Braids: Celebrating African American Beauty

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A rejuvenated celebration of Black/African American culture continues for me beyond Black History Month as I enjoy my new box braids (also known as poetic justice braids or ‘individuals’)!!

I have not adorned these babies since I was in the seventh grade. But today box braids and I are back in business!
I am absolutely in love with my individuals, and feeling like an African princess.

On a practical standpoint, as a Mama with two demanding (but cute as pie) little ones, box braids are my new besties.

They are not only extremely low maintenance, but I can also roll out of bed after less than 8 hours of sleep, feed my babies, and look in the bathroom mirror like: “I woke up like dis? Alriiight.”

Fun, easy, and beautiful.

Best believe this mama will be “[whipping] my hair back and forth” till these babies are on their last leg.

Shout out to my baby sis who braided it up!

Natural Hair. I DO Care.

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A Little Story About Hair…

I remember standing in the café line in college one day. I was trying to decide ahead of time if I wanted to grab a pound of curly fries or a greasy slice of pepperoni pizza as big as my head. My junk food dilemma abruptly came to a halt when I overheard two young ladies behind me talking about someone’s hair. “Ugh! Why did she even come to school if she wasn’t going to do her hair?” One of them groaned in disgust. The other giggled in agreement. I looked behind me. There was no one behind them in line and ahead of me were standing three gentlemen. I attempted to make eye contact, but the two ladies swiftly and awkwardly turned their heads away in different directions. My suspicions had been confirmed. The “she” they were talking about was me.

It’s More Than Just Hair

I returned to my face forward position in line and fantasized about confronting them… for all of five seconds. Now it was my turn to slide food onto my tray. I stayed silent. I placed a slice of pizza and curly fries on my tray and walked away with a lump in my throat, and an overwhelming sense of guilt.

No, I hadn’t spent hours blow drying and straightening or glopping a number of different products onto my hair as I often did. But I did do it. I simply smoothed my natural hair (no use of hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals) back into a poufy ponytail with my bare hands. Just the way I liked to wear it sometimes back when my hair was long. So why was my hair so offensive to those two young ladies? And why was I so quick to believe them when they insinuated that my natural hair was not beautiful? Probably because Black hair is not praised or glamourized in mainstream media. Probably because African-American hair is not glamourized in general. I was conflicted. Part of me felt guilty for feeling ashamed of my hair, and the other part of me felt guilty for staying silent.

The Point of This Post Is Not to Stir Up Reverse Racism or Hatred. That Will Get Us Nowhere.

I am African-American. My hair in its natural state is a loose curly fro. I didn’t know it back then, but that is not a bad thing! In case you were wondering, the two young ladies I mentioned were not of African descent, and perhaps had never been exposed to Black culture. I don’t know. I don’t know their stories. And I have forgiven them, and wish them no harm and all the best in life. That is not to say that I condone bullying or ridiculing others, but the point of this post is not to stir up reverse racism or hatred either. That will get us nowhere.

I only wish to share my story because I know I am not the only Black woman who has ever been made to feel unbeautiful for her natural features. And I want to share with you the victory I have had from the pain that comes from such humiliation. What better time to do this than in the midst of Black History Month.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Over the years God has been teaching me to love myself and the way He created me, despite years of rigid standards of beauty and bullies (in and outside of school) telling me otherwise. Through His grace I am learning to fully embrace my biological beauty and my African-American heritage. After all, He was the one who elaborately knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Other people’s negative opinions on my looks should not matter when the creator of the universe (my heavenly Dad!) thinks I am absolutely beautiful! His word says that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” (Psalm 139:14) —brown skin, thick curly fro and all!

Embrace Your Beauty!

So to all my mocha sistahs, please love and embrace your beauty. This includes your natural hair. I’m not saying we need to strictly be wearing natural hair styles all day every day—I’m all for a good weave or pressing it out—but I just want to encourage you to not be ashamed of your hair in its natural state; be it long, short, afro, tight curls or loose. Personally, I do not believe that there is a such thing as “good hair” or “bad hair.” Just as I don’t believe that there are good skin colors or bad ones.

Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

Looking back, I don’t regret not turning around and “telling the girls off” like I had fantasized about, because I have come to truly believe the words that Martin Luther King Jr spoke when he said: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Shout out to MLK and the movie Selma!).

Back then, I wouldn’t have had the right words for them because I didn’t love who I was enough. However, I am happy to say that if I were in the same situation today, I would be able to turn around and tell those two young ladies that I think my hair is beautiful. That it represents my African-American heritage and that I am proud of that. And I would encourage them to learn about African-American culture and Black history because it’s pretty awesome and important.

We Are Beautiful!

Although Black History Month is coming to an end, it lives on every day in each of us. People of African descent, this is the wonderful way God made us. This is the beautiful way He chose to make an entire people: different shades of brown and the hair of African warriors. Never forget that.

We don’t hear it enough from society, but Black women, we are beautiful. YOU are beautiful. And to every woman of every color, I urge you to love yourself, the skin you’re in, and the hair on your head. Jesus does.

Happy Black History Month!!!

[REBLOG] I’m Coming Clean…

“I don’t have it all together. My house is a mess, I am wearing clothes from yesterday, my kids are still in their pajamas, I am tired and I still need to brush my teeth. But, we are having fun.”

SURVIVING MOTHERHOOD

I have a confession.

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(This is my laundry room folding table…)

My house is not always clean. I know that you probably thought it was, but it’s not.

Truth: I rarely have people over unexpectedly. My mom and mother in law are probably the only two people on the planet who get to see my house in its everyday state, and its because they have stopped over unplanned.

When I know someone is coming, I clean house – or at least I throw everything into a room, close the door and pretend to have an always clean house.

And it is stressful. Needing things to be clean is just how my desire to appear to have it all together all the time manifests itself. It causes me to stay up way too late, get up way too early and sometimes, unfortunately, to get way too mad at my kids.

And…

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Floral, Coral, Prints, & Mint

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Springtime is one of my absolute favorite seasons to dress for.

All the vibrant flowers in bloom like a gorgeous backdrop for life; complimenting pink lips, pretty pastels, and flowy sun dresses. And the prints. Ah, don’t even get me started on all the fun print mixing that somehow seems less cray cray in spring (ahem, stripes and floral). Brilliant shades of the rainbow can be spotted everywhere, and that just makes springtime seem like a brighter time in life.

While I feel for the U.S. states that have been literally freezing this winter, I am rejoicing that we’ve been having some pretty mild winter weather here in Southern California. And every week seems to be getting a bit warmer.

So technically, ‘spring has [not] sprung’ yet. But the magical time where folks can soak up the sunshine without getting burned is right around the corner. And with this wonderful So Cal weather we’ve been having, best believe I am pulling out my floral, coral, prints, & mint early!


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keep it classy this spring, y’all.


What’s your favorite spring look? Are there any prints you like to mix up? Please share in the comments!


 

Let Them Praise His Name with Dancing

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Let Them Praise His Name with Dancing

In mamahood there are plenty of days that are filled with tears. Days where you want to pull your hair out, and days where you want to just stay in bed. But today, we’re not going to talk about all of that. Today we’re going to talk about dance and praise.

Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!” Dancing is not only good for your health, but it is uplifting for your soul, and great for the health of your countenance. So today, whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re worried about, take your little one(s) by the hands, and dance! Teach them to let go and harlem shake it all on up to the Lord. Teach them to praise Him with dancing! Aim to do it each week. Your body and your spirit will thank you. And your kiddo(s) will love you for it.

Just for funsies, here is a playlist of songs by our favorite Hip Hop artists that we love dancing to:

*For My Good- Trip Lee ft. Jai

*Oceans- Derek Minor ft. Move Aside

*How We Do It- Canon ft. Thi’sl & Lecrae

*Get Up- Tedashii ft. S.O

*Party People- Derek Minor ft. Social Club

*Uno Uno Seis- Andy Mineo

*One Sixteen- Trip Lee ft. KB & Andy Mineo

*Dum Dum- Tedashii ft. Lecrae

*Cops- Social Club

*Who You Know- Derek Minor

*Right By My Side- Derek Minor ft. Anthony Evans Jr. & Chad Jones

*Beautiful Life 2 (Mine)- Trip Lee

What are some of your favorite songs to dance to?

My Floors Are Ridiculously Sticky… And It’s Amazing

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Keepin’ It Real
Let me just keep it real and say that my floors haven’t been cleaned for a couple of weeks. Some sweeping for the sake of sanity? Yes. But either way, when I walk around my home barefoot I find myself having to scrape granola or some other unidentifiable food pebbles off the bottom of my feet. Given the title of this post you may be thinking: “so does this crazy lady enjoy having food stuck to the bottom of her feet?” The answer is no. It repulses me. Especially when it’s something mushy!

A Beautiful Blessing

Earlier today, my two-year old son refused to eat much of anything besides peanut butter; so the jelly smothered half of pb&j had been tossed on the floor. Carrots and granola also joined the pile of foods that heard “eh-eh” just before they bit the dust.

Most days I would jump up right away to clean it. Begrudgingly. But today, through the grace of God, I looked over at that landfill underneath my toddler’s chair and saw it for what it really is…the confirmation of a beautiful blessing. One that won’t be in my home forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be applauding my kid as he dumps the milk from his sippy cup onto the wood floors. But through gracious Jesus, I won’t be about to have an ulcer when he does so either.

As a mother I am so flawed and there are so many things I don’t know.
But I do know that I want to remember these moments forever. The remnants of rejected food that flood my floors. The evidence that a little soul lived and brought so much joy and life into my home. The reminder of how truly blessed I am to be a mama; to be his mama. My floors are ridiculously sticky…and it’s amazing.