Tag Archives: beauty

Monday Musings: Five Lessons from a Wife Whose Parents are Divorced

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Divorce sucks. When it happens, it affects everyone-not just the husband and wife. My parents divorced when I was in high school, and the experience hurt. But I learned a lot examining my parents marriage-the highs, the lows and its eventual end taught me a lot of lessons that I draw upon now as a wife. Hopefully these lessons help you too.

1. Communicate as Much as You Can

As an introvert, I struggle sometimes with communicating with my spouse. I find it easier to withhold my thoughts and feelings and retreat into the safety of my mind. But I learned its better for the relationship to talk about any concerns or thoughts you have. Because your spouse wont know how you’re feeling until you tell them. Satan comes to destroy your marriage. He hates unity. He will speak lies to you about your spouse and continue to tell them until you believe it.

Satan: “He doesn’t think you look good in that outfit. In fact he thinks you’re ugly and wishes he was with his ex.”

Wife: “Does he still think about his ex? Does he think I’m ugly?”

By communicating, you put a stop to these lies and get the truth from your spouse yourself instead of assuming. Don’t be afraid to be real with your spouse. Ask him directly, “do you think I’m beautiful?” And don’t be afraid to talk back to those lying thoughts.

Wife: “that’s not true! My husband thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the world!”

Speaking of beauty, I’ve noticed insecurities can lead to assumptions. Which can also lead to arguments. Leading to my next point.

2. Assume the Best, Not the Worst

This one can be tricky because if you’re offended, its easy to assume your husband intentionally tried to hurt you. Especially if the offense is rooted in an insecurity. Insecurities are like healing scars: if you poke or pick at it, it’ll sting. If our spouse unintentionally (or intentionally) pokes at your insecurity, it can hurt a lot. The best thing to do is to first communicate with your spouse and tell them you were hurt by them. Try your best not to attack or assume they intentionally tried to hurt you. I’ve learned the best thing to do with insecurities is recognize them, and grow from it. Assuming things about your spouse can be perceived as disrespectful. You never want to disrespect your spouse.

3. Unconditional Respect

We’ve all heard of unconditional love, but what about unconditional respect? I’ve learned that respect and love are equally important in marriage. Even the apostle Paul talks about the importance of respect as being as important as love in marriage. He commands the husband in Ephesians 5:25-33 to “love his wife as Christ loved the church and died for it…let everyone of you love his wife even as himself.”

But he also adds in verse 33 “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” As wives, we are to respect our husbands. Yes, our husbands should respect us too, but Paul specifically commands wives to respect their husbands. Why would he say this? I believe its because he knew respect is as important to men as love is to women and there would be times where we don’t want to respect our husbands. I’ve learned that respect is something that, when lacking, can cause lasting damage in a marriage. It can cause spouses to be embittered by one another. If a person doesn’t feel respected, they will find respect elsewhere.

Respect, like love, is a basic marital need. There will be times when I don’t feel my husband deserves respect, but I give it because in marriage, respect isn’t earned its required. More on this love and respect principle can be viewed in this awesome book: “Love and Respect: the love she most desires and respect he desperately needs” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs which I’ve linked below.

Love and respect in marriage helps maintain unity in marriage like a glue. Glue is a perfect Segway to my next lesson, which is:

4. Keep the Unity

Unity is so important in marriage. I don’t just mean staying together forever. I also mean unity in goals for your lives. Before we got married, we spoke about life goals together and ensured we agreed on things like: children, pets, home ownership, debt, career goals, etc. We had to make sure we were both on the same page, or else we would not be unified on these topics. Jumping back on that respect point, I make sure never to disrespect or talk bad about my spouse to others including family. Because that will bring division. Speaking of family, family can be a cause of division in marriage. I spoke on this in a previous post called I married you, not your family


It’s important to set up appropriate boundaries with family members, and ensure the family knows your spouse is to be respected as another member of the family. An important  member of the marriage should be: Jesus.

5. Keep God in the Center

Keeping God in the center of your marriage will do wonders for your marriage and even before your marriage. Ask yourselves: Does God want us to be together in the first place?  Plead the blood of Jesus over your marriage daily. Pray for and with each other. Go to church together.

Make sure your heart is right with the Lord so you can love and serve your spouse the way you should. If you include God in your marriage, you will never be disappointed. Finally, the last one which is:

6. Divorce is Never an Option

Jason and I do as much as we can to ensure divorce is never an option for us. By not only implementing the lessons above, but also loving on each other, serving each other, keeping ourselves at our best so we maintain attraction for each other, and keeping our marriage first (after God). Of course, I understand there are instances where divorce should definitely happen, and God is able to make every broken situation into a beautiful one. I want to make sure I do everything I can to ensure its never an option.


Reiterating what I said above: I think divorce sucks. Divorce is like a bomb. Once its dropped it damages everything in its path: the children, the spouses, your finances, your home. So I want to do everything in my power to ensure divorce is not an option for myself and my husband.



Best Toxin-Free Hair Care Products You Need Now in 2021

In a previous post, I spoke about some of the harmful ingredients in many personal care products. Many of which are tied to cancer, can jack up your hormones, ruin some vital organs, and or cause irritation. Many of these chemicals are in our tried and true, ride or die products (I’m looking at you Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner!). Today, I’ll list the best toxin-free hair care products that are great to try for all hair types that don’t break the bank!

SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner pack -$20.89 (at Amazon, see link below)

This brand is known for its high quality ingredients free of toxins that are great for curly hair types. I personally use this exact line, and my hair has been super moisturized since using it. You can find Shea Moisture products anywhere these days: CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

ACURE Curiously Clarifying Shampoo, Lemongrass & Argan-$9.99 (at Amazon, see link below)

ACURE is a vegan hair care brand that has amazing products! This shampoo is a great clarifier that will strip hair of nasty oil and dirt leaving your hair clean and stronger because of the argan oil infused in the formula. They have lines for thin, fragile hair; and even dry, thirsty locks! This brand is definitely A CURE for dry, damaged, limp hair (get it? A cure?). You can find them Amazon or at your local Whole Foods!

Puracy Citrus & Mint Sulfate-Free Natural Daily Shampoo and Conditioner Pack-$25.99 (at Amazon, see link below)

Puracy is a vegan, hypoallergenic hair line that is cruelty free. This award-winning hair care brand has all your toxin-free needs from hair care products, baby shampoo and body wash, body washes, laundry detergents, and multi-surface cleaners! Their Citrus and Mint shampoo and conditioner will keep your hair cleaner and stronger between washes. You can find this brand at Target and Amazon.

The Honest Company Conditioning Detangler & Fortifying Spray-$5.99 (at Amazon, see link below)

This product is Amazon’s choice for detanglers with 4.5 stars. It’ll soften and nourish hair while leaving it smelling of vanilla and sweet orange. This company has it all: body washes, hair care products, even personal care products for babies all toxin- free! You can find their affordable products at Amazon and Target.

Pacifica Pineapple Curls Pomade

Who doesn’t need bouncier curls while smelling like pineapples? This pomade will nourish, and define curls, lay edges and add shine to hair. This brand is also cruelty free and vegan! You can buy these at Amazon and Target!

Kerastase Discipline relays anti-frizz oil serum$37.99 (At Amazon, see link below)

This serum is pretty popular, its effectiveness touted even by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Kerastase is great for all hair types. But this particular line is great for reducing frizz, and smoothing hair: making it a winner for curly, or wavy hair types! You can find this product at Sephora, and Amazon.

Yarok Feed Your Roots Mousse$32.00 (At Amazon, see link below)

Hmm, a mousse that’s toxin free, will nourish my hair, and not dry it out? What more could a girl ask for? This all-natural, cruelty free, vegan product is great for thin, limp or damaged hair. The Yurok Feed Your Roots Mousse transforms your locks into voluminous hair by giving it the nutrients it needs. You can find these products on Amazon or the detox market. They’re having a huge half-off sale right now on their site!

If you’re in need of some hair care products that are free of harmful chemicals, give these product lines a try! They’ll get the job done of giving you luscious, nourished locks without the worry of using dangerous chemicals.

Monday Musings: Why are there so many Dangerous Chemicals in my Shampoo?

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Our body is our temple, right? Most of us are pretty good at ensuring the things we put into our bodies are not poisonous, damaging or harmful to our bodies, right? We wouldnt willfully eat lead or arsenic or inhale asbestos. But what about the things we put outside our bodies? 

Did you know that most of our daily care products like shampoo, toothpaste and lotion are filled with dangerous chemicals? While the European Union has banned more than 40,000 dangerous chemicals in personal care products, the US has only banned around 11 dangerous chemicals. Leaving most consumers with a cocktail of dangerous chemicals seeping into our bodies every day. In this series, were gonna discuss some of the chemicals in our everyday personal care products. But there’s still hope, because I’ll also provide some great alternatives.  

Take a look at some of the many chemicals you can find on the back of many everyday personal care products taken from Safecosmetics.org: 

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. 
  • Paraformaldehyde, a type of formaldehyde. 
  • Methylene glycol, a type of formaldehyde. 
  • Quaternium 15, which releases formaldehyde. 
  • The long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, which have been linked to cancer. 
  • M- and o-phenylenediamine, used in hair dyes, which irritate and sensitize the skin, damage DNA and can cause cancer. 
  • 1, 4-Dioxane, Not listed on ingredient labels, 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant linked to cancer found in products that create suds, such as shampoo and liquid soap. 
  • Acrylates, ethyl acrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and methyl methacrylate) are ingredients found in artificial nail products 
  • Benzophenone, and related products, chemical linked to cancer, benzophenone is used in cosmetics such as lip balm and nail polish to protect the products from UV light. 
  • Butylated compounds (BHT, BHA), Concerns about organ-system toxicity and endocrine disruption led the European Union to prohibit the preservative butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) from cosmetics 
  • Carbon black, dark black powder used as a pigment in cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara and lipstick that has been linked to increased incidence of cancer. 
  • Coal tar, known carcinogen found in shampoos, soaps, hair dyes, and lotions 
  • Ethanolamine compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA, etc.), The European Union prohibits DEA in cosmetics due to concerns about formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. 
  • Ethoxylated compounds (PPG, PEG, polysorbate, phenoxyethanol, polyoxyethylene, sulfates, emulsifying wax NF), breast cancer and other cancers 
  • Homosalate, potential endocrine disruptor 
  • Hydroquinone, cancer, organ-system toxicity, respiratory tract irritation. 
  • Methylisothiazolinone, allergies and possible neurotoxicity 
  • Mica, respiratory problems, and lung scarring 
  • Nanomaterials (zinc oxide, micronized titanium dioxide, micronized quartz silica, fullerenes), damage to skin cells, cell damage, and lung cell mutations 
  • Nitrosamines (TEA, DEA), linked to cancer 
  • Octinoxate, endocrine disrupter 
  • Parabens, endocrine disrupter 
  • PABA, endocrine disrupter  
  • Petrolatum, petroleum jelly (paraffin and mineral oil), cancer, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists 14 PAHs as probable or possible carcinogens and one PAH as a known carcinogen.[5]  A study on Long Island, NY, found that those women with high levels of PAH-DNA adducts had a 50 percent greater risk of breast cancer 
  • Polyacrylamide, carcinogen 
  • P-phenylenediamine, organ system toxicity, cancer 
  • Preservatives (DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea,), Cancer, endocrine disrupters, reproductive toxicity 
  • Phthalates (DEP, DBP, DEHP, fragrance), endocrine disrupters, cancer, reproductive toxicity 
  • Quaternium-15, eye and skin irritation, allergies 
  • Resorcinol, skin and eye irritant, endocrine disrupter 
  • Retinol, cancer (possibly), developmental and reproductive toxicity 
  • Talc, irritation, cancer, organ system toxicity 
  • Toluene, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, irritation 
  • Triclosan, hormone disruptor and antibiotic resistance 
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Whoah, that’s a huge list for dangerous chemicals! How can I possibly remember all of that? Plus, I’m sure its not so bad if my favorite products have only a small amount of these chemicals, right? 

Wrong. According to an article on Safecosmetics.org, it was long held that as long as a dangerous chemical was used in small amounts, it was not dangerous. This theory was put forth by a 16th century physician scientist Paracelsus. He believed that any substance was a poison if you ate too much of it and that any substance could be safe if the exposures were small enough. Research has since revealed that there are no safe exposure levels for some chemicals. For instance, lead can affect brain development even at parts per million. A dangerous chemical, is a dangerous chemical, is a dangerous chemical.  

You’ll notice in the list above, most of the chemicals fall into one or all of these categories: organ system disrupter, irritant, endocrine disrupter (i.e. reproductive toxicity or developmental toxicity), or cancer-causing (carcinogen).

Considering that cancers are 70-90% environmental, meaning not caused by your genes inherited from your parents (5-10% of cancers are hereditary), is it too much of a stretch to consider the products we use as causing cancer? Or even infertility? A meta-analysis published in 2017 in the journal Human Reproduction Update found that sperm count has declined by 50% in 40 years! Miscarriages and female infertility are also increasing, at a rate of 5-10% per year according to singlecare.com. Its easy to wonder if those numbers would be different if the personal care products didn’t have these dangerous chemicals in them.

For example, take a look at some of these everyday hair care products below:

Pantene Pro-V Daily moisture renewal shampoo 

Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo, 20.1 fl oz - Walmart.com

Ingredients (Dangerous chemicals in bold): Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-6, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Trihydroxystearin, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Histidine, Silica, Iron Oxides, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Herbal essences hello hydration shampoo and body wash


Ingredients (Dangerous chemicals in bold): Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycol Distearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Silk Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Cocamide Mea, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Dimethicone, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-6, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1.

Aussie miracle moist 3 minute miracle deep conditioner 

Ingredients (Dangerous chemicals in bold): Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropy, Dimethylamine, Dimethicone Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Glutamic Acid, Edta, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ecklonia Radiata Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone. 

Tresemme moisture rich conditioner 

Ingredients (Dangerous chemicals in bold):Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Biotin, Fragrance (Parfum), Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Disodium Edta, Dmdm Hydantoin, Peg – 7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Peg -150 Distearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone. 

We only get one body, so we owe it to ourselves to care for it, and be diligent with how we take care of it. And what products we use to care for it. I know how disappointing this list can be-especially if some “natural” products you have are filled with some of these dangerous chemicals! But there’s still hope. Consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of chemicals in products, and companies are listening.

If you’re like me, some of those products mentioned above are your tried and true faves! It can be tough finding other personal care products that are free of dangerous chemicals. Thankfully, I’ve found a few good brands to check out (that are pretty affordable too)!

Stay Tuned for My Next Post!



How to Feel Pretty When You Don’t Feel Pretty

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As a woman, I know I am beautiful but like everyone else I have insecurities. For me it’s my hair. It can be so hard to know that you are pretty and act like you know that when you live in a world where literally everywhere you look is someone prettier than you. How does one win in this battle? How do you feel pretty when you don’t feel pretty? Let’s discuss.

I Need to Have This in Order to Feel Pretty

“Feeling pretty” can be a slippery slope for us women. Because beauty is a fluid concept that changes with each generation and is different in every culture throughout the world, its easy for us women to think or say the following: ”I’ll feel pretty once I get_” Fill in the blank with long hair, short hair, fuller lips, bigger hips, or (for us christian women) a man.

I struggled with this for the longest time and often thought to myself, my beauty will be confirmed once I got married. Not realizing how toxic this thought was.

But when I got married lo and behold, the feelings of inadequacy, and feeling ugly and worthless remained. On a side note, marriage can be a hard transition for any person. I talk more about this transition and how to prepare in my article here.

I digress, I struggled with this for a while into my marriage and this feeling of not feeling pretty enough grew into other issues like: generally not feeling happy or content with other areas of my life that weren’t perfect. It was an ugly mindset that on days overwhelmed me until the Lord slowly but surely healed me. How do you feel pretty when you don’t feel pretty? My answer: see yourself differently.

One day a friend sent me that same verse mentioned above, Psalms 139 along with a message affirming me that I am beautiful and created perfectly. The verse hit different this time. And I realized that I have to start seeing myself differently: God, the creator of the entire world made me and He says I am beautiful.

“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.

That feeling of not being pretty is just that-a feeling. And feelings can be fleeting. You can’t trust your feelings. You have to trust in the truth. And the truth is you are beautiful. You know why? Because God, who is truth, says so. It’s that simple.

He died for you and me before He even knew us. So, doesn’t what He says matter more than what I think? Of course! Knowing this has helped me immensely. And reminding myself of this everyday (especially on the bad hair days) has helped a ton!

Writing this verse on a sticky note and placing on the bathroom mirror so I can see it each day has also helped me. How else do you feel pretty when you don’t? Check out some more tips below.

Tips to Help You Know You’re Beautiful

1. Social Media Break

We all need to delete Instagram and Facebook sometimes. The temptation for comparison is so high. So taking a break to study what the Bible says about beauty will help you a lot.

2. Armor Up

How can you fight without a weapon? The Word of God is your most valuable weapon in the fight against inadequacy and feeling ugly. Memorize verses on beauty like Psalm 139:13-14, Psalm 96:9, 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20, 1 Timothy 2:9-15, and Acts 5:29.

3. Fight Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts will always come. But you don’t have to indulge them. When Satan tempted the Lord in the wilderness he was persistent. And that’s how those negative thoughts can be sometimes.

Persistently attacking your mind until you feel utterly helpless. But you’re not helpless. Do exactly as Christ did and use the word to attack the thoughts directly. And eventually, just like Satan did, those thoughts will leave.

4. Monitor What You Watch/Listen to

Be sure to watch videos or listen to things that uplift you and makes you better not makes you feel worse about yourself. Because what you watch/listen to can influence how you feel about yourself and what you think about. For “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7.

5. Be YOUR Version of Beautiful

This next tip is a little controversial. In America, there is a standard of beauty set that is pushed in our media and in our society: small figure, large bust and hips, long hair and lashes. However, most people don’t meet this “ideal standard.”

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

God created you uniquely and the sooner you know that and own that the happier you’ll be. Of course you should be healthy, and take care of your temple which God has given us these bodies to be responsible for them. It’s important to remember that God created us to look a certain way, and He calls us beautiful. And God doesnt make mistakes.

6. Be God’s Version of Beautiful

“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Like I said before, God created us and calls His creation good. He also calls us to dress modestly and to worship him in the beauty of holiness. Being holy is beautiful to God. Thus, how we act and how we look reflects Him. So, dressing modestly is important to God because we are honoring Him and our bodies.


Everyone struggles with some kind of insecurity. I’m speaking to myself as well becuse I’ve struggled with how my hair looks for the longest time. Being black, hair is a huge part of how we as black women view ourselves.

But you don’t have to let them defeat you like I did for a period. How do you feel pretty when you don’t? Implementing the tips I mentioned, and just growing in your relationship with Christ everyday will help you overcome insecurities.