Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

One day I was walking RJ and ran across a bumper sticker on the back of a BMW truck that read:
"Don't let the car fool you, my treasures are in Heaven."

How profound?

Checking In...

The last couple of weeks were SUPER busy for me which is the reason for my short absence. I’m sorry for being gone so long but between traveling and my new promotion my time was limited. That’s right I received a promotion and I’m so excited and busy. I had to “hit the ground running” once my position started. Now that my work has leveled off just a bit I can get back to my regular posts. Just in case you are wondering, I’ll fill you in on my role later.

As far as my hair, I’m still rocking the crochet braids 7 weeks later. Right now I’m debating on how much longer I will keep them up. Usually when I wear corn rolls I have them re-braided every 6 weeks because they start to look old. Well with the crochet braids my braids are hidden so I’m able to wear them longer. Not sure what to do yet but I’ll keep you posted. However, every week I oil my scalp with my cocoanut, castor, and almond oil mix for moisture. There is more to come about my maintenance routine now.

Well ladies that’s all for now but more to come!

Thank You Robyn's Nest

A special “Thank You” post Robyn’s Nest for my graduation attire. My niece graduated this past weekend from high-school and I’m so proud of her. If you ladies are not familiar with Robyn’s Nest please click her name and subscribed to her blog.

So how is she responsible for my graduation attire? Well she does a buy-bye giveaway on her blog for her subscribers. The giveaways are simple to enter and the clothes and shoes are oh so cute! She is also a transitioning sista and you can learn a lot from her as well. So go and check her out…now!

Too cute to miss out...

These adorable flats are on sale at Target. I absolutely love my pair but unfortunately they were not on sale when I bought them. So when I seen the sign I immediately thought about you guys. The picture is not too clear but these adorable animal prints have a gold shimmer for more pizzazz. Check out your local Target and hopefully you can score. Enjoy your Holiday!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Natural Hair Celebration

Last month, late I know, my girlfriend and I drove to Austin, Texas for the and Miss Jesse’s Natural Hair Celebration. Miko and Titi were in attendance answering questions, meeting and greeting, and performing hair tranformations. Also in attendance were a couple of gurus from you tube and known vloggers. Natural Chica is a vlogger I personally follow and love was in attendance. Go ahead and check out her blog to view even more pictures. See if you can find me in the crowd.

Experiencing the use of Miss Jesse’s (MJ) products from the creators themselves was amazing. Titi used different products on different hair types, even a transitioning sister, and the results were awesome every time. She even used their Quick Curls product on a Caucasian sister and had rave results. For a split second I regretted my protective style because I wanted to try the products BUT reality kicked in. Miss Jesse’s products are not on the “affordable” side in my opinion but the products are wonderful. In the future I may try the products but time will tell because these days my hair is pickey.

At the event MJ products were sold by Curly Mart for on the spot purchasing. Also, refreshments were set up for all attendees to enjoy. Each sister was greeted with a goody bag that had a shower comb, brochure, and order form inside. Honestly, a sample product would have been nice since I have never used the product line before.

All in all, the event was great and a nice experience for naturals, transitioners, and those who are on the fence. This event was not for women only because we had some natural brothers in the audience as well. Of course, the crowd singed “awwwwww” as the lovely natural kiddies got up to ask Miko a question about the products. Beautiful!

If you have the opportunity to attend an event in your area I say go for it. We had a great time on our mini road trip. Till next time…

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough!”

-Michael Andretti

Girl, are you still in love...

…with your hair? YES! The older the gets the more I fall in love. Everyday is glamorous no matter what I’m wearing. Surprisingly, my hair is really holding up during my workouts. Simply, I pull my hair back into two pony tails away from my face and neck. An hour or two after my workout my hair is still up in this fashion until my scalp dries. Every week I cleanse and moisturize my hair and scalp with witch-hazel and my oil mix.

The oil mix I’m using is castor oil and coconut oil because these oils work well on my hair. When I had my last sew in the oil of choice was Sulu Max Gro, a growth oil. This oil gave great results and helped me to reach arm pit length. However, this oil was everywhere and shirt collars paid the price. Plus my weave was left looking very greasy which is not a cute look. The castor oil and coconut oil mix is a thicker consistency and my hair absorbs these oils quicker.

During the days of the “Tia” lace front I learned a lesson on matted hair. The hair fell near my bra strap so tangles were constant every day. No matter how much wig oil was used to help with the tangles nothing worked. This was a lesson learned for my crochet braids which is why I opted for a shoulder length bob style. According to other ladies, this style lasts for 3-4 weeks. For me, I figured less time since I work out 4-5 times a week if not taken care of properly. However, three weeks later my hair is still fierce. Occasionally, I spot frizz but the beauty of weave allows you to snip it off. When frizzy curls rear their ugly heads I start a search and destroy method. Since my hair is curly I have no worries about uneven curls.

At night I sleep with my satin bonnet and in the morning just shake and go. The curls fall right into place then I fluff for added volume. Hopefully, my hair holds up a couple of more weeks before getting it re-styled. For now this is my summer style of choice and I love it. Till next time…

Ask the Experts

Pump up your Metabolism
Jillian Michaels

Q: I've tried every diet under the sun in my life, and I'm really afraid I've ruined my metabolism. I seem to gain weight no matter what I eat now! Is there any way to fix this?

A: This is such a good question — I'm so glad you asked! Many people suffer from the backlash that can result from years of yo-yo diets. What happens is this: When people let their calorie levels drop too low, their body's survival mechanism kicks in, lowering their metabolic set point (or basal metabolic rate). When they go off that crash diet and begin to eat normally again, they gain back any weight lost — plus. And what follows that? Yup, another crash diet.

The cycle is often very frustrating, but it CAN be reversed with time, consistency, and patience. What you'll need to do is the exact opposite of what we call shocking the metabolism; you have to allow your body time to adapt to a new metabolic set point — by being consistent, you'll force your body to adapt.

Okay, here's the game plan: First, set your daily caloric intake at 12 calories per pound of body weight. (For example, my weight is 117; 117 x 12 = 1,404 calories a day.) Then stick like glue to that calorie allowance for at least one to two months, depending on your metabolism. This will allow your body time to readjust your metabolic set point accordingly.

Now, here's the other part of the equation: The absolute best way to pump up your metabolism is to EXERCISE. You'll be burning calories not only during your workout but also up to 48 hours after — all the while increasing lean muscle tissue, which speeds the metabolism over the long term. Aim for five hours of exercise a week if possible, but no fewer than three hours a week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weekly Inspiration

“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”

--Margaret Thatcher

Any thoughts 1 year later?

When I first started my transition it was a breeze. Lucky for me, I started running into roadblocks closer to the 1 year mark. There are a lot of long term transitioners turned short term transitioners around the six month mark and BC’d. Fortunately, for me I was able to push through to my 1 year mark AND decide to continue another year. Honestly, for the last couple of months I have debated that decision.

Once fully natural I will have major shrinkage, like most naturals, sporting around 10 inches of hair shrunken to 2 inches. For some that’s not a big deal but for me it is. Unlike most, I’m not style savvy with my hair: meaning I lack the ability to come up with cute styles. Needless to say I’m going to love to “wash-n-go” because not a lot of “styling” is needed, per se.

Then there’s finding products that work for your hair. Right now I feel schizophrenic when it comes to products and trying to stay positive. Constantly, I’m trying new products that will work with both hair textures; sometimes a success, sometimes a failure. Those products that are a success seem to stop working after a while; if that makes any sense. Instead of tossing the product, I keep it to revisit once fully natural.

Next is battle with workouts! Finally, I’m in a set routine of working out at least minimum 4 days a week. Now, my routines vary week to week because I’m unable to head to the gym 4 days in a row. In order to compensate I bought several workout DVDs for at-home workouts. Actually working out is not the issue, sweating out my hair is the issue. Once fully natural I will have to rinse or co-wash my hair daily or at least each day I workout. The sweat drenches my hair and leaves it a dry matted mess if I skip cleansing and re-moisturizing. What’s the plan? Well, my plan is to wear a protective style Monday thru Friday (work out days) and sport my natural tresses on the weekend.

What protective styles do you have in mind? Great question! At this time crochet braids but when I need a break from the braids: the infamous pony or bun and when I’m feeling glamorous my twist-n-bun. Protective styles are a plus for me because they require little to no manipulation and little effort on my part. Patience is a virtue and I have little of it so time consuming hairstyles late at night is not an option. However, I’m gaining patience each day on my natural journey. Lucky for me, wearing the same hairstyle day in and day out is a life saver but there are other women who get bored quickly.

Are you going to continue your journey to natural hair? Another excellent question and the answer is Yes! Freedom from relaxers feels oh so good and going back is not an option. My hair is the healthiest it’s been in a long time. For now, my plan is to keep my hair hidden away and protected in order to maintain my length and promote growth.

Ask the Experts

Body Fat: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Jillian Michaels

You know that junk you have in the trunk — that extra padding you hate on your hips and butt? You may not like the way it looks, but it's not necessarily bad for you. The fat surrounding your gut, though, is a different story — in fact, it can be deadly.

Let's start with the "good" fat — the fatty layer just beneath your skin in the lower half of your body. It's called subcutaneous fat, and it's not necessarily the worst thing to have. Subcutaneous fat gives rise to two beneficial metabolic hormones: leptin, the hormone that tells your body to hang onto or let go of weight, and adiponectin, a hormone that lowers your blood sugar. A Harvard study found that subcutaneous fat might help improve sensitivity to insulin and prevent diabetes.

The fat in your stomach area, on the other hand, is bad news. Known as visceral fat, it's hidden deep down, so even if you don't have a protruding belly (a signal for some that they have it), you could still harbor this "bad" kind of fat. Visceral fat lies far beneath your skin, where it surrounds your organs and sets off a harmful hormonal firestorm. Having this metabolically horrific fat slows your metabolism, lowers growth hormone, raises cortisol, creates insulin resistance, and increases your risk of all kinds of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease.

You increase your risk of having visceral fat when you're overweight, so how can you lose it? Diet and exercise! Taking care of yourself will reduce visceral fat and lower your risk of all the health problems associated with it.