Headwrap, Lipstick, & Confidence!

head wrap,lipstick, &Confidence

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I love a great head wrap! Head wraps allow me to not only embrace my culture, but to also express myself through color and style which is the opposite of my extreme introvert personality. I’ve also been dealing with hair loss for the past year due to an autoimmune disease and have been exploring different wraps and styles that give me a little boost of confidence during this emotional journey.

They’re perfect for those bad hair days we all have or even to run errands while deep conditioning.  I love them so much because they come in so many bold colors and styles, which makes it easy to add a little flair to any outfit.  I can effortlessly throw on my head wrap and a bold lip and I’m good to go.

I know that tying a head wrap may seem pretty intimidating, but trust me, it’s what you of make it. With the help of YouTube and a little time in the mirror, you’ll be a wrap tying queen!  I love to tie mine in a series of knots followed by a few tucks and fluffs to get the desired style.  One of the things I love the most is that no two wrap styles are ever the same.  You can try to replicate what you did yesterday, but the wrap seems to have a mind of it’s own.

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One of my all time favorite head wraps as of late has been this satin lined head wrap by Jobim Clothing that was  sent to me for my review.  This particular wrap is in the style “Chizoba.”  What I love most besides the impeccable, vibrant colors is that it is lined with  a poly-satin material, which aids to protect my natural curls from any breakage or shedding. The lining of satin is only placed in the middle of the wrap rather than the entire length of the fabric which gives me more room to groove when tying.  I also love the thickness and length of this wrap (76″ x 20″) which allowed me to have more variations in style.

The only con to this wrap that I found was actually the highlight, which is the satin lining.  Yes, it was extremely beneficial to have, but it did make my wrapping experience a little difficult.  The wrap slid around a little and I had to make sure I had a very tight grip in order to complete the style and it not fall out of place.  After a few tries, this became very minor as I completed my desired style.

I will definitely be purchasing in the future.  I love the durability and I can’t get over how lovely the colors and patterns are on this head wrap.  If you would like to purchase one of your own, or any other products you see at www.jobimclothing.com use the coupon code “FAVOREDFREAUXS” for 10% off your entire order.

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Chanda Machebe, Founder

Here’s a little bit about the creative mind and beautiful soul behind Jobim Clothing, Founder, Chanda Machebe.

Can you tell me why you started Jobim Clothing and the story behind the name?
“I started Jobim Clothing because of my love for all things Ankara and African fashion in general. It is a joy to showcase a bit of my Nigerian culture and heritage wherever I go. Before starting Jobim Clothing, I was able to have my own custom clothing made in Nigeria and I wanted to give others the opportunity to do the same here in the states. To have an outfit 100% custom to your size and liking makes you enjoy it more. It becomes more of a work of art that you’re happy to show off to others.

My creativity is expansive in some areas, but lacking in most others. I blame it on my day job as an engineer. My husband and I tried to come up with a name for days to no avail. We didn’t love anything on our list of ideas. Another day, we finally landed on Jobim which very loosely translates to “Joel is my heart”. The “J” for Joel and “obim” for my heart in the Igbo language.”

What inspires you to choose your fabric and patterns?

“Going to the market to pick out fabrics is one of my all time favorite things to do. I get there and want to buy up everything. So many options upon options. There is no real science to my selection. The number one criteria is quality. I choose only the best. It’s difficult to explain but after doing this for a while, your eye gets trained as to what to look for. Before going, I do research to find out what’s trending in Nigeria and in the US. As far as colors and patterns, I just follow whatever my eyes gravitate to. Patterns that are unique, detailed, and colorful.”

What do you want each customer to feel when they receive your products?

“I want every customer of Jobim Clothing to feel as if they’re getting something that is genuine, one of a kind, and made with love. I want them to feel as if they have received something that makes them feel bold and confident and that demonstrates their personality and character with a bit of African flair.”

What do you think makes your business different from any other in your niche?
“What sets Jobim Clothing apart from others is the extra mile I go to provide high quality products. Every piece of Ankara fabric is one that I have literally flown to Nigeria, hand chosen, and inspected myself. I am a one woman show and integrity is priceless. My desire is to provide a memorable shopping experience as I share my love for Ankara fabrics to others everywhere.

P.S.  international shipping, dresses, and skirts will be launching Spring 2018”

I really enjoyed reviewing this beautiful handmade head wrap.  Please take the time out to support this lovely small business owner as her business grows.  You can keep up with any updates and sales by signing up on the website mailing list via www.jobimclothing.com or via social media:

Facebook: @Jobim Clothing

Instagram: @Jobimclothing

Twitter: @JobimClothing

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Reflection

DESERT ADVENTURE

Over time I’ve learned that constant reflection is necessary to keep me grounded.  This morning, while preparing my children for school after a long fall break, I reflected on how far God has brought me and my family.  As I think back, He’s brought us a long way in all aspects of our lives.  I was overjoyed with simply knowing that alone.

It’s so easy for us, Christian or not, to get overwhelmed in the desires of our hearts or even desiring what others have.  We always want the next best thing, but don’t understand that sometimes God just hasn’t blessed us with it because we are simply not ready to receive it.  We must humble ourselves and realize that we are exactly where God needs us to be in this moment.  Nothing more, nothing less.  There is purpose in the things that He denies us or postpones.  We simply need to trust God and His timing.  Just remember that God’s blueprint for your life is much greater than any plan you may have created for yourself.

When I talk about reflecting, I’m not just speaking on material things.  I can still remember years ago and even last year dealing with depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.  I’m elated to say that those things that had me bound no longer have rule over me.  I thank God for my peace of mind.

Take the time out to reflect on where you are right now, where you’ve been, and where you’re going as this year comes to its close.   Think back on where you were in life just one year ago at this time.  I bet you have a lot to thank God for.  Remember those things and keep them close to your heart.  Give God the glory, honor, and the praise for bringing you through.  I thank God for healing, restoration in my marriage, growth in my business, and I thank Him for giving me purpose in life.

Change your mindset and your outlook on life to believe that God is a provider.  You’ll soon find yourself worrying less and trusting Him more in every aspect of your life.  Any doubts in your mind should be removed and replaced with peace just knowing that He’s got your back and there is no way you can lose in a winning game.  Continue to reflect and remember the testimonies formed from each trial you’ve faced and remain faithful.  He’s brought you a mighty long way.

Investing your faith in God is like planting a seed that will soon grow into greatness.  Your mustard seed of faith being planted on His word can grant you so much fulfillment in life as long as you continue to water and soil it with love.  Trust and believe that this life is a growing process.  Reflect on your seed.

Mission Monday

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So, it’s Monday….most people’s least favorite day of the week.  At this point, you’re either laying in bed contemplating on what excuse to use in order to get out of work or you’re swallowing the huge pill labeled “ADULT” and proceeding to go about your day.  As you scroll your timeline, I’m more than sure you see a lot of “Motivation Monday” posts on Instagram and Facebook, but do they really motivate you?  Are you really going about your day with an extra boost of energy ready to conquer the world after reading it or is it just worth a quick double tap?

What’s your mission today?  What goals do you plan on crushing?  What giants do you plan on slaying today and everyday afterward?

 

I read the following in my devotional this morning:

“We should be on a mission and that mission is to be who God intended us to be as we live and work in His world for His glory.” -‘What is My Mission’ (via the Bible app)

Yes, to those of this world, Mondays can be a drag, but as God’s people, we must be joyous in each day that we are blessed to receive and do the work that God intended for us.  We have to have the intention that everything we do is for God and give everything nothing less than what He would approve of.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” -Psalms 90:17

Start the week off the right way and be ready to be on a mission for God.  Get up.  Plant your feet on the ground and push through anything holding you back.  Devote yourself to God each morning and have a conversation with Him.  Dragging your feet is not an option anymore.  There are too many blessings to be had and souls to be fed for us as believers to continuously push the snooze button.  Just being present and allowing His works to shine through us can make a huge impact on others.

What’s your mission?

 

More Than A Hashtag #ForeverDuncan

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A while back, I got the awesome opportunity to have an interview with fitness trainer, Sherrell Duncan and Grammy and Emmy-nominated musician, Alfred Duncan. Just one year ago, the Duncans literally broke the internet with their famous hashtag #ForeverDuncan.  To refresh your memory, I left a video below of the tear jerking same day engagement and marriage.  Just a fair warning, you may want to have some tissue on hand for this one.  Alfred literally had every woman giving their significant other the side eye while crying tears of joy.  In my interview with this power couple, I was able to get the scoop on where they are now and a few lasting tips on setting the foundation for an unbreakable marriage.  This couple is so much more than a hashtag.  They’re making some major moves and changing lives along the way.

 

Alfred, why did you decide to have a surprise wedding for Sherrell rather than go the traditional route?

Alfred:

“I knew for a good period of time that my girlfriend at the time would be my wife and so we were going through premarital classes and we were also practicing celibacy.  We were already preparing to be married and I didn’t want to take the whole process of being engaged and waiting three to four months up to year to get married when I already knew that she was going to be my wife.  So, I just chose to do it all in the same day.  She wanted to go to the justice of peace, but I wanted more for her.”

 

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A lot of women like to plan every part of their weddings themselves.  How did you know exactly how to go about planning the perfect wedding?

 Alfred:

“Through our courting, I really paid attention to what she likes and what she doesn’t like.  She wasn’t really for a big grand wedding.  That wasn’t something that she wanted to do.  She really wasn’t for all the planning and all of that.  I knew that already so I just took care of the job for her.”

“Is he just proposing to keep me or is he proposing because he really loves me? “

How did you know for certain that Sherrell was going to yes to your proposal?

Sherrell:

“We get that question a lot.  “How did you know she was going to say yes?”  And it’s funny to me because I think that in relationships you’re supposed to have effective communication so you know where the other person stands on certain important things like marriage, kids, careers, and things like that.  So, when I hear that question, its always so mind boggling and I’m like what are people talking about in their relationship.?

Why would he not know that I would say yes and where are we in our relationship to say no?  Why would he propose?  Is he just proposing to keep me or is he proposing because he really loves me?  That question is always funny to me because I always think where are people in their relationships if they don’t know if the person will say yes or not?”

It’s so great to hear that you both took the necessary steps prior to marriage like pre-marital classes and practicing celibacy.  What was that experience like?  Did you live with one another prior to marriage as well?

Sherrell:

“Yes, we did and it was extremely hard okay!  Lol!  I wouldn’t do that all over again.  I just wouldn’t.  I mean, for the emotional and mental lesson, it was more emotionally and mentally awakening and eye opening for us.  We learned a lot about ourselves during celibacy.  It wasn’t just about abstaining from sex and honoring God’s word.  That was one thing, but we really learned a lot about each other and the communication level heightened and evolved.

It was crazy.  I would have dreams about different men dying and I couldn’t see their faces. It basically translated to the different soul ties with men that I had relationships with in the past.  I was a really live thing that happened.  It was definitely needed.  I just wouldn’t do that again.”

Alfred, how long did it take to plan the wedding without Sherrell knowing?

Alfred:

“It took about three months to have everything in place.”

Did you have a lot of help as far as planning and having to sneak around?

Alfred:

“As far as the actual concept like thinking of it, no, but executing it, yes.  There were a lot of people helping me execute it from her family to my family and our mutual friends.  There were a lot of people that helped to pull it off.”

 

“I just want women to understand how real this feeling is when you know your life is about to change.”

How did it fair off in the house with you having to go off in secret to communicate with those helping you orchestrate the big day?

Sherrell:

“I didn’t recognize it at first.  We’re very open about our phones.  Even when we were dating, we took our locks off our phones.  One time, we had the same phone in the same case and we would accidently take each other’s phones and we never had an issue.  I’ve never had that in a relationship.  It was just like, OMG he has my phone and people are sending me Facebook messages.  That’s how it use to be and I felt like it was the same for him.

I didn’t’ realize it until before the wedding.  I just want women to understand how real this feeling is when you know your life is about to change.  I knew something was happening because the week of, he kept sneaking off going outside on the balcony to use the phone and he never does that.  He was going to get coffee at 11 o’clock at night and I’m thinking he really wants to die. Why is he sneaking out? He’s tripping.  At the same time, I knew that he wasn’t cheating on me, but I had to be realistic and ask myself why is he sneaking out?  What could he be sneaking out to do.  I just kept thinking I know he doesn’t want to die today so he needs to get it together.  That’s all I was thinking.  If he would answer the phone in front of me, he would ask them if he could call them right back.

I didn’t know what was going on, but I was having anxiety.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t do anything.  I never felt like that in my entire life.  I wasn’t depressed.  I felt like I was about to die.  Like what is going on?  Everyone was acting funny.”

How long did it take you to get off the high of the hype social media created after the wedding?

Sherrell:

“It’s still crazy.  My husband was an outreach manager.  He didn’t like his job too much.  My husband has not been back to that job since we got married.  It wasn’t his plan to leave his job, but God just worked this thing out girl.  He just laid it all out for us.

No, we still haven’t been acclimated with the fact that one, we’re married.  Like finally!  It hasn’t been long, but practicing celibacy and living with someone makes it seem long.  Also, we’re travelling a lot.  We’re going from state to state to speak.  We haven’t been acclimated to our new lifestyle yet.  Not fully.”

 

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So, what all do you both have going on right now?  I see you both have books out among other things.

Alfred:

“We do a lot of public speaking and relationship conferences.  My wife is a personal trainer.  She does women empowerment conferences and things of that nature.  I have a company called “Duncan Man Planning” and it’s an event planning firm specifically for men to help them pull off something special for their significant other.

Me and my wife wrote books after the wedding.  My wife has a book called “God Made Me Wait” and I have a book called “Man Uplifting.”  We also do things with our books as far as book signings, book readings, and symposiums.  We actually do a lot and we have some things that are cooking up but, we don’t want to talk about them until the ink dries and everything is solidified.”

Can you each tell me a little bit of what your books are about?

Alfred:

“So, my book is called “Man Uplifting” and it’s about the misconception of manhood.  As I got older I realized that I had to relearn what manhood was because I was taught about manhood by popular culture; by some people I looked up to as role models who probably shouldn’t have been my role models.  It’s a lot of things that I was doing that I don’t necessarily identify with manhood.  I had to relearn what manhood was for me.  During that process me and my best man from the wedding, who is also my best friend, decided to put the book together and help people to help themselves to relearn what manhood is.  There’s a lot of men out here who don’t know what manhood is.  I’m not saying my book is saying this is what manhood is.  It’s more so saying that this is what manhood isn’t.  They can try to figure out what manhood is in their life.  So that’s what my book is about.”

Sherrell:

“My book is a compilation of topical prayers that shows from a timeframe from I believe 2007-2016 when I got married.  I wrote it with a good friend, Natasha T. Brown.  It basically shows what I went through and how I’ve allowed God to pour into me through things like abortions, sex addictions, and through drug addiction.  Through domestic violence relationships, not for me, but for my friend.  Selling drugs and partying in the clubs and all different types of stuff.  Dealing with men that kept lying to me and me going back to them and believing them and praying and asking God to please send me someone that was just honest to me and me not following through with my prayer request.

I talk about the backlash of me back in a mess again so, I’m praying to get out of a deeper mess that I put myself in back out of that mess again and blocking my blessings.  It shows how I’m keeping God near and dear to my heart but, I’m not honoring our relationship.  This monogamous relationship with God is more so me having an affair with Him and calling Him whenever I need Him like a “booty call.”  Not really honoring who he is.

So, it shows you my growth and my evolution and my walk with God and how I started trusting him more and how my relationship with Him started out as an affair, but began to become a monogamous relationship and me always putting him first.  Instead of me asking him for things, it turned into me thanking him for everything that I had and things that are coming in the future.

It just shows you how my relationship with God created miracles for me in my relationships and in my career. It’s a freeing book. It’s going to help and has helped a lot of women with the issues they had making decisions society looks at as a poor, but they have to live with it.  How do you live with it by keeping it a secret to yourself?

It’s a very freeing book and it also has 14 devotionals in the back and a workbook to help you with different things like purity, drama, happiness, peace, and temptations. It helps you with different things when the enemy tries to trick you. It gives you a prayer to say every morning to keep you from falling into that trap.  There’s a section where you can write about how these characteristics affected your life and changed your life by giving it to God.

I have a webinar that I came out with my spiritual mentor, Dr. Dawn M Harvey, and it’s called “Dear Self.  You’re Forever Starts Now.”  It’s basically about everything that’s in the book.  It’s about selfcare, fitness, being spiritually fit, emotionally fit, and mentally fit.  How to work on you.  It goes deep into the why are you feeling this way and what are the proper steps you can take.  It is a two-day online webinar.

I speak at different events and speak about love, relationships, being bold, being free, self- destruction.  That’s a part of me going around and embracing women.  Pushing them to be great and helping them to reach that process of being that woman that God has created them to be.”

“No one else can own your truth once you set yourself free; once you get past the people pleasing part and being a holier than thou Christian like you love God so much that you’ve never sinned.”

I really do love the concept of your book and your full transparency for what you’ve gone through in your life.   A lot of women are not transparent with their past.  They want to have this clean façade and show others that their past is without blemish.  Thank you for being open and honest about your story.

Sherrell:

“I’m so glad that God let me be free to talk about it.  It’s okay.  So, what if people judge you.  You own your truth.  If you own your truth, nobody else can own it.  No one can take the copy rights from you.  You trade- marked it.  You put your stamp on it.  No one else can own your truth once you set yourself free; once you get past the people pleasing part and being a holier than thou Christian like you love God so much that you’ve never sinned.  That’s a myth.  No one is that person.  If not all of us, but most of us can agree and understand that.  You don’t know where that person was in that season in their life.”

Can you tell me a little more about why you became a personal trainer?

Sherrell:

I never desired or spoke into existence that I wanted to be a personal trainer.  I’m not a lazy person, but honestly, I like the results of exercise, but I’m not cool with that girl that wants to get up a five o’clock in the morning and workout twice a day and keep going to the gym and the gym selfies.  That’s not the girl I was.  My mess created this.  God gave it to me.  I know it’s well beyond the physical aspect of it.  I share a deep relationship with my clients that goes beyond physical appearance.  We talk about relationships, love, careers, their desires, dreams, goals, and their aspirations.  I know that once I talk to somebody they’re gonna want to level up.  You’re going to walk away from the conversation yeaning to do better and yearning to be great.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but just know that’s the gift that God gave me and I’m very humble in that. I have to be disciplined enough so that can do God’s work.  I have to own it.

I’m heavier than I was when I first lost the weight from being 300 pounds, but I’m happy.  There is definitely growth in what god is doing in my life.”

What is it like to have a blended family?

Sherrell:

“We both came into the relationship with children.  He has a thirteen year old son.  I have a six-year-old daughter.  It’s rough.  It’s more rough for me and his son.  When my daughter first met him, she had never met another man outside of her Dad.  So, when she met him, she was scared of him.  She didn’t understand why he was so close to us, like why was he coming to the house or why were we going to church with him and going to eat with him.  She just really wasn’t excepting of him for like the first year.  Now their relationship is awesome.  They have a really great relationship.

We all work really hard.  He has formed his own relationship with her and I’m forming my own relationship with his son.  It’s more so just trying to get to know each other’s personalities and things of that nature.”

With all that you have going on between traveling for book signings and conferences, is there still time to train with your clients?

Sherrell:

“I only do virtual training.  My same clients have stayed with me because they believe that they know that I can get them where they need to be and they enjoy the fellowship.”

 

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How do you both manage making each other happy and communicating in your marriage while still maintaining your business ventures?

Alfred:

“Our business involves us together.  We do have our own separate ventures.  Me being a musician and her personal training.  For the base of what we are known for in business, it’s mostly together.  They want us to speak as a couple.  I can support her and go to her training sessions and work out with her.  She’ll assist me with what I’m planning.  Our job is to maintain our love and constantly support each other.”

Sherrell:

“Outside of work, we find time to just laugh.  People think that spending time together means going on vacations and going on a billion dates.  We make time to laugh and joke with one another and play.  That is very intimate and keeps the relationship going.  It keeps it fresh.  It keeps it fun and we laugh a lot.

We’re not the perfect couple.  My husband and I never had a serious argument until we were married. It’s crazy because we were together three years prior to us getting married, so we didn’t have our first argument until we got married.  It just showed us that we have to work harder now that we are married than when we were just a couple.

We make time to spend with one another.  Our dates become us laying in the bed talking or running around the house chasing each other or doing weird childish stuff.  It makes us feel good.  My husband and I can sit in the living room on our laptops working with no T. V. or anything.  We can do that for two hours and not say a word and we won’t get bored.  We’re at the point where we’re not even bored with one another.  We’re at peace.  We’re working.  We’re good. We don’t require too much from one another.  We’re going to continue to work.  We continue to make each other happy.

I told him, now that I’ve gained all this weight, I’ve got to get back to where I feel like how he met me.  I want to get back to that because I don’t want to get married and then I’m fat because I’m comfortable and were having fun and eating desserts and stuff like that.  We continue to work and we continue to make each other happy.  We laugh a lot to keep things going.”

 

“They’re there for that moment to hear your side, but do we really tell the other person’s side in depth like we’re telling our side?”

How do you feel about people who are close to you being involved in your marriage?

Sherrell:

“No, we don’t keep anybody in our business.  Nobody is in our business.  We talk to each other about who we can go to outside of our pastor, who we can confide in.  We agree that’s the person we can talk to because we both trust that person to go to when we have something going on.  Other than that, I don’t talk to my mother in depth about what’s going on and he doesn’t talk to his family about what’s going on.  It’s none of their business.  They’re there for that moment to hear your side, but do we really tell the other person’s side in depth like we’re telling our side?  So, now they’ve formed their opinion about this person.  At family functions, they’re treating this person funny or now they’re going to go tell somebody else and everybody in the family is looking at you funny and looking at you weird.  We don’t have time for that.  That’s not what we’re gonna deal with.  It’s basically period, none of their business what’s going on in our household, how we run our household, or the decisions we make.  They have absolutely no say so in it.”

What advice would you give a couple who are preparing to get married?

Alfred:

“I think celibacy is a great choice because you learn so much about your partner.  You’re forced to learn about your partner because of course, sex can lead to so many things.  Sex can just cover up so many things.  You can sex your way out of an argument or disagreement, but if you take sex out of the equation, then you’re forced to deal with it.  You see how your partner deals with certain situations.  It just gives you a better outlook to see if that person is the right fit for you.

I would also suggest that you do a lot of talking.  Do a lot of just figuring each other out.  That’s the time when basically before you give that person that job, you’re going through a process of trying to figure out if they’re the one for that job.  That is a very serious time because once you give them that job, it’s supposed to be their job for the rest of their life.  You have to make sure that you are getting the most qualified person to go on this journey with you because if you don’t, then it’s going to be harder than it would be if you were a perfect fit for someone.

This marriage thing is hard, period.  No matter if we share the same interests or we’re two level headed people that don’t argue much, it’s still going to bring it’s of fair situations in which you’re going to have to compromise or they’re going to have to compromise.  So, it’s best that you find somebody who is more qualified to deal with that than not or someone who is willing to grow.  That’s important because there’s a lot of growing in marriage or in a relationship in general.”

I really enjoyed chatting with both Sherrell and Alfred Duncan.  They were both so down to earth and transparent.  They really shinned light on a lot of common issues in marriages today.  Alfred and Sherrell both gave some really great advice to assist in creating and keeping a solid foundation in marriage.  I pray that God continues to bless them through their years together as husband and wife and through their businesses as well.

If you would like to purchase one or both of their books, you can do so by going to www.foreverduncan.com.  To sign up for virtual personal fitness training with Sherrell, you can go to www.thegoodthick.com.  Sherrell’s “Dear Self” webinar is available at www.creatingdynamiclifestyles.com.  Guys, if you need a little help putting together an even for that special someone, you can head over to www.duncanmanplanning.com and Alfred will get you all the way together.  You can also follow them on both Facebook and Instagram with the handle @Foreverduncans. The Duncan family is also on YouTube under Forever Duncan.

Hair Does Not Define Me

My Strands Do Not Define Me

With the coming of fall, which is my favorite season of the year by the way, I decided to grow out my fade and let my curls pop again.  My main reason for chopping my hair off for the umpteenth time was because of hair loss associated with symptoms of Type One Diabetes.  I had bald spots galore and my hair literally fell out in clumps.  Rather than sulk over lost strands, I decided to embrace being without hair and I became even more confident with myself.  It was a bold move to go completely bald, but I loved every minute of it. I learned to love myself for who I am and not my hair.  Being a “Baldie” was fun and so much easier as far as maintenance is concerned.  It has been so liberating and I felt the most confident with no hair at all.  I have so much respect and love for those that for medical reasons do not have the option to just grow their back.   I got a chance to walk in another woman’s shoes.  I was able to get an understanding of how it feels to get those awkward looks and stares from people who have no idea what my hair journey was and to look them in the face with a smile.  Now, I’m ready to take the plunge again and enter yet another hair growth journey.

So, for the past few weeks I have been dodging making my usual appointment to the beloved barber shop and opted to wear wigs to work and a hat or head wrap over the weekends.  I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I did text my barber once to see if I could get a cut, BUT he was booked, so needless to say I did not get that haircut.  I purchased my very first straight-haired wig to change things up to avoid going through that “awkward” stage, you know, that point when your hair just looks unwearable…when it’s growing in 100 different lengths and you look like who did it and ran away.  Yea that stage.

When I debuted the new look, I received an overflow of comments with my “drastic” change of appearance, which was to be expected, but some of them kind of upset me. The way society and people in general are when it comes to the standards of women’s beauty is wrong on so many levels, especially as a woman of color.  I actually had a male co-worker give me a compliment on the new wig and then follow up with stating that I no longer looked like I stuck my finger in a socket, referring to a curly wig I wore previously.  The amount of anger and frustration I had when I received that comment was indescribable.  As the days went on, I received more and more compliments from men and women alike on how good I looked and that they preferred me with long straight hair.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to receive the occasional compliment, but when I realized how much more acceptable my appearance was with straight hair, opposed to curly hair or none at all, it upset me.  It’s sad to say that even now, when natural hair is becoming more accepted, there is still an underlying stigma of unacceptance for what naturally grows from our scalp.  Some days I just wanted to rip the wig off and rock my one month of hair growth with no lining and thin edges.  That awkward stage is no joke y’all lol. There were days when I would walk confidently with my picked out fro or voluminous twist out and get the side eye as if my hair was untamed or unkept. There were days of me being completely bald and I would be asked if I had some type of cancer or asked why I would cut off my beautiful hair.  I’ve stated in previous blog posts that I am not my hair.  My hair does not define who I am or what I believe.  My hair does not define how I feel about myself.  This natural hair journey is so much more than hair.  It has taught me a lot about who I am, flaws and all and I’ve gained so much confidence in my own inner beauty that I refuse to allow others to determine what beauty looks like for me.

Regardless of what people think, I love to change up my hair and I’ll continue to do so.  It’s fun and it allows me to express myself freely.  I’ll definitely keep you updated on my growth journey as time goes on.  What are your favorite protective styles or ways to promote growth?  Have you experienced any type of backlash for your choice in hairstyles in the workplace or in general? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments.

 

Back to school tips for the mom on a mission

Tips for the Hustling Mom

So, by now the school year is well on its way for many. We’ve depleted our bank accounts on school supplies, uniforms, shoes, and accessories.  We’ve spent late nights washing and styling kinks and curls, laying edges, and early mornings at the barber shop for that perfect lining.  We’ve cried our tears of either happiness of lower grocery and light bills or the sadness of seeing our babies head into another year of growing and learning. So now what? How do we maintain our sanity and structure during this school year without losing our cool?

I’m going to be honest and tell you that when it comes to being organized and maintaining structure during the school year, I’m not the one.   My girls are heading into the second month of school and I can tell you that it has not been easy at all from the long nights of homework and chores and the early mornings of…well, just early mornings (I’m not a morning person at all).  This past month has definitely been a struggle for this mamma.  Don’t get me started on the dreaded carpool line or pushing a smile through to greet teachers when all I want to do is crawl back into my warm bed.  I’ve been a one woman show lately with a recent change in my husband’s work schedule and here are just a few things that have helped me along the way for the last few weeks.

Pray Consistently

First and foremost, prayer is essential not only during the school year, but every day, all day.  We as parents have got to ensure that our children are covered continuously.  Too much is going on in the world these days that praying is a must.  Instill in them that no matter who is watching, they should always pray.  Instead of being embarrassed, they should be a light unto others and may even influence someone else at the lunch table.  I pray with my girls before we leave out in the morning and make sure we say our prayers before bed.  They never let me forget to make sure we pray before the night is over.  We pray for grace and favor with good grades in school, good behavior, and that we all come home safely.  Of course, we pray for dad and travelling mercies as he’s on the road during the late nights and early mornings.  Consistent prayer is the true key to keeping things afloat.

Make preparations ahead of time

This may sound cliche and I’m sure many of you already do this, but not all of us are “Susie homemakers.”  This is a task that I’ve only just gotten into the habit of doing not only for my children, but for myself as well.  Making preparations for pretty much everything ahead of time has turned out to be pretty beneficial and narrowed down our time getting ready in the morning.

Select the week’s worth of outfits and uniforms and iron them ahead of time.  The simple task of picking out what to wear can sometimes become time consuming in the morning when you can’t find that matching sock or you notice that your favorite blouse is wrinkled.  Make sure that all of the essentials are laid out with each outfit for yourself and the kids, including jewelry and even hair bows.  I’m telling you from experience that having to hunt down even the smallest of items can take up a large amount of time.  Every second counts!

 

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Pack lunch the night before.  I allow my oldest daughter to pack her own lunch.  It gives her a sense of responsibility and she chooses what she puts in her lunch bag, so I know she’ll eat everything.  I also meal prep my lunches for the week.  This saves me a lot of money verses eating out everyday.  I may create a post specifically geared toward meal prepping in the future.

Meal preparation is essential for my household for both lunch and dinner.  I choose to take advantage of my weekends off and throw some food in a crock pot and in the oven for the week. Sometimes I’ll prepare more than one meal and even freeze some of the food for another time.  I also buy pre-seasoned meats, and packaged sides sometimes to make things a little easier on myself.  Now, this does not happen every week.  As much as I love to eat, I’m not a fan of cooking and sometimes I just don’t have the time.  I keep hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and lunch meat handy for those nights when I need to fill little bellies quick like when there is bible study or a parent/teacher conference.  Sometimes I even make breakfast for dinner like grits and eggs or even pancakes.  As long as they eat and are satisfied, I’m happy.

Unwind Before the Grind

I allow my children a chance to calm down and relax a little before starting up homework.  My girls are in school for eight hours, so when we get home, I let them have a small snack and play for a while to unwind.  I find this helps when it comes time to do homework and they’re not as frustrated with completing the task of getting those motor skills going.  It also allows me to unwind from my work day and be able to move forward with “mommy mode.”  During that time, I usually start on warming up dinner and I check my e-mails.

Don’t stress the small stuff

I remember running around like a mad woman years ago when my oldest first started school.  I use to stay up until the middle of the night mopping floors and scrubbing toilets just to maintain the household.  Yes my house was spotless, but I lost out on sleep and time with my children.  So now, I don’t stress over things that can be done the following day.  The goal in the end is to make sure that my children are fed and bathed, hair combed, homework is complete, and they have clean clothes to wear.  I make sure that I put time aside to just sit with them and talk about their day.  I learn about their new friends at school or any concerns they may have and let them know that I’m available and I’m listening.  I never want my daughters to feel as though they were put on the back burner.

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The amount of time and love you invest in your children will yield so many great things in the future.  Keep pushing for an amazing school year and continue to speak life to yourselves and your children and they make steps to becoming scholars.  It won’t be easy, but it is always worth it.  Leave a comment below and let me know what tips and tricks you use to the ball rolling during the school year.

 

 

Her-Story Spotlight: Wendy Magee

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This month on the Her-Story Spotlight, we are featuring author and speaker Wendy Magee.  Wendy is the author of the book “And She Called Him Lord,” a road map to making sound and Godly choices in marriage.  Wendy also recently launched her ministry entitled “Speak UP” with the purpose to lift up marriages through edification and empowerment through the goal of establishing divorce proof marriages.  Wendy Magee was born and raised in Port Arthur, TX and moved to New Orleans in 2007 through the now 10-year marriage to husband David Magee, Jr.  and is the mother of two children, Kaleb and Kyrie.  As Wendy and I sat down, we delved into what God’s purpose for her ministry is and how it all got started.

 Why did you become an entrepreneur?

“God gave me the revelation about the order of family and I wrote my first book. I didn’t intend to start a ministry, but I believe it’s a need that has to be filled. “

How long have you been in business? 

I’ve been in business since January of 2016.

What inspired you write the book “And She Called Him Lord?”

“Going to Franklin Avenue Baptist church marriage ministry, there was a couple there that did a poem and at the end of the poem, the wife told her husband she would call him Lord.  Initially, my husband asked me would I call him Lord and I told him no, but then not even a month later the Lord began to reveal to me the purpose of family, the purpose of what it meant when Sarah called her husband lord, and it brought me to an understanding of how God ordered the family.”

When you wrote the “And She Called Him Lord,” what were your initial intentions for it?

“My intentions were and still are to create an atmosphere where people that are married or desire to be married can create this divorce proof marriage.  Even people in the church are getting divorced and they are not understanding that if you have the order and your foundation is solid, that God will sustain you in anything. When that order is lost and the woman thinks she is the foundation or roles are reversed, then it leads to cracked foundations, which in essence leads to divorces.  So, that’s my intention to really just give people the revelation of what God has given me.  Not necessary to become this famous author.  You know, if happens by way of that, great…exciting, but it’s really to get the message out and to restore marriages.”

How long did it take you to write your book?

“My book took actually 4 months to write and publishing took 6 months.”

What assisted you in writing the book and what fed you to keep writing?

“The book is not long.  It’s 7 chapters and 77 pages.  I journaled a lot.  I kept my journal with me all the time for when I heard a word or someone speak about marriage. I did a lot of research. I used a lot of my own testimony, my own life experience about my marriage.  I was very open to allow people to see that I was married this long and hey, I didn’t get it right.  I also used people that I knew like friends and family who actually would read every chapter and they were my sounding board.  They would tell me if I needed to research or change something so that really helped as well.”

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How did the ministry “Speak Up” come about?

“In wiring the book, this year God really put into me a ministry.  That’s where Speak Up came from, which is lifting up marriages through edification and empowerment.  It’s just really going around speaking to not only people in the church, but women, men, single people, just giving the essence of the foundation and that’s really the whole essence of speak up.  Creating this understanding where people are like ‘No, commitment is commitment.  We’re in it.  Were married. We are committed to each other.’  Even through dating, you’re practicing divorce by dating a bunch of people rather than courting. Your intentions are to get married and it starts from the beginning.”

What made you decide to re-brand yourself this year?

“Right now, a lot of people don’t like to read and I know that.  To get people to get more interested, I think creating interesting shirts and re-branding the whole look would help.  I think if they hear a little about what the book is about they may be more interested in what the entire message.  Reading has been lost. It’s just something about that written word.   I’d like to get people back to reading. It’s something about writing things down. I’d like for people to discover why the subject of submission bothers them and get down to the root of it. Something creative to get people back to reading.”

 What makes your brand different?

“When I do research, and look around, I don’t see anyone teaching on submission.  The heart of what god gave me is submission.  God commanded us to be submissive, not only to your husband but to Him.  People don’t want to talk about submission.  Submission is not a bad word.”

What are your goals for your business?

“I see me really just going and doing conferences, speaking engagements, panels, and going around teaching the workbook that’s coming up.  Eventually God has put in me some different books and it’s all driven around family and really focusing on family and never losing sight of what God initially gave to me about the family because it was the first order that God set up and I don’t want that to be lost.  So, in the future I do see more books and some creative t-shirts, continue to write blogs about marriage and relationships and guiding people on how to have proper relationships.”

What mistakes have you made while being in business that you wish you could take back?

“Moving too fast and not really researching the people who I get involved with.  God has really been pumping into me to slow down with making decisions and do my research before I enter in a contract with anybody.  I think that’s the biggest thing for me.  I’ve really lost out on money and God will redeem it.  I knew I was ignorant in that and people were trying to get over, so I knew that God would never allow me to lose out when I was trying.  I would just tell people that even if they have messed up, to go back and look at what happened and slow down, research the people.  Ask other people that have dealt with them about these people first. Get their honest feedback before signing a contract and make sure you read the contract from top to bottom and get an understanding before you enter it.  That is my biggest mistake.”

What piece of advice would you have given yourself prior to starting your business?

“Do a lot of research before launching to make sure you have the right tools, connections, and knowledge.”

How has your faith attributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

“Faith in God’s direction and wisdom continue to guide me. God is the one who gave me the revelation so I continue to see him out for direction.”

It was a pleasure sitting down with Wendy to hear her story about her ministry and to be able to follow her as her business grows to reach the masses.  If you are in the New Orleans area, you can catch Wendy as a key note speaker and even purchase a book or t-shirt at the Women Mean Business Expo today, August 6th located at the Algiers Auditorium from 1 p. m.- 5 p. m.

Follow Wendy and her ministry:

Wendymagee.org

Facebook: authorwendymagee

Twitter: wendymagee

Instagram: wlmagee07

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