Gift Guide for Naturals

If you’re natural like myself you probably have a ton of natural hair care products. Some of them worked and were amazing and others you used once and should have tossed but for whatever reason you’re still holding on to them. Whether you are newly natural or you’ve been in the game a while I have the perfect gift guide for naturals.

It’s important to know your hair type and what your hair can take. All the women in my immediate family are natural, but we all have different hair types and our hair does not react to the same products the same way. I know that my hair is thin and cannot take a lot of tension, particularly around my edges. I also have type 4c hair that craves hydration.

Now that I’ve stressed the importance of knowing your hair type here are some products that I recommend across the board:

  • Eco Style Gel (Olive Oil) – This is my holy grail product. I do not travel without this product and I keep back ups of it. I love this product for slicking down my hair and laying my edges. It’s not drying and pairs well with the correct products. One thing I do not use this product for is wash and go’s, it always flakes on me.
  • Pattern Beauty – I recommend this brand as a whole. My favorite products are the brush, spray bottle (amazing), conditioner, and hydration spray. This brand has products for different hair types and texture so they are bound to have something that works for you.
  • Jason’s Vitamin E Oil – I just love this stuff for my whole body. I use it as a moisturizer everywhere and it does not break my skin out. One thing about certain hair care products is that they may have a tendency to cause break outs, particularly on your forehead.
  • Urban Hydration – This brand is a newer brand to me, but nonetheless has products I love. The Honey Leave-On Detangling Spray is amazing. It makes it easier to detangle and leaves my hair feeling moisturized, it’s a must in my Pattern Beauty Spray Bottle. The Honey Laid and Slayed Pro Gel is another product that I’ve been loving. I do not use it as a gel to slick back my hair but I love it for wash and go’s, and finger coiling.
  • Cantu Shea Butter Maximum Hold Strengthening Gel – This gel holds the number two spot for me when it comes to creating a slick ponytail. I love that it doesn’t get rock hard, nor does it flake. This product will give you a nice smooth and moisturized ponytail.
  • White Rain – I’ve been using these products since my high school days. I love to add the Volumizing Mousse to my ponytails and I seal the deal with the Hair Spray.
  • Dove Amplifies Texture Leave-in Conditioner – This stuff is the truth. It has my dry hair feeling loved and looking juicy. I recommend this product to all naturals.

A gift basket would be the perfect holiday gift for the naturals in your life. I guarantee that they will love the majority of the products recommended.

Stay tuned for the next nine days of 12 Days of Blogmas.

Postpartum Depression

There have been a few blog post that I have done that I’ve been extremely nervous about; this is one of them. Postpartum depression is something one in seven women experience. I want women who are dealing with it to know you are not alone and there are resources that are available. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many jobs have some type of Employee Assistance Programs that offer free and confidential counseling sessions, there are also a ton of programs offered in the community.

According to the website postpartumdepression.org: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mood disorder. Women who develop PPD have feelings of intense sadness, worry and exhaustion following childbirth. PPD is extremely common. Approximately one in seven women can expect to experience depression in the year following childbirth.

The first thing I think I should mention is that I did not start experiencing any symptoms until my cycle returned around the 7 month mark. I have always been an emotional person when I’m on my cycle, but these emotions were magnified to the point where I felt like I could not function. I realized that I was emotionally unstable and could not cope with the stress of having an infant, sick father (he’s better now), and still having to function as a human. I would literally be at work sitting at my desk and start crying. I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that was wrong with me that made me feel all the emotions, but I knew something was wrong.

Here are some of the symptoms I experienced:

  • One of the main things I experienced was sheer exhaustion. It didn’t matter how much I slept I was always tired. It was hard for me to get out of bed in the morning and I cried a lot because I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
  • The worst thing I experienced was the rush of emotions and heart palpitations. In the time that I have been dealing with this I have experienced extreme emotional instability. I would get intense waves of emotions and have panic attacks.

One of the worse things about dealing with postpartum depression is the feelings of inadequacy. I felt like I could not take care of my child the way she deserved and I felt like it was affecting her. That made me feel pressured to get better, but I did not have the tools or proper coping mechanics to do it on my own.

I reached out to the people around me for help first. It has to be said that you can’t expect someone to give you something that they are incapable of providing. I think a lot of times we look for what we are missing in things or people that can’t provide it or don’t know how to. I would encourage anyone who is dealing with any type of emotional or mental instability to strengthen their relationship with God and seek help.

My sister and a close friend encourage me to go to counseling. They were consistent with checking in on me and making sure I was taking the steps to become emotionally healthy. I was sent Bible verses that were uplifting and empowering and one of the most important things is that they listened. Emotional support has been one of the things that has helped me the most. I needed someone that I could talk to and that I trusted, thankfully I entered counseling and had a friend step up.

I encourage you to speak with your OBGYN and be open and honest about what you are feeling in some cases they may want to put you on birth control to balance your hormones, they can also refer you to a counselor. Whatever you are feeling there is no need to be afraid, you are not alone and there are people and organizations that can help.

With Love,

Amanda

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

How many of us have found ourselves caught up in Christmas shopping and decorating that we forget the reason for the season? I’ll be the first one to say that I have. I had to be reminded of the reason for the season by a complete stranger while out Christmas shopping with Scarlett. I was given the book The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren. The older gentleman encouraged me to make sure I took the time to read the book with all the children in my house.

After reading the book I spoke with my nephew and asked him the purpose of this season and why this time of year is significant. His response, “To get gifts and because it snows.” I have to admit I was a bit disheartening by his response. Had we as a family been so caught up in the Holiday madness that we hadn’t stress the importance of the season.

I had to explain to him that Jesus is the reason for the season and I made sure I took the time to read the book with him. I’d like to encourage everyone to remember why this time of year is significant. Don’t get so caught up in the madness that we don’t teach our kids the importance of giving to others, our communities, and most importantly giving our hearts and minds to God.

With Love Amanda

DIY Projects

This is the first DIY Project I’ve done in a while and I love how it turned out. I took a simple vase I had around the house and spray painted it and added some new flowers all for $20. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add special touches to your house. As I revamp my house I’m excited to share all the special projects along the way.

DIY Project: Vase Revamp

Mental Health

Today I found myself Google searching how long PPD last. I have been having a rough day and found myself with a lump in my throat, a pain in my chest, and tears streaming down my face. What triggered all this you ask? Being stuck with no car!

I’m currently in Maryland spending time with my child’s father and his family and I’m stuck at his families house with no car. I have to say being without a car is one of my pet peeves. I wanted to go get a mouse for my laptop so I could work without struggling to use the built in mouse. There were a lot of files I needed to have open and I needed to be able to easily swipe back and forth without the screen size shrinking and expanding! Unfortunately, when I finally made up my mind to get a mouse I realized nothing was within walking distance. Somehow all of that triggered what felt like a midlife crisis.

I found myself blowing up my mom and sisters phone to vent. I was upset that I was stuck, hungry, aggravated, cold, and emotional. I felt like my child’s father didn’t appreciate what I did on a daily basis or the discomfort I had to deal with to stay here for a week while I had to work. I was so distraught that I had to take the rest of the day off.

I eventually calmed down, but these extreme highs and lows aren’t something I experience before the baby. I realize that a lot of my problem is that I like to be in control but after the baby I felt like I was no longer in control. I now realize how important it is for me to go with the flow. It’s important that I realize that it’s okay if plans change, it’s okay if I can’t control every little aspect of my life. The important this is that I’m healthy and on my healing journey and that I have a happy and healthy baby.