Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recognizable Natural: Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla Vanzant is a well known inspirational speaker.  Most known for her lectures, books, especially in the area of women's empowerment, she has hosted her own talk show and made frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.  She is also a Yoruba priestess and ordained New Thought minister (source).

I read one of Iyanla's books in the early 2000's on relationships called In the Meatime: Finding Yourself & the Love you Want.  It was a time in my life that I desperately wanted a relationship and just felt like I was in a holding pattern.  (SN: The desperation was an issue...a whole separate post.) What I learned from reading the book at the time was that there was work for me to do while waiting for that life partner that I desired.  I should be striving to be the best "me" I could be.  At the time that I read the book, I felt that I was doing so to be the best me for him, my future husband.  As I've gotten older, I've realized that I need to be the best "me" for ME; so I can be happy, healthy, and well.  I created that holding pattern of waiting, just living.  Now I am thriving in life and look forward to joining my future mate as he thrives as well! 

Iyanla recently wrote a book called Peace from Broken Pieces  where she chronicles some of the most difficult moments of her life, her divorce, losing her fortune and filing bankruptcy, losing her daughter to cancer and even contemplating suicide.  She now says that she has healed from her past and learned from her mistakes and "knows who she is."  She shares the beginning of her downfall in this clip from her book tour.  I may not agree with Iyanla's spiritual teachings but I respect her transparency and how she has used what was painful in her life to give and strengthen others.  She is now touring with Oprah with her Lifeclass on OWN tv.

She also is known for her natural hair.  Check out pictures from her natural journey over the years.

Exercise Regimen - April 8 - 14

So I just wanted to report out on my personal fitness training since my Billy Blanks' "visitation" two weeks ago.  (LOL!)  If you missed that post, read it here.  Last week, I completed 3 cardio and toning exercises. 

Monday:  This work out combines plyometric "power burst" exercises (def: explosive exercises incorporating jumping, hopping, running), sculpting with weights, and cardio exercises.  It's a very high energy work out that left me dripping sweat even though I was working out under my ceiling fan on high speed.

Tuesday:  Billy and I hit it hard in this workout.  This is a great workout that also incorporates cardio and weights.  A very effective full body workout.

Friday:  Back again with Billy, I did a full hour of cardio exercises.  I've done 10 minute abs before but a full hour!  Wow.   He uses standing abdominal exercises as well as floor routines to really tone your midsection. Trust me you WILL feel this in 1 day.  And it has become a great motivation to reduce my sweets.  I can't really enjoy that cupcake knowing that I'm going to have to burn that off later on the floor when Billy is saying directly to me "Don't you give up on me!" & my abs are burning.  Just not worth it.  I'd rather have an apple.  LOL! 

After working out last week, I felt great!  Full of energy and motivation.  I was more alert and more productive during my day and slept well every night.  My goal is to work out to 5 days of exercising a week.  I've got one in so far this week.  Gotta keep it up!  I still plan to do a measurement post where I give you my measurements on the areas I'm trying to tone.  Note to self: buy that tape measure today!  #teamgetright!

Let's encourage each other!  What have you done to keep your body healthy this week?  Comment below!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a Big Chop Party @ Taji's Salon in Raleigh 4.21.2012

Have you been thinking about going natural?

Are you currently a long  term transitioner and haven't yet set a date for cutting the rest of your relaxed ends?

Nervous about taking that next step?

Taji's Natural Salon in Raleigh, NC is having a Big Chop Party on Saturday, April 21st from 9 am - 4 pm!

Come join us as we encourage, support, and celebrate those who take the final step in becoming completely natural!  There will be food provided, fun, and giveaways done every hour for all to enjoy!  The giveaways will include discounts on services at Taji's Salon, discounts on products, at area natural hair supply stores, and product giveaways!

As an additional incentive, ALL Big Chop services will be HALF PRICE!

Even if you're already fully natural, just drop by to lend your support!

So don't delay!  There is an appointment available with your name on it so call and schedule your appointment today!  The salon phone number is 919-332-3021.  The address of the salon is 2200 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC  27604.

This is an awesome event!  I'll be there!  Share the news with those you know in the area who are thinking about going natural!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why I Won't Flat Iron My Natural Hair


**Disclamer:  This is "my" personal opinion about heat styling for "my" head of natural hair.  I am not telling anyone to not do it or to do it.  I'm stating what my personal preference is for me. Nor am I saying that the results of heat styling will be the same for everyone.  My personal philosophy has always been, you have to do what makes you comfortable.  I judge no one for what they choose to do with their hair.**

During a conversation with some friends this weekend, someone asked me if I ever planned to straighten my hair.  It was even mentioned that people barely remember what I looked like when my hair was relaxed.  I showed this picture.

December 2009

I mentioned that my hair never got longer than this when it was relaxed and I was never happy with my relaxed hair.  I really wanted long hair and it wouldn't grow. As I shared during my transition post, my hair was extremely thin in the back.  Relaxers were taking my hair out.  Therefore, I don't have very positive memories of having straight hair.  As far as seeing my length goes, all I have to do is see a picture from when I had a TWA and I can see how much my hair has grown.  Just not that big of a deal to me to have to straighten it to see my exact length.  Plus, there are so many other ways to stretch natural hair to showcase its length.  A few examples of this are bantu knot outs, flexirods sets, banding the hair before styling, and even stretched twist outs like the one showcased at the very top.
January 2011
 Then, I am terrified of heat damage.  I just watched a video of one of my favorite Youtube vloggers, Glamazini, share her hair status after having it flat ironed once and wearing it straight for a month.  Now, she planned to cut her hair anyway, so the lack of reversion in some areas is not really a huge concern of hers.  But for me after transitioning and accomplishing the length I currently have to have to resort to cutting it because of heat damage, oh no ma'am!

Lastly, I LOVE (did I say love, love) my naturally curly hair!  I love it's versatility and I love how healthy it finally is.  I love the fact that it just compliments all of my other unique qualities.  After all these years, my hair is finally growing.  I was already standing out (and above, at my 6'1 height) when I walk into a room and now with this hair I really do.  I've embraced my curly hair and it's just fine by me.

But for all of you who want to get a glimpse of what my hair looks like now, sorta straight....I did a tension blow out on my hair.   My hair is not bone straight and it only stayed this way 2 days before I misted it with water and did a twist out on it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sunday Inspiration: Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Happy Easter!  Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Some people may wonder, what is the big deal about Easter?  For many, it is a time to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  Trees & flowers are blooming. The weather is breaking and temperatures are slowly rising.  We're receiving more rain.  You see little birds being born.  A time for new beginnings.  A new life.

Children get dressed in adorable pastel colored clothes.  Ribbons & bows, seek sucker suits, white socks & shoes.  The "Easter bunny" brings gifts of brightly colored candy and eggs are hidden for children to find & crack open with treats inside.  Eggs signify new life.

For those of us who follow the Christian faith it is a time to remember the sacrifice that one Man made for all the sins of the world.  A man that was perfect & Holy voluntarily took on the punishment reserved for those who were the vilest, death on a cross, so that our sins could be forgiven.  "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)  Through Jesus' death on a cross and his resurrection from the grave, we as sinners receive salvation from our sins and eternal life.  It is the foundation upon which our faith stands.  Though some mock this holiday as the only Sunday that many show up to church, it does show the significance of the day.  Just think, of all the Sunday's during the year this one stands more important than all others & it compels one to make the sacrifice to come to the house of worship.  This holiday signifies new life through Jesus Christ.

One may say, how do I pay fitting tribute to the One who gave all for me?  The best way is by accepting the free gift that Jesus gave through his death, burial, and resurrection.  Romans 10:9-10 says, "...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." How would you feel if you gave what you believe to be an excellent gift and the one you presented it to rejected it?  Accept your gift for new life.  The other way is through serving others.    The John 15:13 scripture was translated in the literal sense in the life of Jesus Christ, in ours it can be taken figuratively.  To lay down your life, means to put your concerns second.  There are those who are less fortunate than you who need your help.  There are volunteer organizations who desperately need help to serve the community.  There are children & elderly citizen who are without basic necessities and family members to care and provide.  You'll find as I have that through giving back my concerns and cares seem so small and I often receive the answer to my problems and cares by doing through others.  Give someone else a new life.

So today, I wish you new life and all the sunshine, refreshing, and joy it brings.  Be blessed!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Natural Hair Protective Style: My Take on The TrendySocialite's Her Royal Flyness

After my success doing my first Marly hair protective style, I decided to try my hand at another. This one was inspired by Youtube's TrendySocialite's "Her Royal Flyness" protective style.

For this style you will need a rat tailed comb, a holding gel, 1 pack of Marley braiding hair, 2 small Ouchless ponytail holders, and hair pins.  This style was done on freshly shampooed, conditioned & detangled hair.  My leave in conditioner had already been applied and I had sealed with an oil.

Here is my pictorial tutorial:

 Step 1:  Part your hair from ear to ear.  Add holding gel to smooth your hair into 2 buns and then secure with Ouchless ponytail holders.

Step 2:  Take 1 pack of Marley hair split the hair in half.  Slide a rubber band to the middle of the length such that you have 2 equal halves on each side of the rubber band for each 1/2 bundle. Wrap1 bundle around the rubber band around your bottom bun. Wrap the other bundle around your top bun.  Group the "hair" strands together on each half and create 1 extra large two strand twist with the Marley hair.  Secure the end with a rubber band to keep from unraveling.

Step 3:  Wrap your Marley hair twist attached to your bottom bun up and around your top bun in a figure 8 fashion, pinning down in the top and sides with hair pins.

Step 4:  Wrap your Marley hair twist attached to the top bun downwards in a figure 8 fashion on the opposite side pinning under the bottom bun with hair pins.  Use extra hair pins to pin where needed until you feel the style is secure.

Maintenance:  Sleep in  satin bonnet at night.  For flyaways, mist with water and apply more holding gel smoothing with your hand or a soft bristled brush.

See the video inspiration below:

Have you ever done a protective style using Marley hair?  Did you create your own or get inspiration from somewhere else?  I'm always looking for new styles so please share in the comment section below!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Featured on CurlyNikki Today!!

I was featured under her "Stroll Down Memory Lane"  feature!

Click this link below the picture to be taken to the post!

Nita's Stroll Down Memory Lane

One of the individuals who commented on the post on the Curly Nikki site stated that they would like to see a picture of my nape area since going natural.    You may recall from my transition post that the realization that the relaxers was taking my hair out was one of the reasons that helped me to make the decision to go natural.  Here is the comparison shot. 

June 2010 - Before transition

April 2012 - 18 months post last relaxer

See why I don't regret the decision to go natural?

Tae Bo Insane Abs - Billy Blanks Spoke to Me

So you guys I have been having this struggle with being disciplined in my exercise routine.  I've really been wanting to work out but I've been so tired, I just couldn't seem to get my motivation up to just do it.  Well,  my motivation came in the form of a dream last night.  I dreamed that I was at Billy Blanks's house and he was so gracious and kind.  Then all of a sudden he was like "Let's work out!"  With a confused face I got up all slow, and he was like count it out 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (if you've ever done a TaeBo video you're familiar with the power count).  He almost killed me during that workout!  When I woke up this morning, I was like "That's it! Billy is coming to me in a dream??  Ok, this is clearly a sign. Nothing it going to keep me from working out this morning!  No more excuses!"  I moved the coffee table out of my den and kicked it into gear.  I've never done a 50 minute ab workout.  There were standing exercises and floor exercises & it incorporated cardio as his workouts always do.  Though my abs were burning (especially during the floor exercises - FIYA!!!) I feel like I can take on the world today!

So after work today, I'm going to buy a tape measure and record my measurements & track my progress.  I gotta set some workout goals and strive to achieve them! People tell me I look fine, but for me it's not about how my body looks necessarily, it's about being the healthiest I can be.  I'll report back!  And if you don't hear me checking in periodically about my working out, call me out in the comment section!  I need all the accountability partners I can get!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

An Interview w/ Anita of Good Hair-Great Hair

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love to support small business owners & female entrepreneurs.  If you want to get something done, ask a woman!!  When I learned that yet another natural hair supply store was opening in Raleigh, I had to go check it out.  (SN: There are a couple other in the Triangle area that I plan to reach out to as well.)

I found the store and the owner Anita Bullock to be very warm and welcoming.  She gave me a tour and introduced every product line that is featured in the store and what the line's niche was.  After my tour, we had an opportunity to sit down and she shared about her passion:  Good Hair Great Hair.

NN:  Share with the readers your story.  How did Good Hair Great Hair come to be?

AB:  A few years ago I received my MSA from Central Michigan University.  My title of my thesis was "Har Care Barriers to Exercise in African American Women".  During my research I found that our health was declining due to the hair styles we chose to wear.  I, myself had been a weave wearer for over 17 years.  I started asking the questions, "What do we use on our hair and what products are being marketed to us?"  When I made the decision to go natural, I found that I didn't know what to do and how to take care of my hair. I went to a number of places trying to find the right products for my hair.  I wanted to 1 centralized place to get products for my hair.  This is when the idea of Good Hair Great Hair was birthed.

NN:  What is the vision behind Good Hair Great Hair?  How is it different from other beauty supply stores?

AB:   Our mission is “To offer premium hair care products made with nature’s best ingredients and provide guidance in the selection process for all textures."  My goal is to select products that have between 80% - 90% natural or organic based products in their ingredient list.  Just as we should care about what things that we put into our bodies, we should show the same amount of concern for what we put onto our bodies and hair.  Think of it as "going green" for your hair!   I also prefer to work with smaller & newly up and coming product lines as they tend to stay truer to the integrity of their product.  These companies often encourage customer feedback which as a distributor I can provide.

NN:  What product lines do you currently carry?

AB:  We currently have in house:  Jane Carter Solutions, Camille Rose, Zenzele, Mahogany Rose,  Karen's Body Beautiful, Sister's of Isis  (this line is great for treating scalp issues such as dry, itchy scalp,  eczema, bald spots), Tea & Honey (based right here in Raleigh, is good for natural & chemically treated hair), Afroveda, & John Master's Organics.  We even carry body products such as organic soaps & deodorants and products for men: shaving creams & tonics that are good for the 

We also offer for sale, a few select pieces of art featured below, unique pieces of jewelry, natural hair themed t-shirts, and scarves.

NN:  Is there anything else that you would like to share with my readers?

AB:  We are open for business!  Come on by!  We will also be having our soft opening with the Chamber of Commerce on April 5th from noon to 1 pm & would love to see you there.  

Very soon will be offering on site consultations where women can come in with their "naked" hair, free of products.  Then we will look at your hair and test strands with a variety of the products that we have in the store.  The goal is to assist women who are frustrated with looking for a line of products that "work" and to send them out of the door with just that - products that work for their hair type!!

We also look forward to having the owners of the product lines we carry come in to talk to customers about how their products are designed to be used and to personally answer your questions!

We are very excited about the buzz regarding Good Hair Great Hair and look forward to being a key part of the natural hair community in the Raleigh area!

Please check out Good Hair Great Hair at 6320 Capital Blvd (behind Burger King & Jiffy Lube near Triangle Town Center) Ste. 118, Raleigh, NC.  Phone:  919-904-4442.  Online at: http://www.goodhairgreathair.com/; Good Hair-Great Hair on Facebook, and @GoodHairGr8Hair on Twitter.

Tell them that you saw the interview on NaturallyNita!
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