Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Women

Wellness Wednesday–Loving the Skin You’re In

There’s a fine line between working to change your body and loving the skin you’re currently in. I’ve often wondered if these two ideas can coexist. I want to workout the most when I feel dissatisfied with the physical shape of my body. And the days when I engage in some good self-love talk…”Girl, you look hot in these jeans!” or “Girl, your legs are as toned as when you were 25!” I don’t press myself about going to the gym. In a world that perpetuates the myth that a woman body is supposed to not only carry and birth children into this world and go through the aging process without looking like it, more often than not is has been less of the latter.

However, thanks to my 41 years of living, I’m finally learning to merge the two together into a marriage that works for me. First, I know that the body is not meant to be sedentary. We are supposed to move every day. And not for the 30-60 minutes that fitness experts say because in actuality that is nothing in a 24 hr day! You know it’s true, too. There are times in my work day that I am comfortably planted in my chair doing my work or chatting through our IM system with a coworker when I should be standing up and moving my body while I work. After all, that is why I fought tooth and nail to get this standing workstation so I could do just that. But when everything you need is at your fingertips it takes great strength and resolve to get off of my butt and walk over to talk with a coworker in person or walk around for the sake of walking.

Second, I know that the shape of my body has more to do with what I put in my mouth and genetics than it does exercise. If I had better eating habits (less pastries, no late night eating of buttery popcorn while watching Scandal, and drinking 8-10 glasses of water), I’d easily be down 20lbs. Can I get a “Amen!” You know I’m right.

This is not a spiritually speaking post, but no where in the word of God does He describe beauty by the size of a woman’s waist and the numbers displaying on a scale. Our beauty is defined the purity of our hearts, being kind to others, loving and honoring our husbands,  taking care of our children, using the gifts that He gave us. All that 36-24-36 standard of beauty is from fallen man and we keep falling for it.

Excuse me, I digressed.

I’m not that different from most women. I get green with envy when I see women in my age with slamming bodies. But I remind myself that they are likely blessed with great genetics which neither of us can do anything about. And they probably don’t exercise any more than I do. Well…some do. Some also have surgery to create those fabulous bodies and keep that to themselves. Believe that!

When I’m finished with that I remind myself of how beautiful I am. I look down at my belly,  and instead of frowning, I smile. This is the same belly that housed two beautiful children for 9 months, both born by C-section  surgeries. And guess what, I survived those, surgeries. We take for granted that some women don’t so how dare I be mad about a scar or some loose skin??? Sure,my breast aren’t as firm or perky as they once were but they’re cancer free (hallelujah!) and look awesome in the right bra.

I don’t waste time browsing through clothes that won’t compliment my current figure. Talk about depressing. Instead I look for clothes that are flattering to my extra pounds, accentuating my toned legs and small frame. You can’t help but feel good in clothes that are cute and fit you right.

In the meantime, I will still exercise. Always will. Regular exercise is good for overall health.  It doesn’t have to happen in the gym either. Some of my favorite places to exercise include the staircase in my office building, in a Zumba or with a hula hoop in my living room. For you it might be in a pool, a ballroom or hustle class, or in a park. Whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy it. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, Hair Styles, Natural Hair, Uncategorized, Women

Roller Set Results

I was petrified walking into Sally’s Beauty Supply, especially after a stressful moment with my son about his report card. It doesn’t take much to over spend in that store. Y’all know how it is? You go in for a bottle of conditioner and come out with some hair clips, a $5 decorative headband, and some fingernail polish.

My target of the day: setting rollers

 

I used 1 1/4 pcks of these

 

Since I’m taking a break from the salon I decided to try a roller set of my hair. Of course that means I was watching YouTube. Anyway, I asked my beautician to do it on my last visit but she discourage me.

“Well you know it’s not going to look like you’re expecting. It’s going to be poofy.”

Not wanting to pay her to give me poofiness I decided this was a style I needed to do myself. I left Sally’s with 3 packs of rod rollers couldn’t pass buy 2 get 1 free); 2 packs of magnetic rollers (intended purchase), and 2 combs. Total cost $21– not the worst total I’ve accumulated  at Sally’s.

Last night was the night. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a pic of the before but here’s the pic of the results.


  
I like it. It’s soft and full of body. All I did was put a flat iron to smooth out the roots.

I tried to maintain the curls with two big Bantu knots, like one You Tuber demonstrated but I only got two days of curls I could wear loose. After that I pulled my hair in a side ponytail for the rest of the week.

Overall this process works great as a means of straightening or stretching my hair without heat. Surprisingly, I was okay sleeping in the rollers and it didn’t tak long to dry.

This method/style will definitely be a staple for me going forward.

Til Next Time,

L.A.

Posted in Beauty, Encouragement, Hair, Hair Styles, Lifestyle, Natural Hair, Uncategorized, Women

April Natural Hair Styling Challenge Day 22

  

This one garnered a lot of attention at work. Surely because it was super cute! Achieved by simply two strand twisting my hair with a little bit of Shea Moisture Styling Milk.

It also garnered as many compliments as it did too because the day before it was, admittedly, on the blah side. And that was because when I twisted it the day before that I was slack on product and oil so the ends were frizz galore.

As the month is coming to an end I’d really like to do something different but with the time I have available in the mornings before work that’s highly  unlikely. What I’ve learned in the challenge is that if my hair is not set in a protective style for the week, the only thing that I’m able to do without a lot of fuss is wear twist outs. On a good day I might have time to spruce it up with a couple of hair pins!  

Nevertheless it’s been a  good run. Every natural girl should take some time to climb out of their comfort zone, get a taste of the unchartered path of their natural hair journey. You just might like it.

Have you tried something different with your hair lately? Please share!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, Hair Styles, Lifestyle, Natural Hair, Protective Styling, Women

April Natural Hair Styling Challenge

I really, sorta, kind of wanted to exercise after work yesterday. But since I spent the weekend relaxing with the family, I neglected my weekend errands including grocery shopping. Two days of ordering pizza for dinner was more than enough motivation not to put off the inevitable any longer. So when we reached home at the end of the work day I was running back out on a mission replenish my kitchen for the week. THEN…my hair was screaming for a reprieve. Besides spritzing  with water, I hadn’t done anything to it in over a week. I transitioned from a twist out, to a high puff and I’d planned to see how long I could make it like that but my hair put an abrupt stop to that game plan. 

It was 8 o’clock at night and I did NOT want to bother with hair but I had to–said my hair. I cowashed and spent the least amount of time on my hair on even a cowash day than I ever had. After lazily rubbing a leave-in throughout my hair, I plaited my hair–with thoughts of my natural hair sorority sister who said that’s all she does with her hair–and hoped for the best in the morning. Only thing is, she’s been natural for nearly 10 years so she’s got this stuff down packed. 

I don’t.  :((

First, my hair didn’t dry all the way. Seems no matter how little product I use in my hair, it refuses to dry properly overnight. The only style I could come up with and not be late for work was:

  

I was still cute but, still, the time has come for a new challenge. No more hiding behind twist-outs and protective styles. I MUST learn how to style my hair in a short amount of time, with minimal prep the night before.

Stay tuned!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, Hair Styles, Lifestyle, Natural Hair, Uncategorized, Women

Natural Hair Styling Considerations

Sunday. My favorite day of the weekend. With my duties as a trustee at my church, the day can still be a bit busy but nothing like my Saturday’s that are inundated with cleaning I couldn’t get done during  the week, grocery shopping, meetings/events, and/or my son’s activities.This particular Sunday I stayed home from church, spending some quality time with my husband, lounging on the couch watching movies. But as the evening wound down,  I began to consider my hair. 

I wanted nothing more than to spritz it with some water, rub it down with a moisturizer, and then roll and tuck it into a quick style to get me ready for Monday morning. But I knew that wasn’t the way to go for me. Not only are my weekdays too busy to be messing around trying to fix my un-perfected roll and tucks while trying to have dinner for my family AT HOME and be prepared for the next morning so we can leave the house on time (that’s a job in and of itself), I have an all day sorority function this coming Saturday that I need my hair to be ready for.  

“You’re thinking about your hairstyle six whole days in advance?” You’re probably asking.

Absolutely. It’s the best way for me and most new or semi-new naturals to live a hair-frustrated free life. We [naturals] don’t have the luxury of waking up and flat ironing our hair then getting about our day. Let me tell you, there were many weekends when I was frustrated beyond measure having somewhere to go and not enough time to make my hair cute and rock it with confidence. I learned the hard way to plan ahead when I can. Even without set plans for the weekend ahead I usually try to create a low manipulation style for the work week that will easily transition into a style for being out and about.

This week I chose a combination of two strand twist and flat twist. 



The end result of this style will be, of course, a twist out with the flat twist remaining intact for a little added pizazz. I’m looking foward to it and I’m most enjoying the easy upkeep throughout the week.

What’s your go-to style to prepare for work and weekend?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Lifestyle, Women

Uhh…Happy New Year

Did I wish you all a happy new year? I don’t think so. Well, I’m sure I’m still within the New Years grace period to do so…Happy New Year!

I’m excited about so many things for 2015.

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For starters, I’ll finally be publishing my second novel in the spring! Check out my literary site http://lajefferson.com for more info. That’s been so long in the making (2010) I could stop there–but I won’t. As a multifaceted woman, my to-do list doesn’t stop there.

This week I’m attending a Christian education class at my church. It’s actually my second one but the first one was cut short. I’ve been chasing after the Lord in a way that I never have in recent months. I love God’s word and I really want to know it intricately–for myself and others. Increased prayer and study time more and eventually fasting ( not for weight loss purposes). Continuing on the education segment, I’ll also be enrolling in an advanced English course at a university.

You see, I have this little saying, you can say it’s my personal theme: As long as I have breath in my body, I have time… Time to do whatever I set my heart to do. Although I’m gainfully employed at a technology company and have been for close to 20 years, it’s wise to have a backup plan. Since I love reading and writing and I desire more time for writing a career in education is the way to go. College English or creative writing is my preference. However, my educational background is business. So after 5 years of turning this idea over and over in my head I finally took a step in that direction. That’s on my schedule for the summer.

Lastly but far from least… I’m turning 40 this year!!! And I’m in the works of planning a 5 or 7 day cruise for family to celebrate with me.

There’s more but I won’t make this post all about me 😀. What do you have planned for your 2015?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, Hair Styles, Inspiration, Natural Hair, Women

Holiday Hair–In a Hurry

I knew better. Completely went against my own advice to NEVER wash ones hair when one has a packed schedule. And boy did I have one that day! Picking up the tickets for my sorority’s annual holiday party, a stop by the toy store to pick up an one of my son’s Christmas presents, a dentist appointment, and grocery shopping. Still, I ran the water for the shower, fully intending to wash, deep condition, hot oil treatment AND style my hair as though I had the whole day ahead of me when I actually only had a few short hours prior to party.

Could I pull it off?

Well, I gave it the ‘ole heave hoe. And all things considered, I think it went well.

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With exception to the hot oil treatment and not having adequate time for my hair to fully dry (in the back) I was totally ready for a night out with my sorority sisters and friends! But, for sure, it was perfectly dry for church on Sunday so there was no love lost.

After this ordeal, one thing I’m most sure of is that I MUST get more beanie hats! The only one I have–red– just happened to match the theme and my outfit (not pictured, sorry) for the party.

Between now and the New Year there’s sure to be a ton of parties to attend. Help me prepare for the next time I have to pull a rush job and still look fabulous! What are some of your favorite hurried hair style that works for those special occasions.

Post pics if you’ve got ’em!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.