Saturday, December 24, 2011

From my Family to Yours



Merry Christmas!
As we all get all rowdy and crazy for Christmas, let's not forget the reason for the season. I myself am a culprit of stressing out of gifting, not so much getting but giving. I am one of those people who has to always give but I have stopped to give myself the reminder that Jesus' birth was God's gift to us. In all honesty, that is all any of us need. That blessing was enough to keep me from losing sight of what Christmas really means. My last two posts have said "Happy Holidays" but let me be the first to say, I am a believer, a firm believer that God gave us the greatest gift of all by blessing us with His son, Jesus. With that being said, I am no longer worried about what gifts I will be giving this season because this season is not about any human walking on Earth (unless Jesus has blessed us with His presence in the form of person), it is about that special blessing that God has given us, His only begotten son. And that is enough to me. So let's not fall into the habit of taking Christ out of Christmas. Without Him, this holiday season would have no sustenance. I am truly grateful for Jesus and I would like to take the time to say, Happy Birthday, Son of God...


From my extremely grateful family to yours,
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Keeping Up with Me



Last year this time I wrote a blog about being so bored with my life during Christmas break.11 Well to prevent that this year, my big bad self done went and got busy on the world. Well, for me, busy is the best state to be in because otherwise, I become this hopeless, depressed couch potato. Sad but true. So I've been holding it down, but neglecting my blog....Again! Every once in a while, I will get on this busy high and stay up there for as long as I can. I seem to thrive when my life has to be structured, as opposed to having to create it on my own. That is neither here nor there.

So here is what has happened in the last few weeks of my life...
My little sister is getting ready for the birth of her first child. A little girl who is due any day now. I am excited that she is about to be a mother and I wish all the best to her growing little family. We had her baby shower last weekend and it was a nice little family affair.
My other little sister just finished up her first semester of college. WOW, time flies by. I am super proud of her and her accomplishments. I do hope she came out better than her big sister 4 years ago!
My nieces and nephews are so excited for Christmas. I am excited that they are home this year and I am even more excited that they will have a Christmas this year. They are the sweetest, most well behaved children that anyone will ever meet so I am glad they will get to experience Christmas this year.
Now about me, I have been working, working and working. I've worked so much, the Christmas really did sneak up on me. Two months ago I was saying, dang, Christmas is two months away. Well, Christmas is two days away and the year is almost over.

I don't know if it is just me but I feel like the Christmas spirit has dwindled this year. I mean, I know it came it pretty fast but there is so much to be grateful for this year, that people should be ecstatic to be here to witness the holidays. I know I am. Earlier this year I wondered where I would be and whether I would make it. I have enjoyed being a witness to God's daily miracles and blessings. He could have chosen to take one of my loved ones but chose to grant them one more day. So I will rejoice in this immaculate holiday season. I say immaculate because even in the days that aren't perfect, they are beyond perfection because we are granted one more day to learn from out successes and failures. So as we embark on the very end of the year and into next year, take the time to smell the flowers, feel the snow (if you have any), enjoy your loved ones because they are here, not just a distant memory. Happy Holidays to all of you!

I shall be back!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Product Review: Morrocan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo



Talk about a true moisturizing shampoo... While I was in DC in hot July visiting a close friend, his girlfriend, now fiance, let me use her hair products to wash my hair after a hot day. At that point, I had not rid my hair of straight ends so it was such a bad hair time, much frizz! So on the last day I had to get some moisture in my hair. When I got ready to take a shower, I asked my new fried whether or not she had some hair products since she was not quite moved in yet. My luck, she did, my luck, I found the most amazing shampoo ever...Ridiculously out of my budget but awesome to use. When I used it, I did not have to worry about it being tangled like other shampoos. When I used it, it had more slip than some conditioners I've used. So here are some greats and not so greats about it!

Pros:
1. When I say slip, I do mean this shampoo has SLIP! When I wash shampooing, I could feel my hair being moisturized despite it having a sudzy lather. Even with the lather, it was still moisturizing and if most of you know, lathers are supposed to be the stripping agent that causing out hair to feel dry when shampooing.
2. It smells delicious.
3. It contains Morrocan and Argan Oils which are said to be great for hair. They were clearly great for mine!
4. I did not have to use a lot to clean my hair. Since I took possession of it, by gift not stealing, I have noticed that it has been extremely easy to find my scalp when washing. I don't know if others have the experience but I know that I can actually feel my scalp with my fingers, without having to comb a part. Mega plus!

Cons:
The only cons I found were related to price and size. I was so excited about this new find and of course went online to find out where I could purchase plenty of bottles in order to make sure I didn't run out...Silly me to find that this product was a whopping $21.00 for 8.5oz of shampoo. As much as I loved this shampoo, it will be one that I use sparingly because I just don't have the balling salary for 21 dollar shampoo!

Overall, if you can afford to love this line, I would suggest it for anyone who is freshly natural or transitioning. Considering I am only 4 months post bc, I am still finding what works for this kinky,coily hair of mine! For now,it will be used with extreme caution!

14 days til Christmas!!! This year is almost over!!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Christmas!

25 days til Christmas. I saw this Target commercial tonight and it reminded me that I need to take in every single day and live it to its fullest. I half remember what the commercial is about but I do remember feeling like "hmm maybe I need to do something everyday to make my holidays greater!" Now people who know me know that I am an anxious holiday person. Not in a bad way but I bug everyone about Christmas gifts, talk about Christmas all the time, talk about what I want to do in the new year and what ever else is on my mind at the time. I get this feeling that just makes me all jittery during the months of November-March. But I will focus my attention on the now!



Today marks the last day of November and boy did it fly by! I am so excited to start December in a better position than most years I've had on this Earth and knowing my happiness will not rest on what gifts I get. I am one blessed young lady, as I shared on Thanksgiving but I am so blessed to the point that I am not even asking for a thing for Christmas. I tried that last year but of course my SO just had to go out and do something. But this year, I am serious. I have little nieces and nephews and one who will be born on or around Christmas Eve. I want to spoil them and make their Christmas holidays great as oppose to my own. This is a growing point for me. Never have I been a selfish person but who doesn't love a really great Christmas gift? On the subject of gifts, my plan from this day forward is to focus hard on my family and my SO and his family because I have to be honest, I have been wallowing in my own pity for the last few months and pushing my loved ones away. But no more! I am ready to love up on my loved ones because just three years ago I was preparing to say good bye to one and did not even realize it!

So this holiday season, I am making it my business and my mission to let my loved ones know just how much they mean to me. Do not let a day go by without letting your loved ones know that you care and love them!

In the meantime, what is on your Christmas list this year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time Flies By!!!



So this year has whizzed right on by! I wanted to do a blog for the 30 days of Christmas but umm, I missed a day or two or three on that! So I will start with today, that is all I have to work with. As we wrap up this year, what are some things you have experienced, learned, accomplished, or hoped to accomplish but did not as of now??? My list is as long as the Mississppi River but I will share a few...
1. I wanted to have some money saved and well, I am an impulse shopper so that has yet to happen. However, on this half of the year I have really reduced my impulse shopping as well as playing hero to those around me. I think that is a good start for 2012.
2. I learned to cope with my anxiety. My anxiety is the worst! It ranges from shaky hands while driving to sleepless nights to sleep-FILLed days. When I get stressed out, anxiety really disrupts my life. As the year has passed, I have not been so quick to resort to those coping mechanisms. I am still dealing.
3. I wanted to deal with my communication issues...Severely inept at communicating with my SO and others who are in my life. I pulled this hiatus from everyone and really hurt some feelings from not informing people about things that bother me...From here on out, my hope is to really get rid of my habit of shutting down and shutting people out when things aren't going well in my life...

That is just my short list of things. What are some things are you need to work on or really did well on this year?

By the way, Christmas is 27 days away...The new year is 32 days away...I just lost my breath whilst typing this...This year has gone by way too fast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks.

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks”. — Unknown
In light on the hectic travel that will get me to tomorrow, I would like to list a few things I am grateful for. I started a "gratitude" journal not too long ago but I want to share some things that make my world go round.
1. I am grateful for God, His mercy and His grace. Without these things, I would not be who I am today and I would be just another lost soul in the world. Don't get me wrong, I am lost right now but I do find solace in knowing that God has great things in store for me. That is what keeps me going.
2. My family
Even though I don't talk to them everyday and I have had plenty of issues, I am grateful for the family I have. They too have had a major role in who I am today. I love my family and I think of their impact on my life daily. My little sisters are the light of my life. My little unborn niece Savannah keeps me excited and my nieces and nephew, Jazmine, Jamaya, Angel, and Damonte keep me on my toes! They are an entertaining crowd. My parents are great and they work so hard to keep us all healthy and happy.
-Side note, my sisters are truly great. They are both growing and constantly trying to be the best they can be. My youngest sister just started college and my middle sister is in college and about to move out on her own! I wish them both the best and I am glad they are doing so well!
3. My boyfriend
I often refer to him as my significant other because we are way past "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" titles and are getting ready for that next step. He is the most awesome-est boyfriend any girl could ask for...Well me at least. He does any and everything to make me happy, he is smart, he is kind, he is important! LOL (if you ever saw "The Help). But he truly is an amazing guy who is after God's heart and my own. Funny thing, we met three years ago today! (I think or it was on Thanksgiving but I am in the ball park!) He is currently pursuing his law degree and even with all of the pressure from that he works extra hard to make sure I don't feel like I am getting the back seat. At this point, I've become pretty independent but he still hates for me to feel lonely! I love that guy!
-I must also shout out his family. They are great and they treat me like one of their own. Even though I have fought kicking and screaming, they accept me and love me none the less.
4. My friends who are far and few, but still growing...I never meet a stranger. Three friends I would like to shout out are my S, N, and K. These three ladies are the best friends any one could ask for. I have the best of everything if you haven't noticed! They are the most caring, kind, and hardworking people I know. My friend N is getting her Ph.D in Physics and I just graduated with my friends S and K. When I tell you they are awesome, I mean it. I met them both pretty randomly. 4 years ago when I was at a summer program, S and a high school friend were rooming together for orientation. Shamiso and I hit it off immediately and have been inseparable since! We even survived being roomies for two years! Crazy right?! N and I met in McDonald's last year. Her big natural hair is what sparked conversation between myself, my cousin and her mom. Every since then, I have enjoyed our friendship, conversations, laugh fests, etc. K and I go back to high school. We have survived our friendship throughout college and throughout moves across the US and back. I love that girl. No matter how much time passes between us talking, we always find ourselves right back where we left off. I love these girls!
5. My support system
This ranges from extended family to associates to supervisors to the kids I have babysat for. I love these people just like family. They have all been influential in my life and always showing support for whatever I do. When I went on my current hiatus and disconnected myself from the world, they knew where to look to find me and that is something special because it showed they actually paid attention.


I am really one blessed chica! I have a whole host of support factors in my life to make up for those who haven't been the best to me. They keep me grounded and remind me of my purpose in life. All of my blessings make up my support system. They let me know that no matter what, they always have my back! I am grateful to have them! This quote inspires me to continue to show gratitude daily!

-“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”
— Sarah Ban Breathnach


What are you grateful for this holiday season?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Product Review: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream



So my next product review is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. I just posted a blog about the day I decided I would go natural. The first thing I bought was Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In. It said it was a repair cream and I surely needed something to repair this over processed relaxed hair of mine. So I got it. Got home, washed my hair and used it as a deep conditioner. I remember liking it at first, the smell wasn't all that great but I really liked the way it made my hair feel after I got finished DC'ing it. So it is supposed to 1) provide moisture to brittle hair, 2) soften, detangle, and add shine, 3) protect against heat styling and sun damage, and 4) provide protection against split ends and breakage. That's what they ALL say isn't it?

My experience
I used it both for DC and a daily leave in. Since I was just starting my transition, I was worried about breakage and split ends because that is what people told me would happen if I went natural. After using it for about 5 months, I never noticed any breakage and my hair was looking healthy. I was heat styling pretty often however I did not experience any heat damage, breakage etc. So it did what it was supposed to do at the time. Because I was a PJ, I switched to something else and I have not turned back since. It is still in my arsenal of products but I have not used it since I chopped off my relaxed ends.

Cons
One of the things I did notice was that this product made my scalp itch terribly. That is one of the reasons why I had to put it away. The smell wasn't too pleasant. Another reason I was turned off from this product is because Cantu Shea Butter makes relaxers as well. As I started doing more research, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to use products that cater specifically to natural hair. I don't have any reservations about my decision to leave it alone. I don't think I will revisit it but I would recommend it to new transitioners especially if you have over processed hair. It really protected my hair during my first few months of transitioning.

One more thing, I did not know what to expect with this journey but I have noticed that at every few months, I have had to change products. I think at each stage my hair demands different ingredients from different products. This has been interesting but the journey has been worth it!

Have you used Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream? If so, what was your experience with the product?

My next review is going to be Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Memories-The Beginning of Something Great!

On this day last year, I was talking to some of my girlfriends at work. One of them had just big chopped and I was so enamored with her hair. She had convinced another friend to go natural and she decided that she had had enough of relaxers, her last one was Sept 2010. This was right after Homecoming 2010 so I had just gotten a fresh relaxer about two weeks before, a decision I came to regret. So as we sat there and talked, CurlyNikki.com came up in the conversation. My girls were just in awe because there was so much information on the site. But the at this time last year, she had just given birth a few months earlier so the main purpose for visiting her site was to see her cute little baby girl. After we had gotten enough of seeing pictures of the baby, we got into the conversation of going natural and the whys, why nots, pros etc. As I sat there and listened to them and lusted over my friend's new hair, I was decided "hey why not try it again." I say again because earlier last year, I went for about 5 months without a relaxer but broke down and got one when school started back...Big mistake. I felt bad. I felt even worse when I broke down again in October and got a relaxer because homecoming was coming up and I didn't know what to do with my hair...Silly me.

So anyways, today is represents a special day. It is the day that I decided that I was going to go natural, one year ago...Now it also represents the day I would begin to go broke behind hair products! Ugh, I know you know the story. I know I am not the only one! I went to a beauty supply store, stocked up on Flexi Rods, pomades, conditioners, leave-ins...Basically everything that I had seen from CurlyNikki.com that day...I was pitiful. I was looking like Kim Coles in her Youtube video, no joke (Click Here for the Video). I had so much stuff and I had no where to store them. I started using the products with no goal in mind so I just kept buying and buying with the hope of having super mega growth in a few months. The more products I heard about, the more money got spent, the more nights I had to resort to warming up leftovers...Lucky for me and for them, both of my sisters decided to go natural in December of 2010 so I was able to pass on some of those products. This is not the first time you heard this story!

This is what my stash looked like, no kidding!


Ok, so I have allayed myself of product junkism. I still have my moments but I have not splurged on products in several months now! YAY ME!
I just wanted to share a special day in my journey! What makes you smile when you look back on your journey?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

There's Hope!!!!!!!!

Ok, so in the last three months, I have been sort of...length obsessed. In the beginning I was checking my hair every single day, taking pictures everyday. I didn't expect my hair to grow overnight but I wanted to have pictures so that I could document my progress. My first photoshoot was August 30th. So I have attempted to keep an accurate account of my growth so that I know I am doing the right things. Anyone feel me?

So anyway, I will try to get these pictures up here. No guarantee because I am not very computer savvy when it comes to getting things from point A to point B. A being my webcam, B being this blog...The point is, I see the growth. I have about an inch more than I did when I cut off the relaxed ends in August!! Needless to say, I am geek'd. I can finally see progress and that makes me excited!

September 12

October 18



November 17






The most obvious length differences can be seen in picture 1 and picture 5 & pictures 2 and picture 6! This has me pumped and excited! I now see that I am making growth and doing a good job at retaining length. Even though it is not much, it has motivated me to keep it up!

-This is just a little inspiration for those of you who are also newly natural! If you are anything like me, you need visuals so that you can make sure you are keeping up with your own progression.

Be encouraged and stay beautiful!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adventures of Yoga and Me-Healthy Living



My email address is is a combination of my first and last name, "yoga," and it never fails that every time that I give out my email I always get the question "Do you do yoga?" "Do you teach yoga?" The answer is always no...

So I am on this new holistic approach to life, less stress, more healthy eating, working out, finding peace, less stress...Wait I said that already. But you can never be too rid of stress...So anyways, For the last month I have been saying I was going to start working out. I have always been a petite girl so working out has never been a requirement to keep my slim and trim figure...Well, people have been telling me that I looked like I was gaining weight...So what did I do? Get on the dang on scale...Silly me...And what did I see? 10 pounds of weight gain. Now, for most that wouldn't be something of significance but ummm going from 120-something to 130-something is a little more than what I planned for at this age so I decided to do something about it... I like my new body but I do not want to find myself at an uncomfortable weight a year from now and knowing I could have done something about it. Here I am, tonight!

So I went to the handy dandy P90x. I decided that I would do the Yoga portion because I want to again, take a holistic approach to this new lifestyle I am trying to accomplish. I also love the thought of yoga. The thought of it brings peace so I can only imagine what it will do for me from actually doing it...The video is 1 hour and 32 minutes...I got through 33 minutes. One third of the video. Now, I hope that I build up to doing the whole 1 hour and 32 minutes but I had to start off small, baby steps. I fully intend to keep up with it. I really don't have a choice if I want to be healthy. I enjoyed the portion that I did do. It left me sweating and feeling like a new woman!
NEW BEGINNINGS!
Here are some things I hope to gain from doing Yoga, every night at least 4 times a week...
1. To have something that challenges me to reach a greater limit of physical fitness
2. To have something that requires me to have a clear mind for at least 30 minutes out of the day
3. To force myself into a healthy lifestyle, eating right, drinking water, etc
-To establish good health today at 22 (almost 23, better late than never) rather than wait until 42!
4. To embrace the inner peace that I KNOW exists!
5. To establish an active lifestyle...I spend way too much time in front of the TV and my laptop...

So in conclusion, P90x is about to kick my butt, but it is something I am looking forward to...Now my peace has been disturbed with rap music ( someLittle Wayne Mixtape???)...The SO is back!

I hope this inspires someone out there to get on their healthy! I will continue blogging with my progress on this new lifestyle!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Celebrating a Milestone...

Natural hair milestone...I have been "natural" for 13 months after transitioning for 10 out of the 13 months. Well, my hair has been growing it up and last week I was complaining about not being able to do anything to it. Well, I tried to pull it into a puff and I was successful! However, the bands hurt my head...I have to figure out a less painful way to keep the puff going all day but I guess that comes with trial and error. I also wanted to pull my hair into a puff because the front of my hair is more wavy than coily and it was getting too long to just put a band around it...So anyway, check out my little puff! I think I was extremely successful for a first timer!

-Ignore all the books in the background. They are everywhere!!!! My boyfriend is in law school and well, I am a nerd!

I used one of those Goody's stretchy bands but I cut it, made it into a string, and tied it in the back!

Ugh, Oh no she didn't!

OHHHHH, but she really did. My mom...put...a...I can't even say it...I think I am going to cry, for real...Because I told my nieces that if need be I would drive home every two weeks to make sure their hair was done...She...she put...she put a relaxer in HER SIX YEAR OLD HAIR!! Ugh, I am mad. I wanted my nieces, the three of them, to grow up and love their natural hair. And feel proud of their mane like we had to work EXTRA hard to learn as adults. She has beautiful hair. It has all been retained since she's had it and now, a freaking relaxer. Six years old...#ican't

Ok. This may seem a little dramatic to you. But I am serious with every bone in my body. I am saddened because we have a family full of girls. Myself and sisters are newly natural and wanted to be examples to our nieces that we were more than just our hair... Part of me feels like my mom felt the need to, I don't know, tell someone that their hair was too nappy and that a relaxer was necessary....LYES, LIES, LYES!!!! I am livid! Why is it necessary to put a relaxer in a six year old's hair? Can someone answer that question? All they had to do was keep her hair braided and it would have been fine. YES, it took me an hour and a half to detangle her and her 10 year old sister's hair, but guess what, Lord knows I would do it again to prevent her from feeling like her natural hair is not beautiful. I would do it so her older sister would not feel like she would need a relaxer too because of her sister's chemically straight hair...Six years old is just too young for a child to have those harsh chemicals in their hair, kiddy relaxers count too. I wouldn't be so upset if I myself were still getting relaxers but my natural journey has shown me that I relied to much on my chemically, burnt up, broke up, crispity-crunchity, stagnant relaxed hair as I grew up...And that's nothing I would wish on any child...As she grows into a young lady, I hope she learns that her hair is not what makes her beautiful...I hope all of my 5 nieces learn that. Because as black females, we are often told that if our hair is nappy, we are not desired. I wanted to show them differently. I was hoping to show my mom differently...But I guess I lost that battle...Mom 1...Yo-0


Signed,
A very hurt auntie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Give Those Leftovers a Makeover!

So my SO and I have made it our business to be conscious about how we spend money. Therefore, he we decided to cook more often rather than go out to eat so much. Before now, I have not been a person who likes to eat leftover. Well, in order for us to achieve this new set goal, I kinda had to learn to love day old-or two- food. So I have and I've enjoyed remixing meals in order to make food work for more than a day. Ok, so my projected hope is to post my food ideas for different leftover makeovers. I'll start with what we did tonight.

I discovered this delicious Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing about two months ago. We used it to make a southwest chicken salad for a late night meeting. So two nights ago, we made some bread battered fried chicken with gravy, green peas, baked macaroni and cheese and Jiffy's cornbread :)

We ate everything except one piece of chicken. So tonight while trying to decide what to eat, my SO, who loves burritos/wraps anything with a tortilla, made a roast beef tortilla. I decided what the hay, I'll make one too. But I don't like roast beef so I went to the fridge and got the left over chicken. Warmed it up, some corn (Mrs Dash's Fiesta lime seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper), lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and the Spicy Ranch dressing...Voila, a brand new meal. I call it my Overstuffed Southwest Chicken Burrito! It was delicious and did the job in curing my hunger!

Pictured are a couple of ingredients we used:





This is just one of the many remixes we've done in the last month. What are some things you do with your leftovers???

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hide Ya Kids...




No really! It's crazy out here. So I am a from an "underprivileged" background, for all intents and purposes of this post. I didn't grow up poor. However, I did not have a lot of social capital that most middle class people grow up with such as mentors, college educated parents or family members, good schools etc. I had to learn how to use my social networks to my advantage and THAT took some work. I am still working on letting my social network work for me but that is not the point. Being from an underprivileged background, I remember often times having people during non-profit and charity work within my community and my schools. I rarely took part in these because sometimes the trust was not there to with people we weren't acquainted with. For good reason. That doubt is a valuable survival tactic for a young child. Parents are sometimes too quick to put their trust in people in the community who SEEM to have their child(ren)'s best interest at heart. Sometimes the charities and non-profit work is a preying ground for people who would love nothing more than to take a child's innocence away.

In the latest news, we have Coach Jerry Sandusky who is a renowned and honored member of the Penn State community who has taken it upon himself to molest little boys for the past 30 years. This man helped children who were identified as "under-privileged" develop football skill but used this as an opportunity to prey on boys from ages 8-13. He was caught several times having intercourse with his eight victims but did not suffer the consequences until now. It is truly a tragedy when a man who has everything the world at his fingertips would take the youth of several young boys. It frightens me to think that people put their trust in this man and he would go as far as to rape these boys during a time in their life where they should be enjoying grade school and middle school. Sexual abuse is one of the most unnoticed forms of abuse because children are often scared into silence.

This brings up another issue. It is of the utmost importance that families do not shut down the communication walls to their kids. Coming from a family where the walls were burnt down before puberty even came upon me. As the oldest girl, I never had the opportunity to talk about the things that were plaguing my developing mind and therefore had to resort to those blind peers of mind. The blind leading the blind results in a whole lot of bad decisions. This I know from first hand experience. Parents, from a child's perspective, talking to your child is much more influential than waiting on their life experiences to teach them. It is also better to let them know that you are there to be a mentor/comforter/PARENT to them rather than having them feel as if they are facing the world alone. As a teenager, I always felt like I had to hold everything in because I did not feel comfortable talking to my mom about ANYTHING! I even got on the radio station and did an interview about "kids and technology" and put out a plea for parents to be in their children't business. There is no way to know everything that goes through a child's mind and what goes on in their life unless you actually TALK TO THEM. To this day, I wish that I could just call home and talk to my mom about anything on my mind. Now that I know it will never happen, I am learning to take the lessons of life and use them as I move forward.

So to further discuss this, parents be careful of people in your life and your children's lives, teachers, preachers, coaches, friends' parents etc., in order to assure your child's safety in whatever situation they are presented in without you being around. Since you can't hide ya kids always keep your child(ren) from harms way, keep the door of communication open so they can know that you will be there for them if something was to happen with them. Trust me when I tell you, they will thank you for it later!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Product Review: TreSemme Naturals Nourish Moisture Conditioner



This is my first product review. I am starting reviews of the products I have used over the last year in order to help someone out there who is fresh into the process or just trying to switch up their regimen. I am not a paid advertiser for any product I review. I will give my honest opinion regarding all of them!

So up first: TreSemme Naturals Nourish Moisture Conditioner

I started using this right after my big chop which was a little over two months ago! I love my cute lil fro!
1 year, 1 month post relaxer
10 month transition

Ok so this is a conditioner that for one has lasted 2.5 months and I still have about a quarter of the bottle left. For a $5.00 bottle of yum, this one has my heart hair. I use it to cowash most times. At one point, I was using it everyday but I got tired of waiting on my hair to dry so I use it maybe every two or three days.

So what does it do?
So it is supposed to be light weight, it is. I love that I can put it on my hair and it doesn't send my head backward. I like that it is very slippery, I am lazy and I don't want to put too much work into detangling my hair. It really does take the frustration work out of detangling. It leaves my hair extremely soft, although my hair is soft anyway. I have not noticed a lot of shedding or breakage since I have started using it which is great because I have extremely fragile hair. It leaves my hair stretched for about an hour, long enough if I want to try to style it, which I don't but it is worth the mention.

Next up: Cantu Shea Butter

Rest in Peace Heavy D

Friends,

We have lost a great music icon today! We pray that his family, friends, and fans find comfort in each together during this tragic time.

Burnt out: When the Fire is Gone...

You ever felt like you were just existing? Like nothing you did was really of greatness, didn't really evoke excitement in you? Have you ever just lost interest in doing things that you know that you know you LOVE without a shadow of a doubt? Welp, that is where I am in life right now. Let me be candid for a minute...



I knew this would happen. I should have taken a break. I should have given myself time to just rest...Rest, what the H*#L? What do you mean rest? You don't need rest when you are taking over the world! Everyone always says, "You'll sleep when you are dead." I guess that's when I thought I would take my break...I don't know how much sense that makes considering if you don't sleep, you will surely shorten your days!

So the point, there is a point. I know realize that what I have been suffering from, FOR FOUR YEARS, is being burnt out. And this is how I know. Being a student, I felt like I was constantly sinking, just every semester, sinking into a deeper hole. I am smart, always have been. But I went to college and made a complete mockery of my FULL scholarship and my own abilities. Bad grades begot more bad grades which resulted in a complete effin miserable few years of failure, for the first time in my life...I can talk about it now because, well, if I don't it will continue to nag at me until I've gotten to a point of no return. I know this because I've been there, when everything was going wrong and I waited until I was completely broken to express what was going on in my life.

So being burnt out consists of a few things, it is not depression but it is one of the SEVERAL things that can lead to someone suffering from depression. I can recognize what I am going through now because I am in a state of reflection. A period in my life what I have THE TIME to figure out what is going on with me, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Being burnt out is something that no one can point out because often times, it is just seen as being "tired" or "working too hard." But how long do we have to put up with just existing? At some point, we need to recognize that this ish is real! Being burnt out feels like being without sleep for days, maybe weeks, even though you sleep every night. It makes one feel like no matter what how you try to make yourself feel, you aren't going to get that true feeling of happiness.

So what can you do to prevent recover from being burnt out?

1. Take it one day at a time.
Don't try to save the world and solve all of its problems in 24 hours...Rome wasn't built in a day. That problem will be there tomorrow to solve!
2. Take a break from it all.
Now, I have had the opportunity to actually take a break. But for most of us, a break is within an allotted time frame, maybe an hour or a weekend. Pray, Meditate, work out, or just free your mind from the thoughts plaguing you. Also, don't be afraid to say no to your family and friends when you feel you are taking on too much. You can only do so much for everyone else if you aren't even the best you can be.
3. Make a schedule
Plan your time and allot space in your day just to DO NOTHING! Or rather do something mindless like a puzzle, Sudoku, watch tv, read up on the latest news/gossip. These things will help take your mind off of everything. This will also allow you to keep up with what needs to be done and what can wait.
4. Take a vacation
There are many things you can do that classify as taking a vacation such as actually going out of town, going to get a massage, go on a shopping spree, all these things can give you the much needed break that you need.
5. Last but not least, get some rest. Seriously, get at least 6 hours, 8 hours is a stretch but shoot for it. It is necessary for health to get some sleep.

All in all, the point is to take care of yourself! You will wake up one day and wonder why you can't shack feelings of unhappiness and frustration. It is ok to take a break! Trust me, if you are anything like me, it will be the hardest thing in the world but I am learning so much about myself and how I must be in overall good health in order to do what I want. Being burnt out made everything around me fuzzy. Taking a break gave me the much needed time to reflect on my life. Fancy that...All from taking a break!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Rant Rant Rant!!!!!!!!

Yea, go ahead and tag me as that angry black woman... BUT This is about my hair...Maybe I need a trim. Maybe I'm out of love...Maybe it is just at an interesting length where it is making BABY steps in growth and development...But I am ready for this hair, lovely hair of mine, to freaking grow some more so that I can style it or something...Ok, let me back that up a second. I love my hair, don't get me wrong. I'm just at a stage where well, its just wash n go's. I've tries pulling it into a puff and well, the darn bands hurt my head all day! So that doesn't quite work...So I try to just put a single band around it but it seems they are stretched out and my hair has outgrown them! I don't know where to go next! Last year this time, I had no problem because I had straighter hair, curlers and I was a curious little one month old transitioner. Now I am two months post BC and my hair is growing beautifully buuuuuuuuuut (screeching halt)...It's just there now. What do I do? As I have mentioned before, braids and extensions are out of the question...Do I just have to deal with it? I mean, I will but I am impatient.


I just had to get that off my chest. I feel better now...I am going to go be nice to my kinks and coils.

Anyone else have frustrations with their coils?

Friday, November 04, 2011

10 Myths about Natural Women and their Lifestyles

I found this while browsing the web. I enjoy Madame Noire's website!!!!

Check out things people just ASSUME about us naturals!




Click Here

I would like to comment that I do LOVE neo-soul AND jazz...That's about the only thing that applies to me! As for number 2, I don't know what I would do without my meat, dairy, etc!!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Preparation meets God

Today, I was having a conversation with my cousin about marriage. The lesson of the conversation applied to so many parts of my life that I took it in a whole new direction. Basically, we discussed that marriage required being in a state of readiness. A state of readiness requires going through some things to gain knowledge, experience, and wisdom to be ready to accept what God has planned for you, whether you are ready for it or not. Being in a state of readiness will prevent us from making decisions that we will regret later on as well as prevent us from RUSHING into something that God has not prepared us for yet. With that being said, don't ever doubt the hand you've been dealt because you never know what cards you possess to put yourself in a winning position. God has a way of giving us all a way out of any troubles we face. But that way out also requires us to learn to fight and fend for ourselves and for us to learn some lessons that will prepare us to recognize when a blessing season is upon us.



So in a season of preparation (also known as trials and tribulations) keep your faith high and your eye on Christ because He will never take you through unnecessary lessons. The enemy will do everything he can to break you during your time of preparation because we are often weak in the spirit but trust, if you remain faithful and steadfast in your faith, God will bring you through. Don't let the enemy tempt you from doing what is right when you feel that everything is going wrong. Don't let the enemy try to tell you that you are doing something wrong when you are following God's word and doing what you know is right! Show the enemy that no matter what, you are not fazed by tactics to distract your attention from Your God. Convinced yourself and the enemy that the hand you have is powerful enough to keep you winning and even fool the enemy into thinking that the power and faith you have is so great that no matter what he does, you refuse to budge on your faithfulness. To that end, play your hand to the best of your ability and show the enemy that you can't be swayed in your faith. God takes us through tests of faith so that we show Him that we are truly faithful no matter what...How do I know?

If God hasn't blessed you with that job, that house, that car, that child or whatever you may be waiting on know that HE IS STILL PREPARING YOU for whatever it is. He does not want you to have it right now because He is prepping you for something better than what YOU THINK you should have. Stop shorting your blessings because of what YOU THINK you should have and let God give you what He has planned for you. It will be worth the fight...

So, be encouraged. Continue to be strong until your season of blessings come, because you never know when God is about to bless you with a breakthrough.



Further Reading: Genesis 16:1-16
Until next time,
Stay Prayed up...Keep Dreaming and Keep Believing. God has a blessing in store for you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Help Needed!!!!!

So I went through a 10 month transition. Cut my hair, fell in love with my curls...That was two months ago. I think my honey moon phase is over and I may have to start putting in some real work to figure out my hair. 2 months ago, wash n go's were perfectly fine...but uhm somehow the weather went from the 70s to the darn 50s and I don't know how I feel about that. I have really tried to keep my hair from harm but now, I am not sure what to do with this cold cold weather sneaking upon us. So, I ask all of you this, what do you do during the winter months to protect your hair? Some things I know I won't do include wigs, weaves, and braids. No offense but I'd rather work with my hair and learn my hair now so that I can continue to get to know what to do the this time next year. I have super, tightly coiled, fine hair. Suggestions on how to keep it protected during the cold cold winter months???? I'd greatly appreciate some feedback!


Lost Newly Natural

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 months post big chop

So I am about two months post my big chop and I have to say, it has not been as bad as I anticipated. I am pretty impressed with myself so far, I've been very attentive to the needs of my hair. I really love my kinky curly hair and it is just perfect. I am so in love. Ok so I will recap my last two months. I've straightened once and wash n go'd just about every other day. Thats it...

So length check: I am right on par with my length retention. I hope to continue to retain length. It is about time to get a trim!!! In the meantim, check my pic! I will post curly pics at a later date, yes I am a horrible curly but its all good! I got this!

To you other curlies, be encouraged, it is not that hard. The journey is much worth it. The journey to healthy hair is so rewarding and I wouldn't trade it for a thing...


True Happiness: Where does it really come from?


Recently, I have embarked upon an unfamiliar stage in my life. Usually, I am very sure where I am going. When I was in high school, I knew I was going to college. When I got to college, I knew that each semester I would be in school, doing work, taking exams, and learning. Now, I don't know where that next step is. Since school is over, I have no idea what is next...And to be honest, I am perfectly fine with that. Even though I am chartering unfamiliar territory, I am reminded by my boyfriend that I need to find happiness within this situation because otherwise, I am just going through hell and being miserable. Life has a way of being unfamiliar, especially when you are pushing through to the next level. I've been unhappy, I have to admit. But I had to make up in my mind that I, YMG, have to find happiness in my situation. So I have been doing little things to keep my sanity and happiness as each day goes by. I recently started a Gratitude Journal. I decided to do this as a result of seeing a fellow blogger discuss it on her page. So each day, I've been writing down thoughts and feelings, things that I am grateful for, and things I hope to accomplish in the next few years. I also recently subscribed to a Youtuber by the name of BronzeGoddess1

This woman of God has so much to say about life and gives a lot of useful advice. She posted a video the other day titled "Write it Down, Make it Happen." Click Here to Check Her Out
This video basically talked about a lady who wrote a book about speaking your blessings into existence. So this too, I've taken upon myself to do. Each day, I have written out things that I want to do, long term and short term goals I want to accomplish. This is a fairly new thing but I have to say, it is keeping me motivated and focused on sometime of goal, as opposed to waiting for something to happen. So with all of this, I've turned my happiness into something that starts from the inside and works its way out, as opposed to trying to make it infuse inside of me. This is how it starts. Searching from the outside, trying to make yourself happy will only result in feelings of inadequacy. I charge myself and all of you to find happiness on the inside and let it work its way out. Looking to others and other things will only make you feel as if someone/thing else has to validate your happiness. Don't wait for anything else to give it to you, because it will be easy for them to take it back...Find that happiness within, that way, it will be permanent and no one can take it from you.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"It's Like That"

1983...Years before I was even thought about, Run DMC released a song titled "It's Like That." This song was ranked number 40 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. Imagine that...A song that talks about real world problems being one of the greatest Hip Hop songs...Hmmm. Check the lyrics for a minute.

Click link for video
Click here to see lyrics

So anyway the lyrics in the song are so relevant to what is going on today, in 2011. 28 years later, blacks still dealing with the same ish and hmm, apparently that's the way it is. But hold up, hold up. Why hasn't something been done about these issues plaguing the black community. The first verse talks about unemployment rates at record highs, hmmm, thats a problem today. Jobs are going and people can't work, people can't work, welp thats more crime to deal with, more issues of idle hands and we all know where idle hands lead. Crazy thing though, with all of the ideas of progression this government sells to us every single day, why have blacks been the bottom of the barrel with certain issues for as long as blacks have been in this country. Talk about the "American Dream." Well apparently, that is just for specific skin tones and the darker ones ain't it.

28 years later. The major problems in the black community are not just from society, if we could only get past the societal woes and pick ourselves up by the boot straps, I know we can all rise from what is plaguing the black community these days. Too much money out there for people to go back to school but no one wants to commit to four years to get a degree...We won't do that but we will go out and complain about being underpaid, not being able to change jobs because the money was good at one point. Like these lyrics say,
"You should have gone to school, you could've learned a trade
But you laid in the bed where the bums have laid
Now all the time you're crying that you're underpaid
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is
Huh!"
Man, if we don't take advantage of this little thing called education, we aren't going to keep up with this moving economy and we will surely stay at the bottom. Regardless of what people think about getting a degree, that is one of the few things that will keep us recession free. Blacks have to make the move to keep up because otherwise, when those poverty reports come out, it will have Blacks with the most poverty because we aren't doing what we need to do to rise to the occasion. Yes, it is hard out there but if it was easy, there would be no reason to go for because everybody would have it. Go for your dreams. Shoot for the stars...Otherwise, people who do not have our best interest at heart will be out there, making our decisions for us...

"It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time—for we are bound by that—but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time"
- T.S Eliot





Make it happen because it starts with YOU.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Humbled?


A while ago, I wrote on the subject on being humble. If you read it, recall that it was a meeting with a random man in the mall who told me all about myself then asked me if I was humbled. Funny thing is, I made a promise that I would change by my 22nd birthday. Welp, 22 has come and is half way gone and that humility I promised may not be as easy a task as I thought it would be. As the year has progressed, I have to say, I have been a little arrogant in how I carried myself. Yes, I bragged on and on about my accomplishments...Boy did that slap me right in the face. This humbling thing, its a process...But I intend to make it through...

God...God never gives you anything so you can brag about it. God does not bless you with the intent that you will go and blab about it to people who you know are not doing as well as you are. God does not bless us so that we hope others will covet us...Imagine that for a second. The last commandment...What if God did give us things to flaunt in front of others? What kind of God would He be? Would He be the fair God that everyone knows Him to be? I didn't think so...But so many times, we take the blessings that God has bestowed upon us and use them for the wrong thing. Whether it is to look good for someone, sound good for someone, or have something more than someone else, it is not what God intended us to do with it. And I've heard that if we don't utilize the gifts that God gave us, in His way, that He will surely find a way to make us miss that gift (Not in those words but you get my point)... So I will say this, God is a just God, He constantly goes out of His way to insure that we are well and that we are taken care of. If you don't believe me, how many of you woke up with your limbs working, your mouth moving, sight in your eyes? Yep, you get it. He is working on our behalf. Don't make God feel as if His work is being taken for granted. How do you feel when you feel taken for granted? Imagine God doing all He does for us and having that feeling...Not too good is it?

...It is so easy to get caught up all the blessings that God gives us. But we must first be appreciative of all that He does and make use of those gifts He bestows upon us, because let's be real, none of us DESERVE them. But He is faithful anyway...I'm not saying go be perfect and pray and fast everyday, not at all. But what I am saying, for myself anyway, is to stop treating God as if He is a convenience. He should be the first and last thing we are in touch with every single day. He knows our hearts. He knows what goes on...But He also wants to be personal with us. Take advantage of that relationship. He is the only one who is always available to you...



Until next time,
God Bless

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yep, Thats right, I did it!

I big chopped. After 10 long months of transitioning, I did it. And it feels great!

When I started on this journey last November, I said I would wait a year to complete my transition because I was afraid of how I would look in a fro. Ha. Try going through the journey with a head of two textures. I'll tell you what I'm not gone do, keep snatching out tangles during conditioning and detangling sessions. YES, I said snatching out. That mess was irritating! So I gradually got trims to lessen the fright. I have always had a phobia of getting scissors to my hair. Yep, hate them, never liked them. Even for trimming, couldn't stand it. Needless to say, before this journey I was hellacious to my hair (I'm sorry, I was young and dumb). This journey has taught me to look deeper inside myself and to accept myself as I am, kinky-curly hair, pretty smile, sensitive and caring person. I mean, yes I liked to look presentable but I can do that with my hair. So, I big chopped, last Saturday. I had to. I was getting to the point where I couldn't easily style my hair, I couldn't find products that wouldn't tangle my hair. It was a nightmare. So two Sundays ago, I started cutting the front of it off. The next Saturday, I let my boyfriend finish the back. It was a special moment for me because I could see what lied under all of that straight hair, my curls are gorgeous and I have been rocking this wash and go all week long! I have enjoyed getting up and going. Not having to do my hair in the morning takes out 30 minutes of my routine. 30 minutes I get to snooze with my pillows. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sleeper. Can't help it, been like that since birth!

But anywho, I am enjoying this natural hair. I can't wait to see how it grows and I love to take care of it. Not to mention that my boo is a big supporter, most of my friends are natural, and my sisters, both of them, are natural as well! I will start blogging more as I create a regimen but I will say that it has been extremely successful thus far! I will post pics later!

Was it ever from God?

Recently, in the past 12 months, I have found myself struggling in this one area of life. One area that I thought would boost me to the next level but I just could not find a way to get to the next level I was looking for. Then, the something happened. Something I had been preparing for, looking, searching, praying for was in my hands. Like a grand prize from "Wheel of Fortune." I prayed and prayed and asked those around me to pray about it. And God had answered my prayers. So I proceeded to attempt to move on to the next level, even though I wasn't even finished with the one I was on. Let me think about that for a second...
What do you mean move on with with closing those doors? What do you mean you wanted to just skip right on to the next thing, without even bothering to finish what you started in the first place. Talk about being impatient. I jumped at the first thing that I thought would help me get pass what I was going through. Hoping it was the answer to moving me forward. Putting my faith in something that was of this world, something I couldn't take with me when I went on to the good ole "Pearly Gates." I put more faith in this job being what would deliver me than I did in God, my own Father, who had never ever forsaken me and had always provided a way out of no way? Really? Looking back, all of these struggles have led me to ask, was it ever from GOD? God's gifts also known as blessings, are effortless victories. What God blesses us with, we do not have to put up a fight to keep it, to hold on to it because HE has ordained it for us.


So, lets back track, prior to the last year, I have had victories that you wouldn't even imagine. 4 years ago, I started on a journey. I trusted Him for it because I knew that no matter what, He would keep me and watch over me as I went about my life making mistakes.
My first mistake, not consulting Him about this major decision. I can't lie, I had a relationship at the time, I knew better than to go without asking Him. But did I??? Nope, I just made my decision and that was final. Once things started going sideways, well, not in the way I thought was "right," I couldn't understand why I was having such a hard time with what I thought was a blessing from God. So I made up in my mind that I had the perfect plan to get out. I was going to just move on with the first opportunity that came. Ha, who was I fooling? I tried it, and I was snatched up within a matter of time. See, one thing I learned and I have had to deal with is, you can't start and not finish out on the journey God has planned for you. Nothing is on my time, it is on GOD's time. Who am I to say when I am done with what He has planned for me? So as I take this next few months to focus on what God's will is for me, I hope to continue to grow in my faith, and in knowing that I must complete my assignment from God before I can move on to the next one. Otherwise, I can be sure that I will lose a battle that isn't mine to fight. What God has for me, it is for me and only me. When He decides it is my time, He will let me know. Until then, I just have to get through this storm and trust that on the other side, He will be waiting to blow my mind. I just have to endure and be patient. It is all a part of the testimony...Lord, your will be done.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Do You Doubt the Value of Your Education?



As I scrolled through the daily news a few days ago, I ran into an article posing the idea that college is a waste of time. In the article, the young man thought that putting his talents forth without a higher education was more important than taking time out to be educated. He received an internship to pursue his desire to be an entrepreneur instead of going to college. People have plenty of reasons not to go to college. This opportunity that the young man in the article earned is great but one thing we must not forget about many of the entrepreneurs that we know of today is that...THEY WENT TO COLLEGE. Whether it was for four years or one, they took the opportunity to explore the option. They might not have liked it but how many of them would have been as successful without the entrance into college, at some point?
Click Here to See Article

That is all well, it really is but for those of you who have a college degree, have you ever doubted or found that your degree was not worth the heartache, headache, blood, sweat and tears put into those four years for a piece of paper with your name on it? In all honesty, I cannot say that I have not doubted my degree. Though I am fresh out of college, about a month free of a 15 credit hour week, I find that many of my peers are jobless, grad-school-less, and clueless as to their next move. I myself have been blessed with a great job that will open many doors for me as well as give me the opportunity to do what I love, public service. But for those many peers and fellow graduates, graduating college means a whole new world of worries, woes, and lots of bills...So, what exactly does a college degree do for me? (As I can only speak for myself)

Coming from the place I was raised in, I am grateful to have the opportunity to get out of that town and experience life, uninhibited and uncensored. Going to college was the best thing I could have done for myself and my future family. I gained so much knowledge in and outside of the classroom, much which would not have been offered had I stayed at home and just worked straight out of high school. For me, college was a huge step into a life that I know I could have only through the access of the network that matriculating through a higher degree could offer. The invaluable lessons I've learned, the people I have met, the classes I have taken, all make me the person I am today. Now college may not be for everyone, I can attest to that, but everyone can have a shot at making that decision for themselves. Had it not been for the support of my family and friends, I could have easily taken the route back home and in Back Yard University, much like many of my peers from high school. Not to knock their decision because to each his own, but for me, going back home was not an option. No matter how bad college was going, I never considered going back home to what I knew was comfortable. College forced me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to look deep inside and reflect on what I really needed to gain from the experience. For many, college is a step that is not an option. For some, college is a way to gain access to education. For some college is their key to unlocking many doors to opportunities that will be afforded to them later in life. For me, college did all of that plus more. According to statistics, I was not supposed to be there. According to me, I had no choice but to make it happen. No matter what happened in the course of the four years of undergrad, I know that I am better, wiser and more prepared to go forward in life and do what I was born to do, make a difference...

What has your degree done for you?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Life After the Storm

So, I am starting again with my bible reading and decided that there was no place better than to start from the beginning. Genesis sets the foundation for the works of God and his mercy. Here is just a piece of information I received from Bible Study last night that I feel compelled to share with all of you.

Alright, if you can recall that in Genesis 6, God commands Noah to build and ark.
... Now if you remember, God is displeased with everyone at this point because they are being disobedient to His word. God had planned to destroy EVERYTHING that He had created BUT Noah found grace with the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:7-8). So God goes to Noah and informs Him that He is going to destroy everything on earth and instructed him to build this ark. God gives Noah step by step instructions to follow in how to build this ark. God tells Noah that he must make one window and one door for this ark (Genesis 6:16). Once the ark is built, God tells Noah to get two of each animal and seven of each type of bird... God instructed Noah to get his family and all the animals and get on the boat. For forty days and nights, there was a rain and it wiped out everything on earth. Then Noah sends out a raven after the flood subsides, the raven never returns. He sends out a dove and the dove comes back because he has no where to plant his feet because the water hadn't completely dried up. After seven days, he sends the dove out again, this time it comes back with an olive leaf in its mouth. Noah sent it out again after seven days and the dove did not return this time.

Ok...What does all this mean?

Here goes. Noah followed God's direct instructions. He did not deviate nor question God's commands. That one window that he was instructed to put in, ended up being his window of opportunity after the storm was over. God knew what He was doing when he was telling Noah what to do. The storm does not sneak up on God therefore, God prepares us with the everything that we need in order to prepare for that storm, so when it hits, we will not be completely faithless or even afraid of our circumstances. Now, with this window of opportunity, God provided it, but He did not tell Noah when to open it, Noah waited til the time was right and decided to open it himself. We have the capabilities and abilities to pursue that window of opportunity that God gives us...Thats one of the reasons we all have different talents and contributions to provide to the world because we were all MADE WITH A PURPOSE. Stop waiting on someone to give you a chance of opportunity and CREATE ONE FOR YOURSELF.

With that, when Noah let out the raven and the raven did not come back, it was a sign that the raven was uncommitted, flying high, and had no intentions on giving back to the person (community) who kept him so that one day he would be able to fly high without a care in the world. Noah did not get upset about the raven not coming back. One thing God does is giveth. But He also taketh away. In other words, just because something or someone is no longer a part of your life, God doesn't do this out of His own satisfaction, He does this FOR YOU. Storms come to separate you from emotional baggage that you may be carrying around. See what God did for Noah. He took away the raven, and gave him a dove.

Now, when Noah let out the dove, it came back when it didn't have a place to put his feet down. Noah reached out and guided it back into the ark but seven days later, set him out again. This time it brought back a small olive leaf. That leaf represented proof of life after the storm, hope, anticipation, and expectation. With that being said, we need to be patient with ourselves, our situations, and other people because nothing happens overnight. God repositions you over and over so when the storm is over, you will be in the position to serve your purpose. God wants us to use our advantages for the advantage of the disadvantaged...He blesses us, so why don't we bless other people with our blessings?
See, it's the small things in life that count. Seriously...If we become that little olive leaf, our small moves are just as significant as the next big move.





I will leave you with these last words:::
*The other purpose that this window served was, when Noah looked out, the only way he could look was UP. To the heavens, to God. Yes, that window of opportunity, its there, you just have to open it.**


And the one door: Remember that we all must enter through the same gates...Since there is no such thing as competition UP THERE, why not help someone in their quest to enter in the same gates that we hope to enter through.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cowardly Lion Gets Some Courage


I wanted to share a personal and exciting experience of mine that took a lot of courage and encouraging! One week ago, I was a part of a pageant here on campus. I have been wanting to participate in a pageant since I was in high school and did one, North Carolina Junior Miss, but that was it. Now, I know this might seem a little crazy to be blogging about but trust me, there is a reason. So, for the last 5 years, I have been wanting to participate in a pageant. A state-level pageant. But every year when it was time to apply, I freaked out at the last minute and decided not to do it. Well, 2 years ago, a friend who is a part of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., came to me and asked if I would participate. It was their first year and they were looking to recruit some ladies of distinction. Well, I wanted to really bad but my confidence level was at an all time low. I kept telling myself that I was not competition material. Long story short, I decided not to participate that year. I felt really bad because again, it is something that I really wanted to do for a long time.

Last summer, I thought I had the courage to proceed with doing the Miss NC USA pageant. I freaked out again and felt ok about it. Fast forward to this year, I decided, what the heck, what do I have to lose? So I decided to use the Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., Miss Krimson and Kream pageant as a practice round. I wanted to gain the experience, lose the stage fright, and see how well I could manage the pressure. I did amazing. Although I did not win, I gained so much more from the experience. I learned to to tackle my nervousness, thrive under pressure, and how to love myself and have the confidence and courage on stage, that I have every single day. Shout out to all of the participants, we all did AMAZING. I am proud of all of us and I am glad to have had the experience. So from this, learn from my lessons. I now know how Cowardly Lion felt during his moment when he found COURAGE. It is an amazing feeling and I hope you all get to experience one day.

Realize, when you live out your dreams, no matter how big or small, life is a million times better. Successes and failures require you to ponder on how you got where you are, where you want to go, and what changes need to be made to achieve greatness. Don't be afraid of your feelings. Once you acknowledge a higher power that can conquer ALL, you can get there. Anywhere ♥




afrYcan viOlet


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thoughts of a 21 century woman: Dating (continued)

I ended my last post on dating talking about the importance of friendship in dating. With my experience in my own relationship, friendship is the basis of our relationship and truly does keep both of us grounded when it comes to us having spats, problems, etc. Friendships remind us of why we are with the chosen person as well as create a stronger bond that is harder to break. When you have someone to be a friend to you and continues to encourage you regardless of what you want to do, it is so much easier to deflect negative things from this world. Relationships have their fair share of issues from day to day but a friendship reminds you why you love that person and why you are with them. By the way, I am speaking about long term, marriage seeking relationships.

To build on having a friendship with your significant other, it is so important not to get complacent in your role as a significant other. It is really easy to expect the other to continue to go all out all the time and you don't do the same. It is easy for us as women to get in the habit of expecting our men to wine and dine us, romance us and some and unconsciously get used to having that and not returning the effort. Guys like to have that feeling of excitement too; they just don't show it like us. It is important to keep that spark in your relationship; otherwise it gets really easy to fall off track when someone comes along giving you what you want from your significant other. Guys are brought up to be the financial one and the romancer and women are supposed to be Miss I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T or that’s what the song says. How does that even work out if he wants to do for you and you want him to respect your independence? Not to say you have to be 100% submissive but let the man do his job and don’t be so reluctant to pick up the slack if need be. That’s how trust and reliability are built in a relationship. There are countless times I have had to carry the burden of our relationship and even more times that my man has had to do it. I don’t complain because I know that when times get rough, one of us will always be the strong one when the other can’t. (Watch and enjoy video)

Funny Video About Black Couple Negotiations

Now ladies, I will speak on this briefly and come back to it later. But, men work so hard and go above and beyond to please us. When we don’t show that we are appreciative, it makes them feel like they aren’t worth our time, they don’t have what it takes to make us happy, and they get lost in why they are with us. YES, it happens to us. Yes, they love us but feeling like they can’t please us can screw with their ego and their confidence in their abilities to be the best significant other they can be. So, if you have a man, think about all he does for you, and all he doesn’t do. If your do list outweighs the don’ts list, show your man how much you appreciate him and be as good to him as you can be. If your don’t list outweighs your do list, it is time to have a come to Jesus meeting , a crucial, much needed conversation with your significant other or let that sig other go. It might be hard but there is no reason to live your life wanting for something and having someone in place of someone else who could do the job and do it better. It is also important to be reasonably prudent in defining the things you want. Don’t be so quick to throw all the blame on the significant other because we all have things we have to address dealing with self, first. Remember, when you point to someone else, 3 fingers point back at you. So examine yourself 3 times before putting blame on the significant other. More on this later…

--afrYcanviOlet

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Live Your Life. Make Your Dreams Come True



What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode? --Langston Hughes

Life is about learning and growing. Lessons and living. No matter what, each day is going to come, regardless of what you want to happen. Today is the day to make your moves to get where you want to be. Life happens. You go through obstacles on your way to being where you dream to be. It is so important to continue to persevere and keep going...Even though it is hard, living your life and trying to reach your dreams is not impossible. Langston Hughes poses the question what happens to a dream deferred? He poses some hypotheses but in reality, dreams deferred rarely become realities.

Why, do you ask?
We get so complacent with where we are in life and as years start to pile on, we start to see our dreams and goals that once were rulers of our lives become just something of the past. Then we have children and put our dreams and aspirations on them. And as we see on TV, that is not always a good thing.

I pose all of this to say, Live your live. Dare to dream and make your dreams a realities. Young or old, it does not matter. No one is going to do it for you so do it for yourself and make your dreams come true. As my 22nd birthday approaches, I realize that there are so many things that I swear to have done at this point and I haven't. Oh well, I am making it happen this year. Watch and see, it can be done. And for you, know that obstacles are thrown in your way to make you stronger and better equipped for what is to come. If you live a obstacle-free life, you aren't doing something right!

Don't stop dreaming and don't stop fighting for your goals. If it can happen for me, it can happen for you too!