Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ohio School Actin Up! No afro puffs allowed?!?! O.O

I've been perusing my fb timeline for the last few hours.....well thats actually a little exaggerated. It seems like a few hours but I'm sure its only been 1. lmbo!


Read this---->>

Reading and digesting information about new legislations being passed. Watching people argue their opinions and beliefs backwards and forwards with emphasis on what they believe, not hardly addressing the concerns and ideas of others involved in the discussion. Plus more...and more .....and more verbose social network mayhem! lol. I must say, it's been pretty disheartening to see. However, I was moved to write when I came across this article shared by one of my good fb friends. Not so much because of the content, but because I've seen a reoccurring theme even carried on into the other posts related to current news happening around the nation and the world today. I guess this article was just the tip of the iceberg;) Let me explain.....

This article is about a charter school in Lorain, OH that decided to do some dress code reform and ended up offending a whole slew of parents, community supports, and other random people who have no clue of the kind of teaching efforts this school puts forth on a day to day basis BUT have been outraged by a mistake that they feel "shouldn't have ever happened." Now lets explore this idea a bit.

"This shouldn't have ever happened" is in the hearts of those that I've read commenting on status updates during my perusing today. But my question is, why shouldn't it have ever happened? Is it not the process of trail and error,  mistakes and mess up's, hang ups and hiccups, even trail and tribulation that test us? Causing us to respond? Is it not the so called "issues of life" that make us, shape and mold us into the human beings that we'll become?

What I'm trying to say is; It's how you respond to the world around you that is the biggest indicator of your personal character and integrity!!

Today I've seen a whooollllleeee lota bashing, judging, and condemning in response to current events. I've seen hatred......unhealthy anger and frustration...... Self seeking...... Pride...... Dishonor...... Finger pointing....... Boasting....... Ya'll get my point. lol!! Not very much LOVE. And honestly, it makes me feel bad. Simply put, It's bad energy:-/

Boy ol boy do I wish that I always responded to people and life circumstances in love. I'm not perfect in this area, so I won't look at everyone else as crazy for their response. I'm just recognizing the need for stuff like this to happen in order to challenge our humanity. Whenever challenging situations arise, it's like putting us up in front of a mirror. O.o Where would we be if we lived in a perfect world but we had corrupt hearts? We would be in a heap of mess eventually I'm sure!! We'd mess it all up! lol. But here we are in a dysfunctional world, that we can instead choose to use whats happening around us, to bring out the best in us. The power and presence of God (who IS love) on the inside of us.

I'm not saying to not be vocal in the areas of your passion!!! What I'm saying is that there is A WAY to respond;) Every time something challenges our thoughts, belief, lifestyles, etc. we have a chance to let love go to work in us. Transforming us into the people and ultimately the humanity that we were created to be. Everyone who knows me, knows that I believe in the power of love. Its a dynamic force that can change you and the people around you like nothing else in this world can do!! It heals, it conquers evil work, and it is the least used weapon of all time warfare. Think about it;)

Let love live.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BOX BRAIDS **summer time protection**

Protective style box braids for the summer! Be sure to check out instagram and facebook to find more style choices for your box braids as the summer time weeks go by!! Beat the heat!! Follow me on instagram  @jazzyjay820 or go to ;-)



Sunday, June 16, 2013

 Feelin beautiful today;) So I thought I'd share some pics! lol ....Today is a great day!! Happy father's day to all the dad's out there grinding to be the best fathers that they can be!! Xoxo

- Jaz

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dream Catcher

Four styles from the Summer Collection by A Leap of Style available for purchase at  A Leap of Style on Etsy
I can clearly remember the first piece of clothing I ever made: a pair of cloud print, flare-legged pants. I was in the 7th grade and I was inspired by the pin cushion I made in Home Ec class (geeze what ever happened to teaching those skills in school???? I bet some of you won't even know what Home Economics is!) I went home and begged my mom to teach me to sew - something she'd wanted to do for years. And from there  my dream to become a designer was born.

Now those cloud print pants ripped down the butt the first time I bent down to get into my locker, but that was not the end of my dream. I sketched, and dreamed, and sketched, then sewed, then sketched some more. I was determined to become a fashion designer. I dreamed of having my own line of stylish clothes that would fit the personality and curves of every woman despite her size. I continued making pieces for myself and the occasional shirt or dress for my friends throughout high school (shout out to everyone who got  A Leap of Style originals back in the day...before it even had a name :-)

Then somewhere down the line a different seed was planted. One that said the fashion industry is too hard to break into. More importantly, there was a lie that said I didn't have enough talent to make money in the fashion industry. So I put my dream aside and started to chase what the world told me was right to chase, and I've never been quite right since then...

Okay, okay. Maybe that's too dramatic, but seriously a dream deferred...will kill your spirit. I am a pretty creative girl and I thrive on making...EVERYTHING! For years now, I've limited that to the occasional weekend DIY or my Winter Crochet Frenzy. But this year is about more than dreaming on the side of doing life. This year is about doing the dream. About making the dream the reality. About trusting God enough to know that when He says I can do all things in Christ - yea, He means that!

That means I can break into the fashion world. That means you can be a doctor. That means your best friend can fly to the moon. That means that we can do literally all things - that we can make our dreams happen because even if we fail, we still have the approval of the only One who really matters. That is a promise you can leap on :-)


Monday, May 27, 2013

A Beautiful Creation

So I was browsing the Interwebs the other day and came across an article about a guy who very disrespectfully took and posted the above picture of a Sikh woman, Balpreet Kaur, with the comment, "i'm not sure what to conclude from this." He posted the pic and his comment on the website (which happens to be known for some pretty sketchy Internet interactions anyway).

As you can see from the picture Kaur is a woman who has facial hair.To the young beauties reading this: yea other people have it too and though it's perfectly acceptable to get rid of it, there's nothing wrong if you've got a few strays growing from your face - it's nature boo thang! To any gents who may be reading this too: sorry to shock you, but that white cream your girlfriend is sporting above her lip is not a lip treatment - it's made to disintegrate any trace of a 'stache from her upper lip!

Anyway, Kaur responded to the post and schooled EVERYBODY! Here's what she had to say:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn't know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I'm not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it's who I am. Yes, I'm a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn't reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying 'mine, mine' and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn't important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. :-) So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I've gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. :) I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

When I read, "Just as a child doesn't reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikh's do not reject the body that was given to us" I almost jumped out of my chair! I LOVE IT! While we may not share the same religious views, I know that the God I serve has also called us to accept who we are and to love ourselves as we are. He has told us not to defile our bodies because we are literally leasing out the space to His Holy Spirit The second command that Jesus gives next to loving God, we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The implication there is that we first love ourselves before we can love some else. We learn to love ourselves through the love of God...ahhh it's all a beautiful cycle really! Dude. With all of that, you've got to love and appreciate this body you're in whether it's "too" hairy, skinny, fat, splotchy, dimpled, WHATEVER. Love you boo! But I digress.

Kaur gets it all the way right in that she knows that her looks do not define her beauty and who she truly is. I've got to say her inner beauty shines through so much in her letter...geeze I think even in the picture she is beautiful and knowing how she feels about herself and about her worship is even more beautiful to me. I also admire how gracious she was in this situation. I don't know that I would have been as kind in my response if I had been attacked in this way. But again, I think we could all take a page from her book in learning to show grace even to those who wrong us. Kaur did not berate, shame, or condemn the young man, though some would say she is well within her right to do so. Instead she confidently educated him on the truth of who she is and what she believes. We as women, especially those of us who put our faith in Christ, should be so bold to stand up for who we know we are. You're beautiful now - flaws and alll - don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. And if they try, like Kaur, meet them where they are with grace and truth :-)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Long Hair, Don't Care...No Seriously

I've been thinking a lot lately about hair length and what it represents to us in the natural hair community. It all started from a conversation with another natural friend who asked how long I'd been natural. I almost didn't want to answer because I've been down this conversation before...

I think I mentioned before that I did a massive trim...that may have actually been a cut...back in October. I was just convinced that my ends were a hotter mess than they actually were. I can be fatalistic (i.e. dramatic) at times, meh! Anyway, I cut off about 3 inches back then.

The thing is that throughout the last 3 years of my journey, I've taken it upon myself to chop off between 2-3 inches on at least 3 separate occasions, not to mention the occasional 1/2 inch trim I'd give myself in the beginning. We're looking at anywhere from 7-11-ish inches that have lost to my Karissa Scissor-Happy-Hands. RIP Curls!

But, here's the thing now: I'm not disappointed with my length now at all. In that same conversation, my friend began to suggest ways for me to help my hair grow (well to help me retain more length). While appreciate the thought behind it (she was only trying to help), it got me to thinking more about how personal a hair journey can be and how different our expectations of beautiful hair can be as well.

Sometimes that definition of beautiful is not so much tied to how long we can grow our hair. I think it's awesome that so many Black women have taken up the challenge to prove that we can grow long hair too. But for me it's a little different.

I was length obsessed my first year. I'd stretch my poor little strands over my forehead almost weekly trying to measure the growth. Somewhere down the line I realized I needed to learn how to care for my hair and not just how to style it.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have it all the way down...but I've got a good handle on how to keep it healthy. I still need to tweak the way I detangle. I know I've got to deep condition more consistently than I do. Those things are more important to me and my journey. More important now than reaching any length goal. Now don't get me wrong, because I do sort of have a length "goal" in my mind - it's really a volume goal lol. But I know I have to master my hair care routine before I start worrying about getting to that goal, so I'm still taking my time and just enjoying the fact that I have my own beautiful hair on my head :-)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Reversion Anxiety: When Straight Hair Goes Wrong!

Reversion Anxiety: the fear that curls will not pop back after straightening; most often felt by naturals who avoid heat usage; becomes gradually more intense in the days and weeks following a meeting with the flat iron.

So, I decided to straighten my hair and I have to say...I am in LOVE big time! I tried to get a couple of different pictures throughout the process. I pre-pooed with almond oil, olive oil, and Giovanni 50/50 Moisture Conditioner, then shampooed with Giovanni's Avocado-something-something shampoo (yea I forget the name), deep conditioned and detangled with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose. Then I applied some more almond oil and a bit of Fantasia heat protectant mostly at the ends and twisted it in 4 sections to stretch it without the blow dryer and let it air dry overnight. The next day I hit it with my Chi flat iron. The back section of my hair has a naturally looser curl so I only made one pass, two at most with the other sections and then a quick curl around a very low heat iron. I pin-curled it up and let it set until later that night and - ta-da!

But here's the real deal: while I'm in love with my new 'do the Reversion Anxiety has begun to set in! This morning I went for a walk with my rollers still snugly in place and about midway through I began to feel a bit of sweat on my scalp. At first I prayed for a breeze, hoping that my roots wouldn't end up...well looking like I came off the set of Roots. But then the real anxiety set in...if my roots didn't curl up, would that mean that I had damaged my curls beyond recognition?

My mind immediately flashed back to a conversation I had with Jaz last night about losing my curl pattern in my quest to "heat train" my hair. But with heat training, you retain your some of your curl pattern...with straight up damage it's just bueno! More importantly - no twist-outs - eek! What's a natural without a good twist-out?

Luckily, while all of this was running through my mind, I remembered that I am still on this journey of finding what works best for my hair. And while I am still learning, I finally do know how to nurse my hair to good health. So with that said, I'm going to enjoy my smooth style and enjoy whipping my hair back and forth while it lasts. And if I end up with some stringy straight ends (shudder) well I'll just have to figure it out when it comes. Our hair is so important to us as Black women, but it is definitely not all of who we are and that's a lesson that is far too important to forget, whether you're Kinky 'N Free or Straight 'N Natural :-)