Thursday, August 22, 2013

Do You Remember The Time? A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was listening to Lenny Williams sing the song "Cause You Know I Love You" the other day & when he sung one of the verses, I chuckled because I thought, young people today couldn't even relate to that.

Here is the verse:

**It seems that I call her on the phone and I, I just can't get her to answer
And then I went to her house and I saw a car parked in the driveway
I knocked on the door, but still my knocks went unanswered
And then I went home and I, I watched television until television went off **

Do you guys remember when television straight went went OFF?  Like at midnight either God Bless America or America the Beautiful would play and a big American flag would wave across the screen and the next thing you knew, there was static.  Television went off back in the day! 

It made me think, what things did I experience as a young person would the youth of today, not know anything about?

Here are some things that came to mind:

  • When things were paid for with cash or check only.  And if you had a credit card it wasn't swiped.  An imprint was made.
  • A rotary phone
  • A phone without call waiting or caller ID
  • When play time meant being outside all day 
  • Carebears, Monchhichi's, Tom & Jerry, Popeye the Sailor man, Looney Tunes on Saturday morning
  • When the majority of cable programming included sitcoms and there were no reality shows
  • Life before the internet
  • Researching a paper meant going to the library and searching through the encyclopedia (either World Book or Brittanica) 
  • When the choices for gas were regular & unleaded
  • When movies were $5 at night, no stadium seating, and no 3D features
  • There was no microwave.  If you wanted to reheat something you either put it on a tin pan in the oven, or you heated up the whole dish.  And everyone thought the microwave would give you cancer.
  • Before cell phones were affordable, a 2 way pager was the way young people stayed in contact & you came up with secret codes so the recipient knew what you meant, and before those days if you didn't call someone, you wrote LETTERS and MAILED THEM!
  • When you had to wait 3 days for photographs to be developed at your local drug store.
  • No Walmart & Target!
  • Or life before malls!  Stores like JCPenney, Hudson Belk, and Thalheimer were in the downtown area and that's where people went to shop.   
These are some things that came to mind today just from my generation.  LOL!  What are some things that you know the generation of today would not remember from when YOU were young??

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Service Review: 4 Paws Dog Sitting

I don't often talk about my dog on this blog but my most loyal companion is my 8 lb long haired chihuahua, Princess.  She's not your usual small dog.  Sure, in her mind she thinks she is bigger than any other pooch and let's all of them know when we're walking along but she's different than most.  She's about 9 years old and rarely barks.  The only way you will know she's in the house most times is when you hear her collar hitting the food dish or her little feet periodically following you around the house.  And that's not all the time, just when she wakes up and realizes "Hey, she's not in here with me!"  My schedule can be crazy busy but she rarely misbehaves.  She just waits for me by the door to welcome home or in her luxury bed for a tummy rub.  She's the perfect pet for me.

Recently, I had to take a short trip out of town and I decided to look into hiring a dog sitter.  I'd never used a professional dog sitter before, I'd either boarded her (which I hate to do) or she's stayed with family for longer trips.  Recently, I decided to look for another option so that I wouldn't inconvenience anyone or have to board her.

In steps, 4 Paws Dog Sitting.  Though, I've only used them once so far, I love this service.  Cherie is the dog sitter assigned to my area.  She came out for a consultation and met Princess.  She joined us on a walk and I showed her where everything was (food, leashes, poop bags, and Princess' hiding places).  She & Princess hit it off and I left for my trip knowing that Princess would be in good hands.

When I returned, Princess was well fed, rested, and not anxious as she has been in the past when boarded.  Cherie had left me progress report so that I knew what they did on both days & a welcome home card. She even brought in my mail! I will certainly use this service again.  Cherie will be my the dog sitter assigned to Princess so I won't have to introduce her to someone new.  It's reassuring that this service is not only reliable and professional, but that Princess can stay in her own environment and be well taken care of.  If you live in the Raleigh, NC area I would highly recommend !

How do you handle traveling and taking care of your favorite pooch?  Would you use a dog sitter?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for doing this review and received no exchange of services for a positive review.  I am sharing my experience simply to help others.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Journey to 100: Day 2 of Path to 10K

So my friend Lateshia & I went out for the 2nd day of my path to 10K.  After a brief debate about whether we needed to run or not today (She reminded me that only I was doing this 10K business, lol.  Gotta love my friend's bluntness!)  but I convinced her to run with me!  Two points for the power of persuasion.  Guess what?  Today's walk/run wasn't nearly as bad as the first!  I think a major contributor was that it was only about 73 degrees when we went out today.  Perfect for outdoor exercise!  We got a great stride going and it seemed to be much easier.  We even ran up a couple of inclines today!  We decided that we are going back at 7 am in the morning!

I felt so good when I got home that I did 60 wall squats and 40 second plank.  Ahh, time to hit the shower now and wind it down for the rest of the evening.

In honor of our getting back on track here is a little theme music for today's walk/run:

My Coil Out Results - 2.5 Years Natural

Before - Finger Coils

After - Coil Out

Yesterday morning I decided to uncoil my hair.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted that my coils were getting a little frizzy and my roots were puffing a little after a college move in day + 100 degree heat whew.  Since my hair was coiled very tightly all the way to the ends, I misted my ends with water to reactivate the gel and create a little slip & coated my hands with coconut oil as I pulled the coils apart.  It results in fuller coily hair with lots of movement.  I have a little frizz but I like that effect.  Here are a few shots of my final results!  I love it!

If you've never done a coil out check out this video below.  She made her coils a lot larger than mine but you will see the technique used to uncoil the hair.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy International Left Handers Day!

Wait, before all you right handed people click off this post, just hold on!  This day is important to ME!  Why?  Because I live in a right handed world.  Did you know only 10% of people worldwide are left handed?  In fact, my mother, father and brother are all right handed.  I'm the only one in my immediate family!  People actually tried to get people to convince my mom to "make" me right handed by tying my left hand behind my back as a child.  Thank goodness she didn't, I love being left handed!  It makes me unique!

Though I am left handed, by preference, because we life in a right handed world, I do some things with my right hand.  I use a right handed mouse, I iron with my right hand, & I throw a football (tales of a former tomboy) with my right hand.  I eat and write with my left hand of course, I drive with my left hand, and I pick up the dribble (again former tomboy) with my left hand.  Interestingly enough, when salsa dancing, I spin better on my left foot than on my right.

There are quite a few famous left handers.  Former Presidents Reagan, George HW Bush, Clinton, and our current President Barack Obama are lefties.  Michealangelo, Prince William, Oprah, Julia Roberts, and Sarah Jessica Parker, all southpaws.  Numerous sports figures favor the left hand such as Bill Russell, Digger Phelps, Bill Walton, Barry Bonsds, Reggie Jackson & David Justice (a former crush).  A new close friend of mine is also left handed (*wink*).  Looks like I'm in good company!

If this world were are the things that I would change in favor of left handed people:
1.  spiral notebooks!  They would all be bound at the top!
2.  school desks!  They would have the hinge on the left side only.
3.  Turning left on red would be permissible.  (I know the driving rules don't allow for this now but wouldn't it be nice?)
4.  Both sides of restaurant booths would be open so I wouldn't bump into the wall when trying to eat if I'm sitting on the inside of the booth.
5. Scissors would be better designed for the left hand (the prime reason why I don't trim my own hair).

So if you know a leftie today celebrate them today!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Revisiting Comb Coils on My Natural Hair

After advising Christyn to try out finger coils on her hair and seeing the below video, I really wanted to try coils on my hair again.

This time I made a few modifications to who I styled my coils.  I did as the video suggested and kept my hair soaking wet & soaked with gel.  The difference was instead of using my fingers, I used a rattail comb to style my coils.  In the past, my roots were never coiled tightly enough and would puff up before I wanted. I used my Koils by Nature Herbal Styling Gel on freshly shampooed and conditioned hair.  I used Giovanni Direct Leave In for my leave in conditioner and sealed with organic coconut oil.  This style took about 5 hours to complete.  I did the front half of my hair on Friday night and styled the 2nd half of my hair Saturday morning. I maintain the style by sleeping on my silk pillowcase and just shaking my hair to loosen the curls.  

Check out my finished results!
Aug 2013 on medium length hair


Flash back pics from my previous attempts at coils.  I think this is my best set yet!

Sept 2012 on mid length afro

Sept 2012 on mid-length afro

Feb 2010 on TWA

Feb 2010 on TWA

Christyn Big Chops!

I've known Christyn for a while and she's always had beautiful long locs.  Well, last year she decided to cut off her locs and start a loose natural journey and she is finding her way through styling!  After wearing her hair cut very closely for a few months, she decided to let her hair grow and venture into attempting some loose natural styles!  This week was her first attempt at finger coils and coil out.  I think for a very first time she did an AMAZING job!  Go Christyn! Check out the photos below.  Also, this was her birthday week.  Wish her a happy birthday and leave her some encouraging words below!

Finger Coils under way!  You can see her TWA length on top.
Finger Coils All Done!

Coil Out in the Back!

Coil out Close Up in Front

Happy Birthday Christyn!!!  Looking Good!

I'm on Instagram!! Follow Me!

Are you on Instagram?  So am I!  Follow me there for real time pictures of hairstyles in progress, projects, and randomness that I am getting into!  Always fun!  My user name is NaturallyNitaNC.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On Being Pensive....

Pensive - engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought

One of my most dominant but often unnoticed traits is how pensive I am.  I have a habit of replaying events, situations, scenarios, & conversations in my mind.  Not only do I think about things that have happened, I also think about the outcome of future events.  There are definitely great things about this.  One of the best things is that I tend to hold on to events & emotions that make me feel great.  Conversely, I tend to hold on to events & emotions that I'd rather forget.  This trait has helped me to not react purely based on emotion but to think about the potential outcome of my actions before I react.  It also can cause others to feel as though I'm not emotionally engaged in to what is going on around me.  That's not the case, my mind is simply reviewing, pondering, considering, and evaluating.

What I love about these pensive times (of which this past week was full of, both great & not so great) is that during it I challenge myself (in the words of Iyanla Vanzant) to sit in my own truth.  At the end of my cerebral review, I am able to make an honest assessment of the situation, whether positive or negative, determine how I will proceed and make peace with my decision.  I believe God has gifted me with this trait also so that I can sit quietly during these times (even in a crowded room) and allow His Spirit to speak to me.

I encourage you to take some time to review those events & moments that are significant to you.  Sit in your truth and make peace with your experiences.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Opinion: Oprah's September 2013 O Magazine Cover with Natural Hair

So Oprah has done it again!  She's created a buzz....something she's known for.   This time it's about this over of her September issue of O Magazine.  Oprah reportedly donned a 3.5 lb wig for this cover where the feature is going to be about hair.  Some have said they don't like it because it's not truly representative of our natural hair texture.  Humph, I say she who has not bought yaki, Remi, virgin Indian or Malyasian, marley, or otherwise may cast the first stone.  First of all, it's clearly a wig and a fabulous one at that.  Second of all, many of us have donned extensions or hair pieces to change our look, to prepare for vacation, or to give our hair a break from time to time.  So why is the fact that Oprah has done the same such a big deal??  I think it's amazing and a very fierce accent to her bright orange sleek dress.  Would I be bold enough to wear a hairpiece this large, nahhh, with my 6'1 foot, 3 inch heel wearing frame I would surely block an 10 ft radius and that wouldn't fair to anyone, now would it?  LOL

So sound off, what do you think about Oprah's hair?  Love it or Hate it?  And share why in the comment section below.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Curly Flat Twist Out on Natural Hair

One of the things that I'm finding out with my natural hair journey is really that technique & understanding YOUR hair texture is the key.  After my hair trim I decided to do a flat twist out on hair & set it with rollers on the ends.

A couple of things happened that challenged this style.  (1) I finished the style at 1 am & went to bed while it was still wet.  (2) It didn't dry all the way by morning & I was trying to get to church.  I had to undo the twists & sit under the hooded dryer to get it to dry before fluffing.    This was the result.   My hair was very defined, which I loved, but I had no curls on the ends even though I slept in the rollers.

This week I saw this video.

The thing I noticed she did differently was that she didn't twist all the way to the ends.  So  I flat twisted my hair again during the day a 2 weeks later, let it air dry in addition to 15 mins under the hooded dryer and got this result.

I loved both twistout results but really like the 2nd one best.  I didn't get disappointed that my hair didn't look exactly like the girl in the video.  I appreciated the styling tip for a different look & will try it again.  Plus these were both successful flat twistouts!  I'm going to continue to practice flat twistouts because I love the additional definition it creates all the way too the root!

Which do you like best?  What styles had you previously given up on that you've finally mastered?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Inspiration - What Can Separate You From God's Love? Nothing!

Happy Sunday!  I hope this excerpt from a recent sermon by my Pastor, Andy Thompson, of World Overcomers Christian Church blesses you!   Romans 8:31 -39.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Beautiful Summer Day

This summer has been absolutely gorgeous & non-standard for NC.  We've only had a handful of 90 degree days & I don't think we've hit 100 yet.  That's almost unheard of for this time of the summer in the South.   Today is no different,  we're going to be high 80's to low 90's today.  It's beautiful!

Today I will spending time with family & good friends celebrating their family reunion.  I encourage you to set aside some time in your day to slow down the hustle & bustle & enjoy spend some quality time with those who you truly care about.  And when you do, make sure you drink in this amazing canvas that God has given us; the blue sky, the green grass & trees, the birds & butterflies. Enjoy the simple things.  Appreciate them & when you do, it uncomplicates life, if for only a moment in time.   HAPPY SATURDAY!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Natural Hair Journey - 3 Years Post Relaxer

I've been so busy over the past 4 months that my 3 year post relaxer date passed me right on by and I forgot to acknowledge it.  My last relaxer was in June of 2000.  Recently, I went into Taji Natural Hair Styling for a much needed trim.  They did a light blow out on my hair before my ends were trimmed and I was able to see my length in a very stretched state.  As those of you who follow me know, I don't heat style my natural hair so the only time that I do get to see it in a semi-straight state is when I go in for my trims.  Here are some pictures before my trim.  I've come a long way baby!  It's healthy and  I'm happy with my progress.  Every head of hair is different and you will achieve lengths at different rates than others.  I don't have a length goal, because honestly, I don't want to spend all day styling my hair and as it is I'm always looking to shorten my regimen.  Shoulder length when in a twist out would make me more than happy.  Enjoy the photos!

Big Chop 12.20.00

July 20, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Journey to 100: My Path to 10K

* #1 Just keep breathing, #2 after the run, so happy to be done, #3 the trail before us

I've found over the years is that one of the best things about friendship is being supported when you are trying to accomplish a goal.  Oftentimes, I'm less motivated about doing something for myself, but if its in support of someone who is close to me, I'm all in.  My best friend, Christina, has been doing 5K to 10K runs for the last year and hitting the pavement with Black Girls Run.  This summer, BGR is having a conference & race in Charlotte, NC & she is coming to this event.  Now understand, while I enjoy working out and will speed walk at the pace of the slow jogger (I'm 6'1 so I have an extremely long stride & I walk very fast.)I do not enjoy running. At. all.  My chest burns, my feet pound the pavement, I don't feel like I look good running at all....uggh.  But in support of my best friend, I'm going to try to do this.

Today I downloaded the free couch to 10K app for Android and got started.  Now let's just be clear, my goal is not to run the entire 10K (let's face it, it's 5 weeks away), I just would like to do  a comfortable walk run for the duration and my legs not feel numb when I get to the finished line.  So today I got started.  Another local friend & I completed the first day of the couch to 10K plan on the Neuse River Trail.  It consisted of a 5 min warm up, 60 sec jog, followed by 90 sec walk for 20 mins, and then a 5 minute cool down....30 mins total.

Let me tell you.  After the first 60 sec jog we both thought we were going to pass out.  But as we progressed along with the alternating walking & running, it got a little easier and the 60 seconds didn't seem quite as long.  It certainly helped to have a partner to do it with to keep each other motivated.  So day 1 is complete.  2 more days before we move to the 2nd week.

Christina, this is for you!

Side note:  I have joined Luvvie's #31WriteNow Blogging Challenge.  It means that I am committing to blogging continuously for the next 31 days.  Not all of my blog posts will be about natural hair or exercising.  In fact, there will be a variety of topics that I blog about.  My main goal will be consistent in putting up fresh content.  Interestingly enough, because I will have less time to plan my posts, my readers will probably will get a closer look into me personally because of it.  Well, I hope you enjoy.  And if there are any topics that you would like for me to write about during this 31 day challenge, let me know, I'll try to accommodate the request!
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