Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Army Twists with Suave

As a military spouse, I don't have any restrictions to my hair styles.  Well except the ones self imposed by my errand days. And those days are just a simple high bun or ponytail depending on the state of my hair.

In honor of Veteran's day, I teamed up with Suave to do a military inspired hair style.  Now, as a woman of color with natural hair I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do anything without heat or weave.

However, after doing some research I found that the army, air force, and the navy do allow two strand twists after initially considering them unauthorized. So here are my army inspired twists:



Before I washed my hair....craziness lol
 
I began my twists with a wash and condition. I used Suave's Sea Minerals Moisturizing Body Shampoo and Conditioner.  I loved the smell of these products.  Since I live a block from the beach, it smells like I stepped outside.
 



 
A while back, I saw a YouTube video about using a tea shirt to dry your curly hair.  It helps to tame frizz and we all no that is a battle.  Even though it is Veteran's days, I usually use my husband's PT shirt. I use the long sleeve ones since he doesn't need them in Hawaii.  But today this was what was clean and he didn't need it since it was his day off ;-)
 




 
I used the Suave Luxe Style Weather Proof Cream to do my twists. Control over natural hair is important, and even more so when you are in uniform.
 



While I am obviously not in the army (don't want to offend anyone), just wanted to show you the finish product with my husband's hat. 
 
Thank you for reading my post and thanks to Suave for including me in their program.  Support Suave as they donate 10,00 products to troops overseas by using #ShareBeauty on your social media pages.
 
For more military inspired hairstyles, check out Dulce Candy's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE9C3gbLTNM
 



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Almost 30...

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
 
"What do you plan to do with your life?"
 
"Are you going to go back to school?"
 
"When are you going to have a second kid?"
 
 
When people ask me about my future, I cringe at the question much like I did when I was 18 and 22 right before graduation.  But now the questions have increased to more babies, house purchases, and even a few times more personal ones.
 
At 27 years old, the 30 year age mark grows brighter like the light at the end of my twenties tunnel.  A light that glows more of a hellish red than the soft white of hope.
 
Ten years ago, I was preparing for what I would hope to be a promising start to a college volleyball career.  However, that dream was killed after my spiteful and moronic coach decided to cut me due to the fact that she couldn't handle two of her strongest players being.....well, something she wasn't used to to say the least.
 
Five years ago, I met a guy who would change my life in ways that I never envisioned being in my future plans.  Soon, I was not only a college graduate trying to find a career.  I would soon become a mother an army wife who was even more confused about her future than ever.
 
Today, I sit before my computer caught between pride in the growing of sales for my little online store and annoyance with the current events of the last 24 hours of my life.  All while living in a place that many would consider paradise.
 
Despite the headache that comes with the never ending parade of questions about my future, I have decided to leave the future alone.  Sounds crazy for someone who just started a business, doesn't it? But I realized the future is too stressful to dwell on especially since I have often been shown that my plans for the future differ from those I envisioned.  The past is too depressing to think about and unproductive to living in the present.
 
22 years, I have spent my life living in such an unhappy place.  Trying so hard to make others happy, accepting, or even consider me as I am.  When I stopped trying to do that I spent the rest of the time not giving a fuck about anyone's feelings but my own and just felt an overwhelming sense of anger.  An anger that I still try to fight today.  I am sick of being unhappy.
 
So what is the purpose of this post? It is a declaration to myself and those who know me and care, that I will be happy and not dwell on where I am not at 27.  I plan to change for me and no one else.  Starting a business was my first step, so step back and watch me grow.
 
30 is coming faster than I would like, but I refuse to leave my twenties the same way I entered them. I refuse to let the future or anyone steal my happy.  While I love my husband and my son, there is something that can not compare to an internal sense of peace and self worth.  I am definitely on my way to getting there.





Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Story of An Army Wife: Fighting Words "I Work, What Do You Do?"

I do not wish to be a stay at home mom and with the joys of moving to Hawaii, I realized that it really doesn't matter what I wish for these days.

In the past, I have mentioned my views on stay at home moms and how those views have changed once I became one.  Being a stay at home mom is hard.  For those freaks of nature who strive at it and truly enjoy it.....I applaud you.
I on the other hand have a bipolar relationship with being a stay at home mom.  There are moments where I love experiencing childhood all over again with my little rugrat and there are days where I think running my head through a brick wall would be less painful than being home all day with my two year old and no adult interaction until 5 or 6pm.

Let's be serious, two year olds don't make the greatest morning coffee talk companions.  Then you try to add cleaning or working with them in the house.....BAM! Suddenly you are running into a room you just cleaned and find your toddler crying on the floor, pen markings all over the wall and a overall destroyed room that was clean only 10 minutes ago.

Even on my most productive days, somehow my house would still manages to look like nothing was  accomplished to a complete stranger or even to my husband.  But maybe that is just me.  Maybe I truly suck at being a stay at home mom.  Even with that said, there are certain questions that you don't ask a stay at home mom.

"What do you do all day?"

"How can you stand being home all day and not go to work?"

"Are you looking for a job in the mean time?"

And the one that could cause blood to be shed...."I work. What do you do?"


Now, don't get me wrong.  I try (and sometimes learning to try harder) to respect the fact that the financial burden can fall on the husband when the wife stays at home with the child.  But when I hear soldiers (or any man for that matter) says those words, I almost have an out of body experience.

I find it very disrespectful. Without giving you the "being a mom is a full time job" line.....oh wait, I just did.  Well, look at it this way: how many men are running to pursue jobs as daycare providers? Now add on top of that job: cook, laundry service, maid service, personal shopper, and for some personal assistant.  Sound like a job worth having? If you answered yes, then please put down the alcohol and try again.

It is not the problem of being a stay at home mom and it be acknowledged, it is the lack of acknowledgement of how much it takes to be a stay at home mom.  For me personally, I am stuck in a house ALL day with a 2 year old and because the army only ships one car.......no vehicle to leave the house and little to no friends to socialize with to maintain some form of adult interaction outside of my husband.

There are plenty of stay at home moms that bring shame on motherhood and I don't even think that being a stay at home mom deserves some ridiculous reward.  However, to question what your wife does all day when somehow she has managed to keep her destructive child alive, dinner prepared, your laundry clean, and still able to greet you with words that resemble something other than "ba-ba" or other child gibberish..........don't ask her what she did all day.


With that said, let me know your thoughts? Do stay at home moms have a right to be offended when ask what they do all day? 





Friday, January 23, 2015

Hawaii Life: Side Street Inn

I never considered myself much of a foodie.  While I have grown to love cooking and the Food Network channel over the years, I would be lying if I said I was game for anything and everything in the food world.

With that said, I decided that I would take advantage of this new life in Hawaii.  As our time came to an end in Kentucky, I started to realize how much we didn't take advantage of the food and places offered in the bluegrass state.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't say there was a lot to offer but there were definitely some things.

Recently, I was asked to list my favorite restaurants/eateries on the website TheBesty.com.  I was excited to share and thought it would be nice to share in greater detail on my blog.

So far we have only tried a couple of places exclusive to Hawaii or are considered local.  The first local place we tried was the Side Street Inn.
While driving around Honolulu, I suggested we try something local and we came across this little hole in the wall.  Despite the appearance, the reviews were good and I was excited to try something that the locals ate in Honolulu.

Now, there are two locations for Side Street Inn.  We went to the one on Hopaka Street, so my opinions are reserved for that location.





Now to get to the good stuff....

Parking
Parking here is not exactly ideal.  If you are lucky, you can park on the street along the building.  But that parking is pretty limited.  There is a garage across the street.  The upper portion has a low ceiling so I would be careful if you drive a big vehicle.  There is no validation from the restaurant.  So the cost is roughly $6 for an hour.  After 5, the restaurant provides a valet for $5.

Atmosphere
When you enter, you will see it looks like a typical hole in the wall/dive bar.  The place is kind of cramped. There is some sports event/game on the tv and people just seem content.  There is nothing special to note about the restaurants appearnace.

Kid Friendly
While they do have high chairs and booster seats, that is really where it ends in terms of the restaurant being kid friendly.  They do not offer a kid menu or even a kid friendly cup.  The first time we went, they gave my son cranberry juice out of a liquor glass.  I must admit, that amused me quite a bit.

Service
Since coming to Hawaii, I have noticed with the exception of chain restaurants there is no sense of urgency when taking orders or bringing food out.  The servers have all been friendly, but I would not recommend eating here if you are in a rush to be somewhere else.  So just enjoy the game and just let the servers come when they do, because both times the servers were slow by mainland standards.

Food
The first time we went there, I had the Hoisin Baby Back ribs, my son had the popcorn chicken, and I don't quite remember what my husband had.  My next visit, I decided to get the shrimp scampi.  Both times I ordered the "award wininning" fried rice and topped it all off with the fried pound cake for dessert.  The hoisin ribs have a smokey/sweet sauce and are definitely something to try if you love bbq and Asian flavors.  Now I would not call them baby back ribs by any means but maybe there is just something I don't know about ribs.  The popcorn chicken is good but nothing unique.  The fried rice is what the restaurant is known for and the portions are HUGE.  It is enough to at least serve 4 people.  The Portuguese sausage and bacon give it something different than what you typically get with your Chinese takeout.




When we returned for a second dinning experience, I was highly disappointed (almost disgusted) by the shrimp scampi.  They brought out this mound of food on a plate.  Grant it, the portion was enough to feed 2 or 3 people.  It was a mound of zucchini and mushrooms with shrimp and parmesan cheese.  Nothing about it resembled what I have grown to know as shrimp scampi.  All of the food sat on top of a pool of liquid that I assume was made of butter and lemon.  The mushrooms and zucchini tasted pretty good but the shrimp was overcooked.  Needless to say, most of it went uneaten.
However, all is redeemed with the fried pound cake with ice cream.  It is so simple and just so good.  There is a light crunch on the outside and then the softness of cake on the inside and the ice cream just tops it off perfectly. It is a must try.

Overall, I do like the place and think it is a great place to try if you want to try something local and if you don't have small children.  If you are staying in a hotel, make sure you clear your mini fridge because there will be plenty of food to take home.





Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hair Experiment: Egg, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil Hair Mask

I am not one for new year resolutions. However, this is my 3rd year being natural and now that I have moved (again) I figured it was time to really take care of my hair.

While I have gotten better over the years, I will admit that taking care of my hair has not really been the top of my priority list.....well not consistently anyways.

So before I left Kentucky, I started really looking at more natural hair blogs, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, etc.  I then decided that maybe I should try some more homemade hair care.  Which brought me to trying my first homemade hair mask.
 My hair before I applied the mask

Bring on the egg, coconut oil, and olive oil!

Now I have used coconut oil and olive oil in my hair before but when I came across the egg recipe, I figured why not try something new.  Plus, looking over the other homemade hair mask this one suited me best for the time.  Because A.) I didn't want to go to the grocery store B.) My eggs were about to expire anyways C.) Didn't have to sit under the dryer which is something you can't do with egg in your hair (fried egg hair, anyone?).  The recipe was originally just for coconut oil and egg, but I decided to just add the olive oil as well.
                                                 
Before
 
                                                 
Before

If you are not familiar with the idea of using food items in your hair, you may wonder why would someone put egg in their hair.  That would be a very good question.

According to eHow.com:
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_4569202_benefits-using-eggs-hair.html
Raw eggs contain a significant concentration of essential proteins and nutrients. Because of the high protein content, eggs can be used to strengthen hair follicles. Likewise, the nutrients work much like conditioners to add volume, shine and texture.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_4569202_benefits-using-eggs-hair.html
                                           
I used 2 eggs, though the original recipe called for only one.  Use what you think is need for your hair length and texture

Continuing on with the ingredient benefits ....

Coconut oil is used as a natural conditioner for hair. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easier to penetrate through the hair shaft and works with the natural hair proteins. Coconut oil is also used to treat conditions like dry scalp or fungal conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause itchy flakes. Ordinary shampoo formulation results in protein loss during washing. Coconut oil can minimize protein loss, as it contains the medium-chain triglycerides that can pass through the cell membrane and waterproof the scalp and hair.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5244451_benefits-coconut-oil-hair_.html
Coconut oil is used as a natural conditioner for hair. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easier to penetrate through the hair shaft and works with the natural hair proteins. Coconut oil is also used to treat conditions like dry scalp or fungal conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause itchy flakes. Ordinary shampoo formulation results in protein loss during washing. Coconut oil can minimize protein loss, as it contains the medium-chain triglycerides that can pass through the cell membrane and waterproof the scalp and hair.
Olive Oil:
Olive oil is truly a powerhouse when it comes to hair, skin and beauty applications. Its rich, moisturizing properties make it ideal for use on your hair. While you may immediately think of olive oil for cooking, keeping a bottle of olive oil handy in your bathroom can help your hair look healthier, stronger and shinier. Whether you use it as your regular conditioner, a hot oil treatment or as a hair finishing product, your mane is bound to reap the many benefits of olive oil.

                                              

                                              
Heated olive oil and coconut oli with the 2 eggs

                                               
The coconut oil before it was heated with the olive oil

                                               
Me and my fabulous Walmart bag because I was out of shower caps

I ended up trying this hair experiment twice. The first time (which is when the pictures were taken), I couldn't figure out how to apply it.  So I just took the bowl, bent my head over the sink and poured the mixture over my head.  It was not the smartest application.

After washing my hair, I didn't notice much of a difference in my hair.  Now it may have been because more of the mask ended up in my sink than in my hair.  Below is the after result of my hair with no other products in my hair.

My hair didn't seem to be any different after the mask (at least no different than if I did a regular wash and condition), so I decided to try it again.  The second time I left the mixture on for about 30 to 40 minutes as opposed to the 20 minutes I did the first round.  I also used 3 eggs instead of the 2.

When I applied the mixture, I used a hair color application brush like the ones from my hair coloring experiments.  I felt I got a better application of the hair mask and thought there was a slight improvement to my hair but nothing extensive.  Despite my results it does not discourage me from trying this mask or any other homemade masks again. 

Once I have settled into my new house, I will try this experiment again.  Next time I will use a fresher and different coconut oil (the one I had wasn't expired but it certainly wasn't new) and make sure the mask is mixed better.  I think the coconut oil didn't break down well enough for the mask.

Before I wrap this up, I will suggest if you are to try this mask that you make sure you wash out the mask thoroughly.  The egg has a tendency to want to stay in your hair. 

Now that I have tried my first homemade mask, I look forward to sharing more of my homemade haircare attempts:-)

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