Monday, April 14, 2014

It's My Birthday!!! Reflecting on Turning 26!

By the time you guys see this post I'll officially be 26! I have so many things to be grateful for. God has blessed me beyond belief so first of all I want to give all glory to him! As I sit back and think on this past year I realized that I've made some great strides in becoming a better person both spiritually and physically. Although not perfect and always trying to improve I am the healthiest I've ever been in my adult life. I have been more focused on clean eating and consistent exercise. I've finally reached the goal of Arm Pit Length (unofficially) and I have a wonderful family, boyfriend, friends, and blogger family. I truly enjoy blogging and am so thankful for each of you who takes the time to read and comment on my posts. So during this time of reflection I'm thankful and ready for year 26!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Product Review | Dark & Lovely Curl Moisturizing Souffle

Price: $8.24

Place Of Purchase: Walmart (Although it is sold in Sally's, CVS, Walgreens, etc).

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Mangifera Indica Seed Oil/Mango Seed Oil, Trideceth-6, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Salicylate, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Cl 19140/Yellow 5, Cl 15985/Yellow 6, Geraniol, Bambusa Vulgaris Sap Extract.

Promises: Au Naturale features mango oil, bamboo milk, and a tailor made menu that nourishes curls and coils with moisture and our very own anti-shrinkage recipe for a naturally elongated, incredibly soft and superbly defined look that lasts. Treat your curls and coils to our Coil Moisturizing Souffle, a moisturizing delight with a low crunchless hold that instantly defines and softens tight curls and coils. Made in Canada.

My Thoughts: Let me start by saying that this product smells amazing! Think tropical island in a jar! The consistency of this product is thin, but not watery. Because of the thin consistency not much of the product is needed. I normally apply the souffle to the lower third of my hair and ends. I've been using this product for about 2 months and so far I've had nothing, but amazing results each time I've used it! I purchased this product with the intent to be able to replace my foam wrap lotion. While wrap lotion does give my hair a great hold I find that sometimes it leaves a residue on my hair and I hate that feeling. I wanted something that would give my hair a nice crunchless hold and keep frizz at bad. I mainly use this product when setting my hair with flexi rods, perm rods, etc although I have a feeling that this product would work great for braid/twistouts as well. I've tested this product in rain, wind, humidity, extreme cold and each time my curls have survived! Needless to say this product is a keeper. I can't wait to see how well it works with bantu knots!

Here are what my curls looked like when using the curl soufflĂ©. I'd been in the rain and wind for hours! My curls did fall a bit, but that's to be expected. With no product my hair would normally be a flat frizzy mess! 

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Give Me A Reason...Healthy Eating & Exercise Isn't Just For Weight Loss!

Can y'all believe it's Friday again already?! I seriously think that Fridays are my favorite day of the week. Fridays at work are always laid back and everyone is normally in a great mood because they are anticipating the weekend. This Friday is even more special because I'm an April baby and my birthday is next Sunday! I know y'all are probably like WHAT does this have to do with Fitness? I promise I'm about to make my point :) While working out in the gym this week my mind began to wonder (believe it or not I get a lot of my 'Fitness Friday' inspiration when I'm working out...Go Figure! Anywho, back to my point. I was in the gym working out and I began thinking about how great I've been feeling lately. My skin, muscle tone, the way I look in my clothes, flatter tummy. Like seriously I'm loving what clean eating and regular gym sessions has done for me. So I thought to myself that all of my Fitness Friday posts have basically been related to weight loss. Now don't get me wrong. I've lost weight and am proud of it, but I don't want anyone to think that the only reason I do what I do is for the sole purpose of losing weight. So in honor of that I'm going to give you guys 10 reasons why I eat healthy and exercise regularly.

  1. My skin is clearer & has a glow! My skin is sensitive and acne prone. If I'm eating like crap and not exercising my skin will gladly let me know that it's NOT happy and that I need to get my life! *Insert Tamar Braxton voice*
  2. I love what I see when I look in the mirror! As much as I love fried catfish and macaroni & cheese (I'm a true Southern girl!) if I eat like that 24/7 I'm not happy with what's looking back at me. 
  3. I feel better! When I focus on clean eating & regular exercise I feel so much better overall. I have more energy and I feel accomplished. 
  4. I'm Guilt free! I don't know about y'all, but when I've been eating like crap for weeks I feel SO guilty! I swear my conscience mentally beats me up, but when I've been doing what I'm supposed to do and decide to indulge I don't feel guilty because I've earned it! I'm all about the 80/20 rule. Clean eating and regular exercise 80% of the time. Indulge 20% of the time. 
  5. Shopping is so much more fun - When I'm unhappy with my size or appearance due to lack of proper diet & exercise the last thing I want to do is set foot inside 1 of those horrible department store dressing rooms filed with 20,000 mirrors. When I'm doing I should be shopping is an awesome experience. My clothes fit better and I love the way I look in them. 
  6. I'm more confident - In order be my best I need to feel my best. Clean eating & exercise makes me feel more confident. I promise you'll notice an extra pep in your step! 
  7. I save money! When I'm all about the foods I'm not supposed to have it means I'm eating out. I'm one of those people who doesn't keep unhealthy foods in my home (chips, candy, etc *I have no control* so if I want something it means I'm buying it. Healthy eating not only keeps my body looking right, but it also keeps money in my pockets! 
  8. My body is my temple - I'm blessed. God has blessed me with health, strength, two working arms & legs and 10 fingers and toes. I only get one body and although I struggle at times I want to take care of what I've been blessed with. I want to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can not just for me, but for my family and friends. 
  9. It's a way for me to inspire others - I'm by no means a bragger, but you never know who you will inspire in the gym or just by making healthier food choices! 
  10. I get to try new recipes! - In my humble opinion of it's easy to cook something that's unhealthy. More butter? Sure! Another handful of cheese? Why not! The real challenge is to try or create healthy recipes or healthier alternatives of your favorite recipes. 
  11. *BONUS* Healthy hair starts from the inside out! I'm trying to have healthy bra strap length hair and a healthy body to go along with it! *two snaps*
Why is healthy eating & exercise important to you?

Fitness Friday

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wash Day With Side Swept Curls

This wash day was awesome if I do say so myself. On Friday after work I felt my hair and knew that it was time to wash it. In the name of prevention I like to wash my hair when I can feel that it's becoming dry and heavy with product. Here's what I did:
  • Detangled using Mane N Tail Detangler.
  • Dampened hair with water and applied KeraCare Humecto conditioner.
  • Sat under my Gold N Hot conditioning cap for about 30 minutes.
  • Rinsed and shampooed with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo
  • Rinsed and applied a small amount of the Generic Version of the Matrix Biolage Detangling Shampoo.
  • Applied my usual leave ins (Kimmay tube leave in, GVP Smoothing Serum, & Chi Keratin Mist).
  • T-shirt dried my hair for about 40 minutes.
  • Air dried for an additional 20 and sat under the dryer for about 10.
  • Moisturized & sealed using my Holy Grail product Giovanni Direct Leave in & coconut oil. 
  • Applied JBCO to my scalp and sealed my ends with it. 
Style: I was so over my boring old bun. I needed some spice in my life and after being inspired by an Instagram post from a college classmate I decided to recreate the style with my own twist! This lovely lady is natural and have a side updo created from an old twist out. Well I haven't yet mastered twistouts or braidouts for that matter, but I have learned how to use the heck out of Flexi Rods! I twisted my hair around my head and used caruso steam rollers to create the curls. Throughout the week I just reset my hair by throwing a few flexi rods in it each night with a bit of Dark N Lovely Au Naturale Curl Moisturizing Souffle (Review coming soon!).

The Wash Day Experience

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Fitness Fridays | Don't Be Shy...How To Get Over Your Fear Of The Weight Room!

Well well well...It's time for another fabulous Fitness Friday post. I have to take the time out to thank the lovely ladies (EbonyCPrincess of Longing4Length, KLP of SavingOurStrands, Nadege of Relaxed Hair Health, & Britt of One & 20) who started this weekly link up because I adore reading everyone's posts and writing them!

Now it's confession time. While I was in the weight room this week it dawned on me that I've come a long way. You see a few months back I wouldn't set foot in the weight room. I didn't really have anything against the weights, but the multiple muscle heads and grunting weight lifters totally intimidated me! Since I've been able to overcome my fear I thought I would share some tips that helped me move forward and take my fitness journey to the next level.

  1. Go into the weight room with a friend or significant other - When I first started weight lifting I refused to go into the weight room without the boo. I know it probably sounds silly, but somehow having him there with me made it seem less....well scary. Now I have no problems going by myself! 
  2. Start Small - It can be intimidating when you see gym regulars lifting 500 lbs. Guess what....those same people had to start somewhere and work their way up. I'll tell you a secret...when I first started using weights regularly I could only use 2.5 lbs dumbbells and now I use 15 lb dumbbells! With a little patience you'll be where you want to be in no time. 
  3. Some of them are just as clueless as you are! - If it makes you feel any better I promise that some of those same people in the weight room are just as clueless as you are! 
  4. The guys (and gals) don't bite!- Seriously! The same peole that I was once intimidated by have shared machines with me during their sets or helped me lift when I couldn't quite do it by myself. 
  5. Be Confident - Although the weight room can be scary you just have to be confident or fake it until you make it! 
  6. Use Workout Programs - When first started weight lifting (strength training) I had no clue how to break up my workouts so they would focus on certain body parts on certain days. Reps and many should I do?! Honestly, I still have no clue how to do all of that, but I discovered an awesome free app BodySpace that has free strength training programs that provide every detail from how many reps & sets to actually providing pictures and video of how to do each exercise. How cool is that! It took all of the guess work out of it for me. 
If you're interested in strength training then get out there and enjoy yourself! Don't steer clear of the weight room out of fear like I did. It's an awesome way to tone and/or lose weight and quite enjoyable if I do say so myself!

Fitness Friday

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