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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Woman

it’s morning…

Curious about how This Square Peg energizes for the day? *Or whether she actually gets energized for the day? Read about my morning routine below…wakeup

  1. My alarm is set for 6AM. I turn it off and then sleep until 630AM. It is what it is.
  2. After the usual morning things, I hop into a scalding hot shower (I don’t know about you, but there’s something about almost third-degree burn water temperature that just wakes me up) and, based of having shared a bathroom with all of my siblings for several years, am out of there less than 6 minutes later.
  3. Applying lotion and/or oil is the highlight after a scalding hot shower. It fills the room with lovely scents and aromas.
  4. I quickly brush my teeth and then wash my face. Because I intentionally woke up 30 minutes late and am now rushing.
  5. Nine times out of ten, I plan my outfits the night before. So after the skincare/beauty regiment ends, I head to the closet and quickly get dressed.
  6. If I don’t have a protective style, I quickly take out my twists and/or puff the hair. (Sometimes I do this while “sitting”, if you get my drift, particularly when I have twists in.) If I do have a protective style (yes, please, because it takes forever to take out twists and style), I just fluff and it’s done.
  7. I head to the kitchen and make a sandwich for lunch. Like a 10 year-old, I prefer peanut butter on wheat bread, no jelly.
  8. I’m out the door after determining, via my heavily used weather app, if I need a scarf or light coat or heavy coat for the bipolar Texas weather.
  9. Drive to work.
  10. If I feel like it, I quickly put on makeup at stoplights. So if you’re behind me, I apologize, but this Ruby Woo needs to go on these lips and I didn’t have time to do that at home.

As you can see, quick, easy, we’re done. What’s your morning routine? I’d like details. The comment box can handle it.

*I don’t get energized until 9pm. So there you go.

P.S.: are you wondering if I eat breakfast? I do. TSP’s belly won’t stand for all of that. I tend to grab breakfast at my job or roll by Starbucks on the way into the office, if I have time…which I most likely don’t. And if you’re also wondering if I actually get into the office on time? I actually do. The wonders of only working 10 minutes from home.

On Smart Cookies.

Let’s celebrate this Throwback Thursday with a ‘lil story/psychoanalysis/discussion/boatloadof unanswerable questions, shall we?

I’ll start by saying this: I’m a smart cookie. No shade or ego. I simply own my intelligence. And if you haven’t done the same thing, please do. You’re not walking around telling perfect strangers that you know it all. You’re just acknowledging what you know to be true for yourself: you’ve got a working brain. Woo hoo. And it’s all relative, by the way. I may not still understand binomials, but I know plenty of other things. In other words, no one is 100 percent amazing brain-wise, perhaps with the exception of the Mensa ladies and Einstein. And there are plenty of folks who side eye a pile of books but know plenty of things about life and how to navigate it. But own it, either way.

However, back in the day, this chocolate bookworm who enjoyed many days reading encyclopedias in her parent’s basement and devouring facts and information entered high school and almost immediately buried her brain. And there was only one group of people I hid this fact from: boys. Don’t ask me how or why. I was 14 years old. (Actually, with the way my birth month is set up, when I started high school, I was 13 years old. A little girl. Le sigh.) In looking back, there was no rhyme or reason to it. One day in 9th grade, a boy in my class asked me if I understood the assignment our teacher had just given us. I described it in detail, interpreting it for him, after which he said, “wow, you’re really smart.” What was my response? “No, I’m not,” I replied, laughing nervously. This happened often: denying, above all, that I had any abilities whatsoever when it came learning, analytical thinking, etc., especially when a boy acknowledged me. There was a bizarre level of panic when this happened–I didn’t want to be mocked or seen as knowing more than the guy standing in front of me. Was it innate? A weird biological response to the age-old adage of girls only needing to look pretty? After all, my mother, one of the most intelligent women I know, never uttered those words to me. I was never told to “dumb it down.” So where did the desire to downplay any kind of smarts even come from? Oh, and there were girls who uttered that “wow, you’re smart” comment to me, too, and although I still downplayed it, I don’t recall that almost manic need to dismiss their words like I would with boys.

Maybe it goes back to what I said above. No wants to seem like an arrogant jerk while acknowledging what they can do. But for women, it’s almost as if we carry 100 pounds of guilt when it comes to acknowledging what we can do, particularly when it comes to intelligence. The archaic, ridiculous notions of women’s abilities being limited to cooking meals and birthing babies have been around since time began; maybe I was carrying that on me, in me, without even fully realizing it. Maybe I was also deathly shy and didn’t want, even for a second, any attention being given to me. Which is also true. Maybe it’s all the above. I don’t know. When I entered college and realized that my education was actually up to me (in other words, school ain’t free; tuition is involved; you get what  you pay for), this need to hide my brain still took a while to go away. I remember being a college freshman in English 101. The assignment was to write about a memory. Our professor chose to highlight my essay and read portions of it aloud to the class. She was full of praise and encouragement. I wanted to fall through the ground. By senior year, when my strengths and confidence as a writer had grown, another professor did the exact same thing. I handled it differently. I thanked him and told him how his encouragement helped me. Was it age? Growing older? 18 vs.22? Or did it have something to do with a female professor vs. a male professor giving the praise and encouragement, the male approval making it seem more acceptable? Insert thinking emoji here.

(Told you there’d be unanswerable questions.)

I do know one thing: “dumb it down” has been said to me in my adult life more than once. Not at 14 and not at 22. While adulting. And although I don’t necessarily understand when I turned the corner from terror of smartness to finally feeling confident in my abilities, I do know that each time I heard that silly, objectionable phrase, I laughed in the speaker’s face. So there you go. 

These days, my abilities are only important to one person: me. Sometimes I’d love to revisit that 13/14 year-old and help her to stop choosing fear and pretense. But we’ll wait for another smart cookie to build that time machine. 

slay-o’clock.

Well, it was bound to happen. I fell off the wagon. I went back 100 steps. I lost the mojo. In other words: I returned to my sloppily-dressed ways.

I’ve mentioned to you that way back in the day, because of weight and lack of self-esteem and not really knowing who I was as a woman, I preferred the drab, large sized, Stevie Nicks/Dorothy Zbornak look. It was my way of hiding. Yet as much as I love Stevie and my Dorothy, it wasn’t the best idea. But with time and working on the inside and then turning to the outside, all of that improved. I fell in love with me, which ultimately meant buying her (me) fancy, lovely things, like clothes that actually fit and creating a simple, feminine and chicelegant (new word; save it in your dictionaries, folks) sense of style. 

Of late, however, the blah of life translated to fashion, style, everything. The return of ill-fitted, voluminous pants. Going to work with not one stitch of makeup on, not even my trusty MAC Studio Fix. Feeling like a shapeless brown platypus. 

As I’m prone to do, I had to figure out what was going on inside before the outside. 

  1. I’m still adjusting to this new area, six months later. (Right? Six months already.)
  2. I’ve been through some recent changes that have affected me emotionally.
  3. Idris still hasn’t called me. 

You know: things like that. In all seriousness, dear readers, I was going through stuff. And stuff means grabbing some parachute pants (far less awesome than Hammer’s), throwing them on, and going to work. 
But it’s time to let it all go. I saw myself in the mirror yesterday, super fresh-faced, absent of even lip balm, for goodness sakes (chapped lips to the heavens), and told myself to wake up. Stuff happens. We deal with it as we go. But no more cracked lips, y’all. No more.

So what time is it? It’s slay-o’clock. Because looking my best leads to feeling my best. A fundamental truth. We all know it. It’s not new math or the invention of something that will keep these edges laid. Looking better makes me feel better. In that vein, this morning I put on a cuter dress, put on some red lippie, and I welcomed the day. Put on your slay clock and join me, won’t you?

Now your turn: did the blah of life ever affect your personal style? What did you do about it? 

“edge control”? 

Who are the scientists or hairologists that create the gel for those of us with edges that have temperamental minds of their own? They need to work harder. Because people like me with edges like me laugh at these gels, these silly things that do absolutely nothing to tame these rebellious follicles that rest on the borders of my hairline. Normally, I wouldn’t care. I’m the kind of naturalista that puffs my hair and doesn’t take the time to smooth things out at the front. Smooth isn’t that important to me. But then I started taking Biotin and vitamins to make my hair stronger and yay, my hair started really growing and getting fuller, but whoa, my hair started really growing and getting fuller and goodness, I looked like I lived in someone’s backyard. And with braids (I’ve had braids since December; done and re-done), if one wants a ponytail or to pull the braids back, the edges cannot shame you. But mine shame me. Every. Single. Day.

So I purchased this “edge control” gel, which a woman at the shop claimed would do wonders for my edges. Nope. Nope. Nope. The hair lays for approximately 5 seconds and then rolls its eyes at me and sticks right back up. Wild and curly and crazy. Unabashedly untamed and unkempt.

But you know what? I’m c’est la vie-ing it, folks. That’s life. Bushy edges and all. I can’t change them. There is no control

But am I the only one? If you have rebellious edges, kindly let me know in the comments. Edge misery (not really though) loves company.

Happy Friyay, bon weekend, and onwards and upwards. 

Fabu Fashion Tuesday: What is that? Velvet?

If you know that line from Coming to America, then yes, you belong here.

So yes, I wore a velvet dress this past weekend for a special worship event. This is notable because I’ve never worn the fabric. Not even when it was the it thing to wear in the 90s. (By the way, a friend commented on my “retro” look, to which I could only chuckle. Not the look I was going for, but whatever works.) But when I saw this velvet and lace dress on Asos one morning, I had to have. It was thoroughly unique, and you shall see why. 


Right?? Doesn’t that lace front and high collar take you back to Victorian times? I was hooked, lined, and sinkered. Now here’s me.



I didn’t do too much by way of accessories. To me, the dress was enough pièce de résistance. A pair of pearl posts (which belonged to Sally at the seashore), some fashion rings, and that’s all she wore as far as accessories. (And I didn’t lose any of them! This tends to be a problem. Huzzah!) I snagged some awesome tights by Jessica Simpson from DSW (she should really stick to this fashion thing and stay away from music) and bought those hot shoes you see on my feet from DSW, as well. A lovely, faith-strengthening day was had.

As you can also see: the fro has been tucked away under those Senegalese twists for the next several weeks. She needs to rest. We’ll talk about She later.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

Bonjour, December.

I welcomed the new month with a high puff, a little red lippie, and a sweater/turtleneck combo because it’s currently freezing in Dallas. Yes, you read that right. 


Welcome to the last month of the year. Wherever you are, may you remain warm and toasty. 

(I’m 4 years natural this month, y’all! So the posts this month will certainly have a hair theme. Onwards…)

Blogvember #14: Le Fro and Le Chapeau.

I’m quite happy to inform you that I bought a chapeau (hat) this weekend. Of course, discovering that le fro (also referred to as She) could handle hats isn’t new; I discussed that wonderful revelation here. And yet those reservations about hats and fros and large heads don’t entirely go away, do they? We need to constantly remind ourselves, we in the Big Head Society, that it’ll be ok: hats will fit. 

While shopping with the bestie this past Saturday, I saw my new hat and I instantly wanted to try it on. That was the clue that it was meant to be mine. But that still didn’t stop me from muttering to the bestie that it likely wouldn’t fit. Try it on anyway, she replied, as she busied herself with perusing the sea of scarves in the aisle she was in. Shrugging, I reached for it, secured it atop my twist-out, and headed to find a mirror. Before I reached said mirror, Bestie was already gushing that it was beautiful. When I finally saw it, you guys…


The chicness. Oh, the chicness of it all. And that color. Even better: the ole noggin didn’t feel like an unknown object had taken up unlawful space there. Very comfortable. I also loved how little peeks of my coils were visible. As I said before: I made it mine. Naturally, for the rest of the day, my new chapeau became the centerpiece of several admiring selfies. (Because why not?)


By the way, I’m wearing Oh-So Wicked lipstick by Rimmel in these photos. Since autumn is here, I’ve been adding darker shades in between my tried and true red lippie. Don’t you love the variety of it all?

Anyway, bienvenue, mon chapeau…

(Are you a hat wearer? What are your favorite styles? Give up the goods…)

Blogvember #9: Meanwhile, in Paris…

…she has given me life. Liiiiife. 

Ride your vélo in those awesome heels, my lovely Parisienne. Rock your style. 

I love this. Happy Wednesday. 

Blogvember #7: Oh, am I blushing?

I think the last time I wore blush was sometime in my late teens when I officially got the green light from the Moms to start wearing makeup. Since my abundance of teen magazines provided everything from makeup tips to how to get that guy to notice you (no comment), I basically put everything on my face. Blush, mascara, eyeliner–yes, everything. Thank goodness for time and figuring out what actually worked for me. One thing I decided to part with was blush. My melanin didn’t respond well to it; I rarely found colors and shades that worked. So bye bye, blush.

Just recently, however, as I sauntered through the halls of YouTube university, I saw a video by one of the natural hair ladies that I follow; she was sharing her fall makeup routine. When she topped her applied makeup with blush, I paused for a bit. Hmm. We have similar skin tones, I said to myself. Can it be? Can you actually wear blush? Apart from the fact that yes, I speak to myself like a character from Shakespeare (can it be? Why, forsooth, yes it can), I loved how the blush complimented her lovely skin. And quite simply, the color she chose (Black Rasperry by Black Radiance) communicated what I was doing wrong back in the day: I was choosing colors too close to my skin tone, in the fear that a too-bright shade would turn me in your neighborhood clown. But staying in the plum/raspberry family seemed doable. After perusing a thousand stores for Black Radiance products (which have always been good to me), I finally found the Artisan Color Baked Blush in Raspberry. I wore it last night to my house of worship. See below. 


Needless to say, I fell in love with my blush last night. I thought it was a wonderful blend of understated and lovely, providing a pop of color to my face that I really liked. So it’s a keeper, ladies and gents. Makeup is all about adventure and experimenting, no? I declare this latest addition a winner. 

While we’re at it, here’s a full-length view of what I wore:


The necklace was a gift from the bestie, the blouse from Ross, and the high-waisted African print skirt was sewed by my talented Mama. Very pleased with the overall look.

So you out there: are you a blusher? What are your favorite brands? 

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