Tuesday, June 17, 2014

May 2014 Color Run 5K- Kansas City, Missouri

Hi Gorgeous!

Soooo, ever since I ran {jogged and walked} my first 5K (Diva Dash 5K) back in March I have been addicted to 5K's! Not only am I getting a great workout, but part of the proceeds are donated to charity. Part of the Color Run proceeds were donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

Here are a few photos from the Diva Dash...

From our spot at the starting line.

We did it!!

This medal and bib are just too cute! 

Most recently, I was able to talk my husband, my sister, and my future brother-in-law into running with me in the Color Run 5K which took place right outside the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals stadiums, in and around the parking lot. We had so much fun!

We started in the middle somewhere, 45 minutes after the first wave began. My guess is that the very last wave started about 45 minutes to an hour after us. There were thousands and thousands and thousands of people who came out to participate in "the happiest 5K on the planet". It was very hot and humid due to the fact that it rained earlier in the day, but there was no rain during the run, so the view was nice. The DJ was fun. He threw out a lot of goodies, which is how I got the cute "color run" sun glasses and a bunch of bracelets for my babies.

I took this photo about 30 minutes after the first wave of runners started.

I had to represent... ROYALS! Kansas City (MISSOURI!) born and raised.

My sister Morghan & me lookin' a hott colored mess. There was a big party going on behind us.

Team Fast and the Fabulous :-)
Pauly, Morghan, Zach, and Brit (me).

After the run, minus my Color Run tee. 
Because I'm...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27th: It's My Birthday Lovelies!!!

Guess who's 28 today!!! 

Yes honey! 

I am so grateful to make it to this day. My faith and character get better with age so I am not ashamed to proclaim the number of years God has given me, allowing me to improve and grow into the woman HE wants me to be, the number of days HE has given me to spend with and/or talk to my loved ones. 

Thank you God for 28 years of your gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness which I do not deserve!!! 

I have so many gifts that I don't deserve because of my past wrongdoings and I am just so grateful y'all. 1. I have a wonderful, supportive family;
2. My husband who works hard to make sure our children and me are well taken care of financially. 
2. My beautiful kids who amaze me every single day.
3. My {4} parents are THE BEST
4. I couldn't ask for better in-laws. They are awesome.
5. My honest & genuine friends who are more like family; seasoned & new. Majority of whom I met in church :-) 
6. My siblings who I love oh so dearly- we always have a blast together and a few of them have given me gorgeous nieces and nephews who I enjoy spending time with and I love that they love coming over my house  I feel good & bad when they cry when they have to go home LOL. 
7. I have the best aunties in the world; my mom's sisters & best friends who helped my mom raise me. 
9. ALL my family members, including extended !!! Aunts, Uncles, cousins, everybody. 

I'm extremely grateful for everyone who chooses to love me and accept who I am at this stage in my life. There was a time in my life when I didn't know who I was, I was lost, I was fake, I was kind of a follower; "crowd pleaser", I wasn't a good friend, I made some very unsatisfactory choices. Deep down, I wanted to go to a 4 year HBCU (historically Black college and university), study to become a teacher & and be apart of the AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha) sisterhood like my grandmother & Aunt Nickie (and now my eldest sister), but I was fast and chasing the wrong things and person (my daughter's dad; high school love & first everythang). I am just so grateful my family stood by me, disciplined me, and encouraged me. All their care has helped me SO MUCH and still does. I have had so many talks with my dad, but something that always sticks out in my head is my father telling me, "if you don't love yourself enough to believe that you deserve better, then you have to know and believe that your daughter deserves better. Give her better." At that time, I was dating (lasted a couple months) a drug dealer who is now serving a life sentence for murder. Yes. Good ol' Britney was doing "the most". Some girls think it's cute to date a "bad boy". Sad to say, I was one of 'em, temporarily. That phase didn't last long AT ALL. That was so not me. ANYWAYS!!!

Overall, I'm so glad to be who I am in this moment. Am I perfect? No. Am I striving? Heck yes. 

I embrace love. 
It fuels me. 

Negativity makes me lazy lol.

My "bonus mother" (because she's better than a stepmother) posted this on my fb page:

"Ahhh! Britney, God has given me the opportunity to witness your growth of being an awesome wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt & and last but not least, the woman of God that you are. It's an honor and a pleasure to be in your life. You have even encouraged me. You are such a loving human being, and not afraid to express it. God has more blessings in store for you; just continue to stay in His will. I LOVE you more than you know! Happy Birthday, Sweetie!"

She gets on facebook probably once a year and that pretty much made my day lol.


Last thing... I'm not writing all this to seem profound or for my words to look good to the eyes, I'm serious. I pray that I encourage other young women who may need some words of encouragement to help them make better decisions and I don't mind sharing my story. I'm an open book. My past does not have me in bondage.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quit Relaxers and "Go Natural" Without All the "Extra"

Hi Ladies!

I think this is my first hair blog post! I usually shy away from talking about "natural hair" because there's more than enough information and more than enough stories and journeys, tips, how-to's and everything else curly hair related on the the world wide web. However, I was inspired and compelled to express some of my opinions on this topic because I think some of us naturals can scare away our relaxed "sistas" with all our natural hair rules and stipulations.

Now... First let me explain that I am NOT one of those over the top anti-flat iron, anti-weave, anti-wig people. I really like weaves and wigs, have worn weave a few times myself since I've been fully natural and I've flat ironed my hair. I am anti-relaxer for one main reason- relaxers are dangerous.

Have you seen the Chris Rock documentary "Good Hair"? Did you see what that perm did to the Coke can??? It dissolved an aluminum can! I didn't even see the movie until after I stopped getting relaxers back in May or June of 2010 and although I had already made up my mind that I would never again put a relaxer on my head, seeing that movie further solidified my decision. Clearly, the documentary didn't have the same effect on many other women as it had on me because there are many many Brown women who still relax their hair.

I recently watched a video on YouTube that I really liked (full video at the bottom) titled, "What a Relaxer is Really Doing to Your Hair" where a young lady performed an experiment showing the effects relaxers/perms have on our hair and it was very enlightening, even more than "Good Hair". It inspired me to type this blog post. The young lady received a lot of good feedback and a lot of negative as well. She was accused of having bad intentions such as trying to invoke fear into those who prefer relaxers. Obviously, I completely disagreed with those negative comments and I was encouraged to comment on the video. This is what I had to say:

"IMO she is simply informing viewers of the real effects relaxers have or can have on our hair. It doesn't seem like she's invoking fear, she's sharing an experiment that she was inspired to try. Obviously no one in their right mind would leave a relaxer on their hair for 8 hours. But just knowing the possibility is enough to shun me away from wanting a relaxer ever again. Personally, I don't care how healthy my hair was or wasn't when I had a relaxer, I don't want to knowingly or unknowingly use hazardous chemicals on my skin. I can't control the unhealthy air particles I may inhale on a daily basis when I'm outside or something, but I can control what I ingest and what I use on my body and I will chose as best I can. Relaxers may make our hair easier to maintain, but I'm not putting that stuff on my crown ever again and most definitely not my daughter. Not even a texturizer. God made us perfectly and I choose to embrace my natural, God-given beauty."

"Going Natural" Without All the "Extra"

Common statements I hear a lot of relaxed women make are, "MY HAIR IS JUST TOO NAPPY TO GO NATURAL" and "I DON'T HAVE THE PATIENCE TO DEAL WITH IT" or, "NATURAL HAIR JUST ISN'T FOR ME". Now, a lot of natural women may completely disagree with this first point I'm about to type, but... It's my opinion. 

1. You do NOT have to wear your hair curly (in it's natural state) just because you don't have a relaxer and, therefore, are considered "natural". 

You can still flat iron your hair (at low temperatures) and wear your hair in straight styles that you would normally wear if your hair was relaxed. Not everyone may feel comfortable wearing their hair in it's natural state and here's another thought, some Brown women may not even like naturally curly hair. Here's a great example of "relaxed looking natural hair" in this video from MoKnowsHair:

If you saw this young lady out in public you would assume she had a relaxer, right? I would. Flat ironing may loosen your natural curl pattern a tad bit (some call it heat damage- whatever), but if you don't intend to wear your hair curly in public after you are fully natural, it won't matter how loose your curls are, your hair will still be nice and thick. Flat ironing (with care) will not thin your hair. Taking good care of your hair and using heat protectants prior to flat ironing will help avoid any type of damage to your hair. Damage can occur even to fully naturals who never straighten their hair so don't let people scare you about breakage and heat damage. It's your hair. Do what you want, EXCLUDING PERMS/RELAXERS/TEXTURIZERS. :-)

2. You do NOT have to BIG CHOP. 

If I could do my journey all over again, I would have been a long-term transitioner rather than cutting off my relaxed ends after seven months of transitioning. Why? Because once you cut off those relaxed ends, your newly natural hair is more susceptible to split ends and I dealt with split ends badly during my second and third year of being fully natural due to lack of TLC (tender love and care lol) and had to get a couple of big trims. 

In my opinion, it's a lot easier to keep all your growth during the transition period if you properly care for your hair because you're only trimming your relaxed ends and you don't have to trim your natural ends until you get up to that point which depends on the length of your relaxed ends and how much and how often you trim. The breakage at the meeting point of the natural hair and relaxed hair that comes with transitioning isn't bad for the natural hair. It may make your relaxed ends look thinner, but it can look nice if you blend your relaxed ends well enough with your natural hair. Bantu knots and flexi-rods can help with that or you can wear protective styles such as braids or twists with extensions/weave. You can also flat iron your transitioning hair.

3. You don't have to use fully natural and organic products because you have natural hair. 

... And it doesn't have to be expensive. Use what works for your hair and scalp. It's trial and error. You're dealing with a brand new texture that needs a different care regimen than your relaxed hair. I'm a loyal Shea Moisture product line user and it can be a little costly at it's normal price of $10-$15 a pop, HOWEVER, I only buy them (and stock up) when they're buy one get one free or buy one get one half off at CVS or Walgreen's. Target has good sales on Shea Moisture from time to time as well.

4. You don't have to eat fully natural/organic/whole foods. It would be great if you did make that decision, but there are no special natural hair rules that says everyone has to be like HeyFranHey and Naptural85 and eat 100% organic everything. For the record, I absolutely enjoy watching their videos and learning from them during my family's transition to eating majority organic and whole foods and because of my dry, sensitive scalp I have been making my own organic hair products per advice of HeyFranHey.

5. You don't have to wear a pound of makeup. That's all I have to say about that.

6. Relaxers contain dangerous chemicals and have been linked to uterine fibroids and early puberty in young girls. There's a lot of information about this in the the video. 

In my personal experience of getting relaxers I use to get horrible "perm burn" and could never get a relaxer without the nasty scabs throughout my scalp to follow whether I scratched prior to or not. My hair would itch like crazy when it was time for a relaxer. It's crazy that I put myself through that so many times over the years. Although I didn't know how bad the chemicals in relaxers are I should have had enough sense not to use something that was burning the crap out of my head lol. It was NOT worth the results. I can get the same results with a flat iron, minus the permanent alteration of my hair follicles. 

About the fibroids, I didn't have uterine fibroids, however, I did have 2 small cysts in that area (lower left quadrant) that burst a couple months ago. My doctor said cysts are normal around "that time" of the month so I didn't worry. Also, about 7 years ago I had two small lumps in my breast. I was biopsied, they were benign and I was told I had fibrocysts. I don't know when, but they did go away. I'm not insinuating that there's a connection between those mild conditions and relaxers. Never once did I even think those situations were linked to relaxers. I just thought about them while typing this post and thought I'd share.

Sources: MyFoxAtlanta.com and BlackDoctor.org.

If you're relaxed and thinking about giving up the "creamy crack" I hope I have made the idea of being a curly girl seem a little less daunting than you thought it was before reading this post. If you decide to go the natural route I suggest that during your transition you educate yourself, but don't overwhelm yourself. There's so much information out there, some of it may contradict another individuals information, but you really just have to pave your own way for your journey. You don't know your true texture until you get a few inches of new growth and from there, look for naturals on YouTube who have a texture close to yours. Even then, the same products or regimens that work for their hair may not work for yours. One thing that does work for many naturals is the LOC method which is explained it great detail on CurlyNikki.com. You can also search for it ("natural hair LOC method") on YouTube. The products used varies from person to person, but the process is the same: leave-in conditioner, oil, cream.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Simple Style: Neon and Black

After my a hot date with my main man... I was so full I didn't care about trying hold in my gut.

Outfit Details:
Neon Sweater: Joe Fresh @ JCPenney. A Christmas gift from my husband.
Black Pants: Arizona. +JCPenney... Not sure of the price.
Black Sandals: FREE! My mother had them in a box ready to be taken to the thrift store and I was like, "I don't think so Momma! I can do something with these." Lol.

Instagram shot:
Check out the "ear candy". I bought it on clearance from CharlotteRusse.com for less than $2 :-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My First BIG Christian Concert! (Loved It!)

The sun was shining too great for us to avoid frowning and closing our watery eyes while waiting for the doors to open (lol).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Simple Style: $1 Yellow "Oversized" Cable Knit Sweater

Hubby and me took our boys to the park to play and I brought along my new camera to try it out and get some practice. I would show you the pictures of my husband and kids but they needed haircuts and my husband had on his bleached, faded Jordan (brand) work hat lol. I'll just save those for our family photo album.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Frugal Finds at OldNavy.com (11 Pieces for $57!)

Hi ladies! Happy Friday!

The day after St. Patrick's Day OldNavy.com had a wonderful sale where from midnight to 12pm there was 30% off everything except every steals & hot deals and then there's always free shipping if the total price of your purchase is $50+. Of course I took advantage!