Friday, May 30, 2008

Song and video I am loving right now

I had the opportunity to meet Neyo last year after seeing him in concert. I have a lot of respect for the way he handled himself. I was super excited to hear that he was releasing another album this year and the title suits him well. After the "Go On Girl" video, I was hesitant but he didn't disappoint. I love the black and white look of the video. His dancers are on point as usual and his dancing is elaborate but smooth at the same time. Oh and the fact that he is paying homage to MJ just makes me love it even more. Q

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Healthy hair tips

I pretty much have the hair thing down as you can see. I rarely have issues with my hair and it grows pretty quickly. It is also super thick and healthy. Here is some info I feel are essential to having beautiful, long, thick and healthy natural hair.

First I think you need to invest in quality tools. I only use bone combs, a natural boar bristle brush, denman brush, satin scarves/bonnets or pillowcases, vitamin c shower filter, micro fiber hair towels, and a pair of good hair cutting scissors. These items are a little pricey but it is worth it.

Next you need to find what works for your hair. I have tried everything but my staple lines are Envia, Sauve and Pantene. I also have organic coconut oil and castor oil. Don't be afraid to try stuff you think may not work. Buy sample or travel sizes and see how your hair responds.

Once you have a regimen down, you need to baby your hair. I take my time detangling with my bone comb and then follow with a denman to get rid of the shed hair. I wash my hair in 4 sections and apply coconut oil or castor oil to my ends. My regimen changes slightly with the weather.

Right now I am washing or co-washing, every other day. Once a month I use a clarifying shampoo and do a deep condition. If I see any serious split ends, I trim them with my scissors. When I do press my hair, I use my maxi-glide and I never get it super straight. I leave that up to my beautician and I get that done every six months along with a trim.

Pay attention to your hair and treat it accordingly. When my hair is dry, I step up the moisture by either co washing more often or spraying on a mix of distilled water and fermodyl 619 daily. If my ends are brittle, I may sure to seal them with an oil. I also massage my scalp with a little bit of castor oil or coconut oil.

If you are dealing with 2 textures and transitioning, you need to take extra care especially when combing. Detangle while wet with a lot of conditioner. Gradually trim off the relaxed ends. Play around with hairstyles like braid outs or put your hair in neat buns. Use some oil, a brush, and a scarf to smooth down the edges.

Lastly, baby your hair from the inside out. Drink lots of water. Take quality vitamins and minerals. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. You can also take MSM, biotin, flaxseed oil, or a vitamin for hair.

I hope this helps someone and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Happy Hair Growing!!!! Q

My hair journey

So a young lady sent me an email about my hair and I told her to give me a ring so I could give her the info. I haven't heard from her so I will just put the info on here. I am getting older and these kids kill my brain cells so excuse me if I forget some stuff.

In October of 2001 my family and I arrived in Albuquerque, NM. I was relaxed at the time. My hair wasn't thriving. The weather here was really dry and I just couldn't take it. Plus I hadn't found a beautician that I trusted yet. By November, I decided to go natural. At the time, the plan was to eventually transition back to being relaxed. My hair was about mid back length at the time. Here is a pic that was taken during Thanksgiving of 2001.

In January of 2002, I decided to take another step towards being natural. I cut my hair to a chin length bob. I had about 3 months worth of new growth. I wore that for a hot minute and then decided to use braids to complete my transition. I wore braids pretty much that entire year. My youngest daughter was born that year so I was able to get some really good growth. Here is a pic taken at a bridal shower right after the cut.

In April of 2003, I was at a military school in Mississippi. I had my youngest with me and discovered she had lice. I know, just ew. In a fit of panic, I decided to treat myself just in case and cut my remaining relaxer off. I was able to put my hair in a ponytail and did my first set of twists. I pretty much didn't know how to handle being natural and just nurtured my hair the best I could.

In 2004 while searching for an old website, I stumbled across another hair forum. I joined and really got excited about having natural hair. The site had women of all hair types, textures and lengths. That same year I played around with hair color and my hair once again hit brastrap length.
Here are some pics from that time:

Later that year, I got bored with the length and cut it. Here is a press I had done after the cut:

I pretty much grew it out wearing twists and braid outs. I began to wash my hair more often and making sure it was moisturized. Here are some twists from that time:

On October 1, 2005 I went to the hairdresser with long natural hair and left with a short afro. I had never had it like that before and figured it was now or never. My beautician hesitated but finally did what I'd asked. I don't have any pics but I had to renew my license around that time so here is a pic of that:

My hair didn't take too well to the cut and grew like a weed. My little fro wasn't cute so back in braids I went. For the next 2 years I wore extension twists, twists with my own hair and just played with different styles. I did a lot of wash and go's and babied my hair. Every 6 months, I would get it pressed and trimmed. I get about an inch trimmed each time. I got it pressed for Easter in April of 2007 and realized how much my hair had grown. Here is a pic:

I continued with my same regimen until October of 2007 when I discovered, I was brastrap length again. Here is a pic:

That is my hair journey. My next post will provide tips and tricks I feel are essential to healthy hair. Q

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ask God

Yesterday my Pastor spoke at an ordination service. His topic was the title of this post. I decided to blog about it because I think it is key to serving the Lord. He spoke from 1 Samuel 23 in which David had to defend Keilah against the Philistines. In 3 instances, David was faced with a decision. Instead of listening to those around him for guidance, David inquired of the Lord. David asked God.

I remember when I finally stepped into my calling as a minister. I struggled because I had read and heard that women should not be ministers. Although I knew God called me, I was worried about others and began to question my calling. I remember going to my Pastor about it. He gave me some info to research the historical aspects of things, some scriptural references and his own views on the situation. Finally he looked at me and said, "Q, all of this stuff will help you. But honestly you really only need to ask one person." Then he pointed upward. Later I heeded his words and asked God. God said to me, "I called YOU." That was all I needed to hear.

I have the utmost respect for those in leadership positions in the church. God has placed them there to lead His people and to help us. But I also understand that they are still men and women. They are flawed just like I am. And unlike God, they don't know everything. It is important for us to not get caught up in others so much that we forget who we serve. Sometimes God has something just for you that others won't understand. Even so called Christians will talk about you and look at you sideways when you are doing something they don't understand. But if you ask God and He is guiding you, what they say shouldn't matter.

We need to stop looking down on our brothers and sisters because they don't dress the way we think they should, don't praise the way we think, or don't serve God on a day we think it should be done. We focus and battle each other on so much stuff all for the sake of being right. I am not saying we shouldn't discuss things and work stuff out. But God is a God of order. Most importantly, He is God. He wants His will to be done. We are here to lead others to Him. To bless others. To help others.

Ask God about how YOU should live your life. Ask God about how YOU should serve Him. When God answers, because he will, then you do what the Lord says and forget about everyone else. Let them talk. Let them shake their heads. Let them look down on you. You do what the Lord told you to do.

A few years ago, I stumbled across something that I thought would make my husband and I a lot of money. I look, I researched, we prayed and finally we asked God. We got the release to go ahead. At first, things were going great but then later not so much. Once again we asked God and we didn't get the release to walk away. By this time, folks were looking at us like we were crazy and began to question whether God was telling us to proceed. After awhile, we finally got the release to move on after asking God and we did. Now to others, it looked like we failed. To them they think we were not following God's word. We kind of knew how Job felt during that time. It was hard, and it was frustrating. But what they don't know is the blessings and the lessons we got out of the situation. We were able to bless people. We were able to meet people we would not have otherwise met. We learned so much about trusting God in spite of others. We learned to just lean on God and allow Him to guide us. That situation opened so many doors for us. Because of our obedience when it would have been so easy to walk away, God has blessed us all the more. We look back and smile even though there are some who still question us. We have peace because we know before we did anything, we ASKED GOD!!!! Ask God, He will answer you. Q

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lemon Icing Recipe

Someone asked me for the recipe for the lemon icing I used on the Sour Cream Pound Cake . It is real simple and I sometimes add food coloring to make it bright yellow.
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
4-6 T of lemon juice (amount depends on consistency)
Whisk until smooth.

I am going to buy a new digital camera soon so I promise to put up more pics and recipes. Thanks to everyone who read and post comments. Love ya. Q

Monday, May 19, 2008

My new baby is here!!!!

I know you are probably saying, "so what, you got a new hair dryer." But sadly, you are wrong. What you are looking at is my new hair steamer. I decided to name her April after my friend who told me about them. What's so special about a steamer? Well it adds moisture of course, helps with deep conditioning and is excellent with the detangling. It doesn't dry your hair, instead it infuses it with moisture and whatever conditioner you use along with it. For me it is essential living in a dry climate. But it is good for anyone because you use pure water in it so your hair is not steamed with hard water, chlorine or any other chemicals. I can't wait to use it on Wednesday!!! I plan on doing weekly steam treatments. Take care Q

Oh if you want to buy it, you can check it out here. Yes that is the price including shipping. Q

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I've got good news!!!

When I was offered my current position, I struggled because I had to choose between the job and school. I chose the job of course. I figured I could take another route to school. After trying to do the online thing, and doing some other stuff I got discouraged. I really wanted to go to the original school. The school was perfect.
1)The degree program is in something I love.
2)The school was close to home.
3)The cost was great and with tuition assistance and my GI Bill, I would make money.
4)I would finish my degree in a year.
5)The classes were on Saturday and Sunday but only about I would only be in class for 18 weekends out of the year.

Well after much prayer, working my behind off, and getting favor, I will be able to do both. I was able to work it out so I can still work and go to school. Yes the weekends I have classes will have me up super early and working late but it is all worth it. By the end of June next year, I will have my Bachelor's!!!!!

It may not seem like a big deal but this is a dream of mine that is coming true. I have had so many setbacks since I began this journey back in 1995. Life sent a lot of things my way and I had to put it on hold so many times. But now it seems like now the time is just right. Everything is in order and I know this is only the beginning. Although I didn't know it, God had it all planned out and it worked out perfectly. Plus when it is all said and done, He will get the glory. God is good!!! Thank you to everyone who prayed for and encouraged me. Q

I got my behind kicked yesterday!!!!

I was all set to go yesterday. I left work a little after 5 pm. The class started at 5:30 and I arrived around 5:15. Another class was finishing up and they were on the floor working their abs and stretching. The female manager, Noelle greeted me and got me signed in. Her husband Reece, whom I had spoken too on the phone came over and gave me some info. He took me over to the bags and told me where to stand and gave me some practice gloves. He was also going to be the instructor for the hour.

The class was made up of mostly women. In the workout area, there is a large padded area without about 50 large bags hanging down. To the right is an actual boxing ring and on the left is the cardio equipment, bathroom, shower and weights. We start warming up and so far so good. He then tells us to partner up. There is a lady next to me and it was her first class as well. She was so nervous that she kept punching my hands a little too hard during one routine. Then he switched to having us do combinations on the bag. He came around and corrected our form and would also put on gear and let folks spar with him.

The next combo involved kicks. We were about 15 minutes into the actual workout and I was already sweating. Even if we weren't punching or kicking, he had us squatting or working our arms. We did some more combos involving the knees and elbows. Next we hit the floor. Using the bag by putting our feet under it, we did sit ups followed by jabs to the bag. That went on for what seemed like forever then we got back up. More combos, then squats, and I kind of blacked out!!!

Finally we were on the floor and I was happy. That only last about a minute as soon as we started the ab workout. He worked every single part of the abs doing different types of exercises. Even though it was hard, I liked it because he stressed the importance of form versus reps. After about 10 minutes of what seemed like an hour, we began to stretch. I have never been so happy to stretch before in my life!!!

I guzzled my water down like I was a slave in the southern heat and headed to the counter. Reece smiled and asked me how it was and I could only nod my head. Noelle smiled. Then he asked if I want to join today or at another time. I told him my body was saying no but my mind said yes. I stood there with legs wobbling, and my hands shaking while trying to fill out the info. I was already feeling the workout.

I cooked in the morning but I was so hungry and so beat, I swung by McDonalds and got a chicken sandwich meal. I got home and hit the couch trying to finish my food. It was a struggle just to bring the food up to my mouth. After sitting and trying to get my body to move, I headed to my bedroom. I hit the shower and just laid on the bed while the t.v. watched me. I went to bed early because I didn't even watch the season finale of Medium. I don't even remember Thomas coming to bed. This morning I am sore. I feel it in my legs, my back, my stomach and my arms. So for $59 a month, I know I am getting my money's worth. I plan on going back on Thursday after work. Y'all pray for me!!! Q

Monday, May 12, 2008

12 week update

Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I am doing great. I am trying out this new gym today. It focuses on boxing and kickboxing. It's also located right down the street from my job. When I leave work, I can head there, and then straight home and have my workout out of the way. They allow you to take a free class and I am going today after work. We will use real boxing gloves, and bags. The classes burn 800-1000 calories an hour. They promise I will be sore after the first class. It also has weight equipment and exercise machines that I can use anytime during gym hours. My goal is to take a class at least 3 times a week and continue the Body For Life weight workouts the other 3 days.

Now the bad news is not really that bad. Thomas has to go to NCO academy in June for 6 weeks. So if you do the math, that would run right into our anniversary week. So we have to push it back. We will still probably do something on July 9th but we won't be able to get away until August. It kind of works out great because we decided to go to Vegas!!! I will be there July 31st to August 3rd for a convention. So he is just going to fly in and we will stay until my birthday on the 8th. We are going to fly my mom in so she can hang with her grandkids for that week.

All in all, I guess I can't complain. I still plan on taking family pics and I will probably schedule a picture day soon to put even more pressure on. Thanks to everyone for encouraging me by commenting, shooting me an email, or giving me a ring. It really means a lot knowing I have some support as I reach my goals. Love ya. Q

Lazy hair days

This is how I rock my hair when I am lazy. To achieve this bun, I have to trick my hair. You see my hair is super thick and I have to trick it into being tame!!! So what I did was wash, and condition my hair in sections. I de-tangled, applied castor oil to my hair, and put it in about 12-15 braids. I let it dry overnight. The next day, I used my fingers to take the braids out applying a little more castor oil to my edges. After they were out, I brushed my hair back, put in a ponytail holder, braided the ends, and tuck it under the holder. If you look close, you can see waves. That is not my texture but the remnants of the braids.

To maintain, I take the braid out daily, apply more oil to the ends, re braid, re-tuck and put on a satin scarf and then a satin bonnet. In the a.m. my hair is smooth, neat, and protected. Take care Q

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lord and Savior Part 2

Everyone is okay with Jesus being their savior. Let's look at what I found shall we. A savior saves, rescues, and delivers. We love that part of Jesus. In fact when we become one of His followers, we say we are saved. We are okay when we want Jesus to forgive our sins. We are okay with the Jesus that delivers us from evil. We are okay with the Jesus that died on the cross for us. Who took being spat on, made fun off, who was laughed at, who was beaten and bruised. Most of our prayers involves asking God for something. We want to be healed, restored, set free, saved. Folks have no problem hearing about the goodness of God and all the blessings He gives but the Lord part is overlooked.

You see Jesus has to be your Lord AND Savior. You can't have one without the other. If you look at the definitions for Lord and for Savior, Jesus is listed under both. When He died on the cross He purchased our lives. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. There goes that word Lord again. We deserved death. That was supposed to be our payment for our sins. But Jesus wrote the debt off and now we are workers for Him.

Now lets look at Lord.
A person who has authority- we gave Jesus authority over our lives when we accepted Him. Satan had us as soon as we sinned and we were owned by him. The only thing to pay it off was death. Jesus fulfilled it with His death because He was without sin and yet died.
A master, a king- Revelation 6:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
You see we serve the King. We are here not for ourselves but to do His will. The Lord part is hard because we are stubborn. Our flesh doesn't want to serve anyone or anything but itself. But understand if you don't serve the Lord, you will serve someone, and you may not like the other option. See we have a King that is not like most Kings. Our King gives us free will to serve Him our not. But there will be consequences for not following the rules of the King. What kind of King would he be if he allowed everyone to do what they please and still get the reward of eternal life in heaven? Who in their right mind would follow a King with no backbone?

We serve a King who went beyond just ruling on high and looking low. He decided to come from heaven, wrap himself in flesh, and die just for us. He didn't just speak about doing something, he did it. He didn't send an angel, John, or Moses, or Elijah. He did it himself. He was and is the ultimate example for us to follow. We don't fight the battles alone. We don't have to worry about the war because we win. If we just hold on and do what we are told, victory is ours.

So what does this mean? It means that serving God won't always be easy. Yes He loves us. Yes He will heal us. Yes He will save us. But their is another side to the coin so flip it over. The Lord part means we will sometimes have to go places, and do things we don't like. That means we may have to make certain sacrifices like fasting. That also means that we must always be prepared for battle. We must be armed with the Word of God in order to overcome the traps that are set for us. We must take up our cross daily and make sure God is always first. We must sometimes put off or set aside things we want for ourselves in order to do God's will. It sounds hard and it sounds unfair but the reward in the end far outweighs what you will have to give up now.

If you have accepted Christ, you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior. If He is not your Lord he cannot be your Savior. He cannot give you the blessings of His child if you are not obedient to Him as your Lord. Don't let your flesh and the devil trick you into disobeying God. 2 Chronicles 24:20 (b portion) Why do you disobey the Lord's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.

We serve a God of Love. We serve an awesome God. But understand He is still God. He is still the King and we wants willing workers who will serve and obey Him. These posts have made me look at myself and examine areas where I have not been obedient to God. I have become a little selfish and try to put off the things that are pleasing to Him. I am going to make a conscious effort to do God's will no matter the cost. Doing otherwise is not worth it to me. Most people greatest fear is losing their husband, their wife, or their kids. Mine is not hearing "well done" when I see the Lord. So choose ye today who you will serve. Q

Luke 6:46-49 "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?
I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and put them into practice.
He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

Serving God has it's rewards that no one else can give!!!! Q

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Lord and Savior Part 1

For the past 2 weeks I've been talking on the phone almost daily to my new friend April. We started talking because of our common interest in hair. From there we realized how much we had in common. For one, she is a Christian like I am. She also loves to talk about the Lord just as much as I do. I can't tell you how blessed I've been to speak with her on the phone. One night we talked for over 3 hours straight!!!

The other night during our conversation about God, she said something that was so profound. She said, "some people have accepted Jesus as their Savior but not as their Lord." That was like an ah ha moment for me. I even discussed it with Thomas. Today when I taught Sunday school, I used her statement while talking about priorities. I've been thinking about it every day since then and decided to blog about it.

I went to and found a couple of definitions for Savior. Here are some of them:
a person who saves, rescues, or delivers
a title of God, esp. of Christ
A person who rescues another from harm, danger, or loss
In Christian sense, translation of Gk. soter "savior." Replaced O.E. hælend "healer."
Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins. --Matt. i. 21

Here are some definitions for the word Lord:
a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler
A man of renowned power or authority.
Archaic The male head of a household
Christianity Jesus.
A king.

I will blog and elaborate further with my next post. Q

Sunday's dinner

This is what I made for dinner on Sunday. It was citrus glazed chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and spinach. This was Bria's plate, she let me take a picture. Q