Monday, August 27, 2012

The Liebster Award

YAY!  My cuz and fellow natural blogger, Roni of The Savvy Housewife, gave me a Liebster Blog Award! 

The Liebster Award is for up-and-coming blogsters -- such as yours truly -- who have less than 200 followers. Small bloggers, unite!

The nerd in me had to go check a German-English translator to verify the meaning.  Liebster is indeed a German word (masculine, noun) which means "sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, etc." Liebste is the feminine version. **nerd moment officially over**

My dear cousin Roni is definitely all of those things. Thanks for thinking of me, hon!

Here's how it works:
  1. Each winner must post 11 random things about him/herself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the tagger set for you.
  3. Choose 11 bloggers who you would like to receive The Liebster Award.
  4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you tagged to answer.

I'm not sure where the number "11" figures into the liebster concept, but I'll go with it.
So, without further adieu, 11 Random Things about Me:

my latest doodle using Crayola :-)

  1. Jesus is AWESOME!  Period.
  2. I'm a doodler. It helps me focus. (Hmm... based on Roni's response, maybe it runs in the family?) I also enjoy painting and drawing. One summer when I was a kid, all I did was draw hundreds of teddy bears.
  3. Blue Bell Ice Cream is THE BEST. Hands down. And I'm not just saying this because I'm from Texas. If you haven't tried their ice cream yet, get thee to a Walmart immediately!
  4. I like to think I have a green thumb, but I really don't. I can't keep houseplants alive for more than a few weeks. The stuff I plant in the yard is usually either too big for the place I put it, or it dies young. #wompwomp
  5. Way back in the day, I worked as a production assistant for Brian Williams, the current NBC Nightly News Anchor. He's a really nice guy, and his family is so beautiful.
  6. When I go shopping, about half the time it's just to touch the fabrics and materials. Silk... mmmmm. Leather... ohhhhhhh. Soft cotton... ahhhhh.  *blushing* 
  7. I really REALLY like period pieces, such as Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and Pride and Prejudice. It's not just a fad. For me this started back in the 80's with Little House on the Prairie. 
  8. I still drive the Jeep my parents gave me when I graduated high school. Hey, it's paid for and she runs like a champ. Regular oil changes can make all the difference.
  9. In my lifetime, I've had more than 30 pets. Most of those were cats. My favorite pet was our Labrador, Lady. She was so sweet.
  10. I just started the Robert Brace 28-Day Challenge. Today is Day 4. I am officially humbled. 
  11. Baby dolls are kind of creepy to me -- not Barbies but the ones with the big heads with eyes open or closed depending on how you position them. *skeeving*
And here are the questions from Roni to moi:
  1. What's your favorite color? Navy blue.
  2. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I would be an elephant, because they are familial and majestic. I would also stomp on things and have loads of fun during bath time.
  3. Who inspired you the most? Jesus. He did for me what no one else in this world could ever do. Who else offers salvation, redemption, intercession and the Holy Spirit as an ever-present comforter! 
  4. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go and why? Hawaii, because I've heard the sunsets are breathtaking and the beach is so relaxing.
  5. What is your favorite food? Oh, this is a tough question, but I just melt whenever I eat a tender, fall-apart-at-the-fork, BBQ/smoked brisket. My dad makes the best brisket ever.
  6. What was your favorite subject in school? It's a tie between Honors Art and English.
  7. What is your dream job? Philanthropist + world traveler + Christian counselor, giving liberally, seeing this gorgeous planet, and helping people get free. 
  8. What is your favorite season and why? Spring is my favorite season because it's cool, the birds are singing, the earth is blooming and the mosquitoes aren't out yet.
  9. Besides blogging, what is your favorite hobby? Anything I can do creatively with my hands, such as jewelry, sculpting, painting, photography and video editing.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three things you would take with you? My husband, an amazingly comfortable bed, and an unlimited supply of Pandora radio.
  11. What movie would you pick to describe your life and why? Haaa... I have absolutely no idea, but maybe The Goonies? It's a coming-of-age adventure story. Kids find a treasure map, go on an journey not too far from home, knock down the bad guys and show love to other outcasts. One kid gets his first kiss. It's sweet, and it's the first thing I thought of, which is just plain weird.

So I really can't think of 11 small bloggers!  I hope I don't kill the duck by doing this, but I'm going to open this up to ANY small blogger OR vlogger who would like to participate. Once you post, please submit a comment letting me know, and then folks can trek on over to your site to get to know you better.

And now, for you lovelies out there, 11 Questions!

  1. What's the best thing that's happened to you so far in 2012?
  2. If you could be any kind of vehicle -- motorized (like a car) or non-motorized (like a skateboard), which would you be and why? 
  3. What's your favorite comfort food?
  4. What motivated you to start blogging/vlogging?
  5. How would you describe your personal style in three words?
  6. Who is your hero and why?
  7. What are the first five songs which show up in your music player (e.g. iTunes, mp3)?
  8. What color dominates your clothing closet?
  9. Which precious stone best represents you?
  10. Which room in your house is your favorite and why?
  11. What types of movies do you most enjoy?
Much love, and have fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Natural Afro Hairpieces

Me w/Power-Puffs, circa 1980

Weaves, wigs and hair pieces are a completely different world for me. I've never worn braids or extensions of any kind. I'm not knocking anyone who does. I just never explored or considered it for my personal use.

As a little girl, I had goo-gobs of hair and the same is true today. Today, I can almost duplicate the puffs in the baby pool pic (above), though it's doubtful you'll see me in a green checkered bikini, lol.  Eight months ago, it only took me 45 minutes to turn my afro into a full head of two-strand twists.  Now that same process takes about two hours. Wowsers!  Despite the increased amount of time and product required by the length, I'm so thankful to God for my hair, and I'm really happy it grew back so fast.

So the idea of adding more hair to my current situation makes me want to sit on the porch with some lemonade and fan myself! Then I saw this afro pony puff piece video by eturner820:

If I saw her on the street, I would NEVER have thought she was wearing a puff piece! It looks so chunky, soft and natural. After seeing her video, for the first time, I could see myself wearing an afro pony piece... and as the weather cools I'm even more likely to try it. In the meantime, here are a few more pieces I found online which I would wear, and all cost less than $20 as of the date of this post. If you don't find a fro you like on a particular site, search for the piece by name again. At least one of these has been reviewed by YouTubers and you can find them through multiple distributors. Note: I am not a paid advertiser/endorser for any of the following sites/brands, but just want to share what's out there!  

Noir Everytime Drawstring Ponytail Afro Sexy (photo source)

Magic Collections Ponytail AfroClip Large (photo source)

New Born Free Synthetic Drawstring Ponytail Effy (photo source)
Have you ever worn an afro piece?  Please school me.  


Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY Pinterest-Inspired Dresser Makeover

I finally did it -- my first furniture makeover project inspired by this Pinterest pin about a lovely coral-toned dresser. It's a great feeling to take something you've admired online and actually bring it to fruition.

Check out this video about my little dresser makeover, including before-and-after pics at the end. And just in case you want to skip all my hemming-and-hawing, I'll cut to the chase with a few "before" and "after" pics.

Measurements of dresser: 48" x 31" x "16
Glossy laminate/pressed wood

a grainy pic of the six drawers with gold hardware
And now the "after" pics. I'm am officially smitten with Annie Sloan Chalkboard Paint.

I used two coats of a shade called Greek Blue. The result was this matte, velvety finish, smooth to the touch. The paint had little to no scent. My brushes cleaned up easily with mild soap and water. Perhaps best of all, this project required no primer and only two thin coats of paint. So easy.

At around $38/can, it's not cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. I only used a third of the one-liter can.

Yeah, you read that right. ONE-THIRD of a tiny little can covered the mirror frame AND the dresser.

It's butters, I tell you. Butters!  It can't be normal to like paint this much...

Have you ever used this brand before? If so, I'd love to see your project. Feel free to link to it in the comments section below.

Until next time, much love, and praise God,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Changing the way you *think* about your hair

How does going natural change the way you think about your hair?  

For me it meant adopting a completely different aesthetic, one by which I now value height and volume over hang. It didn't happen overnight though.

I've been natural since around 1997, but I took the pic above about a year ago. At the time I was really excited (as you can see by my cheesy smile) about having my hair blown out and flat-ironed by a pro. It was nice and cool outside, the sun was shining, and my hair was flowin! But within a few days, I grew weary of this look. I kept it in for two weeks only because... well, because I paid money to get it done and didn't want to "waste" the style. When he saw it, my husband was like "Meh." I was natural with a TWA when he met me, and my hair is one of the things which attracted him in the first place. Thank God for a natural-appreciative man.

Trust me -- the Canada side really is better!
TWA! Me and my dear Charles <3 td="td">

Picked-out fro, July 2012

Twist-out crown, pinned up in the back
close up of a twist-out, June 2011

It took me a while to see the beauty in hair which stands up and away from my face, hair with tight coils, frizzy hair, BIG hair. In fact, I don't think I really began to embrace frizz until the past year or so. Well-defined curls don't matter much when wearing natural hair in an intricate updo, a face-framing flat twist style, or a chunky unpicked fro. Curl definition is less of a rule to me; now it's just another option.  I still appreciate being able to achieve it when I want to, but I don't HAVE to see my curls poppin' all the time to be happy with my hair. I'm thankful for this changed mindset, this new aesthetic.

one of my first chunky twist-out afros

I'm also thankful that my lifestyle, job, etc. allows for me to do this without retribution or penalty. I understand not everyone feels they have quite as much leeway (though sometimes we really can get away with more than we think). Not everyone can do a faux-hawk at work without getting a side-eye from the boss. That's a whole 'nother post... but really, that's not the point. It's less about how "they" (whoever "they" are) regard your hair and beauty, and more about how you regard your hair and beauty.


So whether you're going from bone-straight relaxed to a TWA, a big afro to long locs, or a well-defined twist-out to blown-out (or what I like to call "exploded") curls, it may take a real paradigm shift before it registers in your mind as a good thing, a beautiful thing. But this is your hair -- your God-given mane!

And this is my hair. Unique. Puffy. Healthy. Sometimes crazy and unpredictable, but always beautiful.


Be patient. Look at your features and don't automatically see the frizz as something to fight. Instead, it is an aspect of your beauty to embrace and enjoy.

*climbing down off my soapbox, headin' on back inside the house*


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Pippy Takedown and Rodeo Day

Someone just read the title and thought, "Is this still a hair blog?!" Yes it is, my friend. Well, sort of.

One day soon, I'm going to make a natural hair video using a different accent. You just keep watching. I'm gonna do it. The Texan in me is just BEGGING to be set free. In fact, I've been feeling very nostalgic for Texas lately.  I want to run through a field of bluebonnets. I want to thrown on some cowboy boots with Wrangler jeans and ride a horse on Rodeo Day. Yes, in Texas, we celebrate Rodeo Day. Not sure if they still do this, but we even got the day off from school!  I also still love to sing Texas songs, like The Yellow Rose of Texas and Deep in the Heart of Texas. You may remember the latter from Pee Wee's Big Adventure if you're around my age.

"The stars at night, are big and bright *clap, clap, clap, clap* <-- you get cool points if you can finish the line, and triple points if you know the whole song.

In the meantime, please check out my latest video. I took down my Pippy pigtails, which I used as a stretching method, and then *bam* turned it into a twist updo. I think this is my first styling tutorial. Oooooo...

I know. It's monumental.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Wash Day and The Pippy Method

I just posted a new video to my YouTube channel. I have fun making these videos, but oh my Betsy... why does it take so long to upload to YT? Is it just me?  This five-minute video took more than an hour to post.  I put it into queue last night, prayed for the best, and went to sleeeeeeeep.

I hope you enjoy my video, my little creative outlet.  If you like what you see, please show your support by subscribing to my channel. And for the record, peace is most definitely NOT corny; I just don't like saying it at the end of my videos. But on that note...

PEACE is not the absence of conflict.
PEACE is the presence of God.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shh... there's a squirrel outside.

Just watch. Watch, I tell you!! This should satisfy your cuteness quota for today.
This made me LOL, fo-weal:

Random thoughts

I look sleepy in the pic on my blog header. Why didn't anyone (um, hello... husband!) tell me?

Check out Alisa Burke's post on sketching supplies and process, which is perfect for artist newbies or people like me who want to get back into sketching.

Feeding ducks at Shelley Lake is fun, but I feel bad because I can't feed them all. And what about the poor turtles? The geese just step on their heads. Maybe if I had a bread bazooka, I could blast a loaf to all of them at once... but then they would probably fly away. #overanalyzing

Steamed red cabbage with olive oil, salt and pepper is so good!  Yes, all by itself, no meat. That's what I had for lunch today. Plus a bowl of fresh cherries.

Mama Natural posted my profile on her blog. Yay! She's so gorgeous, and her YT channel is on my list of faves. I luuuv to show love for other smaller-scale bloggers. *virtual hugs*

For now, that is all. Have a blessed and productive day.