Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pinterest and DIY

As an avid pinner on pinterest, my love for DIY is always tempted. I have literally hundreds of pins of recipes, crafts, and upcycle how tos. My budget seems to be getting tighter (growing children, school expenses, and life in general) as the cost of things seems to be rising faster than the compensation for the cost of living does. In order to cut costs I have began making my own laundry detergent, and fabric softener, and a few other household cleaners. While some of the DIY recipes are keepers, too often so many of them are duds; not living up to the hype promised by the blogger. 
However, with some tweaking I have found that the no grate laundry detergent recipe to be a keeper. I took the recipe from the pictured pin and modified it to the measurements of my container. Watch the video to see my process and what I really thought of the cost and results. Coupled with a gallon of lemon fresh ammonia, this recipe removes stains, dirt, and even tough odors. If you have a DIY you would like for me to try or review leave a comment below. 


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Beneful not Beneficial 

Recently, I received a coupon for Beneful Dog food. It was on sale at the local grocery store so I was able to pick up a huge bag for almost 7.00. A week or so after using the dog food, I noticed my dog was often throwing up. We thought it may be because he was eating too much to fast. We reduced the amount and cut in more wet dog food. About a week later we noticed open lesions on our dog's body. We decided to eliminate the dog food the day of Christmas. The next day, I was faced with the challenge of making the dog food. I researched "dog food recipes" on and Pinterest. Surprisingly, I had the basic ingredients in stock. Most called for a base of either brown rice or potatoes, a protein, and a vegetable.  I decided to make the following recipe:

  1. The remaining meat from one rotisserie chicken (about a pound) with gizzards.
  2. 1.5 Cups of Brown Rice
  3. 1/4 Cup of frozen spinach
  4. 1 small sweet potato (cooked) and quartered
  5. 1 Cup of water
I cooked the rice according to the instructions. In another pot, I separated the chicken from the carcass and the skin then simmered it in a cup of water with the spinach and sweet potato to let flavors combine (ten minutes). I allowed everything to cool. Once the chicken meat cooled ( I had to keep my teenager out of the pot) I poured it into my Ninja and hit blend to semi-liquefy ingredients. I did this because my dog doesn't really chew food, and it allows me to see if any bones may have snuck in the pot. (I found two and removed them.) I then combined the meat veggie mix with the cooked rice. This made a little less than 2 quarts. I froze half and refrigerated half. I served my dog a cup of his new food, and he followed me around the house for about thirty minutes expressing his love. He then took a nap for another 30 minutes. 

I did some research and learned that other pet owners have expressed their concern over Beneful as well, there is even a class action lawsuit due to the suspected related deaths and illnesses. You can read that here.  

Do you have a good dog recipe you use? What has been your experience with DIY dog food?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

As I Am CoWash Review

Hey Curldivas!

My mentee and sister talked me into trying this co-wash. Everyone I know seems to rave about this particular brand, even the lady at the beauty store oohed and ahhed over it. I had tried and was okay with using Eden Bodyworks co-wash between workouts and swimming; it doesn't have a lot of slip but it did manage to aid in helping get out chlorine and sweat. I had heard that As I Am has amazing slip. When I saw it on sale at Sally Beauty Supply, I decided to try it.

Initially, I like the fact that is was super moisturizing and had good slip. My hair was springy, but did NOT feel clean at all. My hair felt coated. Three days later, I noticed sores on my scalp and a terrible itch. My hair was frizzy too. I did a conditioner rinse a few days later to relieve my scalp. A week later my hair shed a little more than usual and I found more sores. The following weekend I cleansed my hair with Kinky-Curly and used a V05 conditioner. After rinsing the V05 out I added a little bit of aloe vera gel to my Ecostyler pudding and finished my hair with my oil blend and then the pudding. Those sores were gone within 48 hours.

Here is my take on it; I have very sensitive skin, so everything doesn't work for me. I have used the same soap for almost a decade because so many things break me out. This product has great benefits if you are not sensitive. It has great slip, smells amazing, and moisturizes; so it could be a great conditioner. It does not clean though, and for the cost I wouldn't incorporate into my routine if it did work for me. My curls were not nearly as defined as it is when I cleanse with a sulfate free shampoo. Yet, another reason why co-washing does not work for my lifestyle. On the bright side, sensitivity prevents me from being a product junkie ;).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ecostyler Pudding DIY

When I am not cooking my own flaxseed gel, I am amping up my ecostyler gel. This is imperative for me because Ecostyler tends to leave my hair dry, despite the fact that it is alcohol free. People who have protein sensitivity can probably attest to the dry hair dilemma. Our hair is often dry without dying, blow drying, or using gel with alcohol. Ecostyler now offers a pudding called Eco Natural Curling Cocktail, but it's twice the price of the gel and is less than half the size. The ingredients include: Water (Aqua), Emulsifying Wax, PVP, Glycerin, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil, Collagen Amino Acids, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinodendron Rautanenii (Mongongo) Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Aminomethyl propanol, Tetrasodium EDTA Ingredient Attributes: moisture, no silicones, The only difference between the gel and the cocktail is the additional oils, soy protein instead of wheat, and emulsifying wax.

My solution is to take the gel either Pink Curl and Wave or Olive Oil and amp it up. My hair loves grapeseed oil and monoi oil.  I prefer to use these two oils along with my almond oil to create a homemade cocktail. The cost is cheaper and I have my oils and gels way longer than I would have that small jar of cocktail. My hair is fluffy and has body and a great hold. The above picture is may washngo with my homemade Ecostyler Olive Oil Pudding.

Which ingredients have you used to create your you-tailored Eco Cocktail?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dispelling Dandruf and the Hair Myths of Big Momma

This video addresses the mindset of many African American women's approach to scalp care.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Insanity Challenge

Embarking into deeper waters as I uncover my true potential

Today I started a new challenge. This time it's not related to my hair. I am endeavoring to complete 60 days of Insanity with Shaun T! Yes, I am doing the challenge. I have my day one pic and I suffered through my fit test in 91 degree humidity but I did it dang it!

I have been using the excessive heat as a reason to NOT workout but honestly I felt a tad bit convicted when I say people in less better shape than I am outside jogging. Granted they appeared close to death and I had to offer a prayer up for them as I drove by in my ACd car but I got to thinking. If my body is the temple than why don't I really invest in it like  treasure? So, Friday I worked out, Saturday I worked out. Sunday I rested and today I took the fit test. I was drenched by the time I finished and ten minutes later I was still dripping sweat.

My reflection:
My numbers weren't the best they could have been because I was working against humidity and soreness from a previous workout. Nevertheless it is a starting point and from here everything has to improve. I do have some obstacles in my home, the ceiling fan and lack of space for an alternative room. Otherwise, no real excuse not to continue.

My advice to someone taking the challenge after reading this:
  1. Make sure you are plenty hydrated..
  2. Know  the caloric intake required for YOU by beachbody to do Insanity everyday.
  3. Increase your protein and carbs despite the diet your need fuel!
  4. Invest in the best cross trainer shoes you can afford. The one's I have are pictured to the right. They are snug for a secure fit and are breathable.
  5. Get an accountability buddy or join
  6. Join beachbody (free membership) and hook up with a coach. They have been where you are and can ask questions.
  7. Do take your before pic if you want that Insanity Shirt!
  8. Work at your own pace and keep in mind form over rep speed.

Fit Test 1
switch kicks

power jacks
power knees
power jumps
globe jumps
suicide jumps
push up jacks
low blank oblique

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Diminishing Detangling Session TIme

Why does it take one person hours to detangle while some can detangle in less than 30 minutes?
There are a few things that factor into this:

1. Hair products being used. Sulfates, silicones, alchol, parabens, all affect the condition of your hairs moisture and texture. Eliminating this from your hair regimen will allow you hair to be free to be itself.... Warning initial removal of these products from your routine will cause your hair to go into withdrawl (showing symptoms like an addicts). But after a week or so you will see healthier hair than you could have imagined.

2. How often are you shampooing? In many cultures (except Caucasion) shampooing is done weekly, biweekly or (ew) monthly. This means shed hair has the opportunity accumalate and wrap in the hair causing a tangled often matted mess. Detangling that's done once a week reduces this but removing shed hair really should happen twice a week to keep maintance simpler. Removing hair can be done with light finger detangling sessions during the moisturize part of your night routine.

3. How are you wearing you hair? Wash and go's twist outs and braid outs (hence outs) encourages hair to mingle. If you wear it out in the day try to braid it, twist it or pinapple at night. Satin or silk bonnet or pillowcases are a requirement not an option for curly hair! Yes, I used an exclamation point.

4. What conditioner are using? Is it a leave in? Conditioners must have slip (the ability to allow hair and hands to glide) for easier detangling sessions. A good conditioner is thick, water based, has natural oils and does not leave build up. Whole Foods makes a great conditioner for less than 5.00 I like the Citrus one.

5. How often do you moisturize? Beacause moisture is lost daily hair must be moisturized daily. Spritzing with water and drinking 2 liters of water a day are beneficial to reducing dry uncooperative hair. When applying moisturizers make sure you apply from root (as close to scalp as you can get) and distribute down to the end. This same method should be used when applying conditioners

While ther are many other tips I could have added to the list these are the top 5. What other tips do you think should be added to maybe make this a top ten list?