Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wash Day-Clay Wash

This is the last wash day of 2015 and I was super excited that it went well. I have decided to try new techniques until I find exactly works for my transitioning hair.  This week I pulled out my Ettenio Detoxify mineral clay and did a clay wash.

Here is how my wash day went:

[1] Detangled with my oil mix before coating my hair from root to tip with my Ettenio Clay wash.  Once hair was completely coated I cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes to ensure I get the benefits of the clay. After removing the plastic cap I rinsed with warm water.  I got a little worried because of the oil the clay did not rinse clean.



[2] I decided against shampooing and instead opted to deep conditioning.  I deep conditioned with Creme of Nature Argan oil intensive conditioning treatment, under my conditioning cap for 45 minutes. After removing the conditioning cap I allowed my hair to cool for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water and followed up with cool water, then wrapped my head with a t-shirt to get rid of the excess water.

[3] When my hair was 80 percent dry I put into five sections.  I then sprayed each section  with Creme of Nature strength and shine and applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangled and blow dry on cool. I wanted to try something a little different so I two strand twist before putting in perm rods.

OMG I was so happy with the look, and to top it off my curls lasted through the day.  The feedback that I got was that my hair looked confused but I didn't care because I had bounced and texture.  I loved that my hair was moisturized and will certainly reorder the Ettenio Clay wash.

How was your wash day?  Did you try anything funky?

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Motivation- How to beat the Holiday Blues

The holiday season can bring on a bout of stress and depression, which can be tough because it seems as if the whole world is bursting with the holiday spirits.  Just know that you are not alone, the person at the holiday party dancing and seeming to having a great time, might be having a difficult time also. Take comfort that there are ways to deal with holiday blues and in turn finding the holiday spirit.


Keep your expectation  realistic- During the holidays we tend to have unrealistic expectations, and when those expectations fall short we beat up ourselves. Be realistic in your expectations for the holidays and you will enjoy is far more.

Do something different- We all have family and cultural traditions that dominates the holidays but these traditions can become great stressors.  So instead of subjecting yourself to the same ole same, create your own traditions and do something fun or even choose to volunteer during the holidays.

Lean on your support system- This time of year can be especially difficult if you are dealing with depression or grief; don't forget your close friends and family because they are there to get you through the tough times.

Ask for Help- If you are feeling overwhelmed during this season as for help. So if you need help cooking, wrapping the gifts or putting up the lights ask for help from your love ones.

Don't worry about things you can't control- Don't spend your time worry about the things and people you cannot control.  Uncle Tom will get drunk, your sister will bring her new boyfriend, cousin Mary will start singing during dinner these aren't things you can necessarily control.  Just focus on your actions and reactions because those are the only things you can control.


Forget the unimportant stuff! Don't sweat the small stuff, and take time out to enjoy the holidays.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wash Day- Bantu Knots on Transitioning Hair

This new challenge or path has me feeling like when I first decided to go on a healthy hair journey.  I am spending tons of my time reading blogs and watching YouTube videos on transitioning hair, so I can gain better knowledge.  This movement is truly awesome because I found so much useful information and techniques that I will try, in order to format a regimen for this new path in my journey.

This week I decided to try out an all-in-one wash day; here is how I did it.

[1] First I detangled with my oil mix (coconut, grapeseed, avocado and jojoba oil) before spraying my roots with diluted Crème of Nature Sunflower and Coconut detangling and moisturizing shampoo.  After massaging my scalp with the shampoo, I coated my hair from root to tip with Shea Moisture 10 in 1 renewal Masque, and then I put on a plastic cap and my conditioning cap for 30 minutes. 

After removing the conditioning cap I allowed the hair to cool for 10 minutes, before hopping into the shower to rinses out all the products from my hair. After getting out the shower, I wrapped my head in a t-shirt for 10 minutes to get rid of the excess water.  OMG, my hair felt so soft and moisturized, and the best part was that it felt clean.  This may be my go to wash day routine throughout my transition.

[2] I did the happy dance because this technique did not leave hair looking and feeling horrible. Once I was finished my dancing I put my hair into five sections and applied Kinky Curly Knot today and ORS coconut milk anti-breakage serum detangled and blow dry on cool.  I’m trying not to use any heat because I don’t want my hair to become heat trained. 

[3] Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and Eco Styling Gel and put into Bantu Knots; I think I had about 16 or 19 knots.  I don’t remember it being so difficult to go the knots, but the right side of my head gave me a hard time, this may be due to me being left handed.  Anyway in the morning all the knots were still in place so I guess I did a good job. 

I don’t know if it was the Eco styling gel, the size of each knot or that I’m six months post but the curls were so tight and did not fall even at the end of the day.  I think it was a combination of both but I’ll am in love with the look and since curls are my go to look for this transition, I’ll be doing much more.


How was your #washdayexperience? Did you try any new technique?

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Motivation- Forgive Yourself

Understanding the importance of forgiveness and how to accomplish it in your life is at times a hard concept for us. Even though we may know the meaning of forgiveness and have to the ability to forgive others, we tend to lack forgiveness of yourselves.  Making the choice to forgive you, is not an easy task, however it is very important in order to live an enriched life. 

We have all messed up at one time or the other because to err is human; so why is it so hard to forgive you?  When we hurt a love one we walk around with the guilt and constantly beat ourselves up long after the person as forgiven us and moved on.   Why do we hold ourselves more accountable than we would someone else? The inability to forgive you can lead to depression, anger and self-hate.

If you look in the mirror and is unable to look yourself in the eye, then it is time to forgive you and learn to love yourself.  Forgiving yourself is allowing you to accept the past and the freedom to live a fulfilled life in the present.  Forgiving does not mean your forget but instead that you learned from the mistake and is using it in a positive way.  Forgiving ourselves is about letting go of the hurt, the anger and pain.


So look yourself in the mirror and forgive you by telling yourself to take less offense, let go of the anger, let go of the hurt, stop placing blame; instead open your mind in order to have a greater understanding of the situation. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Noteworthy Postings

2015 was the year to try many new products, styling and to really take my hair journey to the next level.  This year I did crochet braids, box braids, tried a braid out, did a few Bantu knots and made the ultimate decision to transitioning to natural.  The best part (or at least for me ) of being a member of this community (healthy hair) is the connections I have made with people and continue to make. 

Noteworthy Post of 2015

  • I’m transitioning, -thanks for all the encouragement I really from you all.  I have toyed with the decision for close to a year and I figure if I announced it to the universe then I can’t allow self-doubt to take hold.
  •  How I wash my crochet braids- This was the most popular post in 2015; which is really awesome, because I could not predict it. When I first took my handy dandy notebook (Google) to look for how to wash my crochet braids I found one You-tube video, I was stunned.  One would figure with the popularity of crochet braids there would be much more out there on how to care for it.
  • How I moisturized my crochet braids (second most popular)- Like I said there are tons of videos and blog post on how to install them but caring for them got lost somehow.
  • My best wash day is a toss-up between Soft and Fluffy curls and Co-wash spiral both of these wash days were so easy I felt like I was in an alternate universe. 
  • My favorite post is Ten hair care items to pack when travelling  I love this post because it gets me into the vacation mode.  I love travelling so anything to do with travel has my attention.
  • My worst wash day is a toss-up between The struggle is real and Free at Last, both of this wash days put me to the test and almost had me throwing in the towel.
  • My blog celebrated one year OMG When I started this blog I had no clue what I was doing. Even now as I’m writing this I am amaze that I figured it out and have maintained it.  This blog is and was my saving grace in more ways than one.  I have a place to be my authentic self which lends itself to me taking better care of me. 
  • Honorable mention- How I moisturize my box braids- I like this post because even though most of us do protective styles, there aren’t much out there on the interwebs (in my opinion) on caring for protective styles such as box braids. How I prep my hair for box braids- Prepping your hair before any long-term protective style is really important. 



Thanks to the ladies of the #washdayexperience for creating such a loving and respectful community and space for learning. 

The #WashDayExperience


Friday, December 18, 2015

Wash Day- I'm Six months post

Yeah!!!! I’m six months post relaxer; just can’t believe I actually was able to get here.  When I started on my quest in June it was to challenge myself but it actually gave me the boost to transition to natural.  I love this journey and the challenges it brings.  I have yet to see a define curl pattern but the natural hair is soft and manageable.

This wash day was a breeze, given the fact that I am 26 weeks post relaxer with roughly three inches of new growth.  Detangling the natural hair is a breeze but I have wicked tangled on the ends. I am due for a trim but I won’t do one until I flat iron my hair.



Anyway here is how my wash day went;

Prepoo- Detangled using warm coconut and olive oil, then saturate the hair with the mix and put on a plastic cap and my conditioning cap for 45 minutes.  I haven’t used olive oil in a while and I wanted to combat any dryness before they occur. 

Shampoo- Lathered twice with Crème of Nature Sunflower and coconut detangling and moisturizing shampoo.  I had to lather twice before of the hot oil treatment and that the hair still felt greasy after the first lather.  I then rinsed my hair with warm water before wrapping my head in a t-shirt when I was finished shampooing.


Deep Conditioning- Deep conditioned with Ettenio Cocolicious balancing penetrating conditioner and Jamaican Black Castor Oil without heat for two hours. I then hopped in the shower and rinsed out the conditioner with warm water, then wrapped my head with a t-shirt to dry. I had the t-shirt on for a good ten minutes the applied my leave-in.




Leave-in and Moisturizer- Sprayed my hair with Crème of Nature Strength and shine left to air dry. When it was about 90 percent dry I applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangler and leave-in and ORS Coconut milk serum and put into five sections.  I then blow dry each section on warm.

Styling- I did a Perm rod set with close to thirty rods and went to bed.  in the morning I had beautiful bouncy curls and my roots were stretch, it even look like I had only one texture/


I love how soft and fluffy the hair looks and feels but I’m struggling with my afternoon hair.  It has been so warm in the northeast that my hair is behaving as if it summer, the humidity is giving me a run for my money.  I am still learning or t least attempting to style the hair in a way that it last thru the end of the day.

What are he challenges you faced transitioning?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hit and Misses 2015

The year 2015 was a very exciting and trying year for me; not only when it comes to my hair but for my health and my career. I am very happy for the supports I receive from all my readers and I hope to not only inspire you in 2016 but also that you continue to inspire me.

My tried and true techniques remained a hit but I have also added a few more hits to my arsenal in 2015. My misses weren’t many this year when it comes to products but learnt very valuable lessons when it comes to what my hair likes.

Hit: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Treatment masque- This is an awesome conditioner it not only offers the benefits of Jamaican Black Castor oil, but it also has Shea butter as its team member.  This conditioner has the best of both worlds in my book, it has strength and it is also moisturizing. See my review here


Hit: Shea Moisture 10 in 1 Renewal System Masque- I love this Masque it leaves my hair feeling so soft and moisturized. I am so in love with this masque, I have used it as a deep conditioner and as a wash out conditioner and still get the same amazing results. See my review here

Hit: Jamaican Black Castor Oil- I heard so much rave about how great this oil is and to tell you the truth they are all truth at least for me. I used it in my deep conditioner, I use it seal my leave-in and at times I use it in my prepoo, so far it works fabulous no matter how I use it. 


Hit: Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter moisturizer- This moisturizer is the bomb I am totally in love with it. This is a thick and creamy moisturizing dream, it melts in your hair leaving it feeling and looking moisturized.  See my review here


Miss: QGX awapuhi ginger shampoo- This conditioner left my hair  feeling so hard that I wish I’d kept the receipt. I seen so much rave about this line and really wanted to try it out, but I the good feeling only lasted a day or two.  I think the problem is that it contains protein, but who knows.  I would love to regift so if anyone wants to try it, email me and I glad pass it along.  


Miss: Almond Oil- This oil had my hair shedding so bad that not even weekly black tea rinses helped.  I decided to re-gift the bottle I had and the recipient says it works wonders on her hair and is even enjoy more hair growth than normal.  That just goes to prove not everything works for everyone. 



What were your hits and misses for 2015? 






Sunday, December 13, 2015

Musings- What I Learned 2015

Musing- What I learned 2015

This year has been a very challenging year for me personally.  I had to rely on my faith to get me through the difficult times.  I have come to realize that my healthy hair journey has many similarities with my life and like a prison sentence they are running concurrently. 

Let go and Let God- Too often we find ourselves trying to control a situation or even an outcome to no avail.  The reason behind the failure to do so is not up to us; therefore say a prayer and allow God to work in your life.  I learned that no matter what excuses we use to stay in a situation God will take us out of it willingly or not.

Positive attitude will attract positive- A positive attitude goes a long way and it attracts positive outcomes.  When God takes us out of a situation do not sit around and lament on why me; instead welcome the change with a positive outlook and he will reveal the great things he has plan for your life.

Leave the energy and life force suckers in your dust- Too often we let others thoughts and feelings dictate how we feel and in turn we allow them to rob us of our joy.  This year I was forced with the unmasked truth that I was allowing “a person” to suck my energy.  Making the decision to cut that person out my life was a very rewarding decision.

Open up yourself to new experiences- Opening up one’s self to new experience can have great rewards.  This year I made a decision to start dating again and it was a great learning experience.  I learned a lot about the dating world and also about myself. Don’t be afraid to step off the curb and try something new; because what is life without a little excitement?

My motto or mantra is Laugh Loud, Laugh Often.  Laughter has helped me to get through the tough times and it is quite cathartic to have a real hard belly laugh.


I hope you learned some value lessons in 2015, which will help you to conquer 2016 and all the other years to come.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wash Day- Transitioning Trials

This transitioning journey is not for the faint of heart, it is for people with tenacity.  Last week was my first foray into dealing with and styling my almost six months post new growth on top of my texlaxed hair.  I am very happy that I spent the last two years stretching my relaxer and texlaxing my hair because it has given me the tools for this arduous journey.  I won’t be attempting any braids outs, twist outs or flat twist anytime soon, because I don’t have the skill and I refuse the go to work looking like a crazy person.



After a week of trial and error here is how this week’s wash day went:

Prepoo and Detangled- Detangled in small sections using my oil mix. This oil mix contains coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil.  After I detangled each section I coated it with OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy conditioner; when my whole head was finished I put on a plastic cap and my conditioning cap. I felt that my hair need a little protein and this conditioner has the right balance for me. I left the conditioning cap on for thirty minutes before removing it and allowing my hair to cool.

Shampoo- Once my hair was cool; I hopped into the shower to rinse out the prepoo treatment and shampoo.  I shampooed in two sections using my all-time favorite Crème of Nature Sunflower and Coconut conditioning and detangling shampoo.  I know most of us don’t shampoo our hair frequently but if you need to like me, this is a very good shampoo and relatively inexpensive.

Deep condition- To get rid of the excess water I wrapped my head in a t-shirt for about five minutes.  Then I applied my deep condition mixture of Crecepelo conditioner and Jamaican Black Castor oil very liberally.  I did this because my hair was feeling a bit hard after the protein prepoo section.  I then put on a plastic cap and sat under my bonnet dryer for twenty minutes.  My intention was to let me hair cool for another twenty minutes but I end up on the phone with my cousin who lives in London for almost an hour.  I love catching up with her; but it always makes me smile when the American, British and Jamaican accents comes to play. 


Leave-in and Moisturizer- I then hopping back in the shower to rinse out the conditioner and then wrapped my hair with a t-shirt to dry.  I let it dry for roughly fifteen minutes before applying Kinky Kurly Knot today leave-in detangling and OGX Coconut milk anti-breakage serum to small sections.  Do you ever look at your wet hair and have that feeling of OMG how do I fix this ish?  Well, I was in that place and it is a scary place.

Styling- Enough of my drama, after taking deep breaths I decided to blow dry so I can have a smooth starting point.  Therefore I blow dry each section (about six) on warm, then moisturized with Cantu Hair Lotion and put in close to thirty flexi rods and went to bed.  Let me tell you after the blow dry I was in a better place. 

I love the fullness of my hair and how soft and fluffy it is, I’m just a little disappointed that I haven’t seen any curl pattern.  To say it is a surprising would be a lie; the one problem I had with my new growth back in the days was that it doesn’t lay flat and would just poof up.  I have since embraced it and Curly-Sue is here to play and stay.


How was your #washdayexperience? What tips do you have for a transitioning girl?
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Motivation- Embrace your Situation

"Everything happens when it needs to happen; everyone is always where they need to be." Iyanla Vanzant

As the good book (Bible) says "there is a time and place for everything"; Embrace your situation.

We aren't always met with great things, and sometimes the things we are met with are so shitty it throws us for a loop. However finding the message in every situation is the key to unlocking the true meaning of our lives. We often ask, why me? but my question to you is; why not you?

Life isn't full of roses and quiet walks through the lush gardens, however that doesn't mean we should miss out on finding the meaning in the turbulent times. If you are in a bad place use it as a stepping stone to move to the next chapter in your life. If this is the good part take solace in the good things and use the knowledge you gain to help you through the not so good times.

Nothing is ever what it seems; what looks bad today could be a blessing tomorrow.  

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Weight Loss - In Review (November)

The year is coming to an end and I'm still hustling to achieve my goals before year end.  I am loving my fitness level but is hating that my weight loss seems to be at a stand still.  I will continue to do what I am currently doing and will make changes in the new year to boost my weight loss.

My diet and exercise for November went down like this.......

Diet-

  • Had a balance breakfast each morning. Breakfast included protein, carb and fruits.
  • Prepare and packed my lunch, making sure that I include protein, a carb and vegetables
  • Had a snack between breakfast and lunch and a snack between lunch and dinner.
  • I have a light dinner with the exception of Sunday which is our weekly family dinner.
I was super pump that I am totally back on track with my diet program.

Exercise-

  • Loving my fitbit it keeps me motivated; on average I walked 10,000 steps per day
  • I exercise five days per weeks without failure
    • two days of cardio sculpt
    • a day of total body weight training and Pilates
    • a day dedicated to kickboxing
    • an arms day because this girl needs sexy arms.
  • I am working on getting back into running but my knee is not co-operating so I only ran twice this month.
Results-

  • I did not lose any weight not even an ounce; my pounds of fat is now my pounds of muscles. 
  • I have lost inches which is good; my ultimate goal is o be small so losing inches is a great thing.
  • My BMI hasn't change per my scale but I won't give up.
I am not letting not losing weight this month take away my motivation.  This is a lifestyle and I intend to continue until I hit my goal weight.  These days I can train for two plus hours at the gym and do not feel like a walking dead.  I get compliments from people regarding ho much weight I lost and that I shouldn't lose more.  Even though I appreciate the compliments this is my new normal.

How are you maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle? 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wash Day- Long Overdue

I haven't had a wash day in the four weeks which is totally not me.  This was due to the fact that I had in the cornrow braids and I was so afraid that they might get frizzy so I skipped was days.  However I did not skip my moisturizing sessions, and upon removing the braids my hair was a moisturized testimony.  I did not have as much shedding hairs as I have with the box braids as I did with my previous braid style.

I've had braids in for a total of ten weeks so I have been missing my hair and moreover I am ready to embark on this transitioning journey.

Here is how my wash day went;

Prepoo and Detangle-  Detangle with my oil mix (coconut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil).  I oiled and detangled in small sections then add Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-shampoo treatment to the section.  Once my entire head was detangled and coat with the pre-shampoo I cover with a plastic cap and a warm towel for roughly 30 minutes.

Shampoo-  After allowing my hair to cool I undo each section and detangled some more and put back into four sections.  I then hopped into the shower and shampoo each section with Creme of Nature Coconut and Sunflower detangling shampoo. I only lathered once because I didn't think I needed more than that, and as usual this shampoo cleans without leaving my hair feeling dry and stripped.



Deep Conditioner- After hopping out the shower I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.  I must say my hair was soft and fluffy and I did spend sometime in the mirror checking out how much new growth I have.  Anyway, after that I applied Shea Moisture 10 in 1 renewal system Masque and Jamaican Black Castor Oil to each section then covered with a plastic cap and head tie.  Because the next day was Thanksgiving I decided to do an overnight deep conditioning session.

Leave-in and Moisturizer-  After hopping in the shower and rinsing out the conditioner from each section I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.  When my hair was about 80 percent dry I applied Kinky Curly Knot today to each section and detangled.  I then applied Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter before sectioning each section into about five parts and two strand twist before setting with my 1 1/2 inch perm rods.


I must say I was so surprise that six hours later when I went to take out the perm rods my hair was not dry. So I had to take them out loosely re-twist each section and went under my bonnet dryer for 10 minutes.  I had about 20 minutes before thanksgiving dinner and there was no way I was going to sit at the table with wet hair.  I had a sort of twisted out but I was not happy. I believe I might have been too heavy handed with the leave-in.



Before going to bed I sprayed my hair with Creme of Nature Strength and Shine leave in conditioner, applied Cantu coconut curl cream and flexi rod.  As of this post I have not remove the flexi rod so with fingers cross I hope to have fabulous hair for my date on saturday.

How was your #washdayexperience?  How you tried any new products?


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving!!!!

It's Thanksgiving!!!


Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans both home and aboard.

Today is Thanksgiving and all the shopping is done, the food is prepped and almost done cooking.  Even though I'm the resident sous chef, because my mom loves to cook and is therefore the resident head Chef.

Anyway here is what's on the menu for today' feast;

  • Roasted herb chicken (no turkey for us this year)
  • Quinoa with red kidney beans 
  • Curried Lamb
  • Asparagus sauteed in garlic sauce
  • Baked sweet potatoes with cranberry
  • Green salad ( lettuce, carrots, baby tomatoes, bell pepper and walnut)
Yes the fare is simple because we decided to have an intimate Thanksgiving this year.



As I reflect on the many things that I have to give thanks for; I am most thankful for health, family and the ability to provide for my family. This was a very trying year but with the grace of God we were able to come out on top. So to all those celebrating Thanksgiving remember to give thanks for all your blessings.  And those who aren't don't forget to give thanks because being thankful does not need a day.  

Thank you all for giving me a platform to share my life and for reading my gibberish, I am thankful.

THANK YOU ALL. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wash Day- I'm Transitioning !!!!!

I'm transitioning to my natural hair.

Yes, Me!!

The person who always said she would never go natural.  My statement over the years was " I would relax my hair even if I have one strand left".

Why such a strong statement you ask?

I took that strong of a stand because when I was 10 years old  I got my hair relaxed and it all fell out. Therefore my grandmother gave me a 'big chopped" (who knew it was a thing) and I had a TWA (yes I was a trend setter) until I was 11 years old where I got a Jerri curl (told you I was hip).  I was traumatized by the afro and vow never to wear my hair like that ever again.

So what made me come to this decision?

Well I have been telaxing for almost 22 months and have gotten used to my textured hair. So the most natural transitioning (no pun intended) in my book is to take the final plunge.

I am currently 22 weeks pot relaxer and my plan at the moment is to transition for two years.  I don't have any idea if I will be successful but I will do my best to achieve this goal in the best possible way. I do not have a concrete plan at the moment, but my immediate plan is to continue with my current regimen.


Trip Down Memory Lane


I will be stalking all my Naturalistas blogs for styling and hair regimen tips and tricks along this journey


What tips do you have for long-term transitioning?

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Motivation- The Tough Gets Going

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going" When faced with adversity, our fight or flight defense kicks in.

However what dictates if we fight or flight, the situation. Some will say it's innate, which our inborn nature to stand up and face the situation or flee.  Others will say we learn it from our environment and is therefore thought when to fight or flight.

Whatever school of thought you subscribe to, it is important to know where you stand.  As the Kenny Rogers song says " know when to hold, know when to fold and know when to walk away". Fight for what you believe in, stand-up for what you think is right and walk away when it is time to let go.

I truly believe both works hand in hand you have an innate response to a situation but culture also plays a role.  This year has taught me a lot about my drive and willpower and I am more in tune with myself.

Sourced




So don't become discouraged and beat yourself up but instead embrace the choice you make and use it as a stepping stool.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Motivation- Positive Thinking

Life has a way of sucker punching us, but our true strength do not lie in how well we take these punches but how well we recover.  Having positive thought, ideas and feelings are essential to our happiness our health, our successes and overcoming obstacles. Positive thinking should be a way of life, it shouldn't only be there when everything is going well.


SOURCED


Having a positive outlook is key to attracting a positive attitude and positive outcomes. 

Some naysayers will say that thinking and acting positive won't change the outcome, and while logically that may be true, it's about the journey not the destination.  I lost my best friend to breast cancer and I still miss her everyday but her illness taught me the importance of seizing each and every day with both hands and living it to the fullest.

How do you transform your life with positive thinking?

  • You can do anything you think you can do
  • Encourage yourself
  • Avoid negative thoughts
  • Have positive expectations
  • get rid of worrying
  • work actively towards your goals
Be the little engine that could and find the positive in all situation. 







Friday, November 6, 2015

Wash day- 20 weeks post

The past week was a trail for me and my hair because I just could get it to behave. I often have this problem after having in a protective style the hair just does not go back to its normal pattern.  So after struggling with it for a week I decided to put back in braids to take me to 24 weeks.

Here is how my very abbreviated wash day went; 


Prepoo- Detangled with warm coconut oil then coat hair from root to tip with Burt's Bees Avocado Butter pre-shampoo Hair treatment before covering with a plastic cap and a head tie before heading to bed.


Deep Condition- I did not feel like my hair needed shampooing so instead of rinsing out the pre-poo treatment I applied ORS replenishing conditioner and sat under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes. I then removed the cap and allowed my hair to cool before rinsing with water followed by cool water. After i was finished rinsing I wrapped my head with a t-shirt to remove the excess water.

Leave-in Conditioner and Moisturizer-  When my hair was 90% air dry, I sprayed with Creme of Nature Strength & Shine leave-in conditioner and Ettenio moisture milk and left to air dry. Once my hair was dry I applied OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum and blow dry on cool to stretch the hair before heading to the braiding salon.



At 20 weeks post relaxer I am super excited at the thickness of my new growth and over all health of my texlaxed hair.  At the end of the year I plan on trimming the small portion of bone straight ends.  My moisturizing technique worked like a charm on the last set of box braids so I will continue with the same application on this new set.

How was your #washdayexperience?

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Weight Loss - In Review (Sept/Oct)

Who would have thought simple old me would become a fitness buff. When I cannot get to the gym because of scheduling issues I am working out to a Dailyburn.com session or an exercise DVD. Each day I go walking at lunch to get my steps in and the best part is that I feel healthy. 

My diet and exercise regimen for September and October:
  • I exercise five days per week, this includes cardio, weight and strength training, Pilates, Yoga, running, cycling and Zumba.
  • I walk 10,000 steps per day on average
  • My diet is on par; I have stayed away from eating out and have resumed packing a breakfast, my lunch and healthy snacks.

The results
  • My weight lost is dismal to say the least; I have only lost .8 pounds which sucks because I am losing enough to meet my weight lost goal for 2015.  I have stepped up my weight and strength training quite a bit so that may be the factor.  I must say that I have gotten much smaller and is even down a clothing size.  These days I looking in the mirror and see the old me looking back at me. 
  • I have trimmed ½ an inch from my waist, almost a ¼ of an inch from my hips, almost a ½ an inch from my thighs and quite a bit less than ¼ of an inch from my arms. Per my friend and gym partner I lost my butt and my boobs, just wish it was arms.  I need skinny arms!
  • My BMI is also down, and I guess I can attribute that to a much leaner and muscular me.      

I am very proud of how far I have come since I began my weight loss and fitness journey three years ago. A fitness journey and a fit lifestyle is day to day and no one day decide how well your outcome or how well you'll do. So keep pushing and building on each gain and learning from the fails. 

What do you do to maintain your fitness journey?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wash Day- Box Braids Removal

After six weeks of box braids I was ready to take them out.  If you have the time I would suggest you go back to the braiding salon and have them remove the braids for you.  It took me close to six hours of neck and arm straining to remove them. Well I must report that my moisturizing technique really moisturized my hair; because under normal circumstances my hair would be brittle after having in braids for six weeks.  This time around my hair was soft and pliable and those God awful fuzz balls were few and far between.



Prepoo and detangling- After removing all the braids I applied Amla oil to small sections and detangled. Once I thought the hair was completed detangled I saturate it was more Amla and put on a plastic cap and my head-tie and went to bed.

Shampoo- The next morning I detangled again before shampooing with Crème of Nature Sunflower and coconut detangling conditioning  shampoo.  I only lathered once before my hair was pretty clean compared to in the past. After rinsing out the shampoo with warm water I detangled while my hair was pretty saturate then wrapped it in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.


Deep Condition- I then deep conditioned with Shea Moisture JBCO strengthen, Grow & Restore treatment Masque under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes.  When I was applying the conditioner I ensure that all the hair was covered because I wanted to have a well-conditioned hair.  After removing the conditioning cap I allowed my hair to cool for ten minutes before rinsing with warm water and followed with cool water.  I then wrapped my head with a t-shirt to remove the excess water.
100% Air Dry

Leave-in Conditioner and Moisturizer- I then sprayed the hair with Crème of Nature Strengthen and shine leave-in conditioner and Ettenio Moisture Milk before detangling and then allowed my hair to air dry.  Once my hair was 95% dry I applied OGX anti-breakage coconut milk serum and blow dry on cool. 



I was not expecting the only process to take so long so I had to use my curling iron to get some type of style done for a brunch I was attending. Therefore I applied Ettenio seal and shine before adding a few curls with my curling iron.

I must say that even though I had quite a bit of new growth that my hair seems healthy and moisturized.  The Amla oil is a bit stinky but it gave my hair a light airy feeling and look; however I don’t think I’ll be using this particular one again. 

I am giving my hair a break for a week before installing fresh box braids, I am hoping to get to 24 weeks post which is mid December. I am current at 19 weeks post and the brass ring is in sight.

How was your #washdayexperience? 

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Product Review- Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer

Cost: I purchased a 6oz tub at Walgreens for $5.49, However it is widely available and comes in a larger size (8.25 oz).



Claims/Blurbs: Moisturizing Butter of Mango and Olive Oil creates this intensely rich thermal protecting treatment. Use Olive oil and Butter moisturizer daily for softer fuller looking hair
·         
·      Ingredients: Aqua, Olea Europea fruit oil/ olive oil, Capric Capryllic Triglyceridess, PEG-75 Lanolin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteareth-20,Cetyl Alcohol,  Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/ Mango Butter, Theobroma Cacao seed butter/cocoa butter, Cocos Nucifera Oil/ coconut Oil,Hydrolyzed Silk,  Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone.......

Pros- The Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter moisturizer has a creamy whipped butter consistency.  It smells heavenly and the Cocoa Butter smell really shines through.  Due to it being creamy a little goes a long way and your Jar will last for some time.  Even though it is a creamy it melts in the hair and does not leave it feeling heavy, greasy or weighted down.

Cons- The downside to it being a creamy moisturizer is that if you use too much it will leave the hair looking and feeling greasy. The Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturizer is not Sulfate, Parabens or cone free as you can see from the ingredients list.



My Take- I really enjoy using this moisturizer and the benefits my hair gained from it. I know from trip around the web that most people use it during the cooler and winter months because of the thickness. However it worked Magic for me during the hot humid summer months, especially my nine days at the beach.  Whenever I use this moisturizer my hair stays softer longer and didn’t get that dry crunchy look after being out and about in the sun. I am in love with this moisturizer and I’ve added it to my essential kit.

Have you tried this moisturizer? If so, what’s your take?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Motivation- Finding Happiness

" The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things" Henry Ward Beecher

Finding happiness in everyday things is the essence of a happy and fulfilled life. Often we think if only I have mid-back length hair I'll be happy, if I win millions in the lottery then I'll be happy.  But all too often we overlook the important things and people in our live is search of this thing that will make us happy.

"Happiness is not something remade. It comes from your own actions" Dalai Lama

Neither material things are people will make us happy, we have to make ourselves happy.  On a warm sunny day find happiness in the feel of the sun on your face or on a rainy day dance between the raindrops and find your happiness. When we feel happy within our being then this happiness will radiate to the people and world around us.

"Don't worry, Be happy" Bobby McFerrin

Yes it is easier said than done; however finding the silver lining even in the hardest of things will enable you to feel happiness. Be grateful for the good things no matter how small will allow you to find the meaning behind all the bad. So don't worry about the things you cannot change but be happy in the things you can.

Finding happiness in our everyday life is quite easy if we allow ourselves to be happy. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wash Day- Box Braids

The daunting task of washing my box braids wasn't as bad as I thought. It was actually easier than washing my hair while in crochet braids. Believe it or not the hardest part of the wash was how long it took the braids to dry.  Anyway here is how the wash day went;


{1} diluted Optimum Oil Therapy Ultimate recovery shampoo and applied to my scalp then the length of the braids.  I gentle massage my scalp until I had worked up a good lather and felt comfortable that all the built up from the past three weeks has been dislodge. I then hopped into the shower and rinsed with warm water. Once I was done I squeeze as much water out as possible before wrapping the hair with a towel.

{2}  After five minutes I removed the towel and sprayed the entire length of the braids with diluted Crecepelo conditioner and let it sit on the hair for 10 minutes before I hopped back into the shower to rinse. Once I was finished rinsing I squeezed out the excess water and wrap the hair in a towel for about15 minutes.

{3} While the hair was still damp I applied Jamaican Black Castor Oil to the scalp and let the hair air dry for about an hour. I then sprayed the entire length of the hair with my moisturizer mix ( find it here) and left it to dry completely.

The braids took much longer than I anticipated to dry; it may be due to the fact it was a very cold day.  I must say my scalp was thanking me and the insistent itch was gone.  I was a little worried that my hair would become fuzzy but that only happened to my edges and nape.  All in all it was a very easy wash day.


Have you been protective styling? How are you caring for it?


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Friday, September 25, 2015

6 Weight Loss Tips


Losing weight is very hard and it takes perseverance to reach your goal. Here are six tips that can help you along the way to your goal;


Eat Better- Eating nutrient rich foods is very important step in any weight loss program. Watching the calories, the sodium, the sugar and fat in each meal is important but getting the most out of each meal is just as important. Enjoying what you eat is also a part of eating better; so eat slowly, so you can taste and savor your meal.  Enjoying your meal will help you feel full and satiated because if you feel satiated you will in all intent eat less.

Drink More Water-  Keep your body hydrated will help with the digestive process and boost your metabolism.
Weight Train- Weight train helps to build your muscles and the more muscles you have the fat your will burn.

Set Long-term and Short-term Goal- Setting long-term and short-term goals is very important in any weight loss journey.  With goals you will always have something to look forward to and won't become discouraged along the way. So have a end goal but also have small along the way helps you get there.

Participate in Fun Events- Find different fun events to keep you motivated. Try running a 3k, at 5k, doing a mud run, a walk for charity or even a friendly run among friends to keep it fresh.

Use Positive Affirmations- Always look at the glass half full in other words find the positive in all situation.  Therefore, if you don't make your short-term or long-term goals don't bet yourself up instead give yourself a high five and push on.

These tips have been helpful to me along my weight loss journey and is still helping to push me to my ultimate goal.

What tips do you use to achieve your weight loss goals?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wash Day- moisturizing my box braids

Having box braids has it pros and cons or blessing and curse , whichever way you choose to view it.  For me the pros (blessings) outweighs the cons (curse). I am loving having these braids in and will share some of my pros and cons along with how I keep them moisturized.

The Pros-

  • Easily maintained- This such a low maintenance style that I have to be on my a game when it comes to keeping it moisturized.
  • Easily styled- I do not need to brush, comb, detangle or curl it in any shape of for. All I need are a few pins, a srunchie and I have the perfect hairstyle all the time.

The Cons-
  • It is heavy- Box braids tends to be much heavier than a weave or even crochet braids.  it took me at least a week to get us to the weight.
  • The itching- OMG the first few days I thought that I had head lice, yes the itching was that bad. To combat it I added a few drops of peppermint to water and sprayed my scalp to help relieve the itching.

How I keep them moisturized

On a nightly basis I moisturize using my moisturizing mix. I first spray my scalp them the entire length of my hair with the mix before pinning it up and putting on my scarf.  Because the mix is in a spray bottle it is quite easy to apply and I feel that my hair is being moisturized. 

The mix- 
1 tbs Coconut oil
1 tbs Grapeseed oil
2 tbs Castor oil
a few drops of peppermint oil
roughly 4 or 5  Ettenio Creme de la Creme daily moisturizer
enough Water ( I not measure the water, but it was enough to thin out the mix and make it easy to spray a fine mist)

























I feel this a good combination and I believe that my hair really being moisturized.


How do you keep your box braids moisturized? What tips can you give me?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Healthy Hair Journey- Revisited

I started my journey to a healthier and longer hair January 2014.  At the time my plan was to go on this journey for a year.  The protagonist for me going on this journey was my sister-in-law been natural and having beautiful hair.  Thanks to the many beautiful and resourceful ladies whether they have  blog or a YouTube channel for teaching the likes of me and basically giving me a Masters in healthy Hair Care.

 This journey is not for the faint of heart but I've learned that you need only a few essentials to be successful on your journey.

Patience- Patience is the most essential key that you need to be successful on this journey. The general knowledge out there is that hair grows roughly 4-6 inches per year; so do not expect to have mid back length hair overnight.

Ingredient Knowledge- It is essential to know about the different ingredients in the products you use and their properties.  This will give you a better idea what works or doesn't work for you; and also helps when you are trying out new products.

Frequent Wash or Cleansing- This is essential to remove product build and dead cells from the scalp. A hair that is not bogged down by layers of product will retain moisture.

Moisturize- Moisture retention is very essential on a healthy hair journey. Moisturizing prevents dryness and guard against breakage. Moisturized hair is easily manipulated so be up on your moisture game.

Deep conditioning- Deep conditioning with heat is very essential on this journey. Deep conditioning with to penetrate the hair shaft; which helps to maintain the health and elasticity of the hair.

Limit the use of heat styling- Limiting the use of heat styling is very essential because it robs the hair of moisture and will eventually cause heat damage.

Trimming- Trimming is essential to help maintain the health of your hair. Splits ends can put a wrench in your journey so don't forget to trim them a way.


Almost two years into this journey and I'm very happy to be apart of this wonderful movement. Sharing tips, product reviews, styling ideas, comments and encouragement has empowered me to share my knowledge no only on this blog but also with people I meet in my everyday life.


What are some of the essential techniques have you learned on your journey?  









Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wash Day- How I prep my hair for box braids

My current plan is to do a twenty four weeks stretch, but at twelve weeks post I had to find a way to help talk my mind off that I'm only halfway through.  I have not done box braids in over ten years and was very hesitant to even try it because they take so long to install.  However, after much internal debate I made the decision to do them.

I went to a Senegalese shop that came with rave reviews and was very happy with not only the result but also the process. She was very knowledgeable and mindful of my edges and even made recommendations on how to grow out my widows peak. All in all I was able to sleep that night and the braids around my edges weren't tight or pulling, which is a win win.

Anyway before I went to see my new BFF for the box braids I did my wash day.  Here is a recap;


Prepoo- Did an overnight hot oil treatment with my oil mix. The mix contains Coconut oil, Avocado Oil and grapeseed oil.  This was not meant to be an overnight treatment but I fell asleep and it was way too late when I woke up.

Shampoo- with Creme of Nature Sunflower and Coconut detangling conditioning shampoo. I am certain I heard my hair shout hallelujah because it was burden with two weeks worth of junk from Bantu knots, flexi rod and perm rod set. I only lather once even though I was tempted to do so.

Deep Condition- After rinsing out the shampoo I t-shirt dry to get the excess water out then deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black castor Oil Masque under my conditioning cap for 30 minutes, then allowed my hair to cool for another 15 minutes.  Once my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water to ensure all the conditioner was gone, then followed up with a cool rinse to close the cuticles.

Leave-in and Moisturizer- After rinsing out the conditioner I t-shirt dry until my hair was about 90 % dry, then applied Shea Moisture Black castor oil leave in conditioner and Ettenio free at last moisturizer and allowed to air dry. Once it was completely dry I apply OGX coconut milk serum and blow dry the roots to make it easier for the braid technician to handle since I'm twelves weeks post.

I had a very good experience with this braid technician, I just might get them installed again.























How was your #washdayexperience? Are you doing any protective style?


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