Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Whip My Hair Back And Forth DIY Braids

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I recently decided to embark on braiding my own hair.  This may not sound like a big deal until you realize that this hairstyle took me a whole day to do, literally.  I am not some master hair braider, in fact I think this is only the third or forth time that I have braided my own hair.  However my desire to save money and not have to deal with doing my hair for a while is what drove me to master this technique.

If I would have went to the hair shop to get my hair done, I can guarantee you that I would have paid any where between $175 to $250 because of the length and time that it would take to do it.  But because of the wonderful world of Youtube, teaching me how to do this on my own, I am proud to say I spend under $30 to buy the hair.  Major difference.  My motto is why pay someone for something I can do for free.  Yes it may have been time consuming but it was free.  And that is my magic word.

My process of doing my hair consisted on watching Youtube video after Youtube video.  I knew exactly what type of braids I wanted so my main key words for these braids were Patra Braids, poetic justice braids, Solange braids, and box braids.  I recommend when looking for how to do your braids or hair for that matter.  Look at many videos by many different people.  Each person has their own style and some videos are better than others.  By watching many videos you can choose what style you want to use or even like I did, use a combination of techniques in order to do your own hair.

For this hairstyle it took me 13 packs of hair.  I did not know it would take this much at first and only bought six packs of hair.  After watching other videos that had the size and length of the braids I wanted I found that it took them in average 12 packs of hair and I had to make a trip back to the store (which is why it pays to watch the videos in advanced).  I personally decided to put highlighted braids in my hair based off something I wanted to do, I did not get it from a video, it was just my personal style.

The length of these braids are so long that I did not cut the pack in half like most people do, this is why I had to use so many packs of hair. In any case my hair inspiration for this style at first was seeing Solange Knowles with them some time ago.  I really love her style and the fact that she is not afraid to be unique.  When I was done, I underestimated how many braids I put on my head and how hard it would be to style it. I wanted to make my part smaller and wanted more braids than what I saw on the videos which is why it took me 13 packs.   Well 14 if you include the colored hair pack I used.  In fact, I may even say 15.  I know I keep changing it, but the colored hair pack I used was a double long braid which I got by accident. But it turned out to be a good accident. So I was able to cut that pack in half, unless I wanted to have my colored braids down to the back of my knees.

After first styling my hair I did this side braid or twist braid.  This is because I braided my hair a little tight and I did not want to put my edges out.  This is another reason why I stopped going to get my hair braided by professionals.  They had no edges on their head.  They pulled their own hair out with braids, and I know for a fact that if they were that careless with their own head they were certainly going to be careless with mine.  The last time I got my hair professional braided I had a headache for a few days because she braided my hair so tight.  I like my real hair and my edges which is another reason why I opt to braid my hair on my own. I got a little side tracked but a side braid can go well with a beanie or a hate, which can be a good style tip for the winter and fall.

This is why for the first day or so, I choose to not put strain on my hair and pull my hair up, until the braids had loosen a bit.  When they did, I chose to do the popular high bun, which was inspired by Beyonce.  I played with this high bun and did it different type of ways on different days.  I also sometimes chose to put a bun on top and the rest down which I felt kinda gave my style a different feel.  Which it what I like.

Since the style of these braids have been done since the “Poetic Justice” days, you know I had to take it old school and imitate the Janet Poetic Justice style.

I used a scarf that match my outfit for that day, but I was still feeling the style over all.  This took a longer time to do because of all the braids on my head and it not that easy to do as it looks but I am still happy about the results.

Friday, November 28, 2014

He Doesn't Deserve You.

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Recently I have ran into men of the past that want to reconnect in some way shape or form.  At first I almost fell back into the trickery of their nonsense until I quickly realized to re-visit the past would only prolong my future.

These men were men that I knew from my early 20’s  And I am not the same person in my 30’s that I was in my 20’s.  I made some mistakes, I was a bit of a wild child, but in the end I have learned from my mistakes.  With each life experience, relationship, and being a mother, I have learned and grown into a new person.  As all people should.  If you are the same person now that you were years ago, making the same mistakes, then it is time to look at doing something different.

In any case, as I reconnected with these men out of curiosity, they tried to speak to me like I was the 20 something year old Sophia.  Treat me like I was the 20 year old Sophia.  And I quickly realized that I needed to walk away.

Seeing as how they are the same type of man that signified a problem.  Back then I may have been willing to tolerate the disrespect but now, as a grown women that has already been there and done that, there is no way I am going to settle for you talking to me all types of crazy.  What they do not know is that during that time away from them, I learned something very important.

“A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies.”  Proverbs 31:10 (AMP)

That’s right ladies, in case you did not know it, you are worth more than rubies (read my blog here).  An interesting fact about rubies is that they are in fact more rare than diamonds.  So imagine what esteem you should hold yourself in when dealing with some of these men.

Would anyone in their right mind who has worked hard to afford one of the most luxuries gems, throw the same gem against the wall, harm it, or ruin it?  Of course not.  So any man who is not willing to treat you like a gem is not it.

Let me give you another example.  There are 20 gems that are in a display case.  Only one of them is real and the other are all knocks offs.  Some knock offs are better than others but there is only one real ring in the batch and that it you.  |Then comes along some buyers.  As the buyers come through they pick up the knock off.  This is because they are not trained to know what a real gem looks like.  So they just pick up whatever they think in the real thing and takes it home.  As the knock off gets taken and the real one sits there wondering why all the buyers keep choosing the fakes over them.

But then in comes a buyer in a nice suit and he comes directly over to the real gem, picks it up, and buys it. Right away.

I know you are wondering what in the world I am talking about?

Well let me lay it out for you.  You see there are many knock off women, but there is only one you.  If a man wants to choose the knock off over you then let them.  There is no reason to get all bent up out of shape about it, chase a man, or trying to convince him that you are the real thing.  Why would you want to?  He is not a real buyer.  He can’t even tell a fake gem from the real one.  So why would you want someone like that.

Instead, wait for the real buyer.  The one who is able to recognize a real woman from a mile away and is willing to do anything to get her.  You are the you are the gem, you are the ruby.  And what gem chases it’s owner down.  It is the owner that looks everywhere for the perfect gem.

You should not have to convince a man how pretty you are, shiny, nice, how much you would look good on him.  He should just know that for himself, and if he doesn’t good riddance.

Women, we cannot allow men to continue to disrespect us and keep passing it up as okay.  Many men have it in their mind that they can say and do whatever they want to woman and she will still come back.  And most of the times they can, because often time no matter what a man does to a woman, she comes back.  Women you have the ability to determine how someone treats you.  Even if it means that you have to walk away and never talk to them again.  Yeah they would be gone out of your life, but at least they will not disrespect you anymore.

Some women have to get over the fear of being an old maid.  It is this fear that they will never get married that drives women to stay with men that are no good for them.  When in fact it is this same fear that is keeping them away from the man that is good for them.  Because they are putting all there energy and time into the wrong one.

I am going to be frank.  Women hold something powerful  Look at Helen of Troy.  Two countries were willing to wage war over her.  Look at Ruth and Boaz, upon his first day of meeting her, he gave her almost everything but the kitchen sink to prove his interest.  Look at Esther, the king threw a feast for her for three days.  Called Esther's feast.

Women is that not what we want.  Men proving their love and not just treating us  and talking to us like dogs.  Going back to the above story when I ran into these past men.  Yes I was willing to walk away but even more shocking is that they did not even know what they were doing wrong.  It seems talking to woman any type of way and showing disrespect has somehow become their norm.  When I call them out on it, I was basically told that there were not interested in me anyway.  Well good, I think to myself.  When I look at them living with their mom, having no direction in life, spending their time going from woman to woman, I think to myself they have nothing that I want.

It goes back to the ruby, let the counterfeit buyer go to the counterfeit gem.  If he does not see my value or know my worth then that’s on him.  I will continued to wait for a more experienced buyer that does.  And advise all women to do the same.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Let's Talk Jesus and Politics.

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There is so much that I want to cover in this post that I hope I do not get side tracked.  I do not want to beat the Mike Brown case into the ground because I think we all have our opinions on that.  I will however give you my personal opinion just to give you a brief background on what I am about to say.

First, yes Mike Brown stole some cigars from a store.  However, this should not be a death sentence.  We pride ourselves in America for giving people the right to go to trail and go before a jury for the crimes they commit.  Secondly, the fact that Mike Brown was confrontational that he deserved to die just does not sit well with me.  I was a correctional officer for three years and was among many aggressive people on a daily basis.  I knew that when I took the job.  As for the police officer, well I should hope that he would know that he would have to encounter dangerous situations in his line of work as most police do.  I can say that in my years as a correctional officer and in all my years of working with severely mental ill people I have never had to kill anyone.  And therefore, I cannot fully understand the officers desire to kill Mike Brown.

I am only 5’2 and in the jail I had to wrestle with those who were well above my height and weight class.  But I manage to physically retrain them and make it work without them losing their life.

I say this to bring me to my next point.  I was watching the 700 club on 11/26/14, and I was very distraught and upset at something that Pat Robertson said.

If you would like to view his comment for yourself the video is linked here.  And please watch from 3:35 for more background on what I am talking about.

First this upsets me because I have endured racism.  I have been called a nigger on a few occasions and once when I was younger a someone spit in the face.  I hate to hear Pat speaking on something that he knows nothing about.  For him to say that racism no longer exists is a slap in minorities faces for those who have to endure racism everyday.

Secondly, he is right.  We do not know Mike Brown’s mental state.  But since when do people have to die for that?  Since when do people have to die for stealing?  What bothers me most about his comments is that this is coming from a fellow Christian.  Whenever I decided to takes sides on something, I always use the old phrase WWJD, What Would Jesus Do, to determine how I should feel about a certain situations.  When thinking about Mike Brown, I was pointed to this particular Biblical account.

Jesus always knew that he was going to be crucified.  When the Roman soldiers came to get him, one seemingly courageous disciple grabbed a sword and cut off the soldiers ear.  After this happened, Jesus healed the mans ear (Matthew 26:50).

Jesus said something wonderful after this account we all should remember.

“ For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52

I am not comparing Mike Brown’s situation to Jesus.  But what I am saying is that under no circumstances do I feel that we should support the killing of another individual.  As Christians, we should not even try to justify it.  Instead, we should always keep in mind the foundation of our religion and always try to promote peace.  I think this is why Mr. Robertson’s words cut me so deep.  Not only were they insensitive to what was going on with not only blacks but other minorities and other groups that are discriminated against.  But it was also very un-Christian of him to condone the killing of an 18 year old kid.  I say kid, because that is what I still define him as.  He had just graduated from high school some weeks before.  This boy will never have a chance to change, get married, or be rehabilitated.  And for some reason this is okay with some people.

It does not matter if he was white or black, an unarmed person was killed.  This should never be celebrated or rejoiced.  It is not that we are saying that Mike Brown is some hero, it is that we are saying that his life should matter.  Anyone’s life should matter.  Death is permanent, and it is my hope that people would think twice before permanently taking someone out of this world.  This can be said for Trayvonn Martin as well as the countless others that have died for really no good reason.

I am asking you to reflect on the position that you take on this case.  The position that you take on political issues period.  I personally do not even believe in the death penalty.  I think only God has the right to sentence someone to death.  As Christians, it is always our duty to forgive and to speak life into others.  To hate the injustices of this world and to always promote peace.  To never look as someone’s actions and say “ They deserve to die.”  That is not of God, and it is not Christian.

I will pray for Pat, as well as the countless others that do not really understand the heart of the issue.  That no person deserve to die for no good reason.  Especially if this boy did not even have a weapon.  And to always see death for what it is, permanent.  Killing someone takes away their future.  After Cain killed Abel God said

“ What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” Genesis 4:10

This was a cry for all of the descendants of Abel that had not been born.  For the things that he would never get to do.  It is my hope that over zealous police, neighborhood watchmen, security, and whoever else would keep that in mind.  When you kill a person, you kill their future, and the future of the future of their children.  Although we will never know the complete truth in the Trayvon Martin case or the Mike Brown case.  But God knows, and they will have to answer for the deeds they have done.