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Monday, January 31, 2011

End of Month Check-in: Jan

I'm going to make this one really short because I am so disappointed with myself.  Over the last two weeks I've managed to lose less than 1lb...yeah you read that right less than one freaking pound, taking me from 148.6 to 147.8. I know where I went wrong, those darn honey buns my husband brought home, he knows they are my one true weakness.  I think he may be trying to jeopardize me on I'm just kidding.  Anyway on a positive note, I didn't gain any weight, so I'm still heading in the right direction, just at a slightly slower rate than intended.  Well, I'll see what the next two weeks will bring.

Short Term Goal: Say NO to Sweets!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jill Scott & Alicia Keys Inspired Hair Style

So after I did my banana oatmeal hair treatment last night, I was bored and surfing the web checking out celebrity hairstyles. I ran across two hairstyles that truly spoke to me so I decided to style my hair. Before I get into what I did let me show you the lovely ladies that inspired me: Jill Scott & Alicia Keys.

 Tools Needed
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Rattail comb (for parting)
  • Rubber bands to secure twist (optional)
  • Flexi rods
  • Eco Styler Gel (holding agent of choice)
  1. Separate the section you want to twist or braid. Secure the remaining hair out of the way with a hair clip or ouchless band.
  2. Twist or braid this section in whatever design you choose. Secure each twist/braid with a rubber band.
  3. Roll the remaining hair on flexi rods. Be sure each section is wet and apply holding agent before using rods.
  4. Let hair air dry over night or sit under hooded dryer.
  5. Remove flexi rods and separate curls.
*Curls will loosen as hair style ages.
*If you want a tighter or smaller curl try a straw set or coil out. If you want a more of a wave or crinkle try a braid/twist out. You can also do a wash and go if you prefer your natural curl pattern.

Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask

* This treatment can be used as a deep conditioner. 
** You can also use it as a skin mask minus the olive oil and add honey.

  • 1 4oz jar banana baby food / 1 whole banana (if using a whole banana smash it, put in food processor, & strain it to make sure there's no chucks)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 table spoons unsweetened oatmeal
  • few drops of olive oil (sorry didn't measure)
  • few drops of milk (sorry didn't measure)
  1. Mix oatmeal, olive oil, and milk in glass or plastic bowl until it becomes a paste.
  2. Add egg and banana to mixture and stir until well blended.
  3. Apply evenly to detangled hair in small sections from roots to ends.
  4. Let set for at least 15 minutes then rinse with cold/cool water. DO NOT USE WARM/HOT WATER BECAUSE IT MAY CAUSE EGG TO COOK IN HAIR.
  5. Shampoo, Condition, & Style as usual.
 Benefits of Main Ingredients
  1. Banana enhances strength. endurance, and shine of hair. Helps prevent split ends. Combats dandruff problems. Also helps retain scalp moisture.
  2. Oatmeal is a well known gentle cleansing agent which fights dryness and itchiness of the scalp. It also promotes soft and shiny hair.
  3. Eggs are rich in protein which leads to stronger strands and less breakage.  It provides moisture to hair causing smoother and shinier hair. With continuous use it could lead to thicker hair.

My Experience With The Hair Mask

First let me say, I AM IN LOVE with the Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask. 

I've been searching for a while for a recipe that could serve as a homemade hair mask and deep conditioner, but just couldn't find one that I found totally appealing, so I put my thinking cap on and took ideas from various hair and skin recipes and tweaked them to my liking and came up with this concoction. 

It's thick enough to use as a mask, yet creamy and moisturizing enough for a deep conditioner. And for an added bonus the egg gives you just enough protein to strength the hair strands without making your hair hard and brittle.

While applying the mask to my hair, I immediately noticed that my curls and ringlets were becoming well defined. I was in complete awe because no commercial product has ever given my hair that much definition. After about 30 minutes I rinsed the mask out and shampooed with Suave's Naturals Tropical Coconut Shampoo. To my surprise my curls were still well defined and very soft before using my regular conditioner (Suave's Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner). I let that set for about 5 minutes then rinsed it out.

What's my verdict? Like I stated earlier...I love this stuff.  I'm definitely glad I took the time to do my research on the ingredients before starting to mix things together.  This is only my first time using it but I can honestly say the main ingredients surely live up to there claims. My hair felt stronger, softer, and smoother. It was shiner. And the dry scalp I was experiencing in the front of my head is currently nonexistent.  

Next time, I'll be using it as a deep conditioner.  Hopefully the results will be as great.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Styling Two Strand Twist

So I've had my hair in twist for two weeks now. I don't think I've had this much fun with my hair in a while. The styling options for twist are limitless. I put together a short slide show of some of the styles I've tried over these two weeks. Some of them I really liked, others were complete failures...but hey, you win some, you lose some, but you live to style another Corny right, I know, but I couldn't care less. Enough rambling, on to the video. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Transitioning Tips

I recently found out that a few of my friends are transitioning at the moment.  One of them asked me for some tips that helped me through my transition. These are the things that I shared with her;

1. Make sure you keep your hair moisturized, especially at the line of demarcation (where the relaxed and natural hair meet). This is the weakest part of hair, and where most breakage occurs.

2. Get a good leave-in conditioner, rinse-out conditioner, and deep conditioner. You don't have to spend a lot of money on them. Look for key words like moisturizing or some equivalent.

3. If you experience a lot of shedding and/or moisture overload. Try a light protein treatment such as Aphogee 2 min every 6 weeks or so. The Aphogee 2 step may be too strong. Be sure to do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment after the protein treatment.

4. Comb/detangle hair with a wide tooth comb, starting from the ends to the roots. This helps cut down on breakage.

5. If you comb your hair dry, try doing it in smaller sections.

6. Instead of using hair grease, try some natural oils or butters such as olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, or shea butter.

7. If you decide to straighten, make sure to use a heat protectant to avoid heat damage.

8. Check out youtube and some natural hair blogs such as,,,, and for styling tips.

Bantu Knot Out on Two Strand Twists

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Went Natural

This morning I realized, I haven't explained my reasoning for going natural.  So I decided to make a video about it. I hope  you find it interesting.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe of the Day

Venison Meatballs 

Yields 18 meatballs
Prep time: 10 minutes          
Cook time: 35 minutes

1 1/2 lbs ground venison
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. parsley
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (135 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9X13 baking pan.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the venison, egg and rice with your hands. Make sure the egg thoroughly coats the meat. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with hands.
3. Form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs and place on greased pan about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake on middle oven rack for 35 minutes. Can be served with pasta and sauce or alone with a gravy.

*If serving with pasta and sauce, place the meatballs in a 3 quart pot with your sauce of choice and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Spaghetti w/Venison Meatballs
My two year old hopped out of his chair with a big smile and walked over to me holding his empty spider man plate, looked me square in the eyes and said, "Mommy, more please." That's a sure indication that these meatballs were a hit.

Mid month check in - Jan

 I just joined the 6 month weight loss challenge a few days ago, so there's not much to report.  I hopped on the scale this morning and it said 148.6. I was shocked and amazed that I've actually lost 1.5lbs. This proves that sticking to an exercise regimen and being cognitive of food choices is rewarding.

I'm waving good bye to the 150s, hugging the 140's hello, and telling the 130s, I'll see you soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Little Boys with Long Hair

I've been searching for months, with little success, for information and support for parents that decide to let their sons hair grow rather than get it cut. It seems that the consensus is, little boys need to get their hair cut to look like boys.  I have to disagree.

I have a 2 year old son, who has never gotten a haircut. If I were to stretch out his curls they would hang well pass APL.  It's so funny how people reactions to his hair change like the wind blows. One minute they're in awe over how soft, long, and well maintained his hair is. The next second, they make snide remarks (mostly under their breath) about how I must have desperately wanted a girl and that's why I'm holding on to his hair.  Can I say....wrong, try again.

I know that I don't owe anyone any explanations, but I just want to get this out there.  I have seen the way 1, 2, and 3 year old boys act if anybody even mentions something about a haircut or barber shop.  I personally feel that my son is too young to go through the unnecessary agony. I'm not knocking people who get their little boys hair cut, it just wasn't the right decision for my family.  I figured, if I could put in the effort to nourish and take care of my hair, I most definitely can do the same for him.  If he express to me that he would like to get a hair cut like daddy, I'll take him to a barber with no hesitations, until then, I think we're doing just fine.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lexi's 6 Month Weight Loss Challenge!!!

Lexi of Curls, Coils, & Kinks is having a 6 month weight loss challenge.  Since I am determined to loss a few extra pounds and tone up, I decided it was a good idea to join in on the challenge.  I figured it would provide extra motivation for me to get up off the couch and exercise.

My Weight Background
Growing up, I was always the extra skinny girl...which I hated and I desperately wanted to gain weight. Once I felt I arrived to my goal weight, I found out I was pregnant with my 1st son and packed on an extra 40lbs in 2008. It took me almost a year to lose less than half those extra pounds only to find out I was pregnant with my second child and packed on another 20lbs. After giving birth to my second son I was left weighing 173lbs (this may not seem like a lot, but I'm only 5'3).

Over the past eight months I have managed to lose 23lbs leaving me at 150.1lbs.  To reach my ideal weight of 130lbs I need to lose another 20lbs. I hope to reach my goal weight my April. Then use May and June to finish toning up.

My stats
Height: 5'3
Current weight: 150.1 lbs
Waist: 30 1/3
Hips: 42 1/16
BMI: 26.6
Goal Weight: 130 lbs

My plan
I will continue to count my calories with myfitnesspal...very useful resource for health and fitness. My exercise routine will go as follows:

Mon & Wed
  •  Belly dancing or Aerobics -  45 minutes
  • Crunches - 3 reps of 15
  • Vertical leg crunch - 2 reps of 15
  • Bicycle - 3 reps of 10
Tues & Thursday
  •  Running - 30 minutes
  • One-legged squats - 2 reps of 15
  • Wall squats - 2 reps of 15
  • Ball crunch - 3 reps of 10
  • Jumping rope - 30 minutes (3 - 10min intervals)
  • Reverse crunch - 3 reps of 10
  • Lying leg pulls - 3 reps of 10  
* I will make sure to properly stretch before and after each workout.  Friday and Sunday are days of rest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Maintaining Straight Hair

Part 2: Flexi Rods

Last night I set my previously straighten hair on the blue and orange flexi rods. I said a silent prayer this morning to the hair gods for good results. I was definitely pleasantly pleased. Flexi rods have become my hair's new best friend. Check out the youtube video for results.

Get Your Makeup Out of That Rut!

Get Your Makeup Out of That Rut!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Curly Hair Care: 5 Steps to Create a Hair Regimen

Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Curly Hair Care: 5 Steps to Create a Hair Regimen: "by Tammy of Curly Chic 1. Start a Hair Diary or Journal Writing a Diary may sound a little “High School” to some but it can really be..."

Mantaining Straight Hair

Part 1: Cross-Wrap

I've had my hair straight for 4 days now. I've been maintaining with the cross-wrap technique that I learned from several youtubers.  Wrapping my hair this way has resulted in very little reversion. It came out kind of flat this morning, but I'll be using flexi rods tonight to bring it back to life. I'll probably be in buns or updos all next week.  Any way enough rambling. Check out my cross-wrap video below.

What's the Big Deal?

I've been an advent lurker of hair blogs, hair forums, and youtube for several year now. Its seems like the same issue comes up at least 2 or 3 times a month. A transitioning or newly natural diva is catching grief about her hair decision from the ones who claim to love her the most.  I just don't understand the big deal. When I decided to stop getting relaxers, no one around me seemed to be bothered by my decision. It was basically business as usual.

What's disheartening to me is, it seems that women are having the most problems from their own mothers. I always have to take a deep breath simply shake my head when reading these stories or watching these video. I always thought that your mother should be your biggest supporter whether they agree with your decision or not...well, at least that's how it was in my case.

While I was transitioning my mother was my hair's saving grace. She took the time to teach me how to cornrow, flat twist, roller set, rod set, straw curls, comb/finger coils...she's a licensed cosmetologist. I never took interest in learning to do these things before because I simply washed, conditioned, blow dried, flat ironed, and wrapped weekly.  I'm not saying that my mom was my personal little AMEN corner, because if something was not right with my hair she quickly spoke up, like always, that's how I knew her concerns were genuine.  It was her way of "saving me from the world" as she so gracefully put it.

I know I went off on a tangent, but back to my original thoughts. I've always wondered why so many people believe they have the right to push their opinion about acceptable hair texture or practices on others.  There's nothing wrong with expressing your concerns if something seems out of order, but do so in a tactful and loving manner.

To all my transitioning and natural sisters out there, please don't be discouraged by the Negative Nancys and Pessimist Pauls in your life.  Continue to embark on your journey. Embrace every kink, curl, wave, or mixtures of the aforementioned textures you have on your beautiful head. Every head of hair is different and makes each of us uniquely human.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Black Tea and Cinnamon Rinses

A few months ago, I was dealing with some major postpartum shedding. Using my homemade black tea and cinnamon rinse has cut down the shedding drastically, almost eliminating it. 

Black tea and cinnamon have many of the same benefits which are as follows:

Benefits of Black Tea                                         Benefits of Cinnamon
1. Caffeine stimulates hair follicles                          1. Promotes growth
2. Slows down shedding                                         2. Prevents hair loss
3. Darkens hair                                                       3. Sunless lighten of hair

The main difference between the benefits of the black tea and cinnamon is the effects it has on your hair color. I added the cinnamon powder in the black tea rinse because my hair is dyed with Clairol: Cherrywood Texture and Tones; and I figured the lightening affects of cinnamon would counteract the darkening affects of the tea. Plus I hate the smell of tea and the sweet and spicy smell of cinnamon helped to mask the smell.

Black Tea and Cinnamon Rinse Recipe
4 tea bags (I use Lipton tea)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
1 Tea pot of freshly boiled water

Brew the black tea and cinnamon powder in water for a few hours or overnight. BE SURE TO ALLOW RINSE TO COOL!!!

There are many different opinions on where the tea rinse should fit into your wash day routine. The steps I take when doing a tea rinse are as follows:

1. Prepoo overnight
2. Clarify
3. Pour rinse over hair (DO NOT RINSE OUT)
4. Deep condition w/heat 30 minutes
5. Rinse deep conditioner/tea mixture from hair
6. Quick cool/cold rinse to close cuticles
7. Moisturize/Detangle/Style

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quarterly Length Check

I finally straighten my hair a couple days ago. As expected I am full shoulder length, with about 1.5 inches to get to APL. My goal is to be BSL by the end of 2011, so I'm really going to be protective styling like never before. I plan to use direct heat only for my quarterly length checks. Hopefully less heat will aid in my retention this year.

Official Length Check, Full Shoulder
Check out my youtube video for my straighten hair.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chunky Twistout!

Last night I set my hair in ten large twist and rolled the ends on blue flexi rods. My hair was damp and all I used was Smooth 'n Shine Hair Polisher.

I also uploaded a YouTube video. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

75 Things Every Grown Woman Should Know

A friend of mine sent me this e-mail. I found it interesting so I decided to share. The ones that I really like are blue. Hope you enjoy.

1. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.

2. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. 

3. If you have ANY doubt in your mind about a man’s character, leave him alone.

4. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.

5. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

6. Don’t force an attraction.

7. Slower is better.

8. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.

9. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no you can’t “be friends.” A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.

10. Have faith in God regarding your relationship, but don’t let faith make you stupid. God does things decent and in order.
11. Don’t settle. 

12. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.

13. If he keeps changing his mind about the relationship—take that as a BIG sign that he is unstable. Do you really want to be with a man like that?

14. Don’t stay because you think “it will get better.” You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.

15. Honorable men take care of their business and aren’t involved in a whole lot of mess.

16. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.

17. There’s only one ‘reason’ a man dumps you; he doesn’t want you.

18. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.
He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?

19. You really do have to kiss a few frogs before finding the prince.

20. Always put yourself and your happiness first.

21. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.

22. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.

23. Like from the show Sex and the City, if he doesn’t call, he just isn’t that interested.

24. Be honest and upfront.

25. Know when to cut the cord, don’t be strung along

26. Don’t fall for the “I’m confused role”. Remove yourself from the situation to let him figure things out (but don’t wait for him, move on).

27. If you want to have a clue as to how he will treat you, watch how he treats the WOMEN in his family (not just mom).

28. There’s more than physical abuse, there’s emotional and mental abuse. If he causes any of them…flee. 

29. You cannot change a man’s behaviors. Change comes from within.

30. Don’t let him place rules on you that he is not willing to follow himself — double-standard.

31. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than ! you are…even if he has more education or in a better job.

32. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing

33. Demand respect and if he can’t give it, he can’t have you!

34. Don’t compete with other woman, but be aware that men are attracted to what they see.

35. If you think he is cheating, he probably is. Confront him right away and if you feel he’s lying, let him go.

36. Actions speak louder than words. 

37. Never let a man define who you are.

38. Never rely on a man for compliments, look to yourself for that.

39. Never borrow someone else man.

40. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.

41. Just because he says he loves you, doesn’t mean that he won’t hurt you and it doesn’t mean that you are meant to be with him.

42. To use painful hard-won wisdom — ‘get it right’ the next time.

43. Know that you deserve to be the number one person in the life of the #1 person in your life.

44. Love is a verb …
45. Learn to give up your lifelong task of trying to make someone unavailable-available, someone ungiving-giving, and someone unloving-loving.

46. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

47. All men are NOT dogs.
48. You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two way street.

49. If you don’t love yourself…you cant love someone else

50. You cannot mend someone else broken heart 

51. You need time to heal between relationships…there is nothing cute about baggage…deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship. 

52. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you…a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals…look for someone complimentary…not supplementary.

53. Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.
54. NEVER give more in a relationship than you are getting out of it. 

55. Never become your man’s “therapist”.

56. When actions and words conflict, believe the actions. Respond to the actions.

57. A real healthy relationship requires two people. One person can end it - but it takes two to make it work.
58. Don’t fall for the “I’m not the loving type”…when a man loves you there is nothing in this world (within reason) that he wouldn’t do for you.

59. Make him miss you sometimes…when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him he takes it for granted.

60. Give him his space…let him go out with his boys, don’t pressure him to spend time with you. You cant force a man to hang out with you.

61. If you wouldn’t allow your daughter to be with him you shouldn’t.

62. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.

63. Never move into his mother’s house.

64. Provide financially for yourself and don’t depend on anyone.
65. Never co-sign for a man.

66. Never believe you have the perfect guy and he is so innocent.

67. Never spoil your man; let him spoil you.

68. Never let a man mess up your credit.

69. When it’s time to let go; let go.
70. Good men should be treated like good men.

71. Don’t play games.

72. You can’t make a whore into a housewife - or husband.

73. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

74. Compatibility in terms of educational attainment, values, beliefs, personal and career goals, and socioeconomic status, are important. 

75. Never date a guy who wears colored contacts.


I thought it would be fun to compare a picture of my hair as a natural child, permed adult, and natural adult. My hair has always been pretty healthy and long according to real world standards.
1994: I was 9 years old and still natural. My mother simply blow dried my hair and put it in a ponytail.
Hanging down it was somwhere between MBL and WL. 

Oct. 3, 2008: I was about 6-7 wks post relaxer. My mom gave me a flexirod set for my wedding.
When straighten, by hair was about 1.5 inches past APL.

Oct 2010: This was a chunky twist out done on dry hair.
I was 1 yr 8 mnths post relaxer and 1 yr 1 mnth post bc.

Jan 2011: This was an old coil out pulled into a puff.
I was 1 yr 11 mnths post relaxer and 1 yr 4 mnths post bc.
I think, I'm about .5-1 inch from APL now.
I wish I had pictures showing my hair's natural texture as a child and while relaxed as a child. If I find some I will update this post. My goal now is to keep my hair as healthy as possible and eventually get back to MBL or longer.