Monthly Archives: March 2013

Thank You!!

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NB1Move over Osterizer, there’s a new kid in town!!

Okay, so I’m home today … was feeling horrible this morning due to a severe allergy attack that began late last week, so I took the day from work. Finally got some much-needed Sudafed earlier this morning (you know, the behind the counter, pseudoephedrine containing, we need your name, ID and a blood sample before we’ll let you buy this kind) and have begun to feel like myself again.

So, a little while ago, I bust open the birthday gift that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. And so, I just wanted to pop on really quickly to share it and send my future in-laws a huge:

THANK YOU!!!

If you read the comments around here, you may see “Dad” commenting now and again. That’s Wei’s dad :)!! He and Wei’s mom check in on Wei and me here regularly :). I was going to text a pic and thank them, but my sister suggested a post!! And, I thought, “That’s even better!!” Love you both and I am so grateful and blessed to be able to call you family!!

So, yeah, that’s it. Oh, and here are pics of the un-boxing and me putting it through its paces for the first time!! Love it!

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Yeah, I know, doesn’t look that good, but it was! Tried chia seeds for the first time! Can’t wait to put this puppy into action with some more green smoothie recipes!!
Thank you again!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge Round Two: Days 29-35

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Motivation. Thy name is Jarvez. LOL! Okay, just had to share a few photos from an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition that Wei and I were watching yesterday. We literally looked like this … TWICE … after his weight showed up on that freight scale. Then, we started cheering and sat up taller when, immediately after seeing his weight, he got down and knocked out 50 push-ups. On. His. TOES. So, I’m sure you won’t be surprised that this is what he looked like 365 days later.

ExtremeMakeover_WeightLossEdition_2Okay, maybe you’re a little surprised ;)!

He lost more than HALF his body weight and now lost more than he weighs!!!!! GANGSTA!! So, although my allergies are really messing with me the last few days., time to get C25K week 5, Day 1 done. This is how days 29-35 went down.

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Only lost another 1/2 pound this week, it seems. So, down 9.5 total. But, not discouraged. Andm after seeing Jarvez, no excuses … not even giving in to this one nostril that I can’t breathe out of right now!! Running might help it out!!

HAPPY MONDAY!!

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What helps keep you motivated to exercise?

“Heat-Free Hair” Movement

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Okay, so this past weekend, I see the above picture on Instagram … and commenced to drooling. So big, long and lush!!!! So, imagine my jaw drop when I learned this was a weave! You read right!! A weave!! So yeah, I’m just doing this quick post to share these amazing natural weaves by HeatFreeHair.com. The “curly” hair is out of stock right now, but I signed up for the mailing list … ‘cuz, I’m gonna need to investigate!! Because, I’d love to try a texture that was different from my own, just like the one above!! I LOVE it!!

Anywho, here’s a little promo video I found online.

via heatfreehair

And here are some before and afters!!

Pretty wicked awesome, wouldn’t you say?

3/23/2013: UPDATE

I haven’t even watched this video yet! But, it’s Alex of The Good Hair Blog talking about her heat-free hair installation and I knew I had to share!

And to check out her post about the Heat-Free Hair Movement, click here.

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So, whaddaya think? Would you wear a natural-textured weave? Would you wear a texture like yours or would you like to try something a little different?!

Green Smoothies: Frozen Veggies Better Than Fresh?

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Okay, so now that I’m on the “eating clean” game, I’m trying to incorporate green smoothies into my diet. In the past, I found it difficult to be consistent as I HATE grocery shopping weekly to get fresh produce … and I never have enough time to do all the rinsing/washing/ peeling/de-stalking, etc. that is required. So, stuff inevitably spoils and has to be trashed (I HATE being wasteful of my money and food even more than I hate grocery shopping).

So, when someone suggested I use frozen veggies in my smoothies to eliminate the need for ice, I had an “Ah Ha” moment!! Forget not using ice. From what I’d read, frozen veggies might be even better than fresh!!

via LiveStrong.com

The nutrients of fresh vegetables begin to deteriorate from the instant they are harvested. Results from the Institute of Food Research presented in the NY Daily News reveals that fresh vegetables such as green beans lose 45 percent of their nutrients; broccoli and cauliflower, 25 percent; carrots, 10 percent; and peas up to 15 percent after 16 days of storage. With fresh vegetables, you never know how long it has been since they were picked and the amount of nutrients that were lost en route to the market unless you are buying from a local farmer. With vegetables that are frozen in their prime, you can savor most of the nutrients that were present at the time of freezing.

As much as I use frozen veggies to supplement my Lean Cuisines, I don’t know why I never thought to use them for smoothies! DUH!!!! I mean, they are frozen at the peak of ripeness, hence nutrient rich. They are already washed and cut. They can last for months in the freezer!! And most of the time, they cost far less than fresh produce!! How much more economical, quick and convenient can you get?!?!?

That being said, I picked up some frozen spinach (which I always keep in the freezer) and kale at the grocery store last week and whipped up the green smoothie above last Saturday! With protein, fiber, Omega-6, potassium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals, it was a perfect post-workout recovery meal!

SPINACH, KALE, BANANA, PROTEIN GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

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8 oz. water

6 oz. almond milk (30 cal)

1 lightly thawed frozen banana (100 cal)
(suggestion: PEEL first, then freeze! LOL!)

1/2 c. frozen spinach (15 cal)

1 c. frozen kale (25 cal)

1 tbsp flax seeds (47 cal)

1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse Whey Protein (100 cal)

Total:  317 Calories

HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!! 

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Do you use fresh or frozen veggies in your green smoothies? If you use both, which do you prefer fresh and which do you prefer frozen and why?

Weekend Hair: Hair Rehab and Recovery

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I’ve been keeping it pretty simple with hair lately. As you know, given daily morning work-outs, I’ve been wearing my hair in a bun. Well, between the henna/indigo residue from the prior week, the sweat from exercising and the “containment” of the bun … my hair was smelling all kinds of funky by Saturday morning!! Pee-you!! LOL!

Anywho, after my morning kettlebell work-out, I hopped in the shower … no pre-poo, no twists, no nothing, and got to work.

Wash Day Routine (Saturday)

  • Shampooed with diluted Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo (I have to say, I don’t feel like this gets my scalp/hair really clean. After working up quite a lather and rinsing, my hair still had a henna smell to it. So, I had to repeat.). Rinsed.
  • Finger detangled with diluted Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (went great again). Rinsed.
  • Massaged scalp with a mix of JBCO and jojoba oil.
  • Deep conditioned with a mix of Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment (ran out) and MyHoneyChild Olive You DC with honey, VCO, EVOO and JBCO (approx. 30 min. w/heat turban and 1 hour with no heat – because I had to run out).
  • Cooled and sealed with Aubrey Green Tea Cream Rinse and rinsed with cold water.
  • Applied modified Kimmaytube leave-in (1 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today; 1 tbsp Aloe Vera Juice; 1/2 tsp JBCO; 1/2 tsp EVOO; 1/2 tsp jojoba oil).
  • Twisted hair into 8 chunky twists.
  • Applied a mix of Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and shea butter to roots.
  • Tied hair down with a scarf.
  • Removed scarf and released twists while my hair was still a bit damp.
  • Allowed hair to air dry without disturbing too much.
  • Fluffed hair once fully air dried.

Re-Style to Stretch (Sunday)

Working section by section for 12 sections – three in each quadrant:

  • Applied coconut oil whip to length of hair.
  • Applied Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to roots.
  • Braided length of hair.
  • Dampened hands with water and ran down length of braids to lightly wet.
  • Set the ends of top two twists on both sides of my head with grey perm rods.
  • Released after about 2 hours and fluffed.

And, of course … I’ll be going back to the bun for the week ;).

Too bad it won't look this nice today!!

Too bad that it won’t look this nice today!!

My hair seems to be recuperating nicely now. For a minute there, it was not looking good. The kimmaytube leave-in, stretching my hair and keeping it bunned have definitely improved my sitch-ee-ay-shun!! So, I’ll be sticking with that routine for the forseeable future. I’m hoping that it’ll help me see some nice length retention too!!

Alright, lata gatas!!

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Have you had to initiate Hair Rehab this winter? If so, what have you been doing to get your hair into recovery and back on point?

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 22-28

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YES!! I did it!! I worked out for a minimum of 10 minutes a day for 28 consecutive days!! And, I’m feeling so good, I plan to keep it going for another 28!! I’m really on a mission to lose this weight maaaaaang!!! LOL!

On the diet front, I was really challenged food-wise this weekend too. If you don’t know, I am a massive buttercream icing FIEND!! Like, I’ve eaten it straight out of the tub #dontjudgeme. So, I’m not kidding you when I tell you I had to exercise great will power to not indulge in even one slice of the desserts that abounded at my sister’s house this weekend. I went down for a surprise going away party for my bro-in-laws best friend on Saturday night and a girls’ book club meeting on Sunday. I knew that this would be a real test, but I was dedicated to succeeding as I felt this week 4 was so critical for me in regard to staying on the path to losing this weight. So, I did not partake of the carrot cake, carrot cake cupcakes, banana pudding, vanilla cupcakes or red velvet cake. Okay, wait, I did eat one spoonful of my sister’s low fat banana pudding … no cookie in it though. But that was it!! On Saturday, I mostly ate fruit and veggies and took small portions of shrimp, a spoonful of an Asian chicken salad, two turkey meatballs and two spinach balls. On Sunday, it was fruit and veggies again, one small boneless BBQ wing and the insides of two roast beef, grilled onions, pepper and arugula sandwiches.

Why did my sister make me take the cake to bring to work?!? She’s killing me!!

So yeah, as of this morning, I’ve lost 9 pounds. Woot! Woot!! Have you ever noticed that the same exact weight looks and feels different on the way down versus on the way up? When I’m gaining weight, it is “sloppy,” because I’m inactive and eating badly. So, my stomach protrudes, my posture isn’t great and I’m bloated. When I’m losing weight, my body starts getting tighter, my posture is better because my core is getting stronger and I don’t retain as much “water weight.” So the same exact weight that felt sucky on the way up, feels so much slimmer on the way down. Go figure!!

Anywho, getting through the first 4 weeks of exercising and diet is so critical for me. From here on out, it should get a little easier as I’ve gotten used to the morning exercise routine, I’m getting in bed by 11 pm, I’m not hungry all of the time and I feel good!! So, yeah, I’m pretty psyched and feeling really motivated!! C25K Week 4 starts today and I’m going up from 9 minutes of running to 16 though!! Dang!! They just changed it up on a sista!! But, that’s okay. ‘Cuz, I’m gonna get ‘er done!! 😉

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Time for 28 Day Fitness Challenge, Round TWO!! Who’s with me?!?!

What a Tangled Web: Detangling Tips

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I’ve mentioned a few times that I have been experiencing some pretty beastly detangling sessions in the last month or two. I mean, whether dry or wet, I’ve been battling matted, snarled, knotted hair like a mug!! Well, these shower skirmishes have required me to pull out ALL of my detangling big guns and invent a new one!! But before I list my tips, I wanted to share a link to a great article published on CurlyNikki last June: Tips on Detangling the Worst Knots.

Now, that article espouses the use of a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles, and that’s great for many. However, I’ve found my fine strands fare much better with finger detangling. So, that is something I think you have to judge for yourself.

So, without further ado, here are a few techniques that I’ve found help me tackle terrible tangles ;).

  1. If I’m dry detangling to pre-poo, it helps to look in a mirror as I see the tangle before I even get to it. This allows me to gently start releasing it, rather than potentially breaking hair by haphazardly combing through “blind” and encountering the resistance when I hit the knot.
  2. I pull apart the hair at my roots horizontally first, rather than combing down vertically. This creates space to loosens shed hair and allows me to start untangling hairs that are twined together.
  3. When I encounter a “matted” knot,” I gently try to remove the strands from the core of the knot. If my hair is wet with conditioner, I massage the knot with my fingers to loosen it. Then, I slide the knot UP to loosen it, rather than DOWN. For me, I find that down seems to tighten most knots, where sliding it up loosens it so that I can gently remove the strands from the central knot.
  4. If I have a knot that is not super tight and/or, I’ve been able to loosen it enough so that I can tell that it’s not a hard knot, I use a pin to widen the opening so that I can slide the strands out. I do this for single strand knots that haven’t completely closed too. This is tricky in that the knot has to be a little loose. If it’s tight, I don’t bother as I believe that the safety pin will end up poking and damaging the strand, which means that it’ll eventually knot again, break or split. So, again, I reserve this for knots that have a little “space” with which to work.
  5. When the above fails to completely eliminate a knot, that’s when I break out the scissors. But, usually, this is a shed strand knotted towards the very end of a strand securely attached to my scalp.

NEW AND IMPROVED DETANGLING TRICK!!

Okay, now I mentioned that I had to invent a new technique to deal with the nasty knots of late. Last weekend, I decided to try something that I’d never tried in the past for detangling:

  • I diluted my slippery conditioner in a dye applicator bottle with water before applying it.

Joy in the morning y’all. The tangles just MELTED out of my hair. I didn’t run out of hot water before I got halfway through my head, I didn’t have one knot or badly matted section to work out. I didn’t have to do most of steps 1-4 above. I didn’t dry detangle or look in the mirror. I didn’t need a pin or scissors once!! I just gently separated the hair at my roots horizontally to loosen it and remove some shed hair, then gently finger-combed working up from my ends to my roots. And, I did this again today with the same results!! I think this works under the same principle as the Shower Stream. I don’t know why I never thought of this before! I dilute shampoo to give it more slip. I dilute conditioner to apply over my DC. So, why not dilute conditioner to detangle?!?! I won’t make that mistake again!!

Now, I’ll give this caveat. I have started wearing my stretched hair bunned all week. And, I’ve been using my modified kimmaytube leave-in, which is really keeping my hair moisturized. So, I think all of these things combined are giving my hair some much needed TLC and helping prevent bad tangles in the first place. That being said, I could still FEEL the knots slide out when I applied the diluted conditioner (Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, of course ;)). So, if your detangling sessions are turning into dreaded events and nothing is working, you might want to give this a try. You might even get your conditioner to go further!! What have you got to lose, right?

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How do you make detangling on wash day easy, peasy, lemon squeezey?

I’m Still Alive

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Okay, I’ve been very absentee with the blog this week. For real, I have two posts sitting partially drafted on here and multiple notes on my computer for other posts I’ve yet to write. But, I just haven’t been able to really focus after work!! It’s been non-stop this week. Prior to my 28 Day Fitness Challenge, I was doing a lot of my writing in the early morning, because my mind was fresher then. But, now that I’m exercising in the morning, I don’t have time to write before work. And, I’m so burned out after work … I’m staring at a computer and writing all day and/or attending multiple meetings (seriously, I had FIVE meetings on Thursday and didn’t leave until 7 pm last night) … I just can’t concentrate on writing a DECENT full post!! This is why I HAVE to work-out in the morning. It just wouldn’t happen at all if I didn’t!

All that being said, I AM going to get this detangling post finished and published TODAY!!! I know that weekends are wash days for many ladies, and I want to get this out in case it might be helpful!!

But first, gotta get my work-out gear on and hit the basement for Day 27 of my 28 Day Fitness Challenge!!! I’m so excited that I’m definitely going to make 28 days!! Okay, let me get out of here now! But, I’ll be back!! Promise!!

28 Day Fitness Challenge: Days 15-21

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Still going strong!! I’m very happy to have week three of my 28 Day Fitness Challenge under my belt. I’m down 6 pounds now, which is an average of 2 pounds a week. This is great for me as I usually don’t see the scale move much my first month of exercising and getting my diet back on track. I’m not feeling tired like I was the last time I did this challenge and I think that has a lot to do with morning work-outs … and getting in bed by 11 pm (sleep is sooo important). So I don’t foresee any problems taking it all the way to the end this time! Yea!!

And, here are Days 15-21 in pictures!!

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On a diet note … despite encountering these for $0.99 at the register of Panera on Friday night …

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Red Velvet COOKIES?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!

I walked out with this, as planned …

DELISH!!

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. DELISH!!

A little trick I use to take the calorie count down on this salad is request the half-size salad portions of the nuts, cheese and dressing. By doing this, I shave 165 calories off of the salad, taking it from 550 to 385. All the flavor for 2/3 the calories!! WIN!! Oh, but I earned a free bakery treat the next time I go to Panera … so, I can’t make any promises that I won’t walk out with one of those cookies the next time …

And to wrap this up, on a hair note, I washed the mop and FINALLY did a two step henna/indigo this weekend!! I actually did a full head, full strength henna treatment, which I haven’t done in over a year. So happy to be done with that as my roots were looking CUH-RAZY!!

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Sorry, no after pics yet. I set my hair in braids on Saturday night and released them late on Sunday to bun it. My wash day went down almost exactly the same as the last one, which I ran down here, except I did the henna/indigo treatment after shampooing/detangling and set my hair in braids instead of twists. Other than that, the steps and products were the same with one other exception that I think made a HUGE difference in my detangling session this weekend. It was a BREEZE and I was so ecstatic! I’ll be sharing what I did differently with you guys very soon in a post about detangling techniques. So, stay tuned for that ;)!!

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I’m starting C25K Week 3 this morning!! How did my 28 Day Fitness Challenge ladies doing or any of you who are working towards health & fitness goals?

Hair of the Week

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As I said earlier this week, bunning is back in full effect in the Hairscapades household ;)!! So, just sharing a few pics of my hair through the week. It really needs to be washed now and I may henna tonight (hope it takes as it’s been sitting in the fridge since I thawed it this weekend!).

I let it down for a few minutes …

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But put it right back up shortly thereafter (as pictured above and here) …

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Played around with an old school favorite, the high and low twisted ponytails :).

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(I didn’t wear this out of the house, but I’m sho’nuff bringing it back this summer ;)!)

And then bunned it up again.

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And now I’m back in the top bun again ;). But yeah, need to wash this mess. Time to hit the showers and venture out into the snow!! Dang, where’s Wei when I need him to clean off my car?!?! I’ve gotten so spoiled  having him around ;). LOL!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!