Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

These are a few of my favourite things =)

I love Christmas! The sights, the sounds, the smells, the shopping ... it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! 

A LOT more people have been buying handmade gifts (not just at Christmas time!) It's a great way to support local artisans/crafters/entrepreneurs, besides, everyone enjoys unique, handmade gifts, right? And buying handmade often means that you get one-of-a-kind items. Not to mention, how much time and effort has been invested in making each item. When you buy handmade you can be sure that your gift was made with love!

This year, why not pick up some of our hair and body treats for your friends and loved ones? I'm sure they would appreciate that our products are handmade with love from wholesome ingredients! Our body care products will be available in our limited edition Christmas themed scents from December 1st. Our Christmas packages will also be available soon!

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping and get lovely handmade items at the many craft markets happening this season. "Just Bee You!" Beauty Products will have a booth at ThingsTT Indie Market this weekend (November 29th). So If you live in Trinidad, it's the perfect opportunity to stock up on hair and body goodies =) Come by our booth to browse or to make sure you get exactly what you want, contact me to place your order now and just collect it at the event. You can learn more about Things TT on their website or find them on Facebook.

Did I mention admission is FREE? More money to shop with =) So see you there!

By the way, if I'll be vending at any more markets before Christmas I'll be sure to let you know, so come back to the blog or check the Facebook page often! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Today is Orson's birthday.

The date was July 15th, 2010. I opened my eyes and saw my mom standing over me.Perhaps she read my mind, or maybe she has had so many surgeries she knows that when people wake up from general anaesthesia they usually wonder what day or time it is. "Good afternoon," she said, "Today is Thursday." I wasn't sure if my voice worked yet, but I tried to speak anyway. My first words came in a whisper:  "Today is Orson's birthday."

The thyroid disease I have is technically not a thyroid disorder at all. It is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is actually an autoimmune disease (your body attacks itself). When someone has Hashimoto's their immune system attacks their thyroid gland and thyroid tissue is destroyed. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism (or low thyroid function) with bouts of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). It's often described as the most misdiagnosed thyroid condition, and it was probably this misdiagnosis which cost me half my thyroid ... but that's another story altogether.

When my doctor told me that I would have to have thyroid surgery, of course I was concerned. Concerned about what they would find when they went in. Concerned about my voice - would my voice change? Would I lose my singing voice? Concerned about the transformation my entire body would have to go through while adjusting to losing half my thyroid.

I had a nodule that was growing on my thyroid which was not cancerous, but it was becoming increasingly obstructive to my breathing and swallowing, and given the aggressiveness of my autoimmune disease, the nodule's non-response to hormone therapy and other treatment and the extensive damage already done to that side of my thyroid my doctors recommended that I remove that half of my thyroid.

Not all thyroid dysfunction has to end in surgery and so if you do have thyroid problems you shouldn't have to feel like that is your likely end or only option. Be sure to read up as much as possible ON YOUR OWN about disorders of the thyroid, including alternative treatments and everyday things you can do / lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate your symptoms and improve your thyroid function, so that you and your doctor can make informed decisions together about your treatment.

Most importantly, be proactive about your thyroid health (and this should apply to every aspect of health) familiarize yourself with a list of symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and make it a habit to periodically check your neck for a swollen thyroid or thyroid nodule.

How to check your neck:

[July is thyroid disease awareness month at Just Bee You! Beauty products. Be sure to come back for more posts on this issue and visit our Facebook Page for even more info on the thyroid and thyroid dysfunction.]

Friday, July 4, 2014

Leaving My Mark

scar (n): 
a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore was present;
a lasting effect of grief, fear or other emotion left on a person’s character 
by a traumatic experience. 

Some people see their scars as a reminder of a funny story or a crazy adventure. For others, scars are a reminder of a painful past, a bad fall, or a difficult illness. That's why some keep their ‘scar stories’ to themselves instead of rehashing the painful truth each time someone asks about it. I actually used to have a bit of fun by giving weird responses to persons who would ask about the scar on my neck from my thyroid surgery. Rather than discuss it, I've given outlandish responses like: “I was in a gang fight”.

This wasn't my first surgery, and so I knew I had a tendency to have bad scarring (or develop keloids), so when my scar started growing I wasn't particularly surprised, but I certainly was determined to minimize the appearance of it as much as possible. In the earlier months, right after the surgery, I would use silicone strips/plasters on my neck to flatten the keloid (which didn't help much by the way). Later, I began massaging it with my handmade cocoa butter and shea butter cream (cocoa shea skin smoothie) which, based on my progress pics, was beginning to fade the scar considerably.

One afternoon late last year, I went to the barber shop with my mom. While I was sitting waiting on her to get her haircut, another lady approached me and asked me about my scar. I noticed that her thyroid was very enlarged. We had a great conversation about the exhaustion, the weight gain, the frustration of having her hair thin out, the frightening feeling of being choked by your enlarged thyroid while trying to sleep. We discussed treatment options and my experience with my physician, versus what she felt was inadequate treatment by her doctor.

That encounter with that lady got me thinking … if she hadn’t seen my scar we would not have had that conversation. I decided at that time to stop working on my scar; I would be leaving the mark on my neck. It’s a bit less noticeable now, but you can still see it, and that’s fine. I don't mind explaining to people why I have it. I’ve gotten to the point where my scars no longer make me self-conscious, but I’m realizing more and more that they can be a powerful tool in raising the level of consciousness in people I meet every day. I have even had persons who noticed the scar on one of my Facebook pictures and have asked me questions about thyroid dysfunction. It’s a conversation starter, but maybe thyroid disease IS something that more people should be talking about, so I’m okay with that.

Instead of a reminder of a tough period in your life, try to think of your scars, whether physical or emotional, as marks of triumph over that difficult situation. More importantly think of it as a possible way to help someone else who may need help in dealing with a similar issue.

[July is thyroid disease awareness month at Just Bee You! Beauty products. Be sure to come back for more posts on this issue and visit our Facebook Page for even more info on the thyroid and thyroid dysfunction.]

Monday, June 30, 2014

July is Thyroid Awareness Month at "Just Bee You!" beauty products

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by your immune system. In July of 2010 I had surgery to have half my thyroid removed, mainly because despite my doctor’s best efforts at treatment, because my thyroid problems had gone unnoticed (and thus untreated) for so many years there was little that could be done to save that part of my thyroid.

Thyroid dysfunction is actually a fairly common medical condition, however, it is often misdiagnosed for many reasons: sometimes people can have normal test results and still have thyroid issues (even persons who have already been diagnosed can receive normal test results while still experiencing symptoms) and also thyroid disorders can sometimes persist with no symptoms or with a constellation of symptoms which can easily be associated with many other diseases.   

I've decided to use the month of July to highlight Thyroid Disease Awareness Month at "Just Bee You!" beauty products. I’ll tell you more about how living with thyroid autoimmunity has changed my life, including how it steered my path towards creating this Just Bee You product line. More importantly, I hope to highlight the importance of doing thyroid checks (especially for at-risk persons or persons with family history), dispel myths and reject misinformation regarding the thyroid and persons who live with thyroid disease, and hopefully provide encouragement for persons who may be dealing with thyroid issues. 

Be sure to check back here during the month of July for more information and also check out my Facebook page for regular tid bits as well.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Protective Style Challenge - Updates

Well, 6 months seemed like a long time, but the Protective Style Challenge is going by much faster than I expected! I've done a few updates on my YouTube channel...

First protective style update:

Second protective style update:

Third protective style update:

Fourth protective style update: 

Fifth protective style update:

I completed the challenge! Here is the summary video:

Did you do the challenge? 
Comment below and let me know how you did!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Got Love? Share Love!

Maybe you’re like me and you’re not into the pinkness of Valentine's Day  Maybe you don’t like the way the day has been commercialised. Whether you have a Valentine to spend the day with or you are your own Valentine (like me!) Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to show others that there IS REAL LOVE in the world!

If this day is truly about love, why not spread some love by doing some random acts of kindness with me?

You never know what your random act might do for someone may be having a difficult day. Make this day about somebody other than yourself and your partner. Reach out and touch a life that may not have the same love you have in yours… 

Happy Valentine's Day from justbeeyoutiful! Love ya'll!

Friday, January 31, 2014

6 month Protective Style Challenge

I generally wear my hair in protective styles, I’d say, 75% of the time. So to say that I will be on a protective style challenge, I will really just be continuing my habit of protective styling, except that I will include more long term protective styles, so that I can reduce how frequently I manipulate or comb my hair. My long term styles will involve extensions, because my fuzzy texture just cannot keep my natural braids or twists for more than about a week at a time (without me looking like a complete fuzz ball!)

I’m doing this challenge for three reasons:

1. I’m trying to retain as many inches as possible in time for my next nappiversary in September. It’s going to be ten years natural, and what better way to celebrate than with few extra inches! =)

2. My fairy knots have been getting out of hand, and I know it is because I am wearing my hair loose more often. My hair just prefers to be on a protective style/low manipulation regimen.

3. I’m taking on a few more projects in the next few months and I’m also expanding my product line, so to say I've been busy is an understatement. While I’m making sure everyone else’s hair is fabulous I’ll just be putting mine away for a bit! I won’t be neglecting my hair mind you, but I honestly would really welcome the chance to have to comb my hair less often.

I am inviting anyone who’d like to join me on the challenge! (I will be going for 6 months, but you are welcome to try 3 months or even 2 months). Whether you are growing out a short haircut, a dye job or just want to set a hair goal for yourself and reach it, you are welcome to come on board! I've outlined my detailed plan below, but you just have to make sure you follow these two key elements:

1. Protective styles ONLY during the period you choose.
2. Maintain a healthy hair regimen during the period, including clarifying, moisturizing, and deep conditioning.

Check out my post on Protective Styling 101 for tips on how to protective style without damaging your precious tresses! Comment below and let me know if you will be taking part in the challenge. I'll be back often to give my updates! I'll also be tracking the challenge on the Facebook page, so you can check in there as well and let me know how you're going!

Protective Style Challenge 2014 - My Plan

DURATION: February 1st, 2014 to July 31st, 2014 

I plan to wear the long term styles for 4 – 6 weeks followed by short term protective styles for 7 – 10 days. Styles worn for more than 4 weeks will be refreshed at the perimeter/hairline at the 4 week mark.
My long term styles: crochet braids, box braids (with extensions).
My short term styles: roll tuck and pin styles, half wigs, twists/flat twists, African threading.

Clarifying & Deep conditioning:
I’ll wash and condition long term protective styles once (at the 2 or 3 week mark). If I get itchy before wash day I’ll clean my scalp with a witch hazel and rosewater mix.
I will shampoo, ACV rinse and deep condition my hair after each long term protective style. Since it will only be 7 – 10 days until my next long term style, I will just co-wash and deep condition before the next long term installation.

I will spritz my long term protective styles daily with my Herbal Hair Spritz and oil my scalp with Oils n Herbs every 2-3 days. LOC method for moisture as needed on short term protective styles.

Optional: Many protective style challenges also include dietary changes, so you can encourage healthy Hair from the inside out. For personal health reasons I’m already on a programme which involves having to eat wholesome meals; I already take vitamins/supplements and my water intake is good, though I intend to increase it. My exercise regimen is sorely lacking, so I intend to improve on that! You can feel free to make any health changes you may see necessary to encourage healthy hair growth, such as dietary and/or exercise changes.

UPDATE: I completed the 6 month Challenge! =) Here are the update videos.