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Day 1: Why I Write About My Health #NHBPM

When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, I instantly took to the internet. I wanted to arm myself with as much information as possible. I was prepared to be over whelmed and immersed in everything regarding Lupus.  I was alarmed by the amount of “repetitive” information that was available. Everything was a repeat and very “ text book” .  I was clear what Lupus is (was), but I wasn’t clear as to how people lived with Lupus. What a day was like for a Lupie Chick .  How Lupus affected friendships/relationships/marriages.  How Lupus affected people’s mental state.  How Lupus affected peoples emotional/physical/sexual health. I had LOTS of questions.  I could not find what I was looking for; nothing was really answering what I wanted to know.  (For me), I needed visual, clear, concise answer(s). Based on the lack of information available, I decided to write from my perspective and keep it REAL & RAW (no sugar coating). If I was in pain I wanted to describe or show pictures of the type of pain or the intensity level of the pain. I was going to show my bare face (without makeup) and talk about the scares, the nasty remarks, and assumptions people make about you when you have an invisible disease. I wanted to provide an outlet for my fellow Lupie Chicks to know that they were not alone and we could cyber space high five each other.
I will never forget my first posting telling the world, I Have Lupus; people were calling me with tears in their voice telling me I had taken them on an emotional roller coaster. I heard from friends I havent from in years (more than 10).  It wasn’t my intention to make anyone cry or become upset, I wrote from the heart.  I wrote as if I was speaking to my girlfriends or family. I’ve found that my ability to be open and my style of writing works for the type of platform I’m building.
I’ve started posting daily pictures of myself saying Hello /Good Morning to my fellow lupies. If I miss a day, people will inbox me on Facebook or text me and say “where is our daily picture?”  I never knew that a simple picture would/could make someone’s day, or provide a little encouragement.  
Not too long ago, I received a mention on Twitter that said “because of the Lupie Chick I know more than I ever thought I could or wanted to know about Lupus and the struggle”.  I don’t know this young lady, never knew that she read my blog or tweets. I received a message from another young lady telling me “because of your blog I now know how to be a better friend “. I don’t get many (any) comments on my blog, and I wasn’t positive if anyone was reading my blog, UNTIL  I get the random messages, text,  or tags of people wearing purple, or mentions of “ The Lupie Chick”.  Just the other day, my hands had swollen and I was in severe pain. I posted a picture on line and a young lady asks “what’s lupus?”  I was in too much pain to type (reply) on my mobile, but I fought through and took a screen shot of the Lupus Foundation page explaining what Lupus is. Even in my mist of a challenge I was able to educate someone on this little known invisible disease.  I’m so honored and humbled to be able to do what I do, and I’m MORE honored and humbled to my readers and audience who help spread awareness.   I know that I will never stop writing, I will never stop bringing awareness, and I will never keep quiet – This is WHY I Write About My Health!
Until Next Time,
Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
Stay Connected
Instagram:@naturally_lupie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mzSixx
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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Are you living in PEACE or PIECES??



Painting by Yvette Crocker
Yesterday I spoke to an ex (whom I haven’t spoken to or seen in more than 17 years). He seems so broken dealing with a lot of heath issues (specifically diabetes) and the lost of his immediate family members. He had been dealing with a lot of guilt from situations that occurred during our relationship and had remained in that moment. Listening to him made me realize that we have life choices.  We can live in PEACE or PIECES! I realized that I choose peace while he had chosen pieces. Yes, I know it is very difficult and hurtful to lose all of you immediate family members, and it’s also difficult to live with an illness (the same illness that had taken the lives of his family), BUT you have to choose PEACE. Choose to deal with whatever is before you and GO THROUGH IT (not around it).
I think back on all the test that I’ve had to take to have this testimony I speak about today. I have no shame and no silence.  I survived sexual abuse, domestic violence abuse, the challenges of being a teenage parent, betrayal, mis fortune, financial instability, unemployment, and now fighting for dear life to beat Lupus. I FOUGHT and will CONTINUE to fight EVERYDAY for the rest of my life.  We all have a responsibility to live our best life (whatever that may be). I know that everything that has happened to me happened for a reason to make me realize just how AWESOME I really am. I’m much stronger than I ever knew or imagined I could be. Do I have fear-of course I do.. but I have taken lemons (my fears & life challenges) and turned them into champagne (success)! This is MY LIFE- and whatever the devil has taken from me- HE CAN KEEP IT- BECAUSE MY GOD HAS SOMETHING BETTER FOR ME!!!!! I choose to live in PEACE!
To all of you that read this post- I ask you- how you will live the rest of your life? In PEACE or PIECES????

Until Next Time Fam

Live.. Love.. Laugh…

The Lupie Chick

Stay Connected
Instagram:@naturally_lupie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mzSixx
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Atlanta, autoimmune, beauty, DC, Falcons, Grandmother, lupie chick, lupus, lupus Awareness, mz sixx, natural hair, purple

Celebration of Life (My Life)



Me- 41st Birthday



Yesterday was my 41st Birthday (yes, I’m in my forties honey… I don’t look a day over 30 -at least that’s what a twitter follower told me J lol..lol..) . Yesterday I took the time to reflect and appreciate the wonderful gift of life. This time last year I was still dealing with the diagnosis of Lupus and trying to figure out just how I would live. Besides a flare up and depression, what should have been a milestone celebration (my 40th birthday) was anything but. This year I decided things would be different. I’ve grown to accept that I will forever have lupus BUT Lupus won’t have me. I will NOT stop living. I will (and have) become an advocate and a glimmer of hope for all my lupie sistas who are still fighting. When I awoke yesterday (mainly from Face Book notifications – You guys were on it! Mini me had the first notification at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night), I immediately knelt down and THANK THE LORD for allowing me to live and survive another year-despite Lupus.



My New Grand daughter Mailia Elizabeth Fowler



I’m in a new city (I relocated to Atlanta), I became a grandmother for the 2nd time (hi Malia), my projects and businesses are thriving, I’m happy and BLESSED. I knew I would not sit around sad or depressed on my birthday this year. I was going to get dressed, put on makeup and rock out like only Mz. Sixx can. I decided I would get out of my comfort zone and I would start crossing a few things off my “50 before 50” list.



#My View- after the Falcons beat The Oakland Raiders 23-20



Yesterday afternoon, I attended my first live NFL game yesterday (Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders). It was very exciting to sit in the executive suite (hosted by Verizon Wireless). The view was awesome- nothing like watching it on TV. I felt like I could reach right over and touch the players. I could see every move, every play, hear every cuss word (lol) and actually understood what was going on. I felt myself cheering and screaming like a Justin Beiber Fan (sweating out my freshly blow dried natural hair) cheering for the falcons to make a touchdown. For the first time I think this year, I had on my infamous 5 inch stiletto ankle boots, leather legging, and an Asian inspired top. Some of the executives kept touching my pants & rubbing my legs (Saying ummmm ” I like those” looking at me like I was a pulled pork sandwich). If I was conceited I would swear they were checking for me…lol..lol.. My co workers surprised me with a cake, they sung Happy Birthday, and we DRANK LOTS OF WINE ( lol..lol). During half time, the band played the wobble- and YOU KNOW YA GIRL GOT HER WOBBLE ON!!!!!! The cheerleaders did a skit and the players do a chat- and you RISE UP (#ayeeeee) #Go Falcons, it was like a party (or maybe I turned it into one …lol..lol..). Nonetheless, this chica had a ball. Food, wine, good company, and the home team won-made for an enjoyable afternoon.



Me-Rocking my Leather Leggings



It felt good to get out-breathe fresh air- and celebrate MY LIFE… MY WAY! The celebration hasn’t stop and it won’t stop (in my Diddy voice.. “Won’t stop..Can’t stop”). I made a vow to myself to live MY best life and KEEP THE CELEBRATION GOING!!!!!!
** please peep the #purpleEverything #LupusAwareness-EVERYDAY**



The infamous Bathroom Pic ( in the Executive Suite @ The Georgia Dome)



Until Next time fam,
Live.. Love.. Laugh..
The Lupie Chick TM

Follow Me

Instagram: Naturally_Lupie
Twitter @AuNaturaleDC & @LupieeChick
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Infinite Possibilities

in•fi•nite / adjective
1. immeasurably great: an infinite capacity for forgiveness.
2. Indefinitely or exceedingly great: infinite sums of money.
3. unlimited or unmeasurable in extent of space, duration of time, etc.: the infinite nature of outer space.
4. unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless: God’s infinite mercy

pos•si•bil•i•ty noun, plural -ties for 2.
1. The state or fact of being possible: the possibility of error.
2. Something possible: He had exhausted every possibility but one.

Most people start the day with infinite possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. I’m a planner, for years I would choose and iron my clothes (and accessories) for the week, I would plan my meals for the week, I grocery shopped for the month. Now I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It’s very frustrating, especially when the plans change, hence my common saying “I hate change”.

My boss gave me a sticky note that says “Change Energizes Us” I wrote NEGATIVE on the note. Change makes me bonkers and I have to re strategize to make it through the day. I now live with the looming thought that today may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous.

The difference in being sick and being healthy has to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted. The hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wish I could make people understand everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. When you begin your day, most people start the day off by showering/bathing, get dressed, go to work or school, come home, eat dinner, relax, go to bed. For me- it’s open 1 eye, the other, sit up, put your legs on the floor, stand up, walk to the bathroom..GET MY DRIFT- its 100 little jobs in one. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom.

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Loving The Skin I’m In

People with lupus know the disease can affect various parts of their body, both inside and out, in a variety of ways. Though lupus is known to affect the joints, kidneys, heart and lungs, more often than not, one of the clearest signs that a person has developed the disease is the way it affects the skin.

Lupus had (in my opinion) had taken my beauty. My face was on display for everyone to give me that side eye and saying ” what the heck happen to you??” Although my family and friends assured me that I was beautiful and it was “ok”- I felt like that ugly duckling. A dear friend of mine ( First lady of Blue Line Productions – Rana) sent me a message one day that read ” I miss your pretty face”. She was referring to not seeing me out and about at local functions in the DC metro area, I started balling- because I literally MISSED MY PRETTY FACE! I’m 6″2 and wear 5 inch stilettos ( well I use too, until lupus started affecting my joints and my feet- damn him!) and I would walk in a room LIKE I OWNED IT-( at least like I paid the light bill..lol..lol..)- then came the red sores, the black scares, and the discoloration in my face- and my obsession with Dermablend!!!!! I would pack that stuff on like my life depended on it. I was hiding… and worse of all- I hated the skin I was in……

** wearing full coverage Dermablend makeup **



My physician gave me a referral to see Valerie D. Callender, M.D. to assist with my skin condition

Dr. Valerie Callender is an internationally recognized Board Certified Dermatologist, who is known for her expertise in Pigmentation Disorders and the medical and surgical treatment of Hair Loss in Women. Dr. Callender has written twelve (12) textbook chapters and many articles for academic journals. She has recently co-edited a textbook on the Treatment for Skin of Color



Dr. Callender office is located at 1220 Annapolis Road, Suite 315, Glendale, MD (301)249-0970. Her office offer a range of facial treatments, cosmetic procedures, & body treatments. On my appointment date- the office was PACKED! The ladies at the reception area were very nice and & courteous. My wait wasn’t as long as I expected ( I waited maybe 15 minutes before I was taken to the examination room). Dr. Callender’s assistant took a quick assesment of my medical history, and my concerns. 10 minutes later enter in Dr. Callender herself. We chatted a bit, she tried to lighten the “mood” ( I was very tense and nervous). As soon as Dr. Callender put on her gloves and started examining my face, the tears started to flow. She immediately stopped and comforted me. She continued her examine, speaking in a calm voice and re assuring me that all was going to be ok. I advised her what I had been doing, what products I’d been using, and just blurted out ” I hate the way I look, I don’t look good and I don’t feel good”. We discussed treatment plans, and she tried to assure me that she would help me. She asked me to trust her- she told me SHE WOULD NOT GIVE UP – MY SKIN WILL BE CLEAR AGAIN! At the end of the examine, I ask- ” what makeup brand would you recommend for me?” she looked up at me ( dead in the eyes) and replied ” NONE- when I get through, you wont need makeup!” ** what did she just say.. I wont need make up … whoo freakin hooooooo!!!! let the treatment begin!!!!** {insert laughter from myself and Dr. Callender}

Below is my daily routine prescribed to me by Dr. Callender ( she actually wrote this down for me- including the steps!!!!)

** yes, my clarisonic is PURPLE in honor of my daily fight with Lupus**

~AM~

Cleanse (w/ clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Forming Face Wash)

SPF 70 ( all over face)

apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a qtip)

optional: apply makeup

~PM~

Cleanse (w/clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Foaming Face Wash)

Apply thin layer of Differin Gel ( all over face)

apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a q-tip)

I have been following this routine for 4 weeks. Look at me now!!!!!

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Moisturizing and Sealing Natural Hair

Moisturizing and sealing natural hair is one area that new naturals often find difficulty in, when they’re initially learning how to care for natural hair. Moisturizing and sealing are two basic steps that can be done in a matter of minutes.


The first thing that you need to know is what should be used to accomplish both parts of the process. Moisturizing should be done with water alone, or water followed by a water based leave in conditioner. Sealing is done with natural oils, to prevent moisture from leaving the hair. Natural oils are not moisturizers because most natural oils will not penetrate the hair shaft.

Below are the steps I take to seal and moisturize my hair:


Step 1Find A Water Based Leave In Conditioner
You want to be sure to stay away from products that contain petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin oil, and alcohol because these ingredients are notorious for blocking moisture from entering the hair strand which causes hair to eventually break. Look for natural ingredients like glycerin and natural oils, with water being one of the first three ingredients listed. I make my own leave in.

Here’s the recipe:


Aloe Vera Juice
Rosemary Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Jojoba Oil
Vegetable Glycerin (optional)
Distilled Water
Spray bottle

Fill up 50% of the bottle with aloe vera juice, leaving space to add the essential oils, jojoba, glycerin, and water. Next add 10 drops of rosemary and lemongrass essential oil and three to five drops of jojoba oil. Add a small amount of vegetable glycerin ( 1-2 cap full). Lastly fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water and shake up

Aloe Vera moisturizes the hair and keeps it soft. It is packed with vitamin B12, vitamin C, amino acids, minerals, and salicylic acid. It has been used for general hair health, hair growth, and also as a hair shampoo and conditioner.

Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles, therefore increasing hair strength, hair growth, and for dry and flaky scalps. It has also been used as a remedy for mental fatigue.

Lemongrass Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles and also adds a refreshing citrus fragrance to the leave-in conditioner. It has anti-bacterial properties and is calming and soothing to the body.

Jojoba Oil is the closest oil to skin’s sebum. Therefore, is extremely healing and moisturizing for the hair. It is a non-greasy oil absorbing immediately into the hair. This will help with hair frizz and dryness.

Vegetable Glycerin is known for being a humectant. It is an amazing ingredient to add when air drying hair. It is amazing for curly hair and really dry hair. It should be used very sparingly so that it doesn’t create a sticky film.

Some commercial Leave in conditioners that are worth a try are:
Kinky Curly Knot Today and  Giovanni Direct Leave In

Step 2Choose A Natural Oil
Natural, unrefined, and virgin oils work best. Extra virgin olive oil and unrefined coconut oil not only seal moisture into the hair but it improves the health of hair as well. Jojoba oil is a good sealant for people who are acne prone since it’s lighter and less likely to clog pores. ( I use a mix of coconut oil, Amla oil, grapeseed oil, and castor oil)

Step 3Moisturize Hair
Starting with wet hair, Split hair into 4 sections. take a quarter amount of leave in , spread it between your hands, and distribute throughout your hair ensuring that you saturate all the strands. Use more for longer and thicker hair and less for shorter and thinner. Be sure to pay extra attention to the ends of your hair since they are prone to drying and breaking.

Step 4Seal In Moisture With Your Oil * optimal on (co)wash day(s)*working from the same 4 sections. Spread a dime size amount of oil in between hands and distribute to each section. Avoid applying more than a dime size amount of oil to each section or hair may become too oily.

Continue the steps until all sections are completed.

Step 5

Style as normal. When I’m not in a protective style, my styling choices are twist outs, braid outs, and buns.

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Removing Lint From Loc’s

Few things look worse in locked hair than lint. What causes lint to build up in locs? It could be a particular product causes your hair to absorb lint like a sponge. Pillow fibers might cling to your locs at night. Your towel lint might be having a party in your hair. Whatever the cause, you want to get rid of it.

Commercial products that remove lint

A good clarifying shampoo might be all your hair needs to remove lint build-up, especially if you don’t have much to contend with. Here are a few products that get locked hair lint-free:

Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo ( from website)

This fast-acting clarifying shampoo deep-cleanses with just one application and rinses clean to leave hair shiny, bouncy and full. Herbal extracts deliver beneficial nutrients quickly and reduce drying time for fast and easy styling.

The Lemon Drop is made with an aloe base and is packed with essential oils geared toward soothing oily hair and scalp – lemongrass, lavender, cedarwood, and aloe. It can be used as a clarifier to get rid of product build-up. It can also be used for teen and mature locs.

Invigorates and refreshes the scalp with cooling Peppermint Oil
Deeply cleanses and removes product build-up and daily toxins, without stripping away essential moisture
Restores your hair to its original shiny, healthy state.
Has Rosemary Extract to deliver antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to hair and scalp. Has Moisturizing Marine Extracts (Algae, Carrageenan, Spirulina and Seaweed) to provide hair and scalp with nourishing hydration
Helps to smooth, soften and boost shine.

Natural remedies to get rid of lint

Apple cider vinegar rinse – An apple cider vinegar rinse works as a natural hair cleanser by gently removing build-up. The rinse can produce a shine because apple cider vinegar naturally closes cuticle scales found on the hair shaft’s surface.

Create an apple cider vinegar rinse by combining:
* 1 cup distilled water
* 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

*Optional* add 5 drops of lavender, rosemary, lemon , sage or rose essential oil to the basic vinegar rinse recipe.

Pour the mixture over your hair as a final rinse after you shampoo. You might have to do an apple cider vinegar rinse a couple times before you see results.

Baking Soda – This is a powerful way to remove lint from your locs. Baking soda works as a clarifier, leaving your locs squeaky clean.

Make a baking soda clarifier by combining:
· 1 tablespoon baking soda
· 1 cup water
Pour the mixture over your hair, squeezing it into the hair and focusing on troublesome locs. Massage it into the hair for 1 to 2 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

Bentonite Clay – No, it will not build up in your locs. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly. Bentonite clay pulls chemicals and metals out from our bodies, like a magnet. When applied to locs, bentonite clay pulls dirt, lint and product build-up from our hair. When you apply bentonite clay, be sure your locs are freshly shampooed.

Mix equal parts of the following in a non-metal bowl with a non-metal spoon: (If you use metal, you will activate or de-activate certain properties in the bentonite clay)
· Bentonite clay
· Apple cider vinegar
It is normal for the mixture to sizzle. If you think the mix is too thick for you, use a few drops of lukewarm water. The consistency will be creamy. Place the clay directly on your locs, and leave it there for about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly. The lint will come to the surface and easily be removed.

Tweezers – Use tweezers to perform surgery on your locs. Carefully remove lint from wet locs with the tweezers. (Some prefer using a pin or a straightened paper clip). Make sure you actually have lint to begin with! If the stuff on your locs disappears when wet, you have build-up. If the fuzz remains, it’s lint. Go for the tweezers. Be careful you don’t thin your loc out. If it becomes too weak, you will have to cut or repair the loc(s).

How you can prevent lint from getting trapped in your locs
· Wear a scarf at night, when cleaning or doing other chores that might get your hair into close contact with cling-happy fabrics.

· Use dark-colored towels when drying your locs. Light colored towels can shed lint into your locs.

· Avoid products with petroleum in them, hair butters and creamy conditioners because these substances attract lint and other unwanted residue on your locs.

· Stay away from hats and scarves that shed, like angora or wool.

· Check your locs from time to time for lint. It is easier to remove lint off the surface of your locs, rather than having to remove embedded lint.