Look at me — one of my poems

By: Lara

Written: February 2018

*Denotes written July 2018

Look At Me

 

If you look at me,

You may not can tell,

But I’m broken,

I’m flawed,

I am by far not perfect

But who is,

Broken & damaged,

I’m loved,

I’m cherished,

By the one who created me,

Even when no else does,

I love and accept myself as is,

And even though I have flaws,

I know this too

*That no matter what I go through in life

This too shall shape & mold me,

This too shall pass.

 

 

When I wrote this, I was feeling broken, but then I remembered the quote below and the words just came flooding to my mind & gave me a sense of comfort & peace.  I remind myself God created me for a reason & whatever his reasoning, it will be for His glory not mine.  If I don’t love and accept myself as is even with all the flaws & imperfections, then my existence to myself means nothing. Anchor to yourself as it truly starts with loving self, so you can love others fully and in the way God intended.

I am beautifully broken

Homemade Skin Toner

Skin Toner is an important process of cleaning your face. Just cleansing your face isn’t good enough as it can leave traces of makeup, oils, & dirt still on your face that have been on your face all day. If you touch your face at all throughout the day, that’s just another way to transfer bacteria on your face. Whether you have been outside or not, our faces collect debris and other pollutants from the environment. All of that can lead to inflammation on your face which in turn can turn your face into a battlefield of acne & pimples if not treated or not treated correctly. If you don’t use a skin toner, it should be added to your skin care routine because of the above reasons. Always look for ingredients that will help your skin type and the fewer the ingredients the better. Always look for ingredients that you know what they are without having to Google them or researching what they are.  Avoid using alcohol on your face as it dries out the skin and is harsh to the skin.

 

Skin Toner Recipe 

good for all skin types

Steep 1 bag of organic Rooibos tea in 8 -12 oz filtered water (I normally use 12 ounces)

Lavender essential oil – 6 drops

Tea Tree essential oil – 6 drops

Let the tea steep for the amount specified on package, usually 5 minutes.  Let tea cool. In at least a 13 ounce plastic, colored spray bottle, combine the above three ingredients & shake the bottle (with top properly attached tight to bottle) to mix the ingredients well.  Keep in the refrigerator. Shake well before each use; this is a very important step to do as the oils separate from the tea when it sits. Shaking it blends the mixture again making the benefits of each ingredient become active.

Keeping this in the refrigerator will make it last longer and will feel refreshing on those hot days. When you use it, you will find this refreshes, hydrates, & plumps up your skin.  Use on face, neck, and décolletage.

It is best to use organic ingredients because of the chemicals & pesticides that non organic has in them which can be major irritants & allergens.

 

Why use these ingredients?

Rooibos Tea has anti inflammatory, antiviral, & anti mutagenic properties. It is known to help acne, pimples, and sunburns.  Keeps skin looking young because of the powerhouse of antioxidants in it which will help reduce sunspots and wrinkles.  It helps keep the skin calm and steers clear of skin conditions such as eczema & skin cancer, thus the antioxidants help protect the skin from harmful allergies & skin issues.  I personally use this tea as it helps calm my very sensitive skin.  I wanted something other than just water in my toner, so when I saw the benefits of using this tea on the skin, I thought it was a great choice and it has been, so I will continue using this tea when I make toner.

Lavender essential oil has anti inflammatory properties and high in antioxidants, so it is very nourishing (& healing) to the skin and an excellent choice in treating skin conditions. It helps keep acne at bay, heals wounds & minor burns, soothes eczema & dry skin conditions.  Lavender is known to detoxify the skin and prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and dark age spots due to having beneficial phytochemicals that fight free radical damage caused by environmental stressors such as the sun & pollution.  I added this ingredient because I get an occasional pimple around my nose, and it has helped keep that at bay.

Tee Tree essential oil like the other two ingredients has anti inflammatory properties, but has anti microbial properties too.  It is a popular choice for treating acne and is believed to calm redness, swelling, and inflammation.  It helps reduce & prevent acne scars, so it will help with having clear, smooth skin. Tea Tree also called Melaleuca (or TI Tree) can help reduce itching & irritation and help soothe dry skin, thus the reason why it helps with different skin conditions. The anti-septic properties help to combat oily skin.  I added this to help with the oiliness in my T-zone and the occasional pimple I was getting around my nose, and it has helped with both.

 

Rose Hip Seed Oil

Rose Hip Seed Oil by itself is one of the most powerful oils you can use on your skin. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, & essential fatty acids which help it to be an excellent oil to hydrate the skin. It is an awesome choice for anti aging benefits as it has the ability to penetrate into deep layers of the skin, thus reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It is a safe and non toxic solution to repair the skin’s surface and restore elasticity. It is a great oil for eczema, rosacea, scars, dark circles, & redness & discoloration of the skin, so it helps with inflammation.

I use this oil between my moisturizer & mineral makeup. I find it helps mineral makeup go on more smoothly and gives it more staying power. I have noticed a big improvement in the overall complexion of my skin.

Rose Hip Seed Oil needs to be kept in a dark, cool place or refrigerator in order to keep this delicate oil from going rancid. Buy cold pressed and organic if possible. It will be more expensive, but worth it in order for it to retain the nutrients and to be free of any chemicals and pesticides. All is needed is two drops for the entire face.

It is a dry oil and absorbs into the skin quickly. When use, apply directly to face using gentle, massaging motions.

 

What is it you see? — one of my poems

6 or 9 PerspetiveBy: Lara

Written:  May 2018

*Denotes written July 2018

 

 

 

photo found on Internet

 

What is it you see?

What you see may not be what you see.

Is it an illusion?

 

What you see is your perception.

Does another see it the same way or not?

 

Judging a book by its cover,

Is it not the inside that matters?

 

Finding beauty in everything,

Don’t we at times have to dig deeper to find?

 

What you see and don’t see is relative,

Is it about seeing things with your eyes only?

 

*You must feel with your heart,

*Is it not how you feel that matters?

 

*You must touch with your hands,

*Is it not more believing when you can physically touch something?

 

*You must listen to your gut when the air around you is sucked out by the negative energy and you have that sickening feeling you cannot ignore.

*Is it not important to trust your intuition?

 

*You don’t have to see to believe,

*But do you?

 

*What you see may not be what you see,

*Maybe it is an illusion or is it?

 

Are you hallucinating because you cannot see?

Do you see?

 

I wrote certain part of this poem two months apart from each other and I wrote them exactly on the same date of the month according to my records.  I don’t remember my inspiration for this poem. I just had these thoughts in my head one day when I originally started writing it and I saved it on my phone which I typically don’t  do, but I do when the inspiration comes to me if my phone is the only thing I have around to type on & make sure it is saved.  I forgot, I had it on my phone until I looked at my memo app and noticed it. When I reread this, I thought this needs something more.  I’m all about listening to my intuition and am relying on it more in all situations I’m faced. There have been times I have ignored or suppressed it which I don’t think is the right thing to do. My intuition, discernment, listening to my gut keeps heightening in different ways especially while & after reading “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker which is an excellent read.

 

 

Social Media Crazed

social-media-marketing

Google anything you want or need information about, and you will be sure to find it on the Internet. Social media sites are at every corner, and let’s not forget the dating and matchmaking sites. There’s an app for any and everything to add on smart phones and tablets, so we can always have access to whatever our whims take us.

The Internet has forever changed our world and our lives.

The way we communicate now is extremely different from 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago. Think about how it was back in Jesus’ day. Today with a push of a button, we can video chat with someone who is half way around the world. In an instant, we can do many different things on the Internet from shopping online to searching the best way to cook something to earning a full college education.

If you don’t have a social media account, you are asked why and thought to be strange for not having one whether you are retired or a tweenager. It’s a way to feel connected to others, yet feel disconnected at the same time. People on social media sites share what they want, and it’s not the same as seeing and visiting them in person. To really feel and be connected to others means to talk with them on the phone, see them in person, or video chat (face time as the Iphone users say) would be the next best option.  Seeing others’ faces, their expressions, and mannerisms are what gives us clues in what really is going on with them. Sitting in front of a screen and not seeing the person and how they react & respond masks too many emotions and it’s too easy for others to lie or not tell the whole truth.

The fact is not everyone wants to be on social media and with good reason. Time can escape so quickly and before you know it you have spent more time than you planned or wanted, so be sure to use time wisely in managing screen time. It’s a good idea to set a timer and be mindful of the time if you don’t use a timer. Social media platforms collect data on you and third parties can gain access to that information. Some people honestly don’t like being on the computer, and those who work on the computer all day don’t really want to spend their free time on it.

Employers these days go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc to see if you have an online presence.

If your account is open, anyone can see everything you do. You will be judged for what you do, maybe even judged for what you don’t do. When you are looking for employment, employers will check to see if you have any social media accounts. It could cost you from a position you have applied for, and you will care when you had a job interview and you didn’t get the offer because you do or don’t have an online presence.

When it comes to social media set your accounts to private or semi private unless you want attention and want the public to know your life. Be mindful of what you share.  Be mindful of the kind of online presence you have by being positive, lighthearted, forgiving, yet strong minded. If sharing news about someone else, make sure it is fine with that person for you to share the information that way. It is one thing to be real & honest, but don’t be naïve. It is one thing to post photos of yourself, but to not come off narcissistic.

We are judged by every possible means these days and the Internet makes that possible;

from the way we look, talk, and yes, sadly whether we are on social media or not. There are trolls who want to rattle or break you. Don’t let what others say or do affect you negatively whether it’s comments or private messages.  If you need to defend yourself, then do it. But don’t let others get in your head when you know what is right much less right for you. Ignore and block others if you feel that need.

Be careful of the scammers.

There are people who prey on others and don’t care what they have to do to obtain money or whatever way they seek help. They will start wooing you, saying I love you, and make promises they don’t plan to keep. They will rush things, making you feel the urgency they feel. If anyone asks for money from you or talks about it in ways where it raises your suspicions, and you don’t know them personally off of the Internet, then do not give into the likes of them. Do not connect to them as they will try to connect or talk to your friends and do the same thing to them.

It’s one thing to be compassionate & kind to others and want to help them, but it is another issue when others take advantage & do wrong. Trust your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t right. Ignore, block, and report those people.

There is a double edge sword most assuredly on the Internet. The Internet can be for good, but it’s for bad too. If you don’t want others to know something, then don’t air it online. Please take precautions, protect yourself & those you love. Be careful what you put out in this world as what you put out there comes back to you.

 

photo found on Internet

 

 

 

 

Mirror, Mirror wherever you are

Mirrors  Makeup mirrors are a wonderful invention.  When I was a teenager, it was a must to have one in my bedroom that way when loved ones stayed overnight (or longer) at the house, I could put my makeup on in my bedroom.  Doing that freed up my time of being in the bathroom which was always helpful when we had guests in our home and was appreciated when they found out I was applying makeup in my bedroom. I always reserved one of the top clothes dresser drawers to store my makeup (and some beauty products). I sat at my dresser which had a big mirror attached to it and applied makeup while using the makeup mirror I had. It was nice being in the comfort of my bedroom listening to music while others had to wait to use the bathroom. My clothes dresser became a two in one, for my clothes & makeup. I laid a bath towel at the bottom of the drawer, so makeup residue could get on the towel and not inside the dresser drawer.  Cleaning out the dresser drawer was easy because it meant I could just add the bath towel when it came time to do the laundry. This became such a habit that I still do it in my adulthood.  When you have a small bathroom, it really does help with space and alleviates any problems that may arise. Though, I’m sure there are those of you who love the custom luxury bathroom vanities not many of us can afford to do that.

I recommend makeup mirrors to anybody especially families who have many children and the children have to share a bathroom. When there are girls in the family  and they become of age to wear makeup, it frees the bathroom time for everybody when there’s a vanity dresser in the girls’ bedrooms.  It makes for easier mornings when trying to get ready for one’s day and there’s less fighting time for who needs the bathroom.  Besides, girls feel a little more grown up when they have a makeup mirror or vanity table of their own.  For some reason, it makes us, girls, feel special.

When purchasing a makeup mirror,

Make sure it has some kind of lamp fixture on it; this will help with the lighting needed when applying makeup or doing something else to your face.  Make sure to have plenty of lighting even if it’s with other resources of light, so you can see like needed in order to do everything that is acquired to do with a mirror. In addition, when it comes to magnification look for at least a 7x magnification for the mirror. This will help in looking at your skin and seeing what you need to see when dealing with your skin.

Tip for cleaning

When cleaning the magnification side of the mirror, always clean with only water and a soft rag. To be on the safe side clean both sides with water that way you are not cleaning it with different cleaners and don’t have to be concerned whether you are cleaning it incorrectly.  Cleaning products distort the magnification mirror and will produce a fogged up appearance on the mirror that you will not be able to remove.

Reasons to use a magnified mirror:

When tweezing hairs from your face, tweezing in the eyebrow area, applying eye makeup especially eyeliner and mascara, using an eyelash comb or examining your skin closely.  It helps in making life easier, so you can see better in what needs to be done and for the end results to look good.

Traveling

It’s really good to have at least one portable lighted mirror with a side that is magnified especially when traveling.  Most motel & hotel bathrooms have the worst lighting.  That way when you are rushed to get ready and you are sharing the bathroom with others especially other women, you can have the space needed to apply makeup.

No matter where you apply your makeup, it’s important to have some natural light coming in so open the curtains, drapes, or blinds to let the sun shine in the room.  Make sure to check your makeup in different lighting and make sure it’s pleasing to the eye because your makeup will look a tad different depending on the lighting and the lack thereof.

The many uses of Baking Soda

baking soda picBaking Soda, sodium bicarbonate, has a multitude of different uses from cleaning to personal and really the list is quite endless. Because Baking Soda balances out the pH level in our skin, it does the same internally as well.  It clears out the toxins, thus it cleanses the body from the inside out. Baking Soda works in a pinch when you may not have something that you normally use and what’s great is most of us keep it on hand in the kitchen for baking purposes. It is non toxic and fragrance free which makes it great to use for other reasons.  When using on the skin do not put Baking Soda directly on the skin by itself; always wet the skin and/or use a little water and make a paste with the Baking Soda or it may cause irritation and the skin to sting.

I have used Baking Soda most of the below ways. It’s noted when I haven’t used it. All of these ways do help in the ways specified.

Personal  Uses – internal & external:

Facial or body scrub — Use just like you do with a facial or body scrub. Mix a little water with Baking Soda and rub it on your skin and rinse it off.  You may leave it on your skin for a minute or two if you can tolerate it before rinsing it off. If use it this way, it can help those who have yeast infections. I definitely don’t recommend it if you have extremely sensitive skin. Some skin types can use it more often than others. I use it this way no more than twice a week for my sensitive, combination skin. It can also be used as a lip scrub. This makes your skin soft, so it’s really nice on those harder or thicker skinned areas; great on your feet and elbows. It’s a great way to wash your body if you don’t have soap; although, I don’t recommend using it every day that way.  I have used it that way as well for washing my hands with it.

Nails, cuticle scrub & nail edge whitener — Use just like the above one and push back cuticles as you use the Baking Soda as a scrub. I do this no more than twice a week and cannot believe how white it keeps my nail edges, almost as nice as a french manicure.  I do this on toe and finger nails. It is wonderful to use when you have gotten some dirt or something else under your nails as it will get them clean & white again.

Minor burns — Making a paste with Baking Soda and water also helps in treatments of minor burns.  Wrap the area with a moist towel and then wrap a plastic bag around that area, so the towel will stay in place. Leave on for 10 minutes or until pain (only if you can tolerate this, it’s not for everybody & it is not one I can do) & redness has subsided, reapply if necessary as the Baking Soda mixture dries, then wash off with warm water.

Yeast Infection — When you have a yeast infection or someone you know has a yeast infection, it’s important to treat it or it can get worse.  One way you can help it is to take a bath.  Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of Baking Soda in your lukewarm bath water and fill water to no more than hip level. One can even take a little bit of the Baking Soda and make a paste of it and apply it to the affected area while soaking in the water because yeast infections can get on your skin and not just internally. Soak in the bath water for at least 20 minutes twice a day every day until your symptoms are gone.  Make sure to dry the area completely with a clean, dry bath towel.   I know doctors who even recommend doing this.  Please consult with your physician and have it confirmed that you do have a yeast infection before doing this.  Baking Soda is alkaline and changes the vagina’s acidity temporarily to a higher alkaline environment in which Candida cannot survive.  You can also use this route for babies and young children, but please research this information for your children and consult your physician.  Great as a feminine hygiene wash too.  (When I did this post on my Natural Alternative’s blog on blogger, it became one of my most popular posts, hitting over 38K views).

Tense, tight muscles — 1 cup of Baking Soda and 1 cup Epsom Salts to bath water, more if you wish.  Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. I do this in the evenings after a chiropractic adjustment, massage, or any body work that releases toxins as this bath will help push the toxins out as well.  It helps ease you into a relaxed or sleep mode.

Oral hygiene — Wet your toothbrush with a little water & put a little Baking Soda (don’t need much) on it and brush your teeth; make sure you are brushing your teeth the recommended time which is 2 minutes. Many people don’t brush their teeth long enough.

Mouth sores — Gargle with 1/2 tsp Baking Soda in 1/4 c warm water; you can do this several times a day. This will soothe canker sores, sore throats, oral thrush, & mouth sores in general. This gargling method is better than warm salt water. Salt water actually burns & flares up these acidic conditions, so it’s important to actually avoid salt.  When salt or some other ingredient burns like hell on a sore especially an open & irritated one, know it is feeding and not healing the sore. It’s OK if you swallow the Baking Soda water mixture as it will not hurt you as you will see in the following tip.

Digestive issues — Has been known to help with acid reflux, heartburn, upset stomach, gerd, gout, candida, cancer, & more. Mix 1/4 tsp Baking Soda in at least 4 oz glass of water and drink. Depending on the issue, you can drink this several times a day. Baking Soda is the primary ingredient in Alka Seltzer; check out the ingredients for yourself, it reads sodium bicarbonate.

 

Cleaning Uses:

Laundry — Use as a laundry detergent and spot cleaner. I use a little bit of Baking Soda with a little water where a spot is on soiled clothes and rub it in. When using as laundry detergent, typically 1/2 cup to a cup is what you need depending on the size of the load, and no more than a 1 1/2 cup. I use this along with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer’s Super Washing Soda to clean the laundry depending on how big the load (more about this in a later post).

Bathroom — Use with a little water, and clean the sink, bathtub, and toilet with the Baking Soda.  To get the tub or toilet thoroughly clean, use some white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (make sure to wear cleaning gloves if using hydrogen peroxide just to be on the safe side).  Make sure to rinse out those areas with water well when done cleaning. If having a hard getting those areas spotless, can use some Kosher Salt with the other ingredients to get the area spotless.  If you question if this is a good way to clean your bathroom, then find a small spot you can test this on and work on it. Wait a day or two to clean the entire bathtub or whatever you are cleaning that way you can make sure this is a good way to clean it. Use less salt and more Baking Soda when cleaning in this way.  To clean around fixtures, reserve an old toothbrush you don’t use anymore; they really do a good job in cleaning around circular or odd-shaped areas. My recommendation is 1/8 cup Kosher Salt to 1/2 cup Baking Soda with some water and mix it together in order to make a paste or put it directly on without making a paste. Can add essential oils too if you are into using them, no more than a few drops, but make mixture into a paste if using essential oils.

Cleaning Produce, vegetables & fruits – Fill sink with water and add a couple of TBSP of Baking Soda and swish it around with your hand, then add the produce and let soak for 30 minutes. When dealing with lettuce, need to break them away from the stem. After it soaks let the water out and rinse everything thoroughly.  Then lay everything out to dry for a while.  Make sure to store all produce properly. Berries are the only type of produce you don’t do this to as they start to mold rather quickly; just rinse off with water as you need them and right before you eat them. 

Carpet & Mattress Deodorizer — sprinkle Baking Soda on carpet or mattress, wait several minutes or longer, and vacuum the area.

Spot cleaner on the carpet — use something like an old toothbrush or rag to rub in the ingredients. Use a spray bottle of water to spray the area and pour a little Baking Soda onto the area.  Let it sit for a while if you want, and rub it in until the spot is gone.  Can clean up residue with a rag or vacuum.

Slow drain — Put 1/2 cup Baking Soda down drain, followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Let it boil/fizz until it stops. Then pour 2 quarts of boiling water down drain. Can do this once a month to help maintain a flowing drain or as needed.

If you use Baking Soda in a way I don’t list, please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear how you use Baking Soda.

 

 

Photo found on Internet

 

 

 

 

The Past Not Forgotten — one of my poems

 

By: Lara

Written: August 2018

The Past Not Forgotten

Looking back at my past
I can’t help but wonder at times
If I had made a different decision
Of where the path had taken me
Choices that haunt me
Choices that comfort me
Some make me smile
Some make me cry
Sometimes conversations lead to
Jolting me back to the past
To something I have not thought of in years
An overwhelming surge of emotions come back to surface
That I have to deal with once again
But I have to believe
That because of the past choices I did make
They make me who I am
They led me to where I am today
Both the good and the bad
Shape & mold me into who I am
I have learned much
And will keep learning through life
As that is important
Life is not perfect
I’m not perfect
And that’s OK
I love myself
I like myself
I forgive myself for the mistakes
For the wrong decisions
Regardless if others forgive me
And that’s all that matters
Because I cannot go through life
And be concerned of what others think or say
It does matter what I think
It matters how I treat myself
The past is not forgotten
It never will be
But I will choose to look to the future
Rather than keep looking back at the past.

 

I wrote this in a matter of minutes. I’m sure we all feel that way at times. We all have life choices every day. There are days where I look back and say, “Why did I do that? That was a foolish mistake.” I realize now that each decision not only affects my future, but each decision builds on another and it does affect me powerfully in different ways. But I do choose how I look back at something or how it affects me now.  Let your past be your past, the good & the bad. There isn’t anything you can do to change it.  The only thing you can change is how you look at the past; don’t let it affect you negatively where you beat yourself up over it. Accept what is, forgive self, and let it go because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t.

Power in Words — one of my poems

 

By: Lara

Written: April 2018 & *August 2018

Power in Words

There is power in words.

There is power in what you say

And how you say it.

It matters how we treat others,

So it matters what is said.

They say ‘sticks & stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,’

That is so far from the truth it’s not even funny.

Grant me sweet words to be kind.

Grant me wisdom to know when to speak and when not to.

Grant me peace in all I do

So I may be a reflection of light & grace.

Oh, may I be a sweet sound that brings goodness.

Drench me in love,

So I may be nothing but positive

*So that it may all come from my heart.

 

This poem comes from a place within that knows what it’s like to feel like when others don’t care what they say and how they say things. Words can hurt & they can be misconstrued. There are definitely power in our words, don’t let anyone tell you different.  What we say and how we say it matters. How we treat others speaks volumes about ourselves. We should all aspire to want to be a source of light & love to others.

 

 

 

Tips for healthy hair

20180817_145001
Hair cut & colored recently, August 2018

Not everybody has good, healthy hair. People over process and dry out their hair with too many chemical laden products & heat from blow drying and other styling means. When all the girls in High School (back in the late 1980s) were plastering their hair with hair spray & other hair products, I was the one that was gagging from the scent of those products, & I’m still like that. I really hated gels and styling products period because they would make my hair look oily & weighed my hair down making my hair look completely atrocious. I went through my stage of using electric hot rollers or getting perms. When I look back at doing that, I didn’t like how curly either made my hair look. I rather have wind blown hair or have my naturally wavy hair do what it does without any forcible means, and I rather not have my hair loaded with products especially products that have tons of chemicals in it.

Every time I go to the hairstylist she always says, “I just love your hair. I could play it with all day long. It’s so soft, shiny, & healthy.” I see my stylist every 6 weeks for a bang trim. As far as an overall cut & shaping my hair, I don’t go as often. Sometimes, I go several months before I go to her for that. Really, I’m quite low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I’m a wash & go type of woman, rather than one who is always fussing with my hair.

Coloring hair

In my late teens, I started using a coloring spray can to give my hair a purplish hue. I found my first gray hair in my early twenties, & I thought I was too young to be losing my hair color.  But it wasn’t until I went through a color analysis class and found my naturally auburn hair was not the right color for my result of being a winter, so I started coloring my hair. The instructor had to analyze me twice because of my hair color. It is when she pulled back my hair to see the roots when she determined I’m a winter. If she hadn’t done that, she was saying I was a spring.  Although I pride myself in that I can wear some warm tones & cool tones due to my naturally auburn hair & freckles, when it comes to my wardrobe, you will find my closet is  predominantly cool toned colors. I definitely love the jewel tones; some of my favorite colors. When I colored my hair back then, the coloring products had such a horrible scent I thought I was going to gag, so I was never regular at coloring my hair.

When I found Madison Reed three years ago, I have been more consistent in coloring my hair as it isn’t loaded with chemicals and it has a nice scent. Every color I have tried I have liked, but I stay pretty consistent with using Modena Brown; a true medium neutral brown. I use their shampoo, conditioner, styling cream (I use this very sparingly), & their Amaretto gloss when I want my hair to have a touch of red. I used their highlighting system once, and I didn’t like it because of how time consuming it was. None of their products weigh my hair down instead my hair is healthy, shiny, & leaves my hair smelling nice. No harsh chemical scents to any of it, so my hair loves it and that makes me happy.

Styling hair

Not everybody can do this, but I very seldom blow dry my hair. I can get away with drying my hair only during the really cold months because of where I live, with my hair being naturally wavy, and because the style my hair is cut. Blow drying hair dries out the hair. I personally think it is wise to give my hair a break from that just as I believe not wearing make up every day is important. When it comes to styling my hair, I let it dry naturally most days & just let it do whatever it does naturally due to living in a moderately humid climate.  I run my hands through my hair quite a bit as it dries naturally & move my hair all different ways. When I do use a blow dryer, I always at some point turn my head upside to give my hair some volume; I do this same thing when I brush my hair. I always use a detangler brush, just because I have had issues with tangles in my hair and that type of brush is good to use on wet or dry hair.

20180817_143757   I occasionally will twist my hair as it dries naturally to give it some more wave. Other times, I use some heatless ways for when I want some curl. I have used LocALoc Heatless Headband & Conair’s Soft Curls Sleep Comfy Curlers (which you can buy at Walmart) when I shampoo my hair before I go to sleep. I like both and some times I use a combination of both of them.

Shampoo & Condition hair

I use another shampoo that is non toxic a couple of times a week instead of using Madison Reed’s products. I use a drop of castor oil in place of conditioner on my hair a couple of times a week. When it comes to shampooing my hair, I do it once. Many brands state on their products to shampoo, rinse, and then repeat. I find that this strips the natural oil from the hair which we need in order to keep our hair healthy. When it comes to shampoo, I use no more than a dime size to apply to my hair, and with conditioner, I actually use less. I find that many people use more product than they should. The longer your hair is, you will find you need to use a bit more product. The shorter your hair, the less product you need.  This also depends on one’s hair type.

When I use castor oil (use in place of conditioner), it is after I rinse out shampoo. I use just a drop and rub it between my hands and run it through my hair with my hands. Then I run a detangler comb through my hair to evenly distribute it through my hair. After a couple of minutes, I rinse it. Some people may can get away with using more castor oil depending on type of hair, but I can only use a drop or it will make my hair look extremely oily.

Note: Be sure to use only cold-pressed (or cold-drawn) castor oil that is hexane-free and organic. Any other kind could clog your pores. Another good reason to use cold-pressed castor oil instead of refined castor oil is that cold-pressed oils retain much more of their valuable nutrients, so it’s actually healthier.

I also use the following rinse once a week in place of conditioner. Instead of water, I brew & use organic black tea (I let this cool before combining with the other ingredients & use filtered water). Instead of white vinegar, I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar which you don’t have to do. I use the tea because it is good for dark haired beauties & use the ACV due to it being a highly beneficial vinegar.  Blonde haired beauties can use chamomile tea if they wish to use tea in place of the water. Even though the recipe says it is for two applications, I make it and put it in an easy to pour bottle and use a tablespoon of it at a time. Once I use some of this mixture (when it is about 3/4 full), I dilute it with filtered water. I comb it through my hair for it to be evenly distributed. Those who don’t like the idea of vinegar, stay with using white vinegar or don’t add it to the mixture just add more water or tea, but vinegar does help with adding shine to hair. You will smell the vinegar when you use it on your hair, but once you rinse it out you will not smell it.  Make sure any time you rinse your hair well to follow with a cold rinse as it seals the hair cuticle making the hair lay smoothly.  A smoother hair cuticle reflects light better which in turn gives hair the appearance of shine.

Natural Hair Rinse

Photo notes: First two photos I took and photo of hair rinse from Internet