Saturday, July 30, 2011

Natural Hair Protective Style Challenge

Since having my hair in cornrows for 3 weeks, I've resolved to challenge myself to keep my hair in protective styles until the end of September.  That is, until I stopped by Alex's The Good Hair Blog where she'd proposed a challenge where a few of us natural hair ladies will wear out hair in protective styled until the end of November.

Since my original intention was to challenge myself starting back in March, I thought this was be the perfect solution to my chronic hand-in-hair syndrome and have support while doing so.
Now, I'm inviting you to join the challenge.  If you're interested, read the rules and then head on over to Alex's blog and leave her a comment letting her know you'd like to join.
Here at the guidelines as stated on Alex's Blog:

1. State your goal for the challenge.

My personal goal is 2 inches of retained growth.  I believe my hair grows at an average of 1/4 to 1/2-inch a month.

Side note: Hair usually grows about a 1/2 inch a month. The goal is to retain that growth and see a change in length your length.

How to meet that goal: 
  • NO HEAT
  •  NO cutting (unless you have to eliminate single strand knots)
  • NO dry brushing/combing
  • Handle your hair with care
  • Wash when NECESSARY (I will be washing my hair in between protective styles, about once ever 2.5 weeks)
  • Deep conditioning 2x a month
  • Sealing moisture into the hair to eliminate breakage and dryness
  • Keeping ends tucked and in styles that are low maintenance
  • Taking vitamins and drinking ample amounts of water
Style Options:

  • Buns
  • Twists
  • Braided updos
  • Full weave installs (where hair is SEWN NOT GLUED)
If you have any other style option ideas please leave them in the comment box below. 

Recording your growth:

The options for recording your growth are as follows-
  • Via email- I was thinking we could all check-in once a month with pictures of our growth, styles, tips and questions over email. 
  • Blogs- if you are a blogger you can easily post your growth directly on your blog and link send me the to share with everyone who is participating.
  • YouTube- making growth videos is always a good way to share what's going on in your journey
  • Twitter- #naturalhair chat is another easy way to share what is going with you and your curls
So, are you in?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Protective Styling For Natural Hair: How I Styled My Extensions

After I returned from vacation, I decided to start keeping my hair in protective styles.  The main reason being that it's just entirely too hot for hair to cover even my ears.  I simply cannot handle the heat that natural hair holds. 

During vacation, my extensions gave me the perfect excuse to experiment with styles I'd like to try when I take them out or when my hair get long (way longer).  I decided to share with my YT viewers a quick video demonstrating all the styles I wore my hair in while vacationing. 







SN: Pay no mind to the "kitchen"! This video was just a quick demo, rest assured I had all the hair laid while I was out and about! ;-)

This post shall mark the beginning of a series of protective style posts.  After realilzing that I'd actually be able to keep my hands out of my hair for what I consider a prolonged period of time (3 weeks),  I've decided to "go protective" until the end of September.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Embracing Our Natural Hair

Kaneesha Hudson, founder &owner of Urbanbella Salon, talks about embracing and celebrating her natural hair when natural hair wasn't the "norm".





Snippet of the article:
So why the continuing fascination with natural hair, given that so many women of color are now rocking the style and have been for years?
Keneesha Hudson said that despite the growing number of women embracing their natural hair texture, it’s still considered unique.
Hudson is the owner/founder of Urbanbella, a company in Atlanta that specializes in helping women embrace their natural hair texture. She first went natural in 2002 when she did the “big chop” (cutting all of her processed hair off) so she could have the freedom to swim, she said, and today she sports a thick mane of natural curls.
“For the longest time we black women have been wearing our hair chemically straightened to a point where most of us really don’t know what our natural hair looks like,” Hudson said. “There’s a generation of us who have never even seen our hair in any form but straight except for baby pictures.” ...
To read the rest of the article, go to CNN.com .

Regular posting will resume shortly...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Will You Marry Me?"

I guess you can say I came back from vacation with an extra-special souvenir. ;-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Makeup Look: Chrisette Michele Goodbye Game

I've been a fan of Chrisette Michele since her first album debuted and all through winter, I had Chrisette Michelle's latest CD Let Freedom Reign in heavy rotation.  My favorite songs from the CD are Goodbye Game, I'm So In Love ft. Rick Ross and Let Freedom Reign ft. Talib Kweli.  Imagine my exictement when I learned there was a video for Goodbye Game--there was no promo for it.

But, when I saw it, I just knew I had to try this makeup look. I was scared to at first because I didn't think I could pull it off .  But you know how the saying goes: You never know until you try.  More pics after the jump.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

All Braided Up

Got my hair braided for vacation.  You know I wasn't trying to deal with my hair while I'm supposed to be relaxing right?  Layered feed-in cornrows, at my service:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bon Voyage--All Bets Are Off!

(pic coursed from google)

As I gear up to set sail today for my first cruise vacation, I've decided play it by ear on the food tip.  I heard that the food is "like that" on cruises so the foodie in me is dreaming of fattening sauces & high carb meals--all the stuff I like.  So instead of having an off-weekend, I'm going to take this opportunity to have an off-week (5 days to be exact) to just...enjoy. I'll try to be good but I'm not making any promises.

However, to counteract my anticipated machinations, I plan to utilize the fitness area on the ship and I'll follow up with an extra week of JM 30-Day Shred when I return home (currently on Program 2) before I begin 2 weeks of Program 3 and move on to TurboFire by Beachbody. :-D

It's been a year & a half constantly on the go riddled with much sleep deprivation and it's time to disconnect from the world (real & virtual) so that Chief and I can reconnect, rekindle & relax.  I love that man, y'all have no idea *swoon*.
Talk to you soon!
(Psssst!  Don't worry I've scheduled a few posts for you while I'm away. :-)  I love yall and I will be looking forward to catching up with you when I return!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recipe: Salmon & Asparagus

This plate was seriously missing some pasta.  I can see it now; pasta smothered in my special homemade wine sauce with heavy whipping cream as the base & seasoned with a little parm & romano, crushed red peppers and basil...  *Longing Sigh* Oh the high carb & fattening sides that I could whip up with this...yum!

With all that said, I'm sure you know what I'm thinking:  I loved this meal but I just wanted some pasta or something.   Now, while I haven't completely banned carbs--because I don't damn want to--I'm keeping them to a minimum as in having carbs with only one meal a day no matter how small the amount. 

This day in particular I'd had a sandwhich for lunch.  The bread was whole grain and actually had a great carb/fiber/protien balance(12g of carbs, 4g of protein and 4g of fiber).  Our pasta is whole grain as well--although against Chief's will--but I never cared for what's really one serving of pasta so in this instance, I decided to opt out for the night.  You should be proud of me because bread, potatoes & pasta are my weak area. ;-)

To cook the salmon I used McCormick Herb with Lemon Seafood Rub and a sprinkle of Tony's Creole Seasoning, threw it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.  For the asparagus, I rolled them around in a pan with about 1/2 tsp of olive oil & 1/2 tsp of real butter on medium high heat for about 6 minutes, sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper...done.

After finishing this meal I wanted more so I went for 4 more stalks of aparagus & a fork-full of Chief's second piece of salmon which he gave me the side eye for but hey, that's how we do!

My fitness regimen is sure lucky that I love vegetables--that's all I've got to say about that.

Low carb, low fat but still absolutely delicious.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Collection...Thus Far

I have many polishes by a few different brands. On my blog, however, I'm sure you've noticed that I speak most about my Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes (don't worry I'll share the others as time goes on).  And that's because I love them so much.  Although they still manage to be exhilarating, the variety of color has been pretty basic; except recently, they've added in a few glitters & shimmers that I've yet to buy. The big plus is that they wear longer than most of my more expensive OPI and Orly polishes which I think is quite the shame.  And when it comes to my nail polishes, longevity is what I look for most.

Being a busy mom, between cooking meals, wiping noses and chasing behind MJ, the last thing I want to do is deal with changing my polish more than once a week.  Aside from "Cherry Red", which chipped faster than the time it took to apply, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear fits the bill perfectly.

SHXW currently offers a total of 40 colors but locally I've only been able to find--at most--20 of them.  I really feel like I'm missing out and I suppose on my trips to different states and areas far enough away from home and work, I'll have to pop into a RiteAid or CVS to see which colors they feature.  Here are the colors that I've got in my stash right now.
L to R: White On, Red Cherry, Wet Cement, Grey Area, Gunmetal, Blue It, Virtual Violet, Blue Me Away, Green w/ Envy, Sun Kissed, Mellow Yellow, Twisted Pink
SHXW can be found at your local CVS, RiteAid, Walmart & Walgreens from $2.99 to $3.29.  Prices vary depending on location but I can almost guarantee you'll never pay more than $3.50.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Hair Last Week

My hair had been acting up for the past two months, frizzing up, shrinking up & tangling up.  I'd style my hair, let it dry over night, take it out and it'd be perfect.  By mid-day though, my hair would be puffy & shrunken looking as though I'd just rolled out of bed.

 I was almost ready to blame it on the hair color until I thought about the fact that it was acting that way shortly before the color.  Then I thought, that maybe I've been feeding my hair too much protein by using the Organic Roots Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner--love that stuff by the way.  I wasn't following the rules at all when it came to having the proper moisture/protein balance for my hair.

I knew that I had to take immediate action to get my hair a great moiturizing conditioner and I couldn't wait for something to come by mail.  I ran to my nearest CVS to find what I thought might work: Aussie Moist.  To my surprise, CVS was having a 2-fer sale.  I bought Aussie Moist Conditioner and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle for a total of $4.67. Score!

I went home that same night, washed & henna'd my hair and I woke up the next morning, rinsed, co-washed & deep conditioned.  After rinsing out the 3 Minute Miracle--which I'd left on for 45 minutes instead of 3)--my hair was fabulously soft.  I went on to style it into an updo, let it dry and then took the twists out that I'd piled on top of my head.  All week my hair was so well-behaved that I almost couldn't believe it.

Here's my hair on day 5--no shrinking, no shriveling & no tangling:



My color shows really well here :-)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Make Your Skin Glow w/ Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul Clay Mask Recipe #1

Rhassoul clay powder has been one of my skincare staples for a little over a year now.  Years prior, I used the bentonite masks by Queen Helene (and I still do from time to time but once those tubes are gone, I won't be repurchasing).  The Queen Helene masks work great but since going natural, I've become much more of a DIY girl.  It's so fun to whip up my own recipes to incorporate into my skincare regimen based on my skin's needs at the time.

From the first time I tried Rhassoul Clay I was in love with the way it made my skin glow.  After my hormones went hay-wire during post-partum, I used Rhassoul Clay recipes to keep oiliness down which in turn kept breakouts from getting out of control. In addition to unclogging pores, Rhassoul Clay gently exfoliates and is chock full of minerals that my skin just loves (Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium & Silica). 

I love Rhassoul Clay so much that I had to share the wealth.  Anyone that loves natural skincare solutions will, indeed, love this mask too.  This mask is great for all skin types--especially those with oily/acne-prone skin.  For those with dry skin, the honey will help with moisture.

Here's a video on how to make & use the mask:



You may substitute bentonite clay if like.

Rhassoul Clay can be purchased from:

ONLINE:
Camden Grey
From Nature With Love
Mountain Rose Herbs

IN STORE:
Whole Foods
Trader Joe's
Vitamin Shoppe (Referred to as Red Clay)

You Lovely Little Blog, You


I was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Destinee over at Love, Destinee.  (I'm honored--thank you so much, dear.)  Destinee, started her blog at the beginining of June and is on a roll with posting. On her blog, you'll find lovely FOTDs, product reviews & tips on caring for natural tresses. Check it out & follow if you like!

I have to admit that I'm feeling a little bashful with all the awards coming way. I get an award and I think, "You really like my blog?! Ooooh  Gaaarrrrsh!"  I'm all sentimental and what not when I get these. It really means alot to me believe or not.

More than anything, I want to take this opportunity to say that I appreciate the fact that you, my lovely subscribers, are interested in my blog and what I have to say.  I sincerely appreciate your readership and for those of you that readily interact and read on a regular basis, I'm so grateful.  It makes me smile to see that you care enough to share your own thoughts, opinions & experiences.

Now, before I get all teary-eyed, I have to state the rules of receiving this award.

The Rules
1. Link back to the person who passed you the award
2. Share 7 random things about yourself
3. Award a few blogs
4. Drop them a note and tell them about it
Here are my 7 "things":
I've recently become a nail polish fiend.  I change my name polish every week & at times I have to use more than one color (not in a tacky way but you get the drift).  I've purchased 12 new polishes in the past 2 months. Polish, lacquer, varnish, enamel, glaze --ahhh!
  1. I can cook a meal that will knock your socks off and have you coming back begging for more but boy, when it comes to baking...the goods always come out hard as a brick.  I tell you, one of my peanut butter cookies can break a window.  Baking is just not my forte, clearly.
  2. I'm not a girl that feels she needs makeup but I sure have fallen oh-so-deeply in love with blush.  I want to wear it all the time.  It just warms up the skin and brings life to my face.  Love.
  3. I'm really picky about kitchen cleanliness.  Even if I'm dead tired, I will not leave my kitchen undone before bed.  I wouldn't be able to sleep.
  4. Pizza is hands down my favorite food.  I love it in as many varieties as it comes with extra sauce.  I think I'd go for pizza for lunch & dinner everday if I could (I've even eaten pizza for breakfast on more than one occasion).  Unfortunately, I've had to drastically cut back since I'm getting in shape. *longing sigh*
  5. I ended up having to get a new car 2 weeks ago & I still don't feel like it's mine yet--almost like a rental or something.  I bet when I make that first payment it'll feel a little more like mine...*sigh* Life.
  6. Although I put myself out there for all to see with my blog & things of that nature, I'm very secretive.  Although my close friends & family now know about my blog and most of them read up on it daily/weekly, I get really bashful when they talk about it in person.   I don't have anything to hide but if it were my choice, I'd have kept it a secret.  It might sound silly but I love secrets and they make me snicker...LOL
Now for the blogs that I think are quite lovely:
StylishThought