Friday, January 29, 2016

Product Review: Kinky Curly Knot Today

Cost: $11.99 for a 6 oz. bottle (I purchased it at Target but you can purchase it in most beauty supply stores or from their website).

Claims/Blurbs: Can’t get that comb to glide through your hair? Well Knot Today! This creamy herbal conditioner is enriched with botanical extracts and is designed to smooth the cuticle and to remove knots, snarls and tangles from thick curly hair.

Ingredients: Organic mango fruit extract, organic slippery elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.

Pros: This product has all the classic detangling and conditioning ingredients, and as you see from the ingredients list it does not have a ton of ingredients.  It does what it says it will do and then some.  It truly detangles and gives a great slip, and is also very moisturizing. This detangler/leave in conditioner leaves the hair smooth and incredibly soft.  It has a great smell which is fruity in nature and the smell doesn't linger. 

Cons: The one complaint I find with this is that you will need to follow up with a moisture if you use it as a leave-in, because it does not give a shine. 



My Take: I have only used this as a leave-in detangler and I love it.  I am currently seven plus post relaxer and it makes the detangler process so easy that I forget that I am dealing with two textures. This is a thick product so use it accordingly.  Even though it detangles like a dream and leaves my hair feeling moisturized and soft, I wish it left it looking moisturized. I will definitely purchase this again, and again and again. I am totaling in love and this is now a part of my essential kit. 


Have you use this product? What is your take? 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wash Day- Tea Time

This week’s #washdayexperience theme was “tea for two”, and it had me reminiscing of when I did a weekly tea rinse.   I have not needed to do one in a long time, but who could pass up a good tea rinse?, certainly not me. My tea rinse was a black and green tea combination which I brewed for two hours.  I figured my hair will get the maximum benefit from the combination.

Here’s how this week’s was day went;

Prepoo- Detangled and did an Egg coconut oil treatment, covered with a plastic cap for fifteen minutes.  I then rinsed my hair with cool water to ensure that I did not cook the egg and leave bits and pieces in my hair.

Shampoo-  I shampooed with Crème of Nature Sunflower and coconut conditioning and detangling shampoo which I worked it into a good lather to ensure that all the egg was out before rinsing with warm water. 

Tea Rinse- I tea rinsed with the brewed black and green tea mix, by pouring over my head several times, then allowing the excess to drip, before rinsing with warm water. I have not done a tea rinse in well over a year, because I was not experiencing much shedding but I may actually go back to a black tea rinse because it darkens my hair.

Deep Condition-  I deep conditioned with ORS Tea Tree Cholesterol under my conditioning cap for 45 minutes.  After my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water and followed up with cool water to close my cuticle.  I then wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to get rid of the excess water. 

Leave-in and Moisturizer-  When my hair was about 80 percent dry I sprayed it with Crème of Nature Strength and shine, applied Kinky Curly Knot today and OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum and detangled section by section and blow dry on cool. 

After I was finished blow drying the hair I moisturized each section with Cantu hair lotion and divide into smaller section and did a two strand twist.  Well, the twist was becoming too loose so I set each twist on a flexi rod.  I like how it looked but it I was in frizz city by the end of the day.  I attempted my first braid out and it came out better than I expected.



My curls have become my signature look and I like that each day they look a little different.  Whether they are fluffy, tightly curled or droopy I find then spectacular.



What is your signature look?  How was your #washdayexperience? 

The #WashDayExperience Badge

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Transition Regimen

I’m currently seven months post relaxer and therefore seven months into my transition to natural.  I have learned a lot about myself and how I perceive myself.  In my heart and my mind’s eye I am a straight hair girl so the struggle is real with this internal conflict.  So far I haven’t had any real challenges when it comes to taking care of my hair however, I am still a fish out of water when it comes to styling. 

To ensure that I have a successful transition I have formulated the following regimen.  I will not use any kind of chemical treatment, wash once per week, avoid all direct heat, do a monthly protein treatment, moisturize every two days, wear low maintenance styles and trim or dust monthly.  I believe following this regimen will help me get to my two year mark.




Stop all chemical treatment- This is a given since I’m transitioning to natural, however this also includes coloring and keratin treatments.

Wash once a week- I will do a wash day at the very least once per week during my transition. My wash day may be a full wash or a co-wash depending on what my hair needs. 

Avoid direct heat- I will try not to use any direct heat at all during my transition; if it’s not totally avoidable I will only use it when it is absolutely necessary. I will only blow dry on cool or at the most warm to stretch and blend my roots. 

Add monthly protein treatment- I will do a monthly protein treatment to my regimen to ensure that my hair retains a proper moisture balance. Even though I used products with light protein I will do a true protein treatment monthly. 

Moisturize every two days- I will moisturize every two days to ensure that my hair is properly moisturized at all times during this transition. I find that my natural hair does not need as much moisturizer as my texlaxed ends so that is a plus.

Wear low maintenance hairstyles- I will continue to wear low maintenance styles throughout my transitions and also work on perfecting my styling techniques. Most people become product junkies at some point in their hair journey I think I’m a tools junkie.  I have flexi rods, perm rods, rollers etc in all shape, color and sizes.  So you will see me with mostly curls throughout this transition. 

Trim or dust my ends monthly- I will dust or trim my ends monthly to maintained healthy ends and to also slowly clip away the relaxed ends.

I am enjoying this new phase in my healthy hair journey and so far I haven’t had any setbacks or major issues with my transition.  Therefore I am optimistic that I will have a successful long-term transition. 


Did your transition long-term? What tips do you have for me?

Friday, January 22, 2016

My 2016 Fitness Goals

I am at the healthiest that I have been in a longtime, which means I won’t go back to the days when I can barely make it through the day.  My goal and intention is to continue eating healthy and taking care of my overall health.  I find that maintaining proper eating habits goes hand in hand with weight loss and great health. 

My fitness, health and weight loss goals for 2016 are quite simple and achievable.  In the past I focus more on health, but this year I will focus more on losing weight and gaining strength.  My aim is to finish 2016 with a leaner sexier body. 

Here are my goals for 2016

My fitness goal is to work out a minimum of five days per week, whether it is in the gym or at home. I will ramp up the intensity and add more weight and strength training to my regimen. 


My weight loss goal is to lose 20 pounds, even though fixating on a number on the scale can be demotivating, I have to get to a certain number to placate my doctor. My personal goal it to fit in a size medium or a size 8 for less.  




My health goal is pretty much the same as it was last year, which was to be cognizant of what I put in my mouth.  I will continue the practice of meal prepping and packing my lunch.  I will also ensure I have breakfast and have healthy snacks between meals. 


My long-term goal is to be healthy, fit and sexy on my fortieth birthday so 2016 is the year where I must put up or shut up.

What are your health and fitness goal for 2016?

Fitness Friday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wash Day - "no muss no fuss"

This week’s wash day experience theme is something new and while I have a quite a few new products that I picked up recently I decided to go with something revisited so I can get rid of products.  Last year I got a the Lotta body Coconut & Shea Oils Moisturize me curl and style milk one of my beauty subscription box. My texlaxed hair didn’t really like it but I wanted to give it one more try before re-gifting it. I also wanted to revisit my Loreal Total repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm. 



This wash day was so super easy that I have been calling it a “no muss no fuss” wash day; anyway here is how it went:

Prepoo and detangling -  First I detangled with my oil mix, cover with plastic cap and conditioning cap for 30 minutes. I will eventually go back to a regular prepoo but for now this is working really well. 

Deep Conditioner-  I decided to forgo a shampoo this week and just deep conditioned.  Once my hair was cool I Deep conditioned with ORS replenishing conditioner under conditioning cap for 30 minutes.  I then rinsed out the conditioner and followed up with Loreal Repair 5 Damage Erasing balm and rinsed.  After ensuring that all the conditioners were thoroughly rinsed out I T-shirt dry for 10 minutes.

Leave- In Conditioner and Moisturizer-  I then sprayed my hair with  Crème of Nature Strength and Shine leave in conditioner and detangled, then applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangler and OGX Coconut Milk Anti breakage serum  and blow dry on warm.

Styling-   After blowing out my hair I applied Lotta Body  moisturize me and did a perm rod set. The look was good but it did not last.  The curls fell flat half way into the evening, and the little stretch that I had was totally gone.  This may be due to the fact I was sweating bullets at the party I attended.
 
My Stretched hair

The moisturize me did not do it for me, but will give it another try on a flexi rod set.  In the past when I used it; it left my hair feeling sticky. However this time it did not but I still haven’t seen a shine.

How was your #washdayexperience? 

The Wash Day Experience

Monday, January 18, 2016

Motivation- No Excuses

When you are committed to something you should have no excuses. Excuses are bad habits that we use as crutches.  We have excuses to why we can't start exercising, we have excuses why we aren't eating right and the list goes on. Let's make 2016 a year of no excuses.




Find a reason to start that new exercise regimen you keep putting off, start writing that blog you never have time to start, whatever it is you are always putting back with and excuse this is the year to do them.  When we stop having excuses then we are better, because we did not take the lazy way out, we did not give up in fear instead we have persevere.

Here are a few tips to help you live a life of No Excuse

  • Let go of the negativity and fear- negative thoughts will prevent us from growing
  • Be stronger than our strongest excuse- the mantra mind over matter doe work
  • Stop looking for sympathy - If you keep looking for sympathy eventual no one will give you the time of day.
Whatever you find yourself making an excuse find a solution for it and solve it.  Let's all make a conscious effort to life an excuse free life.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wash Day- 30 weeks Post

This week’s wash day experience theme is something old, so I reached for Crecepelo.  This deep conditioner that has always worked wonders for me.  I am very happy with the progress I’m making with my transition and am finding it much easier than I expected it to be.  I am currently 30 weeks post which is jaw-dropping because I never thought I would be able to here in such a fantastic fashion.



Anyway here is how this week’s wash day went;

Prepoo and detangled with my oil mix; detangling took me much longer than expected because my wet gym hair got matted.  Once my hair was properly detangled I put on a plastic cap and my conditioning cap for 15 minutes.

Shampoo my scalp with diluted Crème of Nature Sunflower and coconut detangling and conditioning shampoo and rinse with warm water.

Deep Condition- Deep conditioned with Crecepelo and Jamaican Black Castor Oil under my conditioning cap for thirty minutes before rinsing with warm water, when I ensured all the conditioner was out my hair I followed you with cool water.  This conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft and fully moisturized, it is always in my arsenal.

Leave-in and moisturizer- After rinsing out the deep conditioner I t-shirt dried for 15 minutes.  I then spray my hair with Crème of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner and air dry until it was about 90 percent dry.  After which I applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangle each section and blow dry on cool.  Then did a flexi-rod set with about twenty flexes. 

I am starting to think that flexi rod sets are my go to transition style, because I have done a flexi rod set on each wash day for the past six weeks.  It maybe because it is easy to install them after I have exercise and that I can pin and tuck to style as the mood hits me.

How was your #washday experience?

The #WashDayExperience Badge

Friday, January 8, 2016

In review Health and Fitness Goal 2015

My health and fitness goals for 2015 were pretty open ended and not too difficult to follow and maintain.  However, to maintain any one thing consistently over 365 days is challenge no matter how easy it may seem at the onset.  I was able to attain certain portions of my goal but I would not say it was a slam dunk by no stretch of the imagination.

Here is a look back at my 2015 goal and how well I achieved them.

2015 Fitness goal- I will work out minimum of five days each week, whether it be in the gym or at home. Having a small child can make attending the gym on a set schedule difficult at times.  So I will supplement my gym attendance with my DVD collection or a selection from YouTube.
Image result for meme 5k run
I did manage to work out five days a week on a consistent basis; however there were weeks that I fell off the wagon.  The one fabulous thing about it being a lifestyle is that I don’t stay off for long and is always motivated to get up and go.  My strength and overall fitness has improve ten-fold and I’m super happy it. I had a setback in my mini goal to run at least three times per week with the ongoing pain I have in my knees. 

2015 Weight Loss goal- I do not have a number in mind but I would like to get my body mass index down to 30.  I would also like to be at least a size 8 (M). When I started my weight loss journey I was a size 14-16 (XL); these days I am a size 10-12 (L). I find that fixating on a specific number on the scale leads to frustration and eventually lost of motivation.

I did not lose as much weight as I would like but because of my level and frequency of exercise my body has changed in a fantastic way.  These days I can fit in a Medium/Large (8/10) depending on the designer. I have gotten so many compliments about my weight loss and while I smile as accepted the compliments gracefully, it has thought me about perceptions.  Whenever I tell anyone how much I weight they are shock and often comment that I look smaller.  This goes to show that weight train and consistency is the key to achieving a shapely body.

2015 Health goal- Be very cognizant of what I eat especially at work. I will continue my practice of shopping and making meals in advance so I can pack my lunch.  I did slacked off on making my morning smooth so I will revive it up for 2015.

Getting and staying healthy is a constant struggle and it is more evident in how, what, how often and how much I eat.  I eat well but not often enough; I like a good burger and fries and I could have it every day of the week and not get tired of eating it.  The first part of the year I was packing my lunch and making sure to have breakfast and a healthy snack, but midyear my routine changed and it became a challenge.  I was able to get myself back on track and I’m doing much better. 


Overview-

For anyone who works in an office environment you know the struggle that comes with lunch time.  If someone is ordering from a good burger place or from a place that you just cannot pass up then you healthy nutritional balance meal is left in the refrigerator and you are placing your order; that is my devil on the shoulder. Even though I rock out in my Body Pump class or kill it in a cycling class or go for an early morning run my weight loss is not where I want it to be.  Recently I read an article that basically says that not all bodies are meant to be small, and that we should embrace that we might not have the ideal body.  I started following the blog Fat Girl Running and let me tell you she is inspirational.  I hope one day to be able to follow in her footsteps and go for fantastic runs. 

Stats to-date

Weight loss: 16 pounds down; Yeah for ME!
Inches loss: 5.5 inches off my waist I'm super excited 
BMI: down 3 points which is great. 

Here are my recaps
January/February, March,April/May, June/July,August, September/October,November
(P.S I did not do a recap of my December progress)


Did you meet your fitness and healthy goals for 2015?  What were the challenges and triumphs you had? What was the most important lesson you learned on your 2015 fitness journey?

#FitnessFriday on @SavingOurStrand

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dating Do's and Don'ts

Do’s and Don’ts



Okay so after being single for almost five years I have decided to hit the dating scene. One of my biggest motivations was so I wouldn’t be alone on New Year’s Eve 2015. Five years is a long time, but I wanted to spend time healing after my marriage ended and also to learn what makes me special.
I met my now ex in 2003, got married 2005, separated the end of 2010 and finalized the divorce in 2013.  So I figured the rules of dating has changed and so have I, I’m not only older I’m also a Mom and a divorcee. So as I embarked on the dating sphere I wonder what the rules are in this new technological savvy world.

So after polling my single and dating friends and family here are the top ten rules or do's and don’ts they say are a must to follow.  

Let him pay….Chivalry is still alive and well…. We have been liberated and is deemed independent but on a date it is okay to let him pay.  I am guilt of trying to control every situation so there are times when I grab the bill before him, but as I’m told that is a big no-no.

Do not fall in love too fast….. Dating is hard and I personally just want to find my special someone and be over with it.  But as I’m told take your time to get to know the person before planning the wedding and the forever after, this will prevent the disappointment you feel when they show their true self.

Keep an open mind and take mental notes…. Do not write off a person just because he lives with his mother or something as petty as that, keep an open mind and that will lead you to find out the why’s. Also making mental notes so that you can judge if this person is really who they are or they are just yanking your chains.

Throw out your type….it is probable not working for you… I like a tall well dressed, well-groomed man, but remember the rarest gems are found in dirt.  Don’t passed on a guy because he is not tall enough, he doesn’t have the right degree, does not speak with the right accent or drives the right car.  We are all looking for the perfect person, but that person isn’t out there instead looking for the perfect person for you.

No sex until…….until you are comfortable with the person…...  While sex is great don’t jump into bed just because, also don’t have those silly rules.  Sex should be had when the time is right for you and potential partner. Sex creates a level if intimacy that if had too early, can be disastrous to budding a relationship.

Give him a challenge….let him have a reason to want more… I think works hand in hand with don’t fall too fast. I don’t mean have him run an obstacle course but instead respect your time, your space, your opinion and don’t unload your baggage on the first date.  Maintain an air of mystery will allow your potential partner to learn more about you over a period of time.

Be your Authentic self…. Be you and not what you think he is looking for…..  When you change who you are to fit the needs of someone else you run the risk of attracting people you weren’t meant to attract. Being your true self is much easier than pretending to be someone or something you’re not.

Don’t tell your life story… I am so guilt of this especially when I’m not interested. It is a big turn off to rattle on about your past mistakes, your S.O.B ex-husband. Talk about who you are today, what your values are, what goals you are seeking to achieve.

Do not forget basic manners…. If he opens the door for you don’t forget to say “Thank you”. The cardinal rule of a conversation is while one is speaking you should listen, in other words don’t hog the conversation.  Be honest, treat your date with kindness and respect will speak volumes about your personality.


Let go of the outcome…. Okay so this one should be an easy one because all relationship ends at one point or the other.  The end of a relationship is in no way an indication of your self-worth.  Enjoy your date, show up have fun and if it works great if not then on to the next one.  

What tips do you have for me, to help me navigate the dating world?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wash Day- World A Curls

Wash Day Experience- First Wash Day 2015

I am getting use to the feel and texture of my transitioning hair.  Even though I still struggle with styling it I have come to appreciate it.  It is said that you won’t be to tell your true curl pattern until you cut off the relaxed ends, but with that said I’m not on the cue for tight curls or even thick hair.  Oh well, I guess that’s what makes this journey interesting; the process of getting reacquainted with a part of what makes me special. 


Anyway here’s how this wash day went;


Prepoo and detangled with my oil mix; since I did not comb my hair all week I had my share of shed hair. I am quite happy that so far in this transitioning journey I have not experience terrible tangles.  After properly removing all shed hairs and detangled I put on a plastic cap for 10 minutes to allow the oils to melt into my hair.

Shampoo- Applied diluted Crème of Nature Sunflower & Coconut detangling conditioning shampoo to my scalp and gently massage to scalp before rinsing with warm water. 

 Deep Conditioned- Applied Jamaican Black Castor oil and Organics Tea-tree oil cholesterol treatment to the length of my hair then I covered it with a plastic cap and a head tie and went about my business. In the end I left the deep conditioning treatment on for one and a half hours before rinsing with warm water. 

Leave-in and Moisturizer- After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head with a t-shirt to remove the excess water. When the hair was 80 percent dry I put into five sections; I then sprayed each section with Crème of Nature Strength and shine leave-in conditioner and applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangle. Once each section was detangled I did a two strand twist and left to air dry. 

Styling- When the hair was about 95 dry  I blow dried each section on cool then applying Elasta QP Olive Oil and mango butter moisturizer before doing a flexi rod set.  I used about 20 flexi rods and I think it made a difference because I had big fluffy curls.



I got the best compliment I've ever gotten on my hair, and to put it mildly I was on cloud nine.  The compliment was that my curls looked like Marilyn Monroe; YEP! I think that says it all.  


I am super excited about the 2016 #washdayexperience themes; make sure to check out this month's theme on the #washdayexperience link up.  I looking forward to learning from this great group of ladies.

The #WashDayExperience Badge

Monday, January 4, 2016

Motivation- New Year, New You

What changes are you making in the New Year?


Whether it’s losing weight, starting a new habit, getting a new job, setting new goals or becoming  more positive we all struggle with them. 
We all at the stroke of midnight make resolutions for the New Year, however very few of us actually attempt to fulfill to fulfill these resolutions.  Of the few who attempts them fewer yet actually accomplishes them.  So why aren’t we accomplishing these resolutions? Is it because we were caught up in the festivity? Or is it that we make unrealistic resolutions and therefore have no way of executing them?
In the past I would be like in 20…, I’m doing to change how I do such and such but I never really had a plan.  Without a plan after a while I forget about the resolution or simple go tired of it, therefore I give it up.  I have made unrealistic goals such as I’m going to lose weight and get married in 20… but never diet, went to the gym or even go on a date. 


In order to make your resolutions here are five steps I'm following;

Make a plan – Write down your goals and the step you will take to accomplish them so you can reference it later. 

Have accountability- Something as simple as keeping a journal on your ups and downs will keep you motivated.  Sharing your goals with your friends and family, who will support you and keep you honest a true to your goals.

Make realistic goals- So instead of focusing on losing 40 pounds, have mini or monthly goals and celebrate the accomplishment of these goals.  Breaking your main goal into smaller parts makes it more achievable and you are less likely to give up.

Turn the goals into habits – When something becomes a habit it is no longer work; the more we get used to it the stronger the habits becomes. Studies have shown that it takes 21 days for something to become an habit so keep at it. 

Don’t forget to reward yourself- Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy. So if you have a weight loss goal maybe a shopping spree, just don’t contradict the resolution.


Whatever your new year’s resolution is the key is to constantly reassess it during the year.  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Liebster Award

Nerline from Chic from head 2 toe has nominated me for the Liebster award. She is inspiring and always offers great tips that motivate you on her blog which is full of fashion, hair care, makeup and reviews that are just simple amazing; please check her blog out.

This is the very first time that I’m being nominated for the Liebster award and I feel honored. It took me a while to get over my excitement to actually take a look and the questions and to really formulate thoughtful answers. Hopefully you learned a little about how I tick. 



Her questions are................................

1. Who is your favorite eye candy on TV? 
David Muir from ABC World News, I watch the news just to see him.  There are rumors about his sexuality but…….he is an eye candy.


2. What is one hair product you cannot live without?
If I had to narrow it down to one I would say moisturizer, because I hate when my hair feels or even looks dry. 

3. If you could be in two places at once, what would those two places be?
I would want to be in my favorite city New York City and my dream city Sydney Australia.  Australia is the place I want to visit before I die.

4. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Grease, I dreamed of being a pink lady for years.  




5.  Jeans or leggings?
I love, love jeans, I have them in all colors, shape, style and brands.

6. Girls night out or girls night in?
I’m prefer a girls night in because it is more intimate. My girls and I have a quarterly meeting (lol), which is hosted by one of us and it is way better and more fun than going out.

7. A day at the mall or a day at home watching TV?
A day at the Mall, I love to shop, because I’m an aspiring fashionista. 

8. Books or movies?
Books, I love to read because reading transports you to different worlds.  A great book can give you the ability to live, feel, smell and view the people, place and things that you have yet to experience.

9. What is one dessert that makes you forget about your waistline?
Cheesecake and Red Velvet … Have you ever had a red velvet cheesecake combo, it is to die for. 



10. What is one thing that you are so passionate about, it drives you crazy?
 Writing, I love to write, it serves as a vehicle to my sanity and well-being.  I have notice that the pace and trajectory of my writing is dictated by my mood.  I have written a few short stories and in the process of writing a full fledge novel. 

My questions…….
  1. Who inspires you?
  2. What’s your favorite food or cuisine?
  3. What song makes you dance every time you hear it?
  4. What’s your favorite make-up line?
  5. If you die today what would be the thing you regret most not doing?
  6. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
  7. Fabulous hair or a great body?
  8. What’s your dream car?
  9. Mini skirt or Daisy dukes?
  10. Ice Cream or Chocolate?
My nominees are:

These ladies are a few who have supported me and have also inspired me, so stop by their blogs to take a look and I know you'll find great ideas. 


Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



2015 was a phenomenal year for me, it started out crappy got crazy in the middle and like a caterpillar transformed in a beautiful butterfly in the end.  My plan for 2016 is to build on the beautiful momentum I gained in 2015.  In this New Year I will share more of my life and lifestyle on the blog.
What’s new in 2016!

  • more motivational post,
  • a series of post on my dating experience,
  • more post on my fitness and weight loss journey,
  • more post on my transition to natural.


Wishing you have a fabulous and fantastic 2016!!!!