Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Being 40 + and Natural

Me with 2 of my blogging buddies from
Fro Fashion Week Spring 2012
The Fashionista Next Door and Hair Gurl
I am OVER 40 years old and PROUD of it.  I look good AND I feel good. I decided to return to my natural roots when I was in my late 30's. I think its really cool to see younger naturals of today accepting their beauty now instead of waiting until they get older. In fact, my network Our Natural Kids was created to reach out to moms and kids.  However, as a 40 plus natural in Atlanta I find that we are rarely represented or showcased and that's why I am proud to represent this niche in the natural hair community.  40+ naturals have a different set of issues to deal with when it comes to natural hair styling health and maintenance. Here are a few examples of the things that I have to deal with due to my age...

Gray Hair - Some people gray early.  I started seeing a few gray hairs here and there starting in my late 30's.  Now they are EVERYwhere!  Gray hairs do not behave the same as my other hair.  They are wiry and ornery.

Thinning Hair - My hair is sort fine or thin to begin with.  I have been dealing with additional thinning hair for awhile.  

Age appropriate styling - Do you really want to see me in 2 Afro puffs?  I am not saying that I can't rock them in an appropriate situation.  I just like to keep things mild for my tastes.  My Choice.

Retaining Moisture - The older I get the dryer my hair seems to get.

Finding chicks in the natural hair community that are in my age group! Pleease don't get me wrong I looove my young chicas that allow me to hang with them at events, meet ups, shows etc.  They accept me, they compliment me and they inspire me.  But sometimes I feel like the older Auntee that's still trying to hang!! LOL But seriously...

There are many more that I deal with and I will get into some of my solutions to these issues in a later post.  The bottom line is this.  Ain't Nooobody getting younger.  One day YOU will be over 40 years old.  I am here to tell you that I don't think that I truly began to live life until I turned 40.  I've never felt more alive and vibrant.  I feel beautiful and I love myself.  Don't fight aging.  Be that Fine Wine.  Go with the flow and enjoy life. I know I am and I intend to show you just how much!  It's never too late to live your dreams!!

40+ naturals Talk to Me!!  What are some of your natural hair issues that you feel you may be experiencing because of your age?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Preparing Your Child for the Loss of a Loved One

I don't think that anyone is ever prepared for the loss of a loved one.  My family experienced a loss last week.  On February 12th, 2013 my husband lost his dear Mother.  Although, she was elderly and ill losing her has not only been a horrible blow to us, but especially to our young daughter.  She was not adequately prepared to witness this transition and I blame myself.  After seeing her reaction to her grandmother laying in the casket I then realized that maybe I should have let her know that this was coming.  Having attended very few funerals myself I don't think that I was prepared either. I'm Lutheran.  In the Black Baptist Church funerals include:

A Viewing or Wake ~ This is where the body is laid out in an open coffin for all to view.  Held at the funeral home

A Funeral or HomeGoing ~ The church service where we remember the deceased and the casket is closed and carried from the church

A Repass - After the body is taken to the cemetary, the family meets at the church for fellowship and dinner.

My daughter erupted in tears at the Wake and again at the funeral.  I am sure the tears were from sadness, but I think some of them were also because she was scared and unprepared.  I failed to tell her what to expect.  I did not inform her that she would be seeing her grandmother's body.  I did not tell her what a cemetery was.  I could not prepare her seeing her father as he wept for his mother.  Of course hindsight is 20/20.  If I had it to do again, it would have definitely been different.

Here are few tips that I would recommend to get your child ready to deal with the loss of a loved one.

Explain life and death to your child. 

I cant tell you how to go about doing this because we all have different belief systems.  One thing that is constant no matter what you believe is that we live and we die.  Explain this in your terms.

Talk to your child about what to expect at a funeral.  

Again traditions vary but this can be a very shocking experience to a child that has no idea what happens.

Remember Your Love One.  

Help your child to think about the good times they had with their loved one.  Bring out old pictures.  Talk about fun times from the past and pleasant memories.  Encourage them to speak on what they remember.

Send a Note to School.  

Explain to the administrators what has happened so that they will understand your child's possible behavior changes.  

Allow your Child to be a part of the process. 

I love the way my husband's family included the children in the services.  Naming the grandsons as pall bearers and presenting the grand daughters with roses were just 2 of the ways that I believe helped the kids to cope by participating.  The girls also all wore gold ribbons and the boys wore gold ties.


Hug your child.  Its a simple gesture but when administered frequently can do wonders for understanding.

The funeral is over now, but the sadness still lingers.  RIP to our dear Mother Juanita Taylor.  Please pray for us as we go through this difficult time.  I hope that you never have to experience such a loss.  If you do, I hope that you find my tips helpful.  Please share any tips you have in the comments, we would love to see them.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Natural Kids Celebrates 3 Years!!

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Our Natural Kids!!!

Since 2010 Our Natural Kids has done its part to promote natural hair health style and maintenance kids online!  We have done this by providing a safe and private social networking platform where like minded parents can share information regarding natural hair care for children.  Since 2010 our membership has grown to 1900+ members!  We have gained two very knowledgeable professional contributors:  Jamesha Bazemore of Natural Hair Care for Children and Keianna Johnson of Chi Chi Sophistication.  We have also partnered with Afro Puffs & Ponytails - A wonderful organization that celebrates black girls.  We have received sponsorship from the following companies: JessiCurl, OBI Natural Hair Care, Beauty & Glory by Tarece, Pura Body Naturals, SofNfree, Mixed Chicks, Dr. Kari Williams and Pretty Brown Girl
Our Natural Kids has also been included as sponsors for: Chocolate Chat Atlanta III and I Love Me Naturally Fall 2012. We now have members in EVERY state and in 10 Countries!

Speaking about Our Natural Kids at Chocolate Chat III

                 The LittleChick and I giving away a prize at 
                             I Love Me Naturally Fall 2012

We have worked very hard to bring the natural hair community what it needs and we appreciate each and every one of our members.  We are so excited about 2013 and have already embarked on some new endeavors with more to come.  We are pleased to be working with Julia Davis of TruChatOnline.com for the next "I Love Me..." Event (02/28/2013).  Stay tuned as we GROW!!  For more on Our Natural Kids please join us today at www.OurNaturalKids.ning.com We would LOVE to have you!!

Thanks for your support and thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Love Me Because...I'm Different!

"I Love Me..." events are the brainchild of Julia Davis of TruChatOnline.com.  Created to help promote self esteem for kids in a fun and safe environment. It is truly the celebration of children.  Each event comes with a different theme.  In 2012 my daughter and I attended two "I Love Me..." events:
"I Love Me and I Have the Right to Remain Curly" and  "I Love Me Naturally - A Pajama Party"
My daughter loved these events so much that I decided to join Ms Davis in planning and sponsoring the next "I Love Me...."  event.

In honor of children, natural hair, Valentine's Day AND Black History Month TruChatOnline.com and The SistahChick and Our Natural Kids presents... "I Love Me Because... I'm Different!"

This Fro Fashion Week sanctioned event will be held on February 28th, 2013 at the Smyrna Rec Center from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.  Here are just SOME of the activities that we have planned for the kids:

*Arts & Crafts
*Motivational Speaker
*Black History Month Heroes Contest 
*Self Esteem Building projects
*Give Aways

This is a FREE event!  Atlanta, Join us on 2/28 for a fun filled evening that focuses on the kids by teaching them to celebrate their uniqueness!
Register a spot for your child today!  

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Master Your Kinks Workshop at Darcy's Botanicals

I was so excited to be invited to attend the Master Your Kinks natural hair workshop at Darcy's Botanicals, A Hair and Body Care Boutique located in Marietta, Ga.  

The event was hosted by:
Lysandra Taylor - Owner of Darcy's Botanicals
Telise Adams - Director of Education for Darcy's Botanicals 
Hayley Dennis, Owner of Ma Mocha Naturals

This was the 1st in a series of educational workshops that will be presented to teach naturals how to care for and style their own natural hair through hands on training.  

The topic of today's Master Your Kinks Session was "Bantu Knots"

Bantu Knots
Telise was very thorough in demonstrating how to do Bantu Knots.  She also showed how Darcy's Botanicals Hair Care line could be used for this style.  

Once the demonstration was complete every attendee was off to their own stations to practice the technique on their own hair!  

A DJ spun music in the background and prizes were given away every half hour.

Prize Winners!
Gourmet Food was served courtesy of Chef Dontrell of Bon Vivant Private Catering.

Marinated Vege Salad w/Arugula
 & Fetta Viniagrette
I had always wanted to visit Darcy's Botanicals ever since I heard that they opened a storefront in Atlanta.  I was very pleased to find a very inviting atmosphere and welcoming people who seemed eager to assist and who were very positive energy wise. 

Darcy's Botanicals Owner Lysandra Taylor & The SistahChick
I cant wait to try the products that were included in my goodie bag!  Stay tuned for a review!

For more Master Your Kinks Pics 

Thanks for reading!

Peace :-)

Friday, February 1, 2013

The "N" Word - A Commentary

(Merriam - Webster Online) 
Main Entry: nig·ger 
Pronunciation: \ˈni-gər\
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger

1: usually offensive; a black person
2: usually offensive;  a member of any dark-skinned race
3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons

As early as the 1600's the word Nigger or variations of it can be found in various communications between New World Settlers and Explorers.  The word itself is derived from the Latin word Niger and merely means "Black".  The word was not considered derogatory until the advent of American Slavery.  Its usage by American Slave Owners as a negative term to describe African Slaves is what catapaulted it into the unfavorable connotation that it carries today.  The" N-word" as it is referred to today, now carries with it, a history that no other word in the English language shares.  The mere mention of it reveals a past of hatred, genocide, human slavery and  torture.  It is no longer a word that innocently describes a color, but a word used to negatively describe a race of people.

In an effort to take the sting from the word's 300 year evil past, African Americans in todays society, use a variation of it (Nigga) to refer to one another.  It is used amongst fellow Blacks as a term of endearment and brotherhood.  The phrase:  "Whats up my Niggas!?" when used amongst Blacks is merely a salutation used to greet people who are considered family, or friends.  However, once the word leaves the lips of a non Black person it again becomes a negative backed by a history of slavery. 

Should the N-Word ever be used by anyone?
We live in a day and age, where the word is considered to be a derogatory term in most circles. It could possibly take another couple hundred years, before the word can be restored back to its original meaning (black).  

As members of 21st century American society, our knowledge of the N-word only has the one meaning to most of us.  Whether it started out as a term used to describe a color or not, that is not what it means to the majority when uttered now. 

To My Brothers and Sisters of Color:   I think that we,  have more to define ourselves than just our beautiful skin tones.  Our skin is merely an indicator of the region where our ancestors come from.  It should be worn proudly and with honor, no matter what color it is.  It should not, however be the sole defintion of another human being.  Instead of referring to ourselves as "Niggas!"  Replace the word with Scholars! Soldiers! Brothers! Teachers!, Sisters!, Homegirls! Queens!, Kings!, Leaders!, Entrepreneurs!, Mothers!, Fathers! 
We ARE more.

To My Brothers and Sisters who are NOT of Color:  The word is NEVER appropriate for you to use.  No matter the context.

Happy Black History Month!

Thanks for reading