Hair Journey Update: Fall 2013

Since fall has been upon us for a while and I've recently done a touch-up, it's high time for another Hair Journey update! Sharing updates here on the blog and taking notes has really helped me keep up with my hair goals and needs. While some things have been the same since the last update due to pregnancy, I have seen a few changes as well.  I really think that after using a cocktail of products and practices, I'm starting to learn what my hair likes, hates, and needs.


relaxed hair journey

This is one of the days I wore my hair out.  
I did it up with that side bang from back in the day lol


Hair Stats
Last relaxer: October 25, 2013
Next relaxer: February 1, 2013
Hair Length Goal: Full APL, then BSL
Current Length: APL--except in crown area
Hair Wants: huetiful hair steamer, hempseed oil
Loving: scalp massages, JBCO, and Hair Trigger Growth Elixir

Current Goals:
1. Obtain overall thickness, as opposed to length.
2. Grow back crown breakage. 
3. Try new low-manipulation hairstyles 
(twist-outs and braid-outs)
4. Stick to my routine! Remain consistent in my hair care.
5. Keep it simple- moisturize and seal. cleanse. deep condition.

In remaining consistent, I must make sure to stick to these tasks:
1. Not using any direct heat at all.
2. Moisturize + seal and wear bonnet each night.
3. Deep condition weekly under the dryer.
4. Massage scalp with Hair Trigger 2-3x weekly.
5. Apply JBCO to edges and ends nightly.
6. Use what I have- no purchasing of any new products. 
Exception: running out of staples.

The Stretch

Prior to October 25, 2013, my last relaxer was on July 5, 2013. This time I stretched for 16 weeks, and boy was it tough! Just like with my last stretch, I kept my hair away for the most part.  I moisturized with African Pride Olive Miracle Moisturizer and sealed with grapeseed oil nightly or every other night. I also continued to add a drop of JBCO to the ends of my hair every other night after moisturizing and sealing. With the ceramides from the grapeseed oil and the JBCO, my hair seems to be getting a little thicker!


Unfortunately I didn't get around to trying new protective styles this stretch, either. After a failed bantu-knot attempt, I told myself trying something new now was so not worth it. I was always tired in my last semester of pregnancy, so I gave myself a bit of a break and kept my hair in a bun for the most part. I made sure not to wear my bun in the same position for too long, as I am trying to correct the breakage in my crown.

And of course, as I have mentioned before, the Aloe Vera Mix is absolute love to new growth when the stretch starts to run long. The mix of aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerine, and rosewater made my new growth very soft and a breeze to manage for the remainder of the stretch.


The Process


Per my usual relaxer process--I applied the Optimum Care No-Lye Relaxer. Directly after relaxing and rinsing out the relaxer, I applied the Aphogee 2-Minute Reconstructor to replenish some of the protein that was lost in the process. After rinsing out the protein I neutralized, cleansing thoroughly, and conditioned once more with the conditioner that comes with the relaxer. I then rinsed, squeezing out the excess water with a t-shirt. Then I applied a spray of Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer as my leave-in conditioner.  I moisturized and sealed with my African Pride moisturizer and a bit of grapeseed oil, then just a drop of GVP Silk Remedy before wrapping it and putting it in a scarf + bonnet for the night.  


The Results

I think this was the first time my hair has actually felt full after a relaxer.  Usually after I relax, I will air-dry and take my hair down the next morning (with the exception of my spring relax). Instead of combing down limp, lifeless hair, it seemed to have a bit of thickness to it. This NEVER happens after a relaxer. It also felt stronger too, like I had just had a protein treatment.  

Everything is looking great so far. While I don't think I've had a tremendous amount of growth, others around me notice that my hair has definitely grown.  I think I'm finally APL everywhere except in my crown area. I do have a game plan on getting it back on track, though. I'll share more about that in a post next week.

In the upcoming months, I will be looking to finally test out these protective and low-manipulation hairstyles.  For one, I am tired of wearing a bun. And for two, I need a break from my wigs and weaves for a little while also. I'm either going to try again with the bantu knots or try to perfect the twist-out and braid-out. And if that doesn't work out, I'm getting braids or a sew-in. I will update with pics in whatever choices I make so stay tuned (for real this time lol)!

I will still be using my JBCO for my edges and ends, I will still find more ways to add ceramides into my regimen (more than likely deep conditioning with oils), and I will continue to do scalp massages every other day with Hair Trigger Growth Elixir.  Look out for a review on the Hair Trigger Growth Elixir soon, too :-)


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HAIR GOALS?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HAIR PRODUCTS?

Mind Right Mondays: Goals, Gratitude, and Accountability


Hey guys! I'm linking up again with Dani of Ok, Dani again this week for her Mind Right Mondays Linkup.  Along with sharing my goals and gratefuls, I will be sharing how I did with my goals for last week. Let's go!

My major intent for the week is to: Take it easy. Seriously.

Ok, I have learned that I can't do everything on my own. I need help. I wish I were Superwoman-- Superwife or Supermama or Super-something, but I'm not. That's why I have to be more proactive about making sure everyone does their part within the home. I've also realized that any self-exhaustion I've experienced lately has been self-induced. I'm trying to do too much, which winds up being nothing at all. I can't take care of everyone, be the best wife I can be, or be the best mother I can be until I take care of myself (just a little). 

My goals for the week:

Continue to devote first waking moments to prayer and meditation
Get out and do something for myself outside of the home
Be more present--unplug and disconnect from everything at least two days this week
Call and connect with a friend 
Take care of personal affairs I've postponed for yet another week
Complete my resolutions chart (inspired by The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin)

I am truly grateful for:

-The beautiful memories.... Being able to recall precious moments I've shared with my Grandma Lou and all of the stories she's told me over the years.
-Family near and far.
-The ability to write to express myself-- while I have not always been able to vocalize my thoughts or find a better way to communicate my deepest concerns, I've been pretty nice with the pen over the years. It really helps in times when I need to vent!
-The beautiful fall scenery.
-Being able to fill my home with the beautiful voices of Sarah Vaughan and Solange when I'm in a mood.
-A home ideal for my family.
-Sustenance.
-J, Corey, Gabs, Jj, and Nino ;-)

Accountability:

Devote first waking moments to meditation and prayer  GOOD JOB!
Clean the bedroom at the end of the hall (oh how dreadful that sounds!) FAIL
Plan and prep meals for the week  GOOD JOB!
Handle business affairs that I've been postponing for weeks FAIL
Do inventory on the kids' closets and clothing
Clean out my inbox and reply to all emails PARTIAL..
Schedule and brainstorm blog post ideas GOOD JOB!
Get into it with my squats and crunches FAIL
Finish my Christmas shopping list 

I achieved over half of my goals for the week, so for that  I am proud.  I've been doing a good job with getting into my prayer and meditation as soon as I wake up. I kept it on the list for this week so that if I keep it up continuously, it will become a habit.

Cleaning the bedroom at the end of the hall just seems like such a daunting task! I don't know how I thought I could get that entire room together at one time. I'll break this task down into parts so that I can have it done before Thanksgiving.

I also really have to get my fitness together.  I didn't do any working out, any cardio, or any crunches last week.  I'm not even gonna put it on the list for this week--maybe I'll surprise myself and do something anyways!

What are some of your goals for the week?

My Fall Fashion Must-Haves





What's on your fall fashion must-have list?

#AskAwayFriday with The Green Eyed Lady Blog

Hey everyone! For my first ever link- up with #AskAwayFriday, I am linking up with my new bloggy friend Carissa of The Green Eyed Lady Blog.  I must say this has been fun!  How in the world have I been missing out on this? Check Carissa out!
For those of you who may not be familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a cool way to get to meet new bloggers and get to know them better. Partners exchange 10 questions and answer them on their respective blogs.  Sounds interesting, right?  Below are the questions Carissa asked me, along with my answers. Check out her answers to my questions here.

1. If you woke up tomorrow and you were told you could do anything that you wanted to do...what would you do?
Wow, that's a tough one.  Do I have a babysitter for the day? Lol.  I think if the weather permitted, I would grab up my books, some great food, and just head out to the beach for the entire day.  I would try to relax and enjoy the relaxing stillness in my own company. I'd be sure to get a massage, a facial, and a pedicure. Simple, but that's exactly what I'd enjoy doing most.  

2. If you could only use one makeup item for a week, what would you use and why?
OMG, I don't know.  That's REALLY hard! I think it would be my lipgloss or something.  I could go without foundation, powder, and even mascara-- as long as my lips are moisturized.  Ain't nothing cute about dry, cracked lips, honey.

3. What is one beneficial tip that you would share with a bloggers that you have learned along this journey?
Be yourself-- don't be afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly.  For some reason, there's this pressure to be perfect on social media.  We post the most flattering pictures of ourselves.  We overly share those glamorous moments-- those times when everything is going according to plan and life couldn't be happier.  But no one talks about the rough times-- days when we hate to get out of bed, our husbands get on our nerves or the kids are cuttin' up.. Of course, no one wants to air all of their dirty laundry-- but it's okay that every day isn't the best day ever. It's alright if that smoky eye tutorial didn't come out exactly how you thought it would. It's fine that it's raining outside so you don't have the perfect scenery for that outfit of the day photoshoot. Go along with what you have- It lets others know you are human.  If someone stops reading because you share what comes from your heart and what you're most passionate about, that's okay. Someone somewhere will come along and will be able to relate to what you have going on. Remember- everybody ain't for everybody. I guess I could have had an entire post dedicated to this! I rambled on and on and on lol...

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Anywhere with nice tropical weather and a place to plant a beach chair :-)


5. If you had to restart your blog...but you couldnt blog about the topics that you currently blog about, what else would you write about?
I'm almost certain it would be about food and cooking.  My readers probably don't know that I love cooking with a passion and am a real foodie.   

6. What do you do for time for yourself?
If I can't do anything else-- I will make sure I do a manicure and a pedicure for myself. That's one way I always get a little bit of pampering time in.


7. What are you doing for the Thanksgiving Holiday?
This is my first year in my new home, so I'm making a big Thanksgiving dinner over at my place.  I probably won't be doing much visiting family as I usually do because it's getting cold and I really don't want to bring Jj out in the elements like that yet.

8. As the year comes to an end, how do you prep for the next year?
Last year, I started setting goals in September. It prompted me to start crossing things off my list before the new year even began. This year, I'm gonna just sit down with my family and discuss all the blessings that we've experienced this year and brainstorm on ways we can make next year an even better year. This year will be the year we make goals as a FAMILY.

9. What are three must have items that go in your purse?
Hand sanitizer. Floss. Plushglass (it plumps all those fine lines out of your lips with the quickness!).

10. Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I wrote my very first song in the second grade. I can't remember much of it, only that someone's love was as sweet as a jelly roll. Too much, lol!

Be sure to check out Carissa and get more familiar with her blog by clicking her button below!

The Green Eyed Lady Blog

Current Beauty Wishlist

F+W Beauty Wishlist 1

Here are the items (in no particular order):

NYX Butter Lip Gloss
MAC Mineralized Blush (Divine Night Collection)
MAC Viva Glam I Lipstick
NYX HD Makeup Primer
Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick in Luminous Pink
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Lime Crime Lipstick in Centrifuchsia
Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara
NYX "Push Up Bra" Eyebrow Highlighter
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick
Sara Happ Lip Scrub in Pink Grapefruit
EOS Lip Balm in Acai Berry
Benefit Groovy-Kind-A-Love Set
MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel
NARS Cheek Palette
NYX "Matte Finish" Makeup Setting Spray
NARS Union Libre Nail Polish
NARS No Limits Nail Polish
OPI Suzi & the 7 Dusseldorfs Nail Polish

Have you tried any of these items?
What's on your beauty wish list?

REVIEW: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession-- or in this case, more like an obsession.  Since trying out the Mario Badescu Skin Care line earlier this year, I have been IN LOVE with their products.  I am over the moon in awe with how well they have been working on my oily, hormonal skin.  So I was no doubt excited when I was presented with the opportunity to try out the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. For those of us who have issues with hyperpigmentation and desire a more even complexion, skin care products with vitamin c are a dream come true.  In hopes that this serum would brighten my complexion and give my skin an overall smoother complexion, I decided to give Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum a shot.


STATS:  Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is packaged in a 1 oz green glass bottle with a dropper as a dispenser, retailing at $45. Serums are known to run pretty expensive, so I personally would not mind paying this price for an effective one. As vitamin c alone is known to even skin tone, reduce signs of aging, and protect skin from damaging free radicals, the serum also contains hyaluronic acid which retains moisture and collagen which enhances firmness and elasticity. I don't know about you guys, but as a woman who wants to keep a youthful appearance and overall glow, reading these things on the packaging were quite promising. It sounded like I had struck a gold mine or had the fountain of youth at my fingertips! 

HOW TO USE: Thanks to the handy dropper dispenser, applying this serum is a breeze! Using the dropper, you're to apply 3-4 drops on clean skin every other night. So after I cleansed with my Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and applied the Mario Badescu Cucumber Lotion (for toning), I applied the serum. The packaging suggests that the serum can be used under the moisturizer or alone. I opted to use it alone the first time as serums can feel oily or "slick" once moisturizer is layered on. 

THE RUNDOWN: I will admit I wasn't sure what to expect with my first application. It stung a little, so I said to myself, "This serum must be working already!" I did not, however, expect for it to get to work on my skin so fast. After my first night of using the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum, I woke up the next morning with a glow. Seriously. My skin felt smooth and moisturized, not slick like it has been when using other serums. Within only a few weeks of use, I noticed that my skin looked refreshed and radiant WITHOUT MAKEUP. Not only did I notice a difference--so did others. It seems that everyone was complimenting me on my "glow."  My skin felt soft and supple to the touch, even a bit "tight" if you will. The dry patches I had developed in my t-zone became smooth.  Even my dark spots had faded significantly. While I can't say my hyperpigmentation is completely gone, I can say that it is clearing up quite beautifully. Now after a couple months of use, I can say that I am very impressed with the performance of Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. It has definitely been added to my beauty staples and skincare arsenal!

Recommended: Yes
Pros: has functional packaging, improves texture, brightens complexion, evens tone 
Cons: can be a bit pricey, retailing at $45
Key Ingredients: 7.5% absorbic acid (vitamin c), collagen, hyaluronic acid
Where to Buy: mariobadescu.com
Overall Score: A

Have you tried the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum or any other products from the Mario Badescu skincare line? I highly recommend this serum for those of you looking for a more youthful, radiant complexion and/or have issues with hyperpigmentation like myself.

This product was sent to me for review by Mario Badescu. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Fall Fashion Lookbook: All Dressed Up


What do you wear for a special occasion during the Fall Season? Since I won't be running behind children or carrying a small baby around for these occasions, I decided to add some scandalous heels to the mix and come up with some inspiration for my scheduled date nights and things for the upcoming weeks!

Black White and Red All Over

Black, White and Fuchsia

Featuring the Mustard Cardigan

Would you rock these looks?

Mind Right Mondays: Goals + Gratitude


It's been a while since I've linked up with Dani for Mind Right Mondays.  And since I'm being proactive about setting goals and getting back in the swing of doing things upon the arrival of Jj, I thought this would be a great time to share some goals + gratefuls with you guys.  Plus, the accountability really helps me stay on track with everything. Well, on to the good stuff, ladies and gentlemen.

My major intent for the week is to: Make sure my new home space is conducive to my family's mission and purpose.

Since last year when I read Organized Simplicity by Tse Oxenrider, I've been set on having a more organized home space. And now that we're in a new space, I want to keep that momentum going. This has been quite taxing, as I still have things stored away in boxes and not yet in their proper places (I'll blame that on pregnancy and the new baby coming so close to the time of moving).

My goals for the week:

Devote first waking moments to meditation and prayer
Clean the bedroom at the end of the hall (oh how dreadful that sounds!)
Plan and prep meals for the week
Handle business affairs that I've been postponing for weeks
Do inventory on the kids' closets and clothing
Clean out my inbox and reply to all emails
Schedule and brainstorm blog post ideas
Get into it with my squats and crunches 
Finish my Christmas shopping list 

I am truly grateful for:

- My hard-working, level-headed husband. 
-My bestie. She's been such a great godmommy to Jj :-)
-The washer and dryer. As much as I complain about doing laundry, I'm so glad I have the flexibility to be able to wash when I can now.
-My parents. I'm so glad there's only a short distance between us now!
-Vision and hearing.
-My smiling children.
-Having sunny days in November. It has really improved my mood.
-Music-yet another mood booster

What are your goals for the week?

What are you grateful for?

Feel free to share in the comments!

Thought Bubbles Thursday With Tia: Vol. I

I still can't believe that I am a MOTHER OF THREE. That's so crazy to me. It's finally starting to set in though.

Is it bad that I'm having a hard time recalling birth dates and things when the doctors ask me?  Now I know how my mother felt with all those May babies back then.

Why does everyone keep giving me unsolicited baby advice? Being that this is the third time around, I think I might be certified in knowing my babies by now. Just maybe.

I'm working hard on not letting every emotion I feel show on my face-- especially in public. I don't think it's working out too well for me though.  Maybe I should practice smiling in the mirror (insert silly Keke Wyatt type face here lol).

I'm so disappointed that my date night with hubby this weekend has been cancelled. Like really.  I was so looking forward to watching Chris Hemsworth swing that hammer around in a dark theater and everything. Oh and of course, spending time with my beloved :-)


Sometimes I think I need more friends who are SAHMs.  No one understands me.

It feels like my laundry is the pile that never ends this week.

I probably should be washing dishes instead of typing these thoughts right now.

Man, eff those dishes right now.

What was I thinking drawing my brows on for the last 14 years? I'm smh for real looking at my old high school pictures.  Thank God for YouTube.

When I reach my hair goals, I'm so getting an auburn rinse!


Why am I getting sucked into LHHNY? I know it has to be scripted!  There's no way Peter Gunz is really crazy enough to be married to the side chick and living with the main girl.

The fact that I used to rock to "Uptown Baby" is really telling my age. I bet the kids watching LHHNY don't even know that song. Ha!

Speaking of getting older, I've finally made a 30 by 30 list. It features 30 cool things I want to do before June 2015. I'm gonna share it here on the blog soon.

It's almost Scandal time! Thank God Jj is sleep.  This is the highlight of my day, ladies and gentlemen. Can you believe Khandi Alexander's gonna be playing Liv's mom?

I'm doing this link up with Tia of The Chic SAHM. Stop by her blog, say what's up, and tell her I sent ya!
The Chic Stay at Home Mom

Fall Matte Lips: Wet 'n Wild Megalast Lipsticks


Hey ladies! Last month when I posted about my favorite fall lippies, I was asked about some alternatives for the matte MAC lipsticks.  When thinking of matte lipsticks, my mind went to two that are among my favorite-- Wet 'n Wild Megalast Lipsticks in Cherry Bomb and Sugar Plum Fairy.  If you have been following the blog for a while, you may remember an earlier post in which I gush about my love for Sugar Plum Fairy. I'm here now to show that same love for Cherry Bomb also, as it has grown to be one of my favorites in a short period of time, as it is a recent purchase.  Check out both of these babies in action below.

drugstore lipstick
 

Cherry Bomb can easily be used as a dupe for MAC Lipstick in Diva or could be compared to the popular limited edition lipstick Talk That Talk from the RiRi loves MAC collection.

drugstore lipstick

 

Sugar Plum Fairy is almost an exact dupe of MAC Rebel, in case you were looking for one!   

Wet 'n Wild Megalast Lipsticks are very pigmented, can easily last for a couple of hours without reapplying, and come in various shadesThey are also very affordable, at most $2.99 each, and can be found at many drugstores. In fact, these lipsticks sell for $1.99 in Walgreens and are currently on sale there for BOGO 50% off!  So if these look like lippies you would love to add to your collection, be sure to stop by Walgreens and grab up a few for you and a friend.

Do you own these lipsticks or any of the Wet 'n Wild Megalast Lipsticks?

MANICure Monday: Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is doing well on this first Monday in November and I hope everyone's week is off to a beautiful start! I'm happy to be able to start my week off with a fresh manicure. Jj slept long enough this morning for me to grab a fresh coat of something for my fingers and toes. For now, we'll just stick with the sharing of the manicure.  I didn't do any designs or anything spectacular. However, knowing me-- I did add a little something spark-tacular to my red mani.

I pulled out Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby, a beautiful shade of red that I received from the lovely blogger Ebony of Longing4Length a while back. Thank you so much, lady!  Isn't this shade just perfect for the season?


I don't know about you guys, but I like wearing red.  Many of the items in my wardrobe are red, I love rocking red lipstick, and I adore a red manicure.  In fact, when I used to get my nails done back in the day, my signature manicure was a red one with a freehand design on the accent ring finger.  However, red manicures (as well as red lipsticks) don't translate well with some people.  It's strange that simply wearing red nail polish or red lipstick will make people think badly of you or judge your character negatively.  As for me, it takes more than a shade of lipstick or color choice of nail polish for me to determine what type of person someone is.  But anyways...

Remember how I stated at the top of the post that I added something spark-tacular to the mix?  Well, I did my usual accent nail with the glitter-filled Sephora for OPI nail polish Spark-tacular. Check it out!


Are you a fan of the glitter?  
What are your nails looking like this week?

And just a quick note to piggy-back off of a few things I mentioned above-- we must be careful of how we judge others.  For instance, just because I like to wear makeup and enjoy doing my nails doesn't mean that's all I'm capable of doing.  A woman can be God-fearing and love the Lord, educated, cultured, can take care of her children, cook, clean, know how to please her husband, and know how to have a good time alone or in company ALL AT THE SAME TIME-- and still like to keep herself looking nice. Always remember, there's more to a person than what we see on the outside. Thank you guys for continuing to check me out and rock with me up here in the blogosphere! It really means a lot :-)

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