Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hits and Misses 2014

The year of our Lord 2014 was a year of great ups and downs but all in all it was a great year.  Not only for my hair but also for my health. Changing course and embarking on a new journey is both scary and exciting but as you get further along in your journey the rewards are plenty.

I have made great strides in my hair journey and have learned new techniques and revisited some old ones.  I have also tried thing that did not work so well for me but it was great to do so anyway.



Hit- Flexi rods; Before embarking on his healthy hair journey, I never used flexi rods.  But it has become my staple when it comes to having great bouncy curls.  I love that you install them in different ways to get different types of curls.



Hit- Ettenio Products; I can't say enough about I love this product line. Their moisture milk works wonders on my new growth especially after a workout. The seal and shine is a staple in my nightly moisturizing routine. Their cocolicious balancing penetration conditioner is to die for. Yes I do have go out of my way to replenish my  stash but it is well worth it.



Hit- Crecepelo Deep Conditioner; I love this conditioner (well once I get pass the smell) it leaves my hair so soft and airy. This is definitely a conditioner for the warmer months.  I believe it will become a staple in my regime for the foreseeable future.



Hit-Coconut Oil; I love me some coconut oil, I use in my deep conditioner, my hot oil treatment and my prepoo.  I has work wonders on my hair and my hair is happier when it has some coconut oil.

Miss- Shea Moisture Transitioning Milk; I bought this because I was looking for a moisturizer for the last few weeks of my stretch. Well after two uses my scalp itch so much it I and to wash my hair; the next time I tried it I made sure not to put any on my scalp but I still had the same issue.  So I regifted it to my mom who it works wonders for.



This was a year of change for me but I had great success.  What were your hits and misses of 2014?



The #WashDayExperience



Monday, December 29, 2014

Wash Day- Last wash day 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed spending time with the family as much as I did.

 I am currently seven weeks post, which is wonderful  compare to years past when I would get a touch-up at six weeks because I have too much new growth.  These days seven weeks has me saying I just relaxed my hair without even realizing that it is almost two months ago.  This wash day was a little extended because I did not do a mid week co-wash due to having too much fun.

Here is how this wash day went:


Prepoo- Detangled with my oil mix (olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, Vitamin E oil, a few drops of peppermint and tea tree oil) before adding my beloved Cantu shea butter conditioning repair cream.  I then covered my head with a plastic cap and my conditioning cap for 45 minutes ( at this point I smelled like peppermint); after my hair was cold I rinsed with warm water to ensure I get most of the oils out.

Shampoo-  Apply Creme of Nature sunflower & coconut detangling shampoo to each section making sure that I pay attention to my scalp.  This was to ensure I did not have oil residue left on my scalp.  I then rinsed with warm water until I was confident that all the oil residue was gone.

Tea Rinse-  Tea rinsed with my black tea brew by pouring it repeatedly over my head for roughly five minutes. I normally use four bags and two cups of water to make the brew but this wash day I used six to make it stronger hoping it will help slow down the shedding.  After allowing the excess to run off, I rinsed with cool water.

Deep Condition-  Deep conditioned with Ettenio Cocolicious balancing penetration conditioner for 45 minutes under my conditioning cap.   This conditioner smells so good; good enough to eat, anyway this is a great conditioner. After my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water. My hair was feeling a  little dry so I followed up with Loreal total repair damage erasing balm for five minutes before rinsing with cool water.

Leave-in and Moisturizer- T-shirt dry for ten minutes for applying creme of nature strength and shine leave in conditioner.  I then allowed my hair to air dry for about fifteen minutes before applying Ettenio Moisture milk followed by OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum.  I roller set with roughly twenty 2 inch rollers.


My hair was so soft an bouncy when I took the rollers out, I just might add a extra conditioning step to my wash day during the winter months.


Thanks for allowing my to share my #washdayexperience with you.

Happy New Year!




The Wash Day Experience


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hair Musings- What I learned 2014

I started my hair journey before I officially started it.  What does that mean you ask; well for an entire year beginning in summer of 2012, I wore wigs and did not relaxed my hair. Yep I did but I did not care for my hair so all the growth and achievement I should have seen was not there.  But why did you do it you ask.  Well I had a bald spot and my hair was coming out in the shower as if they were refugees trying to escape a war.  One good thing (well a few) that came out of the experience was that I regrew hair where I had the bald  spot and that I have very loose curls and also very fine strands.  Even though I did not end up with shoulder length hair I gained valuable knowledge about my hair that has helped me on my hair journey.




                            
Hair Knowledge- Year 1 of HHJ
  1.     My hair does not like too much protein; I only use protein when I do a relaxer touch-up.  This is the only time my hair does not rebel.
  2.     I need to shampoo at least once per week so that my scalp does not get all itchy and antsy on me.
  3.    Deep conditioner is a must even on co-wash day
  4.     Even though Grapeseed oil works wonders on my hair, I cannot let it touch my skin or else it is rash city.
  5. My hair loves coconut oil and coconut milk. 
  6.  I have seen the mantra “with health comes length” and I thought I can do that. I find that focusing on taking care of you hair is more important than how much or how long it is.  I have not done a length check since the very beginning of this journey.
  7. Shopping for new products to try is just as exciting as shopping for shoes and clothes.
  8. I could style my hair without a blow dryer and curling iron. 


Noteworthy 2014

  • My first wash day post was on July 4th simply title Wash day. At this point I was already six months into my hair journey and was comfortable with my techniques but was scared about advertising it to the world.  
  • My first #washdayexperience linkup was simply titled wash day- one week post. I was super excited that someone other than my lovely sister was interested in reading about my experience.
  • My most viewed post of 2014 is Wash Day - "No Problem". The first wash day after a relaxer touch-up is always a drama free wash day.
  • My worst wash day in 2014 was Wash Day- a tangled mess, it took me over an hour to detangled hair that I did not properly detangled before doing Bantu Knots.
  • My favorite post of 2014 was Ettenio experience.  I love their products.





2014 was a great year of learning and growing for my hair and this blog. 

The #WashDayExperience

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Menu and Exercise Schedule 12/22

This week is a big week for me, not only because it is Christmas but it also marks 8 years since I was blessed with the most amazing boy.  On December 24, 2006 at 10:06 am, my son was born  6lbs 9 ozs, 18 inches long  and my life has not been the same.  Christmas eve was my favorite day of the year growing up in Jamaica.  Christmas eve meant grand-market night; it was a night to party, shop and welcome Christmas. Christmas was a quiet day spent at church and having dinner with the family.  That's why this week is big for me.















Anyway, because of all I said earlier I will deviate from my normal exercise and menu schedule for this week and more likely than not next week will suffer the same faith.

Exercise-

Monday- 45 minutes of Zumba
Tuesday- 30 minutes high intensity cardio and 30 minute yoga
Wednesday- (Happy Birthday to my baby boy) 45 minutes biggest loser workout before my house wakes up
Thursday- Merry Christmas (there will be no rest but also no exercise)
Friday- 1 hour Pilates ( I am getting really good at this)
Saturday- 1 hour spin/cycling
Sunday- Rest day


Menu-

I did a big grocery shopping excursion last weekend to last me through the craziness of Christmas and New Year's. 
  • I will make bbq baked chicken wings, pasta salad with plenty of veggies, and a red velvet cake for the birthday celebration.
  • Christmas dinner will go something like this; lamb chops, salmon, baked chicken, rice, salad , dessert, and a few spirits thrown in (alcohol consumption)
  • The days following Christmas will consist of leftovers from both the birthday party and Christmas.
As you can see I need to be on my exercise game because the diet and portion control normally get left at the door during this week.

Hope you all have a very Merry and safe Christmas.





Fitness Friday

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wash Day- Six Weeks Post and Coping

In the last week my hair has shed so much I am beginning to worry that I will have very thin hair once this cycle is over.  I am happy it is not breaking but it is kind of scary to see hair all over the place when I'm not even touching my hair.  Anyway, I did an oil treatment infused with garlic and my black tea rinse to try to slow down the shedding.

Here is how my wash day went:

Prepoo- Instead of my normal prepoo I did a garlic hot oil treatment.  To make this treatment I blend four cloves of garlic and added it to warmed Olive oil, Grapeseed Oil and coconut oil and let it sit overnight.  I then strained the mixture and put it into my spray bottle. I then part my hair into five sections detangled and saturated each section before putting on my plastic cap followed by a head tie and a satin cap and let it sit on my head for an hour.  The garlic smell is very strong and kind of hard to take.  After removing the many layers I rinsed with warm water.

Shampooed with ORS creamy aloe shampoo to not only get the garlic smell out but also to give my hair a good cleansing.  I have gotten so used to the conditioning shampoos I forgot how much I love a good lather. After the first lather I smelled my hair and it was still garlicky so I lathered up again.  You know your hair is grown when take a piece and just put it to your nose, I did the happy dance, yep I'm getting there.

Tea Rinse-  Did a tea rinse with my black tea brew; I brew four bags and the allow it to cool while I do my prepoo and shampoo.  I pour the brew over my head repeatedly for about five minutes before rinsing with cool water.

Deep Condition-  I dug through my mounds of products to find my favorite moisturizing deep conditioner.  Yep I pulled out my ORS replenishing conditioner, and applied it section by section then top with coconut oil and put my plastic cap, head tie and satin cap on for 45 minutes.  The only complaint I have with this conditioner is that it is not in a jar, anyway maybe they'll listen to my emails.Anyway after removing the many layers I rinsed with warm water followed by cool water, then t-shirt dry for 10 minutes.

Hair after DC



Leave-in and Moisturizer- Applied Aphogee pro-vitamin leave in conditioner and air dry for roughly 15 minutes, before applying Creme of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner.  After allowing my hair to dry a little I applied Ettenio Moisture Reign and roller set with close to twenty 2 inch rollers.  I used so many because I want to ensure it was dry in the morning and also had some bounce.

I was very pleased with the outcome of this wash day; hopefully the shedding will slow down soon.
end product

 How was your #washdayexperience?


The Wash Day Experience



Friday, December 19, 2014

Six Ways to beat the Flu and stay healthy

The flu and cold season is upon us; and with a 8 years old the possibility of him getting a cold or the flu is almost a sure thing.  The one thing that parents with small children know is that you will in turn suffer the same faith as them.. So it had me thinking how can I boost both our immune systems so it can fight the good fight.

Fighting the flu or even the cold is not for the faint of heart, so I am willing to add these six tools to my arsenal this cold and flu season.
1- Probiotics 2- Lemon water 3- Green smoothie 4-multivitamins 5- vaccine 6- rest

Probiotics- Are live microorganism which when taken in adequate amounts can benefit overall health.  Our digestive system has good and bad bacteria so maintaining a good balance is necessary for overall health.  It is no wonder we are seeing probiotics in foods, drinks and vitamins.

Probiotics works in two ways first it helps to maintain the equilibrium in our guts by flushing out the excess that can damage it and it also takes nutrients and distributes them to the cells when needed. Secondly, probiotics have a very huge impact on our immune systems and it is arguable the most important role of probiotics.

I enjoy the Kefir brand of products and also Activia by Dannon but any yogurt is a good source because they have active cultures.

Lemon water-  Water in of it self is great for the immune system but paired with the immune boosting effects of water is a home run.  Lemon has a antibacterial property that helps to fight infections such as sore throat,throat infections and even tonsillitis, It helps in reducing the amount of phlegm in the body, and it also helps to reduce the amount of toxins in the body. It is also shown to help with increased perspiration.  So when you start feeling that scratchy feeling in your throat reach for a lemon.


Green Smoothie-  An antioxidant rich smoothie can help in the fight of the cold and flu virus.  Lemon, ginger, kale, celery , carrots beets and spinach are all excellent source of antioxidants. Smoothie is a big part of my household and the greener the better. These are two of my son's favorite smoothies; I normally do not measure because I make a 2 quarter pitcher that last about three days.

Carrot and Beets
4 carrots (medium to large)
2 beets
the juice from 1 lemon
the juice from 1 1/2 inch of ginger root
2 apple (I typical use gala or honeycrisp)

I use the juicer for this recipe


Kale and Spinach
2 cups spinach
2 cups kale
2 apple ( I juice them in the juicer)
juice of 1 lemon

I put all the ingredients (including the apple juice) in the blender and blend.








Multiviatmins- It is necessary to take a multivitamin on a daily basis to supplement the vitamin that we are not getting from foods.

Vaccine- The CDC recommends that children and the elderly get the flu shot each year. They also recommend it for people with immune deficiencies.  The flu vaccine introduces small dose of the virus to your system so that your body can develop antibodies which in-turn develops immunity.

Rest-  Rest is very important to maintain a healthy body.  While exercise is very important you should ensure you are getting enough rest especially if you are fight the flu or a cold.  I am not saying for you to lie on the couch for days upon days when you have the flu or a cold but just don't over do it.


How do you plan on staying healthy this cold and flu season?


#FitnessFriday on @SavingOurStrand





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Menu and Exercise Schedule (12/15)

As the end of year clamors for my time and attention I find that my will power and attention to my calorie intake at times gets lost in the shuffle.  After having the hardest week I had in a very long time, I actually hit the grocery store with a friend no less.  This is significant because I prefer to grocery shop alone because I do need to concentrate on my list because I will leave to store without the essentials.  Anyway, it was a good trip and I got to cheer her up a bit from the ordeal she is going through.

My meal planning is getting more creative and easier as I put more thought into them.  This may be due to the fact that I am sharing it with you and i do hope to inspire and not bore you.  Anyway enough of my jobber jabber;

Here are my plans for this week-

Meals
  • Baked chicken legs, thighs and breast (for my son who does not eat dark meat)
  • Seasoned rice (this may be a Jamaican thing) this rice has carrots, pumpkin corn, onions and spices; It is delicious!
  • Baked Salmon for my son, this is his favorite thing to eat.
  • Turkey meatballs paired with vegetable spaghetti ( yep Barilla makes these).
  • for sides I  made a kale salad and steamed broccoli and cauliflower

I pack lunch for my son each day because he does not like the school lunch.  So I pack him hot lunch in his little lunch thermos; it I mostly pair the protein with pasta because I believe it is easier to eat from a thermos. 


Exercise-

Monday -  30 minutes of Zumba
Tuesday- 30 minutes of yoga
Wednesday- one hour Body Pump and 3 mile run on Treadmill
Thursday- Rest
Friday- one hour Pilates and 3 mile run on treadmill
Saturday-45 minutes workout with my biggest loser CD
Sunday- Rest


My schedule has changed so I can only make it to the gym on Wednesday and Friday so I try to get the most out of it, that's the reason I started doing running on those days.  I have not have quite a few exercise CD's so I have the tools to workout from home.  If I get bored with those I look for new routines on Youtube.


What are your health and fitness plans for this week?




Fitness Friday

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Product Review- Motions Deep Conditioning Masque

Cost- I got it in my WeareOnyx box but you can find it on Amazon or in you local Beauty supply store for around $6- $8

Claims/Blurb- Motions Deep Conditioning Masque is an intensive weekly treatment, with Shea butter coconut and avocado oils, that bounces back dry , parched curls to the manageable, re-hydrated ringlets you desire.

Ingredients- Water, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cyclohexasiloxine, Dimethicone, Aspartic Acid, Quaternium-18, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Isostearamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate, Citric Acid, PEG-9, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methlpropional, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Silk Amino Acids, Propylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate, Polysorbate 60, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Stearic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Ethylhexyl Methoxyoinnamate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids, Ceramide 3.





Pros- This conditioner comes in a jar; personally I think all conditioners should be in jars.  It does not have a very over powering smell and the smell it does have goes away once all the conditioner is rinsed out.  I find it easy to apply because it is a very thin shampoo like consistency. 


Cons- Even though the consistency makes it easy to apply is also makes applying it a little messy because it is so runny.  This particular line is market directly to the curly girls; so bone straight hair may not do well with it.

My Take- I got three uses out of this 8 oz jar, I wish I got a fourth but such is life.  Anyway, I like this conditioner it left my hair feeling conditioned and the feeling lasted for days.  One of the biggest draw back for me is that it did not have a thicker consistency.  This conditioner is from their Natural textures line ; therefore it is geared towards my curly sisters.  I have mostly texlaxed hair so I think that's why it worked for me.  They tout the Shea, coconut and avocado oils mix but they were way down on the ingredients list, so I believe it is a come thither gimmick.   

Have you used this conditioner? What was your take?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wash day- Week Five (winter blues)

My wash days have become very easy and maybe a little boring.  I try to use different products each wash day to keep the excitement alive but it is slowly dying.  The first five or six months of my healthy hair journey I was super excited to wash my hair and style it; but now it feels like a chore just to get it started.  It maybe the winter blues and the understanding that I have wear my hair pinned up or curly so as not to damage the ends.  Anyway enough of my lamentations.

Here is how this weeks wash day went;


Prepoo with Cantu shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream and coconut oil under my conditioning cap for thirty minutes.  I allowed my hair to cool the rinsed with warmed water.

Shampooed with Optimum Oil Therapy as usual I only lather once before rinsing with warm water.  I love this shampoo because it not only lather but it does not leave my hair feeling dry and hard.

Tea rinsed with my black tea by pouring it over my head repeatedly for about five minutes  before rinsing wit cold water.



Deep conditioned with Creme of Nature Intensive conditioning treatment under my conditioning cap for 45 minutes. I then allowed my hair to cool for close to fifteen minutes before rinsing with warm water followed my cold water.

T-shirt dry my hair for about an hour before applying my leave ins in and moisturizers.

Leave ins- Creme of nature strength and shine leave in conditioner and Crecepelo leave in conditioner followed by Ettenio Mangoshea moisturizer and OGX coconut milk annti breakage serum.  After which I roller set with twelve 2 inch rollers.  The following morning I pinned the back up with a side swept bangs.



I need to get this hair into a long term style for the winter because it is not only getting dry but the hair at my nape getting tangled whenever I wear a coat.  I might do some crochet braids after the holidays.

What are some of your go to styles for winter?  



The Wash Day Experience




Friday, December 12, 2014

30 Days of Water Challenge- Recap

At the beginning of November I accepted the 30 days of water challenge hosted by Just Grow already and Relaxed Thairapy.  My goal was to drink at least 32 ozs of water each day, not drink any soda during these 30 days and to consume foods that have very high water content. This was a good challenge for me because it made me focus on my water intact and also my carbohydrate intake.

My Successes and Faliures

  • I drank at least 32 ozs of water each day; yes even on the weekends and more often than not I drank close to 64 ozs.  
  • Soda oh soda you drug!  I was good for 29 out of the 30 days but day 29th got the best of me.  It was a rough day job wise; I just need that thing that made me feel good.  Yes, I have two cans of soda on that day (hangs head in shame).  The one good thing was I have not repeated it since them.  
  • Consuming food that have high water content was easy for me because I love cucumbers, peaches, grapes, broccoli and cauliflower, so I stuck to the fruits and vegetables that I like and was very please that I followed through.

Noted Benefits

  • Around day 5 I felt more energized.  I did not feel the lethargic feeling I had every morning.  I did not have the mid-afternoon crashes I have become accustomed to; I did not have the dry mouth feel as often as  I normally did.
  • I have Gastritis which is an inflation of the stomach walls; because of this condition I have acid reflex and indigestion.  Half through the 30 days I was able to sleep without walking up because I was choking on my stomach acid.  This may be due to the fact that I drank no soda so less acid in my stomach but I believe is was due to my increased water intake.
  • I have very good skin, but I have noticed that it gets really dry in the colder months.  It would feel as if I was getting bit my thousands of ants, but even though I has gotten really cold I have yet to experience that same ole same ole dry feeling.

Recap


I was successful in this challenge and I have also reaped noteworthy benefits.  I will continue to drink at least 32 ozs of water at the very least through winter and will certainly not go back to my soda drinking ways.


What were your successes and noteworthy benefits during the 30 days of water challenge?