Spring/Summer Favorites 2014

Spring/Summer Favorites 2014

Spring/Summer…Where do I begin?  Well, first of all, we really didn’t have a Spring.  Try telling that to my allergies.  I still had to use Allegra and tried the new Mucinex Allergy too.  Started on the meds long before spring was supposedly here.  It was more like Winter, then Summer came in steady.  Also, I thought it would be better if I just did faves based on the seasons instead of month-to-month.  And as usual, life happened which caused the delay.  I don’t know how I’m going to get better at getting my feelings out right when things are happening instead of just wallowing in sorrow.  In May, my family suffered another blow.  My aunt Crlyn from New York/Va. Beach passed away.  She was diagnosed with colon cancer right after we saw her during the holidays looking and feeling so good.  However, by the time she went back home, stomach pains became persistent and before you knew it, they were wheeling her up to the oncology floor.  A tumor was wrapped around her colon.  Surgery and chemo for a few weeks, then she unexpectedly breathed her last breath.  As mentioned in an earlier post, A broke her finger, potential buyers visit the house, but still no offers to buy, my grandma-in-law, Elaine, passed away during our first week back to school, and the weekend before Autumn officially began, my step grandma on my dad’s side passed away.  Funny man, Robin Williams, shined a brighter light on depression after his shocking suicide, and funny gal, Joan Rivers, was taken away due to medical negligence.  I should also add that one of...
Hair Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Hair Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

A few days ago, my neighbor, Jill, sent a message stating she did a deep conditioning treatment using cucumber and sour cream on her hair.  Two shampoos later and her hair still smells sour.  I told her to try rinsing with the smelly goodness of apple cider vinegar by massaging her scalp, then follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.  Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that should be able to clarify out whatever stink is left on the strands.  She’s used it as a facial toner, but never considered using it on her hair. Apple cider vinegar is “a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber color. Unpasteurized or organic ACV contains mother of vinegar, which has a cobweb-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed,” according to Wikipedia.  I’ve seen the phrase, “with the mother,” on brands such as Bragg, but didn’t have any idea what that meant.  The Bragg containers mention “Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing, healing and energizing health qualities” circa 400 B.C.  You can use it as a cleansing agent in replacement of Windex or some bleach-laden scrub.  Claims have recently been made that it can also be used for weight loss, portion control, and regulating blood sugar.  WebMD quotes Carol Johnston, PhD of Arizona State University as saying “its anti-glycemic effect is well-documented.  It blocks some of the digestion of starch by preventing some of it from being digested and raising your blood sugar.”  Of course, you’d have to dilute it with water or its acidity could ruin your tooth enamel and burn your esophagus-www.webmd.com. That acidity...

I Was There: Yolanda Renee Takes The DMV

I made it to my second hair event:  “Yolanda Renee Takes Your City Tour-Yolanda Renee Takes The DMV.”  Before that, she was in New York and made sure to do something for her area this time.  I found out about the tour from her YouTube channel and checked out her blog to see if any of the cities would be near me.  I was going to push myself into getting over the fear of making it to more events so I could continue to be inspired to blog.  Side note:  For those who may not know, the DMV I’m talking about doesn’t handle driver’s licenses and vanity plates.  DMV stands for DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  Might as well be one giant state altogether, right?  Hubby drove because in usual fashion, I would have been too nervous to drive in that area.  He did not mind, though, because he took D to see the new Disney’s “Planes” sequel, “Planes:  Fire & Rescue,” for father/son time while the event went on. Saturday, July 26, the Maryland native had her Meet ‘n Greet at Bar 7, a sassy little “all black errryyyttthhang” nightspot with a bar, lounge area, stage and DJ booth located on 7th Street.  I invited my cousin, Pinky, to go with me, so she and my mom arranged to come from NC the night before.  My mom got to spend some girly time with my daughters.  The 6-9pm event was $40 + tax for VIP if you didn’t pay in time for the early bird special at lower rate.  To make sure I didn’t mess up our regular budget,...

Hair Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Remember in one of the pics of my natural hair must-haves that included a spice I said I would talk more about?  Well, believe it or not, there are hair benefits with the use of cayenne pepper.  I love anything with hot sauce, so if I want to bring some heat to my scalp, I don’t mind at all.  Every time I bring this up to my mom, she laughs and says, “OOOHHH NNNOOO.”  She thinks it’s only going to burn her scalp right up.  She probably fears for her eyes as well due to the 1st experience I told her I had with it by using it completely wrong.  I was deep conditioning with some kind of conditioner one day and decided to pour some from my spice rack on top of the thinning area of my crown I noticed from excessisive use of a half-wig while I was transitioning.  I got the idea from one of the natural websites I regularly frequent.  I rubbed it in and it stained my fingers so much that I had to scrub them several times.  Moving on, ALERT:  Embarrassing moment coming up!  Use extreme caution!  Well, after the deep conditioning process finished, I hopped in the shower to rinse and this is where the stinging of the eyes and lips came in.  So, as much as I like the heat, I haven’t tried that again.  However, I still believe there is the possibility for potential growth from using cayenne pepper.  I realized that next time, I think I’d better mix the ground spice into something till it’s fully dissolved, then rinse...

My Must-Have Natural Hair Products

I’ve mentioned a few of my must-have natural hair products before, but to get a better idea of what I can truly say has worked for my kids and I, take a look at the pics above.  We’ve tried many different kinds, but these are our holy grails, our proven staples, our tried and true.  From the store, from the kitchen, from the fridge, from the pantry.  I know some of the hardcore naturalistas will probably disapprove of the L’Oreal stuff or the gel or whatever.  That doesn’t matter to me.  What matters is what’s worked very well for us.  And I’ve decided to continue using the brand of coconut oil pictured until I feel comfortable with spending more money on another brand.  I’ve seen some at $9.99, $6.99, $8, $10 and more.  Those prices may seem nice, but for the amount of ounces, they weren’t.  I have 5 heads and 6 bodies to coat with this oil.  Poor hubby is balding more.  No more head & shoulders for him.  All he needs is his fave body wash to double as a shampoo to clean what’s left.  I asked about better brands at an affordable price to groups I associate with on Facebook like #TeamNatural and Natural Folkz (or was it Natural Hair).  One particular answer stood out.  The nice naturalista said to use the cheaper version on your hair and skin, but use the better/pricier version in your food.  So, for now that’s what I’ll do. For cooking, I recently bought the non solid version by Carrington Farms  for $7 and some change for a 16oz. bottle.  A few other women...

February Favorites 2014

February was truly a cold month.  We were still under snow and still dealing with extremely dry skin.  This ‘favorites’ list has taken so long to get up here due to life and maybe, just maybe, my lists are too long.  Perhaps narrowing them down to seasons next year instead of on a monthly basis would work better for me.  So far, I’ve only done a list for January and I can’t believe the hassle I went through for that month.  Well, here’s what we really liked during month #2 which helped us survive our harsh winter: Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector Combination to Oily Skin in Deep BB Cream w/Broad Spectrum SPF 20-ummm, mouthful!  “It mattifies, minimizes pores, and conceals imperfections to give skin a naturally smooth, flawless finish…sunscreen, Dermatologist tested, combines oil-absorbing mineral perlite, natural tint and a touch of hydration.”-www.garnierusa.com.  I was very surprised to see this in Deep at our new Wal-Mart because it doesn’t really cater to women of color.  Given how light it is, someone might say that it still doesn’t offer a deep enough shade, but it works nicely giving me light to medium coverage all over my face.  Bonus:  it was on clearance for $5 something compared to $11.99.  Very runny though, and dries fast before I can set it.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I’m convinced of any BB creams’ superpowers anyway because they just seem to be tinted sunscreens.  These days, I guess that’s beneficial, but I’m not reapplying like most sunscreens and this product suggests.  Weird.  Also for me, I still had to use a primer and...