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

 

 

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? 

It was a nice August 16th and I actually wore a dress to work. I was fighting a headache for about 3 hours.  While joking with some co-workers, I realized I was unable to communicate in my normal fashion. Ut oh, this thing is happening again. I sat polarized for a few moments waiting for it to pass.  It didn’t and I packed my things up to go home.  As I walked through the door, my son knew something was wrong with me.  I was in complete denial. After 7 hours, 3 phone calls, my sister, and mom visiting, 2 hours of reading aloud, my son decided to drive me to the hospital.

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As I walked from the parking lot to the receiving desk, I cried. What was wrong with me? He had to speak for me because at the time – the words would not form as articulately as I desired them to. They rushed me to the back.  No real information had been given and I was extremely agitated when they told me I would have to stay. I let the kid know he could go home, no sense in us both being uncomfortable in this overcrowded Detroit hospital ER. In addition, I let the doctor know the only way I was going to stay was if they gave me something to go to sleep. Whatever it was that they gave me I didn’t wake up until someone was trying to take off my pants. (It was good but I ain’t had NOTHING that would make me NOT realize my pants are being removed.) I was in my own room. Oh shit! I need to let somebody know where I am. True to form my phones needed life support. Mission: Text as many critical communicators as fast as possible.

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Yeah, you read it right! They believed I had a small stroke. Not a TIA again.  An actual, fuck yo life up stroke. What was my 36-year-old ass doing in here being diagnosed with this? Something called an ulceration of my carotid artery. Causing me to experience some speech impairment. My son had contacted my family. Some of my FB family reached out to me that were actually working in the hospital and in communication with me through our group message. I had reached out to the Mister on my way home the previous day and he found out they were keeping me later on. I felt a lot better but I really just wanted to get out of there.

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I took so many tests my head began spinning and every day I thought would be the day I’d be going home. Home wasn’t on the agenda until Friday. While I lay in that uncomfortable hospital bed with these foam boots on my legs, I analyzed my life. I never planned on leaving my son alone without a sibling.  He was 17 and depending on only himself.  I thank God I had grocery shopped over the weekend. He would stay late into the night then go to practice and come see me afterward. My room buzzed in the evening hours with visitors. It was nice but I wanted to go. When they began talking about me leaving, I perked up.  When she brought me the discharge papers, I was dressed. The nurse wanted to wait for a wheelchair, I opted to walk out.  The smell of the fresh air was welcoming. The taste was fulfilling and walking through my front door brought immediate satisfaction.


The main side effect I experienced from this was -slight aphasia. In my eyes, this was right up there with losing the function of one of my limbs. I know it may sound a little vain but communication is one of my strongest attributes.  As I sat alone in complete silence, I would speak aloud – searching for the right word and annunciation. Each day I became more frustrated and withdrawn because I wasn’t 100%. No matter how much better others said I was, there was no I could accept it.aphasia

The doctor had referred me to speech therapy but I was waiting for them to reach out to me with an appointment date. In the meantime, through my Googling, I learned that continuous communication would help my chances of strengthening/curing my ailment. I didn’t want people to hear me like this but I knew I had A LOT to be thankful for considering what I had been through.

Saturday was my 1st full day out, I got dressed and went to get my nails done. Once I returned home, I received a call from the security desk with a delivery. The kind people from my job sent me a welcome home present. I could just eat up all the kindness I was feeling, no LITERALLY. This was just what the doctor ordered. I needed to do better with my eating habits and fruit never hurt anyone. A few family members came over to share in the get well greeting.img_1601

I wanted to get back to work. I needed to feel normal again. After a few long conversations with a good friend, it was decided that I would work from home for a few days then return. Monday morning, I slid into the office picked up a few things I needed and was whisked outside to prevent me from taking on any additional assignments. While at home, I realized I needed this time. My body was still tired from the uncomfortable hospital and early morning test. It felt good to be of some assistance to my team again. They all instructed me to take as much time as I needed. They knew more than I did because I hadn’t thought about the 99 follow-up visits. They all stopped by to check on me and wish me well. This was appreciated but I didn’t wanna feel like an invalid. Moreover, being back at work has certainly assisted with overcoming the slight aphasia I was diagnosed with my the doctor.

Mission: Take pills as instructed. I hate taking medication because I believe the body it so sophisticatedly independent – it doesn’t need any help getting better. Not so this time, I was ordered to take what I would consider to be a fist full of meds.

Taking this medicine was almost as frustrating as the aphasia. I had alarms everywhere. The pills were on the dining room table and I felt like shit if I forgot to take them. Then one day while out on a Sunday afternoon to get some air, he asks “Mom, what happened to your legs?” I’m completely oblivious.  I look down and around and-

The bruising caused by the Plavix and aspirin combination was too much and I fell into a depression. I struggled with if I had bumped myself by accident, should I look into getting some of those foam boots I wore in the hospital or stopping the meds. Which one do you think won? If you guessed stopping the meds, you’re absolutely right.  My vanity was taking control of me. I reached out to my doctor and she gave me the green light to stop taking the Lipitor. I continued to take the Plavix and the bruising continued.  It wasn’t until I went back to for my stroke follow-up that I was instructed to continue the Lipitor and aspirin to stabilize the cholesterol. It was during this visit,  I was referred to psychology. Check out the reason he thought I might need it. Ya think!?img_3019

I never used this and by this time I had been to the speech therapist. She was very comforting and gave me some good information on what I could do for continued strengthening of my vocabulary and communication skills. By this time, I was experiencing sporadic episodes of “not being able to find the right word.” I had to get better.

 

 

Mission: Look for alternative ways to stay alive. I’m sure many of you can guess this hasn’t been easy on my family. I’m so young and we have a history of stroke in our family. More than that, we have a long life expectancy. I mean my mother is 70 still cruising around doing her own thing. One night The Kid walks in after football practice and says, “I can’t go away to college and you’re sick.” No truer words have been spoken by a mother, ‘I’m going to be fine. You go on and live your life.’  This put me on a task like nothing else had already done. I have to stay healthy. Not only for me but mainly to keep this stress off of him. The main concern of the doctor is controlling the cholesterol. I can do that! I MUST do this.

Here’s what I have learned in my short recovery:

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These are the signs of stroke. I have to table my fear of the hospital and bills. If they could put all my medical info at the dentist office, I’d be alright.  🙂  I need to be open with those around me if I should have such an episode in the future.  Time is the most important thing. (If you pay attention to the first image in this post. You’ll see I’m extremely blessed to even be typing this right now.) There are NO signs of severe stenosis and no apparent reason to consider the surgical removal of the ulceration. I have a be a little more patient with myself and keep my phone charged (ain’t no telling where I may need to go). I like the way it was explained to me. “A stroke is like and accident on the freeway. There will be traffic while they are trying to clear it up and traffic begins to move as if nothing had happened. The wait is determined by the size of the wreckage.” I just had a small fender bender and I have to be more careful to prevent a pile-up. This happened to me to force me into a lifestyle change. I need to eat healthier – bottom line. My cholesterol isn’t bad but I need to get back to the gym to assist with this, as well. Most importantly, I made the decision to NOT have any siblings for my son and by God, he will not be alone until the creator is satisfied my purpose has been completed.

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I very rarely let people get next to me.  There are several reasons for this and maybe one day I’ll expound on them.  My expectations are high when I consider a person to be my friend.  So, not having many friends works in and out of my favor to an extent and I believe in the idea of signs from above.  The side effects of this equate to destroying a relationship mentally very fast and within time abort connections making them non-existent to me.  Friendship is very important and I consider myself to be a good friend.  The combination of a sign and disappointment can be all too much for me.

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The faults that I carry include being too trusting at different points of my life.  I never nurture friendships with the ulterior motive of changing someone.  When you’re happy, I’m happy with and for you.  However, when you’re happy don’t take this time to take a crap on me and that’s exactly how I felt. This most recent lesson showed me that no matter how much you genuinely support someone, they have the tools to cause unrecoverable pain.  1 Corinthians 4:5 says “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”  I feel my eyes opened to something I needed to see and left wondering “how many times has this been done this to me’ and my eyes were wide shut to the disrespect.  The discomfort I felt was palpable.  Me, being the stoic person I am – I didn’t want to show it. I had to deal with it from the inside and it became the hardest thing to do.  The question remained – Who equipped them to hurt me? The answer: I did, by allowing their choices and actions to simultaneously affect me through a fabled connection called “real friendship.”  These emotions that began to brew inside me may not have been their intention but I immediately needed to do the work to heal.  I’m smart enough to acknowledge the change and separate myself.  The individual is completely oblivious to the infraction and for a short while, I wondered if I acted irrationally.  In my stubborn nature, I said, nope.  It’s what needs to be done in the efforts to take care of myself.

Yes, we could talk it out but at this juncture, I don’t think that will heal the pain I’m nursing.  No, talking will only exhume something I’m working to remove from my memory.  Will I miss the relationship?  The simple answer is – yes, but I’m in defense mode.  To be truthful, how can you be friends with someone you feel you need to protect yourself from?  You can’t!  That’s too much work.  I’m taking ownership of the part I played in this happening.  There’s so much going on in my life right now that working to salvage this friendship would be a waste of time I genuinely need for God only knows.  It’s time for me to be selfish.

🙂

 

 

The #HealthyHairJourney is one of the most recognized tags in the world, right now. Everyone is embracing their natural hair or at least acknowledging those who have made the choice to take this journey.  Earlier this year I celebrated my 13th-year relaxer free and 3rd year with limited heat.  I’ve come to a very tricky fork in the road and the jury is still out with the verdict.

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Start of the year, my hair was booming.  Here it is after wash day in a flat twist. I noticed it was getting thicker and longer.  No one had touched my hair since the cut I received in November.  It was thriving and I was getting more excited about my next straightening and trim.  Time got away from me and I felt I needed to hold on a little while longer to retain a few more inches.  So, I decided to get some braids.

These felt comfortable.  The 1st set of braids I kept for 3 weeks.  On the next try, I called in the swift professionals at one of the local African braid shops.  Morning after morning, I jumped up, got ready for work and made sure my scalp was oiled.  I hadn’t had braids in a long time and I thought this would be the break I would need this year.  This had to be the best protective style for me.  My classic wig was starting to frustrate me – only because of its synthetic composition and the limited availability around town.  In addition, during this time I discover my hair is officially BLACK in color.  Not the same 1B it’s been my entire life.  The 2nd set lasted for 6 weeks.  I knew I needed to give my hair a break from this pulling of the braids.  This was my hair after removal.  I was in love.

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I did a YouTube search to find alternative protective hair styles to reduce the stress on my strands.  With an extra pack of braid hair on standby, I pulled off a high bun (but I didn’t get a picture).  I wore that for about a week but something wasn’t right with my hair.  It wasn’t performing as trained.  It felt harsh but I wasn’t plucking the knots anymore.  I knew I needed to get it trimmed.  Two flat twists with braid hair bought me a little more time.

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A subsequent wash day displayed some disturbing news.  I found several patches of hair in my head that were the length of my pinky finger.  WTF!?  When did this happen?  There were areas of my mane that are touching my chest, neck, and chin.  My heart and spirit sank – NOT AGAIN.  Let’s add this to the mix, I stopped taking the vitamins.  I was under the impression they were the cause of an acne breakout on my face.  I had no motivation to continue taking them.  I started to look into a salon near me to assist in getting my hair diagnosed.  My frustration with the possibilities was getting the best of me.  I conceded to the defeat with more flat twists and the shit still wasn’t feeling right.

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Can you see the difference from the beginning of the year?  I’ll answer for you – YES!  Even if you can’t just act like you can.  🙂  By the time of this picture, I had an appointment to get this shit resolved and see the true damages.  Let me just tell you – I had a severe breakdown when I saw it up close.  The hair was gorgeous in some areas and look like a rat had been chewing on it in others.  I held the tears back but I knew what needed to be done.  The truth of the matter is; I’d rather have healthy hair over long hair.  I ran my fingers through my tresses one last time and in one stoic breath I said: “cut it.”

img_1120Now, I’m back to the drawing board.  I’m not completely warmed up to this idea of entering salon life, again.  In this first week, has been so conflicting.  I miss my coils, curls, and the fullness of my hair in its natural state.  However, on the other hand, I like running my fingers and feeling the wind blow through it.  The compliments have helped immensely.  I hate this happened but I’m glad I’m strong enough to know when to let go.  More than anything else – I still had my edges!

I know what my signature look is and I’m going to achieve it.  The vitamins may get thrown back into the mix.  It looks like I need to go back to my old ways – mixing my hair products and staying on schedule.  Another old friend will be making a few appearances. Can you guess who it might be?  I know it’s just hair to some of you – to me, it’s another accessory to set your look apart from the rest.  Staying focused is the name of the game.  The rules might change but who’s going to judge me.  This one head of hair is a small portion of my own happiness – I don’t care what India Arie says.  LOL 😉

 

 

 

It all began with a call regarding my usage of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  After 2 years, 8 months and 17 days, I transitioned into my newest position within the corporation.  The 1st few weeks have been filled with learning and getting more familiar with the individuals I support.  I am truly happy with this career move and looking forward to it exposing me to different areas of the business I’d like to learn more about for the future.

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It really wasn’t a sad day when I left the SoMe team for my new placement, I’m literally around the corner from them.  That was cool for me because I didn’t have to learn a new space or faces.  After getting settled into my work station, I jumped right into the job.  Trust me it seems easy from the outside but it’s real work being in charge or three director calendars.  They all have been very helpful in teaching me new things and rules to adhere to in the organization.  Every day I think to myself, let me learn something new that will help me succeed within this position.  True to form, my prayers are answered.

So far I’m enjoying this opportunity and will keep you posted if anything changes.  How many of you knew this was going to be number 1?

 

 

I know every woman has a thing for dancing while they are in a good mood and getting dressed to go out.  This blog does no justice in expressing my love of music.  Every now and then there’s a song that just requires me to move.  So when I’m about to get ready to go out for the evening, generally hit my glorified radio to provide the soundtrack.  I’ll say this!  I don’t know how this little tune got pass me but… I be bouncing all around getting myself together listening to this.  This happens to be Usher’s 3rd official tune to be in heavy rotation in my life.  The others were “Caught Up and I think you can guess!”

Smile, dance a little and REPEAT!!!  🙂