Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

--Ecclesiastes 3:1

Transitioning Hairstyles

Here are my transitioning hairstyles for the last year.

Hairstyle 1 - Twist n curl
Hairstyle 2 - Bump and ponytail
Hairstyle 3 - Mohawk on old braid out
Hairstyle 4 - 2 french braids with a bun
Hairstyle 5 - Braidout - faux bob
Hairstyle 6 - Curly pony tail (staple style)
Hairstyle 7 - Roller set (medium size)
Hairstyle 8 - Side ponytails with hair pony tail attachments (think Princess Leia, Jeremy's favorite)
Hairstyle 9 - Pin up, bantu knot gone wrong
Hairstyle 10 - Sew in -Outre Duby
Hairstyle 11 - Flat iron and caruso rollers (my hair)
Hairstyle 12 - Roller set, medium rollers, with twists on each side
Hairstyle 13 - Tia Lace front wig by Janet Collection
Hairstyle 14 - Spiral curls

Weigh in

January 2010 - 149lbs

February 2010 - 145lbs
March 2010 - 139lbs

Describing my feelings right now as “excited” is an understatement. The last time I weighted in the 130s was in 2006. This is my year to shine!

Broccoli & Cheese Quiche – No Crust

This recipe is so yummy and I love it.

5 eggs
2 cups broccoli spears (I used frozen)
Red peppers – to taste
Mushrooms – to taste
Onions – to taste
2 Cups reduced fat cheese (max 6gs fat)
Your Favorite seasonings

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl, do not scramble the eggs, and season to taste. Use only 1 cup of cheese in the mixture and sprinkle 1 cup on top. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture in pan and bake, 350 degrees, for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and serve with your favorite salsa on the side. Voila! Good healthy Eating!!

This recipe is so versatile because you can add chicken, ground turkey, or spinach in any combination. Try this recipe in different variations in order to keep your taste buds jumping.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Embracing my New Growth

I’m starting to understand what it means to be natural: embracing your new growth. This epiphany was just this morning. A couple of days ago I attempted a flat twist out. The results weren’t the best but I plan to try again. The right side of my hair (sorry no pics) had defined ringlets that I absolutely loved. Then my left side was not defined at all. So when this happens a cute “pin up” always saves the day. Normally, when I wear braidouts I re-braid every night. This time I chose not to re-twist and wear my satin scarf and bonnet. The curly ringlets in my bang from the previous day were flat and fluffing did not work. So I just pined up my bangs and I think my hair is really cute.

Notice what I said “I think”. What I think is very important because living up to other’s expectations is life consuming. Receiving compliments at work was not expected because I know others may not like my hair. HOWEVER, just before I started writing this blog I did get two compliments. Compliments are wonderful and I no shame in saying that…okay I digress.

On my journey I’m learning that I have to embrace my new growth and be fierce with it. What others think is not important and transitioning to natural makes me happy. The day I’m fully natural is the day I will meet the true me. I’ve heard other natural ladies say this and I know it sounds a little cliché but it’s true.

In the meantime, I plan to continue reading my preferred blogs and viewing my favorite natural beauties on you tube as inspiration. Thank goodness for the plethora of information out there on Natural hair because without it my journey will be nonexistent.

Here a few pics of my pin up today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make your Voice Heard...

...complete and mail back your 2010 Census Form!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

“Find out who you are and live that truth.”

Ellen Degeneres

So…I chickened out!

I chickened out of getting the kinky twists and corn rolls and decided on a lace front. Ateyaaa is my inspiration behind the wig. She is a hair and makeup guru you can easily find on YouTube. After seeing her with the “Tia” wig I had to buy it because it reminded me so much of my sew in.

I am in love with the lace front wig! I love the color, the softness of the hair, length, and the semi natural look. The reason I say semi natural because my fellow afro American brothers and sisters knows this a lace front at first glance. However, my Caucasian brothers and sisters believe this wig is my natural hair. One way or the other, this is not a big deal for me because I’m not pretending this is my hair. For next four to six weeks I plan to wear this lace as a protective style. In a future post I will talk about the maintenance for my hair.

Tia by Janet Collection

As far as reactions, everyone seems to love the wig on me which is an added bonus. Day two of wearing the wig it felt tight around the edges. So to ease any tension I simply readjusted when needed. Just in case you are wondering, I did not use glue or tape. This wig has three combs and an adjustable strap that holds the wig in place perfectly. Now after many uses I may need to use glue at the top of my hairline because the wig may gap. If that happens then oh well because I do not plan to use the glue or tape along my edges. Without the glue, the wig has a snug fit so I can’t imagine adding glue to my hairline which can lead to breakage.

This wig is a full lace which means, my understanding, that I can wear it up in a high ponytail. So far I have yet to try a ponytail but honestly not interested. Right now I love the “wrapped” look; plus its cold outside so the wig also serves as my hat. HA! Seriously, this wig has been my protective style for the last three weeks. The convenience is lovely because I get up in the morning pop it on brush down and go. Also, on my cardio days at the gym I simply take it off and put on my scarf.

As far as the corn rolls, I planned to wait until the summer to rock them. Here in Texas the heat is blazing during the summer months. During the summer I prefer not to have hair on my neck. Right now I’m scouting some different yet professional styles with corn rolls to switch up from my norm. Cornrolls with side bun

So the hunt for the perfect corn roll style starts NOW.

30 Day Shred

With all the hype surrounding the “30 Day Shred” with Jillian Michaels (Michaels), I decided to give it a try. Besides going to the gym 5 days a week was starting to get boring and I reached a plateau. Personally, plateau plus boring gym routines equals more pounds around the hips a thighs. Quickly, I made a needed u-turn in order to switch up my routine to stay focus on my weight loss goals.

Michaels’ DVD is the BOMB! Of course this is my opinion but I absolutely love the set up. The program is based on the 1-2-3, 3-2-1 method designed by Michaels. There are three levels of intense exercise which refers to the 1-2-3 method. Then at each level there are three circuits that comprise of 3 minutes strength training, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute abs. The best part is each level is only 20 minutes of intense in your face workouts.

A 20 minute workout is more attractive than spending hours at the gym. Personally, I prefer 20 minute workouts that were introduce to me for the first time on However, I know my body and 20 minutes a day is not enough and additional cardio is needed. For the last 30 days my weekly routine was 2 days of cardio for 40 minutes at the gym coupled with Michaels’ DVD 4-5 times.

This routine was easy to follow for the last 30 days. I must admit that each level was harder and harder. The 20 minute workout left no room for laziness and breaks; literally I constantly pushed myself thru each exercise. Proudly, my hard work paid off and I lost 10 pounds. All the credit is not Michaels but also my revamped eating habits and Club 10 for motivation.

The 30 Day Shred was such a success for me that I ordered Michaels: No More Trouble Zones. Finally, results and I finally reached 140 pounds and 15 more to go. For the last year or so my weight has staggered between 145 and 150 pounds. Once 145 pound is reached I plateau, get discourage, bad habits kick back into gear, and back to 150 pounds. Boy oh boy, not this time and I’m excited!!

Sketchers Shape Up

Here is an alternative to the Reebok “shape up” sneaker at a more reasonable price. At this point, for me, the jury is still out on whether to spend the money for this type of sneaker. This shoe is less actractive than Reebok for sure. Who knows maybe I’ll change my mind but for now the decision is on hold.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No more EXCUSES…It’s your decision

Every now and then when one of my friends needs help with something I suggest You Tube. Our conversation usually ends with me saying “you know I’m addicted to You Tube”. HA! It’s true I am addicted to You Tube and I love it. When opportunities present themselves, I’m searching the Tube for Natural Hair or Long Term Transitioning videos. On the tube I run across a lot of natural sisters that took the plunge and BC’d and they are rocking FIERCE TWAs (teeny weeny afro). Watching these videos all the time only makes me rethink my decision to transition long term over and over.

Deciding to transition long term was an easy decision for several reasons. First, I have no idea how to take care of the afro. Second, I prefer to have long hair now and go shorter in my old age. Lastly, I rather not start my natural journey with two inches of NG. Even though I’m firm with my decision guilt creeps into my subconscious when I watch other videos. I start to question my decision. Surprisingly, I had another long term transitioning sister tell me that my hair will grow faster if I cut it off. Then I thought to myself, in this same conversation she confessed that she refuses to cut her last two inches of relax ends. Now I’m not judging that sister at all I just nodded and said “really”.

So today is the day I make my declaration: I will stop questioning my decision to transition long term because it’s my decision and my hair.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

You were born an original, don’t die a copy.

--John Mason

Why the decision to go “Natural”?

This past Saturday, March 13 officially marked the 1 year mark since my last relaxer. Reaching 1 year relaxer free feels oh so good!! This is the perfect time to talk about why I decided to go natural.

Pure Curiosity!! Initially my transition started from a three to six month relaxer stretch. By the third month I was in love with my NG. I loved the volume and thickness in my braid outs and curly styles. Since my new growth seemed manageable I thought what the heck and started to transition from that point. As mentioned in a previous post, I have no idea what my natural looks like. Since as long as I can remember a chemical has been in my hair; the “unknown” also sparked my interest to become natural even more.

The second reason for going natural is because I want healthy long hair. There are plenty of relaxed women with beautiful, beautiful relaxed hair. I’m simply choosing a different route to achieve the same goal: healthy beautiful hair. After watching so many videos on you tube by natural sisters, I’ve concluded that natural hair means less restrictions. Once completely natural, I will have the ability to wash my hair and go without blow drying or flat ironing. The simple thought of a wash-n-go makes me feel so happy.

Lucky for me my mom and sister are both on this journey as well. The journey to natural hair actually started with my sister. My mom and I decided to take the plunge at least a year after my sister started her journey. My brave little, big sister did the big chop but of course at the time we didn’t know that term. My sister has cut her hair short before so this time around was not a surprise. My niece, whose eight years old, is also natural and a relaxer is not in her near future. Having the three of us natural with my niece, my opinion, will only boost her self esteem and love for her natural hair.

My journey to natural hair is a long one but with a little patience I’ll make it through. Hopefully, by July 2011 the fear of BC’ing will subside so I can finally embrace my natural texture. Until then, I plan to continue to tackle and battle with the two textures by experimenting with products and hairstyles that fit my lifestyle.

My neice, my inspiration for natural hair, and her beautiful Crown and Glory.

Mini Red Potatoes and Smoked Salmon

Here is another appetizer I made for my “Red Stilettos and Champagne” Girls Night. Enjoy!


12 mini red potatoes

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
4 ounces Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped dill
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped smoked salmon
garnish: dill, quartered cherry tomatoes

1. Cook potatoes in a pot of salted water for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Make sure a knife goes through a potato without any resistance.

2. Once potatoes are cooked, cool them in cold water. Cut potatoes in half and if necessary slice off a piece from the bottom of each half to make sure the potatoes will not tip over on a plate.

3. Using a melon baller, scoop out the insides of the potatoes.

4. Combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, capers, chopped dill, smoked salmon and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Fill the potato halves with the mixture from step 4.

6. Top each filled potato half with a quarter of a cherry tomato and a fresh dill sprig.

1. Instead of adding smoked salmon into the cream cheese mixture, use it as a topping.

2. Feel free to use any other herbs: basil, parsley, thyme.

3. Try adding a bit of lemon juice and/or lemon zest into the cream cheese filling.

4. If you are not a fan of capers, try using black cured olives.

5. Of course you can use the filling on top of your favorite bagel.

8 Tips for Healthy Feet

Spring is near, yes! Here in Texas I’m able to rock some of my favorite open toe sandals during the spring. Since my feet were neglected during the winter months its time for them to have a much needed pampering. Here is an article with 8 Tips for Healthy Feet just in time for Spring and Summer.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Success and Disaster

For the past month or so I’ve been experimenting with baking soda/ac vinegar rinse for cleansing my tresses. Before using this method I will experience dry and frizzy hair even after I DC. After several experiments I’ve decided to incorporate this method into my routine permanently. The baking soda/ac vinegar rinse leaves my hair so soft and frizz free. As a follow up, I DC with ORS Replenishing Conditioner and pre-poo with cocoa nut oil as an added bonus. My wash day was a success.

Now for the disaster, I roller set my hair and flat iron for a length check after my mini chop. Surprisingly, my hair was quite even and an additional trim is not needed at this time. However, my set was horrendous. The process of rolling my hair was less than 40 minutes but I didn’t apply enough tension in order to smooth my new growth. Needless to say wearing my hair down was not an option. Instead I rocked a messy bun with flat twists on each side. Unfortunately, no pictures to share and hopefully the description provide a visual.

Permanent Wash Day Routine for Transitioning Hair

1. Pre-poo with cocoa nut oil either overnight or w/heat 15 minutes

2. Wash with baking soda and water mix

3. Rinse with apple cider vinegar and water mix

4. Rinse again with water only

5. D/C ORS Replenishing Conditioner for 20-25 minutes

6. Apply leave ins (still working on staples)

7. Air Dry

8. Wear protective style of choice

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Club 10

One of my best friends started Club 10 and asked family and friends to join. Club 10 is weight loss club to promote spiritual awareness of one self and weight loss. Plus, every month there is a cash award! Once I heard about the club I immediately jumped on because my plateau season is slowly approaching. During my plateau the accountability Club 10 provides will help me over the hump. This is a great way to get started and stay motivated. Below are more details about the club.

CLUB 10:

The fitness club for those who are going after Divine Order in their body, mind and soul.

The year 2010 has rushed in heighted urgency in many people to “Get it together” in some or every aspect of their lives. And appropriately so, since biblically the number ten signifies the perfection of Divine order. So, you are right in line, in even seeking balance, direction, wholeness of your physical body. Perhaps, you have finally gotten personal, professional, and spiritual arenas to your liking, now it is time to go after the WHOLE MAN and conqueror your health. I believe that if you have tried numerous times before to lose weight, gain balance in your appetites, or to consistently treat your body like the sacred temple it is, now is the time and God will give you the grace to go after the Divine Perfection concerning your physical man so that you may have a life that is balanced in every aspect and reflect His glory! You can go all things through Christ who will strengthen you! Know that you are not alone in this journey, God is with you and is concerned about every detail of your life and now you have CLUB 10 for additional motivation, support, encouragement, and empowerment!

Ten pounds is a significant amount a weight to lose per month. It will take consistent and purposefully effort to accomplish. Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds per week through balanced diet, cleansing water, and 30 minutes of cardio exercise most days. It will be challenging to fit the target each month but YOU CAN DO IT!


1) You must weigh in weekly on SUNDAY and honestly report your progress via email to me.

2) In order to be entered into the monthly “I DID IT” Drawing, you must loss ten pounds that month and have paid into the pot.

3) We encourage you to avoid fad and extreme diets. But, rather aim for eating 4-5 small meals and healthy snacks per day. Replace prepackaged, fatty, fried, and sugary items with fresh/ frozen fruit & veggies and lean meats that have been baked, broiled, or grilled with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). Try eating foods in their more natural state as God created them.

4) We are aiming for healthy life style choices, so you can earn an extra entries in the monthly “I DID IT” drawing by:

a. WORKING OUT- at least 12 times within the month qualifies your for an extra entry.

• Workouts are defined as at least moderate cardio exercise for 30 minutes or longer.

• Walking, jogging, tennis, racquetball, aerobics, dancing, exercise videos, jump rope, etc.

• If you are not able to do 30 minutes consecutively, we encourage you to do two 15 minute segments or three 10 minute segments, until you work your way up to 30 minutes.

b. DRINKING WATER- at least 8 glasses per day everyday!!!

• If you drink only water, herbal tea (lightly sweeten), or natural fruit juice for the ENTIRE month you qualify for an extra entry. No soda!

c. EATING FRESH FRUIT AND HEALTHY VEGTABLES- at least 12 servings per week! Although we should all aim for at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies A DAY. 12 per week will be a good start for many.

• FUITS- fresh apples, pears, organs, kiwi, peaches and properly portioned berries & melons, etc.

• VEGATABLES- fresh or frozen veggies that are slightly steamed to preserve their nutrients, such as, leafy greens, squashes, broccoli, cauliflower, greens beans, green salad mixes, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, etc.

• Remember- serving is one small apple/ orange, ½ a banana, generally ½ cup cooked veggies, and 2 cups of salad. It’s easier to achieve the proper intake than you may think.


I would encourage you to take a current Before Picture, weigh yourself on the scale that you will be using weekly and record your starting weight, and take rough measurement of your neck, chest, arms, hips, and thighs. Measurements are a handy reference and will help keep you from getting frustrated when the scale is not moving as fast as you like. Inches make a big difference!!! You may find keeping a daily journal/ or log beneficial to jot down this information and your daily water, fruit/ veggie, exercise accomplishments.

Go grocery shopping and/ or clean out your fridge/ pantry of items you find too tempting or that may derail your success. Buy a variety of health items, so you don’t get bored. Try new veggies and fruits. Preplan your meals and pack your lunch and snakes with you so you won’t be tempted to indulge in poor choices.

Make a plan of action of when and what type of exercise you will go. Make your exercise time a priority! Keep your gym clothes packed in your truck or at least your tennis shoes

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

“True happiness and contentment come to you only when you are living the life that you’ve always imagined; not the life that others have imagined for you.”

-Gwen Stefani

2011 Hair Goal

This month marks my 1 year anniversary of being relaxer free. Getting to this 1 year mark of transitioning was not an easy task the last couple of months. Of course in the beginning, my hair was easier to style and mask the two textures with curly hair styles. However, as my hair grew I found it difficult to style my hair curly. A couple assumptions are first I may need to switch up products. The products that worked when I had ½ inch of new growth (NG) is not working as well with 4.5 inches of new growth. Secondly, I need to learn how to style my hair with the two textures. Styling my hair with only ½-1inch of NG is a lot easier than 4.5 inches of NG. Plus my NG is longer in the back than the front. Also, my straggly ends are so thin compared to my NG that wearing my curls are the only option. Just to add another factor to the mix, I work out at least five times a week. Since I work out so much curly styles and pin ups are my best friend.

About a month ago I decided to set myself a hair goal for 2010-2011. For the next 16 months (March 2010-July 2010) I will keep my hair “hidden”: meaning corn rolls, flat twist, kinky twists, etc. This is the best solution I have to keep myself sane and away from flat irons and relaxers. I want to have a successful transition to natural hair without heat damage or reverting back to relaxers. Secondly, keeping my hair “hidden” gives me one less worry during workouts. Tentatively, July 2011 I plan to do my own big chop (BC). “Tentatively” is the key word because I’m still unsure and it depends on my mindset in July 2011. Why July 2011? No significant reason besides July 2011 will make 2 years 4 months into my transition.

As stated early, I’m not sure if the BC will happen July 2011. All I know is dealing with two textures is getting more difficult. I’ve experimented with a “faux” wash n go and love the convenience and easiness of the style. After that experimentation, my desires for natural hair sky rocketed. I’m very anxious for 100% natural hair but patience is a virtue.

Now that I have shared this goal with the entire world to read…there is a duty to follow through. Wish me luck!!

Unofficial Weigh-in

This is an unofficial weigh-in because these pictures are comparison photos only. Between these photos there is a 5lb difference and I think the weight loss shows. One friend stated she didn’t see the difference but I do; or maybe it’s just all in my head.

Needless to say the comparison shots motivated me to continue my workouts because I see results. Comparing pictures in my gym clothes gave me a misleading view and I started to get discouraged. I’m on a mission to achieving my goal physique by the end of the year preferably before my birthday in September. Over the course of this year I have a couple of events that I’m using as milestones. Unlike most, I need many, many short milestones in order to achieve my ultimate weight goal. For each milestone I want to loose at least three to five pounds. That’s a piece of cake, right? Not really for me because around February and March I’ll hit a plateau. In the past, when I reach a plateau my desire to workout diminishes because I get discouraged. This year I plan to fight through it and keep going. Most importantly, right now I feel amazing and very happy with my results so far.
Milestone 1 – March 13 (Wedding Reception)

Milestone 2 – March 20 (Wedding in Atlanta)

Milestone 3 – May 6 (Nephew band recital, Atlanta)

Milestone 4 – September 28 (Birthday)