Inner Sanctuary

So much of life’s happiness has to start from within. We cannot change what other people think, feel or do; we can only try to set our own life and heart on the right path.

I am always playing around with YouTube now looking at hair and makeup videos, listening to music and stumbling across other things. One video that led me to this young lady was about hair and I decided to see what else she had and I found something about life.

Something that stood out to me is when she said something about the purpose in life is giving your gift away. If I analyze this, which I did, I would say that I understand it from the perspective of not holding on so tightly to your gift that you don’t share it, and that you don’t embrace it fully. Of course you have to know what your gift is and truly believe in it before you can give it away. My take on the “giving” away part would be just to share, but never to share so much that you forget why you started sharing in the first place. That means never forget who you are; never abandon who you are just to please somebody else.

I also can agree with her immersion in her dreams as opposed to spreading herself thin doing a little bit of everything. This is my problem I think. There is so much I love to do, but truly only some things that I am truly good at and enjoy. I think the moral of the story is finding the true passion and throwing everything you have into it in order to reach the goal and surpass it.

So are you happy with your life and the path you’re on? If not, then what would make you happy? What is missing that is holding you back? When you find that corner of your inner sanctuary and you listen to it (provided it’s legal) then throw all that you can into it and don’t turn back.

Stay Healthy

Inversion Method

I heard about the Inversion Method last year but hadn’t done it. I had other hair stuff I was doing and my hair grows pretty fast and thick on its own. The method sounded interesting but I just wasn’t trying to be all over the board with new hair techniques at the same time.

When I saw this video it reminded me about the method and I decided, “why not” as in sure, what the heck, I have like five months and some change left on the challenge that I decided to do so what’s one more thing added at this point going to hurt?

I know some people moan about this method and say it’s unhealthy but I think it depends on the person. If there are medical issues that you have then you need to be sure it’s okay for you before trying it.

It didn’t hurt me. I do yoga every day so I’m used to downward dog and this method kind of reminds me of a twisted version of that meets hamstring stretch. I didn’t have any dizzy spell standing back upright, probably because I do downward dog every day but also because I know how to rise without rising so swiftly that I feel like I’m going to fall over.

So today was my first morning doing this method and here is what I did right and wrong.

                    Morning #1

~ Right ~

  • I put my oils (DIY) in a color applicator bottle yesterday so that it would be ready this morning. I picked this type bottle because of its pointy tip. I believed that tip would make application to the scalp easier–it did.
  • I do not have a working timer anymore so I played a song that is a little over four minutes and started at the beginning of the song and worked to the end to meet the four minute timeline.

~ Right Meets Wrong ~

  • I had a glass candy bowl that I bought from the Dollar Tree to use for when I mix up hot oil treatments so this time I just added hot tap water so I could sit my applicator bottle inside of it to heat the oils.
  • I should have heated the water in a tea kettle or something because it wasn’t really warm in my opinion. Then again, I have a lot of hair so I may have gotten more oil on my hair than on my scalp 😉 but tomorrow I will try to warm the oil up better.

Overall, for the first morning if I did nothing else with this method I surely did get a great hamstring stretch.

Alternative to the Exotic Destination

I know, we’re not all rich and don’t all have money to vacation in a few of the places I mentioned in last Tuesday’s Health post so let’s talk a simpler, more affordable vacation for those of us who are economically challenged—a Staycation. I kid you not, if you haven’t thought about it keep reading and take out a pen and a notepad to jot down some ideas on how you, too, can figure out how to get a much needed break from your real world.

One

diamondsKnow your city or at least look up some of the tourist destinations and some of the other unique to your city places. Look at gardens, museums, restaurants and things that resonate with your likes while looking at a few things you have never tried but might have the fire inside you to take a leap and try it. Horseback riding could be a fun addition to the list too as well as a gem digging adventure. If you’re looking for a fun but free experience look at parks, museums or other areas that may have free admission.

Once you have your to-see list in hand pick a day, a few days or an entire week to remove yourself from the usual hectic to-do list duties in order to reconnect with your inner sanctuary of peace.

Two

Turn the phone off. Unless you are expecting some catastrophic disaster turn the cell phone off. I would say leave it at home but you might need it if something happens to your car or something.

Seriously, what good is it to staycation if you’re going to answer the phone and try to fix everybody else’s problems while you’re trying to take a break? Take a break and don’t feel guilty about doing it.

Three

Leave the computer, the tablet or any electronic devices that might tempt you back into work mode at home. This is your staycation! Would you take all of this stuff to Rome and answer phone calls to fix problems at work on your usual vacation time? Probably not, so treat your staycation like a distant exotic vacation.

Four

If you have kids take them with you. When you’re picking out your staycation activities try to pick various things that everybody in your travel group can enjoy while still trying things that can educate, entertain and invigorate all of you. Doing something different is a great way for kids to learn about the world right there in their backyard.

Five

Don’t forget your camera. Taking pictures, even in your hometown, can show you a different look at the beauty of your city. Since you never know when a picture worthy moment will happen it’s good to keep the camera with you. If it’s attached to your cell phone try buying a disposable camera so you can still leave the phone off while you staycation.

cropped-blushing-bride-in-strapless.jpgSix

Leave the watch at home unless you are trying to make a dinner or show at a certain time it’s best not to keep checking the clock for the time. You’re relaxing and enjoying yourself so there really isn’t a need to keep watching the time and slowing your relaxation fun vibe down.

Seven

So you’re not an outdoors type person huh? Check your city listings to see what classes you could be interested in trying that are available. Painting, photography, pottery—all of these things can be done inside. Best of all, if you have children then getting instruction on how to take better pictures is a cinch because your children can become your models and you can become theirs.

Eight

So you’re in a town that city-life forgot huh? Yeah, I know the feeling. If you can’t find anything directly in your town to do then check on events happening in the nearest surrounding cities, or parks, museums or anything that might interest you. It’s not exactly your backyard but it can still be an affordable drive and you can truly explore the area like a real tourist even if just for one day.

Nine

Wear your walking shoes. It’s a bad idea to wear uncomfortable shoes. Those type of shoes always seem to make their discomfort known while you’re having fun and wanting to tour some section three blocks away that has the world’s most amazing looking…well, who knows, you’re the one planning this thing, but comfortable shoes are a must. For some people those are high heels and for others those could be flats or sneakers.

Ten

Remember to take something for sun protection. Even if you’re planning to be inside for most of your staycation making your first museum worthy pottery art you still have to drive there, and you may want to explore the city a little when you’re done so remember to take (and wear) sun block/sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a sweater if you need one for the colder air—if you’re staycationing in the winter then you’re probably already wearing the clothes that will keep you warm if you need them.

Now that we have ten things to keep in mind while staycationing don’t forget to think outside the box. Just because you can’t afford some distant exotic land doesn’t mean you can’t have one of the best experiences of your entire life.

Stay Healthy

my rose

Makeup and Beauty

My mom asked me why I keep buying makeup when I don’t wear it–she’s right, I don’t wear it often so I don’t know why I buy it. But of course there I was in the store and I saw this pretty eyeshadow and a lip pencil that I didn’t pass up.

Shadow and Lips

I don’t know when I’ll wear this because I am probably not going to wear makeup until I go home to see my dad. I really think the foundations are breaking me out. Who really wants to wear makeup if they’re just going to end up having to wear more to cover up scars? I notice every time I wear foundation I end up with a pimple. If I don’t wear it my skin stays clear until hormones go to war with each other. I think makeup and I were not meant to be friends.

I tried mineral makeup a long time ago and I cannot really remember what happened the reason I stopped so I might try it again one day–but not now.

  • Lip Pencil ~ L.A. Colors Chunky Lip Pencil — Daring Red
  • Shadow ~ Wet n Wild — Sugar

Mental Health Helps Body Health

Stress is a killer. The more we stress ourselves out the more likely we are to have blood pressure issues, ulcers, migraines, excessive weight gain, depression and more. It’s not easy to completely get away from stress. I wish it were, but it’s not. From somebody who does worry a lot and stress a lot I can understand if you find yourself stressing what people call “the small stuff” because it’s not small to you.

All of that being said, you have to take care of yourself, love yourself, and learn to take a break. Nobody can keep you healthy but you so don’t sell yourself short.

Taking a break is something I will be talking about over the next few Tuesday Health posts so there will be much information about ways to get in touch with your inner sanctuary of peace.

First Stop

Travel the world! Yeah, literally take a vacation. When is the last time you had a real vacation—as in not one you dreamed about and then awakened to reality? For me, I cannot remember. I really cannot remember when was the last time I just packed a bag and hit the road, or flew away somewhere. It’s been years.

Vacations On American Soil

If you haven’t been already here are a few places you can research and see if you want to add them to your list.

Alaska — Hello mountains, nature, water and a rustically wild life vantage view plus you can stay in the city too. There are a lot of cities that I have heard raved about. Anchorage—I have family there—and Juno were two of the places people have advised me to see. Juno sounds nice. I hear there aren’t any chain restaurants or chain stores there and that is definitely worth a visit.

Hawaii – I have been there and loved it while I was there. Mountains and sand with great weather, great food, and when I was there really nice people working jobs they seemed to enjoy doing makde for a pleasantly relaxing vacation. We did an island hop with a few days on each of four of the islands but there are many ways you can see Hawaii. Cruise or fly is fine but if you fly you can island hop on your own time instead of having to make sure you’re back on the ship before it leaves for the next stop.

Arizona – In the High Country or in the Valley is great depending on what you want to see most. There is a very rustically beautiful western feel to the state. The great thing about it is if you want cooler temperatures in the summer you can go high and visit Sedona and even keep on going to Flagstaff. Or you could do both—book a room in the Valley for a few days, rent a car and drive to the High Country and stay there for a few days before returning back to the Valley and finishing off your stay with a couple more days of exploration and then getting on the plane, or in your car if you drove, to head home.

Vacation Across the Pond

Large as that pond may be getting into the air and jet setting off to places like London, Paris and Rome could be fun, invigorating and educating at the same time.

~ Italy ~

Rome – No shock there. Hello, the art and the historic architecture can’t be found here in America and unless you’re in Rome you’re not going to find the exact same beautiful sites where you are either.

Capri – No I didn’t just pick that because it’s my name too. I picked it because I kept seeing pictures of the place and it made me think it would be great to go vacation there one day.

The places I have seen information about being in Capri have been on the blog Fitness on Toast – this is not just a travel only blog but includes more fitness and health related postings — and on Travel Noire. Both of the postings I saw showcasing the majestic beauty of Capri definitely has added it to my places to go in Italy list—provided I ever get a real vacation abroad anytime soon.

Wherever you decide to go, stay safe, have fun, de-stress and take a lot of pictures to take back home with you.

Next Tuesday I will talk about a different kind of vacationing so be sure to come back.

Stay Healthy

Hair Journey Exit Here

I made some changes to my last mention of my hair journey. I have taken the twice a week wash out. I have also taken the co-wash only at least two weeks a month out and here’s why.

Co-Wash Only

The original plan was co-wash only every other week with a full shampoo wash on the in between week. My plan was first and third week of the month for full shampoo and second and fourth for co-wash only. Of course all weeks get a deep conditioner but that is another story.

When I started thinking about my hair when my mom did it, before my aunt got her hands in my hair and before I started salon visits more often my hair was doing great. My mom really took care of my hair. In the winter, because it wasn’t hot, I could go two weeks in between washes and in the summer it was once a week. My hair grew thick, healthy and long just fine using shampoo and conditioner.

I understand sulfate free information and I do have a shampoo that is sulfate free but I find that I like one of my other shampoos more. It does not have a “sulfate free” sticker on it and I don’t feel like going to read the ingredients again to remind myself if it is or not. What I do like to do, and have only tried it once so far, is to mix a little conditioner with the shampoo while washing. I still deep condition after washing.

Twice a Week

Once a week washes were fine when I did it before so the change to twice a week was not needed for my hair. I will only add an additional wash each week if I need one…working in the yard usually dictates I’m going to need a wash afterward but if I adjust my schedule right I may be able to swing a once a week wash.

My hair is doing much better with once a week washes. Today’s wash yielded zero shed strands in the shower. A while back every shower I had to push shed hair away from the drain holes but I didn’t find any this time. I’m happy about that. I noticed less being shed the last couple times I washed and now there wasn’t any so I guess my showerhead was not trying to murder my hair after all :).

Hair care is more than just a shampoo but I’ll get to that some other time.

Do you have any hair health wash routines that you find work better for you than other routines? Let me know in the comment section.

Under the Garment

No matter how great the outer garment looks making sure the right undergarments are worn with it can make an outfit look so much better.

A slip to mask the “I can see your underwear from here” of softer or light colored fabrics, the right bra to hold you up, even a waist cincher can make a form fitted dress pull together beautifully and near flawlessly.

I like making corsets though I have not made any in a while. They are elegantly beautiful under the clothes and holds in just the right amount of body to really pull off an elegant look. Add stockings and a garter and it’s a classic beauty look for the morning, the day, the evening and the night.

No matter dress, pants or something in between the right undergarments can seriously liven up and beautify the entire look.

Working It Out in July

I have always loved to workout, even when I didn’t know I was working out. It’s great that one can maintain their health with many different types of workouts. So even if you’re not a join a gym type person (which I’m not) there are still ways to get in a good workout.

runner-546896_1280 (2)~ Cardio ~

Walking briskly (not a casual stroll) outdoors is good for fitness too. With the right music, or an inviting scene ahead of you, you might be surprised how quickly one mile turns into two and then three or even more.

Be sure to stay hydrated. It’s summer somewhere so heat can be a factor in sweating and dehydrating faster. Keep water with you so you can rejuvenate your body with it.

Even if it’s not hot and humid where you are it is still good to make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day and even replenishing your hydration level during your workout.

Relaxing Yoga pose

pixaby.com royalty free graphic

~ Strengthening ~

Yoga and Pilates are great workouts for lengthening and strengthening. I prefer doing yoga so I tend to do it more, but I have done Pilates too and that can be one major workout.

You can find videos in the store, like in Wal*Mart (some of them anyway) or you can save some money and just look on YouTube. There are some men and women who share their exercises via video on there and it’s free to use (outside of needing the Internet that is).

Be sure to know your body so that you know what moves might not be best for any injuries or problems you may have with your body.

Stay Healthy

Hair Warriors

I can’t say I’m the best at detangling hair. In fact, I cannot master the finger detangle and I also notice that my hair is better to detangle when it is at least 75% dry. One time I had something to do so I let it dry a little, but not even close to 10% if I had to guess. But boy, talk about detangling madness.

First my clip got tangled in my hair. I’m not talking the little move this string here and that one there type of tangle. I’m talking calling on the powers of Mom to get it out. She managed but it was really tangled.

She noticed all the stuff I was doing wrong and told me to come sit down and she would get the section I had braided wrong fixed. So I went, and it turned into her doing my entire head. Thanks Mom…major huge thanks.

She detangles so perfectly, and she does it with a comb. I remember years ago, when my mom was the woman doing my hair, my hair was always healthy, thick, beautiful and expertly styled. I think some mothers are like hair warriors for their children. They take care of their hair so lovingly that it’s easy for the child not to realize all the work that’s going into keeping their hair healthy and beautiful.

I have transitioned back to natural once again but without the big chop. I am letting the relaxed ends fall out on their own. I can see the advantage of doing it with the big chop. My hair actually doesn’t tangle until it gets down to what’s left of the relaxed section. I like my length so since I transitioned naturally without a big chop the last time I have decided to stick with it this time too.

Things I Learned

  1. Some mothers rock like hair warriors.
  2. The Big Chop method could be your friend.
  3. Always remember to follow your own mind. (Especially not let your brother’s friend’s wife convince you that your hair would have been longer if you kept the relaxer. In reality, she was just lazy and didn’t like straightening the hair the one visit a month that I went to her.
  4. Decide what is best for your own hair. If you want to stay relaxed then do it. But if you want to go back natural stick with it. Don’t do it for eight weeks and then chicken out. Stick with it because you’ll never get there if you keep starting over.

Share your hair journey below, relaxed or natural doesn’t matter. If you have styles you like or videos that help you with managing your hair share in the comments.

Stay Beautiful.

Leather, Suede and Chains

The thing I love about sewing is that I get exactly what I want even if I didn’t know I wanted it ;). I, like my mother, have a tendency to design my own stuff now. I love when a dress fits every curve naturally. I used to have a love of making formal dresses. I had so many of them it was crazy because I didn’t have anywhere to wear them. They have never been worn and now I’m selling them all.

After formals I started making dresses I could wear every day. I like making dresses because I like wearing dresses. I am not a fan of making pants (which would be why I haven’t finished my pants yet) and I am not a huge fan of skirts. My mother, on the other hand, loves making skirts. She says it takes me longer to finish projects because I complicate things and she’s right. But sometimes my artistic skills can help her too.

She’s great on her own, but I think sometimes she likes to complicate things too. And if you want something made complicated I’m the woman. LOL, I know that’s not always a good thing, but hey…when you have a talent own it :).

This skirt is my mom’s doing. She did get a little feedback from me, but the end result is all about her.

Leather Suede and Chains Skirt

Stole and Skirt

I love this skirt and the stole that goes with it. The stole is reversible and has white faux leather on the reverse side. That’s all my mom’s idea there. She is so good at making things reversible.

That skirt makes me wish I had made one…but every time I think I will make a skirt I make a dress instead. I’m planning to work on my other dress design as soon as I have everything I need. The last two times I tried to make this design come to life I created two different dress designs. Third time just might be the charm but I guess that’s a story for another time.