Update… where have I been?

Standard

I know I haven’t been writing much on my blog, first of all I have been feeling under the weather for a least a month, let me tell you “Vertigo” is no joke.  I am finally on some good medication that seems to be working.  In the midst of my chaos, I have been somewhat neglecting my hair because I just had no energy to stand and do my hair.  I am celebrating my 10th month nappyversary this month!   My hair is growing and healthy but I did discover a small bald spot at the front of my hair so I have been treating it with “Miss Antilles” and now I can see that the hair is slowly growing back.

In case you are wondering what is “Miss Antilles?”… it is With Panthenol, essential oils and phytoproteins. Specially developed for brittle and damaged hair, the superactivated MULTICROISSANCE lotion clearly slows down hair loss, activates growth and stimulates scalps. Rich in purifying and softening active ingredients, this lotion prevents the appearance of dandruff and its consequences.

How to use: The treatment should be followed for 2 months. Every evening , apply the lotion line by line and massage to make the product penetrate. do not rinse. Avoid any contact with eyes. If product gets into eyes, rinse them immediately and thoroughly.

miss antilles

Herbal Hot Oil Treatment

Standard

I came across this wonderful tutorial by GreenBeautyChannel and thought imediately how wonderful this is for me because  I have been dealing with dryness. I can just imagine how nice the oil would smell after adding the essential oils.  This tutorial is extremely informative and very helpful.  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

New Year Resolution!

Standard

I am wondering how many of you have made a resolution for the year 2013.  Frankly I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, we try to be good and stick with our resolution for a few months and then we just give up.  For myself I know it’s a lack of motivation, boredom, for example last year I got myself a gym membership.  As of January I started going religiously 3 times a week, I was doing really well until we went on vacation in the summer.  Then I just couldn’t motivate myself to go back to the gym.  I found excuses after excuses not to go.  I’m sure I am not alone in this…

I am very proud of myself for making the decision to become natural, it’s been 8 months and there hasn’t been a day when I was remotely tempted to go back.

This year I decided to become vegetarian, I have been thinking about it for a while and I am happy to say that I survived my first week.  My daughter asked me this morning if I miss eating meat, and my answer was no.  I will be posting recipes on my site very soon…

I am also doing this 52 week money challenge, I came across this challenge and thought to myself that is such a good way of saving money by starting with just $1.  Here is it, I challenge you to to this because by the end of the year you will end up with $1378.

money challenge

Dry braidout

Standard

When viewing this video I thought I would share it with you because the result is very nice.  I usually do a twist out but never a braid out.  It is very simple, simply part your hair in sections, moisturize with your favourite moisturizer then braid.  The next morning apply a little oil to your fingers and unbraid.  Check out the tutorial by eleganttrendz.

Happy New Year!!!

Standard

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Neil Gaiman

Best Natural Hair Products

Standard

I came across this video on Youtube and thought I would share it with you if you are natural or transitioning.  These are some of the best products out there, of course you may want to try and see if they agree with your hair type.  You may have to try several products before you find the right one for you.  This video is by Hamstring187

Elegant Style # 4

Standard

I can totally see this style with a gorgeous dress for New Year’s Eve!  This tutorial is from thekglifestyle.   You think your hair may not be long enough?  well don’t worry, as long as you are able to do a ponytail with your hair, you can add extension to create this style.  You can use the afro/kinky braids and I bet you will come up with something spectacular.

What to bring at your office potluck!

Standard

Every year I bring the same thing for my work potluck and people always end up asking for the recipe.  Seriously these Skor Bars are delicious and easy to make.  Here is the recipe

SKOR TOFFEE CHOCOLATE BARS

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 (300 ml) can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand)
2 tbsp butter (butter)
1 (300 g) pkg Chipits milk chocolate chips
1 (225 g) pkg Chipits Skor toffee bits

 

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cream first 3 ingredients until well blended and mixture comes together. Press evenly into a 9X13 cake pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden.

Cool on wire rack while preparing filling.

Heat sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp butter in heavy saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened. Spread over baked base.

Bake 12-15 minutes longer, or until golden.

Sprinkle Chipits milk chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake 2 minutes more, or until chocolate is shiny and soft.

Remove from oven. Spread chocolate evenly.

Sprinkle Skor Toffee Bits on top, pressing lightly into chocolate.

Cool completely. If necessary, chill just to set chocolate before cutting into bars.

Store at room temperature.

Freezing: Excellent.

Leave-in conditioner recipe

Standard

I have been looking for quite a while for a good leave-in conditioner and I think I might give this recipe a try.  It is Kimmaytube’s PH balanced Leave-in Conditioner Recipe.

You will need:

2 TB of your favourite sulfate-free conditioner

2 TB “Lily of the Desert” Aloe Vera Juice,

2tsp “Desert Essence” Jojoba Oil,

2tsp “The Palma Christi” Castor Oil.

Mix all the ingredients and keep refrigerated.  You can add 5-6 drops of Tea Tree oil to preserve the conditioner.

Elegant Style #3 …curls, curls, curls

Standard

You are suddenly invited to a function and you don’t know what to do with your hair?  Don’t panic!!! Here’s a simple hairdo you can do even if your hair is not very long.  This turorial is by backsyncfan.  I am hoping by the time I remove my kinky twists my hair will be as long as her, so that I can give this hairdo a try.

6 Month Anniversary update!!

Standard

1. I am so happy to have crossed a small milestone!  I am so committed to stay natural and loving every minute of it.  While watching a fellow natural on YouTube this morning she said that natural has become more than just hair, it has also become a spiritual journey.  This is the way I feel as well, since I became natural I seem to be more at peace with myself,  I thrive to be healthy physically, mentally, spiritually.  I hope if you are reading this post and you are also natural you will use this hair journey to change things in your life and look outside the box.  I hope you will thrive to become a better person, eat healthy, exercise, meditate,  and enjoy life.

2. I had my first trim.

3. I am now wearing a protective style to give my hair a little break from manipulation and also to protect my hair from the cold weather.  My goal is to leave the Kinky Twists until Christmas and re-do them over the Christmas holidays.  Here is a picture of the final result.

4. Last month I hennaed my hair for the moisturizing aspect of it, I love how my hair felt thicker, then I decided to add indigo + Henna  for a little colour, I was aiming for a medium brown,  I was a little disappointed because the colour turned out much darker than anticipated.   I might have to play with the amounts to achieve the desired colour.  Stay tuned!!!…

Check out   as she was my “ha ha moment of the week!”

Sunday Inspiration!

Standard

I absolutely love this song “I Smile” by Kirk Franklin.  Take a moment out of your busy day and just “smile” even if you have no reason to smile.  When you meet a stranger just “smile”, when things are rough at work just “smile”.  With everything that is going on in this world we just need to take a moment and “smile”.   You look so much better when you “SMILE”.

“I Smile”

I dedicate this song to recession,

depression and unemployment.
This song’s for you.Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, where are my blue skies,
where is the love and the joy that you promised me
you tell me it’s alright.

(I’ll be honest with you)
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)
I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while (what you do?)
I smile, smile..
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart,
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but tell me where are my blue skies,
where is the love and the joy that you promised me
you tell me it’s alright.

(the truth is)
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain (the holy ghost power, yo)
fell from heaven like a shower now.

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile.

Smile.. for me
Can you just smile… for me.
Smile.. for me
Can you just smile… for me.

ohohoh you look so much better when you
ohohoh you look so much better when you
ohohoh you look so much better when you
ohohoh you look so much better when you
ohohoh you look so much better when you
(and while your waiting)
ohohoh you look so much better when you
(and while your praying)
ohohoh you look so much better when you
(look in the mirror)
ohohoh you look so much better when you
(always remember)
You look so much better when you smile

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain (but the holy ghost power, yo)
fell from heaven like a shower now.

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
it’s so hard to look up when you’ve been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile.
so smile.

ohohoh (Dallas) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (New Orleans) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (Clevland) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (Detroit) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (Philay) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (Jersey) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (L.A) you look so much better when you
ohohoh (all my people say) you look so much better when you
smile…

See I just don’t want you to be happy
’cause you gotta have something happening.
I want you to have joy
’cause can’t nobody take that away from you.
I see you.. SMILE!!

Update 5 months!!!

Standard

Wow time flies where you are having fun!   It’s been over  5 months since my big chop and I am getting ready to celebrate my 6th month anniversary with a trim.  I almost gave myself a little trim last Sunday but for some reason I got nervous so I decided to do it on the 5th of November.

My hair is growing… but I don’t notice it as much.  People are starting to notice my hair on a daily basis since I tend to change hairstyle.  Even my supervisor gave me a nice compliment the other day when I went to work with mini twists pinned in a nice hairdo.

I feel a lot more confident about wearing my hair “au naturel”, I have this {{ I don’t really care what you think about my hair, I think it’s beautiful regardless of what you think so keep your criticism to yourself, unless you are ready to give me a nice compliment}}  attidude right now.

So ladies if you are reading this, don’t forget to rock your hair with pride and confidence!!!  Do it for the next generation.

Infinity Scarf

Standard

Where I live in Ottawa it is getting cold, specially in the morning.  While I enjoy the changing of the leaves in fall,  I am not a big fan of how cold and rainy this season brings.  To prepare myself mentally and physically for the winter I came across this YouTube video by   on how to wear an infinity scarf.  They come in different sizes and there are so many ways you can wear them.  If you are like me (always freezing) you might want to invest in one.  Check out the tutorial on how to wear them.

How to stretch your Natural Hair (no heat involved)

Standard

I am so thankful for YouTube!  Everyday I learn something new… today I learned how to stretch my hair without using any heat.   This idea is so brilliant and guess what I will be doing from now on??  You guessed it, I will be stretching my hair whenever I need to do a style that requires a little bit more length.  I just love this girl  check out her tutorial on how to stretch your hair without heat.

Homemade Flax Seed Gel

Standard

If you are looking for an alternative gel that is more natural than Eco Styler Gel here is a great recipe you can try at home.  It is easy to make and very cheap.  I bought about 1.5 cup of flax seed at my local bulk store for about 0.50 cents.  You can keep the gel in the fridge for 3 weeks.

You will need:

1/4 cup whole flax seed

2 cups water

Container or jar

Bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens.  Make sure you stir constantly to prevent the flax seed from burning.  Once ready, strain the mixture into a container or a  jar.

I found the recipe from Naptural85… enjoy!

 

Eco Styling Gel… Review

Standard

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I only have good things to say about the Eco Styling Gel.  Just see for yourself!

Before Eco Styling Gel

After Eco Styling Gel

Needless to say I am in love with this product.  In fact while I was in the States this weekend I bought three big  jars at Sally’s.  Each jar was under $3.50.  I purchase the Olive oil and the Argan oil to try.

I did it!

Gallery

My Natural Hair Journey… Month 3!!!

Standard

Good morning everybody,  I thought I would give you an update on my journey since the big chop on May 05, 2012.  It’s been more than three months and I am loving my hair more and more everyday.  So far I have not done much with my TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) because I opted to put braids for the summer months, but the hair is growing healthy.  I am looking forward to the day where I could do my first twist out, bantu knots etc…  I will definitely start putting some tutorials once I master some hairstyles.

In the meanwhile, I wash my hair regularly with Tressemme Naturals ( conditioner only as I am trying the no poo method), and I apply a mixture of Miss Antilles, Coconut oil, Moroccan oil once or twice a week.  I keep my hair hydrated by spraying it with water every night before I go to bed.  I do a deep conditioning once a month.  The night before I am due to wash my hair, I spray my hair overnight with Apple Cider Vinegar.

Well that’s it for now, don’t forget to Rock Your Natural Hair With Pride!!!

Protective Styles

Standard

So what is the deal with protective styles?  Is it true or simply a myth?  I know many natural woman swear by them.  They insist that by keeping the hair’s ends out of sight helps them to retain length.   The benefit of protective styling is allowing your hair to rest from combing or brushing daily, by doing so you will maintain your new growth in a healthy state.  Also if you are going away on vacation where you want go to the beach or the pool on a daily basis, protective styling might be a good idea, don’t forget to protect your hair from the sun.

Do not neglect your hair while it is in protective styles, don’t forget to wash your hair regularly and apply mosturizer and oil.

Protective Styles

1. Bun or Chignon

2. Two-Strand Twists

3. Braids

4. Weaves

5. Wigs

Check out these 4 protective styles tutorial from SimplYounique

Natural shampoo recipe

Standard

If you are not wild about the no-poo method here is a recipe that I found at wellnessmama.com.  I have been trying the no-poo method for a while now but I find that I miss the foaming aspect of shampoo.  I will definitely try this recipe in the near future.

Ingredients:

  1. Combine all ingredients in an old shampoo bottle or jar of some kind (pump soap dispensers and even foaming dispensers work well for this. If you use a foaming dispenser, add 1/4 cup of distilled water)
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. Keep in shower for up to a month.
  4. Shake before each use.
  5. Use about a teaspoon every time you shampoo

Yummy Banana bread

Standard

Before I provide you with the best banana bread recipe, here are a few reasons to love bananas.

Did you know that bananas are an excellent source of potassium?  They may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.  Futhermore bananas can help protect against kidney disease, they are able to help our bodies boost its defenses against stomach acid, reducing our risk of ulcers.  Bananas  provide roughly one-third of your daily Vitamin B6 needs, a nutrient found to help calm our nerves.

Rather than tossing my aging bananas, I toss them into the freezer to make banana breads or banana muffins.  Here is the best recipe for banana bread.  Enjoy!

You will need:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar (I use honey)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour (I use spelt flower)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 medium bananas, mashed (I use 3 bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, stir melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter until smooth. Fold in sour cream and bananas.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Easy DIY Piñata

Standard

Structure
1. Decide on the shape that you’d like to piñata to be. I chose a Maple leaf because if was Canada Day.
2. Draw the shape on a large piece of cardboard and cut out.
3. Trace the shape that you cut out on another piece of card board and cut out.
4. For the edge cut several long pieces of cardboard around 4-6 inches wide.
5. Use masking tape or painters tape to put the pieces together. You will also need to put creases in the cardboard to shape it to your design. It‘s pretty quick to do. Mine took around 15 minutes.
6. Make sure you reinforce the top and bottom of the piñata. This will make it more secure when you fill it with candy and for hanging it.
7. The amount of tape you use depends on who’s going to be breaking the piñata. For young children (2-9yrs old) I recommend using small strips of tape. If you’re building one for older kids and adults I’d recommend taping all the seams.

Decorating

8. Once your piñata is built you’ll need to decorate it. Before you begin decorating it I’d recommend covering the whole thing with plain paper. This will strengthen in and hide all the tape you used. Just grab some letter paper and glue it on, making sure that you cover the edges too.
9. There are several ways to decorate and both ways take a bit of time. We chose to put little balls of streamer paper on ours. Take streamer paper and cut it into small squares (approx. 2” x 2”). Crumple up the paper and then dip the end in a bit of glue. Press firmly on the piñata. Repeat until the whole side is covered.
10. Flip the piñata on its finished side and cut a square hole the unfinished side. The hole should be large enough to fit the candy through. Only cut three of the 4 sides so that it’s like a door. Once you’ve added the candy. Close the opening and tape it securely.
11. Continue adding your decoration of crumpled paper until the side in completely covered.
12. When both sides are complete stand the piñata on its edge to allow the glue to dry.
13. Poke a hole through the top of the piñata and pull a thick string through. You want it to be strong enough that it won’t break from the weight of the candy in it and also from the people hitting it with a stick.
14. Hang from a tree and let the fun begin.

Canada Day – July 1st

Standard

Canada Day is the official start to summer vacations. If your not heading out of town or to the cottage why not hang around amongst the masses.

 Click the guard to see what’s going on.

 If you are not ready to tackle the big crowd downtown, why not host a BBQ for your friends and family?  Or simply grab a blanket and pack a basket and head off for a nice picnic. Ottawa and Gatineau have many great areas for picnics.

Go to the NCC site to see a list of picnic areas

Byward Market

Gallery

How to wash braids

Standard

It’s been three weeks since I’ve had my braids,  already my hair is so itchy that it’s driving me crazy.  I decided to research the best way to wash braids and thought this might be helpful to you if you are in the same position.

  1. Rinse you hair with warm water.
  2. Apply a sulfate free shampoo, massage your hair using fingertips.  No need to wet all the braids.
  3. Rinse out the hair with warm water.
  4. Apply conditioner and massage from root to tip.  (if desired wear a plastic cap and leave for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse out conditioner with cold water to allow your hair cuticle to close.
  6. Squeeze out excess water and wrap hair in a towel for 20 minutes.
  7. Apply leave-in conditioner and/ or oil to seal in the moisture.
  8. In between washes, spray hair with water and oil to keep hair moisturized.

Read the rest of this entry