Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Staple 9 Products

Yep, another hair post, lol.

I realized when looking in my bathroom cabinets that I have tons of half used hair products. When I started taking care of my hair, I started using certain products which I considered my staple products but I would pick up products here and there to try out and now I have tons of half used products taking up space. I just want to get rid of them and organize the space they currently occupy.

The only products I feel I need are:

1.    A moisturizing shampoo
2.    A chelating shampoo
3.    A moisturizing conditioner
4.    A light protein conditioner
5.    A medium/heavy protein conditioner
6.    A detangler
7.    A daily moisturizer
8.    An oil/sealant
9.    A heat protectant serum/spray

That’s it! It may seem like a lot of products for some, but from what I have seen, it’s really not a lot. For the next four months, I won’t be buying any new products unless I am out of one of the things listed above. I will use all the products I already have and once they are used up, I will buy one of each of the nine products I need and stick with that. I will update you all with a list of products that I will keep as my staple 9 products. I am leaning toward inexpensive products (easily found at Wal-Mart or Beauty Supply store) because come January 2013, I will be in extreme budget mode. I did not put leave-in conditioner on the list because my moisturizer can double as a leave-in conditioner. Any suggestions for any of the staple 9 products?

SistaWithRealHair's YouTube Challenge/Contest

So I wanted to take a family portrait this coming weekend but I am still debating if I will or not because the scrape on son’s face is okay but it could be better. I know if I wait another two weeks he would be good to go for the picture but I am afraid within two weeks, another child will have scratched up her face playing. Hahaha….do I sound picky? Maybe I should just take the picture as is, it would be more realistic right? Kids get scraped up, I got scraped up as a kid with the pictures to prove it.

Anyway, so this past Friday after Thanksgiving, I decided to give my hair some TLC. I washed it, deep conditioned for an hour, and took my time to detangle it. It was a tangled mess after washing because of the new growth. I blow dried my hair and rolled my hair with foam rollers. I liked the results, see below.

I liked the fullness that the new growth gives my hair. I liked the results so much that I would rather have this look for a family portraits as opposed to freshly relaxed hair that tends to be thin and limp the first couple of weeks. So I am going to hold off on relaxing my hair for a few weeks and take the picture with my hair the way it is now. One of the ladies I watch on YouTube is having a challenge/contest starting sometime in December (hopefully Dec 21). I wanted to enter her contest and start with a fresh relaxer and trim. The last time I cut my hair was May 5th and I cut about 3 inches off. I have not trimmed since then, almost 7 months ago. Definitely time for a trim!

May 5th Hair Cut

Her YouTube channel name is SistaWithRealHair. Her hair is natural and very long. She uses a lot of unconventional ways to take her hair. When I say unconventional, I simply mean that she does not follow what all the hair boards, blogs, and YouTube hair gurus will normally tell you that you should or should not do. She does what works for her hair and I love her! I love watching her videos. The challenge/contest is open to anyone who is interested in joining. Watch her video below for details. She will be putting out an official contest video soon where you can sign up if you want to join the contest portion of the challenge.

FYI --  I just noticed she started a new YT channel. Check the info box of the video above if you were interested in subscribing to her so that you get the lastest contest info on the new channel.

I am so excited about this contest. This is the first hair contest I have ever joined. I am going to be making videos for this challenge and uploading them to YouTube and also to my blog so stayed tuned if you are interested…..and JOIN if you would like to, I think it will be really fun.

Stay Blessed Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hair Update

My hair. It is quite something to see at this point. When I read other ladies blogs and watch their YouTube videos and they are 6, 8, 12+ months post relaxer and are still rocking their hair and looking nice I often wonder how do they do it! I am almost 14 weeks post relaxer, which is about 3 months, and my hair looks horrible. My roots are so thick and coarse that it would take careful and well-thought out styling to look presentable. Last night, after wearing my hair loose all over my head most of the day Sunday, when it was time to tie my hair up at night, it was extremely dry and tangled. I sectioned my hair into three sections, sprayed my Mane N’ Tail detangler on each section and started from my ends to roots gently detangling my hair. After the section was detangled, I moisturized it and sealed it with a mixture of shea butter and oils. Then I braided the section. After I braided all three sections I tied my hair up and that is how it remains right now under a wig cap and a wig.

The thought to relax my hair this week has crossed my mind but I want to stretch longer. That is how it always goes. If I plan to stretch for 16 or more weeks, around week 13 or 14 my roots are a crazy tangled dry mess. It is probably due to my technique for managing my hair at this point in my stretch which is just leaving my hair alone. I try to manipulate my hair as little as possible and sometimes this low manipulation technique leads to neglect.

I wanted to take a family portrait on Saturday, December 1. If I stick to that plan, I will probably relax my hair the Friday before so I can wear my “real” hair for the portrait and not a wig. We’ll see if I even am able to take the family portrait that weekend because my kids always have some kind of bump, bruise, scratch, or scrape on their faces. Conveniently, it is never at the same time. Once one person is healed, another person gets something.  So right now my son has a big scrape under one of his eyes that has not healed yet, we will see if it is picture ready by December 1. If not, the family portrait will be postponed and relaxing my hair with be postponed.   

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back to Work

My four day weekend is over! Those days off felt sooo good. I took Thursday and Friday off for my birthday to add to my normal Saturday and Sunday off. I had a to-do list approximately 15 items long and I would say I tackled about half the list. A tad bit disappointing given the fact that I don't get days off often, so when I do have days off, I need to get everything done that I possibly can.

I spent the evening of my birthday in the Emergency Room with the second child in our house who has come down with strep throat. I hope she is the last one. Strep and multiple kids in the same house do not mix. They really don't care about being contagious, they just want to play and interact with their siblings as they normally do which leads to spreading sickness.

Friday evening I went out with a couple of friends to celebrate my birthday. They took me to a fondue restaurant. I have never been to a fondue restaurant before nor have I ever eaten fondue so it was quite an interesting experience. I really enjoyed it. The highlight  of the whole dinner was desert which was called "Ying-Yang." It was white chocolate and milk chocolate melted in a fondue pot and they give you all kinds of treats to dip in the chocolate like pound cake, cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, rice crispy treats, marshmallows, brownies, etc. It was so indescribably good.

My fiance and I decided to go get a gym membership this weekend. They opened a new Planet Fitness very close to our house and were signing people up for $1 registration fees and memberships of either $10 or $20 per month depending on what gym options you would like. For the amount of money we spend eating out every month, $10-$20 is nothing and they gym is brand new and beautiful! I hope that I remain motivated to go. I already go to the gym everyday at work, but I wanted a gym membership to go to on the weekends and my days off since my work is very far, about 45 minutes away from where I live. Too far to wake up on a Saturday morning and decide I am going to the gym.

After the food and cake I had at work last week, the food and cake and chocolate fondue I had over the weekend, and not working out for the past four days, I am very afraid to step on the scale. I don't even want to know what that number is. I am scared to know the damage. I am feeling very frustrated right now with all things related to my weight. It is so hard and I just wonder why cannot I not just be. Why do I always have to worry about what is going into my mouth and the number on the scale. I cannot even tell myself that Monday I am going to start fresh and get back on track to losing weight because I said that last Monday and look at where I am on Sunday night, feeling frustrated and disappointed. I won't give up, though. I will keep at it.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I will do a hair update post soon. As you can see in the pic above, I am still rocking and loving my wigs. I will leave you with a candid pic of my sweet child that has been giving me lots and lots of laughs lately. She is growing up right before my eyes. I LOVE this little girl!

God Bless!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Twenty-nine & Feeling Fine!

Whoop, there it is! Hahaha, don’t know why I felt like starting this post with that phrase but that is what I feel like right now. Whoop, there it is….the last year of my twenties! Today is my 29th birthday. We’ve always celebrate birthdays at my job so it was no surprise for me to come to work today and find this display at my desk. If you look closely you can see a half eaten carrot cake, one of my favorite cakes. There were also a couple of gifts from two sweet friends that have grown close to at work. I am very thankful for them and for the gifts, too. It warms my heart.

Coincidentally, the day we decided to celebrate my birthday, we also had a holiday potluck at work. NOT GOOD for me since I decided on Monday I was going to really kick this weight loss back in gear. This was my plate below: turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni & cheese, corn casserole, broccoli & cheese casserole, green beans and a wheat roll. I must confess, I was a little upset that the darn plate circumference was not bigger so I could fit more food. Shame on me! I hit the gym at work shortly after that, lol.

So at age 29 I have sooo many blessings that I thank God for. I have the tough but wonderful job of being a mother and I cannot imagine life without it. I have a fiancĂ© who I love dearly, who supports me and cares for me, who will be my husband soon. I have a good career and have been with the same company for six years on December 4th. I feel so secure at my job and I am thankful because everyone knows how some people have struggled in this economy to find and maintain employment. It’s hard out there. I am thankful for the opportunity to get education. I am one class shy of completing an MBA. When I actually completed my first semester towards my bachelor’s, I already had my first child so I have managed to make it through my bachelor’s degree and almost complete a master’s degree while working full-time and mothering three (now four) kids along the way. I can definitely say it has not always been easy. At times, it has been downright exhausting and frustrating but I keep pushing every day. I keep pushing and keep praying. Also, I am blessed to have my health. I don’t take that for granted.

I love to set goals for myself and I would love to set some goals for me to complete for age 29 but in a couple of months it will be a New Year so I will save all my goals for a New Year’s Resolution/Goals list. There are so many areas of my life that I fall short in, so many areas that I would like to improve. There are many areas that the Lord has been speaking to me about, putting it on my heart to change. I have been listening and I will obey. When you know better, you do better. God has been opening my eyes and teaching me things I really did not know.

I thank God for another year. I thank God for my blessings. I thank God for the good and bad experiences that have shaped me these past 29 years. I pray for guidance, enlightenment, discernment and wisdom. I pray that I realize my purpose and use it to glorify God. Please pray for me, too J If you need someone to pray for you, I am here and would love to do so. God Bless.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

LORAC Pro Palette

I had been hearing good things all over the internet and YouTube about the Lorac Pro Palette so I decided to purchase it. I bought it from sephora.com for $42. At the time of purchase, I got the normal three free samples and selected all perfumes. I like to sample perfumes because I always looking for a new one that smells fantastic. I love girly stuff like that. I also got a free sample of Philosphy face wash, moisturizer, and something else....can't remember. Anyway, it was nice to get free stuff if you are going to pay $42 for an eyeshadow palette.

The first thing I noticed about the palette is that is was VERY thin. I am used to my two Urban Decay naked palettes so the thickness of this palette compared to those naked palettes makes this one seem very thin. Then I thought....thinner palette will equal less product, shallow eyeshadow pans, etc.

The top row of the palette is all matte colors (from left to right): White, Cream, Taupe, Light Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black

The bottom row are shimmer colors (from left to right): Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lignt Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

The colors are beautiful when looking at the palette but I was expecting so much more from this palette because of all the great things I have heard. People have warned that the shadows are very soft and that they are. You can barely put your brush in the palette and will end up with tons of product on your brush. This can cause lots of fallout if you are not careful. It can also can cause you to put too much color on your eye which will be difficult to blend out without being too intense.

The two colors that are second to last on the top and bottom rows, Espresso & Deep Purple, are so pigmented that they also look black when I put them on my eye. Highly pigmented eyeshadow is not a bad thing, but if I want a purple for an eye look, I don’t want it the purple to look black. The name does say deep purlple though, so I guess I was warned, lol.

I have used the palette for the past three days and have liked the eye looks that I have achieved. It’s a nice palette but definitely not my favorite. I could have lived without it. A lot of people prefer it over the UD Naked palettes because it has an equal number of matte eyeshadows compared to shimmer ones, whereas the Naked palettes have lots of shimmers and a couple of mattes. I personally prefer the first Naked palette over any palette I have tried including this one.

Just wanted to share my thoughts for any makeup lovers out there.