Muy Interesante: Staring in the Mirror

The lesson on Sunday from this new quarter’s bible study guide.  Some serious truth right here…

Police officers in three cars converged on a woman who was driving and forced her to the side of the road. They then approached the car, their weapons drawn. The woman was horrified as she got out, her hands raised. “What did I do?” she asked, trembling with fear. They asked to see her registration, and after a few minutes everyone relaxed and the guns went back into their holsters. “Please,” she said, “what was wrong? Why did you pull me over?” “Well,” one of the officers said, “we saw you driving like a maniac and making obscene gestures at other drivers.” “For that you pulled me over with weapons drawn?” “No, ma’am,” answered the officer, “it was just that we saw the bumper sticker with the Christian symbols, and we assumed the car had been stolen.”

This (we admit) silly story illustrates a sad point: not all Christians, or those professing Christ, have lived up to the high standards that their faith calls them to. Some do better than others, but we all fall short.

What Christian, looking in the mirror, stares in the face of someone who is perfectly reflecting the character of Jesus? What Christian, no matter how faithful, staring in the mirror, can claim any kind of righteousness for himself or for herself? What Christian, staring in the mirror, isn’t horrified by what he or she knows lurks beneath the surface?

When was the last time you took a deep look at yourself, your thoughts, your innermost motives, and your desires? What did you see? How scary was it? What is your only hope?

Just some food for thought as you go through this week.

Love and God Bless,

– T

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New Hair Challenge! + I Need YOUR Help!: From SL to APL ~ Continuing Growth and Retaining Length

Yup Yup!  From one challenge right into another!

I’ve actually been thinking about really starting an official “Hair Journey” for a little while now.  And now that my first official and conscious relaxer stretch has officially ended, and so successfully at that, I really am ready to get it on and poppin’!  Just to refresh your minds, and because I don’t really feel the need to retype everything (lol), here’s a little excerpt of what I’ve been thinking, as noted a few posts ago…

I’m kinda getting bored with my hair guys!  Thankfully doing posts on the blog has made things a bit more interesting so I don’t do anything crazy.  And while I’m still in the midst of this “Relaxer Stretch” challenge, I’m actually already thinking about another challenge for myself/my hair.  I’m just in the beginning stages, putting the pieces together but just as a general overview this is what I’m thinking.  I’ve had what some would think of as “long hair” and I’ve had shorter hair (pretty much by choice) but it hasn’t always been healthy.  And that’s what I’ve been working on for the past year and a half or so.   I think I’m pretty much pleased with the health of my hair now and I’ve learned A LOT about taking better care of it and I really can tell the difference.  But now that I’m kinda getting the hang of that I want to take the next step, and for me that is challenging myself to see just how long my hair can actually grow.  That for me really means babying my ends really because what I have noticed, especially during this relaxer stretch is this:  I get some pretty good new growth!  My problem is I DON’T take care of my ends very much at all, so whenever I go to the hair dresser I have to get a trim which pretty much cancels out any real progress that I made.  So I’m gonna implement some new techniques that I’ve seen around different hair care sites such as dusting and the search and destroy method to take care of my ends.  No more salon trims for me!  I’m doing this by myself starting with the fresh healthy ends that I have right now!  But of course that means coming up and actually sticking to an actual regimen (where consistent moisturizing and sealing will be KEY) and…buying some hair cutting scissors of my own.  I got some prepping to do!  But that won’t “officially” start until after this challenge is over and I’m back home.  Gonna start implementing some small things now.  But stay tuned for that separate post.  Cuz it’s about to go down!

Well peeps, this is THAT post!  It’s gonna be kinda long so bear with me.  Basically, I will be attempting to see how long I can get my hair to become by just really taking care of it and doing my best to take care of my ends and retain length.  I’m gonna try to do this in phases.  And this is going to begin the first phase:

PHASE 1:  MARCH 25, 2011 – MARCH 8/9/10, 2012
From SL to APL

SL = Shoulder Length
APL = Arm Pit Length

STARTING POINT

 

The reason I’m only giving the first phase is because I may not necessarily make my goal by the end of that time period so I may have to adjust.  Therefore, I’ll just roll with the punches and develop the phases as I go along 🙂

ULTIMATE GOAL:  MBL

MBL = Mid-Back Length

Honestly, I really don’t know what my ultimate goal is lol.  It’s pretty much however long I can get it without it becoming a hassle or without me being frustrated with the length.  We’ll see.

THE PLAN 
(yes, it is a WHOLE LOT and a bit overwhelming, so brace yourself.  BUT better to have a plan than be a fish outta water with this thing lol)

1.  Moisturize and Seal Daily
      a.  Straight Styles/Pin Curling:  Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In + One N Only Argan Oil (both of these are lighter but still do their job)
      b.  Textured/Non-straight Styles:  Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship + Coconut Oil (a little bit heavier)

2.  Pre-Poo & Shampoo Wash (w/ moisturizing shampoo) 1x/week
      – Pre-Poo with Coconut oil (LOVE that stuff!)
      – Same Products that I’ve been using, including my leave-ins, which can all be found HEREOnly change is that for textured styles or when my new growth really starts coming in, I’ll be using Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship as my leave-in.

3.  Massage Scalp with Castor Oil 1x/week (on wash days)
      – JBCO or Regular Cold-Pressed organic brand depending on what I have

4.  DC 1x/2 weeks 
      
 – Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask during the beginning of my stretch, when there isn’t as much new growth
       – Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Mask when my new growth demands more moisture/attention

5.  Protein Treatment 1x/2 weeks (on the weeks I’m not DC’ing)
      – ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

6.  Clarify 1x/month (shampoo with Sulfate to really rid the hair of product build-up)
      – Silk Elements Megsilk Olive Shampoo (I used to love this before I started using sulfate-free shampoo.  It is indeed a good clarifying shampoo)

7.  Direct Heat Straightening 1x/month (most likely not on the same week with the clarifying…)
      – Flat Iron or Blow Dry with Curling Iron

8.  Dust + Search and Destroy 1x/month (when my hair is straight)
      – To prevent and manage split end damage

9.   Styling:  Bantu Knot-Outs (not very frequently cuz they can be a little stressful on my ends), Braid Outs (every now and then), Curlfromers, Straight, Roller Sets (gonna try the saran wrap method of using this to get my hair straight), BUNS BUNS BUNS!!!  Gonna definitely try to keep my hair in buns to keep my ends protected for the majority of the time.
       – My styling products may change from time to time depending on what I’m doing, but I’ll definitely keep you guys updated.

10.  Relaxer Stretching:  16-18 weeks ~ Relaxing 3 times/year
      – Because I’m very blessed and fortunate to have a wonderful mother who knows a thing or two about doing hair, I’m gonna go back to the basics, meaning that as much as possibly I will try to have her do my relaxers at home.  As much as my time and her schedule allow.  It will not only save me some serious moolah (!!!) but it will also give me some control over how my hair is getting done.  The home relaxer kit that I’m considering is one that some of my hair inspirations (Sunshyne from hairliciousinc.com and Megan from ulovemegz.com, among many others) tend to really like and rave about:

Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Built-In Protection
No Lye Relaxer System

11.  Professional Trim 1x/year (the least amount possible lol)

12.  WATER WATER WATER!!!  (to help maintain my hair’s moisture balance; and of course it’s good for flushing toxins from your body and to help keep skin moisture balanced and glowing as well)

13.  Exercise at least 2x/week (Starting small and realistic lol; A healthy body equals a healthy life!   And also healthy hair.  It increases circulation to all of your organs including your scalp, which can help stimulate healthy hair growth)

 12.  Co-Washing 1x/week as needed (when my hair isn’t being worn straight; to help cleanse my hair within the week if it gets pretty funky like if I’ve been working out during the week and my hair is in a style that I can recreate without too much effort; like a braid out or bun or something)
         –  Now this is gonna be new for me and here’s where I need YOUR help.  I really don’t know what product to use! lol  I’ve done some research and I have 3 Top Contenders.  So what I’d like for you, my very helpful readers, to do is vote on the poll below as to which conditioner you think is the best. 

Here are some pics of the contenders below.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner w/ Orchid and Coconut Milk

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner w/ Aloe Vera and Avocado (Silicone Free)

VO5:  Herbal Escapes Strengthening Conditioner w/ Pomegranate and Grapeseed Extract
VO5 Herbal Escapes Strengthening Conditioner

ALSO, if you have other favorites that you’d like to rave about, please feel free to leave a Comment below.  I’d really appreciate any input that you have.

I think that’s it for now!  I’ll be giving progress pics at least with each relaxer, but I’ll try to do it also whenever I have my hair straightened.  I’m excited about this guys!  I hope I stick with it without getting bored or frustrated in the middle….

If any of you guys also want to start your own personal hair journey with me, definitely feel free to share your plans!  I’d love to hear about it.  Until next post…

*DON’T FORGET TO:  1.  Click HERE to follow the blog and THEN 2.  Click HERE to enter for the BIG Giveaway!*

Love and God Bless,

– T



Welcome to the New Layout!

Right in time for this new hair challenge comes the new layout!  I hope you guys like it because I think it’s awesome!  Just wanted to fill you guys on the small updates.

WHAT’S CHANGED:

– Of course the background and layout.  I’m really liking it! 🙂

– To the right of the page you’ll see a new “Relaxer Stretch” widget, to keep you guys up to date with that 🙂

–  ABOUT section  has very slightly updated info w/ new pic

– Update to the GIVEAWAY :  Now gonna do the giveaway once I’ve reached 25 subscribers; yeah I’m downsizing, it’s a blog  recession…LOL; ALSO, the PRIZE has now been revealed on that page so head on over, FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE to the blog and ENTER to win 🙂

Feel free to let me know what you think and follow the blog to see all the new upcoming posts!

Love and God Bless,

– T

End of the Stretch! ~ The Relaxer

Hey Guys!  So I made it!  Yay! 

The night before my relaxer I applied Castor Oil to my scalp and massaged it in; this time the brand was Home Health, pictured below.

I also applied coconut oil to my hair overnight and let it penetrate all night and all day before I went to get my hair done.  I went back to the Hair Cuttery to get my relaxer and I made sure to make an appointment with the same young lady that did my hair the first time I went because she did a great job.  You can see pics from that HERE

The relaxing process was successful BUT for the first time in a long time I definitely feel like I got some burns!  I know my natural ladies are like “SMH!  Girl it ain’t worth it!” lol.  And it probably isn’t but this is where I’m at for now 🙂  The relaxer she used was Mizani and now that I think about it, the last time I had that relaxer used on my hair was….2009?  And I definitely did get burns with it.  Soooo…yeah.  Hence the changes that will be made for this new upcoming challenge, about which you will ALL be enlightened in the VERY near future 🙂   Needless to say, I once again massaged my scalp with some castor oil, which calmed my scalp down quite a bit, and then moisturized my hair and semi-pin curled it for bed; I really didn’t want it to be flat or flippy just wanted to try to preserve the same style for Sabbath.

But on to the goods.  Here are pics of the final results!

Relaxed Hair after 18 Weeks of stretching

 

Ready for the next phase!  

Very soon I will be making a few slight changes to the layout/background/etc. of the blog.  I think it’s about that time.  NEW layout, NEW challenge, hopefully NEW things to share with you all; on that NEW NEW! lol  So stay tuned for that VERY DETAILED post and the upgrades to the blog.  And Here’s hoping that all of you will join me on the journey!

*DON’T FORGET TO:  1.  Click HERE to follow the blog and THEN 2.  Click HERE to enter for the BIG Giveaway once I reach 100 followers!*

Love and God Bless,

– T

Mary Jane Flats and Suede Booties

People always compliment me on these two pairs of shoes all the time so just wanted to do this quick post to share them with you on the random 😀

*SIDENOTE*:  I’m pretty sure that neither of these was more than $30 so that’s pretty awesome 🙂

1.  Mary Jane Flats
I actually got these shoes about….2 years ago.  I was at a Sears randomly (I never shop there but I was out at the mall with all my friends) and saw these and thought they’d be really nice to walk around the hospital with for work.  But they actually ended up not being so comfortable after hours of rounding, but seriously, what shoes really are???  So yeah, I just wear them anywhere else.  If they fit the outfit, on they go!

Mary Jane-style Flats by I ♥ Comfort Shoes (black)

2.  Suede Booties
Now these booties I LOVE LOVE LOVE and all my friends know it too because I wear them ALL THE TIME during the winter.  Yes they are suede, so they do attract that dust.  But nothing a lint roller can’t fix…for the most part lol.  I actually got these quite a long time back on one of my fam’s many trips to NYC.  It was around Christmas/New Year’s time I believe and a random store was having a sale and when I saw them I just HAD to have them!  And I haven’t regretted the purchase at all.

Anne Michelle Suede Booties (black)

Let me know what you guys think of the shoes!

Love and God Bless,

– T

Bringing Springtime to Champaign

Another Feisty House inspired post lol. 

I had to do this past weekend what I did in DC:  Dress in some spring-timey colors out here cuz otherwise, I don’t think Spring would actually be present at all!  Do you know it flurried this past week???  It’s MARCH man! lol…smh

*DON’T FORGET TO:  1.  Click HERE to follow the blog and THEN 2.  Click HERE to enter for the BIG Giveaway once I reach 100 followers!*

Love and God Bless,

– T

I Love Every Sabbath: Champaign Edition (3)

Hey Guys.  This post is gonna be really short simply because I was so tired today…I was struggling to stay awake.  And that’s no one’s fault but mine.  I’m so glad God’s grace and mercy is sufficient!  Which is actually what the sermon was about…well at least that’s what I heard when I was conscious…smh.  Mercy lord…

BUT I did make it in time for some of Sabbath school and I’m glad I did.  Just gonna share two quotes from that discussion.

From the Sabbath School teacher today:  If we bless God in our bad times, He will bless us through our hard times.

Quote from Friday’s Lesson:  “Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God’s glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven and will receive the approval of God. The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.”—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 56.

That pretty much says it all as far as the Sabbath School lesson for this week goes, all in a nutshell 🙂

Love and God Bless,

– T