Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hair & Weight and Weight & Hair

As I sit here, just thinking about how I have been slipping with the blogging, I do have some good reasoning behind it. Work for one has become a bit more demanding and it is our busiest time of year so that leaves me with very little free time during the week.

My main focus over the past few months has been my hair and my weight. With my hair, it wasn't so simple. I had to be able to find the right products for my hair within a reasonable budget. I also had to find the right styling method(s) as well as a night time routine. I mean it could have all been overwhelming - but it wasn't. For the most part, I don't have/use expensive products. I am fortunate - my hair behaves very well, and because I continue to use the same products, if I tried something and my hair were to turn out horrible, I would know exactly what product to "ban" from my regimen.

Adding the bi-weekly henna is time consuming but worth it. My hair is loving it and I am loving the results. My hair is so much softer than it ever was. I also can "go light" on the rpoduct usage as well. I'm tripping because my hair is thick, but now I am at the point where it is not necessary to use insane amounts of product to get the same results I was getting maybe 2 - 3 months ago.

I think I am a bit obsessed with my hair, but it's ok. LOL Now my weight, that's something else. I've lost 29 pounds this year with no sign of stopping. It's been rough too. I'm not even gonna lie. But I am loving the new me. I feel so much better. Although I am no where near my goal, I am totally motivated by the fit of my pants. Sure, it's annoying to keep having to pull them up, but it's alot better to do that than to have to unbutton them because they are cutting into your skin!

It may be funny, but that has been a real truth for me. My eating had gotten out of control. I was eating just for the sake of eating. I was eating because I was bored or just because I felt like eating...and eating whatever I want, too, just as if there was no consequence. I have finally seen the light and refuse to go back.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Regimen Confirmed

Well, Friday night I did my 7th henna application. I had already mixed the henna at work so that as soon as I got home. I ended up leaving the henna in all night. I didn’t really plan on it, but I did.

When I woke up around 6:00am –ish, I got into the shower to rinse. It didn’t take to terribly long. I co-washed about twice to make sure that the majority of the henna was gone. I have noticed that when I sleep in the henna it’s harder for me to rinse, so I think that is my last time doing that for a while. The next time I henna it will be for no more than 5 hours. This will also leave more time for my deep conditioning.

I made my same deep conditioner with a mix of Hello Hydration and Hydralicious, honey, and EVOO. This mixture always has my hair smelling like heaven! I simply love it. It also keeps my hair soooo soft. No need for me to spend extra bucks when this stuff will do the trick.

The one thing I meant to do was to apply some of my Lemon Cake Batter to my hair before the deep conditioner. I bet that would have totally sealed the deal and sent my hair over the edge! LOL That’s ok – it’s a side-note for the next time.

Once I rinsed out the deep conditioner, I was set. My hair felt great – as usual. I am still so surprised every time I henna and my hair is like “whoa”! My hair feels so good. Coils and curls get more defined, less frizz – what more could a girl ask for?

More than anything though, I was surprised at how long my hair has gotten. Check it out for yourself.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Date Night

Yep, its date night and unfortunately it’s not with my husband. This time it’s with henna. LOL Yep, time for my bi-weekly henna application. I am undecided as to how I feel about it. I almost feel like it’s too soon to henna again, but whatever.

As I type this, there is henna sitting on my desk (@ work) getting “ripe” for this evening’s application. After 4 hours of sitting, it looks like there has been some dye release. I am undecided as to the process will take this time.

I will mix in the honey before application – as usual; however, I am unsure as to how I will go through the rinsing process and DC (deep condition). I want to stop by Wal-Mart and get some Hello Hydration & Hydralicious to do my regular DC, but as tired as I am, I don’t know if I will feel like it.

I know good and well that I am not going to use my Giovanni to do the DC. LOL …and I don’t think that Suave will cut it for the DC – so it looks like I will have to go and drop about $8.50 in Wal-Mart this evening for my DC supplies. At least I still have honey and olive oil. I am going to have to buy bigger bottles – especially if I am going to henna every other week.

Not that it’s a big deal to buy bigger bottles – I mean; I already buy the $5.00 bottle of Hello Hydration. I just wish that Hydralicious came in a big $5.00 bottle or that Wal-Mart sold their own brand of it. Kmart sells their own store brand knock off of Hello Hydration, but I really don’t shop Kmart like that to know about their store brand products, so I left it sitting there.

I’m not even sure how long I’m gonna leave the henna in. I don’t know anything! LOL I was thinking of leaving it in at least 4 – 6 hours. If I happen to fall asleep and it’s in longer, no big deal. If I can manage to stay home tomorrow, the DC will stay in all day. Well, I guess it could still stay in all day because if I needed to go out, I could just wear a head wrap. That’s an option.

Now that I think about it, I need the henna out by like 11:00pm so I can DC over night. I don’t want to leave the DC in too long. All day until the next morning seems like a long time. I better just keep this going the way I’ve been doing it.

I see now that I am gonna have to freestyle this henna application. I’m tripping. I want to get maximum color, conditioning, and curl elongation, so the henna will have to stay on until morning and then DC for maybe 4 hours. I just need my hair dry before bed-time Saturday night. This plan should work – I guess. If I wash the henna out around 7:00am and then leave the DC in until at least 11:00am, I should be good to go. I might pick up a VO5 to co-wash the henna from my hair too.

I guess I’ll just see how I feel about it all when I get home. 4 more hours to go…

Water: The Essential Element of Life

This post is gonna be so random. I have so much on my mind. This past week has been a week of extreme emotional challenges and I am praying that I have at least gotten over the hump.

First of all, water.
Don’t think I’m crazy. Yes, I said “water”. I hate drinking the stuff. I truly do, but I cannot deny the results I have seen lately from my increased intake of H2O. My skin is looking good. Not many break-outs or pimples. I usually get one around “that time” and that’s it. Even my problem areas on my upper arms are completely clear.

Not only has it helped my skin, but it has more than helped in my weight loss. In just the past month I have lost 7 pounds and I know that it has a lot do with me drinking more water.
I have also realized why my hands swell so badly. It’s the sodas I have been drinking. I love soda, ok. Love it! I mean I have a 12 pack of Ginger Ale as “tummy fixer” in my room at almost all times. (don’t ask, I have a lot of tummy issues) And my new fave drink is Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper! That stuff is so yummy – I could have that as my dessert if I really needed it to be.

Anyway….back to what I was saying about the swelling hands. My hands have been swelling when I am out walking at the mall, around the neighborhood, any time I work out, etc. and I never knew why. I do take a “water pill for my high BP, but that didn’t even seem to help with my hands swelling. Well, since I have “kicked-up” the amount of water I have been drinking, I have not really been thirsty for other beverages. So I have really been trying hard to drink water at/with my meals just so that I can get in as much water as possible.

Well, there was one day in particular that I didn’t drink any soda. I only had water – all day. I walked my dogs that evening in the neighborhood and didn’t get any hand swelling. I was amazed. I thought I was cured. Until the next week when I went to the mall with my son only to find my hands swelling! I could not for the life of me figure out why that was happening. Then I went back to the food log I use on Calorie Count and realized the only thing was the day I walked the dogs, I didn’t have any soda. So I have been noticing now – the days I drink soda – I find that my hands swell if I do any activities outside of “just sitting still”.

Needless to say, I have cut way back on the soda. Instead of 2 a day I have more like 3 a week – if that. I wondered when I would be able to give it up and what would lead me to do it, but I never really thought I could give it up. Not me, I was addicted to the stuff. GOD is slowly but surely seeing me through this madness.

Who knows how my hair is benefitting from all of this water? I guess I will see in the long run.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Last Couple of Days

Well, I have to admit, the past coule of days have been "good hair days" in more ways that one. I made a product for my hair from scratch - that truly is amazing (Lemon Cake Batter).

On Friday I was able to get some Giovanni products for $5.49 ea. This was great considering I wanted to try it out. I got a shampoo and 2 conditioners. I can't wait to use them!

On Saturday I got my Long Aid Activator Gel and that was the last thing I needed to complete my stash. When I take my son to football parctice this week I will re-up on Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner and Vanilla Flower conditioner - Just so that I can continue to co-wash as much as I like.

I need to get back to the basics of my hair. Daily co-washing is what got me to where I am, so why should I stop now? LOL I think part of it is just laziness and finding it somewhat challenging to do my hair at this length. Oh well, just like I have heard other people say...."back to basics".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Visiting an Old Friend

With all of the talk about Kinky Curly Curling Custard on some of the hairboards I frequent, I decided to revisit it since I had some just sitting under my bathroom sink taking up space. After my pretty decent experience with my Lemon Cake Batter, I didn't see the need to "hover" with it.

This morning I co-washed with Suave Vanilla Flower, then I added some Kinky Curly Knot Today with the Curling Custard on top. This time it took way less product to get a more than favorable result. I am excited.....again! Seems like I had fallen out of love with the KCCC and had moved on - or so I thought.

I think that all of my henna-ing to no end has helped with product application and not needing so much. I had heard that was one of the benefits, but really hadn't seen it yet. Well, after my 6th henna, I am finally seeing that benefit.

Now, what does this mean? Well, I'm not sure. How long will I continue to drop $30 on some KCCC? I guess I'll have to see. I can't lie, my hair looks good today and it took little to no effort at all. I can't complain, and I really do like the product.
To be honest, I really did miss it. But what about it did I miss exactly? Was it the smell? The texture? How it makes my coils sit, hang, and command attention? I missed all of it. Yes, my long Aid Activator is very comparable, but it doesn't quite do what KCCC does for my hair.
Welcome back old friend. It really was good to see you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lemon Cake Batter

Mixtress in the making? Could be. Back about 2 months ago I ordered some butters: Macadamia Nut, Aloe, Olive, & Shea. I ordered them with the intentions of using them for my hair in various ways. Well, I have been having the itch to mix a few things together to see how it would work for my hair, hence the new hand-held mixer I bought a week or so ago.

So, yesterday I went by Whole Foods and bought some Aloe Vera Gel and some Vegetable Glycerin so that I could make my mixtures last night. I was so excited. I took out all of my butters, my jojoba oil, and my sparkling lemonade. I was trying to figure out what butter(s) to incorporate into this mixture I was making.

So, I got my glass bowl and put a little shea butter in, then I added the aloe butter. The aloe butter is very soft - not at all like the shea butter. Then I decided I would also add in some olive butter which is also a very soft butter. I whipped the three butters together and in no time it was a very smooth. Not very hard at all, more like cream. Then I added some jojoba oil, aloe vera gel, glycerin, and some sparkling lemonade for scent. When I whipped it, I wanted the mixture to be a bit thicker so I added a little more shea butter.

It smelled great, however the consistency was not exactly what I was going for initially. I was trying for something more like very, very thick - like very thick whipped cream or a pudding consistency. No, more like spreadable cream cheese - yea, that's it. Then I thought back - in the beginning I wanted something comparable to the "creams" being sold by some of the upper end boutique style natural hair care companies, so hey - not a loss.

My mixture reminded me of cake batter. LOL If you look at it, it looks solid. Even if you turn the bowl on it's side, the "batter" moves very slowly, if at all. Oh, but when I touched it, it was very light and smooth, and it melted into my skin/hand right away. I knew I was going to like this. I wiped off my hand mixer to get all of the batter off, and rubbed my hand in my hair and oh my gosh!!!! It made my hair feel soooo good!

I co-washed my hair with Suave Naturals Vanilla Flower conditioner and detangled. I towel blotted my hair dry and began to part my hair and apply the batter to my hair and brush through with the Denman. My hair and I both were melting with pleasure. After I brushed through each battered section, I twisted the hair. I covered my hair with a silk scarf and bonnet. I loved smelling the lemony scent while sleeping. It was so relaxing.

When my husband came into our room, I asked him to smell my hair and tell me what it smelled like. He told me it smelled like a cake his grandmother used to make. Ok, that made me smile. Then he smelled it again and was like, I smell a little lemon too, like lemon cake. (That was the a-ha moment, because I had no idea what to call this concoction, but he gave me the name without ever knowing.)

This stuff is even good for your skin! I put some on my husband last night before bed and this morning his skin felt amazing! I hated that he had to take a shower! LOL

When I woke up this morning my hair was mega moisturized! I loved it. It feels good - and my hair has a wonderful lemon smell that is not overpowering. I know my hair is loving it. Who knew I could make such wonderful things? I can't wait to make my next batch of "batter".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Henna'd Up....again.

Well, I am on scedule for my bi-weekly henna dates with my holy grail henna - MDH Henna Powder. I henna'd Friday night with no problem. I had mixed my henna by 2:30pm and and by 6:00 I already had dye release and the henna was already in my hair. Around 10:00 - 10:30 I was already rinsing and applying my deep conditioner mix of Hello Hydration, EVOO, and honey for an overnight deep conditioning treatment.

With my henna being in the deep freezer I think I am on point to purchase as much as I want and just stash it downstairs in the deep freezer. Man, yeah, I am about to be on a roll now. I'm trying to figure out if I can mix my henna in the mornings and apply when I get home or if the dye release will have been long gone y that time. I mean, the first time I henna'd it was cool to have it there for like 10 - 12 hours or so and it did color my hair, so I am guessing that it would be ok. However, I could always mix it at work and carry the henna back & forth. LOL Really though? That is way too much. I guess I could mix the henna before I leave for work. It would definately be ready for application once I got home though.

This time, I did something different during the henna process. I co-washed my hair after I rinsed most of the henna out. I used the Suave Coconut to co-wash and it worked very well. I also kept gloves on for most of the time (application as well as rinsing process) so that I wouldn't have the Cheeto effect going on. I'm trying to figure out if there is anything else I could be doing during the henna process that would make things easier or better. I guess I'll keep reading and learning. If any of you have any tips or suggetions, let me know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Pastor Talked About it This Morning

Y'all....I went to church this morning - all ready to receive the word of GOD and of course I always love it when Rev. Alexander "brings it". LOL So, he preached from Daniel and talked about the "fiery furnace" and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I always love when he preaches about this story. Heck, I like when anyone preaches/talks about it. Madea/Tyler Perry always says "Shadrach, Meshach, and ABillyGoat", and someone else I know says "Shadrach, Meshach, and ABadNegro". LOL

Anyway, Rev. Alexander went off on that racism tip today - which was right up my alley. I was ready to hear this and I was all up into it. Now, mind you, I will be paraphrasing what he said today since I don't have the CD from today's service (yet). So, Rev. was talking about how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had their names changed from what their given names were and compared that to "black folks" today. How when we came here from Africa we were Niggers & Nigras. Then we became Negroes. Then we were "colored", and after that we became African American. And now we are just BLACK - which is the "cousin" to "colored". LOL

Oh, but the killing part was when he talked about how "we" in "the club" (you know the club - US - Us 'Black Folk') have to "try to fit in" to "the world". HAHAHAH Man, it was so funny....but when he busted us out for using "conk" and "frying our hair" to fit into "society" I thought I would die! Oh, but it gets better. He said, "yeah, we moved on from that to 'wearing other people's hair"!!!! Ooooh-weeeee!!!! LMAO

It is 6:00pm and I am still laughing about it. Rev. was saying, "no wonder we're confused, we don't even know what we really look like." HAHAHAH Oh lord. LOL I am still dying behind that. I can't wait to get the CD. Oh, and if I get the DVD, I will be posting it on YouTube.

Let me tell you, if I wasn't already napptural, I sure would have shut it down and quit perming after that message! LOL

The Dior Make-Up Counter in Macy's

Alright ladies. I been on the hair boards for over a year now and blogging since March or so and those who know of me know that I don't do the make-up thing. I only wear it for special occasions. The most I do is mascara and lipstick/gloss - that's it - nothing more. So, ans I was walking through Macy's and the Dior lady approached me, I decided to give it a shot. What the heck - they would clean my face and apply expenisive make-up for free. What's not to like?

So first they clean my face with some cleanser, apply toner, and some eye serum. Of course....all while telling me how much I need the products to take care of my skin - that's a part of the game. Anyway, the cleansing was awesome, and they almost had me sold on buying the stuff, but my skin looks great just like it is.

Next came the application of the make-up. It all felt soo good. The foundation was in a spray can like a can of paint and it looked nice when I saw my face with nothing but the foundation on it. That make-up artist put everything on my face: foundation, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss - all kids of stuff. The final look at myself was somthing different. Part of me liked it and part of me felt like it really wasn't me at all.

The real test was going to be what my 15 year old son thought of me when he saw it. His initial reaction was cool. He said it wasn't "too much", so I figured it was ok. I walked through the mall with someone elses face on me. When I went home to the rest of my family, I would know the deal.

Even before my family saw it I decided to take pictures - I mean, seeing as how I had about $1,000 worth of Dior product on my face, I felt like I should capture the moment. So, I started to take pictures. That's when I noticed............the mask!!!! WTF?!?!?!?! This so-called make-up artist for Dior didn't even blend the make-up in. You could see the whole "line" around my face...and the damn foundation wasn't even the right color - it was too light!!!!

When I looked at those pictures I was horrified! I mean, dang, I had just walked through the mall looking like that! *sigh* Lord have mercy. See, that's why I don't trust people with my face. I just don't. ....and she was supposed to be a professional, a paid and trained professional. ...and not just any professional.......a Christian Dior make-up artist. Are you kidding me? By the time I got home - which was 45 minutes, this stuff lookedlike it was practically melting off of my face! How disappointing is/was that?

I'll let y'all be the judges. Look at the pictures:

Needless to say, as soon as I saw this mess, I went right to my bathroom and scrubbed all of that mess off of my face except for the eye make-up and lip color. I still feel like the natural color of my face hasn't returned. Dayum! After I got home from College Gameday @ the Georgia Dome and Centinnial Olympic Park, I took a shower and proceeded to scrub until my face was like I like it - clean and pure.

Friday, September 4, 2009

OMG! It's back in my life.

Well, while my son was at football practice yesterday I decided to go to the BSS in search of some tuck-n-combs for a style I wanted to try. (inspired by Spiral) So, I did just that. The store I went to sure didn't have much of a selection as far as combs went, so I decided to go down the street to Kmart.

Yep, you read that right: Kmart. I know that most of them are closing or have closed, but there are still a few of them around the Atlanta metro area. Anywho...I went in there and it took me a minute to locate the tuck-n-combs, but I got 2 packages. One package had 2 large combs about 4 inches wide and the other package had 12 small combs in different colors: 2 each of black, tortoise, clear, olive, navy, and a clear/cream color.

I was excited because the styles I had been wanting to try, I now could - with ease and quickness too! So, while perusing the hair care isles, I ran across something amazing! Y'all I ran up on some Suave Naturals Vanilla Flower. Why Lord, why? LOL I popped the top and took a whiff - "my Lord"!!!! That stuff smells heavenly. I have never seen that particular scent available anywhere!!! I had to get it. I mean, just the other day I said I was going to go back to co-washing with Suave, so this was perfect. Then on down the shelf they had a super huge bottle of the Coconut! Well, needless to say, I picked that up as well. So while my son has practice over there near Kmart I will be stocking up on the Suave.

I cowashed with the Coconut this morning, and man! My hair really missed it. What was I thinking to cut back on the daily co-washing because my hair had gotten a little longer. My napps was born & raised on Suave co-washing! LOL I can't stop now. I'll go back to saving the HE Hello Hydration & Hydralicious for my DC treatments. I'm sorry for doubting your love for me Suave. I know that Vanilla Flower will have us in love for years to come.
Alright, so, back to the co-washing. It was amazing this morning. I had forgotten how easy it was. Not to mention how much I really do enjoy it. My hair felt great afterwards too - not as good as it does after HEHH, but still, it felt good. Thank you for not giving up on me Suave.
You still my boo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hey Y'all

Ok, I know I have been missing in action for a while but there really has been nothing going on. I have been trying to focus on getting healthy. I have been doing pretty good too. My weight loss plan is in full effect, so I am counting it as a blessing and thanking The Lord for just getting me this far.

On the hair end of things.....well, I have just been taking it easy. I'm not doing wash-n-go's, but more like rinse-n-go's. LOL It's coming up on the Fall, so I am cutting back on the gels and getting more into the butters. I have a little over a pound of Nikki's shealoe butter so I know I will need to re-up around November. I have some Macadamia nut and olive butters that I am dying to experiment with. I need to get some aloe vera gel and glycerin from whole foods and I will be on my way. I even bought one of those nice hand mixers from BrandsMart just for mixing my hair products. It's not the kind with the beaters. It's the stick kind that looks kind of like this:

I paid less than $6 for it so since I will only be using it for product mixing, I should be fine. I can't wait to start whipping up different kinds of butters for my skin & hair. But Nikki's butter will always be my steady. LOL

I'm going to henna sometime during the night Friday night. Especially since my son doesn't have a game on Saturday. I can just chill at home and do "the hair thing". Oooh, so much time. What will I do? *insert evil, sneaky laugh here*

It will have been 3 weeks since my last henna, so I will go on and get the party started. This way I can henna every other week like I want to. I just didn't want to henna on the weekends I get paid, because well....henna time interferes with shopping time. LOL That way on the weeks I don't get paid I still have something to look forward too.

I'm thinking about incorporating Suave conditioners back into my life. I have been so in love with Hello Hydration that I just gave up on Suave. LOL I mean, Hello Hydration and Hydralicious - I need kegs of that stuff! But Suave will be better for the every day co-washing if I ever go back to that. I can't see daily co-washes until the spring of next year. By that time I will have so much hair that daily co-washes will be ridiculous! It's a chore now just with the thickness of it all. I am hoping that the bi-weekly hennas will help to tame my hair a little more.

What I really need to be doing is trying to get some different hairstyles together. I haven't been on NP or Fotki in so long that if it's not an Afro or puff, I just ain't seen it. I am all about what's quick and easy right now. I'm already getting up before the chickens, so I need to make every minute count. I'll be stalking Fotkis tonight so watch out! You just might see me with your hair. LOL