Thursday, March 31, 2016

Wash Day- Sleek and Soft Curls

This week’s #washdayexperience theme is sleek curls, and while that sound so gorgeous I don’t know that I have ever achieved it.  However, I mastered the art of have soft, and moisturized curls; which is as gorgeous as sleek curls in my book.   I find that I achieved the best curls when I co-wash because my hair is super-moisturized.

This wash day was a super easy and quick one because I decided to just do a hot oil treatment and follow up with the Shea Moisture 10 n 1 conditioner.  The reason for this abbreviated wash day is I’m currently nine months post relaxer and the struggle has become real. 

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

Hot oil treatment:  Did a hot oil treat with coconut, avocado and grapeseed oil.  I warmed the oil a bit then pour it into an applicator bottle which I used to apply to my scalp and to the entire length of my hair.  Once the hair and scalp was totally coated I finger detangled and put hair into four sections; then put on a plastic cap and sat under my hair dryer for 10 minutes.

Co-wash/ Conditioned: After allowing my hair to cool I rinsed out the hot oil treatment section by section with warm water, then applied Shea Moisture 10 n 1 conditioner and re-twist.  Once I completed the each section I rinsed out the conditioner and applied it a second time to all the sections and put on a plastic cap for ten minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Leave-in and Moisturizer: I then wrapped my head with a t-shirt to get out the excess water.  When the hair was about 70 percent dry I sprayed it with Crème of Nature Strength and shine and applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangler and detangled.  After each section was detangled I applied OGX coconut milk anti-breakage serum and blow dry on low.  Once my entire head was dry I applied Ettenio Mangoshea moisturizer and perm rod set with eighteen 1 ½ inch rods.

The end results were but fluffy loose curls which I love and I actually got to wear my hair in a style reminiscing of when I was fully relaxed.  The one issue I have is shrinkage; and let me tell you it’s bad.  However, I have learned to embrace it and stop obsessing about how people will perceive my hair and just enjoy it in all its glory.

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How was your wash day?

Don’t forget to check out all the great tricks and tips of the #washdayexperience.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Tabatha Training

What is Tabatha Training?

Tabatha training is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, which features exercises that last four minutes long and are called Tabatha.

 What is the origin?

Tabatha training was discovered by a Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabatha along with a team of researchers for the National Institute of Fitness and sports in Tokyo.  They basically developed it to train Japanese Olympians to increase their Aerobic and anaerobic capacity. 

What are the benefits?

The benefits include increase aerobic and anaerobic capacity, improved resting heart rate, and is a great fat burner.   To improve our energy we need to target both the of the energy systems. The anaerobic system which is responsible for short burst of intensity activities, and the aerobic system which is used in endurance exercises such as running. Tabatha improves your overall performance and metabolic performance in a very short time.

You can take any exercise routine and do a Tabatha; each Tabatha last for 4 minutes  with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for eight reps with a 1 minute rest between each Tabatha. 
Tabatha training is a great way to get in a quick workout, or switch up your routine, or if you want to improve your endurance and speed.  This type of workout produces exceptional results. 

Have you done any Tabatha style workouts? 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fave Lazy Day Hair Style

This is week four of the March #washdayexperience themes; this week's theme is favorite lazy day hairstyle.  Transitioning to natural has seen my old fazes tossed out the door and me grappling for new ones.  So far during this period my go to style includes a flexi rod set.  Can you believe that prior to 2014 I had no idea such a tool existed?  Yep, it is true but that little soft, flexible wonder has changed my life.

I don't want to begin to imagine what my transition would look like; just take it from me without old faithful" I would use protective styles to do it.

I normally do my flexi rod set on freshly washed and dried stretched hair which always gives the the best results. To make the curl last a bit longer I used the Cantu Coconut curling cream (see the review here), I rarely use an holding product.  To give my flexi rod set a little funkiness I two strand twist each section before installing the flexi rods.

Here are a few of my looks!

What is your Faze Lazy Day Hairstyle? and how do you go about creating it?

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Motivation- Be Realistic

It is quite okay to optimistic or even pessimistic but overall seeing things for what they are and being real about them is much better.

Too often we have unrealistic expectations of people and/or situations, which leads to heartache and disappointment.  Instead of accepting things and people for what they are, we hold out hope that they or it will become what we want.  The selfish self-centered person is not going have a epiphany and change overnight. So why waste time and energy hoping that they will?

We tend to set unrealistic and often unattainable goals and then beat ourselves up because we weren't able to achieve these goals.  Be real with yourself, accept your limitations and in turn you will be able to build on them in order to achieve much bigger goals. So when you set out to lose weight, to become fit or landing your dream job first lay the foundation and them slowly and realistically add layers.  Therefore, in time you will achieve what you set out to, without having unrealistic goals.

We have all heard the phrases "you are so optimistic" or "you are so pessimistic" at one point or the other in your life. I have to say I'm neither because I'm a Cynic; what you see is what you get.  I set realistic goals for myself and I do not have unrealistic expectations of the people I come into contact with.

Be realistic in your expectations and goals and you will have realistic success and achievements.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weight Loss- In Review February

Building on the momentum of January I decided to up the ante and do the two month long series of Black Fire on Daily burn.  The Black Fire exercises are Tabatha style exercise which last anywhere from 16 to 32 minutes per session.  I have now consider myself an athlete because I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to complete the exercises. But to my amazement I did not only complete the exercise but I completed them in spectacular form. 


My weekly exercise schedule consists of four days of Black Fire exercises and one day of Pilates and Jump Tones with a two day rest.  Friday is typically my longest and hardest exercise day because I am in the gym and I do an hour of Pilates and an hour of Jump tones (this is a cardio style exercise done on the trampoline) before taking my rest on the weekends.  I normally work out Monday through Friday and rest (no- exercise) on the weekends.  My weekends tends to be more active because I am busy getting everything in place for the following week. 



My diet and meal prep is coming along quite nicely but I still haven’t started the food journal.  One reason being is that I have not purchase a journal but I am hoping to do so for March. I normally make a list of foods I want to make for the following week sometime during the week and food shop on Saturday.  Sunday is meal prep day, in which I make meals for three days and put together the ingredients for the next two days of meal.  Prepping for meals at head of time makes preparing meals so much easier and fun.  This renewed focus on eating healthy through the days have me prepping for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Weight loss-

Even though I am going much harder on the exercise and staying on my meal plan I did not lose a significant amount of weight.  This month I lost a tad bit over a ¼ of a pound.  I am not disappointed but I believe my doctor will be when I do to visit him in March. 

I am so proud of myself and will continue on this path.  I have one more month of the Daily Burn Black Fire which will take me into spring.  Even though my doctor wants me to lose more weight my journey isn’t just about weight loss.  For me this journey is about getting fit and healthy and taking careful of me physically and mentally. For March I will do my best to keep a proper food journal and not to slack off on my exercise.

What are your weight loss and fitness goals? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Three Ways I Deep Condition

The month of March KLP and Jen  brought us great themes for the wash day experience.  This week’s theme is deep conditioner hacks, and I had to think about it for a while before I was able to bring to the forefront these hacks.  One would think that these would be at the forefront of my consciousness because I used one or the other on a weekly basis. It is hard to believe that before I begun my hair journey that my idea of conditioning my hair was to apply a rinse out conditioner in the shower and call it a day. My, my how time has change......

Anyway; since the beginning of my healthy hair journey I have use three different ways to deep condition my hair.

Warming the conditioner before applying to my hair - This conditioning hack is great for the days when I don’t have the time for a conditioning cap or to set under a hair dryer.  I just warm it above room temperature applied it to my hair put on a plastic cap and let me body heat do the rest.  This is especially handy in the colder months when the conditioner is colder and needs extra time to warm up.  I find this an efficient way for my hair to get the most out of a deep conditioner.

Adding oils to boost the conditioner – This is my favorite way to condition my hair because I get to add the oils that will give my hair exactly what it needs.  My favorite oil combination is coconut oil, avocado oil and grapeseed oil.  Adding oils can make a great conditioner greater and a so-so one better, because the oils boost the effects of the conditioner for me.  I have at times applied the conditioner and then layered on the oil or an oil mix. 

Following up with a rinse out conditioner -After a deep conditioning session with a protein heavy conditioner I normally follow up with a rinse out conditioner.  The reason being is I want to make sure that the hair has the right moisture balance after the treatment.  In the past I did not do a protein treatment regularly however, with me transitioning to natural it has become necessary.  My favorite rinse out conditioners are Shea moisture 10 n 1 conditioner and L’Oréal total repair 5 damage erasing balm.

I am very pleased with these method and is quite stoked that I have such great techniques in my arsenal.

What are techniques you use for deep conditioning your hair?  The ladies for the #washdayexperience have great tools and tips so come join us to had to you arsenal and to share your tips, tricks and hacks.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Product Review- Cantu Coconut Curling Cream

Cost- I purchased a 12 oz. tub for $5.99 at Target; I saw it a Sally’s for a bit more.

Claims/Blurb- Defines, conditions, and add manageability to your curls, leaving them soft, shiny, and deeply moisturized. Made with 100% Pure Shea Butter and formulated without harsh ingredients. Contain no Mineral Oil, Sulfates, Parabens, silicones, Phthalates, Gluten, Paraffin, Propylene, Paba or DEA.

 Ingredients- Water (Aqua), Canola Oil, Glycerin, Ceteareth 20, Fragrance, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea), Glycol Stearate, Petrolatum, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Persea Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil (Macadamia), Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil (Neem), Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argan), Silk Amino Acids, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle), Laminara Cloustoni Extract (Sea Kelp), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape), Urtica Dioica Extract (Nettle), PEG 75, Polyquaternium-10, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Pros- This product smells great, very easy to apply and is of great value because a little goes a long way.  I think they hit the mark with their claims, it does leave my hair feeling soft and moisturized and it gives my curls great definition. This is a creamy whipped like consistence product, which sinks into the hair once you apply it. When I redo a set I add a bit to the fuzzy parts and it does not weigh the hair down to me this is a great plus.

Cons-  The one con that I have is merely an observation; it has a really extensive ingredients list however most of the good ingredients (at least in my book)  are so far down on the list it has me wondering how much of an effect the have on the overall quality of the product. If you are looking for hold this product is not it, because it does not provide any hold at least not on my hair. 

My take- I love the smell and the definition this product gives my hair; I am not much of a hold person so I’m not bother by the lack of hold. I’ve only used it on dry hair so I am not sure how well it would work on wet or damp hair.  From the reviews that I have seen, most people have an issue with drying time.  I am definitely repurchasing this product and adding it to my favs list.

Have you used this product?  What is your take?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Overnight Oatmeal

I am a big oatmeal lover and was turned onto overnight oatmeal a year or so ago.  Can you imagine the joy of being able to craft this staple breakfast item into something quite delicious? I have even converted previously non converts (haters) of oatmeal, so much so that we compare our recipes.  Yep, it is that big of a deal.

Anyway here is one of my favorite recipes, you can tweak it any way you like to;

1/3 cup old fashion oatmeal
1 cup vanilla flavored soy milk
A handful of blueberries
2 tbsp cranberry
1 tbsp ground flax seed
A dash of cinnamon powder
1 tbsp Pine nuts

In a bowl combine the Soy milk and cinnamon powder, and then mix in the grounded flaxseed and oatmeal.  Pour mixture into a glass jar or a sealable container and top with cranberry, pine nuts and blueberries (in that order) and refrigerate overnight. 

Benefits of the key ingredients

Oatmeal- rich in soluble fiber, and  contains both potassium and calcium
·         Blueberries- they are   Low in fat, has a good dose of vitamin C, and helps boost brain health
Cranberries- are low in fat, and are a good source of dietary fiber
·         Flaxseed- is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acid. helps to lower cholesterol, improves blood sugar, and is rich in fiber
·         Pine nuts- boost energy, good source of magnesium, monounsaturated fat, protein and iron
I love this recipe because it has the freshness of the blueberries, mixed with the tartness of the cranberries and the crunchiness of the pine nuts.  My tongue has a ball with each mouthful, but aside from the amazing taste this is one healthy bowl or jar of yumminess. It is very filling so when I have it for breakfast I normally skip my mid-morning snack and have water in its place. I am not a big cold cereal person so I often leave it out to get to room temperature before eating.

Have you tried overnight oatmeal? If so, what is your favorite recipe?  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wash day- detangling the mess

I normally wash my hair at the minimum once per week but I did not have a wash day last week.  The reason being I have a very bad sinus infection and was not feeling up to the task.  Therefore I went through the entire week with a braid and a flat twist, please don't judge me.

I swear that my hair and health must have teamed up because not only was I really sick but my hair was thoroughly matted and tangled. The matted part I was expecting, however I really did not expect it to be so tangled.  After crawling back to bed and having a nap I decided to tackle the mess that was my hair.

Here is how this wash day went done.

Detangled-  I tried to section my hair into four sections (did not really happen) before spraying it with Ettenio refresher spray.  This spray works like a dream to soften and moisturize the hair.  Once I was able to properly section it off I warmed my oil mix of coconut, avocado and grapeseed oil and coat each section with the warm oil mix.  I then coat my fingers with the oil and slowly finger comb and detangled.  I was super excited that I did not have broken strands and that the detangling session lasted about fifteen minutes.   

Prepoo-  After properly detangling I coat my strands from root to tip with Cantu leave-in conditioning repair cream and cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes.  I did not want to use heat because I wasn't sure how it would affect my sinuses.

Shampoo- Once my hair was cool I rinsed out the prepoo mixture and shampoo with Creme of Nature Sunflower and coconut detangling and conditioning shampoo.  As usual I only lather once before rinsing and wrapping my head with a t-shirt to get rid of the excess water.

Deep Condition- I then applied a mixture of Organics Hair Mayonnaise with tea tree oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my hair and put on a plastic cap and a head tie for thirty minutes. After removing the plastic cap I allowed the hair to cool for fifteen minutes before rinsing.  I rinsed with warm water and followed up with cooler water to close the cuticle.

Leave-in and Moisturizer- Once I was finished rinsing out the conditioner I t-shirt dry my hair for ten minutes.  I then sprayed my hair with Crème of nature strengthen and shine leave in conditioner, and put into four sections.  I then applied Kinky Curly Knot today detangler to each section and detangled then left it to air dry.

When the hair was about ninety percent dry I applied OGX coconut milk antibreakage serum and blow dry each section on cool.  After blow dry the entire head I flexi rod set with eighteen flexi rods and call it a night.

I love how soft and moisturized my hair felt and looked.  However, I was very pleased that I was able to detangle such a mess without losing hair and having to cut my hair.  I love detangling with my oil mixes and is very pleased that I have perfect it to suit me.

How was your #washdayexperience? 

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day 2016

Today March 8th is International Women's Day, this year's slogan is "Pledging for Parity".

In today's world women continues to contribute to the social, economic, and political achievements. However, progress towards gender parity has slowed and The World Economic Form predicts that the gender gap will not close until 2133.

Women of the world has to unity to make strides for equality. We need to call for gender balance in places of power. We need to see our government more representative of us.  We need to lobby for cultures that is inclusive and flexible in the treatment of women. We need to educate and provide access to education in order to stop violence against women.

As women we need to help girls and young women achieve their ambitions. We need to recognize their full creativity and full potential of all the women in our lives. Encouraging and offer opportunities to each other so that as women we can gain great parity.

On this International women's lets #pledgeforparity, let's educate our girls, let's encourage our young women to tackle the fields that are traditionally held by men. Let's break the glass ceiling until they have no other choice but to treat us equally.

How can you make a positive difference in the lives of women in your community?

Happy International Women's Day to my fellow feminist!

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...