World Mental Health Day 2017

Today is World Mental Health Day 2017.  If you haven’t thought about the importance of your own mental health, or of others, today is the day to take time out and do so.

Many of us have seen that random person on the street talking to themselves or heard about the person who committed some act violence that is blamed on mental health issues.  Our society has a way of labeling people with mental health issues as “crazy”.  Well I am here to tell you our society has you brainwashed!

There are people with mental health issues that deliver your mail, serve your food, make your coffee, and even teach your kids.  Are you scared now?  Well you shouldn’t be, but you should be mindful, and I will tell you why.

What is Mental Health?

According to MentalHealth.gov

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

So, what does this mean in terms of daily life?  I will use myself as an example.  The struggle with depression and anxiety is real in my life, on a daily basis. Most times I keep to myself, don’t get out and about much, crowds make me nervous,  I’m highly emotional, and will cry at random times. Due to this, I am regularly misunderstood.  Have you ever been misunderstood? It’s not a good feeling is it?

Now would you have known any of what I just shared from the many pictures I have floating about social media? Or the fact that I have this website, or have a YouTube Channel?  Of course not.  Mental Health doesn’t have a “Look” people.

When a good friend is not their normal, talkative self or is tearful, what do you normally do?  Well, you ask them are they ok, right?  Now, if you come across someone who appears to be sad or shy.  Have you thought to ask that person are they ok?  Or, have you thought to give that person a smile before you walk by?   Something as simple as a smile can make someone’s day.  It can be the reminder that they need that there are still good people in the world who care.

What Can You Do

Think about your life. Do you feel like you need a vacation, everyday?  Do you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulder at work and at home?  Have you gained weight suddenly and you don’t know why?  Is it hard to sleep at night?  Then I am here to tell you your mental health is worthy of your attention.  Take 15 minutes to do something you love.  Something that makes you smile. Something that relaxes you.  Your mental health is important people.  This is why we are beginning to hear more and more about self-care.  Trust me, your mental health is something to not take for granted.  No one is immune from mental health difficulties so take care of yourself.

If you need resources/help on ways to improve your mental health, I urge you to pray, then talk to  a friend, teacher, counselor, pastor, your job’s human resources office or call 211 for information in your area.

Have a great World Mental Health Day people!

Skin Lightening – The Sad Truth

There is an outrageous number of women and men in the world who still think skin lightening is OK. The sad truth is, they are not OK with the person they see when they look in the mirror.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to matter enough that people are losing their lives over this! People are becoming sick from the chemicals in these skin lightening treatments and products and it’s horrible!

The Skin Lightening Truth

Let’s keep it real. No one looks in the mirror at birth and decides: My skin is too dark!  We are all human, and learn by example. Colorism has spread like cancer through history due to slavery, taught self-hate, and low self-esteem that has never been corrected.  Manufacturers and companies have reaped the benefits of this in the form of dollar signs! Unfortunately, this just added fuel to the fire, and the epidemic of skin lightening continued to spread.

The sad truth is, it has been said by people in Africa and Asia,

“lighter-skinned woman are considered more beautiful, are believed to be more successful and more likely to find marriage.” 

I don’t believe those lies for a moment!

Skin lightening is even huge in India.  There are popular step-by-step videos on YouTube to prove this point. And, please don’t get me started on the United States!

We, as a world, need to get it together!  It’s time to look in the mirror and address our own individual issues.  Then,  truly comprehend that we are all different shades of melanin. Most importantly,  ALL shades are beautiful!

I personally love the skin I was born with.  I’m proud of it. I marinated for 9 months in my mama’s womb while this chocolate-toned skin developed.  During the first month after birth, God continued to work on me.  He made sure the skin on my body, matched the rich melanin of the tips of my ears.  It’s a blessing, not a curse!

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in the fight against skin lightening. But don’t fret, there is hope! Numerous media outlets have finally decided to wake up!  It’s wonderful to see magazine covers, commercials, TV shows and movies with women, men, and children showcasing their natural beauty. Employees and students are fighting for their right to wear cultural attire and sport the curls they were born with.  I believe the strength of the natural hair community had rubbed off on others, and it makes me feel so proud!

How can you Help?

Do you know someone who regularly has skin lighting treatments, uses skin lighting creams, or is having thoughts of lightening their skin?  If so, we need to treat this like the epidemic it is.  The responsible thing to do is teach by positive example.  Let those around you hear how much you love the skin you were born with.  Let’s teach self-love wherever we go, OK?

Please read, like, and share this blog post. Sometimes change doesn’t happen until it’s right up in someone’s face! So pass it on.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe for more thought provoking topics!

A Community That Cares

Summer 2017 has been a season of ups and downs in The United States.  People are showing their true colors. Some good and some bad.  One thing’s for sure, it’s time to come together as a community. Work towards the greater good.  How about becoming a community that cares again.

The Problem

The rest of the world is watching and above all, God is watching.  Whether you believe this or not, that’s your opinion. With that said, this is my blog, and this is my opinion.

The situations in Charlottesville, VA and Houston, TX should be a wake-up call to anyone who is still sleep.  Negativity is not going to get anyone, anywhere. Whole communities are divided behind color, race, religion, and money.  It’s sickening!  What happened to loving thy neighbor?  What happened to sharing with one another?  What happened to simply being thankful for life?

People are literally losing their lives from one minute to the next. But we would rather argue about statues, marches, churches and money. None of that will solve a thing if our hearts are not in the right place.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to watch the news.  To scroll through my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feeds. Bad energy is no good for me or anyone else. People are arguing over internet and face to face instead of looking at the bigger picture.  If we don’t start looking within our own hearts, and make changes to become better human beings, nothing will ever change!

What can you do?

It’s time to work on looking within. Pray, mediate, read, and show yourself and others compassion.  When we take better care of ourselves we can than begin taking better care of others.  With so much caring going on, we may actually become a community that cares again!  When I say community, it could mean a group of neighbors, friends, family, school, co-workers, or even the natural hair community.  I’m down to at least try.  How about you?

So, until next time folks, Peace out!

Chocolate Kinks & Kurls Product Review

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a product review on the blog, but get ready! Today, I’m reviewing Chocolate Kinks & Kurls.

The black-owned business, Chocolate Kinks & Kurls, has been around since 2012. Juanita Henderson, better known as “The Kurl Koach” decided to do “The Big Chop” and started this wonderful business to encourage and inspire not only her daughter, but other naturalistas as well.

I had the pleasure of receiving 4 hair products from the Chocolate Kinks & Kurls product line.  They were sent to me by my Instagram Curlfriend @iamamazinglynatural to try.  Let me tell you,  I was so excited to try the products! I found out later,  Chocolate Kinks & Kurls was well worth the excitement.

The Products

Alma Island Fluff Deep Conditioner  featuring Aloe & Babassu Oil

This product smells like Alma oil, fruit, and coconut…Yum!  Castor oil the first ingredient.  This product had my curls juicy, shiny, and moisturized.

 Detangling Aloe & Babassu Oil Leave In Conditioner

This product smells like candy to me! It has Distilled water, Sweet Almond oil, and Marshmallow Root in it just to name a few.  It melted into my curls and spread nicely providing all the slip I needed to detangle my had effortlessly.

Avocado Twist & Kurl Defining Pudding

This product smelled and looked good enough to eat! It contained Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, and Apricot oil just to name a few. The consistency was exactly like vanilla pudding.  I had no problem spreading it evenly through my curls.  The moisture in this product alone will have you smiling from ear to ear!

Island Seal & Shine Glaze

Honestly, I was a initially worried about this product only because it contains beeswax.  I was afraid of build up.  But let me tell you, my fear melted away quickly.  This product gave my curls a special touch of gloss and shine that had me pleasantly surprised.  My hair felt so smooth while installing two-strand twists.  Once done, I felt confident that all the moisturizing ingredient used  were nicely sealed in.

Final Thoughts

I strongly suggest you give Chocolate Kinks & Kurls  a try if you haven’t already.  I know, for a fact I will be purchasing more products in the future.  The owner is a naturalista who is funny, warm, and authentic! She is a mom and who is spreading love and encouragement through her business.  I can’t help but support her I I hope you all do as well.  Please visit her at any of the below links:

https://squareup.com/store/chocolate-kinks-and-kurls https://www.instagram.com/chocolatekinksandkurls/ https://www.instagram.com/thekurlkoach/ https://www.facebook.com/ChocolateKinksKurls/

Until next time Curlfriends!

 

Natural Hair vs Racism

The United States as a whole is looking real unstable these days.  Especially with the recent, ugly events going on in Charlottlesville, VA.  I need you to understand racism has never left people!  It’s time to wake up, because this shouldn’t be a  surprise!   With so many people of color are now embracing their natural hair, the  negative comments are bound to happen now more then ever! Open discussion regarding your Natural hair vs Racism needs to happen and not be swept under the carpet.

Some may not agree with my words.  But I really don’t care!  I am an African-American female who decided after many years of chemically straightening my hair and having low self-esteem over my body, to begin embracing what God gave me.  He gave me my big lips, a big booty, and big hair. Nothing to be embarrassed over at all. And I love it all!  Unfortunately, there are still many in this world who do not, and have the nerve to make foul comments about it!

Real Talk

Many in the world are now threatened by the fact we are not shying away from our curls anymore.  It bothers them that we choose to embrace the things we used to try and cover up. It irritates them that we choose to wear our hair up and out the way it naturally grows. They claim it’s unprofessional and even try to control what hairstyles our children wear at school.

Back in the days we wanted silky, straight hair because it was seen as beautiful in America.  We wanted to have hair down to our butts, thinner noses, and a thigh gap because those were the type of females getting the most attention in media.

But guess what, some of us started to wake up and learn to love ourselves.  We started to realize we are, in fact, royalty the exact way we were born.  And guess what, media started to realize it too.  Now we got folks dying (literally) and taking ridiculous measures to have kinkier curls, darken their skin, get juicier lips, thicker thighs, and bigger booty.  This world is a trip!

The same things racists used to put us on display for, is now the same thing some of their own are trying so hard to get!  This is what scares them.  They are afraid of the power in our unity and realize as much as they try to mis-represent the Bible, we are not standing for that mess no more!

So Curlfriends, I say wear your Natural Hair proud!!  At the same time expect the foul comments that are sure to come now more than ever. When a racist decides to spit a negative comment in your face, or under your picture, remember how much Power you have and raise your head just a little bit higher! Smile at their own stupidity!

Conclusion

Pass this on guys. Share, like, comment, and subscribe.  I have plenty more to say on that subject and more. We need to show unity in the Natural Hair Community.  We have more power in numbers. There are people out there that are afraid to transition to natural hair just because they are worried about dumb, racist comments!  Let them know to not be afraid, but proud they are embracing their own culture and individuality.

Coloring Your Curls

Autumn will be here soon.  Have you thought about changing the color of your curls with the season change?  Well I am, so I thought I would pass on a few things to remember when coloring your curls.

The overall health of your hair is important. At all times.  It’s even more important when you are thinking about coloring your curls. Make sure you are keeping up with your water intake.  If your body is not properly hydrated, then your hair won’t be.  Hydrated and moisturized hair is highly important when coloring your hair because hair color naturally dries it out.  No one wants dry, brittle hair!  Also, make it a practice to deep condition your hair Every Wash Day (including a protein treatment monthly).

I highly recommend having a consultation with a hair stylist that specializes in coloring natural hair.  The standard stylist will not do, unless they are properly educated on natural hair health AND coloring natural hair.

Now if you chose to color your hair yourself remember you are taking a chance of an allergic reaction, the color not coming out the way you want it, or your hair falling out!  Yep, don’t sound good do it!

Coloring your curls can be a wonderful experience!  It’s a way to express your own individuality.  You can play it safe with just going a few shades lighter than your natural color.  Or, you can go all out with bold colors like blond, turquoise, bright red, or fuchsia.   Yes, color is so much fun in my opinion!   It’s a conversation piece.  Also it’s an additional gem to add to the crown you carry around daily Kings & Queens.

Whatever you choose to do, put some serious thought into it.  Whether you chose temporary spray-on color, a rinse, henna, semi-permanent, or permanent color do your research first. Weigh the pros & cons.  Then have fun!

The Liebster Award – New Blogger Award

This post is a little different this week.  Why?  Because I was nominated for The Liebster Award!!!  So, of course I had to share with you details on it!

First off, The Liebster Award is a super special because it’s a blogger award, given to bloggers, by other bloggers.  When you are nominated, it means you are automatically recognized as receiving the award.  Nice huh!

I was nominated by Shahira Allen of  Afro Glory  all the way from London, England!  She happens to also be a Natural Hair Blogger, which makes this nomination extra special.  Thanks Curlfriend! Anyway, she has a great blog, so make sure you go check her out! Natural hair love is worldwide!

For full details on The Liebster Award please visit WordingWell This blog will give the official rules for The Liebster Award, along with many helpful tips for bloggers in general.  I will be making my nominations for this award at the end of this post so pay attention, this will be very helpful for my nominees.

The Rules:

  1.   Answer the questions you were asked.
  2.   Tag 11 people who have under 200 Twitter followers  *adding       Facebook followers / Email subscribers.
  3.   Create 11 new questions.
  4.   Recognize who tagged you.

My Nomination Questions & My Answers

Q1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU.    One of my favorite quotes is from The Bible – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NKJV   Whenever I feel  stressed, depressed, or my anxiety is high, this quote reminds me that I am strong.  It reminds me that I can get though any obstacle as long I remember where my help comes from. My faith has gotten me through the darkest of times, and it will continue to do so as long as I believe.

Q2. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGING MOMENT SO FAR?    It was guest blogging on NikitaHudson.com for the Mother’s Day Blog Series.  That was my very first time guest blogging.  Also, I am a mother of 2, so it was like a Mother’s Day gift I will never forget!

Q3. WHICH BLOGGER WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH IN A COLLABORATION AND WHY?  (TAG THEM SO THEY KNOW)           I would love to collaborate with Edin of Pursuit Of Natural    Edin was one of the first members of my blogger community on WordPress.  She regularly supports my posts on Twitter and Google+ ,  and she blogs about natural hair as well.  I just have a lot of respect for her, and it would be great to collaborate at some point.

Q4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?  I love all types of food, but my favorite is currently Vegetable or Shrimp Lo-Mein.  For some reason every now and then, I crave it!

Q5. YOU’VE WON AN ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP FOR 2 WEEKS TO A TRAVEL DESTINATION OF YOUR CHOICE! WHERE WOULD YOU GO?  That’s easy, I would go to Africa. Specifically Kumasi, Ghana the resting place of my late daddy (RIP)  My dad spoke highly of Ghana and felt like he was finally at peace and said he was  treated like a king.  I can not repay the people of Accra and Kumasi, Ghana enough for all they did for my dad.  It’s a beautiful place, full of beautiful people!  Going there would feel like I’m surrounded by family.

Q6. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO BLOG?  It’s a form of self-care for me.  I love being able to express myself, share, motivate, and teach others.  I crave being listened to so it is nice to write something and know that it will be read  and appreciated by like-minded people.

Q7. YOU HAVE JUST MET A PR MANAGER LOOKING FOR NEW BLOGGERS JUST LIKE YOU! THEY ARE IN A HURRY THOUGH! SUMMARISE YOUR BLOG IN 1 SENTENCE: My blog is one of the ONLY blogs that shares natural hair tips, inspiration, and talent in Oregon, USA; which is why I am:  OlenaRosanne – Natural in the NW

Q8. WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA? (IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE?) I currently don’t have one, but if I did it would be: To show the world how beautiful natural hair is through images, information, and my honesty.

Q9. TELL ME 3 THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF: Physically my hair, dimples, and the gap in my front teeth.

Q10. RECOMMEND A BOOK. The Bible.  Simply put, The Book of Life.

Q11. YOU CAN HAVE 1 HOUR ON THE PHONE TO ANYONE! WHO ARE YOU GOING TO CALL?  Michelle Obama.  I have so many questions for her.  Mainly I want tips on to endure  stress and negativity in a world that’s so unkind to black women.

My Questions for My Nominees (and My Answers)

Q1.  How did you come up with the name of your blog?  The name of my blog  OlenaRosanne – Natural in the NW is my real first and middle name put together – and I live in the Northwest Region of the United States.

Q2. What is your favorite color?  Purple

Q3.  What advice would you give new bloggers?  Read, read,  and read some more. Make sure you do your research, take notes,  and attend webinars if possible. The more you learn about blogging in general, the more your blog will grow. Keep an open mind, and never stop learning!

Q4.  Do you have any children?  Yes,  2 boys. Ages 23 and 9, and yes you read right! 🙂

Q5.  What was your favorite subject in school?  English/Writing

Q6.  Do you currently play or have you ever  played any instruments?  Yes I used to play the violin, cello, and flute.  I would love to learn how to play the piano.

Q7.  What are your hobbies outside of your blog?  Listening to Gospel/Christian music, gardening, reading, making beaded jewelry, and caring for my hair.

Q8.  Why did you decide to blog?  It was suggested to me by 2 different people.  Because I am naturally an introvert (until you get to  know me), I was shy and doubted myself initially.  But later, I decided to just go for it!  It was suggested that I blog on topics of Special Needs Advocacy, Mental Health Awareness,  Natural Hair, because these are topics that I have personal life experience in.  I now blend these topics into my Natural Hair Blog, YouTube, other social media accounts.

Q9.  What is your drink of choice?  Water

Q10.  What fruit flavor do you gravitate towards when choosing something to eat or drink?  Strawberry

Q11.  What nationality do you identify as?  African-American

MY NOMINEES FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD ARE:

Leonica
Twitter: @ DaLoveLee1
DaLoveLee1.com

Kizi
@iziKurls
izikurls.com

Imani
Twitter:  @SpiritNdStyle
SpiritandStyleblog.com

Travina Nerestant
Twitter:  @NACHOAVERAGEMA
kiki176.wordpress.com  aka Nacho Average Ma

Kayla Hightower
Twitter:  @KaylaHightower1
Purplebutterflysquad.com

Tosha
Twitter:  @Bieutiful_coils
bieutifulcoils.com

Edin
Twitter:  @EdinPON
Pursuit of Natural
pursuitofnatural.wordpress.com

Shy
Twitter:  @Shyanne_Sstyles
shyannestyles.com

Latreil Jackson
Twitter:  @Hey_MissJackson
HeyMissJackson.com

Ashley C
Twitter:  @_QueeninJeans
queeninjeans.wordpress.com

La’Shelle Johnson
Twitter: @LaShelle_J
lashellejohnson.com

Please join me in congratulating and supporting these fellow bloggers, who are also Natural Hair Queens!  I have visited and subscribed their blogs and I hope you do so too.  It’s so amazing to see other strong female bloggers  with some of the same interests I have. Being a blogger is hard work, so it’s so important that we all support one another.  As I always say #QueensSupportQueens so please go check them out. Congratulations to ALL of my nominees!  I hope we all get to know each other and collaborate some day!

Until next time Curlfriends!

Natural in the NW

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