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Just a little update on my life and most of the things that I have going on at any point in time. :) So many things, so little time!! I...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!

2012 has been a decent year. Nothing special for me, however I thought it would be good to post some favorites and highlights I have had throughout the year.

Hair wise my product usage has been very minimal. I have been sticking to my suave for cowashing and am still looking for a new deep conditioner other than Lekairs which I have been using for years.

One product that I tried and loved recently has been the As I Am Coconut CoWash. That stuff is amazing! My hair was so soft after using it and funny that it did feel like shampooing my hair with zero lather. I hardly ever shampoo my hair because it dries my hair like crazy but I will definitely be keeping this in rotation.

I have fallen in LOVE with my handmade items! From my jewelry to my hair products. I made a few awesome moisturizers and body products that my skin loves. I have been making things for years but took a long break before starting back up again.

I have not used any commercially made soaps in like 2 years. My favorite soaps that I have made are actually my coffee based soap, as well as my peppermint spa bar and citrus smoothie soap. They are all awesome and my skin is super smooth from using it.

I also havent purchased a single piece of jewelry since last year. When ever I go out, I put together my outfit and end up making a piece that fits perfectly. This is where the few pieces I have posted on my jewelry site have stemmed from. I have a lot more that I will be putting up as well in the next few weeks.


My hair looked absolutely Glorious with the BKT treatment but over time the BKT did to my hair what an extremely over-processed relaxer would have done!! I want to try it again to see if I will get better results but I know I need to stay away from it big time!

MN has been good for my hair in the past but generic brands from Ebay are the devil!! If I ever use it again I will make my own mix. That way there will be no mysterious ingredients causing crazy shedding.

Consistency is everyones best friend, so I'm going to continue to be as consistent as possible with everything. From the hair, to the blog & youtube, to the kids, and everything else as well.

Trying to include others in things is going to be a thing of the past. Everyone has their own agenda and 9 times out of 10 are not interested in yours. So I'm done with that as well.. (again)

I welcome the new year and hopefully it will be a great year for us all!!

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spiced Juicy Pork Loin

This came out amazing!!!

So juicy and seasoned just right.

I started out by scoring the fat with a sharp knife. I placed the entire loin into a turkey oven bag and moved on to the marinade.

I used a bunch of whole spices but you can used what you have. Powdered is fine as long as it is fresh.

To season I used salt, black pepper corns, oregano, basil, sage, coriander, cumin, fennel, a little nutmeg,
I put all of these into a blender with apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and toasted sesame oil and blended until all the whole spices were grinded down really well. I poured this into the bag with the loin and mushed it around until it was well coated.

Next I chopped up half of a large sweet onion and a red bell pepper, and put that into the bag as well along with a few tablespoons of minced garlic.

I let this sit overnight in the refrigerator so that the flavors melded together really well.

The next day I just put the entire bag sealed into a turkey roaster and put it into the oven at 350 for 2.5 hours.

When it was done cooking I took it out of the oven let it sit for a few minutes before taking it out of the bag. I then poured off most of the juice and put the loin on a serving platter, cut up another red pepper and the rest of the sweet onion and arranged around the platter to make it pretty and festive.

It tasted amazing!

My Berry Merry Christmas Tree & Chocolate Truffles

So, if you follow me on Facebook (or Twitter since I have them linked) you would have seen my posts for what I was working on for Christmas. I only made a few things this time but since both things were so much work I didn't miss the work.

I did a huge pork loin and a decorative mixed berry tree with truffles.

Serving platter
Freezer paper
Styrofoam cone
Double Boiler

Chocolate- I used a 3.5lb bag from Costco
3 containers of Strawberries
1 Costco size container of Blackberries
1 container of Raspberries

I started with the tree. I made a base out of freezer paper. The problem that I had with this was the paper was not heavy enough to carry the weight of the strawberries and since the chocolate took forever to solidify it started off really messy.

I ended up making a base out of chocolate clay.
To make this you just need to melt your chocolate and put in a little corn syrup.

I molded this into a circle and put the paper cone back on top. Then, I started back adding the strawberries. This time it worked out fine. After the first few rows I let the chocolate set before moving on.

It would probably be better if I would have had a styrofoam cone as the base covered in freezer paper or wax paper.

To put the tree together I used fresh berries with the stems cut off and dries with a paper towel. I dipped them into the chocolate cut side down and stacked them on top of each other arranging them in a circle around the base.

I continued alternating between the strawberries and blackberries until I go to the very top. I then went in and filled any gaps with raspberries and blackberries until it was pretty.

Next I started on the Truffles.

Double Boiler
Melon Baller -or- Clean Hands

Heavy Cream
Flavoring - Citrus rind of your choice( I used Tangeriene), Rum Extract, Almond Extract, Spices of your choice(I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), & Liquor of your choice, ect...
Coating - You can use whatever you like. Almonds, Coconut, Chocolate, Cocoa powder, Powdered sugar, Cinnamon sugar, ect...

To make the truffles:

  • I start off with Heavy cream and Butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn off the heat and add the chocolate.
  • Wait a few minutes for the chocolate to melt, it will become glossy.
  • Then with a spatula fold the cream and chocolate together.
  • Next add any flavoring of your choice. If you are using spices it is good to infuse the spices into the cream first, rather then adding them at this stage.
  • If I am doing multiple flavors, I like to separate them into their own plastic pouches.
  • Refrigerate.
Now its time to form the truffles.
  • Use melon baller or you hands to make even round pieces. 
  • You can either refrigerate again so they are easy to handle if you are dipping into melted chocolate or just go ahead and roll them in the coating of your choice.
  • When they are all coated refrigerate one last time until you are ready to serve.
Its simple enough! Just time consuming. :)

I use a ratio or 1:4 cream to chocolate and a T of butter for every 1/4c of cream. This ratio gives me a consistency that I like and does not melt down at room temperature.

I sprinkled powdered sugar on top to make it prettier. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *11*

Thinking Out Loud

  • Ive been thinking about adding MN back into my regimen somehow. I have been reading up on it and have seen that others have also experienced shedding with it.
  • When I used it before I used a tiny bit of it and saw an inch for that month.
  • Since I bought like 5 tubes of it and I dont like wasting stuff, I am thinking I might have used too much last time and next time I should mix it so I wont go overboard and use too much.
  • I am not going to do this while I am braided up, because I want to be able to see the effect it will have on my hair.
  • I'm not completely sure if I should do this with the MN that I have, because it might have been the other ingredients in the product that caused my shedding...
  • Also.. not sure if I am actually going to do this.. hence the reason why this is posted in my TOLT. :)
  • Next year I am going to add Ener-G and Marine Collagen to my vitamin regimen.
  • I am also going to re-up on my B complex, Pantothenic Acid, and maybe Silica.
  • I am not completely sure if Silica actually made a big difference in my hair. But I am sure that the B-vits all help a lot.
  • I am also going to start juicing daily again and doing protein shakes daily. My body loves this.
  • My little lady pretends she doesn't like things when she secretly does.... and she's greedy.
  • And she slaps my arm when I type things about her.. Like right now... Ouch!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *10*

Thinking Out Loud

  • OMG!! 10 weeks of TOLTs!! I only missed one in between but YAY for consistency!! lol
  • Been contemplating shaving my head for the past few weeks.
  • Last night I had a dream that I shaved and dyed my twa platinum blonde like Amber Rose...
  • No clue why, but it was actually kind of interesting because it made me think of how I have never played with color with my natural hair and I have also never had hair that short and why shouldn't I at least try it once right?
  • Meh... IDK. 
  • When I take out my braids in Feb I will know then if I really want to chop or not.
  • If I chop I will take my clippers and cut it down ALL the way.
  • I smell like coffee!! :D
  • Its been a week and a half and I have new growth!! Ahhh!! 
  • I looks like its about a 1/4". If thats true then I will be getting and inch for the month!
  • I have never been able to consistently grow more than my normal rate each month and it will be interesting to see if I can do it!
  • This Christmas I am not going to go crazy buying toys for the kids. Last year they were showered with so much crap!! I'm going to stick to clothes and shoes.. lol And Books!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hair Diary *9* - Braid Regimen & Growth Aids

I posted this video but forgot to put it on the blog so here it is.

Its been a few days now and the braids are holding up great!

This video goes over the basics of my braid regimen.

Every day in the morning I am spraying my scalp with brewed coffee. This helps wake me up in the morning and I am hoping that it will subside my shedding signifigantly. At night I apply my sulfur oil all over my scalp and spray the braids themselves with water and conditioner. 

Doing this keeps my scalp moisturized and dandruff free and my hair nice and moisturized. Taking care of the hair while protected is crucial. I made the mistake of neglecting my hair just because I was braided or sewn in and when I took them out my hair was very fragile.

I wont be making that mistake again. Especially not with my recent hair mishaps.

Growth Aids
Sulfur, for me has been a great growth aid. I dont think I have ever gotten an inch a month from it but I know for sure that it does help reduce my shedding and eliminates dandruff and itchies. 

Coffee has helped to reduce my shedding. It is too soon for me to know if it has actually boosted my growth rate but studies have shown that it is very effective in that way.

I am also taking vitamins.
Currently I am still taking Biotin, MSM, Iron, and a Prenatal as my multi. Next year I want to up the dose of the Biotin and MSM. I also want to add Ener-g and Marine Collagen as an added boost.

In Feb, I will judge the amount of growth by the length of all the baby hairs that are growing in and also by a length shot of my hair unstretched, just out of the shower.. Before I put the braids in, the very back had made it back to the top of my brastrap and I chopped a few small sections down in the middle where the shedding and breakage was really bad. My goal with the growth aids is to get back where I was and quickly re-make my goal of MBL before the year 2013 is over.

Will post more on this later. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Everyday Eyes - Copper Penny - Holiday Makeup

This look is very pretty and very simple. The only tricky part is the liner, but with a little practice and a steady hand anyone can pull this off and look Fabulous!!

Products Used
MAC Indianwood
Wet & Wild Penny
MAC Coppering
MAC Saddle
MAC Smolder
Linear Intense
The Falsies

Hard Candy lipgloss - Piglet

Laura Mercier cream foundation
La Femme blush

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *9*

Thinking Out Loud

  • Why oh why.... The Voice.. Need I say more?
  • The bracelet I am wearing above is one of my favorites! As soon as I saw those pearls, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them and I think the execution of it is perfect! Very elegant.
  • I absolutely LOVES my hair in braids! They are so easy and manageable!
  • I'm curious to see if I can get an inch a month from the coffee and sulfur I'm using. I'm posting a video on that as soon as my iMovie stops tripping. :(
  • I'm thinking it might be time to do another cleanse. Probably would be good to wait till after the holidays to do it. :)
  • I want some olives...

Everyday Eyes - Sealed Parfait EOTD

Here is a quick eye look I did a little while ago that I never posted.

Products Used
MAC Forgery - inner corner & tear duct area
MAC Parfait Amour - lid color
MAC Signed Sealed - outer corner, crease, & lower lash line
MAC Rule - above crease
MAC Short Shorts - brow bone to highlight
MAC Smolder - upper lash line & water line
The Falsies mascara

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Set of Box Braids with a Twist! - Video

Here is a quick video showing the process I went through to achieve my latest hair style.

I sectioned the hair into 4. I like to start off the braids in the back and work my way up. I then did singles in half of the front section and french braids on the other side.

Then I took a break until I was ready to finish up that last section in the middle. I made each part very small.

For the singles I used a single strand and pulled the ends so that they would taper out at the ends. For the french braids I used my 3 strand method adding more hair at the ends so that they would be the same length as the rest of the singles.

When I was done I clipped the ends so they would not look as messy.

Because I cut the hair in half it is about the same length as my natural hair. I was going to dip the ends in hot water to make sure they dont unravel but havent yet. Maybe I will do that on video. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Everyday Eyes - Clarity Blues

I did this last week before I took out the mohawk crochet braids. It starts off looking a little messy but the outcome is good. Not my best work but it actually looked wayyyy better in person. LOL

Products Used
MAC Clarity - lid & lower lash line
MAC Saddle - crease
MAC Carbon - outer corner
MAC Short Shorts - highlight brow bone & inner corner
MAC Aquadisiac
Sephora gel liner
ELF brow powder
The Falsies

MAC Brave New Bronze

La Femme Blush
Graftobian Glamaire

Hair Diary *8* - Hectic Weekend

So I took out my crochet braids on wednesday and spent a few days doing deep conditioning treatments.

I wanted to try a braid out again since I have attempted to do them in the past and was disappointed every time. This time I used a little Argan Oil Eco Styler gel and let it dry overnight in 8 braids.

When I took it out the next day, I was happy with the curl pattern and the way my hair felt. It was soft and luckily it wasnt dry and crunchy.

The problem was that as soon as I went to separate the curls and fluff the roots the entire thing went POOF! I wasnt feeling it at all so I immediately washed it out and contemplated what my next style would be.

I had 3 options.

  1. Another set of Crochet Braids
  2. Braid my hair and wear Mila Kunis-Jovovich, the lace wig. LOL
  3. Do a set of Box Braids
After a day or so, I figured, since I had the time and I committed myself to non-stop protective styles till the end of 2013, I should just go ahead and do the Box Braids and wear them till at least February.

I wanted something different so I did some squiggly french braids on the side and really small singles throughout the rest.

I'll post a video on this within the next few days.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Everyday Eyes - Tilted Winks

I decided to start doing makeup videos again. I started my page doing makeup and loved it but the hair got in the way and ended up stealing the show! lol

Hey, two divas cant seem to ever share the same stage, right? 

Doing makeup vids means I can post more often then every few months!! I do not do my hair very often and when I do, do something that warrants a video I make an effort to record and post it. 

I have had a very boring and frustrating hair year...

So here is the latest makeup vid! I have a lot more ideas so there will be much more to come. :)

Products Used

MAC Surreal - Shimmery pale aqua with a gold undertone - Inner corner
MAC Woodwinked - Gold - Lid & lower lash line
MAC Carbon - Matte black - Outer corner and crease
MAC Saddle - Warm brown - Above crease and into brow bone
MAC Short Shorts - Shimmery ivory - Highlight brow bone and inner corner
Sephora gel liner - black
Maybelline The Falsies mascara
ELF brow powder

ELF lipgloss - Muted Mauve

Graftobian Glamaire airbrush foundation
ELF powder foundation to contour under the cheekbones
La Femme blush - Lilac Lace

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *8*

Thinking Out Loud

  • I forgot how much I love doing makeup videos. Definitely going to be doing them on a regular basis from now on.
  • Need to work on lighting, camera angles and such.
  • Plus makeup vids are easier to post more often because I dont do my hair that much.
  • Super pissed America voted off Amanda Brown from The Voice. 
  • Makes no sense to me how Terry won over her. He has been super boring the past few weeks.
  • Not sure how I want to do my hair next. Im thinking either box braids or another set of crochet braids. Hmmmm....
  • I think I have gotten a handle on my shedding. Between the coffee and the sulfur oil it seems to have slowed down a lot.
  • Before I put in this set of crochet braids I cut a few small sections down that were a little too thinned out. I'm going to have to be really consistent to make sure it all grows back really nicely.
  • I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to my goal of MBL next year, but I will be super happy if I do. Time will tell.
  • I think I might keep my hair out for 2 weeks and do some serious deep conditioning and any trimming needed, then put it in some Beyonce box braids. Not too thick though..
  • I've been out of castor oil for a minute! Need to stock up NOW!
  • Also need to stock up on Coconut oil as well.
  • Been slacking on my vits for the past few days!! Not good Mar!!
  • I did a workout the other day and I am paying for it now. I worked my thighs and butt and Dang! It hurts to sit!! SMH!! Me no likey... lol
  • I need to restock on my Clinique Moisturesurge. My fave! Its silicone based so it helps with oil control as well.
  • I deep conditioned overnight and my hair feels divine, even though I used a conditioner I hate. It smells like 90s bad perfume..

Giveaway Video!!

Finally its ready! So after much technical difficulty I finally was able to record and upload the giveaway video!

I also have another announcement! I have been working on my own jewelry line for the better part of the year and wanted to share my creativity and personality with you all on another level.

Everything on the site is Handmade by me and I have worn and tested each piece extensively to make sure that each will last and is of the quality that I strive for.

Obviously there are many others out there who are making jewelry and stuff, but every line is different and unique in its own way. I do not make my pieces similar to any other. I like to put my own creative twist on everything that I do and it shows in my work.

I have a few pieces posted up already and I am working on a lot more.

I will be creating unique hair sticks and clips, fashion jewelry, belts, among many other things. I have so many ideas and this is probably the best way for me to express my creativity.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thinking Out Loud - TOLT *7*

Thinking Out Loud
  • I HATE being sick!!
  • Trying to sleep it away, but its not working. Have a headache and tons of stuff in my nose and throat. eeeewwww!
  • Thanksgiving was fun! I'm happy about that.
  • Very happy to have my MBP fixed as well... Even though they completely wiped the machine!
  • Cant believe my son completely wiped my cell phone! Lost everything, contacts, email, apps... Everything gone!
  • So yea, I am starting off completely fresh and am a little lost. I backed up everything or almost everything so its ok, for the most part.
  • Ive been really into the Crochet braids lately. I think i'm going to wear them one more month and then try something different.
  • Ive been watching John Carter on Starz on demand over and over. I love that movie!!
  • I'm a little addicted to Movies On Demand and Netflix.

We need to talk about Steven - This movie is horrible!(but good at the same time) And it really shows what can happen when you dont do anything about a problem child. There are some things you can not ignore and the way he behaved for all those years without any guidance is shameful. The father was completely oblivious to his sons behavior and ultimately paid for it in a way he never expected.

I cant imagine what she is going through in the movie or the mothers of kids who actually did this kind of thing in real life for that matter. How can you even show your face after something like that.

This movie is on Starz OD as well.

Cutting and shaping Crochet Braid Mohawk

Yea, so I had to get my laptop fixed and am finally able to get this vid up.
I'm still sick so, slacked on the voiceover a little. Meh....

I'll have the giveaway video posted as soon as I'm feeling a little better. ughh..

Anyways, this video is pretty self explanatory. I cut the mohawk into layers, shorter on top and longer on the bottom.

I love the way it came out and am looking forward to chopping up my next style. I love cutting hair. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Club Bronze - FOTD

I did a simple smokey eye the other day and actually remembered to take pics! 
I used Cub eyeshadow, which I love! Has that really pretty brown blue iridescence. :)

Products Used

Silver from ELF palette - inner eye
MAC Club - lid
MAC Saddle - crease
MAC Rule - inner crease
MAC Short Shorts - highlight
MAC Carbon - lash line
MAC Smolder - lash line
The Falsies mascara
Light Brown brow pencil

MAC Brave New Bronze - My FAVE nude lipstick!!

Laura Mercier foundation
La Femme blush
ELF illuminator to highight

Saturday, November 24, 2012

As I Am Coconut Cowash GIVEAWAY!!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Black Friday!!

I wanted to post this on the blog now to make the start date official. I am hosting this giveaway for 2 weeks and a video will be up by Tuesday.

You must be 18 or older. If you are under 18 you must have permission from your parents to enter.
To enter to win you must Comment on this post and/or on the video once it is posted telling me your favorite Hair care product..
To be considered to win you must also do at least 2 of the following.

1. Follow my Facebook page -> http://www.facebook.com/BeautyAndTheBabies
2. Subscribe to my Youtube page -> http://www.youtube.com/user/marand313
3. Follow me on Twitter -> https://twitter.com/marand313
4. Follow This Blog!

There will be 2 winners selected at random! The winners will be announced on December 14th and will have 2 days to claim their prize.

Each winner will receive an 8oz jar of As I Am Coconut Cowash, as well as one of my own hand made bracelets.

The bracelet will be from my own jewelry line which will also be announced in the video.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hair Diary *7* - Sulfur Oil

I ordered a pound of sulfur powder from a chemical supplier online. I said I wasnt going to use any growth aids but since I have used this several times in the past I decided to go back to it.

For me sulfur helps to eliminate shedding and it does slightly increase my growth rate. I do not believe I have ever gained an entire inch per month of use, but I do remember receiving noticeable growth.

I mixed up an 8oz bottle of oils and in it I put 1 teaspoon of the sulfur powder.

For the oils I used:
1.5oz Grapeseed
1.5oz Hazelnut
3oz EVOO
2oz Castor

I have been rubbing it into my scalp every night before I go to sleep. So far it has really helped. My scalp is nice and moisturized, no flakes and I kind of already have new growth. :) cool

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hair Diary *6* - Mowhawk Crochet Braids

After my rigirous deep conditioning routine over the weekend I put my hair up into a simple braided bun until I was ready for the next style.

I wore that for 3 days and did daily cowashes to keep the hair detangled and moisturized. This past wednesday I redid the crochet braids.

With this set I wrapped the knot only twice and I braided my hair kinda straight back in the middle with the ends hanging just as before. BUT... I did a little zig zag braid in the nape so that area would not be as stressed. It does look a little bulky but after tucked in it is pretty flat. I made sure to fill that area in really well so there was no visible gap.

Here is what it looked like right after all the pieces were added.

Theres the goofy smile again... smh

This is the look after chopping it up! Me luvs iiiitttttt!!!!!

I combed the curls out before cutting so that all the snarls and loose hairs were clearly visible. I recorded how I cut it so that will be posted this weekend.

I'll probably be wearing this style for a while, just changing it up as I go.

My Steps for Flatironing Natural Hair & rant..

I was on LHCF the other day and came across a thread asking for help to stop their hair from frizzing.

When I start writing sometimes I seem to just go on and on. I wrote this in response and thought it would be good to post it here and elaborate a little more.

What i have found works for me is:

-Deep conditioning overnight beforehand for moisture.
-Blowdrying gives a smoother flatiron.
-Using a really hot ceramic iron.
-An after DCing do not apply any product except for Chi Silk Infusion.
-Wrap at night and do a silk wrap the next day.
-Do Not under any circumstances use any products that have water or a humectant as an ingredient. Those products cause crazy frizz for me.
-Baggy ends at night with a little castor oil.

I have thick, fine 3c/4a ish hair.

I did 2 BKTs earlier this year and although my hair was Glorious! I did experience sever breakage after the fact.
If you do a BKT dont overdo the heat and make sure you take extra, extra care of your hair after. I didnt really do much to mine and my ends were really brittle.

Looking back I probably shouldnt have done the BKT 2x and should have been more into taking care of my hair because now I am paying for it with uneven ends. 

I did like the BKT though. It made my hair feel really nice and my flatiron lasted for 2 whole weeks with zero frizzing and zero reversion(which I have never been able to achieve before.) My curls are a little looser after as well and clump together better. Which I think is a plus... Minus the breakage...

All in all, be very careful if you decide to do a BKT, without I was usually able to keep my hair nice for a good 4 days with my other steps.

Here are a few videos I did of me straightening my hair. The first 2 were a few years ago and back then I would either rollerset my hair and flat iron the roots or blowdry as I did in the video. This was before my hair fell out from Mirena and my hair was Super healthy and lovely!

This video I did more recently, this year. This was my first BKT and my hair came out lovely.

But, yes, as I stated above I should have taken better care of my hair. At the time of this video, I had been kinda out of the loop hair-wise and had not been doing my 2x weekly DCing or frequent cowashing. I was attempting to get back into my hair care and had not fully grasped it.

Its really hard to get back on the wagon sometimes when you had fallen off so long ago.

After I did the second BKT and still wasnt taking great care of my hair, she flipped out! She started breaking and then with the MN incedent in Aug she was like fuck this... Im out!


My hair at this time is not as thick, even, or long as it should be or would be. But I need to get myself off of the shoulda woulda coulda...

After giving myself the kick I needed my hair is now very healthy, albeit uneven. I would love to do another BKT in the future just to see what the outcome would be, but I will attempt to keep far away from it until my hair is in tip top condition.

I'm still working on getting back to the magical land of no breakage.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *6*

Thinking Out Loud

  • OMG!! I missed last weeks TOLT! Ahhhh...
  • I am truly in love with crochet braids. 
  • They are just so easy and cute with very little effort.
  • Yes, I did another Mowhawk!!
  • I've been reading a lot lately, glad to be getting back into books again. Or at least trying..
  • I have an issue with procrastination and its really hard to curb it.
  • God, getting back into doing videos is so much freaking work!
  • The holidays are coming! This should be interesting!
  • I totally need a new silk scarf...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hair Diary *5* - Takedown & Wash Day!

My takedown process is quite a long one. It usually takes an entire weekend to complete.

I started out by saturating my hair with a spray bottle full of water and a ton of conditioner. I am using V05 Moisture milk in Passion Fruit Smoothie, but I prefer Suave.

As I unraveled my braids the pieces of hair slid right out as well. I did encounter a few snarls and to counteract I simply sprayed more conditioner and gently pulled the strands apart one by one.

After unraveling I throughly detangled using a shower comb to remove most of the shed hair. I then went over it with my denman to smooth it all out. Each section was braided up afterwards so that they stayed detangled.

I then pre-pooed overnight with suave, and oil and shampooed in the AM with Aussie Moist, off camera.

Next, it was time for a Henna Gloss treatment. I mixed a bunch of conditioners that I didnt like much(along with some I love), along with some safflower oil, honey, and Jamila Henna powder. I let that sit for a few hours with heat for the first hour or so, to let the henna penetrate.

After rinsing the henna I applied a clear rinse, with a little heat for 20 mins.

I rinsed that out and did my final cowash. I then put my hair into a braided bun for a few days, cowashing daily.

Here are a few pics after the fact. I can kinda see the tint and the shine from the henna and the clear rinse. :)

I went ahead and redid my crochet braids as well. I will post pics and stuff for that in the next post.


Monday, November 05, 2012

Keeping up with your Crochet Braids - Video

I recorded this a good 2-3 weeks ago and haven't had the time to edit and upload. I just finished editing and here it is.

I have worn Crochet Braids in the past but that was years ago. I thought it would be good to share my tips and tricks that I have learned over the years.

When sleeping, I always wear my satin bonnet. If I don't, I wake up with matts and tangles, which is not cool. If I wear my bonnet every night it greatly reduces the amount of times I need to detangle.

Everyday when I wake up I take off the bonnet, shake the hair out, and fluff into place. If any pieces need to be separated I finger comb them out.

Every few days, I spray my scalp with a conditioner, water, and oil mix. Make sure this throughly dries because it can cause the scalp to mildew. I feel like I have much better access to my scalp with this style as opposed to a sew in or wig. You can use whatever you like on your scalp whether it is a liquid, oil, or cream.

Most of the time I just finger comb and separate the curls to keep them looking nice .Whenever I feel like the curls need to really be detangled I spray with Suave and water and comb out using my denman first and then using a wide tooth comb. The denman clumps the curls and gets rid of snarls and the wide tooth comb separates the curls and fluffs the hair out really pretty.

If I feel any of the knots at the base start to loosen up I pull them taught and go through with my soft hold hairspray. This keeps them in place and I haven't had any pieces fall out that I haven't pulled out myself.

Im thinking I might keep these in for maybe a few more days or till next week. Because of everything thats been going on, my hair is the last thing I should be worried about, I guess. Im going to take them down and let my hair rest for a few days and then re-install. I need to shampoo my scalp, as I have a lot of build up and I need to moisturize. Will post about that when I do.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Breed by Chase Novak - Book Review

Its rare for me to find a book that intrigues me enough to read it through and through in less than a day. Due to the so called great reviews about this book, I did just that.

I began reading with great expectations and high hopes to be terrified and disgusted out of my mind.

Unfortunately I was thoroughly disappointed. I expected so much more. The entire time I was reading I was waiting for that climactic moment where the story takes off.

That moment never comes.

-Spoilers Below-

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - TOLT *5*

Thinking Out Loud

The damage that this storm has done is unreal. I live in NY because I'd rather deal with snow than hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like. Because of global warming those southern climate conditions have shifted north.

The reports of the upcoming storm had been on the news for days. People were told to evacuate. Because the storm last year, Irene, had been overhyped many people did not budge. One guy who lived on the south shore of Staten Island's way of preparing for the storm was taking down Halloween decorations and buying gas and water.

So many people stayed home only to be evacuated later by emergency response. Water up to their waists were their indication to get out, never mind that many houses were literally washed away.

It really bothers me to see that people cant seem to take a valid warning seriously. So much could have been avoided during this storm if people would have listened and evacuated when they had the chance.

I have been following all the news reports, although I was without power and only had the car radio for a good 3 days. Our house still has no power and there are no hopes of it being back on any time soon. Most likely another 2-3 weeks. Because there are just so many people without it makes it even more difficult for the companies to handle it all in the projected time frame.

Because of the power outages, the cell towers are all down. I had to travel a half an hour to get a signal on my phone, which is completely outrageous. Last year we had Irene and we had no power for 6 days, but still it wasnt as bad. Other people had power then, but this year Sandy took almost everyone out!

New Jersey and New York were completely unprepared. Its hard to know what the turn out will be, when this type of storm has never hit this area before, so I get it. Yet still, this is completely crazy. Everything flooded and tons of trees were uprooted!!

After reading this article from the New yorker, I am happy to see that people like Chris Christie can set aside their differences and come together in a time in need. It shows real judgement and perspective. I have a new found respect for Christie. Unlike Romney who cant ever seem to keep a consistent position on any issue. How exactly does a person flip flop the way he does? I have not seen anything like it.

Mitt Romney is out of his mind to think that certain things like FEMA and Medicaid should be run by the state. Doesnt he know that will kill the economy even more? We are still in a bad economy and we need improvement, but it takes a day to knock something down.

It takes much longer to build, than it does to tear down.

8 years of Bush and only 4 years of Obama and we have had a surplus in the budget. Romney with his policies and idiocies will bring us down further than Bush ever did. This disaster just proved how wrong he would be as president.

Being a good business owner does not mean you will be a good president. Especially when you are in business looking only for ways to fatten your own wallet, never mind the people who actually do all the work, the employees.

In my opinion he does not know how to handle a situation like this what so ever. Nor does he take it as serious as he should. He wants to be president just to have had that title. He is not in it for the real reasons, the people.

Here are a few photos of the flooding.... The damage the trees have done are just as bad.

This is Seaside Park NJ.

Battery Tunnel Entrance Manhattan.

Cars submerged in an underground parking garage in the Financial District Manhattan.

Absolutely Insane...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hair Diary *4*

I've had the crochet braids in for a minute but am totally dying to take them out!!

I'm way too impatient.

I still do love the style but I want to change it up. I made the mistake of washing it (a few times) and obviously because this is synthetic hair it has caused it to go a little ratty. I have been cutting the ends out almost daily to try to keep it feeling nice.

It looks fine but it just gets a little more tangled than it probably should or would if I had not have washed the hair.

I really just want to get in there and detangle my hair to see the amount of shedding I have going on.

I also really want to do a good Henna treatment and a Roller set. Once I do those 2 things I think that itch will be gone for the most part and I will put it back up into another set of crochets.

When I take them out I will also do a measurement to see exactly where I am at compared to before.

Here are a few shots of the hair washed and detangled with the denman brush. They clump nicely and after the curls dry I separate with my fingers.

Because its wet, you can see the braids in between. Plus I didn't add as much hair as I should have in the middle, but thats cool with me. I hadn't noticed but since I have been chopping into the hair I can see that it is a little crooked. I'll go back through later and even it out, but it doesn't seem like much reason to if I do decide to take it out within the next few days.

I've had them in for 2 weeks. I said I was going to wear them for a month. I think, I should probably go another week before I take them out.

I shampooed today with my rosemary shampoo and put coffee into my spray bottle with suave conditioner and castor oil. Going to spray my scalp and massage it in a little later.

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