Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Natural Hair Journey: 4 Months Natural!

It's hard to believe that I did my Big Chop exactly four months ago today.

Current length: About 3.5"

My Go-to Styles this month: I started the month doing twists and twists outs. However, my scalp became sensitive so I wore wash & go styles the rest of the month. Next month, I want to step out of my comfort zone and try new hairstyles on my hair. I also stopped twisting my hair before bed on a regular basis. This of course led to matted hair in the morning, which I fixed by applying a little bit of water and using my fingers. I'm going to commit to twisting my hair at night and see how that helps next month. 

Hair Regimen: There weren't any major changes to my regimen this month. I'm still using the same products, although I might find a new leave-in conditioner for next month. Also, I reduced my tea rinses to once a week and so far my hair has been fine.

Plans for next month: I really need to get my hair trimmed before I reach 6 months. I plan to either make an appointment somewhere or I will do it at home.

That's it for now.

Until next time :)!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Green Smoothie Spotlight: Spinach, Strawberry and Banana

Last week I posted a picture of a yummy green smoothie and I promised to share the recipe. It's a quick and easy recipe that doesn't require a lot of ingredients. Feel free to modify the recipe to fit your taste buds.
Serves 2
2 cups of fresh spinach
2 bananas                                                                           
2 cups of fresh strawberries
*2 cups almond milk
I used almond milk in this recipe but you can also use water, regular milk, etc
Blend all the ingredients in a blender or juicer (sadly, we left our juicer back in Ohio but my blender gets the job done). If you notice that your smoothie has huge chunks in it, try blending the spinach and milk first. Once that's done, then add in the fruit.
What are your some of your favorite green smoothie recipes?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wash Day: Tweaking My Regimen A Bit

Hey everyone!

On my previous wash day (Sunday), I pre-pooed overnight and I loved the results. My hair was extra soft and moisturized at the end of my Wash Day. Unfortunately, I didn't have time for another overnight pre-poo session during yesterday's Wash Day but I will do it again in the future.

Yesterday's Wash Day:

[1] Pre-pooed with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, JᾹSÖN Vitamin E Oil , EVCO and Grapeseed Oil for a little over an hour. Can I just say that my hair loves this pre-poo mixture?!
[2] Co-washed with Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser
[3] Tea Rinse:  I decided not to do a tea rinse on this wash day.  I usually do a tea rinse twice a week but I'm going to try doing it once a week, to see if I can tell a difference in my hair.
[4] Deep conditioned with Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner.
[5] I did an ACV rinse after I washed out my conditioner. I left the rinse in  again this week because I love the way my scalp feels after: squeaky clean :).
[6] Dried my hair for about 30 minutes with a t-shirt before applying  Kinky-Curly Knot Today  and  finger detangling.
[7] I added Shea Moisture's Curling Custard and sealed with my JBCO oil mix.

This week I tweaked my Wash Day a little and my hair still felt great after. Jen's post reminded me that I haven't done a protein treatment in a long time either, so I will do that on my next Wash Day.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my go-to style for right now is: wash & go. My scalp (and hands) needed a break from doing twists for awhile. Looking ahead, I need to schedule a trim for my ends hopefully before the end of next month.

After my Wash Day on Sunday (8/17)

Meeting the hubby for tea after my Wash Day yesterday (8/20/14)

The Wash Day Experience

Until next time :)!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Trek to Monterey

As some of you know, the hubby is attending Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) for graduate school. This gave me a a chance to cross two things off my imaginary bucket list: 1) a road trip across the country and 2) living in California.

Once we found a place to live, next came the hard part: downsizing. We had to fit all of our belongings from the house we rented into our new vehicle (after selling/getting rid of our two cars). Needlessly to say, it was tough deciding what to leave behind. Since the program is a year of course work and then four to six months of an internship, it made sense to only come with the essentials.

The house we rented for two years on the west side of Cincinnati.

Bubba, our new vehicle for the next year or so.

After we packed and said our goodbyes, it was time to hit the road with our three dogs. It took us three days, 39 hours and driving through 8 states (Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and some of California) before we reached our destination. As much as I love adventures and my dogs, I don't plan on taking a road trip with them in the near future. Here are some pictures from our road trip. Hope you enjoy :)!

Our going away party at Neon's on July 27


The dogs were super comfortable and had lots of space.


Just before a big storm in New Mexio
Another shot of New Mexico
Close to Flagstaff, Arizona
Outside of Flagstaff
Osa inside our hotel suite at Comfort Inn in Flagstaff. A nice pet-friendly hotel.

Our nice digs at Comfort Inn
Our dogs living it up
Leaving Arizona

Entering California
Chancho is over the road trip and wants to be out of the car. Lol.
Nut trees outside of Bakersfield, CA

And some pics of the house we're sharing in Seaside/Monterey.

Until next time :)!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wash Day + Weeks 8-10 of Summer Castor Oil Challenge

Hey everyone!

Finally feeling settled here in Monterey/Seaside and ready to get back to my normal wash days. I went back to my weekly tea rinses and made a couple of minor adjustments. Here is a step-by-step look at my wash day:

[1] Pre-pooed with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, JᾹSÖN Vitamin E Oil , EVCO and Grapeseed Oil. I wanted to try another ceramide this month so I opted for the grapeseed Oil. I let it sit in my hair for about 50 minutes under a cap
[2] Co-washed with Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser
[3] Tea Rinse: Black, Green and Chamomile. Instead of rinsing it out, I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for about 30 minutes. I took this idea from Jen's Wash Day post this week.

My tea rinse for today

[4] Deep conditioned with Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner.
[5] I did an ACV rinse after I washed out my conditioner. I left the rinse in this week to see if there was a difference. So far my hair feels softer and my scalp feels amazing
[6] Dried my hair for about 30 minutes with a t-shirt before applying  Kinky-Curly Knot Today  and detangling.[7] I added Shea Moisture's Curling Custard and sealed with my JBCO oil mix.

On a side note, I think I'm going to take a break from twisting my hair. Although I am very gentle, my scalp was so sore when I undid my braids this morning. It's something that happens whenever I do two strand twists. The plan is to give it a break for a couple of weeks until my scalp feels better and then go from there.

Castor Oil Challenge Update (weeks 8-10)

I'm a couple of weeks behind with my updates. But, there isn't much to report. I continue to use my JBCO on my edges, as a pre-poo and to seal in moisture everyday. It appears that my hair is healthier and thicker. As far as length goes, we have another length check in 3 weeks. We'll see if there has been any growth during the challenge.

How did your wash day go this week? Any challenges or breakthroughs? Feel free to comment or share below.

Until next time :)!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review of July's + Goals for August

Hey everyone!

It's time to review July's Goals. I had such high hopes but sadly moving sidetracked me a lot.

Goals for July
*Twist my hair every night before bed---I got lazy with this last month. Now that my hair is a little longer, this should be a normal part of my routine. (almost, I started off strong but the last week or so I slacked off)* Drink 1 liter of water at least twice a week (almost)
* Continue the Summer Castor Oil Challenge (done)
*Try Naptural 85's DIY deep conditioner & incorporate it in current regimen for at least a month (epic fail)
* Continue experimenting with hairstyles (sort of)* Add a current regimen & list of products to the blog (I included my wash day regimen, which kind of works, right?)
*Participate in and complete Jen's 30 Days with Ceramides Challenge (done. Don't forget to read my results)
* Participate in and complete Independencearmy challenge and Morehandstandlove Challenge (both fitness challenges) (I completed the #Morehandstandlove Challenge. I started the Independence Army challenge but didn't complete it :( ).

Not as bad as I thought but it could have been a lot better.

Goals for August
*  Try at least 1  hairstyle this month
* Research a hairstylist for a trim/research how to trim ends at home
* Get back to doing tea rinses (I took a week off during the move)
* Participate in and complete Jen's 30 Days without Split Ends Challenge
* Reevaluate regimen and see if changes need to be made
* Drink at least 1 liter of water twice a week
* Work on handstands and headstands at least twice a week
* Complete Summer Castor Oil Challenge and register for the  Kinky Curly Coily Me's Fall Castor Oil Challenge

Wish me luck!

What are you goals for this month? Feel free to share below.

Until next time :)!

Friday, August 1, 2014

30 Days with Ceramides Challenge: The Results

I can't believe it has been 30 days already! I started this challenge for three reasons: 1) to see if ceramides would be beneficial for my hair, 2) to give myself a new goal for the month of July and 3) to prevent split ends. If you missed my post about the challenge at the beginning of the month, check out Jen's (from Just Grow Already) post about the benefits of ceramides.

Now, on to my results and observations:

How I incorporated ceramides over the past 30 days:

  • I used JᾹSÖN Vitamin E Oil along with JBCO and EVCO as a pre-poo treatment on wash day.
  • I also used the same mixture of the vitamin E oil, JBCO and EVCO to seal in moisture.

The results:

I've noticed that my hair is  a lot softer and has more shine. My husband and friends have commented about the overall health of my hair--the shine, softness and retention of moisture. I'm very happy with the results and will continue to use ceramides in my regimen. Although I plan on using Jason's Vitamin E Oil, I may branch out and try grapeseed oil or safflower oil as well. 

What hair challenges did you set for July? How did they go? Feel free to share or comment below.

Until next time :)!