DIY

Destined

image-4Was it fate? I feel as if I was destined to share time and space with an amazing group of talented individuals. What a magnificent gift the universe presented me with this past weekend! Blissfulness and peace combined in what was a bountiful spiritual experience.  August 8, 2015: The addition to the archives of my soul’s greatest memories.

image-1I always wanted to model, yet I gave up years ago after facing many closed doors. Clearly, I was not built tough or strong enough to deal with the “no’s.” Not really obsessed with the idea, but excited about the thought, I decided to submit my photos to an artist, by the name of Young Paris, after seeing his “model search” post on Facebook.  Believe me, I was already mentally prepared for the “no.” However, I never thought about being unprepared for the “yes”.

When I received the message, “are you available on August 8th?”, I had to read it twice before I became ecstatic!  “Yes. I’m available!” I shouted. I realized, in that split second that no one could hear me.  Then all of the negative thoughts commenced and began doing circles in my mental.  They ranged from: Am I good enough? Was this a mistake? Suppose I mess up and waste his time? Talk about self-inflicted mental abuse!  It took me a while before I responded. I just was really not prepared for the “yes”. Subsequently, I remembered why I even started this blog – to encourage, to motivate, and to remind other over-thinking individuals (like myself) to let go and let God and just live!  After that self-reminder of my new life anthem, I responded to his request. It was not until the day of the video shoot that I realized that this experience will be more than just playing a role.  I realized that, on that day, the universe was going to bless me with a spiritual reward: not necessarily tangible, but definitely attainable.

Surrounded by God’s work, listening to nature’s language and working with a talented cast had me in awe. I found it so beautiful to witness Young Paris involving his family into his vision. Being around an artist, a musician and creative director, dancers, a videographer, designers, and make-up artists, had my creative juices flowing! I wanted to sketch, dance, practice yoga and meditate.  The feeling was so overwhelming.  There were sporadic moments where I spoke to God.  I expressed my gratitude for being present in that very moment. When the shoot was over, sage was lit and thanks were given to the Highest Power. We headed to Young Paris’ mother’s house. His mother cooked an amazing dinner and the cast was entertained by Young Paris and his family. They commenced to play the African drums. *Silent break*. This was when my emotions took over. I started to tear as I heard each sound from the drums. Each beat matched the rhythm of my heart and the sound of home that was taken from my ancestors.

It was at that very moment, whilst listening to the beat of my culture, I realized that I was destined to be there! My path led me there! The purpose of the shoot was not for me to realize my dream of being a model. The purpose of the shoot was to become richer from God’s natural resources, to connect with nature and other beautiful souls. I knew that no matter what, I would definitely take something from this experience.

History begins with yesterday and it is up to me to make sure that I incorporated what I know about my Caribbean culture and recreate my Afro-Caribbean culture.  My future family will remain grounded and will be knowledgeable about their culture. I will provide them with a platform to be creative and expressive.

As they were kidnapped and brought to the Americas, my ancestors were told not to sing their songs or beat their drums. They were programmed to believe that everything about their culture, appearance, and language was dreadful, unattractive, and uncanny. They were stripped of it all and forced to forget everything about their history. Fortunately, I live in a time where we are proclaiming our song and beating our drums again! I will recreate the culture that was stripped from me and study the history that was hidden from me. I will sing my song and move to rhythm of the drums.  And our history – African history – this planet’s deep history will thrive!

So it is. Ase.

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Healthy Breakfast: DIY Gluten Free Pancakes

For my PANCAKE LOVERS! 
I have been looking for a healthier alternative to replace those ever-delicious, classic buttermilk pancakes. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, just eat wheat pancakes”… Well, unfortunately, wheat pancakes leave me bloated (I think I’m allergic to gluten – I definitely need to get that checked out). During my research, I came across this recipe from simply-deliciousfood.com and I decided to try making these cute hotcakes for myself and, boy was it worth it!  In less than 30 minutes (prep time and cook time combined) I was able to to indulge in some warm, healthy, delicious (and gluten-free) goodness!  OMG, did I mention delicious?!  And, even more, they were fulfilling without leaving that bloated or lethargic feeling.  Follow this recipe and try them for yourself, I promise you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients

2 Bananas

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Oats

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Pinch of salt.

To keep this as a healthy breakfast, use honey or organic maple syrup.

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the peeled banana, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt.
  2. Allow to blend until the mixture is as smooth as you want it and blended well. Allow the batter to stand for 10-20 minutes until thickened slightly.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Fry spoonfuls (1 level pot spoon = 1 pancake) of the batter until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.
  6. Enjoy!
Recipe and instructions from simply-deliciousfood.com

Hi HONEY, I’m Home!

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What if I told you there was only one product you will ever need to guarantee healthy skin? Interested? The secret is out and believe it or not, it’s simply honey!

From the beginning of my natural hair journey, honey has always been a staple product for my DIY hair treatments. Honey is packed with so many benefits and has not failed my hair yet! I thought, what if I used honey on my skin?  Would it reap the same benefits?  I love experimenting with new ideas and so I decided to start cleansing my face with honey.

Which Honey Do I Use:

I started out using raw honey and recently tried Manuka honey.  Both are beneficial to the skin.  However, Manuka honey boasts superior antibacterial and healing properties, which is extremely beneficial for acne-prone skin. Manuka honey is very expensive, so I use it sparingly – usually when I want to give my face a deep mask treatment. I also use Manuka honey as one of my ingredients for my DIY exfoliating scrubs. Raw honey and Manuka honey are perfect for all skin types because of their potent yet, gentle healing benefits for the skin.  Both do wonders for acne, rosacea, eczema, enlarged pores, and dry, dull skin.

In a Nutshell:

  • Honey gently exfoliates your skin, removing dirt and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. 
  • The natural antibacterial and probiotic properties of raw honey effectively reduce breakouts and prevent new acne.
  • It is ideal for people who suffer from very sensitive skin, rosacea, high pigmentation, and eczema.
  • It balances oily skin and moisturizes dry skin.
  • Raw honey has natural antibacterial properties and contains enzymes and probiotics that are overall good for the skin.
  • Although any raw honey would work well, undiluted Manuka honey has more antibacterial potency and healing properties than other types of honey. Thus, it’s the most ideal type for cleansing skin. It is highly recommended for acne-prone skin.

Cleansing Your Face With Honey:

  • I cleanse morning and at night.
  • I remove my make-up by using the oil cleansing method.
  • After your make-up is removed, you are ready to cleanse.
  • Dip your clean hands into your raw honey container.
  • Add a little water to your fingers or dampen your face prior to adding the honey. This helps with making the consistency of the honey more manageable, allowing you to distribute the honey evenly over your entire face.
  • Massage into skin in a circular motion.
  • Leave on for 3-5 minutes and rinse off.
    *Optional: Leave the honey on your skin for 5-10 minutes for a deeper pore cleansing.
  • Rinse with warm water and when all of the honey is removed, rinse your face again with cool water. The cool water helps to close open pores.
  • Pat dry and continue with you daily facial regimen.
Then, fall in love with your new clean, smooth and dewy skin!
How do you use honey for your skin or hair care?  Share below!

Natural Treatment for Bald Spots – DIY 

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Natural haircare can be an exciting and yet, discouraging journey.  The time and effort neo-natural women spend to become acclimated with their natural hair and implementing a healthy hair regimen takes a lot of patience.  And the last thing you want to deal with is shedding/thinning hair leading to a bald spot!

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Natural hair – on average- sheds 50-100 strands per day.  Seems like a lot, right?  So imagine that amount, multiplied by ten, coming out on your hands every single time you touch your hair!  Well, that’s exactly what happened to me and I knew I had to fix this problem before it was too late. However, it seemed there was nothing I could do to stop the shedding and believe me, I tried everything from protein deep conditioners to hair shedding treatments.  Then, of course the inevitable happened.  I experienced my first full blown bald spot.  Yes, I cried and cried… and cried some more.  But, after a while I had to remind myself that there are people in this world suffering from much worse things than whatever I was going through at that moment.  Finally, I pulled myself together and used my energy and time to research a solution to fix this problem.

Causes for Bald Spots

There are plenty of reasons why bald spots occur:

  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Chemotherapy
  • Tight hairstyles (i.e. protective styling, tight ponytails)
  • Poor diet (lack of iron and protein)
  • Thyroid
  • Ringworm on the scalp
  • I knew my causes were from stress, poor diet, along with my anemic condition.

Treatment:

Since I live a holistic lifestyle, I knew I wanted something natural and preferably something I can mix on my own. Therefore, I decided to try garlic, black castor oil, and to live an overall healthier lifestyle.

Garlic and Black Castor Oil

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Garlic:

Garlic stimulates blood flow to the scalp and purges out toxins while aiding to help make our hair stronger, shinier and less prone to breaking.  The stimulation of blood flow from garlic encourages hair regrowth in a situation such as baldness and Alopecia Areata which is another type of hair loss.

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Black castor oil:

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a versatile oil and one of my favorite oils to use!  What is so special about it, you ask?  Well, I found that using it regularly will strengthen, thicken, moisturize and increase hair growth.   Jamaican Black Castor Oil increases blood flow to the scalp, prevents hair breakage, and supplies valuable nutrients to our hair follicles. It will also heal dandruff, eczema, and other causes of dry, itchy scalp.  I even use Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my eyelashes and eyebrows to help them grow as well.  I will discuss that in a later post, so stay tuned for that!

What I did:

  1. I changed my diet and exercised regularly.
  2. Increased my water intake.
  3. Rubbed a fresh garlic clove or a garlic extract on the bald spot day and night (yes my head smelt like garlic but it’s really not that bad (and really worth it) given the results!)
  4. Every night I’d massage the Jamaican Black Castor Oil into my scalp (massaging your scalp also stimulates blood flow which aids in hair growth).
  5. Meditated more (I made improvements to live a more peaceful and stress free life).

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Did you experience a bald spot in the past?  What are some things you did to help your hair follicles grow back?  If you are currently experiencing a bald spot or thinning hair, let me know if what I suggested worked for you.  Kick some knowledge below!