Friday, February 28, 2014

Fitness Fridays | Keeping Boredom At Bay!

During the first week I shared my personal weight loss journey with you all and during week two we discussed the 3 key factors to being successful whether it be a healthy hair or weight loss journey. Today we're going to talk about how to keep boredom at bay.

I've been in the exercise 'game' long enough to know that if I don't switch it up and challenge myself I will soon be bored and lose my motivation to work out consistently. Early on in my weight loss journey I soon realized that I can never be the girl who just does her 40 minutes on the eliptical or treadmill and that's it! I know because I used to be that girl! A lot of people dread working out (myself included sometimes) and I truly believe that part of the reason is because they don't change up their workout routine. Here are some of the things that I've tried and LOVE!

  • Zumba! - I'm quite sure most of you have heard about Zumba, but for those who haven't Zumba is a latin inspired dance fitness program. Most gyms offer Zumba classes and they are normally about an hour long. Talk about burning major calories! don't have a gym membership? No worries! If you have any sort of gaming system (I have a Wii) there are Zumba fitness video games that you can do in the comfort of your own home!
  • Bike Riding - Ok ok so it might be a bit too cold to indulge in a bike ride right now since most of us are still experincing winter (I'm seriously jealous if you live in a warm weather state!), but Bike Riding is a great form of exercise that doesn't even really feel like exercise! My honey bunches of oats (boyfriend) and I love to bike during the warm months, whether it be on a trail or just around the neighborhood.
  • Walk/Jog - The great thing about walking/jogging is that it can be done year around thanks to treadmills. Personally I really enjoy walking/jogging when I'm outside in the elements (in Spring/Summer). If you enjoy being out and about as much as I do in the beautiful weather then this is a great and simple way to incorporate exercise!
  • Strength Training - For the longest I've been intimidated by strength training. Normally when I hear those two words I instantly invision some huge muscle head who spends 8 hours a day in the gym! I also feared bulking up. Well the truth of the matter is that strength training not only makes you stronger, but it makes you leaner and more toned. Interested in strength training, but have no idea where to start? I've got just the solution and it is a wonderful and FREE app that can be downloaded to Iphones and Androids called Bodyspace. It's an app that was developed by that has multiple free workout plans that you can choose from depending on your body's needs. This is great for a gal like me who enjoys strength training, but wants to keep the process as uncomplicated as possible!

No matter what it is that you do it's imporant that you get moving and I don't just mean for weight loss benefits! Sometimes that can be hard when boredom strikes. Hopefully some of my favorite exercises will help the next time you feel boredom start to creep up!

Fitness Friday

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fancy This | Products I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On...

Outside of being a product junkie I'm also a makeup junkie and since the start of 2014 there have been so many fun products that have been released that I've been dying to get my hands on! Of course there are a few oldies, but goodies that I can't wait to try either! What products are you just itching to try?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I Still Go To The Salon Even Though I'm On a Healthy Hair Journey

     When I originally began my hair journey back in 2010 I was a serious 'bandwagoner'. You know...the girl who's new to the healthy hair scene and is so desperate for results that everytime she finds someone with hair results that she wants she tries to replicate their regimen down to the letter! Yeah...I used to be that girl. In the midst of trying to force my hair to adapt to what everyone else likes I convinced myself that self-relaxing was what I needed to do. Now I will admit that moving after graduating from college also helped to convince me because I no longer had a hair stylist and the very thought of trying to find someone I could trust was exhausting. In preparation for the big day I watched every self relaxing video I could found. I read countless forumns about the topic and read hundreds of blog posts detailing how to self relax. In the end I ended up with tons of breakage and severely underprocessed hair. The damage that I'd done to my hair while still trying to be a bandwagoner was undeniable.
     For a few months I still held on until one day I looked in the mirror and saw this.
 I was aboslutely devastated at the state of my hair. It was then that I decided to seek professional help. After asking around I eventually found my stylist. I'd seen her work first hand as she'd turned the health and length of a coworker's hair all the way around. Even though I'd seen her work I was so nervous the night before I met her that I couldn't even sleep good! I knew I needed help, but was still a bit leery of trusting someone else with my hair. I mean let's be honest. I think many of us have a hair stylist related horror story that we can share, but that's neither here nor there :/.
     Meeting Tera was like a breath of fresh hair. She was on time and before she let anything touch my hair she gently parted it with her fingers and did an assessment of the state of my hair's health and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. However instead of berating me and making me feel like I'd failed she gently told me what I needed to, how much I needed to cut, and then asked me if I would be okay with that. That was the begining and now almost 1.5 years later my hair has flourished!
     I totally admire ladies who self relax and even understand why many do. Most of us are probably jaded by a stylist experience whether it was a trim gone wrong, an hour long wait, etc. What I had to realize for myself is that going to a stylist works for me on my healthy hair journey. I can't do it alone and finally have no problems admitting that I needed help! Not to mention sometimes it feels so nice to let someone else take the reigns while I kickback and relax!

Are you looking for a hairstylist, but have no idea what to look for? Check out my YouTube Video here to get tips on How To Find A Great Hairstylist!  

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Fitness Fridays | What's So Different? Healthy Hair Vs Weight Loss

On last week I shared my personal weight loss story with you all. First I want to thank EbonyCPrincess of Longing4Length and KLP of SavingOurStrands along with the other lovely ladies who are hosting this awesome Fitness Friday Link Up! I'm all about empowering and encouraging each other and this Fitness Link Up provides a great platform to do just that! Secondly I want to thank all of the lovely readers who left such heartwarming comments. Sharing my story was truly theraputic for me and I'm so glad that it touched many of you! 

Now onto the meat & potatoes of this post. After sharing my weight loss story on last Friday I started thinking about the connection between my weight loss journey and my healthy hair journey. Both have their ups and their downs, frustrating days, plateaus, etc. But aside from that both journey while different in their own ways require the exact same 3 things. 

1. Consistency- When I truly got serious about my weight loss journey consistency brought me the best results and likewise I experience the same thing in my hair journey. Now don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with changing things up sometimes. I try different workouts and deep conditioners all the time, but I've never stopped working out and DCing my hair. I'm a firm believer and example that being consistent with my core regimen regardless of what I'm doing yields results!

2. Persistence- Remember when I mentioned that pesky little word 'Plateau'? In the weight loss world it's code for 'NOTHING IS HAPPENING'! I've experienced plateaus in both my weight loss and healthy hair journey and it was NOT fun any of the times that I experienced it. The thing about weight loss journeys is that sometimes after we've lost a certain amount of weight our bodies may decide for a few weeks that it is not willing to let go of any more weight. You can be doing everything right and experience a plateau or you may have to look over what you've been doing for the last few weeks and make adjustments. Everytime I've expereinced a plateau after I get over the initial frustration of not seeing the results I want I revisit my regimen and see if there is anything that needs improvement. For example, during my weight loss journey I was obsessed with the elliptical machine, however my body adapted and eventually I had to step up my workout game and incorporate other things such as weights, HIIT training, etc to give my body the boost that it needed. Likewise in my hair journey I used to stretch for 4-5 months with minimal length retention. After shortening my stretching time my hair is growing by leaps and bounds! You see the key is to adjust and remain persistent. Do NOT give up!

3. Dedication- Let's face it no matter what it is that you're trying to achieve if you are not dedicated at the first sign of difficulty you're going to jump ship and give up. I know because in the past that's exactly what I did when I wasn't truly dedicated. It is a necessity regardless of if you are trying to lose weight or have long healthy hair.

No matter the journey you will experience great triumphs and sometimes heartbreaking disappointments, but with consistency, persistence, and dedication you WILL prevail in the end!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

My Valentine's Day Look | Hair & Outfit

Many of those who know me know that I am not really a huge Valentine's Day kinda girl. I'm a firm believer that the lover and affection that people get on Valentine's day should be given all year around! Either way that doesn't mean that I don't use the holiday as an opportunity to dress up and do something different with my hair :)

Hair: My hair style of choice was elegant yet simple. To achieve this style I put most of my hair into a banana clip and then created a faux french roll using bobby pins. I left a bit of hair out in the front which I flexi rodded over night to achieve my curls. Overall I loved the style and so did my honey :)

Outfit: Since Valentine's day landed on a Friday I decided to keep my outfit casual and chic. I rocked a fabulous cream colored layered top that flares out in the back from Express and paired it with a pair of hot pink jeans from The GAP. To top of the outfit I rocked my caramel colored leather riding boots that I purchased from Target.

I kept my jewelry and makeup simple as well by rocking a pair of small pearls and a touch of foundation. I completed the look with a soft pink NYX lipstick called 'Margarita'. Did you all have a great Valentine's Day?

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Fitness Fridays | How I Learned Not To Give Up On Myself

About 2.5 years ago I embarked on a weight loss journey unsure of where it would take me or if I would even be sucessful. All I knew for sure was that I wanted a change and was finally ready to do my part to make it happen. My desire to lose weight had been lingering in the back of my mind for most of the time that I was in college, but as an engineering major between long hours of studying and few hours of sleep, managing my eating habits and a regular work out schedule just seemed impossible to me. Besides in the past when I seemingly did everything right I would always lose 7-10 lbs and then plateau. I had even convinced myself that maybe I just wasn't supposed to lose anymore weight, but who was I kidding. Deep down I knew that at on 5'1" weighing 173 lbs was not healthy nor was I was my best physically. Finally after graduating from college and moving to the east coast to start a new job I saw something flash across my TV screen that would change my life forever and jump start a 30 lb weight loss journey that I never thought was possible.
     As I was unpacking I saw one of my favorite actresses and singers Jennifer Hudson singing and rocking a fierce dress showing off her 70 + lb weight loss on my television screen. She looked phenomenal! I would be lying if I said that I didn't just join weight watchers because of Jennifer Hudson. In fact I joined with 0 expectations and 0 faith in the program. I had no idea what a point was or how it would truly impact the way I thought about food and exercise.The first week that I followed the program I truly didn't do anything special except stay within my points. At the end of the first week I stepped on the scale and was blown away when I saw that I'd lost 4 lbs! That gave me the motivation that I needed to start taking my weight loss journey and the program more seriously. Weight watchers helped me to truly understand portion control and how to make better food choices. I now realize that 1/3 cup of rice is more than satisfying with my meal vs the huge blob I used to plop on my plate. Weight watchers taught me to stop believing that if I indulged in a few chicken tenders and french fries that I would just 'work it off' in the gym. Weight watchers also taught me that it's okay to indulge sometimes (yes they have points for your cheat meals too!).

     For those who may not understand how Weight Watchers works, each individual is given an alotted amount of points for each day based on your weight, height, and goal weight. You are also given 49 points plus each week. These points can be used towards a cheat meal or added to each day. Fruits and veggies are 0 points and you can earn extra points for exercise. You could say that Weight watchers is similar to counting calories, except that weight watchers points are based on fat, fiber, carbs, and protein. Overall the program teaches you about portion control and how to make better food choices.
Weight watchers along with the help and motivation of my family and boyfriend truly changed my life by changing my way of thinking. Am I saying that I haven't slipped up? Of course not. I'm currently working on losing the usual holiday weight that I put on from over indulging, but at least I now know what to do to get the consistent results that I need. It took me about 6 months total to lose the 30 lbs, plateaus, bad weeks, frustration, and almost calling it quits included, but boy am I happy that I didn't give up on myself.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bun Life | How to Create A Full High Bun Using Kanekalon Hair

Hi guys!

Some of you may remember  in my 'Back To The Basics' wash day post me promising to post a video tutorial showing how I created my high bun using kanekalon hair. Well the video finally went live on my YouTube channel. Please bare with me as this is my first ever video tutorial. I hope you all find it helpful! Until next time :)

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

February Goals & January Goals Recap!

So I'm a bit late with this post, but let's see how I did for the month of Janaury!

What are your goals for this month?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wash Day...Indecisive Saturday

Here on the East coast we got about 10 inches of snow, which meant a few days off from work and a serious case of cabin fever! Lazing around the house for so many days left me feeling incredibly lazy by Saturday so I was not feeling this wash day at all! Luckily I still was able to pull of awesome results despite my laziness. Here's what I did:

  • Detangled using my Up and Up Detangler
  • Massaged Tropical Isle Red Pimento Oil into my scalp and applied my Kenra Moisturizing conditioner to the length of my hair and my One N Only Argan Oil . 
  • Deep conditioned using my heating cap for about 20 minutes. 
  • Rinsed thoroughly and applied my As I Am Coconut Cowash to my scalp. Left in for about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Rinsed and applied PMSDT for about 5 minutes. 
  • Did a final rinse and removed excess water using the t-shirt method. 
  • Applied leave ins using the LCO method (Chi Keratin Mist, Kimmaytube Leave in, GVP Smoothing Serum). 
  • Sat under hooded dryer on cool setting for about 30 minutes. 
  • Moisturized and sealed using my Giovanni Direct Leave In
Style: Here's where the indecisiveness came into play. Originally I wanted to rock milk maid twists, but didn't like the way they turned out so I tried to create some sort of low twisted bun. That didn't work out either so finally I took down my hair and decided to do a dry flexi rod set. Hey a girl's allowed to change her mind! To give my curls a bit of a hold I used the Dark N Lovely Au Natural Curl Moisturizing Souflee *newbie alert!*  My flexi rod set came out beautifully and was able to withstand the windy overcast weather we've been having lately. Monday my flexi rod set morphed into a roll & pin bun of sorts! 

How was your wash day?

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Guess Who's Almost At APL?!

My progress in less than 1.5 years! 
For those of you who don't know my hair story back in August of 2012 I suffered a MAJOR setback due to a failed attempt at self relaxing mixed with severe matting from not removing shedded hair after a braid install. For a while I tried to just grow my hair out and trim away at the damage slowly, but eventually became so disgusted with the appearance of my hair that I sought the help of a professional hair stylist to help get me back on track. Well I'm happy to say that less than 1.5 years later with the help of that same amazing hair stylist and my own healthy hair practices I am almost at Arm Pit Length!  I would be lying if I said that I've had days where I NEVER thought I would be this close! Anyway enough of my rambling and on to the actual purpose of this post...PICTURES!
5 months of progress


Finally can make a decent ponytail! 
Progress of my bangs
5 month comparison wet hair
1.4 years progress pics

So what's NEXT?....APL of course! 


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