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...
Check Clearance First

Check Clearance First

I love deals, getting deals, sharing deals-who doesn’t?  We’re living in a time of financial ambiguity, so when I said that I noticed some SheaMoisture products marked down at Wal-Mart, people ran.  Yes, ran.  And I don’t blame them.  However, when I posted it on Facebook and made sure to say that it was on select products, I failed to say that it’s probably just at our local store.  Oops.  I did make sure to say that no matter what the store is, check the clearance section first.  As I have pointed out in earlier posts, this area doesn’t cater to people of color very well and even though SheaMoisture and the other natural hair companies include Caucasian curly girls in their ads, the products are usually stashed in the “Ethnic Hair Aisle,” therefore, they naturally forget they can use them too.  So, I’m not surprised with the markdowns.  That doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very reputable brand.  None of the products expired or looked/smelled spoiled. The Argan & Raw Shea Extra Moisture Conditioner w/Sea Kelp (gold label) was marked down to $5.00 from $9.98.  It’s a “leave-in or rinse out conditioner that detangles, moisturizes, repairs, and restores lifeless, damaged hair…For deeper conditioning, leave on for up to 15 minutes.”  It contains certified organic ingredients such as sea kelp, Argan oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Vitamin E and Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) to “heal, grow, and strengthen dry, damaged hair in a sulfate free and color safe formula.”  I stood there in enormous excitement about it, but then I thought to myself, “do I really...

Wash Days

After being in a long protective style for most of summer, I decided to work on K and B’s hair on the same day. Grand ‘ole plans, right? I worked my back to the bone, but it was a great opportunity to try some of the new products from the “Yolanda Renee Takes The DMV” VIP swag bag starring BelNouvo, Alikay Naturals, Carol’s Daughter and Eden BodyWorks. Both of them had been wearing twists since the weekend of the last day of school. That was June. So, Sunday the process began and didn’t really end until Tuesday. K:  I deep conditioned her hair for a few hours with BelNouvo Creamy Castor Custard Deep Conditioning Treatment. I never heard of the company, but the creator was at the event and he was very nice in explaining the high quality of his all natural skin and hair care brand.  You can find the entire line on www.etsy.com.  The custard retails for $10.00 and is a paraben free, vegan treatment with ingredients such as Castor Oil, Safflower Oil, Rice Milk, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Pro-Vitamin B and “Inner Beauty.” It is truly a dessert in a jar. It reminds me of cheesecake with its vanilla custard scent. Next, I rinsed it out and washed/conditioned with the kids’ usual Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship line. Her hair was very soft and stretched with the BelNouvo product. Then, I moisturized with the 2oz Alikay Naturals Dulce Hydrating Curl Lotion, retails at $6.00, which has quality natural and organic ingredients including Vitamin E and Coco Butter in a watermelon scent for the night. I was very tired...

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...

Busted!

When I initially started this post, it had been a week and 2 days since our family experienced its 1st case of a broken bone.  Due to life going on as usual, now it’s been 3 weeks and a day and unfortunately, the broken bone was experienced by the littlest one of the bunch, A.  That’s right, my 5yr-old has had to deal with a broken finger. Friday, June 27, close to 5pm, K claims that she wanted to change her clothes.  Usually, the kids stay in their pajamas all day if we’re not going anywhere.  I guess K was feeling a little funky, so out of nowhere, she decided to change her clothes.  I did not know that the other kids, including D our son, were still playing around, jumping and clowning in the bedroom.  My big girl wanted privacy.  No one called down to me on the 2nd floor to get the other kids out of the way.  No one suggested she go into the bathroom or my bedroom for privacy or tell D to get out.  No one respected anyone enough to realize it was time to stop playing.  Instead, K slammed her room door shut, and I guess as A was walking out, her left hand was close enough to the back of the door hinge where it closes that her ring finger crunched in it.  B even said she heard a crunch sound. Enter pulsating screams.  I was on my laptop when A shouted, “Look at my finger, K!”  She ran downstairs with eyes bigger than her little body shouting, “Look at my finger, mommy!”...