I figured it out! Conventional beauty vs. Individual beauty

So I think I know why this whole life self image thing is bugging me so much. I'm struggling with the concept of conventional beauty vs individual beauty.

For so many years I have always taken comfort in the fact that I am unique and different and that I make my own beauty essentially.  This has been the same with everything; I'm not normal in a lot of respects, and that was always a form of attractiveness.  Eli with the tattoo, Eli with the piercings, Eli with the spiked short hair, Eli with the Rapunzel long hair, etc. etc.

Now that I'm making new changes that are more steam-lined with what today's society would consider attractive, I feel like I'm losing myself to a world of uniformity and, again with this word, convention.  It makes sense for Eli to have long layered hair and bangs because that's what society likes.  And as silly as it sounds, it's really bugging me.

I'm turning into one of them. Okay, major over lapse on what's important with life, but I think that what you perceive on the outside truly does reflect what's on the inside so indulge me.

On the outside, I am making physical changes to look more attractive (notice the world look, not feel).  These changes are what society considers attractive.  On the inside, I am feeling inadequate with who I am and do not feel pretty (and not the world feel not look), so I am making changes to conform to society.  But not necessarily so I will feel better about myself, but so I will look better to the world.  In essence, I'm making changes to hide what's really going on.

So what's really going on? Well I cut my bangs impulsively, and I'm wearing more makeup to hide what I consider to be imperfections; I am ashamed of myself.  I am masking that which was given to my be God to care for, and here I am covering it and marking myself in a way that society accepts, but deep inside simply isn't me.  I'm not trendy, I'm not chic, or in style, or whatever word you want to use.  I am silly, dorky, quirky, bohemian, but here I am making changes in my life to hide just that.

Why? Why are we never proud of who we are and constantly changing ourselves to look how everyone else wants us to? People might think I am becoming more outgoing these days, but in reality I am hiding more of myself than I ever was in the past.  And just like a actor, I spend a crap load of time looking at the mirror throughout the day to make sure my mask is still on straight.

I don't know if that makes sense, and I'm sorry these blog posts have been more about ramblings than anything really useful to you guys, but I usually get really thoughtful around the holiday season so you have to deal with it should you choose to read.

On the plus side my bangs have grown! Woo! I'm excited to show you the growth rate and soon I'm going to be starting a GNC supplement for hair that has a ton of biotin in it, so I'll do a review soon.



Reflecting on the year

Isn't it funny how little things like hair mistakes define us internally?  And it doesn't matter how much effort people put into telling you how much they like you, if you don't like yourself, it isn't going to mean a thing coming from others.

I have spent that past couple of weeks really hating myself.  For those of you that know me in person, I really struggle with depression and I'm not ashamed of that and I'm not going to try and hide it, but this past month has been really, really hard.

And the fact that I really don't like how I look physically has made that even harder.  I've never been happy with my body, which is why I've been working out a lot this past year and really putting a lot of effort into making myself fit and healthy, but I usually had my hair and my face to fall back on.  I'm not saying I have the greatest face, but with longer hair it at least helped console me into being semi-okay with my less than perfect body.

Lately though, after what I'm going to call "my bang job from the hockey stick land", I have really despised my appearance. Now I know I did a big, long, wordy and needless blog about how I was all happy with being ugly and stuff like that, but I'm noticing so much more just how much we as humans deliberately hate on ourselves. The weirdest part for me? It makes me feel better!

How messed up have we become as a society that when we deliberately say things to hurt our inner selves and feel good about it afterwards? It's like we enjoy punishing ourselves in the most demeaning way. I would never talk to anyone the way I talk to myself, so why then do I talk to myself this way?

I recently saw this video about this very problem and I think it helps exemplify how unhealthy we have become as a society, I'm not necessarily talking about how the modeling industry wants a certain body type, or what have you, because honestly, I have no huge problem with the modeling industry, at least not a problem that I'm going to talk about today.  What I have a beef with is how we have learned to punish ourselves to make ourselves feel better because we think we're ugly therefore we are worthy of punishment in the first place.  When did we decide it was okay to deem psychological punishment appropriate because our subjective opinion dictates such?

I'm sure everyone has heard this before, but not having the security blanket in what I considered my most attractive asset, I've really become aware of just how much I hated myself and how much I insulted myself.  It's really been made clear this past week especially.  When the one thing that we hold on to, a temporal thing, is removed from us, we don't default to adapting, we don't try to make it better initially, we don't recognize how unimportant this is to our eternal souls, instead, we resort to hate.  Hate, hurt, contempt.  Like it was our faults that we look the way we do, assuming we have the power to deem worth through physical looks, assuming that we know what beauty even is. How backwards. How upside down.

My goal for these coming months is to really focus on not what I look like physically, but what I would like spiritually.  I don't want to be known as that discontent person who is never happy, which I know that is more often than not how I act.  I think, silly as it sounds, I'm going to aim for basics again; I'm going to grow my hair all out, no layers, no bangs, and while that may not make sense to, say, you guys out there who aren't reading this, but for some reason I'm symbolistic to a ridiculous level and going to back to a style that doesn't require newfangled-ness I think will really help me get back to a none crazy level with fashion and looks.  I've never been one to try and be up to date with the fashion, but I don't think people realize how time consuming and soul sucking it can be, even at the level that I do it.

So, this is nothing more than a long ramble, and I will try to think of more interesting things to talk about, but right now, this is what is important to me, so let the anti self-hate and hair growing campaign begin!


I did something really stupid...

Why is the grass always greener on the other side?

I think it's because, 1) God tells us not to do something and then we do it anyway so He says, "well, fine.  Learn it the hard way." and 2) Because we are just plain stupid sometimes and don't appreciate what we have.

That being said...I did something stupid.  I cut in bangs.

Bwahaha, I'm sure you all are like, "wait a minute, you were just telling us how great they were...?" And yeah, they were, for about two second and then I feel like I look like this;

That is not the face you see when you think, hmmm sexy! That is the face you see when you are about to die in a sugar-induced nightmare coma. Yeah.....so I'm not really happy right now.
But on the bright side, I'm learning to embrace my inner 80s mullet and have become a ninja at hiding my mullet bangs. Also, if there is anything my mother has taught me it's to look on the bright side of life...the bright side of this is that I now will appreciate and love the hair that my God gave me and will never ever try to have bangs cut in again.  Ever.  I might keep some pieces right at collar bone length for some face framing but that's it.  I'm writing off layers.  Ever.  Again.

I'm going to also do something a little fun; every night I'm going to take a picture of my bangs and when they are where I want them to be I'll create a gif for you guys to see the progress.

Picture number one to start off my journey from mullet hair:

That's all for now.  One word of advice, if you're thinking about it: DON'T CUT YOUR BANGS!!!!!


Accepting Average and Change

Hey all,

So, I wasn't going to write this post, but I actually got a request to update (my first request EVER!), so I thought I would share all the fun that's been happening in my life.

The first things first, I GOT BANGS! Here's a photo:

It's a big change for me, considering that I haven't had bangs with long hair since grade school.  It was also a big change, because it wasn't necessarily done for the sake of others' approval; for many people in my family, bangs are not a favorite (and no, I'm not talking about you mom, I know that you're reading this :D).  I did it anyway, not necessarily because I wanted to rebel, but because I'm slowly becoming an individual person again.

I'll explain:
Lately...well, to be perfectly honest, lately the world hasn't revolved around me (not that it ever did, mind you, but anyway) and I have found myself without friends or family around, which means I am alone, which usually means that I start to wallow because I don't know what to do with myself, which leads to mental breakdowns, which leads to straight jackets and...yeah, you get the picture.

So instead of allowing myself to fall into the pit of despair, as I am accustomed to, my husband has insisted that I do something with myself. This has lead me to reevaluating myself as an individual and really trying to accurately assess myself. It's been interesting, because it has led me to some interesting conclusions, the main one being: I am nothing special.

I am not extraordinarily pretty/beautiful/attractive; I am not incredibly talented - I do a lot of things moderately well, but nothing that would merit excessive admiration on any level; I am not sophisticated, or brilliant...I am plain average.

Coming to that realization has been, in a word, liberating. Not being something special has made me so much more aware of how many little things I would doing or think that would put me above others.  For example, let's say you feel pretty good looking and you're walking along and someone does a double-take.  Now before, I might have thought, "Hmmm! I'm looking pretty good today, even the guys I don't know are noticing!" But now, to accept myself as average, the ludicrousness of that statement cannot even begin to be fathomed! Looking at me because I'm pretty? Please, what a dumb and ridiculous notion! The more probable reason is that I have a piece of spinach between my teeth or because my hair might look like someone stuck my finger in a socket...or something else much more likely and reasonable.

It's also helped with my depression and with my brain overthinking.  The depression has been harder to handle, but when you're not constantly trying to be something you're not, the burden and stress of being "ugly", per say, becomes much less a source of unhappiness. Just accepting you're not pretty helps one to not try so hard to be something else that will inevitably lead to disappointment when it doesn't happen.   It's helped with the over thinking, because again, if you're don't consider yourself "all that" then there is no reason to re-run scenarios in your head because of course they weren't thinking anything other than what they said,  to them you are simply not worth the extra effort of hidden meanings.

Okay, I know that all sounds pretty harsh, and this isn't going to be a popular blog, but being able to embrace that extreme mindset has actually helped me to let go of a lot of insecurities, because those insecurities are simply not applicable to me anymore.  It's going to be a journey to get back to a "healthier" mindset, but for right now this is working better than anything else.

Having said all that, I've begun to rebuild myself as an individual; I'm not entirely happy with planning things on my own, but in doing so I'm taking away stress from my husband, who is working two full-time jobs with a couple side businesses in addition, and I'm getting to reconnect with old friends, so there are definitely perks to this.  This has also helped me to be more honest; with myself, my husband, and with others, like my family.  When I'm planning things for myself, I have the opportunity to really think about what I want; I've gone so long with saying, "I'm good with whatever" when that's not entirely true, that I've forgotten what it's like to have an opinion altogether.  I'm just becoming a compliant blob of non-personality, and I'm not okay with that; my husband deserves better, I deserve better and most importantly, GOD deserves better than that.

I've started incorporating new things into my life in little ways, like my hair.  It may not seem like much on the outside, but they are pretty big changes to me on the inside; I'm very symbolic, so what might seem insignificant to you most likely has a pretty profound meaning for me.  My mom mentioned that I'm not so much an "exotic beauty" anymore and more approachable.  At first, this bugged me, because I felt the only thing going for me what being exotic and unique, but when I got down to it I realized...this is more me.  This is a more accurate reflection of me on an outward appearance level. I'm not exotic, I'm very approachable, I am nothing special or out of the ordinary.  I'm an average wife, with an average income, with an average job, living in an average home, with average expectations in life.  It's time I start showing that to the world and stop pretending to be something I'm not.

At any rate, I've also started to collect things to start a small craft business; we'll see how it goes.  I'm also going to try and start singing on stage again - that's a big IF because of my work schedule, but maybe I'll be able to do it at least once a year.  We'll see.  I may not be an incredible singer, but I did fit in well with my local choir, and I had fun doing it.

So I think that's all for now, just a random update blog, but hopefully I'll have to energy/time/desire to get more into it soon.  I hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings, and I'll post again soon.


I'm back!

Hello all!

I am back with a quick post, I just want to say hi and to try and get back into the habit of updating this page. My work place has been extremely busy of late with a remodel so I haven't had the time to update this and home-life is just as busy.  I have a moment to spare, so I'll take advantage of that now.

For hair geekery; I am still using the CO-method and have experienced great success with it!  I am currently past tailbone length (I consider tailbone to be the very top of my tailbone/end of spine.)  The next goal is classic:

For a complete picture journey of my hair length and progress please click here.
I am bored with my hair color though and am considering having another go at Henna.  I might just go with a cheap box color though because money wise, it costs close to 60 to do my whole head with Henna. I'm just not sure about the repercussions of a box dye because I haven't trimmed my hair in a while, so I don't know if I want to risk the extra damage on the ends.

Also, I took the last photo I took and compared it to this one with various growth points on my back.  It's nice to see the progress.  The bottom line in my goal:

With home life I bought a puppy!!! Woo!
His name is Smee:

He about three months at this point and is a terrier/(I think) Collie mix.  The breeder didn't want him because he was supposed to come out a fox and rat terrier hybrid and he popped out with his long coat, so she was trying to find a home for him and brought him to my work.  He and I clicked and the rest is sleepless nights and messy carpets history!

Not really; I'm honestly incredibly impressed with how well-behaved he is and he, thus far, has proven extremely easy to house train.  I would dare say that we are almost completely trained!  He is a little piece of fuzzy Velcro though; the dog won't leave my side.  I'm honestly fine with it since he stays with me at work and I need to know that he isn't going to run off at a moment's notice and not come back.

Work Life has consisted of remodeling for the past week; we are completely revamping the inside of our library and it's going to be much more inviting and community oriented!  We hope to be finished sometime around Thanksgiving.

There are other things in the works; I'm hoping to maybe start dabbling into the idea of starting up a business again soon.  Right now, the priority is still my husband's business though and I don't want to add too much to our plate. I may never have mentioned, but we did purchase a house last November, so we are coming up on our 1 year anniversary of being home owners!  It's been a great learning journey and the house is lovely; I'm very happy to have something to settle into and I know Husband prefers to invest rather than to make rent payments on an apartment that will never be ours.

That's all for now! I'll hopefully be back soon.


Just an update because it's been forever

Hello all!

I'm sorry I haven't written in a while; it's just been so busy!

Not a whole to report on my end - we're getting ready for our summer reading programs at the library and a whole lot of birthdays happen in May, and with summer around the corner we just have so much planned.  I'll keep posting photos and stuff as I get around to them, but I'll probably be a bit incognito for a while.

Oh! I do have so exciting news; I received a modeling offer - there is a local photography business in my area that is interested in doing a wedding dress shoot and they really dig my hair so they offered it to me; I'm sure it doesn't pay anything; they just hired a new photographer that they want to help get experience for, and I'm just more interested in it for fun.  I don't think I would ever pursue a modeling career, but it's nice to know that people think I could!

I'll keep you posted on that as it happens.

I took a picture of my chocolate chip and chocolate chip craisin muffins for you:


A new journey for me *Will be updated throughout the year*

Hello all,

So for those of you who know me, you know that I have a tattoo on my neck;
I've had this tattoo for almost five years now, and it's been a very big part of my life.  I chose to get it for a very special reason that I won't get into now.

Long story short, I have moved on to a point in my life where it is time to remove it. Last Thursday I went it for my very first session of Laser Removal.


Okay, it wasn't that bad.  Really it felt like that sensation that you get when you put your tongue on a 9 volt battery and having someone pinch you slightly all at the same time.  There were only a couple of times that it hurt, but since my tattoo is so small it only took about thirty seconds to go through the whole thing.  I was shaking when we got done, but I think it was from the shock of having my skin super heated and burned to an oblivion.

And the taste.  UGH.  I am told by my laser-person that a metallic taste is to be expected, but she neglected to tell me that metallic taste really meant the smell of an overworked Furby manifesting itself in my taste buds.  Blargh.

All in all, it was not a very bad experience at all.  My next appointment is in the beginning of January.  This is three days after my first treatment:
You can see the scabbing and it looks paler, but I'm hoping to see more fading over the next few weeks.  I'll post pictures as I see progress.

Here is another shot of my neck as it's continued to heal; you can't see too much in the way of fading yet, but when you get up close the sharpness of the tattoo has definitely gone away.

Okay, here is an update - this photo is definitely a little more icky than others, so pleased be aware.

This time the technician did two treatments back to back - the first go was with a larger laser that goes deeper into the skin to help with the pigment and then the second round was the same as my first treatment.  The second round definitely hurt way more than I assumed it would, but at least it took about half the time as the first.  The second laser treatment I didn't really feel, but I think I was just in shock from the larger laser.  It definitely packed a punch.  I didn't taste the metallic taste as much, which was definitely good.

Okay, here we go:

I'll keep you posted on its progress, but right now it's just sore and I'm just trying to leave it alone and treat it gently.

It is now one day shy of a week after my second treatment and I wanted to post a couple of update photos.  The lighting wasn't great on these, but you can definitely see some fading which is very encouraging.  There is still some scabbing be warned.

Definitely some color breaking up; I'm not surprised at how deep the color is, my artist I don't think was the greatest, so this is probably going to be quite the little stickler.  I'll keep you posted on its progress. My next appointment isn't until the first week in Feb. so I've got a while for it to heal from this last treatment.  Luckily, the soreness went away pretty quickly this time around; the first time it was sore for three weeks or so.

We are two weeks into the healing process of my second treatment and here is the progress so far:

Much more pale than my first photo; it looks like it's going to fade overall instead of entire areas going at once, which is fine with me, so long as the sucker goes away eventually.

Alright! So we are here a day after my third treatment.  She didn't hit it with the deeper laser, just with the first laser vamped up and she went over it more multiple times.  Here are the results - and she did break the skin this time around too, so it definitely looks icky.

As you can see we have some redness and swelling, but I'm hoping that as it goes down we'll see even more in the way of fading.

I'll keep you posted!

Okidokies! I think this is about two weeks into healing and here are the results so far:

DEFINITE fading!  Woot woot! We'll get rid of the bugger yet!

I have to be honest, there was a little part inside of me that wanted it to go away all at once and knew that that was not a reasonable expectation so when I looked in the mirror today to see how it was doing I was a little down, but now that I'm looking at the picture of it before my first treatment and here after my third, I'm quite happy.

Hello all!
I went in my for fourth session today - and here is the result.  *she broke the skin pretty bad, so please aware*

OUCH. She really went to town on it, but I think that she is just trying to get in deep because the guy who did really added a lot of ink.
I'll keep you updated on its healing process.

Okidokies here is another update! I went in and this time the pain wasn't too bad in the center, but still pretty tender around the center of my neck:

As you can see, this one was pretty bloody - I didn't take my shower at night so it scabbed up a bit more over the course of the evening, which personally I think was a good thing.

I also took a picture of it the next day:
So as you can see it is scabbing up nicely and has faded a bit more too.  I'm starting to get comments that I need to get it touched up so that's good :)

Here is it a couple weeks from the last treatement
There is DEFINITE fading, which is really nice to see - I feel like I'm so close yet so far!  I'm going to take a break this summer to let my body rest and then I'll start back again in the fall.


This is pretty nifty

I'm sure you've all seen the new Dove Beauty Campaign that's been circulating around.  If not, here is the link: Real beauty Sketches

I felt that this was a great way to just reiterate the need to recognize your inner beauty and to give yourself credit where credit is due. I think Dove said only 4% of women find themselves beautiful, which, with a small number, one can only assume that there are models and women society finds exceptionally beautiful who are not within that small number.  Just because they have been hyped up in our eyes doesn't mean that they feel any differently about themselves than what we feel about ourselves.

This serves as a very profound reminder that we are all far too critical of ourselves, and I hope that someday, we will be able to, myself included, see our positive attributes and feel that those are the most prominent features as opposed to our negative being the first and foremost in our minds.


Settling into a weight higher than your goal weight and being okay with it.

Hello all! 

So, some of you already know, but some of you don't, I have been dieting and losing weight for the past year (I've been losing for about three, but 2012 when I really started getting serious about it.) And I wanted to share a little bit about my journey! 

So, my starting, starting weight, when I my husband and I started dating was 146.  At 5'6" that put my BMI at 23.6 -just above the middle of healthy.  Which was good!  And doing online research, that was actually my ideal weight. 

BUT - of course I wasn't happy with that, so I lost a few pounds for our wedding and settled at 142 and after our wedding I was at 136, which put my BMI at 21.9, which is right where it should have been. 

I decided though, in 2012, that I really wanted to start getting control of my weight, because I simply wasn't happy with it, and I wanted to make sure I was making good decisions and I wanted to lose a little bit of my belly fat.  I'm naturally apple/banana shaped, so my middle is where the bulge typically happens.  It's not something I'm super happy about, but I can guarantee you pears aren't happy with their shape either, and the same for for hourglass people or inverted triangles or what have you.  Most of the time, we simply aren't happy with what we are and want different.  

I started a food journal, and started to seriously diet.  I wanted to lose a pound a week and so, according to my exercise levels (none at the time) my caloric intake should be 1200.  And I stuck to that, for a year, and actually a little into 2013 as well.  I made very careful measurements on what I was eating to make sure I wasn't going over that, of if I did it wasn't often. 

So fast forward a year...and having grown an inch, weird I know, I lost an additional 21 pounds, putting me at 115 at 5'7" with a BMI of 18.  Whoops.  Guess who's now underweight, still unhappy, still flabby and only eating the bare minimum? This gal!

It wasn't pretty.  Honestly, I loved seeing that number, and my secret goal was 110, for a BMI of 17.2.  The lowest a person can go BMI wise and still be considered healthy is 18.5.  I've always fallen into the habit of wanting extremes and my weight loss and calorie counting was no different. The problem was, I was always moody, and my digestive system, which I'm fairly certain has inherited my dad's digestive issues was starting to really act up.  I was just having issue after issue after issue. 

So! Fast forward to a month ago.  I started working out big time.  I'm doing Billy Blanks Tae-Bo around 6 days a week, and I'm eating around 1400-1550 calories a day.  I've gained five pounds, but I'm still getting thinner because I'm toning up big time, and for the first time I'm actually doing pretty good.  It's bitter sweet because I've always wanted to be one of those "stick girls" because I never was, and I've always wanted to be considered super skinny, but the fact remains is that I know it's not healthy for me, and I know my husband was getting increasingly worried, and honestly I'm kinda tired thinking about food all the time.  And interestingly, something I've noticed is that when I give myself more leway in how much I eat, I don't necessarily feel like I have to push that boundary all the time, which is nice. 

I'm also trying to really balance my meals; we've cut out our sodium intake by leaps and bounds and my next goal is...you guessed it: sugar.  Fat content has never really been an issue for us, but the sugar is really kicking my butt as of late and I'm trying really hard to eat my fruits and that be the only sugar I take in.  I'm still tracking my intake with the food journal and their idea of sugar levels I think is a bit extreme, so I'm trying to be realistic about it all and not stress out too much; just cut out the bad stuff. 

It's been a big struggle learning to accept that my body insists on nutrition, as dumb as that sounds, but looking through the ages and seeing how we have skinnified our society to the point where there is a complete and total misconception of beauty! It's so frustrating! 

Beauty Ideals throughout history This is just a brief slide showing how much our perception of beauty has changed; the feminine figure has always been a struggle for people who were born with the natural version of it because we continue to expect the exception to become the rule.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with recognizing abnormally beautiful people and thinking they are beautiful, but to say to the person who wasn't born with the perfect combination of facial features, eyes, height, weight, breasts, that the anomaly is now their inspiration is unfair and unreasonable. Plus that, talk about pressure for the 'perfect' people out there!  Kirstie Clements, a former top editor of Vogue Australia recently revealed that models ate tissues - you know, the stuff you blow boogers into, in order to stay full longer so they wouldn't succumb to eating! How ridiculous is that! And not only is that expected, it's accepted! How on earth can a person who's body is normal simply because she eats a decent amount of calories be expected to compare herself to the woman who hasn't eaten in three days other than tissue paper? That's like comparing chicken to a Macaw and saying the chicken is ugly because they weren't born a Macaw! And even that's not an accurate perception because at least the Macaw gets to eat, probably more than the models out there these days. 

I visited a site called Modeling Advice while I was trying to find photos of the average modeling size and came across their article on Fashion Model Size.  From their website it reads:

In checking around it looks like for Fall 2003 they are back to tall and very thin - 5' 9 to 5'10", size 2 to 4 but I think they would love size 0. If you are USA average of 5'6" size 10/12 forget about any hope of being a high fashion model this season.

...Am I the only one whose blood is boiling at reading that?  Seriously?? "Forget about any hope of being a high fashion model this season." So basically, you don't fit in, forget it. And I understand completely that in the modeling industry you have to understand and accept that there are certain things that they are looking for in a person and that's the way it is.  That's not my beef...I guess my problem is the fact that these extremes of  what a human look like are being considered what is normal and to be aspired to.  That's what the problem is.

Argh.  I'm on a roll, sorry.  This has been bugging me for a while.  I understand it's natural to want to look good, but we need to change our perception of what "good" is.  We need to understand that our bodies aren't meant to show our rib cage and we're not meant to eat tissue paper in order not to gain weight...it's so terribly frustrating. I've shared this site on here before, but I want to share it again.  Healthy is the new Skinny because this group is bound and determined to help change the mindset of the too skinny model. Their goal, as stated from the website: 

Healthy is the New Skinny (HNS) represents a platform for women to get information and support that leads to the evolution of each individuals mind, body, and spirit.  The media defines women and beauty in a very narrow way, which has contributed to woman hating their bodies and themselves.  You are the most beautiful when you are happy and healthy. You can’t love life if you do not love yourself.  HNS is a movement to support women all over the world to love themselves and each other. We strongly believe by doing this we can shift the balance of love in the world through the strong love of woman.  We believe women are the source of love in the world and we are unable to spread that love if we have no love for ourselves.  We were not born to hate our bodies or to name more things we dislike about ourselves than we like, these things have all been taught through our culture and media.  At HNS we view it as our responsibility to promote and protect that source of love and in order for us to change the world we have to start my changing ourselves!

 Core Beliefs

  • It is not enough to say “I love my body” how you treat your body is how you show your love and respect for your body.
  • By changing your thought process you can live a realistic and healthy lifestyle by being active and eating foods that are nutritious and supply your body with energy.
  • We believe every woman has her own natural, healthy weight and body size that cannot be defined by a chart or a comparison to models in magazines.
  • You are your most beautiful when you are healthy in mind, body, and spirit. One of these should not be valued over any of the others because together they equal a perfect balance.
  • Be kind and forgiving to yourself.  You are human and this life is a learning environment. You can’t change the past but in this moment you can make choices that will determine who you will become in the future.
  • We believe feminine energy and love will be abundant if we unite as a team to support and love each other and ourselves.
  • We do not believe every single model is unhealthy but we do believe that by showing only one specific body type (abnormally thin and tall) as the beauty ideal for ALL girls and women is creating an unhealthy negative environment.
  • We believe by showing girls all different types of beautiful healthy bodies, not valuing one over the other, this will allow girls and women to be more accepting and loving of their own bodies. This will result in them having less anxiety and animosity towards each other.
  • Everyone wants to be valued.  Every girl wants to be special. Girls are searching for something like the label of “model” to define them as special.  The truth is they are already special and beautiful but because of our beauty culture, girls are not able to recognize the beauty in themselves.  We feel it is our responsibility at HNS redefine what we see and value as beautiful and to help girls see and feel the true meaning of “Beauty.”
I really believe that we need more websites and people like this.  I've been finding myself more and more trying not to focus on that stupid little number on the scale and more on how I feel and how I look and how I'm perceiving myself.  My husband has been a big help because he tells me when I'm starting to wallow in that nasty, "I'm fat" cycle and he'll tell me to eat when I don't want to.  Having someone to help you through that is a big help and quite invaluable in my opinion. 

I also am seriously considering starting to model simply because I want to be able to help the mindset that you don't have to be unhealthy skinny in order to look happy, healthy and model worthy.  I've had a couple of people come up and talk to me about modeling, specifically because I have the long hair, and while I don't want a stranger to take my photos I am going to ask my husband to help with this...it might be small, but I hope it will help a little. 

So that's my rant for now. For me, it just all goes back to being able to praise God for what you have and are, and learning to make yourselves as glorifying to Him as possible. 

I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. - Psalm 139:14


He is faithful

Hello all!

So I'm back from a mini trip, which is why I've been incognito - sort of - that and trying to catch up on work stuff.

We went to Washington, D.C., which is far from my favorite place, but we did see some amazing things while there, and I had several good experiences that I'm going to share with you.

First, the obligatory hair geekery - I used a shampoo for the first time in a month on the trip, mainly because we were sharing a house with all of my husband's family members and I didn't want to hog the hot water with my CO washing method, so I bought a V05 shampoo - not the one I wanted - and used that.  I definitely felt the effects of the detergent soaps and my hair was a little more "sticky", I'm guessing my hair follicles opening up a little bit more than with the conditioner, but when it dried it behaved just fine. I will - hopefully - be able to find a nicer shampoo than the one I used there, I think it was their body/volume/balanced option - can't remember - and I just didn't care for the smell.  I might revisit my Giovanni shampoos to see if those work better, and I'll use them to clarify about once a month.

Here are the results of my hair with CO only and a clarifying shampoo (This is about two weeks after the trip, so keep that in mind.  It's soooo shiny today!:

Okay! Onto the more fun stuff:
So in D.C. we visit the Nature and Science Museum, Air and Space Museum, Asian Art Museum, Spy Museum, Library of Congress, Botanical Garden, The Castle, Arlington, The National Cathedral and I think that was it...oh and we also saw some of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, which lasted all....day.  It was crazy trying to cross the street to get to the different museums.

Here are some of the photos of the various places we saw:

Botanical Gardens

Library of Congress

Diamonds are forever



I wanted to save the reason for the title for my blog for last, because it was by far the most profound and lasting thing that I experienced on our way out to D.C.  For those of you who know me, I have a petrifying fear of flying...I can't stand it, I go into conniptions, and, before you suggest it, Valium doesn't work.  (The last time I flew and I took Valium I went into a laughing fit at our gate and the flipped out on the plane.  Not cool.)

I considered going to the doctor for quite some time because I thought I could take this pill that kills your anxiety, but keeps you alert at the same time, which is preferable because if I'm knocked out, then how on earth would I be able to know if we are dying?? I don't want to go onto a plane and fall asleep because of a drug knowing that there is the possibility I won't wake up.  I just don't like that at all.

So anyways...after struggling with the idea of medication for a few weeks I realized that I needed to do this without the aid of a pill.  Why? Because fear is not becoming of a Child of Christ, and to indulge in my fears and seek the comforts of the world to fix it just wasn't right for me.  I'm NOT saying that people who use medication to help them fly or through any other situation are doing the wrong thing, but what I am saying is that I felt the absolute conviction that it wasn't right for me.  God very distinctly gave me the impression that I was not to do this through chemical means, but rather through spiritual.  What did that mean?  Pray my butt off, that's what it meant.

So I did...I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and the first two flights were glorious.  No bumps, easy landings, it was incredibly soothing - I even fell asleep on them!

So going into our last two flights - we had layovers for both journeys to and from home - I knew that I would be comforted.  Which I was, only this time I was being comforted through a CRAP LOAD OF TURBULENCE!!! Good heavens it was terrible!!! I'm pretty sure the pilot had something to do with it, especially when we were landing and he attempted with the plane what I would guess a bucking bronco might attempt when trying to unseat his rider.

But get this...throughout the entire thing I didn't feel a single ounce of anxiety!  I still, out of habit, grabbed the seat in front of me and I still got those stomach in my throat feelings, but so did everyone else because our plane felt like it was skidding on ice.

Our final flight home was much less bumpy and our landing was great, but seriously, guys I cannot express to you the absolute calm I felt through all of them.  My adrenaline was up a little bit on the very first flight, and I can't help that, but the fear and the anxiety and the dread and the knowing with absolute certainty I was going to die in a fiery plane crash just. wasn't. there. Praise. God!  It was awesome.

I know that, had I gone to the doctor and gotten a pill, I could have probably gotten something that would have helped, but that doesn't change the fact that I did what I'm certain God asked of me, and He gave me what I needed, which was entire peace.  I experience peace with the acceptance that if anything did happen, then I knew where I was going anyway, regardless if I got there in a big metal tomb with wings or of old age.  It didn't matter, I would be going to the same place.  It was so nice.

So, just a lovely moment of thanks and praise to God, my Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit for blessing me with this experience.  It's hard to describe this without sounding like - possibly - a dorky, crazy, Jesus freak, but at the end of the day, that's what I am.  Exactly what I am, and I hope that you understand a least a little bit of the encouragement that I'm trying to convey.

That's all for now, I hope you have a lovely day, and I hope to share more with you soon.


Blogging just isn't happening right now

Hello all!

So it's been very, very busy at work and home right now, so I do apologize for the lack of blog posts (I know I cheated by updating an old post, and that doesn't count.)

I will soon be back to my regularly scheduled blogging; I think if I can't find more people to volunteer for the Friday Feature then I'll feature mahself (yay) because I have still been faithful to the Conditioner Only routine and would like to share a little more about that and get some decent hair photos out there.

Other than that, I took a photo for you and hopefully I'll be back by next week!  Luvs yooze :)

Oh! And I took a photo of the tree behind our building:


Subscription issues with my blog and an update

Hello everyone!

First of all, thank you so much to one of my reader's for letting me know that my subscribe option was not working on my blog, which might explain the high volume of views, but no followers - it's either that or I'm just not worth following *enter melodramatic violin music*.

So I have fixed that!

Also, I want to apologize because I have not been blogging near as faithfully as I would like to these past two weeks; it's been very busy at work and a lot of stuff has been happening at home, so I've just been a little to busy.

My mom has been hit by the period hair bug and has been trying lots of cool different hairstyles, so I wanted to share that with you today.  If anyone is super interesting in how to do this hairstyle, let me know and we'll record a video for you.  I do want to start doing hairstyle videos too, but I'm still trying to find the right place in my house to do it and figuring out the right settings on my camera; I don't know enough about it yet to really be efficient about it and I hate poor quality videos because you lose so much of the detail.

Okidokies, I think that's it for now!

Here is my mom's hairstyle creation:

Side view

Front view:

I love this style because it is very versatile; you could use this for a number of different eras and it's still modern enough that you could easily use it for everyday work use as well.  Very classy and apparently it held very well, so a good long lasting hairstyle.  Thanks, mom!


Friday Feature Fun!

Yay! I got another interviewee! This is my dear friend and "other mother", if you will, and she has graciously accepted my persistent nagging and begging requests to interview her hair. 

Here you go! 

Current length: 35 inches

Are you currently growing your length or maintaining?: Growing

If growing, how long have you been growing your hair?: I would guess about six years.
As a fellow hairaholic I find it very interesting to hear what exactly about hair it is that others find fascinating. What started your interest/obsession with hair?: I have had long hair most of my life. For some reason, I just don't like the look of short hair on most people. I think long hair is more beautiful and certainly more versatile.
As with any hobby, there is always something that irks us just a little bit. What are some of your frustrations/pet peeves as a person with a hair hobby, be your hair long or short? (i.e. nasty comments, getting stuck in doors, hard to take care of, styling, etc.etc.): I am tired of the notion that older women shouldn't have long hair. It seems to be a mid-west thing - but I could be wrong. People seem to think when you hit forty, you are supposed to cut your hair, perm it, and dye it blue. Otherwise, you are considered an "old hippy." I think it's ridiculous.
If money, damage, social stigma, etc. where not a factor, what is the one thing you would love to to try out?: A professional hot oil treatment.

What do you love about your hair: That I can do so many things with it.
What do you hate about your hair: The ends are dry. That seems to be an ongoing battle.
What’s something you like to do as a “treat” to your hair?: Conditioning treatments - the kind you leave for a couple of hours.

What are your favorite products?/What are you currently using?: Coconut oil, coconut oil, coconut oil!
What’s your hair care routine? (In a nutshell; I know most of us have pretty extensive hair care regimes): It's about as basic as can be: I wash it two or three times a week. I only wash the scalp. I don't wash the long part of my hair. Then I condition. When it dries, I put some coconut oil in the long part. Once a week I condition with coconut for a couple of hours before I wash it.

Many of us have one thing that we will never, ever do to our hair no matter what (i.e., bleach, curl, straighten, color) what is that one thing for you?: I have two things. I will never color it again. I have done so many times in the past. It's too damaging. Now that my hair is beginning to turn gray, I will let it happen naturally. I will also never be likely to put layers in it again. I regret that I did that a few months ago. If I could turn back time...
If you have a favorite hairstyle, what is it?: My most common hairstyle is parted on the side with combs. My favorite hairstyle is a loose French braid or in some kind of an updo. I think it's less intrusive than all the hair.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received regarding taking care of hair?: Coconut oil, coconut oil, coconut oil! Thanks, Eli!