Getting the ball rolling…Setting goals.

So I stated in my previous blogs that I would like to post more consistently. Well here is my plan to do so! I have enrolled in a 10-day FREE course offered by WordPress.com’s Blogging University. I absolutely love this course because it gives me some guidance on this journey that I’ve embarked on. On Day 1, we were instructed to set 3 goals. #bloggingbranding

GOALS.

  1. Publish weekly.
  2.  Create a weekly post (ie. Hair Tip Tuesdays).
  3. Gain 100 followers by year-end.

 

And that’s it! I’m keeping it simple, (plus they only asked us to set 3 goals, I’m just going to follow instructions lol) because whenever I set a million and one goals, I end up only accomplishing one. If I’m lucky, lol. How about you try it too? Set some goals for yourself. If you don’t have a vision board for the year, create one. There is a lot of information on how to set attainable goals and how to accomplish them. Having a goal gives you something to work towards, and that helps create structure which is how people are successful in life. And let’s not forget about our ultimate goal, heaven. Set some goals in your spiritual life. Do you need to forgive someone?🙋🏾  I do. Are you dishonest? Do you forget to pray before you go to sleep? Pray for guidance to conquer these things. Start small. Make a point to have a simple devotion every morning and a short prayer before you sleep at night. It makes a huge difference in how your day goes and how you react to situations that will occur throughout life. As you get used having devotions, you will find that you will spend longer and longer in the Word. Lastly, don’t start tomorrow, start today. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. And don’t worry about it either! Focus, and start setting goals today!

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Phillipians 4:13 KJV

Advertisements

Catching up. 

Hey guys, it’s honestly been so long since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t posted anything about my hair, my journey to medical school, how the MCAT went, whether or not I have applied, or if I’m still on the path to medical school. So much has happened in the past year and now I finally have the time to share it with you.

First, let me apologize for being ghost, lol. I just checked the date on my last post… July 25,2015. That is horrible y’all. I gotta do better lol. But honestly, I struggle with writing. However, I’m starting this blog back up because I sincerely want to share my journey with you and hopefully I will be able to help someone along the way. I will also try to keep my future blogs shorter. (Keyword try 😬)

Now for the hair update. 💁🏾

My hair has grown but I’m not really sure by how much. Winter 2015 wasn’t the best for my hair. I tried something new- I washed and DCed my hair weekly. I thought that by washing my hair weekly, I would retain lots of moisture. But I missed the big picture–moisturizing daily. Without moisturizing daily, all the moisture I put in my hair evaporated the next day because my strands are highly porous. I ended up retaining less length because of the excess manipulation (detangling) every week. So, this winter, I’m keeping my hair in protective styles and moisturizing every 2-3 days (I’ve been skimping since I’ve had my marley twists in, which I installed myself😁). Summer 2016 was great. I really believe that I was able to retain lots of length during this time because I finally figured out what my hair likes. And drum roll please…I did wash and gos. All summer (well most of the summer, I had coils for 1 month).  I finally  figured it out! That was the secret to my high retention of growth. Low manipulation, and lots of moisture. No, I did not shingle my hair, yes I have 4B/4C hair, and yes my curls were poppin’. I literally would wash, and go 🏃🏾. It was great. I also discovered the beauty of bentonite clay. It is now apart of monthly regimen. This product is key for a successful wash and go.

I’ve realized that my product stash is shrinking. I don’t go to Target just for the sake of it anymore. Anytime I go, I actually buy something I need. Also, I’m moving more and more towards using DIY products. I have a subscription to CurlMix (https://curlmix.com which I love by the way) and few of their DIYs have become staples in my regimen. My hair just LOVES natural products 💆🏾. Right now my product stash is about 50-50. All of my moisturizing products are natural, 1 cleansing treatment is natural, but I’m still using store bought shampoo, conditioner, and protein treatments. But I will eventually transition to all natural products. I’m also looking to figure out how to care for my skin with natural products. My skin is okay, but it could use some more care.

Since I said that I didn’t want to make this post too long, I’ll end it here. If you made it to the end of this blog, you’re a trooper 😄! Thanks so much for reading it and God Bless!

Next Blog: Journey to Medical School Update🏥🔬💉💊⚗️

 

My Experience with Henna 💆🏾

So I know that it’s been a while since I’ve written. So I’m just going to be completely honest with you, I’m soooooo lazy. I don’t like writing either. Those two factors combined, is the reason why my posts are so sparse. I just realized that I post every other month. Smh. I will make an honest effort to do better. Not just for you, but for me too. I’ve been a bit more consistent in my journal writing, so hopefully that will consistency will spill over into my blogging (I hope 😬).

Now, lets talk about henna. Henna (Lawson inermis) is a plant that is used as a natural alternative to commercial hair dyes. Henna has been used for over 1000 years. It contains a compound called lawsone, a strong pigment that is responsible for the red/orange color that is left on your hair. The proteins in your hair safely bind with henna. Henna doesn’t alter your hair strands like commercial dyes. Commercial dyes oxidize your hair strands (that means your hair is permanently altered and damaged). Henna, also known as hennotannic acid, is classed as a naphthoquinone (aka a ketone). According to RSC publishing, naphthoquinones are known to react with amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins). Henna is natural, safe, and does not irritate the body. The dye is released when the leaves from the henna plant are crushed. “Drying, milling, and sifting the Henna leaves into a fine powder maximizes the pigment (Lawsone) release.” (Henna Color Lab)

The preparation of henna is very simple. There are a few different ways that you can prepare the henna for application. I watched many different videos on youtube of people mixing the dye and also applying the dye to their hair. I also researched the authenticity of the henna powder that my friend gave me. (I got a little nervous when I read about some person’s experience with the henna powder they bought and how it smelled like straight chemicals 😳) After all of my research, I decided to prepare the henna, and apply it to my hair.

My process of Henna preparation and application:

Step 1: Shopping. My friend got the henna I used from Amazon. Ebay or an Indian grocery store are also good places to purchase henna (these are the places that generally carry PURE henna) Also, reading the reviews will help you weed out the bad options.

Step 2: Research. I watched a lot of tutorials that showed how to prepare the henna and how to apply it. I was mainly watching the videos to see how they prepared it. In most of the videos, people used hot water along with other conditioning ingredients. Some websites actually recommended using an acid solute, like lemon juice, to release the dye. I bought the lemon juice for the henna, but I ended up not using it because I thought it would be too harsh on my hair. Plus, most of the tutorials had used hot water, so I just decided to go with the flow. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention earlier that henna can also be used as a conditioning/protein treatment. Henna is just that good.

Step 3: Preparation I boiled about a 1 ½ cups of water in a small pot. Then, I used a small disposable plastic bowl (a sturdy one like the ones you would get whenever you get nut butter at Whole Foods, or whenever you buy prepackaged “fresh” foods at the grocery store—or you could go to Sally’s and get a color mixing bowl) to mix the hot water and the henna powder. I gradually added the hot water until it became a thick paste. This consistency was perfect for me. It made the process A LOT cleaner than what I saw on Youtube and what my friend described when she did it. I allowed the dye to release for at least 8 hours. However, believe it’s best to allow it to sit overnight so that you will have a potent dye when you’re ready to apply it to your hair.

Step 4: Application. I applied the henna to my hair at the bathroom sink. I wore an old clothes I didn’t care to get dirty. Then, I placed saran wrap over my sink to catch any pieces that would fall while I was working. Next. I put my hair into 4 sections. Before applying henna, I based my hairline with vaseline so that the dye wouldn’t stain my skin (this is very important). I put my gloves on, then I went to work. I used a color applicator brush, but you can use your hands if you don’t have one. I just used it because I had it lol. Although, it did make the process less messy…but it’s up to you. The entire application took about an hour. When I was done applying, I rubbed the henna into my hair, similarly to how you would rub in a relaxer. Then I covered my hair with saran wrap, a plastic bag and then a scarf to help keep the henna from making a mess in my bed. I left the henna in overnight, for approximately 8 hours.

Step 5: Wash. So this was the hardest part. I really don’t know how long it took me to wash that stuff out. I didn’t believe them when they said that it takes forever. I also didn’t believe then when they said that it will clog your drain… 😐😑 boy was I wrong. I took about 30-45 minutes to wash the paste out. Then, I used conditioner to wash the remaining residue out. After that I proceeded to deep condition, then clarify my hair. I reversed the washing process because I was preparing my a hair for a new journey (hint hint 😏).

So what do I think of henna? I think it’s awesome! I LOVE how it made my hair feel! I’ve never seen my curls SO defined! It was so awesome. It’s a dye and a protein treatment, all in one😁. However, this stuff stains. Like, my hands were orange for a couple of days after. I took my gloves off after applying the paste and didn’t put more back on when I washed it out. Huge mistake. Also, another huge mistake, (actually the biggest mistake of all) I did not put something over the drain to catch the paste (newspaper is good—it allows the water through but stops the paste). That stuff will CLOG YOUR DRAIN. A clogged drain is the one of the most annoying things. I had to unscrew the top covering the drain to get the gunk out. Thank God for Youtube videos. Won’t He do it 💃🏾lol.

Overall, it was a really good experience. Would I do it again? Yes! Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely. Without the shadow of a doubt. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’ll answer them as best as I know how! Happy reading and God bless!

Until next time,

B. Parkinson, future D.O.

Sources:
http://hennacolorlab.com/what-is-henna/
http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/ChemTech/Volume/2008/08/fingerprints.asp

P.S. Here’s the a link to a video by Green Beauty Channel that provides a comprehensive overview of henna:

Also here are some words of encouragement:

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

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

~Matthew 28:19,20

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

~Proverbs 3:5,6

Studying for the MCAT…

Heyyyy y’all!

I know that it’s been a while (like a month😬) since the last time I’ve posted something. I’m new at this, so please, bear with me lol. Anyway, I’ve been so busy in past few weeks, that my number one goal in life is being pushed to the back burner!!!! Yes, I’m currently studying for the MCAT 2015. And I must say, it is very hard. Why? Well, I have a job and out of nowhere I’ve become extremely active in my church. Any downtime I have (which is slim to none) I spend it relaxing…instead of studying 😩. I know, I know it’s bad. But I think it’s due to the fact that I don’t have a schedule. (My bad school habits are coming back to haunt me in life!) My work schedule isn’t consistent so I can’t really make a “permanent” schedule. So for right now, I’m going to make a daily schedule the night before. My Mom gave me a planner that I have already started using. Putting stuff in my phone is ok, but I like the old fashioned, written planners. (I filled it out and already and May is packed!) They work great for me—when I follow it. 😬 Hopefully I can graduate to making weekly schedules by the end of the month.

Now, let’s talk about this “new” MCAT. So, the MCAT 2015 tests your knowledge and your ability to apply your knowledge in familiar or new situations in 7 different subject areas. It also tests your reading comprehension abilities. The MCAT 2015 has 4 sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and finally Critical Analysis and Reasoning skills. The test is 7.5 hours long, including breaks. So yeah, this test is nooooooo joke. This new MCAT has 3 more subjects than the last version, Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology. At first I was like, 👀 “What crack have they been smokin’??? Are they trying to kill us???????” But then I read the descriptions of each section, watched the short videos and had a change of heart 😌. I even finally understood why Physics is actually important for med school (😳 who knew). They are making medicine better. I totally get it. Do I have to work ten times harder? Yeah. But in the end it will be worth it. We’ll all be truly be prepared to be the best physicians that God wants to serve His people. And THAT is my goal. 🙌

So, like I said earlier, my studying habits are so crappy. I haven’t been studying regularly for like 2 weeks!!!! 😩😩😩😩 I know, that’s really bad. especially since I want to take it July 17. That’s about 2 ½ months away!! I feel like I’m not going to have enough time. I’ve seriously thought about pushing my date back to August. Shoot, at this rate, September don’t look to bad either. I haven’t actually registered yet so there won’t be any penalties😪. I’m still saving up that money 💵💵💵 . Oh yeah, the test costs $300. They added more stuff, and raised the price. These people, lol. But it’s all good, because it’s an investment. By God’s grace, I’ll make this money back and then be able to help others🙏. But I can’t make that money back if I don’t have a good score and don’t get in!! My GPA is crap compared to the average matriculant. So this test is my only chance to show that I can actually handle the rigor of medical school. So I gotta get back to studying regularly. I’ve got to stop slacking in life period because I can’t live with my parents forever. They’ll eventually kick me out. 🚶

I believe that the one of the keys to success in my journey to and through medical school, and life in general, is scheduling. This can help break those demons of procrastination, laziness, tardiness and the rest of the things that come with “The Slacker Mentality” (aka senioritis on steriods—which lasts beyond senior year and will most likely affect all aspects of your life if you don’t ask God to take control) that I conveniently developed during my senior year. That sluggard Solomon talks about in Proverbs is ME. “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” Prov. 6:9. I used to get up right when my alarm went off. Now I just turn it off and go back to sleep and trust that God will wake me up in time to get dressed and go where I have to go 😂. And that verse can be applied to our lives literally and spiritually. However, my friends, that is an entirely different post.

I will continue to press forward, and you will too! Continue to pray without ceasing and be blessed!!! 🙏😄

Until next time,

B. Parkinson, future D.O.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

Getting Started…Moving Forward

Hello everyone!!! You might have guessed from my site name that I’m self proclaimed naturalista that wants to go to medical school. Yep, I’m a black girl with 4a-b hair that wants to be a doctor. I’m starting this blog because I want to share my journey with you! Yes, you, who’s reading this post right now, this is for you. Everyone that has natural hair knows that having natural hair is a journey in itself. Adding med school on top of that, geez, man I don’t even wanna think about it! 🙅 Anyway, let me give you a little background about my natural hair journey.

In August 2012, I decided that I would no longer relax my hair. My final relaxer was in June 2012. After about 6 months of transitioning, my mom big chopped my hair on December 26,2012 (I didn’t take any pictures, sorry! 😩) So in June 2015 I will be 3 years post-relaxer. I can’t really believe how fast the time has flown by. Right now, my hair is the longest I ever remember it being. I hope to grow it to BSL (bra strap length) by March 2016. That’s about 11 months from now. Right now I’m almost at APL (armpit length). However, I’m in need of a routine trim so that will put me back about ½ an inch or more 💇. Hopefully it’s not more than ½ an inch. So that’s a pretty basic version of my natural hair journey so far. There’s more that happened with my hair in the past 3 years than I’ve stated, but I’ll go into more detail in future posts. So, now that I’ve given you a background about my hair, let’s talk about med school.

I wanted to be a doctor from a very young age. That’s all I would tell people when they asked me what I wanted to be. As I grew older and matriculated through school, my focus didn’t change. I still desired to become a medical doctor. I remained on that track until I went college. After my freshman year, I grew bored with medicine and switched to dentistry after being exposed to it through a summer program. For the last 3 years of college, I was a hard-core Pre-Dental student. I was sooo sure I was going to be going to Loma Linda School of Dentistry if not right from undergrad, a year or 2 after I graduated. But in the back of my mind, I was never really certain that this was what I was called to do for the rest of my life. So when I graduated from college in Spring 2014, switched back to medicine and started studying for the MCAT. However, I still wasn’t sure about medicine so after about 3 months studying, I began to slack and not care to not hit the books as much. Eventually I just stopped studying all together. Around the same time, (early Aug. 2014) I began working in a pharmacy. Working in the pharmacy got me thinking, why not go to pharmacy school? It’s a good job. You’ll get a decent salary, you’re still going to be a doctor (of pharmacy) and you’ll have patients (customers). And most of all, you love chemistry! Pharmacy would be a great fit for you. But (yes there’s a but) the longer I worked in the pharmacy, the more I realized that this was not what I wanted to do. I began to realize what I REALLY wanted to do. I didn’t want to just dispense medicine everyday and argue with customers about why they can’t get their medicine today or why their insurance won’t pay for it 😒. I want to help and guide people onto a pathway of better health. I want to encourage those who have chronic diseases to change their lifestyles. I also want to do research to find new methods of treatment for chronic diseases, especially heart disease and cancer. Could I do this as a pharmacist? I highly doubt it. That’s why I’ve decided to go into medicine.

Anyway, I’ve talked enough about why I want to go to medial school. I think I talked enough period! I hope this was a good introduction into my life as a naturalista and pre-med student 😄. I know that I have really big dreams, (that seem impossible for me to really achieve) but I believe in them. And until now, I’ve never taken a chance at trying to make them come true. “For with God, nothing is impossible” Luke 1:37. So here it goes! I wish God’s richest blessings on all of you!!

Until next time,

B. Parkinson, future D.O.

“Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”  ~Anonymous