Tag Archives: natural hair

The Next Chapter: Third Trimester Update

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25weeks_dressy25 weeks 

I know, I know. I haven’t posted in forever. Again. Sorry. But, now that I have entered my third trimester (29 weeks 5 days as of today), I wanted to come out of blog hibernation to give an update on my pregnancy and answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)!

Q: When is your due date?
A: My due date is officially February 6, 2015. However, due to a prior and significant myomectomy in my early 30s to remove multiple large fibroids, I have to have a Cesarean section at 36 weeks. My doctors don’t want to risk me going into labor or rupturing. So, right now, we are expecting our new arrival on January 16th! It’s kind of crazy for us right now as we were expecting it to be at 37 weeks! Though it’s only a week earlier, we know the time is going to fly with so many things to do, including holiday gatherings, Christmas shopping, showers, and nursery preparation!

Q: Do you know what you are having?
A: Yes. We have known since the last day of week 12.  We are having a girl :). We found out due to a relatively new, non-invasive screening test called MaterniT21 that tests for 4 different chromosome defects, including defects to the X and Y chromosomes. It’s a blood test and they are able to isolate the baby’s blood from mom’s in order to look for defects. I surmise that if they don’t find any Y chromosomes, it’s a girl and if they do, it’s a boy.

babyGC28weeks28 weeks

Q: Do you have a name?
A: Yes. We’ve had that since 13 weeks. But, we are keeping that one on the DL for the most part until little miss lady arrives :). We told our close family and friends though and most seem to really like it. It’s relatively unique, but not difficult or weird (we think. lol!). There is also a reason behind each part of it.

Q: How do you feel?
A:
I have had a great pregnancy! Well, I should say, once I found out I was pregnant, I did! LOL!! The thing is, before I knew I was pregnant, I busted my head in the bathroom (slipped and hit my head behind my ear on the countertop), had a bad allergy attack for two weeks, eye infection, cold sore, and was horribly fatigued for two days. On day two of the fatigue is when I had a twinkling of hope … I went home after work and took an ovulation test (which can detect the pregnancy hormone) and it was positive when I knew I should be getting my cycle in a day or two.  Then, with bated breath, I a real pregnancy test with bated breath. Lo and behold, I was pregnant!!

Anywho, after that, other than being tired earlier than normal, I really have had minimal symptoms. I never had morning sickness, food aversions, rabid cravings, or mood swings. I’ve had sporadic heartburn, but Tums have been adequate to treat that and it’s never been horrible. On occasion, I’ve had a little back pain, which is usually resolved with a few pelvic tilts/ab contractions. The back pain is usually when I feel like baby girl is going through a growth spurt! That is really the worst of it … the distended, stretched, my skin can’t expand any further, stuffed like every day is Thanksgiving feeling that won’t go away with a nap or extended trip to the bathroom, if you know what I’m saying ;-P! LOL!!  But, knowing what symptoms others experience during pregnancy, I’m not complaining! Because, it really has been smooth sailing for the most part!

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Q: What has been your favorite part of being pregnant?
A: Feeling and SEEING baby girl moving has been one of the most miraculous things. Weird. But miraculous. We KNOW that we are so truly blessed to be experiencing this. This is a first child for both Wei and me at 44 and 42, respectively. I always knew that I wanted to get married and have children, but wasn’t in any rush. However, as the years passed, I definitely became nervous, wondering if it would ever happen. The constant bombardment in the media with the “statistics” about getting pregnant after 35 didn’t help. And, I had seen friends and co-workers try for years and using fertility specialists to get pregnant. But, whenever I would feel down, I would see the stories of women having babies over 40 and call up Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT):

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

It would ground me every time. And at 42, in 5 months time, I was pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Some days I still can’t believe that I’m so blessed to be experiencing this. It’s still surreal and I’m awestruck every day. God is so good.

Q: Do you have stretch marks/how do you prevent stretch marks?
A:
So far, so good. I haven’t gotten any stretch marks. But, from what I’ve read, it’s mostly genetic and not prevented by creams and/or butters. However, I do think that controlling my weight gain for the most part and keeping moisturized helps. At 29 weeks, I’ve put on about 16 pounds so far and I have been using a combo of lotion, an oil mix (coconut, jojoba, and castor), and shea butter to lube up each morning. Through the summer and early fall, I only used the coconut oil and shea butter. But once it started getting cool and dry, that just wasn’t cutting it, even when I added the thicker jojoba and castor oils to the coconut oil. My skin would be CRAWLING with itchiness. So, I started using the St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter lotion as my first layer, prior to applying the oil mix and shea butter. That helped immediately.

25weeks25 weeks: Linea nigra in effect, but stretch mark free.

Q: Has your navel popped?
A: Y’all, I was not feeling my deep innie belly button popping. Like for real, the idea of it was freaking me out! I’ve heard mixed things on this. Some say their navel never popped, others said it didn’t pop until the last few weeks. There’s a little bit that is out on the top edge of mine, but I think it’s only going to stretch flat as there doesn’t seem to be anything that can pop now. Guess we’ll see!

Q: Have you continued to exercise?
A: Yeah … no. At least, not consistently. I was working out when I first got pregnant, would fall off a couple weeks, start again, stop again, start again, stop again … I’m still on a stop. I just haven’t been focused enough in the morning to get going and at night, I’m too tired. I’m promising myself that once I’m pulled out on disability that I’ll walk at least 15 minutes a day and do yoga as well. At least I can get a month of working out in before the little lady arrives as I know I won’t be able to do too much in those weeks immediately following her birth and the C-section. Fortunately, Wei will be home to help me.

longwalk18 weeks when I was “on.”

Q: What about your diet?
A: 
Yeah. That hasn’t been the best either. It hasn’t been horrible, but I definitely could stand to eat a lot more fruit and vegetables. Though I haven’t had crazy food cravings, I have caved to my sweet tooth far more often than I normally do. Meaning … almost daily. But, I can’t eat a lot at one sitting or I’ll suffer the consequences, so I think that has helped with portion control. That is probably why I haven’t gained excessively. I also tend to have a protein shake with almond milk most mornings, green smoothie style sometimes, water is a must, and I take my pre-natals religiously (I get the free ones from Shoprite and take DHA separately; I take them at night because they made me feel off/a little sick if I took them during the day … plus fish oil tasting/scented burps? Not cute). Oh, and I do have my one cup of instant coffee every morning.

Q: Has your hair grown a ton?! 
A: LOL! So, as a hair blogger who has researched a lot, I knew that pregnancy hormones can cause the hair to “freeze” in the anagen (growth) phase (it’s not the prenatal vitamins ;)). However, I hoped that my hair would continue its normal shedding so that I could be spared post-partum shedding (i.e. the telogen phase resuming en masse 3-6 months delivery). Ummmm … I don’t know how that is going to work out for me. Though my hair has continued to shed, it does look like it’s a lot less than normal. The length hasn’t changed much, but it feels denser in the upper half. So, guess we’ll see.

photo 5-1After 8 weeks of straight hair.
Only washed it twice in that time.
Hence, why it was straight.

Q: Is the nursery ready?
A: No. No it is not. LOL! We know our colors (pale teal and coral, NOT pink) and we have a crib, dresser, rug, bookcase, and paint. But the room and condo still have furniture that needs to go to make room for baby girl (a dresser set, leather couchcoffee table, ottomans, drafting table, and a Lot of size 6 1/2 women’s shoes are up on Craig’s List, if you live in the NJ area and are interested :)!!).

Q: Are you registered?
A: Okay, so I put this one here because I feel like someone is going to ask, not to be self-serving! But, yes, we are registered. It took some doing, but we registered at Buy Buy Baby (with a “personal shopper” in the form of an awesome friend) and Amazon. And let me add this little disclaimer. Weusi had been losing his mind and adding things to both registries late at night, unbeknownst to me. But, I do think it’s cute that he’s so excited and looking forward to our new addition. Oh, and our ground rules? No princess, pink, or glitter. But Batman items are welcome any day in my book ;)! LOL!!

batcaveonesieAlready got gifted a Batman sleeper and Batman onesie with tutu.
Don’t think they’ll be a dirth of Batgear! LOL!!

Q: Are you scared/nervous?
A: We are excited and nervous at the same time. We are preparing as best we can. But we both know that we only know that we don’t know. That being said, we are surrounded by friends and family who support us enormously and know our faith will carry us through. So we ask that you continue to pray for us and that we will bring a happy, healthy baby into this world in a few weeks time. We thank EVERYONE who has shared prayers, a kind word, positive thoughts, encouragement, well-wishes, love … all that. It really means the world to us!

And that’s that! Hope I answered some questions and gave hope to those ladies who may have started to become discouraged due to age and/or relationship status. I’ll leave you with another verse that resonates for me and pray that it will bless you, Isaiah 64:4:

For since the world began, no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!

28 weeks

Lata Gatas!! 

About these ads

Perks

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by Weusi

Sometimes at the end of a gig, I walk away with a perk or two. Often, I take home some snacks, a few beverages, a candle from Pier 1, or some gadget from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I end up giving to someone before I even make it home. Then something special happened.

It was the end of a long day. I wanted to get home to Shelli. Then I saw him/it. And right there … behind the batman statue … was Ricky’s NYC (if you don’t know about it click the link!).

Initially, all I thought about was taking the picture of Batman. So, what you don’t see is the young lady handing out promo stuff.

I told her my wife had a blog and asked if she had any products for a curly girl. And then boom … I walk away with a bag of goodies! Some Miss Jessie’s, some Keratin stuff, some Mixed Chicks stuff, and a bunch of stuff I had no idea what it was … Win!

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On the way home, I realized Shelli doesn’t need any of this! I would just be enabling the product junkie in her. So, last weekend, I gave the bag to  Corey, one of my homies from FC Harlem. Why am I giving her products to someone else? They doen’t even know each other?

Well, actually … Corey has heard me talk about Shelli for some time. Then, he finally looks at my Facebook page and sees a picture of us. He says, “Yo, does your wife have a natural hair blog? I think I follow her.” We laughed about it for a heartbeat, but then he started to ask me a bunch of questions about products for his hair. I told him to check out the site and that everyone’s hair is different. So, that’s why I gave the bag to him!

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 See, we threw in a few full-size products from our stash too!

And, he’s gonna give me a few product reviews from a guy’s perspective!

Now, I know you are asking, so what did I do or get for Shelli? For her, the love of my life … I did something I have never done professionally. I took a picture … just for her! While on another gig, I sent her a picture to let people know I don’t look like the person she says people say I look like. And she gets a special super exclusive picture that I only share with her … and my mom … until now!

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And I guess he’s taller than I thought and I’m shorter than I thought too!

The end.

SHiNE

 

Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

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As some of you know, I have been using a Hair Therapy Thermal Turban Heat Wrap for several years now with great success. However, a few months ago I saw posts from my curlfriends and fellow bloggers, RadiantBrownBeauty and AHairStory, about the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap. I loved the look of the cap and both Michelle and Rece had positive reviews. So, needless to say, I was intrigued.

Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to the creator of Hot Heads and Etsy shop owner, Sandra, to see if she would send me a cap to review. She graciously obliged and I got a chance to try out my new cap this past weekend.

But first, the deets.

via Hot Head:

The Hot Head heat cap is filled with renewable flax seed which will generate heat when warmed in the microwave. It’s reusable and is the most environmentally friendly way to deep condition your hair with heat at home. There is no need to plug it into an outlet or use batteries to power the heat. With a few minutes in the microwave, Hot Head will produce up to 30-45 minutes of gentle moist heat. The fact that there are no cords and no plugs means that you are free to move about while deep conditioning your hair.

Hot Head is available in multiple styles and is also reversible so that your look can fit your mood. When using Hot Head you can feel good about the way you look while conditioning your hair, and dramatically improve the results of your hair treatment.

MY REVIEW

As I said above, I used the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap this weekend. Actually, I used it twice. Because, after 3 weeks of not washing this mane (pregnancy fatigue definitely has me doing the least when it comes to hair), my strands desperately needed some TLC. Therefore, I used it for a pre-poo treatment, as well as for deep conditioning after I washed my hair. What did I think overall and how does it compare to the Thermal Turban Wrap?

Packaging: No frills and functional. As this is a smaller Etsy company, that is totally fine with me. I prefer not to spend my money on expensive packaging and cheap ingredients, though I know some appreciate “shelf appeal.” The most important thing was that the cap was accompanied with detailed and simple instructions (plastic caps sold separately). THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap came packaged in a large, nice box that I still use to store it. It also included two plastic caps some free hair product samples. 

Appearance: I love that the cap is reversible and has a solid terry side and a patterned fabric one. I’m all about animal prints and zebra is in my top three (after cheetah/leopard and giraffe). The cap comes in a variety of prints and colors, so there’s something for everyone! I also like the “quilting” that looks like a big daisy! Very cute! THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is made with terry, non-reversible, and only comes in two colors, brown and white. The cap that I have has a tail at the back that you twist and secure to the front with velcro. But, there seem to be other versions that secure in different locations.

Construction/Durability: As I’ve only used the cap one day, I can’t speak to the long-term durability. However, it looks very well-constructed and strong. It is actually a little weighty, in a good way, because of the flax seeds. The fabric on the patterned side appears of good, strong quality and leads me to believe that it will not rip anytime soon. Terry can start to bead, get ratty, and pick up lint, especially with a thicker pile. But, I think that as long as I keep it stored away from other fabrics, it’ll likely be fine. The instructions on the site indicate that a lint brush can be used to remove excess lint, so that is simple enough. And, I also have one of those fabric “defuzzers” that I can use if it becomes too beady. So, not too worried about that. As to cleaning, I haven’t had to do that yet, obviously. But, the site says to just spot clean with warm water and a mild detergent. Seems simple enough. Finally, again, I can’t speak to long-term use of the cap, but I would expect that flax seeds truly are a sustainable source of heat and the cap will heat effectively for years to come. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: I have had the cap for almost 4 years and, though the heat packs that insert into it seem to have deflated somewhat, it still works effectively. I was initially concerned that the heat packs might burst because they make a popping sound when heated, but to date they have not! The cap is made of a short pile terry, so it really hasn’t attracted much lint nor beaded in an appreciable way. And, though I use it to henna, I have done minimal spot cleaning. But, because the gel packs can be removed, the wrap can be thrown in the wash on the gentle cycle and air dried.

Content: Right off the jump I loved the idea that the Hot Head Heat Cap works via a sustainable and natural heat source. I don’t follow a strictly organic/natural lifestyle. However, I do like to be conscious of the products I use and the foods that I eat. Therefore, I try to incorporate organic and all-natural products to the extent that I can find them conveniently and affordably. This allows me to reduce my exposure to products formulated or treated with artificial or potentially harmful chemicals. So, the fact that the Hot Head uses flax seeds as the heat source is awesome to me! (Is there no limit to the wonders of flax seeds?!?!) THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: Gel packs are the heat source for this cap. I couldn’t tell you what’s in them, but I’m 99.9% sure that it is not natural and is some type of artificial chemical.

Ease of Use: Using this cap was as simple as throwing it in my microwave (with a rotating tray) for one minute on one side, flipping it inside out and microwaving for another minute. Then, I just donned a plastic cap prior to putting on the Hot Head Cap. If your microwave does not have a rotating tray, the instructions do indicate that it should be rotated at the 30 second mark on each side. I was concerned that the cap might be too small to fit all of my hair, due to my length, not thickness. But, I had no problem at all. Of course, I love that I can be mobile with this cap and do stuff around the house while DC’ing. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap only takes 45 seconds to heat and, aside from the initial challenge of getting the gel packs into the wrap and getting it to lay flat, it is very easy to heat. As to putting it on, it is a little trickier to get it tight enough and secure the velcro in the right place. But, it is still pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. I also have no problem fitting all of my hair under it. And again, since the wrap is cordless, my movements are not limited while I’m DC’ing.

hothead3After heating

Effectiveness: I found that the cap reached an appropriate temperature (not too hot, nor too cool) following the instructions. You could see the “moist” heat it generated as the cap became slightly damp in some areas after microwaving it. I also found that it stayed warm (not hot) for about 45 minutes, which is what I would have expected. The cap felt like it warmed evenly in the flax seed “pockets.” However, I could feel that the areas without the flax seeds were cooler. As the heat is still “contained” to the head by the cap, I don’t know if that would make one part of the hair more conditioned than the other. However, I did want to note that. THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap heats evenly, but it can get very hot. So the instructions indicate that it should be left to cool for 30 seconds prior to using it. I find that my cap stays hot to warm for 45 minutes to an hour and the heat feels uniform over my head. I usually heat it 2-3 times for a henna treatment, with consistent results. 

Pricing: The Hot Head Cap is $29.95 plus $6.50 USD shipping (plastic caps sold separately). So, it’s not cheap, but it’s not crazy expensive either. I am definitely a frugal person and won’t give up my money without some thought. However, given that I tend to deep condition with heat weekly and henna with heat every couple of months, the mileage I will put on this heat cap would definitely justify the cost (reminder: this cap was gifted though).  THERMAL TURBAN WRAP: The wrap is $21.95 on CurlMart.com, but I paid $16.47 for it because I had a 25% discount code at the time. As I write this, the cap is not available there though. It is available on DermStore.com for $29.99 with free shipping. It seems like it can also be found on eBay, Amazon, HairEnvy, and a few other sites for prices in the the $27-$32 range. Again, for me, the price is worth it because of how frequently I use the wrap.

Conclusions: I LOVE the Hot Head Heat Cap. In most ways, it is very comparable to the Thermal Turban Wrap. The quicker heat time and more uniform heat distribution of the Wrap are bonuses for it. However, the wider variety of patterns/colors, reversibility, simplicity of wearing, and, most importantly, the use of flax seeds as a natural and sustainable heat source, gives the Hot Head Cap the leg up in my opinion. So, I’ll definitely be using the Hot Head Cap going forward and will update you guys on whether it holds up for the long haul!

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 Have you tried the Hot Head Deep Conditioning Heat Cap? If so, how do you like it?

Quick Tip: Wig Caps

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This is just a quick little tip that I’ve been meaning to share for a while, which I just posted on my FB and IG pages last night. As some of you may know, I have been using hairnets to tie down my crown at night when I’ve set my hair wet/damp and need it to dry overnight. The hairnet allows for far more airflow than a satin/silk scarf so that the area that stays wet the longest will dry more quickly, while still keeping the hair flat. I sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce friction overnight.

Well, a couple of months ago, I picked up a couple mesh wig caps because I was sent a wig to trial. The wig didn’t fit me well, so it never saw the light of day and I ended up gifting it to a friend. But, I found a great use for the wig caps! I now use them instead of a hairnet. The wig caps are a lot easier to put on (tying the hairnet used to be a PAIN)) than the hairnet and smooth from my hair from temples to crown, to nape. I also like to wear them under satin-lined hats to keep my hair smooth!

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Hope that helps!!

wigcap5All dry!

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What “tricks” do you use when you want your hair to dry overnight?

The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls

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by Dani Stolich

“The Curl Whisperer” Empowers Brooklyn Women With New Book!
“The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” Makes an Appearance at Brooklyn’s Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II”

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Natural hair expert Tameeka McNeil-Johnson a/k/a “The Curl Whisperer” spoke to a sold-out crowd and demonstrated her original live workshop “Tameeka’s Transformations” at “The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II” on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The expo was held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The DUMBO Loft, located at 155 Water Street, in Brooklyn, NY. Tameeka’s feature appearance at the expo is part of an ongoing series of live events to celebrate the release of and promote Tameeka’s new book, “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” (Little Black Book Publishing Company). The Healthy Hair and Beauty Affair II was organized by blogger/personality ToiaB of http://www.Luv2BNatural.com and sponsored by CURLS™ and EDEN BodyWorks™.

Attendees enjoyed a live Wash’n’Go hair demonstration by Tameeka along with free one-on-one consultations from Tameeka during the entire event. Always gracious and attentive to her supporters, Tameeka even demonstrated more complimentary Wash’n’Go demonstrations at her vendor table where guests were able to purchase her new book and Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions products. Tameeka’s new “Jaded Rewards” promotional offer was debuted at the event, offering 10% off of any services for brand new customers. In addition to her live workshop, Tameeka styled the hair of all seven female models in Sofistafunk The Original Skirt Company’s live mini-fashion show. Models’ hairstyles ranged from natural up-dos and twists to colorful Wash’n’Go styles that complimented the vintage, ladylike and bohemian style of Sofistafunk’s designs.

This live tutorial workshop is a sought-after specialty of Tameeka’s and is part of her traveling live hair workshop, “Tameeka’s Transformations.” From 2013 and 2014, “Tameeka’s Transformations” has been featured as the opening act of “Supernatural: The Play” starring actress Kim Coles, written and produced by the team of Candace O. Kelley, Gilda Rogers and Audrey Kelley. Candace O. Kelley, founder of Curl Prep Natural Hair Solutions, is also co-author of “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls.” During her signature live demonstrations, Tameeka explains and shows every step from start to finish, including product recommendations and time-saving tips to fit any woman’s lifestyle and budget.

To learn about upcoming tour dates and Tameeka McNeil-Johnson’s work, visit www.jadedtresses.com.

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Natural Hair Warrior – CANCELLED

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NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

CANCELLED

JULY 10, 2014 UPDATE: The event scheduled for August 2014 has been cancelled. A future date will be announced. Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for more details!!

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A couple of weekends ago, I went to my 20 year college reunion. One night, I ended up hanging out with my curlfriend Scarlett of Wonder Curl and her friend Rica of  Boston Naturals. Well, Scarlett, Wei, and I started talking about the Rugged Maniac that we did a few years ago. Scarlett then tells us how Rica is doing a similar event in Boston called the Natural Hair Warrior with a yoga class, obstacle course race, and a swag bag of natural hair goodies for the participants. Of course she told us that that we should totally do it.

Now, the thing is, I’ve been on my C game with my fitness routine the last few months, doing the least while still doing something. As to my diet, I’d been bringing my F game to that (as in, I get a big, fat F), eating anything and everything that I wanted (y’all know about my love of all things buttercream). However, after learning about the NHW, getting fed up with the 20 pounds I have put on since my wedding in December, and not working out one day for the first time in almost a year and a half,  I decided to get back on my A game. I dusted off my C25K plan and my treadmill and started interval running 3 days a week. On the days I run, I do 10-20 minutes of yoga flexibility, on the days I don’t run, I’m doing 30-45 minute Vinyasa Flow yoga practices because #365daysofyoga is still going strong despite that one missed day. And, I have to say this, up until this week, I’ve been doing yoga exclusively since March, and I can tell it has kept my body tighter, stronger, and fitter, despite the weight gain, because I had no problem running again.

So, all that being said, just popping on here quickly to let y’all know that I fell off the wagon a little, but I’m getting back on and getting ready for ….

NATURAL HAIR WARRIOR

AUGUST 23, 2014

11:30AM – 4:00PM

Boston, MA

(Get your early bird tickets at half the price until July 12th!!) 

Now that’s a natural hair meet-up with a twist!! Who’s with me?!?!

Visit NaturalHairWarrior.com for details and tickets!!

Hairscapades 10K Followers EboniCurls Giveaway Winners!!

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The winners of the EboniCurls sets are …

EBonnet & Pillowcase:

@naturallychar

and

Hooded Scarf & 2 Scrunchies:

@shecray_z

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Congrats ladies! To claim your prize, shoot the email you used to subscribe to the blog and your mailing addresses to me at hairscapades@gmail.com within the next 5 days and EboniCurls.com will ship your Golden Leopard set post haste!!

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