Code Naja15 for 15% off purchase*


Thank you so much to Indique hair for sponsoring today's post. 

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Friday, July 9, 2021

A letter to NajaDiamond, 10 years ago

(Photos from my very FIRST photoshoot for the blog.....awe memories)

It’s been almost 10 years since I hit publish on my first blog post. This milestone is truly blowing my mind. It's making me both proud and disappointed at the same damn time. 10 years I’ve been taking up space on this corner of the internet, 10 years I’ve been sharing my life and style journey. Albeit not the most consistent, it still remains a true passion of mine. Blogging sparked a love for sharing and inspiring others in me that truly brings me joy. When I’m able to be of service to someone else or contribute to their glow up or even wardrobe additions I'm happy.  


On the other hand, I’m pretty disappointed in myself as well. In full transparency, I’m disappointed I have not accomplished the many many goals I’ve had when I started the blog. In short, I’m no where near where I would have seen myself 10 years ago. This is mostly because I know what I’m capable of. I know what I can do and I know I have not given it what it deserved. If I truly tried but didn’t succeed it would be a far less blow than knowing I’ve wasted my OWN time. Imagine being at a job for 10 years and never receiving a raise or promotion. Instead you are in the same exact place you were on the day you started. Not because you weren't good enough but because you didn't put in the work you know it requires. Anything else I’ve ever wanted in life I’ve gone after it and ultimately accomplished it. Hello Zion! Why has this been different? 10 years of reflections and I'm pretty certain I have the answer. I attribute my lack of progress to several things, ALL of which I take full ownership of and recognize I need to change. 


If I could speak to the Naja that started this blog 10 years ago I would tell her the following:

 

—Don’t stop, just keep going

—When you don’t feel like you’re good enough….keep going

—When you don’t feel like you’re pretty enough….keep going

—When you’ve gained a little weight…..keep going

—When you get your first mean/nasty comment…..keep going

—When those close to you try to belittle your passion…..keep going

—When this industry exposes “friends” as “faux”……keep going

—When you don’t know how to do something, I.e. negotiate or write contracts…..keep going

—When you don’t know your worth…..keep going

—When you DO know your worth, and they won’t pay it…..keep going

—When coworkers from Corporate America find out you post pictures of yourself on the internet 😖…..keep going

—When you experience success…..keep going

—When you feel fear of success…..keep going

—When those close to you try to take advantage of your platform…….keep going

—When you say NO and someone doesn’t like it……keep going

—When you feel imposter syndrome creeping up……keep going

—When someone tries to shame you for living YOUR life in peace…….keep going


Lastly, this will be HARD WORK, it's fun and you love it but it will be more work than you ever thought it would.


At times this journey may seem surreal but know that you deserve this. You deserve nice things and to go to nice places. Celebrate your accomplishments and don't be afraid to promote YOSELF!! YOU are your biggest cheerleader. Those you think will cheer for you, won't and those that will might surprise you. You will inspire those that pretend to not see you. They might even talk about you or throw shade but trust me they will be the same ones asking how you did it or to show them how later. Be gracious but charge they ass! Your knowledge is valuable. Also, stop doing things for FREE. Even if it's friends and family. You will learn they will take advantage of your gifts the most. Love them but set healthy boundaries.  


This journey won’t be perfect at all. But living in your purpose and pursuing your passion will make it worth it. ALWAYS. Here’s to 10 years of living (parts of) life on the internet and continuing to do it for as long as I’m still passionate for it and to my fullest potential. 


If you’re an OG blog follower I thank you for still rocking with me, you a real one! I'm curious what would you tell your yourself if you could go back in time? 

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Zion Benjamin | 3 Month Update

3 Months with you. 

It’s been 3 months and one week since you arrived and changed my life for the better forever. 3 months of being a mom and figuring out exactly what that means to you. It’s been the best 3 months of my life thus far. I can’t remember a time better. You are now smiling and cooing at me, playing and attempting to watch TV. My new hobbies include holding your hand while you sleep and sniffing your sweet little baby toes 🥰 As I gear up to go back to work on Monday I wanted to sit here and compile my thoughts of the last 3 months. These moments go by far too fast and I’m afraid I’ll forget the details. Mom’s, tell me I'm not the only one that memory has gone to mush since having her baby. 


You are currently 10lbs, 13oz and fitting into 0-3 months clothing. Starting off at 4lbs 9 oz you are catching up nicely. You currently are bottle fed a mix of breast milk and formula. Mommy is working real hard pumping enough milk for you between that and the formula your doctor wants you on so you are growing like a weed. I would have laughed before if someone told me I would feel this much PRIDE from pumping 4 ounces of milk.  Pumping is a WHOLE full time job and easily the hardest yet most rewarding part of this journey but I love it nonetheless. I was super sad when breastfeeding didn’t work out for us but after spending 12 days in the NICU you were just too used to the bottle and didn’t want to work as hard for the boob juice, I get it. You’re a smart baby and know those calories will be better saved and stored. You still get all your snuggles and let mommy get all the kisses she wants, thank you for that, I know one day you want like them as much. 


Your favorite toy is certainly your Wubbanub and your hands lately. You have suckers in every color yet you prefer the wubbanub hands down. It makes me smile to know that. Everyday I learn more and more about you and consider it a privilege to grow with you. You have started to drool and I swear it’s the cutest thing ever. I stare at you constantly still in awe that you are all mine. The way you stare back at me makes me feel you are thinking the same about me. 🥰🥰 but who knows all I know is it melts my heart.


The statement “I can’t imagine my life before kids” never quite resonated with me before. Sure everything changes when you have a child but that becomes so clear when you hold your little human in your arms. I love him so much it hurts and can’t imagine life any other way. 

Here are pictures from his Newborn shoot that I just can’t get over. 😩😩 We took these after my little guy was released from the NICU and cleared by his doctor. This shoot was originally supposed to be my maternity shoot by the super talented Nafa of Judah Avenue but Zion couldn’t wait to join the party so we made it a Newborn shoot instead. My experience with them was great and certainly recommend them if your in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. 



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