Friday, June 30, 2017

#3Ehairupdate: Hour Glass Rollers on my natural hair

I know I haven't done a hair update in a while. My hair has really grown. To be honest with you, I am surprised of how full and long it has gotten because I haven't really don't anything special to it. 

I stopped taking manetabolism in 2015 because it just got too expensive and this momma has a business to run so discretionary funds go to AyoBE Boutique.

Anyways, I am sure you are ready to see my progress so here we go.

The below picture is pretty much what I wear most days of the week. It is SIMPLE and I like the way my hair falls and the way it frames my face. The best part is that I use minimal gel (aloe vera gel in water) and Cantu Shea Butter curling creme or curl activator to achieve this look!

The shrinkage is real...My shrinkage is 50%! Love it. I know a lot of people don't like shrinkage but I happen to be one of those people who doesn't really like hair on my neck especially when it gets hot so for me, shrinkage is very much welcomed!
I am wearing the Skye African Print earrings from AyoBE Boutique.

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to change things up for the summer a bit. And ordered these hourglass rollers. They are heatless rollers and are guaranteed to make your hair stretched with no heat damage.
I read a lot of great reviews and saw a lot of YouTube videos about them so I figured why not? Granted, spending almost $50 for rollers is STEEP on any budget BUT I figured my hair is long as are the girls so we will get use out of them.
I ordered them through eBAY and also via Longing4Length's website. It is cheaper on the eBAY site because it comes with the pins. Note that the white rollers only come in packs of 6 and not 12 so I had to order 2 sets. The pins are long and take a little getting used to. I couldn't figure them out but then did after I was almost done rolling my hair. They are long because they are meant to hold more than one roller. 
I improvised and used pins since I couldn't figure out the pins for the most part. 

This is what the rollers look like. The best part is that they include an extra single pink roller in each order so I have 14 and not 12 rollers. Not bad!

On my wash day 2 weeks ago, I decided to use the rollers. After washing and deep conditioning my hair, I applied my oil mix to my scalp and Cantu shea butter leave in conditioner. Then used my Denman brush to smooth it out before rolling my hair.

I left these in for about 5 hours while doing other things around my home. 
I should note that I didn't roll it too tight because I am VERY tender headed.

Since I can't sleep with rollers, I took them out before bed and then pin curled my hair.

All ready for bed.

The next morning, I took out the pin curls with some olive oil on my hands.

End results.

I got a nice stretch without having to sit under the dryer! Win win. The style took a little getting used to but I rocked it for the week.

After work, to preserve the curls, I decided to do Bantu knots. 

I'm cool like Coolio! Great. I just aged myself.

One day after I got home from work, I decided to do an impromptu length check. Boy, was I surprised! Check it out! Full mid-back length.

Style worn another day to work. I feel like the look was quite different on me. I liked the ease of not dealing with single strand knots but I wasn't entirely sure about the look on me. 

Another day while running errands.

The one thing about having my hair stretched is that it showed how much I needed a trim. I went to brush my hair one day and noticed these tiny hair strands on the sink. I knew it was time for a trim. 
So I got my scissors and went to work. I took off about an inch. It isn't much and if you look at a ruler, you'll see it is very little. I am not bothered because I know I needed it. 
I'll be doing a good trim again at Christmas when I get my hair professionally done.

The next day, I wore my hair out in the same style. HOWEVER, because I had just gotten a trim, coupled with shrinkage, my hair looked like a messy afro bob cut. Not cute at all. So I just pulled it back. 
This picture was taken at the end of my work day.

I was so done with the stretched look so I switched back to my tried and trusted curly do. I love that it works for my face and works for me. It is simple and doesn't require any nightime routines. All I do is put in a loose bun at night and spray in the morning. 

During the summer, I am always very grateful to be natural because unlike when my hair was texlaxed/relaxed, I don't worry about going in the pool because rinsing out and co-washing works so great on my natural hair. 

Hope you had a wonderful week. Have a fabulous weekend and remember to be kind to strangers.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Photo Dump Friday: Its almost officially summer

I changed it from Photo Dump Wednesday (PDW) to Photo Dump Friday (PDF) because I am often too busy during the week to do a post. Hopefully, now that I have said that, I'll still be able to do posts on Fridays. 

I love that when I get up at 5:15am in the morning to get ready for work, it is already light out. A sure sign that summer is indeed close by. Summer officially starts next week Wednesday! Woohoo!!! I know Memorial day weekend is often the unofficial start of summer and truth be told, it has been light out in the mornings for a while but technically, we are still in the Spring. 

The only think I don't like about summer is the sometimes excessive heat. I know I know...DUH! That's what summer is about. Yes...but it doesn't mean I have to like the excessive temperatures. 

I am trying to figure out the best way to wear my hair this summer since I am not a fan of my hair getting plastered to my sweaty skin. If I can't come up with anything, you'll likely start seeing my hair in more updos a.k.a messy buns! Good thing I have beautiful headbands that I can wear to still dress it up a bit :-).

Anyways, I am now officially down 18-lbs. I feel so proud of myself and sometimes, I can hardly believe I am this close to losing 20-lbs! Hard work does pay off!
I got some summer dresses from Zulily and I absolutely love how they feel and look on me. I just might be doing more of this dress thing this summer :-). I am typically a skirt and work blouse girl but who knows? I may become a convert :-D.

How does the song go? "I'm feeling myself". LOL!!! This dress used to be snug on me and check it out! Seeing these pictures motivate me.

I am still wearing the aircast but that is not stopping me from clocking my steps on a daily basis. As long as I am not straining/stressing my foot, the doctor says it is OK and actuallt good for me. So I continue to workout/do my steps each day. The proof is in the mirror!


Lunch this week. It was minced meat and lettuce with low carb ranch dressing. Yes, I heat up my lettuce in the microwave. Believe it or not, it still has some crunch to it when I eat it. I only heat it up for a minute. My lunches were oh so DELISH!
I think I want to do salmon for lunch next week but I am always afraid of people being turned off by the smell at work. What to do...what to do...I know I shouldn't care about what others think of the smell BUT I have to be sensitive because I remember being pregnant and being pissed off and put off at the smell of people's foods. I wouldn't wish that on someone else.


I got these Teva sandals while in college. I can't believe they have survived this long! But I am glad I kept them because they are the only sandals that fit around my aircast. And since I barely wore them, they still look new. 


And so our basement work continues...We FINALLY finished installing the wood slats on the ceiling. Now, we have to work on painting them. That'll take multiple evenings after work and weekends. 
Then we will focus on installing the accordion doors to encase the storage area. 
In the meantime, here is video of our 85% finished basement. 
Clearly, J has a sense of humor. He said he was carrying the entire house. SMH...

I will do another video after we finish everything and furnish the area. I have been mastering my flower paper making skills. And I am on the hunt for a red couch so stay tuned!

I am always entertained watching JOE play. She takes the time to think of everyone and wants to make sure all her "friends" are OK. Here she is eating her dinner and also having a "tea party" with her friends.

Church flow. JAE was upset with us so when I said to smile for the camera, she moved away so she won't be in the picture. Obviously, her milk won. 
Oh and JOE was happy her new flip flops made it into the picture :-).

I am wearing the "Faith Moves Mountains" earrings from AyoBE Boutique. How cute are they? I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear them. 
Hey there curls! I have been using the Cantu Curl Activator for a few weeks. Alternating between it and the same line's coconut curling cream. I am undecided. I love both results.

Earlier this week. My baby was ready for the pool. She is such a fashionista!

If you know me IRL, you know I HATE HATE HATE clutter! I can't function with clutter. The girls playroom has been OVERFLOWING with toys for months now. But every summer, I go through their toys to sort out toys that are no longer age appropriate and to see what they no longer need. 
I FINALLY got around to doing this. Check out 1/3 of their toys! Yeah...this is just from one room. They have more in their bedroom and more in the basement. The toys are taking over!

I had both girls helping me and 3 hours later, check out their play area. Clutter free and the girls can actually enjoy the toys they play with often. Win-win.

2 bags and there will be more. I love knowing that someone else will get some good use out of the toys.

Since I plan on using paper flowers as part of the decor for our basement, I have been practicing. And have recently taken to making flowers as a stress reliever during my lunch break. 
Check out this giant one I made a couple of days ago. I think I am addicted!

One of my favorite things as a small business owner is when I see our items in action. It makes me smile and gives me the best feeling. 
Check out this little beauty in our Pocahontas African Print skirt with matching head tie

She is beautiful...

She loves to have fun...

And she is a fashionista!

I just love her confidence! 

I am a firm believer that when you look good, you feel good. And that's what AyoBE Boutique is all about. Making you look and feel good!

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

Photo Dump Wednesday (on Friday): And time goes on...

June is here and it seems like time is literally speeding by! Perhaps because we keep ourselves busy, it just seems like Mondays come at lightening speed and weekends go by even faster. 
Someone once told me it is because we are older. Kids tend to take the time to smell the roses and for some reason, the fact that they take the time to do and experience things makes it feel like time is going by slower. JOE told me last week she couldn't wait to be older so she can buy her own dog. As much as that comment made me laugh, it also reminded me that she doesn't see the passage of time the same way I do. 
I on the other hand look around me and wonder how things have happened so quickly. My oldest niece just graduated from middle school and starts high school in the fall. She was born right after I moved to the DC/MD/VA area so it feels like I blinked and she is about to start high school. 

Feeling like that makes celebrations even more important. I look at celebrated events as a forced comma in life. Where you are forced to take a break, look back and appreciate how far you've come. 

Each day is a blessing. Each breath is a blessing and each moment should be treasured because like time, you can never get it back BUT you can certainly take a moment to appreciate just how far you've come. 

With that in mind, the next series of items below are just some of the beautiful gifts being offered through AyoBE Boutique in celebration of Father's day this year. So often, you hear more about the dads that don't live up to par. How about celebrating the dads that do?

These bracelets are beautiful gifts that dad will be sure to treasure. They include an elephant charm which is a symbol of good-luck. We could all use some good wishes in our everyday lives. 
Let dad know you are thinking of him and he'll be reminded every time he looks down at the bracelet of just how much you care.  

Speaking of the passage of time. In the summer 1996 (yes, I remember because it was the summer before my junior year of college) rollerblading was all the rage. I stayed on campus that summer to take some courses so I could graduate with both my major and minors on time. 
Anyways, I spent the summer rollerblading with my friends. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it. The campus was not as busy with a ton of cars and since the roads were paved, it was always a good workout. Well, one day, I fell and sprained my ankle. You'd think that would stop me right? NOPE. I kept on rollerblading and refused to go to get it checked out. I spent the summer wrapping up my ankle, padding it with extra socks and going rollerblading. It wasn't until one day when my leg got swollen and I couldn't even step on it that I finally decided to seek help. Truth be told, some of my friends had to carry me to the health center to get checked. It was that bad. Anyways, I was given a brace and told to stay off the foot to let it heal. I didn't. Once the swelling went down, I went back to rollerblading. Of course, to be young and stupid!
Anyways, fast forward 21 years and I am now paying for it. I have always had flat feet which didn't help the situation. But with the birth of my daughters, my feet spread out and the extra weight just made things worse. Since I recently started walking and exercising more, it was putting more pressure on my feet. I started having back pains in addition to shooting pains up my foot. NOT GOOD!
I finally decided to see a foot specialist. I was x-rayed and left the office in an air cast. Turns out the injury never healed! DAG IT! Anyways, it caused a tear in my tendon and now I have to get that fixed to get fitted for feet inserts. WONDERFUL! Needless to say, this oh so trendy Jimmy Choo will be my footwear for the next 4-weeks. Was supposed to be 3 but the doc just called to postpone my appointment. OI!

The brace comes complete with a pump! So yeah...I pump up my feet to walk. Kinda funny!

For those wondering, I am still on Atkins. I have made the transition from phase 1 to phase 2. I am not doing so great on phase 2 because I often forget to count my carbs. However, I am still sticking with low carbs and the weight continues to fall. I have now lost 16-lbs since being on Atkins. WOOHOO!!! Definitely not a weight loss I have experienced in at least 10-years.

Lunch for the week.Chicken and lettuce. The chicken was so good. I sauteed it in taco seasoning. Quick, easy and healthy.


Last weekend after I did JAE's hair, I was pleasantly surprised as to how much it has grown and how much thicker it is. Doing her hair isn't as much of a chore and she can be distracted so it goes by much faster. Which is not to say she never has her moments because she sometimes does but they are often few and far between.

This was also the first time JAE got to pick out the band color for her hair. Often, I do JOE's hair first and JOE picks the color for the week so they often match. But since J was going to be taking JOE to the hair salon to get her hair done, I let JAE choose. She chose purple on both sides. 
Funny enough, when JOE went to get her hair done, she choose pink on both sides. Often, she chooses different colors.

J went to see a race with his dad and brother on Sunday. It is something they do every year. So while they were gone, I took the girls out for a long walk. JAE insisted we bring her PAG doll with us and wanted her doll to have on shoes. Check out the shoes! They didn't even match but she wanted them and to avoid the tantrum that was sure to ensue, I obliged her.

When we got back, they created master pieces in front of our garage. Check out JOE and her masterpiece.

And JAE undoing the masterpiece :-).

After we got back in the house, JOE decided to make a bracelet for her grammy. She strung the beads and I helped her secure it. Then we put it in a bag and she wrote a label for her grammy's bracelet. 

Earlier this week, I walked into my room and saw this. JAE arranged the Lion King plush toys on our bed. From right to left is Simba, Kion, Nala and a horse facing backwards. It was kinda funny because I was wondering if secretly she set it up like that on purpose. And since J got JOE the horse, I was wondering if that was JAE trying to tell us something. LOL...

So, as mentioned earlier, J took JOE to get her hair done and he took JAE with them. He sent me the below. 

Clearly, my daughter was a bit confused :-D.

Hard work pays off. I have been working on my weight for YEARS. As in the last 6+ years. And all I succeeded in doing was to pack on more pounds. This is the first time I have had consistent loss and it feels good. I got myself some dresses to wear to work. I love this dress. I got it from Zulily at an awesome price and it is so flattering!

That's been our last 10-days in a nutshell. Reminiscing about the passage of time, keeping busy and working on my weight loss. FUN FUN. 

Have a FABULOUS weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!


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