July 31, 2010
July 29, 2010
Almost everyday, people stop me to ask what I'm doing to or using in my hair. I love it because some days I'm a little nervous that it is looking dry or has shrunken back down an inch and a half -- even three days after a twist out. But, if you've been acquainted with me for long, you've experience one of my research or DIY frenzies. And as much as it is inspired by something I'm attempting to do myself, I'm all about sharing my findings. So, I'm dedicating this post (and another batch of simple pics) to the products and tips that are on my radar.
I've tried just a few shampoos since going natural and in my last posting about the products I love, I mentioned being wedded to a non-sulfate shampoo to keep my hair from being so dry. But, since that time I've discovered that I can actually use a sudsing shampoo in conjunction with a good conditioner and moisturizer, and achieve a similar if not better outcome.
What I'm Using:
Qhemet Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee (a luscious leave-in conditioner that I talked about in an earlier post. I've recently become a huge fan of this product.) *Don't get hung up on leaving non-leave-in conditioner in your hair as a styling product; it can cause excessive dryness. If you like the curling look that it gives, take time to find the products out there that are designed to accentuate your natural curl pattern.
For the first year and half of me being natural, I struggled with dry and brittle hair. I was convinced that I must have the worst grade of hair ever grown, and then I opened a sample packet of Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil that I'd received months earlier at the Bronner Brothers summer hair show. Thank goodness for that carrot oil. It completely changed the tide of my natural hair experience.
What I'm Using:
Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil (It's simply the best moisturizer I've experienced thus far, and is perfect for dry twist out of any style.)
QP Elasta Mango Butter Moisturizer (I reviewed this product in an earlier post as well, and I used it for what I intended to be a very structured twist out. I would not recommend it for that, but it is good for a voluminous twist out or textured afro. It's a fantastic moisturizer.)
*For shine, try Jamaican Mango and Lime Shina-A-Loc or ORS (anti-frizz) Olive Oil Glossing Polisher. A little of either of these products goes a long way.
I have gotten into the swing of really trying different styles now, so I've discovered a variety of essentials for varied looks. Following product directions has taken me a long way in seven months. It really does make a difference in your outcome.
What I'm Using:
ORS Lock and Twist Gel (It's wonderful for a defined twist out of two stand twist set. You just need a dab on each piece of hair.)
Miss Jessie's Curly Buttercreme (As you can see below in this photo from April, it produces a mix of afro and twist out for me.)
Miss Jessie's Stretch Silkening Creme This is one product that I will try my best to never be without. My hair can shrink two inches at any given time, and before I got this creme, it would take me at least a week and nightly twisting to stretch it back out and not worry about re-shrinkage. It's worth every penny.
I have found that one of the most important things about achieving the look I want is the way I care for my hair. Many people who talk to me about my hair believe that natural hair is easier and cheaper to maintain. This is not necessarily the truth. True, I am not spending money going the salon for relaxers; but, I am spending even more time and money on my hair than I did when it was straight and I have no regrets about that. I love the way my hair looks and feels, and I work at having hair that I love.
What I'm Doing:
Steam, steam, steam ... I am working on purchasing a Huetiful hair steamer. Thanks to a heads up about it from my friend Myleik, my hair can luxuriate in all the steam I desire, without running up my water bill.
I'm also careful to always cover my hair with a satin bonnet at night, whether it's twisted, in an afro or braided. Both my ends and edges thank me by staying well-tamed. And as you can see all throughout this post, I twist my hair often. I have noticed that my hair is a lot softer since I started maintaining it with twists at night a couple times a week.
Hope these tips help! xo
July 27, 2010
I have unexpectedly become quite a salad lover; something I'd have never believed could happen just a few years ago. It started with a simple grilled chicken salad from Pizza House East in Sandusky, Ohio. Then, on to the fried chicken salad that used to be on T.G.I. Friday's menu and kept going from there. I like to bake my own chicken and use it with bacon bits, cucumbers and a hard boiled egg atop of Romaine Lettuce. My homemade renderings had been my favorite until a fork full of Santa Fe Chicken Salad from BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse landed on my palate this past weekend. I nearly forgot about everything else on my plate and later jokingly told everyone with me, "that salad changed my life forever ... for the better." It sounds funny, but it was just that serious. Thus, here I am three days later having successfully located the recipe -- thanks to Tastebook.com.
Enjoy! I know I will.
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse's Santa Fe Chicken Salad
- ½ –ounces crispy fried tortilla strips, divided
- -ounces romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into pieces
- -ounce diced red onions
- -ounces diced roasted red peppers
- -ounce mixture of shredded Monterey jack and cheddarcheeses
- -ounces diced tomatoes
- ½-ounce cooked, blackened chickenbreast, sliced in 8 strips
- slices ripe avocado
- -ounce corn kernels, rinsed
- -ounce chopped green onions
- teaspoon blackened spice
- -ounces Santa Fe dressing
- Place ½-ounce of the tortilla chips in bottom of a large bowl with a flat rim.
- Toss lettuce with onions, roasted peppers and 3-ounces of the dressing. Place mixture on top of tortilla strips in bowl. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Place chicken around lettuce forming a circle, leaving enough space between each strip to insert an avocado piece.
- Top salad with corn and remaining tortilla strips. Sprinkle green onions over all. Dust salad and rim of bowl with spice mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- How to make the dressing: Combine 1 cup ranch-style dressing, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, ¼ teaspoon cumin and ⅛ teaspoon Tabasco sauce. Makes 1 cup.
July 20, 2010
July 18, 2010
I'm giving you an extra special peak into my life with a hodge podge of personal pics -- chronicling my hair evolution. Happy two-year natural anniversary to me!
July 16, 2010
I have a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama in a linen pant suit with a peplum jacket on my desk. It's a simple print; one that hardly catches anyone's attention. But, I chose it because the first time I saw Lady Michelle on stage, I felt as if I was looking at myself. She was strong and her posture regal. Without ever having met her, I related to her -- as African-American women relate to each other in terms of the politics of the black female body. Propelled into the spotlight, she was our answer to defying the standard paradigm of beauty. And the best part: The unapologetically curvaceous Mrs. Obama hasn't cowered in the background, acceding to critics of her personality and style. She has chosen when and where she will enter.
July 15, 2010
Givenchy Elschia Sac
Mesa Handbag (Vieta), Baker Shoes, $88
Olivia Harris Chain Leather Clutch
Cadet Buckle Clutch, Handbag Heaven, $47.95
Balenciaga First Bag
Arconate, Aldo, $29.95
July 13, 2010
I already know what you're saying ... Details is a men's magazine. Yes. Yes, it is. But, it's such a good publication, that I can't resist picking it up. And here's why ...
5. Word Game
Details' story titles are so smart and catchy ... you feel like you have to stop on each and every page.
4. The Fare
Recipes for men (and women). Ahhhh ... always a choice meal option or flavorful treat that I want to tear out and file for later use. Love it!
3. Color Compositions
I have gotten quite a few ideas for mixing hues since picking up my first issue.
2. What's in a name
If you know me, you know my philosophy. Being fabulous is all about the details.
Culture + Trends / Style + Advice / Entertainment / Relationships
Smart (I know I already said that, but it deserves a second mention) and simply refreshing.
July 11, 2010
July 10, 2010
Chloe Harper loves for a woman with size issues to become one of her clients. It may sound strange, but it's actually more fundamental -- and you'll get it once you meet her. Harper, the 26-year-old mastermind behind Vitamin C Clothing, designs and makes dresses (sizes 6-24) that you'll want to make staples in your wardrobe. That's always been her aspiration. And I certify it one she can check off the list. Hers is a process rooted in not only understanding body types but honoring them. A refreshing approach yields refreshingly fun and sleek designs. She was gracious enough to allow me into her work space to chat about her line and the story behind its wholesome label.
July 9, 2010
July 6, 2010
Tweed blazer, H&M