Currently: 04.28.13


CURRENTLY 
(inspired by Chymere Californian)

In Lust With:  Ice Cream.  Rainbow Vanilla Ice Cream from a specific little store back home to be exact.  If I'm not making a beeline for that store when I visit, I'm sending someone to the store to get me some.  I crave it all the time! I'm also in deep lust with this Cake Batter Ice Cream Double Butter Body Cream  I got from here last week.  My dry, hormonal skin is in awe.

In Love With: ABC's Once Upon a Time. Have you seen that show? I just love all the twists and turns these people go through in the town of Storybrooke and how each of them have fairy tale alter-egos (or separate lives, from a different time and place). Each Sunday night I find myself tuned in to see whose backstory will be told next.  Between it, Revenge, and Scandal, ABC keeps me glued to the screen on Sunday and Thursday nights (when they aren't showing re-runs).

Obsessing over:  Moving.  Should I stay? Should I go? I don't know. I'm so indecisive about things here lately that thoughts of moving are becoming really overwhelming.  As much as I've grown to love my city, I think I might have to move on.  Lord, please order my steps.

Working On: Organizing everything.  I'm trying to find a designated place for everything, for everyone.  I thought I did a great job of this just a few short months ago, but my children have shown me otherwise lol. I am striving to create a more simplified life for the four five of us, so that begins with simplifying my home.  NOTE: This is not an easy feat when you and your husband are both pack-rats. Eek!

Favorite Words: Glowing, Happy, and Beautiful.  Most days, I don't feel like the third word.  But with reassurance from my loving and supportive husband, I can feel all three surge from the inside out.

Favorite Visual:  The animation in Wreck-It-Ralph.  Ok, don't laugh! I think I've grown so fascinated with the visual aesthetic of this movie partly because my children love watching it (meaning I watch a lot of it whether I choose to or not).  But I confess that I'm probably most drawn to it because it makes me feel so nostalgic. It reminds me of how obsessed I used to be with videogames when I was a young child (while a part of me still is!).  I love how bright and vivid the colors are, how strikingly HD certain game characters are and how adorable Vanellopi Von Schweets is.  If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.  It's definitely worth watching.

Favorite Sound:  Baby J's heartbeat.  I fell in love the first time I heard it, as it gave me proof that there was actually life moving around and thriving inside of me.  Hearing it for a second time yesterday gave me assurance that everything was gonna be okay with him 

Over the Moon About: One of my besties flying out to NC to visit me for my birthday next month. I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself!  

Thinking Of: Celebrating life more often.  With the recent loss of a loved one and all of the lifestyle changes I've recently experienced, I feel that I don't celebrate life enough.  Sometimes, it takes a wedding or a funeral for my family, friends, and loved ones to get together and it sucks that it has to be that way. I know we all get a little busy with life and attending to our own affairs, but I want to be more involved in their lives.  I have to make a greater effort, whether others do or not.  There's nothing like giving folks flowers while they are still around to smell them.

Dreaming Of: What Baby J will be like.  Will he look like me or will he look like his daddy?  Will he have my temperament?  Will he be like his big brother J? Will he cry a lot or will he be quiet and mild-mannered like my daughter was as a baby? Will he steal my heart as quickly as my other two loves have? I think about him all the time and wonder how his presence will shape and change my world.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY UP TO?

SHE'S BAAAACK! (a quick update)

Hey ladies and gents! I know it's been a while! And for that I sincerely apologize.  I just wanted to let you know that I did not intentionally leave you guys hanging.  I left a few blog drafts just hanging around out here to dry, a couple of reviews here and there that have yet to be published, and tons of pictures that will probably never see the light of day.  I hate that I haven't shared them with you sooner!

But the truth is, somewhere along the line I got stuck in a little rut.  I had some business to attend to on the homefront that I didn't imagine would take me away from posting regularly here.  I got caught up, y'all.  I do miss sharing with you all and keeping up with all of the bloggers that I have grown to love.  I think I just needed a couple of weeks to breathe.  I hope y'all aren't mad at me.

I also have a bit of news to share with you guys. If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know that I AM EXPECTING! Yes, again, ladies and gentlemen.  In fact, my husband and I are expecting our beautiful bouncing BABY BOY to arrive in September. And for this I am excited!!!

Thank you so much for you wonderful ladies who have missed me and have reached out to me wondering where I've been. I've missed y'all so much and hope to jump right back into blogging seamlessly.  I will try my best to update on all my social networks as often as I possibly can, so be sure to keep up with me on
Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  And look out for new blog posts starting tomorrow and more updates and pictures of what I've been up to in May!

Hair Journey Update: Spring 2013



Starting at the beginning of the year, I decided to join Traycee's KISS Boot Camp Challenge on the K.I.S.S. site. I have been on a hair journey for quite some time, and have had quite a few challenges while on the journey.  Nonetheless, I've learned a lot about my hair and what it likes as well as what it doesn't like.  I've even built a pretty basic regimen that I tend to tweak from time to time (depending on the changing of seasons and discovering new hair needs). I felt that taking part in this challenge would be great because I had already set goals for myself this year.  Joining the challenge gave me a way to hold myself accountable for my goals and chart my progress.  I also decided it would be cool to share a blog post with you guys every season to let you know how I'm doing with my hair goals.

The goals I set for myself this year are as follows:
1. Achieve APL length by Summer 2013
2. Try new low-manipulation hair styles (such as roller sets, twist-outs and braid-outs)
3. Don't buy a new hair product without completely using up another.
4. Stick to my routine! Remain consistent in my hair care.

In remaining consistent, I must make sure to stick to these tasks:
1. Use the least amount of direct heat as possible.  Only one heat pass per 6 weeks.
2. Moisturize and seal nightly.
3. Deep condition weekly under the dryer.
4. Massage scalp with hot oil mix 2-3X weekly.
5. Baby my edges with JBCO nightly.
6. ALWAYS sleep with my scarf or bonnet on. No excuses!

The Stretch
My last relaxer was on December 6, 2012.   So my stretch lasted exactly 16 weeks and one day.  During my 16 week stretch, I've been pretty consistent with my regimen.  I started moisturizing with my Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Moisturizer instead of the Herbal Essences LTR Leave-In because I felt that the Elasta QP was more moisturizing for the cold winter months.  I even tried the LOC method I saw Sdestra use after washes.  My liquid of choice was my Aloe Vera Mix, the oil was alternated between Jojoba and Grapeseed Oil, and my cream was of course the Elasta QP Moisturizer.  All in all,  I love how it locked the moisture into my hair! This is a practice  I will probably continue doing after each clarifying wash.

One thing I regret is that I didn't do much styling.  Something came along mid January and started sapping all of my energy, making me only want to wear my hair in a bun.  So if my hair wasn't in a ninja bun on the top of my head, it was probably pinned in a bun to the back.  And if I left the house wanting to look extra, I put on my blonde shorty-do I like to call Susie. I guess this approach made it very easy to just leave my hair alone and keep things simple!

ladies, meet Susie! lol

Two things I've noticed that my hair loves a lot during the stretch are my scalp massages and the aloe vera mix.  In fact, I can almost guarantee that the scalp massages aided in growth.  In my scalp massage oil mix, I use my three favorite oils: peppermint oil, jamaican black castor oil, and coconut oil.  I gently massaged the oil mix in my scalp 2-3 nights weekly and boy did the new growth get thick on me quick!  But the beautiful thing about my new growth was that my aloe vera mix made it soft, gave it great curl definition, and made it so easy to manage.  

The Results
I will admit that I was only partially pleased with my results from this stretch.  While I could tell that my hair had grown since my last relaxer, it definitely looked a bit thin. Perhaps this was because  I never use heat on my hair, and I flat ironed my hair after washing and conditioning this time.  I haven't used a flat-iron in over a year, so I was amazed at how bone-straight and thin it was.  I guess I was so eager to see the accurate length that I couldn't wait for it to air-dry.  I probably won't be doing that again! But I can say that I am pleased that I'm finally grazing APL. I've haven't passed SL hair since I cut it from APL at the start of high school!

Another great thing I have noticed, is that when I add the protein step into my relaxer regimen, my hair feels so much stronger!  And there was hardly any shedding.  I've added a light protein (ORS Replenishing Conditioner or Aphogee Two Minute Reconstructor) before neutralizing with my last three relaxers and I will never go back to relaxing without this step.

In the upcoming months, I will focus more on the overall health of my hair.  I'm trying to get some thickness going on about my tresses, so I will be doing more research and perhaps tweaking a few products so that I can achieve the thickness that I desire. I will also pay close attention to my fragile ends as well.

ARE YOU ON A HEALTHY HAIR JOURNEY?
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HAIR GOALS?

Manicure Monday: Coral + Sparkle

Happy Monday, ladies! I hope you all enjoyed your first day of April and had a beautiful Easter weekend!  Mine was nice and eventful, as I was able to see some of my closest friends and family members.  All in all I have been having a great Spring so far.  I'm just hoping that the weather warms up just a tad so that I'm able to start wearing dresses and sandals soon!

As coral is one of my favorite shades of Spring, I'm way past ready to wear coral toes in my sandals.  And though I might have not been able to rock them yet, I've gotten a head start on rocking coral with my nails.  For this week's MANICure, I painted my nails with Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Color in Tropicalia, which is a beautifully bright shade of coral.  


And of course it wouldn't be me without a little bling to the manicure.  
For the accent nail, I added O.P.I. Nail Polish in Servin' Up Sparkle.



While this is a lovely color, it seems that my camera phone did not do it justice.  
Check it out with the flash:


So what are your manicures looking like this week ladies?  Did you play it safe with familiar colors and acrylics or did you go bold this week? Did you paint your nails in pastels for Easter?  Perhaps you decided to skip the polish altogether.  Either way, I would love to hear all about the details in the comments. Let me know! 
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