Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Free - My Update on the Clutter-Free Challenge

Since January, the Lord has me in a state of de-cluttering, organizing and planning. Glynnis Whitwer's Clutter-Free Challenge helped me get the ball rolling.  The ball got stuck in a ditch for a couple months, but now it's back on playground. Better now than never!

From Glynnis's blog and her book, I Used To Be So Organized (I immediately related to that title!), I learned clutter is different from being disorganized. Among other things, clutter is having too much stuff and hanging onto it for the wrong reasons. Organized clutter is a band-aid approach at best, so buying a bunch of plastic bins is not the fix.

Here's a personal example: I receive a heartfelt gift from a friend or family member, but it does not fit my needs, aesthetic, home, lifestyle, etc. Please understand, I am thankful and I express it, but the said item almost immediately goes into my closet where I don't have to deal with it. I keep it out of obligation, usually in a subconscious effort to please others. I feel bad about getting rid of it, even though I don't want it.  

Recently I discovered another awful cycle in myself. I procrastinate on cleaning and organizing my stuff by "getting  away" for a few hours. This usually means I go shopping, and while I don't always buy things (sometimes I just browse), if I do pick up something, I come home with more stuff... and the cycle continues. It's even worse if I so-called "paid good money" for it, which somehow mentally allows me to justify keeping it. This includes hard-earned dollars spent on beauty products:

BEFORE: Under my bathroom sink
January 2012
AFTER: Stuff was given away and
unnecessary (and OLD) bottles of product were thrown out
March 2012
I believe the clutter in the home -- the real state of it, inside drawers and in "private" areas -- is an indication of the clutter in my real heart and mind. So, following that logic, I had to ask myself, what's occupying valuable real estate in my heart and mind, thereby leaving the Holy Spirit less room and less of me to work with?  This will be addressed during my church's annual Pentecost season 50-day fast, which starts April 7. This year we are giving up something which hinders us in our Christian walk, and we will also begin doing something which will help us in our walk. It's a personal, individual and voluntary sacrifice.

Well, regarding becoming clutter-free, I'm happy to report progress!  In addition to the under-sink pics above, I worked out my closet issues. Oh my Betsy... my closet was totally out of order. I forgot to take a before pic, but trust me when I say it was NOT cute, e.g. shoes all over the place, clothes strewn everywhere. This weekend I made it my mini-project. Here's the "after" shot:

Look at the pretty blue background...
I painted the closet! You can't see in the pic, but the bottom half is turquoise
and the top half is a minty blue, like shades of the Caribbean ocean.

Check out the order in my closet! So much better.
The shoe bins were less than $1.00/each at Walmart. My next step is taping pictures of the pair on the outside of each box.The hat boxes on the right contain scarves, organized by color family.
There you have it. I still have work to do, but I figure if I take it one step at a time -- one cabinet, one closet, one dresser -- I will get to a place where I'm not living this way anymore. Prayer is huge. Here's the prayer Glynnis shared on Day 1 of the challenge, which is taped inside my closet. When ever I felt anxious, I stopped and read this, speaking it into the atmosphere:

"Heavenly Father, You alone know my heart as I start this challenge.  You know the depth of my discouragement and the loss of my hope that I’ll ever be free of the clutter in my life.  So today, as I take this step with Glynnis and other many others, I’m asking for Your help.  Help me have Your perspective on the areas of my life that feel overwhelming.  Clear my mind of the negative chatter.  Protect me from an enemy who wants to confuse and defeat me.  Reveal his lies and replace them with Your truth about my worth and potential.  With Your help I believe I can make progress.  In Jesus name, Amen." 

Winner Chosen for Sunny Isle Giveaway

Hey Y'all,

Sunny Isle Lavender JBCO and Pomade

I only have a handful of subscribers, but whether 5 or 5,000 people visit, I appreciate anyone who takes a moment to stop by the blog or vlog to show love.  In the spirit of thanks for all that love, the Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Giveaway winner is...

 Shelia B.
Congratulations, Shelia!

Shelia, I emailed you this morning and I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

This will definitely not be my last giveaway. Another package of product from should be arriving on my front porch in the next few weeks and I just can't keep it to myself -- literally!

I hope you all have a blessed week while being a blessing to others!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My First Giveaway! **Closed**

Good morning, y'all... as mentioned over the weekend, I want to share some of my leftover products with you from my reviews of Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil brand. There's no need for me to keep all of this stuff, and what better way to say thanks than to share the wealth with you!  So here we go with my first blog giveaway ever. Thanks, and Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

The winner will receive one (1) bottle of Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil and one (1) Lavender JBCO Pomade. Entering is easy:

1. "Like" JamaicanOil on Facebook (for convenience, you can do this through the Rafflecopter widget below)

2. Respond to the following questions by commenting on this postHave you ever used Jamaican black (or regular) castor oil?  If so, please tell us about your experiences with it in any aspect of your beauty routine. If not, what do you hope to gain from using castor oil products?

The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, March 25. If you enter on Monday the 26, 2012, at 12:01 AM, there will be an audible womp-womp on the inside of you, and this is not how you want to start your week, right? Right.

My quote of the week is from Proverbs 31 Ministries blogger Tracie Miles...
"God has a holy vision of the divine masterpiece He is building in our lives."

Have a beautiful and blessed week in Him...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Product Review: Sunny Isle Pomade

Continuing with the Sunny Isle product reviews...

Rosemary Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Pomade
JBCO Rosemary Pomade
Their site says, "Our all 100% natural Rosemary Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Pomade is perfect for dry scalp, split ends, hair breakages, hair frizz, dandruff and promoting hair growth. Sunny Isle Rosemary Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Pomade contains the following ingredients Organic Beeswax (no granules), 100% natural Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Extra Virgin Jamaican Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, fragranced with 100% natural Rosemary essential oil. This natural formula holds style, adds definition and shine. Our Pomade contains no petroleum or minerals."

Ingredients: (see bold section above)

Pros: This pomade is naturally much lighter than regular petrolatum grease and melts easily in your fingers. The consistency is smooth and not granular at all, as promised. I wasn't sure about the beeswax, but this product isn't waxy at all. Since it's basically castor oil plus rosemary oil, both of which are said to stimulate hair growth, I went ahead and applied it to my scalp while putting in two-strand twists.

It offers a very light hold (I can't stop saying "light"). When I washed my hair last night (Day 6), I didn't notice any excessive build-up. The scent is mildly fragrant, especially in comparison to the strong candy-like scent of Oyin Burnt Sugar. Keep in mind, I haven't tried any of Oyin's other pomade scents yet. The Sunny Isle Pomade also comes in Ylang Ylang and Lavender scents, both of which are... light.

Cons: I can't think of anything bad about this product.  Price might be the only downside, but since you can use it for styling AND for scalp massages, I think $9.00 for 4 oz isn't too bad. That's more expensive than greases like Dax or Blue Magic, but it's also less than Oyin's Burnt Sugar Pomade ($12.00 for 4 oz, as of the date of this post).

The Verdict: Oh yeah, it's a keeper.


My best products live in two locations:  side-of-tub and top-of-bathroom vanity. After just two washes, Sunny Isle's shampoo scored some side-of-tub real estate.  I washed and conditioned my hair last night for the second time using SI, mixing the deep conditioner with MOP Mixed Greens to see if that would provide more slip than the first time. It helped a little. 

Then I twisted my hair using SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, set it on satin-covered sponge rollers (you can find it at Walmart), wrapped it up in a satin scarf and called it a night. This morning I spritzed with a little light oil and combed my fingers through it gently. This was the result -- bouncy bumped twists, which should last at least a few days. Then I can undo the twists to wear a stretched fluffy fro for a few more days. Hubby likes it :-)

Allergies = sleepy-looking photo

I might give up shower detangling altogether and just save it for the styling process. When following my normal routine, I do twists to stretch my hair using slippery products -- typically SheaMoisture something, Curls by Sisters Smith Wet Set Hair Pudding (which I love), straight shea butter or some kind of pomade/grease. And with my new brush, detangling while styling damp hair is an absolute breeze. By the way, the Goody Denman knock-off brush I bought a few months back ended up being way too stiff for me. I prefer this one over the regular Denman. Very little hair ends up in my brush at the end of my twisting session:

It's on a website for horses, but works great on kinky-curly hair
Note: I re-found this brush via this video by MyNaturalSistas... and then found the same brush under a different name for less (including S&H) simply by reading the comments under the video. My college roommate used to have one and it was so good on my relaxed hair. I'm glad to see it works just as well on my fro.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Product Review! Sunny Isle Products

Hey y'all!  Some cool hair-related things came to fruition this month.

I just started doing product reviews for! For me, this means tons of hair stuff coming in the mail and a whole new set of reasons to post more often on YouTube. But, if you've heard about my sensitivity to clutter, you know I can't keep all this stuff, so I'm going to share the love with my peeps -- those of you who follow the blog or the YouTube channel (Shonesters). More to come on that soon...

The brand is Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil and I tested their shampoo, conditioner, and the rosemary-scented pomade. Without further adieu, here's my first "official" product review video on all three products. Get the nitty-gritty details on the shampoo and conditioner after the jump.  More details on the pomade and other products will be posted over the weekend here on the blog.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bluebonnets and Peace

I so enjoy seeing new naturals popping up all over the place, much like the springtime bluebonnets in Texas which turn a field purple-blue almost overnight. This is one of the things I miss most about springtime in the Lone Star State...

Fields of soft, fluffy bluebonnets can evoke a peaceful state of mind, but the true peace of God is so much greater. He would not have us in a state of perpetual turmoil. His plans for us are great... better than we could ever imagine. I'm so thankful today for the peace of God in my life, and the reminder He is the source of it all.

For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. - Jeremiah 29:11