Going natural is all the rave and no, I’m not talking about my hair this time. (I’ll give you a few days before I drop that post on you.) I’m talking about household cleaning products, saying ‘No’ to processed food and removing any additional chemicals from your life. So one day while visiting with my best friend Google to research a medical concern (I know I know), I stumbled upon an interesting article about fibroids. It began to discuss the ways in which Western women handle that time of the month and the harms associated with the products we’ve come to rely on. I started to think about my own health and wanted to investigate the land of organic feminine products.

Well, where should one start to look when trying to make a very important decision such as this?  Google! I was amazed by the options. Then Google called YouTube and I started watching reviews. Armed with so many opinions and TMI, I made a plan to try a few to select what was best for me. Now, I was headed to Target.  I mean really, is there any other place that makes you feel good about spending your money even though you didn’t need any of the items you purchased, NO! There were a few options on the shelves and I decided to try the Honest brand first.

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I couldn’t really notice a difference between these and my old Tampax Pearls.  What was I suppose to be looking for? So, I just started to observe more closely and take notes. The first thing was the price. Eighteen (18) tampons in a box almost the same size as a softball and costs 2x the national brand for the same amount.  At $6.99, you could have 34 tampons from the P&G company. The writing was on my receipt, “if you want a healthy lifestyle, you have to pay more for it.”  Not to be discouraged, I took it in stride and decided to use these in between depleting my current stock – which wasn’t much but I’m not big on throwing away money. The next thing I noticed was the absorbency. It seemed like I was going through so many more of these. Super didn’t feel like super to me.  That’s all I’m going to say about that without being too graphic. I appreciated the smaller packaging and fun colors. It just fit in my pocket and I felt secure in the protection it would offer me if I was too far from my desk or home. I noticed I wasn’t getting the headaches associated with this 3 to 4-day process. Then again that could’ve been in my head but hey I didn’t have no damn headaches. During this trial period (no pun intended), I decided to not use them when I was going to be home, running really quick errands or overnight. This would call for me to go back to purchasing pads. I have a few in my closet from a previous event and decided to use those before I bought more. Honest had a selection of thin organic cotton pads but the absorbency of the tampons scared me from going further with this company. It was time to try something else.  Back to Target we go!

Cora was up next.  The sleek packaging made me feel like a grown woman.  It’s not candy, its a tampon and I don’t have to be ashamed. Image result for cora tamponsThey were $6.99 as well for 18.  What I noticed from the beginning was the comfort. These felt better to me. The headaches were non-existent still during the day and the absorbency was on point. A few times, I headed to the office restroom with urgency, only to find out everything was still okay. What a relief!  In conjunction with this brand, I was trying out L. panty liners because Cora doesn’t have them.  That kinda disappointed me because I wanted to use products from the same brand. This made me want to give Honest a second chance but I had already made my final decision on them. I noticed the tampons for this brand as well but I was set on using the Image result for l linersones in my cart. So, I left them right there on the shelf.  In this decreet bag, were 100 liners for $6.49. There was value all over this purchase.  At most, you use 12 a cycle.  This is almost a yearly supply. BINGO! The liners are very comfortable and come in a plain white packaging. Something else I noticed (only while typing this post) the larger bag features smaller bagged quantities inside. Which is perfect if you’re a mom and you’re purchasing for a household or sharing with others. Something that should be noted about all the products I tested, none featured perfumes or any type of fragrance. In addition, it seemed as if the waste had changed color. Then again it could be because I’m becoming an old lady but I’ll take that up in a few years. LOL! I started doing more research on the Cora and L. brands. What I discovered was amazing – they have customizable subscriptions which can be delivered to your home and they’re giving back by donating supplies to young women around the world. These were my kinds of companies.  This was very clever and with all this new information – I signed up for a subscription. Can you guess with which company?

That was probably a no-brainer. Let me tell you how this company won me over. It was all the black packaging. This was something I had never experienced.  It was chic, adult and classy. Then they displayed all the storage options I would get. There’s a storage box for under the sink, on the vanity or nightstand. I was even thinking you could leave that in a powder room for guests. There’s the clutch, which you can store up to four tampons in and carry it with you. No, digging to the bottom of your purse looking for a tampons or them all falling out if you spill the contents of your bag on the floor. It carries really well and I leave it right on my desk to pick up and go when the time comes.  And if that wasn’t enough, they threw in six (6) stowaways. This thing rolls like a lipstick, lol. Perfect for a clutch, with one tampon inside you’re good to out for a few hours. Just don’t try to do 9-5 with a stowaway. They’re meant for sharing with others but I had to keep a few for myself. 🙂

If you’re interested in trying organic feminine products, use code marleaz9682 @ www.cora.life

 

 

Chaos

At some point or another, we all have prayed for better days. Chaos or any of these – disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom; muddle, mess, shambles, free-for-all; anarchy, lawlessness, entropy, can truly destroy your future. You have to let go of that mess in its entirety. Doing this will allow you to attain everything the universe has for you.

Keep smiling while you’re letting go, living and planning for the future.

🙂

The flashy affair was over.  Finals were happening in a few days and The Kid was ready.  We attended the Senior Parent Breakfast and waited to pick up our cap & gown.  You will notice I talk about this moment as if it were mine but we worked at this. So, we celebrated this moment together.img_4143

Now, this senior breakfast wasn’t a high point for me.  Especially after I saw that buffet line.  In true fashion, that kid knew I wasn’t about that life and he got my pancakes. Not wanting to be a brat I stood in line for the other portion. During the running around, we took this picture. Yup – he got me by a few inches! God answered my prayers. 😉  This was the final whoo rah for the seniors.  The final grades were being calculated and the verdict would be announced the coming Friday.  These 10 days were taking the longest time to get to us.  This was the only moment we were really waiting on.  I told you about part of our struggles to get here.  See, his dad graduated out of summer school and he didn’t want to repeat that experience. We worked our asses off, he more than me but I kept a light fire under it to keep him on his toes.  Then June 9th happened and he handed me this when we met up with each other. img_4187.jpg

For the 3rd time during this journey, I shed a few tears.  He reached over and hugged me exclaiming “I told you I’d get it done.”  This cap and gown made it real. I held on to that thing like it was mine because somewhere in my soul it was.  I worried, prayed, and cursed to get him right here. I’m that teenage mom that had never even baby sat a child and here I was about to watch mine walk across the stage to accept his diploma. My expectations were firm but my methods kept changing but he did it.  Yeah, it would’ve been easier if he had done it my way but this was his story. I needed to let him do it his way.

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So the morning of the graduation was here, and I posted the picture that matched my mood.  Hashtag #TheFinisher – I was beyond ready and I even packed a handkerchief. img_3986

This picture captured everything I was feeling about this meeting.  In a graduating class of 262 students, all I could see was him.  He strolled pass me as they marched in the theater of the Michigan Opera House.  This was a long ceremony and for a short moment, I was ready to rip all the programs up because I didn’t see his name. When I found it in its respective area, #CarryOn. Then they asked the graduates to stand up and I was on my muthf’n feet -which happened to be in some 5″ heels but let’s go. Then I got this message: I remember this paper being in his room on his desk and of course he forgot it. Now, I gotta run down the aisle like I’m on the Price is Right. Then I got back to my seat and cheered for all the kids that spoke when they were on the phone with him, introduced to me, called me “Ma, Auntie & Ms. Wilson.” Then I saw him make his way to the stage. #Leego The announcer said Lorez Wilson and I lost it – screaming, clapping, jitting up the aisle (my footwork was unmatched) and I did all of this while taking pictures.

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Did you notIce me mention I cried? NOPE! I had shed all the tears prior to this day.  This day was for smiles. We did it. In 1999, this event seemed to be a million years away but with each passing year, I realized how close we were.  As we made our way out to the streets of Detroit, I couldn’t wait to see him and congratulate him one more time. I found him in the swarm of black and yellow.  His smile was as bright as the day but I saw something in his eyes.  We snapped a few images in the daylight.

I asked to see the diploma and he told me they had to pick it up from the school later on. WTH DPSCD? We left headed to Joe Muer for lunch with Grandma. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you he cut his hair off prior to graduation. I was looking at a young man ready to make his mark in the world.  Little did he know he had already done a good amount of that through me.  I was different because and for him.  He is the best part of me.  Everything I never knew I needed.img_4240
While we were at lunch I learned his dad had not shown up to the graduation, after I gave up my opportunity to monopolize this event. I knew I saw something in his eyes at the theater. It was sadness.  Afterward, he went and got a tattoo (how could I say no- I have 16) and I sat down to REST.  I thank everybody that was on this journey with me. All of your help was and still is appreciated.  You never left me out here to do this by myself. The village of Marti truly came through for this kid. There are so many to name but I’m positive I’ve already told you personally. Eternally grateful to you all for everything because I know your love for him is an extension of the love you have for me.

August 1st, while I’m sitting in my chair at work listening to inspirational music this little exchange occurred and it gave this chapter closure.

As we tackle this next mission, I’m positive he’ll be just fine but I’ll be right there to throw an assist if needed.

 

 

There’s nothing like a good sale when you have a few extra dollars.  You almost can’t wait to give your money away for whatever tangible item it might be.  Well, I must confess, I don’t like spending a lot of money.  I like the classic combo of a sale price coupled with an exclusive coupon.  So, one Saturday morning as I’m scrolling through emails I find this and jump right in the shower and prepare myself for the journey.  I mean seriously, how could I turn this sale away.  I love 1/2 off – not as much as 75%.  😉

The second-hand store has my heart. I’ve always had a love for old pieces.  As a child, we would visit the antique market in the Eastern Market weekly.  I didn’t get into buying clothes from the thrift store until I was an adult. It started in small boutique shops then I ventured into the larger chains. I’m hooked and I can admit it. Oakland County locations are the best and if you’re from around here you know what the OC means! So, I walked into the Value World location with no purse, comfortable shoes and nothing but time. Yup! I was prepared for the hunt through stale industrial detergent smelling items for little gems I could add to my wardrobe. (I’ll be sure to take you along for the next round in a few weeks to show you what it looks like.)

My methods are focused and success driven. I have an idea of what I need in my wardrobe and what sections may produce the unexpected steal. These are the areas I focus on when entering a large thrift store for fashion: work, trends, men’s.

 

The men’s department gave me a blue oxford shirt (I forgot to get a picture.) This is generally what I pick up from that section or a cardigan/sweater.  It’s the tomboy in me that keeps me in that section. I like oversized sweaters and men’s dress shirts for casual days and weekend attire.

My shopping didn’t end with those 7 pieces.  The journey continued as I sought out a few trending items. Kimonos, scarves, and sequins.  Only one of these were fruitful – scarves. I like to wrap my hair/head up from time to time.  Sometimes it makes an outfit grand.  I only wanted the ones with great pattern or silk.  Now, if a scarf embodied both of these characteristics, God bless us all. After searching each end cap’s selection of scarves, I walked outta there with 6.  Some restraint was displayed because at one time while in the store I had 14 in my cart. Then when I got home I realized one of these things was hiding a secret.  I’m not a label whore but I literally screamed when I saw it but it said Balenciaga.  SCOOOOOOORE!!!!

The only hang up I have with Value World is their lack of fitting rooms. I’ve been spoiled by Salvation Armies, Mother Fletcher’s (RIP), and Lost & Found. The majority of your goods are clothing items and the return policy is non-existent. So, why wouldn’t you want to have at least one small area dedicated to physically seeing if this garment works for you?  I mean, I literally had an in-store associate cover me while I got 50% naked to see if that black dress would fit nshit. Heaven help someone that doesn’t feel this motivated to make meaningful purchases in the second-hand store.  I don’t care if the thing is only $5. It’s my money and I don’t want to waste it.  Do better Value World!

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These are the tags from my haul. Okay, not all of them but 80% is damn good. LOL! Now, add them all up and divide that by .50. I walked away from the register with 20 items for $45. BINGO! The time spent was well worth it. All of these items haven’t been placed into the rotation. Some are scheduled to go to the cleaners. The scarves, shorts, and tops have been washed in Tide/Downy Scentables being dried with a Bounce dryer sheet.  That’s all I really need – ensure they are clean.

Since I began shopping at these type of stores, my anticipation about the mall is ever present. I don’t like spending full price and appreciate the individuality of secondhand finds.  It almost guarantees I’ll be the only one with a specific garment on at a particular time and I relish in my individuality.

Are you a fan of the secondhand/thrift stores?

 

 

As we age, we have to grow for true maturity. Staying in the same head space and sometimes even the same place can hinder us.  Evolution is uncomfortable. You’ve become familiar with one set of norms and growth challenges you to be someone different. 

I know it’s scary but with every day your life should become enriched with ideas and opportunities of growth. This in no way means you’ll have a new personality on a daily basis. If for some reason this happens, please seek professional assistance. At 30+, I don’t even think of things the same as I did at 30. I can truly say I’m growing, opening up to new experiences and looking for a every opportunity to smile. 🙂

The purpose of my life may not be clearly visible but I’m acknowledging I want to get there. I believe everyone on this earth wants to live in their purpose – but how will you know if you’re stuck in the same spot. In order to discover everything or even a portion of what it feels like to live in your purpose you have to break away from some norms. Embrace the uncomfortableness of the process and BE GREAT. 

Have you noticed your evolution? Was it a welcomed change? 

I know you all are tired of me doing this – the disappearing act. Even if you’re not going to say it, I’ll tell you. I’d be tired of it myself but I’m back and I appreciate you all for stopping in and checking while I was out of the office. 🙂 There is so much to catch you up on. This is going to go by very rapidly but you can expect a post from me at least 3x a week.  Here are a few highlights from the posts to come:

  • House Hunting
  • PTSA Elections
  • Prom
  • Lance
  • New Assignment
  • This Hair of Mine and so much more.

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I need you to have the trust of a mustard seed in me.  The postings will being Friday and continue until this entire story is available for your reading pleasure.  Catch you in a few!

I’m just as tired of talking about my hair as you may be of reading about it.  The setbacks, the accomplishments, and regimens can all become too much.  I’m literally months away from my initial cutoff.  However, I know that someone somewhere finds a little inspiration in my honesty about this healthy natural hair journey.  Some things have changed.  So, grab your deep condition or pre-poo, set it and read on.

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I got this haircut in June and after a few weeks of just wrapping and forgetting it, this was a needed break.  In September, I straightened my hair again.  Wrong move!  I suffered some heat damage, not too much but it happened.  Afterward, I said, “I’m done.”  I’ll just focus on reducing the heat.  Yeah right!  I love my kinks and coils.  The love affair I have with the wind blowing through my hair is often short lived because my hair starts feeling and looking greasy.  The duality of it all was too much.  I couldn’t give up.  Like for real, I’m so close to my April deadline for this experiment.  In all actuality, I should have retained at least 12 inches of hair.  That’s 1/3 of the hair I’ve envisioned for myself.



My hair has grown since the last cut and I can tell because I’m able to put my 2 flat twists in, again.  In the meantime, I needed to incorporate more ways to amplify my progress.  I’m sure most of you know Mahogany Curls (if you don’t check her out).  Well, she started a year-long growth challenge.  This includes no cutting, coloring, and simplistic regimens to see how much hair we can grow in 2017.  I’m totally on board for this.  More importantly, there is a forum for us via Facebook to gather knowledge and vent, congratulate and encourage each other through the year.  Within the first couple days, I discovered what my real issue was with my hair.  It’s de-fuckin’-hydrated.  I’m not moisturizing my hair enough which leads to breaking and snapping.  OMG!  How have I lasted this long without this critical point?  Only one answer comes to mind – I’ve been doing the bare minimum. Thank you, God, for protecting my edges.  🙂

Here’s what I’ll be doing until November 2017.  It seems pretty basic but it’s more than I have been doing in the past year, for sure.

vitaminsTaking vitamins these certainly helped me last year and I appreciate that I can get them from Target or CVS.  It also helps when I find a coupon in the Sunday paper for these.  That allow me to stock up.  I mean I’m a girl looking to save money on everyday stuff to have lifetime experiences.

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Deep conditioning hasn’t been as present in recent months due to the overwhelming task of wash day and being pulled in so many directions in life. I remember how well my hair was responding in the early days.

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Deep Wave Marti

This lady will be back.  The braids didn’t work as well as I hoped but I know without a doubt.  My hair succeeds under the protection of weave. So, as much as I like my hair, it’s time for me to take my hair goals serious.  The hair won’t be long or cost a million dollars.  It’ll give me the protection I need and assist me in retaining more length during this challenge.butter

In addition, I’ll be using hair butter and returning to the LOC Method to keep my hair moisturized in between installs and on wash day.

That sums it up.  I’m positive next year IF this hair makes it to the countdown – it’ll be to brag on my new length.  The April deadline is out the window.  This natural hair journey is here to stay.  Sometimes you need to change the plan to fit the goal. The goal is long healthy natural hair.