natural hair: bantu knots

It’s 2014, and with a new year, I’m trying to be a little more outgoing with hair styles. Simply not having enough time should no longer be an excuse, especially when it comes to bantu knots. This style is probably the easiest natural hair style I’ve done so far, and from my experience, I love the results.

To all you curly girls with too much length for TWA, but not much length to do more than a wash n’go, this could be your solution.

Simply, part damp, moisturized (I use raw shea butter) hair into sections. The way I achieved the style pictured is by first sectioning hair and doing two-strand twist. After completing each twist, I twirled each twist until it naturally curled up into a knot, tucking the end under.

Leave knots in until hair is completely dry. Carefully, undo twist. Unwrapping each twist. I learned if you just pull twist apart, this will cause a lot of frizz. 

Achieve your finally style playing around with parts, accessories, and front twist.

you owe it to yourself.

As I sat around all morning building up the energy and motivation to get out a conquer the world, I realized something I’ve been forgetting lately. Like most people, I’m pulled in several directions filling multiple roles throughout the week as a daughter, a student, an employee, a friend, a girlfriend, and a sister. Sometimes I forget through all the plans and schedules that I owe it to myself to be Krystal.

I would not trade any of these roles for the world, but I need to remind myself not to let the world pass me by without taking time to appreciate the moments.

I had today off of work, so I decided to finally get out of bed for some “me” time. I’ve been finishing up a devotional called “What is Love?” Quite  opposite of what you’d expect, I’ve come to the portion no one likes to talk about: enemies & hate. I get it, I get it. Love your enemies. I’ll love my enemies, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna like them. This is a battle for me, one that actually came up this past weekend.

My high school hosted an alumni soccer game on Saturday. It was such a wonderful time to get together with former teammates to reminisce on high school soccer days. We laughed about days gone by and celebrated where we are all at today. Throughout the several topics of conversation, certain name was mentioned and my blood began to boil, as a lava off hatred erupted from my vocal chords. (Sorry, people, I’m being real.) Where did that even come from? But, seriously how can you love an enemy you don’t even like?

So today, after reading that devotional, I realized this: I owe it to myself…

1) To forgive. They always say, forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.

2) To live. Appreciate moments and don’t let the world pass you by.

By no means is this a complete list, but the beginning of things to remember on a daily basis. Both of these thoughts are freeing. Oh-so-freeing!

What do you owe yourself to do?

Oh, I ran today too!!!

lets see how far i’ve come…

2013 has been a year of continuous growth for me. I’ve been through a lot of uphill battles and downhill slides this year, but continue to stand in awe of what has come to past this year. I’ve learned some new things, developed relationships, rekindled old friendships, moved on from unhealthy ones, ran a little, cried a little, forgave a lot, asked for even more forgiveness, and here I am.

When I created my 2013 goal list when started this blog last January, I had already set in mind things I knew for certain would be accomplished. Some things kind of fell to the wayside, but I will roll them over for 2014. For 2014, I will try to make my goals more measurable so that I can accomplish them to the best of my ability. In no way am I writing EVERY SINGLE ONE of my goals on this list. Some goals should be kept personal or shared on more of an intimate level. But, to the goals that I would like community accountability, I will share on MWA.

Twenty-Thirteen Goals:
Give time and money to those who need it more (I am almost embarrassed to have this as a goal, and even more embarrassed to consider checking this off. For me, I feel like I have been blessed with so much, and even in my times of struggle, I still have more than I need. I’ve had opportunities to give this year, and I think that God is continuing to test me in this area in my life each and every day. One valuable thing I learned this year: Some people spell the word “love,” T-I-M-E. Just spending time with someone can be a reflection of how much you care. So, for 2014, I will continue to show my love through time.)

Be more understanding (This is an understatement. For 2013, I tried to do a better job at relating more with people instead of expecting people to think and act like me. I’ve tried to take more time to listen than respond. If we’re honest with ourselves, there is something to learn from everyone.)

Stop jumping to conclusions about things (Still working on this)

Move closer towards professional goals (Back to school, back to school. Although challenging at times, especially after sitting through  my first semester of A&P, I have to continue  reminding myself it’s temporary and to stay strong. It’s going to be so worth it in the end.)  

Move closer to home (See, I told you! Some things had been decided before even writing my 2013 goals. In November of 2012, I had approached a few friends and family members about my thoughts of moving back to Texas. At the time, it was really nothing more than that. I began searching for jobs only to become discouraged that I would be moving back only to find another desk job to hate. Then, one day while listening to The Rich Roll podcast, I began jotting down notes on nutrition and several schools offering nutrition courses. I felt like I couldn’t write fast enough. And there you have it folks -the beginning of my journey into the world of dietetics.)

Read at least 12 non-fiction books (So, do my textbooks count? Can I count half-read books as a whole book? Needs improvement.)

Read my Bible or start (and finish) a Bible reading plan (Needs improvement.)

Volunteer (Check.)

Schedule (at least) one date night a month (Discovered that dates are actually enjoyable when 1) The date likes you back 2) The date pays. Okay, okay. I look forward to dates with Josh. He always makes me smile and truly cares (or does a fabulous job pretending.) He’s the best!!!! You’ll hear lots about him in 2014.)

Have lunch or dinner plans with good friends once a month (Sometimes I take friendships for granted, and sometimes I’m just lazy. It’s too easy to be tired from work and only want to curl up in a ball and sleep. But, scheduling, in advance, a date on the calendar gives me fellowship to look forward to after a long week. I thank God for the friendships that I have in my life. At the end of the day, when everything could go wrong, I have an amazing support system and I wouldn’t replace that for the world. People are built for relationship, and I need to not take that for granted.)

Colorado (Check.)
Austin, Texas (Check.)
Las Vegas – GTC conference in April (Nope.)
Puerto Rico – Arbonne incentive trip in October (Nope.)
Missouri (Nope.)
North Carolina (Nope.)
Pennsylvania (Nope.)

Pay down debt (tackle student loan) (Work in progress.)

Hit Goal Weight (Once I started to get closer to my “goal” weight, I realized I didn’t really like how my body was looking. I was so stuck on being a certain weight, I didn’t really factor in anything else. This year, as I continue to work on my fitness, I will experiment again with how I want to look and feel.)

Run/Swim/Bike 2013 miles this year (Drum roll please, 572.47 miles. It’s not 2013 miles. It felt like 2013 miles. This  is a rough estimate because I wasn’t very organized in recording my distances. I wrote them down on anything I had available at the time, and some miles (not many) weren’t recorded. In saying all this, I could have ran, swam, and biked the distance from OKC to DFW 3.71 times in 2013. That’s pretty cool.)

Train and complete a 1/2 Ironman distances triathlon (Sidelined this summer due to knee injury. Although, I think this will in the future, it won’t be in 2014.)

NSNG (Been off track for the majority of the year, especially after I moved and started school, time to incorporate this again)

Remember to take my vitamins (It’s clearly a miracle that I can somehow get a 30-supply of vitamins to last over 6 months. Does anyone has suggestions of remembering to take vitamins?)

Get enough sleep and drink enough water (There we go with measurable goals again. Also, the irony that it’s after midnight as I type this.)

No fast food in 2013 (Is anyone else still laughing about this? I’m human. I guess, I think I’m not sometimes.)

Here’s to 2014!!! New Goals here!


while we’re here…

So, I find myself sitting at Starbucks on my day off. Just like many around this time of year I sit here reflecting on 2013. The shouldas, couldas, and wouldas linger very near. I am so happy to be where I am at right now. Although, it may not be the traditional route most may choose, it’s working for me. I know the year is not over, but letsbehonest… I won’t be able to check off all of my list this year.

I’m amazed at the things I HAVE accomplished this year thus far.

I RAN a freaking (no one likes that word) marathon. Are you kidding me? My bones ache right now thinking about it.

I quit my JOB!! Who does that? I still wonder what an outsider thinks when I tell them that as I froth a perfect semi-perfect latte for them.

I fell in love. My heart melts as I write this. Some things are just out of your control. I feel like everything in my life has finally led me to the man of my dreams. Yeah, blah, blah, blah- if you’re even still reading. I’ve told a few of my friends that I finally understand what truly loving someone really means. And not like just loving your parents and siblings, that’s different. I honestly used to think that “falling in love” meant that you had someone tag along long enough that the only option left was to “love” them. I finally get it, and can’t wait to see what lies before us.

I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I didn’t get to send out my letter this year, you know I am a broke college student. Here’s your digital edition. Love much!


I know, I have neglected you all. I’m in the midst of studying for (another) major A&P exam. I’m still alive and well. I’ll hit you up with another throwback for the time being. Miss you all! T

Way too long…

I know, I know. As soon as I promised to blog regularly I would fall off track. Although, my training schedule has been a tad bit more lackadaisical than I had anticipated, I have run into (no pun intended) some minor setbacks.

Yesterday- dun, dun, dun… I pulled my hamstring. I mean, I understand the few “battle wounds” that come with the sport, but this plagues me at a vital time. 11 days until the OKC Memorial. Today, I came home from work and just took a nap.

But, let me announce some personal victories. April 10th was the Redbud Classic. My personal goal for my first 10K was 60 minutes. I thought this was reasonable. I ended up finishing in 65 minutes. I won’t get started on how much of a baby I was when it came to the heat and the torture of the water stops being spaced out for what seemed to be miles and miles apart. But, I finished. And I got a snazzy little medal. I have never gotten a medal from running anything in my adult life. I certainly felt very accomplished.

I have also been taking a Run Faster class twice a week during lunch. It’s just a 30 minute class focusing on speed intervals to help improve my speed during a race.

OKC MEMORIAL PERSONAL GOAL – 59 minutes. I think that this is feasible. The run will be in the morning, so before it gets too hot outside. I didn’t feel tired after the Redbud, so I could have pushed myself a tad more.

Please pray for me and my hamstring :)

Enjoy the pictures below from IonOklahoma Magazine’s website. Jennifer and I joked around that they needed pictures to rep the minorities at the race. It’s funny because we made the cut by two different photographers within a 10 minute span.


dear customer:

Sorry, I was so rude today and didn’t answer your question. Probably, because you directed it as more of a statement than question. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to, “well, someone’s gotta put your kids through college,” after I accidentally rang up your order incorrectly.

Since, our interaction was brief, I just want you to know, I don’t have any children. But, I’m putting myself through college (for the second time), because I know you’ve been dying to hear my answer. I would have shared that with you, but between the time you of ordering and my hand jotting down your drink code, you didn’t ask. Do you have children? So, rude of me not to ask in return.

I do love kids though. I am volunteering several times a month teaching first graders how to read and serving with my church’s youth ministry. Things I could have mentioned, but we were both very busy.

There’s something that makes me think you really weren’t concerned about my “kids”, and my financial well-being, but before you jump to a conclusion about my situation, you should step back to realize a coffee order being rang up incorrectly is a definition of “first-world problems.”

I’ve worked for everything I’ve received, and have worked very hard. I don’t rely on assistances or allowances which I am sadly realizing you were implying. When the going has gotten tough, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gotten to work. When I have been hungry, I’ve ventured out of the cave to kill something to bring home. And when I do have children, I will expect them to do the same. If killing something to me means writing down your drink order and adding extra whipped cream, I guess that’s what I have to do. A person with an ego about how they make money, doesn’t deserve to make it.

I don’t want to assume that anyone ever raised you to treat people the way you treat me today. I’m sure it’s something you saw on television. Maybe, you were just having a bad day. Sorry if this response is out of line.

Yours Truly,

Smiling Barista