Thursday, July 31, 2014

My natural hair journey

Hello All!!

This blog isn't about relationships, so to speak.  I've been on a natural hair journey for 2 years now.  I must admit that the journey has been a very pleasant one.  

My natural hair journey began in a somewhat nontraditional way. I never did the "big chop", which probably made my journey easy to begin with.  My hair was cut short and i had that haircut for about 2 years.  Then I had micro braids in my hair for a few months during the summer of 2012.  Once i took the braids out, I really couldn't figure out what to do with my hair.  I had a couple of wigs and some ponytails that I'd worn for a minute during that summer as well.  In August of 2012, I just washed my hair and twisted it up and let it air dry.  This picture is what it originally looked like.  

I got A LOT of compliments on my new hair style, so I kept it.  I never thought once that this was the beginning of a hair journey for me.  I even liked it myself, which is hardly unheard of lol.  I'm usually not a person who is a-ok with my hair styles. I change my hair very often.  This is what my hair looked like in April 2014..

It doesn't look like much growth, but I can assure you all that shrinkage is real! It seems like the longer i went without a relaxer and the more I washed my hair, the more shrinkage i got! I had my hair blown out and pressed June 2014 and it's well past my shoulders.  
A lot of people have asked me what products  I use.  For my shampoo and conditioner I use Tresemme products.  I've been using Tresemme since I was in college.  A friend of mine introduced me to it and it worked well on my hair.  Back then i was the relaxer queen so i was surprised to find a shampoo and conditioner that i liked for my hair.

Now it took me a minute to find a product that worked well on my natural hair texture.  I've probably tried and thrown out about 5 different brands of natural hair products.  I'm mentioning this because when you're on a natural hair journey, it will take you a minute to find the right products for your hair.  Not all natural hair has the same texture or ability to hold moisture.  My hair holds moisture for a day or two, but after that, it's a rough dried up mess lol.  I started off using Curl Control by Beautiful Textures.  This is when i was twisting my hair weekly and letting it air dry. 

A friend of mine, Jennika had a lot of BT products that she didn't want anymore and gave me the moisture butter (seen below).  One day i had washed my hair with the full intent of twisting it and letting it dry.  Well an emergency came up after i had washed my hair and put the hair butter in it.  I just let it air dry and that's how I found my "latest" style.  No more twisting!! Yes!  Just wash and go!
I haven't really given much thought to how long I was going to stay natural.  At this point, I haven't had a relaxer in my hair in nearly 2 1/2 years.  My hair has regained it's natural texture from before i got my first relaxer when I was 10 years.  I've given myself 5 years to see how much growth I'll have with out the relaxer, or creamy crack as the natural hair bloggers call it lol!  

I just wanted to share with you all the products that I use because I get asked a lot what I put in my hair.  I hope your natural hair journey is as fun and enjoyable as mine!

Monday, July 28, 2014

What's on my mind: The Growth Spurt

What's on my mind: The Growth Spurt: "It's not that you think you're better than people. Sometimes you just outgrow people and their lifestyles." -Kavon Wright...

The Growth Spurt

"It's not that you think you're better than people. Sometimes you just outgrow people and their lifestyles." -Kavon Wright, 2014

I was recently in a group text conversation with my friends from college and we were talking about our next reunion trip. I'm looking forward to our trip to the islands next year! As I was talking (texting) my friends, it took me back to IUP in 1991 when we all met during summer session 2. Our bound got stronger during Spring 1992 when we all became members of Alpha Angels. That was the beginning of our life long friendship and many, many, many stories that I could share, but I'll keep to myself because I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is in the State of Pennsylvania lol...just kidding! I often joke around saying that we could have been the original Bad Girls Club when we were in college.

It's been 23 years since we entered IUP as Freshmen and our friendship has NEVER wavered. We've never had a falling out. We've never had a big blow up with each other. We've never moved on past our friendship. There was a time, however, when we didn't see each other for like 15 years lol But when we caught up with each other, it was like old times again. We picked up exactly where we left off. Trading insults (in jest) and partying hard like we always did. My friends always give encouragement, but keep it real with me. They make me feel ok about being tall,...because those who know me, know that I'm not THAT fond of it. ...but it's a blessing from God. I remember a time during my junior year in college when my Grandma passed away. My cousins were already home and knew that my grandma had passed, but my family didn't want to tell me until i got back home. My friends drove me halfway home on a whim (after we'd stolen a half tank of gas from the Sheetz near campus lol).

I was thinking about how I don't have as much personal contact with my high school friends as I do with my college friends. It's more like when I see them, we speak, etc. Always cordial, but more than likely it won't be a planned event or activity like my plans with my college friends. Then I realized, that sometimes you just kinda outgrow people. It's nothing bad, but sometimes in life, your goals and vision becomes different from those people who you shared a common bond with years or decades ago. My high school best friend is totally off my radar now. I'll see her every once in a while, but it probably won't ever be something where we plan to get together and kick it. And this doesn't bother me at all. I'm good with knowing that people are in your life for season and reason. We had a good friendship when we were 16 years old, but now we don't have much in common. Again, this is ok. Life moves on. It's called growth.

Have you ever gone through a growth spurt in your life? A time in your life when it seems like things that held your interest are no longer interesting anymore? Personal growth is a natural progression in life and should be embraced. The issue that bewilders me is when a person is stuck in a certain period of their life and just won't move on. I've said in previous blogs that I've dated athletes in the past. With almost every last one of them, they were stuck in the past. Stuck in their heydays, so to speak. Their conversations were always about when they played where and what they did or had back when they were playing. That is a turn off. For me, growth was learning that I'm not an athlete's "wife or girlfriend". I really can't deal with the self absorbed mentality that some of them possess.

I remember talking to a friend about how he sometimes has issues with being around some family members and how bad he feels about it. I told him that even though they're family, sometimes you outgrow family too. It's not that he doesn't love them, he's just in a different place in his life than some of them are. He's past the wilin' out, drunk in the middle of the street, loud in restaurants lifestyle that some of his family still engages in. And that's ok. Reason...season.

As I look back over past relationships, I can honestly say that i REGRET quite a few of them, but I can appreciate the learning experience that I got from those relationships. But I asked myself if I had to do it all over again, my answer is a resounding HELL NO. I remember years ago when I used to have a laundry list of "requirements" for my future husband. I must have been out of my mind lol. During my relationship growth spurt, i realized that some things just aren't as important as other things in a relationship. If i were married before, I'd probably be divorced by now because of my immaturity relationship-wise. I know now that I'm mature mentally and emotionally and most importantly, I know my worth in a relationship.

It's ok to embark on a journey of growth. If anyone tries to hold it against you, then it's time to move on from them. A true friend would not try to hold you back from whatever is on your horizon. Sometimes you have to move on from things that you're comfortable with and be open to something that's totally outside of the box.

Reason...season...Let Go, and Let God

Special shout out to Robin, Lena, Marsha, Japraunika, Ametria, Inge, Carol, Story, and Michelle for inspiring this post. Love you girls!!! "All for One, Spring 1992"...except you Carol! lol

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guys to stay away from

I apologize for not posting sooner.  It's graduation season and I have had cake orders out the wha-zoo! I'm not complaining! I'm thanking God for the blessing of my business.

So, it's been a while since I've written anything.  Usually when I write, of course I have to be inspired by something.  Last week I was cleaning out my son's room because we were having new furniture delivered and I came across some old cell phones.  In today's day and age, old cell phones are like old songs that you hear on the radio or TV.  When you hear an old song played, it will automatically take you back to where you were when that song came out.  I was watching the BET Awards last week and the segment with TROOP, Sylk, and Color Me Badd took me right back to my last year of high school and my first year of college at IUP.  Shout out to my cousin Devon's (aka Mingo) best friends, TROOP.  I'll be needing your guys to come sing at my wedding...if i ever have one lol. (Six degrees of separation again)

So back to the cell phones.  I looked at some of my old phones and I could remember who i was dating when I had that particular phone.  I tossed them all right in the garbage.  Sort of a symbolic gesture, i guess.  Throwing out the garbage in my life.  But those old cell phones serve as this latest blog topic....  Guys to stay away from in the dating world.

This is obvious and should go without saying, but stay away from the 2-timer.  If you caught "your man" messing around and didn't check his ass about it, you're setting yourself up to be the victim of a 2-timing man.  Especially if he knows that you know.  It's like giving him a free pass to cheat.  There's a saying that I like to mention often...People will only go as far as you let them go on you.  If you let him go too far too many times, it's a wrap for you and that relationship.  And because there was no checking of the cheater happening, more than likely your 2-timer is going to be your 3, 4, 5 or more-timer. Bounce out now.

Then there's the jealous or "i'm in competition with you" guy.  His jealousy can easily be mistaken for him "caring" about you.  But beware! If he's jealous of his own mama, then he's going to be way more jealous of you!  If he can't stand his baby mama, chances are he's going to end up hating you too.  I dated a guy like this before.  He always felt "some kind of way" when I wanted to talk about my accomplishments at work or in my personal life.  He always found some kind of way to downplay whatever good I was going on in my life.  He was in a perpetual state of muck and mire and his goal was to bring me down to his level of constant wallowing. This guy wants you to give give give while he takes takes takes! It doesn't matter who has what in the relationship, as long as both parties are equally invested in the success of the relationship. He's mentally draining and it's easy to find yourself so stressed out that you want a cigarette and a Pepsi to calm your nerves and you don't even smoke or drink soda. This guy will take you so far out of your emotions that you'll get to the point where if you saw him on a dark road during the worst blizzard of the year with no coat and shoes'd ride right past his ass and think nothing of it.  Save yourself from having to do some repentance and just bounce out now.

The Control Freak can easily be confused with a man who's so in touch with you and cares so much about you that's it's unreal! And guess what? is! The Control Freak is that guy that knows what outfit you were wearing when you went to Pittsburgh with your girls the night before.  Even though he didn't see you BEFORE you left your house or AFTER you came home.  He knows everything about you, although though you've haven't disclosed much information to him. He's that guy who will have his boys out watching you because he's somewhere with his side chick doing dirt.  He's also that guy who does a heck of a lot of "parkin lot pimpin" outside the VFW or Razzcal's trying to see what you're up to. The Control Freak will want you to think that you're the one doing wrong in the relationship, when really it's him.  He's a smart dude, but the Control Freak also is a weak ass bitch.  He wants to control you because he can't control anything else in his life.  I dated a Control Freak before (of course I did! lol) and it was the absolute worse relationship that I had ever been in my entire life.  It's easy to get sucked in by this guy because you can EASILY mistake his controlling for caring.  And once you realize what a nut case this guy is, you're usually in way too deep.  The best way to handle a Control Freak is to turn the tables on him and call him out on his own inconsistencies, low self esteem, bitchassness, or whatever. And then ...yup...Bounce out!

And finally there's the guy who's just a little too in touch with his feminine side.  If you're dating a guy and he actually WANTS to go to the mall with you EVERY time you go, then this is a red flag.  Especially if he goes into the stores that you go in to.  If your man goes to the mall with you and hangs out in Foot Locker, Champs, or the Apple Store, then he's ok.  But when this guy insists on going into Nordstrom's shoe department with you to help you pick out shoes, then you might wanna re-categorize him to the "i'm not sure if he wants a man or a woman" category.  These guys are hard to spot at first because they come of as masculine and their conversation is of a heterosexual lingo.  But give it some time and his daisies will start to show.  A friend of mine had a guy call her to tell her that he had seen a really pretty nail polish that "would look so good on her fingers" And she thought that was a compliment.  I tried to explain to her the red flags that popped up in that statement but she wasn't trying to hear it. I got 8 sisters and I don't need a man to go shoe shopping with me.  Just gimme my money and I'll show what I bought when i get back home ;-)  But seriously, if you happen to encounter this guy in the dating world...yup...Bounce out! 

I'm sure there are more "guys to stay away from" that can be listed but these are just a few I wanted to mention and laugh about.  

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