Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shampoo Experimentation and Results

Moisture is my hair’s best friend. So I’m constantly trying to come up with the perfect concoction for my transitioning hair. The more new growth comes in the more I realize that old “staples” are not having the same effect. Honestly, this awkward product stage, as I call it, is not fun. Through many failed hairstyling attempts I learned that dry hair equals frizz and frizz is not my friend.

Since my hair craves moisture I decided to experiment with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I watch many, many you tube videos on this technique along with my own research. I found that the baking soda and apple cider vinegar mix makes the perfect ph balance for hair. Also, every video I watch gave great reviews on using one or both of these products but it’s best to use both. Since I’m not a big fan of “lather” during a shampoo giving this experiment a try was not an issue.

Instead of washing my hair in the shower I opted to use the sink due to complete laziness. Here are the steps followed:

1. Section my hair down the middle with H.E. “None of Your Frizzness” conditioner on dry hair

2. Detangled with my shower comb

3. mixed ¼ cup baking soda with 16 oz of water

4. mixed Apple Cider Vinegar (didn’t measure) with 16 oz of water

5. Poured baking soda mix concentrating on my scalp only

6. Rinsed with ACV mix

7. Rinsed again with tap water

8. DC with ORS Replenishing Conditioner – 30 minutes w/heat


1. moisturized with my KKHC/Glycerin mix

2. added Totally Twisted styling gel

3. EVCO to seal

4. Spritz with water

5. rolled hair with magnetic rollers

Results: Surprisingly, soft and moisturized curls! After the no’poo treatment my hair felt really soft even softer after DC’ing; plus I used styling gel. I was so shocked because usually my hair feels crispy after a wash. Then I have to dc in order to add the moisture back but not this time.

The next day my hair felt soft and moisturized but I still added a little of Hawaiian Silky for good measure. The plan is to use this no’poo method for the next month before deciding to give up shampoo.

Here are a few pics of my curls the next day after taking out the rollers.

Healthy Tip - Did any one say "Cheese"?

In moderation, cheese is a healthy way to add calcium, protein, and fat on a daily basis. So for those trying to have better eating habits, do not cross cheese off your list so fast. One way to incorporate cheese in your diet the healthy way is to choose quality low-fat cheese. Personally I only eat cheese that has a maximum of 6 grams of fat per serving. Another great tip is to sprinkle cheese throughout your dish instead of making it main ingredient. This way you can enjoy cheese in moderation without compromising your eating habits. Enjoy!

Red Stilettos and Champagne

In celebration of one of my best girlfriends who works in Afghanistan, I hosted Girls Night at my house. She was home for two weeks and just wanted to let her hair down. Enjoy!

Candy Station

 Crab Dip in the Red Pepper, Smoked Salmon Mini Red Potatoes, Red Velvet
Since I made the crab dip and mini red potatoes recipes are coming

The woman of Honor

This me mixing up the signature drink of the night "Red Stiletto" I made up myself. The drink was hit, everyone loved it. That recipe to come soon...maybe

Of course RJ was in the house sporting his red "The Ladies Love Me" muscle t-shirt.

Just in case you are wondering...I wore my favorite Betsy Johnson Red/Animal print shoe.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What?! A Mini-chop!!

This past weekend the devil was busy in my world. With prayer from close friends and family I was able to overcome. However, in the midst I did get frustrated, stressed and did something I never done before. I took my frustration out on my HAIR and it led to a mini chop.

Until this point, I have been constantly trimming my ends twice a year in order to retain length because my hair has never grown past my shoulders. Well December 2009 I broke that barrier by reaching near armpit length transitioning hair. Since wearing my hair straight is not an option at this point because of the major difference in thickness; I thought why not. So chop, chop went my trusty scissors. For some, this cut wasn’t a big deal but for me it was a huge deal.

Chopping off the thin ends acquired during my transition felt really good. The overall feel of my hair is great and not to mention much thicker. Cutting my hair to above my shoulders really put BC in perspective for me. I’m not ready to BC which is no surprise but just 100% certain now. I plan to cut more at the end of the year to maintain this length and continue my long term transition.

This picture is before my mini chop (straightened hair 12/09).

This is after the mini chop. As you can see I really did not care and just cut away. The cutting began after my work out which helped to relieve some stress. The ends still have the frayed look because my hair was in a bun during the day. Heat styling is not in my future no time soon so I didn't care about making a even blunt cut; I'll clean it up later. However, there is quite a difference in thickness between the pictures and that makes me happy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

Semi “faux” Wash n Go

The last month of my transition was very challenging especially during workouts. Now as stated before, curly styles have saved me up until this point. However, the more new growth (NG) the more work for battling the two textures. Since I sweat a lot during my intense workouts my curls do not survive after leaving the gym. Washing and re-rolling my hair every night after the gym is not an option.

Time is not on my side when I get home mainly due to my new puppy. Much like a toddler he requires attention, love, food, and potty time. RJ is a Jack Russell Terrier and his breed is very, very active. Spending time with him when I get home is a must, especially now that he is a puppy, in order to bond. Any way I digress, washing, re-rolling, and air drying over night will only lead to a semi disaster in the morning. With the much loved NG, my hair takes longer to air dry so the next morning I will awake to damp curls.

Now before my 4 inches of NG I could workout 3-4 times a week and wash my hair at the end of the week no problem. But now I will experience major dryness from all the sweat left in my hair for days. My solution, rinse or co-wash my hair every night, twist in four bantu knots, and air dry. For moisture I use any conditioner mixed with pure glycerin and coconut oil. The next day my hair is damp so I pin it up or wear a ponytail. For now, this is my “after workout hair routine” until I can figure out a better plan for my 11 month transitioning hair.

Turn 1 Meal into 2 or 3...

Last weekend was Super Bowl Sunday, Go Saints! I was rooting for the underdog and really wanted the Saints to win. Of course the Saints did not let me down! Any who, I watch the game with family and friends and of course food was all around me. I enjoyed everything but in SMALL portions. I try not to obsess over what I eat but concentrate over how much I eat in one seating. Now I do read labels and try to pick and cook healthier options of my favorite foods; however a little can mean a lot.

Of course before going home I made a to-go plate piled with potato salad, wings, a burger, pasta salad, string beans, and one sausage link. Despite the fact that I love, I mean LOVE banana pudding I decided to leave it (Go Harmony). The next day for lunch I ate the potato salad, string beans, and sausage link with no bread. That night after getting home from the gym I was STARVING! So of course I went directly to my Super Bowl meal because all I had to do was pop it in the microwave.

Instead of eating everything at once, I was hungry enough; I ate the hot wings and pasta salad. The next day for lunch I had the burger with cheese on sandwich thins and a spinach/tomato salad with raspberry vinaigrette. I’m very proud of myself by showing discipline and eating everything over several meals instead of one. In between meals when I felt a little hungry I snacked on veggies left over from my Girls Night Party. From now on during holidays and special events I plan to do the same. Why didn’t I think of this before?!

I Love Betsy Johnson

Her wacky and off the wall but brilliant designs just draw me to her. This is one of my favorite Stilettos in my personal collection. Every time this shoe is worn I get at least 1,000 compliments. I love this shoe and they are very comfortable. This shoe was worth every penny!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend! What am I to do??

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m pondering what to do with my hair. I’m toggling between flexi rods and flat ironing. Curly hair seems really romantic but I want something different since I haven’t used heat since December. On the flip side, today it’s raining and rain is in the forecast for the weekend. (Sigh) I’m not sure what I want to do…decisions, decisions.

Option 1 - Flexi Rods

Option 2 - Flexi Rods on  Flat Ironed Hair (I had this style on a rainy day)

Option 3 - Curly Roller Set

Option 4 - Straight

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

Do not chastise those who try and fail; but chastise those who fail to try


Just leave me alone…

Protective styles are the key to the success of my transition to natural hair. I prefer any style that is curly in order to mask the two textures. Additionally, curly styles are convenient since I work out 3-times a week which I plan to increase to 5 times. Curly styles also give versatility and freedom from flat ironing which can lead to heat damage.

While on my journey I learned to pay attention to my hair and learn what it does and does not like. So far the most important lesson I learned is just leave it alone. Unlike most, my hair thrives off just being left alone and low manipulation. So in order to give my hair what it wants I’m thinking about experimenting with kinky twists.

Now I’m hesitant on getting the kinky twists because of a bad experience with individual braids. When I had the individual braids I experienced baldness because of my lack of knowledge. Unbeknownst to me at the time, even though my hair was in braids I still needed to keep my scalp clean and hair moisturized. Since neither application was done or done properly I experienced baldness. Instead of individual braids, I wear corn rolls or French braids all the time. Yet, I want something different from the norm.

Since I know more now I plan to replace my bad experience with a positive experience wearing kinky twists. Before I just dive in and get them I plan to research you tube videos and ask questions on the hair boards. Once I researched all my information I MAY have the twists done by March.

Cardio Mix

Recently, I purchased an Apple IPod Nano 5th Generation because my trusty MP3 player of three years finally died. For my MP3 player I never bought a case, clip, or arm band to hold it while I worked out. Mainly, it stayed within my sports bra and eventually around the plug for the earphones corrosion kicked in. Gross! I know!! In order to prevent this issue a second time I bought an arm band for my IPod Nano. Now I'm ready to party!

To buy or not to buy…

…a new pair of sneakers for working out. Yes, the self proclaim Stilettoholic is wondering if she should buy a new pair of shoes. Well in my defense I’m not pondering over stilettos but gym sneakers. My sneakers seem to still have some life left in them since I only wear them to the gym, that’s it. Surprisingly, the sneakers are still very comfortable and provide support after 3 years. Maybe I’ll try washing them first then make my decision.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

Excuses mount up to nothing...loose the excuses they're unneeded.
Beautifulbrwnbabydol (youtube)

When “life” happens…improvise!

Last weekend my bf and I had the perfect Saturday planned. On the agenda were two friend’s birthday parties, skating, and just hanging out. The protective styles of choice was a twist and curl on rods after viewing several videos on you tube. I finally had enough courage to try the style on my ten month transitioning hair. Also, my plan was to wash my hair on Friday night but I was tired and settled for a co-wash the next day.

1. Co-washed with V-05

a. Added pure glycerin (first time using this way)

2. Leave in – Kera Kare Humuctant conditioner (KKHC)

3. added pure glycerin to my hair as well

4. sealed with coconut oil

5. Totally Twisted styling gel for twisting my hair (TTSG)

Now I started this process early Saturday morning. Once the prepping was complete I twisted my hair in sections and rolled with small/medium size magnetic rollers. I sat under the blow dryer for 30 minutes and planned to air dry until the fun festivities started that night. Well here is where “life” happens….

My new puppy, RJ, had a crazy hacking spell Saturday. Since I’m a new puppy owner and had no idea what to do I rushed him to the emergency vet. Leaving the house with the rollers in my hair was not an option. A quick fix was to take the rollers out, pin curl, and hope for the best. For the rest of the day I wore my scarf and with a cute carpenter hat. All I can do is wish the best for my hair since this is my first time trying the style. This hair day was full of experimentation. The first experiment was the protective styles. The second experimentation was adding pure glycerin to my co-wash and using KKHC and glycerin as a leave in. The third experimentation was the TTSG I used for the first time which I was quite pleased with: no crunchy hardness. I have to try the product a couple more times before making it a staple.

Now for the reveal! The twist and curl which for me turned into a twist and pin curl came out okay. My relaxed ends are very thin compared to my new growth so I had to battle knotting. Yes and tackling knots was a first for me; but I was successful just by taking my time and using coconut oil to unravel the twists. However, on the flip side my hair was very well moisturized from using the KKHC and pure glycerin as my leave in. My twist were soft and fluffy so I planned to experiment with conditioner and glycerin more often.

Needless to say I didn’t wear my twists down but it made for a very cute updo. Once I’m completely natural I will definitely try this style again. Who knows I may even try it again on my transitioning hair.

Here is a picture of me and my boyfriend having a great time. He loved my hair by the way! :*)

This is me after the club at 3am.

Switching up the Cardio

Cardio is not my favorite activity but I need cardio to shed the pounds. In order to keep my cardio routines interesting I switch it up from time to time. Last week I incorporated jump rope to my 60 minute cardio cycle. Jump rope consisted of 3 five minute intervals of 4 minutes jump rope none stop and one minute of an ab exercise. Between each interval I take a 30 second break if needed. The number of intervals is optional but for me 3-4 suffice. Within the 15-20 minutes I burn between 150-250 calories.