Daily Archives: November 17, 2011

Big Hair and Ties

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The same thing we do every night Pinky, TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Yeah, this is just a quick post to share my big hair after I … *gasp* …. BRUSHED it!  LOL! It was very stretched this week and since it is also feeling so much more resilient since my protein treatments, I pushed trepidation to the side and did it! Mind you, I did it in sections (about 6 total) and used a vent brush to carefully brush from the ends to the roots, finger detangling each area first to eliminate any major snags/tangles.

Then, I placed my dry hair in 5 braids (1 on each side and 3 down the back), spritzed with a little water and sealed with Doris New York Olive Oil cream. The next morning I released for a big, loose braid out, which just got progressively bigger throughout the day as it was raining and humid. I could feel it growing and eventually made it to the ladies’ room to confirm my suspicions. LOL!! But, I love big hair, so I didn’t really mind. A few people commented and complimented me on it as I almost never wear my hair down at work anymore. I did one day a couple of weeks ago and put it up within a half hour of getting in the door, because it was shedding like crazy. But again, I see suuuuch a difference since my two ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor treatments. Maybe I pulled out one or two strands all day?! And again, I know that there is no scientific evidence to support this (or none that I can find … so far ;)), but I know what I was seeing then and what I’m seeing now. I’ve been breathing a massive sigh of relief, that’s for sure.

But yeah, I didn’t take any real shots of my post-release hair. All I took was this one in the morning. I had smoothed my edges with a shea butter and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel mix and tied them down with a satin scarf that I kept on until I got to work.

I wasn’t really taking this pic for my hair though (obviously ;)). I wanted to do another fashion-related post and this will be it, albeit a very short one! Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of winter or the cold. However, there are three things that I love about this weather and they are all fashion related: layering, tights and boots! With this outfit, I got to play around with layering inspired by menswear. I love wearing ties and have accumulated a few from  … guess where? That’s right, thrift stores!! So here, I layered the tie and button-down shirt under a low scoop neck sweater vest and blazer (this is a brown suit I picked up from H&M years ago). I find that a round-neck vests add a little femininity to a more masculine outfit by softening the hard, straight edges of the crisp, tailored pieces. However, V-neck vests work as well. I did wish that I had a sweater vest that was a little more chocolate in color as the brown of it and the suit didn’t match (the suit is a cool brown whereas the vest is a warm one) … but, I kind of think it still worked in a tone-on-tone way with the blazer, vest and tie all having various shades of brown and the olive-colored stripe in the tie mirroring the olive-brown of the vest.

This isn't the best of shirts for a tie, but it worked okay.

So yeah, just figured I’d share this little “accessory” as you don’t often see women rocking ties in every day life or the workplace. However, it’s a look that I love because it  stands out and makes a fashion statement, while still being professional and classic.

Finally, I’ll make a recommendation for those of you who love clothes but want some tips to help maximize your wardrobe. The Lucky Shopping Manual is fantastic and absolutely invaluable!! It provides tips on building and improving one’s wardrobe and is great for styling ideas. I bought it in 2004 and gave it to several friends as a Christmas gift that year (I was a Lucky mag subscriber and devotee back then. Now? Not so much. It’s really fallen off over the last several years.). Anywho, my well-worn copy sits on the ottoman in my living room and I refer to it when I need styling inspiration. In fact, it’s about time to dust it off to give it some action!!

Next time, I’ll share how to easily take that summer skirt/dress that you love into winter without freezing to death or looking silly!

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What do you love the most about winter fashion?

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Count You Calories for Weight Loss Success

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by JKoi of The Koi Experience

When we begin the desire to lose weight, the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of exercise that we should do to drop whatever amount of pounds we feel we should get rid of. What many do not realize is that many extreme fitness gurus believe that physical training is only 25%  of what it takes to have proper weight loss. Guess what the other 75% is?

Nutrition.

Now don’t start to roll your eyes and think of starving yourself and eating a carrot and a glass of water 3 times a day. That foolish thinking is what causes people to fail their weight loss journey. In my experience, the most successful way to start a healthy eating regimen that will not only cause you to lose weight, but will eventually become a way of life is to start counting your daily calorie intake and maintaining a food journal.

I know everyone has heard about calories, but I will break it down as to what exactly a calorie is and the importance of understanding what it means to your weight loss and fitness goals.

Did you know a calorie isn’t a thing right? It is actually a unit of measure of the energy contained in food and beverages that we consume.  Calories are found in protein, fat, carbohydrates. Take a wild guess which contain the most calories of the group? That’s right, fat (protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram and fat 9 calories per gram).

Look at it like this: calories contained in food and drink are the fuel that runs our bodies like gas in a vehicle.  Just like cars, we all have different tank sizes and we each have a certain amount of calories that we burn each day before our tank goes empty. This is our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). To calculate this it depends on several factors such as your level of activity and metabolism. Fortunately for us there are online calculators such as this one that will figure it our for us. Once you have this number, then you can take a look at how to cut calories from your diet to obtain your weight loss goals then be able to maintain them.

Now here’s a few other tips to keep in mind when you are trying to lose weight:

  • One pound equals 3,500 calories. So if you eat up to 3,500 or more calories within a week, don’t be suprised when you see the scale jump.
  • The USDA recommends that  the average recommended caloric intake for losing weight is about 1,500 calories a day. While this is true, I believe that you should figure out your own before just going with this number.
  • People who believe that dropping to 1,200 calorie diets is a sure fire way to lose weight, this isn’t necessarily true because if you are following a rigorous workout regimen, that is nowhere near enough to properly fuel your body and you will lose energy and even possibly become ill.

Well since I’m all about making things simple, here are some awesome sites that will not only assist you in finding your proper calorie intake, but also be able to keep a food journal so you know how many and what kind of calories you consume each day.

My absolute favorite site is SparkPeople.com. This site has it all, nutrition, fitness and motivation tracking, all for free! You can find me under username LadySgt83.

Here are the other sites.

Calorie Count Plus

My Calorie Counter.com

Livestrong.com/thedailyplate

New Calorie Counter.com

Well here you go, if you have any questions or need assistance on counting calories, please feel free to leave your question in the comments. Next time, I will go in detail with my own calorie intake and staying honest on the food journal.

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One thing that I’ll add is that once you understand calories, the components of food and have kept a food journal for a while, you’ll be able to guesstimate the calories in your food almost intuitively. I no longer calorie count to lose weight as I know exactly what I need to eat, how often and how much exercise to reach my weight loss goals. That being said, it started with journaling my food and I did that for close to two years before it became ingrained. Also, as J Koi indicated, a food journal is about being honest with yourself. Often, we may forget that little snack we had here or that little morsel there and it all adds up. So journaling really forces you to confront your eating habits and the foods and drinks that you consume.  

But, once you get it down, you will really feel a sense of empowerment and control, both of which are priceless.

Do you/have you ever maintain(ed) a food journal? How did/does it work for you?

October GOC Update: Rece

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Rece of A Hair Story

What have I been up to for the past few months? Everything. I’ve tried tons of products and styles. My regimen has been pretty consistent, although the products I used may have changed slightly.

I pre-poo with coconut oil now. I tried grapeseed oil as a pre-poo and that was a major FAIL! Ultimately, I’ve settled on using DevaCurl Low Poo as my shampoo of choice. When my hairline starts acting up, I use Selsun Blue shampoo (dermatologist recommended). No more shampoo experimentation.

My conditioners have varied the most. I’ve tried a variety of conditioners and my favorites so far are Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner and MyHoneyChild Olive You (with added olive oil). I’m still playing around with different conditioners. I will always and forever use Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in conditioner and I seal with my olive oil mix.

As far as styles go, I’ve tried a roller set, twist and curl, twist-outs, two strand twists, cornrows, bantu knot out, pony puffs, wash and go ponytails and various buns, but my go-to style is either a twist-out or a bun. I go back and forth about which one is the most beneficial for my hair, so I end up doing a twist-out one week and a bun the following week. I recently decided that I was going to wear a bun until my birthday in February in order to achieve the maximum hair growth and retention. I’ve been experimenting with different bun styles.

I’ve been consistent with my multi-vitamins, biotin and MSM. I haven’t noticed that any of these really aid in hair growth. I just stopped taking them and yesterday was my first day taking prenatal vitamins, so we’ll see if that has any effect. I continue to drink water, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t been getting in the 50 oz. a day that I was supposed to, but I’m still trying *takes a sip of water*.

Here’s my 3 month length check. I tried to keep it fairly consistent with the same melon colored shirt, but the earlier pics are taken with my iPhone and the updated ones are taken with my camera. I see the growth! Can’t wait to see how much the next 3 months will bring.


XOXO,

Rece

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Yo, it was like pulling teeth to get this update for you guys;)! She knows she’s a celeb and was holding out on me;)! LOL! Ya know I love ya Rece 😀 …you and your gorgeous, thick, shiny hair!! Question, what kind of MSM were you using? What it a brand with OptiMSM like I talked about in this post? Just wondering if that might make a difference *shrugs*?