Weekly Wishes #1

Hello loves! How is everyone doing? I hope all is well with each of you! As for me, all is well on my end. I've been doing a bit of self-reflection these last few weeks, and I'm looking for a spiritual break-through to happen any moment now. Do you ever feel yourself getting "out-of-sync" with everything going on around you? Well that's sort of what's been happening to me. I've been so consumed with what's going on (and what isn't going on) around me that I haven't been taking the best care of myself. So I'm working to become more proactive about that.

But on to other things, I've recorded my weekly to-do list and decided to share the main objectives with you guys this week. Hopefully you will want to share a few items on your list with me in the comments. Maybe you'll even be moved to offer some tips, encouragement, advice, and or resources with me as well!

1. Spend time with God each day as a family unit. Together, my children and I have created a weekly family devotional plan. And I couldn't be more excited to get started with it today. Though I've been researching ways to actively spend more time with Him as a family for a while, it felt good to get the children involved in the planning stage. They have their materials and resources ready!

2. Clean up the yard. My yard could definitely use some TLC. Anyone riding along the highway could tell me that. So I've included getting dirty and cleaning this mess up in my to-do list this week. I have flowers and trees to plant along with weeds to kill. And I can't wait to add a few more items to my honey-do list for hubby to complete lol.

3. Re-organize and re-purpose the "room at the end of the hall." One part of spring cleaning that I want to get accomplished this week is organizing the pink bedroom. I have a few ideas in mind (thanks to Pinterest) and I am bringing my daughter along for the ride.

4. Spring clean my closet. Just like the last few items on the list, cleaning my closet is imperative. This will probably take more than a week at the rate I usually go. Maybe I'll add this to the on-going monthly to-do list.

5. Read a book. Since my latest obsession with Korean Drama has devoured all of my free-time, I haven't read one single book. And that is so unlike me! This week I'm trying to get lost in a good read and get back in the habit of doing so regularly. Does anyone have any suggestions? And if you're as obsessed with KDrama as I am, what are your favorite dramas?

6. Tighten up my writing/blogging life. I have a writing project that has been sitting on my desk for a month. I need to get on that so I can share it with you guys! I also want to get back to writing something every day--even if it's just a journal entry. How do you guys go about finding writing inspiration?

7. Finalize Relay for Life fundraising efforts. I'm excited to be a part of Relay for Life again this year. It feels good to give time supporting and giving time to something my family and I are passionate about. I have a few plans for fundraising that I hope to discuss with my team a little more this week.

8. Exercise. I haven't committed to any exercise in forever. So I'm reintroducing myself to more physical activity by doing at least 15 minutes of cardio each day this week. If I can do that, I can get back in the swing of things sooner than I think!

What are your wishes for the week?
Tell me all about them in the comments.

The Nectar Collective

Co-Cleansing at 8 Weeks Post Relaxer

Hey guys! I'm happy to share with you all what came to be an awesome wash day yesterday. If you recall my last wash day post, you know that I tried KLP's method of co-cleansing for the first time a few weeks ago. And though my mix didn't work well for me, I was eager to try the co-cleansing method again. After over a week of doing nothing to my hair but moisturizing, sealing, and doing scalp massages, I was ready for a cleanse and good deep conditioning. Check out all the details from my wash day experience below!

The Experience

1.Pre-pooed with coconut oil down the length of my hair and Hair Trigger Growth Elixir on my scalp for 1 hour.
2.Combined Mill Creek Biotin Shampoo with grapeseed oil and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Conditioner (it's inexpensive and makes my NG happy!) for my co-cleanser mix.
**Making your own co-cleanser usually calls for 1 part shampoo, 2 parts oil, and 3 parts conditioner.**

3. Deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Organic Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque x Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil (won in this giveaway) while in the shower.
4. Rinsed deep conditioning treatment and applied OGX Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner for 5 minutes.

4. Rinsed conditioner and removed excess water with a t-shirt..
5. Detangled with Aloe Vera Juice and wrapped hair in t-shirt to air-dry for two hours.
Leave Ins- Aloe Vera Juice, Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Leave-In Conditioner, and grapeseed oil (using the LCO Method).

The Results
Let me start by saying that I'm glad I tried co-cleansing again! I bought a bottle applicator from Walmart (the $0.68 bottles for condiments) and added one part shampoo, one part oil, and a little over three parts conditioner. Using the applicator bottle really helped me with precision. Using this mixture didn't make my hair wiry or dry at all! It wasn't stripping, but my hair really felt clean afterwards.

I was skeptical about using the Shea Moisture Organic Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque, since it was very drying the last time I used it. But combined with the Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil, this deep conditioning was a win! My hair felt so much stronger after using it.

My shedding has decreased a lot over the last couple of weeks and for that I am ecstatic. I've also noticed that my edges are filling in nicely. I've been using Jamaican Black Castor Oil on them every other night and it seems to be doing the trick. So with the decreased shedding (with the aid of the Aloe Vera Juice daily spritzer), my improving edges, and what appears to be a winning combination of products this week for wash day, this has been the best wash day I've had since childbirth. I have thickening, soft, and manageable hair at 8 weeks post relaxer. I am one happy mama! I'm still in the process of doing my hair, so I'll share my final results in another post!

The Wash Day Experience

Beauty Favorites | March 2014

Have you found yourself reaching for some beauty products more than others lately? Are you switching up items in your beauty arsenal because of the refreshing weather change? I must admit that I have. I purchased some new items and even shopped my stash for what I've considered my go-to products for last month. And you know I had to share my thoughts with you all here on the blog, right? Check out my March Beauty Favorites below.

Skin Care + Body Care

Acqua di Gioia Fragrance for Women may be my all-time favorite fragrance. I especially love to wear Acqua di Gioia in the spring and summer months. Taking a whiff of this scent instantly takes my mind to sandy shores and the beautiful ocean!

Sweet Lavi Soap by Creamed Gourmet Body Treats is a gem, indeed! I won this soap in a giveaway hosted over on Marie Young's blog GoodLooknOut last month and have enjoyed getting "creamed" every since! The Sweet Lavi Soap, like all the others sold by Creamed Gourmet Body Treats, is hand-crafted and all natural. This bar is so rich and moisturizing! It lathers well and keeps my shower smelling like lavender. I love it! Good looking out, Marie and Amber!

Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer was meant for me to own, you guys. I was browsing the skin care aisle at Walmart on an ordinary day and saw this moisturizer for only $3. Yes, $3! And though cheaper is not always better, the low price point gave me just cause to try this product. It's oil-free and is formulated for clear, even skin tone--just what I need in a moisturizer. It's too early to tell if Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer is evening out my complexion, but it has given my face a smoother texture. Too bad there were only two bottles in the store that day, though. This moisturizer sells for $17 everywhere else. I guess I got lucky this time!


MAC Matte Lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous is a lipstick lover's dream! If you follow me on Instagram, you already know how much I love this lipstick. It's from the Retro Matte Collection and is the most beautifully bright plum shade you'd ever want to wear. And it lasts forever, as my lips stay stained even after I wipe them clean.The name says it all--this lippie truly is Flat Out Fabulous.

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Shy Girl has been my go-to nude lippie as of late. This lipstick has a nice, creamy formula, making it a breeze to apply evenly (even without a mirror lol). I tend to pair this lipstick with various lipliners to change its overall look, making it a very versatile lipstick choice.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Whiskey is a great eyeliner for everyday wear. It's not as heavy as a black liner, and can easily be used along the lashline for a subtle look. And no worries, it's waterproof so it won't budge! 

e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm in Nice and Natural is a great conditioning lip treatment for the low! I love how smooth and moisturizing my lips feel after applying this balm. And though the color says "nice and natural," this shade may be a little light for most skin tones. I'll line my lips if I wear it alone without gloss or lipstick. But I use this lip balm mostly before bed to condition my lips as I sleep :) I guarantee after using, you'll wake up with soft, supple lips! 

Hair Care

OGX Hydrating Conditioner has been used a lot around my way on wash day. I just love the way this conditioner smells! I've been using it to add moisture to my hair after protein treatments and my hair loves it. It's a great instant conditioner that I'm sure I will be purchasing again and again--especially if Walgreens continues to run that BOGO Free sale!

OGX Nourishing Anti-Breakage Serum is becoming one of my favorite hair products. I've been applying this serum to my hair every other night after moisturizing and sealing. It smells divine and it helps lock in moisture. And a little goes a long way with this product. I promise only using a tiny drop or two will be plenty!


Shop Hopeful Kiss | Pink Lipstick Love

As a lover of pink lipstick, I was thrilled to learn that my blogger friend Galaxia now has a lipstick sample shop full of drugstore and high-end pink lipsticks! What a novel idea, right? Shop Hopeful Kiss is ideal for us lipstick lovers, as it gives us the option to purchase lipstick samples BEFORE taking the plunge to buy a full-sized tube. And while I love all my pink lippies, I have been disappointed in the past by buying a lipstick that wasn't the shade it appeared to be once I got home with it. Don't you just hate that? I know I do. So when Galaxia reached out to me about trying the store's services out, I was more than happy to oblige! I received two lipstick samples, a lipstick brush, and other beautiful goodies that I will share with you all in a later post.

The first lipstick sample I received from Galaxia was Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Rose Hip. This is among my favorites. You all know I love a pretty fuchsia lippie, so this one was love at first application! Milani Color Statement in Rose Hip is a lipstick that is perfect for date night or girl's night out, as it is an attention-grabbing shade. This lipstick is long-lasting, moisturizing, and very pigmented. And it has this nice flavor that somewhat reminds me of fruit punch. I would say this lippie could go for a great dupe of MAC Candy Yum-Yum also!

The second lipstick sample I received was Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Kissable Pink. This lipstick is definitely one I would choose for everyday wear. It has just a hint of color, so it could be appropriate for work, church, or daily general wear. It's very moisturizing for a lipstick and has a color that would compliment women of every complexion. 

As an avid lipstick lover, I feel that these two shades compliment my lifestyle. Most days I wear a moisturizing lipstick with just a hint of pigment for a more natural look. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Kissable Pink is perfect for that. And for special occasions and planned events, I love wearing a highly pigmented, statement making lipstick like Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Rose Hip. Using the services of Shop Hopeful Kiss, one is able to test out as many samples as she would like for a very low cost. If you're lucky like me, you may even find a few signature shades while saving money!

Are you a fan of these shades?
Do you think sample shopping lippies is an ideal service for you?

If so, I suggest you check out Galaxia's shop. To get starting purchasing a few samples for yourself, head over to Shop Hopeful Kiss here and click to your heart's content!


Tuesday's Tunes: Volume 11

Happy Tuesday, loves! I hope you all are doing well and that your week is off to a great start so far! It's been a while since I've shared a playlist here on the blog with you guys. And I noticed I haven't done a Tuesday's Tunes installment in a long time, either. So I decided to give you all a taste of the songs I've been listening to today and receiving great vibes from. And trust me, they are all feel-good songs. I hope you enjoy!

It's quite apparent I'm an Andre 3000 stan.  And this could arguably be one of my favorite songs of his as a solo artist (though this was a double-disc effort from Outkast). It's so fun, upbeat, and unlike anything else that was playing on the radio at that time.  It's another one of those "cotton candy on a summer day" type of songs for me. I smile with great memories each time I hear it. And don't put the video on. You would think I was one of the girls in the American Bandstand-ish audience, too!

While I'm no fan of Odd Future, there's something about Syd the Kid's voice that is so mesmerizing to me. It's so enchanting, soft, and sweet. And the dope production by Chad Hugo (of the Neptunes) totally seals the deal on this track. I'm not ashamed to admit I've listened to this song on repeat for the last couple of months. Isn't it so infectious, though?

Something about this song always puts a swing in my step and a drop of sweetness in my stride!  It's like indulging in the good old days I never got the chance to witness personally. I love the way Raphael Saadiq adds the Motown funk sound to this track. This is one of the songs I listen to when I'm up getting dressed and it instantly puts me in a good mood. Are you a fan of Raphael Saadiq? What is he up to these days?

Jennifer Hudson did it with this one! I love everything about this song--from Jennifer's soulful voice, the vocal arrangements, the lyrics, the T.I. feature, down to the disco elements of the track. Doesn't it remind you of something Chaka Khan or Evelyn "Champagne" King would have done in the 80s? It just makes me want to get up and do my two-step shimmy!

There was no way I could mention Jennifer Hudson's single without noting the song it sampled from. "I'm In Love" is a song that makes you want to get up and dance! When listening to this song and getting into the groove, I always wonder what my mom and dad were like during the early 80s and how they used to "get down" at the parties. I could see my mom now!

Are you a fan of these tunes?
What are some feel-good songs that lift your spirits? 
Please share them with me in the comments!
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