Monday, October 10, 2016

You're the Master of your Fate



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


When something terrible happens to you, do you chalk it up to bad luck or do you accept ownership?  Do you in turn give credit to lady luck when something great happens to you? No one cares about your success and happiness more than you do, so why leave it up to others or plain old luck? I believe that our behavior leads to unintended consequences, therefore we should be mindful of our behaviors.

You have control over your destiny not some outside unknown forces. You have the choice to go where you want, study what you want, get the body of your dreams if you want, and be as successful as you want.
By understanding what has influences on your actions then you can control the outcomes of your life. Acknowledge that you have the power inside of you to overcome challenges and produce positive changes within your life. In order to be the master of your fate you must master your intentions.  You are what you think, don’t let outside influences direct your thoughts; therefore be very aware of your thoughts and direct them in a more purposeful way.

If you achieve what you’ve dreamed of imagine how awesome it would be.  There are no limits when you accept that you are the master of your own fate. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wash Day- I'm Natural

So after transitioning for 67 weeks or a total of 469 days I finally had enough and cut off the remaining three inches of texlaxed hair.  OMG, at first I was like what the hell I just did but then I was like this is the end goal, just a few months earlier than planned. Since I did my chop I have gotten so much lovely compliments on the health of my hair.

Here is a recap of my last wash day;

Products used-

-Oil Mix
-Creme of Nature Sunflower & Coconut detangling conditioning shampoo
-Ettenio Cocolicious balancing penetrating  conditioner
-diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
-Cantu Shea Butter leave-in conditioning repair cream
-Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer
-Jamaican black castor oil

[1] Coated my hair with my oil mix and detangled using my fingers them followed-up with a wide tooth comb. Once I felt like it was properly detangled I shampooed with diluted shampoo on dry hair.  I prefer to do it this way so I can get to my scalp clean it properly.  I then hop into the shower to rinse out the shampoo.

[2] Once the shampoo was properly rinsed out I coated my hair with Ettenio Cocolicious balancing penetrating conditioner and sat under my conditioning cap for 45 minutes.  After my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water and followed-up with cool water.

[3] I then wrapped my hair in a towel to get out the excess water, after which I sprayed my entire head with diluted apple cider vinegar and detangled and put into six sections.  After which I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to dry.

[4] When my hair was about 90 percent dry I applied Cantu Shea butter conditioning repair cream to each section and left to air dry.  When it was completely dry I applied Elasta QP Olive Oil and mango butter moisturizer and sealed with Jamaican Black Castor oil before installing eight flat twist.

I have gotten really good at my flat twist so my twist outs comes out  looking really  great.  even though I like the look of my hair, I am planning to shape it up in a month or two so my styles looks polished.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

7 reasons why relationships fail

A relationship with trust issues, difference in expectations, incompatible, communication is lacking, abuse, boredom, money issues and selfishness are on life support.  If these relationships don’t figure a way to correct these issue they will be dead-on-arrival.

Trust Issues- Lack of trust or loss of trust in a relationship is very harmful. Without trust the life blood of a relationship which is security starts seeping out and eventually causes the demise of it.  Trust issues such as jealousy, infidelity, possessiveness, lack of reliability and dependability will derail a good relationship so consider honesty whenever lack of trust arises. 

Different Expectations- It is not easy for two people to come together and walk the same walk however, as the newness of a relationship wears off the need to have a central goal.  Therefore figuring out if each person wants the same thing from the relationship.  Does he/she wants a Miss/Mr. Right now or do they want a long-term committed relationship.  Knowing your partners priorities and expectations is pretty important in regards to a relationship.

Compatibility Issues- Relationship compatibility includes intimacy, personality type, how they resolve conflicts. Couples these days have a lot on their plate and with all these responsibilities and the daily frustration that comes with them being compatible in how they approach life.  These shared traits will help to strengthen a relationship when it gets really hard.

Communications Issues- Communication issues is one of the big reasons that couples break-up and even divorce. Where there is respect you will find good communication but once the respect is gone then all is left is contempt and mistrust.  Where ever you find mistrust you will find judgement, resentment, sarcasm and criticism.  These negative communications is like a poison and will kill a relationship really quick.

Abuse/ Life habit abuse Issues- Abuse or life abuse issues will certainly derail a relationship.  The mistreatment of a person is a negative in any type of relationship.  This is also true when it comes to life habit such as a gambling addiction and substance abuse. 

Grown apart/Boredom- A relationship has to be refreshed frequently to prevent it getting stale or your from partner from getting bored.  Life obligations such as children and work are coming obstacle that relationships must endure, however as partners you must remain focus on each other so you don’t become strangers.

Money Issues- The longer a relationship last money comes into play and financial incompatibility can cause great distress.  A couple money issues can tap in fears, trust, feeling safe, power struggles and control.  Learning about how each partner dealings with money and having a concrete and united plan can help to stem any issues before they arises.

Selfishness– When your partner only focuses in his or her own needs and pleasure over their partners needs or for the betterment of the relationship.  When the concern is excessively place on one person in the relationship eventual it will lead to feeling of abandonment and the couple will grow apart. Importance must place on each member of the relationship in order for it to work.

May sure you spend time and energy in maintaining and correcting whatever issues that arises to ensure that you have a long and lasting relationship. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

You don't need Permission

Why do we need to seek permission to be ourselves? Is it because we are socialized to seek approval? Or is it that we are not confident enough in our own decision making? Whatever the reason just know that you do not need approval.

Isn't it enough for you that you believe you are making the right decision? I often wonder if the reason seek seek approval and validation from others is because we do not trust ourselves. Stop wasting time waiting for people to tell you it's okay. Instead accept the fact you may make an error in judgment but that's one of the cost of taking awesome risk.

You don't need anyone's permission to
-change your job
-marry the one you love
-to make mistakes
-change your dreams
- to be happy

This is your rodeo,so enjoy because it only comes around once. To hell with consent!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wash Day -Refresh!

"I  misplaced my flash drive with all my blog post so this post is a little late"

So if you remember from my last wash day post I installed braids; I kept the braids in for four weeks before removing them.  To keep my hair moisturized during that time  weekly I oiled my scalp with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and moisturized every other day using  this method here. I must say it this is a great way to moisture and keep my hair moisturized.

After a month of not washing my hair here is how I went about getting my hair clean and prepped for a reinstall.

Prepoo- Once all the braids where removed I saturated my hair with my oil mix and detangled, after the detangling session I sprayed my entire head with diluted apple cider vinegar and further detangled.

Shampoo-  I then shampooed twice with ORS creamy aloe shampoo to ensure I get my scalp really clean and remove all the built up for my hair.

Deep Condition-  Deep conditioned with Ettenio  Moisture Fusion deep penetrating conditioner and Jamaican black castor oil for 45 minutes under my conditioning cap for 45 minutes. Once my hair was cool I rinsed with warm water to remove the conditioning mix and finished off with cool water to close the cuticles.  I then wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.

Leave-in and Moisturizer-   When my hair was about 80 percent dry I sprayed it with Crème of nature strengthen and shine and detangled and put it into five sections. I then applied African pride Shea Butter Buttery crème to the hair and Jamaican Black Castor oil to the scalp. I then did three two strand twist in each section and left to dry overnight. The next day I went and have cornrow braids install, I hope to keep them in for three to four weeks.

How was your #washdayexperience?


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Product Review: Shea Butter Miracle Buttery Creme

Cost- 6 oz jar  for $3.49 purchased at CVS but is widely available.

Claims/Blurb- 'gives amazing manageability, softness, and shine to natural Curly, wavy, kinky-Coily Mixed textures. perfect for transitioners.

Enriched with Shea Butter , Nature's superior detangling moisturizer. helps eliminate dryness enhancing body, bounce and shine.

Ingredients- Aqua, Olea Europaea fruit oil/olive oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Behentrimonium methosulfate, PEG 75 lanolin, cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii fruit/ Shea Butter, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter/Mango Butter, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil/Argan Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil/ Coconut Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract/ Rosemary Extract, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract/Aloe Vera Extract........

Pros- This a thick creamy creme which smells sweet and a little perfumey.  It helps to maintain soft and moisturized naturally kinky, curly, coily hair. A little goes a long way to get the desired results.

Cons- The only Con I found was that due to it being thick you have to be careful not to use too much.

My Take- I love this creme! I lived in a flat twist for at least a month and this creme help to keep my hair moisturized. It did not flake of showed signs of product build-up even when I went weeks without a wash day. This creme will definitely become a maintain in my arsenal.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Motivation: What is your Legacy?

One day your time on earth will be over; what will be your legacy when that day comes?  Will you be known as the person who went after his/her dreams? Everyday that we wake up we are making our mark on this world and the people we come into contact with.  So the question,"what is your legacy?' is very important.

The universe has been around for millions of years and our lives are just a spec in the grand scheme of it all.  However, what we are more than a blimped in time to our family, friends and the people we come into contact with. Make a difference in the lives you touch.

Our legacy shouldn't be about how  how educated we are, big our banks accounts are, how big our houses are, or what position we hold at work.  Our legacy should be our human characteristics, such as how kind or loving we are, how compassionate, or did we take time out to influence another person. These are the things that will live on long after we are gone.

So before you take your last breath make a change, make your life matter; use your life to make a mark on someone else's life.

" Carve your name on heart, not tombstone. A legacy etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you." Shannon L. Alder

Friday, August 12, 2016

Blood Pressure! What does the numbers mean?

Your ideal blood pressure should be below 120/80 mm Hg but what does it means?
The first or top number is your systolic pressure and the bottom or second number is your diastolic pressure.  So know you are probable wondering what systolic and diastolic pressure is.

Systolic pressure measure the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and diastolic pressure measure the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats. Your blood pressure rises and fall with each heartbeat.

How do you know if you have Hypertension?

High blood pressure as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA) categorizes as indicated by this chart;

Categories                            Systolic               Diastolic
Normal                                        < 120                             < 80
Pre-Hypertension                        120-139                       80-89
Hypertension (Stage 1)               140-159                       90-99
Hypertension (Stage 2)               160 >                           100 >

When your blood pressure readings are in the Pre-hypertension range your doctor will recommend a balanced diet and regular exercise to get you back into the normal range.  Once you blood pressure jumps over into the Hypertension range your doctor will prescribe medication along with prper diet and regular exercise to help bring it back into the normal range.

How do you prevent hypertension?

Hypertension is a lifestyle disease, which simple means based how you live your life you will or will not have this disease.  Living an active lifestyle and having a healthy diet will facilitate a lower blood pressure and a overall healthier lifestyle. 

These preventative measures can help reduce and maintain a healthy blood pressure;

  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Limit processed foods
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking
I suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) therefore maintain a healthy diet and I exercise regular to help  keep me in the healthy range. Reducing my sodium intake and becoming very active was what helped me to get it back into the normal range.

Do you suffer from hypertension?  What do you do to maintain a normal blood pressure?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pros and Cons of LDR

With the advent of the internet and dating sites, so has the number of people who are dating people outside of their geographical area.  These relationships can be very tricky even if it’s just one town over, moreover if they are cities, countries of continents away.  While these relationships work for some, it may not work others.  This is due to wide range of factors that normally affects traditional relationships but is magnified due to lack of physical nearness. 

I recently entered into a long distance courtship with a person who lives in another country and it has me thinking; what are pros and cons of having a relationship with someone who is unable to be with you physically every day.

  • Freedom and autonomy- You have a great appreciation of your relationship and is able to focus on your relationship when you’re together.  You have the opportunity to enjoy your independence without any obligation to be near your significant other.
  • The honeymoon effect- You have the sense of rejuvenation and excitement each time you see your partner.
  • You’re taken- It is nice to get attention from the opposite sex but it is even better to know that you have that special someone.  Better yet when put in a position where you are the odd person you can use the “ I have a skype date” to get out of an dreaded situation.

  • Technology ties you down- While technology may give us the sense of being together and the ability to share our lives almost instantaneously, it does a times feel more like a restrain.  You might have gone out with friends or relaxing with family and you feel the need to reply to a text or voice note because your boyfriend/girlfriend keeps texting you back.  Sometimes people in long distance relationship use it to compensate for being absent physically.
  • Questioning loyalty- All relationship no matter if traditional or long distance needs to have a heavy sense of trust in order for it to work.  Questions such as “why is he going out with tonight?, Why didn’t he call me back?; are all trust eroding thoughts and questions. Questioning your partner’s loyalty when you aren’t around to keep tabs on him/her is a recipe for disasters.
  • Relationship question by friends and family- This is a biggie because your friends and family opinions carry so much weight in your life that their negative outlook can cause you to question your relationship.  
  • The feeling of loneliness- While you can text, face-time or voice note at any time of the day; having the physical contact is very important and the feeling of loneliness is more evident when you have to attend a function without your plus one.

So the question whether long distance relationship works is valid.  I think the best answer to that question is that it takes work from both persons to make it work.  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wash day experience- Co-wash

The last few wash days I have done minimal when it comes to styling my hair because I just don’t know what to do to it.  This process of transitioning to natural has been quite an easy journey when it comes to caring for my hair.  However, styling it is still a challenge, but I do hope that the longer it gets the better my efforts will look.

Anyway here is how this wash day went down-

Prepoo- detangled with apple cider vinegar, and then did a hot oil treatment with my oil mix, under a plastic cap and head tie for an hour.  The oil mix consists of JBCO, coconut, olive, avocado and grapeseed oil. We were having a heat wave in the northeast so I used it to my advantage, and let me tell you it was hot under that head-tie. 

Conditioner- Once my hair to cooled, I rinsed out the oil mix and co-wash with Tresemme nourishing  conditioner.  I like this conditioner, it is a great rinsed out conditioner. My hair felt great and I was planning on ending my wash day here, but decided against it because I wanted to install braids.

Deep Conditioner- Deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor oil Masque under a plastic cap and head tie for 45 minutes.  Once my hair was cool, I rinsed with lukewarm water to ensure all the conditioner gets rinsed out, and then I followed up with cool water.  I then wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to get rid of the excess water. 

Leave-in conditioner and moisturizer- I then sprayed my scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar and wrapped it again with the t-shirt to get rid of the excess.  I then sectioned my hair in four sections and apply Cantu conditioner repair cream twist and left to air dry.  When it was roughly 95 percent dry I applied Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and sealed with JBCO.  Then put it into two flat twists and call it a night. 

Two days later I undo the twist moisturized with African Pride Shea Butter Miracle buttery crème and seal with JBCO before getting cornrows install.  I am enjoying the break from dealing with hair but I plan to maintain a good moisturizing regimen.

How was your #washdayexperience?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fitness Friday- Vitamin B12

What is it?

Vitamin B12 is called cobalamin and is one of the 8 B complex vitamins.  Vitamin B12 is also called the energy vitamin.  As with all the B complex vitamins B12 is water soluble.

What purpose does it serve?

All the B vitamins helps convert carbohydrate into glucose.  The B complex vitamins helps the nervous systems function properly. Vitamin B12 works closely with Vitamin B9 (folic acid) to make red blood cells and helps iron works better in the body.

What causes Vitamin B12 deficiency?

  • Gastritis, which is a thinning of the lining of the stomach
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Weight loss surgery that removes a part of your stomach or small intestine
  • Small intestine diseases such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease
  • Immune system disorders such as Graves’ disease and lupus
  • Heavy drinking
  • Long term use of acid reducing drugs

What are the symptoms of deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency can happen for different reasons, however in my particular case I have chronic gastritis which is a thinning of the lining of the stomach. Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nervousness, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. I first realized that something was wrong when I started experiencing numbness in my feet. 
Vitamin B12 is needed to make red blood cells, which brings oxygen throughout the body.  Therefore a deficiency can lead to anemia or nerve damage. 

What foods are high in it?

The body does not make vitamin B12 therefore you have to consume foods that contains this vitamin.  Vitamin B12 is found in only animal products such as meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Good dietary sources includes fish, shellfish, dairy products, organ meats such as liver and kidney, eggs, beef and pork. If you are a vegan, or not a big meat eater or has a medical condition that makes you unable to absorb vitamin B15, taking a vitamin supplement is recommended.  If you are considering taking a Vitamin B12 supplement ask your health care provider so they can recommend the proper dosage.  Your healthcare provider will normally do a blood work-up to determine if or how deficient you are, then recommend the proper treatment.

I found out I was severely vitamin B12 deficient and have to take a supplement, however if my levels don’t improve I may need to take a vitamin B12 injection. However, since I began taking the supplement my energy level is up and the tingling in my feet has slowly gone away. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wash Day- My First Afro

Getting my scalp back on track has been foremost in my wash day regimen in the past couple of weeks.  Since I have introduced apple cider vinegar to my wash day my hair and scalp has been on their best behavior.

Here is a recap of how this wash day went down;

Prepoo- Sprayed hair with ACV and detangled, then did a hot oil treatment with coconut, grapeseed, avocado and olive oil under conditioning cap for thirty minutes.

Shampoo- After my hair was cool I shampooed with my all-time favorite shampoo crème of nature sunflower and coconut detangling conditioning shampoo.  I did this by applying the diluted shampoo to my scalp and massage, once I have a lather I run my fingers down my hair to distribute the lathers. Then I rinse with warm water and wrapped my head in a t-shirt.

Deep Conditioned- I deep conditioned with Shea Moisture 10 n 1 Masque I sealed it with Jamaican black castor oil and sat under my dryer for 20 minutes.  I love this masque because it leaves my hair feeling so soft and fluffy.  I then rinsed with warm water and once I’ve ensured that all the conditioner was properly rinsed out I rinsed with cool water. 

Leave-In  and Moisturizer-  Before applying my leave-in I spray my scalp and hair with diluted ACV then detangled and put the hair into five sections and wrapped my hair with a t-shirt to remove the excess.  I then applied Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in conditioner to each section and left to air dry.  After allowing my hair to dry for three hours I applied Elasta QP Olive oil and mango butter moisturizer to each section, and did a two strand twist left to dry overnight.  While twisting I trimmed about two inches of relaxed ends.

Styling – I was very happy in the morning that my hair was dry, however it didn’t have enough definition so I pulled it back add a headband and a flower, then fluffy and call it day.  That evening I did about thirty two strand twist using a little shea moisture coconut & hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie. I love the definition that I got.  While doing the twist I snippet off any hair that looked too stringy.

I’m enjoying playing with my hair and I hope to become better at pulling off great styles.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on my hair

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many awesome benefits, and is especially great for the hair.  It is great to treat dry itchy scalp, prevents dandruff and closes the cuticle leaving the hair shiny.  Due to the acidic component of ACV it helps to maintain the ph balance of your hair and scalp. 

I recently started using apple cider vinegar to help me with m itch scalp and have reap numerous benefits.  Despite the smell it is a welcome addition to my hair care arsenal.  Here are a few of the benefits I have reaped so far.

Detangles-  It is a great detangler, I could not believe the first time I used it how easily I was able to detangle my hair.  The reason for this is that the acidity helps to smooth the cuticle loosen any knots.  

Antibacterial-  I first decided to use it because of my itchy scalp and have seen so much rave reviews on how well it works to return the natural balance to my scalp.  Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which works as an antibacterial and antifungal, therefore making the scalp a hostile environment for both bacteria and fungus. 

Clarifying-  I use a ton of produces in my hair throughout the week, which make my hair loo really dull by the end of the week.  Apple cider vinegar (ACV) clarifies and remove product build-up without stripping the hair.  After an apple cider vinegar rinse my hair looks shiner and my curls are more defined.

To make my apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse I combine one part ACV with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray directly on my scalp.  I plan give a place of prominence in my wash day routine by adding it before my shampoo and before my leave-in conditioner.

Have you used ACV in your wash day routine? What benefits did your get from incorporating it? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wash Day- Birthday Hair!

Everyone wants to look their best on their birthday because it’s their special day.  At first I planned on flat ironing my hair but thought better of it and decided that I would just go with something routine and mundane, which I did. The big payoff is that I got a really lovely compliment from my new boo.

So here is how this wash day went;

Prepoo- For my prepoo I did a hot oil treatment with my oil mix.  This oil mix consist of Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil.  After detangling with the oil I applied it from root to tip ensuring that I go all the hair, I then sat under my bonnet dryer for 15 minutes. 

Shampoo- Once my hair was cool I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut shampoo.  I lathered twice to ensure I remove all the excess oil.

Deep Conditioner- I deep conditioned with Neutrogena Triple moisture conditioner under a plastic cap and my head tie for 45 minutes, before rinsing with warm water followed by cool water. I like how this conditioner leaves my hair feeling, hopefully it’s not a fluke.

Leave-in Conditioner- After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to get out the excess water.  I then sprayed my scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar and left to air dry for ten minutes.  After which I applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangled and twist in to four sections, and left to air dry.  When it was about 90 percent dry I applied Cantu repair and conditioning cream to each section and re-twist and left to completely air dry.

Moisturizer- Applied Elasta QP Olive oil and Mango butter and OGX coconut milk anti breakage serum and blow dry on cool to stretch. I then two-strand twist did a flexi rod set with a little African Pride Shea buttery crème overnight.

In the morning I had really soft moisturized hair, but not much curl definition.  So I did a flat twist in the front and fluffy the back and call it a day. I was a little disappointed but my boo gave me and my hair life with his oh so sweet compliment.I was feeling fly when my boo says, “I love your hair, it’s so natural and beautiful”; I think I blushed about 20 shades. Yep, he’s a keeper. I am loving my hair even though I am relearning everything I thought I knew about it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

39 Years!

I have completed 39 years on this earth.  I have forgotten more than I can remember.  I have experienced joy, pain, failure, triumph, love, hate, happiness, anger, heartache, passion and disappointment. However, I am thankful for the great memories and not so great ones.

I am appreciative of the people, who have come into my life; some who have been there from the beginning and the ones who were just passing through. I am grateful for the kind words, the not so kind words, the advice, the encouragements, the words of caution and even the doubtful words.  
These experiences have shaped my life and have crafted the person I am today.

So on this first day of summer I hope you find great love, great friends, and have great experiences. But more than anything I hope you all have a great and fulfilled life.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Motivation- Be Brave

One of my favorite mantra is "fake it until you make it".  I often use it when I'm in a situation that is outside of my comfort zone.  It reminds me that as long as I can convince others around me that I will eventually convince myself.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston S. Churchill

To be brave does not mean you are without fear, it simple means that you have the courage to move on or act despite the fear.  There was a time in our lives were the possibilities seems endless but with age and life experiences we develop fears. Being brave is about saving the world or fighting the unfair treatment at your job, it is about facing your fears and making decisions to change.

I recently read a book and the protagonist hated her job in accounting and really wanted to be a writer however, because of peer and parental pressure she did not pursue her dream.  In the end with motivation from her new boyfriend she was able to do what she always dreamt of doing.

For me the moral of the story is; never put your dreams hold because of fear of disappointing the ones we love.  It is possible to live your dreams and also have your family proud of you.  Stop living for someone else but have the courage too live for you.

Before it is too late Be Brave, have courage, take the risk and enjoy the experience.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wash Day - 52 Weeks Post

Fifty-two weeks ago I did my last relaxer for the foreseeable future and while at the time I wasn’t thinking a transitioning I was starting to dredge relaxer day.  So while it hasn’t been easy, it has been rewarding. 
Anyway back to this week’s wash day;  while my hair is healthy and thriving my scalp is acting the fool so this wash day I use apple cider vinegar (ACV) in my wash day routine for the very first time. While strolling through the haircare isle in Target a pick up a few Neutrogena Triple Moisture daily deep conditioner.

Prepoo- I detangled with warm coconut oil, then coat hair with more coconut oil and put on a plastic and sat under my hair dry for 10 minutes.

Shampoo- After rinsing out the prepoo treatment I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut moisturizing detangling shampoo. I normally lather once but I since my scalp has been a little itchy I lathered twice.  After rinsing out the shampoo my hair and scalp felt amazing and the itchiness was gone.

Deep Conditioner-  I then deep conditioned with Neutrogena Triple Moisture daily deep conditioner  under a plastic cap and my hair dryer for ten  minutes, then allowed my hair to cool for another fifteen minutes before rinsing with warm water followed by cool water.  This conditioner sinks right into my hair and after rinsing it out my hair felt moisturized.

Freshly washed hair with no products

Leave-in conditioner- After rinsing out the conditioner I squeeze out some of the excess water and sprayed my scalp with diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) then wrapped hair in a t-shirt to dry.  I applied Kinky curly knot today and detangled, after which I applied Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream and twist into four sections and left to air dry.

Moisturizer- When my hair was about 80 percent dry I apply Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum then blow dry each section on warm.  Once I blew out each section I applied a small amount of African Pride Shea butter miracle moisturizer and did three twist on each section for a total of twelve twist. . In the morning I was not digging the twist out so I put the hair into two flat twist.

This was a good wash day and while I may still suck at twist outs I have seen significant growth with not only my hair but also my skill level. 

How was your #washdayexperience? What are some of the challenges you face?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Transition: One Year Later

June 14, 2016 marks one year since I got my last relaxer.  On that date a year ago I did not set out to transition to natural however, I had it in mind to do a six months stretch.  At the time I was texlaxing my hair three times a year and wanted to cut it down to twice per year.  Boy oh boy who knew what a journey I would go on; not me for sure.

How did I get here?  (Here is my regimen)

The first four months went by quite easily but months five and six I struggled because I just could not get my hair to behave the way I wanted it to.  Now looking back I was forcing it to do something that it could and it rebelled.  After making the decision it announced it here because I figured I would have to stay true to myself and my awesome reader by not relaxing when it got difficult.  Yes, it did get difficult and there were times when I questioned why I thought it was that big of a deal, because I’m only human and you’ll forgive me for relapsing.  RIGHT??  However, I am never one to give up or fail to be my best so I plugged on and the results are well worth it. 

Techniques I use:

I follow my regimen to a tee even when I feel like I can’t do this, I still do it.  I learned how to perfect a flat twist and most weekends you will find me rocking my flat twist.  My favorite curly style is something created using flexi rods or perm rods.  I now have flexi rods of every length, size and color because as my hair grows it has different needs.  I exercise daily so I moisturize daily so that my hair does not become dry and brittle. 

My natural hair!

My natural hair is a funny beast the front has loose soft curls, the crown has slightly tighter curls and the back tight coily curls. Overall my hair is very dense but the strands are very fine, which is good and bad.  Good because I have much more hair than I anticipated but bad because it is so fine it does not hold it shape for long even with styling aids.  When wet it does the disappearing act; my hair shrinks to 25 percent of its length.  Now I understand why I was relaxed at age 10 because the shrinkage is ugly but fortunately with leave-in conditioners and detanglers it stretches quite easily.   

What I’ve learned so far?

I hate and love my hair in the same breathe; I lack serious styling skills but is coping.  The saying “Patience is a virtue” is so true, I learned not to rush or get frustrated when my hair doesn’t fall, lay or curl in the manner I want it to, I just give it few more weeks. 

Year Two here I come!

As I begin year two of this journey I hope to master a proper braid out and twist out.  I will continue to stick to my regimen and slowly trim away the texlaxed ends with a goal of been fully natural on my two year mark.
I want to give a big shout out to the amazing ladies of the #washdayexperience for not only their kind words and encouragement but also for sharing their techniques and inspiring me on a weekly basis. 

Did you transition to natural? How was it, and do you have any tips or tricks to share with me?

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Biggest Loser Effect

The NBC show “the Biggest Loser” has been in the news a lot lately; due to the fact that nearly all the contestants have regained all their weight plus some.  The news reports are basically saying that it isn’t these peoples fault, but that they are physiological destined to fail.  So this has me thinking is losing weight rapidly setting us to fail? Are we genetically predestined to be heavier than most of the population?  Can we really win against our bodies?  How can we successfully lose weight and keep it off for the long-term?

What is the “Biggest Loser Effect”?

Weight loss is easy; however maintaining the weight loss is a challenge.  It is recommended that a person loses one to two pounds per week in order to prevent your metabolism from shutting down.  However per the reports and what you saw on the show these contestants were dropping ridiculous amount of weight.  Due to rapid weight loss, the effect known as “metabolic adaptation” where the body burns fewer calories at rest was happening to them.  While this was expected the contestant metabolic adaptation rate was much slower than average. 

So what does this means to sustainable weight loss?

When the body perceives starvation it conserves its energy which simple means your metabolism slows down. With a slower consumption of energy the pounds are packed on; which is the body’s way of conserving energy for the lean time.  Rapid weight loss is not the answer to long-term sustainable weight loss, but slow and steady wins the race.  While I’m not a medical professional and certainly not a dietitian I too have in the past lost a great amount of weight just to have it pack right back on.  I thought it was because I went back living and eating like I did before the weight loss, moreover the starvation diets didn’t help. 

When you have a significant amount of weight to lose one to two pounds a week sounds like it will take a lifetime, but isn’t that reason for losing the weight.  Losing weight should be a lifestyle change not a completion, moreover who wants to compete every day.  Therefore losing 52 to 104 pounds per year is very reasonable and sustainable.  You will become habituated to eating right, exercising and taking very good care of yourself. 

Don’t get me wrong I love seeing people change their lives is very dramatic ways, however surviving on a few calories a day and exercising six to eight hours a day is plain crazy.  I have been on my weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey for four years and have kept the weight off and changed my outlook on my health and fitness. 

What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wash Day- Twist Out

This is my first attempt at a two strand twist out, and I’m not sure if I like the outcome or not.  How did I get here?, you may ask.  Well I’m lazy and getting my hair dried and style takes energy I don’t want to spend.  Therefore I wash, detangle, moisturize and air dry my hair. Once it is dried I’m at a total loss how to get back to that happy place, so that’s how I go here; a place of limbo.

Prepoo – Detangled with warmed coconut oil and coat hair with Cantu conditioning repair cream under a plastic cap for 15 minutes.

Shampoo- After rinsing out the prepoo mix I shampooed with Crème of Nature sunflower and coconut shampoo.  I had to lather twice because the first go around I still felt product on my hair. 

Conditioner- Once my hair felt clean I conditioned with Shea Moisture 10 N 1 conditioner.  This conditioner is so heavenly my one wish is that it was in a jar versus a pump bottle. After rinsing out the conditioner I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to remove the excess water.

Leave-in and Moisturizer-   I then sprayed each section with Crème of Nature strengthen and shine leave in and applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangeler and left to air dry. When my hair was about 70 percent dry I applied Elasta QP Moisturizer and OGX coconut milk antibreakage serum and put in a roughly 15 to 18 mini two strand twist.

Style- In the morning my hair was not completely dry so I sat the under bonnet dryer for 10 minutes. Once my hair was cool I pull the twist apart and fluff. 

I like the feel of my hair, the look not so much so but then this is still fairly new to me.  I am currently 51 weeks post relaxer and I’m truly thinking about cutting the rest of the relaxed ends off and call it a day.  Today I put the scissors down but my big chop will come sooner than I planned.

When did you big chopped? And why?

Don’t forget to check out the awesome ladies of the #washdayexperience.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Motivation- We are Limitless

Why do we limit ourselves?

Is it because we follow the crowd and therefore refuse to go against the grain? Are we too scared to follow our own hearts? Are we playing it safe in order to ensure that we are not failures?  For whatever the reason we put limits on ourselves maybe to prevent heartbreak and feeling of inadequacy.

By putting limits on ourselves we stand in our own way.  Instead of pleasing the crowd why not go with your heart and find out for yourself what your true potentials are. moreover even if you fail at your attempt you would have learned a valuable lesson about yourself.

Don't wait around to achieve your dreams and desire because of the road block you have put in you own way.  Isn't it better to live your dream than to only dream about it?  Dreams and motivation for your dreams will change however not going after them is a tragedy.

Don't talk yourself out of what you want, instead reach for it with both hands.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Thoughts- I'm not my Hair

Where is the natural hair movement going?

The natural hair movement is sweeping the globe and it seems as if at least 75 percent of the black women I come into contact with are embracing their natural hair.  But I often wondered where is it going?  Afros were big in the 60s and 70s but quickly faded away, will it happen again this time around?  I think the movement is different this time around because it is more of a holistic approach more than a political statement. In the 60s and 70s having an Afro was political statement.  I don’t know where it is going but I would hope that it isn’t something my granddaughter will read about, but something she will live.

Is it sustainable?

When I think about the sustainability I truly think if we continue on the same track then 20 years from now it will be the norm just like getting a perm/relaxer was the norm.  We have collectively used our buying power to change the haircare industry.  The sale of relaxers have gone down 26% since 2013 and is trending to go down by 45% by 2019.

Are we our hair?

I don’t think we are our hair, I merely think our hair represents our genetic, ancestry and our fashion sense.   What I think our hair says about us it that we are comfortable with ourselves in our purest form, however that doesn’t mean that a person who has relaxed or colored hair isn’t comfortable with themselves. It merely means that we are deviating from societal norms, ideas and ideals and is saying this is who I am.  Whether I’m the pink hair girl or the woman who rocks her awesome twist out or even the woman who did a big chop and loving it, society has told us we cannot be different.

Should our hair be seen as a social and political statement?

In the past out hair was seem as a political statement and even the federal government had polices that forbids us from being in the natural state.  However, it our hair and the natural hair movement is a political and social statement, what do we intend to gain from it?  I think wearing your hair in its natural state is making a social statement, one in which we are saying we are not what you want us to be.

  India Arie said it best “I am not My Hair” powerful words. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wash Day- 49 weeks post

I have simplified my wash day routine without even noticing, this may have happened because I was getting frustrated with the wash day routine.  However, as you may have noticed don’t do super long prepoo treatments of very long deep conditioning session any longer, which work great for me.  I’m happy to report that my hair has not suffer, moreover I think it is thriving much better. 

Anyway here is how this wash day went down;

Prepoo- Detangled with warm coconut oil, then did a hot oil treatment with my oil mix.  My oil contains coconut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and olive oil.  After applying the oil mix I put on a plastic cap and sat under the warm dryer for 15 minutes. 

Shampoo- My scalp has being itching over the last few weeks so I decided to do a clarifying shampoo.  I lathered my hair twice with ORS creamy aloe and rinsed with warm water. My scalp and hair felt so clean and refreshed; moreover my hair did not feel stripped, so that was a win.

Deep Conditioner- I deep conditioned with Crème of Nature Argan oil deep conditioning treatment conditioner and Jamaican Black castor Oil which I warm for a few seconds before applying to my hair.  I then put on a plastic can and sat under my dryer for 10 minutes and then allowed my hair to cool for another 30 minutes. Once my hair was cool I rinsed out the conditioning mix with warm water, after I ensure that all the conditioner was out I gave my hair a final rinse with cool water and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to dry.

Leave-In and moisturizer-  When my hair was about 80 percent dry I sprayed it with Crème of Nature strength and shine leave in conditioner and applied Kinky Curly Knot today and detangled each of the four sections.  Once each section is properly detangled I applied Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango butter moisturizer and put in a twist to air dry.

Styling-  My natural hair takes forever and a day to dry so I normally style my hair the day after my wash day.  
So in the morning I did a two strand milkmaid-like twist and off to work I go.  

Day two I applied some African Pride Shea butter miracle moisturizer and did a flexi rod set, the look was so amazing I was on cloud nine, however, humidity did allow me to be great.

I am getting better at styling and managing my hair, with my one year anniversary a few weeks away I am totally psyched.  

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Motivation- empowering yourself

There are times when you feel powerless; this may be because you are in a job you hate or a relationship that is no longer working.  These feeling can erode our feeling of self-worth and lead us into depression.  When you are feeling like this don’t let the evil Queen “I Can’t” get in your head, because when she does then like Alice you will certainly fall through the rabbit hole.

These are the times when you call upon her better sisters “I don’t want to”, “I don’t feel like” and I don’t know how to”, they will help keep you grounded.  The saying goes that it is not the destination but the journey that holds meaning; however we somehow focus so much on the destination that we lose the power to enjoy the journey.

When I am feeling powerless these are a few of the tool I use to help me get back on track.  If I’m feeling a little edgy or restless I exercise to release the energy that isn’t working for me. If I’m feeling down I call upon friends and family to pull me up and out of that space.  Meditation works to calm me down when I am riled up.   

No matter the situation always treat yourself well, give yourself pep talks, show yourself some appreciation, remember that you are not perfect, take full responsibility for your actions and your life and most of all have a support team (your own cheering section).  They are days when we feel like we can conquer the world and others when you feel as if the world in on your shoulder, just remember you are worthy and awesome no matter the situation.

How do you stay empowered?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Wash Day- Transition Chronicles

After last week’s disastrous styling outcome I know that this wash day I had to be amazing.  So I skipped the shampoo step of my wash day routine and went straight to deep conditioning.  I must say I love the outcome. I am currently 11 months post relaxer so every victory so late in the game is to be celebrated.

Here is how my wash day went;

Prepoo & detangle-  For the last three days I wore my hair in a banana clip so I finger detangled with warm coconut oil to ensure I get out all  the shed hair.  I then further detangled with a comb to get out the excess knots, and then covered my hair with a plastic cap for 30 minutes.

Deep Conditioner-  I deep conditioned with ORS replenishing conditioner and Jamaican black Castor oil under my bonnet dry for 15 minutes, then allowed my hair to cool for another 30 minutes before rinsing.  I first rinsed with warm water to get out the conditioning mix then flowed up with cool water to seal the cuticles.  Once all the conditioner was proper rinsed out I wrapped my hair in at-shirt to remove the excess water.

Leave-in conditioner - When my hair was about 60 percent dry I sprayed the roots with Crème of Nature detangling and shine leave in conditioner then I applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangler from root to tip and detangle.  I normally wash my hair in four sections so I repeated the process for each section, left it to air dry.

Moisturizer and styling- When it about 95 percent dry I applied Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moisturizer and QGX coconut milk serum to each section then blow dry on warm.  I was sure what I wanted to do with it so I two strand twist each section pinned it and went to bed. 

The next morning I put it up in a banana clip and I had the most beautiful afro poof ever in my life; so good that my Mom commented how much my hair has grown. Day two I did a flat twist in the back and flexi rod set the front to capitalize on the fluffiness and have a style that can last a couple days.

How was your #washdayexperience?  Did you have any triumphs?

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wash Day- Braid out Fail

I started off this wash day feeling super excited because I finally got parking so I could pop into my favorite beauty supply store. This trip was extremely important because I was in need of new flexi rods; my current ones are now too small and are a little worn.  Anyway, with new flexi rods in hand I decided that I would do two-strand twist and then install my flexi rods for a funky look; it didn’t work nor did the braid out the following day.

Here is how my wash day went;

Prepoo/co-wash- I decided to forgo a proper prepoo and instead gently finger detangled before spritzing each section with water and applied As I Am coconut cowash.  Once my entire head was detangled and cover with my co-wash I jumped in the shower to wash my hair.  I did a gentle scalp massage to ensure that my scalp was properly cleaned.

Protein treatment-  I am currently 47 weeks post relaxer and I haven’t done a protein treatment in a while, therefore I grab my Aphogee Keratin 2 minute reconstructor and applied it to the ends of my hair then my new growth.   I then rinsed out the treatment with warm water; after the treatment my hair felt good.

Deep conditioner- Out of pure laziness I wasn’t going to do a deep conditioner but I changed my mind at the last minute when I saw my bottle of Jamaican black castor oil (who can resist!).  To deep condition I added about two tablespoons to my Shea Moisture 10 in 1 renewal systems conditioner and applied to my hair.  I then sat underneath my hair dryer for 10 minutes; after allowing my hair to cool I rinsed with warm water and followed up with cool water.  I must say, my hair was feeling super moisturized which I love.

Leave-in conditioner- After rinsing out the conditioner mix, I wrapped my head in a t-shirt to get rid of the excess water.  I then applied Shea Moisture Jamaican black castor oil strengthen, grow and restore leave in conditioner and detangled and left the hair to air dry.
Moisturizer- Two hours later I applied African Pride Shea miracle buttery cream moisturizer and detangled again.  After which I sectioned my hair into smaller sections and applied Shea Moisture coconut and Hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie and did a two strand twist the wrapped each twist on to a purple flexi rod. In total I installed 13 flexis and off to bed a when.

The next morning……………………………
After taking of the flexi rods I could hear the music from the movie Psycho playing. The horror my hair was not dry and I have to leave my house in 20 minutes; yes I always do my hair last just before I pick up my bags and head to the door. Once I took out the twist it was worse than I thought, so I took out my hair pins and pinned it up.

Second attempt……….
That evening I spritzed my hair with Ettenio refresher sprayed and sectioned my hair into small sections and braid then.  I had great hopes that I would have a nice defined hair in the morning but alas that wasn’t to be, my ends was straight and my roots look puff but I wore it any way and felt fabulous.

I am still trying new things and figuring out how to get my hair to behave but I am coping when it misbehaves and feeling confident that I am fabulous no matter what.

How was your #washdayexperience?  Please join the ladies of the #washdayexperience for tips, tricks and fabulousness.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fun Date Ideas

Dating seem to be an endless cycle of dinner at a restaurant or drinks at a bar.  Who hasn’t done these dozens of time? So much so that you know exactly what you will order without looking at the menu. Enough already!!

Here are a few fun ideas for a first date or even a date night. 

Have a picnic in a public park- Who doesn’t like a picnic? A picnic is a fun way to get to know someone or reconnect because it is so relax and laid back.  You could even do a BYO where someone is responsible for the drinks and the other for the sandwich (or whatever your preferences are).  A picnic is not limited to the warmer months so drag out your hot chocolate and cozy up together. 

Meet-up at a self-service frozen yogurt or ice cream shop- This is ideal for when you have limited time and want to have a quick and fun meet-up. Who doesn't like ice cream and moreover this is a fun way to know a little more about a person’s personality and taste. 

Go to street fair or festival- So you have being texting and talking on the phone and you have great chemistry with him/her a street fair is the ideal place to tap into that chemistry.  Street fairs are fun with food, drinks and entertainment, they are ideal if you want to spend a day with that person.

Head to a theme park- Theme parks aren’t for everyone; however they are great for the adrenaline enthusiast.   Like a street fair the amusement park offers a wide variety of entertainment and food options to make it a fun date.

Have a coffee date- I’m a coffee enthusiast so the offer for coffee works for me.  A coffee date is ideal for a quick hello, or a stroll. 

Pretend to be tourist (most fun I had) – No matter where you live pretending to be a tourist for the day can be a really fun date.  You can see the sights, stop at a tourist spot to have lunch and take silly pictures is a great way to spend a few enjoyable hours. 

Hit the gym together- Having a gym date is not ideal, but if both of you are fitness buffs it won’t matter that you are all sweaty because you will be showing off how much you can deadlift.  This is a really good way to connect with a person who shares your passion; moreover, who doesn’t want their cake and eat it too?

Go bowling (fun, fun) - a bowling alley has it all, rented shoes, beer, and snacks; what more do you need? Bowling is a good ice breaker not matter what your skill levels are, and it is even fun (gutter balls anyone?).  This will give you an insight to how competitive or how silly a person can become.
Karaoke Bar- Karaoke isn’t for the faint of heart but who hasn’t imagine they were Whitney or Bruce at some point.  Even if you are tone deaf or a former church choir member karaoke is awesome. 

Go to a museum- I think a stroll through the museum is romantic and it give you a chance visit or explore new and old exhibits.  A visit to the museum is ideal for the hot summer months or the colder winter months because the temperature is always right.  Go ahead hold hands and marvel at the dinosaur.

Choose your adventure, it can be hard to figure out exactly what your date taste may be but it doesn’t hurt to try.  Don’t settle for the same old same go out and have a great time.  

I’m Thankful for Spring

I give thanks for this vibrant season especially after the long cold dreary weather too many of us had to endure. I’m grateful for spr...