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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...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Container Garden Update 9/19/15 - Cucumber Demise

So the cucumbers are completely dead...
I ripped them out and gave the waste to the worms.

I thinned out the Basil really well. It needed to be thinned long time ago. Hopefully they will give me more growth.

I have a bunch of tomatoes growing which I am super excited about!

The lettuce is definitely on its way out. Not doing much of anything except dying... LoL

The red okra is hanging on... Leaves keep dropping... I pulled the other one because I am not sure if 2 in a pot will do very well, but we will see.

Everything else is doing pretty well. I added more soil to some of the pots to give the plants more stability. I need to add soil to the tomatoes but have not because of the basil in the pot. It is pretty low so I will have to pull those up to add the soil and then place them back.

I have sprouts popping up everywhere from the pots I added seeds to last week!!

And finally.. I added Sage and Everbearing Cucumbers to the pots I removed the dead cucumbers from. Interested in seeing how these cucumbers grow! The last did very well in putting out its first batch but the ones that came after were very lacking.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Starting Seeds - Cilantro & Tomatoes


I really want to grow cilantro in our container garden. I have had so much trouble with growing this among a few others. They always die or just never sprout. I read up and learned that it is best practice for better germination to soak and split the seeds. I definitely didn't know about this before, but lets see how well it works!

Even though I have 5 tomato plants growing I do want a different variety of tomato in our container garden. I decided to plant some Black Krim tomatoes, which are a dark brown/burgundy/purple color.

After the camera went off I decided to go ahead and plant some Red Cherry tomatoes as well. We eat them a lot and I think it will be great to have them readily available for salads an cooking.

I do also want to plant some Sage and just might do that in the container that has the tired cucumber in it. I do think that may need to come out... Soon.


The next day I decided that I really wanted some peppers as well. The ones I put in the sprouting tray didn't do anything. I wanted to try again. This time I used styrofoam cups so they will have a better germination rate and will transplant easily once they get big enough.

I'm going to cross my fingers and hope I get some or all to sprout!!

That will make me super happy!

I'm totally obsessing over gardening right now and I love it! I even started a compost pile in my Geobin for next year. Sage will probably be planted later tonight...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Container Garden Update - Cucumber Blight!! 9/13/15


So my cucumbers have...... Dun dun dunnnnn..... Blight!!

The leaves look disgusting!! Also my new cucumbers are growing very weird and curling all over the place. Interestingly enough the plant that has two in the pot has more cucumbers on it right now than the other two have had since I started growing them.

I chopped off a bunch of the bad leaves, as well as some good. I got rid of the weed that decided to jump in there. I do need to spray the plant with some baking soda water to stop the spread and make my cucumbers healthy again! I will probably rip out the one that had the nasty looking root that I also chopped the good leaves off of... I might plant more cucumbers. I might plant something else. I am not sure what just yet.

The tomatoes are developing flowers all over the place and I am super excited about it! I cant wait!!

The Basil is growing pretty well. I am just waiting for them to get taller so that I can harvest some of the leaves. I want to make some pesto!!

I put more seeds in the chives and lemongrass so that it will fill in a little more and I will have more to harvest at one time.

I have no Idea what is going on with the lettuce. It is definitely on the way out, so I will probably throw some more seeds in there and try to grow some more. I put it under a grow light since I think it wasn't getting enough sun in the spot that it was in. I'm really sad about that because I was really hoping to have a really nice salad garden going for us!

Aside from the lettuce being a total fail and the blighted cucumbers, everything else looks really great!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Harvesting Cucumbers 9/6/2015



Our first Harvest!!!

2 of our cucumbers were big enough to be able to harvest! We were super excited about this and the boys each were able to harvest their own cucumber! They immediately took them and chopped them up so everyone could taste the fruits of our labor! Then my Lady took them and made pickles... I am interested to see how those come out!

I am seeing tons of flowers on the tomato plants and cant wait till we can harvest our first tomatoes!!

Gardening is awesome!!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Tons of Cucumbers and Tomato Flowers!! 9/2/15


I am getting so many cucumbers all of a sudden!! Im impatiently waiting for my tomatoes to do the same...

I had a really hard time filming this video! It was just so loud outside this day!! Plus the kids were interrupting me like crazy... One of them poured water out of a second floor window, which then spilled all over me!!

What a mess...


Friday, September 04, 2015

Trash can style Flow Through Worm Bin

I set up a new trash can style flow through worm bin so that I could have a prettier and more efficient way to create worm castings. I cut a hole in the bottom of the back of the trash can and drilled some holes a few inches above it. I used zip ties to weave through the holes for the contents to sit on top of.

I then used a piece of cardboard to line the bottom for the bedding to sit on top of. I added some of the contents from the other box along with some of the worms and some leftovers for them to feed on. I then topped with some newspaper and there you have it!!


So now whenever one of the kids has leftovers they can just toss them in there as if they were throwing away trash normally. 

Since I added the 1,000 worms I have TONS more castings in my bins and they are going through everything very fast! I am happy about that because I will be able to harvest some soon and add to my containers.

I will be interested in seeing how much food waste I can process with this system.

I am not sure how well I will be able to keep up with them now!!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Weekend Gardening 8/29/2015



We have had some amazing growth in our garden!! The Cucumbers are looking great and getting bigger everyday! Everything is growing very well and I am so excited about it!




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Acrylic Nails - New Set! Paua Shell and Glitter

I recently did this set and I love it!! I used Paua Shell and blue, aqua, and silver glitter. I absolutely love the iridescence of the Paua Shell! It is so pretty and unique,



I encapsulated the shell pieces in clear acrylic and then surrounded by the different glitters. I then capped the entire thing in clear acrylic.

I think my technique was the best yet on this set! I got the shape pretty good and didn't have to go crazy filing.

I definitely need to practice more on my fake hand and try out new things. I want to try the aquarium nail (Once I get some clear tips), since it is so popular right now.

My next set. I am definitely going to do some red bottoms and some sculpted flowers!! I have pigments coming in the mail and I am super exited!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Worm Bin & Container Garden Update.Aug 22-23

Just a little update on my container garden. Everything is growing very well and we should be able to harvest cucumbers very soon!! I'm super excited... Now if only my tomato plants would flower and produce fruit. That would be awesome!


I had a little problem with my worm bin recently. I added a little too much water to the bedding as well as a melon which went bad and contained fruit fly eggs.

A few days later the bin smelled like complete and utter crap and there were fruit flies EVERYWHERE!!

The bad smell comes from anaerobic bacteria which live in environments with no air. The worms did not like this one bit. They need air to breathe and so do the good bacteria that we want in the bin. The worms were all gathered in the handle groves in the top of the bin to get away from these unwanted conditions.

To counteract this I knew I had to soak up the water and air out the bin very well. I took all of the shredded paper I had left and mixed it all into the bin making sure to use it to soak up any excess moisture that I saw.

I came back every few days to check moisture levels and added more paper here and there where needed.

The smell finally went away and all was well. The worms went back down into the bedding instead of hiding on the tops of the container and there is no smell to speak of right now. I checked the bin this morning and I could hear them slithering away!

I ordered 1,000 more worms because I don't think the 250 that I started off with was enough. Even though they are reproducing and I may or may not have more than what I started, I do want more so that I can process more food waste than I am currently.


My first Borlotti bean died because I had it in the sun one day. I planted a new one and this one shot up really fast! I will be keeping this one in the house away from a lot of heat. It is a bush variety and I am getting a little nervous since it grew so tall.



The rest of my plants are doing very well. I will definitely need to repot my tomatoes very soon. They are not getting much taller which truthfully I am not mad about. In am just waiting for them to flower. My cucumbers are doing awesome!! The cucumbers are growing really well and really fast!

Im looking forward to having an abundant container garden! Maybey next year it will turn into an actual garden!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Weekend Gardening Shenanigans August 7-9

Over the weekend I got some new pots and things and really wanted to plant some new stuffies!! Being that I am keeping all of my plants in containers it is not a huge deal that I am planting things so late in the season.

I first started off with some of the things I already had started, repotting and transplanting some things, making sure everyone was good. My okra and the borlotti bean are growing very well and I am super excited about it!






My tomatoes and cucumbers are all doing very well aside from the unfortunate nature of someone pissing all over my plants!! Who or what is doing this!! Disgusting!!

Aside from bringing the plants inside I dont even know what to do about this... Nasty....

I need to drill holes in the sides of these new pots since they have a shelf that allows there to be a reservoir at the bottom, there is just no drainage.




I got my hands dirty when I mixes up some new soil. My soil mix has been a little different every time, but this time I do think I am happy with the ratios. I used garden soil from miracle grow which I dont normally bother with. I prefer to use organic. I added coco coir which comes in a 11lb brick that you have to break down with water. Finally I added pearlite. I used far less pearlite in this mix than in previous mixes and I do like the consistency much better. My plants seem to like it as well!!


Thursday, August 06, 2015

Reworking the System to keep them Motivated - Points System

Since coming home everyday for the past week to a mess and the only one actually doing their job has been Cameron, I decided that we need to change how everything is being worked.

I started by changing the code to the cell phone and iPod, and removing ALL SNACKS from the house! They are all currently in the trunk of my car.

I went ahead and made up new score sheets so that I can personally keep track of the work that they all have done. Throughout the day they will be keeping track of their chores on their "What I did Today" sheets. At the end of the day I will now be going through and checking their work and giving them points based on if they finish their jobs and how well they finish their jobs.



At the end of the week they will again be able to cash in their points.

Also, at the end of the month I will be giving a prize to the one who has the most points! I think a surprise like this will help motivate them even more!

Maybe a trip to see a movie... Or a toy or new Lego set... A game??

Hmm...

I will also implement the use of point jars which will contain all their candy and snacks, coupons that they can save and use towards something they want, small toys, art supplies, and things like that here and there.

The jars will be separated by worth. 5pts, 10pts, 25pts, ect...

I think that by doing it this way it will be so much more beneficial to them all. Prior I let them choose what they wanted with their points. The fact that they will see the worth of their work whereas before there was no clear earnings and winnings.. Just numbers. I do think that they will be more motivated to get things done and I will not have to try so hard to get them to do the things they are supposed to.

Lets see how this goes...



Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Acrylic Nails! Recent Sets - Pic Heavy

Obsessing over acrylic nails and trying new things each time I do a new set!

I have been trying not to do them very often since they can cause damage to the natural nail from frequently taking them off and on.

What I have started doing is just clipping off the tips and leaving the nail beds and doing a different design this way. This has definitely made a difference in how I approach taking care of my nails and how I do my acrylics. Doing them this way I can actually change out my nails every week with no damage to my natural nails!!

Before I started doing this I was being very careful with my nails, nail beds, and cuticles, but from watching a particular youtube channel I tried a small round drill bit to clean up around the cuticle. I ended up drilling away so much from my nail plate without even realizing it!!!

So since then I have been keeping the entire nail covered with the acrylic and when it comes time to do a fill I simply push back the cuticles and lightly file away the shine before adding the primer and acrylic.

Funny is, I was doing it this way before and all was well. Sometimes it can hurt to try something new the way someone else does it, so I wont be anymore. At least not with techniques on my natural nails.

There are many channels that are really good, and then there are some that have great designs but their technique is very unhealthy.

A huge pet peeve that I have is when the cuticles look really nasty and I keep mine as healthy as possible! As you can see in my pics below.

I am still practicing but here are the nails that I have been wearing over the past few months!

This is my most recent set. I did these this past Sunday 8/2/2015
These are actually done with a layer of polymer clay encapsulated in acrylic. They just might be my favorites so far!!

Tips of the last set cut off in order to do these. I used forms and clear acrylic for the tips after filling in with my nail bed color.




This set I wore for maybe a week or 2.
This is done with one of the glitter mixes that I made. I just love the sparkle and bling!

I cut the tips off of the set below to do these. Still practicing...






This is my own mix and the color that I will be using as my nail bed for now. I wore this set for almost a month!! I just loved the color so much!! I added the little bow as an accent and wanted to do some sculpted flowers but I dont have brushes small enough...


The above I did after doing a 2 week fill on the below. I refined the shape and took down the length a lot. I really love this color!



These sets are all sculpted except for the last pink one. Those are an overlay on top of my natural nails. I do still need to work on my overall shape. The thickness of the nails I am doing much better with getting them down to where they are not super thick. That has been a challenge.

I did order better forms since the ones I had turned out to be knockoffs and shaped really weird. I have been having a hard time getting them to fit and shape right.

Aside from getting the shape right and the thickness the only other issue I have had has been the product ratio. For someone new to a particular product I still kinda have issues with how wet or dry it should be. 

Using the NSI Spa, everything has to be kept very dry and since going back to regular acrylic, it is a little hard to remember not to wipe my brush so much.

But I do think I have it now!!

With practice I will get better and better.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Videos - Worm Bin! New Seedlings!! & the Tomatoes & Cucumbers!!!

The Worm Bin

This is actually pretty interesting albeit pretty gross. The worms seem very happy so far and you can hear them slithering when you open the lid. Its so weird!! I have had them for about a week now and am just waiting for them to finish breaking down the paper. They seem to be doing a pretty good job of it so far!


I got my package with my 67 different types of seeds!! I am super excited about starting many of these seeds!! Most of them are so unique and interesting!!

I started seeds for 12 out of the 67 in a large empty egg carton and am waiting for them to sprout!

They have been in there for a few days and so far my bean is doing really well and my brussel sprouts are sprouting as well!!

I am super excited about all of them growing into strong healthy plants that will feed me and my babies!!


Here are my cucumbers and tomatoes in the original pots my kids put them in. They are doing pretty great, but will need to be transplanted due to the small size of the pots.


Here they are a few days after being transplanted. The cucumbers are in complete shock but do seem to be coming back slowly. As long as they get their sun and water they seem to be doing well. I added a bit of sugar water to them since I heard that could help a little with the transplant shock.

The tomatoes however are doing just fine and even with the transplant they are thriving! I am very happy with all of this and cant wait for my tomatoes especially to start producing. I am currently debating on if I want to start any other tomato plants given the fact that I have 5 here.... I think that just might be too much.. But then again... Is it possible to have too many tomatoes?? That is the question.... 



I am definitely going to keep up with all of this on my BeautyandtheBabies channel! Doing this has definitely gotten me excited about growing things again! When I get home I am gong to go ahead and restart my basil that I killed. Along, with my arugula and spinach since I failed them all miserably...

They do not do well in full sun with all the heat and have since slowly died... That along with my kids drowning them out by watering too much. haha


Friday, July 31, 2015

Starting Seeds, New Seeds, and Worms

Due to the heat and extreme amount of sun we have been getting recently and the fact that I really have not taken the plants into the house for quite some time, along with the unfortunate water logging incident, most of my plants have died.

All that is left are the 2 that actually like the sun and heat! The tomatoes and cucumbers!

They are doing very nicely albeit in pots too small for them... I will soon transplant them into larger containers and they should do great!

I started some more seeds that I know will take a long time to germinate. I am curious to see if they will or not. To do this I cut up some water bottles and filed with some potting mix that I made. Added a little water and a few seeds to each.

The Slow germinating plants I did were:

  • Lavender 14-28 days
  • Rosemary 14-21 days
  • Tarragon 10-14 days
  • Cilantro 14-21 days
  • Thyme 14-28 days
  • Chives 7-14 days
  • Green onion 7-14 days
  • Spinach 7-14 days
I only did one of each and will thin down once they begin to grow out since I dont want a huge crop. I have made that mistake before. Growing way more than needed and the plants not typically doing as well as they can because of it. That in addition to not having enough space for everything.

The only thing that has come up so far has been one little tarragon plant... 

In addition to the slow germinating plants, I also restarted my basil and arugula. These are 2 things that I really don't want to live without.

I also made a huge order of seeds!! I got some of everything so that I can have a variety of things to plant and grow throughout the year. I am pretty excited about it since they are all heirlooms and many of them are very unique varieties. I gravitated towards anything purple!!

Aside from the seeds and the seed starting... I also ordered and received... WORMS!!!

Yes I went and bought worms... Why, you ask?

I bought worms because I am going to use them to create compost to be used in the garden to keep the plants healthy and happy!

Basically you simply put the worms in a bin with cardboard, paper, and leftovers(no meat, dairy, or lemons) and the worms break everything down and their leftovers just happen to be the best type of compost available.

Also, composting with worms is much faster then a regular compost pile. I only bought 250 worms this time and am now thinking I will definitely need more with the amount of food these kids waste.

For now I drilled a ton of holes in the top of a small bin and cut holes into an aluminum baking dish which will sit inside of the bin. I them lined it with some paper and added some water along with the worms, just to revive them and let them settle after being shipped. I blended some romaine lettuce that ended up going bad and added that to the bin as well for the worms to eat.

I might go ahead and get a bigger bin later on so that they can have more room and multiply! (or just separate into multiple bins) The more the better! I want to get a shallow plastic bin to use instead of the aluminum bin, but that depends on what I can find in the stores... Or I could just chop up the bin that I have the way others have done to create a proper flow through worm bin. I actually probably should do that.... LoL

I am going to keep them in the bin under the kitchen sink so that way whenever someone has leftovers they can just go ahead and toss it into the bin. Lets see how that works since these kids dont always follow directions properly. LoL

This should be interesting.
.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Re-potting the Seedlings & the Flowers!!


So in the last gardening post I stated how the planter that I was using had flooded out. It was definitely time to replant everything. I went ahead and did the seedlings of the plants that had already presented themselves in that particular pot.

Those that sprouted were mostly just the Basil, Arugula, Cilantro and Spinach. There were a few green onion I did see but they were lost in digging up all the Basil...

As I was poking around in the bin and found what I am hoping are Sage roots ready and waiting to sprout! Time will tell with that though.

I will probably replant seeds for those that didn't and probably will not come up due to being drowned out.

I put them all into pots and separated them for the most part so that they would grow a little better and not be so crowded out.

I don't want too many of them to die... Restarting my garden has proven to be a little difficult. There are just so many things that I need to learn and relearn!


I put the majority of the Summer long Basil in one pot and the rest of that along with the Lime Basil in another. 

Basil

The Cilantro got its own pot. 

Cilantro

The Spinach and Arugula I put in the same pot spaced about an inch or two apart in rows. Its been a few days since I re-potted and the spinach seems to be doing OK so far and some of the arugula and basil are slowly died off.

Spinach                                               Arugula

The babies did help with the re-potting. I mixed up some new soil. I used perlite and organic potting soil in my mix this time and we definitely got our hands dirty. I forgot to add in the fertilizer this time but they plants will all be transplanted again pretty soon.. I did sprinkle some on the top and dissolved some to water them with.

Cucumbers

The cucumbers are growing great!! I do think I will need to re-pot and separate them soon. I am seeing a tiny bit of powdery mildew growing on the tips of the leaves. When I set the pots outside The leaves of these in particular get chewed on like crazy! Me no likey this..

Tomatoes

My tomatoes are coming up pretty good!! Slowly but surely. I have I believe about 5 Tomato plants here.

Each of the tomato and cucumber plants are going to have to be re-potted into their own pot since they grow to be so big I don't want them to crowd each other out... Or I could just re-pot them into one or two huge pots...

I am going to have to trellis them both and am very interested to see how much they both grow and how much they each will produce.

So far so good!! Lets see how well they all grow up!!


The rest of my flowers are so pretty!! I planted a lot more but many of them have yet to bloom along with my iris' dying... :( But I am pretty happy with the flowers that have presented themselves. The gladiolas were supposed to be purple... But they turned out this lovely pink!! So pretty!! My gladiolas are however dying flower by flower from the bottom up... Ughhh!!! I am going to attribute this to the soil in my front yard. I did not properly fertilize it and just kinda stuck them all into the ground... It could also be due to all the weeds I have as well and they are all competing for space and nutrients.

Live and learn. Next year I will add a goo layer of mulch and make sure I weed the garden and surrounding areas diligently. There are so many weeds!!!

The photo on the bottom right I am not quite sure which flower this is since I planted so many.. But I believe it is my Cosmos! There is a bud forming and I am just waiting in anguish for it to bloom!!!




Friday, July 24, 2015

Starting an Herb/Vegetable Garden with Kids!

Not mine... But Soon...


I started another Herb garden! I absolutely love fresh herbs and veggies. However, herbs in particular I have a really hard time keeping them on hand since I use them so much. I really don't have time to run to the grocery store every few days just for some cilantro & basil, which I use very often.

I loved my little garden that I had before and through a lot of trial and error I am starting back up again, with the help of the babies.

I am always a little too ambitious with my garden and things of the like. I want to grow EVERYTHING!!

I started some seedlings and right now I have, 2 types of Basil, Cilantro, Sage, Chives, Arugula, Spinach, Green Onions, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers.

I put them all, aside from the Cucumber and Tomatoes, in one huge rectangular pot along with some organic vegetable potting soil.

After most of the seeds germinated I have been letting it sit out on the front porch to get the sun it needs. However, since it has been raining, the big pot got soaked!! It reminded me how I have no drainage system going on in that particular pot!!

I got this pot from Home Depot since that and Walmart are where I get all of my gardening things. As you can see the planter is bowed out A LOT! And even though it has been a few days it is still over saturated with water.

Because of this, what I am going to do is remove everything once they start to get their true leaves. I am going to replant the entire box! Probably go and get a few more since I planted so much Basil and Arugula, I don't want them to die out due to overcrowding.
I am going to place large rocks in the bottom of each and then cover with some type of screening so that there can be a decent gap. Place some wick so that the liquid in the bottom does not go to waste and the box doesn't have to be watered as often.

Then finally I will add the soil back and replant what I want in each box.

For the tomatoes and cucumbers I may have to get bigger pots and I will also need a cage of some sort to keep them growing up instead or out.

The babies have been helping me along the way with the gardening and doing very well. I also planted a TON of flowers in my front yard and they are growing like crazy!!

I started with some gladiolas and blue iris, then added some marigolds and a mixed flower of various kinds. Finally I planted some cosmos, daffodils, and tulips, because I love them, although very late in the season.

Everything is growing very nicely! Especially the gladiolas and the marigolds, which took forever to start growing!! My blue iris grew nicely until it was time to bloom and them the flowers died!! Just the flowers... So I pinched them off but the stalks were not looking very nice, so I cut them down.

Now that I am reading up on them, I should have left them until they died themselves. I am hoping that the stalks and flowers will grow back before the season is completely over.

The daffodils and tulips have not popped up just yet. I do see foliage that looks like its coming from the daffodils however and I am excited to see if they will flower since they are an spring, early summer plant.

I will be collecting seed from each and every flower for next year and I cant wait to see how they will all look next year!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Points System - Doing better!

So after the day or 2 of them doing what they felt like I sat down with them and had a little chat...

In said chat we went over all the rules and expectations of each other. We talked about being disrespectful and treating others the way you want to be treated. This rule in particular is something that my grandmother instilled in me and to this day is something that I live by.

I reiterated the Golden Rule to them several times and will probably do so again everyday until they actually get it.

I woke up this morning to the house looking much better than previous days, although there were some french fries hanging out on the floor still...

I quickly wrote down and assigned a few chores to each of them to give them something to do while I am at work today. So far so good.

Also since they lost so many points the other day I gave them a bonus. As long as they do all their chores and respect each other for the rest of the week they can have all the points that they lost back. That made them a little excited.

They are getting there.... Thing is they have not cashed in any of their points just yet so I am concerned that they do not and will not value this system without reaping the benefits of it yet.

Saturday is near!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Points System Crash & Burn!!

So as usual I left for work giving the children a few odd jobs to do for the day, since there wasn't much to do aside from the kitchen.

I came home from work to the house the same way that I left it!! They did not do a single thing!! I was so upset! I ended up just going upstairs and laying down reading up on clean eating and gardening, because that is my current thing.

My daughter wanted to make apple pie and since I promised her we would make it days ago and bought all the ingredients I said "OK, fine." I then went to sleep while she baked with the help of her brother and my sister.

When I woke up this morning I came downstairs to cereal all over the floor, the kitchen looking worse than the previous day and just crap everywhere!!

I decided I wasn't going to make them do anything while I was at work since they have decided that they don't have to listen to a text or video chat... When I get home tonight they will each be assigned a job one at a time until the whole house is spotless!!

While I am at work however, they are grounded and not allowed to come out of their rooms aside for eating. No TV, cell phone, nothing. Just books to read.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2 Weeks with the New Points System - Motivation!!

They are actually doing very well!! Including my young one!

The point system is giving them the motivation to get things done without me having to tell them to do it!

One thing that I noticed is that they are having a hard time completing something TOGETHER. They always end in some kind of fight or someone just stops working altogether.

This is something that I am going to have to work on with them, as I want them to be able to do things without always fighting.

I used word & publisher since I have it at work. If I were at home(& my macbook pro hadn't died for the umpteenth time) I would be using Pages.

This is just the basics of what I put together. I also created the lists with their Daily Tasks for each and put Avengers characters in the backgrounds to give them a little more excitement and sense of ownership.

I laminated each of their Daily Task sheets and had them tape it to their walls in their bedrooms.

I then had them place the rules and points list all over the house. In pretty much every room since I want to jam this system down their throats(figuratively, sometime literally.. LoL)

The first page on this is a list of chores that I write down as I come by them. Sometimes I assign them sometimes I don't.

The second page is theirs. I printed out multiple copies of this and on it they can mark down all the things that they did everyday.

So far, so good!!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Creating a Summer Schedule for Bored Kids

I work a full time job in addition to taking care of 3 children on my own. My babies are highly intelligent and highly active. My youngest is super Hyperactive. Such a sweety pie, but he is constantly getting into things he shouldn't be.



When they first got out of school, they lacked the structure that they are used to and need in order to keep themselves on task. They have been running rampant like a pack of wild dogs!!!

Kids in general need structure, so I have put together a daily task list and a point system for them while I am at work. This way I do not have to come home to a mess everyday and blow a blood vessel trying to get them to do the things that they are supposed to do.

I set up a schedule with a list of daily tasks and chores for them to do. There is space to add additional chores if need be depending on what is going on. There is also a space to keep track of the points that they accumulate throughout the week.

At the end of each week they can choose to use their points towards something that they want or want to do, or they can save their points to let them accrue towards whatever goal they may have.

The beginning stages of implementing this system are sure to be difficult to get through but with consistency I am sure that they will be able to and I will be left with clean, well behaved babies.... Hopefully.... LOL

This will be an absolutely interesting experiment and journey. I am very interested in seeing how far my kids will go to get the things that they want.

It has been a few days and the older 2 have taken to it pretty well. My youngest is still trying to figure things out. He hasnt been able to understand the concept of working towards something just yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Acrylic Nail Obsession!!!!

I have been super obsessed with acrylic nails as of late. I have always had a thing for nail art and definitely prefer acrylic or gel over just regular polish. It never lasts more than 2 days on me regardless of the brand and the technique.

I have done my own acrylics off and on over the years and have recently started back wearing them. I am wearing them again because I got so tired of my natural nail breaking constantly and just not looking very good. I really like for my nails to look nice and started doing my pink and whites again.

I love pink and whites!!

This time I really want to perfect my technique and get much better at doing them!

I have gotten my prep down and with better products and application technique, I have greatly reduced the amount of lifting that I used to get.

I have been slowly building my nail collection back up and now have acrylic from 2 different lines. Both are great and I really do feel like the Omega especially works the best for me compared to anything else that I have actually tried.

I have the majority of essentials for doing acrylics. Many of which, I have purchased from eBay this past few weeks and from here all I will really need is the wants and nail art supplies.

I have ordered a dust fan which I think is highly important to have in your acrylic or gel nail kit. You want to keep the acrylic dust down to a minimum as much as possible since it can cause serious health problems. I actually wear a particulate mask when I file my nails regardless if I am hand filing or using a drill. Since I do have asthma, I try to reduce the effects that doing acrylics can cause as much as possible.

I ordered a few carbide bits which are much safer as far as dust since they cut the acrylic into chunks that are too big to breathe in. I am excited about trying them out! You must be careful when using carbide bits since they can cut the skin.

There is a bit of a learning curve and for me my biggest obstacle has been product ratio and consistency. I cant quite get the perfect pearl every time. But that also has to do with the fact that I have been trying out new brushes and things like that on a regular basis. With practice that will eventually come natural.

I have found eBay to be the easiest way to order nail art stuff. I ordered a practice hand as well which I am super excited about so I can get my technique down without destroying my nails, taking them off and redoing every week or few days or whatever...


I have been practicing on that as well as on Tammy Taylor's practice sheet. I have done a ton of pink and whites and also wanted to try to do the type of nails that I would never actually do on myself. I did an Edge nail which came out pretty interesting...

Acrylic nails can become a really bad habit because there is always something else that you want to buy. Its just as bad as my hair obsession if not worse at this point!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My Short Curly Hair Routine - Modified MHM

Since cutting off all my hair my hair routine is super simple and super quick!



I am simply doing wash & goes every day and deep conditioning once or twice a week.


I have been reading up on the Max Hydration Method for a while and have incorporated a few things from it into my regimen.


Since my hair is in its short stage I do not want to go all out with what I am doing to my hair. This is what I am doing to my hair on a daily and weekly basis.


DAILY
  • Rinse hair very well under shower
  • While hair is still soaking wet, apply light conditioner and massage through focusing on the very front, sides, and back, as these are the driest parts of my hair.
  • Apply oil to scalp and massage in making sure to lightly coat the hair. I like to use Castor Oil or one of my own oil blends with essential oils.
WEEKLY
  • Deep condition the hair with a heavy conditioner, mixed with honey and oils
  • Apple Cider Vinegar rinse
  • Baking Soda rinse
  • Shampoo if I feel the need to (which is usually about once a month)


I will say if I had bentonite clay or another kind of clay I would definitely do the fully MHM every 2-3 days.


However, since I started back cowashing everyday like I used to, my hair is a lot more moisturized and my curls are popping like crazy!! The sides and the very front of my hair have had a harder time forming the curl as compared to the rest of my hair. Because of this I have been focusing on those sections a  little more.


I shampoo with Nizoral for my scalp issues. I feel like it does help when I get that weird burning sensation, as well as the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.

My hair is responding to this very well and I definitely feel like the shedding that I had been experiencing has subsided greatly! My hair is becoming more and more moisturized everyday and I am not experiencing any breakage at all!

That makes me pretty happy!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

My Extreme Haircut - Video Series 1-4



I have uploaded 4 videos so far about my haircut. The first one was just an explanation of what has been going on with my hair and what had led me to make the decision to cut off all of my hair. My hair has gone through so many changes and I really needed a change.


I just needed to be able to forget about my hair completely for a while. And I have to say that it was definitely much needed!! I feel so much better not having to worry about what I am doing to my hair. Since my hair was in such a bad condition I couldn't do wash and goes. It looked terrible when I wore it down!



In this video, I explain my reasons for wanting to cut off all of my hair. There are so many different things that have been going on I have simply become fed up! I was ready for a change!


The Cut!!

The change was pretty drastic!! And Even though I cut off so much hair, I do not miss it at all!! I am actually quite surprised about that!!




This is how I felt about my hair after the 1st week of wearing it short. I love it!! It is so different and something that I have wanted to do for a really long time!! I am super happy and excited that I finally did it!!!

I got over my fear of having short hair and over my fear of cutting off all of my hair!! It took me a couple of years to be able to grow the courage, so to speak, to be able to do this. I would always say, "I want to shave my head and if I feel the same way next year, I will do it."

Well, I finally did it!!!


What fears do you have? How long do you think it will take you to be able to say "Fuck It!" and just do it??

Friday, May 29, 2015

Diva DC (Diva Collections) 10% OFF Promo Code

Hey everyone!! For those of you who are interested in trying a new line of Acrylic Nail Products I have a coupon code for 10% off at DivaDC.com!!!

Promo code - DIVADCMA

This promo code is good for one week from today!! The End date is June 4th!!

I personally will definitely be taking advantage of this and making a purchase within the next few days!!

I have my eye on their acrylic and glitters and cant wait to purchase and try them out!!!


Nailite Haul - Omega Acrylic System



I have been using my NSI Spa nail system for the past few years and recently have been looking into getting something different.


Now I have ordered form Nailite in the past and loved their products... Except for the acrylic. I have previously owned the regular acrylic system from Nailite and I have to say, at the time the amount of lifting that I experienced with that line was unacceptable!!


I wanted to try something new but didn't know where to start and didn't want to invest too much money in a product line that doesn't work for me. So I simply did what I usually do... Google and YouTube!!


I researched and watched tons of videos on different product lines and what they are good for and how they are used and pricing for everything I would need.... All that jazz...


I wanted something that was great for problem lifters, as I am a problem lifter.


I ended up deciding on 3 different product lines, but I wanted to try them all one at a time. I didn't want to overwhelm myself with all these products like I typically do.


I wanted to try and test them each out for a good time period before trying out the next one.



I decided to start with Nailite Omega since I am very familiar with Nailite in general and after hearing such great things about this particular line for problem lifters.


After doing my 1st set with this system I have to say I LOVE IT!! So far...


First off, it is a HUGE difference from the NSI Spa system, being that it is regular acrylic and not odorless. Much easier to work with and with the new brushes that I got as well, it is a dream!


I have been able to sculpt my nails much, much easier and faster.


I printed out Tammy Taylor's Practice sheet and have been practicing my pink and whites, since I cant do them on myself everyday.... LoL


Tammy Taylor has great and really informative videos that I have watched over and over along with a few other vloggers.


My favorite YouTube Nail channel is Absolute Nails. I love her videos. She is so down to earth and the nails that she does are so unique and different! I think I just may have watched all of her videos... Just maybe...


Watching her videos and all the others out there make me want to do all kinds of crazy designs!! Now I definitely cant wear long nails, never mind stilettos! But, I do really want to play around with different colors, glitters, rhinestones, and all kinds of bling!


I am loving the pink and white that I have going on now and eventually the white will be all types of glitter crazy!


I do like being able to wear acrylic nails again and actually having nails. I find it funny that after wearing acrylic consistently before made my nails so weak and they never recovered. But now, when I soaked off my nails to apply this new set my nails felt much stronger! I am positive that they would have broken off fairly quickly regardless, but they still feel much better.


Most likely it is my technique that is different, since I have spent a lot of time working on how I am doing everything so that my nails stay healthy underneath.


Going to keep practicing to get them perfect!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hair Diary *37* - Going Through Changes & Battling Hairloss(again..)

* This post was written a few days before I did the Big Chop! Yea, so posting now! Tee Hee! *


It has been almost a year since the last time I have written a Hair Diary on the blog.
My hair has been going through some major changes over the past year. I have dealt with consistent hair loss for quite some time and now feel like I may be overcoming this.

I think the hair loss that I have been dealing with had something to do with where I was living at the time. I have moved a few months ago and the shedding, itchy scalp, dandruff, and burning sensation have subsided significantly.

I have been using Nizoral shampoo every now and then whenever I feel like my scalp is getting irritated and I use my sulfur and essential oil mix a few days out of the week as well. Mostly when I remember.

My issues with my scalp have subsided greatly, however the damage has already been done!! The constant shedding that I was experiencing has cause my hair to thin out so much!! Every time I look at my hair I want to cut it all off and start from scratch.

In the past dealing with thin hair I have always done some type of Big Chop to solve the problem. I have become accustom to cutting off tons of hair on a regular basis! At this time I have length, but I also have thinness and unevenness since new hair is growing in! I want to keep the length but I really want to get my hair back to being even all over.

Dealing with uneven hair is very difficult since breakage and single strand knots are so much more common.

To combat this I have been doing some serious deep conditioning treatments and I will be cutting an inch or so off every month until it grows back out. I have been doing this over and over for the past almost 10 years!

This time I am hoping is the last time!!

I am staying away from all of those things that I know for a fact causes significant hair loss for me and doing all of the things that I know works to increase my growth and retention.

My hairstyles of choice for dealing with thinning hair:
  • Two Strand Twists - Flat and Singles
  • Baggy Ponytail - Only when the hair has enough length and not overly uneven. Can cause breakage otherwise.
  • Box Braids
  • Faux Locs
I typically wear long term protective styles when dealing with any type of hair loss. I will do the ponytail baggy when I want to be able to cowash my hair on a regular basis. I tend to redo the baggy every 1-2 days by cowashing, reapplying all products I am using and redoing the baggy.

I like to wear my ponytail baggy with a drawstring ponytail or with marley braiding hair wrapped around to make a bun.

With the other styles I have had the philosophy in the past that I was not going to condition my hair while wearing these styles to avoid slipping and buildup, however I have since revised that!

I now deep condition and cowash weekly when wearing these styles. This way I am still keeping my hair strong and moisturized with proper conditioning!

I stopped taking my vitamins back in September last year in order to shock my system once I started back up. I just started taking them again the past few weeks and am now seeing a big difference compared to before.

Shaving my head has been something that has been on my mind for quite some time now and I think that this just may be the year that I actually do it!!

By doing so I am hoping to completely get rid of that itch to chop that I get every year or so. Plus I will be able to show off my tattoo much better. :D


My Hair Diary posts have been far and few in between due to the fact that I have been putting everything into The Hair Diary app as opposed to the blog. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Hair Diary app is now Available for iPhone!!!



I am so excited to announce that The Hair Diary app is now available on The App Store for iPhone.

You can also download the app on Google Play for Android.

A new version of the app has been uploaded to Google Play. This version will fix any known crashes. 

If you have either app and are experiencing any crashes PLEASE send the Crash Reports so that they can be corrected!!! 
This will ensure that you have a quality app that functions properly and I as the developer can work on adding new and better features in future versions!!

Thank you for supporting The Hair Diary!!

Click either link above to Download The Hair Diary.

Android versions - 4.0.3+
iPhone versions - 8.0+


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