mind, body & soul

A More Natural Way Of Things

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Many in my local community, as well as those who follow my Facebook page, know that I am a lover of natural remedies. I have shared natural recipes on social media platforms that I use on my children, as well as myself for natural hair care; but it was only recently that I began to share a little more of the,”natural” concoctions that are used in our home.

I am a habitual researcher and I must say I thoroughly enjoy researching. I like to know what is in the products that I am using and how they will effect my hair, skin, and overall health. The more research I began to do, the more I began to discover things that I wish I knew a long time ago. Welp, no need to beat myself up about it now. When you know better, you do better! Right?! As long as you are living and breathing, it is never to late to take the time to look into the products that you are using on your family and yourself.

on-my-mind_featureWhipping up natural concoctions come naturally to me. If someone tells me they are having a problem with something, my mind automatically starts thinking of different herbs, oils, and other natural remedies that one could research themselves and try.

I truly believe that all we need is provided from nature. I have also learned that many medications that are prescribed, are derived from plants. Of course, more things are added to pharmaceutical drugs for different purposes which is why I personally choose to find a natural remedy if I can. I want to know what is in the pill I am taking.

I have a story that I want to share about a particular medication that was prescribed to me for a urinary tract infection. I have no idea how I got in that bad of condition, but I was given a catheter because I couldn’t use the restroom on my own. I was prescribed a very strong antibiotic – Keflex.  On the paperwork for this medication it stated that the side effects may include: upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, itching, hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat, painful mouth or throat sores, and/or vaginal infection.

I began to feel really out of it and could hardly walk. My legs were aching really bad, my heart was beating like a drum and I literally felt like I was just floating. I didn’t have balance and I really thought I was slowly dying. It was that Serious. I began to research the medicine that I was prescribed and came across a thread that was loaded with complaints about this medication.

I was having many of the same symptoms as the others and I knew I had to figure out something fast. I stopped taking the pills and began to incorporate more natural ways to flush my system. I purchased spring water and drank only spring water for two days. I also drank cranberry juice around the third day of being off the medication. I immediately began to feel better. I had a follow up appointment and the catheter was taken. My doctor did another test on me to check for infection and found nothing. She told me the medicine worked great. I told her I actually tossed the medication in the trash because of how it made me feel. She told me that my side effects were unusual. Unusual or not; I felt had I finished that bottle, I would be dead right now. It was just that serious. I felt it in my spirit that I was slipping away as I lay there in pain.

Flushing myself took discipline. By just drinking water and monitoring the foods that could irritate the urinary tract through research was definitely the right move. Research, research, research!

green smoothieI then began to get into detoxing the body. I drink green smoothies and detox via foot and bath. I make a detox blend that relaxes you while giving you many benefits. Detoxing foot soaks rid your body of toxins, increases circulation, soothes dry skin, aches and pains and so much more.

I thoroughly enjoy educating people on these products because I love them! I use them in my home and it is an absolute pleasure to share my knowledge with those who seek to learn more about detoxing the body. Caring for yourself by using more natural alternatives.

I must say, there are some people who will turn their nose up to natural remedies and will place anything on or in their bodies with no hesitation. This is a mindset that will take some time to reverse as you began to understand that you may be doing yourself more harm than good due to lack of knowledge.

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We must keep an open mind and not shy away from natural remedies. Definitely consult with your physician. (I do not claim to be a doctor) Make sure that what you want to try is safe. Research, research, research! I can not say this enough.

I created a Facebook page titled I Heart Natural Remedies to share many natural alternatives to products containing chemicals, prescription drugs, illnesses and so much more. You can incorporate these natural remedies into your everyday lifestyle for your family.

Natural hair care was my first focus. I have been sharing my natural hair journey for years. I quickly discovered that I can care for my hair on the outside, but I also must care for myself on the inside. There is a site I like to call Google University (Google), that will pull up fruits and veggies that you can consume to help your hair grow. It will also pull up eatable foods that you can apply to the hair for conditioning.

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I soon began to really look at the items we had in our kitchen, that I could use, to take better care of us. I eventually began to push the cough syrups and antibiotics to the side, and tried a more natural way for caring for my family and I. With extensive daily research, I began to whip up concoctions to care for my family. I use herbs, essential oils, clay, spices and more. I have been selling these items within my community and educating consumers on their many benefits. I am amazed at all who are trying to go a more natural route. They have tried many things (pharmaceutical), and now they are ready to go at it the more natural way.

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Bentonite Clay Hair & Face Mask | Bentonite Clay Foot Detox Soak

As for my extended family, they look at me like I have become some medicine woman. For others, they don’t know how to feel about me honestly!

I was in a grocery store recently. I picked up a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. A lady walked up to me and she asked me; “Are you using it for weight loss?” Now I must say, I do not need to lose any weight. My first thought was, “Woman you don’t see that I am already small enough?!” I am not really tiny but I sure do not need to lose any weight. I’d rather gain! I told her that I use it for hair and body health. The look she gave me was priceless! There I was in the grocery store sharing with her the many ways that I use apple cider vinegar in our home.

It is to the point now, if someone sees me purchasing coconut oil, avocado’s, etc., they assume that I am whipping up a natural concoction that I wouldn’t be eating. I do consume avocado in my green smoothies and have cooked with coconut oil as well, but I also use them externally along with many other things.

I was accepted into the college of American Healthcare Sciences. Soon, I would like to travel and learn abroad. I am studying to be a Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner.

 

i heart tshirt
Purchase your t-shirt today! Partial proceeds donated to the I Love My Planet Charity. 

With the internal changes that I have made, I have noticed great external results. Glowing skin and healthy growing hair. I am more energetic and grateful for life than ever before!

We can work on our outer-selves by applying products that promise us great results; but we can not neglect our inner-selves in the process. We can not close our eyes to what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies that can cause illnesses/disease. There has to be balance in mind, body, and soul for you to be your absolute best self!

 

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Natural Hair

A Path To Opportunity

Accented Glory Visionary Tonya Cross

by Tonya Cross

Opportunity Knocks

Most would probably classify me as an ol’ school natural! I began my natural hair journey in 2000, before the natural hair movement regained its popularity post 60s and 70s. Like most, when I first started out, I struggled with finding hair care products that met my natural hair needs. It was also difficult to find hair accessories. Most accessories in retail stores catered to a much younger demographic and were not natural hair friendly.  So here I was, in a dilemma. I wanted to dress up my new natural tresses with age appropriate accessories, without damaging my hair.  

Accented Glory Puff Holder
Accented Glory Afro Puff Holder

 

Fast-forward 12 years later, after raising three beautiful daughters who are also naturals, I picked up a new hobby – crafting hand-made hair accessories. The hobby was both a time filler and therapeutic. Once I had a few accessories created, I was surprised to find that my daughters liked the designs and started to wear them regularly. Soon they began to request specific designs, like the afro puff holder, to accent certain natural hairstyles. Other natural hair women started to notice our hair accessories and asked where we got them. When they found out I made the accessories, they wanted to purchase my designs! So, I took a leap of faith and launched a handcrafted accessory brand for women called Accented Glory. 

 

My  brand offers hair accessories that are created with materials that minimize damage to textured hair, provide a comfortable wear, and endures natural hair care products. I choose fabrics and materials that won’t cause friction with textured hair and that assist in maintaining healthy tresses. I test wear our designs to ensure they are not only stylish but also comfortable. I also use minimal amounts of adhesive and rubber materials when creating my designs. Naturals’ hair care regimens include oils and oils have the potential to breakdown adhesives and rubber. 

 

 

Expanding My Horizons

 

My natural hair journey has opened doors in so many areas; most of which are related to Accented Glory. Before starting my brand, I had no entrepreneurial or marketing experience. With the guidance of my oldest daughter and online network groups, I’ve learned a lot in the past few years about marketing and entrepreneurship. I’ve also built a natural hair Facebook group community, Accented Glory Naturals, of 300+ members that I co-manage with my daughters.  

 

The relationships I have established as an entrepreneur have been great. I’ve met other forty plus female entrepreneurs who have decided to pursue their passions later in life too. Many of us are balancing full time jobs while building our brands. I’m thankful that my three daughters are actively engaged in helping me build Accented Glory. I honestly couldn’t do it without them – they have truly become my tribe; my support system!

I have also started creating jewelry designs! My handcrafted jewelry includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. My motivation to create the jewelry line was to expand our design options for our brides and bridal party customers.

Accented Glory Rhinestone
Accented Glory Rhinestone Vine Earrings
Accented Glory Pearl Earrings
Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Embracing Greatness

Last year I launched Accented Glory’s “Embrace Your Crown – Embrace Greatness” series. I gave fellow naturals an opportunity to share how their natural hair journey has impacted their lives on my blog Accessory Diva. I created Accented Glory’s first tee shirt design for this series that encourages my fellow naturals to “Embrace Greatness

Accented Glory Custom Hair Flower Arrangement
Accented Glory Custom Order  Floral Hair Accent

Reading the stories of other naturals, allowed me to reflect upon own my natural hair journey. My journey has taught me a lot about myself, my passions, and my drive. Whether it’s building a brand or mastering a flat twist style, with the right tools, I can do anything I put my mind to. Building my own brand has helped me to discover my passion to create beautiful things by hand. Now anyone can reap the benefits of this passion when they wear my hair accessory or jewelry designs. Accented Glory fosters my daily drive to be a better version of myself and to turn obstacles into stepping-stones. I can’t wait to see what new opportunities my natural hair journey will lead me to next!

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Tonya Cross – Visionary and Accent Designer of Accented Glory

How has your natural hair journey impacted your life?

Follow Accented Glory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Purchase this ebook today to kick-start your natural hair journey.

Inspiration, mind, body & soul, Travel

I Didn’t Pass Out On My First Cruise

 

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My husband decided that he wanted to take me on a surprise trip. We have talked about taking many trips before but because of life we always pushed it back to the back-burner. Whenever he began to talk about us taking a cruise, I figured this would be pushed back to the back-burner too. Well, it was not and we did it! We cruised our way to the beautiful Bahamas.

We were scheduled to check in Sunday April 16, 2017 at 1pm at the Cape Canaveral Port. We decided to drive to Cape Canaveral a day early so that we wouldn’t have to face any delays on the road the day of the cruise.

We stayed in a beautiful suite at Homewood Suites. We checked in, relaxed a little and then headed out for dinner.

I had a taste for Italian so we googled Italian restaurants in the area. We headed out to find one that we decided on and ended up choosing a different one – what a great choice! The name of the restaurant is Zarella’s.  Our server’s name was Benjamin and he gave us the best service I have ever had in my life. He recommended some dishes for us to try and we went with a his recommendations. Now I am going to be honest and say that I did not eat the healthiest on this trip. I ate as much as I wanted and whatever I had a taste for. Zarella’s was only the beginning of my eating spree.

The drinks were also delish! I wanted to order something that I had never tried so my husband and I chose drinks that we had never had before. The drinks were very refreshing.

 

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When it was time to go, the server packaged our leftovers for us and we proceeded next door to do a little shopping (so we thought).

I needed to purchase a bathing suit and I figured it would be cheaper to purchase it off the cruise ship than on. The store we went into was a little pricey. I grabbed a two piece and noticed that just the top costs $45. There were some a little cheaper than that but I was not willing to pay $27-$45 just for a bikini top. We could’ve purchased from there because everything was nice but I am a budgetnista. I can’t help myself. I shop el cheapo.

This store had many things that were great for souvenirs. From hats, t-shirts, mugs, towels, shells, hermits and so much more-they had it all. The t-shirts and other clothing items were not as expensive as the bathing suits.

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We decided to head to Wally World (Wal-Mart). I found a couple of bathing suits there. Hey, I wear Wal-Mart clothing items! I know many are ashamed of that but not I. Walmart has beautiful clothing selections which I am sure that everyone knows that!

We wanted to swim or get in the Jacuzzi at the hotel but we decided to get rested up for the next day. Surprisingly, I was able to rest very well being I had butterflies about getting on the ship the next day.

Being surrounded in water (in the ocean) is something that I have also dodged all of my life just like flying in an airplane. I overcame the airplane fear for my birthday so I was able to be a little calmer facing this fear. Sometimes when you continue to do things out of your comfort zone, it becomes easier to tackle the next thing with lesser hesitation.

DSCN0120The next day we checked out from our suite and caught a cab to the port. Check in was easy breezy and we waited patiently in the waiting area until we were called to board ship.

As I sat there looking at the ship through the glass, I couldn’t believe that I was really about to do this. I wanted to smile, cry and kiss my husband all at the same time.

He was in the Navy and always shares his stories of when he was on the water. To see the look on his face just melted my heart. There was a difference this time though, he was going to relax, not work.

My husband and I have been together for six years. It will be seven years in November. We have never had a honeymoon. This trip was our time to enjoy each other away from home for more than a weekend. We have traveled since being married to places not too far away from home but we usually have someone with us or have to rush right back within two days or so. To be away for four days, just us, was something we both couldn’t believe. We were finally taking our honeymoon!

Our number was called after about an hour or so of waiting to board the ship. My stomach was in knots but I was so excited.

We were not allowed to go to our staterooms until they were ready so we browsed the ship with our luggage. We found the “common area” that had a big TV screen, a pool, two Jacuzzi’s, food and two bars.

 

We stood on the deck and overlooked the water. Shortly after talking ships and Navy day memories with my husband, we heard music and the dancing began by the pool. We were able to look down and watch the entertainment. This helped me to take my mind off everything for a moment, until I looked back at the water. We  watched on the deck for awhile and then walked down to grab a drink and join in on the fun.

After my drink, my nerves calmed down a bit and I began to enjoy the deck party. Shortly after I noticed the ship was moving. OMG! Get me off this ship asap! That is what I was thinking but based off my pictures and video, my face looks really chill. Was I really doing this?! I guess so. I just closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths and let go of the fear as I exhaled.

 

We decided to take a look at the buffet and ate until we couldn’t eat anymore. I do not know why but even after eating a full meal, an hour later we were eating again. Food was everywhere! Drinks, food, drinks, food, drinks, food. This is how our days went, literally.

I had to get use to the swaying of the ship. It made me nervous every-time I felt it. I tried not to look outside at the water but I love water so that was very difficult to do. My fear is sinking in a ship (Titanic style). There were so many activities, stores, people and food that it was easy to forget that you were actually on the ship but as soon as I felt rocking the nerves started all over.

My nervousness got better after the first day. I was more calmer and we began to attend the on board activities to keep ourselves busy. We attended a Michael Jackson dance-off and trivia and my  husband won it. He loves Michael Jackson so I knew he would. There were many Michael Jackson fans there for trivia but my husband won it hands down.

We arrived to Nassau Bahamas and it was absolutely beautiful. We were undecided on whether or not we wanted to do an excursion but we decided to get off the ship, walk around, do some shopping and find the beach.

There were stores galore and many of the locals were walking around asking tourists of we wanted to buy selective items from them. It was a bit overwhelming for me because I would be focused in on something that I see in a window and someone would come up and ask me to buy something. I eventually got use to it after a while.

We eventually found the beach. The water was so beautiful and blue. If I could lie in it all day without turning into a prune I would.

On the beach there were many things for sell like beer, cocktails, food ,souvenirs, paintings from a local artists and more.

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We relaxed on the beach, had a few drinks and embraced the moment. There were a lot of children running around so this made me sad a little because our children were not with us but I had to remind myself that this was mommy and daddy’s time that was so needed.

I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to fall asleep on the beach but I definitely paid for it. My skin is beautifully tanned BUT I began to turn red and experienced sun burn. No, I didn’t put on any sunscreen. I mean, I haven’t wore sunscreen since I was in my early teens. I guess I need to apply something next time- lesson learned, or not.

My husband also experienced sunburn. Even though we were going through this, we still decided to go to the beach again when we arrived to Freeport, Bahamas. How could you stay away from water so beautiful?

When we arrived to Freeport it looked completely different from Nassau. It was more industrial. We caught a cab to the beach and along the way I noticed a lot of damaged homes and buildings.

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I overheard two ladies talking about a hurricane that had hit the area recently. This saddened me. It was such a beautiful place to be the target of such terrible weather. Roofs were destroyed, trees were lying down and broken, cars passed us on the street that were dented and missing windshields.

Our cab took us to the beach and we had to pay three dollars to enter. We received a wrist band, walked around and embraced the beauty.

DSCN0597The waters in the Bahamas looked nothing like any waters I have ever seen in person. Usually I am afraid to get in the water (due to a previous experience many years ago). I was not afraid and jumped right on in. Well, I must confess…..I tried to walk in all seductively for my husband and a wave came and knocked me down. It was hilarious. My husband was laughing as well as other people. So much for that sexy strut.

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We enjoyed our time on the beach until it was time to board ship again. Once we were back on the ship we enjoyed the activities that were taking place. There is no reason anyone should be bored on this cruise ship. There was always something to do for everyone.

When we arrived back to Cape Canaveral I was so proud of myself. I couldn’t believe I had lived through a cruise that once terrified me. Another fear faced! I couldn’t wait to get back home to our children and love on them. I missed them so much.

Our next cruise will be a family cruise. We now just need to figure out when and where we would like to go. The kids were so excited when they saw the pictures.

I left this cruise feeling renewed and looking six months pregnant because of all the eating and drinking. My husband doesn’t agree that I had a pop belly but um….yea, I did.

There was so much fun and food! I can’t wait until our next one.

Food  & Drink Gallery

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OUR CRUISE GALLERY

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Inspiration, Lifestyle

Bacon Grease

sabrina posts

Sabrina Sainthilaire

Lady In The Wilderness

Smoothie and bacon living…..inspiration

Bacon Grease

When I was younger, the thought of cooking bacon was the same as the thought of receiving a spanking. I would suit up and wrap myself in so much clothing to avoid the sting of the bacon grease when it popped so unforgivably onto any exposed part of my skin. Sometimes I would feel as though it was the pig’s way of paying us back for supporting its slaughter. Whatever the reason, the only pain I knew was the pain of my parent’s disappointment, the whooping I received because of it, and the popping of bacon grease. Such innocence introduced to the small things that interrupted my euphoria of irresponsibility.

As I grew older and fell into the many struggles of my life such as homelessness, deployments, child birth, marriage, abuse, divorce, and single parenting the sting of bacon grease remained the same. But something changed, I was no longer afraid of it. No matter my attire I could stand confidently over the grill, the tinge of my skin would only be acknowledged and prepped to receive its next point of contact. Its assault would sometimes cause me to reminisce on things that caused me worse infliction on my soul. Thus, I realized that bacon grease had only reminded me of how far I’ve come, the reason why I am the woman that I have become, and my ability to overcome all things through Christ… My tolerance to the pains of my life has given me the ability to almost immediately overcome things that hurt me mentally, physically, and emotionally.

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Inspiration, Lifestyle, mind, body & soul

My First Attempt At Making A Beeswax Candle with Herbs

I never considered myself to be a DIYer but I have been getting into it a lot more lately. My husband and I visited Statesboro GA and decided to browse the Hobby Lobby there. I was like whooooaaaa…..when I walked through the door. All of the home décor and project materials that were available was very overwhelming for me.

The way my mind is set up, I am always coming up with ideas. The only reason I am able to focus on one thing at a time is because I write everything down and then revert back to the idea I have yet to complete.

My husband stumbled upon a candle making material isle. I immediately got excited and began to look at the materials and books for candle making. I love candles and burn them very often but I recently read some things that have made me change my outlook on what candles I choose to buy. While browsing the internet seeking directions on candle making, I came across a few sites that talked about different waxes.

I learned that some candles release toxins into the air. Beeswax and soy are said to be the best choices due to their ability to purify the air.

I have a daughter who has allergies and it seems as if anything triggers it. Because of my love for candles, it was imperative that I find a healthier option for our home. I chose to start with beeswax first.

Beeswax candles are environmentally friendly and safe, non-toxic. They burn very clean with little smoke when trimmed properly as they are not oil-based. 100% beeswax candles are natural and undergoes no chemical processing and are biodegradable.

We purchased beeswax from Hobby Lobby and wicks. We also found an herbal store nearby and purchased some dried herbs to put inside the candles. We chose Mango Greens and Lavender.

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herb store

I took a trip to the grocery store last night and when I came back my husband had already made one candle. I was thinking….why wouldn’t he wait on me? He loves to dive right in and do things. He showed me how he went about doing his candle and I tweaked it a little bit when I made mine just to be a little different.

We didn’t have a pitcher that was suggested on different sites for candle making so we took a big pot, added water and placed a smaller pot with a handle inside it. This made our double boiler. We poured the wax into the small pot to melt it. It worked great!

We poured the wax and herbs into a jar and let it sit. This morning we decided to test it to see how it burns. We LOVE the candle! It burns great, looks great and smells great. I feel so much better now that I am able to have a candle that I love and it is so much healthier for our home.

We will make some changes the next time we make them, for example,  pouring it into the jar a little neater. We didn’t pour from a pitcher so some of the wax poured alongside the rim and not directly into the jar. We could scrape the wax off for a neater appearance but it isn’t really bothering us that much to do so. Of course if I make one for someone else, it will be neater. By the way….I already have people wanting me to make them one. How about that?

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I look forward to making more healthier candles!

I went live on Facebook at the herbal store.

 

mind, body & soul, Travel

My Retreat To Fearlessly Loving Your Yoni Presents Rose Quartz Yoni Egg On Tybee Island

April 1, 2017 I attended a retreat on Tybee Island. This retreat was life changing for me as I met some beautiful spirits. I didn’t know exactly what to expect so I went without any expectations. I must say it was so worth it.

In keeping it completely real with you’ll, I almost canceled. Things were not quite lining up for me the closer it got to time to leave for the retreat but my husband told me that I should go and stop trying to talk myself out of going. Talking myself out of doing things for myself is so easy to do but I am working on that. I have to stop feeling guilty about taking care of me. You can pour into others all day but you have to pour into yourself as well.

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One of my friends also attended the retreat so the weeks leading up to it was interesting. We were trying to figure out what we should or should not take. We where provided a list of what to bring but as women we must always be so extra. Ok, maybe not all but we did put a lot of thought into what we should wear and even did a little shopping.

I ended up just purchasing the yoga gear needed for the retreat and my friend bought me a dress in which I didn’t wear but will save for a later time. Surprisingly I packed light.

We arrived to our destination early so we decided to head to the beach and wait until it was time to meet up with the other sisters. We hung out on the beach for awhile, took pictures and watched the waves. We didn’t get into the water. My friend wanted to run in but decided not to as we did not want to meet up with the other ladies soak and wet. They probably wouldn’t have cared but we had no idea what was on the agenda for the day.

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Once it was time to meet with the other ladies, we proceeded to the gate of the area where we were staying. The gates opened and we were in! The first thing I noticed once inside the gate was all the nature and sand.

I am a true nature lover so that was enough to get me excited. We parked and met up with two ladies that were standing next to a common area building. They welcomed us and gave us some Florida Water to cleanse ourselves of negative energy. My friend and I conversed with the two ladies for awhile and eventually got our luggage and picked our beds.

After picking our beds, we waited in the common area/building for the other ladies to arrive.

During this time I was taking everything in. I could hear the birds and smell the water. I looked around and observed our surroundings and it was so peaceful.

We indulged in some delicious vegan cupcakes, fruit, zucchini bread and water. Who ever knew that eating healthy could be so delish! Our cuisine was vegetarian/vegan the whole retreat.

After getting our bellies full, my friend and I decided to go hang out by the water until everyone got there. We took a few selfies and conversed about life. Another lady joined us by the water and we conversed about food and the health benefits of certain foods or lack there of. She was so hilarious to me. The way she talked and her bubbly personality. This lady was the true definition of real. She says what is on her mind and I love it!

1491077603529 149107750291717622129_171005403418847_6010746822122041970_oMore ladies began to join us throughout the day. My friend had wondered off to connect with the other ladies as I was doing the same. I eventually found her sitting on a dock with two other ladies. I joined them and watched as the water flowed beneath our feet and the crabs crawled in and out of the sand.

We stayed on the dock for awhile. By the time we left the dock, my feet were feeling wrinkly. IMG_20170401_160959

We eventually all met in one place to enjoy dinner and converse.

1491094719719We had a very emotional night as we surrounded a campfire. We were told to write down on a piece of paper what we would like to release from ourselves so that we can move forward and we threw that paper in the fire. Afterwards, we talked about other things and it definitely brought tears to my eyes because I am personally working on some blockages.

 

My sisters embraced me. The love I received was amazing. These ladies did not even know me long yet they expressed so much love to me.

After eating smores and conversing by the campfire we turned in for the night.

 

We stayed in a dorm room setting which I thought was perfect for us. It wasn’t so big that we could drift off into our own little worlds. It was the perfect size for us to be close to each other. This allowed us to talk to one another and feel more connected due to the closeness.

We woke up early the next day and headed to the beach for sunrise yoga and followed up with Zumba. The instructor was awesome! I had a lot of fun working out. The yoga was very peaceful and I felt as though I had released something from me that was very heavy after doing yoga. I felt lighter.

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@zumbakatiee

After zumba we headed back to our common area and ate breakfast.

 

1491161172109Towards the end of the retreat, I purchased a green tea bath scrub from @fearlesslylovingyouryoni and I have used it already. My skin feels amazing!

I also received a rose quartz yoni egg. I actually wore it for yoga and zumba……

This retreat was so needed. There was healing, spending time with nature, bonding, support, healthy food, networking, building friendships and so much more. These ladies definitely have a special place in my heart.

I have always said that I needed more in my life. I needed change when it came to my social circle. I needed siSTARS who would support me when I am down and congratulate me when I am up.

My vision board is manifesting!

I am so glad that I took this retreat! I feel renewed. I returned back to my hometown ready to continue my journey with a different mindset. It is time to go beyond our circumstances. It is time……It all starts with YOU.

 

Music credits:  http://www.bensound.com

@fearlesslylovingyouryoni

Family, mind, body & soul

I Partially Know What I Am Doing

I decided that it was finally time that I start my own little garden so I gathered my crew and we headed to the dollar store. We browsed the aisles and came across the flower bulbs and vegetable seeds and I was overjoyed. I do not know anything about planting vegetables and herbs other than just putting the seeds in the ground but after reading the back of the seed packets, I quickly learned that it wasn’t that simple.

I love simplicity. I purchased peas, bean, squash, lettuce, carrots, spinach, sage and oregano. I also purchased a seed starter tray and a few other small seed starter pots.

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My six year old was very excited to help me plant the seeds as well as my oldest son but my other two children didn’t want to get their hands dirty. They just wanted to watch us work.

I followed the directions for the seed starter the best I could but I did something that was hilarious to my husband. I didn’t completely understand that you shouldn’t plant many seeds of lettuce at one time in the pot (as it is a small pot) and we planted all of them. Haha! My husband laughed at me and said we are going to have a big combination of lettuces. I must admit, it hurt my feelings a bit because I was so proud of myself. He really blew me for a moment but eventually I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Hey, what can I say. I am a beginner who is simply trying to find her way right?

So the next thing was where will we put them so that they will receive proper sunlight. We placed the sage and oregano in the kitchen window and the rest in the sun-room area. This morning I noticed that there wasn’t adequate sunlight in the sun-room area so I placed the plants in direct sunlight in our backyard.

The ultimate goal is to start the seeds inside the smaller pots and eventually plant them in the ground once we prepare a proper space.

I would love to build a greenhouse to grow herbs and even googled some easy ways to build it but I think I want to leave that project to my husband. I am not into building things. Of course I will assist my love but the project will ultimately be his.

I asked him would he build one for me and he just looked at me so I don’t know what the answer is yet but we will see. I surely hope so. Or…..I could just start building it and he naturally assists me in whatever I am doing. Yea, I think I will get him involved this way.

As for my veggies, I am excited to be making this healthier change. Our children are watching us so we want them to live very fulfilled lives due to us being great examples. They know how much I love plants and I talk to them, literally.

We have a lucky bamboo that I need to replant as soon as possible that is in the home and we have two plants that I have yet to figure out what they are that are on our porch. My mother in-law gave them to us when we moved into our home. I would love to know what they are.

She isn’t sure what they are either so it is a mystery! I am sure I will find out eventually, I mean it has only been two years that I haven’t known. Haha!

I am sure with more research and practice, I will get the gardening thing down pack. I am crawling before walking and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out so that we can eat our own home grown veggies!

Share your tips on growing veggies to make my life a little easier!

 

mind, body & soul

Can I Workout Please?!

I absolutely love the gym but there is one thing I do not like particularly about the gym-some men. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having someone who is interested in you watching you as you are working out. In particular I enjoy the machine that allows me to workout my glutes in which this requires that I bend over and lift a bar one leg at a time. Talk about uncomfortable with a set of eyeballs watching your bootay.

There are some gyms that are only for women and I think that is a brilliant idea!

Check out this article by Sabrina Sainthilaire.

What was I thinking

The Top 5 Thing I Would Like To Say To Men at The Gym

 

 

Natural Hair

Natural Hair| Curly Hair Shrinkage

If you have curly hair then you are probably already very familiar with shrinkage. To some it is not a big issue and to others it is the devil!

As a natural hair blogger, I hear many complaints when it comes to hair and I must say that shrinkage is one of the top complaints. Many naturals that have complained to me about their shrinkage desire for their curls to loosen up a bit so they can see their length.

Instead of having loose hanging curls many naturals are dealing with a tightly coiled afro. When you are really out of the TWA (teeny weeny afro) stage don’t you want to at least look like it? I can completely understand due to my personal shrinkage.

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Many are in shock when they see how long their hair is once they receive a blow out. It is definitely a wow factor when I see the transformation from curly to straight.

Unfortunately, many black women have been taught that our type/texture of hair doesn’t grow like other races.  To see our hair reach our shoulders, eventually our backs and waist is a goal that many want to reach. We want our hair to show its’ true length.

One day I just woke up and decided to embrace my shrinkage. It wasn’t doing me any good to worry about how long my hair appeared to be. Only then was I able to truly embrace my natural hair journey every step of the way. I stopped the length checks and just took care of my hair and before I knew it the length was there.

Even with locs I have shrinkage. I can stretch them all day long to check my length but length is no longer of importance to me. The health of my hair is the most important. Length will follow if you take care of your hair.

I have come across a few ladies who have stated that they have been natural for years and their hair will not get past a certain length. I have seen this happen to many and this could be due to many unforeseen reasons. It could be medications that a person is on or genetics -just to name a couple reasons.

Shrinkage aka the devil (to some) is really not a bad thing. It is actually a really good thing. How so? If you have shrinkage then you have great elasticity.

When I attended beauty school we did an elasticity test on ourselves to see the health of our hair. Healthy hair, when wet, will stretch up to 50% of its original length and return to its normal shape without breaking, while dry hair will only stretch about 20%.. Elasticity is rated as being low, normal, or high.

Now take a moment and check your hair elasticity!

Do you embrace your shrinkage?

Natural Hair

Naturalista Destiny

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My name is Destiny and I reside in the DC metro area.  I’m a southern belle/country gal from North Carolina with a doggie name Nini as my best friend (instagram/nini4ya).  I am an enthusiast of natural hair, natural/herbal living, doggies, crochet/knit, cookery and music.

I’ve been natural for 11 years. I have always been a “black sheep” in my own universe, rejecting all of the negative “isms” around, so it made sense for me to be natural.


Many times I’ve encountered women who inquired about being natural but most of them stated they either could not pull it off nor have the time to care for it.  I counter with sharing that my motivation for being natural was to finally be ME-not a VERSION of me…and be comfortable and in love with my own beauty, unconditionally.  So my advice was to get to that special place first then research, tryout and learn your natural hair with an abundance of patience on deck 🙂

I’m not a product junkie because my low porosity strands hates any white or alcohol filled product (product buildup) Most of my products are natural diy.  I wash and condition with either bentonite/rhassoul clay, seal with natural oils like almond, apricot, jojoba or with a botanical gel like Kinky Curly Custard or shea butter.



My 3 favorite natural styles  are braidouts, bantu knots and washandgos.

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Connect with me on instagram @destiny4ya

Klik hier voor meer gratis plaatjes

Would you like to be featured? Inquire by sending an email to naturalista4me@gmail.com!

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Tired of trying to figure out what next with your natural hair journey obstacles? Here is a guide! Purchase this eBook today for only $.99!!

Purchase Now—–> Click Here

Natural Hair

Lemon Juice and Hair

I had gotten in the mood of wanting to try something different and instead of heading to the store to purchase products, I decided to combine some things I already had at home.

I have incorporated lemon juice into my health and wellness by drinking warm lemon water in the morning for its’ many benefits. I feel great afterwards once I get over the bitterness of the drink itself.

Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water in The Morning

I decided to make a concoction of oils and lemon juice to use as a conditioner or shall I say a hot oil treatment with added lemon juice. What was a sista thinking?! I am not going to sit here and say the good ole lemon is not good for your hair because I have read many great reviews about it BUT the way I incorporated it into my hair care regimen was an epic fail.

I do mean a serious, what were you thinking, you should’ve left that lemon where it was fail. Maybe it was the combination of lemon juice and the oil that made it a never ever again moment for me.

I read – during some recent researching – that lemon juice is great for helping the hair lock quicker and it works great when added to your conditioner of choice. I was not looking to lock my hair quicker because I am already locked. I was looking to have moisturized shining hair by the end of my qt time with my crown.

Lemon Juice To Make Locs Lock Faster

Instead I ended up with dry shriveled locs and a sore scalp from all the shrinkage that occurred afterwards. My locs looks thinned out but I saw no loss of hair. I chopped this up to the shrinkage and tightening affect it had on my locs. I can now see why some say lemon juice can help your locs to lock faster.

I am use to having frizzy full locs and I was so hurt with the outcome. I wore my hair in its’ thinned out dry look for a couple of days. I asked my husband if he would massage my scalp incorporating a combination of Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Olive Oil, and Peppermint Oil to soothe my scalp.

It felt really good as he applied it to my scalp and I dozed off shortly afterwards to rest BUT when I awakened this morning, my hair was horrible. Something had to be done. I could not go another day like that.

All hail apple cider vinegar! I grabbed my Bragg’s ACV and combined it with water and gave my hair an ACV rinse while in the shower. My hair looks and feels so much better.

I will never ever ever do that combination again! I’ll pass.

For now, I am going to stick with drinking lemon water. I am interested in hearing more reviews on how to use lemon juice on natural hair for moisturizing purposes.

12 Amazing Benefits of Using Lemon Juice In Hair

How do you incorporate lemon juice in your hair care regimen?

Inspiration

Natural Woman

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by Sabrina Sainthilaire –http://www.ladyinthewilderness.com/

You make me feel…you make me feel…you make me feel like a natural woman…woman… If anyone remembers this song you are an 80’s baby that experienced some good times watching your Mother sing the words to this song while revealing bits of her most confident self! Well, at least this was my experience with the song. However, I found myself singing this song today! Yes, I found myself feeling my most confident, my most natural, my most beautiful. Why? Well, that’s easy! Because I can look in the mirror and SEE!!! I can see who God has created in His image! I can see myself again! Lol…yes, I lost myself for a minute. Caring too much about what others think while also feeling that no matter what I did, who I was, or how I appeared would never – ever- be good enough! Through my eyes, however, it seemed as if everyone else was perfect! Make-up without flaw, attire without wrinkle, shoes without scuff, hair made-up without effort! Yet, when I looked at myself… my eyes could never be satisfied because I could never truly see – ME!

The wonderful thing about blogging is that I get to tell you how I got to this point…this point of confidence! Here goes nothing!

Natural woman in the making! Mirror observation…“When I looked in the mirror I would only see my flaws.” – Rose Lady

  • FACE –I would notice a blemish before noticing the beautiful skin it lies on, I would notice an unwanted hair before I notice the beautiful freckle it sat on, I would notice an untamed lash before I noticed the almond shaped eye it protected, I would notice open pores before I noticed the golf-ball shaped nose that the Lord so humorously blessed me with! But then to top it all off, I would cover it all with make-up and become another person before I could truly appreciate who I was!
  •  BODY – As I observed my body I would only see the battles that it has endured. The pains of breakups, insecurities, misuses, scars from laboring in the workforce, the births of my children, so on and so forth. I would be so quick to cover it up, thus, feeling complete. But why did it have to take a nice outfit or get-up to make me feel that I had a nice body! Instead of recognizing the beauty underneath, I was depending on material and worldly things to validate my body before I would validate it myself in its natural form! In addition to this travesty, I would wear clothes that I would need to squeeze into! This would help me force a figure that I did not have, appear to be something that I was not, and feel better about the fact that I could still fit into these smaller clothes. This further ruined my body because the fabrics were cutting into my skin, decreasing circulation to certain areas if I sat the wrong way, and attracting unwanted/unwelcome attention. Plus, I WAS NEVER COMFORTABLE!
  • HAIR – My poor hair has been the most abused of all three. Growing up I always wanted hair like someone else. No matter who else, just as long as it was anyone else. For the longest I wanted my elder sisters hair, even now she is commonly known as Naturalista4me! I love her to death, however, her hair is one to envy. I have chopped my hair off, kept it in braids for a solid year, quick-weaved it, sewed it, burned it (relaxer), and kept it undercover (wig)! I could never be satisfied… When I looked in the mirror, I was never satisfied with my hair…never.

Natural woman in the making! The Change…

“It took me to make a dramatic change, something new, something undiscovered and embrace it until I liked it!” – Rose Lady

  1. I returned natural – mind, body, and soul
  2. I no longer cut my hair, permed my hair, or tied my hair down.
  3. I no longer took a razor or wax to my brows
  4. I no longer applied make-up…even for special occasions
  5. I no longer wore smaller clothes that made me uncomfortable – yes – I went up two sizes!
  6. I invested in moisturizers that were safe for my skin
  7. I invested in oils that would bring out my hairs natural spiral
  8. I started reciting inspirational and uplifting words to strengthened my self-confidence
  9. I started embracing my body and gradually I started to see beauty above flaw
  10. I chose to see myself as God has saw me from the beginning, this had to begin with forgiving myself for all things that distanced me away from God.

Natural woman in the making! The Result…

“I felt like a new original, an untouchable beauty, someone that no longer blended into artificial society”- Rose Lady

These changes started to reflect positively on my Spirits. It was as if I had become plugged in to a source of ongoing security. My blemishes were minimized and actually accentuated my face, my unibrow was annoying – I must admit – but my eyebrows were gorgeous in it’s natural shape, my skin was starting to heal from the maltreatment of harsh chemicals and the wear of clothes that pinched and rubbed beyond comfort! I became comfortable in my own skin! So, to sum this up, the things I gained from this transformation were…

Don’t concern yourself with the things other people say!

They don’t know you, your background, your circumstances, and they don’t know what makes you happy

Find yourself

  • FACE – If you like make-up, cool, but don’t wear it to cover what it is that you don’t like. Embrace the flawed part of you, become comfortable with that part, and understand that God’s grace is sufficient for you! After I allowed my face to go bare for a while, I decided on lip gloss and eye liner in the end. That is all I wanted! I rarely cover my marks and only pluck out the “UNI” part of my “BROW”.
  • BODY – Find your comfort style and embrace it, if you are a thick individual but admire tight-fitted clothing don’t buy your clothes small! You can buy your size clothing and it still holds that style. Then question, why is it that you wear such hugging attire? Is it for attention? Is it because you are still stuck on being smaller? Going through “The change” process will help you to answer these questions. I know that I have bought a cotton -stretch pencil skirt… it’s super cute, sexy, comfortable, and I can breathe!
  • HAIR – Give your hair a break! After my worldly detoxification process, I managed to grow my hair in abundance. My color grew almost completely out, I learned so many new styles and was showered in compliments because of it! To ‘fro it out was my go-to. Becoming comfortable with your afro is the hardest, so this is important for you to master – thus resulting in the full acceptance of your hair’s natural beauty, boldness, and strength.

I grew more in my spirituality

  • Whether it was the lack of attention I was paying to other areas of my life or that God was steadily reaching out to me, I noticed that I felt more connected to his love than ever before! Untainted on the outside and developing on the inside.

It’s time for you to feel like a natural woman!!! Please comment below and tell me a bit about your thoughts on transformation, the process of your transformation, and the result!

Lady In The Wilderness is an all out life on speed dial site that covers topics on faith, family, finances, struggles, depression, military-related issues, and anything else you can think of from a small-town country apple dipped in city living caramel perspective!!

Natural Hair

Naturalista Janice

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Hi my name is Janice and I’m a mother of three (soon to be four) living in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been natural for most of my life, but most recently I’ve celebrated five years on my healthy hair journey (HHJ).

Growing up I had natural hair and was lucky enough to have a mother who did not want me to relax.  She’d experienced her own relaxer horrors and didn’t want me to suffer the same.  Unfortunately, the hair practices and products back then were very different than what we have access to now.

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I loved the versatility of my hair.  I loved that when it was washed it would shrink and that after it was braided it would stretch and that I could get it pressed if I wanted it straight.

When I got my first real job after graduating, I thought that my natural hair wouldn’t be accepted in the work place environment.  The longest my hair ever was up until this point was collar bone length (CBL) and that wasn’t long enough for a bun and I didn’t think that cornrows were going to be accepted as “professional”.

In high school, my edges started suffering from traction alopecia from extensions that were too tight and so I swore them off.  Weaves were also not an option for the same reason.  I decided that my only option, if I was going to learn to care for my hair without my mother’s help would be to relax.

That started many years of having damaged relaxed hair and then starting over only to have damaged natural hair.  I alternated between relaxed hair and natural hair, but returned to natural hair because I was getting frustrated with not being able to properly take care of relaxed hair on my own and the exorbitant costs associated with getting touch ups.  I’ve always loved my 4c hair, but I didn’t love not knowing how to properly care for it.  After seeing so many beautiful heads of natural, healthy (and long!) hair on social media I decided to make a real effort at caring for my own natural hair.

Learning about your natural hair can be frustrating.  It seems that no matter the curl pattern, you can find someone who is struggling with learning how to care for their hair.  There are so many resources out there now and so many people who are willing to share tips if you’re willing to follow their advice.  As with everything else in life, if you have patience and are committed to seeing the process through, the payoff is worth it!

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I’m not really a product junkie anymore.  I try to keep it natural and also keep it simple.  I love washing my hair with clay/mud and conditioning with Giovanni 50:50 conditioner.  For daily moisturizing I use a spray that I make which is a combination of water and Giovanni Direct Leave-In and my leave in moisturizer is an emulsified formula that I make myself.  Every few months I detangle using seamless combs, but otherwise I only detangle and style my hair with my fingers.  At night I wrap my hair with a silk scarf because I find that it keeps my hair more moisturized than using satin.

I’m style challenged so my favourite go-to style is two-strand twists.  Once twisted I usually wear my hair in a bun.

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Connect with Janice on Instagram- From_a_to_4z

Klik hier voor meer gratis plaatjes

Would you like to be featured? Inquire by sending an email to naturalista4me@gmail.com!

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Tired of trying to figure out what next with your natural hair journey obstacles? Here is a guide! Purchase this eBook today for only $.99!!

Purchase Now—–> Click Here

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