Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: September Hair Progress

We have been doing really well with our hair. Ever since I abandoned the whole notion of water washing only, things have significantly improved as far as my hair goes. 
I co-wash every weekend and either clay wash or use a sulfate free shampoo once a month. 

I have also been doing more co-washing with JOE and JAE. Their hair isn't overly dry so I don't feel the need to fully wash it with shampoo all the time. 
Speaking of, I recently tried the Cantu baby hair shampoo on JAE's hair and it turned out and I love it. No tangles and didn't overly dry her hair. 

I recently purchased the Mane Choice 3 in 1 leave in conditioner. I sooooo wanted to like this product since I have used the vitamins and have nothing but great things to say about it. Sadly, I can't give it raving reviews. It makes me sad because I really truly am a believer in their line but this product did not work well in my hair. For the first time, I had a product that sat on my hair. As in you could see it on my hair. I thought perhaps it would get better over the course of the day but it didn't. I tried it both when wet, damp and dry and got the same results so I won't be using it on my hair as a leave in.

Anyways, on to pictures since I know that's about 90% the reason you're reading this :-)

First JAE. I haven't been doing too much with her hair. I am still learning her hair type and what it needs. I do use my oil mix on her scalp and leave in conditioner every week. For the most part, her hair is a lot straighter than JOE's was at this stage so doing her hair is somewhat of a breeze compared to her older sister. 

With that said, I primarily just either put her hair in a high pony tail OR clip part of it with a hair clip.








JOE's hair continues to grow and grow and grow. e still struggle with tangles all the time. I gave her a trim a few weeks ago and that was "an incident" because she was terrified that I would cut her hair. I had to show her how much I was taking off and it was just about an inch off. She needed it. She doesn't have single strand nuts which is great. However, the ends of her hair was pretty thin so I wanted to get rid of it before it started to cause more split ends.

I primarily put her hair up though because JAE loves pulling on it. 

  
 
Not a hair update but I totally couldn't resist. Check out this ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL baby model in AyoBE Boutique wear! She is just sooooo cute!!! Oh and her momma is too :-). Hey Peg!!!



Now, onto my hair. If you recall, I started my journey back in 2013. Details below.

Last texlax: 10/2013
Decision to go natural: 02/2014
Big Chop: 10/2014
Last flat iron: 12/31/2015

So far, things are going really well! I am currently have surpassed the length I was before I started the transition process. 
I am so glad I made the decision to go natural. I was VERY unsure of it when I started but honestly, it has been THE EASIEST thing for me. I don't do much and find that I like it more in its natural state. Also, I don't have to deal with scalp burns which is something I had to contend with ALL THE TIME when my hair was texlaxed :-).

The below picture was taken in early August. My hair has grown a little more since then. I am now at mid-back length when stretched at the back!!! I often stretch it just to play with it and am always shocked when I stretch it. 
A co-worker of mine actually was looking at it a couple of weeks ago and decided to stretch it. She was shocked to see how long it was. LOL...I love the shrinkage because it makes it more manageable and my hair doesn't get caught in my tops thereby causing friction/breakage.

Last year, I set the below goals for my hair:
  1. My first goal will be to have healthy natural hair after postpartum shedding is done with me. Hopefully, I'll be at armpit length when stretched by the end of September. I am basing this date on the fact that my shedding often happens between 3 - 6 months postpartum. Accomplished.
  2. My second goal is to grow my hair to bra strap length when stretched by the end of the year. This is where it was towards the end of my first pregnancy. Accomplished.
  3. My third goal is to grow my hair to full mid-back length when stretched by the end of June 2016. I had a couple of set backs from heat damage and breakage but I reached this goal in August.    


When people say natural hair is so versatile, THIS is what they mean. I love that I can style it in many ways and it stays put :-). With the aid of pins and such :-D.


 Check out my curls in all of its glory :-). I am wearing the Capella African Print hair fascinator. Go get one. There are 3 different options to choose from :-).
 
 

I recently made more of my shea butter mix. I don't like making it often because it leaves EVERYTHING oily! Thankfully, I only make it once a year and am able to keep the excess in the fridge. 
I love this mix because it is all natural. I only use pure oils. As in oils with no additives. I use it on my hair, on my ashy knees, on my feet. I love it!



So part of my journey includes trimming my hair. I don't subscribe to trimming my hair on a regular schedule. However, I do believe that when you see signs that it is time, you get it done. 

I noticed quite a few single strand nuts in my hair around July. But I was always too busy to get this done. Finally, last week, I was able to trim my hair. 


Last week was my first trim. I like the way it turned out. Check out my photo bomber.



I love that I can do this and still retain length.






I did my second trim this past weekend to ensure I got everything. I decided to leave the twists in overnight instead of taking it apart and I am glad I did because I liked the way it turned out. 


Overall, I love this journey I am on. My new goal are:
  1. Maintain my current length at  mid-back length or slightly longer.  
  2. Get my hair straightened at the end of the year without heat damage. 
Do you have any hair goals? If so, how is it coming along?

Friday, September 16, 2016

To the lady who gave my kid a car...

Thank you!

We had a very early flight the day we left for vacation. Plus we were flying out of Reagan National due to a change in flight by the booking company a couple of weeks before we left. This added time to our planned commute so we had to get up earlier to drive to the airport since it was further away. 

The girls were pretty good for the most part and were excited for the trip. JOE had been asking about when we would be leaving on vacation so she was extra excited.

However, by the time we got to the airport, got through security, got breakfast and settled down for a bit, they were starting to get cranky. 

It was then I noticed a very kind woman who was behind us in line start digging into her bag. I assumed she was going to get her phone but no. She got out this little car for the girls to play with. It was just the most thoughtful act of kindness! She then told us she has 3 kids and knows how it can be traveling with kids. 





After we boarded our flight, turns out she was right behind us! JOE took the window seat right in front of her and was chatty with her. During conversations, we found out she is originally from Jordan! Go figure! JOE (first name Jordan) and her immediately clicked. J, JAE and I all fell asleep during the flight but not JOE. She spent the flight time talking to the lady and even did some drawings for her. The lady gave her a pen and paper to draw while we slept. 

These days, you hear so much about the bad in the world that it is sometimes hard to hear the whispers of the good in the world. This experience was a much more positive one than the one we encountered last year when we flew back from our vacation. Since I am a blogger, I decided to use this forum to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the lady who performed this act of kindness. While she may never read this post, I pray that it inspires others to show kindness especially when you see a family traveling with kids. It isn't easy for the parents either but when acts of kindness like these are done, you make for a much more pleasant and fun flight for everyone. 

Thanks to this lady, both girls each had a car to play with during our vacation. We had only packed one car.




PS:
We packed entertainment for both girls to use during the flight but ended up not needing it because they behaved so well. Thanks to a simple act of kindness. 

Have a fabulous day and remember to be kind to strangers!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photo Dump Wednesday: Making healthier choices

The last week has been somewhat more mellow which has allowed me to get some much needed things done. 
First up was doing JOE's hair after we got back from our trip. This was a PAINFUL experience. During our vacation, she REFUSED to let me comb or do her hair and since I only do her hair once a week, that meant that by the time we got back from vacation, I had 2 weeks worth of shed hair and matting to contend with. 
During our vacation, all I did was rinse off her hair everyday afterwards and mid-way through the week, I added some moisturizing conditioner to it before rinsing it out just to make sure her hair didn't try out.

Below is a picture of her hair. What you don't know is that THIS took 3-hours yes, 3-hours of time time! There was A TON of bribing, pleading, screaming, crying, hugging, promising and so many more "ings" just to get her hair to look like this. I asked JOE if she wanted to cut her hair afterwards and she said no. I asked her why and she said "because I like my hair long momma." But for real though...if you like your hair long, why don't you like getting it done? Needless to say, that is NOT an experience I want to re-live anytime soon. 3-hours of my labor day holiday!
That's one area I'll have to do better with as far as planning for when we go on vacation and she spends a ton of time in the pool.

   



The day after the hair debacle, JOE said "momma, I want you to see something outside!" JOE always wants me to see something outside and often, it isn't much but something that intrigued her. I guess to me, I figured "I see it all the time so what's the big deal?" But I have to learn to appreciate that she is often seeing things for the first time. 
Anyways, this is what she wanted me to see. I must say, THAT is a sight I haven't seen before. My camera didn't capture it very well. It was the sun coming through the clouds and casting a purplish glow underneath. It was rather spectacular!




Last week, someone posted that Daniel Tiger was going to be at a new pharmacy not too far from us. Because JOE loves to watch Daniel Tiger on PBS, we decided to take her there to meet him. 
I don't think she was as impressed. She was a little scared and didn't want to shake his hand but since J was holding her, she agreed to take a picture next to Daniel :-). 
I have to admit though that Daniel was a little scary looking because his head was so dis-proportionately large! 



Of course, I too wanted a picture with Daniel :-). 




This is our usual Sunday car selfie. Whenever JOE sees me bring out my phone to take a selfie, she'll smile and/or make faces.




My birthday this year officially kicked off a new milestone for me. I am officially in my 40th year of life! WOOHOO!!! In other words, I turn 40 next September and have decided to seriously focus more on being healthy. 

Since "diets" have not worked for me long term in the past, I am now doing more portion control and making healthier choices. 

I often cook our lunch for the week on Sundays and also something on the side to compliment dinner during the week. 

Well, this week was supposed to be Nigerian rice and stew. I LOVE LOVE LOVE rice and stew. But since I am trying to do better, I decided to make some black eyed peas to go with the stew.   




All I did after cooking the beans/black eyed peas was to add some of the sauce to it. It tastes soooooo good. I didn't completely do away with rice. I made rice for J and the kids. I also added a couple of table spoons of rice to my lunch so I didn't feel like I was depriving myself.



In addition, I am trying to fall in love with salads. I am NOT a fan of salads and feel like to make it taste good, you have to add a ton of different things which in essence defeats the purpose. To change that, I am adding just a few items I love to give it some taste without loading up on calories. Here, I added some strips of grilled chicken, a table spoon of cranberries and 2 tablespoons of honey mustard. I wanted to add more but decided to skip that. 
It isn't as filling BUT add in cold water and that helps.




Oh and here's my snack of choice. I have been having some peanut butter and celery and carrots. Although, this week, due to a 1200 calorie SALAD lunch from Red Robin, I have had to skip the peanut butter. 
How does a salad have 1200 calories before adding dressing? Well, my salad was a crispy chicken (Translation fried chicken) salad with bacon and eggs. :-/




I've also set a daily 7,000 step goal for myself in addition to going bike riding 4-times a week. So far, I am down 5-lbs. WOOHOO!!! Prior to last week, I hadn't been on my bicycle in 4+ years!!!
I am trying to do more water but that's been a bit of a challenge. I'll take baby steps on that.




Anyways, I hope you are having a good week so far. What new things are you doing this Fall?

AyoBE

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